Date Night

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*Picture from our date night at the fair!*

New seasons can be intimidating and change can be scary. Before Duncan began medical school, countless people told us how much our marriage would change and how difficult it would be. It was really discouraging to hear and made me terrified Duncan would never have time for me.

Instead of allowing the fear to cripple us and the change to create distance between us, it has actually brought us closer. One of my favorite things about Duncan is how intentional he is with communication. He sets aside time every day when he gets home to talk distraction-free about both of our days. We also have made sure we set aside time for a date night each week, no matter how stressful or busy the week is, because our marriage is high priority and time together is our favorite!

Last week the NEA Fair was in town, so we spent our date night at the fair! Even though we couldn’t ride any of the rides (they’re not really made for women who are 38 weeks pregnant), it was so much fun spending time together laughing and walking around… we walked probably 7 laps around the fair for a grand total of 3 miles (apparently Lively didn’t want to be “walked out”). We also enjoyed sharing a refreshing frozen lemonade, playing fair games, visiting the petting zoo, and watching other people ride the assortment of rides.

It’s the absolute best being married to your best friend. Of course, no one will ever be perfect, and we cannot fulfill each other, because only God can; however, it is so encouraging doing life with with my best friend and walking through new seasons side by side.

Side note: our precious daughter will be here a week from today at the latest! We cannot wait to meet her and become parents!

 

Always and forever,

Alex

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Saying Hello to Fall & our Front Porch Swing

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Happy first day of fall! I don’t know about where you live, but here in Jonesboro it definitely doesn’t feel like fall yet. It’s still been in the nineties every day and the humidity is worse than ever, but I’m anxiously awaiting the cool fall breeze and being able to enjoy sitting outside.

Duncan and I were recently gifted a porch swing, and all it needed was a little paint job before it matched our front porch. I love how homey porch swings make a house look/feel, so I was thrilled when we received one!

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*This is the swing originally… just needed a little TLC 🙂

Duncan began by nailing any parts of the swing that needed extra stability, as it is older and well-worn. He, then, removed the chains, so it would be easier to spray-paint. He sanded it down and spray-painted white over the natural wood color. It only took one layer and dried pretty quickly! Once the swing was dry, he reattached the chains, and it was ready to be hung up!

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Duncan and my dad hung the swing in the corner of our front porch, and I love the new look it gives to our porch! My mom was so sweet and picked out navy and white pillows for the porch swing to match our shudders. While the boys were out putting up the swing, my mom and I focused on cleaning the front porch. We wiped down the siding, scrubbed the shudders, cleared all the spider webs, and swept the porch. I love how clean it feels and am so looking forward to spending falls days sitting in our new porch swing!

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Always and forever,

Alex

Cute & Comfy Maternity Robe

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Well, I’ve officially made it to 37 and a half weeks! I really cannot believe Lively could arrive at any time. This week I packed her diaper/hospital bag and made a list of what I will need for my hospital bag (I’m sure I’m overpacking… both because that’s how I am, and since this is my first baby, I’d rather bring too much than not have something I want/need). Duncan and I also installed Lively’s carseat base in the car; it’s so weird seeing it in there every time I go to run an errand, but I love it! 🙂

Another highlight of the week was receiving this adorable delivery/nursing maternity robe! I knew I wanted a comfy robe for in the hospital and afterwards, and this one is exactly what I was looking for. I’ve gotten quite a bit of other cute maternity clothes from Pink Blush, and this robe is definitely one of my favorites! None of their clothing has disappointed; if you are looking for maternity clothes, they are a great resource.

Thankfully, my robe came in just in time, as I’m starting to pack my own hospital bag! I love how it is made of lightweight material, is super soft, and the feminine, yet simple, added touch of the lace trim.

Duncan finishes his first big week of medical school tests on Friday, so any time after that would be perfect for little miss Lively Mae’s arrival! 😉 I’m excited to see Duncan become a dad and already know he will be the most unbelievable and intentional dad in the world, because of the way he loves me so well. Lively is a lucky girl, and I know his love will give her a glimpse of her Heavenly Father’s unfathomable love for her.

Thank you for all of your support and prayers! We’ll keep you updated!

 

Always and forever,

Alex

 

T-Minus 1 Month Until Baby!

 

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I am currently 36 weeks and 5 days pregnant with our first baby girl! Pregnancy has flown by faster than I could have imagined, and we are so excited to meet our daughter. It’s surreal being to the point where I go in every week for a doctor’s appointment and knowing she could be born at any time… tomorrow, next week, 2 weeks… anytime within the month (Duncan has his first big week of exams next week, so just hopefully not next week :/ )!

Last week at my 35-week appointment I was dilated 1 cm and 50% effaced, and this week at my 36-week appointment, I found out I’ve dilated to a 3! Hopefully she keeps progressing at this rate, but there’s no way to really know. I don’t think I’ve felt any contractions yet, and everyone says I’ll know when I do.

This week I’m focusing on some final preparations for Lively Mae’s arrival. I’ve been washing her crib sheets, changing pad cover, swaddle blankets, nursing cover, baby sling, clothes, breast pump parts, etc. I’ve been looking through directions on how to properly set up her carseat & load it in the car, put my pump together, and all kinds of other little things that aren’t as self-explanatory as I would have thought.

Cannon and I are still going on our daily 2-mile walk with a friend and her dog, which is definitely a highlight in our day. I love getting out in the mornings and getting some good late-pregnancy exercise.

We’re anxiously awaiting Lively Mae’s arrival, while treasuring this last little bit of time as a family of 2… well, technically 3 counting Cannon 😉 (and of course he counts!). Cannon is amazing with kids, and I know he’ll love Lively!

A major highlight this week was Duncan surprising me with a Snoogle body pillow (thank you to Lively’s “Uncle” Shil for introducing Duncan to this brilliant invention)! For those who don’t know what this is… you’ve got to look them up. Whether you’re pregnant or not, it is the most comfortable pillow EVER! It’s made falling asleep at night and taking naps during the day so much easier.

Thanks for reading my update on the upcoming arrival of our little girl!

 

Always & forever,

Alex

A Shift in Perspective

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I read this quote by Mother Teresa a couple of days ago, and it really resonated with me! I love being in a new town, supporting my husband on his journey to becoming a physician, and preparing to welcome our precious firstborn daughter into the world; however, it is not all easy and doesn’t always feel “fulfilling.” That sounds horrible, I know, and I do not take for granted the fact that I will be able to stay home with our daughter, but it is a difficult transition after leading such a “busy” life.

Usually the fall time is extremely busy, with starting school and all of the chaos that entails. This year, on the other hand, it has been quite the opposite for me. Of course, it is a little busy with Duncan having started such intensive schooling, and I know it’ll be busy once our little girl arrives, but it is much different than being bombarded with homework, campus events, and trying to balance all of that with work. When I was in college, I felt like I was constantly around people and opportunities to serve others. Now, I don’t interact with nearly as many people in a given day.

It’s easy to feel like what I’m doing now is insignificant. I know that is a lie the enemy tries to let creep into my mind, though. My husband is in school, becoming equipped for his dream job as a physician- a career in which he will make a significant impact on many lives. I see friends on social media or hear about others it seems like are making such an impact in the world, and it’s tempting to compare the contribution they are making with the small contribution I feel like I’m making. BUT, I have to remember that comparison is the thief of joy, and God created each of us uniquely, with the purpose of serving Him and loving others, and that is not going to look the same for everyone! He places us in different seasons and grows us in different ways throughout our entire lives.

Staying home and making sure our home is a comfortable place for Duncan to come home to is worthwhile. Being fully devoted to spending my days taking care of our daughter is not settling for less or making less of an impact than if I were traveling around the world doing missions work. The mission work God is calling me to in this season is to love my little family and invest in them, as well as everyone else I come into contact with along the way. It is so reassuring to know God always is in control and simply wants us to remain faithful to Him. We don’t have to compare ourselves to someone else’s standards of what is significant; rather, our worth and the impact we make comes from our Heavenly Father!

Bowling

*Totally not related, but just wanted to share how much we loved having my parents and youngest brother come visit us this past weekend. Bowling & visiting the arcade were definitely highlights!

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Always & forever,

Alex