If you go back to one of my original posts, you will read about how proud I was that I had a sub lined up for my maternity leave. Getting this secured in September allowed me to have some peace throughout the semester. Until it all fell apart. My sub was supposed to be an intern who had been working in the history department this past semester; she got a job at Northridge in December. I went into panic mode. Many tears were shed over this. I prayed. People around me were praying, but I should have known that the place to share this was in Sunday School. I mean, we have single-handedly prayed the price of gas down (sort of... :) ). So, I had a breakdown in SS. I was attempting to have this situation put on the prayer list, but I don't think I even got the whole thing out. However, God obviously heard, because a guy in our Sunday School class said that his brother was a sub with the City schools, and didn't have anything to do next semester. Almost immediately I felt a relief wave over me. I was able to get in touch with his brother; we talked for 20 minutes or so, and all was confirmed. God is killing me with this trust thing... :)
Our Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Our large tree wouldn't actually fit in our living room this year, so I settled for a tiny tree for the table. It was actually really nice because I put it up and had it decorated in 30 minutes. The take down was just as easy! Next year though...
Another one has come and gone. And this one is our last one alone. As Michael and I opened presents Christmas morning (I let him sleep in until 7:30!), we couldn't help but think ahead to next year...although Olivia probably won't be old enough to appreciate the wonder of going to bed early anxiously anticipating the arrival of Santa Claus, it is going to be so much fun helping her with her presents. We have been talking recently about starting traditions and even though we have a year to think about it, we already have some good ideas. :) On top of this though, we really want her to know the real meaning of Christmas. Presents are nice, but her Savior is, well, her Savior. We had a great (last) Christmas with each other. We both got both practical and fun gifts. Michael got me a 8GB memory card for my camera, so expect plenty of pictures and videos!!
Like many families during the holiday season, Michael and I have several family gatherings to attend. This past Saturday we took care of his father's side of the family. We had a great time visiting with family that we don't get to see enough of. For the first part of the day, we were at Granny Harris's Christmas party. Michael especially loved it this year because we got a start to his family tree. Because Olivia's arrival is right around the corner (literally!), his aunts and grandmother put together a good bit of his background - up through great grandparents. It was really neat, because there were old family photos included, too. This was certainly a gift we will treasure. For the rest of the evening we hung out at his dad's. After exchanging gifts, Michael worked on computer stuff (I'm glad he could help, but blah, boring!), and I got to hang with the girls - MUCH more fun than stupid computer stuff - even though we only talked about the Jonas Brothers. I mean really...could there be more girly guys?!? I guess my parents felt the same way about the New Kids on the Block!! (Oh, oh, oh, OH, oh -- Hangin' tough!!) I wonder what boy band will be popular when Olivia goes boy crazy??
This morning started out ROUGH. I had promised my first period kids for some time that I would bring them breakfast this week as a reward for their great behavior - not that it's too hard - there are only eight of them (don't ask...). So, I woke up early, got dressed and ready, and commenced making breakfast. Things were rolling along great, and Michael even got up to help me finish up. I was running a tad bit behind, so I started to rush in the kitchen. In the process, I managed to knock a bowl of marinara sauce from the night before off the edge of the counter. Doesn't sound so bad, right? That's what I thought. Whatever, it's on the floor, I'll clean it before I go. I couldn't fathom why Michael was as perturbed as he was - until I turned around. The bowl had hit the floor spewing marinara ALL OVER the kitchen. I literally mean ALL OVER. The refrigerator, the walls, the cabinets, the ceiling, the microwave, and not to mention, ME. I looked down to see the side of my white shirt and pants covered in spaghetti sauce. So, blue jean day moved to Wednesday. I truly had nothing else to wear - thank goodness that the City Board walk-throughs were yesterday!!
Tuesday was a crazy, exhausting day. Although I didn't make it through the City Board walk-throughs with out a visit (I just KNEW they were coming to my room...), I did rack up at our first baby shower! We got some really great gifts. Lots of clothes, a Boppy pillow, and perhaps my favorite - a Pink Spots! Thanks, Noah! We are very thankful and grateful for the love from Bryant High School. Now, as soon as a get her dresser painted we can start filling it up!
There are so many things that they don't tell you BEFORE you get pregnant. I mean, I was aware of the general: morning sickness, headaches, mood swings, etc. They don't tell you about the weird noises that you make getting up and down, the constant state of heartburn, and the trouble sleeping.
For the last few nights, I have been on the couch. Not because I was in the doghouse, but because my back and hips were hurting so bad from the bed. It was so bad Sunday afternoon that I had a hard time walking. So, Sunday night, I wanted to try something different. I asked Michael to pull the foam mattress pad off the bed and sleep with me in the floor. This didn't work. Well, not for me at least. I woke up at 3:00am, still in pain - with one dog alone in the real bed - Michael on one edge of the mattress - and the other dog on the other edge of the mattress. Since I was still hurting, I decided to try the couch. When I woke up again at 5:00, Michael was in the bed next to Sadie, and Jonah was on the mattress pad by himself, with his head on MY pillow. Sweet.
We fought with her hands the whole time. If she didn't have them blocking her face altogether, she was trying to stick them in her mouth.
VERY large feet. Bless her heart...she didn't stand a chance.
There are SO MANY things to say about these pictures that I don't know where to start. I am already so in love with this little girl it's not even funny! We were so excited to get the 4-D Ultrasound done on Thursday. Michael couldn't be there, but I was fortunate to have my Mom and my Grandmother by my side. There are somethings that are just too special to do alone. We learned that even at even at a chunky 4 pounds, she is right on track. She measured at 32weeks and 1day; according to my due date, I was 32weeks. Only eight more weeks to go!! This time has flown by!!
The nursery is FINALLY painted!! Michael and I have been working on it for a few days now. We started late Wednesday night, worked a bit more late last night, and I finished up the trim work and embellishments today. The polka dots took forever, but I loved it! When I retire one day, I am going to paint for a living. I love the creative elements involved in the whole process. Here's a video shot around the room, and a picture because Michael was being a dork with the camera. Don't ask why I was lying on the floor still holding paint.
So it's not the traditional "Baby Girl Pink" nursery, but I think it is adorable and fitting - Michael and I are not very traditional people...
Name them one by one! You remember that old song?? I haven't posted in a while, simply because I don't have that much to update on. Olivia is still growing, hiccuping, tae-boing, and somersaulting on a regular basis. She is really craving hamburgers and french fries. I try to indulge her whenever possible - my butt is showing it. So, as a result of not having too much to update, I thought I would share my many blessings for the month of November - since it is the month designated for giving thanks and all. There is one for each day of November and are not ranked by level of thanks. :)
1. I am thankful the drop in gas prices. I filled my tank up last week from below empty and it was only $43. Now I don't feel so guilty about driving anywhere.
2. I am thankful for my husband who is extremely generous with strangers and (literal) crack heads. This normally irritates me. God blessed it by allowing him to win a contest at work. We got the check last week.
3. I am thankful for nights out with friends. We got to spend some time with Chase and Kelli this past weekend. Who knew that an hour at Willie T's would be the last time I would see them for four years? Still grateful for the time.
4. Which brings me to Chase and Kelli. There is so much to say about these two. Let's sum it all up with God using them to bring us back to him. What a TREMENDOUS blessing. They leave for Indonesia in a few hours for the next 3 years. Wow.
5. I am thankful for our new church home. I feel like I really get to worship at Ridgecrest. It's great.
6. I am thankful for a brother and sister-in-law who are wrapping up in the having kids department right when I am starting. Hand-me-downs are the BEST. From maternity clothes to baby clothes to all kinds of stuff, I am eternally grateful.
7. I am thankful for new friends. Like changing schools mid year, I was worried about all of the friends we would lose/miss when we changed churches. While I still dearly miss them, I am very excited about the new ones we've made. We were able to fit in and bond right away. I love my friends!
8. I am thankful for a husband who is thankful for me.
9. I am thankful for a work place that, no matter how crazy it can get, I still secretly love. I love my friends there, and for the most part, my kids that I get to spend everyday with. After recently visiting my Alma mater, I know how lucky I really am.
10. I am thankful for the week off from school! As much as I secretly love it, it still makes me crazy and I needed a BREAK!
11. I am thankful for God's timing. Having Olivia in January was NOT on my time schedule. I am beginning to see now though how it is good. If not for the Thanksgiving break and the soon to come Christmas break, I don't think I could make it to the end!
12. I am thankful for a house big enough (for now) to hold us, the baby, and the dogs. I am thankful for planning ahead. We didn't need a three bedroom three years ago!
13. I am thankful for my awesome parents. Not only because they are already spoiling their first granddaughter rotten, but because they raised me so that I could feel confident about raising her. I am thankful for the lessons, the spankings, and the love. Mainly because they taught me the love of Jesus, the rest is just trivial.
14. I am thankful for my friend Kirk. He works for Newell-Rubbermaid, the parent company of both Expo and Graco - the fuel for two of my loves - my school and my baby. And he sends me free stuff. I just got a huge box of pens. I had to refrain from piling them all up and rolling around in them.
15. I am thankful for our friends who have been giving us stuff for the baby. We've acquired a changing table, high chair, and swing/rocker thing.
16. I am thankful for a husband who doesn't always hold me accountable for my mood swings. He laughs at me, and even though it makes me mad at first, he makes me laugh at myself.
17. I am thankful for cable and channels that still have wholesome things to watch. The Hallmark Channel still shows Little House on the Prairie. I heart Laura Ingalls.
18. I am thankful for technology that makes my life easier. From data projectors at school to TiVo at home, technology can be a great thing.
19. I am thankful that we live in a democracy. Even though the presidential election didn't go the way that I would have had it to, I am still thankful for the ability to choose. I had a voice.
20. I am thankful for the Internet. This has saved me from asking my doctor 4,000 questions that are probably pretty retarded to him, but are important to me! babycenter.com is the best!
21. I am thankful for our town having great Chinese and Mexican restaurants that fix my cravings. No, not pregnancy cravings, these started LONG before the pregnancy!
22. I am thankful for talents. This is not a pat on the back... I am thankful that God gave me the talent of artistic ability. Being able to paint allowed me to save money on projects around the house and for Olivia's room.
23. I am thankful for a husband who loves me no matter what I look like. And trust me, I've been looking rough around the edges this week.
24. I am thankful for Weight Watchers. Without losing the weight originally I wouldn't have gotten pregnant; now that I am and have gained WAY more than baby weight, I know I can go back and do it all over again.
25. I am thankful for a boss who doesn't hold me to strict dress code rules during these last few months. It is great to be able to be comfortable and cozy at work when I feel like a whale.
26. I am thankful for praise and worship music. I have found a new love for WDJC and Christian music altogether. Also, I'm thankful for projectplaylist.com, which allows me to listen to the music at school.
27. I am thankful for my retarded dogs. Jonah, who we got to accompany our original spaz, Sadie, has actually done the opposite. He started out mellow, and he's now become the spaz. God love him.
28. I am thankful for my great family, both blood and by marriage. There are so many good things about them. They drive me crazy sometimes, but what good family doesn't?
29. I am thankful for Alabama actually having a winning season. It's about time for a National Championship, and I think this could be the year. Also for the professed Christians on the team. I love you Glen Coffee for speaking out specifically about your faith, not the general I found religion talk. You found Jesus, and you're telling people about it.
30. And last, but certainly not least, I am thankful for this little baby inside who is making it difficult to type. I love you and I can't wait to see you!! Just two more months!
WOW this has been a week (really two!).... I have been under so much that I am forcing myself to post this blog rather than sleep. Well, since I have to stay up for Grey's Anatomy - you know. It's my one escape a week - leave me alone.
Michael's surgery went well last week. We did stay at the hospital all day, but that was just a mere inconvenience. He was in a good deal of pain for a few days, but was able to go back to work this past Monday. He had a doctor's check up this afternoon...he has lost 17 pounds in a week! I am very proud of him. He probably could have done better...but I won't throw him under the bus here. :)
Things at school have been NUTS. Particularly yearbook. I am extremely overwhelmed by the amount of work, chaos, and drama that comes with the territory. I am all for deadlines, but not when the City Board held my contract for a month. We literally could not start doing anything but some candid pictures before late September. Candids are only an eighth of what needs to be done for this. I am afraid I will be gray-headed soon. Oh, and throw in some pregnancy hormones on top. Yeah, you know. I squalled in the middle of the foyer in front of my principal for absolutely no particular reason on Tuesday. This was after my mental breakdown on Monday to Michael and my Mom (two separate phone calls - I wasn't finished sobbing, so I called my Mom).
I can't say enough about the Beth Moore Bible study and God's unbelievable timing. First, it's on Psalm 120 - 135, the Psalms of Ascent. I'm sure that I have read a few of these before, but never in succession, and definitely not studied them. So last night, after a particularly hard day at school and being pounded by the hatred (not necessarily toward me) of students in general, God reveals Psalm 123. I didn't read Tuesday night because I was so exhausted. I think God planned it that way. He needed me to have my day Wednesday first, and then read. It worked. I just read it over and over, growing more and more amazed at how our God works. I shared it (or so I thought) with a friend at work who shares my discontent. When the message got to her, she heard Psalm 121 - which was what she needed to hear to get through the day. I can't wait for her to read 123.
Psalm 123 1 I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven. 2 As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy. 3 Have mercy on us, O LORD, have mercy on us, for we have endured much contempt. 4 We have endured much ridicule from the proud, much contempt from the arrogant.
Beth called this contempt "disrespect". Really, God? Really? Yes. Just what I needed at the EXACT perfect time. Go figure.
Olivia is doing well and growing like a weed. I feel her all of the time. I go to the doctor this coming Wednesday, and I hope to do the 4-D ultrasound, depending on how money goes. I would LOVE to see what she looks like! (But I hate to shell out that much moola for her to be shy and put her hand in front of her face!) This time has flown by so fast, and I thank God daily for an awesome first pregnancy. Not everyone is as lucky as I was. I feel certain that paybacks will come with the next one, though. In just a few short months I will get to hold my baby girl!
As I mentioned before, this past week was Bryant's Homecoming. The week did NOT start off well. I started the week with the anxiety of knowing that I didn't plan the Junior class well. I should have scheduled more meetings, required workers, etc. I didn't. The first night of working on the class banner, me and ONE other student (out of 200+) were the only two to show up. Not even the class host was there. I was a little upset. Actually, a LOT upset. Tuesday was better. My classes (the only Junior classes) worked on the Courtyard Competition. More people showed for the banner that night. They knew I was upset. Same thing Wednesday, except there was lots of rain and the courtyard decorations were ruined. So Thursday, we started over. This description does not include all of the miscommunication about when these things were due. There were several new traditions that were started this week, so needless to say things weren't very well planned out. HOWEVER, it was announced Friday night at the game (that we lost...) that the Juniors not only won the banner competition, but the Courtyard competition also!! We were so excited!! (Did I mention that the Seniors drove a Mustang out onto the courtyard? Ugh...) Everything worked out perfectly, and I have learned MANY lessons for next year!
In the midst of all of this God is just so good. I went to the women's group Wednesday night at church where we had a Pretty in Pink party - for the breast cancer survivors of our church. I never knew that there had been so many affected by cancer in our church. I have really missed having a middle of the week refreshing. It really makes a difference in how the rest of my week plays out. I really think this had something to do with my stress level not being through the roof during this week. Saturday we also started a new Beth Moore study. I am really looking forward to diving further into God's Word. I am afraid it has been awhile... :(
Michael's surgery is coming up in two days. There are MANY mixed emotions in our house right now for us both. Fear, anxiety, stress, joy, excitment, all rolled into one. Michael says he isn't nervous at all about the actual surgery, but the lifestyle afterwards. That is going to be a HUGE change. Just a breif overview: clear liquids for two weeks, mushy liquids for two more. No carbonation at all, and approximatly 4 oz of food per meal for a LONG time. I know this is going to be difficult for him, but I am hoping that it will actually help me curb all the wieght I have gained in the last six months. When you don't have someone to gorge with, it makes it a little harder. I hope so anyway... We won't know the surgery time until tomorrow afternoon. The surgery itself won't take that long, but the recovery will be several hours. I am taking a good book.
Friday morning was my six month checkup appointment with Dr. Allen. Except for the time spent sitting in the waiting room, everything was great. I had to do the Glucose Screening Test. I was really worried about this, because before I lost the weight, I was borderline diabetic, so after gaining so much, I was really worried about not passing the test. But, I did! My sugar level was 119. It had to be below 135. I was so excited! Dr. Allen said that I have to come back in three weeks, and then every two after that! I had no idea that the frequency would change so soon! These months have flown by. Olivia is moving around so much. She is very visble from the outside. After the sugar test, she was bouncing around so much that I had to stop reading because I was laughing so hard! Things are good.
This has been a busy, busy week. After the mishaps on Monday (what a way to start the week...), we got some really good news. On Wednesday, Michael called to tell me that he got a promotion at work. He is now the Finance Manager at Bill DeLoach. This is something that we have been praying and hoping for for some time now. With the economy the way it is, being a car salesman is not necessarily a continually stable source of income. Now, though, Michael is making a salary plus bonuses - whether he sells or not. It is such a blessing - I am so thankful for this. With a baby on the way, it's hard not to be stressed about money and the future.
From the baby front... all is well! Just hanging in there. I am 23 weeks (a little over 5 1/2 months), and she constantly reminds me she's there. Babycenter.com says that she is eleven inches and weighs a whole pound!! She throws that pound around like it's five, though! Mom and I went yesterday to get the paint for her room. We hope to get started next weekend. Also, Kirk sent us the most awesome newborn soothing center. I look forward to using this! You can even hook up your IPod to it! It's pretty sweet. (For a pretty sweet girl!)
We went out last night after the game with some friends to Dreamland BBQ. It was so good to see Tony and Melissa again. They moved away from Tuscaloosa a little over a year ago, and we haven't seen them since then. When Melissa first found out I was pregnant, Mel was so excited to think that the first words would be Roll Tide - Olivia's baby gift from them...the most precious Alabama Cheerleader outfit!! I am so excited because it will be perfect for next season! Thanks Aunt Mel! (And Tony for wanting the original Dreamland - it was delicious!)
This afternoon we went to see the movie Fireproof, from the same people who put out Facing the Giants. It was BY FAR the best movie we have seen in a long time. The acting wasn't the best, but it didn't matter because the message was phenomenal. A must see for all couples, young or old. Speaking from experience - bring tissues.
This week is Bryant's homecoming. As the Junior class sponsor, I look forward to a week of more busyness, but at least it will be fun!
You know, sometimes it is so hard to see the blessings in things but they are always there, however small they may be.
Yesterday I was getting ready to meet Mom and Karri for an Acrylic monogramming party (so freaking cool!! more on this is a minute), but when I got in my car, it wouldn't start. The battery was dead. So Michael drove all the way home - we live in the sticks- to make sure I got to the party. Not on time, but I got there. Blessing #1. Michael works at a car lot and was able to bring a car home so neither of us was inconvenienced this morning. Blessing #2. The battery had gone bad and needed to be replaced. I am still looking for the blessing here. It cost us $85 dollars - it waited until the last day of the month - I just got paid. Blessing #3. Now this is the most impressive blessing yet - When I came home at lunch with Michael to pick up his truck, I couldn't find my phone, so we both preceded to tear the house and trucks apart looking for it. I knew the last place I had it was in his truck as I came home last night, because I called him. I helped him work on my truck as soon as I got home, but I never saw it after that. The only two places it could have been were in his truck or under my hood. Looked all through his truck - nothing. Looked under the hood - nothing. Something told Michael to look down into the front between the grill and the motor. There it was. About two feet down and no way to get it. I grabbed the grill tongs and managed to knock it around until it fell, and it worked perfectly when it was found (well, as close to normal as my phone can...). Even though I got paid, the Lord knew we couldn't afford another phone AND a battery!! It was pretty cool...
The acrylic party = awesome. There was so much stuff there to touch and want. All manner of kitchen ware, jewelry boxes, girlyfrufru stuff - I just wanted to roll around in it! I managed to get out of there ONLY (Blessing #5) getting the acrylic decals for Olivia's bottles. They are so cute! She will be the talk of the daycare!
sucks. I am so exhausted. Michael and I have worked solid for over fours hours today - rearranging and compacting the outside garage closet, packing and moving boxes, moving out two bookshelves, making goodwill piles, plus tons of other stuff. And to make it worse, with as much as we got done, it seems as though me ToDo list gets longer and longer. However, I am so excited that we got so much work done. Not only did we almost completely empty the nursery, but we were able to load up some old stuff in the garage that has gathered dust for almost a year also. I am obviously thankful for this baby for many reasons, but it seems so much sweeter that we are getting this all done for her. Mom and I went to the quilt shop yesterday and got all the material to do Olivia's curtains, dust ruffle, bumper pads. I am SO grateful for my Mom's talent!! (and her willingness!!) I love you, Mom!
This has by far been the hardest decision of my life. I thought that naming my child and delighting in who she will be would be a breeze, but seriously!! This was crazy!! We started out with 20 or so names and narrowed and narrowed until we got a top five. However, the top five were so awesome, how do you choose?? I mean, this is something that will stick with her FOREVER. We had to think about monograms, horrible nicknames, the possibility of a devastating married name (can we just say Kerri Derryberry...?). We polled friends and family, and since they all had a different opinion, they were really of no help at all. When Mom heard the possibility of Olivia, she was all on it. She called her Olivia all weekend. Then we started calling her Olivia, and things just sounded right. But then the middle name. We went round and round with Grace - my Granny's name, which I loved - Michael thought was too overdone. This is true, but at least ours would have a family connection. I thought Michele would be kind of cool, but he pooed that one away almost immediately. As a shot in the dark, I threw Michael out there, and he said that it wasn't too bad. I think the clincher for me really was my Mom's reaction. She thought it was awesome. Michael got a few of the same type reactions when he told some people, and he said last Friday that we could lock it in! I was so excited. Because we had disagreed on several different ones, I really thought this task would be a longer process than it actually was.
So there you have it: Olivia Michael Harris. Our baby girl!!!
As for the nursery, of course it will be Olivia the Piglet!!
For those of you who don't know, Michael has elected to undergo the Lapband Weight Loss surgery, a decision that I really struggled with at first. However, the more I think about it, I know that he is doing this just as much for Olivia (Kennedy/Reagan/Caroline/Natalie :) ) and me as he is himself. I keep seeing the commercials for the process that start with the overweight dad struggling to play with his little girl, and I just get thankful all over again. His surgery date is October 15. Please pray for him (and me), not only for a successful surgery, but for a prepared adjustment as well. These will be BIG changes...
When we found out we were having a girl, I was so excited at the prospect of dressing her in an University of Alabama cheerleader outfit! But, since she will be too little and it will be too cold when she is born, Robyn bought her (thanks, Aunt Robyn!!) this cutie set instead!! I will not be too upset if her first words are Roll Tide!
Saturday was my nephews' birthday parties - a combo one year old and five year old party. However, it wasn't until this party that I realized how many BOYS we have!! There was one little girl there, but she wasn't family - the rest were all boys. Yipes!! Little Olivia (or Caroline/Reagan/Kennedy/Natalie) is going to have to learn to hang on and fight back! I fear that she will be quite the tomboy. How can she not be? There is a point to this... while at Mike and Angie's, I was graciously bombarded with free baby stuff! With Calin just turning one, there was a lot to get rid of. Saturday alone I got another bag of maternity clothes, a Target bag FULL of Avent bottles, a walker, and an activity center. How lucky are we!?! Now the problem is, where in the world is it all going to go? I guess it will have to stay in my car for a while!
However, the best part of the weekend was my pedicure today. I haven't had one since prom, and there is truly nothing better - not even the TCBY afterwards. The best, best part? I got to spend the afternoon with Retta and Robyn, my BFFs that were running from Hurricane Ike. Time with them is so rare, so I treasured this afternoon. And, Michael was thankful for the alone time. He's sick of talking about baby stuff, so he was glad for me to bend someone else's ear about it.
There are always a series of questions...On our wedding day, people asked when we were going to have a baby. Seven years and a thousand (exact same) questions later, we finally have an answer. As soon as we started to tell people we were pregnant, they next question was, well, what is it? After sarcastically answering "a human" too many times, on September 10th we were finally able to successfully answer that question, too. When we went in for my five month appointment, which included a screening ultrasound, we were able to see our little girl as a little girl for the first time. Even though deep down I was willing her to be a girl, as I reclined on the ultrasound table, I realized for the first time that I really didn't care. Really. I was just as excited when I thought I was seeing boy parts on the screen as I was when the nurse finally (three minutes seemed like forever) confirmed it was a girl. In fact, I was a little sad that it couldn't be both. Now the question is what her name will be. That - we don't have an answer to. Here are our top five picks in no particular order:
One of the coolest parts about finding out the gender of the baby was being able to share the news with our family and friends. We were calling and texting from the lobby of the doctor's office, and everyone was so happy for us. We even got a few gifts! My mom, who had sworn the baby was a girl from day one, got her the most beautiful pink outfit (bonnet included!) for her first day at church. I can't wait! When I got to school the next day, Laren had the softest blanket and the coolest pair of pink baby Chuck Taylor's I have ever seen!! I can see her now in her white onesie, overalls, and pink Chucks. She's so adorable!
Lastly... I have been feeling her move for many weeks now, but ever since we found out what she was, things have begun to feel more "real". Not only do we get to say she or her rather than it or just the baby, yesterday I felt her move from the outside for the first time. I was sitting on the couch playing on the computer, and I noticed she was moving around a lot. I just rested my hand on my stomach, and within seconds I felt a tiny kick. It was such an awesome feeling. I look forward to many more!
We found out at the end of May that we were expecting our first baby. The whole thing wasn't exactly planned - at least they weren't necessecerily our plans. God has a funny way of doing what HE sees fit. Go figure. We were going to try plan around my school year, but she's due January 29th. Oh well! Those things are working out, too.
There are so many things to be thankful for right now. Our relationship is the best it has ever been. Michael says he feels more drawn to me as I carry his child. He is so good to me, to us; I feel such a deep trust in him. I know that he will do whatever it takes to provide for us. Our bond is of God, and perfect. As far as we can tell, the baby is perfectly healthy. She wiggles regularly, and just when I think she isn't there, she gives me a gentle (or not so gentle) reminder. We have found a church home and family that loves and respects us, and that we fit into. We have made new friends there that God clearly led us to, and we are so thankful. In the realm of school, things couldn't be better. Because I am so paranoid about relinquishing control in January, God provided there, too. I literally prayed for a sub that I could trust, and this fall I met an intern who is willing to get her sub license, just to do my maternity leave.