A Summer to Remember

This summer has been beyond wonderful – and we haven’t even gotten through my favorite month yet! When I found out I had the opportunity to stay home with Paisley this summer and wait to start my job until September, I was so excited! I knew we were bound to have a great time together, and we definitely have!

Being home with Paisley has been awesome and I am so thankful I was able to have this special time with her. Watching her learn, grow, and change is something I am amazed at every day. Spending all of this extra time with her has been my favorite part of this summer and I know things won’t be the same once September rolls around.

In addition to spending extra time with my little girl & sweet husband, there is another big reason this summer has been so great – we have had LOTS of visits with LOTS of people we love from Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Charleston, Columbia, Michigan, & Myrtle Beach!

This summer began with my college graduation…so, I guess you can say it started out on a pretty good foot. My mom, dad and sister along with my grandma and Jacqui came to town for my pinning ceremony & graduation! My Uncle Todd & Aunt Christine drove all the way from New Jersey to be there for my graduation and to spend time with us! We had a great time together and I am so grateful they were all able to come visit and spend time with us.

In June, my mom came back into town for a week while I studied & took my state boards. I took my test on June 15th and found out that I passed on June 17th! It was so helpful to have my mom here (she’s always a huge help) and we loved spending extra time with her. The following weekend, Holley, Dave, and their kids came to visit us for a couple of days! After that, we had a really nice visit from Becky & Al and their adorable doggies!

In July, we got to go to Myrtle Beach and spent 4th of July weekend with the Tally family from New Jersey! They were so kind to open up their own family vacation to us and have us there for the weekend. We also got to spend time with John, Marie, and baby Emma in Columbia on our way to Myrtle beach & back. When we got back, Rena came into town for a sleepover! Next, our cousin, Rachel, came all the way from Michigan for a wedding and stayed with us so we got to spend extra time with her! After that, we were invited to spend the weekend in Tallahassee at Jake and Heidi’s house with them, their kiddos, Jake & Ann, and their kids! Then, when we got back into town, the Bond family came to visit from NJ on their way to Florida for their family vacation! To top it all off, Grandma Deb & Papa Pokey came to visit us for a couple of days this week on their way home from their month-long vacation! On Thursday, our little family of three is flying to Florida for 10 days of family time where we will get to see even more family and friends we love!

Whew – we sure have been busy and we’ve loved every second of it!!! As I think back on all of these fun visits and fun times over the summer, my heart is just so full of gratefulness. Living away from family is really hard sometimes, and thankfully the Lord has been so good to us to provide lots of great friends who live in the area who have become like family to us! To also know that we have family & friends who love us and take the time to come visit us or invite us to spend vacations with them means the world!! We have truly been blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing people we love. I am so thankful to each and every person who came to visit with us this summer and to those who opened up their own homes to us. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.We made so many special memories. This has definitely been a summer to remember.

Now I Get It

You know those moms who always refer to their children’s ages in months? I’m not talking about that mom who tells you she has a 3 month-old baby. I’m referring to the moms who say they have a “34 month-old” or a “28 month-old.” I used to get so annoyed when I heard moms say comments like that. I would always think to myself “Oh, so you mean they’re 2 and a half years old? Or…almost 3 years old?!” No, those kids’ ages are still in MONTHS. Now that I’m a mom, I totally get it.

When Paisley was born I kept track of how many hours old she was. Call me crazy, but I did. Naturally, those “hours old” then became “days old” and then before we knew it, “weeks old.” Oh man, when I had to make the transition from “weeks old” to “months old” I almost lost it. I remember talking to my husband about how I was never going to stop telling everyone Paisley’s age in weeks. I would start a new trend if I had to, but I wasn’t going to say the word “month” after her age. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. All of a sudden those moms who tell you their toddlers ages in months don’t seem so bad, right!? (Don’t worry – that trend didn’t last too long!)

This month, on February 9th, our “little” baby will be 6 months old. 26 weeks old. 184 days old. 4,416 hours old. Even if I didn’t realize it at the time, I truly am thankful to God for every single one of those hours.
Every hour spent soothing a crying baby who was wide awake in the middle of the night.
Every hour spent trying to work on homework or study only to be distracted by a cute little baby staring back at me.
Every hour spent at various doctors’ appointments and casting appointments.
Every hour spent crying because I was an overwhelmed new mom who felt like I didn’t know what I was doing.
Every hour spent cuddling with this precious miracle God gave to me.
Every hour spent watching my husband be the best dad he can possibly be to our little girl.
Every hour spent ignoring everyone’s advice to “sleep when she sleeps” so we could just stare at her in admiration and love on her.
Every hour spent praying for Paisley and about the responsibility of being a mommy to this precious girl.
Every hour spent wondering how my baby was doing at daycare when I should have been paying attention in class.
Every hour spent with sweet family and friends who helped us immensely when Paisley was first born.
Every hour spent on the phone with my mom asking 1,000 questions about newborns and milestones and everything else you can think of.
Every hour spent just trying to figure out how to function during the day when we were only getting 2 hours of sleep each night.
Every hour spent ultimately loving being a mommy to this amazing gift from God.

Forgive me if I refer to her age in months for the rest of her life. Yup, I’m going to be THAT mom. (Okay, okay… I won’t do that. Well, at least not out loud)

In all seriousness, I can’t believe she is going to be six months old soon. Wow.

Time really does fly by.
Now I get it.

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Happy one month of marriage, my love

Ever since I was a little girl I have looked forward to my wedding day. As I got older, conversations with friends and family often included the phrase, “When I get married…” In 8th grade I started praying that God would prepare my future husband and I for our future marriage together.

I met Gus when I was in 9th grade
The summer before my senior year, Gus and I started dating. I had the privilege of dating my best friend for four years and throughout those years the topic of marriage came up frequently. Throughout all of those stages in life, however, my wedding day felt like just a distant dream.

A month ago today, I actually had the wedding of my dreams. Now, I am enjoying married life with my best friend. I was overwhelmed with gratitude as we stood before our family members and friends who love and support us. I cannot say thank you enough to everyone who helped make our wedding possible!

I’m a wife. I have a husband. Sometimes it still doesn’t feel real.
Without God, none of this would’ve been possible.  All of the glory belongs to Him.

One month down, forever to go.
I love you so much, Gus Vanaman.

One month & I’ll be a married lady!

This time next MONTH I will be married. Actually, my husband (woah, that’s so weird) and I will be driving to our cruise port! I cannot even believe it. I keep asking myself “Is it really happening next month?”

We have been engaged for almost a year and during the engagement we have both been so busy. Not long after we got engaged in August of 2012 we had to head back to college and it was back to the school routine and business of life. From August to May I really didn’t do much to plan the wedding (oops) or even think about the wedding because I needed my focus to be on my classes. Looking back, I definitely wish I would’ve done more planning gradually instead of waiting until school was out but it will still get done (Don’t mistake this as me complaining– consider it my advice to other future brides). For about nine months I had to force myself to not obsess over the wedding or even be too exited about it because it was “so far away” and I didn’t want to get impatient. Now it’s right around the corner & I am so happy!!

I have amazing family and friends who have been helping me throughout this entire process and I couldn’t be more appreciative. I know this next month is going to fly by and we have so much to get done before August 2nd. It’s really crunch time now and I know that from here on out it’s going to be super busy. That being said, I want to say thank you to those people who have been helping me immensely throughout this entire process. You know who you are and without you, none of this would be possible. I’m so thankful that God has brought each of you into my life.

I had a beautiful surprise bridal shower on June 22nd and it was amazing to be surrounded by so many people who love and support us. Family and friends traveled from near and far (some from New Jersey, South Carolina, and North Carolina) to be at the bridal shower and I was just so overwhelmed and beyond happy to see everyone. Thank you everyone who was a part of that day and for the generous gifts! We are so thankful and cannot wait to see you again on our wedding day! We had a trip planned to go to Greenville for my sister’s college orientation and so the Wednesday after the bridal shower (which also happened to be my birthday) we loaded up the car and headed to Greenville. We surprised Gus a day early and also surprised him with all of the gifts we received for our shower! It was so much fun showing him all of the loving gifts we were given and it was even more fun unpacking everything into the apartment and setting it all up. It really looks like our home now and I can’t wait to move in after the wedding!

30 days!!