Being June's Mom | Month 10 Update

It feels so good to reach ten months of little June. I think back to a year ago, when we had one of our worst ultrasound appointments, and everything seemed impossible. I literally could not even fathom what it would be like to have my baby make it to this age.

(If you're just reading my June posts for the first time, this is a really bad place to start. Go to the beginning and work your way from the start of my pregnancy to now. (June and Pregnancy) Maybe I need to make an organized list...I'm not sure how easy it would be to scroll to the oldest post and work forward. Good luck. Ha!)

IMG_1462.JPG

I have grown a lot as a mom in the last month. I FINALLY feel like I can do dishes, keep up with laundry, feed my baby, and watch her, all while I'm home alone.  Up until recently, I was relying on the times my mom would come over and help with those things. I must say, it feels good to figure this part out and have some balance again. And please know, I am not saying my house is clean all the time. Right now, it resembles the aftermath of a tornado with several piles of clean clothes thrown in. 

We just celebrated Father's Day. I'm thankful for Cal and the amazing dad he is for June. She definitely deserves a good, strong set of parents...and he holds up his end of the deal. He is kind, caring, supportive, patient. He doesn't complain when June and I hog the entire bed. I could not do all this without him. Becoming a parent to a baby with extra needs never, ever crossed my mind. Like, in a thousand years, I would not have thought this would be my life. Fortunately, Cal has taken my hand so we can face this together.

IMG_1491.JPG

I hesitated to even share this post. I deleted it several times. I NEVER want anyone to think I'm complaining about June, taking her for granted, or seeking an internet pity party. Those things are dishonoring to God and my family.

I don't know what it's like to struggle to get pregnant. I don't know what it's like to have a miscarriage. But I do know what it's like to see the dozens upon dozens of healthy babies scroll through my newsfeed and know that will not be our experience. I am thankful for June. She has made me better. Her limitations make her even more precious to me. But there is a part of me, the selfish part, that wishes she would be able to go to ballet classes one day, to go to school and make friends, to go to the prom, to get in trouble with her besties, to get married. June doesn't want those things. I do. June won't miss those things. I will. What's important to June is that her daddy and I are here for her. And I can't fault people for being proud of their little ones. I share my girl because I'm proud of her and they are merely doing the same.

So, just as you probably shouldn't ask young couples when they're going to start poppin' out some kids, you might not want to ask when I'm having another. It also applies to asking about June's specific medical issues. I am grateful for the privacy most people have given us. You may think it's strange we don't share more openly about her condition...sorry, not sorry. If I can be frank, it's none of anyone's business. It is still bizarre to me that I am able to share as openly as I do. I much rather be a hermit and keep these thoughts inside my head, but I share to educate. I share to help other people understand what is and what is not okay to say. And in the same fashion as my pregnancy blog posts, I've probably scared some of you from even talking to me in real life. 

People have asked how they can pray for us. You can pray for my everyday strength. You can pray for June to remain as healthy as possible. You can also pray for the kindly people on the other end of the phone when I call about medical bills. They always seem to not know what hit them. ;)

In all seriousness, each day is more amazing and more difficult than the one before. I tell Juney about 400 times a week that she is my best friend. We were meant to be together and the greatest honor of my entire life is being able to care for her. I know Cal would say the same.

Cassi & Mike | Big Spring Farm | Wedding Day Recap

I am having a difficult time finding words for this past weekend. It was a dream. Cassi contacted me just a few months ago. She had been on the fence about hiring a wedding coordinator and decided it was something she needed. I am SO glad she gave me the chance to be that person for her. Between Mike's humor and her infectious  laughs, I felt so happy being around them. Their love and energy is contagious! They met attending college at West Virginia, and boy, did their wedding party and guests have some WVA pride!! Everyone traveled from afar, so this was my first true destination wedding. I won't forget the adorable accents anytime soon! ;)

I have to thank the amazing team of vendors for bringing their A games. I'll be sure to share all of them when the professional pictures come in from Megan of Wild and Wonderful Photography! 

And finally, to my wonderful friend, Johanna. Thank you for coming all the way to Lexington to assist me. You were a lifesaver! 

And now, please enjoy some iPhone snaps from yours truly.  

IMG_1387.JPG
Don't you love this beauty by Courtney Inghram!?!?

Don't you love this beauty by Courtney Inghram!?!?

IMG_1395.JPG
Cassi and Mike did a hand plaster mold as their unity ceremony. Probably the coolest ceremony idea of all time! Instead of doing a First Look, they wore blindfolds and did the first step in the process. Then, during the ceremony, they mixed the plaster and poured it into the cast. It was adorable!  

Cassi and Mike did a hand plaster mold as their unity ceremony. Probably the coolest ceremony idea of all time! Instead of doing a First Look, they wore blindfolds and did the first step in the process. Then, during the ceremony, they mixed the plaster and poured it into the cast. It was adorable!  

The ring bearer stole the show, of course! 

The ring bearer stole the show, of course! 

IMG_1408.JPG
They branded table numbers into a tree Cassi's dad cut himself. 

They branded table numbers into a tree Cassi's dad cut himself. 

IMG_1391.JPG
This cake was super delicious! 

This cake was super delicious! 

Cassi wanted pictures in this specific spot and she was going to get them. She hiked up her dress, climbed over the wire line, and balanced herself on that rock. The pictures from Megan O'dell are going to knock your socks off!

Cassi wanted pictures in this specific spot and she was going to get them. She hiked up her dress, climbed over the wire line, and balanced herself on that rock. The pictures from Megan O'dell are going to knock your socks off!

Another favorite moment! Cassi and Mike branded a W into a tree cutting. I LOVED this! Maybe I can convince them to turn it upside down and make me a M for my house. Haha! 

Another favorite moment! Cassi and Mike branded a W into a tree cutting. I LOVED this! Maybe I can convince them to turn it upside down and make me a M for my house. Haha! 

IMG_1436.JPG

Of course, I ended the night with my sweetie under a beautiful sunset...

my sweetie = this cake

my sweetie = this cake

IMG_1406.JPG

Thank you both for being so wonderful throughout this entire process. I'm so excited for you to start this next chapter of life together.

Stay tuned for the professional pictures from Wild and Wonderful Photography! 

Being June's Mom | 9 Month Update

I'm holding a sleeping June as I write this. She is snoring the cutest little snore ever. I look down at her sweet little face and can't believe how much I love her.  

The past month has been incredibly busy and somewhat difficult. Just two days after my last post, June went to see her GI doctor and we ended up staying 2 nights at CHKD, where they placed a NG tube. Long story short, June needs a little help getting enough calories for her to keep gaining weight. We don't really mind the tube and neither does she. I never thought I'd be playing nurse, but here I am, almost a feeding tube expert after just one month. 

Then, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, Cal and I had to call 911 when a scary situation popped up. We both stayed extremely calm, and honestly, the only thing I could think about as I talked to the dispatcher was "the neighbors will see the whole emergency parade pull up to our house." Haha! In all seriousness, I was mainly focused on June and prayed that she would be okay. I thought for a moment she would not make it to my very first Mother's Day. Fortunately, she was alright and I was only scared for a couple of minutes. After 2 more nights at CHKD, we came home and she has been peachy keen ever since. 

Aside from hospitals and doctors, June has been living the good life. She smiles constantly and gets waaaay too may snuggles. She is the definition of spoiled, but I am not bothered by it at all. She brightens our days and is the best baby.  

I am starting to think about her first birthday and her party, but then I find myself in denial and move onto something else. Time has whizzed by faster than I ever thought possible. We continue to pray for June and her future troubles, bit we are also learning to enjoy each and every moment. I will admit that I struggle to savor the tough days, but I remind myself that even bad days are better than the alternative we were given. She is my little sunshine and I could not imagine her being any cuter or sweeter, even when she's screaming like a banshee. ;)

I want to remind you to look around and be thankful for the things you have, not mourn the things you don't. I have spent a huge chunk of her life being sad about "what might have been" for our sweet girl, but I was robbing myself of her beauty. It was a disservice to my daughter to wish she were different. I'm not sure how I learned that lesson so quickly, but I'm glad I did!

IMG_1043.JPG

Hey, Bride! Be Kind on Your Wedding Day

Be kind to your bridesmaids. They spent a lot of money and time to fulfill their duties.  

Be kind to your parents. They have been dreaming about this day since you were a little girl.  

Be kind to the venue coordinator. She works almost every weekend between April and October, often going unnoticed by everyone.

Be kind to your caterer. Having the biggest workload of the day is never easy, though, I know a few who make it look that way.  

Be kind to the person who does your hair. After all, he or she has a lot of power over what you look like. ;)

Be kind to your photographer. If you really understood what it takes for her to capture those "unforgettable" moments, you wouldn't complain if they slip out to take a brief break during dinner.  

Be kind to your planner/coordinator. Trust that she has your best interest at heart.  

Be kind to your groom. Most guys won't be as enthusiastic about dressing up and parading around in front of 100+ people. He's trying his best for you. 

And most importantly, be kind to yourself. Grant yourself some grace. All of the time and effort you have put into your dream day will finally come to fruition. If things don't go exactly as planned, allow yourself to relax and enjoy. You are marrying the man of your dreams!

IMG_0951.JPG

Photo: Ashley with Sharon Elizabeth Photography

About Sterling | Guest Post: Kelsey Fernandez | Wedding Assistant

Hey everyone!

This is Kelsey, speaking! I'm sure some of you have seen my name sprinkled into Sterling's blog posts. I like to think of myself as Sterling's trusty assistant.  I wanted to write this blog to take some time to write about Sterling. I know she won’t brag on herself, so I want to do it for her.

I've known Sterling for about 5 or 6 years. We worked together at Ruth’s Chris, along with our husbands. Those good ‘ol nights at the host stand were always fun when I had Sterling there to save my sanity! It was always so worth it to make that trip into work when I knew Sterling’s bright and shiny face would be there with me. We become fast friends. I like to think of that as great minds think alike, so they have to be friends, right? We both parted from good ‘ol Ruth and did other things, but we still kept in touch from time to time. When Sterling started doing weddings, I would click through her Facebook and be in awe of the job she did. Secretly, I’ve always wanted to be a wedding planner, but never thought I would ever get the chance. My field of work for my day job is so far off from wedding planning! About a year and a half ago, I texted Sterling to see if she would ever need any help on wedding days. I didn’t really think she’d want my help since the only wedding I’ve ever planned was my own…. that counts right? Sterling being the gem that she is, graciously allowed me to tag along to a few weddings with her. That first wedding at The Women’s Club of Portsmouth, I saw Sterling in action. She whizzed around, making everything look so easy, AND she was pregnant! Come on people!

2E66EC02-A3D0-41C7-82EA-5E5B1D537B23.JPG

As everyone knows from blog posts or knowing Sterling and Cal personally, they did not have the easiest pregnancy. Every time I talked to Sterling or was texting with her, she was so full of faith and hope. I admire that so much about her. Even in dark times, she finds the sunshine and makes the world shine brightly. When June arrived, I saw a different side of Sterling. She has this glow about her, which I know most new moms have. Hers was different. She kept her faith and hope during her long journey and then was just so happy when she got to hold sweet baby June! If anyone follows Sterling on social media, which I’m assuming most of you do, since you’re reading this, you’ll notice the daily trials and tribulations that Sterling and her family face. I have never once seen Sterling with a frown. Not once. Most of us complain about the littlest things, myself included, but Sterling doesn’t. She still has that glow of hope, faith, and love. Let me tell you, it is infectious! Sterling makes me want to be a better person, in every aspect of life. She also puts everything into her business to make a wedding day so special for her brides. She has some pretty awesome brides and they all adore her! Being with Sterling on wedding days is always so much fun…because cake….and because seeing her work is magical!

Overall, I just wanted Sterling to know just how special she really is. This is my second season with her and I’m so grateful that she wanted me back! I know a lot of you know Sterling and how amazing she is! I just wanted to take some time to shed some light on the lady behind Sterling Dawn Events! :)

Cheers to a successful wedding season!

IMG_0751.PNG