12.02.2021

1st Trimester Recap

I'm actually closing in on the end of the second trimester, but just realized I never posted a first tri recap! Thankfully it wasn't too difficult to reflect back on what all happened because I was keeping pretty good notes in my bump book!


How I found out:

I actually took a test after only a day late because I knew there was a possibility. It must have been still too early because my cheap dollar store test came back negative! After a few more days of waiting, I took another the morning of July 5th and that was a very clear positive! 


How I told Harrison:

I had a few things purchased ahead of time because I knew we were going to try to start a family soon. I'm glad that I did because I couldn't wait at all to tell him! I set up the little display below in one of the kitchen cabinets and acted as if I was cooking breakfast. I asked him to get a bowl and when he opened the cabinet, he said, "Are you pregnant!?" I was shaking and he was in shock! I have it on video but did a horrible job positioning the camera... we are out of the frame for 99% of it. Plus, he's in his underwear 🤣 I, in fact, did not cook breakfast and we went through the Hardee's drive through to celebrate, ha!


Happenings:

We had to hide it from a lot of people! 

  • I went to the NC State 4-H Horse Show at 4 weeks and cried at the National Anthem, which made several people suspicious. I actually told Lori because I couldn't hold it in! 
  • We went to Connor & Hunter's wedding, which was easier than I thought! That was the very beginning of my symptoms, so I tried my best to take it easy. The bartender fixed me gin & tonics, minus the gin, all night.
  • We went to the beach with my family. I drank seltzer waters in a koozie, which my cousins caught on to.
  • We went on a trip to the mountains with college friends. They tried to peer pressure me into a keg stand, but I managed to get out of it. We told a few friends we don't get to see often after that incident!
Doctors appointments:
We had only 2 appointments in the 1st tri, which ended on September 1st. We had a general appointment with one of the nurses to go over our health history and we had our dating scan. Seeing baby J for the first time was unbelievable. It looked so much more like a little person than I anticipated. My due date was officially set at March 10, 2022. Harrison was not anticipating an internal ultrasound, so that gave me a laugh.

Highs:
Telling our families was so much fun. I am almost as excited for them to become grandparents as I am for us to become parents. Everyone was (and is) so excited and I know this baby is already so loved.

Lows:
Feeling so tired all the time was difficult. Also, I was so anxious to make it to the second trimester because I was terrified everyday of losing the pregnancy. I wish I could have relaxed some about that.

Symptoms/cravings/aversions/etc.:
I was feeling great up until week 7-8. I started to get nauseous and had about two weeks of needing to eat crackers in bed before getting up in the mornings. I didn't have any intense cravings, but I did find myself wanting fruit. It was honestly more like the one thing I could eat, rather than a craving. I lost a few pounds because there were so many things that I just didn't want. Namely coffee, french fries, and chicken. Very few other things sounded appetizing at any given time.

Overall thoughts and feelings:
Knowing that I am growing a whole human is INCREDIBLE. Those weeks of seeing which body parts are developing makes all the bad stuff worth it.

10.12.2021

Getting Back in the Groove

I have been dying to get back in the swing of writing, but so many times I open a blank post and feel completely overwhelmed! I don't do a good job planning, mostly because I feel like I lose inspiration if I plan my posts to heavily, but then I feel like I don't know where to start. After reading a few blog posts and newsletters from a few girls I follow, I decided to change up how I'm writing! I am going to focus on once-weekly posts outlining my favorite things and life updates. Of course, there will hopefully still be a standalone post or two mixed in from time to time, but this already feels so much more manageable to me!

Baby J is growing like a weed! I am currently 18 weeks, soon to be 19 weeks this coming Thursday. He or she is the size of an artichoke according to one app, or a sugar glider, according to another, and my clothes are officially starting to not fit. I moved up to maternity jeans a few weeks ago, which was the best decision ever. I need to invest in a few flowy pieces that I can wear to nicer events, though. I found out I have one fall dress that fits me... discovered as I was getting dressed for a friend's wedding this past Saturday. 
We have made a few purchases, including a car seat, crib, crib mattress, and bassinet here lately! Target had a few sales lately which encouraged us to go ahead and buy those items. 

We had a doctor appointment yesterday to check on Baby, who is doing great. We got to hear the heartbeat again, which never gets old. It always amazes me how quick appointments can be. I know they will get more involved the further along you get, but it seems like as long as I'm feeling good and baby is doing well then they check us over, answer our questions, and say, "see you in 4 weeks!" This coming Friday is our anatomy scan, which we are so excited for. I can't wait to see him or her again and get some more pictures!

18 weeks


It's definitely the busy season at the farm! All of our corn is in from the field, but it seems like it's rapidly leaving in the form of several hundred 50-pound bags each day... a good problem to have for sure! We have a lot to do still before the harvest season is over, including some custom harvesting and all of our beans. We are having a photography session with Tasha Barbour this coming Sunday to hopefully get some good pictures of our operation. 

These days I'm very thankful that we chose low-maintenance Katahdin sheep because I have been more hands-off with them than in the past. I'm quickly finding out how much the baby is directing my life before he or she is even here! We had a ewe with what appeared to be a tooth abscess that cleared up after a few days of antibiotics, and another that was limping for no apparent reason. That also resolved itself the next day, thank the Lord. We make sure they have food and water, look over the flock to make sure everyone is fat and accounted for, and they mostly take care of themselves beyond that.

I've been working on cleaning up and cleaning out here lately. I want to purge as much as I can before baby's arrival so that it is easier to keep the house clean when we have another occupant! It's so much easier when I make time for a little each day, rather than saving it all for a Saturday or Sunday. 

Here are a few of my "can't live without" items from the past few weeks! I promise this is not your typical "currently loving" collage you might see on another blog, LOL!


1) Isabel Maternity Jeans – I have been loving maternity jeans, ha! I've never felt comfy in jeans in my life, but I live in this brand as of now! Buy your usual size. 

2) Universal Thread Cardigan – T-shirts and cardigans are my fall wardrobe, and that hasn't changed since being pregnant! These cardigans are comfy and cozy without being super thick. 

3) Tuna & Pimiento Cheese – Where else have you seen tuna on a currently loving list? 🤣I have never wanted deli meat so badly in my life, so these two items have been helping eat filling lunches that don't put me at risk for listeria. 

4) Not Your Mothers Dry Shampoo – My sister told me the other week that I've been using dry shampoo wrong. Apparently you are supposed to put it on clean hair as a preventative, rather than trying to cover up the grease with it. I gave it a try and it has been a game changer! I can actually go to work on second day hair! I like this affordable brand that also gives my hair some texture.

5) Simple Modern Tumbler – I drink water more easily out of a straw and these Simple Modern cups are my favorite! I'm on the verge of getting rid of all other water bottles I own and replacing them with these cups! It's a manageable amount of water; I can drink the whole thing in one sitting, which makes me get up, refill it, and do it again! I will say, if you like flavoring, it does get trapped in the cup so unless you want your plain water tasting vaguely of your flavor, you'll need to wash it after using flavoring. 

6) Monthly Planner – I have struggled with planners ever since getting out of college and I think this one might be the solution. It is only a monthly view, which helps me see all weeks in one glance, rather than losing items in the weekly view. It is 8.5x11, so I can tuck other papers inside. There are notes pages, along with contacts, passwords, etc.

7) Airpods – I know, I know... how did you not have Airpods until now, Taylor?! I don't know y'all, lol. I didn't want to spend that amount of money on headphones when I really didn't think a cord bothered me that much. Harrison got me a pair for my birthday, and it turns out that a cord really is that bothersome. I love how they pause when you take one out of your ear, and they stay in well, too! I got the regular kind, not the Pros. 

We don't have too much upcoming, but I'm looking forward to my and Harrison's annual leaf-peeping trip to the mountains this Saturday! We usually leave early, get breakfast somewhere, and drive on the parkway. It's always a fun day!

We also have a vendor fair on the farm on Saturday, October 23! If you are local, come on out for some handmade goods. I'll have some fall candles there!

5.19.2021

Planting Season '21

This is my third planting season on the farm. I took some time to reflect on the past 3 springs I've spent in Stony Point, and I reflected on it briefly in my Instagram post yesterday. I also wanted to publish those thoughts here.


My first planting season was really half of one. We got married on May 4th and I officially moved into our house on May 12th, the day after we got back from our honeymoon. Harrison got back to work immediately after getting back home. I rode in the tractor with him and visited fields, but I was kept busy putting together our house and getting ready to start my job. Plant '19 was over before I knew it!


Last year was the best. I was around a lot more and had so much flexibility thanks to COVID. I know it was horrible for so many people, but it really gave me some irreplaceable time with Harrison on the farm. I acted as Harrison's personal seed tender, I rode, I took meals to the farm. I basically did anything and everything I could to be part of the activity, and I loved every second of it. 


This year has been different and harder in a lot of ways. Work has picked back up for me and I've had at least a handful of evening meetings every month since February. We started planting in March and it was slow going for a while. It was too wet, then too dry. Harrison was in the field sporadically. It picked back up a few weeks ago and they've been going pretty strong ever since. I haven't had as many opportunities to ride or to take supper to them. The loneliness of planting season has really set in this year. I tend to get discouraged and bored when I'm home alone. Instead of putting that boredom to good use, it's really easy for me to hole up on the couch and scroll through TikTok instead of doing something productive. I've really worked to change that over the past week or so. I've put more of my energy into the house and I've managed to get my garden planted and the yard straightened up somewhat. Being alone until 9pm or later many evenings out of the week can really wear down on you, but I've tried to focus on the positives. If I need to get out of the house, I can go stroll the aisles of Dollar General (the rural girl's Target, truly) or take a drive with the windows down (that has been so nice here lately with the perfect temperature in the evenings and beautiful sunsets!). Sometimes I'll take a ride out to the field they're working in and wave or say hi. Sometimes I'll ride for a bit, but Harrison has been working with the John Deere 4440 most of this season, and the buddy seat situation is lacking, to put it nicely! My booty falls asleep before we finish one pass... which isn't too far in some of our fields! 


I truly am so grateful for this life, though. I'm reminded every day of just how blessed we are to work the land and to spend our days outside. I'm thankful for my role on the farm in this season, which is mostly keeping Harrison's and my person affairs in order, and helping out when I'm needed. I want to do my best to be joyful and appreciative of what each day brings me!





2.01.2021

January Recap & February Goals

It seems like January took forever and flew by all at the same time. I have so far really enjoyed the first month of 2021, even though I feel like I'm kind of trying to keep my head above water. I have so many thoughts and ideas and to-do's running around my head and many times when I get like that, I tend to become paralyzed and not do anything. I hope my February goals help me to pare down and get to the heart of the things I want to achieve.



On my calendar in February:

— A fun weekend in Pigeon Forge with some of our close friends

— Our first processing appointment for Westward Farms lamb

— Celebrating Harrison's 26th birthday

— Hopefully another ski trip


What I'm loving right now:

The Office Ladies podcast is entertaining Harrison and I on long drives and in the kitchen while we're cooking or cleaning. We're both huge fans of The Office, so hearing the behind the scenes stories and reliving the hilarious moments with two people who were in it is making me want to purchase NBC's streaming service so we can watch it again!

My Heart of the Farm planner is keeping me organized. I have the weekly version and it has so many useful extras, like meal planning sheets, priorities and goal setting, and more.

NYX Filler Instinct Plumping Lip Color in Sugar Pie. I've been looking for a plumping lip balm for a while and really really wanted to love the Buxom Power-full Plumping Lip Balm in Dolly Fever, but the color didn't last quite long enough to justify the price. At under half of what the Buxom costs, the NYX lasts longer and is a little bit bolder. I just wish it wasn't quite so tingly, but it's not drying either.


What I read in January:

Things You Save in a Fire: This was a really sweet book, if not a little predictable. It was a great quick read, though, if you're looking for a romantic book with an easy-to-like main character.

Firefly Lane: What the first book may have lacked in substance, this one made up for plus some! This was a very touching book that I couldn't put down. I would highly recommend this one!


February goals:

— No spending this month! I really like that February is an exact 4 weeks, which makes it appealing to me to start this goal. I'm aiming to not purchase anything personal or unnecessary this month. I've already bought Harrison's birthday gifts and have everything I need to complete a few projects, so I should be set! The only thing I can foresee myself needing is perhaps some mascara, which I consider a necessity 😉

— Complete 3 Peloton workouts each week

— Jump back into my Bible reading plan

— Journal each day

— Focus on establishing a morning routine and making the most of the time before work

— Sort through and organize 2020 photos

1.04.2021

2021 Reading List

 

For 2021, I set the goal for myself to read 1 book per month! I went ahead and picked out the ones that I'd like to reach each month. Not to say that it won't or can't change, but this gives me an idea of what to look forward to and will also help me to not feel "stuck" about what to check out from the library each month.


JANUARY

True Colors by Kristin Hannah


FEBRUARY

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane


MARCH

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid


APRIL

Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid


MAY

Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey


JUNE

The Winemaker's Wife by Kristin Harmel


JULY

Summer Sisters by Judy Blume


AUGUST

Just Between Us by Rebecca Drake


SEPTEMBER

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center


OCTOBER

Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey


NOVEMBER

Virgin River by Robyn Carr


DECEMBER

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren


9.02.2020

Wedding Florals


Flowers were a big part of my vision for our wedding. Because we were having it on Kentucky Derby day (in the spring!), I envisioned lots of fluffy arrangements in trophies. I understood going into it how much flowers cost, so my vision also included lots of greenery. Since Harrison is an agriculture teacher, he has tons of great connections—including one to a local high school that has a phenomenal floriculture program and has done wedding flowers in the past. So yes, all of my flowers were put together by high schoolers! 

I started with a vision board of what I wanted. It involved lots of soft pinks, white, greenery, roses, peonies, and equestrian-inspired vases. From there, with the help of the agriculture teacher that helped put everything together, I got beautiful (and affordable) arrangements!


My bouquet // I chose white for my bouquet because I felt it best complimented the simple and timeless look I was going for. It included mostly peonies and cabbage roses with some greenery. It was wrapped with the handkerchief one of my grandmothers used on her wedding day (my something borrowed!). 


Harrison's boutonniere // For the same reasons, we went with white for Harrison's boutonniere. Our dads and our pastor also wore white bouts, but they looked different. It was made from small roses and greenery. 


Parents' flowers // Our parents (and my grandmothers) wore white bouts and corsages with greenery. They were modeled after our bouquet and boutonniere.


Bridesmaid bouquets & groomsmen boutonnieres // I really wanted peonies for all the bouquets, but they are so expensive! Our florist recommended going with peonies for my bouquet and cabbage roses for my bridesmaids. They are big and fluffy and have a very similar look. I was grateful for this advice because looking back, it wouldn't have made much of a difference to me if they had peonies or not. I chose pink for theirs to set them apart and bring in that part of my color scheme. 

For the groomsmen, we chose pink flowers to mirror the bridesmaids. 


Ceremony // One of my favorite things from our wedding was the cross that we got married in front of. I wanted a floral swag to hang on it and it did not disappoint! It tied in so nicely to my bouquet. 

We also had a memory chair on the front row in honor of our family members who are no longer with us. I had a bouquet made and placed on this chair that I also used for my toss bouquet during the reception. 


Reception // I wanted simple but beautiful centerpieces. Since it was Kentucky Derby day, I incorporated roses, but in white! They also had hydrangeas and greenery. I used gold mint julep vases to pull in the equestrian theme. 

We got a bunch of extra flowers sent to us (by request) from the florist, too. My grandma used some of them to decorate the cake she made for us. I could look at pictures of that cake for ages. It was exactly what I wanted! My amazing coordinators used some of them to tuck into the garland that draped over our sweetheart table. That's another detail that I could truly stare at forever. 

I ordered the garland from Sam's Club! It was 25 feet long, so we cut it to drape over the mantle and our table. It arrived two days before the wedding and we kept it in the crawl space under my parent's house—damp and dark! We misted it to keep it fresh and it worked amazingly for a fraction of the price I would have paid a florist. My mom kept it after the wedding. When we got to their house after our honeymoon, it was still on their mantle looking great!


Overall, I absolutely adored the flowers at our wedding. We decided to go for a budget-friendly option, which some would shy at but it worked so well for us! I just wished they lasted forever. I have thought about having my bouquet or a centerpiece recreated in fake flowers as a forever reminder of my favorite day!

8.29.2020

Favorite Cleaning Products

This is such a boring topic, but after spending some of the afternoon cleaning, I thought I'd share some of my favorite things that make my least favorite chore more bearable!




Sprayway Glass Cleaner // This is the BEST glass cleaner! It doesn't streak and lasts for forever.


Weiman Cooktop Daily Cleaner // This really helps to get any messes off your cooktop that may be burned on. I use it every time I use my stove.


Scrub Brush 


Powdered Tide // I know I'm not the only one who religiously follows @GoCleanCo on Instagram. They swear by powdered Tide and I understand why! I use it for everything now- mopping, scrubbing showers and tubs, and my laundry, too!


Pledge Multi-Surface // This is my favorite stuff to dust with. 


Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner // We have stainless appliances and they get pretty dirty fairly quickly! They show a lot of fingerprints, etc., and this stuff is magic! They make wipes too but they feel greasy, so I prefer the spray.


Method Antibac Cleaner (currently unavailable) // This is my go-to countertop spray. I wipe down our kitchen counters with it every evening. For deeper cleaning and disinfecting, I use Clorox, but this is great everyday stuff.


Microfiber Cloths // The best things to clean with! You can use them with bleach and they don't stain and they really help to scrub and lift grime.


Clorox // Clorox, Tide, and hot water is the @GoCleanCo holy grail and I swear by it! (Plus, I love the clean bleach smell. Harrison hates it, so I try to use it sparingly)


Clorox Toilet Wand // Toilet brushes gross me out, so I was so excited when I found these. Disposable heads that scrub well and leave my toilets sparkling!


O Cedar Spin Mop // The most fun way to mop!


Shark Navigator Lift-Away // Shark vacuums are the BEST. I had one that was pretty old but still working great until I upgraded to this one earlier this year. It lifts so much out of my living room rug and I use it on our bare floors too. I'm always amazed by how much it picks up.

Taylor Jenkins. Design by Berenica Designs.