2013 Year in Review

THIS YEAR HAS BEEN AMAZING!

Lots of new experiences, a new job, and a new baby!

Hubby and I welcomed in 2013 in West Palm Beach, FL. We spent our time in Florida SCUBA DIVING and DEEP SEA FISHING!

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January started the year off with a bang! My favorite teaching buddy from the high school that I taught at went SKY DIVING!

February and March were very busy with work trips and planning for CROWN JEWEL CONFERENCE. I saw my first OPERA!

In the month of April, Hubby and I both celebrated our Birthdays and we told the world that we were EXPECTING!

Pregnancy Annoucement Egg

May, June, and July Hubby and I were both blessed to be a part of three beautiful weddings for some of our very best Friends! During the Summer we also found out the Baby Harvey would be a GIRL and I accepted a new job at the first every STEM Magnet Middle School in our area! Waring and I also found time to go on a BABYMOON to ALASKA!

Mendenhall Glacier
Mendenhall Glacier

August marked the beginning of the School year and a brand new start at a new school! Waring and I stayed up late to watch a meteor shower!

September and October were very busy, but we still managed to go on an APPLE PICKING ADVENTURE with two other sweet couples! I also got to complete my first ever COLOR RUN 5K and Addie had THREE awesome BABY SHOWERS!

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November started off very exciting! On November 3rd ADELINE entered the world four weeks before her estimated due date!

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December has been sweeter than ever before as we get to cuddle with our sweet little girl and celebrate the holidays with our family and friends.

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HERE IS A LOOK AT THE 2013 BUCKET LIST

1. Sleep in a Tree House (man…I wish this could have been accomplished…)

2. Go to an Epic Concert (Red Hot Chili Peppers at Music Midtown Festival=rainy and crowded, but still accomplished!)

3. Learn about bee keeping (I had intended on attending an outdoor seminar during the spring, however it was raining to hard. I like to sleep in when it is raining…doesn’t everyone?)

4. Write a book (for baby when he/she arrives)…..does a photobook count 😦

5. Got to Alabama (amazingly enough I didn’t make it to any of these states because our girl friend trip was cancelled…boo. There is always next year!)

6. Go to Louisiana

7. Go to Mississippi

8. Read Ten Books  (I think the final count ended up being around 15)

9. Learn 7 Constellations (currently I can spot the big dipper/little dipper/Ursa major and minor, and Orion)

10. Watch a Meteor Shower (Watched the Perseid’s Shower in August)

11. Read the ENTIRE Bible (I have been pretty good at sticking to my devotionals every morning…even at 5 am…but I am not reading in chronological order at this point)

12. Go to a pottery class (we did this for my husband’s birthday!)

13. Learn about eating  clean/organic (IN PROCESS! I have found the local co-ops and places where I can get free-range eggs and meats without all the nasty stuff added. AND with the help of Pinterest I have learned more about clean eating and am going to take some baby steps until August 1st and start full-force!)

14. Have a T-shirt quilt made (really hope this is a Christmas present this year from the hubby…I have laid down some SERIOUS hints!)….OK so no Christmas present…but I WILL make this happen for 2014!

15. Start a Recipe Book

16. Go Deep Sea Fishing (We went fishing…haha but we didn’t catch anything! Most people just fed the fish (the water was very rough, haha!)

17. Sky Dive (My best teaching buddy and I bought the Groupon…and never looked back! I am so glad I didn’t chicken out because the experience was amazing!!!)

18. Ride on a hot air balloon (I am afraid that this was is out of the question until after Addie arrives)

19. See an opera (I went to see La Traviatta with two of my favorite people in Atlanta.)

20. Learn about investing/read a book about $ (creating a life insurance and financial plan with an adviser currently and read a book by Suze Orman)

21. Color Run (with Justin and Meredith in Savannah!!!)

22. Go Apple Picking in North Georgia (Went in October. It was beautiful, but still 80 degrees outside…nothing like Fall in Georgia!)

 

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I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHAT IS IN STORE FOR 2014!

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Adventures into Mommyhood

Today marks the start of a very BIG week! This is the first week that Addie has not had to go to the doctor’s for lab work. Yay! We are both very excited about that. We can finally enjoy some cuddle time without worrying about getting ready to go to appointments and look presentable. We can nap together and hang out. I am not sure who is more excited!?

One of (many) things I have realized since giving birth is that I was so caught up in researching and preparing for pregnant life as well as labor and delivery, that I spent very little time becoming well-read in post-partum life. I couldn’t see over the proverbial hill that was my big belly to the future with Baby Addie. I am now trying to do double time. I am reading and researching like a fiend on baby sleep schedules, breast feeding, tummy time, etc… (you get the picture!)

I don’t know if it was the fact that I wasn’t able to hold her four days, or the unknown infection that she was fighting, but now every moment seems so fleeting and fragile. I love this little girl more than I could have ever dreamed of or imagined. I am not sure really how it happened…

There are a few lines within the book I am currently engrossed in that pretty much capture my heart at the moment. In fact, I really can’t even read them without crying.

“They wrapped her up and handed her to …me and I stared in wonder at this little tiny person fresh from heaven. It was as if I could still smell the angels on her, like I was looking straight into the face of God. A God who had just blessed us with so much more than we could have imagined. How amazing that he brings life this way. Through pain and hurt and the ugly things inside us we try to keep hidden away. The things we don’t talk about. In that moment, as I looked at my little girl lying in my arms, I realized this whole process was such a striking picture of how Christ works in us. He takes our disappointments, rejections, and hard times and he makes something beautiful. He creates life and shows us what beauty looks like in places where we look and see nothing. He blesses us beyond our imaginations, in spite of all the broken roads we’ve traveled. As if to remind us that he sees us, not just for who we are t any given moment, but for what we could be one day. I looked at her and saw perfection. And mercy. And grace. I had never seen the hand of God so clearly in my life.” —Melanie Shankle Sparkly Green Earrings

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Adeline Faye’s Birth Story- 11.3.13

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Around 5am on Sunday November 3, 2013, I got up to pee for the 50millionth time. Hubby was in the shower getting ready to get groceries for us because we had a busy day planned and would not have time to go during the day. As I went to get back into the bed, I felt a gush of liquid…and of course because Addie had been sitting on my bladder for a while, I thought I had had an accident! But then, I began to wonder I had just experienced my water breaking. I was only 36 weeks, and this seemed unlikely to me. So….I googled and sent Hubby to Walmart feeling sure that it was just a false alarm. I didn’t want to go to the hospital for peeing myself! While he was gone, though, it became apparent that my water had indeed broken. I called the on call doctor and he suggested that I come on in to the ER. I took a shower, fixed my hair, and waited on Hubby to return. We frantically packed the car and prepared to go to the hospital. We were excited and nervous, but I wasn’t feeling any contractions yet so I was still wondering what was going on.

When we arrived at the hospital around 8am and registered with the ER and were taken up to labor and delivery. It was my first time being wheeled in a wheel chair through the hospital. We made it up to the third floor and they took a test to see if my water had indeed ruptured. The first test came back inconclusive and so they sent it to the lab for a thirty minute test. In the meantime I started to feel crampy and so the nurse hooked me up to the ultrasound and told me that the doctor on call would be coming to check for dilation and effacement. I had never been checked because my 36 week appointment was scheduled for following Thursday. The test came back positive, that my water had if fact broken before the doctor made it in, so instead they took me to a room in labor and delivery. We were going to have a baby….today!

By the time I made it to a room, (around 9:30-10am) I was having pretty frequent contractions and ready to see the doctor. I met my nurse and she and the nursing student put in my IV and drew some blood work for labs. Apparently none of my records could be found, and therefore they had to start from scratch. By around 11am I had still not seen a doctor and was starting to feel a bit aggravated. I wanted to know how far along I was. I was starting to feel some serious pain, but I didn’t want to think that I was a baby if I was only 1 centimeter dilated! While I am in pain, nineteen family members were arriving in the waiting room and coming in to visit. I was probably not the best company, but I tried to be nice between contractions!

When the doctor did finally make it he made a comment that I must have a strong pain threshold because I was already at 4-5 centimeters and taking it like a pro. I was so relieved….I wasn’t being a baby after all! I then immediately asked for an epidural! If I was already progressing this fast I didn’t want to wait until it was too late. A little while later my lovely epidural arrived! Hubby got queasy when he saw the needle, but I didn’t even care. It felt glorious! I could have kissed the anesthesiologist!!Within minutes I was resting comfortably! I had chills and shakes as a side effect of the drugs, but compared to the pain of contractions that was no big deal at all! Having the epidural felt like a warm blanket wrapped around me and I was so comfortable that I wanted to take a nap and rest before it was time to push. If anyone has not tried one….(an epidural), I highly suggest it!

An hour or so later I was rechecked, and sure enough….I was 9.5 centimeters! YIKES! Half an hour later I had made it to ten, but still had no urge to push, so they let me wait. When the doctor made it in to begin delivery he realized that Addie was sunny-side up. So, I got into a really fun position and waited for an hour for her to turn…but…she…never…did! We had to start pushing anyway. The nurse, Tiffany, told me to expect delivery to take a while now and to prepare to push for at least an hour and a half, if not more.

I watched Real Housewives in between pushing and talked to my nurse about school. The doctor came in as things were coming to a head….literally….and he was able to successfully turn Addie. Once she was turned she came right on out within ten minutes! At 4:49pm Adeline Faye Harvey was born.

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I had always expected to have Addie placed on my chest and spend some time loving on her before the rest of the family came in, but she had to be checked by the nursery staff because she was early and they wanted to be cautious. We snapped a quick picture and then the nurse told me that they wanted to take her to the nursery for two hours just to check her out while she transitioned. They told us that by the time we made into our other room that she would be taken to our room. She never made it that night…. When I called to get an update they told me that she wasn’t transitioning well and needed to be taken to the special care nursery for the night. Hubby and I were of course very upset, worried, anxious, disappointed and a million other emotions at the same time. We made it to the Special Care Nursery to see our baby hooked up to monitors with wires all over her body and tubes in her nose. She was blue and bruised from delivery and she looked so sad that all of us had to fight back tears as we looked. You could tell that she was struggling to breath and her chest physically caved in with each breath.

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We spent that first night alone in our room. There wasn’t anything to say….so we just slept, or tried to sleep. We woke up the next morning with more questions and very few answers. Addie was still in the nursery and the nurse told us…”don’t worry, the nurse practitioner will come talk to you soon because she always sees the sickest babies first.” Of course…that made us feel awful. What could we do? Would she be okay? Was it something that I did? Why is this happening? And a million other questions… We never heard much that first day except that her lungs were retracting and she was breathing 34% oxygen instead of 21%, which is room air. They also mentioned that she might have some sort of infection, but they were waiting on her labs to return. They wouldn’t give us a timeline for Addie’s recovery….but it seemed that she would not be going home from the hospital when I was discharged. Waring and I were lost as to what to do. We felt distraught, but knew that we had to hold it together and be strong for our little girl. At this point we hadn’t even been able to touch her or talk to her. She was called a “touch-me-not” baby because the overstimulation could cause her breathing to be setback.

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By Tuesday we were feeling a bit better. We had spoken with our friend Audra who works in the NICU in Columbia. She reassured us that everything the nurses were doing was okay and that she would eventually be fine. That morning when Hubby and I were discharged we felt better about everything and were determined to be strong for our family and new baby…until…we…got…the…news… Addie’s infection was very alarming the doctors because of her “bands” and white blood cell count. Apparently Addie’s labwork showed that her bands had jumped to 43 bands, from 23 bands the day before. Doctor Torez told us that this was a sign of infection, and it could be meningitis. In order to tell for sure they would have to do a spinal tap to run for labwork. Immediately my head was spinning and I didn’t know what to say or what to do. I thought that we were just dealing with underdeveloped lungs and that all would be okay, but that seemed not to be the case anymore. When we went to tell our family, were all just as emotional as Waring and I were. It took Waring’s grandmother to pull us all together and tell us that we all had to come together and pray. At that moment we all huddled in the waiting room of the Special Care Nursery and prayed for that little girl. Within a few ours we had hundreds of people around the state praying on our Addie’s behalf.  It was a humbling and powerful experience. I want to always remember how these days felt and be there for other couples and families who may find themselves in similar situations.

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On Wednesday we had a better idea that Addie did not have meningitis, but we still had to wait for the 48 hour lab work to come back negative. While we didn’t know exactly what the infection was, the doctors said that they would treat her with antibiotics for five to seven days just to be on the safe side, BUT her bands had went from 43 to 3 in one day! That was great news because that showed that the infection, whatever it was, was reacting to the treatment. While Addie’s progress was slow, it was steady and we needed to continue to be strong for her. Eventually Teresa let us hold her and do skin on skin, or kangaroo care and really spend some time bonding with our little girl. It was pretty difficult because she had some many wires hooked up to her and things were constantly beeping and buzzing, but it was worth it.

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After Addie was four days old, she was finally allowed to have her first bottle! They were just giving her fluids through her IVs. I was very worried about her being able to eat and digest her food well, because I knew that was one of the battles that she would have to conquer if we were ever going to get to go home! She did really well, though and was eating and burping like a champ! I was able to pump for her and Waring and I would feed her every three hours around the clock! I never knew how excited I would be to feed, burp, and change a little baby’s bottle. For a few days, this was the only contact we were able to have. They moved her IV to go in her umbilical cord because she kept pulling it out of her, which meant we couldn’t hold her still!

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Although we felt like zombies most of the time that we were in the Special Care Nursery, we did felt very blessed to have loving nurses and even make a few friends. Frank and Ashley Miller had their son, Judah, two days after we did. Although their son was full term, he was having a few issues of his own, and they found their way into the special care nursery as well. We were able to share a bond with this couple that very few will understand, and we have stayed in contact with them after we all left. We actually have dinner with the Miller family last weekend. It is amazing how God’s plan is so much more perfect than our own.

 

Eight days after Addie’s arrival, we were finally able to leave the Special Care Nursery. It was fitting that Teresa, the nurse who hugged us during the terrible day that Addie had her spinal tap, and allowed us to hold our baby for the first time, was the same nurse on duty who helped see us leave. She was such a God-send. I have no doubt that God placed this amazing woman in our lives to comfort us in such a stressful time. On the last day they took Addie out from underneath the Bilirubin lights, took out her umbilical line (which was pretty gross), and gave her the infamous carseat test. After passing all of these tests, we were finally able to take our little girl home!

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Addie’s first week of life was terrifying, humbling, and beautiful. I have a feeling that parenting and this first experience with Addie will feel pretty similar. I will be praying for wisdom every day!

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The Weekend Before Addie’s Birthday!

It really is amazing how God’s plans are so much more perfect than our own! The weekend before Addie arrive my very bestest besties were down for the weekend helping me prepare for Addie’s arrival. Little did we know just how SOON that day would be! We ate Japanese food, unpacked shower gifts, put together the glider and baby seat, and organized the Addie’s closet! We had time to catch up, be silly, and just enjoy time together. I guess Addie was so excited about all of her new clothes and toys she couldn’t wait any longer!

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Here’s a glimpse of Addie’s humble abode!

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Three of the Best Baby Showers Ever!!

Now that Addie has arrived and things have started to settled down just a little bit (a very little bit) I have decided I am well overdue for an update! Right before Addie arrived I was able to celebrate THREE WEEKENDS in a row with different family and friends.

We partied Dr. Seuss style with Hubby’s family, celebrated Under the Sea with my family, and had an awesome Halloween-themed bash with some of my very best friends! Addie and I are two lucky ladies! Check out some of the highlights from these awesome events.

Dr. Seuss Shower

Aunt Jenny
Aunt Jenny
Love it!
Love it!
Green Eggs and Ham Sandwiches
Green Eggs and Ham Sandwiches

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How cute!?
How cute!?
Agreed...
Agreed…
Future Gigi and Mimi
Future Gigi and Mimi
Candy Buffet
Candy Buffet
Look at Hubby...wasn't he cute!
Look at Hubby…wasn’t he cute!
How cute are these!? How can you go wrong with red velvet cake and cotton candy!
How cute are these!? How can you go wrong with red velvet cake and cotton candy!
Hubby
Hubby
Yummy candy buffet!
Yummy candy buffet!
Waring thinks this picture of me is crazy! Haha, I like it!
Waring thinks this picture of me is crazy! Haha, I like it!
What a cute theme! Katrina drew all the awesome center pieces and signs!
What a cute theme! Katrina drew all the awesome center pieces and signs!

Nautical Shower

Messages in a bottle for Mommy to Be!
Messages in a bottle for Mommy to Be!
I got some good advice!
I got some good advice!

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Time to Eat!
Time to Eat!
Pretty!
Pretty!
Aunt AJ
Aunt AJ
Cake made by Granny Layne
Cake made by Granny Layne

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Halloween Shower

Pretty!
Pretty!

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Too pretty to eat!
Too pretty to eat!

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Aren't they so talented!
Aren’t they so talented!
Yes...I know...I have awesome friends!
Yes…I know…I have awesome friends!
Curious George....AKA Aunt Audra...who is also expecting! :)
Curious George….AKA Aunt Audra…who is also expecting! 🙂

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Aunt Tori and the other Baby Addie!
Aunt Tori and the other Baby Addie!
Clifford...AKA Aunt Meredith
Clifford…AKA Aunt Meredith
Wow...no one told me how BIG I was getting!
Wow…no one told me how BIG I was getting!

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Yummy!
Yummy!
This is Aunt KT's first foray into sewing...she did a great job!
This is Aunt KT’s first foray into sewing…she did a great job!
ALMOST too pretty to open
ALMOST too pretty to open
Baby Addie Grace
Baby Addie Grace
Taste testing!
Taste testing!
Yummy!
Yummy!
Baby food!
Baby food!
She wasn't a fan...
She wasn’t a fan…
Can you guess which baby food flavor?
Can you guess which baby food flavor?
Lots of books for Baby Addie!
Lots of books for Baby Addie!
What a bunch of "characters!"
What a bunch of “characters!”
Max...AKA Aunt Tori
Max…AKA Aunt Tori

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Curious George...Man in the Yellow Suit...Aunt Audra
Curious George…Man in the Yellow Suit…Aunt Audra
Amelia Bedelia...AKA Aunt KT
Amelia Bedelia…AKA Aunt KT
Pick Me's Doggie in a Tutu...AKA Aunt C!
Pick Me’s Doggie in a Tutu…AKA Aunt C!

I am so thankful for my family and friends who helped throw these awesome showers, and feel very blessed by God to have such loving and supportive family and friends. I LOVE YOU!

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