Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Favorites

1. FAVORITE BOOK?
This lil momma needs your help! I am in the market for a new read. Now that I'm no longer in graduate school, I realize I have way more free time on my hands, which I am grateful for. I am looking for a new book that will help me develop more as a Christian wife/woman/mommy. Or if you have something to suggest that doesn't fall into this category, let me know anyways! Ready, set, suggest!
*************************************************
2. FAVORITE PURCHASE.
I just bought my mini the most adorable swaddle blanket, complete with her name all over it. Throughout my pregnancy, Etsy has owned my life and my bank account. But here's a suggestion to Etsy sellers: if you stop making your things so much, I'll stop buying. Kensington is gonna be such a spoiled little babe. 
*************************************************
3. FAVORITE RECIPES.
I'm dreaming of a date with my kitchen over the weekend. If I get around to it, I want to make this, this, and this. I feel like such a chef whenever I duplicate Pinterest recipes. Please tell me that I'm not alone.
*************************************************
4. FAVORITE MONTH.
Hey (almost) March, hey! Not only is it my birthday month (shout out to Friday the 13th!) but I also have some other fun things going on likeeeee... prenatal doctor appointments, our second anatomy scan, and a prepared childbirth class. The only thing that I'm not looking forward to is the gestational diabetes test. It's not that I'm worried about the sugary drink (I can totes handle that) but rather I am worried about the results. Praying that my glucose levels are normal and healthy!
*************************************************
5. FAVORITE THING (in general).
Each day I wake up counting my blessings. That's because Kensington is the one who wakes me up. Something about the morning time and me shifting around in bed makes her want to kick momma in all places possible. There is no greater feeling than when she's punching, kicking, and dancing in my womb. Each week, my love grows deeper and deeper for my daughter. Praise my Savior for this miracle! 
Today I am linking up for Friday Favorites, Five on Friday, and Oh hey, Friday!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I'm The Only Person In American That Doesn't Eat Ranch Dressing

Three names that people call me (other than Allison):
1. Alli
2. Preggo
3. By my maiden name (although I've been married 3.5 years now)

Three jobs I’ve had:
1. Academic Advisor
2. University operator
3. Administrative Assistant 

Three movies I’ve watched more than once: 
1. The Notebook
2. Titanic
3. The Hangover III - I could quote every line!
Three books I’d recommend:
1. The Bible (obvi)
2. Wife After God
3. Expecting: Praying for Your Child's Development-Body and Soul

Three places I’ve lived:
1. Belton, TX (hometown)
2. Huntsville, TX (college town)
3. Austin, TX (current residence) 

Three places I've have visited:
1. The Bahamas
2. Germany
3. Playa Del Carmen
Take me back to our Bahamian H-Moon! (2011)
Three places I’d rather be right now:
1. On vacation - anywhere tropical 
2. In bed - because I'm such a homebody
3. Shopping with an endless budget (hehe)

Three things I don’t eat:
1. Anything that lives in the sea
2. Ranch dressing - I think I'm the only person in American that doesn't like ranch
3. Ketchup

Three of my favorite foods:
1. Enchiladas
2. French Toast
3. Donuts  
Three things I’m looking forward to this year: 
1. Meeting my daughter in June - eek!
2. Experiencing all of Kensington's "firsts"
3. Working on our home

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Currently

Watching: Impractical Jokers. Honestly, when I first came across this show, it was because 'nothing else was on TV.' But it has turned into one of my favorite shows. Please tell me y'all have seen it?! Sometimes I will laugh so hard that I start to drool. (I can't believe I just admitted that). I seriously recommend watching some of their clips online if you need a good laugh.

Reading: Expecting: Praying for Your Child's Development-Body and Soul. This book has seriously been my favorite things to read each week. It consists of a new prayer each week, which aligns with the Kensington's weekly growth. 

Wanting: This donut pan! Try your hardest not to laugh at me, but I've mentioned several times before that donuts are my favorite food. Having a donut pan would mean that I could enjoy my favorite sweet treat every now and again with baked donuts instead of fried donuts. It's a win-win. 
Enjoying: The decent sleep that I've gotten lately. Granted, I have to realign my pillows in a different position each night, but it seems to keep me comfortable at night. #preggoprobz

Loving: Entirely too many Etsy baby shops. Kensington stole my heart forever ago, and all I want to do is buy the world's cutest things for her. Like this, this, and this.

Wondering: If anyone else on Planet Earth is super excited about House of Cards season 3 like I am!? My favorite part of the show is when Frank Underwood looks at the camera and talks to us like we're a part of the show. If you haven't watched it, I highly recommend it. The first two seasons are on Netflix and the third season comes out Friday!
Praying: I am constantly thinking about and praying for all of my TTC sisters as they work through fertility struggles. Just to name a few: Amie just transferred two embryos last week, Elena is getting closer to starting her newest round of IVF, and Laynah is not pursuing treatment at this time, but will in the future. I would love to pray for you if you're also struggling! Some blogger friends have emailed me with prayer requests, but I didn't want to expose you on my blog in case you weren't comfortable with that. Just know I'm praying!

Wearing: Totally inappropriate clothing considering the cold and drizzly weather outside. My heart is set on maxi dresses and flip flops. Is that so wrong?

Giggling: I totally posed like this whenever I was 15. Poor girl.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My Life In Numbers

Last April I wrote this post and decided that I liked it so much, why not write another one? 
2
The number of rooms that we are updating in our house. More details to come later, But basically: since we're not moving anytime soon, we are sprucing up two areas of our house.

3
The number of new maternity dresses I've recently purchased (here, here, and here). Now if the weather would cooperate, I would like to wear them. Can I get an amen?

3.5
The number of years Ross and I have been married. Time flies!
6
The number of TV shows that I am currently obsessed with: Vampire Diaries, The Walking Dead, The Bachelor, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Real Housewives of Atlanta, and Vanderpump Rules. Shout out to my DVR for rocking so hard at life.

7
The number of days per week that I crave Mexican food. The struggle is real, y'all.

10
On a scale of 1-10, I am at a level 10 of excitement for The Bachelor. My favorite part of the entire show is The Women Tell All, which is next week! For some reason, I would say this has been my favorite season thus far. Granted, I've known since the beginning who wins at the end, I still love watching! 

25
The number of weeks that I am pregnant. I love my bebe bump. (Read my 25 week bumpdate here)
28
The age I will be turning next month. But I just know it'll be the best birthday yet (since Kensington is growing inside my belly)!

54
The number of vacations that I would like to take in 2015. Buttttt.... lezbehonest, that's not happening. A girl can dream though.

Pregnancy: Week 25

How far along: 25 proud weeks!

Baby Size: About the size of a cauliflower. Fun fact: my uterus is the size of a soccer ball. No wonder my bump is large and in charge. Also, she weighs about 1.5 precious pounds.
 
Gender: A baby girl. The cutest kind of baby! 

Movement: My mini has been moving so much lately. It's a glorious feeling. She is mostly active in the morning time and in the evening. It seems like she likes to rest while I'm at work.

Best moment this week: Last night, hubby felt our baby girl dancing inside my belly again. It made me smile so big. He goes, "woah" whenever she kicks. I think he is starting to realize that he is a daddy to one active little girl!
 
Looking forward to: Tomorrow! We have another doctor appointment and I cannot wait to hear her heartbeat again. I just wish she knew how proud I was that she is growing so big!
 
What I miss: Selfishly, I still miss sleeping on my tummy! But all in due time, I'll be able to again.
 
Symptoms: Nope. Nothing really. Well - except some cramps in my knees. But I can totally handle it.
 
Nursery: Pure happiness. I have gotten SO much done with her nursery and cannot wait to share pictures. We've been able to complete the followings things: paint her accent wall, put her bedding on the crib, piece together her changing table, replace the fabric on the rocking chair that we got from our neighbor, and we've also hung her bookshelves. I am so happy. Cannot wait to share pictures in the near future!

Wedding rings on or off? Still on... and they don't seem too terribly tight on my good days!

Daddy-isms: Daddy likes to ask about Kensie and how she's doing inside my belly. I love talking about her. At dinner last night, we talked about some of the more important things like how we plan to parent. We talked about sleeping arrangements (when she's a newborn), who will get up with her in the middle of the night, and also how to soothe her when she's crying. It makes me so proud to see him get involved. 

Prayer: Another week bigger and strong! Thank you, Savior! Your love overflows in me, and I pray that my daughter will come to know and love you like I have. I pray that she continues to grow in your sweet name. As we get closer to her due date, I pray that you'll equip me with all of the tools I need to parent my sweet daughter. Thank you for blessing me with this miracle. Thank you for loving me so much that you would give me the desires of my heart.

Monday, February 23, 2015

ABC's Of Me: Favorites

I apparently enjoy a good ABC blog post (see here, here, and here). Today's ABC's of Me is inspired by the ABC's of some of my favorite things. And per usual, no blog post is complete without a picture. Hi 5 month old baby Allison!
A - Artist: Country would be George Strait, and Christian would be Chris Tomlin.
B - Blog: I don't have one favorite blog, but I do enjoy keeping up with Hello! Happiness.
C - Celebrity: Jake Gyllenhaal all the way. I have a minor crush.
D - Dessert: It's a toss up between Sopapilla Cheesecake and anything s'more related.
E - Exercise: Does dancing count? I totally missing my country dancing days.
F - Flower: Peonies are really pretty!
G - Guilty Pleasure: If I wasn't concerned about calorie intake or caffeine, Big Red would be my pick.
H - Hack: I use almost all of these beauty hacks, but my favorite is #1,
I - Iphone App: I use my iBook app the most to read my pregnancy books.
J - Jewelry: Other than my wedding/engagement ring, I would say my Kendra Scott earrings.
K - Keepsake: I keep mine and Ross' wedding cards to one another stored in our safe.
L - Laugh: This one gets me every time.
M - Movie: Zero Dark Thirty, Fury, Lone Survivor, American Sniper. (Do you see a pattern)?
N - Number: I s'pose 13 is probably my favorite number.
O - Outfit: Anything that involves a maxi skirt and a tank top. It's literally my staple outfit.
P - Pin: I'm kinda obsessed with this one. Who are those fine peeps?
Q - Quote: "Happy girls are the prettiest girls" -Audrey Hepburn
R - Restaurant: Casa Ole and Chuy's are equally tied. Get in my belly, Mexican Food.
S - Store: TJ Maxx or Marshall's. Don't make me pick.
T - TV show: Anything that is reality. My favorite is any of the Real Housewives show on Bravo.
U - Urban Decay product: The Naked 2 palette eyeshadow brush. I use it everyday.
V - Vacation spot: The Bahamas! Can we re-live our honeymoon, please?
- Website: Without a doubt, I check Saving with Shellie every single day!
X - I hate this letter so I'm not using it.
Y - YouTuber: Probably Jaclyn Hill. I'm a fan.
Z - Zodiac Sign: I guess I am going to be biased and say my own, which is Pisces.

Friday, February 20, 2015

I'm Obsessed

I've always been an emotional type of person but I'm telling you - with pregnancy, comes even more emotions. Trust that. Either way, I am feeling extra blessed these days having a husband who so great; I figured why not share five things (in no particular order) that I adore about him! After all, it IS Friday and all. That calls for all things happy. *insert cheesy smile*

Oh hey, cute nose.
Can I just take a second to say that I just think Ross has the cutest nose that ever existed?! I am keeping my fingers crossed that Kensie Grace gets that feature from her daddy. My nose is longer and bumpier, and his is just perfect. I die.
Oh hey, sweet heart.
My husband has a truly genuine heart. One way that I see this is by his forgiveness. In our marriage, I'm a bit rugged around the edges, but my husband is super quick to forgive me and say "I'm sorry" whenever possible. 
Oh hey, leadership.
Although I need to get better about giving up control, I love that he is the man of the house. He takes care of me and the girls. He fixes what needs to be fixed. He mows the grass. He drives us to church every week. And so much more.
Oh hey, superb work ethic.
My honeybee loves to work. And I would say that he is one heck of a dedicated employee too! He usually works late, and even works from home on Sundays too. One reason why I love this about him is because it means stability for our family. 
Oh hey, happy wife happy life.
Husband Ross is always putting me first; he is so dedicated to making me happy. That's one of the biggest blessings in our marriage. I never have to worry about his priorities, because I know that he always considers me before he takes any action. 
Today I'm linking up for Five on Friday and Oh hey, Friday!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Seesaw Of Marriage

Disclaimer: This blog post was inspired by a recent sermon that our church pastor preached on.

If you are currently a wife, or if you ever intend to be a wife, this blog post is just for you. If you think about it, that should cover a large majority of my readers. After all, God loves marriage and it's pleasing in His eyes... so why wouldn't you want to get married?! We know from Proverbs 18:22 that, "He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord." I don't know about you, but if there's anything that I'm continually working on, it's trying to become the best wife possible.

As we've all experienced, with life comes up's and down's. It's kind of like a seesaw. Seesaws go up and they also go down, but when weight is distributed equally, there is a beautiful balance. The same concept can be applied to a marriage.
There are three questions to ask yourself when considering the seesaw of marriage.

Who is on my seesaw?
Seesaws are meant for two people, and for two people alone. Did you realize that marriages are also only built for two people? Marriages have no room for moms, dads, kids, or pets. My favorite bible verse is Genesis 2:24 (which is also displayed all over our house) which says: "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."

Am I having fun on my seesaw?
The point of marriage is to become more holy. But why not enjoy it while you've got it? The last thing that I want is for my husband to think that I nag all the time or that I'm unhappy. Proverbs 27:15-16 is a reminder of that. The verses say: "A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day. Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind or trying to hold something with greased hands." Do you want your husband to be annoyed with you? The answer is no. Both you and your husband want a happy and fun marriage.

It's a seesaw; what did I expect?
Everyone has their own expectations of what marriage will look like for them. That makes perfect sense; we all have different models that we've seen play out in our lives. But rather than focus on the expectations that you had for your marriage before you made the commitment, you should focus on the vows that you took. Colossians 3:12-13 reminds us of those vows. Remember when you said, "in sickness and in health"? Or "for richer or poorer"? This verse in Colossians says, "Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." I promised to love my husband for better or worse, that that's what I intend to do.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Positivity Project

So sue me, but I'm a copy cat. I saw Katie and Mia doing this fun little positive post and I had to jump on the bandwagon. Originally there were four different questions/statements to answer, but I decided to change things up a tiny bit. Plus, a little originality never hurt anybody. 

ONE. Something you love about yourself.
I love the fact that I am a wife. Ever since I was a little girl, I remember dreaming about my future husband. I even have diaries that I would write letters in for my future hubby. (I really need to dig those out, where ever they are)! As my creator, I put God first. But right after God, my husband is my number one. I feel utterly blessed that we've shared 3.5 years of marriage thus far, and I cannot wait to grow old with him. He owns my heart!
TWO. Something that you are proud of.
I take pride in so many blessings I've been awarded in this beautiful life (ex: my marriage, getting my master's degree, owing a house, etc) but I think one of my favorites is accepting the woman that God created me to be. In my opinion, I had many opportunities in life to become a no-good type of person. But I am so thankful that God gave me the strength to become me - exactly as I am today. 

THREE. The best thing that has happened to you recently. 
I don't think this should come as a surprise to anyone, but getting pregnant has been such an overwhelming experience. Each week, I feel more and more proud of my daughter for growing so big and strong. I feel thankful to God for allowing this miracle to take place in our lives after two years of praying. I also feel thankful for the doctors who were knowledgeable enough to perform the amazing act that In Vitro Fertilization entails.

My confidence rests in God, that he will always provide. And I know that Kensington's name was written in the book of life a long time ago; way before we decided on IVF. I just think that our route to getting pregnant was supposed to be down the non-traditional road. God used the doctors to aid in the process that we were supposed to go through.
FOUR. Give someone a compliment.
Keeping with the positivity theme in mind, I am going to pay a compliment to someone who I don't exactly like, nor do I have a relationship with due to bridges being burned. No, I'm not going to say their name, because it doesn't even really matter. This is about me being positive - it doesn't matter if this person knows that I'm talking about them or not.

Dear secret person: When you and I used to have a relationship, I admired the kindness that you had in your heart. On the outside, you may have been perceived as someone that is rough and emotion-less, but I could see past that. I think you genuinely meant well and had the best of intentions.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pregnancy: Week 24

How far along: The happiest 24 weeks ever!

Baby Size: About 14 inches from head to toe.
 
Gender: A little lady! 

Movement: I have been feeling so many kicks lately and I love every split second of it. In case you missed it before, below is a video of Kensington kicking for the camera (finally)! Also, I was so proud whenever my husband finally got to feel her for himself. That's right. On February 15, little Kensington Grace finally kicked hard enough for daddy to see and feel. It was a spectacular moment. 
Best moment this week: I have been hoping, waiting, and wishing for this moment to be 24 weeks pregnant. Why, you may ask? This week in pregnancy means that the baby is viable; essentially if she were to be born now (heaven forbid), she would have a chance of surviving. Of course it would be a long, tough road... but she would have a fighting chance. For me, each week has truly been a milestone moment, but I am especially grateful for this 24th week. All of that being said, I am praying that she grows big and strong all the way until her due date and then continues to thrive after she has made her debut!
 
Looking forward to: I have another doctor appointment next week, and per usual, I am really looking forward to hearing her heartbeat again. That's also the first of many ever-two-week appointments. When you're pregnant, you see the doctor once every 4 weeks in the beginning. Then, as your due date approaches, you start going to the doctor once every 2 weeks. As the due date continues to draw near, doctor appointments are increased to once per week. So I'm pretty excited that next week's doctor appointment is the first of many every-two-week appointments. 

Food cravings: Nothing new.
 
What I miss: I miss sleeping on my tummy at night. But that's about all that I can think of.
 
Symptoms: Nope. I feel amazing. Pregnancy and I are pretty much BFF's.
 
Nursery: Oh my heart is happy. We have done a ton of stuff with her nursery lately and I cannot wait to share. I am going to hold off from posting any further photos so that it'll be a fun little surprise for everyone. I am hoping to finalize her nursery by end of April-ish. But I will tell you this: her nursery colors are turquoise, coral, white and gold (the glitteriest kind)!

Wedding rings on or off? Still on. Still getting tight.

Daddy-isms: As I mentioned, my baby daddy finally felt his little girl kicking and it was awesome. It was a moment I won't forget. 

Prayer: God, thank you for getting us to this point. This week, I pray for continued growth for her. This 24th week of pregnancy is a huge milestone, but I also pray that you'll have your hand over the remainder of this pregnancy so that she can grow big and strong. I also pray for my health and well-being. I pray that she is getting the nutrition that she needs from me. Please help me to avoid anything that does not provide essential nutrients to my baby girl. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

When Your Plans Change + Pictures Of Our Home

If I'm being honest, my pregnancy hormones may or may not have gotten the best of me over the past couple of days. Saturday morning, I woke up to the sound of a moving truck (p.s. I wake up at the drop of a dime). Pretty much right then and there, I started bawling my eyes out in bed. It was the ugly cry kind. I was crying because our neighbors, who are also some of our best friends, were packing up all of their things to move. Okay - I am being dramatic. They are only moving across town. They will never be more than a 10-15 minute drive away. But still, my heart was sad.

My crying would randomly continue throughout the rest of the weekend too. I didn't think I would be so sad watching them pack up their things. Then, on Tuesday of this week, our friends/neighbors closed on their house. It was a done deal. I was fine until I got home from work that day and saw foreign cars in their driveway. It was the cars of our new neighbors. I just had to let all my tears out. #HotMessExpress 

You don't have to tell me I'm crazy. In fact, I would prefer you not. But I know my sadness is kind of silly. I am so happy for our friends (and can.not.freaking.wait to visit their new and huge home once it's built) but I'm sad that we can no longer just walk next door to see them. I mean... we literally saw each other every single day, even if it was just a wave from our driveways when we each got home from work. 

Three years ago, both us and our neighbors built our first homes. When we each built, we had no idea who each other were. It was merely God's plan to put us each in those houses. A few months after we both moved into our homes, we learned that our neighbors were actually our relatives... distant cousins to be exact. UM yea, coolest story ever. You can read more here.
Our first picture together - October 2012

So I guess a part of my heart is sad that we're no longer neighbors with our best friends/family. Our grand plan was to sell our house this year and then build a home right next door to them. That way we could be happily neighbored-up forever. But God's plan is different, and I trust His plan way more than my own. Completely. Our time to sell/move is just not right now. In fact, after looking over our finances, we're going to probably wait to do anything until early to mid 2016. Therefore, my 2015 goals are already being altered. I am okay with that though. God has taught me so much by the miracle of Kensington, and I'm trying to apply what I learned in that situation in other areas of our life. 

All that being said, I love our house. I really do. I am so grateful for it. Our friends' realtor took pictures a while back so here are a few good pictures of our nice, clean home!
This room is empty since we were starting to prepare for Kensington's nursery
In other news and speaking of my miracle child, she finally cooperated with me long enough to catch one kick on my camera. You have to see this! Look to the left of the screen and you'll notice a jolt. That is my mini me kicking away. Praise you, God!

Last but not least, here's my SOAP of the week. 

SCRIPTURE 
Romans 2:21 - You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal?

OBSERVATION
To best model a Christ-like life, I must lead by example. I cannot expect others to see God in me if I am openly and unashamedly committing sins yet preaching against them.

APPLICATION
Instead of judging others for what I think is wrong, I should radiate love by living like Christ would want me to, always striving to be more like Him.

PRAYER
God, help me to be made new in you every single day so that I am filled with you. Help me to exude your presence in everything that I do so that non-believers will believe in your sacrifice and your love.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Just An Excuse

Thank you to my good friend whose name is Valentine's Day, for giving me an excuse to make a wish list of things that I want. I mean... let's be honest... Valentine's Day isn't a super necessary holiday, amiright? All of that aside though, I now have a valid excuse for creating a wish list. 
1/I'm So Pregnant Maternity T-Shirt. It's a simple fact that I need this shirt in my life. Not only will it scream, "I'm not fat - I'm pregnant!" but also because it's just too dang cute. All things bump-related are a must have.

2/ASOS Maternity Exclusive Drape Maxi Dress With Ties In Boho Print. Besides the fact that the print of this dress is totally my style, I also have a thing for maxi dresses. It's a win-win. Too bad it's sold out. I'm gonna go cry now.

3/Women's Traingle Print Tote Handbag - Multicolor. It was purse-love at first glance. I was working on my bebe's registry and somehow this popped up while I was browsing the Target website. I need it. There are no if's, and's or but's about it.

4/Chocolate Covered Strawberries. And lots of them. Thank God for Amy's Ice Cream. I wonder if they deliver??? 

5/Bath and Body Works 3-Wick Candle in Love Hearts and Flowers. Granted, I've never actually gotten to smell this scent... I still thoroughly believe it's a good one just by the pretty packaging. 

But for real, I am ultra excited for a date night on Saturday with my other half. Although I see him every day, it's kinda nice to have a special holiday meant to be all about love. Hubby and I are planning to go see Fifty Shade of Grey. EEK. Momma Bear is an excited bear. I started reading the book a long time ago but never actually finished it. Everyone tells me that we're in for a raunchy surprise. Don't judge!

What are your Valentine's Day plans? Kensie Grace and I say, "Happy Valentine's Day!" By the way, I'm sure once she gets here, I'll have plenty of nicknames to call her, but for now, my heart is set on calling her Kensie Grace!
23 weeks preggo :)