Sunday, May 27

Getaway - days 1 & 2

A couple of days ago, Jeremy and I returned from an out-of-state trip all by our lonesome with our kiddos back home  in amazingly loving and capable hands.

(This was our first ever trip alone in 13 years of marriage since our honeymoon... it was much appreciated and needed.) 

The main purpose for the trip was to attend a wedding ceremony of friends on the Oregon coast - but we were able to fit in some time with family too, which was so meaningful to us!

We flew into Seattle, and made a beeline for IKEA. 
It was Jeremy's time first to one of the stores.  Even men like IKEA.  

Except we had to ask for directions to the exit.  Those places are twisty-turny and confusing.  I think they like it that way.  Keeps you stuck in their aisles forever buying cheap and colorful dishtowels, insanely cute mugs, and all of the organizational tools one could need.  We had Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes for lunch there too.  Yum!

Then, we went to meet with our friend Leigh and her kiddos for donuts!  I met Leigh at the MOPS Convention my first year attending back in 2005 in Dallas, when Leigh stayed with our group at the hotel!  We adopted her into our group and met there a few years in a row - - we've been friends ever since! 

After that, it was north for a beautiful drive up to the Washington/Canada border to see Jeremy's brother Aaron, his wife Abie, and our sweetie pie 7 week-old niece, Katie!

Oh, she's so yummy!

Uncle Jeremy in baby heaven.

Proud Uncle and Auntie!
We wouldn't have seen her otherwise until next Christmas when they make it to our neck of the woods. 

Standing on her baby cousin, wishing she could come out and play...  

At the end of my 35th week!

Aaron and Abie took us up on the ridge, we saw several deer, which was cool since we never see them where we live!

Happy family, thankful for the time (though short) together!!! 

What a beautiful drive!!! The next day we headed down to the Oregon coast to get ready for wedding weekend in Astoria, Oregon.

It was so surreal that we were without our kids, and the only potty breaks were mine! 

Friday, May 25

so much to celebrate!

Happy start of summer to us! 

Jeremy and I just returned from a amazing getaway out of state for 6 days, with the kids remaining at home with Grandma and Grandpa for part, and friends for part!  Pictures and stories soon to come. 

Also, we wrapped up our year of homeschooling last Thursday, ahhhhhh - SUMMER!

Aaaand I'm nearing the 37 week mark in this pregnancy - just 3 more days until I'm "legal" to deliver at our birth center and out-of-hospital!  Yay, baby!!!

 This was taken one week ago at Jeremy's brother and our sister-in-law's house!  Good times!

Tuesday, May 8

nesting, nesting... 1-2-3

I have moved into full nesting mode to get ready for this little one to arrive in the upcoming weeks. Just over 5 weeks now until my due date...  it's unbelievable, that it's getting so close.

Today I set up the bassinet in our room, probably my most cherished step each and every time when I'm in nesting mode.  I love walking into our room and seeing that little bed all set up.  The bassinet we have is one Jeremy scored at a garage sale two summers ago when we brought Gabrielle home.  It is a small version of a normal pack 'n play, with the bassinet attachment for the top that has storage shelves underneath.  It has been so useful for us these past two years.  Jeremy got it for $10, can you believe that?  It retails for $130 online... insanity!  It was only missing the three bars that hook the bassinet attachment to the pack 'n play shell.  I didn't order the replacement parts at the time we brought Gabi home, since she was already nine weeks old, but I checked into them a couple weeks ago, and it would only be $15  to buy all three replacement bars to make it work for us...  I ordered them and got them in the mail last night - and you know this mama was chompin' at the bit to get it set up!  I'm excited for Jeremy to see it all set up in our room when he gets home today.

 Every baby, no matter if it's your first or your seventh, is an amazing gift to be celebrated! 

Bedroom Bassinet

 Here's a picture of our lovely little bed for the baby.  Tonight I think I'll stock the shelves underneath.  That comes in so handy since she'll be in our room the first few months and has no other place for her things in our room. 

It's amazing that I've been nesting at all... I wasn't quite sure when that would happen.  I'm not exactly moving around like a chipper chicken these days.  I have been in some pretty good amounts of pain these past couple months, but thankfully, I've had bursts of energy for short spurts the last couple days!

I've washed the newborn clothes and blankets, bought newborn diapers (and have a great stash of newborn cloth diapers for when I feel ready to start them up),  bought all of the necessities for nursing, and will probably get the bag packed to take to the birth center in the next few days just for fun. 

Jeremy and I have been given the opportunity to fly to a wedding next week and meet our two new baby nieces along the way!  That's part of the reason I feel the need to get things ready early - we'll be gone for six whole days, just the two of us!  It's a big deal to us since it'll be our first trip alone as a couple in thirteen years since our honeymoon.  I'll be checked out by my midwife the day before we fly (it's a short 3.5 hour flight) to make sure nothing is brewing this early, then off we go!  I'm really praying we get the okay, we are SO looking forward to this time together.  When we get home, I'll be considered full-term at 37 weeks just four days later, and can deliver out of hospital at the birth center anytime.

I've never gone early, other than 5 days early with the first three - but each and every time it feels like baby is coming weeks before that magical due date number due to the pain and amount of contractions (that have become painful) I have in the weeks leading up to baby's birth... but it just doesn't happen!  So I'm not counting on it.

But this time, I'm praying she stays put until I'm 37 weeks and back from our trip!  I don't ever think I've hoped for that before.  

The other projects on my before baby to-do list are:

sew swaddle blanket project that had I planned on starting last week
sew burp cloths
pack mine and baby's bag
buy a few more last minute necessities (tiny socks, a few more onesies, Miracle Blankets) 
wash carseat cover and have that handy to grab and take
finish baby quilt (completely optional, but it'd be fun to be done with it)

Well, that's all from nesting central for now... it is so exciting to see the green leaves finally appearing around here.  That has been the benchmark I set all winter explaining to the kids when the baby would be here... "When the grass is green, the leaves are grown, and school is out - baby sister will soon arrive!" 

Now we're down to just seven more school days, we see hints of green in our grass, and tiny leaves are exploding! 

Thursday, May 3

He's flying now

This little boy is flying free.

 Jeremy and I can both see it.  

Ever since his adoption was finalized two weeks ago, he's a different boy.  

It's like God flipped a switch in his little heart.  

He's home. 

I've never seen anything quite like it.   

A lot of the behaviors that could easily be put in the category of normal toddler behavior have vanished.  

Like several of them, all at once!

It's astounding. 

He's a free little boy.  

He is accepted.  Loved.  Welcomed.  

He has a family.  

Oh, I love him.  

Every day when Jeremy gets home from work, Levi greets Jeremy jumping up and down with his arms held high to be tossed up in the air.  Thank goodness we have vaulted ceilings.  

It's his favorite place to be.  

In his Daddy's arms flying free.  


God has done huge and great things for you, Levi.  

And He will continue to do so.   

 You just wait and see. 


33 weeks

Wow, we're getting there!  33 weeks, eek! 

I've been asked a couple times this week if I feel apprehensive or nervous about the upcoming birth, and I can eagerly and with assurance, answer no.  If you would have asked the Amanda who was pregnant in 2000, 2002, or 2004 you may have gotten a different answer.  I have such amazingly caring and informative prenatal care this time, the same with Annika in 2008 - there is a tremendous difference.  As I have been since the start, I have been excited about this baby girl's birth.  I get teary just thinking about the moment she is out and in our arms, I truly cannot wait to see her.   I feel so thankful to be experiencing this all over again.  I feel so excited.  Truly!

There are fears regarding other things with this pregnancy that Satan is attempting to get at me with.  But, I'm keeping myself steeped in God's truth and promises so that Satan has no room here.  Take a hike!   

At the moment, I'm sitting here at the kitchen table burning my birth playlist CD's.  One is a compilation of songs I've downloaded over the last year or two, and the other is the Passion 2012 live CD.  I also plan on bringing BBC's Emma soundtrack, along with the 2011 Passion CD.    I think I'm set!  I love music, and it's so comforting and encouraging to me.. 

That's all for now from Amanda's world of pregnancy! 

Tuesday, May 1

big brothers

Big brothers are the best.  I should know, I have one.

 I've been thinking a lot about how Levi is just swimming in sisters that are close to his age in this family, and when I was first pregnant, I was sure this baby I'm carrying would be a brother for Levi.  I was wrong, of course, it's another sweet sister joining the family!

As I thought about our family's make up, birth order, etc...  I was so happy for Levi for a number of reasons.  Namely the two older brothers who are eight and ten years older than him.  He is going to have in Drew and Gavin these awesome mentors, friends, and role models to look up to his whole life.  I'm so thankful for that for him.  That is such a gift! 

And for now, there's just lots of tickles, cardboard box rides, spinning, wrestling, and laughing. 

They love their little brother, and thank us often for adopting him.  I love their hearts.