Category Archives: Let’s Be Adults

Holy cow. We’re having a baby.

12th February 2019

As I sit here closing in on 17 weeks, I still can’t believe I’m typing those little words: we’re. having. a. baby.

Patrick and I started dating when we were 18 year old, babies ourselves, and still we talked about kiddos for about as far back as I can remember. Those of you who know us well can likely even recall a conversation with P where he spoke of the “soccer team” he hoped to have one day.

After getting married in 2014, we took our time. We traveled. We built careers. We built a home. We traveled some more. I always assumed we’d settle into building our own little league crew quickly, but as time went on, we found ourselves calling time outs, feeling we weren’t quite there yet.

We spent my 29th birthday in the car tackling a seven hour drive up I20 to Ocean Isle Beach to catch the solar eclipse with my family (spoiler alert: it rained). I spent a solid three of those hours working up the courage to broach the subject that we’d assumed was a given nearly a decade earlier. Somewhere past the Augusta line, I finally blurted out the words “I think I want go stop taking birth control” Patrick laughed at me. His response “you’ve been holding that in for three hours haven’t you?”

And off we went. Whether it was the Catholic guilt, that scene in Mean Girls or the stellar sexual education I received in middle school, I had it in my head that once you stop preventing pregnancy, there it is. Wham. Baby. So when weeks turned into months, turned into a year, it took its toll.

For those of you who were along that journey of crazy with me, God bless you. I’m not sure what I would have done without your calls to ask how it was going, to be a shoulder when I needed to cry on or to be the ear that listened when I just felt like screaming at the world. You’ll never know what those conversations meant to me. “What if” followed behind me like a lurking puppy and it if weren’t for your questioning when I’d fall quiet, your prayers and your encouragement, I would have punched that puppy in the face. This thing I’d be told would happen if I as much looked at a boy just would. not. happen.

This past fall, we started the journey of testing to get some answers. By early October, after a flurry of testing appointments, I had my first ultrasound appointment that started with the tech asking if we were “coding this as infertility” and ending with a cheerful sendoff of “I hope to see you here for another reason next time!” Gulp. Here we go.

Following that visit, when my doctor didn’t have too many clear answers for me (things looked a little off, but not so off to warrant medication), we talked about what was next (P getting tested), what would be next after that (a potential surgery in the new year) and we would go from there. While it was overwhelming, felt ready to brace for the impact of what could be a longer road that I could have ever imagined sharing with my 18-year-old self.

Then low and behold, two days after Thanksgiving and five days after a missed period and in the midst of terrible cramps, I took a test. A test that I hadn’t even purchased for myself. I hadn’t needed to. A test that had been sitting in my medicine cabinet for nearly a year (expired? who knows?) and after a few minutes, that one little word emblazoned on it: pregnant.

Boy does God’s timing just get us sometimes. Just a few short weeks later, we were back in the doctor’s office and this time I think my doctor was the one ready to cry — happy tears. We were expecting. Here are a few examples of what we would have missed if it happened just months, even weeks, sooner than it did.

  • I wouldn’t have celebrated the making it through in-Restaurant days with my work bestie by clicking champagne glasses in Chicago (literally my last glass!)
  • We couldn’t have had a care-free trip filled with pisco, penguins and endless hikes to South America with my brother.
  • I wouldn’t have lead the launch of quite possibly the biggest project of my career at Chick-fil-A.

I woke Patrick up to tell him, he asked to go back to bed and I headed out the door to yoga, thinking, “gosh, there is no way.” After picking up new, not questionably expired, pregnancy tests at Target, we confirmed it was indeed a thing.  

The weeks that followed were the most anxiety inducing of my life. I clung to every Google search for what could been happening in my body convinced this could not finally be true after so many years of dreaming. 

We had the chance to tell both sets of parents, together, on Christmas eve and they were over the moon. Our requests to keep the news a secret from our large families lasted approximately eight minutes. We would tell our friends and our coworkers in the weeks to come, each hug a little sweeter than the last. 

So that brings us to today. Today we’re nearly 17 weeks along with this little one who I’ve affectionately named nugget, mostly as I ask he or she to behave as I’m dying to run up Mount Kilimanjaro that until a few months ago was only the neighborhood hill on Skyland. Today, I’m still nearly as nervous as I was 18 months ago but even more thrilled than I could have ever imagined 12 years ago. 

Patrick and I can’t wait to add a little adventurer to our crew in late July – girl or boy, we don’t intend to find out until he or she makes an arrival onto this earth. We pray that things continue to go smoothly, but if they don’t, we pray for understanding and trust that God has us exactly where we are meant to be, no matter what life might throw our way. 

To our littlest nugget, my prayer for you is that you come into this world ready to tackle the next adventure by our sides. I pray that you’ll be ready to be the leader of the pack, God willing, because we think the world is waiting on you. I pray that you’ll always keep an open mind and a curious heart towards those around you. And finally, I pray that you know that you are so, so loved beyond measure. 

To anyone reading this in a season of waiting, a season of miscarriage, or a season of what feels like endless non-answers, gosh, I. Am. With. You. We are thankful that our story has continued with easier answers than expected, but I understand that is not the case for everyone and gosh, I can’t even begin to fathom what you’ve each experienced. I can’t begin to imagine how every story is different and I wish I could lift each and every one of you up in hugs, share with you a glass of wine and even respond to that feeling of I just want to punch my ovaries in the face. If someone can ever do any of the above for you, let it be me, I’m your girl.  

What we Choose

10th November 2016

On the morning of November 8th, I stumbled out of bed before the sun, laced up my Nikes and headed out the door to Ashford Park Elementary school. I arrived to a snaking line of quiet people. I hoped they didn’t mind my sweaty face. At least I brushed my teeth.

A few minutes later, a kind woman named Janice handed me a voter card. Maybe it was the endorphins kicking in, but there was something profoundly special to be had by standing in a voting booth at 7:15 am.

Let’s recount. I ran here. No one stopped me on the street. I never feared for my safety jogging in the dark. I arrived at the polling place. No one hassled me. I was handed a voter card. No one tried to keep me from expressing my opinion. And then I clicked a button on a screen for the candidate of my choice. No one forced my hand. And you know what, I got to choose a WOMAN as President of the United States of America.

No matter which side of the aisle you sit on, let’s not forget how incredible important every step of that routine was. You were given the freedom to make your own decision. Your choice wasn’t dictated to you by your race, your gender, your religion or someone else’s opinion. Your choice was in fact, yours.

November 9th was a little tougher to swallow. I’m sad. I’m angered. I’m tired. As the sun set yesterday, I forced myself to pull those Nikes back out of the closet and lace up, because, hey, endorphins.

This morning, my outlook is a little different than it was 48 hours ago. Maybe I’m reaching a new state of grief 😉 Here’s the conclusion: no man or woman in the White House is going to dictate how I spend today, tomorrow, or next week and nor should they any of us.

The best way to move forward is to choose to move forward. For me, that means I’ll choose to love, including those with whom I disagree or don’t understand. I’ll choose to listen, including to ideas I find troublesome. I’ll choose to talk and read and learn and act. I’ll choose to lift up the little girl with a dream and tell her she’s valued, she’s equal, she matters and she can do whatever the heck she wants to do. I’ll keep choosing.

We have work to do. It’s going to take time to put this one behind us. But guess what, we all get play a part in that work. We get to choose how to move forward. For millions of people around the world, choosing isn’t a reality. Let’s not forget that. This isn’t Donald’s work. Or Hillary’s work. It’s all of ours. Let’s put on our big girl pants and choose to make the world a better place. Together.

To my baby sister on her 21st birthday

25th March 2016

I don’t recall begging our parents for another sibling. I had one of those. He was my dinosaur bone seeking, bike ramp building, lava monster avoiding, best friend.

But the day you arrived, that changed.

It was a different kind of Christmas morning to wake up and have your aunt share the news: you were big siblings and a baby sister was coming home. We had never been prouder, Erik and I.

As you began to walk, talk, run and pull bows out of your hair, it became clear that we were destined to be opposites. I coveted dresses, you despised them. I kept shy, you stole the show. For years, our relationship was grounded more often in yelling than rainbows and hugs.

We heard it over, over and over again: someday she’ll be your best friend.

I can report that bit is true, moms never make mistakes. Here we are, not tiptoeing, but sauntering through our twenties, side by side. I had an inkling we would reach this point, but no amount of family stories can prepare you for what I’ve encountered.

You are my opposite in nearly every way, and I thank God every day for that. In some way, with seven less years on this Earth, you’ve taught us all more than a thing or two and for that, thank you.

Thank you for reminding me to never accept anything but the best. Be that friends, former boyfriends, or a great pair of shoes. Never lose your incredibly high standards, the rest of the world could stand to meet them.

Thank you for showing me that confidence is the best thing a girl can wear. You astonish us all with your ability to command a room, hold your head high and stand your ground, no matter who or what you are up against.

Thank you for constantly pulling me back down to earth and stressing the importance of a good day spent in bed, wearing leggings instead of pants and reminding me that yes, it can wait, Sweet Home Alabama is on T.V.

As you celebrate your 21st birthday, my wish for you is to never cease your ability to make us all to be a little braver, more rambunctious and more compassionate in every moment we encounter. Cheers to endless taco date nights, champagne toasts, movie nights and crossing our fingers that no soul encounters our judgmental gif conversations.

7,671 days after day one, I’m just as proud to wear that big sister title, if only I still had a t-shirt to go with it. Happy Birthday.