Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Winter "Beach" Wedding

It's been a while since we've done anything mildly interesting, so I figure attending a winter "beach" wedding is worth mentioning.

Originally, Alex was going to be a groomsman in this wedding, but a potential conflict came up a few months ago, and he decided to respectfully bow out rather than leave someone hanging at the last minute.  Instead, we thought we'd make it into a bit of a "babymoon," but then after our exhaustingly long drive the day before, we didn't have much energy to put into dragging this trip out.  It was, however, nice to do something different, and having an excuse to get dolled up didn't hurt either.  ;)


The wedding party was pretty average sized (7 attendants total), but the chapel they chose was WAY too small for the 325 guests that attended.  (We barely managed to grab the very last two seats in the room!)  Additionally, the reception was held in the bride's backyard, so an announcement was made after the ceremony that people needed to leave their cars there and take trolley shuttles to the reception due to lack of parking (way to prepare people...).  Let's just say fearing porta potty lines, lack of seating, and the possibility of running out of food made this 31 week pregnant lady pretty nervous to say the least!

However, I was pleasantly surprised to find huge enclosed tents with adequate seating, a hot chocolate bar (yay, something for me while Alex enjoyed the beer), no lack of food, and "high end" porta potties (with lines to wait in the 40 degree cold, which I still think is pretty tacky, but whatever). We enjoyed the opportunity to have a night out, just the two of us.  And, you can't really argue with a nice dinner and decent entertainment, can you?  It's too bad we didn't know anyone to hang out with and make a party out of it, though.

Purple Sweet Potato Butter?
That will be interesting!
We peeled out pretty early (around 8:30 p.m.) and returned to the motel to enjoy television in bed, which is always a real treat for us.  Alex watched football, I perused the internet on my phone, letting ourselves start to catch up on some much-needed rest. The next morning, we took a minute to visit the beach, since we were on an island after all.  Of course, 35 degrees is way too cold to spend any real enjoyable time out there, so we snapped a few pictures and then went on our way!


Baby's first trip to the beach! 
On our way to Mass, we killed time by stopping at a few grocery stores in hopes of finding some jar roux to use in making gumbo for his parents, but no luck.  People had no idea what roux was, so despite the stores selling plenty of Zatarain's and Tony Chachere's brand products, roux was not one of those.  The gumbo will have to wait!

And finally, we enjoyed Mass before heading out of town, and then stopped to have Bojangles (!!!) for lunch on our way back to Alex's dad's house.  I have to say, one of my favorite parts of traveling is attending Mass at churches across the country.  We always keep a copy of the bulletin and add it to our collection to a scrapbook of sorts.  It's cool to look back on all the places we visit over the years.

What about you - do you have any interesting travel traditions as it relates to visiting churches on your trip?

-Lauren

Monday, December 28, 2015

Ready to Open Our Gift! (Bumpdate, 32 Weeks)

Bump Update - 12/28/15 


12/19/15 - 31w1d
All dolled up for a winter beach wedding! 
How far along? 32 weeks.

Total weight gain:  Not sure, to be honest.  We were out of town last week, so I didn't get to check a scale as I normally would.  I have an appointment today (12/28), which means we'll see if any holiday laziness/overeating plays into it this time around.  As of two weeks ago, I was up about 6 pounds from my first appointment (highest weight) or 12 from where I dropped (lowest weight).  

Maternity clothes? Other than elastic-waisted bottoms (think sweatpants/shorts/capris), it's all maternity.  I'm still wearing some regular shirts.  But shout to the heavens - I scored two pair of maternity jeans from Motherhood for $30 total!!  I also got some comfy 3/4 length shirts on buy-one-get-one-free.  Yay!

Stretch marks? Who knows, who cares.

Sleep: Some days are better than others.  Sleeping in hotels and guest rooms doesn't make for much pleasantry.  I'm certainly ready to be done with the 2 week trip and back in the safety/comfort of our home.  

Best moment this week:  Again, being off of work for the holiday - yeah!!!  We're in NC for 10 days, then almost a week visiting my parents in south Louisiana before heading back to Funroe and back to work on the 4th of January.  So far, I've read almost two novels, watched two movies, done some work "homework," and walked for an hour on two separate occasions.  

(Update from last post.)  All clear on the gestational diabetes front!  Alex had just returned from Hawaii and really couldn't get away from work, so my mom came with me.  I didn't chug the beverage this time, and thank goodness, I didn't get sick either.  When the nurse called with results, she said, "You're not diabetic so eat whatever you want!"  Sa-weet!

(Bonus question.)  Worst moment last week:  Our 13-14 hour drive to NC turned into a 16 hour trip whenever Atlanta traffic slowed us down for what felt like foreverrrr.  Thankfully, we had a friend of Alex's with us to help drive, but those last 7 hours almost ruined all of us.  The car was silent (save 13 hours of Y2K Country and 3 hours of FoxNews Radio) and everyone was kind of on edge by the end of it.  Plus, I started having lots of discomfort and BHicks, which made me kind of nervous.  I'm hoping it's a little less stressful on the return trip.  

Miss anything?  I'm ready to have my body back!  I don't mean my body shape...I mean I am ready to not share the space anymore, haha.  Baby is super active and it's only getting more uncomfortable, of course.  

Food cravings: Nope.  I've given up on this.

Anything making you queasy or sick?  Here and there, some third trimester nausea has surfaced.  Like the first trimester, it seems to occur mainly in the morning and tends to subside with food.  

Gender: In private, Alex and I have pretty much given up on referring to it as a girl.  "He, him," and our boy name has stuck pretty well.  If this baby turns out to be a girl, we're going to be pretty dang surprised!  Side note:  If you want in on our baby pool, comment below and I'll send you the link to add your "hunches."  Winner will receive a $25 gift card!! 

Labor signs:  That car ride at Week 31 seems to have sent us into a tailspin of becoming more obviously pregnant than ever before.  If I was unsure of Braxton Hicks before, that's not the case these days.  Being so far away makes me more anxious about them, and I think I'll feel a lot better once we get back from the trip.    

Symptoms: Still no need for kick counts - this kid doesn't stop!  But really though, I feel like my belly became huge overnight.  It will be interesting to see what my family thinks since I just saw them three weeks ago.  

Belly button in or out? Flat with a tiny raised portion that can be seen if you look closely.  

Wedding rings on or off:  On.  I hope it stays that way.

Happy or moody most of the time:  My patience for people is null and I'm okay with that.  :)

Looking forward to:  As if I haven't said it enough already...getting back to our house after 2 weeks on the road!! 

Hows Dad doing? "Dad is good.  Traveling for the holidays helps, but it will be slightly nerve racking knowing we won't be in Monroe for a while until after the 33 week mark."   


12/23/15 - 31w5d
I hope you are all enjoying the Christmas holiday! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

-Lauren

You might also enjoy:
A First (Bumpdate, 16 Weeks)
Halfway, Baby (Bumpdate, 20 Weeks)
It's Getting Real (Bumpdate, 24+ Weeks)
Hello, 3rd Trimester!  (Bumpdate, 28+ Weeks)
Ready to Open Our Gift! (Bumpdate, 32 Weeks)
Is it Time Yet?  (Bumpdate, 36+ Weeks)

P.S.  I know for some this type of post can be uncomfortable, difficult, or just plain painful.  Please know that we recognize this and pray for those of you who may struggle with infertility (any variation thereof) and/or infant loss.  Our hearts go out to families affected by these struggles each and every day. 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

It's Never Too Late for Gifting Your Love

If it weren't for Stephanie, it seems this blog would be dead these days...and she's the one on maternity leave!  I'm a few days late sharing this here, but it is Christmas Eve and if you're still looking to score a last minute gift for your significant other, she's your girl.  Head over to visit her at Captive the Heart.  This week, Stephanie asked some of her married friends to share gift ideas for your love.  ...And why stop with one gift when you could share 26?  (That's my mantra anyway!)


Check back regularly to visit with Stephanie, as she will be sharing more from "Brides Who've Been There" during this Wedding Q & A series!


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tradition, Shmadition

I know, the content around here has been rather lackluster lately.  So go ahead and ditch me for greener pastures today... head over to visit Stephanie at Captive the Heart.  She's on maternity leave following the birth of her beautiful daughter Lily Grace, and asked some of her married friends to share ways they stretched the wedding budget.  ...While there, you might just learn a little about designing a wedding without flowers (what? no way?! yes, way.).

Photo credit:  Katie Hoffpauir Photography
Check back regularly to visit with Stephanie, as she will be sharing more from "Brides Who've Been There" during this Wedding Q & A series!


Monday, December 7, 2015

The Long Way There

In a play off of the lyrics from a song by one of my daddy's favorite bands (Take the Long Way Home, Supertramp), this post is brought to you by my lovely husband, Alex.  He recently returned from a work trip to Hawaii, in which I asked him to compile a list of tips or suggestions for surviving long plane rides.  With lots of folks heading out on long trips to visit family for the holidays, I thought this might be something worth sharing (that, and my internet time has been consumed by baby registry research/Christmas-Anniversary shopping, so I needed something to fill the space here!).  And without further ado, read on!

5 Ways to Entertain Yourself … On a 12-hour Plane Ride
 
When on a chartered flight from Monroe to San Francisco to Honolulu, you have to find ways to pass the time as total flying time is about 10-10.5 hours and then add in another 1.5 hours of a layover to refuel.
What is one to do on a flight of that length?  Below are the things that I did to help pass the time.
1 – Listen to music.
I got a bunch of new CDs for my birthday which was just about 10 days earlier, so I loaded them all up on my phone and jammed out. Everything from Lady Antebellum and Brad Paisley to American Authors and Imagine Dragons. Listening to all of that got me about 2.5 hours or so, so that was a tremendous help.

2 – Read a book.
I had been working on a book for most of the football season but I finally got around to finishing The Closer by Mariano Rivera. Not a NY Yankee fan by any stretch of the imagination, but he was one of the greatest pitchers ever and a class act of a guy. It is a great book, definitely worth the read. Anyway, finishing out about the last third of the book or so got me on the ground in San Fran. So leg one of the trip was in the books.

3 – See what others are doing / stand up.
Some of the athletic training staff that I was seated near used Snapchat to play hangman, it was rather entertaining to watch. Also, don’t sit the entire time, you have to get up and move around – pending no turbulence obviously.

During our layover, we were able to get off the plane and stretch our legs on the jetway, just to give us a break. After refueling and putting meals on the plane we headed off for Honolulu.

4 – Eat.
After take off and once the seat belt sign went off, I grabbed my food box which was nothing more than a ham sandwich, chips and an apple. Regardless it was much needed and combined with my snack bag that I had brought on the plane, I was all set for leg two of the trip.

5 – Movies.
Thanks to a Google Play card from my wife for my birthday, I rented some movies to watch on my tablet to help pass the time. I watched The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (a comedy) and Southpaw (action/drama). The first was funny, to me at least, and I had meant to watch it several years ago, but just now got around to it. The second movie was great, if you haven’t seen Southpaw then you need to do so ASAP! It has some rather sad and dark parts, but it is a great movie.

Watching two movies (I watched Horrible Bosses on the return trip) and talking to those around me took most of the trip to Hawaii; so there you have it, what do to on a plane for 10-12 hours.
I hope this helps to jump start ideas entertainment on any upcoming flights you have! 
Alex

-
Notes from the wife: 
A few weeks before Alex's trip, I came across this post that included some great ideas for getting him set up for the long flights.  Wet wipes, medication, neck pillow (yes, the one they mentioned) and snacks...I made sure Alex had everything he might possibly need to stay comfortable on the trip.  I also started a (private) Pinterest board for travel ideas, so be sure to let me know if you'd like to see it.

-Laure

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Hello, 3rd Trimester! (Bumpdate, 28+ Weeks)

Bump Update - 12/03/15 


12/03/15 - 28w6d ... 38 degrees outside, brr!
It seems I finally have an obviously noticeable bump!
How far along? 28 weeks (Technically, 28w6d by the time this is getting posted.)

Total weight gain:  Things in this department are yo-yo'ing like you wouldn't believe!!  I went up 11 pounds (so maybe 4 pounds up from pre-pregnancy?) in 4 weeks following the doctor's instructions to gain weight, and then lost two in the two weeks that followed before my next appointment.  Now we're starting 2 week appointments, so I'm hoping maybe that will help me keep things more in check?  This whole situation is really strange, I think.  

Maternity clothes? Since I inherited some clothes from a friend last month, I haven't even tried to wear anything other than maternity bottoms.  Also, I discovered "skinny" pants don't look as awful as I thought they did.  But...I still need to find a pair of jeans that really fit me.  I've made do with others' jeans but they are either way baggy or too tight in the band, so it's not really working out too well for those.  Now that the temperatures are (mostly - I've worn shorts the past two days) cool enough to wear pants, I really need to find some that will work through the winter. 

Stretch marks? Still not paying attention to this.

Sleep: Leg/hip pains have gotten better since the doctor suggested using a pillow in between my legs (duhh - why didn't I think of that?).  I'm getting up to pee every 1.5-2 hours, and sometimes it's hard to fall back asleep following one of those visits but I'm doing okay for the most part here. 

Best moment this week:  Being off of work for the holiday - yeah!!!  However, I didn't take off as long as I usually would because Alex was working and then left for Hawaii.  My mom and Nanna are here now, so I'm not alone thank goodness!

(Bonus question.)  Worst moment last week:  I almost passed out during my glucose screening, found out I failed it and have to go back for the 3-hour test this week.  For a while, I have noticed a low sugar tolerance so I am quite apprehensive about this follow up.  It's not so much getting a GD diagnosis as it is knowing how miserable I feel during those sugar crashes.  It's really kind of scary to have everything around you go dark and not be able to do anything about it.  :(

Miss anything? A couple of times recently I have thought, "oo, a glass of wine (or beer) would be nice." And thennnnnnnn I realize that's not an option. Shucks!  ...I'm also missing out on that trip to Hawaii because things were too risky to do that kind of traveling.  

Food cravings: I don't think this is at all pregnancy-related but I really want some Domino's pizza!!  My plan was to treat myself for lunch on Thanksgiving, but both Domino's and Pizza Hut were closed so I nixed the idea and pulled some vegetable beef soup out of the freezer instead.  At this rate, I'll probably be banned from pizza following my sugar test, so I could be waiting a while to satisfy that craving. 

Anything making you queasy or sick?  Nah... nothing out of the ordinary (still some smells of meat cooking but we have learned to cope).

Gender: God only knows!  Alex sent me photos of some super adorable little Hawaiian dresses that made my heart melt, but we just can't buy anything like that right now!

Labor signs: No, but the doctor did start talking about delivery at my 28 week appointment.  We had to sign consents for hospital-related things, and we have to make a decision about which hospital we will deliver at before our next appointment.   

Symptoms: Little one is kicking like CRAZY!!  I'm supposed to start kick counts this week but I don't think that will be a problem at least until things get a little less spacious inside, heh.  

Belly button in or out? Pretty flat...don't think an outie is in my future, though. 

Wedding rings on or off:  On.  

Happy or moody most of the time:  Maybe a little better than last time, but I have been super frustrated with customer service at several retail establishments and I definitely let them hear about it!  Do what you're supposed to do and we won't have a problem, people! 

Looking forward to:  Starting to look forward to our Christmas travels, especially since I convinced Alex to let us piggy back his friend's December beach wedding and turn it into a little babymoon.  It looks like we will be needing to travel a day earlier than originally planned, so hopefully we will extend the weekend and do something fun while we're there! 

Hows Dad doing? Dad is in Hawaii (at the time this was written), is there really anything else to say?  Hahah.  In all seriousness, usually I ask his opinion on this question but since he's away I'll go ahead and share my interpretations instead.  He's definitely getting excited...seeing babies and baby items make his heart melt, and occasionally that "oh man this is getting real" fear creeps in as well.  


Nov. 8 - 25w2d
Nov. 12 - 25w6d
So there we have it!  We'll reach our next milestone (32 weeks) on Christmas Day, so here's to hoping we have good news and happy things to report then.
-Lauren

You might also enjoy:
A First (Bumpdate, 16 Weeks)
Halfway, Baby (Bumpdate, 20 Weeks)
It's Getting Real (Bumpdate, 24+ Weeks)
Hello, 3rd Trimester!  (Bumpdate, 28+ Weeks)
Ready to Open Our Gift! (Bumpdate, 32 Weeks)
Is it Time Yet?  (Bumpdate, 36+ Weeks)

P.S.  I know for some this type of post can be uncomfortable, difficult, or just plain painful.  Please know that we recognize this and pray for those of you who may struggle with infertility (any variation thereof) and/or infant loss.  Our hearts go out to families affected by these struggles each and every day. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Peace in the Crazy

Hey hey hey!!

Today, you should head on over to visit Stephanie at Captive the Heart.  She's on maternity leave following the birth of her beautiful daughter Lily Grace, and asked some of her married friends to share tips for a more peaceful engagement.  ...And maybe I'm a little biased here but there's one blogger especially who you will really like.  ;)

Do these folks look familiar? ;)
Check back regularly to visit with Stephanie, as she will be sharing more from "Brides Who've Been There" during this Wedding Q & A series!


Friday, November 27, 2015

And He's Off! (GBB, Vol. 5)

At the risk of getting too sappy over here, Alex left for a work trip to Hawaii on Wednesday, and today's the last day to join Betsy for her Guys Behind the Blog link-up, so here I am!  Sports are totally Alex's thing (well, work-wise, not so much in the athleticism department), which means he jumped at the chance to answer these questions when they were posted a few weeks ago.  Go ahead, warm your leftovers, sit back and learn more about the wonderful man also known as my husband! 



1. What sports did you participate in as a child? What sports did you watch growing up?
In my early athletic days, I played baseball and soccer. Soccer, was pretty much what you would expect, a mass amoeba of kids that just ran after the ball, I was about the only one that understood my position of defender, so me and the goalkeeper on my team basically just chatted most of the game, it was boring so I only played for one year. Baseball was by far my best sport, I played from tee ball all the way until the end of middle school, so a pretty good little run for 8 or 9 years. I did play football and basketball as well - football in sixth grade and basketball between fourth grade and seventh grade. I still enjoy playing basketball, but at 31, the wide open jumpshot is my best move.

Growing up, I watched baseball, basketball, and football. On Saturday's my dad and I would get a pizza from Dominos and watch whatever the ACC game of the week was on what used to be the Raycom Sports Game of the Week. Basketball was always fun to watch too, especially when I got older and my parents let me stay up late and watch 9 PM Duke-North Carolina games as well as the National Championship. Baseball, my favorite, was more enjoyable in person than on TV, but I went to a lot of Carolina Mudcats games growing up which was fun.


2. If you could line up your ideal Super Bowl, who would be facing off, where would they play and who would you pick to win?
Carolina Panthers playing anyone from the AFC, doesn't matter who, as long as the Panthers win.

3. Do you prefer the summer or winter Olympics? If you could participate in one Olympic sport, what would it be?
Both have events that I like to watch, so I don't have a true favorite as they also have events I care nothing about.

I would like to participate in curling, only if I was the guy that pushes the stone toward the target; the sport seems simple enough, especially since the people with the brooms do all of the work.



4. What is your favorite food to eat at a sports party (ex: World Series, Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, etc.)?
Chips and Dip. Put that in front of me and I am good to go.

5. Who is your all time favorite athlete and why?
Gonna go with two players here. It's funny - I am not a New York Yankees fan, never have been, never will be, but two of the classiest players, in my mind that ever played the game played for NYY. Derek Jeter "the Captain" and Mariano Rivera, probably the greatest closer in the history of the game played for NYY, but they are probably my two favorite athletes.


There you have it, a little snippet from the guy behind this blog!  Is there a man in your life?  If so, you should totally consider handing over the reigns every once in a while (or month, heh) and linking up with Betsy for lots of fun.  

Until next time.
-Lauren

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

An Ode to the Mister

I know I've been pretty MIA around here.  Things are busy and boring all at the same time, which means there has been a lot on our plates, very little of which lends itself to photo ops or blog-worthy sharing.  Heck, I think it's been almost a month since I posted on Instagram.

In any case, Alex celebrated his 31st birthday on the 15th and I have been wanting to take a few minutes to honor him here.  I could gush for hours, but it's a little harder to put into words exactly what he means to me...


Alex puts me first in all that he does.  He thinks of me always, goes out of his way to make things easier for me, and sacrifices himself or his desires for the good of mine before all else.

Tangibly, this translates to cooking dinner several times a week (namely anything chicken these days), getting up to retrieve for X item (water/cough drops/snacks) upon request, allll the errands, and the list goes on.

Sure, everyone loves their husband and thinks they're the best in the world, but I 100% believe it over here.  We're perfect for each other, and I am so glad he's in my life.

And for this, I am thankful.

Happy (belated) Birthday.  I love you, Alex.
-Lauren

Friday, November 6, 2015

7 Quick Takes, I Mean Links (Vol. 16)


I had every intention of posting last Friday, but we went to visit my parents for the weekend (well and, Alex had to work there on Saturday) and since we left on Thursday, I never did get myself together enough to make it happen.  It's kind of the same situation this week, seeing as how I am writing this on Thursday morning, and heading out this afternoon, taking some kids to 4-H camp for the weekend.  However, I have "takes" to share, so I'm determined to get them together before I go!

If you're a "cat person" who uses Instagram, then you must follow @millathecat.  She's kind of the most adorable thing out there; Alex and I get "all the feels" from her on the daily.

source

I have to give a shout-out to my awesome husband for a moment.  The work is not always glamorous for SIDs, but this beauty makes me proud to be the wife of one!  Such a sweet story he wrote.

Courtesy of ULMWarhawks.com

I have no hard feelings toward those of you in the EO business, but Kelly's post is just plain hilarious!

ThisAintTheLyceum.org

With just about three months to go before our little one arrives, I'm certainly in tuned to learning all I can from experienced mamas out there.  Jessi (The Budget Mama) hit the nail on the head with this one as she shared about using a toy rotation system.  I definitely pinned that post for down the road!


And, I'm super super excited to share Jen's news!  She shared a blog post on the day she found out, and I hope you'll all join us in praying for she and her family over the coming months.  (If you haven't made the connection yet, Jen and I are friends IRL - in fact, we were college roommates and have known each other for more than 10 years now!)


How's that for quick takes?  It's probably the quickest set I've ever shared!  I didn't win any prizes from Link-toberfest, but I had a great time holding myself to the goal of posting every week (ok, I skipped one, but this can count!).  Thanks for hosting, Kelly!

Whew, I did it! Time to throw together lunch and then head out for the weekend!  Have a good one, ya'll!
-Lauren

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain't the Lyceum!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

It's Getting Real (Bumpdate, 24+ Weeks)

Bump Update - 11/4/15 
Poor lighting, but 5 days late, I was getting desperate. 
How far along? 24 weeks (Um, ok I'm really more like 24w5d now...you'll forgive me, right?)

Total weight gain:    Ya'll. I can't deal.  Got that lecture I was expecting at my last appointment, and entered operation gain (healthy) weight.  We're now three weeks into the mission, and I'm up something like 5 pounds (from the lowest weigh-in, which is still 2 pounds under pre-pregnancy numbers) already.  I'm really not liking these numbers jumping so quickly... 1-2 pounds a week would make me feel muuuch better.  

Maternity clothes? As much as I can, but that means more pregnancy bottoms and still mostly regular tops.  I can't seem to find maternity tops that are flattering (cue short person with a large bust - I have to be very careful about necklines), so my regular ones are getting a run for their money these days. 

Stretch marks? Um, I guess I am really not paying attention to this.  It's not like I started out twig-sized and am having major body issues as a result.  

Sleep: Mostly restful, if I put aside the leg cramps or hip aches that seem to be pretty regular visitors in the overnight hours.  I wish sleeping on the back was allowed because I really think it would help with those aches.  Oh and, I am super excited about the time change allowing me to wake up with some sunlight (not so much for sunset happening around the time I get home from work, though.)

Best moment this week: We inherited some baby gear and hand-me-down maternity clothing, yea!!! Also, both Alex and I were able to cuddle with one of my best friends' 6-week-old and that was just fannntastic.  It makes me ready for February, stat!

Miss anything? Sleeping comfortably, waking with energy (!), having a decent wardrobe rotation.  

Food cravings: Nope.  I don't think is going to happen so I should probably just take it off the list.  

Anything making you queasy or sick?  When "the women" were here a few weeks ago, my Nanna accidentally knocked a glass bottle with lavender fragrance off the dryer, which shattered on the floor in our laundry room.  Eradicating the odor (which is NOT pleasant in such concentrated amounts) has been impossible and ughhh it's rough.  We have to keep the laundry room door closed and try to air out the door that opens into the garage as much as possible.  The smell is especially foul (for me) in the morning.  

Gender: I'm really thinking (hoping?) it's a boy.  Alex likes to be difficult and insist on it being a girl.  Our moms also think it's a girl, but I would really like to prove them wrong on this.  Plus, my two closest friends with kids have a combined five sons (and no daughters, yet), so I don't want to feel left out!  

Labor signs: Thankfully, it's still much to early for this.  However, I'm told we've made it to the age of viability and so I'm feeling more peaceful about the little one making it ex-utero.  :) 

Symptoms: Maybe a little more clumsy, but nothing super extraordinary here.  Still having occasional headaches.  Just like the water thing in my first-trimester (struggled to increase the liquid intake until a sudden "thirst" switch went off and then all was good), my hunger meter has kicked in so the snacks are more frequent these days.  

Belly button in or out? It's in but it's certainly flattening.  I don't know if I'll ever end up with an outie, though. 

Wedding rings on or off: On.  We've had lots of rain as of recent, so the humidity seems to be contributing to slight swelling around my ring finger, but it's still super slippery when I wash my hands, so I will attribute those changes to the weather and not pregnancy. 

Happy or moody most of the time: I will say that my patience tolerance is null at this point.  When something goes wrong, it's all over.  And little things going wrong feel like earth shattering things, so we can all imagine how big things going wrong feel at this point...

Looking forward to:  Nothing much interesting coming up here.  Am I allowed to say that I'm looking forward to baby coming so I can get time off of work?  ...Because that's about all (aside from actually having a cuddly, delicious baby) that sounds heavenly right about now.  

Hows Dad doing? "Very unsure about how he feels regarding toys that make noise."  (A reference to the baby gear we hauled home this weekend. lol.)
Oct. 18th - 22w2d
Once again, thanks for your patience in waiting a few extra days for this, thanks to...life?  lol. 
-Lauren

You might also enjoy:
A First (Bumpdate, 16 Weeks)
Halfway, Baby (Bumpdate, 20 Weeks)
It's Getting Real (Bumpdate, 24+ Weeks)
Hello, 3rd Trimester!  (Bumpdate, 28+ Weeks)
Ready to Open Our Gift! (Bumpdate, 32 Weeks)
Is it Time Yet?  (Bumpdate, 36+ Weeks)

P.S.  I know for some this type of post can be uncomfortable, difficult, or just plain painful.  Please know that we recognize this and pray for those of you who may struggle with infertility (any variation thereof) and/or infant loss.  Our hearts go out to families affected by these struggles each and every day. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fall in Love with...Alex (GBB Vol. 4)

I can't believe it's been 7 months since Alex has taken over for a "Guy Behind the Blog" post!  He asks to post every once in a while, but schedules get in the way and we tend to miss the link-up with Betsy.  But not this time!  Volume 4 is a "fall" edition, so cozy up and settle in to learn a little more about the guy behind Here We Geaux.


1 // We’re headed into fall, which means cooler temps for most of us…are you a warm weather or cold weather kind of guy?
Cold ... Because It is easier to bundle up and pull layers off... In Louisiana in the summer, the heat and humidity is brutal, and one can't simply take off his/her skin.


2 // What's the best Halloween costume you've ever worn?
This one takes a little bit of explaining... In undergrad, I went to a Halloween party dressed in a blue sweatshirt and sweat pants with cotton balls taped to me and a super soaker water gun... The end result ... I was partly cloudy with a chance of rain - and anytime someone asked what I was, I told them and sprayed them with the super soaker.
(Side note from Lauren:  Is this not the most hilarious thing ever?? I don't know how I'd never heard this story before, but I love it.)

3 // What's your favorite Halloween candy? 
Candy corn. Hands down.


4 // What are your favorite parts of fall (ex: football, the weather, Thanksgiving, etc)?
The weather, though I am not sure it will ever get cooler here again... Thanksgiving is always good, I like to eat and then lay on the couch for a few hours... My birthday, though I am turning 31, so the years are starting to increase rather quickly, sorry to be a debbie downer.

5 // How do you feel about pumpkin spice lattes? (As a joke question hahaha)
Not a coffee guy, so I have no feels.


There you have it, a little snippet from the guy behind this blog!  Is there a man in your life?  If so, you should totally consider handing over the reigns every once in a while (or month, heh) and linking up with Betsy for lots of fun.  

Until next time.
-Lauren

Friday, October 23, 2015

7 Quick Takes...of Anger (Vol. 15)


Instead of rambling about what I've seen in the news or updates on what's going on in my life, I'm going to do something a little different with this post.  I'm in a foul mood this week, so I'm going for "takes" on topics that are really just pissing me off (sorry for the language) at the moment.  If you're new here, come back soon for something a little more positive. ;)

Hiring managers (or designated person in department reviewing applications, scheduling interviews, etc.).  It is really annoying that prospective employees are expected to follow 8637 rules about applying for jobs, performing in interviews, and following-up afterwards, when prospective employers don't provide the same value of respect to applicants.

A few simple tips, people:  Acknowledge receipt of applications.  Progress through the process in a timely manner.  Get back with people ASAP.

We get it - $h*t happens - and timelines never go as expected, but for the love of everything you-know-what, don't just leave people hanging!  These are real humans, with real families, and real lives you're affecting here.  Be respectful.  If I can process 200, 30-page volunteer applications, acknowledge their receipt, and respond to applicants (let them know what's missing, schedule interviews, etc) in the span of about 6 weeks, you can manage to contact 30 (and often times, much less) people in a timely manner.  It's really not that difficult!

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The "all in His timing" or "the timing must not be right" comments.  It doesn't help, people...it NEVER helps.  If someone is waiting for something, this type of comment NEVER makes a person feel better, or helps the situation in any way.  And, this is universal - doesn't matter if the person is trying to conceive, looking for a new job, seeking a potential spouse, etc. - no one gives a flip about timing.  We all so desperately want something, need something, and to comment as though timing has any part in the emotions of it all has zero positive effect.

So, please, next time you're trying to soothe someone, choose your words wisely.  Say, "Yes, that SUCKS," or "I am so sorry you're experiencing this,"  and even "I wish there was something I could do to make it better."  Do NOT say, "It will happen when the timing is right."  Acknowledge the pain, the difficulty, the frustration, etc.  Or hell, don't say anything at all.  A random act of kindness goes a long way too.

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Mothers.  Not you, mothers in general...my mother, my husband's mothers.  You have children, you've been parents, you should know better than to stress out a pregnant lady, especially your own daughter (in-law)!! Quit whining about your own "needs" and consider the fact that your requests, emotional waaah waaah waaah's are doing more harm than good and benefiting neither you nor the young mother-to-be on the receiving end of your requests.  In fact, it probably makes her less interested in communicating with you than before, and will result in you pushing her away rather than feeling closer. Good luck with that one, woman.

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Weight management.  Everyone has issues in this department, right?  We all walk that fine line between too much and too little and good gracious that is stressful!  Last week, I was told to gain all the weight.  This week, the scale tips up 4 pounds and I freak-the-heck-out.  It probably lied anyway...but even two pounds in a week is scary when you could go 0-100 in no time! So, I pretty much have a hate-hate relationship with the scale at the moment.  Likely more to come on this in future posts... (Week 24 Bumpdate is just a little over a week away.)

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People who don't follow through. It seems like I deal with people on the daily who just do not care to follow through with commitments, deadlines, etc.  And the worst part is that it's no big deal to them!  It must be a cultural thing or something, but seriously.  If I'm supposed to be somewhere, I will be on time or send notice otherwise.  I always keep important deadlines (even if I make it happen at the last minute).  How hard is it to be respectful of other people's time and effort?  Really, it's not.  I am surrounded by people who don't value these things and my goshhh it is so exhausting!

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Hardwood floors.  This one is for the sake of randomness, courtesy of my husband (I asked for ideas to complete this list of 7).  I know I'm in the extreme minority here but I really do hate hardwood floors.  They are so gross - the little cracks are impossible to clean, and the flat surfaces always end up covered in gunk that won't go away.  They're also cold, hard (hence the name), and not cozy at all! If the area is not appropriate for carpet, at least go the tile route because those can at least be cleaned without an act of Congress (still cold and hard, though).  Needless to say, I will never buy a home with hardwood floors ever again.

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Okay, take a deep breath because the rant is over (for now, hehe).  This week's Link-toberfest question is..."What was your most popular Quick Takes post?"  After a quick scan, it seems my very first post received the most hits, so I guess I was boring and everything went down hill from there.  If you're still reading today, thanks a million! 


And because this is could probably sum up this entire post and have saved you the 8 seconds it took to read...

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You're welcome, everybody!  Have a great weekend!
-Lauren


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain't the Lyceum!