My little apple seed

A baby is growing inside of me. When I look down at my belly, I cry. I have never felt more blessed, excited or happy for anything in my life.

I’ve really been struggling with my fears these past few days since I found out that I was pregnant. What if something I did before I knew I was pregnant hurt the baby? What if I have a miscarriage? I know it’s common for a lot of first pregnancies. But then I remember that God is in control. He gave me this baby for a reason. He answered my prayers and blessed me with this little angel because he knew I was ready for it. Gods plan is so much bigger than I can even comprehend. If he believes that I am strong enough to grow a tiny human inside of me, then I know that I am. I cannot live my life in fear and I know the importance of being happy and excited for what is to come.

I have had nothing but pregnancy on the mind since I found out. I’ve focused on the baby inside of me every time I go to eat something, every time I feel like I’m about to throw up, and every time I smile. In 9 months, I will be holding my baby in my arms smiling at their little face and wondering how I got to be so lucky. As far as symptoms go, I haven’t really felt too much. Nausea, gas, bloating a fatigue mainly. I slept for ten hours last night, then came to work and have slept another five hours or so, on and off.

Thinking back on these last five weeks or so, I laugh at how God planned this pregnancy. I had been to Florida 3 times total. Once for a wedding, and twice because of my Neene passing away. Little did I know that I was pregnant every time I went. I felt bloated, ugly and gross each time I was there, but just blamed it on the heat of Florida and my love for food. I’d been peeing SO OFTEN but just figured I’d grown a weaker bladder. I have had NO energy, one day I slept until 4:30 pm just because I had nothing to do and I was so tired. Just this past Monday I had run some errands with my mother in law and told her how bloated I was feeling.

My period was ten days late but I figured it was the stress of work and of my Neene dying, little did I know, there was a little babe inside of me. My sister in law urged me to take a test, so I went to the store on Wednesday and purchased two boxes of two different tests and two different brands. I took the first one when I got back to work, expecting it to be negative because it was the middle of the day and I had already consumed a ton of water and sweet tea. I walked out of the bathroom and left the test on the counter, did some chores around the house and then went back. I did about thirty takes of the test.

“Is that really a positive sign?” “Am I blind or what?” No, my eyes were not deceiving me. I WAS PREGNANT!!! I called my MIL immediately, shaking uncontrollably and bawling my eyes out with happiness. I then called my mom, grandma and husband and shared the news. Everyone was thrilled! Zack was in shock at first but is now excited too. I then called my doctor and made an appointment, and to my surprise they scheduled me for an ultrasound on April 9th!

I have all four tests saved at home, and I look at them every day to relive how excited I was when I first found out. Only knowing for a few days and being this happy and excited only has me wondering what the rest of the pregnancy will be like. No amount of sickness could keep me away from being happy and excited to welcome this baby into such a beautiful family. I am already so in love with my little *five week* apple seed, and I cannot wait to see it on the monitor in a little less than two weeks! No fear.

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Family First

We have all heard that God places people in your life for a reason. One of my favorite quotes is actually, “people come into your life for a reason, season or a lifetime”. I’ve really been reflecting on the people in my life lately. From birth, I have been insanely blessed with the people I’ve been surrounded by. Grandparents and great-grandparents, mom, dad, step-parents, sisters, brother, cousins, aunts, uncles ETC. I have a huge, AMAZING family. 

I had never really put too much thought into the family I would marry into. I seemed to be the permanently single friend, third wheel extraordinaire and the “she’s super weird but cool but do I really want to date her?” I lucked out when I moved to Charlotte and met a handsome 24 year old who was sweeter than Hummingbird Cake on May 24 (my birthday). 

On our first date we talked a lot about our families. We both come from a large family whom treasure time together, which immediately thrilled me. After a few dates I got to meet his parents briefly and then started going over there more and more. In October of 2012 he came to Florida with me to meet mine. The first thing my Grandmomny said after she met him was “Olivia, he is perfect.” Duh. Neene called him “Jack” but was thrilled that I was so happy. 

It didn’t take long for his family and I to connect. As Vickie (his mom) said once in a card to me, I just fit right in to their crazy, fun family. And I do! I love them like they’re my own. I have never felt more comfortable around such a large group of people whom I’ve only known for a few years. 

Vickie is truly a gift. She takes mother in law to a whole new height. She is sweet, selfless and funny. I can tell her anything, honestly, and she will not only cast no judgement, but will provide a solution. She is quick to love and give, whether it’s a pair of socks because my feet are cold or a personalized notepad because she knows I constantly write notes to myself. Wedding planning was SO fun with her as my sidekick. She knew what I wanted and stopped at absolutely nothing to make my dreams a reality. 

Billy (FIL) is one weird man. And I love it. He and I are sarcastic, funny and stupid together. We make fun of each other and don’t get upset because we have such a bond that I am so thankful for. His country accent and big bear hugs are the best. For being in a state where I have no immediate family, I’m thankful to have the best second family imaginable. 

As far as siblings go, besides having my own badass sibs, the Cecil/Baldwin/Whitleys are too awesome. Micah and I share a common interest in tattoos and music and I consider her one of my best friends. Melanie and I bonded from the start when she offered to kick someone’s ass because they were harassing me. Melissa is beyond fun to go out with and have serious conversations with. I enjoy time with each of them in different ways and I’m so glad they’re my new sisters! William, the only other boy besides Z is a mini Billy who can sometimes be a pain but I love nonetheless. Our banter and laughs are one of a kind and I’m thankful for our relationship. 

When it comes to family, I believe I have been thoroughly blessed with mine. From my real parents to my in-laws, I have had and will continue to have an amazing support system. Yay, family!

Friendsgiving

I was randomly thinking about my relationships with people in the past and present. How they got to where they are and why some ended. Something I’ve always known, but maybe never really started doing accurately until maybe the past two years, is that communication is the most important thing in any relationship.
I used to hold my emotions in until I just couldn’t anymore. I wouldn’t tell my mom when something upset me, instead I would keep building up more and more frustrations until we had a huge fight. Mom and I fought like sisters because I couldn’t ever figure out how to communicate with her. To this day I hate that I acted so bratty towards her in the past but I can’t take it back. I can only move forward knowing what I know and attempt to react differently in the future.
Every person has a different communication style. Some people tell you how they feel with just a look. Others will tell you flat out that they’re mad at you while some will change their exclamation point to a period in a text if they’re pissed off. Subtle things that you either notice or don’t, can really affect the way a conversation is going to go.
One of the biggest things I’ve been trying to glue into my brain is the people cannot read your mind. If you’re upset, SAY SOMETHING. Don’t expect your boyfriend to get that you’re not really “just tired” but upset about something he said or did. It will get your relationship nowhere. When Zack and I started dating, his ex girlfriend started a lot of drama in our relationship. Calling, texting, cyber-bullying me, etc. Sometimes I would tell him how I felt, but others I would just mope silently and expect him to know what I was upset about. I expected him to make me feel amazing without realizing that I had to first make myself realize that I am already amazing.
Openly communicating doesn’t necessarily mean complaining about every tiny, inconsequential thing that irks you. It just means being honest when you should (well, you should always be honest obviously… But do it tastefully) and taking a step back to really think about whether or not it’s something that should be brought up.
I’ve come so far from the type of person I used to be. I no longer get my panties in a bunch over stupid things that shouldn’t bother me. I try to keep an open mind and see both sides of every situation. When I’m upset or feeling depressed, I talk about it. Nobody can read my mind but me, I can’t expect everyone to know when I need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen (or an eye to read because I rarely call anyone). I’ve realized the importance of reaching out to friends and loved ones when you’re in need.
Think about your friends and family and what you know about each of them. You’ll be able to pick out their communication style and what they need as an individual. It really is quite beautiful when you think about it.

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Road trippin’ to Florida

I’m probably jinxing myself by typing this in the car. I typically get car sick trying to read/write while riding but oh well, it’s worth a shot! My husband and I are currently en route to Ocala, the “Horse Capital of the World” a.k.a my hometown. My best friends sister is getting married on Saturday, so it was the perfect opportunity to take a long weekend to see my friends and family.
Road trips have always been an exciting thing to me. I remember taking them when Jordan and I were kids with my dad to visit our Aunt, Uncle and cousins in South Carolina. The thrill of spending a week in a different state with our fun family was always so exciting. Growing up we would also take trips with our mom to see our Papa in Tennessee. We would always stop for Krispy Kreme donuts because Ocala only had Dunkin’ (and Tas-t-o’s… Drool). It was also on a trip to TN that we saw snow for the first time. Now, though, “road trips” take on a different meaning to me.
Road tripping these days means going home. Sure, I live in Charlotte with my husband and doggies, but Ocala will always be my home home. It’s where my mom is. Where my 102 year old great grandma Neene lives in a nursing home wondering when her favorite great granddaughter (me, duh!) will be by to visit. It’s where my Grandmommy spends time with my cousins and sisters missing me (Just kidding…but really). Ocala is where my 15 year old sister is growing up and going through high school without her older sister to help when mom just won’t understand. It’s where my friends are. The ones I can’t imagine not having in my life.
Ocala holds a lot of things for me. Taking a road trip there sends a mix of emotions spiraling through me. I feel excited, happy, sad, stressed… Just to name a few. I’m excited to see everyone, happy to be home, sad because I know it won’t be a long enough visit and stressed because I want to fit in as many people as possible and it isn’t always that easy.
Moving 8 hours away from Ocala has opened my eyes to a plethora of realizations. Family is so important. Not having my Grandmommy a ten minute drive away has had a huge impact on me! Not being able to take my sisters to school when my mom can’t really bothers me. Only seeing my friends faces on social media SUCKS! It’s hard when you have a full time job and responsibilities keeping you in place. We don’t always have time to see each other when we want to.
But moving has also helped me to grow as an individual. I am not the same girl who left Florida as a 21 year old with a Boston Terrier and a car full of clothes. I’ve matured in more ways than one. I’ve grown more confident in myself and my abilities. I’ve learned the importance of keeping up the relationships that mean the most to you. I’ve learned that it isn’t necessary to waste time trying to make people like you if they don’t.
I am almost 24 years old. In the last 23.9 years I have learned, grown and adapted to become who I am now. I’m proud of what I’ve done and gone through to get me to this point. I’m looking forward to where I go next. Well, after Ocala. Thanks for reading!

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When life gives you avocados (because I loathe avocados)

Life sucks (sometimes).
When I have a crappy day at work and come home to shoes that were torn up by one of the dogs, I get discouraged. When I find a cute top that I want but realize I can’t spend the money on that right now, I feel a little down. I often let my stress get the best of me, Negative Nancy comes around too often for me.
Goal-setting Gina is much better.
Luckily, I’ve learned how to not let it affect me for too long. I think it’s vital to ponder on what has you upset and why, then try to figure out a way to see the silver lining. A few weeks ago I had my heart set on buying a 2015 Jeep Cherokee, I love my Hyundai Elantra, but I have major baby fever, and am ready for a bigger car. Anyway, it didn’t work out. I left the dealership feeling discouraged and letting it affect the way I was acting. When I got home that night, I made a list of goals I want to accomplish this year. There are only three items on the list so far, but they’re important to me. Here they are:
• Pay off debt
• Attend and graduate dental assisting school
• Get a job as a dental assistant
Seriously, Olivia, open your eyes!
The thing is, I have a pretty fantastic life. I have a husband who loves me even when I don’t deserve it. I have three dogs who treat me like I’m the most amazing person in the world. I have two families who love me unconditionally and a handful of friends I could never replace. I have a home, job, a car, I can cook and bake like nobodies business, I have an education and skills that nobody can take away from me.
There are always going to be tough days. Sometimes we’re going to want to question what we’re doing with our lives. Sometimes we’re going to regret choices we made. But when we get to the point in our lives when it all makes sense, we can be thankful. Thankful that we broke up with that person who was no good for us, thankful that we quit the job that made us miserable. Every choice we made in our lives led us to where we are now. We’ve heard it before and we’ll hear it again, we will look back on these days and understand why we went through what we did.
When I need a little inspiration, I just let go of what’s weighing me down and focus on the good in my life. It is probably the most difficult thing to do. Sometimes it takes me a while, but eventually I get there. If you’re feeling depressed or discouraged, I urge you to keep your head up, it’s going to be okay.

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I Love Love

Zack and I met online. Crazy, I know. If you would’ve told me ten years ago that I would meet my future husband on a dating site, I would’ve laughed until I cried. We did, though, two weeks after I moved to Charlotte. I wanted to post about what I love about him and us as a couple. Maybe some of y’all can relate.
I love how he makes me feel. Cliché, right? Maybe. It’s true, though. Zack makes me feel beautiful when I feel like the equivalent of Ursula from The Little Mermaid. When I first wake up and my hair is an oily mess, my previous days makeup is running down my face because I never have the energy to wash it off and my teeth need a good brushing, mouth washing and flossing (about ten times… Morning breath SUCKS). I always wake up to “good morning beautiful”. Maybe he’s blind. Or maybe he just really loves me so much that he sees past the hideousness.
I love that he embraces my weirdness. I am weird. Scratch that I am a

one of a kind, where did I come from, how does ones laugh get so high pitched, are you laughing or crying?

WEIRD person. I make weird faces because it’s fun. I get so hyper that I start laughing different laughs and then start to genuinely laugh at those laughs until I’m crying and he’s staring at me like I just escaped the looney bin. He laughs with me… Well I guess, technically, he laughs AT me. But I’ll take. He doesn’t make me feel like a freak (though I just may be), instead, he makes me feel whole. He loves that I’m weird and a little loco. He shows me YouTube videos that he knows will make me laugh hysterically and he does not get embarrassed when I laugh in public.
I love the gap between his teeth. T Swift said, well… sang, it perfectly. He hates the gap in his teeth. It’s perfect to me. I’ve learned that imperfections are what make people different and beautiful in their own way. His gap is special, it’s adorable and its him. He can’t be 100% perfect, right?
I love that he puts me first.
I get hangry. Like, to the point where I want to rip off your head and eat it if you get too close. When I’m hungry, I want to eat and I want to eat where I want to eat. No, I don’t want Mexican (his favorite), I want chicken fingers with honey mustard and sweet potato fries with a sweet tea to drink. He wants to make me happy. It’s a husband thing I guess, but I appreciate it. Nobody likes a hangry Olivia.
I love him. Literally everything about him. His love for me, his hardworking nature, the fact that he takes longer than me to get ready and he never wakes up early. I love how he compliments me and leaves notes on the bathroom mirror when he leaves before I do. I love how he lets me have 4 animals in our tiny home and let’s them sleep with us (sometimes). I love that he lets me decorate the house however I want. I love that we can joke together and laugh about things that we never thought we would get over in the past. Our relationship is not “perfect”, is there even such a thing? But it is loving, supportive, FUN, comical and always growing.
I urge you all to think of your relationships whether they’re romantic or just friendly, and think of all the things you love about them. I’m sorry if this post was super mushy and corny, but sometimes ya gotta embrace the sugary sweetness of young love! Thanks for reading!

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