Sunday, November 11, 2012

Little Lion

This will be short and sweet, but I had to post a pic of my little lion! He was very excited to be decked out for Halloween! We went trick or treating at Taylor's office party, and that night walked down to his Gran and Pop's house for some more fun. I'd have to say best costume of the night was the kid who dressed as a shepherd-complete with a live goat!!
This fierce little guy hopes you had a great Halloween!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Overdue Catch-Up

Ok, so I have taken the plunge and downloaded a blogging app for my phone. I feel towards my lonely little blog right now how I sometimes do about overdue phone call catch-ups with friends who maybe live out of town, or whom I haven't seen in a while-I want to call and chat, but I want to have plenty of time to hear about everything going on in their life. So I wait for the perfect time. Which we all know never really comes! So I often have to remind myself to just pick up the phone and call. Even if I only have three minutes. Because a three minute "hey I miss you, what's going on in your life today?" is a heap better than realizing it's been 6 months and you haven't talked at all. So-hey blog, I miss you! Will you take me back? Even if it's for short little snippets? Because this little guy needs some documentation of the precious stages he is so swiftly flying through!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

T. Mark's Closet

There was an awesome consignment sale last week in the Jackson area that my friend Sarah Denley so kindly let me in on. I was able to run by in between patients, and I racked up! I only had about 15 minutes, so I felt like I was on a shopping spree or something! Pretty much all of the clothes at the sale were in VERY good condition and looked like they had only been worn once or twice. Up until this point, I had not bought many clothes for T.Mark-just a few sleepers and onesies/play clothes, so I was really excited to get his closet a little more prepared for when he arrives! Here is what I got at the sale:

Woohoo! We racked up-and at a fraction of the price if they had been brand new.

Cute little jungle bubble:

My fav!! How precious are those little smiley crabs?

My second favorite-a little romper/Jon-jon thing. (FYI, I am super uneducated about children's clothing. I will probably call of these things by the wrong name! I'm learning though!)

Little fishing pole!

And I can't quite figure out how to rotate this one on my iPad, so just tilt your head to the side! This is another favorite! I think Taylor liked it the best.

And lastly-this one was a sample, so it was brand new. Because of that it cost a little more than the others, but was still a good deal! I can't wait to take him to church in this this summer!

Yay for consignment sales! I am definitely going to start paying more attention to when other sales like this are in town.

Hope you have a great Saturday!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Non-Beachy Beach Trip, and a Baby Name!

A few weekends back, Taylor and I headed down to Perdido Beach for his company's yearly kickoff meeting. My feet did not touch the sand the entire weekend, but that was just fine with me! I wasn't too keen on squeezing this pregnant belly into a bathing suit anyway, as you can imagine. I did find a dress that I really love though-and it's not even maternity. I'm hoping I'll be able to wear it after the baby gets here. It's just a really stretchy jersey fabric-but in a very flattering cut and fabric.

The picture above was us right before we walked into the big dinner meeting for the weekend. I was so proud of Taylor-he was named Associate of the Year, statewide, for his company, so we got to sit at the head table, and he gave a speech. Here is a pic of Taylor speaking:

And y'all, let me just say-I think he may have missed his calling. That boy should have been a Baptist preacher. He went on for almost 30 minutes, and I know I am biased, but it was GOOD! I had no idea that much time had passed.

He got a standing ovation!

I was so proud to be his date! ;)

In other news-I realized that I havent formally announced Baby Sledge's name on the blog! So without further adue....

we are so excited that we'll be welcoming Taylor Marklin Sledge, III in May!

We have always kind of known that if we had a baby boy one day, he would be a Third. We are still discussing what his nickname will be (we don't really want a "little Taylor" or "little Mark" -my father in law's name is Mark). It will most likely be T.Mark. But that may evolve into just "T" -who knows. But we are really excited about the name!

We have been busy busy with lots of other fun things-I recently got some SUPER cute clothes for T.Mark at a consignment sale, thanks to my friend Sarah Denley-I will post pics soon!


Friday, February 10, 2012

Dr. Mom

Today I am linking up with Kelly for her blog post highlighting working moms. Now--I guess I am cheating a bit, because I'm not quite a working mom yet. Give me about 3 more months though and I will be! (Crazy--I can't believe this baby will be here that soon!)
The whole idea of working while raising children has been something I've had in mind for quite some time now. As I tell people when they ask if I plan to quit working once I have children--I did not go through four years of dental school hellaciousness to sit and home and not use those skills! Not to mention the injustice I think this would be to the taxpayers who partially funded my education (the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry has one of the lowest tuition costs in the country because taxpayer money funds the school in part). I think I owe it to the state of Mississippi to practice the skills that I have learned, and to use them to take care of my patients. All of this in addition to the fact that I truly love what I do, and I think I would feel something were missing if I just stopped.
I guess if you look at that last paragraph though, it sounds as if I make this decision out of pride, guilt, or selfishness--but that is not the case. (Of course, I am human, so I'm sure there is a smidge of each of those things stuck in there somewhere too, in addition to my main reasons.) Rather, Taylor and I made the decision some time ago because it is what's best for our family. We want to be able to contribute to a savings account for our and our children's futures, we want to be able to take our family on vacations that will enrich their experiences and their world, and we want to be able to give to the community and to our families freely. These goals will be best accomplished if I am working outside the home.
Some of you may be laughing to yourselves, thinking--ohh but this girl has no idea--when she takes her first look at that little baby, she will never want to go back to work full time! And you are probably right. I am in no way under any kind of impression that it's going to be easy. In fact I think it will probably be the hardest thing I've ever done. I imagine that I will struggle with all kinds of guilt: "Am I missing milestones in my child's life? Is someone else "raising" him? Am I giving Taylor the attention and time that he deserves? Am I giving 100 % at the office--could our business be more efficient if I were more focused on it?" The list goes on.
I think the main thing to remember (and again--who knows--I have so much to learn and experience once this precious little boy gets here!) is to continually give yourself grace. To know that my house is not always going to be perfect. That each day will not be perfect. And to give myself the freedom to reassess at various points what is working for us and what is not.
We are so blessed that Taylor's mother, Lisa, is going to be keeping our little boy during the day while I am at work. I am absolutely ecstatic about this! Besides my own mom of course, there is no one I would rather have. We have a great relationship, with a lot of mutual respect and consideration for each other, and I really believe it is going to work out beautifully! Thank you Lisa!!! (Although a simple thank you is not enough--not by a long shot!)
The plan as of now is that I will continue with my work schedule as-is, with one minor change. As of now, I work 4 1/2 days a week, which is full time for our office (we close at noon on Fridays). When the baby gets here, I will take the standard 8 weeks or so of maternity leave, and then will start back full time--minus one half day. I'm not positive yet when this half day will be, but it will most likely be on a Wednesday--either morning or afternoon. I think this will best break up the week, because it will give me a little more time with the baby mid-week, and it will allow for an easier-to-manage schedule, since our Wednesdays include dinner at church and choir practice. But we shall see. I'm thankful that I have a business partner who I know will be understanding about this.
My other plan is to go on and implement some of the things I think will be important as we learn to balance this new lifestyle. Our evening routine now consists of some version of the following--I get home from work around 5:30, and Taylor gets home anywhere from 4:30 to 7, depending on his schedule. Our nights are usually either: eating dinner at home together and relaxing in front of the tv with a good movie and conversation, or meeting friends for various social functions--supper club, dinner get-togethers, or having friends over to our house. At some point on most nights I will do a little laundry or do some cleaning around the house.
I know that this varying routine is going to change drastically once little man is here! Based on some ideas I have taken from some other working moms' blogs, plus advice from friends, here are some of my goals:
1. Start having a particular "laundry day".
--This will most likely be Fridays, since that is my half-day off now and will continue to be when the baby gets here. With my current sporadic laundry-doing , poor Taylor has woken up a time or two without clean undies! I know that when we add a baby in the mix, I am going to have to be a little more streamlined about my process if I want to make sure everyone has what they need.
2. Get super proficient at 5 or 6 easy, healthy crockpot favorites.
---As of now I really don't use our crockpot enough. And y'all, we have the CADILLAC of crackpots. It has so many bells and whistles than I don't even know what to do with it. Plus, it's beautiful! No really. I'm serious. My pregnancy brain prevents me from remembering what dear soul gave it to us for a wedding gift, but whoever you are--thank you!! It has gotten some use in these past four years, but it is about to be the main event!
3. Be consistent about morning quiet times.
--Right now I don't really have a set time for my quite time/Bible study. I know that once I am caring for little dude, if I want it to happen, I'm going to have to be super consistent about the time that I set aside for it. That time will probably be sometime in the early mornings.
4. Hire someone to help clean house a couple of times a month.
--Although I really would rather not do this (because my pride gets in the way--the "I can do it all!" attitude that I am having to slowly learn to let go of), as one other blogger put it--it's cheaper than a marriage counselor! I want to make sure that my time away from the office is spent as much as possible with my family--not running around stressed out because the kitchen is dirty and my gosh has no one cleaned the toilets in a year!?
5. Develop a plan for a weekly date night once the baby gets here.
--Right now Taylor and I have plenty of down time together. One night this week we went and had coffee for a couple of hours at a coffeeshop, tonight we are celebrating his grandmother's birthday with a family dinner, then meeting up with the couples in our Sunday School class (they're having dinner, we are going to join them for dessert). Saturday we are going to a movie, and next week Taylor has a Valentine's dinner planned at a nice restaurant. We don't usually have quite that much time together, but still--I'm living in a dream world, I know. We are soaking up every moment of these last few months when it is just the two of us. We absolutely cannot wait for our little boy to get here, but at the same time, we want to savor this time together! I know that after he is here, we will need to be more intentional about our dates. I need to find good babysitters that I trust (I don't want to rely too much on/take advantage of our families, especially since Lisa will be keeping him during the day)--although some weeks a date night may be an ideal time for my parents to keep him--we want to make sure little man gets to spend plenty of time with both sets of grandparents!!

And that's about it for now. I know that half of this will probably change once the baby gets here, but it helps me feel prepared to have somewhat of a plan, and to be working towards something. And again, that's where the grace part comes in--we can't expect ourselves to be perfect. And that goes for moms who work in and outside the home!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year's Fun and a Birthday

We decided to spend New Year's Eve in our home away from home. Friday after work we headed up to Oxford for a fun weekend with friends. Reed and Maris got into town shortly after us, and we headed out to dinner at Boure.
I love the way Oxford looks at Christmastime!
The next morning we took our time getting up, and just enjoyed a lazy Saturday morning. We went to lunch at Proud Larry's--yum--and sat out on the patio to enjoy the pretty day.  
   Then it was walking around the square for a while and doing a little shopping.  There were some really great after Christmas sales going on! Since my belly is outgrowing my clothes these days, it was time for a little wardrobe update.  I try not to shop too often, but it was becoming inevitable! I was really excited about my purchases-I got a few shirts, none of which are maternity, so I will be able to wear them after the baby comes.  Thankfully the style right now is loose, flowy tunics! 

     We went in Square Books for a while and met the guys-they had been hanging out on the balcony while Maris and I shopped.
I love going up on that balcony-brings back lots of fun memories from college.  One in particular-our senior year, when Taylor was a class favorite and dressed up absolutely crazy to ride in one of the homecoming floats.  My parents and I stood up on this balcony to have a good view as they passed by.  I love this guy-he is such a nut, and makes me laugh every day!
  That night we met up with another couple friend-Lori and David, or Minto, as we call him.  Minto was a KA with Taylor, then went to dental school with me.  He is now in his oral surgery residency at LSU, while Lori is in med school in Jackson.  They are a smart duo for sure!
  Taylor had made reservations for the special chef's menu at City Grocery that night....and y'all, it was awesome!  The dessert was one of the best things I've ever put in my mouth! It was so festive in there...balloons everywhere and fun New Year's hats on the tables, as you can see:

And our whole crew:
  We had such a great weekend, but it was nice to get back home. Yesterday was Taylor's birthday.  He didn't want a big celebration this year--I just made him his favorite meal and we watched a movie together at home.  But I just wanted to brag on him and say-he is the most wonderful husband I ever could have hoped or dreamed for--the Lord has blessed me immeasurably more than I could have imagined! Taylor, I am so thankful for you and for the way you lead our family! You are an amazing husband and I know you are going to be an amazing daddy! I'm so excited about this new adventure with you!

2011: Year in Review

    Y'all know I am always a little late with these things!  It seems like I blink and another week has gone by.  I can't believe we are almost halfway through this pregnancy!  Sweet little boy will be here before we know it...and I have not done a THING for the nursery.  I made a list today and am about to get cracking.  
     Anyway--2011 was a fun year for us, with some exciting trips and even more exciting news for our little family!  Here is the rundown:

      Back in January, we started off with a few little home updates--nothing big.  I always get the itch to spring clean a little early...right after the Christmas decorations come down, to be exact.  I took a trip to Washington, D.C., for my dear friend Whitney's bachelorette party.  We had such an awesome time!  It seems a good ways to go for a bachelorette party, but sweet Whitney has so many friends who are just scattered to the four winds, that it was actually a central location for all of us!  It was such a fun reunion for us.  We ate at some amazing places, went to the Smithsonian museums, the Holocaust museum--and lots of other fun stuff in between.  Also in January was the surprise shower some friends and I threw for Whitney at my house--girls came in pajamas, we watched girly movies, and showered her with lots of gifts and love.  Can't believe you have been married for almost a year WhittieKat!

     Then it was back to school for me, and gearing up for my last semester of dental school (praise the Lord!).  It had been a long four years, and I was ready for the real world.  In February I participated in Give Kids a Smile Day, which provides dental cleanings and exams for free to kids in the Jackson area.  I also did my private practice rotation.  I chose to do it with Dad at his (and now our) practice--I figured rather than go somewhere else (though I thought about it, because it's always beneficial to get an outside perspective), it would be best for me to go on and start learning the nuances of the practice I'd be joining very soon.  I also recapped Whit's wedding on the blog, and got prepared for another one--my dear friend Lauren got engaged that month!

     In March, I took the National Board Exam, and was so thankful to see the scores that came back in!  One of the final steps to that DMD, crossed off the list.  I was so thankful to have that behind me!  Taylor and I spent some time in Oxford, our home away from home, since we had invested in some property up there the previous month.  In the middle of the month was the St. Paddy's Day Parade--always an experience if you live in Jackson!  Downtown transforms into a sea of green, and it is slam full o' people.  

      In April, I recapped my cousin Dabb's wedding--it was a blast, and a great time hanging out with family.  I also completed an Oral Oncology rotation at the medical mall here in town.  We attended our friends' Jocelyn and David's wedding, which was beautiful, and spent some more time in Oxford.  I renewed my commitment to reading for pleasure, and we took a trip to Starkville with our friends Reed and Maris for the Zac Brown Band concert!  That same weekend it was back to Oxford and then over to Clarksdale for the annual Juke Joint Festival.  If you've never been, you should most definitely check it out.  Clarksdale has really became a southern mecca for arts and music, despite being just a tiny little delta town.  Easter weekend was refreshing, complete with a trip down to see Taylor's grandparents for their annual Good Friday crawfish boil, and back home for a truly worshipful Easter Sunday.  

     In May, as my school days drew to a close, I contemplated some of the deeper issues in my profession.  I worked the Gaither Vocal Band concert at our church one night--they were awesome!  We went to Louisiana to see Taylor's new little cousin, Coll, and to be there for his baptism.  Mom, Angie, and I took a much needed trip to Seaside, Florida--yay for rest and relaxation!  And then, finally...FINALLY...after a long four years...I became a DMD!  I still am not quite used to introducing myself as Dr. Sledge!  

     June brought my first month as a full-time private practice dentist, and while I loved it--I was worn slap out from the transition!  By the end of the month I had really gotten into the swing of things.  Dad and I, along with our dental assistant, took a trip to Portland, Oregon to visit a dental equipment company and choose the equipment and configurations for our new office.  

     In early July, I went down to Rosemary Beach for my friend Lauren's bachelorette party.  For some reason I didn't post about that weekend--it was such a fun time though!  And then, a couple of weeks later-- Taylor and I took a pilgrimage trip with our church choir to the Holy Land.  Being in Israel for those 8 days was one of the most treasured experiences I have had--I would recommend it to anyone, regardless of  your religion--but for Christians it is especially meaningful.  I learned an immeasurable amount.  To walk the same roads that Jesus walked, and to see even just the lay of the land--I don't think I will ever read the Bible in the same way again!

     August was gosh-awful hot, and we were pretty boring around my house.  We were thankful and proud to see  my niece, Olivia be baptized that month.  We also had a mini family reunion of sorts, during which my uncle Rip made THE best homemade ice cream you have ever had.  I'm tellin' y' was heavenly.  Then, to top it off...he GAVE me his ice cream maker!! I can't wait til next summer so I can bust that thing out and try  some new recipes!

     In September, on Labor Day weekend, I headed back down to the beach for Lauren's bachelorette party (lots of those this year!).  We just about blew away--a tropical storm was blowing in!  But we survived, and had just as much fun even though we couldn't be out on the beach.  Taylor and I went to Oxford with our friends Kim and B.C. for the Pat Green concert.  I was pregnant then, but we wouldn't find out til the next week.  

     In October and November, I didn't blog because I was desperately trying to keep our big secret!  During that time we had our first doctor's appointments and sonograms, told our families the happy news, and took a few trips to Oxford for football games.  We also took a trip to the L.A. area for Taylor's work, and went to Disneyland for the first time! Thanksgiving came and went, with us hosting my immediate and extended family, as well as Taylor's parents, for the Thanksgiving meal.  It was about 30 people in all.  I love big family gatherings!

    December was super busy.  Dad and I moved into our new office (pics to come soon!) and started getting settled in our new work environment.  I sang in Carols by Candlelight at our church.  It is a big commitment, but I wouldn't trade doing it for anything!  The next day, we found out that this sweet baby is a BOY!  That night we had a gender reveal party at our house with family and a few close friends.  I made cupcakes with blue icing hidden inside--it was so fun!  We went to our Sunday School Christmas party, and the next day headed out to New York City!  It was a "babymoon" of sorts--a last little trip for Taylor and me before our little bundle arrives in May.  We had the best time--New York is my favorite city, and it becomes simply magical at Christmastime!  The day after we got home, we had a holiday open house at our new office, and two days after that, we had a big party at my house, with about 50 people--an annual cookie swap we do with college friends.  Whew!  Christmas came and went in a whirlwind--but we spent lots of time with family.  New Year's Eve we spent in (where else?) Oxford with some close friends. 

    This year has truly flown by--and has been full of transitions.  On the home front--last year our family was just Taylor and me...and now we will be adding a precious baby boy!  My thinking has shifted towards parenting and family life, and how we want that to look for our family.  We are humbled and thankful that the Lord has chosen us to parent this child--we haven't met him yet, but we love him so much already!  And in business--last year at this time I was in school--now I feel like I have been practicing dentistry in private practice forever!  My thinking has shifted from a school-like mindset to full blown business ownership. I enjoy and appreciate the challenge, and I'm thankful for the privilege of working with my dad.  I've taken lots of trips this year--to D.C., Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Israel, L.A., and New York.  I imagine that next year will be a much more slow-paced year as far as trips go--but with lots of "firsts"!  I can't wait to meet this baby boy in May!