This Little Piggie

Caroline was so upset about the end of the Razorback college football season that she shed a few tears.

We spent today mourning the end of Razorback college football for the season. Here's hoping next year pans out a little better for us, at least in terms of wins. Victory or not, we're still proud to be Hogs fans around our household!

My favorite photo of the day is this one. This was our first Thanksgiving as a family of three now that we've added the bright-eyed girl in the middle!

We had a quiet Thanksgiving at our house with just the three of us, plus my mom and dad. Stephen's parents joined us later in the evening for dessert, so we were thrilled to have gotten to see both sets of parents on such a big holiday. 

I have a sneaking suspicion that the holidays are going to be a whole lot of fun this year ; ) I'm sure the addition of the little lady below might have something to do with it. 

 How did you spend your Thanksgiving?


A Messy House, A Thankful Heart

I did something crazy yesterday, girls.

Are y'all ready for this?

I did...nothing.

At all.

Except this:

The thing is this: I want to soak in every. single. millisecond of this baby. Her ocean blue eyes, her rich chocolate brown hair, her milky perfect skin, her puffy bow-shaped lips, her tiny hands and even tinier feet.

I could go on for days.

Before Caroline, I lived my life a lot more rigidly. I arranged my days around to-do lists and kicked myself in the rear when I fell short of accomplishing them.

Know what I call a success these days?

Holding in this girl. Going to sleep at night knowing that I really savored the moments of the day, which God so generously gave me. Seeing my husband walk in the door and pick up our daughter, his face beaming as he says, "Hey kiddo." The three of us spending a Friday night on the couch snuggled up in front of the fireplace with cheese pizza and an even cheesier Lifetime movie.

I have a sneaking suspicion that no one will remember me for a spotless kitchen floor. Or a stack of perfectly folded towels. Or for my promptness on replying to emails.

No, I'd rather them say that I was a great wife and a great mom.

Isn't it the quality of the relationships with those we hold dear that really enriches us?

I tend to think so.

My wish for all of us as this holiday season kicks off is to drink each moment in fully. Live in the here and now. Don't fret over a perfect table setting or making sure the house is in magazine-order condition. Instead, just take it all in.

I think one of the best ways to thank God for the people in your life is to spend your time with them well. Make it count.

I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving, my friends.


Me + Emilie M: {Outfit Pics}

This morning, I thought we'd mix things up - and take a break from all things baby related - to  talk...wait for it...handbags (!!) 

(Cue thunderous applause.)

Namely, a particular handbag -- the Sheila Satchel -- by Emilie M. 

Sheila Satchel c/o Emilie M. // C'est La Vie sweater from Forever 21, here // Sequin collar plaid top from Target earlier this season // Tassel necklace, here // Jeans by Hudson, here // Heels from ASOS, similar here 

I'm carrying the Camel/Black version of the Sheila, but I really do adore all of the bags from Emilie M. And, ahem, they really would make an excellent Christmas gift for your best friend, mom, aunt, third cousin twice removed,  or dental hygienist.

And buy one for yourself while you're in the process. It's really the only sensible thing to do.

Know what I love most about this line of handbags? They look expensive. And they aren't. It's a gosh darn Christmas miracle.

Right now for only $25, you can add the Essentials Box to your purchase for only $25 The Emilie M. Essentials Box is a curated set of five assorted accessories designed to pair perfectly with any of the Emilie M. handbags. 

 (Top left to right, clockwise) Essentials Box // Leslie Chain Flap // Natalie Scoop Double Shoulder // Casey Flap Hobo


Five Generations + More Weekend Photos

Caroline and I had the opportunity to do something very cool while we visited my parents in Heber Springs earlier this week. On Monday, we visited my great grandma Ruth at her assisted living facility. I wanted her to have the chance to meet Caroline while she was still a tiny newborn, and my mom had the idea to do a five generations photo.

My Grandad, (my mom's father), met us there and the five of us were able to capture the special moments on the camera.

Great Grandma Ruth was so sweet and talked to Caroline the entire time she held her. I heard her say at one point, "Where did you get all of your pretty, dark hair?"

And then I melted.

Mrs. Pat, one of the residents who is also a dear friend of our family's, came out to meet Miss Caroline, too. Despite her hollering in this photo, Caroline was quite fond of Pat : )

Great Grandma was looking at Caroline in every single photo, which made made my heart so happy. 

It was a day I'll never forget.

P.S.-The baby had an absolute meltdown at the end of our visit, so I had to go out to the car to nurse and soothe her. Let me tell y'all, it was the most ungraceful feeding session to-date AND I do believe I inadvertently flashed two of the residents that were sitting on the back deck. 

Mommyhood, folks. It's not glamourous, but man, is it ever rewarding. 


Tuesday night, we had dinner with Grandma and Grandad. My cousin Mary also brought out her sweet little boy, Kyle. He is about seven months older than Caroline and SUCH a handsome little man. 

Someone asked me if massive amounts of hair run in our family, since Caroline has enough for five babies. I think Kyle's thick head of hair confirms it, ha! 

She LOVED my Grandad - her Great Grandad.

I dare you not to try to reach through your screen and pinch his cheeks. Triple dog dare you.

Before her meltdown...
...and after. In case you're wondering, it was as loud as it looks : )

And the weekend ended with the following very sleepy, yet content little lady.


Caroline's Sip and See {In Photos}

This past weekend, Stephen, Caroline and I headed down to Heber Springs to visit my family and attend the Sip and See that my home church hosted for us! Sip and See parties are really popular in the south and it's a fun chance for everyone to see the baby once he or she is born. It's basically a post-birth baby shower : )

Here are some photos from our fun day on Saturday.

First off, this sweater is from Riffraff and is SO cozy, y'all! The color is the perfect blush pink for winter. Go get'cha one!

Remember Sarah, my matron of honor in my wedding? She's been one of my best friends since we were literally infants and now, we have kiddos of our own. There we are in the photo above.

Emmalynn, Sarah's little girl, helped me open the presents : ) She's SO adorable!

Mrs. Charlotte gifted Caroline with this presh monogrammed gown. It's wouldn't be a southern Sip and See without monogramming : ) 
I'm making the most ridiculous face here, but I was so excited that Caroline received her very first piece of jewelry: a gorgeous pearl and gemstone bracelet courtesy of Mrs. Cathy Hipp.

Mrs. Vangie gifted our little "Rosebud" with this sweet Mud Pie flamingo play suit. I nearly fell out of my seat from the cuteness!

Caroline and I posing with all the hostesses. (Left to right: Sarah, me, Mrs. Donna and Caroline, Mrs. Gayla, Mrs. Vangie and Mrs. Charlotte.)

Mom, me and Caroline, my maternal Grandma and my paternal Memaw

I loved this candid shot of Mom and I going ga-ga for our baby girl : )

My great aunts. (Left to right: Aunt Laverne, me, Aunt Rose holding Caroline, Aunt Ella and Aunt Dorothy.)
Note: Caroline is named after her Great Aunt Rose, and I thought it was amazing that we have this shot of her holding the baby.

My cousin Kristen holding baby Caroline Rose. 

Would y'all believe that my Great Aunt Laverne is in her NINETIES??!! I only hope to age this well.

A special thanks to Mrs. Cathy Hughes for making these delicious cupcakes!

We are very lucky to have such great friends and family back home and appreciate all they did for Miss Caroline.


Checking In!

Hi, bunnies! (Haven't called y'all that in a while, and today seemed like a good day to bring it back.)

We've been MIA the past few days for a good reason, as Miss Caroline and I are visiting her Nana and Poppa (my parents) on their farm, which is a few hours away from where we live.

We were very sad that her daddy had to go home Sunday for work, but we are having a fantabulous time visiting with family and friends down here.We return home to reunite with Mr.S tomorrow night, but I hope to upload a few pics from her Sip and See, (plus some others), tonight or tomorrow morning for your viewing pleasure : )

Talk to you dolls later.


Caroline Rose: {One Month}

It's crazy for me to think that as of 8:30 a.m. today, our little peanut is already a whole month old. At the risk of sounding cliche, it really does seem like yesterday that we went through the pregnancy and delivery. I guess time flies when you're spending your days with a sweet, squishy little newborn.

Our nickname for Caroline is Miss Bright Eyes.

Weight/Length: I'm not exactly sure, since she didn't have an appointment this week, but as of last Wednesday, she was up to 6 lbs. 12 oz. and 19 inches long. Our petite little lady is filling out quite nicely! My guess is that she's up to 7 lbs. 2 or 3 oz. this week, since she's gaining about one ounce per day.

Hair: Miss Caroline was born with a ton of dark hair, which has gotten even longer and thicker during her first month. We can even put her hair in a teeny ponytail in the back - crazy!

Diapers: Preemie diapers still fit her best, as our girl has a tiny heiney ; ) Newborn dipes are easier to find though, so they'll work in a pinch. We still love our Pampers Swaddlers!

This photo tells such a story of their relationship. Ruby ADORES Caroline. She is always by her side and works herself into a tizzy when Caroline cries. I call her my "shadow mama" because she's always next to the baby and me.

Clothing: A mixture of preemies and NBs.

Favorite Things: She loves her Humpty Dumpty doll, which was mine as a baby. Her other favorite thing? Being naked! She loves when we take off her jammies to dress her in the morning, and likes to move her little bare legs and booty : )

It really is exhausting being a newborn : )

Likes: Her activity mat, tummy time, riding in the car, nursing, having her hair brushed, being carried in the Moby wrap and music, (she loves David Crowder, Jason Gray and Hillsong, all of whom we are frequently played during our car rides!)

Dislikes: Having to get out of the bathtub (or sink, in her case), having her arms in the swaddle, getting strapped into her carseat (although she loves to ride in the car) and silence, (our girl loves noise and music).

Mama Thoughts: Like I said in yesterday's post, our lady is such a content little gal! Thanks to Moms on Call and the help of the Labor and Delivery staff at the hospital, we stick to a loose schedule with feeding and napping and it has helped tremendously.

I'm also very thankful that breastfeeding has worked for us. My milk production has increased as her intake needs have increased, which is great. Breastfeeding takes a lot of patience and a lot of effort, and there were definitely some trying days in the first couple weeks. She's gotten the hang of it now and I'm glad we stuck it out. I credit the Good Lord, my husband and our lactation consultant Cyrece for making breastfeeding a possibility for us. It sounds silly, but I prayed to God during the last days of the pregnancy to make breastfeeding work for us, if it was in His plan. As always, He made a way.

I was very fortunate not to have had any issues with regulating my hormones and was lucky to have avoided post-partum blues of any sort. (Although I can definitely see how that could easily happen with such a huge life change.) But personally, I don't know if I've ever been happier or more at peace. I love being a mom and look forward to seeing what each day brings us.


I Am Mama, Hear Me Roar

Just moments before we left the hospital as a family of three. 

Can I level with y'all for a little bit?

Before Caroline's arrival, I was a tad (read: a lot) scared about bringing a third person into our home. Don't get me wrong, I was ecstatic to be having a baby and I could not wait to see her sweet face in person. But, for a first time mama undergoing a major surgery to have said baby, I was a wee bit concerned about the adjustment period once we got her home.

I'm here to tell you girls, it has been amazing.

Flat-out, without a doubt, hands-down amazing.

I really don't know why the heck I was so worried. Because once you see your babe's face, you just know - inherently know - that you were made for this. Granted, Stephen and I were very fortunate to have both of our moms come and help out for the days following the C-section. And I'll admit, we kind of drew the lucky straw in terms of content babies. (Caroline has been a pretty easy baby and for that I'm very, very thankful.)

But the transition from two to three has been, well, a non event. It feels like we've known her forever, even though it has only been four short weeks.

Have there been trying days? Sure. Especially those first days home when everyone is trying to figure each other out. Baby-raising is far from glamourous. It's clumsy and humbling, and - yes, I'll admit this - occasionally involves muttering a few colorful words under one's breath.

But here's the thing that no one tells you, future mommas. No matter what situation you're dealt with, no matter how "easy" or "difficult" the baby, regardless of if the baby comes out your tummy, your - ahem- nether regions or out the top of your head, YOU JUST DO IT.

I'm convinced that every female has an autopilot mode that is flipped on when/if she becomes a mom. It's a side of yourself you'll never see until you have a kiddo. And it's awesome and powerful and all-consuming.


I was scared of breastfeeding, but committed to giving it my all, as long as she was able to take my milk. And we are doing it. 

I was hesitant to try babywearing for fear I'd drop her. And although it took practice and a few clumsy attempts, we are doing it.

I have a horribly weak stomach and was a little afraid changing diapers might be the end of me, (although that sounds ridiculous now.) And we are doing it.

I was afraid I wouldn't know how to console her when she cried. And, turns out, it's one of my favorite things about being a mom; I love having that mommy superpower of being able to soothe my child better than anyone.

We women are so much more powerful than we think. I'm learning things about myself that I never knew. I'm digging deeper and, in raising this baby girl, she's teaching me a whole lot about myself.

If you're pregnant or hoping to be a mama yourself one day, fear not.

You got this.


Our Weekend in Pics!

Welcome back from the weekend, friends! I hope y'all had a fantastic two days of rest and relaxation. Several fun posts coming up this week, so let's kick this day off, shall we?

Saturday, Caroline slept a bit later, so I had some extra time to get gussied up a little bit before our company arrived to watch the Hogs game : ) I was so excited to wear my gameday outfit from one of my favorite local boutiques, Riffraff! They have a fun new collection called "Love, Riffraff" where they send you an article of clothing, plus a fun accessory each month for a very reasonable $50.

If you haven't purchased your "Love, Riffraff" December package, do so now!

We may have lost the game, but I felt like a winner in my "Love, Riffraff" November items! (Yes, I'm a cheeseball. A cheeseball who loves a good old fashioned play on words.)

Shirt and scarf c/o Riffraff // Tassel Necklace from Hot Mama // jeans from Forever 21 // BC Footwear booties c/o Maude Boutique last fall // leopard print bangle from Aldo, similar here

My sis-in-law Sarah and her kiddos, our niece and nephew, came over to meet Caroline and watch the game with us. My heart MELTED watching sweet Ava hold her cousin. She is a natural little momma, which I think means Sarah needs to have another baby ; )

I adored watching her play with Caroline on the activity mat. She spoke so quietly to her and was constantly soothing her, putting her pacifier back in her mouth and holding her little hand. #heartmelt

Note: Mr. Reed wasn't too keen on having his picture taken, (and who could blame him when the Hogs are playing), but we thoroughly enjoyed playing with him, too. 

I found a brand new Moby on Ebay for a heck of a price because I didn't want to overpay for something that I wasn't sure Miss C would like. Well lemme tell ya, she loves it! It was actually a lot easier to put on than I thought it would be and was super comfy for both of us. I call that a win-win.
So that's about it. We lead very exciting lives around here, you see. Come back for more riveting posts tomorrow ; )

P.S.- I'll be posting Caroline's one month update later today, so if you aren't le tired of baby blog posts, come back and read up on our little lady.