2015 in Review

I know that I have not posted since before I had EJ. I promise I will eventually post his birth story. I just need time to write it out.😉

So here is 2015 in review…

January
– On the 12 we found out we were having a baby BOY!!!
– Ohio state won the National Championship.

February
– I went to a photography convention at the beginning of the month with my mom in law.
– Me & Rob celebrated our last Valentine’s day without children.
– I got the stomach flu. Which was awful while being pregnant.

March
– We got to see EJ in 3D! And now I can say he definitely looked like he did in his sonograms!

April
– My mom in law photographed my maternity photos.
– I chopped off 12 inches of my hair!
– I went to my due date buddies baby shower!

May
– Went and saw Plumb and JJ Heller in concert with my mom in law and sis in law.
– My mom in law & sis in law threw me a baby shower! Which was actually on my sis in law’s bday and me and my hubby’s 10 year dating anniversary. It was a very special day! I was so blown away at how much our family and friends blessed us!
– We finished EJ’s room!

June
– Me and my hubby had our last date before baby came.
– EJ was born!
– We celebrated Rob’s first Father’s day as a daddy!😀

July
– EJ celebrated his first 4th of July .
– We had family come visit and meet EJ.
– My parents came towards the end of the month to meet him. It was such a special time!
– We celebrated my youngest nephew turning one!

August
– We kicked off this month with going to a wedding of one of my hubby’s college friends.
– EJ went with us, so he attended his first wedding. He was SO good!
– EJ went on his first Roadtrip to Dayton for my Grandma’s birthday lunch.
– Then, a few days later we took EJ on a really long road trip. What should have been 12 hours turned in to 19 hours. Because, you know, we had to stop so EJ could be fed. Let’s just saying we will be flying from now on.
– After a little over two months, we finally got to meet EJ’s birthday buddy!

September
– In the beginning of September EJ went on his first Airplane ride with me to visit my family, again. He did SO well going and coming back! – – —— Unfortunately hubby had to stay home and work.
– We had family photos taken! And got some super cute ones!
– EJ got sick for the first time.😦

October
– Went and visited family. My Aunts and Uncles finally got to meet EJ!
– Saw Sanctus Real in concert for the first time and was the last time to see Matt as lead singer.
– Celebrated EJ’s first Halloween! He was Donnatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He was SO adorable!!!

November
– I photographed my first photo session since before I had EJ.
– Celebrated EJ’s first Thanksgiving!

December
– EJ met Santa and loved him! We got a BIG smile! Now, next year might be a different story…
– EJ’s turned 6 months old! Not sure where half of the year went!
– Celebrated me and my hubby’s wedding anniversary!
– EJ got his 6 month shots on my birthday.😦 But other than than that I had a great birthday!
– Celebrated Christmas Eve and Christmas! Both of which were EJ’s firsts! He got lots of presents!

Well, there you have it. The year 2015 in review. Thank you for taking the time to read! I am so excited for 2016! I have such a great feeling about it!

The Nursery + Update!

First off…I have almost less than 2 weeks till my due date! WHAAAAAAAATTTTT???? Seriously, it feels like this pregnancy has flown by! Especially now that we are in the month that I will give birth to our sweet baby boy in! Crazy crazy!

There have been amazing times, and not so amazing times. Such as last week when we had to deal with the mess our health insurance made for us. But God was faithful and we got it worked out by the end of the week. Let’s just say I never want to have to deal with something like that again. Especially with being so close to my due due.

So today I got to see our baby boy! He was being wiggly during the ultrasound. And I got to see a lot of his face!

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For the last almost 8 weeks, I’ve managed to get in 10000 steps every day and track it with my Fitbit. And I’ve also managed to still do my prenatal exercised program, too. I have typically done it 6 days a week, but other the last couple of weeks, I been getting more and more tired, so I’ve cut it down to 5 days week and still getting in 10000 steps a day.

Speaking of getting more tired…holy cow. I am pretty much getting a nap in every day. I even took 2 naps one day. haha I know, I know…get the sleep while I can. And believe me, me and hubby are both getting in our sleep.

Now on to the main reason I am posting…EJ’s Nursery! We got done with it on Monday night. It would have been done sooner, but the crib was causing a problem. See, I like putting together furniture. I put together the nightstand and the glider in his room. And several other things that we have for him. But I could not for the life of me figure out step 1 on the instructions for the crib. And if I can’t figure it out, you KNOW it’s confusing! lol So my dadinlaw came over and my hubby helped put it together.

So without further ado, here is EJ’s nursery! Oh and the main idea was was gray and white with pops of red, yellow, blue, and houndstooth through out the room.

pano-lrHere is an over view of his room when you first walk in

ej_nursery_05Off to your immediate left if his closet. There was not a door, so we used a sheer grey curtain and a tension rod. I think it works out quite well!

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Next we have the glider, ottoman, night stand, and bookshelf.

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Here are some close ups of the nightstand and what’s on the book shelf. A few things: the lamp shade was originally white and I painted it yellow because I couldn’t a solid yellow lamp shade. and the base is really neat because you can unscrew the top and put things inside of it. WHat I plan on doing is as EJ grows up and I find things in his pockets when doing laundry, I am going to put them in the lamp base. The book shelf was mine when I was growing up. My sisinlaw (my hubbies sister) made the picture with EJ’s first ultrasound picture and the Bible verse. He got lots of books from the baby shower, too. So we have a nice collection started. And the bins at the bottom are for toys and such.

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The changing station. The dresser was also mine while growing up. The changing pad cover is houndstooth. I made the mobile. It was originally much longer, but with the low ceiling in his room the strands needed to be cut. I think I am going to do something with them, but I just haven’t figures out yet what that will be. It was inspired by this mobile I found on Pinterest.

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And now the crib area! My mominlaw made the blanket. She also made a matching carseat cover and car organizer, too. She definitely knows me, because I loved it immediately! Now the artwork. I painted both the bunny silhouette and the ‘E’. I had so much fun painting the ‘E’! It was a three part process and it turned out SO good! I found the print out on the clip board on this website and the cross at Hobby Lobby. Oh! I have to mention this! I was reading (can’t remember now) somewhere, for the crib mattress, to put on a mattress protector, a sheet, then another mattress protector, and another sheet. So that if there were an accident in the middle of the night, you only need to take of two layers and not have to worry about putting on another mattress protector and sheet in the middle of the night. Great idea, right? Also, we have a big blue rug in the middle of the room. I love how it anchors everything together.

There we have it! What’cha think? I love how his room turned out!🙂

Now, I probably won’t post again till after EJ is born. SO keep checking back so you can see our sweet bundle of joy with in the next few weeks! WOOHOO!!!

CHOP, CHOP!!!

I’ve had long hair. And I’ve had really short hair. Apparently I can pull off either. Which honestly is a blessing. I know some people can only so really long or really short hair.

Well, I had really short hair 3 years ago and then I decided to grow it out. And grow it out I did. Last year around august or so I said I was going to grow my hair out enough to donate it around May of June of this year.

My dad is who inspired me to grow out my hair and donate because he has done it himself 3-4 times.

So I asked my stylist friend when thought I would have enough hair to donate and she said April. Now being pregnant has been really great to my hair! It’s grown quite a bit and has been really healthy.

Anyways, when I got my maternity pictures scheduled, I scheduled my hair cut right after. lol I was honestly just waiting on my maternity photos to be taken before the big chop.😛

As the day got closer, I did question a couple of times whether I wanted to get it cut or not. But I was SO ready to have it cut! I was getting a lot of hot flashes from being pregnant, and having so much hair on my neck did not help. It was also annoying because whenever I would sit bit my hair would get caught between the chair and my back. And also when I went to bed or turned over int he middle of the night I would have to constantly pull my hair back.

Yep, I was ready!

The day before my hair cut I my TimeHop app actually had a lot of pictures of me with short hair. I took that as a a good sign.😛

It was a little nerve wracking getting so much hair cut off at once, but it felt SO good! And not to mention, my friend is an amazing stylist! So I knew my hair would look great when she was done.

In the end I got 12 inches cut off!O_o I was shocked when I measured it! I thought I would maybe have 10, but not 12!!! I am SO happy that my hair will be used to help someone.🙂

So. What do you think? The collage is of the day I got it cut. The second picture is the day after when I curled it again and the day is right after I dried my hair.

OH! Can I just mention how QUICK it is the wash and dry my hair now!!! HEAVEN!!! lol

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TEN MORE WEEKS…WHAT?!

I cannot believe how fast this pregnancy has flown by! I seriously feel like it was just yesterday that I took that pregnancy test and got back a positive. Yes, there have been uncomfortable moments while being pregnant, but I would not trade it for the world! I have so enjoyed being pregnant! It truly is a gift and a miracle from God! The fact that God made us women to be able to bare a child is simply amazing!

My last post was when I was 20 weeks. There has been a lot of growth since then. At 22 weeks we found out that EJ is healthy and growing the way he should. At 24 weeks we got to see his precious face from a 4D ultrasound. I’ve hit a few viability milestones as well. My last growth ultrasound was at 28 weeks and he was measuring right on schedule and was 2 pounds 8 ounces.

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Not a lot of people know that I have been monitored through out my pregnancy for my blood pressure. It’s always fine when I take it, but always elevated when I have it taken at my checkup’s. I think it’s white coat syndrome. But hey, better safe than sorry and I’m glad they are doing everything to prevent anything bad from happening. Since 28 weeks, I have been going every week for non-stress tests and amniotic fluid ultrasounds. All has been good. Pray that everything stays good!

I’ve also been mindful of my salt intake and to stay active and exercise every day. For my exercising I’ve been doing The Dia Method. It works the abs to help prevent abdominal separation during pregnancy. And also helps to train for a fast and easier labor. Obviously, I haven’t given birth yet so I will be giving a full review of this system once I have EJ. But for now, I can say it has helped me stay active, and as far as I can tell I have not had any abdominal separation. It has helped me stay and feel strong and has helped with my energy level. I even still sweat! I always feel great afterwards.

Another thing I have been loving is my Leachco Snoogle Mini Side Sleeper pillow. I had the maternity pillow from Boppy, but it was not as comfortable as the Leacho pillow. With the Boppy Maternity pillow, I would wake up to aching hips through out the night. But that doesn’t happen with the Leacho pillow. It supports my hips SO much better!

I’ve also been sick 3 times since the end of January. First was a cold/sinus thing right before a trip I took. I was able to kick that pretty quickly. I then got the stomach bug a week after Valentine’s days. I tell you what, it sucks having a tummy bug while you’re pregnant. BUT that was the first time I saw EJ kick on the outside. Then at the end of March I got sick with sinus/allergy crap because of the season change. I had the worst sore throat for 5 days. But once again, drinking my honey, lemon, and coconut oil hot water, and doing a sinus rinse REALLY helped.

Then came the dreaded glucose test at 27 weeks. I was SO nervous that I was going to have gestational diabetes. But I thinking putting coconut oil in my oatmeal every morning, eating semi healthy, and exercising helped me to NOT have GD. I know a lot of people have always said that the drink they have you drink is gross, but mine was fine. I was given a lemon lime flavor. It tasted like non carbonated Sprite. I think the only thing that I did not like was the fact that I had to drink it in 5 minutes. lol Everything else was fine. The next day, I had to call my OB for something else and I ended asking if they had my results yet. When I was told I passed, I literally said “THANK YOU JESUS!!!” while I was still on the phone. Hahaha I am VERY thankful! Especially since EJ seems to love sugar. LOL

We have also started the process of working on EJ’s room. His room was a storage room or sorts, so we have had to move everything that was in there. The next step is painting. I’m not sure if I have mentioned before, but his walls will be light grey, with white furniture, and pops of blue, red, and yellow through out his room. And some houndstooth.😉 Thanks to my generous parents, they have purchased all the big furniture for his room for us. We actually already have it all. The area by our front door is quite packed with boxes.

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I’ve also been working on some thing to hang on the walls of EJ’s room. I have a free print out that I want to hang on a clip board, I painted the outline of a bunny with a fuzzy tail on an 8×8 canvas, and I painted an ‘E’ with his room colors and houndstooth.

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Some other things have gone on as well. My in-law’s got another Golden Retriever. She’s an English Cream. She is SO adorable and such a fluff ball!!!

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I also did a painting for a dear friend. She’s is actually my due date buddy! I’m not sure if I ever mentioned her of not. Anyways, her and her hubby are having a girl. I asked what colors/shapes she would be using and then let my creativity flow. When I was done with it I gave her the option of seeing the finished product or waiting until her baby shower. At first she said she would wait, but then changed her mind so that she could figure out where they were going to put it (I think she just wanted to see it, lol). I had SO much fun painting it! And I can’t wait till she gets to see it in person! It looks so much better in person than in a picture. The yellow is actually metallic gold.

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I also have another friend from the Bible Study I go who was suppose to be due next week. Well, the morning on April 12th I woke up from a dream that she was in labor. I could not get her off my mind so I texted her and told her about my dream and that I was praying for her as she got closer to her due date. Twenty minutes later another mutual friend of ours texted me and said that that same friend I had the dream about was in LABOR!!!! I was floored! lol Her and her hubby had also decided to be surprised by the gender of their baby. In my dream it was a boy. They even thought they were going to have a boy. But they ended up having a girl! And goodness she is adorable!!🙂 I went and visited with another friend of mine the day after since I was going to be at the same hospital for my weekly appointment. Isn’t she just a peanut?!❤ Seeing her made me even more excited for EJ’s arrival in less than 10 weeks!!!

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That’s about it for now. I am having maternity photos taken on Friday by my wonderful mom-in-law. I cannot wait!😀

Review: Influenster Refresh Vox Box

This is my fourth Vox Box from Influenster. I thoroughly enjoy testing all the products I receive. Especially during this cold winter and I have to stay inside most of the time. It gives me something to do.😛

refresh_01This box is called the Refresh Vox Box. This box contained 2 snack bags of Beanitos (restaurant style and nacho cheese), a small jar of L’OCCITANE Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream, a pack of DenTek Comfort Clean Flossers, a small sample pack of DenTek Fun Flossers, a Skinnygirl Tasty Nutritional Bar in Banana Oatmeal Dark Chocolate, a Listerine PocketPaks, a pack of the Montagne Jeunesse Face Mask in Manuka Honey Peel Off Masque, the new Covergirl Ultra Smooth Foundation (which I received in the wrong shade and was not able to review), a voucher for a free Orgain Organic Nutrition Shake, and a couple of coupons.

Now I am going to go through each product and what I thought of them…

refresh_19Beanitos (Restaurant Style & Nacho Cheese)
I was so excited to get Beanitos! It had been quite awhile since I had had these delicious chips. I ate the restaurant style chips the day I got the box. haha I had the nacho cheese bag with dinner the following night. I seriously forgot I was eating a healthy chip made from beans! A coupon for $1 off of 2 Beanitos was included in the vox box. I already purchased the white cheddar and the hot chili lime puffs. I can’t wait to eat both!

refresh_17Montagne Jeunesse Face Mask (Manuka Honey Peel Off Masque)

I was excited to see I got this! I had never used a peel off mask before. AND it was Manuka Honey! Manuka honey has great antibacterial properties, so this is perfect to use on the face to kill any bacteria. I used it after I had taken a shower. It was a bit messy to apply as the consistency was like honey. I kept getting my hair in it before I finally pulled it back. It definitely smelled good! Honey & jasmine? You can’t go wrong! So, I left the mask on for 15 minutes before I started to peel it off. Boy, was that an adventure! I was a bit skeptical that it would peel off, but it did. It was quite comical, too. I took photos at different stages of the peeling. IMG_0610At one point , in the middle of peeling, I went and asked my hubby if it freaked him out. He said, “A bit.” LOL Anyways, after peeling all of the mask off I was still left with some bits and pieces of the mask on my face. That took awhile to get it all off. But in the end I was left with a VERY clean feeling face. I would use this mask again!

refresh_03L’OCCITANE Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream

I had never used anything by L’OCCITANE before getting a sample of the Light Comforting Cream, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But obviously this is why it was sent: so that I could try it! And I have to say, I really like it! The texture is light, and is almost like a gel/mousse. The smell is really pleasant as well. Not strong at all! even though it’s suppose to be used as a facial moisturizer, I first used it one my hands and really liked it. It was not greasy and it seeped into my skin very quickly. I used it several more times on my hands the first day I got it. I then used it the next day on my face after I used the peel off mask. My face was SO soft all day! I love this stuff!

refresh_09DenTek Comfort Clean Flossers

I’m going to be completely honest…I cannot remember the last time I flossed before I got these babies. Sad, I know. But I’m hoping having these flossers will help me make it a habit of flossing every day (like I should). They are incredibly easy to use and I really like the pick on the end to get things out of your teeth. Maybe I can get my hubby to floss more, too, since these are so easy to use.

 

 

 

refresh_05Listerine PocketPaks

What can I say about these? I have used these off and on through out the years. As a wedding photographer, I like to keep my breathe fresh. Honestly, I like to keep my breathe fresh all the time. And these Listerine Pocket Packs help SO much! They are a bit on the strong side, but I like to think that they are killing all the bad breathe and germs in my mouth. I actually had a pock track already in my purse when I got my vox box. But hey, I can always use more  pocket packs and put one in all the places I am typically. I recommend these to anyone who needs a compact breathe freshener.

 

Orgain Organic Nutritional Shake (Strawberries & Cream) refresh_21

I love the inspirational story behind the Orgain brand! I picked out my shake before watching the video about how it came to be. But after watching it, it definitely has inspired me to want to live a healthier lifestyle. The product definitely helps with that desired lifestyle. It’s high in protein, has a lot of fruits, vegetables, and vitamins. The taste was great and not too sweet. AND it’s safe for pregnant women, like myself, to consume! If you have time, go watch the story behind the brand: http://orgain.com/about-us/our-story/

 

 

refresh_07Skinnygirl Tasty Nutrition Bar (Banana Oatmeal Dark Chocolate)

I had always seen Skinnygirl products in the store, but I had never tried any of them. I was happy to receive the Banana Oatmeal Dark Chocolate bar to test out! I was pleasantly surprised that the flavors blended so well together! No one flavor was dominate. I will definitely be looking into getting more of these bars They would be great for being on the go, too!

Covergirl UltraSmooth Foundation (Creamy Natural)refresh_15

There isn’t a lot I can say when it comes to reviewing this product. I received a shade that was too dark for me, therefore I was unable to use it and review it. I received 820 Creamy Natural when I should have received 805 Ivory. I even reached out to Influenster to see what I should do or what could be done about getting the right shade for me, but I never heard back from them. And I was not about to drop $13 on a product I may not even like, because I’m kind of picky about my foundations as it is. But I do wish I could have reviewed it, because I’ve heard a lot about it (good and bad) and I wanted to form my own opinion.

 

Well, that’s it for my individual reviews of everything I received in my Refresh Vox Box. I hope that at least one of my reviews helped someone in determining whether they want to try a certain product or not. I loved pretty much everything (except the foundation) in this box and would purchase them with my own money.

I would like to reiterate that I received all of these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes only.

Thank you for reading!

Halfway There

Today I had my 20 week appointment. Can I just say, I love my Dr? She makes everything so easy and smooth, and she is real with you. She’s the best!  And of course I always love hearing EJ’s heartbeat! It’s such a sweet, sweet sound!❤ I could listen to it all day!

I still can’t believe I am walkway through my pregnancy. It just feel like it is going by do fast now. And I have to say, I very much enjoying my second trimester so far.

Since my last post (at 17 weeks), EJ has definitely become more active. A lot more movement, kicking, and hiccuping. I LOVE feeling him move! It’s such an amazing feeling! It still blows my mind that there is life growing inside me, and that little life is moving, and kicking. And of course growing more and more!

It’s also amazing seeing my body change and my tummy get bigger and bigger. Here is a side by side comparison from 17-20 weeks.

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Some days I just want EJ to hurry and grow inside me so that he can be more and we can finally meet hime. And some days I’m just so nervous about him being born and being a Godly mother to him. But then God gives me a peace that this is exactly where I suppose to be. He created me to be a wife, a mother, a daughter, an Aunt, a daughter-in-law, a friend, a photographer, and most importantly,God’s child. It’s such a humbling thought.

God has taught me so much through my pregnancy so far. And I know He is going to teach me even more before EJ is born.

Moving on to a less serious note. We have slowly been getting gifts from people. It’s been so much!

Of course we got the onsies for Christmas that my mom-in-law made for EJ. Then my mom ordered him the Sophia giraffe and a Sophie book.

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And then we got these precious little hats. A sweet friend of mine, from my old church in Tennessee, crochets baby hats and things as a ministry. I had told her before that when we have a baby I was going to have her make the baby something. So after we found out about EJ being a boy, I knew I wanted to have her make me a football hat. When I asked her, she also said she was going to make an extra surprise for him. Well, when we got the package a couple weeks later, I was not expecting to find a total of 6 hats in the box! My hubby can attest to the squealing that ensued. haha But seriously! Look these adorable little hats!!! I can’t wait to photograph EJ with all these little hats on!😀

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So of course my head has been filled with what I want EJ’s nursery to look like. We are going to paint the walls light gray, he’s going to have white furniture, there will be splashes of primary colors (blue, red, and yellow) and a few pieces with my favorite houndstooth pattern.

With all of that in mind, I decided to make his mobile. Of course I for my inspiration from Pinterest. haha And this is what I made!

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I still need to do a couple of things, but I think it turned out rather nice! I already had the fabric for the circles and the white paint, so I only had to get the ribbon and the needle point hoop. I’m so excited to hang it above his crib!😀

Last thing. Can I just say being sick while pregnant sucks? I was sick last week. I think I did well with getting over over the crud. I was able to take what I normally take (regular Mucinex). But I followed some great tips from online for pregnant women. 1) 3 times a day I heated up a mixture of lemon juice, honey, cinnamon, coconut oil, and water and drank it. 2) I ate an apple orange and banana every day. 3) I had chicken noodle soup every day and other bland foods through out the day for my meals. 4) I drank lots of water (to that I don’t in the first place).  And a glass of orange juice every day. 5) I used my sinus rinse bottle twice a day for 4 days. 6) I used a humidifier every night (but I had been using it before that). I am so thankful that I got better pretty quickly, because I went out of town  for a few days after.

Anyways, that’s all I have for my 20 week update.🙂 See you all next post!

It’s a…

Yesterday was a big day for us.

Not only did OSU win the National Championship, but most importantly we found out the gender of our sweet baby.

No one but me and the hubby knew when we were finding out. It drove everyone crazy not knowing when we were finding out.😛 But we held our ground and didn’t tell anyone. (And I’m not going to lie it was kind of fun! haha)

So, I’ve have always had a feeling we would be having a girl first. To the point where we called the baby a ‘she’ or ‘her’ whenever we would refer or talk to the baby.

But honestly, all we have ever wanted was a happy and healthy bay. No matter the gender.

The few days leading up the ultrasound I had a little thought in the back of my mind that maybe we were going to be having a boy and not a girl. But I ignored it because of the strong feelings I had for the baby being a girl.

Come the day of the ultrasound I was just ready to find out if our little one was a boy or a girl.

When the ultrasound tech started trying to find the gender, baby wasn’t showing us anything. But then then she was able to find the money shot…

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Yep! After thinking we were going to have a girl the whole time, WE ARE HAVING A SWEET BABY BOY!!!!!!

Both me and hubby were like “WHAT??” LOL But deep down, I’m not really surprised. Does that make sense?

I immidiately wanted to tell everyone, but wanted to tell immediate family first before we posted it to social media.

We told family members through out the day through phone calls and FaceTime. With our FaceTime calls I wore the baby skeleton shirt that I wore on Thanksgiving and put a baby blue felt bow tie near the neck.

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And then later in the evening when we were seeing hubby’s family I wore the shirt to announce it to them.  I loved everyones reactions!

Now that I’ve had a day to really realize that we are having a boy, I swear I am so much more emotional. It’s just an amazing feeling KNOWING our sweet baby is a boy! A lot of my thoughts today are that I want to be the mommy God has created me to be for our baby boy. I want to be a Godly example for him. I want to teach him how much God loves him. I want to teach him how to be a gentleman. And so much more!

I feel like your whole mindset changes once you find out the gender of your baby. For the better, of course!

God has definitely been and is continuing to prepare us to be this little guys parents. And I hope and pray we are the Godly parents that He created us to be!

Now that everyone knows we are having a boy, I know a lot of people are going to be wondering about his name.

His name is Ellison Joseph. We will be calling him EJ. Already have, actually!🙂

Ellison is after my Grandpa’s middle name and Joseph after so many men in my hubby’s family (mainly his Grandfather). So, his name is very much rooted in family and very special to us.🙂

It is VERY hard to put my feelings and the love I already have for our little man, EJ, into words. So I hope everything made sense.