OUR FAMILY PHOTOSHOOT BY R.R.B PHOTOGRAPHY

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Our little family recently did a BEAUTIFUL photoshoot with Emily who owns R.R.B Photography. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Emily as well as the amazing quality of these pictures. Our experience was pretty much perfect aside from our sweet girl being in a slightly grumpy mood. Emily worked around us soothing Adalyn and somehow was able to nail some WONDERFUL shots. Addy cried for most of the session so how great these came out seriously shows how talented she is. This was our families first ever professional pictures and they keep bringing tears to my eyes. I fully 100000% recommend Emily to anyone looking to get pictures done. I linked her website above and you definitely should check her out for all of your photography needs if you are in the Northern Virginia area. I already want to book 12 more sessions! Emily, you've given us a gift that will last us a lifetime and means more than you know. Thank you for the amazing experience and the beautiful photos I will cherish forever.

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW

 

If you know me personally than you know I really am not a fan of anything super cliche', so I found myself really debating whether or not I wanted to do a "2016 Year In Review" post. When I really thought about it and I thought about the insanity we have been through this year, I realized that I had to.

2016 started out on a hilarious note. LIterally, I mean right when midnight hit of 2016. At the time we were living at Camp Lejeune off of base in a not so fabulous neighborhood. By "not so fabulous" I mean that places would not deliver food to that side of town because apparently the neighborhoods were that unsafe. We also found that weird because our neighborhood was made up of a lot of military families, however at 11:58pm on December 31, 2015, we all learned that opposite. Imagine sitting around with a bunch of friends drinking while playing Apples to Apples and then boom! Multiple gunshots go off. Yes y'all, gunshots. Everyone stopped and looked at each other and in a split second all the boys were up grabbing their own guns and running to the door trying to figure out what the hell had just happened. At the same time the rest of the neighborhood had showed up outside, as well as about 6 cop cars. My husband and his guy friends were all outside talking to the cops right as the clock hit midnight. Of course my over dramatic ass ran out there while they were talking and grabbed his face to get my New Years kiss. So let's just say 2016 started off with a major bang... or four.

The next following months I dub as some of the most aggravating months of the year.  In January we moved and then we began the "hurry up and wait" process of my husbands EAS, which means the long, annoying process of him getting out of the Marine Corps. Man oh man was that process annoying. We knew he was going to be going on 31 day terminal leave in April and he was officially out in May, but the amount of crap that has to be done during that time frame is insane. We are talking about months upon months of trying to track down military issued equipment that he hasn't seen or used in years, driving back and forth al over the place checking on the status of paperwork, and hours spent in the car waiting for finalizing appointments to be finished just to get a single signature. At the time my husband had made some previously not smart driving choices so guess who got to drive him around daily, for months, for hours upon hours to get all this stuff done? You guessed it! Yours truly! Honestly I didn't mind because I love spending time with him but Camp Lejeune has zero cell phone service on base so I was sitting in a car bored off of my ass half the time. 

April rolls around and we are once again on standby. At this point we decided to deny Andrews job offer in Savannah, Georgia and instead move back home to Virginia where both of our families are. We had no idea when they were going to officially let us leave, so it was nothing but packing and unpacking for weeks. We finally got the go ahead and headed home Mid-April. This is when shock set in of the real world. I personally was against Andrew leaving the Marine Corps as was both of our families but y'all, he really hated it. He loved the friends he met and the lifestyle but he really did not like his job or who he worked for and how things were ran. I knew he was going to have a rough adjustment to civilian life and man was I right. We really missed all the friends we had made and just how living down in North Carolina was.

The following months consisted of working, family time, and the obvious, making a little human! Words do not describe the joy we both were consumed with when we found out I was pregnant again. Sometimes I feel bad because being pregnant is all I talk about but guys, you have to realize that there was a point where Andrew and I were becoming terrified that something was wrong and it just wouldn't happen naturally for us. I struggled with seeing myself with a baby belly or feeling baby kicks because having 2 miscarriages back to back in under 6 months is not very common. This caused us to be on red alert talking about the route we would take in the future to have children.  We want 4 kids guys so we knew that it was time to get to work creating a family. So when the end of July rolled around and I could feel weird things going on with my body, I was praying so hard that we were in fact pregnant this time and that this baby would stick. I tested for 2 weeks straight (seriously 14 days) before getting a positive and I collapsed on the floor in tears. I remember calling Andrew and he had no idea what was going on because I was crying so hard and I finally gave up trying to tell him and just sent him a picture of the test. That truly was one of the most incredible moments of this year and one I will never forget.

What I didn't know then was that I was about to go through some hell. If you've been following my pregnancy journey than you know that this Mamma has had it rough. I was issued a high risk pregnancy, diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidum at 10 weeks after a lovely ER visit, was put on light bed rest shortly after, and have been so sick this entire pregnancy that I weigh 28lbs LESS than I did prior to getting pregnant. Now that we are entering the 24th week of my pregnancy, we are now dealing with the concerns of very high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and a possible early scheduled c-section for Miss Adalyn Grace. Luckily I have a doctors appointment this week with a new OBGYN to go over everything to see where we are at with our concerns and how to deal with them from here on out.

But guys, did you catch that one part? 24 weeks! I am almost 24 freakin' weeks! That means that in 10 weeks from now, we will literally be in the final countdown to meeting our daughter! I cried just typing that out. I cannot wait. Oh my gosh I cannot wait to see her and hold her and kiss her and annoy her for the rest of my life. It's going to be wonderful. 

Stepping into 2017 I find myself full of anticipation. This year everything is going to change. Everything. We will have a child, the one thing my husband and I wanted more than anything in this world. Every little event such as going to the mall, visiting family, or even just hanging out is going to be different because of her. I cannot wait. 

One major thing I want to commit to in 2017 is being more frequent with my blog. You guys have no idea how hard I am on myself when it comes to what is seen on here. There are so many posts, pictures, graphics, and other things that don't make the cut because I hold myself to stupidly high standards. I need to work on not being so hard on myself about this and just go back to it being for fun instead of striving for perfection. I am going to try to commit to 2-3 posts a week, especially once little girl comes!

Looking back at 2016, there were moments my heart shattered but I am so blessed to have ended it on such a beautiful note. I have an incredible husband and marriage. We say all the time that we are our own relationship goals. There is no other man I would want to be the daddy to all my children and no other man I would want to call my husband. We are both blessed with amazing families who are supportive and loving. I am so blessed and thankful to step into 2017 and see what the New Year brings!

THANKSGIVING 2016

 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I love love LOVE this holiday. Aside from the amazing food, in my family its a mini jump start of Christmas. Every year since I was about 5 my grandmother has always decorated for Christmas the week before Thanksgiving so that all of the decorations are up for us to enjoy them. We used to decorate the tree after Thanksgiving dinner, but we all began to notice that my grandmother would always go back and move the ordainments around once we were done. She claims it was to make the tree more even, but I fully believe it's because certain people (me) would purposely place all their ordainments front and center.  

Our day stated off a little stressful. Both our families obviously celebrate Thanksgiving but getting to both houses is during the Thanksgiving dinner time frame is extremely stressful. Last year we were still living in North Carolina at Camp Lejeune so we were only able to come up for 2 days before having to head back to base. Those 2 days were horribly stressful. I hate saying that but it was too much and by the end of the trip we found ourselves wishing we had just stayed in North Carolina.

Here's why.  My parents house is about 45 minutes away from my grandparents in Arlington where we celebrate all the holidays starting at 4:00pm. Andrews parents live out in the middle of nowhere 2 hours away in the opposite direction of Arlington and start dinner around 5:00pm.  So for us to get to everyones house on Thanksgiving during the dinner time frame, that requires us driving almost 1 hour in one direction to stay for 45 minutes or less, then to almost immediately turn back around and drive 2 hours in the other direction and only be there less than an hour because of how late it is, miss dinner completely, and then to drive 2 hours back home. That puts us in the car for 5 hours without traffic. It was way too much last year and by the end of Thanksgiving, we didn't enjoy it at all. So we had a tough decision this year. Go through the chaos of trying to get to everyone, or make a decision that we will alternate Thanksgiving every year between each home. We ultimately decided to begin alternating. This year with my family, next year with Andrews. At the end of the day, we want to be able to enjoy our holiday and not feel like we are being worn thin. I know since we will have a 7 month old next year that we had to make the decision now and set it in stone so that next year wasn't chaos. So even though we unfortunately couldn't see Andrews family this year, they will have us all of next Thanksgiving, which mainly means they get to see the baby for all of next Thanksgiving.

After we decided on what we were going to do, we got ready for the day and made our trip to Arlington. I love holidays at my grandparents house. It's everything I think anyone would hope a holiday would be. A huge loud family, kids running around everywhere, and lots and lots of food. My grandma makes some of the most amazing food as well (especially the stuffing) so I literally look forward to the stuffing more than anything. My baby bump was definitely a hit this year and I knew my baby bump would love the amazing food it was about to get.

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I had to be careful with eating because I knew if I ate too quickly I would get sick and the last thing I wanted to do was spend Thanksgiving puking. I had a really rough puke morning so I knew I had to be careful. I probably worked on the plate about for about an hour and then rested another 45 minutes before diving into desert. I am so bummed I did not get pictures of desert because it was so good. Plus during desert time my siblings were trying to get everyone to do the manniquen challenge so things were kind of chaotic. 

We stayed for a couple hours and it was so nice. We both were so happy we decided to split the holiday because we were able to actually enjoy everything. Even if we had just went to his parents house, I know we would've had a great time because spending time with family is what's most important. It's crazy for us to think we will have a 7 month old next year at Thanksgiving. I found myself almost tearing up a few times because I am so grateful to have this family. this husband, and this little boy in my belly.

I hope everyone had an amazing holiday and hugs their loved ones a little extra special tonight.

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!