Family Dinner

My Grandparents built their home together when I was a teeny-tiny newborn baby, back in 1988. They lived there for almost 30 years together before my Granddaddy passed away in August 2016. Since then, Grandmommie hasn’t felt quite up to living alone, and so last weekend, their cute little yellow house in the country was sold. Tonight she treated us all to a steak dinner at Texas Roadhouse, in honor of that house. I’ll miss that cute little yellow house immensely (that used to be blue when I was growing up), but I’m thankful for the years & years of memories our family made there. Gonna end this here now, instead of getting more & more mushy….

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5 Years of Service

After I graduated from Flagler College in April 2010, and spent my summer as a nanny, I started working for State Government at the Department of Corrections on October 1, 2010 as an OPS (Other Personnel Services) employee. Basically, you get paid hourly (not on salary), have no benefits, and no paid holidays. I started here thinking it was temporary job, and I would quickly find something different. Well, that didn’t happen, and so I just stayed. Then in July 2013, I got promoted to a new job in a new bureau, and I became a “career service” employee with benefits, insurance and a salary. And paid holidays! …

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Make Something Good Today

I’ve been inspired these last few days. Inspired to get back to more frequent blogging & writing. Inspired to remember the small details, as well as the big life events. Do any of y’all watch Home Town on HGTV with Ben & Erin Napier? It’s one of our favorites, and I’ve been obsessively reading entry after entry on her blog for the last few days, which is what has been inspiring me.

Since January 1, 2010, she has written a daily journal online, just looking for something good in each day. (P.S. – I stole today’s post title from her.) She took a few months off starting this January when she had their sweet baby girl, but she has written almost 3,000 entries by now! And I want to start documenting daily now too. Especially now in this season of life with an infant, who won’t be an infant for much longer. These are sweet moments & days, and I want to cherish every bit of them that I can!

So because of all this inspiration & creativity that’s bursting to get out, I’m going to start my own daily journal here. Well, maybe not daily, but a few times a week at least. I want to find the good in each day, and write it down to focus on those good things. It’s true that life with an infant is sweet, but sometimes it’s also incredibly hard. But years down the road, what I want to remember the most when I reflect back, are the sweet times we spend as a little family, and the cute things she does that she’ll so very quickly grow out of. I want to remember the good times of each day.

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April 2018 Recap Video

On January 1, 2018, I started using the app called “1 Second Every Day.” The app just records and keeps tiny little 1 second videos, and then you can compile them whenever you want. (I just added the music and title using a simple video editor on my phone.) My goal is to record video every day this year, and then make a large video at the end of the year. But I will also compile one for each month throughout the year. You can watch January , February & March if you haven’t seen those yet.

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March 2018 Recap Video

On January 1, 2018, I started using the app called “1 Second Every Day.” The app just records and keeps tiny little 1 second videos, and then you can compile them whenever you want. (I just added the music and title using a simple video editor on my phone.) My goal is to record video every day this year, and then make a large video at the end of the year. But I will also compile one for each month throughout the year. You can watch January & February if you haven’t seen those yet.

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Murder on the Orient Express (Book + Movie Review)

Most of y’all should know how much I love books & reading. We have multiple bookshelves in our house that are bursting at the seems. I have hundreds of e-books on my Kindle Paperwhite. And I frequently borrow both “real” books & e-books from our local library. Since 2014 (when I started meticulously keeping up with it on Goodreads), I’ve read 235 books! If you follow me on Instagram, I often post photos of the books I’m currently reading. 

I’m “one of those” that believe the book is almost always better than the movie version, and I try to make sure I’ve read the book before seeing the movie whenever possible. So when I read a book and watched the movie version all in the same week, I decided this would be a fun “series” to start on my blog, of reviewing both the book and the movie. …

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Sweet Night-Night Routine

Emerson is a sleep fighter. The first few weeks of her life she slept like a champ. You know, like most newborns do! But then something changed. And girlfriend no longer wanted to nap… She wanted to stay awake and be a part of everything. We diagnosed her jokingly with “Baby FOMO.” In case you don’t know, FOMO stands for “Fear Of Missing Out.” And my baby girl definitely has it. 

One trick we learned early on though, is that she loved the sound of running water, or white noise. The first time I tried it out was back when I was still on maternity leave. I turned on the kitchen sink full blast, and just stood next to it holding her for like 10 minutes while she calmed down. It would calm her down & put her to sleep whenever she was super upset and crying. Then we found this video on YouTube, and we still use it all the time when we’re out & about. We open it on one of our phones, and put it in the car seat with her, and it works like a charm every time! So when she moved into her own room/crib (she slept in our bedroom until about 6.5 months old), we knew she needed a noise machine in there. We ordered this one from Amazon, and it works great. One of the settings sounds almost identical to that YouTube video, so that’s the one we use every night. It has a timer for 15, 30 or 60 minutes, and we keep it on the 60-minute timer.

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One Week at TMH (Birth Story Part 3)

Slowly but surely, I’m going to get this whole “series” written about Emerson’s birth. Actually, this might be the third and final post, if I can wrap everything up without the word-count for this post being 4 billion words…. So if you haven’t read PART 1 and PART 2 of my birth story, you should start there. I left off with Emerson being pulled out of my belly via c-section at 9:45 a.m. Sunday, July 9, 2017, at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital (TMH, for y’all non-Tally folks), and her being wrapped up like a burrito, and placed on my chest.

Then Emerson was whisked away from me, while I was kept in the operating room. Jeff went with Emmie while they got her cleaned up, and took all of her first measurements. She was 19 3/4″, and 7lbs 2oz of perfection. 

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Naming Our Baby Girl

Picking & deciding on a name for your first baby is, in my opinion, one of the hardest things in life! Or at least one of the hardest things about pregnancy! Since all of you should already know what we named our child (considering she’s 8 months old today!), it’s not like this is some sort of name-reveal post, so I’ll just start by throwing this photo out right in the beginning!

We used this photo to share her name via social media on 4/21/17.

I was one of those girls in high school who had picked out the first & middle names for my four (FOUR?!) future kids… Then when we found out that I was pregnant, names immediately started swirling around in my head. But those names I liked so much in high school didn’t do much for me as an adult now…

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February 2018 Recap Video

On January 1, 2018, I started using the app called “1 Second Every Day.” Elsie from A Beautiful Mess posted her recap video on Instagram & so I immediately downloaded it, because I knew if she was using it, it was definitely a good idea. (I love her & her personal IG, but I also love their blog!)

The app just records and keeps tiny little 1 second videos, and then you can compile them whenever you want. (I just added the music and title using a simple video editor on my phone.) My goal is to record video every day this year, and then make a large video at the end of the year. But I will also compile one for each month throughout the year. You can watch the first month recap video here, and below is February!

 

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Planning A Cruise

It’s official — we’re going on a cruise in October!!!

I had this idea  few months ago, and mentioned it to Jeff to see what he thought about it. And of course he was immediately on board. (haha, accidental boat pun) So I hopped on Royal Caribbean’s website to do some preliminary research, and found a couple good options, but then didn’t get much further than that.

Then last Wednesday night after choir rehearsal, I had a quick chat with a lady in choir who is a travel agent. I was just asking her what the advantage of using a travel agent was, versus just finding & booking ourselves online. She said you would pay the same price (no travel agent fees!?), and find the same options, but they would take care of everything. So Thursday I sent her a quick email stating when we wanted to go, our approximate budget per person, and that we wanted to go out of Tampa or Port Canaveral (don’t want to drive all the way to Miami).

Then on Friday she emailed me back saying she found a cruise sailing during our anniversary, that was exactly on budget! So yesterday morning I called her and we placed our deposit to hold our cabin! We set up monthly payments, and it will be all paid off in July, then we set sail October 1st. (If you need a travel agent, call Ruth @ Adventures in Travel, she made it soooo easy!)

So we are officially going on a 5-night cruise to Grand Cayman & Cozumel for our 5-year anniversary!

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Galentine’s Day Tea Party

This past weekend, I hosted our second annual Galentine’s Day Tea Party for the ladies in our family! My mama, sister, Aunt Suzanne, Grandmommie, and mother-in-law all attended. I started this tradition last year, and I’m so glad I was able to do it again this year. It was slightly more work with a little baby this year, but I know it will be even more so once she’s running around next February! (Holy cow that’s crazy to even think about that!)

Over the past few years, I’ve thrifted, and been gifted, a random assortment of tea pots, tea cups and saucers, and have a cute little collection now. It’s been fun these past two years getting to use them this way, instead of just sitting on display!

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Emerson’s Arrival (Birth Story Part 2)

Today Emerson is exactly 7 months old, and I’m finally sharing her birth story! A few weeks ago, I posted part 1 of my birth story. So if you haven’t read that, you might want to start there first. Because today, we’re jumping right in & picking up where I left off. And of course this post will be even longer than the last one, because this part is really the main event… So here is the “real” part of the labor & delivery with Emerson! …

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January 2018 Recap Video

On January 1, 2018, I started using the app called “1 Second Every Day.” Elsie from A Beautiful Mess posted her recap video on Instagram & so I immediately downloaded it, because I knew if she was using it, it was definitely a good idea. (I love her & her personal IG, but I also love their blog!)

The app just records and keeps tiny little 1 second videos, and then you can compile them whenever you want. (I just added the music and title using a simple video editor on my phone.) My goal is to record video every day this year, and then make a large video at the end of the year. But I will also compile one for each month throughout the year. Here is our first one, for January!

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Celebrating My 30th Birthday

Today is my 30th birthday! And it just doesn’t quite feel “right.” I mean, what?? How am I THIRTY?! I’m sure the math is off somewhere… But nope, 1988 through 2018 definitely = 30 years. So yep, it’s official. I’m in my thirties now. And it just feels weird.

Does being thirty make me a “real adult?” Do any of you fellow thirty-somethings still feel like older adults are the “real adults” and we’re still somewhere in between? When I was 15 years old, 30 sounded very grown up and mature. And even at 20 & 25, I think I was expecting to feel a little different as a 30-year-old than I actually do. I know I’m rambling, and this probably doesn’t make sense, but hey, it’s my party & I’ll cry, no wait ramble if I want to! 

We kicked of celebrating my 30th birthday a little early, starting with lunch at Masa last Friday with friends from work. Their “express lunch platter” for $10 is super yummy, and a great deal!

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Going Into Labor (Birth Story Part 1)

WARNING – loooong post ahead, and this isn’t even the actual birth story. That was my original plan, but then I realized I wanted to go into more detail, so I’m splitting it into two posts, so it doesn’t get even longer than it already is. Then the actual birth story will be posted later, probably next week. Also, if you don’t like weird/slightly gross birth details, get outta here! No seriously, don’t read further unless you’re up for potentially TMI…

“Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start!” Let’s begin with a quick pregnancy recap…

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Back to Blogging

Hi friends and family!

I’m back in the world of blogging, and I’m quite literally itching to start writing again. From 2010-2014 I wrote a  blog almost daily (actually I have two old blog sites – one & two), but frankly, most of it was just unnecessary blogging nonsense. I kind of got caught up in the “fad” of blogging at the time, and was just writing random stuff in order to post something every day. I wanted more and more followers (which I got), but I wasn’t really writing good content. Some of it was good and worth writing/sharing, but most of it, eh, not-so-much…

So, let’s say goodbye to the old blogger Halie, and hello to the new, 2018 blogger Halie!

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