Tuesday, December 4, 2012

preggo post.

just a quick post to update "The Bump" and the pregnancy and where Jordan and I are currently.


  • the baby is doing great. he is low and he is 'big', so you can imagine how mama is walking these days :)
  • weight gain is at about 20 lbs. That's what it was last week, haven't weighed this week, but I didn't gain but one lb over Thanksgiving :) so for that I was grateful.
  • it is HOT in Texas still. we're in the high 70's as of today but we had a high of 86 on Monday and 81 yesterday. I was hoping to love being pregnant in the fall, but I'm pretty sure we're going to skip it altogether. waiting to wear all my cute maternity clothes still :)
  • we're in our birth class with several other couples. we're LOVING it. we were all cracking up last week because we were talking about breast-feeding and the guys were asking ALL the questions. so adorable. love hearing what's on their minds
  • I'm in the nesting phase. After our shower, we've been able to set a lot of baby Gray's stuff up, wash a lot of the clothes, use the gift cards to get the essentials and dreaming about the nursery that he will have come March/April
  • we are still in our one bedroom apartment. as soon as we can buy something, we're going to. We are going to start looking in January and can't wait to find our first house! Baby Gray will spend his first month or so in this apartment.
  • A lot of the symptoms of pregnancy have worn off, but have come with a new set of challenges. some of the nausea is back (very sporadic). but the back pain is probably the worst. seeing the chiropractor and some great homeopathics have given me lots of relief, but I feel most of the pain in my lower and middle back.
  • started the Braxton Hicks! is it weird I got excited with the first one? I didn't really know that's what it was and sometimes at the midwife appt, she says, "you're having a braxton-hicks," and I have no idea. I have them very rarely (to my knowledge), but because my stomach is literally SO TIGHT (he has no room and I did not have a tight stomach before this, so this is not a boost to my ego) I have a hard time judging the extra tightness with the BH. I know when the painful ones come that there will be no mistaking them :)
  • discomfort. walking, moving, sleeping, sitting, standing... pretty hard to get a comfy position with extra weight and an extra human attached to ya.

I am loving every minute. People keep asking me if I'm ready to be done or if it's been what I thought. Here's how I feel- as far as it being what I thought, I didn't really have any expectations since I wasn't ready or prepared to be pregnant, so it's all new to me. I text our midwife every week wondering if something is "normal," haha so I will be happy when we have our next one and I'm not such a newb! Yes, I am ready to be done. but not because I hate being pregnant, but just because I'm ready to meet my son! I know a lot of women pregnant right now... 3 of their babies have come this week and it's just Wednesday! and they're all boys! and a lot of friends due in the next month and some even before Christmas. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't jealous. I'm just ready to see him and hold him and love him. (not to mention, I'd love to be able to wear my jeans again, hehe). but I'd do the whole thing over again. just wish pregnancy wasn't a loooong 42 weeks. guess that's the Lord's way of teaching us patience with our kiddos before they even enter the world.

be encouraged, little mama's. (and hubbies).

the bump this past weekend.

community.

Last summer, I packed all my clothes into my Honda Accord and my man flew in at met me in GA. We drove to TX and I officially moved there. I had my mom sell all my furniture for me and I was gone. I left my community, my familiarity, my home. Except at the time, it didn't feel like home anymore. Part of that was because Australia still felt like home. The other part of that was that I knew at that point that I was going to marry Jordan one day, and I knew wherever he was... that was going to be my home. He was my home.

I transferred my pre-Australia job to another location here in TX. That was an easy transition and for that I was so thankful. I began working full-time about 2 weeks after moving. Working kept me busy and it also kept any sort of emotions away that I was having. We also went back to Atlanta about a month after I moved for one of my best friend's wedding, so I hadn't been gone too long enough to really "miss" anyone yet. Plus, I wanted to be strong. I wanted to be one of those people who embraced change and who could stand strong in the midst of battles. That's usually who I was.

My heart was so happy to be with Jordan all the time. His parents opened their home to me and let me live there, rent free, for months. Enabled Jordan and I to save money for our future life together. In October, he proposed. at that point, that was the happiest day of my life. a promise of a future together. We would be a family. We would be married. I was elated and couldn't wait to share it with all the people I loved so much.

The hard part was that all those people were hundreds of miles away back in GA, one in NY, & a couple in FL. I thought when I moved that I could keep up with my friends every single week through phone, skype, text, etc. I thought we could all keep the strong bonds that we shared when I lived at home. In Australia, I talked to them all pretty regularly... but it was understood that because of the time difference, communicating was sometimes difficult and there was no pressure. Out here- I felt/feel like I have to keep up. to call. to text. to email. to make sure that I'm still "in the loop." because I fear losing my friends.

I have a wonderful life out here. I have a husband who I am absolutely in love with. A husband who I would spend every single second of every single day with and could be perfectly happy. a husband who loves me. A family, one out here, and one in GA, who I make my best efforts to keep in touch with regularly.

What I don't have in TX is community. friends. people to do life with. girl friends to laugh with, cry with, go on coffee dates with. I have a couple girls that I have hung out with, one in particular that I worked with whom I adore, and they are great. but I miss the depth of my friendships back in GA. I don't want to be blind to the fact that I could have those kinds of relationships here... but Jordan and I as a couple, we don't have community. Jordan has grown up here his entire life. his friends from elementary school, they are all still friends. They are incredible people & I love them dearly, and I love their precious girlfriends and wives. But I need more. I want friends that are OURS. people we can do life with together.

I feel the pressure to keep up with my friends every week. I know they feel it too. We are all going through so many different things. so many different seasons. We are all over the place- location & situation. One of the hardest parts of my pregnancy has been not having my girls close. With the exception of my wedding, it is the one thing I want to share with them the most. But it is hard to find the time to call. it's hard to find the "want" to hash out all the details of the last few weeks when all you really want is to sit curled up on a couch with them actually feeling the things they feel, for them to feel what I feel, for them to feel the baby kick... phone/email whatever... it just feels like a tease. so some days I don't want to. some days I avoid it. Because the missing them afterwards is worse once I know what's happening in their lives. The hole seems wider.

Jordan will always be what I call home. At the end of the day, I am content and if all I ever had was my husband and my son, that would be fine. But that is not how we're supposed to do life. We are meant to thrive in community. We are meant to share burdens, to share joys, to cry and rejoice and laugh and be ridiculous. We are meant to walk through life together.

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I started this post back in October. I am still dealing with it, but differently. It's now Dec. 4th. So here's a follow up with how I feel now.


Jordan and I went back to GA for a week for Thanksgiving. Our weeks back are always such a blur because we are trying to see as many people as we can in a limited amount of time. It often ends up being a bit stressful (really for me) and we're usually exhausted by the end of the week.

I was a little nervous to go back this time. SUPER excited, but something just felt different. my mom and 2 of my besties threw me a baby shower & some of the ladies I hadn't seen since our wedding. I was so blessed and so honored by the shower & even more that the ladies whose lives I am no longer a part of on a regular basis made it and sacrificed their Sunday afternoon to be there. I tried to spend as much time talking to them as I could and it was really so good for my heart. But it made me miss community so much.

I really didn't get much time with my closest friends on this trip, which made me sad because we won't be back in GA until probably May. We were only in Atlanta for 3 days and in Savannah the rest of the days. It was great to spend time with my parents and my siblings, and then to be in Savannah with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

However, on the long drive back to TX, (YES. we drove- yikes!), I started to talk to Jordan about what I felt like was brewing in my heart. I long for community here... I know he does too. Every week, he asks me if I want to try a new church. Every week, I say no. Understand we have tried EIGHT churches out here since I moved. I was so spoiled by my amazing church in Atlanta, Grace Midtown, and selfishly want the same type of experience. Most churches we've visited are HUGE and when we've inquired about getting involved, at a couple that we actually revisited, we couldn't get straight answers and kind of got the run around. So, as far as the church scene in DFW, I'm honestly just over it. my attitude is horrible in terms of trying to meet people. I have been apathetic and negative, thus negatively affecting my desire for community AND my desire for closeness with the Lord.

What I really feel like the Lord has been showing me is to loosen the reigns on my friendships back in GA. There are some that will always be, no matter the distance in miles, the # of phone calls a week. There are some that will fall away, but that is okay. Sometimes we have friends for a season. It doesn't mean the love isn't there or that the friendship was not beautiful or didn't teach something. Just sometimes, that season comes to an end. Doesn't mean the friendship is over, though. But, I have felt Him encouraging me to do that. To not feel the "weight" of having so much I feel like I left behind and for not putting that weight on them either. I really think because I have held so tightly and been so down about being so far from my friends, I have really caused myself and Jordan some set backs when it's come to finding them here. I have not wanted to get to know people or share anything with anyone new... because I have so much invested in GA, and so much as been invested in me. but the time has come to let it go. To embrace new friendships, love the ones I already have, but not see them as the "be all end all." the time has come to start meeting new women, women who share the same seasons I am in, with husbands who are in the same as Jordan. to laugh, be encouraged, to encourage, to pray, to share burdens and joys, to experience deep, rooted community. I had to release myself and I had to release my friends. (friends if you're reading this, I released you haha).

It was been a little over a week since I talked about this with Jordan. Once we talked about it and I really spoke into words what I was feeling, things started to change. I suddenly had the desire to reach out, to step out and be uncomfortable. I started getting random women on my heart that I had met here to try and reconnect with. Most of whom are very different than me, which is a great thing! I started to read and write more, to desire more intimacy with the Lord again, to desire it with people. It opened up more doors of communication with my husband, and also allowed me to speak a lot of hurts I had been dealing with for a long time in regards to rejection of people and start to deal with that as well.

I don't know a lot, but I know that we weren't made to go through life alone. I really think the enemy was trying to stifle me out here. Usually outgoing, makes friends with everyone, hugs you probably 2 minutes after I meet you, became very distant, quiet, and standoffish. The creative, spiritual, and social aspects of my personality were most definitely stifled. my writing, my prayer life, my intimacy with the Lord, my outward personality towards others, was affected negatively. THIS. IS. NOT. ME.

I am thankful for Jesus who never gives up on this girl. for a husband who listens and encourages and betters me. for friends who have been through many seasons. for family, TX & GA. for a son that I can't wait to meet in just a couple months.

so be blessed friends. thanks for reading this.



NOW, for some pictures!!


Hayley, me, Carly at my shower


Holly, me, and Lark


Had to put this adorable pic of my hubby and niece :)


with my baby brother, JP.


mama & aunt lark :)


My Momma & Me



baby Gray's adopted auntie's at the shower


Maura Cate & JP.. melt my heart


my little sister, Isabella & me on Thanksgiving




Monday, October 29, 2012

one of those days...

I know I said I'd be writing about a birth plan and what not... but that post is still in the works. I want to make sure I am saying what I mean. I know birth options are very personal choices, so I am trying to write it so that my own personal views don't get in the way of what I'm trying to communicate. So that will be soon hopefully.

The last week or so, I have been in a funk. For the first time in my pregnancy, I have been super unhappy with what my body looks like, the way it's changing, & so on. One of the things, sometimes perks, of pregnancy is that your body is changing ALL THE TIME. Notice I didn't just say belly. your whole body. For instance:

  • my hair. I chopped my hair off in my first trimester because it was SO thick from all the hormones raging through my body. also, you don't shed hair during pregnancy like you do when you're not pregnant. You just lose it all afterwards :) so my already super thick hair was getting thicker and thicker, I was too sick to worry about taking the hour that it spent to make it look good... so I thought- "why not chop it off?" I had short hair for YEARS. WORST. DECISION. OF. MY. PREGNANCY. Sure my hair now takes 15 minutes, which I am thankful for. what I didn't consider in my decision was that long or short, the thickness would still be there. I loved it for about a week & now I hate it. Thankfully my hair is growing at an alarming rate.. all thanks again to the hormones & the prenatal vitamins. 
  • other "stuff." things that were already big... well, they just get bigger. and bigger. & continue to get bigger if you nurse. I will leave it at that ;)
  • the belly. My little, round, basketball belly is one of my favorite things about being pregnant. I loved when I finally "popped" and strangers could tell that I wasn't a skinny girl with an enormous "gut" but there was actually a little babe in there. It really does make everything feel official once the belly pops & you start feeling those kicks and wiggles. however, as the belly gets bigger, things stop fitting. I have really tried not to buy too many maternity clothes since you only wear them for such a short time. But it's about time I start stocking up for winter because the belly is getting big. Also, bending over to put on jeans, take off boots, paint toe nails, etc.... it doesn't happen anymore.
  • hips. Before being pregnant, this poor body had ZERO hips. my friends have always teased me about it. no hips. no butt. Well, pregnancy has changed that for sure. these hips don't lie. it's crazy the way the Lord designed a woman's body to change during pregnancy, but also how he prepares it ahead of time. My hips have widened to give the babe some extra space. however, this has resulted in lots of pain for mommy and some serious discomfort. but I'm glad he's comfy in there.
  • hands/feet: this is a common one that I feel like when you're NOT pregnant, you always associate with pregnant ladies. swollen feet, not being able see them, etc. What I didn't know, was that my hands could hurt so bad. Ladies can get a temporary "carpal tunnel" if you will, in their hands during pregnancy. I have had this BAD. My sweet hubby is so great about rubbing my hands every night, as well as anything else that hurts. Feels like a constant writers cramp. no fun.
  • Back/tailbone. Oh man oh man. I could write a novel on how much my back has hurt since I've been pregnant. even in the 1st trimester. I've been seeing a prenatal chiropractor since I was 7 weeks pregnant and I go EVERY WEEK. All the walking, lifting, etc I was doing at my job was a huge problem, so since I have stopped working, a lot of those issues have subsided. This also affected my knees, feet, etc. I've started getting prenatal massages as well and this helps to soothe a lot of the issues I've been having.
  • and of course... the weight gain. I have actually had a little bit of an issue gaining weight during this pregnancy. I am supposed to gain 35 lbs because I'm naturally small... I'm about 13 lbs, maybe 15 lbs heavier on a good day. I have an appt tomorrow, so I'm hoping to have gained a couple lbs. but it's an uphill battle because while weight gain is great as far as nurturing a healthy environment for the baby, giving him enough protein, etc, keeping him in there longer.. it's hard when everything starts to swell and your face gets all the weight first. I have never weighed over 125 in my life. so seeing new numbers in the scale is a little hard. but as long as baby and midwife are happy, mommy is happy.
  • this one might be TMI, but whatever. a baby is going to come out of my body soon. so I've lost what little filter I had already. also- depending on how your kid is sitting... it can affect a lot. our child has been head down for a long time. he has plenty of time to move and then get head down again, but I guess he likes where he is and is sitting super low and always on my bladder. I already had a small bladder, but now... it's almost guaranteed that I'm gonna pee every 5-10 min. then when he kicks me and he's on my bladder... well I literally feel like if I pee, he's gonna come out too. 

I don't say all this to complain... because this weekend I complained to my husband my fair share. (he's so gracious to listen to me!) I say this to pregnant mamas who have problems so they know they're not the only one & also so maybe others will have some grace for slow moving, sometimes cranky pregnant mamas. there's a lot going on in there!

Some days I do get really discouraged though. I feel frumpy. I don't feel pretty. I hate my hair. I want to drink a bottle of red wine. I don't want to watch my sugar. I get tired of defending my birthing/parenting choices to friends & family. I want the baby to hurry up and get here so I don't get any bigger. I want my clothes to fit. I want to go to a tanning bed. I want to be able to ride in the car without wanting to either vomit or feel like I need to lay down completely flat on my back because my hips and back hurt so badly from sitting up. and I think... "UGH. I HATE BEING PREGNANT." (aren't I dramatic?) I think about how little one on one time Jordan & I will have once the babe arrives. that part makes me sad sometimes. especially since I plan to breast-feed for as long as I can, it will be a time commitment to my little one, but also I have to think about the time commitment I have to my husband. I worry about the balance. I worry about the unsolicited advice from friends/family (I like to learn on my own & ask for help when I really need it). I worry about all the endless visitors that will be trickling through our apartment after baby is born. I worry about random people constantly touching my child and germs and the like. I worry about getting frustrated, feeling like I've failed, etc.

I think (I hope) all of that is really normal at some point. I know what mommies are already thinking, "wait until the END of the pregnancy." or, "just wait until the baby is here." I hear ya. I can't imagine. but I will get over it, just like I always do. my always patient husband will massage my back and shoulders (and feet, hehe), tell me how much he loves me, how beautiful he thinks I am and all will go back to normal. the Lord will affirm to me again this season to which He has called me. to from now on lay down my life for my child. to sacrifice my body. to sacrifice my time. to sacrifice the old normalcy I once had and to embrace a "new normal." to encourage me to go forward another week. At the end of the day, my kid is healthy. I am healthy. Hubby is happy. that is enough. My sister, Jennifer, told me one time that the Lord gives you grace for things when the proper time comes so that you'll be able to receive it. she is one of the most patient, loving, encouraging, fun, and sweetest moms that I know. so I will take her advice :)

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on a much more fun note... I went to my first Ole Miss football game this weekend. They played Arkansas & WE WON! For those unfamiliar with Ole Miss, they have had a rough past few seasons, but this year got a new coach. He was actually the high school coach from the story the movie "The Blindside" was based on. His name s Hugh Freeze and he has done such an unbelievable job coaching this team this year and from what I can tell, really encouraging his players. You watch him coach and he's not all angry and screaming at his players like most college football coaches, and he has really boosted the morale of the team and also I think for all of the fans. (I know the Gray household is extremely happy!)

so it was a huge win for Ole Miss, who has one of the toughest schedules in the SEC. If they win one more game, they will go to a bowl this year which hasn't happen in awhile. So I am excited for them. (my yellow jackets have disappointed me this year, but I still love them tremendously).

it was a great weekend with my man and also with his parents and younger brother. 

IT'S OFFICIALLY FALL IN TEXAS! (no big deal that it's just now the first time it's been in the 60's-70's)


this coming weekend we are heading out to Aggie Land for a wedding. November and December are huge traveling months for us. We've got weddings, holidays, baby showers, and the like. We are driving back home for Thanksgiving. so that's a good 12-13 hour drive. blah. ask me how much I am looking forward to that. BUT, a baby shower with all my girls and spending Thanksgiving with my family await us so I know on the drive back, my love tank is gonna be so full and it'll have to hold me over until the next time I see everyone. 

Thanks for reading. If I bore you, sorry. 

all my love.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

vulnerability.

I'm going to try to get better about writing in this thing. My husband has encouraged me to write more. I have been nervous to be as vulnerable as I used to be on my individual blog because I have a husband now, a baby on the way, and my words and emotions don't just affect me... they affect them too. What I reveal about my life doesn't just affect me, it affects them. More and more people have messaged me asking why I don't blog anymore and to be honest I have just been afraid. I used to write A LOT. Not just blogging, but journaling. I keep a prayer journal, a pregnancy journal, & a journal to the baby, but none of it quite grasps the same rawness that I used to express with my words.

Also to be honest- I've been a "victim" (I hate to use that word- so intense & a little dramatic in this case, but can't think of another word) of cyber bullying. I have had my pictures, my words, & some pretty slanderous things said about me on the internet over the years, all of which were 1. untrue & 2. vulgar, hurtful, and unnecessary. made me mistrust people and want to keep things to myself, because I never know who is reading this anymore.

saying all that, once baby Gray is born, I am going to post as much as I feel comfortable with posting. as his mom, I am supposed to protect him. plastering images about my boy and stories all over the internet for strangers just makes me a smidge uneasy. there are some crazies out there these days! there are also some things I will not put in PRINT in regards to me or this family. but if we are to have a nice cup of coffee somewhere, I'll be happy to share those things as well.

but living under a rock and not sharing your story is no way to be. vulnerability is where we all connect. it's where we see, "ah, okay. I'm not the only one." it's where we start to feel like we are not alone. in YWAM we used to talk about this all the time, when you open up, share your story, & be who you really are, you FREE others to do the same. how true is that? sharing your story allows other people to open up about their own, to experience real freedom, to share things they may have kept inside for entirely too long. it builds community. it opens doors for the Father's love to come in and heal all the broken places. most people, myself included, feel like if people knew who we really were, they wouldn't love us... we wouldn't be accepted. my husband has been my #1 encourager to just. be. me. he allows me to be Malloree. clumsy, sometimes outspoken, messy, overly realistic little old me. while still loving me and encouraging me to be better. how many people are afraid to share the deepest places of their hearts, to bare their souls, to love recklessly without the fear of shame or ridicule? I say it's time we stop all that. we stop keeping those dark places closed up and start opening up, loving others, and encouraging them to be who they are. that's a challenge for myself included.

SO. saying all that... let the challenge begin. here, I'll start.

Married life is by far the most wonderful thing I have ever experienced. so many people said how hard it would be after the first couple months, we're quite a bit past that, & you'd think that with a baby on the way so quickly that we would be mourning the loss of our "honeymoon" phase. I will be honest. When we first found out about our pregnancy, I was not excited, not happy, & not looking forward to what was to come. We had planned to try and wait at least a year & wanted to do all the things newlyweds do their first year of marriage. WELL. Things obviously didn't work out that way. I was overwhelmed with guilt and shame with the way I was feeling about my child. I found out very early on, as I have a very sensitive body & am ridiculously aware of any new change that happens. Jordan & I didn't really talk about it for a little bit. I don't know if we were hoping it was a false pregnancy or what... but neither of us could really come to terms with what was happening. and ya'll... I had PRAYED for a baby. prayed and prayed and prayed. before we even got married. but I had limitations on it- I wanted it when I wanted it. I wanted to have enough money saved, not be in a one bedroom apartment, to have gotten to travel with my husband for awhile and do all these fun things you're "supposed" to do when you get married.

but the Lord had other plans for us. different timing. It took me a few weeks to even come to terms with it. when we went to our 7 week appointment, we heard the heartbeat for the first time... it changed everything. no longer was the baby a little organism inside my body making me INCREDIBLY sick, no longer did I think of him as a baby... He was OUR baby. He was life. He was living, growing, and thriving in MY BODY. I was responsible for taking care of this little life. He was ours. He was Jordan's. He was mine. When you hear the heartbeat for the first time, there is a connection made. I can't explain it, but I knew then that I would do whatever it took to protect this baby. that I had a responsibility as his mother. the Lord had trusted us to be his parents. He had given our baby boy over to us, trusted us to take care of His child. He chose him for us & us for him. after that, Jordan & I both had a different outlook on this pregnancy and on our baby.

Our marriage has been strengthened in preparing for our son. While I will say, pregnancy has been an extremely wild, emotional ride, with morning sickness, indigestion, (I have had every single symptom in the book... no lie), being on bed rest for a week, having to leave work earlier than I expected, and a couple of complications along the way, it has been an amazing journey and I do love being pregnant. But I could have never done it without my husband. I credit a lot of the good parts of our marriage to our time in YWAM- where we truly got to know each other, better than I have ever known anyone in my life. so we have no secrets. there is nothing too dark or too deep to hide from. our communication is open & honest. sure, we have arguments from time to time, but very infrequently. but I think we fought more often when we were just dating! there is unwavering trust there. we really strive to honor and serve the other one. I fail a lot. Jordan does too. but we've got grace for each other. he has been such a support for me through this pregnancy- cooking dinner when the smells made me sick, coming to every single midwife & Dr. appointment, helping me do my pregnancy exercises, cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry.. all when I was on bed rest. he talks to our son/my belly every day, and baby boy knows the sound of his daddy's voice. when Jordan talks to him, he starts kicking and moving A LOT. he has read and educated himself on "Husband Coached Childbirth" (which I recommend any new dad to read) and is prepared to assist me with our labor... as well as any parenting & fathering book he can get his hands on. He is ready to father his son. He is an unbelievable man. He is the most wonderful man I could've married. he is perfect for me & I for him. I could complain about a lot of things in my life sometimes, but I could not find a thing to complain about in my marriage. For that, I am thankful.

For all you realists, like myself most of the time, YES. I know there will be trials that come up. We've had to stand against a couple of them already. And it will be hard. But our marriage is rooted in both of our relationships with the Lord, as cheesy as that sounds, & I am not worried. I hope we are always this happy & this in love with each other. I would love to be the exception to the rule. No sense tearing your own or other marriages apart because you think it's SUPPOSED to be hard, you're SUPPOSED to have to work super hard... if you put in the same effort everyday, it's not work. it's love. it's serving your spouse because you love doing it, because you love them. not because you just have to.

being parents is going to be a new challenge for us. thankfully, we come from families who parented similar ways to the other. however, we are a new family & we are going to parent how we deem necessary for our child. it's going to be a learning process. Jordan asked me last night, "what do you think the first night will be like?" and I laughed and said, "we're going to shake our heads and wonder what the hell we've just gotten ourselves into."

I am nervous to be a mother. I am nervous to be a mother to a boy. but I have heard, boys love their mamas. I pray that's true. all I know is that I love this little guy. I've still got awhile to go but I am anxious to see his sweet face & see if he has his mama's eyes or his daddy's white blonde curly hair from when he was a babe. The doctor said he is a big baby. He is a healthy little guy and we are so blessed that he is ours.

here is the progression of the belly. PLEASE understand, I don't share my weeks because I'm not sharing my due date. this is because we are having a natural birth, with a midwife, at a birth center (which I will explain in a different post) and we will not be induced if our child doesn't come at 40 weeks (which is what your due date is based on). we have about 42.5 weeks for the babe to be born. and they can come anywhere from 36-42 weeks. not because I don't love you. first time moms usually go later. this was advice of my midwife & other moms who have used our birth center. I do not want a bunch of calls/texts/emails from 36-40 weeks, wondering if the baby is here yet, and also once we hit our due date, I do not want people freaking me out if he doesn't come by that specific day. each baby takes their own time :) PLUS- it is fun to only have family and friends in the loop of when baby Gray will get here- especially since for me, all my friends & fam are in GA & have not been able to be as involved in our pregnancy. so please respect our decision to do so as we would respect yours in terms of your own pregnancy









this picture here was about a month or so ago- I look significantly bigger than I actually was. I think he was laying in a super funky position or something. not to mention at the end of the day- so much food had been consumed :) because I look bigger here than I do in the bottom 2... which are the most recent, taken this past weekend.
 



alright. that's all for now people. I'll be trying to update more this week about a birth plan... what it is, why it's helpful to have one, especially in the hospital, & what ours is.

We're heading to Little Rock, Arkansas this weekend to watch Ole Miss destroy the Razorbacks! Hotty Toddy!

all my love.


Monday, September 17, 2012

and then there were 2...

BOYS.

yes. that's right- we are welcoming our sweet baby boy next year. I am officially outnumbered in the Gray household & I couldn't be more excited about that.

up until 2 weeks or so before we found out, we were absolutely convinced it was a girl... it seemed everyone else thought so too. (it's so silly to try and predict now looking back, because it's a 50/50 chance, HA!) but at our most recent midwife appointment, baby Gray was SO active and kicking frequently, although at that time I couldn't feel it... so I started to wonder if we had a little football player in there like daddy :)

as the weeks progressed, baby Gray became increasingly more active. I felt him kicking and moving around quite frequently, and pretty early on. He is an active and healthy baby, measuring tall, which we have NO idea where the height is coming from. He kicks all the time, rolls around all the time, & I will tell you, there is absolutely nothing in the world like feeling your baby move inside your belly. I am constantly overwhelmed with how the Lord has blessed us and how incredible, intricate, detailed, & perfect the pregnancy/birth process is.

I have always wanted an older brother and so we are overjoyed that our children after this baby boy will always have an older brother to look up to and take care of them. Most of you know my husband is the ultimate "man's man," so having a boy is right up his alley.

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on a more serious note- many people who already know what we're having, have asked what we're going to name our baby. while I would LOVE to reveal, I think right now we're going to not "announce" the name, just to keep some surprises, plus it's kind of fun to reveal later on, but I will explain the meanings & why exactly we chose the names we did.

2-3 years ago, I was having some weird issues as far as serious fatigue, cramping, low energy, etc. I've always been very active, energetic and this was completely out of the norm for me. I went to the OB to see what was going on- did lab work, had an U/S... basically had some low hormone/vitamin levels, but also some concern over my ovaries/uterus. you may have heard the term "endometriosis." without going into medical jargon or too much detail... in addition to this U/S plus some other concerns, she explained to me that I would have a difficult time getting pregnant, if I could at all. I wouldn't know until I tried. **while I think she made a VERY presumptuous statement, the enemy really held onto that with me and used it. I instantly just knew I would never have children. I would be punished for things I had done, I'd never get to experience being pregnant for the first time, never be able to give my husband children... I mean just lie after lie after lie. But I truly believed it and just kind of got used to it.

(I'd like to add that there was absolutely zero trace of having endometriosis on my sonograms at our first appt!) the Lord is good.

about a year and a half ago, I started praying and begging the Lord that I wasn't barren, especially after I met Jordan. I told Jordan early on in our friendship what the doctor had told me, because I had already known I was going to marry him at this point... I was terrified it would change how he felt about me. (it didn't phase him :) ) but my biggest desire at that point in my life was to be Jordan's wife & to one day be able to give him children. (both very new desires for me). so I prayed and I begged that I would one day be a mom... if I couldn't birth my own that we could adopt or have spiritual children.

On our engagement night last year, my now brother in law told me the Lord wanted him to tell me that I was not barren... that He was going to one day give me a child. (he didn't know ANYTHING in regards to this.) so you can imagine how elated I felt in that moment. BUT... I still wasn't sure because obviously, we weren't having a baby anytime soon.

SO. flash forward to now... I am pregnant with our son. we are ridiculously happy newlyweds. both 2 answered prayers that I could not be more thankful for. 2 things I never thought I'd have... after we found out we were pregnant, a very very dear friend of mine who walked with me through a lot of the lies, sent me a text saying, "in spite of your best efforts to convince me you would never get married or have kids, you've done both. (almost). proud of you." and to me... there's nothing that shows the faithfulness of God more in my life than the 2 biggest blessings that I've gotten thus far.

the name we have chosen for our son means, "God has heard." which we feel is appropriate. his middle name is Jordan's first name, which is Christopher, meaning "Christ bearer." we really wanted to give our kids strong names with good meanings.

I never in a million years thought I could say... "my son." I went shopping after we found out & said my baby's name out loud and said "my son" and I started to tear up. SO OFFICIAL! To think I will be a mother... that my baby boy will call me "mommy" and Jordan "daddy," to know that we are responsible for this little life, for raising him to be a man like his father... that really is something.

in all of this, while going through many emotions, I have been reminded that God is faithful. that His timing is perfect. that He cares about the desires of my heart. that He listens and moves when we pray, even when it's not in the ways that we think or when we think He should. I am overjoyed. my heart is full.

I feel super vulnerable and exposed posting all of this, but I'm hoping it speaks to someone! I know there are women who desire to be moms, men who desire to be fathers, who haven't been able to conceive, can't afford to adopt, or are just having a hard time accepting where they are... I just know the Lord wants to give you good things. I had a hard time believing that for a long time. and now I couldn't be more convinced.

thanks for reading.

Monday, August 6, 2012

...something's cooking...


YES. It's true. We are expecting our sweet baby next year. 

some of you are probably just as shocked as we were when we found out... but once the shock wore off, we were ecstatic. we appreciate so much our friends & fam who have been so supportive and excited along with us and who already love baby gray just as much as we do. we are thrilled and overwhelmed (in a good way) with all that this new season brings.


Since making it public, we've gotten some questions that have been asked multiple times. So I thought I'd answer those here :)

  • were we trying?/was this planned?/were we shocked?: no we weren't trying, no it wasn't planned, and yes we were very shocked. however, while not our own timing, we believe in the Lord's perfect timing and we feel so peaceful about this and couldn't imagine it not being this way now.
  • have i been sick?: yes. very. my body is super sensitive to anything "foreign," so i got sick right away, but it's just part of being pregnant. i am starting to feel a TON better though.
  • are we going to find out the sex?: OF COURSE. I am way too much of a planner :) we still have a little while before we will have the sonogram to find that out. but we will share, most definitely.
  • when is my due date?: we are not revealing our due date for a couple of reasons. our closest friends & family members will know... but the wisdom i have been given from other moms + my midwife is to not reveal the due date. one reason being that first time moms usually go later than their due date, second being it's just an estimation, and another being that with facebook/twitter/iphone age, it's pretty much impossible to keep anything private. so this is something we have chosen to keep some intimacy between those who will physically be at the birth with us & our close family/friends who won't be there. we don't want our phones blowing up if we pass the due date. maybe it will be different with our 2nd baby, but for now, this is how we want to go about it.

well I think that's all for now... hopefully in the next couple of weeks I will post some belly pictures and start writing about our birth plan, pregnancy, being a newlywed + how baby has changed things for us, etc etc.

thank you to our friends + family who have been so supportive, encouraging to us & excited for us. our sweet baby is already so loved and we could not be more thankful for that.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

a new season

well... here we are friends! this is going to be our family blog from now on... I will still try and write occasionally in my personal blog but for the most part, if you want to keep up with our journey, this is where we'll be.

WE. ARE. MARRIED. Have been for about a week and a half now. It sometimes feels surreal and I don't know if I will ever get tired of waking up next to Jordan every morning. I just love it.

If you're just joining us, here is a little background info on us (I'm talking, VERY LITTLE). I (Malloree) am from Georgia, where I have been born and raised my whole life. Jordan is from Texas and has been born and raised there as well. After college, both of us (without knowing one another) decided to go to YWAM Discipleship Training School in the furthest possible place we could get to- Townsville, QLD Australia. (If you want to read about YWAM & our journey there for 6 months, read about it on my personal blog) we met there in January of 2011. The Lord spoke clearly, we waited, tried to be as obedient as possible... waited until after DTS was over, started dating, traveled to Sydney & Gold Coast for 2 weeks, came back to the states, and 2 months later, I had moved to Texas :) we weren't really good at long distance and knew we wanted to be more serious... so 4 months into dating, we got engaged. 7 months later, we are MARRIED & happy & so loving seeing the Lord complete the things He started in us over a year and a half ago. He is faithful and that's all we can say.

SO. While I would love to post wedding photos, we aren't able to right now due to attempting to get them published. SO, once that is clear and hopefully in print, I will definitely show them to you.

for now though- you can enjoy our wedding video done by the amazing people of the*reason
WEDDING VIDEO

So- just a quick update on what has been going on with us and a little bit of what's to come. We have had a CRAZY last couple of months. a close family friend passed away, our beautiful niece Ella Juliet was born, my dad and stepmom had TWINS at 29 weeks, JP & Maura Cate, and then of course we get married. this was all in about a month time span. so life has been hectic, but so much fun.

We spent a week in Atlanta before the wedding and had some amazing friends from our YWAM school come from all over the world to visit and come to the wedding. So that was a blast. Our wedding happened and it was the most perfect day (although a bit hot at about 90 degrees) and I will always remember it. Our reception was a BLAST. I danced my tail off with my girls. then we honeymooned to Jamaica for 8 days of relaxation. I slept 18 hours the first day & around 12-13 hours after that each day, haha. Poor Jordan! We also celebrated Jordan's 27th birthday on June 2nd... so he is getting on up there :) but getting much more wiser and more handsome with age, hehe.

Now we are home. We're actually venturing back to Georgia this weekend for a wedding that Jordan is a groomsman in, which we are really excited about. Jordan is back to work already and I am heading there next week. We have weddings every single weekend for the next month, so we are excited to share in all of our friends special days & start the newlywed journey with some amazing people.

some of the people closest to us, JP & Jennifer (Jordan's brother & his wife), just moved about 3 hours away for JP's new dream job, and with them our niece, Ella, & nephew, Jackson. it has been a weird transition to not have them here. but we can't wait for them to visit and for us to come and visit a city that I've never seen before!

thanks for stopping by!

all our love-
Jordan + Malloree

pictures of last few months :)


trip to NYC- Jordan's first time!

OU/Texas A&M football game.. OU is Jordan's alma mater


our sweet Ella girl, probably 3 weeks here.

one week old :) I love her. can't you tell?

not sure... I think 2 or 3 weeks here.

our first dance

Jordan holding Ella

Maura Cate on the left, "JP" Jefferson Pierce on the right

and last but not least, one that I can show :) from our wedding day