its beginning to look a lot like...

The day after Thanksgiving we went up to the mountains in Asheville, North Carolina for a quick little day trip.  
It is our family tradition to always get a tree from the North Carolina Mountains.  Even though this year I know traditions will change, this is one my heart couldn't bare to let go of.
So, 8 months pregnant I trapsed up and down the mountains with my hubs, sister, and father in search of the perfect tree.  We found it.

We ended the evening with dinner at the Grove Park Inn and watched the sun and Venus set behind the western North Carolina mountains.

I have a pretty fantastic story to share about mine and Mr. Murphy's first Christmas tree together but it is going to have wait until tomorrow.  Until then here are a few glimpses of what Christmas is turning up like in our home.
star paper garland made out of an old Jesus the Christ book from the 70's
idea for "O Holy Night" framed on the mantel was inspired by this lovely lady, she has some other great DIY's too

Merry Christmas!


a shower for a little girl

A couple of weeks back my soul friend threw me and Miss EJ a baby shower.  It came complete with vintage children's books, baby's breath, homemade bread and jam, pomegranate punch served in mason jars with striped straws, and beautiful friends and family.

 (this was a tough shot. ladies hold still and look at the camera...1...2...3.)

I feel so incredibly blessed that Evaleigh is already loved so much.  If my friends love her as good as they love me then she will be such a lucky girl.
I can't believe how quickly the time is passing.  Everyone says that the end of my pregnancy will draaaaaaaag on, but I feel like its speeding up.  We only have 7 weeks and a few days left.  We went to the doc today and she is already 4 pounds 4 oz.  I bet she is ridiculously cute.  
I can't wait to kiss her little face all over.

Thank you everyone for making it such a perfect afternoon, I love you girls!

(p.s. like how i am catching flies in all of these pictures?  i thought i'd make it a theme...it's no coincidence.)



This Thanksgiving I have so much gratitude in my heart. 

i am grateful for my incredibly selfless and hilarious husband, i love him so
i am grateful for my baby girl growing and kicking inside of me
i am grateful for the sparkling pumpkin spiced cider chilling in my refrigerator for thanksgiving dinner
i am grateful for a family that loves me despite my pregnancy mood swings (i cry pretty easily these days)
i am grateful that tomorrow Mr. Murphy is putting up EJ's crib after we eat til our heart's content
i am grateful for the joy that The Gospel of Jesus Christ brings to my life
i am grateful to snuggle in bed with my little sister and her babe even though she won't let me put my feet on hers
i am grateful for music
i am grateful for my disappearing belly button
i am grateful for bosom friends
i am grateful for a warm home to live in, clothes to put on my body, and food to feed my belly

Happy Thanksgiving to all


milk glass

(on the Glenn Murphy Ranch)

I can't believe we have a little more than 8 weeks until we meet our little girl.  
Even with a ginormous belly, feet that sometimes resemble that of a hobbit, hellacious heartburn, and feeling a tiny person move inside me I still have moments where I think, "Wait, am I really pregnant?".  
The reality of all of this still seems so unreal.
I feel so lucky to have been given the gift of becoming a mother so freely.  While I know this is not the case for every one, John and I were able to get pregnant so easily and quickly.  That incredible blessing does not go unrealized in our prayers every single night.  
I am truly grateful for that blessing and my heart feels so full that we were granted this sacred responsibility and immense blessing to become parents.

I had a break down in the car on the way home from Florida this weekend.  At first I started to cry because my back right hip was hurting.  I had 3 pillows smushed in different shapes all around me trying to relieve the discomfort.  I began to cry and John reached over to try and massage it out.  He asked me, "Are you feeling nervous?" 
I wasn't, then with that question...I was.
Then I wasn't crying about my hip anymore.
I started thinking about how much our lives are going to change and the huge adjustment we have ahead of us.
I started hoping and hoping that I could be the best mother for our precious daughter.
I was nervous about labor and hoping that I'll be as brave as I plan to be.
Man, this pregnancy thing is a roller-coaster.
I don't even know if there is a word to describe all of these pre-mother emotions.  It is the most terrifying and glorious thing all wrapped up in one.  I want to protect her and keep her in my belly forever and at the same time I want to have her as soon as possible and show her the beauty of the world.
Ready or not, here she comes...and in her own time no doubt.

We get the crib tomorrow.  Her room is coming together bit by bit.

Is Thanksgiving really in 2 days?  How did that happen?


orange grove: a short film

We've spent this weekend with our family in Florida.
It was a beautiful Friday on the ranch.  We picked oranges and grapefruits, went riding in the back of the truck, and looked at old records from the barn to take home and play for EJ.
We love it down here so much.
Enjoy a little film of our Friday:

*they always pick the best faces for the still shot on these videos...i swear.


orange grove sneak peek

I am out of my mind excited to share the photos from our shoot today with Audrey Layne.
Even though it was 85 degrees in this Florida orange grove I got my Mr. to wrap up in a blanket with me and wear coats and scarves and pretend like it was the dead of winter.
Audrey was so much fun to shoot with.
I can't WAIT to see the rest of the pictures!

Until then, here is a citrusy little taste...

P.S. Can we all still be friends after you saw my ugly cry face from yesterday?  Good.


there are 5 people in these pictures

Congrats little sister (& Joe!).  
We can't wait to meet your baby boy in May.


busy busy busy

I have been a busy lady these past few days.  
Mr. Murphy and I are getting ready to leave for Florida on Wednesday.
We are going down to the ranch for his cousins wedding.
I just love weddings.
While we are down there we will be having our family pictures taken by the ever so talented Audrey Layne (who we just so happen to be related to! Lucky us!) I was able to talk John in to doing these pictures by bringing up the fact that it will be our last chance for pictures together without the babe in tow.  
He hates having his picture taken...perhaps his only flaw.

I have been a crafting fool trying to get a few things ready for our shoot.

(This banner was printed on brown paper bags from Publix.
Free font found here.)

P.S. Can't wait to share pictures from my beautiful baby shower this past weekend.  They will go up as soon as I get them from my sister's camera.  I had a lovely time ladies, I love you all!!


I got what I wanted I got what I wanted!!!!

Tuesday we went to have a 4d ultrasound done of our little lady.
This place in Buckhead is amazing because not only do they give you dozens of pictures BUT they record the entire ultrasound session and you take home a DVD and watch it again and again.  Or if you are like me, you fall asleep while watching it sitting up in bed then you wake up with a ferocious neck cramp.  YOWZA.  
I blame pregnancy narcolepsy.

We took my mother and I am oh so glad.  There is nothing like seeing her get so excited to see her granddaughter.  
EJ is one lucky broad.  
Her other Grammy even stayed up and anxiously awaited the pictures to be sent to her via email and fawned over each and every one.

It is a miracle to see that little thing in there moving around.  It was like peeking in to heaven.  
We got to see her open and close her tiny fists, stick out her tongue, drink some amniotic fluid (YUM!), stretch her neck back, and smile.  
Truly, one of the happiest moments of my life so far.  
I was talking to her and I said, "Evaleigh, you are SO beautiful"  and in that very moment...she smiled.  It was like she heard me.  Pure coincidence, perfect timing?  I'm just not sure but that baby girl gave her mama the best gift she could that day.
The ultrasound tech said that she had some seriously rockin' lips. 
EJ has her daddy's plump lips.
Is it bad if I admit that that is something I literally prayed for?

Here is our little contortionist.  She had all four limbs right up next to her beautiful face.  

We got 79 pictures but I am sure that they are not all as exciting to everyone else as they are to us so I will use a great deal of will power and restrain myself and just post two. 
(even though i'd like to show off her glorious profile her foot and nose and lips and long fingers and her elbows and the hair that the tech said she already has and about 20 angles of the killer pouty lips she is sporting.)

I'm going to be one of those moms.  
Hold me back.


this year will be different

This morning as I stood over my waffles and buttered them up, I cried.  
Perhaps it was a wave of pregnancy hormones or perhaps it was that I got syrup on my shirt but it was a cry that needed to come out.
This year the holidays are going to be different.  I'm not quite sure how to handle them yet.  
Since my parents divorce this year I have tried to be quite strong.  The fact that we will not all be together completely as a family again is staring me in the face, especially during this time of year.  
No matter what, someone will be alone.  
No matter what someone will have their feelings hurt.  
As a tender-hearted person I can hardly let this fact enter my mind without pain.
My sister and I have gone round and round about how to do the holidays this year so that things can go as smoothly as possible.  It is all of the sudden so complicated, there are so many feelings and tender emotions involved.
Suddenly traditions have become a little painful and we are earnestly trying to create new joyful things to do.
Parents dating, people moving on, new faces and personalities to get used to...I didn't ever expect for these things to join our lives.

Then in the midst of all of this worry and fear of the unknown something important surfaced in my mind.  
I have one thing to truly concern myself with.
MY family.
John, Rachel, and Evaleigh.

Something my brother Steve told me when my parents were first divorcing was that once you are married you start a new unit.  Your family is then your husband and the children that come along.
After you create that unit, that is the most important thing you have.
I am finding this now to be ever so true.
There will always be turmoil and trial outside of our little family of 3, and undoubtedly in due time inside our family too, but I mustn't let these other things consume me.

I am happy, John is happy, and after seeing a sweet smile on EJ's face yesterday during her ultrasound, I know that she is happy too.  We are going to give her the best home and the best love that we know how.  We will learn as we go and try to always tell her how beautiful she is and how much we love and cherish her.

Sure, this year will be different but everything is going to be ok.  
I am full of hope.



We are twenty nine weeks (30 on Saturday).  
I can't believe I have been pregnant for 7 months.  
That's a long time.  
I am starting to get anxious to meet her.  I think going to the hospital made everything quite real.  I can't stop thinking about meeting her for this first time.  We are going for an elective 4d ultrasound today.  We will get to see a little peek at what her face looks like.  I kind of feel like we are cheating but it has been 2 and a half months since our last ultrasound and I am dying to see how she has grown.
I know I have...

Today I have piles of laundry to hang up and no motivation with which to start.  I am feeling quite overwhelmed with EJ's nursery as I am alone during the days most of the time.  I haven't really stepped foot in there in over a week.  Hopefully we can make some headway in there this weekend.  

I think I will try to finish reupholstering the couch in there today.  I CANNOT WAIT to show it off.  It was my great grandmother's couch, so stayed tuned for that project.  

Here is a little sneak peek.....

I better get my hiney in gear and work in there while I can still manage.  I miss the days where I didn't let out a large GRUNT or GROAN every time I leaned over to pick something up.  She is sitting so low I feel like I have a bowling ball in my tum.

P.S. Thank You to Spearmint Baby for our little feature.  We will be sure to send the finished Nursery Pictures your way!  


he finally caught up

Mr. Murphy caught up with me this weekend.  We are both back to being the same age.  

We had Turkey Chili, Chocolate and Coconut Milk Cake from the little red house, a bonfire, friends, baby boys, and a little night music.  It was a simple and lovely night in the cool weather underneath the stars.  The chili was the perfect thing to warm us up next to the fire.

Happy Birthday to the man of my dreams.

See Mr. Murphy's birthday last year here.


whoa, those are really big rooms.

Today we went for our hospital tour to see where Miss EJ will be born.

Is it weird that I was more nervous about finding out and knowing where to park the car than the actual birth?  
I'm sure that will change...mostly because now we know where to park.

There were 3 other couples in our tour plus one really really excited grandmother.  I loved walking around in the group holding Mr. Murphy's hand.  All of us were first time moms and each of us had the pregnant waddle down like pros.  We were all accompanied by our spouses, or to be politically appropriate as the hospital must say, "our birthing support partner." Hah.

We were both thoroughly impressed with the largeness of the Labor and Delivery rooms.  Our tour guide was very informative.  
However, it is kind of weird to hear words like, "stirrups, circumcision, and that special 'v' word" in mixed company.
Although nothing was more awkward than when the tour guide showed us the BIRTHING MIRROR.  Talk about a moment you're not ready to experience with a crowd of strangers for the first time.  All of us were giggling like middle school children.  Suffice it to say that no hospital tour should conceivably be complete with out seeing the fully rotatable birthing mirror, that's what made it for me.

Well, in all seriousness the real magic happened when they took us up to the nursery.  The tour guide was jabbering on about visiting hours or some other helpful information and it was like everything around me melted away.  There, in the nursery, was a tiny newborn baby girl laying in her bassinet.  She was a beautiful pink and freshly out in to the world scrunching her tiny toes.  She opened her little eyes for a small moment only to squint and drift back to sleep.  
Tears welled up in my eyes and all I could think of was our EJ in her first moments of life as a perfect beautiful small baby that I made with the one I love the most.  I buried my head in Mr. Murphy's chest to hide my watery eyes and having a baby never seemed more real than in that moment.

I tuned back in somewhere around talking about birth certificates.
Today was wonderful.  
I have never felt more ready to park the car and have my life changed forever.


dear pregnancy brain, you ruin everything.

Dear Pregnancy Brain,

You and I need to have a talk.

You see, the last week or so I have been building up husband's birthday surprise and doing a really great job of keeping it a secret.  Secrets can be hard for me, especially when its a gift.  I really thought I was going to make it this time.
Then you came along and ruined everything.

Remember yesterday when all I wanted to do was show Mr. Murphy a picture of my new bangs then you decided to butt in and be all, "BAM, it'd be a great idea to take a picture of yourself in the car and make sure to include his birthday present in the background."

That was rude.  

Can you stop making me stupid now?


Happy Birthday to my sweet husband of 24 today!

I made Mr. Murphy promise me to still act surprised.
I was so close...SO close.


time to bundle up that bump

It is so very fall here.
We have been putting off turning on the heat, but this morning when I woke up with a numb arm and the thermostat in our bedroom said 62 degrees...I finally gave in.  

I'm running that baby all day while I:

wash our sheets
plan for Mr. Murphy's birthday this weekend
look up ideas for our upcoming family photo shoot on The Glenn Murphy Ranch in the orange grove
listen to Christmas music
bask in the glow of the Holidays
and practice for my coaching with this guy for this weekend.

Its time to start wrapping this little bump up.  The sad thing is that I am learning that I no longer fit in to any of my old coats or winter clothes.  Do I have to buy a whole new pregnant winter wardrobe?

We are 29 weeks on Saturday.
Oh, how I love this little girl already.
I had a talk with her in the car last night on the way home from work.  It was just her and I in the car, mother and daughter.
I love the time we have together just the two of us because pretty soon I am going to have to share her with the rest of the world.
I'm not very good at sharing sometimes.
I like to tell her about the things we want to teach her and how many people love her so much already.  I tell her how lucky she is that she is coming to such a loving family.  I love knowing that she really can hear me and she is learning my voice and knows that I am her mother.  I can't wait to put a face to all of these little kicks.


back to the basics

This past whole week has been some what of a blur.

But a soul touching blur none-the-less.

Last Thursday when I came home from work I gave my honey a kiss as he lay sprawled out on the couch.  

It took me a moment to realize that his hand was all bandaged up. Once I fawned over him and kissed him to death, I finally settled down the hear the story of what happened.

Before we go on lets just agree that husbands are still just little boys in big bodies.

So Thursday after I left for work John and our brother in law went outside to have a little fun.  They drilled holes in to a stump in the fire pit and then put 410 shotgun shells in the holes.  Then they thought it would be an excellent idea to shoot at the shells with a bb gun to see if the shells would go off.  And off they went.  One of the shots fired hit the shell and it exploded and the bb ricocheted straight in to Mr. Murphy's hand with the force of black powder behind it.

At the time we didn't know if the bullet was in his hand because FOR GOODNESS SAKE, ITS A BB!!  Those things aren't even supposed to penetrate the skin, we thought that the bb just bounced off of his hand.

That morning around 4am he couldn't sleep because of the pain.  So, we got up and went to the Emergency Room.  They took us straight back and did and x-ray (which can be seen below).  The x-ray tech was all, "You know I'm not supposed to diagnose you or anything but that right there is a bb....in your hand...two inches deep."

The asian doctor, who spoke broken English says to us pointing to the fleshy palm of John's hand, "If bb was here I could maybe do something, but bb is HERE," pointing to the middle of his hand, "and I am not messing with that."

So, we had to schedule emergency orthopedic surgery on John's hand for a few hours from then.  We went to Athens and they removed the bb and or course John wanted to keep it, we will probably put it in some sort of shadow box and hang it on the wall for all of our posterity to see.

Believe or not...that was all of the easy stuff.

In the nights following his surgery he would wake up almost every hour in complete discomfort and pain.  Little did we know his body was fighting an allergic reaction to his antibiotic but most of the pain was being masked by his pain medicine.  Night after night his temp would spike and he would wake up with the shakes.  I would hear him moaning in pain and it would break my heart that I couldn't make his pain go away.  I never want to see him like that again.

Night before last was the worst.

He was on call for work and we were waiting up for him to make a test call to Mumbai, India, which had to be made at 1:45am because of the time difference.  He fell asleep and I stayed up to make sure he would get the call.  
When the call came through...he didn't move.  
I began to call his name and still...nothing.  
I started shaking him and moving his head around and I was getting no response.  
In that moment everything flashed before my eyes and I was terrified.  
I felt for a pulse and because I was on the wrong spot I didn't feel a thing.
After a few more violent shakes he finally came to.
I can sufficiently deem that as one of the most terrifying moments of my life.
The next morning I made the first available doctors appointment and on the way I noticed that he had red hives all over his legs and thighs.  This could not be good.  The doctor concluded that it was indeed his antibiotic that was poisoning his body.  If we had continued giving him those meds it would have progressed in to Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.  What ever you do DO NOT google image search that, you you can't take back what you will see.

All of this has had me thinking about my sweet husband and our little life together.
It is so sacred.
Every single tiny moment.
The past week my long list of errands, projects, and "to-do's" melted in to one simple thing.
Be there for John.
That span of 10 seconds when I thought there was a possibility I would have to live my life with out him was so dark.  I am reminded of the blessing it is to be a wife.  I am humbled by the chance I have to carry our child and to be an eternal family.  I cherish the simple moments where I can wake up and watch him sleep for a few minutes, just as I did this morning.  I take pride in bringing him food to eat and filling his belly.  I love washing his clothes and putting away his undies.  I like putting my cold feet on his when we are drifting off to sleep.  I feel lucky when I get to hold his hand in the car.  I love hearing him pray for our daughter.  I am resolving a new to live my life with humble and simple gratitude each and every day.  
I am so grateful for life.
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