Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Autumn is Here

I love the way my centerpiece turned out. Put it together in about five minutes - not because I am superwoman, but because our dinner guests were arriving in six. :)


Burnt orange astromeria in mason jars, a few pumpkins and gourds, and three leaf tea light holders with pumpkin-scented candles.


I love fresh flowers.


And apples and pumpkins and gourds.


I put out some other fall-scented candles (pumpkin pie spice, apple cider) and a few knickknacks and I'm done. The Gent and I are going to do some work in the yard next week. Be prepared for photos of mulch, pansies, and mums.

I'm off to enjoy new fall memories and the crispness in the air. Autumn always has me thinking about the food (apple pie, apple cider, chili, and hot chocolate) and catching up on some old-school Gilmore Girls (Season 1, y'all - Cinnamon's Wake and Love and War and Snow being two of my faves). Oooooh I think I'll go watch some Gilmore Girls now while I work on my latest project - more to come!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Next Monday

Our big ultrasound is next Monday! Do you think we are having a boy or a girl? Vote in the poll to the right and we'll see if the majority wins. :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

In Which All the Hard Work Pays Off

Congrats to the Gent on passing the bar! WOOHOO! The many, many, many hours of studying paid off and now we can officially call him an attorney. So proud of you, my love!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sometimes Just the Little Things Make Me Happy

A few of my favorites . . .

Clean sheets
Fresh flowers
Checkbooks that balance down to the penny
No junk mail
Pretty bowls of fruit
Fresh-baked bread with real butter

What are the little things that brighten your day?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Settling In

Well, we're settling in here. Trying to take in the fun things the city has to offer (like free symphony performances in the park) and getting to know our neighbors. I'm going to start volunteering at the pregnancy clinic one day a week, and I'm thinking about volunteering at our local elementary school. Would they think that's really weird since I don't have a child there?

We are looking for a new home church. We've visited two a couple of times, but don't think either one of them is the right fit. So we're going to try another this Sunday. Sigh . . . I know this sounds terrible, but I really dislike finding a new church home. I get overwhelmed by all the "options" and then I start to feel badly comparing churches, and then I decide what I really want is to go back to our home church, but we can't do that because we've moved . . . I should probably pray about this more instead of thinking about it so much. I know God has a great church home for us here. I am ready to "find" it and start meeting people our own age!

And in other news, (big big big gulp) I went $100 over our grocery budget this month. Ahhhh! There is no Aldi here and it is killing me. And the budget. Going to have to come up with some brilliant plan for next month. See, the problem is couponing really doesn't help me much, because most of what I buy is in the perimeter of the store (aren't you proud of me?). There aren't a whole lot of coupons for broccoli crowns, grapes, ground turkey, and organic milk. :/ For now my plan is to import my Aldi groceries whenever I have family visit from out of town. We'll see how I do next month.

While I'm ranting, there are a few other stores I really miss. Kroger. Whole Foods. Macys (see, they don't all revolve around food). And a Chipotle. I'd love a yummy burrito. I went to their website to find the closest one, and this is what I got: "We're sorry. No Chipotle locations found within 30 miles. Please try your search again. Or move." Yes, it really was in bold. Ha. Guess I can make it a year without these indulgences. :) Happy Friday, y'all.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

August and September Date Nights

Oops, I forgot to post about these.

Our August date was to see our new hometown baseball team! They lost. Badly. By five runs. But the evening was surprisingly cool for August in the South, and the stadium was much nicer than I expected. It was a good introduction to our new city and we enjoyed ourselves. And we only took a few wrong turns on the way home.

Our September date was low-key. We went to Olive Garden because I was craving it and I pretty much get what I want food-wise right now. :) The people sitting behind us kept us amused. They sent their food back three times. Then the man just got up and left, saying "I'm tired." Mom and daughter were trying to humor grandma, who appeared to be the one causing all the problems. Like I said, at least we got free entertainment. The Gent said they are Yankees and they just don't know how to be happy. And then we went to Sam's Club to buy dog food because the bags are too heavy for me to lift. And then we came home and watched an hour of The Office and laughed out loud many times.

Yep, that's the kind of date you get when you're old married people.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Day of Remembrance

Saturday would have been Noel's due date. I didn't want to be at home, so the Gent and I went to my "happy place."


I love the beach. It is my peaceful place, a place where I remember that God is vast and yet personal, and where I can be close to Him and just rest in His presence.

Thankfully, it wasn't a sad day at all, but a day to reflect on God's goodness in blessing us with Noel's short life, and with this new baby, too. I just kept remembering these words from a dear friend. "love you sweet friend...enjoy your time at the beach and rest knowing that our God is Faithful in every circumstance! You are His precious child; and so is Noel, who is safe and whole in our Father's arms tomorrow, and every day."

There are still difficult days and I know the pain will always be there. Yet I know that God is indeed faithful, at all times and in all circumstances.

Now for a couple more photos.

This is on the pavilion looking out over the beach, before we headed out to dinner.

And, yes, I totally wore my bikini. Who knows when I'll get to again?

Friday, September 10, 2010

New Ob

So . . .

I met with my new doctor yesterday. Baby is doing well, strong heartbeat, and growing right on schedule. The doctor reaffirmed what you all told me about weight gain - that it will come and not to worry about it, just to keep up with healthy meals.

I guess I am just feeling somewhat ambivalent about the doctor? I loved the doctor I was working with before the move, but the practice and hospital had lots of rules about labor and delivery that I was not going to like. I chose this new doctor because he is very open to letting me have whatever kind of pregnancy and birth experience I want. (At this point, I am planning a natural childbirth. More on that in the months to come.) He is comfortable working with a doula, doing intermittent fetal monitoring so I can move around during labor, etc. And his c-section rate is about 20%, a good bit lower than the national average of 33%.

But . . .

I really wanted a feeling of "whole care," if that makes any sense. I really really really wanted to work with a certified nurse midwife. (They deliver in hospitals, which I want just in case something goes wrong.) I was hoping to have a female medical provider who would really walk me through the whole pregnancy, providing reassurance and information as well as medical care. But the CNMs here are not on my insurance plan. ARGH.

Anyway, this doctor will be fine, I think. He didn't rush me and was patient answering my questions. He's delivered about 10,000 babies (!!!) so he's pretty much seen it all. His personality is a little awkward/quirky, but I can live with that. My biggest irritation was that I was kept waiting for over an hour. And no, he wasn't off delivering a baby, he was just running behind. Hopefully that will not become habitual.

Hmmm . . .

For my mama friends, how did you choose your doctor?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor Day Recap

We had about a dozen of the Gent's coworkers, our neighbors, and a family friend over for a Labor Day cookout. I had planned to take lots of photos. I took this one of the drink buffet and then put my camera down and forgot about it.


Oh well. We had a great time getting to know some new folks and I love entertaining in this house! Our neighbor paid me the ultimate compliment when she said the house just feels so warm and welcoming, like we've been here for years. That's always my goal in creating a home - for it to be a welcoming and comfortable place. I like a house that says come in, put your feet up, pet the dog, relax and just be.

And if you want to come visit, too, just say the word!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Final House Photos

Master bedroom

View from the hallway

This is on the wall by the door, across from the bed

Another view

Master bathroom

Nothing fancy, but it's clean and functional

Guest bedroom

You even get your own baby tv. And fresh flowers if you're lucky.

And there's a place for your suitcase . . .

Jack and Jill bath between the guest bedroom and the future nursery.

Mom made the pretty sink skirt.

The nursery to be. This room will start undergoing changes after the holidays. :D

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Fun

Guess what FedEx brought yesterday?!!


Isn't it beautiful? Welcome to our new Dyson Animal vacuum cleaner and GOODBYE losing battle I am fighting with dog hair. We vacuumed one rug last night and I won't show you how much hair this baby collected. I have a feeling Dyson and I are going to be great friends.

And guess what went in the trash?


Our cheap-o vacuum cleaner we bought right after we got married. Hey, it lasted three years and has tried to keep up with three dogs - but, IT FAILS. I am not sorry to see this thing go.

PS - Thanks for the eating tips and reassurance. :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Advice, Anyone?

Okay, folks, I know this sounds weird (and trust me, I have never had this problem before; I used to be able to gain two pounds overnight!), but I am struggling to gain weight and I am starting to get a little concerned that baby is not getting what he or she needs. I have only gained one and a half pounds in the past 15 weeks. Here's what a typical day's menu looks like for me:

juice or fruit
two slices whole wheat bread with peanut butter
string cheese

granola bar or peanut butter crackers or cashews

fresh veggies (like broccoli, carrots, or salad), with a cream-based dressing
ham and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread

fruit or cheese

something homemade, usually including a carb, veggies, and protein (some dinners I made last week were baked chicken, sweet potatoes, and brown rice; quiche and salad; chicken chili and salad)

I walk 30 minutes 5x a week, and do about 20 minutes of light weight training and stretching 5x a week. And I drink tons of water.

Any suggestions on healthy ways to add some more calories? I'm trying with drinking juice sometimes instead of water, and switching to cream-based dressings instead of vinegar-based ones, but that's not helping. I have no appetite for sweets. I bought a half-gallon of ice cream and it took me ten days to eat it all, and then I felt sick every time I ate it (and here I thought pregnancy was the one time in my life I could eat sweets and not feel guilty).

I'm thinking maybe I'm not getting enough protein?

Advice, please!

PS - PLEASE don't think I'm bragging about not gaining weight. I promise you this has never been an issue for me in the past! And in March I'll be back on the losing wagon!