Saturday, December 14, 2013

39 weeks!

This post probably won't be of much interest to most of you, but I'm trying to chronicle my own thoughts and feelings as I go so I can remember later.

I'm 39 weeks pregnant today!  That means only seven days to go until my due date!  I'm officially on maternity leave, so we're ready to go anytime now! C'mon baby!! We went to the midwife this week and she checked baby's heart rate and position, which were both great, and told us that "now we wait!" ...and so we're waiting!  There's such anticipation in the air, and I can't help but think of that first Christmas, and the anticipation Mary must have felt...  Isaac spoke more eloquently and beautifully on it than I could on his blog:

I'm going to miss these kicks and bumps she gives me, but I'm very ready to meet her!  This desire is only amplified by a late return of morning sickness.  I can't seem to keep up with this active girl's metabolism!  She's an eating machine!!

It's a weird feeling, this waiting for labor to begin.  I know in my head what will happen - my contractions will come closer together and increase in intensity... I know this, but what will it feel like?  I can't quite wrap my mind and emotions around it.  There's so much expectancy built into the start!  I'm not afraid of the discomfort because I'm so excited to know I get to meet her.  I know my body can and will do what it needs to do to bring her to me safely if I just relax and let it work...  But what will it be like?  How and when will it start?  I've had contractions...I've even had two in a row... But I somehow can't bring myself to understand it.  So we wait, and expect, and anticipate, and prepare.

One thing I do understand is nesting.  Not only is it a natural instinct to prepare for a new little life, it's a necessary release of anticipatory energy!  If I keep myself busy, particularly in preparing for this little girl, I feel like I'm doing something to ease the anticipation of her arrival.

Things I'll Miss:
- Feeling her kick, hiccup, punch, stretch, and turn.
- Having her with me all the time, just me and her
- The anticipation of meeting her -- She's my first, my baby, and while each subsequent pregnancy will be thrilling in its own right, she's the first to open my womb, to give me the joy of feeling life being created and knit together inside me!
- Knowing a bit of Isaac is always with me, inside me
- The smiles from strangers (and friends) when I walk by
- The fun stories of others' experiences 

Things I Won't Miss: 
- New stretchmarks each day
- Not sleeping
- Having to potty every 10 minutes
- The aches -- fingers (especially at night and in the morning -- I can't bend my fingers!), my hips, my pelvis, my feet...
- Morning sickness!
- The horror stories people think it's appropriate to share
- Not being able to run up steps, or a hill, or run period. 
- Waddling -- I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to relearn how to walk after she arrives!
- Ligament pain (it's like being stung by a bee!)

I've heard from so many friends and family that I'll miss pregnancy when it's over (at least some of the aspects), and so I'm working to savor each moment, and take this time to pray over my unborn daughter. 

And now, if you've made it this far, you're about to be rewarded with a few pictures! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013



It's one of our favorite family traditions each year to meet up in downtown Seattle and go see Santa at Nordstrom. The last two years I've been able to walk up from work to join the Coury's and Isaac.  This year I got there and they were already inside in line -- perfect!  Noah and Isaac were sitting on the stairs, chatting about things only boys can appreciate, Ava was cradling her beloved Saige (American Girl doll), and Sarah and Brian were chatting happily.  What a wonderful scene!

We were just in time to meet our favorite Santa!  We've had several over the years, and all truly look the part, but this Santa is our favorite!  He's jolly, patient, and kind, and does a great job interacting with   the kids while simultaneously posing them for some wonderful pictures!

The kids each made their request to Santa (just one thing), and he asked if they wanted anything else for Christmas -- both shrugged and said "no."  I just LOVE these kids!  They're unselfish!  They each had one modest gift they're looking forward to receiving.  He responded, "how about some nice surprises?" and they both grinned.  Sarah and Brian are doing a great job of raising their children!!

At the end, as we were getting ready to leave, Santa called me over and made me take a picture with him.  Let's just say I wasn't a hard sell! :) He's a lovely Santa!  So we got baby girl's first Santa picture this year, and look forward to continuing the tradition with her next year and the years to come!

We don't over-emphasize Santa in our family, and the kids know he's not the reason for the season.  We do enjoy the fun of Santa in this season, though, and I think we were raised with a great balance of Santa being fun, but peripheral to Jesus' birth.  I see that same tradition being carried on in the kids in the new generation, and it's just so fun!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Lovely Sister Tea!

The girls have a lovely tradition of gathering together each time one of us is approaching a life event, and sometimes when we just need one another.  It's a time of laughter, advice, questions and answers, bonding, and tea -- or spiced cider as the season allows!  

This time we gathered to celebrate baby girl's impending birth.  Sarah provided a lovely spread of gluten-free fare, supplemented by the cousins.  We spent time loving on the littlest cousins, laughing about being wives and (soon to be) mothers!  It was a lovely time of bonding, and I wouldn't trade it for anything!  I so wish that Xandra, Rose, and Nickole could have made it -- they were the only thing lacking!  And, of course, my mom and mom-in-law!  

Traditional cousin picture: cousins carrying cousins! 
Thank you ladies for making me and baby feel loved, and more prepared for her arrival!! 

Two of the happiest babies on the block! Hope my little one is as content as these two! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Kingdom of God and the Modern Mind

I am so proud of my husband!  He just finished, and published, his second book!!  This time he diverged from his initial subject, Physics, and took on another hefty subject:  He looked at contrasting the Gospel (the Kingdom of God) and the Modern Mind (skeptics and popular cultural beliefs about man and God).

I had the pleasure of editing his book for him, and was thoroughly encouraged and challenged to reassess my reasons for believing.  I questioned, argued, laughed, nodded in agreement, and thoroughly enjoyed reading his essays.  His writing is first-person, and he engages his readers in following his process in debating the modern mind.  Whether you agree with him or the Modern Mind he takes on, you won't be disappointed in the read. He'll challenge you to see both sides, and ultimately choose, and be strengthened in your convictions.  The one option Jesus doesn't offer us is to remain luke warm.  In his own way, Isaac emulates this by calling his readers to take a stance and be encouraged.  Skeptics beware, you may find your foundations shaken.  Christians and believers, take heart and be encouraged as he takes on the difficult topics of today's post-post-modern society and shows the Gospel to be relevant and true even today.

I've included his synopsis here as it beautifully captures the themes of the book:

What does the Kingdom of God look like? 

What does the Modern Mind stand for? 

This collection of essays on faith, reason, God, man, science and philosophy, asks these questions and many others.  Christians will be encouraged to seek God more fully and to proclaim their faith with renewed boldness, while skeptics will be challenged to look honestly at matters of faith and to question the premises of their own unbelief.

Order your own copy today, and while you're there, buy one for a friend or family member. You will not be disappointed! 

Paperback or Kindle copies available here: The Kingdom of God and the Modern Mind

And to read more from Isaac, you can find his blog here: 

Read and agree, or even better, read and disagree, or challenge, or question!  Isaac loves to engage with his readers to honestly discuss issues of faith, reason, science, the Gospel, and so much more!  Then once you do, please share this on your blog, facebook page, twitter, google+, instagram... Just share the book love, and support an aspiring local author!

Two Little Bear Cubs

Last year I made Ava a bear hat/cowl.  She gets a ton of compliments on it when they go out, and Noah wanted in on some of that action.  Sarah and I talked and decided he needed a bear hat all his own.  Enter the "Darling Little Ear Flap Hat" (available on ravelry for a very small fee) pattern, and I just knew I had to make it for Noah.

Tonight he got his hat... I'd say he's pretty happy with it!  I always breathe a sigh of relief when a project is done, delivered, and proves a success!!  

I love these two crazy cubs! 

They are officially TOO MUCH!

8 Months!

I'll officially have completed eight months of pregnancy on Thursday!  I'm trying to record my thoughts and feelings throughout this pregnancy, mostly for myself, so feel free to skim through my ramblings below. :)

I still feel pretty great -- no nausea!  I have a lot of achiness now in my finger joints, my feet (all the time), my lower back, my legs, sometimes my belly...but these are typical aches from having a growing person in my belly and having added 30ish pounds to my frame in less than six months.  When else will I have these unique circumstances?  All in all, I feel pretty good!

My energy levels are hit and miss, but I'm to the point that I feel the need, nay the compulsion to prepare for this little one's arrival!  Isaac, bless him, is trying to keep up with my project list, and has been a trooper through my restlessness, even in the face of exhaustion.

Typical conversation between us:

"I'm sooo tired."
Isaac: "Just sit down and relax"
Me (after a few minutes of attempting to sit still): "Yeah, I just need to be DOING something"
Isaac: "Yeah, I can see that." (Bless him for not kicking me off the couch as I attempt to snuggle with him and relax, while constantly shifting and twitching).

I just cannot sit still. I'm either doing something, or sleeping.  This has necessitated coming up with creative ways to prepare without spending a ton of money.  I'll show all the projects in another post, but let's just say, there have been plenty in addition to a huge increase in my cleaning. Suddenly it's imperative that our house be very, very clean all. the. time. All the time. I'm trying to temper this so as to not make my husband insane. I don't think he'd appreciate me cleaning up his plate as he's trying to finish his meal. So I'm trying to be okay with a few dishes here and there, and not putting the laundry away the second I hear the dryer beep.

Sleep is getting more tricky. It's hard to find a position that's comfortable for more than a few minutes. Turning over is a monumental event that leaves both of us awake for several minutes.  Though last night I slept the clock around. I know these days are numbered, so I fully enjoyed it, though when I finally woke and got up at 8:30 this morning (yes, this means I was asleep before 8:30 last night), I had quite the sleep hangover.

And now what you probably wanted, a few photos of my penultimate month of pregnancy!!  My shirts are getting too short, and my pants are down to two pairs that will fit over my belly (more or less) coat is struggling as I ask more and more of that second button to keep me warm and dry through the rainy season. I figure by next week I'll be forced into wearing Isaac's hiking coat, which is positively tent-like, but it's December, and I'm really pregnant. I'm sure I'll be thankful for it the first time I step out in it in the rain and don't end up completely soaked!

In case you thought I was joking about my giant belly, and no longer fitting my shirts, I give you exhibit D: 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Baby Shower that Wasn't

Yep, from the title of the post, you might know that my baby shower was cancelled. It was a bit of a sad day for me.  When we planned it, neither my wonderful friend and hostess, Brook, nor I took into consideration that it fell smack in the middle of a three-day weekend.  Oops!  Everyone was either traveling or home with sick kiddos.

But she and Logan (and Lindy June) still made us feel so very loved with a special visit that afternoon, and a sweet gift of a high chair! It's already set up and makes me smile every time I see it!  It reminds me of what's to come, and also of the love and fellowship we have with one of our most favorite couples.

Also, special thanks to Kelly who, though unable to come to my shower (it was also her nephew's birthday), made me a beautiful and delicious cake! It was almost too pretty to cut into -- almost!!

We ended up eating about a quarter of it, and then serendipity! We were set to bring the meal to our Missional Community group (Church community group) that week, so we were able to sugar up all our new friends' kids (you're welcome).  :) So, Kelly, if you're reading this, the cake was very much enjoyed by all! :) Thank you!! 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Baby's First Costume

It's Halloween, and I decided to participate.  It's not often you have a cute bump to decorate, and I decided to make the most of it.  My office encouraged all of us to participate, so I figured "why not?"  I hit Pinterest, and came up with what I thought was a sure-fire crowd pleaser.

My co-worker and I went to lunch in Pike Place on Halloween (that's an adventure in and of itself, y'all!), and baby girl actually got me some trick or treat candy (unsolicited!). I got so many compliments on my little Snoopy!!  I'm afraid I've set the bar high for her future costumes!!

And yes, sometimes you need to make the costume while wearing it.  I only managed to sew it to my undershirt twice.  I was afraid if I wasn't wearing it, I'd put it on and Snoopy would have been a bit more abstract than what I was going for.  All in all, a quick, inexpensive costume that I highly recommend if you happen to be (very) preggers in October! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Fall Walk with Some of my Favorites!

A few photos from our fall walk along the Cedar River! Many thanks to Auntie Sam and Glenda for coordinating it!  It was lovely!!

I had to climb an embankment to make this about making the hubs nervous -- I'm not exactly graceful at the best of times, and pregnancy has not increased my balance... 

Uncle Isaac Monster in action! Doesn't Ava look terrified? 

More cool 'shrooms! 

I just want to kiss these cheeks all the time! 

Look at this toothless girl!  Doesn't she look just like her mama? 

He's not exactly "sneaky"... 

Uncle I helped Noah find quite the stick! 

Sword fighting is this little guy's favorite! 
Note Ava's stance...Noah was so excited to have a real participant in Uncle I! 

Noah: "I will take this stick and I will kill a bear with it"
Me: "Hmmm...that sign says 'No Hunting,' sorry buddy!"
Noah: "We-ell, maybe a little farther along there will not be a sign, and then I will kill a bear." 

He stayed prepared for the rest of the walk... 

What a gentleman I married! 

I love helicopters! 

Over to Gene Coulon for some chowdah and a few more pictures... 

So cool -- remote controlled sail boats! 

Nevermind the goose poop everywhere, this boy's gonna jump into and roll through the leaf pile! 

My beautiful sister: 

And now, this post wouldn't be complete without some of Noah's one liners from the day: 

“Hey Auntie, when is that egg in your belly gonna hatch?”

(while swinging a big stick): “I could crack that egg for you if you mind” 
Isaac: “Uh, no thanks, buddy!”
Noah: “I was actually talking to auntie”

“Is auntie going to take more family pictures today, because....(motions to outfit)?” (He would have preferred cozy pants (fleece sweats) and a sweatshirt, to be sure. haha! Turns out I DID take his picture, and for the most part, he’s pretty cool with it... emphasis on for the most part. 

Fall maternity photos!

Just some pictures from our seventh month of pregnancy!  Sarah was gracious enough to take some super cute pictures of Isaac and me and our little nugget!  We hit the Cedar River trail with my Auntie Sam (we love and miss you!!), and also got some awesome photos!  It was a great day all around...great family, happy kids, beautiful fall colors and smells, a caramel apple cider, and finishing off with Ivar's!  

Leaf fights are always fun! 

A little leaf serendipity! My belly catches a lot of things these days...this was cuter than most! 

One of my favorite maternity shots to date:

We love you, Auntie Sam! 

Isaac is such a good sport when it comes to taking pictures! 

I love him!! 

Aaand I love THEM! Future cousins!