Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tidings of Great Joy

I know it's been a while since I've blogged, but this morning I walked past the mirror on my 100th 98th trip to the bathroom, and I caught a glimpse of my growing belly.  I really want to savor these last few weeks of being pregnant.  Sure, my ankles are swollen, I can't find a comfortable position for sleep anymore, and I've been on my hands and knees scrubbing baseboards, but I wouldn't trade it for a million glasses of wine. 

I walked into my son's room and looked around.  I started a mental note of everything that still needed to be done, but God's voice is louder.  His mercies are new every morning.  The curtains will get hung, daycare will get paid for, and, soon, my perfect baby will be sleeping on that beautiful bedding.

Sneak Peek of Sawyer's Room
I woke up to rain, but I was warm in my bed. My husband was next to me, and the dog had somehow found her way right in between us.  Maybe it's the pregnant hormones, but I'm a sappy mess this morning with my tree lit and Christmas classics playing. 

I have been reminded this week that life is all too short.  God's voice is shouting for us to not miss this season we are in.  I hope I always remember to praise Him...even in the rain.

P.S. - I just burnt the bacon...but who likes soggy bacon anyway?

The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are all over His works.
Psalms 145:9

Monday, September 2, 2013

17 Weeks

How far along? 17 weeks
Total weight gain? Still down 5 pounds
Maternity clothes? Yes! I have some awesome friends who have let me borrow their maternity clothes to add to my collection. Honestly, I don't know how you could afford everything you need otherwise. 
Stretch marks? I've been slathering on tummy cream every night, so fingers crossed!
Sleep? My legs are still hurting at night, but i have no problems sleeping soundly once I fall asleep. 
Best moment of the week? I'm pretty sure that I felt Sawyer move this week. I mostly feel it at night, and sometimes I think I can see my stomach move, too.  I could watch it for hours! 
Miss anything? Cold deli meat. I really want a Jason's Deli ham and NOW.  
Movement? I'm pretty convinced that I've felt him, but I really want Andrew to feel him, too.  
Food Cravings? Still totally crazy about sweets. Any and all. 
Anything making your queasy or sick? Chicken makes me gag. Yuck. I can't even think about it. 
Gender? My prediction was right! We payed to have a gender scan done at 16 weeks, and we were so happy to see little boy parts. Daddy is already making big plans for his son! 
Labor signs? way too soon
Symptoms? He must be sitting on a nerve because my leg is constantly numb! 
Belly button? In
Wedding ring on or off? On
Happy or moody? If you had asked me a few days ago, I would have said happy, but the past two days have been crazy. I'm definitely embarrassed to say that I have alternated between crying and yelling a few times. 
Anticipating? Getting the nursery ready!
Baby Names? Sawyer Hearn Clower

Proverbs 16:9 
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

13 Weeks

How far along? 13 weeks and 3 days
Total weight gain? Still down 5 pounds from my beginning weight
Maternity clothes? Yes, please! I have a few work pants that still fit, but my jeans and shorts are all really uncomfortable.  I've been living in comfy dresses for the past few weeks. Luckily, I'm spoiled rotten, and my sweet mom took me shopping for some "back-to-school" clothes. 
Stretch marks? Ummm...can we be honest? None that weren't already there. Ha! 
Sleep? Now that I'm not napping all day back at work, sleep is coming easier, but my legs are really hurting at night. 
Best moment of the week? Getting my appetite back! 
Miss anything? Is it weird that I'm totally craving a beer? I'm usually a wine drinker, but the smell of beer is absolutely amazing right now. 
Movement? I wish I felt something, but it's still too soon. 
Food Cravings? Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I can't get enough of sweets. I'm usually a salty person, but sweet is where it's at right now.  Also, I had a weird craving for tomatoes with balsamic vinegar this week.  Good thing I have a sweet hubby who will go to the store for me. :-)
Anything making your queasy or sick? Meat still has me a little weary. I did eat some fajitas this weekend and some of Gigi's Poppyseed Chicken last night. Yum! 
Gender? My prediction is boy. Andrew's prediction is boy. Mimi's prediction is girl. Ha! She can't wait to find out if she can start stocking up on little girl apparel at The Yellow Daisy Festival this year. We are going to pay to find out the gender early. Three weeks to go! 
Labor signs? way too soon
Symptoms? Despite the back surgery, my back has been killing me this week. I think it's because all of my ligaments are loosening up to make way for this baby.  I'm not complaining, though! 
Belly button? In
Wedding ring on or off? On
Happy or moody? Well, this would depend on who you're asking. Ha! I've been mostly happy with the occasional brattiness (is that a word?) thrown in. 
Anticipating? Can't wait to find out if this sweet baby is a boy or girl. Also, Andrew and I are both dying to feel it move! 
Baby Names? Our boy name has been decided since we got married since we are using family names from Andrew's side: Sawyer Hearn Clower.   We have been back and forth on girl names.  We're definitely using Dianne as the middle name in memory of my Granny.  I love the name Evelyn, but Andrew is not liking it so much.  I try to get him to agree to names when he is falling asleep or really in to a tv show. Some other contenders for girl names are: Collette, Holland, Hollis, Noelle, Charlotte, Lindly, and Jolie. I'm also open to any suggestions. 

Psalm 107:1
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah

Anyone else love that song like I do?  No?  I'm sure if Baby Clower is ever at Camp Granada his/her grandparents will be happy to save him/her! 

Andrew and I were so excited to tell both of our parents about the new bundle of joy. I had done a little lot of research on how to share the news, so I was armed and ready with plenty of ideas! 

My parents were on a cruise the week we found out, which actually turned out for the best, because I would have called my mom right away, but I'm so glad that I got to see her face instead!  Since my parents were coming back on a Saturday, we decided to wait until then to tell both of our parents. 

Andrew's parents, Gigi and Grandpaw, were surprised with this frame as house warming gift. 

My parents, Mimi and P-Paw, were given this book to unwrap together.  

By: Jean Reagan

Plenty of hugs ensued from both sets of thrilled grandparents! 

Big Sister is less than enthused since cousin Gracie has already told her what to expect...a lot less ball throwing.  Womp. Womp.  

Psalm 108:4
For great is Your love, higher than the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Jeremiah 29:11

I've been dying to write this post. Well, mostly I've been dying of morning all-the-time sickness, but also I've been chomping at the bit to share our news.  We've waited so long for this moment, and I was worried it would never come, but...

I am currently 10 weeks, and the baby's estimated date of arrival is January 31, 2014.  We're going to have a little New Year's baby! 

The Lord has just blessed my little family in so many ways, and I am so excited to share His blessings throughout this pregnancy.  I have to share this short story that only solidifies His existence for me.

Hubby and I have been trying for over a year for this sweet baby, and I found myself losing hope several times throughout this journey. I have wonderfully, amazing, supportive friends and family, and I just couldn't BE more grateful for that. (Chandler Bing anyone?) Throughout my months of negative tests, I always turned to the comfort of Jeremiah 29:11.

I found out I was pregnant on May 20, 2013 at only 4 weeks. While I was beyond excited,  I was also a constant nervous wreck that I was going to miscarry. On the weekend of May 31st at 5 weeks, I attended our yearly Beth Moore Conference with my mom and our sweet friends, Penny and Mandy.  At the door, the attendants were handing out greeting cards as a "special gift". I have been to several Beth Moore conferences and this is the first time they have ever done that. We got to out seats and I opened my card. Y'all are not going to believe this...look what it said on the inside!

Seriously, I cried.  The Lord is more amazing than we can ever know or imagine. Thank goodness He loves my sweet, growing family. 

"Children are a gift from the Lord. They are a reward from Him." Psalm 127:3

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Letter to My 21 Year Old Self


Dear 21 Year Old Elyse,

Just because you're legally able to drink now does not mean that you need to order an adult beverage at every restaurant. Seriously. You're wasting a lot of money.  Also, I know you think those thin cigarettes in the pink case make you look awesome. They don't.  Trust me. 

You are never going to be the cute girl with the pixie haircut. You are not Sienna Miller. Please stop cutting your hair.  

The boy you think you're about to marry. You won't.  Stop trying to change yourself for him.  You will eventually fall back in love realize you're still in love with your high school sweetheart. You will stalk him. He will first.  Don't give up.  True love is meant to be yours. The $700 phone bill in Mexico is totally worth it.  

You're about to venture out in apartment living.  You will live off student loans, rack up a ton of debt trying to be rich, and eventually move back in with your parents.  It's cool.  I'm not going to stop you on that one. Live and learn, Lize. 

In a short time, you'll be admitted to the Early Childhood Education program at Georgia State University. The first call you make will be to your dad about how you need to buy "teacher clothes" now.  You'll graduate Cum Laude, despite the mistakes above. 

You'll lose loved ones. And it will rock your world.  But, you make it. You gain some life-long friends along the way, too. And, girl, your life is better than you ever imagined it would be. 

28 Year Old Elyse 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Life Lessons From My Mother

Never underestimate yourself.  You can do far more than you ever imagined if you put your mind to it.  
 2 pairs of nice jeans are better than 5 pairs of cheap ones. 
Vacuuming the floor makes the whole house look cleaner.
Take your shoes off before you enter the house.  Unless you're a guest...then you get to keep your shoes on.
Dogs talk.  They hear what you say and, if you listen closely, they will respond. 
Pretty is as pretty does. 
Never underestimate the power of your words.  
Bedtime stories make all the difference.
Thanksgiving should be a time for family and food and togetherness. All holidays, really. 
Speaking of is not just for holidays. 
Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul.  Lift those hands up, sister, no one is watching you anyway. 
Be grateful. Enough said. 
Moms make great friends. Seriously, I call her twice a day.
Don't scream, "I hate you!" in a fight. You don't really, and you can never take it back. 
Don't lie. You will always get caught.
When the one your meant to be with comes along, your mama knows. 
Moms are always usually right. And they like to hear you say it.
A mother's love is unconditional. 

Who can find a virtuous woman? She is far more precious than jewels...
Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and loving instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the activities of her household and is never idle. Her sons rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her: Many woman are capable, but you surpass them all! Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. 
Proverbs 31:10, 25-30

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Always, Sometimes, Never

I always:
  • check my alarm seven times before bed. 
  • say, "I love you" before hanging up the phone with my husband...or mom...or dad...or brother....
  • wash my hair first in the shower, so I can leave my conditioner on the longest. 
  • drink real Coke. 
  • mean to call people back when I say I will.
I always find something to buy at Target, like these mirrors! 
I always steal as many smooches as possible from this ladybug!

I sometimes:
  • actually remember to call people back
  • text them instead because I don't feel like actually talking.
  • rewash a load more than once because I forgot to dry it. 
  • act like I know people because I read their blogs.
  • cry at commercials.
  • eat a bite of my meal before I remember to pray.
  • pretend that I'm a singer, and then sing really loudly to no one but myself.
I sometimes force my husband to take selfies in the car before date night.

I never:
  • touch raw ground beef.  Ever. Seriously.
  • eat spinach leaves. Gross.
  • forget to kiss my husband good-bye in the mornings. 
  • turn down ice cream. 
I never get tired of this man...

...or this view.

Check out Total Tippins Takeover to see Amy's list! 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Current Randoms

I love getting a glimpse into the lives of other people, so when one of my favorite blogs,, shared this post I decided to link up.   Run over to Amy's blog and check out her post, too.  She has a new baby on the way and two of the cutest girls already! 

What I'm Loving:

  • The warmer days.  It's not too hot and not too cold. Perfect recess weather.
  • Award shows.  Yes, it's a guilty pleasure.  
  • Hanging out with my sweet niece.  Could you just die?!

What I'm Reading:
  • Bloom by Kelle Hampton
  • Unglued by Lysa Turkeurst

What I'm Waiting For:
  • The beach! We're gearing up for a Spring Break trip to Gulf Shores. 
  • Beth Moore.
  • Summer Break. Period.
What I'm Excited About:
  • Putting the house on the market.  Just a few more things to get ready...
  • Eating crab legs at the beach.
  • The clean house I'm sitting in.  Hey, I worked hard for it to be this way. 
What I'm Working On:
  • Grading papers on time. 
  • Working out on a daily basis. 
  • Baby- making.  
What I'm Enjoying:
  • Grilling out with the hubs on these warmer nights.
  • My new fave: Avocado and cottage cheese with my lunch. Delish.
What I'm Wearing:
  • Old Navy jeans, a Georgia Bulldawgs pullover, and tennis shoes.  
What I'm Singing:
  • "I'll wear your granddad's clothes.  I look incredible."  You're welcome. 
What I'm Needing:
  • Some devotional time.  That's why I'm looking forward to Beth Moore in May.  She always knows how speak God's word directly to my heart. 
What I'm Learning:
  • That working out makes me feel good which puts me in a better mood which leads to a happier life.  It's a ripple effect. 
  • God's timing is perfect.  
What I'm Doing:
  • A little of this and that.  I don't think we've had a free weekend in forever! 
What I'm Dreaming Of:
  • A new house
  • A new baby 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Attempt at DIY

When hubby and I got married - almost two years ago! Holla! - we incorporated a "Wishing Tree" at our reception.  I scoured Etsy looking for the perfect tags and my dad put together an amazing "tree" for them to be displayed on once our guests had written on them.  The idea was that the guests would write well-wishes for us, the new couple, and we would read them throughout the years with tears of joy and fond remembrance of that magical night. *cough, cough*

Reality---the day after my wedding the tree was placed in my spare bedroom and there is has remained. Untouched. Unread. Unloved. *tear*

Now, enter my DIY project.  I have to give credit to my lovely friend, Emily, who first did this for her wish tags and inspired me to be a DIYer myself. Two years later. 

My hubby was extra glad that this project was not expensive. I will use this to my advantage in the future...but I digress.

Step 1: 
Find a branch in your backyard that is beautiful. Preferably one that has already snapped from the tree. 

Step 2:
Buy the spray paint color of your choice.  Used this stuff from Walmart.  It was gray. It was cheap.  It said "indoor/outdoor". 

Step 3:
Cover the grass (another point scored for me) and begin to spray paint your branch.  I only did two coats because I wanted the original color to come through a little.  In other words: do a shotty job of spray painting and you end up with your own distressed branch. 

Step 4:
Freak out because your husband can't find the tools he needs to hang the new project and then proceeds to get distracted by every other item in the garage. 

Step 5:
Pick out your favorite wish tags and hang them on the branch.  Read them with tears of joy and fond remembrance of that magical night. 

This post would not be complete without a special thank-you to my hubby for willingly nailing a tree branch to the wall.  I heart you.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Remembering 2012

A few years ago I attended a Beth Moore Conference in Atlanta.  As I stood in line with my mom and thousands of other woman, my mom suddenly got this giddy look on her face.  She tapped me and whispered, "See that lady over there? That's Kelly.  I read her blog."  I watched as my mom went up and introduced herself to this sweet woman.  When we got home from the conference, I looked up Kelly's Korner, and began to read.  I spent hours reading old posts and getting to know Kelly and her family.  This was the first blog that I ever followed. 

Kelly did a wonderful post today with some relfective questions for 2012.  I've decided to link up and share my answers here.  Don't forget to hop over to Kelly's Korner and see the original post.

1. What are you most thankful for?

This is such a hard one to answer because I am thankful for so many things.  This year has taught me to be thankful for my health and the health of my loved ones.  I'm thankful for a loving family and friends that go beyond just being friends.  Friends that I don't have to clean up the house for or talk on the phone to everyday.  Real friends. I'm thankful that I've finally learned to let go of some many things that don't matter, and that I've learned how to really focus on the things that do. 

2. What were the highlights of 2012 for you?

Accomplishments at work. Making it through the first year of marriage and knowing again and again that I made the right choice.  Gaining a fun brother-in-law.  Holding my sweet neice, Leighton, for the first time....and everytime since then.  Going ahead with back surgery and being stronger for it. Beth Moore Conference with my mom and sweet friends. 

3. What are you hoping for in 2013?

Oh, what a loaded question.  Andrew and I have made a huge decision to put our house on the market this year, so I'm hoping for a quick sale and for the perfect home to open up for us.  I'm hoping that we find a house with the perfect room for a nursery because I'm HOPING that this will finally be our year for a baby.  I'm hoping to learn to wait patiently for the Lord's plan. I'm hoping to remember that He loves me and His plan for me is beyong my wildest dreams.

4. What are some you favorites of 2012?

Let's see.  I love chevron, instagram, facebook, and tons of blogs.  I've read some great books. I especially loved The Hunger Games, Bloom, and Gone Girl.  I found renewed love of praise and worship music, especially Chris Tomlin.  I love my ipad and my iphone.

5. Who was God to you in 2012?

God continues to amaze me.  I continue to thirst for his word.  I continue to seek Him and find comfort in knowing that He wants only the best for me. 

As we embark on a new year, and the giddiness of starting something new overcomes us, how would you answer these questions? 

Best wishes for a wonderful new year.  xoxo

"For I know that plans I have for you," says the Lord, "plans to posper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11