Twenty Twelve

Yesterday morning at church our pastor asked us to stop and think about the best year of our lives…This was a hard question.  There are so many milestones, accomplishments, vacations and fun things we’ve done over the years it is hard to pick just one.  I was thinking about when I graduated college, all the fantastic vacations we’ve taken, the year we planned our wedding and got married, etc… But then I started thinking about what I’ve learned in those years and how they have changed me as a person, it was really a thought provoking question.  After a few minutes, he asked us to raise our hand if our best year was 20+ years ago, within the past 10 years, 5 years or this last year.  As he was asking I was still deep in thought and then both Justin and I raised our hands when he asked if it was this last year.  We looked at each other, smiled and Justin put his hand on my belly.

As you know from our story, 2009-2011 were some pretty rough times for us.  Sure we took some vacations, celebrated some milestones and had lots of fun along the way, but there was another part of our lives where we were struggling to start a family and it was pretty dark and really hard.  2012 started off pretty hard as well, with some unexpected surprises, surgeries and the stress of going through IVF.  But it worked, and it was all worth it.  Other than the obvious reason that we are pregnant, I also choose this last year as one of the best years of my life because of what I learned about myself, my husband and our relationship.  It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t all fun and games, and we didn’t take any wonderful vacations.  But I know that I married a wonderful man, our relationship is solid and I know that we can survive the hard times hand in hand.  The reconfirmation of that in this past year is also what made 2012 a wonderful year.

I love it when people ask you questions that really make you stop and think.  Usually this time of year, we are busy making plans for our New Year’s Eve celebration.  It becomes more about staying up past midnight, champagne, noisemakers, dressing up and dancing the night away or watching the ball drop on TV, which is great and I don’t see anything wrong with that.  But maybe we should take just a few minutes to stop and reflect back on the year no matter how great or how difficult it was and think about not only what you did, but what you learned about yourself and others, it can really open your eyes and maybe it will help us to make some more realistic resolutions for the new year!

I have a feeling at the end of 2013 I’m going to say that was my best year since we will actually have our little boy in our lives and I know that we have lots of struggles, fun times and learning experiences to look forward to.

Since I cannot do a post without a picture…I’ve waited years to be able to park in the expectant mother parking spaces, and this year I was finally able to do that 🙂

Happy New Year!
Expectant Mother Parking

Almost 2

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  I can’t believe how fast it flew by!  We had our parents, Justin’s grandma and my brother and family over for a traditional German feast on Christmas Eve,
Lance & famfollowed by a great service at our church and then back to our house for dessert and game playing.  Christmas morning it was our parents, Justin’s grandma and Justin’s sister Stacey and Sue, we had our usual Quiche and homemade sweet rolls.  We opened presents
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IMG_6662New golf shoes for the daddy to be

IMG_6666and I got the MommaRoo I wanted 🙂

IMG_6681Apollo played Santa
IMG_6656and Molly helped shred the wrapping paper

IMG_6675We had a lot of laughs, played more games and settled down for Christmas dinner.  It was a wonderful time with family.

Now that Christmas is over, we’ve spent the last 2 days putting away decorations and finishing up the piles of laundry for baby Frisco.  My hospital bag is packed and the car seat is installed.  I had an OB appointment this afternoon and all is well, we heard his strong heartbeat and she measured my belly.  My blood pressure is good, she also noted that I’ve lost weight since my last appointment, I reminded her that it was actually because I had quite the splurge the day of my last appointment, I learned my lesson not to do that the day I have to weigh in 🙂  And the most exciting thing is she determined after an exam that I’ve started thinning and am almost 2 cm dilated!!!  She said what I thought were Braxton Hicks I’ve been feeling actually could be mini contractions, or both.  So it could be any day…or a few weeks…we shall see…

Here’s my 37 week belly – Merry Christmas!
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Smile

When I was looking for a photographer to do a maternity session, I was trying to find a reasonably priced one.  Photographers are not cheap, and with good reason, since I’ve been exploring the world of photography I have a much better appreciation for what goes on to achieve that perfect photo.  Especially all the work that is done on the computer after the photo shoot. After researching many photographers I was sitting in the waiting room at my doctors office and they have these gorgeous photos of one of my OB’s kids on the wall and the photographer’s business cards readily available.  So I grabbed a card, looked at her website and decided to contact her.  There was a discount if you were a patient of my doctor, so we scheduled a session.  I was wanting something outdoors that was more of a natural setting rather than a perfectly manicured photo.  I was asking her if she knew of any wooded area in San Diego that wouldn’t require us to drive an hour to Julian or somewhere in the mountains.  She said there was such a spot she has always wanted to try and was wondering if we would be up for it.  Turns out it was exactly what I wanted!

There was a forest of trees and a pathway going through

We took our time trying out all different kinds of angles and poses

Turns out the path was a jogging path, so we had to jump out of the way for a few joggers

But it was perfect, just what I had in mind…

The lighting coming through the trees was beautiful

An outfit change and location change later we found ourselves at the top of Torrey Pines

Looking forward to this picture in the future only replacing the stuffed elephant with a little boy

I love the pop of blue with this neutral setting

This is Justin’s favorite one, he calls this my sassy pose.  I have this same picture 6 years earlier, only I’m in my wedding dress

Another outfit change and we headed down the hill to Torrey Pines State Beach

Just in time for the sunset!

San Diego is such an amazing place to live!

Beautiful family

So remember the post I did about those kind of friends…well another family that fits into that category are these people. We’ve known Drew & Keri for a several years through our church. Actually, Keri’s family and Justin’s family are old friends and go back even further.  It is a small world since years later we ended up in a different city, at the same church and living about 2 miles apart.  We’ve been in the same small group and spent many nights at their house in fellowship.  Another thing that makes them good people in our book is they are Pittsburgh Steeler fans and we enjoy getting together to watch games with them!

Drew and Keri have 4 beautiful children, 2 boys & 2 girls, the perfect combination! The thing I love about them is no matter how busy or crazy their lives are (remember, 4 kids!) they always make time for you and always make an effort to get to know new people and build friendships. They are sincere, genuine and a lot of fun.  I also love their parenting style, they have a calm, relaxed (at least what we see) style of parenting. It is very obvious how much they love their kids, but more importantly, it also is obvious how much they love each other.  I’ve often thought over the years, I want to parent like they do when our time comes, they have been a wonderful example.

Keri asked me to take some updated pictures of her family and if you know them well you know exactly why, at first, I freaked out!  They have a long history of absolutely stunning, beautiful family photos done by a professional photographer.  They are the ones that make you gasp when you open their Christmas card and make a mental note to yourself to find out who their photographer is so you can use them next year.  So…I was a little intimidated because I didn’t want to disappoint them.  But then I remembered that they are the kind of people who don’t stress about those kind of things.  Besides their family is so stinking cute, it’s impossible to get a bad picture of them.  So I told Keri I would do it.

It was another beautiful San Diego afternoon and we spent a few hours at the Rancho Bernardo Winery.  We had no idea how it was going to go with trying to get 4 kids to cooperate and smile at the camera (or at least look in the general direction of the camera), but I was impressed, there was only one child who was not to wild about this activity at first, but once we got in the swing of things they did a great job! Those years of practice with photographers paid off (or maybe they were just having a good day).

I love the outdoor, rustic type pictures and the winery provides lots of different backdrops. There were lots of old buildings and cool barn doors
The boys found all kinds of things to climb up on, wagons, tractors and a good old fashioned tree (I was excited to get a shot with his smile cracked to reveal his missing tooth)
The favorite spot that we kept returning to was an old wooden swing.  Here’s momma with her girls
And dad with his boys
See what I mean by a cute family…
They sure make it look easy!

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to take your pictures, for setting an example of how to be an awesome family and especially for being those special kind of friends!

15 Minutes of Fame

Yesterday I had an OB appointment.  Overall everything is good.  My belly measured normal, we heard the heartbeat, and she was feeling around trying to find out where his head was and couldn’t feel it so she got out the ultrasound machine.  Which means I got a quick peek at our little guy!  Sorry I don’t have any pictures to share, she didn’t print any up.  It was just a brief look to see where he was positioned and he is head down, his torso is on the left side of my belly and his feet and hands are stretching out towards the right side of my belly.  Same position as the last ultrasound.  She predicted that he is probably 5 lbs right now and said we most likely will not have a small baby, which is what we’ve been told from the beginning and is normal for my height.  All is well…

We talked about my weight, since it did jump a bit since my last appointment.  I was honest and admitted that my diet has been absolutely horrible these last few weeks.  I have been so careful and eating really healthy all throughout this pregnancy but this past month has been pretty bad.  Mainly because we are so busy that we are rarely ever home for dinner which means eating take out on the go, or when we are home, we’re too exhausted to cook so we order a pizza, or pick up some more bad take out.  Plus I’ve developed a sweet tooth that I never had before which is not so helpful.  I know all that needs to stop, it’s been bugging me in the back of my mind.  She was not too worried, but just told me to keep an eye on it.  I also told her that my wedding ring has become uncomfortable to wear due to my fingers swelling and yesterday was the first day that I didn’t wear my ring, she checked my legs and noted that I do have a little bit of swelling which also contributes to the extra weight gain. So it begins…

She also asked me if I was feeling any contractions.  I haven’t felt any contractions yet, but definitely braxton hicks. In fact I felt several of them yesterday.  She told me if I have more than 6 in 1 hour to go to triage and get checked out to be sure I am not in early labor.  Then she proceeded to tell me that I need to slow down…and rest…That is really hard for a person like me to do.  I am not the kind of person who will ask for help nor do I feel comfortable resting while someone else is working around me.  On top of that as I mentioned before our schedules are kind of insane right now, just like everyone else this time of year and I am trying to wrap things up at work so I feel comfortable starting my maternity leave which has been a big added stress.  She kept repeating herself telling me to slow down and r.e.l.a.x. so I need to find a way to do just that, I don’t know how, but I’ll try. I’m afraid if I don’t she’ll put me on bed rest and that will be even worse!

On my way out of the office I didn’t stop to make my next appointment since I have all my appointments already booked until my due date, so I smiled and waved good bye at the receptionist and she stopped me.  I went over to talk to her and she asked me if I had professional maternity photos taken (Side note: I found our photographer by the pictures she has on display in the office) I said yes, I did.  She grabbed the stack of the photographers business cards from the counter and pulled out a bunch that that had our picture on them.  She said I thought that was you…we all love the pictures!  So we are famous, at least in my doctors office 🙂

Here’s the front and back of the business/referral card:

 

Baby Morpher

We’ve had a lot going on since our last update… December is in full swing and we have been busy with baby showers, holiday parties, childbirth preparation classes, fundraisers, etc…I ordered my Christmas cards and did all my Christmas shopping online this year, I love Amazon!  I really enjoy going to the stores during the holiday season, it is a great way to get in the Christmas spirit.  But this year we really, truly do not have a free day to do that.  It makes me a little sad, but I also feel good that everything is ordered and all I have to do is wrap it when it arrives, hopefully they will all arrive before December 24th as promised!

On the baby front, there’s not much new to report.  He is active as always and with the help of my mom we’ve been putting the final touches on the nursery, washing the clothes, blankets and putting everything together.  You may have noticed that the blog header has changed as well as some of the pictures in about us, we got our maternity photos!  I love the way they came out, I will do another post later and show you all of them.

One thing that Justin and I often talk about is what we think our baby will look like.  I got an email from TheBump.com that introduced the Baby Morpher tool on their website.  So for fun I uploaded a picture of us and it showed us what our baby will look like according to them.  Here are the results:

PLUS

EQUALS

Hmmmm, what do you think?

It’s a cute baby but I’m sure baby Frisco will be cuter!