Friday, February 28, 2014

Little Peep Bumpdate {26 weeks}

26 weeks collageDate: 2/19/14
How far along: 26 weeks
Fruit-size comparison: Well it depends on where you look.  One site said both a head of lettuce & an eggplant.  Another site said an english cucumber.  So this week you can pick your favorite “fruit” as an analogy for Little Peep’s size :-)
Developmental milestones: Little Peep is just under 2lbs right now.  He is absorbing my antibodies to prepare his body to fight infection for when he makes his debut into the world.  His eyes are also forming and he is getting ready to start blinking.  Also, his testicles are starting to descend (taking about 2-3 days to make it to the scrotum).
Maternity clothes: There are very few items that aren't maternity that I can get away with wearing anymore
Weight gain: I'm sticking with 16lbs so far.  Every time I have weighed myself this week it has been a 16 lb growth gain.
Stretch Marks:  The three stretch marks I noticed on my belly last week are darker, and I believe the girls are getting some stretch marks of their own.
Sleep:  I'm definitely getting up 3-4 times a night for a potty break, but I don't have any issues falling right back to sleep.  So far I'm a pretty good sleeper :-)
Best moment of the week:  I have a serious case of the giggles lol I'm laughing at everything.  I find my husband to be more and more hilarious everyday, and some of the silliness that goes on in this house just makes me laugh hysterically.  I have no control over my fits of laughter.
Movement: Little Peep is moving all over the place and you can see him moving on the outside.  I've been trying to get it on tape but as soon as I get the camera he stops.  That little stinker is playin' his mama already!
Cravings: Milk is something that I’ve always been good about drinking, but now I’m drinking about 3-4 glasses a day.  I just can’t get enough milk!  Other than that, besides my pizza & pancakes cravings, cheese & carbs are pretty much at the top of my list, but I've rained in my cravings majorly this week to keep my weight gain on track. 
Gender: A little boy!!!
Belly button in or out: Still an innie, but not for much longer.
Wedding ring: Still on
Anything making you queasy/sick: Nothing really this week besides some strong smells
What I miss: Walking around without getting out of breath.  Several times while running errands over the weekend, and just walking into church from the parking deck, I found myself out of breath.  I know this will get worse, but because of the doctor's orders for pelvic rest I'm making sure I move very slow and don't push myself.  I'm typically a fast mover so this is certainly an adjustment for me; though an adjustment I'd happily make for Little Peep.
What I’m looking forward to: Spring break is right around the corner, just a couple more weeks (sidebar- seriously this is the fastest semester of my life!)  Because I still have so much to do before the baby gets here for both home and work, I plan on really taking advantage of spring break.  I also can't wait for my next appointment to check on Little Peep’s progress.
Labor signs: Nope not yet, and that's just fine with us.
Symptoms: hmmmm nothing new is coming to mind. My heart burn is being controlled with a higher calcium intake with homemade fruit smoothies in the mornings before work, yogurt, and all the milk I’m drinking (see above Cravings lol).  And I’m taking a lot of potty breaks during the day, but nothing new this week.
Nursery: Over the weekend I had this crazy idea to finish up a few projects for the nursery by going to IKEA.  I don't know why I always go to IKEA on Saturdays; I really need to stop having that crazy idea lol  I have most of the wall art finished and I'm just waiting for it to go up on the walls.  I am getting really excited to see the finished product :-)
Emotions: I've been cherishing the moments this week.  With the end of the 2nd trimester in sight, I'm just trying to cherish every bit of the last few months of this pregnancy.  I have enjoyed every single aspect of this pregnancy, every concern, pain, and joy has been embraced and I've been grateful for. It's hard to believe that Little Peep will be here so soon, so I'm trying to embrace what time he and I have left as just us, and I'm praying for time to slow down so I can soak in every moment I have left of this pregnancy.
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Maternity Style {Spring & Summer Edition}

The summer is all about comfort, whether you’re sporting a bump or not.
After last weeks post on winter maternity fashion, I received several comments about how the heat is back and suggestions for maternity fashion in the warmer months were needed.  So today I’m going to try and round-up some of my favorite styles for this spring and summer a la Pinterest :-)Spring and Summer Maternity Fashion
Again, like last week, I have to say that these styles are exactly what I would be wearing even if I weren’t pregnant.  In the summer, I need breathable clothing that isn’t clinging to me.  I like stripes, polka dots, and bright colors for spring and summer with some fabulous accessories like belts, light scarves, and hats.  But seriously, if I could get away with wearing stripes every day, I totally would lol

What are looking forward to wearing this spring and summer?
Happy Wednesday friends!
xoxo Darby

Monday, February 24, 2014

What Not To Say To Someone Struggling With Infertility

For the past few weeks, on Mondays I have been posting things that I learned through my experiences with infertility (here is a list of the other posts if you’re interested.)  This has really been a challenge for me to get it all out; to actually write things makes me feel very exposed and vulnerable.  I keep doing it though because I know the Lord has a purpose for our struggles, and if I can encourage even one person who may be feeling the same ways I have felt, then I will continue to write.  I know everything He does is for good, and I'm looking forward to seeing the fruit of His labor (pun not intended).

While we've struggled with infertility for the past few years, there have been many comments from people, who I’m sure were just trying to be helpful, that really hurt us.  It's probable that they just didn't know what to say but they truly wanted to demonstrate their support, OR they were just so uncomfortable that something just fell out of their mouth.  These types of comments cut me really deep, even if they weren’t intended to hurt me.  Sometimes you don’t have to say anything to show someone you care, but often times silence makes us uncomfortable so we just say something, and just saying anything can really rub salt in an open and very sensitive wound.  Today I not only want to share with you a few of these “no-no” phrases I've encountered, but I also want to tell you why and how these comments are perceived by someone who is struggling.

What Not to Say To Someone Struggling With Infertility
  1. “It will happen someday, just calm down and relax” FYI increased brain activity does not decrease your chances of conceiving.  In fact, fertility challenges are actually a medical condition, not just something that is made-up in someone's head.  Before even being diagnosed as infertile (which is a truly nasty word if you ask me), you have to be actively trying for at least a year; this year weeds out the “just need to relax” concept.  By telling someone to just relax actually adds guilt and stress to the individual, because then they may start to think that the reason they can’t conceive is because of their emotions, when in reality it is a medical condition.  Additionally, if I'm being completely honest, it might not happen someday.  Some people are just not able to have biological children.  Please don’t downplay someone else’s concerns about conceiving; it’s very condescending.
  2. “Don’t worry, you’re so young!”  In case you haven't picked up on this scientifically supported fact, it doesn’t get easier to have children as you age.  On the contrary, it becomes more difficult.  This is why younger women have the children, and older women are the grandmothers.  If I’m ____ years old now and already facing fertility challenges, do you know how much harder it could be for me to conceive in _____ years?  Think about it.
  3. Just wait, it will happen when you stop trying” Uhhhhhhh ......... not to get too far into the birds and the bees lesson, but some activity must happen for conception to occur.  If you’re doing injections, testing with OPKs (ovulation predictor kits), taking temperatures and hormones, and you’re still having issues, the “cure" probably isn't to stop trying.
  4. “Why don’t you just adopt?” or “Why don’t you try to adopt and then see if you can conceive?" or "My friend started the adoption process and then conceived!”  This is not how conception occurs.  Yes, this does happen to be the case for some families, but not for everyone.  And you absolutely should NOT treat adoption like a backup plan.  Adoption is something that you prayerfully consider and train for, for a long long time.  Children who are adopted, or are waiting to be adopted, are beautiful and desired; they are not waiting around to be someone's Plan B.  They are somebody's Plan A.  Always.  You don't just apply for adoption in the hopes that you’ll magically conceive.  That isn't how things work.  First the parents have to completely grieve the loss of their biological child or the hope for a biological child.  Not to mention, that by you providing an alternative solution doesn’t help the individual justify their current feelings or circumstance.  Adoption isn’t for everyone, and if you just give them some other option to "fix" them, you’re suggesting that what they feel about their own grief of a potential child doesn’t matter and it absolutely does matter.
  5. “Oh well, you’ve always got your career” Because a career is just as fulfilling as a child?!  Maybe for some people, but please don’t assume I am one of those people.  Even if I did spend almost 10 years working on my degrees AND love my job, that does not mean I don’t have other dreams or aspirations.  Once achieving education and a job does not mean life stops progressing, or that someone isn't entitled to the desires of parenthood.
  6. “You’re just supposed to be the fun aunt then” or “Maybe you aren’t meant to be a parent” While I adore my nieces and nephews, the role of aunt and mother are very different.  How incredibly insensitive to imply that I would be such a bad mother that God felt the need to divinely sterilize me.  Infertility is a medical condition, not a punishment from God.  While He does have the power to provide a child, His timing is of the utmost importance.
  7. “But you have dogs!” Y’all know I’m a big dog person.  I adore our puppies and of course we consider them to be a part of the family, but seriously?! Are you kidding me?! You’re going to lump a potential child in the same category as a dog?  Do you actually expect that comment to go over well?  This is a perfect example of needing to think before you speak.
  8. “You’re so lucky you don’t have to deal with morning sickness, labor, or sleep deprivation” Again, SERIOUSLY?!  When you can’t have a child, your perspective changes and while many may think these things are inconveniences, when you don’t have them, you value them.  Besides, women who are fertility challenged, are sleep deprived, and it’s because the only one crying at night is them because of the silence piercing the night. Please don’t try to minimize someone’s pain by pointing out more things they are lacking.  Do you know how often I prayed that I would have the opportunity to hug that porcelain thrown just to know that a baby was on the way?  
  9. “When are you going to have children?” or “When are you going to have your next child?” Please don’t assume that couples are just waiting to have a child.  Yes this might be the case for some, but for many others there is a really painful alternative reason; for example, maybe they aren’t ready professionally, relationally, or financially, maybe there are health complications, maybe they have already started trying and are struggling, maybe one spouse is ready and the other isn’t yet, or maybe they are not even interested in having a child or having more than what they have now.  Even though your curiosity may be through the roof, I promise you: they didn’t forget about children, so please respect them and stop pressuring them.  Remember that their fertility really isn’t any of your business (see this “Get Out My Business” post).  If they want to tell you, they will and when they are ready.
  10. “This was meant to happen" or This was all in God’s plan” or “Have you prayed about it?”  From a Christian perspective, I know that God doesn’t make mistakes and I’m pretty sure it was meant to happen, but I don’t need you to tell me that.  Telling me this does not change the way I feel.  Furthermore, the Bible says that the barren woman will NEVER be satisfied (Proverbs 30:15-16) and God knows it.  He knows and acknowledges that incurable pain and He is okay with it.  The Lord says that it is okay to be upset; He is okay with the frustration, and so much greater.  By asking me if I’ve prayed about it is very condemning.  If I’m struggling, I promise you: prayer has crossed my mind.
  11. Any complaining about your children is a no-no Very much like #8, fertility challenges force a shift in perspective, and something that might be a nuisance to one woman is something coveted by another.  If you are pregnant or already have children, just being around you is painful for your infertile friends. Seeing your belly grow is a constant reminder of what your infertile friend cannot have. Unless an infertile woman plans to spend her life in a cave, she has to find a way to interact with pregnant women again. However, there are things you can do as her friend to make it easier: stop complaining!  Someone with fertility challenges is wishing they were up late at night with a colicky baby, yearning for tantrums in the cereal aisle, and longing to find action figures in her purse…..because that all means that there is a child there.  She is missing out on the blessings that you may consider to be annoyances.  While she sympathizes with the truth that being a mother is tough work (no doubt about it!), don't complain to her about it, because she would trade her silent nights with you in heart beat. She isn't rejecting you or your children; she is just trying to work her way through her pain to show sincere joy for you. The fact that she is willing to endure such pain in order to celebrate your new baby or children with you speaks volumes about how much your friendship means to her.
After reading this list you might be thinking, “Well, Darby, is there anything right to say?!”  And the answer is no.  There really isn’t anything you can say that will change the individual’s circumstances.  Sometimes saying anything just makes the person hurt more (even when it’s unintentional).  The best thing to do is to nod, show that you’re listening and you care, and offer a hug if your relationship permits.  Keep in mind that you don’t have to say anything at all; sometimes just being there is the "right thing.”  Don’t try to change or justify the pain because this doesn’t help; instead, it actually takes power away from the person who is struggling.  In the past, I always wanted to stop and fix pain, rather than hug people and to show them it was ok that they were hurting. Now, when people experience pain and I feel like I must say something, I think before I speak, and then I tell them that they hurt because what happened mattered.  Ultimately though, what I learned from my experiences, is that all I really needed or wanted was someone to listen to what I had to say, not to justify my feelings.

For those of you who completely sympathize with this list of comments, when people say things to you that make you go into a bout of depression like: “When are you going to start having babies?” or “You should start soon, you’re not getting any younger?” or “We tried this when we were trying… worked the first month.” Just remember they don’t know what they are saying.  People who have not been through infertility don’t understand.  They don’t mean to hurt your feelings and they don’t know how much their comments dig into the space in your heart that is waiting for a baby.  For the most part, humans are curious creatures and want to know about your life.  Please be forgiving even though you wish so often you could clock someone for their insensitivity.

The grief of infertility is the grief of a loss of hope, joy, and love.  It is the grief of a child you never got the chance to meet.  With each month there is this weird rebirth of hope, only to be smashed in a couple of weeks.  It's like a very bumpy road, and just when you think it is starting to smooth over, you hit another bump.  And this can go on for years.  If you are struggling with infertility, loss, or grief, I hope you know that I pray for you on a daily basis that God would fulfill the desires of your heart and fill you with peace and joy while you wait.  You are a very special population that I am proud to be a member of to love on and pray for.
xoxo Darby

Friday, February 21, 2014

Little Peep Bumpdate {25 weeks}

25 week collageDate: 2/12/14
How far along: 25 weeks
Fruit-size comparison: Cauliflower (which really isn’t a fruit at all, it’s a leaf.)
Developmental milestones: Little Peep has a sense of balance now and can tell up from down (this is great, because I keep praying for him to get ready to turn head down soon! Listen to mama Little Peep!).  He is growing some hair and fat this week.
Maternity clothes: Yep, for the most part I'm in all maternity clothes.  Occasionally I am still wearing pre-maternity clothes.
Weight gain: Well according the to Dr.'s scale I have gained 18 lbs, but I think it's really about 16lbs.  Either way, the doctor still thinks I'm doing well and on track.
Stretch Marks: My first new stretch marks have appeared (not like I thought they had last time lol).  Two on my left side and one on my right side.  They kind of frame my lower belly button.  The only way I could see these was in the mirror after getting out of the shower because they are so low and I can't see the underside of my belly.  These may have been here for a while, but I just now noticed them.  The stretched skin feels different....well I guess it feels stretched.  I'm still lathering up in my belly butter on my chest, belly, hips, and boo-tay to minimize those stretch marks and keep my skin hydrated.
Sleep: I was getting up 2-3 times a night for a potty break, but I think I'm more like 3-4 now.  I still fall right back to sleep though.
Best moment of the week: Well so many great things happened this week, I will just have to list them :-) 1) On Saturday we got to tour our new hospital and we were so very impressed, and we are thrilled to be delivering there.  The support and amenities are exactly what we were looking for. 2) One night when we were watching tv on the couch, the Mr. had his head on my belly listening to Little Peep move around.  In passing I said, I wish I could hear Little Peep move.  Two days later, the Mr. had a package shipped to me at the house.  He got me a new stethoscope for at home so that I can hear him moving around too.  This is now part of the decoration on the coffee table hehe  I absolutely love to hear him wiggle around; it’s the best sound I have ever heard  3) I think my husband is getting ready to try out for Top Chef lol The past two weeks I have come home from work after 14 hour days and he has been standing over the stove cooking for me (at 10pm!!!) He made me grilled chicken with fettuccini alfredo and rigatoni and meatballs.  And every single thing was homemade, and it was mouth wateringly delicious.  Oh my heavens just thinking about it right now has me salivating!  I am one blessed woman to have my husband. 4) We have interviewed several of our potential doulas and are starting to work with them on our birth plan 5) I had my check-up on Tuesday and there has not been any progress with my placenta (please keep praying for that if you get a chance; we would certainly appreciate it!).  I will remain on pelvic rest for at least another 3 weeks.  I also had my glucose, thyroid, & anemia tests and passed all three.  Little Peep’s heart rate was 149 and he clearly loved the glucose test; he was dancing all around lol.  My next appointment will be in 3 weeks and then we will start going every other week.    It’s crazy to think that we are already at that point, right?!?!
Movement: Little Peep is a mover and a shaker; I just love to feel him dancing in my belly.  I can tell when he is awake and when he is sleeping.  I can also see him moving on the outside.  It doesn’t look like body parts moving though; all I can see are bumps.
Cravings:  Pizza and pancakes still lol  These will be cut back though in light of those 16/18 lbs! lol
Gender: A boy!!!!!!!!!
Belly button in or out:  I can tell it's going to pop very soon!  Little Peep needs as much real estate as possible so that belly button has just got to go!
Wedding ring: On
Anything making you queasy/sick:  I really cannot stand smells on my hands.  I’ve always had a pretty good smeller but right now it’s a little too much.  Even after I wash my hands I can still smell some things and it just makes me squirm.  My major icky smells are mouth wash, toothpaste (but just on my hands) and coffee.
What I miss: Absolutely nothing!
What I’m looking forward to: Can I say everything?  I really am looking forward to everything.
Labor signs: Nothing yet, and I’m okay with that
Symptoms:  One symptom that has not left is my exhaustion.  I know a lot of women say that after the first trimester they get their energy back.  And while I have gotten some of my energy back, I am still totally exhausted.  As soon as I sit down at home in the evenings I want to passed out.  It takes a lot of cognitive effort to keep me on task.  I know that this will be a challenge for…..well, for the next 20 years or so; it’s time to just adjust.  Little Peep is sucking me dry; he gets all of my moisture and my skin is super dry.  I look like a snake all over my hands and legs.  To compensate I am drinking sooooo much water and lathering up multiple times a day just to make sure he is staying as hydrated as possible.  At my doctors appointment the doctor noticed that my feet have started swelling.  Now I had no idea that this had happened.  My shoes are still fitting fine, and I’m not in any pain.  I can only imagine what they will look like as the Houston heat really hits in the next couple months.
Nursery: Y’all, this is really starting to come together, and I’m just so excited!  Everything that “needed” to be built is done, things are hanging on the walls, and I finished sewing his curtains and pillows over the weekend!  There are some more pictures that I want to have printed and a few more little crafts I want to do but then I think we will be pretty close to finished.  There is still one major purchase for the nursery that I would like and that is a glider & ottoman.  Those hardwood floors are pretty tough, so I really hope to have a glider to sit in when I’m in the nursery.
Emotions: I know I say this every week, but it’s still so true, I’m still just feeling so blessed and excited to be experiencing every part of this pregnancy.  I don’t take anything for granted; I appreciate and embrace every single aspect of this pregnancy.
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Maternity Style {Winter Edition}

I have been so blessed by many of my stylish friends providing me with maternity hand-me-downs.  Truly a blessing!  It has been so fun to style this growing bump over the past couple of months and not have to worry about the finances of having enough clothes to cover my growing belly.  Today I'm sharing with you some of my favorite maternity styles a la Pinterest.

My go-tos tend to be my leggings or skinny jeans, with my boots, a cardigan/blazer, with a scarf/necklace, a striped shirt, and a belt to accentuate the bump :-)
I think these are the same trends I’ve had in years past, even without the bump. 
I guess some things just never change!
What do you love living in this winter!?!?!?
xoxo Darby

Monday, February 17, 2014

Little Peep Bumpdate {24 weeks}

24 week collageTwo things to note in the above picture:
On the left, you’ll notice the new closet the Mr. built for the nursery! 
And on the right, I’m losing my toes :-)
Date: 2/5/14
How far along: 24 weeks
Fruit-size comparison: Little Peep is the size of a cantaloupe now :-)
Developmental milestones: Something that I was very much looking forward to this week was a pregnancy that was legally and medically considered viable.  Not that I’m ready for Little Peep to be born yet, but the idea that if he wore to be born he has a higher chance of living brings me a sense of peace.  Also his skin is becoming more opaque and starting to look more pink instead of see-through.  The branches of his lungs are developing more and more to prepare him for breathing outside of the womb :-)
Maternity clothes: Yes!  My good friend Grace gave me some clothes for work and let me tell you, there are a game changer.  No more zippers digging into my belly!
Weight gain: 13 lbs.  Apparently Little Peep and I hit a growth spurt ;-)
Stretch Marks:  Just the ones from before on my hips that are starting to get longer.
Sleep: Still can't complain here.  Yes I still get up several times a night (but I realize this isn't going to stop any time soon, even after he arrives), but so far I still fall right back to sleep.
Best moment of the week: 1) I discovered a new flavor of Tums that has been rockin’ my heartburn world! lol (It’s the little things in life folks, the little things).  I had been chowing on the Smoothies Tropical flavor, but let me tell y’all, the Smoothies Berries are where it’s at. 2) I use voice-to-text on my phone when I’m g-chatting/texting, and sometimes I get some interesting autocorrects but I don’t see them until after I have sent the message (oops).  Well this week I was trying to text the Mr. "I was going to call you because I hadn't heard from you yet" instead my voice-to-text wrote (and of course I didn’t read it before sending) "I was in labour or call you BC I hadn't heard from you yet" apparently he didn't catch the British version of "labor" but it certainly sent off an alarm hahaha I had to tell my phone that labor jokes just weren’t funny right now.
Movement: Oh yes!  Little man kicks me mainly on my left side in the middle and lower abdominal cavity.  I will never get tired of those kicks.
Cravings: I have been giving into my pizza cravings a little too much, as well as my new craving...pancakes. Saturday I went to breakfast with my friend Julie from my Smallgroup and I ordered a side of pancakes.  This was my "side" folks! (this may be the major contributor to the weight gain mentioned above)
Gender: He is going to be a dapper young man :-)
Belly button in or out: Innie
Wedding ring: On.  I have a green ring I usually wear on my right hand that has had to retire to my jewelry box for now.
Anything making you queasy/sick: Nothing that I can think of
What I miss: Absolutely nothing
What I’m looking forward to:  We have a follow-up appointment next week to examine our placenta issues.  I'm anxious to get to the D-R and hear what he has to say after the exam.  We're also finishing up our interviews with doulas next week.  I'm looking forward to start working with them.
Labor signs: Nope, and I'm praying we stay this way for several more months
Symptoms: I am officially a grunter.  Bending over, getting up out of the recliner, getting up off of the floor are all accompanied by a chorus of my grunts.  I know, it's very attractive lol
Nursery: Oh yes!  The crib came in last Thursday (6 days early!!!!), and I couldn't stop starring at the box.  If I thought refreshing the tracking numbers online was bad, wooooooah, I took this to an entirely new level once it was finally in the house.  The Mr. and I (well mainly the Mr.) spent the entire weekend working on the nursery.  From Friday night to Sunday afternoon this room was completely transformed.  I cannot wait to add the finishing details to his room.  I find myself sitting in there so often just imagining how different the room will be when our tiny package arrives from heaven.
Emotions: Excitement!  I am looking forward to tackling each item on my to-do list because it just means that I'm one more step closer to feeling prepared (or as prepared as any first-time parent can feel) for his arrival.  This is by far, my favorite to-do list I've ever had....and trust me, this Type A neuroscientist has made seeeeeevvvveral to do lists in her time ;-)
xoxo Darby

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Hawley Valentine’s Day {Newlywed Game Style}

Hawley Valentines Day-2
We’ve had a lot of new friends join us lately, so we thought we would take an opportunity to play a version of the Newlywed Game for Valentine’s Day. We laughed at each other as we answered these questions because either we couldn’t remember or we had very similar answers.Valentine's Collage
Where was your first date?
{MR} A party in college
{MRS} The Ukrop’s Folk Festival in Richmond, VA.  Then we went to the Tobacco Company and Havanna 59 for dinner and then dancing.

Where was your first kiss?
{MR} A party
{MRS} At a graduation party in the spring of 2005

Who said "I Love You” first?
{MR} D said it first probably
{MRS} Me ;-)

Which of the following breakfast cereals best describes your wife's family's opinion of you when they first met you: Crazy Flakes, Just Right, Frosted Flakes, Lucky Charms, or Fruit Loops?
{MR} Lucky Charms…because they’re Irish
{MRS} Lucky Charms, because I got the full package an attractive, strong, kind, loving, Christ-focus man.  I am the lucky one to have him.

Your wife is waiting at the doctor's office. Which magazine will she read? Good Housekeeping, People, Glamour, or Coastal Living?
{MR} Some kind of gossip so definitely Good Housekeeping
{MRS} People

Which of these does your husband have the most of: sense of humor, sense of time, or sense of adventure?
{MR} Sense of time
{MRS} Sense of time, he is never late and always helping me to be on time

How many pairs of shoes does your wife have in the closet right now?
{MR} 32
{MRS} 45 (and I just took 3 full 13 gallon bags to Goodwill when we moved; It’s official, I have a shoe problem)

What is your husband's ultimate favorite movie?
{MR} Pulp Fiction
{MRS} Pulp Fiction

What is your husband's ultimate favorite meal?
{MR} BBQ- my favorite is a good brisket, but fried chicken is a close second
{MRS} Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and corn

If your wife were a character from the sitcom "Friends", who would she be?
{MR} Monica, a little uptight.  And I would be Tom Selleck (Monica’s boyfriend) because he has a great mustache
{MRS} Monica

Which one of you hogs the bed covers at night?
{MR} D!
{MRS} Guilty

Who is better at handling money?
{MR} Me!
{MRS} The Mr by far!  Did you read my answer to the shoe question above?!?!

If you could have a second honeymoon, where would your wife want you to take her?
{MR} Paris, I think…or Montreal again
{MRS} On a Mediterranean cruise

What is the messiest room in your house?
{MR} I guess the bedroom
{MRS} Normally I don't think it would be the guest room because we're never in there, but because we're working on the nursery so much the guest room has become a catch-all.

What did you have for dinner the night you got married?
{MR} Italian, and then when we went to the hotel we got something terrible for 40 bucks…like chicken fingers or something.
{MRS} At our reception we served roast beef, salmon, chicken cordon bleu and rigatoni and some sides to our guests, but I don’t think we had any.  When we left for our honeymoon we ordered room service and had quesadillas and watched Superbad lol

How long does your husband spend in the shower?
{MR} 10 minutes
{MRS} 6 minutes

Which of the following Valentine's Gifts would your wife prefer the most: a beautiful bouquet of two dozen red roses, you offering to clean the house for a month, or a one hour massage given by you?
{MR} Massage, that one was easy. I know she doesn’t even like roses and loves to clean.
{MRS} Massage!

Who is the most patient in your marriage?
{MR} It’s probably me
{MRS} Definitely NOT me!  Now let’s hurry up to the next question ;-)

What is your husband's favorite breakfast food?
{MR} French toast & sausage
{MRS} Dippy eggs (runny eggs that you can dip your toast in)

On average, how long does it take your wife to get ready to go out?
{MR} Too dag on long
{MRS} An hour and a half

If your husband could only have one of the following desserts, which would he choose: cheesecake, apple pie, ice cream, chocolate pie?
{MR} Cheesecake (just so you know he interrupted me while I was reading the options to say this lol)
{MRS} Cheesecake

On average, how much does your wife spend at the grocery store a week?
{MR} $120
{MRS} $120

Who gets along better with the in-laws?
{MR} She does
{MRS} I don’t think either of us has a problem with this, but I guess I would have to say I get along better with his side simply because we see them more.

Who was the first person you told about your engagement?
{MR} My parents
{MRS} Phil’s family, since they were kind of in on the engagement, and then my sister.

Happy Valentine’s Day from the Hawleys!!!!
Hope your day is filled with love
….and lots of chocolate ;-)
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Scarf Madness No More

Organized ScarvesI live in Houston, so I have no idea why I have so many scarves.  They certainly are not for warmth so much as they are for looks and creating chaos in my closet.  The other day I had had enough.  Scarves were everywhere! Some were within my view so I wore those the most, but then some of my favorites got buried, pushed to the back, and I never saw them; therefore, I never wore them.  Major bummer, right?

Something just had to be done about this scarf crisis #firstworldproblem

When I was shopping at IKEA, I noticed this super duper handy dandy hanger that organizes things (i.e. belts, scarves, etc.).  Yes, I have seen something similar on Pinterest that I could have DIY’ed myself, but seriously, it was right there and I was in a lazy an instant gratification mood, so I threw that bad boy in my bag-cart (those bag-carts are super weird, right?) and headed home to fix my mess.
Check this out:DSC_0317-2
And for only $7.99 I can now see all of my options!DSC_0104-2That was such an easy and cheap fix, and sometimes those really are the best projects (if you can even call it a “project”) to do around the house.  The smallest projects sometimes have the greatest impact.
Now if I could only do something about the weather here in Houston so that I could use these things a little bit longer, that would make me really happy.
But I guess I can’t buy the weather at IKEA.  It’s an incredible store but they can only do but so much lol
Happy Wednesday friends!
xoxo Darby

Monday, February 10, 2014

Where We Are {Nursery Sneak Peak}

Let me tell y’all, I had a great post (great being relative of course lol) ready to go for this morning, but this weekend changed some things.  The Mr. worked alllllll weekend on the nursery, and the sounds of a drill, a saw, and lots of excited squeals (just to clarify, those giddy squeals came from me, not the Mr. lol) filled our home this weekend.  So instead of the post I had for you, I thought I’d share a nursery sneak peak with y’all instead because this is where we are in life.
Happy Monday!
xoxo Darby

Friday, February 7, 2014

Little Peep Bumpdate {23 weeks}

23 weeks collageDate: 1/29/14
How far along: 23 weeks
Fruit-size comparison: A grapefruit (finally, a familiar fruit lol)
Developmental milestones: Little Peep's face is fully formed, just waiting on the fat to fill him out. His cochlea (where auditory hair cells are located in the inner ear) have completely formed now and he is listening to me and my heartbeat; but also, to outside sounds (i.e. music, people talking, the pups barking, etc.).  Little Peep can also feel me moving and dancing :-)
Maternity clothes: Yep, leggings are still my favorites.  In fact, I think I’m starting to wear the two pairs that I have out 
Weight gain:  Whenever I gain weight, it comes on first in my face, and I feel like my face is definitely growing.  The Mr. commented to me about how pretty I look when I mentioned that I was starting to feel like I was growing, and that he loved my belly….. it seriously made my night!
Stretch Marks: I think the ends of my previous stretch marks are darker, meaning, they are growing (my stretch marks are stretching? lol).  I have 3 on my left hip and one on my right hip.  Like I've said before, I really don't care about this; it's just part of my body's story.
Sleep:  No complaints here
Best moment of the week: I have been waiting to feel Little Peep kick during a lecture and he finally did on 2/3.  It was so sweet!
Movement:  He is definitely becoming more and more active, but still isn’t aggressive or painful in his activity.  Thank you Little Peep, mommy appreciates that!
Cravings: Nothing that I can really think of
Gender: He is going to be a dapper young man :-)
Belly button in or out: I think I have pretty deep innie naturally (TMI?) and I can definitely tell that it is getting more shallow.  The Mr. keeps checking to see if it has popped yet. I think this is so cute that he is on the look out.  I know he is going to be excited when he finally finds that it has popped.
Wedding ring:  On
Anything making you queasy/sick: Still mouthwash in the evenings
What I miss:  Nothing
What I’m looking forward to: We ordered Little Peep's crib last Saturday and you'd think I was expecting Publishers Clearing House at our door any minute.  I am tuned in to every truck that passes the house and I'm stalking the website and tracking number.  I can't wait for it to arrive!
Labor signs: Nope, and I'm totally okay with that!
Symptoms:  Still just the back aches and heartburn, but those are minor and I can totally live with it.  I think I might be starting to feel like I look pregnant.  I know there has been a bump there for a while and visually I can see it, but now it is starting to feel like there is a bump there.
Nursery: Is underway! Projects are being crossed off the list quicker than I thought they would be (thank you hubby).  The Mr. built some shelves and I made some pillows over the weekend.  I think we only have a few more little things to do (and paint), one major project, and one major purchase and we’re done!!!
Emotions: Joy for the most part, but I am also starting to feel that push to still get as much accomplished here at the house and at work before he arrives.  I have a bazillion lists everywhere of things we need (“need” I acknowledge is seriously a relative term here) to get done.
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Lovie Dovie Season

I admit it: I used to be a Valentine’s Day hater.  Comments like “It’s just a Hallmark holiday” used to come out of my mouth all of the time.  Yep, I still think that it is a marketing charade; however my perspective has shifted in the past decade, and of course I love my Valentine, friends, and family on more than just one day a year dictated by the calendar.  Now I think it is just nice to take a minute to pause and remind your loved ones that they are loved, and I tend to go a little overboard and celebrate the entire month of February lol  Call me an extremist!

In case you’re looking for inspiration for how to celebrate all month, here are some of the recipes and lovely crafts (pun totally intended) that we do to celebrate the chocolate gorging, sappy chatting,  lovie dovie season:

Love Bird MantleDSC_0319[9] 
I hope this helps you start getting ready for the big love-fest!
Happy Hump Day my blog Valentines!
xoxo Darby
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