" I am the Lord. I change not." Malachi 3:6

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Checking the boxes!

I love making lists! I know they can often be a double edge sword and I've worked harder and not being so hard on myself if my lists don't get completed within x time, BUT it really helps me stay focused on what I need to do for our family, work, projects, etc.  At any given time I could have up to five lists going. What I like about it is that once I write my thoughts down on a list I can "let them go" and don't have to keep track of them in my head. For example...I've had a list for Harper for months...that list has included items needed for her room, baby necessities, art ideas, and baby websites that my girlfriends have given me for references.  I often have a project list going of things around our home I'd like to work on....organize laundry room, put away boys summer clothes, go through Thomas the Train totes and give away to friends, organize Bible study notes...you get the idea. Well this weekend has been both relaxing and productive! Today I woke up and after enjoying my cup of coffee reviewed my lists and talked with Chad about what our plan for the days was going to be. We had a couple of Christmas items that we needed to return, gloves to get for Ky, and a few other misc items.  We took off after breakfast and checked those boxes complete by noon. As we pulled in the driveway Chad had the boys jump in my car while he went and grabbed Harper's car seat so we could see how all three would fit in my car.  Chad has a four door avalanche that has a TON of room in the back and all three fit very comfortably....but I have a Ford Fusion (that I love love) and we weren't sure if the car seat, plus Ky's booster, plus Noah would work or if it would be to tight of a squeeze. Which if they don't all fit well in my car it's not a big deal as we can just use Chad's truck while in town...my car is used for our commutes to and from Chicago and most of our driving but we don't put a lot of miles on either vehicle while in town since we can get from one side to the other in less than 15 minutes tops. That all being said her car seat and the boys fit just fine in my car. So her car seat is now locked in to my car and her stroller is in my truck neatly awaiting her arrival. Check and Check... :)  Since we knew that we would be home the rest of the day we both started working on misc items that we wanted to do around the house. I detest going through mail especially junk mail but I am a freak when it comes to shredding everything. So I usually let my mail bin pile up and when it is ready to overflow I go through everything file it and shred. It's funny because every time that I do this I promise myself to do better and go through it multiple times during the week...does it ever happen? Nope...since I do everything online and have spreadsheets that I work off of I don't have a need to really touch the items that come in and I always check the mail every day and filter out the items that require attention or are from friends and family...SO today was the day and I sat with my lovely shredder and shredded my little heart out and filed and reorganized my coupon pouch.

While I was busy with that project Chad brought up three totes that we've had in our laundry/storage room for the past two years that are full of Thomas the Train and Geo Track Train sets. When the boys were toddlers they LOVED trains and their papa collects them and has a huge track that takes up a big part of his basement. Needless to say by the time they were two we had a large train table and trains galore. It was a worthwhile investment as the boys played with them for years and made so many memories with them. But they have since retired to our storage room for us to decide what to do with them.  We have a large play room for the kids and it's always been my goal to keep a couple of totes of infant/toddler toys so that when my girlfriends come over with their babies of different ages I have something for them and when my sisters have kids I'll have items for them to play with. That being said now that we are having a little girl I know we don't need to keep everything the boys had.  The neat thing is my sister's good friend has a 20 month old that loves trains and so we decided to separate the three totes into two big ones and give one to her and the other either to my girlfriend from Alaska, Dawn, or if she's not interested we will hold onto.  After Chad loaded the truck with the large tote I took it over to L's house and her son was so precious!! As soon as her husband opened the tote he squealed and was talking non stop about them. I know they will get a lot of use and enjoyment and that melts my heart. It was so precious though because when Chad brought up the totes Kylan had a little melt down and didn't understand why were giving them away and said he wanted them to play with.  It was a great opportunity for me to sit with both boys and talk to them about how God calls us to share with others and not to be selfish.  We talked about blessing others and praying that God would lay opportunities on our hearts.  Ky and Noah took it all in and nodded their heads..they Ky got up and started to help Chad organize things and talked about how the little boys would like them. I'm thankful for the opportunity God presented for me to talk with them about giving and hope as they grow older they will remember to give and use the gifts that God has blessed them with.

This week will be a busy one....with a work day tomorrow, then a day off, then three last days of work I anticipate the email will be busy and conference calls with be many but I'm excited that the end is in sight!! VERY EXCITED!!!  We don't have any plans for NYE as our dear friends who we normally enjoy NYE with are having their baby girl on Friday...so it will be a welcomed pj night in and most likely I will crash by nine..I don't remember the last time I saw midnight....unless you count the times I get up due to insomnia..haha. Well I'm going to tuck the boys in and relax with the hubs for a bit. Blessings!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas, single digits, relaxing

It's hard to believe that Christmas has come and gone!  The month of December has flown by, but we took the opportunity to enjoy every minute of it!A normal Christmas for us is traveling to Chicago to have our Chicago Christmas which is usually a week or two before Christmas with our family there. We also rotate spending Christmas afternoon with either my family or my in laws and then whose ever off year it is we spend Christmas Eve with or the weekend before or after...whatever is easiest.  Because I'm nine months pregnant and due any day now we opted not to travel to Chicago or anywhere that was more than 20 minutes away.  I am so nervous about my water breaking on it's own (even though it probably won't) and being far from the hospital.  The great thing is that my family from Chicago came up the Saturday before Christmas to celebrate and my sister hosted. It was fantastic and so nice not to have to cook or clean. :) We had a wonderful time catching up and laughing a lot.  Sunday we celebrated Christmas with Chad's family which went well...we went over there around ten and the boys and I went in pjs which I loved. Christmas Eve we planned on going to church but I was pretty uncomfortable so we decided to stay home. I was bummed because we are usually at a family's members home on Christmas Eve and aren't able to go to Christmas Eve service but I'm glad we stayed home and just relaxed as a family. We enjoyed a quiet night in our media room watching Charlie Brown Christmas and Noah wrote a letter to Santa which was precious.


The boys' tree in their room


I love having the Christmas tree up!
He read it to me three times just to make sure it "sounded ok"... The boys wanted to put milk and captain crunch under the Christmas tree in their room for Santa and I was not about to object. :) They went to bed reluctantly and snuck out moments after we closed the door just to do one last bathroom stop. Chad and I couldn't help laughing because we remember how excited we were when we were little.....not that allot has changed for me as I still have a hard time sleeping on Christmas Eve because I just love Christmas morning/day!  After we finished the stockings and set out all of the Santa gifts we crashed. Ky came running in at 1am to let me know that the cereal and milk were gone and that Santa had left two skylanders for them under the tree in their room. He then went back to bed and both boys came flying in a 4am. Noah informed me that he peaked out in the family room and that Santa had neatly organized our stockings and they were stuffed. I told them they had to go back to bed...which didn't last long because at 5am Noah came in asking for a timer because it was so hard to wait. I gave him my cell and told him he could come back at 5:30 and we would get up.  Chad and I were both awake at this point and we listened to them each read a book in their beds while they were waiting. And sure enough at 5:30 they came running in and were ready to go. We enjoyed opening gifts and helping them get things organized. By 6:31(yes i checked my clock) I was back in bed and fell asleep for a couple of hours. When I woke up we made our traditional cinnamon rolls and stayed home until 1:30. We then packed up and headed over to my moms and celebrated Christmas with my family which is always entertaining.  All in all this Christmas was relaxing and full of laughs and love. Our last Christmas as a family of four!

Speaking of as I looked at my counter today I realized we have approached the single digits until Harper is here. It's hard to believe I only have four days left of work, my dad and his wife fly in on Friday and my best friend Carm flys in on Sunday.  As I looked at my work planner this week I realized I needed to block my calendar off for the next few months and that I really only have four working days left!!! I'm so excited and blessed to have made it this far in my pregnancy and know God's hand has been over this whole experience. I have to be honest and share that this past week was a rather rough one for me because my heart was very anxious again and I feel rather emotional just waiting for her to come. I think it's because memories are flooding back and I just want her here and to know she is healthy and ok.  It was "perfect timing" because Thursday night I decided to pick up the book Unglued that I've been reading (by Lysa Terkerust) and just happened to start where I left of and the whole section talked about being anxious and joyful and I knew that God was speaking to my heart once again.

Friday we all went and had our annual eye exams. It was the first time we've taken the boys and they were so cute talking about their impending appts. Ky found these play glasses and wore them around the house all day. Totally cracked us up especially the look on Noah's face behind him. :) I just love my little men and can't believe they will both be big brothers sooner than later!! After our eye exams we took the boys over to my mom's to spend the night and went on our last pre Harper date. We had a wonderful time eating at our favorite Chinese restaurant and truly enjoyed our night out together. Before dinner we did one last run to Home Depot and Sam's Club and decided to save Target and Toy's R US for another day.  After dinner we picked up Bourne Legacy and headed home to watch it.  It was a great way to end a wonderful week.

Today has been full of relaxing! I woke up early and was determined to complete my last menu before Harper comes and headed out to the grocery store to do my big two week run.  And I'm happy to say it was a success..my water did NOT break in aisle five (one of my fears) and I made it home just in time for Chad to unload his truck while I organized the pantry and started to put things away. After breakfast Chad went and picked up the boys and took them sledding with his sister. I'm really glad they were able to get some energy out and spend time outside! I invited one of my students who I used to teach in youth group over for coffee....yep I taught her when she was in 6th grade and she is now a sophomore in high school!! I feel a little old....but love that I can still be involved in her life and catch up with her while she is home. After she left I took a nap and spent a better part of the afternoon cuddled up on the couch with my favorite sweatshirt blanket reading the rest of Unglued and enjoying being still. I'm praying that over the next week I am able to finish my to do list both for home and work but also balance quiet time and soak up these last few days of being pregnant with Harper before she is here. I am overwhelmed and thankful that God is blessing us with her and can't wait to hold her in my arms.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

18 days, snowfall, and rest

This month has flown by! I can't believe Christmas is literally around the corner and right after that is Harper's birthday! It truly feels like yesterday when I took four pregnancy tests at 4am ran to the store bought more and cornered Chad by the kitchen door to share our joyful news! How the time has flown! Even more so how many lessons God has taught us along this season in our lives.  I'm in awe of God's faithfulness, his patience, and love He has for our daughter and us. It's humbling and life changing.  I knew going into this pregnancy that it would probably be hard since the last thing I have to compare it too is Mason.  And I was right it has been and at times it's been harder than I ever dreamed, but folded into these eight months have been many moments of happy tears, pure joy, love, renewed strength, and awe. Awe at a God who has given Chad and I a precious daughter to love and parent. I am so thankful that we have another opportunity to parent and add to our family that is growing! We are thrilled. And as she has grown in my belly I've enjoyed sitting at home feeling her kick, turn, poke, and hiccup. It's been one of my favorite parts of this whole experience. Last weekend we finished her nursery. I color coded her clothes, separated them by size and placed them in her dresser.  And sat there and thumbed through each drawer just thinking about dressing her in them and the memories that are about to happen. A season that is about to start and life that is just beginning, a family that will be forever changed.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't anxious at times. Especially the last two weeks....there have been moments where I've had to catch my breath and pray and ask God for peace and grace to get through the day. As I look at my countdown app every day and the numbers get smaller I found/find myself anxious to meet her, to count her toes, hear her cry, and hold her in my arms. It's getting so close but at times it seems to very far away! I've chosen those moments to grab tight to scripture and repeat it over and over and that's helped alot.  Eighteen days ago I was enjoying Christmas decor in our home, Christmas shopping, coffee time with girlfriends and 18 days from now (if not sooner) our daughter will be here. It's amazing.  And I can't wait to meet her.

Yesterday while looking at the weather I saw that we were due for a blizzard and decided to work later than usual and wrap up as much at the office as I could and pack up for Christmas. I'm so glad I did! This morning we had snow, then rain, then blizzard winds and more snow. And from the comfort of our home I watched as we were enveloped in white snow. We decided to keep the boys home from school today as I was nervous about the roads and by mid afternoon was glad that we did.  I love watching the snow fall and even looking out at the snow covered trees and horizon...I'm not such a big fan of shoveling or driving in it but luckily I don't have to shovel and am content staying put the next day or so. Resting is not something that I do well or often because I love to go go go! I love to check off lists, enjoy coffee with friends, or explore new things with the boys and Chad. But lately I have relished in just resting and am taking full advantage of it. Normally we do a lot of traveling around Christmas but this year we are staying close to home for obvious reasons and it's been great. I've enjoyed naps on the weekend, reading magazines, and finishing up my check lists. :)  I know sooner than later my days of resting will change to days of diapers, nursing, and loving on Harper. And I can't wait!

Tomorrow I turn 31 which I will be honest..I'm starting to feel old but I'm thankful for another year of life and all that my year of 30 brought. My plan for tomorrow is to make one of my favorite meals, watch a Christmas movie with the fam and enjoy some hot chocolate and cuddling with the hubs. He was so precious and wanted to take me out somewhere, but I'll be honest and share that staying home and enjoying a home cooked meal around our table sounds just perfect this year.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Impromtu dinners & Philippians 4:6

Yesterday was a fun filled day! It started off early with Ky's basketball game. Ash and Kris came to watch him as did Kallio and the rest of our fam. We had a lot of great laughs watching these little kids play. One of the boys from the opposing team made a basket at the very end of a quarter and jumped up into another players arms and was high fiving each other and their team came flying off the bench to congratulate him. You would have thought they won the NBA finals. It was precious. After the game we headed over to the club to watch Noah's tennis lessons and Ash and Kris followed and Nena joined us shortly as well. They had a blast watching Noah and Noah enjoyed the extra attention. Afterwards we all headed over to BW3's for lunch and enjoyed some boneless wings, more laughs, and a few tears by Ky. Nena gave each of the boys three dollars to try and win a toy from one of those games that you have to pull the toy with the metal arms. Noah won a Green Bay Packer teddy bear and Ky came back empty handed and was a mess.  We talked through it with him but it took him a while to regain his composure.  It was wonderful to enjoy lunch with family!

After lunch we headed home and while the boys were getting cleaned up the electrician stopped by to look at Harper's room. We want to install a ceiling fan with a dimmer in her room but neither Chad nor I know the first thing on what needs to be done.  Luckily the electrician we know is great and he walked us through the supplies we need to purchase and he is going to come back on Friday and take care of it for us!! Yeah one more things almost off my list. Chad and I need to run to both stores today and compare the two fans we have it narrowed down to and pick one. Have I mentioned that we've looked at fans probably 6 times already.. :)

When the boys were done getting cleaned up Chad took them over to his parents to frost cookies. It's something they do with them every year and always have a blast. I headed over to the spa for a massage and enjoyed it. I normally get a massage once a month to help work out the stress in my shoulders and neck as that is where it goes, however I stopped getting them month two into my pregnancy. Since things have been going better and I'm far enough along I decided to give one a try. I will tell you that in the beginning it was a little awkward using the prego pillow and headrest that went with it and I was hot in a matter of minutes because they had the heater on the table and blankets and yeah I think I was like 115 degrees lol. Luckily my massage therapist is awesome and we got rid of the prego pillow and I moved to my side and cooled off a ton! The hour went by so fast though but in the end was enjoyable. We planned on going to church last night and were going to pick up the boys on our way, but Mich called shortly after I left the spa and invited us over for an impromptu dinner.  Mich is pregnant with a little girl and will have her four days before I have Harper. We are so excited to be on leave together and experience this next season in tandem with one another! That being said Chad and I knew this would probably be our last chance to have family time with them before the babies come since we move into Christmas mode next week.  While I was disappointed at missing church I knew we would make some great memories with Mich, Craig, and C and we did. We ordered this amazing new pizza that was to die for!!! Mich and I split a pizza..her half was jalapeno popper and mine was mac and cheese. We ordered cheese for the kids and a meat for the guys. It totally hit the spot! The boys played together so well! They wasted no time in going downstairs and using their imaginations for hours! We adults enjoyed our time upstairs catching up and listening to the boys giggle and run around.. it was great! Mich and I spent time in L's nursery looking at things and then in her office as I've become her unofficial decorator. ;) We then scoped out etsy and a few other sights looking for a few pieces to fill in some gaps. And before we knew it the time was 9:30 and our kids were WAY past their bedtime. But it was so worth it and just a fantastic night!!

The boys crashed as soon as we got home and I of course was wide awake. Chad is always on call with his job and even though he was secondary this week his phone started ringing at 11:00 pm. Double Ugh! I had a hard time falling asleep and woke up a ton..not that there is anything new or surprising about that. But then around 2 when I woke up I started to get anxious. Harper has been quieter than usual and I started to concentrate on her movements and when there weren't a ton I got up and grabbed some orange juice and started to move around hoping to initiate anything. And she did kick and move around but I can tell that my heart is anxious and if I'm being honest a little scared. When I think about how close we are to having her I'm beyond excited but there is a small part of me that is anxious and scared that something bad is going to happen and I want her here so I know she's ok.  So then I looked up this verse in scripture and prayed over it for quite some time:

Philippians 4:6 (NIV)


Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

I'm thankful that I can take my worries before the cross and leave them there. 

After a relaxing morning in pjs I'm trying to decide what I want to work on and what I don't. Luckily we don't have to be anywhere today and can just chill at home as a family!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Insomnia

I have to say that this pregnancy has been full of many sleepless nights including this one. And to be honest they don't bother me a whole lot because I've had insomnia for years, however I feel like it's only gotten worse over the last 8.5 months. I think part of it is that I can't get my brain to shut off and or when I get up to go to the bathroom (which seems to be almost every hour these days) I start thinking again about things I want to do, or Harper, or her room, or the boys, or 1000 other things. And my routine is usually the same. I lay there and turn side to side and pray that I will fall back asleep and when I can't I grab my phone or one of Chad's if mine is dead and read hoping that will make me tired. And if that doesn't work then I get up and start walking around and doing something. Sometimes it's changing laundry, or dishes, or cleaning out closets.  Tonight it was walking into Harper's room and looking at her bookshelf that just came yesterday and picking up her diaper bag and other new items and just looking at them.  I can't believe she will be here in on a few weeks. The time has flown by so fast and now I sit with anticipation of holding her, counting her fingers and toes, looking at her tiny face, and just loving on her.  I can't wait. I told Chad that I know I won't mind the sleepless nights to come because I will have her to keep me company and will cherish every moment awake with her. I think that I'll even sleep better once she's here...but I'll keep you posted on that one. For now I'm going to catch up on some blog reading and hopefully head back to bed. Tomorrow is another busy but fun day!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A sneak peak!!

I am so excited to share that yesterday we had the opportunity to go up to Madison and have our 3D/4D ultrasound done of Harper. It was amazing! I was really bummed last week when the office called and canceled because their machine broke. BUT God's timing is perfect and I know now why it happened the way it did. Heidi, the owner, was the one who rescheduled our appointment and was able to get us in last night after work. Because of the original inconvenience she upgraded our package and no charge...and then some. Our session was only supposed to be for 30 minutes and we were to leave with 4 pictures, and 8x10 and a cd with a few more images. We arrived a little early because we weren't sure about traffic and she got us in right away. What started off as a 30 minute session turned into two hours of her spending with us and working so hard to get great shots of little miss. We talked quite a bit and I was able to share Mason's story and what a miracle Harper is for us. Not only could I just stare at Harper all day via the 3D/4D ultrasound but it made me even more excited(if that's possible.. :)..) for her to be born so I can hold her in my arms. We left with a CD of 62 shots, a gift certificate for a free newborn photo shoot with a photographer that partners with her company, and an invite to come back next week or the following to see if she can get some more shots. A God moment? Absolutely Yes! Here are a few of my favorites!




I think she looks a lot like Ky in this picture!





Needless to say I had a really hard time falling asleep last night because I kep scrolling through all of them in complete awe and how amazing life is. And to think that in 33 days or less she will be here is just awesome.

We continue to have boxes delivered with the last few items on our Harper list. Today her bookshelf was delivered, which Chad is putting together now. And yesterday her curtains, car seat cover, and memory book came. I can't wait to get started on that this weekend and try and get caught up!

I'm also looking forward to a very much needed massage on Saturday after the boys finish their sporting events. I normally try and get one once a month as I carry all of my stress in my upper shoulders and neck but since my first trimester I have stopped going as I didn't want to take any risks with massage therapy. But since things have been going better I feel ok getting one now and am so excited for some much needed massage relaxation!  Tomorrow I am baking cookies for a cookie walk at our church on Saturday and am praying between now and then I get a second wind. :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

34 Weeks, Canceled, and Lists

     It's amazing to me that in 36 days our sweet baby girl will be here! Granted she could come on her own before then and while I wouldn't mind at all because we are so excited to hold her I want her to stay put as long as possible so her chances of any complications are minimal. I'm also trying to prepare myself mentally that there's a small chance I might have to wait an extra day or two in the event the delivery ward fills up and they don't have a room for me. Granted the chances of this happening are small but being the "slight" control freak that I am I know I should prepare myself so I don't freak out if things doing go who I want them to.  I'm sitting on my couch laughing even as I'm typing this knowing full well God has control over this who pregnancy and I have NADA at least when it comes to Miss Harper's arrival date.  He knows all of her days and I need to be still....which at this moment is great because I'm tired!

     This past Thursday we were scheduled to have our 3D/4D ultrasound and I've been counting down the days! While on a conference call I saw a Madison number beep in and just had a feeling something happened. I called them as soon as I got off of my call and sure enough their machine broke and wouldn't be fixed by the time we were scheduled for our appt. I was bummed...beyond bummed as I couldn't 't wait to see her little face and anything else they could show us.  They've assured us that they should get us in by this Wednesday and are even upgrading our package at no charge.  While that is great the waiting is not my favorite thing to do. :)

     I'm going to lie I LOVE lists! I have a list for just about everything and it helps me stay on track.  For example I am menu planning mama.  I menu plan two weeks at a time and go big shopping twice a month on Saturdays usually between 4:45-5:30 am.  I love it..the grocery store is usually empty aside from the stockers who I say hi too and some often ask what I'm making. :)  I love the tranquility of a quiet grocery store. I know it sounds corny and ridiculous but I have my routine down to a science. I go in normally in yoga pants and a sweatshirt sans make up, cup of coffee in hand, and headphones on with music and I start at the same place and go the same route every time.  I love trying to see how low I can keep my bill and always guess before they start ringing what it's going to come out to. I have to say I'm not usually too far off.  With Harper and Christmas coming I've had a Harper to do list for months and have been busy crossing things off. This past week it received a lot of attention and I'm happy to say we are down to four items!!

     I've also had Christmas cards on my list for the past week and a half.  In years past I've made them by hand and spent hours with girlfriends around the table stamping, folding, writing, etc.  Until last year...I was introduced to Shutterfly and it changed my life! I love it! With preparation and time I click together my card and order them. Done and Done! This year I knew without a doubt I was going to use Shutterfly to make them.  And they turned out great!! I will post them here soon, but want to get them in the mail first to see how they look up close.  What I was really excited about today when I went to their website was their sales! Oh my goodness talk about great deals! For starts the Christmas Cards were 40% off, shipping for orders $30 or more free, and calendars 40%. How awesome! On top of that I had a $20 coupon code from the Baby Center. 

     While I finished Christmas shopping on Nov 2nd. I realized this week that I hadn't purchased anything for my dad and his wife and my brother.  Yikes! My dad is really hard to buy for. He works in Africa 9 months out of the year and while there doesn't have the space for anything other than the containers that he brings.  And at home in Florida he and his wife have everything they need.  So when I logged on to Shutterfly to start looking at Christmas cards and saw calendars were on sale a light bulb went off!!! I am embarrassed to say that I am HORRIBLE at printing off pictures after we take them.  I'm great at loading them as soon as we get home, but I'm awful about sending them away to get printed and usually they accumulate ALL year! Yep no joke.  And this year was no exception. Last year as part of the boys and our Christmas present my dad and his wife treated us to a day at Disney World. We had plans to go there for three and invited them to join us. In doing so they saw it as an opportunity to bless us, which they did and I have failed miserably at getting around to printing off pictures and sending them.  Until today! I spent from 9:00 am- 2:00pm organizing picture folders and making a beautiful calendar for my dad and his wife.  I loved it so much I almost ordered one for us.  I showed Chad and he loved it and said he wish he would have thought of that for his parents.  Since we've been done shopping for them I thought about it for a minute but then decided to go ahead and just make them one anyway.  And why stop a good thing?! I found a great template for my brother who is 22 and know it will look manly in his apartment and went to town.  After completing all three calendars I was pleased and put the rest of my order together.  When I was up from 3:00-4:15 this morning I went around our home and made a list of all of pictures/frames that need to be freshened up and 46 prints later we are on our way! Granted only a fraction of those will go up in our home. The rest will be shared between Chad and I for our offices and I printed off enough to put together a Disney album for the boys.  So at the end of this project I saved $66 and was thrilled!! A small victory for the hours I spent looking at pictures, being creative and thinking of captions to put on the calendars.  :)

The end of my weekend list consisted of Murphy's oiling our closet floor and Harper's room before her furniture gets here this week.... And that got moved to tomorrow or next weekend..not sure which. Maybe I'll find my second wind at 3am and tackle it, but right now I'm tired and going to spend the rest of the evening just hanging out with the boys and Chad.  It has been gorgeous here this weekend so they spent a couple of hours outside playing basketball, soccer, and tag.  I sat outside for a bit but now that it's dark we are all in relaxing. 

Relaxing at looking at etsy go hand in hand...so much so that I FINALLY after months of hemming and hawing decided on what leggings I want for Harper. So I sat down and ordered them and now can't wait for them to get here! I hope they look as cute on as they sound! Below is just a pick from the shop. I was able to pick/mix and match ten different color/styles.

Pick any regular 10 baby legs baby leggings for 50

In addition I've been searching for a head band to go with this gorgeous dress my sister in law bought for Harper! It has black lace from the waist up and waist down is gold satin. It has a little bit of tulle underneath and is breathtaking. She bought it in size 0-3 months so she can wear it right away. And while I haven't loaded a picture of it yet (will add that to my list.. :) I did take a pic of the bow I found and think it will match perfectly!!

Holiday Gold and Black Satin Fabric Flower  on Golden Beige Elastic Headband with Rhinestones - Christmas, Newborn, Infant, Baby, Toddler

I'll be sure to post a pic of the dress soon and once Harper gets here and wears it a life shot for sure! :)
I'm off to make some tea and cuddle with the boys. (If they let me lol)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

John 16:20 and full of anticipation!

Our week has been a busy one! On Sunday we went to church and I was rocked to the core by our pastor's message!! I love how when we often go to church it feels like the message was made just for me and where I'm at. I love how God works! This weekend David shared an emotional story about his past and his struggle with depression and anxiety, two topics that hit very close to home for me and my extended family. His message and testimony was raw, genuine, and relatable. One of the verses he shared touched my heart.

John 16:20 New International Version

Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.

It reminded me of Mason and the days and months that followed losing him. I will never forget the depression and anxiety that entered my life after we lost him. I remember blogging many days and weeks of tears, anguish, pain, and desperation. I remember taking one hour at a time, shutting down, my marriage suffered, and many days seemed unbearable.  If you would have told me then that God would change my heart, that He would change my life, that He would bring something so beautiful out of something so awful I wouldn't have believed you.  But almost four years later (which often feels like yesterday) I can share with great joy all of the amazing things God has done in my life and my marriage.  He has restored my marriage and my husband and I are blessed to welcome Harper into our home in a matter of weeks.  He used my grief and loss to show a side of strength in my husband that frankly always existed but I never saw.  He taught me how to rely on Him and his word for everything and to be vulnerable in a way that I've never allowed myself to be.  And the list goes on and on.  I will never be the same person that I was before February 9,2009...my normal is different then it was before that day...but I can tell you that I love fiercer then I ever did before. I'm not afraid to be brutally honest with my family and friends. I cherish my children and the craziness that often surrounds our days! I'm thankful for the big hugs and laughter that fills our home.  And most importantly I'm thankful that God's promises are true.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that our son is in heaven and he is healthy and beautiful and waiting. I know I will be reunited with him one day and I can't wait to hold him in my arms and tell him just how much I love him.  Until then I rest knowing that he is being loved by my Abba Father and couldn't be with anyone better.

Whew! Sorry if I went on a bit of a tangent...but it feels so good to write all of the pieces down and remember the ways that God speaks to me throughout the week and how it often intertwines my past with my present and future.

The boys are asleep and while I'm getting ready to call it a night I am excited as if it's Christmas morning...because tomorrow we are going to get a 3D/4D ultrasound of Harper!!! I can't wait!! I hope we get to see some great pictures of her precious face and just hope the day flies by and we get there early.  We are going to take the boys with us as we thought it would be a neat experience to share as a family.  It almost reminds me of peeking at your Christmas presents before Christmas day.. (Not that I ever opened a corner of wrapping paper as a child and knew what I was getting before Christmas Day came..:) Having a glimpse of what she looks like makes me want her to be here now and not 40 days from now...but I also want her to stay put as long as possible.  I will be sure to share pics and post about our neat day!

Blessings!



Sunday, November 25, 2012

And the Christmas Music Begins!!!

Their own tree!
In our family we usually always put the Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving. My mom always did when we were growing up and it's a tradition I've tried to carry on once I moved out and lived on my own. Fall is my favorite season but Christmas is my favorite holiday for many many reasons. One of them is the fun of putting up the Christmas decor with the family, laughing, listening to Christmas music, and getting our home ready for another year of Christmas memories. As the boys get older they have more of an opinion every year on what decorations we should add to our collection. This year they asked for blow up animals outside....to which I said no. I just can't bring myself to get any. I LOVE white Christmas lights and those are what we put up outside. The boys really want colored lights and I think this year after Christmas I will cave and buy some for next year. We had a blast putting up the tree and Christmas decor all over the house! As we finished Ky said "Mom I think we should get a Christmas tree for our room so we can decorate it and look at it.." I don't know why I've never thought of it, but the more I thought about it I thought it would be a fun addition to their room for Christmas. So today while Chad and I were running errands we picked up a miniature tree and some colored lights and surprised the boys. They were thrilled and had a blast picking our ornaments to put on it from the boxes I had left over.


 


Having a serious conversation about ornament placement. :)
 Afterwards Ky and I decided to work on a puzzle together and pulled out one that hadn't been opened and was 250 pieces. Yikes! We started with one that was 25 pieces and Ky did that quickly. He was so cute because when I asked him if he wanted to turn the Christmas tree on he said yes and then dimmed all of the lights upstairs so it would feel "more like Christmas"...loved it! We spent over an hour and half working on the puzzle and did finish it. It was a wonderful time spent talking with him and bonding. Noah came up towards the tail end and helped us and now it's adorning our coffee table for proud reviews.


Tomorrow brings us right back to Monday and I for one am not ready for the work week. I've enjoyed having Thursday off and working from home in yoga pants on Friday followed by a fun filled weekend. That being said I am most likely doing the same tomorrow as our stroller/car seat are supposed to be delivered and I don't want to miss it! I also have my 33 week appt and can't wait to see how Harper is doing. We have our 3D/4D ultrasound on Thursday evening and I'm getting so excited to see her precious face and features. It will be so much fun having the boys with us and I hope they enjoy the experience. I know they will love her to pieces when she gets here but right now all they talk about is how they don't want her ponies and barbies with their toys downstairs. I find this completely humorous since we have neither for her and have tried to explain to them that she very well could be a tom boy and that even if she's not she will have her own space..lol. The things they worry about.

Have a wonderful Monday!


Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving this year was relaxing for the most part! It was what I call my "off" year which is when we spend it with Chad's family and not mine. We flip flop every other year as to make it easy and not have to go two places in one day. We usually will do a special meal or celebrate earlier/later with the family whose off year it is.  Yesterday we actually slept in until 8:30...that is if you consider me being wide awake from 3-4:30 and then heading back to sleep, but that's about my norm these days.  We always enjoy cinnamon rolls on Thanksgiving and Christmas morning and this year was no different! I made cinnamon rolls and we enjoyed watching the Macy's Day parade with the boys. Afterwards we got ready, I made my green bean casserole and we headed over to my in laws. Unfortunately my MIL has been in the hospital all week, with a clot in her lung, so it was just his Dad, sister, grandparents, and great aunt who were there.  I love Chad's grandparents on his dad's side. They have been married for over 60 years and act like newlyweds even now..it's so cute and I hope Chad and I are like them when we get to be their age. I could sit and listen to his grandpa tell stories all day long!

Once we got to Chad's parents we ate right away and then the boys, Chad, and I proceeded outside to partake in a nerf sword fight. I have to say it was hilarious and we had a blast! In hindsight it probably wasn't the wisest choice seeing that I'm almost 33 weeks pregnant but we laughed and laughed and Chad took video.  We made a memory and I love it!

Afterwards we went back inside and Chad, the boys, and I played Super Mario as a family for over an hour. I RARELY play video games but we had a lot of fun just being together and playing.  Chad's mom came home about thirty minutes before we were going to leave so we were able to say hi to her and the boys gave her hugs and chatted up a storm.  By the time we left it was close to 4:30 and I was exhausted and full.  We headed over to my mom's for a quick stop as my grandmother was visiting from South Carolina and left today to head to one of my aunt's homes in Illinois.  Fortunately I still had room for a piece of my mom's apple pie which is amazing!

When we got home we all switched into pjs and crashed! I watched the movie The Blind Side after the boys went to bed and bawled my eyes out. I just love that movie and could watch it over and over again!

Here is a picture of my little men yesterday! I was sad that aside from our nerf fight we didn't get any family pictures. And Chad and I even coordinated our outfits a bit so we would look put together...oh well maybe we will grab a good pic after church tomorrow. Fingers crossed as I need a new pic for our Christmas card and haven't had time to schedule a session with the person who does our pictures.

As the day progressed yesterday I spent a lot of time just reflecting on all of our many blessings this year.  Here are just a couple of things that came to mind:

  • Our freedom! I do not take for granted the freedom we have and am so thankful for the men and woman who sacrifice for us and are oversees away from their families. I'm also thankful for the men and woman who are home without their loved ones taking care of their family as their spouse serves our country. Growing up in a military home most of my friends are either military or married someone in the military and I am in awe of their strength and sacrifices that they make.
  • My friendships- I am surrounded by some amazing girlfriends! I am so thankful for each of them and just how blessed my life is because of them. 
  • My job- This past year has been a challenge trying to juggle the commute that I faced 3xs or more a week 3 hours total a day and family.  I've had weeks/month where I just kept praying that God would show me where He wanted me and affirm my decision to stay at corporate or move.  And now months later with my pregnancy He has opened the door for me to relocate my office close to home and my commute is back to being either ten minutes or right down the hall from my bedroom. I now work with an awesome specialist who supports the program I manage and between the two God has shown me His many promises and taught me several lessons.  I don't take for granted just how blessed I am to have the job that I do which provides for our family and has covered us with so many blessings.
  • Chad- I'm not even sure I know where to begin when it comes to expressing just how thankful I am for him.  I am humbled weekly by his patience and calm voice. ( Because I am usually neither..lol) It makes me cry just watching him be the father that he is to our children.  They have no idea just how blessed they are.  I am thankful that he picks up on the little things and makes every effort to support me and our family on a daily basis. Whether it is laundry, homework with the boys, listening, making us laugh, or calming me down when I'm ready to freak out on my animals lol, he is my best friend and I'm thankful for his heart. I'm thankful that God brought him into my life and has continued to bless our marriage, friendship, and relationship over the years. 
  • My children- I am thankful that God choose me to be their mom.  I am often scared to death that I am going to mess things up for them but am constantly humbled by God's patience, grace, and people around me who have taught me so much about motherhood.  I love listening to their laughs, and their little voices as they whisper at night before they go to bed. I love watching them pray at the table often peaking their eyes open to see if we are watching them. I love Noah's tender heart and Ky's stubbornness reminds me of myself.  And I can't wait for them to be big brothers to Harper. What a neat season that will be.
  • God's Grace- I don't know that I have the words to articulate just how strongly I feel about this one. I often cry just thinking about how unworthy I am but how grateful I am that God does not love like I often do and covers me with His grace time and time and time again. It's so comforting to know He is right next to me all the time and has never left me even when I deserve it most.  I pray that He will continue to mold my heart so that I may be more like Him and less like me. I pray that I will learn to extend and show grace as He does and love like He does.
I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Needles, Apple Pie, and All Recipes.Com

Today has been a calm quiet day! I woke up pretty early and since I was working from home today I started my keurig and got comfy in my favorite chair laptop in hand.  And it was a productive day via work.  I normally work the day before most holidays unless we are traveling because most people are off and I get so much organizing done. Today was no exception and I loved it!  The one thing I had scheduled was my appointment with my hematologist to discuss my blood thinners and our plan for labor and post delivery. Now why I made that appt the day before Thanksgiving I have no idea..but the Dr.'s office was quiet and I think the nurses were trying to rush me in so they could leave. :)  The great news is we are still on track with our plan. I will take my lovenox shots for two more weeks and then switch over to heparin shots. The only downside is that with the heparin shots I have to take two a day and not one. Yikes! My stomach already looks like a battlefield from the bruises I get from my lovanox shots, but I'll take them.. No problem here! And then once I have Harper in 47 days or less:)...I will move to coumadin and take that for 6-8 weeks and then go back  to see my hematologist and assess how things are going.  So all in all a successful appointment and I'm pleased with our plan.

After my doctor appt I headed home to pick up Noah and Ky and take them over to my mom's to say hi to my Grams who flew in from South Carolina on Monday. She is staying at my moms until Friday so it was nice to stop over and see her and catch up a bit.  The boys made themselves right at home and requested peanut butter and jelly sandwiches upon arrival..they are always hungry it seems!

Since both my mom and Chad's family live in town we do our best to rotate holidays to be fair to everyone and make it so that we aren't running around the day of a holiday and are constantly looking at our watches.  So this year is what I call our off year and we will spend it with his family.  While they always have a nice spread it's just not the same as my family's Thanksgiving dinner which i love.. :)  And because my mom knows this she made me my own apple pie to take home and is going to make extra stuffing and turkey for us!! :) I'm so excited because those three items are my favorite and it's just not Thanksgiving without them. :)  So I brought my apple pie home and might have grabbed a fork as soon as I got in the door and had several bites while I decided what in the world I was going to make for dinner. Did I have a menu plan for the next two weeks that included dinner for tonight...yes....could I find it when I walked in...no....and did I feel like cooking....Big NO! But I knew that I should so I pulled up allrecipes.com which I LOVE LOVE and started looking for an easy chicken recipe to make. And I found one that is now cooking in the oven...a Baked Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Breast: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Baked-Parmesan-Crusted-Chicken/Detail.aspx . Even better it was really easy and only took minutes to prepare! The longest period of time is letting it cook and I'll make the potatoes right before it finishes. I'm excited to see how it turns out and even more pleased with myself that I didn't cave and order in or carry out.

After dinner we plan on watching a movie and just cuddling with the boys and tucking them in and hopefully going to bed early myself. Tomorrow I will make our traditional cinnamon rolls for breakfast and enjoy watching the parades! I do love Thanksgiving and the traditions that come with it. I have so much to be Thankful for this year and will share more on that topic tomorrow!

Blessings!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

32 weeks, baby shower, and Gigi's cupcakes!

It's hard to believe that in 50 days or less if she comes early...Harper will be here! I am in awe and hot fast the last few weeks have gone. No sooner do I get through Monday then it seems like Friday is here.  I am doing my best to enjoy every moment of this pregnancy as there is a good chance this will be my last pregnancy carrying a baby. We are undecided if we will have one more but we feel strongly about adoption if we do decide down the road to expand our family. That being said Harper is doing great! I am measuring two weeks ahead but had an ultrasound this past Monday to make sure she was ok and she looks awesome! She was measuring in a 3.4 pounds and looked so stinkin cute. We were able to see a great picture of the front view of her face and I couldn't stop the tears from flowing! We also made an appt to get a 3D/4D ultrasound at a place that does them in Madison in a couple of weeks and I'm so excited!


So much has been going on here and I'm excited to write it all down so I don't forget any of it. Last Saturday was my family/friends baby shower. My sister Ash hosted it and did such an amazing job! She is so detailed and organized and just showered us with love. One of the neatest memories of my shower was that my best friend, Carm, surprised me and flew in from GA just for my shower!! And even better her husband, my husband, and her all kept it a secret from me!! I was in shock and then screamed alot because I was so excited to have her here to share in the weekend. The shower was at my favorite coffee shop and some of my family from Chicago drove up and many of my amazing friends came. The food was amazing and the company even better. I made it to introductions without crying but the tears started as everyone went around the room to introduce themselves. I looked at all of the people who came and was so humbled by their love and support. As I looked at each of them memories came flooding back to all of the different seasons that each of them have been there with me for. Some of them I've known for a short season in my life, others have been in my life since I was born. I am so blessed to have each of them in my life and know that Harper is already loved more then she will ever know and she's not even here. Here are a few of my favorite pics from the shower!




My best friend Carm (also known as "my person"


Sue and Nat- Have known them since I moved here!

Dawn and I- We went to middle school and high school together in Alaska and then she moved to WI five years ago!


Our sons!


Nena, I, Thomas, Nat, and Ash- Love them all!

Carm made this tutu and outfite for Harper!

Ash and our youngest sister Hess


After the shower Carm and I sat in Harper's room and went through everything and organized it. It was so much fun to look at the neat things our friends and family blessed us with.  It makes it all so real and even more excited for her to get here.

Carm's flight was canceled on Monday due to storms our east and it was great to have her here for another day. I had to work but she caught up on some shows and after I worked we made dinner and laughed and just talked. I don't know if you've even seen the Grey's Anatomy episode with Meredith and Christina where Christina tells Meredith she's her person but Carm and I always refer to that episode and are so thankful to have each other in our lives. She is one of the only people that I can say has been in my life for more than half of my life and I just thinks awesome.

The rest of the week flew with work, the boys sports, and trying to get closets cleaned out and make additional room for Harper's things. After researching and reresearching car seats and strollers we finally settled on this Peg Perego travel system and I'm so excited for it to get here!!



I think it has a little sass to it and will look great in my black car..lol. I am such a freak about color coordination...I also found some JJ Cole car seat covers and head support cushions to go with it, but want to wait until it gets here and I can see the shades of color up close before I decide on the granite or white.  The last item I need to pick out is a diaper bag. I have been looking and looking and looking some more and can't make up my mind. Here's the thing..I don't want a diaper bag that looks like a diaper bag..I want it to be trendy but look like a purse or at least not babyee...(does that make sense?) I've been looking at bags on rosenberryrooms.com and just can't make a final decision. I still have a little time but would like to get one picked out and ordered so I can get it organized too.

And speaking of organized I did just that this week. I couldn't sleep one night (which is pretty much every night lol) but this particular night I got up at 3:22 am and decided to clean out my hallway closet, bathroom drawers and organize them and the rest of Harper's room. I then sat down and made my final list of what we need for Harper before she get's here. I'm happy to say it's down to less than ten items and we marked off another one this weekend. Cloth diapers!!! Call me crazy but i'm really excited to try them. If you would have mentioned cloth diapers to me when I had Noah or Ky I would have told you you were crazy BUT my friend Dawn has an 11 month old and uses them and has raved about them since he was born. So much so that i've spent the better part of two visits watching her explain her process in his nursery and having my own consultation at the cloth diaper store in Madison. After talking with Chad about it he agreed and so today we drove up to Madison to the neatest cloth diaper store that had many other neat baby/mother items and bought everything we need to be successful at cloth diapering!! I know that I still have a bit to reread and already thanked Dawn in advance for her mentoring me through this as I know I will be talking to her frequently when Harper gets here and we use them. Here's a pic of what we left with. I took two pics and one of them(the left side of the table) didn't load to my laptop..but you get the idea.


  After we bought the diapers we went to a fun resteraunt and did some shopping. And to end the afternoon we stopped by Gigi's Cupcakes!!! The boys and I love to watch Cupcake Wars!!! And for the last couple of months we have talked about finding a local cupcake shop. And I did but we haven't had the opportunity to go until today...and it was so cute and fun! I ordered a mini dozen to go after we sat and each tried one. They were so rich and filling!




All in all we've had a fun filled weekend and have made so many precious memories.  This season has been filled with so many emotions and the one that I feel often is greatful. God has truly blessed our family in so many ways.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Redemption and dinner over candlelight

Last week our pastor continued with his series on the book of Revelations and one of the things he shared that has stuck with me all week is redemption.  I'm in a season in my life where some family members who have always been incredibly close to me have caused a lot of pain, tears, anger, and in some situations even resentment.  During my prayer time over the last few months God has laid it on my heart to continue to pray for them and my relationship with both of them. And as our pastor talked about redemption God just spoke to my heart ten fold.  In addition to this verse in Revelations, And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation Revelations 5:9 I also looked up a few more:

  • In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace Ephesians 1:7
  • Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 1 Peter 1:18-19
  • By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 1 John 3:16
As I listened on Sunday and have prayed and read throughout the week I am humbled and so eternally grateful for the sacrifice Jesus made for my life and even more grateful that He doesn't love like I often do.  For me it is often so easy for to either explode or stuff depending on the situation and put my walls up so high that I push people away.  I have continued to pray that God would help me speak in love and love those who has hurt me and pray for them and approach them with love and kindness.

Tonight I came home and was dreading making dinner...my energy is gone...zero..nada..zilch...but I wanted to stick to my menu and not order out so I made breakfast for dinner, which we all love! The best part though was that our light over our table burnt out and we didn't have replacement bulbs...so we improvised and brought a dimmer table lamp and ate by "candlelight" with the boys and it was precious. They loved it and thought it was cool and I enjoyed it just because it was random and their reaction was so cute.  It made a really long day better and brought to the forefront all of the many blessings that sit around my table.  We are so blessed and often those words don't even begin to express how my heart really feels. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

29 weeks and a lazy weekend!

I can't believe I'm already starting my 29th week!! In some respects it seems like yesterday we found out we were expecting and in others it definately feels like 29 weeks! :)  Harper has been moving around ALOT and it's one of my favorite parts of the day. I have my next OB appt tomorrow morning and am looking forward to hearing her heartbeat.  Chad and I are going to schedule a 3D/4D ultrasound in November (which we roll into this week) and I can't wait! We didn't have one with any of the boys and i'm looking forward to seeing her facial features up close. 

I'm really thankful this weekend has been a lazy one! I even managed to take another nap this afternoon after watching my Bears win!! Talk about high blood pressure in the last minute though...oh my goodness. I took the boys to church this morning since Chad wasn't feeling so hot. They had a costume party there and had a really good time!  The funniest part about it is that we bought a big bag of candy to donate yesterday while at Target, and while I remembered to take the receipt and coupon out of the Target bag before giving to Noah to take in to his class I failed to remove the bag of panty liners I bought...YIKES!! When we got home from church Noah pulls out the Target bag from his candy bag and gives it to me and I can't figure out why he is giving me trash. And then I open it.. Needless to say I laughed my head off and got about ten shades of red. It definately made for a funny story. 

After church we came home and had lunch and Chad was feeling good enough to go with us to pick out pumpkins. We weren't up to driving to my favorite orchard but there is a farm not far from us that has a simliar set up and tons of pumpkins to choose from. The boys both picked out a big one and played on their playground area while Chad and I watched and chatted. We were planning on carving them but decided to wait until Tuesday after school.

I did try a new rice and cilantro lime chicken recipe tonight for dinner which was delish! Which brings me to now and I'm sitting on my favorite couch relaxing while I have more rice cooking for tomorrow's chicken fried rice recipe (the recipe says that day old rice is best to use) and then I am going to read to the boys and enjoy catching up on a show or two before Monday gets here. I'm so not ready for the work week but will just take it one day at a time! :) Ky has practice #2 tomorrow and I can't wait to see how it goes. Blessings!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Basketball practice, a baby shower, and fellowship!

Getting ready for practice

Enjoying a water break!!
This week has been wonderful! On Monday Kylan had his first basketball practice. Chad and I were a little nervous because he has a condition with his legs that causes him to run slower than his peers but he is a trooper and was so excited all weekend about his impending practice! Chad and I talked all day Monday and prayed that Ky would have a good time, have a great coach, and have kids on his team that were kind.  I know it sounds crazy but I just feel so protective of my little man and the thought of on of his teammates making fun of him due to his condition or even him feeling out of place makes me want to break down in tears. But God is good and Ky's first practice was a success! His coach and asst coach were fantastic! There are 10 other kids on his team and they all got along really well. They worked hard and he was exhausted by the end of the hour but he was so excited he kept telling us how much he loved the game and couldn't wait for his next practice. My heart felt so much better and I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest of this season goes for him.

Harper's first Uggs!

Our first shower!

On Wednesday my friends from my office in Chicago through Chad and I a baby shower. It was precious and beyond anything we expected.  Chad's office in Chicago is about 25 minutes from mine and his business partners and boss drove up to my office for a combined shower. My friends thought of everything! One of their family owns an amazing bakery and made this cake that was out of this world! It was better than many wedding cakes I've had. It had three layers, the bottom being chocolate with Bavarian cream, the middle white with raspberry filling, and the top a marble with chocolate mousse. Did I mention it was amazing!! :) I even went back for seconds and didn't think twice about it. I'm pretty sure I will order Harper's first birthday cake from here.  I've been at corporate for a little over three years and during that time have made a couple of really good friends who I often call my posse. :)  We laugh all the time and have made some fantastic memories whether it be while traveling together, going out for a quick lunch, talking after work on our long commutes home, or just sharing stories about life. And I'm truly thankful for them. Just seeing the kindness and effort they all put into coming and showering us with love was so humbling for Chad and I.  We left our office that day just thankful for the people that God has put in our lives on an every day basis at the office. We are blessed.

One of the things that I have prayed for over the past year is that God would bring couples into our lives that have children that we can fellowship with.  Chad and I both have amazing friends here at home and have one couple that we do things with almost on a weekly basis who has a son C that is three and we love him to pieces. Outside of that we don't have any friends close by with kids.  And I miss having that. Over the course of the last year one of my very good friends who I've known for 11 years started to date one of Chad's previous co workers who he had become friends with. And L has two kids from his first marriage who are 3 and 6. And so it's just worked out that we really enjoy doing things together as couples and as families. Our kids get a long great and we just have a relaxed time together.  Yesterday we invited them over for dinner and had a wonderful time!  We started upstairs and enjoyed dinner and laughs and then the kids and the men headed downstairs to the playroom and media room to hang out. Nat and I stayed upstairs in our family room and enjoyed talking and spent some time in Harper's room going through her things. :)  They stayed until 9ish and we enjoyed my famous brownies and vanilla bean ice cream before they headed home. And when they left we smiled and talked about the funny things the kids did and our night.  And it was good....really good to have friends come to our home, relax, and make memories.  I can't wait until we do it again and am thankful for answered prayers.

Today has been really relaxing! I slept awful last night! So much so that I stayed in bed until a little after nine this morning reading and just didn't want to move. We got up had a lite breakfast and then headed out to run a couple of errands and meet Chad's parents and sister for lunch to celebrate Chad and his sister's birthday. They are three years and three days apart.  It was a nice lunch and we caught up a bit and then afterwards headed to Target to pick up some candy for the boy's costume party at church this weekend. Unfortunately I wasn't feeling to great by the time we got to Target and took a three hour nap once we got home. Afterwards I enjoyed reading some more while the boys played a game with Chad downstairs and have overall just enjoyed doing a whole lot of nothing today.  I think tonight we are going to chill and watch some movies after the boys go to bed. And tomorrow do a couple of fun things!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

28 weeks, Psalm 139, Revelations, and Hilltops

It's hard to believe that I've entered my third trimester and based on my induction date only have 79 days to go.When I think of the things I did 79 ago I know the time is going to fly. At the same time it seems so far away!  She is getting bigger and I'm starting to feel the slightest bit uncomfortable when attempting to fall asleep at night and feel like I'm a couple weeks shy of the waddle. A friend of mine had her baby girl this past week and just seeing pictures of her daughter brought tears to my eyes knowing that I will be doing the same thing not too far from now.


Yesterday we celebrated Noah's 8th birthday with his friends at Chuck E Cheese. He was so adorable all week getting excited to spend time with his friends. Friday night over dinner he walked through his agenda from Friday night to Saturday morning up to his party which started at 9:30am.  He ran into bed Friday night telling me he was so excited to go to bed so he could get up and go to his party. I was so thankful that 5 of his friends came and we had the whole place to ourselves which was great. I will be the first to admit that Chuck E Cheese is one of my least favorite places only because it's normal chaos and tons of kids running all over. Thankfully because we had his party early we were on the only people there up to ten minutes before leaving. It was perfect and Noah was thrilled! I was able to talk with all of the parents and get to know them a little better which was nice. Noah has been in the same class for 3 of the children since Kindergarten and it's been neat to watch their friendships develop over the last few years.

This morning I got up and went to the grocery store around 5:20 which is actually a little late for my "normal" grocery run. I love to go very early when there is no one there and take my time getting groceries for my two week menu.  As I drove this morning I was filled with emotion as I drove up and down the large hill that I go across almost every day. For whatever reason this morning as I drove up it memories came flooding back to when Carmen was here right after Mason died and I drove across town to the wrong Walgreens. We traveled over the hill and listened to the CD that was made for his funeral and talked.  This morning I thought of that memory and then moved to thinking about how Carmen will be coming in 77 days to be here for Harper's birth. I am so incredibly thankful for our friendship. As Christine says in Grey's Ananotomy she is "my person". Carm and I have been best friends since we were 15. She has always been there and she's the one person in my life aside from Chad that I don't have to explain things to because she's been there with me through almost everything as I have with her.  It's so incredible because her mom is going to fly from Texas to Georgia to stay with her husband and help with their two kids as her husband is in the military and has quite a hectic work schedule. She will be here for 11 days and as I shared with her this morning I can't wait for the memories we are going to make while she is here.  It's so fitting because not only is she my best friend, Chad and I asked her to be Harper's godmother so we are thrilled that she can be here for her birth.  I feel so incredibly blessed and look forward to watching her relationship with Harper grow as my relationship with her daughter Avery has grown over the years.

After unpacking the groceries and enjoying a breakfast sandwhich Chad made we got cleaned up and headed to church.  I LOVE our church home.  I struggle with finding the right words to even begin to explain our pastor.  His sermons are profound and God breathed.  This morning he started by reading Psalm 139 1-4: O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.  Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.  And as he shared this verse I just felt covered with peace.  I know that God know that days of my life and those of my children and I find great comfort in knowing He has complete control.  I know that as He keeps me safe he does my children and He knows my steps before I've even taken them. I would be lying if I said that I am always at peace and never questions His plan for my life, or that I handle the craziness that is often thrown at me well, but I know in the depth of my heart that His plan is perfect and that it's not my job to understand it.  It's my job to trust Him and honor him admist the "unknown" that we often face.  After worship He moved into Revelations as his latest series is taking us through the last book in the Bible.  His wisdom and knowledge of the books has made understanding it seem so simple.  I've had the wonderful opportunity to participate in several studies on the book of Revelations over the years but have enjoyed the freshness this series brings to such an amazing book in the Bible.

As quickly as Friday came so does Monday sneak up on us tomorrow.  This week will bring Chad's 33rd birthday! We have a couple of things planned to celebrate another year of his life and I'm excited for our one on one date Thursday evening.  He is taking Friday off and doing a fun activity with the boys and then we are having friends over for dinner Friday evening which will be alot of fun.  I can't imagine being married to anyone else and am so thankful that God brought him into my life a little over nine years ago. It's hard to believe we've been together almost a 1/3 of my life!! Well I must finish getting ready for the week but can't wait to share pics of Ky's first practice.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Almost Friday!

I can't believe tomorrow is Friday! Normally a day will fly by here and there, but lately the weeks are flying by!!! I'm not complaining because every week that goes by is a week longer that Harper is snug as a bug and one week closer until I get to hold her in my arms. Words can't begin to describe how excited I am to have her here. On the way to school this morning I was talking to the boys about Christmas and how shortly after Christmas Harper would be here. Somehow we went from there to them asking me how old they would be when Harper was 6,7,8 etc. I almost started crying just thinking about my boys being teenagers and would like to stay in denial just a little longer that they will ever get older.  I am excited to see them with Harper and know that they will be wonderful big brothers to her. 

Ky found out who his basketball coach is today and is so excited to start practice next week.  I'm really hoping he enjoys the team he is on, learns alot, and has a blast! Noah starts tennis in a couple of weeks and can't wait.  We were hoping to get them back into swim and the club they take lessons as but i'm not sure that two sports per boy and a newborn will work out well so we are going to see how November goes and decide in December. 

One of our favorite things to do together as a family before the boys go to bed is watch the show Chopped or Cupcake Wars. I DVR them during the week and love to breeze through the commericals. I'm really excited because I found a few neat cupcake shops up north and showed the boys my top two picks. I think we might just take a trip up there this weekend and try a couple, but we'll see.  If not this weekend next weekend for sure!

Noah is celebrating his birthday with his friends from school on Saturday. His actual birthday is in September but we wanted him to get to know the students in his class and invite new friends if he made some. He's so excited that 6 of them are coming!  Now I just have to finish my mom majic and put together the goody bags and make his cake.

Aside from his birthday party our weekend is going to be pretty low key. My sister is going to take them to her friend's son's Halloween party. He's three and a little young for the boys but they are having a pumpkin painting station, bob for apples, and a few other things that I know the boys will love.  On Sunday their surrogate aunt is going to make home made pizzas with them for lunch and they will get to spend some time at her house which they will absolutely enjoy. I haven't told them yet in case something comes up for her but I know it will be a fun filled weekend for them. And while they are going to their events Chad and I will have some down time and get the boys Christmas shopping done!! I'm so exicted because i'm so close to having my Christmas shopping list complete. I'm doing one last walk through of my Christmas tote of gifts and hoping to get everything that is left this weekend. Fingers crossed. :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

27 weeks, chocolate temptation and keurig love!

This week has been alot calmer and Miss Harper is getting bigger! One of my favorite times of the day is at night before I go to bed. While I lay down and try and catch a show that has been DVRd Miss Harper loves to have a boxing max in my tummy and I love every minute of it! This morning while watching a show with Chad he got to feel her move again and we saw my stomach move as she moved. I just love this part of pregnancy. I think about her listening to our voices and pray constantly for our baby girl who is continuing to grow.  I can't wait to meet her and have not added a counter on my phone counting down the days until my induction and the days until my best friend, Carmen, who godmother, will be here. She's not here yet but loved by so many. I still can't figure out how to fix these pictures so they are ride side up but here's a few from this coffee filled weekend!


Chocolate Temptations!

My sweet friend Jodi!

Saturday morning I got up early and picked up my friend Jodi. We headed to a small town near by that has an amazing coffee shop called Chocolate Temptations! It is amazing. They make their truffles and chocolates there and have a selection of coffee that makes any coffee lover's head spin. I picked up a few flavors for Christmas gifts and even brought home a few truffles to share. I know this is going to sound ridiculous but I am so thrilled to love coffee again. I told Chad a few weeks back that I was getting nervous that I would never be able to drink a cup again, but thankfully my love for coffee is back and I couldn't be happier.  I ordered 6 boxes of K-cups this week and they delivered yesterday!!!  I am now good to go through maternity leave. I made sure to order my favorite fall and winter flavors. A business partner of mine told me about a new seasonal flavor by Green Mountain called Pumpkin Spice Latte...and I LOVE PUMPKIN. When I placed my order on Keurig's website they were out as was Green Mountain. Thankfully I found boxes left on amazon and ordered a couple. After trying it this morning i'm wondering if i have enough:) Some other flavors I bought are Timothy's Pumpkin Latter, Cinnamon Pastry, Carmel Vanilla, and Crazy Carmel.  And I stocked up on more bottles of Williams and Sonomona's pumpkin latter syrup to go with, which I'm grateful for because when I went to pick up more pumpkin creamer at the grocery store today they were all OUT!!! I was so sad. So at some point this week I am sure I will go to every grocery store in town in search of a few bottles but my latte syrup will hold me over as the taste is fantastic!


Keurig Love!

Today I slept in! For me that means 8:30 but it was great....and we even laid in bed watching tv for a bit while the boys watched their shows downstairs. After a slow start we got up had brunch and headed into town to pick up my youngest sister and take her to get a laptop. She was so excited! While I kept the boys busy looking at Ipads and they tried out games Chad looked through everything and did on the spot research. He is so great with my family and patient. He found one that will work great for Jessi with all of her honors classes...and she even gets some perks for the social aspects of life. After that we went to a newer yogurt place where you can sample every flavor and then pick flavors and toppings. We went to a place simliar in GA this summer and I saw a Menchies when I was in Madison a few weeks a go...while this place is different it was a huge hit and a fun afternoon activity.  After coming home I started on dinner...and am making a flatbread lasagna with salad, green beans, and crescents.  While going out seemed much more appealing...knowing we have my menu of meals at home made more sense.  As Chad and I reviewed all of the necesities we still need to get for Harper this weekend we are doing our best to stay on budget every month. Have I mentioned how excited I am to meet her! :) 

This week should be busy and I am going back to my office in Chicago for the first time in months. My business partner is driving with me which is a blessing because I am anxious about the drive and being so far from home. But I know that Harper is doing well and the day will fly by.  I think i'll just feel better once i'm down there and back.  We signed Ky up for basketball and anticipate hearing from his coach this week to find out when his practices and games will be. And I found a tennis league for Noah's age and need to sign him up this week. They don't start the next session until November 10th, but he is thrilled! I really hope he enjoys it.  He has been talking about tennis and volleyball ever since the Olympics and I think it is too cute.  I want to get the boys both back into swimming but think I will wait until December after they get a month and half of these sports under their belt.  I'm thankful that Chad only has to go to Chicago once this week. The past two weeks he has been there every days minus two and the long hours with this project he has been working on took a toll on him and me...lol