Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What's Been Going On Lately

We've had A LOT going on!  Here is a quick recap to get you caught up...

1. We are in the middle of baseball season and Nicholas is doing awesome! He is a completely different child this year and loves it!  He hasn't played in the dirt one time! Ha!

2.  We are going back to Disney in a little more than a week!!!  
This time we are doing a girls plus Nicholas trip with my mom, aunt, and two cousins. I'm excited to take Nicholas back to the happiest place on earth and to to eat my way around the world!  This pregnant girl is planning to eat her weight in Dole Whips, cupcakes, and whatever else I can find!  I'm also excited to try a different hotel on the Disney property this time. I'll be sure to do a full report when we get back!

3.  Nicholas got into PreK 
For months and really about a year I've debated holding Nicholas back and placing him in the state funded preK lottery in our county. It is a completely random, equal opportunity drawing. There were 307 children in the drawing and only 220 spots this year. I have been so nervous! Last Tuesday was the drawing and he got a spot and he even got one at the school we are zoned for!!! We have already received a call from his teacher and she is wonderful!  We are very excited for next school year! 

4.  Getting ready for "sister baby" 
I haven't done much to get ready yet, but we did get an awesome barely used travel system from a friend and I've picked out bedding. Our travel system was in good shape, but sadly our car seat was almost expired, so when I found out our friend had this one I jumped on it!
It's the same travel system we had for Nicholas, but a cute girly design!!! When I picked it up I had to put the seat in the back seat to have room for it and it seemed surreal to have TWO car seats in my backseat!!! 
I've also picked out bedding. We are going to use our chocolate brown guest room with our white baby furniture and ivory, gold, and blush fabrics. Here is a sample of what I found. I'm hoping to order it sometime next month! 

 5. Sister baby does have a name and I have a fun reveal planned soon, so stay tuned! It is a classic, but unique name that I've loved for about 15 years.

6. I've had even more blonde put in my hair and I'm loving it. I needed to cover my grey a little more and it just makes me feel like summer is getting close! 

That about covers it!  The next week is slammed between now and our trip, but we have our big anatomy ultrasound next week so hopefully we will get a good look at sister baby and I'll have some pictures to share!  We had a quick, informal ultrasound on my birthday, but she has refused to uncross her legs and wouldn't take her hands off of her face, so we didn't get any good pictures! It would appear as though I have another spirited child on my hands! Haha! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

34 and Goals For The Next Year

This past weekend Michael and I both turned 34. 33 was a year of many ups and downs and we are definitely looking forward to all the changes coming our way. 33 brought the year where we devoted ourselves to our marriage and to creating a solid foundation for our future. It also was the year we each accomplished a lot in our careers. In all of our ups and downs we leaned on each other and I can't imagine going through all that we did without each other. 

At 34 we are looking ahead to several new adventures and changes!  Nicholas will start "big boy school", a new sweet baby girl will join our family, and we continue to work on building a strong marriage and partnership. We have found that even after 10 years of marriage (and 14 together) that it is a continuous effort. In the next year I plan to continue to be in the moment while I'm at home and with my family. I have really improved on giving myself grace and saying no to prevent being stretched too far and feeling overwhelmed or stressed. I want to find more time for me to enjoy some quiet time and work on my devotionals that have been collecting dust over the last few crazy months. I want to work on my relationships with friends, family, and most importantly God. 

I know my blog has suffered over the last couple of years, but that is part of my commitment to being in the moment. This time in our lives is so short and I don't want to look back and regret sitting at the computer while my children grew up around me. Please continue to understand my sporadic blogging. I'm hoping one day to find time to blog more frequently, but for now I'm just enjoying my time with my little family! 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

It's A...

Last Friday was an exciting day at our house! We got the results of a chromosome test we elected to have due to my age and history of birth defects. Everything looked great and they were able to tell us the gender of Baby Ledford! Nicholas was been adamant since the beginning that he was having a "sister baby", so I was a little worried how he would take the news if it was not a girl! Haha! Here is how we told him if he is getting a "brother baby" or a "sister baby" and his reaction...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Play Ball!

We had our first night of baseball last night and I am beyond proud of Nicholas!  Last year he was the little guy who ran around and didn't want to do anything but play in the dirt, but last night he did great!!! He caught the ball like he was supposed to, threw the ball well and even hit the ball perfectly!  A year can make a HUGE difference! 
He was so excited to be there! He wanted to wear his baseball pants and his hat from last year! 
Michael is helping this year and Nicholas is happy he is out there with him!  I love watching them spend time together doing something they both enjoy. I think this is going to be a fun season! 

Our first game is a couple of weeks away and we are excited to get the season underway! 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A BIG Surprise!!!

We had made the decision about a year ago that our family was complete.  We were happy with our little family and honestly felt complete.  The road to have Nicholas was a two year journey filled with loss, unknowns, anxiety, lots of tears, and a lot of stress. Neither of us wanted to go through that or the pain of infertility again. We began planning for a 10th anniversary trip for ourselves, another Disney trip and began getting excited for all of the big boy things happening with Nicholas like starting kindergarten!  I was enjoying my new role at work and we were looking forward to not having to pay daycare much longer! Haha! As I mentioned in my last couple of posts, life has been hectic and we lost two of our grandparents over the last two months and well, in the middle of it all, God laughed at our plans yet again and gave us a HUGE SURPRISE!!!!....

That's right, Nicholas is going to be a BIG BROTHER in late September!  Around the end of January I had been busy with my Nana being sick and passing away and the day I went back to work and got back into a routine I started to notice that I just wasn't feeling right.  I had thought for the week before that it was just from all the emotional stress of losing my Nana, but after going back to work I realized it probably wasn't.  I came home that night and took a test and surprise!  It was positive immediately!  I saw a test line before the control line even popped up!  In all the times I have had a positive pregnancy test (remember I've had several losses) I've NEVER had one that clearly positive!  It took us a few weeks to get used to the idea ourselves.  We didn't tell anyone for about a month, but once we had two great dr appointments, we announced to our families.

We are thrilled and excited!  After being told that we could not get pregnant without the aid of medication or fertility treatments, I'm sure you can imagine our surprise! Even our OB was surprised to see us back! Haha! We are currently 12 weeks pregnant and I'm happy to say that everything looks good so far!  I have been back on the progesterone, aspirin, and 4mg of folic acid a day plan that I did with Nicholas, but able to come off of the progesterone on Friday!  I have been sick 24/7 and exhausted isn't even the word for it, but we are excited and very thankful for our little surprise! Nicholas is thrilled and can't wait!  He is excited about "our new baby" and is really hoping for a "sister baby"! 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas From Our Family to Yours

Merry Christmas from our little family to yours! Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas day! 
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:14 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Santa! I Know Him!

It has become a tradition for me to post our Santa picture on Christmas Eve. This year we only saw Santa at school, but it is the same Santa we've seen every year and it was a great picture! 
I've kind of felt bad that we didn't make it to see "the real Santa at the mall", but it has been so crazy around here with Christmas parties, sick Grandparents, shopping, work, and life.  I was going to take him on Monday, but he decided he didn't want to go since he "sent a letter with Ernie!"

Nicholas has been tracking Santa on the Santa tracker app today!  We are getting excited for him to visit tonight!  We made a list for Ernie the Elf to take back home on December 1st.
Nicholas is hoping most of his list is on board with Santa right now!  We are cooking a big batch of gumbo for dinner and settling in to watch Polar Express before bed.  Hope everyone is having a very Merry Christmas Eve! 

Christmas Program 2014

Here is a little Christmas spirit for you today! 

I am so proud of Nicholas!  He is in the Pre-K class at his school and has done so well.  He writes well, he can add, he can read about 20 words, and for their Christmas program, they signed Silent Night!  I wanted to share it with everyone today!  (it is about 4 minutes in, but worth the wait!)

Thanksgiving Weekend 2014

I am hoping to post at least 3 posts today to get caught up, so keep coming back to check in!  :-)
We all know that I LOVE holidays, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas, but honestly, Thanksgiving is my very most favorite!  I love that it is a day of being Thankful, seeing all of our family, eating my favorite meal of the year, and in all honesty, what better way to end a holiday than to spend quality time with your Mom at the mall! :-)  Last year we decided to change our traditions up a little and host a "big old fashioned family Thanksgiving" at our house.  It worked out really well, so we did it again this year. 

While Michael smoked the turkey and I got everything ready, Nicholas finally fell in love with the Macy's parade.  It meant so much to me to pass down the tradition of pumpkin muffins and watching the parade to my child this year. 
Because we have one big meal, I set up our dining room table and a fold out table to hold everyone. (Don't worry, I reminded Michael the entire time that it is time to build again! Haha!) 

As always, Michael smoked an unbelievably tasty turkey!  

My mom and I split up the cooking. I did casseroles, she did pies, maccaroni, and dressing. I could seriously eat this meal everyday! 

When we moved my Nana, I got several of her holiday items and truly, it wasn't Thanksgiving again until I rescued this guy from storage a couple of years ago!   

We are so thankful our two families like each other and are able to share holidays. I'm so thankful for them all, especially these two turkeys...
After everyone left, I cleaned up and got ready to kick off the Christmas season at the mall!  Before I go on, let me say that I know it is controversial to shop on Thanskgiving, and I get that, but it is something that my mom and I have enjoyed doing together the last 3 years. 

My main goal this year was to hit the Belk $19.99 boot sale. This was the view as I came down the escalator at 9:00, 3 hours into the sale...
After finally fighting my way in, I found 2 pair for a total of $43!  j. Crew and NY and Co also had some awesome deals!  We shopped until 3:00 and I finally got into bed at 3:17.  Too bad at 3:42 I heard crying from Nicholas' room and ended up spending my 4 hours of sleep in his bed with him! Ha!  

After my little nap, we got the Christmas stuff from the attic, put the tree together to find out it had finally met its demise (at least with me. I don't string lights and I sure wasn't spending the time to find the burned out bulbs in a 9ft tree!). After a quick trip to Walmart (yes, on Black Friday, which may not have been my best idea!) we went to Steak and Shake where little man experienced his first peppermint shake. His words... "Oh Mom! This is like christmas in a cup!"  Lol! I just love him! 

We came home and finished his tree.  He is SO into Christmas this year!  He decorated his tree almost completely by himself!  All he let me do was a few special things near the top. 
I also put up 2 other trees along with my one big one, but I'll let you wait until I do a tour next week to see them! :-) 

On Saturday morning Ernie the Elf came and brought breakfast!  Ernie has been very busy at our house this year!  I'll do a post after Christmas of all of his adventures!  
By the time I went back to work on Monday our house was decorated, my Christmas village was displayed and I was ready to get back to a routine!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Just A Few Of My Favorite Things...Gift Ideas

Since it is LESS THAN TWO WEEKS until Christmas, I wanted to give some last minute gift ideas for anyone struggling this year.  These are 12 of my favorite things right now.
***none of these items or brands are sponsored and 100% my true opinion***

1. MomAgenda personal planner.  

This will be the second year that I've used it and couldn't be happier. It gives me a row for everything I need to keep up with. I also love that most items ship the same day! 

2.  Glitter Monogrammed shirts! 
I have found a local person that I have ordered from (Swag on Facebook) and the shirt pictured came from DDP Mongram and gifts online. I love all things glitter and monogrammed, so these shirts are a win win for me! (Swag is still taking orders!)

3.  Coton Colors Happy Everything platters and accessories
I got this platter for Mother's Day and it has been perfect for entertaining and decorating. Nicholas loves picking out new attachments and seeing them displayed in the kitchen. 

4.  Polar Heart Rate Monitor Watch 
If you like to run or workout I think this is a must have item! I have used mine since April and it makes my workouts better to be able to see my calorie counts. My sensor actually took an unfortunate trip through the washer and dryer, but after a day or two, worked like new again! 

5.  Personalized Adult Sippy Cups from ForPoshSake
(Photo from forposhsake IG account) 
I am in love with these cups and hope that I find one under my tree! (Hint hint Michael!)  They are so cute and perfect for a mom on the go! 

6. Scarves 
I haven't really ever embraced the scarf trend, but I'm loving my big, warm, scarves this year (this one is my favorite!).

7.  Scentsy Warmers and Wax 
When we had Nicholas I worried about burning candles in the house and Scentsy was a perfect solution. He has knocked hot wax on him and it cools immediately!  Highly recommended if you've never tried t! 
8.  Bath and Body Works
I LOVE Bath and Body Works shower gels and bubble baths!  They make awesome gifts and stocking stuffers!

9.  A Comfy Pair Of Slippers
I bought these leopard print sequined slippers at Target last year and love wearing them (even out in public when I want to be comfy)!  This picture was actually taken on a Saturday when I went into work for a few hours! Ha!

10.  Starbucks Gift Cards
Every woman I know would LOVE a Starbucks gift card in her stocking this year!  

11.  Crossbody Purse
I am on my third one and it is perfect for shopping and when I don't want to lug around my big bag. You can get a cross body just about anywhere purses are sold in any price range. 
12.  Cute notepads 
I love having fun and cute notepads to make my grocery lists, to do lists, and to take notes at work. I usually buy them anywhere from Walmart and Target to boutiques. You can find them just about anywhere and they are perfect for stocking stuffers! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween 2014

One of these days I'll have time to get caught up and fill you in on the craziness of the last month, but until then, I wanted to document our fun filled Halloween! 

We started on Thursday night by carving our pumpkin. My wild boy LOVED the "ewey gooey guts"! I'm convinced he wants to be a surgeon! :-) 

This was our final product. They wanted a "creepy" pumpkin and think they got it!
I took the day off from work on Friday to be able to do all of the fun Halloween things I've missed over the years since it is Nicholas' last year at daycare. We started the day with a Halloween treat from Dunkin Donuts! 
I spent the morning with him at school by attending the trunk or treat and going to his party. I had never done a trunk or treat and I didn't even know I had to decorate until a few days before.  (gasp! I know...)
Nicholas loved the decorations in our car and had a great time at his school party!

After school we went by my office, Michael's office, and to see my dad since he had a game that night and was going to miss his costume. When we got home I started decorating for our friends to come over for trick or treating. I recycled the car decorations and made mummy hot dogs and caramel apples for the kids' dinner. (Adults had beef vegetable soup and cornbread)
It rained that afternoon and a cold front moved in and when I say a cold front I mean it was 47, windy, and rainy at trick or treat time! This was the best picture of our crew I managed to get this time. 
We only went to about 15 houses and called it a day. It was too cold and rainy, but the kids still had fun and that's what it's all about anyway! 

Things are slowly calming down for us (until the holidays start).  We've had sick Grandparents, football, busy weekends, and just our day to day lives, but hopefully I can get another post up this week...we'll see!  :-)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Football Friday Guest Post! My Mom on Being A Coach's Wife

My mom is my special guest writer for this week's Football Friday post!  She has been married to a high school football coach for 40 years and wanted to share her side of football   She also wanted to give a few pieces of advice and encouragement to the young football wives out there who are struggling this time of year.  Thanks Mom for writing this fabulous post!  

I have been the wife of a high school football coach for 40 years.  The game to us is much more than a game and definitely more than a job.  Dedicated high school coaches do not go into the career of coaching to get rich.  Yes, it has provided us with a home and  a good life.  But, it is so much more than that.

Our lives are determined by fall  football season, off season work outs and summer football camps.  Everything you do centers around these “seasons”.  Vacations are planned according to the “dead period”.  Luckily, our child was born in the spring before football started in full swing.  Do not plan on elective surgery during one of the “seasons”.  This has been our life for more than half of our adult lives.  It has been a good life and I would not change it for anything in the world.  Our daughter and I have a very special bond.  I feel it is because for so many years of her life, it was just she & I.  Dad was either at football practice, workouts or coaching a game.  On Friday nights, we tried to go to every game.  Dad would leave home around 6:00 a.m. on Friday morning and may not come home until after midnight, sometimes as late as 3 or 4:00 am if there was a long bus ride.  Saturdays have been spent in the locker room washing dirty uniforms.  Sunday afternoons are spent at the coaches’ office reviewing film and planning the next game.  I remember one Sunday afternoon, my daughter had a bike accident and broke her arm.  Dad had to leave films & meet us at the hospital.  There have been many Halloweens that trick or treating was done with friends or relatives.  Dad was likely coaching a JV football game or it was a football Friday.    Even at home, time is spent watching film and working on plays (my kitchen table and table beside the recliner in the living room are covered in play sheets, scrap paper, and news clippings).  There are phone calls to other coaches and to players that may have been injured in a game or practice.  You are never “off the clock”.  This is how it is in the world of coaching and all coaches’ families experience the same.

There is one part of my "job" as a coach's wife that bothers me.  It is when fans or parents sit in the stands and criticize the coaches and players.  Has that parent missed his child’s school activity because they were coaching another parent’s child?  Have they missed tucking their child into bed or reading a nighttime story because they were coaching another parent’s child?  Stop and think before you criticize.  Would you spend as much time away from your family?
(photo copyright of Ashworth Photography)

Football coaching is a calling.  It is a ministry.   You have the responsibility of building character, honor and discipline in the lives of so many boys.  This is how my husband has viewed his “job”.  It is worth all the time and effort to make a difference in the life of just one child.  I have seen this for myself.  I have seen high school boys who were going astray only to change his ways because a coach cared.  I have been proud to hear a parent thank my husband for his influence on their son’s life.  This is why you coach.  This is our way of life.  

What advice would I give to the younger wives?  That is hard as we each have different personalities and needs.  I can tell you for at least 6 months out of the year, you will not have a 50-50 partnership in your marriage.  While your husband is away working with the young men on his team, you will be left to run your household and to be a single parent.  It is not easy, especially with young children.  I was very fortunate to have a strong extended family support system.  My strongest advice is to accept help from family and friends.  I learned too late that the house does not have to be spotless or meals home cooked.  I worked a full time job in the corporate world and put unnecessary stress on myself to be the perfect homemaker & mother.  In all honesty, I never accomplished perfection.  As I have matured, I know that is impossible as we are not, nor can we be, perfect.  Looking back, I would not change my life.  I would put more emphasis on enjoying my life and my family.

Whatever we will do when he finally decides it is time to finally hang up the clipboard & whistle one last time?  Yes, I will miss the excitement of the games.  The anticipation of the starting whistle.  I have watched more games than I can count and been to many stadiums, some very elite and some, not so much.  I have sat through monsoon rains, temperatures near 100 degrees and even below freezing, snow & sleet and perfect fall evenings.  I have ate many bags of stale popcorn (there is nothing like stadium popcorn, by the way!)  and drank many cups of coca cola or hot chocolate. Most of our couple friends have mainly been other coaches & their families.  Yes, I will even miss the bad referee calls.  There is nothing like high school football and being married to a coach.
(this was us last year during a downpour at the 1st game of the season.  Just one of many that we have sat through together)

After decades of living with a high school football coach, I am still humbled, but proud, when we are approached with "Hey, Coach, do you remember me?"  Yes, he does.  Every.  Single. One.  Believe it or not, sometimes I also remember the player.  I have cheered for and prayed for thousands of young men by name.  We have seen many former players mature into ministers, teachers and coaches (two of which are head coaches in our area currently!), soldiers defending our country, doctors, dentist, lawyers, successful business men and many who have become hard working construction workers or blue collar workers trying to do their best to provide for their families.  That is the reward for a coach's sacrifice.

At the end of the day, when the stadiums lights have dimmed and the fans and players have all gone their separate ways, it is not the touchdowns, tackles or the numbers on the scoreboard that matter.  It is the lessons learned by young men that will follow them into adulthood.  That is what truly matters.  I 
am blessed beyond measure.  I have a husband who is a dedicated husband, father, Pawpaw and coach to so many young men.  There will be jewels in his crown one day.