Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Graduation, Finally!

Whew! We made it! Graduation day has come and gone and it is so crazy for me to think about. We worked as a team for four plus years to finally get to this milestone. It took a lot of sacrifice, like moving across the country; zero free time; nights, weekends and holidays consumed with studying; limited quality time together in the early years of marriage; a husband who focuses on studying while the wife does everything around the house and much more. It was four of the hardest years of my life, granted they were littered with other hardships, like everything with my mom and our fertility journey. Grad School is not an easy journey, but we made it through. All that said, this entire journey was so so worth it. We came out on the other end with so many new friendships, so many new experiences and Richard now has a fantastic job and he has so much potential for his future jobs. These last four years have been quite the journey, and they are four years we will never forget. But now we can officially say that we are done! That just feels so nice to say!
So back to graduation weekend. We had a whole bunch of family come to Dallas and then we traveled to Louisiana for the actual graduation ceremony. Richard's parents, his grandma (his mom's mom), his two youngest brothers, my dad, my older sister, my younger sister, Richard and I all attended the graduation ceremony. Before the ceremony, my dad and my sisters headed into Monroe and West Monroe for a tour of our old stomping ground. Neither of my sisters came to see us when we actually lived in Louisiana, so I wanted to give them a mini tour. We started out by having lunch with my three besties from Louisiana which was so much fun. I talked about them a lot in the three years we lived in Louisiana so it was fun for all of them to meet. We of course went to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants since we cannot get that kind of Mexican food in Texas.
After lunch, I drove them through town stopping for some antique shopping, a tour of our old apartment building and of course a stop at Duck Commander. Everyone who came to visit us in Monroe had a picture taken in front of that sign so we had to take one to remember this trip.
Once we were done with our Monroe tour, we headed back to Ruston, where Richard's college is located to meet back up with Richard's family who was just getting into town from Dallas. We then headed out to dinner at our favorite restaurant in Ruston, Dawg House. If you have been reading this blog you have probably heard of Dawg House many times, but it was basically the only place worth going to in Ruston. Dinner was amazing as usual and after a few too many drinks (for Richard not me) we headed back to the hotel. Oh and did I mention it was Richard's birthday? We celebrated with cake and presents back at the hotel before calling it a night and heading to bed.
Graduation morning was busy, but we made it to the ceremony extra early which scored us front row seats for all 9 of us. The ceremony was pretty typical for a graduation ceremony. They do all the undergraduate degrees first and then they got into the graduate school degrees. As I was waiting, I could not help but getting tears in my eyes on multiple occasions. As I mentioned before, these last four years have not been the easiest and it is so hard to believe that it is finally behind us. No more grad school! I had the biggest smile on my face when Richard was officially hooded and I was laughing and crying at the same time. I am just so proud of everything he had to accomplish to get to this point.
Below is a video of Richard being hooded and officially becoming a doctor!!!
After the ceremony, we took a whole bunch of pictures and then headed to lunch at a place called Portico. After lunch, we started the four hour drive back to Dallas. Once in Dallas, we went to dinner at our favorite pizza place for a low key dinner together.
The next morning our celebratory meal was Richard's choice. We ended up doing brunch at a local steakhouse where they serve really nice cuts of meat and other foods for their brunch. The price also included a mimosa for each person and their amazing deserts. When we were done with brunch, we spent the rest of our time with family doing some shopping and other activities before they all headed back home.
Graduation weekend was so busy and it went so fast, but we were so happy to be able to share in this exciting time with our family. It is still so crazy to me that we are legitimately done with his program. I thought the day would never come! Or at the very least I thought it would still be a few years out. I am just so proud of Richard and so so happy to be done. Can you tell?


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Monday, November 28, 2016

Bumpdate | Week 20

How far along? 20 weeks, 4 days in the picture. Currently 21 weeks, 1 day. A little late on the post, but it was a busy weekend last weekend.

Size of baby: Baby is the size of a banana!

Gender: Definitely a girl.

Weight Gain: About 7 pounds so far. My doctor told me that I should start gaining about a pound a week. 

Maternity Clothes: I scheduled a Stitch Fix last week and bought a few items from that fix. More on that in a different post. I also have bought a few items here and there for events coming up in the next few weeks.

Symptoms: Nothing too bad going on over here. The headaches have mostly stayed away, though I will get a small headache every so often. I am still going to the Chiropractor once a week and the massage therapist once a month. I can definitely feel when I need to go see one of them. Other than that, I get really full really fast and then I feel super uncomfortable. The smart thing to do would be to eat smaller meals, but I keep forgetting to actually plan those out. Also, obviously from the sentence previous, pregnancy brain is still going strong. 

Movement: Baby girl is still moving like crazy. I can feel her more consistently, especially in the early morning and right before bed. I have been trying to get Richard to feel it and he finally did the other day! It is still small movements that are hard to feel, but he is pretty sure he felt her.

Sleep: Sleep has been going pretty well I suppose. I always end up being super thirsty right before bed, so I drink a bunch of water and end up waking up quite a bit to go to the bathroom. Other than that, I have been sleeping well, minus a few days over graduation weekend. I think I just had too much on my mind to sleep. Overall, I can't complain.

Baby Purchases: We bought a bunch of baby clothes off an instagram sale. Like way too many clothes. It started as us buying a whole bunch of clothes from a girl I follow on instagram. Then when we were coordinating a local pickup, I asked her if she had any old clothes she was going to donate or did not feel like selling on instagram so she brought a bunch with her when we met up and I bought even more from her. I got some really cute stuff and it is so weird to think we will actually have a tiny baby to fill these tiny little clothes.
Best Moment This Week: Seeing our baby girl again!! It never gets old. We had an ultrasound a few weeks ago, right around 19 weeks. My doctor refers us to a Perinatologist, which is basically a doctor who specializes in ultrasounds. Baby girl is so far healthy and everything looked normal on the ultrasound. We also had confirmation that she is a she so that was nice to know. On the day of the ultrasound, we were told she was breach, but not to worry because she has plenty of time to turn before we get to the end.
Looking Forward To: Christmas! This is our last Christmas without a new baby so we are hoping to enjoy every moment together. It is so weird to think about how not excited I was for Christmas this time last year because we were trying to get pregnant and it felt like it would never happen for us. Now this year we know we will have a baby for the next Christmas and it is so surreal. 


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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thankful

It is that time of year again! Thanksgiving is my favorite meal of the whole year so I can't wait to enjoy it! It is also the time of year to reflect on everything we have in our lives to be thankful for.

So this year I am thankful for...

Graduation. It has finally come and I am so thankful to be done with studying and dissertation. I will have a full weekend update for you next week.
Free time. Now that the dissertation process is done, we suddenly have all this free time to actually enjoy life. It is still weird to me and Richard is definitely still adjusting back to "real life". What do people actually do with all their free time?

New Hobbies. Again with the free time. Richard has taken up some new hobbies to fill his time and lately he has been interested in baking. I can't say I am upset about this because I love me some cookies and some breads. We are making a few things for our Thanksgiving meal and it should be a good time.
Days off work. This past weekend was a busy one and I am grateful to have some extra paid time off work for Thanksgiving. We have a weekend filled with food, shopping, and Christmas decorating.

My Husband. Because life just would not be the same without him. He has also been doing so much around the house these days which is especially nice since I do not have the energy to keep up with it anymore.

Baby. I am so thankful for the tiny little peanut that we have on the way. I love feeling her move and every time I stop to feel her it reminds me to slow down and enjoy every moment in this pregnancy.

Family. We are grateful that everyone came down for graduation and that we could spend so much time with each other. And some days we are grateful that we can have alone time with just us in our own quiet house.


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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Plank Wall | Bedroom Project

We have slowly been decorating our bedroom throughout the last year or so and we finally have an almost finished product. We just need to hang some things on the wall and then we will be complete!

Here is a little time lapse of how our bedroom came to be. We bought a kingsize bed, then a yellow rug that we ended up putting in the living room, then we bought a headboard and made night stands, then we switched out the lamps and added a new rug. We lived with that for a while before we started this project.
So back to our project, I knew I wanted some sort of accent wall behind our bed. We bought our headboard from Pottery Barn and I love it, but it is really dark so I wanted something white behind the bed. We explored our options for a while and decided on a DIY plank wall. We started by buying a 1/4" sheet of Plywood that was 4 feet by 8 feet that we had cut down while we were at Home Depot. Since the board was only 1/4" thick, it was the exact thickness of the trim already in our room so we did not have to worry about redoing the trim at all. It created a seamless look. We had Home Depot cut the wood into 6" strips that were then 8 feet long. Based on our wall size, we calculated that we would need 4 pieces of plywood.
Our wall is roughly 12 feet wide and almost 9 feet tall. Since our boards were only 8 feet long, we needed about one and a half boards for each row. We created a pattern that we repeated every three rows. The first row was an 8 foot board plus a 4 foot board. Next row was a 4 foot board plus an 8 foot board. The next row was a 2 foot board plus an 8 foot board plus another 2 foot board. We then repeated that pattern all the way down the wall. The first step we took once home was to find the studs and mark them all the way down the wall.
Next, we followed our pattern adding one board at a time. We just used a finishing nailer to attach the boards, but we later realized we should have used glue along the edges of the boards because they bow out a little bit. Richard ended up going back through and gluing down the edges. Also, we used pennies to create equal space between all of the boards. We wanted there to be a visible space between boards so it did not end up just looking like one solid piece of wood.
We continued down the wall until we got to the outlets at the bottom. Richard had to notch out holes in the boards for the two outlets we had to plank around. We just sort of winged it and figured it out as we went and it worked out. The one strip of wood looks different because that piece of plywood was significantly lighter for some reason.
After we were completely done planking the wall, we then painted the wood white to match the trim. Then we painted the rest of the room a blue/grey color. I love the color we picked out. It is subtle, but in person it is obviously blue without being too overwhelming. Here are some before and after pictures! I love the result and all the work we have put in to this room to make it exactly what I envisioned. Now we just need some wall decor.



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