Tuesday, September 22, 2015

For the next 3 weeks...

Hey Buddy,

I have been wishing and hoping every day that today would be the day. I'm uncomfortable, exhausted, and just all around ready for you to be in my arms instead of my belly! But more than the physical burdens, this last week has brought the emotional turmoil of pregnancy more than ever before. See, we've spent the last 9 months together, and I can't imagine the pain of taking this journey and not being able to share life with you at the end of it. There is no reason to worry. You are healthy and you are ready. And yet...

I've heard the stories and I can't help but count the kicks each day, and feel the guilt when I haven't eaten enough protein and veggies. I'm just so nervous that we've come this far and something will go wrong right at the end. But I know I can't spend all my time worrying about the what-ifs. What is meant to be will be, and I'm doing my best to make sure you have every chance of being healthy and strong. Your dad and I have been going to birthing classes and I'm excited to go through the process of birth together, but nervous I won't be capable of seeing it through the way I want to do it. However, as long as you get here safe and sound, I'll take you any way you come!

Today it occurred to me that while you could potentially decide tomorrow's a good day to introduce yourself to the world, more than likely you will wait until you're due, and despite my discomfort there are better ways to live with that than feel sorry for myself. I'm always happier when I take action and make the most of the time I have. Your dad and I took a Sunday morning stroll at the Port Orleans resort that lifted my spirits and allowed me a chance to rethink how the next 3 weeks should go. It was lovely to enjoy the morning sun, lay in a hammock along the walking trail, and take in the view as we walked along the riverfront. We only have a few more weeks when it will be just the two of us, and I decided we need to enjoy that time, even if I am exhausted.

The view at Port Orleans

So... here are some ways I've decided I'll use the time I have left (aside from work since that will still be happening as well):

1. Swimming - I've been in Florida far too many months to have spent so little time in a swimming pool!

2. Going on dates with your daddy - We might not be able to do much of that for awhile when you first come along, so we should probably take advantage now.

3. One more trip to Disney? - We'll have to see about this. It doesn't have to be a long one, but we might as well get in a few hours since we can, right?

4. General Conference - It's happening next weekend, and it will be the last time I can sit through the whole thing without multi-tasking. I should make the most of that...

5. Cleaning - I actually do enjoy this, and I'd love to come home to a perfectly clean house when we leave the hospital.

6. Exercising - Walking has been a little rough, but I can get creative. I think this is where swimming might come in handy for more than just fun.

7. Reading - what better time to sit back, forget the rest of the world and enjoy a good book than when you're waiting for something? There are a few good ones on my list I'm ready to pick up.

8. Serving - it's far easier to forget myself when I have others to take care of. I know that I need to step outside of my pain and help others ease theirs. That is truly when I'm happiest.

There. How can I not have a good three weeks if I've got all these lovely things to look forward to? However, should you feel the need to push the date up... I promise I won't complain. :)



Sunday, September 20, 2015

Showered with Love

Hey Buddy,

I'm kind of hoping this is the last post I write to you before you're born, but I keep reminding myself I don't really have a say in the matter. One can wish and hope though, right?

I wanted to let you know how blessed you are to be born into a life full of incredible, loving,  and wonderful family and friends! I had the blessing of taking a quick trip to Utah in July where I celebrated with so many family and friends at your baby shower, and just last week I got to celebrate again with all of our new friends (and some old friends) in Florida!

My shower in Utah was hosted by Grandma Debbi (or MiMi, or Grammy... whatever you end up calling her), and Erika and Corinne (along with lots of others who pitched in to bring food). Erika couldn't come all the way from Philly, but she made awesome invitations and put together all the cute decorations that she sent from across the country, and Corinne and Grandma took care of the rest. It was a wonderful celebration, and so fun to be with so many loved ones who came to celebrate and share in our excitement! We also had a shower the night before for family members so we had lots of quality time to visit with everyone. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives! We'll be very busy on our first trip to Utah together. There are so many people you need to meet!

My dear wonderful Andrea (my Florida bestie who you will get to know well) hosted the shower in Florida, with help from Suzanne, Sarah, and Carolina. It was such a wonderful morning! The food that everyone brought was delicious, and it was so awesome to visit with friends I've known for a few years, along with the friends I'm just getting to know. As we started playing games and opening presents, Andrea asked everyone to introduce themselves and share something they loved about me. I was so touched by the genuine and lovely things people shared! It was such a neat experience to hear the unique things people have noticed about me, and I have determined that I'd like to carry on that tradition when I get a chance to celebrate someone else. We are all so hard on ourselves, that sometimes it's nice to know that other people aren't focusing on the things we're not doing. They see the good!

I did a really terrible job of documenting the family shower, and the Florida shower, but here are some pictures that I did get in Utah.

The spread

Mustache cake Grandma made

Aunt Bryn. I know it looks like I'm WAY more pregnant,
but Cousin Aria was actually born on August 8th. My birthday!

Paula. You'll definitely get to know her. Our wonderful neighbor.

No shower would be complete without the Thornes.
Sandra is my second mama, and Meg and Melissa of course
just like sisters.

Dear Jodi, who I've known since I was 9 years old!

Aunt Barbara

Kristie and Randall. Kristie makes the most AMAZING cookies
(she made some with bowties for our "little man")

Lynda, Linda, Pinky, and Wendy. Some of the wonderful ladies who
even loved me through my teenage years.

The Dawsons. Where do I begin? I love them!

These were some of our awesome props that Erika made.
Grandma and I with Corinne and Drea.

Chrislyn and her cute little Corban!
He will be one of your Utah buddies,
and hopefully you'll be meeting him very soon
when they come to visit us in Orlando.
We have a Disney tradition to uphold! ;)

Heather Wilde. One of the reasons my time in
the Avenues holds a very special place in my heart. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Belly Progression

For my own sake I wanted to post the progression of growth since I really started showing.

Ultrasound - 20 weeks

4th of July - 26 weeks

Baby Shower - 28 weeks

34 weeks

Most likely our last visit to Disney - 35 weeks

One more trip without our little buddy in tow. It was a
quick 3 hour evening visit. I don't last long these days...

Decide what you want to be... and be it!

Hey Buddy,

You are five weeks(ish) away from joining our family, and I decided it was time that I shared some thoughts with you. (Sorry about the name situation ... I promise we're not naming you Buddy, but since we can't decide on an official name, it will have to do for now.)

To me, our home is a sanctuary. It's the one place I can feel safe, happy, and comfortable, no matter what goes on outside our doors. And I love the process of creating this special haven, especially for our family. So, when we found out you would be joining us, naturally I wanted to create a space for your first "sanctuary" in this crazy world.

I did not want to cover your room in bright red and yellow Mickeys. After all, you will be getting PLENTY of Disney in your life. And while I love so many things about Disney, I think there is a limit on how much of that love need be on display. However, we came across some sketches at the park one day that sparked an idea, and I wanted to share it with you, because it's really the foundation of what I hope to teach you throughout your life.

These sketches were raw and unfinished, and they brought to mind an image of Walt Disney, sitting at his desk, carving out the idea of Mortimer (soon to be Mickey) Mouse. He was just a guy who had some ideas, and once they took form, he pursued them with unstoppable tenacity. And now, almost 50 years after his death, his legacy continues on.

When you look around your little sanctuary, I want you to be reminded every day about the choice you have to be the greatest little Buddy God knows you can be. That every door is open to you right now. The world is ahead of you to discover, if you have the courage to "decide what you want to be, pay the price, and be what you want to be" (J.A. Widtsoe) just like Walt did. But you have to be willing to sacrifice and never let the world tell you what you can and can't accomplish, not just in your "future", but as you start to create your place in this great big human family.

The greatest lesson I've learned in my life is the power of making choices. Sometimes I am going to want to make choices for you, because I am your mom and I want you to be happy. But God gave us agency so we can each learn happiness for ourselves, and I promise to teach you about that agency, and always do my best to honor your choices, even when I don't agree.

Remember that you get to choose the man you want to become every day of your life. And no matter what happened yesterday, today is a new day to follow your dreams.

I love you, my son. I can't wait to meet you and see all of the beautiful adventures God has in store for you.



(Just a few more pictures of the rest of your sanctuary)