Mollie arrived to us on July 6, 2010 at 10:42 AM. She weighed in at 6 lbs, 6 oz and 19 inches long!
We could not be more in love and can already see the start of our little family blooming!
Thanks for your continued love and support ~Leigh Ann, Matt & Mollie

Monday, March 29, 2010

Inspirational Women

One of the most memorable moments of my wedding day, other than marrying my best friend of course, was looking around the room at ALL of the people whom I love dearly and who love Matt and I back enough to support us on that amazing day...that love and support was overwhelming in a wonderful way!

The feeling was somewhat similar as my Center for Women co-workers threw me a super sweet baby shower a few nights ago. These 20+ guests took turns around the room saying how they knew me, maybe an impression I made on them or something about me in general. All comments were so very dear and loving, that I looked around the room, again wonderfully overwhelmed!

This has been my first job since college and these women have become my extended family..especially since my sisters and parents live in Alabama. I've said it before and sure I'll say it again & again, but I am so grateful to have these inspirational women in my life. I knew all of them through work in one capacity or another, but we have reached a greater level with each other than just colleagues. Mollie has NO IDEA what is coming her way..I can't wait for some of these women to be in her life and show her what REAL role models are, not the television or pop star kind.We all know better than that..hopefully!

Thank you friends and colleagues for such a wonderful time and a night I will never forget!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Me? Slow down?!

All of this fantastic energy that I feel blessed to have sure does have it's downfalls. I don't know when to stop sometimes until I am BEAT! I did experience common fatigue in the early weeks of pregnancy, something like I have NEVER felt before & hard to explain to those who have yet to feel it, but since I got past that stage I have felt amazing!!

The problem with this much energy and feeling 'normal' is that at times I forget I am as pregnant as I am. Still no real big belly, but now that I am a week away from the 3rd trimester, I need to start taking that into consideration and slowing down a bit. I want to be myself and energetic, but at the same time, need to know when to say no to some things or  just take some breaks between activities & recognize my boundaries.

We had a wonderful few days this past weekend! Friday night my sister, Jane, was in town and we attended Charleston Fashion Week. So fun, but I've yet to be 'out on the town' later than 8pm (ha!) and in heels for a while.

The next day Matt and I were up bright & early to make Lowe's and Home Dept runs, do yard/patio work and plant our veggie/herb garden for the year. I always underestimate the time all of that takes, and energy, to say the least. We both love doing it so at the time it's wonderful--at 6 months pregnant your body starts to not feel the same after multiple hours of manual labor. Sunday was no different...back out in the yard for the morning before we got caught in the rain. Sunday night and Monday I was paying for the weekend fun and hard work. - Yayyy new patio and roof! Cannot wait to enjoy summertime out there:)

I am trying to still act like and perform my usual hobbies and duties as before, yet the difference now is that I am growing a little girl inside of me! As I approach week 27, I can feel myself slowing a bit naturally, so I guess that's God & Mother Nature's way of helping me make that choice:) I hope I continue to feel as good as I have in these many weeks prior, just need to take it a bit more easy some days, as to not wear myself down. I really don't want to change my ways, but at the same time, I already feel I'd do anything in the world for it a BIT slower, I will:)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Nesting or just a planner?

I recently received a surprise gift in the mail from my friend and author, Stacey Crew. Her book is titled The Organized Mom. Of course, I started reading it that night!

It is truly fantastic..not only does it discuss new baby needs and to-dos, but other house organization techniques room by room, as well. There is a entire section on storage and what goes where i.e. hall closet, guest closet, kitchen cabinets, etc. This is always a battle in any household and it feels so good to have pointers written down!

I have had a multiple days (& late nights) where I have been in total organization mode- I am led to believe it's nesting, but really think it's a bit of me thinking 'Ok, so we're going to have a new family member in this house in less than 100 days and I want to get all this done NOW, not later.' I have gone on total organization overdrive when I was not pregnant...this is nothing new, but the new part is that now I'm doing it for someone else, in addition to me & Matt:)

 After spending some time a while back with my mom washing new baby clothes and organizing them by size/season, I realized there is a still a ton to do for me to feel prepared and organized. Stacey's book has helped me find my starting points and make them manageable. In addition to a new baby, there is just a TON of stuff that will come with that lil peanut & I am quite sure I don't know the half of it! One suggestion was to use an over-the-door shoe holder to store those little baby items and just another place for storage. So happy I have a ton more space, but so far in designated pockets (that have yet to be labeled, but will be!) I have washcloths, bibs, pacifiers, extra socks, and of course some cute, tiny shoes and room for more as any girl would have it!

I came to the kitchen basics section in the book on Saturday that discussed the bottles, nipples, pacifiers, etc and where one should keep all of that. Hmm good question. Hint: near the sink and dishwasher. Sunday, after returning from the grocery store with more stuff, I got in de-clutter mode. Matt and I pulled everything out of our (huge) pantry and started over. Some things got tossed, but mostly things got a permanent home for them that made sense. For example, all canned goods went onto 2 shelves sorted by use/item and that freed up our entire lazy susan next to the sink and dishwasher for baby goods! I didn't even know that much  room existed until I really spent some time sorting.  The new found space is great, but grouping all like items together really makes you see what you have & what you need to stock up on when it goes on sale. Not to mention you'll be that much more inclined to use it!*Any great recipes using canned creamed corn anyone- Why do I have 4 cans?!

If you or I do want to think of this as nesting, then bring it on! With 3 months to go until Mollie arrives, who knows what's next on the agenda! If not nesting, then I just welcome this kind of organized chaos in our house anytime it wants to rear it's lovely head:)

Friday, March 12, 2010

She has a name!!!

Who knew a name could be so hard?! This Lil G finally has let the monograms, etc begin:) Matt and I are excited to share with you, Mollie Bess Garrett.

“Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.” --Robert H. Schuller

Even though this quote has more of a negative spin than what we have been feeling of course, when I read it, it made sense. I got so flustered with not easily deciding on names we had tossed around, but really, all we needed to do was 'Wait. Be patient...The spring will come.' We had a few good names chosen and in the end, we came full circle with the first full name we ever had discussed. Guess that is meant to be. Funny how that works out, huh?!

We both love Mollie and then Bess is Matt's moms maiden name & so precious we think.While she was once an 'it' then a 'she' now 'Mollie,' it feels more complete. We can't wait to meet her and see what unimaginable joy this little girl is bringing our way!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

On a shopping mission!

Last night, my friend Nicole (due in April) and I bravely faced a mass of women shoppers..pregnant-hormonal women at that! It was our 'Charleston Repeats' children's seasonal consignment sale. We didn't quite know what to expect other than hearing things from other moms who have gone and reading info from website.
*One thing that scared me was their suggestion to bring a laundry basket with a belt tied to it to drag behind you. Nice concept, yes, but when you walk into those more than once in a tight space or have them hit your ankles it's not so pleasant. We just went with the shopping bags and it worked out fine!

The first-time moms event was from 7-10pm. She had the great mind to arrive early and get in line, which I know helped us. As we were leaving, the check out line had wrapped the ENTIRE circumference of the room. Probably at least an hour+ wait in line. No thank you. With any shopping trip, you should always be prepared and have at least a short list of what you are looking for. We did have a list and I honestly think we didn't get 1 thing on it! haha..figures, but at least we looked! I'm not kidding when I say they had a little of EVERYTHING (as you can see below & that's only about 1/6 of the room).

I am ALL about a good deal and will say that I am pretty darn good at finding one. I had priced out a few things beforehand, as far as retail and resale value goes. I was impressed with a few prices there, but not overall. My heart still belongs to Craigslist I least for larger, more specific items:)

 We each got out of there with a few great items, my favorites being Nicole's outdoor baby swing for $3 and my new bobby pillow with yes, a CUPCAKE cover for $6! Love it.

I look forward to attending this seasonal event in the fall and especially when children are 2+ years. They had some great outdoor things, bikes, toys, etc--but we are not going there yet. Soon enough:)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring Fever!!

I love love love the Spring..for so many reasons and this year even more reasons..
1) Lil G is right around the corner!
2) I am ready to be outside more at events/concerts/walking, etc
3) I am ready to wear my cute maternity clothes (i.e. dresses!!)

Spring brings along so many fresh, nice feelings in addition to nicer weather and beautiful flowers. And boy does our yard need some color and attention right about now! It also makes me crazy to do some home projects..I totally get that side of myself from my mom, no question, and luckily Matt is happy to join the chaos.

The in-laws come in town this weekend and with my family or Matt's family, we are always making sure we have some great projects for the moms/dads to do. They insist and we do NOT stand in their way! So, we have a few projects for baby room to do, for example, building the corner shelf that will hold Matt's new flatscreen tv and DirectTV box in there..I can't lie, I am going to LOVE having that in there come feeding and rocking time. I think we mostly love DirectTV's music channels & look forward to singing along to Lil G..whether she likes it or not, haha!

In addition to all these new expenses we'll start to incur like baby items, childcare, etc, we've decided to also move forward with our long-awaited porch renovation project- this Saturday! I think with Baby G coming and knowing we'll be spending more time at home now then out, we figured there's no better time than the present:) I also truly believe in investing in things that will make you happy in the long (or short) run and will make life more enjoyable. *We also hope of course this may add a touch of value to our house or at least recoup the costs, but if not, I KNOW it will become our second living room & for us, that is enough:) I can just see us now..Matt and I lounging with our feet up, food on the grill, drinks in hand and Lil G in her bassinet hanging out right next to us:)

P.S. Lil G name announcement coming next post!

Monday, March 1, 2010

In between stages- week 23

I think I am at this awkward or in-between stage of pregnancy..I mean, no big belly yet, no obvious bun in the oven (to others) and I'm still wearing 'regular' clothes for the most part (other than my beloved maternity jeans), yet I am 23 weeks along. YIPPEEE! I am so grateful I have felt this good for the majority of this time.

Although I may not look 23 weeks (whatever that is supposed to mean) parts of my body sure do feel like it and I'm trying my hardest to take good care of it. I am having difficulty sitting on hard or non cushy surfaces for more than a few minutes, I still get up to use the restroom multiple times a night, which then gets our cats up and it's all a circle! (I still have to remind myself that I am growing another person inside of me..sometimes I feel so good, that I forget, until she starts kicking up a storm!) Walking and doing a little yoga has greatly helped, but this freezing weather has not let me get out as much as I would like. But, tis March, so warmer weather must be around the bend..

I have also felt even a little guilty at times for NOT being bigger..I know that may sound crazy and I am thankful I'm not bigger than I am, but some of the looks or remarks I have gotten from other women have thrown me for a bit of a loop at times. The comments like 'You don't LOOK pregnant' seriously drive me nuts. This is not said in a warm, sweet tone, but rather a little bitter. How in the world am I supposed to control that, one and two, yes, I AM pregnant, thank you. As we reach this more than half way point you (or at least I have been) feeling a little self-conscious about my body anyways and it's reconfiguration, so I would prefer that you say 'You are looking great, keep it up' or something like that..It's been really interesting to feel what I have felt and I would never have thought it bothered me, but when your body is going through ALL these changes, the last thing you want is someone to seem critical.

I will state that, for the record, most everyone is very sweet and as any woman knows, our bodies handle everything differently, pregnancy included. I will also state that I still have 17 weeks to go until full-term, so there is PLENTY of room (time) for me to grow and get this baby girl to a wonderful, healthy weight and size!