Monday, December 31, 2012

An Epic Year: Part 1

Today I woke up feeling... inspired.

Around Christmastime, my siblings and I were talking about age and getting older... My sis is 4 years older and my brother 2 years older so they have already passed the big "30" mark and I am heading there soon (but not too soon... I still have a loooooooooooong year
 and a half to go ;) 

30 is when you are no longer a "young adult."

You are just an adult... a "grown- up."

There are times when thinking about growing up kind of 
depresses me, but not today.

For some reason today I am filled with the gratitude and appreciation that comes with age.

Today I am pondering life and all the amazing people around me and thinking... look how far we've come! Look at all the new exciting things happening and all the unexplored potential that is right there on the horizon.

For example, my bff Jess is in India right now- India! Now plenty of people have no desire to go to India (I am one of them- ha!) But for her to be able to work in her field of anthropology and travel to these places... it is a dream that a small-town girl didn't always believe was possible. And my sister-n-laws on both sides have this amazing talent for interior design. One could give the Junk Gypsy girls a run for their money and the others house looks like something out of Better Homes and Gardens magazine...  So many unexplored possibilities... who knows where it will take them!

                                                                Source: via Lily Dawn on Pinterest

And I think about all the people whose dreams have turned into reality... My cousin Simon became a fireman and his wife Christy graduated from college and had a beautiful baby girl. My Uncle Kab graduating (which no one in a million years would have thought he would do ;) and becoming a paramedic. My brother-n-law Jose is an incredible music minister while my sister is super mama homeschooling her 5 girls.

And then there are those who are already running their own businesses... POP! Graphics, Cheryl McCullough Photography, and Kellie H Photography... and my friend Sam took over her grandparents restaurant (the Pink Pig) and is rockin the place. :)  

And it is not just the people who are doing new things... It is also those whose jobs might seem mediocre, but they are working hard to live the life they wanted. They are raising their children, loving their spouses and doing what they are meant to do in this season of their lives. Those who have been through rough times and have pulled themselves out of it and are moving forward... Those who are loving life and always positive about where they are headed. 

                                       Source: via Lily Dawn on Pinterest

I would say this is a great stage... marriage and beautiful babies and watching ideas and plans become reality. 

All these late 20s - early 30s folks coming into their own. 

Becoming confident in who they are.

I am in awe of my family and friends. With so many horrible, evil things happening in the world, it is easy to start feeling really negative about humanity.

But I am incredibly thankful to be surrounded by good people. Not perfect by any means... but creative, funny, hard-working, God-loving people.

I am not always the greatest communicator in person, but I want you all to know I am inspired by you and proud of you and want you to know how special you are to me.

Thank you Jesus for the mountain tops that help us get through the valleys... and for every person who has been alongside me through both.

                                                                             Source: via Lily Dawn on Pinterest

Happy New Year Everyone!

Monday, December 3, 2012

3 Years...

I'm swamped with work... which is awesome, 
but I have completely neglected my 
little ol' blog here. 

I have much to say, but no time to be wordy or eloquent.

 I'll save that for another day.

Today is Evie's birthday. 

She would be 3. 

I have never experienced anything in my life 
that has changed me as radically as losing her.

She changed everything...


     Source: via angie on Pinterest

 I love you and miss you sweet baby
 yesterday, today, and always.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Once Upon a Time... Reese Edition

Once upon a time,

I gave birth to a son named Reese.

Reese LOVES to read. He reads road signs, cereal boxes, 
junk mail and newspapers, and all his older 
brothers' school books.

Many people are impressed by this 4 year old's love 
for words, and Mommy and Daddy are so proud.

 Reese is loving, sweet, wildly imaginative and incredibly 
animated. He tells great stories and gives the best hugs 
this side of the Mississippi.

 Today I am going to focus on these wonderful 
things about my son Reese.

Today, I am not going to focus on the fact that my 
four year old smarty pants downloaded over $200 in 
game apps on my old phone (totally didn't realize our 
credit card info was saved in the app store).

I am not going to think about how he found the 
phone again 2 days later and downloaded 
another $50 dollars in apps 
(for the love goose, set up a password).

I will not think about our trip to the grocery store where 
he yelled at me in the middle of frozen foods with 
such a bratty tone that I could practically hear the 
other consumer's thoughts "that boy needs 
some discipline."


And I definitely won't think about how he has made it a habit to
 produce a nails-on-a-chalkboard-ear-piercing scream every 
time his brothers do anything that he disagrees with.

And I will certainly forget our lovely experience at 
the ball fields where my spirited child decided he was 
mad at us, so he should just disappear for about 
5 minutes in a sea of baseball caps and soccer moms... 
creating that oh-lord-please-don't-let-my-child-end-up-
on-a-back-of-a-milk-carton panic that takes about 
10 years off my life expectancy.

 And lastly, I am not going to dwell on the fact that he 
took a bottle of glue and poured it all over the dining 
room table this morning... 
I mean after all, he was creating a masterpiece. 

 Nope, today I will just enjoy the quiet moments 
and remember this phase won't last forever. 

One day I'll miss this... 

But hopefully by then God will give me an 
adorable little grandson... who acts just like his daddy did... 
who gives his parents every bit of the joy he has brought 
to us ;) 

Love you Reesey

                                                                   Source: via Cara on Pinterest

Monday, September 10, 2012

MM: Craft Shows and iPhones

1:  Back to Work!

My first craft show of the year for Sailor Studio is this Saturday. 
Am I ready??? Not really, but I have a lot of new jewelry and 
this week I will be sprucing up the display. So hopefully I'll be 
good to go by the weekend.

I can't wait to see how people respond to some 
of the new designs!

2. Distractions

I know I have a ton of work to do, but it is really hard to put my little bubs down...

He is just so soft and sweet!!

3. Crankypants

Hudson is an awesome baby, sleeping and eating great. 

But there is something he does not like so much...

Bath time!

He absolutely hates being cold. 
He pitches a fit when he is getting a bath or getting 
changed with a cold wipe. But as soon as he is 
dressed and bundled up, he is happy as can be.

Well, most of the time.

Sometimes he holds a grudge...

Hehe, this face soooooo reminds 
me of Nolan as a baby!!


So my cracked and smashed android phone has finally been retired. 

Goose was able to get a upgrade through his work, so he
 decided to just get me an iPhone. Yes, Mr. Anti-Apple himself.
 And after having it for a few weeks, I have to say, 


My Evo just gave me soooo many problems that I am 
shocked at a phone that just does what I want it to do. 
It is so easy to use! All my apps work, the camera works, 
easy peezy. I can finally take pictures on my phone 
again!! yay! 

(now given, goose's android phone works awesome 
and has never given him problems, but as for me, 
I am an apple phone convert!)

And speaking of apps, I am quickly becoming 
addicted to Instagram!

Huddy buddy is getting a lot of face time:

 (My user name is @Alilstory)

And I get to play Words with Friends again!

I have also been using a nursing app that helps me keep 
up with feedings and a few learning apps for the 
older boys (never know when you will need an 
emergency distraction  :)


Any must-have apps you love? Let me know!! 

Happy Monday!!

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Baby Story: Hudson Ray

Sorry if there is a little TMI in this post... 
but what's a good birth story without it  :)

Wednesday (the 22nd) I went to my last doctor's appointment, exactly one week before our scheduled c-section, and 2 weeks before my actual due date. I was having lots of braxton-hicks contractions, tightening around my stomach but not painful. Baby boy had dropped down and he was making me incredibly uncomfortable, especially at night.

I was so big, everyone thought I would go early, but I wasn't expecting to. The doctor checked everything out and said it was all normal, no signs at all of early labor. 


Thursday morning I went to a big consignment sale to look for the last few things we needed (I got some great stuff). Then I went by JoAnns (fabric/craft store), taking advantage of being kid-less for a few hours. 

As I was walking around the store I stopped in an aisle and all of a sudden felt something...* TMI Alert * like a small "gush." Trying not to freak out, I walked quickly back to the bathroom. I thought my water might have broke, but turns out it was my mucus plug (dry-heaving I know... I'll spare any more details but definitely look it up if you are pregnant so you won't be freaked out if/when you lose it).  Now I had never experienced this in other pregnancies, but thankfully I had read about it online so I knew what it was. 

So anyway, I left the store and began having contractions, but they weren't too painful. They were steady for about an hour and then they stopped. Once I got home I looked up all the info on losing a m.p. - and it said it could be a sign of labor starting, but it could also mean nothing... so pretty much back to square one. I felt fine the rest of the night. 

Friday morning around 6, I woke up with serious back pain. I felt like I was having contractions all across my lower back and it was painful! They lasted for about an hour. Goose got up to go to work and asked if I needed him to stay home and I said no... they were starting to get farther apart. I was able to nap for a couple hours and everything stopped. 

I thought it would be just another ordinary day.

Then, around 2:00, Reese and I left to go to the bank and get gas before picking up the twins from school. As soon as I started driving, the contractions started... like real contractions. They were around the front and were getting painful.

I had a little notebook with me and started writing down the time (my mom always told me to do that if they were getting consistent)... I am glad I did because they were getting closer together and almost exactly 7-8 minutes apart. I held off calling the doctor because I didn't want to go through the whole check in process just for a false alarm. 

But once they were about 5 minutes apart, 
Goose told me (okay ordered me) to call the doctor. 

She told me to come in now.

I was almost to the twins' school at this point so I went in, trying to play it cool, like I was not having serious contractions every few minutes... The front desk lady looked at me like I was nuts when I told her I needed to check out the boys and was heading to the hospital. She called over the speaker, "I need Nolan and Ty to check out right now please!"

We got in the car and they were so excited that the baby was coming... then Nolan got quiet and in a very concerned voice said, "Mom, Do I have to be in there when they take the baby out?" 
and I said "No, it will just be me with the doctors and daddy." 

He was very relieved. 


Goose left work and we were going to meet at the house and then head to the hospital. I, of course hadn't packed a bag or anything. Once I got home I started throwing stuff together... totally not the time to try packing a hospital bag. I forgot toothpaste, my conditioner and soap, and a nursing-friendly shirt to wear after the babe came. 

Word to the wise- pack your bag early! 

Goose's parents got there to pick up the boys and 
then Goose got there finally (Friday traffic).

We threw the stuff in the car, kissed the boys good-bye 
and headed to the hospital. I loved getting to text the family 
and tell them we were going in early.
So fun to surprise everyone :)

The ride down was hilarious... It was like 5:00 on Friday and we had to go through Loganville and Snellville so traffic was horrendous. Goose was driving like a maniac (only slightly more than usual) and the contractions were coming almost 
exactly 3 minutes apart. 

In between contractions, I took a few pictures 
of Hudson's last time in my belly :)

We got to the hospital and checked in. I changed into my
 super attractive hospital gown and they hooked me up to
 the baby monitor and contraction belt. The contractions 
slowed down a little, but they were still very painful.

Then, the nurse checked me. I was only 1 cm and 60% effaced!! Seriously?? ...but the doc said since the contractions were so steady they would go ahead with the c-section. 

Everything went quickly after that. 
They put in the epidural and had me in the 
operating room within an hour.

Goose came in and Hudson was 
out in just a couple minutes.  

He started crying and it 
was the best. moment. ever.

 (first pic)

 Goose completely forgot the 
flip camera and the regular camera 
so we have no pics or video from when he
 first came out... booooo.

8 lbs 9 oz! Big boy! The nurses were 
oohing and awing over his chubby cheeks 
and blonde hair. 

We got back to the labor room, 
and we finally got to hold him. 


Emotional! I couldn't believe he
was there, healthy and beautiful as can be.


  Now we still didn't have a name... 
and we didn't decide until we were packed up and
 ready to leave the hospital. We had to turn in the 
birth certificate sheet so I had to write something. 

I was sooooo indecisive, I still liked 
Silas but just wasn't sure about it. 

Goose said, "He's a Hudson." so I went with it :)
Now the recovery of my c-section has not been so great. Because we went early, a different doctor than we had planned performed the surgery. Instead of using the same incision as the previous ones like my other doctor does, she cut a totally new incision above the old one. I had no idea until about 3 days later when I could see it. 

The healing has been sloooow and a lot more painful then the last two... but I am finally starting to feel better. I am so thankful Goose was able to take a full week off of work. He did pretty much everything around the house and took great care of me and the boys. 

And he celebrated a birthday on Sunday! :)  

 (playing with his birthday present- 
a Nexus 7 Android tablet)

Hudson is doing great.  Sleepiest baby ever! 

It has been so long
since my big boys let me hold them for longer
than 5 seconds, so I am taking full advantage
of snuggling this little guy :)

I adore the newborn stage!!

I really can't believe I am "Mama" to 4 incredible little guys. 

Completely blessed beyond measure! :) 

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Big Surprise! Introducing...

 At 38 weeks and 2 days... 

    We unexpectedly welcomed the newest 
     member of the Bilsland bunch into the 

  Hudson Ray 

was born August 24, 2012 at 7:32 pm

 (Mommy was not able to settle on a 
name so we went with Daddy's favorite)

 8 lbs. 9 oz and 20.5 inches long

He has Ty's hair, Nolan's bulldog cheeks, 
and was the same weight as Reese, 
but has a personality all his own :)  
We are soooo in love with this little guy...
I did have a c-section, but actually got to 
experience some labor too. Details to come! 

We are home now and getting settled into 
our new life as a family of 6. Thank you for 
all of your thoughts and prayers!   

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Lil Baby Bumpage: Ginormous.. 38 Weeks.

38 Weeks! 


Because I am having the whole scheduled 
c-section thing, that means 8 days and counting... 

Me:  Ready, ready, sooooooo ready... can't sleep, even with my 
2.4 million pillows tucked everywhere. Can't wait to
meet this wild child.

Babe: He's just hanging out... being massive. 

I get the "are you positive it's not twins again?" 
comment on the reg... awesome.

Bod: The swelling has begun like whoa. I did pretty 
well this time... lasted almost the whole nine months without
 these lovely cankles and sausage fingers.

In other news...

My mom and sis threw me a casual family shower Friday night at our place. I wasn't really planning on a shower this time around (4th boy and all) but I am so thankful they decided to, not only because it was fun to get together and celebrate this little guy, but also because it forced me and goose to finally get some sort of nursery together and deep clean the house before we brought a newborn home. Having people over is the best motivation! 

Thank you guys for the awesome gifts, 
we got exactly what we needed!


Goose got suckered in to hanging out all night 
with the ladies ...only fair he should have to attend 
at least one of his kid's showers ;)

(he took every opportunity to
 be obnoxious of course :)

And, in case you were wondering, 
we still have not decided on a name.

 I like Silas, Elliott, Lincoln, and 
Tobias (Toby for short)... Goose loves the name 
Hudson, but I am hearing it everywhere.

  We put up this board for fun at the shower and let everyone vote on their favorite:

 Toby and William won the vote, but sorry 
Grandmas, "William Robert" has been vetoed. 

Not that William is a terrible 
name or anything, but Billy Bob Bilsland...

just ain't gonna happen. ;)


BTW, have I mentioned how many pregnant women there are
in this family right now???

(Me and my big sis who is due in Nov. with her 5th girl)

  (my cousin Christy (left) is due in Feb with her first)

(Don't mind my goofy uncle)

My aunt Rita (back) is due in October with 
her second, a boy this time.

And my sis-n-law, Amy, on goose's side is 
also pregnant with a little girl (due in December).

That means there will be brand-new, beautiful babies
 everywhere over the next few months.

Love, love, love!!!  Can't wait! 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Lil Moments: Chinese and Dragonflies

I'm still procrastinating on baby stuff, 
so I thought I would share some of my favorite 
summer moments today:

 Camping was fun... not so much with the 
being-pregnant part, but the boys had a blast :) 

The Bunch twins (nephews) turned 4!!


This belly is outofcontrol...

We spent as much time as possible at my 
aunt's pool. Preggo swimming is the best 
and the boys loooooove the water :)

Nolan catching dragonflies: 
my favorite pic of the summer!

Double Time!

We told Reese you have to smile for the dragonflies to come to you, so he wore a huge cheesy grin around the pool for about 30 minutes before one finally landed on him :) 

 Nolan got pretty bold and started jumping off the rock- 
scared me to death! 

My nieces catching dragonflies :)

And of course, there was a little education 
thrown in there. The boys kept up with their
Chinese lessons from Aunt Rita (who is also 
preggo with a baby boy): 

...and they have been reading like crazy- so proud!

Now we all know Reese has somewhat of a "cartoonish" 
voice... I found this video of him reading from a few months
 ago and well, it cracks me up- he even adds a little accent
 at the end for good measure. :) 

Happy Friday y'all!! :)

friday favorite things | finding joy