December is busy.

It’s only the 7th day of December and I already feel like it is flying by.  At work, it’s the last week of classes and then exams start on Sunday.  I feel like things are about to get real crazy, real quick.

We have a department holiday party coming up, and I am taking meatballs.   I found a recipe for Cranberry BBQ Meatballs from The Chunky Chef, and I am sitting here drooling looking at the recipe.  I wanted something that was easily cleanup (hello crockpot liners!), and was an easy to eat party food.    Three ingredients and maybe 10 minutes of prep time – yep, I’m sold!   Also wanted something simple in case I buy all the ingredients, and we end up with weird winter weather that prevents us from going to the party.   Yes, SC is expecting weird winter weather this weekend.  Granted, I’ll believe it when I see it, since it was 70 on Sunday and Monday of this week.

We also have an annual family reunion at my uncle’s church for all my moms siblings (7 of them total), and their kids/grand kids.   It is always fun, because we typically only see this side of the family once a year.  We weren’t able to make it last year, so we are going up on a Friday to stay with my mom, attending the party on Saturday and then going back to moms for the night.  She wants to make cookies with the kids (and us) on Saturday afternoon/evening.   Later in the month we’ll head back to moms for actual Christmas stuff and my birthday!   This is something we have gotten to do every year since the kids and I moved to SC.  They live so close (5ish hours), that I want to try to get there as much as possible.   I cannot wait for birthday dinner this year, because this girl wants her seafood!   I’m bummed because one of our favorite places to eat was torn down due to extensive hurricane damage, so we’ll have to find somewhere else to go.

After that week, its my last week of work, and my kids last week of school for 2018.   I have the dreaded glucose test later this month too.  I am looking forward to having one glorious week off work, with no alarms (for me), and no rushing to get kids to school on time!

What does your December look like?

they read my mind

I saw this cartoon on facebook, and knew I had to share it!   This is literally ME in cartoon form.  After Natalee became really sick around 18 months old and ended up hospitalized, I became super aware of people breathing on her and around her (germs, cigarette smoke smell, etc).  If you think I was bad when she was 18 months old – then you will probably hate me as the mom of a newborn.   I think I have more of a voice now than I did back then, and I’m less afraid of offending people than I used to be.  It is my job as a mom to protect baby girls little lungs and her health.

pregnancy dreams = wth

Seriously people….you can tell me all day long about weird dreams, but nothing compares to weird pregnancy dreams.   Pregnancy dreams are insanely vivid, they often revolve around bizarre situations or topics, and sometimes they are just downright scary.

Case in point.  Wednesday night we went to bed like normal.  We put Northern Lights Black Spruce essential oil in the diffuser, I took my allergy pill like I do every night, we snuggled (like we do every night) before we both drifted off to sleep.   Jake’s alarm goes off at 4:45, and some mornings he is up right away, some mornings he hits snooze several times.  This morning was one of those mornings where he got up right away, and I was able to go back to sleep pretty easily after he kissed me bye.

Then the dream started.  It started off okay – we were at a beautiful hotel in the mountains for a romantic getaway after we had the baby.  Somehow, my ex-husbands new wife set it up for Jake’s ex-wife to show up at the hotel and cause a huge scene.  In the dream, Jake and I were in bed when there was a knock at the door; he got up and opened the door only to find his ex-wife screaming and carrying on in the hallway.  So, he let her in our room in order to get her to calm down.  He tried to give her money to leave, and instead she got naked (!!), and climbed into our bed which I was currently occupying.  I quickly jumped up and went out on the balcony.   Jake and a hotel bellhop try to forcibly remove her from the room while waiting for the cops to show up.  She was screaming about how she was going to steal our daughter, and win Jake back by showing him what a good mother she could be.   I am sitting on the balcony in a bathro be absolutely sobbing because this has ruined our whole romantic weekend.  Jake is still in the room with the bellhop, while he tries to talk her down from whatever drug induced crazy she is on.   When the police show up, she quickly sobers up and tells them that she and Jake were sleeping peacefully when I showed up.  She started acting like a loving wife, and was hanging on him.  She tells the police that I am “hiding” on the balcony and that again, I had broken into their room.  The police arrest me and take me to jail for breaking and entering.    I woke up from this dream with tears on my face, a wet pillow and I was shaking.   It was bizarre and awful.

What.The.Hell.

Feel free to tell me about your weird dreams in the comments, especially if they were when you were pregnant!

Throw Back Thursday

Little did I know that about 30 minutes after this photo was taken, that Jake would ask me to marry him.   Cannot believe it’s been 2 years since this day, and almost 3 years since I met the love of my life, and the best bonus dad to my kids.   We love you babe!   (photo cred to my daddy!)

baby bumpdate!

Baby girl had her heart scan on November 12th. Being a CHD patient, I am used to these kind of scans, but it is still always a little bit scary. Thank you to Kristina from Abrahmstrong for sending me the exact questions to ask the ultrasound tech. You would think this being baby #4, I would know the questions to ask, but sadly I did not.

Currently her heart looks perfect, all 4 chambers, all valves operating as they should, no holes between chambers and the vessels (aorta & pulmonary artery) are where they should be. We will get a similar scan around 35 weeks as a double check. She was kicking away at the doppler (which is normal for her), and had her hands in her mouth most of the time (which of course she was uncooperative in the scan tech getting a picture of).

I had another appointment on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and everything seems to be progressing normally.  Her heartbeat is nice and strong, and I am measuring as I should be for a 4th time mom.  The only thing that really came out of that appointment was finding out my doctor actually goes on maternity leave herself around December 19th, and should be back before my due date.  In the meantime, she has picked a doctor within the practice she wants me to see.   I will have the dreaded glucose test on December 18th.   Totally NOT excited about this.  My doctor said “get excited, we have fruit punch and lemon-lime flavor” in a very sarcastic tone.  I laughed when she said the fruit punch was nasty and she recommended the lemon-lime.  My last doctor (with Natalee) had orange, which is the best out of the 3 flavors if I had to pick one.  I’m a little worried about failing the test and being diagnosed with gestational diabetes – but god’s got this!

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!   We have been blessed this year in ways that we never thought possible.  I hope you all have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving weekend.

In closing – #GoGamecocks & #GoBlue!

Another Black Friday Sale item!

And another sale item! This set is $30 less than it would be if you bought it separately AND it’s one of the only ways to get the holy grail of sleep oils – Rutavala! This set is amazing!   If you purchase this from me, you will also get a free carrying case for all of them!   

Black Friday Essential Oil Sale!!

 

Young Living has picked more than 50 of their favorite essential oils and the 4 most popular diffusers and they are ALL on sale for 20% off!
If you want in to any of these, send me an email or a text (vannfamily4@gmail.com).

Anyone who places a $100 or more order will get some extra goodies from me!!!

When: November 23 at 8 a.m., MT, through November 24 at 11:59 p.m.,

🌟 20% off 🌟
Aria Diffuser
Rainstone Diffuser 
Desert Mist Diffuser
Lantern Diffuser

🌟 15ml 🌟
Abundance 
Bergamot 
Cedarwood
Citronella 
Clary Sage 
Clove 
Copaiba 
Cypress
Digize 
Endoflex
Eucalyptus Globulus
Eucalyptus Radiata 
Geranium
ImmuPower 
Joy 
Lavender
Lemon 
Melrose 
Orange 
Oregano 
PanAway 
Patchouli 
Peppermint 
Raven 
Rosemary 
Stress Away
Tea Tree
Thieves

🌟 5ml 🌟
Blue Tansy 
Christmas Spirit 
Citrus Fresh Vitality 
Frankincense Vitality 
Gentle Baby 
Ginger
Lavender Vitality 
Lemon Vitality
Lime Vitality 
Orange Vitality 
PanAway 
Peace & Calming 
Peppermint Vitality 
Rose 
Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood
Sacred Sandalwood
SleepyIze 
Spearmint 
Thieves Vitality 
TummyGize
Valor
Vetiver 
White Angelica

Swagbucks Pre-Black Friday Sale!

As a pre-Black Friday warm up, Swagbucks is offering big cash back for shopping online at several of your favorite retailers right now! Just go to this page to see all of the deals available and get the jump on your holiday shopping.    I see a few of the stores we were already planning to shop at including Lowes Home Improvement, Old Navy and Target!

In order to take advantage of the cash back, just create your Swagbucks account when prompted (it takes less than 30 seconds) and then you’re all set! Your cash back comes in the form of SB points, which you can redeem for gift cards to places like Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, or get PayPal cash!

As a special bonus, if you sign up through me you get a 300 SB ($3) bonus when you earn your first 300 SB before December 1st! This site’s a great way to extend your shopping budget, especially around the holidays!

Six

Six years ago, I woke up to a chilly Georgia morning.  I probably didn’t want to leave the warm bed to begin the days adventure.  That adventure you ask; packing my entire 4 bedroom house into a moving truck for our move to South Carolina.  It was hard, most of the people who said they were going to help us move bailed on us at the last minute.  I get it, people get busy and things happen.  I put out an SOS on facebook, and we had friends show up to help.  We got my van, a 27ft moving truck, my dad’s truck with a trailer attached all packed full of 99% of my house (the 1% consisted of my ex-husbands workout machine, my dad was not about to move that).   Loaded the kids up into different vehicles after a round of goodbyes to friends and we hit the road.

My dad and I had to go back the next day after we unloaded here for one final load.  I remember the sigh of relief that came from me when we crossed from Georgia into South Carolina on that final trip.  I was leaving behind so many bad memories, and of course a bunch of wonderful ones as well.  I was starting a new adventure in a new town, and it was going to be great.

I remember the weeks leading up to moving were hectic, and I cried a lot.  I knew things would be better once we moved, once we were settled, the kids would have their dad close again.    I could never have imagined everything that has happened in the last 6 years.  I was in a long term relationship where I learned a lot about myself (and alot about how love should be).   I found love – in a man I never would have met if I hadn’t moved.   What’s funny is that Jake moved here a few years before I did, leaving behind his hometown and family/friends to take a job here.  While he no longer has that job, I will forever be thankful for that job since it brought him to the same state as me!   I have a small group of friends that have become like family to me.  I have students who make me laugh all the time, and are like my other kids (ie: they call me Mom!).  I have been blessed with a series of wonderful jobs here at the University of South Carolina, jobs that have given me some super opportunities that I would have never had in Georgia.  I have found a place where I belong.

While I miss my friends in Georgia, this is where I belong.  This is home.

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