Ladies and Gentlemen…Well, really just mostly Ladies

DeathtoStock_NotStock5

So when I was pregnant, I was of the “meet me in the parking lot with the epidural” camp as far as giving birth is concerned. I had friends that did all natural childbirth, and a part of me was happy for and proud of them, and part of me was sorry for them. Just keeping it real. Ripping my vagina open and feeling every bit of it did not seem like something I wanted any part of. So my “birth plan” consisted of “I go into labor. Bryan drives my panicking butt to Willow Creek. I check in, get epidural, and push out baby. I smile and cry at miracle. The end.”

God must have been all “HAHAHA that’s cute. Remember how your mom had preeclampsia, spent 22 hours in labor pushing and then the doctor told her that her pelvis didn’t do that? And remember how I created genetics?”

So yeah, NOTHING happened like it was supposed to. I got preeclampsia and was induced at 39 weeks and some change. I almost tied my mom’s labor record. He wasn’t a-comin’. At almost 22 hours, I was still only at a 5 and Grady was still a -3 station. (For those of you that don’t know what any of that means, it is a measure of cervical dilation and how far down into my lower extremities he was, respectively. The station starts at -4, so he had only moved one unit after all of those contractions.)

At long last, the doctor told me I would have to have a c-section. I was devastated. I felt like a failure. I was terrified. My mother’s fate had become mine. I cried, Bryan cried, my mom cried. We all know how well I deal with change, and I had been served a whole lot of it all at once. Laying on that table waiting to be cut open was one of the most out-of-control, least fun feelings I’ve ever experienced. But you guys, look what I got out of it.

2015-01-28 16.31.00

Wait, no. Bad example.

2014-12-11 11.20.22

That’s better.

I found myself becoming so thankful that I live in a day and age where my experience was possible. What if c-sections weren’t a thing, or if I lived in a place without access to the right equipment to do one? One or both of us may have died. And also, there are perks to having a baby extracted from me instead of pushed out of me. I didn’t poop in front of anyone, for one thing. There are others, I’m sure, but I was pretty psyched about the poop thing.

So when I was asked to do a tour of The Birth Center, I was skeptical. I had friends who went there for their pregnancies and childbirth, but what could they do for me? I mean, even if I wanted to participate, that ship had sailed, right?

IMG_0444

The founder of the Birth Center in Rogers, Cara, telling us all about it. She is an extremely educated, wise businesswoman who is passionate about women’s maternity health.

So wrong. What I imagined was a super crunchy, all natural, granola place was actually an incredibly modern, beautifully decorated, home-like place. Their 4 birthing rooms are set up like bedrooms I want to live in STAT. They have heated, vibrating, cleaning toilets, you guys. WARM TOILETS. I gave birth in December, you do the math. They also boast of low waiting room times. As someone who had to wait upwards of an hour at my appointments sometimes, I was all ears.

Imma need to know where you got that bedding.

Imma need to know where you got that bedding.

IMG_0448

Here is me striking an awkward pose during a tour to show off how nice their bathroom set up and decor is.

I have to pause here and give a shout-out to my friend Sarah, so I’m sure is thinking “I tried to tell you all of this, you jerk” right now. Sorry I didn’t listen, Sarah!

This was all fine and dandy…for other women. The ship had sailed, right? I had the scar that got me into the “no vaginal births unless you want to drive somewhere else to maybe, possibly, painfully make it work” club. Then I took a look at their exam room and found out that they do all-over women’s care. So basically, I can partake in the dreaded yearly in a fluffy robe in a warm environment instead of the alternative, which I feel no need to explain. They also do birth control care, will test for hormone levels, can give prescriptions for UTIs and stuff, and tons of other needs.

I mean, look at that. That just looks comfy. My friend Jacqueline actually put it on. I wanted to but am less brave than she is.

I mean, look at that. That just looks comfy. My friend Jacqueline actually put it on. I wanted to but am less brave than she is.

I loved my experience with Willow Creek, and will definitely go back IF I have another baby by growing it and not adopting it, but I am going to the Birth Center for my yearlys from now on. I didn’t expect to be sold, but man, it’s hard to say no to their amenities, especially when it’s just as, if not more affordable than traditional settings.

Above all, I love how empowering they are for women. They have somehow found a way to make you feel like a delicate flower and strong warrior all at the same time. And I love that.

Acorn Disclosure

You can find more info on The Birth Center in Rogers here. They are happy to answer all questions you may have and THEY DO FREE TOURS, y’all!

Love, Alex

Grady’s Nursery!

Nothing to see here, just being a mom, not posting on my blog. Ugh. Ok fine, here’s another picture of my kid.

2015-02-25 17.50.55

Up on dat drool game.

Despite my best efforts and complete lack of skills, Grady has a pretty bomb nursery. It’s bear themed (What else?) and I had some amazing help with almost every aspect, mostly from my amazing craft-queen of a friend, Rachel Hamen. She has a super successful Etsy shop called One Crafty Foxx where she sells everything from themed party decor packages to t-shirt designs to witty kitchen signs. She’s my go-to for all things crafty or design-oriented and she should totally be yours too!

I hope you also enjoy a virtual tour of our baby room, complete with my meaningless commentary.

IMG_1905

My grandfather painted this bed gray for us. It was so sweet and cute. He was extremely concerned about the paint being safe to have around Grady and went to great lengths to ensure that the bed was perfect for our little guy.

My grandfather painted this bed gray for us. It was so sweet and cute. He was extremely concerned about the paint being safe to have around Grady and went to great lengths to ensure that the bed was perfect for our little guy.

Bryan's second mom had that quilt made. When I found out we were getting a quilt, I was a little worried because I am not a quilt person at all, but I couldn't love this more! It's adorable and fits the room perfectly. Those cute pillows were handmade by my friend Kim, who maintains my sanity on a regular basis.

Bryan’s second mom had that quilt made. When I found out we were getting a quilt, I was a little worried because I am not a quilt person at all, but I couldn’t love this more! It’s adorable and fits the room perfectly. Those cute pillows were handmade by my friend Kim, who maintains my sanity on a regular basis.

These are a Rachel specialty. She found the perfect colors to go with everything and did the silhouettes exactly like I wanted. https://www.etsy.com/shop/onecraftyfoxx

These are a Rachel specialty. She found the perfect colors to go with everything and did the silhouettes exactly like I wanted. https://www.etsy.com/shop/onecraftyfoxx 

What kid wouldn't love  fake bear rug? Mali and Phoebe like it too, unfortunately.

What kid wouldn’t love fake bear rug? Mali and Phoebe like it too, unfortunately.

IMG_1851

IMG_1861

Rachel was the main host for my baby shower, and since she knew she was helping with my nursery, she made decoration for the shower that could double as nursery decor. This bunting was one of those items, and I loved it so much I used it in TWO different places in the room.

This shelf was custom made by Bryan's sister Alicia who has a business called Burnside Woodworking. She is amazing at this stuff and did I mention that SHE MADE THIS BASED ON A SMALL IPHONE PHOTO THAT I FOUND ON PINTEREST WITH ABSOLUTELY NO PATTERN AT ALL? Seriously, girl's got skills.

This shelf was custom made by Bryan’s sister Alicia who has a business called Burnside Woodworking. She is amazing at this stuff and did I mention that SHE MADE THIS BASED ON A SMALL IPHONE PHOTO THAT I FOUND ON PINTEREST WITH ABSOLUTELY NO PATTERN AT ALL? Seriously, girl’s got skills.

We have a bear shelf. you guys! A bear shelf! Just so awesome.

We have a bear shelf. you guys! A bear shelf! Just so awesome.

IMG_1880

That birth plaque may be one of the things I'm most obsessed with. Maybe. There's too much. I asked Rachel to make a stats sign and she whipped this up in like a day. She's awesome. She can do whatever animal and custom colors for this bad boy. https://www.etsy.com/shop/onecraftyfoxx

That birth plaque may be one of the things I’m most obsessed with. Maybe. There’s too much. I asked Rachel to make a stats sign and she whipped this up in like a day. She’s awesome. She can do whatever animal and custom colors for this bad boy. https://www.etsy.com/shop/onecraftyfoxx

Found that lamp at Walmart y'all. Not kidding.

Found that lamp at Walmart y’all. Not kidding. Also my grandfather made this table for me and painted it the same color as the bed. Tornado Woodcrafters for the win!

What even is the point of a toy bin without a bear on it? Says my husband. #BearsForLife

What even is the point of a toy bin without a bear on it? Says my husband. #BearsForLife

This is the coolest wall in the room. Rachel made everything on it (save for the coat hook). That ombre bear cutout? Good gosh she's good.

This is the coolest wall in the room. Rachel made everything on it (save for the coat hook). That ombre bear cutout? BY HAND. Good gosh she’s good.

IMG_1871

IMG_1879

IMG_1878

A bear hook for a bear coat. What else?

A bear hook for a bear coat. What else?

Shout out to Brian Bailey of the Mustache Goods and Wears in Fayetteville for this bad boy. So, so cool.

Shout out to Brian Bailey of the Mustache Goods and Wears in Fayetteville for this bad boy. So, so cool.

IMG_1887

Bryan took and edited like 80 photos of this bear because he loves it so much. I’m only leaving you with 2, but trust me, I can give you the hookup on photos of this bear if you want.

Did you think there would be anything that didn't have a bear on it? WRONG! Even his clothes hamper is with the program.

Did you think there would be anything that didn’t have a bear on it? WRONG! Even his clothes hamper is with the program.

Another crafty friend of mine painted Grady's name on this for me. She's super talented as well and you can find her at

Another crafty friend of mine painted Grady’s name on this for me. She’s super talented as well and you can find her at https://www.etsy.com/shop/SkvarlaStudios?ref=search_shop_redirect

Obviously I have some extremely talented friends. My nursery would never have looked like it does without their help and we are so grateful. Anyone who can sit down with me and catch my non-vision and somehow turn it into a reality deserves high praise and all of the chai tea, so one more HUGE shout-out to my amazing friend Rachel Hamen at One Crafty Foxx.

All photos taken by Sixth and Burnside Photography.

Love, Alex

Sometimes You Get out of Your Comfort Zone…and Like It.

This is a sponsored post. All of the opinions contained within it are my own.

So per all of the big feelings and overflowing emotions of last week, I needed to get out and have some fun. And this was really my first big blogger perk!

I got invited to an exclusive opening VIP party on the brand new patio of Ruth’s Chris in Rogers! (HA! I know right?) There were drinks to be had, food to be scarfed, and new friends to be made.

Introverted Me was all “Don’t do it! You’ll have to mingle and stuff!” and Extroverted Me was like “Free drinks and new connections, woo hoo!”

Extroverted Me won, and I am so glad it did!

We got to dress up all fancy, and in NWA excuses for that are few and far between, so I jumped on it! I wore a black and white striped, sleeveless cocktail dress and long black elbow-length cardigan with a red bubble necklace, red clutch, and black Vera Wang heels. (SUPER comfy! If you’re a heels hater but finding yourself needing some, go grab a pair of hers.)

The Ruth’s Chris patio was awesome! There was a musician, multiple bars to choose from, and multiple layers to lounge and chat. They had awesome strung lights throughout the area to set the mood. Quite possibly my favorite part though, was the service staff! They found a great crew who have fun with customers and enjoy the evening right along with you. They had the most awesome uniforms too! They all wore black on black with suspenders and bow ties, and some of them wore big hipster glasses too. It was super cool!

I highly recommend hitting up the new patio area this summer! They have a brand new menu that is well-priced for everyone just for patio season and it’s a great time for happy hour or a night out with friends! It definitely helped to cure my blues last week! Check out some photos and enjoy!

 

My friend Jacqueline and I snagging a non-creepy photo of the awesome musician!

My friend Jacqueline and I snagging a non-creepy photo of the awesome musician!

 

See? Super cool lighting all throughout!

See? Super cool lighting all throughout!

 

They even got me crawfish! That made this Louisiana girl very happy.

They even got me crawfish! That made this Louisiana girl very happy.

 

Nice thing about free drinks? You can taste them all and decide which is your favorite! The Hurrican Martini is for sure mine.

Nice thing about free drinks? You can taste them all and decide which is your favorite! The Hurrican Martini is for sure mine.

 

See my clutch?? So cute!

See my clutch?? So cute!