Saturday, June 28, 2014

How has it been a year?

How has it been an entire YEAR since my last post???

I swear, every month or so I think to myself "I really need to write something." and every time, I forget! (I blame it on the loss of brain cells from two pregnancies.) ................Oh yeah, in the time that's passed since the last post, I found out I was pregnant, gave birth, and now have a 3 month old baby girl! Two under's greeeeat.....most of the time ;)

So, let me formally introduce the blogworld to my sweet, little lucky charm, Holly Beth <3

Holland Elizabeth Hajek - 03/17/2014 - 7lbs 4oz - 21"  

Holland has been absolutely fantastic. It was a rough first couple of months with all the all nighters, but I'm happy to announce that for the last few weeks she's been sleeping sweet and sound all-night-long.

She's happy and healthy! We did have to make a visit to Driscoll Children's Hospital for an ultrasound of her hips, because there was a slight concern from her doctor, but I got the call yesterday that everything is completely normal and there is no longer a reason for concern.

Big Sister, Harper is loving having a real, live baby doll. She likes to help mommy and daddy by handing us bottles, trying to help put on her bib and bringing diapers and wipes....she likes to give her a paci too.

The happy big sister!
I'll have to admit, I was a little bit worried about Harper would take it. I've heard horror stories about jealous older siblings, but she really has been great. We work really hard to give them equal attention. Of course, with Holland being so tiny, sometimes she just requires more, but we try to involve Harper in what we're doing for/with Holland, or at least explain why we're having to do whatever it is that we're doing.

Speaking of explaining things to Harper, that kid understands SO much! I can give her detailed instructions, and she'll follow them to the T (which is more than I can say about her daddy ;)). She loves to gab away too, saying new words every day. I can't wait til I can carry on a real conversation with her!

From Holland's newborn photo session with Mommy!
#hajekblog #harpergrace #hollandelizabeth #hollybeth

Herbal Essences Naked VoxBox from Influenster

This lucky gal was chosen to receive the Herbal Essences Naked VoxBox from Influenster!
My box included trial sizes of Shampoo & Conditioner, and a full size bottle of Dry Shampoo - all from Herbal Essences' new Naked line. Naked products are free of heavy residues, parabens and dyes. They also have a refreshing minty scent!

My box came in a few days ago, so I've had the opportunity to begin using the products. I've used the shampoo and conditioner once and the dry shampoo twice. Dry shampoo is definitely a must-have, it's a quick and easy way to get rid of that greasy look/feel, which is important when you live in South Texas where the humidity is always 100%! (Seriously, how are we not having to SWIM everywhere?)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Update on Life/Fysiko Eyelash Growth Serum/ Palmolive Soft Touch

I have got to get better about keeping up with this thing! It looks like my last post was on our Anniversary, 03/27/2013, so let me try to remember what's happened since then.

I guess I'll start with the technical stuff. I joined Influenster a couple of months ago, which is a product testing site. So far I've received a $400 Fysiko Eyelash Growth Serum to test, free of charge, as well as 2 full-size bottles of Palmolive Soft Touch. The Fysiko Eyelash Growth Serum is a 16 week program which I began on 05/13/2013, so I started on my 5th week today. I'm supposed to post a blog about the experience every 4 weeks, but I missed the mark last week! So far I haven't really noticed any thickening, but I still have 11 weeks to go, so we shall see! As for the Palmolive Soft Touch I received, I'm a believer. I am a firm believer that washing dishes by hand gets them way cleaner, but I always hate how my hands feel afterward. My hands get dry and flakey, and my nails get soft and brittle. Since I began using Palmolive Soft Touch, I've noticed a HUGE difference. My hands feel soft and moisturized, and my nails feel like they're getting stronger. Once I run out of my full-size bottle, I'll definitely be buying more. Did I mention it smells great too?

The other thing I've received from Influenster over the last couple of months is the Spring Fever VoxBox, that little treasure chest has be a-mazing. It included a pack of imPress Broadway Nails, Secret Gel Deodorant, Schwarzkopf Professional Hair Gel, a yummy, smore flavored, Tasty Kake, and an NYC New York Color Appleicious Lip Balm. Seriously, if you're not already enrolled in Influenster, what are you waiting for?

What else has happened? Harper cut her first tooth...and then her second just a couple of weeks later! Baby teeth are THE cutest thing ever!
Seriously. How adorable are those little teeth?

She also loves to stand up and has learned how to sit back down on her own, and she loves walking along the couch/tables/anything she can hold onto. She's a little daredevil and keeps trying to stand up without holding onto anything too...this usually result in her ending up on her butt!

We also celebrated Brad's grandpa's 80th birthday and the entire family was there!
Of course, Harper was dressed for the occasion!
 I'll continue with Father's Day in the next post!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I stand for love.

The issue of marriage equality cuts me to the core. I personally believe that everyone is equal, and everyone has the right to marry who they love. As far as I'm concerned, MY Jesus loves everyone, MY God beautifully crafted every single one of us, and, as we approach this Easter weekend, the most important point of all is that OUR Jesus died for everyone.

For every single one of us.

There were no stipulations.

There were no strings.

God's mercy and grace is nondiscriminatory.

That being said, if you don't agree with me, I don't love you any less. We are all entitled to our own opinions and I think things would go further if people would just have civil conversations. You can still be friends and not agree. Some of those dearest to me are wholeheartedly opposed to marriage equality. I still love them. I still respect them.

What makes me crazy is seeing how fellow Christians approach the issue. The way I've seen many Christians act about this goes against everything we have been taught. I grew up in a private Christian school. I've been a Baptist for as long as I can remember. The strongest message I have always been taught is that "God is Love". My Bible says "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Matthew 7:1-2) So, why do we do it? When were we bestowed the divine right to pass judgement on others? I must have fallen asleep during that sermon.

Jesus says in John 13:34 "As I have loved you, so you must love one another." How has he loved us? Unconditionally. He goes on in Verse 35 to say "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." When all you do is tell someone everything you think they're doing wrong, is that showing them Christ's love?

There are so many people in my life, who I love so dearly, that are gay. Having literally grown up around some of them, I am a firm believer that homosexuality is not "a choice". Luckily, most of these people in my life embrace who they are and are open about it, but others are resentful and hate that it is something they can't "overcome". It is the latter that have solidified my opinion on whether it is a choice, or not. It is also the latter that break my heart. It hurts me that our society has made it so difficult for people to be comfortable in their own skin. Whether it's due to their sexuality, what they look like, or how much money they make. We, as a whole, have become this judgmental monster...we actively seek opportunities to judge people. I, too, am guilty of this.

I see a lot of Christians use the argument that gays have chosen a sinful lifestyle. We ALL choose sinful lifestyles every single day. My Bible says that sin is sin and no sin is greater than another. Heck, 1 John 3:15 says that if you hate someone, you are a murderer. You know that really pretty girl that you just hate, because you wish you looked like her? Yeah, you basically murdered her....oh, and it was because you're envious of her? Mark that as another "Deadly Sin" you just committed. Even if being gay were a choice, who are we, as Christians, to decide what they are and are not allowed to do? I cannot tell you how many times I have heard "[He/She] is gay and still goes to church! Can you believe that? Why bother, right? They're going to hell anyway, lol" Seriously? Are we just turning people away over their sin now? Is it now up to us to determine who is makes it in? Guess I slept through that sermon too. I chose to over-eat today, that's Gluttony, another "Deadly Sin"...I guess I'll just stop going to church now. There goes my daughter's chance at Private School! And why is the thought of someone going to hell something to be laughed over?

Yes, the Bible does clearly state that homosexuality is a sin, along with those other silly sins I've been mentioning, but it does not clearly state that you cannot get married because you're a sinner.

Sin is sin.

"...I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners." - Mark 2:17

He came for the Sinners.

We are all Sinners.

Moral of the Story: At the end of the day, I stand for love. This country was built on the basis of freedom of religion. I believe that within that falls freedom of love and the right to marry whomever you choose.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

5 Months

 The most common baby advice I've always heard is "Enjoy every moment, because they'll have their own family before you know it."....girl, is it true.

Harper is 5 months old today. Can you believe it? It literally feels like just yesterday I was looking into her sweet little eyes for the very first time. Today she hardly even resembles the baby I saw that day. Everything about her has changed so much; growing more and more beautiful, more and more intelligent, every single day.

Her hair is much lighter now than it was then; her eyes are a different color. Every inch of her has so much character, she actually looks like a mini toddler. She still has a tiny little body, but her arms and legs go on for miles.

The most exciting thing about her (so far) is her giant personality. She likes to get a taste of anything she can get those hands on. She'll jabber on for hours, if you let her. Her laugh is infectious. Almost anytime you look at her, she's guaranteed to have a big, toothless smile on her face.

She's starting to snuggle with her toys and she can almost sit up on her own. She loves to sleep on her side, in the most awkward, uncomfortable-looking position ever. She tries to crawl, but doesn't quite have the coordination down just yet. She thinks our dogs are hilarious and she loves her morning cartoons.

I'd be lying if I told you I don't have emotional breakdowns on a daily basis. Sometimes when she cries, I cry. Not because I'm frustrated, but because her cry sounds so different than it did those first couple of months...I miss it. Sometimes I'll just be sitting there staring at her and start crying, because I don't know what I could have possibly done to deserve her. Sometimes I miss hearing her in-womb, so I'll listen to the clip I recorded at the hospital, just before I had her...and I cry. Sometimes I cry, because I'm worried it's all just a dream and I'm going to wake up and she won't be there. Heck, I still can't read her all of I'll Love You Forever, because I cry so much I can never get through the last few pages.

Don't get me wrong, the breakdowns aren't always sentimental: Just the other day, she had such a big "blowout" diaper that the only thing I could do was cry, because I didn't even know where to was everywhere. Actually, this is almost always what the non-sentimental breakdowns are over. lol

So here's to our sweet little muchkin, who we can't imagine life without. Stop growing up so fast, please.

"I'll love you forever. I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."

-Until next time.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How time flies...

I cannot believe that the last blog I wrote was before my child was born...she will be 5 months old in just 2 short weeks. Wow.

I suppose there's a lot to catch up on, this will be mostly pictures.

September 2012
Harper's very first and all.
My first time holding that little munchkin.
She instantly had Daddy wrapped around her tiny little finger.
Approximately 1 week later, her newborn photos were taken by Rachel Scott.
(Check her out, she's really awesome: Scott Photography)
She was such a little trooper. P.S. I made that banner ;)
Tiny little toes.
October 2012
Halloween 2012 Pictures

Our little Minnie Mouse! She was a big hit trick-or-treating.
November 2012

November was very exciting, particularly for me. Not only was it the end to Election season chaos, but I also cooked Harper's first Thanksgiving meal. Of course, she couldn't eat any, but still.
Harper's kiss from the Congressman after the big win on Election night.
I wish this outfit could fit her forever!
My sweet little Turkey.
So, now to boast over my amazing Thanksgiving decorating and cooking....
Of course, it wouldn't be a proper Thanksgiving without Duck Dynasty on in the background.

There were a wholllle lotta' leftovers.
Next to the fireplace mantle, this is my favorite thing to decorate.
December 2012
Christmas decorations may or may not have gone up Thanksgiving night.
Harper's Elf on the Shelf - Ellie
Her first picture with Santa.
That face...
Our little gingerbread girl!
Our favorite present :)

Harper's custom onesies made by: Over The Moon Baby Boutique
Harper's custom bows made by: Amy's Bowtique

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Gift of Family

The last couple of weeks have been a little crazy. Last week, I was out of work most of the week, because I was having quite a bit of contractions and for 2 days I had a horrible migraine...which warranted an extra trip to the doctor. Last Thursday the doctor had me go in for my migraine, because she wanted to make sure I wasn't having any blood pressure issues. Everything was a-okay. I went back the next day for my normal visit and she said I was dilated to a 1, with no effacement.

Sunday night I started having really horrible, close contractions, but they fizzled after about 2 hours. Monday I was still having them fairly regularly, but also had a couple of other symptoms that were worrying me, so I called the doctor and she advised that I go ahead and check-in to Labor & Delivery at the hospital. They checked me out (Still dilated at a 1, but had moved up to 50% effacement) and after about 3 1/2 hours, they sent us home with a bedrest order. Boo.

Today I had another regular appointment, still dilated at a 1, but now effaced at at least something seems to be progressing! The doctor also said that my belly was measuring a bit larger than last week, with no weight gain. So, she sent me next door for a sonogram to see how big the baby was. Dear God, I was hoping she was too big so we could schedule an induction! No such luck. She's perfectly normal, with a weight of 6lbs 6oz...which is actually a tiny bit under the average weight for 38 weeks, but only by a couple of ounces. I guess it's just the way she's positioned that's making my belly look bigger. Poor thing doesn't have anymore room in there! I'm just happy that it looks like she's going to be a fairly small baby....she'll fit in all those tiny cute clothes longer!

In the abundance of alone time I've had lately, I've had a lot of time to think about all of those last little things that need to be taken care of. Mostly the practical stuff, like putting the final touches on Harper's room, doing some last minute shopping for things we may need, making sure all of our bills are paid in advance (Lord knows Brad does would not even know where to start!) and making sure everything around the house is caught up. I've literally washed every piece of laundry in this house....even the things that were already clean. I'm in a laundry craze right now. Brad has been such a huge help too, I wash/dry/fold/hang, he runs it all up and down the stairs! It's a good deal :) I've also had LOTS of time to get familiar with Lifetime Movie Network! I can't decide which day is my favorite: Pick-A-Flick Monday, Tainted Love Tuesday, Women Who Kill Wednesday, True Movie Thursday or New Movie Friday. I'm watching a movie called Cyberstalker right now!

Aside from the household tasks and all of the Lifetime movies, I did have time to think about some important things also. Mostly about how blessed I've been and how I do not have one complaint about my entire life, but thinking about all of that made me realize how much larger Harper's abundance of blessings is going to be. I've lived my life as an only child to a single mother who's worked harder than I'd think humanly possible to always make sure I had everything I needed and wanted. Sometimes she gets a little down on herself for me growing up without a father, but I can honestly say that never once in my adolescence did the thought even cross my mind and now, in my adult life, it's still not really a thought in my mind. I just always knew that I had a mother who cared for me and knew that was all I needed.

Not only am I an only child to a single parent, but I'm also an only niece to my Aunt and I'm, well, was, an only grandchild to my only grandparent. Obviously, the whole no father thing also meant I never knew my paternal grandparents...I honestly don't even know if they were alive at any point during my lifetime. As for my maternal grandparents, my grandfather passed away on January 13, 1986...exactly 1 year and 1 day before I was born (January 14, 1987), but through my large extended family of 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on, cousins and great-aunts and uncles (another blessing I'm grateful for) I've had the pleasure of hearing numerous stories about what an amazing man he was and it makes me feel like I do know him. Luckily, I did have the opportunity to grow up knowing an amazing grandmother. Unfortunately, we lost her when I was a freshman in high school, but I am so thankful for the years I had with her. Although, I must admit, losing her at such an awkward stage in my life wasn't the easiest thing I've been through.

Now, I didn't say all of that to make you sad, but to put emphasis on why, exactly, all of those little details make me so much more excited for Harper to be here. My point is, if I turned out good (I like to think I did!) even with having so few close-family members in my life, I can't even fathom how awesome Harper's little world is going to be! She's going to be born to a mommy who has been praying for her since she, herself, first started dreaming of growing up and getting married, and a daddy who she doesn't even know is already wrapped around her little finger and we hope to, God-willing, give her siblings to grow up with. She'll also have THREE amazing grandmas to love on her, one really amazing grandpa, and she's even going to be able to know her great-grandparents! She's also going to have FIVE aunts who are all dying for her to make her appearance and 2, soon-to-be 3, uncles, who I'm sure will help spoil her. She already has a few cousins waiting on her, and hopefully in the next few years she'll have a few more!

I will admit, it does get a little exhausting having so many people to keep updated every time we have additional news on the pregnancy, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I'm just so thankful to have an amazing family by blood, by law and by the grace of God <3

Sunday, August 19, 2012

An Overdue Update

I just realized it's been a little over a month since my last post! Unacceptable, I know. I don't even know where to begin with the whirlwind that has been the past month. I guess I'll do my best to keep things in chronological order.

I had my first Baby Shower and it was absolutely fabulous! It was hosted by 2 of my great friends, Brady & Cassie...along with 2 surprise co-hostesses, the lovely Michelle and Cassie's momma! I'm so happy with the turnout. I was able to see a few friends I haven't seen in years, along with a good sized group of my amazing family! Here are a few pics :)

My pretty corsage that Brady made.

Cassie made this cute onesie/washcloth/etc. castle.

Brady made this arrangement - it matches Harper's room perfectly!

My mom's contribution - this cute little princess cake!

My friend, Patricia, made these adorable little shoes. Her mom also made a crochet blanket for Harper, but I don't have that picture handy :(

Cassie, her mom, and Michelle all pitched in on this amazing Pack'N Play!

We got a ton of other gifts too!

So many things to open!

"Pin The Baby On The Belly" got really awkward, really fast!

My beautiful cousin, Caitlin. I just realized our dresses coordinated!

(Don't look at my face.) Harper's Grandma Cheryl & Aunt Katelyn!

Two of my good friends, Sara & Aubrey.

I'm still trying to round up more pictures from this shower! If you have some, send them to me!


I had my second Baby Shower, which Brad was actually able to attend with me. This one was hosted by his mom, Cheryl, and sisters, Lauren & Katelyn. It was great! Most of Brad's family was able to make it, along with my family and some friends I hadn't seen in ages! It was a paaaaacked house! The most exciting part was that we got to meet Brad's oldest sister and two of her daughters for the first time ever! It was so special that all 5 of his sisters were able to be there. 

This shower was cupcake themed, because Brad's mom has decided that Harper's nickname is going to be "Cupcake". Speaking of, I think this little Cupcake needs to come out of the oven already! I'm ready to ice her in adorable outfits and bows!!! Brad's mom and sisters did an amazing job with all of the decorations! It was definitely something straight off of Pinterest!

I loved the cupcake cups around the lights! (There's my belly in the mirror!)

Game supplies and prizes!

One of many cupcake towers!

Even the sandwiches were shaped like cupcakes!

Grandma Cheryl made this ADORABLE diaper cake!

So cute! Lauren made the banner!

Beverage Station!

The beautiful hostesses!

This is Brad's oldest sister and 2 of her daughters. This was our first time meeting her and our nieces in person! We can't wait til we get to see them again!

Harper's Great-Grandma, Marilyn!

This one is definitely getting framed! My Honey Bunny with all FIVE of his sisters! 2 Hogans and 3 Hajeks!

Brad and his excited Momma!

The rest of the story:

Shower #3 actually happened yesterday, but there will be more on that in the next post! I still have to gather up pics and upload them. Let's just say, one person's gift definitely stole the show and resulted in me crying like a baby...which led to other people crying, because I was crying...there will not be pictures of my ugly crying face, lol

I am so thankful to everyone who has contributed to, and attended, the showers. This pregnancy has been such an amazing experience for Brad and I. All of these parties have definitely made me much more excited for her to be here! I can't wait for her to meet all of the loving people who can't wait to be a part of her life! I guess it's just one of those things that's bittersweet though, as much as I want her to be here, I know I'm going to miss being pregnant. I was just talking to my good friend, Alexia, about how I'm pretty sure I'm going to have an emotional breakdown over not being pregnant anymore. There's just something about it. Even with all of the aches, pains, nausea, fatigue and feeling like a cow, it's all so worth it every time I feel her wiggle in my belly.

It's been such an amazing journey and, at the end of every day, I know this has all been God's plan all along. Everything has just fallen into place so perfectly. Although I'm still very sad over our first pregnancy not carrying through, I feel like that experience has made me cherish this one so much more. It's not something that just happens. This time around it's just so apparent that this is the time for us to be parents. Brad and I have grown a lot over the past couple of years. Both of us had kind of been avoiding the subject of getting pregnant again. Then, in December, shortly before Christmas, we finally talked about it again and found that I had been avoiding it, because I just thought he still wasn't ready and that, when he was, he would come to me about it, and he had been avoiding it for the same reason...on top of his fear of not knowing how we would handle the emotional hardship if we lost another one. So, after talking for awhile, we realized that we were both ready to take that risk again. The funny thing is, in God's apparent sense of humor, about a week after that conversation....voila! We found out I was pregnant on January 24th and had our first Prenatal Appointment on February 16th, at which point the doctor determined that I was 8 weeks pregnant...which means we conceived a little over a week after that conversation. 

This is how I "told" Brad we were expecting. It was a Tuesday evening, I was at home and he was at work and I sent him this picture with no explanation. About 2 seconds later he called, I could HEAR his ear to ear smile, and said "Is that what I think it is?!?!?". I said yes and he immediately asked if he could start telling people...I told him no, not yet. lol
 Of course, there was that initial "fear" when we first found out, even though we were definitely very excited. Those thoughts did start running through our heads as far as finances and everything go, because everyone always talks about how expensive babies are. I called our insurance and, as it turned out, we actually have amazing coverage when it comes to pregnancy. Then, when my January paycheck came at the end of the month, there was a very nice surprise...I got a significant raise. That was one of the first things that really put my mind at ease that everything was meant to be and would be okay. We waited til March to actually tell people we were pregnant, just in case. Around that time, Brad got a small raise at work also. He actually just got an additional, much more significant, raise this month and was accepted into a manager training program with HEB. So, hopefully he'll be getting a nice promotion in the near future :) It's just like every time something happens that causes a little bit of stress, something else happens to counter that and completely put our minds at ease.

On another note, over the past couple of weeks I've also slipped into Fall mode! Fall is my favorite season and, although I know August is still Summer, I start going Fall crazy as soon as August comes around! I got some new, gold curtains for our downstairs windows and spruced up our Fall wreath. It used to be all cream-toned flowers, but I added some rust tones in there! Once I finish up the mantel decor, I'll take a picture of the decorated mantel with the gold curtains on the side. I even put in my big Fall Scentsy order last week...I'm officially stocked up on my favorite Fall scent!

I've always made sure to decorate at least a little bit, but now that Harper's almost here I think the decorating is going to get a bit more extreme. I want to make sure she remembers always having a beautifully decorated home!

Yeah, the Fall doormat is out too :)

Tonight, I'll say goodbye with an up-to-date belly pic! Enjoy!
It's very round!