2019: A Year in Photos

I can honestly say that 2019 was the best year on record. At least for me. So much happened! We brought home a new puppy and a new kitten. I got a promotion at work and successfully survived my first inventory as a Department Manager. We celebrated some major life events. Throughout the year, there was no shortage of happy moments.

Here are my favorite moments from 2019!

January wasn’t a particularly eventful month, but we had some great weather which made for plenty of spontaneous trips to the park. During this particular trip, my daughter and I ended up wrestling in the grass. I swear she’s laughing.

In February, we celebrated this gorgeous girl’s 7th birthday. She shared cupcakes with her class at school on the sidewalk. The weather was perfect for a trip outdoor and being outdoors made for easy clean up and no messes in the classroom.

On March 16th, Tristin asked me to marry him. Obviously, I said yes! We also welcomed a new little nephew into the family and celebrated Jack’s 10th birthday.

A few wonderful things happened in April. We brought home a sweet little puppy and named her Elune. My daughter and I went on a field trip to Science Museum Oklahoma. Shortly after that, Jack and I went to the Cowboy Museum with his school. Both places were a ton of fun, but Science Museum Oklahoma is my most favorite place in Oklahoma. Towards the end of the month, we learned that our family would be growing!

My oldest daughter, Ava, spent the month of May taking lots of photographs. She decided she’d like to be a photographer. This is one of her many photos and certainly my favorite. For only being 12, she has so much talent. Aside from taking photographs, she also loves to bake. Her mini apple pies are amazing!

My kids always leave for summer at the end of May and it makes for a highly uneventful June. Most of June was spent working or going for long drives with Tristin. We turn up the radio, put the windows down, and just drive. In July, however, we brought home a new kitten. Meet Bella! I promise she’s not as sweet as she looks. She has a huge personality and she’s extremely mischievous.

August is such a great month every year. I go home to visit my family and my kids come home from a long summer break. This August, the drive home seemed to take forever. Being in a car for 18 hours while you’re super pregnant is not fun. Not at all. We stopped in the middle of the night at a little hotel in Tennessee. We were unable to see much of the area due to it being so dark but, the next morning, we were greeted with the most beautiful scenery. As we sat together eating breakfast in the hotel lobby, we watched the clouds roll over the mountains across the highway. It was gorgeous. During our short vacation back home, we had the privilege of spending a few days in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. This photo was the view from the balcony of my dad’s suite at our hotel.

You’ll have to forgive the goofy Snapchat filter. My daughter insisted on it and she took the picture with her phone. The three of us spent our evening out at the Woodward County Event Center watching Darci Lynne perform. My daughter is a HUGE fan, so I surprised her with tickets. Also worth noting, I celebrated my 33rd birthday in September.

October is always an eventful month. From family birthdays to Halloween, there’s always something going on. My husband turned 34, my niece turned 16, and my sister-in-law threw me a baby shower. It was so much fun! My favorite part of October this year, however, was the unexpected snow day on October 24th. Look at all of that, y’all! It was breathtaking. I love snow. It makes the environment seem so blissfully quiet.

Oh, November! My second favorite month of the entire year. We celebrated several birthdays in November, including Ava’s 12th. Thanksgiving with Tristin’s family was just amazing. I’m already looking forward to doing it again. The best part, though, was marrying Tristin. November 5th, 2019. I chose the date to commemorate my grandfather. He passed away three years ago, but his birthday is November 5th. Choosing that date was about commemorating him and giving myself a new reason to celebrate that day. My makeup, of course, was done by me.

December started out a bit rough. Gestational diabetes and preeclampsia meant being put on maternity leave earlier than originally planned. One week from being placed on maternity leave, though, I was admitted to the hospital to be induced due to oligohydramnios (low amniotic fluid). After 52 hours worth of being induced, our beautiful Presley was born. We spent six days in the hospital and then went home to celebrate her first Christmas. Her birth put my husband more in the Christmas spirit than I’ve ever seen him. When we walked into the house, there were Christmas lights everywhere. Around the ceiling in the living room. Strung across the room from one wall to another. The lights had snowflakes and ornaments hanging from them. It was incredible.

The year 2020 has some very large shoes to fill. I do not think it’s possible to top the excitement, happiness, and pure joy that came from 2019. It was definitely a year that I’ll never forget!



In April of last year, I learned that I was pregnant. A new adventure was blossoming within me. We were so far beyond ecstatic. Around week twelve, genetic test results came back with the news we were hoping for. Our sweet little jelly bean was a girl!

Deciding on a name was hard before I knew what we were having. I thought I was set on a girl name and I was no where close to deciding on a boy name. When we got the news that our baby was a little girl, I instantly knew. Presley. I chose the name for her Nana, who is a huge Elvis fan. To keep in theme with her Elvis-driven name, I decided on Presley Gracelyn as her full name.

My pregnancy with Presley was by far my hardest. Maybe it was my age. By comparison, I had my other three children during my early twenties. Being in my thirties made a big difference. Around week twenty, I started having issues with hypertension. My blood pressure was crazy and there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to what triggered spikes and what didn’t. It was insane. Not only had I completely blown up (I looked super pregnant within a week of finding out I was pregnant, at seven weeks), but I hurt all the time. My hips and pelvic floor seemed to absolutely hate me.

By twenty weeks, I could barely make it through an eight hour shift at work. Walking hurt. Standing after sitting down for more than ten minutes hurt. Changing positions in bed hurt. Everything I did seemed to hurt. It was okay, though, because I knew Presley was worth whatever I endured.

Around thirty-two weeks, I failed my three hour glucose screening. Ugh.. The glucose screening. The one hour screening was a breeze, even if I failed it. The three hour screening, though? Not so much. I went to my original appointment to do the screening and didn’t even manage to keep the orange drink down for a full five minutes. The second time was easier, but I got tired of being a pin-cushion. I’d already had a few other blood tests that week and then had to deal with blood being drawn four times the day of my glucose test.

At week thirty-four, the doctor started discussing inducing because of gestational diabetes and hypertension. Without a doubt, we would meet Presley by week thirty-eight. My doctor started having me do twice-a-week non-stress tests during the second week of December. The first two non-stress tests went great. On December 17th (the end of week thirty-five), I went in for my third. Within a few minutes of being strapped up to the TOCO monitor, her heartbeat dropped. It only slowed for a couple of minutes, but it was enough to get the nurse’s attention. My doctor ordered an ultrasound to see what was going on. A few minutes after the ultrasound technician left my room, the nurse came in and asked “What do you say we have a baby?” My husband was sent downstairs to register me to be admitted and I was transferred to a Labor & Delivery room.

At just after 3:00 that afternoon, they started inducing me. Between the excitement and stress of the whole situation, I couldn’t relax. Not a bit. By the third day of being induced, I was tired, irritated, and still not making much progress. I was told I could opt for a Cesarean section if I chose to do so, but decided that I wasn’t giving up until my doctor did. On the evening of December 19th, my mother-in-law asked the nurse to give me Benadryl because I was incredibly itchy but afraid of bothering the nurses.

Flash forward about two hours after the Benadryl was added into my IV. I woke up in pain despite a really well-placed Epidural. I had relaxed enough to allow my body to do what needed to be done and woke up to very strong contractions. Ten minutes later, it was time to push. Of all the babies I’ve had, she was the easiest. Within four and a half pushes, she was out of my tummy and laying on my chest. She was beautiful and tiny, weighing only five pounds and three ounces.

We stayed together in the hospital for three days. She spent twenty-four hours under the Bili light and I had tubal ligation done. We came home on December 21st. Her original due date was January 18th.

She has been here with us for a month and we could not be happier. Everyone went out and got her Christmas presents to celebrate her first Christmas. She is very alert for being so little and tries hard to hold her head up (she can do it for a good few minutes before getting tired). She’s a messy eater, makes some of goofiest faces I’ve ever seen, and loves being snuggled.

Presley Gracelyn Evans.

Born on December 19th of 2019 at 11:18pm and worth every ounce of the pain-in-the-butt pregnancy that I had. She is a blessing.

15 of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Most Inspiring Quotes

A U.S. federal holiday since 1986, we honor Martin Luther King Jr. and his accomplishments in the fight for human rights and equality for African Americans every year.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a social activist and Baptist minister who played a major role in the American civil rights movement. From the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. During that time, he was was a key activist behind the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the 1963 March on Washington, helping bring to life landmark pieces of legislation suck as the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. In 1964, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Today, in honor of all of his accomplishments and in an effort to ensure that his legacy endures, I thought I’d share some of my most favorite inspiration quotes.

Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964
  1. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
  2. “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
  3. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
  4. “Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”
  5. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
(Original Caption) Reverend Martin Luther King peers over a battery of microphones during a press conference at Christ Church near Harvard University in this photograph. King, declaring he would make an announcement on his possible candidacy for president, pled for a national volunteer group of 10,000 persons to form a political bloc “powerful enough to end the war in Vietnam.”

6. “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”
7. “Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.”
8. “The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what’s important.”
9. “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
10. “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see that whole staircase, just take the first step.”


11. “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
12. “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. he who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
13. “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”
14. “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”
15. “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”