Thursday, August 30, 2012

C'mon baby...please please pllllleeeeaaassseeee

It's been a rolling stones kinda day :)

We've had a productive day off so far! I had lunch at Panera Bread with my sister, and T had lunch with his mom at ihop. We dropped his car off for some service, then went to hell aka walmart for groceries and what not.

Tony finally told his mom about the baby today. She is really excited! I met up with them after I finished eating with my sis. She was beaming. She thinks it's a girl. I can't tell you how much better I feel now that she knows. It's such a relief!

His dad and stepmom will be home from New York next week. When they get back, we'll tell them (and his sister & brother in law), then I'm letting it go completely public!

I'm really excited for that day. I want to put it on Facebook, as cheesy as that may be. So far only close family and friends know, and I'm ready for everyone to know. Plus I'm starting to look pregnant. Blahhhhh. Then I can tell everyone about the blog :) 

I just really hope his dad takes it well.

Sorry for the lack of posting today. We were just super busy. Everything before this line was actually typed hours ago. 

I rode with T again on his shift tonight. It had some touchy moments to say the least. He was letting little things get the best of him (aka people not tipping), and getting down on himself. However, when we added up earnings for the night, he was making about $20 bucks an hour.

With that being said, I think he's gonna stop letting the little things get to him.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Who cares baby? I think I wanna marry you...

First off, this may be the sweetest and most impressive marriage proposal EVER! I cried like a little baby. Check it out! 

Live lip-dub marriage proposal

Anyways, I still feel like crap but I'm off tomorrow so hopefully I'll recover. I am just crazy nauseous and headachy. I am not a fan.

Tony is at his new/2nd job right now for his first shift. I hope it's going well! I'm so proud of him for doing this, but I miss him already. I hope he's not gone all night...unless he's making bookoodles of cash. If that's the case, cool. :)

I had a baby dream last night! Peanut was a boy again, and this time I wasn't in some weird high school locker room type hospital all alone...

That's another story entirely.

So yeah, I had our lil peanut and it was a beautiful baby boy...with with blonde, curly hair! What?! T and I both have dark locks so that kinda threw me off. Anyways, he was so cute and really smart. 

See, I can say he was smart because in 95% of my baby dreams, my kid is like 3 years old in a matter of minutes. It's the strangest thing! One minute I had just delivered, the next he's a couple months, then a couple years! Maybe it's a metaphor for how fast childhood goes by....ha, dream metaphors.

We had him down in Troy at my grandparent's house. Several of my cousins, T and I were all in the living room downstairs talking and stuff. I guess the older folks were gone somewhere and had taken peanut with them.

So we were all sitting around smoking a joint....

I'm such a classy dream parent.

I wanna give a shout-out to honey Teddy Grams.... My doctor told me to try them for nausea and I gotta say, they really do help! I'm keeping the box beside my bed to combat early morning sickness. Tasty and helpful, can't beat it! :)

Is blogging at work counterproductive?

I feel like complete shit today. I almost called in to work, except Wednesdays are usually our slowest days. I had to fight myself to keep from puking this morning. I really feel sick sick. This is going to be a longggg day.

Tony starts his part time job today. I'm so proud of him!!! I hope he likes it and that it's all we think it will be. Extra cash flow would really be awesome right now.

I don't have too much to say right now. The weather here looks pretty bad. We're in for some bad thunderstorms today. I hope all my friends and family are safe and secure.

My mom is fine, by the way. It got a little dicey there yesterday, but last I talked to her (around 11pm) she was watching Friends and having an adult beverage.

I turned off our cable and internet yesterday.  We need to save that money anyways. The internet was slow as Christmas, and we can piggyback off of a neighbor's wifi with a much better connection. I can watch most of what I already watch as it is on Netflix. Adult decisions...wooo.

I'm gonna end here. I feel a puke session coming on and my head is throbbing. More later.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hurricane Isaac

Just wanted to send out a quick prayer for everyone that has been or will be impacted by hurricane Isaac. I've got a lot of family and friends down on the gulf coast. Just hope everyone is prepared.

Speaking of family, Babs (my lovely mother) is actually in Destin right now. She is there by herself, and is refusing to come home, seeing no danger in the situation...

I DON'T get it. Why would you want to stay in a hurricane when you don't have to?  She should have come home yesterday. Now she can't leave. The water from the gulf is already covering the entire beach, and hitting the seawall.

She says she has a meeting with a lady about having new drapes put in, and she is going to buy new patio furniture today.

Well, if she stands around outside long enough, some new stuff might just blow by...

These are the genes we are passing down to our child. I'm worried.

Early morning conclusions...

First off, good morning bloggos! Sleep well? Good, good.

I've come to a few conclusions this morning that I would like to share with you. I hope you enjoy.

1. We need a bigger bed. The more pregnant I get, the more I realize this. Dear God. When we moved into our place, Tony's parents gave us his furniture from his room at home. Don't get me wrong, it's really nice stuff....but we're sleeping on a full sized bed, with a dog. Now I love to snuggle, but I would love to have the option to spral out and not kick my future husband in the kidney.

2. Tony is the biggest baby in the mornings. I have no problem being his alarm clock, but good lord... I don't have to be at work for another 3 hours after him. I would like to get some extra sleep. The problem with me is that once I'm awake, It's gonna take me at least two hours to go back to sleep. So, by the time I'm ready to hit the hay, it's time to get up. Anyways, this is our morning routine- 
-----6:30- 1st alarm goes off. I hit snooze. "Baby, it's time for you to get up. C'mon, wake up!"
-----6:39- 2nd alarm goes off. I hit snooze, again. "Seriously babe, get up! You're gonna be late...again!" T-"what time is it?" B-"6:40." T-"I'll get up at 6:50."

At this point, Lily is completely awake, bouncing around, being cute, what have you. I'm 100% awake.

-----6:48 3rd alarm goes off. I hit snooze one more time. "TONY GET UP! NOW! GET OUT OF BED AND GET IN THE SHOWER. YOU'RE ACTING LIKE A LITTLE KID. GET UPPPP!" T-"Geeze you don't have to be so mean about it, I'm up."

He may have his eyes open but he's not up yet. Ohh no. He has to lay in bed, check his phone, mess with me, then for about 3 minutes he will be incredibly sweet and cuddly. Wait....are his eyes closed? "You little shit! Get up baby!"

-----6:57 final alarm goes off. He's up...and so am I. Because of all this snoozing, he now has 45 minutes to shower, eat, and get ready for work. Do you know what that means for me?

Plates and cups on the table, pans on the stove, eggshells in the sink and wet towels on the floor.

Of course he always says, "Oh don't worry about it. I'll take care of it later.' But what do we do? The women? We clean it up, all of it. I do it because he is amazing and loves me more than anything. I do it because he would do it for me. I do it because I don't want the house to look like a pig sty! 

I can't tell you how many times we've had the "just get up 5 minutes earlier" conversation. Does it work? No. I've just about concluded that I will be dealing with this for the rest of my life. But if this is the worst problem in our relationship, I can dig it. :)

3. Pooping while pregnant is a freaking chore! Yeah, I said it. Pooping. I always feel like I'm about to EXPLODE and have to urgently get to a toilet. After 5, 10 mins...2 pebbles and I'm done. What the hell is that? Is this normal? I need to do some pregnant pooping googling.....I hope that doesn't take me to some kind of freaky fetish porn....

4. And finally, I can't wait til halloween with a little one! I love halloween as it is, but last night we both got to thinking about how amazing halloween is as a kid. We both want to make the holiday as fun and funky as possible for our little tyke. Really go over the top with it. EEEKKK!!!!

The same goes for Christmas, really. I'm just excited as fall is approaching, halloween is the closest and is on my mind. We'll cross the Christmas bridge when we get to it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

But all the other moms are doing it...

I really like blogging. I know I don't have a ton of readers right now, but it's not the most important thing. It's liberating to get my thoughts typed out and I think it's healthy to get to visit them again later.

I started this because I wanted to see if I could make some money off of it. Wouldn't it be amazing to NOT have to work a 9 to 5 and just blog while my kid is asleep to make the diaper money? Hecks yeah it would!

I do still hope that will happen, after all, other moms have done it. Why not me!?

I can't wait to start blogging about cute baby stuff I'm buying, baby showers, gifts (!!!), if it's a boy or a girl (!!!!!!!), all the fun stuff! I just hope people enjoy my writing and my view on things. I have nothing to hide, my life is an open blog.

I hope I can help other moms along the way. Answer some questions, give some advice. I've already learned so much from reading what other mamas are saying, and I hope I can be that kind of mama too.

Cute random story: At the hotel where I work, there is this single mom with 2 of the CUTEST boys that live here. The youngest one, Jack, is my best buddy! He'll come in (like he just did) and tell me the funniest things. He just asked me when I'm gonna bring in my baby to visit. I told him it's gonna be a little while before that happens. One of my favorite Jack stories happened at the beginning of the summer. He came into the lobby shirtless, dancing and singing, "I'm sexy and I know it....OWWW!" I wanted to die! His mom was slightly mortified, but we both got a great laugh out of that.

I complain about my job a lot, but moments like that show me that it really could be much, much worse. I can't wait til my kid does cute stuff like that. :)

You find out who your true friends are.

Well, I feel sick today. Beyond just pregnant. I really hope I'm not coming down with anything. I literally can't afford to miss any work. Hmmmph.

I was thinking this morning about my friends different reactions to this pregnancy. Most of them have been wonderfully supportive! That's the best feeling in the world, having such a great support team. It rocks!

On the other hand, I've had 2 friends go completely silent after hearing the news.... And these were both girls I considered to be really good friends! One I've known for almost 6 years, the other since 5th grade.

Granted I told them both over text, but that's just me. I'm not big at talking on the phone. When I do, they are usually 2 hour conversations (which I love) but just random 5 min chats drive me banana sandwich. Both these girls know that about me.

I just don't get it!

I would have rather them say horrible things than nothing at all. Where do I go with that? Are you disappointed? Are you pissed? Are you in shock? What the hell?! Give me something, girl.

I guess that's just a really good way of them telling me they don't want to be friends anymore. That sucks, but that's life.

Instead of getting tore up about it, I'm gonna be thankful for friends like Abby, Courtney, Sarah, Dezi, Michell, Anne and Amy. Those are worth it!

Just a little worthy side note- I've been friends with Anne virtually my entire life. She is getting married in December, and she will have me standing beside her 7 months pregnant in a bridesmaid dress. Now that's a friend! I will also gladly accept my role as DD for the bachelorette party. I know she'd do the same for me. :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Moms gone WILD!

Okay, last post for the night (most likely). I've been reading a lot of other Mom blogs and websites (mostly things I've come across on Pinterest or from what others are reading on Facebook), and I've come across some great articles, tips and tricks! In my opinion, hearing what has worked/not worked for others is a great way to figure out what may/may not work for you. Take this article on creative disciplining-

21 Creative Consequences | iMOM

In my opinion, she has some pretty great ideas. Most of her "creative consequences" would have worked WONDERS on me as a kid. Seriously, mom would send me to my room where I would pretend to still be crying, all the while building castles with my Legos. Don't get me wrong, my mom would always have "a talk" with me about my behavior after several minutes and 99% of the time I got the point. My Mama has always been really good at making me never, ever want to disappoint her. She can cry harder than I can...

Okay, I'm getting away from the point.

What I'm trying to get at here is the comments other readers are leaving! I mean, my God! You would think that this woman was putting her children in the chokey!
The fact of the matter is that this mom is merely sharing what has worked for her, not holding a gun to your head saying. "send your screaming child out in the backyard or else I will slay you like the beast you are!"

C'mon folks, really?

"The "tip" about running barefoot through dog poop can give the child any number of health conditions that will require medical treatment. Horrible suggestion."

Do you know how many times in my child and adult life I have stepped in poop?! Too many to count. Health conditions? What health conditions? Needing to wash your feet? Geeze...clearly if the child has some sort of open wound, he's not going to be doing yard work in the first place.

"Uhm, my parents never did any of these and I am a straight A student, varsity soccer and basketball player, and very involved with my youth group. Some of these "corrections" will cause children to rebel even more when they get the chance (I.E. when they start driving).But feel free to have the "perfect" child....."

Of course you are sweetie, and you're also probably 15 years old. Your room is probably a mess and you most likely have zero responsibilities. You're the golden child, kid. Your parents don't want to mess up your "right track" so they let you do your thing. Also, if you're a "student" why are you reading a mom blog in the first place? Don't you have a social studies project due? For crying out loud!

Sorry, girl. You're probably wonderful and intelligent. I'm just venting.

The point is, why do we criticize what others say like it's up for amendment into the freaking constitution?! If you don't like it, don't do it. Simple as that. No one is making you read it either! I'm sure there are a million other things on the internet that you can agree with. Go find that and make your day a little better. Getting angry over another person's ideals is like going to Chic-fil-a on a Sunday and being pissed that you forgot they're closed. Get a life and make it constructive!

I hope my blog never turns into my own personal whipping post, because seriously...I'll whip back.

...and a big 'roll tide' to you

If you know me at all, you know my love for Alabama Crimson Tide Football! It's an obsession I don't try to hide. I was raised with it in my blood, and my child will be raised the same. It's more than just a game, it's passion, it's pride, it's being a champion, everyday. I think more people need to take on the crimson tide mentality.

Anyway, football season is rapidly approaching. ONE WEEK! I'm stoked! This season is gonna be different for us, in more ways than one.

First off, you won't be seeing me with my usual Gameday crown and coke. That's out. I guess I'll be drinking gameday waters! Woooooo.....

I won't be painting the town red crimson Friday and Saturday nights anymore. I mean, I could. Doesn't everyone love a pregnant woman in a bar? Wooooo..... Yeah, right.

I'm sure making the trek up to U3 will be TONS of fun this year. Seriously, that ramp is deadly for normal people, much less pregnant ones! Geeze....

I'll also, and this doesn't just go for gameday, have to start "watching my mouth." Mommy has a bit of a potty mouth, Daddy too. I don't think Peanut can hear us quite yet, but it may be time to start working on it.

Another difference is that Tony picked up a part time job to help us get ahead. It will require him working nights and weekends, but having money is much more important right now that football. Wow, did I really just say that?

I'm really proud of him! I can't express enough how much it means to have a man in your life that will go to any lengths to make sure his family is taken care of. If we have a daughter, I will make damn sure she ends up with a man like her daddy. If we have a son, we will raise him to be just like his daddy. He will not treat women like objects, he will respect them as equals. We will raise our daughters to never settle, and to never let a man make her feel inferior.

This blog is rapidly becoming a sketchbook for my values as a parent. I'm kinda diggin' it.

Here's to hoping...

Up entirely too early on a Sunday morning. Practice? I guess.

Tony is at a work meeting, I was his alarm clock.

I got looped in to a Huffington Post loop, read a lot of parent articles. Got me thinking about the hopes I have for lil Peanut. Right now my main hope is that I don't have to get up in the middle of this to throw's hoping.

My precious child, this is for you.

1. I hope you're healthy. Above all, this is most important- above gender, weight, hair color, attitude, temperament, whatever- please just be healthy.

2, I hope you're happy. I want you to have the most amazing life. I know we didn't plan this out, we don't have any savings, and we don't have much to our names. We do have love and we do have happiness. I hope you love your life just as much as we love ours!

3. I hope you don't cry a lot. Is that wrong to say? I mean, it's the truth. If you do cry a lot, I mean, I can handle it. I'm just hoping out loud. Nothing wrong with that, right?

4. I'm hoping your daddy brings home breakfast. This really has nothing to do with you, I just really want a chicken biscuit with cheese from mcdonald's. Don't worry, he's already been text-ed.

5. I hope you appreciate time to yourself. As a child, I could entertain myself for HOURS. All I needed was something to occupy my hands. I didn't need a computer, iPad, or even tv (although I did love me some Sesame Street). Your daddy was the same way. Make sure you ask him about the things he did with aluminum foil one of these days.

6, I hope you're not a brat. I had a tendency to get a little bratty. I know if you're a girl, I'll expect some brattyness- comes with the territory. I just want you to be nice and polite, especially to others. You will get so much more out of life by being kind than by anything else. I will raise you with that value.

Well, I just puked. That was least there was no rice in it this time.

7. I hope you like me. Well, it's the truth. I've always said I was going to be a "cool mom," but as I enter motherhood, I have to really evaluate what that entails.  I want to be your best friend, but I want you to respect me as your authority. I don't want you to fear me, but I want you to respect me. I want you to know you can come to me with ANYTHING without fear of judgment. I want you to know if you do wrong, there are consequences. I want you to know if you do right, there are rewards. Those rewards won't always be monetary, but they will be rich.

8. I want you to have fun! I want to do all the fun things I did as a child, and SO much more! I want to take you to the beach, water parks, museums, plays, playgrounds, hiking, sailing, flying, anything and everything! I know daddy and I will have to work very hard, but we will take out the time to give you a stellar childhood.

9. I want you to be curious. Ask questions! Learn! Grow! Anything you want to know, I'm here. If I don't know, I'm sure google does. You'll never know if you don't ask, so please do! I want you to be so full of knowledge, you're talking in your sleep (which your mama, grandmama and great-grandmama do, so I'll be ready!). 

10. Above all, I want you to love me. I already love you SO MUCH, and you're already loved by so many others! You've got the most amazing support system you could imagine waiting for you on the other side. Take your time in there, grow big (but not too big, you gotta get out of there somehow) and strong. We'll all be ready and waiting for you out here. Just go ahead and start loving me now, okay?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The first time I saw you...

My first ultrasound... what an experience that was.  I didn't know what to expect. I was more nervous than anything. I just wanted to see my child, healthy and strong.

It was the first time I met my doctor, Jennifer Bolton. I must say, I was impressed. She is the exact type of person you want in an OBGYN. She's great!

My blood work from the day before came back perfect. I'm taking care of me, which is most important in taking care of lil peanut.

Tony had to work, so Mama was with me. I love my mom dearly, but she kept bringing up all this random crap that DIDN'T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH ME OR MY PREGNANCY! WTH?! It drove me nuts. In one of the videos she made of the ultrasound you can literally hear her say, out of the blue, "my father is 82...excuse me 92, and he's in perfect health! I mean, he's got some problems but he's in perfect health."

Really, ma?

Even Dr. Bolton didn't know what to say. That's Babs for ya.

As soon as I heard the heartbeat, a tear fell from my eye. All I could say was, "that's SO weird!" And it was weird. My baby's heart was beating inside me, and it melted mine. The beat was a perfect 150 bpm. Already an overachiever.

Then we moved on to the visuals. I cannot describe to you how it feels to see your child for the first time. It's literally love at first site.

Lil peanut was showing off! He/she was doing flips and moving all over the place! No wonder I've been so nauseous.

Ten little fingers, ten little toes. Bending those knees and elbows already! I can already tell, he/she's got Daddy's Italian nose and my lips. Spinal cord was perfect, so Dr. Bolton says.

I didn't want it to end! I didn't want just some pictures...I want MY BABY! It was truly amazing. It made it that much more real. I'm going to be a MOM.


all-the-damn-time sickness

Morning sickness my ass! Good lord was I sick, sick, sick these past few weeks. I mean, my GOD. Morning, noon and night...I was a giant barf bag.

I couldn't feed Lily in the morning without at LEAST gagging. The smell of that Beniful would immediately send me over the edge. God forbid if there was something stinky in the trash. Recipe for disaster.

I'm going to share my crowning jewel of pregnancy sickness, no matter how embarrassing....and it is embarrassing.

My lovely future husband/baby daddy/love of my life surprised me with some rice and shrimp sauce from Tokyo steakhouse. If you live in the Tuscaloosa area and have never eaten there, you are seriously missing out. I had been craving it for weeks, but was eating what we had at the house and saving the money.

When I tell you I inhaled that was so good! It was by far the most I had eaten in weeks. I have actually, at this point, lost about 15 pounds during my pregnancy. Not too shabby! :) PS. the doctor says this is completely normal and lil peanut is growing like a weed!

We laid down to enjoy a little trashy tv before bed. My stomach felt uneasy, but what else is new.

About 30 minutes later, the rice hit the fan.

I was violently puking. I mean, I threw up so hard, toilet water was hitting my face (and making me throw up more). There was rice on the toilet, the floor, the counter and sink next to the toilet, on the rim of the bathtub...everywhere.
To make matters worse, every time I would gag....I would pee on myself a little.

By the end of it, I was crouched over a puddle of my own pee, gagging, head throbbing, and sobbing my eyes out. I was so embarrassed at myself. I pulled myself over into the bathtub and rinsed off as best I could.

I started cleaning up and Tony stopped me. Told me to get in bed, he'd take care of it.

When he finally got in bed with me, I was still teary-eyed. I said, "I'm so sorry. I've never been that sick before. I'm so embarrassed. I never wanted you to see me like that." He replied, "baby, I don't know what you're talking about." I was confused. I tried elaborating, he stopped me. "Sweetheart, what puke? What pee? I went downstairs to take Lily outside. You must have been in bed the whole time."

He didn't want me to be embarrassed. He loves me that much. Now that, is an amazing man. When I'm hugging the toilet, he's right behind me, rubbing my back and holding my hair. When I need something, he's already got it. Not only is he my best friend, he's the best person I know. Our love is definitely friendship set on fire. I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with him.

Friday, August 24, 2012

I've got one heck of a story to tell...

Well, here we are. A brand new chapter has started writing itself, and I'm ready to share it with the world. To understand how we got here, we gotta go back to 2011. January 8th, 2011 to be exact.

 I was a 23 year old senior at the University of Alabama, ready to conquer the world!  I was making great grades, had a decent job, amazing friends, and the best puppy in the universe. Life was good! I was leaving work early that night, Tuscaloosa was having a (rare) snowstorm.

My roommates were out, and I was enjoying the solitude. I ordered some Jimmy Johns, lit a fire, and snuggled on the couch with my pup and some good tv. My phone rings. It was this guy I had been crushing on for years, but he had been dating one of my former coworkers. I kept my distance. Just a few nights before, he called me up. He said he was officially single and didn't want to wait another minute before he asked me on a date. My heart melted. I couldn't wait to see what could unfold between us. I answer the phone to learn that he is braving the snow to come see me. I was reluctant. I knew once he got here, there was no leaving. I decided to take a chance and make him sleep on the couch. A snowball fight later, the business major had stolen my heart. I was already in love.

A few months and several wonderful dates later, we were heading to Destin for my last official college spring break. March 17th, we became an official couple. I was over the moon. That night, the whole crew went to a foam party at a local club. Tony and I were dancing when he suddenly stopped and said, "**** it. I love you." My heart stopped. I immediately said it back, and meant it wholeheartedly. The cussing honestly made it that more real to me. We're both raw and uncut. I wouldn't have had it any other way.

We came home and Tony basically moved in with me. When you have that feeling, you just go with it. We were soul mates and there was no denying it. 

The semester was coming to an end. I was still going to have to take a few summer classes before graduating, but I was taking all my major senior classes and it was getting tough. Speeches, tests and papers. Things were stressful.

April 27th started out like any other Wednesday. We had been getting tons of warnings that the weather could get pretty bad later in the afternoon. That is pretty much the story of Tuscaloosa during the Spring. It's tornado alley, the sirens go off at least twice a week. We didn't think much of the warnings. A week before a minor tornado touched down on the other side of 15th street. My sister and her girlfriend's house received some roof damage and several downed trees. We were very lucky it wasn't any worse. We thought that was the worst that could have happened.

We thought wrong.

After my 2pm class was over, I was going home for the day. Tony didn't want me on campus alone if the weather was bad, so he was coming to pick me up from class. I was waiting for him under the shelter of Bryant-Denny Stadium when my brother calls me. He told me he was going storm chasing with his meteorologist buddy and he wanted someone in the family (that wasn't mom) to know. Before we hung up he told me he loved me and to be careful. It was going to be a long day.

Tony had picked up a couple pizzas for us to chow on before we hit the books. We were goofing off all afternoon, not worrying about what the weather could bring. We were actually out jumping on our trampoline late in the afternoon.

We were chilling on the couch, watching James Spann (our local weather aficionado) as the bad stuff got closer and closer to T-town. It was looking pretty dark out there, so we decided to let Lily (my wonderful pup) run around and do her business one more time before the bad weather came. We decided we needed to move our cars (which we had parked in the back yard) away from the huge trees back there.

As I was sitting in the drivers seat of my ol' red pickup, key in the ignition, door still open, I was struck by the strangest sound I had ever heard. I turned towards the back of the yard, and saw something I could never forget.

There it was...a supertornado. I couldn't see the top, or the bottom. Just swirling black clouds, debris flying everywhere, and pending disaster. I was frozen in the moment.

I couldn't think. I couldn't move. I was just staring. Finally I heard Tony screaming at me... "GET LILY! GET IN THE HOUSE! NOW!" Lily ran towards me. I scooped her up and darted inside. The power was gone. All I could hear was the sound of the beast.

Tony was in complete survival mode. Had it not been for him, I would have still been sitting in my truck, numb to the entire situation. He was grabbing pillows, blankets, anything he could. My roommate's dog was still in the house. I couldn't bear leaving her there to face the monster alone. She, as usual, would not come to me. Tony screamed, "either you're gonna die, or that dog's gonna die and I'm not losing you! GET IN THE BATHTUB!"

I crouched down on my knees and bent over, Lily trembling beneath me. Tony threw every he had on top of us. He laid over me facing the opposite direction. We waited.

For some reason, even then I didn't feel like I was in danger. I had the strangest feeling of calm. To this day I can't explain it.

Less than 10 seconds after we got in the bathtub, there was a huge crash against the side of the house. My heart stopped.

The pressure became so unbearable. I felt like my eardrums would explode at any moment. There was this huge relief in the pressure. It was the roof being torn from the house.

We literally felt like we were in hell. Everything was in chaos around us. It sounded like we were inside a jet engine. Stuff was flying everywhere, hitting you, scratching you, but you really don't feel it.

I heard Tony crying for forgiveness of his sins. That's when the calmness was drained from my body. I started praying. I tried screaming to Tony, to tell him that I loved him, maybe for the last time. My screams were muted. I felt his body being lifted up from mine. I somehow managed to free my hand, find his beltloop, and with two trembling fingers, I held him with all my might. I was not going to lose him.

In less than a minute, my home, my neighborhood, and my city were in ruins. I have never felt more scared or helpless in my entire life, but we were alive. I stood up and was overcome with disbelief. It couldn't be real. We couldn't be alive. There's no way...I didn't even have on shoes!

I stood amongst the debris in my bathroom, crying, screaming, repeating "my house, my house!" I didn't know what else to do. I learned later that my neighbor across the street was staring at our house at that moment, thinking there was no way we could still be alive. When he heard my screams, he cried with relief.

The front of the house
My bedroom

Our cars

The bathtub

Inside my truck

Our living room

Tony grabbed my trembling face and said, "Brittany, we're alive, okay? We're alive. You're gonna see some shit you don't want to see, but we're alive. We've gotta get outta here. It's not safe."

He was right, it was anything but safe. I found a pair of my jeans, Lucky brand oddly enough. I pulled them on over the cuts, bruises and god knows what else covering my legs. I stepped on a nail, because I couldn't find any shoes. Tony strapped his Chacos on my feet. He was able to pull a pair of his boots out of his car.

We found our phones, both with cracked screens. Tried to get calls out...nothing. I got one call through to my mom. I could hear her but she couldn't hear me. I heard her screaming, "Brittany, Brittany is that you? Are you alive?! Please Brittany answer me..." I was yelling, "Mom, we're okay! MOM! I'm trying to get to you, Mom can you hear me?!" Silence.

I found my purse. I put my jewelry box, my macbook (which was on my bed with roofing beams on top- still works to this day), and these vases that were my grandmothers inside. I shoved what I could in my oversized purse, before Tony literally drug me from the house. I snapped a few pictures (most of what you see above), I knew this was something I needed to capture.

The funniest part (if you can really call it that) of the whole situation was Coley, my roommate's dog. I was so worried that she didn't make it. Once the tornado wasn't directly over us anymore, Tony climbed up where the roof used to meet the top of the shower. He said he just "had to see it." As he watched the tornado rip apart other homes and building, I heard him say "that damn dog!" Coley was alive, and literally chasing the twister. For the first time in the 2+ years I lived with her, as soon as I called her name, she came running. I found a ribbon from one of my dresses and made a leash out of it for her. I was so glad she was safe.

We walked the streets of our neighborhood in disbelief. From what we could tell, everyone was okay! We found out later that 3 of the 4 people in the house directly behind us lost their lives. God bless their families.

The smell of gas was overwhelming. There was 2 gas stations on either corner of the main road behind our neighborhood. Both were in ruins.

I tried to carry Lily because of all the downed power lines, glass and other crap that was everywhere. She wouldn't have it. She's such a trooper.

The national guard came running towards us no more than 5 minutes after we got out of the house. They told us we needed to get somewhere safe because another storm was headed this way.

Where were we supposed to go?

We went towards the Midtown Village shopping center, behind our neighborhood and across a busy street. It had been damaged, but was still standing. As we were walking through the devastation, we saw 2 pristine white doves. It was the oddest thing I have ever seen! Everything around us was dead, but these 2 beautiful birds were sitting there, untouched. To this day I recognize that as some sort of holy spirit that was sent to watch over and protect us. Perhaps is was my late grandparents, Ginna and Papa. One thing is clear, something was watching over us that day.

As we made our way through the shopping center, we heard someone scream from inside Starbucks. Tony told me to stay outside with the dogs while he went in to see if anyone needed help. He helped lift a wall off of some people in there. Everyone was okay.

While he was in there, I stood on the sidewalk trying to make calls on my phone and keep the dogs calm. No easy task. This girl pulled up beside me. She rolled down her window. "Oh my God, are you okay?" She was pale-faced looking at me. I told her, "yes, we're fine. Just trying to get somewhere safe." She told us to get in, she'd take us where ever we needed to go. I called for Tony. We got in the car.

We started towards mom and dad's house. The roads were impossible. Her brother was in the car with us. He was in shock. He didn't say much. We made it to their house. I was SO happy to see there was no damage. I thanked the girl profusely. I was in tears. I just wanted to get inside. I can't remember the girl's name. To this day I wish I could find her, hug her, and thank her again.

As soon as I got inside to my mom, we both lost it. I told her the house and both of our cars were destroyed. She held me as we wept. I'll never forget how wonderful it felt to be in her arms.

Dad wasn't there. As soon as he heard our neighborhood was destroyed, he got in the car and tried to get to me. He couldn't get very close. I found out later that he parked about a half mile away and walked. As soon as he got close to Cedar Crest, he realized 2 things. One, there was absolutely nothing he could do. Two, if I was alive, I was smart enough to get out. He was right.

We waited and waited for him to return. I heard his car approaching. He flew out of the car and didn't see me. He exclaimed, "have you heard anything?! are they okay?!" He saw me. We both burst into tears. I have never seen my father cry. He held me so tightly it hurt. I didn't care. I was home, and I was safe.

My brother showed up later. He saw my neighborhood first hand, and was still in shock. He told Tony he had done his job, he saved his sister's life.

We spent the rest of the night counting our blessings, receiving numerous phone calls from family and friends. I have never been approached by so many crying people, glad we were alive. It was a humbling experience to say the least.

We didn't eat that night, didn't sleep either. Tony stayed with me there. I couldn't have kept my sanity if he left my side. I still hadn't "processed it."

I didn't sleep for days, not more than an hour here, and hour there. We even tried to go camping the next night, so we could turn our phones off and get away from the devastation for awhile. It didn't work. We had time to collect our thoughts together, and be thankful that we were alive and together. No sleep though.

My poor Lily shook for over a week. She still, like me, gets super nervous when the weather gets bad.

The next few days, we dug what we could from the rubble. President Obama walked the streets of my neighborhood, not that we were even allowed to be there. A cop was blocking the road, "you can't go in there!" I snapped. "Dude, I don't have any f**king underwear! I don't care if the president or Jesus Christ is in there, I NEED TO GET TO MY HOUSE!"

Tony talked to him much more rationally. I understand he was doing his job, and I apologized to him... I knew what he was doing wasn't easy. I had a lot of rage in me, and he was my whipping post.

I didn't salvage much. My grandmother's antique dresser was the only furniture we got. I got a good third of my clothes. Most everything was covered in asbestos so I didn't want to touch it anyway. What I recovered, I was happy with.

I have never been approached by so many members of the media. We were interviewed so many times. USA Today, a bunch of random news crews from all over the south. Our house was even on the National geographic special, Tornado Rampage. It was weird. I'll post some of the links to the stories later.

We kept being called "tornado victims." That really pissed me off. We weren't victims, we were SURVIVORS. By the grace of God, we were alive. I didn't appreciate being called a victim.

I graduated from Alabama that August with a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies. I have never been more proud of myself. It was a huge accomplishment, five years in the making.

Tony and I moved in with my parents. We spent the next few months trying to rebuild our lives. I got a job right out of school, not that it's the greatest by any stretch of the imagination. The job market here blows. I'm hoping this blog will take off and make me some money! READ READ READ! haha :)

In December, we got our own place. It was great to be out on our own. It has been tough, but no one ever said it was gonna be easy. On July 1st, we got a big shocker.

We had gone to Destin for the weekend, just to get away. I felt sick the whole time we were there. I thought I just had a bug. Well, I did have something. I was pregnant.

Now here we are, I'm entering my 2nd trimester. It's crazy to think how far we've come. We're making huge plans, and I bought my first pair of maternity pants last night. Quite comfy, I must say.

It may not be the plan everyone else has for us, but God doesn't care about your plans. We couldn't be more excited about this new chapter!

For weeks I've been sick and tired...throwing up all over the place. I'm finally getting my energy back and I'm keeping food down. YES!!

Follow me on this blog as I tell more of our story. From pregnancy, to birth, to the wedding, and through diapers and dimples...this is gonna be a great ride!