Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve?

What are you doing on New Year's Eve?

Friday, December 30, 2011

Our Christmas Celebration!

J and I had a wonderful Christmas in Wisconsin. Church, lights, movies, cookies, etc! We loved our Christmas in Wisconsin!

We each got our stockings full of goodies (even the boys) and some special gifts, too. The dogs were in overdrive! They didn't know what to play with first! Here is a glimpse at a few gifts that J unwrapped -- the boys are so thoughtful!

Sorry -- don't know why I can't get this to rotate!

We looked at a lot of Christmas lights -- which I love -- and we baked and decorated cookies -- which J loves -- and we spent time snuggled on the couch watching holiday movies -- which we both love!

Only in Wisconsin!

These decorations make me so happy... here's a new use for the net lights!

What I call the local Chevy Chase house!

We had a lovely Christmas in Wisconsin, our last Christmas as a duo. We really enjoyed the holiday and just being together and remembering our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who was born that night long ago.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

34 Weeks -- Baby is the size of a Melon!

3 Weeks until our little one is full term! I can hardly believe that we're nearing delivery! All of a sudden, his birth is imminent and I need to get ready! J spent part of Christmas day getting his bathroom ready... diaper sprayer, new shower curtain, new shower head, etc. I need to get a few things ready for the bathroom, too, but it is almost ready.


We started washing his clothes last night so hopefully I'll feel more at peace about that soon!

And, J took a picture of me last night but it is hideous so I'm not posting it.

How far along? 34 Weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 18 lbs
Maternity clothes? Yes.
Sleep: Still needing lots of sleep but still having trouble getting the sleep.. for all of the same reasons of last week.
Best moment this week: A relaxing holiday with my "pack." We really had a wonderful, relaxed and blessed holiday weekend complete with the best nap I've ever had (if I do say so).
Miss Anything? Sleeping on my belly and bending over/rolling over with ease.
Movement: Quite the little mover and getting rather strong! He should be about 4.5-5 pounds now!
Food cravings: Eggs, fruit and cereal.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Just indigestion and heart burn making me uncomfortable.
Have you started to show yet: Yes.
Gender: Boy!
Labor Signs: Not yet.
Belly Button in or out? Flat!
Wedding rings on or off? Nope. Nada. Zilch.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy, but kind of emotional this Christmas.
Looking forward to: Maternity pictures TONIGHT!!! And, another 4D ultrasound early next week!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

N&E Got Married!

I'm WAY overdue on this post seeing as how the newlyweds have been newlyweds for nearly four months now! Yikes, sorry about that!

Anyway, I just wanted to share some photos from the weekend! Starting right off with the gorgeous bride and handsome groom!

Here we are at the carnival/circus themed rehearsal dinner. 

 And, the next afternoon...


 Here's the to bride and groom! Congratulations!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Baby Shower -- the Madison Version!

My MIL and sisters-in-law threw us a baby shower in Madison. It was a small gathering of some of our closest friends in Madison and it was a laid back and fabulous time!

Some of the set-up crew!

Here we are... the guests of honor!

The cake and decorations! I love the pictures of us at birth with our moms, I can't wait to get a picture of me with Owen!

The favors all the way from Naperville, IL! The cookie in the back has Owen's initials listed... it was too cute to eat! I loved them, Court!

 My MIL ready with the game... she should've been a school teacher! :)

I love how I look so excited to start opening!

J couldn't wait to try out the bath towel! I loved opening an infamous Bren/Rinzel gift basket! Our first one!!

 What a great time with great friends!

My work friends, our old dog sitter and a special woman I met through church!
My college roommate and sorority sister!
My wonderful Life Group friends!

Our cup runneth over... we are so blessed! Thanks to everyone for making this day so special!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

 I love waking up and seeing all of the houses lit up from tiny feet waking up their parents on Christmas morning. Makes me think of little Aubrey when we did our exchange with them earlier this month. She was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 6:45am even with a late bedtime! Oh the excitement of Christmas morning!

Opening her custom doll from Goodbye Blue Monday!

 After opening one costume, putting it on, she unwrapped another one!!

Wearing a combination of both outfits!

Aiden wasn't AS impressed with his Christmas gifts, but he seemed to have a little fun!

Aiden playing with one of his presents!

Wishing you all a very, merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Mary and the Night Before Christmas

Someone very special to me said that if Mary had kept a blog, the Christmas story might be a little easier to understand as we followed her journey kind of how they are following ours. That comment really got me thinking about Mary. In addition to that, I've been hearing this song about Mary giving birth. Between the song and the comment, she has consumed my mind this holiday. I'm sure it has a lot to do with my pregnant hormonal state and the impending birth of our firstborn son, but she is on my mind and my heart.

In the thinking of Jesus' birth, in all my years, I've never really considered Mary and Joseph... how they felt, their pain, excitement, anxiousness over meeting their little guy... king or not, he was their little newborn son. He would grow up to save us all but in that moment he was just a newborn.

I love in the song where it talks about Joseph holding her hand and the couple wondering when the child would arrive. I love how God has used others to affect my perspective this holiday. Has He surprised you this Christmas?

Empty manger, perfect stranger, about to be born.
Into darkness, sadness, desperate madness, creation so torn.
We were so lost on earth, no peace, no worth.
no way to escape.
In fear, no faith, no hope, no grace ,and no light
but that was the night before Christmas.
Warm hay, cold sweat, a mother, not yet.
Praying godspeed the dawn.
She looks to her man, holding her hand. They wonder how long.
And the shepherds, wise men come to find them, and bow to a king.
One star above shining on love, so bright it lit up the night before Christmas.

And the world didnt know mercy was meek and so mild.
And the world didnt know that truth was as pure as a child.
The night before Christmas.
The night before Christmas.
And the world didnt know, redemption was sweet and so strong. And the world didnt know salvation was writing a song.
The night before christmas.
The night before christmas.
The night before christmas.
Empty manger, perfect stranger, about to be born.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Minute to Win It -- Holiday Edition!

Bear with me... this is a long post, but there are lots of pictures!

Need a last minute idea for a fun group this holiday? Fear not, I've got you covered! I found some Minute to Win it ideas on Pinterest via Cloud8. I decided to make them work for our family get-together, she has a few more posted than I do. She also had a bunch of little kids so I made some games more difficult and I took a few out. For these games, you'll already have most of the items needed around your house, too, so it isn't that difficult to get organized!

The first game was Stack the Cups. Stack the cups (8 on the base) up to one with only one hand in one minute or less!

Celebrating his big win!

 The Nut-Stacker game! Both Dave and E rocked this game. Stack 10 nuts with a candy cane in one minute without it tipping!

 The Ornament Balancer is 2 person team game where you have to balance 10 ornaments on a yardstick that is being held up only by an empty paper towel holder. N and C gave it a go but lost due to dog interference. N and Twin decided to try it, too.

More celebrating! They used math to win this challenge. Leave it to Genius Twin.

The Wreath Toss. Get 5 marshmallows across the room, through the wreath and into the bucket in a minute. I thought it was harder than it looked, but everyone else seemed a lot better at it!


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer game. There weren't any great shots of this one because there was so much movement. I really think E and I about got whiplash! Put vaseline on your nose and try to get a red pom pom hooked to string to stay on your nose using nothing but your mouth and shaking your head.

N and J were the best at the Christmas Cookie game! You have to get the cookie from your forehead to your mouth in one minute without using your hands. N and J really rocked this one.

 Hang the Ornament on the String Game. This should be a 2 person team game but J wanted to tackle it solo! He did it, too!

And here is the parent pair giving it a try! They almost did it! You can see their sheer determination.

 And no Christmas celebration is complete without a power tool in the kitchen!

Happy Holidays!! Enjoy your time with family and friends!