A Re-Introduction

I've noticed a few new followers in recent months, many who don't know me personally, so I thought I'd take a few minutes and re-introduce myself.

I'm Sarah!  Last name = Sides, which is where the blog title comes from!  By the way, is there anything more awkward than posing alone for a blog profile photo?!  #givemeakidorsomething

I'm a 33-year old wife, boy mama, and high school math teacher.  I grew up in small town Iowa (a very unique town, actually--I blogged about it here) and headed to college at the University of Iowa after graduating in 2001.  I was certain I wanted to be a pharmacist, but two and a half years into college, I changed my mind about that.  Three years later, I graduated with a degree in mathematics and an endorsement to teach math to grades 6-12.  After substitute teaching for one semester, I landed my first job at a high school in a Kansas City suburb.  I've always been somewhat of a big city girl and I deep down I knew I'd never return to small town Iowa.  So at 24 years of age, I packed up and headed south.  I only knew of a few people in the Kansas City area, but I was excited to begin this new adventure!

Towards the end of my first year of teaching, I met Craig.  We didn't have one mutual friend, but he had a guy friend and I had a girl friend and those friends were friends with each other.  We joined said friends on the Crawl for Cancer, a pub crawl that raises money for cancer research.  I mean, if you're going to meet your husband while drinking all day, I guess that is the best case scenario?? ;)  It was a gorgeous May day, one of those first hot days of the season and everyone was in such a great mood.  I have such fond memories of that day.

A couple of weeks later on June 2, 2008, we had our first date.  It was nothing fancy (he took me to a local sports bar & grill on a Monday night), but that perfectly sums up our relationship and our outlook on life.  We've basically been together every day since.  A few weeks into our relationship, without any hesitation, I asked Craig if he thought we were going to get married.  And I only asked because I was 99% certain we both knew at that point.  That saying really is true. When you know, you just know!

A few months later, in November 2009, we brought home this little guy.  I compromised on the kind of dog we got (I wanted a furry, little white thing but we got a miniature schnauzer instead), so Craig let me name him.  Kinnick was named after the Iowa Hawkeye football stadium (I'm a big fan), so to be fair, his middle name is Allen Fieldhouse (Craig is a KU fan, Allen Fieldhouse is where the Jayhawks play basketball).  Kinnick would go back and forth between our apartments, which I should add, were only a few miles apart in the same suburb (Lenexa) in this very large metropolitan area!

10 months after our first date, in April 2009, we moved in together!  Technically, Craig purchased the house (we weren't yet engaged/married so we didn't want both of our names on the paperwork), but I was 100% involved in the search as we expected this to be our first home together.  Together, we flipped that house from top to bottom, inside and out (just a sampling here)!

A few months later, in August 2009, Craig proposed at our housewarming (turned engagement) party!  It wasn't a complete surprise, as we had looked at rings and discussed marriage on numerous occasions, but I also didn't expect it to happen then and there!

We were married in downtown Kansas City on July 10, 2010.  The day was perfect and quite honestly, it was the single most fun day/night of my life!  There's really nothing better than having everyone you love in one location and at one big party.  I did a 10-part recap of our wedding last summer for our five year anniversary.

It was three months after our wedding that I started this ole blog.  Mainly because I needed a new hobby after the wedding plans were over and done with and it seemed like the cool thing to do.

In October 2011, we found out we were expecting our first baby.  I was certain it was a girl.  I had my mind set on a girl.  I was hoping for a girl.  And then I opened a box full of blue balloons.  I was excited, don't get me wrong, but had our family and friends not been there to share in our experience that night, I might have cried.  (Just being honest here!)

Two months later, at 27 weeks pregnant, we learned of some abnormalities in our unborn baby boy's brain.  He had a condition called hydrocephalus, which meant the ventricles within his brain were enlarged.  We were told the condition could indicate a more severe condition (spina bifida) and could mean we'd have a child with special needs, it could require surgery to insert a shunt post-birth, or it could normalize and basically mean nothing.  We were sent to Children's Mercy for further testing (an MRI on our unborn baby boy's brain) and to meet with a team of specialists that included a social worker, genetic counselor, a neurologist, and a neonatologist.  The diagnosis also required monthly level 2 ultrasounds to monitor the condition.  Talk about a stressful, heart wrenching, and difficult couple of months.  We cried, we prayed, and we cried some more.

Then, at 35 weeks pregnant, during our level 2 ultrasound, we got the best news of the pregnancy.  The ventricles were measuring a normal size and just like that, things were a-okay!

I was induced three days before my due date on Friday, July 6, 2012.  My doctor induced me because, although everything looked normal via ultrasound, she preferred a few post-birth tests to confirm that.  She wanted to deliver to ensure the necessary follow-up was taken.  My body took very well to the induction meds, and Brantley Carter was born just 6 1/2 hours later at 2:38 in the afternoon.

Everything was fine and dandy until around 8pm that night when he was admitted to the NICU for some breathing issues.  Turns out, he was born with both pneumonia and meningitis.  That combination required some pretty strong antibiotics, among multiple needle pricks and even a spinal tap, and a two-week stint in the NICU.  Talk about some ups and downs and highs and lows.  First, we thought we'd have a baby with special needs, then we found out he was perfectly fine, then he was born after a very smooth labor and delivery, then he was admitted to the NICU with some pretty scary-sounding conditions (that were completely unrelated to the hydrocephalus, I might add).  We finally got to take home our firstborn two weeks later and he's seriously been smooth sailing ever since (good sleeper, easy to potty train, just a super easy kid all around)!

Shortly after Brantley's first birthday, we found out we were expecting baby #2.  A few months later, we learned it was another boy!  (I still wanted a girl, but saw some serious advantages to having another boy, so I was okay with either.)

This pregnancy was issue-free and on Friday, April 18, after teaching first, second, and third blocks (basically all day), I went into labor at school!  I didn't realize it at the time (because I was induced the first time and didn't know what to expect), but I soon realized that those period-like cramps were actually contractions!  I had also been in contact with my doctor's office that afternoon because I hadn't felt the baby move, so they told me to come in for a quick ultrasound.  I left school towards the end of the school day (during seminar) and Craig met me at the clinic around 2pm.  By that point, I was pretty certain I was in labor.  When the doctor (not mine because she had already taken off for the day) came to see me, he confirmed my thoughts on labor and said we needed to head to the hospital (across the street) immediately.  His words "Don't even stop at the gas station.  I will call and let them know you're coming."  At 6:49 that evening, sans camera, hospital bag, and everything but the clothes on our backs, Holden Beckett was born.

Nearly two years later, here we are!  Our boys are 21 months apart---currently 3 1/2 and almost 2.


  Last March, we sold our first home and moved into a brand new one about 10 miles away.  Oddly enough, this new home brought us back to Lenexa, which is where we each lived in separate apartments when we met!

Although chaotic with a full-time job and two toddler/preschool aged-boys, I am loving this life of ours.  We would love to add one more kiddo to our mix, and crazily, I would prefer #3 to be a boy!  Which, of course, means it will be a girl.  Only time will tell, I guess!

A few more things about me: I love fashion (though I don't believe in spending tons of money on clothes--Target and Old Navy for the win!), summer is my favorite, and The Bachelor{ette/in Paradise} is my guiltiest pleasure.  I take far too many photos (always have, always will) and have slowly learned the basics of manual mode since getting my first DSLR camera in 2012.  For a girl, I'm a pretty big sports fan - you can find me cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes in the fall and the Kansas City Royals between April and October.  I listen to mostly country music because I feel like I'm too old for most of the pop tunes these days!  I enjoy cooking/baking, mainly because eating is one of my favorite things to do!  And last but definitely not least, I love blogging and I'm very honored you have decided to follow me!  Check back tomorrow for a little post on who, what, where, when, and why I blog!

And be sure to follow all of my social media outlets:
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  1. Love this! I learned so much about you. We have so much in common! :) Our first borns are only 11 days apart. So fun. :) Your wedding looks amazing. I figured we'd have two boys and then we have our gender/anatomy ultrasound and we saw the three lines on the screen. Drew was so shocked.

  2. This was such a fun post! But oh my gosh how scary all that must have been with your first, I really can't even imagine.

    I too only listen to country because I feel too old for pop, but I do listen to a bunch of Kidz Bop so that still keeps me young at heart, ha ha

    And your house is gorgeous!!

  3. Love this post. I feel like I knew you already but loved learning more about you. I may copy this idea soon! :)

  4. Love reading this Sarah :) It's so fun to find that we have more in common! Except for the country music part, maybe you can show me the way to what's good on that one, but I do love baking! I bake my boys' birthday cakes each year, getting ready for a dinosaur cake here in a couple of weeks, fingers crossed!! Glad I found you :)

  5. Really enjoyed reading all about you Sarah! Thanks for sharing your life and all of the little things that have happened to you along the way :) Love the pictures of your family!! Beautiful story!

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  7. This was so fun to read!

  8. I loved getting to know more about you! And I had no idea about your pregnancy drama, so crazy. Laughing about wanting a boy and probably getting a girl, ain't that always the way!

  9. This was such a fun post!!
    I had no idea about Fairfield! Crazy stuff (but in a good way).
    And, talk about a rollercoaster of emotions with the pregnancy and post-delivery of Holden. So, so glad all is well with that little man.

  10. I forgot how much we have in common! We got engaged in September 2009, got married in November 2010, found out I was pregnant in November 2011, and Mason was born July 2012! So crazy!

  11. I love this!! It's so fun to read the details of all the stories I've heard. So thankful for you and your sweet family!!!! XOXO