Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Beach Day with the Girls

I really wasn't sure how well me and Hollyn would do in the sweltering heat, but we braved it and went to the beach with some of the girls in my CCCC high school group (Plus my sister and Trina (the other leader) and her two boys). It ended up being perfect! Kayti brought a tent so I spent a lot of time in the shade with a nice breeze that kept it cool.

Ready to go!

Kris and me

We found the absolute perfect spot where we could park on the beach for free... minus the seaweed. But the girls cut us a path :)
Sooo... ya... I did it... at 36 weeks pregnant I decided to just go for it... less because of self confidence and more because I'm cheap and I didn't want to waste money on a maternity bathing suit.

If nothing else, it makes me laugh!

Our set up

Kayti and Maegan

Trina and her boys

The girls made a "sand Katie" complete with the pop-out belly button and all :)

Bailey, Kayti, and me

Christian, Trina, and Carter

So after a fun day I came home to wash the sand and salt off and I was impressed by the lack of tan lines... a pat on the back for being so responsible and protecting my skin... well... until I got out of the shower to discover this...

And a left leg to match! Seriously!?! How does this happen?!?! ...Well, I can take a guess. I used SPF lotion on my face, neck, chest, and shoulders (I'm afraid if I get any more sun on those areas I'm going to look all old and leathery!). But I used spray lotion everywhere else. And it didn't feel so great on my freshly shaved legs so I cheated a little. Lesson learned.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Milestone of 5 Years!

Today is a very special day. It is hard to believe, but Jeff and I have been married for five years. Five years definitely feels like a significant milestone. We've been through so much and yet we have so much ahead of us.

It has occurred to me that I haven't shared our story on this blog and since I'd love for my kids to know this one day, when is a better time than now.

This is the first pic Jeff and I ever took together. This couch, in the playroom of my parents old house, is where he asked me to be his girlfriend and where we had our first kiss <3

I met Jeff through our church at the age of 16. He was 20 and in a college group with my sister. The first time I saw him I thought how cute he was and remember telling my sister what an amazing smile he has.

But that was it. It was the summer before my junior year. I was having fun. And actually in a "serious" relationship (I think it lasted about 6 months so in high school terms, "serious" ;).

It was when this so called "serious" relationship ended at the beginning of my junior year that I began questioning dating. I didn't see myself marrying this guy but yet I felt hurt when he broke up with me. What was the point of the pain? I began praying to God that the next man I date be my future husband. I did not want to waste my time. 

God answered.

It was about a week after the break up when I had lunch with my sis and the college group at a Taco Bell and I remember talking to Jeff and telling him that I wasn't in that relationship anymore. It was funny (and really cute) because I could hear almost a happiness in his voice after I told him. He said I should start hanging out with the college group more and we talked about running together. 

And my crush began.

So it was my 17th birthday (Oct 31, 2002). I had just finished tennis practice (which meant an hour and a half of tennis practice plus half of an hour of conditioning) and had plans to go to dinner for my birthday with my family when Jeff called to see if I wanted to go running. Keep in mind it was my birthday and it's not like I needed the exercise... but I jumped at the opportunity!

So for the next week, we started running together (I really don't remember how many times). But it was a really great way to get to know each other. We would talk while we ran (we were actually in good enough shape to do that). On one run, I distinctly remember telling Jeff that I was either going to marry someone I just met (hint, hint) or someone I would meet in the future... and he agreed. (Ha!) I really felt a connection with him... it was different. But he was 20! (And in 2 months would be 21!)

Christmas dance was around the corner and at our school, the girls asked the guys to this dance. Most of my friends were going but I had no one to ask. My best friend knew that I liked Jeff so she pushed me to ask him. No way! Why would he want to go to a stupid high school dance???

Don't know how it happened. I don't consider myself to be bold. But on one of our runs, Christmas dance came up. I told Jeff I was not going but he thought I should. Then somehow... maybe God gave me the words... I (in record speed talking time) said something like "well, if I went I would want to go with you but you would never want to go to a stupid high school dance so I don't want to go" To which Jeff replied, "I'll go. Just let me know so I can get a tux." My jaw must have dropped. I couldn't believe what just happened. To this day I remember exactly where we were in my parents' neighborhood. Of course I was like "ya, I guess I want to go then." (Ha!)

Not sure how I kept running after that. Then Jeff proceeded to ask me out on our first date. I was in shock and ecstatic but also worried what my parents would say because of the age difference. Fortunately, my parents let me go. We had our first date at Olive Garden on November 8, 2002. I actually still had my braces on and Jeff jokes about how I covered my mouth a lot while eating. After dinner we were watching TV at my parents' house and Jeff was like "sooooo, are weeeee...." Not really sure the words that followed but somehow we decided at that moment we were dating. 

I can honestly say I knew Jeff was the man I was going to marry even before that moment. I just knew. But when I was away for the Thanksgiving holiday (at the deer lease with my family), I prayed for a sign from God that he was the one.

And God answered.

I saw a shooting star fall from the sky and felt confirmation from God. So sometime that December, I told Jeff I was going to write him a letter... not sure if I explained much more than that. And he said he was going to write me one too. We went to a park and read our letters to each other. Our letters both expressed our love for one another and and both included our intentions to marry the other... cheesy, yes, but true.

Of course it wasn't all rainbows and butterflies from there on out. My parents really struggled with the age difference for a while but eventually gave in.

When I graduated high school Jeff had picked his career and was going to school for it as well as working in the outpatient physical therapy department of St. John's Hospital. I started attending the same college and actually ended up getting a job at St. John's as well in the outpatient pediatric therapy department. So Jeff and I would ride to school together, go to our separate classes, then ride to work together, and go to our separate departments.

After a year of this, Jeff was a year away from graduating and decided we should get engaged and married. (Not sure what his original timeline was). I was freaked out at first. I was 19 and had never left mommy and daddy's house. I was set on graduating college before we got married. So Jeff and I prayed about it.

And God answered.

We ended up both having peace about it. And as hard as it probably was on my parents, they understood. So Jeff proposed in May of 2005 (at the park where we first said I love you) and we were married a year later (June 24, 2006)

Five years ago today I walked down the isle to the rest of my life, to my soul mate, my best friend, my protector, and my leader. To think I was a mere 20 year old. If I only knew then what I know now. It seems like just in the last year we've finally learned what God wants our marriage to look like. And we are striving for that image.

Jeff, just as I knew, without a doubt, at 17, that you were my soul mate, I still know today. I love you for a million small reasons but, most importantly, for the biggest reason... God made us for each other. I feel like we are embarking on a whole new phase of our marriage by growing our family together. I'm sure it will have it's challenges but just as God always has, He will continue to give us the answers. I'm anxiously looking forward to this new journey together.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Big Reveal

It's finally time for the big reveal! I've been slowly putting little Hollyn's nursery together and I didn't want to post any pics until it was complete... and, well, for a perfectionist, that takes time. (And honestly, there's still a few things I want to add)

The nursery is extra special to me because majority of the things in her room were some how handmade/installed/refinished by either myself, my mom, my hubby, or my dad.

The tour:

Entering her room. The floors were installed by Jeff and my dad.

Her beautiful crib, purchased special for her by her Aunt Kristy :)

My mom made the bedding (and I must say she did an AMAZING job!)

This is a picture I made for the nursery. I knew I wanted this verse in her room (1 Samuel 1:27) so Kelsey helped me come up with this idea and I love it!

Ok, so this chair may not be the cutest for a nursery but it is so comfortable. Plus it reclines :) (My mom is working on a pillow and blanket to match the bedding which will spruce it up a bit)

I found the lamp base and shade separately and then just bedazzled the shade a little bit. We found the table for $10 on Craigslist and I just refinished it to match the dresser... cheap and easy... gotta love it!

I found this wall sconce at Z Gallerie and fell in love. It was actually bright white so I spray painted it ivory to match better.

My mom also made the valance :) (We may eventually add a curtain too because it still gets pretty bright in her room.

I found this dollhouse at a garage sale (for $10!) and just refinished it. Turned out to be a great decorative storage space.

Jeff hung these shelves which proved to be a bit of a challenge. I spray painted the dress form ivory to match and then made a tutu for it. (But I plan on making more)

The dresser was also a piece I got off Craigslist and refinished.

I found this mirror at a garage sale (for $5!) and just spray painted it to match... it's amazing what a little spray paint can do ;)

(One thing missing is her growth chart. This momma has been tired and busy. Promise to post a pic once it's finished.)

 Hope you enjoyed the tour! I can't wait until Hollyn gets to see it :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

8 Months!

It's hard to believe... but today is officially 8 months!

35 Weeks

Scale: has gone up a total of 23 lbs. (1 lb this month)

Belly growth: Gained 8.5 inches total. (0.5 inches this month)

Jonesin' for: Since my diagnosis with Gestational Diabetes, this really doesn't matter. I eat a very strict diet so even if I do have cravings for good stuff I can't have it anyways. Boo.

Repulsed by: I'm really not having any unusual repulsions lately.

Symptoms:  Back pain, swelling, pelvic pain, calve cramps... check! All still there! Newer symptoms: the WORST acid reflux I have ever experienced! I've never had a problem getting heartburn from spicy foods but just eating pepperoni gives me instant heart burn! It's usually the worst at night and makes me extremely nauseous. Also, I have one very active little girl dancing around in my belly! The nurses always ask about the baby's activity because they would be concerned if I wasn't feeling much... I always assure them that this is not the case with this little girl... I was actually concerned that she was moving too much! Ha! (Apparently not a concern :) As exciting as it is to feel and watch her move, it's gotten to the painful point. She really likes to knee me in my right side and it tends to catch me off guard. And one of her favorites is to push her legs into my lungs and ribs (You don't need to breathe mom).  At 34 weeks, I actually experienced my first (that I know of) Braxton Hicks. It freaked me out! I didn't think Braxton Hicks were suppose to be painful and, well, let me assure you these were. Luckily, I had my doctor's appointment the same day and was able to discuss this with the doctor who assured me it was just my body preparing for the really stuff.

Clothes: I'm only wearing maternity bottoms or bottoms with elastic waists. And I wear a combo of maternity tops and FEW regular tops that are just longer... but the regular tops have to be MUCH longer to work. (I've been sleeping in Jeff's T-shirts because mine weren't cutting it).

Bedtime: The exhaustion is back and I prefer to be in bed no later than 9:00.

*Hollyn Faith* is: about 13 1/4 inches long head to rump and 20 1/4 inches in total length. She weighs about 5 1/2 lbs. (This is all according to the book)

Fun Fact: My doctor has mentioned before not letting me go past 40 weeks but at my last doctor's appointment (at 34 weeks) he mentioned inducing at 39 weeks. Apparently, with gestational diabetes the placenta starts to deteriorate sooner which is why he would consider inducing. But it's important not to induce too early because gestational diabetes also causes the baby's lungs to develop slower. So this could mean Hollyn being here in 4 weeks! (WOW!)

I have to say the gestational diabetes has been very stressful and I was panicked that I would have to go on insulin. The doctor started me on oral meds (Glumetza) at 30 weeks but my sugar was still running too high so he upped the dose at 32 weeks and thankfully it seems to be doing the trick.

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's Raining Babies??? Part 2

My oh so sweet ex-coworkers threw me a baby shower a couple of Saturdays ago (May 28). (Thank you Jess and Brigid!) It was so much fun to all get together and catch up. Unfortunately, I did not do a good job of taking pictures but I can assure you, it was wonderful and Hollyn scored some awesome gifts!

This Saturday (June 4), my mom, MIL, and sis threw me a family shower. It was a ton of fun and the best part was seeing family that I don't get to see that often.

The showering started a little early though... Jeff and I had stopped by my parents Friday night and in order to include Jeff and my dad in the gift giving, my parents gave us their gift early.

LOVE IT!!! (Hollyn's daddy and auntie put it together for her :)

We had to test it out ;)
Ok, now to Saturday!

The cake

The delicious food... mmmm!

And the gifts! (From her Great Mimi)

Sadie, Aunt Janet, Aunt Alison, and Kenzie

My Nana couldn't be there but she sent her gift... a precious knitted blanket and two baby caps.

My sis has decided to brainwash Hollyn from a early age... the one bazillionth "Auntie" item ;)

Hollyn's pack n' play... from Aunt Karol

Our first Bingo winner, Jeff's Aunt Mary :)
Ballerina socks from mom

This one was for Jeff... from Alison and Andy (guessing Andy picked this out ;)

My sweet friend Sharon had the most precious little set made for Hollyn including a pillow with three pillow cases, a large blanket, and burp cloths! So adorable! (Plus she got her tons of cute outfits!)

Silver sandals from my cousin Meg and Sadie...

along with this adorable dress

The light weight stroller (for when Hollyn is a little bigger) from Loree... and one from my MIL... not sure who this one was from :)

Cousin Kenzie (well, second cousin once removed, lol) and me

Me and my sissy

Mur (Jeff's grandma) and me

Cousin Loree (second cousin ;) and me

Everything was so wonderful! Let's just say Hollyn is one blessed little girl. Now I'm just waiting for the day when I get to use all this awesome stuff!