Leslyn's Lovely Life: July 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014

Being a Mom

Oh y'all.

Mommyhood has wrecked me. In the most wonderful, incredible way.

I'm an emotional, blubbering mess all the time. I cry over little things that aren't important, and I get my feelings hurt a little more easily these days. Bless my husband's heart.

In spite of the spit up, blowout diapers (the worst one happened at Dillards. The first day I decided to take the babe out in public. Lord help me), milk stains (everywhere), fussy moments, lack of sleep, and all of the glamorous things that come along with having a kid, I love this little boy. More than I ever thought I could. As I type this, he is in the Moby wrap, strapped up against my chest, sleeping with his mouth wide open and making the occasional adorable baby sound. I melt. 

I can't get enough of this little boy.

Y'all know that I didn't enjoy being pregnant. And I was warned by several friends that the transition into mommyhood is not easy at all. They were right to a certain extent- but I think that God has given me (much needed) grace in the past few weeks. Yes, there have certainly been some challenging moments. But overall, the good moments have far outweighed the difficult ones.

I'm trying to soak up every single moment I can. So with that being said, I'll stop writing, and leave you with some pictures of the prettiest child that has ever lived. I realize that is a completely biased statement.

Oh... check out yesterday's post and enter my Jen Hatmaker giveaway! :)

My favorite picture. OMG.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014


I love Jen Hatmaker. I have for a while- you've probably heard of her book, 7, where she "rebels against excess". Before she wrote 7, she wrote a book called Interrupted. You guys- she has revised and expanded Interrupted, and now it's being re-released. And it's awesome.

I was given the opportunity to read a copy of the book before its' release, and it has made me think. A lot. I don't know if you remember this post, but I've been struggling- because I feel like there's more to my life than what it is right now. Even after having the most precious baby 15 days ago- I still feel like there's more. That's where this book kind of became a struggle for me.

In the book, Jen recounts the journey where her life was completely changed by a simple prayer: "Raise up in me a holy passion." She had no idea what she was getting herself into when she prayed that, but it turned her life upside down in the most unbelievable way. She and her husband went out on blind faith and started a church that wasn't like most churches that we see. I don't want to ruin the whole story, because it is most certainly worth the read.

In the book, Jen brought up a few things that really, really messed me up. At one point, she mentioned that she couldn't remember the last time she led someone to Christ (or something along those lines). I realized that I am the same way. I have become so consumed by serving the churched, that I have completely neglected the unchurched along the way. Shame on me. Then she had to add this Gandhi quote that hurt big time: "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Ouch. That's me.

When you look at scripture, Jesus was not the popular guy, and he was not the guy who was friends with the "churched" (read: Pharisees). He did things that didn't make sense to them- he hung out with the prostitutes, lepers- "the least of these". Maybe it's time that I (and the church) step out of my comfort zone- and do what Jesus did. Instead of silently judging someone because they're not a carbon copy of my life (because I obviously have it all together... Haha), maybe I should start seeing them through Christ's eyes- a loved and valuable person who has a soul.

This is something that's bothered me for a long time. I've talked to my mom about it- I don't want to be a Pharisee. I want to be more like Jesus. I want to extend grace to others, even if they don't deserve it (a huge lesson I've learned recently). And let's be real- I mess up all the time, and I receive more grace than I deserve.

I want to change. Desperately. I want to make a difference. I have no clue how everything will play out, but when I die, I want people to be able to say that I lived my life trying to be more like my Savior.

Are you curious about this book yet?! Because guess what... Jen and the wonderful people at Tyndale sent me a copy of the (unreleased) book that I can give away. And... if you order the book through NavPress by July 31, you will get 20% off of your purchase! What?! That's amazing!

You have until Wednesday night evening to enter the giveaway, and I'll announce the winner Thursday morning.

About the Author:

Jen Hatmaker is the author of 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess and A Modern Girl's Bible Study series. With a heart for her generation, she speaks at conferences around the country. Jen resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Brandon, and their five children. To learn more about Jen and follow her blog, go to www.jenhatmaker.com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Monday, July 21, 2014

The Nursery

I've been promising a nursery post for months. I'm soooo excited to finally share it with you! But first, here's a little preview of some newborn pictures that we took of our little guy.

Here are a couple of disclaimers before we really get into the bulk of this post.

1. We wanted to keep it simple. We see so many nurseries that are filled with a ton of... well... junk. Over the past few years, we've learned that we're very picky about what we put in our house, especially when it comes to stuff to hang on our walls. So no, you're not going to see a bunch of "stuff" on the walls. But that's exactly how we like it. :)

2. There are a lot of really cool things that were handmade by family members. That's what makes this nursery extra special for us.

3. Purchasing info will be at the bottom of the post!

Okay so a long time ago, I told you about how my hubby decided that we would have an airplane-themed nursery. Here's the picture that we used as our inspiration. Side note: Laybabylay.com is seriously an awesome website. Y'all should check it out. 

And here's what we came up with!

Wall Color: Palladian Blue, Benjamin Moore
Crib: Franklin & Ben Liberty
Crib Sheet: Jonathan Adler 
Curtains: Target
Pillow (that's only in crib for decorative purposes right now) ;) : Target (no longer available)
Poster: eBay (no longer available)
Poster Frame: Garden Ridge *
Quilt: Made by my aunt
Airplane mobiles: Made by my sister-in-law (inspiration from Pottery Barn)
Shelves: Old, painted to match room decor
Dresser: Craigslist find; Read the post here for details
Glider: Best Furniture, Rena
Pillow: Target
Airplane shelf: Thrift Store, painted by my aunt
Basket on airplane shelf: Garden Ridge
Propeller: HomeGoods *
Letters: Hobby Lobby (spray painted silver)
Left airplane: Marshall's *
Small airplane basket: HomeGoods
Right airplane: Pier 1
Baskets (on shelves): Garden Ridge

* Places like Garden Ridge, HomeGoods, and Marshall's don't really have a consistent stock- it kind of depends on what you find at each location.

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Friday, July 18, 2014


Here are 5 things that I've already learned since having a baby.

1. Seriously- sleep when the baby sleeps.

Because you might die if you don't.

2. It really does take a village.

Side note- why does my husband's hair kind of look green in this pic? Weird. It doesn't look like this in the original photo. Either way. This is my favorite picture ever.

I can't imagine doing this without my husband, and my heart goes out to the people who have to do this on their own. Also, having my family here has been a life saver for both me and DJ. 

3. What was once your empty photo library is suddenly a collage of the funny faces your child makes. 

Side note: I am trying not to go overboard with the social media stuff. So far, I've managed posting only 3 pictures since he was born. And they're all sweet/special moments that needed to be documented.

4. There are some things that you can't really prepare for. 
Breastfeeding, postpartum recovery, and the sleepless nights. Just to name a few.

5. People are right- it is all SOOOOO worth it. 

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Emmett James

I will be posting our birth story later on, but I wanted to share a few pictures from our weekend! 

This was our last picture as a family of two.

And here's our first picture as a family of three!!! 

Mama got really sick, so they handed him over to DJ. He was so in awe of his daddy, so alert... They already have a sweet bond that makes me teary-eyed when I think about it. 

And y'all- he was born on July 12th. So he made the 1 in 48.6 million thing happen. Here are the three birthday boys.

To say that I am madly in love with this little boy is an understatement. 

Emmett James Jacks
July 12, 2014
5:42 PM
8 lbs, 12 oz
21.5 in
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Saturday, July 12, 2014

40 Weeks

Fun fact: We looked up how to calculate the chances of three generations sharing a birthday... Based on the math (365x365x365), it's a 1 in 48.6 million chance that this could happen. So seriously- pray that this child comes today. Because that would be pretty awesome. 

How far along? 40 Weeks
Maternity clothes? Yup! Today I'm changing into a hospital gown. ;) 
Sleep: Nope! Oh well!
Best moment this week? Our little boy is coming TODAY!!!! 
Miss Anything? I am so focused on meeting this kiddo that I can't miss anything! Lol! 
Movement: Yes- he's been SUPER active this week. And it's been kinda painful, to be honest. 
Food cravings: Nothing in particular! 
Aversions: Raw meat. But who really enjoys the smell of raw meat, am I right?
Showing? Of course!
Labor Signs? Yeah- I'm probably in labor as some of you read this. 
Belly Button- in or out? Stretched out
Rings- on or off? Off
Happy or Moody? Happy 
Looking forward to: Meeting our baby. Today. WHAAAT?! 

I know that I usually don't post on Saturdays, and that people don't tend to read a lot of blogs on the weekends. But if you ARE reading this, we really covet your prayers! Please pray for a smooth delivery, wisdom for the doctors and nurses and that he would be born before midnight tonight (so he can share a birthday with his dad and grandpa... how awesome would that be?!). And yes, that last part is a serious thing that I want you to pray about. :)

Check back on Monday for a formal introduction of our little man. If you want to keep up with everything on social media (and meet him sooner than people who only follow the blog), follow me on Instagram and Twitter: @leslynjacks.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Five Favorites

Since today is the last day before I officially become a mom (OMG), I figured I would do a little themed post. It's in honor of my husband (that mighty-fine-looking man in the picture), with it being his birthday tomorrow. :)

My five favorite things about it being just the two of us 

1. I've loved having the freedom to be spontaneous. Whether we pack up and visit the in-laws on a whim, or decide to go to dinner or get a sno-cone with our friends, it's been so nice to be able to do whatever we want, whenever we want. I married the king of spontaneity. He makes life so much fun.

2. I've loved having a little jam session whenever we want. Now, we'll have to wait until the baby wakes up if we have a moment of lyrical or musical genius. Womp Womp.

3. We've eaten at some pretty awesome restaurants that aren't exactly kid-friendly. Now, it will be more challenging to go to a place without a kids menu (that contains chicken strips, mac & cheese, burgers, and spaghetti. Because apparently those are the only things that kids eat, according to every restaurant in America).

4. Traveling in record time (without speeding). We drive to Houston a lot (because that's where my family lives). We can make it with just one stop- we gas up the car, grab food, use the bathroom, and we're back on the road within less than 10 minutes. Now, with a tiny human that needs to eat, have his diaper changed, etc., it's going to take a lot longer to get somewhere.

5. Being able to give DJ my undivided attention. I can't even begin to explain how much I love this boy. Like, really. If you've ever met him, you know that he is the most wonderful man. I love when he comes home from work and I get to hear about his day. Being engaged in a conversation with him that is free from distractions is awesome. Starting tomorrow, I'll have to split that attention between two people. It's going to be an adjustment for sure, but we have promised each other that we are going to do everything we can to make our relationship a top priority. It will take time and a lot of work. But it will be so worth it.

DJ, The past (almost) 5 years of being yours have been the happiest years of my life. I'm so thankful to be married to someone who loves me so deeply and unconditionally. I can't wait to do this whole parenting thing with you.


I'm linking up with LaurenAmanda (I can't find her Friday Favorites link up button... So I'm grabbing her blog button instead), and Karli! 

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Meet @ the Barre

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Reflecting on the Past Year

I've spent the past 40 weeks being pregnant. And it's been quite a journey. I figured that now that I'm 2 days away from being induced, I should reflect on everything. Because duh, that's what I do around here.

1. Women who are struggling with infertility need to openly discuss it.
I still remember sobbing every time there was a pregnancy announcement, feeling anger and resentment towards people (especially those who "had no business being pregnant"... Because I was judge-y like that). It was a dark, frustrating, lonely time. I hated it. Looking back on it all, I wish that there was a community of women that I could have grieved with. I think it would have made that time easier. I felt like I was less of a woman because I couldn't do "the one thing women were created to do" (which is a bunch of bull, by the way. Women have a much greater purpose than popping babies out left and right). We need each other. We need that community. So, if you're reading right now and you're walking through this struggle, I want to challenge you to be courageous and speak openly about what you're going through. It will encourage more women than you might think- I know I was surprised by the overwhelming response from women who were struggling with infertility after I shared our story.

2. Pregnancy is not nearly as glamorous as it seems.
Once we finally got that positive test, I knew that I would love being pregnant. The only thing that people told me about was morning sickness... Not once did anybody share with me the other "side effects" of pregnancy. So when those "side effects" started happening, I was shocked, and I thought something was seriously wrong with me. Thanks to the trusty old Google, I learned that things were perfectly normal. Regardless of the normalcy of it all- it wasn't fun or easy most of the time.

3. Strangers will touch your stomach, whether you like it or not.
It just happens. And there's nothing you can do about it. Personally, I didn't care if people I knew touched my belly. But I will never forget the man in Kroger who touched my belly, and I had no idea who he was. You just have to smile and keep walking.

4. People will make insensitive remarks.
Here are some of my favorites:
"You look like you're about to explode!!!" Nope, I'm only 26 weeks pregnant. 
"You're huge." I didn't notice.
"Are you sure you're not having twins?" Positive (this was a nurse who asked me this).
"Oh wow, you're getting swollen." I am?! I had NO idea!
"Pregnancy is gross." Well you know what? You're gross. 
After doing a complete body check "I never want to be pregnant." Wow.

5. You will probably gain more weight than you thought you would.
I was SHOCKED at how much weight I gained. As I've told you before, I will be posting all about that (probably starting in August), and I can't wait to go through that journey with you all. Before I was pregnant, I was judge-y (yet again) whenever I would see pictures of people like Jessica Simpson when she was pregnant. I mean, that girl got BIG (and it doesn't help that she's short to begin with). Well, I know how she feels now. And I regret ever thinking negatively toward any pregnant woman because of the amount of weight she gained. I NEVER ate for two or had midnight cravings, and I still managed to put on more weight than the doctors recommended. Y'all, it's UNCOMFORTABLE being big. I could write a lot more about this today, but I'll save that for August. Stay tuned. ;)

6. It's all worth it.
The weight gain, other weird side effects, and rude people don't matter. Yes, it's been one of the more challenging years of my life. But I wouldn't trade it for anything. This little boy is about to change me in a way that I can't comprehend. I stare at the picture of his ultrasound and think, "I can't believe he's ours." I can't imagine the love that I'm going to feel for him when I'm holding him and looking at him. I'm so ready. So. Beyond. Ready.


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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Song that I Need

For the past few nights, E has woken me up in the middle of the night (no, he's not here yet), and I haven't been able to fall back asleep for hours. This hasn't been a problem this whole pregnancy. Until right up to the very end, when I need sleep more than anything.

What's keeping me up?

Sometimes, it's him having the hiccups. But seriously, who has the hiccups at 4 in the morning?!

But other times, it's my mind that keeps me up. It wanders and I worry about things that are so beyond my control. I think about the process of giving birth (which I have always been terrified of... we're talking it's always been one of my biggest fears in life. And I'm 3 days away from doing just that), or how there are going to be countless more sleepless nights, or how I know that relationships are going to change due to the tiny human who is going to need me to survive. There are other thoughts too, but those are the main ones that have been standing out. As I said, they're all things that are beyond my control.

In spite of all of the worries, I keep telling myself (and I am constantly told by others) that all of this is So. Worth. It. And I believe it. I really do. I think I need Saturday to get here for me to get over those concerns. And then, like most mothers, I will have plenty of other things that I'll worry about. Again, they'll probably be things that I can't control. Haha.

Anyways, that was a super long introduction for a song that's been encouraging me this week. I haven't been able to stop singing it since the first time I heard it. I hope you enjoy!


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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Shows & Movies I'm Loving this Summer

As many of you know, I'm a teacher, which means that I haven't had to work since the end of May. So for the past 7 weeks, I've been trying to find things that help the days pass more quickly. I've deep cleaned our house several times, read some books, worked out, napped, and of course, watched Netflix & Hulu. I figured I would give y'all a few recommendations, just in case you need to waste hours of your life. Oh, and I'll throw in a couple of Redbox movies in my little list. Because they were that good.

Back in the old college days (when I went to college in Nashville... EONS ago), I was a nursing major, and thought that this show would help me learn things about the nursing profession. Oh what a silly girl I was. I stopped watching after season 3. Several weeks ago, my sis-in-law told me she was watching Grey's on Netflix. And I thought, "Good grief, I love me some Shonda Rhimes, and if the show is still on TV after all these years, I'm probably missing out on something really good." So I started watching again. And man, I sure am glad that I did.

Okay. Shonda Rhimes again. And I'm cheating with this one (just a little bit), because I actually watched this show in the spring. But you guys. If you haven't watched Scandal before, you are missing out. It is hands down the best tv show I think I have ever watched. I can't get enough of it. 

Zooey Deschanel is hilarious and quirky. I want to be her best friend. Especially after watching New Girl. Seriously, this show makes me laugh with all of its' weird humor. I highly recommend it if you don't want to watch anything really "heavy". 

We all need a little reality TV in our lives. I have been really impressed with Andi this season. I still think that Emily is my favorite Bachelorette, but Andi is really killing it. Also, the dress in this promo is awesome. :)

This was a movie that got some hype during awards season... Which usually means that it would be a hit or miss kind of thing for me. We rented it the other night, and I was expecting to semi-enjoy it. But you guys- this movie was FABULOUS. I highly recommend it. Judi Dench is brilliant. I laughed much more than I thought I would. And I also got teary-eyed. I'm telling you- a great movie.

This was the biggest surprise for me. I thought I was going to HATE it. The only reason why I rented it was because it was from the director of Love Actually (as you can see in the picture). DJ and I both ended up really enjoying this movie. I highly recommend it if you're doing a date night in. :)

I've also watched Hart of Dixie and Pretty Little Liars, but I have to admit that they aren't my top choices. For me, the plots in both shows are d-r-a-g-g-i-n-g. So I gave up on them.

What shows & movies are you loving this summer? Any recommendations??

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Monday, July 7, 2014

39 Weeks

How far along? 39 Weeks, 2 Days
Maternity clothes? Yup! 
Sleep: Not really. :(
Best moment this week? Knowing that I am only a few days away from meeting our little love. 5 or less, to be exact. 
Miss Anything? Comfort!
Movement: Yup- he is either super crazy active, or he sleeps. There is no in-between with this child. 
Food cravings: Nothing really!  
Aversions: The smell (and thought) of raw meat. Yuck.
Showing? Apparently I'm showing so much that when I walked through Dillard's last week, a woman's eyes got really big, she shook her head, and said "Oh no....". So I guess so. 
Labor Signs? Painful contractions all the time, but I'm still not dilated enough. And they contractions are kind of inconsistent (5 minutes apart, then 20 minutes, etc.). 
Belly Button- in or out? Stretched out.
Rings- on or off? Off
Happy or Moody? Happy & excited.
Looking forward to: Meeting our little boy. It's so close!!!! 

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Friday, July 4, 2014

Five Faves

1. Last weekend was amazing. I didn't take any pictures at the lake, because who has time for that nonsense when you're busy spending some serious quality time with your family?! It was so fun sharing stories and remembering funny things from our childhoods... I love my family. A whole lot.

2. The weather here in AR has been surprisingly pleasant. Usually, it's in the upper 90s/100s, and it's been uncharacteristically cool! The other night, the hubby and I walked around our neighborhood for an hour and a half (still no baby... booooo), but I didn't even break a sweat. That's how awesome the weather has been. I ain't mad about it.

3. Here's your last 4D picture of little E. He's getting pretty squished up in there. Poor kiddo. But I mean, look at those sweet baby lips. He's a chunk!

4. We have a 3 day weekend. And we have absolutely no plans whatsoever. Yes and Amen.

5. I have been trying to come up with a 5th thing to write about. But the thing is, everything else that I would mention has been blogged about this week. So read this little post if you haven't already. :)

I'm linking up with Lauren and Amanda at (I can't find her Friday Favorites link up button... So I'm grabbing her blog button instead)!

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Meet @ the Barre
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Thursday, July 3, 2014

It's really happening.

Welp, we have an induction date. July 12 (E's due date). His daddy's birthday. And his grandpa's birthday. 3 generations of boys, all on the same day. Unless E decides to come early. Mama wouldn't be mad about that. ;)

Once we set that date at our appointment this week, it all got REAL. Sure, his nursery is set up, we've had baby showers, I feel a little alien person moving around inside of me. But still. It finally hit me that my life is never, ever going to be the same again. All in a matter of 9 days (or less).

Our marriage is going to change- we're adding a huge blessing to our family, but he is going to be a HUGE responsibility. Together, we're going to have to figure out how to raise a tiny person into a grown man. It's not going to be nearly as easy to go on spontaneous dates anymore, or have uninterrupted alone time with each other. We are no longer going to sit at our house, bored because there's nothing to do. We have a person to take care of. Together. It's crazy.

My routine is going to change. Waking up 20 minutes before I have to leave for work is not going to ever happen again. I'm going to have to feed my kiddo, get him ready for the day, get myself ready, and pack all of his stuff for day care. Then, I get to drive him to day care, go to work, pick him up, take him home, and take care of him as I cook dinner. If he gets fussy in the middle of the night, it's our job to fix the problem. Basically, my days are not my own anymore.

Our home is never going to look the same. Toys are going to be scattered all over the place. Instead of my background noise being whatever I want it to be, it will be a kids show (I don't even know what kids shows are on TV right now. I have some learning to do). There will be plugs in electric outlets, and those plastic latches that ensure that little fingers don't get smushed in cabinets.

So many changes. But you know what?

We're ready.

We have prayed and prayed for this little boy... Since I was a kid, I've wondered what my own kids would be like. In just a matter of days, I get to find out. It's surreal. And it's wonderful. I can't even fathom how much we're going to love this little boy. I'm so thankful to have the best team mate ever to do this with (seriously, mad props to you single parents. You deserve to wear crowns every day and have someone give you free Sonic drinks all the time for everything you do).

So I'm doing my very best not to wish away these last few days of "normalcy". I'm trying to embrace the awkwardness of having a watermelon at the front of my body and waddling everywhere I go, because this season is almost over. Has it been more challenging than I thought it would be? Absolutely (there's a post coming up on that next week). In spite of the frustrations, I'm thankful for a pregnancy that didn't have a bunch of complications that could have jeopardized the life of our sweet Emmett.

Here's to 9 (or less) days of relaxing, watching Netflix, reading good books, cleaning our home, and enjoying my last few moments of alone time.

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