Category Archives: Pregnancy

Baby Showers

Baby Showers

We are so thankful for such sweet and generous friends and family who have helped us prepare for our sweet baby girl.

The girls from our small group at church threw a small luncheon shower for us at Lupe Tortillas one afternoon and it was so much fun to get together (without kids!) and just have some time to talk and laugh without interruptions.





A few weeks later, my family did a shower for us at Alison’s house and it was such a great morning to spend with just the girls.  We had delicious food, great laughs, and some adorable things for baby Molly.


The picture is super dark, but it was such a fun morning!  Jillie, Alison, and everybody else did such a great job with everything!


Absolutely adorable diaper cake


So thankful for such a generous family to love on our baby girl!

Baby Molly’s Room

Baby Molly’s Room

Baby Molly’s room is finally finished!  We started clearing out the room after New Year’s and it has slowly taken shape over the last couple of months.  I really struggled with decorating her room, I think I just had too many ideas and has spent WAY too much time on Pinterest.  But its done and is just absolutely perfect and so incredibly peaceful.

IMG_20150222_134633994_HDRHer wreath, made by Gigi, of course!


The wall you see as you walk in her room.  I knew I wanted something girly, but nothing over the top.  The gray walls and heirloom style pieces were just the right touch.


I bought the fabrics when I was pregnant with Parker (since we didn’t know what we were having) and was just thrilled to get to use it this time around.


The dress in the frame was my grandfather’s, then I wore it and the bonnet as a baby.  Love these family heirloom pieces!



Growing up as a little girl, I loved the American Girl series and always loved the story of Molly, who lived during World War II.  Once we settled on the name Molly for our baby girl, I knew I had to find her a Molly doll.  American Girl has retired the Molly series and I was just heartbroken, but I was able to find one on our neighborhood garage sale site and snatched it right up!

IMG_20150222_134504228I Samuel 1:27 – “For this child I have prayed and the Lord has granted the desires of my heart.”  Oh how true these words are.  Thank you God for the precious blessing of another baby!


Buying, receiving, & washing all of these sweet little girl clothes has just been so much fun!


Thanks to sweet Adley for all the hand-me-down bows!

Baby Molly, we are so excited to meet you!  Your big brother asks about you daily and is very ready to see your “sweet face”.  He tells me all the time how cute you’re going to be and how ready he is to rock you in his arms.  We love you already and just feel so incredibly blessed to be welcoming you into our family.  Anytime you’re ready, we’re ready to meet you!

Baby #2

Baby #2

This is long (& picture-less), but I feel like I need to document this pregnancy a little bit.  I feel like our poor baby girl is already suffering from 2nd child syndrome.  There isn’t a single “belly picture” this time around.  We think about her and talk about her constantly (Parker loves to talk to her & feel her move!), but as far as actually doing anything to document or prepare for her, we haven’t done much.   The nice thing about the 2nd baby is there doesn’t seem to be as much preparation to be done.  We’ve got all the gear and the furniture, so really its just putting the room together and getting everything organized.  We’re pretty much planning to switch into baby prep mode once Christmas is over and we can focus whole heartedly on that.

Pregnancy wise, I don’t feel like this one has been much different from Parker’s.  Like I’ve mentioned, we found out I was pregnant the day after we got home from our beach vacation.  I had a suspicion that I might be pregnant, but didn’t want to get my hopes up, so I grabbed a test at the grocery store that afternoon, and sure enough – 2 pink lines!  Oh boy (or girl!), it was a ROUGH first trimester.  For starters, I found out that my ob-gyn was no longer accepting pregnancy appointments due to her impending retirement and that sent this newly pregnant and hormonal mama into tears and borderline sheer panic.  Thankfully, I found a new doctor who, after a couple of appointments, we both really liked and all is well on that front now :).  I was incredibly sick during the first 16 weeks or so.  Thankfully, the first 12 weeks were during summer and I didn’t have to do much during the day.  Sorry friends, I was definitely MIA all summer!  Parker definitely watched way more TV than a 2.5 year old should have, but we were in sheer survival mode.  Matt coming home in the evening was my saving grace.

Starting school was hard.  The exhaustion associated with this pregnancy has been out of control.  By the time the end of the school day comes, I’m completely exhausted and ready to take a nap, but alas, Parker has already napped at school and ready to play when we get home.  Poor Matt, I fall asleep by about 9 pm every night and our normally neat and orderly house is almost always in a state of disarray & cluttered.  Eventually the sickness passed and other than the exhaustion, I feel good these days. My blood pressure is on the low side and I have alot of dizziness and faintness, but nothing that sitting or laying down for a few minutes can’t cure.  Cooking isn’t my enemy anymore, I don’t fall asleep as soon as I sit down in the afternoons, but sleeping at night is not great as of late.  Pregnancy insomnia is not my friend.  I typically sleep on my stomach or my back, neither of which is possible, so getting comfortable is difficult.  I’m hot at night, but with our air already set on 68, I can’t turn it down any further without fear of freezing the other 2 members of my family.

I don’t seem to have super strong cravings when I’m pregnant, which I’m thankful for.  The only things I have seem to have a strong desire for are tomatoes, pizza, breakfast foods (mainly eggs & sausage), and coffee.  I quit drinking coffee when I found out I was pregnant and have a serious craving for it every single morning.  I’ve already told Matt that my first request following delivery is a latte from Starbucks!

We got her room painted over Thanksgiving break (thanks, Mom!) and we LOVE it.  We also have a chest of drawers that my mom found at an antique store in Abilene and most of the rest of the furniture is being reused from Parker.  Since all of the Christmas boxes were pulled out of the attic this weekend, I took the time (& extra space in the attic) to pull out all of the newborn boxes that I had packed away.  Some of it is boy stuff that will be put back in the attic, but alot of it was very neutral and will definitely come in handy.  I’ve created registries at a couple of stores, mainly just to keep track of stuff we need.  I dream of dresses, bows, shoes, and all things girl, but (SHOCKINGLY!), I haven’t bought a single thing for her yet!

Baby girl, we love you so very much.  We have dreamed of you and prayed for you for many, many months and are so excited for you to join our family.  We pray that you continue growing bigger and stronger as you and I enter our last few months of having you inside of me.  We are impatiently awaiting your arrival in just a few short months!

Exciting News!

Exciting News!


So, we found out about this fun surprise when we got home from the beach back in June!  We’re super excited to be welcoming baby #2 into our family in March.  Thanks to some early chromosome testing we had done a few weeks ago, we’ve already found out that we’re expecting a little girl!  We really wanted the keep the gender a surprise like we did with Parker, but after thinking about it, we thought it would probably make things a little bit easier for Parker if he knew he was getting a brother or a sister.  He walks around now asking random questions about “baby sister” or telling people about his baby sister and it might be the sweetest thing ever!  We are so incredibly thankful for this gift and each time we hear that heartbeat, we feel abundantly blessed.  We can’t wait to meet you sweet baby girl!

Parker James

Parker James

Parker James Manges
November 29, 2011
7 lbs, 9 oz, 20.5 inches
11:20 pm

Parker James made his debut into this world last Tuesday night – surprising us 2 weeks early!  It was such a wonderful experience and we are so happy to have our baby boy in our family.

So here’s how the day went…

After walking 2.5 miles Monday night, I started having contractions, but that wasn’t really unusual and they were very irregular, so I didn’t really think anything about it.  I slept horribly Monday night and now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I was having contractions all night long, but just didn’t realize it.  I got up and went on to work since I honestly felt pretty ok, but as the morning went on, I started to feel kinda strange.  Finally, I decided to call the doctor and they had me come in to see what was going on.  When we got to the doctor’s office, Dr. L declared that I was leaking fluid and was dilated 5-6 cm!  Wow…not at all what I was expecting to hear!  She sent us straight to labor and delivery and we got checked in and put in a room.

It was all such a whirlwind of a morning and was completely surreal that it was actually happening.  I called my parents when we moved our car to the hospital parking garage and they jumped in the car and sped (85-90 mph!) all the way from Abilene to Houston.  Because we weren’t expecting to be sent to the hospital, we didn’t have any of our bags, so once I got settled into a room, Matt ran home to pick our stuff up and he brought my sister back to the hospital with him.  I was having contractions that were getting stronger and stronger as they upped the pitocin, but I wasn’t really feeling alot of pain from anything.  Eventually, I decided it was time to get the epidural, mainly because I didn’t want to get to a point where it was too late.  I could have lasted a while longer, but whatever.  The epidural had some weird side effects though…it made me shake…almost uncontrollably and I was INCREDIBLY itchy.  I can’t explain how I could feel the itching even though everything was numb, but it was an itch that came from deep within my body and I was borderline miserable.  Dr. L came in to break my water and things really got moving after that.  About an hour later they declared that I was completely dilated to 10 cm, but that the baby’s head was still too high to start pushing.  They let me sleep for an hour or so to see if he would come down at all and at 10:15 pm, it was time to start pushing.  Oh boy!  After an hour of pushing, we had a baby!  Parker James was born at 11:20 pm and it was most definitely one of the best moments of my life!

Love at first sight!

Our first picture as a family of 3!

Baby’s Room

Baby’s Room

Baby M’s room is finally finished.  It turned out more perfect than I had even imagined and I’m just giddy with excitement to think of all the fun memories that are soon to be made in this space!

baby’s room pre-conversion

We have 2 extra bedrooms upstairs, along with a game room and bathroom, so making room for baby has been a breeze.  One of the upstairs bedrooms is just slightly larger than the other and has a much better closet, so naturally, that’s the room that has been designated for baby M.  I have known all along that I did not want a theme oriented room, but instead something clean and simple that could easily grow with baby.  We also knew that we weren’t planning on finding out the gender of the baby, so we started throwing around ideas for a very simple, gender neutral bedroom.  I’ve always loved the look of beadboard and after talking to my parents (who installed it in their house) and finding out it was relatively simple, we decided to go with a bluish gray color on the walls and white beadboard along the bottom third of the walls.  Matt removed baseboards, hung beadboard, and reinstalled the baseboards like a pro!  He’s just downright handy to have around!

Once the walls were finished, the room sat empty for several weeks while we waited on furniture to arrive and then slowly, but surely baby’s new space started to take shape.  We’ve moved the furniture around a few times trying to figure out the perfect placement for everything and I think we’ve finally found it.  I’m so happy with how everything has turned out.  It’s exactly what I had been picturing in my mind and really seems like the perfect space for our newest little family member.

Decorating the walls on the other hand has been quite the ordeal.  It has taken MONTHS to figure out what we wanted to put on the walls and after tossing around a bunch of ideas, we finally decided to continue our theme of clean and simple and have framed both a vintage nursery rhyme print as well as three adorable animal prints in big white frames.  They added the perfect touch of sweetness to the room!  My mom found the nursery rhyme book at an antique store in Abilene and I ordered the animal prints from Zulily…my new favorite website!  We’re also hoping to get a cute little piece of wall art from my sister (hint, hint Aunt Gigi!!!) to hang on one of the other walls above the baby’s bed.  Here are pictures of the finished product!

Baby M, your room is completely finished now!  We hope you love it and feel as peaceful in it as we do.  Your daddy and I are so excited to meet you, anytime you are ready to make your appearance, we’re ready and waiting for you!  We love you sweet baby!

Not Complaining…Just Stating Facts

Not Complaining…Just Stating Facts

The last few weeks in Bible class we’ve been talking about complaining and what it means to be content.  We were even challenged to count how many times a day we complain about something.  Talk about a wake up call!

As I have reached the last 2-3 weeks of pregnancy, I realize there’s a few things I’m going to miss, but mostly a bunch of stuff I won’t.  Being pregnant has been great, it really has.  I’ve had very few complaints and its been really fun to see the changes my body has gone through.  Since I first felt the baby move the weekend of July 4th, it has been the most amazing feeling.  Because baby M is so much bigger now, sometimes those sweet little kicks, turns, and punches are more painful than anything, but I wouldn’t change a thing.  It gives me great reassurance to know that he or she is still ok in there!

There are however a few things that I won’t miss.

  • I can’t wait to be able to sleep without my hands going numb all throughout the night.
  • I can’t wait to be able to turn over in bed without feeling like a beached whale.
  • I can’t wait to be able to get up and down off of the floor without having to have help.
  • I’m ready for my back to not hurt.
  • I’m VERY ready to have more clothes to wear than just yoga pants & like 4 shirts.
  • I’m also beyond ready to go out in public without having people stare at me like I’m some kind of freak show.


People amaze me sometimes with what they’re willing to say to others, especially to a pregnant woman.

  • “Oh wow, you’re huge!”  Why does anyone think its a good idea to tell a pregnant woman how big she looks?  Seriously?  I know that I’m big – there’s a BABY inside of me.  What do you expect me to look like?
  • “3 more weeks?  Are you going to make it?”  Thanks alot…I thought I looked pretty ok for being 9 months pregnant, but apparently not.
  • “How are you feeling?”  I feel fine.  I guess people don’t seem to understand that it is actually possible to be pregnant and feel very normal.  It’s not as easy to move anymore, but isn’t that to be expected?
  • And even though this isn’t verbal…why do others feel like its ok to touch me?  I can touch my stomach and Matt can touch my stomach, but anyone else, please keep your hands to yourself.  Just because there is a baby inside of me doesn’t mean that that gives you a green light to touch my stomach.  I just can’t take it.  I don’t touch your stomach…please don’t touch mine.
Like I said…not complaining…just stating facts.  I am so ready to hold this sweet baby and give him/her a name, but even though I’m uncomfortable, I know that each day he/she stays inside of me means that he/she will be stronger at birth, so I’ll wait…impatiently =).

Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts

So it’s official…I think I’ve hit that point in pregnancy where I feel absolutely enormous.  I’m generally uncomfortable at all times.  Sitting isn’t super comfortable, standing isn’t great, and laying down is bad too because I can’t easily switch from one side to the other.  Some nights, I sleep like a rock and other nights, I barely sleep a wink.  I’m very thankful for those restful nights as I wake up feeling like a brand new person and the nights that I don’t sleep, well…let’s just say they make for very long days of teaching.

Matt has been great through all of this.  I was pretty much worthless during the 1st trimester because of sheer exhaustion and “morning” sickness.  The 2nd trimester was much better, which thankfully coincided with a very busy summer, and now the 3rd trimester has been pretty easy too.  I have complaints of aches and pains every now and then, but overall, I feel very normal, just HUGE.  The last week or two I’ve been alot more tired than I had been before and I seem to lose my breath alot easier, but generally speaking I feel great.  It’s been really difficult the last couple of weeks to come home and cook because for some reason these days, cooking does not appeal to me at all.  I want dinner to be something super simple and fast.  The other issue with dinner is that I seem to have a lot of indigestion in the late afternoons and evenings and the thought of eating doesn’t really appeal to me.  Unfortunately, when I’m not hungry…I don’t want to cook.

I’ve tried this whole pregnancy to really keep my emotions in check and not just be crazy all the time and I’d say I’ve done fairly well.  I haven’t been a teary mess for 9 months and I really haven’t had too many Jekyll & Hyde moments either, but the other night I completely lost it in a hormonal cry fest.  I was stressing out about everything, literally everything.  Things that matter (like packing hospital bags or tying up lose ends at school), and things that don’t (like will we decorate  the house Christmas and how we’ll get a Christmas tree if the baby comes early).  Breaking down and getting everything off of my chest felt really good, but poor Matt…he’ll be so glad when I’m back to my normal self!

It’s a good thing baby M is only a few weeks from making his or her debut…I’m ready to have clothes that fit again, I’m ready to be able to get into a comfortable sitting or sleeping position, and I’m ready to feel like I have control over my emotions again.

More than anything though…I’m ready to meet this sweet little “chunk” that does acrobatics 24/7 and see the person that God has created to bless our family!

Houston Baby Shower

Houston Baby Shower

A couple of weeks ago, Matt’s mom and sister threw us a baby shower for more family and friends here in Houston.  It was a great evening with lots of laughter, games, and delicious food!

super cute cookies

the baby Moses basket for baby to sleep in in our bedroom

super excited about my new diaper bag!

Matt’s mom, Grandma, sister, and me after the shower

The shower was great, baby M got lots more goodies, and Matt and I had a great evening!  We have been completely blown away by the amount of love and support from our family and friends as we prepare for baby M to make his/her debut.

Church Baby Shower

Church Baby Shower

Last Sunday afternoon, our friends at church threw a great shower for us.  My mom, sister, and Houston family were able to attend, in addition to Matt’s mom, grandma, and Michelle.  There was a great turnout of people from church and it was just a great afternoon!  The girls did a great job with everything – even though I know it was a bit stressful keeping everything gender neutral ;).

sign-in table complete with diaper cake, “I wish” cards for guests to fill out  to baby, and baby pictures of Matt and me.

Tricia gave the most beautiful blessing as the shower was getting started. Lovely picture of me trying not to cry…

mingling and chatting

a sweet blanket my cousin Amanda made for baby M

basket of goodies from the hostesses

Matt & me after the shower…he came to say hi to everyone and load up all the gifts :)

the wonderful hostesses (missing Becky & Sheila)…y’all did an awesome job with everything!

Aja and me with sweet, little Aedan…thanks for taking pictures during the shower!

After 2 showers in one weekend, I was exhausted!  But it was so much fun to come home and go through all the gifts to show Matt what we got and think about baby M using all of the cute stuff.