We moved into our new house on Wednesday November 1st, the day after Halloween (never a good day to move for future reference!). Luckily, the move went amazingly well thanks to movers and our awesome families. Clint’s parents came in town from Indiana and my Mom was here all day and then siblings dropped by to help out where they could when they could. I couldn’t really do a thing because I was focused on not going into labor so I basically directed traffic and drove the car around picking up kids and driving loads between houses.
Starting Thursday my wonderful inlaws began the remodeling process for us by painting the baby’s room! It was a really lovely bright blue and we went with a subtle grey (SW Crushed Ice). They also put up the crib and arranged the furniture, so we are pretty ready in case baby girl decides to come early! Still have lots of little decor things I’d love to get done, along with washing all of the baby clothes, etc, but all things considered we are looking pretty good.
My Mom and I worked on settling things into the new house- organizing the mudroom that is going to be our makeshift kitchen while we remodel. And put together the master closet and master bath (including scrubbing the bath from top to bottom!) There’s just nothing quite like having your Mom close by to help out when you’re 37 weeks pregnant and feeling completely helpless- so very grateful.
My brothers company, Mitts Builders, jumped right in too! Mitch started working on the kitchen cabinets because we are changing the hinges from exposed to hidden hinges. The basement is set up like a mini workshop and the painters will be able to spray the cabinet doors down there to hopefully cut down on some fumes in the house. The kids and I will likely stay out of the house the majority of next week while they paint the cabinets (SW Pure White).
Prior to close we had already bought/picked out most of the things needed for our kitchen remodel which is the first “big” project of this house. We bought all of the appliances and had them delivered the day after move in. Countertops are picked out and will be templated Monday of next week. Paint colors were decided on Thursday morning with the help of Katie Zeller from Ash Drive Design (amazing!).
Clint demoed the backsplash tonight and will hopefully hang the drywall this weekend. There is still a lot of prep work that needs to be done prior to paint on Monday so we will be hunkered down for the weekend trying to accomplish everything and then should (hopefully?!) be pretty hands off until the painters finish and the countertops are installed! I already can’t wait to see the finished project- I hope to keep the pics and updates coming!
Another year, another theme! This year we did Peter Pan which turned out to be SUPER easy (thankfully!). The kids have never even seen Peter Pan, and I tried to buy it but it was like $65 on Amazon and I definitely didn’t want it that badly. They totally bought into the theme even with little knowledge of the movie so we ran with it.
I found August’s Captain Hook costume at our local Rhea Lana’s consignment sale this September and that was a huge win! I made a pair of maroon fleece pants for him to wear and added a pair of Shae’s Moto boots to complete the look- done and done!
Emmett’s Peter Pan costume was super easy as well. I pretty much only sew with fleece because you don’t have to finish the edges, and its so forgiving. I made a pair of fleece pants and tunic and then a really simple hat out of felt and super glued a feather on. Add Shae’s old moccasin boots and a belt- check!
Even Shae’s costume this year was relatively low key. I bought some really stretchy fabric that I was a little worried about working with (remember- fleece only usually!) and sewed a little leotard. I totally guessed on the pattern and accidentally made the bum just a little too skimpy- luckily you couldn’t see that part and she never complained! Added some tights, a tulle tutu, and some wings and she was ready to go too.
Under the circumstances of life right now I’m pretty happy with how everything turned out and the kids all seemed to love their costumes! I don’t feel like they wore them as many times this year- only 3 actually- but I think that was just because we had so many other things going on that we couldn’t attend all of our typical Halloween events 😦 Hopefully next year won’t be quite as chaotic, and hopefully I can get them to agree to a theme for at least one more year!
I have clearly been horrible at blogging through my 4th pregnancy, but honestly that is because it has been pretty uneventful! All of my other pregnancies had really weird things happen during them, but this time has been pretty smooth sailing (prayers that keeps up the next 2+ weeks!).
After all of the drama around 20 weeks I have really just tried to embrace being pregnant, because there is a good chance this is my last pregnancy. That is such a weird concept to me so I definitely can’t say it IS my last pregnancy, but I’m thinking I’m going to feel pretty maxed out with 4 kiddos.
I went for my 36 week check this past Tuesday, and we had an ultrasound that showed Baby G is head down (reaaaaally low) and is looking like 6+ lbs. My fluid is on the low side so we are going to check it again next week when I go in on Monday. The Dr. also checked me and I am dilated to a 2cm and 75% effaced. I’m pretty sure I’m always that dilated by this point, but I never remember feeling like I was that close to going into labor after being checked. I think part of it was the anxiety of moving the next day, but I laid awake for hours that night willing my body to stop contracting and the baby to stay put for at least another week!
So here I sit at 37 weeks… I can’t believe with Shae’s pregnancy she was here 4 days from now! Not sure I’d be ready for that quite yet, but it does start making me really excited/anxious for Baby G’s arrival! I’m feeling huge and uncomfortable as is customary for these last 4 weeks of pregnancy, so while I’m not quite ready for her arrival yet, I am pretty ready to be done being pregnant.
The Gallagher family thrives off of chaos apparently! So heres a little update of what has been going on in our life the last few months…
Last April I got my real estate license, and from that point on Clint and I were obsessed with looking at houses and talking about what our next house may look like. For us this is probably one of our biggest mutual hobbies so it was really fun to look online every night and we usually went to see 1-2 houses a week for several months…. Fast forward to Labor Day weekend 2017 and there was a house that I had been eyeing for a few months. It was listed for well out of our price range so I had never seriously considered it, but it also wasn’t selling so I finally showed it to Clint and told him I thought we should at least go look. We scheduled a showing for 8am the next morning- it was vacant so even though it was a weird time it worked. We took the kids with us and planned to head straight to the lake after running through the house quickly….
Well, the second we walked in we both looked at each other with that “Oh sh**” look… We absolutely fell in love. It was a total mess- not gross mess, but not well maintained (think trees growing in gutters) and out of date (red, green, and yellow walls- oh my!), and just perfect for us! We loved the floor plan and instantly saw a ton of potential in this house. So we thought about it and talked about it for 2 weeks and finally decided that we may as well make a really really low offer and just see what happened- what did we have to lose?!?
So our initial offer wasn’t accepted, but once we threw in my commission we came to terms with the seller and we were under contract on September 20th by 10PM. Here’s where the chaos really starts… We left town early the morning of September 21st for a wedding and didn’t return until Sunday the 24th. We had a “to-list punch list” about a mile long but somehow Clint managed to knock it out and our house was on the market by September 28th.
We had about 20 showings in 3 days and were under contract by Friday… so basically we had been incredibly busy for 10 days and it was just the start! We are up against a ticking deadline of baby #4’s due date of Nov 24 so we knew we needed to close no later than Nov 15th but seeing as I have never made it to 40 weeks even that was cutting it close. We pushed everything as quick as we could and came up with Nov 1 closing for both houses and move date.
Soooo now here we are on October 31st and we are moving TOMORROW! The last 6 weeks have been beyond crazy trying to pack our house and keep the household running and the kids lives as normal as possible all while I become more pregnant by the minute (more on that next post!). Like I said earlier though, Gallagher’s thrive on chaos- mainly my husband that is. I’m 110% certain I wouldn’t do half of this without Clint, but every day I am so so grateful for him and his “find a way to win” attitude. Wish us luck with the move tomorrow! Oh, and did I mention we are going to demo the kitchen next week and hopefully have it put back together in time for baby?! Ya… chaos I tell you!
(I’m hoping to post a lot of pics/videos of our entire remodel this time around… what media do you think will be best?! IG stories/posts? Blog posts…? Would LOVE feedback!)
We went for our ultrasound this morning at 11AM. I haven’t felt that anxious or sick for a long time… the uncertainty kills me. That’s part of my type A personality and something I’m working on… I’m not always in control and God is constantly reminding me of that.
Everything looked OK from what I can tell/what we were told. They didn’t see any additional soft markers, but the EIF is still present and there were a couple of things they couldn’t visualize. We will go back for another ultrasound and ECHO in 4-6 weeks (when they can get it scheduled). This is completely unrelated to the EIF but because of Shae’s history of VSD (ventricular septal defect). So while I do feel a little more at ease for now, I also know that nothing in life is guaranteed.
I had a lot of those thoughts the past few days… I am not guaranteed a healthy or typical baby, but I’m also not guaranteed my own health or the health of my other kids for tomorrow. Life is scary and unpredictable and at any time I can be thrown a curve ball and knocked off the path that I thought my life was on. This is where my anxiety sets in and I need to continue to work on this daily. Typically I just try not to think about “what ifs”, but sometimes I think it’s necessary to challenge myself to be ok with “what ifs”.
One of the biggest things this soft marker has reminded me is that even if things don’t go how I planned doesn’t mean they aren’t going how God planned. And really life isn’t about my plan after all. So for now I’ll keep praying that God gives me the strength and grace I need to deal with all of life’s curveballs and what ifs.
I have yet to blog about this pregnancy at all! And while I doubt I’ll do even a monthly post I do want to write down a few things for my own memory….
We found out we were pregnant with Baby G #4 on March 16th- the day before St. Patty’s Day. After my miscarriage in mid-January I was extremely anxious for the first month or two but that didn’t stop me from telling family/friends our exciting news. I was definitely more cautious and tried not to get my hopes up, but I was really hopeful that this pregnancy would not end in miscarriage.
We waited until about 8 weeks to tell the kids about the baby. We probably should have waited a little longer but at the same time I was telling people and I didn’t want them to find out from anyone but us. I knew once we told the kids it would be pretty public knowledge at least within our St. Michaels church/school community, and thats definitely what happened. I had a lot of the kids teachers coming up to me and carefully asking “uhhh I’m not sure if we are supposed to know this or not but…CONGRATS!” It was pretty sweet that Shae and August got to share the news, because you could just tell how excited and proud they were from the very beginning.
This pregnancy has overall been my easiest so far. I’ve been super tired and had the normal pregnancy complaints: heartburn, back pain, fatigue, but overall nothing too crazy and I’ve been embracing it much much more than I ever have before! I felt like it was a girl from pretty early on because I’ve been craving sweets, carbs and any kind of meat still makes me nauseous!
I’m definitely missing my normal clothes, pre-pregnancy body, and adult beverages (especially in the summer!), but I know that it will be over before I know it so I’m trying to not wish this pregnancy away which I think I’ve done too much in the past.
We found out the gender on July 5th and I was so excited to tell the kids… We also found out on July 5th that this baby has something called EIF (echogenic intracardiac foci) which is a “soft marker” for chromosomal abnormalities. This definitely took a little bit of the excitement out of the day and gender reveal, but I went on as if everything was typical because there was no reason to not continue to be excited for our sweet baby GIRL!
When we first found out about the EIF I was a little stunned but took it all in stride and tried to not stress or focus on it too much. We are going in for a level 2 ultrasound tomorrow (July 19th) and I will be honest- I’ve been incredibly emotional in the past few days. I am scared and nervous. There is absolutely nothing to do about the possibility of our baby not being typical, but the thought is definitely daunting. Having grown up with an older brother with a chromosomal abnormality I know firsthand how life changing this would be for our family. I also know firsthand that this would not be a horrible awful thing. It would be an incredible challenge and an incredible blessing. I know I am up for whatever God gives me- I am just more than ready for a few more answers!
If there are any extra prayers out there tonight we would love a few for our sweet babe! I’m not even sure what exactly I’m praying for right now, but I think the best way to describe it is just strength and grace no matter what we find or don’t find tomorrow.
Overcommitment seems to be the name of the game for 2016-2017 in the Gallagher household. For some reason I felt that I needed to say “yes” to everything and “no” to nothing and that has definitely made me feel like we are running on overdrive almost all of the time… and its also the reason for the horrible job I’ve done blogging (somethings gotta give!)
I’ve been attempting to:
help my Dad with the family side gig of boat/RV storage
help run the accounting for my Brothers startup construction company
be President of the Mothers of Young Children group at church
be a coordinator for Vacation Bible School at church
be an active member of a Bible study and two separate playgroups
workout a few times a week
run a household
get my kids involved in extracurricular activities (gymnastics, swim, soccer, t-ball)
be a Mom, wife, sister and friend
… and with all of this attempting comes a lot of moments of feeling like I’m absolutely failing.
One of the biggest challenges of motherhood for me has been figuring out how to feel like myself while raising my children. It is an impossible thing to explain, especially for me- someone who always knew one of the only things I wanted out of life was to be a Mom! For some reason though “just being a Mom” isn’t all I dreamed it would be. Yes- I adore my kids as much as the next person, but I also really struggle with feeling like my only responsibility in life is raising good kids. I mean that is a HUGE overwhelming task, and a lot of days I feel like I’m utterly failing. I truly wonder more often than not if my kids would be better kids if they weren’t around me 90-100% of the time? Shouldn’t there be some more balance?!
Balance is something that I know everyone struggles with, so I try to give myself grace and remember that I’m not alone in feeling this way. I keep reminding myself that we have big changes around the corner- Shae will start full time Kindergarten in the Fall and all 3 kids will be in school for a couple of days a week! So I’m trying to soak up the last bit of time we have before we are a “grade school family”- crazy! But I’m also craving something else, something for me to feel more like me…
I read back through my blog and it was exactly 2 years ago that I made the decision to quit working as a part time Physical Therapist to focus more on my family. In that post I talked about enjoying the little things and spending more time focusing on my family. I definitely think I’ve achieved that, but I’ve also felt a constant ache for something more. I know that I’m not ready to commit to anything substantial and don’t feel that PT is my calling right now
So, with all of the extra commitments I’ve made this past year I’m making one more. I’m committing to getting my real estate license. Totally crazy, but something that I’ve been wanting to do for a couple of years now. Real Estate completely fascinates me and I spend more time on Zillow and the local real estate apps than I’d like to admit. Also, with my brother’s business taking off he needs some extra help with listing his flips so that is where I’m going to start! I”m not sure exactly where this road is going to take me, but I’m really excited to find out. I’m excited to have something “for me”
(I wrote this post 4 months ago…. but never hit publish! In the past 4 months things have gotten busier and slower at the same time. I’ve delegated and taken on more… balance- I’m still working on it 😉 )
Ohhh friends… where do I even begin?! I wish that I had been able to keep up this little space over the last several months because there is so much I want to document and remember, but truthfully it has been pushed way, waaaay to the back. Now it is time though so lets go backwards…
Back in December 2016 Clint and I decided that it was finally “time” to start trying to expand our family again. He had been ready for another bambino for awhile but I knew the time wasn’t quite right for us until after one of my best friends weddings in the beginning of December. We had a crazy busy and amazing 2016 with lots of weddings and travel and I knew being pregnant wasn’t the best thing for me or the family quite yet. So, after the wedding and travel season wrapped up we started trying and praying for Baby Gallagher #4.
On Clint’s 32nd birthday (December 27th) I rushed the kids to CVS right when they opened at 8am to grab pregnancy tests, and much to my surprise and excitement it was positive! (I swear the CVS employee must have thought I was a nut job bringing my 3 small children to CVS in their jammies to buy a pregnancy test). I was so excited to give Clint this present for his birthday and was just in complete shock that we were fortunate enough to get pregnant the first month. Unfortunately, just a few weeks later I miscarried that sweet babe. That was definitely an experience that rocked my world. I always thought in the back of my head that I would miscarry at some point, but I would have never ever been able to guess how much this experience would affect me. I was completely torn up inside, and at the same time felt so grateful and selfish because I already have 3 sweet babies.
For weeks I kept feeling like I had done something wrong, or that it was somehow my fault that I had miscarried… maybe we shouldn’t have waited so long to try for another baby? Maybe I shouldn’t have taken that workout class? Did I overdo it and somehow cause my body to miscarry? Did I tell too many people too early? Eventually, through lots and lots and LOTS of great talks with close family and friends I was able to recognize and accept that this was just a part of God’s plan. Although I was able to accept the miscarriage, it is definitely not something I will ever forget.
After the miscarriage my anxiety was through the roof about trying again for another baby. Am I forcing something that is not supposed to happen? Is God trying to tell me that we are only supposed to have 3 babies? Will my body be able to carry another pregnancy to term?? All of these questions completely consumed my every thought and it quite honestly started to drive me a little crazy. Thats when we decided we needed to get out of town and we took our little trip to Disney the beginning of March. Little did I know that just a few weeks later I would, with an extremely grateful heart, take another positive pregnancy test 😉
One of the biggest things that I learned through the entire miscarriage process is how much it helped me to talk about it. I hated thinking that no one knew what was going on with me. I feel like there is a stigma around miscarriages, and for some reason they aren’t talked about as much as I wish they were! I remember feeling like I was walking around carrying this enormous secret inside of me that I couldn’t or shouldn’t share with the world. I wanted to scream from every street corner “I was pregnant!! and now I’m not! and I’m really really sad about it and thats ok!”
Maybe this is just how I felt about it, but because I felt this way I’ve had this burning desire to share about my miscarriage. I think it is such a common thing and I want anyone who has experienced it, or is going through it right now to know that it is OK to talk about it. It is actually great to talk about it in my opinion! I don’t think I would have been able to accept it nearly as easily/quickly if I hadn’t had tons of conversations about my feelings and how sad I was. So please if you need someone to talk to about a miscarriage- reach out! Someone around you has experienced this before and I’m they sure would be open to talking to you about it.
Clint and I have always said that we aren’t “Disney people” but in late January I decided we needed to get out of KC for a quick getaway. I wanted to take the kids somewhere fun, but also wanted to stay away from anywhere that may put us at risk for Zika… so naturally I started looking to California/Arizona. At first Clint wasn’t sold on Disneyland but the more I looked into it the more convenient it appeared! We could go for 3 nights/4 days, no need to rent a car, and the weather looked gorgeous but even if it wasn’t in the 70-80s we’d still be able to have lots of fun (I was worried about booking a beach vacation and having 60s the whole time). There was a pool for swimming and obviously the two parks to spend time in. So after a lot of talking and researching I booked the trip and it worked out that we’d be headed to Cali on Augusts 4th birthday!
We took the first flight out of KC which put us in California by 10:30 local time. We got round trip passes for the Disneyland resort shuttle which was extremely convenient. Since we booked the trip so last minute we didn’t have a ton of choices on hotels but ended up being very pleased. We booked the Paradise Pier Hotel and had a room with “concierge service” which basically was just a room with drinks/snacks all day and a decent continental breakfast in the morning. This worked out great for us because it gave us a easy place to sit and have breakfast and to grab snacks throughout the day when we were at our hotel. Our room wasn’t ready right away so we went to the concierge room and thats where they told us they had upgraded us to a 2 bedroom suite!! I had only booked a 1 bedroom to save money but the 2 bedrooms was SO SO nice for our family of 5!
Sleeping on the shuttle
Birthday boy just couldn’t hang
We spent some time that first day checking out the hotel, swimming in the pool (although it was a bit chilly!), and spent lots of time on the water slide which was a huge hit with the kids. On the first night, August’s birthday, I booked dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen which was recommended when we booked the trip. It was a good way to see a lot of characters, but honestly our kids aren’t that into characters and the food was just ok… in the end I’m glad we did it just to get in the Disney spirit but I’m not sure we’d do that if we ever went back (more on that later 😉 ). **Side note: Emmett was with us in Disney but would not go near any characters so he isn’t in many photos!
Our first full day was spent in Disneyland and holy cow it was BUSY! I thought when we booked the trip that we were going to have relatively slow days because we would be doing the parks on Thursday/Friday before Spring breaks but I couldn’t have been more wrong. We were overwhelmed from the second we walked into the park and probably did it all completely wrong- I just couldn’t believe how quickly the lines became ridiculously long. We hit several of the main rides- Tea cups, Small world, meeting Mickey at his house, Buzz Lightyear, Big Thunder mountain (a fave!),etc. I packed a ton of snacks into lunch boxes which saved us lots of money in the park. We did splurge and bought 3 Dole Whips to share and they were definitely worth the money- YUMM! At about 3PM after 6 hours in the park Clint ran to Splash Mountain to grab fast passes and we hopped in line to meet some princesses, and even though Shae had a major meltdown in line she loved meeting the princesses. The fast passes were for 7:30PM so we decided to take a break from the park and come back later. After a pretty terrible dinner at a Mexican Restaurant in Downtown Disney we headed back into the park to ride a few more rides, and caught just a glimpse of the Electrical Parade from the Astro Orbiters ride. I just couldn’t believe how early people lined up on Main Street for the parade and my kids were definitely not patient enough to do that just for a parade. Clint, Shae and August did Splash Mountain and we basically ran home after that because we just couldn’t handle any more crowds!
The next day we were feeling pretty defeated because of the crazy crowds at Disneyland but at California Adventure we had a much better experience! We did the magic hour here too (if you stay at a Disney resort you get in an hour early), and it was actually beneficial this day- we didn’t think that extra hour did us much good at Disneyland. We were much smarter about our time and fast passes and were able to ride a lot more rides in a shorter time at California Adventure (we went the opposite way of the crowds- away from Radiator Springs and just got a fast pass for that ride). Around 2PM the kids said they’d rather go to the pool then spend any more time in the park so we headed back to the hotel and Clint and E took a nap while I took the big kids to the pool which was crazy crowded (it had been pretty empty two days before when we had gone). After swimming and showering we headed back to California Adventure because Mickey’s Fun wheel (Ferris wheel) had opened back up- we could see the Wheel from our room but we thought it would be closed our entire trip so the kids were excited to ride it! Clint and I both rode California Screamin’ which I loved (I seriously still love roller coasters!), and we had a crazy expensive dinner of corndogs in the park! We rode the Little Mermaid ride and grabbed cotton candy for the walk home (E hated it of course…). One random thing- finding alcohol was not easy!! We thought there would be beer at all of the concessions but was definitely much harder to find than that! Clint found a restaurant that would sell us beer in solo cups so luckily we could have a couple beers in the park- a necessity for us 😉
Our last day was a bit of a waste. We had to check out by 11 so we did breakfast and packed up and then left our bags at the bell hop and basically walked around for a few hours… by this point we were kind of just ready to get home so looking back I may have booked an earlier flight out but it all worked out fine. My favorite thing about those few hours was sipping Starbucks with Clint while the kids played forever with the legos outside the Lego store. Oh and the sandwiches at Earl of Sandwich were delicious! Probably my favorite thing I ate the whole trip.
So all in all the trip was wonderful! We made so many memories with the kids and thats what its all about. We also decided that we likely won’t return to Disney any time soon. I would like to take the kids to Disney World in a few (5) years possibly but I’m not sure I’ll be able to convince Clint so I may have to recruit family members for that trip 😉 .
This week has been a little crazier than anticipated- Clint had a last minute work trip come up, and when I say last minute I mean he booked the flights at 8am Wednesday and flew out of MCI at 2:45pm Wednesday… that would stress me out!
Here are 5 things for this week:
1) We started demo on our Master bathroom last week so it was a busy weekend full of tiling and we’ve continued to make some progress this week. Hoping to knock out the shower tile this weekend so we can get measured for the glass doors… I’m ready to have my own shower back!
2) I was randomly looking at the blog last week and remembered that I made 1 year videos for Shae and August so the kids and I watched them one afternoon. August was literally in tears watching his and then Emmett said “now my turn!”… uh oh. So I had the worst Mom guilt and after watching Shae and August’s I knew I wanted to make E one too. It took about 4 hours total time to make but I’m SOOO glad I did it… I doubt I will make these for any year after their 1st, but maybe I should make a family one for each year?! We will see how that turns out (don’t hold your breath).
3) After I snapped about August crying during his video (the sweetest thing ever!) I had several friends ask how I made the videos so I did a quick tutorial on Snapchat. I uploaded the tutorial here too- not very fancy but hopefully it will teach someone how to do this because I promise the videos are worth the time! Let me know if you’re making one and have questions (I may or may not be able to help!?).
4) Skinnytaste. How did I never hear about this wonderful resource before a month ago?! I bought the cookbook off Amazon after tons of my favorite bloggers mentioned it and it is amazing. I actually really love to cook but I don’t like getting too fancy and I won’t cook separate meals for my kids so this has been a great cookbook for me! So far I’ve made the chicken enchiladas, the oven fried chicken, and the turkey stuffed peppers. I have a list of the next things I want to try (including the shrimp and grits, buffalo melts, and all the salads- yumm!)
5) Since last weeks post I officially booked our trip to Disneyland! This is such a random thing for us but I am SO SO excited. We haven’t told the kids yet, but I’m thinking of doing something fun for Valentines Day and telling them then. We leave the morning of August’s 4th birthday so it is surely going to be a special trip for all. Send any favorite rides or must-dos my way! (I’m not usually one to buy Disney gear but I think Shae has to have this)