Monday, July 26, 2010

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 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...

Friday, July 9, 2010

4th Fun and Summer Loveliness...

Well, another holiday has come and gone- summer is almost seeming to do the same. Can't say that it would upset me if it went by a little faster. It's hot, hot, hot here in North Carolina...and just about everywhere else. You can imagine my daily dealings with discomfort! I'm trying to stay cool and doing my best to stay inside now that I have caught the cold that has been going around from family member to family member for the past 3-4 weeks! Being pregnant in this heat ain't fun- and neither is having a bad cold on top of it! I tried so hard to avoid having to take any OTC medicines, but finally broke down yesterday and called my OB, asking what was safe to take. Sudafed to the rescue! Now, if only it would begin to work! 

We had a nice 4th of July weekend. Last Friday, we packed a picnic and headed to Village Park in Kannapolis for a free concert put on by the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. They played lot's of fun, patriotic tunes that were very enjoyable to listen to. After the concert, there was a fireworks display, which was also enjoyable. We laid low on Saturday, as Sacha was still trying to get over the crud he's had for two weeks, now. Sunday was a big to-do at church. After the early service, we had an awesome traditional service. Sacha played in a brass trio, which was really wonderful. That afternoon, we spent time at mom and dad's house...with Gram and Molly, too. We grilled burgers and such and played a three hour game of Phase 10. 

I've been feeling mostly cruddy this week. Gram and Molly came to spend the night at our house on Tuesday, and we had a nice visit...and some delicious food! Gram and I tried to sit out on the porch and enjoy it before it got too hot outside on Wednesday morning. Sacha and I have been trying to take care of baby details this week- registering for Lamaze classes, hospital tour, etc. I'll get to go for my sugar test next week... big yay. Baby Witt is still kicking and moving around like crazy- he did the wave in my belly earlier on this week, which was really cool and weird at the same time. Sacha signed up to take a four day class next week to get his teaching certificate for NC schools- this way, he'll be able to sub if he wants/needs to.

That's really all the news there is to share for now. I'll update again soon. Here are a few pictures for your enjoyment...

Me (and baby) and Rachel at the park on July 2nd

Butterfly enjoying the lantana on our front porch

Front of the house- to the side

Front of the house...

We didn't exactly intend for this bed to be almost entirely yellow...but we like it, anyway!

Bed on the other side of the front walk... with more color and more of a grass problem!

More yellow! Black Eyed Susan...

Happy to see Mr. Bumble pollinating away...

Missy Molly at our house- happy as can be!

Front room of the house (Dining room)

What you see dead ahead when you walk in our front door.

More later, friends and fam! Hope everyone has a great weekend!


Thursday, July 1, 2010

My, How Time Flies...

I always say to myself that I'm going to be better about this blogging thing. I used to be so good about writing in a journal- but I guess life happens, you get busy and try to get everyone caught up when you have the time. This will be my sad attempt to do just that.

 Butterfly in the side yard the other day.

Obviously, we have been living in Salisbury since the middle of May. We had a lot of help from friends and fam getting back down here and into the new (old) house. We love the house. We're living in a neighborhood we love and are very pleased to have two bathrooms, two bedrooms, a much roomier kitchen and a mostly proper dining area. Our family room is pretty scrunched together, but that's of our own doing...we're using the front room of the house as our dining room, and what should be the dining room as the family room. We haven't done much of any decorating in the baby's room yet. Sacha will soon be in the process of converting an old dresser into a changing table, so once we have that ready and have the crib in place, we can do lot's more. We're not painting any of the rooms in the house- thankfully, all of the rooms are painted colors we can live with. The baby's room is a very soft sage green, so we're just going to keep that color scheme going in there. If our little guy is anything like his mommy and daddy, he'll be fond of green, anyway. 

We've been doing a lot of gardening! Sacha built a raised veggie bed in the back yard, in which we have planted tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, okra, eggplant, basil, rosemary and red and green peppers. Everything has really taken off back there and we are looking forward to fresh produce in the coming weeks. We extended a bed around the back of the house and planted lot's of sun-loving flowers back there: verbena, petunias, marigolds and a variety of other things! It looks so cheerful out there! In the front of the house, we tried our best to transform where two off centered rows of hedges lined the front porch on either side of the front walk. Sacha did not enjoy digging those beds out by hand, but together, we are enjoying the beautiful colors of the blossoms from the many flowers we have planted out there: marigolds, vinca, lantana, phlox, petunias, celosia and black eyed susans. The days have mostly been too darn hot to sit outside and enjoy our lovely front porch, but these evenings have been much cooler in the past couple of days! It is so lovely to sit out on the porch in the early morning with a cup of coffee. I know what I'll be doing tomorrow!

Aside from getting settled into the new house, we've been re-adjusting to life in Salisbury. It didn't take long for us to jump right back into ministry programs at St. John's. We are both singing with the Center Celebration Musicians group (the worship team for our contemporary service), once again. I have already enjoyed two Sundays of worship leading at Center Celebration, and am looking forward to at least four more Sundays of worship leading in August. I am serving on the Center Celebration TEAM again, have volunteered to be the Co-Coordinator of Center Celebration, am scheduling the worship leaders, am heading up the Center Celebration Web Team, and as always, lend a hand to my dad in helping to plan our worship music sets. Sacha is also very musically involved at our 11:00 (traditional) service- singing with the Chancel Choir, Cantio Sacra, and will be playing with a brass trio this Sunday (4th of July) in worship. He is busy arranging their instrumental parts as I type this. Sacha has signed on with the Piedmont School of Music and Dance in Kannapolis (also their Charlotte location) as an instructor. He is awaiting students. He is also seeking private students in Salisbury. Sach received his diploma from UMD earlier this week, which was very exciting! We're all super proud of all that he has accomplished! I am still enjoying my cute little business with Celebrating Home, which I am trying to re-establish here in Salisbury. I have also enjoyed singing for a couple of different things since we've made our move back to Salisbury- the highlight being invited to sing for opening worship at this year's NC Lutheran Synod Assembly at Lenoir-Rhyne University. Dad and I wrote a song together called 'Your Work, Our Hands,' which we debuted at assembly.

Onto baby news (finally!)... We have had three doctors visits since we moved home. The first was back in May to find out the sex of the baby, which as I'm sure you already know is a boy. At that ultrasound, the doctor noticed that the placenta was positioned very low, and that we'd need to check it in a few weeks to see if it had moved. At our second visit, we met another doctor in the practice and were given all of the info we need to pre-register at the hospital and sign up for birthing classes. :) We had yet another appointment just yesterday for another ultrasound, and the doctor was very happy to report that the placenta has moved way up and out of the way, and there is no cause for concern. YAY! Baby boy Witt weighs 1.8 pounds...and I weigh about 6 million. Blood pressure and weight remain to be deemed very good. In another week or so, it'll be time for my glucose test, and in three weeks, it's back to the doctor for another check up. The baby is moving around quite a lot, which we are glad for and mostly amused with. I have had no sicknesses or weird cravings (just in case you were wondering), and am trying to deal with this awful and constant back pain as best I can. The heat is gross- and yes, my hands, feet and even some days my face are all swelling. I took my rings off a couple of weeks ago and wear them around my neck, most days. 

We are anticipating a jam-packed July- full of fun and family. Tomorrow evening, we'll be enjoying a free concert in the park w/a fireworks show. The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra will be playing patriotic tunes, so we're taking a picnic basket and planning on spending a lovely evening out of the house (while we still can). As fanatic as we are about the Twilight Saga, we have not yet seen ECLIPSE...planned on seeing it today, but Sacha needed to spend that time arranging music for Sunday. So, we shall see it in the next few days, I'm sure.

That is all that I can think of to share at the present. I'll post a few photos and be done with it so you can get back to your lives, and I to mine.

Our new residence at 1418 Crosby Street

Veggie garden in the back yard

Yay for fresh veggies!

26 weeks pregnant...

Sacha being...well, Sacha. :)

 Baby Balian (just in case you missed it!) So in love with our little guy already!

That's all for now, folks. Until next time...