Friday, January 30

Happy 27, Andrew!

Thursday was Andrew's birthday! We did somewhat already celebrate it with the concert, so it was pretty low-key, but hopefully he still had a fun day!
Chicken Alfredo pasta & broccoil for dinner - yum-o...if I do say so myself :)
Stephen can appreciate his bravo-zulu shirt. :)Since we didn't know what this week would look like, last week I decided to make an ice cream cake that I could just pull out of the freezer. I recommend it for a do-it-ahead dessert!


DWYL Tee & Vintage Church by Mark Driscoll. nice, right? :)
Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband!

Tuesday, January 27

Deal Alert

Just came across this goody...!
Panera Bread: Free coffee and breakfast samples
(Wednesday, January 28, 2009)

Tomorrow (Wednesday, January 28, 2009) Panera Bread stores across the nation are offering free coffee all day long and free samples of their new breakfast items. As always, I recommend you call your store to make sure they are participating before you stop by.

Monday, January 26

A Change of Plans

Well, it turns out we probably will not be meeting our baby boy today. It feels like a long story...I'll try to make it the condensed version. (ok, after writing this, that didn't happen :)
When I went in for my appt. last thursday, the Dr. told me I was dialated 3 cm, she was extremely surprised that I wasn't already in labor, and she felt it was time for me to have this baby. She listed a couple of reasons and then told me to really just trust her that this was the right decision. Since we had talked about inducing before and she had told me that she did not induce until 42 weeks, I felt I needed to trust her if she suddenly had a change of mind. That being said, we really wrestled with this decision all weekend. I really want to go in to labor naturally and was especially concerned about inducing early when there didn't seem to be a really good specific medical reason. the end, we decided to go ahead, trusting that for whatever reason, God was in this. All of our plans were set, the house was ready, our moms had arranged their schedules to be with us....
(and FYI, we still love our dr. and believe & trust in her. This is not meant to be against her at all. She told us what she thought was best.)
So we get to the hospital and get hooked up to fetal monitor, blood pressure, etc...and the nurse starts asking the routine questions. First she asked, "so what's your birthing plan"? I jokingly replied, "well, it wasn't to be induced"! So apparently that sent off a red flag in her mind and she really started talking with us about this decision. We told her we were there because our Dr. felt it was best. She said after reviewing all my history, she didn't see a reason for this early induction. She then left and talked with our Dr. on the phone, who said, "oh, well, if they don't want to be induced, that's no problem"! what????? agggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh!!
So then we were really in a dilemma. We just didn't know what to do. The nurse (that obviously God had a reason that she was our nurse!) spent a lot of time talking with us about this. She really didn't want us to do something that we were not 100% comfortable with. She then left us to talk about it and I think we really took almost an hour to decide! But in the end, we decided to go ahead and wait. #1 reason, once they start the inducing, there is no guarantee that it works in a couple of hours or 24 hours. Since there was really no rush, we decided it would be best to wait and see if Graham will come on his own. I definitely have slight contractions and am almost dialated to 4 cm, so the dr. & nurse keeping saying this birth is imminent. Now if I end up being induced 2 weeks from now, I will really be bummed. :) But, as hard as it was to leave that hospital still pregnant, I really feel at peace that this was the right decision. We have plenty of time still, and though we are dying of anticipation, we just pray that this will happen on its own.
Now I am a little bit of an emotional wreck today, so as well-meaning as everyone is (and I really mean how much I appreciate the thoughts & prayers), I would like to request that everyone refrain from making comments on this note or sending emails if possible. I know you guys are all out there thinking of us & praying for us.
The best news is that Graham has a glowing medical report & the nurse feels confident he is a healthy little boy. We haven't lost him, there is nothing really "bad" that happened, we just have to wait a little longer to meet him, but trust that God will bring him in His time!
Now, bring on those contractions, PLEASE!! :)

ready to meet our baby boy

Today is the day! We are headed to the hospital for a 10 am induction. This was not "our plan", but rest in God's sovereighty in the situation. We rest in God's care for us & Graham today and just pray that the end of the day brings us a healthy baby boy.
Andrew showed me this poem that he wrote for Graham yesterday and gave me his OK to post it. It is beautiful to my heart and I think most accurately sums up our feelings for today.

See you on the other side. :)

"Dear Graham"
Graham, your birth is drawing near
And, to mom these last days feel like a year.
Each day is one of anticipation
Just waiting for those 3 minute contractions.
Mom can't wait because you're getting
So big and starting to stretch, punching
Her right in the stomach. But we
Both can't wait because we get to "see"
The little boy we have known for
Nine months now. It's almost like you're
A distant friend that we've never met
And now for the first time we get
To meet face to face. We can't wait
To touch and hold you on that date
You are born. But Graham, I have one
Request for you -this is father to son -
Please don't do anything real crazy
Because I can get pretty queezy
In the hospital. But I won't be mad
If you disobey-but you don't want your Dad
On the floor, "passed out,"
The minute that you're "coming out."
Graham, you have now changed our lives;
I hope our love and care for you will do likewise.
But most of all, Graham, just love
The God who created and sent you from above,
For we will fail you, and you
Will fail yourself. But one thing is true:
Your God will never fail you - so love Him with all your heart.

Thursday, January 22

Almost baby time!

The doctor reported to me today that I am dialated 3 cm!! She said she does not know why I have not gone in to labor!! But she said my body is ready for this baby to come out, so if he does not come this weekend, she will induce me on Monday!!! wow, all of a sudden, the impact is truly hitting me. Ready or not, in 4 days Graham will be here!! I was really hoping to avoid being induced, so please pray with me that labor will start naturally on its own this weekend. I am definitely feeling twinges and pain throughout my hips, so I'm not sure if anything is starting up or not, but we're hoping so!

B&B coupon

Click here to print this coupon. Since Bath & Body Works is currently having their big sale, you can pick up something for $1 and still get this free item! Good through Sunday, Janauary 25!

Wednesday, January 21

A Unique Day

My friend Jamie and I try to walk together at least once a week. Several things ended up being providential about our walk on Tuesday! was cold (I know Northerners are scoffing right now :) and an icy wind coming off the ocean prompted us to do the "mall walk" instead of Boardwalk. need to pee every 30 seconds headed us straight to the nearest restroom where we found a long line of people lined up at Macy's. So after asking some questions we found out that because of a class-action law suit, Macy's & Dilliard's were forced to give away a certain dollar amount of products during a couple hour span. So we stood in line for a while at both stores and ended up with these products...
Estee Lauder Night Repair - $46
Lancome Cell Defense - $64
2 Lancome Mascara - $23 each
Clinique Moisture Surge - $34
Calvin Klein Shower Creme - $30
Ralph Lauren Shower Gel - $38
= $258.00 in free products!!! I'm pretty sure this is my biggest list of freebies ever!
Obviously the big story of the day was the Inauguration. I have to say, watching all the various ceremonies & events was quite inspiring. It was so exciting to see Americans excited about America and being proud of our country. President Obama is one of the most inspiring people to listen to, whether you agree with him or not! I was also so impressed with how gracious the Bush's have been throughout this whole transition. I don't know that Obama will single-handedly turn around this country, just like I don't believe the many problems in our country were created by one man (i.e. George Bush). But I do know that Christians who are predicting the end of the world, or calling him the anti-christ, or saying that America has now officially ceased to be a Christian nation need to respect the leaders that God has ordained and trust in His Sovereignty! Our fate does not rest in a Republican or Democratic government. I hope that Obama will be a great leader. I hope that America will be strong. But if the mess only continues to get worse, we still have a great God.
And I must say, I thought Michelle's gown was exquisite!

Sunday, January 18

A Last Hurrah

In anticipation of having a slight life interruption...and a baby-sitter included in future date nights, we had the opportunity for one last big date.
We were actually given fReE tickets to see Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. He tours with a 15 piece orchestra made up of some of the most talented jazz players in the world. They are phenomenal!! (For those who haven't heard of him, he is one of the most famous trumpet players ever and one who Andrew grew up listening to and playing his music.) So Andrew was especially excited about this!! Since Andrew's birthday is in less than 2 weeks, we also made it a special time for his birthday (in case that gets overlooked!)
It was such a great concert. And we thank God for answering our prayer to keep Graham from interrupting! Now, there is nothing come out soon baby boy!
Before the concert, we had the most incredible sky! Sandler Center for Performing Arts We couldn't take pictures during the concert, so this is the best we got.
After, we tried out a new spot called the Melt which had the most amazing Gelato!

Thursday, January 15

new 'do

So in anticipation of not having time to get a haircut for the next...year...? I decided to go to the chopping block! Hopefully this will be out of the way of any little grabby fingers! But one main advantage of having it short is that I have a prayer of having the time to straighten it! (at least pre-baby!) I don't have the best straightener, so this is about as much as I have the patience for...but I think I like it!
Baby watch...
last Monday when I went for my ob appt. I found out I was dialated to 1!!! Now everyone who has had a baby is telling me not to get too excited...this could last for a while.'s a relief to know SOMETHING is happening and sooner or later he will eventually come out. :) The dr. asked me if I had been having contractions (braxton-hicks or other) and I said I didn't think so...then she saw I was dialated and told me I couldn't be dialated without having had contractions! So who knows...maybe I'll get through labor and think, huh...I didn't feel a thing. :~)
37 weeks...less than 3 to go...we hope!

Saturday, January 10

the nursery!

yeahhh!! the nursery is ready for baby.
It has been quite an interesting process. I hope I won't bore you, but I have to share how God has provided in so many ways for this room!
First, to decide on a theme...I wanted something neutral that I can use for either a boy or a girl. I've always thought dots are really cute, so I decided to go with that, inspired by this bedding.
Blessing #1: the bedding.
I originally bought this (with gift cards!) 2 months ago for $85. A month ago it went on clearance to $55. Since it was still in all of its original packaging, I took it back and re-purchased it, gaining $30 back!!
Blessing #2: the dots.
Since we are renting, I couldn't do much with the walls, but I so wanted SOMETHING fun!
Every week I would get a coupon for 40% off one item at Michael's. So for several weeks in a row I purchased one sheet of poster-size art paper. I then traced different size plates I had to get the various dot sizes. I figured I better laminate them or they wouldn't last long. I took them to Fedex Kinkos where I was hoping to get a discount with Andrew's fedex connection. They gave me a price per square footage, but I didn't have any idea of how that would translate with the finished product. After laminating them and ringing me up, the lady said, "boy, you sure are lucky to get a discount, your total would have been $55"!!! I almost went in to labor right then she gave me a discount and said "your total is $18". Now I had thought she was giving me a 30% discount, and that would not have brought it down to 18, but whatever she did, God was definitely orchestrating it, and I am SO thankful!!
his "dresser"

reading/nursing/cuddling corner!
(rocking chair given to us for free!)
now which of these books can I count towards my school reading...

doing the daddy thing...
Blessing #3: the crib.
My aunt and cousins very generously bought our crib for us. However, it ended up being quite the saga to get it. My aunt had to order it mutiple times and it kept going out of stock...but finally, it arrived this week and it is beautiful! It is a 4-in-1, so it will convert to a toddler bed, daybed, and eventually a twin bed. He'll be using it for a long time!
Andrew's old Dr. Suess collection!

Blessing #4: the changing table.
We originally registered for a changing table that was a matching set to our crib ($80).
However, I found this one on clearance for $45. But here's the extra blessings - this one came with the changing pad ($20 by itself) and 3 bins ($8 each). So if you take each of those items off of the price, it's almost like we paid nothing for the changing table!!
Andrew decided the puppy needed to watch and wait for Graham to come play with him. :) we're ready for baby...
in theory...
ok, at least he's got a fun place to hang out. :)

Friday, January 9

Almost there...

I feel like I've lapsed a little on here...but this week I was looking over my list of "to-do before Graham comes" and realized I might not even get it all done before he arrives!! So I've been busy, busy checking things off my list. Plus, I've been trying to get in every appt. that I can think of! So between this week and next I will have been to the eye dr., dentist, salon, and of course my ob. appts. which are now every week!!! The anticipation of Graham's arrival is just about killing me! I am sincerely hoping he comes early but to realize that we could have a baby in less than 3 weeks is extremely daunting!!

We finally received the last baby items that we needed this week and so I feel now if he does come, we are ready (in that sense!). Andrew is putting together the crib on Saturday and then I can finally post some pics of the nursery!!

This week was my final week at the church where I have worked (very part-time) for the last 3 years. They threw me a little surprise baby shower which was so kind of them. They mostly gave either cash or gift cards which was perfect for this stage!! My funniest gift from one of the maintenance guys was a pack of 80 diapers and bottle of Glade air freshener!! But, hey, I will certainly use them!!! We praise God for providing!

Things I am most looking forward to about not being pregnant...

-being able to hold my sweet boy on the outside (and give him to his daddy when I am tired of carrying him :)
-not having to pee every 30 seconds
-being able to roll over without feeling like a beached whale
-pants without elastic!
-being able to run
-sleeping on my back or stomach if I feel like it
-being able to wear my engagement ring (I got it off just in time, but have hated not being able to wear it!)
-getting back to my normal size (I hope!) and not having a big ol' belly to lug around
-not having swollen joints
-and...did I mention this...meeting our baby boy!! Come out soon, Graham!

Thursday, January 1

Reflected Blessings

Another year behind us...we're one year older, maybe (hopefully!) one year wiser, and completely thankful as we think about 2008. I try to write down blessings that we experience throughout the year as it's so good to read back through those and see how good God has been to us.
Here are some of our blessings of 2008...

~ Opportunity to take our first week-long vacation for just the 2 of us ~

we chose NYC! it was fabulous, we were also given free Broadway tix!
~ Andrew was given a free ipod nano ~
~ Given the opportunity to rent an incredible home a block from the beach ~
~ found out that Graham Owen Hughes would be joining our family in 2009!!!! ~
~ our cars have given us relatively few problems compared to years past :) ~
~ Andrew started his final year of seminary! ~
~ our pantry & fridge were completely stocked with groceries unexpectedly ~
~ God provided new piano students for Kelly in their new neighborhood ~
~ Graham moved off of Kelly's sciatic nerve after an agonizing week ~
~ God has provided so many baby items for Graham ~
(this will have to be another post in itself!)

And just some very "small" things...these are the flowers Andrew gave me 2 weeks ago...going strong!! I've never had cut flowers last this good this long! flowers courtesy of a rejected shipment at Fedex on Christmas Eve. Beautiful lillies.

We don't know what 2009 could bring. It could be the loss of a loved one, or financial devastation, or a national tragedy, but we rest in the Sovereignty that God holds all these things in His hands and we must continue to rejoice in whatever season God brings.

There are so many more I could list...good deals we have found, things we have been given, God providing for specific needs over and over... one example - our Christmas bonuses from our jobs, though not huge, were enough to cover the Christmas gifts we wanted to buy for our families and friends. This was such a blessing since we are closely watching every dollar as I stop working outside of the home. We are blessed beyond measure. And those intangible things - spending time with family and friends, spending time together, preparing for our family becoming 3...these are the things that make life so full!

Blessings to you in 2009!

Thank you to our Savior. Great is Your Faithfulness!!