Monday, March 25, 2013

Five years ago, around this very same time, we found out we were pregnant with Morgan Kate. It was the Saturday before Easter and I had been at a bridal shower and then running errands. I decided to pick up a pregnancy test on my way home, just for the heck of it. I brought it home, followed the directions and two minutes later our lives changed. Forever.

We had been trying to grow our family for almost two years. Two years to plan and dream and hope. Two years to think of what could be and what if. Two years to scream and cry and pull our hair out because it just wasn't happening. But then it did. And we were thrilled. Scared, but thrilled. 

I was a nervous wreck from the minute I saw two lines. 

It's kind of ironic, I never could see myself being nine months pregnant. I could see us with a baby, but I couldn't see myself at the end of a pregnancy. 

Despite those feelings, I still imagined that I would have countless doctor's appointments. 

I thought I would lose sleep because I couldn't find a comfortable spot to sleep. I lost sleep, but it wasn't because my belly got in the way.

I thought my ankles would swell and that my stomach would be forever covered with stretch marks. 

I thought I would get to post monthly pictures and updates of how my body was growing and changing.

I thought I would attend baby showers and we would play games that included measuring my baby bump. 

I thought I would get to help paint the nursery and set up our baby girl's furniture.

I thought I would have time to pack my hospital bag, not forgetting to include all the teeny, tiny, pink baby clothes. 

I thought Travis would be able to buy cigars, hold my hand, kiss our baby just minutes after her birth and then present her to our family.

I thought we would be able to take our little bundle of joy just days after her birth and begin our life together. 

We may have thought those things and expected those things, but, it didn't happen that way. 

My appointments stopped after 24 weeks. I lost sleep, but it was because I didn't know if my daughter, my Morgan Kate, would be okay. My ankles did swell, but only because I received massive amounts of fluid for a week straight. I never got any stretch marks and while that may seem like a dream come true, it wasn't. I'd take stretch marks any day over having to watch my baby fight for her life in the NICU. My monthly pictures and updates about being pregnant became daily updates about how our micro-preemie was growing and changing and fighting. I didn't get to paint the nursery or set up the furniture. There was no hospital bag or cigars. Trav wasn't able to hold my hand or kiss our baby girl. He wasn't even allowed to come in the operating room with me. And it would be 107 long days before we got to take home our precious baby girl. 

Today, five years later, strangers are shocked to know that Morgan Kate was once a one pound, twelve ounce baby girl. They can't believe that she was a 25 weeker and spent four months in the hospital. Some days, we even let ourselves forget those things. She has come such a long, long way and each and every day she amazes us. 

There are so many reasons we are where we are today. God above took care of us. People all over prayed for us. The wonderful staff at Baptist went above and beyond for MK and for us. We had amazing support from family and friends. 

And the March of Dimes conducted research that created medications that allowed our baby girl, with undeveloped lungs, to take her first breaths. It was because of the March of Dimes that MK was able to receive artificial surfactant. It's because of their research and their efforts and their fundraising that babies, premature and full term, have a fighting chance. 

Only 33 days left until March for Babies and 33 days left to donate to a wonderful cause! 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Team Morgan Kate T-shirts

Finished. I am finally finished. The design is complete and I have an official proof. Whewh!

I know I say this every year, but this shirt is my absolute favorite. The front includes MK's handwriting and her own illustration. Love, love, love. Since this year is our fifth year walking and the year of MK's fifth birthday, I included her birth footprints, like always, but also her five year footprints. 

If you are interested in ordering, please leave your order in the comment section or email me at . Be sure to leave the number you wish to order and sizes that you need. As in the past, price depends on the total number ordered. PLEASE know that the shirts will NOT be more than $10 and could be as low as $7.15. Price includes tax and a dollar donation to the March of Dimes. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sneak Peek.

I am almost finished with the t-shirt design for this year. Thank goodness, since there's only 45 days left until the walk. Yikes.

It may not be obvious to anyone else other than my husband, but I tend to stress a little about the design. I want it to look different each year. I want it to adequately represent Morgan Kate and our team. And if people are going to buy another t-shirt, well then, I want it to be worth their money. 

I have loved all of our shirts. But, this year, I really love it. Really. The picture above is a little sneak peek of the front. In all actuality, I guess this year's design is not so much my work, but Morgan Kate's. I used her handwriting and her illustration. It's all about her.

I am almost finished with the back. Just waiting for the ink to dry. Literally. 

If anyone is brave enough and interested in ordering a shirt before seeing the final design, then please leave a message in the comment section below. Just let me know how many and what size(s).  

I am crossing all fingers and toes that the design will be complete by tomorrow and that I will be able to post all of the details. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

This past Friday we went to our first USC baseball game of the season.
 It was SO much fun. We took MK about two years ago, but she doesn't remember going.
My sweet, sweet sister-in-love got tickets to the game and invited the three of us.
 We bundled up in coats, scarves, gloves, hats and even took our own blankets.
 Lucky for us, the big lights seemed to help keep us warm and they were selling hot chocolate at the stadium.
 MK cheered for all the boys, but she had a close eye on one in particular - Cocky.
She and her Uncle Owens tracked him down and were able to get her picture taken. She was in heaven!
It was a great night and to top it all off, the Gamecocks won! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

This past weekend we went to Edisto to celebrate Trenholm's birthday.
 Trenholm's parents own a beautiful, inviting house on the creek. It has absolutely amazing views.
 We arrived late Friday evening and stayed until late Sunday afternoon.
It was such a nice and relaxing weekend. Being at the beach always forces me to be still and calm and at rest.
I even stopped Saturday afternoon and took a nap with my baby girl. I crawled in her little bed, snuggled down close to her and we slept. It was so nice.
Saturday morning we ate breakfast and sipped on countless cups of coffee. We took our time getting ready and then headed out for a little time at Botany Beach.
If you've never been to Botany Bay, you must go. It's a part of the beach that that has been protected and preserved. You aren't allowed to take shells or sea life or anything off of the beach. There are millions of beautiful shells. There are trees that tell so many stories. 
We found a starfish while we were there. And while the starfish had seen much better days, MK thought it was the best thing ever.
 Botany Bay also provided a backdrop for some of our picture taking. 
Saturday afternoon, while I was napping, Travis and Trenholm's brother, William, went out into the creek to find oysters for dinner. They were very successful and came back with almost four bushels of oysters and about four dozen clams. 
Mrs. Marie and Trenholm cooked the the clams, along with some shrimp, and made a shrimp/clam chowder. Oh.My.Goodness. Wow.
Owens and Kyle steamed all of the oysters. Oysters are one of my absolute favorite foods, so needless to say, I was in heaven.
Sunday morning we awoke to snuggles from these two precious babes.
MK and Hunter crawled into bed for some snuggles and laughs. They were also very interested in reading a few books. It was THE best way to start the morning, even if it was 7:00 am. 
After breakfast the birthday girl opened her presents and then we headed out for a walk.
MK and Hunter had the best time riding Hunter's tractor, blowing bubbles, throwing the football and just running around. The grownups had a pretty good time as well.
Before we knew it, it was late Sunday afternoon and it was time to head back to Columbia and to reality. Break my heart. Don't get me wrong, I love our house and I love being at home, but we had such a good time and I just love, love, love the beach.
I have so many fond memories of this past weekend. One, just being with family to celebrate Trenholm's birthday. She may be my sister-in-law by marriage, but she means so much more to me. She's one of my best friends and I consider her my sister-in-love, not in-law.
Another highlight of the weekend was getting to spend time with Hunter. He is the sweetest thing and such a good boy. 
Of course, I also enjoyed every minute of being with my little family of three. We had had a LONG week with LOTS to do and we all needed a weekend away.
And last, but certainly not least, I had a pretty good time with this fellow, too. I always love spending time with Owens. He makes my heart soft and my laugh hard.