Wednesday, December 10, 2014

emma grace: five months

sweet baby girl,
we are so thankful for you.
i love watching your curiosity and just love watching your little brain discover new things.
your sweet smile lights up a room and you charm everyone you meet.
and even though you're still not a huge fan of naps or bed time, i really don't mind. more snuggle time for me! :)

Emma Grace: Four Months

this month,
we dressed up as a lady bug for halloween,
took a road trip to amarillo,
and started learning to roll over.

sweet baby girl, you're bringing more joy than i could have ever thought possible from such a teeny tiny little one.  i just love being your mama.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Emma Grace: Three Months

emmers, emma goose, squirmy wormey, eg, fussy face, my baby girl.
we still aren't sleeping through the night, but that's ok because i'm not quite ready to give up our 3 am snuggles. 
you're smiling and giggling and talking up a storm.  i can only imagine the fun things floating around in your beautiful brain and can't wait to hear all that you have to say. 
you're teaching me so much and showing me what it means to love deeply and live selflessly.

each and every day, you bring my heart so much joy i can barely stand it.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Emma Grace: Two Months

sweet baby girl is two months old. 

i'm completely addicted to her little coos, snorts and almost-giggles.
her smiles and snarles melt my heart, even at 3:30 am. #soworthit
she never stops squirming, even in her sleep.
morning stretches are serious business and require at least 30 different facial expressions. 
she's stubborn and strong and i love every single tiny inch of her. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

baby girl's birth story

bub-hub and I consider ourselves very blessed to have had such a healthy and low key pregnancy. I didn't really suffer from morning sickness, I slept pretty well throughout and didn't have to give up any of my favorite munchies. when we checked in to the hospital, we were so beyond eager to meet our baby girl, but so anxious and nervous at the same time.  even though we knew our lives were about to change dramatically, it was still so beyond our comprehension. we had no idea what our new normal was going to really be like. 

we checked in, the nurses set me up and the waiting game, the real waiting game, began. a few times throughout the day, baby girls heart rate dropped but after a short time, would come back up. bub-hub kept me updated on what all the monitors were saying, what the beeps were indicating, and tried his best to keep me calm. 

after 7.5 hours of labor, her heart rate wasn't coming back up. the nurses rushed in to prep my for a csection. everything happened in less than 10 minutes, but it felt like a lifetime. all I could do was lay there, completely helpless, squeezing bub-hub's hand, praying that the doctors could save my baby girl.  

there are moments in time where you realize your faith has to be real. I've always know that The Lord was faithful to provide and sovereign in his plans, but my pregnancy really put the reality of my beliefs to a test. there are so many unknows and so many situations that are completely out of your control, no matter how diligently you take your prenatal vitamins or how faithfully you follow the doctor's recommendations. 

thankfully, the Lord was sovereign and gracious to provide us with a 5lb 14oz, 17.5in, healthy, wiggly, beautiful baby girl. she just wanted to make sure her entrance into the world was a memorable one. :)  

and that is the story of how our perfect Emma Grace joined our family. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Emma Grace: One Month

and just like that, our baby girl is one month old.

sleep has been replaced with snuggles and diaper changes, and my target gift cards are spent on diapers and pacifiers instead of cute shoes and maxi dresses.  i'm not complaining though...she's pretty darn adorable. even at 2 and 3 and 4 am...

Monday, July 28, 2014

the raider diaries: an adjustment period

before baby girl joined us, raider ruled our house.  we went on long walks almost every day, played in the backyard, and practiced our snuggle buddy skills.

i think my family might have questioned my parenting abilities based upon the way i handled raider.  he was pretty spoiled and got away with anything.  most of their "checking in" questions include "so how is raider handling the new addition?" not gonna lie, it's been an adjustment, but we're trying our best to  make sure he doesn't feel the need to pull a lady and run away to make a new best friend.

raider is showing his slow growing approval by crashing my late-night slumber parties with baby girl. he loves snuggling up right next to us on the couch. sometimes he accidently sits on baby girls face, but we're working on that....

he is definitely still my best buddy, we're just learning to share time with our newest addition.  i have a pretty good feeling about their future relationship.  i even caught raider giving baby girl her first kiss the other morning.  they're best buddies in the making, I just know it.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

baby girl's nursery

when i started thinking about decorating emma grace's nursery, i realized that honestly, her nursery is really for me. other than looking through photos, she would have no recollection of the adorable crib skirt and bedding i picked out for her.  i started thinking of the things that were important to me (especially during 3 am feedings...) and i decided i wanted it to be calm, happy, and comfortable.  
bub-hub gave me a camera strap last christmas that had the most beautiful floral pattern on it and i just became obsessed. after searching the internet and calling hundreds of fabric stores, i found the amy butler fabric and started buying up as much as i could find.  i loved the bright colors and i thought the balance of pinks and blues and bright greens were just perfect. 

we painted the walls the calmest shade of pink we could find, and filled the room with white furniture and accents to keep the focus on the fun colors in her bedding. 

i also tried really hard to stick to our budget.  pinterest and etsy are fabulous dangerous places, but after many pro/con/do i really need the crystal chandelier conversations with myself (and bub-hub...), i chose the things that were most important to me.  i knew i wanted to do a hoop wall collage, and have a few elements for her name.  but i also knew that I would probably want to add things later on as she grew up and we started making family memories together. 

i'm pretty sure baby girl loves her least, she loves having her diaper changed on her changing table! :)  

crib - pottery barn kids
lamp, night stand, dresser/changing table - ikea
quilt and crib sheet - shelly akerly
crib skirt - caden lane, etsy
photos by sarah carpenter photography

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

baby bump and baby beats

emma grace and i are officially in the home stretch. don't get me wrong, i love having a little buddy with me all day every day, dancing and wiggling around like a fool. pretty positive she's got some baby beats on and is practicing for her audition for step up 6...

i'm just ready to see her little face!

now that the end is in sight, everything is becoming so much more real. for the longest time, her arrival felt forever away. but now that we've crossed into the less than one month mark, we feel a definite sense of expectation and excitement. it's been so much fun getting her room ready, putting together her furniture (well fun for me to watch bub-hub at least...) and hanging up all of her tiny little clothes.

i've really been loving our family time and have been enjoying this season of stillness and calm. i'm so guilty of being a busy-bee and a multi-tasker, but lately, i've been trying so hard to sit still and soak in every minute we have left as a family of two.  i really think my level of exhaustion is a real blessing from the Lord to teach me to step back and let go.  i'm just tired enough to need to sit and do nothing, but not too tired to spend time hanging out with bub-hub and raider.

now the real test will be to see if i'm still feeling calm and relaxed a week from now. :)

Monday, May 19, 2014

two years down, forever and ever to go.

our second year of marriage was full of new things and big grown up decisions. 
we moved to a new city, into a new apartment,
and then into a our first real home.
we found out our sweet baby girl would be joining our family.
we started new jobs and took on new responsibilities,
joined a new church and met new friends.

two years ago, i said "i do" to a beautiful life with my best friend.
i can barely wait to see what this next year will bring.
happy anniversary bub-hub.
you're the bomb[dot]com.

Monday, May 12, 2014

life lately: homeownership

since apparently the whole becoming parents thing wasn't a big enough life change for us, we decided to add home-ownership to our list of responsibilities.  after months of searching and making offers and searching some more, we finally found our perfect little house. God is so good and provided the perfect place at the absolute perfect time.  we are in the process of packing (again...) and painting and planning projects, and I just can't even wait to move in!


bub hub
has discovered his secret painting talent. #edgingexpert
is a master at unloading the washing machine now that the prego-belly is getting in the way.
won the best husband award for bringing home frozen and letting it be our packing party background music.

has been a perfect walking companion, even now that mama's had to slow her roll a little more than usual.
is mastering the doggy door at the new house. #professionalpup
shows his love and excitement for emma grace by pouncing on mama's belly every time she's on the couch.

sarah grace
is still pregnant with only 8 (insert long or short here depending on the hour...) weeks to go!
is a terribly painting assistant and not so great with keeping paint off the floors.
is taking naps and sleeping in every chance

emma grace
is growing bigger every day and wiggling up a storm.
finally has a least a room that will be decorated sometime in the near-ish future...
is already loved more deeply than a mama could ever hope and dream.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

life lately

life just seems to be speeding by, which is good and a little bit not so good. good because tax busy season is over and we have bub-hub back (notice how he's missing from every single photo...oops...) and a little bit not so good because i'm realizing how unprepared we are for baby girl's arrival. that's what prayer and family are for right?


has a love/hate relationship with the mavericks.
somehow talked sg to watch sherlock, and now they are both hooked
has officially dominated tax season and life has returned to normal-ish once again.

won't stop drinking water out of the toilet.
has designated the closet as the most comfy location for a nap.
has completely forgotten his leash-walking-manners. #rebelliousphase

sarah grace
is getting used to her ever growing baby bump and puffy cheeks.
loves using sweet baby girl as an excuse for chipotle and fro-yo.
can't quite cope with season three of scandal being over already.

emma grace
is 28 weeks old and the size of an eggplant.
has a growing collection of the most adorable wardrobe, ruffles included.
is completely worth every backache she's giving her mama.

Monday, March 24, 2014

life lately


bub hub
has been inching his way closer and closer to the tax deadline.
is love march madness.
is an expert curtain rod and picture frame hanger-upper.

has spring fever.
is glad all his toys made it to the new apartment safely during the move.
loves his recently rediscovered rope toy.

sarah grace
is obsessed with her pre-natal barre workout dvds.
loves getting to wear comfy cozy clothes all the time, even to work.
has been rocking her grocery budget goals, but not so much her fun, shopping ones.

baby emma
is already 25 weeks old.
is swimming around and kicking up a storm, especially when we were at the mavs game!
can't get enough frozen yogurt, topped with almonds and m&ms and blueberries.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

twenty five and i'm feeling good!

last week, i turned twenty-five. ahhhhhhhh!
i spent the day being spoiled by my sweet bub-hub, and the rest of the week/weekend being spoiled by friends and family.
twenty-five is a pretty big life stage.

bub-hub's family has this fantastic birthday tradition that involves the birthday-ee choosing all of the meals for the day. when we got married, i made sure to inherit this tradition.

we splurged on donuts for breakfast, chick fil a for lunch, and chipotle for dinner with fro-yo for dessert. the next day, we had a yummy family birthday dinner at sfuzzi's! and of course, lots and lots of red velvet birthday cake!

i think twenty-five is definitely my favorite age so far, and i have a feeling it's going to be my best year yet!

what birthday is your favorite?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

pregostyle // feeling stripey

i'm definitely not a fashion blogger, and i definitely wouldn't consider myself a fashionista, but i do appreciate fun clothes! and if i'm being completely honestly, i've been struggling with learning how to dress this sweet little baby bump of mine. so when i feel like i hit a win, i'm going to celebrate it by getting out of my comfort zone and snapping some selfies.

darcy swing tunic from anthropologie // love the structure of this shirt. it's fitted on top and flowy where it needs to be. i love that it's long enough to be worn with leggings or jeans, and that it can easily transition from a casual to cute. also, since this isn't a maternity top, i'll be able to wear it after baby arrives. yay for multipurpose-pieces!

black skinny maternity jeans from gap // i love leggings as much as the next girl, but some days, i just need a little bit more structure. these are really comfortable and have just enough structure to make me feel productive. plus i found them on final clearance. #forthewin

nude patent flats from target // let's be real. i own these in about half a dozen shades.

hampton necklace from crave jewels // i won this little beauty in a giveaway a few months back. she probably thought i was a stalker because i entered EVERY giveaway she was doing, but it paid off and i eventually won! :) a little miracle worker to help perk up an outfit.

p.s. let's be instafriends please and thank you! :) @mrschastain_gmd

instagram // etsy // pinterest // twitter

Thursday, February 27, 2014

if baby chastain is a girl...

we are only a few days away from baby chastain's gender reveal. i can't wait to share the news with our family and friends. it's been so fun sharing the secret with bub-hub over the last few weeks, but i think if we have to wait any longer, we might just burst!

if baby chastain is a girl...

i would fill her room with lovely watercolors.
the wheat field // etsy
i would find her fun toys to plan her first tea party,
birdtoast // etsy
and stick her in all sorts of adorable tutus.
Shabby Chic Creationz //  Emilyz Embellishments
i can't wait until we get to share with my friends and family! :)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

if baby chastain is a boy....

if baby chastain is a boy, i would want to fill his room with adventure.

100 layer cakelett

i would definitely fill his closet with little cardigan onesies and bow ties.

the barber shoppe // etsy

and i would love to fill his walls with scriptures full of strength and love and boldness.

maidservant of encouragement // naptime diaries
only a few more days of waiting!

Monday, February 24, 2014

i'm perfect for this job, oh, and i'm pregnant.

it seems little strange to say it, but i think the hardest part of my pregnancy to date has been telling my new employer about baby.

after a lot of prayer, here's how my "telling the boss" situation went down.

i started my job hunt in january, and began interviewing when i was about 12 weeks pregnant. as i went into the different offices, i tried to put feelers out for any hints of "family-friendly-culture" and get an idea of what the job structure and schedule would really be like. 

after a lot of prayer and reading a lot of articles, i knew i wanted my interviews to be focused on my job skills and my professional capabilities, not my pregnancy. bub-hub and i decided that if i felt the appropriate time came up in my second round of interviews, i would share my news with them. as much as i wanted the job, i wanted to be upfront and honest. thinking ahead to the doctors appointments and other situations i would need flexibility for, i wanted assurance that my workplace would be a supportive environment.

my first round of interviews (for my final position) couldn't have gone better. i met with three different women from three departments. each of them had fantastic personalities and i just knew it would be a great work environment. immediately after i left, i felt a wave of anxiety hit me. i was so nervous to see if they would call me back for a second round.

soon after, i received a call from the recruiter with an offer. uhhhhh say what? nuts. a total gift from the LORD. after talking to the recruiter about a few job details, i decided that i needed to tell her. she told me not to worry at all, that pregnancy is an exciting part of life, and it is not something to cause stress. she encouraged me to give it a few weeks and establish myself within my position and then, once i felt comfortable, reach out to my co-workers.

and that's what i did.

i started my position 16 weeks pregnant and disclosed my pregnancy at 20 weeks. i was blessed with a reasonably small bump, which gave me a little more time than some. the extra few weeks gave me a chance to get to know my co-workers and feel more comfortable sharing my news with them.

i understand that each and every situation is different. not everyone has an understanding work environment. not everyone has strong, working moms in leadership roles within their office. luckily, the LORD provided me with both. although not ideal timing, interviewing while pregnant does happen, and after reading dozens of articles and blogs, i realized that each and every situation is unique. cue the signature pregnancy situation answer...

overall, i think the best piece of advice i read was to make sure the interview remained focus on your job skills. if you're a hard worker, and you have the skills and abilities to do the job well, you can't lose.

what have you had to overcome in the interview process? and interviewing advice tips?

Monday, February 17, 2014

life lately

is studying for his next certification test.
is hooked on chuck and (i think) secretly training to become a spy for the CIA.
handles tax returns like a champ.

sarah grace
is enjoying her new job, especially all of the office birthday cakes & treats.
feels optimistic about the forecast this coming week. bring it on 70*!
can't get the songs from frozen out of her head and doesn't hate it.

loves the outside but is hating the cold.
can't get enough greenies.
has perfected his "please give me crumbs" look.

baby chastain
is twenty weeks old.
is the size of an heirloom tomato and growing more and more every day.
has a fantastic love for chipotle and girl scout cookies.

lately, life has been really busy, but so full of fun and celebration. we are so very blessed and are just soaking in every minute we have together in this season of life.

what have you been up to lately?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

budgeting isn't a dirty word.

i have a strange relationship with money. i feel uncomfortable talking about it. i try not to think about it. and i really don't like when people tell me what to do with it. but i love target. as long as i have a basic understanding about what's going on in my accounts, i'm happy.

doesn't this make me a perfect fit for my financial planner husband? just like gourmet peanut butter and 99cent store jelly.

with all of our grown up decisions coming up in the next year, i have definitely been trying to get over my awkwardness. babies are expensive, buying a house is expensive, buying a new car to keep baby safe is expensive. so we're starting to stick to our budget. for real this time...

we started taking the dave ramsey "financial peace university" course, and so far, i've been learning a lot. one of the main themes that has been sticking with me is that it all comes down to my attitude and my motives. what do i truly value and why do i value it?

i've been trying to get over my little issue, not only to work on my personal contentment and lower my need for more stuff, but to support bub-hub as he tries to lead our family. being the road block speed bump in his plans gets a little old after a while. if only i could learn to love and appreciate the word budget as much as he does.

here are a few things i've been trying lately:
*click unsubscribe on all of my daily shopping emails // in my current pregnant state, i may not be able to wear the cute spring clothes, but that doesn't mean i can't indulge in accessories and shoes! cutting out that daily temptation definitely helps decrease the number of "but it's so cute!" thoughts i have each day.

*subscribe to budget-focused lifestyle blogs for tips and encouragement // i really enjoy reading about individuals and families who work hard and succeed. it's so inspiring to me and i feel encouraged knowing that if they can do it, so can i.

*apply the 24 hour rule // if you love something in the store, or think you really need something, give it 24 hours and see if you still love it as much as you did before. my mom taught me this in high school, and usually, i completely forget about it, so it seems to be a pretty good trick!

*shop on the weekends and with a budget-buddy // my budget buddy is bub-hub. and i'm not gonna lie, i thoroughly dislike shopping with him. this is really hard for me, but i definitely make better choices when he's with me.

am i the only one who's awkward about money?
any tips for staying on a budget?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

grown up gifting: girls night in

i think giving gifts might be one of my favorite things. i love coming up with a unique or special thing for one person. and when my sister-in-law turned 21, i knew just what i wanted to get her.

a grown up "girls-night-in" kit! after i came up with the idea, i began floating walking around target dreaming of what a perfect night in would consist of, and this is what i came up with.

here are the ingredients for a perfect girls night in:

one // a fabulous movie. preferably from 1980 starring molly ringwald or john cusack. i chose pretty in pink. everything's duckie edition. duh. say anything came in close second.
two // box of wine. or a bottle. or a carafe. your choice.
three // chocolate.
four // nail polish! mani are a girls night must.
five // fuzzy socks. the whole point of a girls night in is to wear comfy clothes right? or am i the only lazy one out there?
six // cute straws. for your wine.

what must-haves did i leave out?

Friday, January 31, 2014

high five for friday! // january 31

happy friday!

the cold weather this week had me stuck inside a little more than i'd like, but it definitely helped with my productivity. if only i could make it through the day without taking a nap, or thinking about how badly i want to take a nap…

one. i recently downloaded lightroom, and i've been trying to get my brain wrapped around it. i know everyone says is so simple to use, but i'm not gonna lie, i'm pretty intimidated. but i bet all the free tutorials i've been finding online will make me a pro in no time!

two. i've started my first project life album. i got one for our family and one for baby! i'm obsessed. i can't wait to share more layouts and pages as i figure it out.

three. raider and i have been training for the color run. after not being able to run for four months, it's been quite the task getting back in the swing of things, but it's great to have a running buddy! even if he doesn't quite know what he's getting himself in to.

four. bub-hub and i took our first expecting parents class last weekend. i didn't think it would be possible to feel more prepared and less prepared at the exact same time, but that's where we are! i feel so encouraged knowing we have such a supportive church body. and know i have a list of things to figure out. but at least i have a list now! :)

five. is it wrong to blame my addiction to thin mints on baby? i'm the worst future mom.

how was your week? have you given in to the girl scouts yet?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

disney family vacation: epcot

epcot is such a fun place and so full of experiences. we met so many characters including mickey and his gang. we also found alice & mary poppins in london and even aladdin and jasmine in morocco!  

going through each of the countries was the best.  we took a stop in norway to see the scenery that inspired frozen, and chased down the three amigos in mexico. and did i mention the tour of colonial USA?

i loved seeing the different styles of building, hearing the different accents and languages, and trying the yummy new food!  although, i'm not sure if croissants and creme brûlée in france and pizza from italy really count as stepping out of my comfort zone!

we also had a blast trying out the new test track ride, talking to bruce the shark, and experiencing mission space. 

walking log: 11.1 miles
favorite memory: dinner in italy was my favorite meal of the trip. i also really loved getting to see the behind the scenes inspiration for the movie frozen in norway! 

Friday, January 24, 2014

disney family vacation: animal kingdom

after our day at hollywood studios, the next park to conquer was animal kingdom.

we found the yeti on mount everest, experienced life as a bug underneath the tree of life, and even rescued a dinosaur! animal kingdom also has the most wonderful shows: the lion king and finding nemo.

we also had the chance to try african food for dinner.  disney is a great place to branch out of your comfort zone and try new things.

throughout the day, we found several friends for photo ops! the best moment of the day was when doug (the puppy from up) played charades with bub-hub to tell him he was friends with reveille (the texas a&m mascot)! grantham also taught pooh to "sic 'em bears".

i didn't want to leave.  our day at the animal kingdom was definitely my favorite.

walking log: 8.4 miles
favorite memory: even though the safari was probably my favorite ride, but by far, i loved the scenery the most. walking from region to region was amazing, and i definitely felt like i was being transported to another land.