Wow…neglect is an understatement when it comes to describing how I’ve treated my blog.  Times change, though…and big changes have happened in my life.  Let’s backtrack a little bit.

I’m 6 months pregnant and decide to crochet some hats for Charley and Avery.  I only know a few stitches, and I don’t follow patterns…so my hats are pretty basic.  I want more.  I randomly decide that I’m going to teach myself to knit.  Yep.  So the next day I go buy some yarn and needles, sit down and youtube search how to cast on.  Three hours later I had done it.


I then decide to tackle my first project.  This is where I really start to get insane…because I don’t start with something simple like a scarf…nope.  I decide to tackle a newborn sweater.

And I did it.


The rest is pretty much history.  I kept finding new things to make…youtubing (that’s a word, right?) new stitches as I went.  Suddenly people were asking me to make them things.  Then people were asking when I was going to open up a store on etsy.  After much convincing, I opened up Sweet Southern Purl on October 17th…about a month after I first cast on those ridiculously huge needles.

I had my first sale on October 30th…and now…a little over 3 months later I’ve made 75 sales. I’m even international!

So…that’s the main reason this blog has been blank for so long.

And I’m still swarming in orders…I even knit in labor.

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However, even though Avery is the second child…I refuse to not write her the proper birth story.

If you’ve read Charley’s birth story…you know all about my marathon labor…about how much I, and the rest of my family, fell in love with my OB, Dr. Garcia.  You read about my wonderful nurse, Amber…who we found out was my neighbor…and is now one of my good friends.  And you read how my family was present at her birth.  All of these things came into play when I chose the way I wanted Avery’s birth to be.

It’s still hard for me to even believe this myself…but as soon as the stick turned pink…I knew I wanted Dr. Garcia to deliver Avery.  I knew I wanted the most important people to be there at her birth.  However…at my OB office you’re not guaranteed to have your doctor deliver your baby…and with my family living four hours away…they weren’t guaranteed to get here.  Who would watch Charley?  All of these things racing around in my head, and I make the decision that if all the conditions were right (aka, was my body ready to have Avery) that I would be induced.

So the weeks leading up to the tentative date I did everything in my power to NOT go into labor.  Entirely different than two years earlier with Charley.  As the date got closer it got more and more surreal.  Being pregnant with your first baby…you’re sort of just sitting around waiting.  Being pregnant with your second…while knitting as fast as your hands can knit…well you’re (or at least I was) kind of in denial.  Even at my last appointment when Dr. Garcia said my cervix was ready to go…I still hadn’t wrapped my head around the fact that an actual baby was going to be the result of this pregnancy.

Later on that day family started to trickle in.  My mother in law from Ohio…and my parents, sister, and grandmother (famously known as Moremama).  The only people that didn’t make it was my brother and sister in law (with good reason…they’re now pregnant and had an important ultrasound!).  The next day…in true Carolina fashion…the temperature dropped and an ice storm came.  Andy had to work all day, so everyone else hung out at home…anticipating the next day.

That night I could barely sleep.  It still hadn’t hit me.  This was so different than with Charley.  I messaged Amber (who was working the next day and would be my nurse again…although she had already told me that no matter when I had Avery she would be working) back and forth about being excited/nervous.  I put Charley to bed practically in tears…knowing that it was the last time I would put her to bed as an only child.

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I took a warm bath…tried to sleep but barely could…and before I knew it, it was 5:30am.  Andy and I loaded up the car and drove to the hospital.  I met Amber at the front desk, and I almost broke down right there.  Again…so surreal.  I got hooked up to the monitor to find out that was actually contracting every 3-6 minutes.  Who knew?

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My sister arrived soon after.  Let me pause for a second and say how wonderful it was to have her there.  She rubbed my back, did my hair, fetched me water, walked with me in the hallways…she did everything…even took pictures.  I love her so much.

Pretty soon the room was filled with almost all the important women in my life.  I had been trying to prepare Dr. Garcia for my moremama…because like I said…she’s…well…famous.  I knew she would provide some comic relief, but little did I know how much.  I don’t think Dr. Garcia had been in the room more than a minute before she asked if the mesh underwear I was putting on was a hat.

Yep.  Famous.

She even had a special "delivery outfit".  Rockstar.

She even had a special “delivery outfit”. Rockstar.

So the way this induction worked…was Dr. Garcia inserted a gel that would bring on stronger contractions.  After being monitored for about 45 minutes I walked the hallways with my sister.  I will always remember that walk.  Me in my personal gown…the one I wore with Charley…Jessica toting my IV pole…passing Dr. Garcia and him telling me I needed to be grimacing more.

I’m not sure what time this was….maybe 11:15?  But Amber came in and said that Dr. Garcia wanted to start pitocin.  I immediately sat up and was confused.  I was contracting every 1-3 minutes…and my water hadn’t even been broken yet.  I later found out that the reason we did pitocin first was because Avery was still high up and Dr. Garcia didn’t want to risk a prolapse cord by breaking my water too early.  However, as soon as I hear the word pitocin I ask for the epidural.  I’m already having a far from natural birth…and I’ve experienced pitocin contractions before.  Never again if I can help it.  That’s probably the one piece of Charley’s birth that has forever scarred me.

So about 30 minutes later (and a mini panic attack about being nauseous), I’m feeling pretty good.  This is when things get interesting.

After about an hour or so I begin to feel my contractions…very similarly to how I started to feel them with Charley when my epidural stopped working.  I’m texting my sister in law, Aimee, about how I’m feeling them…and starting to feel the urge to push.  I call Amber, and she checks me…5cm.  The pain and pressure continue and begin to get worse…and 20 minutes later it’s getting really intense.  I call Amber again as she’s walking through the door. I get checked…10cm.  Holy freakin cow.

Within minutes the room fills with nurses, and in walks Dr. Garcia who tells everyone that Andy is delivering Avery.  I’m completely stunned, because at Charley’s birth he almost passed out three times…and had asked me countless times if he didn’t have to even be in there with Avery.  Still…I see him being suited up in baby delivering gear.

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I started to involuntarily push.  I hear everyone cheering saying they can see her head already.  This is insane.  I push a few more times and her head was out…with the cord around her neck.  Dr. Garcia steps in because up until that point Andy seriously had been delivering her.  He gives the cord a tug, says “we’re good”, and has Andy step back in.

Andy literally has Avery in his hand.  My sister got some real juicy shots which I'm leaving out because I promised my mom.

Andy literally has Avery in his hands. My sister got some real juicy shots which I’m leaving out because I promised my mom no graphic pictures.

Two more pushes later…and my second daughter was wriggling around on my belly, rather than inside it.

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I had gone from 5cm to her being born in 29 minutes.  Icing on the cake…Dr. Garcia asked Moremama to cut the cord.  She still talks about it today and wants to send him a present for letting her do it.

At this point…and I hate even typing this part out, but I’m about being honest and real…and this was a real feeling I was having.  At this point…Avery on my chest looking around…eyes wide and locking with mine…I haven’t bonded with her.  I don’t know why…but I haven’t.  Maybe it’s because she came out so fast…or maybe it’s because I was so busy with things leading up to the day she was born…or maybe it was because I was worried about how she would fit in our lives.  I always thought the bond would be instant…and I was worried when it wasn’t.

Then the breastfeeding came…

And the bond was there.

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Oh it was there.

The rest is history.  I was absolutely in love with this little girl with no eyebrows and rosebud lips.

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Transitioning from one to two has been interesting.  That first night home was just plain weird.  Charley wanted nothing to do with Avery…or me for that matter.  But the next day got better, and before you know it…it was like Avery had always been there.

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Watching these two makes my heart melt and explode at the same time.

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And that’s the story of my second baby girl’s birth.

Love you so much Avery bug.

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It’s a…





Yep…it’s another girl!  I’m 16 weeks, and while that is on the early side, this little bit was not shy at all about showing off her own lady bits.  She flipped around, spread her legs, and let the world know that she was a she.

We used the same ultrasound clinic we used with Charley…and just like last time I feel like I’m cheating on my OB office.  I remember with Charley, Andy and I pretended we were surprised at our anatomy scan.  We’re cool like that.

I’m beyond thrilled knowing Charley will have a sister close in age.  I know there will be fights, but there is nothing like the bonds that sisters hold.

This is gonna be fun.  :)


I just wrote on Facebook today that I needed to blog.

Well this is certainly not what I wanted to blog about, but I believe in the power of prayer and that miracles happen.

I have a friend’s son who is Charley’s age who is fighting for his life right now.

This is a friend who I have never personally met…but I know her.  I know all about her and her beautiful son, Cayden…who happens to have a crush on Charley.

You see, we are a part of a tight knit group of women on Facebook who all have babies born in March 2011.  We tell each other things we wouldn’t dare post on regular Facebook…things we wouldn’t even tell our closest friends or husbands (because let’s face it…sometimes it’s about them).

No…we may not have met in person…but we are dear friends.

And friends…Cayden and Sarah need your prayers right now.


He has spent most of his life in the hospital…and his mama, Sarah…she is beyond wonderful…takes all the blows that happen and keeps on chugging.  I seriously don’t know how she does it.

Please take a moment and pray for strength and peace.  Pray that the doctors do the best job that they can, and pray that all Cayden feels is love…and that he keeps on fighting…because we need this kid in our lives.

Miracles can happen.

Let’s do this.

I originally had posted a different picture…but this little guy kept staring at me.

So I deleted my post and started over.   :)

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Lately I’ve been trying to grasp the idea of having two kids.  I have so much love for Charley…so much that arrived so fast and so intense…I have no clue how I will have the same amount for this next baby.  I know that my heart will grow more than I will ever know…it’s just hard to comprehend…and I think that’s the beauty of motherhood.  I remember before Charley was born…knowing that my life was about to be rocked…but having no idea just how much…that feeling is here again.

And I love it.

There’s a whole lot of love going around our house…


Lately I’ve had photo shoot after photo shoot…making me subconsciously not choose my SLR for personal photos…all of these are iPhone pics. :)

That’s right…I FINALLY started craving cupcakes.  Could be a bad thing…but man oh man…that first bite after nearly 6 weeks of no Cupcrazed cupcakes…bliss.  Pure bliss.

*Hair brushing*

Charley is really into brushing everybody’s hair she can get my brush on…including the dog.  She hasn’t really figured out which way to turn it so sometimes you can be minding your own business and get whacked with the backside of a very large, hard brush.


Yep…we’re still nursing.  I have no clue how long this will last during my pregnancy, but I’ll keep going as long as Charley wants.  I’m even prepared to tandem nurse once the new baby gets here.  I’ve heard that at around 20 weeks your milk supply tends to tank…but we’ll just cross that bridge when it gets there.  If she decides to stop then so be it…if she keeps asking…game on.

*Tiny braids*

Charley’s hair is growing at a rapid rate.  During her morning shows, I’ll sit and play with her hair.  The other day I decided to braid it…and lo and behold it worked.  Dear Lord it worked.  My next task is to try and actually secure the braids.


I’ve actually got a love/hate relationship with this one.  I love seeing Charley grow…but dammit I want her to stay little too.

She’s becoming quite the independent little girl…wants to eat by herself…hold the computer by herself…but even with all that independence she still needs her mama.  I love it.

*Naked babies*

It never gets old.  Nuff said.


I can’t believe we’re already halfway through July.  It’s been so hot this past month or so, we’ve barely been outside at all.  That changes as soon as I start feeling better…which I can already tell will be soon.

Until then…stay cool.

Catching up

I’m not sure if I will ever be able to keep up with this blog as well as I’d like…especially right now.  Between photography, landscape design, morning sickness, and running after Charley…I have ZERO time to blog.

Nevertheless, things have been happening.

Last week was spent at the beach with the whole Marsh family.  I don’t think words can describe the characters that were on this trip…living in the same insane house…for a whole week.

It was near perfect…even Andy, who notoriously gets bored on vacation, has been saying for days, “I wish I was at the beach”.  Everybody had a blast.

The whole reason for this trip…Moremama’s 80th birthday.

Family totally rocks.

And because adjusting to life away from the beach wasn’t hard enough…Charley decided to throw in a case of roseola to spice things up.  She woke up from her Sunday nap burning hot…seriously I’ve never felt a person that hot before.  I took her temperature with the temporal thermometer we have, and it said normal.  My mom is a human thermometer, and I was beginning to think she didn’t pass it on to me.  But Charley was so not herself…clingy, fussy…I knew something was up.  That night she slept awful, and it just happened that her 15 month well visit was the next morning. I ended up bringing our thermometer just to compare.  Lo and behold her actual temp was 100.5…mine said 97.8…and that was with tylenol.  Nice.  After her appointment I ran to the drugstore and picked up a new one…got home and found out sister’s temp was now 102.5.

I feel pretty blessed that Charley went 15 months without having a major sickness.  She’s had a few colds, but nothing like this.  And honestly, I don’t think I realized how sick Charley was until after the fact.  I’m convinced her fever was higher on Sunday just going by how hot she felt.

Still I kinda feel like Andy and I were oblivious.  We gave her motrin and tylenol, but other than that we just let her be clingy with us me.  I always wondered what I would do when Charley eventually got sick.  Well…it happened, and Andy and I conquered.  High five.

And finally today she woke up fever free…but she added a rash to seal the roseola deal.

It’s funny…having a sick kid makes you forget how sick you feel.

So there you have it…our last two weeks in review.  I’ll be 10 weeks with Baby Spencer #2 on Saturday…and even though I’m still nauseous…I can see the light at the end of the morning sickness tunnel.  Thank the Lord.

Well…it’s 9:35…and like clockwork I’m ready for bed.  Got a wedding to shoot tomorrow and then a sweet little newborn session Sunday morning.  Very blessed to be so busy.


It’s been awhile since I’ve submitted a photo for I heart faces, but I just couldn’t pass this one up.  Last week was amazing…our entire family…aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, parents, brothers, and sisters…all in one insanely huge beach house.  One afternoon my two cousins decided to have a dance party on the balcony…and my daughter had to partake.  I love the movement and pure joy in this photo.

Check out more enjoying life entries over on i heart faces!

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