Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Goodbye First Trimester.

 Bump pics : Weeks 8-13

I am finally out of my first trimester and today we had another healthy doctor's appointment. It is always such a relief to hear a strong heartbeat. I feel like this time around my tiny bump popped out by 10 weeks, although thankfully I made it through the first part of pregnancy with only a few extra pounds so far. Here are a few fun stories from the beginning of this baby bump....

Telling Ryan
I honestly didn't really think I was pregnant. I knew there was a possibility but I just didn't "feel pregnant" back in June. One afternoon we were packing and I decided to just take a quick test to make sure. Right away, POSITIVE. I was surprised and laughed. Then I went down stairs and told Ryan who also laughed. We just weren't expecting all of that to happen 5 days before we moved! 

Telling Our Families
We shared the big news with both of our families when they came to help us on our moving day. We showed them each around the house and ended with showing them the baby's room. Surprise!

Telling Eva
We actually told Eva about a month ago. It was kind of early to be telling her, but we decided that it would help her understand why I had been so sick. She could tell that something was different because I'm usually super active and involved with her and had mostly been laying down. She was so excited and has seen the baby twice at the doctor's office with us. I love that she talks to it and rubs my tummy.
 How I'm Doing
* Hungry. Since the very beginning I've been very hungry most of the time. I feel like I'm constantly eating, but it's probably more like 6-8 small meals/snacks a day, and I can never eat much at one time.
* Food cravings: Cheese, bread, bread with cheese, Starbuck's breakfast sandwiches, crab wantons, ice water with lemon, all Mexican food, Olive Garden soup and salad, Jersey Mike's sandwiches, extreme ice water with lemon, juice, chocolate milk, cereal, onions. I rarely ever want to eat anything sweet, normally I love sugar. I go back and forth with coffee, some days I can enjoy a cup and other days even the scent makes me mad.
* Nauseous. I will be okay when this goes away! It is not fun to be nauseous and hungry. That makes me open the refrigerator and cry while staring at food I do not want to eat.
* Forgetful. My brain feels like mush and I find myself not remembering stuff all the time. A few weeks ago I cooked sweet potatoes and remembered they were still in the over 3 days later. Mush.
* In pain. This has been the hardest part for me. I have really bad nerve pain all over my body. It is usually constant, all day, all night pain that brings me to tears. I feel silly saying that but it is so hard to be in pain all over, every single day. My doctor today did some extra blood work and is recommending that I try massage therapy to see if it will help. Aside from praying for a healthy baby, this is my biggest prayer request. I went and started refloxology massage yesterday and so far it has been helpful.
* Emotional. I cry pretty often and I may have forgotten how irritable I can become when pregnant. It's a weird place to be when you are so happy to be carrying a baby, yet so easily frustrated with life.
* Mixed maternity fashion. I bought a pair of maternity shorts when I was only like 7 weeks pregnant and that was one of the best decisions of my life. I wear them almost every day. As far as tops I'm at the point where most regular tops are getting too small but most maternity tops are still too big. I have about 3 decent outfits that I wear right now, so if you see me in the same outfit every week, feel free to tell me how amazing I look. I know that I will need the majority of my maternity clothes for months with cooler temperatures so I am waiting until then to purchase anything else.
* 5 weeks to go until....we find out the gender of the baby! I go back and forth a lot on my instinct so I probably have no clue. If I had to say, I would pick boy. I really love our girl name though, so I would be bummed not to use it. Other than that, we would really be happy either way. Yes most people say that. We actually mean it.
* What I'm looking forward to most....holding this child in my arms. I want to cherish every moment of being pregnant, but some days it is hard. That's reality. I just keep my eyes and my heart on the end goal. I am also excited to feel the baby move and to see Eva be a big sister.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Weekend Update in iPhone Pics (8.24.12} {Making August Count}

This weekend update is going to expand a bit and start all the way back on Wednesday night. I know that is not the weekend, but I want to remember these good moments. Not the best picture, but my awesome husband planned a surprise date for us to try a new Mexican restaurant, Rio Mambo.  The food was delicious, my date was handsome, and I really appreciated the element of surprise.
Part of the surprise was that he completely arranged for our friend Gentry to babysit Eva. Her mom snapped this photo of the two of them reading outside and I just love it. Gentry headed back to college this weekend and we will miss her!
Thursday night we went to the Meet the Bobcats back to school pep rally. Eva was so excited. She kept calling it the "pepperoni" and asked me if she could bring her "cheerleaders" aka her pom-poms. She has another one that is red but told me she should just bring the blue one because the Bobcats are blue. Smart girl. Ryan actually got to emcee the pep rally, so we enjoyed nice air conditioned seats from the press box.
Eva really likes watching the cheerleaders and the drill team. She was dancing along to their routines the whole time from the press box. Afterwards we went down on the field to see our friend, Malin. 
Friday morning we headed to the pool with Ryan. We had bought a float a few weeks ago and we finally put air in it. Eva sure caught on to the art of relaxing in a pool float!  Like mother, like daughter.
An actual photo of us! A selfie counts as a photo right? I feel like we so rarely take a photo together these days. I like how the sun was setting next to us. 
A few of our favorite little buddies! Our friends, the Fords, came over to play games and eat ice cream Friday night. 
Saturday we went to Hawaiian Falls. This was the highlight of our day. Honestly, Saturday was such a rough day. I have been feeling so sick and in pain from being pregnant and it just got me down on Saturday. I spent most of the day on the couch or crying because I felt so terrible. I felt better Sunday night when I started thinking about all the other non-sickly things we did this weekend, so that's why I am posting all these photos.....
This girl. That dress. My mom's friend, Wendy, got it for Eva a couple of months ago and she has finally grown into it. She LOVED the pockets and walked around church like that all morning. 
Finally, we wrapped up the weekend with a BSM pool party. I love, LOVE, love these middle school girls so much! With all the good moments...and the hard moments...of this weekend, the highlight for me was probably watching them have a cannon ball contest. They are all so free and I'm so thankful to see the friendships they have formed. They are one loud mess of giggles! I am excited for them to start school these week, some of them going to middle school for the very first time. Praying for all our BSM students and my teacher friends this week!

Friday, August 22, 2014

As the years fly away

The days are slowly approaching when our sweet Eva Kate will be turning 3 years old! I feel like the years fly by, and yet there are definitely days when time seems to stand still. I have loved the 2 1/2 - 3 year age the best so far. Yes, I loved her being a tiny baby, and we had fun watching her learn to walk and talk more, but this past season has been my favorite with her. I love that she can talk so much. I love that she can do things with me and that our interaction together continues to grow. I love seeing her become more independent, yet still be little enough to want to cuddle up right next to me. Don't get me wrong, there are those handful of rough mothering days, but I would keep all those hard moments if it meant I could bottle her up at this age for a bit longer. It never helps that her birthday always fall right after the back to school time so I find  myself thinking about how few years I have left with her at  home with me all day, let alone how few months we have left of just the two of us at home all day. She has told me that she will stay 2 years old as long as she can still have a birthday party....I will probably let her be 3 :)

The other day I was sitting with her and decided to interview her with some "almost 3 year old" questions. If I was a perfect mother I would have captured these on video, but then again she probably wouldn't have answered them all that way. Here are her answers.

1. What do you want to be when you grow up? A firefighter
2. Who is your best friend? Malin (I thought it was me....)
3. What is your favorite show? Frozen
4. What is your favorite thing to do? Learn school
5. What is your favorite toy? Buzz Lightyear
6. What is your favorite thing for us to do together? Go to Starbucks
7. How old are you? 2
8. How old am I? 4
9. Who do you love? Gentry
10. Who loves you? Daddy 

I love that she said, "Go to Starbucks." She is quite the sophisticated kid! Haha, she only gets milk, but I do enjoy taking her and getting to sit at a table and talk with her. That is honestly what I envisioned doing way back when I was pregnant with her, and I didn't realize it would take us almost 3 years to be able to sit and relax together.

Her balloon portraits and soon to be posted birthday photos were taken by our friend Matt from Vancil Media. I have to give him a shout out because he does AMAZING photography and video work. If you are in the DFW area and are looking for somebody, I would highly recommend Vancil Media. I can't wait to share Eva's birthday photos soon (although not too soon....).

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Clowning Around {Making August Count}

Last Saturday we took Eva to the circus for the first time. I don't know why but a few years ago I got it into my head that we would take her to the circus the August before she turned 3. I think maybe it was because I was figuring we would have another baby soon after and it seemed like a fun "big girl" thing to do and that being almost 3 was the perfect age to see a circus. So this year when I started seeing circus advertisements I knew we would be going! We were able to get 2 free tickets for me and Ryan and a discount ticket for Eva so it worked out nicely. 
Our tickets were for the show at the Fort Worth Convention Center and it was fine, just different than the American Airlines Center.  On the plus side it is a smaller venue, so really any seat there is a good seat. We got there about an hour early so we were able to walk around and see some of the animals before the show started. Eva kept asking, "Is this the big show?" every time we saw something different. We assured her that she would know when the show actually started.
During the early part of the show Eva kept asking if it was almost over every 5 minutes...not because she was ready to go but because she didn't know what to expect. The show itself was over 2 hours which I figured was a good length for a circus.
 The circus was mostly as I remembered. I think Ryan and I went about 5-6 years ago and I would say every 5 years is a good amount of time between circus experiences. It is fun to see, and even more fun to see through the eyes of your child, but the show doesn't really change too much. Pictured above is an act where a group of people are riding bicycles across a tight rope. I kept thinking, "Did they wake up one day and decide this was what they wanted to do for their life? Did they do dangerous things as a child? Did their mother worry about them walking across rooftops?"
I love these crazy clowns. They had a big bucket of free noses so of course we had to try some on. We did not take any pictures with actual clowns, as Eva was too concerned to stand next to one. Fine by me.
Saturday evening we drove to Rockwall to celebrate Ryan's grandmother's birthday. With cake, ice cream and plenty of little kids, it was a whole different kind of circus :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

A home big enough for FOUR

Surprise! I'm finally ready to share a post about buying our new home along with our other big announcement! Are you ready for this amazing story?????
 {Play Room}
Back at the beginning of June, we had been planning to stay in our previous townhouse. We liked the location and decided that we would probably sign a lease for another year. We had been trying for another baby, but decided that maybe it wouldn't happen for a while. The week we were going to resign our lease, we found out some information about our townhouse that made us wonder if maybe we should start looking for a home.
{Kitchen}
So on a Thursday afternoon I put in a call to my best friend's mom, who happens to be a realtor. At this point we were interested in looking, but really not set either way. She found a few homes in our area and sent us a link to look at them. Honestly, we didn't have tons of options. Based on the location we needed for ministry and our price range, we were able to find four houses. We decided on Friday that we would go look at the houses on Saturday morning, and if we liked something - great - and if not maybe we would have to sign at least a short lease at our old place. 
We ended up absolutely loving the very first house we saw! Based on location and the photos online, this was the one that had jumped out at us most and I liked it the minute we walked in. It had a bigger kitchen than where we had been, a big open living room for us to use for youth ministry, a space for a playroom, big closets, and 3 bedrooms. This was honestly exactly what I had been praying for over the past year. I never wanted a huge home, and when I prayed through what I felt like we would need to have space for children and ministry, this was it.
{Dining Area}
We saw the house around 10 AM Saturday morning and we under contract with it by 5 PM that same night. The housing market out here is hot so we knew we had to make a jump on it fast. We were actually able to make a lower offer than market price - and they accepted it! Part of the benefit of our offer was that we were needing to move by the end of June, so we agreed in our contract to close in only 3 weeks! This was a plus for the buyer because they were already living out of state and the house was empty.
{Living Room}
Buying a home includes so much paperwork and we had to really work to get it all submitted and approved in time. Wait...did I mention that Ryan was gone for 9 days at camp during this time? So that meant that we had to get things done even faster. 
As we were a few days out from moving - already having boxes packed everywhere we found out that our closing would be pushed back two days due to paperwork...but we had to be out of our old home! We decided to ask the seller if we could rent it from them over a weekend, which our realtor said sellers do not usually prefer to do. I remember just praying and praying as I made dinner that night and we waited to hear back. Then...answered prayer! We found out that they would rent for a few days so we could move out/in as scheduled.
{Master Bedroom}
Here is the best part of the story....I mentioned earlier in the post that we thought we'd have to wait a bit to get pregnant....but 5 days before we moved we found out we were having a BABY!!!! We were so happy and just laughed at God's perfect timing of everything. We are more than thankful to be happily settled into our new home as we are waiting for this baby to arrive.
{Eva's Room}
A big girl room for our big girl! She is so excited to be a big sister! She rubs my belly and talks to the baby all the time. She tries to feed it food through my belly button. She wants to name the baby Grandpa.
In a couple of months we will start working on turning this into an official nursery. Right now Eva is enjoying it as her personal karaoke studio.
After 6 years of marriage...our new home..our growing family. Our sweet baby will be arriving at the end of February!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Downtown Fort Worth {Making August Count}

Today's Making August Count post features our family morning in downtown Fort Worth. Fort Worth is an interesting concept to me...even though I've lived near it for over a decade I haven't actually spent that much time exploring all it has to offer. Our home now is technically in Fort Worth, although we are also considered Roanoke. We had vouchers for free circus tickets {which we get to use next week!!!!} but in order to use them we had to visit the Fort Worth Convention center box office. We figured this would be a bit of a drive so to make it worth the while we looked up fun, FREE things to do in the downtown area. PS If you haven't bought circus tickets yet and can go to the Fort Worth show next WEDNESDAY night (opening night), tickets are only $10 if you can go get them at the box office! Or if you need to go another day you can get a 20% off coupon from Carter's stores. 
After picking up our tickets, we let Eva play and run around in the Fort Worth Water Gardens. They have several pretty water fountains, although it did seem that some were turned off. Maybe to converse water right now? Even though it was a million degrees outside there was a breeze and some shade so it wasn't too hot. This would be a great picnic spot to visit again in the fall.
Hello down there! How creative was the person who designed this? 
We were able to leave our car parked at one meter spot for the whole time we were there. I think we parked for about 3 hours for about $2 in quarters we found at home before we left. To get from place to place we enjoyed riding Molly the Trolley. This is a FREE little trolley that takes you around downtown. I may have had to chase the trolley down for us to jump on initially - I think I ran more and faster in that minute than I have in the last year. Whew! After that it was smooth sailing riding. We ended up getting on and off the trolley at several places. Eva said riding the trolley was her favorite part of the day.  
One of our stops was for some Starbucks. I may be raising a child who enjoys the finer things. Vanilla box milk, anyone? She really likes to go to Starbucks. Really.
Cooling down our toes! We walked a bit around the Sundance Square area and visited the museum at Fire Station No. 1. Note: this is an interesting museum with old artifacts and photos. It does NOT have much to do with being a fire station. Glad I hadn't tried to pump up that part. I just told her we were walking around looking at things. 
Yee-haw! I married this cowboy because he always makes me laugh! This was part of the First Station museum. Definitely not a fire truck, but still silly. For a great list of FREE family (or date) ideas in Fort Worth click here.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Sandy Lake Park {Making August Count}

For this month I've decided to try to blog a series of posts called Making August Count. Most of our summer has been pretty low-key (aside from the whole moving process) so I want to try to squeeze in some special family fun before summer ends and my little girl turns 3. {Can we pretend for a second that having a 3 year old isn't right around the corner???} It's so easy to think of August as that crazy hot left over month of summer that isn't worth doing anything, but we're choosing to embrace it!

Today we embraced the cooler temperatures and took Eva to Sandy Lake Park. On our way there Ryan and I realized that both of our memories of Sandy Lake Park were going with our 6th grade bands. Is that some right of passage for bands? Neither of us had been back since but we figured, why not? Plus we found a free coupon online.

Our first stop was the carousel. Eva loves riding carousels and I love the old fashioned carnival music they play.
Next up, the train ride. When we were getting ready this morning we told Eva there would be a train and that pretty much sold her on the idea that this would be a fun day. 
 Family train ride selfie!
Watching Eva do the mini-rides was so funny. She did enjoy it but looked so serious most of the time. It's also hysterical to see a little human going up and down on a ride, usually as the only child on the rides (they weren't busy at all today). 
 Ding-ding! Here comes Captain Eva on her boat!
Eva's first pony ride. This took some working up to. We went over to pet the ponies a few times before she was actually ready to hop on.
Talking to the animals. 
 Miniature golf! This was a cute little course and Eva actually enjoyed watching me and Ryan play.
One final ride for the day! Afterwards we enjoyed a picnic lunch outside together. I love my little family.