Wednesday, January 19, 2011

McBrayer creatives...

My whole life as an artist has been devoted to the visual arts, mainly painting. And in the past years I have found that crafting and sewing, even if it's just something practical, has become a really good outlet for me. As you may imagine, paints, large jars of water, paper that needs to remain pristine until painted on and small people don't exactly mix well, when they all need their space, and the same space I might add.

Interestingly enough about a year ago I realized I had some things I needed to say. And not being one of words, I allowed myself to be convinced that it just wasn't my medium. I have struggled so much over when, where, how and with what do I allow the burning desire to "create" to run free. So on one of our camping trips last summer, in God's great wilderness of creation, more specifically, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, I found a scrap piece of paper in the car door and allowed it to be my canvas for the first time. I began jotting down some lyrics to a song. With the help of Justin, I managed to compose"Higher Ground" and, later, "Tivoli." Who knew?!? Not exactly your top 10 on the radio but something that has fed my creativity for sure.

Even more out of the ordinary, and yet still in the creative spirit, I was recently invited to play and sing in a developing band, (which is more like a few people that just want a more committed group to jam with). So...I sing my heart out once a week with people I barely know and whom are ridiculously more talented than myself. Crazy and very much out of my comfort zone but it feeds my soul in a way only I could know.

So if you are burning with some creative energy, read this post, reflect and then allow yourself to be encouraged to make the move by prioritizing some time for you to create.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It's a baby belly!

Baby Boy Merritt and me at 16 weeks. Okay... I realize it's not much, but he's definitely starting to... ummm... affect the way my clothes fit!! My pants that fit just right are now uncomfortable to keep buttoned throughout the day. So I'm going shopping tomorrow in Atlanta with 3 other pregnant friends to get some maternity clothes.

Profile shot. Do you see his puckered lips and little nose?
A quick rundown on the pregnancy thus far. I have felt REALLY good, no sickness, no tiredness throughout the day... although I do sleep about 9-10 hours a night now as opposed to my previous 7-8. And I LOVE the new change, I love going to bed early! I have been able to eat anything I liked before and haven't had any real cravings or aversions. I've been able to go walking and Joel got me a prenatal workout DVD hosted by a former Olympic swimmer, so it's pretty serious and will have you sore the next day. I like it! We went on 12/30 for our gender ultrasound and he was SO active. He was kicking and turning and crossing and uncrossing his legs. After showing us his boy parts, he even crossed his legs and covered his parts with both of his hands. Guess he'd had enough! Joel and I are both really excited about having a boy. A quail hunting buddy for him and I'm just so used to my brothers, that I think this will be an easier transition for me. And I started to feel the "butterflies" this week. It's all so amazing!

Baby having hello!

It seems like I'm surrounded by pregnancy in my life! Outside of LeeAnn and Ann in our family, an immediate co-worker of mine is pregnant after 4 years of trying, including invetro that didn't take. She was given a 2% chance of conceiving on her own and she did!! All pregnancies are miracles, but it's especially exciting being able to go through it with her. We were pleasantly surprised with our news and she's been waiting for a long time for this. But it's nice to have each other to go through it together. Two other girls in my small group are pregnant. A girl who started at the bank with me in the MA program, Crystal, is pregnant with a boy AND is due the EXACT same day as me! Joel's two closest cousins' wives are also pregnant. And I could go on... but it feels like I've joined a club or something! Admittedly, I didn't always care for pregnancy or baby talk before I was pregnant. But I always knew that someday, when I was pregnant, I'd be more than happy to join in. And I am!

So I've read that during your second trimester, you usually feel your best and have the most energy so it's the ideal time to get all your planning done. Registry, nursery, decorating, organizing and more. We haven't done any of that yet. Partially because we wanted to know what we were having first and also because we are SO busy. But I've googled some nursery ideas and this morning, Joel and I had what seems like our first Saturday morning at home together in a long time. Oh how I LOVE a morning at home to wake up on your own time and make coffee and breakfast together. I have a new soup recipe in the crockpot (Italian sausage and barley... yum!) and will make Aunt Kay's cornbread in a few minutes. But I had a chance to mention a paint color for the nursery (blue) and Joel asked if we could have a bird dog themed nursery!! Oh my! We already live in rural Alabama, I don't know if I'm ready for guns and camo and hunting stuff in my son's room. So I agreed to maybe an animal theme that included dogs, but I don't know that I'll be looking at Cabela's or Real Tree for the crib bedding!

I feel like I could go on and on! About my midwife that I love, weight gain (I'm doing good according to her, better than she did over the holidays!), work plans, etc. But I'll save you your time and eyes for now! But let me know if I've left something out that you want to know more about!