Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodnight 2013, Goodnight.

Well it's another year in the books for the Archers.  Who knew this year would be such a game changer for our little familia?? I sure didn't.  But honestly, 2013 was pretty eventful and has made me an even more happy wife, prouder parent and more dedicated friend (I hope!). This blog is sometimes my cross to bear, but it's posts like these that make it worth it! Here's your baby book, O!

A few highlights of our 2013 ---

Jan - March was pretty quiet in our little house on Magnolia... But a huge feat, Owen started walking (finally) a little after the new year.

We hung out with friends at the Children's Museum and learned how much more fun (i.e. a workout for mama) it was when you could all run around and play.

The Crew.

April we put the house on the market and ended up buying our new home which we are pretty darn happy with and moved into Memorial Day weekend...

 Becoming accustom to the new stairs.

Summer months were spent going to the beach, hanging with friends and just playing in the new backyard. And we experienced our first trip to our lovely local Brenner Children's Hospital to patch up with 6 stitches your first busted eye. The docs were very impressed with how well you handled it (while they had you mummy-wrapped down to get the job done).

You wouldn't step foot on the sand and had to be carried all over that beach.

Your first game of mini golf. YOU LOVED IT (no surprise)

We also introduced some gymnastics over the summer which was a big hit.

On the bars, Owen Archer!

 Trying to catch lightening bugs in the back yard.

 Jumping off the side at GeGe's.  You LOVED it (by August -grrr)

Stealing kisses at Wade's birthday party. Ahhh, sweet May May xo

End of summer brought Labor day where we were shocked with the news of Baby #2 (and #3 for a bit).
Thankful for this wonderful nugget that is coming into our lives in a few short MONTHS!!!

Happy family of 3 - soon to be 4!!

Fall we celebrated Halloween on our new street with our best buddies.

Owen and Mary Wren as adorable Garden Gnomes.  

Everyone soon got the hang of it and kept trying to go into everyone's houses! Hilarious!

Big rides at the Fair!

Happy Fall, Yall!

November I was super busy with Boutique, which was a huge success.


Owen turned 2 and continued to wow and amaze us with his skills and happy-go-lucky kid style.

Happy Birthday balloons were a must.

We love this special trio of November babes.

December we celebrated Christmas with family and friends and found out our newest member will be a sweet baby girl. (I still pinch myself on the reg)
waving to Santa at the WS Jaycee's Holiday Parade. Our newest family tradition.

Mom asks, "Owen are you having a baby brother or a baby sister?"
Owen says, "a baby sister!"
(every time, you almost never wavered)

His very own Guitar from Santa.

Owen opening his 3rd Nativity...(I think we get it family - take this child to church!)

2014 can only be brighter and better.
But I know whatever is dealt that may seem rough and tough, we can weather any storm.

A few things I'd like to tackle in 2014---

Making time for John and our relationship. More date nights with just the two of us, Less TV after dinner and more talking to each other.

Going to church a little more on the regular (the 3 nativities really did me in this year).

Continue to work on the new house and hopefully complete a couple projects we have on our wish list.

Focusing on the things that are important to my loved ones and making sure they know how loved they are by me!

I also plan to be better about birthdays this year.  Sending cards or small gifts to family members and loved ones.  It is their special day and I hope to let them know how special they are to me this year.

Oh and just becoming a mom to a girl. I am so excited and scared and I just hope she likes me ;)

Happy New Year to you all!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Eve

May your days be merry and bright!

I am working today for a bit as to save some of my time for maternity leave.  O is spending the morning with Nana and John's doing some things around the house and last minute gift pick-ups for my slack-ass.  We are lucky to not have too travel far to see our loved ones.  

I can't believe Christmas is already here.  A few more days and the tree will come down and all we will back to normal.  I am excited to see O's reaction tomorrow morning to the gifts from his pal, Santa. He has been a good boy and will get everything he's asked for!  

I am so thankful for our sweet, sweet boy.  I hope he always feels loved and enjoys being with his family as much as he does right now.  

In the years to come, I just want the holidays to be about what counts to our family.  

Spending time with the ones you love and realizing how fortunate we are to have our wonderful home, our good health, closets and rooms full of things to keep us warm and entertain and enjoy, and food in the fridge.

That is all that matters.

Not how many presents are under the tree or how full the stockings are. We are so blessed throughout the year and one day shouldn't be about how many gifts are there but the gifts we receive all year long.  

This one day should be a time of reflection and thanks. And Jesus! It's should be about Jesus! ;)  

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2013

baby sister...

Well looks like we hit the jackpot.

It's a baby girl!

Here's her sweet profile pic at 18 weeks.

And very similar to her big brother!

We are all just over the moon and can't wait to meet this sweet girl and complete our lucky family.

Merry Christmas to everyone and Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday's jam

an all time favorite

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

empty walls

So this post will be a LOT lighter than yesterday's, I promise!!

I am so tired of our empty walls in our new home.  I know, you say, we just moved in like a few months ago. No, 6 months actually.  But this is like our long term, forever home and I really want to only do things once. Well big things like having built ins put in in our living room on either side of the faux fireplace and mantle.

 photo of our living room (from O's bday) See the space flanking the fireplace? 
Perfect for some custom built-ins.

Something similar here.

Next up is our bathroom. The wallpaper is pealing so my next nap time project (hahaha) is to start stripping. Hope to paint a light gray (to compliment the turquoise tile walls) and hang some black and white photos and a shelf or two.

No before photo so here's some of my inspiration:

And last our Den.  We have the TV sitting on a stand in front of a huge blank wall.  I hope one day to mount the TV and get a larger base for the boxes and such.

Just LOVE the mix in both of these images.

One day...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Archer baby number dos

(Full Disclosure - this post is lengthy. Get your coffee / wine / sippy and settle in for story time!)

 Archer baby dos at 12 weeks - perfect little being

Archer baby dos at 12 weeks - profile almost identical to its big brother

So I mentioned in my "thankful" post that we are expecting baby number 2 in May of next year.  So very excited to complete our family.  Bringing another child into our lives is wonderful and such a blessing but I must be honest so many mixed emotions coming this time around.

My first trimester was a doosey, to say the least.  At 6 weeks I went to the ER with stomach pain and cramping that I thought was possibly an ectopic pregnancy (i.e. GAS).  While we were there they did a few scans and we were told after waiting many hours that there were 2 babies. We were having twins.  It took us 9 months to get pregnant with O and we were initially thinking it would take us a few months to get pregs the second time around. And nope.  One month of 'trying but NOT trying' lead to me getting knocked up twice. Two separate times! There were 2 completely separate eggs fertilized each with their own sacs and placentas growing inside of me.

Hense the extreme cramping and feeling of more pain and wanting to go to bed at 7:30 every night.  

I was floored.  If I wasn't already laying in a hospital bed I probably would have either passed out or starting choking the doc.  It was a complete shock.  Here I was thinking I could be loosing a baby and you are telling me I have 2? It was nothing I had ever imagined.  All I could think about was double strollers, how would we afford them, how would I nurse 2 babes, what about Owen - would he feel completely lost and abandoned?, how could I go back to work with 3 babes in daycare?, why would God give me all this knowing I couldn't handle it. Or maybe I could.  My close friends were very supportive and motivating. Shocked but supportive and motivating.  It was a blessing, we were great parents and God knew if anyone could do it we could.  My OB was amazing and and supportive.  I was as selfish as I could be in the situation and honestly I just wanted one baby.  I said this out loud many times. But she was honest and told me, don't tell anyone until you are at least 18 weeks...really, anything can happen and this is a very sensitive time.  So in the back of my head, I know something could happen. I had known girls that this had happened to and was trying to keep an open mind until we knew either way. But during the next few weeks I came to grips with the idea.  I started to accept it as the truth.  And along with acceptance came the guilt. Guilt for feeling selfish and scared.  So many ladies I knew with fertility troubles and multiple miscarriages. My heart broke for all of them and here I was with 2 babes. How does this happen?

And just when I really started to believe this all might be my reality I woke up the Monday of my 8th week and had bleeding.  And I knew we had to get to the doc immediately. After many phone calls and getting to work and literally getting in the car and going to the hospital I was there getting my scan to see what was going on.  Both babes were there, but one was showing at 6 weeks with a strong heartbeat and one was not showing growth or a good heartbeat.  So here it was - still too early to tell, the dr said, it would be a "wait and see" kinda deal.  She said it was what was called a twin demise.  And it was early enough that my body would absorb the loss and the Baby A - that looked healthy & strong - would not be affected.  I scheduled a follow up visit in a week to come back for a scan to check on them again and see what had happened.

A week later we went to my OBs office for the scan.  There it was, one healthy beautiful baby, heart just fluttering away.  Baby A = check.  On to find baby B.  Holding my breath it felt like eons until they found it. Baby B was there but no sizeable growth of the fetus, no heartbeat registering.  It was miscarrying.  The radiologist confirmed it was a twin demise.  I burst into tears. Tears of loss and sadness and tears of relief and guilt.  Guilt that I was relieved.  She was supportive and kind and I knew there was nothing I had done to make this happen.  I had every right to cry as this had been such an emotional roller coaster in just 8 short weeks.

Now we are at 18 weeks and Friday is our scan to see if we are having another precious boy or entering the whole new world of sweet, sassy girls.  I am very excited.  Was feeling boy, but now I just don't know. Every time you ask O if he is having a baby brother or baby sister he says baby sister. So we shall see!

I still think about our lost baby and when I share the news of our pregnancy I have a hard time not talking about the one that isn't with us.  Just 6 or so weeks growing inside me and it had a profound effect on me. My doctors have since talked more in detail with me about the demise and I hope and think I have dealt with my feelings so that nothing comes after I deliver baby dos, but if so I will deal with them as they come.  But I am truly thankful. Thankful that I have such a wonderful husband, who couldn't have been more excited at the idea of having twins, amazing parents and in-laws and friends who called to check on me and were there to listen and offer support daily. Thankful that I still have one healthy to come into our lives.  I know they will be forever changed.

I wrote this mostly for me - So I could go back and read when I couldn't remember details or to just rehash old feelings and such - so much happens during a pregnancy and it can be so hard to remember those little details. But sometimes it's not hard at all.  

I am so excited for Friday and can't wait to start planning for this little one! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Archer Eats

I am a very lucky wife.  My husband cooks dinner almost every night. I do clean up which is a nice trade-off, since he is such a great cook and I am such a great cleaner :)  Sometimes I do get a spurt of wanting to do the cooking and Pinterest usually helps.  I have never met a casserole that I didn't love and here are a few new ones we tried out recently.

SkinnyTaste's Cheeseburger Casserole
This chick knows what she's doing.  Healthy, tasty and leftovers are my top 3 requests for dinner :)

- 2 cups uncooked rotini pasta
- 2 tsp oil
- 1.5 cups onions, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 28 oz diced tomatoes (don't drain)
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 cups reduced fat grated cheddar cheese (I did 1 cup cheddar, 1 cup colby jack)
- 1/4 cup chopped dill pickles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9/x13 baking dish with cooking spray. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta according to the package and drain well.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat.  Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Stir in beef and cook until browned; season with salt and pepper.  Stir in tomato paste, then add diced tomatoes and mustard.  Let the mixture bubble gently until it is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

Toss the meat mixture with pasta and spread in baking dish.  Top with cheeses and bake for about 15 minutes.  Add pickles to top and serve.

This is easy and delish and check out her website for details on calories and ways to make it even healthier! Thank you Skinnytaste!

Chicken Broccoli Cheese Casserole

This one screams comfort and add some nice soft white rice in a bowl and we are done.
Boil and shred 3 chicken breasts and place in casserole dish
Thaw 1 bag of frozen broccoli and chop fairly fine,add over chicken in dish, salt and pepper to taste.
In separate bowl, mix 2 cans (I only used one) of cream of chicken soup, 1 cup of mayo and 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese & 1 cup colby jack cheese all together.
Take soup/cheese and mix in with broccoli & chicken. You want to make sure the sauce and chicken/broccoli and evenly covered.
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

Add rice to the side or cover the rice with the casserole.  DELISH!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Owen updates

Owen is well into his second year with no holds bars.  He talks in full sentences, "Bye bye Frankie, Be a good boy, See you later" when he leaves for school.  Every morning we drive by the Children's Home on our way to school and they have a lovely nativity in the yard of the school.  I talk to Owen about the sheep and cows and shepherds and wise men and baby Jesus, Mary and Joesph.  After telling him Mary and Joseph were Jesus' mommy & daddy he said "and Frank too Mama".  That boy loves his dog. (Even though poor Frank doesn't love him as much)

I know they say the 2's are terrible, but I just see wonder and amazement when I look at him.  He is sweet, loving, funny, silly, full of emotion and chatter.  When he is mad or frustrated it is so short lived annoying as hell, but we work through it.... This morning was a pure example. But for the most part, he is easy going and just gets it. And when it's time to go to bed he is ready to go to bed.

This week we were eating dinner and I got him to share some of his favorite shapes and colors with me.

I asked John over the weekend if he ever feels like his heart may explode by looking at him and hearing his words and thoughts. He agreed and told me that was the feeling of pure joy.  And it's true.  Owen is our pure joy. When he's not fighting me in the morning about not getting his coat on and going to school and I have to bribe him with seeing Santa & Emlo...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bedding Plans

The bedroom's been painted and the curtains & mirror have been hung.  Now we need new bedding. (Isn't it always something?!)  I am leaning more towards something a little piecey - mixed and nothing simple or matchy but definitely cozy and eclectic... in the most natural way.  Sounds easy enough. Right?

A few images for inspiration (all can be found on my pinterest board)

Love the pop of red here.  Our room is now a dark dark blue - almost navy with a kick and pairs well with cremes and khakis.  

Mix it up, baby!

Almost the exact color of our walls.  Love the black and white. 
Definitely not scared of going against the grain here.  

Also dreaming of some substantial night stands... but Craigslist is failing hard on that delivery... Hopefully I will have some photos tonight and can update tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

In Just One Year

And now he loves him...

Well, give the kid a candy cane and he would probably "love" just about anyone.  But he hasn't stop talking about Santa Claus since this day.  Pretty sweet.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Oh Danny!

In case you missed this from last week's The Mindy Project.  I giggled the whole way thru... #ilovedanny

Even better recap here.

Don't you just love this show??

Monday, December 9, 2013

What would you do?

This post is truly a fashion vs design dilemma.... what would you do? (and why is dilemma the strangest looking word right now? deee limma not diii lemma....)

So last week I was at Target and purchased this sweet quilted faux leather jacket.  I was hoping to wear it to our big holiday party last Friday night - but with temps in the 70s it didn't seem necessary.  So now I have a cute jacket but not really sure when or where I will wear it. I know, you say, def something I can wear with anything - although can't really zip up due to my increasing waist line...but with a cute top and some maternity jeans, it could be a winner.

Sunday we (or should I say John) spent the day painting our bedroom (FINALLY). He did an awesome job and finished the room in one day.  It was a few hours but he knocked it out.  Curtains will go up and I found the perfect mirror to hang above the bed.  Also from Target!

So here's the dilemma.  Should I return the jacket for the mirror? Or just buy the mirror since it's definitely a bargain and use my cartwheel deal for another 15% off?

decisions, decisions...