Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

Good morning everyone! I hope you are enjoying their day off today! It's nice to have another day without work, and some extra qt to spend with my hubby before the real madness of this coming week ensues. I know a lot of you are spending this day with your families maybe on a beach or by a pool- which is where we're headed shortly- but there are a lot of people today that are spending time with their families remembering those who have lost their lives defending our country.
I don't think I fully understood the value of our armed forces until the attacks of September 11th. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I first heard of the attacks in New York and Pennsylvania. I was 15 and I think at an age where I could really appreciate the gravity of the situation. Memorial Day is a day in which we're asked to remember the lives of men and women that have been lost defending our country. Not a day goes by that I don't think about how many lives have been lost since that September and not a day goes by that I don't feel like they died protecting me, personally. I think every man and woman that joins the military, or serves as a fire fighter, or police officer would like for us to be able to feel personally protected. Today honors those lost in all wars, all battles, all instances of normal operations gone wrong. Being from the South I feel like we're raised with this thick Patriotism in our blood. I'm not saying we love America more than people from up North or out West- but where else do you find thousands of people who commit all their free time to reenacting battles from a war that was lost on our side? (the Civil war, of course) Memorial Day originated as a holiday to honor the fallen of the American Civil War, in fact, the first instance of Memorial Day being observed was in Charleston, South Carolina where freed slaves honored their brothers who lost their lives fighting for freedom.
So that's what we do today. All across the nation we honor our brothers, husbands, fathers, uncles, wives, daughters, sisters, and comrades who were brave enough to dedicate their lives for our freedom. I hope today that families all over the world who have their military members at home with them are doing what most of us are doing today and spending time with family maybe at the beach or pool and really embracing that quality time they have- the freedom we have to enjoy ourselves a little bit. To those people for who today is a somber reminder of a loved one lost- I hope you know that America is mourning with you, celebrating their lives with you, and will forever be proud and grateful with you.

Have an awesome day, y'all! Love, Layne

Sunday, May 29, 2011

How things change...

I couldn't have had a more stressful, crazy, happy, sad, basically a more mixed emotions weekend. SO much happened, and didn't happen, and so many things that I thought I would have done in the past I didn't do. It's been such a huge eye opener for me. I know that is all pretty confusing and vague, but I promise to explain.

1. This weekend my group of closest college friends, known as the DBFLs, gathered together in Myrtle Beach for a crazy fun weekend for the first time since we were in school together. One of my oldest friends ever even traveled all of the way from Albuquerque for the event. It had been my plan all along to go down (belly and all) and join them for the festivities of the weekend. Then I got my new job and figured I would have to work this weekend, major bummer, but I knew there was no way around it and I accepted it. Chad knew all along he wouldn't be able to go out of town since this is the weekend before his insurance agency opens, but he wanted me to be able to go even if that meant leaving him behind. When I realized I couldn't go we planned a night trip to Columbia to have dinner with the majority of the group before they embarked on their journey to the epic Myrtle Beach, SC. In an unexpected turn of events I ended up not having to work during the trip and was once again given the opportunity to go to the beach and party with my friends. Except a weird thing happened. My wifey genes kicked in, and I started to think that I should stay in town and help my husband prepare for his business opening. We talked about it at length and he still said he would be okay with me going without him, but I could tell as the weekend drew closer that he was getting more and more stressed. I was fighting two very different instincts: the Layne instinct, and the wife instinct. Layne wouldn't miss a beach weekend, wouldn't miss being at a party with friends, but the wife instinct said to put Chad first. I ultimately decided to stay, be supportive and available for whatever he needed from me to make his life easier. I can't say it's been easy to be here and know that my friends are having fun without me, but I know what I did was the right decision- no matter how much it kinda stinks to be missing are the girls minus Jen this past Wednesday night at dinner.

2. So many things are going on with my family right now. My grandmother went into the hospital on Wednesday of this week due to trouble getting enough oxygen and an insanely fast heart rate of 150. After being on oxygen for a few days and a procedure called a heart oblation, she seems stable, but still unwell. She remains in the hospital until we're told otherwise, but hopefully the procedure and this down time will help her good health to increase. Meanwhile my parents came to Columbia (where I'm from and about an hour from me) for a Parrot Head convention to party and see their friends all weekend. I hadn't seen my daddy in months and knew this was my last chance to see him before he comes for Baby Noah's birth in September. Also, when they leave on Monday they are taking my baby brother with them to move to Arkansas to live with them. Normally, or I should say in the past, this would be pretty emotional for me. I'd be a big ball of sappy, pitiful tears. But I don't feel sad. I'm actually super pumped. I'm so psyched for my brother getting an adventure and a change and for my mom and dad getting to have him around in Arkansas with them! Today after church and teaching my Sunday school lesson I jetted up to Columbia and spent a few hours with my mom, dad, brother and granddad. SO nice to hug their necks! This is my dad and me at lunch!

3. We are experiencing first hand the craziness that ensues when opening a business. Bless my hubby's heart he is being a trooper- but one thing after another keeps going awry. He's doing marvelously with keeping positive and getting a lot of work done, but I know he'll be glad when the office is complete, ready to go, and opened for business. His grand opening is Wednesday June 1st, and the Chamber of Commerce is doing a ribbon cutting ceremony for the agency Thursday morning. It is very exciting, but oober stressful!

If you had told me a few years ago that I would be married, pregnant, have a husband who is a small business owner, family spread across the US and all of it happening at once- I would have laughed in your face. But you know what? That is my life right now. Crazy, stressful, happy, sad, and all in all absolutely FABULOUS.I am truly happier than ever. How has your weekend been so far? Lovely? Layne

Monday, May 23, 2011

I love you, I honestly love you...

What's up people? I just got off of work and I'm sitting on my couch with my swollen piggies perched up on my coffee table. I'm watching Modern Family from last week and thinking about a man....a man I love. I mean truly luuurrrvvee. The hubster?? Nope. I mean, I do love him- but he's not who I'm thinking about right now. My daddy?? Nope not him either. My daddy is one of my favorite people ever, but even he takes a back seat to this man right now. I'm sitting here, thanking God for putting this man on the Earth for giving him to the world...I'm talking about this good looking fellow...

Who is this gentleman? His name is Willis Carrier. He invented the first electric air conditioner. I. LOVE. HIM. I mean it ladies. I LOVE HIM. Today it was almost 100 degrees- and my 6 month pregnant behind was SWEATING!!! I am dreading the next 3's May and it's already this hot. Holy hot flashes, Batman. By the is the latest shot of the bump. It's growing and if you were a starer- which I am a lot, unfortunately- you can see it moving at almost any given minute of the day, Noah is crazy.

So now me, the bump, the swollen piggies, and the dog are watching Modern Family waiting on the hubs to come home, trying to decided if I want to petition for eating dinner out or if I'll regain some strength and energy and attempt to fix us dinner. Hmm, what to do? I actually had a pretty great Monday, the new job is still pretty great, and I managed to kick it in heels all day without feeling too much pain! I hope everyone else had a good Monday, too! They don't come around often, but I'm darn glad when they do! Love ya, Layne

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Weekend in review...

I haven't had too much of a weekend, but what I've had was just great! Saturday was my first day at my new job! I am the new Leasing Specialist at Century Glen Apartments in Augusta, Georgia. I worked 10-5 on Saturday with my new Property Manager, London, who is an absolute doll! We had a slow day but that helped me get organized and acclimated to my new office and the property. Our property is gorgeous! I am so excited about my new opportunity and the experience that is ahead of me! All it took was one day of leasing and touring and everything came rushing back to me. It was like second nature. The property is in a great location for me, it's about 10 minutes from home and it's nestled in between two of Augusta's major roads meaning its minutes from restaurants, grocery stores, and major retail chains that we don't have across the river in North Augusta. It is 5 minutes from Earth Fare so it will be super convenient for grocery shopping! Yay! Tomorrow starts my first full week, and I'm sure there is much more for me to learn - in fact, Thursday we are having a visit from our corporate bosses, investors, and property owners. AKA THE BIG BOYS. Talk about throwing a girl right in there!
Here is a snapshot of my new office! The colors are totally calming and I super love it!

This week holds some big and exciting things and I'm saying big prayers that everything goes according to plan. For one, it is the last week of preparation for the hubby before his agency opens on the first of June. We are going to be slammed getting loose ends tied up and the office itself ready to open for business! Two, I get to see one of my oldest and dearest friends this week for dinner- and I normally only get to hug her neck once a year- SO I absolutely can't wait! Thirdly, my parents are coming to South Carolina this weekend and even though we've both got busy weekends it's going to be such a treat to have Sunday dinner with them.

I hope everyone else had a nice weekend, I'd love to hear about it! Also enjoy the upcoming week and Memorial Day! Love ya, Layne

Friday, May 20, 2011

Five Question Friday

Happy Friday!!! Today is my last day of work with State Farm! Woo Hoo! I cannot conceal my happiness. Working for the lady-agent that Chad is replacing has been a HUGE experience. I hope y'all have exciting weekend plans, mine include my first day of work at the new job tomorrow, at some point putting Noah's crib together, and teaching Sunday School at church! Enjoy the summer, enjoy your families, get some rest and have some fun! Love ya, Layne!

Welcome to Five Question Friday! Let's get this party started!
Rules for Five Question Friday: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky to appear on Friday morning and LINK UP! Oh, andhaving fun is a MUST!
Questions for Friday, May 19th: (Special thanks to
@joleneslavik, @ThisDaddys_Blog,@deannajw, Christine, and Sandy for their question suggestions! I would love to link YOU in a future 5QF, so just c'mon over to my community to offer up your best question suggestions, or just watch for my Twitter shout out for questions and @5crookedhalos me using hashtag #5QF!)
1. Do you and your spouse go to bed at the same time?
2. A question for the ladies...What kind of facial hair do you like on your man?
3. What's the worst vacation you've ever taken?
4. What's the first-ever blog you followed?
5. Do you enjoy amusement parks?
1. Do you and your spouse go to bed at the same time?
That would be a heck no. I get woozy when the clock hits 10pm, normally get in bed around 10:30. Although lately, I think due to pregnancy, my Restless Legs Syndrome has been horrible and keeping me up until 2 and 3 am!! Nothing worse than RLS. Chad is usually up until midnight, in fact most nights he's on the couch the majority of the night because he'll fall asleep watching Sports Center.

2. A question for the ladies...What kind of facial hair do you like on your man?
I love facial hair in general. Alas, my lover doesn't grow facial hair well. He does have some nice chest hair, though ;)

3. What's the worst vacation you've ever taken?
I have no idea. I remember getting really sick on the way to a Disney World trip as a child. And I had a really bad experience horseback riding in the Mexican jungle on our honey moon (can you say 300 mosquito bites??) but I don't think I've ever had a horrible vacation, really.

4. What's the first-ever blog you followed?
A girlfriend of mine when we lived in Florence had a ton of friends who blogged and she got me started blog reading, I have no idea what blog it was...

5. Do you enjoy amusement parks?
Yes! I love rides, and carnival/park food, and pretty much everything except waiting in lines, but I can normally tolerate that better than the average gal...I think I was 3 when I went on my first upside down roller coaster with my Daddy and older brother, Clayton. Is that right, mom? You'd remember better than me! I bunji'd when I was 10- that, too was with my Dadddy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I want some new and interesting reading material!

Since I pretty much did a play list yesterday with my gLee feature, I decided to take a Thursday off from my regular Tune-In schedule. I recently had to switch email addresses due to getting some pretty funky SPAM (that sounds like a venereal disease or something) and in the process I lost my dashboard of all of the great blogs I was following. Sad face. I could remember a few off the top of my head, but alas most of them are gone....

SO! In an attempt at finder greater stimultation and more fabulous women (or men) to follow and be entertained by, I would love for you to email me or post with your favorite blogs! I love mommy blogs, family blogs, Christian blogs, giveaway blogs, not so much coupon blogs, but overall I'm not very picky!

Also, since I'm asking y'all I'll share with you some of my favorites! ---Great for cloth diaper users! --- Book reviews, and rediculously funny accounts of newlyweds enjoying life ---Love her recipes, and features! ---Not your ordinary mommy blog- witty and honest! ---Great giveaways and product reviews! ---What doesn't she do? I am in awe!

Sorry for the less-than-aesthetic lay out, my Blogger has disappeared with my fancy post editing tools... I'm a mess!

Love ya, Layne

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Ode to Music and Food

Hello. My name is Layne, and I'm a gLeek. (Hi Layne) I've been a gLeek for about 2 years now, and I have no plan to recover. After last night's episode which featured one of my new favorite gLee songs ever (My Man), and with anticipation for the Season Finale -aka Nationals episode- I have decided to share with you my favorite gLee songs over the past 2 seasons. It will be very evident from my list, but I am a huge Lea Michele fan. That chick has pipes. Not only is she oober talented, but she sings with passion and heart, and danggit I wish I was her somedays. I've liked her since before the show aired, she was in Spring Awakening on Broadway, and while I never got to see that in person - I did have the soundtrack and watch the cast perform on the Tony Awards, and pretty much loved it! My love for such a wide variety of music makes this list completely random. I not only love the true-blue showtunes, but throwback 80's music and current top100 songs make the list, too. So here are my favorite performances from the past two seasons!

Maybe This Time- Lea Michele and Kristin Chenowith
Bust Your Windows- Amber Riley
Endless Love- Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison
Take a Bow- Lea Michele
No Air- Lea Michele and Cory Monteith
Rose's Turn- Chris Colfer
Touch-a, Touch Me- Matthew Morrison and Jayma Mays
Don't Rain on My Parade- Lea Michele
Take Me or Leave Me- Lea Michele and Amber Riley
I Feel Pretty/Unpretty- Lea Michele and Diana Aragon
Go Your Own Way- Lea Michele
Songbird- Naya Rivera
Rolling in the Deep- Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff
My Man- Lea Michele

Another love I have is for food. I love love love food. I love cooking it, eating it, learning about it, watching cooking shows and competitions. Lets do this again... Hello, my name is Layne. (Hi Layne) I am a foodie, and I've been a foodie pretty much as long as I can remember. It's a long standing joke in my family that from being toted around with my parents on business trips I got used to room service and staying with my grandparents one weekend asked for an assorted fruit plate for breakfast. I was not a snob, I just didn't know that my request was unusual. I was also introduced to the luxuries of Brie and Duck Pate in Elementary School. Before I was pregnant I was a vegetarian for the most part. No meat other than from the ocean. It was one of the healthiest, fittest, best feeling I've ever been. When I found out I was expecting I stayed on the vegetarian course until about 12-14 weeks, and at that point I let my cravings from the growing baby be an excuse to dive into a big fat cheeseburger from Salty Nut Cafe in Columbia, SC. I told myself it would be more work than I was prepared for to try and get enough protein for the baby and me through nuts and beans and faux-meat- but really I think it was a temporary fatty moment on my part and I decided that I'd put meat back on the menu while I was pregnant. I still have not had any chicken in about 8 months. I just can't do it. I know too much, I've seen too much. It just ain't happening.
Last night I went to a Relief Society (women's church group) event with some ladies from church and we had Oriental Cooking lessons. During the eating of our learned recipe I had a great discussion with some women about what you eat reflecting how you feel. One of the sisters told me that she had suffered a lot during her life from health problems and a few years back began eating raw. For those of you who don't know much about the raw food movement- and I only know a little- it doesn't mean baby carrots and broccoli spears- it means unprocessed foods. She eats only raw dairy products that she gets directly from a local farm here near North Augusta. Raw milk, cheese, butter, etc. Her veggies she buys locally and if necessary organically, and her meat, if she eats it, is more than just "free range"(which is a term a lot of farms use too loosley). I know I'm pregnant, but I was embarrassed by the difference in amounts of food on her plate versus mine. She ate like a bird. She explained that through trying different eating habbits and finding what made her physically feel the best she has really learned to be in tune with her body and know what it needs. How awesome is that!? I haven't had any major illnesses, but I have some of the worst allergies of anyone you'll meet. If you have allergies you know they are the worst ever and can lead to pretty much any sickness, so over my lifetime I have been sick (not seriously) a fair amount. I catch things easier, I get migraines, I suffered with chronic tonsilitis until I was 23 and finally had my tonsils removed, worst of all is for years I suffered from vomitting due to excessive post nasal drip- YUCK. As I'm listening to this lady explain how much better she feels and her increased quality of life simply from adjusting her diet and being observant of what she put in her body- it made me think. I can't cure my allergies, I can't speed up my metabolism, but what I can do is be observant and pay attention to my body. I know that when I wasn't eating meat I was the healthiest I had been in several years. Not because meat is unhealthy but because it made me lean toward healthier meal choices and obviously significantly increased my fruit and veggie intake. So, I've been thinking maybe I shouldn't be lazy and use this pregnancy as an excuse, and maybe I should go back to veggies and seafood only. It wouldn't take much effort or change as far as cooking and meal preparation- it would just take me letting go of my new fondness for pork chops cooked on the delicious. I'm going to take another night or two and sleep on the decision, but I'm feeling empowered and a little "amped" up-so I think I'm leaning toward going for it and kicking the meat! It helps that there are so many yummy meat substitutes out there. I'm going to Earth Fare grocery shopping tongiht for inspiration. If any of you have some good vegetarian recipes please post them or email them to me! Like I said, I love everything about food inlcuding learning new tricks and recipes. Wish me luck! Love, Layne

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm facing a Mountain....

Mark 11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

I'm not sleeping. I have way too much on my mind to even think about thinking about sleeping. Does that make sense? No? Well, I told you I'm not sleeping. I'm not getting too upset about the lack of sleep yet (although I'll probably crack soon) right now I'm thinking of it as practice for when Noah is here and I have to get up and feed her every few hours.

I start my new job on Monday. I don't even remember if I have told y'all that I have a new job, but I do- and I'm very excited about it. However, also seriously nervous about it too. After being with State Farm for over three years it's time for me to part ways with the company and start something new. Chad's agency opens it's doors June 1st which is SO soon! He and I decided that for the sake of our marriage and general happiness that I would not be one of his employees. For any of you who know us well, you can probably understand how we arrived at such a decision. We both have extremely strong personalities and, of course, Chad would be the boss. Can you imagine the first time I sassed at him in front of one of his other employees- Lawdy! Not gonna work. I am however doing as much as possible to help him get ready for opening day, and will continue to help train his staff and do pretty much anything he needs as long as I can. While we're not crazy about working together- we're not dumb enough to realize that I'll be a big asset whenever he needs me due to my experience and history with the company....That being said- my new job is as a leasing consultant for an awesome apartment complex in Augusta, GA! I dabbled in leasing for a few months in Columbia and loved it- my only issue was that the property was open on Sundays and that got in the way of my strong belief to observe the Sabbath. My new property is only open Mon-Sat so this works perfectly! I love the job description (sales and customer service) and the ladies I'll be working with seem amazing!

Back to my not sleeping. As excited as I am about a new job that I'm sure I'll love doing, and be good at, I can't help but think about the fact that a short 6 weeks after I deliver Noah, I'll be having to leave her somewhere with someone and go back to work. We've known since we found out I was expecting that the situation we're in would require me to be a working mom for a while. It's not realistic for me to stay home during the first year-or even few years if that is the case while Chad open's a brand new business. I know what I have to do, and I know it's ultimately for the survival and greater good of my family (including Noah) but I can't help fearing how utterly gut-wrenching and heart breaking it will be for me. I lay in bed trying to doze off with visions of me sitting at my new desk in hysterics sobbing over my baby being somewhere with someone else. I try to snap myself out of it, obviously I tell myself there is no other option so I can freak out or I can suck it up, but I have doubt anyway. It's in my mind and in my heart. I don't want to fail my family, I don't want to fail my daughter, and I don't want to fail my new employer by being a total wreck either. I'm typing this thinking it's silly that I'm worrying about this before it happens, but this is typical Layne, I'm a planner I want to be prepared and have a plan, and that means even planning for non-existent, yet-to-happen emotional breakdowns. I worry my child will be a stranger to me, I'll leave her at 7 am and get back to her after 6pm and will that be enough time to get to know her, love her, be with her? I have no idea. I guess that will have to be determined later. Ugh! I just want to snap out of this funk! I have a feeling this will never go away now that I'm going to be a parent.

My sweet husband, I'm sure has thought about all of this, but it's my burden to bear for the time being. He has his own Mountains, and he hasn't really been sleeping either. I wish we had the opportunity to both chug some Nyquil and say "Peace out, world" for 8-24 hrs, it would do us a world of good! He is in serious boss-man mode. He is kicking butt, taking names, and busting heads. He is so awesome, words can not describe how proud of him I am. I am so lucky to have someone working so hard to provide for me and our family. I know a lot of people out there don't have that in their lives and the security I feel from knowing what a good, responsible, brilliant man I married is priceless.

So here is what I know:

-I know my situation and I know what has to be done.
-I know that I am strong. I have never felt stronger in my entire life, and even though I'm terrified I have an amazing husband, supportive family, and loving God standing behind me.
-At some point in the near future Chad and I have to figure out our childcare options- we are a little over 3 months away from Noah being here and we can't put it off much longer.
-My hubby is a business owner and State Farm agent, and in 14 days will have an open office with his name on the front!
-I'm happy. I'm not sleeping, I'm a huge worry-wart and minor complainer. But I am genuinely happy.

I love the scripture verse I put at the top of this post, it's my mantra right now. I'm facing a mountain, but I have no doubt I can move it. I'm the luckiest girl in the world, and my Heavenly Father loves me- with him I can do anything. Love ya, Layne

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sensational Sunday

Good Evening, Everyone! I hope all of you had a fabulous weekend. I had such a great day today, and I'm ending the night on a positive note by talking to all of you! We started the morning with church. My amazing hubby gave a talk in Sacrament meeting about Temple marriage, a topic that is near and dear to our hearts, and very important to all Latter-Day Saints. His talk was serious, heart-felt and emotional, it was exactly what I needed to hear this morning. I could tell by the reactions of several of the other ward members that it touched them as well. I then taught my Sunday school class a lesson on obtaining Eternal life, referencing Mark 10, and Luke 14-16. It was such a great lesson to prepare, I got to really ponder and come to understand new meaning from several of the parables that Christ used to teach while he was on the Earth. What is amazing to me is that each time I read the scriptures I gain more clarity and revelation of the message of the Lord. Teaching the adult Sunday school class was a huge calling to take on, one that was VERY intimidating but after three Sundays I can already feel my faith and testimony growing and I know that serving in this position is blessing me more than it may bless those that I teach.
After church the weather was beautiful! Chad, Morris and I went on a nice walk around the neighborhood- something we've been doing a lot of in order to keep baby Noah and me healthy- and to please Dr. Hitler. I took a very brief (ha!) 3 hour nap and spent the remainder of the afternoon and early evening with a good book. Then I made the best dinner, it was healthy, low-cal and delicious! I thought tonight I would share it with you!

Chik'n with Onions and Tomatoes!

I made this meal and ate it all in one sitting but it could feed two with smaller portions easily. The calories were low enough to do this and it was filling enough to keep me full for the rest of the night. I've had a serious problem lately with after 9pm cravings that I'm trying to put a stop to!

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 360
Total Fat: 15.2 g
Cholesterol: 10 mg
Sodium: 1000 mg
Total Carbs: 20g
Protein: 23.4 g

Quorn Brand naked chik'n cutlets
1/4 to 1/2 vidalia onion
1 tomato
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 tspn light margarine
salt & pepper

So... start with 1tbsp of light margarine in pan and begin to sautee the sliced onion. Dice the tomato and add to the onion after the onion has started to yellow and soften. Thaw 2 chik'n cutlets and slice into strips. Add to the mixture along with a 1/2 tsp of minced garlic (yum!) and the other tspn of margarine. Continue to sautee and add salt and pepper....voila!

The Quorn brand of chik'n is amazing- the consistency and taste is so similar to real chicken it is great when I'm having a craving. As most of you know I quit eating chicken about 8 months ago! I really suggest you checking them out Publix and any Whole Foods or health food stores carry there products. My favorite is to cook them with some balsamic vinaigrette and put it over a salad of baby spinach. Mega yum.

I'm really hoping that today's awesomeness was an indication of how this week will go. It will be my last week with State Farm before I start my new job at Century Glen Apartments in Augusta, GA. Chad is two weeks away from opening his office and I'm bowing out of State Farm work for now...every one keep us in your prayers over the next few weeks!! Big things are happening! Love, Layne

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Oh Baby! Tune-In Thursday Play List...

    Chad and I went to the doctor this morning to have an ultrasound and check-up on Baby Noah! She is super healthy and weighs about 1.5 lbs! We didn't get too many good pictures this time because she had both hands grabbing both of her little feet playing around in there, so it was a bad angle for the sonogram camera. Oh well, we think she's adorable even in black and white and fuzziness! Dr. Hitler told me she only wanted me to gain 11 more lbs before the baby was born because she wanted me to only gain 32lbs total. I am stressing because I don't think I look bad at all, and I don't feel like my body looks bad- especially not for 6 months along. I haven't been working out really, but I have NOT been over indulgent, either. I am not one of those people who eats whatever they want during pregnancy- I'm too scared to get permanently overweight! So- I'm back to tracking my calories with My Plate by and power walking as much as I can- I think the hubs will help push me, too! Probably not a bad thing, but there is a serious guideline hanging over my head- only 10 more lbs before September's going to take effort, but I think I can do it!
    Since last night, and this morning, and today all I can think about is little Noah- the play list this week is all songs featuring the word "Baby". Hope you enjoy! Love y'all, Layne

Tune-In Thursday Play List- OH BABY!

1. Baby Love- Diana Ross and the Supremes
2. Always Be My Baby- Mariah Carey (dedicated to Austin)
3. There Goes my Baby- The Drifters
4. Baby Beluga- Raffi (childhood staple in my house growing up)
5. Sweet Baby James- James Taylor (saw him sing this live- unbelievable)
6. Baby I Love Your Way- Peter Frampton
7. You're Having My Baby- Paul Anka (for all you Gilmore Girl fans who know that Paul Anka is her dog's name)
8. Don't Worry Baby- Beach Boys (my all-time fave BB song)
9. Baby Baby- Amy Grant (first CD I ever owned)
10. Give It to Me, Baby- Rick James (may he RIP)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Guest Blogger: Janet, from I Heart My Glue Gun!

Hey all you Layne's Lovely Life readers!! My name is Janet, and I'm the owner of I Heart My Glue Gun! I am so honored to be over here at Layne's Lovely Life!

I truly love blogging. I've been blogging since February of this year, and it has just been such a joy! I love getting inspiration from other bloggers out there, and implementing the things I've seen into my home! I'm sure you can relate :)

So since I'm visiting over here, I thought it would only be fitting to bring my best! Today, I'm going to show you my dining room table turned from beastly to beautiful!


As you can see, my dining room table was the cream of the crop in 1978 (like my calendar falling off the wall? That's how we roll). It was given to us by our old neighbors, and they gave me all matching 8 chairs! The table was a huge blessing because at the time we had a 4 person table with one of the chairs only bearing three legs, and we had our youth group coming over once to twice a week so we needed something desperately!

But it's 2011. It had burn marks from a hot casserole dish burning through the tablecloth, scratches, cheerios, cup had definitely seen better days.

So after vigorous sanding, Kilz oil based primer, latex satin black paint on the table and Rustoleum's semi-gloss spray paint on the chairs, and a few coats of Minwax Polycrylic gloss, it was as good as new!




Please excuse the missing chair, she was painted later and was having the 3 day cure I did on the table and chairs.

I love it now! I've been contemplating bringing in different dining room chairs to spice it up a bit, but that costs money and a deep hunt on craigslist. So I'm okay with my extremely low cost renovation to my dining room table for now!

Thanks for having me, and please come over to I Heart My Glue Gun to see the guest posts happening all week!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Things that are making me happy...

    Hey friends! I'm at home today, feeling a bit under the weather, so I decided to cheer myself up by doing a "favorite things" post! Here are some things that are making me happy these days! 

homemade breakfast sandwiches
   Every weekday morning I make a breakfast sandwich like the one in the picture. My signature sandwich consists of 1 scrambled egg patty-I get mine precooked in the breakfast freezer section at the grocery store. I put it on wheat bread and melt a slice of low-fat cheddar cheese on top of it. On the other slice of wheat bread I do low fat mayo (made with olive oil), baby spinach leaves, and a salted and peppered fresh slice of locally grown tomato. Yummy!!

the new Sookie book!
   I can't tell y'all how excited I get when a new Charlaine Harris book comes out. It's like Christmas! I just, and I mean 30 seconds ago checked the shipping status on my Barnes and Noble order and my copy should be delivered today!!! It's like reuniting with old friends! This is the 11th book in the series. I'm glad it's finally getting here because it was beginning to drive a wedge between me and my best friends who already have their copies and have finished reading the book.

my boys!
    My boys! These are the two guys who make me happy every single day! One is always ready to snuggle and love on me, and the other busts his butt daily to give me an awesome life! My Momo is the best companion a girl could have. He always knows when I need to be cheered up, he stays close by when I don't feel well, and can ALWAYS make me smile! While my four-legged son is one of a kind, I couldn't live without my hubby, I have the best husband in the whole world. I'm convinced and you wont change my mind. He spends all of his time either working on the new business so that it flourishes and provides us with an amazing future, and the rest of his time is spent helping me around the new house by painting furniture, decorating and now tackling landscaping. He is so good to me and I don't think I could possibly love him more!

   I hope all of y'all have things that make you happy, too. Love, Layne 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The "Great" Room, where greatness happens....

      Happy Mother's Day, y'all!  I hope everyone out there called their mother today and told them they loved them! I haven't posted any pictures of our house in a while, but with the den/kitchen area pretty much finished I thought it would be cool to show y'all some more! 
   The room is huge, so I couldn't imagine painting it a dark color and making it feel smaller, we chose a light blue so light it's barely blue for the walls, and furnished and decorated it with gold and chocolate brown accents. Here are some pictures! Hope you enjoy! Love you, Layne

we have awesome counter space!
view from garage door
will eventually have barstools
Morris says he's the best decoration...
view of den looking into kitchen

view from the breakfast area

P.S. Don't forget about the blog swap this week! Keep checking in everyday! 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Blog Swap Party!!

   So excited you guys! Next week, (date to be announced), I'll be doing a blog swap with Janet from I Heart my Glue Gun! Please stop by her blog to see what she's about, because you are in for a treat! She is super crafty and inspiring!

Five Question Friday

Happy Friday, y'all! I hope everyone had a happy and safe Cinco de Mayo!
1. Have you ever had roommates?

Yes. Some were horrible, some were good, I fought with all of them at some point, and now Chad and MoMo are my permanent ones. Worst roomate ever, you ask? Despite all of my begging and pleading for my friend Mary to room with me in the dorm Freshman year of college at the University of South Carolina, she said no- lets branch out- meet new people, and so we both did the "at random" roomate assignment. Mine was a girl named Dianna (not her real name) and she was from TX and she was obnoxious as all get out. The straw that broke our relationship was that she would come home at night get stark naked and eat Sour Cream and Onion Chips in her bed- in the dark- in the middle of the night while I was trying to sleep. She smacked so loud, and I couldn't eat Sour Cream and Onion chips for years after that. Mary ended up with a marching band member who played the drums, she was nice enough, although I don't remember her name, BUT she was constantly making drum noises no matter what else was going on. We could be watching TV and she would be laying on her bunk "dat da da dun dat da da". Needless to say we transferred dorms and shacked up together right before first semester ended. I was very pleased to tell her "I told you so!"

2. How many names do you/your children have? (i.e. Prince Charming William Phillip Arthur Louis John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt)

The hubster, future baby, and I all have three names. BUT our dog, who we call MoMo for short, has a doozie. His official name is Morris James Witherpoon Sanders Stalvey, Prince of Persia, King of Arabia, a dog and a gentleman. He's not a pure breed, he's a mutt, but we felt like he deserved the same respect any pure-blooded dog would get. ;)

3. Did you watch the Royal Wedding?

Nope, although I did stalk the entire wedding party through multiple media outlets after the fact to judge their fashion and accessories.

4. What is the messiest room in your house?

That's a toughy, probably our bedroom. My husband doesn't believe in making the bed and he's still in it when I leave for work- ipso facto- it doesn't get made.

5. What is your ideal mothers day?

My ideal Mother's day will be next year when I have Noah girl to hug and love on!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tune-In Thursday Play List!!

   Before I give you my songs to download for this week, I wanted to make mention of something really exciting for all of you gLee lovers out there! This morning I read that starting August 12th for 2 weeks only, the gLee North American Tour will be featured in a full-length 3D movie available in theatres everywhere. Ryan Murphy said they want all of the fans to be able to enjoy the concert, even the ones who could afford to pay for concert tickets or get to a city where they're performing live. I'm pretty excited! My playlist this week is totally random, but includes a LOT of great music! In honor of my upcoming DBFL reunion (college best friends group) I have included a song on the list for each member! Have a lovely Thursday, Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Tune-In Thursday Play List:

1. The Waker- Widespread Panic (Brandi suggested in honor of Baby Noah since mommies day is coming up- also a great song to get you going in the morning!)
2. Unpretty/I'm So Pretty- gLee cast mash-up
3. January Wedding- The Avett Brothers
4. Cheated Hearts- Yeah Yeah Yeahs
5. Louisianna Saturday Night- Benji Davis Project
6. Loving You- Paolo Nutini (for Caitrin, the ultimate lover of "baby-making" music)
7. Allison Road- Gin Blossoms (for Dustin who is man pretty and loves the Gin Blossoms)
8. Whisper- Ying Yang Twins (this song is filthy and dedicated to Aviv)
9. Let the River Run- Carly Simon (perfect when sung at the top of your lungs and dedicated to Goose)
10. Your Eyes- Peter Gabriel (for Jenn, because who doesn't love air bongos and the triangle in a song)
11. Oh- Dave Matthews Band (this is the husband's and my song, he's the DBFL president, it was also our first dance)
12. Mud on the Tires- Brad Paisley (for honorary DBFL's Wes and Matt)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It's one of those days where I'm working hard not to be discouraged...

     Many of you know the crazy circumstances surrounding my life right now. There are so many amazing things happening to my family, and we are recieving innumerable blessings. However, on the path to our exciting future we are encountering a lot of stress, snares, and obstacles. We are learning valuable life lessons about time management, priorities, and relying on God's hand in all things. Before we reap the benefits and recieve the fulfillment of our labors we have several years ahead of us that will be full of extremely hard work and dedication on our part to our jobs, to our church callings, and to each other. Some days the excitement of a new baby on the way, new house and city, and my husbands new career is so much that it is all I can do to stop myself from screaming to strangers on the street about how happy I am. I get so high on life I have to pinch myself to come back to reality! Then there are days like I have found it hard to balance all of the things going on in my life, to stop my mind from racing, and to stop thinking about the negative and focus on the positive.
    Coincidence or not this morning I spent a few minutes looking up information on Satan for my mother. She is Episcopalian, while I am a Latter-Day Saint (Mormon) and we share a great deal of the same religious beliefs but we also differ in a lot of them as well. She is doing a Bible study and they discussed the topic of Satan and she expressed interest to me in our views and beliefs on the topic. So this morning I went to the church website and looked up "Satan" and "Devil" and sent her some scripture and talks from General Authorities that sum up some the way the Church feels about the Adversary. This has pretty much saved my day for me, or at the least stopped me from having a total breakdown. I've been able to recognize that no matter how stressed or upset I feel right now, that those feelings are Satan trying to distract me from the amazing things I should be focusing on. I should be always elated at the blessings from Heavenly Father and be able to think of them and look to Him when the going gets rough. It's a simple thing but counting my blessings one by one is a really quick way to snap out of feeling down or sorry for myself. Writing like this to y'all is already helping me feel better. I am also so lucky to have a husband by my side who is with me through all of this to not only support me but understand when I slip up and let the stresses of every day life take a toll on my attitude and emotions.
    So today, when I get spare seconds here and there, I am focusing on persevering, enduring, and staying positive. I've got a lot of Bible verses and famous quotes that are helping me today. So if you're having one of "those" days whether you're religious or not, Mormon or Espicopalian, male or female I hope these help you like they're helping me! Love ya, Layne

Awesome Quotes:

"Success is usually earned by persevering and not becoming discouraged when we encounter challenges. Paul Harvey, the famous news analyst and author, once said: 'Someday I hope to enjoy enough of what the world calls success so that someone will ask me, ‘What’s the secret of it?’ I shall say simply this: ‘I get up when I fall down.’
An outstanding example of perseverance is Madame Marie Curie, who worked together with her French physicist husband, Pierre Curie, “in an old abandoned leaky shed without funds and without outside encouragement or help, trying to isolate radium from a low-grade uranium ore called pitchblende. And after their 487th experiment had failed, Pierre threw up his hands in despair and said, ‘It will never be done. Maybe in a hundred years, but never in my day.’ Marie confronted him with a resolute face and said, ‘If it takes a hundred years, it will be a pity, but I will not cease to work for it as long as I live.’She was eventually successful, and cancer patients have benefited greatly from her perseverance." --James E. Faust

"Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak." Thomas Carlyle

"When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn." Harriet Beecher Stowe
"Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens." Kahlil Gibran
But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Proverbs 4:18
Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. 1 Chronicles 16:11
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer. Romans 12:12

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sometimes there is nothing better than a good book!

      I am so excited because today I ordered the brand new book from the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. I have read all 11 books so far, and I'm completely obsessed with them. These books are what the HBO show True Blood is based off of, however the show is complete trash (in my opnion, mind you), border line soft-core porn, really. The books have the same characters and slightly same plots but are not as dark and debaucherous as the show, they're actually pretty humorous. Charlaine writes her characters with amazing sarcasm and wit. Don't get me wrong, there are romances and therefore there are intamacy scenes but they're appropriate enough for a grown adult to not read and cringe over. At least not this adult. I can't get enough of the love-hate romance between Sookie, the book's heroine, and Eric the Viking Vampire with a huge ego and uncharacteristic adoration of Sookie. My mom and 4 of my best friends and I started this series a few years ago, and about once a year we all either send or recieve a mass text with the release date for the next addition to the series. It's like Christmas!
     There is nothing I like better than a good book, I don't limit myself to one genre, I read everything. Once a year, at the beginning of Summer, I read my favorite book of all time, Pride and Prejudice. I have a thing for English literature, I love Austen, the Bronte sisters, and Forster. I am also a huge fan of Irishman, James Joyce. Six months ago I picked up a copy of Much Ado About Nothing, and found myself seriously enjoying Shakespeare's humor as I became more familiar with his writing and adept at reading it. So, there is a huge place in my heart for classics, but I'm not a book snob. I've also read the Twilight Series- 5 or 6 times over. The entire Vampire Diaries series (noticing a theme?) and a ton more fiction, sci-fi, drama, and non-fiction pieces of literature. I am ALWAYS in the mood for a recommendation. So please take the time to comment and tell me your favorite book, or a new one you've read that you would suggest to a fellow bibliophile. Here are a few favorites of mine and a few that I'm hoping to read soon! Love ya, Layne

Lovely Layne's Good Reads:

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (if you go into it knowing it is a downer you will appreciate the writing more)
Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie (perfect beach book-guilty reading)
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man- James Joyce
Close Range by Annie Proulx (this woman has a twisted sense of humor and irony)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk (his stuff is a little too vulgar for me these days, but I used to love him and this was my favorite book of his)
Redeeming Love and Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers (awesome feel-good, faith building books)

Lovely Layne's Need to Read List:

Poison Wood Bible- my mom's favorite
Grapes of Wrath- don't judge, I know I need to read it but I don't really want to read it.
Pioneer Woman's book

Monday, May 2, 2011

Trying not to over-think and over-prepare is harder than it seems...

    I noticed this weekend when our friends were staying with us that all I think about, and all I want to talk about is Noah. Our visitors from this weeked don't have kids yet, although the wife is a nanny so she knows what I am talking about, and doesn't mind (I hope) my incessant babbling about babies. However, I found it a little sad, and mildly depressing that I had to keep snapping myself back to "reality" and to talking about and focusing on things other than my pregnancy. I kept thinking 'don't be that girl, Layne' no one cares that the baby is wiggling right now, and they don't care that the dog acts funny around you- just chill out and talk about something else- anything else. I'm finding it hard to remember the things that were fun and exciting to me before this happened, I would have to put in a large effort to come up with something to discuss that would be relevant to my life other than this- what did I like 5 months ago?? Then last night after talking to a lady I love, who is a mother, I realized maybe I'm being too hard on myself. My whole life is changing, and it is difficult to ignore something being inside of your body and probably really normal that it is all I can think about. At this point, I think it's a good thing that I'm being proactive and acknowledging the all-consuming effect having a baby is taking on my life, she isn't even actually here yet, so at least I'm getting a jump start for when she is here. Then, Lord help us, because no one will want to talk to me, I'm sure. All I'll want to do is talk about her little hands and feet, and smiles, and I can't even think about it now because I'll sit here all day daydreaming.

    I'm a month or two away from the time for baby showers and gifts yet, but we're over half-way  through the pregnancy so we registered for little Noah at a couple of places. Right now I keep my eyes open to new products and developments of things that our family and daughter will need, but there is SO much stuff out there. I recently posed a question on facebook to mommies about their opinions on swaddlers and sleep sacs. I'm ridiculously clautrophobic so it is hard for me to imagine that it would be safe or enjoyable for a baby to be bundled up so tightly. However, I spent several years nannying and I've seen from experience how being swaddled can calm a fussy infant. I guess my qualms come from the sleep sacs, and putting an older than newborn baby in a crib unable to move its arms and legs to help itself if it get smothered by a blanket or mattress. My inquiry got a lot of response, and some really good answers. I was referred to a site and program called Happiest Baby on the Block for one, which is founded by a doctor who advocates swaddling, but more importantly I noticed that every mom's opinion varried based on what they found was right for their child. What I've realized is that I can plan and debate on products and programs, and game plans all I want, but when Noah gets here she will let me know if something isn't working or if something is. It is just so difficult to wait and not over-think it. I want more than anything to be able to sit back and relax and enjoy this pregnancy and all that it entails, I guess my brain and personality is just not going to let it go down that way ;)

    I've been super snooty in the past at over protective and overly-anything moms. I would smirk when a mother or grandmother would have a cow because a baby didn't have socks on its feet or 3 blankets wrapped around it. I think it's funny when parents get squirmish or even upset when a dog licks a child, and I've felt like telling people to take chill pill when their baby or toddler was exploring new things, gadgets, and toys that they kept rippng out of their hands making the baby want it even more. Now, I'm freaking out over sleep sacs, wondering if I'm going to turn into the mother that I've silently judged for so long. This having a kid thing is exhausting and I'm not even to the hard part yet. Sheesh. Mother's day is this coming weekend and I have to say I know now more than ever how much of a shout out moms everywhere deserve. If not this one day a year- year round!! I love my momma and grandmother, and all that they have done for me, and one love to the new mommies and veteran mommies out in the world doing their best to be what their children need! I have tremendous respect and admiration for all of you! Love, Layne