Great is Thy Faithfulness

O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
  Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
    Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Photo by Bethany Blair Photography
I've always loved the hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness". It reminds me of my little hometown church back in Tumbling Shoals, AR (oh, yes - it is a real place, folks!) It reminds me of my daddy's voice echoing from the pulpit as he led singing each Sunday in that church. But throughout the 15 weeks of this pregnancy, this sweet and nostalgic church song has taken on so much more meaning and symbolism.

Yesterday we received amazing news that our little one is healthy. After waiting for a couple of weeks for the results of some major tests, our anxiety was put to rest: Baby S is healthy, strong and thriving. As I listened to my OB's nurse, (who has become such a source of strength and encouragement for us throughout the past two weeks), I felt like the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders. I felt God's presence so powerfully in our little kitchen as I stood there yesterday, clutching the tear-drenched phone, thanking Him for the words our nurse spoke into the phone: "...your baby is perfectly healthy! The results couldn't have been better, Leslie. You and Stephen can sleep easy tonight. Your child is fine."

I won't dive into many of the specifics on here, but at 12 weeks, we received some startling information following an ultrasound and were referred to a high-risk OB for further "analysis". Now as a parent, you never want to hear the words "your baby" and "further testing" in the same sentence. But, this doctor to which we were referred has been our angel. Immediately after our consultation and higher-level ultrasound, his tone was much more optimistic. You could just tell he was a doctor that had seen "that look" in many a set of worried parents' eyes...and he wanted to help. We left that appointment with a lot more positivity than before. Things just felt different. However, we still had to wait for the final word in all things medical: the test results, which would take anywhere from 8-14 days to finalize.

And this 8-14 days was the most stress-inducing of our lives as a young couple. Despite the frenzy, the breakdowns, (including one in the produce aisle of a Walmart Neighborhood Market after I saw a mother pushing her infant in a stroller), the nervous jolts every time the phone rang between 8:00 and 5:30, the Lord kept his ever-steady hand on us. Every day we were shown grace and support from complete strangers- and in ways I'd never imagined. I had two women in two different department stores stop me to say, "I read your blog and my family and I are praying for you." We received a beautiful hand-made prayer shawl from Sarah and her amazing congregation in Massachusetts. We received words of encouragement each day from co-workers and supervisors. We saw God show Himself in the smallest details. And friends, it was such a beautiful thing.

As awful as these two weeks have been, I am so grateful for this experience. I really don't know if we would have appreciated, truly appreciated, this pregnancy as much as we do now. Yes, we were very thankful before, but this has given us an entirely different perspective. And, it has brought us even closer together as a married couple.

As we go through our lives, I pray that we are constantly reminded of this experience and the ways in which it has enriched our faith. I pray that we never forget that, although we live in a broken world, it is filled with incredible, generous people. And I pray that, above all, Stephen and me can share our testimony of His grace and mercy.

Great is our faithfulness.

But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
Joshua 24: 15

P.S. - Thank you all for your words of encouragement and prayer. We are humbled and so, so grateful, friends.


Why I Blog: {Link Up}

I’m so excited about today’s post for the simple fact that I cannot wait to read YOUR posts about why you blog. It really is such a unique hobby and journey for everyone, and I feel like those stories deserve to be told.

Why did I start blogging?

I started my blog officially in July 2009. At the time, I worked for a company that was starting a corporate blog of their own, and I would be in charge of maintaining it. So, I decided to start a small blog of my own, just to learn the ropes of simple HTML and web management. (Riveting stuff.)

Never in a gazillion years would I have thought I’d still be doing it. A gazillion, I tell ya.

But, here we are, four years later and still truckin' along. I’ve met some great friends, made amazing connections with local businesses, found some of my favorite blogs and most importantly, have developed a hobby I love. I feel like as adults, we lose the novelty of having a true hobby; blogging gave me a hobby that brings me joy!

Why do I keep doing it?

It’s my journal. An almost-daily account of my life, available 24 hours a day whenever I want to take a trip down memory lane. Through this blog, I’ve documented some of the most important events of my twenties: my first job, meeting Stephen, our engagement, my first magazine publication, our wedding and now, our pregnancy. Lord willing, Blogger will never crash. (If it does, I’ve backed up my files to replace it easily. And you can, too.) Having this online scrapbook is invaluable to me.

Another reason, (and possibly the most important), is that this blog allows me to connect with my friends and loved ones. A couple of months ago, my Memaw (paternal grandmother) told me that she and my Papaw read it together every morning while they have their coffee. Memaw said that they look forward to the photos and updates, and it makes them feel connected to Stephen and me despite living 3.5 hours away.

And I think that sums up my reason for blogging quite succinctly: to connect. Connect to other bloggers, folks from other walks of life, my family members, friends that have moved away…the list goes on.

Have a safe and happy weekend, y’all. 


Bumpdate: {15 Weeks}

We know (eep!), but are going to keep that to ourselves for a bit : ) SO excited for this!

Weight Loss/Gain?    
Neither. The scale isn't moving, but it appears that at least I'm not losing anymore. My OB said his wife is built very similarly and only gained 15 pounds total with their baby (who weighed 7 lbs. 2 oz. at birth), so he isn't concerned, which was great to hear! 

The sickness is SO much better! As far as cravings go,  I'm loving salads right now. Strange, I know. Like, every day I crave a big salad with garden tomatoes, cucumbers, sprouts, banana peppers, etc. So yummy and fresh! And Chick-Fil-A sweet tea.

Anything fried though makes me sick to think about. We ate at Catfish Hole (a local catfish house) last Saturday for lunch and I got so ill afterward. Apparently, this baby is a health nut, haha! (A little bit like its daddy...hmmm)

Favorite Moment this Week?
Having a great doctor's appointment last Friday with a new doctor. We got a fantastic report on Baby S and got to enjoy an hour-long ultrasound looking at our Little Bean. All signs (so far) are pointing to a healthy baby, despite an earlier report we received from a different OB. We pray daily for the wellness and health of our little one and thank God every day for giving us this special gift. 

Funniest Moment this Week?
Browsing online with Stephen for baby items and realizing we have NO CLUE what we're doing. Bumbos, binkies, woobies, lovies, Mobys...I mean, what the???

Sleeping like a...wait for it...baby : )

So far, just wearing my regular clothes. And yeah, my pants still fit. However, I'm giving serious consideration to a pair of maternity jeans for the simple fact that I have a legitimate excuse to wear a pair of elastic waist pants. To work! And pretend they are real jeans! I mean, why aren't we wearing those all the time, not just during pregnancy? They would completely take care of the awkward moment at Thanksgiving when we have to excuse ourselves to go change into a pair of sweats.


Office Space

Raise your hand if, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., you are a cube dweller. It's okay, y'all. No shame, here. (If you could see me now, you'd see me raising my hand. See...I'm right here. Hi, there. I am one of you.) And if you've been a cube dweller for some time, you know that it's darn near impossible to make a cubicle sexy. Or inviting. Or appealing. At all, really.

Typically, you get three gray fabric-covered walls, a harsh overhead light and a chair on wheels. Not exactly the Sistine Chapel. But, if you're crafty and blessed with an imagination, you might just be able to turn your cube into a palatable palace of productive thought. (Say that five times fast.)

Last week, I decided to make it my mission to redefine my workspace this summer. After over a year at my current job, it's high time.

So first, I perused the interwebs and got inspired. I started by finding pictures of full offices that I liked, then focused on the elements I liked about them. I imagined how those elements might work in a scaled-down space. For instance, in the pic below, I love the modern touches of clear acrylic. I can't replace my rolley chair with that souped up acrylic thing, BUT I can incorporate small touches of acrylic through pen cups and paper trays.

These Kate Spade Black & White Striped File Folders //  This Brocade Pencil Cup from The Container Store // This Two-Tier Acrylic File Tray by Kantek // This adorable Signed 8 x 10 Flamingo Print from Ashley Brooke Designs

Next, I allowed myself $100 to spend on sprucing up said cube. You'd be shocked at how far one Benjamin can spread by utilizing sites like Amazon instead of, say, Pottery Barn. (I love P.B. My wallet, however, does not.)
Lastly, I purged. Not the sort of purging I've been doing over les toilettes lately, (sorry, bad morning sickness joke), but the literal purging of "crap I don't use" in my current cube. Broken pencils, ugly folders, random non-important Post It notes, burned out candles, etc. If it was ugly and I didn't need it, it went to the garbage can.

Les Cube is still a work in progress, BUT I hope to have a photo of the finished product next week.


So, the next time someone says, "Oh, you work in a cube. Have I told you about my fourteenth floor corner office?"

You just turn around and say, "Yes, at least a hundred times. But, have I told you how I turned three little walls into an aesthetically pleasing, thought-productive sanctuary of bliss?"



Some A's for your Q's

Once a quarter or so, I like to sift through my inbox for questions from friends (a.k.a. y'all). If I get multiples of the same question, then voila! It gets answered in a post. So read below...if you've asked me something and haven't gotten an answer back, it may be below!

1) Can you give me the rundown on the make-up/hair products you like? 
I can do you one better than that...meet my new "Products I Love" page. Where you'll find, um, products I love. The button will reside forever until the end of time on my side bar, so be sure to check back frequently in case I've found and love something new. Which, if you know me, happens frequently.

2) What does your exercise routine consist of? How often do you work out?
I'll be honest: I haven't worked out since I got pregnant back in January. Bad Leslie, bad! Don't get me wrong, I think those superwomen who can still run marathons and go mountain biking during pregnancy are awesome. But this chick ain't one of 'em.

I've been so sick that hitting a treadmill sounded about as appealing as taking a bath with leeches. Since the nausea is getting more tolerable, I've been trying to go for little afternoon strolls with the pups lately. And I plan to start swimming in my sexy maternity tankini (SUCH an oxymoron) once the lake warms up.

3) What does Stephen do for a living?
Besides posing as Tim Tebow and taking photos with fans, (oh yes, this has really happened), he works as Director of Sales for a sport nutrition company based in New York. He works out of their satellite office here in Northwest Arkansas and positively loves his job. He recently got a promotion, and I am so very proud of him!

4) Will you work or stay home with the baby?
Work! I love my job so much and worked for years to get in with the company I'm at. We've thrown around the pro's and cons, but at the end of the day, I simply love what I do and love my career, and Stephen is so wonderfully supportive of my goals. I know that Little Bean will receive excellent care at the place we have lined up for daycare. At the end of the day, it was the right choice for me/us, but for every family it's different.

5) I need a good work-appropriate skirt. Recommendations?
I am obsessed with Savoir-Faire's pencil skirts! In fact, I have them in all three colors: blue, black and mustard. They're affordable, keep their shape incredibly well and even stretch to accomodate a growing baby bump. I call that a win-win.

Don't forget to link up on Friday and tell us why you blog!


Why Do You Blog? {A Link-Up}

Sarah, my amazing sister-in-law, (or SIL if you're familiar with blog acronyms), recently wrote a great post about the driving factors behind her reasons for blogging. I thought it was such a neat idea because, for some of us who've been blogging for years, we forget exactly why we do choose to put our lives on the interwebs.

So bloggers, I want to do a link-up with all of YOU. I want to hear why you blog. Plain and simple. It can be as simple as, "It's easier than keeping a scrapbook", or as complex as, "I'm a level 4 hoarder and have been stuck inside my home for the better part of the last decade. It's my only link to the outside world." Which would be scary. But, perhaps, the reason why you blog. I'm not here to judge.

You get the just of it.

So join me in telling why you blog this Friday, in place of Confessional Friday.

Now here's the fun part...post the button below on your blogs, Twitter, FB, Insta, whatever and encourage your fellow bloggers to link up. Be sure to use the hashtag #whyIblog if you post to Twitter or Instagram. I think it'd be neat to share our blogging journeys with each other...and a great way to find NEW BLOGS and make new friends.

Get your posts ready for Friday and come back here to link up & share why you blog!


Confessional Friday: {Link Up}

Hey, chicas! Let's confess, shall we?

1) I confess that I've eaten Chick-Fil-A just about every day for lunch this week. Still haven't gained any weight, but I figure if I keep this up, I'm bound to get back up to pre-pregnancy weight in no time. (Who knew early pregnancy was a great weight loss tactic?)

2) I confess that I tried so hard to eat a cupcake yesterday, but after one bite of the frosting, I got queasy. This baby is decidedly NOT a sweet-lover. Know what the lil' bean does love, though? Velveeta Shells n' Cheese. I could eat that manna from heaven every day. This baby will probably come out requesting fake cheese.

3) I confess that I'm obsessed with Hannibal, the new show on NBC. It's gory, strange and completely brilliant. And that Hugh Dancy...pretty cute. I highly suggest it if you love a thrilling hour of TV.

4) I confess that I'm finally getting my hair highlighted next week, following a four month hiatus. Yes, folks, the blonde is making a comeback. Maybe I'll even get a spray tan to really take things up a notch ; )

5) I confess that I had to quit watching episodes of A Baby Story on TLC. Frankly, it scared the mess out of me, ha!

Alrighty, your turn.

Bright-Eyed and Bushy-Tailed

1. Covergirl Point Perfect Liner // 2. Stila Eyeshadow in Kitten // 3. Stila Eyeshadow in Espresso // 4. YSL Touch Eclat // 5. Maybelline Falsies // 6. Sephora Eyelash Curler

I'm a creature of the night lately. Don't know what it is about this pregnancy, but sleep isn't exactly happening regularly these days. In fact, I'm more awake at nighttime than I am during the day! I get my second wind around 10:30 p.m. and after that, it's re-runs of Friends and infomercials. Needless to say, I've had to come up with a pretty solid eye make-up routine that conceals the shopping bags under my eyes and magically helps me look like I've gotten a full eight hours.

I swear by YSL's Touche Eclat eye brightener, as well Stila's uber-pigmented eye shadows. And nothing on this planet will wake up your eye sockets quite as well as a healthy dose of mascara atop curled lashes.

Oh yeah, all this and a big ol' cup of java.

Link up tonight/tomorrow for Confessional Friday!


Bumpdate: {14 Weeks}

Though we’re dealing with some stresses right now, we are still celebrating this pregnancy and our Little Bean! It really is such an exciting and joyous time. And to think we're this much closer to the half-way point...gaw!

Just makes me want to see our babe even more – hurry up, October!

We have a pretty good idea, but won't know for certain until the anatomy scan at 20 weeks.

Weight Loss/Gain?    
Loss. Dropped the one measly pound I gained (boo!) putting me still below pre-pregnancy weight, sigh...Working hard to get some lbs. on, though. My doctor jokingly said he was going to put me on an all-Chick-Fil-A diet, haha! 

Food is slowing starting to sound good again and my appetite is on the rise. Sweets still make me really queasy, but salty/savory foods like guacamole and queso taste amazing right now. Oh, and I’m off Zofran. Hooray! Also, I enjoyed my very first half-caff vanilla latte since becoming pregnant yesterday. Yum!

Dress: Wallis (size 2) // Shoes: ASOS (size 7)  // Bracelet: Belle Boutique  -  Rogers

Favorite Moment this Week?
Buying my first newborn outfit at Target for our sweet one : )

Funniest Moment this Week?
It actually happened last weekend, but our 4-year-old niece Ava gave Stephen some advice for how to feed a baby using his “ta-tas”, ha! She also reminded him that he WILL need to help change diapers. Thanks, Ava!

I’ve heard a LOT of expectant moms deal with this early in their pregnancies, but I have the worst insomnia right now. Like, I catch my second wind around 10:30 p.m. and I can’t switch it off. Benadryl (as recommended by our OB) helps on nights when it’s really bad, but there’s not a lot of shuteye going on at the S household.

So far, just wearing my regular clothes. I am definitely starting to show and LOVE my bump – woohoo!

Thinking of doing a mommy link-up this spring where we can share tips/secrets on favorite baby products, brands, feeding tips, what worked for you/didn't, etc. What would you moms think about that?


Monogram Madness: {feat. Shop Dandy}

I am southern. This comes as no shock to anyone who reads this blog, watches any of my YouTube tutorials or (for the real unfortunate folks) has to hear my southern twang in person.

My southerness also becomes evident by the sheer amount of monogrammed trinkets that I own. I’m talking dishes, sweaters, towels, bottle openers, house slippers, koozies, ink pens…everything but the kitchen sink. (And if that had been an option, I’d have monogrammed that sucker, too.) We southern girls flat-out love a monogram.

So, sue us.

Recently, sweet Danielle of Shop Dandy reached out to me about sending some monogrammed beauties my way to share with y’all on here. To say I was ecstatic when I opened the box is an understatement.

Behold, the most perfect acrylic monogrammed tray I have ever laid eyes on. Oh, and a matching key chain. WITH MY INITIALS.

To me, you could use this tray for just about anything. I’m choosing to display my bracelets and make-up brushes in our master bath, but honestly, it would look adorable anywhere. It makes everything SO much prettier and more organized!

Now this key chain…my word, this key chain. Love it. It makes my big ol’ janky mess of metal far more chic. Imagine that…a wad of keys being chic! If you’re a bride, these would make excellent bridesmaid gifts or gifts for your sorority sisters, (hint hint!)

A few of my other favorite goodies from Shop Dandy, monogrammed and otherwise:

Nautical Tunic - purchase here

Ruffle Top in Teal - buy here

Sailor Dress - get it here

Mint Hope Bracelet - here

Anchor Necklace - and here

Monogram Color Dipped Canvas Tote - here

Monogrammed Mason Jars (Set of 4) - get 'em here

Acrylic Monogram Trink Box - buy it here

Monogrammed Bamboo Pillow - here

Don't forget to follow Shop Dandy on Facebook and Twitter! Danielle is constantly posting new items and fun updates, so don't miss out!



Lately, I’ve been leaning on this verse a lot. I think it sums up, quite beautifully, His steadfast love for us and the way in which it overcomes any earthly worries we may have.
We’re going through a bit of a stressful time right now with some things, so I ask for your prayers over the coming weeks for our little one. Despite the uncertainties, I am reminded daily of how blessed I am to have such an amazing husband and family, and how blessed we are to have this Little Bean in our lives. We serve a mighty and merciful God, and I thank Him daily for our abundant blessings.