lottie's room

When D and I were newly engaged, one of the things I was most excited to do was to make my own wedding inspiration board. Why? I'm not completely sure. Maybe it was my only way of pretending to fulfill my then dream of being a wedding professional. Nowadays, that has completely translated into baby land. Probably because my dear friend, Sarah, introduced me to the ever-addicted laybabylay.com. [You've been warned.]

Now. I have absolutely no need to make Lottie a little board of her own. But it is a fun, mindless time-passer. And after the craziest fall wedding season, a little bit of mindless is very welcome. Her room's current state is also a little bit of a sad sight. She does now have a mattress to go in her crib, so that's progress, y'all! But now since said wedding season has come to a close, I have a little time to focus on making it the spot I've always dreamed about before her arrival. [Yes, I dreamed about nurseries.] And this helps to see if it really will all come together!

The room is mainly white on white...on white. We painted it Valspar's Du Jour and plan to use simple white bedding. Her room will be like most things in the house - a mix of old and modern, and it will have touches of gold and a tiny bit of warm wood. I'm absolutely most excited about a banner that I dreamed up for above her crib that my totally completely insanely talented friend, Lydia Hendrix, is bringing to life. And I can't wait to show off her work!



I never understood how you could have a feeling either way. The moment I thought this baby was a boy, I immediately felt like he or she could easily be a girl. And we were honestly completely happy either way. Then randomly the morning of our gender ultrasound, I had convinced myself that it was a baby boy. Completely. 100%. And I was so wrong!

Charlotte Gail Jenkins (who will be called Lottie) interrupted D's little Jenkins' family branch full of boys: a grandfather with two brothers, a father with three brothers, and D with two brothers of his own. Lottie Gail will certainly be doted on! And she, of course, continues the McMahone family tradition of girls, girls, and girls. I want my daddy to have a grandson so bad I can taste it, but that's what he gets for being such a good Daddy and Pops to all these girls.

A week later, it's finally sunk in that this child of mine is a little girl. And I am SO EXCITED. D is too, and that daddy/daughter dynamic is one of the things I'm most thrilled about. Let's be honest, he's going to be so wrapped. I can see it now! And, yes, I'm excited about all those precious clothes. Especially the arsenal of hand-me-downs coming from Lottie's two older girl cousins (major little sister perks).

Though the excitement of the actual reveal can hardly be topped, the best part of that morning was a great and reassuring report from our doctor. With a complicated first trimester full of miscarriage scares and partial bed rest and that standard exhaustion and sickness, it was so reassuring to hear that it's ok that I'm feeling like myself again and that all looked just right surrounding baby. Music to a mama's ears. I'm overwhelmed by what the Lord has brought us through so far, how He has loved us through Lottie, how His mighty hands that formed the universe are forming her. Talk about something fueling your worship!

He has been faithful in the moments that I wasn't, when I turned to statistics and message boards for comfort [yea, don't do that]. He was faithful when we weren't always sure what to pray. Sometimes we prayed for this baby to be perfectly healthy and whole and sometimes we prayed for God's will to be done. I cried the most when D prayed that this child would live a healthy life, outliving us as his or her parents. And He was faithful on the most worrisome of days. But no surprise there - He is always faithful!

So now we're picking out paint colors and choosing a few pink registry options and absolutely loving calling her by name. D is spending a little bit of time keeping up with my super random cravings [honeycrisp apples, Fresh Market's lemon orzo pasta, strawberry pop tarts]. We remain thankful for our family and friend's constant excitement and support coming from all directions. Thank you thank you for all the congratulations from the last post. I was so surprised since I thought I was slipping it in there under the radar. I absolutely love everyone's adorable pregnancy announcements, and I, an over-sharer, always dreamed of what we may post one day [what a funny social media world we live in]. But I also know the feeling of seeing a string of announcements when you are so hopeful for a little life yourself. Again, I love them. Not one ounce of anything against them. I just come from a slightly different viewpoint these days.

The sweetest and most surprising part of this sharing process has been the private messages from so many acquaintances and friends telling me about their similar situations - some on the other side and some still waiting. What a privilege to hear their stories, to relate to them on something I would never have been able to this time a year ago. I carry a list of their names with me, praying and hoping for each one.

We love you, Lottie Gail. More than ever, we can't wait to meet you (and this mama can't wait to feel you move). But we do have a few things to do before you get here!


on waiting [sort of, kind of, not really]

This time last year we had settled on November - because November + 9 months seemed like good timing [whatever that means] and because I selfishly wanted to ride Rockin' Roller Coaster [among others] during our big family trip to Disney World. Like lots of friends have told me since, once you decide you'll start trying to start a family, you just go ahead and start then. So November became September, and I said I'd be more than happy to hold everyone's bags while they road the big rides.

It didn't really matter. September, October and November passed with no dice. In the midst of the busy holiday season, I decided to start driving myself crazy with calendars and temperatures. Friends suggested apps that had worked for them, and I picked the brains of everyone who had been successful - each one unknowingly adding to my madness with their conflicting answers. My fault, of course. It's true - every woman really is different. And I had absolutely no pattern at all.

December, January and February brought an official half a year of trying. Such a small amount of time in the lives of so many, but half a year seemed like a giant boulder to me. Halting and unmovable, getting heavier with every false symptom, every Google-search. And especially when my current doctor said she likes for her patients to try for a year before they discuss options or dig into problems. A whole year? It seemed like an eternity to my controlling, emotional self.

This time was laced with a rhythm of a few different emotions: tears because the monthly disappointment and waiting it taxing, tears because we didn't know what was wrong, moments of deciding not to care anymore and just try when we felt like it - no more calendars or Google or questions. And most of all, a steady wave of The Lord's promises. Reminding us that He works all things for the good of those who love Him even in my most faithless of moments. Reminding us that His word does not return void, that His timing is perfect.

So we decided we would continue trying and seek a different doctor to see if someone could put their finger on it. And if not, we would know that good for us meant not being able to have biological children and that we wanted His good over our blind desires. But, let's be honest, there were still tears [and a gazillion pregnancy tests]. He provided us selfless and bold friends - not afraid to ask her doctor who wasn't taking any new patients if the girl who couldn't get pregnant could be squeezed in.

I instantly knew the Lord had provided Dr. Keeton and her nurses, Mandy and Ali. They pinpointed my problem immediately - PCOS. A super fun hormonal imbalance that makes you gain weight and makes it hard to get pregnant and can cause some issues down the road if not looked after. For some reason [that even Dr. Keeton doesn't understand], a diabetic medicine helps 80% of those with PCOS conceive within three months. Praise the Lord for creating the minds of those scientists and doctors who figured that out!

Just as I had hoped I would be a part of the women that had an easy time getting pregnant [that ship, of course, had sailed], I hoped I would be a part of the 80%. Those three months were hopeful but still emotionally taxing. Waiting, just as we had done every month for the last nine, is what we continued to do. And what drove me the most crazy. But only on some days.

I had always joked to D that I couldn't even fathom looking down and seeing a positive pregnancy test after the warehouse of tests I had taken. My sister had told me that double line showed up instantly. And that was exactly my experience!

I was working from home that Monday and spent most of the day thinking on the last nine months and The Lord's goodness. I thought about how supremely out of control of this situation I was and how thankful I was that that was the case. And how realizing how out of control I was made me want to throw myself to my knees and prayer more than ever before. Right after I thought - Lord give me this urgency in all aspects of life!

I hope that next time we go through a waiting and wondering period, I'll remember how I felt that day. I thought about The Lord's plan and the last nine months. How they had seemed so long and full of heart ache and confusion. Now they seemed like nothing, like a flash. May I never forget He has a plan and that we are so undeserving to have any part of it. May I never go through these waiting periods and take away glory that He deserves.

On the last line of my journal that day I wrote, "So I will eat right, take my vitamins, and exercise. I will pray for our growing poppyseed [because, yes, I had already downloaded every pregnancy app]. But I will rest in The Lord's goodness and in His plan, whatever that may look like for Baby J. Because I don't deserve even on second of the joy I've experienced today."

Through a couple of complications healed by The Lord, that joy continues to grow and is currently a healthy 13 weeks and, Lord willing, coming February 2015!


The support and excitement from our family and friends has been overwhelming to us. We would not have wanted to journey the nine months before the big news and the nine months following without you! And thanks to our few loyal blog readers [hi mom!] for making it through this long-winded exciting announcement!


a baby shower for jan

I'd bet that our Sunday School class holds the record for the most-frequent throwing of baby showers. Which is wonderful, of course, because there's always a new little one to pass around at the next gathering. Soon that will be Jan's baby boy, and we can't wait to meet him!

My favorite part of baby showers? Even though I love a flower arrangement or Jessica's amazing vanilla bean scones, it's that moment where it feels like the official shower has ended. It's when some have trickled out [though I hate to see anyone leave!] and those left go back for seconds on the biscuit bar and thirds on the lavender lemonade. It's when friends curl their legs up on our deep couch and prop their feet up on the ottoman. It's when conversations bounce around from obsessions with the Duggars (guilty) to real and current struggles and excitements. It's my favorite part. 


remembering papaw sam

We traveled to my hometown for my dear Papaw Sam's funeral a couple weeks ago. Besides the time spent on all the details and logistics that go into planning a funeral, there was a lot of time spent swinging and rocking on the front porch, eating the heaps of food brought by generous family friends, loving on our nieces. Papaw would have loved it. 

It's such a unique time when you're all together for a funeral. My sister's co-worker called in "sad fun" because you're together but not for the circumstances you'd prefer. And it was just that. My sadness has lingered more than expected because I will miss Papaw terribly; very few people in my life have made me feel as deeply loved as he did. I think it's also because of the reality that our days our numbered with the greatest generation of who my Papaw was one the greatest examples: full of humility and diligence. A generation giving way to the next, much faster than we’d all like. May we all take intentional time to soak up some wisdom like we have been so blessed to receive from our Papaw.

Because of how close I was to Papaw and because of how much I've learned from him in my lifetime, I've always known I wanted to speak at his funeral. And because I want you to know how wonderful my Papaw was, I've included my speech below. 

For Papaw

“To know him is to love him,” could not have been truer of my Papaw Sam. And though I am so sad to say goodbye to one of my very favorite people that I have ever known, I am overwhelmed with pride as I think through all the different characteristics that I could share with you today.

I could share about his deep, deep love. The kind only grandfathers possess. The kind of love that thinks his grandbabies could do no wrong. The kind of love that is never too busy and certainly not too proud. After all, he played countless hours of house with me in the backyard: fully in character as my little boy and I his mama. And fully willing to take a nap on his work bench like I demanded and for as long as I demanded. He was never too busy to help us shoot our first gun, to walk down to the pond to feed the ducks with stale sandwich bread in tow, to write the kindest of birthday cards year after year. It seemed nothing in the world mattering to him except to be fully with us in those moments. Especially as life’s pace only continues to increase, I can see what a rare and beautiful gift that was.

I could share about how enabling our Papaw was. How his words and his action provided us with heaps of abilities and confidence, making us feel like we could do or be or accomplish anything. And whether we were successful at it or not, we knew he was proud. Because he said so. He could even use something as simple as a trip to McDonalds. Story goes that he’d send Molly’s little blonde-headed self to the counter, telling her to order whatever she wanted and to just get him the same. So there they sit in my mind’s eye, sharing so much more than just happy meals. In the eyes of Papaw, we could do anything we imagined. And with love that strong, you couldn’t help but believe so too. When I left for college, he wrote me a letter that remains framed in every place we’ve lived since. He told me to “remember that I was Meagan, with the ability to choose the good things in life with no regrets.” Those few intentional lines have rippled such confidence through my life and my decisions.

There are really endless qualities of Papaw Sam that I would be proud to share. But for now I’d like to tell you about Papaw the Caretaker. As a diligent steward in all aspects of life, Papaw taught us what consistency looks like even in the least glamorous of tasks. You could always find him tending to the house or the yard, fiddling in his workshop or on the cars, or seeing to his rose garden. He selflessly wanted us to be prepared for anything – always taking the time to think of something we may need, some wisdom he should share with us. Always sending a boost in the funds to us poor college students. I like to think of him even as a caretaker of his country – serving as a marine in two wars and instilling in us such pride for our veterans. He was a faithful constant at Emmanuel Baptist in Minden. And, so I’ve heard, a class favorite here at FBC when he was able to attend. And even days before the end of his life, his greatest concern was not for himself but for his family. Papaw the Caretaker showed all of us what a faithful marriage looked like. A marriage to my amazing Mamaw that thrived for over 68 years. What a catch they had in one another. And with that role of husband, he nurtured a lasting family dynamic. One of loyalty and of faith. Even in his living he was our caretaker as he prepared us, possibly unknowingly, for his death. Because of his legacy, we have siblings and children, aunts, uncles, and cousins to lean on and cry with through his loss. Most importantly, through his life that reflected his faith in Jesus, he taught us that our hope is in the Lord - offering us peace knowing that he is spending eternity with Jesus. There is no greater gift.

Even though in the eyes of the baby granddaughter, Papaw could do no wrong, we won’t tell you he was perfect. What we will tell you that, because of his 94 years, we are better people, better fathers and mothers, better spouses, better employees and church members, and better followers of Jesus.

We will miss you terribly Papaw. We will remember your sweet smile, your big hands, your long jokes and stories. We will remember your lessons and your love. And we will do our best to live remembering one of my favorite saying of yours: to remember that life is a big bundle of little things, so have a little fun each day. We love you.


mamaw turns 90

If I, Lord willing, get to celebrate my 90th birthday, I hope I will be up for a girls trip with my daughter and granddaughters just like my wonderfully spunky Mamaw Loyce. I hope I'll want to eat Italian food and go shopping and get facials and go for pedicures. I hope I want to sightsee and have a two hour breakfast in bed and go to brunch and eat enormous amounts of chocolate cake.

When together, we talk and laugh and carry on so much that multiple people told us we needed our own reality show. This, of course, makes us completely unfit for the relaxation room at the spa. We're too loud even post-massage. All of this makes me incredibly thankful for all these favorite females of mine and the opportunity to be together. 

Happy 90th Birthday, Mamaw! I'm so glad you were born and that you are the matriarch of our family. I'm so glad to be called "Little Loyce" at family reunions. And I'm so glad for your indescribable love!