Friday, November 27, 2015


Cameron William Strawberry was born on November 16, 2015 weighing 7 lbs 14 oz and 19.75 inches height.

Cameron's due date was today, and since it's the day after Thanksgiving, I figured I would write a gratitude post.

First and foremost, I am so thankful to God for everything this year. Looking down at a positive pregnancy test on March 22nd was the most surreal moment of my entire life. Just a few weeks before, I had come to terms with the fact that Brian didn't ever want to have kids, and then God threw me this curveball. As I sat on our bedroom floor crying that day, I was literally shaking in fear that my marriage was ruined. I am so thankful to God for providing me and Brian with "a peace that surpasses all understanding." (Phillipians 4:7)

I am more grateful than ever for Brian. This has not been an easy year for him. In typical Brian fashion, he never treated me any different when I was pregnant. I got no sympathy and no pampering.  When I asked him if he thought we needed to take a birthing class, his response was "'ll figure it out." :-) Brian ended up being the best birth coach in the world! I had an extremely fast labor and delivery, so he was recruited to help a little more than I expected. As per usual, he stayed so calm and acted like nothing was a big deal. When I realized how fast things were progressing and I was starting to panic, Brian was as cool as a cucumber.

I am thankful to Cameron for being the best baby ever! I'm not a "baby person" and have zero experience with newborns, but he has been so happy and easy-going. I'm going to make a ton of mistakes, such as preparing him for a blizzard when it's 60 degrees outside, but so far he seems very forgiving.

I am very thankful for my mom! She took two weeks off work and spent most of that time at our house helping me during the day. I've been incredibly appreciative. Each day that passes, I feel a little more comfortable and think I'm starting to get the hang of things. I will miss having her company when she goes back to work next week.

I am thankful for my dogs because they're awesome.

Lastly, I am so thankful for the nurses at Duke Regional and my doctors at Durham OB-GYN. I feel forever indebted to them. They showed me the ropes, helped me learn how to care for a baby, kept me company in the wee hours of the morning when I was alone with Cameron, and provided the best care ever.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Three Years in Our Home!

Today marks three years since we've owned our house! I remember November 14, 2012 so vividly as we sat in the attorney's office and signed our life away on all those papers. It was so exciting and yet a little frightening to have 30 years of house payments in our future. :-)

After we had moved into our new house that November weekend, I went back to Brian's condo for one more car load of stuff and to vacuum the floors. Standing in the empty condo by myself is a moment I will never forget. Four years of memories hit me all at once and I remember wiping tears away as I stood there in the glow of the fish tank. 

Even though we still own the condo, I have not stepped foot in it since that day. It makes me happy to know that our renters are creating their own memories there now. They've strung lights up on the little patio, complete with hummingbird feeders and plants, so I know they're caring for it the same way I did.

Brian and I are living quite comfortably now in our "dream house."

As grateful as I am for all of this, I'm even more grateful for humble beginnings.

If I could go back, I wish I would have complained a little less about that tiny, cramped kitchen and been more appreciative of everything we had. The Lord has truly blessed me and Brian over the years with so much happiness and love, regardless of where we've called home.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Three years ago today, I eloped with the gorgeous man on the right.

Happy anniversary to the person who knows me better than anyone else...and married me anyways.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Our Porch Makeover and the Story of the Green, Leafy Plants

We started moving some of our outdoor plants inside last week since the temperature was dropping into the low 40's at night. Even indoors, it will be a miracle if these plants survive through the winter.

I'm their caretaker.
I'm terrible at it.
Plants hate me.

With those plants inside, I now needed new plants for the front porch. My first thought was mums, but mums need a lot of sunlight and they never survive very long at our house. I decided it would be best to shop around and find something more suitable for our wooded environment.

With the afternoon free last Saturday, Brian, his sister, and I went to Lowe's with the goal of buying a plant for the porch for this winter. Apparently I'm also terrible at buying plants, because I just walked around aimlessly, up and down each row of flowers, angrily reading the labels..."Requires Full Sun!"

Out of necessity, I recruited the nearest Lowe's man and I just kept repeating to him that we needed "Full Shade!"

I mentioned nothing about the fact that these plants would be outside in the winter, and apparently the Lowe's man was not much of a mind reader.

He directed me inside to some green, leafy plants that he claimed were shade-friendly and low-maintenance. I cannot for the life of me remember what they're called, so from here on out I'll refer to them as "green, leafy plants."

When we got home, Brian carried in the green, leafy plants and casually read the instructions on the little thingamajig.

As my luck would have it, the green, leafy plants require temperatures above 45 degrees.

Um, what the heck Lowe's man? Why would you send me home with these?

So Brian - the problem solver - was like "Just do this....put this fake plant outside and we'll just keep the green, leafy plants inside."

(Brian knew a return trip to Lowe's was in his future unless he was quick on his feet).

But hey, whatever works. Fake plants are fine by me.

This ivy will no doubt survive the colder temps and lack of sunlight.

Remember the BEFORE picture of our porch furniture last month?

When I got home from Colorado a couple weeks ago, Brian surprised me with the purchase of a new custom bench!

With a fake plant, a new bench, and a new doormat, our porch makeover is now complete.

Simple, yet perfect.