The Randomness of Abby....

Sunday, March 8, 2015

My hospital bag!

I promised myself I would keep up with my blog AFTER the girls were born since I relied on everyone else's blogs so much while I was pregnant.  Epic. Fail.  I haven't posted in almost a YEAR!  Ok so that gives you a little glimpse into life with twins :)

If you are pregnant and especially pregnant with twins here is what I took and recommend packing in the oh so important hospital bag!

My bag:
  • Slippers.  YES you will NEED them. I bought a pair from Big Lots because my feel were SO swollen none of mine fit anymore. Cozy socks too.  
  • Robe. I got a lightweight one from Target that had pockets.  You feel so EXPOSED, the robe helps.
     
  • without said robe...
  • with robe and gown :) 
  • Nightgowns/Pajamas.  My MIL got me 3 super soft gowns from Kohls and I couldn't have thanked her more.  I wore the gown with pajama pants, my robe and of course my slippers!
  • bathroom stuff: anything that helps you feel like a human.  I obsess over shaving my legs- so razor was a must.  
  • Extras.  We kept an extra bag of clothes in the car.  Thank heavens we did since we ended up staying a week.  But this helps keep your hospital room from looking like you are LITERALLY moving in.
  • The underwear debate.  I had a C-section and everyone always warned me of how I would never wear my regular underwear again.  I wear the boy shorts from VS and the top did not bother my incision at all.  However, the mesh undies they give you are GREAT and you WILL take extras home. 
Husband:
  • cozy clothes. sweatshirt, pants, etc. Our room was really cold (Hormones kept me toasty) so my mammoth of a husband actually needed a sweatshirt. 
  • underwear and socks.  If your husband is like mine if he was in charge of the packing he would throw a tooth brush into a Walmart bag and ta-da. 
  • I-pad + charger.  He will need something to keep him occupied.  We ended up watching Braves games in the NICU since that room didn't have a TV. 
  • Snacks!  They fed me like a Queen- hubs was on his own.  We had a mini fridge and microwave in the room which helped.  
Baby:
  • Going home outfit(s)
  • Boppy, nursing pillow.  Husband can use these as pillow when baby isn't and the boppy is great for visitors needing help to hold baby.
  • Hats/headbands- You can bring cute outfits but our nurses recommended not to since they wash the clothes and a good chance they would get lost. 
  • Empty bag!!  The less you take, the more they give you!  Really before you go home they load up a cart with all kinds of goodies, but we stashed some prizes throughout our stay.
Extras:
  • Door hanger for your door.  We had a lady make one for our front door and brought it so we wouldn't buy the stuff from the hospital. 
  • Baby book for the foot prints.  Ours did them on cards even though we brought the books.  
  • I-pad/tablet/i-pod something for music.  My husband and I prefer that to TV anyday.  
And in case you forget anything- don't worry you will have a plethora of visitors swooping in so just ask them to bring it!... 

And on the visitor note.. I would wait until AFTER you have the baby to notify anyone to give you and husband quality time with baby.  We had a scheduled C and told everyone after 4pm to alleviate this and still had family waiting at 10 am to be the "first to see".  (The first month visitors will drive you INSANE but that's another post!) 

Hospital: Catawba Valley Medical Center- Hickory NC


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

22 Weeks with Twins!

22 weeks pregnant with twins!  



After going to the doctor for another ultrasound and calling in an additional ultrasound tech they still cant determine if they are identical or not so we had to schedule an appt with a specialist at the hospital. 

(Wonder how much this is going to cost?!)  After another VERY long organ scan (1.5 hours)  the specialist determined YES they are identical!  


Now.. everyone has questions including myself:
1. Why all this fuss over if they are identical or not?
2. "Are they just looking really close at their face to see if they are identical or not?" (my sister is always asking great questions)

Turns out my girls are called "mono-di" twins.  They are in separate sacs but share a placenta (organ that connects baby to the uterine wall and basically filters all good and bad stuff). Typically they can tell this at your first early ultrasound (around 6-8 weeks) but since I didn't have my first ultrasound until 12 weeks it was more difficult to see.  The membrane between the two looks like a thin pencil line.  

Identical.. now what?  Since they are identical we have to go to the Maternal and Fetal specialist at the hospital every 2 weeks for ultrasounds.  At each visit they will scan and measure each baby to ensure they are growing at the same rate and the fluids (placenta, bladder and stomach) are all the same.  As long as they stay relatively the same the better.  

I have been doing a lot of research on identical twins and have found some interesting facts. For example, identical twins are one egg that has split- causing my two girls to have the same DNA.  therefore their children will essentially be half siblings.  Crazy thought!  

At first I was overwhelmed with specialist AND doctor appointments every 2 weeks, but it is reassuring to this worrying mama that everything is ok.  I almost fainted during my long ultrasound again, so I have to stop- take a break- and then lay partially on my side during the rest of the scan.  

I'm excited to watch them continue to grow! 

Baby A Profile :) 

Baby B profile... She never wants to sit still so its always hard to get a clear picture of her!

They always have their heads together 

Tarheel fan already! 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Nursery Progress

Thank goodness we had already decided the baby would have the bigger room since the couch wouldn't fit in the smaller room that we are already in.  With double the baby stuff there is no way it would have fit in the smaller room.  The nursery is still an odd long rectangle shape though.

First step for nursery was cribs.  I LOVE the Jenny Lind style and had been looking.  Friend of mine had 2 and sold me 2 cribs with mattresses for $100.  Can't beat that!  I had already decided they would be light blue- no matter the gender- so Brendan got to painting.  We chose paint and brush vs spray paint since it was snowing outside.  BIG MISTAKE.  All these spindles- I think I counted 160- took around 10 hours collectively to get them painted.  Thank goodness I didn't want them thickly coated- I like the shabby- or my husband would have died.  GET SPRAY PAINT!  We used Valspar sea spray blue.  I bought a quart for $13 and still have some left. 
2 cribs + Mattresses total: $113 
 Crib #1 Before 

Crib #2 Before

 Husband Man starting work... love those spindles!

Husband Man stilll working!!! 

Next step was the dresser.  I found one on a facebook online yard sale group for $40.  The guy selling it even offered to deliver it that night so I gave him an extra $10.  $50 for a dresser= good deal!  Now for color.  I am NOT a pink, fru fru kind of girl.. so I decided to do a coral for the dresser.  When I got to Lowes, the actual "coral" color was super light- like flesh tone- so this color is actually "blazing orange".  I did about 3 coats.  Again I bought a quart of valspar for $13 and still have some left.   First coat it was way bright, but it is calming down with each coat.  I love the end result.  
Dresser total: $63
 Dresser before

Dresser after!

We have an additional dresser in the room that was my great grandmothers so I decided not to paint it.  My dad spent some time refinishing it and so we are leaving it brown.  

*I will note... now that I have my furniture ready it is proving more difficult to find bedding.  again, I am more of a shabby/vintage chic and all I am finding is super cheesy/cheap looking.  I will more than likely end up DIYing the crib skirts and possibly bumpers (even though I hear those are being phased out now).  More updates soon!
 Nursery coming along

nursery continued






3D Ultrasound at 15 weeks!

I love surprises.  Like really love them.  I always thought I would be that laid back preggo lady who found out the gender when her child was born and had everything gender neutral until then.  Until I got pregnant.  Until I found it was twins.  I then became a raving lunatic because you can't even buy bibs without them saying "Daddy's little Princess" or "Mommy's tough guy".  (And how sexist can these baby items get).  So when I heard you can have an elective (which means insurance doesn't cover and you have to find your own spot)  ultrasound and find out the gender at 15 weeks I jumped!  

Do not mention this to your doctor.  Mine told me it would be very hard to tell, would not be completely accurate and I shouldn't waste my money.  Ok. Honestly the dr can really tell at 12 week ultrasound but they want you to wait til your 18+ week ultrasound when they check for all the organs.  

We went to Lake Norman 3D and she was SO nice!  You can have as many people as you like, it was a full hour, big screen tvs so I could actually watch, gave us 2 cds with the entire ultrasound and digital copies of the pictures, and printed us out copies to keep.  and it was only $99 

Verses doctor: only 1 person, small room, one monitor that is beside me so I can't really see, print out 7-10 pictures of what they want- so not always clear, 10 mins max, and $339.  Most insurances do NOT cover ultrasounds.  I have state employee insurance and still it is not covered.  

We went for our 18 week ultrasound at the doctor and afterwards my husband said "that was horrible.  Can't we just pay and do the 3D ultrasound all the time so we can actually see the girls?"  It's worth it trust me!

Here are our little girls!  They are only 15 weeks so yes they still look like little aliens.  They are in separate sacks but as you can see they are super close.  They love to cuddle and beat each other up already!

 Baby B on left (looking down) and Baby A on the Right.  (side profile)

 side profile of B and front face of A

 Big Smile from baby B!

 Front of baby B and Baby A punching her in the head

Baby B with her hands up.  Tech said she already has a turned up nose like her momma :) 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

18 weeks down!

I have been reading so many blog posts lately, I thought I would start sharing my own experiences.  This is my first pregnancy for my husband and I. Our first ultrasound was at 11 weeks and it showed TWINS.  VERY SHOCKED!  We do not have twins on either side nor did we try infertility.  God just thought we could handle twins.   We found out at 15 weeks via 3D ultrasound that we have two little GIRLS :).
  

Total weight gain: a lot.  to me a lot.  I think i'm officially at 22 lbs.  This has been one- if not the- hardest thing about the pregnancy.  For someone who has been on a no sugar/carb diet for 3 years, 22 lbs is astronomical.  Plus being 5'2" I feel like a blueberry!

Maternity clothes: yes, full coverage pants- the half coverage cuts my belly and I dont like them.  or yoga pants.  I.love.yoga.pants. I was out of my regular (size 2 pants within the first 6 weeks).  Finally broke down and bought some essentials.  Already out of my new bras but holding out on buying more bc I know they are only getting larger.  I like the maternity tops with the rouching (sp?) on the sides so people understand I'm preggo and not just fluffy.  

Sickness: still have YET to have any sickness or nausea whatsoever... which I am GRATEFUL.  knock on wood.  so the myth of twin pregnancies being double the sickness are just myths.  

Cravings: the sweet tooth has reared its head.  Also, must be going through a growth spurt bc I am hungry all the time.. as in growling stomach hungry.  Anything besides water.. ha... I LOVE water but when you have to drink 90oz a day, it gets old. fast.  And the more water, the more I have to go to the bathroom.  Which is atleast 2x an hour.  woohoo. 

Mood: finally feeling "back to normal" as in worked out at the gym (light cardio and upper body only), actually de-boned a chicken and made chicken Marsala from scratch.. first thing I have cooked and ate in 4 months, and have most of my energy back.  most days.

Sleep: I hate sleeping on my side.  Its so hard to get comfortable (already) I can only imagine how hard it will ultimately get.  I kind of still sleep on my belly but i'm surrounded by pillows. 

Pain: round ligament pain on right side.  Sciatica is easing up this week.  ankles were swelling last week but I am trying to keep them moving around.  Now that my energy is back, I am trying to get as much cardio/walking in as possible.  

Doctor appts: went for 18 week ultrasound to check organs (and find out gender, but we did that early) and I actually fainted during the ultrasound.  They broke out the ammonia to bring me back.  Apparently I am not the first.  The pressure from lying on my back for so long and 4 people in the room.  I had also been very nervous about checking on the girls since it had been 4 weeks since their last appt.. and also making sure there was only 2.. so nerves could have played a part too. So now my husband is completely freaked out and thinks I will faint at any given moment.  awesome.  

They were trying to determine if the girls are identical or fraternal, but especially after the ammonia- they were not calming down long enough to tell.  Back in 2 weeks to do another ultrasound and see if they are more cooperative!

Doctor says all organs look great!  Baby A is 7oz and Baby B is 8oz.  Amazing they do not even weigh a pound together but I have gained 22 lbs.. doctor says that is perfectly fine!  Twin pregnancies retain more fluids as well.  

Names: We do have names picked out but have been hesitant to tell anyone because I hate hearing comments.  I will tell that they both start with the same letter.. request of daddy :)

Interesting, not-so-nice, are you for real!? statements so far:
"Man, I can tell you haven't been to the gym in a while"- male, at the gym
"What is up with your stomach?"- overweight woman at the gym
"So are they like trying to look at their faces to tell if they are identical?"- my sister, bless
"I just love watching you waddle down the hall when you use to be so skinny"- fellow teacher.
"Im sure twins are hard, but mine are 15 months apart.. and let me tell you how rough that was"- lady in line at walmart
"so how did you get twins?" - too many to name (answer: I sat outside on a full moon and wished upon a shooting star and then spun around backwards 3 times before drinking the magic potion.)  

Overall, it has been a great pregnancy.  I do not have anything to compare it to though.  My husband may not agree, since he is the one who deals with my crying spurts and my out rage because "I want sushi damnit".  I try everyday to remember this is a special time and my body is doing great things.  It's ok to gain weight and take a nap at 3:30pm because I want healthy babies.  It is a daily mental and physical struggle, but it is a task God has blessed with me handling.  I have always wanted a houseful of kids and this is only the beginning!

Back to my water drinking now!
Abby


Friday, January 17, 2014

We got 2 Buns Hun!

So a couple weeks ago Brendan and I found out we are expecting a baby!  We were excited, but I didn't want to jinx it and was nervous to really tell anyone before I was 12 weeks.  We told our families at Christmas and swore them to secrecy.  I haven't been sick at all, some tiredness but noticed my belly was getting quite large very fast.  Since I am a personal trainer and have been on a strict diet for 3 years, I assumed this was due to my new love of all things carbs.  Brendan would constantly joke about how he thought it was twins because "hey we would only have one hospital bill" but there are no twins in our families at all.  I have continually had dreams about twins- especially twin boys- but chalked it up to Brendan's jokes.  

On January 14th we went for our first ultrasound and appt.  It was at the end of the school day so I was nervous/excited/anxious all day to see our bundle of joy.  They did the ultrasound first and as soon as she put it to my belly, I saw two images.  She quickly removed it and instructed Brendan "you might want to sit down"  I said "you are kidding".  She put it back and said "No there are definitely two, i'm looking for more".  I had tears coming down my face but I wasn't crying, we were just in shock.  Brendan just giggled and kept saying 2.  really 2?  As we kept looking, Baby B was quit active and already kicking Baby A in the head.  Heart rate was 156.  Hard to tell individual heartbeats at this early with twins.  They are in separate sacks, but we aren't sure about separate membranes which would decide if they are identical or not.  Brendan is hoping for girls, I of course think they are boys based on my dreams, but we won't find out until first week of March.  

So after the shocking trip to the doctor, came another round of phone calls to family and friends explaining how we have not one but TWO babies.  We are still getting use to saying 2 babies.  It is like finding out you are pregnant all over again.  

With news like this, plus my rapidly expanding belly we knew we had to make it "facebook official" soon.  We had our neighbor Katie snap this photo.   It was late and Brendan had already been asleep- hence the bedhead hair and I was no-makeup but at least my hair was blown dry!

We will keep you posted on the status of the Swengros Twins!!


Destination wedding for UNDER $1200!

So I am pretty thrifty, so naturally I couldn't accept going into debt for our wedding.  First in all weddings is to tackle the guest list.  From here you can select venue, catering, invitations and most important BUDGET.  One thing we kept in mind during our somewhat crazy 6 weeks of wedding planning was our GOAL: To get married and to share our lives TOGETHER.  At the end of it all, it doesn't matter how many roses are in each center piece or which salad goes best with your dry chicken.  It is about US.    

The Guest List.  
Brendan and I both have large extended families plus lots of friends who are local.  Just the "essential" people put our list at over 150 people.  We decided on a destination wedding to cut down the list, plus we picked a date 6 weeks out so by default people couldn't come because they had other obligations.  This was not a weeding out method, but we decided not to change the date because Sally or Bob couldn't make it.  

The Date.
We picked October 19th, 6 weeks away, because we both liked the fall and didn't want to wait til it could possibly get too cold for an outdoor wedding.  Once we picked, we alerted close family and friends so they could mark their calendars (no save the dates).  
Our cost- $0

The Location.
We were between beach and mountains.  Good thing about living in the middle of both- gotta love North Carolina!  Decided on the beach since it would be a bit warmer for the outdoor affair.  Charleston had a nice ring to it, so Charleston, SC it was.  I googled "free wedding venues in Charleston, SC" and found several very nice and very FREE venues.  http://charlestonbrides.com/outside-wedding-venues/
Some of these venues just require you to submit a permit and limit the number of guests to under 30, but you are allowed to have a band, food, alcohol and anything else you want. A friend of ours lives in Wild Dunes- private neighborhood- in Isle of Palms and they have a home owners association beach house.  It is free for them to reserve and you can use any part of the grounds.  They put in a request for our day!
Our cost: $0

Lodging.  
Brendan and I both talked about what we wanted out of our wedding... a weekend of family and friends to get to enjoy each other but also a mini vacation for them as well.  I had a vision of everyone under one big roof, eating food, drinking good drinks and being together.  We aren't very fancy anyway.  I went on VRBO.com and started looking for houses to rent.  I will admit this was a bit tricky trying to accommodate everyone who thought they wanted to stay.  Doing the math & allotting bedrooms was not that easy.  finally at the advice of my mother-in-law, I picked one that looked nice and sent out a big email saying the first ones to give us money could stay.  The house was $1300 for Thurs-Sunday.  Ended up being $100 each for 3 nights which was cheaper than a hotel in the area.  Everyone chipped in more which covered our part of the house. 
Our cost- $0

The Dress.
I knew exactly what kind of dress I wanted.  I never wanted the puffy cinderella dress, so when I started shopping my goal was to avoid all major bridal stores.  However I knew trying to find a white dress in September would be a challenge.  My sister and sister-in-law went to Southpark Mall in Charlotte, NC.  A friend had told me she found a lace dress there and that Belk was having a sale.  After roaming around the store, we hit the jackpot with semi-formal dresses.  The first one I tried on I knew was the one.  I did try on a couple more, but went back to my first.  It was an extra 30% off, plus I got 15% off if I signed up for the credit card.  Which I never do, but I did.
Dress - $107
Our subtotal- $107

The Suit. 

While waiting on our dinner reservations, we ran to Dillards and they happen to be having an extra 65% off the lowest ticketed price.  Of course, I ran to the suit section and started picking.  We found Brendan a complete Ralph Lauren Suit with shirt for $120!  Talk about a deal!
Suit- $120
Our subtotal: $227

The Shoes.
Brendan already had dress shoes, which after the wedding I found out came from a dumpster about 3 years ago but he didn't want to tell me because he knew I would want to buy new ones. He's sneaky I tell you.  I got mine at Off- Broadway Shoe Warehouse on sale of course for $17.
Shoes- $17
Our subtotal- $247

Invitations.
I thought long and hard about this one, and eventually decided not to do them.  We only had a few people coming and I knew they would not treasure them perhaps as much as I would.  Honestly, I think I only wanted them so I could have them in my scrap book.  Now, to waste money to save something seemed silly.  So no invitations.  Caution- I did receive some flack about this one " It would have been nice to get an invitation even though you knew I couldn't come" ..well malarky.   Everyone special to you will know that you want them to come and if they need a fancy piece of mail to reiterate that to them then they have the problem- not you. 
Cost- $0
Our subtotal: $247

Accessories. 
I called some family friends and asked them to bring any vintage looking accessories to my Bridal shower for me to try. since my dress was a cream lace, I wanted to keep with our vintage theme.  A family friend brought me her Great Grandmother's head piece and veil she wore at her wedding 65 years ago.  Can't get more vintage than that!  
Cost- $0
Our subtotal: $247

Wedding ceremony extras.

For the sand ceremony, I went to an antique shop and found a blue mason jar with lid for $10.  I brought two other mason jars from home.  I found a wedding guest book at hobby lobby for $12.  I grabbed an A&B I had already decorated for the house and a vase from Christian Ministries I had spray painted for some small extras.  I also brought a whole box of our own pictures and frames from home to decorate the house with so it looked like it was our home away from  home. 
Cost: $22
Our subtotal: $269

The Rings.  
Brendan has his own jeweler, so we got both of our wedding bands for $500.  The largest expense for the wedding, but again it went back to our goal- getting married.  
Cost: $500
Our subtotal: $769

The Flowers & Cake.
Our original plan was to go to the farmers market on Friday and get the flowers (yes the day before the wedding) but after walking around downtown for 2 hours, we realized there is NO farmer's market on Saturday.  Needless to say, at 6:30 after my rehearsal we loaded up in the car and stopped at the first Bi-lo (grocery store) we saw.  We purchased $30 worth of flowers (which my Maid of Honor ended up buying for us) and ordered 2 cakes for guests to eat at the reception.  These would be ready at 11am on the wedding day, ceremony at 1pm.  Nothing like cutting it close! My Cousin had already made us a special cake for the cake cutting that we brought with us. A guest of a groomsman use to work in a florist shop so made all of our arrangements and the grooms boutonnieres.  
Cost: $32
Our subtotal: $801

Reception Catering.

Ok here I admit we lucked out.  A family I nannied for during college offered to pay for the catering as a wedding present.  It was actually the mom's brother-in-law who married us and had the connection to the wedding venue.  (see karma does come back around to help you out!)  They live in Wilmington, which isn't that far from Charleston, and they all got to come to the wedding.  We had it catered by Sticky Fingers.  They did all the set up and clean up.  We had BBQ, chicken, ribs, sides, salads and drinks.  We had the reception back at the house we were renting so everyone could change clothes and relax.  They even set up tables and chairs in the backyard.  I think total they spent $500.  Which was great to feed 30 people and we had some leftovers- plus ZERO work by any of my guests.
Cost: $0
Our subtotal: $801

Photography.
My cousin is a graphic designer and has a fancy camera.  She loves to take pictures and offered to be our photographer.  Brendan's aunt came from New York and video taped the ceremony as well as took a lot of great shots.  She put together a whole wedding video with her pictures and videos.  My cousins pictures were amazing and completely free!  Plus she gave me discs with over 600 shots so I can order as many prints as I want for a fraction of the cost.  
Cost: $0
Our Subtotal: $801

Music. 
Remember that family I use to Nanny for?  Well their youngest daughter that I use to ship all around town to her various music lessons actually played the banjo at the wedding.  Her cousin Sean, who's dad was marrying us, played the guitar and sang.  I honestly have no idea what they played, because we weren't up there yet but I have heard they were great.  The rest of the ceremony music I put on a playlist and played via i-pod player.  We got married on the upper deck porch so we were able to hear the music well.  
Cost: $0
Our Subtotal: $801

Marriage License.


This you can't get a groupon or coupon for.  We went on Thursday (must be 24hr before) and it was ready Friday afternoon. We almost made a special trip, but everyone assured me it would be fine to wait and it was. 
Cost: $50
Our Subtotal: $851

Gas/Traveling.
I estimated $80 for gas traveling to and from Charleston, SC.  It is about 3.5 hours from our house.  Hey you have to include everything in your budget!
Cost: $50
Our Subtotal: $901

Food and beverages.
When we first got to the house I made a big run to the grocery store for basic needs.  I know how much Brendan eats and didn't want our guests to have any additional expenses.  Plus we were staying on an island, so the closest place for food was about 15-20 mins away.  I also went ahead and made a couple of dishes breakfast casseroles, dips, etc since our guests would be filtering in at all different times.  Again, we wanted our guests to feel like a mini vacation so providing this comfort was the least we could do after they all traveled as far as they did on short notice.
Cost: $250
Our subtotal: $1,151

Thank you cards.
Since majority of our friends and family couldn't be there I wanted to do special thank you cards for those who sent gifts, hosted showers and came to the wedding.  My cousin got my pictures to be within a week and I put several on a thank you card and ordered them from walmart.  We were able to write special messages inside each one too which was important to me.  The cards along with stamps ran about $1 each.
Cost: $50
Our grand total: $1,201!  

I know a lot of the services were gifted to us, but it was absolutely perfect.  We did not go into debt and we had a great time.  With our wedding money, we took a trip at Christmas to New York for me to meet and spend time with more of Brendan's extended family.  Even though they couldn't come to the wedding, we still got to spend quality time with them.  

For Brides on a budget- I highly recommend you make a list of what is important to you.  NOT like food, photography, etc but what kind of REAL memories you want to have from your wedding.  Even though I planned mine on a budget and in 6 weeks, its easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of it all.  I have friends who thought they got out GOOD by planning a $5000 wedding.  Which that might be your style and if you have money to burn go a head.  I just knew with our situation and paying for it ourselves, it was a waste to do anything extravagant.  

Plus all of our guests have told us how much they LOVED our wedding because it didn't fly by and our family and friends are now closer and have a relationship.  

Happy Wedding Planning!



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Girls Craft Weekend

The girls and I decided to take a weekend for nothing but crafts.  No husbands, babies or to-do lists getting in our creative ways.  Everyone brought supplies for projects they wanted to do as well as anything they wanted to share.  We stayed at my friends cabin in the mountains and split up who was in charge of meals before we went.  

We had projects going on everywhere, but we got ALOT accomplished.  Most of these are either Christmas presents or are going be sold for Christmas cash.  We are already planning another one in the spring.  

Ladies, even if you can't get out of town.. this would be great to do in a friends basement or bonus room one night.  We helped each other and bounced creative ideas off one another. Plus we got to spend quality time together!

Here are some of our creations: 

 Santa's workshop.. good thing we could leave our mess on the floor!

 the beginning of our work.. 

 all of our final creations 


 we did stop at the local Lowes and ask for one of the old pallets behind the building!





Labor Day Love

For Labor day. Brendan and I headed off to house/dog sit for some friends in Wilmington, NC.  We go there atleast 3 times a year and it is one of my favorite places to visit.  Now it really tops the charts since Brendan decided to propose there during our trip :)  It was a surprise.. we had been looking at rings, but I thought it would be maybe Christmas or my birthday.  

I just wanted to relax all weekend so I didn't bring any fancy kind of clothes.  I even forgot to pack shorts.  We went to dinner Saturday night at Riverwalk and I noticed Brendan got upset that we didnt get our balcony table he had requested.  I assured him it was fine, it was too hot out there anyway.  After dinner, he wanted to walk downtown and was very distracted.  He even suggested walking on the beach at 9pm!  I said I was tired, so back to the house we went.  

Sunday, I woke up to coffee in bed and Brendan asking to go to the Aquarium. We went to breakfast and wondered the entire grounds of the aquarium.  We walked along the rocks at fort Fisher and then Brendan asked to go to Airlie Gardens.  Yes a garden in 90 degree weather. I thought he was just wanting to visit all the places I talk about all the time!

At the gardens, he kept pausing at a lot of spots and then would keep walking.  I literally thought he had heat exhuastion.  I left him to check out the old Lebanon Chapel- I did flowers for a wedding there once in college.  While I was standing there, he came up and started telling me how much he loved me and then pops on one knee and asks me to marry him!

of course I said yes, after he reminded me.. hey I was too busy asking questions and trying on the ring.. 

A couple walked up right after and the girl offered to take some "reenactment photos".  

Little did Brendan know the amount of planning that was about to take place on the ride home.. :) 

 the aquarium.. he tried to here.. but they announced the dive show and everyone rushed us

 rocks at Fort Fisher.. again bombed by other people invading our space.. 



 my perfect ring


 and of course I said yes.. gatorade bottle and all in the background

the Minnie Evans glass bottle chapel I helped build during my UNCW college days