Friday, December 30, 2016


To say that 2016 has been rough would be a huge understatement. While it wasn't all bad, there were many challenging parts. While some relationships flourished, others completely fell apart. Doors were opened, doors were slammed shut. A rough pregnancy and labor produced a beautiful baby boy. Our faith has been tested, but we are still standing. And our marriage is stronger than ever. As this year comes to a close, I am gladly turning the page to the new chapter that is 2017. There is something about a fresh start -- a blank page -- that fills me with hope. Instead of worrying about the future and trying to figure everything out, I've decided that I will just speak life over 2017!

Keith and I have been doing Beth Moore's bible study on King David and it has absolutely changed my life. Truly. But that is a post for another day. However, through this study we read Psalm 20, and it has resuscitated my soul and is what I claim for this new year.

Psalm 20
1 May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.
3 May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.[b]
4 May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
5 May we shout for joy over your victory
and lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.
6 Now this I know:
The Lord gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
with the victorious power of his right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.
9 Lord, give victory to the king!
Answer us when we call!

What incredibly powerful words! I speak this Psalm over my life and over 2017, as I believe this will not only be a MUCH better year than 2016, but it will be our best year yet!

In addition to choosing this Psalm, I have also been listening to one song in particular and it's become an anthem of sorts. It's called "Shake It Out" by Florence and the Machine and has provided me with lyrics to shout in the shower, tunes to dance to in the kitchen, and words to speak when I am frustrated, confused, or discouraged. 

Did you listen to it? It's good, yeah? (That's the Cajun in me adding yeah at the end :D)

My favorite parts: It's always darkest before the dawn and It's hard to dance with a devil on your back so shake him off. 
After the year my family has had, we are ready to shake the devil off, claim the promises that God's Word says, and have a wonderful year! 

2016 has been a mostly dark year, but the sun is rising, and 2017 is looking bright.

Are you picking Scripture or music to speak over 2017? If so, let me know!

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Place That Built Me

***I wrote this post in August and never published it.
I'm not sure why, but that changes today.***

At the beginning of this month, the kids and I traveled to Louisiana to visit with family and friends. All of the stressful problems that I was keeping quiet about on my last post just became too much, and I needed an escape. So on August 3rd at three o'clock in the morning, we took off for my Aunt's house in the Covington area. The trip was smooth and the kids were perfect, and we arrived around 1:30PM. We stayed in this area for the night and visited with my Aunt, Nanny, and a handful of cousins, and then made our way to the Lafayette area. Over the next 10 days we split our time between my mom's house in New Iberia and my Maw Maw's house in Kaplan.

While there, I felt all the stress and anger that had been crippling me in South Carolina vanish. The hardening stomach, the twitching eye, and the body aches were gone, and I was at peace. Spending time with people that love me for who I am is something that I do not take for granted. While life is Charleston is mostly enjoyable, I've never felt truly at home here. Of course, it's a beautiful place to explore and our location on the East Coast puts us near many desirable travel locations (I'm looking at you, Lake Lure ;)), but I still feel like few really know me. I don't think I'm great with people, and I often feel misunderstood. 

Because of this, I seem to be stuck in limbo. 

The place that I call home is the place where my forever friends and family live. It's a place bursting with culture and community and hospitality. Louisiana.

But the place that my husband and children call home is a place 800 miles away. A place where cobblestone stones streets and Spanish moss transport you to another time, and oysters are eaten instead of crawfish. South Carolina.

While driving down the streets of Lafayette, memories of my youth came rushing back. Meeting friends at local restaurants, shopping at the mall, nights out with my girlfriends, walks in the's like the 30-year-old me traveled through time to 20-year-old me's life.

But that wasn't truly the case.

In reality, while reminiscing over the past, I was shocked and impressed at how much Lafayette has grown since I left. Entire sections of the city that used to be empty fields now contained new roads and routes to get in and out of the city. Grocery stores, restaurants, and businesses that I'd never seen appeared before my eyes and looked like they'd existed for a while.

It felt very surreal to drive the same routes I'd driven down hundreds of times, and yet feel like I was someplace foreign.

Very quickly after arriving, I threw myself a pity party. I don't belong anywhere was my theme, and I began to reevaluate myself and my current predicament in South Carolina. If I don't belong there, and I don't feel like I belong here...then where the heck do I belong?

Luckily, I snapped out of that pretty quickly, but the question remained -- Where do I belong?

I began to pray for peace and direction, and ultimately had a slight wake-up call that didn't happen once I returned to South Carolina. It was one of those Mufasa-in-the-clouds-remember-who-you-are moments. So who am I?

I am the King's Daughter.

I am a Cajun.

I am strong.

I am compassionate.

I have overcome adversity.

I am armed with passion and determination.

I am a wife and mother. 

I am me.

The next time I want to have a pity party because I'm homesick, feel rejected, or am having one of those days, I'll read this list and remind myself of all the things I am, instead of all the things I am not.

I'd be lying if I said it was all rainbows and sunshine during my visit to Louisiana, because being 7 months pregnant and a single parent to two kids under age 5 was freaking hard, and I missed that sweet husband of mine. I also didn't get to see many friends and family that I adore, AND the rain started, didn't stop, and flooded everything. BUT...I loved this visit, I needed this visit, and I've come to a rather obvious conclusion -- Life and death is in the power of the tongue.

So am I speaking life or death

Which one are you speaking?

When Keith and I met, I was so closed off and had built so many walls in an effort to protect my heart that I almost missed out on the love of a lifetime. I won't do that again. I won't let my scars and insecurities hinder me from actually living life. I am determined to change my outlook of Charleston and to try to build relationships here. To bloom where I am planted.

And while I don't know if I'll ever live in Louisiana again (I personally hope this isn't the case), I do find comfort in the fact that I can always go back home...and that is one lovely (and delicious) place to be. 

**I am happy to report that since August I've worked on becoming more content in who I am and have begun to grow more in my walk with Christ, as well as in my community. I may be moving at a glacial pace in regards to the latter, but progress is progress...right?**

Monday, December 12, 2016

Ethan Andrew - One Month Old

Current stats: At Ethan's check-up on December 1st (8 days shy of one month old) he weighed in at  9 lbs 9.5oz and was 22" long! We're very proud of this growth of almost 2 pounds and 4"! He wore newborn diapers for the first 2 weeks and is now in size 1 diapers. He's also wearing newborn and 0-3 month size clothing. 

Sleeping: Little man is such a great sleeper. He's sleeps for most of the day, and takes a really good 2-3 morning and evening nap. At night, he wakes up between midnight and 1AM, again between 4AM and 5AM, and then again for the day around 8AM. I am very grateful to be getting so much sleep during this first month, even though it isn't consistent hours, those 2-4 hour stretches really make such a difference. He prefers to sleep on his tummy, and we're constantly trying to roll him back onto his back.

Eating: He is exclusively nursing and does so like a champ! He normally eats every 2-3 hours, unless he's having a growth spurt, then he cluster eats...and that is incredibly exhausting for me (although we've only had a few days like that so far). I absolutely love nursing, but I've noticed whenever I eat any dairy (AKA my loves cheese, milk, sour cream, yogurt) or onions, he is very gassy and is in pain. So, I've stopped eating those things so that he isn't suffering. I had a similar problem with Arabella and had to stop eating dairy for a few months, but luckily I was able to reintroduce when she was older with no problems. I've been pumping periodically, and Ethan takes a bottle with ease. He also takes a pacifier and that is convenient!

Likes and Dislikes: Little man loves to be held (and we love to hold him), loves looking at his sea animal crib mobile, music, Christmas lights, and being rocked in his rocker. He also adores his siblings and loves when they talk to him. He adores Keith and will look for him if he hears Keith's voice. He also likes me a good bit. :D As for dislikes, he is not a fan of his car seat or swing, but both are growing on him.

Nicknames: Lil Baby, Eeth, Baby E, Ethan Peethan, and Tiny Mais. Then there's Eeth, Eeth the Indian Chief (because when Keith was younger he'd always say "Keith, Keith the Indian Chief!" lol)


First Bath at Home - November 16,  2016

First Thanksgiving - November 24, 2016

First smile captured on camera - November 27, 2016

Sibling Love: Gavin and Arabella both went through a lot adjusting to their new sibling. The first week Arabella would cry and throw herself on the ground constantly, and Gavin was being very sassy and talking back. The second and third week, Arabella stopped crying and started being my little diaper helper. Anytime E needed a diaper change, she was there bringing me a diaper, wipe, and throwing the dirty diaper away. Gavin stopped talking back and also started helping get E's pacifier when needed. Now, Gavin is absolutely obsessed with his brother and talks to him, helps me take care of him, and always tries to make him laugh. Arabella tends to do her own thing, but she does love on him here and there. 

Parenting: I'm not going to lie -- parenting 3 kids under the age of 5 is some serious business. There's a lot of juggling and a lot of deep breathing involved. :) I'm constantly reminding myself that Gavin and Arabella are still children and even though they're much older than the baby, they deserve just as much grace as he gets. While it has been an adjustment, I adore my family and am so thankful to be able to stay home with my children while working part-time with my videography business. 

Other Information: At his first check-up the week after birth, his umbilical cord came off on my shirt and his belly button had been bleeding a little since that appointment. At the appointment on 12/1, his doc used a silver nitrate stick to stop the bleeding, and it worked! :)

Monday, November 21, 2016

Ethan's Birth Story

I haven't written in quite some time, and managed to skip those last 10 weeks of updating the pregnancy on the blog.


Let's just leave those weeks to themselves, as they were filled with lots of excruciating back pain, heart burn, Braxton hicks contractions, and me impatiently waiting to go into labor. I truly thought that this sweet baby would be at least a week early and be born in October. I worried so much (for nothing) that I wouldn't be able to go trick-or-treating with Gavin and Arabella, when in reality I was almost a week late.

So, let's start from my 40 week check-up (Wednesday 11/2), where I was told that I had not progressed at all from the 39 week appointment and was only 1 cm dilated. While I usually don't put a lot of stock in dilation (Gav was a week early and I was only 1.25 cm dilated at that point), I was feeling really defeated. How could we be 40 weeks pregnant and not being dilated more than 1 cm??? This appointment was on a Wednesday and I made it through the weekend and had another check-up on Monday, November 7.

During Monday's appointment (11/7), we learned that I was only 2 cm dilated and that my blood pressure was elevated. Normally my blood pressure is normal or low, so for me a 123/88 reading was concerning. We decided to schedule an induction for Wednesday, November 9th. I left the appointment feeling both relieved that I wouldn't be pregnant for much longer, but also nervous because I did not want to be induced. For Gavin and Arabella, I was able to labor without any medication and had both babies naturally without an epidural. I was hoping to do the same for Ethan, but obviously his safety was the most important thing.

I got home from the appointment and surprisingly began having contractions every 8 minutes. They never got closer, and I went to sleep for the night knowing that if I was actually able to rest, then this was not active labor.

I woke up the next day...still pregnant and still having contractions. This day just happened to be Election Day (11/8). Gavin was born on Leap Day and it would be pretty fitting that Ethan would arrive on another unique holiday...but thankfully he didn't. Due to E being almost a week past his due date most of our Charleston family members were going to be out of town or unavailable to watch Gav and Bella when I went into labor, but luckily my littlest sister, Lacey, flew in from Florida and arrived on Tuesday (11/8) at 6PM.

Thank God that she did, because two hours later I started having contractions that were every 3-6 minutes. After about an hour of this, I called my doctor, grabbed my stuff, and Keith and I headed to the hospital!

Last bump picture that Lacey snapped!
We arrived at the hospital around 9:30PM, and I was told that I was 3cm dilated. This was definitely an improvement, but the contractions were horrible and I knew we had a while to go before the pain was over.

KC and I before things got crazy
Two hours later, it was hell on earth. This labor seemed to be 10 times more painful than it was for Gavin and Arabella, and I was desperate for relief. While I didn't get an epidural, I did request pain medication in an IV. I was given a dose of Dilaudid for the pain and a dose of Phenergan to prevent nausea. Let me be very clear -- The drugs were POINTLESS. They did NOTHING to "take the edge off" of the pain and literally made me SLEEP during labor! I would pass out for a few minutes and then wake up to feel the most intense pain I've ever felt. However, I'm somewhat glad that I took the IV drugs, because Keith was able to have some amazing God conversations with our sweet nurse and photographer. :)

Since I was super drugged up and passed out I don't know the exact details of how fast I progressed, but let me tell you...the whole shebang only lasted 5 hours! From arriving at the hospital to delivering our boy, it was a hard five hour journey.

My doctor arrived at some point, and at 8cm he offered to break my water. (My water broke naturally for Arabella at 9.5cm and literally pushed her almost all the way out, while my water was accidentally broken during a check for Gavin, and I spent the next hour and 16 minutes in excruciating pain. It was an easy decision for me -- let my water break on it's own.) Well, this didn't sit well with my doctor, because he ripped his gloves off and said, "Are you serious? Well, fine! If you want to be in more pain, go ahead." And he walked away. Now, had I not been drugged up I would have likely kicked him out of the room, since who in their ever loving mind speaks to a patient like this at all, nonetheless DURING active labor?

Anyway, he walked out and I progressed from 8cm to 10cm, and my water was still intact. Once I began pushing, my water broke, and my doctor made his way back...only to walk away again while I was pushing to watch the Election results on TV. (Yes, we had the TV on...we didn't want to miss the news since we were awake anyway!) So as my nurse and husband are holding my legs and coaching me, my doctor is watching TV.

After a few pushes, the ring of fire, and the most horrific pain of my life, out came our beautiful baby boy! At 2:30AM, right when Trump was being announced as our president, we welcomed our third child into the world. Weighing 7lbs. 15oz and was 18" long. His head circumference was 14" and the nurses informed me that was a little on the big side...which also explains the pain this time around.

Proud Daddy
Cutting the cord
Keith told me that after each time I give birth, I let out a certain cry. It's a cry that is both joyful and sad -- one that reflects the pain of labor with the exhilaration of birth.

Since Ethan was born in the middle of the night, we stayed in the laboring room for a few hours and then around 6AM made our way to our recovery room. Keith and the older kids met us around 1PM that day, and it was the sweetest little meeting. Arabella was absolutely infatuated with Ethan, while Gavin was impressed but also wanted us to go home with them. :)

While it was a bit lonely and isolating being in the hospital with just me and Ethan, it was also refreshing. I loved spending time with my new son and learning this new person's needs. I did experience very intense stomach cramps that were caused by nursing (the suckling makes the uterus contract, which is ultimately a good thing because it helps it get back to it's normal size a quicker, but man did it hurt), and that was a bit difficult. I also tore (only 1st degree, surprisingly), and that made things uncomfortable to say the least.

One thing I absolutely have to say is that through all of the struggles, stress, and turmoil that Keith and I have experienced during this pregnancy (it's been a tough season), our God is good. He is so good, even when things are not. A huge worry of mine was having Ethan circumcised (even though Gavin is and it's a pretty normal thing, I've just read too many articles recently and was worried about the pain our little baby would feel), and when the pediatrician came in to check on him, he told me that Ethan has barely any foreskin and that he is naturally circumcised. That even if we wanted to get the procedure done, he would have referred us to a urologist when E was 6-9 months old! GUYS. I didn't even think this was an option or even happened, but it did! So all that worrying I did was for absolutely nothing. God took care of it in the most unexpected way, and we are so thankful!

(I contemplated putting this part in, but it's part of the story so...)

Unfortunately, my doctor continued to be difficult after delivery (he wanted to give me one particular pain medication and I only wanted something mild like Motrin) and I had to fight with him (through the nurses) to get it. He refused multiple times to give me Motrin and I had to threaten to speak to hospital management before he caved and let me have it. He never came by to explain to me the reason for his choice, and I am at a total loss as to why he treated me this way. It was very out of character for him, as he is usually kind and gentle. Maybe his candidate lost, maybe he was having a rough day...I really don't care either way. His unprofessional and borderline unethical behavior negatively impacted my experience and I will no longer be seeing him for any of my OB needs.

(Okay, back to the good stuff...)

While my doc was a total imbecile, the nurses that took care of Ethan and me were incredible! Charlotte, Helen, Deb, Jennifer, Nicole....thank you, thank you for all of your kindness and professionalism! And again, my experience (minus my doctor) at Trident Medical Center was wonderful. Keith actually joined me for a Celebratory Dinner that the hospital provided, which included a delicious steak dinner, cake, sparkling grape juice, and wine glasses. It was lovely! (I know this birth story is a bit negative, but if you want to read about the wonderful experiences I had with Gavin and Arabella, click their names.)

I am beyond thankful to have carried these babies in my womb and to have experienced natural childbirth 3 times (I'm counting Ethan's as natural due to the fact that I didn't have an epidural and felt everything regardless of the pain medication), and to have been pregnant four times (sweet Hayden, you are not forgotten). However, after my experience with Ethan I am pretty sure that we've reached our maximum for biological children. (But let's not rule out adoption and fostering ;))

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Ethan Andrew: 31 Weeks

My last update covered my pregnancy experience during weeks 13-20, so I'll pick up at week 31 and briefly summarize weeks 21-30. :)

Current Week: We are 31 weeks today and I still can't get over how quickly the time is passing. It took me a week before realizing we'd entered the third trimester (at 26 weeks), and we only have 9 weeks left until meeting our sweet boy! 

Baby boy at 27 weeks
Size: At our 27 week ultrasound Ethan was weighing 2.2lbs. :) At 31 weeks, he is currently the size of a coconut. 

Movement: This little guy is very active, and I am so thankful for this. While the huge belly is enough, these little/big kicks are sweet reminders of the life growing inside of me. 

Arabella loving on Ethan :)
Cravings or aversions: I'm still not craving much, but around week 25 I started craving cheese. Sharp cheddar in little cubes, to be exact. I've also been eating lots of snowballs since being back in Charleston. During my visit to Louisiana I purchased a gallon of wedding cake snowball mix, and now I make my own at home in SC. :) Not only are they delicious (complete with ice cream and condensed milk), but they also get rid of heartburn pretty quickly. 

Weight Gain: I'm very happy to report that I've only gained 10 pounds so far! Not sure how this number has stayed so low, but I'm certain it has a lot to do with my very active days with Gavin and Arabella. 

Sleep: Sleep is getting more and more uncomfortable, as this belly of mine is hard and huge. I'm no longer able to roll face down and usually sleep a little twisted. While Arabella has been sleeping in her and Gavin's new bunk bed since July, she's recently started getting in our bed in the middle of the night. This happened after spending two weeks sleeping with me in Louisiana, but I'm hoping she gets back to her bed before Ethan arrives. 

Symptoms: Up until last week things were going well...and by well I mean I only had heartburn, exhaustion, and moodiness. I'm still experiencing all of those things, but now I'm having crazy back pains. (These pains are typically isolated to the lower and middle right side.) Also, for the past few days I've been having pretty intense pain that begins right below my belly button and ends at the top of my pelvic bone. I saw my doctor yesterday and was perscriebd an antibiotic that will hopefully heal anything that's going on down there.

That's all for now! Hoping for this back pain and weird stomach pain to go away soon, and to get Ethan's nursery together by my next update :) 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Keeping Quiet

It's been a bit quiet around here, but what are you supposed to say when you aren't supposed to say anything?

Life lately has been challenging, and when challenging things happens in real life you're supposed to keep it to yourself and off of the internet.


Thus holds one of the most challenging parts about using writing as an outlet and your blog to document your life. Typically, if I'm not writing consistently then I'm busy with other priorities or going through something that I can't share.

Unfortunately, this time around consists of both.

While this week is actually going okay, last week was one of the most difficult that I've had in a very long time. Things seemed to be going wrong on a daily basis and the stress became unbearable. My right eye started twitching, my body ached, and I felt like I had a stomach bug. My 24 week pregnant belly also hurt here and there (I think those may have been Braxton Hicks contractions), and it was quite alarming.

All. from. stress.

And while part of me wants to blurt everything out because it would quite frankly make me feel better, I know that it would make things in real life more difficult.

So quiet I'll keep.

If I've learned anything it's that biting your tongue is (sometimes) the best thing you can do. We recently went on a trip where someone's opinion was so far off and completely ridiculous that I wanted to speak up and challenge it...but I knew by doing so I would ruin the day and create tension and ill feelings. So I literally bit my tongue.

In today's society where social media is present and speaking your mind is so easy, it's important to remember that keeping quiet doesn't mean that you approve or agree with the opinion or actions at hand. It just means that you are picking your battles wisely.

It's so easy to focus on the negative, especially when you are 100% justified in doing so, but I've also learned that you must keep your eyes on the good, praise Him through the storm, and know that when things are tough, you are learning and growing and will persevere.

In reality things could be so much worse, and I'm thankful that the Lord has protected my family and continues to provide for us. Since I won't say what's wrong, I'll say what's right.

My children have been super sweet, happy, and are healthyThank you, Lord. 

The pregnancy is going well and sweet Ethan is one active little dude. Thank you, Lord. 

My husband and I continue to strengthen our marriage through all of these challenges, and he never fails to protect and love me. Thank you, Lord. 

We have a home to live in, food in our bellies, and more blessings than we deserve. Thank you, Lord.

The desires of my heart are strong and my passion for things truly amazes me. Thank you, Lord.

**Life is beautiful and messy and sometimes things go wrong, and I think that what everyone needs to remember is that every action produces a reaction. Those creating the initial actions do not have the right to try and control the reaction or to inform you how it makes them feel. They created the mess, and they must accept the consequences. With time and healing I'm sure things will return to some form of normal, but in the meantime boundaries must be respected.**

So, I say all of this to say that I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things and continue sharing my heart, goals, and life...because this blog is Lindsey's Dolce Vita, and it truly is "tales of my mostly sweet, sometimes crazy, perfectly imperfect life."

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Dear Arabella

Oh, my sweet girl. Where do I even begin? 

Three years ago at 9:08AM, we officially met, and since the first moment I laid eyes on you my life has never been the same. Your sweet face and wild hair immediately melted my heart, and while you met many people, we mostly spent your first day on Earth just you and me. 

Over the years your personality has really developed, and you are a feisty, silly, and brave little thing. You love to play with your big brother (who you affectionately call Gav Gav) and you absolutely adore your Daddy. You give the most squishy hugs and kisses, and you can brighten anyone's day with that sweet smile of yours. I never dreamed that I'd have a daughter, and especially not one as special as you. You bring such immense joy to all of our lives, and we are abundantly blessed to have you in our family. 

Your brother completely changed my life by making me a mom, and the bond that we share is so special. However, having a daughter is a whole different ballgame. I  know that you won't understand this for quite a while, but in many ways you've saved me.

You were born the day before the world lost one of the sweetest women ever, my Me-Maw. Your birth allowed her death to hurt, but not shatter me. I hate that you never got to meet would have adored Me-Maw. But she did get to see a video of you right before she passed away, and for that I am forever thankful. 

You make me want to be better woman, so that you have a great role model to look up to. 

You push me to follow my dreams and to never quit. 

You make me genuinely happy. 

You make me laugh each and every day. 

You inspire me to always work on my relationship with the Lord.

Today, you turn three and you're already embracing that "threenager" status. :) You have sass, you have spunk, and you are learning how to be more independent. While this can be frustrating for mommy and daddy, I hope that you always keep a little of these characteristics with you as you grow up.

Love this precious little face!
You are very dramatic and often act out your favorite TV shows, and it wouldn't surprise me one bit if you become an actress one day. You love to run outside with Gavin, and you also love twirling and dancing. You love when daddy throws you in the air (and often say "Do again, do again!" over and over until he does) and you love when I hold you. You absolutely hate brushing your teeth and fixing your hair, and I have to wrestle you to do both. :) 

As food goes, you aren't too picky, and some of your favorites are beans (of any kind), cheese, hot dogs (no bun), cucumbers, fruit snacks, and pasta. You dislike strawberries and would rather drink water over juice. Your favorite thing to do at the playground is to swing, and you could literally swing all. day. long. You love going to the beach and prefer to stay in the water (as long as someone is holding you) rather than play in the sand.

You travel pretty well and thus far your furthest road trip was last summer when we went to Louisiana (13 hours). Your favorite TV shows include Peppa Pig, VeggieTales (especially Larry Boy), Sofia the First, Little Einsteins, and a new favorite is Daniel Tiger. You are incredibly friendly, which freaks me out sometimes, but thankfully you're obsessed with the Safe Side Super-Chick DVD and she's teaching you in very silly ways how to be careful. 

Today, we celebrate your third year of life by exploring a little of Charleston, and on Saturday we will celebrate with your friends and family. I love you with all of my heart Arabella Therese Christmas, and I thank God daily for picking me to be your mommy.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Girls Getaway with Emily Giffin!

This past Saturday was quite possibly one of the most exciting days I've had in a very long time, as I met my favorite author Emily Giffin! 

If you're not familiar with her writing, maybe you've heard of the movie Something Borrowed? Well, that awesome chick flick was based off of Emily's novel of the same name. :) (By the way, I recommend reading SOBO, and then reading Something Blue. Something Blue is the sequel to SOBO and is actually in the process of being made into a movie (YAY!). Emily told us Saturday that scripts were just sent to Kate Hudson (who plays Darcy) and John Kransinski (who plays Ethan) and Something Blue is REALLY happening! Without a doubt, Blue is my absolute favorite EG novel...although Where We Belong is a close second. ;))

May 2011...impatiently waiting for SOBO's release
I've been a fan of sweet Emily for years, and although I can't remember how I stumbled upon this fabulous author, I'm so thankful that I did. The way that she writes is absolutely inspiring, and the characters that she creates leave me speechless. Her ability to captivate real, raw human relationships makes reading her books something that I simply cannot live without. 

Okay, back to the event! 

On Saturday I headed downtown to the Gaillard Center for Emily's Girls Getaway event that included a question and answer segment and book signing, as well as tons of food, cocktails, and games. I asked Emily if she plans to re-visit the storyline from Where We Belong and she said yes! (If you'd like to see the Q&A segment, check out the live video from the Charleston event on her Facebook page. I asked my question around the 10:45 mark.) While I went by myself, I ended up meeting a sweet girl named Jessica, who was also there alone. We had a great time discussing our favorite books, authors, and our lives in general, and I'm thankful for this sweet new friend. 

Thanks to Jessica, I also got the moment I told Emily that baby number 3 is going to be named Ethan, which happens to be a character in Something Borrowed/Blue, and she was thrilled. :) 

A video posted by Lindsey (@lindseychristmas) on

Mrs. Giffin's newest novel, First Comes Love, comes out tomorrow but thanks to an awesome swag bag that I got for attending the event, I received an advance copy. 

And y'all. 




I started reading it yesterday and I seriously cannot put it down. Because it's a signed copy I'm trying not to beat it up too badly, but goodness I've taken that book with me everywhere! A story about sisters dealing with the anniversary of a family tragedy, both are at a crossroads in their life and are dealing with separate but similiar struggles. I haven't decided if I'm Team Josie or Team Meredith yet, but I'll keep you updated. :)

Boys mow the yard, Mom reads, Bella runs around. :)
Overall it was an absolutely lovely weekend, and while I felt horrible on Sunday due to a night of restless sleep, I'm looking forward to the very busy week ahead.

How was your weekend? 

Are you an Emily Giffin fan?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day: Healing & Hopeful

Up until my husband became a father, I was never a fan of Father's Day. My earthly father has not been the kind of man that one should ever celebrate or devote an entire day to, and Father's Day was always a hard day filled with flashbacks from my childhood, anger, and sadness. 

But something incredible happened. 

I watched the man that I married become a father to our son, and then our daughter, and I started to heal. Seeing the way a father should act has been one of the most beautiful things I've witnessed in my adulthood. Now, the man I chose to marry is the complete opposite of my father. For starters, he's not an abusive alcohol so I call that a big win from the get-go, but it's more than that. My husband is gentle and patient, he is kind and silly, and the best part of all he that is a Christ follower who teaches our children about God. Seeing him interact with our children has slowly but surely put all of those broken pieces back together. 

Right about now I'm sure I sound like a Kelly Clarkson song, and if that's what you're thinking then you'd be right. Sweet Kelly and I apparently have a lot in common when it comes to our father's, and her most recent song Piece by Piece is one that is very dear to me. While my father didn't abandon me like Kelly's did, he created a hostile and abusive environment for my sisters and I to grow up in. He emotionally, verbally, and physically abused my mother, and when I got old enough he tried to do the same to me.
Except I left home at 17 to live with my grandmother and I never looked back. Because while I saw what was happening all those years, I swore that I would never let a man treat me like that, and to this day one never has. (Well, they've tried...but this Cajun mouth hasn't kept quiet, and those men have no part in my life.)

To this day there is still turmoil with my father. He is erratic and even more of a drunk than he used to be. I've tried to help...tried to allow him to be a grandfather to my children, but the first time he yelled at me in front my children was the last time he ever saw them. As a Christian, I do believe that one should honor their mother and their father (Exodus 20:12), but I also believe that you should distance yourself from things causing you to sin and things that are toxic. (Mark 9:47)

So that's what I've done. 

Last month on the day I finished graduate school and earned a Masters degree, I received three incredibly rude and threatening messages from my father. He'd just figured out that I removed him from my Facebook and he could no longer see pictures of my children, and he was furious. He told me I was crazy...that I was messed up in the head. That I was a child and a coward and threatened that something would happen if he was not allowed to see his grandchildren. (FYI - all curse words have been removed)

On that day, in my heart, it. was. done. I was done. The power that he once had over me was gone because I was no longer a little girl, but a mother with an instinct to protect her children, and I was livid. The strange thing is that I no longer feel anger towards him, only sorrow for all that he has lost. I have forgiven him in my heart for all of his wrongdoings, but will not allow him to cause anymore harm.

On this day, Father's Day, I am disappointed that I do not get to celebrate that relationship in my own life, but I am abundantly excited to shower my husband with love. I know that in this world marriages fail just as often as they succeed, but I truly have faith that our marriage will be one that lasts. However, if something goes wrong and I do nothing else right, I can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that my children have been blessed with the most amazing father. 

It's taken a really long time to understand this because in my mind the word father is not synonymous with good things, but I do have another father. This Father adores me and is proud of me. He will never hurt me or leave me. He is perfect and caring and a King, and technically that makes me a princess. I know that I can do all things through His strength, and that He is always there for me. 

And that's a beautiful thing. 

***If you're reading this and can relate to the relationship that I have with my earthly father, I urge you to come to terms with the facts, get angry about it and then let that anger go. Forgive him. If you can repair that relationship, try. If you've tried there's still suffering, walk away. Pray for him. He will always be your father, but he doesn't have the right to hold that fact over your head or to take credit for your accomplishments. Run to your heavenly Father. Dive into His Word. It's going to be okay. Maybe not right away, but eventually, you're going to be okay.***

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Our Rainbow Baby - Halfway There!

Somehow time has flown by incredibly fast, and I am already 20 weeks pregnant with our sweet Rainbow Baby! My last update covered my pregnancy experience during the first 12 weeks, so I'll pick up at week 20 and briefly summarize weeks 13-19. :)

Current week: 20 weeks and I cannot believe we're halfway through this pregnancy! We visited the doctor yesterday and got the cutest profile picture of our sweet boy! Everything is looking perfect and I'm so thankful for a healthy, growing boy. We also confirmed the gender again (since we found out so early at 14 weeks), and after 20 minutes of poking around he finally let us see his boy part. :)

Size: According to the ultrasound tech he weighs 12oz, and according to the app on my phone he's the size of a mango.

Movement: For the past week I've been feeling his sweet kicks every day, and boy is he active! This feeling is so magical and I'm thankful that I get to feel them again. Last Monday (6/6) Keith felt him for the first time and was the sweetest thing.

Cravings or aversions: As much as I liked eating oranges, tomatoes, and all things acidic in the first trimester, all of it caused a lot of trouble and I had a flare up of my IC (Interstitial cystitis...a bladder problem I've had for years), so I've had to stay away from them. I can't really say that I've craved anything specific, but I will say that I will all of a sudden be starving, eat a few bites of something, and then be sickly full. Oh, the pregnancy fun. :)

Weight gain: I've happily gained only 7 pounds! Hopefully I won't gain a ton more so that I'll be around the 20-25 lb. range. I started out heavier than I would've liked to be, but I'm remaining hopeful that my body still knows how to grow and have babies.

Sleep: I'm sleeping pretty well, minus the fact that I have a toddler (Bella) next to me and she sleeps horribly. We're still co-sleeping with her and are hoping to move her to a Big Girl bed very soon.

Symptoms: I'm quite exhausted and am usually passed out by 10PM. I also get heartburn frequently, pee all of the time, and can be a bit moody (just ask my husband;)), but honestly I wouldn't change a thing. I know what a big blessing this baby is and I'm thankful for each moment.

Gavin is SO in love with his baby brother!
Name: Oh, the name! We had originally decided on Ethan Elijah, but after much thought and going back-and-forth with Keith, we've finally decided on Ethan Andrew!!! I'm SO excited about his name and finally feel at peace. For some reason Ethan Elijah never felt right, but I'm thrilled with Ethan Andrew. :)
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