Monday, November 26, 2012


Thanksgiving is always a fun, whirlwind long weekend for us, and this year was no exception.  We packed as much family and food into our time as possible, and it was wonderful.

We always head to Louisville after school on Wednesday, where we spend Thanksgiving lunch with Jason's family.  This year I had my first chance to make sweet potato casserole, and although I accidentally got the marshmallows on top a little too done, it was still pretty good for a first try.  I was more successful, however, with homemade macaroni and cheese, one of Jason's favorite items I make at home.

It was oddly warm enough outside to play cornhole after lunch.

From Louisville, we headed to Cincinnati for dinner with my mom's family at Hope's house.  It was, as it is every year, wonderful to see my cousins and watch Connor play happily with Ava.  I have so many happy memories of childhood visits from our Cincinnati family and our annual trips to visit them.  Although we do not see them often enough, I love catching up each year.

After staying up late chatting with Hope, Kelsey, Gary, and Hunter, Mom, Linds, and I headed out for some mild Black Friday shopping, leaving Jason, Connor, and Dad sleeping at Hope's house.  We scored our best deals at the Gap Clearance Center, which is surely one of my favorite places on Earth.  :)

After lunch with my parents and Linds, they dropped us back off in Louisville, where it was off for another fun and busy evening.  Jason's parents took us (and Jordan) to dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory (one of Jason's favorite downtown Lville spots), after which we stopped by the Christmas parade, and then saw "A Christmas Story" at Actors Theatre.  Connor was SO well behaved at his first ever theatre experience.  I was impressed, and the play was wonderful.

Saturday morning we went to breakfast at Superchef's, which was AMAZING.  We all tried a little of everyone's food, including granola encrusted French toast, red velvet pancakes, and beignets.

After breakfast we put up Nanny's tree, with lots of help from Connor on ornament placements, and then headed home.

Saturday evening was dinner at Mom's house for Thanksgiving, and it was extra special having both Dustin and Jared home.  Connor was thrilled.

Our last Thanksgiving meal was Sunday after church at Grandma Egnew's house, where we were treated to one of Kim's famous cheesecakes and ended the gathering by drawing names among the cousins for Christmas gifts.

After seeing for myself in photos everything we've done, everywhere we've been, and everyone we've seen this Thanksgiving, I am feeling even more blessed.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

26 Weeks

How far along?  26 weeks,  0 days

How big is baby?   approximately 2 lbs.

Total weight gain/loss:  +3 lbs. this month;  +10 lbs. total

Maternity clothes?  I can still wear regular dresses and shirts, but definitely not pants, and even some tops are getting too short these days.  All of my maternity clothes last time around were spring/summer, so I am trying to get by with lots of cardigans over my short-sleeved maternity items.  I really don't want to buy any more maternity clothes, especially with, at the most, 14 weeks left.

Stretch marks:  I did find two new, red marks on my lower stomach this morning.  :(  This is much early than with Connor.

Sleep: For a couple of weeks I was waking up with terrible leg cramps, but that has subsided (for the moment) and I am actually sleeping fairly well.

Best moment this week:  Mom, Linds, Gran, and I just got back from a girls' weekend in Florida, and I was so relaxed.  It was wonderful.  I didn't feel that typical tightness in my stomach and soreness in my joints that I have been feeling at the end of the day, so it was definitely a relief to have no stressors of school, housework, etc... for a few days.

Movement:  Lots of movement: kicking, stretching, and other gymnastics.

Food cravings:  Anything with cheese or bread, tomato soup, grilled cheese, Grippo's barbecue chips, sweets (still)

Food Aversions:  I still can't deal with spaghetti after a first-trimester negative experience, and Chinese food, which I normally love, makes me feel a bit queasy right now.  Besides that, food is my friend.

Gender:   girl

Labor Signs:  None.

Symptoms:  I feel pretty good, except that my skin is still a mess.
Belly Button in or out? In 

What I miss:  clear skin, having the energy and flexibility to roll around on the floor with Connor as much as I could before

What I am looking forward to:  Hopefully beginning to paint/decorate/organize the nursery soon; the fact that I weighed today so now I can enjoy Thanksgiving goodies guilt-free (until I go again in 2 weeks).  :)

Upcoming appointments/events:  Thanksgiving (lots of food, trips to see family in Louisville and Cincinnati), Black Friday shopping, especially the Gap Outlet

Weekly Wisdom:  In all things be content.  I am trying not to rush this pregnancy along, but yet I am anxious to meet our new addition.  At the same time, I don't want to lose any time with Connor, and I know things will change once he has a sibling.  I am trying to remind myself not to get too far ahead in my thinking, and instead to just enjoy each day as it comes, to cherish every small moment between now and Feburary, and then to embrace our new life with as little anxiety as possible.  We will adjust, and I don't need to dwell on how that will happen or stress about it.

Here is this week's photo comparison:

Monday, November 19, 2012

Girls' Weekend

After 29 years, I officially took my first "girls' vacation" this weekend.  Granted, I have gone out with, spent time with, eaten dinner and chatting for long hours with many of my girlfriends over the years, but never before have I taken a more than one night vacation with anyone except my family (while technically this trip still was family) and more recently without Jason and Connor.

This is not to say that our family vacations are not fantastic, which they are, nor that I would trade my husband and son and time with them ever, but it was one of the most relaxing weekends of my life, especially since becoming a wife almost 10 years ago (Wow, I feel old!) and a mother over three years ago.  There is something about being on a trip with absolutely no responsibility for anyone other than yourself that is extremely liberating yet guilt-inducing at the same time.  While I enjoyed every moment, there were pangs of "mommy guilt" that would hit me, wondering if Connor was missing me, or if I should be home with him instead.

Leaving Nashville at sunset

However, my mom, sister, grandmother, and I had an amazing three days at the Calypso Resort and Towers in Panama City Beach, where we ate delicious food, woke up to ocean views and sounds, spent hours on the beach, and evenings walking through shops and hunting for dessert.

It was truly paradise.

For the first time since Connor has been born, I read a book (405 pages, to be exact) in 24 hours, and I rediscovered my love for devouring a book.  If only there were more time in my day back here at home.  :)

We were on the 23rd floor, where the view was nothing but powdery sand, the pier, and the water.

Friday, our first full day, was a bit overcast and windy, which made it too cold for swimsuits, but we still enjoyed walking along the beach for most of the morning.

Friday night we walked the shops at Pier Park for most of the afternoon and evening, where we had Five Guys for dinner, followed by snowballs and beignets from David's New Orleans Style Sno-Balls (Thanks, Scottie, for the recommendation!).

Saturday was sunny and warmer, and we were able to lounge in our swimsuits and read on the beach for much of the day.

my view at 10:30 a.m.

my view at 1:30 p.m.

Saturday night was my favorite meal of all.  We went to Dee's Hangout (Thanks, Urban Spoon.), which is known for its Cajun take on seafood.  Linds and I couldn't decide on just one dish, so we split both the shrimp etouffee and the crab cake appetizer, and I added a side of cheese grits, which I cannot resist.  Mom also had the shrimp etouffee, and Gran ordered a gigantic fried seafood platter.  The food was amazing, our waitress was kind, and it was a wonderful experience.

Of course, we couldn't head back to the condo without dessert, so Linds headed to Starbucks while I went to Marble Slab and came away with a brownie sundae which was decadent and delicious.

Sunday, though, was the best weather day of all, and because our flight didn't leave until nearly 6 p.m. we were able to spent all morning and much of the afternoon on the beach.

26 weeks pregnant

We arrived home at nearly 11 p.m. last night, but oddly enough, after only a few hours of sleep and then off to school this morning, I am feeling strangely rested.  I suppose it was all that good sleep, book reading, sun, and sand.  :)

I am so thankful to my mom and grandmother for planning and paying for so much of this trip so that Lindsay and I could tag along.  We made memories I will not forget, and I realized how much I enjoying spending time with each of them.

It also made me realize that I can enjoy time away from Jason and Connor, yet still be just as anxious and excited to see them as ever.  Connor's warm, early morning hugs this morning cemented that no matter where I am, that kid has my heart, and snuggling next to Jason last night (no offense, Linds) reminded me how blessed I am with such a wonderful husband who gave Connor a fun-filled daddy/son weekend while I was away, without one word of complaint aimed in my direction.  To the contrary, I instead receieved a sweet note with money inside as I left for the trip on Friday.

I am not under any delusions; I know how very blessed I am, and I am so thankful for all the reminders of that these last few days.  The time away was much needed, and yet provided me with joy in coming home as well.  I hope I am learning to be content wherever I am, because I am indeed rich in relationships and love, even though I do not cultivate them as much as I should.