Friday, November 4, 2011

the first 6 weeks

Well, we've started to settle into a routine during the day, for the most part. Getting out of the house has become easier and I just love toting E around town. Although, we've yet to venture out at night as a family but plan to this weekend. Hopefully she'll be just as good!

The biggest thing that has happened during her 6th week was sleeping through the night twice! What a big difference that made for me those two days. Its true what other moms say, l felt like a new person!

She's now coming up on her 7th week and of course I had grand plans to post about her at one month but you can imagine how difficult it is. She is changing and growing so much! We've enjoyed her looking at us more intently and making new noises, but especially her recent moments of smiling. She loves to be on her changing table and this is where I seem to get the most smiles from her. It's just the sweetest thing!

But sometimes we catch her doing things like this

And we think it's hilarious. In fact, its one of my favorite pictures. She just has the cutest look on her face!

Something we failed to do (which I hope we don't regret) is set up a full session of pictures of Elliot as a newborn after we got home. Obviously, our life was turned upside down and the last thing on my mind was setting up a photo session. But while we were at the hospital, our friends Stephen and Amanda Jerkins stopped by for a visit and Stephen snapped a few pictures of our family and we are so thankful he shared his talent with us. They are a few of my most treasured photos and I am so glad we have them. Thank you, Stephen!

Two weeks ago we set her up for her one month pictures. She's just a little tired!

I love this picture because I think she looks like my Dad :)

And here's our little cutie at 6 weeks

My darling,
You have brought so much joy into our life. These first 6 weeks of your life have been wonderful and we are enjoying watching you change and grow, although its bittersweet! You have certainly become a little snuggler as you love to sleep on us and we love it just as much. Mommy is enjoying her time with you at home so much. You are becoming more awake during the day and love to be on your tummy. But I think your favorite thing right now is to ride in the stroller for family walks! You are a blessing my dear and we are just so in love with you.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Elliot Grace

Our sweet girl was born Tuesday, September 20 at 11:11 pm and we've been home now for almost four weeks with her. We are loving every minute with Elliot, even in the middle of the night when she wakes us up! (I've had to change this sentence multiple times now, as this was started the first week of her life! Oh well!).

On to her birth. Overall, I can't complain about the delivery because the process took only 6 hours after being sent to the hospital. I went for my 38 week check up that Tuesday with no signs of labor, no contractions, no pain whatsoever. In fact, I had a list of things I planned to do that week as I was taken off bedrest. But Elliot had different plans, of course! I was completely surprised to hear my doctor say that I needed to go straight to the hospital. I felt completely normal. So much so that I replied " You're kidding! I was planning to go home and bake some gingerbread cookies!". Even as I left the office, I still couldn't believe that I was in labor and thought to myself, " If this is labor and I'm this far along (6cm) I can do this without an epidural, for sure."

I lasted 2 hours after being induced before I surrendered (I don't think I've surprised anyone here, especially you Moms who have gone before me and warned me!). I was glad I gave it a whirl and was completely okay with my decision. Two hours after I received the epidural, this sweet thing came into our life.

First look at Daddy

getting ready to go home

When we got home that night, we kept her in the car seat, put it on the kitchen table and had our first meal as a family. I started thinking about how many times Grant and I have sat at our table and talked about one day having children, how many prayers had been offered up regarding children and then specifically, Elliot for the last few months and I just couldn't believe it was finally a reality. We ate side by side so we could stare at our sweet girl across the table while introducing her to the Beatles, "I will" as her first song. After dinner, Grant gave her a tour of her new home with more good tunes to follow and we soaked up every moment with her on her first night at home!

Her first bath. This girl loves getting her hair washed!

We've been trying to take pictures each week and here she is at

One week

Two weeks

Three weeks

We've also been trying to get out of the house each day and I think I'm starting getting the hang of it. I'm so happy the weather is beginning to change. It makes our walks around the neighborhood so nice!

And finally, after what seems like an eternity, our sunroom is completely empty and clean! I feel so much better being at home without a huge mess to look at each day. Next, we'll be tackling the last minute items of Elliot's room, which I so planned to post before she was born! I hope I can finish that post in less than a month. But first, it's time to get back in the kitchen. I'm thinking something pumpkin!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

5 weeks out

The new popular question that's been thrown at me lately is , " So, you've got the nursery ready, right?" My answer is and has been for awhile, a resounding "no!" Depending on who's asking, I'll give details as to what's left and what's holding us up on finishing the room.

Before I go any further, let me say that I absolutely love my husband and his many talents. And I'm beyond grateful for all his hard work in our house! But let's not forget that I am pregnant, emotional and 5 weeks away (hopefully) from giving birth.

And this is the current scene at our house.

Meet our sunroom. The place where things go when projects are happening. The place where big boxes stay for awhile until we finally do something with them. And the room that makes me want to scream most days when I come home. (loving the toilet, aren't you?!)

The sunroom mess is there because of this.

Meet the sweet husband. He started remodeling our main bathroom one month ago. He's making progress and working so hard. I think he knows he won't have time for this soon! :)

But then there's this.

Our guest bedroom. Or what I like to call, "I'm too lazy to find a place for this, so I will throw it in this room and shut the door." This hasn't changed for a month. Except accumulated more things. It's supposed to be the room where my mom sleeps for the first few nights of Elliot's life. Yikes!

But just last night, we made some progress in Elliot's room. Bedding and curtains are in and ready! Here's a sneak peek.

(sorry for the dark picture, Grant's the real photographer in the family)

And while all this remodeling business is happening, Grant finished another project he'd been longing to do. And one I am so excited to have complete!

He created this mosaic tile of our beloved city, all from 7in and 18in colored tiles. We've enjoyed eating outside lately and admiring Memphis. (But I'll love it even more when the cool weather arrives!).

Now, do you blame me for having a few freak out moments at our current situation? Especially after being restricted from my normal pace of life and relying on others to help me. I'd say its not too out of line. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, though and I'm hoping this weekend will prove to be productive and I'll have more pictures of Elliot's room for you soon!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

the new routine

While getting a regular check up over a month ago, the doctor found that there were signs of potential preterm labor in my future. Therefore, she instituted this statement to me " Take it easy. You can run one errand after work and then go home." All this said as I'm walking out of the office. So, I took it for what it was. I only ran one errand after work and went home, but still continued with my activities at night (in or out of the house).

Apparently that was the wrong thing to do! (Grant tried to convince me otherwise throughout the these 2 weeks and I wouldn't listen). So at the next appointment, my doctor filled me in on the reality and Grant was there to remind me that "he told me so" as she proceeded to tell me EXACTLY everything he said in the last 2 weeks. He enjoyed that moment way too much!

So, here's the deal. For now, I am still at work. I have drastically modified my schedule to eliminate walking all over the hospital to see patients and been spared the patients who require more physical assistance. I love my co-workers for being so patient and willing to accommodate! After work, I can go one place only. If I have a doctor's appointment, that's my one thing. And whatever it is, it must be an activity that limits me being on my feet.

But here's the kicker- I can do only one thing on the weekends. When I had the church shower, I had to choose between that and church. One thing, means one thing. Yuck!

That has made life at our house a little interesting. I have not cooked, washed the dishes, cleaned or exercised. Instead, my sweet husband has taken over most of these responsibilities while my Mom has cleaned the house a couple times. I cannot thank them enough! While you might think it's nice to be waited on and told you "must rest", its enough to about drive you insane. Especially when there are so many things to accomplish before this little girl enters the world!

I am now 34 weeks pregnant (its taken me 2 weeks to get back to this post I started awhile ago) and only 2 weeks left until I will possibly get the clear for more freedom. So, since I started this post almost 2 weeks ago, I've been feeling better and have allowed myself a little more freedom. (Shhh... don't tell).

During this extra time of being at home, I discovered a pretty fun and easy project I'd like to share with you. When thinking of what I would get 13 lovely ladies who hosted my church shower a couple weeks ago, I really wanted to make something instead of purchasing. Unfortunately, I do not sew (yet!) or have any other crafty talents, other than good penmanship (so I've been told). But when I saw this tutorial for making soy candles, I thought for sure I could do this. It proved to be just as easy as it looked. Here's the final product (sorry, I'm horrible about "in the process" shots).

pretty cute, right?!

What I used:
- set of Ball canning jars
-scraps of fabric on hand
-twine on hand
-small tags
-watercolors on hand
-small pieces of wood on hand (to hold wick in place)

I bought all the candle-making supplies + tags at Hobby Lobby (on sale!) and the essential oil from Whole Foods. Everything else I had on hand at the house. If I had more time, I think I would have shopped on Etsy for other essential oils as the tutorial suggested, but I do love Lemongrass. It reminds of my favorite candle that Target sells.

Possible changes for next time:
I think I'd put more drops of the essential oil in the melted wax, as the candle seems to do better in smaller, confined areas for maximum benefit. :) And I'd improve my water color skills!

There are so many different containers you could use and endless fragrance options. I would love to find a really nice fall scent and go to town with that!

I think they make great gifts!

Thanks, Pinterest. I'm officially obsessed.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


A lot of things have happened since I last posted and there's no way I plan to tell you about them all right now. But two very fun and memorable things took place within the last 3 months, for myself and my dear friend, Leslie.

We celebrated Leslie and her bebe Juliette (due any day now, we hope!) in June at my house with so many wonderful women and dear friends from our church. I won't go into great detail because Leslie has already documented this event very well. But here a few snapshots of the party.

(had to sneak in one of my favorite flowers)

We had such a great time celebrating Leslie and her future Juliette :)

See Leslie's post for more details on tutorials for a few of the handmade pretties above.

Before I move on, I must say that I've forgotten one other really important event that occurred in between these two: We chose a name for our little girl!

Elliot Grace Burke

There you have it. We love it. And yes, we will call her Elliot.

(I've had too many ask if we would call her Ellie. Although, we can't control what her future friends might call her)

And just last week we celebrated Elliot's future arrival with some of the very same women from our church. It was just perfect. Since most of the photos I have involve me, I won't be documenting much from this day because as you can imagine, I don't particularly enjoy looking at photos of me right now. But I am so thankful to all the women who helped make everything beautiful and for Leslie and Martha's mom, Pam for hosting in her gorgeous home!

Look at the cute banner that Martha made

I just loved this flower arrangement

I ate way too much of these delicious treats. Everything was so good!
We feel very blessed to have so much love from our church family and friends. Such a fun day!

And for those of you who have asked, here's the one and only posed belly shot that exists throughout the last 8 months.
I hope I won't be too sad I don't have more. Oh well!

Celebrating my birthday with Grant several weeks ago (about 28 weeks)

Next time I'll tell you about the fun project I did to thank the hostesses at my shower. I promise, it won't take me 3 months to do so.

Friday, April 22, 2011

For the past 4 months, I would say that most of my thoughts have been consumed by our baby. Boy/girl, names, daycare, how long I will feel like crap (thankfully, better now!), the overwhelming thought of being responsible for a tiny human and so on.

But today, I cannot stop thinking about my other love.

This team. This crazy guy. And how insane this Saturday night will be in the FedEx Forum.

In fact, I even shed a tear on the way to work this week when I saw a logo displayed with the playoff slogan "we believe". And all I could think about was the collective joy that will be heard in the Forum tomorrow, how hard this team has worked to get to this point and how long some of these players (and fans!) have waited for this moment.

And then it happened. I began to cry. Yes, thank you hormones. And Grant said "please don't embarrass me Saturday." Because let's face it, there's a real good chance my hormones will kick in tomorrow night around 6:30. But I don't care. I love this team like crazy.

Go Griz.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Italy, part II

Time to finish this trip with pictures!

We spent our one full day in Cinque Terre meandering around the 5 towns by train instead of hiking, due to the rain. And we spent a lot of time admiring these lovely doors. Definitely a staple in all towns. Here are a few of my favs.

We sported this all day

and had fun taking pictures. I mean, there's only so much shopping and sightseeing in the rain you can do, right?! :)

The unbearable and endless cigarette smoke led me to this on multiple occasions.

I could sit on the beach for hours with this view

We trained to Florence from here and spent our remaining time there before coming home. It was probably the best leg of the trip, for sure.

We spent the first day hiking to the overlook of the city at Piazza de Michelangelo and just enjoying the city. It was perfect.

And then we took a short train to San Gimignano the next day, which is another one of my favorite towns. So many cute shops, places to eat, and of course, delicious gelato. maybe the very best Ive had yet. It has such a quaint feel to it and it was practically empty while we were there.

One of our most fun days was spent with our friends, Ryan and Laura who are currently living in Florence, spending their time serving others and serving God. And they are really doing some amazing things with people there! They were so kind to take us around for a special tour one day and it was so much fun. Even in the rain!

We were able to see parts of Florence that I don't remember seeing while studying there, a really cute stationary store and some great gelato! They also introduced us to one of their artisan friends and I have worn the bracelet I bought from him almost everyday.

Then we ate at an American restaurant that took US dollars and it was perfect. This pregnant girl was tired of Italian food and chowed down on a nice American cheeseburger!

Grant and I had no idea before we planned the trip that Italy would be celebrating its 150th year of unification the night we were with the Stephens, but so glad we were a part of it! All the buildings were lit with the Italian flag colors (red, green and white) and it was so pretty.

This is where we kicked ourselves for not having our camera. It was raining and Grant was tired of lugging it around before we started the adventure and we just didn't think we needed it. But check out Laura's post for more pictures from the celebration!

We ended the night on the roof of our hotel waiting for the fireworks that we were told would start at 1130pm, but really started an hour after. The Stephens waited as long as they could to see them before having to catch a bus home. And unfortunately, this is the best shot we got. The smoke was just too much. But the view is incredible!

I was sad to leave this time. I knew this was probably the last time I'd be visiting this beautiful place. Unless I take a 7 month old to meet Grant next summer. Ha. We shall see!