Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Angel Baby Of Mine

I’ve always loved and adored the thought of a really big family. After I married a guy who wanted a big family himself (he was the oldest of 4 siblings)’s probably not surprising that we have 4 children of our own after 16 years of marriage. I joke with my husband that if we won the lottery we would have 8 kids, and I think my husband has secretly worried,  that I’d never really be done wanting more children. Honestly, I’d rather live on ramen noodles, while having more babies to rock and love. In my mind, a home full of love....mixed with a little more important than a house furnished with top-of-the-line fixtures and an expensive backsplash in the kitchen. You could say I pick babies over backsplash.

Last October, I found out I was pregnant with a due date of June 20th. As you can imagine I was overjoyed. I surprised my husband on a Thursday night, by putting an actual bun in our oven. We were absolutely thrilled....I was beaming with joy.

My first doctor’s appointment, at 8 weeks, could not come any sooner. I literally skipped with excitement heading to the clinic. My husband and I were so excited to expand our big family, and we were planning on telling our sons about our newest addition that evening after the doctor’s appointment. I had a t-shirt made for my 3 year old son to announce the big news to his three older brothers. 

Life, however, throws you curveballs sometimes. At our first doctor’s appointment the doctor performed an ultrasound and was unable to find a heartbeat. Everything else was there....just not the sweet sound of a little tiny heart. I just sat there numb and in disbelief. When my doctor talked about it most likely being a miscarriage, I just stared at her blankly not even able to say a word. As soon as the doctor left the room, I broke out sobbing. 

They took some bloodwork after the ultrasound to test my HCG levels....I cried the entire time. My husband was sweet and consoled me, but as any coach’s wife will understand, he had to get back to the office. It was still football season, and we had one of our biggest rivalry games of the year coming up.

After receiving my initial bloodwork and HCG results, I had a ray of hope, as the numbers were positive for where I was supposed to be at in the pregnancy. They needed to take additional bloodwork 48 hours later, which seemed like 48 days, but unfortunately, my HCG levels had dropped by 3,000. This pretty much confirmed I was having what’s called a silent miscarriage. I requested another blood test...guess deep inside I was hoping and praying for a miracle. 
The office called back with more bad levels had again dropped significantly. 

I didn’t realize it was physically possible to cry as much as I did in the week after going through this. I’ve felt a mixture of emotions.....lonely...hurt....angry. All the joy I had felt about our expanding family was robbed from me and left me questioning why this had happened to me. It was hard for me to see other pregnant women. Not that I wasn’t happy for was a reminder of our loss. When I overheard them complaining about being tired or sick....I was wishing for those kinds of “problems.” When they were proudly showing their round was depressing to look at my tummy and imagine how much I should be showing right now. I have always loved ooooing and awwwwing over little babies I run into while running around town, but seeing little ones just left me with more empty feelings inside.

In the weeks after, I tried to avoid seeing anyone I knew......crying for days isn’t a good look. I cried to nurses....I cried over the phone to the doctor......I even cried checking out at the grocery store.

The emotional and physical pain from a miscarriage is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through. Even at just 8 weeks, I felt so attached to that sweet little baby. I would say there is a unique kind of pain that comes from preparing a place in your heart for a baby that will never come.

There has been a way for me to find some kind of peace after so many tears and sleepless nights. A funeral home in our town offers complimentary cremation services to families who lose their baby to miscarriage. I was able to have our sweet baby cremated, with the baby’s ashes placed in a heart shaped pendant. I chose a heart pendant because that little baby deserved a beating heart, and by wearing it on a necklace my baby will always be with me, close to my heart.

It is interesting how society thinks miscarriage is uncommon, yet, 1 in 5 pregnancies end up in a miscarriage. Talking about miscarriages in our society remains taboo.....a private subject even though it is such a shared experience. Feeling alone is very common after suffering a miscarriage. Open conversations about your loss can aid the healing process.

As hard as this has been for me to write about....I wanted to share my story for all the women out there who have lost their babies through miscarriages. I want you to know you are not alone. My mom told me something as I went through this that comforted me quite a bit: that unborn babies have a special place in Heaven. I will hold our baby in my heart until I get to hold that little baby in my arms in Heaven. 

To those who have suffered from a miscarriage, know that I will be praying for you, as well as those of you still waiting for your rainbow baby.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

8 Jewelry Trends for Spring 2019

Watching the latest fashion shows, I’ve noticed Spring 2019 collections are filled with over the top statement jewelry.....and I couldn’t be more ecstatic about it!  Splashes of color, bold necklaces, and Celestial Jewels strutted their way down the runway.  I have passion for me....they have the power to complete an entire look. This is a big reason why I joined Stella and Dot. They follow the trends, but also have a knack for making their pieces feel timeless. Creating something you’ll want to keel in your jewelry collection forever.

Here are my 8 favorite jewelry looks for spring:

1. Colored Enamel. OMG....this just speaks to me. Throw on a a simple jumpsuit and let your jewelry do the talking. Jewelry that adds a statement to your wardrobe with playful colors and unique silhouettes.

Stella & Dot Jewelry from left to right: Francis Hoops, Francis Stretch Bracelet, and the Gitane Tassel Necklace

2. Change Anyone. LOVE seeing this look on the runway and also making a debut in our Stella & Dot Spring collection. It is a timeless piece that can be worn with a variety of styles. Whether you dress classic or bohemian this piece works with any kind of look.

Stella & Dot jewelry shown above: Julia Coin Pendant Necklace

3. Charmed I’m Sure. These personally jeweled ornaments are back (but seriously were they ever gone???) They are a way to make your accessories your very own....and designers on the spring runways had everyone “charmed”....I’m sure.

Stella & Dot jewelry above from left to right: Signature Engravable Charm Necklace, PavΓ© Horn Charm, and the Amour Disc Pendant adding a Namesake Alphabet Charm as well as the Intention Charms-Horn Charm

4. All Chained Up. I’ve always been fond of the edgy look of chains and links jewelry. I personally love intermixing thicker pieces on my wrist with some more delicate pieces.

Stella & Dot jewelry from left to right: Versatile Chain (gold), Bowie Fringe Earrings, and the Versatile Chain Necklace (Silver)

5. Celestial Jewels. I am completely starry eyed seeing this trend....and the stars truly did align when I found this amazing Stella and Dot piece.

Stella & Dot Jewelry shown above: Embroidered Star and Moon Chandelier Earrings 

6. All that HOOPla. I mean do hoop earrings ever go out of style?!?!? I’ve been loving sizeable hoops since back in my high school days. It is refreshing this season to see the hoop takes on a much bulkier look.

Stella & Dot Earrings above from left to right: Georgia Hoops (Silver) , Wave Hoops, and Georgia Hoops (gold) 

7. Full Bloom. While even Amanda Presley would agree that flowers are not that surprising for Spring.....after this winter, who wouldn’t love donning flowers. I personally love these earrings that bloomed for Stella and Dot this Spring.

Stella & Dot jewelry above from left to right: PavΓ© Petal Studs and Ella Grace Earrings 

Statement Necklaces. To me these jewels are like adding a crown to your ensemble....only draped around your neck. If you love jewelry and want to really show off your own personal style, why not make a statement around your neck.

Stella & Dot jewelry from left to right: Emma Necklace, Francis Statement Necklace, and the Pegasus Necklace.

I have a passion for keeping a close eye on the runways, from New York to Paris, to see what will shape the upcoming season’s trends. So happy Stella & Dot is right along side those top designers to give me pieces that embrace this Spring’s jewelry trends.

Friday, January 4, 2019

A Coach’s Wife’s Guide to Convention:

This year will be the 6th American Football Coaches Association Convention I have attended with my husband. It’s also my 2nd trip to San Antonio for the convention. In the past 5 trips I have learned a lot about navigating the convention. I won’t lie, my first Convention in Orlando in 2010 was very intimidating. Being around thousands of coaches when the male/female ratio is at least 10:1 was a little overwhelming. It didn’t take long however, for me to warm up to the convention, and now this will be my 5th consecutive year....and I don’t plan on missing in the future! 

One thing that really made the convention more enjoyable was becoming a member of the American Football Coaches Wives Association (AFCWA). I highly encourage you to become a member and register for the convention if you are going to San Antonio. It is a lot of fun with amazing women who know exactly what you go through as a coach’s wife. 

So for all you coaches’ wives making the trip to San Antonio this year...especially you first timers....I’ve put together a list to help make sure you will not miss a beat in Texas.....just don’t forget your boots!!!!✈️πŸ™‹πŸΌ‍♀️πŸ‘’

1. Those boots were made for don’t forget to go explore! One of my favorite activities is walking along the Riverwalk and enjoying the beautiful weather (It’s cold in January in South Dakota!) There are so many amazing restaurants and bars as well.....Margaritas anyoneπŸ™‹πŸΌ‍♀️πŸΉπŸ™ŒπŸΌ?!?! The Alamo is considered the heart of San Antonio and is Texas’ most visited landmark to check out while you’re visiting. There is also great shopping in San Antonio. The North Star Mall has excellent shopping and is only about 10 miles from downtown. If you are looking for something in 
walking distance there is some wonderful shopping close to the convention at the Shops at the RivercenterπŸ™‹πŸΌ‍♀️πŸ›πŸ’³.

2. AFCWA Seasoned Wives/New Wives group meeting. A great way to meet new faces and get some advice from some great “seasoned” wives. Seasoned Wives/New Wives is held on Sunday January 6th from 2:45-4pm at the Marriott Riverwalk Alamo Ballroom EF.

3. AFCWA Buzz Session: For the Love of the Game. Hear from other coaching couples about the ups and downs of this football life. For the Love or the Game, will be held on Monday January 7th at 9 am at the Marriott Riverwalk Alamo Ballroom Salons EF.

4. AFCWA Buzz Session: Game Day Style and Football Must Haves. You’ll see an array of game day styles for every type of football wife in mind. Whether you’re a “Personalized Playmaker” or a “Team Trendsetter,” this is one football fashion event you won’t want to miss! Did I mention red carpet treatment with a step and repeatπŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸˆ⭐️.This session it held on Monday January 7th at 10 am at the Marriott Riverwalk Travis Room.

5. AFCWA Divisional Breakouts: A great Sesssion to meet with other Coaches wives at your level of footballπŸ™‹πŸΌ‍♀️πŸ™‹πŸ»‍♀️πŸ™‹πŸ½‍♀️🏈. This session is from 11-12:15 on Monday January 7th at the Marriott Riverwalk Alamo Ballroom Salon C.

6. AFCWA Luncheon. A way to connect back with old friends....and also meet many new ones. This year the Luncheon speaker is author Jessica Turner. Her latest book, “Stretched Too Thin,”  is something coaches’ wives can surely relate to. I am extremely excited for this Luncheon! πŸ½πŸ“šπŸ™‹πŸΌ‍♀️. It takes place January 7th from 12:30-2pm at the Marriott Riverwalk Alamo Ballroom Salon D.

7. AFCWA Taste of Texas. A way to enjoy drinks and great convo with new and old your coach is invited. Date possibility at convention🀷🏼‍♀️🏈🍷?? Taste of Texas will be on Monday January 7th from 3:30-6:30pm at the Marriott Riverwalk Riverview Room.

8. AFCA Tailgate Party. We all know you and your coach are not going to miss watching the College Football Playoff National Championship Game! This is a FREE EVENT that features some great food, drinks, and BIG screens to watch those BIG playsπŸˆπŸ’πŸ–₯. Doors open at 6:30 PM on Monday, January 7 in the Convention Center Stars at Night Ballroom.

9. AFCWA Children’s Hospital Visit. It’s all about giving back and this is all about the childrenπŸ‘ΆπŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸ½πŸ‘§πŸ»πŸ§’πŸΌπŸ‘ΆπŸ½πŸ‘§πŸΌ. The AFCWA has been raising money and supplying gas gift cards to families in need. Sign up for the Children’s hospital visit or at least make a donation. Wives going to the Hospital will meet at  10:45 on Tuesday, January 8th in the Marriott Riverwalk Lobby. Click on our website below to donate today.

10. AFCA Breakout Session-Happy Wife, Happy Life. I absolutely LOVED this session last year. A group of coaching couples will touch on what has been successful in their marriages when it comes to finding balance in this crazy football life. They give advice and shed some light on how they make things work. Bring your coach for sure....You know what they say......happy wife means a happy lifeπŸ’❤️πŸˆπŸ‘°πŸΌ.This session is held Tuesday, January 8 – 2:00-2:50pm at the Convention Center.

Check out the link below for sign up information for the AFCWA events and dates and times of other great events while you’re in San Antonio!!! Hope Y’ALL have fun in Texas!!!!