October 2015

*Disclaimer: I seriously considered writing, “I threw up. The end.” for this month’s post and leaving it at that. If reading about things along those lines makes you feel ill, please just skip this post.

Nausea was my first clue this precious life was growing and by 6 weeks I was getting sick each morning and evening, sometimes (often?) multiple times. The homeschool calendar, my personal planner and journal all end the same day- October 7th. That’s when the morning sickness switch flipped. Everything resumed 11/2 as I began to feel the light and the end of the tunnel. I was still getting sick each day, but I could function in between again. Needless to say, I was *really* glad we’d started homeschooling in June!

At just 5 weeks, 6 days I was called into get an ultrasound because having endometriosis increases my risk of an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. We’d brought Caleb with us, after much discussion and prayer, deciding that he deserved to be able to celebrate or grieve with us. Caleb has a fairly uncomplicated view of death and this played into our decision as well. In his mind it’s as simple as, “God created us to live forever, but since sin and death entered the world, we get sick, our bodies die, but our souls live forever.” While he misses the person who has died and has to process through that loss, he seems to innately understand the eternal nature of human souls.

Not only did we get to see our little bean was where she belonged, we got to see her itty bitty heart beating away. I cried. Caleb exclaimed, “Awwww, it’s soooo cute.” Which was hilarious because, it’s a speck, but a very very loved speck.

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In the midst of all this, David had his work trip to Hawaii. The tickets had already been purchased and were non-refundable so, medicated with a B6/unisom cocktail and covered in much prayer, Caleb and I boarded the plane. By God’s grace, I managed to get through all the air time without incident, but I did get sick in every airport we stopped in, both ways.

I was also extremely sick the entire time we were there, so while I was still able to enjoy certain aspects of Hawaii, talking about it still makes me feel a bit queasy. If it hadn’t been for the wife of one of David’s coworkers who was willing to stick with me, despite my green color and slow pace, I probably wouldn’t have been brave enough to venture further than a block from my hotel room. I was so dehydrated that my heart felt like it was constantly pounding and I was dizzy often.

As it was though, with Teresa’s help, Caleb and I were able to go to an army museum, the aquarium, over to the air force base to visit with his cousins, and do a historic tour. I also took Caleb swimming every day, either in the pool or in the lagoon (he did not like the waves and adamantly refused to go in the ocean and in my condition, I wasn’t going to coax him to do otherwise).

As a family, we spent time exploring the island including turtle beach and a beautiful waterfall/gardens area, went to 2 luau’s (which unfortunately involved eating, but I did enjoy the shows!), drove to Diamond Head, watched fireworks and payed our respects at Pearl Harbor. Even as sick as I was, it was an unforgettable trip and I’m so glad I went.

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Other than that, highlights from this month consisted of Caleb praying, almost nightly that God would, “heal Mommy’s strong smell.” (I’m pretty sure he meant the fact that everything smelled awful to me, but we can’t be sure ;) ) and asking me, often, if I was in the 2nd trimester yet so that, “you’ll feel better and can play with me again.”

It was a rough month, but worth every bit of it.

 

September 2015

As those who read our Christmas letter know, September was a big month for us, but for most of the month I was completely unaware. After my diagnosis’ the month before, I was mostly focused on getting closure on having more biological children and parenting the one I already have well. Caleb and I had some beautiful moments this month that I wrote down:

  • Earlier in the month, we had one of those particularly long grocery trips where Caleb had whined for several different things and did not accept no graciously. I explained to him for what seemed like the 100th time how money is a limited resource and we have to choose where to spend it. I had to stop by and pick up a can of paint on the way home, as I was standing there, Caleb pulled all the money he’s been saving out of his wallet and told me to use it to buy paint. I reminded him that is his lego money and he told me, “I know, but paint is more important than legos, isn’t it?”
  • At his well child visit he told the pediatrician, “My favorite food is pickles. The sour kind!” He then preceded to ask (and receive) one for breakfast the next morning. He also told me later that week, “My favorite foods are meatballs, giant raisins (aka- dates), and shrimp.” He’s an eclectic eater for sure! (Apparently he was having cravings on my behalf, haha).
  • One of my goals for our home is for our house to be a place where everyone can receive grace. I fail at this so often, but this month had a win that really stands out in my mind. Caleb and I were making brownies together and he got a little too enthusiastic with the spoon and a large chunk of mix ended up on the floor. I felt frustration well up immediately (how many times have I reminded him…!) and I know he saw it on my face. I choked it down and said, “It’s ok, we all make mistakes, we can just clean it up.” Not only did he jump down and help me clean, he took the vacuum into the next room and vacuumed it and then grabbed a sponge and spot cleaned some dirt on the floor. I was blown away how my one small act of mercy, started a grace cycle that completely blessed me. Let me be this mother (and wife!) more often!

So, picking up where the Christmas letter leaves off, we had a wonderful time in Florida celebrating the marriage of David’s middle brother and our new sister-in-law before returning home and getting the surprise of our lives.

Pregnancy after infertility is definitely a whole different thing. Rather than waiting and seeing how things would go, I had David take a picture right away (knowing there was 0 difference in my belly at just 4 weeks). But I was pregnant. Today. And I might never be again, so I wanted to capture that moment forever.

Caleb has no idea yet, but emotionally I desperately needed to know I got at least one picture with my *two* children.

Caleb has no idea yet, but emotionally I desperately needed to know I got at least one picture with my *two* children.

I also started a journal immediately- again so different from the wait and see attitude I thought I’d have. I just wanted to celebrate *this* baby, *this* moment in our lives for as long as it lasted. Everything took on twice the normal meaning- knowing I was reading a book with 2 children, going to the park with 2 children, experiencing this joy I thought we’d never experience again. And yet, despite all that joy, after 2 years of infertility and knowing my PCOS diagnosis, it was hard to believe this baby would grow into a happy healthy pregnancy.

September 27th, 2015

Today was a hard day. I woke up with a cold, which dulled my sense of super-smell and my nausea was gone most of the day. In light of those things, I’m concerned what my HCG levels tomorrow will show.

Whatever happens, I can see God’s goodness in bringing this child into our family. Before, I felt crushed by the weight of not being able to conceive again I didn’t even realize I had become so absorbed in my own pain, I was missing God’s goodness in my life and my role to give that goodness to others in so many ways. The joy this child has created has given me space to see that more clearly.

I want to choose thankfulness and joy. I want to live like I really believe “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed, perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned, struck down, but not destroyed.”

 

August 2015

Knowing we had a lot of travel coming up this year, we started homeschooling in June (mostly focusing on phonics and reading) and slowly added different pieces of our curriculum in until, by August when everyone else started we were “officially” homeschooling :)

For those interested, here’s a brief outline of our day. We do many different activities connected to these “bones” of a schedule to try and keep his brain working in unique ways:

Calendar/Seasons/Months/Weather

Number of the Day

Sentence of the Day

Clock

Catechism

Memory Verse

Phonics

Easy Readers/Read Alouds

Handwriting

Math

He also does an art class most weeks (while mommy squeezes in a many errands as she can into 2 hours), as well as co-op activities which include art, music, PE and science experiments. For history, we love Story of the World, which he listens to during his quiet time almost every day while he builds incredible lego inventions to show off to me when he’s all done :)

So, how does he like it?

Since we started, Caleb has told me several times how much he liked preschool. I can tell he misses it. I’ve been affirming what a special time it was, but I was curious…which would he choose if he could? When I asked him, his response warmed my heart:

“I would want to homeschool! I love homeschooling.

Me: “What about it?”

“I get to do things I didn’t get to do in preschool. Like I’m learning to tell time now and I have my own little clock whose hands I can move myself. And, Daddy gets to be the volunteer! He never got to be the volunteer at preschool!”

Perks of letting daddy take over an assignment during an afternoon session :D

So far, every time someone has asked Caleb what he likes best about school and he says, “Math!!!” no one has acted surprised or commented on how they don’t like math. Math was hard for me, so I know how hard it is to keep those comments to yourself. So just a huge thank you to all my friends who have encouraged my little math-lover over the past two weeks!

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Adventures is Classical Education (our history curriculum):

C: “St. Nicholas was alive in the Byzantine Empire. So that means he’s really alive right?”
Me: “Well, the Byzantine Empire was a long time ago. So he was really alive, yes, but he’s not any more.”
C: “Did he die in September 11th?
Me: “No, the Byzantine Empire was much much longer ago.”
C: “So, now my question for you is- are his bones still in the ground?”
Me: “I would guess so…” @_@

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As much as I enjoy running errands when Caleb is in art, I also love having him with me. At 5, he is such a big helper. He is beginning to understand price and value and will say things like, “If grapes are on sale this week, may we please get some?” <3 He also loooves helping me in the self check out lane and can scan and bag most items. I love how much learning just happens “along the way”.

And of course, another cool thing is when I realize he knows something that I didn’t even teach him directly. The other day, I was asked to give my phone number when I checked in to a doctors appointment and Caleb chimed in and recited the whole thing! Apparently, he’s been with me enough times, it’s committed to memory. I’d assumed I’d be teaching it to him this year. Guess I can check that off my list!

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Obviously, most of our month centered around the new adventure of homeschooling, but I also had to carve some time out of my schedule to get some testing done. Some odd symptoms that were becoming increasingly frequent made David and I decide we wanted more than a “it’s probably endometriosis” diagnosis. However, I really wanted to avoid jumping straight to surgery, the gold standard of endo diagnosis.

After researching my options, I decided to have a battery of tests done all at once to rule out other, potentially more serious conditions, and under certain circumstances, confirm my endo diagnosis. If a patient has endometrial cysts on the ovaries, these can be seen on ultrasound by a skilled technician, during a small window of the cycle. These cysts are correlated with more severe endo, so I wasn’t sure if I was hoping for them to be found or not.

At the end of August, we got our results from the ultrasound and blood work. Two endometrial cysts, one on each ovary, and PCOS, also affecting both ovaries. The endometriosis was expected, although it confirmed our suspicions that mine is likely not a “mild” case, but the PCOS was a total surprise, as I don’t have many of the other symptoms that correlate to it.

Both conditions make it very difficult to get pregnant and many women affected by both need assistive reproductive technology to have children. PCOS also makes it more difficult to carry children to term, so in the event I did get pregnant, my chances of loss were statistically much higher. It was hard to hear, but as I tucked Caleb in that night, I knew I already had my miracle baby. I’d gotten to be a mother for 5 wonderful years, against all odds. How could I complain?

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Chirstmas Letter 2015

2015 Christmas Card

 

Dear Family and Friends,

We spent the first month of 2015 getting to know our local orthopedist. On Christmas Eve, poor Caleb slipped and fell on our tile floor. He seemed to be favoring his left arm, but insisted he was fine and crawled right into bed. After watching him unwrap all of his gifts one-handed the next morning (still insisting he felt fine), David and I exchanged meaningful looks and I slipped off to call the pediatrician. While I was on the phone, Caleb was finally willing to confess that his arm was hurting him. We took him to the ER, still in his Christmas jammies, where an x-ray confirmed he’d broken his collar bone. When we told a dear family friend the story he said, “He’ll make a good Navy Seal someday. He’ll ignore broken bones to complete the mission…even if the mission is opening presents.” J After 6 weeks in a sling he was all clear to be his usual rough and tumble self again.

This year also brought two interesting travel assignments for David. His team was requested to lend support on bases in Cuba and Hawaii. Needless to say it was a tropical year that brought many new experiences. In Cuba, we had the least contact we’ve ever had on a trip before. Even on base, telecommunications are extremely limited. This trip was more than made up for a few months later though, when we were all able to go to Hawaii together. We explored beaches, hiked up to a waterfall, saw sea turtles playing in the surf, went to a luau, took Caleb on a submarine ride and remembered those who gave their lives at Pearl Harbor. It was an unforgettable experience.

In the fall, Sarah began homeschooling Caleb. While he’s doing very well reading 3-4 letter words, his favorite subject is definitely math and he begs to do “just one more page” almost every day. We’ve also really enjoyed being part of an extra-curricular co-op where we meet with other homeschooling families to do PE, art, music and science experiments together. We also got to go on field trips to an apple orchard and pumpkin patch and learn many new things about agriculture and pollination- the perks of living in farm country Pennsylvania!

Shortly after school started, we took a week long break to head down to FL to celebrate the marriage of David’s middle brother, Josh, and our wonderful new sister in law, Brianna. Caleb was one of their ring bearers, along with his cousin. It was a precious time with family. On the way back, however, Sarah started feeling a bit sick. After a few days of being unable to shake the queasy feeling, we found out that we are expecting Baby #2! This was miraculous news as Sarah had just been diagnosed the month prior with two different conditions that helped us understand why we’ve been unable to have more children. As the psalmist said, “This is the LORD’S doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.” We know each day with our children is a gift from him and we’ve made it our goal to celebrate each day. We hope to welcome this little one home sometime around June 1st, 2016. Caleb is excited to have a sibling and is eager to feel the baby move. He’s already been able to see him/her on ultrasound and hear the little heart beating. He would really like it to be a baby brother.

As thankful as we are for this baby, our hearts are full of rejoicing for the baby we didn’t have to wait for. The one who came 2000 years ago to seek and to save the lost, whose love endures forever, and whose mercies are new every day. From our family to yours, Merry Christmas and a joyful new year!

With Love, The Gainey Family

 

The evening I sent out the first batch of our Christmas letters, Caleb and I were rear ended. We were both fine (as was the car) but it was a hard wait to check on little one the next day. Our precious bean seems to be doing just fine. Wiggling around, heart beating away at 145 beats per minute. We rejoice in the Lord’s mercy, not only in bringing him or her into our lives, but sustaining it each day.

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16 weeks

 

 

July 2015

July was a laid back month that brought the type of precious memories I’ll still carry with me when I’m an old lady. Our neighbors threw an awesome block party, complete with giant slide, which all the neighborhood kids played on from dawn until well into the evening, I got to attend the bridal shower of my soon-to-be sister-in-law and meet her sweet family and we celebrated my birthday with a backyard smores and sparklers night.

2015071895145316-1-01 IMG_2455 IMG_2458 IMG_2461IMG_2502We also got to spend a long weekend with our dear friends the Merolas.

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And the token anecdote I jotted down from this month:

This afternoon as I was coming inside, i banged my knee onto the edge of one of our porch chairs. I said, “Oww.” and Caleb of course immediately started asking me what happened, to which I graciously replied something like, “I banged me knee and it really hurt. Please just get inside and sit down at the table and stop asking me questions.” To which he said, “I’m sorry you hurt your knee mommy.” in the sweetest, but most David-like-tone that says, “I can see you’re having a meltdown right now and I’m going to be loving anyway.” I apologized on the spot for speaking grumpily and am still in awe at the maturity I saw in him at that moment.

 

June 2015

Despite now being a full 2 years into secondary infertility, Caleb’s birthday didn’t bring me any sadness this year. There are some days the hugs are a little longer, the handholds a little sweeter, there’s always time for just one more story and the constant stream of chatter from the back seat just reminds me that, by God’s grace, over 5 years ago, two little lines grew into 9 healthy months, which I’ve gotten to enjoy through 5 years of healthy life. So. Incredibly. Blessed.

IMG_1995 IMG_2072 IMG_2084This year, Nya Nya (David’s Mom) got to join us for Caleb’s birthday party. We had so much fun making memories together. She got to see Caleb graduate from his swim class, go on a hike with us at our favorite park, go glow-light minigolfing and see many of Caleb’s famous “concerts” we are often treated to :)

IMG_0711 IMG_0766 IMG_2167The first day of homeschooling snuck up on me. After his first swimming lesson, Caleb pulled down his BOB books and asked to do a reading lesson. We covered 2 lessons in the 100 easy lessons book, he read me 2 bob books and then he did 2 handwriting pages! I guess we’re “official” now :P I’ll still take a cute first day photo in the fall when we start doing this more regularly.

And of course our days are still full of learning of the much less formal variety- building spaceships from cardboard boxes or the occasional field trip (this one was to the national aquarium in Baltimore).

IMG_1913 IMG_1914 IMG_1663 IMG_1711Less than one month in, but I’m loving having a big 5 year old!

April/May 2015

Spring finally arrived, and Caleb started sprouting some new skills as fast the trees were putting out new leaves. Never before one to be interested in sitting and coloring, he discovered Blue’s Clues and new fascination with drawing.

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If I remember correctly, Daddy and Mommy are on stage and Caleb is watching.

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I spy a school, a castle and a bell tower…

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This is our “family”. I forget who was in it this time, but frequent participants in our nuclear family drawings include: grandparents, Little Caleb, friends, church members and of course, Aunt Brianna. :D

And Building…all by himself!

IMG_1160 We also got a very special visit from Granny Robin

IMG_1262May was chaotic for our family as always.

We celebrated Mother’s Day

IMG_1419 IMG_1426Went camping with friends for our 6th anniversary.

IMG_1454And celebrated Caleb’s last year of preschool (*sniff sniff*!)

20150522_095049I’m so grateful for each day.

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Jan/Feb/March 2015

I’m dying to catch up the blog and post about what’s happening *now* (5! Kindergarten! Big Kid!) so please excuse this rough-draft version of my monthly updates. It’s basically a string of anecdotes I wrote down with cute pictures in between (that may or may not be related in any way). Enjoy!

IMG_8988Caleb: “Mommy, I’m going to sing a song called “Jesus was Born in a Stable”. It’ s about happy things that happened to Jesus.

Me: “Could I take a video?”

C: “Actually, I’m sorry, but cameras aren’t allowed in the church.”

LOL! Where does he get these things?

About 30 seconds into the song, Caleb decided drumming on beat requires intense concentration and made this face the rest of the time :D

About 30 seconds into the song, Caleb decided drumming on beat requires intense concentration and made this face the rest of the time :D

Caleb remembered a dream! He came into our room one morning and said, “I had a dream that did not scare me last night! I dreamed I was flying in my superman cape. Diego was in my dream and he called me because he needed me to rescue him from a waterfall!” So fun to see him able to remember a happy dream!

In preschool one day he told me his favorite part of the day was being a fireman and a doctor at the SAME time. He is such a rescuer right now.

Shark Boy

Shark Boy

Caleb and I both woke up with a nightmare at the exact same time last night. His was that someone at daddy’s work popped his only purple balloon (he had a red balloon pop yesterday that he cried and cried over so the dream definitely makes sense) and I dreamed I was at the zoo and they were letting the lions chase a goat for their meal. It upset Caleb and the next thing I knew he was in there trying to rescue it. I yelled for him and he escaped back out, but I was panting and heart pounding when I woke up from it. No idea where that came from, lol.

First lego set we built together :)

First lego set we built together :)

If you’ve spent time with a 4 year old, you know that if you’ve won a game of chutes and ladders, you’ve really lost.  For the first time in their lives, they understand the concept of winning, so losing is still something they are learning how to deal with. We try to give Caleb a balance of reality (we all lose sometimes) and compassion (but it still doesn’t feel good).

Earlier this month, Caleb set up a game of Memory for us to play together. He asked me what my favorite Thomas train was so he could include it as one of the matches. Being the creative, knee deep in mixing and stirring mom that I am, I blurted out, “Thomas.” I told him to go ahead and take the first turn without me. The next thing I hear as I push a casserole into the oven is, “Awww! I’m sorry Mommy! I got Thomas. He’s your favorite. I’ll put him back so you can get him.” This amazed me because this is *not* something we do for him.

Another precious moment. I accidentally dropped a bag of flour getting it out of the freezer. Caleb heard my frustration and said, "Don't worry mommy, we all make mistakes, I'll clean it up for you." Heart Beyond Melted.

Another precious moment. I accidentally dropped a bag of flour getting it out of the freezer. Caleb heard my frustration and said, “Don’t worry mommy, we all make mistakes, I’ll clean it up for you.” Heart Beyond Melted.

One morning, as I was opening the curtains, just as the sun was peeking up over the mountains Caleb says, “Mommy, you’re the best girl in our family.”

“What a way to start the day…”, I thought. Then he added, “Because you’re the only girl in our family.” At least his sense of humor is developing, LOL.

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Caleb built a block tower this morning, and said, “This is a tower to the gods! And we are going to get in trouble.” He then sang a song that went like this: “We made ourselves!” (beating a drum!). Then sings “Whooo made you? God!” and then knocks down a big part of the tower. Repeat multiple times. I guess the whole “don’t worship false gods thing is really resonating with him?. Hahahaha.

He's a character...

He’s a character…

At almost 5, Caleb’s “kidisms” are disappearing rapidly, but one of my favorites is still going strong. Instead of saying “kiddie” (like a kiddie pool, etc.) Caleb says “kidney” as in, “This is my kid-a-nee fork, my kid-a-nee cup, etc” It makes me smile every time. I know one day I’ll hear my last “kidney” and I’m in no hurry to correct it :)

Speaking of kid-isms...does it get more adorable than "Fort" in little kid handwriting?

Speaking of kid-isms…does it get more adorable than “Fort” in little kid handwriting?

At lunch one day, Caleb starts telling us, “Did you know 1+1=2, 2+1=3, 2+2=4, 2+1+2=5, 3+3=6, 3+3+1=7, 4+4=8…” Of course, I was thrilled he is understanding the concept of addition, but I couldn’t figure out how he was choosing those groupings of numbers. When I asked, he told me:

Excuse the mess in the background.

Excuse the mess in the background.

Do you see it?

 

 

Stitch Fix #1

Several people asked me to share my thoughts on my experience with Stitch Fix, and given the number of blogs I read before I took the plunge, I want mine to be as helpful and honest as possible.

Let me start by explaining why I decided to try Stitch Fix in the first place:

1. I really really don’t like shopping for clothes. I never have. I find the amount of choice in each store overwhelming, get frustrated when I spend 1-2 hours of my time picking out and trying things on with nothing seeming “right” and often buy something I don’t love because it looks “okay” and is an okay price which later sits in my closet, making me feel guilty.

2. My most heavily used clothes have gotten old. Until a recent purge I still had long sleeve shirts my mom bought for me in highschool. That I was actively wearing. In public. This relates to #1. A good percentage of my fall/winter/spring wardrobe has pilled, shrunk, stretched, stained or otherwise showing signs of being worn repeatedly 3/4’s of the year for between several years to a decade-ish.

So when I heard the idea of Stitch Fix- someone with actual fashion sense would listen to my preferences, pick out a manageable number of options, deliver them to my door for me to try on with clothes I already own and give me 3 days to decide if I really like them…it sounded too good to be true! Until I heard about the price.

Hands down, concern about the price held me back the most. Stitch Fix is unmistakably more expensive than shopping the Target clearance rack, even when you request to be sent their most inexpensive options. I talked to my husband who is even more frugal than I am about my concerns. I expected him to quickly talk me out of it. Instead, he completely surprised me by thinking it was a great idea. We’ve both become convinced that buying quality things we won’t have to replace as frequently is a good investment and he loved that Stitch Fix would keep me from being tempted to “settle” and bring home things I didn’t love because I had already invested so much time into a shopping trip that I didn’t want to have to repeat.

Shortly after my birthday, I filled out my “Style Profile” which was surprisingly thorough and created a pinterest board, which I’d read is key for getting a great Fix. Although most months I would prefer jeans and blouses that work with my hip career as a homeschooling mom, I had a special request for my first fix. This September, David’s middle brother is getting married in a casual beach wedding and I hoped my stylist could help me find a dress for the occasion.

So without further ado, the results:

First, the dresses:

Kensie Carver Dress: $78

IMG_2740First of all, let me say that I’m pretty sure this is the highest quality dress I have ever tried on. The fabric looks heavy, but it’s light while still having structure and breathes beautifully. The zipper moved like butter and the fit was lovely. My stylist included this as a more formal option for the wedding if I didn’t like her first choice. While I love this dress, neither my husband or I thought the deep black against my skin and hair was the most flattering and, other than church (and only in the summer) I have no idea when I would wear it. It just didn’t have enough versatility for the price. Verdict: Returned (with a little sadness)

Gilli Kadence Cowl Drape Front Dress: $64

IMG_2715This was my stylists first choice dress and I completely agree. It’s both casual and elegant, is a light jersey knit that’s perfect for the beach and is much more flattering on my body that the pre-baby dress I was going to try and wear instead. Not to mention works beautifully with the wedding colors. Home Run. Verdict: Kept

 Then the rest of the Fix:

Skies are Blue Kaia Crochet Trim Top: $54

IMG_2717Original Response: Initially, when I picked this up, I thought it would be huge on me. I ended up loving the drapy, skimming fabric. If I hadn’t liked anything else in the box, this absolutely would have been the item I put the styling fee towards. As it is though, I can’t justify $50+ on an item of clothing I’ll only wear 3 months of the year here. Verdict: Returned

Update: After I wrote this post, I sent it to my mom and a couple friends to see if they agreed with my conclusions. They all agreed on 4/5 and all said, “Please don’t send the crochet top back!!!” After trying it on with several other bottoms, I asked David his thoughts. He also voted to keep it. I’m still not sure I would have if it hadn’t been my “birthday” fix, but as it is I’m wearing it today and loving it! It will be well loved in the summer season and earns a spot in my bag for all of our Florida family visits. Verdict: Kept

Market and Spruce Evella Boatneck Top: $64

IMG_2724Again my stylist totally took to heart my desire to have more shirts that skim my tummy instead of cling to it and again the fabric of this shirt was some of the highest quality I have ever tried on. Unfortunately the color did nothing for me and I already own a similar piece I like much better. Verdict: Returned

For those interested, this is the sweater I already own. Not as high quality, but a better color for me and it was $8 off the Kohls clearance rack:

IMG_2737Pixley Martina Slub Knit Open Cardigan: $48

IMG_2732I really liked this peice and thought it was a very fair price. Unfortunately (there’s that word again…) it is also a virtual twin to something I already own. Although I like this one slightly better than the one I have, I definitely can’t justify replacing it. Verdict: Returned

The twin:

IMG_2735Even though I only ended up keeping two pieces in this fix, I will 100% request to have the same stylist again. I could really tell she read my notes and looked over my pinterest board carefully. The necklines were all high like I requested, while still being interesting, she didn’t send me any crazy patterns or edgy styles, but stayed in the “modern classic” vein that I prefer. I’m looking forward to my next fix and am thankful to have something so beautiful and comfortable to wear to the wedding next month!

If this post inspires you to try Stitch Fix, please consider using my referral link when you sign up: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/5628099

 

November 2014

Caleb starts practicing his “l” sound. One morning, he says “llama” perfectly. David and I applaud, but secretly, I’m not ready for his baby lisp to be gone.

(Caleb officially perfected the “l” sound in May 2015. He has to slightly over-pronounce it to do it though, which is almost as cute as the lisp. Still not feeling ready for him to be such a big boy…)

Caleb is starting to think through a lot of big concepts. We checked out a book about various types of vehicles from the library (actually we check out about 10 of these every trip. Caleb always tries to convince me he doesn’t need other books, but ends up enjoying them all ;) ) and Caleb pointed to a page with a dump truck on it.
C:”What’s that black stuff coming out the end?”
Me: “It’s exhaust from the engine.”
C: “I don’t understand how exhaust gets from the engine *points to front of truck* to here *points to smoke at back of truck*. There must be a pipe.”
Me: @_@ “Wow, that’s really insightful buddy.”

Caleb has also started showing new levels of empathy. During the last big yard work day of the year, I managed to get a rose thorn lodged deep in my thumb while pruning. I asked David for help getting it out since it was in my dominant hand. Caleb brought me a toy to hold, held my hand and rubbed my back the whole time. Heart completely melted.

November also brought our Thanksgiving trip to Florida. This year it was with David’s family and we all had a wonderful time making memories and enjoying being together:

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