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A Beautiful Exchange

Hello out there! Nice to be with you again in spirit as you read this post. My friends have been scolding me for not updating this enough for them. Everyone wants to see belly pictures and know how my little bean sprout turned adorable weed is doing... so, if you are one of those people, this is for you. :)

Can't believe how quickly July has come and gone. I am 30 weeks pregnant- approaching 7 months within the next week. We had an appt. with our OB last Wednesday. We finally met the lone male OB in the practice- Dr. Mills. Very nice... more humorous than the female OB's. Our next appointment will be with him again, and that will take place next Wednesday. Oh yeah... we're now into the 'we need to see you every two weeks' territory. A few weeks of that, and then it'll be every week! Baby time will be here before we know it, and way before I'm ready for it. I've been a busy little momma at home, trying to get things settled. We hung up a valance in Balian's room, and I also organized the clothing I have already purchased or received by size and folded it, and put it all away in his dresser. We still haven't bought a crib... but we are going to a huge kids consignment sale this Friday to look for a gently used crib in excellent condition, before we go out an drop a few hundred on a brand new one. Don't worry- I'll take the crib recall list with me...promise. So, the nursery is coming together- slowly, but surely. I called the pediatrician's office last week to check things out- turns out, we don't really need to do anything...our OB handles notifying the pediatrician and setting up our appointments. One last thing I have to do myself- I love that. We registered for Lamaze classes and are looking forward to starting those on August 10th... also just around the corner. My first baby shower is being furiously planned by my sister and mom. That will take place on August 14th. I'll have another shower to look forward to on Sept. 19th. Getting excited about baby stuff, for sure!

As for the health of Balian, he's doing wonderfully. His heart rate was 150, sounded amazing and strong. Dr. Mills said he was growing like a weed- and I managed to only gain 2 pounds in 3 weeks, which I was happy about. Dr. Mills said I am the poster child for a perfect pregnancy, so naturally, we were very glad to hear that. Had my glucose test done, and that came back just fine...which is awesome, b/c I don't really want to have to drink more gross 'fruit punch', wait 3 hours and have 5 more tubes of blood drawn. Oh...and NOT having gestational diabetes is also wonderful. My blood pressure remains in a good place- can't remember what the nurse said it was, but it's never high... thankfully. 

As for me and how I'm doing... I'm staying inside as much as possible. I'd been trying to get up early every morning to go walking, but I am now having trouble squishing my feet into my tennis shoes. I came back from a 30 minute walk one day last week with blisters on my heels- not nice. It's super hot- too hot to want to go anywhere. I am becoming more and more uncomfortable with each passing day, but that's to be expected. Trying to be good and drink more water to reduce swelling. I feel like a whale. I noticed (while sitting in church yesterday) that my ankles (which were there a couple of weeks ago) have disappeared. Having to visit the bathroom more and more in the middle of the night, again...and not sleeping well- partially due to fetal movement, and just not being able to find a comfortable position in which to lay. I've gotten a foot in the ribs a time or two- and yes, it's just as uncomfortable as everyone says, however, all I can think when that happens is 'that's my baby,' and feel so thankful that he's so active and healthy. Still dealing with back pain, but that's been going on all the while...so now it just seems normal. I can no longer paint my toenails by myself, and bending over to pick things up off of the floor is also becoming increasingly difficult. I love watching my belly move...I feel like I could sit there and watch him move around in there forever... it's so fascinating! Sacha has been reading stories to Balian at bedtime, and Balian usually responds to Sacha's voice by kicking me. Again, amazing. I'm still clumsy, keep forgetting where I've put things and other things I would never normally forget about- meeting dates, to do's, etc... but that's sort of how this pregnancy thing works, so I'm relinquishing control and just trying to go with the flow.

We enjoyed a nice visit with Richard (Sacha's dad) on Saturday afternoon/evening. We had nice conversation, went out for a lovely meal, and then came back to our house for dessert... brownie pudding! We visited some more, and played a who knows how long game of Phase 10- a favorite! Called it quits around 11 pm, and I crawled into bed while Sacha stayed up to talk with his dad a little while longer. Sunday was to be a very long day, and I needed some rest! :)

Worship and involvement is happening, as always. I will enjoy these next four Sundays, as I will be worship leader for Center Celebration. A group of us from St. John's had the wonderful opportunity to go to Spartanburg, SC for a night of worship with Hillsong Live last night. They're in the states on their Beautiful Exchange tour. Even though the cathedral was PACKED with 5,000 worshipers, and it was near 90 degrees in there (we sat in the balcony), we sang our hearts out while we sweated, and worshiped our great God on high for 2 1/2 hours with our favorite worship band from Australia. It was incredible. I have had two previous Hillsong worship experiences, but last night's event was all out, fall on your knees worship. I felt so connected to God, to my family (mom and dad were there, too), to my church, and to my baby as I cradled my belly, sang, worshiped and reached out to be filled by the Holy Spirit. I feel restored and so ready to worship with those in our local community, yet realize that there is so much to be done- God's work, our hands. The album 'A Beautiful Exchange' is such an appropriate title. Beautiful exchanges are happening all over the world- between us and God, between neighbors, between strangers, in our local communities and in communities we've never even set foot in. There's even a beautiful exchange happening between me and Balian... right within my physical body. God's grace and love truly are more than I will ever need. I hope you encounter a beautiful exchange in your life today.

A few pictures to satisfy the longing...

 Sacha- being cheeky.

Mom and dad... dinner before the Hillsong concert.

Mom, dad, and a most definitely pregnant me- waiting in line outside at the Hillsong concert.

The bump that keeps on growing...

More later. Xxxx...

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