Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Is on its Way

For the second year in a row, the Hubs and I will host Easter for any family members who'd like to attend. I like to think of it as a misfit gathering as there isn't really a formal invitation, it's not directed to one side or the other, and it's more so for anyone who would like to come and celebrate our Lord over some home cookin'.

I've planned the menu for the most part, although with two vegans attending, things are getting a tad bit more complex for this meat eater. Thankfully someone invited Google and Pinterest, so hopefully we'll have ample amounts of vegan-ness for them to enjoy that will be fool proof enough for me to make the dishes successfully.

The house cleaning has begun and some of the décor has been laid out, but the real fun will begin on Saturday when it's full on clean fest in our home.

As for décor, here are a few of my favorite pins for inspiration:

 






I love this one! I will never do this one. I don't have time and time outweighs my love for the cute ombre eggs on a string.
 

 
This one makes me laugh. I might need to make him one year. Who wouldn't want a bunny butt as their place card?

Simple, crisp and lush. I might try to recreate this one.


I hope your Easter is full of family, friends, and our risen Lord. He is risen indeed!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This Little Quirk of Mine, I'm Gonna Let it Shine

For as long as a I can remember, I have loved to scare people. Call it a quirk, call it a flaw, or call it a talent (if you ask me). Simply put, I love it. I love the rush, the look on the other person's face and the belly laughs that follow.

As a child, I can remember hiding on the top bunk of my brother's bed awaiting the moment my mom would come tuck him into bed. I'd wait for the exact right moment to pounce. I can also remember finally being told that I needed to stop with the bunk bed scare tactics because my mom was over it.

As I got older, the need for creating fear never waned. Even as an adult, I would still find myself laying under my parent's bed waiting for my mom to crawl in so I could reach for her ankles or creepily drag my finger nails on the box spring until I was heard. On a good day, you could also find me sitting under a co-workers desk as they came back from lunch. The people in my life who have been victims of my pranks can often be overheard asking one another "where is she" before they climb into bed or enter a dark hall. Even the Hubs can be seen slowly rounding a corner in our house when he doesn't see me idling around somewhere.

This Monday after a visit to the nursing home to see my grandpa , my dad and I realized that he would not have time to drop me off at home before he had to pick up my mom at the bus terminal following her ride home from the airport. As we pulled into the dark parking lot I knew right away that I was going to have a little fun with this detour.

Quietly I sat in the backseat and leaned as close to the passengers side door as possible. Thanks to my belly, I couldn't crouch down between the seats, so I flattened myself against the door as much as I could. Smart thinking on my part as the first thing she did when she got in the front seat was to look into the backseat to ensure I wasn't hiding back there. I told you they look for me around many a dark corner.

As my dad got in the car after loading her luggage, I could read his face and was praying he'd be able to hold in a chuckle until the time was right. Once he was in, my mom reached for a pack of M&M's in the cup holder and asked "since when do M&M's come in a white bag?" That was my cue. I quietly leaned forward before my dad could respond and said in my lowest voice, about 2 inches from her ear "since today".

The look on her face and the prolonged scream out of her mouth was amazing! She pressed herself against the passenger window with cat like reflexes. In that moment I was confident that my pregnant bladder might not withstand the laughter taking over my body. All I kept thinking was "poor Ziggy!" All of the adrenaline rushing through me coupled with her horror movie scream was probably the first time this momma has scared her own son. Notice I said the first time. My poor children will most likely be more afraid of their mom hiding under their beds than monsters or creatures. When they tell their dad that somethings under their bed, he can assure them "it's okay, it's just your crazy mom."

Welcome back, mom. So glad I could be a part of your arrival!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

That Kind of Day

I've been trying to figure out why I looked so blah today, aside from my lack of sleep last night. On what feels like my 15th trip to the restroom (thanks, Ziggy;), I finally noticed that I had forgotten my eye make-up. How does that happen? How did I manage 75% of my face and get distracted enough to skip the most important part? It's just that kind of day apparently.

Thanks to a blood red, full moon last night, both my children were WIDE awake all night. I had one creating fireworks in my belly and the other one, of the fur nature, wanted to hang out all night. He wanted a drink of water about every hour and when he wasn't standing on me to awake and grab him his beverage, he was sitting 2 inches from my face staring at me. And then, after about 6 different water breaks, he needed to go potty. Of course, he did. I'm pretty sure these two babes of mine conspired for the very first time to pull one over on mom. Thankfully they're both the cutest living beings, so I forgive them. I do, however, blame them for my naked eyes today. If you see me today, just look at my rosy cheeks. I somehow managed to remember those, thankfully.

On top of no sleep, I awoke to this ridiculous sight that had carried over from Monday.



Yep, friends in the south, that'd be snow in mid-April. I'm not sure why I'm upset by it, after all, it is Easter week and we had a snow covered yard last Easter too. I'm sensing a very lame pattern here. I can remember days of yore when I'd shop for a cute new Easter outfit in SC among the new spring lines. Not. Any. More. I am rocking some fleece lined tights and my puffer coat today. Yet again, Mother Nature has won. She's a relentless, wicked woman who has gotten the last laugh after a week of 65+ degree days and 79 degree day on Saturday.

The Hubs assured me it would not snow. I assured him that every news station I saw/read called for snow. He held steadfast to the "no snow" mentality. Then the Hubs assured me it would "not stick" once it did begin to fall. The photo above was taken about 20 hours after the snowfall. The Hubs is a liar. I shall never take weather advice from him again. He's handsome ladies, but if he tells you it's not going to rain, go ahead and grab that umbrella.

The silver lining to today being that kind of day: we're off on Friday making Thursday my Friday, thus making Wednesday my Thursday, thus making today hump day. That's gotta count for something, right?


Monday, April 14, 2014

Weekend Happenings

So, yeah, another weekend has come and gone. Way too fast. Like lightning speed fast. Why can't Mondays fly as quickly as Saturdays do? Is that too much ask?

Within the whirlwind of the last 72 hours, we (or at least one of the collective "we") enjoyed a hockey game, 4 hours of volunteering training, biking for 5 hours, running for 2.5 hours, house cleaning, dinner with good friends, a bridal expo an hour and half away, and dinner with family.

And although it ended as quickly as it came, this weekend brought along a few delights worth sharing. Therefore, I bring you a compilation of random happenings of our weekend.

Thanks to the invitation from our financial advisor (ahem, I always feel so fancy when I reference our financial advisor), we enjoyed a night in the club suite along with a few other clients at the Ice Hogs hockey game. I'll admit that I enjoyed the various hockey-esque menu items more so than the actual game, but that's the life and times of a pregnant woman I guess. They even had a few O'Doul's Amber stocked for this non-drinking momma which was a sweet gesture that did not go unnoticed. I took a few sips and pretended to blend in with the crowd.



Thanks to a hail storm unlike anything I've seen before, our cars and roof escaped damage (from what we can tell). Some of our friends weren't so lucky unfortunately.

Also thanks to some crummy weather, I was able to hunker down and knock out some much needed spring cleaning. I'm not sure scrubbing the baseboards was such a good idea, as I'm still sore days later, but they look dang good so I shall suck it up. Feel free to publicly compliment the next time you come over.

At dinner with good friends on Saturday night, I was given a goodie bag of the items my friend loved during her pregnancies. It was so very thoughtful and I'm confident I'll put everything to good use. I know the Hubs is stoked to utilize the coconut foot rub on my tired pups;) Aside from the gifts, the meal was good, the chatting was great and the bartender made me a delicious mango, raspberry faux-rita. It's the little things. Sometimes you just want an umbrella sorta drink.

The Hubs knocked out one of his longest days of Ironman prep to date. After riding his bike for 5 hours. FIVE. He shared with me that he felt like he "could run a marathon after that bike ride and be fine." Rock on with your bad self, Super Hubs, because I couldn't even run a 5K without walking 50% of it and I haven't ridden my bike for 5 hours over the last 2 years combined. He's either nuts or a super hero. Super Hubs, it is!

Sunday brought about a bridal expo in Rock Falls, IL at a sweet, new barn venue. It was very charming. And although our booth was right next to the port-o-potty display, the day turned out well. Thankfully the port-o-john was just for show, although don't tell that to the girl who actually used it in the middle of the packed expo. Hello, awkward. I hope the man who comes to retrieve it figures out someone used it before he hauls it out. I had a small panic attached when I walked into the venue and thought it'd have to use that thing every hour while brides chatted about their nuptial bliss approximately half a foot away all day. #pregnantnightmares

And lastly, as we drew the weekend to a close, we grabbed a laid back dinner with my brother and dad since my mom's been out of town all week. During dinner this conversation happened:
Me: "So have you been talking to mom on the phone a lot or texting everyday while she's gone?"
Dad: "Yeah, sexting."
I pray he was kidding, but it was priceless. I could've bet you a million dollars I'd never hear him  utilize the word sexting personally. Thankfully I'm not a betting woman.

So, yeah, that's our weekend in a nutshell. I hope yours was full of fun outings, catching up with friends, delicious drinks (albeit faux-cocktails), less hail than we saw, and some sexting (if that's how you roll. Just typing that out sort of gives me the willies so I slightly hope you had all of the above but the sexting).

Here's to another week and another dollar. And if you're in Illinois with us, another dang snowflake.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday High Fives

It's that time again. Friday timeeeeeeeeeee! This week I'm thanking the Lord for:
  • Dandy Donuts' minis- I had my first taste of these local treasures yesterday thanks to a co-worker bringing them in as unexpected treat. Oh my word. Delicious. I limited myself as I'm trying to not give in to every craving I have, but I could've killed the whole tray. They were WAY tastier than my green smoothie.

  • Warm weather and sun. Hallelujah! I've been rocking my sunroof and office windows like they're my job. Spring, I love you, please never leave us.
  • Parenthood. If you're not watching this show you're just wrong. Last night was SO good. Joel and Julia, I'm rooting for you! Ray Romano, I'm not sure if I'm on your team or not, but you did win some points last night. Well played.


  • A rapidly growing bump. I feel like I went to bed one night and then poof, I had a belly. I'm definitely embracing it, although I did take a size 2 dress into the dressing room while shopping this week. That particular designer usually runs big so I thought "oh, I bet I can actually wear her dresses now!" Um, no ma'am. Close but no cigar. The best part was the split second I thought "well, maybe if I suck in my belly..." Um, no, no, no ma'am. This is gut you cannot suck in and I'm okay with that.
Please excuse my pale, tired face. It had been a long day of working and then sitting in the hospital. Not my best photo, but Ziggy looks good so I'll take one for the team.
 


  • More consistent baby moves. From the minute I saw the two lines on at home test, something motherly clicked in me. I felt different right away, plus the nausea and exhaustion also were indicators that my body and life were no longer just my own. However, nothing prepared me for the sensation of a life moving inside of me. I feel 120% more bonded with this child. I went from expectant mother to a MOM in one kick. I would do anything for this life inside of me.
  • My grandpa being released from the hospital this week. Granted, they moved him into a nursing home for the next 10 or so days while he heals, but it's a step in the right direction!
  • "Jaunts" as a family of three. Piggy knows the word "walk" and has a minor heart attack whenever he hears it, so the Hubs and I have to ask each other "want to jaunt tonight" to afford us ample time to gather his harness and leash before he loses his mind. It's been so nice to jaunt amongst the sun and fresh air. And our Pig has been in hog heaven, no pun intended. It's given us some sweet time with our fur child before it becomes a jaunt of 4 and a stroller this fall.
  • Wedding season. We've had a steady stream of new brides with rental orders coming in over the last few weeks.
  • Adding a new couple to our small group this week. It's always fun to change up the dynamic a bit. Hopefully we didn't scare them off too much.

Happy Friday, Y'all!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Most Precious Face

 


Yesterday, at approximately 2:30pm, my heart changed forever. I'm officially wrecked for the better. We have been given the gift of seeing our son's face for the first time and it was and is by far the most amazing sight. He is precious, even when unseen, but to see his cheeks, his ear, and his pouty little lip is surreal.

Along with his face came the introduction of his feet, fingers, legs, arms, and heart. To say that medical technology is amazing is possibly one of the largest understatements I've ever muttered. I have NO clue how they can move things around enough to view the ventricles of his heart, the curvature of his spine, etc... It's mind blowing and I've never been more thankful for technology before in my 35 years.

We were also given the reassurance that he is 100% boy. For his sake, I shall leave that image off of the Internet, but there's no mistaking that this child will prefer a basketball over pom poms. Although if this momma has any say in the matter, I would love a strong, male cheerleader in the family. Just sayin.

Thanks to an already rambunctious boy, we'll have to go back in a few weeks so they can get the measurements of his head. He was doing a headstand the entire time we were in there which made it nearly impossible to obtain true head measurements and stronger facial images. The Hubs told the technician that we had "asked him to behave before we got there", but clearly he had his own agenda. Even with his head tucked extremely low, he was moving around like a maniac. At one point he jabbed me with an elbow and I 110% felt that bony little elbow. It was crazy to see him using my insides as his personal kick stand! I can't say I blame him though. If my head were lodged that deep, I'd be kicking like crazy too. I wanted to go in there and shift him around myself. The Hubs assures me that he's fine, but he just looked so uncomfortable. And thus begins my life of a worrying mother, I suppose. 

And because I am a proud momma already, I'd like to introduce you to "Ziggy" (still no official name yet although we did get two new suggestions from our sweet niece this week: Cookie or Muffin. If she had only said Donut, I would've been all over that!).


Here is our bouncing, baby boy with his legs over his head and his toes almost touching his forehead. He's a flexible little man! If you need a little help clarifying parts, as my mom did, his head is in the right, lower corner with his body almost upright along the left side of the image. His toes are inches from his forehead.
 
 
And here are his tiny feet. Keep on kicking, little one. You kick as hard you'd like, with the exception of during my work meetings. I go all mushy and can't focus on a thing.
 
 
And here's our little nugget's face. That pouty, upper lip gets me every time. Every time.
I cannot wait to see those cheeks in person.
I may or may not have looked at our photos 1,000 times already.
I. Can't. Stop.
 

Thanks to everyone who has prayed along the way for Ziggy. He is already blessed by friends and family who love him and have prayed for him before they ever met him. I know the Lord knows him, formed him and has big plans for him. I, for one, cannot wait to watch them unfold.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Life Lessons from the 80's

I love Huffington Post and all of the wisdom it brings to my day. Today's gem of a post comes to you in the form of the brilliancy of a few 80's cult classics. I pride myself on being a child of the 80's and found this article to be 100% relatable and true.

Give it a quick read. I bet you won't regret it for one minute. Who knew all of those hours spent with ET, Duckie, Molly Ringwald and the Goonies clan would prove to be some of the best life lessons a little girl with hair sprayed, crunchy "mall" bangs could find?

And if I could add a few more, they'd be that:

Money Can't Buy You Love. It might for a moment, but it won't be real, true love until you let your guard down and see if it happens on its own. It CAN buy you bacon McGriddles from McDonald's, which feels a whole lot like love, but it won't buy you the real stuff. Wait for the real stuff. It'll happen when the time is right. 

 
You should never underestimate a group of determine girls based on their outward appearance or background. If given a challenge, they can do anything they put their minds to especially in times of crisis, all the while looking fabulous as they go. Just ask the Wilderness Girls from Troop Beverly Hills. And when the chips are down, that's when you dig in even deeper and rely on those around you. We're all in this together in the end.


Sometimes you have to stand up and fight the bad guys, even when you're the underdog. Spend hours practicing how to fight fair even if you know your opponents will most likely rely on the cheap shots. You'll come out stronger in the end, although bruised and a little worse for the wear, but good always trumps evil if we're prepared and ready for it, Daniel son.



Enjoy, fellow 80's lovers!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allison-tate/10-things-this-child-of-the-80s-wants-her-kids-to-know_b_5081160.html

Monday, April 7, 2014

Internal Battle

If you were to look inside of my brain, you'd most likely need a cocktail or a nap or multiples of both. I feel like I have a million thoughts going through my head with absolutely no resolve. I've been asking myself the same questions daily and yet fail to make a decision on anything. It's exhausting really.

I often teeter on whether or not to share my inner most thoughts on this blog and more times than not, the over-sharing wins. I'm sorry or you're welcome, I'm not really sure. Often times, my hope is that if it's jotted down in black and white, a portion of the grayness will be eliminated. Ironically, that's rarely the case. My brain tends to reside in the gray. I'm not sure I excel in the gray per say, but I sure do like to curl up there and call it home.

After about a month, and 3 million days depending on whether you count the emotional toll of it all, we've found ourselves at a place in the home negotiation process where the proverbial ball is back in court. We can pull the trigger and own this home that I've been day dreaming about or we can walk. Two weeks ago, amongst days of tears, I was ready to sell a kidney on the black market if need be to seal the deal. Kidding, slightly, but this text conversation may have taken place at some point last month:


Now, with it essentially being ours to lose, I've suddenly found myself a bit gun shy. And why I'm gun shy has become an internal battle in itself.

You see, for two years now, I've fallen in admiration for a family online that strategically sold their home and moved into a "transitioning" neighborhood. Transitioning might be putting it nicely, as they've chosen to plant their family in a neighborhood where most people would flee from. They wanted to be where they could make a difference, be a light, and be a resource to others. I've fallen for them thanks to the mother's blog and her daily tales from within the neighborhood. I've thought "they're amazing, I'd love to do that!" Fast forward, we've found ourselves in a slightly similar situation and I'm leaning more toward the breaks than the gas. Why?

Granted, you must take all of this with a grain of salt as this neighborhood we're looking at is no where near dilapidated nor full of darkness. That would not be our calling at this point in our lives. However, the surrounding neighborhood is not as nice as where we are now and we would be one of the nicest homes on the street of which I find myself struggling. And I hate that I'm struggling with that. Hate it. It makes me question whether or not I view myself as better than others and more deserving of a white picket fence neighborhood where everyone makes roughly the same salaries and drives comparable cars with little toy poodles that may or may not get pushed around the driveway in strollers from time to time. Do I feel as though I deserve more? If so, why? Or would I feel guilty for being one of the nicest houses on the flip side of this double edged sword? I have no clue, hence the needing a cocktail or nap if you could see inside of my head.

I don't want to struggle with entitlement nor what I do or do not deserve. I don't want to fear my own thoughts. I want them to be genuine, but I'm not quite sure how to sort through them all to find the thoughts that truly matter. I want to eliminate what someone else might think and get to the root of where my heart resides. Gray or not. Indecisiveness could lead me straight out of a home.

Any words of wisdom out there? I could use them.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday High Fives

Without further ado, I bring you Friday High Fives:
  • Finally seeing Divergent on a little date night with a new friend. If you haven't read the book, what are you waiting for?
  • Making a new friend last fall in a girl I ran cross country with in high school but had never hung out with back then. It's kind of eerie how many things we have in common. Both of our families are looking for houses, and I kid you not, we've looked at ALL the same homes. I'll text her "hey, have you seen the house on National Ave?" She'll respond "Are you serious? I hopped in the car to check it out this morning." We're like real estate soul mates. I made her promise she wasn't the other buyer in our bidding war on the river house;) Our only real difference is that she is the mom to 5 precious children. Five. I don't know how she does it!
  • Trying a new chicken salad recipe from Pinterest. I was goooodddd. I'm tempted to make it again this week. And again. And again.  
  • Finding a cool vintage, Radio Flyer tricycle for little man at an attic treasures sale. It got so many ohhhs and ahhhs as I carried it out to the car. I think he'll love it. The Hubs already wants to ride it.

  • Feeling consistent movement every day this week. LOVE it! It has rapidly increased my ability to bond with this guy. I will tell you though, it seriously hinders my ability to concentrate. I have no clue what the message was about at church, nor do I know what was said in 50% of the meetings I attended this week. Oops.
  • H2O. I'm thirsty all day every day.
  • My first pair of maternity jeans. They are way more comfortable than trying to maximize my time in my regular jeans. I bite the bullet at 20 weeks when I was starting to feel as though I was crushing Small Frei into a tater tot.
  • Speaking of 20 weeks, I'm half way to meeting the newest love of my life face to face!! There were moments when things weren't looking so good in the first trimester and one night in month two where I thought we'd lost him and I cried myself to sleep over the baby I thought I'd never meet, so the joy of being half way there is an incredible feeling. I thank God every single day for this gift. I pray he keeps going strong for the next 20!

  • A night full of laughs at our married couples small group. This week's discussion was on fighting fair which brought about many belly laughs as we realized we all fight similarly. At least we know who to go to now for accountability.
  • Catching up with two of my favorite people. One in SC and the other in CA. There was a time we were in the same house as friends and roommates. Those were great days.
  • Chips and salsa.
  • My Hubs who is currently out picking up Piggy food and new chewies so that we don't have to go this weekend. He's a keeper.

Happy Friday, Y'all!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Strong Patient



For the last week my grandpa Meyers has been in the hospital. For someone who has toyed with going back to school for a nursing degree, I can tell you that I don't like hospitals all that much. Maybe I need to rethink the whole maybe I'll get my nursing degree someday idea.

I don't like the way that they smell, the various people you pass by and can see in their hospital rooms fully knowing their sick, awaiting a surgery, awaiting a diagnosis, or that they possibly were just given a poor prognosis. It just makes me a little sad from the minute I walk in the doors. Even the maternity wing, although much more upbeat, is not my favorite place to be. Guess I better get over that one real quick.

Just to give you a little background on my grandpa: he's tough, he's stubborn (mush like the rest of us Meyers folk), and he can be impatient (again, the bloodlines run deep). All of those qualities does not a fun time in the hospital make, BUT they do make for a stronger patient. We impatient people do not want to be there any longer than we have to be. I love knowing he's tough and stubborn during a time like this. I pray that helps keep some fight in those bones.

After what was to be a quick and routine surgery followed by a next day discharge from the hospital, has turned into a week long stay in intensive care thanks to few different complications during and after surgery. After being sedated for awhile due to the invasiveness of the surgery, he is now alert and coming off of the ventilator. Praise the Lord!

He'll have a long and very painful road ahead of him, as will my grandma who has been by his side all day, every day since last Thursday. He'll most likely relocate to a live-in rehabilitation center while he heals and can get on his feet again. I pray this journey doesn't prove to be too much for either of them. If you don't mind joining us in prayer, we and they would be very grateful for you.

And in the spirit of silver linings, this hospital stay brought about the first time I've ever seen my grandparents kiss. Ever. It almost caught me off guard, but I loved seeing it. They've been married well over 60 years, so their marriage always looked so routine to me as most marriages do after 6 decades. Not routine in a bad way, just routine in a very well oiled machine way. But for that one moment, I got a glimpse into the softer side of their marriage and it was a sweet moment to share as I sat next to my husband of only 2 years. Sweet indeed.