Glimpses

IMG_7089Melissa DeLorme Photography

This fall marks five years since Dustin and I began dating. Shortly after we started dating, Dustin asked me to go with him to his grandparent’s beach house in Surf City one weekend. He was so eager for me to go, I finally agreed to take some time off from work and we drove down one weekend in October when the weather was just starting to turn cool and well past the beach going season. I’ll never forget that first trip to the beach house.

As we walked up the steps to the house, he stopped just outside the door and said “Oh, by the way, you may want to know who you’re about to meet. My grandparents Mema and Papa, Mrs. Snow who is like another grandparent. Also, my mom Kay, cousin Jerri-Rae, her husband Robbie, my aunt Brenda, uncle Jerry, and my niece Karis. And my sister Lindsey and her husband Jarred. And maybe my other cousin Luke and his wife Jamie.”

OH BY THE WAY?! I thought. He couldn’t have mentioned I was about to meet his ENTIRE family on the two hour drive there? We had only been seeing each other for about two months at that point, so this was kind of a big deal. I stammered out a weak “O…K…” as we stepped inside. Lucky for me, they were all there! Literally, right there. Sitting at the kitchen table eating dinner as we walked through the door. Mema and Papa jumped up to greet me. I went to shake Papa’s hand and instead, he hugged me. He told me “Sorry if you don’t like hugs, but we hug people around here.” I instantly settled in for one of many delicious meals made by Mema and completely forgot how nervous I was just moments before.

I’ve always said that weekend was one of the weekends that changed everything for me. I loved seeing Dustin interact with his family, and it was evident he was in his element at the beach house. We had a great time fishing, eating, and enjoying each other’s company that weekend. More importantly, though, I caught glimpses of what my future might be like with this amazing man. And I fell for him hook, line and sinker. I couldn’t get enough of the love this family shared, and seeing Dustin so happy there was the best part. His kindness and genuine concern for his grandparents melted my heart. He was so sweet and so thoughtful. And let’s be honest – he was always sweet and thoughtful to me, but we were dating at the time. I was supposed to be treated sweetly and thoughtfully! How he acted towards his family showed me that his kind and thoughtful nature was truly sincere.

I also vividly remember how well he loved his beautiful niece Karis. She was just six years old at the time, and her wavy blond hair and constant smile was contagious. He acted like he was just smitten with her, and her with him. He picked her up and gently tossed her tiny little body in the air above his head over and over again. Hearing her giggle float through the air was the sweetest sound. Again, I was weak in the knees from glimpses of all that could be with his great man. That weekend was just the beginning of our story and I knew it was going to be a good one.

Fast forward to this Memorial Day weekend when I made the two hour drive to that same beach house once more with my sweet Dustin, now my husband of three years. This time, however, was even more special than our first trip. This time we had our own darling baby girl in tow, visiting the beach house for her very first time.

Yet again, that beautiful home on Sea Manor Lane gifted me with glimpses of an amazing life ahead with my sweet Dustin. Dustin was just as excited to introduce our sweet Emmy Mae to the easy going, love-filled life at the beach house as he was to share it with me that weekend five years ago. I was amazed that even though Dustin and I have been married for three years and we welcomed our sweet girl over seven months ago, I was able to see him in a new light at the beach house. And it was glorious. He was just so elated to share the memories he loved and cherished so dearly growing up with a little girl of his own, and it filled me with joy. He was so excited for her first boat ride. Her first sips of Mema’s lemonade. Her first bites of Papa’s homemade peach ice cream. Her first time visiting the Point, and her first swim in the ocean.  Her first visit to Sear’s Landing. Her first nap under Aunt Brenda’s tree. Her first walk around Atkinson Point. Her first night sleeping with the windows open and an ocean breeze so heavenly no restless baby could resist falling fast to sleep.

I always knew the beach house was a special place for my husband, but I had no idea how special he would make it for our daughter. He was so proud to show her off and to give her the experience he loved so much growing up.

On this Father’s day, I am reminded of these moments and all the ups and downs we’ve encountered in the past that brought us to today. I am beyond grateful to be married to someone who is so present, so loving, and so meant to be a husband and father. He is more than I could ever ask for – not just for me, but for my daughter as well. There are SO many more examples I could give of all the wonderful, sacrificial acts of love that my husband shows to me and our baby on a daily basis.  I can remember so many times shortly after giving birth that I was in awe of the man I married and how strong he was for the both of us.  I give all the glory and praise to my Heavenly Father for bringing Dustin into my life, and also for weekends at the beach house filled with glimpses of all that HE has in store for us. Happy Father’s Day to my love! Emmy and I cannot thank you enough and we do not deserve you, but we are so glad you are ours.

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With love from your gurleygirls

 

 

Getting there…

We are so close! All signs are pointing to baby SOON, but I am hoping she can stay IN for at least 3 more weeks. I want my little October baby!  But if she ends up being an end-of-September baby, you’d hear no complaining from me. ;)

photoHere is the 32-week belly in all it’s [big] glory!  We made our way up to the beautiful NC mountains for one of my sweet sorority sister’s wedding over Labor day. We enjoyed a final little baby moon together in Boone before our precious little girl makes her way into the world.  We stayed at Crestwood Inn, the wedding venue, and  it was absolutely gorgeous.  We even made our way to Grandfather Mountain over the weekend where me and baby G got to cross the mile-high swinging bridge! We weren’t as adventurous as dad though – he had to take pictures the entire length of the bridge. I was perfectly fine just walking across and saying “Ok I did it.” No documentation necessary. ;)  It was good to be back in the beautiful blue ridge mountains — the last time we were here was for our wine trip over the holidays in 2009, our first “couple” trip together. Who knew back then where we would be in just 4 short years!I just love the way Love works out! ;)

The ever flattering mirror selfies.
The ever flattering mirror selfies.
Me taking a picture of Dustin taking my picture... crossing the bridge, of course!
Me taking a picture of Dustin taking my picture… crossing the bridge, of course!

I could get use to views like this during breakfast!

Beautiful.
Beautiful.

I am so excited for our little one to be here soon. We have had such a blessed pregnancy and I can’t complain about a thing. That’s not to say we haven’t had our fair share of little hiccups along the way. But overall, this journey has been amazing.  It always helps to have your best friend and better half beside you every single step. I love my sweet Tar Heel like nothing else in this world!!

35 days and counting!

regina3

 

25 Weeks 4 Days

I can’t believe there are less than 15 weeks left before we get to meet our little girl.  It seems like yesterday we were at 15 weeks, with 25 weeks to go!

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We have had one busy past few weeks – no doubt a contributing factor to the weeks just flying by. In addition to the baby countdown, I am counting down the days (8!!) left in my didactic year of school and I am still in shock at being so close to finished.  It WAS just yesterday that I was counting down the days until school started, right?? And just a few days ago that I got my white coat and had no idea what I was doing? I. Just. Can’t. Believe. It!  In a little over one month away I start my first of 12 clinical rotations and I am excited/nervous/terrified/eager all rolled into one.  My first rotation practice has no idea they are not only getting a student (always an adventure) but a 32-week, very pregnant student at that!  Lord help us!

We had a fantastic July 4th holiday weekend celebrating two sweet friends who got hitched and we spent a wee bit of time with the family.  We didn’t actually make it to an actual beach for July 4th weekend, which is unfortunate because these days it seems like all I want to do is stick my toes in some sand and prop my rather large self up near a big body of water. But I plan to make up for that very soon on my break between school and the start of rotations.

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My oh-so-handsome husband and the father of my unborn child looking snazzy in his groomsman outfit and photobooth prop bowtie :)
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At sunset after the Shrimparoo at the fishing club.
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Playing around in Wings at the beach after getting ice cream from Island Delights. This is actually a still from a video the Tar Heel was taking, unbeknownst to me. Love these silly moments with my husby!

 

Me and baby girl enjoying a bit of froyo. At least there is a small bit of froyo under there somewhere…

This July 4th weekend was also special for us because my sweet brother-in-law proposed to his beautiful/amazing/wonderful girlfriend, whom I absolutely LOVE!  To say I am excited to call her my sister-in-law is a huge understatement.  She is the kind of girl I would want to be friends with even if she weren’t connected to the family in any way.  She has an amazing, Christ-filled heart and it truly shows in her sweet nature.  Everyone loves her to pieces. I am especially excited that she is going to be an Aunt to our sweet baby girl!!  :)

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With Dustin’s dad and step-mom, celebrating the newly engaged couple! :)

Last week was a little bit more adventurous than I’d like an average week of pregnancy to be. Both the Tar Heel and I ended up in the ED with severe food poisoning.  I had my first trip to L&D as well and thankfully, baby girl was safe and sound and only showing minimal signs of irritability during the whole episode. We both got lots of fluid and rest and after countless trips to the restroom, we were eventually freed of the horrible grips of whatever bacteria made its unwelcome way into our digestive tracts. Turns out my ED physician at WakeMed was also a preceptor to CU PA students and when I told her I was only a couple weeks from starting rotations, she was happy to give me clinical teaching points as I was lying on the bed barely able to hold my head up. She was super nice and helpful, but I’m quite sure I was not nearly as receptive to her teaching as I could have been under other circumstances. Regardless, I am grateful for her help and grateful both Dustin and I are back on the mend. :)

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Our first L&D room. Thank goodness our precious baby girl is strong and stayed IN where she belongs for a bit longer!
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Mema came prepared to visit us when we were sick.:)

Here’s to staying healthy and always having something to look forward to… :)

regina3

 

17 Weeks

We had such a wonderful weekend for my “first” Mother’s day. We spent Friday and Saturday celebrating my brother’s graduation from NC State with his Master’s degree.  I always love attending NC State events – sports, graduation, all of it. Friday was the departmental graduation which was smaller in size (but still conferred around 450 degrees) and Saturday morning was the BIG graduation for all the undergrad/grad school graduates.  There are now 5,255 additional alumni in our NCSU family.  I am still so jealous that undergrads get to wear the RED caps and gowns (started just a year or two after  I graduated) for graduation!  I just can’t put into words how much I love that university.  It was above and beyond some of the best years of my life. I cannot WAIT to take our sweet little baby bee for a tour of my beautiful campus. One of my favorite parts of attending big graduation is when we always close the ceremony with everyone singing our Alma Mater. It just gives me chills to hear everyone shout NC STATE! and I always get a little choked up. I am so happy to have the opportunity to be completing my professional degree at Campbell, but my heart belongs to State.

In honor of my brother graduating, a picture of me at my NCSU graduation in 2008... hah! I was just a baby at 22, but I literally felt like I could do anything in the world that day.
In honor of my brother graduating, a picture of me at my NCSU graduation in 2008… hah! I was just a baby at 22, but I literally felt like I could do anything in the world that day.

One of my favorite moments this weekend was when my nephew, Dane, asked me and Uncle Dustin when we were going to the “baby store” to get our baby. Hah!  How sweet is that.  He definitely knows a baby is on the way, just a little confused about when he/she will get here. I think he is more than ready to finally have a little cousin to play with!

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Baby Dane proudly proclaiming that he wants to go to NC State too just like his dad (and mom and Aunt Gina)!
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With my gorgeous cousin Beth after Michael’s graduation. She is the reigning Miss Goldsboro and will compete for the Miss NC crown in just a few weeks. Can’t wait to cheer her on! Also, Baby Gurley bump is highly evident in this dress!!

Sunday was the big day – my first mother’s day. It was so exciting to be able to celebrate that event for the first time.  I felt a little like it wasn’t entirely for “me” since my baby is still growing in my belly – but I have had more than my fair share of sleepless nights and nauseated days to be able to carry the mommy title. At least everyone I saw that day still told me Happy Mother’s Day and confirmed that “it still counts”!  Mother’s Day morning we worshiped at Vintage Church in downtown Raleigh where we were lucky enough to watch Dustin’s newest baby cousin being dedicated to  the Lord.

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Jamie, Luke, and Baby Gage at the dedication. That is one gorgeous baby!

The service started out with the story of Abraham and Sarah being told they would conceive, and it was such a beautiful and fitting story for mother’s day. It is one of my most favorite stories of the bible and is a beautiful example of the Lord’s steadfast love for us AND his sense of humor!  If you haven’t read it, you should!! We also sang In Christ Alone, one of our wedding songs.  The Lord was certainly speaking to us that morning and I will always remember it as a very special way to start my first mother’s day.

Vintage did a super nifty thing for all the guests that morning – they set up a photobooth outside in the parking lot!  Here’s one of our shots.

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What a fun idea. :)

We then went back to Luke and Jamie’s for a cookout/hangout with the family for the afternoon.  It was so much fun! I loved catching up with Jamie and talking to her about all-things-baby. She has been a sweet source of encouragement ever since we told everyone we were expecting. She will randomly send me a text of some helpful pregnancy hint or a good book recommendation. She is awesome like that!  Luke and Jamie did a wonderful job hosting the whole bunch of us and I am so glad we got to spend time with them and the rest of our family on such a special day!

I had several sweet texts and calls from friends telling me Happy Mother’s day that morning. One of my favorites was from my bff Salty. She sent me this and I thought it was cute to share for all the mommies out there:

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Her text with this picture attached read “The future words of Baby Gurley” haha! LOVE that girl!

Hope your Mother’s Day was extra special as well!

regina3

So far this semester…

Semesters.  I think I measure my whole life in semesters.  I guess I like it so much because it’s easy;  I’ve been doing it non-stop for almost ten years. Yes, in 2014, the year I [finally] graduate, I will have been attending an institution of higher learning for ONE DECADE. That’s TEN YEARS (see I learned a thing or two in college). As an [not-so] interesting side note, I will also have been on Facebook for one decade.  Not sure how I even feel about that. Wait yes, I do know, I feel like I wasted every minute of that decade spent on the time-sucking Facebook. Seriously. Thankfully I have followed suit from many smarter and wiser folks in my life and closed “the book” (or as our Pastor Mike calls it, IMAGE MANAGEMENT – click this link and skip to 2:15 to hear his thoughts) to focus my energy on much more important things in my life, like Instagram ;). Haha, just kiddddding…. Mostly. But seriously, click the link, listen to the clip, then go check your own Facebook page and see if EVERYTHING HE SAID ISN’T TRUE. Talk about stepping on toes.  I love that Hope Community Church keeps it real.

Back to this semester.  Thankfully, this semester seems to be going more smoothly than my first.  I don’t think the quantity of material has gotten any easier to handle, but I am finding myself considerably less stressed, and creating (dare I say it) a new found balance of work and play.  IE: we have tried to see our families more, and one of the best ways has been by going to our niece’s gymnastics competitions.  I cannot even begin to put into words the pride and joy I had seeing her compete for the first time with her team in her pretty purple leotard, up on those uneven bars with beautiful lines and pointed toes.  She was AMAZING!! Taking a break from studying to hangout with her and the fam has been such a blessing to us.

I am also trying to put aside the books and pick up the running shoes again.  The Tar Heel and I are doing the Couch-2-5K training and should be ready for a 5K around mid-march.  Speaking of mid-march, we will also be celebrating two whole years of wedded bliss this March 19. Can you believe it?  I know I can’t.  We have had such a fun past two years together and the best part is knowing the best is yet to come!! :)

Clinical rotations are six months away.  That is CRAZY.  I am soooo excited/nervous.  We had meetings with our advisors last week about where we want to be most challenged and to review rotation preferences.  I found out I will most likely be taking an OB/GYN rotation in Smithfield because I requested a rotation where I can deliver as many babies as possible!! I also found out I will probably be doing a rotation in Ortho at the Durham VA because I want to scrub-in as little as possible. I am happy some thoughts on what type of medicine I’d like to practice are finally coming into view. So far my top three choices would be: 1) Women’s Health 2) Internal Medicine 3) Peds and my bottom three choices would be: 1) Ortho 2) Emergency medicine 3) Geriatrics.  We’ll see if this changes at all by August. I spoke to one of the second year students in our program and she said she has already delivered 25 babies on her OB/GYN rotation (!!!!!!!!), and that rotations have really made it harder for her to choose what she wants to do — eeek! Either way, I just can’t wait.  I am so ready to put what I’ve learned into practice and start real medicine.

 My first sutures, blood draw (on each other!!), and punch biopsy

A Riley burrito, at Karis’ first competition, Riley being my cuddle buddy on V-day while I (sorta) studied, and a RED cork from a bottle enjoyed during the Winter Storm of 2013 (aka a few snow flakes!)

My Valentine’s Day invitation designed by the Tar Heel with these words as the background, watching the planes take off and land from the RDU Observation park, my beautiful Valentine’s gift – a blue diamond necklace (already decided it will be our daughter’s “Something blue” on her wedding day!!), and pretty dessert following the best meal we’ve ever had at Four Square in Durham.