the story of our girl

 

January 2016!  

After many months of conversations about adding to our family (and some crazy traveling) we quickly realized in May of 2015 that we were pregnant and expecting our second child in January 2016.  These conversations were some of the hardest on my mama heart.  I was just happy to be pregnant and on my way to being a mom of two!

It was summer and we were feeling great.  We were at the beach when we told my parents and told my inlaws we were pregnant the weekend of our 10th College Reunion in Kentucky. Carson was excited to be a big brother, when you asked him if he was having a baby bother or a baby sister he would say sister without fail every time.  Then after you asked him her name he would say “Sophia“.  He doesn’t know any girls named this and he was so sure of himself that we believe this was his special connection with our baby girl that would go forth with the name Sophia! (And yes it could have been a boy but for us we believe it was a girl!)

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As we were nearing 11 weeks pregnant we were able to take some amazing pictures at our Alma Mater, Asbury University, the weekend of our 10 year college reunion with our good friends Allison & Adam buzard.

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 Spending the next two days on our college campus was full of joy and excitement.  That same weekend I found out my roommate from Asbury, Amy Azevedo was pregnant too.  So much joy and excitement covered this weekend… as you can see from this picture!

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Just the same weekend we got some great news from Corey’s sister Jennifer, she was expecting her first baby.  After a long journey for her we were overjoyed to be pregnant together and to have our babies a month apart. We even grabbed a few pictures before heading our separate ways.

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That afternoon we got this great shot of me and baby Sophia.  This picture hangs in our bedroom right next to our bed… it was the last moments I had of complete joy for the life I had growing inside of me.

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Our plans for the next week seemed set in stone on that Sunday afternoon, June 28th. I would head to Northern Kentucky to visit some friends with Carson.  Corey would go back to Nashville for work and to finish up painting for the Nursery.  Before we left my in-laws house I started to show signs that this pregnancy may not go as planned.  This had happened a few weeks earlier and I had been to the Dr. since then and gotten a great report and good ultrasound at 9 weeks (6 days before).  I wasn’t too concerned but this felt weird and I knew it.

The next 24 hours seemed to show more signs of a potential loss of life and on Monday night June 29th I experienced more and more signs of pregnancy issues.  On Tuesday morning the 30th of June I called Corey at 5am and told him I was coming home to go to the Dr.  I was 4 and a half hours from home but I knew I needed to be there.  I had little pain but knew this just wasn’t right.  I woke up Carson and drove him to Louisville,  told my parents I needed to drop him off there and go back home to Nashville for a Dr appointment and to be with Corey.   When I called at 9am, I told them I was 3 hours away and needed to come in today for a ultra sound.  They mentioned going to a hospital in Louisville but I just wasn’t comfortable with that.   I was told I may be able to get a ultra sound by early afternoon if I could get there by then but my personal Dr would not be able to see me.  I was a little disheartened by that but I knew I had to be with Corey and that was the most important part.

The drive from Louisville to Nashville has never felt so long… and just about every other emotion you can imagine.  What I remember the most is stopping several times for bathroom breaks and hoping that everything was ok with each stop.  Then I would pray as I got back into the car, “Lord if this is it, if I’m losing my baby please let it happen smoothly, give me peace and let it happen fast without pain”.  I felt horrible for praying this way but for me it was the only way I knew I could get through it all.

I went into my Dr. office around 1pm and they whisked me back to see my Dr. who had not left for the day yet, that was a relief.  She told me I had signs of miscarriage looming but that some women have those signs throughout a healthy pregnancy.  She sent me to a new Ultra Sound office and said “You are gonna go there, see your baby and go back to Louisville.”

The next 30 mins were crazy, it does pain me to tell the story of the those moments but I also feel like it was God’s complete and perfect plan.  I’ll spare you most of the details but tell you this, my husband was with me, it was not painful and it was quick just like I had prayed.  I experienced a miscarriage at almost 11 weeks.  I went back to my Dr, she looked at Corey and said “You need to always trust this woman’s intuition.  She knew to come home.” She proceeded to tell us how this had never happened like this before.  My body was doing exactly what it was supposed to do.  Within 15 mins of losing our baby girl it was already healing it’s self.  I was amazed.  I was completely at peace with her being in Heaven, with too many other friends to name.  Was I happy about it, not at all.  Was I mad at God for ruining the plans we had for our family, yes! But releasing our baby girl for some reason to me came quick and final.

The next 6 weeks I dubbed as #onlygoodthingsthismonth .  I had to make it fun, lovely & joyful. I made a scrapbook to remember our girl and talked about her a lot.  I made sure to travel and spend time with Corey, Carson and some of my closet friends.

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Things were rough, it was hard to go on after saying such a quick and final goodbye to our girl.  But Carson gave us hope and helped us continue to love when it was hard emotionally.

Corey gave me the most beautiful ring with Sophia’s birthstone, pearls,it has one for her and one for me.  It was the perfect way to remind me she is always with me and that I’ll get to see her again!

Just 6 weeks after losing our baby girl my Dr gave me the “go ahead” to start trying to get pregnant again, so we did!  On Sept 14th, just 3 days before our little dude Carson turned 3 we confirmed we were pregnant.  The next 9 weeks would prove to be much more difficult for me than those 6 weeks after losing Sophia.  The worry and constant anxiety of it all, that I would lose this baby, was something I tried to escape every day.  I would replay every moment of losing Sophia and when I hit 10 weeks I relived it all out in my head.  Nothing could make it go away, I spent so much time praying for my baby and did what I could to live from one appointment to the next.

I was so sick.  I was big.  I had extreme exhaustion.  I mean who is this big at 4.5 weeks pregnant…(And this was not a belly from Sophia, it was all new!)

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Because I was so sick and so big I did some research on it.  So many women on message boards online said they had a miscarriage & got pregnant right away then found out they were pregnant with twins.  (Some believe you are more fertile right after a miscarriage).  I had a dream we were pregnant with Twins. One day Corey made a comment to a friend that we could “Totally handle Twins”.  At that very moment my world stopped and I knew, I knew I was pregnant with Twins.

It was 3 weeks after this picture was taken that we saw two little spots on a ultrasound screen, it was Mono/Di Twins.  Here is a great picture of what that looks like compared to other twin pregnancies (Since I get this question a lot).  The days & weeks after that ultrasound gave me more anxiety, as I read about Mono/Di twins I became familiar with a whole host of problems that this may bring to me during pregnancy and to my two little babies.  I’m never upset to spend time in the Dr office, since I want them to have the best care possible and to ease my fears.

From now until 32 weeks I will go to the Dr every week and starting at 32 weeks I will go twice a week.  We had 3 ultrasounds with my pregnancy with Carson and if all goes to plan we will likely have 15 ultrasounds with the twins.  We are blessed to have Carson in a great Parents Day Out program we love twice a week and the ability for me to make caring for Carson, myself and our babies my full-time job.

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The next thing people ask is…”what did you think when you found out?”  The truth is that since I felt like I really knew for weeks before hand this was only a confirmation.  We truly were over joyed.  After losing Sophia we knew this was totally God’s way of blessing us with these little ones.  God clearly called me to be a mom to Carson (even when that wasn’t my plan), he called us to be parents to Sophia for just a short time and then with these twins my mental state has been something like this “Ok God this was your idea, you are gonna have to give me what I need every day to THRIVE”.  So many days with Carson I just survived in the first year having Post Partum-Depression.  As I try my best to hear from other twin moms many of them say you just SURVIVE but I’m counting on God to help me THRIVE!

The day we found out we were having two more boys was a joyful one for me.  I feel like I’m naturally a boy mama so thats where I feel most comfortable.  But I will tell you this, my twins being boys has also made my little darling girl Sophia even more special.  My girl will always be one I didn’t get to watch grow up, sing with or cheer for at volleyball games. God knew he would use her to prepare me for these boys.  He gave me a completely open heart for what kind of mom He wants me to be and I’m amazed already at what he can do through me.  I would have never dreamed I would be 22 weeks pregnant with Twins with this much confidence in God’s plan for my life!

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Last Minute Gifts & Pictures

IMG_2277Since it’s less than a week before Christmas I know you are scrambling to find one last gift for just about everyone in your family.  Last year I asked everyone to wear jeans and a black shirt.  Then I made the ladies, including my doggie Lola, simple scarves.  I also went all out and bought the guys $5 hats!

I bought yards of fabric, cut them and wrapped them.  Then I got my friend to come take some fun pictures with us all.  It was a great way to remember one of the rare moments when we had all our families together.

I hope you can think of some great ideas for you and your family.

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Winter hanging basket

I found a picture online of a great winter greens hanging basket, so I enlisted the help of my Aunt (who is a florist) for some help on this.  We gathered greens and berries from the grounds of a historic home in Louisville.  I think it’s a great way for you to teach kids about nature as well as get their help to put these great baskets together.

Chalkboard Wall (guest post Corey & Cambrey Little)

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Chalkboard Wall

When building our new house, my husband and I knew we wanted a chalkboard wall that we could draw on, have our guests sign their names, create cool holiday messages, make grocery lists, etc. We can thank Pinterest for the inspiration! Lucky for me, my mom’s a teacher and my husband is a designer. So we had this one in the bag. My mom is an old school at that. It is 2012 and she still uses chalkboards in her classroom. She swears they are better than any white or smart board on the market. So thanks to her advice, and my talented husband who is a graphic designer/web designer/architect/creative extraordinaire (shameless plug – www.coreylittle.com), we were able to come up with the perfect Christmas chalkboard design.
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Here are the steps we took to achieve it:
1. After we chose the wall we wanted to paint (that took some serious contemplation), we set out to buy some chalkboard paint. We found a can at Home Depot for about ten bucks.
2. Paint the chalkboard wall (a no-brainer, right?). Quick tip – we didn’t use a primer. Just used 2 coats of chalkboard paint. The wall was light grey before.
3. Buy some good chalk. Any kind will do for the “seasoning” (see step 4) we got some really good colored chalk from Michael’s. The brand is Artist’s Loft (blue box) and it had 24 pieces in it.photo 3
4. After the paint has dried, you’ll need to “season” or prep the wall (think like you’re prepping your brand new cast iron pan). Basically all you need to do is cover the entire wall in chalk and then wipe it down w ith a damp cloth. This makes it easier to erase any future design and keep it erased for good. Remember in trigonometry class when you could faintly see the unit circle on the chalk board even though it had been erased weeks before? Anyone? Maybe that was just me. Moving on.
5. I mentioned earlier my husband is a graphic designer. He whipped up a really cool Christmas design in photoshop then had it printed on a transparency at Fedex Office. His dad happened to have an old light projector lying around and gave it to us. We used that to project the design onto the wall and trac ed it out with chalk. Voila! A fancy looking (but super easy) Christmas message on our new chalkboard wall.

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I can’t wait to see what we come up with next!

Christmas Gift Wrap

Last year I decided I was not going to give into the Christmas wrapping paper.  I really don’t like 99% of it and I wanted to spend my money on something creative rather than wrapping paper.  I found some butcher paper (or you can use craft paper).  Then I discovered that I could use my scrap booking tool, Cricut machine, to create a wonderful gift tag.  I got some great festive gold, red, white & silver scrap booking paper.  Then I made all the cuts I needed to  and used my sticker maker.  Some of the gifts I used initials and others I used the whole name.  Then for the final touch I used different textures of ribbon and yarn to create bows.  These gifts ended up looking more like my christmas decorations than cluttered gifts below the tree.

Thanksgiving Traditon

Thanksgiving Day has become a big deal with our extended family.  My Aunt Alice and her mother-in-law started a great tradition.  I hope that one day I will be able to also create a tradition like this one.

Many people have a festive table cloth they use for this special holiday.  Well Alice stepped it up a notch a many years ago.  She took our harvest table cloth and asked every guest to sign the table cloth.  She would set aside a certain area and label with the year.  After every guest had signed the table cloth she would stitch every name and then wash.  Over the years when you come back you see names of friends of the family who were special guests.  One of my favorite things about this table cloth was when my boy friend came, then he became my fiance and then my husband.

 


I’m sad that this is her last year as host of thanksgiving and that I won’t be able to be there.  But I do want her to know what a great memory she created for her family and how she inspired me to start some memories like this for our family.

Carson’s room!

 

I worked hard to make my son’s room a reflection of our style but also what is trendy at the moment.  I wanted to be able to give him bright colors and bold patterns mixed with a classic grey.  Many people’s favorite part of the room is the ceiling, I’ll admit it I stole it from another blog, nonetheless it does look awesome (and it was a lot of hard work for my husband!).

The elements of the room came together over time, most made by my friends.  I’ll link up their Facebook pages or blogs so you could contact them to get a tutorial! Also my friend Adam took some of these great pictures, be sure to contact him for your newborn pictures.

Barn Window

vintage KY barn window. by iPhone

We have flat paint in the room and with the having a little boy pee all over the place I figured we needed some sort of splash guard.  Well… in comes the barn window.  My dad found this in KY and painted it to match our room.  It looks perfect above the dresser my dad and I stripped and painted together a few years ago.

Rocking Chair Cushions

rocking chair cushions. by iPhone

Getting a rocking chair from parents was such a blessing but the wicker bottom and back were a little warn and were not very comfortable.  I looked all over the place for weeks for the right cushions but nothing would work.  Then I had a great idea, my friend Rachel has done some great work with recovering chairs for me in the past.  So I took her to my favorite fabric store, The Fabric House (I admit it, I splurged)here in Nashville.  I picked a totally new pattern in the same line of fabrics that the rest of the bedding is.  She volunteered all her time and talent, if you need someone to carry out a vision and you just don’t think you can do it yourself, ask a friend.

Book Crates

wood crates make great bookshelves
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This room doesn’t have a whole lot of square footage so I decided I’d ditch the book shelf for now.  Since he had several books I wanted to feature them somehow but cheap.  I took some great crates from hobby lobby and painted them.  I have a orange one and a turquoise one.  I used the ceiling paint so I didn’t have to buy more paint either!

Art

painting by Amy Dillon Azevedo
Photo: https://pinterest.com/abphotonash/

I endured many art projects in college, brushes & canvases all over my dorm room, even a wood project with soda bottles, thanks to my roommate Amy.  She took on the task of recreating a great painting I found in a nursery online and make it exactly what I wanted, espically the unique dimensions.  Amy is so gifted and I love that she has such a significant part of his room.

Tangerine Shaggy Rug

fun shaggy rug. uptowncountryhome.com
photo: https://pinterest.com/abphotonash/

This is one of my favorite pictures of our sweet Lola and baby Carson.  She loves him and he has never been scared of her!  This rug was one of my splurges.  It may not be for you but I just had a hard time buying a $150 rug!  It really is one of my favorite pops of color to the room.

Crib Quilt & Bedding

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I found a great Etsy site, Modifiedtot for my bedding & diaper changing pad.  I just love the bright colors and multiple patterns.  The quilt hanging on the back of the crib was a great gift from the talented Jennifer Ensor.  She said she picked out the patterns before seeing our room!

Wood Block

beautiful wood block from Jennifer Robertson http://www.craftefamily.com/crafts.asp
photo: https://pinterest.com/abphotonash/

My beautiful sister in law, Jennifer, gave us this great wood block that has all of Carson’s birth information displayed in a creative way.  It’s one of my favorite surprises I received in the mail the week after his birth.

Framed Verse

handwritten verse by Cathy Jones Forman
photo: https://pinterest.com/abphotonash/

Another great gift from a friend!  My dear friend, Cathy, from Middle School, made this great print by hand.  I love that she wrote it all out and it has her character all over it. I also use this as a reminder each time I get him out of his crib that he has been set apart by God for big things.

I hope you have enjoyed some of the fun elements Carson has in his room, I hope he can spend more and more time in here as he gets older.  I know he will love all the bright colors and textures.