Friday, September 30, 2011

Elyse Love ~ 28 Weeks...& the 3rd Trimester!

I can't believe that we're already into the third trimester! I've started seeing the Christmas countdowns in stores and on the television and it's so crazy to think that before Christmas arrives we'll be holding our precious baby girl in our arms. Seriously, this is getting real...Nick & I are going to be parents!

I did backtrack a bit and do a 27 week recap, so if you're really just SO interested in my here & it will take you back. Mainly I just went back and recapped so I would have it for my own personal knowledge of where I was in this journey!


Total Weight Gain/Loss: One more week until an official measurement. I did step on the scales about a week ago and I was pretty much right at where I'd hoped I'd be at this point in between office visits. The truth will certainly come out next week, but I feel good about things right now. As I was shopping on vacation I got lots of "oh my gosh you look incredible for 28 weeks" and trust me, those compliments are priceless at this point!

Gender: My precious baby girl Elyse. I'm already dreaming about the fun mother/daughter & grandma (x2)/mother/daughter excursions we're going to have together!

Movement: This is seriously one of the coolest things. My mom and hubby have both been able to feel Elyse's hiccups in the past week and it's so fun to see their faces light up when they feel the movement!

Sleep: I definitely think that God is already starting to prepare me for less sleep than I'm used to. I have been awake the last 2 mornings almost 45 minutes before my alarm goes off. I wake up wide awake and ready to start the day...of course I don't start the day at that point. I should probably take advantage of the extra time, but I definitely stay in bed as long as I can!

What I miss: If I say nothing then that seems crazy, and if I say everything then I kind of feel like I'm whining. But honestly, I don't miss much of anything really all that horribly! Sure I'd love a nice casear salad, or a cold turkey sandwich, or a Dr. Pepper for every meal....but I'm not going to die if I don't have those things. At this point, I'm just trying to do everything I can to make a safe happy environment for our baby girl!

Cravings: My healthy snacks have definitely helped out in this area. Last night I wanted something sweet & cold so I had a cup of Yoplait light yogurt that I had put in the freezer a few days earlier. I put that in a bowl and it was ALMOST like eating ice cream! Oh, I guess one of the things I am sort of craving is Ritz crackers. I crunched up just a couple of those on my yogurt last night and it was oh so good! ha!

Symptoms: I really consider myself so lucky in this morning sickness, no nausea, no heartburn, no headaches. Really my main symptom is my back pain in the evenings and the fact that I become out of breath so much easier! Our bedroom is upstairs at my in-laws house and I was winded every time I walked up those stairs!

Maternity Clothes: My mom and I went shopping this morning and I'm hopefully set for quite awhile. I may have to pick up a few more things, but I really think that most of what I have should help me survive these next few months. We hit up Motherhood and their new fall selections and I found TONS of stuff that I really liked. I picked up a few things for my maternity photos as well as some dresses for my showers. I also got some staples like dress pants and casual shirts. My non-maternity items that actually work are becoming fewer & fewer so this was a much needed shopping trip.

Thanks mom for your help, it's these times when I'm so excited that we have a baby girl on the way!

Best Moment this week: Today I had my pre-screening appointment with my new OB office. I couldn't be more happy. I didn't even meet my actual nurse or doctor (that comes next week), but the whole staff and the environment just made me feel even more at peace about my decision to switch. One of the first things I noticed at the check-in desk was a cross with a Bible verse on it. I honestly can't even remember what the verse was, and it was such a little thing...but I noticed, and it's a BIG deal to me.

Baby To-Do List: My mom has been tackling the bedding and you guys are seriously not even going to believe how beautiful it is. It's cute and classy and elegant and gorgeous all at the same time! I love it and I'm so thrilled to be able to say that my mom has put it all together. Hopefully we'll have some photos in the next few weeks of it all put together in the nursery. So...nursery bedding..check! Now it's time for the details!

And of course for those of you who are oh so's my 28 week bump pic!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Michigan Family Visit: 7 days, 6 nights, 5 Beds

So if you're wondering where I've been for the past week or so...Hubby & I have been out of town spending most of the last week with his parents in Michigan and enjoying our last extended trip as a family of 2. Hubby took care of most of the planning and we had a great time...even if we did sleep in 5 different beds over the course of 5 nights! ha!

Here's the trip recap...

Bed #1:

We flew out of St. Louis and were also able to work in a St. Louis Cardinals game on Wednesday night before boarding our flight on Thursday. We saw a great game and maybe more importantly we were able to add another very special stuffed animal to Lucy's collection...

Meet Leesy Bird, Elyse's very own Build-a-Bear Fredbird!

Hubby & I with some super fabulous seats!

And the Cards win! Now if we only somehow miraculously pull out a win tonight...we'll be in the Playoffs!

After the game on Wednesday, we got up and caught our flight to Michigan to meet Hubby's parents. We had a quick lunch at their house and then headed out again for our Tour de Michigan, West Coast Style. Hubby had meticulously planned a golfing trip along with West Coast of Michigan aka the East Coast of Lake Michigan... for he & his dad coupled with a shopping trip for me & his mom...with plenty of time in the evenings to have dinner together. He did a pretty incredible job & we had a fabulous trip!

Bed #2:

Our first stop was the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph area of Michigan. Hubby had booked us rooms in an adorable bed & breakfast overlooking Lake Michigan.

Our view from the patio...

Gorgeous sunset! Hubby & I (in what I hate to admit is the only photo I have of us on this entire adventure!)

Our cute bed & breakfast!

Unfortunately, the boys had a tee time that didn't really work out for them to have breakfast but it was so delicious...but that didn't stop my mil & I! We had a delicious homemade breakfast with fresh fruit, eggs verde, and a variety of breakfast coffee cakes! yum! We spent the rest of the day shopping in the area of St. Joseph before heading on to our next destination.

The boys were done golfing fairly early so we met up in Saugatuck for some more shopping in another cute little Michigan lakeside town! I didn't snap any photos...but just imagine streets lined with adorable store fronts and pots overflowing with flowers. I just love Michigan towns!

Bed #3:

After Saugatuck, we drove on into Holland, Michigan for our next overnight stay. This town was my favorite and my mother-in-law had a wonderful shopping day sprinkled with lots of yummy food!

We started out with breakfast at The Biscuit...

I ordered a healthy breakfast of eggs, fruit & a glass of milk fully expecting to share with my MIL...she ordered Pumpkin Mousse French Toast! It was absolutely divine!

The shopping in Holland was wonderful & I managed to find a few things for both myself & Elyse along with the start of my Christmas shopping! After lunch we had to have a little snack...cherry pie ala mode of course @ Crane's in the City! YUM!

Bed #4:

After our shopping time in Holland was done (and the rain began to fall), we headed to Grand Rapids, MI for our last overnight stay. We had a nice dinner with the guys, a nice breakfast the next morning at IHOP, and then my MIL & I headed back to their home in the southeast part of Michigan. We stopped at a few more little towns on the way, but with it being Sunday our shopping options were pretty limited. The boys found their way back late in the afternoon and we spent the rest of the evening relaxing and enjoying some time at my in-laws house.

Bed #5:

We spent the next two nights (Sunday & Monday) at my in-laws house and just enjoyed hanging out with no major plans. Our spending money had pretty much been exhausted, but we did head out for an afternoon movie, Moneyball, and one more nice dinner out as a family @ J. Alexander's. Tuesday morning we got up bright and early & headed back to the airport.

Hopefully this will be our last visit to Michigan while my in-laws still live there! While I would certainly love to visit for vacation in the future I am SO ready for them to be back living in Missouri! Next summer those wishes will hopefully become a reality!

Overall it was a fabulous trip, and Elyse & I seemed to travel quite well together! However, I did mention to Hubby that we WILL NOT be switching locations quite so often once we have a child on our hands!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Elyse Love ~ 27 Weeks

First of all, thank you all for the encouragement about switching doctors. It really was a difficult decision, but I'm at such peace with it now! Your encouragement & comments helped so much! I'm backtracking a bit to get in my Elyse update, mainly just because I didn't want to miss one and I of course failed to get one up before we left for the enjoy my bump photo from Busch Stadium in STL!


Total Weight Gain/Loss: Only time will tell on this one. I feel pretty good about myself right now and I'm certainly not blowing up like a whale so I consider that a success...I guess I'll find out the real numbers next week when I visit my new doctor. However, at this point I would like to think I'm right on track and only gaining true "baby" weight instead of "eat everything in sight" weight! ha!

Gender: Oh Elyse, each day brings more excitement as I think about the arrival of our precious baby girl!

Movement: Movement, movement, & more movement! I did feel her have the hiccups for the first time on Wednesday, September 21st! It was such a consistent, steady rhythm that there was no doubt it had to be hiccups! I'm still loving all the movement, I just continue to wonder and be amazed at how you can possibly be comfortable all curled up in there!

Sleep: Minus the bathroom visits it seems great. I think that God is already starting to prepare me for less sleep than I'm used to. I seem to be waking up earlier, wide awake, and feeling great throughout the day!

What I miss: At this point, pregnancy has just become my way of life. I honestly don't miss anything that really matters and I know that my precious girl will be so worth any sacrifices. With my new non-diet diet...I do miss eating whatever I want and I certainly miss my sweets but thankfully I've found ways to compensate for that!

Cravings: Nothing too absurd thankfully! I'm just trying to eat healthy & snack often...this seems to keep any simple hunger cravings under control!

Symptoms: Ummm...can we say baby bump! ha! I'm very obviously pregnant in most everything I wear and that seems to be the only continuous symptom. I do have some nagging back pain in the evenings and even when I wake up in the morning but that quickly goes away as I start moving around.

Maternity Clothes: All my pants are either leggings, maternity jeans, or maybe a lone pair of jeans/dress pants with a bella band. However, even the Bella Bands are seeing less and less use because they just aren't as comfortable. I got another pair of maternity jeans last weekend which brings my total to 2 whole pair...I'm thinking at least one or 2 more pair should get me through this season if I combine them with leggings!

Best Moment this week: In addition to the movement being incredible, I'd have to say making the decision to switch doctors. And of course all the encouragement I've received after I made the decision. It certainly wasn't an easy one, but now that I've moved on and have scheduled an appointment with a new doctor everything I hear about my new OB is just incredible! I can't wait to meet her in person next week...I can't help but know that this was all in God's hands & He has given me so many signs that I've made the right choice for me and my baby girl.

Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your sweet comments. They certainly made this pregnant, emotional momma's day!

Baby To-Do List: Oh there's so much to do! And with the stress of switching doctors and then travelling, I haven't really gotten much accomplished. However, I have big plans to be very productive in the next few weeks so stay tuned!

With travelling on the normal day for bump photos you don't get a belly photo...but rest assured I'll be back next week with one!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Making a Switch

Since this blog is really my only pregnancy journal, I've decided I want/need to document all the important events...both good and bad. And as a warning...this post may get a little wordy, excuse me a moment while I vent. I would say that my most recent pregnancy experiences may end up being very good in the end, but they certainly haven't been very pleasant and they definitely haven't been what I expected. And before I go any farther, let's just say that Elyse & myself are both completely fine...which in the long run is really the most important thing.

At 27 1/2 weeks pregnant, Hubby & I have made the decision to switch doctors. As we enter the third trimester, we've made what we believe is the best decision for Elyse and the best decision for me...even if it is terrifying to start over with a brand new doctor at such a late time in pregnancy. My old doctor may have been fine as a gynecologist, but in regards to the OB side of things...we (myself, Hubby, my parents, close friends) have been less than impressed.

From the very beginning I've sort of felt a lack of information being passed know this is my FIRST pregnancy. So when a doctor asks you if you have any questions without really giving you any information to ask about, it's hard to even know where to begin. I mean I've never done this before, so how am I even supposed to know what questions I SHOULD be asking at this point? I've recently decided that in the future, if anyone where to ask me that question and I don't have any specific questions, I should follow their question up with...."I don't have any questions, but what should I be asking at this stage?" or "What do others ask at this point?" However, bottom line is that I don't feel like I should have to rely on my lack of questiosn to gain knowledge...information should be being thrown at me almost faster than I can process it. And then I would have questions.

There have been LONG (usually hour-long & at every appointment) waits in the waiting room, lack of communication by nursing staff between themselves and lack of communication to me, all of which have lead to me feeling less than confident in their matter how professional they may be.

The final straw came last week when I received a phone call stating that I hadn't passed my 3-hour glucose test "good enough." This might have been acceptable, except that the prior week I had received a phone call stating that I had passed but needed to watch my diet and NO further testing would be required. Conflicting information?! Definitely. I was told that the office wanted me to follow a strict diet for the next couple of weeks and then after that time when I saw my doctor for my regular monthly checkup the 3-hour glucose test would be scheduled again and I would need to retake the test. When I questioned this whole situation, the nurse making the call used what I consider to be some incredibly unprofessional "scare tactics" to convince me that this was what was best for me and my baby. She said she'd be putting a packet in the mail with my diet information and they would see me in 2 1/2 weeks at my regularly scheduled appointment. Oh...and about an hour later, I get a similar phone call from another nurse with the same information...apparently they don't document files very well in that office.

To say I was upset was a serious understatement. At first it was simply fear of taking the 3-hour glucose test again, but it quickly changed from fear to anger that they would give me conflicting information and expect me to do this all on my own without a separate office visit to discuss my situation. Things certainly didn't improve when I got my "packet" of information in the mail regarding my new diet. It was simply a pamphlet from the American Diabetes Assocation with what seemed to me a CRAZY diet for a woman who is 27 weeks pregnant to be wasn't for a pregnant woman, but for someone who has diabetes.

I'm no nutritionist, and I'm not a dietician, but my common sense tells me that an 1800 calorie diet that calls for 50% of my diet to be carbohydrates doesn't really lend itself to controlling my sugar. Apparently my common sense wasn't the only one who thought this was a little strange, in the past week Hubby & I have talked with my parents, his parents, my best friends (who are all mom's and have been through this before), and even a good family friend who is in the nutrition industry. None of those people seem to think that the way I've been treated is acceptable, and they definitely feel that a second opinion is required.

This final straw has led to lots of discussion and lots of prayer, all with one goal in mind...what is best for the health of Elyse & also myself?

And after a week of going back and forth, I made the phone call on Monday. I made an appointment with a very highly-recommended OB for one day after my next scheduled appointment with my old doctor. And yesterday, I called and cancelled that appointment and requested my medical records be sent out.

It's been a stressful time, which in and of itself is not healthy for our baby girl. I feel completely at peace with our decision and I know that God has been leading me in the direction I should go. It's not about taking the 3-hour glucose test again, or following an 1800 calorie diet, or even gaining a little too much weight at my last appointment. It's all about the health of this precious baby girl growing inside of me and doing everything in my power to protect her...even before she graces this earth with her presence. Because I would do all of those things a thousand times over if it meant what was best for Elyse.

I'm so thankful for the peace I feel after making the switch...I haven't even met with the new doctor yet but the office staff has already made me feel right at home and I'm excited about the possibilities that lie ahead!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Sing-Off: It's Back!

Tonight brought back one of my favorite shows of all-time! The Sing-Off!

This is seriously one of Hubby & I's don't miss, can't wait until the DVR is finished to start, waiting for it to come one shows.

I'm so thrilled about this new season. I love that it's a full-length season instead of just a few weeks. I love that they are starting with 16 groups instead of 8. And I do personally love the switch-up at the judges table...Sara Bareilles seems to fit so much better with Shawn & Ben!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Our First "Fall" Weekend

Things were definitely feeling a lot more like fall around here this weekend. Friday was fairly nice outside, but definitely much cooler and the rest of the weekend brought dreary, rainy, cloudy, weather. However, with the drought we've been having I'm not complaining about a rainy weekend!

Friday was a short day for me because our town festival was this weekend and makes it virtually impossible to get to our office on Friday afternoon. So...we shut down early & I enjoyed a short Friday at work. I spent some of the afternoon decking our house for fall and enjoyed getting out my pumpkin collection. I really try to avoid holiday specific decorations for the fall, i.e. Halloween or Thanksgiving, so I don't have to redecorate again until Christmas. Most everything stayed the same, but I did take some inspiration from Pinterest and came with this new decoration. I think it turned out pretty darn cute and I'm glad I was able to repurpose something I already had out for the spring/summer and turn it into something for fall.

Old-fashioned milk carton holder filled with candy corn, some decorative sticks, & a piece of fall ribbon...such an easy transformation!
And with the sticks down in the candy corn, now I'm not tempted to eat it!

Hubby & I spent Friday evening at home. I made BBQ Chicken Pizza...Yum! We also made a trip to our favorite pumpkin place & managed to get quite the deal since their cash register wasn't working properly. Now we just need to pick up some mums and some cornstalks and our front porch will be all set for fall!

We finished off Friday evening with popcorn and a movie on the couch. We watched Something Borrowed and it was definitely enjoyable. I assumed I would like the movie, but you never know when a book you really enjoy is made into a can either be really good or really bad!

Saturday we headed down to my parents' house so I could hang out with my mom while Hubby helped my dad at an event for the town festival....the annual duck race! I was hoping to get some great photos of 340 yellow plastic duckies floating down the creek, but the torrential rain & thunderstorms kind of ruined those plans! They still held the race though...because it certainly was a good day to be a duck!!

Hubby & I spent the rest of the afternoon watching football with my parents & then headed out to run some errands and have dinner. I was in desperate need of another pair of maternity jeans & a few other things! We had a nice dinner at HuHot Monogolian Grill, picked up birthday presents for our nephews, and called it a night!

Today was church, followed by nursery/preschool duty, followed by another rainy afternoon...perfect for a Sunday afternoon nap! We finished off the evening with small group & seriously it's such a great way to end the weekend! Sure..there are times when I wish we could just stay home and prepare for the week, but I've decided there's no better way to get recharged for the week than to gather together with 10 or so of your favorite people who love on you and encourage you! What a blessing!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Elyse Love ~ 26 Weeks


Total Weight Gain/Loss: Hmmm...well if I were just guessing I honestly feel like I haven't gained hardly anything. But, only a scale would tell the whole truth. Hubby & I have been able to walk outside the majority of evenings and my diet has basically taken a 180 degree turn. Let's just say that in this regard, this "perfect pregnancy" hasn't been so perfect in the last few weeks. I'm planning to write a full post about it, mainly just to vent & document every moment of this expeirence, but there have certainly been moments these past few weeks when pregnancy hasn't been much fun. Oh I know the rewards are going to be so worth it, but frustration has definitely set in a few times...

Gender: We're having a precious little baby girl...Elyse Ann. It's so fun to fully know what we're having and to be able to plan for our sweet darling. I'm so tempted to buy clothing and cute things, but I've been trying to focus my spending on the nursery because I know we'll get so many cute things for her in the coming weeks at the couple of showers we have planned. My precious mother-in-law has made several receiving blanket/burp rag sets and I have plans to share those very soon...they are all so precious!

Movement: I think right now this is one of the greatest blessings of all. Anytime I'm feeling a little bit down, or frustrated, or just tired...God tells Leesy to move her little arms & legs just right for me to remember what a precious blessing I have. What's going on inside me right now is an incredible miracle, and I remind myself of that each & every day. I'm so thankful to have Elyse's precious movements because they bring such joy to my heart each and every time.

Sleep: No big changes here. In bed around 10, up once for the bathroom, and back down until 6:00-6:30ish. I'm thankful for the consistent sleep and even with tossing & turning a bit, my sleep seems to be pretty great.

What I miss: Bending over easily, working in the house without tiring too easily, my sweet treats after dinner, buying all the cute fall things that are starting to fill the stores....these are all such minor things but they are certainly things I miss nonetheless.

Cravings: With my food intake & diet changes, I'm so thankful that I haven't had any major cravings that seem to overtake me! There are basically just times when I crave food, food of any sort...which of course means I'm hungry. It's in those times that I make sure and drink plenty of water, grab a piece of fruit, or a snack high in protein like almonds or a cheese stick. These simple things seem to curb my hunger until the next meal time.

Symptoms: As I come closer to the start of the third trimester I feel like my emotions have taken over. I feel like I've cried more in the past 2 weeks than I have the entire pregnancy. Now...let's be honest, I feel justified on most of the things I've cried about, but I've also had my fair share of ridiculous cry fits. Thankfully Hubby has been completely understanding and wants me to just "let it out" even when I feel like a crazy, hormonal pregnant woman...oh wait, that's exactly what I am!

Maternity Clothes: With fall starting to creep in, I'm thankful to say that I shouldn't have to buy any more "summer-type" maternity clothes. I've got several long sleeve tunics/dresses that should be find to pair with leggings and give me several work options. Several of my dress pants also still work great with my Bella Bands which I am sooo happy about. I'm really pushing off buying maternity dress pants as long as possible but I'm thinking a couple of pair are in my future. Of course with the comfort of my maternity jeans, I may decide to wear maternity pants full time even post-pregnancy! ha!

Best Moment this week: Honestly, it's been a roller coaster week but I'll share more later when I'm ready. I would have to say the highlight has been having the furniture delivered. It really makes the nursery feel cozy and I can't wait until it all starts coming together. Now we just have to start filling the room with all the fun details!

Baby To-Do List: I've been slacking this week...I'll confess. I really need to sit down and make an extensive to-do list of things to accomplish before Elyse gets here. I still keep hoping this whole nesting mentality will kick in very soon! I mean honestly, her due date is basically 90 days away! yikes!

And of course, here's the belly photo...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hit by a Bug x 2

Yesterday should have been one of those days where I wake up early because I'm so excited I can't sleep! You see, the majority of our nursery furniture was supposed to be delivered yesterday morning.

However, instead I woke up early feeling like I had been hit by a truck. I woke up long before my alarm went off with some tightness in my chest, a little bit of a racing heartbeat, and probably most obvious, weakness & aching all over my body. I was never concerned about Elyse as she was moving all over the place and for some reason God just gave me a peace about her well-being.

I tried to relax and fall back to sleep but that wasn't happening. I tossed and turned until Hubby got up and it was then I realized just how miserable I was. So...I stayed at home yesterday and did absolutely nothing. Hubby stayed with me until the furniture was delivered & assembled and I think he was secretly wishing he could miss the whole day...because he was having some pretty serious allergy problems as well. My mom came up and fixed me some lunch, and then we hung out for most of the afternoon. I wasn't really tired, but I couldn't sleep because of my aching body either.

It was during lunch that I realized I was running a very low-grade fever and made a call to my OB's office just to check in. They said to just take it easy, drink plenty of fluids, and take Tylenol as needed for my fever. Finally during the afternoon my fever broke and I started feeling much better. I was able to shower & pick up a little around the house.

Hubby brought Subway home for dinner and we both camped out in the living room for the night. It wasn't until about 9 pm that we realized Hubby's symptoms were incredibly similar to mine, but he had the allergy symptoms as well. Low grade fever, body that felt like he'd been in a bar fight, tiredness, weakness. Yup, I think we both somehow caught the same 24-hour bug. Thankfully he took some Tylenol, headed to bed, and his fever broke sometime during the night.

This morning we both woke up feeling almost 100% and I'm so thankful! Yesterday we were both miserable. Being sick stinks...and it stinks even more at 26 weeks preggo!

I'll have some photos of our nursery furniture soon! It looks so fabulous and I'm so happy with our choices!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A LOVE-ly September Weekend

Hubby & I have had a fabulous weekend, full of some quality time with friends and also just some quality time spent by ourselves.

We started out on Friday evening with the wedding of two of our best friends. They are both in our small group and they are just both incredible people. I hadn't been this excited about a wedding in a long time...mainly just because I'm so, so happy for them!

The Bride & Groom during the ceremony
First Dance

The small group members who were able to attend! Such an incredible group of people that God has blessed us with!

Nick got some "daddy" practice with our godson Cohen. He sure does love wedding cake...and any other food for that matter!

Besties...Andrea & I along with her little girl Lydia! I can't wait for Lydia to teach Elyse about all things girly!

After a late night on Friday, we spent Saturday morning relaxing and also working around the house. It's amazing what you can get accomplished when you feel even the tiniest bit motivated! Maybe my nesting instinct is finally kicking in!

Around the middle of the afternoon, Hubby & I headed out for a quick little staycation in Branson. Thanks to his golfing abilities, and a friend who had a nice alumni golf tourney, Hubby won a free night's stay in a really nice suite in Branson @ the Keeter Center. It was the perfect evening and a great place to just get away for a night.

We checked in and then went to Branson Landing for some shopping, dinner at Cantina Laredo (my favoritest place to eat ever!), and as luck would have it...a rescheduled fireworks show from July 3rd that was rained out! Talk about perfect planning!

The fountain & fire show at the fun to watch!

And my favorite part of Cantina Laredo...Apple Pie for dessert! A slice of apple pie placed on a hot skillet topped with cinnamon ice cream & brandy butter...there are simply no words!

Hubby & I @ dinner

The fireworks...which were shot off from a barge in the middle of Lake Taneycomo.

The air was so still that the smoke just kind of hung in the air...creating this crazy effect as the fireworks blew up in the middle of the smoke! Probably not quite what the organizers were going for, but there would have been no way to plan for this little issue!

When we got back to the room we had turn-down service complete with chocolates on the pillow, a plate full of cookies and fresh milk in the refrigerator! Oh and see that glass milk jug on the right? Yeah that included our requests for complimentary continental breakfast and other room service options! Talk about good service!

A view of our had a great "lodge" feel and was such a great getaway location...even if it was just for one night.

Our breakfast tray. Fresh fruit, muffins, and oatmeal for me. It was delicious!

The view from our room

This morning we headed home and spent the rest of the afternoon just relaxing...a quick cat-nap was definitely in order for me after my weekly grocery store run and some laundry.

Tonight we headed to church for a small group kickoff night. We had a pretty good turnout and I just hope that some of those families who aren't connected with a small group will soon join one! Small group is something that has seriously changed our lives, both as individuals and as a married couple and I think everyone should be a part of such a wonderful support group!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Elyse Love ~ 25 Weeks

More than today being my pregnancy recap of 25 weeks, I also just realized that today marks the 100 day mark.


100 days until our precious baby, Elyse Ann, is due to join us in this world. 100 days until our lives change forever. 100 days until Hubby & I are thrown into a world that we know absolutely nothing about. And 100 days until we become responsible for one of God's greatest miracles ever performed, the birth of a child.

So today, since honestly there haven't been a whole lot of changes in my pregnancy journey (except for some major food changes, which deserve a post of their own for next week) I've decided to write my first letter to my baby girl.

Precious Elyse,

Even speaking your name at this point seems so unreal. It's so unbelieveable to me that God has thought your daddy & I worthy to be called parents. We are both so incredibly excited to begin this journey with you, but also so incredibly scared. While we've certainly heard that being a parent is hard work, I know that we will never truly understand until we experience it for ourselves.

You are going to be a beautiful baby girl and I can't even begin to imagine what our life will look like once you become a part of it. We already have such high hopes for you. Hopes that you will love Jesus in a way that I can't even explain. Hopes that you will be beautiful, on the outside but more importantly on the inside. Hopes that our love for you will almost be tangible and that you would know that we would do absolutely anything for you.

In just a few short months, you will be joinng this crazy world that we all live in each & every day. I know that there is no way we'll be able to protect you each and every day from all of the dangers & pressures of life, but sweet girl, I already pray for those things. I pray that God would give your daddy & I the wisdom and the knowledge and the support to guide us as we embark on this incredible journey.

Leesy, you are already the light of our lives and I can't hardly wait until I can hold you in my arms. You have already taught us so much, maybe most of all that before you I was such a selfish person and life now isn't ever about me but about protecting and caring for the ones you love. I want you to know above all else that you are loved beyond measure. Loved by your momma and daddy, and by so many other family & friends, and most importantly by your Heavenly Father up above who will be there when it seems that no one else will be.

Love always,


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Maternity Photos @ 24 Weeks

I know that all of you are just waiting anxiously to read this week's Elyse Love...but unfortunately you're just gonna have to wait. Hubby had to leave for work super early this morning and of course we failed to take a photo last night...and let's be honest, I'm just not the greatest at taking photos of myself in the mirror!

So...instead of a pregnancy update, here's a few of the maternity photos my good friend Tyler took last week. We have plans to take some more when I'm farther along, but he's just getting his business going and wanted some maternity shots for his website/portfolio. Check him out on Facebook here if you're in the Southwest Missouri area...he's reasonable and I'm super happy with the shots!

~all photos courtesy of Tyler Wilson, 410 Photography