Little Henry- 35 weeks

Sunday we celebrated Easter!  I was scheduled to work all weekend, including Easter (since it’s my holiday this year), until another nurse at work on Saturday offered to work my shift for me.  She wanted to pick up an extra shift on Sunday and I was happy to have the opportunity to be off for the holiday.  Unfortunately, since I originally was working, my sister Emily was going to TN with her fiance to spend time with his family, and my other sister had plans to do lunch with her in-laws, we had already decided among my family that everyone would just do their own thing.  So my mom and step dad made plans to go to the lake for the weekend (also in celebration of his birthday, which was Wednesday).  So when my plans suddenly changed, I decided to join Greg and his family for the day.  We went to our church service that morning and then to his aunt Kim’s house for lunch.  It was such a pretty day on Sunday.  Easter is sometimes hit or miss with the weather here in Alabama. Some Easters are still a little cool, but the sun came out and it warmed up as the morning went by and turned out to be a really beautiful day.  Flowers are all starting to bloom around town….and yes, that means pollen is out and covering everything.  I don’t usually welcome rain, but thankfully, it is raining all day today and hopefully washing all the pollen away!

Apr5-Easter (6) Apr5-Easter (4) Apr5-Easter (5) Apr5-Easter (7) Apr5-Easter (1)Then Greg and I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning and re-organizing from all the construction chaos that has been going on at the house over the past month.  Our front den had become a dumping zone for all things construction related like tools, paint cans, drop-cloths, trim, bead board…you name it, it was in our front den.  We moved back into the master bedroom a few nights ago, but the guest room was left in shambles.  Half my clothes had migrated to the guest room, and the bed linens needed to be stripped and washed.  And the porch was still set-up with Greg’s table saw and all the left over bead board and trim pieces from the project.  So we spent almost a good 4 hours cleaning, putting everything away and a little re-organizing to get the house back in order.  It’s so nice to have things back in order.  I know I’m OCD and crazy when it comes to stuff like that, but I get stressed when things are not organized and in place.  Order keeps me sane 😉  In the bathroom, everything is done and functional, except that once we started trying to hang the shower curtain rod I realized since we had heightened the door-frame and also removed the tub (which resulted in a lower threshold for the shower), a standard shower curtain was going to be way too short.  In order for it to hang low enough to keep water from spraying over the threshold, Greg would almost be able to peer over the top of it.  And it just looked silly with such a tall ceiling height to work with.  So, I got online and found some taller options, but we have to wait on them to ship.  They don’t seem to carry these other sizes in stores.  And since we already bought and cut tags off the rug for the bathroom, I’ll have to keep looking for a tall curtain that will still match.  But as long as we have the liner, the shower will be functional.  And at least we can use the toilet and sink already.  That has become much easier with my nightly trips to the bathroom.  I no longer have to crawl over Greg and walk down the hall to go pee at night. I just roll out of my side and take 3 steps into the new bathroom. 😉  Much better.

Pregnancy symptoms this week….swelling.  My feet and ankles are generally swollen all the time now.  My work shoes the other day felt a good bit tighter than usual, and my fat feet were poking up out of my heels at church Sunday morning.  So far the swelling is still contained to the knees down.  Fingers and face are still doing good.  The other typical symptoms of back pain and just general uncomfortableness are still going on, but that’s been going on for weeks.  Some nights I sleep alright.  And then some nights I toss and turn trying to find that spot where my stomach and ribs are in just the right synchrony that I can sleep comfortably.  I’m getting excited about some more baby stuff that should deliver soon.  I’ve gotten emails that our car-seat and crib have shipped now, so any day they should be arriving on our doorstep.  My mom was so sweet to buy us our crib when we went shopping last week!!  Our parents are awesome 🙂  Then today, I ordered our pack n’ play.  That pretty much finishes all the true necessities we need in order for Henry to arrive.  Granted we need to stock up on a few more packs of diapers, wipes, and little things here and there. But once those items get here and get setup, we’re pretty much ready for him. 🙂  That is really exciting!  It’s crazy to look at the calendar and think we’re in the home stretch.  Next Monday will be exactly 1 month from our due date!  And of course, he could easily come before then….orrrrr after.  But hopefully not too much after 😉  I take my final exam April 23rd, so anytime after that, I say “come on!”  🙂

Sorry, no bump pic today. I’ve been home all day doing some house-work and school-work, and while I did shower, I’m in sweats and a tshirt.  I’ll be sure to snap one later this week 😉

Welcome 2015

It’s 2015!  The year I (hopefully) will still graduate from grad school.  The year we will welcome our first baby into the family.  The year my youngest sister Emily will graduate college and now also get married!  Wow.  We have a crazy year ahead!

Since I’m still out of school for Christmas break right now, I finished out 2014 trying to work a little extra.  I hate going into the new year each year with bills piled up from Christmas shopping.  But at the same time, it’s the easiest way to do it.  I try to put about half of Christmas spending on a credit card and let half get pulled from our spending account.  It keeps that credit card bill from getting out of control while at the same time not depleting our account with all the extra spending.  It works for us.  And it’s a lot less painful to pay it off over the first few months of the new year rather than all at once in December.  Plus I had a really great assignment at work with a sweet family that I have loved getting to know over the past month during their stay in the NICU. So it made working an extra day a little easier. 🙂

New Years Eve was pretty chill again this year.  Greg worked part of the day.  Then he came home and grilled ribs and corn, and we had twice baked potatoes all for dinner.  Katie and Chuck, and Michael and his girlfriend Audrey came over to hang out for the evening.  We watched the ball drop in NYC, and just had a low-key night at home.  It was nice.

For Christmas, Greg bought tickets to the Sugar Bowl for his dad and himself.  So they left New Year’s Day morning for New Orleans for the Alabama vs. Ohio State game that night.  I won’t go into much about that.  It wasn’t a great performance by Alabama, and the loss kept us from going to the National Championship game.  I know Greg was pretty disappointed.  He’s pretty die hard in his support for the Tide. But it is what it is.  They did at least get to watch the game from some really awesome suite seats in the stadium.  They found a guy selling tickets for cheap for suite seats, so they bought those and sold the ones Greg had originally bought.  So I know they at least had a good time still.  And Greg loves hanging out with his dad, so it was a great little trip for the two of them to enjoy together.

While Greg spent the day in New Orleans, I got a kick start on baby prepping.  Since we didn’t know the gender of baby Boggs until right before Christmas, I haven’t bought the first baby item or done anything to get a nursery ready (besides cleaning out a bunch of stuff).  Then of course we celebrated Christmas, and then I worked 3 days in a row.  So, on New Year’s Day, I wanted to really get going in prepping for our baby boy.  That morning, Katie, my friend Christine (who has 3 kids already) and I went to BuyBuyBaby to add some more things to our registry.  Since Christine has been through baby raising a few times, I wanted to get her opinion on a lot of things, like strollers, carseats, and various baby items.  After some well spent time in BuyBuyBaby, I then spent the afternoon doing some maternity clothes shopping.  I’ve bought a few tops over the past few months (not really out of necessity yet, since I have a lot of regular tops that still work). But I haven’t bought any maternity pants up until now.  I haven’t been able to wear jeans since about October, but my corduroys and leggings have been working.  Until last week.  My cords are getting quite uncomfortable, and so I knew it was time to venture into buying maternity pants.  Um, all I can say is, why did I wait so long?!?!  Those things are so dang comfortable!  I stocked up and now I think I’m good for a little while.  I also got a lot of maternity clothes from a sweet co-worker of mine, but hers are mostly all spring/summer wear. So I’ll have to wait a little bit to wear those.  She also gave me a good supply of baby boy clothes, mostly 3-6month and then some 9month and older items.  It’s so fun having baby items in the house now!  🙂

So I can’t wait to get this year going.  I dread starting back school again, but I’m excited about what the next few months holds for us!  I am now 21 weeks pregnant.  Our baby boy is squirming quite frequently now. We can even see his movements sometimes across my belly.  That’s been fun to see!

21 week baby stats-  Baby boy is now almost 13 oz and about 10.5 inches long.  He’s about the size of a banana, according to “the Bump.”  He’s very active (yep, I can attest to that!).  He is likely beginning to swallow amniotic fluid and because of this, he may start having hiccups.

Merry Christmas- Part 2

Dec26-Christmas (5)December 26th was our day to celebrate Christmas with my family.  We all gathered at my mom’s around 11am and while the turkey finished cooking we opened gifts with everyone.  This is Emily’s last Christmas as a college student, so she still stays at home when she’s in town.  Unfortunately, having sisters who are nurses, she’s gotten used to celebrating Christmas not on the 25th.  It happens.  She’s a trooper about it (although not like she has a choice!).  We began our gift exchange…again, we got several goodies for baby boy Boggs, mostly lots of gift cards that I’m excited to use!  I also got some maternity clothes, which I’ll be needing more of soon.  Greg’s big surprise from everyone was a Yeti cooler.  I knew he would be totally surprised and LOVE it, and of course, he was!

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But the biggest surprise of the day was when Emily’s sweet boyfriend (Jonny) came walking into the living room to surprise Emily at our family Christmas.  Emily and Jonny are both building science majors at Auburn.  His family lives in Tennessee, so he had been home for Christmas, but drove back to Birmingham on the 26th to surprise Emily.  We were about halfway through gift exchanges when he just walked around the corner.  (Mom of course was in on the surprise!).  So he joined us for the rest of the gift exchange.  When everyone seemed to be done opening gifts, Jonny pulled out another gift for Emily.  It was a photo album he had made of the two of them with some sweet Bible verses on each page.  And as Emily was reading through the verses, we started noticing a trend and the last page said for her to “stand up.”  At this point Jonny started saying something really sweet about not spending another Christmas apart, and then he got down on one knee and asked Emily to marry him!!!  Katie and I were squealing!!  No one clued us in on any of these surprises!  Mom had been recording the whole thing and she had told Katie to “be in charge of the camera,” so although Katie didn’t know what was about to happen, she quickly knew why mom had handed her the camera.  Of course Emily said “yes” and we were all so excited for them!

Dec26-GravesChristmas (17) Dec26-GravesChristmas (19) Dec26-GravesChristmas (20)Dec26-GravesChristmas (24) Dec26-GravesChristmas (29) Dec26-GravesChristmas (32)Now, Jonny and Emily haven’t been dating for that long, but I think they’ve been “hanging out” way before we were told anything about him 😉  We just met him a few months ago, but they’ve been casually then seriously dating for probably almost a year now (if I had to guess, haha).  Emily is one who hasn’t dated much in the past, but we’ve always said that she’s one who will probably know pretty quickly when she finds “the one.”  And she and Jonny really seem to hit it off.  He’s a great Christian guy. He’s a year older (so a year wiser?).  He’s very outgoing and energetic.  And he’s so sweet to Emily, which is of course, very important 😉  So yeah…we have another brother joining the Graves family!  The Graves girls are all officially taken. Dec26-Christmas (10) Dec26-Christmas (14)Oh, and we can’t talk engagement stories and not show off the bling.  Y’all, her ring is gorgeous!!!  I mean, really.  Great job, Jonny!

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Merry Christmas- Part 1

What a week!  This may have been one of the most exciting Christmases we have had in a while.  We started the week off with our 20-week OBGYN appointment and gender reveal party where we found out with all our family that we are having a baby boy.  I’ve had a few days to let that soak in, and after playing around on our registry and focusing my attention on sweet little boy things, I’m really pumped about our precious little boy now.  Ok, that sounded bad. I’ve been excited about it!  I was never disappointed. I was just truly shocked.  And a little scared, to be honest.  A baby boy…actually, a toddler/little boy is a whole new adventure for me.  Not once during this whole process have I felt nervous or scared about becoming a mom.  I’ve been around babies A LOT.  Heck, it’s the whole premise of my job.  They don’t scare me.  I feel like I can handle them without any worry.  But a little boy…that scares me.  How do I raise him to be sweet, but strong?  To be “all boy” but not a wild terror?  To love God and respect authority?  I mean, in a lot of ways, I guess it’s no different than raising a little girl.  The basics are all the same, right?  Building good character and teaching about God’s love will be the same regardless of gender.  And I’m not in this alone, of course.  I have an amazing husband who is so ready to embrace fatherhood.  I think we will make a great team. 🙂

So we’ve kinda jumped back into baby mode over the past few days.  I’ve had fun adding little boy things to our registry. I’ve spent way too much time on Pinterest looking at little boy nurseries. 😉  And we’ve been looking over baby name lists again.  I think I said it before in my last post, but we had a girl name picked out and ready.  The boy names have been harder for some reason.  But the other night we looked at our list again, played around with some options, and I think we have a pretty solid choice picked out right now.  I don’t want to share it quite yet, but I feel good about it.

This year, I chose to work “the Christmas option” again at the hospital.  I worked both Christmas Eve and Christmas day, but it guaranteed I was off all the other winter holidays (Thanksgiving day, Black Friday, New Years Eve and New Years day).  I’m low enough of the seniority list that if I hadn’t chosen to work both Christmas holidays, I probably would have been stuck on 3 holiday shifts instead of 2.  And it honestly isn’t that bad.  Greg goes and does Christmas with all his family, I meet up with all of them Christmas night, then we do a full day of Christmas with my family on the 26th.  We did the same thing last year.  Now, I can’t guarantee I’ll do that again next year.  I may try my chances and try to be off for Christmas day since we’ll have a bouncing little baby boy to celebrate with.  But if it doesn’t work out, a baby won’t know the difference, and we’ll make it work.

Greg and I ended up doing our Christmas gift exchange on the evening of the 22nd.  We knew the 23rd would be busy with our OB appointment and gender reveal fun, and the rest of the week was already full of other Christmases.  I had already received my Christmas gift…my new awesome car.  But I had some surprises for Greg that he got to open, mostly all hunting related.  I got him a gun rack, a fire starter, rifle case, and some new shoes and sweater.  He had some stocking goodies for me, one of which was a gorgeous diamond cross necklace. 🙂  He’s so thoughtful!

Dec22-Christmas (2)On Christmas Eve, I headed off to work and Greg spent the day running some errands, getting last minute gifts, attending the Christmas Eve service at Church of the Highlands with his family, followed by their tradition of dinner at Ichiban hibachi restaurant (so A Christmas Story, huh?).  I met up with all of them at his sister’s house when I got off work for a quick visit and we exchanged just a few gifts.

I worked Christmas day and Greg headed straight to Jordan’s house again for Christmas with all his family.  I’ve never been able to participate in Christmas mornings at their house with all the kids, but I hear it’s pretty hectic.  But what Christmas mornings with kids aren’t hectic, right? 🙂  That’s the fun of it.  Greg came home for a nap then was back at their house that evening.  I met up with everyone again when I got off work, and we all had a nice dinner together and opened the rest of the gifts.  We got a few items for little boy Boggs this Christmas, so that’s exciting.  All in all, it was another great holiday.  I can’t wait to have our baby boy with us next year to join in on the traditions and joy of Christmas.  He’ll be such a fun age too, about 7 months old.  He’ll be old enough to interact with everyone but still a baby at Christmas.  And what’s more fun than a baby at Christmas 🙂

A Tacky Christmas Birthday Bash

This past week Greg turned the big 3-0.  Oh yes, we have a 30 year old in the house now.  In honor of this big celebration, the Christmas season, and his love for all things Christmas Vacation related, we threw a big tacky Christmas (Vacation-themed) birthday party for him at our house Thursday night.  It took a ton of planning, from cleaning the house, to decorating, to food prep, but it was all worth it.  We had a bonfire for roasting hotdogs and s’mores, plus a hot chocolate bar, wine, and other treats.  Greg setup a burnt Christmas tree in the front den, had Clark Griswold’s legs hanging from our ceiling, and we had enough lights on the front of the house to light up the whole cul-de-sac. Many of our closest friends came by to join the fun.  Jordan and the kids came by for a bit and they enjoyed making s’mores at the bonfire.  Everyone wore their tacky gear, which was great!  It was such a fun night!  Enjoy the pics 😉  (thanks Leah Brandon for capturing a lot of these shots!)

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I should probably explain these next few pics. The guys all have a tradition they started in college that they give each other the most random assortment of stuff for birthday gifts. Like, random crap from around the house, or super odd things that they purchase, etc.  For Greg’s 30th, they decided to go big. So this giant cardboard Santa was constructed and every body part of him had some sort of gift wrapped inside of it.  So his arms, legs, and body were all filled with little gifts….and in typical “boys will be boys” fashion, they were all poop/fart/body odor related gifts.  If anyone is curious, our baby now owns a copy of Everyone Poops.   Dec 18-Gregbday (39)Dec18-GregBday (25)Dec18-GregBday (27)Dec18-GregBday (29)Dec18-GregBday (33)Dec 18-Gregbday (56)Dec 18-Gregbday (82)Dec18-bdayDec 18-Gregbday (72)Dec 18-Gregbday (75)Dec 18-Gregbday (80)


Thanksgiving 2014

We had a great Thanksgiving this year.  We started our day out with breakfast at Aunt Kim’s house with all the cousins.  Then we headed off to my mom’s house to visit with my family for a few hours.  Then back to Kim’s for lunch with Greg’s family.  I think it was the perfect mix of family time with both sides.  Sometimes it’s hard to balance holidays when everyone lives in the same town.  You feel like you’re running back and forth all day. But it didn’t feel stressful or rushed this time. I think we worked it out nicely.  Emily has been in town all week from college, so I got to see her some this week. She came to join me and my girl friends for our friendsgiving dinner one night.  This is her senior year and she may or may not be living in Birmingham after she graduates.  It’s crazy she’s at the point of making career decisions already.

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My silly family showing off my bump.  Since I didn’t take a bump picture for my weekly blog post early this week, I was told I needed to take one.  So here I am at 16 1/2 weeks.

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At aunt Kim’s house we ate a delicious meal all seated around a giant table.  The food was amazing. I learned how to make my sourdough bread into rolls this week and brought those for Thanksgiving dinner.  That evening we went to see The Hunger Games movie with Tyler, Anna and my sisters and Chuck.  Then Katie and I did a little Black Friday shopping.  By 11pm I was ready to crash into my bed.  I can’t handle this late night/early AM Black Friday shopping.  Luckily there was nothing in particular I was shopping for, but I did pick up a few maternity tops at Target.  Eventually I gotta figure out where to get maternity pants.  If not, I’ll probably just be sporting leggings all winter!

The other exciting this for the week is on Tuesday night Greg surprised me with his Christmas/birthday gift to me.  Well, actually, at first he asked if I wanted to be surprised or if I’d want to be a part of the decision.  I trust him to come up with good surprises, but he said it was a pretty big decision.  Not having a clue what he was talking about, I opted to be included in the decision.  Much to my surprise, he had picked out a new car for me!!!!!  We have somewhat discussed the idea of purchasing new cars.  I’ve driven my rodeo since I was 16 years old, and it has served me well with only minor maintenance over the years.  And get this, when we turned it in at the dealership it only 95,001 miles on it.  And I drove it for almost 13 years!  I get my moneys worth out of things.  For instance, my laptop that I got when I went to college served me well for 7 years, which apparently is crazy.  And I’m still jamming out with my circa 2005 iPod 🙂

So anyways, Tuesday night I was surprised with the news that I would be getting a new car, and Greg would have kept it a total surprise until Christmas had he not needed my rodeo for trade-in purposes.  And since my name was on the title, he was in a jam.  But I’m so excited he went ahead and told me because I am LOVING it!!  He picked out a 2011 Nissan Rogue, and it is full of really awesome features like back-up camera, navigation system, heated seats, leather interior, bluetooth phone capabilities, and key-less entry.  This car is da’ bomb! 🙂

Nov28-car (1) Nov28-car (4)Nov28-car (3)Nov28-car (2)I love her. She’s so pretty.  And she looks especially good with a Christmas tree on top 😉  Here’s to many many years, my new friend.

So that pretty much wraps up our Thanksgiving weekend.  Oh, that and a super intense Iron Bowl last night.  Geez. That game is so freakin’ intense every year!  Glad Alabama pulled out another win!  I have a happy husband 😉

the Pumpkin- 16 weeks

It’s Thanksgiving week, and we’ve already been pretty busy around here.  This past weekend Greg and I went to Atlanta since Greg had a rugby game on Saturday.  We decided to stay with his parents in Atlanta Saturday night since we’d be driving to Lannet, AL on Sunday for some family Thanksgiving anyways (which is about halfway between Atlanta and B’ham).  So Saturday morning we hit the road, and I got to see him play rugby for the first time.  He just got into playing the sport about a month ago, and this was his first game to play.  His parents came to watch him too.  It’s an interesting game, for sure. There’s a lot of rules and strategies I’m still learning.  Greg really enjoys it, and it was fun seeing him play!

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Saturday evening we were all exhausted.  Greg of course was exhausted from rugby.  I was exhausted cause I worked 2 days, had clinicals for 2 days, and then the early morning wake-up call to drive to Atlanta that morning. I was desperate for a morning to sleep in.  We just chilled at the condo for the evening. I did a little bit of studying. His parents grilled steaks for dinner, and we watched the Samford v. Auburn game on tv.  Samford is our alma mater, and they are a much smaller team than Auburn.  Samford is part of the Southern Conference, where Auburn is of course in the SEC.  But Samford held their own for a while.  They didn’t get slaughtered which is good.

Sunday, we all got up and made our way to Lannet, AL for Thanksgiving with Greg’s dad’s side of the family.  Mimi and Daddy Bob drive down from the mountains in N.C., and there are cousins from Birmingham and Nashville area that join the gathering.  The feast was delicious!  Seriously, all of it was so good.  After a few hours in Lannet, we headed back home.Thanksgiving

Yesterday Greg and Aidan did some hunting up at the Clifford cabin in TN, and this time Aidan shot his first deer on the property!  (not his first deer ever, just the first on this new land they own)  His family has been building a cabin up there and they’ve been hunting the land for 2 seasons now, but haven’t shot anything yet.  This time he got a buck.  It’s being processed now and they’ll pick up the meat in 2 week when they return to the cabin.

Yesterday I had another OB appointment.  It was another simple one.  Just pee in a cup and listen for the heartbeat.  This time my vitals were BP 118/71, HR 99, and weight was up about 3lbs to 120lbs.  Baby’s heartbeat came in around 145-150.  It’s slowing down a bit with each appointment.  According to those wives tales, maybe we’re hearing a little boy hiding in there 🙂    December 23rd cannot get here fast enough!  We’re dying to know what baby Boggs is!!  But for now, everything still looks good, so we just have to wait.

The only pregnancy symptom I have now, for the most part, is a growing belly.  Yesterday I had to pull a pair of jeans out of the closet because they no longer fit.  I get by mostly by wearing my LOFT corduroy pants.  They have a bit more slack to them than jeans.  But I have a feeling December may be my month to start shopping for maternity pants.  Leggings are definitely my go-to if I’m just going to be hanging around the house most of the day.  Oh, and I have had a few mornings where I think I’m experiencing the “round ligament pain” I’ve heard of.  It’s a ligament that gets stretched as the uterus grows, and it feels like a slight pinch or sharp pain across the sides of my belly.  It hasn’t been bad, just uncomfortable at times.  All part of the process 🙂

As far as non-pregnancy symptoms, I’ve been sick the past few days.  It started the end of last week as just a little nasal congestion, but since Sunday, it’s now developed into a nasty cough, nasal and head congestion, and my voice has almost gone today.  Thankfully I’m not limited to just plain ole acetaminophen now.  After trying to find Tylenol cold and sinus (which neither Greg nor I have had success doing), I asked a pharmacist at CVS for a recommendation and he said I could take Mucinex DM.  So, I got some of that in my system now. Let’s hope it does the job tonight.  Everything is the worst when I wake up in the mornings. I can’t hardly breathe I’m so congested and the cough is killing my throat.  Not to mention poor baby Boggs is probably getting jostled all around with this coughing all day long.

Hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving week so far!  We will be feasting with the Boggs this year on Thursday.  Not sure if I’ll participate in any Black Friday shopping this year.  There’s nothing we really need right now, so I may pass that up.  I’d like to get our Christmas tree on Friday  🙂  Maybe I’ll just decorate all day Friday.  That sounds like a great plan to me!  I’m working all weekend, so it would be nice to have the house ready for Christmas by then.

16 week baby stats-  Our little one is now the size of an avocado measuring about 4.5 inches (head to rump) and 3.5 ounces.  It is gearing up for a growth spurt over the next few weeks, and it’s weight will double.  Legs are more developed, the head is more erect, and eyes are continuing to move closer to the front of the head.  The skeletal system is developing more as calcium is being deposited into the bones.

(sorry, no bump pic today. I’ll try to post one later this week when I’m feeling a little better).

Valentine’s Chocolate Pie

For Valentine’s day this year we decided to do a nice candlelit dinner at home.  I just didn’t want to do the whole restaurant thing this year.  And we never do candlelit dinners at home (although we may start now, cause I loved it!).  Neither of us wanted to do the task of cooking though, so we ordered take out instead.  Steak dinner for me, ahi tuna and veggies for Greg.  They were both delicious 🙂Feb13-Valentines (11)We didn’t cook dinner, but I did want to make a dessert for us to enjoy.  I looked through my recipes and found one for chocolate pie that I got from my Nana’s house.  I’d never baked it before, but I’m glad I did.  It was yummy!!!  So here’s the recipe….

Easy Chocolate Pie

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (5oz) can evaporated milk
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp cocoa
  • 1/2 stick margarine, melted (or butter)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Uncooked pie crust

Mix all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.  Roll out an uncooked pie crust into dish, and pour mixture into crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 mins. Allow to chill, then serve.

That’s it.  I mean, really.  Could it be any easier? 🙂

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 Ok, you ready for a funny story?  So I’m out at Walmart getting ingredients for the pie then I wanted to get some fresh flowers for the table.  I kinda figured Greg was coming home with flowers, but I wanted the table to be ready and set for him too.  And you can’t have too many fresh flowers, right?  So I decide to go to this new place in town, Fresh Market.  I figured they’d have some pretty unique flowers, not just roses, which is all Walmart had.  Call me crazy, but I’m not a fan of bouquets of roses.  I like variety.  So I go to Fresh Market, and I’m standing looking through some flowers, picking them up and making decisions.  I look up, and…..standing 5 feet in front of me completely oblivious to my presence, is Greg…picking out flowers.  I called him out, and we both just died laughing!  He was totally busted!!  But props to him, he picked a great place to pick out flowers.  You cannot go wrong there! 🙂Feb13-Valentines (9)So we enjoyed a lovely candlelit dinner at home.  No tv.  No cell phones.  It was fantastic 😉  And before we even started dinner, Greg was dying to give me my present.  He handed me a bag and I pulled out this book. Feb13-Valentines (12)Yep!  Guess what that means?  WE ARE GOING TO SAN FRAN!  I told him I was taking a week of vacation from work between this semester and summer semester.  I wanted to just have a week free from work and school, and told him I wanted to take a trip to the beach or something just to get away.  But I’ll take San Francisco!  We are so excited!!  He did good!

Happy Valentine’s day to me and my sweetie.  4 down, many many more to go!

Christmas 2013

Once again, I had to work Christmas this year.  Christmas Eve and Christmas day, to be exact.  It wasn’t the most fun way to spend my holidays, but I can’t complain. I still got to spend some time with family, and that’s what matters.  Greg and I decided to do our “Christmas morning” on Monday Dec 23rd.  Then we went to Jordan and Eric’s church candlelight service at Church of the Highlands that evening.  It was lovely.  It’s a much more modern service and church atmosphere than we’re used to, but the preacher gave a great sermon, and I enjoyed the Christmas carols we sung.  There’s just something about singing traditional Christmas hymns that makes me so happy.  Actually, I pretty much love any traditional hymns, Christmas or not.  Our nieces and nephew were there too, being cute and silly as usual.  Evey and Bennett walked in with Greg and I, holding our hands, and at one point sweet Bennett just blurts out, “I love you, Amy” in his sweet little boy voice.  Talk about making your day 🙂  After the service Greg and I went to dinner with his parents at Village Tavern. It was delicious, and we enjoyed spending some extra time with them.

Christmas Eve morning I got up and headed to work. Greg hung around the house most the day, I believe, and then headed to Jordan and Eric’s for the evening family dinner.  All the Boggs plus Aunt Kim and the cousins ate dinner together and played a fun game of dirty Santa.  There were matching PJs involved, as usual.  I joined up with them when I got off work so I could visit with them for a little while and exchange gifts with Callen and Houston (they’d be heading to Dothan for Christmas day).  I especially wanted to give Callen her gift, because I had made her a shadowbox of their wedding venue.  I was pretty excited about it, so I wanted to be able to give it to her in person.  It was a watercolor print of the lodge at Gorham’s Bluff, and I painted a little wooden “H” (for Holmes) and added some twine to go inside. I’m so glad she loved it! 🙂

Christmas morning was the same. I headed to work and Greg headed off to Jordan’s to enjoy Christmas morning with his family.  Christmas day at work wasn’t too bad.  My mom and sister came to visit me, and they made cookies for the nurses and families. It was good to see them on the holiday.  I went back to Jordan’s for Christmas night for dinner and my portion of gift opening.  Yes, I sit and open gifts while all of the Boggs just sit and watch me.  haha.  For two years straight this has been my routine.  It’s still fun though.  It actually makes it a little easier cause I don’t have to pick and choose who’s family to spend Christmas day with.  It automatically gets separated since I’m working.  (You find the blessings in working Christmas day where you can) 😉  The whole Boggs family had their matching PJs again this year.  I hate I had to miss all that fun 😉Christmas (5)

On the 26th we did our Graves family Christmas.  We got up early and headed to my mom’s house.  We opened gifts first thing this time since Chuck had to work from 12-4pm that day for a charity thing his company does.  After gifts we had breakfast, then Chuck headed to work, and Dwayne and Greg decided to go to the lake property for a few hours.  Dwayne has been seeing deer and coyotes down there, and Greg was dying to get a chance to shoot some coyotes 😉  So while they ran off to the woods for a bit, my mom, sisters and I started working on Christmas dinner.  We also watched The Great Gatsby since Emily got it as one of her gifts.  Everyone came back that evening and we enjoyed a yummy dinner together.Christmas (3) Christmas (2) Christmas (1) Christmas (4) We got some great gifts this year from the family!  Greg got some tools for the Big Green Egg, including cookbook, grilling tower, new mit, and a really cool meat thermometer.  He also got a new rolling duffel bag (his old one is great and huge, but it is just that…OLD!  And pretty dirty!).  Both Greg and his dad got me new gardening/recipe books!  Both of them have tips and tricks for better gardening, plus recipes to use with the produce you grow.  I think everyone knows how much I love my garden 😉  I also got some Hunter rain boots which I am just THRILLED about! My old rain-boots have been inadvertently converted into dirty garden boots, so I’m happy to have pretty new ones (that won’t be worn in the garden 😉 )! I got some new recipe cards and box, some darling owl dishcloths, candles, and jewelry (news flash, I am an owl addict).  We gave both our mom’s jewelry this year.  I found a beautiful jeweled necklace for Kendall, and we got my mom some charms for her Pandora bracelet.  And it was really hard to give away the gifts I got for my sisters (that’s when you know it’s a good gift, right? haha).  I bought Emily some super cute boot socks, and Katie got some cool vintage-inspired coasters with various University of Alabama images on them.  We got some great kitchen items from my mom that I’m pretty excited about…a pizza stone, some enamelware bowls (for my canning endeavors!), and some gorgeous vintage pyrex bowls that I LOVE!  I have been pining for some vintage pyrex for several years, and mom found me some great pieces at a flea market one day.  I can’t wait to display them in our (future) glass-front butler’s pantry (that’s next in the home renovations department). And as usual, everyone got an array of gifts cards from each other for restaurants, gas, and shopping (which are always nice to have!!).  Greg is super pumped about a shopping spree he’ll now get to go on at Harbor Freight Tools here in Homewood (bring on more house projects!).  So many wonderful goodies!  OH! And our big gift to each other arrived just the other day!!  Greg and I took the plunge and bought a new sectional on Black Friday, and it’s finally here.  We love it!!  And can you believe it’s the first piece of new furniture either one of us have ever bought before?  We are moving past hand-me-downs and slowly becoming adults. haha

And with that, Christmas 2013 came to an end.  It was another great holiday, filled with lots of family time, laughs and fun family traditions.

I’m baaack!

Oh friends.  Needless to say, I have quite a lot to catch up on since going MIA about 4 months ago.  I knew grad school would suck up a lot of free time, but whew. So, let’s get straight to playing catch-up.  Again…

I survived my first semester!  And if I’m allowed to toot my own horn, I not only survived but got all A’s.  One semester down, five more to go.  Balancing full-time work and part-time school while trying to maintain some sanity was not always easy.  Poor Greg can testify to that.  I am beyond thrilled for the three weeks off I am enjoying right now until spring semester starts up, on my birthday (unfortunately).  Then it’s back to the grind again.  This semester I’ll be taking pharmacology and research.  I am sooo not thrilled about research.  It’s so time consuming and SO BORING.  And I’m betting pharmacology won’t be a walk in the park.  It involves a LOT of memorizing.  And since I have to take general pharmacology, not just neonatal, I’ll be dealing with anything and everything from infant to adulthood drugs.  Yay :/

Anyways, let’s talk about non-school fun stuff.  Thanksgiving was good this year.  Last year we only celebrated with my family.  The year before that we had 2 Thanksgivings since Greg’s parents were still living at the lake in Georgia.  This year, since both our families were in Birmingham for the holiday, we split the day between both families.  We spent the morning with Greg’s family for a few hours, and then over to Katie’s house for lunch and visiting time with my family.  Katie and Chuck live in my Nana’s house, the house my Grandaddy built and where my mom grew up.  For as long as I can remember until my Nana died 4 years ago, we spent every holiday celebrating in that house.  So when Katie offered to host Thanksgiving this year, we decided it might be fun to celebrate in that house again.  Granted it looks quite different.  Carpet has been ripped up, all the furniture is different, walls and cabinets have been painted.  But it’s still Nana’s house, full of so many great memories.  It was a pretty chill day even though we spent time with both families.  Just visiting, eating, couch laying, dog playing, then back home for the night.

Christmas is just around the corner.  Greg and I are officially done shopping and wrapping for the season.  Our big gift to each other is a new sectional, that we are STILL waiting on unfortunately.  We shopped for it on Black Friday and found a good deal at Ashley furniture.  We were told it would be delivered by Christmas, but we called last week and it’s on backorder.  Boo.  So now we wait till mid-January.  And since I have to work Christmas Eve and Christmas day this year, we are doing our “Christmas morning” tomorrow morning 🙂  Greg is basically off work all week.  He’ll spend Christmas with his family as usual at Jordan and Eric’s house with the kids.  And then we will do Christmas with my family on the 26th, just like last year.  Holidays with nursing careers are not always ideal.  But we make do.  And hey, if you ask me, what’s so bad about spreading Christmas out over a few days?  😉  At least I had all of Thanksgiving, Black Friday AND Iron Bowl Saturday off.  That was nice.

Of course I’m sad about missing most of the celebrations with Greg’s family.  They’re doing a big Christmas Eve dinner and dirty Santa.  But I’m most sad about missing our church’s Christmas Eve candlelight service.  It is my favorite.  We sing Christmas carols, our pastor does a quick Christmas sermon, and we finish by singing “Silent Night” and the whole congregation has candles.  Yes, it’s nothing new. It’s the same every year. But I love it.  And anyways, when my job is to take care of sweet little premies every day, the least I can do is help give them and their parents a good Christmas.  And to be honest, until we have kids of our own to celebrate Christmas mornings with, I don’t mind taking that shift so others can have their Christmas mornings.  I’ll get my turn again one day.

I hope all of you reading (if there’s anyone left out there checking in) have a wonderful Christmas.  It can be a hectic time of the year.  Families can be crazy sometimes.  But savor it all, remember what Christmas is truly about.  A celebration of the birth of a Savior.  So give someone an extra hug.  Tell someone you love them.  Hold a door open for a stranger.  Drop a dollar bill in that bell-ringer’s bucket.  And wish them Merry Christmas.