Ten Months


We are only a few weeks away from celebrating our baby girl’s first birthday, and I can honestly say this has been the fastest year ever. Celebrating her many firsts and milestones has been a highlight of my life, and the time “before Emmy” seems like a distant memory at this point. Dustin and I are so blessed by her each and every day. From her sweet smiles and cuddles in the morning to her stubborn, short tempered “meltdowns” – she is 100% “US” and we couldn’t love her more!

Over the last month, we have had lots of fun adventures. We started off her tenth month of life on a mini-venture to Raleigh, NC. We spent time with our sweet friends Elisabeth and husband Tyler, and friends Averi and husband Grant. Elisabeth and Averi are two of my Pi Phi sisters, and I love them dearly. Averi is actually my Lil Sis, and she gave birth to Georgia MacHenry (Georgia Mac) three months (almost to the day) after Emmy. We enjoyed our pregnancy together, and now we get to watch our little legacies grow up together! We planned this weekend a few weeks in advance. Elisabeth and Tyler traveled all the way from Charlotte to meet Miss Emmy Mae and Miss Georgia Mac for the first time! We started out our day together at a favorite spot of ours in college, Café Carolina. After we had our fill of lunch and cupcakes, we decided to do something a little spontaneous – to stop by our old sorority house and show our girls the house and reminisce a little. August 17th also happened to be “move-in” weekend at my alma mater, NC State, and so campus was busy and exciting and everything I remember it being and more. When we arrived to the sorority house, we had our husbands take pictures outside but they insisted on leaving to get beer instead of hanging out inside, so they headed back to Averi’s house. Being in our sorority house (my former home) and meeting several of the current NC Delta Pi Phis was such a surreal experience for a couple reasons. First, I couldn’t believe Averi and I had a seven month old and ten month old in tow as we stepped through our front door. Second, this fall marks the ten year anniversary since I started college at NC State. HANDS DOWN, my undergraduate college experience at NCSU was one of my favorite seasons of life. And it was absolutely due in part to my Pi Phi sisters and the amazing sense of home I immediately established in Raleigh with my Wolfpack Family. I was SO HAPPY to share this with my little Emmy! And I know she couldn’t understand all of that at ten months, but we will be going back to campus for family outings and sporting events as much as possible as she grows up. Eventually, I hope she starts to understand why I love my Wolfpack and all things STATELY so much, and that she may even share in that love one day as a student and alumni herself!

In addition to our Raleigh road trip, we took a slightly longer drive… all the way to Atlantic City, New Jersey for the Miss America competition!! Yes, you read that right. I am not much of a “pageant follower” though I have always enjoyed watching the competitions on TV and can remember several “girls night” sleepovers with friends gathered around watching either Miss NC or Miss America. We found our way at Miss America this year for one very good reason: my sweet cousin Beth was crowned Miss NC this summer and we went to support her on this incredible journey! We had the BEST time walking on the boardwalk and attending the pageant. My parents, brother and sister-in-law and nephew all went in addition to my grandmother, aunts, uncles, and some family friends to support our sweet Beth. Although she did not place in competition, she represented our state well at all of the preliminary events and we are SOOO proud of her! Emmy was such a doll on the trip. Everyone doted on her everywhere we went. She is just a little ham around people, and especially around other children. She LOVES kids and gets so excited and reaches towards them, kicking her feet excitedly trying to get down to crawl to them. We were so nervous about taking her on an 8-9 hour drive, but she did amazingly well. We stopped only once on the way to NJ, according to when Emmy was at the end of her patience with driving. It ended up being all the way outside of Baltimore, and coincidentally, 1.5 miles from where one of my favorite people in the world lives, my Amster. When I put it together that we were super close to her house, I texted her and luckily, she was able to meet us outside the Cracker Barrel where we were having lunch. It was such a LUCKY, spontaneous reunion and I LOVED getting to see her and Matthew!! We also got to see her sweet Mom and brother, who happened to be in town as well!! Love how the Lord works out happy little meetings like that :)

PicMonkey Collage

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EM @ 10 Months

Weight: 23.5 lbs

Firsts: Emmy went to NC State’s campus for the first time, and to the Pi Phi house there as well! She also met Elisabeth and Tyler for the first time. She also went on her first big roadtrip to NJ. She got two more teeth this month, this time up top! They broke through, finally, after several miserable days. Emmy also got Hand, foot, and mouth this month :( After three days of absolutely horrible pain and refusal to eat/drink, our darling girl started feeling like herself again. She never actually got any blisters anywhere externally, only had them on her mouth which made eating a miserable activity. Fortunately, she is better now! Emmy was also in her first official “public” photo shoot as a baby for a campaign ad of a good friend that’s running for office. She was perfect and adorable in all the shots, of course. ;) The shoot as also at Pullen Park, one of my favorite places in Raleigh and we took full advantage of our time there after the photo shoot. Emmy rode the train and the carousel for the first time and loved it! :)

Sizes: Still in 12-18 months clothes. Diapers: Size 5

Likes: Shrimp! This girl loves eating tiny bits of fried shrimp. She also loves crawling as fast as humanly possible and is walking VERY quickly with her walker. She maneuvers that thing like a race car! :) She has now conquered the “NO” headshake, and is the typical response when I ask her any question. She is beginning to toss her spoon around and mimic feeding herself. She also transitioned down from 6 bottles (~24-30 oz) of breast milk a day, down to only 2 sippy cups of breast milk (~8 oz day). This allowed mommy to STOP PUMPING this month, which mommy loves! :) We still have a great stock pile going so she still gets her breast milk and

Dislikes: Sharing, being told “No” and when she is diverted from doing anything potentially dangerous. Her fingers are like magnets to light sockets and/or anything small and round that can block her airway. She keeps us on our toes, 24/7!


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!

Baby Dane proudly proclaiming that he wants to go to NC State too just like his dad (and mom and Aunt Gina)!
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.

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.

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:

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!



1.  I got bangs and “copper” low-lights. I’m channeling my inner Zooey Deschanel. So far I love it!

Me and the hubs at the Tar Heel’s cousin’s baby shower. We can’t WAIT to meet Baby Pearson!! (FYI: those are little red elephants on my shirt. Just doing my part spreading the news about the impending election without jamming political propaganda down everyone’s throat. And who doesn’t love little elephants? just sayin.)

2. Fall Break is only 2 days away.  It could not get here faster. My big Fall Break plans? “Catching up” on studying/school work, several small crafty projects and FINALLY breaking out my fall decorations (which may stay up until December 20-ish). PLUS we are going to the…. STATE FAIR!!!!!!!!! BEST DAY EVER OF  THE YEAR!!! And we are going TWICE this year since we also got tickets for the Corey Smith show :) woot!

Part of last year’s fall decorations (in Savannah :( !!).

3. NC State upset #3 FSU on Saturday and I had to watch from my couch while I was sick with a cold and double ear infections (fun!).  It was a GREAT game and Dustin and I were both standing up in shock watching the last minute of the game. Amazing amazing game – so proud of my boys and HENCE Why NC State was named the NATIONAL TEAM OF THE WEEK. Can I just say that beating FSU has always held fond memories for me. In 2005 I went to the NCSU at FSU game which wasgreat 1) because we won and 2) because it was my first experience at a college football stadium other than Carter-Finley.  Despite ridiculous amounts of heckling by FSU fans, we had so much fun .  In 2006 I was at Carter-Finley as we beat FSU when we scored in the last quarter on a beautiful touchdown pass by Daniel Evans.  I think that game was the beginning of the “Daniel Evans” chants.  I am so proud to be a member of the Wolfpack, especially when we beat those ‘NOLES! :)

Photo courtesy of wral.com
I LOVE me some TO’B!!
Image courtesy of wral.com

4. I’m watching Long Island Medium shows I dvr’d (while simultaneously avoiding studying my genetics test Wednesday) and I freaking love this woman.

5. This week is national PA Week! Thank a PA this week :)



Pack Pride and Tar Heel Love

It’s so hard to believe that 8 years ago this fall I was starting the journey of a lifetime as I became a member of the Wolfpack.  My time in Undergrad was the most memorable, life-changing and fun experience I have ever had.  That is, until about 6 months ago when I married my best friend, and started a brand new life-changing and memorable experience.   As such, to celebrate our six month wedding anniversary, the Tar Heel gifted me with two tickets to the NC State vs. South Alabama game where I got to share one of my favorite places with my favorite person for the very first time.  The Tar Heel and I were joined by two sweet friends, Grant and Averi (“Graveri” as the Tar Heel likes to call them) for a lively tailgate and fun-filled game.  Some of you may recall that Averi is my Lil Sis in Pi Phi and was one of my bridesmaids at our wedding.  She is such a sweet person to me and I love both her and Grant so much.  As two pretty big State fans, I will never know how we managed to marry two of the biggest Carolina fans.  But we love our Tar Heels and they must love us because they both donned Red for the game on Saturday.  That, my friends, is true love.  To top off the day, we submitted our pictures to Pack Pride during the game and one of the pictures made it to the jumbotron during the game!  It was so awesome to see my picture up there for 5 seconds! hah!  I just can’t tell yall how much I love my Wolfpack, NC State University and my sweet husband (the Tar Heel).  Go Pack!


Our Handsome (and Silly) Husbands :)

The pic that made it to the Jumbotron during the game.  And it was another WOLFPACK WIN!

NC State: 35

South Alabama: 13

Thank you, sweet Tar Heel, for marrying me six months ago.  I love you more than words can say!

Engagement Party

Well, somehow November 20th came and went in the blink of an eye.  It seems like we had been waiting for our engagement party for so long, and suddenly it is already over! 

In August when the Tar Heel heard back from SCAD and we began to realize going to a home football game at NCSU was probably not an option this season, I was pretty devastated.  So, when we set the date of our engagement party, it just so happened to be the same day as the NCSU vs. UNC football game — the biggest game of the season for us Wolfpackers.  I immediately loved the idea of a tailgate engagement party, and I had no idea all the plans Mama Kay and Timbo Slice had up their sleeves.  Turns out Timbo is quite the party planner, and no detail was left out!  We had koozies, cornhole, all the tailgating food favorites (BBQ, potatos, hushpuppies, the works), and even had the game projected on the side of the house!  It was amazing.  The Tar Heel and I were so overwhelmed by the beautiful decor and the amazing friends and family that came to support us.  We had friends come from Maryland, Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, Wilmington, and Greenville just to spend a few hours celebrating with us.  And many of them came directly from the NCSU/UNC  game in Chapel Hill!   We felt so lucky and so loved to have such wonderful people around us.  Later on, the Tar Heel and I realized we hardly spent more than 15 minutes with each other the whole night! We spent the evening mingling with everyone and enjoying their company and catching up with family members and friends we hadn’t seen in a long time.  And based on what we hear from our married friends, the wedding day will be exactly the same way.  Regardless, I can hardly wait for March 19 when I get to marry my Tar Heel and live happily ever after in our house (Divided).  It does NOT get any better than that! :)  PS:  We did not take NEARLY as many pictures as we wanted — we were way too busy having fun!  But here are just a sample of the few (very few) pictures we did manage to take!  (And by “we” I mean “Mama Kay” – thankfully she was the only one of us that even remembered to take pictures!)