Thursday, May 11, 2017

| Hugo Michael |


Well gee, this is a little overdue.

Unlike my baby, who was born three days early.

He's four months old.  Currently laying next to me while I type.  His little blond head has freshly washed curls, the kind that only last for about an hour after his bath, wearing Easter pajamas with floppy bunny ears on the toes.  How embarrassing.  But hey, we go through a lot of laundry over here and there is approximately 97 pairs of pjs in the wash right now.


My goodness do we love this boy.

Born January 8, 2017.  9 pounds 3oz, 21 inches long.  He is the delight of our hearts and for all the struggle of pregnancy and childbirth, he is the sweetest, most content baby I've ever met.  And he's all mine.


Everyone has asked where we came up with his name, goodness! naming a child is one of the hardest things we've ever done!  We found "Hugo" and it fit all of our criteria and grew on us over the months.  It's German in origin (my heritage about a 50/50 German/Irish mix) and means "Heart, Mind and Soul", which I loved.  I hope that one day he will know God and we can teach him to love Him with all of his heart, mind and soul.  Victor Hugo is one of my favorite authors and I can't wait till he's old enough to discover the timeless stories of Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  Josh, being the film buff and movie producer that he is, thought of the movie "Hugo" about the little boy who lives in a clock tower in Paris.  "Michael" was chosen because it is Josh's middle name, as well as his dad's middle name and my closest grandfather's first name.


Hugo is a big name, but he's growing into it quite nicely and it suits him so very well.


His first four months have been full, he is an "Okie" and was born in Oklahoma City, OK, basically on a film set.  We even took him to the wrap party only a few days after his birth.  In retrospect, that wasn't my brightest idea, but sister had something to prove to herself.  I just felt that after waddling around set for months, I needed to show off my prize.  He's visited 10 states already, flew up to Chicago to visit with his Grandchief and Sugar (my parents) and meet his GrandMimi (my Mimi), drove down to Florida to meet his Pops and Mum (Josh's parents) and had his first trip to the beach last weekend.  We've taken him to multiple movies, events (he already has his first red carpet pic!) and on road trips.  He's our little buddy and so amiable that it's a pleasure to bring him with us.


Josh is an incredible dad and Hugo adores him.  I had an emergency c-section and from my delirious state in the operating room, I asked Josh to do skin-to-skin with him.  Josh didn't hesitate and stripped off his shirt to hold his newborn son.  I tease him that he has the "mother imprint" with Hugo.  Haha! I don't know if that makes any difference, but Hugo loves Josh and nine out of ten times will be comforted by him.  They play all of the time and Hugo gets so excited to see him (he used kick me from the womb when he heard Josh's voice!), he almost always has beard-rash from Josh smooching on him.  They love to read together, I didn't think he would be into it until much older, but Hugo is captivated by books.  It's more precious than I could have imagined.  And Josh's instagram stories featuring Hugo have become legendary!  Seriously, so hilarious!


And guess who just discovered that he has feet?!?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

| My Final Thoughts on Pregnancy |


I've reached that last stage of waiting.

My clothes don't fit, my shoes don't fit, my gorgeous engagement ring and wedding band hasn't fit for weeks, moving around is difficult and I've actually turned into a somewhat emotional person.

It's rough I tell you.

I developed Cholestasis, a pregnancy related liver disease that can turn deadly for unborn babies.  The little guy is doing great, but I'm on a prescription for the first time in my life to manage it and it's been a week of back and forth from the doctors office

Earlier this week, a blogger, Jessica Quirk (we're due the same week!), posted the link to this article.  "A Place of In-Between".  And being the 39 week pregnant weepy moose that I am, I just bawled my eyes out and was grateful that it wasn't just me.  The essay was beautifully written and a bit profound, I felt it very deeply.

I've never been an "in-between" kinda girl.  I've said it a million times, I enjoy "having done something" not the doing, not the waiting.  Reminding myself to enjoy something, or take my time, gahh, it just drives me up a wall.  There's this line from a Ben Rector (I just think he writes the sweetest love songs) that goes "Life is not the mountain tops, it's the walking in between".  I try to remember that, to embrace it, but its not so easy for me to live out.  I'm pretty sure I've written multiple blog posts on this subject already.  Sorry, I'm a slow learner.

It's been a funny week, I've baked cookies, made a swaddling wrap blanket, hemmed an old robe into a shorter more delivery/nursing style, non-stop cleaned our apartment, packed and re-packed the birth bags.  The other night Josh took me to the mall to walk for a while, got me a pedicure and some fancy gummy bears and then fed me delicious food court food for dinner.  I think we've had approximately 32 "last suppers" in anticipation of ending up at the hospital later that night.

I thought about including my thoughts on maternity clothing, but as a lady who has never said a swear in her life, I don't trust myself to start down that road today.  NOT A FAN I TELL YOU, NOT A FAN!

Well, I'm off to count some more sporadic contractions, obsess and re-pack the old birth bags and possibly hand-monogram that blanket I made earlier.  It'll help to stave off the crazy, I think.

Friday, December 16, 2016

| Sometimes There Really is a Bright Golden Haze on the Meadow |


It's been 6 weeks since we packed our bags, scoured our little apartment to an obsessive level, hired a carpet cleaner (a fact I'm still feeling SO very smug and adult about) and left Birmingham for our newest endeavor.

OKC y'all!

I married adventure.  He also happens to be a film producer.  And while every film he's worked on (October Baby, Mom's Night Out, Coffee Shop, Grace Unplugged & Woodlawn) has been shot in our home state, this new movie required a western Texas/Oklahoma look for location.  So here we are!

Our original plan was to stay through Christmas then go home to have our little boy, but the more we talked about it the more peace we had about giving birth here in Oklahoma.  I truly believe everything happens for a reason, and besides the struggle that is "getting hospitals to talk to each other", we're finally set up with a new doctor and a great hospital here and are confidently looking forward to meeting our baby in a few weeks.  AHHHH!

Oklahoma City has been a great town, I'm learning my way around (Trader Joes & Nordstrom Rack only 8 minutes from my house, thank you!).  They have some great neighborhoods and lots of fun things happening.  Even the restaurant scene is great!  The people are wonderful as well, we've met so many sweet people.

The first few weeks here were spent with Josh up to his whiskers in pre-production.  I spent most of that time with him editing emails, marketing our big scenes out to possible extras and meeting with  community leaders.  It's been really fun for me to see this part of his life, but listen let me tell you, I have slowed down so much in the last 6 weeks due to pregnancy.  I'm close to admitting defeat and my schedule has changed to include sleep, more sleep, daytime television & hallmark movies, hot tea, pregnancy reading, usually a quick visit to set (hey! they have unlimited snacks over there!) to check in with Josh and besides feeling a little guiltily lazy, its a pretty sweet life.  I have no complaints.

You know the old musical "Oklahoma"?  Those crazy backdrops with the orange and pink sunsets?  They really happen here.  Everyday.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

| 27/40 |



You know those moments in life where you are completely aware that your life is about to be forever changed?  It's surreal and terrifying, although I have found that though my biggest life "sea changes" I've also been overcome with a deep sense of peace.


I remember the exact moment I decided I was done pondering everything that could be or may never be between Josh and I and it had been long enough.  I picked up my phone and texted my mom to tell her I needed to talk.  Since I'd turned him down 6 months earlier and hadn't stopped thinking of it since.


I know the afternoon I spent methodically getting ready for the date that would hold the biggest question of my life and a very large and very sparkly ring.  I don't know why I ever contemplated what my answer would be, in my heart I always knew it wouldn't be no.


And more recently I've known the moment where it was more than a feeling and it was all about to change again and I handed the pregnancy test to Josh because I couldn't be the one to read the results.  It was too big.

"Abbe, you're a mom." was his reply as he held me and let me cry. , Over the moon happy and scared, a million and one emotions all at the same time.

And again, because I'm such a chicken, "Abbe, you're going to be an amazing boy-mom" after he opened the little envelope with our ultrasound photo.  We cried together that time.


I'm 27 weeks pregnant with our precious little boy.  Which explains why I'm awake and typing this at 3:48am and finishing it a good week later.  Gah, pregnancy side effects are no joke.

It's been a long time since I've stopped to write.  The words just haven't been there.  My journal doesn't even know the good news yet.  I've neglected it all.  Finding it a much harder discipline than I expected to even sit down and write thank you notes for my birthday and a little love note to Josh to find when he got home from Nashville late last week.

I've felt more than I knew I could over these past 6 months, I've been emotionally, physically, and spiritually overwhelmed, carrying a child is more than meets the eye.  I spent over 4 months in bed doing nothing but sleeping and throwing up, trying to keep liquid down so that I wouldn't end up in the hospital and crying when it was time to shower because I swear I could smell the water and it was not good.  It's truly a full-body experience.  My thoughts are choppy and the words are stuck somewhere between my head and heart.

For the longest time I thought I'd exit my 20s married, with a busy little family, etc, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah.  Imagine my surprise when I realized that despite my best efforts I couldn't make those dreams come true.  It took a lot of waiting and lot of wondering why God wouldn't give me what I wanted.  There were some pathetic seasons of self-pity, hard seasons of surrender and then just when I least expected it, there was another lesson waiting for me in what is called "faith" and I had to learn anew what it meant to trust God when I fell in love with my best friend.

That was my plan, God had other ideas.  It included marriage at age 27, life in the deep south, and an almost-instant little family (something I don't take for granted, as so many of my friends are struggling to become pregnant or have lost a child, I was afraid of that too).  I'm so grateful for these things, especially the gift of a healthy healthy baby.  And did I mention IT'S A BOY!

I'm still a little bit in shock over that one.  While we were dating Josh and I joked about what our future family would look like.  We'd settled on 5 fancy little girls and 1 messy little boy to keep the girls on their toes.  Now he's pretty sure we're going to kick things off with a fancy little boy instead.  Like, he thinks my fancyness is going to rub off or something...

Who are we kidding, it probably will.

Today is Josh and my's 7 month-iversary and I can still say, with all my heart, it's been the sweetest season of my life.  Marriage is much better than I ever anticipated and I love these two boys of mine more than you could know.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

| Snacks You Should Know About |

Three things:


1.  Hi Chew
My gummy candy obsession continues on.  These are fantastic!  I recommend the grape flavor.  Available at your local Targets.


2.  Takis Fuego
Like Flaming Hot Cheetos, ONLY BETTER!  Josh and I worked on set for a movie that was being shot in Birmingham the other weekend, okay, so, he worked and I tagged along.  But mostly importantly, my being with him gave me full permission to help myself to the amazing assortment of food over at the Crafty Truck (that's movie set speak for THE PEOPLE WITH ALL THE SNACKS!).  They're not gluten free, but they are spicy and lime-y and I could hardly restrain myself from licking the inside of the bag.  Sorry for saying that.


3.  The Bu - Honeydew Kombucha
On a healthier note...  This kombucha is just wonderful!  And by far the prettiest bottle of fermented mushrooms I've ever had the privilege of sipping.  The pink and green bottle pairs perfectly with your summer Lilly Pulitzer and a good tan.  I found mine at Sprouts, but I believe it is available wherever else you can find kombucha.

Friday, September 2, 2016

| Weekending | 8.13.16 |



I feel the need to preface this post by stating that I am not a motorcycle fan.  Not even a little bit.  There's was even this one time where I had a level 10 freak out over driving a Vespa scooter through a Caribbean Island.  It's a good story, it ends like this: I did not drive the pink scooter, my little sister did and I rode on the back of a friend's scooter because I at least knew he had a motorcycle license (not that that mattered in the Dutch Antilles...) and I'M ALL ABOUT SAFETY FIRST.  Also, the man I would marry was there too and saw the whole thing, but what better thing than to end up with someone who knows all your stories.

Anywho...

The other weekend I was in a museum-y mood, per usual, and came across the Barber Motorsports Museum, the reviews were fantastic and since I'd absolutely enjoyed the BMW Museum in Munich last fall I had a hunch this would be fun too.  I threw it out there to see if Josh was interested and he was all for it!


I'm such a lucky girl to have a guy who is spontaneous and who loves museums too!


From the minute we walked in we were impressed by the sheer size of this place!  It's a privately owned museum and the collection of vintage bikes and race cars is over 700.  There is also a lower level that is only opened once per year that is a working shop where the restoration process takes place.

Josh offered to add this one to my birthday list, but I don't think it would be able to hold all of my Trader Joe's groceries.


This is one of Steve McQueen's own bikes!  They had a full display of military bikes and notes about the history of the companies that made them for specific needs and different parts of the military. 


This was one my favorites, a 1957 Aermacchi Chimera 175 (I totally just googled this because I had no idea and I'd hate for my blog to lead you astray).  The color scheme was just too pretty!  And the design with the lovely curves and cream colored leather, sigh...

If you're in the area, be sure to stop by, you might just walk out a fan of fast things on wheels!

Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.    Tickets are $15 per person with an option to add on a docent guided tour that includes the lower level.  The park also includes a race track and we were able to watch the preliminary runs from the 4th floor, I'd love to go back to watch a race!  

Monday, May 2, 2016

| SSC3D |




Last Thursday night we were back at the Alabama Theater for an unforgettable concert.

There may be no way to humble brag my way through this post, because I had just the best time!

Steven Curtis Chapman and Third Day were touring together and stopped in Birmingham for a concert at the Alabama.  I kept hearing the ads run on the radio (north to south culture shock: SO MUCH CHRISTIAN RADIO!) and texted Josh to say "does this sound fun?!?"  

Yes!

I ordered tickets for the two of us and then he contacted one of his awesome Birmingham mover and shaker friends who said "Can you be downtown at 5:30 for a backstage meet & greet?" 


Yep, we can do that.

She ushered us though the theater into one of the back rooms where we laughed and joked around with the WDJC radio crew (they are a blast!) until the band came through.  I was closest to the door so Josh and I met Mr. Chapman first.  Josh is always great about remembering to get a photo and keeping the conversation going, I'm like like "hey!".  

Marrying him has reduced my social anxiety by approximately 972%.

We talked bbq and being introverted with the drummer to Third Day, snapchatted with another band member and just soaked up the gloriousness that is Mac Powell's vocal cords.

The hilarious morning show hosts, Roxanne and Chris!

 Between the the two of them, Steven Curtis Chapman and Third Day have something like 70 number one hits.  That's pretty incredible.  They sang through a ton of them, I kept expecting them to wrap up, but they played on.  Their own songs, each others songs, through them together.  I loved hearing Mac Powell sing through SCC's well known songs, their vocal qualities are very different and he brings such a different sound and depth.


The crowd was alive as they kicked off the concert with a stand-and-holler version of "Sweet Home Alabama"!  And then shut it down with "The Great Adventure" and "Soul on Fire" with everyone singing along.

Absolutely memorable.