Thursday, July 21, 2011

All you need is Love.....

....dooo be do be doooooo!

Can I rant for a second? What if I promise that it's a happy rant, not an angry annoying one? Oh, I can? Why, thank you! I love my husband. I mean, really over-the-top, head over heels, fireworks and smiles, love the man I married. Sure, we have our disagreements and angry moments and general annoyance at living in close quarters with another (totally different) human being, but in spite of all that, I still love Andrew. A lot. We are almost through our second year of marriage, and even though we still have a lot to learn about each other, I don't have any regrets about committing to spend my life with him. There's no nagging little voice in my head that wonders how long I'll be 'stuck' with him, and I'm so grateful for that.

I have been married once before. It didn't turn out so well. I don't want to bash my ex, so let me just say that he would make a great husband for someone who shared his beliefs and actually married him for the right reasons. That just wasn't me. I was at a point in my life where all I wanted to do was rebel against my upbringing and this "overbearing" God that my parents worshiped, and he was my way out. Now, he was still a somewhat religious man, so my parents (kind of) approved, and the only way that we would live together is if we married. So, I made the leap, and 10 months later filed for divorce.

Looking back, that first marriage was a mistake, but also an incredible learning experience. They say that hindsight is 20/20, and there's a reason that phrase is so cliche and overused. It's true. I just heard a great sermon a few weeks ago that explained that a lot of people approach marriage with a "what can this person do for me?" attitude, when the approach should be more along the lines of, "how can this person help me be more like Christ?" The first mindset was definitely true the first time I got married. I was insecure, rebellious, and firmly believed that this guy was the only person who would ever love the "unlovable" person that was me. Then, after being on my own and taking a few years to go a little crazy and be a serial dater (that's a fun story, but it'll have to wait.), God found me and showed me Love. Before I found another relationship, before I tried to find fulfillment in another fallible human being, God showed me that He was everything I was looking for. I was searching for romance, and I learned that "God is Love." It wasn't until after I had found everything I needed in Him, that He brought an amazing man into my life who would become my husband and the father of my child (as well as my unwilling photographer while I wait for my tripod to arrive!) I love this man!

And, finally, some outfit shots. I'm still working on the posing of these shots, so you may notice a few things:

a. I'm still stuck on the awkward smile in almost every picture.
b. OMG, is that girl floating? NO, sorry, her feet are just in an awkward position.
c. I really like the pockets on this skirt!

Outfit Details:
Shirt: Gap Outlet, $7 (one of my scores over the weekend!)
Undershirt: Abercrombie, $12 (super old!)
Skirt: Old Navy from Plato's Closet resale, $2
Necklace: Icing by Claire's, don't remember
Belt: No freakin' idea!
Shoes: Wal-mart, $10 (old)

Monday, July 18, 2011

'Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays!'

The title of this post makes it sound like this Monday was not enjoyable. That is the opposite of the truth. I do admit, after this whirlwind of a weekend, it was a bit mundane. "What's that, Lexi, you want to watch ANOTHER episode of Blue's Clues?" But, life can't be full of adventure and excitement all the time, and down-time is essential for re-booting and taking on whatever comes next. Here's a quick run-down of what my weekend entailed:

Friday: I woke up that morning, and immediately shuffled my way to the bathroom to take my last pregnancy test and confirm what I thought was happening. The nifty little screen on my Clearblue test read, "Not Pregnant." I told Andrew, and we both got a little sad, but I had decided I was done crying over this, so I went about my day. Later on, I met with a few women from my church, including my big sister and mother-in-law, to eat some dessert and enjoy free childcare while we engaged in some grown-up conversation. It was an amazing time, and something I hope gets repeated in the future. In the course of conversation, I was asked what was "big" in my life lately. It was an ironic question, and I shared with these beautiful women what had happened. I had a miscarriage. I sat there and bawled, and told all of them I thought I was done grieving, and I wish I knew what God was doing, and allowed my facade of "being OK" to melt away. I cannot express, at least without starting to bawl again, how amazing these women are. I received hugs and prayer, and even more importantly, the insight that it was healthy to continue grieving my loss. A few even shared with me snippets of their own experiences, and overall, it was incredible to feel such a pouring out of love.

Saturday: I awoke at 6:30 to a fussy baby and groaned. My alarm wasn't supposed to go off until an hour later, and I needed all the extra sleep I could get. The night before, I had laid in bed, tossed and turned, and refused to cuddle with my hubby because it was "too hot and I can't sleep," until I finally drifted off about 1 AM. The reason for my insomnia? I knew I was going to have to get up early for a day of outlet mall shopping in Branson! My mother-in-law had set up a girl's day of shopping with myself, her two adopted daughters Lilly and Anna, and my sister-in-law Rachel. With the excitement still lodged in my mind, I pulled myself out of bed in the morning to warm up some milk for Lexi, in the hopes she would go back to sleep so I had time to get ready unencumbered. After she dropped off, I climbed back into bed for some cuddle time with hubby before my alarm went off and I actually HAD to get up. I got ready and said goodbye before heading out the door.

Once the two-hour drive, full of good conversation and the sound of two giggly girls from the back seat, was over, we hit the outlets, where I managed to score some major deals. I do have to give credit to my incredible extended family for the funding of my shopping, and I'm almost afraid to mention it since I might start bawling again. While we were eating lunch, my husband's great-grandmother (who we all call Granny) slipped me a few folded bills and told me she wanted me to "have fun today, since I understand what it's like to be just starting out in a marriage and not have anything extra." I slipped the bills into my wallet and gave her a heartfelt "thank you," before excusing myself to the bathroom to cry over her little act of generosity. Later on, my mother-in-law also handed me a gift card that had a remaining balance she wanted me to have, just in case I found something I really wanted for Lexi and myself. Suffice it to say, my shopping budget was a lot bigger than I expected it to be, and I definitely found some amazing deals to spend it on!

Sunday: In the morning was church, and I didn't want to go. Once again, I didn't want to roll out of bed, but I THOUGHT I was in the nursery that day. I probably wouldn't have complained if I had managed to fall asleep before 3 AM. Ah, the adrenaline high of having an incredible shopping day! Turns out, I wasn't in the nursery until next week, but I still got to hear an really good message and sing my heart out. That evening, Andrew, Lexi, and I attended a mini-concert/ic cream social at my parents' church to hear George Miladin play piano. I never get tired of hearing his arrangements of songs, even though I had the privilege of attending as a child the church he pastored in San Diego. I visited with my parents and some other people I hadn't seen in a while before heading home to collapse after those busy couple of days.

Overall, I came to a very obvious conclusion: I love my family so very much, and am so blessed to live in the same region of the country as almost all of them! Not only that, but I've found an amazing church family as well, and I cannot stop thanking God for that. My only regret from this weekend is that I didn't take any outfit shots, but I will include a couple pictures of my nails. I made an attempt to mix a 'neon and neutral' color palette to try the trend, and I like how they turned out! (Please pay no attention to my teenie-tiny pinky!)

Nail Polish:
NYC 'Nail Glossies' in #233
A Perfect "10" in #376

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I think I managed to go through the six stages of grief over the span two days (but, you say, I thought there was only five stages? Well, my friends, my version has been edited to include the "contemplating the abandonment of a new blog project" stage. I can say, I'm past that one.) The husband was there to hold me as I cried and mourned and wrestled with my unfounded anger at God. I'm still looking for the good in the situation, but I also realize that only God knows the big picture, and sometimes you don't find out until later what purpose loss can serve.

I also decided to continue with my postings, and to keep the name. I hope there can be another "button" added to our family in the future, and until then, I'll continue loving the little girl we've already been blessed with. And, I'll continue to get dressed most days (unlike today, which was spent in sweatpants) and taking pictures for all to enjoy. ;)

Yesterday was started with a shower, to get ready for going to a Stonecroft Ministries luncheon with my mom. This luncheon cracks me up, simply because there is no one under the age of 60 there, making me, obviously, the youngster. I've been attending these little monthly meetings at the invitation of my mom, who is the second youngest attendee. I had forgotten that they were having a "Red, White, and Blue" theme for the afternoon, and coincidentally showed up wearing pink, white, and blue, which shows that my psychic powers might need a little tweaking. I did wear my new red lip stain from New York Color (in Rock On Ruby), which is awesome, but is also a stain. Guess which finger I used to blot.

After that, we headed over to the in-law's to drop off the baby before heading to our church's small group Bible study. Lexi got to run around like a crazy person in their back yard, as the husband and I took some outfit shots.

*Aaaaaugh! Jelly sandals and nail polish on baby feet! Too much cute!*

*Check out the awesome "blogger knot" at the bottom of shirt. I don't know if that's actually what it's called, but I like the name. It makes me sound like a literary astronaut, or juggernaut, or any other -naut. (Mothernaut? I like it!)*

Outfit Details:
Shirt: Hanes Men's Undershirt, $11 for five
Jeans: J & Company from Plato's Closet, $4
Shoes: Charlotte Russe from Daisy Exchange, $6
Necklace and Earrings: One Dollar Jewelry Galore, $1 each

And finally, for your enjoyment, is a rousing game of "Find the Baby!"

Monday, July 11, 2011

So, I didn't take any pictures of myself yesterday, and to be honest I didn't really feel like doing anything either. I almost decided to abandon this blog, but I decided I would use it as an outlet instead.

I think I'm having a miscarriage, and I can't talk to anyone about it. We haven't told anyone in our family that I'm pregnant, and I don't suppose there's any point in telling them, "oh, yeah, but the baby's dying."

I honestly don't know how I feel about this. I've gone from this super awesome high point where "OMG I'm HAVING A BABY!," that lasted all day Friday and Saturday, and then crashed Sunday morning when I started bleeding. It wasn't some super dramatic moment where I collapse in a pool of blood and pain. It's been more of a downward slope where every time there's new blood, I'm reminded of this baby I'm probably not going to have.

Part of me is trying to be logical about it. We can't afford to have another baby, there wouldn't have been an appropriate age difference between the two children, at least I won't be sleep-deprived again. Every time I start to rationalize it, however, I just feel guilty for having any reason to be happy while I'm losing a child.

I also hate how I went from this emotional high with God, where I was submitting to God's will, and I was happy to do it, since I had a child to look forward to. Then, the moment I'm at peace with His decision, He takes my little one away. It really is hard to remain joyful in submitting to Him when the answer isn't something you want to hear. My poor husband is being incredibly supportive, to the point where I feel really guilty even relying on him. He told me his first thought was "how can I fix it?," and it's hard on him knowing the answer to that is nothing.

I read a few articles that said that bleeding during pregnancy is only a 50/50 sign that you are miscarrying, so there's still that hope, but I don't feel that right now. I don't 'feel' pregnant any more, and that's hard.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Laundry Day

So, this morning we had a total stranger pay for our breakfast, which was pretty cool, and an awesome start to the day. Apparently a gentleman and his wife had noticed my husband and I cleaning up the mess our daughter made on the restaurant floor, and offered to pay for our meal. He said that it showed what type of people we are, that we would do something like that. I'm incredibly flattered, but also have to confess, we might do that out of more selfish reasons than people might think. My husband and myself have both worked in restaurants, and have been known to complain about "those parents" that can't clean up after their kids. Therefore, we make every effort not to give other restaurant workers the opportunity to refer to us as "those parents." But, the breakfast was delicious, and I am extremely thankful that it also ended up being free!

After we finished eating, we headed over to my in-law's house to take advantage of their (free) washing machine, since the laundry facilities in our apartment complex require quarters. While there, I took some pictures:

1. Lexi's foot, and one of her adorable shoes. Purple? Check. Sparkly? Check. Awesome? Check Check.
2. My super cute brother-in-law, Nathan, who was just adopted from China at the beginning of this year. You can read more about my mother-in-law's journey through adoption on her blog, Another Blessing from China.
3. Alexis and Penny (our dog), refusing to look at each other.
4. My daughter, who somehow ended up pantsless at the end of the night, shake shake shakin' my keys.

Overall, it was a fairly uneventful day spent with family in the air conditioning. Because, it's an Arkansas summer, ya'll, which means ridiculous outside temperatures around, um, 97 degrees. Ugh.

I put together today's outfit based on the heat, but decided I may not wear these shorts again until my skin is actually a darker shade than them.

Outfit Details:
Shirt: thrifted, $7
Shorts: Aeropostale, $13 (old), diy hem
Shoes: Sseko Sandals, $47

Whistle: from Falling Whistles, $34
Flower: from Wal-Mart, $7 (old)
Guitar: Really old, from the Roy Rogers Museum when I attended forever ago!

Finally, a close up of my shoes from Sseko Sandals. If you haven't heard of this company, I highly suggest checking them out! Not only are they adorable and customizable, but the story behind them is incredible.

Oh yeah, and it's a ton of fun to hang out with family and NOT tell them you're pregnant. I felt like the news was going to spontaneously bust out of me, but it was also really nice sharing little secret smiles all day with the husband.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Family welcomes The Button

So, I'm never really sure how to start an introduction post for myself without sounding super cheesy, but I'll try to keep this short and simple.

Hi, I'm Grace. This is my husband Andrew and myself on our wedding day:

A few months after this picture was taken, our daughter Alexis was born after the *best* 31 hours I have ever spent in labor. She is adorable, and the definition of an overachiever. We love that little girl, but weren't really looking to expand our family for the time being. God has a nice little habit of changing up our plans, though.

That's right, I took two tests this morning and found out I'm preggers. Which means our daughter will be about two when her little brother or sister arrives. I'm pretty sure we'll be able to take it all in stride, however. One of the great things about having faith that God knows what he's doing is the almost irrational sense of peace I get in these unexpected moments of my life.

Anyways, I've been mulling over the idea of starting a fashion blog for some time, and have decided to go ahead with my plans, and document my sartorial choices as our 'little button' starts to grow in my belly. I'm not going to promise an outfit post every day, because you can be sure I will have those pregnant days where anything beyond sweatpants and flip-flops are out of the question. I can promise pictures of little Lexi (which will be completely adorable beyond belief) on those days. She's generally more photogenic than I am, so that will be a favor, believe me.

SO, here's what I wore today, to eat a dinner out with the family:

And, here's Lexi's response to the news:

(I'm sure she'd be excited if she knew what we were talking about...)

Outfit Details:
Dress: Merona for Target, $6 at Plato's Closet
Shoes: Black Converse, $35 and I don't remember where they were purchased.
Sash: from Icing by Claire's, old
Necklace: $6, eBay'ed
Earrings: $1 Jewelry Galore (guess how much they were!)