Monday, April 22, 2013

pilgrimage along I-81

I'm not sure exactly when it started (probably the weekend after I wrote this post), but some time last year I began treating my drives to and from Harrisonburg as a time set aside for God. 

The drive to Harrisonburg is stunning 365 days out of the year. My last trip down was in January and I distinctly remember tearing up with gratitude as I drove past endless fields and mountains covered in snow and dotted with farm animals. This time, the fields were a bright green and the trees on the mountains were no longer bare. I adore spring. 

I spend most of the two-hour drive singing, but sometimes I have to pause the song because I'm so overwhelmed with emotion. Little words of praise will pass my lips. Mostly, thank you. Other times I will feel burdened with something and spend the time sighing and swallowing tears and praying please, take this from me.

But singing always happens. I played only two CDs this trip - music from Bethel Live's "The Loft Sessions" and "For the Sake of the World" and Hillsong United's latest, "Zion."

Here are the songs I played on repeat:

Friday, April 19, 2013

21 weeks

still wondering how far along I really am...
This week, bless it, flew by. Today I have an OB appt, lunch with a friend and a potentially rainy drive to Harrisonburg! Andy and I will both be heading to the 'burg in a few weeks for a wedding, but I'm popping down for a couple days to get some quality time with girlfriends and I can't WAIT. I'm also reeeeally excited about getting Jack Brown's. I think I might go twice. We were supposed to have our gender reveal party this weekend, so I'm glad I have something fun planned to help make up for the extra wait.

I wore the above dress to a bridal shower this week and was asked if there was a non-maternity version. I said, "this IS the non-maternity version!" I know this in-between phase won't last much longer... I have to embrace it while I can!

Oh, check out how tan I was when I wore this dress two years ago:

Is it just me, or do I look like I could become a leathery-faced old lady? :-/
(We had gone to the beach twice that summer.) I miss being tan! And I miss my long hair.

I digress.

I'm currently reading "Bittersweet" by Shauna Niequist and it is really blessing/challenging me. Shauna just put out another book and it seemed fitting that I read this article and watched the interview (isn't my friend Kelly stunning?) only hours before having our friends Matt and Leslie over for an impromptu dinner party. I made a chicken and zucchini casserole last night and served the leftovers tonight with a simple salad, and later put out fruit and mini cannoli from the grocery store bakery for dessert. It was the easiest meal to throw together and I didn't feel an ounce of stress! I'm normally a ball of nerves before company comes over! I forgot to dust! Should I have organized the fridge? What if they open it? Thank goodness for yummy leftovers and gracious guests.

best meal: leftovers with good friends, of course.
happy moments: I fiiiinally started nesting this week. Our guest rooms are what I really need to focus my attention on, but for some reason all I wanted to do was clean out and organize the master bedroom closet and the linen closet. At least I've made progress, right? Also, both Andy and I got to feel Leslie's baby kick last night. Andy's never felt a baby kick before and his face looked so shocked and happy! I can't wait for him to feel HIS baby.
baby moments: Lots of flutters this week! It never gets old.

Friday, April 12, 2013

20 weeks... I think?

scroll to the end of the post for belly shot outtakes
We had an ultrasound last week and had the best time seeing our little baby and identifying different body parts. Most of the time we could tell it was a baby, but every now and then it would look like an alien! During the first half of the ultrasound I had to have a full bladder, so the baby was squished and curled up sleeping. Its little ankles were crossed and we could count the toes. Then, after I went to the bathroom, baby flipped over and started moving its mouth and kicking its feet. It was the coolest thing I have ever seen.

(apologies for using the word "it." baby understands.)
look at that lil nose and mouth! and elbow! haha
holding his/her ear
skinny little arm :)
the inside of baby's brain. see the little fingers above the head?

The whole thing was so magical, but it ended on a disappointing note. The technician told me that there was "no way" I was nearly 20 weeks (based on my due date, I was 19 weeks 5 days at the time of the ultrasound). She said the baby was measuring proportionate but small, and that she estimated me to be SIXTEEN WEEKS AND SIX DAYS. Whaaa? I told her that was impossible and that I'm very sure of my dates, but that didn't change her mind. Based on the measurements, my new due date is September 14th. 

I left the imaging center wanting to cry, but I felt guilty over being so upset. In the grand scheme of things, being a few weeks behind is not a big deal. A lot of thoughts were running through my head, such as that's three extra weeks I have to wait to meet the baby! and my belly is way too big to be sixteen weeks! and even that means I have to go back and change every blog post!

After a few days of mulling things over, I decided to call my OB's office and talk to the nurse. Since I had the ultrasound at an imaging center and not at my doctor's office, the nurse and my OB had to look at the baby's measurements on paper as opposed to on the screen. She said, "We've looked over the baby's measurements and we're just as confused as you are!" I've never been so relieved to hear that a doctor is confused! She told me that it's possible I am off by a little bit, but that I should continue moving forward with my original due date. They scheduled me to have another ultrasound in two weeks to see if the baby has caught up to a proper size and weight. I'll keep ya posted...

It's been a good week, other than the confusing news and a weird bout of dehydration. I really thought that I was drinking plenty of water on Wednesday, but I woke up from a nap feeling dizzy and it only got worse with time. It eventually escalated so much that I started shaking and sobbing and called my mom in a panic. She encouraged me to ask a friend to come over since Andy was at work. My friend Kiniqua jumped in her car the minute I called and sat with me for four hours until I felt better. I'm so grateful for the friends God has blessed me with in Frederick!

Happily, the weather has been superb this week! We spent last weekend visiting friends in Richmond and had a fabulous time soaking up the sun in Maymont Park. Andy and I always get extra lovey-dovey for each other when we're on vacation, even in the face of nasty traffic on 95 (blerg). The "honeymoon" has lasted all week and my body is exhausted. (FROM LAUGHING, people. my mother reads this blog!) 

A few of my jobs for this past week were cancelled, but I didn't mind! I spent my days walking the dog along the creek (and watching her joyfully dive into the water for the first time this year), taking long naps and re-reading "The Glass Castle." There are countless projects around the house I could have been working on, but my attitude right now is to soak up as much rest as I can!

best meal: last night I walked to the store to pick up salad and cannoli to go along with our "Italian" leftovers (cold cut pizza and spicy Italian sausage w/ penne and peppers). It was a big meal that I stretched over two hours. 
happy moments: laughing with Andy so hard that we both cried. on multiple occasions.
baby moments: I love feeling like I have a little partner in everything I'm doing — even mundane tasks like washing dishes. 

belly outtake reel:
(andy started taking pictures rapidly and the first time he did it, I started laughing. the second time he did it I just threw my hands up in surrender.)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

19 weeks

this outfit is so comfortable and belly-friendly that I wore it 3 times in one week
Let's just pretend that week 18 never happened. I had a miserable cold and my nausea and food aversions resurfaced. Oh, and pimples. :-/ My 18 week picture reflected how awful I felt, so we'll be keeping that one to ourselves...

19 weeks! Moving along! Before I forget — pregnant ladies, you need to get yo'selves a pair of these amazing pants. They're much cuter in person. (I'm wearing them in the pic above.) I got them for $14.99 b/c I used a coupon, but they're still a steal at $19.99. If you're between sizes I'd recommend buying a size down. Gap returns are super simple, so buy two sizes if you're nervous.

I cannot for the life of me figure out a comfortable sleeping position! I've tried a pillow wedged behind me, a pillow in between my knees, a pillow in between my chest (weird, I know)... nothing is working. I keep meaning to go out and buy a body pillow to see if that does the trick. Any suggestions?

Also, when will normal food be appealing again? All I really want is a cheeseburger. I haven't had one in SO LONG! (A week.) Suddenly 95% of the foods I mentioned in my "eating for two" post sound gross.

In addition to these crazy sleep and food issues, a bird(s) got into our house through a vent that leads outside. We started hearing it on Sunday night but couldn't do anything about it b/c it was dark outside. Yesterday Andy asked to borrow a neighbor's ladder because the vent is reeeeally high up on the outside of our house, but the guy wasn't home. Hopefully it will get taken care of today. I'm so sick of hearing wings flapping furiously inside the walls/above the ceiling. It's terrifying! I have a horrible vision of the bird flapping so hard that it comes through the kitchen cabinets.

On the bright side, we get to see the baby this week! I can hardly wait. 

best meal: other than burgers, I craved IHOP last week. (I know. I'm the worst.) We went, and I cleaned my plate faster than Andy. I hardly ate for the rest of the day.
happy moments: a super sweet friend of mine here in Frederick asked if she could throw me a baby shower! I cried. (That should really be the title of my blog... "I cried.") I didn't expect anyone would throw me a shower here, and I was so touched. (hey girl, I know you're reading this. you're awesome.)
baby moments: the other night I was on top of our bed with our dog, who was to the right of my feet. Andy was kneeling on the floor to my left and was rubbing my feet. Sweet man. He accidently tickled me and I jerked my foot and yelped, and right away Casey gave a moan-y growl and covered my feet with her head. Little protector! She's never done anything like that before. Who knows for sure the why of it, but we like to think she senses my "condition." Also, the baby might be able to hear our voices now, so we've been upping how much we talk and sing to him/her.