Catchin' Up with Carley

“Aw, what a cute baby! What’s his name?”

Buddy, handsome, sweet boy, baby, brother and bro…. these are all words you will hear in our house used to describe my sweet son. 

However, very rarely is his real name “Brooks” ever used. Yes, that is the problem with having two people in the same home with the same name. 

Don’t get me wrong, I knew this would be an issue when we decided to name him after his Dad, but I thought for sure by now (3 months into his life) we would have this “name thing” figured out. Nope.

What’s really sad is I honestly don’t think our daughter even knows what his real name is. Our 18 month old daughter only refers to him as “bro” (short for brother) which is very easy for her to say. 

But here is the irony of the whole thing, “Bro” is what my husband wanted to call him all along. I’m not joking. Believe it or not, years ago my husband saw the name “Breaux” on the back of a football jersey and thought it was the coolest name he had ever seen or heard. 

I know, can you believe that??? As with most men, I guess they are always picturing their son’s name on the back of a jersey and them holding a Heisman or World Series trophy. 

But all I pictured was me chasing my son down the grocery aisle and yelling out “Bro”. I know you aren’t supposed to care what others think, but can you imagine???  

So here we are, calling him “Bro” more often than I would like to admit.

I guess we still have *time* to settle on a name… right? I hope.

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Divide and Conquer

Hello and Happy 2014! I’ve had a productive year so far, how about you? 

In early January, my husband and I welcomed a handsome baby boy into the world at 6 lbs 3 oz. and 19 ¾ inches long.

His name is Brooks Calvin II and is named after one of the most amazing men I know… my loving husband, who is an all-star father. As much as we love his name, I will say it’s a little hard having two people in the same home with the same name… but that’s a story and a blog for another time ;)

Last time I “checked-in” to my blog I was pretty honest about my excitement and yes… anxiety…  about having two babies under two. But that’s the great thing about how God created the “pregnancy-process”, you have 9 months to mentally prepare! 

At least you should get close to 9 months, I still don’t understand how some women ( at least enough to make a TV show) don’t know they are pregnant, how is that possible??? Anyway, I digress… 

Either way, after months of questioning how we were going to pull this off, I am happy to report things are going well… for now :) 

I’m not going to lie, there are definitely days more challenging than others, but it is SO worth it. It truly is amazing how much you can love another person and somehow in your sleep deprived (these days 5 hours straight is magical), hungry (who has time to eat?) and smelly (who has time to shower?) state there is so much JOY.

Just kidding, my husband and I do find time to shower and eat but NOTHING is done without planning and strategic scheduling these days.  As one of my best friends told me, it’s all about “Dividing and Conquering” and that seems to be working best for us. 

But how do families do it when they are outnumbered by their children? I don’t plan on personally finding out for a long time… if ever ;)  So when it all boils down, having two under two is A LOT of work…. but who knew “work” could be so much fun?

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Confession Time

I have a confession! Are you ready to hear it? Surely I am not alone or the first mom to ever think this way, but here it goes…. As excited as I am about baby number two on the way, I am having a lot anxiety about what’s ahead. Not only do I have anxiety but then there is a side of guilt that has come along with it too. Why I am so anxious??? I have wonderful husband who is the best dad and most spectacular partner a wife could ask for, we have plenty of room in our house, a supportive family who is willing to help and I am over the moon about welcoming a little boy into our family. Certainly bigger families are doing a spectacular job with much less, so what’s my problem???


Well, I guess it’s mainly the intangible things. For example, there are only 24 hours in a day and I already feel like I am using them as best as I can. How am I supposed to fit one more little precious life that is completely dependent on me within those hours too? Something else that is completely intangible but absolutely priceless… SLEEP!  Will my husband and I ever get a full night’s sleep again with having TWO babies in the house? Sleep is crucial; I need it to be a good mom, a good wife, a good TV host (for you at home, hehe) and a well functioning person in society. I wish I could say I am stocking up now, but  it’s hard for me to enjoy the sleep that I am getting now thanks to my “pregnancy bladder” waking me up every couple hours in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.


And lastly, how will Tinsley react to adding another baby in the home? After all, she only got 12 months to be the center of attention… is that enough? While my husband and I don’t want to raise a “spoiled” child, there is something to be said for a child who feels loved, secure, and special.  How will she react to not having our undivided attention on a daily basis anymore? And these are just some of the “worries” that I let creep into my mind! That’s my other confession… I am a worrywart, can you tell?


With all of that said, please don’t misunderstand what I am saying. My husband and I are THRILLED to be welcoming this baby boy into our family. After all, it took years for us to finally be able to welcome Tinsley into our life and it has been the biggest blessing for us as of yet. I have no doubt that once this little guy gets here, some of the “small” worries just won’t matter anymore. Not to mention, we are so happy Tinsley will have a sibling to love and share this world with for the rest of her life. But in the meantime, I would love to hear from YOU and other parents who have “been there, done that”. Many people have told me that if we can “survive” this first year, it will be totally worth it the end and that having two kids this close in age (15 months) will pay off once they are a little older. But is that what the first year will be, just “surviving”??? Thankfully beyond my husband and family, I do rely heavily on my faith. Each day I am trying very hard to give up the need to control things and continue to trust in God’s plan for my family’s life.  



Again, I would love to hear your thoughts and encouragement…





Your local, anxious, worrywart ;)

1st Birthday… Is the celebration for the kid or the parents?

My daughter is turning one today and as I thankfully look at my beautiful, sweet, and charming one year old, it’s also a great time to look back at this past year.  It’s funny how many types of memories flood my mind. To be honest, I wish I could say the day our daughter entered this world really felt like yesterday but that fact is… it almost feels like it was even longer. How can all those joyous moments, sleepless nights, and all those “firsts” (first smile, first tooth, first step, etc.) happen in just one year? The year went by SO fast and yet there was so much that was experienced, learned and enjoyed over the last 365 days…there was NEVER a dull moment… not one!

With that said, now it’s time to party! But really… who is the party for? Will one year olds really remember their 1st birthday party? No way! They will of course like to look at pictures and hear stories of that day but the real party should be for the PARENTS! My husband (who never once changed a dirty diaper prior to our daughter’s arrival) and I have managed (we think) to raise a happy (we are assuming she is happy based on all her big toothy smiles she gives us), healthy (despite her runny nose right now), and smart (at least she seems to be right on track for talking, walking and eating, etc.) little girl. But that’s the problem with parents, we are always second guessing ourselves. Kids don’t come with an instruction manual. But that’s okay, that’s what makes life unpredictable, different and most importantly… exciting! We may not have instruction manuals, but in our case, we have the good Lord above and wonderful family and friends to help encourage and support us along the way.

So on Tinsley’s 1st birthday, I would like to report that my heart has never been happier. I would also like to give a big “Congratulations” to me and my husband and all the countless other parents out there that are doing the best they can day after day. Great job! 


SURPRISE! What a fun word. It’s often followed by a birthday party or a fun announcement … in my case it’s followed by a BABY! Wow. Don’t get me wrong, my husband and I are extremely excited about welcoming two more little feet to our family but nothing will give your mental state more of a super-sized jolt than finding out you’re pregnant when you have a 6 month old crawling around your feet.  Along with two more little feet, it also means a house with two cribs, two car seats, two high chairs and more diapers… a lot more diapers.  


If all goes well, our babies will be 15 months apart. What’s even more surprising about the whole thing is how fast the “getting pregnant thing” happened the 2nd time around. With our daughter Tinsley, it literally took years of planning, praying and timing. Not this time around… surprise! Speaking of the word “surprise”, my husband and I try to say “surprise” and “bonus baby” rather than “oops” because again, we do NOT consider this second baby an accident. Instead, this baby is an unexpected blessing and my husband and I are focusing on the positives. People keep telling me that if my husband and I can survive the first year, it will be worth it in the end.  Our hope and prayer is they will be lifelong best friends… what in life could be better?  Yes, while there will be more things to buy and more diapers to change, there will also be a lot more laughter and a lot more joy that will hopefully last a lifetime. 


The Pursuit of the Perfect Name

Hello! It’s been a pretty busy last few weeks. I feel like we are now entering the final stretch of preparing for our baby girl’s arrival, but guess what??? WE STILL DON’T HAVE A NAME! We still don’t have her nursery anywhere near ready either, but that’s at least something that doesn’t *have* to be complete before she’s here, right? But a name…. that’s kind of important. In fact, so important, I think that’s what’s causing our indecisiveness. But I should confess, this seems to be a common problem of mine. When I was in 6th grade, I was so excited to get my first cat that by the time I settled on the perfect name for her... she only responded to “Kitty”. Oops.
 I also think it’s hard to pick a name because we haven’t seen or met her yet (sonograms have not helped us with the name game). How do you name something or *someone* you’ve never met before? I guess some people have baby names picked out before they even find their spouse, but there’s one problem with that plan…. what if your spouse doesn’t like the names you’ve picked out and cherished for years? Either way, that wasn’t an issue with us because even though my husband and I have been together since high school, we never settled or fell in love with certain names.     
So, how do you go about picking the perfect name? One piece of advice I wish we would’ve taken was to *not* share the names you are considering with family and friends. Don’t get me wrong, while I truly value and love their opinions, sometimes you can value their opinions (or reactions) too much and it can confuse you more than it helps.
So here we are… still waiting for the “perfect name”. And while there is a front-runner, I’m still hoping and waiting for the moment in which both my husband and I can say with confidence, “That’s it… that’s the perfect name… for our perfect little girl”. Which may not happen until we meet her. 


Lesson Learned


Hello! So you’ve probably noticed I’ve been off air for a few days. No, I did not have my baby yet.  As of now, my baby girl is still nice and healthy and very comfortable where she is. Instead, I have been dealing with the dreaded “C” word… cancer. A few months ago I had a spot on my face checked out and sure enough it came back that is was skin cancer or what they call a “basal cell”. From what I understand, it’s  very common and one of the easiest and most “fixable” kinds of cancer you can have. However,  finding out you have ANY kind of cancer can be pretty upsetting no matter how small or “manageable” it is. And while there is certainly NO time that is a good time to be diagnosed, being pregnant has to be at the very bottom of the “bad timing list”. Regardless, I am thankful we found it early and I got it taken care of quickly.

Something else I was not expecting to deal with after hearing the “news” was the guilt that comes along with finding out you have skin cancer.  As soon as I heard my diagnosis, I flash-backed to my high school and college years where I would sit by the pool or beach and literally enjoy “baking” away (not to mention all those trips to the tanning bed too). To make it worse, I would actually look forward to getting my face a little burnt. Regretfully, my solution for acne was the sun! It managed to dry everything out and make my face one nice “sun kissed” color. UGH! How could I be so stupid? I guess we all ask ourselves that at one point. And as Oprah loves to say…. “When you know better, you do better”. Well, I now know better. So long to the days when I try to improve my look with the dangerous sun (thankfully self-tanners and bronzers have come a long way).

So, that is where I have been and will continue to be for the next few days… recovering from minor surgery.  I have learned a very important lesson…a lesson I will most certainly pass down to my daughter and any one else who will listen. 


Boy, Girl or Just a Healthy Baby

 Hello! Years ago when I would think about what it would be like to be an “expecting mother”, I always thought I would want to wait to find out the sex of my baby until the day he or she entered the world. The truth is, for as long as I can remember, I have been terrified about going through labor and delivery (I literally have had nightmares about it). In my mind, I thought the perfect solution to overcoming this fear was to count on the excitement, joy and surprise of finding out if the little baby I was carrying for 9 months was a boy or girl. Maybe then I would actually look forward to the pain???  Not so much. What I wasn’t counting on was the fact that the excitement, joy and surprise of finding out what we were having was so big…. I (nor my husband) could wait the full 9 months. Patience has never been by strongest virtue.

Something else that has intrigued me about expecting moms is the inevitable question of, “So, are you hoping for a girl or a boy?” I was one of those annoying people that would not only ask, but I would also get annoyed if the answer was “We don’t care, we just want a healthy baby”.  OF COURSE you want a healthy baby, who doesn’t? But once again, I find myself eating my words… we too just want a healthy baby. However, while my husband and I weren’t necessarily hoping it was one or the other, we were really thinking we had a baby boy in the making. You know how they say “a Mom always knows”… Well, I guess I failed my first mom intuition test.  Darn.
So that leads to the exciting realization that we will soon be the parents of a sweet baby girl. Wow, what a blessing. The excitement is overwhelming at times. And  while I still may have the occasional nightmare about the pain and suffering of labor…  At least I now have daydreams of taking a little girl to Cinderella's Castle, girly movies and dance recitals.
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Life According to Plan… Or Maybe Not

Hello! I’m excited to start this new Blog and share with you some of what life is like for me outside of the TV studio. I may not have the most interesting life in the world, but I do think I am a lot like many of you…. a hard working, loving wife, who is now expecting her first baby. I’ll start with being honest about one thing, I’m a little nervous about how life is going to be when I start juggling all three! 

However, what I do know is that I love my job, I love my husband, and I love the idea of becoming a Mom. So, how can three things that you love so much not come together and work out perfectly? Don’t worry, I just laughed out loud too. I know it won’t be easy, but I look forward to sharing my upcoming journey and hopefully getting some advice and encouragement from you along the way. Every blog entry won’t be about babies and pregnancy, but because that was the news of the week I will start there.

If there is one thing I have learned in life so far, it has to be that life almost never goes according to plan. The most recent reminder for me was when I found out I was pregnant a few months ago. No, it’s not what you’re thinking… this was not an “oops” pregnancy. Instead, my husband and I had no idea we would have to wait almost two years to finally hear the news that we were going to be parents.

My Dad AND Grandma are TWINS for goodness sakes…. I was “supposed” to have twins or at the very least not have any trouble getting pregnant. I got a little taste of infertility and wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. But in the end, after a lot of patience and prayer, my husband and I finally got the exciting news we had been so anxiously waiting to hear. If all goes well and according to “plan”(there I go again) , our baby should be here in the fall. Yay!

With all that said, something else I have learned is that even though life may not always go according to “plan”…. It can sometimes be even better than what your plan was in the first place.