Monday, October 28, 2013

A Gift

Corey and I are excited to announce that we are expecting!

We are in awe of this gift the Lord has blessed us with, and we want this pregnancy to reflect our gratitude to God. We also desire this new journey to be filled with humility, praise, and thankfulness as we prepare for and meet this little gift. And we plan to have some fun in there too!

Although this post will outline our pregnancy road thus far, as well as some "pregnancy reveal" photos, we want to be sensitive to those who have had/are having difficulties with becoming pregnant or complications in pregnancy. We wish to share our joy with others while also grieving with those who are living out a different situation. We know how fortunate we are, and we want to recognize that becoming pregnant/pregnancies are not a smooth process for everyone.

And for any woman who has ever been pregnant before…you have my utmost respect.

Here are some of the details you may or may not care to know…

I will be 13 weeks on Friday (Nov 1), and my due date is May 9

I’ve experienced plenty of symptoms I’d rather not share with the world nor dwell on. I will say that Corey was (and still is) a superstar husband. I’m SO thankful for his care, selflessness and humor. Oh that humor. Our families and close friends have also been amazing, and daily remind us of how blessed we are!

We told our families (and I told Corey) by writing letters to each grandparent from the baby about why he/she is excited to meet them. Jill screamed for 2 minutes. My mom shouted, “Oh thank you, Lord!”
We told both sets of Grandparents on Grandma/Nana’s birthdays.

It was planned. Here is the short, long version…

I felt that the Lord was laying the desire of growing our family on my heart. At the same time, I was prodded to engage in less activities in my life (although they were beneficial), and be more intentional with just a few. To simplify. To let go of the things I “should” be doing but wasn't necessarily called to anymore.

However, I kept suppressing the nudge because it wasn't how my timeline was prepared. I mean, I need to follow my PLANS not my heart, right? But over the summer, I was able to do plenty of reflecting. I was honest with myself about what my heart truly wanted, and I wanted to respect Corey since this was something he also desired. So we decided to give up control even though this wasn't our original timing. We found out the end of August that I was pregnant.

We plan to find out the sex of the baby. We have potential names already, and we will probably be announcing the name that most people already know before delivery. If you don’t care for the name, just talk about it behind our backs ;)

Mags and Luna were first apprehensive about sharing the spotlight, but now they are pumped (yes, we are still weird when it comes to our pets...the baby isn't here yet!)

I was surprised that pregnancy thus far has been quite a growing period for me: spiritually, emotionally, and well, physically. I often do a lot of reflecting that I do not always share with others—and I especially have done so in the past few months. But without going into more boring details, suffice it to say that I'm thankful for this time to continue learning and growing (maybe not so much psychically, ha!) 

Any now for the part you really cared about…pictures! If you actually read through all that babble before scanning the pictures, I’m impressed.

We were thrilled to snap some reveal photos (at 10 weeks) when we had our 3 year anniversary/family pictures done.  Thank you again, Sara Andrews—you make us look good!

(A few more to be posted on FB soon)










“My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my strength is lifted high. There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides You; there is no rock like our God. ” 1 Samuel 2:1a, 2


Let's go blue!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Family Pictures

They are here, folks!

A friend from work took our family pictures last week. The plan was to snap some nice photos of us with Maggie, as well as some updated couple pics since our 3 year anniversary is quickly approaching. We wanted to take some with Luna, too, but she didn't want to go on her leash. Crazy cat.

Check out the amazing work Sara Andrews did (despite our psycho pup)!

















So much to be thankful for!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fabulous Weekend

This weekend was packed full of fun.

We spent Friday night at Kenny (Corey's brother) and Jenny's apartment--just talking and laughing for hours. No pictures were taken to document the night, but it was wonderful catching up with them and seeing them love as newlyweds...they are so cute!

Saturday Corey and I spent the afternoon and evening with our beloved small group. We carved pumpkins, had family dinner, and laughed nonstop like usual. Some of us also decided we're going to do the Yule Run, I'll Walk in November where you can see the preview of the Christmas lights at 5/3 ballpark. Should be fun!

Here is a pumpkin recap:
  
Scooping out the gunk is my job/favorite part


Arne used a hacksaw to get the top off his pumpkin

Ryan used knives and kitchen tools in unique ways to shade


Nate creatively did Mike Wazowski from  Monsters Inc.

Awkward family photo


This morning was spent completing a marathon on a relay team! I ran with my brother, Kevin, and friends Janna, Stacy and Adam. All together we ran the marathon in about 3 hrs 40 min. I absolutely love races just for the chance to encourage others and be encouraged. While I was waiting for the "baton" from Stac, and after I passed it to Adam, I was able to cheer on hundreds of runners of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and ages complete a magnificent task. It was also so great to cheer on friends running the marathon and make friends along the way. For my last mile I ran with an man in his 40's. Although we did not talk much, we helped each other by keeping each other's pace and lifting each other up with parting words as I passed the baton and he kept going--despite wanting to quit right there at the 15 mile. 

Runners are inspiring.

 However, I have no desire to run a full marathon, but it did make me eager to do another half marathon. I've decided that the halfs I will complete will be the Gazelle Girl in April or GR one in October. Summer races will only be 5k or 10k just because my body does not do well in the heat. And really, the 10k distance, like at Riverbank, is my absolute favorite.

Here is the marathon relay recap:

My exchange point. I ran leg 3


He did the entire course!

View around Millennium Park as I ran



Such an awesome weekend indeed!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Girls Weekend

You know how people say you will never talk to your friends from high school after graduation? Well they are wrong. In fact, Jilly and I have been friends since 2nd grade! 

So anyway, I was able to enjoy a fun, relaxing weekend with some dear friends from HS. It was Auh-mazing being together for an entire weekend. 

We met up at Nell's house in Ann Arbor. The weekend consisted of laughing, wine consumption, farmers market, walks, the Jolly Pumpkin, moving watching, shopping, and just catching up on life with loved ones.

I only took a few pictures on my phone but here they are...







AND Corey and I were able to get our pictures taken on Sunday since it was a gorgeous day! I am so pumped to see them--should have them within a week. We also had a fabulous small group last night where I was reminded that like Nehemiah 4, I need to pray before taking action. I applied that today during some typically frustrating situations...slowly I'm allowing the Lord to change my attitude and reflect His grace. Baby steps, right?

Who have you been friends with despite "the odds"? :)


ps This is random, but I've never met a dog who licks people as much as our boxer. Any other boxer owners experience the same thing? She such a lover!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Resolutions Update

Hey, remember those resolutions I made January 1, 2013?

I haven't forgotten about them!

Mostly because I made a point to make them as a reminder as shown here, and I see them in my bathroom every morning. 

So how am I doing with them? 

1. Still on track to finish reading the Bible in a year. I realized a month ago that I started repeating some books in the new testament. When that occurred, I thought, "Geez, I could have totally done this in less than a year!" But it's been good taking my time and soaking it in. Sometimes I'll go a day or two without reading and need to catch up, but I'm mostly on it. And mostly because I desperately need it. I've also been amazed (why am I surprised?) about how interested I am in some of the Old Testament stories. Like I'm eager to find out what happens next. The Holy Spirit does wonders ;) I'd like to continue this habit into next year, so I'm going to begin searching for a new daily plan. Or perhaps studies & map out each month. I have to plan ahead to make sure it happens--just the way it works in my world. Any suggestions?

2. Fitness. This one I've been the most proud of. Seems silly, but I think it is important that I recognize what accountability and hard work can do. I don't know the exact amount of pounds I lost (nor do I really care), but I slimmed down, toned up some, and most importantly felt great! My fitness plan actually started December 1, 2012. The support of friends, fitness groups, pictures, myfitnesspal, and setting goals all helped me feel more physically fit and healthy. Now for the truly honest part...I did awesome until about a month ago. Eek! There are a variety of reasons for that, but I am excited to say that I have recommitted my life to being healthy. I'm going to pick up with the running (thankfully it came back quicker than expected), weight lifting, and tracking my food intake. I don't necessarily have the same goals (like before I wanted to bench a certain amount, etc.), so I'm working on what I want the rest of the year to look like fitness-wise. I'm thinking working out (cardio & weight lifting) at least 4 times a week. Corey's helping keep me accountable again too. Thank goodness for him! Oh and the marathon relay is in a week and a half! Although I'm not anticipating the time I originally intended, if I have fun while doing it, it will be a success.

3. Serve Corey. To be honest, this has been harder than it sounds. Which is weird because my strengths are in service. But when I have served at work or church, and have given my time and effort to so many things, he gets what energy I have left. Totally not fair to him! I've been more conscious lately of how I am lifting him up. Especially because he is so caring for me. Part of the plan to simplify is so that I can serve him more/better...because he sure does deserve it!

4. Spend less, save more. This has been up and down. When you have a job that's for play money, it's hard not to spend it. And, well...I did spend it. All at Fossil. BUT we also have been able to save for a new vehicle which we're eager to purchase soon. Granted, it won't be paid off at time of purchase, but we're thankful for some strides we've been able to make. There are always those setbacks though...like furlough days, college loan payments that we want to get rid of, and this whole government shutdown-who-knows-if-Corey-will-get-paid deal. However, we know that money is just money, the Lord will provide, AND we have the responsibility to be smarter with our mula!

So there you have it. The is the first time I have ever set new years resolutions (previously thinking they were stupid), and I've been able to show improvement in those areas--some great, some small. The biggest lesson I've learned thus far?

If you make it a priority, and have positive accountability, then change will occur. And change is so good.

So what do you make a priority?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fossil

Craziest thing today: I forgot to wear earrings to work!

Do you ever feel naked without jewelry? Thankfully I had a large statement necklace on and big ole bracelets to make up for my oversight. ha. I'm such a loser.

But anyhow, I really wanted to post about my work at Fossil. I've been working there since June of last year, and I've truly loved it! It was fun to learn a new hobby, make new friends, and obviously the product is fab-U-lous. 

But then there's that whole simplify calling. 

So despite the fun run I've had in the mall, and despite me wanting to feed my handbag-purchasing habits, my last day will be on Saturday. 

I am going to miss the people at Fossil, but I am excited to have weekends to REST. ah, simply can't wait for that :) Especially since fall is my favorite seasons...I'll have more time to soak it in.

In the upcoming weeks Corey and I are going to have family photos done with Mags (I wish we could take Luna to the field!), do pumpkin carving with our small groupies, have a girls weekend in Ann Arbor, run a marathon relay, and get ready for our 3 year anniversary in Traverse City. So many things to look forward to and be thankful for. And I'm eager to share the pictures that we haven't taken yet!

Here's a recent shot of Luna since she won't be joining in our photoshoot. 
What a diva.

Oh and Halloween is coming up. I'm not typically a huge fan of this holiday (although I looooooove sugar). But it is so fun seeing the millions of kids in our neighborhood dress up and use their manner for trick-or-treating. We went through so much candy last year, so I'm pumped for it again. Last year Maggie was an inmate. This year I'm thinking she should be an angel...but can't get that darn halo to stay ;) She'll probably just end up bundled in Corey's lap like last year (what a sap!)

What do you think about Halloween?