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Interests: my husband, reading, watching movies, hiking, crafty-things, singing, talking, organizing, baking, sitting on the beach, riding roller coasters, swing dancing, road trips, musicals, traveling, driving at night, french fries, coordinating events (weddings are a special favorite)...
Expertise: randomly quoting movies
Occupation: stay at home wifey
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i just have to say first off that i find wedding and baby showers to be truly mind-blowing. when i was planning my wedding, a friend gave me some excellent insight. she said, "no one is as excited about your wedding as you are. be ok with that." i found that to be wonderful perspective, not just on my wedding, but pretty much into many areas of my life. it's always a big deal when it's happening to YOU - don't expect people to have the same level of excitement and interest. and if they do - consider it a wonderful blessing! so when it comes to showers, i find myself so amazed that people would take time out of their full schedules and lives to celebrate something with me that i am very excited about (but that isn't nearly AS exciting to them - although they graciously do share in my joy)! and on top of that - they will BUY me stuff to help get me started on this new season! who DOES that?! seriously. showers blow my mind. they are such a neat picture of community coming together to help a new bride or a new mom as her life is about to change quite dramatically.
also? i find showers to be SO MUCH FUN. i mean, what could be better than getting together with a bunch of women i love, chatting it up over all things girly and eating yummy food??
when it came to baby showers for us/jack, i quickly realized that i am overwhelmingly blessed by so many people who desire to share in our joy and excitement. my mom and i came to the conclusion that, if only for the sake of space/size, it would be best to have 2 separate showers. my cousin becky and my sister in law jessica threw the first one on a friday night for gals/ladies closer to my age/season (singles, young marrieds/moms, etc). we used this invitation from evite.com and then just piggy-backed off the colors to create a theme:
taking some of my current loves as a cue, they included a donut cake and iced tea in the food. soooo delicious!
basically, we all just hung out, ate and chatted...
my dear friend courtney brought one of her newly adopted twins, hazel! babies at a baby shower? yes please!!! isn't she just the most precious little girl you've ever seen?!
my sisters-in-law even drove over from california for the weekend!! i was SO happy to have them there! aaaand this is the best pic i have of all 4 of them. sorry. :(
and of course, we opened presents! apparently i am very animated and expressive while opening gifts... and make a lot of really weird faces...
it was a super fun, laid back shower and i loved being surrounded by so many wonderful friends (some of which drove nearly an hour to come!) and i look forward to sharing mommy-life with them all very soon!
the next morning was a shower that my mom threw for me. we invited ladies from a more "mature" season of life to this shower (older/grown children, married children, plus my own aunts/grandmas, etc.). and while they all have at least 20+ years of life on me, i LOVE being around this group of women. they are all so much fun to talk with and hear from, and many of them have known me since i was very young, so it was all the more special to have them there!
we (ok so i may have contributed to the shower planning a bit with my mom) used the theme and colors of jack's nursery (airplanes + red/navy/tan) as the theme for this shower. i love my mom's style - simple & elegant with fun details!
we gave out peanuts and pretzels as favors (you know, like what you get when you fly on an airplane??)
aaand the faces continue...
it was extra special having my mom-in-law and HER mom (zach's grandma) present as well! they braved some crazy traffic to get here and we are so grateful they made it!!
i was beyond blessed by both showers, the community of women i am surrounded by and the outpouring of their love and support.
shortly after we moved to gilbert, zach and i made a trip to IKEA to get a desk for our bedroom. while deliberating between 2 options, this lady approached me. she was very nice looking and affable and said that she works for an art studio in downtown phoenix and is looking for pregnant ladies who might be willing to participate in a fundraiser for a women's shelter. her studio is doing a project where they have volunteer artists paint on pregnant bellies and then photographers take pictures (of the bellies only) and they auction off the photos as beautiful representations of the life growing within. noticing that i was pregnant, she gave me her number if i was interested in "donating" my time and my belly as a sort of "canvas" for the project. zach and i talked and thought it sounded kind of interesting and cool and decided to go for it. it took a couple of phone calls and emails to get everything set up, but a few weeks later we drove down to the art studio for the painting.
prior to the evening, the main gal had asked if we had any inspiration ideas or themes that we were going with that she might use. i mentioned that we were planning to do Jack's nursery with an airplane theme, so maybe something with airplanes? i was quick to clarify that i am NOT an artistic visionary by any stretch, so feel free to do whatever. she seemed excited about the airplane idea and said she'd pass it along to the artist. ::shrug:: ok, sounds good.
so we show up and the volunteer "artist" is like, 19 years old and has a plastic bag of paints that look like she swung into JoAnn's or Michaels and picked up on her way over. um, ok. so i bared my belly and she began to paint. she finally finished an hour later... and it was seriously all i could do to keep a straight face. this is what she painted on my belly:
just to be clear, it's a pacifier in the baby pilot's mouth, not a gas mask. and yes, the center of the propeller is my belly button.
i was just... i mean i kinda thought... yeah. i don't even know.
i kept thinking to myself "it looks like a 12 year old painted an airplane on my stomach! this is so awful, it's freaking hilarious!" zach and i got back in the car and i literally busted up laughing until there were tears running down my cheeks. it was just so unbelievably bad, all we could do was laugh.
there was also another pregnant lady there having her belly painted at the same time - and it was a night-and-day difference. the other artist was older and really seemed to know what she was doing; not to mention, what she painted turned out BEAUTIFULLY. so it was clearly a result of a poorly chosen artist in my case.
oh well. i was simply the canvas. and the paint washed off easily in the shower.
we're just chalking it up to a funny story that we'll continue to laugh about into the future.
"hey remember that time when i was pregnant with jack and had my belly painted for some charity cause?"
(part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6)
although me dating and breaking up with someone else had initiated a bit of a wake up call in zach, things didn't necessarily just fall right into place from there. zach still felt like he had a lot of growing up to do before he seriously considered pursuing a wife. so nothing really changed right away in our friendship. we just stayed good friends!
during the spring of 2008, we had several opportunities to continue building our friendship. in addition to online chats and random texting, we hung out for a little bit when my family was in california for a basketball tournament (march).
in april, 3 friends and i did a weekend road trip to california to spend a day at Six Flags Magic Mountain! zach, his sister courtney, and his friend joel joined us. we had a blast riding roller coasters and hanging out all day. apparently zach and i provided the "in line" entertainment with our teasing and bantering.
zach's never been a fan of having his picture taken. he was protesting in this shot:
random candid - i guess i wasn't paying attention:
i remember going home from that trip and reflecting on how much growth i had seen in zach! it was the first time i'd been able to spend some extended time with him in several months and the transformation was obvious. the way he carried himself, initiated conversation, took charge of situations, led in decision making... i felt like i he had gone from a boy to a man before my very eyes, and i was so encouraged and excited for him! he was clearly a different guy than the one i had known before.
however, as far as my "radar screen" was concerned, i had moved on and zach was simply one of my very good friends. we loved hanging out together and got along famously (literally - our friends all commented on it!). while greatly enjoying the friendship that we had, my heart and my mind were open to other guys that God may bring into my life as a potential suitor.
on zach's side of things, we was paying a bit more attention to who i was and what i was about, but not ready to make a move and not even sure yet that God had anything more for our friendship. so things continued to trot along happily between us.
in may, the new attitude conference (which later became the "Next" conference and is now called Transfer) was coming at the end of the month and i remember feeling weary of being single. i had been specifically praying for the Lord to bring the right man along for the past 7ish months and i was wondering how/when it might happen. i had personally always thought that the idea of meeting "him" at new attitude was a bit ludicrous, even though we all joked about it being the whole reason to go. i remember praying and thinking about it while driving on the freeway and saying, out loud in my car, "you know what, Lord? if that's what you have for me, i'm open. if you want to bring my husband to me through this conference, who am i to question your methods? i'd just like to be married!"
the weekend of the conference arrived and, like the previous years, zach and i are texting off and on, planning to meet up and hang out. however, i felt a growing concern about spending very much time with him this year specifically because i was rooming with three 18-year-old girls who were attending the conference for the very first time. i really wanted them to get the most out of the conference and i knew it could be difficult and distracting for them - not just if he was around all the time, but also to understand the nature of our friendship and how it was almost a "tradition" for us to hang out at this conference. so i texted him, "hey, i don't think we should hang out much this weekend...."
unbeknownst to me, zach and his dad had enjoyed a father-son lunch earlier that day in which zach's dad had basically told him "you've grown a lot, you're about to graduate from college and begin your career, it's time to get a wife." and went on to encourage zach to look for a women who he felt would push him to grow. i believe the term he used was, "shoot for the stars." and zach told me later that "at that point, he was basically talking about you, and we both knew it. and in that moment, i knew you were the only girl i could ever see myself pursuing. i realized that for the last couple years i had compared every other potential girl to you. you were right there the whole time." so zach resolved right then to spend as much time as possible with me over the next 3 days.
so here we are: i'm thinking "i don't think it would be a good idea to hang out much this weekend..." and he's thinking, "i want to spend as much time as possible together this weekend..." well, let's just say that i lost. what can i say? he practically followed me around, sitting with our group during sessions, popping up wherever i was and hanging out with me almost every waking moment! and i mean, c'mon, he's one of my best friends - how could i push him away?? i was also totally clueless through all of this. i mean, i found it a teensy bit ironic that zach ended up hanging out with me and my friends ALL the time when i had originally wanted the opposite to happen, but i really didn't think much more about it.
zach came home from the conference 100% confident that he wanted to begin pursuing me in an intentional relationship as soon as possible. he basically arrived home from the conference (after some crazy flight delays), crashed for a few hours, got up and went to work, then went to lunch with his parents where he told them he wanted to make the call (they were all smiles and thumbs up). so he called my dad. zach was in a band at the time and the band was already scheduled to come play a concert at my church in 2 weeks. so he asked if he could ask me into a courtship when he came out for the concert. my dad's response? "what the heck took you so long?!"
and me? i came home from the conference feeling so blessed and thankful for the awesome friendship that i had with zach and how wonderful it was to truly be "just friends" and not have to worry about weird emotions or liking him as something more...
why hello, 3rd trimester - so good to see you!
took this picture at 28 weeks. can't believe i'm in the home stretch! life has been a bit of a whirlwind since getting pregnant and there were many times where the 3rd trimester felt like an eternity away.
some random stuff...
- most days i feel pretty good, all things considered. i'm getting bigger and bigger and still have to rest a lot, but managing to stay active and relatively productive. i'm definitely experiencing plenty of miscellaneous discomforts like waking up with swollen and sore joints in my hands and hips each morning....rolling over in bed gets more and more hilarious... but these are all normal aspects of pregnancy and i really can't complain.
- despite my ability to remain relatively active, i still find myself needing more sleep. with the added strain of starting a new job, zach and i are BOTH ready to hit the hay most nights by 8pm. we try and hold out until at least 9 or so, just to remain respectable. ::wink:: and i typically take a nap or at least a rest each afternoon. i've found that a really busy/full day can really wipe me out and often necessitates a day with lost of rest afterwards. i initially battled a lot of guilt over sleeping and resting so much - feeling like i was just being lazy - but i came to the conclusion that i will most likely never have a season like this again (pregnant, not working, no other kids/major responsibilities) and it is quite ok for me to take full advantage of it. next pregnancy will likely be VERY different.
- my appetite has taken a huge dive since the 3rd trimester started. i may wake up pretty hungry and i usually manage to get in a good breakfast, but that's the extent of my interest in food. except for sugar. yeeeeah my sweet tooth has made a dramatic re-appearance. mostly in the form of carby treats and sweet drinks. i've been doing my best to keep it in check, but let's just be real here: sonic strawberry limeades have become a pretty regular occurrence... (doesn't help that there's one 1/2 mile away and the drinks are half price every day from 2-4pm!)
baby jack - and my belly - continue to grow! here's a picture from this past monday (@ 31 weeks):
i've picked up a few more clothing items to get me through the next 2 months. i've actually had better success finding clothes that are longer and stretchy than clothes that are specifically "maternity." last summer i made a super comfy skirt using an elastic bobbin and a thrifted men's tshirt and thought "this would be awesome during pregnancy!" definitely a more comfortable alternative to maternity shorts. so a couple weeks ago i trotted off to Goodwill and came back with 3 shirts that i quickly converted to skirts using this tutorial. the end result:
i'm definitely kicking into project mode again. granted, they happen much more slowly these days, but they are happening! someone gave me a boppy to use, but they had a girl so the cover was pink. pinterest to the rescue with a super simple pattern and instructions on making your own boppy cover! i purchased some special fabric (found by my friend ruth, who is also using it as part of an amazing quilt she is making for jack!) and set to work. i'm quite happy with how it turned out!
our close friends, josh & courtney, JUST adopted twins (boy & girl) and got to bring them home the same week we rolled into town! we are over-the-moon excited for them and were also very eager to meet little ezra & hazel. courtney snapped this picture of ezra "meeting" jack for the first time. future BFFs, i'm sure of it!
we are here in arizona and settling in. the goodbyes last Sunday made my heart ache. it was weird hugging the family in the church lobby and then just driving away. like any old sunday. except completely difference. zach and i agree that it hasn't fully sunk in yet that we've moved away. i'm sure it will hit harder in different ways at different times.
we arrived in gilbert sunday evening with time to unload the car and then grab dinner with some friends, since my parents weren't home. and the very next morning, zach reported for work at 7am. talk about hitting the road running! this past week felt SO full. zach spent 2 days on "desk duty" studying and learning the new airport and then got to move upstairs to the tower to begin actually talking to airplanes! thus far his supervisor and manager seem really great and have expressed a lot of encouragement and a strong desire to see zach succeed here. we are already seeing waves of God's favor wash over us in all sorts of small ways - from a schedule that will still allow zach to go to church on sunday mornings, to a manager who is extremely experienced and well known and willing to help zach move forward in his career even beyond Falcon Field. the other day, while on an official "tour" of the airport and surrounding areas, zach got to explore a WWII B-17 bomber plane that is housed on site. kid in a candy store, i tell ya... he is REALLY happy at this new facility and REALLY excited about the opportunities and the challenges it presents. it's a higher level facility with more traffic and a higher standard/expectation for the controllers, which zach finds exhilarating. it makes my heart burst with joy to see him so excited, challenged and inspired. it's a blessing in itself to know that my husband has a relatively stable job that amply provides for us - and even more so a job that he LOVES and really feels is his calling and his gifting. i am frequently overwhelmed by gratefulness to God for such bountiful gifts.
here at "home," i spent the week unpacking and setting up our little rooms. my parents have given us 2 bedrooms to use, plus the bathroom. even though all we really had was clothes, bathroom stuff and desk/office stuff, i still felt a little overwhelmed at first by the unpacking. maybe i'm just sick of packing/moving/unpacking? but i pushed through and we're feeling much more settled now. i'm looking forward to really digging into the 2nd bedroom - Jack's nursery! we have fun plans for decorating it with airplanes!
i am continually amazed at the blessing we are receiving by living with my parents. it is a HUGE means of provision for us in the ability to save up for a down payment on a house SO much faster than if we were renting an apartment. but it is also just FUN! for the last 2 years i have been a stay-at-home-wife and have enjoyed the peace and quiet and solitude of the home all to myself, so i wasn't sure what it would be like living with other people around. but i am loving it. the hardest part is staying focused on my own tasks and not following my mom around all day talking to her! she watches my nephew a couple days a week and it's been really fun having that cutie around.
we also acquired a new "family member" just before leaving pasadena! meet Tilney:
he used to be my in-law's dog, but their season of life right now is no longer conducive to caring for a dog and he needed to find a new home. zach and i eagerly volunteered! i've actually been wanting a dog for a couple years, but we didn't want to have a dog while in an apartment and frankly, i wasn't sure i was up for training a puppy. Tilney (named for the lead male character in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey) is the perfect solution. he's 4 years old, already house trained, and pretty much the exact same breed as the dog i used to have. so rather last minute - when my parents consented to let us bring a dog along! - we loaded Tilney into the car with us. i have to say, i am LOVING having a dog again. he's SO cute. he follows me around almost everywhere and is quite snuggly. and the whole family loves him too. he's just perfect for us and i'm thrilled.