Wednesday, December 16, 2015

It's A...

Sorry I have been so MIA lately; I just honestly have not made time to blog lately. Pregnant women aren't lying when they say are exhausted! I seriously go to bed at 9 every night (getting a solid 8.5 hours of sleep), take a nap during my lunch break most days, and haven't even been working out and I'm just wiped. It's crazy!

Luckily, my morning sickness has all gone away (aside from a few random times like working out on an empty stomach or drinking apple juice first thing in the morning without eating) and besides a lot of headaches, acne, and exhaustion, I feel great!

I am now 18 weeks pregnant and am so anxious to feel the little movements of our little baby! I think I might have felt a few flutters/somersaults this morning but I can't rule out hunger pains so who knows what it actually was! Haha

Now for the news you have all been waiting for...

We have already had two ultrasound techs tell us the gender (at 12 & 16 weeks), but I like to know for sure (I'm a worry wart) so we weren't ready to announce the gender until we had a third opinion which happened today! Just like the last two ultrasound techs said, Baby L is a...


And, most importantly, perfectly healthy!

We are over the moon excited about our baby girl and I have already started buying headbands and bows for her! I always dreamed of having a little girl but I was really convinced this baby was a boy, so it has been quite the surprise for me (Jacob, my mom, and my niece all said it was a girl from the very beginning).

We cannot wait to meet you Lilyann! Keep growing strong and we will see you in May!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

When does that pregnancy glow kick in?

Well I finally made it to the second trimester and I'm definitely feeling a lot better! I finally got my appetite back (which was the biggest problem I had throughout the first trimester) and the bump is starting to show!

I knew from the beginning that I wasn't going to update this blog with weekly bump updates because 1) I didn't want to commit that much time to it each week 2) all I wanted to do up until last week was sleep 3) I certainly have not seen that pregnancy glow yet (in fact, my face has been broken out like a pre-pubescent teenager the entire time) 4) I have had stretch marks ever since I can remember so I didn't really care to answer that question repeatedly (I honestly don't know how women make it this long without any stretch marks) and 5) I definitely did not want to update my weight gain each week because I know I will get huge! Haha 

With all that being said, I have consistently taken bump photos every two weeks to show the progress, so without further adieu, weeks 4-14:

Our first trimester screening results came back perfect! The baby is in the lowest risk category for genetic disorders so that was an answered prayer! It's kind of funny because I always thought I would pray for a cute little baby (preferably girl) and from the second I got that positive pregnancy test, my prayers have been for a healthy baby. I pray for God to protect the baby and to keep it safe and to watch over it as it continues to grow. And I can honestly say that I have no gender preference at this point, as long as he/she is healthy! On that note, I never realized how annoying it is to be asked if you want a girl or boy until I got pregnant--that is all anyone ever seems to ask and I always reply with "either, as long as it's healthy!" It has certainly changed my outlook on what is appropriate/not appropriate to ask a pregnant woman! 

With that being said, we find out the gender in less that a month and it's so exciting to know that in a few short weeks our little blessing will have a name! We have already picked out names for a boy and girl (both of which start with L ;)). 

Also, I still haven't had anyone at work ask me if I'm pregnant so we will see just how long I can push it! It's getting awful hard to keep it a secret (and none of my dress pants fit), but it's kind of fun keeping it to myself!

Watching the baby move around on the ultrasounds has been the most amazing thing ever--I really don't know how people can be pregnant and watch the baby growing through ultrasounds and not be in awe of God's handiwork. It seriously blows my mind! I wish I could record the ultrasounds and watch them all the time, but unfortunately they won't let me. I'm so bummed that they aren't doing an ultrasound at my appointment next week (just listening to the heartbeat via doppler) because I really want to check in on Baby L!

Here's to hoping that pregnancy glow kicks in soon so I can stop looking like a pregnant teenager! Oh, on that note--the new girl at work guessed that I was 30 years old...usually, people guess that I'm like 20 so I was amazed that she thought I looked older than I am. But then it dawned on me that I'm now closer to 30 than I am to 20 and I was a little offended. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

How I Told Jacob About Baby L

I just realized that I jumped over how I told Jacob about Baby L and immediately started talking about how we told our family, so today I'm going to rewind a bit and start at the beginning. 

Jacob and I had always planned to start trying for a baby around our one year anniversary, but because of all the horror stories I had heard about people having trouble conceiving (and the fact that I had been on birth control for YEARS), we decided to start trying a little earlier than planned. 

Our first month of TTC, was unsuccessful and I spent my birthday week crying over a (read: many) negative pregnancy tests. I had told Jacob all I wanted for my birthday was a baby and I was heartbroken. So he, being the amazing husband that he is, had gone to the bookstore and gotten me a Pregnancy Journal for my birthday. I was confused at first because I wasn't pregnant, but he said "there is information you have to fill out before we get pregnant, so now is the perfect time for you to start this journal." It was the most thoughtful gift ever and I was so proud of him for thinking of that! 

On to month two of TTC...

I always planned to do something cute to tell Jacob he was going to be a Dad, but it took me awhile to figure out the perfect way. I didn't want to do a onesie since we didn't know the gender and it would be so long before that got use, so I finally decided to get a book. I found a book called "She's Having a Baby and I'm Having a Breakdown" and instantly knew that was the one! It had a lot of good information in it, but was written to be kind of humorous, so it was right up his alley! I bought the book about a month before we got pregnant, so I had to hide it from him for quite awhile (which was very difficult because I suck at keeping secrets). 

We got back from vacation on Sunday September 6th and had the following day off work, at which point Jacob started bugging me to take a pregnancy test. I told him no, it was too early! I won the battle and didn't test until Wednesday morning. I wasn't expecting to get a positive since it was still pretty early to be testing (and since I had peed on so many sticks the previous month and repeatedly got negatives), so I was dumbfounded when I saw two lines. I immediately took another test (a more expensive one than the first) and again, saw two lines! I couldn't believe it, so I immediately made Jacob get out of bed to confirm that he also saw two lines. At this point I had already ruined the surprise of telling him but I didn't care--I had to make sure I didn't have line eyes! He then handed over my digital tests that he had been hiding from me (because I have no self control) and after the longest couple of minutes ever, we were greeted with the "Pregnant 1-2" message!! I think Jacob was still in denial/shock at this point so while he was in the other room, I got his book out and handed it to him and he immediately sat down and started reading it. 

I had, at this point, spent like 15 minutes peeing on sticks so I had to hurry and get ready for work so I could run out the door, but not before taking hundreds (sight exaggeration) of pictures of the tests. 

As you can tell, we are not the most photogenic people (especially in the mornings), but at least we got photo proof! Haha. 

We did a retake that evening and it turned out slightly better, but it's hard to get a good picture when you are that excited! 

So, in the end, I didn't get to surprise Jacob with the news, but I don't think I would change a thing about that wonderful day! 

Final thoughts: I am still shocked (and eternally thankful) that we got pregnant as quickly as we did. My heart goes out to the couples who spend months/years TTC. I can't even begin to imagine the emotional rollercoaster that comes with that process and I still feel guilty that we were so lucky. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

A Letter to Our Upstairs Neighbor…

We toured many apartment buildings before finding this perfect location—between the granite countertops, new carpet, and HUGE Master Bathroom, it was love at first site (despite the ungodly price tag)! Me, being my normal lazy self would not even consider a walk-up…I wanted to be on the ground floor where I didn’t have to worry about running down the stairs each morning in my heels or climbing the stairs after a long day at work with 5 grocery sacks in each hand because heaven forbid I make more than one trip up the stairs. My soon-to-be husband mentioned that we might have noisy neighbors upstairs, but the ladies at the front desk reassured me that they have NEVER had problems with any of their upstairs neighbors, nor had any tenants complained, so I thought surely this apartment (that had granite countertops and crown molding) had used soundproofing barriers between the floors!

We moved into our new apartment and, in our newly wedded bliss, had no complaints of our new apartment (besides a minor ant infestation that maintenance quickly fixed). Then, one afternoon we heard it—a sound that has come to haunt us. What sound did we hear? At first, we thought we heard a bowling ball roll across our ceiling, and then we decided perhaps there were small children playing upstairs or maybe even a dog and that we should just let it go. Later that night as we were lying in bed, we heard another noise…this time, it was the sound of a sumo wrestler walking across our ceiling…and jumping. Then we heard cabinet doors slamming, then more sumo walking. What in the world was wrong with our neighbors? We were actually relieved to hear our annoyingly loud air conditioning unit kick on—that sound was a welcome white noise to the sound of our sumo wrestling neighbor.

Over the next few months, I made it my mission to figure out who lived above us and what excuse they might have for being so extremely noisy at the oddest times of day (and night). Upon the realization that there were, in fact, no sumo wrestlers in our apartment complex, we were at a loss for what their excuse could possibly be. After a few noise complaints went unaddressed, and many nights of the temptation to pull a Mr. Heckles on them (the only things stopping me from going to that extreme were 1) How Mr. Heckles died and 2) The fear that I would damage the ceiling and lose our damage deposit), we realized that we would just have to deal with the situation.


Finally, hope was found in the form of our new house being built! We could see the light at the end of the tunnel! Since our neighbor, clearly wasn’t going to be moving anytime soon, at least we would be! We began counting down the days—not to the completion of our house, but to the date we would move out of our apartment!

As I laid in bed last night, listening to the sound of my neighbor pacing the floor from 9:30-12:00 and again from 4:00-5:00, I began drafting a letter that I would like to leave on his door the day we move out. It will go a little something like this…

Dear Neighbor in Apartment 1123:

It is with great joy that we leave you this letter, as it means that we are moving today! When we first moved into the apartment beneath you 18 months ago, we were so excited to begin our new life as newlyweds in such a wonderful apartment (after all, we were paying a small fortune for this slice of heaven).  Soon after, we were blessed to hear the presence of our upstairs neighbor (you). We thought you might be bowling with your children or playing fetch with your Great Dane by the sounds of things and we were momentarily excited that there might be another young couple nearby. As days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, we were continuously blessed with noise from above—a constant reminder that the world did not revolve around us newlyweds! We began to wonder if you were practicing to be a sumo wrestler; everyone knows their schedules consist of eat, sleep, eat, sleep, practice, eat, sleep, and repeat, so the schedule fit perfectly with your untimely noises.

I have always loved my sleep—8 hours each night plus 1-2 naps on the weekend was my idea of a good time, so when I became pregnant, I finally had an excuse for my laziness! Based on my exhaustion, not even you could hinder my sleep—I was like a bear in hibernation, or so I thought… One Sunday evening, the night before the always dreaded Monday, and a very important ultrasound to check on the little blessing growing inside of me, you decided to pace the floor for 2½ hours (perhaps you had a big match coming up that you were worried about, or like to study while walking, or just found out your girlfriend was pregnant and were walking off the overwhelming feeling of fear…we will never know the reason). I laid in bed, on the verge of tears, overcome with exhaustion and wished nothing but the best things upon you. Then, when you finally stopped moving long enough for me to fall asleep (or the sound of our amazingly loud air conditioner drowned the sounds of you), I was awoken to the sound of stomping a mere 4 hours later. As I hit snooze the following morning and slowly dragged myself out of bed, I was just so overwhelmingly thankful for your thoughtfulness—how did you ever know that because I was leaving early from work that day for an ultrasound, I would not be able to take a nap in my car during my lunch break and would be so exhausted after only 4 hours of sleep the previous night, that Monday would FLY by? My cup runneth over.

I do hope that you show the new tenants of Apartment 1113 as much grace and thoughtfulness as you did us. I pray that they be as numerous as the Brady Bunch (I would say the Duggars, but Lord knows they wouldn’t fit into a two-bedroom apartment), as loud as the Kardashians, and as musically talented as the Partridge Family so that they can share that blessing with you! Only then, will this world be just.


Your Former Neighbors in Apartment 1113

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

How we told our family about Baby L

We really wanted to wait until our first ultrasound to announce our pregnancy to everyone, but we quickly realized that we couldn't keep it a secret from everyone for that long. We decided to tell my mom and Jacob's grandparents soon after we found out, but it took us a little while to decide how to tell them. We finally decided to get little gift boxes and put a baby item in each box with a little note from Baby L. After searching like three stores, we finally found items we were happy with! For my mom, we did a little pair of booties and a note that said "Please hold on to my first pair of booties. I will need them when I arrive in May!" And for Jacob's grandparents, we did a little vibrating toy and a note that said "Please hold on to this toy for me in case my parents forget to pack one when I come visit!"

The blue ribbon and tulle were actually left over from our wedding so that was a perk! 

We delivered the box to my mom that weekend and she was in tears before she even opened the card...I knew I should have put that on top! Haha. I wish I had snapped a picture of her reaction, but I forgot (plus she would have been mad at me for taking a picture). She said she had been worried about me because the last few times we had talked on the phone, I had seemed upset. I told her that's what happens when you are trying to keep such a big secret from someone you talk to daily! Haha. 

We then mailed the other box to Arizona and (not so patiently) waited for it to get to his grandparents. We got the delivery notification and kept waiting for his grandma to called but by around 10:00 that night, we finally gave up and fell asleep. About an hour later, I woke Jacob up telling him his phone was ringing. He didn't grab the phone in time, so he called her back...except he was so tired and excited, he called me! Haha. Once he finally got his grandma called, she was so excited and congratulated us.

Telling the rest of the family wasn't quite so easy....

I had ordered cute little iron-on decals from etsy but I never got a tracking number, so I kept emailing the seller. Once a week had passed, without ever hearing back from the seller, I tearfully went to Hobby Lobby and bought iron-on printer paper and spent hours that evening creating a design of my own. It was super cute and I was, once again, excited.

Unfortunately, that excitement was short lived...

What I didn't realize when I purchased the iron-on paper is that it wasn't left the white border all around the text. At this point, I went hysterical (we will blame it on the hormones) and all but threw myself on the ground in tears. Jacob, bless is heart, just hugged me and told me he would fix it. Unfortunately, it wasn't fixable. 

At this point, I had spent $10 on the etsy decals I still hadn't received, $10 on shirts, and like $10 on stupid iron-on paper that was useless. $30 may not seem like much, but to a hormonal, disappointed, perfectionist like me, it might as well have been the end of the world! I sat on the couch crying while Jacob browsed Pinterest for new ideas. 

We finally decided we would buy a chalk board for my niece and nephew to hold with the original phrase from the shirts written on it. However, since you can never predict how toddlers will cooperate, we also planned a back up--we would do a cute little box with a ladybug in it (since that's how big Baby L was). So, we both spent our lunch hours the next day at Michaels and Hobby Lobby getting our new supplies and created this: 

Surprisingly, my niece and nephew both cooperated and we didn't end up needing the ladybug boxes, but they were cute at least! 

After filing a complaint with etsy, I finally got a response from the seller and told her I wanted a refund. I agreed to mail her decals back to her if/when they arrived and we parted ways. I still have not received the decals! 

Despite all the tears, drama, and trips to craft stores, our announcements turned out perfect and we were so happy to not be harboring that big secret anymore! 

Next up was our ultrasound and public announcements... 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Awkward & Awesome

Awkward: That I am seeing more and more girls wearing the tattoo chain chokers and bracelets that were popular when I was in high school. Are they making a comeback?! Exhibit A: 

Does this mean that black velvet chokers and power beads will be coming back soon? If so, I really wish I had kept my pink power beads--they were my fav! 

Awkward: Puking in public bathrooms! Well, actually puking in general is pretty dang awkward but it's ten times worse when you have to discreetly do it in a public bathroom at work next to two other stalls. Speaking of which, I have decided not to announce my pregnancy at work just yet...I'm going to wait until people start to notice and are brave enough to ask me. Haha. Should create some more awkward moments for your enjoyment! You're welcome! Also, in case you are wondering, I am not friends with any coworkers on social media so there is no way they can find out (aside from the obvious). Any guesses on how long it will take people to start asking? 

Awkward: Taking your husband to your first ultrasound appointment where he proceeds to act like a kid in a candy store touching EVERYTHING! The spotlight attached to the end of the exam table? Check! Cotton swabs? Check! Cotton balls? Check! Gauze? Check! Sutures Tool Kit? Check! Blinds on the window? Check! Condoms? Check! By the time the Doctor came in, I was about to pee myself from laughing so hard! I guess awkward situations bring out his inner child--gotta love it! 

Awkward: The type of ultrasounds they do in early pregnancy. In case you haven't experienced them just yet and don't understand why it would be awkward, just picture this: 

See the object in the lower left hand side of the picture? You're welcome! 

Awesome: Jacob's face and that entire picture. Might possibly be my favorite picture...ever! There is just too much awesomeness to handle.

Awesome: I have a baby growing inside of me! I will be a mom in like 7 months!! 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Baby L Will Arrive in May

I apologize for the radio silence the past couple of weeks. I have been harboring a secret that was nearly impossible to keep to myself, so it was easier to not blog at all than to risk shouting our news from the rooftops! 

Despite my joy, I was overwhelmed with fear--fear that it was all too good to be true, fear that something would be wrong with the baby, fear that the child that I already loved so much would be taken from me, but after my appointment today a lot of those fears were pushed to the side (though I'm sure as a mother, those fears will never fully go away) when I saw that little baby and tiny heart beating at 170bpm. I almost cried I was so happy! 

We are so excited to share our news with the world now! 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Mostly Awkward & a bit of Awesome

Awkward: elevator rides. No explanation is really needed for this one, but let me delve into this a little deeper: to push or not to push the close door button, to move to the back of the elevator when people get in or stand your ground, to get off before others or wait for them to exit first, to small talk or not to small talk, to hold your breath or gag from BO and/or cigarette smoke, to make eye contact or not to make eye contact, to go up 15 flights of stairs to avoid awkward elevator situations or to suck it up and deal.

Awkward: Seeing someone craning their neck to try to read your tattoo on your foot. I finally just told him "it says Live, Laugh, Love." To which he replied "interesting location." I said "yeah, better than my first thought of my wrist!" His response? "Speaking of bad tattoos, at least it's not a skull or something." Thank you random guy on the elevator for not only being awkward, but also sharing your opinions on my tattoo. I wish I had replied with "Oh, I have one of those on my lower back!"

Awkward: People who have disgusting toenails but still insist on wearing sandals.

Awkward: receiving this photo from your SIL late one night:

Why yes, that is my brother with a makeshift spear through the eye of the largest rat I have ever seen. I also received videos, but I will spare you from those. He said he measured it and it was 11 inches!!! Crazy! Apparently he wanted to wake my niece up to show her but my SIL told him no. I said they could have just told her the rat was sleeping and had pink eye if she asked. We're classy, I know...

Awesome: Today is Thursday...the week is almost over!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Livingston Vacation 2015, Part Two

They had this picture hanging up in the condo and it really resonated with me. The beach has always been my happy place--the sand between my toes, the sound of the water crashing on the shore, picking up seashells and seaglass, and admiring the overall beauty that God has created.

We lucked out with mostly good weather while in Padre, it only rained for a short amount of time a few days during the week (usually first thing in the morning). I took this picture literally 15 minutes before it started pouring! haha

This is what I did all day, every day and this is what Jacob did:

Well, that and read. He actually brought a few books too!

We decided to go on a Dolphin Watch/Eco Tour in the middle of the week and it was great!

They dragged a fishing net behind the boat and discussed everything they caught for the Eco Tour portion and it was cool to see the creatures that are common out there. The only downside was that they didn't catch a whole lot that day.

This was a Flounder--not what I expected a Flounder to look like. I was picturing a big, puffy, yellow fish...The Little Mermaid lied to me. haha

A crab of course! What was cool though is they taught us how to tell the difference between a male and a female. This crab was actually pregnant, so they stressed the importance of not injuring it and quickly returning it to the water.

Then my favorite part of the tour--dolphin watching! I have always loved dolphins and could spend hours watching them. It was so hard to get a good action shot, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching them.

On to Book #2 for the week....Jennifer Wiener books are great beach books!

On the last night, we decided to take a Sunset Dinner Cruise. They served us grilled shrimp, fajitas, and fruit. I devoured the shrimp--it was my absolute favorite! 

The cruise ended with a fireworks show over the bay. Perfect ending to a great week!

We met a great couple on the cruise, who were also celebrating their One Year Anniversary, so we decided to grab a few drinks after the cruise at Louie's Backyard and saw the coolest sandcastle! Also, in case you don't already know, never tell a bartender to surprise you with "something fruity" unless you want a souvenir cup half-full of 5 various liquors, a handful of cherries, and a bit of Sprite. It was surprisingly good and only $12 but soooo strong! Jacob had to help me drink it because if I finished it, I would not have been walking out of there. haha

Since Jacob drove the entire way down, I decided to be nice and offer to drive some of the way home. Not 15 minutes into the drive, I saw flashing lights in my rearview mirror and was handed a Warning for going 10 over the speed limit. In my defense, I was honestly looking for a Speed Limit sign! It's a good think he didn't catch me a 1/4 mile back when I was going 15 over the alleged Speed Limit...we'll keep that our little secret. haha

We were so bummed to come back to the real world and go back to work, but we were so happy with our decision to go to South Padre. It was a beautiful beach, and a very relaxing vacation. We will definitely visit again! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Livingston Vacation 2015, Part One

We knew we wanted to take a vacation this year around the time of our One Year Anniversary, but it took us forever to decide where we wanted to go. We knew another all-inclusive resort was not in the budget this year, so then we thought about a cruise, but then got scared of capsizing and/or catching the bubonic plague, so we ultimately decided to rent a condo in South Padre Island for a week. Jacob thought it would be fun to roadtrip it down there (roughly 12 hours from us), so that's what we did!

On our trip down, we drove through Texas Hill Country (which is so beautiful, but I was unable to get any good photos of that) and a lot of cute little towns. When we drove through Mineral Wells, Texas, we were immediately stunned to see a massive building standing high above everything else. Since it was so out of the ordinary, I googled it and found out it was The Baker Hotel. This hotel has such a rich history and they are actually in the process of reviving it! If and when they get this hotel restored, I definitely want to go back for a visit!

We finally made it to San Antonio (our stopping point for the day) and got to explore the River Walk on our Anniversary. We toured the Alamo; got our mandatory mashed pennies and shot glasses (which never ever get used); took a boat ride; and ate Mexican food at the oldest restaurant on the River Walk. Despite our rude waiter, it was an absolute blast and we would have loved to spend more time there.

In retrospect, that is not the most flattering dress. Darn...
The Alamo, obviously!
On our boat ride
Unfortunately, we missed meeting Morgan, John, and Ted by hours. By the time we realized that we were both in San Antonio, I was already in pajamas and Morgan was living it up on the River Walk (what can I say, I know how to party). I was super bummed that we missed each other...maybe next time.

The next day we drove the remaining 4 hours to South Padre (part of which was through a torrential downpour/monsoon) and immediately went to Sea Turtle, Inc. since we had time to kill before we could check into our condo. If you have never heard of this place, stop what you're doing and go read about them right now (or maybe after you get to the end of this post). Sea Turtle, Inc. rehabilitates injured sea turtles with the goal or returning them to the ocean. They also have a conservation program to relocate, protect, and release hatchlings!

They are also home to Allison (the first sea turtle to use a successful prosthesis)
We even got to feed Gerry (just like Johnny Carson & David Letterman)
Of course, Jacob was the only one tall enough to throw the lettuce over the tank
...I just got to tempt him with it. I felt kind of bad...

We finally got to check into our condo and it was absolutely gorgeous--even better than the photos we saw online! We immediately changed clothes and went out to walk on the beach and play in the water.

View from our balcony 
View from our bedroom

Stay tuned for Part Two of our vacation!