Thursday, November 22

Christmas Day 2012

Monday, September 24

1st Care Package ::: Deployment

Since my husband cannot have any open flame or plug in things, I decided to get the Glade scent diffuser. It automatically sprays when someone walks by and only requires 2 AA batteries. He also requested some gatorade powder so I also threw in some lipton ice tea powder too. Plain water has got to get old quick! Also got him a body pillow because I remember he always tried to steal I think he will like that. It may seem strange but I also got him some antibiotic cream which I think is always a good thing to have on hand. Next to that are some eye drops (he had eye surgery about a year ago) and some hand sanitizer. 

Next package will be all about our new baby!! 

Saturday, September 22

September 26, 2012!

Unless baby girl decides to come early, she will make her appearance this Wednesday! I will be 40 weeks and 4 days....I am so excited to be a Mommy! I really can't believe it is only days away....

ahhh!! :-D 

Friday, September 21

People are amazing

I have been so overwhelmed by people lately in such a good way....

From girls driving by in their cars yelling "love your bump!"
to fellow army wives coming to mow my lawn for free
to the lady from the dmv who sent me a card thanking me for our sacrifices as a military family

to getting a wonderful prenatal massage from a fellow Mamma and friend
and a pedicure and baby outfit from the best boss I've ever had

 to getting free professional newborn photos of our highly anticipated baby girl 
and getting offered free professional photos during labor and delivery
getting tons of advice and offerings from fellow mothers 

to the much needed phone calls early in the morning from my best friend on her way to class
(preventing me from a emotional breakdown without even knowing it)

to my best friend's best friend and fellow Mother who I've never met in person who is sending me a gift for Abby all the way from Indiana
to a fellow mother who once did my hair when I first moved to Kansas who turned out to become a dear friend and has offered her help before and after Abby is born...

to my other best friend for taking off two weeks of work to come be with me and help with baby and distract me from the hardest thing I've ever had to do (see Ashton off right before our first child is born) & remind me of what an incredible friendship we share

and to my friend for sacrificing time with her family to come be with all the way from new york to come be with me after baby is born
and baby gifts from a friend in Texas who I haven't seen since high school
...a dresser and closet full of new baby girl clothes from two wonderful parents....

....and the encouraging messages from people who I have either: A) never met physically, or B) Not spoken to in years....

Not to mention the daily encounters from people being so lovely and kind...
I just cannot express how amazing you all are and how much these things mean to me.

I feel like amazing things are happening all around me, and at the same time, the most difficult things. Maybe that is what needs to be. 

"Love is the cure
for your pain will keep giving birth to more pain
until your eyes constantly exhale love
as effortlessly as your body yields it's scent"

Non stress test :: 39 weeks

Fetal non stress test :: Baby girl is healthy as can be!


Last 2 weeks of pregnancy

The left photo is me at 38 weeks and the right is at 40! Quite the change in 2 weeks!

How far along?  40 weeks!  It's Abigail Sophia Marie is due date today!!

Total weight gain/measurements: 27lbs!  

Maternity clothes: Nothing new as I think at this time it would be silly BUT I will say that I am getting fed up with wearing the same three outfits over and over again...argh!!

Stretch marks: None that I can see! Using Palmer's Cocoa Butter Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks and haven't gotten anymore as of yet. Photo below!

Sleep: Good.  I probably should be getting a bit more each night though...just in case ;)  I don't want to be tired going into labour!

Best moment this week: Having one of my best friends here to be my birth partner....She is amazing. I would really have been a mess this week without her (my husband just deployed..)

Miss anything? All of my pre-pregnancy clothes! :(  There are so many outfits I haven't seen in months...sigh! 

Movement: Yep, very fluid movements now.  

Food cravings: sweets!

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nope!

Gender:  Girl!

Labour signs: Lot's of braxton hicks. Lost my mucus plug about a week ago, and lost what looked to be my bloody show about 3 days ago. No contractions that I've noticed (I don't know what they feel like just yet...) Lot's of nesting going on here too!

Symptoms: Lightening crotch...shooting pains down my vaj! Feeling like I have to pee all the time. 

Feeling tired mixed with having short bursts of energy

Belly button in or out? Neither....but it's not an innie anymore!

Wedding rings on or off? Off :(

Happy or moody most of the time: Impatient & ready to meet my baby girl!

Looking forward to: Meeting Abigail and hearing or seeing Ashton's reaction to seeing her face for the first time!

Due today!

Baby Abigail is due today but I am pretty sure she must be comfy in there... No signs of labor just yet. Being induced in 4 days, so this may just be our last belly photo! 

Oh and yes, I am absent a wedding ring because it won't fit anymore :(  

Hopefully she comes before I have to be induced. Last time I was checked I was 2 cm dilated and have had a couple signs of labor being close but no contractions just yet. 

Wish us luck on a smooth and healthy delivery!

Friday, September 14

The Silent Ranks

I wear no uniforms, no blues or greens.
But, I am in the military, in the ranks rarely seen.
I have no rank upon my shoulders. Salutes I do not give.
But in the military world is where I live and am rarely seen.
I am not in the chain of command, orders I do not give or get.
But my husband is the one who does, this I can not forget.
I am not the one who fires a weapon, Who puts his life on the line.
But my job is just as tough, I’m the one who is always left behind.
My husband is a patriot, a brave and pride filled man.
And the call to serve his country not all can understand.
Behind the lines, I see things needed to keep this country free.
My husband makes the sacrifice, but so do my kids and me.
I love the man I married. The military is his life.
So I pledge to support my hero and stand among the silent ranks known as

Wednesday, September 12

The soldier's life

The soldiers life is not for all
A soldier must be willing to give his all
He is overworked and underpaid
A truer patriot was never made
Ready to go at any time
Wherever there is trouble or the first sign
His courage and honor are unsurpassed
Ready and willing to complete the task
Travelling to lands both near and far
He stands his post and looks at the stars
Wondering what he might have done 
If he had not chosen to carry a gun
Remember the next time that you are driving by
And see the flag flying proud and high
That somewhere out there a soldier stands
Weary and cold in a foreign land
Protecting our country from our foes
Standing tall and proud come rain or snow.

Poem: Strong Love

It amazes me how one man
has truly changed my life
so that now my only goal
is to be his wife.

He may never know
the incredible depth of my love,
but everyday I will try and show him
what it is truly made of.

It's a mixture of respect,
passion and learned lessons.
It is constant, and it is growing;
It is far beyond obsession.

It is gratitude and thanks
for all that he has shown me,
and it is an obligation to become
all that he knows I can be.

Most of all it is the faith
I hold deep inside my heart
that he will know this love is with him
every time we are apart.

With each day that passes
I hope that someday he'll see
this love that I have for him
is stronger than the love I have for me.

The memories that we've made
are the roots of our past.
They are so very important to me
because they will always last.

They keep me hanging on
when he has to go away,
and I hope that's what he turns to also
when he's having a lonely day.

I do not think he will ever know
the respect I have for him,
or how much I admire the drive
he has to protect his fellow men.

Looming Deployment

I wish more than anything that I could just freeze time...

The love of my life is leaving soon, and I wont see him for 39 weeks.

Anyone who has gone through a deployment of a loved one, especially their significant other can testify to the emotional upheaval it causes. But I have a real american hero as a husband, and I couldn't be any more proud of that. He is everything to me and I will keep the home fires burning until he comes home. 

...until he comes home. 

Tuesday, September 11

38.3 weeks pregnant:::no end in sight

Today I went for my 38 week appointment. I wasn't expecting any good news and didn't get any, just like I thought. It is the last appointment that my husband will be able to attend as he is deploying in a few days. I have gotten so desperate that I was trying to give myself high blood pressure by making myself nervous while the nurse was taking my blood pressure measurement. It worked too, the first time. But then she took it again and it was normal again. The kicker is, if I did have high blood pressure they would send me in to be induced right away. No such luck.

I realize how selfish and impatient this all sounds...but this is by far the hardest thing I have ever gone though. Every time I think about delivering Abigail without Ashton there my eyes well up. I just can't believe that he wont be able to meet his daughter, his first child, until she is 9 or 10 months old. And we are so close to 39 weeks...but they just will not induce me. Not to mention my body isn't close to labor I am only 1 cm dilated and baby is not engaged at all yet.

I am just feeling really sorry for myself and for Ashton, and I realize how much we have to be thankful for, despite the deployment. It's just so difficult to keep it all in perspective. I keep telling myself that we are very lucky to even be able to get pregnant and have a healthy baby...some people can never conceive. We should be so lucky.

There is no getting around it.... He just wont be here for her birth. He leaves the day I turn 39 weeks pregnant and as I have had literally no signs of impending labor, I am sure I am going to go over my due date. Which is normal, as most first time moms deliver after their due date. I don't know why I ever thought we would get lucky enough to have our baby together....He is in the military. And duty comes first.

I just need to let it go. I need to let go of any expectations I have. I need to wish for the best and stop focusing on the negative. I mean, after all...we are having a baby. The most precious gift a person could ever wish for...and we are having our very own! When he gets back from this deployment, we are going to go on one amazing family vacation. I can't wait!

Friday, September 7

Cute baby buys + smash book + deployment advice

Pregnancy progression

I had taken a photo when I first started showing, and made sure to wear an matching outfit every time I took another 'bump' photo. Being at the tail end of my pregnancy, it is really neat to see how my body has changed and how baby girl has grown. She is already so precious and I cannot wait to meet her! She is my world already, I cannot imagine how in love I am going to be when I see her little face!

We love you Abigail Marie

Thursday, September 6

Birth Gift

My husband had this made for me...Since he will be missing our first child's birth, he gave it to me early. He left room below her name to put her birth day....I love it! I love that it is a dog tag.... so sweet. I love him.

Sunday, September 2

6th month outfit

This is one of the cutest dresses I've seen! I cannot wait for Abigail to turn 6 months and take her photo in it. So cute!

Saturday, September 1

Almost there!

Looking through the photos I have taken through my pregnancy reminds me of what an awesome experience this has been. I cannot believe I am in the 9th month and will be meeting our little girl THIS MONTH! I am so excited to be a Mommy! 

Friday, August 31

Abigail's homecoming outfit

So I have been on the hunt for a cute homecoming outfit for our new baby girl. I just hit the 37 week mark so she could be here any day! None of the outfits I had for her were cute enough so I went out shopping to find something that I loved and this is it! Unless I happen to find something even more adorable, then this will be what she wears home from the hospital!

Lately it has been in the 90's so I don't think she will be cold in this outfit. I just cannot wait to meet her and see her beautiful little face. I don't feel 100% prepared for everything that is coming, but who ever does? I think Mommyhood is just something that you gradually get in the groove with. She's still in my belly kicking away so I don't think she is quite ready to come earth-side yet, but when she is I will be nothing but smiles and open arms for my little bundle of love. 

We cannot wait to meet you Abigail Marie Shoults! 

Thursday, August 30

Maybe pregnancy really does give you a glow...

Here I was around 36 weeks pregnant. Today I am just shy of 37 weeks, the time they say your baby becomes "full term"! Though I'm not sure why they say that because doctor's won't induce your labor before 39 weeks because they fear baby is not ready yet. Either way, we only have a few weeks (max!) until baby Abigail arrives! Words cannot express how excited I am to see her little face...I am already in love and haven't even met her yet! Well, not formally anyway ;) 

Wednesday, August 29

Jack Kerouac :: my favorite excerpts

"And for just a moment I had reached the point of ecstasy that I always wanted to reach, which was the complete step across chronological time into timeless shadows, and wonderment in the bleakness of the mortal realm, and the sensation of death kicking at my heels to move on, with a phantom dogging its own heels, and myself hurrying to a plank where all the angels dove off and flew into the holy void of uncreated emptiness, the potent and inconceivable radiancies shining in bright Mind Essence, innumerable lotuslands falling open in the magic mothswarm of heaven. I could hear an indescribable seething roar which wasn't in my ear but everywhere and had nothing to do with sounds. I realized that I had died and been reborn numberless times but just didn't remember especially because the transitions from life to death and back to life are so ghostly easy, a magical action for naught, like falling asleep and waking up again a million times, the utter casualness and deep ignorance of it. I realized it was only because of the stability of the intrinsic Mind that these ripples of birth and death took place, like the action of the wind on a sheet of pure, serene, mirror-like water. I felt sweet, swinging bliss, like a big shot of heroin in the mainline vein; like a gulp of wine late in the afternoon and it makes you shudder; my feet tingled. I thought I was going to die the very next moment. But I didn't die..." — Jack Kerouac (On the Road) 

 "I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don't worry. It's all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don't know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect. We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing. It's a dream already ended. There's nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be glad about. I know this from staring at mountains months on end. They never show any expression, they are like empty space. Do you think the emptiness of space will ever crumble away? Mountains will crumble, but the emptiness of space, which is the one universal essence of mind, the vast awakenerhood, empty and awake, will never crumble away because it was never born." Selected Letters 1957-1969 and is a letter he wrote to his first wife, Edie in 1957." — Jack Kerouac (The Portable Jack Kerouac) 

 "I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling." — Jack Kerouac (The Dharma Bums)

Baby sling under $10

So I watched this online tutorial on how to make a baby sling without sewing. I went to the craft store and found 2 metal rings and bought 3 feet of fabric (my favorite color of course!). All I had to do was pull the fabric through the rings a couple times and viola! It held my little dog just fine and she seemed to like it....she even dozed off a couple times ;) I may post a video tutorial on how to do it...I think I am going to go get some more fabric that is smoother and try it again. I mean, for under $10 you just can't beat it! Baby k'tan carriers are basically the same thing and cost upwards of $40! And these, you can choose whatever material you like. Genius. Pure genius.

Sunday, August 26

36 weeks::::getting closer!!

I apply this 3-4 times a day and so far I have not one stretch mark! All I can say to expecting moms is to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! They say stretch marks are genetic, but my mother had a few and so far I have none! Still three weeks to go but so far so good. *crossing fingers*

35 weeks::::almost there!

34 weeks pregnant with Abigail Marie Shoults 

Saturday, July 28

abigail's nursery

Her nursery is almost done!

Wednesday, July 25

Afganistan onesie

I ordered this newborn onesie from and I just love it! Ashton may or may not be here when Abigail is born...and if it fits her and he turns out to be gone, it will be her coming home outfit. I cannot wait to meet our little angel!