Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Decorating...Quite a Process

This sums up how decorating for Christmas went for us...

We started with great enthusiasm...

And finished, loving the completed look, but pretty darn tired...


Wednesday, November 28, 2012


How far along? I will be 39 weeks on Friday...just a couple days early.
Sleep: It's really not so good. I get up about five times to go to the bathroom and then I think about all the things I should be doing. For instance, who hasn't woken up at 5 am thinking about how only a bad mother wouldn't have already sterilized all pacifiers and bottles....or who doesn't lay awake at midnight thinking about how the floors should really all be mopped before she gets here....You see where I'm going with this.
Best moment this week: Probably checking things off the to do list and getting closer and closer to meeting our little girl. At the doctor this week we found out we are moving right along! I am dilated 2 cms and 70% effaced! Keep it up little girl!! And we are decorated for Christmas and have the house cleaned!
Miss Anything? No. And just in case she has any dairy allergies or something, I'm eating anything I want to eat :)
Movement: Yes. I think she's stretching in there as much as she can. Hopefully she's getting antsy enough to make her appearance very very soon.
Anything making you queasy or sick: No.
Labor Signs: Oh yes! There are signs but I will spare you the details. Just know that I am thinking it is going to be sooner rather than later.
Mood: So so excited and anxious. We are completely over the moon excited these days!

Looking forward to: A relaxing weekend with my husband. Each weekend we think, "Wow, this could be our last as just a couple..."

Other updates from the doctor:
I’ve gained 29 pounds overall. My blood pressure was better this week and her heartrate was in the 150s! Much better!!

Look at this huge bump!! And some of our Christmas decorations.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

First Snow

Yesterday was the first snow of the season! It was beautiful and cold and really felt like winter. I was thinking it might have been fun for the little girl to make her appearance on the first snow day of the season, but nope, she’s too warm and comfy and not ready yet.

We spent the past weekend celebrating Thanksgiving and the holiday season with both sides of our family. It was so much fun. 
Wednesday night we sat outside around a fire pit at Sister #1’s house and then played Pictionary. Thursday morning we went to my parent’s house and cooked and ate and relaxed, and then that afternoon into the night we went to David’s parent’s house where they had some relatives in town. It was such a great time, just relaxing and enjoying everyone’s company. I really tried to soak it in that this was my last holiday with just David and me. Of course I’m mostly excited about that fact, but you know I always think it’s a little bit bittersweet too. I love spending every possible minute with David and I know those minutes are so precious once our daughter is here. I am trying to balance my anxiousness and excitement for her to just get here already with my teeny bouts of sadness that it won’t ever be just the two of us again. It’s a fine balance my friends, especially when I’m tossing and turning in the night and just begging for my water to break.

I have a doctor’s appointment today so cross your fingers for me that I’m still progressing. I am getting pretty uncomfortable and pretty excited all at the same time!

Friday, November 23, 2012

38 Weeks Already!

How far along? 38 Weeks. This past Tuesday we had a doctor’s appointment and guess what…I’m 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. My doctor said this is wonderful at this stage to be progressing like that and would maybe help with not having to be induced and instead go on my own! She seemed excited so I’m going to be also. She said she really, really wanted me to get to 39 weeks. That made me think maybe she’s thinking I will go earlier than my due date since she kept saying that. Either way, it’s so encouraging to know I’m progressing and soon we will be meeting our little girl!
Maternity clothes? Oh yes. I’m starting to get very uncomfortable and I wish I could wear David’s tshirts and my leggings or yoga pants all day every day. Since that’s not a possibility (darn my work’s dress code J ), I try to change as soon as I’m home for the night. 
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” I plead the fifth.
Best moment this week: Thanksgiving!! We spent the whole day with family! It was so wonderful and relaxing. I tried to soak in every second since it will be our last as just a couple. It was a wonderful day!
Miss Anything? No. I’m just getting so anxious to hold her!
Movement: Yes. She is making it known that she’s getting cramped in there. I just keep telling her that she can come out at any time – she doesn’t have to stay crammed up in there in a little ball. The doctor let us feel where her back was and where her knee or heel was. Her head is down. My stomach is so lopsided. On my left is all smooth – that’s where her back and bottom can be felt, and then my right side is all bony and lumpy.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nothing really. I still gag a few times a day, and my heartburn is getting worse. But I haven’t gotten sick.
Labor Signs: I didn’t think so, but the doctor told me those contractions I’ve been having are wonderful and they are helping move things along. A few times they’ve been pretty strong, but nothing consistent.
Mood: Anxious and excited! I know I could have three more weeks still, but I really feel like it’s going to be any day now. I wonder each night when I go to bed if tomorrow will be the day
J We are just so overjoyed and giddy.
Looking forward to: Decorating for Christmas and finishing my Christmas shopping. Once I do go into labor, I want to know our house is ready for her to come home to and that my shopping is done so that we can relax for Christmas.

Other updates from the doctor:
I’ve gained 28 pounds overall.
My blood pressure is still low, but they aren’t worried at all.
Her heartrate is still high (180s this week), but it drops down to the 160s and doesn’t stick in the 80s or 90s so they are still saying that’s okay.
I’m measuring right at 27 weeks – I was 27 ½ at the appointment.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"Beautiful Things"

This weekend we finished her room! I will post some pictures of the room, but first I wanted to show two projects I'm pretty proud of.

The first is the little lamp. My sister-in-law found this lamp base at a garage sale and gave it to me to see if I could use in the nursery. I knew I would use it, but I wanted to tie in purple somehow. Sister #2 got us our Pottery Barn lampshade. And then this weekend I decided to paint the base to really tie the whole look together.

Here is the before:

And here is the after. I am thrilled with it!

And then I also wanted something for above her bed. One day in church before we were pregnant, David fell in love with a song and shared with me after that it reminded him of the special people in our life and their kids. Once we found out we were pregnant we used to listen to the song over and over. (You should look up Gungor - Beautiful Things)

I wanted to surprise David with working in some of the lyrics into the nursery. I bought stickers and put them on a canvas and then spray painted the whole canvas. After it dries you just remove the stickers. I hand painted the word "beautiful."

It has been so fun and special putting her nursery together. I get so emotional thinking about each stage and each project we did. I remember the weekend after we found out we were pregnant we found a rug at Target and ended up buying it, thinking about how we would decorate a nursery around it, and the night we put her crib together and laughing and then crying thinking about her in there. I remember the morning I got out of the shower to find David just standing in the middle of her room, looking around. And I will cherish the time that we washed her clothes and hung them up, and wrote in her scrapbook while sitting in the little chair that I can't wait to rock her in, and making her mobile and hanging it wondering if she will like to look at it, and painting her dresser, and on and on. This has been so special to me, every single day. And now I just can't wait to bring her home!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Full Term!

How far along? 37 Weeks. This week I’m considered full term! I guess the 40 week mark is the average, but full term is 37-42. How exciting that if I had her now she wouldn’t be premature!
Maternity clothes? Yes. I’m getting a little uncomfortable these days so I have been loving any comfortable maternity dresses and tights to get me through work, and then as soon as I get home I switch to my maternity yoga pants and David’s tshirts.  
Stretch marks? Not yet, but my stomach has been so itchy. I feel like I put lotion on a million times a day.
Sleep: Getting worse and worse, but I just finished a book about scheduling in this first month and it sounds like it’s not going to be better soon so I might as well buck up J
Best moment this week: We have been getting so much done! I guess if I have to pick one best moment it’s that the girl who was due first in my department had her precious, healthy son on Sunday. This made it feel so much more real that this is getting so close! I also loved getting all of her laundry washed and hung up. And her sheets and blankets are all clean and they smell so good.
Miss Anything? Just being able to jump out of bed instead of having to roll myself. And walk up and down the stairs without being winded.
Movement: Tons and tons! It actually hurts a little. I think she’s boney.
Anything making you queasy or sick: I have been gagging again in the mornings, but not actually gotten sick.
Labor Signs: No, but my contractions are definitely stronger and more frequent, but they are only maybe ten times a day.
Belly Button in or out? We don’t even need to talk about this one anymore – it’s so far out.
Mood: So wonderful. I am so exhausted by the end of the day because all I do is daydream about her. It’s getting hard to focus on much else.
Looking forward to: This weekend we are decorating for Christmas! And next week is Thanksgiving so we will be surrounded by family!

How Obsessed Am I With Sweet Potatoes?

I found the yummiest looking sweet potato soup and I can't wait to try it! This year, my side of the family is celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve. We are going to have different soups for dinner. I am going to suggest we give this one a try!

How yummy does this look! If you are interested in something slightly different for one of the soups, I would eat this whole pot!


    1. Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onion and cook until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add stock plus 2 cups water, then add sweet potato, carrot, and ginger. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

    2. Strain out vegetables and put them in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth, adding a bit of broth if needed. (If you're using a standard blender, allow the mixture to cool first; hot liquid may cause the blender to squirt out contents. Depending on the size of your blender, you may have to do this in batches.)

    3. Pour vegetable puree back into the saucepan and stir until well blended and smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a dollop of yogurt on top, if desired.

    Thank you Women's Health!

    Sunday, November 11, 2012

    Some of My Best Friends Threw a Fall Shower!

    The Sunday after my sisters threw a shower, my dear friends threw a beautiful Fall shower. Again, we were completely overwhelmed by everyone's generosity and love. I really try to hold it together at these showers, but once I start thinking about our little girl and all of the love and support she already has, I get so emotional. I wish that everyone had the family and friends that I have. We are way too blessed. This little girl is going to be smothered with love. I love daydreaming about raising her with our family and friends.

    We had soups and salad, pumpkin bars and muffins, and were surrounded with Fall decorations (pumpkins with pacifiers!). It was a perfect day!

    The Aunts Threw a Brunch!

    Last weekend my showers started off with a beautiful shower at my office from my coworkers. It was so sweet of them and we were overwhelmed with all the support my coworkers have given us. They are so excited!

    That night my best friend and her husband and daughter got in town and stayed with us so that they could be at my shower the next morning. Saturday my sisters threw the most beautiful shower. I loved celebrating at this brunch with some of the people I love most in the world. One thing they did that I completely cherish now, is they had the guests write little prayers to our sweet little girl at different ages of her life. I am going to take good care of these prayers and give them to her on that Birthday. It is so special.

    Here are pictures from this beautiful day.

    Our friends even got Bo a shirt! "I'm going to be a big brother!"

    A hand knitted blanket from one of my best friends. I can't wait to wrap her up in this! It's perfect!

    These three best friends were pregnant with these little girls at our wedding! I can't believe we are all having little girls together.

    My sisters who made the whole day so special. I've never seen a more excited group of aunts.

    Aren't these grandmas so cute. They have been so wonderful. We are so blessed to live within miles of each of them. 
    My best friend who made the trek from St. Louis to be at the shower.

    Saturday, November 10, 2012


    I decided, this close to the end, to summarize some of the foods that got me through this pregnancy. I would have claimed that I didn’t have too many “cravings” as I thought I would, but I’m starting to think that isn’t entirely true.

    I have probably complained a million times that I was sick for 18-19 weeks. I’m sorry if I did; I really did try not to because I’m so thrilled that we were able to be pregnant and I can’t even talk about how blessed I feel to carry this little girl. But during those first 4 months or so I didn’t have any cravings as much as aversions…like to everything… But there were a few foods that got me through. First, my sweet husband made me an egg and cheese bagel every single morning. It was quite a routine. I would wake up and run to the bathroom to get sick and that was his cue to get up and start the breakfast. He seriously did this every day (and still does whenever I want it instead of my new favorite craving, cereal!). And right along with this craving was orange juice. I still drink a glass of orange juice every morning. I would have never preferred this juice before or even imagined that it would ever settle my stomach, but it’s the one thing that I have wanted every single day no matter what.

    During those first months I also relied on the strangest food of all for me…cheeseburgers! I don’t even want to tally up how many I ate during those first four months, but I can tell you it was more than I had eaten in the past ten years total. I still love them actually! My favorite is from Culver’s. Bless them.

    I also ate my fair share of mashed potatoes during this time. And the only other thing that sounded good was toast with cream cheese. Also, broccoli. Just raw, plain, cold broccoli. So I am living proof that a woman can survive on cheeseburgers, egg sandwiches, potatoes, OJ, and broccoli…at least for a few months.

    Once I stopped getting sick I started eating a lot like I used to before I was pregnant, except with meat. I have loved beef during this time. Here are some things I have absolutely not been able to get enough of:

    -          Taco Bell (yep, old trusty has kept me going just as it did before I was pregnant)
    -          Cereal (I eat it at least once a day, but usually twice.)
    -          Apples (I try to limit these to one a day, but I feel like I could eat four)
    -          Pizza (any and all kinds)
    -          Ice cream
    -          Sweet potatoes

    I have had some other random things thrown in here and there, but those are the things I feel like I cannot stop eating week after week.
    What were your cravings like?

    Thursday, November 8, 2012

    36 Week Update!

    How far along? 36 weeks! Is it just me or are the weeks flying by?! I loved on the 7th thinking we were just a month away from our due date!
    Maternity clothes? Yes, but in the picture below I’m wearing a non-maternity dress proudly.
    Stretch marks? Not that I can see.
    Sleep: It’s not so good. I know it’s just preparing me for when the little girl is up all night wanting to eat and cuddle though. I try to focus on that, but I have to admit, it’s not so cute when it’s just me waking up to go to the bathroom and not having her here.
    Best moment this week: Getting our thank you notes written. Everyone was over the top generous and we wanted to sit together and write the notes with a heart full of gratitude. I pictured each person walking into the store and walking away with their gift with our little daughter in mind. I am still a little overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity.
    And another one is that I just got word that I officially have a room to use my breast pump in once returning to work. Up until this point women have just used the public restroom. Thankfully, neither my boss nor I were okay with this option. I am so thankful for my boss! She has been working for months on getting an official room assigned for our building! Amazing! Miss Anything? I miss some of my Fall clothes from last year. But it will be fun to wear them next year – they will feel like new!
    Movement: Oh yes. And I think she even kicks things away that are touching her. She might be a little feisty like her momma.
    Anything making you queasy or sick: Not today.
    Labor Signs: No actual labor signs. I think she’s going to stay in there for quite a while still. I’m guessing 12-12-12.
    Belly Button in or out? Out so far that it is so embarrassing!
    Wedding rings on or off?  Off, but once again, just because I’m scared of losing them. I’ve been a little flighty.
    Mood: Over the top excited. This weekend we are going to start washing all of her clothes and blankets and packing a bag for the hospital!
    Looking forward to: Starting all of our final preparations. I want to decorate the house this week for Christmas too so that it will be ready for her to come home to.

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

    Mid-week Update

    It's the middle of the week, but I just wanted to post this picture because of how cute my dog is. Bo has been so ridiculously sweet. He just follows me around the house and tries to be touching me at all times. I'm actually a little bit worried that if I go into labor at our house, or stay home and labor for as long as possible, that I will make him a nervous wreck. Even now, if I get a bad leg cramp or a little bit of rough contraction, he just lays his head on me and stares at me until I'm okay. I hope I don't scare him or worry him!

    And, please do notice my adorable husband had to button each of those buttons because I couldn't reach, but at least I can still wear them! I have a feeling those days are numbered...

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

    Acts 23:5

    I love on Facebook how everyone right now is saying one thing they are thankful for each day. I might start even though I'm 6 days behind. If I was playing this game, today I would say I am thankful that I get to vote. Do we as Americans forget what a privilege this is?

    I have seen on Pinterest and other places a corny little saying (and I'm only saying corny because I love it and I'm definitely corny myself) that goes something like "No matter who is president, Jesus is King." It's so true and so easy to lose sight of during all of these crazy campaign times.

    I have seen an ugly side of myself and people close to me when it comes to politics. Last night in our small group we read a few chapters from Acts. And how appropriate that after a quick and dirty argument over who some people were or were not voting for today, we ran across Paul saying..."I'm sorry, brothers. I didn't realize he was the high priest," Paul replied, "for the Scriptures say, 'You must not speak evil of any of your rulers.'"

    I'm praying for all of our leaders and our country, and I'm going to pray in gratitude that I get to vote and look forward to the future.

    Monday, November 5, 2012

    All is Calm

    There is no way anyone gets through the song Silent Night without crying, right? This is not my pregnancy hormones. I’ve never been able to handle it. Sarah McLachlan sounds like an angel for sure. I love her version.

    I was sitting at work reviewing an agreement that I’m completely stuck on and not sure how to “win” for my team when this song came on. Christmas music helps keep everything in perspective for me. I just love it.

    We had four showers this weekend. Four! I want to post about each one separately because they were each so incredibly wonderful. I think it’s a combination of this weekend with friends and family, a great doctor’s appointment that we learned our little daughter is still doing great, and this Christmas music that gets to me. How on earth has anyone made it through life without God and friends and family like mine? I feel so blessed that sometimes all I can do is sit and thank God for these people that he has hand-selected to be in our lives.

    So think about hugely pregnant me sitting with all of this joy overflowing my heart and listening to  “radiant beams from Thy holy face with the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus Lord at Thy birth” and tell me I shouldn’t cry. Yeah right.

    At our appointment today my blood pressure was low but the doctor said this is nothing to worry about, just to watch. And her heartrate was high again, but the doctor reassured us that this is still fine as long as the baseline rate is okay. So I'm just trusting the doctor to tell me if there's anything to watch for. I have gained another pound (27 overall) and am still measuring right. She predicted today that if I go to full term this little girl will be an 8 pound baby! Oh my goodness. I can't wait to hold that little chunk of a baby girl :) Everything is perfect and I go back in two weeks to begin getting checked to see if she's progressed. Then from there on out it's every week until she's here! I made my final three appointments. How crazy is that!?

    Friday, November 2, 2012

    35 Weeks Already!

    I feel like I just posted for 34 weeks. It is all flying by!

    How far along? 35 weeks! Just 5 to go!
    Maternity clothes? Of course
    Stretch marks? Not yet!
    Sleep: It's a little rough. Sometimes it's hard to go back to sleep after going to the bathroom for the gazillionth time. But at those times I just lay there and pray about our little girl and think about all the things I am looking forward to.
    Best moment this week: This week we put her crib sheets and bumper on. We also set up the changing pad on the dresser. I love having the room come together.
    Miss Anything? Nope.
    Movement: Yes, it's really weird now though. It's not the quick punches and kicks and turns. Now she pokes an arm or knee or something out every once in a while. And sometimes it feels more like she is rolling over instead of kicking. It's odd and wonderful.
    Anything making you queasy or sick: Not a thing.
    Labor Signs: Just those fakey contractions, but they are more frequent and some are even painful.
    Belly Button in or out? So far out!
    Wedding rings on or off?  My real ones are off, but just so you know, they would still fit...I'm not swollen yet.
    Mood: So happy and excited. We have a wonderful weekend to look forward to starting with a shower at work in the afternoon. Then we will have friends and family in town for some more showers! We are so blessed and excited.
    Looking forward to: Being with our friends and family this weekend ALL weekend.


    His love is better than life

    In church we have been focusing on our individual and intimate relationships with Christ and whether we believe that His love is truly better than life. It’s an easy thing to say that you believe, but it’s not always as easy to truly live your life, day to day, believing and practicing that truth. The good thing is that it is true. The sad thing is I don’t think I always accept it.

    I have this amazing small group. I love each person so much. We have been challenging each other to live this way and understand how to let God love us and show us this. This week we talked about how we have it so easy. All we have to do is receive these blessings from God. Our pastor talked about how we only have desires because God desires us. We only love because He loved us first. You see, He is seeking us and doing all the hard work. All we have to do is receive this, and let Him in.

    Easy, right? Wrong. In order to receive these gifts from God and have this intimate relationship with Him, you have to make time and space to allow Him in. So instead of arranging my life around my full-time plus job, housework, dating my husband, planning for our little girl, small group gatherings and readings, and on and on, I should be arranging my life to focus first on God.  Now just in case any of you were under the impression that I have it all together (stop laughing, maybe I had some people fooled!), I totally do not. I have no idea what I’m supposed to do day in and day out. I have no idea if I am making the best decisions for my family. I don’t know if I’m being a great, or even good, friend. And I have no idea what I should be doing a year from now or beyond.

    This sermon series and my wonderful small group have made me be able to admit all of that without having the anxiety attacks I was having a couple of weeks ago that I mistook for the baby pressing up against my lungs. Isn’t it wonderful to know that none of us have it all together and that the only way to get even close to not being a complete wreck is to let God in. In the next few weeks we are going to learn more about the practical side of having this relationship with God. And I can’t wait. This week I have been waking up five minutes earlier to ask God to help me arrange my day around Him. And to thank Him that I get to wake up and ask Him to make space in my life to fit Him in. It’s about 26 ½ years overdue.