Friday, September 25, 2009

37 Weeks!

We officially have only 3 weeks until our due date estimate!
As you can see from the picture... I have grown quite a bit. This week I have been mostly down on the couch trying to avoid the flu and trying to get a handle on my allergies. We've had crazy pressure and humidity and it has been playing games with my head! I really go back and forth about how I feel about my body these days. At first I was happy that my baby belly was looking rounder instead of bigger and flatter. I am still happy that our baby is obviously growing like a weed in there, you can pretty much feel her at any point, not just when she is kicking. There is always a knee, elbow or butt that is obvious. It's also been great to be out and about and have people tell me how small I am or how cute I look. One brave Dillards employee even went so far as to guarantee me that I was so small that there was no way my baby would be over 5lbs 9oz. Hmmm... we'll see. Supposedly at this stage in labor most babies are already 6lbs and I am really right on track... not at all under weight or under sized.
On the flip side, there is a part of me that can't help (though I should) compare myself to cuter pregnant women or really stylish non-pregnant women (or all the beautiful and skinny women in my family). Many of maternity clothes are even getting small for this baby belly and it's not really my ideal to wear the same thing 3-4 times a week. It's also hard when I spend most of the day reading or doing things around the house... because I feel useless and large. I really think this is a partly spiritual battle for me because I've been really thinking about how much we women obsess about our bodies. I would like nothing more (ok that's a lie) than to have the tightest legs, butt and abs around and to be able to fit into tiny jeans... but when does that priority become a sin? Why do we want these amazing bodies? Does the Bible outline exactly what size is a healthy size for a woman to be... or are there mandates some where in there about working out? I do think we are to be responsible with our bodies, which includes eating right and exercise and I think the opposite extreme could be a sin too... but I am just wondering if our ideal is a little off... a little "of this world". It seems like we usually want amazing bodies to impress others, to make others like us or envy us or be attracted to us. I know personally, my husband is always telling me how much he likes me and is attracted to me just like I am... so if I am obsessed with changing, it's obviously not for his eyes only.
On the other, other hand... I do really enjoy working out and I think if that is you too, it's not a sin to enjoy running or what ever.. it's when we work out to the glory of ourselves and to the neglect of our husbands and families... which God HAS given us clear commands about.
So...all that to say, I am obviously bigger and that is wonderful and terrifying thing all at once!
In other news, Stella is right on track and things are going great in the pregnancy. I have a few more aches and pains but I am encouraged because most of these pains are pointing out that labor is on its way. She is WAY down and likes to head butt my pelvic bones whenever I am walking/waddling, which is actually GREAT because that means she is getting in the ready position. She has also decided that I do not need the use of my lungs or bladder and is thinking about taking over my stomach space as well! We'll have to work on the whole sharing thing when she gets here.
We also met with our doula and she is pretty much on call for us until the birth!
I haven't been nesting like most people think... and that's because we are still waiting to purchase the major items on our list (waiting on a coupon).. but last week alone I made hummus, pita bread, chocolate pie and granola bars! They all turned out great too!
Please pray with us as we approach Stella's birth... natural child birth is much easier said than done and though I don't feel afraid, I do feel very intimidated and unsure of myself. I am reading up and watching videos to really get realistic expectations and it is all very intense! So please pray for a safe and natural birth for Stella and me and that Drew would feel included and empowered through out the whole process and as we transition into parenthood.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


It finally happened... I got the Linville to come to the Louisville.
My best friend from high school is in the traveling tour of Wicked and she has been dancing (literally and figuratively) all around the surrounding area but never in Louisville! We finally got our acts together and realized that when she was in Nashville she would be too close for us not to get together. I think I have only seen her two or three times, in person, since High School, which is crazy because we basically lived at each other's houses in HS.
She was supposed to come and visit two Mondays ago but car rentals were closed for Labor Day. Then this past Monday as she was carrying a suit case to the car to drive here she fell and sprained her ankle! NO WAY! So the trip was cancelled and she had to go to the emergency room. Well, since she is a dancer, this also meant no work for a while so she can heal. So... Saturday she was able to come to town!
It actually worked out perfect because I sent Drew on a weekend camping trip (more on that later) and was going to be home alone all day Saturday and Sunday and I HATE staying over night by myself. So Lauren came and we had a girls night!
Right before she got here I realized (at the hair salon) that my wallet was/is missing from my purse, but thankfully I had enough cash to pay for my hair cut and for fun stuff during the weekend (yes, this was money from my birthday in January). So things got off to a crazy start... But I don't think we stopped talking from the minute she walked in until she left today at lunch. We sat on the couch and talked until dinner last night and then hung out with some friends from our Community Group. Then we talked until midnight, got up and went to the early service at church, had brunch and talked until lunch... then she had to head back to Nashville. It was such a refreshing time and such a blessing to be able to reconnect with some one who I have so many memories with from back in the day! I can truly see how the Lord is using her in AMAZING and challenging ways to bring his kingdom into some very unreached places.
Since we did so much gabbing, I forgot to take any pictures... plus we really didn't DO anything but sit on the couch and talk... a lot. I didn't even show her the seminary or anything... though she did get to go to our church, which is probably the most important thing to us here in Lville.
So, in leu of a current pic... here is us... looking basically the same... back in the day.

ok ok, so maybe she looks the same and I look slightly different... slightly...larger... *insert moment of silence for pre- pregnancy bodies everywhere* =)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Do you know what today is?
Today is September 16, 2009.

Do you know why this day is important?
Today marks the ONE MONTH count down!

That's right, we are due exactly one month from today.

Okay, okay, we all know that those baby calculators are usually a little off and that really little SJ will probably NOT make her appearance on this very day.
I am actually fairly certain she will be a little later considering that I was in surgery the week that they started counting from... hmmm.
As of tomorrow, SJ is free to come into this world with out any intervention or worry necessary! CRAZY
I can't believe we are at this place. I can't believe three of our friends have delivered in the past week and a half and another one is in progress as I type!
For a few days I started to wish that SJ would make her appearance early. I mean, I am an american so I want instant gratification right? Usually I keep these feelings at bay by reminding myself that we have no place for her to sleep or sit and little for her to wear etc etc... however, lately that has been less effective in curbing my desire.
Then this weekend it hit me, Drew and I will never have this time together again. We will never be two people with out children ever again in our lives. We will never be able to erase the weight, joy, pain, etc... that comes with being a parent. And while I know this is a blessing and a sweet change... I also know that this time we have with just us is also very precious (I don't like that word but it is the only one that really fits my meaning). One of my biggest fears (and was for both of us before we even started this journey) was that I really enjoy my husband and our marriage and I am not in a big hurry for it to change. I don't want to add any factors in that may cause tension or discord between us. So more than I worry about our little one sleeping through the night I worry about the changes that will occur in me and in him and in us that will effect the way we live life together from now on.
Thankfully, the Lord has put a myriad of families in our lives who have excellent marriages and many children (at the same time!) and thus we know that He will be faithful to grow us and prune us and refine us for his glory and our good... and thus the good of our marriage.
So to end this little rant I'll end with a lighter note. People are always asking me my highs and lows and cravings and since we don't know when little Stella will arrive I'll take time now to reflect on the past 8 months.

I haven't really had any weird cravings but I have definitely had favorites among the foods I already liked..
#1. Serving me faithfully through all three trimesters and any time of day... CHEESE! I have always liked cheese and have it most days with crackers and an apple for lunch but through out pregnancy I can't get enough colby/jack in my life. Some days I make queso just because.

#2. Especially prominent in the first trimester and dwindling slowly as the third approaches... Sour Patch Kids... or really any sour candy at all. I have always liked, but never loved sour candy until pregnancy. I used to go to those candy stores in the mall and fill a whole bag with sour straws and sour belts and sour patch kids.

#3. Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cinnamon Bagels, Cinnamon Rolls... you get the gist.

#4. Sodas. I know, I know. I'm not supposed to be drinking sodas but more than any other time in my life... sometimes I just CRAVE a soda. Since I usually only take in water or lemonade (also a huge favorite) I usually indulge myself when I get the urge... and though Dr. Pepper was always my top fave... Coke Classic has been giving it a run for its money.

#5. Mexican food, brownies, lemonade, bakes lays, cookies etc etc etc etc...

- feeling the first flutter, kick and leg extension
-seeing the baby's movements from outside the womb
-seeing Drew talk to his baby girl
-clear complexion and healthy hair (vain I know, but true!)
-lots of sleep

-stretch marks (just being honest)
-back aches
-lack of sleep (seemingly contradictory... but it's not)
-emotions always changing

I could go on and on and maybe I'll add and revise this later... but for now that is what's on the top of my head. TIME FOR BED!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Conquering Hero

Lately I have been hearing a lot about coupons. People back home are saving hundreds of dollars a month at their local grocery store buying things they actually use for their families! I have usually found that coupons are only helpful for yogurt, which we buy at Whole Foods or junk food, which we don't buy any where. However, I have been keeping tabs on a few online coupon sites and storing up my kroger coupons and keeping watch on the kroger weekly ad... and I am proud to announce that today I saved $50!! That is 1/3 of my total purchase! I even stockpiled a few items and bought a few extra items (without a sale or coupon) that I needed for a few special treats I am making this week (like my nana's chocolate pie! mmmm). I am so pumped! I also appreciate that Kroger ALWAYS takes my expired coupons. This is a life saver for a non-coupon guru like myself because I usually don't want to buy something until I need it and will forget it several times before actually remembering to use it.
All in all, today has been a wonderful day to be domestic. Cleaned house (including the tub/shower eek), took Drew lunch at work, saved at the store (and got at least 2 weeks worth of lunch and dinners) and got another book I had on reserve at the Library! woo hoo. Now I am going to put my feet up for a bit and learn how to birth a baby before getting dinner ready (pesto pasta with my new fresh basil from my organic basil plant!). =)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Nothin' Much

This week has been sort of a blur, but I can't really think what we have been up to in order to thrill you with a new tale. We are just trying to get back in the swing of things with work and church... establishing a routine and all that. Drew was off on Wednesday and so we slept in and then did a bunch of productive things together. It was a great day! It's amazing how much more fun it is to do the mundane errands when the person you love the most is with you! He even bought me a beautiful purple hanging plant when we were at home depot for some more supplies. We also ate bacon cheese burgers, which didn't hurt anything!
I also had my doctor's appointment that day, so Drew tagged along for the exciting trip (sarcasm here). He did get to hear the heart and it was racing! Last visit she was in the 120s and this visit she was getting up to 150! She must get excited to have her dad around just like me! My Dr. said I still look good and right on track... After my next visit, in two weeks, we will start having visits every week! Only 5 weeks to go!
Speaking of babies... our really wonderful friends had their sweet little girl on Tuesday (9.9.09)! She was just a few days over due and so they induced her and everything seems to have gone really well and now they have a beautiful 8 (almost 9)lb baby that seems to favor her mommy's good looks. But then again, it's hard to tell when they are still red and squishy and new. We went to visit them last night and I thought I might have to be admitted into the hospital myself because I was SO excited. I could barely eat dinner I was so jittery and anxious to meet their little one. I spent the whole day with the mom before she checked in to the hospital and I had been on pins and needles ever since. They are a really special family.
We have just a handful more friends and acquaintances that are due before us, so it's going to be a busy 5 weeks for our church family as we welcome all these baby girls into the world!
It's really hard for me to believe that we will get to meet Stella in just about a month. I have tried all along not to think about it because I have never been good at dealing with prolonged anticipation. So, I just forget about it and treat it as if it will never happen and then when it gets close... I can get VERY excited! We still have a lot to do in preparation for SJ but I know that eventually, it will all get taken care of. It's so weird to be so out of control of something so personal. I am carrying this baby around and feeding her and protecting her and yet I have pretty much NO say about when or how she will come into the world. Of course, with all our friends delivering 8, 9 and 10lb babies lately... we would be okay with an early arrival but there is nothing indicating that I will go early or even on time... most first time moms seem to go late, so I am trying to prepare myself for that. Some mornings I wake up and have actually forgotten I was pregnant until I try to get out of bed... this has become very amusing! I am like a beached whale! It take a lot of momentum and sometimes a shove for me to get out of our bed.. .especially if Drew is in it creating a crater! (same for the couch too!) This has brought on many many bouts of laughter.
Well.... without further ado... I will show you the pictures of us with the baby... I love how Drew is pretending to be unsure about the baby in one of the pictures and then looks like such a natural in the next. I can't wait to see him holding his own little girl... he is already pretty smitten with her and he just sees her kicks...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

UP, Up and Away!

*** caution *** this blog is probably going to be a HUGE spoiler for the movie UP... so if you haven't seen it (AND YOU SHOULD) you might want to scroll down to the end and just enjoy the new belly shots and then go on about your day!

So, my wonderful husband has reinitiated "date night" in our house. We found that we were becoming so busy between friends, house and church that we weren't getting any quality time together. And for any one that knows me... that is a BIG deal.
SIDE NOTE: I'm not all about the love languages and I have found that a lot of people use this as a way to promote their own selfishness and another way of saying, "you have to do things my way". I've also found that at different times in my life I have wanted different types of love from different people. For instance, we took the love languages test in a girls group I was in during college. I scored a big fat ZERO for physical touch. I have never been a huge hugger (don't ask me how that happened in my family) and in high school I remember being forced into group hugs to build up my immunity to them. My girl friends in college, though huggers themselves, some how got the vibe from me that I wasn't a hugger and we didn't realize it until senior year but we had pretty much never hugged each other. I've grown a lot in this department over the years. However, now that I am married... I am a HUGE physical touch person. No no no... not that kind of physical touch... but sometimes I think I drive Drew crazy because I always want to lean into him, or put my legs across his lap or touch him with my feet. I melt away (aka fall asleep) when he plays with my hair or rubs my back etc etc. I love to hold hands and cuddle etc etc etc... you get the idea. So all that to say, these things change and are different depending on what relationship you are referring to. But across the board I think every one would agree that this little (or big) lady has always needed her quality time to feel connected. So.. that's a long way of saying, we are having Friday Night Date Nights! woooo hooooo
We decided it was important to start these now, before Stella is born because 1. there is a lot to talk about leading up to this huge change and I often need to just air out all my thoughts and doubts and joys etc. and 2. because we want to have it firmly established when our little bundle of joys pops in and turns our world upside down.
ANYWAY... wow, this is going to be long! Last night Drew took me to McAlisters (pregnancy all time favorite place to go it seems) so I could get mac n cheese and tea (yes I had a sandwich too but that was just a side note to the real deal). After that we went to the dollar theater and saw UP. I have been having some pretty vivid and terrible nightmares again lately so we wanted to be a little more picky about what movie we chose. I am usually down for any action, shoot'em up type film that my husband prefers but not in the middle of trying to get rid of these dreams. So, we saw UP. I had heard that just about every one I know cried in this movie but I wasn't really sure why. All I knew was it was about some old man and a lot of balloons. I figured it would be a cute and touching story with a tear or two at the end.
Boy was I wrong. It was the best and worst movie for this emotional prego woman.
It starts with a little boy watching a movie about his hero adventurer and then he meets this little girl who is spunky and happens to adore the same adventurer. She lets him be in her (one person) club and next thing you know it's their wedding day and then they get a house (a fixer upper mind you) and they start to dream about life and then their dreams are shattered *insert tears streaming down my face* and then an old dream is remembered... the adventurer and that place they always wanted to go... and a new dream begins. I won't ruin it all but just from the preview you can see... the man is now all alone. GO SEE IT (I just majorly edited that recap so I wouldn't spoil it for you so now you MUST see it!)
I was sobbing... silently... trying to nonchalantly wipe niagra falls off my face. It was too much, too hard, too beautiful and way too fast... just like life really is I suppose.
Finally, I couldn't hold my breath any longer and my nose was way too full of liquid to help in the breathing process and so I had to take a giant gulp of air, which came out as half gasp, half shudder... you know, the way babies (and most women) are after they've had a good long cry and can't quite stop their shaky breathing for the next half hour. So, here I was ugly crying and making sobbing noises in the middle of a PG children's animated film. I could feel the guy next to me giving me compassionate glances but I dared not turn my streaky face to the right or the left... I just stared straight ahead.
Anyway, the man is lost and lonely without his spunky wife and he feels like he disappointed her, let her down and broke his word. The world around him is changing and he can't go and he can't stay. It is sad.
**spoiler below**
I won't continue to narrate the whole film but in the end there is something very important that he realizes. The pages she had saved to write about their dream trip in her journal (that he could never open because of the guilt he felt over the empty pages he knew would be in there) were already filled... filled with pictures of their "mundane" life. Pictures of a lifetime of love and happiness. Pictures that told him she was not disappointed with their life together and that he didn't let her down. And in the end, she wanted him to keep on living when she was gone. It was such a wonderful moment... for hollywood to show that there is something beautiful and valuable in the every day moments. There is worth in the lives of people who never accomplish great fame or fortune. You don't have to go on expensive trips or live in luxury houses or drive nice cars to live a wonderful and fulfilling life! Of course, for us... this has to do with why we are here. We believe we are here to glorify God on the earth for a short time through his son Jesus and then go on to glorify him for eternity after death. We are not living for the world and all it has to offer, but for God... and all the joys and love we receive here are grace upon grace... blessings. It's so easy to become discontent with life... with this crazy house or our boring jobs or our lack of accomplishments... but really there are so many wonderful things happening to us (universal us) every day. For me: Laughing with my husband over dinner. Spilling food down my clothes for fifth time in one day. A cool breeze on a sunny day. Kicks and pokes from a baby growing healthy inside. Friends delivering babies. Ice tea... ice in general! Lemonade and chocolate cake. Homemade banana bread with streusel topping. Cuddling til you fall asleep. Laughing so hard your sides hurt and you cry. Changing leaves. Naps in the afternoon. The color pink...LIFE!
I loved this movie because is also promoted marriage. This couple, though never achieving the perfect life, stayed together through it all. They were very different. There were lots of trials. There was disappointment after disappointment. And yet, in the end, their love was stronger and deeper than at the first. There is also a little boy that attaches himself to the old man and you come to discover that his parents are divorced. He paints a bleak picture of a distant dad whom he adores and yet has no time for him. He talks about his hopes of adventures with his dad but well, he is really busy and his new girlfriend/wife already told the boy he was a bother. His mom can't do everything and pay the rent too! Wow! I was shocked that Hollywood would be so very un-PC about divorce. I feel like the world constantly tells us that divorce is the new normal. Kids aren't affected by it. People get over it. No big deal. But this movie showed that it is a big deal... this kid's life was forever changed.. and not for the better... because of his parents' divorce and his dad's preoccupation with work and his new life. sad sad. Thankfully that part has a semi happy ending.
So, though it made me ugly cry, I really enjoyed this movie. It made me think. It made me look at the way I respond to trials and disappointments in my own life and re-evaluate. It made me thankful for the wonderful, loving, compassionate, hard working, and mighty handsome husband that God has blessed me with.
So, if you're still reading by this point you deserve a prize... and that prize will be new belly pics! yay! I am in my 35th week, which is hard to believe. Only a couple more weeks and Stella can make her debut with out a worry. Today is a good friend's due date and so we are all on pins and needles waiting for their little one to come... it will be such a special experience to meet their little girl when she arrives because we know that we will have one very soon just like theirs (okay a little different I'm sure). These are some friends that we talked with years ago about "when we have kids" and she and I joked about having our babies together and now.. here we are ... having baby girls a month apart. They are moving soon and I am so thankful that the Lord kept them here long enough for us to travel this part of the journey together.
With out further ado.... (I granted a few requests and included one with my face this time...)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happy September!

I was really hoping that I would get to wish you all a Happy September on the first day of the month, but I am proud to report that I have been too busy to post! This is great if you consider the dance with boredom I had been doing in weeks past.
September is the beginning of fall and fall is definitely one of my favorite seasons if not my top favorite all together (I struggle to commit because Spring is so wonderful and I do love the holidays!). I go for a daily walk at my favorite park and sometimes I have to restrain myself from frolicking and twirling around the track. There are not many things more wonderful to me than a nice walk on a cool day (its been in the 70s here!) with the last smells of summer and the first smells of fall mingling together in the tree sap, cut grass and drying leaves. I love the wind on my face making me cool and the warmth of the sun keeping me at the perfect temperature (which is saying a lot when you are 8 months pregnant!). I love all the bright greens and blues of nature and can't wait for those greens to turn into red, orange and yellows. Mix all of that with a great song on the ipod and it is really really hard to restrain myself! I am sure people wonder at the pregnant lady out walking every day with a huge smile on her face... it is the time of day I feel the most blessed (well that and cuddling with Drew).
With this first week of fall also came our first official community group meeting of the semester. This is just the motivation I needed to tackle the overwhelming mess that was our house. With the stairs 99% done and the upstairs cleaned and organized (for the most part), there was just not excuse for not tackling the downstairs other than the fact that it was a little overwhelming and there was a lot of heavy lifting involved. My allergies have been acting up like crazy with ragweed at its peek and all the dust and nastiness in our house wasn't helping one bit... so that's the straw that pushed me over the edge and turned me into a cleaning, organizing whiz! I started with the kitchen since I spend a lot of time there and it gets the worst the fastest. I came up with the great idea to use the top of our cabinet for some decorative storage. I have a ton of cake plates that I love but do not use regularly that take up a lot of space on countertops and bookshelves and some really beautiful vases that I also wanted to display but wanted out of the way. We have so many books (even after sorting and giving many away) that we really need all our book shelf space for actual books and not cake plates and vases. So, I did a little step stool climbing and hobby lobby browsing and came up with a great solution that really perks up the kitchen at the same time! I am really pleased (and Drew likes it too...SCORE!) and so glad to have a season theme going on. It really makes the kitchen feel warmer to me to have these personal touches around.

With this stuff out of the way I was able to clean off the book shelves and put them in their rightful rooms in their rightful place and get all the books dusted and organized on them as well. I really love organizing books... I'm weird, I know. I just love to read and love books!
After all that was situated I vacuumed the floors... twice. I then mopped all the floors...twice. And the end result is beautiful shiny wood floors that barely show the marking of massive construction! As you will see in the pictures, there are still reminder of work left to be done... sheet rock against the wall (for finishing out Stella's closet) and a ladder to touch up that painting around the stairs... but if you had been to our house at all this summer you wouldn't even notice them... I don't. I keep telling Drew that I can't believe how BIG our rooms seem now with out a million saws and drills on the floor and boxes of things and furniture piled on itself. It's been a crazy summer. But I am so thankful for my wonderful husband and his talented friends who poured so much hard work into getting this done. Our next projects will be getting stuff on the walls (like frames and such) and painting the kitchen cabinets white.
When our Community Group came over they were all amazed. Most of them hadn't been over since May when the stairs were taken out and some hadn't even been since the early Spring. Every single person wanted to take a turn walking up the stairs. They all "oohed" and "aaahhed" over how nice and sturdy they are. It was so funny because they all said first thing, "can I walk on them?". I felt so blessed to be able to have these wonderful people back in our home and have it be a welcoming place that is clean and smells nice and has a place for you to sit... instead of a construction zone where everything has a layer of dust and every surface is piled high with stuff.

In baby news (will be brief for now since this is already long)... we have several friends who are due THIS weekend! I can't believe it and I am soo excited to meet their babies. It's a great perk to have other people's babies to play with in order not to get too anxious for my own to finish baking. A little distraction is just what the third trimester woman needs.
I am getting bigger (picture to come soon) and thus a little more uncomfortable... but most uncomfortable with my allergies that have kicked in for the first time since being pregnant. Please pray that no polyps develop so that I can nurse Stella for as long as we want with out having another surgery hanging over our heads. Having surgery with a baby in the house would be a whole new challenge... one that I would rather not have to tackle. In good news... (did I already say this?) she is head down and seems to be right on schedule for delivery!
I will say though, I got a huge compliment today when some one was referring to me and said, "can't you see she's like 4 months pregnant"....hahahahahaha... I said "you mean EIGHT months" and she said, "no way, you are so little... girl you look good!". This pretty much made my day since I hadn't showered or brushed my hair and had just woken up from a nap and was in a huge hurry to get brown sugar for some cookies I had to deliver within the hour... I won't think about the fact that she had no clue what she was talking about since most people aren't showing at all by four months... I'll take the compliment and repeat it to myself when I am faced with stretch marks and clothes that don't fit and a body that looks more alien to me every day. Only 6 weeks to go!