Saturday, November 30, 2013

Beat Ohio.

Beat Ohio.
Its a long shot... but its the theme of the day.

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday Letters: Black Friday

  • Dear Thanksgiving, You were delicious and delightful this year... although I'm not sure that it really felt like Thanksgiving because it was so different from all other years.
  • Dear Green Bean Casserole, I missed you this year -- I think Hubby and I might have to make some in December to make up for missing you this Thanksgiving.
  • Dear Zivah, You are the most adorable niece I could ever imagine!  Its so exciting to see you at 5 months old, and how much you've changed since July.  I can't believe I am going to have my own little baby soon who will be your little cousin.
  • Dear Millers, I am excited for our Christgiving gift exchange today -- all thought wrapped presents are starting to taunt me.
  • Dear Black Friday, I have no use for you, but I think its great that so many Americans get out and support our economy on this day.
  • Dear Little Baby Jitterbug, I think you really like turkey because you were moving and dancing up a STORM yesterday.  Maybe you know that I ate more food yesterday than normal, and you were trying to work off the extra calories.  Feeling you move is the most amazing feeling I could ever imagine.  I am going to miss that so much when you are born.
  • Dear Hubby, I love you more and more every day.  Parenthood is going to be crazy... but I am so excited for the journey with you.
  • Dear Lloyd, You are a very happy, but wild dog when we visit your cousins in St. Louis
  • Dear Lexie, You seem to be handling this St. Louis trip pretty well.  Thanks for being flexible -- I know this is not your favorite place to visit.
  • Dear Michigan, BEAT OHIO!!!!!
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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I don't think I could list all of our blessings this Thanksgiving if I was giving a year to do it.  God as been so good to us, and we are so humbled by our blessings.

Wishing you a wonderful day of Thanks with your loved ones.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Over the River...

Over the river and through the woods, to our baby's grandmother's house we go...

Hubby and I are off to St. Louis for Thanksgiving, the Miller family Christmas gift exchange (affectionately coined "Christgiving" this year), and our first baby shower.

This is our first Thanksgiving leaving Colorado since before we knew each other.  Three years ago, my parents came to Colorado, and that is when Chris asked permission to marry me.  Then, the first two years of our marriage, my parents AND all of Chris' family came to stay with us in Rifle for Thanksgiving.

This year, because of some Christmas travel logistics, AND Chris' family throwing us a baby shower, we are off to St. Louis.

I will miss my parents -- my first Thanksgiving without them since my Jr. year of college, when I was studying abroad in Rome, but they will have a lovely Thanksgiving in Colorado, and we saw them before we left and will see them after we get back.  They even came to my doctor's appointment yesterday and met my OBGYN, and got to hear the baby's heartbeat.  :-D

We were quite a crowd in the little exam room -- Hubby, Momma, Daddy, the doctor, and me.  It was a totally routine appointment -- nothing special, nothing going wrong (Praise God!)... but there is nothing routine about the chance to hear our baby's heartbeat, and my parent's chance to meet my doctor and hear their little grandchild's heartbeat.  It was such blessing to have them there and come along for that appointment.

So, Happy Thanksgiving.

The next posts will be coming to you from St. Louis.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Treasuring the Present: Wonderful Hubby!

My Hubby is wonderful every week.  I kid you not, I could write every Tuesday as to how I'm treasuring how wonderful he is at the present time.

This week... well... yesterday, however, I think I was *ahem* "blessed" with a whole new batch of pregnancy hormones.  I have been in more pain, and more emotional in the past 36 hours than I have been for the past 3 months.  I have become so WHINY lately... I'm not sure what has been going on, but all of a sudden, I am whining like a toddler.  I actually said to Hubby yesterday that I do hear myself whining, and I'm not sure where its coming from, and I'm very sorry.

In addition to being whiny... I'm crabby, and crying.  I am having emotional swings left and right at the drop of a hat, with no warning or explanation.  I wish I could say my moods are up and down... but they haven't been up at all.  I haven't been happy and then sad... I've been angry, and then annoyed, and then sad.

AND THEN... I've also been in more pain than I have been thus far in the pregnancy.  No contractions... but just my feet, and my back, and my legs... and my body.  I think its the stress of preparing to leave town for St. Louis for Thanksgiving, and trying to have our house ready for some entertaining early the week we return.  I'm doing a lot of physical work, and my body is letting me know it can't do as much these days as it could a few months ago.

All that said, I am married to the most wonderful man.  He has just loved me, and taken care of me through everything.  He helps me with anything I need.  He lets me cry on his shoulder, even when neither one of us know why I'm crying.  He tries to ease the pain in my body by rubbing out my sore muscles at the end of the day.  He will do anything for me from refilling my water glass, to getting me another blanket, to helping me up from the floor, to running to the store to buy more Christmas lights for our Christmas tree because I'm not happy with how the lights look.

It was just three short years ago this week that my Hubby asked my parents for permission to marry me.  Three years later, he has been my husband for nearly 2.5 years, and he is the BEST husband I could ever imagine.  Three years later, we are expecting our first baby -- we are in our last trimester of expecting and he is taking such good care of me.

I have the most wonderful Hubby in the world, and this week, when I'm not feeling like myself, I am more grateful than ever for who he is, and that he is mine.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Preggers I: 30 Weeks

We were trying to take Christmas pictures this week... and so this 30-week picture was taken while we were goofing around and getting a little slap-happy... or snap-happy with the camera.

How far along?  30 weeks

How I am feeling?  Very well.  I feel like I'm finally used to being pregnant... this, of course, just weeks away from no longer being pregnant, and having a whole new life to get used to.
How big is baby?  The size of a cabbage or cucumber... 15.2-16.7 inches and 2.5-3.8 lbs

Sleep:  I sleep well, although I'm up an average of 2 or more times a night.  Sometimes its hard for me to fall back to sleep, but overall, I'm sleeping well.
Boy/Girl Prediction:  One or the other... we're getting really excited to find out!
Baby Nicknames:  Pretty much Baby, Jitterbug, or Nugget

Best moment this week:  Not pregnancy related, but I passed my National O&M Certification Exam.  I have been working on this since before we were pregnant, and it feels SOOOO GOOD to have it finished, and be able to focus on our baby, and all that we need to do before D-Day.

Food cravings:  Regular Cheerios
Missing:   SKIING!  Vail mountain opened this past weekend, and I LOVE skiing!  This is the first year since I've lived in Colorado that I won't be skiing the week of Thanksgiving.  I just keep treasuring the movements of our little jitterbug, and I know the sacrifice is worth it.
Movements:  YES, and they are amazing!  I don't know if I will ever get tired of these amazing sensations.  They are getting stronger, too.  One even made me grunt this past week.

Labor Signs:  No.  Thank goodness!

General Attitude:  So happy for where we are right now, and for the holiday ahead.

What I am looking forward to this week:  Our first baby shower!!!  :-D  We are headed to St. Louis for Thanksgiving, and Hubby's family is throwing us our first baby shower this weekend.  We are so excited!

Milestones:  Passing my O&M exam is a pretty big milestone... but in terms of pregnancy, I'm not sure if I had one this past week.  We took our first Christmas Card pictures as a family of three -- probably the easiest time we will have getting a family picture for a few years to come.  :-D
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Sunday, November 24, 2013

One of These Things...

Is not like the others.

One of these things, just doesn't belong,

Can you tell which thing is not like the others

By the time I finish my song?

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Nostalgic and Celebratory

Yesterday evening I was feeling nostalgic and celebratory... and these feelings may last for the duration of the weekend.

One year ago --
I had just decided to go ahead and spend 2013 working... working on earning my Orientation and Mobility Certification.  Chris and I had come together and discussed a lot of options and decided that 2013 would mean graduate school for both of us... and a huge commitment from both of us for me to earn this O&M degree.
We knew that, if all things worked out perfectly, I could complete the ENTIRE degree in less than 12 months, and by December 2013, I would be a fully certified O&M instructor, and it would be DONE!  I would have the qualifications to open new doors, and serve in new ways, and NOW was the time.  This was not a degree I wanted to get around to doing when we had young children, or when our children were in school.  2013 was the year to complete this.
That being said, we KNEW it was going to be a rough year.  I was working 50+ hours a week, and would need to complete an online class during the Spring semester (Jan-April).  Then, looking ahead, we knew that right after I finished the school year on Friday, I would have to move to Greeley for a month-long blindfold class all of June.  Then, the rest of the summer would need to consist of two practicum placements -- only the Lord knew where.  Coming back for another school year of teaching in Rifle, I would still have one last practicum placement to complete... and somewhere in there, I had to pass a University comp exam research paper.  THEN, after ALL THAT, I still had to pass a National O&M Certification Exam.

But, Hubby and I felt that this was the year to do it.  We felt that God was giving us a nudge to have me do this NOW.

We had no idea how we were going to pay for it -- tuition, travel costs, living costs for all the different practicum placements, exam costs.  We just knew God would provide, and now was the time.

... that was all one year ago...

Fast forward to Memorial Day Weekend... the last week of school... the week before I leave my husband for Greeley, CO to be blindfolded for a month.  Hubby and I found out were were expecting our first baby.  We were thrilled by the event -- and flummoxed by the timing.  Seriously?!?!  My first trimester of my first pregnancy was going to be spent away from my husband, BLINDFOLDED, learning to travel with a cane, then away from my husband in TUCSON, in JULY, all alone?!?!?!

Nevertheless, the plan was to continue with the O&M certification as planned.  If things went smoothly with my pregnancy, AND my O&M program, I would be fully certified before the baby was born, and we were very happy about that timing -- if everything (pregnancy and classes) went according to plan.  We worked with my doctors, and learned the dos and don'ts of so much work and travel and stress... and we stuck to the plan.  The plan for me to be fully certified by the end of 2013.

I was first-trimester sick (not to mention HOT) in Greeley and Tucson.  I was growing out of my clothes in Michigan.  Hubby and I felt the baby move for the first times in Austin.  And yesterday, nearly 30 weeks pregnant, as I took the National O&M Certification Exam, the baby was dancing and kicking like crazy.  I'm not sure if he/she knew we were finally to the end of a very long process, or if he/she was trying to tell me the right answers in Morse code.

Today, as I reflect on this past year, I am so grateful for God's faithfulness through this degree, and so proud of myself for completing it so quickly and so well.  I met all the University qualifications, I traveled from coast to coast to have quality practicum placements, I wrote a killer research paper to pass my University Comp Exam, and I passed the National Certification Test.  I am SO GLAD IT IS OVER, and I am proud of the job I did.

To be completely honest, I do not know exactly what way this certification might be used in the next few years.  Hubby and I have a lot of decisions we're praying about with the arrival of our new baby... but now, I HAVE the certification.  There are jobs I can consider today that I couldn't consider a year ago.  There are people I can help today that I couldn't help a year ago.

I look at the remainder of 2013, and I am SOOOO excited that I actually finished this certification BEFORE the end of 2013.  I have 6 weeks left of the year that I get to prepare for Christmas, organize for the baby, make arrangements for maternity leave, and ENJOY the holidays!

This year would not have been possible without the love, support, and encouragement of my Hubby.  He supported me every step of the way, he believed in me when I didn't, and he had faith when I doubted.  He ran the roost at our home while I was gone, and assured me that my students, our life, our home, our critters, our baby, and our marriage could withstand my absence and our time a part from each other.


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Friday, November 22, 2013

So Convicting

The other morning, I was reading in Billy Graham's book Hope for Each Day, and I came upon a story that has stayed with me and continued to convict my heart.

Hope For Each Day
November 20
Abiding Peace

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. Isaiah 41:10

Whenever I think of God's faithfulness in the midst of suffering I am reminded of my dear late friend Corrie ten Boom, the remarkable Dutch woman who (with her family) hid Jews from the Nazis.  After being imprisoned in Ravensburk, the infamous concentration camp, Corrie traveled the world telling her story of suffering, forgiveness, and joy.

For thirty-five years she never had a permanent home, but when she was eighty-five and in declining health, some friends provided her with a lovely house in California.  It was a luxury she never dreamed she would have (and one she never would have pursued on her own).

On day her friend, the late movie director James Collier, was visiting.  He said, "Corrie, hasn't God been good to give you this beautiful house?"

She replied firmly, "Jimmy, God was good when I was in Ravensburk, too!"

Most of us will never experience the horrors Corrie knew.  But no matter what we face, we can depend on God's promise: "Fear not; for I am with you."

In my head,  I know that God is good and faithful in all circumstances, but I am so much quicker to recognize it and praise Him for it when times are good, joyful, and peaceful.  When I am stressed, overworked, tired, grieving, or upset, God is good.
When I am relaxed, rested, joyful, thankful,or happy, God is good.
God is good in the storms of life as well as the calm seas.

I need to consciously begin seeing God's goodness and faithfulness in ALL circumstances... not just the happy ones.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013


Lloyd was supervising my studying over the weekend -- making sure I was doing my work.
Any free moment I have had this week... and several moments that weren't really free have been spent studying for the national Orientation and Mobility (O&M) certification exam.

This is a culmination of all the course work I have completed since this past January, and before to learn how to teach children and adults who are blind how to travel, with a white cane, safely and as independently as possible.

To avoid confusion, I CAN teach O&M without taking (or passing this certification test).  Having completed my University coursework is qualification enough for teaching; however, if I wanted to work with other ages, or for a different company, this national certification would be invaluable.  I might as well take the test while just coming out of my university coursework and while the information is fresh in my mind.

So, Friday morning I will be taking this certification test.
Three hours.
One hundred forty questions.
Multiple choice.
One agency that prides itself on the number of people who fail on their first attempt.

Please pray for:
  • many hours to study today
  • a clear head with which to study
  • the Lord's guidance on what to study and what to retain
  • a good night's sleep tonight
  • a chance to adequately demonstrate my knowledge and skill on the test
  • a clear head and calm body (and baby) during the test
  • that I pass this certification test with flying colors
I'll keep you posted.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Early Christmas

In our household,  Christmas decorations, music, and movies start the day after Thanksgiving... and not a moment before.

Although, I must confess, last Christmas we had family here for Thanksgiving, and I decided to decorate for Christmas before they arrived so that they all could see our Christmas decorations.

Our rules are not hard and fast... but general, and flexible when need be.  The heart behind the rule, however, is to make the most of the Christmas season during the month of December so that the excitement, joy, and holiday celebration is not diminished by having it start too soon.

All of that being said, I do not get offended or upset when I see stores, towns, and families start the Christmas celebration early.

I have a theory that the reason the world is so obsessed with Christmas is found in Luke 19:40 -- "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."

EVERYONE celebrates something at Christmas time... so much so that there is even an official name for someone who does not embrace the holiday spirit -- Scrooge.  Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah at the same time as Christmas.  Schools are closed over the Christmas Holiday.  Governments shut down.  People who are not Christians celebrate Santa Claus, or time with family, or time off school -- I don't even know what they "celebrate," but they come together, exchange gifts and celebrate something.

I think the entire world cannot contain their desire to celebrate when commemorating the gift of God's Son, our Savior, coming into this world.  What a To-Do the world made when Prince William and Princess Kate gave birth to Crown Prince George -- and we're talking about the commemoration of the birth of the King of the World!!!!

I think people want to celebrate Christmas earlier and earlier because they can't help it --
"I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."  Heading into the Christmas season, humans, God's children HAVE to decorate, sing, give, bake, prepare, CELEBRATE -- they cannot help it.

The celebration of our SAVIOR coming into the world is coming.  Emmanuel, God With Us, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace is coming!  Knowing this, how can we not start the celebration a little early?

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Treasuring the Present: 29 Weeks

Today, I'm treasuring exactly where Hubby and I are in life and in this pregnancy.

  • still have a little time before our baby arrives
  • have a to-do list to accomplish before our baby arrives... and we have a chance to complete everything on this list
  • have a few baby showers ahead of us, and we are excited at the anticipation
  • still have some time with family and travel ahead of us before baby
  • still have a chance to prepare our work for maternity leave/newborn life
  • both have some pregnancy symptoms... but nothing we cannot live with
  • still have some childbirth classes and practicing to do
  • have time to decide on names
  • don't know how much time is left before baby... but we can reasonably hope for about two months -- we could always be in for a surprise, but a reasonable hope is two months
  • haven't spent all that much on our baby yet... we can still hope that we won't have to
  • haven't made any major decisions about Life After Baby -- just lots of prayer
  • are tremendously in love with each other
  • still live in the world of parenting where we have agreed on most things and made very few errors
  • are able to sleep through the night without interuption
  • are able to dote on our two animals... and on each other

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Preggers I: 29 Weeks

How far along?  29 weeks

How I am feeling?  Pregnancy-wise, I'm well... generally, I have had a cold this week, which is not fun.  But it is good to know that I can get by without taking cold medicine.
How big is baby?  The size of a butternut squash or acorn squash... 15.2-16.7 inches and 2.5-3.8 lbs

Sleep:  Pretty well, lately.
Boy/Girl Prediction:  We have no idea.  One or the other.
Baby Nicknames:  Pretty much Baby

Best moment this week:  When hubby feels the baby kick... oh, and I passed my glucose screening.  Yay!  Also, yesterday Hubby realized I am in my third trimester, and that we are mere weeks away from becoming a family of three.  It was really cute when he realized how soon we have to be ready.

Food cravings:  Milk, to try to neutralize heartburn, and smaller meals, as my stomach is feeling smaller these days.
Missing:   I don't really remember life before pregnancy at this point -- my size, shape, and ability to move easily.
Movements:  I LOVE the baby movements.  I think I've figured out the baby's position based on the movements I feel.  I don't know if I'm right... but I think head down, and spine to the outside.

Labor Signs:  No.  Thank goodness!

General Attitude:  Grateful for every day, evening, night, weekend with my hubby, when it is just us.  It could be just a few weeks before this changes forever.

What I am looking forward to this week:  Not really pregnancy-related, but I am taking my Orientation and Mobility National Certification Exam this Friday.  I will be studying all this week, and THEN, (Please, Lord, let me pass), I will be completely able to focus on the Holidays, and preparing for our baby.  That will be a wonderful event!

Milestones:  I passed my glucose test, and officially am to the point in the pregnancy where I need to go see my OB every two weeks instead of once/month.
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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Great Saturday

Friday, some friends of ours with four children, and their fifth on the way asked Hubby and me if we were treasuring these last days when it was just the two of us.  I think we are, but it was a good reminder that life as we know it, is about to be over - forever.

With that in mind, what a great Saturday we had.

We slept in, and I actually slept well -- which has not been the case this week between heartburn, and then Hubby and me sharing a bed again (which we hadn't done in over a  week due to both of our travel schedules).  Then, we watched some College Gameday, had some breakfast, and I started studying for my O&M certification exam (to be taken on Friday).

We watched the Michigan game together, which had an UNBELIEVABLE last 20 seconds of regulation leading to 3 overtimes... and then it was back to studying for the rest of the night.

While I was studying, Hubby graded some papers, and made me dinner.  He also said we need to get my heartburn under control, because ever since I have started to get heartburn in my pregnancy, he is getting heartburn too.  :-D

Our house was nice and clean because we had company over Friday night, and it was a rainy, cold autumn day outside, but we were warm, and dry, and safe inside all day.

When I look back in a year and wonder what Hubby and I did before children, I hope I remember time together.  Time spent taking care of each other, loving on each other, working together, snuggling together, sleeping in together, enjoying hobbies (like football) together, and making each other laugh.

I know children will be such a blessing, and a new facet of love within our marriage... but I really am cherishing these last weeks and months of our amazing two-person household.

P.S.  In case you missed the last 20 seconds of regulation of the Michigan game... here is a clip I found on youtube -- CRAZY!!!!

Way to go, Michigan!

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

1000 Words

 Photo by Hubby in Grand Teton National Park

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Big God

Lately I have been having to remind myself that I serve a Big God.

I serve a God who orchestrates all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
I serve a God whose mercies are new every morning, great is His faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23).
I serve a God who tells me I am worth so much more than the birds of the air, and flowers of the field, and that I need not worry about my future (Matthew 6:25-34).
I serve a God who tells me to be anxious for nothing, but, through prayer, make my requests known to Him (Philippians 4:6-7).

In sum, I serve a BIG GOD.

Therefore it does not matter that I do not have a solution for LAB -- Life After Baby.  :-D

In the past, when major life changes were on the horizon, I have had pretty specific prayers:
"Lord, if its Your Will, let me get accepted to the college of my choice."
"Lord, if its Your Will, lead me toward the right graduate school"
"Lord, if its Your Will, guide me toward a job offer in the mountains of Colorado."
"Lord, help me discern your Will for this romantic relationship."
"Lord, guide Chris to a job within my five school districts so I can keep my current job, and our first years of marriage can be in the mountains."

In major life decisions, I have asked for God's guidance... but I've also had a pretty specific request based on where I thought He was leading.

Thinking about our life with a baby... I don't even know my requests.  I don't have an ideal scenario in my head of what our lives will look like next fall.  Chris and I have so many decisions to make, and we will be praying through each and every one, but I don't know what I'm praying for.  I don't know what the best situation is.

Should I pray that we stay here?  That we move?  If so, where should we move?  Should I pray that I keep working?  That Chris keeps working?  That we find a great daycare?  That I open a daycare?  Is it best for our children for us to be nearer to family?  Will I suffocate from all the love if we move nearer to family?  Do we stay in America?  How will we afford ... anything in the next year?

The questions and decisions are endless, and the clear-cut solutions are few.

That is when, I have to remind myself that I serve a BIG GOD.  I do not have to figure out the perfect scenario and pray for that to happen.  God will figure out the perfect scenario, and all I have to do is worship and listen.

This is where faith and hope require daily effort.

"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1

"For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." Romans 8:24-25

I serve a Big God, and although I love planning, and I love to think ahead, in this case, I can learn to trust and wait for His direction.  I can trust that His plan will be much bigger and better than mine ever would have been, and His will be revealed in His perfect time.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013


My wonderful hubby has had an amazing few days hunting up in Wyoming. 

The past few years his hunting group, which consist of his dad, brother, brother-in-law, and friend, have hunted for elk in Colorado and they have had a rough time.  In the past five years of hunting, their entire group has killed two elk -- and both shot by the same friend.  So, no member of the Miller family had ever come home from an elk hunting trip with an elk.

Wyoming is clearly the place to go for elk.

In one day, five men bagged five elk.

We are feeling so blessed with all the meat God has provided for us for this winter, and the wonderful time Chris was able to have with the men in his family out doing what they love.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Treasuring the Present: Pregnant Travel

Today, I am making a point to treasure traveling while pregnant.

You might think I am being sarcastic here, but I am completely sincere!

Last week, I traveled to Nashville to see my mom, aunt, and cousin and we all attended the CMA Awards.  The baby got to go with me, and I didn't have to hire a baby-sitter.  Our perfect little growing baby, in fact, travels with me EVERY DAY!

I get to take the baby with me when I go to work, on hikes, to meetings, when I teach students, when I fly cross-country.  This baby, in fact, has already visited various parts of Colorado, Missouri, Michigan, Arizona, Texas, and Tennessee -- and you know something, our baby is an awesome traveler!

There were four babies/toddlers on my recent flight from Nashville to Denver, and my baby was the most well-behaved of all of them.

I am so grateful for this time when the baby comes with me WHEREVER I GO!  If the baby is moving or squirming or happy or upset, I am the only one who knows about it.  The baby and I have a lot of secrets during the day when it is moving, or when it lets me know it's time to call it a day and get off my feet.  As soon as our little Nugget enters the world outside Mama's belly, the entire world is going to know when the baby is moving or squirming or happy or upset.

Traveling with the baby is easier now than it will ever be.

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Preggers I: 28 Weeks

How far along?  28 weeks

How I am feeling?  Physically, I'm feeling well... but also big.  I'm starting to feel like maybe the "cute" pregnant size is behind me, and I'm feeling more whale-like every day.
How big is baby?  The size of an eggplant... 13.6-14.8 inches and 1.5-2.5 lbs

Sleep:  Pretty well.  I'm trying to focus on using my Bradley relaxation exercises as I fall asleep, and they're going really well.
Boy/Girl Prediction:  Apparently, all of Tennessee thinks the baby is a girl.  My aunt, my cousin, and perfect strangers all predicted that I'm having a girl.  We'll see.
Baby Nicknames:  Pretty much Baby

Best moment this week:  Being in Nashville with my mom, aunt and cousin.  My mom got to feel the baby kick, and it was fun to get all dressed up and feel pretty for the CMA awards despite being 27 weeks pregnant.

Food cravings:  I loved the fried chicken in Nashville.
Missing:   Being able to sit for long periods of time without moving or needing to use the restroom (like on my flights, for example)

Maternity Clothes:  Should I just take this question out of my weekly information for now on... yes, I'm in maternity clothes -- I don't see that changing any time before now and when the baby arrives.
Movements:  Yes, and I love them!  They are getting stronger, and more frequent.  The baby was moving like crazy during this past weekend's Michigan football game.  I think the baby thought that he/she could play better than my beloved, but pathetic team was playing.

Labor Signs:  No.  Thank goodness!

General Attitude:  Trying to stay focused on baby preparation projects around the house -- making room in our closet, our room, our family room, in drawers, etc.

What I am looking forward to this week:  I have my glucose screening this week, and that will be nice to have behind me.  Please pray that I pass with flying colors.

Milestones:  Ironically, I have flown more in the past 6 months since I've been pregnant than I have in the past 3 years.  As far as we can predict, I have now taken my LAST flight until after the baby comes.  All other travel from now until D-Day will be in the car.
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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thank you, Veterans.

Tomorrow, will be posting my usual Monday pregnancy update, so I wanted to take the time today to post in honor of, and thanks to our country's veterans and active service men.

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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Bucket or To Do...

I have a list for the rest of the year... I'm not sure if its a Bucket List or To Do List... but either way, it needs to get done.

To make a list for the rest of the year is a little overwhelming, and feels more like a daunting list rather than a fun list... so I'm going to stick to November.

November Bucket/To-Do List:
  • Make room for baby clothes in our closet
  • Continue process of storing clothes/items that are not readily needed in order to make room for baby items
  • Organize our basement and make it more of a guest room for company that comes to see our baby
  • Be disciplined enough to do focused-exercises 3-or-more times/week
  • Finish Christmas shopping for the Miller Family gift exchange (occurring over Thanksgiving -- we're calling it Christgiving... which is a pretty cool name)
  • Study for O&M certification exam
  • Take and PASS O&M certification exam
  • Complete Work To-Do List (a WHOLE other can of worms)
  • Begin decorating house for Christmas -- I'm hosting a gathering on December 3, so the Christmas decorations have to be well under way before we head to St. Louis for Thanksgiving
  • Have a few friends over for dinner... we owe a couple of families
  • Spend quality time loving on my adorable animals before they get their new human sibling
  • Make progress on Bradley Method books, and The Happiest Baby on the Block book
  • Keep loving my hubby like crazy
Wish me luck!

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Sandens Take Nashville

What an amazing and memorable two days the Sanden women had in Nashville, TN.

What a perfect trip -- we laughed, we ate, we saw sights, we met new people, we made quite the impression wherever we went, we did separate things, and we did things together -- just a great trip!

Here are some parts of our trip in pictures:

Mom and I walked around Vandy's campus... my old stomping grounds

Great meal and great family at Pancake Pantry!

"Got Syrup?" onsies at Pancake Pantry... so cute!

Mom and I are ready for the CMAs!

Cousin Elizabeth and me, at a Honky Tonk Bar - pre CMAs

The Sanden women -- mom, and Aunt Diana are married to brothers.  My dad, and Elizabeth's dad are brothers, so we had sisters-in-law, and cousins!

... So, when it was time to walk from the bar to the CMAs, it was pouring rain.  We asked for garbage bags from the bar and walked to the venue.  Call us bag ladies, or white trash... but we arrived at the event dry and beautiful underneath these bags!

Here we are from our seats!

Hello, Nashville!

The 47th Annual Country Music Association Awards!

After the show, we went to a bar for dinner, and Elizabeth hung her beautiful cloak on this mannequin to dry it off... it was pretty funny.

We met a friend for lunch at the Loveless Cafe, and I fell in LOVE with this onsie!

Our dear friend, Stephanie grew up in Michigan, and we've known her for over 20 years.  She and her husband and three girls spent two years in Rwanda, and then moved to the Nashville area a few months ago.  We were SOOOO excited to get to see her and catch up over a great Southern meal at the Loveless Cafe.

Mom and I spent some time Thursday shopping for the shoes I need to wear in a wedding this December.  The bride wanted the shoes to include several aspects (satin, heel, open-toe)... and given that I will be 8 months pregnant, I wanted the shoes to include several more aspects (low heal, comfortable, can-wear-them-again).  These shoes were the winner.
As we were walking away from the shoe counter, the sales woman said, "Enjoy the wedding."  My mom immediately, and loudly announced to everyone in the shoe department that it was not MY wedding (give that I'm 6 months pregnant).  "She's a bridesmaid in the wedding... she's been married for 2 years!!!"
My mom wanted to defend my honor and set the record straight about the shoes for someone ELSE'S wedding.  It was really funny.

We heard some music at the legendary Bluebird Cafe

What a perfect few days.
It means so much to me that these three women (mother-daughter, and mother-daughter) came from different corners of the country (New York, Florida, and Michigan) to spend time together, make lasting memories, and have one last hurrah before my life changes forever, and I become a mother.

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