A Month of Memories

This week marks one month of living in Jonesboro. Time is a funny thing… it feels like we just left Branson and like we’ve been here for months, all at the same time. It’s been tough being away from our friends, family, and the town we grew up in, but it’s been a month of growth, new experiences, and big changes.

It has been so humbling to watch Duncan begin his journey through medical school. Duncan and I have been praying for this opportunity for years, and it’s so cool watching God open doors and helping us overcome obstacles.

I’m adjusting to Duncan’s busy school schedule and all of the studying required, spending lots of quality time with Cannon, and cherishing Duncan’s and my weekly date nights. Honestly, Duncan’s been amazing about keeping me informed on what he is learning and not letting me feel alone. I cannot say thank you enough for the way he intentionally tells me about his day and asks me about mine. There’s no one else I’d rather go through all these crazy changes with.

It would be easy to be negative and discouraged amidst these new challenges and this drastic change of pace; however, I’m choosing to seek the Lord and what He is going to teach me in this season. I’m choosing to treasure the good memories we are making and learn from the obstacles. Below are some of my favorite memories from this first month:

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I love making new friends. It’s such a blessing spending time with wives of some of the medical school students Duncan goes to school with, who are walking through the same new season as we are.

IMG_0134Our date day to Memphis was one of my favorites!

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We loved having Duncan’s family come visit us for his White Coat Ceremony!

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We went to Memphis for an evening with the Porters, exploring the city and even going on a horse-drawn carriage ride!

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I love my quality time with Cannon! We go on walks every morning and basically spend all day every day together. He’s such a good buddy.

Not every day is easy, but I will continue to focus on the good. We’re taking things one day at a time and are not taking a single day for granted. Our Father has never failed us, and I know He won’t start now. There is always something to be thankful for, and perspective is everything. This month we’ve laughed more and harder than ever before. I’m grateful for this unforgettable first month of memories!

 

Always & forever,

Alex

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My Favorite Room

I love everything about Duncan’s and my home in Jonesboro, but if I had to pick a favorite room, I would definitely say our bedroom. I like how cozy it is, how much natural light comes in the long windows, and I especially love our new bed Duncan made!

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The bed we had before was dark brown and would not have matched the gray color of our walls. This was the perfect excuse for a new one! Duncan’s made a lot of the furniture in our home, including our new bed. We knew we wanted a big, wooden bed, and Duncan made it all from scratch (seriously so impressive!). Once the frame was built, we painted it white, following up with sanding some of the edges (to give a more distressed/antiqued look). Duncan proceeded to wipe a dark brown stain over the white paint, wiping it off with a clean rag immediately after. After the paint and stain were dry, he finished by sanding the entire bed frame to tone down the color (to make it less of a brown). I love the way it turned out!

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I love white, fluffy comforters, and we spent most of the summer looking for a reasonably priced king size one. We finally found this one for a great deal at the At Home store in Springfield! I wanted a blue throw blanket and pillows to add a little pop of color. We found this Southern Living striped throw at Dillard’s and these soft, comfy decorative pillows at T.J. Maxx.

We wanted to find our initials to put up above our bed, which was another endeavor that proved to be more difficult than I initially thought. It felt like any time we went to a home store, they had one of our initials, but not the other’s, or they had both of our initials but no “&” symbol. After lots of looking, we finally found these at Hobby Lobby! I was nervous the silver color would blend in with the gray walls, but the rusty finish on the edges helps the letters to stand out and ties them in with the antiqued finish on our bed.

We’ve had these matching night stands since we’ve been married and started looking for matching lamps once we moved here to Jonesboro. I didn’t realize how expensive lamps are, so it took us a couple of weeks to find reasonable ones! These white ones were super cheap at Target, and I love how simple they are.

I enjoy spending time searching for new pieces for our home, as well as finding the right places for the pieces we already have. It’s fun seeing our room come together and feeling like our house is becoming more and more homey!

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Always & forever,

Alex

What to Wear for a Hot Summer Pregnancy

My second trimester and half of my third trimester have taken place during the heat of the summer. It’s been one of the hottest, most humid summers I can remember… but I suppose that could partially be due to my little bun in the oven! One of the best parts about being pregnant this summer was working at our shaved ice trailer, Yeti’s Shaved Ice! Although there wasn’t air conditioning in the trailer, it always helped having a shaved ice at the end of the day to look forward to (especially since I’ve been craving shaved ice throughout my entire pregnancy) :). Since the majority of my summer was spent in the shaved ice trailer, I typically wore my Yeti’s Shaved Ice tank top with athletic shorts. This was super nice, because all of my athletic shorts still fit and the tank tops were a nice way to stay cool!

When not at work, it was a little harder to know what to wear. I didn’t want to spend all of my money on a new maternity wardrobe, but I did want to invest in some key pieces of clothing, since we want to have more children in the future. Over the past few months, I’ve invested in a few flowy shirts (I love these, because they can be worn during pregnancy, as well as after!), a couple of flowy dresses (also great for pregnancy and afterwards), a pair of maternity jeans (that can be rolled into capris), a white pair of maternity jeans, and one “fitted” maternity shirt. I didn’t buy many fitted maternity shirts, just because I wanted to be able to wear what I bought both pre- and post-baby, in order to save money. Most of the clothing I’ve bought during my pregnancy I’ve ordered from Pink Blush, an online maternity store. I love the way their clothing fits and have been happy with everything I’ve gotten from them! Just make sure to check the sizing chart on their website before placing an order, as most of their clothing runs a little big.

Since I carry our daughter pretty high, I’ve thankfully been able to wear all of the shorts I had pre-pregnancy. Many of the dresses, shirts, and tank tops I had before still fit, which has been really helpful, as well! The majority of the time, thanks to all the heat and humidity, I wear shorts and a tank top or a flowy dress. We’ve gone out on the lake and to the pool a couple of times, which is the perfect time to get some sun on the bump! 🙂 I definitely prefer a two-piece when pregnant, because it is not fun having tight clothing on your pregnant belly; a two-piece is much more comfortable!

Below are some of the outfits I’ve worn this summer (during the later half of my second trimester and first half of my third):

These photos were taken when I was 19 weeks pregnant. I didn’t have much of a bump, so I went with a more flowy top for our graduation party and this flowy maroon dress for graduation!

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This was at my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding. I was almost 21 weeks pregnant and still didn’t really have a baby bump I wanted to “show off,” so I wore this maxi dress!

IMG_9859This photo was taken on Father’s Day, which was still during my second trimester. I chose to wear another maxi dress, rather than trying to accentuate my mini baby bump.

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I constantly craved being in the water this summer, so we tried to go swimming any free chance we got. This was taken at White Water towards the end of my second trimester, and I loved getting some sun on my baby bump!

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I had this dress pre-pregnancy, and it’s one that’s been perfect to wear this summer, even with my growing bump!

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Duncan and I took a day trip to Memphis a couple of weekends ago, and it was extremely hot! These white shorts have been a go-to during my pregnancy, and this tank top I had prior to pregnancy is perfect whether pregnant or not.

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This floral dress is one I bought from Pink Blush! I love that the sleeves and length of the dress are a little longer. It is super comfy, and it’s definitely not just a maternity dress.

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This was the dress I wore for Duncan’s White Coat Ceremony last weekend (32 weeks pregnant). It’s not a maternity dress, but the flowy design of it and the length fit well with my belly that is growing more each day!

As far as shoes, I tried to wear shoes that had good support! I basically lived in my Birkenstocks all summer, because they’re my favorite & most comfortable shoes. When I worked, I tried to wear tennis shoes or Chacos for the support. For formal occasions, like graduation and Duncan’s White Coat Ceremony, I wore heels, but made sure to bring a change of shoes!

I’m no fashion expert (or an expert at being pregnant), but these are some of the ways I made it through a hot & humid summer pregnancy! You don’t have to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a new maternity wardrobe, but it’s fun to splurge on a few items; after all, growing a baby is something worth celebrating! 🙂

 

Always & forever,

Alex

 

The First Step in Making our House our own Home

One of my favorite qualities in a home is when there is plenty of sunlight radiating in! I feel so lucky that our home has lots of windows (my favorite being the four floor-to-ceiling windows in our living and dining room). In order to take full advantage of these windows, I knew I wanted to lighten up the walls all over the house. I really like gray walls; however, gray clashed with the chocolate brown couches we have. Upon looking at more paint colors, I found a really pretty light blue color (with a grayish tint) that matched our furniture and decorations we received as wedding gifts and have accumulated over the past 2 years. We decided to paint our whole downstairs this same blue: Sherwin-Williams Crisp Blue, which included our living room, dining room, kitchen, half-bath, and laundry room (as well as our master bath upstairs).

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*A little glance at what crisp blue looks like in our living room*

I wanted to still use gray somewhere, so we decided to use it for our bedroom and Lively’s nursery, as it matches the furniture in both rooms well! There were so many shades of gray to choose from… we wanted it to be a light gray, so I started looking on Pinterest at some of the grays we liked the best to see what they looked like in other people’s homes. I found that Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray, which we ended up going with, is used often by Joanna Gaines on Fixer Upper (one of my favorite shows!). This is the gray we went with, and I love how it turned out!

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*Repose gray in our bedroom*

We wanted to use a few different colors in our home that all go together well, but give some variety. We decided to do a light green color for our guest room and guest bath. I wanted to choose a green that was not too bright or “too green” (I preferred a more neutral green). We decided to go with Sherwin-Williams Filmy Green. I actually love it even more than I thought I would!

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*A sneak peek of filmy green in our guest room*

Since the walls were deep red and orange prior to us buying the house, we used latex Kilz on all of the walls as a primer before painting. The Kilz was pretty inexpensive and saved us from having to do multiple coats of the actual paint colors. I’ll admit painting definitely tests my patience… it feels like it takes forever waiting for the primer to dry, wiping the walls down and cleaning the baseboards, moving appliances out of the way, taping off parts of the wall, removing electrical covers, waiting for the paint to dry, touching up any spots that need a little extra paint, etc. BUT it is so worth it! I love how the paint turned out. It lightens up our home and makes it feel even more spacious than I’d imagined! I love the way it looks with the natural sunlight. I’ll post more specifically about each room in our home as we get more done (& share more photos!).

 

Always & forever,

Alex