18 Weeks

How big is the baby this week: The size of a large mango! 6 inches long and weighs about 8 ounces.
How far along: Exactly 18 weeks
Due date: May 30, 2013
Total weight gain: 5ish lbs
Maternity clothes: Still wearing my pants undone & lots of leggings. I ordered my first pair of maternity pants today!
Stretch marks: Nope
Sleep: I still love sleep.
Miss anything: Nothing new here.
Movement: YES YES YES!! I felt the baby move for the first time on Christmas Eve!! I have felt him/her every day since then. You can't feel it from the outside yet though so Austin and Aunt Looney have to wait a little bit longer!
Food cravings: Nothing new - spicy & sour. I think I'm over the meat aversion now.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.
Have you started to show yet: Yep!
Gender prediction: I keep thinking it's a girl but I had my 2nd BOY dream this week! So I don't know?!
Happy or moody most of the time: Happier lately.... Christmas probably had something to do with it :)
Looking forward to: Finding out if baby is a boy or girl - 3 more weeks!


17 Weeks

How big is the baby this week: The size of a sweet potato! 5.5 inches long and weighs about 5 ounces.
How far along: Exactly 17 weeks
Due date: May 30, 2013
Total weight gain: 4.5 lbs
Maternity clothes: My pants are getting preeeeeetty uncomfortable. I usually wear them undone... oops.
Stretch marks: Nope
Sleep: I love sleep.
Miss anything: Nothing new here.
Movement: Not yet! I am anxious to feel something!
Food cravings: Nothing new - spicy & sour
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.
Have you started to show yet: I have a little bump.
Gender prediction: Girl?
Happy or moody most of the time: .....at least I'm not in denial?
Looking forward to: Feeling the baby move and finding out if baby is a boy or girl.


The best cold weather meal I've ever made. Ever.

My idea of cooking is popping a frozen pizza into the oven. Sorry I'm not sorry. But occasionally I act like a good wife and make a real dinner. And last night, dinner was goooooood.

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you Chicken Pot Pie Stew served over Buttermilk Biscuits.

2 large boneless/skinless chicken breasts (still frozen)
2 cans cream of chicken
1 can cream of celery
3 red potatoes
8 oz bag of baby carrots
3 celery stalks
16 oz bag frozen mixed veggies (corn, peas, green beans)
3 packets powdered chicken bouillon
garlic power
salt & pepper
8 buttermilk bicuits (I used canned biscuits)

I cut up the veggies the night before - the potatoes into bite sized pieces, the baby carrots in half and chopped the celery.

Throw everything into the crock pot except for the frozen mixed veggies. I added 1-2 cans of water to be sure there was enough liquid. You could use chicken broth instead which would probably be better, but I didn't have any. Garlic powder, salt & pepper to taste. I left the crockpot on low for about 8 hours. An hour before you're ready to eat, shred the chicken and add the frozen veggies.

Pop the biscuits in the oven and serve the stew on top! So good and leftovers for days.

You're welcome :)


15 Weeks

How big is the baby this week: The size of an avocado! 4-5 inches long and weighs between 3-5 ounces.
How far along: Exactly 15 weeks
Due date: May 30, 2013
Total weight gain: 4ish lbs
Maternity clothes: Not yet!
Stretch marks: No - here's to hoping it stays that way!
Sleep: I love sleep.
Miss anything: Add wine to the list.
Movement: Not yet!
Food cravings: Sour candy!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.
Have you started to show yet: Yes - a little. Can you tell?!
Gender prediction: I decided today I think it's a girl. I don't know why!
Happy or moody most of the time: I'm sick of this question.
Looking forward to: When I can hear Baby's voice!


14 Weeks

How big is the baby this week: The size of a naval orange! 4.5 inches long and weighs between 2-3 ounces.
How far along: 14 weeks, 3 days
Due date: May 30, 2013
Total weight gain: 3-4 lbs
Maternity clothes: Not yet!
Stretch marks: No - here's to hoping it stays that way!
Sleep: Still waking up to pee, but other than that sleeping like a champ.
Have you told family and friends: Yes!
Miss anything: Beer & Margaritas
Movement: Not yet!
Food cravings: Still hating meat, especially chicken. Still loving anything spicy. Also loving sour!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really.
Have you started to show yet: Just in the last couple of days I feel like belly is starting to grow!
Gender prediction: Still referring to the baby as "her" on accident. But I had a dream this week it's a boy..... so who knows!
Happy or moody most of the time: Moody.... sorry.
Looking forward to: Christmas, finding out the gender and feeling baby move!


We're Pregnant!

We found out on October 3 we're expecting our first little one! We could not be more excited.
I am almost 14 weeks and due on May 30, 2013.

I'm going to take weekly bump pictures to see how baby and belly grow. Here is my first one at 12 weeks (a couple weeks ago). I skipped 13 weeks because it was Thanksgiving day and we were in Lubbock spending time with family. I'll have another one for 14 weeks on Thursday!

How big is the baby this week: The size of a peach! 3 inches long and weighs about 1 ounce.
How far along: Exactly 12 weeks!
Due date: May 30, 2013
Total weight gain: About 2 lbs
Maternity clothes: Not yet!
Stretch marks: No - here's to hoping it stays that way!
Sleep: Can't get enough of it. Though I am waking up about once a night to peeeeeeeeeee.
Have you told family and friends: Yes! We haven't told Facebook yet, but by the time you see this we will have :)
Miss anything: Cold beer please.
Movement: Not yet!
Food cravings: No food cravings, but definitely food aversions - I can't even think about eating meat! And I'm starving all.the.time. (Update: I'm definitely craving all things SPICY!)
Anything making you queasy or sick: Smells. Specifically the flavored coffee in the break room at work - barf.
Have you started to show yet: I think I have a tiny bump, but everyone else thinks I'm crayyy. It just looks like I ate too much.
Gender prediction: Eeek! I don't know! I refer to the baby as "her" a lot - on accident.
Happy or moody most of the time: ........my husband would probably say moody.
Looking forward to: Our doctor's appointment next week and hearing that sweet little heartbeat again! It was 186 bpm at 9 weeks :) (Update: heartbeat was strong at our 13 week appointment!)



Aaaand Boom Goes the Dynamite

If you don't understand the title reference, you need to watch this video.

On to the matter at hand - Jef and Emily are over y'all.

US Weekly
Emily made a statement to People. JEM, why are you doing this to me?? My days of stalking them on twitter and instagram are over. I have no hope for Sean as the next Bachelor. It's like this show isn't real or something.......


98 Degrees

*This post is not about the recently reunited mediocre boy band of the late nineties/early 2000s.
**If I were to ever post about a boy band I would only post about NSYNC, duhhh.

Let's talk about how Saturday was the first offiicial day of fall. Let's talk about how on the first day of fall it was 98 degrees. Let's talk about how in honor of the first day of fall I wore shorts, a tshirt and additional layers of deodorant.

My sister-in-law, Abigail who's in Montreal training for Cirque du Soleil, was all "it's 60 degrees here... look how cute I am in my scarf and boots." I was all "I hate you."

Days like Saturday make me hate living in Texas. But then I give myself a slap on the wrist and snap out of it. Texas has been and always will be the greatest country state of all. Hollerrrrr.

I have a confession. I was secretly rooting for the Texans yesterday.


Why My Husband is Ruining My Life

The first official day of Fall is only 2 days away! I've been dreaming of cooler weather, daylight savings, boots, scarves, dark nail polish, chili, holidays and pumpkin spice everything. Pumpkin spice lattes, homemade pumpkin spice donuts, and especially pumpkin spice scented candles.... unless your husband hates the smell of pumpkin spice scented candles. 

Dreams crushed.

Life ruined. 


Worth the Wait

I am excited, relieved, thankful and happy to say Austin has accepted a position at Anadarko Petroleum Corp! We are feeling very blessed and we are praising God for His faithfulness!

I wish I could say my heart has trusted the Lord from the beginning until now. But if you've been following along, you know that I have struggled. I wrote here about Proverbs 31:25 and trusting without fear of the future. And even after God provided me with that verse, I worried. I was anxious. I cried a lot. And then somewhere along the way, I got it. I finally learned to trust Him. I realized if all I had was Jesus - it was enough. The freedom to go shopping, take vacations, buy a house, get a new car.... it doesn't matter. It all fades away, but grace and glory are eternal. I will praise the God of the universe in all circumstances because He has saved my soul and that is enough.

One of the first things my sister-in-law asked me after Austin received the job offer was "well, was it worth the wait?"

I can say the real, honest answer is yes. Yes, absolutely it was worth the wait. In joy and in sadness, in unemployment and in wealth, in loss and in gain, God is faithful and He loves His people.

May He receive the glory forever and ever, amen.


When Tuesday is Monday

I woke up very sleepy from a busy, but fun 3-day weekend spent with my best friends, my husband and my SIL/BIL/nieces.

I look like a lobster. Ouch.

I packed fruit and veggies for lunch after after eating my weight in cream cheese + raspberry chipotle sauce + wheat thins + grapes + cheese + watermelon + brownies + icecream.

We went over our weekly out-to-eat budget in the first two days.

aaaaand I WON A TORY BURCH BAG FROM THE RADIO ON MY WAY TO WORK. I actually get a gift card so I can choose which one I want. I think I want this one but WHICH COLOR??


I wish every Tuesday was Monday. Here's to a 4-day work week!



May or May Not

I may or may not be loving this fashion blog.

I may or may not be loving said fashion blog because she has an english bulldog puppy.

I may or may not want another puppy now. Lady needs a sister.

I may or may not be dreaming of this peplum sweater for fall.

I may or may not be o-v-e-r my summer wardrobe.

I may or may not try this braided crown tutorial.

I may or may not be considering weekly "Work Wear Wednesday" posts.

I may or may not have cried a little when I paid bills this morning.

I may or may not be working on a weekly budget. Help?

I may or may not be the most random person I know.

I may or may not be seeing Lawless tonight.

I may or may not think Bane Tom Hardy is a badass.

I may or may not cuss sometimes.

I may or may not be looking forward to the 3-day weekend.

And by may or may not, I mean I am definitely looking forward to the 3-day weekend.


Still Singing His Praises

I cried a little when I read this post. God is so faithful.

Since you're already crying, you might as well read this too. God is so good.

I have posted these verses before and I will share them again. This passage is so powerful!

I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works,
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
{Psalm 145:1-7}

My prayer is that Austin and I would sing His praises all day, every day. Austin is still looking for a job. But we are resting in the knowledge that God's timing is perfect and good. When He closes one door, He will open another. He is up to something!! It has been a long 4 months for me to reach this place, but I am finally understanding what it means to trust Him. Ahh... freedom.

Asking this of myself every day: If all Jesus ever did for you was die to save your soul, isn't that enough to sing His praises all the days of your life?

Today I am finding joy and hope in my salvation.


Jef + Emily forevaahh.

us weekly


This had potential to ruin my day.

That is until Jef confirmed this story is false.


All remains right in the world.


May or May Not

I may or may not have applied for a job in NYC just for kicks.

I may or may not have started looking for our Christmas card already.

It may or may not have taken me over 2 hours to get to work today.

I may or may not have started watching Bachelor Pad mid-season.

I may or may not be counting down the days until The Vampire Diaries starts again.

I may or may not have started my Christmas wish list.

I may or may not be cooking frozen pizza tonight for the second time this week,

and it may or may not be ONLY TUESDAY.

The husband may or may not have a big interview this week!!!

And remember:


Without Fear of the Future

I am stressed. I have been for over 3 months now - since we lost our jobs. While I have a new job, we are still functioning on only one income and it's hard. Our family dynamic has changed. We are operating at a monthly loss. We're using our savings - which I guess exists for times such as these - but we would have liked to use it for a down payment on a house... or saving for a family. It's frustrating, it's exhausting and it's stressful. Some days I am aware of how much more we still have than the majority of the people in the world, and I consider how blessed we are. Other days (today) I feel totally down about it, on the verge of a breakdown. And then, the Lord provides me with a reminder. This was the first thing on my facebook newsfeed:


God has provided for us before and He will again. And when the time comes, when Austin finds a new job, we will give Him all the glory which He deserves. We will give Him the glory now, too, in this time of waiting.

Here's to laughing without fear of the future.


Our {OLYMPIC} Engagement Story

This is my brother-in-law:

Chad Hedrick
Olympic Gold, Silver (2) & Bronze (2) Medalist
50-Time World Championship Gold Medalist (Inline)
(photo from chadhedrick.com)

Chad is married to my husband's sister.

He competed in the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics.


Watching the Summer Olympics makes me realize how seriously cool it is to be there in person and how thankful I am for my Vancouver experience.

Proctor & Gamble sponsored an Olympic "home" in Vancouver for all of the U.S. atheletes and their families and friends. The P&G House included an internet lounge, a Pringles taste testing room, a Pampers Playground for the little ones, a Crest "Share Your Winning Smile" room for photos, a beauty salon, and a banquet room with free meals, drinks, and giant screens to watch the games. It. Was. Awesome. We spent the majority of our time at the P&G House. We saw and met several of the other atheletes and their families.

Hadley (our niece) took her first steps in the Pampers room and said "dada" for the first time, all while Chad was there. And... WE GOT ENGAGED THERE!

We were at the P&G House about to leave to go shopping. We were almost out the door when Lynsey (Austin's sister) said "oh wait, my mom wanted to go with us - I'll go find her and meet you downstairs." The banquet room was downstairs, it was around lunchtime and it was packed. Once we were all downstairs, Austin started shouting for everyone's attention and it was immediately silent. In my head I was thinking... "ok, I think this is what's happening, I think he's proposing... but what if he's not and I act like he is... that would be awkward." So I sat down. He was talking to everyone in the room about how it's a special time to make memories and he wants to make memories of our own. Then he got down on one knee and asked me to spend forever with him.
I said YES! Actually, I said "of course I will!!"

It was so much fun. Everyone was cheering and clapping. Throughout the day, people on the streets were stopping us telling us congratulations and that they had been there at the P&G House when Austin proposed. Our proposal was even in the NY Times in an article about Chad! Basically, we're famous.

We were engaged February 19, 2010 and married on October 23, 2010.

I love the Olympics. But, the 2010 Winter Olympics especially holds a special place in my heart.

Now I wish I was in London.


Birthday {via} InstaGram

In case you've been living under a rock,
Saturday was my birthday.
I turned 24.

Ryder Scott gave me $100 to Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse. hollerrr.

Birthday dinner round #1 - Goose's Acre

Hadley made me a "Happy Birthday Syssa" banner. She's the best.

Birthday dinner round #2 - Mi Cocina

I have pretty sisters.

In other random news:

The Olympics are keeping me up way past my bedtime.

My husband is hot.

I'm still obsessed with Jef & Emily.

My sister is home from her global journey.

I want this top in olive.


It's Friday, Friday

Gotta get down on Friday.... no really, I'm going to get DOWN tonight.
We're celebrating my birthday (tomorrow) with friends tonight.

I love my birthday.

Happy Birthday to me.

Abbey leaves August 6 for CIRQUE DU SOLEIL training in Montreal.
She's a super freak, super freak. She's super freaky. YOW.
After training she'll be performing in O in Las Vegas.
What this means is my life sucks and hers is awesome. 

Moving on.

My friend Jennie and I love our jobs and work really hard.

What I have learned from these photos:

I should never wear that headband and I should always have bangs.

My obsession with Jef & Emily is getting a little creepy.

Jennie rocks my socks.


May or May Not

I may or may not be stalking Emily & Jef on instagram and twitter.

I may or may not wish I worked for People Water.

I may or may not want Ryan Bowers to be the next Bachelor.

I may or may not have tweeted Ryan Bowers.

Ryan Bowers may or may not have retweeted me.

I may or may not have excitedly texted my girlfriends that Ryan Bowers retweeted me.

I may or may not be a huge dork.

I may or may not have made the best chicken ever for dinner last week.

I may or may not have cried when I read this post.

I may or may not be on the search for the perfect red pumps. Help?

I may or may not be turning 24 on Saturday.



I Accidentally Saw Magic Mike On Purpose

A few weeks ago I went out for sushi and a movie with a few girlfriends. I felt anxious before accepting the invitation, but I did so anyway. I asked my husband if he cared. He said no, but it should have been a red flag that I even felt like I needed to ask his "permission". My mom asked "what are you doing tonight" and I answered, "going to dinner and a movie" trying to avoid naming the title. She asked, "oh what movie" and I responded, "you're going to judge me, but I'm going to see Magic Mike". I captioned my instagram/facebook photo "Girls Night" trying to avoid saying anything about what we were doing. I was tagged in a Magic Mike facebook post and seriously considered untagging myself because I didn't want anyone to know I was going to see that movie. The afternoon before the movie I was discussing my concerns with a friend on gchat and she said "ALYSSA, I DON'T THINK YOU SHOULD GO". I didn't respond and changed the subject. I saw a quote that says, "If you don't want anyone to know, don't do it." I could not have more blatantly ignored the spirit stirring in my heart.

I haven't even considered reading Fifty Shades of Grey because of my spiritual convictions, but isn't Magic Mike, if not entirely, at least basically the same thing?

I justified it by saying Channing Tatum isn't real to me. I'll never really know him. It's light-hearted, silly and fun... right. But how would I feel if my husband went to see a movie about female strippers? I would feel hurt. Not because I am insecure, but because that would be disrespectful to me as his wife and dishonoring to Christ as his Lord. How hypocritical!

As I read this post and this follow up post, this post and this follow up post, and this post, the lump in my throat, tears in my eyes and butterflies in my stomach only confirmed what I knew along. I should not have seen that movie.

In an additional effort to fit in, I want to say this is my own personal conviction and it may be different for each of you, but in a greater effort to speak truth, I must say if you know Jesus, search your heart, because this applies to you too.

I know this single movie or book isn't the only issue, but I needed to say out loud that I saw Magic Mike because trying to hide it is trying to live in two worlds which is blatantly disobedient to Christ. More than admitting I saw it, I needed to admit that I shouldn't have.

"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and it's desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever."
- 1 John 2:15-17 -

Lord, help me. Change my heart.


26 Hours

We're on vacation in Florida with my family. LadyBuggs, our dogter, is staying with a friend at our house in Houston. That is until she ran away Saturday. 

This dog-mom was a sad, worried, crying mess, thinking the worst.

Here I am in Florida, hours and hours away from Houston, Texas and my baby was missing. Yes, I just called my dog my baby. Because that's what she is to me. I have never felt so helpless.

Our friends and family went into rescue mode. They searched our neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods day and night. They made signs. They went door to door questioning the neighbors.

They called shelters. And so did I. I called every shelter and vet in the tri-state area.

Even Hadley and Harper helped.

I was losing hope quickly. I was thinking we were never going to find her. I was already imagining how much I would miss her. I was so sad knowing how scared she gets and not knowing what had happened to her.

Until he called today.

A man saw the signs my friends and family so diligently put up and realized he had my baby. He found her down a busy street outside of our subdivision. He stopped because he thought she had just been hit by the car in front of him. He took her home. She spent the night with him last night. He even let her sleep in bed with him!

A friend messaged me today with the following quote:
"When you feel sad, remember something wonderful the Lord has done for you in the past and realize that He can do it again!"
-Joyce Meyer-

When my husband and I both lost our jobs two and a half months ago, God provided me with a new job within a week. HE IS FAITHFUL. He was faithful again today.

26 Hours. 
That's how long she was gone.

Tonight, I am praising Him for answered prayers.

Tonight, I am thankful for my sweet sister-in-law, Lynsey who fought hard to find my LadyBuggs. 

Tonight, Lady is home and she is safe.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us, for Lady, who shared her info on facebook, and for our friends and family, Chad, Amy, Shane, Eric, Zach, Brian, Janet, Diane and everyone else, who searched high and low for her. We are so thankful!

And to LadyBuggs, you better not do this ever again. This dog-mama's heart can't handle it.

If this face doesn't scream "I've been crying for the last 24 hours" I'm not sure what does.
Her Aunt Lynsey loves her, can't you tell? <3

Helping Aunt Lynsey put Hadley to bed :)
Happy girls :)
She had a rough weekend.
Cousin love <3
Happy. Relieved. Thankful. Blessed.