Saturday, November 18, 2017

Countdown to Baby: 6 weeks to go!

We had a busy, but fun weekend with a visit to Gates County to spread my granddad's ashes (he passed away back in February) and visit with relatives, stopped at a friend's party on our way home, and then lunch and Murder on the Orient Express in theaters with my family after church on Sunday (read my sister's review here!) I was a little worried going into a long day of driving (we spent about 5 hours in the car on Saturday) that I would be uncomfortable, but it went great! I've been feeling somewhat like this pregnancy has made me an invalid lately, so it was nice to make it through like a normal, non-pregnant person. Besides a few extra bathroom stops, anyway!

On Monday, Sarah and Mom met us at a nearby park to take maternity photos! It was a little colder than I was expecting, it seems like we've skipped fall and went straight to winter! But there were still some nice fall leaves, and I think Sarah got a lot of great shots! Can't wait to share a few once they're edited and ready. Here's a few photos Mom took during the shoot:

Matt: "Our faces aren't in this one?? So I can make this face?"

The posing of the hands for this shot was much more difficult than it should have been.

The things a good photographer will do to get the right angle!



Checking out pose ideas on my Pinterest board.


Tuesday I took it easy after all the busyness. But I did double the lasagna we had for dinner, so another frozen meal in the freezer! We're running low on freezer space now.

We got almost all our Christmas shopping done, and I'm really starting to think we might actually finish before Thanksgiving! They just won't all arrive before Thanksgiving, but we can finish wrapping the ones that are still on the way after Thanksgiving. 

We still need to buy the crib mattress and finish out the necessary purchases left on our registry, and I still need to wash my cloth diapers, organize the nursery, and if I have time, sew the curtains and crib skirt!

So, my to-do's now include:
Buy crib mattress
Order last items from registry
Continue doubling meals
Buy all Christmas gifts before Thanksgiving!
Research and prep all cloth diapers
Organize nursery
Sew curtains and crib skirt

Monday, November 13, 2017

Countdown to Baby: 7 weeks to go!

This week went by a little faster! Maybe I don't have time to get in the sewing projects before Baby's arrival.


We didn't get to see the actual crib mattress, but we did get to see the adult size mattresses, and check out the firmness of the foam (made from natural latex) and see what the cotton cover looked like, etc. Also, the price in store was much lower than the price displayed on the website, so I think we're going to go for it!

I had a lovely chiropractic/prenatal massage appointment this week, which has definitely helped me sleep better! It was a fun day, Matt went with me and we packed a picnic lunch that we ate after my appointment at a nearby park. The weather was the perfect fall weather (which we haven't gotten much of yet) and it was so nice to walk in the park after lunch... but we were rudely interrupted much sooner than I would have liked by more Braxton Hicks. I can't wait to be able to walk as much as I want without triggering BH. Soon we'll be taking walks with Baby! 

Along with continuing our Christmas shopping, Matt and I put together our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes this week. Two years ago, that was our second date activity! It's been the start of a fun tradition I hope we'll be continuing with our kids. We're slowly continuing to collect and wrap family Christmas gifts, but with only two weeks to Thanksgiving, I think we're going to have to amp things up a bit to finish by then!

I doubled Shepherd's Pie this week, but didn't have enough mashed potatoes to top both, so the one for the freezer will need mashed potatoes added when we're ready to eat it in January. That isn't too big a deal, since the hardest part of Shepherd's Pie in my opinion is the chopping and cooking of the filling, which always takes longer and makes me more tired than I anticipate! I think I'll double it from now on, just because the extra work is hardly noticeable, and then we can have easy Shepherd's Pie!

Baby's kicking has been a little less uncomfortable this week (I had no idea before getting pregnant that having another human hanging out in your abdomen and using your internal organs as punching bags could be quite so painful!), I think because he's getting a little more cramped, and doesn't have as much space to "wind up." I'm definitely enjoying the gentler thumps and squirms. 

Only 49 days to his due date! Which means only 45 days until Christmas! Yikes! Maybe time isn't slowing down after all. 


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Countdown to Baby: 8 weeks left!

Only my second post in the baby countdown, and it's late! I need to schedule blogging time apparently. 



This week, I doubled a new recipe that I had never made before, which could have turned out badly, but thankfully we both really liked the recipe, so one more meal in the freezer for January! Here's the recipe: Chicken Broccoli Casserole (I actually put real rice in it, we didn't have any cauliflower on hand. And we added the cheese, since we're not on Whole30 right now.)

Tomorrow we're going to a local store where we can take a look in person at one of the crib mattresses we're considering, so if we love it, we might come home with the mattress, which would be a big check mark!

This past week, my MIL and I found some material that is going to be great for curtains and a crib skirt for the nursery, so I'm adding sewing projects to my to-do list... which might not be the wisest idea, but it seems like I have plenty of time right now. Time seems to be slowing down! 

Matt and I are doing pretty well with our goal of getting all our Christmas presents purchased by Thanksgiving. We've also been wrapping as we purchase, so we've got a pretty good stash of wrapped presents ready for Christmas! It's been fun getting into the Christmas spirit, listening to Christmas music and wrapping gifts already. 

Thanks to a gift from a friend who couldn't make it to the shower, I think our diaper collection is now complete! So now I just need to figure out the best way to wash them so I don't negatively affect the absorbency.

So, my to-do's now include:
Decide on crib mattress
Continue doubling meals
Buy all Christmas gifts before Thanksgiving!
Research and prep all cloth diapers
Sew curtains and crib skirt
Order last items from registry



 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Countdown to Baby: 9 weeks left!

31 weeks today! My mom, sister and dear friend threw me the sweetest baby shower, almost 2 weeks ago already! Time is flying! Here are a few photos, most courtesy of my MIL. 

The gifts are in/around the bassinet Mom used for me as a baby!

My brother baked a delicious coconut cake for the party!

Me and my mom!

My sister made this adorable diaper cake! It's so cute, and the little dog pilot makes me smile every time I look at him! 
It was such a lovely, fun shower! It was so nice to see some friends that I hadn't seen since my wedding, and we felt very blessed by everyone's kind generosity. I couldn't imagine a more wonderful celebration of our little guy!

Thanks to all the gifts, the nursery is pretty close to all set up! I've been organizing and arranging, and writing thank-you notes. The one big thing we still haven't decided on is a crib mattress... and after all the research I've done on this topic, I feel like I should do a whole post on toxic ingredients, and how I narrowed my decision down to two mattresses. We haven't made a final decision yet, though! 

Besides getting the nursery organized, I've been experiencing some other nesting urges too. I've started doubling some meals and freezing for after his arrival, so that when I'm exhausted and don't want to cook, I can count on there being an easy option besides ordering take-out! 

I had a check up with my midwife today, and she said his growth is great, and he's head down, in the perfect position for his birth. He's very active, and it's funny to see the little lumps and bumps he makes poking his feet out and stretching. I guessed correctly what position he was in based on the activity I've been feeling! I can't believe in 9 weeks we'll get to meet our son! 

Upcoming To Do's:
Decide on crib mattress
Continue freezing meals
Buy all Christmas gifts before Thanksgiving!
Finish collecting a stock of cloth diapers and research the best way to wash them

We're getting really excited and eager for his arrival! 


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Hello August! Part 2 (yearly updates on the same day?!?)

Exactly one year ago, I posted this update! My goodness, how things have changed! 

My last post was about getting engaged... and we did end up getting married by Christmas! December 17 was our wedding date, and the whirlwind wedding planning went pretty well, in the less-than-3-months we had to plan. The most stressful part for me ended up being a rather last-minute change of reception location, due to some management issues, and concerns about lighting/sound. And I almost walked down the aisle without my bouquet, but thankfully I remembered it after only a couple steps - as I nervously plucked at my dress with the hand that was not in my dad's arm, I realized I should have something else to occupy that hand! 

Here's just a few photos: 


Our rings on my bouquet

My lovely mother and me getting ready!

Me and my sister and maid-of-honor!

Pre-wedding photos! (We did a first-look)

The Stone Chapel in Wake Forest


Thrilled to have my dad perform the ceremony!

My mom and dear friend Mrs. Basden headed up the reception!

Centerpiece created by my mom!

I had fun baking the cheesecakes ahead of time and freezing!

First dance

Dip!!

Daddy and me father/daughter dance.
Matt planned our honeymoon secretly, and it was amazing! We stayed one night in a fancy hotel suite, and had a delicious dinner at the hotel restaurant, and then finished the drive to Biltmore the next day! I had never been to Biltmore before, and seeing it all decorated and festive for Christmas was thrilling. We stayed several nights at the lovely hotel on the estate, and enjoyed lots of fabulous food, topped off by a 3-course dinner our last evening. He also got us special tickets to see Biltmore by candlelight (which was so beautiful!), a roof-top tour (which was fascinating and had great views!) and a carriage ride (which was so much fun, and gave us an incredible view of the estate!) and it was all so memorable! He planned the perfect honeymoon. We had almost a whole week to ourselves, and then got home in time for Christmas with our families. (We have lots of photos, but it would be too hard to pick favorites, and there's plenty of photos in this post already!)

Our first few months of married life flew by, marriage has been so much more fun than I ever could have imagined! One hard decision though, was to quit teaching. I loved my students, but we really didn't need my income, and I was struggling to keep up with cooking, cleaning and general homemaking the way I desired. My new (much more flexible) additional job, is handling some basic customer support for my husband's business, Transcript Maker, paying the contractors when invoices come in, and mailing some marketing materials (we offer discounts for homeschool groups! ;) ), all things that I enjoy, and can do whenever I find some free time in my schedule. 

A few days before my last studio recital with my students, we were excited to find out that we were expecting our first baby! Due December 29, I'm now almost 19 weeks along (which means almost halfway there already!) and just starting to regularly feel tiny little kicks and punches. Our 18-week ultrasound revealed that I was correct in believing our baby to be a boy!

The adorable booties were crocheted by my great-grandmother! Mom gave them to me after the ultrasound. They just happened to already have blue ribbons!

So, with our baby boy on the way, and no students to teach, my goals are to stay on top of the usual house work, while working on our registry and getting the nursery ready, plus all the other things that come along with preparing for baby!

And so, with that in mind, I should probably get off my laptop and get to work!

 

Friday, September 30, 2016

"Wuv, twue wuv, wiw fowwow you... fowevah..."

(Title quote from The Princess Bride. If you haven't seen it yet, you should!)

We're engaged!

One week ago, 363 days after the day we met, my sweet man asked me to marry him! I thought it was absolutely perfect (although he would say it was a little too warm outside, and too many people around!) and I've been floating on clouds and staring at my gorgeous ring every spare second since. 


He took me to Duke gardens, and since I had never been before, I was amazed by how expansive it was, and all the beautiful flowers, rich grassy areas, trickling waterfalls and especially the lovely bridges! He said his mental map of the place was a little mixed up, so I didn't even get suspicious when we started crossing the same bridges multiple times. He wanted to propose on a bridge, but also didn't want crowds of people around, and it was pretty busy! Finally, on this adorable little bridge, he found an opportunity.


Every little thing about his proposal was so perfect! I am still in awe that God brought such a wonderful, kind, romantic, handsome, funny, tender, courageous, wise, thoughtful, godly man into my life, and thrilled beyond belief that I get to spend the rest of my life with him! 


Afterwards, we had a delicious dinner at a new restaurant in Durham, Primal Food & Spirits, which was absolutely incredible, I couldn't believe how great the food was! 



This has been the best year of my life so far, getting to know my dear Matt, and I am looking forward to many more wonderful years by his side!

Also, I'm so eager to marry him as soon as possible, that I might already have my dress and a venue picked out... don't you think Christmas decorations are the best kind?!?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Easing Into Etsy

Hello lovely friends!

I've been contemplating opening an Etsy shop for quite some time, so I've finally taken the first step, and listed an apron that I sewed a few years ago. It's been sitting around for a while, so I decided it would be worth the chance to sell it! 



Here's the link if you want to check it out! 

Any advice for selling on Etsy, or just selling handmade products in general? I'm excited, but feeling a little over my head, and uncertain how I should run my shop. I'd like to offer custom fabric choices, because I have a large stash, but more listings help the shop be more visible... but at the same time however, there are already a lot of aprons available on Etsy, and I don't want to make a bunch of aprons if they'll end up not selling. 

I also have some 18" doll dresses, I should probably go ahead and list those too. Except I'm much more tempted to keep those in case I have daughters some day! 

I'd love to hear your thoughts!