Tuesday, February 28, 2012

a weekend getaway

for me boys are always difficult to buy for.  we celebrate christmas, benny's birthday & love day all back to back - which just complicates my simple gift-giving mind.  i always want to do something sweet for him but i'm not so creative and he likes all kinds of things that i can't really get [like a crapton of expensive electronics, robot dogs, speakers that look like rocks, you know].  so for his birthday i wanted to give something that wasn't a thing.  more like an experience / adventure / date.  now most of the things i think of are girly.  i'm guessing it is because i'm a girl but i think a fella could appreciate them too.  when benny's birthday rolled around i told him to mark last weekend in his calendar but didn't tell him what for.  just to be free.

friday night he found a little note of things to prepare for when he awoke the next day.
we slept in saturday morning [always one of my favorite things]. benny got us donuts and i went shopping for adventuring treats.  we got cleaned up and watched uk play.  the day is getting better and better.

after the game we loaded up our bags & the car and headed off.  ben was terrible to surprise. he must have asked me one million times where we were going.  he guessed everything from laser tag to sky diving.  i told him that his pregnant wife wouldn't be sky diving for a while.  instead we went to a hibachi grill.  i ate so much steak i could barely move.  it was a very yummy place & we got to see all kinds of tricks [love!]

from there we hopped in the car again.  like i said...stuffed with deliciousness.  i took ben to this precious bed & breakfast right outside of town.  now i know something like this is a little 'sweet' for a man but my main thought was just that i really wanted us to get away together.  i wanted to have time that wasn't distracted, planned or interrupted.  time that we don't get a lot of these days.  and time that will probably get fewer & further between as we grow this little family & ben starts working full-time.  i hope we always make time for this though.  i treasure it.
the place was darling.  a big old house out in the country.  horses and rolling hills surround.  it was too cold to wander around for a very long time but we tried to take in the sights.  if i had been really prepared i could have brought some boots and mittens and lasted a bit longer.  it really was a gorgeous day if i could have stopped the wind.
when we arrived the inn keeper told us that no one else would be staying there that night and that she didn't live there so i inadvertently rented a giant, gorgeous mansion / farm for ben and i for the night.  it was fun to pretend that it was ours.  it was so quiet and peaceful.  to ben "quiet and peaceful" might also mean "haunted".  but i'm pretty sure it's not.  the details in the home were perfect.  huge wooden doors, baseboards up to my knees, so much character in every corner.
we played games in the library / study.  towering ceilings and rich wooden walls lined with books.  us playing rummikub & skipbo. i won all the games but ben might have let me.  i brought us strawberries-n-sugar & cinnamon muffins for our evening snack since we were far from civilization.  we watched movies, snuggled and went to sleep very early in our oh so plush king-sized bed. 

breakfast in the morning was to die for.  and i'm not that easy to please when it comes to food.  ugh, i could gobble it up right now.  we were even impressed by the juice!  so funny.

benny, i hope that you had a good and relaxing weekend.  you need that.  time to relax and just be instead of working, planning, organizing and doing.  i loved laughing with you and having our attention undivided.  i love that our real lives are so full & rich but i'm incredibly thankful for a weekend away with you.

you know who else i think loved her first family getaway?  little baby bean...

[we stayed at the ashley inn in bryantsville, ky.  i would certainly recommend it if you're looking for a low-key, beautiful weekend away to be pampered and refreshed.  i feel so excited to return in the fall to celebrate the marriage of our dear friends holly & matt]

Monday, February 27, 2012

18 weeks

WEEK 18:
what's cooking? [new baby things]: i've read that babe was probably anywhere from 5"-6" inches long this past week, about the size of a pickle or bell pepper from crown to rump. babe weighs about 5-7 oz. she's covered in goo, i won't tell you the words they use to describe it but apparently the goo does all sorts of good things.  her nerves are developing a bunch this week. she should be moving all over the place [and is!] & maybe yawning and hiccuping now.

gender: a little lady is in our midst!  4 more days until we get to double confirm her girliness.  still no name.  i keep asking her but she just kicks. i don't know what that means.

movement: lots and lots!  she is moving so much.  she surprises me all the time & i love the little reminders that she's there [even though it is just like having an alien in your belly].  i think she's rolling around, stretching out, kicking & adjusting.  the movements feel stronger and stronger to me but ben has mainly felt faint pokes and only a few strong ones.  sweet jenna got kicked at biblestudy this past week.  it was awesome.

momma developments: i'm doing great.  still feel like i'm growing.  i had one headache this past week but our weather has been crazy [hot one day, freezing the next, sun, rain, snow...all of it].  i think it does something crazy to my sinuses and just makes my face hurt.  i've been pretty tired and i'm wondering if we're about to go through a growth spurt, even though no info really says that we are.  sleeping is a little more difficult / less comfortable all of a sudden.  i've been waking up more and then had trouble getting in a comfortable position to go back to sleep.  but don't worry, i definitely rested up for you this weekend ;)

total weight gain: 8-8.5 pounds.  the 10 pound day last week must have been a freak thing because i've pretty much leveled off at 8 or 8.5 pound gain every other time i check in.  i feel pretty good about that with the time i have left in the trimester.

maternity clothes: all of my tops are regulars for the most part but i have switched over to all maternity pants, skirts or leggings at this point.  i haven't gone shopping again but my dear friend mandy did loan me lots of options.  some will have to wait until i grow more, or for spring but i am thrilled to have a few more options when that rolls around.

here is the one maternity top i've bought so far.  it was under $3 at old navy, i kind of had to do it.  a basic tee for $2.00-something? and the jeans are the one pair i've purchased so far, from old navy too.  $25.  they aren't perfect but they work...for now!
cravings:  no serious cravings this week!  i've just wanted to eat a lot of food?

anything hard?
still having selfishness & control issues.  hoping to rely on the Lord and his plans instead of working toward my own ends.

never forget: i'll never ever forget the few times that your pop has felt you move.  the big movements are my favorite for him to see / feel.  i wish that i could share you with him more but for now you're kind of just mine [which is weird].  it is a huge blessing to get to carry you around with me for these months.  i loved that you kicked auntie jenna.  she's my first friend [non-spouse] to feel you i think.  very exciting.  you kicked right on cue.  you have a few little dresses now and i can't wait to put you in them.  we're only 2 weeks away from halfway and that makes me feel like a crazy.  there is just so much i want to do and prepare for before you arrive.  this weekend you went on your first little getaway.  i'll write about it later but i think that you had so much fun on your little 'family' outting.

baby info sources:
baby center
parents connect
what to expect

Friday, February 24, 2012

family time: florida

last weekend i was able to go on an albeit short but very very sweet weekend trip to florida.  i set off with my two cousins [who i call aunts] for a non-stop flight to tampa to meet up with a handful of our family.  every year they meet up for at least a weekend & when time allows, i'm blessed to come along too. 
our trip consistented of eating, shopping, eating, relaxing, eating & other merriment.  it was so fun to see family that i rarely get to see, catch up with my parents & my grandparents too.  i was able to read [what what hunger games!] and to take naps.  everyone was worried about me getting tired since i'm prego, but i was tired so maybe my face looked that way.  my naps were / are a very prized treat. 
i have such sweet family.  i am beyond blessed to have so many beautiful, kind people in my life.  these people are generous with big hearts & i just don't know how one girl got so many strong people to look up to.  you hear about so many difficult families and i just look around at all my different relatives, time and time again & just can't get over it.  on all sides, in laws included, i'm just surrounded by amazing people.  i am truly blessed.
i played with my parents' puppies, they are little rascals.  i saw the sun a little.  one day was a bit overcast but it was just nice to be outside.  lexington is actually nice enough to play outside right now but sadly i spend most of my day inside and after work its nearly dark!  warmth and sun are two things i crave.  summer mission: be outside, a lot.
thank you mom & pop [below] for bring me / having me down.  it was so good to see you all.  i'm glad we got to visit.  my first night mom & i stayed up too late looking up ridiculously expensive baby furniture and planning nurseries.  i liked that.  i still have done nothing about where baby will live, if you're wondering.  speaking of little girls, i'm really excited for little babe to know all these people too!
this was the trip that i mentioned where i first felt baby from the outside in the middle of the night.  she hasn't stopped rolling around and poking since then. i really like that about her.  i like having little reminders that she's in there and ok, although i do wonder if she feels really cramped.  bellies just aren't that big to have as your one room apartment.

someday i hope to go visit these fellas too.  and bring the littlest princess out to california to visit her uncles.  i know she would just love them!
thank you family for a fun, relaxing trip just soaking up good company.  i love you all dearly!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

love day

so i know that valentine's day is kind of fake.  it's not a real holiday and you should be loving and showering the people you love with blessings all year long.  we should never miss an opportunity to tell someone that they are special and that we care for them.  but.  but i kind of do love it.  if ben did nothing i wouldn't care, and i'm pretty sure he would say the same.  but an excuse to be extra-lovey-dovey and sweet, well i know i enjoy it.  i didn't decorate our house with anything love-ly or buy anything big.  just sweet notes and time together [and a combo bday + love day present that is on its way this weekend...woot woot].  benny on the other hand was unbelievably thoughtful and kind. he knows that i love it so he does go out of his way to celebrate life together with me, and from what i can tell, with a full heart.

do you see this?  do you know what that is?  yep, its cocktail sauce.  i had been craving it for the past few weeks and came home to all the shrimp and cocktail sauce a girl could want.  he even looked up whether or not pregnant ladies are supposed to eat shrimp [if you're curious, it is ok, 12 oz. is about all they'd like you to have in a day].  cocktail sauce may not be romantic for all, but for me - it was perfection.
he also made me brocoli cheddar soup which i had kind of been dreaming about ever since our support team made it for us before christmas.  that's a few months worth of dreaming.
i generally don't like store bought cards.  i'm much more of a homemade valentine kind of girl.  this year i found this one though and loved it.  it was us.
these gorgeous stems are still gracing our home.  our house is happier with flowers. 
i think i made a resolution once to start getting flowers for the house. that it would be my little treat. i haven't followed through. i really want some in the yard that i can bring in. i have been working on that a little. i'm not sure if i will reap the benefits just yet since my flowers are coming up 2 months early...but someday. someday. until then i'll enjoy these special little gifts.

a sweet friend from work brought in cupcakes topped with pink icing to celebrate our little lady on the way.  they were the perfect way for ben & i to end our love day meal.  thank you britt!

benny, thank you for taking such good care of me.  all the time not just on love day.  for a man who doesn't like to talk a ton, the things you do say plenty about your kind & generous heart.  i'm so blessed by all the ways you love me.  thank you for propping me up with a pillow this morning since i'm not supposed to sleep on my back. 

you are so dear to me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

week 17

WEEK 17:

what's cooking? [new baby things]: babe was probably a bit over 5" inches long this week, about the size of an baked potato or red onion from crown to rump. and weighs about 5 oz., about the weight of a turnip.  she's "packing on the pounds" which doesn't necessarily sound good for momma.  :)  but they say that it will help keep her warm which i can appreciate since i'm continually freezing.  babe's fingernails and toenails are beginning to form.  flashback to juno: "the-the baby? I don't really know much about it other than, I mean, it has fingernails, allegedly."  itty bitty's skeleton is changing from cartilage to bone and her umbilical cord is growing stronger & thicker [ew slash yay!]

gender: IT'S still A GIRL! [we thinks].  we go back to the doctor in a few weeks and we are scheduled to have another ultra-sound.  i might be planning a little covert op where i don't tell the tech that we already know and just make sure that she has the same findings as our first screening.  we recently heard of a friend of a friend who was told the incorrect gender soooooo i'd like to double / triple / quadruple check before we start namin' names and painting nurseries.  ps.  baby girl b still has no name.  whomp whomp.  we keep having the unsettling feeling of 'what if she's born and doesn't look like a ______.'  does everyone have this?  anyone?  i really really don't want to wait until she gets here to name her.  i want to call her something now but it is just unbelievably difficult for us!

movement: i felt flutters and pokes inside all week long.  i went from being pretty sure it was her to positive that was her moving around in there.  this is supposed to wait until next week but at 4:30a, day 0 of week 18 i felt her on the outside.  i guess that was the first 100% confirmation that i wasn't just imagining things.  i was / am so excited.  that feeling is so bizarre [like there is an alien in your belly] but so incredible all at the same time.  i kind of wanted to laugh & cry all in one moment, at 4 am, perfect!  i'm so excited that she's growing strong in there.

momma developments: weight gain.  it happened this week.  i am definitely bigger than i was a few days ago and think that i'm almost to the stage where people may think i'm prego instead of just thinking i have a chunky pooch [which would be nice].  nose bleeds just keep on coming and my sinuses are really swollen.  i'm trying out a humidifier tonight and hope that will be my sinus-saving-grace.  i may also be allergic to my bed, sad.  i've had a few belly cramps, nothing major and am still very tired, even though they say i should have all kinds of energy now. [not true for me].

total weight gain: 8-10 pounds.  YIKES!  i'm only supposed to gain 12-15 total by the end of this trimester, i think, so i'm not doing so well!  i still have nearly 2 months [7 wks] to go and can only gain a few more pounds to stay on track with what's "healthy".  i've never 'watched my weight' in my whole life, even when it's fluctuated so this should be interesting / impossible.

maternity clothes: finally!  finally!  finally!  i went shopping!  it actually didn't go so well because i didn't find all the things i needed but i did get a few things which i'm hoping to show you soon.  one was a pair of skinny gray-blue pants & one is that maxi-shirt in the pic up there.  its tiny black & white stripe, on super sale and was screaming my name.  they were on clearance and were buy one, get one free.  AAAHHHHH!  a few days later i got my first pair of maternity jeans [which i'm wearing now] and couldn't be happier.  i think i need 1 pair of skinny jeans, 1 pair of wide leg and once spring / summer rolls around maybe another skirt or pair of shorts to hold me through the end.

here i am, one of the many pairs of jeans that didn't fit me.  but they put this awesome / giant bump on me to try things on with.  they say it adds about 3 months so maybe this will be me in may!
[scarf by sweet libby]

cravings: i finally got my cocktail sauce.  i'll share more later.  no cravings this week!

anything hard?
mentally preparing for the future.  just really big changes coming up - feeling pretty overwhelmed

balancing all the things we love and feel called to [like usual]

finding a name for our little babe.  it feels almost impossible.

not having clothes that fit.  i've had the "i have nothing to wear moment" many times in my life but it's never actually been true until recently.  its kind of a helpless feeling and when you're in a hurry, it just plain makes you feel bad about yourself.  when you don't own any pants that button you just feel sad.  but i'm on the mend and buying pants left and right.  [well just the two pairs but that's a start!]

never forget: i'll never ever forget the feeling of you punching me for the first time.  i think that was your little fist anyway.  laying in bed, still and quiet, far away from home you were just trying to get comfortable.  i loved it.  i was so excited to get back to town for your poppa to be able to feel it too.  it's so neat to be reassured that you're ok in there.  that you're growing and strong enough for us to feel you now.  keep growing little bean!

i also loved seeing my family in florida and having them get to see you [even if it was in the bump].   some of the fam i don't get to see for years at a time so this was a really sweet time to share you with them, even if you're the smallest.

baby info sources:
baby center
parents connect

Friday, February 17, 2012

working in the sun: not a bad gig

so about a billion years ago i had the pleasure of heading to florida for 'work'.  where it was 75 degrees.  and lots of my friends from all over the country were celebrating.  hmmm what are the chances?  it is really fun to sell to the ministry that we love and lead and this little venture was no exception.  unfortunately i only took 3 pictures.  all on an airplane.  the clouds looked just like land and i couldn't help myself as i watched the sun come up.
it's trying...
::there she is::
here comes the sun do dum do do

when i got to town i rode in a shuttle with a sweet canadian couple to my hotel for the weekend.  jules greeted me which was lucky since the hotel was about the size of an airport.  it had wings and towers and i had no idea where to go.  i changed out of my nasty airplane clothes [don't worry, i learned my lesson from last time] and into some sunshine attire.

when we went down to the pool i ran into about a gillion friends, many who i haven't seen in months or years and it was such a blessing.  visiting in the warm sunshine, toes in the pool.  ugh.  so good.  just to hear about people's lives and where God has them, what they're learning.  that was a huge blessing to me. 

i may or may not have snuck into the last session of the all staff conference.  shhh don't tell anyone.  there were lots of open seats and they were all but begging for me take them.  i laughed, i cried.  you know...the usual.  i especially loved hearing from a girl who heard the gospel through the love of a young lives leader.  it wasn't that leader that got me, just the story of a girl going from death to life, from hopelessness to eternal hope.  it was so sweet.  secondly, i loved watching a video about the most precious man who's on young life property staff in minnesota.  he takes care of the grounds and all the landscaping.  he was relating his job to the picture of the last supper.  he said [in different words] "in that image you don't see the people who set the table or the people that cleaned it all up, you just see the people communing with Jesus - i feel like i'm called to set the table."  it was just such a humble and awesome way to look at our roles. when it really comes down to it i think we all want to do big things for the kingdom, but what could be greater than setting the stage for someone to encounter Christ?  nothing.  i loved that guy.

i also was able to read through most of the fuel & the flame [its over on my sidebar].  its about campus ministry and while i do high school ministry nearly all of the principles overlap.  there wasn't much 'new' to me in that book but it definitely lit a fire in me.  an excitement to seek hard after the Lord with all i've got and a passion to see my friends become disciples and disciple-makers.

ironically enough, i'm finally posting this and i get to go back to the sunshine state TONIGHT!  i can't wait.  we're having a mini-family reunion down there.  i'm so excited to see my fam and have my pale, see-through skin out in the sunshine [glistening like a vampire] once again.  i'm in some desperate need of vitamin-d.

ps.  i almost had a breakdown packing for this trip.  it seems i now have nothing that fits my body.  on my bottom half i'm down to 2 or 3 options and all of them need tops that work with them.  all my shirts still fit my bump nicely but don't all look nice with the one pair of pants i own.  of course i do have leggings but they are getting a little snug and well, i just don't have that many long shirts, especially that are florida appropriate and not made for winter.  all that complaining to say...i'm gonna look like a hot mess.  watch out world! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

week 16

WEEK 16:

what's cooking? [new baby things]: babe was about 4"-5" inches long this week, about the size of an avacado or mascara.  her skin is still see-through and wrinkly & baby's heart is working hard - it is pumping 25 quarts of blood a day. she also has all the eggs she'll ever have in her ovaries right now - crazy! and her hair pattern on her scalp is forming - her hair is something i think about.  we have lots of different hair types between mine and ben's family and i'm real curious about what kind of locks she'll have.  one thing is pretty certain.  they'll likely be dark!  baby can probably hear our voices.  this makes me happy & so i talk to the baby quite a bit now when i'm alone.  i imagine it kind of sounds like talking underwater in a swimming pool.

gender: IT'S A GIRL! we wrote about her here.  we are unbelievably excited for her little self.  no matter what we would have been thrilled but it is just such a dream to know who's in there.  the next question is always "does she have a name?" and sadly the answer is no :(  we still haven't decided and even though i desperately want to call her something, i don't want to rush into it.  she's stuck with it for life and i want it to be her name.

movement: i think i've felt some little flutters and pokes, mainly when i'm lying still.  they're small and inconsistent so i always wonder if it's just my body grumbling or if it's real.  i think i'm convinced it's her these days [and not just body rumbles].  i'm so excited for when i can be certain and for the day when benny can feel her move around too [that should be in the next 1-3 weeks].  it was fun to see her moving during the ultrasound, although her movements mainly thwarted our gender shots.  her little folded legs and arms were so precious.

momma developments: still cannot complain!  we are so blessed with how this pregnancy has gone, so far it is actually unbelievable.  my little minor 'symptoms':  the nosebleeds continue.  really hoping they end, it's hard to get ready or get anything done with just one hand.  all the one armed people say, amen.  i've had a few belly cramps, i'm thinking my uterus is probably just growing and stretching.  i have had a few headaches now, still no migraines [woohoo!]  and i have breakouts on my back - ew.

total weight gain: 5.5-6.5 pounds

maternity clothes: my sweet friend lu brought me some pants that she bought in between her regular pants and full blown maternity pants.  today i'm wearing those and feeling good.  no rubberbands here!  i hope to go shopping this week and pick up one or two pairs of jeans with the big stretchy tops that will hopefully last me through the end.  although my belly isn't real big right now i think i would still love to be that comfy.  wearing sweatpants is kind of my dream now and i'm thinking stretchy-topped real pants might be a good alternative to wearing sweats to work.

cravings: i've wanted to eat cocktail sauce but haven't.  it isn't one of those things that i have lying around and buying a whole tray of cocktail shrimp and sauce for myself seems a little extreme.

anything hard?
this past week was really fun but really busy.  i have some anxiety about what life post-baby will be like and how we'll juggle it all.  this past week we were learning about God's peace though and how having your hope set on eternity really puts things in perspective.  i have nothing to worry or fear because the Lord's promises are true - he is with me and fights for me.  regardless of my circumstances, my God is faithful.

never forget:  this week we found out you were a little lady!  just seeing you in general is gift enough but to know who is in there - just crazy.  knowing that you're going to grow into a little girl makes me so excited. i love all things girly but should you turn out to be a tom-boy i promise to learn to throw ball [or catch bugs or whatever you love].  i hope that we encourage your little personality and get to speak truth to you daily.  i want you to be confident, with a security that comes from the Lord.  i pray that even from a young age that you'd know how the Lord cares for you & sees you & that you'd see yourself and others through those eyes.  we pray that you'd love people deeply, be authentic & genuine.

ps i kind of hope you love dresses.
baby info sources:
baby center
parents connect
baby zone

Friday, February 10, 2012

so happy to announce...

her lady parts. lets pretend this never happened when she's older.
we couldn't be more excited!  we are thrilled to be parents to a precious little baby girl.
i had a feeling there was a little girl in there.  i don't know why that was my guess but i knew it!  it took a few minutes for little miss dainty to uncross her ankles.  after some coaxing we could see that there was an absense of 'something' but not really girly parts.  eventually, in her own time [of course] she let us know that she was a little princess.  babe was curled up in a little ball but the u/s lady assured me that she had plenty of room in there, she just must be a snuggler [like her momma].

sweet little girl, we love you so much already!

this morning i celebrated with a pink lemonade.  in your honor little lady!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

tutu's or mustaches?

today is the day!  we find out who exactly is growing so big in my belly.  excited doesn't really begin to explain what we're feeling i don't think.  i can't wait to see it on that little screen again - see it moving all around.  it is such a comforting feeling to know & see that it's ok in there.  i know that my confidence shouldn't lie in that, i'm trying to give up that control but it really is such an amazing thing to see the baby with your eyes.  and to know if it is a little he or a little she.  ugh - icing on the cake!  i cannot hardly wait.  i'm excited to not call it and 'it' anymore.  i'm excited to dream of what that little itty bitty is like in there.  start planning where he or she will live.  have a name - is it 5:30 yet?

my guess is a sweet little girl

feel free to leave your guess for little ballerina or football player too so you can gloat over your victory in the comment section.

what will be filling our closets soon?

things for a little gentleman?
or a little lady?

 [all baby items from zara]

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


today...i woke up when i should be getting in my car for the office.

today i thought my makeup was in the car where i put it on at my one stop-light each day.  it wasn't.  my face looks like...well, my face - but lets just say, it ain't pretty.  a bit of mascara certainly wouldn't hurt the situation.

today i rubberbanded my pants shut.  at work.  one word - sad.  the constricting waistband while sitting just wasn't going to happen today.  maternity pants, this song's for you.

at around noon i realized that my underwear were on inside out.

happy tuesday everyone.

you know what monica would say...it's just one of dem days

[found here]

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

happy birthday, you handsome stud

my sweet husband.   happy birthday!  you are so old.  i am blessed daily to have you as mine & i am so so so thankful for you.  you genuinely have been one of the greatest gifts i've ever recieved. i truly cannot imagine living life with anyone else.  thank you for caring for me, encouraging me, learning with me, teaching me, ministering the gospel & working so hard.  thank you for being in it for always.  i hope to never take you for granted!  i'm so excited for this next chapter together - you're going to be such an awesome papa.  babe loves you already! [ps babe says "happy birthday old man!" & is wearing a tiny party hat]

i hope you have the best birthday of all time!  i can't wait to celebrate with you tonight as we cheer on the cats [thank you brzinski's] & eat cupcakes.

love you dearly!