Saturday, March 31, 2012

A New Look

Thanks to Rachel my blog got a makeover!

When I setup my blog about a month ago I was not very impressed with the options of blog designs so I went with the simplest of designs. I liked it but it didn't really capture my personality so I knew it was only a temporary look. I'm thrilled with the design Rachel put together and she is great to work with! If your blog is in need of a makeover I highly recommend you check out her design blog, Uniquely Yours

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pregnancy = Increased Appetite

My mom has often told me that ever since I was a little girl I have been a snacker. I never liked sitting down for a big meal and much preferred to eat small portions through out the day. I'm sure that wore my mom out to constantly feed her hungry girl. Well, not much has changed! So even before I was pregnant I couldn't get through the morning or afternoon without a snack. Now, that hunger has been magnified! I must say, this was not the case for the first 10 weeks but now that I'm through the morning sickness stage I have quite the appetite.

Before Will and I left for South Carolina yesterday (he's going on his annual Turkey hunt in Estell with his hunting buddies and I'm spending the weekend in Greenville with my family and visiting my grandmother) I decided to take a lunchbox full of drinks, snacks and a sandwich. As I was packing up my goodie bag I mentioned to Will, "You know you're pregnant when...it's only been an hour since lunch and you are already preparing for when hunger strikes!" Well, it didn't take this girl long because (I'm not even kidding) we weren't even in the car 10 minutes before I was hungry for my turkey sandwich and a little while later I was eating an orange and then my cinnamon applesauce. :)

As we were approaching Atlanta (our halfway point) Will asked if he thought I could wait to eat dinner when we got to Commerce, GA. I laughed and told him that I did not pack enough snacks to make it that far! It wasn't too long after we had this comment that I insisted it was time to eat dinner. Our conversation went something like this:

Will: Be on the lookout for something that looks good to you.
Me: Okay.
Will: How about Arby's or Chickfila?
Me: No. I don't want a sandwich, salad or french fries. I need something with more substance.
Will: Cracker Barrel?
Me: YES!! I mean, is that what you want?
Will: It's not about what I want. It's more important that I have a happy passenger for the next 2 hours.
Me: Yeah, I agree. Thanks sweets!

So with that we stopped at the next exit with a Cracker Barrel and it did not disappoint! Will thought it would be funny to take a picture of me enjoying my veggie plate.


Thank you Will for stopping at Cracker Barrel for your very hungry wife! It was just what I was in the mood for. With a full tummy and it getting dark outside, I was asleep in no time. So I guess I was a happy passenger for the remainder of the trip!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Prayers

Ethel & Cannon at our Wedding
My grandmother Ethel was admitted to the hospital last Thursday, March 22, with pneumonia. Since being admitted her condition has worsened and she is now in ICU on a respirator. Please join me and my family in lifting my grandmother up in prayer. I have been praying that God would restore her health (she was in great health before coming down with pneumonia), that she would be comforted by the steadfast love of the Lord, and that she would have rest and trust in the Lord during this time.

A verse that I have taken comfort in the last few days is 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our affliction, 
so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, 
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, 
so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

Monday, March 26, 2012

14 Weeks


There's a shiner above the right eye!
How Far Along? 14 Weeks 3 Days.
Size of Baby? A Lemon.
Maternity Clothes? Not yet but I did try on some summery maternity clothes at Target the other day.
Weight Gain? 5 pounds.
Stretch Marks? Nope.
Gender? 4 more weeks till we find out!
Movement? Still too early but I can't wait for it!
Sleep? Good with regular trips to the bathroom most nights.
Food Cravings? Watermelon, Pineapple, Oranges, Cinnamon Applesauce. On the not so healthy side-- chips & queso (I may have eaten it three times last week) and homemade Rice Krispie treats (I've made these a few times too)!
What I Miss? Running outside in this beautiful spring weather! I take the dog on a walk a couple of days a week but it's just not the same.
Symptoms? Dizziness and fainting...
Belly Button? In.
Best Moment of the Week? Enjoying the beautiful weather and receiving some lovely flowers from my sweet husband!
What I Learned this Week? I have low blood pressure and being pregnant may cause dizziness and passing out. I received my "What to Expect When You're Expecting" email the day after my fainting episode and it told me that I may experience occasional faintness or dizziness. "If you can't find a place to lie down or sit when you feel light-headed, kneel and bend your head forward as though you were tying your shoe. This will help prevent you from fainting and taking a spill." This email was a day late for me but it's okay, I have a game plan for next time. :)

My flowers!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

R & R

A little rest and relaxation, that was my plan for the weekend. After a month of weekends on-the-go I was ready for a low key weekend in Tuscaloosa. The weather is summer-like here so a day or two by the pool was definitely on the agenda.

On Friday afternoon my husband sweetly asked if he could slip off into the turkey woods with his dad and brother on Saturday morning. I told him I didn't mind at all because I planned to have a low-key day and he wouldn't be missing anything.

Saturday morning...I wish I could say I slept in but when you can't stay up past 9:30 it's hard to sleep any later than 7. After a couple hours of reading and lounging around the house I decided it was time to be productive before I parked it by the pool for the afternoon. So I went to the gym for a little exercise. I've definitely scaled back my exercise routine since I've been pregnant but now that I'm feeling like myself again I try to get to the gym 3 times a week.

When I finished my workout I headed over to Stein Mart in search of a cute summer straw floppy hat. (They usually have a good selection at very reasonable prices.) After trying on a few I found the perfect hat for me!

I love the coral accents!
With that, I headed to the checkout line. This is when I wish I could say that I bought my hat, went home and spent the afternoon soaking up the sun...but that's just not the way my day unfolded. So, I'm standing in line with about 50 other women in Tuscaloosa when I start getting warm and a little light-headed. In hopes of warding off this feeling I start taking deep breaths and put my hand on the table behind me to "steady" myself. It all happened so quickly but my next thought was, don't pass out! Unfortunately mind over matter doesn't apply to pregnancy-lightheaded-ness because the next thing I remember is a sweet old lady standing over me exclaiming, "she just fell over!" I came-to quickly because when I heard a manager ask about an ambulance I emphatically said no! (At this point I was still picturing an afternoon by the pool, silly me.) That thinking was a little ambitious. Next thing I learned was that I was bleeding, yikes! I hate blood. I can take passing out but not passing out and blood. The blood surprised me because I couldn't even feel where it was coming from. As it turns out, when I fell, I hit right above my eye on the corner of a cement planter! While lying on the floor, somewhat embarrassed of the scene I was causing, the manager asked if I had anyone to call. Will was first on my list though I knew he was at least an hour out of town. Next on my call list was my good friend Julie, conveniently a nurse and conveniently was only 2 minutes away! Yay for Julie!

Julie arrived shortly after I was wheeled back to the employee break room where I sat for a few minutes. The manager was as kind and concerned as he could be which I really appreciated! He filled out an injury report while Julie and I decided it was best to have my eye checked out. It honestly didn't look like that deep of a gash but I knew it wouldn't hurt to have a doctor look at it.

Shortly after the incident.
With that, Julie and I headed to the Emergi-care office right around the corner. (On a side note, this was the same doctor that took care of Will and I when we had pneumonia and the office I passed out in...oh the memories!) It's a good thing we made the decision to see a doctor because I received 10 stitches (2 on the inside and 8 across).

10 stitches later.
Phew... What a day! Needless to say I never made it to the pool and so much for a low-key day! Will was also a little surprised to find me with a shiner on my eye. :)

Several hours later with the bruising.
The good news is tomorrow is going to be another beautiful summer-like day so after church I plan on stretching out by the pool for an afternoon of R&R!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring/Summer Reading List


I enjoy reading and I love to be as prepared as possible when I embark on new adventures. I'd say that pregnancy and, especially, motherhood are high on that list! The books pictured above are ones that I have picked up on my own or come highly recommended from mothers I respect.

What To Expect When You're Expecting -  This book is a classic in the pregnancy world and the cover of the book states that it is the #1 bestselling pregnancy book. Most of the information in this book can be found on the countless pregnancy websites but I like having the week-by-week growth in one convenient reference book.

The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy - I bought this as a fun, light-hearted read. It is written by a mother of four who compiled experiences, concerns, complaints and remedies offered to her by girlfriends along the way. It's a cute book for a first time mom and would make a great gift.

The Mission of Motherhood - I just started reading this book and absolutely love it! My sister-in-law recommended this book to me when I asked for a book on the biblical perspective of  motherhood. I know it's a book I connect with when I have several paragraphs highlighted from the 3 page Introduction. One that I particularly liked read, "And the fundamental mission of motherhood now is the same as it always was: to nurture, protect, and instruct children, to create a home environment that enables them to learn and grow, to help them develop a heart for God and his purposes, and to send them out into the world prepared to live both fully and meaningfully. It's up to us to embrace that mission as our own, trusting God to walk us through the details and to use our willing mothers' hands as instruments of his blessings." I'm looking forward to all that I have to learn through the pages of this book.

The Jesus Storybook Bible - I have wanted this book since I first learned about it several years ago but never purchased it till now. I've heard very good things about this particular children's bible. It speaks very highly to me that in the author's acknowledgements she credits Dr. Timothy Keller's teaching for informing every story and for his wisdom. I plan on reading this book aloud to Baby Cunningham while he/she is in utero. (Did you know that's recommended?)

Give Them Grace - Another recommened book that I look forward to reading. I think my first reading of it will be more for perspective than practical advice but I can see this as a book I go back to time and time again. A caption on the back of the book reads, "All of us want to raise good kids. And we want to be good parents. But what exactly do we mean by "good?" And is "being good" really the point?"

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer - I'm going to wait a few more months before I tackle this book. I think this will probably be one of several books I read on newborns but it came highly recommended from my sister-in-law so I think I'll start with this one.

So these are a few things I'll be reading over the next couple of months! I'd love to hear recommendations and learn what other books have been helpful to some experienced mommas.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

13 Weeks

Maybe a little bump is appearing?
How Far Along? 13 Weeks 4 Days.
Size of Baby? A Peach.
Maternity Clothes? I've bought a few cute things for summer but not wearing them yet.
Weight Gain? Still at 4 pounds.
Stretch Marks? Nope.
Gender? A few more weeks till we find out! Any guesses?
Movement? Not yet.
Sleep? Still needing a lot of it!
Food Cravings? Slices of lemon in water and lots of fruit.
What I Miss? Not being able to eat some of my favorite cheeses-- Brie, Feta, Blue Cheese.
Symptoms? None, feeling great!
Belly Button? In.
Best Moment of the Week? Browsing for nursery items with Will. I think we found the perfect glider and ottoman for Baby Cunningham's room. I'm set on have a super comfy and upholstered chair that I won't mind sitting in for long periods of time and napping in!


Glider from Baby Bundles

Monday, March 19, 2012

Showing Off My Hometown

My sweet friend Perry and I ventured from her hometown of Tuscaloosa, AL to my hometown of Greenville, SC last weekend. What a FUN trip it was!

Perry loves to travel, visit new places, and make new friends so I knew a trip to Greenville would be right up her alley. We stayed with my parents who live in a condo in downtown Greenville. It's the perfect place to bring visitors because it's right in the midst of the goings-on of the city.


My parents condo is on the top floor.

Downtown
For dinner on Friday night we strolled down Main Street to one of my favorite downtown restaurants, The Lazy Goat. (This was also the location of our Rehearsal Dinner!) They serve wonderful Mediterranean food and it's the kind of restaurant where you order several small plates and share them among the table-- it was so good! The location of the restaurant is also hard to beat, it sits on the river in Falls Park.



Saturday was full of bopping around Greenville with my mom and Perry and sharing some of our favorite shopping spots with her. Perry, like my mom and I, loves a good bargain on designer clothes so we took her to Labels on Augusta. It is such a great store because you just never know what little gem you are going to come across (and at a great price). Needless to say, all three of us walked out with some great finds!

My Label's purchase
The weather was beautiful on Saturday so we ate at an outdoor lunch spot by the Reedy River Falls, The Overlook Grill. It did not disappoint! Perry and I split the Reuben and Fried Green Tomato BLT with Pimento Cheese, yum! We snapped a few pictures on the bridge by the falls before stopping by a few boutiques-- Monkees of the Westend, the Pink Bee, and Augusta 20.

Mom, Perry and I
Me and Perry
By late afternoon, Perry had worn this pregnant lady out! I was in need of ONLY the best coffee drink in Greenville, a Mocha Freeze from Liquid Highway. If you haven't had one, it's a  MUST when you visit Greenville! Perry wholeheartedly agreed with my drink choice and with a little sugar boost I made it to one more store before insisting that it was time to rest. ;)

Mocha Freeze
On Saturday night, Mom, Dad, Perry and I drove out to a cute little restaurant in Travelers Rest called The Cafe at Williams Hardware. (If you are ever out biking on the Swamp Rabbit trail, this is a wonderful place to stop for a meal.) While we were there my mom's guitar instructor was set-up playing some lively bluegrass music, it was perfect music for the environment. :) Since Saturday was St. Patty's Day, the restaurant had a special menu for the holiday. The food was delicious!

Sunday was a little more restful for us. We attended Downtown Presbyterian Church where we heard a great sermon from Pastor Brian Habig. After church, we met up with my college buddy Jennifer Ridings for a delicious brunch at The Green Room.


With full tummies, we said goodbye to my parents and to Greenville and hit the road for Tuscaloosa! Thank you for coming to Greenville with me Perry! I had a wonderful fun-filled weeekend with you!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thankful

Days like today just make me want to get outside and worship God by enjoying His beautiful creation! I love waking up on days where it feels like springtime is in the air from the moment you step outside. One of my favorite verses that reminds me of Spring and the newness that comes as flowers begin to bloom and life comes back into the outdoors is Lamentations 3:22-24.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are NEW every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul,
"therefore I will hope in him."

Thanks to the energy that returns in the second trimester (which begins tomorrow!), during lunch I may just have to take Winston, our little shih-tzu, on a walk by the river and then recruit Will to play tennis with me after work. Sounds like a great day to me!

Meet our little rascal, Winston!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

12 Weeks

Not much to see right now!

How Far Along? 12 Weeks 4 Days
Size of Baby? A Plum.
Maternity Clothes? No, I think it will still be a little while.
Weight Gain? 4 pounds. My doctor was proud!
Stretch Marks? Nope.
Gender? We will find out in 6 weeks!
Movement? Not yet, but I cannot wait to feel that first little flutter!
Sleep? Getting LOTS of it! At least 9 hours of sleep a night.
Food Cravings? I've been eating a lot of white bread and cheese! My random food aversion is chicken! It used to be a dinner staple and now I want nothing to do with grilled chicken, chicken casseroles, chicken salad...yuck!
What I Miss? Only eating three times a day. :) I'm quite the snacker now.
Symptoms? Tiredness and still a few waves of nausea here and there.
Belly Button? In.
Best Moment of the Week? Enjoying a beautiful and relaxing weekend at the beach with my husband! (Putt-Putt date night pictures below.)

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Flashback to January

Early January brought a dose of sickness into our home, first with Will and then with me. I just assumed Will had a typical winter cold and that I would manage to avoid getting sick. :) After about a week with his cold and no signs of improvement, Will decided it was time for a visit to the doctor. Well, I am SO glad he went because he learned that he had pneumonia! It seemed like he came home with a medicine cabinet full of antibiotics, cough syrup and nasal spray but within a few days he was feeling much better.

Then it was my turn... About the time Will started feeling like himself again, I felt terrible! So, off to the doctor I went. Much to my dismay I learned that I, too, had pneumonia. What I was dreading most about this news was that it meant I would have to get TWO shots in my rear end. :( Well, I don't like shots. Especially not on my backside. When the nurse came in to give them to me I warned her of my fear and she assured me everything would be okay and that I should probably lie down while she administered them. I agreed. When the shots were over (10 seconds later) I thought I'd taken them like a champ. Well I hopped up, walked towards the waiting room, and the next thing I knew I was on my back on the cold hard floor. So much for being a champ? The nurses took me back to my room where I now had a pounding headache and pneumonia. My sweet husband came to my rescue a little while later and took me home!

Since the doctor diagnosed me with pneumonia he wanted me to come back in for a check up and more shots two days later. :/ When I was at CVS getting my prescriptions filled, all the same things Will received a week prior, I had the thought to grab a pregnancy test because in the midst of getting sick I realized my period was late. :) I really had no inclination to take the test other than the obvious missed period.

I took the test as soon as I get home and 2 minutes later the word "pregnant" appeared! I think the first thoughts that went through my head were, "oh my goodness! really? this is so exciting! what is Will going to think? we are going to have a baby!!!" :) Will was in class when I found out and was due home in an hour. I knew it wasn't appropriate to text him that I was pregnant (at least that's not how I wanted to share the news) so I waited and waited... It was the longest hour! As though one positive pregnancy test wasn't enough for me to see that I was pregnant I went ahead and took another one.



When Will finally got home he found me waiting for him on the sofa with a little "prize" wrapped up for him. I didn't really say much except, "Hey sweets! Glad you're home! Here's a little something I picked up for you." He opened it up and two thermometer looking things (Will's words) fell out. Will thought his/our prize were two thermometers! What a sweet wife I would've been to give him that! (It was a reasonable assumption though because we learned the week before that our thermometer was no longer working.) I excitedly told him that I did not buy him a thermometer and to look again! This time around he saw the word pregnant. A few seconds passed and Will didn't say anything. I said, "Are you mad?" (funny question to ask your husband, I know.) Will looked at me with teary eyes and said, "Are you kidding? This is wonderful!"

So, two at-home pregnancy tests and a check-up back to the "pneumonia" doctor later and he confirmed what we already knew when he excitedly told us, "Ma'am you are VERY pregnant."

Friday, March 9, 2012

Exciting Additions

12 Weeks...

Will and I are so excited to announce that we will have a new addition to our nest in September!

Baby Cunningham is due September 21, 2012.

Ultrasound at 8 weeks 4 days


I will be back next week with a full update. For now, Will and I are enjoying the start of his spring break with a relaxing weekend at the beach! 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What's in a name?

Our Traveling Nest.

When Will and I got married (over 2 years ago) we knew we were going to be travelers. Not only in the vacation sense of the word, but where we would make a home. Our first 10 months of married life were spent in Will's hometown of Birmingham, AL. From there we moved to Tuscaloosa, AL where Will has been pursuing a Masters in English Literature from the University of Alabama. We LOVE Tuscaloosa and will enjoy another 3 months here until we make another move. Will was recently accepted to the PhD program in Literature at The University of Kansas. Our new nest will be our biggest adventure yet...Lawrence, Kansas!

Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a love of "nesting." Whether it's moving to a new home, unpacking boxes, getting settled, making a house a home OR just unpacking when you go on vacation-- I love it all!

Since the next few weeks, months and years are sure to come with change-- a new nest, hometown, friendships, church, etc. I want to document these times for ourselves and our friends and families.