Years pass and everything changes

It’s amazing how much life changes without us even noticing. When I look back on photographs from just a couple of years ago, the memories, the experiences, and even the faces (mine included) seem like they were taken lifetimes ago. Life is passing faster than I can blink and it’s so bittersweet.

This picture shows a moment each year  since 2009 – 6 years in the making. For the most part, each of these were taken about the same time of year.



2009 – just started dating Michael. We were on our first road trip. We went to Texarkana.


2010 – date night for our 1st anniversary


2011 – Michael proposed on Thanksgiving


2012 – We got married!


2013 – We’re pregnant!


2014 – Our first Thanksgiving with Genevieve


2015 – Genevieve is walking and starting to talk



Obsessed with Reds

I seem to be loving red lippies lately! This is my collection of reds as of December 14, minus a Mary Kay Tinted Balm in Poppy.

My favorites are Bite Scarlett, Hourglass Icon, Fresh Sugar Passion, Mary Kay Gloss Rock N Red,  and Sephora Rouge Infusion Red Essence.

Our Birth Plan

We will be delivering Genevieve in Little Rock at Baptist Hospital, which is about an hour from our home.  This makes me nervous and probably has me over preparing for her arrival. I have attended all the classes my hospital offers and I have read several pregnancy and labor related books.  I feel like having a written plan will make me more comfortable about the process, and even though I know that my plan is only a guide to be used and cannot be guaranteed by my medical professionals, it still makes me feel better to have all my thoughts in one place.

Our Birth Plan

The Graves Family Birth Plan 

Mother-to-be: Ashley Kendall Graves 
Partner: William Michael Graves 
Due Date: August 5, 2014 
Practitioner: Jenny Gregory  
Baby's Name: Genevieve Estelle Graves

Hello, Michael and I have been together for 5 years and we are excited and nervous to be welcoming our first child, Genevieve Estelle, into the world. We live with 3 dogs who have been our babies up until this point, so we hope they adjust well. 

I am a Librarian and Michael is an Engineer, so by nature we both like information. We would prefer to be given all the information possible about every step in the labor and birth process. We consider ourselves fairly well informed, as we have attended the hospital classes and read several books, but please assume we want to know more! 

I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis for which I take .150 mcg of Synthroid and I eat a gluten free diet. 

For the most part we want the standard treatment provided by the hospital, but we do want to be included in the decision making processes. There are a few things that we do have options on, and while we know that the health and safety of our daughter may cause changes in our plan, we would appreciate consideration of our preferences. 

Key Points: 

1.) My husband and I want to be the only non-medical persons present at the birth, visitors are welcome during labor and after delivery. 

2.) We want at least an hour to bond with our daughter after delivery, and after that we are willing to have guests again. 

3.) Please preform all medical interventions (shots, tests, etc) as soon as possible to ease our minds and prevent interruptions in our bonding. 

4.) My husband wishes to cut the cord, but other than that, neither one of us wishes to watch the delivery happen (ie. no mirrors). 

5.) Please wipe off our daughter before handing her to us, after the delivery. 

6.) We plan to breastfeed, so please do not give our daughter formula or other supplements without asking us first. 

7.) We are non-smokers and do not wish our baby to be exposed to the by-products of smoking. We ask that any smoker wash their hands after each cigarette and that they brush their teeth as well. We have purchased several toothbrushes and toothbrush cases to provide to all those who may need them (we know this is an odd request). 

8.) We have brought our own toiletry products for our daughter and we wish them to be used over the products provided by the hospital (lotion, wash, and wipes).  
9.) We plan to donate the baby's cord blood through the Cord Blood Bank of Arkansas and we have the collection kit with us.

First Stage (Labor):

* Clear fluids.
* Ice chips.
* Please offer me pain medication, as soon as possible.
* Regular Epidural 
Second Stage (Birth):

* I would prefer to tear than have an episiotomy, but please use compresses, massage and positioning. * Cord Blood Donation * No mirror
Baby Care:

* Prefer partner to cut the cord. * Immediate medical treatments * Breast feeding only
* No formula or glucose water 
Other Baby Care Requests:

* Use the toiletry products we brought with us * Brush teeth and wash hands after tobacco use
Medical Needs: Ashley has Hashimoto's and takes .150 mcg of Synthroid and eats a gluten free diet.