dear baby epperson,

your due date is four days away. but, of course with babies, due dates don't mean a whole heck of a lot. we could meet any day now. and man oh man am i looking forward to it. your crib is set up, your tiny onesies are washed and ready to wear, and your dad is just beside himself with excitement. 
i have dreamed of you for as long as i can remember. i have looked forward to your arrival for far more than thirty-nine weeks and two days. 
it feels like we have been together for such a long time now, little one. this pregnancy has been a blessed one. but, for real now... let's get your birth on.


baby shower

sweet shower thrown for our girl by his work friends
april 9, 2014



“Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.”

Susan Cain, Quiet


thirty-six weeks

how far along: 36 weeks

gender: yep, still a girl

symptoms: stretch marks have arrived in a big way. they have been developing for a good while now. at first they startled me. i may have cried a bit over them. then i got over it. i am a warrior preparing for the biggest fight of my life. and my stretch marks are my battle scars.

energy level: (scale of 1-10) i would say between 3 and 8 and it comes in waves. one minute i am starting a load of laundry, doing the dishes, and getting ready to vacuum. the next i have to take a moment to lay down and breathe. then i get up and the cycle starts all over again. however, while i am at school i don't really have the bed or couch option so i do take a lot of "sit breaks."

mood: i am in good spirits and getting extremely excited about her arrival. i am having a blessed pregnancy and i am very grateful for that.

cravings: red velvet cake and ice cold milk.

food aversions: meh.

sleep: with my body pillow and a few other strategically places pillows i sleep just fine. just don't ask him how much less space he has in the bed these days...

what i am thankful for this month: my own mother's sacrifice for me. i don't think you realize how much your own mom went through to bring you into this world until you experience it yourself. granted, i have yet to experience the labor and birth, but i am beginning to understand that this is not for the faint of heart. and i am thankful she gave me life.

"pregnancy brain" evidence: this is always the most difficult question for me to answer. i know there are many examples of this, i just never can quite pull them out of my brain. and i wish i could because they always make me laugh.

how my body has changed this month: i woke one night last week to a feeling of fire in my throat. immediately shot out of bed coughing. it was disgusting and it scared me a bit. my belly has gotten very big and very heavy. took my friends' advice and lifted my belly with my hands for a few moments and ahhhhh. it. was. nice.

inspiration for this post found at becoming m



“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.”

Brian Tracy


stretch marks

“Remember happiness doesn't depend on who you are or what you have, 
it depends solely on what you think.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Occasionally I have a hard time loving my pregnant body. It changes every day. I get bigger every day. And I know this is the way it is supposed to be. But, every once in awhile I catch myself in the mirror and think "wow, is that really what I look like?" Of course, I have some of the sweetest friends who say things like "you look great" and "you haven't gained weight anywhere except your bump." And I know they mean well. Their comments do make me smile. It makes it a little easier to brush off the ignorant "are you sure you're not having twins?" comments. (I am convinced there are people who have absolutely no clue how to speak to pregnant women.)
The time of year is coming where people are getting in shape for summer. It makes me want to get out there and run my little heart out. 
I am human. I have insecurities just like everyone else.

But, I am lucky. Lucky to be able to carry my child. Lucky to be married to her wonderful daddy. Lucky to be able to provide for her. Lucky to be getting bigger because that means she is getting bigger. Lucky to have the stretch marks that show her growth. Lucky to be a mom. 

I am happy.


walking is man's best medicine

we went for a walk this morning along our regular 3-mile neighborhood loop. the same loop i would run around before i was pregnant. i have not been doing much, exercise-wise, these days. and i was nervous that i would either not make it the entire way or have some serious discomfort in my back. 

well, i made it the entire way and the discomfort was kept to a minimum. i call that a victory.


love me graciously

"I am not asking you to love me perfectly, but to love me graciously." 
-Ramses Prashad

there is just something about baby feet and toes that i cannot get enough of these days. i am looking forward to kissing my little one's every chance i get.


dear baby epperson,

your dad works evenings. i work days. we miss each other a lot. however, we know that when you decide to make your debut this schedule will work out best for you, and that is all that matters. you see, just about everything we do these days is for you. we budget our money with you in mind. we choose our weekly meal plan thinking of what will help you grow strong and healthy (and sneak in a few sloppy joe and mac & cheese nights). i drink water, after water, after water (plus my weekly dr. pepper). creating a safe environment for you is our number one priority. we love you.

he gets home after midnight each night while i fall asleep around 8:30 and 9 PM. during the school week i am up at 5 AM and my body doesn't really deviate from that schedule. so this morning i woke, checked the time and saw 5:42 AM. knowing he wanted to sleep a bit later than that i kissed him on the forehead, slipped out of bed, and crept quietly into your nursery. lately i am enjoying these prenatal yoga routines and your room is the perfect space for it. afterward, i folded a bag of tiny newborn and 0-3 month onesies, shirts, and pants from one of your dad's coworkers. their little one has already outgrown them and they generously passed them on to us. looking at the newborn onesies i wonder how big you are. will you be that small? will you go straight to the next size? i look forward to finding out. 

your mama


twenty-eight weeks

how far along: 28 weeks (26 weeks in the pictures, it took me awhile to post them)

gender: she's still a girl

symptoms: had a horrible thigh cramp in the middle of last night. i cried out and he woke immediately and started rubbing it out. it felt like fire in my leg. it was gone soon enough. but, i had to be careful the rest of the night as it felt like i was always one stretch away from a stepping-on-a-lego level of torture.

energy level: (scale of 1-10) when i am at school i would say its an 8. i am constantly moving and doing. when i am at home its more of a 5. sometimes i feel like doing things. other times i can't pry myself off the couch. i guess that's an average of 6.5.

mood: happiness continues. but, when i am sad... look out. sometimes i cry and i don't even know why i am crying. usually i just have to think of her and i feel better. because really... nothing matters more than her.

cravings: this week its been fresh berries. strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, i love them all.

food aversions: still just alcohol. and my sense of smell is heightened. so when my baby daddy pours himself a glass of scotch i have to hold my nose. even if he is sitting on the other couch.

sleep: there has been a couple nights i have not been able to sleep. but, most nights i can. so happy for that.

what i am thankful for this month: how active this little girl is. it makes me smile to feel her move around. i will always stop what i am doing to watch the tiny movements. i am also thankful i passed my glucose test. no gestational diabetes for me!

"pregnancy brain" evidence: at target this afternoon as i was checking out the worker gave me my bag of items, i paid with a gift card and then cash, she gave me my receipt, and that was supposed to be the end of the transaction. "pregnancy brain" got the best of me and i convinced myself the bag was still behind the counter. i looked in my basket and it looked empty to me. i told her that "i thought" she still had my bag. she checked and said she gave it to me. i looked into my basket again and there it was. boy, did i feel silly.

how my body has changed this month: my goodness my skin is dry! no one ever told me i would be moisturizing 2-3 times daily. my legs feel like paper. my stomach is flaky. my elbows are bone dry. my ankles have also started to swell. it's all pretty glamorous.

inspiration for this post found at becoming m


great with child: letters to a young mother

my bestie, chelsey, sent me this book last week. and, i honestly read it in two days. if it hadn't been for normal adult obligations i could have read it in half a day. it is that good. before i pass it on i thought i would do that thing i used to do and copy my favorite quotes here to "keep forever."


"you understand yourself as lodged in history in a way you didn't before. your beliefs will be tested, your hypotheses put into action, so you'll consider them in a new way. whether you're explaining where pets go when they die or teaching your child to recycle, your philosophies have ramifications. for the rest of history, echoes of your voice will be heard."

"i don't know, i realize daily, how to be the perfect mom. i'm making mistakes, but there's no answer key. sometimes i think the most i can hope for is to observe her closely enough that i can at least make different mistakes next time."

"one of the really strange things i've come to learn about the culture of motherhood is that it's very judgmental. the harshest critics of mothers are other mothers. i'm not sure why this is so - perhaps because expectant mothers receive so much hysteria-tinged advice that we feel paranoid. so perhaps we've grown so confused and doubtful of our own instincts and abilities that we cling fiercely to the idea that our decisions are right - which must mean all other decisions are wrong."

"only women can bring forth a living creature. we do this with our bodies. we do this with our hearts."

"sorry to hear about how tired you are. don't feel guilty about the naps, though! why shouldn't you be tired? you're growing bones and teeth, you're forging a liver and appendix, you're molding the spongy Play-Doh chunnels of the brain! you are making unique fingerprints, pixie prints no one else can make, no one else will have. and inside you now, your baby opens its eyelids. of course, you're tired girl."

"you are a warrior. you are a warrior, and for your whole life your body has been warming up for this great fight. these last months have been consumed with training everything inside you, all of the hormones and the loosening of the joints have been in preparation for this, and you are ready. you know, more or less, the day, the place, of your battle, and you will meet it because you are destined for it, it is the greatest challenge your body will ever know. oh we women needn't play at war and its games like men i've known who can't disguise their aggression and excitement when the bombs begin falling on some country or other. we needn't play at war because if we give birth, we go to war, and at the deepest level, deeper than bone-deep, or evolutionary history tells us that it's a matter of life or death."

these are things i think about...

pretty sprinkled cake pops

cake balls should be available to pregnant women at all times. 
they are the perfect little-something-sweet.


happy birthday, bunbun

yesterday would have been her ninetieth birthday. i thought of her all day. in bed last night i cried myself to sleep, and here i am the next morning crying on the couch as i go through the pictures and read the words again.

i posted this a few days after i found out...

My sweet great-grandmother, Laverne, or "Bunbun" as she was known to most, passed away peacefully Monday. Visitation and service details may be found below.
She lived a long, happy life and was loved by many. By far the single most important person in my life, she was the reason for all my good fortune and my savior from all the bad.
Thinking long and hard about posting this here, I decided this was a much bigger part of my "highlight reel" than anything else I may post.

Dearest Bunbun,
Thank you for my wonderful life. While I did not inherit your ability to converse with anyone in the room or your signature breathtaking blue eyes, from you I learned the importance of forgiveness, feeding the ones you love, and keeping my nails nicely painted. I love you and will miss you forever. I know you are at home with your parents, all of your brothers and sisters, and your husband, Andy.
You are one in a million.
Chickety Floot!

Laverne Nabors Russell

Obituary, Photo Gallery, and Memories


dear baby epperson,

you are moving around like never before. feeling you dance around throughout the day reminds me that you are always with me. relaxing on the couch after school i see your tiny movements through my shirt. you will learn that your mom enjoys putting on her biggest comfiest t-shirt to unwind after a long day. the shirt i am wearing right now used to be one such shirt. your growing body is quickly changing that. it is becoming tight in places i didn't know a t-shirt could be tight.

and i love you for that.

keep growing and dancing my sweet little babe.

your mama


"even on bad days, i will still be happy with you."

today was one of those days when things just. did. not. go my way. i could list all of the troubles encountered on the trip back home from visiting his family up north. i could. but, i won't. let's just say there were multiple annoyances, a few eye rolls, and lots of sighing. 
with that being said, it wasn't all that bad. we had a wonderful trip, saw lots of family, ate more than our fair share of good food, and made it back to dallas safely. yes, we were over four hours late due to delays and exhausted, but we were together.

honestly, i enjoy every moment spent with him. it doesn't matter to me if we are freezing in frigid -30 degree weather, or stuck on an airplane runway, or cozy at home on our couch engrossed in our respective technologies. everything, and i mean everything, is better with him.

he is my everything. and i am lucky to have him.


look for the best

"be the one who nurtures & builds. be the one who has an understanding & a forgiving heart. one who looks for the best in people. leave people better than how you found them."

... i am trying. some days i succeed and some days i do not. perhaps it will be my 2014 goal.


twenty-two weeks

how far along: 22 weeks

gender: it's a girl!

symptoms: frequent urination seems to be the major symptom i have been experiencing these days. it is constant. i try my best to not drink much liquid before bedtime. but, when this girl is thirsty she drinks something. i may wake once per night to use the restroom if at all. so that is not a complaint. the frequent urination is during the day. sometimes i haven't even left the restroom before i realize i need to go again.

energy level: (scale of 1-10) 9 - i am saying nine instead of ten because i have yet to experience the nesting phase everyone talks about. the one where the husband finds his wife organizing the bathroom cabinets in the middle of the night. i have always been like that and i do that sort of stuff during the day. i just haven't gone crazy nesting yet... but i am sure i will.

mood: wonderful. i still love being pregnant. i was meant for this. 

cravings: nothing much. i keep waiting for my craving of pickles and ice cream to hit... 

food aversions: does alcohol count? the smell of liquor especially sicks me out. yuck! 

sleep: still getting enough sleep. i may toss and turn a few times a night from my left, back, and over to my right side. but, i am usually able to fall back to sleep no problem. i am incredibly grateful for that as i hear that may soon change.

what i am thankful for this month: i am thankful for all of the sweet gifts our little girl is receiving. from headbands, shoes, books, and the smallest onesies you've ever laid eyes on this babe is going to want for nothing. thank you from the bottom of my heart.

"pregnancy brain" evidence: nothing comes to mind right now... maybe that is the evidence. 

how my body has changed this month: my blood pressure was very high at my first two prenatal visits but this past visit it was back to normal. this was great news. that was something i worried about and i hope the improvement continues. my belly is getting bigger every day and i am enjoying watching the changes. i finally bought some maternity clothes and i am loving sporting my new comfy threads.

inspiration for this post found at becoming m



my top five favorite scarf looks right now.



quote lover

i am a quote lover. 

i love reading quotes that make me stop and think "yes! that is so right." i write down quotes. i take pictures of quotes. i pin quotes. i blog about quotes. i sometimes even think in quotes. 

i don't think i could live without them.

“One thing’s for sure: if you decide to be courageous and sane, if you decide not to overspend or overcommit or overschedule, the healthy people in your life will respect those choices. And the unhealthy people in your life will freak out, because you’re making a choice they’re not currently free to make. Don’t for one second let that stop you. Either I can be here, fully here, my imperfect, messy, tired but wholly present self, or I can miss it- this moment, this conversation, this time around the table, whatever it is- because I’m trying, and failing, to be perfect, keep the house perfect, make the meal perfect, ensure the gift is perfect. But this season I’m not trying for perfect. I’m just trying to show up, every time, with honesty and attentiveness.”

Shauna Niequist ‘Bread & Wine’