Summer... and a little October too!

Well, I officially suck at keeping a blog. But I think ya’ll already knew that! There have been a LOT of ups and downs this summer and now autumn so there’s LOTs to tell you!

June

If you haven’t heard by now (you must not follow me on Instagram lol) Baby Kerr is a GIRL! And her name is Penelope Jane! We had the best time doing a sex reveal party and celebrating Penny Girl (though we didn’t decide her name until after…).

Nick and I did find out before we announced it because we couldn’t wait! The nurse called me while I was at work and I had to clarify 3 different times that she said baby was a girl because I was so excited I didn’t want to hear her wrong or forget it or something weird like that! We decided to do the classic popping a balloon with glitter and since I didn’t want our apartment complex to hate us we did it in Penny’s nursery… BIG MISTAKE. If you have to use glitter, DO IT OUTSIDE!! It’s OCTOBER and I’m STILL finding glitter all over our house!

You can tell from my face, I HATE popping balloons haha, so don’t know why I went with that option. To celebrate, Nick and I went to Hopdoddy’s (one of our FAVORITE burger places here in Dallas) and splurged on some truffle fries #drool.

June 14th was our 4th anniversary which we celebrated by going to Sushi with Nick’s manager. haha It was a good time AND we got a free meal. We did our own thing that actual weekend which consisted of dinner at Seasons 52 (sooo good) and then seeing the movie ‘Tag’ which was really fun! So nothing too crazy but this preggo has been short on energy the. WHOLE. time.

We also decided on Penelope’s name in June! Nick actually picked it out from our “Approved” list and stuck hard to it. I wasn’t in a rush to decide her name cause we had like forever till she will get here (how do I write in past and present tense in one sentence??). We were walking to a diner for Brunch with Nick’s Office peeps and Nick was trying to talk me into just deciding it. Right as he said, “If we name her Penelope, she can go by Penny which would be kind of like naming her after your grandpa” I saw 2 pennies, right side up on the sidewalk. My grandpa used to ALWAYS stop to pick up any loose change, especially pennies and since he passed away the whole family has taken a penny on the ground to be a sign from him saying hi from the beyond. So when I saw 2 pennies I knew that was her name! Both Grandpa and Penelope approved it!

Mary also started helping me get baby stuff! Haha I love Georgia’s face peeping in the background of the picture for the stroller/carseat adapter. It was fun and made things really feel real (as if the pregnancy symptoms weren’t enough haha) to start getting things ready for her.

July

July started with Mary and I hosting the biggest party yet for the 4th! Since few people have family here we’ve all kind of morphed into each other’s families and support system with no clear dividing lines so when you have a party, you invite EVERYONE. It was SOO much fun that like all of us forgot to take pics! Luckily, a few people (Laura, Mary, & Chelsea!!) saved me and actually took some pics (even got me in one for proof!). It was SOO hot that day AND Nick almost got arrested! …Almost. Lol He and a few other people staked out the pool starting at like 7am because we had a group of like 40+ people so we NEEDED the prime spot and apparently some of the residents that lived right by the pool didn’t like that so they called the cops. The cops talked to Nick and were like, “It’s first come, first serve, man. You good!” and THAT’s the story of how Nick almost got arrested on the 4th of July.

We also had an impromptu flight to Utah to see my lil bro Ethan give his farewell talk! He did such a good job and it was fun to see him one last time (for 2 years) before he took off to serve in the Iowa Des Moines Mission. He’s doing awesome with all the corn and pigs haha but he really is doing well!

I also worked a lot for this amazing lady, Kelsey, and her incredible jewelry company Little Sycamore! I still work for her and it’s the best ever! I get to work from home and make pretty things with pretty stones and interact with pretty people all the time! Occasionally we have work partys and they are a hoot!

And of course there was lots of growing involved for me and Penny! I finally had to start buying maternity clothes for that awkward stage between looking like you ate too much and having a full-fledged pregnant belly. August was better about not being such an awkward stage.

I also had my 20 week appointment which is the big scan to check on Penelope’s development. She was soo active and such a diva! She made it really hard for the sonographer to check for cleft pallet and to make sure she has 2 eyes (which she does, no worries there) because she was sitting SO LOW and then moving every 2 seconds! We saw her cartwheel a few times and that made me realize that what I thought was gas pains was actually Penny Girl jumping on my intestines. Everything looked so perfect and by the end she was chillaxin with her arms behind her head, and her feet elevated and crossed at the ankles (there’s proof below).

I also had really good intentions of eating super clean and following the Clean Simple Eats program but after the first meal of chicken, spinach, sweet potato crackers, and grapefruit aka: Citrus Chicken Salad (pictured) I gave up on following the plan and started picking recipes that I thought I’d like. I found a LOT of really yummy recipes through that program so it was really good, just that ONE FIRST meal was a deal breaker. I also got to watch Moose (MY FAVORITE) so of course there’s a picture of him haha.

August

August is the best because it starts out with one of my favorite days of the year, Nick’s Birthday! I love spoiling him and he knows there’s nothing he can do about it. He used to complain and try to get me to calm down but I think he’s just finally accepted that it’s never gonna happen and it’s so much more fun to just give in to me and my requests.

We went to dinner for his birthday but that was all we had time for since we flew to Utah for family vacation with the Kerrs the next day! We got to spend almost 2 glorious weeks with our families! My mom threw the cutest tea party shower for me and of course I didn’t take any pictures… But I got one with Allison, Gabe, and their sweet new baby Titus! We got spoiled and felt so loved by all our family and friends that came and supported us!

For family vacation we stayed at a fun cabin up Big Cottonwood Canyon because Nick’s brother Chris had football practice and needed to be close enough to do double duty. It was the FUNNEST week! We hiked (almost killed me but was amazing to do with my baby girl and hubs supporting me), saw the new Mission Impossible movie in the super deluxe luxury seats that every theater of all time should have, went cheese tasting in Heber Valley (SOOOOO good), got family pictures done by my amazing friend Summer Soelberg, had our annual Nerf War, taste tested and Sweet 16’d different flavors of Oreos (Lemon won ya’ll), and went to eat at so many good places! We also attempted to do an escape room… probably not the best idea for us competitive Kerrs. We totally got the raw end of the deal but I can tell you about that another time. We always have the best time together and make so many memories and laugh a ton! It was so nice to get out of the heat of Texas and be in the beautiful mountains of Utah for a while. I missed it so much!

August also was full of buying more things for Penny, working for Little Sycamore, Work Parties, and the RASCAL FLATTS CONCERT!! We went with like a bajillion friends and it was SOO much fun even though it was BLOODY hot! (“Fun” fact about Texas: it doesn’t cool down when the sun goes down… it just marinates until the sun comes back up in the morning). And Nick and I unintentionally matching for church which brings me an odd amount of joy haha.

September

Ya’ll, if you’re still reading, I’m seriously impressed. This is one long blog post and let’s just say, YOU DA REAL MVP!

I started out the month working on Little Sycamore stuff like a CRAZY person! I got over 31 hours in a week (normally I get like 15) but I was crankin out beautiful littles and seriously got addicted to it. My mom and sister flew out to help me get my house ready for Penelope to come! They did all the things that are soo hard for me to do with this big ol belly (like bend over or reach up high or basically like anything). And the nursery is almost done! Just need to get a few more things and then I’ll do a photoshoot to show it off cause it’s seriously the cutest! (I’m actually writing from the amazingly comfy recliner/glider/rocking chair right now cause it’s the only place in my house I can sit for chunks of time and not have my back/butt hurt. Thanks for the best gift mama!)

While my mom and sister were here Mary threw me and Penny a shower with all my Texas friends (well, almost all of them)! We were SO spoiled and it was SO much fun and I’m SO INCREDIBLY grateful for the amazing women who are my friends and family out here!

I also made Nick some “Reese’s Crack Bars” (as our friend Zach has dubbed them) and laughed at how he cut into them… he couldn’t wait for me to do it and apparently the circular shape threw him off haha #loveyouboo. We celebrated Bridget’s birthday with our friends from Nick’s work, and enjoyed the first day of Autumn (even though it’s still 80+ here… pardon me while I go cry).

But the first real curveball came while my mom and sister were still in town. We got a call from my dad that my brother Dallin has testicular cancer. They weren’t 100% sure because they’d have to do surgery before they could test it but from all the symptoms it looked just like it. He went to the doctor on Wednesday, Thursday he had a CT which thankfully came back clear, and Friday he had surgery. We tried so hard to get my mom back for his surgery but it just didn’t work out. Luckily, my dad was able to take the week off of work, my aunt was able to cancel her appointments to be with him and my dad at the surgery, and my grandma was there to help him recover all until my mom and sister could get back home on Saturday.

It was scary, but we were all surrounded by loving people who prayed for us and especially for Dallin. He’s doing well now and still isn’t “cured” but things are looking good and like they caught it in time. He’ll do a treatment later this month and then we’ll see where he’s at. We’re really hoping it is just a one-time treatment to make sure all of the cancer is gone.

…and a little October too!

I know it’s only the 2nd day of this month but yesterday was a pretty scary day.

Nick was working from home until his flight at 6pm which was really nice because he had had a looooong work week in Denver/Provo the week before. I had a doctor’s appointment where I was tested for gestational diabetes (still waiting on results but not too worried about it) and the doctor said Penny was looking perfect. But we were talking about my symptoms and she mentioned something about discharge that just wasn’t settling well with me. It was one of those things where you have to go home, observe your body and think about how things have been before you can really do anything because I didn’t have an answer for her when I was in the office.

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I was STARVING after taking the test (and a bit nauseous from all the sugar) so Nick and I got a mini lunch date together which was a lot of fun. We came home and went about our day. Nick got packed up and headed to the airport right when I had realized I needed to talk to the doctor because I was having the unusual symptoms she had mentioned to watch out for.

Nick had to go before I was able to talk to a nurse, and shortly after things got crazy. I had told the nurse what was going on and that I was worried I was leaking Amniotic Fluid. After she had talked to my doctor she told me to go to the hospital to Labor & Delivery right away. Nick was gone, I was shocked and slightly panicking (definitely didn’t see that coming), and most of all I was alone. Nick called me right after the nurse told me to go to the hospital and luckily he hadn’t gotten on his flight yet and was able to leave the airport and come to the hospital. I called Mary and she was able to literally drop everything and take me to the airport. Chelsea even watched JoJo so she didn’t have to worry about her.

I had never been to the hospital in an emergency situation and ya’ll, it’s scary. They do their best to make you calm and feel ok, but there’s only so much you can do when so much is unknown. They performed 3 tests to make sure I wasn’t leaking fluid. 1/3 came back positive (the Ph test) so they did a sonogram to measure how much fluid is in my bag and that came back with flying colors. The doctors on call determined it MAY just be a slight bacterial infection, but it also could be me actually leaking fluid slowly. So I’m on antibiotics to rule out the infection. I pray it is just an infection because if it’s a leak that could mean bedrest and/or Penelope making her debut early.

I have the best family and friends and support system! I am in awe that everyone was able and willing to come running when I needed it! THANK YOU to everyone reading this because YOU are part of that support system whether you’re here with me or not. And don’t worry, I will keep you updated on all things Penny!

XOXO meli

April AND May.... combined because of a secret

Well, the secret's out! 

If you haven't seen my Facebook/Instagram posts, I'M PREGNANT!!! 

Our Little Frog (we call it that because we don't know the gender aaaannnd it looks like a frog in the sonogram ^^) is due to join us December 15! The photo was taken right after I told Nick that he was gonna be a dad! Friday, April 13th is supposed to be a bad luck day but I'd say it was a pretty dang good day! I woke up that morning convinced I was pregnant because I had had some tenderness, fatigue, and hunger (every 4 hours.... on the dot) and I was even more convince when I realized Aunt Flo was 2 days late on her arrival. So I took the test (Nick was already off to work) and hurried to get ready. I spent at least 2 hours wandering Target trying to find something good to announce our Little Frog to Nick! I found a set of onesies that were pretty unisex and said, "Let the Adventure Begin" and then decided to make the mugs pictured. Of course I also got the streamer thing and balloons! 

I set up my camera and phone to record two different angles when Nick walked in so I could capture his reaction... But the thing is that he doesn't like surprises and isn't very expressive. So while the video is fun for me to watch, it would probably be a let down for ya'll. He just needs time to process I guess... 

That was really all of our April news! Oh! JK! Some of you might remember that nasty rash I had for 6 weeks and the doctor couldn't figure it out?? Well... we figured it out.... BED BUGS! Barf! I normally wouldn't talk about this but it was SUCH a big part of our lives that it took over them for a bit! I found one one night when I was reading in bed and one crawled past my eye on the pillow! I FLIPPED!! I woke Nick up and we CLEANED as much as we could, found a 24 hr Walmart, bought pillow covers and everything else that we could that was helpful, spent HOURS researching what to do and generally panicked... Needless to say, we only got about 2 hrs of sleep that night. 

The start of our sleeping arrangement for the next month.... 

The start of our sleeping arrangement for the next month.... 

Luckily, management was able to get pest control out there that next morning and verify it and give us instructions on what to do... VACUUM EVERYTHING AS MUCH AS YOU CAN AND THEN RUN WHAT YOU CAN THROUGH THE DRYER FOR 60 MINS. And lucky for us we were headed out of town to San Antonio for a few days so we could essentially ignore the problem for a bit while the professionals handled it. 

San Antonio was a BLAST!! We stayed right on the Riverwalk and hung out around there the whole time. Of course we visited the Alamo which was REALLY weird because it's literally in the middle of the city! Like, Ripley's Believe it or Not museum is RIGHT across the street from it... I was definitely expecting to have to drive out to the country to see it but it was only 2 blocks from our hotel. It was SO gorgeous there though! It was drizzling that morning but it cleared up the rest of the day! 

We had such a blast! Our favorite local restaurant was Açenar (TexMex) but we had some DELICIOUS places! Although, we did go to this German restaurant to humor my dad (he's OBSESSED with all things German) and it was NASTY (the food photo)... but their ceiling was really cool! The restaurant was really cool, it's the oldest in San Antonio and was almost like an Irish Pub but I definitely could've don't without the food (never been a fan of German food). You can tell my hair didn't want to cooperate after the first day because I pulled it back. It was a FRIZZ FEST that no one wanted or needed to see.... 

But our favorite restaurant that we visited was Fogo de Chão (translation: Fire Pit). The meat was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOD!!! Tender, juicy, and FULL of flavor. Hard to beat. 

We saw the light show at the Cathedral of San Fernando but mostly hung out on the Riverwalk. We did a boat tour and stopped to see all of the little signs as we walked it! San Antonio doesn't really feel like it's in the US. It's so tropical and magical that we compared it to Disneyland's Adventure land. And I know all of SA isn't that way but where we were was and it was beautiful! 

Other things that happened in April: I second shot a beautiful wedding with my friend Lexie from Lexie Krug Photography , got in my base burn while walking White Rock Lake with my mama squad, found the giant eyeball with Nick while exploring DT Dallas, and had an afternoon picnic with my love at our beloved White Rock Lake! 

Got to shower Brooke and her twins with lots of loves and lots of laughs!

Got to shower Brooke and her twins with lots of loves and lots of laughs!

May came with a lot of fun things and a lot of battle tactics to fight off the Bed Bugs... We discovered that not only was vacuuming our best friend but that the bugs don't like double sided tape and are smart enough to go around it. **Disclaimer** We did not get bed bugs because we are dirty, messy or anything of the sort. Bed Bugs do not care if your house is clean or dirty, rich or poor, they are wingless vampires that like to nest in a dark, cozy, preferably-fabric place close to where their victims sleep. Nick thinks he picked one up in an Uber on his way home from work one day... so be careful my friends! If you want to learn more about BBs just ask, Nick and I have done SOO much research and talking with professionals that we could literally write a book on it. 

Nick trying to "lure" out the bed bugs one afternoon so we could kill them...

Nick trying to "lure" out the bed bugs one afternoon so we could kill them...

I hit 8 weeks in May and of course had to take a "bump" photo lol.... there's nothing there yet but I could definitely feel my pants getting tighter. I also discovered that my dad randomly has a restaurant for Chicken Fingers-why he never told me, I'll never understand haha. 

I also had my first (and only (so far)) hormonal breakdown. It's actually a pretty funny story. I found this random account on Instagram (click here to see for yourself... You're welcome) that has all these really funny animal memes. They posted this one video that kept getting funnier as you watched it... then I of course started laughing hysterically at EVERY meme that I saw after that until I finally realized that I shouldn't be laughing as hard as I was. I was laughing so hard that tears were STREAMING down my face. And Nick just sat there. Staring at me. As if I was slowly morphing into an escaped convicted murder. And then I started crying. Because I couldn't stop laughing. And then I cried harder because I couldn't stop crying... freaking hormones. 

Nick's cousin Jackie came out from San Francisco to visit us for a weekend! We had so much fun exploring the city, eating amazing food, and binge watching 'Safe' on Netflix (SO good but has a LOT of cussing... you were warned). Of course the only photos I got that weekend were of our last meal together, and binging Netflix lol. I totally forgot to get photos at the DMA, Dealy Plaza, JFK Memorial, Outlets, and everything else that we did. 

Nick's work can be really amazing sometimes! We've got a regular date for working at the pool on Monday's since he doesn't need to be at the office. We figured he could work on his tan as well... 

Memorial Day weekend was a BLAST!! We went with friends out to Possum Kingdom Lake and boated all weekend! I wish I could easily post videos cause Nick has a great wipeout and Justin surfing to Whitney Houston is something that should NOT be missed! So grateful for these amazing friends! 

That weekend was also SUPER hard because my puppers of 13 years died suddenly from a stroke and internal bleeding. Scottie was such an INCREDIBLE dog. He was so well behaved, loving, ands incredibly scared of everything... it was hilarious! It's so hard to be without him now. He was there for half of my life. I know a lot of you know what this feels like! It's a new thing to me because he was the first to go for us. It's SO hard to lose a member of your family like that. RIP Scottie. I love you! 

May ended with me getting some genetic testing done for Baby K (when the results come in we'll have a little reveal party! Watch IG!) and me flying home to visit for a few days! It was surreal walking in the house and only having my puppers Jazz there to greet me! But the rest of that story goes into June so.... CLIFFHANGER!! lolz 

XOXO meli

 

p.s.

The Bed Bugs are GONE!!! Pest control cleared us the last Wednesday in May! Only took a MONTH!

Remember, remember, the month of November... that's how it goes, right??

Hey ya’ll! (I use ya’ll too much! #sorrynotsorry)

Here’s my catch up for November since I know y’all are DYING to know what happened (I CANNOT keep up with allllll the emails overflowing my inbox asking where I’ve been alll month... geeze people, calmaté! #sarcasm). 

The month started off with me discovering my LOVE for running! What’s the catch? Outside. It HAS to be outside. My friend Brooke and I went over to White Rock Lake (seriously the most gorgeous place ever!) and started running the trail. It’s a 10ish mile trail and my goal is to run that twice before my half marathon next year. ANOTHER HALF?? Yes. I figured since last time I didn’t “run” a half (I just DID it) I needed to actually “run” one this time... maaaaybe I’ve caught a little runner’s fever okay??  Anyway, back to running WRL- we ran 3 miles round trip AND discovered MOUNT VERNON is in DALLAS! I’M OBSESSED AND IT’S FOR SALE!! Here’s the link (SOMEONE PLEEEEEAAAAASSSEEE BUY IT FOR ME!!! IT’S A PHENOMENAL INVESTMENT!! ;) )- 
http://mountvernon.alliebeth.com

Mount Vernon... DALLAS ed. 

Mount Vernon... DALLAS ed. 

That discovery was followed by the cutest baby shower for my dear friend Mary that was hosted by the amazing Liz! Mary is having a little girl, Georgia (HOW CUTE?!), and the colors were blush and gold #dead. It was so fun to be with so many friends! And to spoil a very deserving mama and her baby was the best!

Our amazing friends had a Friendsgiving that was INCREDIBLE and hosted by the very famous couple Rucas (or Luchel) (Lucas + Rachel). We had 11 couples + 2 toddlers AND 2 new borns there! Quite the crew AND somehow we were all able to fit COMFORTABLY in Luchel’s little apartment. Quite the miracle and soooo much fun! We ate a bajillion DELICIOUS things, watched football, and played Secret Hitler (if you don’t know what that is, you NEED to know). 

But the MAIN EVENT of the month was definitely The 6th Biennial Stoker Family Reunion: Hogwarts Ed. I kicked off the festivities by surprising the CRAP outta my mama!!! Haha it was sooooo funny (I recorded it-she won’t let me post it buuuuttt if you really wanna see it I can arrange that ;) ) Backstory: The first time I came home from college I scared the crap outta my mama because she didn’t know what time I was going to be there and she happened to be in her closet so I took advantage of the opportunity (who wouldn’t??) and yelled, “SURPRISE!” as she walked past... thank the heavens she has a good ticker cause she’d definitely be gone this time around.

Back to main story- Mama Barks had NO idea I was coming in early! My dad said he was at work (lies- he was picking me up from the airport), my brother and sister said they were running to the store (lies- they were ALSO picking me up from the airport). So when we got to the house, my dad and I hid just outside the garage door while my sister tried for 5 FREAKING MINUTES to get my mom into her closet to “help her find her passport for school documentation”. Okaaaaayy... she got suspicious. BUT she thought my siblings were trying to smuggle in a birthday present for her (it was only 2 days before her birthday). So when she came out of her room, BAM! “HAPPEEEEE BIIIRRRRFFFDAAAY MAMAMAMAMAMAMAMA!!!!” Pretty sure her ticker skipped 10 ticks that day! 

Back to the main, main story. So the Tuesday before Thanksgiving we loaded up 2 cars with all the crap they could hold (+ people) and headed down to St. George. Within 1.5 hrs the women folk transformed the vacation home into Hogwarts and within 2.5 hrs people started showing up! Then the real party began! 

It was filled with Football, QUIDDITCH (SOOO much fun and SOOO exhausting!), hiking to see petroglyphs, amazing FOOD, and a massive session of family pictures!! (photographing 44 people and making it look fun, easy, and making THEM look good ain’t easy--- maybe I’ll blog about that!) 

 Nick and I learned one massive thing. We will NOT travel without each other if at all possible. It just kinda sucks being apart when we could be together AND traveling is sooo much better when you’re not alone. 

A week after Thanksgiving we went to the Cowboys game! It was INCREDIBLE!! It was both mine and Nick’s first NFL game and it was soo much fun! We had nosebleed seats but it didn’t matter because you could still see EVERYTHING from the BIGGEST JUMBOTRON IN THE NFL!! That stadium is quite the feat of engineering and soo awe-inspiring. PLUS the Cowboys KILLED the Redskins so it was a great game!

And all through the month I had plugged away at continuing my education! I enrolled in a 19 week course by the INCREDIBLE Katelyn James and it has changed my photo-life! I’ve done several webinars and mini-courses. I started getting Blueprint Certified, AND I started working on documenting my learning and sharing it with all of you (this monthly check in is part of that!). It’s soo important to keep learning, no matter if it’s part of your career, hobbies, or something you’ve just found interest in! Keep going, keep changing! Because as you change you’ll change the world around you, and I don’t know bout you, but I hope my change is positive! 

Well, that’s all for now folks! 

XOXO meli