Friday, October 21, 2016

To My First Born

You may or may not have noticed that we have not posted any pictures of Madi and Carson together, or a family picture. I see all of the sibling and family pictures on Facebook when newborns arrive and imagined we would be posting the same. However, Madi is not ready to take pictures with Carson. She is not ready to kiss Carson or hug her. She is not ready to share her mommy. This letter is for my first born - the baby girl who taught me what unconditional love feels like - so this is for her and my keyboard is already almost soaked with tears.

Dear Sweet Girl,

The picture above is one I took of you last night after you fell asleep. It was the first time I put you to bed since having Carson and it was wonderful, yet painful - for the both of us. 

I knew that having a sibling was going to be hard on you. You and I have been inseparable since you were born. We have spent so, so many moments together - just the two of us for almost eight years. These past nine months have been hard on me - because I didn't want our special times to end either. I cried many tears thinking about it not just being you and me anymore. But I also know that Carson is a gift for both of us. You and I will always have our special time together. We can still be best friends. But maybe some times Carson can join in on our fun. I know it doesn't seem like it now, but she will be your best friend for life. She will be there for you and you will be there for her. 

I wish I could make you feel the depth of love I have for you. I wish I could make you believe me when I say that having Carson has not changed that depth of love or how I love you. Mommy has enough room in her heart to love you and to love Carson - to love you both with every depth of my soul. 

I pray that you will warm up to having a sister very soon. Not for any reason other than I don't want you to miss out on this time with your baby sister. I want to put you to bed even when I have to feed Carson. I want to hug you even when I'm holding Carson. I want you to be okay with that, but I can be patient. I can wait on you to be ready. I just pray that God will give me the tools I need to help you through this difficult time. 

I am so happy that you have Paul in your life and that you are trusting him to be there for you right now. Lean on him as long as you need sweet girl. We are all here for you and always will be. And when you are ready, I know that your little sister would love to be hugged and held and kissed by her big sister.  

I love you more than french fries sweet baby girl. And I always will.

<3, mommy

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sick of Sick.

I probably should not be blogging in the mood I am in but so be it.

I am so so so over Madi being sick ALL the time. I know she is too, poor kid. I need to talk to other mamas who deal with this stuff. Madi is constantly sick. We are at different dr's offices at least twice a month, every month. Oh and these appts aren't quick appts. We spend hours there while they do breathing treatment after breathing treatment even though that's what we do at home. It's a temporary fix so that they feel okay letting her leave. The poor child has been poked so many times. Heck, I even have a stethoscope at the house.

I feel like there is no light at the end of this very long tunnel. She missed 19 days of school last year due to asthma issues. (Don't get me started on how this affects my job...) We give her the medicine/action plan as prescribed and nothing. She's been on prednisone like 8 times in the past 6 months. I finally said NO MORE! It doesn't work. NOTHING works.

She does FINALLY have an appt with a pulmonologist in September, but I'm starting to think her issues don't even stem from her lungs. Maybe I should go back to school and be a doctor so I can figure this out on my own...

Anyway, I just needed to vent and where else is better to do that than on my blog?

If you have words of wisdom or similar experiences, please share!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Culclasure's Move Again!

Anyone remember me???

Goodness life has been crazy! I bring you this very unexpected blog post to share our past weekend with you. We MOVED! We are still renters, but hope to stay in this house for quite a while...probably until the owners make us leave. :) We really did not want to uproot our lives yet again, but this move was definitely for the best. Paul's commute to work went from 30 minutes to well, 1 minute and mine went from 45 minutes to 15!! And those are both one way!

So to say we are excited is an understatement. This move means more family time, less money spent on gas, and less stress over-all.

Here are a few pictures from the weekend. We can't wait to get everything set-up but right now we are just recovering from the task of moving - me at 7.5 months pregnant and Paul using his only day off since June to move.

Ready to load 'er up!

First car load. Whew!

Sneak peek of Carson's room

In love with this kitchen!!!

Can you spot Madi?? {I packed this load all on my own. Pregnancy doesn't stop me!}

She's a little excited about the big bathtub.

First meal at the new house! 

First meal...yes, it's take-out.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Ice, Ice...

I have a little announcement to make! Baby talk is coming soon... :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Brunette's Booth

I have been up to a little something lately...

Not sure if many of you recall but a few years ago I went to my first calligraphy class. I practiced a bit and then kind of put it to the side. This past summer I picked it back up again and began practices more often. About a month ago I opened my Etsy shop - Brunette's Booth featuring calligraphy prints, wedding invitation addressing, and other custom orders. I just fulfilled my first order and thoroughly enjoyed the process of creating something for a bride-to-be!

So, if you know some brides-to-be or have an event coming up, please share with them/reach out to me. I would be happy to work with you on creating something special for your event, your home, or whatever it may be that needs a touch of beautiful print.

You can check out my shop here and I've posted a few photos of my work below.

Happy shopping!

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Friday Five: 1/22/16

Work is slow today so I figured I would post a little post. The Friday Five is pretty simple and fun so here you have it:

1. What I'm Reading: 

I just finished reading Lindsey Stirling's freshly new book, The Only Pirate at the Party. I assume everyone knows who Lindsey Stirling is but if you do not, get on the internet people!! (Disclosure: I had never heard of her until about 2 years ago. Paul told me he wanted to go to her concert. I bought tickets. He has good taste.) Lindsey is my bff an electronic violinist which basically means she kicks butt. She dances while playing the violin, well. Her book is about her childhood and experience getting to where she is now. I really learned a lot about who she is as a person and appreciate her music even more after reading the book. She's a down-to-earth person. No, really - she still drives a 2002 Toyota Echo. She's REAL y'all.

2. What I'm Eating:

What am I not eating is a better prompt. Currently I'm unhealthily obsessed with Subway's double chocolate chip cookies. I go into Subway and the deli dude frantically puts his gloves on so he can make me a sandwich. I just keep walking and grab the cookies and he's like wait, what? Yeah. That happened twice.

3. What I'm Listening to:

You probably could have guessed this - Lindsey Stirling. It makes excellent concentration music while I eat my cookies.

I can't figure out the name of the album, but the cover looks like this:

When I'm driving my 70 mile commute each day, I listen to old NewSpring sermons on the NewSpring app. I have found that I do a much better paying attention to the road when I have something to listen to. I do have a problem getting "bored" while driving so this has helped and I have learned a lot to help my emotional/spiritual state as well. Check it out. (It's free!)

4. What I'm Buying:

I love my home state. I just do. But my husband has so gently pointed out that we no longer live in South Carolina. I have decided to embrace this. I purchased a North Carolina Simply Southern garden flag today. I think he will be proud. {But no, I am not removing all my palmetto tree/SC decor that covers our kitchen.}

5. Memes I'm Loving:

Tell me you haven't thought this. 

I work in Insurance so... 
but really.

Grumpy Cat is the only cat I like.

HAPPY FRIDAY!! Stay safe if you're getting hit with this crazy winter storm.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Skiing is for Athletes

I'm 32 years old (wait, 33? no, 32. Idk...) and I can really only recall two "most embarrassing" moments in my life. I mean I have a horrible, terrible, no-good memory so I doubt two is an accurate number of embarrassing moments in my lifetime but it's all I can recall.

It's been about {sidenote - I just stopped to calculate my age. Yes, on a calculator. I'm not 32, or 33. I'm 31. Oh dang.} 16 years since the most vivid embarrassing moment and I still cringe when I see pictures of ski slopes/skis/snow in the form of a slope/etc.

My friend Brandon posted a picture on Facebook this week of his daughter and him skiing. Of course my first reaction was I'm so sorry. To that I had to follow-up with "I'm not a grinch. I just had a horrible experience skiing and I can't imagine that anyone actually enjoys such a chore."

So, I'm here to share this embarrassing experience with you because that's what embarrassments are for, right? To share. Yes.

I was 15 years old, give or take and I signed up for the church youth group ski trip. I had never been skiing before because I just didn't come from that kind of family. Our version of a family vacation was going to Charleston for a weekend twice a year. Heeyyyy Holiday Inn!

Fifteen year olds are just odd, aren't they? So strange. I was going on this ski trip with teenagers from my gigantic church (equals tons of teenagers on trip) and in the whole group I had no friends. Why I wanted to go on this trip, I have no idea. I still remember the uncomfortable bus ride and the awkwardness of trying to fit in glances I threw in any normal looking girls' direction, because talking to get to know someone was just weird. Keep in mind these were kids that I went to Sunday School with every week, Wednesday night youth group, and summer beach trips for years. I was just a very socially awkward teenager and didn't make friends easily. I had a lot of acquaintances, I guess.

So anyway, that's important for this story because you need to get the full picture. Awkward 15 year old me, trying to keep up with the "cool" kids and make them be my friend while going skiing for the first time. Skiing is not glamorous y'all. I envy the girls who get out there and don't look like a giant marshmallow flying down a hill. How do you do it?!! Anyway. I followed a group of girls around and eventually graduated from the kiddie slope. Yes, I did that. Moving on - I took the ski lift up (I'm a real skier now! Look out! No, really...) to the bunny slope. I was more nervous about getting OFF the ski lift than actually going down the hill but I digress.

I made it down the hill with only a few tumbles. Wait. I don't know - I don't remember that part. I just remember the good part so for the sake of the story, let's pretend it's true. After going down the slope like a good 'ol first time skier I went back up for more.

Hold up - Important detail I forgot to mention. The snow was fake. It wasn't snowing. There was a bottom layer of real snow but the majority of it was fake snow from a snow machine.

Hold released - Picture me, a little more confident this time (with going down the slope; NOT getting off the ski lift). I was at the top of the slope with other people but somehow they zoomed on down before me and got back in line for the lift. So I push off, marshmallow fluff for arms and all, and glide down that bunny slope like I own it. I'm getting close to the bottom and trying to make that dang pizza slice. WHO CAME UP WITH THAT ANYWAY??? I'm at the bottom of the slope now and hey I see my friends girls who tolerate me (G.W.T.M.) and oh crap, the freaking pizza slices crossed over each other. This isn't going to end well. I slammed into one of the G.W.T.M. Skis flew, marshmallow fluff flew, G.W.T.M. yelled some not so nice words, and there we landed smack in a huge puddle of mud. I tried to get up as fast as possible but I guess all skis didn't fly because I had one still on and you know, trying to get up with two skis on is tough, but one? Even tougher. I got up and then fell right back down again - and yep, I pulled G.W.T.M. back down with me. Her friends, yeah she had those, helped her up. The mud and I had some more bonding time and when I finally got up I didn't even stick around to see how girl who no longer tolerates me (G.W.N.L.T.M.) was doing, out of complete mortification, naturally. You think the embarrassment is over now right? Wrong.

Here I am, now this huge chocolate mud-covered (COVERED) marshmallow girl, all alone with tears streaming down my face. I still had to find the stupid ski because they are rentals and I certainly didn't have hundreds of dollars to pay for those. If I did have that kind of money I would have absolutely ditched that other ski, but alas, I'm the girl whose family vacations at the Holiday Inn. Found my ski. Took the devil-sticks off and had to parade myself through the ski lodge to the bathroom. This ski lodge was packed y'all. I'm talking every teenager in America was here. No snow but still, every youth group was at Winter Place in West Virginia. I eventually made it to the bathroom where I attempted to wipe off my mud covered jacket/bibs/face/hair all while avoiding eye contact with anyone who walked in the bathroom. Once I was somewhat less of a hazard to the janitorial staff I planted myself in a corner of the ski lodge near greasy food and there I stayed for the remainder of the trip. Oh didn't I mention, this was the first day of the 4-day trip. Money well spent, parents. You should have gotten me ski lessons when I was two like the rest of upper-class America. Who am I kidding? I have the coordination of a drunk insertclumsyanimalhere.

Well there you have it. My #1 most embarrassing moment hours. Skiing is like a four-letter word to me. I cringe when I hear it and feel sorry for you when you say it. Ooooo. That's a good analogy. Is that an analogy? Whatever. Skiing is for athletes, or people with friends who will pick you up out of the mud.

Oh and snap. I think I'm "friends" with some of those girls on Facebook now. I can't remember who I crashed into but if it was you, I do apologize. I have refrained from skiing as to never cause such tragedy to another victim. You are welcome.

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