Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Update! We had a baby...

Welcome to the world Endry Mae Hawkins!!!
Born May 29, 2012 at 2:27pm weighing 7lb. 10oz. 20.5 inches

We had a wonderful and happy natural labor and delivery and from the time my water broke it was only 12 hours until we met our girl. I was so blessed to have my husband and an amazing doula by my side to get me through the two hours where Endry was turned wrong and labor had stalled. The pain was SO worth the outcome. A happy little baby who was able to look right into my eyes and snuggle up on my chest within seconds of entering the world. God is good!!!

So here are some pictures of our little sweetie over the last few months. And expect a LOT of posts to be about motherhood. And all the things I've learned through trial, error, and advice. What a wonderful job it is to be her momma! Best ever...

Ok, more to come! I will try to get into blogging some tips and regular posts at least once a week.

For now, here's today's lesson: Give you and your baby TIME to be at home together in those first few weeks and couple of months. Your baby is brand new and you are all she knows is safe and happy. Let her be comforted in knowing you will hold her close when she needs you. You will respond to her needs within moments. This trust will last you a lifetime and set your baby up to achieve milestones with bravery and strength!!!

Much love.
See you soon!


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spring Clean: I see it all now...


So, as you know, spring has sprung. Which means it's time to clean...apparently. If you are like me, winter months are marked by things being shoved in random places in closets, piles of boots & thick socks strewn across floors because they're just too big to put anywhere and you'll need them in a few hours anyway, and coat racks full of too many coats, scarves & jackets to count. Not to mention the fact that it's too darn cold to go outside & actually clean out the cars...no matter how many times you've accidentally spilled hot coffee all over the interior and no matter how many not-so-necessary-anymore extra coats, blankets and shoes have taken permanent residence in the backseat...it's a mess out there, but it's too damn cold.
Until Spring. Then all messes must die. Something about the world around you rejuvenating itself, growing, budding & blossoming new life, seeming to wake from it's dreary, dark & lifeless slumber just makes you want to join in and shake off the cold, embrace a new purpose, and get things looking fresh. When Spring comes in to play, it's like the veil is lifted and you suddenly see all the drab, dirty, messiness you've been living in, surviving in all winter. It's time to thrive. It's time to see it all clearly and make it wonderful again.
Today...Josh and I put the winter coats away, moved the boots to their springtime homes, and CLEANED OUT THE CARS. Deep clean style. Does everyone say "deep clean"??? We did in my house growing up and it meant really getting in there and cleaning up in the most intricate of ways.
My goal was that we could clean the cars up to look so beautiful that when we go get our infant car seats installed in a few weeks, no one could possibly judge us or question our ability to be parents based on our junk-filled, coffee stained seats...mission accomplished.
So today we pulled out makeup, blankets, shoes, scarves, notebooks, hangers, some rocks, and an abundance of water bottles from both cars. These cars are actually mini SUVs so please imagine heaps and heaps of stuff coming out of them. Then we vacuumed, cleaned the floor mats, wiped the leather seats with a damp cloth, then lemon-oiled the shine back into those pretty little leather seats and dashboards until the cars glistened...as though real adults had been driving them and actually cared what they looked like!!!
It's amazing how quickly you can junk up something you really don't want to junk up. Like, we both enjoy having clean cars, a clean house, clean bathrooms and freshly washed sheets. But, my, how quickly a couple of days of not keeping up with the basics of cleanliness can snowball into an actual mess that needs swift and precise attention. The house at least had a few good deep cleans throughout the winter on those snowed-in days, but our cars had been neglected for MONTHS. We had to act fast before spring came blazing in to shine it's light on all the mess we had made. SO, having the cars ready for spring, windows down, sunroof open and a sweet baby girl riding in the backseat feels SO GOOD. I'm ready for warm weather, meeting this baby, and cleaning up her messes.
How messy are babies? I'll let you know...

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Engagement

Oops...forgot to publish this.

Josh and I were celebrating our 2 year anniversary a month early on August 11th when he PROPOSED!!!

This is us before it happened. I was happy and clueless:) He's sneaky! We went to the zoo, our for coffee, to a Thai restaurant, to a concert then our for late night snacks before he blinfolded me and took me to the parking lot where we first talked {all night}. After candle lit parking lot chats, some sparkling apple cider that we had to open on a jagged metal fence and a sweet song he wrote for me...he had me put the blindfold back on and when I took it off. BOOM. Knee. Ring. Question.  YES!!!!  The next day at the park we took a silly picture to announce it to facebook the world.

This was taken August 12th...the next morning after we ate celebratory crepes:) He picked the ring out from looking around on Etsy and ending up finding a local artisan in a cute St. Louis neighborhood that handmakes and designs rings. WHOA. Perfect. The ring is amazing and I stare at it a LOT.
{Please ignore my man hands}

Then we played a show with our band Wildeyed at Plush the DAY BEFORE Josh left for Thailand for FOUR months. 4. 1, 2, 3, 4 months. Our band has been such a beuatiful way to work together to create something and do what we love. Such a fun gig! We love these silly guys!

 So Josh was halfway around the world {exactly half. literally as far away from each other as we could possibly be. painful} It was a long four months but a great four months. He learned a LOT and got even more passionate about the environment, anthropology and helping people. It was a hard, lonely, scary, brilliant, faith-growing and lovely four months. He went with GoED which is just an AMAZING, Christian organization for study abroad. So perfect. Maybe some more on that later.

 But for now here is a picture from a photoshoot I did with David Ayres Photography to send pics to Josh when he was halfway around the world. It's amazing how improtant pictures became since we mostly saw each other as blurry, distorted, lagging images on Skype..."are you getting sick over there? You look really blurry and your nose is sometimes on you foreheard, darling..."
And Josh sent me this so I would know he was still a whole person with the same sweet puppy eyes and face parts in all the right places {even though his beard took over his face while not shaving it for the whole trip.} Actually though...I love the beard and I'm glad it's stuck around:)


 Another shot from David Ayres photography of Josh and I...just added it cause it's CUTE!
So while Josh was gone I had to do a lot of wedding planning...more on that craziness later. But since I was so out of balance with him gone I literally stopped planning until January! YAY! I took a dance class, read some books, hung out with all the people I know and wrote Josh letter after letter and cried and prayed. 
He came back on December 9th and we had a lovely Christmas as an engaged couple. Our friends threw us a surprise Engagement Party and we enjoyed family and friends and the season:)

What a lovely engagement it was.

Baby On Board

So, I briefly mentioned that there is a sweet little baby on the way for Josh and I. We are beyond thrilled that God has blessed us with this little precious beloved baby. I really wondered if I would be able to get pregnant easily or at all since I found out in 2008 that I have PCOS. But with prayer and faith and following a plan for a healthy no gluten, dairy, or processed food diet, plus exsercise...I have kept almost ALL PCOS symptoms at bay and lookie here: there's a baby on board.
You may have seen from my last post, that Josh and I got married July 5, 2013. Well, we rescued a kitten on September 7th. Named her Teasdale after one of my favorite poets. And then realized 4 weeks later that I was 4 weeks pregnant. WOW! Welcome to married life, fur baby life, and parenthood.
So, not sure about any of you other mommas out there, but I didn't always feel pregnant in the first few months. Luckily (haha), I got REALLY sick at 12 weeks and it lasted until 15 weeks then rebounded at 20 weeks. Now I only vomit when I eat something with a bad form of gluten in it or a processed food item. Which I avoid like the plague anyway. But with getting past the worst of the morning sickness I was so happy that little baby flutters came so quickly (16 weeks, Christmas time) for me to still feel like I was pregnant and that there was a real, actual life inside me. Now that I am going into my last trimester and little babe kicks and wiggles and basically freaks out in there all day, I always feel, look & smell (hormones make my feet smell...) pregnant. And it's a wonderful feeling. Strangers commenting on "the little one" and always looking at my face then immediately my belly makes me smile and well up with the greatest emotions. I feel so proud to be a mom. Speaking of emotions I have another AWESOME hormonal pregnancy side effect that Josh & I like to endearingly refer to as the "Laugh/Cry". It is exactly what it sounds like and 10 times as ridiculous. Josh has a great sense of humor that is right up my alley and sometimes he makes me laugh SO HARD...that I cry. One second laughing hysterically, the next sobbing. Also hysterically. Josh even caught it on video once and I'm sure he watches it laughing but also wondering to himself if this is the worst of it. I have a feeling we're both in for a LOT more emotional outbursts on my end. God bless that poor, sweet man who loves me so:) He's going to be an amazing daddy and he's already so excited to meet our little one.
Hey, bet you wanna know if it's a girl or a boy right?! Stay tuned...
But for now, let's learn a little something today to go with the theme of babies!
Baby Swaddling
See what the Baby Center (an app I love using) says about swaddling your new baby:
It's also important to remember that babies may benefit from being swaddled with their arms allowed upwards near their face so they can self sooth and gum their fingers and hands. ALSO, did you know letting a baby fall alseep while sucking a pacifier helps reduce the risk of SIDS? Just remove the pacifier when it falls out of your sweet little one's mouth and let them drift off to dream land.
That's it for today!
See you later, Minties!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

July 5, 2013: Oh Happy Day!!!

So...I've been bombarding this blog with the happenings of last year and this is where it starts to really get beautiful. Josh and I were married at a cute little vineyard in the middle of nowhere Missouri, pretty much between our hometowns. It was supposed to be SUPER stormy with a chance of a tornado and HOT that day. We prayed a lot leading up to the day about the weather and other things left to chance and we ended up being blessed beyond belief with a high temperature of 78on our big day. Yep, it was perfect. At 7:00 we were married on the deck as the sun started to dip down to the tops of the grape vines behind us. Then we took some pictures, ate some food and danced the night away. It was magical. Stressful. Beautiful. Hard work. Amazing. The happiest day of my life thus far. Enjoy some pictures by bettyelainephotography.com of me marrying my favorite person in the world and best friend.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Makeup Mishaps

We've all been there...running late, trying to get your act together in those last few moments by  touching up or applying some sultry black liquid liner to make your eyes really stand out. But in those rushed moments, you quickly go to put away your freshly blackened eyeliner brush and BOOM...hand meets brush and it's all sorts of everywhere. In a panic, you try to rub it off. It just smears like a tiny little oil slick of terror. Then you get a tissue or some water involved and rub harder. EVEN WORSE things start happening. It's thinning out and spreading but maintaining it's hue and greasiness and getting embedded even deeper into every line, pore and hair follicle on your hands. You look like you just got out of the coal mines. Not the "sultry, stand out" look you were going for.
You might be at home waiting for a special guest. You might be on your way to work. You might be about to meet a boy at a restaurant for your first date. What you need to know right now, is that Wet Wipes and regular old bathroom soap WILL NOT SAVE YOU. But this little lesson might. Trust me...today I came to know the greasy black fury of my Maybelline Gel Eyeliner in Blackest Black.

So today's class is a "How-To" on getting rid of black liquid eyeliner...specifically the paint pot, or gel liner species that come in those cute little tubs with the screw on lids that sometimes fail to stay screwed...as mine did today.

I tried my Hello Kitty hand cleansing wipes. Barely made a dent in the black goopy nightmare that had consumed my fingers and palms.

I tried a tissue. Pretty much just added some white paper residue to the mix.

I tried hand sanitizer. Started to diminish the black but there was so much embedded in my hand creases that my hands looked more like a coal sketch of themselves than the real deal.

I went into work and, determined to get rid of the black stains before facing the office, I headed to the kitchen. In a glorious moment of desperation, ingenuity and determination I had but one idea that had to work. And it TOTALLY DID!!!!!! I poured a handful of salt in my hands, went to the sink where we keep a bottle of degreasing dish soap, and I went to work. It took 8 seconds of salt & soap scrubbing to completely get rid of ANY evidence whatsoever of my makeup mishap. Done.

So, next time you find yourself hopelessly covered in black eyeliner: Palmolive or Dawn + table salt. Scrub, Scrub, Scrub. You're welcome.

Dawn Ultra Dish Soap - 24 oz.

Life in the Last Year: A Flipagram Video

Josh and I have had a pretty crazy last year! Engagement, Josh studying abroad in Thailand for 4 months...2 days after we got engaged, keeping up with our band and lots of changes, getting married in July, moving in together, getting a rescued kitten in September that we named Teasdale, and finally...finding out we're pregnant!!!

We are expecting a super cute mini version of ourselves on June 2, 2014...more on that later!