Life Lately

In my head, I've written approximately 12 blog posts in the last week.  There is so much swirling around that I'm excited about and want to share, but I just can't get it all done!  I think today I'll start with just a general life update and then I can get to posts with lots of pictures.  It takes so much time for me to go through them all!  

I debated titling the post "CRAZY HANDS" because that has been my life for the last week!  Remember last week when I wrote this post and said I was stuck at home with strep throat??  Yeah, so I had strep and got medicine and started taking them Monday and then also Tuesday and Wednesday.  Thursday morning I woke up to the beginning of the CRAZY HANDS saga.   While I was laying in bed I could tell that they itched and by the time I made it to the shower, it was noticeable that they had a rash all over them.  Lovely.  I assumed it was an allergic reaction to the strep medicine I was taking so I stopped taking all of it, popped some benadryl, and headed to work.

My hands itched and were slightly swollen but really were not too too bad.  The kicker, though, was that I was leaving straight from work that afternoon to drive to Atlanta with my  mom for the Everything Applique Conference (more on that in a minute!).  Obviously, since I was going out of town, I didn't want this to escalate into something worse.  I texted pictures of my hands to the nurse practitioner I had seen earlier in the week for the strep to confirm that it was probably from the medicine and should go away if I stop taking the meds.  

Yeah right.  Fast forward to the next morning (Friday) when I woke up in Atlanta to incredibly swollen, red hands that tingled and hurt all over!  

Not exactly ideal when I was about to be sitting in classes and attempting to take notes all day.  I couldn't bend my hands well enough to grip anything!  On the walk from our hotel to the conference, I found a CVS Pharmacy and ran in to get their information.  More pictures were sent to the nurse practitioner and he said he'd call something in for me.  I had to wait until our break at lunch time before I could run (through the pouring rain!!) back to the pharmacy to get them.  After a long wait in line and issues with my insurance cards, I finally was able to pop a steroid and lather them up with hydrocortisone cream.  

I wish that had relieved them instantly, but it did not.  Actually, the rash spread down my wrists and onto the tops of my hands instead.  Thank goodness I was at the conference with my Mama because she took good care of me!  She had to help me open every bottle and dig through my purse and help carry bags and everything else I couldn't do without bending my hands.  

We left the conference early on Saturday to drive home with the intentions of hitting up a Minor Medical when we got back into town.  My mom drove so that I could "exercise" my hands.  She made me continuously open and close them so the swelling would go down and made sure I didn't take long breaks!  I guess moms know best because it did work.  By the time we made it home the swelling was way down - so much so that we didn't go to the doctor.  

I stopped taking pictures of my hands at this point because I wasn't texting them to Matt anymore.  Sunday morning they were still swollen but down enough that I was able to get my rings off.  I thought I would cry doing that; it hurt so bad and felt like scraped off a layer of rashy skin!  Being at home with the kids forced me to use them more though which definitely helped with the swelling.  By Monday they were looking better, but that's when they started itching uncontrollably.  I decided, though, that itching was more tolerable that swollen and painful so I just toughed it out.  Today, exactly one week from the initial breakout, they are almost back to normal!  The swelling is all gone, you can't see the blotchy rash anymore, and they only itch occasionally and even then it's not too bad.  I was able to get my wedding rings back on without too much pushing and shoving this morning.  I have one more steroid pill left and then hopefully the CRAZY HANDS ordeal will be over.

(By the way, I'm still not totally sure the cause of the rash.  I guess the medicines?  But they were out of my system for a long time before the rash left.  And a contact allergy wouldn't have stayed for so long or been so concentrated in one area.  And I was away from any products in my home for two days and went through every item in my bags and couldn't find a culprit.  So weird.)

But remember how I had to stop taking my strep meds after only three days?  Yep.  So that means I didn't really get totally better and I've now diagnosed myself with bronchitis.  UGH.  I have this sweet chest congestion and nasty cough going on that's also driving me nuts.  And now Matt has it too.  And Thomas is taking antibiotics for another ear infection.  Isn't spring grand??  :)

Moving on to the Everything Applique Conference!  This is the fourth year for this conference that is all about machine embroidery and appliques and everything related to that.  I had heard about it for the last couple of years and this year when I started seeing information about it, it piqued my interest a little more.  Since Mom and I have the fancier machine now and have officially started Mint Tulip,  it seemed like something that would be fun to go to and would be totally justifiable if we learned a lot to help with our business.  I casually mentioned it to my mom one night and after talking about, we really started to get excited and thought, WHY NOT?!  

I know some of my friends that read this also do embroidery here's my take on it - it was a lot of fun!  We really only did a day and half of the full two days but still feel like we got a lot out of it.  There was a trade show going on throughout the whole event where we bought lots of blanks and got good vendor info.  Tons of different classes were offered and you just got to pick and choose which ones you went.  Some were very specific to brands of software - we attended two classes on PE Design but there was also Sew What Pro, Embird, Embrilliance, etc. - and others were more broad, like how to photograph your products or how to open a store front, how to price merchandise, how to create a font book.  My favorite class we attended was on cutwork embroidery which we are eager to start trying.  

I have pretty much zero pictures from the event because, well, swollen hands and what not. To the right is a horrible selfie I took of us late Friday during the ice cream social after we'd sat through class all day and run through the rain to get me medicine!

If you like to embroider and have the opportunity, I'd definitely recommend going at least once!  There were also lots of vinyl/heat transfer classes and vendors so if you're in to that kind of stuff you should go too.  We didn't stick around for the end when all the grand prizes were drawn...winning a new ten-needle machine would've definitely made up for the crazy hands I had while there!

On Friday night, Mom and I left the conference and went straight to Ikea.  It was the only other thing on our agenda while in Atlanta...can you believe that neither of us had ever been to one?! That's crazy when you think about how much we like to shop! :) 

We were starving when we got there around 6:30 but I knew the store had a restaurant in it.  The plan was to eat dinner there but when we realized they closed at 9:00, we decided to forego any food so we'd have time to make it through the whole store.  It was so overwhelming but so much fun!  We definitely could've stayed for a few more hours if they would've let us.  

We made some practical purchases and some fun purchases and some totally frivolous-not-needed-at-all purchases because it's Ikea and it's cheap so why not?  My favorite silly purchase is this pair of down-filled moon boots, as I like to call them.  Katie Wynn thought they were pretty cool too.  :)

Another thing we've been thick in the middle of lately is starting a new Sunday School class at our church.  We have been talking for months about getting involved in Sunday School, mostly because I knew I wanted Katie Wynn going to class (like I grew up doing) and it only makes sense that if she's going (and eventually Thomas) that we should be going too.  We have lots of friends at church who felt the same way and we decided there was a need for a new class.  It seems like it has taken forever to finally get the ball rolling but over the last couple of months we have gotten three teachers to commit and secured a classroom and made announcements during the church service and finally, just last night we had a Meet and Greet party to kick it off! 

The party was at our house and was just an informal time for anyone interested to come over and meet the teachers and just kinda sniff us out.  I had no idea what to expect - would there be four people or forty?  It was at 7pm so I didn't make dinner foods.  Instead I had a couple dips, a couple desserts, and a cheese and sausage plate.  I had made up my mind that if 12 people came, I would consider it a success.  Well, we had 15 people come so yay!  And I heard from at least 4 others that want to be included but just couldn't attend last night.  It was a great mix of people spanning from late 20s all the way up to 60-ish in age and the conversation flowed easily.  I was terrified the whole event would be painfully awkward but it wasn't at all!  Such a huge relief to have all this planning done and now I'm excited for our first class this Sunday.  I've volunteered to get there early to start the coffee but, since I'm not a coffee drinker, that's stressing me out.  Surely if I can do that right then all the stress will be done and I can just sit back and enjoy learning with our new class!

Also - super huge shout-out to my parents for keeping both of our kids last night while we hosted guests.  They kept them overnight so it was such a treat for Matt and I to get to sleep all night in our own bed with no interruptions from children.  Who knew actually getting to hear your alarm clock go off in the morning could be something NICE to hear?!!?  It beats being awaken much earlier by a crying child, for sure.  (Thomas is our early bird...)  

The last topic that is constantly swirling around in my brain these days is that Mom and I are busy planning a big Mint Tulip party!  We are going to have a "Trunk Show" of sorts where we'll invite everyone over to see all kinds of goodies - children's clothing, adult apparel, towels, koozies, bags, blankets, etc. - that can be ordered and personalized any way possible.  The party is going to be on April 29th, so less than two weeks away.  EEK!  We're super excited about it and have been furiously ordering blanks and stitching out designs and brainstorming ideas so that it will hopefully be a success.  We would love for it to be something that we ended up doing at least once a quarter throughout the year.  For all you locals, please let me know if you'd like information on it.  I'd love to send you an invitation as soon as I get them drawn up.  :)

So that's what I've been up to.  What about you??  Did you know that leaving me a comment on this here blog is pretty much equal to giving me a big fat bear hug and a sloppy kiss on the cheek?  I love to hear from you!  Hope you're all well and rash-free!  :)

Life Lately

Please accept my apology for my infrequent posting lately.  For as awesome as I did in January, I really lost the momentum in February!  Maybe I can get it back for March.

Life lately seems like it has been so tiring!  Twice this past week I was sound asleep in bed well before 9 o'clock.  And even now as I'm typing this at 8:20, I keep looking over at my bed and wanting to ditch the laptop for sleep!  Maybe it's the cold weather and the short grey days that have me wanting to hibernate, or maybe it's the early bird 9-month old that winds up in my bed well before my alarm clock each morning that's making me tired.  Either way, blogging has just seemed too exhausting at the end of the day.  Allow me to try to catch you up on the everything that's happened in the past month...

The biggest thing is that Mom and I have officially gone into business.  A full post on this with much more details is coming, but for now let me just say that this has consumed my mind over the last thirty days!  Mom has embroidered things for 10+ years and I picked up the craft about two years ago.  We have always just done it for our family and occasionally for friends, but after much consideration, we decided to start offering our services to the public.  I hate putting myself out there for criticism so it has made me a nervous wreck at times!  But, I also love it and have so many ideas and get so excited thinking about it!  Much more to come on it, but it's one of the main things that's been taking all of my brain power lately.

Both kids suffered from cold-like symptoms for about a week straight.  After several sleepless nights for all of us, I finally took them to the doctor.  Three out of four ears were infected!  Obviously I felt horrible for taking so long to get them some real medicine but they both felt much better within 24 hours of taking the antibiotic.  Katie Wynn's eyes gooped up again tonight so there's a good chance we'll be headed back to the doctor again tomorrow.  I'm hoping it was just an allergy but we'll see how her eyes look in the morning.

Just when we've almost taught Katie Wynn to stop emptying all of the cabinets, Thomas starts doing it!  It was only a matter of time.  One morning while I was in the shower, they were both sitting in the floor of my bathroom playing.  The next thing I know, Katie Wynn had opened the cabinet doors for Thomas and pulled out a bottle of lotion.  She had squirted lotion all over his pajama-clad legs, all over the bath mat, and had so much of it gobbed on her hands that it was dripping off while she rubbed her hands together.  He had gotten his hands on a tube of hair gel and somehow got the top off while chewing on it.  So much for a relaxing shower for Mom!  It only got worse as the three of us slid all over the wet, lotion-covered floor.  I'm just glad we survived it with no injuries.  (Pictures below taken AFTER I'd gotten everything cleaned up and they were happily playing together with a train!)

Matt had plans to travel to Indiana this month for work.  Since he was going to be staying at his parents' house, he decided to take Katie Wynn with him so she could visit with them (and she'd been asking to see them).  She loved it!!  Thomas and I stayed back so that I could go to work...and thanks to some icy weather, I didn't even end up working while they were gone!  I wish we had just hopped in the car and gone with them.  Of course, now Katie Wynn thinks she can just go to Lala and Poppa's house whenever she asks.  She doesn't understand that it was just a fluke that he happened to be going anyway.  


Last week, Lolli had an injury which caused her to not feel well...which caused her to not eat...which caused her to act lethargic...which caused me to take her to the vet and find that her glucose levels had bottomed out...which caused her to be hooked up to an IV for a full day.  Not really what I had planned for the week!  After last year's ordeal, I'm pretty quick to take her to the vet when she's not acting like herself.  I had no idea just how bad it was (and how big our bill would be, ha!) and that she'd have to spend the whole day with the vet.  So we've been nursing her back to health again.  For a week she's been wearing a cone (her "hat" per Katie Wynn) to keep from licking her sore spots and we've been feeding her medicine + cheese treats twice a day.  Only two more days til she's done with her meds!  Then it would be nice to go a while without having to administer them to anyone for a while.  Fingers crossed about KW's eyes in the morning!

Instead of a full year's resolution, Matt and I have decided to do monthly resolutions for 2015.  It seems easier to stick to something for thirty-ish days than for a full year, right?  In January, we drank hot honey lemon water every morning.  I had read an article about the positive effects fresh lemons can have and I knew that a spoonful of local honey was good for you too, so we put it to the test for thirty days.  We are not coffee drinkers so it was an adjustment for us to get used to preparing and drinking a warm drink each morning.  We made it the whole month without skipping a day, even at the farm!  I don't know if 30 days was enough time to tell a big difference in how we felt, but we did both escape the flu that Katie Wynn had so maybe it helped?  We actually continued on with it a couple weeks into February before giving up.  We aren't doing it daily anymore but I think it will most definitely become a go-to remedy when we feel a cold coming on.  I

In February, our resolution was no phones in bed.  I'm sure you've read about how reading from backlit screens and being on things like social media before bed are horrible for your sleep.  Also, it's gonna cause us to get cancer and die (isn't everything?).  At any rate, it seemed like a good challenge and it was!  It forced us to read books in bed instead which was quite nice for a change.  I'm on my third book for the month which is awesome considering I only read four total in all of 2014!  I hope this is a resolution that sticks around for a while.  

Matt picked our resolution for March: 31 sit-ups and 31 push-ups every day.  Until my birthday on the 15th and then it becomes 32 a day.  (He's doing his age as well).  Y'all, I might die.  I don't even think I can do that for one day much less thirty-one days!  That's part of the reason I'm still sitting here delay having to do them before bed!  I better be super buff at the end of this month...

Ok, it's already 9:30...way past my bedtime!  I can't delay these exercises any longer, unfortunately.  I'll try hard to be back soon and to do better this month!

Playing Catch Up

It's cold.  I know I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again, but I hate cold weather.  My body just doesn't function well in it.  It's like it literally freezes up and I can't move.  Add to that the time change and the fact that I now have to turn on my lights to drive home from work at five o'clock because it's so dark, and my seasonal affective disorder feels like it's setting in.  When it's cold and dark, I find myself crawling into bed around 8:00 every night and before you know it, I've gone over two weeks without blogging.  Oops!

Mom and I have been super busy lately getting ready for a craft show we're participating in tomorrow.  Every free minute has been spent out in the shop cutting, sanding, and painting things, so that's cut into my blogging time too.  Thank goodness Mom retired last year because we definitely wouldn't be ready for this show if it weren't for her hard work everyday!  It's pretty much become her full time job.  After tomorrow, I know we will both be ready to take a break.

Have you started Christmas shopping yet?  I decided my goal for November was going to be to get all my shopping done and hopefully get my gifts wrapped.  The goal hasn't been met yet, but I did place a LOT of online orders this week.  Tis the season for packages on the doorstep everyday!  My first purchased gift arrived yesterday and I've already got it wrapped.  Maybe if I wrap them as they come in, it won't seem so daunting a task?  And I guess I'll have to do them at night after my "helper" goes to sleep.

Speaking of Christmas, why do so many people have their trees up already??  It seems like they start going up earlier and earlier every year.  I've already seen several lit up in windows in our neighborhood.  Poor Turkey...he just gets overshadowed every year, doesn't he?  We'll put ours up the weekend after Thanksgiving.  How does that work with a one-year-old?  Anyone have any advice on how to get her to leave it alone?

Well, I've mentioned Christmas and Thanksgiving now, but when I last wrote, it was time for Halloween!  We put Katie Wynn's costume on her one last time to attempt to do some trick-or-treating.  We just visited a few friends' houses in our neighborhood...I think we made it to five houses total.  She loved it though!  She loved carrying her pumpkin around (couldn't find her ghost bag!) and bouncing her six-ish pieces of candy around in it.  We let her eat the tip off a Hershey's kiss and about 5 m&m halves so she thought it was the best day ever.  Her mama didn't mind eating her other candy for her. :)

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Switching gears back to Thanksgiving, we also did some finger-painting and made the cutest little turkey cards.  I think I'll frame the one that says "gobble gobble" to use as fall decor in the future.  The card in the top right corner is her freestyle one.  I think it's a flock (rafter?) of turkeys running by really fast!

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One Sunday night, we took our littlest girl to Beale Street to see our bigger girl's band perform.  They rawked out at the Hard Rock Cafe and did a great job!  We danced and sang along.  Anna alternated between singing and playing the bass guitar.  She's on the right in the pictures below.

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The pictures below are some of my new favorites.  We let Katie Wynn go down the slide at my parents' house for the first time ever last weekend.  She had a ball!  


It seems like I should have a lot more pictures to show for the past two plus weeks, but I really don't!  I'll be ready for life to return to normal after tomorrow's craft show is done.  Wish us luck and that we sell everything!  If you're local and want info on it, just let me know!

I'm Back!

I was so proud of myself for knocking out four posts in a row and then bam! I fell off the wagon.  Just disappeared for more than a week without even saying goodbye.  I apologize. To make it up to you, here are some completely random bullets.

  • One of the main reasons for my absence is that we were at the beach (AGAIN) all last week, but this time with some of our favorite people.  We had an absolute blast and I fully intend on writing all about it.  But, I took over 1,000 pictures and it's taking me forever to get through them.  It might take 20 posts to share it all because there are just too many cute photos that I can't cut out!
  • I also still need to blog about Doc's half birthday.  Soon, I hope.
  • Does anyone need a book recommendation?  Because I've actually gotten to read a few books lately and they have all been really good.  I loved The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.  Also, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh was SO good.  I really wish it had a part 2 because I didn't want it to end.  I just finished Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill and it was good too.  It reads a lot like Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (which is another good one if you haven't read it yet).  Currently reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed.  I'm only about 20% in and I'm totally hooked.  Now, what should my next book be?
  • My baby girl is growing up so fast!  She's 9 months old now so she's officially been "out" as long as she was "in."  I'll have a post all about her - with monthly pictures included - coming soon.

I'm sorry this was a short, quick post.  I'm ready to get back to clicking through beach pictures!  Plus, Pitch Perfect is on so I'm having a hard time concentrating on what I'm typing. :)

Back soon!

Random Ramblings

Woo!  This "loose" goal of posting twice a week is catching up with me and it's only the first full week in the Lenten season.  Crap!  So this post is coming at ya on the last day of the week just to satisfy that challenge.  I'll have a real post with pictures for you soon.

  • My hair is falling out.  Like, by the handfull.  It's ridiculous and starting to scare me.  Seriously, at the rate it's coming out, I'll be bald by my 30th birthday next month.  I had heard of this happening after pregnancy, but I thought since it hadn't happened by the time I went back to work that I had escaped that side effect.  Now I dread washing my hair and then blow dry it because of the massive amounts of hair that I have to throw away afterwards.  Gross, I know.  How do I make it stop?
  • Here's something I think is crazy that I was talking to someone about this week: how there are times in your life when you see someone so much that you start to form a good relationship and then, when their job is done, you just never see or talk to them again.  Like a realtor, for example.  I passed our realtor on the road the other day and realized that we hadn't actually spoken to him since we closed on the house.  For months we were in constant communication with him, sometimes talking to him multiple times a day.  Then we got the house, he sent us a baby gift, and that was that.  Same with my doctor.  She kept me sane through my whole pregnancy and by the time you get down to weekly appointments, you've developed a good relationship.  She would ask about more than just the baby - how the house hunt was going, etc.  She wasn't on call the night we had Katie Wynn, nor did I get to see her when I went back for my 6-week checkup, so the last time I actually saw her was 5 days before delivery.  I wonder if she's curious about how our baby is and what we named her.  Or is it that just part of it when you have a job like that?  I guess one baby is just like every other baby when you're delivering them every day?  The person I was discussing this with is a new hire in our department.  Another similar situation - you have lots of communication with a representative from HR, you get the job, spend a week doing paperwork with them, and then never talk to them again.  At least that's how it is in our office.  I have nothing profound to say about this, I just think it's kinda weird.  Use 'em and lose 'em, I guess.
  • I have completely missed this season of The Bachelor.  I did not intend for this to happen.  Bummer.
  • My incredibly sweet husband is treating me to a trip to Puerto Rico for my birthday.  In less than three weeks we'll be beach side (and probably sunburned)!  I can't wait; I need some sunshine in my life.  His parents are coming to take care of the baby while we're gone.  I know that she'll be wonderfully cared for, but I'm sure I will still miss her like crazy!
  • Speaking of being on the beach, I need a good book recommendation.  It's been almost a full year since the last time I read a book.  In fact, I decided to keep up with what I'd read by listing them over on the sidebar to the right and then didn't pick up another one after posting the list.  I guess that's par for the course of a new mom.  It's very possible that whatever book I read on this vacation is the only one I'll get to read all year, so it needs to be a good one.  Suggestions?
  • I'm becoming addicted to my mom's embroidery machine.  I've been watching tutorials online and we're learning so much!  This probably deserves a post of its own, but suffice it to say that Katie Wynn's gonna be a walking monogram for the first few years of her life.
  • I'm also becoming addicted to pimento cheese.
  • I haven't really followed up on the whole back-to-work transition, but it has really been pretty good.  I'm working three days a week and have a couple days at home with my sweet girl.  I have really hit the jackpot with this setup; it's the best of both stay-at-home-mom and working-mom worlds.  So far, I couldn't be happier.
  • A friend of ours does custom framing and is having a little "shop sale" in a few weeks.  She asked my mom and I if we'd be willing to come and sell some stuff too, to attract more customers and what have you.  There are a couple other girls coming too - one does monogramming and appliques and the other makes those burlap door hangers.  Every bit of our free time has been spent getting a few things ready so we can contribute.  We're making anything that's quick and easy to crank out!  I'll post some pictures soon.  If any of you locals would like to attend the shop sale, leave a comment and I'll send you the details.

I'm sure there's much more that I could ramble on about, but if I'm going to give you a real post with pictures this week, then I've got to get busy uploading and editing them!  (Or maybe not editing, we'll see what time allows.)  What are you guys up to?  Anybody else losing their hair?