Thursday, March 31, 2011

how i told my baby daddy

Andrew's been signing notes and emails as "Baby Daddy" since we got the news. How long until he grows out of it?

This is the story of how I found out I was pregnant. And how I told the father.

We'd just had a great weekend - the weather was awesome, so we spent Saturday downtown. We watched a basketball game at King Street Grill, we wandered down by the water, we did a little shopping. On the way home, we stopped at World Market and discovered a wine sale. So we stocked up. Little did I know...

That night, we were watching a movie and I just felt weird. I felt exhausted and a little nauseous and just completely drained. It wasn't the I've-had-a-long-day feeling or the I'm-coming-down-with-something feeling. It was different. But I blew it off and we went to bed.

The next morning, I still felt off. Andrew was already gone for the day so there was no one to discuss my possible diagnoses with. I decided to take a pregnancy test, just for fun, completely expecting it to be negative.

Take the test. Brush my teeth. Turn on the shower.

Wait, is that another line?

Yep. Two lines. On that test and the second and the third. And remember how Andrew was gone? Poor Rudy got an earful. An earful of "no way" and "oh my gosh" and "no way" and "Rudy!!" and on and on and on.

The thing about Andrew being gone is that he was in his super secret school building where no phones are allowed. Which meant I had to wait for him to call me. No way did I want to tell him over the phone. But no way did I want to wait until he came home.

So I waited. And when he called around 2:30 to tell me that he was going to sit in his truck for an hour to read the paper and take a break, I knew what I had to do. I got in the car, drove out there, made up some lame excuse about how I missed him and asked him to meet me for a few minutes in the parking lot across the street (where those who don't know the secret handshake for the super secret building are allowed).

He came and we chatted about our days. I told him what I had for lunch. He was adjusting the collar on my shirt.

"Guess what?" I said. I say that all the time, so I doubt he was expecting anything exciting.


"I'm pregnant."

I wish I could have taken a picture of him at that moment. But I'll never forget the look on his face. It was a little like this...


He asked me if I was sure. I said yes. He asked again. I said yes again.

We laughed and we hugged and I got all teary at how genuine his smile was. He went from the no-way-oh-my-gosh that I had been experiencing that morning to pure joy. It was priceless.

Then I sent him on his merry way, where he had to keep it secret from his friends. He told me later that he kept catching himself smiling as he did his homework. He's cute like that.

And that is the story of how we saw our lives flash before his eyes.

In a good way, of course :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

the one where i tell you about our offspring

It's true. We've reproduced.
(Look at its little hands! I'm dying.)

It's likely that some of you already know this. It's super hard to keep two new parents-to-be and four new grandparents-to-be (plus all of the other ecstatic friends and family) from spilling the beans. It's too much to hold in for 12 weeks, people. Too much.

But it's true. I'm pregnant. I had my 12-week checkup today and heard that precious heartbeat for the second time. It's a blessing that I've always known would fulfill a part of me one day, but the joy? Oh, the joy. And I'm sure it only gets better.

Now I can ramble on and on about pregnancy things and baby things whenever I feel like it :)

Ready or not, here it comes.

Monday, March 28, 2011

random thoughts on a rainy day

Andrew gets antsy when I don't update the blog. I think it's because his means of entertainment are limited right now. And because he thinks I'm so witty, he just can't wait to get lost in another one of my blog posts.

That's right, isn't it, love?

I got back yesterday evening from the northern Carolina after a few days of work and visiting with my family. And there was also a bridal shower for a sweet friend thrown in there, so I'm thankful for the opportunity to be there for that. As is usual when I come home, my dad rolled out the red carpet in the kitchen and there was a lot of good food. Like, fried chicken and bbq ribs good. I even convinced my parents to order Smithfield's for lunch on Sunday, complete with slaw and hushpuppies, so I could get my eastern NC bbq fix before heading back to the land of mustard-based bbq.

And my brother and I busted out the Super Nintendo and we flashed back to the mid-90s. It was awesome.

Now, here I sit in the living room, convinced that it's not 10:30am, but 7:30pm, because there's no way it could be this dark outside. And I'm snuggled in a sweatshirt, fighting either a cold or allergies, and wishing that there was a certain boy here to keep me company. But alas, there is not. There is this boy, though:

Anyway, I promised some random thoughts. Are you ready?

  • I just found out about this site called that removes you from all of the credit card/insurance offers for 5 years. Yes, please.
  • There's also where you can unsubscribe from any random catalogs or magazines. Maybe now we can stop getting the Golf Digest addressed to Fidel Castro. That's a true story.
  • I'm listening to an Iron & Wine Pandora station. I don't know why I haven't done this yet, but it's genious. It's rainy day bliss.
  • I think Early Grey is my favorite hot beverage.
  • I got some great suggestions last week on how to eat for one and I'm looking forward to doing a little meal planning to try it all out. A trip to Trader Joe's this weekend is aiding in that excitement, thanks to the awesome things I picked up there.
  • The Farmer's Market opens this Saturday. I can't wait to be reunited with Mr. Stroble, my organic farmer friend.
  • Guess who sent me flowers? That boy I married. He's not a flower-sender, so I was extra excited when they showed up at my door.
  • Thanks to some gift cards secured with our USAA credit card points, I'm about to score a new vacuum cleaner. A Dyson Animal, to be exact. I really can't wait.
  • I had a dream last night about this planner that was a calendar and notebook all-in-one and now I realize that's exactly what I've been needing to get organized. And I'm so excited to find this dream-notebook. (Did I really just admit to dreaming about office supplies?)

Maybe we should end there before I admit to anything else that labels me as a crazy.

Happy Monday, folks.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

dinner for one

You know what I hate about Andrew being away? Whether he's away for long periods of time or just for an evening, I hate dinner. I hate it. Cooking for one seems like SO much work and since I'm only a fan of leftovers for a day or two, I end up with a lot of food that I can never finish.

I hate it.

When Andrew was at OCS, I don't really know what I ate. There were some frozen dinners. And some sandwiches. But there were also some spoonfuls of peanut butter and some rootbeer floats and some take out. There was a lot of take out.

No bueno.

There are a lot of reasons why I wanted to do things differently this time and Andrew made me promise to take better care of myself, so I've been trying super super hard to make healthy dinners a priority. He's been gone for 11 days, so let's see where I've netted out, shall we?

Day 1: Leftover Mellow Mushroom.
Day 2: A salad with avocado, mandarin oranges and almonds with a baked potato.
Day 3: Homegroup! A pasta dish with sausage, caprese salad and garlic bread
Day 4: Sauteed scallops with whole wheat pasta and avocado
Day 5: Leftovers.
Day 6: Panera, just to get out of the house. Smoked turkey panini with chicken noodle soup.
Day 7: Friday Night Page Night (Formerly known as Friday Night Date Night)! I woke up from a nap craving chinese, so I went for a mongolian grill where you pick all of the fresh ingredients and they cook it up in front of you. YUM.
Day 8: Don't judge me, but I had a cheeseburger from Sonic. I can't even begin to tell you how happy it made me.
Day 9: Southwest salad with avocado, black beans, corn and tortilla chips and a sweet potato.
Day 10: Homegroup! Lasagna with salad and bread. And some ice cream.
Day 11: Grits and some leftover salad.

Minus the whole cheeseburger thing and the fact that I've eaten out three times, I'm doing okay. Right? I mean, there's room for improvement but it's not a rootbeer float. And I'll be the first to tell you that weekends are my weakness - it's so tempting to just eat out. But I'm working on it!

Tell me, folks. What are some things that a single-for-now gal can eat without a lot of fuss?

(PS: Can you believe I just remembered all of my dinners for the last week and a half? I'm a machine.)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

rudy's first beach trip


One of the things on our staycation list was to take our dearest Rudiger to the beach. He's never been to the beach and he's never been in the water (except for that one time he chased a duck into the pond, causing me to face-plant into the mud, but that's a story for another day) so we thought it would at least be entertaining for us to watch his first encounter.


I feel like I should tell you something about the relationship I have with our dog.


I was never, ever a dog person. I liked them okay, but I wasn't all mushy gushy about them the way some people are. And I totally judged "those" people who treated their dogs like their own human offspring. And when Andrew wanted to get one a year and a half ago, I was all "whatever, I'll get a dog" but wasn't really anticipating a major bond.


And then we found Rudy. He's kind of like my backup soulmate when Andrew's away and I really, really believe that God put him in our family to keep me company during this whole Navy thing. Calling him a companion doesn't even begin to describe it. He's the sweetest animal I've ever known and that's the truth.

So that's my way of justifying dedicating an entire post to my dog :)


When we first got there, he wasn't sure what to think of the moving water or the scary floating foam blobs.


Then Andrew coaxed him into the water and after a few minutes he was fine. He loved it, actually.


And Andrew was so excited that he was able to get him in the water. I think it made him feel accomplished. I knew he could do it - he's good like that.


We got the tennis balls out and that, combined with the water and the wide open spaces, put Rudy right over the edge.


He's not so good with the catching, but he's GREAT at jumping up and down along with the bouncing ball. But don't worry, he got the catching part down soon enough...


And that's the story of Rudy's first beach trip. And also, gratuitous pictures of my favorite canine.

The end.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

navy separation, round 2

If you've been around for a while, you remember OCS. I remember it. It was exactly 370 days ago that Andrew called to say goodbye before he handed over his belongings and his pride to the training command in Newport, RI. I buried my head under the covers as soon as we hung up and cried for about 3 days straight.

Part of what made that so awful was that we knew we'd have zero contact/communication for weeks. That's tough. And also, it was the first of many major separations and strains that we'll go through as a military family. It was kind of symbolic, in a totally heart-breaking way.

And today, he left again. It will be way better this time, for a several reasons. It's only 10 weeks. We'll be in constant communication. We put money aside for a trip up there. I have a mega support system at our church and homegroup. It's so different. But it doesn't stop being hard.

We spent the day preparing - finishing yard work that I can't do alone, making sure his truck was all good after some minor maintenance issues, getting his Bojangles fix before he crosses the Mason-Dixon Line, doing laundry, packing, stealing kisses. I handled it so well until it was actually time for him to leave this evening.

Then I busted out with the ugly-cry that knows no bounds. Gotta love that.

He left, and Rudy and I watched him through the window, because we're gluttons for punishment. Then I had a pity party because the house felt so empty. It was great.

I went upstairs to print off a few things and caught a glimpse of the post-it that stays on my desk: Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

And I remembered that I'm better off in His right hand than anywhere else. Hallelujah for that.

So I put on my PJs, planned the Sunday School lesson for tomorrow, warmed up some pizza and I'm about to queue up the DVR.

And every little thing is gonna be alright. (This is my message to youuuu)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

how I became a mrs. (part 8)

It's time for another installation, don't you think? Click here to catch up (start from the bottom!)

So he asked me out. In a weird, awkward, pretty formal way. But I fell for it.

In the coming months, we spent our time huddled around the Daily Tar Heel crossword puzzle, because we're cool like that. And we walked around the campus learning about each other's lives - our families, our childhood, our best friends, our dreams and plans and fears. It sounds cheesy, but it was true. We were learning as much as we could about each other. Drinking it up. I couldn't get enough of him and knew I was done for.


About a week after we started dating, we had spring break. He went off with a relief organization to New Orleans to help clean up after Katrina. I headed to sunny Charleston with my Aunt Rita for a girls weekend. We enjoyed steak and lobster while he ate porrage. We got massages while he tore down houses. We are so, so different.

The whole time we were apart, I couldn't wait for him to call. Aunt Rita still picks on me about how I glanced at my phone every 5 minutes. But I wanted him to call! Ahh! One night when I couldn't sleep, I got out of bed and wrote him a note on the hotel stationery. I told him that I loved him and knew that I would marry him one day and then I folded it up, put it in my wallet and didn't share it with him until the day of our wedding. After ONE week. I told you, I knew I was done for.


One thing I probably forgot to mention. I was Andrew's first girlfriend.

Andrew was not my first boyfriend.

So you can imagine how that went. There were times of frustration and confusion and hilarity. And lots of, "Did he really just say that to me?" Like the time I was meeting his parents for the first time and just before we walked through the door, I asked him if I had anything on my face.

"Just a big ol'...nose."


But we navigated it. And six months later, he told me he loved me. And a few weeks after that, we were walking on the beach at a leadership retreat and we started talking about our future. He was thinking about the Marines, I was thinking of teaching in a big city. Should I plan on him, around him? Was he planning around me? I need to know these things, people!


I fired a million questions at him about his expectations and his intentions and his thoughts on how I fit into his life in the coming years. It was frantic, I'm sure. He stopped and looked at me and said, "Page. I would marry you tomorrow if I could."

Well, ok then.

That was August of my junior (his senior) year. We'd been together just five months. Who does that? Certainly not me. I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever consider getting married a) right after college b) after only dating a guy for a few months c) to someone who had never had a girlfriend.

{Just kidding on that last part :) I love that he's never been with anyone else. It makes me feel all puffed up when I think about it. And while there were some bumps, there isn't a better boyfriend/fiance/husband out there. I'm convinced of that. His mama raised him right.}

Anyway, that was August. And it wasn't until the following February that we got engaged. And holy whoa, was that an intense six months. It was great, but it was awful at times. Because if you're going to marry someone, you have to know that you can make it through the ugly. And ugly there was. We're two sinful people, right? We had to work through my sins and we had to work through his sins and there were moments of should-we-even-be-together frustration and hurt. But through prayer and great role models and great counselors, we worked it out.

Despite the whole fairy tale mentality, it's anything but perfect. It's freakin' hard. But we did it. I remember thinking, "No one is perfect. And if I can never be with a perfect person, he's the only imperfect person I want to be with." Romantic, right?

We should have had that engraved on our wedding rings.

But it's so true. It's real. And when we worked through the yucky and came through holding hands, we got engaged. And that was a fabulous day...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

the i'm-about-to-be-alone list

You know that feeling when you're running downhill and you've got so much momentum towards the end of the stretch that you can't halt your legs, no matter how hard you will your body to stop?

THAT is how I feel today.

Because it's Wednesday and tomorrow is Thursday and Thursday always feels like a blink away from the weekend. And the weekend, my friends, is when Andrew is leaving for three months.


Did you know that his orders were changed and now he's going to Groton first? I told you here that he was going to Prototype first, even though it wasn't his preference. But then that changed and now he's going to Groton first, then Prototype. And the green grass grew all around, all around...

So, he's leaving. On Saturday. He's leaving around 7pm and driving through the night, which makes me nervous because it's not hard for him to fall asleep while driving (forget what I just said, Andrew's mom. He's a very alert driver!) But he's going up with another guy so they can share the driving duties and I made him promise to get a hotel if they got too tired. He pinky-swore and that's something we don't take lightly.

Because I thrive on lists and plans and anticipation, I've developed a list of things to do while Andrew's away. Ready? Go.
  • Take a crochet or a painting class with my friend, Lindsay
  • Watch the entire series of Army Wives on Netflix, so I'm caught up with where the show is now
  • Finish the wedding invitations for my sweet friend, Lauren
  • Organize the catch-all places in our house: the kitchen hutch, the secretary and some hidden corners in my office
  • Read Water for Elephants
  • Take Rudy for a walk at least once a day because exercise and sunshine are both very good things
  • Sew some new pillows for the living room (because we got new furniture - more on that later)
  • Do NOT be sad

Not too bad, right? I'm sure there will be lots of movie-watching and book-reading and nap-taking to fill in the holes. And Laura, my sister-in-law, is going to come down for a beach weekend and that's always a good idea. AND I'm planning on flying up to see the boy at least once, so I really shouldn't complain.

But regardless of how much I love sleeping diagonally and watching chick flicks all the livelong day, I kind of like him. And I'd rather have him here so I can kiss him any time I want.

(Name that movie)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

our third anniversary (and a reminder that God is good)


I remember standing at the bottom of the stairs in the church basement - alone - waiting for my dad to come back and get me. He was upstairs, where I could hear the violins playing, escorting my mom down the aisle. All of the other bridesmaids were waiting to walk down as well.

I was alone for the first time all day. And I did what anyone would do.

I cried.

I cried big, heavy, wet alligator tears. It was a release of emotion I'd been holding in for hours, weeks, months? I don't know, exactly. But I was overcome with thankfulness and pride and relief and nostalgia and so on and so on and I cried.

My dad walked me down the aisle, with a smile on my face that Andrew still remembers. He says it's the most genuine look of happiness that he's ever seen on another person. I felt it.

When we were all gathered at the altar, we sang Great is Thy Faithfulness.


We wanted to incorporate it into our wedding because we whole-heartedly believed every single word. Thou changest not, thou compassions they fail not. As thou hast been, thou forever will be.

The ceremony was perfect.


The reception was perfect.


And we lived happily ever after.

This past Sunday, we sang Great is Thy Faithfulness at church. Andrew reached over and grabbed my hand because it's our song. And I cried.

This isn't just our song. It's our anthem. These people?


They had no idea what their happily ever after would look like. Morning by morning, new mercies I see.

They didn't know what the next three years would hold. They didn't know that it would be filled with so much good and so much scary that there would be days when they didn't know which way is up. Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.

But they knew that God brought them together. And that He made them life partners because the life He wanted for them would be so much easier to navigate if they came together, under Him, to live it. Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide.

They knew this: they loved each other. And as naive and immature as they were (and probably still are) they held on to that and jumped right in.

So on Sunday, I couldn't believe what God has done for us since we picked that song for our wedding ceremony. I couldn't believe how He had followed through on every single promise that we'd believed in that song. All I have needed, thy hand hath provided.

And I cried.

Today, I am thankful for a God who loves me enough to bless me with a husband like the one sitting on the other side of the room right now. And I'm thankful for everything that He's taught me, through loving that boy, in the last three years. And I'm thankful that they'll both be at the end of the aisle for a long, long time.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

hey, i remember you (the one where andrew graduates from power school)

I have my husband back! Temporarily, at least. I really don't know what to do with myself now that he's here when I wake up and around for lunch AND dinner AND he has zero obligations whatsoever.


The smarty pants graduated last Friday. I know it's a week late, but I've been too busy staycating to worry about posting pictures. Forgive me :)


See how handsome they all are, lined up in their dress blues (which are actually black)?


They stood that way for a looong time, so there was a lot of waiting around on our part.


There he is! So cute.


Shortly after Andrew walked across the stage, the skies opened up and it started pouring. They dismissed those who had already graduated, so we boogied out of there and took pictures back at the homestead.


A lovely family, they are!


Then the weather turned for the better, so we headed downtown for the good stuff: food and sunshine.


Lunch was at Virginia's on King and I still think about that meal and smile. Fried green tomatoes, fried pickles (don't judge it until you've tried it), chicken and dumplings, key lime pie. I want to eat it over and over and over again.


Then we walked around some more and spent the afternoon enjoying the weather.

DSC_0115 DSC_0125

I even made friends with a seagull who let me get surprisingly close to take these pictures. Without the zoom lens, I might add.


All in all, it was a good day. And that boy up there? He's VERY happy to have such a big accomplishment to celebrate. As am I. He gives me lots to be proud of.

Next up: Groton, CT!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

marvelous prints: new designs and a giveaway

Hey friends :) Long time, no see! We've been busy graduating from Power School and eating our weight in lowcountry cuisine to celebrate. And of course, staycating. More on that later...

In the meantime, I just listed two new designs in the shop!

How about this simple little sewing machine silhouette? Cute, right?


Or my new favorite, this "thinking of you" card with the adorable swing...


You like? And did you know that these aren't printed? I actually design each image, cut them out of cardstock and adhere them to the card, so they have some dimension and texture to them. Love.

Also, guess what? My sweet friend and fellow Navy wife, Hannah, is hosting a giveaway this month over on her blog and today is the day that she's giving away a shop credit to Marvelous Prints! So scoot on over for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate. You could get a lot with that, dearies. Just sayin' :)

Happy Tuesday!
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