First Birthday Party: Up Theme

March 23, 2012 it happened. My baby celebrated his one year birthday. 

The photos in store don't do the amount of balloons we had on Jackson's big day any justice.

We had about 300 balloons bouncing around, floating, hanging. You name it we had it.

With an Up themed party, balloons are kinda a gimme, right? We can certainly cross that one off the list. And next year's theme will not {I repeat will not} be based around balloons!

One thing I did have major issues with choosing was our menu. Pinterest and I got into many recipe searches that just created more options that I couldn't decide between. Originally, I planned this party with the mindset we'd have double the people who were able to attend. Once RSVPs were in, final decisions were made and the menu was tweaked.


-7 layer dip with pineapple salsa
-Fruit tray with yogurt dip
-Sausage balls {recipe to come}
-Chicken puffs {ditto!}
-Burgers and dogs
-Baked beans {but I forgot about them and now we've had a fridge full of beans}

Over the appetizer table hung J's monthly photos. I found some scrapbook paper and ribbon matching our colors and other party crafts and went to work. This was really more time consuming than anything, but seeing the end result was heartwarming. All those months strung together, showing us J's one year evolution...I still haven't been able to bring myself to take it down. Let's say it was worth the months of getting those photos. I can't lie though months 11 and 12 did not make the banner. Oops.

I took our extra paper and created a little game with 10 more photos of Jackson on the mantle.

Last March at my baby shower, we played a game in which each guest was to guess the chronological order of 10 photos of me throughout the years. So I thought, why not do that for Jack's first year?

Thanks to Target's dollar aisle, we found some little tins and easter basket straw. Take a cake pop stick, some tape and that scrapbook paper and voila. I thought it was the perfect fit for the birthday mantle!

Opposite of the mantle hung our Happy 1st Birthday banner that B made. I thought it looked nice with the canvases we got recently! Good job B!

And then there was the cake table.

Wondering what that silver thing is in the background?

Oh, yep, there ya go.

It's our replica of Carl's walker in the movie. Do not worry friends, photos with this wonderful little walker are to come. It has been so much fun seeing J walk around the house with this thing. Although it's not the most sturdy of props. {warning homemade walkers not recommended for regular toys} 

As for favors, everyone was treated to a balloon cake pop {or two, or three}.

And that was that. The guests went home. We cleaned and cleaned. Then cleaned some more. Then popped balloon after balloon. Although multiple Up details I'd planned fell through last minute, I'm still happy with our end result.

I wouldn't change a thing about Jackson's first birthday party. And yes, next year's is already in the works.

Did you miss yesterday's post detailing our beautiful cake?! Check it out here. Also? I've got some recipes, present pics and a major milestone all in the works for my documenting purposes and your reading pleasure.

Happy Friday!!

A Boy and His Cake

Jackson's first cake was everything I'd imagined and more.

The cake reads: Jackson's Growing Up!
My brother's girlfriend, Anna, is a fabulous baker so there was no question as to who would make our cake. I sent her a couple pictures as inspiration and told her to take it from there. What I really wanted was balloons galore. 

I'd say she delivered!

When I saw the house on the cake I almost died. I did not expect it! And how freakin' cute is that house?!

At first, J wasn't too into his cake.

Who are we kidding, he never got very into the cake. There was no diving in, just a little icing mama smudged on his face trying to get him to eat his cake!

And bye bye went the house.

What you can't see here is a little something special on the inside of the cake...

YAY!! Per my request, Anna made each layer a different color.

Personally, I thought it added another element of Up whimsy to the day.

Even though he demanded to be spoon-fed his cake with ice-cream accompanying each bite, Jackson ate it up! And this mama was beyond happy with the most perfect cake for her baby's first birthday.

That's Life

Sunday Jackson had a stomach bug.

Sunday night I had that very same bug. 

Oh yeah, B too. We'd hate to leave anyone out. 

Sunday  B was on his 10th day of bronchitis. 

Monday Jack came home with a red and swollen eye. 

Monday night I had a stomach virus. 

Monday B's bronchitis was still very bad. 

Tuesday I called the doctor. 

Tuesday I scrambled to find a someone to take J to said doctor so that I wouldn't miss my second day of work. 

Tuesday J's doc said he has an eye infection. Oh, and bronchitis. Way to go dad! {refer to Monday}

Tuesday the husband went back to doctor and had to get himself another round of antibiotics and x-rays. 

Tuesday I made it to my second day of work without having to go to the doctor thanks to J's great-aunt. 

Wednesday, oh wait, it's still Tuesday. 

How is it not Friday yet?!

Birthday photos are edited but the posts just aren't ready. I'll leave you with this...

Post Birthday: The Calm

The party has happened, the balloons have been popped, guests have gone home and the kitchen is finally clean. With the tornado rush that was Friday and Saturday, the silence of Sunday afternoon was so refreshing.

Who knew how stressful it really is to host a party?!

Birthday night cupcake 3.23.12 
From making our messy house guest-worthy to decorating for the party, B and I ran around with our heads cut off starting Friday night until Saturday at 1 pm when guests arrived.

I'm not going to lie, it was a mad dash but we finished and managed to get the house looking great.

When my SIL asked if the party was what I'd imagined I had to answer no. B didn't like that answer, but you know what? It wasn't what I pictured. Many of the Up theme details I'd planned were cut due to several reasons: stores not keeping grape soda bottles in stock, like they said they do; our budget; and oh yeah, my procrastination.

Now, if she asked me if the party was perfect, that answer would've been yes!

It was a wonderful day with our family and friends. Food was eaten, presents were opened and cake was cut. The birthday boy didn't love getting messy with his cake though. We tried and tried but he refused to give us the messy cake-face photo mama wanted. He preferred to eat his cake with ice cream...on a spoon. Spoiled kid.

I took the day better than expected. His actual birthday that is. I spent most the day giving him kisses and bear hugs. All in all it was a good day. Nothing crazy, just us spending the day together. B had to work all day, but made it home in time for some bedtime snuggles. The birthday boy loved it.

I'd say my nerves set in the day of his party, as if it made his new age official.

Oh, hello one-year-old.

The rain storms this weekend have come in and washed away my worries. I'm ready for the year ahead of us. I'm ready for our new chapter.

Today, we write a new page in our story.

This morning, I'll go to my new job and drop my one-year-old baby off at daycare.


It's really happening. Parenthood. Adulthood. Marriage. Life.

It's flying by as we step back and realize how truly blessed our days are.

I have many pictures, recipes and details headed your way this week. Hopefully the transition to a new job won't steal me from the blog world! Happy Monday sweet friends!

On Your Birthday: A Letter from Dad

Months ago I told B it'd be nice for him to write a letter to Jackson on his birthday. His response? Writing isn't my thing. Then tonight, on Jackson's birthday, he gave me this. All day I've searched for the perfect words in honor of this day, but haven't been able to place my finger on them. Just like that the words were handed to me. 


It has already been a year since your mother and I introduced you to this crazy life we call ours. It is hard to put into words how I feel about the first year of your life, but I can tell you that you're kindof a big deal. No really, a BIG deal.   It has been amazing seeing you go from a faint kick in your mother's belly, to such a determined little dude who is the spitting image of both me and your mother.  You have a personality that makes me smile more and more every time I look at you.  You're getting pretty good on your feet, and you can already throw balls around on demand.  It only gets me more excited about all the fun adventures we are going to have, things that I might or might not already be planning…   In the next year I get to see you grow even more, talking, walking, and growing into your own little person.  I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty excited about it.  I love you more than I ever thought I could.  Happy First Birthday.


Jackson, you are more loved than we could ever describe. Happy first birthday my sweet, sweet baby. 
I love you!

A Birth Story -- One Year Later

I walked out of the office for my 38 week appointment March 22, 2011, as Ms. H hollered, "maybe you won't have to come back!" Insinuating, they'd finally put me out of my swollen misery and we'd meet our baby.
If I only knew what was really ahead of me that day. Ha. If only.

Once you're at 38 weeks, visits to the doctor are second nature. I strolled into the office, signed in and headed on back for a weight, iron and blood pressure check. You know, the usual.

Weight, same as the week before, almost exactly 35 pounds over my pre pregnancy weight. Iron, good. Blood pressure, high. Grr. High. That was the third consecutive week with high blood pressure. The nurse scrunched her nose and I knew she wasn't thinking anything good.

We headed to a room to check Baby J's heartbeat with our doctor.

It was strong, healthy. I loved that sound. The whooshing with the most transparent thump thump thump of his heart. That sound is so serene.

They left for a couple minutes and returned with stern faces. Something was up. Dr. R informed me while the heartbeat was good, the fluid around J sounded low. She wanted to do an ultrasound just to check everything out.

I didn't mind waiting around an hour for the ultrasound lady to get me in because they were the best part of pregnancy. Unfortunately, what she found was very, very low fluid around J. That coupled with my higher blood pressure, was a major red flag.

The next words I heard were,"This is going to happen tonight or tomorrow. The next 24 hours for sure."

This was it. Thirty-eight weeks of severe morning sickness had finally brought me to this moment. I kicked into "plan" mode immediately. This meant texts and phone calls to all those needing to catch a flight. That would be G-Pa {my dad} and Aunt Robin. Oh wait! I almost forgot to call B! He was working out of town {about an hour away}. I called him first, promise. Then calls to my in-laws in Nashville.

A wheelchair made its way into my room and off we went to triage for monitoring.

That was March 22, 2011 around 1 p.m.

The first nurse to enter my room seemed nervous. This only made me more nervous. Her first task was my IV. Gulp. I have awful veins. I always warn a nurse about my veins and ask about their confidence in getting a good one. When you've been stuck by a nurse looking for a vein more than six times in one attempt, you tend to develop a phobia.

Well, I'll be damned if this nurse didn't hit a vein. She nailed it! In the worst way possible. Blood was everywhere. I wanted to be sick, it was my worst nightmare come true. Bleh. I despise hospitals and everything that comes with them.

B arrived moments before my mom. I could not believe how quickly he made it to the hospital. Obviously, someone could've gotten a speeding ticket.

Monitors were strapped to my tummy and they gave me a jug. {TMI alert} I had to keep a 24 hour count of my restroom visits. Double bleh. 

We prepped for an overnight stay per our nurse. Yep, we were in this for the long haul.

That night was one of the worst of my life. Those damn monitors just didn't want to stay in place and Jackson was such a temperamental baby. His little heartbeat kept hiding from us. This meant the nurses were in frequently readjusting my straps. It was awful.

Finally, the most uncomfortable night of my life ended. It was about 6:30 am when we woke up. I welcomed our new nurse with open arms considering the unsteady hands of our night nurse. She got us a new IV and informed me my doctor was pretty timely about making her rounds. She was expected precisely at 8:00 am.

Talk about a long hour and a half!

Our Doc arrived, did a quick check and said, "we're doing this, are you ready?"

And that was that, she broke my water, she approved an immediate epidural and we were on our way to labor and delivery. My heart was in a state it'd never felt before. Disbelief. Fear. Excitement.

That was March 23, 2011, 8:20 a.m.

Our nurse in Labor and Delivery was a dream. I could not have imagined a better nurse. And I hate to say, but I cannot recall her name. What I do remember was my extreme desire to call her Julie. So, that's how I'll remember her.

I felt good for a while. Contractions were steady, not too painful.

The epidural was given at 4cm. {TMI alert} I think I was 80 percent effaced. 

I laid back waiting for the drugs to kick in. The contractions had just begun to get to an uncomfortable place.

Thirty minutes later the contractions were still coming strong on my left side. The epidural had only taken on my right side and the left was still feeling the wrath of natural birth. Not something this mama ever wanted to know!

Surprisingly, I did well with my breathing. At this point I was so glad we'd taken our prenatal class. If our crazy teacher hadn't mentioned some of her favorite techniques, I'd have lost it. Panic would've set in for sure. B even came through with all kinds of tips he remembered from class. I knew he was paying attention all those weeks!

I was offered another epidural, but was worried what the drugs might do to J. So, I declined. They did, however, offer a booster of some sorts for my current epidural. I finally accepted this offer after a few more rounds of contractions.

After yet another thirty minutes, the epidural still hadn't taken on my left side.

I couldn't take it. I threw caution to the wind and had Nurse Julie call the anesthesiologist back up to my room for another epidural. Half of me kept saying, "more drugs? what if it hurts J?!" But that half still enduring natural child birth was screaming "make this stop!!!" I knew it had to be done if I was going to make it to the end.

I'd progressed well. Dilated to almost 8 cm. They say you should go faster at that point, but I think that second epidural slowed us down. I swear those last two centimeters took forever. It took almost an hour to get from 8 to 9. Thirty minutes later, Nurse Julie came back to see if it was time to push. But somehow I couldn't progress from 9 to 10.

She was ready to call in the towel, tell me goodbye and finish off her shift. Moments later, something shifted. Um, yeah, that'd be Jack! I screamed for Julie to come check. Sure enough, we'd finally hit 10 cm and it was time to push!

Even though her shift ended five minutes before I started pushing, she stuck with me until the very end. This was such a great gift. She had been such a wonderful calming element to the day. I'm not sure I would've stayed as collected without her.

B held my hand and was a wonderful coach through the hour and a half of pushing. I never thought I'd want people around me as I experienced the nastiness of childbirth, but I could not have done it without that group of nurses supporting me through.

At 3:41 pm Jackson entered our lives, silent.

In movies the babies always scream, but it was just silent. I didn't even realize this until much, much later. I saw all the nurses hovered around J and calling B over. Really, I thought everything was ok and that B was just cutting the umbilical cord. I had no clue.

No clue, that my baby had too much fluid in his lungs. No clue, that as I was trying to finish up childbirth, my baby was over fighting to breathe. The huddle of nurses never shifted not even as they shuffled him over to me for a glimpse and then out of the room.

Where was my skin to skin moment? Where was that spark?

Seven and a half hours of labor to push that baby out and I didn't even get to hold him. For real, I had no clue what was going on until Nurse Julie walked in.

She said I'd done great, but that the nurses still couldn't get all of the fluid from J's lungs. They spent about thirty minutes working on it in the nursery and getting his heart rate stabilized. All while I lay in the room eagerly texting B to see whats going on with our baby.

Finally, they were able to clear out the fluid and get a steady heart rate. But before Jackson could come back to me, he had to be examined by a pediatrician.

It was an hour and a half after Jackson was born before I really got to hold him. We attempted to fill that time by completing the baby book, but at that moment in life I did not care what the headline was {Elizabeth Taylor had died} or how much gas prices had inflated. I just wanted to see him.

What felt like eons later, Brandon rolled Jackson into our room. He said he was perfect, and he was right.

We spent two more nights in the hospital. I refused to let J go to the nursery at first, but around 3 am I needed some rest. And rest I did. The nurses brought J back into us the next morning and exclaimed he was the best baby in the nursery.

The next day was spent with people in and out of our minuscule room to witness our precious miracle. And then on the third day, they sent us home.

There is no real explanation as to the day you give birth to your child. I've never been one to want to process the details of such an occasion, that is until I had a child.

That day in life, March 23, 2011, I witnessed a miracle. I lived a miracle. So many statistics broke the day that we became a family. The odds that had been placed against us were overruled by a greater good. For this blessing, I am eternally grateful.

One more day.

Wordless Wednesday: Birthday Week

Two more sleeps until I have a one-year-old.

Two. More. Sleeps.

Be still, my heart.

*linking up with Jenni From the Blog, Naptime Momtog, Flip Flops & Pearls*

Love For a Child

They say a spark ignites the moment a mother sees her child, sadly that didn't happen for me.

I blame it on the fact that it was a full hour and a half before I got to really see or hold Jackson. I remember immediately being saddened that my heart didn't absolutely explode the moment I saw him. Turns out, it's been more of a slow melt.

The sight of J may not have had the historic effect some of you speak of, but I'll never forget that this moment did...

I count down the days to his birthday, the same as I counted down the days to our induction date. The wife counting those days is a far cry from the  mother sitting here today.

While I may appear the same person who stood here before last March, my heart is forever changed. I am forever changed. 

I never knew how our first ten weeks together would bond us forever. Scanning through photos is a little flashback in which I can even smell the way life was. Funny how that is completely different than now.

Maternity leave wasn't easy, but boy was it worth it. I loved our three hour schedule, our seclusion to the house during last year's cold months of March and April. I loved staring at you, listening to you and learning to be a mom.

Becoming a working mom made me love in a whole new way. At first, it was a guilty love. Not an easy type of feeling. For far too long this guilty love ruled our days.

As you grew, as we learned, so did that love. It evolved in immeasurable ways.

Oh my, your eyes are still blue in this photo. I've just been stopped dead in my tracks.

Those eyes.

Those baby blues. Or at least that's what they used to be. Now a days we mainly see baby greens with a few blue days mixed in. It's been your greatest physical change and well my heart would do anything to see those blue eyes again.

Somehow around six to seven months your eyes changed. I honestly can't remember when it happened. Those months are a blur, as they were the brunt of our chronic ear infections. Our love has seen us through months and months of doctors appointments because of these issues.

To see your child in pain, well, let's just say that creates an entirely new type of love. This love is your roots, it is the basis for every mama bear instinct you'll ever have. It is the most passionate love I've felt.

Overnight, you became a different baby. A grown baby. This happened around month ten and we haven't looked back.

As it stands, 51 weeks 4 days old, my heart is hardly making it through the day. From mini tantrums to abundant open-mouth kisses I'm not sure what to think of this little tot in our house.

What I do know is that my heart has grown larger than my chest. I've learned a love this year I never knew could exist. Looking back, I can't believe I ever wanted a life without children, a life without you. How sad that would've been.

This love is undefinable, irreplaceable, absolutely blissful. I am in awe of how my love has grown in just 52 weeks. There is no telling how it will evolve over the next 52, but if this year is any indicator I'm in no way prepared for the days ahead of us.

"Raising The General"

That was my second contender as a new blog name. Remember in just over a month we'll be getting a new name!

Now you ask, The General?

Well, that's J's given nick-name. I've never mentioned it here before. In fact, it's been almost a year that I've documented our days with J here on this blog and I've never shared his name or even our nicknames for that matter. 

For the most part, I share every detail with y'all. The good, the bad, the daycare. But all this time I've never really told you his name. Sure, it's been posted in a monogrammed T or perhaps in his party invitation. But it's never just been declared his name. 

Shall we review a nick-name list first? Yes, I think so. First up...

The General. 

It's my favorite nick-name J's been given. 

Just days after we announced his name I got a phone call from my cousin saying, "you realize what you're naming this kid right? The boys are gonna call you out!"

What she meant to say is, "you're naming your child after the two most infamous Southern Generals...ever! Do you really think the boys won't call you out?!"

And call me out they did, officially dubbing Baby J, The General

Before we go further, this may just be the perfect moment to share J's real name and the story behind it. 

While I was pregnant, I was convinced it was a girl. So I searched far and wide for the perfect girl name. Because if we were actually having a boy, I'd had my name chosen since I was 16. 

I worked at a children's boutique as a teen. In our spare time we flipped through baby name books...let's just say we had lots of spare time. Before I quit that job, I'd chosen my son's name. Luckily, B liked it too...


As for his middle name we had to think a little harder. Eventually we landed on...


Jackson Lee aka The General. 

Now you know.

Now for real, other nick names?

My special mommy nickname for him...

Monk. Like a tiny little monkey. Because oh my is he swinging all over things lately. 

Also, Jackie Bear or Jack Bear.

Last but certainly not least, Jack. I am not one of those moms who is anal about my son's long name. I love both versions of this name which is why I wasn't afraid of it. In all honesty, I wanted to call him Jackson 24/7 but I'm a major culprit of referring to him as Jack. I figure, one day he can choose and that'll be that.

Our days with Jack have been so blessed. In only four more sleeps I'll have a one year old. My heart is so happy in life at this moment. And now I can finally refer to him with our silly nicknames here on our digital home. 

Let the birthday week commence! 

Eleven Things

For over a month now I've needed to jump on this bandwagon. Actually, when I was first tagged by Cheryl there was no bandwagon to join. Cheryl, I swear you were the first person I saw do this! Then Sarah tagged me the other week and now Vicki, so,'s how it works:

1. You must post the rules.
2. Post a photo of yourself and eleven fun facts 
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post. Then create eleven new questions to ask the people you've tagged.
4. Tag others and link them on your post.
5. Let them know you've tagged them!

The Facts:
  • My middle name is Jo. 
  • Trashy TV is one of my greatest pleasures. 
  • I will always believe Gilmore Girls is the greatest TV show of all time. Wait. No. Yeah, standing firm.
  • One of my favorite parts of childhood was summer camp. 
  • I attended two colleges: The University of Alabama and Middle Tennessee State University
  • I'm a Chi Omega. hootie hoo :)
  • Every Saturday my family has lunch at the same deli. I order the exact same thing every week and when I'm away from this deli it's all I ever crave. Ever!
  • My husband and I have our own language based on the word "dooder." Which is also not a real word. 
  • My best friend's ringtone is a mix that Taylor Swift and T-Pain did a few years ago at the Grammys. 
  • My other best friend is in the witness protection program....and I'm not lying or am I?
  • I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. {yeah, you read that right.}
Because Sarah, Cheryl and Vicki each tagged me I'm going to answer a mixture of their questions...
instead of 11 you're getting 14 :)
1. What do you do for a living? 
As of March 26th I'll officially be an appellate paralegal.
2. What did you want to be when you were little?
A magazine editor. 
3. How many kids do you want?
Two, at most. 
4.What would you choose as your last meal?
Hardest question ever!! But there is a place in our city called Chocolate Nirvana. Their name needs no explanation as to the decadent cakes they serve, right? 
5. Would you rather give up Blogging for a month or Twitter?
Blogging. No! Twitter. No, blogging. For sure.
6. Flats or pumps?
Flats. I cannot wear pumps. In fact, my college roommate told me I was never allowed to wear them. I have a tendency to fall, frequently. 
7.Do you "save the last bite" (this means build the perfect bite with just the right flavors and set it aside as the last bite of your meal)?
Um, hells yes!
8. Pizza and Beer or Chocolate Fondue and Wine?
BOTH! Just depends on the day.
9.You have a whole day all to yourself and $10,000. You have to spend the money on you. At the end of 24 hours the money goes bye bye. What do you do?
I'd buy two plane tickets to Italy. One for me, one for her. Then we'd go crazy spending all that money in Italia. I guess B could come too, maybe. 
10. Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Edisto Beach. 
11.What is your favorite Starbucks drink?
Mocha Frappuccino 
12. Best gift you ever received?
A diamond necklace from my husband. You know, the one he accidentally threw away.
13. Favorite season/time of year? Why? 
The Fall. And Alabama football, duh.
14. Favorite ice cream flavor?
Gold Ribbon Medley from Baskin Robbins

WHEW! Now....since so many people have been tagged, I'm just going to leave it at that.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, friends!

The In-between

Before the next chapter of life begins with a toddler and a new job, I'm taking the week for myself. Really though, who are we kidding, this entire week will be dedicated to our house and J's birthday.

As we're less than a week away, I've come to find out that apparently my entire family has prior obligations for the date of J's party. As in, my billion people family that I had been planning in my head to attend won't be here. This means all the details, all the food, all the everything is kinda pointless.

Don't get me wrong I still plan to throw J a lovely Up themed party filled with photos, friends, food and lots of balloons. But I'm scaling back big time. Turns out there will most likely just be about 10 people here. And although I cried over it the other day, I'm quite alright with it now.

The people who will be here are the most important. They're the ones who love J unconditionally, who saw B and I through this year and who wouldn't miss this day for anything.

Really, this was a bit of a blessing in disguise. As we're in transition from one job to the next our budget is seriously tight until my next paycheck. And crafting? It's freakin expensive. We walked around Michael's yesterday as I priced the things I'd wanted to do and I quickly realized its just not worth it for me right now.

So long as we've got some of J's grandparents, uncles, aunt and even his great-grandparents in attendance I will be so happy with the day. Now that half my week is cleared from the crafting time I'd carved out, I'll have plenty of time for my other plans....

Yep, spring cleaning will commence Monday morning {or in the next five minutes}.

From the loneliest corner of our house to the everyday areas, no couch cushion or kitchen cabinet will be left untouched.

I've got lists galore, ideas aplenty and more cleaning to do than I can wrap my head around.

It's been a while since I've done a major cleaning like this, and I'm actually a little excited to have our house fresh for the spring and summer seasons. I can't wait to get all of our windows open and let this beautiful spring breeze flow through the house. It'll be rejuvenating.

Post-spring-cleaning I'll be back with charts, tips and tricks that I learn through what will surely be a couple failed attempts and hopefully a few successes from the week.

So what can you expect in regards to this lil blog next week? Oh you know, birthday celebrations! I'll be revealing J's actual name* {for real! I've never actually told y'all his name!!}, we'll be sharing his birth story {which I failed to ever do} and hopefully there will even be a post from the husband!!

The next eight days will most certainly be manic, but my excitement to celebrate our first year with J is taking over and I love it!

*note: in regards to me revealing J's real name, this girl would like me to point out that I have in fact displayed his name on the blog before. Examples? A too cute monogrammed Christmas shirt and oh you know his party invitations! Thanks, Sean :)*

The Closing

As I began the draft of our closing statement last week I could feel the irony in every key. There I sat typing up the last piece of the very case that carried the span of my time with Firm W as I myself came to the close of my chapter with the firm.

Funny how life tosses in little moments like these.

Today, I began my last day at my first big-girl job.

I'm a ball of mixed emotions.

From elatement, to sadness, optimism and concern for what the future holds and the security of what I'm leaving behind. I am all over the emotional scale.

I can't lie, I'm scared. There are so many what if's flying through my mind. My nerves just can't seem to be settled.

There is no doubt that today will bring tears. Tears of joy for what the staff here has taught me. For the compassion they've shown me over the last year. The lessons they've taught me not just as a paralegal but also as a young adult and new mother.

One co-worker specifically is going to be tough to say goodbye to. Ms. H, has been my rock. She's my go-to for all things daycare, pediatrician, marriage and of course work-related. She is the woman who {almost} single-handedly taught me to be a paralegal. I owe her so much. More than anything I owe her friendship. As I move on from Firm W, I hope that we remain friends.

I could go on about how each person in the office has meant something different to me over the last year {and a half}, but I just don't have it in me. I've been coming back to the draft version of this post for a week now and seem to be at a loss. Quite frankly, I'm just done.

I'm exhausted from the crazy week we've had here at work. I'm exhausted from the baby who has refused to sleep all week. I'm exhausted from the nerves that have been my stomach lately. I'm just exhausted.

So, I'll close this chapter here.

In 11 days I'll start a new job. The first job I've ever had to interview for. The first job that has found me, my resume and wanted me to join their team because of my credentials. I leap blindly into the unknown praying He will see me gracefully into this new chapter of life.

Here goes nothing....

Baby Thighs, It Doesn't Get Any Better

For months now chilly temperatures and hardwood floors have caused my sweet baby's legs to be covered. But with Spring finally appearing on a regular basis, we can begin to shed some of those layers.

I noticed how cold J's legs would get as he crawled around our kitchen and eat-in area a few months ago so I was forced to keep pants on him even when we were just at home playing.

When I woke up the other day and saw the sun beaming through our window I knew it was going to be a good day. I took that little man out of bed, only dressed him in a onesie and we went on our way.

As I did dishes, I heard little giggles coming from the living room {these rooms connect, and I was in sight of my child, promise}. Lately, I've been trying to give J independent play time. That chance has been rare since he is freakin' attached to me these days. So I slowly snuck over for a better view...with my camera of course.

Going back through these photos my heart skipped a few beats as I witnessed those tiny legs that have finally come out of hibernation.

Hello, Spring!

Please stay forever. I missed those baby thighs. And alas, I only have one more week to call him a baby.

Flaunt a Friend -- A Link Up

One of the best parts of being a blogger is the community we create for ourselves in this big thing known as the world wide web. For me, some of the women I've "met" over the last year have been pivotal in motherhood survival. So much so that I prepped you all for my blog's birthday celebration in May.

Today, one of my dearest BBF {blog best friends}, is hosting her first linkup and I couldn't resist linking up with her and Lyndsey!

The general idea? Quit talking about ourselves for a change and flaunt some of the fabulous blogs we stalk read each day.

What better way to start than with the hostess herself, Tiffany from The Momma Bear Diaries.

Tiffany chronicles her life with S {baby bear} and of course PaPa Bear. Currently she's packing up their entire world for a 14 hour move! She'll be leaving the sweet southeast and head up north. There is an adventure ahead of them for sure!

With a kind-heart, a sweet soul and an insane ability to create blog designs this is a little slice of blogland you need to visit!

Another blog friend I certainly couldn't do without is Jenn who shares her story as the Cajun Cowgirl over at When in Doubt, Add More Salt.

She's a Sheriff raisin' mama who gives Martha Stewart a run for her money. Really, you should see the crafts. Each seems effortlessly pieced together for our envying pleasure. Far surpassing any of my attempts to DIY.

In between showing Martha what's up, her handsome toddler {referred to as The Sheriff or W} keeps her hands full. She's been a beacon of inspiration, strength and support for me. I bet you'd find the same wonderful friend in her that I have, just click here.

I can't flaunt my favorites without mentioning Sarah, a blog friend who quite possibly is a long lost IRL best friend. Sarah documents her days at It's a Vol! I found her blog not too long after I began to blog and we just clicked. We share too many similarities not to love each other.

Her sweet daughter Evie is just a day older than J and that one little date will forever connect us. Sarah also happens to be a Baby Wise mama {um, yeah, me too!}. Have I mentioned she's also a working mom who can whole-heartedly understand my daycare woes and work-guilt.

Do I really need to say more? I didn't think so. Say hello to Sarah, here!

Now that I've shared a few of my everyday blogs head over to Tiffany's  to   find even more fabulous blogs and perhaps a new friend or two :)

On The Shelf

As women, we wear many hats. Wife hat, mom hat, chef hat, maid hat, dog-walker hat, teacher hat, chauffeur hat, nurse hat, for me paralegal hat...this list goes on forever.

When Shannon mentioned her many hats the other week, I got to thinking about the different hats I wear. And well, it kind of gave me that last little push to add another hat to my shelf.


Possibly, especially considering I feel like I have no time already. But, I was given the opportunity to add a much-wanted hat to my shelf. 

This means I'm officially the {co}New Member Advisor for my sorority, Chi Omega. Eeek!

The day I was initiated as a sister was one of the best in my entire life and it always will be. I'm the first girl in my family to pledge as a legacy {meaning my mom was also a Chi-O}. To share that moment, which was so fundamental to who I am now, with my mom was an experience like no other.

I have the privilege of sharing secrets with my mom that no other family member will have {except my future daughter}. And for that we are eternally bonded. It may sound crazy but, our sisterly bond has brought us closer than mother-daughter bonds ever could have.

I embark on this new role with her by my side. And I'll tell you one thing, I couldn't have asked for a better mentor within my sorority. If there is anyone who upholds the true values of Chi Omega and lives them out each day its my mom. Let's just say I'm blessed, as is Chi-O, to have a woman continuously fighting for the cultivation of their panhellinic presence.

Now, on to the fun stuff...

As my first obligation as an advisor I chaperoned the Spring semi-formal. And well, quite honestly it was a reality check. As in, I'm no longer a young college student, I'm the old lady chaperoning! HA!

The college girl in me is no more. Nope, now I'm the one being called "ma'm", checking IDs and trying to get the girls to pull their dresses down so we aren't seeing their goodies. Oh to be young...

Seeing these kids drunkenly make their way into formal, dance like no one was watching {for real, several of them needed a room} and make memories that they'll look back on made me yearn to relive those days. I guess that's why I've known for years I wanted to be an alumni advisor.

Yes, it's another time commitment, but ensuring these girls get the best experience possible and seeing the satisfaction they get from their sorority life is so worth my time {as scarce as it may seem}. I am forever indebted to the wonderful advisors I had along the way and I am looking forward to having the same impact on others.

So there you have it. One more hat on the shelf. I'd say that deserves a good "Hootie-hoo!"

A Monday to Friday Thing

Ever since B and I have been together he's worked odd schedules. You know, not quite 9 to 5, Mon to Fri.

When we first began dating, he was a server and typically worked 4 different nights a week. Then he went to work for his current job. Since being with this big retail company he's had a severe variety of hours. The one thing that has remained constant with his ever-changing weeks are his weekend shifts. He always has at least one.

It's a rare occasion for B to have an entire weekend off. In fact, since J has been around its only happened for special occasions {read: weekends to visit in-laws or visits from them}. But this weekend, we had him all day Saturday and Sunday!!

I was beyond ecstatic when B told me he'd managed to get Saturday off. Our plans? No plans. That, my friends, is the best kind of plan when you've been as busy as we have lately.

So, we did our attempt to sleep in with cuddles. Spent time making eggys and biscuits for breakfast. Shared belly laughs on the couch. Didn't change out of pjs until after our first nap. Had lunch at our favorite deli, with Sulli {grandama} and Lady {aka real grandma, aka great-grandma}.

Mother nature must've gotten the memo it was a special weekend because she graced us with an entire 48 hours of sun and 60 {70} degree moments. We washed the cars. Admired Daddy. And chased the pups.

Did I mention all the giggles?

Oh and J's open-mouth kisses, his current specialty.

Even with the disastrous day that was Sunday thanks to what can only be blamed on J's ears or teething {no idea which}, the weekend was still marvelous.

I'm officially on team husband-needs-weekends-off.

Campaign management begins now.

How could you say no to that face?!

Happy Monday everyone. I hope your weekends were filled with smiles and sunshine!