Weekend Round-Up x 2


Why, why are weekends only 2 days long? I think I'd be the most productive human being if I could just get 1 extra weekend day! Then I could have 1 day for me, 1 day for house, and 1 day to lesson plan (or more likely 2.5 days for me and .5 of a day for the non-fun stuff!).

Last weekend we took a little weekend trip to Wilmington, and it was heavenly. We had a wedding on Sunday for a sweet girl I used to lead in small group when I was a senior in high school. That left us free on Saturday to visit with family and finally get our toes in the sand for a little sunset/beach date.
ONE- Road trip selfies--a must do!
TWO- mocha shakes from PCJ--also a must do!
THREE- Pedicures with mom--at the risk of sounding repetitive, another must do!?
FOUR- All fancified for the sweet Bailey Dudeck's wedding
FIVE- Beach lovin' (a perfect afternoon on the most gorgeous day)

This weekend was much more low key. Kyle's grandpa has been in NC for the past week and came to visit us on Saturday. It was the first time he's been able to come to NC in 7 years, and it was so fun for Kyle to get to show him his office and around town. We also got to show him our house for the first time.  He is just the sweetest and was full of stories.  Of course it was a little bittersweet since it was the first visit without Kyle's grandma, but it was a really special day. Sunday was way less fun but a perfect mix of relaxation and productivity (read: I finally did laundry!). 
ONE-- Kyle and his grandpa, my heart melted seeing the two of them together!
TWO-- Laundry is so much more fun listening to a book on tape (Big Little Lies --so so good!)

Happy Weekending!

Five on Friday


I could not be more excited that Friday is here! Work was stress city this week, and I am ready to relax and have some much-needed down time.

I'm linking up with these lovely ladies-- AprilNatashaChristina, and Darci for Five on Friday!

Here we go!

Deepest Appreciation-- I shared this post on Wednesday and was overwhelmed by the kind comments and, especially, the emails of people sharing their own stories, offering to pray for us, and just sending positive thoughts our way.  I'm working on responding to each and every one because it just means the world to me. What a blessing this blogging community has been! It felt so good to put it out there, and we didn't even know how perfect the timing was with Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day being this week. Cheers to healing steps forward. 


Blog Revamp-- I have been wanting to revamp my blog for quite a while now and finally bit the bullet and did it! I started my blog not too long after I graduated college, and I feel like I've grown up so much since then. I wanted something that was a little more reflective of who I am now. But, my sentimental self didn't want to totally give up the old. I threw around a TON of different ideas for a new blog name and feel like I found a perfect fit with Lu & Co. I'm sticking true to my blogging roots with the "Lu" but also recognizing that huge part of this blog is the rest of me--my family, my friends, etc. (hence the Co.). Plus, I'm looking forward and know the direction that I want my life to go in, which is to start a family. I hope my Co. takes on a whole new meaning in the near future! I worked with the amazing Daphne from The Dutch Lady Designs and was so in love with the custom design she created. I could not have had a better experience and highly recommend her! 

Pumpkining-- I'm pretty sure I just invented a new fall verb. One of my teacher besties, Lauren, hosted a pumpkin decorating get-together last night, and it was such a fun evening. The weather actually felt like fall weather, and it was the perfect mix of good company, good food, and good times. I'm quite proud of my baby pumpkin with its gold, glitter top (cuter in person than in the pics!)--thanks to the fab idea and glitter contribution of one of my other teacher bests, Amy!. And, Kyle did an awesome job on our Harry Potter pumpkin (I can only take credit for helping with the lightening strike!). I just love pumpkins and cooler weather and pretty much all things fall. Happy sigh.

Breakfast Yummy-- So, you know how I said last week that we were starting the Whole 30? Welp, that didn't quite entirely happen, but we did try a recipe for an amazing Whole 30 breakfast quiche, and it is honestly so delicious. I love things that are healthy but don't sacrifice in the taste department! I have been telling everyone about it all week, and now I'm telling you--go make you some right now!


Must-Read-- I blew through The Husband's Secret this past weekend while I was resting my poor, sick self on the couch! The way I know if a book is good is if it makes me want to skip to the ending to find out right away. Confession--sometimes I even do!  It's almost like I have to read the ending just so I can actually do what I need to do each day instead of putting everything off to finish the book! Once I know the ending, I can take my sweet little time getting there! Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this?

Happy Friday, friends!



On Monday, September 8th Kyle and I lost our baby. There is no easy way to say it, no way to sugar coat it--consider the band-aid ripped off. We were a little over 8 weeks pregnant (8 weeks and 4 days, to be exact), and it is a loss that we are still reeling from. But, I can say, that while I have been grieving and trying to heal I have found so much comfort in reading blog posts of other girls who've experienced this kind of loss. So, if my story can offer any sort of comfort to anyone out there, then being vulnerable in this way will be worth it.

I had so looked forward to writing a different blog post about our baby. I had planned out exactly how I was going to announce it-- a pumpkin patch picture! I had even texted pictures back and forth with one of my best friends, Beebs, of different ones that I'd seen on Pinterest that I wanted to possibly recreate. Considering a couple of Thursdays ago would have been the 12th week mark where we'd officially have entered the "safe zone" it stings a little worse knowing that I am writing this post instead.

But, despite the deepest pain that I am feeling, I feel an ever bigger sense of wanting to honor this baby that we lost by remembering and sharing as much as I can about the 8 weeks and 4 days that I spent carrying that precious little one.

It was also a Monday night when I found out that I was pregnant. Monday, August 11th. I honestly did not expect to be pregnant. Kyle and I had planned to officially start trying in August but ended up getting an earlier start than anticipated ;) But, no way on earth did I think I would actually get pregnant right away. I was convinced that it would take months because of my autoimmune issues and, to be honest, a lot of my friends recently have gotten pregnant on their first try, and I just didn't think I would be that lucky.

I think that the first sign of pregnancy for me was the my skin just got horrible right away. Like way worse than when I was a teenager. My mom told me after she found out that she was definitely suspecting that it might have been from a rush of hormones--and she was right! I also started feeling really weird--like feverish at different times, lack of appetite (but craving Asian food), super emotional, and feeling super tired/sluggish. I still just knew that my period was coming, and I was even thinking that I was having period cramps. But, it never came.
Farmer's Market--We took this picture two days before we found out! I remember feeling so "weird" that whole day. Oh the bliss--we didn't know for sure, but we had so much excitement about our future. 
And I finally decided to take a pregnancy test. I can't even remember if I told Kyle that I was going to take one, but I went upstairs and took it, and was shocked to see that two lines had developed--a positive! I immediately took another test of a different brand and got the same results. It's so hard to even put into words all of the thoughts racing through my mind in that moment! Happiness, disbelief, worry, shock, thankfulness and so, so much more.

Because I hadn't been expecting to be pregnant I was not in any way ready to break the news to Kyle in the way that I had planned. Kyle and I had joked that he wanted me to think of some creative way to tell him like he'd had to do when he proposed--a "have a baby with me" proposal of sorts! I knew I had to wing it, so while he hopped in the shower I scrambled to write him a letter telling him that I was pregnant. I still remember sitting on my closet floor writing that letter. I was so full of hope!

I placed the letter on his pillow and waited anxiously for him to finally spot it after a few awkward encounters where I tried not to make eye contact as I continued doing my jobs to get ready for bed. He finally spotted it (I'm pretty sure I was brushing my teeth) and came into the bathroom and hugged me. I showed him the pregnancy tests. I think there was a big grin on his face the whole time. I wish I remembered more about that night. What a blur. I do remember making us take a ton of selfies with the pregnancy test, none of which were very flattering considering I had yet to straighten my hair and had no makeup on. But, we do have that picture, and it is now one of the most cherished pictures that I own because it is the only picture of both Kyle and me during the pregnancy. I thought we'd have plenty of time--9 months to take as many photos as we wanted.
Not our best picture, but like I said, it's our only one, which makes it beautiful to me.
I had started taken weekly photos-- even though there was no bump to show yet
The 8 weeks that we were pregnant were a whirlwind to me. I found out literally the week before teacher-workdays started back. I still remember meeting two of my girlfriends from college, Emily and Anna, for gelato the next day and just bursting with the news but knowing that I couldn't say anything. It was so weird (and exciting) walking around with that little secret! My cousin Sarah stayed with us a few nights later, and it was so hard not to tell her, too! Slowly the cat was let out of the bag, more on a "need to know" basis as I went back to school, especially considering on the first day of school, right dab smack in the middle of the day, I had the worst pain and didn't know what was going on. I was so scared and went to the doctor right after school only to find out that I had a cyst that had ruptured, but I didn't care about that cyst because Kyle and I got out first glimpse of our precious baby--and we heard the heartbeat! 114 beats. We were told that I was officially 6 weeks and 4 days and the anticipated due date was April 16, 2014. We were over the moon excited! That's when it felt real. We had seen our baby, heard it's beating heart.

Kyle and I ordered onesies from Old Navy that said "I love my grandpa" and so on to give to our families. The funny thing is that I don't think Kyle and I told one person at all both together in person. We did make a video and sent it out as a group text to my cousins, which turned into one of the most hilarious group text conversations ever. We had every intention of doing so, but things just got a little crazy. We found out that his grandmother's health was declining, so Kyle ended up going to New York for Labor Day and sharing the news with his parents and grandparents that weekend. I know that it was such a special day for him because right before he went he found out that they were going to move his grandmother to hospice. I got to talk to her on the phone after she found out. It still breaks my heart knowing that she passed away thinking that she was going to be a great-grandmother. But, at a time that was so sad for his family that news brought so much joy.
Our precious baby. 
And that's when the real fun of telling our family began.
Kyle came home from New York to this surprise. My mom and I spent the whole day cleaning the house, doing laundry, and cooking him his favorite meal. This was my delayed "baby proposal" for him. He cried!
Card to my grandaddy. First time and only time we signed "Baby A" on anything. My Grandaddy told me after the miscarriage that he will always cherish this card and is putting it in a special place. 

Group text with the cousins. It was like a game of telephone ;)
This photo was taken the day before we found out we'd lost the baby. My brother, Bryan, and his fiancé, Hanna, had already been told, but this was the first time we got to see them in person. :)
We were starting to share with our friends as we saw them but didn't even get the chance to tell some of our nearest and dearest. We were set to go to New York on Tuesday for Kyle's grandmother's funeral but ended up having to make the hard decision not to go. On Monday, Kyle had started the drive up with his mother and brother. I was supposed to fly out the next morning and meet them up there because I needed to go back to the doctor for my first real pregnancy appointment. My mom drove up to meet me for the appointment and even brought my grandmother as a surprise! I remember sitting in the waiting room just being so happy and relaxed. My cousin, Anna, had texted me that morning with the exciting news that Kate Middleton was pregnant again, and we had been joking about how my baby would have to become besties with Royal Baby #2.  I knew I was pregnant. I felt pregnant.

Except the baby had no heartbeat. I have never experienced a silence so deafening as the one I experienced when I was having that ultrasound. I could see the baby. But I heard nothing. I had a sinking feeling right away, but the technician just kept going, and I tried to convince myself that maybe the sound was turned off. But she confirmed my worst nightmare, and I immediately just started sobbing. My mom came to wrap her arms around me and we were ushered into the next room. It is a day that I don't want to remember but will never forget.

We waited for the doctor. This angel of a nurse, Kathy, coming in and just pulling my head onto her shoulder and just letting me cry. She told me that Kyle's grandmother was watching over our baby in Heaven. That is still one of the most comforting things that has been said to me.

The doctor said that there was no way to really explain it and that it was so common-- 1 in 4 pregnancies end this way, probably more. I knew this. I was very realistic throughout the whole pregnancy. But it didn't make it an easier pill to swallow. It hurt no less.

They let my mom and I walk out the back door, and we just got into her car where my grandmother had been napping (with the windows down--it was a colder, gray day), and the three of us just cried. The worst part was that Kyle still didn't know anything at that point, and I hated that I was going to have to make that call to him.

Kyle and his family immediately turned around to come home. I still remember him coming running up the stairs to me and that initial embrace.

Kyle's mom and brother got back in the car and drove through the night to get to New York. My mom and grandmother made sure we were OK before heading back home to give us our space. I still feel like it was such a God-thing that my grandmother was with my mom for that drive home. I know it was so hard for her to see my heart breaking. She was such a huge part of my pregnancy journey and has been an even bigger part of my healing--she is going to be the best Minki.

The next few days were awful. Kyle was truly my rock during that time. I never knew I could love that man anymore than I did, but it has strengthened in ways that I never thought imaginable. Because my body had not miscarried yet, I had to try to induce it with medicine. I was told that the pain would be similar to severe period cramping. It was the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life. I got sick on my stomach 4 times and was shaking.  I was up from 11pm to 6:30am.

And, it didn't even work. An ultrasound that Friday confirmed that.

The next step was to schedule a D & C for the following morning. The night before I felt like I was starting to naturally miscarry, but it didn't happen in time. I had the surgery, and I cannot begin to tell you the sense of relief that I felt that the physical part was over. I just had no clue how awful it could be.

Kyle's mom came up to help out during that time and was so amazing--she helped with groceries and laundry. We could not be more thankful for our parents during this time.

The days that followed were hard. I remember feeling like I would never feel happy again. I felt like pregnancy had been ruined for me and that I would never be able to enjoy or not be terrified if I was pregnant again. I felt foolish--I had literally just talked on the phone to one of my best friends, Beebs, for an hour the day before about it all. I had just told my best friend since childhood that she best be OK with me sporting a super pregnant belly at her March wedding. I had convinced myself that God would watch over this baby because how cruel would it be to have let Kyle's grandmother pass away thinking we were having a baby and then it not happen. I got so emotional thinking about all of the plans we had started to make and all of the special events in the upcoming year that I would either be pregnant for or that the baby would have arrived in time to be apart of. It still kills me that our baby won't be at my brother's wedding in June. It breaks my heart that on April 16th my cousin, Kathleen's baby, Edith, will turn 1 on the same day that our baby would have been due. Our babies would have been a year apart, just like Kat and I were. It was all gone. And we didn't even have a say in it.

We were so overwhelmed by the outpouring of kindness from our family and friends during that time and continue to be blessed by the way they have loved us, supported us, and grieved with us during this time.

Two weekends ago Kyle and I planted a blueberry plant at my parents' home in Wilmington. Our baby was the size of a blueberry. We each said what we needed to say, and it was such a healing moment for us.
I can't say that a month later that I am doing great. I think I'm doing O.K. As I mentioned in another post, I feel really proud of myself for how I have handled it. But, my heart is still hurting. And, I'm still scared and still working on having hope. Kyle is in the same boat. We have our good days and our bad. We're still trying to find a sense of normalcy again.

But, we are still standing. And, I can honestly say that a month ago, I wasn't so sure that I would be.

One blogger said it best. She said that she had no physical reminders of the baby that once was--just scars on her heart.

Those scars will always be there. But my heart is healing every day.

I know that my story doesn't end here.

Jeremiah 29:11

Five on Friday--My First!


Praise be, my BFF, Friday is here! And, this Friday is extra special for the blogger part of me because it's the first time I'm linking up with some of my fave bloggers-- April, Natasha, Christina, and Darci! I've loved reading everyone's FoF posts and an am excited to participate myself, now! And, I think I picked a pretty good day to start considering the amazing giveaway they are hosting today!

Shall we get started?

Pumpkin patches. I can't seem to visit one without wanting to take a million pictures! 

I'm going to a pumpkin decorating party on Sunday and might just have to break from the traditional pumpkin carving and attempt a little pumpkin painting instead!

Leopard print. I'm having a moment. I'm loving this dress (and quite a few other pieces) from Loft right now.  Now if I could just arrange for it to look like that on me I'd be all set!

The League. My newest guilty pleasure. Kyle and I are always looking for shows that we can watch together and this is our new fave. I was super skeptical at first. I like football, but I in no way would say that I'm a big follower of professional football. But I am loving it! And I've never understood Fantasy Football--until now, haha! Yes, this show is not only making my husband happy, but it's also helping me be a much cooler wife in his eyes. #winwin
Date night. Finally had one! I hinted in my last post that we've been going through a sad time, and while our marriage has been strengthened in so many ways, it has taken a little while to remember how to have fun and be happy together again. But, we were offered tickets to go see Phantom of the Opera at our arts center downtown and couldn't pass those up. It was nice to be out and about with the hubs and not feel weighted down by life circumstances right now. And, the play was phenomenal. I apologize to anyone who has to personally be around me for the next few days as I very likely will be humming all of my favorite Phantom songs! And y'all know I can't carry a tune!

Whole 30. Am I crazy? I think we're going to start this on Monday. Yikes! We've been in survival mode for about a month now and haven't exactly been eating our healthiest or taking as good of care of ourselves. So, why not dive in full force into something super extreme. Sense my sarcasm? But, in all honesty, I've had some family members and read about a few blogger friends doing this, and the benefits seem to outweigh the cons. Plus, I know it's a good way to eat for someone with autoimmune issues, so I'm hoping it will also help in that way! So for now, I'm hopeful. But talk to me in a week ;)
Yay for my first Five on Friday! Happy weekend, friends!



October Saturdays are my favorite, and I have every intention of making the most of this first one. I'm cuddled up on the couch, Kyle has a football game on, and we've already sipped up our respective coffee-house drinks earlier today (neither of which were coffee--tea for the Mr. and hot chocolate for moi)--all I need is something pumpkin-y and a scarf on, and all of my fall favorites would be checked off.

I didn't mean to take such a long break from blogging. But sometimes life isn't always rainbows and unicorns, and we've spent the last month in a sad, rough place. A place that has left us forever changed--the scars on your heart kind of changed. It's a story that I'm working on telling-- I'm taking small steps at a time.

It has been weird trying to figure out this new me. In some ways I feel like I'm the same person and can be my happy, bubbly, silly self. I feel proud of myself for being able to be this person most of the time and especially at school with my students because they deserve my best self. But, I'm also not that person that I used to be anymore. I feel more reserved, more guarded, and it's been harder for me to feel as positive about the future--not always, but sometimes.

But, I can say that I feel stronger than I've ever felt. This was the first real personally painful experience I've faced in my life, and it's the first one for Kyle and for us as a couple. In some ways it's been a relief to see that I and we can face something like this and still come out standing. Our relationship has grown, strengthened, and deepened in ways that I couldn't imagine. And I'm proud, so proud that at a time where we could have crumbled we didn't.

So for now, we're sitting tight and relishing in the small joys-- like fall and all that comes with it. Each day my smile becomes a little less forced, a little more genuine.

One step at a time.

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