Thursday, October 31, 2013

We're Not Halloween People

My husband and I are not Halloween people... we definitely are holiday people -- but Halloween is just not our thing.  We have never dressed up in costumes together, and we've never attended a Halloween party in our time together.  We each participated in the usual high school and college Halloween fun, but, in our life together we really don't have the need or desire for Halloween celebrations and neither one of us feels like we are missing anything.

Depending on how crazy the week has been, some years, we don't even pass out candy -- we turn out the lights, and go to sleep!  (Don't tell the neighborhood kids -- we don't want our house egged.)

All of that being said, I received a few text messages this past week that made me REALLY excited for Next Halloween.

This is our adorable niece, Zivah, all ready for Halloween.  Isn't she the cutest thing you've ever seen?

  She is the cutest thing I've ever seen -- which made me realize that a year from now, I will be dressing up my own little Halloween Cutie... and that made me REALLY excited, and more of a fan of Halloween than I've ever been!  We may even be borrowing this Tigger costume next year.

Hang tight, Zivah... your little cousin in on his/her way!  :-D

Happy Halloween!

image signature

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Colorado Autumn

Colorado Autumn is gorgeous.  That's all.

Autumn is when all the leaves become flowers.

image signature

Monday, October 28, 2013

Treasuring the Present: Early To Bed

Hubby and I definitely have a routine that we can count on each week.  Hubby stays up late doing grad school Sunday night... and I don't sleep well Sunday night as a result.  (It probably doesn't help that I get a lot of sleep over the weekend, so its hard to fall asleep Sunday night).  As a result, Monday evening we are both exhausted and we go to bed early.

Then Tuesday is a LONG day!!!  We are going from dawn until well after dusk -- full work days, after school teaching, then birthing class 45 miles away.

Then, Wednesday is another early morning (on the road at 6 am) for another full day of teaching.

All that to say, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights, Hubby and I collapse into bed and are asleep in no time.

This bothers me -- I enjoy relaxing during the evening, and savoring some time with my husband, when one work day has ended, and before another one begins.  I sort of resent the fact that I have to sleep, because there are so many other things I would rather be doing -- especially relaxing.  Sleeping is relaxing, but I'm unconscious, so I don't enjoy it as much as conscious relaxation.

Nevertheless, today, I want to treasure the present, which is that Hubby and I CAN fall asleep early on these nights when we are so exhausted.  A time is coming, when we will have a little baby on our hands, and in our room, who will not let us fall asleep early and sleep through the night.

Sleeping is not my favorite thing to do... but today, I am very grateful for the chance to get sleep when I need it.

image signature

Preggers I: 26 Weeks

 Can you tell which weeks we forget to take the picture in church clothes, and instead we take the picture after a shower, when I'm ready for bed?  This is what a non-maternity (Cardinals) shirt looks on me these days -- GO CARDS!

How far along?  26 weeks

How I am feeling?  Pretty well.  Lloyd and I did some walking/jogging this week, and it felt great to be out there, although 30 minutes is about my maximum time limit before the weight of my uterus starts to really affect me.
How big is baby?  The size of a head of lettuce... 13.6-14.8 inches and 1.5-2.2 lbs

Sleep:  I've been sleeping really well (Thank You, Lord!)  I am using a pillow between my legs to help ease the stress on my lower back, but I seem to have the hang of it now.
Boy/Girl Prediction:  I've actually been thinking, this week, that the baby might be a girl.  Although it could just be that Hubby and I, again, discussed girls names and we still have ABSOLUTELY NO girls name on the face of the earth that we've been able to agree on yet.
Baby Nicknames:  Baby, Nugget, or Jitterbug

Best moment this week:  Going out jogging with Lloyd in the beautiful October weather was pretty awesome.  I found a dirt road near our house where it felt nice to jog without doing so on the sidewalks in our neighborhoods.  I'm not feeling my most athletic at the moment, and so the privacy and tranquility of the dirt road was perfect.  Also, Hubby and I had our first Bradley Method class, and it is nice to feel like we're on the same page and we know what we're supposed to be practicing.

Food cravings:  Food that is spicy... and honey nut cheerios.
Missing:   Regular coffee this past week.  I even made decaf for myself two mornings, which still has more caffeine than I usually get -- but life is getting hectic, which means I am needing morning coffee and decaf or iced tea is all I get.

Maternity Clothes:  Yes, in fact, many of my summer clothes, and winter non-maternity clothes have been packed up, labeled, and put in the basement to make room for the maternity clothes in my closet.
Movements:  Yes, and this is amazing!  I absolutely love the feeling of our baby moving inside me -- but usually I don't have any idea what part of the baby is moving.  Was that an arm, or a leg, or a foot, or was the baby rolling over?  I'm clueless.

Labor Signs:  No.  Thank goodness!

General Attitude:  Positive and excited for the next few weeks.  Between now and Thanksgiving, I have some major projects I want to get accomplished at home -- this past weekend, I organized the things in our guest room, I've started to think about how we're going to organize our home to make room for the baby, and I'm excited about these weeks to come and all that we can accomplish -- is this the start of nesting?

What I am looking forward to this week:  Continuing to organize our house and getting out for more walks with Lloyd.

Milestones:  I'm at 26 weeks, which is a really dose of reality because my closest cousin (she was a bridesmaid in our wedding) was born at 26 weeks in 1985.  She was in an incubator for a long time, and I was only about 20 months old, so I don't remember the details, but to see her today, you would never imagine she was born so premature.  Nevertheless, I work with SO MANY students who were born premature, and therefore have Retinopathy of Prematurity (visual disability due to premature birth), or other visual or physical impairments that I CANNOT IMAGINE our baby arriving so early.  Stay put, little Nugget -- you've still got a lot of cooking to do.

  My cousin, born at 26 weeks, with me at Chris and my wedding.

image signature

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Best Songs...

I love the show NASHVILLE, but I rarely watch it on Wednesday night.  Chris and I enjoy catching up on shows that we like on the weekend, and DVR lets us record everything and then fast-forward through commercials.  :-D

That being said, I watched this weeks episode of NASHVILLE on Friday night, and this song as been going through my mind ever since I saw it.  The back story is that this singer was in a very serious car accident, and even once she came back to work, her voice was not the same.  She was hopeful that her voice would heal, in time, but the fact was that, when she opened her mouth, she wasn't sure what was going to come out.

In this scene, she is blind-sided at a charity event and made to take the stage and sing -- whether she's ready or not.  Her emotion combined with the words of this song are breathtaking, and tear-jerking.

image signature

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Here and Now

What a fun list... I found it from a fellow blogger.

Making:  An effort to CLEAN OUR HOUSE this weekend!  The state of our house has been deplorable since August due to all of my travel

Cooking:  More and more these days -- Chili, Spaghetti sauce, Baked chicken, Applesauce, and Pumpkin dishes I love Autumn!
Drinking:  Water all the time -- and sometimes sparkling pear juice when I want to celebrate -- oh, and white grape juice each morning.
Reading:  Mostly blogs, and trying to spend time reading my Bradley Method Pregnancy Workbook, and The Bradley Method: Husband-Coached Child Birth
Wanting: To be rubbed by my hubby at the end of each day -- you name it -- feet, legs, lower back, shoulders.  My hubby takes good care of my pregger body.

Looking:  Like I have a volleyball under my shirt every day.
Playing: I don't play much these days -- maybe, playing like a wife when I take care of my hubby?
Wasting:  Time in the car driving from school to school every day -- but I have no choice.  I have to go where the students are.

Sewing:  What I reap.
Wishing:  That my Orientation and Mobility Certification exam was over -- this is the national test I'm not required to take, but want to take for this degree I just completed.

Enjoying:  Feeling baby movements inside me... and especially when hubby gets to feel Baby moving too.
Waiting:  For the first week in November for my trip to Nashville with my mom, cousin, and aunt for the CMA Awards!!!!
Liking:  My afternoon walks with Lloyd in the beautiful fall weather -- although I'm usually spent after 30 minutes.

Wondering:  Whether our baby is a boy or a girl.
Loving:  Weekends with my hubby!
Hoping:  The Lord meets all of our current and forthcoming needs with our baby coming.
Marveling:  At the baby movements in my belly!
Needing:  To clean our house ASAP!

Smelling:  Soap leftover from the last time I washed my hands.

Wearing:   Well... pajamas at the moment, but maternity clothes, or hubby's clothes most waking hours.

Following:  College football standings, and University of Michigan football really closely -- Oh, and how the Cardinals are doing in the World Series.  GO CARDS!

Noticing:  How appreciative my hubby is when I keep the laundry clean, dishes clean, and go out shooting with him.

Knowing:  How precious are these final months with just my hubby and me, and our critters.  Our life will never be like this again, and I will remember these first years of marriage so fondly, forever.
Thinking:  That Rayna's song on last week's episode of NASHVILLE was amazing and absolutely made me cry.  I will need to download it soon.  "The best songs come from broken hearts..."
Bookmarking:  Pre-natal all-fours pelvic tilt exercises on youtube... I didn't quite get the hang of them from our workbook, and the video demonstrations helped.
Opening:  Our pressure cooker today for canning applesauce and tomatoes!
Giggling:  At Jay Leno's Monday night "Headlines" -- hubby and I DVR his show, just so we can laugh at headlines once a week.
Feeling:  So happy with life right this minute -- a gorgeous October weekend, safe and warm at home, with my amazing husband, our gestating baby, and our two animals.

image signature

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Letters... I Love October!

  • Dear October, I LOVE YOU!  You have to be the most beautiful month of the year.  I can't believe you are almost over and Halloween is right around the corner.  Every day, the beauty of autumn leaves takes my breath away.  Thank you for being such a beautiful month!
  • Dear Daddy, Congratulations!
  • Dear Pregnancy Exercises, It's been nice to incorporate you into life this week and feel like I know what I'm supposed to be doing and why you are important.
  • Dear Cardinals, BEAT BOSTON!!!!
  • Dear Hubby, Good luck getting a deer this weekend... I bet you'll have better hunting odds without your pregger wife tagging along.
  • Dear Weekend, You will be full of cleaning, organizing, and canning.  You have been warned.
  • Dear Woman Who Told Me I Looked Really Small For Being Due In February, God Bless You!
  • Dear Little Baby,  You are just the cutest little thing.  I love feeling you move.
  • Dear Hubby, I love being pregnant with your baby.
  • Dear Friday, You are such a good friend!

image signature

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Hubby and I are SO happy right now.  We feel like the most blessed, lucky, fortunate, most-loved of God's children on the face of the earth.  I don't want there to be any doubt in anyone's mind about how incredibly happy we are -- both as a couple in our marriage, and about our little baby.

That being said, I don't want to go through this entire pregnancy without documenting the incredible fear, uncertainty, and feelings of being overwhelmed I am struggling with and praying about throughout these nine months.

  • Chris and I are going to be responsible for a human life -- a brand new, helpless, growing, baby-becoming-an-adult person, human life.  THAT IS HUGE!
  • We have no idea how we're going to afford a baby
  • Sometimes I catch myself having the same thoughts I have had for years... "Someday, when we have a baby ... (insert whatever the situation)"  Then, I realize that ready or not, that someday of our having a baby is now!  We already have a baby... and we will be meeting that baby in a matter of months.
  • I absolutely love being married to Chris -- it took me 26 years to find him, and we've only had some 28 months of marriage just the two of us -- now we're suddenly not just husband and wife, we are mother and father.  What is that going to do to this amazing relationship I have come to love and feel so comfortable in?  We will never be just the two of us again.  I am struggling to be okay with the idea that our perfect little two-person family is ending.
  • Our days of being selfish are over.  They have to be.  We love to travel, and play, and relax, and enjoy our hobbies, and try new things, and live in the mountains... and the list goes on and on.  Suddenly, we are responsible for the life of our child.  All of our decisions -- large and small -- have to revolve around the best interest of this baby.
  • Childbirth is scary.  We are in classes to prepare for natural childbirth (The Bradley Method), and I am now doing exercises to prepare, and I know when the time comes, I will be relatively ready for it -- but childbirth is a scary idea.  Not only is the process something I have never done before -- but when it's over, it's just the BEGINNING of something else I've never done before -- I become the mother of a baby!!!
  • I like to sleep and my husband LOVES to sleep.  I hear that babies don't really let you do that very often.
I can't emphasize this enough -- life as Hubby and I know it is about to be over -- and the unknowns ahead are endless.  We are so blessed to be expecting this baby... and I want to focus on the blessing and the excitement on this blog... but the truth is, more often than not, I am very scared of this change.  I feel unprepared for this life change.  I feel inadequate for the task ahead.  I feel overwhelmed at the responsibility ahead and the changes that will need to occur.

Most days, I really love being pregnant -- but that doesn't mean I feel excited, or even ready, for motherhood.

Chris and I have complete faith that his baby is a gift from the Lord, and he/she has been perfectly knit together in my womb.  We absolutely believe that God's timing is perfect, and that we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.  We believe we are called to be parents, and apparently, we are called to be parents right now.  We have faith that the Lord will guide us through every decision and change ahead of us, and He will provide for all of our needs.

All of that being said... I try to focus on the excitement and blessing of this pregnancy, because daily I am praying about my fear and uncertainty.

image signature

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Treasuring the Present: Our Animals

We have two wonderful dependents these days -- our beautiful, loving kitty-cat, and our adorable, eager-to-please puppy-dog.  The days of our animals being our only dependents are rapidly coming to an end.

In a matter of months, we will have a crying, wiggling, squirming, lovable, helpless human baby on our hands and in our home.  Hubby and I have very little idea the many ways in which our lives are going to be turned upside down when our bundle of joy arrives, and we have even less idea how our little baby will change our family and affect our four-legged critters.

Right now, I am cherishing our moments with two furry children in our house... and one in utero.

While one never wants to think that she hinders the growth of her family, I see, now that I am back from Texas, that, in my absence, Hubby, Lexie and Lloyd have grown much closer than ever before.  Lexie and Hubby especially seem to have a bond that they have never had before -- he is taking time to pet her each day, and she is taking time to play around with him each day.  It absolutely warms my heart.

My first night home from Texas, I fell asleep before I was settled in bed -- I was laying on pillows watching tv with Hubby... and the next morning, he showed me these pictures:


We absolutely love our two animal babies, and we eagerly anticipate the arrival of our first human baby.  But today, I'm cherishing the moments with our two furry pets, and our time remaining of a family of four -- two humans, two animals.

image signature

Monday, October 21, 2013

Preggers I: 25 Weeks

How far along? 25 weeks

How I am feeling?  In one word... large.  My uterus is up to the base of my sternum (according to the measurement taken by OBGYN) and its size is right on target... I just don't have any more torso left into which the uterus can expand.  I'm a little nervous about the fact that baby has no where to grow but out.
How big is baby? The size of a rutabaga, or cauliflower... 13.6-14.8 inches and 1.5-2.2 lbs

Sleep: Sleep is pretty good, and much appreciated when I get it.  I have pretty much figured out what positions work for me, and Lloyd is learning that he can't lay on me the way he used to.
Boy/Girl Prediction:  I'm not sure... a boy or a girl.  The baby's heart rate was 150 bpm at our appointment... so I don't know what that means for a boy/girl prediction.
Baby Nicknames:  Baby, Nugget, or Jitterbug

Best moment this week:  I just love feeling the baby move around.  The movements are getting bigger, and it is just the COOLEST thing ever!

Food cravings:  Mostly pasta dishes... and honey nut cheerios
Missing:  A glass of wine to end the week -- but sparkling pear juice was a good substitute. 

Maternity Clothes: Yes, indeed.  This week one colleague asked if she could touch my bell, and another told me that I "popped" overnight.
Movements:  Yes, and LOVING them!  Hubby still can't feel as many as I can, but he feels a few.  He is excited for the "big kicks" -- or, as he says, "when the baby kicks so hard, my hand bounces off the belly."  Yeah... he's the only one looking forward to those kicks.

Labor Signs: No.  Thank goodness!

General Attitude:  Feeling good, and trying to cherish this time in life:  pregnancy feeling good, time with my hubby, and feeling our healthy little baby move around.

What I am looking forward to this week:  We have our first Bradley Method Birthing class on Tuesday.  Tuesday is going to be a REALLY long day... but it will be exciting to start our class and meet another couple expecting a baby around the same time we are.

Milestones:  I went hunting with my hubby PREGNANT for the first time.  It is officially much more difficult to hunt pregnant than not pregnant.  We didn't get a deer, but my hubby was very proud of me.
image signature

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Out Hunting

Yesterday Hubby and I went out hunting.  We didn't kill any deer... but Hubby informed me that spending the day out together in nature, seeing our beautiful mountains, and enjoying time together is never a waste.

image signature

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Most Beautiful Secret

These days, my awake hours are filled with the most beautiful secret.  I am feeling my baby moving often throughout the day.

** Note, this is NOT my belly.  Our baby's feet are not nearly that big yet.

I have always been VERY interested and curious about babies moving in their mother's stomachs.  I was the youngest/only child, and so I never experienced the familiarity of touching Mom's belly to feel the baby kick.  Then, I never had a close sister, or even close friend, who was living in the same town, that I could feel the baby kick with any regularity.  I don't know where my curiosity came from, but for years, I have been, I think, unnaturally interested in babies moving inside the womb.

I didn't know my interest was unnatural, until I, myself, am pregnant.  I have been known... on more than one occasion... to ask a close friend or family member, that if the baby moves while I'm around, to PLEASE tell me and let me put my hand on their stomach.  I didn't realize that was weird, until I became pregnant and realized that NO ONE, even close friends, have made this request of me.  I think I really am a weirdo.

That being said, I am in heaven right now, because I get to feel my baby moving whenever he/she does.  Not even my Hubby knows all the little movements, pokes, jabs, rolls, and squirms I feel these days, and it feels like I have the most beautiful secret.  It feels like the first communication I am having with... and the first secret I am sharing with my son or daughter.

There may be times when the baby's movements are too big (or surprising, or painful) for me to hide the fact that I a feel the baby.  But for now, no one knows the baby is moving, including my hubby, unless I share that information.  I have gotten to feel these movements grow, and strengthen, and shift around in my uterus.  There is really something living and growing in there -- as if my growing belly were not proof enough.

Motherhood is different for everyone, and I will admit that I don't think I became a mother the moment I saw the (six) positive pregnancy tests.  I don't think I became a mother the first time we heard our baby's heartbeat, or saw our baby's picture -- back when it was the size of a peanut.  I don't think I became a mother when the morning sickness began or when my clothes began to get tight.  I became a mother when I began to feel our baby move inside my stomach.

These days, I have the most beautiful secret, and I could not be happier about it.

image signature

Friday, October 18, 2013

1000 Words

1000 words... but the words you can't read from the pictures include...
I was the first one to successfully throw the ball and dunk him.  :-D  The students were really impressed, and my hubby was really surprised.

I love this man so much!

image signature

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Weekend Fun

Last weekend Chris and I had fun preparing for hunting... and blasting away the drop-off study guide I used for my O&M drop-off assignment.

Remember this study guide from June from my blindfold drop-off?

It was symbolic, cathartic, therapeutic, and AWESOME.

Plus... my hubby videoed it... because he thinks its really hot when his pregnant wife has fun shooting guns.

Without further ado... here was some fun from our weekend:

image signature

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Keeping It Light

Since arriving back from Texas, I'm trying to keep things at work light.  The schools did not crumble while I was was away... and I still work about 10 hours/day... but I don't have to stress so much about it.  Or, at least I am trying not to stress so much about it.

I'm trying to work hard with the time I have... and then stop working for the day and rest until tomorrow.

In an effort to keep it light, I want to share a video that my husband showed me that made me laugh SOOO hard!  Maybe its because we have a puppy who LOVES to play catch, and will jump way up into the air in order to catch a ball in his mouth... but I find this video hysterical!

I hope this lightens up your day as much as it did mine.

image signature

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Treasuring the Present: Boy or Girl...

Hubby and I are having...



 ... a Boy or a Girl!


There is no denying it -- our baby is either a boy or a girl.

Chris and I both want...

Yes, we want a healthy baby... but we want both a boy and a girl.  We hope that this baby will not be our only baby... we want at least one boy and at least one girl -- at least one daughter and at least one son -- hopefully two of each, eventually.

So then, the questions becomes which do we want FIRST... a boy or a girl.

I have thought a lot about this question... not that Hubby and I have a choice on this matter... but it is fun to think about.  Since I am not planning a purple or green nursery (A blog topic for another time -- How did Pink and Blue become the signature colors of boys or girls?  The beauty lies in Purple and Green, people!!  Embrace the purple and green color scheme!)  There are Pros and Cons to having either first.

Pros to a Firstborn Son:
  • A big brother and male leader for future siblings
  • We are almost completely sure of the name for our first... and second sons (for daughters, Chris and my opinions mix like oil and water)
  • Chris' sister has a baby girl who will be about 6 months older than our child, and it might be nice if they were not the same sex.  If Zivah is allowed to do something or wear something, it might be easier if we had a boy the same age instead of a girl asking why she isn't allowed to do/wear the same thing.
  • Chris' father and grandfather are still alive, and if we had a son, we would be able to have 4 generations of Miller men together.  That would be beautiful and very meaningful.  Tomorrow is promised to no one, and so this would be such a blessing.    (My only living grandparent is my mom's father, so we will be very blessed to have four generations of family together, but it is not so monumental as four generations of Miller men... or four generations of mothers and daughters).
  • On Chris' side, his grand parents only have great-grand daughters (and his parents only have a grand daughter).  If we had a son, he would be the first male of the next generation on that side.
  • Chris is so excited for a son... a miniature Christopher James.  I am excited for a son too... I'm just a little afraid of a miniature Christopher James.  :-D

Pros to a Firstborn Daughter:
  • A big sister and a "little mother" for future siblings
  • On my side, my parents only have grand sons.  If we had a daughter, she would be the first female of the next generation on that side
  • I want a sweet, perfect, frilly, joyful little girl... because I was as sweet, perfect, frilly, joyful little girl.  I am hoping to see myself in a daughter someday.
  • I want little dresses, bows, curls, ribbons, nail polish, and tutus to scatter my house someday.
  • I'm not sure that I think girls are easier per se... but I've been a little girl, so in my mind, a girl is going to be easier than a boy... and maybe if we have a little girl first, she can sort of tone down the craziness of her little brother when he arrives a few years from now... maybe... wishful thinking?
  • I am so excited for a daughter... a miniatures Brookie.  Chris is excited for a daughter too... he just seems to think she will be a tom-boy (he's nuts)!
So... there you have it.  We want both, daughters and sons and there are about equal the numbers of pros and cons to our having either one first.  I can't wait to re-read this post when our sons and daughters are in middle school and look back at who I THOUGHT the children would be compared to who they ACTUALLY ARE.

Today, I am treasuring the present -- that we have so much to learn about our child.  We have a lifetime ahead of learning about our child... the first question -- is it a boy or a girl... and then a lifetime ahead of learning all the traits and characteristics that makes our firstborn boy or girl an unique individual.  What color eyes, or hair will he/she have?  Will the child be a miniature Chris, or a miniature Brooke... both or neither?  We have so much to learn about our baby, and today, I am treasuring that all of these discoveries are ahead.

The bottom line is we are so excited to be having this baby, and whichever kind we are blessed with first -- a son or a daughter, we are prayerful that he/she will be healthy, happy, and God-honoring.  We know that God has perfectly knit this boy or girl together in my womb to be the firstborn of our family, and our faith and our family's future rests completely in Him.

image signature

Monday, October 14, 2013

Preggers I: 24 Weeks

How far along? 24 weeks

How I am feeling? Different things at different moments -- happy when I feel the baby move; loved when my hubby puts his hands on my belly; large when I try to roll over in bed; excited to be home and with my hubby for the duration of the pregnancy.

Weight gain/loss:  Weight gain... the right amount.

How big is baby? As long as an ear of corn, or as large as a cantaloupe... 10.5-11.8 inches and 12.7-20.8 oz

Sleep: Getting less and less comfortable... although I have only been uncomfortable since I've arrived home, so I'm hoping I just need to get used to sharing a bed with my hubby and a large puppy.
Boy/Girl Prediction:  I haven't really thought much about it this week... either a boy or a girl.
Baby Nicknames:  Baby, Nugget, or Jitterbug

Best moment this week:  Being back home with my hubby!!!!

Food cravings:  Honey-nut Cheerios and things that are spicy... although, I haven't had the guts to try to make a spicy version of Honey-nut Cheerios
Missing: Nothing, now that I'm home sweet home! 

Maternity Clothes: Yes, and needing to figure out winter clothes ASAP!
Movements:  Yes, and LOVING them!  I think they are really big and noticeable because they are SO much bigger and stronger than they were a few weeks ago... but hubby keeps putting his hand on my stomach and can only feel about 1 in 5 baby kicks/movements... so I guess they're still pretty little and gentle.

Labor Signs: No.  Thank goodness!

General Attitude: Happy to be home... and a little nervous about going back to work today.  I know I've grown so much in the last three weeks -- in a good way -- but I'm a little nervous.

What I am looking forward to this week:  I have a doctor's appointment on Thursday, and it will be good to check in with them again and hear that everything is going well.  Oh, and hubby and I are going deer hunting this weekend -- I apparently will be wearing his old camouflage because I don't fit in my camouflage.  We'll see how this goes.

Milestones:  Well... not a good milestone, but I've noticed a decrease in my bladder size this week.  I'm very curious how this will affect hunting this weekend.
image signature

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Home Sweet Home

I am Home Sweet Home with my Hubby, our little nugget, and critters.

image signature

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Boys of Fall...

I love the boys of fall... and no, I do not mean the tress that change colors or the Veteran's we celebrate the second Monday in November (although I really love them, too).  I love the boys, of all ages, all across the country, who take the field every fall and play that tough, passionate, and hard-nosed game called Football.

I never played football... but I LOVE football.

I was in a minority of students at my high school (and an even smaller minority of females) who went to the high school football games TO WATCH THE GAME!  Growing up, our next-door neighbors happened to be three boys who were the starting varsity quarterbacks for our high school for seven consecutive seasons (if my math is correct)... and I would talk to them at family summer picnics and Christmas gatherings about why our coach was making certain decisions or running certain offensive and defensive strategies.

The amount of physicality, aggression passion, masculinity, and yet DISCIPLINE required to play football at any level demands a tremendous amount of my respect.  I love the game, and I love the boys and men who apply themselves to the discipline and devotion this game requires.

The men get the thrill of gameday... but they get that thrill because they've put in the hours, and hours, and days, and weeks of extremely difficult practices leading up to gameday.  Even the kids warming the bench who rarely see action during an actual game have earned their spots on that bench by running the same drills, practicing the same plays, and putting forth the same hard work as the stars of the team.

I know that the hype and glory of professional football players, college players, and maybe, in some places, even high school players gets out of hand.  And I know that sometimes the pressure to win can lead to wrong decisions, cheating, and more... and those are the men that I admire.  But those players didn't start off as big stars with poor morals -- they began as little boys playing backyard football.  They devoted summer after summer after summer, and autumn after autumn after autumn to learning the game, loving the game, and running the drills.  Those are the boys of fall I admire.  Most of the boys of fall are never recognized for their football talent, they never receive a college scholarship, and they are not drafted to the NFL.  These men learn the lessons of football, hopefully have the time of their life... and then take those lessons and that work ethic that they learned and apply it to a different career path.  These young football boys who become hard working men are the boys of fall I admire.

I take joy in supporting my favorite football teams because those are young men that are still learning the value of hard work.  In a world where kids play video games instead of raking the yard, and are overweight because they've never been encouraged to shut off the tv and play outside, I am proud of the young men who are devoting their time and energy to a TOUGH, demanding, painful, physical, team sport.

I know my children will be their own people, and I have no idea if Hubby and my little, unborn bundle of joy will be a boy or a girl or like football or soccer or science or movies or history or hunting... but I would consider it a tremendous honor to, someday, eventually have a son play on a football team.

This post is for The Boys of Fall...

image signature

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Austin Surprise Part 3

The story of my husband surprising me in Austin continues.  Don't forget about parts one and two.

After the most enjoyable, surprising and memorable Friday night with my husband and my best friend, I got to wake up next to my husband in Austin Saturday morning and cherish the entire day with him!

We had fallen into bed around 3:30am Friday night/Saturday morning... but there was NO WAY I was going to waste these precious hours I had with Chris in Austin in a state of slumber.  I had us up and going and out the door by 10am.

Before I go on, I should say that I thought I knew the plans for Saturday evening.  Up until Chris appeared, I THOUGHT the plans were that Kelley and I were driving up to Waco for the WVU v. Baylor football game!  One of the first things I asked Chris when I saw him Friday night was, "Are you going to the Baylor game with us?"  He sort of chuckled and said, "Well, Sweetie, Kelley's not going to the game.  Just you and I are going to the Baylor game."  Apparently Kelley was never planning on going to the game -- she couldn't spend the time away from her dissertation... she had always been the decoy to hide the fact that Chris and I were going to the game.

So, we knew we had to be in Waco in time for kickoff... but the rest of the day was ours to spend in Austin.

We began our Austin day with some good ole Tex Mex.

Next, we took advantage of this rare time together without animals, obligations, and responsibilities... and went to an Austin Buy Buy Baby store.

Trying out rocking chairs at Buy Buy Baby
We had begun our registry at Buy Buy Baby in Denver the night before I left for Texas, but we weren't really doing it because we were ready, or excited, or wanting to... we did it because we knew it was something that had to get done.  We are blessed to be having a few showers in the coming months, and we don't get to Denver often (which is the nearest Buy Buy Baby store), so we had to make the most of our time there.  In Austin, we could actually relax, browse, laugh, and joke about some of the USELESS items on the market for babies.  Plus, this store was much bigger than the store we had visited in Denver, so we were able to compare different items, and update our registry as needed.  We had a great time... and no tears were shed (unlike the experience of registering in Denver the night before I left for Texas).

Austin has such a warm place in our hearts after our weekend together, that we had a get a little Longhorn sleeper for our Nugget
Then, off to Waco we went... only to find out that we were not seeing the game, just the two of us.  Chris had arranged for my friend, Obinna, from Dallas to come down to join us for the game.  The surprises just never stopped all weekend.

This picture was taken right at our seats... we were front row behind the end zone!
We had AMAZING seats (thank you Stub Hub) for the game, the weather was brisk and fall-like (some Texans were wearing scarves, hats, and mittens... it was very comical), and to top things off, Baylor won!  It was a perfect football night!

When Hubby and I arrived home around 1:00am, we were SO exhausted and collapsed into bed.  It is very safe to say, the ONLY thing that had any chance of making us stay a awake even a moment longer than absolutely necessary, was the hope of Chris feeling our baby move.

I had started to feel bigger and bigger movements from the baby the week before Hubby surprised me, and I was excited for Chris to be able to feel the baby when I got back to Denver.  Then, with the 32 hours we had together, Hubby and I were on the run constantly, so even when I felt the baby moving, the situation wasn't such that Chris was able to feel anything.

So, in bed Saturday night after 1:00am, I started poking my abdomen hoping that the rule of "Never wake a sleeping baby" didn't apply in utero.  The baby's movements were right at my belly button, so they weren't the easiest to feel... but sure enough within 2 minutes, Hubby... or I guess I should say, Daddy had felt his first three little kicks from our perfect little jitterbug.

This day was truly the textbook definition of perfect.

Our amazing 32 hours ended Sunday morning when Hubby headed off for an early flight back to Colorado.  He left me with memories of the most joyful weekend we had had in a very long time, and the determination to recognize that I had four days left to my practicum... and now was the time to finish what I started and haul tail back to Colorado and the arms of my husband.

image signature