Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Moments of Pause

I got something in the mail yesterday and it was exactly what I needed at the moment. 

Sent by my dear friend Leisha. Etsy shop here. Thank you so much!

I love this verse for its simplicity. 

Be still. That is something that we can all do and something that I have been trying to do lately. In those moments at work, at the grocery store or at home when I don't think I can breathe for one more second...I pause and remember this verse. 

I can hear Him in my head..."I am God. I love you. I am here. Let me help."

Have you paused to listen to Him lately?


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sometimes and Always #15

Sometimes: I wish that I could sing. 

Always: I remember that I have ZERO singing ability. More like negative ability.

Sometimes: I think my other two pups get a little jealous of Diesel

Always: I love them just as much...promise. ; )

Radar

Cashmere

Sometimes: My husband refuses to watch my favorite shows.

Always: He will watch Sweet Home Alabama...he's a good ole country boy!

Sometimes: Work gets a little bit crazy.

Always: We get fun/hyper/delirious in the crazy times.

Doing "the claw." Liar Liar, anyone?

Sometimes: I pick the split ends off my hair.

Always: It freaks people out. Get over it, people!

Sometimes: I'm the obnoxious wife who slaps her husband's butt. 

Always: He enjoys it. And I do, too. : )

Country cutie. 

And guess what y'all? There's a new button for the link up this week! Thanks, Meg! Feel free to grab the code from my sidebar and link up!




Monday, February 27, 2012

Lessons from a Pit Bull

Diesel is my sweet pit bull puppy. He is a momma's boy and pretty much holds the key to my heart. 

I figured he could teach us all a few life lessons today...plus he's just too stinking cute not to show off!

- Sometimes lookin' good takes a lot of work.

- You may start out as the little guy...

- ...but with hard work (and eating a lot of dog food) you become the big dog.

- Don't be embarrassed to lean on your family for support. 

- Go out of your way to say hello to the neighbors. 

- Working (aka chewing toys) is pretty tough work.

- Sometimes life deals you a rough hand. 

- Everyone needs a little sunlight. 

- Sometimes you gotta let your parents clean up your mess. 

- Don't be afraid to do things a little different than everyone else.

- Sometimes you gotta make a scene to get noticed.

Isn't my sweet little boy so cute?! 

He always manages to make me laugh and put a smile on my face. I think that's why God made pets...because they really do bring so much joy into life. Granted, they shed and make a huge mess sometimes, but they are always there when you need them. 


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Nostalgia

Lately I have been feeling so blessed to have such amazing friends. College was a great experience for me and that's where I met the four girls who were my best friends then...and continue to be my best friends now. We may be separated by distance now, but nothing can ever separate that best friend/sister bond. 

I was looking back at old pictures, just so grateful for all the fun (clean fun!) that we had in college. God was so good to us and we had four absolutely crazy fun years of living together in the dorm. 

Homecoming.

School "hoedown" for Homecoming. 


Visiting prisons for fun. 

Stuffed animal fights. 

Dance parties. 

My dorm room, similar to a 4 year old's room.

Skipping down the halls on the last day of class.

Burning our nursing uniforms.

Graduating.

I love looking back at old pictures...it brings up such good memories. It also reminds me that life is so much better when you get to experience it with friends and family. So much better. 


Friday, February 24, 2012

Overcoming Fear

A lot of people have emailed me saying how "strong" or "brave" I was to share our miscarriage story on my blog. But really, I didn't feel strong or brave at all when I wrote it. I felt terrified and sad and really lonely, but God led me to share our story and through that I have received amazing support and love...and there are people all over the world saying prayers for us. And that...well, that's pretty amazing.

Sometimes being honest and truthful is healing and inspiring and touching...and that is my favorite part of blogging.

Of course it's fun to read about fashion and crafts and the latest tv shows. I have gained so much inspiration from blogging (and Pinterest). I'm inspired to cook better, eat better, decorate better, dress better...and the list goes on and on. But don't be afraid to blog about things that are "real."

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And even further, don't be afraid to let your inner feelings out...your highs and lows, your fears and dreams. We have the chance to impact other people and set about changing the world. I was scared to write about our miscarriage. So scared. But that is our life right now and that is our journey...and I'm not ashamed to admit that we are hurting and we need love and prayer. We are on this path and we are trusting in the Lord and that's all that we can do. So don't ever be embarrassed or afraid to blog about real issues.

Life is real...and it's certainly not perfect...and we all have to experience the good and the bad. 


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chocolate Happiness


We certainly haven't really had anything to celebrate lately, but sometimes just making it through the day deserves celebration itself. 





This has become our new favorite dessert lately...it's simple and totally delicious. Plus, we eat some strawberries and that makes it healthy. Cookies are so last year. 

Except not really because we made chocolate chip ones last night. 

Dessert never goes out of style. 


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Something Brand New

I'm SO excited to be showing off my brand new blog design today! 

Meg from O. is Me is the fabulous designer and I highly recommend her if you are looking for a new design. I basically said, "I like pink and I want it to be feminine" and she came up with this stunning look. 

I really consider this pretty perfect timing, with all the pain that we have been going through recently, to kinda have a "fresh start" and a "new look" to give a little happiness and life back into the blog.

What do y'all think? It's definitely so me, right?!

The good news is...


...I showed it to the pups and they all approved. : )

Go check Meg out if you're looking for a new design!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sometimes and Always #14

I'm back with the link up for Sometimes and Always today.

It feels nice to be blogging again...weird, but nice. 

Sometimes: I take my husband for granted without meaning to. 

Always: I realize that I'm so blessed to have him by my side in this life. 


Sometimes: I want to sleep in on church mornings. 

Always: I am SO grateful that I go...God speaks to me every single time. 

Sometimes: I don't like buying flowers because they are so expensive. 

Always: Flowers sent in love are so beautiful and lift my heart. 


Sometimes: I feel guilty when I laugh or have a happy moment. 

Always: I'm thinking that's a pretty normal part of the grieving process.

Sometimes: I think I love the blog world as much as I can. 

Always: My blog friends amaze me and my love grows daily for this blog thing we got goin' on.

Thank you, sweet Julie

Sometimes: I feel like I can't take one more second of this pain

Always: I stop and pray...and God is there...and He keeps me going. 

Feel free to use this button to link up!





Monday, February 20, 2012

Our Days with Baby

First of all, I am seriously overwhelmed by the outpouring of love on yesterday's post. Y'all are amazing and left me with tears...good tears. We were comforted, supported and blessed by the words that y'all left for us. 

Thank you. A million times thank you. I just can't say it enough. 

I want to share some pictures today that were taken while our sweet baby was with us. It's hard to look at these and post them, but I want to...because our baby was real. Our baby was here. Our baby exists. We were so in love with our baby already. And I never want to forget that. I think that's one of the hardest things, feeling like your baby gets forgotten. 

The night that I told the hubs that I was pregnant. 

After our first ultrasound. 


After telling my best friends. 


Telling Michaela on Skype. 

Baby, you were so loved and anticipated while you were here with us...and now we anxiously await meeting you and holding you in heaven one day. We treasure the days that you were here. And we love you, baby.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Post I Never Expected to Write

This is hard...and has taken me a few days to finish. 

My blogging has been scarce lately...and I know it's been noticed because so many of y'all have sent sweet emails to check on me (which I have really needed and appreciated). I wanted to just write a "fluff" post today, something happy to ease myself back into blogging, but I couldn't. No words would come and it just didn't feel "right." 

So instead, I'm ready to talk and spill my heart...to share what has been going on as best as I can. 

On December 19, my husband and I were quite surprised to find out that I was pregnant. We told our families at Christmas and a few close friends in the following weeks. It was a total shock, but we were so excited. We had our first appointment and ultrasound on January 10th at 8 weeks. Our sweet baby looked perfect and the heartbeat was strong at 141. Nothing describes the emotion of seeing your baby on the ultrasound for the first time, even when it barely looks like a speck. Just to hear "everything looks great" is the most wonderful thing in the world. We told a few more people here and there, but were waiting for the "big" announcement until further along in the pregnancy.

We went in for our second appointment and ultrasound on February 7th. I was 11 weeks and 3 days and feeling great. A few minutes into the ultrasound, the tech uttered horrible words, "Let me go get the doctor really quick." I'm a nurse...and I know that that is always a bad sign, but I still wasn't prepared for what came next. The next few minutes felt like hours and seconds all at once and we were informed that our baby no longer had a heartbeat.

Even now it's still really hard for me to type that.

We were shocked, devastated...all those horrible words that really don't convey the hurt or pain deeply enough. I had had no bleeding or pain to signal a miscarriage, yet our sweet baby had already gone to live with our Lord a few weeks before.

These last two weeks have been really bad...but somehow even among that really bad, God has reached down to us and comforted us. Family and friends have come out from everywhere with love, tears, support, food and flowers. We are blessed. Even in this chapter of our lives, we are blessed. Blessed with each other and with our family and friends...and with the TRUTH that our baby lives in heaven...and we will meet him/her one day.

I'm not gonna share all the details of our miscarriage story, but if it's something that you are going through personally or have been through, I am here...I want to love on you and listen to you. I want to pray for you, as so many people prayed for us. Email me, please. I'd love to talk with you. I gained so much comfort and support from fellow bloggers that had had the courage to share their miscarriage stories previously...and now I want to do the same. I want this baby, our baby, to touch other people beyond his/her short days.

We are very slowly picking up the pieces over here. We have good days and bad days, happy moments and heart-wrenching moments. We miss our baby. We are parents, even if we never got to hold our baby. 


Friday, February 17, 2012

Love in a New City

Hi Mackey Madness readers! I'm Renee from This Won't Hurt A Bit and I'm taking over Megan's blog for the day. But don't you worry, she shall return snappy quick! 

I thought today I would share with you something I haven't even shared with my own readers yet.
Why would I do such a thing? Well because it's Megan... duh!

So let me tell you how the boyfriend and I met. In honor of Valentine's and all that jazz.

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the first flowers the boyfriend ever gave me
for valentine's day - 2.13.08
in his signature Newk's cup vase

Little ole me moved to the 'big' city of Jackson, MS from my hometown in May of 2006 for Nursing School. Of course I had never lived away from home so I was excited to say the least. But it was for me, how it is normally for everyone, when they move to a new city. I knew no one. 

I was living with a male roommate who I had a class with at junior college and we both ended up getting into the same school. And I thought I was going to live in the on-campus housing. So far beyond unlivable it is ridiculous. My to-be male roomie had looked at apartments and I knew he could use the financial help and I certainly couldn't afford an apartment on my own. So a roommate pairing somewhat out of convenience was made.

Please let me tell you he was the.best.roommate.ever! No sharing the clothes. No hanging out. No feelings getting hurt. He was fairly clean and I was about the same. Built in study partner on occasion. 

Now if you think you know how this story ends you would be wrong. Keep reading.

One Saturday while I was in Jackson and didn't know anyone - except family - I went to watch my cousin's tennis match and saw a boy there. It didn't dawn on me until I passed that same boy in the parking lot of my apartment complex that he was my neighbor. 

So no, no immediate sparks flew... no love at first sight. Sorry folks, this is real life.

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In Las Vegas 2008

I kept doing my thing because I was 21 at the time and in school and it was kicking my butt.

One night me and a friend were out at a bar near my apartment and just happened to bump into the neighbor's. So, of course, I go up to the boy and his roommate. 

Hey.. I'm Renee. I live next door to y'all. (I'm cool, like that)

And from that moment on we have been inseparable.

Sike. I wish it were that easy folks. 

The boy neighbors were all like 'Oh aren't you married to the guy you live with?'

THAT'S why I told y'all about the boy roommate.

Nope, not married. Not in the slightest. 

In my mind I like to think I said something cool like, "Y'all wanna hang out sometime?" but I'm sure it was nothing like that. 

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But somehow four years later we have been through rough times and wonderful times and are still together. I haven't shared my 'love story' on my own blog because I'm not normally that girl. I enjoy a great love story as much as the next girl, but I somewhat like to keep a bit of mine to myself. So that's what I am doing today. Giving you the beginning of the story and hopefully one day I will have a happily ever after to share with you all. 

God has a plan and all I need to do is pray and follow it.

So I hope that you'll take Megan's wonderful advice and pray about it if you haven't yet found your spouse. I feel like I've probably found mine but I continue to pray.

Thanks for having me, Megan!

Happy Friday Readers!!





Thursday, February 16, 2012

Love: Party Edition

Hey, Mackey Madness girls!  I am so glad that sweet Meg asked a couple of us to step in for her during this love filled week.  You’ve already heard from some fab gals, so I hope I don’t disappoint Meg too much. ;)

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I’m Nicole and I blog at a little place on the Internet called Bloom.  It’s kinda my favorite place to be, if you want me to be honest.

In honor of this love week, I will follow in the footsteps of the other awesome gals that have graced miss Meg’s blog this week and talk about L-O-V-E.

Instead of getting all lovey dovey on you, I thought I would share something I’m loving right now… PARTY PLANNING!

Seriously, I want to be the hostess with the mostess.  One of my best friends recently got engaged and I have been in full on party planning mode.  Girlfriend would have an engagement party every weekend if I had the funds!

Take a look at a few party ideas that this gal is loving right now…

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I was in love with owls way before they were cool, but I am loving all the owl themed parties now that owls are “hip”.  How gorgeous does this vintage owl themed baby shower look?

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We are game playing people, so I can’t think of a better reason to through a fab, unneeded party!  This citrus inspired vintage game party would be such a fun, refreshing shindig after a long work week. 

easter
With Spring and Easter soon approaching, I can’t get over all the pastel goodness floating around out there!  I can’t wait for spring to arrive in my condo.

lamb
I am not a big fan of “babyish” birthday parties, so this natural, sweet lamb party would be right up my alley!  I mean, let’s be real.  Does a 1 year old really have that many “friends” attending the party?  Why not make it a little more appealing to the adults bringing all the loot?  I love how natural and soft the details of this party look.  I think you could “wow” a crowd for sure with this party!

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These are actually inspiration pictures for a wedding, but I can totally see a soft, vintage themed wedding shower happening out of this!  I could totally see myself throwing this for my newly engaged friend (her dad works for Coke!), and I think all the soft, rustic touches would be something she would love.

So, what do you think?  Are you a party planner?
Are there certain themes you are drawn to?
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A big thank you to precious Megan for letting me drop in today.  Remind Meg how much you love her today and come visit me at Bloom anytime, y’all!