Update on Baby #2

Update on Baby Gavina #2On Friday, we had our first sonogram. I have to say, I was a basket case beforehand. I was terrified that we’d go in, and not see a heartbeat, as we have so many times before. Ryan, Matthew, and I went back into the room, and she tried doing an abdominal sonogram. She measured a bunch of things, but couldn’t see the baby or heartbeat. We knew this was a possibility, but there was still a big part of me that was trying not to panic. She sent me out to leave my sample, and came back in to try a transvaginal.

The tech was quickly able to find the sac, and the little peanut inside. The sound of that 127 beats per minute was one of the greatest sounds I’ve ever heard, second only to Matthew’s cry in the delivery room. Baby measured 6 weeks, 2 days (making it a November 4th due date), but because it was only 4 days shy of what we thought I should be, they’re leaving me as a 10/31 due date! So, we’ve now had one baby due on Valentine’s Day, and a second due on Halloween. How fun is that?!

We go back next Friday for another sonogram, just to make sure everything is still okay. Based on the queasiness, exhaustion, and total lack of pretty much any food sounding good, I’m not overly worried about it. I’m just enjoying our time with this little peanut, and praying that we get to bring it home to harass its big brother for a long, long time.

Planning My Week with Planneresque

IMG_5975Y’all, I think we have one very special lady to blame thank for our little addition to the family. Ashley, of Planneresque on etsy, sent me some stickers a couple of months ago. Not only are they some of the prettiest I’ve seen (and made this week my favorite one), but she included some “I’m gonna jinx you” stickers with the sweetest note about using them whenever we have #2 on the way. I’ve had her week done for a while, but I couldn’t show you until we had announced the new baby and all that stuff!






Her pregnancy stickers are SO cute. They come in a ton of colors, so they’ll match any week’s theme you have, and the sheet has a few different ones. I’m using the one with a woman with a belly to mark every Saturday with what week number we’re on (7, if you were wondering!). The first four rows, I use for marking when we have appointments, but the first two get used for ultrasounds especially. I’m using the prenatal vitamin stickers to remind me when to refill my progesterone, as well as my vitamins.




She also has some of the most adorable themed pages. They not only include the usual blank flags, squares, tear drops, etc., but they have some of her most-used stickers like the laundry, bath, haircut, dollar sign, grocery shopping (something I have to mark on every week so this is especially helpful), and crock pot (because I always have at least one crock pot meal during a week). I mean, really, look at these! Girly, bright, crazy pretty. She has some for every taste and holiday you could think of.




IMG_5614I love that you can order her stickers in a rainbow of colors, so you don’t end up with an entire sheet that only looks cute on one page (or is that just my OCDness showing?). Crock pots, laundry, cleaning, bath, nail polish, pencils (which I use for story time or art classes at the library), you name it. I’m thinking I need the jar stickers next, to plan out when I’m going to make all of our spaghetti sauce, jellies, soups, etc. that I’m going to be canning to use later. I may need the donuts, ice cream cones, and coffee cups for tracking when I eat a massive quantity of each (thanks, baby #2), just for curiosity’s sake. Ha!

Remember how I mentioned she’s the sweetest? Well, she’s sharing that sugar with you, too! Use the code PEARLPILOT15 for 15% off of everything in her shop! How sweet is that?!

What Oils? Wednesday: Whisper

Normally, I write the What Oils? Wednesday posts, trying to share what oils are best for a ton of aspects of your lives. Well, chatting with one of my dear friends, Vanessa, she mentioned that she LOVES Whisper so I asked her to write a post for me about why. Y’all, this might be my new favorite WOW post. Without further ado, Vanessa!


What Oils? Wednesday- WhisperThis may not seem like a topic necessarily suitable for a family-friendly blog, right? But, uh, I’d like to think we all know how those families are made. So, let’s just skip all the fidgety awkwardness and the embarrassed shuffling of feet and shifting of eyes and get right down to it.

Married couples have sex.

Or at least they should.

It’s kind of a big deal, and a good thing — something that bonds, connects and unites us. It strengthens us in our partnership, so we can be the best foundation for our family — whether that family is just the two of us or if we have a few (or more than a few) youngins running around.

But life is crazy — no matter the number of kids. We’re busy. We’re stressed. We’re tired. And all of these are mood killers. Add into it that the female brain doesn’t turn off (so we can turn on… eh, eh, see what I did there?), and our mind seems to go haywire the more we try to calm it down. Needless to say, getting all romantic and loving on our man can be tricky, frustrating and difficult.

Pssst. There’s an oil for that.

In this case, an oil blend called Whisper.

I know, I know. I was a bit skeptical, too. Oils have been hit or miss for me — some being awesome, others being meh. So when I saw this tiny bottle and the attached price point, I was a bit wary.

But then again… I figured, what the hey. Even if it does nothing, it should at least smell good.

First off, it smells divine. Like heaven in a bottle. No joke. It’s calming, relaxing, soothing, and somehow energizing all at the same time — quieting anxiety while waking up the libido.

How? Well, shoot. I’m not an expert. I just know it works. A bit on the wrist, the neck, your pillow… maybe in a bubble bath. Or if you have one of those nifty diffusers, move that sucker to the bedroom and woohoo. Bow-chicka-wow-wow.

I mean, it’s got to be more enjoyable than raw oysters (totally not my thing), right? And if it doesn’t work, at least it smells good.


Vanessa is a wife to a helicopter pilot and a mom to three young kids, while juggling a full-time job and full-time blog. She’s used doTERRA oils off and on for the past 3 years and counts Whisper, Past Tense, and Deep Blue among her favorites. Catch her over at Bible, Beer, and Babies.

Cupcake Celebration

Matthew’s birthday was full of family and friends. We were so blessed to have so many people who love our little man as much as we do, surrounding him for his big day. His best little buddy, Belle, turned 2 two weeks after he did, so we had a joint cupcake-candle-celebration/cryfest after his baptism. If you recall, Matthew’s cake did not go well the last time. This time, though, it was quite the hit!

We ordered the cupcakes from a local bakery, Sweet Treets, in Austin, and ohmygosh. They were AMAZING. We got dairy-free chocolate (that didn’t taste dairy free at all), lemon with raspberry filling, and Italian creme. I’m a sucker for coconut and pecans, so that one was absolutely my favorite. The lemon with raspberry was SO good. Tart, but still sweet enough to be classified as a cupcake, and the filling. Oh, the filling. The chocolate was everything a chocolate cupcake should be and more (and completely safe for his birthday buddy!).

He loved having play time with his aunts, godparents, grandparents, great grandparents, great aunt and great uncle… oh, and Mama and Daddy, too, I guess. It’s rare that he gets that much family in one place, and he absolutely ate it up. We are still so unbelievably thankful for our family and our friends-turned-family, and it’s one of the things we’re missing the most about moving halfway across the country.

Matthew and Belle had slightly different opinions of birthday cupcakes

Matthew and Belle had slightly different opinions of birthday cupcakes

Mama had to blow out the candles

Mama had to blow out the candles

Notsomuch for Belle

Notsomuch for Belle

First bite went far better than last year!

First bite went far better than last year!












Happy little kid!

Happy little kid!

Planning My Week with Key Custom Creations


IMG_5158_2The week of Matthew’s birthday and baptism was CRAZY. I was down in Austin already, helping to take care of my grandparents, Caitlin was flying into DFW (so I had to drive up to pick her up), Ryan was coming down on Saturday, and picking up his mom in DFW on the way, we had cupcakes, Filipino, and Jimmy John’s to pick up, and we had to actually get the house ready for birthday. Yikes. Needless to say, there was a LOT of coordination and planning that needed to go into just getting everyone where they needed to be. Thank goodness for my stickers from Sheila at Key Custom Creations! They helped me color-code everything and keep track of the stuff that had to get done. She got them to me super quickly and in perfect condition!



IMG_5160_2I’ve also been using them now that we’re in the new house. The utility stickers are SUPER helpful for making sure I don’t forget when bills are due, now that they’re on a different schedule than I was used to. It also makes sure I take out the recycling and trash and don’t end up with it sitting in my garage for another week (biggest. pet peeve. ever.). Plus, I love the clear stickers that let me put “canceled,” “postponed,” “rescheduled,” etc. They let me mark things off my planner that have changed, without all the messiness of scratching it out (perfect for OCD people like me)! One of the things I routinely forget is Moose and Chewie’s Heartguard. I generally remember it the first week or so of the month (so I guess they end up getting it a month apart anyway, huh?), but I need to start remembering it on the 1st. Thankfully, she sent me stickers for that, too, so now there’s one on the 1st of every month all the way through my planner!



Her special event stickers made Matthew’s special day super cute on my planner, without covering up too much space (so I could still coordinate all that nonsense that needed doing). The church was perfect for putting the information for his baptism, Mass, etc. and the cupcake even matched the colors we used for his party (green). I loved the colorful weekend sticker to help distinguish which days are for play time (or in this week’s case, stress time).






IMG_5159She makes super cute themed stickers, too. Check these out for Valentine’s Day! Pink, red, brown… Three of my favorite colors. Plus, owls. How cute are they?! I love that she put the border darker, so they’re still fun, but shaded in inside lighter so you can actually use them to write stuff on. Plus, she included stickers that look like pre-cut washi tape, which saves me a TON of time, instead of having to measure it all! And of course, it’s nice to have something adorable to fill blank space in your week like the owls, branches, hearts, etc.




IMG_5327_2Want your planner to look this cute, too? Check out Key Custom Creations, AND make sure to use the code PEARL20 for 20% off of ANY order (no matter how much you spend!) this week. How sweet is she?!

Update on Our Family

Because there's still someone missing from this unbearably sweet picture...

Because there’s still someone missing from this unbearably sweet picture…

We’re FINALLY in the house, and almost settled. The house is so close to being unpacked, we’re starting to make friends, and Ryan has started work in Martinsburg and been working on finding a job with a major airline. He’ll be on orders for 3 months, so he’ll be gone Monday through Friday for the next three months, leaving me at home to finish unpacking, decorating, and taking care of our 2 year old and the two idiots dogs. That’s not nearly enough on my plate, so we thought we’d add another little surprise to our family, too!

That’s right– on Wednesday night, I was charting, realized I was on Day 33, and figured I’d take a test so I could sleep without wondering. I fully expected it to come up negative (I HAVE been under a LITTLE stress the last few weeks), and instead, I was surprised with an 11PM instantaneous dark pink line. What?!

We’re beyond thrilled, to say the least. We had decided to think about trying again once we were settled, but obviously God thought “House? Check. Alrighty, that counts as settled!” I ran into our bathroom where Ryan was getting ready for bed, giggling like a schoolgirl. He couldn’t believe it either. I don’t think I stopped giggling and staring at the test for an hour. So much for getting myself to sleep!

So, Thursday morning, I called my old OB to finally find out the results from the progesterone/estrogen blood work I had done over a month ago. They couldn’t find the tests anywhere. Awesome. Thankfully, he called in the progesterone for me anyway, since it won’t hurt and might help. He also had me start on baby aspirin, even though we’ve ruled out several of the most common blood issues, just in case.

I also picked a new OB off the list on TriCare’s website. I wanted one with several OBs so that if I really didn’t like my doctor, I could switch without having to switch practices entirely. When I called this new office, the lady who does the registration asked if I knew anything about their practice. I admitted that I was just trying to find one because of my history, and she started telling me about it. Y’all, they’re Catholic-based, won’t do abortions, don’t provide contraception (unless it’s to help with something besides family planning), etc. Come to find out at my appointment, they helped get the Austin practice I was going to up and running! So not only did I just pick someone off the list, I picked the only one in the DC area that has everything I was hoping for in an OB, but didn’t think I’d find. To seal the deal, on our way to my appointment on Tuesday, a block before we got to the office was a Chuy’s! If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is.

We met with my new OB on Tuesday. He’s absolutely amazing. Because I’m only 5 weeks 5 days now (5 and 3 at the appointment), he scheduled me for an ultrasound for next Friday. I got blood drawn to confirm the pregnancy, and he said he wants to throw the book at this pregnancy once he talks to my old OB in Austin. I’m currently taking progesterone, baby aspirin, prenatal vitamins, and extra folic acid (because it can help with some pregnancy complications, as well as just help baby’s development).

I still can’t believe we’re expecting another baby. This one is certainly making its little self known, however, seeing as I’m queasy almost all day long, unless I’m sipping on lemonade or asleep. I’m also completely exhausted, and let me tell you, those 3 floors in our house are KILLING me. As hard as it is to take care of the house, unpack, and play with our sweet (very energetic) little man, solo, with the symptoms, it’s comforting to know that my hormone levels are high enough to be causing me to HAVE symptoms. I’m just thanking God every single day that He has given me this sweet baby to take care of, no matter how long we’re blessed to have him or her in our life. We will, of course, take all the prayers, thoughts, and good wishes you can muster!

Matthew’s Baptism

Our sweet little boy is finally baptized! It took 2 years (to the day), but it was the perfect day. All of his grandparents got to be there, we were in the greatest city in the world, and his godparents were all able to easily get to the church. His baptism was at St. John Neumann in Westlake, the church I went to for Venture Crew. Father Bud did the baptizing, and our amazing family and friends were able to come for his special day.

His godparents are Meagan (Bud), David, Alex, and Sam. Bud named herself godmother before Matthew was even born, despite not being Catholic, but we know she’ll be an incredible (quirky) influence for him. David is my best guy friend on the planet. He’s currently in pilot training in Del Rio, and we couldn’t think of anyone who would be more thrilled to be our sweet baby’s godfather. Alex is one of our dearest Air Force friends, flying KC-135s and visiting us pretty much everywhere we’ve lived, and his wife is the sweetest! She and I have become friends the past couple of years, and we feel so blessed to have them in our little man’s life.

He knows he's hot stuff

He knows he’s hot stuff

New favorite family photo!

New favorite family photo!

How handsome are my men?

How handsome are my men?


With Father Bud


Eyeing the water


Father Bud patting him dry(er)


Tying on the Baptism Bib


Alex, Samantha, Meagan (Bud), and David: His amazing godparents

Alex, Samantha, Meagan (Bud), and David: His amazing godparents

Planning My Week with Lisa V Creations

Lisa V Creations Label StickersWe’re OFFICALLY moved into our new home, and well on our way to getting settled. I spent a week here solo with Matthew, Moose, and Chewie, dealing with movers and my 3 monsters by myself, unpacking as quickly as I could (46 boxes in less than 2 days), handling internet, cable, mattress delivery, bed delivery, trash can delivery, utilities turned on, and learning to drive in snow (eek!). Needless to say, planning my life has been crazy important, and I’ve been living by my planner even more than I did.




Lisa V Creations BannersFunctional stickers are my go-to, but the week before the move, I also had a lot of fun stuff to keep track of. After all, my best friend, Caitlin, came to visit with my sweet niece, we had Matthew’s birthday and baptism, Cait had to house hunt, and we had LOTS of girl time to cram in. So, last week was a nice mix of functional and decorative, thanks to Lisa V Creations.

She sent me a rainbow of tear drops, circles, and flags. The banners she sent were right up my alley: feminine, colorful, and perfect for every occasion. The hearts got used for Valentine’s Day (even though we spent ours in the car), little bead ones for party days, some adorable vintage-looking buntings…


Planner Using Lisa V Creations

The first half of the week consisted of movie night (with a long, long list of junk food), along with my having insta-twins while I watched Belle and Matthew so Caitlin could house hunt in Lawton (about an hour east of us). What better to mark “movie night” than a movie banner and a Coke cup? Of course, I also had to plan out when I’d do all of our laundry (so it was clean to pack ahead of time), which wasn’t nearly as fun, but the cute pink laundry basket made it a little less miserable to have it looming.




Planner Using Lisa V Creations Stickers


The second half of the week was a ton of driving, and trying to coordinate our road trip with Caitlin/Belle making it to the airport in Dallas, Matthew’s schedule, the dogs’ need to pee, the snow and ice that were ahead of us, the landlord/realtor walk-through, and Ryan leaving on Monday. Oh, and Valentine’s Day mid-road trip (our first one was spent burying my childhood dog, so really, this one still chalks up as not so bad)! The hearts bunting was absolutely perfect for that. I used pretty flag and circle stickers and pens to make sure I could tell which went with which part of our life– blue circles for road trip, green flag for Cait/Belle, brown patterned circle for the walk-through which was, by far, the single most exciting part.

Lisa V Creations StickersI think, though, that the stickers I’m most excited to use are the ones I just couldn’t find an excuse to use this week. The military stickers will be PERFECT for marking Ryan’s Guard weekends, AND she sells them in female versions, too, so all of our beautiful ladies serving our country can have stickers just for them, too! The hangers, washers, and dryers will be awesome for spicing up my “hey, do laundry already!” notes to myself. Plus, the movie night stickers mean I’m required to make friends and go out, right? Right.

Thinking you need some of Lisa’s gorgeous stickers? Head over to her etsy shop and use the code PEARLPILOT for 20% your order of $10 or more! How sweet of her is that?!


We have a house!!! Not only that, but it’s an AMAZING house. That’s not nearly enough emphasis, so here: my notes and Caitlin’s response to the pics I sent (for the record, she didn’t see my notes until after she used the word and I died laughing).

It’s a brand new, never-been-lived-in three story town house in Manassas Park, about 45 minutes from DCA (Reagan International) and a little over an hour from Martinsburg, where his Guard unit is.  I NEVER thought I’d fall in love with a town house, but ohmygosh.  It’s beautiful. The top floor has our master bedroom/bath, Matthew’s room, guest room, laundry closet, and guest bathroom.  The master bath has separate sinks (no shared counterspace!), and a shower with a double shower head.  Our bedroom is plenty big, and has TWO massive walk-in closets, plus a linen (read: shoe) closet.

The bottom floor has a walkout door to the backyard, which is small but doable. That floor will be used for Matthew’s play room, a pullout couch in a fun color, and a TV. It also has a full bath, so we can use it easily as a guest room (without making our guests go up two floors to find a shower!) but it’ll work great for comfy seating for us grownups while babies play, too.

The center floor is the drool-worthy floor. That one, I took pictures of.  Of course, you’ll all get new photos once it’s decorated with Pinterest-worthy projects and decor. I might or might not have a different pin board for each and every room in the house, but that just makes it easier to remember where I wanted what idea! (This is only some of the boards… Oops.)

Anyway… Introducing, our beautiful… middle… floor…?

When you walk up the stairs, you see the den to the right and the kitchen counter kind of right in front of you where Ryan and our realtor, Lisa, are standing. The carpet area will be our “grownup den” with the leather couches, big TV, etc. Obviously Matthew will be in it sometimes, but we’re going to do our best to keep it toy-and-kid-crap-free. It’s actually brighter than it looks, but you get the general idea. Thanks to a wall of windows you can see, plus another wall of windows on the opposite end of the floor, and no walls in between, even on cloudy days, we didn’t have to turn on lights to read or anything!

See the two windows and the little corner that juts out? Behind the corner is the powder room for the floor. Dark wood like the kitchen, stainless steel fixtures, and beyond bright (this picture is without a light on!).

This is where we’ll put the dining table. Ryan is going to build me a farmhouse table for it, so we finally have a table we’ll keep forever that will seat all of our kids (hopefully) AND guests. I’ve already got some ideas for how to decorate that back wall, including where I’ll put my herbs (mostly because I’m too cheap to buy them).

The kitchen is the part I lost my mind over. It has a gas range (Cait and I decided we’d trade each other’s bedrooms in our houses for a gas range… Luckily, she doesn’t have to sleep in the hallway like she offered when she saw the kitchen) and double ovens that are crazy fancy (they even have a proof setting for bread!). Stainless steel appliances sparkle with all the light, and I love love love the huge, long granite countertop. We’ll get bar stools for the counter, and it’ll give me SO much room to put out food for our friends!

This back area is probably supposed to be the breakfast area, but it seems dumb to have a dining table, eat-in counter, and breakfast table all in the same vicinity, SO we’re going to use it for a mini-play room for Matthew so he can be entertained while Mama cooks and Daddy is gone. We’ll put down a pretty rug and put his kitchen, a little table and chairs, some art supplies, and maybe his kinetic sand (which he’s getting for his birthday in two weeks… don’t tell him!) since it doesn’t make a mess and will be infinitely entertaining.

We’ve already found a church we absolutely adore– it felt just like home when we walked in, the priest was great, and the choir was fantastic.  The grocery store I’ll be going to has 150 options for Greek yogurt and their own organic brand. Y’all, after years of living in Columbus (tiny town) and now Altus (hardly even deserves its name on the map), I nearly cried at how beautiful the produce was.

In short, we are counting the days until we get to move to D.C., and can’t stop talking about where we’ll put what piece of furniture and how we want to decorate each and every corner of the house. It’ll take some time to get it the way we want, but it’s looking like we might actually get more than one Christmas in this house (a first for us in the last 5 years), so I’m excited to put some TLC into the house to make it our home.

*This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. It won’t cost you a dime but helps keep up this hobby of mine!*

What Oils? Wednesday: Gal’s Guide to Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and Ryan and I like to try to come up with creative ideas for each other for holidays, especially since we have SO many right next to each other (Christmas, anniversary, Matthew’s birthday, Valentine’s Day). This Valentine’s Day, I’m thinking I’ll use my essential oils to make him some special gifts, just for him. For more posts in the What Oils? Wednesday series, check out the doTERRA Essential Oils page.

1. Essential Oil Cologne: Make a scent just for your man using one of these recipes! Cheaper than buying it at the store and better-smelling, too!
2. Lotion Bars with Peppermint and Lavender: Soften those tough hands and feet of his and make him that much more cuddly.
3. On Guard Beadlets: It’ll freshen his breath and keep him healthier.
4. Essential Hair Wax: Super low-maintenance and long-lasting styling wax for your sweetheart. Good hair makes every date better! Here’s a recipe for a healthier (read: non-chemical-y) version than what you’d get in a store.
5. Chocolate Dipped Pretzels: I know I talked about these on the Guy’s Guide, but boys like chocolate dipped deliciousness, too! Check it out for the recipe!

**These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Use/consume at your own risk. These are just suggestions that I complied. I have not personally tested each one. Always dilute with children and only use topically and aromatically with children.
**There is an actual science and art to blending oils that is explained in Modern Essentials 5th Edition. doTERRRAs blends are scientifically based. I do not recommend putting a lot of oils in a blend just because you need all of their benefits (ex: combining On Guard and Breathe because your sinuses hurt and you want the benefits from each) Layering oils is a very effective way to use multiple oils. Apply one, and wait a min and apply the next. They absorb very fast allowing you to apply the next one soon after the first. 
**Always dilute sensitive or hot oils. Always dilute for babies or children.**Remember: less is more with oils. You only need to use 1-3d at a time, and less with children.