Parker’s Birth Story

I can’t believe I am a mom to a 2 week old already!

Time has flown by (except during those 3 am feedings:).

I apologize in advance for how long this post is. And thank you for all the kind words on social media about the baby’s nursery post last week.

Back in November when I found out I was pregnant, I had only two wishes in regards to the baby’s birth: have a daytime birth and a safe delivery. I decided early that I was not (and could not) be a control freak about the birth. I had already tried to be a control freak about becoming pregnant…and of course it didn’t go at all like I planned. It took us a lot longer to get pregnant that I ever expected which lead to all kinds of anxiety and self-induced stress that was again compounded as so many people were asking when we were going to have a baby.

Tuesday, July 5th my husband and I had a leisurely lunch, and then we headed to my regular weekly OB appointment; I was 37 weeks pregnant. My blood pressure had been high most of my pregnancy so when the nurse told me the number on the cuff I thought nothing of it. Ignorance truly is bliss.

After reviewing my history, my OB suggested I go straight to the hospital for testing. So we jumped in the car and headed over to the hospital, only a 5 minute drive.

After checking in, someone handed me a hospital gown and said “Get into bed.” My husband and I were slightly confused because I thought “tests” would involve some blood work and we would be good to go. They took my blood pressure again. It read 175/100. I had never been hospitalized before. So just the hospital stay alone completely freaked me out.

I really felt great for the first time in the whole 9 months I had been pregnant. The physical therapy I undergone recently had basically fixed all the debilitating hip and sciatica pain I had been dealing with for 7 months. So we really were in shock that it seemed as if I would be staying in the hospital for a while.

After some clarification from the OB on-call we learned I would be in the hospital for at least 24 hours, and that there was a 50% chance I would be induced in the next few days. The doctor in the OB office had failed to mention that I had initial signs of pre-eclampsia which is why I needed further tests.

We called and texted family and close friends to let them know what was going on. My sister graciously picked up my dog. Joe ran home to get clothes and toiletries for both of us.

After the 24 hour testing they determined I had both pregnancy-induced hypertension and pre-eclampsia. My doctor immediately scheduled me to be induced at 5am the following morning.

To prep me for induction, my nurse immediately administered Cervidil which was the most painful things I experienced in the whole process of being induced. I won’t lie. I cried. I could not help it. Ugh, it was rough. Although I am not sure if it was harder on me actually being pain or my husband watching me be in pain.:)

We tried to get a goodnight’s sleep knowing that the 7th would most likely be a very long day. But if you have ever tried to get a goodnight’s sleep in a hospital you know it is next to impossible. And about midnight the Cervidil start to kick-in, and my body actually started having small contractions on its own.

5am came quickly. I took a shower and got back in bed. By about 5:30 my nurse started the Pitocin. My doctor broke my water within about an hour because I was only 1 cm dilated. At first it was easy going, but after about two hours on Pitocin I was in such intense back labor I could barely breath. Joe stood next to me and watched the monitor. I would ask him when the contraction peaked because then I knew the pain would not get any worse, and somehow it made it easier to get through them. I was trying to be tough, but after about another half hour I told the nurse I had to have some pain mediation. I could barely catch my breath to even get the words out because I was not getting any breaks between the contractions. Pitocin is nuts!

After about 15 minutes my nurse came back with medicine that basically put me in a labor coma. I don’t remember much of the next two hours or so. But thankfully I labored to 4 cm and was approved to get an epidural.

I can only imagine the scene I created as I was still in a slightly comatose state, trying to sit on the side of the bed, talk to my husband, and receive an epidural. I don’t remember anything that I said other than. “Wow that didn’t hurt at all.”

I climbed back in bed expecting to be relieved of all the labor pains. Unfortunately, that was not the case. My back labor intensified. And continued until I was fully dilated. I don’t blame the sweet guys who administrated the epidural. I truly think the severe pain from pinched nerves that I experienced during pregnancy had something to do with the pain medicine working in only certain parts of my body. In the meantime I learned my dad was in the waiting room. I gave permission for him to come into labor and delivery. He prayed with us for safety during the delivery.

By 3pm my nurse said I was ready to push. Mentally and physically exhausted I asked her, “How long does the pushing take?” She said well for 1st babies it can take 3 hours. I determined right then this pushing stuff was not going to take 3 hours. I could not take the back labor any longer. Unfortunately, Parker was face up, and he got stuck on my pelvic bone for a while. And I worked so hard at pushing I actually gagged from over-exertion.

After about an hour, my OB came in and said, “Let’s get this baby out.”

Three pushes later I felt the head, then the shoulders, and finally the hips being pushed out. The feeling was euphoric. I was so happy to be done! My husband cried, and I was still in shock that I had just birthed a baby out of my body. And that I had survived an induction with a slightly failed epidural.

Shortly after they took Parker to be cleaned up, I heard a flop on the floor and the surgical tech said, “Whoops.” Ladies and gentleman, they dropped the placenta and all the other stuff that goes with it all over the floor of the labor and delivery room. Talk about gross :) Thankfully I didn’t see it, and they got it all cleaned up right before my parents came into see the new baby and pray with us again over our new arrival.

We asked for no other visitors for a few hours while we recovered from the long day. And secretly I just wanted to eat all the sushi I could get my hands on. Joe ran to our favorite sushi place and picked up a feast for us to eat in our hospital room. Then at 7:30 my stepsons, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and great grandparents starting showing up to see the new baby. 


I am so so thankful for my husband who literally did not leave my side all day during the induction. During our entire hospital stay my sisters/sister-in-law were such a great help bringing us meals and stuff from home . And I am indebted to all the great nurses (especially the night nurses) and lactation consultants assigned to me. They were so patient with all my questions and concerns.


Finally on July 9th, we were released from the hospital with our new baby. We were SO happy to be home in our own bed. Parker is a great eater and sleeper. And we are blessed with such a great support system with lots of willing and available arms to hold the baby. :)

While being induced was not my first choice for having a baby, my doctors told me I would not have been able to deliver vaginally if I had gone full term. The baby would have simply been too big. So I was grateful not to have a Cesarean. 

Many nights since we have been home I have laid in bed(when I should have been sleeping) listening to my husband and baby breathing and cried in thankfulness for all the good gifts I have been given.


Baby Beagle’s Nursery Complete!

Well the baby is here. My due date was this weekend, and Parker is already over a week old.

I will be writing his birth story soon, but I wanted to share his little nursery with you all.

I spent very little on this room. Almost everything I pulled from other rooms in the house.

Most of the framed wall art was painted by my husband and stepsons in grade school.

The crib was purchased second hand for $60. Curtains are from Target.

And the details on the wall treatment that my mom painted is in this post.

But the star of the show is the yard sale rocker I purchased for $40 about a year ago.


My sweet husband took it apart, refinished it and then we sent it off to the upholsterer.




We love how it turned out. And it is so comfortable because they retied the springs and added lots of new padding!

Here is the rest of the nursery.



My Baby Party and Giveaway Winners

My sweet family and friends threw me a great baby shower a few weeks ago.

We had a blast! It is always fun to get together with so many people I have known all my life.

All the ladies in the first photo made the shower possible.

And it is always fun to spend time with friends from high school.

The food was scrumptious, the flowers were gorgeous, and the cookies were as cute as they could be.

I am so blessed with a wonderful support group.

This pregnancy has felt so long and yet so short with all the life changes going on, but I am 36 weeks pregnant so the end is near (hopefully)!

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A Book Review and Summer Reading GIVEAWAY

I am halfway through Giddy Up, Eunice: Because Women Need Each Other, and before I even finished it I felt like I NEED to tell women about this book.

It has been food for my soul. I didn’t even make it through the intro without crying and laughing out loud. Although the crying could be from pregnancy hormones. #fourweekstogo

I have followed the author, Sophie Hudson, online for years and have heard her speak in person.

She is a high school counselor, humorous/inspirational writer who also records a hilarious podcast

And what I love about her is she is so good at making me laugh and challenging me in the same paragraph.

Anyone who can speak on reality TV binges and what we can learn from the relationship between Mary and Elizabeth on the same book page is my kind of person. :)

If you are a woman: married, single, divorced or widowed; you need to read this book because women do need each other. 

And Sophie shares this truth in her endearing Mississippi writing voice like no other can. 


And because I also think all women need big earrings:

Shelly Dolen created a new line of big metallic earrings that look like metal, but are actually are made of leather (and weigh basically nothing)! I love BIG earrings, but the heavy ones give me headaches. There are tons of styles, and I want them ALL. :)

And to top it off for every pair of earrings that Shelly sells she donates a pair to the charity Dress for Success working wardrobe. It’s basically a win win earring situation.

So two readers will receive a copy of Giddy Up, Eunice: Because Women Need Each Other and a pair of earrings from Shelly Dolen’s website (style of your choice).

Comment below with your favorite thing about summer.

Mine is all the fresh summer produce! #givemeallthesalads

Share on facebook or twitter for an additional entry. And then leave a comment below that you did.

Two winners will be randomly selected by and will be announced on Friday, June 17th.

Eunice earrings

*I received a free copy of this book to review. All giveaways are paid for by me.

Baby Beagle’s Nursery Walls

So I am still not quite done with the nursery. Blame it on 3rd trimester exhaustion. But in case you were worried I did have enough energy to make it to the nail salon yesterday to get a spa pedicure after my 8am OB appointment. But we Mom did manage to get the nursery walls painted on Monday.

Anyway about the walls, I had been throwing around the idea of doing something geometric above the crib. But I was having a hard time nailing down exactly what I wanted. #pregnancybrain

So while we were at the beach last week with my parents my mom showed me a pinterest post on mountains in a boy nursery, and it got the wheels turning.


We actually ended up combining a few ideas we saw online and then put our own twist on them.

Full credit for this project goes to my mom. After I picked the colors, I just sat on a stool and watched her do the whole thing.






Photo creds to my sister Nancee Lee b/c apparently I have reached an all new kind of lazy and can’t take my own pics. :)

Living Room Lamp Project

Well we are slowly getting settled into our new home.
I am trying not to spend much on new things we may “need” since we did just buy a house and we are having a baby and all:)
But I did need a couple lamps for the living room b/c there is no ceiling fixture in that room.
Enter these two yard sale lamps from a few years ago.



Add a little spray paint and some simple white shades.



And tada! Huge pop of color for super cheap!


Now I am just on the hunt for two matching end tables!

Slow Cooker Creamy Italian Chicken Pasta

This recipe may not win any culinary awards, but it sure is simple and tasty.

Perfect for a weeknight meal.

Slow Cooker Creamy Italian Chicken Pasta

Serves 4

  • 3 chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened (neufchatel cheese is fine, too)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (do not dilute)
  • 1/2 cup ready-made Italian dressing
  • 1/2 package dry Italian dressing seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 8 oz corkscrew, bow tie or penne pasta
  • fresh basil for garnish (optional)
  • shaved Parmesan
  • *salt

Toss the first 8 ingredients in the slow cooker and combine. Cook on low for 4-5 hours (frozen chicken breasts make a little longer). Using cooking scissors, cut up/shred the chicken breasts while still in the slow cooker. *Check the seasoning to see if salt needs to be added.

Prepare pasta according to the packaging. Drain and add to the slow cooker. Toss well.

Serve with fresh basil, Parmesan, garlic bread and salad. img_20160412_185330.jpg



Blessed Beyond Measure

God’s timing is not necessarily our timing.

We did not plan to have a baby the same spring/summer we sold our house and moved across the city.

We did not plan for me to quit my day job the same week as our house closing.

We did not plan to buy a fixer upper since we had a baby on the way.

But we are so thankful that He knows better for us. I know there will be hard transition days. And going from working outside the home all the time to a slightly slower pace will be an adjustment for me and my go-getter personality, but I know we will be fine. I went into this whole moving process with a lot of fear (some can be blamed on pregnancy hormones), but as someone who is not a super fearful person it really threw me for a loop. And yet there was really no need for fear. All our needs have been (more than) met. Here are just a few of the blessings in our lives recently.

  • Our house sold the first day it was on the market, at over asking price.
  • We found our new house and 4 acres 48 hours later, and even though it already had two offers on it we got the contract!
  • Inspection on both houses went incredibly well.
  • We should be able to split off 2 acres to sell to pay for the remodels we want to do on the new(old) house.
  • Our closings ended up being two weeks apart giving us a lot of time to move. It has been so much less stressful than I imagined.
  • Before we even moved in, we were able to afford to have two rooms of paneling and cabinets painted as a “band-aid” until we start the major renovations in a few months making the kitchen much less of an eyesore.
  • My transition from working full-time and a part-time jobs to just part-time has been stressful, but I am happy to say that my replacement at my day job is great. And I know she will keep my husband’s office running fine. And my design business is still going strong. I am so thankful for all the new clients I have gotten this spring alone.
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    We are so thankful for all the DIY (and life) lessons we have learned in this house. And we are looking forward to making memories in the new one. :)

How much $$$ did we really make from hosting through Airbnb?


I have gotten this question over and over again. “Was hosting worth it?”

As of last month, we completed our hosting with Airbnb because we are moving and our new home won’t have a place for paying guests, but here are the facts:

How much money?

We had 21 people in our home over the course of about 4 months, but of those 4 months we blocked out lots of dates that would be inconvenient for us to host.

Arranging the calendar to match our schedule turned out to be VERY important.

We blocked out dates for several different weeks, including New Years b/c we didn’t want to deal with drunk partiers :)

After  we paid the fees for our listing, we took home about $2500.

Our longest stay was 30 days, but we had several 1 nighters as well.

The expenses we incurred:

We averaged about $20-40 increase per month in our utility bills during that time.

I purchased instant oatmeal, granola bars, bottled water, coffee with fixins and popcorn to stock the little kitchenette, probably $50 over the course of 4 months.

Because we don’t have cable I purchased a separate Hulu account for our guests to use, $7 a month.

Because of all the tax deductions that were incurred from running a part-time rental out of our home, the tax burden was very low.

“Would we do it again?”

We had high maintenance guests, and guests we never even saw.

We were very picky about the guests that stayed with us. And we did not accept reservations without a 48 hours notice, even though we received quite a few requests with less notice.

Groups with more than two people seemed to be problematic. More mess, more noise, more cars to deal with.

If we did it again I would require either a 2 night minimum or a much higher nightly rate. Cleaning the apartment multiple times a week got old quickly.

While I know that hosts do have people into their homes without having a separate living space, I would not feel comfortable having people in my home that way, especially if I had young children. Having a separate space that locked kept us feeling safe in our own home. :)

Overall it was a great experience, and we would do it again.




And if you are interested in how I dealt with guests arrival/departure here is the document each received before their arrival.