Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Rough Month

{Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.  Trust in Him at all times, O people, pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.}
                                                 -Psalm 62:5, 7

Well, OK then, it's been over three weeks since I've blogged and usually that happens because there is really nothing I would consider "blog-worthy" to spend the effort and time it takes to blog; HOWEVER, this month has been quite the opposite.  I've had so much going on that there really hasn't been any extra time to blog pictures and updates, much less, a few words about my life lately.  I already feel like I might be a terrible mother to my sweet baby girl since I've done such a poor job of taking and posting belly pictures and how my pregnancy is going.  But, that really has no reflection on my character as a mom, just that my life has been a little crazy while Caroline's been growing rapidly inside of me.  :)  I have to remember these things, or Satan gets a foothold on me and starts to feed me lies about how I'm not prepared to be a mom or how inadequate I am for motherhood, etc.  Ugh... what a jerk that Satan is.  Anyway, as my post title states, it truly has been a rough month - physically, mentally, emotionally and yes, spiritually. 

It all started off when Jay left for another month (like he did last December) for some clinical rotations in Tulsa and Little Rock.  I really struggled with him leaving this time around mostly due to the fact that I am a basket case of hormones and emotions but I think more because I was so sad that of the three months we had left just the two of us, he would be gone one of them!  I know, poor me.  I'm pretty sure I threw myself several pity parties while he was away, but honestly I was just trying to be real with myself.  Everything wasn't just "fine and dandy" and I couldn't just smile and swallow down those very genuine emotions.  I did get to see him twice during that month which was fantastic (only, one time was for his grandad's funeral which I'll get to later...).  We got a lot done on the nursery when he came home the first weekend and I felt so much better after seeing such progress on our daughter's future room.  {You can see pics below}

Secondly, my summer intern left to go back to school in central Missouri which left me high and dry to accomplish everything the two of us had been working on together the whole summer.  Wow, that brought on a whole new wave of emotions and stress that I was truly not expecting.  KTI has had one of the busiest summers since I started (just celebrated 3 years!) and I was overwhelmed, overworked and just plain exhausted.  Now, please hear me out on this... I realize my job is not the hardest or the most labor intensive and I am not trying to complain one bit about it because I truly am thankful for it - I think I just wasn't allowing myself enough grace in the day-to-day moments and truly recognizing that God's mercies really were new every morning.  I had a mental breakdown while on the phone with my parents which lead to several things actually... a better daily perspective, more meaningful times with the Lord and a massage!  Thank you, Dad and Mom. :) 

Thirdly, along with the pregnancy hormones I was dealing with some back pain and severe swelling in my legs and feet which not only does not feel good, it does not look good.  Ha ha!  I hope my feet haven't stretched out enough for me to have to buy new shoes this winter... although... maybe I do... ;)  I failed my initial glucose test for gestational diabetes, had to get a shot in the butt and return to the phlebotomist for the dreaded 3-hour glucose test.  Praise the Lord I passed the second screening with normal levels but since flu season is just around the corner, of course, I had to get a flu shot.  Umm... I think I'll be done visiting the doctor for a while.  Oh wait, I'm 30 weeks pregnant and the doctor's visits will never cease!

Right about the time Jay was transitioning from Tulsa (a giant praise to the Lord for affirmation in Jay's specialty pick - radiology!) to Little Rock, we received some family news.  His grandad, Deda, was in very poor health and things did not look good at all.  Jay arrived late on a Friday night and Deda passed away the following Tuesday morning.  I was able to travel to Little Rock for the funeral that following weekend to be with Jay and the family.  It was a sober time of grief but we knew Deda was welcomed into his forever home by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  It was good to see all of the family and spend some quality time together even if it was for such circumstances. 

The end of the month really wrapped up quite nicely with an extended visit from my mom (I love her so much!), Jay's return home, a dear friend's baby shower, and a new hire for the office!  All things that came just in God's perfect timing and made me realize how much He truly has blessed this wretch and allows me to depend on Him more fully. 

Well, that about does it for now.  I appreciate you reading and listening to my rantings - it really does feel good to process all this in a way that allows me to be vulnerable and honest and in a way, accountable to people "out there".  It's going to be a busy fall and I hope to give you some more glimpses into our crazy life as we transition into a brand new chapter of our lives.       

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Transformation Begins

This weekend we had the wonderful joy of having my older sister, Allison, and her husband, Chris, with us in KC to help out with a few house projects - including starting Caroline's nursery!  We got so much done and I feel so blessed to have family that is so willing and helpful!  Friday night the boys began painting the room and Allison, Leslie and I worked on clearing out Caroline's closet and re-organizing mine to include winter and maternity clothes.  We felt pretty accomplished already by the end of the night and were excited to have a whole other day to be productive!

Organizing clothes and watching Olympics!


Before...


 During... (got this cute idea from my good friend Rachel's blog) :)

After!
OK, so I had a few minor freak-outs this weekend - one of them being the paint color.  But now that everything is in the room and it has dried... I love it!


Christopher is SUCH a handyman and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible.  He was able to repair/fix a few things that needed some TLC this weekend.  One being the bathtub and one being our poor trashcan door pulley-outey thingy.  He fixed both and now they look amazing!

Before...

After!

 Before...
 

 After!

Before... (it was doorless and stinky)

During... way to fix it, Chris!


 After!  And now it is a-DOOR-able and not-so-stinky.  ;)


Earlier this week, I got together with Rachel who helped me with a nursery project.  If you remember, I bought this cute little thing at a church garage sale for $5...

All it needed was a little TLC and a touch of friendship.  Wow that was corny.


 Deuce and Sooie were there to help, too.

 Complete!  Rach, thank you so much for helping me with this - it was so fun!

Here it is in the nursery.  Isn't it cute?! Turned out great, I think.


Saturday it was Allison's and my mission to find some cute antique/vintage items for the nursery.  We went to the West Bottoms for an "event" called First Fridays when all the one-of-a-kind antique and vintage vendors come open their booths to the public.  We spent hours looking around at all the incredible unique items and came away with a few finds!  I'll share about that a little later when I have more of a vision for the final project.  Then we met Leslie for lunch at a cute cafe on the top floor of the market.



Next, Allison and I were off to find material for curtains, pillows and accents.  This is where my second freak-out came into play.  I thought I had picked the wrong bedding for Caroline's room and was afraid I was going to have to take everything back and start from scratch.  Turned out I didn't.  So that was good.  Once we put everything we had so far in the room, I couldn't picture anything better for my sweet daughter's nursery.

Now, I'm not totally ready to reveal the whole nursery just yet, but here are a few sneak peeks!

Chair, curtains and floor lamp
Chair: gift from Rob and Bille, repainted by Chris
Curtains: Target, if you can believe it - I couldn't!
Floor lamp: Vintage Market (cutest boutique about a block from our house)

Closet
She has clothes!  Allison brought up her girls' clothes to sort through and hand-me-down.  It was so fun looking through all the clothes and remembering my nieces in them when they were younger!

Crib, bedding and rocking horse
Crib: Gift from Chris and Allison, repainted by Chris
Bedding: Pottery Barn Kids (online sale!)
Rocking horse: story above ;)

So you may be wondering (maybe not, if you aren't too familiar with our house) where in the world did the guest room go?  Just across the hall, actually!  Jay was able to move all the furniture over before the Bradleys arrived and we put the final touches on it this weekend.  Yay for a guest room!


***

More updates on the nursery coming soon.  It's still a work-in-progress but having a nursery sure is making things much more real! Only 3 more months to go!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Give My Regards to Broadway/New York, New York Medley

Monday was our last full day in the city and we definitely wanted to make the most of it - which we did!  We packed in lots of shopping on Madison Ave/5th Ave, had fun on a long subway ride to Coney Island and finished off the night with another fantastic broadway show.


Monday: Niketown, Madison/5th Avenue Shopping, Stage Deli, Coney Island, Phantom of the Opera

Metro ride to Niketown!

We all found goodies!  Jay and I bought "Team USA" Olympic gear just in time for the games.

This huge love sign doesn't even begin to describe how much I love that man.

We stopped for lunch at Stage Deli before a quick rest and heading to Coney Island.  It is one of our favorite places in New York City - not only for the cheesecake (which we got to later enjoy that evening) but for their signature Reuben sandwiches! Yummy!

After lunch and changing out of my sweaty preggo clothes into something much more suitable for an afternoon ride and visit to Coney Island, we hit up the metro again and made our way to Brooklyn.


Ah... Coney Island.
 Home of the National Hot Dog Eating Contest where they only serve up the best hot dogs known to man: NATHAN'S!!



In the ferris wheel at the top! Cute parents.

We rode in the white cars which were stationary.  Thank goodness, because I would have spilled my lunch if we had been rocking back and forth.

 Scenes from the top:
Even though it was cloudy, windy and about to rain, the beach was still packed.


Fun pics from the air, but total carnie-fest on ground level.  ;)


When we got off the ferris wheel Mom and I had to use the bathroom.  Little did we know it cost us $0.25 to go!

We found the boys playing Skee Ball :)

 


And here's the famous Zoltar from the movie "BIG"

Um, we couldn't be at a fair without getting a funnel cake!  My favorite.


After Coney Island, we didn't have much time before our dinner reservations at Carmines.  We quickly changed our clothes and freshened up for the evening just in time to make it across the square and snap a few hilarious pictures.

The "Naked Cowboy".  Oh, and is that...? Yes, Darth Vader walking past in the backgroud.

Yeah, these guys look totally hard core.  Psyche.

Another cute Times Square photo

Yummy Italian served family style at Carmines!

The Majestic Theatre.  A very appropriate name for the show inside.

Here we are smiling for a sneaky pic from the front row!

Orchestra pit

This was almost directly above us.  In one scene, it lowers about halfway and the phantom sings a ballad from on top.  Then the theatre gets dark and the faces glow all creepy like.



Yes, that is the conductor.  He was litterally right in front of Dad.
The show was phenomenal.  The singers/actors were incredible and I had chills almost the whole time.  Definitely one of my favorite moments of the trip.

Mmmm... Cherry and peanut butter cup cheesecake from Stage Deli for dessert and a decaf latte courtesy of Casablanca Hotel.

Tuesday our flight didn't leave until early afternoon so we had a few hours to do some last minute shopping and sightseeing!  We made it to the TODAY Show just in time to see the cast walk inside - yep, didn't even get to get a picture. 

So we got one of the scene instead.

We made our way over to Grand Central Station where we caught the subway for another trip to Chinatown!  Ha ha, I couldn't get enough of that place.  Bought a scarf and another bracelet. 


Grand Central Station was pretty impressive.  It's so beautiful but there were lots of rude people pushing us around and telling us to get out of the way.  Obviously, they could tell we were tourists.


***

We'll never forget this fun trip to New York City with Dad and Mom.  We feel incredibly grateful to be blessed with such opportunities as this.  Thank you, Dad and Mom for the wonderful trip and fantastic memories.  We can't wait for the next one! :)