a Christmas to remember

12:36:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments


As Nick and I sit down tomorrow morning to exchange gifts, we will be cherishing our last Christmas as just the two of us.  We will embrace the quietness of the moment, and our last year to focus on each other instead of our growing little family.  We will share silent gazes and smiles between two people truly in love.  Two people meant to be together and share the triumphs and challenges of life hand in hand.  I look forward to the chaos, laughter, and excitement next year will bring with our growing little boy as he is mesmerized by the sights and sounds of the season, but for now I will cherish our last moments as a family of two.  So much is about to change.

0 comments:

iPhone weeks 3 & 4: slow down, December!

9:17:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

This month has been such a whirlwind!  As I sit here only 3 days before Christmas, I'm amazed at how fast time has flown and how soon our baby boy will be here.  Only 36 days left! (and I'm still hoping he comes just a little bit early).

So rewinding a bit, here are weeks 3 & 4 in iPhone pics:


Most of week 3 was spent working, Christmas shopping, and growing a baby (I kid, I kid!).  Somehow I still managed to attend a Christmas party with my favorite nurses, a baby shower (my 4th!) thrown by these awesome coworkers of mine (of course I forgot to take pictures), and my first pro hockey game in a fancy suite with the husband thanks to HCA (go Preds!).  It was an awesome, exhausting week that I wouldn't have traded for the world.

  
Reality hit me hard during week 4... Christmas was right around the corner, and I had a baby with no nursery!  Nick and I got to work quickly painting the nursery, buying, picking up, and assembling furniture, and getting the room ready for our sweet little boy.  There is still decorating and work to be done, but if Logan came tomorrow I would be ready.  A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.  I also finished my Christmas shopping, wrapped all of our presents, assembled Nick's stockings (he gets 2 this year!), and washed, folded, and sorted all of Logan's clothes... and still managed to work my usual 50-hr work week.  I'm looking forward to slowing down in January and only working 3 12-hr shifts a week!  Floor nursing is hard on my 9 month pregnant body.  

So there you have it, weeks 3 and 4 in iPhone pics.  There is still so much to look forward to in the last week of December!

link up with a good life




0 comments:

iPhone week 2: a golden birthday

8:59:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Our amazing Thanksgiving in NC ended with the best start to a new week- my golden birthday.  We didn't arrive home from our trip until 5am on my birthday, so as Nick showered and dressed for work I got cozy on the couch for a much needed nap.  My day was spent Christmas shopping around town... a few new decorations, a few things for myself, and gifts for my 2 favorite boys.  Nick left work early to take me out to buy our Christmas tree (my only real birthday request this year), after a Starbucks break for my free birthday drink of choice (a caramel brulee latte... so good!).  We braved the rain and cold to pick the perfect Frasier Fur, and returned home to eat, decorate, and celebrate.  Nick grilled an amazing filet mignon, accompanied by a baked potato, salad, and a garlic/parmesan baguette.  He presented me with the most amazing cheesecake for dessert.... the entire meal was perfect and much better than anything we would have found in a restaurant.  As the hours grew later we began trimming the tree and finishing our decorations around the house while dancing to  the greatest Christmas album of all- Frank Sinatra.


our christmas tree all trimmed and pretty, the beautiful handmade birthday card I received from my very talented mother, and my new "hohoho" blocks courtesy of Target

As cheesy as it may sound, I truly feel that my life is nothing short of golden right now.  I have an amazing husband that lives to make me happy, a healthy miracle baby growing and bouncing safe inside of me, a fulfilling career that makes me feel proud and accomplished, and everything in life that I need.  Of course I will always wish for more... a bigger house, more money, less stress, etc... but I have nothing to complain about the way my life is right now.  I am blessed and fortunate to have achieved so much, and the best years of my life with our new little joy are yet to come.  The last 28 years will become a distant memory once this little boy enters the world and makes my life better in every way possible.  

link up with a good life and share your week!

0 comments:

iPhone week 1: so much to be thankful for

4:19:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Our Thanksgiving was amazing.... days of laughing, sharing, relaxing, and celebrating with those we love most in our favorite place... home in NC.  Our bellies stayed full and our hearts grew with each passing moment with our family and friends.  We don't get to visit often, but each trip is nothing short of magical.



2 Thanksgiving meals, 2 baby showers, 4 days with our favorite people... Thanksgiving week was a success.


link up at a good life








0 comments:

30 weeks

5:15:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments


The last few weeks with Logan have been nothing short of incredible.  I wish more than anything I could stop time for just a little while, just long enough to cherish every moment we have together before I am forced to share him with the world.  Recently I find myself constantly distracted by him, unable to focus on anything other than every movement and feeling of him safe inside of me.  He is a part of me now, a part of me that I will never let go of for as long as I live.  We are bonded in a way I have never felt before, and my love for him is truly amazing and life changing.

Nick and I treated ourselves to another elective 3D ultrasound yesterday to sneak a peek at our handsome little bundle.  Of course he was stubborn and refused to move his hands from his face more than a few seconds at a time, but watching him move around in live time was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.  He slept through most of it, but was sure to show off a little thumb sucking and yawning before we left.  He is absolutely adorable (but I'm a little bias).  We're still arguing over whose nose he has... I guess time will tell.  Here are a few of my favorite pictures:

I also had another prenatal appointment this week, and all is well so far!  Both Logan and I are happy and healthy.  All of my blood work looks great, which was my biggest concern so far.  

We will be traveling back home to NC for Thanksgiving in a few short days, and I couldn't be more excited.  Our days will be busy with the people that we love most, stuffing our faces and celebrating my favorite of all holidays.  We will return just in time for my 28th birthday... my golden year!  No big plans this year, but I always enjoy a day to relax and celebrate.  This time of year always flies by, which scares me a little knowing that Logan will be here as soon as the chaos of the holidays is over.  I can't wait to meet our little miracle, but I'll also feel a little better about it once we have the nursery complete and everything around the house ready for his arrival.

Safe and happy travels to all!  Happy Thanksgiving!



0 comments:

hello 3rd trimester!

9:20:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

that's right... the third trimester is here!  I can't believe how fast the last 7 months have flown by.  For so long it felt as if time was standing still, and I still remember every negative pregnancy test I took in the years leading up to our miracle.  Now that the countdown is on I'm becoming overwhelmed with everything left to do.  I am more than excited, just feeling a little unprepared for what is to come.

I'm making an effort to slow down and appreciate the moments that Logan and I have together.  It amazes me to just sit and watch him wiggle and squirm under my skin.  I know the time I have him all to myself is limited, so I'm trying to enjoy every minute we have together despite the aches and pains that are overwhelming by body right now.

I'm also itching to get our nursery done started.  Despite having cleared the room out months ago for Logan, nothing has really been added to it.  I know what I want, we just haven't had the time or money to make it happen.  Between Nick's ridiculous hours at work 7 days a week and monthly drills in Clarksville, just finding a day to paint has been impossible.  We have walls to paint, furniture to buy, and so much decorating to do!  I cannot wait to watch everything come together.

Last weekend I celebrated my first baby shower, and it was incredible!  More than I could have ever hoped for.  I have another baby shower scheduled in December with my coworkers.  I have never felt more love for myself and Logan.

My appointments are now every 2 weeks, which only makes everything seem all the more real.  So far Logan seems to be growing right on schedule, and luckily I haven't quite turned into a house yet.  Oh, but I know that time will come!

29 weeks down, 11 left to go!


0 comments:

frogs & snails, & puppy dog tails!

9:06:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I have the greatest group of friends in Nashville.  I may have only known them for a few years now, but it seems as if they've been in my life forever.  We are bonded by so many great memories, our annual trips to Gatlinburg (and here), and more recently growing babies together!

This weekend we had a triple baby boy shower in honor of a little boy already here (a little early), my best friend's baby due just 7 days after me, and of course Logan.  It was so nice to share such an amazing time in our lives together.


It is incredible to see how our lives have changed in just a few short years.  From new relationships, new houses, weddings, and now babies, it has been so much fun to share these changes and celebrations with each other.


These little boys have no idea what the future holds!  I'm already daydreaming of play dates, summer afternoons out on the farm, and birthday parties.  I never imagined my little boy would have a best friend long before he was even born.  2012 is going to be an amazing year!




0 comments:

so grateful.

9:21:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Many times, through the sweat, tears, and frustration that my job as a nurse brings, I forget how rewarding it can be.  There are so many life lessons that can be taught in caring for others and hearing their stories of challenges and triumphs.  This week I was slapped in the face with the reality of one woman's life, and fortunately for me I will never be the same.

I'm the first to admit that I take like for granted far too often.  I whine because I often have to work 50-60 hours a week for our family to make ends meet, or because we aren't exactly where we thought we would be entering our 30s.  I complain that our house is too small, or that the area of town we live in makes me miserable.  I don't see everything we have been blessed with in life and I'm far too often jealous of the lives of those around me.

I wish I could share the story of this young woman that I cared for.  It is hard to look at her life without tears in your eyes for the devastation that has plagued her family.  But she taught me how to look at my life in a completely different way in the few days I cared for her.  Not once in those days did I think poor, pitiful me for having to work 5 12-hour shifts this week.  I didn't feel sorry for myself because my back ached, or I hadn't seen my husband in days.  I didn't stress and worry about how we will never be able to give our son everything we want, or ever find ourselves out of debt.  I felt lucky to be alive.  I felt lucky to not only have a job, but have a job that allows me to work overtime when I need to earn more money.  I felt grateful to have this little baby growing inside of me, whether I felt ready or not.  I felt lucky for every little and big thing in my life.

I hate that it takes experiences like this to give me a more positive aspect on life and feel gratitude for the life I have been granted.  No matter how bad things may seem sometimes, it can always be worse... A LOT worse.

0 comments:

25 weeks!

3:54:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments


0 comments:

my fairytale

2:21:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Nothing about this life right now seems real.  I'm married to the love of my life, and our first little boy will be here before we know it.  Nothing about our life is perfect, but that's never the way I pictured it.  I grew up dreaming about having a beautiful family with my one true love, and that's exactly what I've been blessed with.  I never daydreamed about being wealthy, or living in a mansion, or having the perfect life.  We may struggle with finances and still be navigating our paths to success, but we have each other.  There is no one else I would rather share this journey with.  Each challenge brings us closer together, and is just another page in the story of our lives.  And soon the most exciting chapter of all will begin, the day we welcome Logan into this world.  Everything is great now, and amazingly it will only get better in the future.  We have so much to look forward to, and so many memories to cherish along the way.  I feel so incredibly fortunate.

0 comments:

6 months!

10:34:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I'll be 24 weeks in just a few days, and it's all beginning to feel so surreal.  My heart is more than ready for Logan, but I don't feel at all prepared for his arrival.  We haven't even begun on his nursery, nothing has been purchased since our stroller splurge 2 months ago, and finances are tight.  When I think of all the things we need to buy in the next few months I am beyond overwhelmed!  I know we still have nearly 4 months, but with Fall in the air and the holidays just around the corner I'm afraid it will all fly by before I know it.  And with the BabyBump app on my phone constantly reminding me that I only have 115 days left, it doesn't seem like long at all!

It's so strange to think that we will be parents... completely responsible for growing and raising another person all on our own.  I just cannot grasp the changes that will come.

0 comments:

dear Logan (23 weeks)

8:53:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Although I honestly can't wait to hold you in my arms, I cherish each moment we've spent together the last 23 weeks.  There is comfort in knowing you are always with me, unlike any feeling I've ever felt before.  Each little kick or wiggle puts a smile on my face, and those are my favorite parts of each day.  It still doesn't feel real that all of this is actually happening, because I haven't wanted you and dreamed about this for as long as I can remember.  You've already changed my life in so many ways, and I look forward to and welcome the changes you will bring to our family in 2012.  I often day dream about what life will be like... day trips to the zoo, play time with Kilo & Roxy, meeting Daddy for lunch downtown, late night story-time rocking you in my arms... I know the best of life has yet to come.

I know the next 17 weeks (hopefully a little less!) will fly by, but sometimes I wish I could fast forward to your birthday.  I will gladly give up my sleep and sanity to have you in my life forever. I already find myself thinking about little brothers and sisters for you, so I can't be that sane to begin with. For now I will continue to cherish having you all to myself and preparing for your arrival the best I can.

love always & forever,
Mom

0 comments:

letter to Logan (22 weeks)

12:49:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Dear Logan,
The most amazing thing happened this past week... your father felt your kicks for the first time.  I've been feeling you kick and tumble around since 19 weeks, but I have been patiently waiting to be able to share the magical experience with your dad.  He loved it so much I thought he would never move his hand from my belly!

There is no greater feeling than having you in our lives.  We often share our impatience with waiting to meet you, and I know the moment I do my life will finally feel complete.  On even the worst of days, your kicks send a little joy through my body and my heart swells with love.  It's as if you've always been there, just waiting for us to open our lives to you.  I can't imagine just how much our lives will change in a few months, but I look forward to every day I get to spend with you.  I'm already busy planning our many adventures and celebrations together in the coming years.

For now I hope you feel safe and sound inside of me, and I promise I will spend my life protecting and loving you.  Your father and I will be counting down the days until your arrival!

love always & forever,
Mom

0 comments:

21 weeks

3:56:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments




0 comments:

20 wks

9:47:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Our big 20 week scan was today, and I'm proud to say that our little Logan Cole is perfect.  Ten fingers, ten toes, and the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

Nick and I sat mesmerized as we studied each of his tiny little organs.  I was amazed while watching all four chambers of his heart beat in real time right before my eyes.  He wiggled and squirmed, and each little kick I saw on screen I felt within myself.  To say it was magical would be an understatement.

He is measuring right on schedule, as is my uterus, so my due date will remain January 27th.  I have gained just enough weight for 20 weeks (although I feel huge!), my blood pressure is great, and so far everything is going just as planned.  I couldn't have asked for better results from my appointment.

Halfway there!  I can't wait to meet our little Logan Cole!


0 comments:

18 weeks (a week late)

8:28:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments




0 comments:

rolling and tumbling, oh my!

9:42:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Up until now I've felt a few flutters here and there, but it was always so infrequent and only lasted a second or two. Thankfully yesterday was the day I've been waiting for.  Beginning early in the morning, I felt what I knew was the little one rolling and tumbling around in my belly.  It was unmistakable and the greatest feeling in the world.  I continued to feel him all day and never went more than 15 or 20 min without feeling a little kick here or there.

As I sit typing this now he is already up and moving.  I'm beginning to think this child never sits still, which I am more than okay with... for now :)

0 comments:

tentatively announcing...

7:53:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Logan Cole Armstrong


I've always been terrible at making decisions, so naturally I can't yet commit to a name for this little growing boy in my belly. But the more I second guess myself and harass Nick with name after name, I can't let go of Logan.  It just feels right. It is one of the only first names we've agreed on, and it came after a dream I had early on in pregnancy.  I should probably take that as a sign. 



0 comments:

pregnancy cravings

8:39:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I have had an abundance of pregnancy cravings since the early days after those two, beautiful pink lines appeared before my eyes. I have craved everything from grape soda to chai tea, peanut butter & jelly to fancy fondue, and a little of everything in between. The moment I fulfill one craving, I already have a list of new ones adding up in my head.

None of this is surprising, of course. But what I have found interesting is my newest craving... everything fall/winter. The first time I saw a commercial for Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte (always a favorite of mine), I found myself drifting off to heaven. I'm craving pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin butter (which conveniently stays stocked in my refrigerator year-round thanks to the farmer's market), and even carving a pumpkin. Today I would have done anything to be able to put a Christmas tree in my house. I'm craving the smell like you could never believe, and I'm dying to be engulfed with the feelings that can only be found around the holidays.

Maybe because I've been holed up in my house all summer long with this ridiculous heat intolerance... or maybe because by the time the holidays are here this sweet, precious baby of mine will be a few short weeks away from entering the world. Whatever the reason, fall cannot come fast enough. I'm dreaming of boots, sweaters, scarves, and snow on the ground. Thank Zeus tomorrow is the first day of September.

0 comments:

drumroll, please...

12:05:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I'm a little behind in posting the news, but...     it's a BOY!

We could not be more thrilled. I know I would have been thrilled either way, but just knowing the gender of our little one makes it that much more real. Not to mention calling my dad to share the news may just be one of the proudest moments of my life.  After raising two girls, then two more girls, he will finally have a man on his side (other than Nick, of course).

Since finding out the news we have done quite a bit of shopping.  Most of my money has found it's way on Ebay (why do they make it so easy???), and will also hit up the summer clearance racks at Babies R Us. I never realized how cute little boys' clothes can be. We also found an amazing deal on the stroller and car seat we wanted on Amazon (the Britax B-Agile and B-Safe) and they arrived yesterday.  I feel so much relief and feel like everything is going to come together just perfectly.  For a while I thought we may never be ready for this baby (and yes, I know I still have 5 months to go, but I'm a planner!).

Nick also got a much-deserved and awaited promotion at work last week.  I am so so proud of him.

Life. Is. Good.

0 comments:

Savoring the moment

4:47:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Days like today, when I'm off work and the Husband is gone all day working a double, and the dogs are far away in NC, I try hard to get over my boredom and embrace time to myself without distractions.  Moments like these are becoming more numbered as the countdown continues to days filled with chaos, noise, and living my life for someone else.  I often find myself wishing for time to pass more quickly so that I can hold and cuddle my little one tight in my arms, but I must remember to cherish the time that I have now.  The only time that this little one is safe inside me, and I have so much control over keeping us safe.  The time to embrace the reflection of my thoughts, my hopes, and my dreams for the journey this family is about to embark on.  The time to plan, and organize and prepare for all that is to come.  The time that I will look back on fondly and wish for when life is pulling me in every direction.

I will continue to countdown the days until January and daydream about the memories that will be created during the challenge of a life-changing experience, but for now I will try to slow down and savor every moment of this pregnancy.  I will appreciate knowing this baby is strong and healthy inside of me, and for now I have our little one all to myself.  Life could definitely be a lot worse.

0 comments:

The Business of Being Born

3:38:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Since my first days of L&D classes in nursing school, I have vowed to steer clear of Pitocin and have the most natural childbirth I was capable of.  I had heard nothing but great reviews of Ricki Lake’s documentary, The Business of Being Born, and fully planned on watching it before the birth of this child. 



The other night I began discussing with my husband that I was thinking of switching from our awesome OB whom we love to a midwife to ensure my wishes were met during labor, and he responded by jokingly referring to midwives and their “voodoo”.  I couldn’t move fast enough to find the documentary on Amazon, hook up the laptop to the tv, and begin an educational experience for myself and my husband.  It was obviously time.  



The documentary was AMAZING.  I was familiar with most of the medical reasoning and facts in the film thanks to nursing school only a few short years ago, but it was still reassuring to know that I was making the right decisions for the right reasons.  The film also managed to ease some of my fears about childbirth.  



Birth plans are personal, and I strongly believe that every woman should make the decisions that are best for them.  Having said that I also find it hard to believe that any woman could watch this film with an open mind and not walk away convinced to at least try for a natural birth.  I’m not saying that natural childbirth is for everyone or the only way birth should ever be done, I just believe that this documentary is that convincing.  I highly recommend it to all pregnant women, and all women that desire to have children one day.  You will learn SO. MUCH.  I even recommended it to my mom to watch so that she could better understand why I feel the way I do.  In fact, I wish everyone would watch this movie so that I don’t get the looks I do when the subject gets brought up and I mention that I’m hoping for a natural childbirth.



I could go on for hours, but please just watch this movie!  I promise you won’t regret it.  I support any decision a mother makes for her own child, I just strongly believe that every pregnant women should at least make the effort to be informed and educated before making any decisions.  Let me know what you think!

0 comments:

4:04:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments



so adorable!

0 comments:

Another lazy Saturday...

4:59:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I finally got my energy back, but I’m still waiting on my motivation to kick in!  I really wish this nesting happened a little sooner, and it doesn’t help that Nick is gone for drill all weekend.  Just me and the baby… (I love the way that sounds :)

0 comments:

Silly dreams

1:48:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I had the most amazing dream last night (and yes, it has me wide awake at 5:30 in the morning).  In my dream I was only 2 days away from the due date of our beautiful baby girl (once again, always a girl in the dreams!).  I was freaking out a little in the dream about labor and what was to come, but I was so excited and ready.  Our nursery was complete (in the most amazing house) and everything was in place for our little one to come home.



Imagine my disappointment to wake up and find out that not only am I not 2 days away from my due date…. I still have 6 MONTHS to go!!!  Sometimes it seems like 6 months isn’t nearly long enough to buy everything we need and get everything ready, but when I picture holding our little one and how our lives will change, 6 months feels like an eternity.  For all of you mommas-to-be out there, I’m sure you know exactly how I feel.  



I don’t want to wish this pregnancy away because I really love being pregnant, I just wish I could have the best of both worlds.  Here’s to hoping the next 6 months fly by!

0 comments:

things happen when you least expect them...

7:05:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

(Just found this in my drafts…. feels like it was just yesterday!)



The past 24 hours have been a roller coaster of emotions.  It all began Sunday evening when for a brief second I wondered when my period was due this month, and I guess also had the first intuition that I was pregnant.  The thought only crossed my mind for a moment… long enough to use the handy menstrual cycle app on my phone and learn that my period was due tomorrow (Monday).  Nick and I had stopped “trying” for months, and I had accepted that children were not in the plan for our immediate future.  I had accepted this, and I was happy with it.


I guess my intuition remained somewhere subconsciously, because when I woke up Monday morning I decided to use one of my left-over pregnancy tests from our years of trying and failing.  While I watched the test come to life, I began to rub my eyes frantically while I watched two lines appear.  Was I half asleep?  Were my eyes playing tricks on me?  I had taken dozens of pregnancy tests in my time (okay, maybe hundreds), and I knew what a negative HPT looked like.  And this was not one.


I dipped another test, and another, and before I knew it I was faced with three positive tests in a row.  I don’t know how long I stood there speechless, before beginning to pace around my house chanting “oh my god… oh my god… oh my god…” (with a little profanity mixed in).  My heart was racing, my palms were sweaty, and I spent the next 3 hours in a state of complete shock.  


Nick was working until midnight that day, and I knew there was absolutely no way I could wait that long before telling him.  I jumped in the car and called him on my way, only to find out that he wouldn’t be back at the office for another hour.  Great.  So I took a detour to Target and walked around in a daze trying to let it all sink in.  Just before leaving I started having second thoughts about telling Nick.  What if I imagined it all?  What if I didn’t look at the tests long enough?  I didn’t want to tell him unless I was 100% sure.  So I bought two digital tests, stopped at a gas station before I got on the highway, and almost immediately I had the word “pregnant” staring me in the face.  Hard to argue with such a definitive sign.  


Once I got to Nick’s work (to meet for lunch, or so he thought) it took about 30 seconds of him in the car with me before I blurted out the big news.  The look on his face was priceless.  I would have loved to video tape his reaction, but unfortunately didn’t think of that until 2 days later.  He continued to ask me the usual How?  Are you sure?  with a HUGE smile on his face.  It was the most genuine happiness and excitement I’ve ever seen on my husband’s face.  


This marked the beginning of our journey, the beginning of our miracle, and the moment that changed our lives forever.  There will be plenty more to come!

0 comments:

Carolina on my mind

6:59:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments



I’ve written about this so much on my life blog (everydaywaiting.tumblr.com), but with our little one on the way it has become more relevant than ever.


Despite the years we spend in TN, the friendships and relationships that we cherish, and no matter how deep our roots here spread, my heart and soul will always be in North Carolina.  I crave the closeness of our families, and I long to create our own family’s memories surrounded by the comfort and love of home.  My heart aches at the thought of our little one being raised hours from grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles.  I grew up hours away from my own extended family, and to this day I lack the bond and closeness most people share with those they love.  I can’t imagine our child growing up feeling like an outsider, or feeling as though their own flesh and blood are nothing more than strangers.


I also want to move home for selfish reasons.  There is no time in my life I will ever need my mother like those first few weeks at home with a newborn.  Of course I know she will travel and stay with us if I asked her to, but I’d much rather be try to do things on my own knowing she is only a phone call and short drive away.  It would be wonderful to never worry about the financial and emotional burden of sending our child to daycare, or leaving our little one with a stranger so we can enjoy a rare date night alone.


Nick is more than supportive of moving back to NC, and for years has longed to move back home just as I have.  Unfortunately we have responsibilities, and with the economy as it has been moving anywhere is a lot easier said than done.  We’ve considered packing our bags and crossing our fingers that everything works out, but reality sets in and we just can’t afford the risks.  We own 2 houses here in TN, and although we could temporarily move in with family it has been incredibly tough to find any reasonable job for Nick to make the move possible.


I wish life was simpler.  For now I will cross my fingers (good vibes are welcome!) and continue hoping and wishing that everything works out for us.  I know we’re meant to be in NC, I’ve just yet to discover when and where in NC life will take us.

0 comments:

Product rave: Sonoline B Doppler

4:13:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself lying awake late at night browsing online.  As usual this led to an impulse buy.  I had just visited my OB for my 12 week appt and heard the sweetest sound of our little one’s heartbeat.  Unfortunately Nick was away for training in Mississippi, and I couldn’t help but think of how much he was missing out on during those few moments listening to the heartbeat… our heartbeat.  So I began researching fetal dopplers online, and quickly stumbled upon the Sonoline B Fetal Heart Doppler on Ebay.


Fetal dopplers can be outrageously priced.  I could never imagine spending hundreds of dollars on one, but when I found the Sonoline B for a reasonable $53 brand new I was sold.  Having found such a good deal, I was a little nervous about the quality of the doppler.  I knew from browsing in stores that many dopplers are only recommended late during the 2nd trimester and beyond, and I was barely 12 weeks.  When it arrived just a few days later, I was nothing but pleasantly surprised.


The Sonoline B worked fantastic.  I instantly found our little one’s heartbeat in the comfort and privacy of our bedroom, and I had no trouble distinguishing between my own and the baby’s heartbeats.  The doppler also has a digital screen to display the heartrate and average heartrate every 8 beats heard.  



As soon as The Husband returned home I shared my surprise with him… that moment was magical.  Nothing compares to sitting together in the peace and serenity of our home with nothing more that a faint swoosh bringing us together.  Now when I find myself feeling down or frustrated with our situation, I take myself upstairs to remind me that this will all be so worth it.  Our little miracle baby is growing strong and healthy inside of me, and nothing in life could be better than that.



***I should mention that I was in no way sponsored or compensated by Sonoline B or Clinical Guard.  I simply loved the doppler that much that I felt it deserved a post of its own!  I also want to praise the ebay seller clinicalguardga for offering such a great product and having it at my door 2 days later!  

0 comments:

Sugar and spice...

10:55:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I have been convinced that this little bean growing inside of me is a boy.  I’ve been influenced a lot by my husband’s desire to have a little boy, and my hope to finally give my dad another boy in the family (after 2 daughters and 2 granddaughters!).  And as much as I love all of the cute little dresses out there, I can’t help but find myself drawn to blue and green plaid shirts, overalls, and loafers.  



But despite my instincts and desires, I can’t stop dreaming about having a little girl.  I rarely have dreams with my baby in them, but when I do I always give birth to a beautiful, healthy little girl.  Something tells me you can’t fight the instincts and knowledge of your subconscious.  



As much as I can’t wait to find out whether we’re team blue or pink, I honestly will be so happy and excited either way.  There is so much to look forward to in 6 short months!  I may have to do a little more convincing before Nick is truly excited and not terrified of having a little girl, but I can be pretty persuasive :)

0 comments:

2:30:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

0 comments:

Dear little one,

1:30:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

There is so much in the world I look forward to teaching you and showing you.  I look forward to traveling to places I’ve never even been, and exploring and learning together.  There’s so much more to this world than the small bubble we shelter ourselves in, so much more than our own cultures and beliefs.  My hope is that you are not burdened by the shyness and fear that has defined me, but rather an excitement and passion for exploring the world around you.  I hope that the last thought to ever enter your mind is what those around you may think, and I hope you feel carefree and confident in the decisions you make.  The world becomes a sad place when you let others define it for you.  Do not put off your goals and dreams in hopes of doing them later, because later will never come.  Live with passion and purpose, but enjoy every day as if it is your last.  Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, as that is how we grow within ourselves.  Never be afraid to accept help, but do so graciously.  No one ever makes it to the top on their own.  I hope we can give you the most incredible, joyous childhood, regardless of our financial means, and I hope you can look back on it fondly with a smile on your face.  I hope you always feel loved and protected, because nothing means more to us in life than you do.  Never forget that no matter where life takes you, family is everything.



Love forever & always,


Mom

0 comments:

7.11.11

6:40:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I wish I could say that I only have joyous, happy thoughts about this pregnancy, but that would be a lie.  Despite wanting a child for as long as I can remember and trying for so long, I still find myself wondering if this is really what I want.  


Sometimes I feel this way when standing in line behind a screaming toddler, or while shopping for my ever-growing chest and waist, or hearing about all the fun, carefree things my single, not-yet-tied-down friends are doing.


I  must admit, at times I have the “my life is over” thought creep into my head.  But then there are times that I see that young family out living life to the fullest, and I find myself anxious for that time to come for us when all of the superficial and vain worries that have consumed my life are gone, and the focus is finally back on family- our family.  


Despite all of these mixed emotions, I wouldn’t change it for the world. 

0 comments:

12 weeks

6:34:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

The last week of my first trimester.  A week I have looked forward to for a long, long time.  I have yet to get my energy back, and nausea still rears its ugly head far too often, but I think my normal appetite may be returning.  I’m also not starving all day every day, which was becoming quite the inconvenience.  Last night as I lay in bed I realized I hadn’t eaten since my lunch at Panera, but when I ventured to the kitchen I had no desire for a peanut butter sandwich, pudding, american cheese and crackers, or any of the other childhood cravings I’d been living off of for so long.  I wanted a meal.  Maybe even a nice filet mignon (I have gotten sick at even the mention of steak for 2 months now!).  Of course I was forced to go to bed hungry as my kitchen offered none of these options, but I went to bed with a sigh of relief that I might actually get to eat like a normal, healthy adult again.  I even enjoyed a salad for lunch yesterday… another meal that has repulsed me for quite some time now.  I just hope this isn’t a tease, like the week I spent nausea-free that led me to believe the morning sickness was over.  I promise you, it only got worse.  



12 weeks, 28 to go.  Now if I can just get my energy back so I can enjoy each and every one of them…

0 comments:

6:26:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments



Thank you Starbucks for offering ALL of your drinks in decaf. Welcome back, caramel macchiato.

0 comments:

the sweetest sound

3:56:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

This morning I heard the sweetest sound I’ve ever heard… our little one’s heartbeat!  I could have listened for hours.  Unfortunately Nick is stuck in the humidity and swamps of Mississippi right now (thank you annual training), so he will have to wait until my next appointment to hear it for himself.  I had hoped to record it for him, but after waiting for an hour and a half and nearly falling asleep I forgot all about it.  When the time finally came I was so wrapped up in the moment I couldn’t think about anything else!  Everything checked out fine, with the exception of my thyroid function tests which were no surprise to me.  I’ve had subclinical hypothyroidism for a few years now so my thyroid has to be monitored very closely, but luckily I still haven’t reached the point of needing medication.  This appointment also confirmed that I have only gained 3 lbs at this point… which is GREAT news considering I feel like my belly is doubling daily!  I can’t wait for the Husband to see me when he gets home!

0 comments:

11 weeks

4:32:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

11 weeks pregnant.  I’m starting to feel like this pregnancy is already flying by.  There are so many feelings and emotions swirling through my head that I find it hard to put into words.  This time in my life is like no other… the worries, the fear, the joy, the anticipation, the constant daydreaming about what life might be like in 6 short months.  Everything will change.  No matter how hard I try, the future is unimaginable.  



There are so many things in life that are so uncertain now… joining the Army, obtaining an advanced nursing degree, living the carefree city-life I’ve dreamed of without responsibility… but as soon as I imagine holding our child in my arms it all makes sense.  When I’m reminded of what we’ve been blessed with, I find myself without regret, without fear, without wondering what would life have been like had nothing changed.  I find myself anxious about the future, but anxious in the most joyful way I’ve ever known.  There really is no greater gift in life.

0 comments:

another cloth diaper giveaway:

8:37:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

gonnabeamommy:



http://www.clothdiaperblog.com/feed-your-stash-friday-enter-to-win-a-build-your-own-flip-daypack-kit-ends-07-06-11/


enter to win a FREE build your own flip daypack kit! includes:


  • 2 Flip diaper covers of your choice

  • 6 Flip inserts-your choice of stay dry or organic cotton

entry ends july 6th. giveaway open to residents of united states and canada. go get entered now!


0 comments:

10:08:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments



Yay for healthy babies!


I’m happy to share that our little bean of sunshine is alive and healthy!  I was a nervous wreck all morning as the hours creeped by to our 11am ultrasound appt, but as soon as I heard the sonographer say “that’s your baby’s heartbeat” I knew every minute was worth the wait.  Nick was able to sneak away from work to be there with me in the moments we first laid eyes on our baby.  It was absolutely breathtaking.  


The baby’s heart rate was only 109 bpm, and the sonographer mentioned that my ob/gyn may request an appt to see me again in a week to make sure the heart rate has increased to above 120 bpm.  She said not to be concerned though, because it was so early in my pregnancy that she doubts we would have even seen the heart rate had I come in a day sooner.  Surprisingly I’m not worried at all.  


I am so relieved for this morning to be over.  I have reached a whole new level of excitement about the baby!  For some reason the ultrasound was just the confirmation I needed that I truly am pregnant and haven’t imagined this baby and the past 2 1/2 weeks in my head.  Now I’m busy packing for our weekend trip so that we can hit the road when Nick gets off work tonight… I cannot wait to share the news with everyone we love!



ETA:  There is only ONE healthy baby in there… this is also very good news :)

0 comments:

6.1.11

11:45:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

June 1st, 2011.  A day I will remember forever.



I’ve had mild cramping since finding out about my pregnancy at 4 weeks, but this past weekend I had cramps at a whole new level.  The cramps were severe, waking me up in the middle of the night and keeping me in tears, and seemed to become more frequent and more intense as the days went on.  I’m back to having frequent but mild cramps, but Nick insisted that I call my OB/GYN’s nurse to get her opinion this morning.  



She did not seem overly concerned, but did schedule me for an ultrasound tomorrow morning.  I am absolutely terrified.  I have read everything I possibly can on early miscarriages, which has done everything but make me feel better.  So far I have escaped bleeding and all of my mild pregnancy symptoms have continued, so I am taking that as a good sign.  Unfortunately I am far too aware that miscarriages happen without symptoms and without bleeding. 



So tomorrow at 11am our lives will change forever.  We will either receive devastating, heartbreaking news, or we will get the first peek at the little one growing strong inside of me.  I have done everything I can today to stay distracted and keep an optimistic look toward our future.  I can’t imagine spending 2 1/2 years battling infertility, only to be surprised by an unexpected pregnancy that ends before it has even become real.



Please keep my little sunshine in your thoughts tomorrow.  If all is well, we’ll be on our way to NC tomorrow evening to share good news!

0 comments:

9:22:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments



My heart just melted.



236 days to go!

0 comments:

6 weeks!

5:35:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I made it to 6 weeks on Saturday…. in some ways I feel like it’s been months since I found out and that time is slowly creeping along, and other times I feel like this pregnancy is going to fly by.


Not much has changed in the last two weeks.  I still have moments of shock that this is really happening, but for the most part it has become such a big focus in our lives. And between the cramping, nausea, heartburn, sore boobs, backaches, and whining, I’m starting to feel pregnant.  I’ve also lost the ability to suck my stomach in, but I’m actually looking forward to watching this bump grow in the coming months.  


It’s also been exactly 14 days since my last cigarette, and 15 days since my last cup of coffee and glass of whiskey.  I can’t say I haven’t missed them, but it has been so much easier than I ever imagined.  I’ve always struggled with quitting smoking and wasn’t sure how I would handle it.  The day after I found out I wore the lowest milligram nicotine patch available, but since then have quit cold turkey.  There is no greater motivation to quit than being blessed with a miracle you never thought possible.  I am amazed at how easy it has been, and I must admit I’m pretty freaking proud of myself.


In 2 short days we will be on our way to NC to share the news with our families!  I absolutely cannot wait.  It has been such a challenge to keep this news to ourselves.  It has now been weeks since I’ve talked to my mom (we usually talk on the phone daily), because I know there is absolutely no way I could keep my mouth shut.  I almost feel guilty for not telling her sooner, because she was naturally the first person I wanted to tell, but it was so important to me to tell her in person.  I can’t wait to see the looks on their faces!  


Happy Memorial Day to everyone!  Please keep the soldiers and their families in your prayers today, especially those that have sacrificed everything for this country.  I am blessed that this Memorial Day will be the first in 3 years that my husband is home safe, rather than fighting for our freedom across the world.  My heart goes to all of those who are less fortunate.

0 comments:

Let the deals begin

3:27:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I’ve spent my Sunday window shopping and online browsing (and resisting the urge to buy everything I see!).  I’ve stumbled upon what could be my greatest finds over the next 9 months, and wanted to share:


www.zulily.com


www.totsy.com


www.theminisocial.com


www.babysteals.com


babyhalfoff.com


Similar to Groupon, LivingSocial, Sharing Spree, etc, these websites offer daily and weekly deals for all things baby.  I’ll share my experiences and the best deals as I find them!  If you know of any other good deal websites or sales, please share them.  


Edited:


I almost forgot Amazon Mom!  I love Amazon!

0 comments:

Wish List

5:10:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

At only 5 weeks my wish list for the little one is already growing!  I’m resisting the urge to buy anything for a while, but that doesn’t stop me from plenty of online browsing for now.  Here’s the first of many wish lists to come…


The must-have:



I have seen these Bumbo seats in action, and it is definitely a must-have for my home!  Such a genius idea.


The lust:



I LOVE the Bugaboo strollers.  I’ve heard mixed reviews, but I love the look and style of them.  Would I ever spend $800+ on a stroller?  Absolutely not.  Would I spend $300-400 for a used one on Ebay?  Probably not.  But a girl can dream.


The Diaper bag I picked out long before the baby:



I have always been a fan of Lug Life, and long ago while looking for a new carry-on bag I stumbled upon this perfect diaper bag.  It is so practical and functional with all of the different pockets and compartments, and great easy-to-clean fabric.  I also love that it isn’t too feminine, so The Husband won’t think twice about carrying it around.  You can get great deals on Amazon for all of the Lug Life products.

0 comments:

sshhh, don't tell!

2:17:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I HATE keeping secrets.  I do really well keeping other people’s secrets, but when it comes to my own I can never keep my mouth shut.



For obvious reasons I wanted to wait a while before we told anyone, but I knew this was not realistic.  We have the opportunity to take a long weekend trip to NC at the beginning of June (I’ll be 7 weeks!), so we’re waiting until then to tell our parents and families in person.  Of course we planned to wait on telling anyone else until after our families knew, but that didn’t happen.



I’ve only confided in my closest friend at work (I had to tell someone), but Nick has told 5-6 coworkers, at least 1 Army buddy, his dentist… the man can’t keep his mouth shut!  I love it.  



The list of those in-the-know will likely grow this weekend, as I just made last minute plans with two of my closest TN friends for a cookout tomorrow.  There’s no way I could stand to be around them more than a few minutes without blabbing, but even if I could it would be pointless.  The minute they notice I quit smoking and am refusing beers on a beautiful Spring afternoon?  It would be over. 

0 comments:

4wks+6days

12:14:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I found out I was pregnant on Monday, at exactly 4 weeks.  I’m now 4wks and 6 days, and I can’t say a whole lot has changed.



  • I haven’t had any morning sickness yet.  I know it’s still early, but due to my weak stomach and bad history, I was sure I would be one of those women that suffers from nausea every day for 9 months.  I’m still expecting it any day now.

  • I can’t get enough water.  I am constantly thirsty, but the only thing I really want is cold, pure water (very strange for me).  

  • I’m constantly in the bathroom.  Mostly peeing, but I also spend a lot of time running back and forth to make sure I’m not bleeding.  Which brings me to…

  • Cramps.  Serious, awful cramps.  They come and go, but when they come they usually last for hours.  Scares the hell out of me.  

  • I’m constantly eating.  I eat, sit, and then I’m ready to eat again about 20 minutes later.  Luckily I’m craving healthy choices, so hopefully that will keep me from gaining 15 pounds before I’m even showing.  

  • My heat tolerance seems lower.  I’m still running, but I’m much more intolerable to the hot afternoon heat.  This is probably related to my increased thirst and need for hydration.  I’m taking it easy to be sure I don’t get heat exhaustion, but I’m really hoping to run throughout my entire pregnancy.

Tomorrow is 5 weeks!  My 1st prenatal appointment isn’t until I’m 8+ weeks, so I’m counting on this blog to keep me sane until then :)

0 comments:

A little about our TTC journey...

12:02:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Conceiving our little miracle baby was no easy task.  We spent over a year trying without success, until finally beginning fertility testing last summer/fall.  The news wasn’t good.  We learned that I didn’t ovulate regularly, if at all, and Nick’s little swimmers had a few problems of their own.  In short we were told it was “highly unlikely” that we would ever conceive naturally without medical intervention.  When you’ve been trying to conceive for what seems like an eternity, “highly unlikely” sounds just like “impossible”.  We were crushed.  


After a lot of thought and discussion (and crying on my part), we decided we would wait before our first IUI attempt.  It was just so overwhelming, and I knew I couldn’t emotionally handle it at the time.  Nick agreed, and we put our dreams on hold.  We began discussing adoption more seriously, and looking at all of the options for our future.


Sometime around the beginning of this year, I began to accept our fate.  It was truly a breakthrough.  It took months and months of depression and crying, but I made it.  I decided that rather than stressing over our fertility and starting a family, we should be cherishing our first few years of marriage as a free, young couple without any serious responsibilities.  For so long I felt like time was running out, but after this revelation I realized that 27/28 yrs old is YOUNG.  Really young.  We had plenty of time to do everything we wanted, and for now we would explore ourselves, our world, and our lives.  I felt relieved.  I felt free.


It had been so long since I had put a lot of thought into fertility, my period, or anything else related to baby-making.  I still can’t figure out what made me pee on that stick half-asleep the day my period was due (I wasn’t even late!).  Female intuition?  Who knows.  But you can imagine my absolute complete shock when I saw two beautiful pink lines appear almost immediately.  


My initial reaction wasn’t even excitement.  I didn’t know what to think.  I had finally accepted our fate and planned the next few years without babies.  I was only a few weeks away from my application being reviewed by the Army Reserve Nurse Corps board!  (this was part of my “live in the moment as a young free spirit” coping strategy).  This changed everything.  I’m a type-A hardcore OCD planner, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about having all of my plans turned upside down.


Of course that feeling didn’t last long (less than 24 hrs?!), and now I am full of nothing but excitement and anticipation for the weeks and months to come.  I haven’t felt this happy about anything in a long time… I wasn’t even sure I could be this happy anymore.  Infertility had sucked the joy and happiness out of my life for so long, and now this little poppyseed has already provided enough for a lifetime.   And so the real journey begins…

0 comments:

I'm pregnant!

11:44:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

After 2 1/2 years of trying, I’m happy to announce that Nick and I are expecting!  It’s been a long, tough journey, but we couldn’t be happier at our unexpected surprise.  



I’m starting this blog as a way to shout my excitement and anticipation, as we have yet to share our news with anyone other than a few close friends (we’re taking a long weekend trip to NC in a few weeks to announce to our families).  I look forward to sharing our journey with you!



0 comments:

9:24:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments







Mother’s Day 2011 at the Air Show in Smyrna, TN.

Blue skies, cold beer, and passion in my husband’s eyes.

Maybe in a few years I’ll celebrate this occasion differently, but for now it was perfect.

0 comments:

back to running.

9:23:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

To say I have slacked off the last 3-4 months would be an understatement. After the half marathon in September I lost all motivation without a goal in sight, and my runs became few and far between. Then winter came, along with snow and ice and plenty of excuses, and my runs were almost non-existent. The Husband would drag me out every once in a while for a weekend run, but I pretty much avoided it like the plague. My weight continued to drop and my body still felt good, and that did not help my motivation at all.

With a few warm days, the thought of bathing suits, and the numbers on the scale on a gradual rise, I found myself wanting to run again. Over a few beers on a rainy Saturday afternoon The Husband and I developed a plan, and I found another reason to wake up in the morning and a healthy habit to look forward to every day.

Like clockwork The Husband and I have ran every night since Sunday. And it feels good. I’ve even managed to run at night after a long 12-hr shift without face-planting into the cement. We’re only running 3 miles now, which will probably continue to be our nightly run during the week with longer runs on the weekends. It’s so nice to be able to run a good, steady pace without wanting to quit every 5 minutes or barely being able to catch my breath.

Tonight we set our post slacker-winter record— 3 miles in 28:52! Pretty pathetic, I know, but it’s been a while. You should also know that I slow The Husband down A LOT… he wasn’t nearly as lazy as I was during the last few months, and can still run 6-8 min miles when I’m not around to hold him back.

Yay to running, being healthy, and looking good in bikinis this summer!

0 comments:

9:21:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments


0 comments:

It HAS to get better

9:21:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I had an amazing meal planned for V-day last night. I had stocked up on anything and everything I might need from the grocery store, had all of my dippers sliced and ready in the cutest green polka dot bowls, and had the first glasses of wine poured. I pulled out our Cuisinart fondue pot (my favorite of all our wedding gifts), chose the pink and red skewers as they seemed most appropriate, and started to set up for course #1.

Surprisingly, the plug for the fondue pot was not stored inside of it as I usually keep it. No big deal, so I began scouring each drawer in our kitchen sure it would only take a few seconds to find. A few minutes later I moved on to the cabinets, then the storage cabinet above the refrigerator, then back to the drawers, checked the inside of the fondue pot again, and began to feel myself get a little bit frustrated.

Me: “hey baby, do you have any idea where the plug for the fondue pot is? I can’t find it anywhere.”

Him: “It’s in the drawer next to the pantry. Just saw it there the other day.”

Me: “no, that’s the plug for the skillet. This plug looks the same but is a different brand.”

Him: “no, that can’t be the plug for the skillet. I threw that away a long time ago when we figured out it didn’t work.”

That’s when it hit me. A few months ago I was whipping up a batch of pancakes for a Sunday brunch, but I couldn’t get the skillet to heat up. I messed with the plug over and over again trying to figure it out, until finally it began to spark and become a fire hazard. (At some point Nick took it upon himself to throw the plug away as I found a different option for cooking my pancakes.)

Kind of a funny story. But it gets better- I was reorganizing the cabinets this weekend, and came across the non-working (or so I thought) skillet, and within an hour had loaded it up with some other old appliances and driven it to Goodwill. So there I sat… a beautiful fondue pot with no source of electricity, and a Presto plug for a skillet I no longer owned.

My immediate reaction should have been to laugh (how stupid was I to not realize I was trying to plug the wrong cord into our skillet months ago?), but instead I began to cry. And then I began to sob.

At first I’m sure Nick thought I was losing my mind, or far more in love with the fondue pot and skillet than he ever realized. But it wasn’t about the fondue pot, or a ruined V-day meal plan… it was about the big picture. It was the feeling that no matter what I try to do, nothing ever works out. Big or small, I always feel the world is against me. We are good people; we work hard, we live moral and ethical lives, we try to always make the right decisions, we are compassionate and selfless people, but the world is always against us. The National Guard continues to shut every door possible in the husband’s face, we can barely survive to pay our bills each month with nothing left over, we’ve been smacked in the face by infertility and the harsh reality we may never be parents, and I can’t even enjoy a fancy at-home dinner with my husband on Valentine’s Day.

I know this seems like a pity party, and I guess it is for the most part, but sometimes I’m tired of walking through life with a smile on my face and appreciating what I do have. Because sometimes I just don’t feel like it’s very much. I know that I only I can make myself happy and I must accept the cards we’ve been dealt, but for 20 minutes last night I didn’t. I felt sorry for myself and cried on Nick’s shoulder… and you know what? It felt good.

After my sob fest we made our own little double boiler on the stove, pulled up a few stools, and enjoyed our first course (almost) the way I planned. It turned out to be a wonderful night with my husband, just the two of us at home, and that’s all that really mattered. Now the fondue pot incident is just a good story.

At the same time, something’s got to give. Whether we actually catch a break in life, or make some drastic changes and hope for the best, something has to change. It HAS to get better.

0 comments:

9:19:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments


Today was for jewelry making and watching movies, running in the warm sunshine, and a nice serene walk around the lake with the husband sharing our dreams for the future.

Today was good.

0 comments:

9:17:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments


Mountain Therapy 2011 has come to an end.

Another awesome weekend with an awesome group of girls.

0 comments:

9:16:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I know it’s only January 11, but so far my New Year’s resolution is a success. I vowed to no longer let our infertility consume me, and not allow myself to become a ball of tears at the thought of it. I’ve spent the first 11 days of this year surrounded by pregnant bellies, and pregnancy announcements, and adorable little babies, and I’ve handled it better than I ever thought possible. Gone are the days of fighting back tears through a less than earnest smile and harboring jealousy toward those that seem more fortunate… instead I am genuinely happy for the blessings of children in everyone’s lives, and I don’t have to pretend to feel something I don’t.

Do I still want a baby? Without a doubt. Would I still be ecstatic if I learned tomorrow that I’m pregnant? Of course I would. But for now I’m content with the challenges we’ve been faced with, and I’m focusing on being grateful for what I do have- especially an amazing husband and partner to hold my hand and fight through this journey with me. I’ve also been faced with the thought that with The Husband’s possible upcoming deployment, our dreams of having a baby may be put on hold even longer. He would most likely be mobilized as early as March, and would be gone for at least 15 months before returning home. And surprisingly, I’m okay with the delay in starting our family.

I also haven’t lost hope. Anything can happen, and while I don’t expect any surprises in the near future I also know that things happen when you least expect them.

0 comments:

9:15:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I originally started blogging as a way to pass the time while the husband was gone and share my experience of handling a deployment… and it seems this blog may be returning to its roots far sooner than expected.

Nick returned from Iraq at the end of July, and it is the ARNG’s policy that units are only deployed once every 5 years from TN. Of course we never believed this to be true, and when the rumors started circling the unit that the next deployment would come in 2012 to Afghanistan, we weren’t surprised at all.

What I didn’t expect was the text message I received from Nick while he was at drill Sunday and I was at work. He told me that we needed to talk asap, because he was thinking of volunteering for a deployment to Afghanistan with a different unit in June.

My heart sank. My stomach felt queasy. I didn’t even know how to respond.

We had a long talk about this possibility on Sunday night… why he wants to do it, the benefits to his career with the Army, and the sacrifices it meant for our relationship. Again. One of the hardest things about being a military wife is trying to be supportive and strong when you’re terrified of the future. Nick absolutely loves the military and is much happier serving his country than any other job you could offer him here, and I love him too much to deny him happiness in life.

Do I want to cry and scream and tell him there’s no way in hell I’m letting him go? Of course I do. But instead I let him hold me and promise that he’ll come back, he’ll always come back.

Nothing at all is definite yet… he’s still trying to learn more about the unit he would be deploying with and the mission they would be focused on. For now I’m embracing every moment we spend together, because as a military wife you learn to never take those moments for granted. You never know how long you have together, and you want as many memories as you can hold to carry you through the long months apart from the one you love

0 comments:

home sweet home

9:17:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

After only 3 days since leaving NC, I feel lost. It’s feels good to be back into a productive routine where (most) everything I do has meaning, but everything just seems a little off. Like I don’t belong here. My heart is and always will be where our families are, and for now that’s NC.

I long for the day that I can drive to my parent’s house to chat with my mom, because face-to-face conversations are always better than over the phone. I live to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon painting with Nick’s grandfather after a filling lunch of all things Cuban. I dream of riding horses with my mother-in-law, and dropping by my lifelong best friend’s house just to say hello. I yearn to spend the day alone with my Dad, because I have and always will be my daddy’s girl. I wish for the day that Nick can spend time getting to know his brothers again as life changes and ages us all. I hope for the day when we never have to miss a birthday party, or graduation, or the birth of a new family member.

We always say that one day we’ll move back to be closer to family, but my biggest fear in life is that it will never work out. There’s always something keeping us in Nashville… and although I am madly in love with this city, it will never be home.

I never thought that we would find ourselves alone, where visits with family are few and far between. I never thought there would be Thanksgivings and Christmases with just Nick and myself. And I never thought I could miss my hometown as much as I do now.

Maybe we’ll make it back one day, maybe we won’t. But my heart will always remain in the city that raised me, surrounded by the people in life that I love the most. I’ll never lose hope of raising our children surrounded by those we love, and I’ll never stop dreaming of a life back in NC.

0 comments:

a look back...

9:13:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Without a doubt, 2010 was a year of growth and self-discovery. There were challenges and triumphs along the way, but overall I can look back at everything with a sense of contentment and pride.

Nick and I survived our first deployment, and spent the first 8 months of the year on opposite sides of the world. We grew closer, learned more about ourselves and our relationship, and were grateful to end the year together as one. We celebrated our 1st year of marriage, traveled to Mexico, and planned for an exciting future together.

I completed my first half-marathon in 2010. For someone who was never a runner and never thought I could be, this was a huge accomplishment. I crossed the finish line holding the hands of two of my best friends, and have never felt more proud to face a challenge head on and reach a goal I never thought possible.

This year marked the start of a new career, and the realization that I finally found a career I love and can feel passionate about every day. Being a nurse is never glamorous and is full of physical and mental stress daily, but I’m proud of what I do and the small ways in which I’m able to impact the lives of those I care for. The rewards are endless, and I never doubt my decision to enter the world of nursing.

2010 also brought the biggest challenge Nick and I have ever had to face… infertility. It broke us in ways we never thought possible. We cried together, and were forced to stay strong as one while it felt that the world was trying to tear us apart. We faced huge decisions, and spent days worrying about what this would mean for us and our future. While the struggle remains, our outlook has brightened. No longer do we find ourselves on opposite sides of the battlefield, but rather hand and hand fighting together.

I also got my first tattoo this year at the ripe age of 26. I still feel pretty badass.

So goodbye, 2010, it was fun while it lasted. Now it’s time to see what 2011 can do.

0 comments: