Monday, December 31, 2012

I Hope Heaven Smells Like Almond Extract

What a busy, wonderful, exhausting holiday week!  I hope your week was just as fantastic (but I hope you got more sleep than we did!).

*Warning:  This is not a deep post.  It's not even remotely deep.  It's very surface-level:  partly because my brain is tired, and mostly because my body is tired.  So go ahead, and wade in.  The water's warm and shallow.  Just like the kiddie pool with that very questionably warm water...*

Christmas Eve (Monday) was our first really busy day.  We had last minute shopping to do and packing to begin and two Christmas Eve services to attend and be a part of.  The Husband helped with the "props" while I sang and played bells with the choir.  We sang "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," one of my most favorite songs to sing in church during the Christmas season.  The song is based on the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem of the same name.  We've sung it several years in a row, and I don't think I'll ever get tired of it.  This year, though, was different.  We sung it all lined up in one row across the front of the sanctuary holding bells in the dark.  Y'all, it was so, so neat.  I have a video (which in 272 minutes will be finished uploading to youtube *sigh*) that I'm attaching below.  My friend Lauren's brother took the video for me, and he stood really close to some of the guys singing (hence why you hear them much better than you do the gals).  Y'all, the quality is not the greatest, and we most certainly didn't do a perfect job by any means, but I just think it was such a great experience.  And, I love the lyrics.  Such beauty and sadness all at the same time.  


We stayed up pretty late that night (unfortunately!), but we did find time to open our gifts to each other. My favorite gift from The Husband?  This scarf and hat!!
It's been so very cold that I've worn them almost every day since then!

So that was Christmas Eve.

Christmas morning, we woke up pretty early, got dressed, and finished packing.  Then, we headed over to the hospital where The Husband's dad was having some testing done over a couple of days.  One of those days happened to be Christmas.  Bummer.  :(
So, we spent Christmas morning at the hospital with my in-laws.  It was a mostly quiet, calm morning (though I did get pretty carried away and excited as I sat on the hospital floor with my sister-in-law and played with her new Legos and built my Lego control panel and control guy.  They're amazing, right?! Go ahead and applaud.  I know you want to.  Seriously though, it took all of my brain power to come up with that.  I can't believe some of the amazing things kids come up with when playing with those little blocks.)  

Any guesses as to my favorite gift we received from my in-laws?? They gave the two of us a membership to the gym!!!  I CANNOT wait to get back there and do something with this lazy self of mine! Plus, I miss our instructor and all of our friends in there!!

After lunch, The Husband and I loaded up the car, told the cats goodbye, and headed to my parents' house.  It was a pretty uneventful two-hour trip.  Thankfully.  We got there mid-afternoon and just hung out with them until my sister and her family arrived.  We fixed and ate dinner, played some songs on the piano, and opened our gifts.  My favorite gift from my sister's family?  This sign.
Isn't it lovely?!  I love it, and I can't wait to get it hung in the perfect spot.

Here's my favorite gift from my parents.
It smells absolutely divine!!! Y'all, it smells exactly like almond extract.  I have had a love affair with almond extract since I was a very little girl.  My dad would use it as a "secret ingredient" in one of my favorite desserts...I can't tell you the dessert or it wouldn't be a secret!  But, to this day, I still keep almond extract in the cabinet and will add it to my own "dessert."  Yum!  A few weeks ago, I was fixing said-dessert item, and I got a little of the extract on my fingers.  That delicious smell kept wafting up as I worked, and I said, rather loudly, to The Husband, "I hope Heaven smells like almond extract."  And, I do because really, it's my most favorite smell in the world!  Anywho, I don't plan on using this bath soap often because I really want it to last and last, but I have used it already, and it's wonderful!

So, that was Christmas Day.

We stayed with my parents a few days (I got a haircut, and we got to spend some much-needed time with The Bestie) and then headed back home on Thursday.

Just to unpack and repack.

Friday morning, my parents drove here, we loaded up their car, and then the four of us headed to the Austin area for a Christmas get-together on Saturday with my dad's side of the family that's been held almost every year since before I was born.  *I think.*  Can anyone verify that??

So at this get-together, we visit, eat lots of food, play games, and play a gift-game the likes of which you've never seen.   It's brutal *ahem* filled with lots of laughter and time-clock sounds and boos.  My mom, bless her heart, gets picked on (I'm sure completely out of love!) lots of the time during the game, but I think she gets a kick out of it.  One of the gifts brought this year was a canvas bag filled with these items.

They were totally meant for my mom.
Honestly, as each item was pulled from the gift bag, I thought surely someone meant them for me since I'm the only one (that I know of) in my family that writes a blog.  But, I was informed that every time I post something on this blog, my sweet (and proud, I suppose) mom sends out an email to around 20 or so of her closest family members and friends telling them that I've posted something new on here.  Apparently, she begins each email with the phrase "BLOG'S UP!"  Isn't that funny?!  I think it's sweet that she wants people to know, and I think it's great that someone went to such lengths to come up with such a creative gift like that!  And, she got it :)  She gave me the pink shirt to relax in, but I know she'll enjoy the rest of the items as she checks her emails, chats with friends on Facebook, and yes, as she catches up on blog posts like this one.  Love her :)  I guess I should have entitled this post "BLOG'S UP!" :)  I almost fought her for the stationery because it was so dog-gone cute, but I know she'll probably use it more often than I would.

We're back home now, unpacked, well-fed from a lunch at The Cheesecake Factory, and tired after our long trip.  In 229 minutes the video should be finished uploading, which means this will probably get posted tomorrow morning instead of tonight since I plan on being in bed long before that 229 minutes is up.

I wish you all a very happy New Year!

May this new one bring more blessings to you and yours than you can possibly count!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

13 Weeks - Pregnancy #2

Each Sunday, I'd like to do a highlights post, including a picture, summarizing the differences in my pregnancy from week to week.  I totally "grabbed" this idea from Kelly.  I did this with my pregnancy with Hadley, as well, and I still think it is a great way to jot down the things that I don't want to forget later on.  I'll probably write these on Saturday nights and attach the picture the next day.  That way I can stay semi-technology free :)

Pregnancy Highlights:

How far along:  13 weeks

Size of baby:  The Little One is about 3 inches long and about the size of a peach.

Total weight gain/loss:  As of my last checkup, I had lost four pounds.  So, I suppose once I start gaining I'll count what I weigh currently as my starting weight and go from there. I do know that I've eaten an ENORMOUS amount of food over the last week (sadly, I'm so not exaggerating), so I'm almost positive I've gained that weight back.  We'll see next Monday when I go to my appointment.

Maternity clothes:   I have entered the world of maternity clothes, and I am fully enjoying the COMFORT.  My best friend gave me her box of maternity goodies after Christmas, and I have worn three maternity shirts this weekend alone.  I'm still in my jeans, but I've started wearing the Be Band to extend the life of my denim garments.

Gender:  At our last appointment, the technician and the doctor were both 99.9% sure of their gender guess.  I'd like to wait until I'm a little farther along, and I've had another ultrasound before making that announcement.  There's always that chance they could be wrong; though small it may be.  We're still pondering names.  Like before, I have my favorites, and he has his.  We'll see what comes of that! 

Movement:  I've felt an occasional push or kick in there, but it's very rare.  Like maybe once a week or so.  

Sleep:  I'm finally sleeping better at night.  *knock on wood*  

What I miss:  Hmmm, queso at Mexican food restaurants.

Cravings:  A cold Frosty from Wendy's or a yummy chocolate shake from The Cheesecake Factory. Both of which I've had in the last two days.

Symptoms:   I'm still beyond tired, but my morning sickness seems to have almost hit the road for good (though I have to eat pretty soon after waking up in the morning), and my emotions are less raw.  I know The Husband is secretly saying, "Thank the LORD!" Or not so secretly.

Exercise:  I've tried to do at least a few Pilates stretches each day.  :)

Best moment this week:  Feeling a few little movements Christmas Eve.    

13 Weeks (aren't those motel curtains something?!)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

12 Weeks - Pregnancy #2


Each Sunday, I'd like to do a highlights post, including a picture, summarizing the differences in my pregnancy from week to week.  I totally "grabbed" this idea from Kelly.  I did this with my pregnancy with Hadley, as well, and I still think it is a great way to jot down the things that I don't want to forget later on.  I'll probably write these on Saturday nights and attach the picture the next day.  That way I can stay semi-technology free :)

So, here we go!

Pregnancy Highlights:

How far along:  12 weeks

Size of baby:  The Little One is about 2 1/2 inches long and about the size of a large plum.

Total weight gain/loss:  As of my last checkup, I had lost four pounds.  So, I suppose once I start gaining I'll count what I weigh currently as my starting weight and go from there.

Maternity clothes:   No maternity clothes so far.  I'm still wearing my same clothes:  jeans, tops, dresses, slacks, etc.  I do lounge around the house quite a bit in pajamas or the clothes I'd normally wear when working out.

Gender:  At our last appointment, the technician and the doctor were both 99.9% sure of their gender guess.  I'd like to wait until I'm a little farther along, and I've had another ultrasound before making that announcement.  There's always that chance they could be wrong; though small it may be.  We're still pondering names.  Like before, I have my favorites, and he has his.  We'll see what comes of that! 

Movement:  I haven't felt any big movements yet; I will say, though, occasionally, I'll feel something that makes me pause. 

Sleep:  I've been sick with the cold from H*ll, and because it's difficult to sleep when one can't breathe, I haven't gotten the number of Zzzzs I was hoping I'd get during these weeks of extreme exhaustion.  The last two nights, though, have been MUCH better.  

What I miss:  Hmmm, queso at Mexican food restaurants.

Cravings:  Frosty's from Wendy's

Symptoms:   *I'm tired.  Oh so tired.  I want to lie down ALL.  DAY.  LONG.
*I had pretty bad morning sickness the last four weeks or so, but the last day or so, it seems to have let up some.
*I'm crazy emotional.  Like cry at the drop of a hat emotional.

Exercise:  We had to give up our membership at the gym we belonged to, so I've been trying to exercise elsewhere.  We've been on walks at the park before the weather got super cold.  I tried out  pregnancy pilates videos, and I try to incorporate those stretches daily.  I'm hoping to get back to the park soon, because I know walking is really important.  We can also take walks around our complex when the weather is nice.  

Best moment this week:  Seeing our new precious little one at the specialist appointment on Monday and knowing that God is at work.  

I'm excited and nervous and anxious and pondering.  Constantly.  It's a roller-coaster ride for sure.  I'm trying very hard to remain calm, to focus on today and not let my mind race to the future as it tends to do, and to just enjoy each day of this journey.  I so appreciate your prayers for The Husband and me as we continue on together.  It's a tough road, but it's filled with really wonderful moments along the way.

The Husband kept taking pictures before I was reading, and this is my "I have to stop laughing first" pose :)

12 weeks


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Specialist appointment

I've been sick since last Friday with a monster of a cold, so I haven't really felt up to blogging.  Severe congestion + drainage + morning sickness + exhaustion + work = a very run-down me.   

I did, however, want to let those of you who were thinking of and praying for us know that our appointment with the specialist on Monday went really well!  The amniotic sac has partially fused to the uterine wall, which is great.  I'll see my regular OB in January, so we're hoping that it will be completely fused by then.  

Here's a picture of our sweet new little one.  LOVE that profile :) Can you believe the detail for such a tiny baby?  He/she is measuring right at 2 inches! 
11 weeks 1 day measuring 12 weeks :)
Much love to you all as we get ready to celebrate (in just FIVE DAYS!) the birth of an incredibly precious baby so long ago.  I'm incredibly thankful for Christmas, because without it, we wouldn't have had the most wonderful day of all.  Easter

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Appointment

Yesterday was my second prenatal appointment, and because there was lots of information given, I decided I'd just type it all out, both for my benefit and the benefit of others. 

My appointment was at 3:45, but I didn't actually see the doctor until 5:15ish.  That was a long, anxious wait.  I can't tell you how hard my heart raced that whole time worrying that something was wrong.  I was near panic, and The Husband prayed with me when he could see I was near tears.  These last three weeks, I've been so fearful, and I've just HATED it.  I've never lived my life in fear before, and I don't ever want to live like that again.  It's emotionally and physically EXHAUSTING.

Our friends and family have been surrounding us in prayer, and yesterday, they just COVERED us.  And y'all, it was amazing.

The doctor came into the ultrasound room all smiles and full of hope, which was so nice.  She knows how we've been feeling, and she understands our nervousness.  She's a very kind, very understanding doctor.  She began the ultrasound, and there was our sweet baby. She did some measurements, we got the heart rate (good!), and then, as we were talking, our doctor said, "Look!"  Our baby was just a dancing away in there!  Kicking those little legs and moving those teeny arms.  It was such a sweet sight, and it had us all beaming and laughing.  Now, I realize at this point, those movements are spontaneous; the baby has no control over large movements like that.  But.  It was such a precious sight and such a beautiful reminder that God is in control and is definitely in the details.  He knew my anxiety, and I believe that was a little extra joy sent directly from Him. Thankfully, amazingly, that video of our baby dancing keeps playing itself over and over again in my mind, and now I can focus on that instead of my fears.  I'm incredibly grateful for that gift.

The doctor does want me to see a maternal-fetal specialist in a few weeks because of my history.  That doctor will look more closely at the amniotic sac to see if it's attached to the uterine wall yet (we could see that it had not attached as of yesterday).  If not, I imagine she'll be able to give us more information and will probably want to monitor me more closely, as well.  We'll see my regular OB three weeks after that for another ultrasound.  I can't tell you what a huge relief it is to be able to see our baby so many times in a row (four ultrasounds in the span of seven or so weeks). 

Well, that's all I can remember.  Thank you SO much for your prayers.  Keep 'em coming :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Introducing...

Here is our little bundle.


I'll update more later this week, but the baby looks good. :)

And, we're soooo thankful.