Friday, December 27, 2013

Our 2013 Christmas

Well, hellllllooooooo!  It's been quite sometime since I last posted.  Mostly due to the fact that I grew a human in my belly and then delivered that human.  It's nice to be back and also nice to feel kind of human again myself.

I will be sharing Oliver's birth story soon, but first, I thought I'd tell you about our small, quaint Christmas!  

Our matching Christmas pajama pants since 2009.

Daddy giving little Oliver some Christmas morning kisses.

Yay for Grammie being in town!

Our tiny, apartment friendly tree.

I was Santa and Oliver was my elf.  

Posing with his first stocking!

Gift time...

My mom gave us some books and we cried.  

I gave Trent a card with his gift and he cried.

(Yes.  That's a bowl that keeps the cereal and milk separate for better crunch.)

Trent gave me the sweetest card and I cried.  He also broke the rules and spent more that our agreed upon amount.  He said it was because of the whole giving birth thing.  I love my plaid rain boots!

Grammie surprised us with a Keurig.  

I found this print on Etsy.  It's Texas and Tennessee with the words "Together Forever, Never Apart.  Maybe in Distance but Never at Heart."  Oliver gave it to her to hang in the new house.  He's so thoughtful =)

Ollie loved his Santa mug and books!

Our first Christmas as a family was wonderful.  We took our time, wanting to make the day last a little longer.  My mom made her egg casserole and hidden apple coffee cake.  They're as much a part of Christmas in my mind as stockings and gifts.  We played Christmas music and shared tears while watching Christmas stories and commercials that were on TV.  

It was a perfect day and a perfect first Christmas as a mommy and daddy.

We hope your Christmas was merry and bright and filled with joy.

Trent, Shellie and Oliver

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sunshine Award Questionnaire

Just when I was thinking, "I should blog about something," I read Tabitha's post over at Team Studer and she had nominated me for the Sunshine Award.  Thanks Tabitha!  You're adorable. 

This is a chance to answer some questions about yourself and then get to know some more about your favorite bloggers.  Such a fun idea!  I'm game.

1. What is the first thing you drink in the morning?
A swig of OJ then coffee.  When I found out I was pregnant, that was the first thing I googled…if I could still have coffee.

2. What is your favorite day of the week and why?
While our days are pretty much the same, I have always loved Thursdays.  And I think it's because that day has always had the best shows on at night.  For example, The Cosby Show, A Different World, 90210, Melrose Place, Seinfeld The Office, Parks and Recreation, Parenthood, etc.

3. What is your least favorite chore?
I like doing laundry, but I'm not a fan of putting it away.  However, since we have a small apartment, I have no choice, which keeps me on top of it.  Also, i don't like cleaning the refrigerator.  

4. What are the biggest changes from your life today compared to five years ago?
WE'RE HAVING A BABY!!!!!!  I'm going to be a mommy!!!!!  

5. What category of pins do you like best? (food, nail art, crafts, etc)
Definitely crafts.  And also nail art.  I only pin food so Trent will make it, haha!  Now, there's lots of baby pins.

6. If you had 60 minutes all to yourself in the middle of the day today, what would you do?
Nap =)

7. What was the last movie/video/commercial that made you cry?
We cry at everything.  Seriously.  But last night was the latest.  We cried watching What Would You Do.  What can I say?  I love to see kindness in others.

8. If you had the time and money to study something in depth for 6 months, what would you want to learn?
A different language.  Probably Spanish just because I have 3 solid years of HS Spanish education.  (Which means I can count and ask where the library and bathroom is and also sing "Happy Birthday.")

9. What are three things you took for granted today?
Food in the fridge, clean water out of the faucet, a dependable car.

10. What is your favorite personality trait about yourself?
I like that I'm goofy and just a little bit weird. 

My Nominations for the Sunshine Award

Kelly at Hebbe Boys
Sydney at Dear Blueberry
Annie at Annie Blogs

Here's how it works

1. Include the logo in your post (at the top)

2. Link up to the blogger who nominated you 
 { Hi again to Tabitha at Team Studer }
3. Answer the 10 questions below about yourself that I created 
4. You nominate 10 other bloggers 

10 Questions for my Nominees

1.  When did you start blogging and why?
2.  Have you decorated for Christmas yet? 
3.  What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
4.  What are you doing right now, besides answering these questions?
5.  What was the last movie you saw in the theater or rented.  
6.  What is your biggest pet peeve about social media?
7.  Do you have a guilty pleasure?  (Food, TV, music?)
8.  If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
9.  Have you ever been out of the country?  If so, where?
10.  What do you like most and least about yourself?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving for Two

 Our Thanksgiving was spent in Nashville.  Just the two of us.  It was perfect.  Our families were kind of scattered all over the place.  

Our original plan was to go to Memphis since my parents flew there to my sister's house.  But, after talking with my doctor, we decided to just stay put.  Of course, it probably would've been fine.  I obviously didn't go into labor, but we wanted to be safe. Plus, yesterday was the last time EVER with just us two.  It was a special day.

It started with coffee (and some new eggnog creamer), watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and oatmeal.  Then Trent got started cooking.

And I stayed in my pajamas.

The menu:  ham, deviled eggs, dressing, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, crescent rolls and a yummy wild rice dish made with orange juice, cranberries and almonds.  So good.  And pumpkin pie for dessert.  That was my contribution.  I picked it out at the Publix bakery.  It was a tough decision, but I picked a good one.

I saw on twitter yesterday that people who choose ham over turkey are communists.  Ha!  Normally, with our families, we'd have both.  This year was just the ham, though.   

After our food settled, we went on a walk.  It lasted about 10 minutes.  It was colder than we thought and I was uncomfortable due to the waddle.

I donned my new ear warmer that I made a few days ago.

We napped and grazed on food and watched TV and then it was time for a fire.

We finished the night with some gin rummy and the first of many viewings of Christmas Vacation.  And of course another plate of food.

We got to FaceTime family, which was awesome.  Gotta love technology!  And I got to talk to my Nana, who will be 95 on Christmas Eve.  We talked for 40 minutes.  She shared some of her memories of a little girl having a birthday on Christmas Eve and some memories of her mother, who died when she wasn't quite 6 years old.  It was a sweet conversation.  

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!  If you need us, we'll be here…waiting for Oliver!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Never Again

I'm here to say I finally finished the darn thing.  I have Oliver to thank, really.  That nesting thing really gave me the kick in the pants I needed.  

It all started with a pin.  (The exact pin won't load, so here's a similar one, should you want to go down Crazy Lane and make a rug.)  I then ripped up a comforter I wasn't using and started the process.  

The rug wasn't hard at all.  It was very easy, in fact.  What made it take forever was cutting strips by hand.  (Maybe I should've followed the instructions and bought a rotary cutter?)  And the corduroy fabric wasn't as easy to work with as t-shirt material might be.

The beginning.

Halfway point!

I honestly thought I'd have more than enough brown corduroy comforter fabric.  I even had plans to make a pillow with the leftovers.  Somewhere around the above picture, I had the brilliant idea to start from the other end with the latching and hooking.  It was easier to maneuver that end of the canvas.

And of course, I ended up not having enough to finish, which left me with an awkward space to fill.  We went to Joann's to get some more but they didn't have the right brown.  I wanted some funky color, but my wise husband convinced me to go neutral.  We got cream corduroy.

Again, I thought 2 yards would be plenty.  But it wasn't and last week we went back for more.  And of course, they were out. 

For. The. Love. 

So, because I'm lazy a problem solver, I got some cream fleece.  And FINISHED THE RUG.

Trent even got involved because of course he knows how to fringe rugs.  (Jack of all trades.)

(Please don't look at our clutter/mess.)

We finished yesterday and it will stay in our house forever.  BECAUSE IT TOOK 2 YEARS. 

(A cool tidbit?  The original comforter was what Trent and I were sitting on when he proposed.)

She will eventually go in Oliver's room, but for now her home is under the coffee table.

I must say, I love her. 

(If you're ever in our humble abode, please don't stare at the two rows of fleece that don't match the other material.  I might go off.)


Friday, November 8, 2013

What is Kickstarter and why are we using it?

If you're a friend of mine on Facebook or follow me on twitter (or follow Trent), you've hopefully seen our Kickstarter link that we've shared.  

I know how social media can be.  You see something pop up in your news feed saying things like "help" or "fundraising" or "goal" and you keep scrolling.  I'm guilty of it myself.  But Kickstarter is not just asking for money.  It's asking for pledges and in return for a pledge you get something.  

We did a Kickstarter for Trent's last solo project and we told ourselves we would never do it again.  It was a very stressful 30 days and was funded very last minute.

It aged me, ha!

Since then, I've become part of the show.  Trent Monk has become The Monks.  It started with percussion and now I'm singing with him.  It has been such a God thing to see what we do grow into something we think is very special.  And the response on the road has been great.  Who doesn't love to see a couple sing together?

So, 2 years after the last Kickstarter that stressed us out so much, we found ourselves in a "we need to get a new project out but have no way to pay for it" situation.

Insert Kickstarter.

It's really one of the best tools for independent artists to get new music to the fans.  Records take mucho dinero.  And, since we have no label to pay for a new record, we need to raise funds.

That's where you come in!  

Think of it as a pre-buy package.  For example, if you pledge $10, you'll get the new songs emailed to you before their release.  If you pledge $20, you'll get them emailed to you PLUS a hard copy of the CD mailed to you.  The amounts go up from there and the larger the amount, the more you get in return.

See?  Easy, right?

OH!  There's another stipulation.  If we don't raise the full amount in the time frame allotted, we get nothing.  Zilch.  Nada.  

We need your help.
Our goal is $12,000.
If we don't get it all raised by Nov. 20th, we get nothing and you don't get new music.

On our Kickstarter page, there is a detailed list of what this thing will cost, if you're curious and want to read it over.  Click on this link to go straight there.

Although it's still a stressful situation, we are hopeful.  We need your help, but we are hopeful.

Thank you to those that have already stepped on board!  We appreciate you.

I hope this clears up some things!  Happy pledging =)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Dear Oliver

Dear Oliver,

Your daddy and I are eagerly awaiting your arrival next month.  (I can't believe I can now say next month!  Time flies.)  You are moving around a lot and it makes us smile and laugh and cry all at the same time.  Quite the experience.  

I wanted to tell you how we came up with your name.  Names are important and I can't wait to share with you face to face!  I've thought of what I'd name my kids since I was 13 and I will say that Oliver was never on my list. 

Until your daddy mentioned it.

When he and I were dating, Grammie and I went to see the play Oliver Twist.  At intermission, I called him, as he was on the road.  I told him what we were doing and he said, "you know...I've always loved the name Oliver for a little boy."  And that was pretty much that.  I loved it and we basically had you named before we were even engaged!  

Your middle name came later.  Tuck is your daddy's middle name and I just love it and always knew I'd have one.  Here's where the name comes from...

Your great-grandfather Papa Tuck's grandfather came to Mexico, MO from Kentucky with his widowed mother, sister, and at least one brother.  At some time, he moved to Wise County TX.  The others stayed in Missouri.  He then married and had several children.  When Papa Tuck's father was born they named him Tuck Noble, with the Tuck coming from Kentucky.  I'm sure he was missing and longing for his beautiful birthplace.  

Papa Tuck's father was the first Tuck, Papa Tuck the 2nd,  Tim the 3rd, and your daddy the 4th.  So you will be the 5th! 

And there you have it.  We love you so much, Oliver Tuck.  We can't wait to meet you!


(Or Mama)

(But please not Mom until you're 18.  Ok?)

Monday, October 28, 2013


And when I say Atlanta, I mean Covington.  But we had to go through Atlanta, which is my least favorite city to drive through because MY WORD the people and the traffic.  I'm full on white-knuckled the whole time.

Also, I took ZERO pictures this trip.   


We had a show in Covington at Eastridge Community Church on Friday night, so it was a quick trip.  Out Friday, back on Saturday.  I don't know what it is about that Nashville to Atlanta stretch of road, but it wears me out.  Of course, me growing a human could be part of that, but still.  Me so tired.

The show had a small crowd but it was cool because we knew pretty much all of them!  It was like a family get-together at a church.  So that made it completely not awkward when Trent whispered into the mic and asked if I needed to pee.  We even performed a brand new song (so brand new that it's not even complete).  

Opening line: "I grew up in a mobile house, I know all about hand to mouth, but you're never gonna hear me complain."

It's catchy, no?

Stay tuned for a video of it on our Kickstarter page =)

After all the catching up and hugging of necks and talking of babies and Breaking Bad, we headed to the Lynch's house.  They are such a precious family and we adore 'em.  We love that Oliver is going to have family all over the place!  Such a blessing.  

We talked and laughed and stuffed our faces with yummy chili then went to bed.  And the next morning we stuffed our faces with coffee, French toast, and bacon (amen) before hitting the road.

It was a fast, good-for-the-soul trip.  Filled with good conversation, good hearts, and good food.  We love what we get to do and there's not a day that goes by we don't thank the Lord.

Now, we're pretty much finished until March.  We have a few shows left, but for now, it's nesting central at the Monk's.

Nesting and writing.

Holy cow.  We're about to be parents.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Lots of shows, lots of pictures, lots of words

Hello there!  Are you loving fall as much as we are?!?  It's good for the soul, that's for sure.

When we left Waco, our first stop was Shreveport, LA for a show with New Life Center.  We hadn't been in a while and it was so good to see familiar faces and friends.  The Go Ministries group lives on the church's campus and they were an AWESOME crowd.  They stood, they sang at the top of their lungs, and they were just really sweet kids.  (Yes, they're in their twenties, but they're still kids.)

We left the next morning for Alcorn State University in Lorman, MS to sing at the Wesley Foundation on campus.  I felt good about our room number.
"For God so loved the world..." =)  

They fed us homemade red beans and rice with fried chicken and it was so, so  good.  The students were fun and liked the show and even sang along with me when I busted out with the Fresh Prince theme song.  It was a moment.  And here we are with the director, Vera, and the photographer's finger.  Ha!

The next day was a day off and it's when we made our way to Oxford, MS.  Such a cute town.  A family who has a condo generously let us stay there.  And another family left us a gift basket galore.  The snacks were great, but my favorite thing, if I'm being honest, were the mason jars and burlap padding on bottom.

The family that left us the basket took us to dinner that night and it was really good sushi.  Don't worry, I didn't do raw!  (I don't do raw even when I'm not growing a human.)  We were so appreciative of them!

Thursday was when we played for the Wesley Foundation at Ole Miss.  The Paris-Yates chapel on campus is beautiful.  

We were probably singing "These Arms" here.  I tend to touch my belly when we're singing to Oliver.  Also, this picture confirms Trent's reason for telling me to get closer to the mic.  I, however, think that distance is just fine. 

We had a great time with the students that night then, Friday morning, the Willis family (directors of Wesley) had us over for breakfast.  They are a precious, precious family and I adore their kids.  I mean, look at them!  And this picture confirms that we, in fact, are giants.

We left Oxford and drove down the road to Birmingham, AL and spent the night.  We had a wonderful dinner with some friends at a wonderful Italian restaurant.  I had the Nutella custard for dessert and it's as fabulous as it sounds.  But I also tried the white chocolate bread pudding and it also made me want to slap my mama.  So, if you're ever in B'ham, go to Bellini's.  You won't be sorry.

Saturday, we made our way to Enterprise, AL to be with Crossroads Church on Sunday.  We love these people!  We led worship (they meet in a movie theater and it's so cool) and had a concert that night at the church's coffee shop.  So much fun!

Gene and Leslie Oden.  (The pastor and his lovely wife.)  Great people!

We left Enterprise on Monday and drove all the way to Nashville (only 6 hours) for a writer's night with some Dove Award winners/nominees.  It was held at Edgehill Cafe and put on by our friends at Turning Point Media Relations.  It was a packed house and a fun night.  SO. MUCH. TALENT.

We got to meet some great people and reconnect with old friends.

Here's the group practicing the last number.  It was a mix of old hymns and very blue-grassy and very awesome.

From Left:  Cindi Morgan, Andrew Greer, Matt Brock, Amanda Crabb.

Then Aaron Crabb, my man (I only sang on the last song), Warren Barefield.

Ginny Owens sang on a song and these three...on my word.  A cappella, hymnal, 3 part harmony.  Yowza.

I got to meet Ginny and she's adorable.  And it was fun to see her and Trent get caught up.  (They were on a tour together years ago.)

Then back to Fulton, MS for the Wesley House at Itawamba Community College.  Again, great kids and a great leader.  The last time we were there and played, it was the day we found out about Oliver.  It was fun to tell the students and John that little tidbit.

We left Fulton and went to Collierville to see my sister and her family.  I love that they're in Tennessee!  We got loaded up with baby gear, said our goodbyes, and headed home.  

Whew!  It's all a big blur.  We are glad to be home and glad to begin the nesting process.  I'm happy to say step 1 (get rid of all the things) is complete and we figured out a crib will fit in our room.

I'm pleased to say Oliver won't be sleeping in the bottom dresser drawer.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Baby Shower

Greetings from Oxford, MS!

Last weekend when we were in Waco, some fabulous ladies threw me a shower at a cute place called The Mix.  It was so much fun and I loved seeing friends and family that I hadn't seen in a while.

My mom's friend made the cake balls (or are they cake pops?) and they were so cute!  And yummy, too.

The party favors were bags of delicious popcorn (from Off the Cob in Waco) with some blue wrapped Hershey Kisses and a sticker that said "Shellie's About to Pop!"  Thanks for the labels, Carrie!

We played a game and I laughed so hard I cried.  Read about it here because I'm too lazy to type it out.

Tammy made note cards to look like feet.  Hello, creative!

(There were lots of poop themed questions.  Which I'm always a fan of.  Poop is funny.) 

We chose to have a gift card shower.  Trent and I weren't going to have room in our car for a lot of gifts AND since we'll be in our tiny cozy 1B/1B apartment (stay tuned for how our set-up will look), we won't have room for a lot of baby stuff anyway.  Just the essentials.  So, gift cards were the perfect remedy.  And people loved it!  So easy.  Oliver did get some little things, though, and I love them all!

Elliot was a big help with opening gifts!  

I opened my mom's last.  And here it is.

A hanky turned bonnet given to her for me when I was born.  Here's the poem she put with it:

I'm just a little hanky
As square as square can be
But with a stitch or two
They made a bonnet out of me.
I'll be worn from the hospital
Or on Christening Day.
Then I'll be carefully pressed 
And neatly put away.

Then to find little me
With a few stitches snipped
A wedding hanky I"ll be.

But if perchance, it is a BOY
Someday he'll surely wed.
So to his bride
He can present this hanky 
Once worn upon his head.

The ugly cry happened.  

Julie emailed Trent some questions about us being parents and what-not and she read his answers.  He did a great job!  And there was more tears.

Trent's parents surprised us and drove down from Amarillo so Ginny could come to the shower.  It meant a lot to us.  While we were doing the girly thing, Trent took his dad to George's.  Because you can't come to Waco and NOT go to George's.

And Miss E found a cake she liked.  It was pink with flowers.  Totally her.

Nana!  Doesn't she look fantastic?  
This was after she told the owner that she "has a very nice family.  None are in the pen."  Haha!  We cracked up.

I felt the love that day.  And I am beyond thankful.