Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Reel 09'

Unfortunately bubbleshare is no more, so until I find a new slideshow application... please enjoy this nice long holiday ream of pictures! Chris, Piper and I shared a wonderful Christmas in Goldsboro this year with my family, followed by a visit with our PA clan and Chris' dad in Durham. Here is just a small sampling of our favorite shots of the season:
Me and the sis bright eyed on Christmas morning.
Ooooo I just love that sweet puppy face! Of course no Christmas is complete without new kitchen accesories. I just love my new apron and many new kitchen additions-food processor and all :-) Notice the big ol' belly!
The little one even got some gifts on Christmas morning! Thanks Grandma :-)
Pictured below is an after Christmas dinner at the delicous California Pizza Kitchen with Chris' family below, followed by a nice visit with Chris' dad and just one more front porch picture. :-)

We are so thankful for the many blessings we've had this Christmas and praise God for 2009 as we anxiously anticipate the new year.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas!

More pics where that came from!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What's cookin'? Catching up in the Kitchen...

As I was going our camera card(and boy am I behind on printing pictures) I came across these new and old kitchen creations-and crumbles.
I'm especially happy with how these delicous puppies turned out-and even more so because they were super easy to make! Now if I could only figure out the perfect non-stick solution(aka so the brownies don't stick to the pan) then it would be even easier. I made these for our fun church Christmas party last night and they were gobbled up pretty fast, so this one is definitly a keeper for the cookbooks! If your wondering how simple they are to make, think brownies baked in a mini muffin mold, fudge topping optional, with strawberries on top(secured by sucker sticks a la Michaels) and voila!
Back in October I made these pumpkin cupcakes for our Halloween party at work. While they looked good in the end, I was'nt especially pleased with the too thick texture of the icing(my hands got quite the workout!) and the massive mess these left behind in my kitchen....oh the joys of buttercream!
Pictured below is a popular kitchen flop of mine-the unsucessful pan transfer...boy have we had our share of these days lately. Oh well, try try and try again! Eventually I got this right, but not without that extra measure of hard work and determination. Turns out baking is not only theraputic and fun, but also character building ;) Seriously though, any creative non-stick tips? And last but not least, I made these on a whim, just.because.
Now on to holiday cookies and gingerbread houses. Ha! Here's to high hoping :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

22 Week Update and Pictures!

Here is our baby boy at 21 weeks, now 22. I can’t believe were already past the halfway point!
Thankfully, he looks great, is growing nicely and is developmentally on track. It was amazing to see him squirm around in there so much, the u/s tech said he was a “busy boy.” And definitely a boy at that! I won’t post his “boy parts” picture here to avoid future embarrassment, lol, but needless to say they were 100% on the mark and are totally sure that we will be basking in blue. :-)
At 22 weeks, he looks like a miniature newborn and is growing more distinct features(as you can tell by his cute little profile). He’s getting little baby and adult tooth buds in his gums, and working hard developing his pancreas. His eyes and eyelids are completely formed but still lacking pigment, and as I mentioned before is getting very active.

With Christmas around the corner and many new things on the horizon, I know this next half is just going to FLY by.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Nice and Rosy and Comfy Cozy are we...

Complete with pink cheeks and hot chocolate, I’m happy to finally note a hint of Christmas in the NC air lately. Without a doubt Christmastime is my favorite time of the year. I just love decorating the tree, hanging wreaths, wrapping presents and curling ribbon. I love Christmas music and ringing bells, hark the herald angels sing and Charlie Brown specials. Jingle bells and shiny decoration aside, I more than anything love the spirit of joy, thanksgiving and noel that this advent season brings. :-)

If I believed in past lives, I have always said that I would have been a Christmas elf. What a fun job! Elf shoes aside though, we have both been busy busy getting ready for the holidays and closer on the horizon-Chris’ graduation! We are officially under two weeks and counting and it is crunch time! This weekend I checked a huge bullet off of my Christmas to do and sent out our Christmas cards-so much fun! We also enjoyed a delicious Christmas dinner with one of my groups at work(the first of many holiday dinners this month!), and Chris and I even found a few hours on Sunday for some much needed Christmas power shopping before another long night of power paper writing(for Chris that is, baby and I went to bed early!).

In baby news, I am 21 weeks today, and feeling great. Sure, it’s harder to squeeze out of the car these days in the too tight parking spaces at work, and yes, maybe I am feeling a bit “doughy” lately, but all things considered-so far so good. Oh, and don't even get me started on that "pregnancy brain" thing, man have I got it bad! On another note, I'm sorry to say that the holidays have given license to my out of control snacking and vanilla coke cravings, so I’m putting myself on a serious water, fruit and healthy living like regimen this week! Poor eating habits aside, baby boy certainly seems to be growing like crazy, and should be packing some fat on his bones now that he can officially swallow and digest directly from the umbilical cord. In other developmental news, hair! I’m hoping to see a few sprouts on his tiny head at our upcoming ultrasound this Friday. But first, we’ve got a birthday to celebrate on Thursday-happy early birthday Chris!

And that’s all for now folks, many more random updates to come :-).

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Manic Monday & 20 Week Stats

I had my 20 week apt. this morning, a few days early thanks to my snuffly sinus' and suddenly strange and mysterious rash outbreak. Three hours, two new appointments, one extra co-pay and a new dermatoligist later, it turns out that A)My head cold turned sinus infection is well on it's way out the door and B) The rash which was first suspected to be Shingles was demoted to severe hives. An exciting Monday morning to say the least :/

The best news is that baby boy remains active and healthy. Here are the 20 week stats:

Weight Gain-2 pounds! Up to 114 and counting now
BP-80/49 (A normal dip for the second trimester)
Baby's heartrate-149
Milestones-We 98% sure that we have found the perfect name for this little guy, and I am 100% excited about it. And name games aside, perhaps the most important milestone is that we've officially reached the halfway point!

According to my babycenter updates, the little man is likely the length of a bannana, and just under a pound. From here on out he'll grow like a weed, and I'll be piling on the pounds myself!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving in PA

This year Chris and I went to Pennsylvania to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with his family. We came, shopped, spent quality time with family, celebrated an early birthday for Chris, stuffed our faces with Thanksgiving goodies, saw how chocolate was made at Hershey park, and ate, ate, and ate some more! Our plane trip was painless, and a luxury really considering the alternative-driving through DC the day before Turkey day-no thank you! It was a great little vacation away from our Raleigh hustle and bustle.
A few highlights-Robbing "The Childrens Place" of winter wear on black Friday(figuratively, of course), enjoying Italian food and ice cream cake in honor of Chris' b-day, being treated like a queen of a guest(thanks Sharon!), and eating tons of yummy food. Oh, and Tim's Turkey hat made for a good laugh too:-)
Although Thanksgiving has come and gone, we hope to keep the spirit of thanks and gratefulness fully fueled year round. We have been so blessed in this past year and look forward with bright hope for tomorrow.
All of that said, I'm so glad to be back and ready to kick off the Christmas season. We are decorating our home this weekend, and are beyond excited that Christmas music is officially a go go. :-) Below is my favorite picture from our trip-in front of a big, bright & beautiful Christmas Tree at Hershey Park.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2009

It's a...

Chris and I found out this Wednesday that we are having a healthy little baby BOY! No polka dot bows and stripey tights for this little man.

Imagine my surprise when the sonogram tech said "Your having a boy!" I was totally taken aback, as I had 110% believe I was carrying a little girl. Not disappointed, but VERY surprised; I think I asked about 3 or so times if she was absolutely sure. The answer? "99.9%" I'm getting more and more used to the idea everyday, and will just have to replace the idea of princess dress up with soccer cleats! I also think it's very neat that if we do have a girl next, or in the future, she will have a big brother to look up to. Now if we could only agree on a name...

We are both over the moon with news of our little gentleman, and praise God for this new blessing. :-)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

18 Weeks

Here we are at 18 weeks:
Chris and I had a great weekend and are now savoring our last few hours of Sunday. After a fruitful morning at church we shared an Italian lunch with my parents and sister in Wilson-a wonderful treat! Yesterday was productive productive productive-full of work, chores, shopping and baking. I was also able to check off my list of weekend goals and more, thus decluttering my ongoing and every growing mental to-do just a tad. All in all, another weekend gone by way too fast...and gorgeous weather to boot!

In just 3 days we will have our ultrasound and find out whether we're having a girl or a boy. I'm so excited and feel like this is going to be a huge turning point...like somehow things will go even faster from here, and that knowing the sex will bring the reality of it all so much closer to home and attach deeper meaning to our baby conversations. Wednesday is the big day, a milestone so close I feel like I could trip over it! Any guesses?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Weekend Goals

  • Enjoy a nice Christmas shopping and dinner out date with the Hubby tonight.
  • Make Pumpkin bread
  • Deep clean bathrooms and scrub the tubs
  • Raid Gap/Old Navy friends and family sale for Maternity wear
  • Continue working at consolidating closets and clearing out the once upon a time guest room.
  • Eat lots of fruits and –ahem-veggies
  • Catch up on some correspondence to encourage, thank, and congratulate :-)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pumpkin Pie & Christmas cards already? Oh my!

Once again, time has run away from us. Although I am thoroughly enjoying our mall's Christmas decorations and holiday music, I can hardly believe it’s that time again. Between work, school, church activities, keeping up the home and planning for baby on the way, time is zooming by.

The upcoming weeks on my calendar are full of things to look forward to-traveling for thanksgiving, Christmas shopping, birthdays, doctors appointments, and of course graduation! Chris has endured a crazy schedule this last semester; needless to say we are both counting down the days till December 16(Graduation day!), and anxiously anticipating a new chapter of our lives that does'nt involve schoolwork, studying and tuition. So what next? God willing, a new job, new home, new city and new life are on our list for next year-wow, this is starting to seem like a whole new book rather than chapter for us, lol! For now, I’m happily nesting with my new “one day at a time” attitude and enjoying the present busyness of life-all to the tune of some wonderfully warming Christmas music.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

On Baby Books...

Just a few short months ago, I was reading "The time traveler's wife" and "Water for Elephants." And just recently I had finished "Shopping for time" by Carolyn Mahaney.

Today, both on the bookshelf and in my current wish list you will find:

"On Becoming Babywise"
"Shepherding a Child's Heart"
"365 things every new mom should know"
"Husband Coached Childbirth: The Bradely Method"
and the proverbial "What to Expect when your Expecting"

Talk about a new stage of life! I think it's safe to say I've got enough reading material for the next few months! :-)

Friday, October 30, 2009

15 week apt. and 16 week picture

We had our 15 ½ week appointment this past week and everything is progressing beautifully. In just 3 short weeks, God willing, we will know if Baby "S" is going to be into trucks or tiaras. :-) I can’t wait! While I’m really making an effort to savor this time and enjoy these last and precious few “just the two of us” months, you better believe I am marking up my calendar to that ultrasound!

In random baby news, I feel like I’ve definitely “popped” over this past week. If you don’t believe me, just ask my jeans…dresspants…skirts…..basically the majority of my closet. Because I was tired of wearing the same pair of jeans to work 4 days in a row, today I forced myself into some dress khakis with the help of a safety pin and rubber band, and then seriously regretted the decision as my shirt kept stubbornly riding up all day(something I had not anticipated). To make matters worse, my button/safety pin contraption was definitly no fun to undo and redo on bathroom breaks, which are trips I happen to make a heaping tablespoon more than often. While the scale would call me a liar, I feel like I’ve definitely put on some pounds. It’s more likely that my body is just “redistributing” itself to suit this pregnancy.

Here are the latest stats from our apt.:

Blood pressure: 100/60
Weight Gain: A whopping 1.5 pounds so far!
Baby’s Heart rate: A healthy 160

And a 16 week picture:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Images from the 09 NC State Fair

The weather was gorgioso for this years State Fair. Chris and I(mostly Chris) eagerly anticipate the fair every year; it's always a fun, colorful time to walk around, eat horribly unhealthy foods, and get a real taste of Carolina culture. The blue ribbon cakes, prized photography, shameless sham-wow stands, the village of yesteryear, the merry go round...I could go on and on about the fair. For one, it's not the NC state fair without a paper mache'd chicken...or cow for that matter.Ribbon Fries yum!Our traditional photo-we always take this one outside of the hush puppy mill. This is year 4!

We're so looking forward to next year's fair with our little one! I can't wait :-)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy "Howl-o-Ween"

A post from Piper:
Mommy took me to one of my most favorite places this week, PetsMart! I think she was more excited about it than I was. She put me in this ridiculous hot dog costume and kept giggling at me...she is so strange sometimes. I was a bit embarrassed until we got there and I saw my friends dressed as princesses, pumpkins, ballarinas and dumpster dogs. Then I remembered from last year, when mommy dressed me up as a Lizard, that this is Howl-o-ween and most importantly, we were going to leave with a bag of free snacks-mommy's favorite kind.

First we waited in line to take my picture-I was a ham as usual. After puppy pics we walked over to the ICE CREAM station! Mommy let me have TWO cups! I must have looked extra cute, so I decided to stop knawing at the velcro on my costume and let it ride. Then I tried to sneak some of mommy's cupcake while she was talking to this trainer guy about how much she just loves it when I jump up on people...well, she caught me redhanded.Mommy had to put me in the cart because all the other pups started crowding me. She told me it was because I looked so darn cute and couldn't help being the center of attention...I think she put me in the cart because she was tired of me pulling her around and was having trouble juggling her purse, coat and said cupcake.
Then we played with some squeaky toys, snuck some more snacks, and picked up my new harness. I really wanted to take a hamster home but mommy kept telling me "hamsters are friends, not food." I just love hanging out with mommy, she is so silly!

Ooo, gotta run, she just left the cornpops alone on the coffee table! Happy Howl-o-Ween!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Overdue Sewing Projects

I've been meaning to post these most recent sewing projects for a while. I found this "Birds of a Feather" fabric recently and just had to do something with it! It was too adorable to pass up, and just a few days later I had this cuteness to show off: It's for a little girl and I think will be perfect for a certain tiny cousin. I thought it would be super artsy to take the final picture outside on this tree, but eh, some ideas turn out better in theory ;)

My next sewing adventure was a "mom & me" project in which we covered some of the pillows in her sitting room area. It was fun from start to finish, and I'm so glad we accomplished what we set out to do. I learned a new technique for covering pillows and we even went the extra mile and added trim. While I wouldn't take any super close up shots, the results were great and the pillows really add to the decor of the room. I think we may need to make another trip to the cloth barn the next time we land in Goldsboro ;-)

Monday, October 19, 2009

13-14 Weeks and starting Trimester #2

Baby is now measuring 3.5 inches and weighs a little more than an ounce and a half. Chris informed me this morning that it is also now sensitive to light and will squirm around a bit if you shine a flashlight on my stomach-we haven’t gotten around to testing that one yet. :-) In other exciting developmental news, the babies facial muscles are getting a workout this week as it tries on new and different expressions. He/she can now grasp and may even be sucking its thumb...How cute!

And now I present my very first belly shot, taken a week ago in Charleston, SC. It’s a very small bump but a bump nonetheless-and growing by the day, or so my jeans tell me. For comparison’s sake I wanted to start small to really capture the growth. Without further ado, here is my “welcome to the second trimester” debut...it's a bit dark but you get the idea:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Come out come out wherever you are!

I feel like I'm playing "hide and go seek" with my motivation lately. As I sit here and write this blog post, I am all too aware and bothered by a good many things that need to be done around the house. It's a long list really, and I'm feeling more and more heavy under it's growing shadow. Unfortunately, I seem to be at a loss for the motivation to get up and get things done. The guest room/sewing station/soon to be nursery is a disaster area. My floors desperately need to be swiffered and vacuumed, and our shoe closet needs to be organized yesterday. And don't even get me started on our master bath...Luckily I'm keeping up with the everyday things like dishes and laundry, but even these monotonous chores are tapping on my last nerve lately. I definitely need a fresh wave of motivation around here! Pregnancy + rainy days + cold, coughing and congestion + busy schedule = trouble getting off the couch. If only I could teach Piper to do these things, oh the life. -Insert picture of dog doing laundry here- ;) Eh, I guess I'll just have to keep counting down and maybe some motivation might just come and find me!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Adventures in Charleston, SC

Chris and I had a great two day get-a-way to Charleston, SC this past weekend. After a looonng drive down, our first stop was the historic district downtown. The houses there were just gorgeous! A ton of authentic old century architecture and colorful, southern plantation style homes, not to mention plenty of horse and carriage rides and cobblestone walkways set the scenery. After we had thoroughly worn our legs to jelly, we packed back into the car and headed to our hotel, the Sleep Inn Charleston. On Friday afternoon, re-energized by a Waffle House Vanilla Coke, we walked the Tanger outlets, ate dinner at McCallisters-a favorite of Chris', and headed to bed early for a rare and luxurious full night's sleep :)Charleston is a town with a rich historical background; here is Chris posing like the confederate statue above. So stately :)On Saturday we spent the afternoon at Folly Beach. Myself not expecting to find a "beach beach" in Charleston, I(and by default we) were completely unprepared. After touring some of the local surf shops and walking down the fishing pier, we decided to take a mid morning detour and get some appropriate beach gear and then come back for the afternoon. The weather was just amazing and made for the perfect afternoon on the beach! I had a wonderfully relaxing time reading and relaxing in the sand while Chris had fun building his skim boarding reportoire.
A last highlight of our trip, aside from some pretty neat shops we visited on the way out, was the one and only Popeyes! I just LOVE Popeyes and have wished on many a star that there was one in NC. No better biscuits exist. So whenever we see one while traveling we have to make a stop. After driving around the city for 2 days I decided that SC stole all of our Popeyes and Dunkin Donuts. ;)On the downside of things, the drive was a bit longer than I expected and twice as tiring. Chris had some sinus issues on Friday, and my until now dormant pregnant symptoms debuted in full force over the weekend! I'm sure it was a combination of the heat(who's heard of a 90 degree day in October?), the walking and the drive, but whew! After this trip I think we'll put any extensive traveling on the back burner for about 6 more months, lol. In any case, we managed to pack a lot of good stuff in our short Charleston stay and had a wonderful time just being together, which was really the whole point. Mission accomplished! :) After church on Sunday, the weekend ended on a great note with the perfect homemade chicken pastry dinner, accompanied by all of my favorite sides-strawberries and sister Schubert's rolls- complements of my mom the cook. Following the delicious meal and some routine mom-daughter "tjmaxing," we loaded up our pup and headed home to loads of laundry, a full DVR and a lots of yummy leftovers :) Now that's what I call a weekend!