Just popping in to say...

That I'm still very, very pregnant...pregnant and impatient.
(Hopefully you didn't think this was an announcement post and got all excited. My bad if you did.)

I would include an embarrassingly large photo of myself, but I've put a ban on any and all photos taken of me at this point forward. For future pregnancies, I think I'm going to start that rule a lot earlier. Say, week 30 or so.

Okay, for good measure here's one of just my belly on my due date. Stripes are super slimming, aren't they?



In case you're curious, I'm 40 weeks and 4 days pregnant this morning. Baby G is moving around a TON still, but definitely feeling more and more cramped in there - he or she hardly has the room to wind up and give me a good kick anymore. Not that I'm complaining about that, or anything, because my ribs are thankful, but it's just funny to see the difference.

I also officially can't see my ankle bones, no matter what time of day or night. The swelling is really horrifying. I guess I've always been somewhat vain about my feet and never knew it until just now - but looking down at my boats-instead-of-feet nowadays creeps me out. I will not submit you to the horror by adding a picture of my feet to this post. You probably wouldn't recognize them anyway, besides the little pig-like toes on the ends of them.

It's terrifying, really.

David and I have been trying to ignore the hormonal swings I'm experiencing, especially with emotions, and enjoy our last few days alone together. But the impatience makes that more difficult than I anticipated.

When I can't sleep, or have grown tired of trying things to induce labor, I'm dreaming of wearing normal buttoning pants, going outside in the heat without feeling like everything is melting off me, and drinking an ice cold margarita. I've gone crazy on Pinterest in my non-alcohol-drinking stage, and there are some winning drink recipes I've pinned lately like this Kiwi Blueberry Mojito that I'm itching to try.

I have a feeling this will be my last blog post before Baby G gets here, but I'm working on getting the rest of our engagement story written up and scheduled for the days I don't have time to blog in the next couple weeks.

Until then, have a lovely beginning of your summer, and pray for me!
HG

Our Engagement Story [Part 1]

Because David prompted me, as well as because I'm feeling nostalgic and also trying to while away the hours until Baby G gets here, I thought now would be a great time to write down our engagement story for alllll the internet to read.

I am going to give you a fair warning/disclaimer: it is long. And by long, I mean it takes 15-20 minutes to tell in person, so with all the extra things I'm going to add in by blogging it, this might take 2-3 blog posts. We'll see where the spirit takes me, and I'll try to link them all together somehow without leaving enormous cliffhangers.

Ready?
Set?
Go.

not engaged here even though my hand looks like it...awk-sauce...
I think the entire "story of us" deserves a separate post (or twelve), but I have to give you a leeetle bit of background before jumping into this "let's get married" thing.

David and I met at the Newman Center the weekend before our freshman year started. He doesn't remember a whole lot of the meeting, but I do. It's a doozy, let's just put it that way. (Again, a story for another time. I'll get to it eventually.) So by the time we were juniors, even though we'd only been dating since our sophomore year, we felt like we knew each other really well and were ready for that next step.

The summer David proposed to me, I was working for a publishing company and doing some traveling to Quebec, Canada. I speak marginal French, which was more than all the rest of the company, so they sent me to fumble through customer relations and make lots of visits. It was at the same time very exciting to be getting paid to travel, but also made me extremely homesick - and exhausted.

My trips usually lasted from a Sunday afternoon through a Friday afternoon, depending on where in Quebec me and my partner were going, and what flights were available. The week before David proposed was a LONG one - we had to leave early that Sunday because flights were all goofy, and our flight out of Montreal was at 5:00 a.m., which meant I was up on Friday at like 3:00 in the morning until much, much later that night.

Quebec was pretty stinkin' beautiful, though.
That week of traveling was a really rough one for me emotionally. I was homesick, tired, and just ready to be back in the States. We worked 12-15 hour days for a week solid, so I was beat. David and I luckily got to Skype/talk on the phone pretty much every night, and all week he kept telling me he had an amazing date planned for me on Friday night when I got back. It's one of the few things that got me through the week, looking forward to that date.

Of course now he claims he didn't say that, because he didn't want to give me any hints that he was going to propose, but he lies. He totally said it. Multiple times, I might add.

Another background: we had had plenty of talks about the future at this point, and both of us were certain we were going to end up together. But, David had me convinced he wasn't going to propose until things were a little more lined up for our future together - he had convinced me he wasn't going to propose at LEAST until Thanksgiving or Christmas of that year. So that made for an extra bit of surprise - which is also why I wasn't thinking proposal at all when he mentioned this great date we were going to have.

Beautiful Catholic churches like this EVERYWHERE in Quebec. It's totally unfair, really.
So. I got up at 3:00 that Friday morning, spent all day traveling, and went into the office for a couple of hours (talk about terrible work policy - no matter when your flight is on Fridays, they make you come into the office til 4:00 p.m.! worst!). The details get a little fuzzy here, but somehow I got home (David may have picked me up from work?) and I went to get ready for the date.

Then David came to pick me up, surprising me with flowers in the front seat when I climbed into his car. We drove to our favorite restaurant, Lazlo's (a fantastic brewery in Lincoln, if you're ever here and need a place to eat), where we immediately were seated and somehow our food just magically appeared.

us at Lazlo's 1-2 years earlier
David claims I didn't remark on this, and just immediately started eating. I can't really remember being surprised by the fact that our food just appeared, which was probably due to my lack of sleep the night before - or maybe I was just starving so I immediately started eating. Apparently he was a little disappointed that his work to get my favorite food ordered and ready for us when we arrived went unnoticed. Whoops. (Sorry honey!)

We had a nice dinner together. He ordered me my favorite burger (guacamole, fried onions, and provolone cheese) and we even splurged and got drinks (pop for me since I wasn't 21 yet), which was a big deal for us. I spent most of the time talking about my week in Quebec, and showing him pictures on my phone of the different weird things about Quebec - including the fact that they sell milk in bags?! Proof:


I'm sorry, but quick sidebar: what in the actual heck? Why do they sell liquids that are pretty gross if you spill them in flexible, moving bags?!? How do you store the things in your fridge? How do you pour it out of there?!? I will never understand. Ever.

Back to the story.

David says he had a hard time concentrating on my stories because he was thinking about what he was going to do later. I don't blame him, and to be honest he seemed like he was listening and participating well enough that I didn't notice so...once again, sleep deprivation is not a good thing for me.

We finished dinner and drove to my favorite dessert place in Lincoln, Dairy Sweet. It's this adorable by-the-road ice cream and slushy (slushie?) store, family owned, and deliciously cheap. It's wonderful.

best pic I could find online of their cute oldfashioned sign
Then David announced we were heading back to Avila, the house I lived in with 5 other girls that year (named under the patronage of St. Teresa of Avila). I was openly upset about this, because he'd been claiming all week that we were going to have this amazing date. It was only like 8:00 at this point, and while this had been a fun date, I was not exactly seeing "amazing" yet, and I didn't want to just go home and watch TV or something boring like that.

I think I pouted the whole way to Avila. Again, sorry David. I can be pretty mean sometimes.

When we got to Avila, he had me climb into my truck (a '91 Toyota Pickup, if you're curious) and close my eyes while he put some things in the back end. Whew, the date wasn't ending! I was relieved. And I felt a little bad for getting mad at him, but not that bad because he could have just told me it wasn't over. whatevs.

We then drove to his house, and I had to sit in the truck with my eyes closed for what seemed like an ETERNITY while he got a bunch of stuff and put it in the back end. When we got there originally, he offered to have me go inside and hang out for a bit, but I was thinking he'd grab one or two things and we'd be off, so I didn't see the point. 15 minutes later, still sitting in the truck with my eyes closed, I was a little mad at myself for not taking him up on his offer.


Lesson learned from this engagement story: Hannah, just go with the flow. (I'm still learning.)

He got all the stuff situated, and we hit the road. He wouldn't tell me where we were going, and he didn't want me to see the stuff in the back end, so we ended up driving about 20 minutes outside Lincoln, me with my eyes closed the entire time.

I spent the drive telling him more stories from the week, generally talking his ear off, and he claims he really heard like 0% of this stuff because he was worried about the ring falling out of the back end. It was in his backpack which he somehow managed to stick in the back end but couldn't see with the rear view mirror. I don't blame him for being nervous - and because my eyes were closed, I couldn't tell he wasn't really paying attention. (We are good at communicating, no?)

We finally arrived at our destination...and that's where I'll leave you for this post. Stay tuned for part 2!
HG

David is Fancy

This is my first time doing a post like this, so just so you know: I received this product for free, but wasn't obligated to mention it on the old blog at all. I was really happy with the service so thought it deserved a shoutout. Maybe you'll be seeing more of these posts in the future, maybe not - we'll see how it goes, how about? Hope I didn't scandalize you by not giving you more of a warning than this. Happy reading!

So, I'm not sure how much I talk about David on here, besides how handy he is when it comes to home improvement projects and how we like to disagree on pretty much everything.

Opposites attract, yo. I'm telling you, it's a real and valid theory. To prove that I am right, here is a list of things David is good at:
- Money and budgeting
- Sports, especially soccer
- Math
- Planning for the future
- Problem solving
- Handyman work
- Doing the dishes (teehee)
- Video games (if one can be "good" at those)
Here's a list of things I am not good at:
- Every single item on that list right up there
Now, having a marriage between two people that are really opposite comes in handy more times than you think. It makes for an easy division of labor, and a fascinating study into the differences between people...and of course an occasional fight or twelve.

Anyway.

Because we'd be broke if I did it, David is in charge of the finances in our house. Mostly because it's his job - literally, he's a financial advisor by day, so that's what he does for other people. He's really great at it, because he's a bit of a cheapskate but also loves helping people. Perfect recipe for a financial advisor, wouldn't you say?

He recently got his own office at his company, which is a big deal for someone who's been in the business for less than a year. So when Sarah from Personal Creations contacted me asking if they could send me one of their products, I immediately thought I should get him something fancy for his office. He needed something to spruce up his desk, and deserved a reward for how hard he's worked this last year.


She sent me this awesome desk organizer, personalized with his initials right on the front. It's got a sliding drawer in front, for your secret things, and holes so your phone charger can hide discreetly inside and you can plug it in on top - plus, the felted bottom quiets the sound of your phone going off if you're in a busy or open area.


Unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera the last time I was in his office, so you'll have to deal with these crappy iPhone photos. Sorry bout it.

Anyways, I highly recommend their products. It was shipped really quickly and came all wrapped up nice and securely - something that I notice after getting packages from my wedding registry on Bed Bath & Beyond, where it looked like they threw the items into boxes from across the room and then had a 2-year-old put some tape haphazardly across the box. Not that I'm still bitter about our really expensive wine glasses having to be reordered TWICE from that problem, or anything...

I'm not usually the biggest fan of personalized items, mostly because they are a bunch of non-useful items that look cute but have no real purpose. Personal Creations is different - I had a hard time picking just one thing that I thought he might like!

If you're looking for a graduation gift, or just a reward for a hard-working husband, I highly recommend their products. Gifts for him can be found here, but they also have a bunch of houseware things, gifts for moms & dads, and pretty much anything you can think of.

Oh, and another reason we're opposite? There's no way I'll ever be fancy enough to need something like this on my desk. :) Marriage is a great and beautiful thing, isn't it?
HG

7QT #13

Friday again already? Thank the Lord! Linking up with Jen and her awesome blogness.

Also, I've discovered a new obsession with GIFs...think I can include one in every take? Self-Challenge accepted!

1. Yes, unfortunately, last night at midnight marked the fact that I made it to 39 weeks...yay?


I shouldn't complain but I am just really wishing this baby was out here by now. To that end I've been doing anything and everything I can to start labor. Here is a rundown of things I've tried:
  • Walking - about 2 hours every day
  • Bouncing on exercise ball
  • Scrubbing our floor on hands and knees
  • Red raspberry leaf tea
  • Evening primrose oil
  • Spicy Chinese food
  • "Intimacy"
  • Not drinking water/fluids
I had a super fun time polling my Facebook friends to see their recommendations for starting labor. Greasy foods, pineapple, and walking were the most popular answers and people had some funny stories about labor starting that I loved reading.

At the very least it was a good distraction for a couple hours' worth of Facebook entertainment.

2. Somehow I never noticed that Spotify (my main source of entertainment during the work day, minus an episode of Grey's Anatomy at lunch time) has built-in playlists that you can just click on and they play songs for you.

me at every party ever
Talk about a revelation! I don't have to go searching for my next favorite song? It'll just play for me? Winning situation right there. And saves me from listening to the same 4 playlists I've been listening to for the last 5 months. My ears are happy.

3. I've almost run out of things to "nest" with. In the past week, I've kept on top of the laundry (a huge deal for me, because usually when I sit down to actually do laundry there are 4+ loads to wash, dry, then fold), vacuumed twice, dusted, washed the dishes (David's chore which I hate doing), swept our front porch at least twice, scrubbed the bathroom floor, caught up on baby thank-yous, folded and re-folded baby clothes, cleaned and organized every surface in sight, even my desk...


Needless to say I'm both exhausted and frustrated that I've run out of things to do. David claims I should next tackle some bigger projects, like our whole attic, but I can't motivate myself quite that far. Anyone need a very selective but motivated house cleaner this week? I'm obviously available!

4. Caitlin asked me to be her matron of honor this week!

She's Leslie, I'm Ann
I'm Turk, she's JD
I am BEYOND excited even though matron is probably the least flattering word in the entire English language (seriously, who came up with that?).

I've already started trolling Pinterest for ideas and planning a shower and doing a lot of internal screaming about how excited I am for her and her fiancé! WEDDINGS! Love them!

5. David started following an Instagram account called "Daily Puppy," which is as adorable (or more) than it sounds, so to brighten your Friday I'm going to include a random GIF of a super cute puppy.


You're welcome.

6. No one warned me for how enormous I would feel this late in my pregnancy. I have to put forth superhuman effort to get myself out of bed, or off the couch, which makes me even lazier than normal. Sometimes I feel like this would be a more efficient way to get around:


You might think that's a joke, but I seriously am considering it. Or something modified, at least, because the belly's too big to drag like that. Backwards, perhaps?

Also on all my walks I feel like I'm traipsing around like a much bigger, more lumbering version of this:


Also considerably less adorable.

7. Once again, apologies that this blog has become all baby-baby-baby but Dwija had a great post & commenter's response this week about the inevitability of that when you read Catholic mom blogs. You probably shouldn't expect much else, right?


(If you love Emma Stone as much as I do, watch her Lip Sync Battle with Jimmy Fallon here. You won't be disappointed.)

Crossing my fingers that I'll be too busy with a new baby by next week to participate in 7QT - but you never know! I might be the rare bird that is pregnant FOR-EV-ER.

Head over to Conversion Diary for more takes, less GIFs.
HG


Dear Baby Gokie


Dear Baby Gokie,

I am writing this to let you know how much I love you. You're still firmly ensconced in my uterus (if you're a boy, hopefully that word doesn't gross you out too much), chilling and taking your dear sweet time to decide to come out into the world and meet us all. But I love you. SO much.

I'm afraid you might get the wrong impression about my feelings towards you, because lots of times all I do is complain about the different wonderful experiences you are putting me through (ahem...see here and here, and pretty much every tweet I've tweeted this entire pregnancy). Not that I imagine you'll go back and read my entire blog when you're older because, probably ew? I don't know. Maybe you'll take after your mom and have a weird obsession with reading ALL of someone's blog in creepy succession. Maybe not.

Anyway. I know I do a lot of complaining about your presence inside me, especially in these last few grueling and impatient weeks, but I love you for it. You've already taught me how to place someone else's needs always before my own, which I'm sure I'm going to continue to learn better each and every day when you get here.

I love feeling you squirm around inside me. I'm pretty sure you're going to be right-footed, because the right side of my belly takes a lot more beating than the rest. I know you're somewhat stubborn, too (taking after your father), because when you kick a little more ferociously than normal and I try to coax your foot away from my ribs, you don't like it at all. You're just learning to do tons of things - I can't imagine how much more stubborn you'll be when you're out here with us.

I also want to let you know how many people are excited for your arrival. You have a bit of an advantage because you're the first grandchild on both sides, so your soon-to-be grandparents are pretty ecstatic for your arrival. Your aunts and uncles are already doing everything they can to support me and you, and all of my and your dad's friends are eagerly awaiting your arrival. You are loved by SO many people already. Just wait until you get here and can experience all that love for yourself - hope you like cuddles, kisses, and all sorts of affection.

art by your Aunt Lucy
I am going to miss this time of just you and me, though. It feels like a...privilege, but in the biggest way possible, to have shared these 9 months with you. Your dad is of course a close second, but I feel pretty special that I got to share this time with you. Words don't really express what it's like to have another person, with a heart and soul and future, hanging out with you 24/7! If you are a boy, I hope that if you have kids one day, you aren't too jealous of your wife for getting that experience. If you're a girl and become a mom, I can't wait for you to experience the wonderful blessing it is to carry another person with you someday.

I am ready to meet you, though, baby - so anytime you want to get here is fine by me. We've been waiting for so long that these last few weeks are crawling by and we're getting impatient! Until then, dear one, I'm praying for you and trying to enjoy these last few moments of just you-and-me.

Love,
your mama

Blogland + Prayer

Becoming a semi-regular blogger has really improved my prayer life.

Yeah, you read that sentence correctly. Although they seem somewhat counter-intuitive, I really think that becoming a writer, reader, and commenter on other blogs has improved my prayer life. Let me explain before you jump to any strange or lofty conclusions.

I've never been very good about having a consistent prayer life. I'm very much swayed by periods of consolation and desolation - when I'm in consolation, I can't get enough of prayer. And in desolation, it's the last thing on my mind. (For a quick summary of Ignatian spirituality and what I mean by those, click here.) I do exactly what St. Ignatius says NOT to do, which is change my spiritual routine when those times sway in and out of my life. I know, it's bad. As a result, my prayer life looks like one of those crazy graphs where the peaks are really high and the valleys are really low. It's definitely not good for my spiritual life, and makes the transitions between those two phases in my soul hard to weather and hard to identify.



Blogging and reading other blogs (especially real, faithful, beautiful, and holy Catholic women's blogs) has helped me keep a regular prayer life -- but more by accident than by design.

First of all, blogging about my own life helps me identify these periods of highs and lows more easily. When I write them down and publish my thoughts for the internet to see, I can go back and read when I was feeling crappy or when I was riding a good, high period. It's a lot harder to hide from myself when I've got written proof of my own moods - and blogging is an easy format to be honest with yourself in. I definitely didn't set out to blog because of this reason, but it's an awesome benefit.

I know that specifying my monthly goals has also helped me keep on track in my spiritual life. I can identify where I want to go for the month, and although I don't always have a spiritual "goal" for each month, it keeps me more accountable for my life in general, which gives me structure in my spiritual life.

David and I, credit Levi Baus Photography
The biggest way blogging has helped improve my prayer life, though, is reading about the struggles and life experiences of the wonderful bloggers I follow. I'm one of those people that often thinks to themselves, oh I should pray for such-and-such, or for this intention, but then when I actual get around to some suffering or a time to pray, those intentions are far gone in my brain. (I have a theory that my pregnancy brain has made this worse, but that's beside the point...haha.)

Because I love reading, and especially love reading blogs, though, I'm reminded on a daily or semi-daily basis of intentions to pray for! It makes them a lot harder to forget. Whether I'm reading about a couple's struggle with infertility, a family's heartache, someone traveling, a mother's heartache over the loss of a child, or anything in between, it becomes ingrained in my brain. Reading details about any sort of struggles (or even joys!) in other women's lives makes them wayyyy easier to remember. It's probably due to my English-major-trained brain, but reading about them changes my prayer intentions from something I think about occasionally to something that pops up in my head without any prompting.

I love it.

I love sitting in Mass and being able to list off the names of 6-8 different bloggers, who I've never met, who are struggling with one thing or another at this point in their lives, and offering it to Jesus in the sacrifice of the Mass. It makes me feel so connected to the Universal church, and connected with these bloggers - although they may never know I prayed for them!

And I also love being able to openly ask for prayers for my own intentions on my blog - which brings me to one of the main points of this post.

I want to offer up my labor with Baby G for your intentions, because so many of you have been sweet and offered prayers for my pregnancy and baby so far. I've majorly felt the blog-love, and I want to repay in a small way if I can.

So. If you have a specific cause or intention you'd like me to pray for, please tell me! You can comment with your intention, message me privately (gokienotes @ gmail.com), or just tell me that you have a special intention to pray for and I'll include it. I'm going to make a big list of all my intentions and read them and have David read them to me when labor sets in.

I can't wait to hear your intentions!
HG

7QT #12

Once again, a completely random conglomeration to celebrate Friday! Linking up with Jen!

1. We finally bought and got (what a rhyme) our stroller in the mail this week. Hooray!


I'll admit, I trolled through many a blog to read recommendations on strollers because, holy heck, why are there so many options? Jogger, jogger convert, travel system with jogger option, umbrella, umbrella hybrid, heavy duty...it's really unbelievable how many options there were.

I finally went with this Kiddy City 'n Move Stroller because of Grace's recommendation and a ton of other bloggers/reviewers seemed to love it. Although we haven't tried it out with our actual kid in it yet (since he/she is still firmly in utero), I already love it. The color is awesome, the features seem easy to navigate, and it looks like a winner.

2. Caitlin comes home on Sunday!!!!!! (so many exclamation points because I am just that excited!)
thanks for the photo, Kelly!
She's been away doing holy and important things as a FOCUS missionary in Pittsburgh which is just too darn far away. Also, she blogs but not often enough. So y'all should follow her and bug her to write more because her writing is awesome...and I bug her enough about it that it's sort of the boy-who-cried-wolf syndrome.

Also, Caitlin aren't you glad I picked an actual nice photo of us this time? I almost went with a few...choice...other options, but I figured I'd pull that out for a special occasion.

3. So I'm getting nervous/ready for labor, and impatient as you might remember, and so I bought this:


It was $11.99 at Walgreens and let's pray it was worth it, because I'm a little skeptical but willing to try pretty much anything at this point. Anyone heard of success stories using EPO (that's what the cool kids on BabyCenter forums call it) to induce/get ready for labor?

4. I've also been spending hours a day on my exercise ball, either at my desk during the day (which is supposed to be great for you no matter if you're preggo or not) or watching TV at night and looking something like this lady, but less color coordinated, of course.

And with less of the looking up at the sky, asking God to just get this going look on my face. (It's all internal, yo.)

I've heard it's supposed to help get the baby's head to engage in your pelvis as well as just loosen up your hips and pelvis for the birthing process. Like in take #3, I am ready to try pretty much anything at this point.

5. Probably you won't care about this if you aren't from Nebraska, but our stupid tourism committee changed the state's tourism slogan to "Nebraska Nice." Ugh. Excuse me while I go vomit in the corner real quick.

me + fraaands in front of a sign somewhere in the middle of nowhere, NE
I'm offended by this choice on so many levels. Our old motto was "The Good Life," which is still our state motto or something, but not our tourism one anymore I guess? I don't know. But as a former English major and a lover of the state of Nebraska, "nice" was about the worst choice they could have gone with. It's like they said "Well, we don't want to be too enthusiastic here. Nebraska's okay, I guess. Let's pick something with the same letter as Nebraska...how about nice? Yeah, the most boring word in the English language, awesome idea!!"

GRRRR. It makes my blood boil.
/end rant

6. I've been reading review after review of Stitch Fix, including Haley's this week, and as soon as this baby gets here and I'm able to try on clothes that are actually my normal size, I think I'm gonna bite the bullet and give it a try. Why not, right? I am a sucker for spending a lot of money on clothes that never last me very long (ahem, Target) and since I'm like an adult now, I should try to buy more quality pieces that last me longer.

Glad I made that decision. Now I have to convince David that it's worth it...stay tuned.

7. Pregnancy dreams have been all over the map this week. First I dreamt that I was late to a dance recital that I was the star pupil in (never took a dance class in my life, unless you count a week in high school for a musical), then I had a great one that somehow involved me befriending a family of live grizzly bears that could talk to me and gave me mothering advice.

bff's, right?
I think last night's about winning the lottery but losing the ticket most accurate describes my state of mind right now. Frazzled, scattered, and a little panicked. But extremely lucky.

Yep. Sounds about right.



Head over to Jen's for more weekly takes, and check out her new book Something Other Than God, which I decided I'm treating myself to as a "push present" (hahaha) when this baby gets here.

Hasta!
HG

The Good Life

I've been in a "mood" (as they say) the last couple days. Irritable, cranky, and just plain impatient. I'm ready for this baby to be here, but he or she obviously still has other ideas. Poor David has had to deal with many an irrational outburst of emotion on my part, and he's taking it all like a champ (great practice for the unpredictability of a newborn). Some of it can be blamed on my pregnancy hormones, but I've also been allowing myself to get my hopes up every night for the baby to get here, only to wake up in the middle of the night 20 times and then finally in the morning still with no baby.

Last night was an especially rough one. I had what seemed like could be early contractions from about 8 p.m. til midnight, which felt like mild period cramps or some other sort of clenching down there. I prayed and tried not to get too excited...but failed. I was SURE it was going to happen. Every time I woke up in the middle of the night, I tried to see if they were longer, stronger, or closer together. After my 4th bathroom trip by 4 a.m. (yikes), they had subsided.

Bummer.

By the time I got up this morning, I was pretty upset. I just want the little one to get here! I'm a generally impatient person, but this whole not-being-able-to-tell-when-it's-gonna-happen thing is driving me a little crazy.

Then I read this piece on Team Whitaker. And it made me think - really think. Life really is good right now, isn't it? As impatient as I may be for the baby to get here, nothing's going to be the same when it happens. I have a good - great - life, and I'm not thankful for it often enough. 

I'm going to try and take a step back in these last couple weeks of pregnancy and really appreciate our lives the way they are, right in these moments. I'll probably cave to impatience occasionally, but I really need to look at the bigger picture and how much He is blessing our lives, without me controlling one single bit of them.



Here are some things I am thankful for:
- Nebraska weather. Yesterday it was 60° when I woke up, got up to a new record high of 98° by late afternoon, and then this gorgeous rain and hail storm passed through and lowered the temps again to the 70° range by bedtime



- date nights with David. We got ice cream last night after the storm had subsided, and even though I spilled majorly on my shirt (the belly does get in the way sometimes) it was glorious. We sat on our porch and watched the lightning flash for a half hour, just the two of us, appreciating the beauty of it all
- piles of fresh laundry to fold, and a wonderfully fast and quiet laundry machine system in our own basement (also if you love laundry soap smell get this kind, you will not regret it)
- long walks, even when it's blazing hot
- a good job, filled with people who care about what they do
- apples & cereal bars
- the fun that is planning the future, and how much Pinterest can inspire and help you with that
- the ability to enjoy hilarious TV shows like Parks and Recreation

Sometimes I need a kick in the pants like this to make me step back and see my life for what it is. Thank you, Jesus, for a wonderfully good life.
HG

Nursery: Complete!

I know this was a lot later than we originally anticipated but...the nursery is finally done so get ready for a photo dump of all the things we did. Hopefully if we attempt to do this sort of makeover to the rest of the house, this will help us remember all the different things we tried - and how much work it really was. (Seriously. So. Much. Work.) If you know us in person and would rather wait to see it in person (ahem Caitlin or others), feel free to skip this post and just come visit! 

We started renovations on the room on January 14th, and I would say David put the finishing touches on just a couple weeks ago, so it took us a solid 4 months. For such a small room, it was a lot longer than we anticipated.

Here's the best picture I could find of what the room looked like before:



It was originally my office, with a desk on one side and bookshelves on the other. That wasn't going to work with a new baby on the way, so my office got booted to the attic and we started renovations (with all those tools pictured above).

We have a smattering from the renovation process:
too dusty for a pregnant lady

Because the walls were plaster & lathe, and cracking majorly, we decided to gut the room since it wouldn't make sense to paint walls that would just need to be replaced in a few years anyway. So the plaster & lathe had to go, and then we installed more outlets, a light in the closet (pictured above), insulation, and drywalled the whole room.

halfway through - mostly drywalled at this stage
I didn't take a ton of pictures in this middle stage, because it looked the same for a long time. Trust me when I say, however, that we did a lot of little things that I'd never thought about before. Want to install a ceiling fan? Have to make sure your support beams are strong enough. Working with an old house? You'll probably have to remove approximately 8,000 nails in the wall studs, just so you can nail into them again with the new drywall. Buy new custom windows, because your windows aren't normal sizes? Good luck making head or tails of the instructions that come with them.

After tons of hours, lots of watching of YouTube videos, exhausting late nights, and a good supply of ice cream to keep us going, the room's finally done. Now to the fun pictures!

from the doorway
east wall
south wall & window
west wall (adjacent to bathroom)
Looks pretty all put together, doesn't it? I am really proud of how much work we put into it, and how dedicated David was throughout the whole project to getting it done and doing things right. Obviously he did approximately 200% more of the actual labor than I did, so the credit should go to him. I did more of the crafty things - sewed the curtains, the baby quilt, and the embroideries on the wall, as well as got put in charge (by default) of organizing everything once it was complete.

Some details:
custom baby-changing station



some embroideries I did & then framed
still mostly-empty closet ready to be filled with cute clothes!
So there you have it!

The doors still need to be finished. We took off the two doors to the room, planning on stripping them and re-painting them to match the new white that was in the room. There were approximately 8 different layers of paint on each door (again, yay for old houses) so the process is taking a lot longer than we anticipated. Eventually we'll get them up and installed but the room works just fine without them, right? :)

Also, just in case you'd like to see it as well, we got a little bassinet from David's grandma and put it up in our room for the little one's first couple weeks.

including the bear I bought for him/her - cute right??
It feels really good to be done with the thing. I like to just go in and rock in my rocking chair and give the baby pep talks about getting here early....which have so far been unsuccessful but still fun to do. :) I'm sure you'll be seeing lots more pics of the room once the baby is here to take pictures of!
HG

[Pre] Mother's Day Wish List

I consider myself 1/2 of a mom right now. Of course I've been carrying this bebe around for the past nine months, but I feel like I'll get to 100% once I go through labor and can hold this baby in my arms.

However, just because I don't feel up to 100% yet doesn't mean I can't make a Mother's Day wish list right? (Hint hint, David!) So behold, a random conglomeration of all the things I'd love as gifts for Mother's Day - and things you should add to your own wish list.



1. Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7"
I've posted this as part of a wish list on the blog before, but that's only because I'm finding more and more reasons to want one. I've made a list of library books I want to rent/download, and the reduced price of Kindle books like Jen's Something Other Than God makes me start drooling over one even more. It's kind of an expensive gift but if y'all have had a good year it's not a bad idea.

2. Nanette Lepore Swimsuit
Offered by Anthropologie, again this doesn't really qualify as an affordable gift. I guess I have expensive taste...which is a shame right now. But excuse me as I drool over its beauty! I love the beading and the details and the fact that it's sort of Egyptian-goddess-meets-tribal-pattern lovely.

3. Cabana Striped Canvas Carryall
I'm a huuuuge sucker for Target trends, and this bag fits that bill quite nicely. I'm imagining using it as a sort of extra diaper bag when baby gets here, but one that can easily transition to non-baby things when necessary. At only $35, what's not to love?

4. Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Can you tell this almost-mama likes to read? Two bookish things in one list. Anyway - a tried & true gift card to Barnes and Noble or your mom's favorite local bookstore never goes amiss. Books are one of those things that are hard to justify the money spent on them, but are so fun to buy. What better combination for Mother's Day?

5. A beautiful plant
Maybe it's because I've been growing this human inside me for 9 months, but I've become obsessed with growing things lately. I've got indoor plants (aloe vera, leafy greens, and a new orchid), a vegetable garden started, and am hankering for more potted plants to jazz up our front porch. A beautifully arranged flower pot can't go wrong - plus, if you visit a nursery most of the time they have some great choices already put together for you!

6. Date Night
I don't know about you, but one of my favorite things to do is go on an entirely-planned date with my husband (and I think I loved it even more when we were dating/engaged). There's something super exciting about not knowing the plans, and just going along for the ride. Why not whip something up like this for Mother's Day? You can pick out a day to use it later, and voila - perfect gift idea that takes only a little bit of planning. Also bonus points if you make it a cute card/coupon to "open" on Mother's Day.

We're supposed to have a heat wave on Wednesday of this week (which is David's pick for the delivery date - May 7) so here's hoping the pressure difference induces labor? My frantic internet searching hasn't come up with any definite results except for LOTS of L&D nurses swearing more women give birth with big weather changes (storms, snow, heat waves, etc.) so I'm hoping they're right. If so, maybe I'll be 100% a mom on this year's Mother's Day! If not, this list will still be handy for years to come, I'm sure. :)

HG

7QT #11

Thank the Good Lord for Fridays, right? joining Jen for some quick takes!

1. I am officially full term today! 37 weeks cooked and definitely ready to meet this little one.


According to my pregnancy app, the baby is as big as a watermelon - 19 to 22 inches, and at least 6.5 pounds. According to my doctor yesterday, he or she is a pretty big baby but not enormously big so that's a good sign (especially since all my siblings and I were pretty big babies too).

My Group B strep test came back positive, so I'm going to need IV antibiotics when I go into labor. And because I'm a new mom and a little nervous about everything, this makes me more worried than I probably should be. So prayers would be appreciated (and if you're praying...just pray it comes sooner rather than later so the worrying timeline can be shortened!).

2. Ooo, I finally remembered to take a picture of our new garden!


I was a little nervous about bunnies eating them, but so far they seem to be holding up well. Nothing like planting things to make you feel like a full-blown adult.

3. Everyone and their mom is probably including this on their Quick Takes this week, but Jen's book came out this week! As soon as I get some extra $$$, I'm ordering it on Amazon and sitting down with a good cup of tea to read it all in one sitting. I can't wait.

4. So I've become obsessed with this new Justin Timberlake song. Because I don't listen to the radio I'm  probably wayyyyy behind on the times but if you haven't heard it yet, DO IT.


The baby does a great kicking routine whenever this song comes on which makes me smile. I'm making them into a JT fan already!

5. Another fun internet find this week -- this supremely addicting game, with a nerdy twist: it's Doctor Who themed!


Umm, yeah that might be my actual high score...don't judge me! I have to wait for projects to download a lot so I've been using my "down time" to play this.
Thanks to Caitlin's friend on Facebook who posted this to her wall and I creeped and clicked. Internet stalking your friends sometimes pays off big time.

6. The Gokies have another busy weekend planned. A work party this afternoon, two weddings on Saturday, and a graduation party on Sunday. Maybe all the activity will kick start labor? You know I'd be fine with that.

7. My brain isn't functioning anymore so I'm gonna end my QT here. Head to Jen's for more, and have a fabulous weekend everyone!



HG