God Lives in Petri Dishes too

This blog post first appeared in skirt! magazine’s blog as a contributing blog post. Enjoy!

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When I first wrote the title of this article, I stopped and thought to myself, Come on Priscilla, you’re in the south. You can’t talk about God in skirt! Magazine. But then I realized, that statement is one of the many reasons why women shy from talking about infertility. God. If you have read my blog posts or other pieces on skirt! you may recall that I am aware of the religious stigma that other people might feel about fertility treatment. But as a huge fan of modern science and the overwhelming drive towards motherhood, I have long casted aside any “fertility treatment shaming” that may come my way.

My husband and I have recently begun talking with our fertility doctor about the next step for our family. After having been blessed with a perfect, healthy baby boy, the idea of giving him the gift of a sibling, and expanding our little wolf pack, makes us smile from cheek to cheek. But we know we will not be able to go at it alone.  But luckily, we have our little embryo #2 frozen in a petri dish for whenever we are ready for him. Or her.

Last month, I was at a dinner party discussing motherhood and pregnancy with some of my girlfriends, like one does of course. It always makes me wonder what the heck I used to talk about when I was in my twenties. The weather? Netflix? Who is Taylor Swift dating? Okay, fine, I still talk about those things too, but motherhood and pregnancy will now and forever be ranked as number one on my list of hot topics. So, we’re at the party, discussing the topic of getting pregnant and I mentioned how fertility treatment can be controversial to some people of various religious backgrounds. My friend Katherine, who never fails to be the voice of reason, turned to me and said, “well you know what… God lives in petri dishes too.” We all smiled, nodded our heads, and the subject soon shifted away. But what she said in that moment, I will never forget. Maybe what happens in petri dishes is highly controlled and solely based on the hands of doctors and embryologists. Or maybe miracles happen in petri dishes that nobody, even the doctors, can explain. Or maybe, just maybe, Katherine is right and God works in petri dishes too. Not a day goes by that I don’t fall to my knees and thank God, the universe, the powers that be, or anyone who is listening, that our little embryo #1, who spent the first five days of his existence living in a petri dish, is now an almost two-year old toddler who loves trains, reading books with daddy every night, and calling himself “baby” as he throws his arms around my neck.

So on this Thanksgiving weekend, I will be giving thanks once again to all of my many blessing, including the littlest one of all, who is no bigger than a poppy seed and is waiting patiently right over the bridge, at a clinic, in a petri dish. 

fall, fairs, & festivals

In Charleston you never can tell when fall ends and winter begins. The weather is pretty much the same and the temperatures around here never really drop until late into January. So as soon as November ends and we put away the orange pumpkins, replacing the house with all things green and red for Christmas, well that to me means fall is over and winter is here! My latest video is a quick four minute recap of the fall season that was filled with football games, pumpkin patches, festivals, the fair, and of course trick or treating! We had such a blast dressing Liam up as Max from “Where the Wild Things Are,” one of my favorite books to read to him. So much fun in fact, that we forgot to take any video during trick or treating! But stay tuned for the final few seconds if the video to see Max….err Liam…. as the wildest thing who ever went to story time at the library! Hope your fall was a fun and festive one and happy “winter” to you all!

Seasons Change but Somethings Stay the Same

This post was originally written for skirt! magazine’s contributing blogger series and was published at the end of the summer, but I thought I should share it here as well. Enjoy!

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When you live in a place like Charleston, where tank tops and beach days last all the way through December, every day can feel like a summer vacation. Somewhere in between the sunscreen and sandcastles, I blinked and suddenly we’re halfway through 2017. This time last year I was cooped up indoors with our new baby. And now here I am this summer with a wild little toddler. Seasons change and life moves along. And as I think about how fast time is moving, I’m reminded that my clock is ticking. Not just the little clock on my Apple watch but my 35 year old maternal clock.

Our journey towards getting pregnant with Liam was long and at times seemed hopeless. My dreams of wanting a big family started to diminish and I instead had begun to settle on: If I could just have one baby that would be fine. When you are trying to get pregnant, everything revolves around timing. You become obsessed over time.  Long days which turned into two very long weeks, waiting for a + sign to appear on a stick. And then nothing. And then more waiting two more long weeks to ovulate so you can try it again. And around and around it goes. When something is so dependent on timing, ironically time moves by very slowly.

So here we are again trying for baby No. 2. Trying to get pregnant for the second time seems like the same old song and dance. Some things never change: Ovulation sticks, fertility smoothies and hormone injections. But this time seems so difference. The anxiety, hopelessness, and fear are all gone. Before Liam, we felt like we were just waiting: waiting to be parents and never knowing if we ever would. But now that he is here, a weight has been lifted. Adding another baby would just be the icing on the cake of a beautiful little family that we already have.  We beat infertility once, maybe it will happen again. Maybe it won’t.  But if this curly haired kid has taught me anything, it’s that there’s not enough time in the day to feel sad, to be anxious, or to feel sorry for yourself. Those days are in the past.

The days may be long, but the years go by so fast. I am going to enjoy these days with my little family and not worry about the future. Because there is no where better to be than in the present. 

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Easy DIY flannel cape

The weather here in Charleston, SC has made its way down to the 40s and just in time for Liam’s I-refuse-to-wear-socks-and-shoes phase of toddlerhood, leading to moments of bribery and shouts of “well, then mama has to carry you!!” followed by tears and then “oh wow, mommy, look a bulldozer.” So nonetheless we took this chilly opportunity to bundle up and walk downtown to grab brunch, sporting my new handmade flannel cape. Socks and shoes optional, of course. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the cape trend. I mean, really what is the deal…Are ya just wearing a blanket? Did your scarf and sweater have a baby and this is what popped out? And what in the world are you supposed to wear underneath? So you can see, I had some questions. But Jo’Anns Fabric was running a 50% off all flannel sale, so I bought this pretty red/black/gray combination for about $4 a yard and stared at if for over a month before deciding just to give it a go. And I am so glad I did. Not only is this a great gift idea (because sizing wouldn’t be such an issue), but it also has tons of campfire memories and winter maternity wardrobe potential. And both are things I would like to partake in again in the future, should I be so lucky.  DIY TUTORIAL:

  1. With your fabric laying out flat on the floor or table, mark the halfway point and cut a long slit, up the middle of the fabric length wise ). The cut part is your bodice front, the uncut part is now your bodice back.
  2. Cut the four corners of your fabric into a curve. I like to use an old CD to get the perfect curved shape but you can always just free-hand it.
  3. Fold your side edges in towards the wrong side twice and hem in place. You will also need to hem the slit that you cut down the middle.
  4. At this point, try your cape on and see how you want it to sit on your shoulders. I chose to pull the back down longer to make a high-low hem. But you could leave it even across the entire bottom hem). Once you’ve decided how you want it to fit, place a few pins  at a comfortable place below your arm holes at the side seams, and very carefully take the cape off.
  5. With wrong sides together, sew a line of stitches 5 inches across each side where the pins are and make sure to backstitch in place. This will mark the location of your arm-holes and keep the cape from sliding back or sliding off.
  6. Now you are done! Bundle up your family and head outside!

Hope you enjoyed this easy peasy tutorial and a real life, raw moment of parenting fail as I brought my crying, shoe-less child out into the cold (well it was a 46 degrees but you know, we have that Southern blood so anything below 60 is freezing to us. But have no fear, we shoved a croissant in front of him and he was humming a brand new tune in no time).  If anyone makes any capes of your own, please share a link to your photos in the comments below. I would love to see how you style yours! Until next time, xoxo Priscilla

How to Draft and Make Your own Graphic Baby Tees

With every new season comes the perfect opportunity to dress your child up in theme and take thousands of photos. I figured better do it now because in only a few short years, he’ll have a strong opinion about what he wears. Then he’ll be 13 and wearing t-shirts with band names I have never heard of that he hopefully will let me wash once a month or so. These are the things I think of late at night. So anyways,  Continue reading

The Easiest way to add fake Shiplap to any room

 As HGTV’s Fixer Upper enters it’s final season, I thought it was only fitting that I finally do a blog post on how we did fake “shiplap” in our home. Ever since Fixer Upper became a hit TV show and the Shiplap Queen herself, Joanna Gaines, began adding it into almost every episode, shiplap has become the pumpkin spice latte of home renovations. Many older home and even barns used shiplap walls because the boards overlaped slightly and are flush to one another making them watertight. But now shiplap is used even more as a decorative accent to give the home a rustic look. I instantly became a shiplap groupie and if I had it my way I would incorporate it throughout the entire house. So when we started decorating Liam’ s nursery, I had lofty ideas to do an accent wall with white washed shiplap. But after the medical bills arrived from Liam’s IVF we realized we had a budget of oh, about negative $8000 for his nursery. So I found a much cheaper and fun way to get the same “shiplap” look. Continue reading

our top five DIY couples Halloween costumes

Halloween is the only time of the year where I can buy the cheapest, ugliest fabric from the fabric store, sloppily sew it together, add an obnoxious amount of embellishments, and people suddenly think I have created a masterpiece. Continue reading

a DIY onesie + an important message

As much as it hurts me to bring it up, how many of you remember the infamous “locker room talk” between Billy Bush and Donald Trump? Despite which political party you affiliate with, I think this is something we need to talk about. Continue reading

A D.I.Y Sundress for “Fall”

While my entire Instagram feed seems to embracing fall and talking about “sweater weather,” we here in Charleston are enjoying one last beach day, sweating through 90 degree temperatures in September, and living it up in tanks and sundresses. So I decided it was only appropriate to make one last “summer dress” to have in my handmade collection. Continue reading

Baby’s first college Football Game

When I think about my many past college football tailgates, I have such fond memories of dancing on the tailgate of a truck with my girlfriends singing Nelly at the top of our lungs, eating one too many orange jello shots, and preparing for endless games of flip cup. But that was many moons ago. Before the days of iPhones, hashtags, husbands, and babies. Those were the good ole days. These days I swap out Solo cups for sippy cups and jello shots with goldfish crackers. Continue reading