First Walk

We could not stay inside anymore. The 3 days since Anna was born the weather had been beautiful (perfect fall like days in the south), and I couldn't take sitting inside while the sun was shining through my windows and I could hear kids playing outside. We needed out! So we took our first walk. 

The plan was to take a walk around 8 am. Perfect time. Kids were in school and the only people out on their porches were the older gentlemen who spoke zero english and ladies tending to their gardens (again, zero english), plus a few little ones half dressed here and there chasing one another with pine cones and sticks. 

We didn't get out until 2:30 in the afternoon. Basically, we're realizing this is how long it takes to get a newborn ready--what, with all the peeing (on herself), pooping (on her new mattress), spitting up (on her clothes and having to change them), and feeding her (OMG, is it really time again?) the afternoon rolls around and the day feels like it's already over. 

As we headed out we saw our first group of neighbors wanting to meet baby Anna. Four women from Nepal were sitting under a tree just talking. It looked like pure bliss and something I want to do every fall day this year. As we came upon them, all four jumped up and ran to the stroller. The only words we could understand were, "she's so big!" So big? She's tiny to us! The ladies continued to marvel at Anna and speak in their own language to themselves while the high school kids who just got off the bus came running up to us. They also just stared at her and exclaimed "she's so cute!" It's so neat how fascinating newborns can be across all cultures. 

We continued our walk knowing that first group wouldn't be the last. A few minutes later we heard screams from across our complex "COACH TRAVIS! JESSICA! BABY!" Two girls from Nepal came running toward us from 400 yards away. They wanted to meet baby Anna too. When they finally came upon us, they looked at her, said "she's so cute!" and ran away happy to have seen Anna even for a few seconds. 

We saw several more of our neighbors on our walk. The last group of neighbors we came across is a family we know well. Their son plays for our soccer team. Even though we couldn't understand his parents, his brother translated for us. He told us that his mother was saying I should be sleeping, not walking. He said in Nepal mothers don't walk at all for a week and babies don't come outside for 12 days! Whelp, in the Nepali culture I've already failed as a mother, ha!... He also said that his mother was saying that Anna needed a shirt to support her head. Agh, strike 2! 

All in all, our first walk was glorious! We got to enjoy the beautiful weather, push around our new baby girl, which is something I have been dreaming about for such a long time, and having our neighbors get so excited about meeting Anna blessed me beyond words.  


Anna Jubilee

We are so excited to announce the arrival of our little Juice Drop! 
September 21, 2012 at 4:23 am.
7 lbs, 13 oz. 20 1/4 inches.

 We are in love and we don't care who knows it!

p.s. birth story to come :)


Happy Due Date, Baby Girl!

Only five percent of babies are actually born on their due date. Most come after. I was really hoping Juice Drop would be part of the five--but alas, she has decided to make her debut a little late (unless she makes a last minute appearance tonight!).

I honestly don't have a whole lot to say so I'll leave you with my weekly update picture and questionnaire and a few pics of our day celebrating our baby girl.

 How far along? 40 Weeks
Total weight gain: 33 lbs
Maternity clothes? Most of the time. Seriously I'm running out of clothes, I wear the same things all the time and I'm so ready to fit into pre-pregnancy clothes again! 
Stretch marks? Nope. 
Sleep: Horrible! I've been so anxious I'd sleep right through labor and I've been counting contractions at night.
Best moment this week: The joy we experienced when we thought we were really going into labor.
Miss Anything? Sleep! But I know it won't be coming back anytime soon.
Movement: Still like crazy!
Food cravings: nada
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope
Gender: GIRL!!!
Labor Signs: Besides the false labor on Sunday night, I've had pretty regular contractions since last night and I was 2 cm dilated when the doc checked today!!...really hoping this is the beginning of labor and not the false kind! :) 
Symptoms: Peeing ALL THE TIME (even when hardly anything comes out!), memory lapse, clumsiness, swollen fingers and toes, heartburn
Belly Button in or out? Outie!
Wedding rings on or off? Off but on a necklace.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy! 
Looking forward to: Seeing her beautiful face, hearing her heartbeat without a doppler, and seeing Travis hold his daughter :)

We tried a new restaurant called Pizza Fusion to celebrate...delish!! We bought her a dress I've had my eye for a while and a hilarious book I think she'll enjoy if she's got a humor like her parents :)


False Alarm

Imagine the night before Christmas and the feelings you felt as a child: excitement (ohh, presents!!), anxiousness (have I really been a good girl/boy?), eagerness to get the cookies and milk set out, and as you lay in bed sugarplums aren't really dancing in your head because you can't sleep with your heart pounding!

Now imagine waking up Christmas morning to find that Santa never came, no presents are under the tree, and someone tells you Christmas won't be coming this year, you'll have to wait another 365 days!

Haha, very funny, but seriously, what happened to Christmas? That's how Travis and I felt this morning...

It all started last evening around 5 pm. We were headed out to celebrate my birthday a week early. My birthday isn't until this Friday, the 21st (mark that on your calendars :) Our hope is that Juice Drop will be here before my birthday so we thought we should go ahead and celebrate. We went to the mall first to walk around, you know, trying to naturally induce labor. Well, it actually worked! As we were walking I began to notice I was having contractions every 20 minutes or so. We had forgotten the mall closes at 6 on Sundays so as we were rushed out by the mall employees, we continued counting contractions and they seemed to be pretty regular and averaging 15-20 minutes apart. Since we knew it wasn't really anything to write home about just yet we decided to stick with the plan of eating out so we headed over to Mama Ricotta's for an amazing Italian meal (if you know anything about me, you know that I LOVE Italian even though I don't have an ounce of Italian in me). Throughout the meal the contractions continued. Our entire dinner revolved around this baby and ohmygosh is this really happening? We could have a baby by tomorrow!!! After we finished we walked around the river walk to see if the contractions would go away; I had read that if they were false contractions then they'd go away if you walked. Sure enough, they kept on coming, some contractions 8-10 minutes apart! Ohmygosh this really IS happening! We're about to meet our baby girl! We rushed home so we could straighten the house a bit and pack our bags. After we realized we probably wouldn't be heading to the hospital that night, we took our time getting ready, continued counting contractions while I sat on an exercise ball, and called our family to prepare them for what was to come. Around 9:30 pm, my contractions got down between 7-10 minutes for an hour! As I finally laid down for bed around 10:30 I couldn't contain my excitement, I could hear my heart pounding in my ears as if my heart jumped into my head, and I knew I needed Travis to pray for me. As Travis prayed I felt a peace rush over me, I felt God more present than ever and Him telling me that He will be there in the delivery room just as real as Travis and my OB and nurses will be. I imagined holding my baby girl for the first time and experiencing a love like no other. I felt so much peace and I thought I'd have an amazing night of sleep. Well, I was wrong. I couldn't fall asleep because I realized the contractions were dying down. They weren't as strong and weren't coming as frequently. I would stay awake just so I could feel the next one come. I went in and out of sleep throughout the night and when I woke this morning my heart was deflated knowing that I was not in real labor. I was so upset, discouraged, frustrated, disappointed, and hopeless like labor will never come and I'll just be pregnant forever (can that really happen?!) Christmas was taken away from us and now this rainy day is calling me back to bed. Yes, it's noon; yes, I should go get groceries for the week; yes, I should go about my day like usual. But when you have it in your mind that today you're supposed to be in the hospital having a baby it's kind of hard to get motivated.

Don't worry about us, we'll get out of this funk in a few hours. Pity party will be over, I'll continue my day like usual and go get groceries remembering that God is in control:

"But if we look forward to something we don't have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently" Romans 8:25. Thank you, Lord, for always knowing what's best for us and being in control of all things! You are the creator, I am not, and am so thankful for the beautiful gift you have blessed us with! Our baby girl must be happy as a clam in there because she's still moving like crazy this morning. Our anticipation of meeting her is almost more than we can take! Christmas morning will come soon, I know it will!


There is more than one reason why I'm dancing a jig today

1. Salted Caramel Frappucinnos. I love the fall and not just because the month that brings a cooler breeze and beautiful colors is the same as my birthday but because I love the smells, tastes, and feelings that come along with it. Like candy corn, pumpkin candles (the only pumpkin I like), apple cider and pies, crispy, crunchy leaves under my feet, sweatshirts and jeans (see #2), Ohio State football, live soccer games, and this:

2. I'm in jeans! And you can bet I'm wearing these maternity jeans proud. Pretty much like Michael Scott from The Office enjoys a good pair of jeans.  Shorts and dresses are wonderful but nothing says fall like a comfy pair of jeans that have been sitting on your closet shelf all summer just waiting for you to slip your legs into them. Plus shaving your legs isn't a must anymore when jeans are involved :) This video is exactly how I feel:

3. Even though my birthday isn't until Friday (yes, 2 days after Juice Drop's due date), we're celebrating today! One reason is because we're really hoping Juice Drop will be here before my birthday (or maybe come on my birthday, which would be the best gift in the whole wide world!) and then we'd totally forget about my birthday because we're so wrapped up in her--which wouldn't be too terrible.

4. Juice Drop's due date is in 3 days! 3 days, people! Where has the time gone?? And yet, these last few weeks have felt like an eternity. Oh please, oh please, baby girl, don't make us wait too much longer after your due date to grace us with your presence. We wait with great anticipation the moment we meet face to face and gaze into your beautiful eyes and marvel at the wonderful works God has created in you!

So if you happen to see me today I may or may not be dancing a jig in my jeans holding a salted caramel frappucinno while Travis sings happy birthday to me and taking a stroll in the mall after my celebration dinner (because it's raining--I've gots to get my walking in for the day) hoping to naturally induce labor. Phew, busy, yet productive day, eh?! You kind of want to do a jig too, right? :)


None Like You

I had an amazing time with Jesus this morning. I was worshiping to my Hillsong United Pandora station when Shane and Shane's song "None Like You" came on. A few months back when I first heard this song I was overtaken by the lyrics. I realized in that time of listening and worshiping that the lyrics could apply to both my love for Jesus and my love for my daughter. Then when I heard it again this morning I couldn't help but be overtaken once more, but this time in a different way. Along with thinking about my daughter and my love for her, I also was overwhelmed by the love Jesus has for me. I love my daughter so much and I haven't even met her yet--how much greater is His love me for me, His daughter?! As tears streamed down my face I heard my Heavenly Father say, "There is none like you, no one else can touch my heart like you do, I can search for all eternity long and find there is none like you." He sings the same song over you! Listen and be overwhelmed by His love for you!

How far along? 39 Weeks
Total weight gain: 33 lbs
Maternity clothes? Most of the time. 
Stretch marks? Nope. 
Sleep: Good, not great...so looking forward to being able to sleep on my stomach and back again! This side sleeping stuff is for the dogs! (not really sure what that phrase means but I've heard it before and thought it was appropriate) 
Best moment this week: Dancing the night away at our friends' wedding. We were hoping Juice Drop would come after that (nope!) but at least we had a blast!
Miss Anything? Wearing jeans...I tried my old jeans on with my belly band and it just wasn't the same. I love fall time and wearing jeans and sweatshirts--so looking forward to that day!
Movement: She's starting to calm herself a bit but when she does move I think (hope and pray) she'll kick so hard my water will break!
Food cravings: nada
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope
Gender: GIRL!!!
Labor Signs: False contractions are getting stronger and are beginning to hurt a little. 
Symptoms: Peeing ALL THE TIME (even when hardly anything comes out!), memory lapse, clumsiness, swollen fingers and toes, heartburn
Belly Button in or out? Outie!
Wedding rings on or off? Off but on a necklace.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy! 
Looking forward to: Enjoying these last few days just the two of us (even if we can't wait to meet her!)



A lot has happened over the last week and it's been difficult for me to find time and sit down to document it all...eh, who am I kidding?! I have all the time in the world now that I'm just watching the clock, waiting for Juice Drop to arrive. Let's just be honest, I've been lazy and haven't had the will to get on here and post anything. Now that I'm ready, I have too many pictures to add to just one post so I may have to break it up a bit and add pictures here and there over the next few weeks, or until Juice Drop arrives and she takes up this entire blog because her cuteness is too much to contain!

Anyway, Travis' birthday weekend was awesome--despite a few mishaps! We enjoyed a Friday night out at the Bonefish Grill (a new place for us). We try to enjoy date nights free from baby talk but alas, with the only thing on our minds lately being Juice Drop it's kind of difficult to talk about anything else. Saturday was great. Emily and her roommate and bestie, Sammie went with us to Strike City (an entire bar and grill devoted to The Ohio State Buckeyes!) and watched the Buckeyes whoop up on some University of Miami tail. Sunday night was supposed to be thee birthday dinner where I was supposed to be the best wife in the world and take him to enjoy his favorite meal: pad thai. As we pull into Thai Taste we noticed it was kind of empty and there on the door read "Closed Sundays". So what does one do when your birthday dinner is pretty much ruined? You head to McAllister's and ponder your options over a tall glass of Arnold Palmer (well, at least Travis does; I get a lemonade). He finally decided he wanted Donatos Pizza (a place new to the Charlotte area but nostalgic to us Ohio folk). As we head to Donatos we pass a restaurant that catches Travis' eye. He's all about the appearance of places so when he saw wooden slats across the entire front of the restaurant he had to stop and see what they were serving. (In the end, I don't think it really mattered what they were serving, he just liked the feel of the place!) Leroy Fox ended up being an amazing restaurant featuring world famous fried chicken and delicious southern sides (no where in the north can you find fried zucchini fries!) We had an wonderful time eating and enjoying one another's company--and guess what?! No baby talk! Monday was Travis' actual birthday and we were really hoping Juice Drop would make her debut, but as you can clearly see, she did not. I made him his favorite french toast breakfast and, we enjoyed the afternoon walking around the park, but not before heading to Chick-fil-a for Travis' favorite dessert: a peach shake...and what do you know? the ice cream machine is down! Mishap #2. So what's close but no cigar to Chick-fil-a's peach shake? The Cookout. 'Nuf said. The evening ended with a labor day dinner with some dear friends complete with a dance lesson from Miss Pat and Azavion (the wobble) and mint oreo chocolate cupcakes for the Birthday Boy! Like I said, a few mishaps and nothing too exciting, but Birthday Boy says it was an amazing weekend and he feels very loved...success!

The Albemarle Urban Eagles soccer season has officially begun! Along with Thursday evening soccer practices and Saturday morning games, we've added an evening for dinner, fellowship, and bible study. While it may seem like 18 boys in one tiny apartment is crazy, it's been a blast to have them all in our home learning about Jesus and His love for them. And yes, somehow we plan on continuing this Monday evening get together after Juice Drop arrives--she and I will hide out upstairs :) Praise God for an amazing start to the season! I can't wait to see all that God has in store for these boys.

Let's talk about naturally inducing labor...it's not working! I've been walking, doing prenatal pilates and yoga, house work, dancing the night away at a wedding this past weekend, amongst other things that can be left to the imagination :) Juice Drop must be comfy and cozy in there because nothing is persuading her to meet her Mama and Daddy. We try and tell her that inside of me she's not able to get all the cuddling and kisses she'll love once she's in our arms. We must have a stubborn one on our hands (hmm...sounds like her Mama and Daddy). I guess we still do have 9 days until the due date. I'll just keep doing what I've been doing and hope and pray she comes sooner rather than later! :)

Take a peek at what our past week looked like:

The Birthday Boy's cupcake...the progression of the next few pictures crack me up!

I do have to say that these cupcakes were to die for, and it was my first time making icing! I found the recipe here.

Monday evening bible study with the soccer boys...
 Boys first game...

Dancing the night away at our dear friends' wedding on Saturday night...

Our Sunday afternoon at the park...Bliss!

Enjoy your week!


our little punkin pie

Too bad I don't like anything pumpkin related or else I'd celebrate today with a Starbucks pumpkin chai latte or bake some pumpkin bread or search for some awesome pinterest recipe like pumpkin cupcakes or pumpkin pancakes. But alas, pumpkin anything is nasty in my opinion so I'll enjoy my afternoon with a bowl of Life cereal and daydream about when our little punkin will grace us with her beautiful presence.

How far along? 38 Weeks
Total weight gain: 33 lbs--ok, I thought by this point I was supposed to stop gaining weight! I think Juice Drop is going to be a biggin'.
Maternity clothes? Most of the time. 
Stretch marks? Nope. 
Sleep: Not great since my allergies are kicking in. September and I, we have a love/hate relationship.
Best moment this week: Celebrating Travis' birthday weekend! It was low-key but still loved being with my man just the two of us...post to come!
Miss Anything? Being comfortable, being able to work out hard core.
Movement: Yep, yep, yep! I can't wait to see what those little tooties that keep kicking me look like :)
Food cravings: nada...especially now that I can barely eat anything at all with her pushing on my stomach.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope
Gender: GIRL!!!
Labor Signs: False contractions are getting stronger and are beginning to hurt a little.
Symptoms: Back and rib pain, Braxton Hicks, peeing ALL THE TIME (even when hardly anything comes out!), memory lapse, clumsiness, swollen fingers and toes, heartburn 
Belly Button in or out? Outie!
Wedding rings on or off? Off but on a necklace.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy! 
Looking forward to: Meeting our baby girl...Any Day Now!