Party of Four {an Announcement & Giveaways}

I remember seeing a ridiculous commercial for a pregnancy test several years ago. It showed a woman jogging and [apparently] thinking out loud: “I’m so distracted lately . . . could I be pregnant???

Really? I just can’t imagine THAT is the symptom that drives women to pick up an EPT at the drugstore. For me it was seeing the red letters in my ovulation app (yes. There IS an app for that.) say, “You’re five days late!”

I normally keep very close track of these things, so I was first surprised to realize I hadn’t noticed that myself. And after that first test (because I took two, of course. You can never be too sure about these things!), I was definitely surprised to learn that I was, indeed, pregnant!

Yep. I’m 10 weeks pregnant, due to make this family a party of four sometime in January.

Fertility – or lack of – isn’t normally the sort of thing I write about here; it’s felt too personal, too hard to put words to. Besides, talking about “trying” to get pregnant is just . . . weird to me. You’d rather not know about that, right? And to write about how it hurt to look at the fourth stocking in my Christmas decoration box, the one I bought just in case seemed unfair when I have one healthy miracle of a kiddo that I really am grateful for.

And never mind the breakdown I had when, just about a month before finding out we’re expecting, I gave away an enormous bin of baby clothes. I even said to Mark, “I don’t know why I’m crying, okay?! I just think it means we’re just not going to have a baby ever . . . although . . . I do know a lot of people who got pregnant right after giving away a bunch of baby stuff . . . YES, I’m still crying, okay?!”

For quite a while now, we’ve tried to balance our feelings between knowing this just might not happen and feeling like our family wasn’t quite complete yet. And now . . . well, now I’m managing to feel super excited and blessed at the same time I’m uber stressed about selling our house and terrified I’ll get as dangerously sick as I did last time.

In short? I’ve been a mess.

So if you’ve wondered why my blogging has been so sporadic, this is why.
If you’ve thought some of my writing has seemed lackluster, this is why.
If you’ve noticed I’m not accepting any new Words with Friends games, this is why.
If I promised you a guest post and then didn’t come through, this is why.
If you’ve seen me in person and noticed my FACE FULL OF ZITS, yeah, this is why.

I guess I have something in common with that jogging commercial lady after all. Not only have I been exhausted, nauseous, emotional and – did I mention? – exhausted, I have been crazy distracted. Crazy. Distracted.

After going to the store for the tenth day in a row and forgetting something important (like soap or toilet paper) AGAIN, I told Mark we just needed to face facts. I am worthless right now. So unreliable and forgetful and – yes, weirdo 80s commercial – distracted that virtually all I can handle, apparently, is making a baby.

Being the good husband and dad he is, Mark said that’s enough. (Except when we ran out of soap. That may have put him over the edge for a minute or two.)

Just in case you’re the kind of person who wants details, my due date is January 20. That means I’m 10 weeks pregnant today. Also, I’ll be 35 in December, so I’ve already heard more than I ever wanted about “advanced maternal age.” Thanks to a scare early on, I’ve already had two sonograms and heard the heartbeat. We’ll find out if it’s a boy or girl as soon as possible, especially since our house is divided on what we’re rooting for. (Mark’s really hoping to even out the teams here, while I’m hoping to re-use all our pink things and Annalyn has been begging for a baby sister for about three years.)

The Giveaway Part of the Post

A few sweet friends are here to help me celebrate this announcement today.

First of all, that great Big Sister shirt Annalyn is rocking was made by my old pal Hillary at Mint Julep Monograms. (Old in bloggy friendship years, not actual chronological age.) Second of all, I have two great giveaways just for YOU!

DaySpring is giving one lucky Giving Up on Perfect reader a beautiful silver Lisa Leonard necklace that is engraved, appropriately, with the words, “Wonderfully Made.”

And my [other] friend Hilary is giving one lucky local Giving Up on Perfect reader a gift certificate for a family photo session with Hilary Hope Photos. She’ll go anywhere in the metro (Liberty to Overland Park for a basic boundary), and the certificate will expire on December 20, 2013.

You guys, Hilary is an AMAZING photographer. So creative, so talented, and gifted with an incredible knack for showcasing her clients’ beauty (the inside kind AND the outside kind). You can see her work on her website, and you can also watch this adorable video that shows one of her engagement photo sessions.

To enter, simply leave a comment – any comment! If you live in the Kansas City metro area, note that in your comment so I can make sure you’re included in the photo session drawing, too.

The giveaway will close on Thursday, June 20.

Photo source


  1. Mary, I’m thrilled for you guys! And can resonate with so much of this. The timing between Jack and Ella was intense and heartsick and trying. So yay God! What a gift! Also, I loved that commercial and one of our favourite jokes to this day is… “I’m so distracted!” / “Could you be pregnant?” :)

  2. Congrats!!! I’ll be praying for you over the next 30 weeks for sure! (Oh, and btw, I live in KC and I am totally coveting that photo session… just sayin’) ;)

  3. Congratulations! I’m so happy for you! I held onto all of my blue stuff and was SURE our second child would be a boy. So sure that I even bought bunk beds for the two boys. Well, guess what. At our ultrasound we found out it was a girl! So much for reusing all those clothes. Oh well. Good thing she likes cars and trucks!

  4. talitha says:

    So excited for you! I really enjoy your blog. Especially the title. Best wishes and prayers to you!

  5. So excited for you!! I had my last at age 36 or was it 35…I don’t know but I was tired of that old woman mumbo jumbo stuff too! :) Praying for you and the remainder of your pregnancy!!

  6. The biggest of congrats to you! My firstborn was due on Jan. 20th… and he is a phenomenal kid. :)

  7. erin kern says:

    i’m sooooo super excited for you!! i’m gonna go with mark on this one and cheer for a boy. (boys are awesome, btw, in the most jacked up kind of awesome i’ve ever known!) :-) praying for the health of you and baby!

  8. Congratulations! I’m so excited for you! I’m a KC gal, too….would love the photo shoot!

  9. Oh my word! So excited for you! Your daughter is going to be a perfect big sister! Praying for all of you!

  10. Congratulations! I went through a lot to have my daughter (fertility issues, multiple miscarriages, preterm births, etc) so I was 41 when I had her! She is 8 1/2 now, so don’t let the negative nelly’s get to you! Sometimes baby making IS all we can do, but is there anything really more important or miraculous than that? :)

  11. Congratulations! I often joked during my second pregnancy that my child was going to be born a genius, because she completely stole every single one of my brain cells. I pretty much walked around in a fog for months!

  12. Jennifer says:

    I’m so excited for all of you. I’m with Mark too; boys are awesome and you really need to know the joys of mothering a boy. (This coming from the mother of two teenage boys.) But you will be blessed with whichever God gives you.

  13. Congratulations! What wonderful news! I was born on January 20th and my son was also born on January 20th….the best birthday gift I ever received!!! So I really like your due date! I don’t live in the area so, unfortunately, I am not eligible for the family photo session. Prayers for you and your family!

  14. Congratulations! We have 3 (2 adopted) and sometimes I would like to adopt one more to sort of even things out. :)

  15. Mary, I am so happy for you! As someone who has gone through the roller coaster of infertility before finally having my 2nd miracle – 6 1/2 years after my first – I get it. I really do. And I am so very excited for you! Praying for a healthy and uneventful 9 months and a smooth and uneventful delivery!

  16. I am so excited for you guys! His timing is always so unexpected! Ha! Can’t wait to know if baby is a boy or girl! You know I’m not in kc, but I come to town a lot…does that qualify or disqualify? ;) take care of yourself and enjoy this time!

  17. So excited for you guys!!! I’m due at the end of August, so I totally understand the distracted feeling. I’m a KC gal as well and would love a family shoot for my soon to be family of four. :)

  18. Mary, of course I’m not here for the giveaway (because, you know, I live in Australia!) but I am so beyond happy for you (and Mark and Annalyn!) Congratulations and many hugs from all the way down here! Love, Adele

  19. Mary!!!! What wonderful, amazing, fantastic, fun news!! I am so happy for you. It has been fun to see how God has worked in your life/marriage/family over these past couple of years. May He continue to bless you with such great joy in these weeks ahead.

    P.S. I don’t need to be entered in the giveaway–just wanted to share the excitement with you.

    P.P.S. I had my last baby just before my 35th birthday. All will be well.

  20. Whoo-hoo! As some with an (in)fertility story of her own, I love to her baby news!

  21. Um, pardon the TWO typos. I have a mushy brain. (And I’m not pregnant!)

  22. SO stoked to find out about this – woohoo!!!!!! :) Praise God for miracle baby #2 for you guys! Praying things go super duper well!

  23. I am so ver happy for you. I have a good feeling that this pregnancy and delivery will go much smoother this time. I know some great doulas down there if you are interested and have some maternity clothes too. You are a great woman and mother. Enjoy the ride. We don’t live in kc as you know but would be happy to drive down for the shoot!

  24. CONGRATLATIONS!!! Yay!!! So excited and happy for you!! My husband and I are going to try for a baby this year–fingers crossed! I don’t know if I would qualify to be in the photo shoot drawing, but I’m in Wichita (3 hours away) and would GLADLY drive that distance for a free photo shoot! :) Blessings and Joy to you friend!

  25. Congratulations!!! Excited for you beyond words.

  26. I remember the day you went to the drug store! Could I dare assume I was one of the first to know…;)

  27. Jennifer says:

    Congrats!!! We have 2 and Im 5 days late but preg test is neg. oh the joys of pregnancy :)

  28. Heather Goll says:

    Seriously, crazy excited for you guys! And seriously, crazy excited about these giveaways. See you soon my friend!!

  29. Yay! Congratulations Mary :) Praying blessings over you & your family!

  30. Congrats, Mary! That is so exciting. I hope you don’t get terribly sick. January will be here before you know it!

  31. Big, huge congratulations! I’m thrilled for you and don’t eve blink at the “Advanced Maternal Age” thing … I got the label, too, and didn’t get pampered any more than before. I was always very distracted as a pregnant women, but also very happy! Good for you!

  32. Congratulations! God bless y’all and your new addition.
    By the way, I’m with Mark, you should even out the team!

  33. So happy for you, Mary! Congratulations.

  34. Congratulations!!! That is all.

  35. Happy for you! Prayed for that little one today. Hugs

  36. Congrats! So happy for you guys!

  37. Congratulations! I totally understand the exhaustion and pregnancy brain issues. And nobody thinks you have been writing poorly in any way lately! :-P I am so glad for you and this new precious life. I can’t wait to find out if she gets a younger brother or sister! :-D

  38. WOW, Mary, I am so excited for you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhh, and can’t wait to find out BOY or GIRL!!!!!

  39. Congratulations!!! That is so exciting. I’m pregnant with my second right now, and I’m 34, so I’m right there with you on that “advanced maternal age” thing. (Bah.) I hope you don’t get too sick… I’m fairly convinced the first trimester of pregnancy is the worst as far as feeling run-down, pukey, and generally all around exhausted.

  40. Love lisa leonard!

  41. Carolyn S says:

    Oh..congrats and you are not old by any means…I jad just turned 38 when I had our little girl this past Feb and I heard all that stuff too…just take care of yourself and the little peanut!

  42. Mechelle says:

    Congratulations, Mary! I had horrible 24/7 morning sickness until about 20 weeks with my firstborn, so I learned a few tricks that really helped with my second pregnancy. Fifty mg of vitamin B6 twice a day really helps, though you won’t feel a difference until the third or fourth day of taking it. Also, my OB recommended taking half of a Unisom in the morning and that really helps, too. I hope your nausea isn’t bad enough to need to try these tricks and I’m praying that you have a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery. I don’t live in the KC area, but we visit there several times a year and I wouldn’t mind being in the photo shoot drawing, if possible.

  43. I. Am. SO. Excited.

  44. Congrats on the new family member! I live in the KC area and would LOVE to win a family photo shoot!!!

  45. Beth Choate says:

    Aw starting a family is such an amazing adventure!!! Congrats! Hilary posted about your giveaway! I’d love family photos!

  46. Jenny caraballo says:

    Mary!! We are so super excited for you guys!! And to think our little ones will only be 4 months apart in age?! So much fun! :) Also, Hilary totally rocks and we would LOVE a family photo session. I think Judah deserves to be in one finally, right?! But really- congrats to you and your sweet family!!! We love you guys!!

  47. Jacqueline M. says:

    How very exciting! I often think of my daughter being an only child & get a little sad so it is great that your Annalyn will be able to have a sibling. And about the age thing…just smile & let it roll off you. No extra stress needed. Well wishes & take care of that baby bump!!!

  48. A very big congrats you! My baby just turned 1! Time just flies! Hilary Hope Photography sent me here. :)

  49. Your news sounds like news I hope to have too, while also feeling the weirdness of talking about “trying” to have a baby! I just had my 35th birthday, so I feel your pain! You’ll do great and this pregnancy was definitely in God’s plan for you!

    I found you thru Hilary and I’m local to KC! I’d LOVE to win any of your prizes, but please do include me in the photo session one! I’ll be a new follower now, for sure!

  50. Congratulations!

  51. I’m a little late but, Congratulations!!! I’m excited for you!


  1. […] When Mark and I found out that I was pregnant this spring, we immediately started discussing whether or not to sell our house. Financially, it’s going to be difficult if not downright impossible to escape the home we not-so-lovingly call The Money Pit. But we decided to give it a try anyway and see what God will do. […]

  2. […] I’m 30 weeks pregnant and more than a little panicked. The nursery isn’t set up. We don’t have a stroller. And, although we have all the bedding, blankets and burp cloths we used with our first daughter, it’s still packed away in the garage. […]