Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Week 29!

We have arrived: Week 29!

After an absolutely wonderful Christmas, and for the first time - probably ever - I was not sad to see the holiday season go. Although we both think about the baby pretty much non-stop, Casey and I have been waiting until after the holidays to really begin preparing for her arrival.

Now that the holidays are behind us, it's full steam ahead on the baby front, and I couldn't be more thrilled!

We did have a lovely Christmas. We had the families over to celebrate on Christmas eve. I cooked (yes, I can still do that!) a spread that turned out quite yummy, if I do say so myself. Even if I kind of recycled the menu from our annual Christmas party... Whatever, I get to cheat a little this year.

Making the mashed potatoes... yummm!

Pretty Christmas table.

Auntie Kelsey showing off the beautiful new rocking chair we are so grateful for!

The fam!

We also forewent the tradition of gifts this year; between finishing the basement and preparing for Baby Girl, Casey and I figured we've been about as blessed as any two people can possibly be!

We didn't get any gifts, but Santa couldn't resist those cute doggie faces.

I think the dogs liked their presents!

I also had my glucose tolerance test this week... ick. I was extremely lucky, because Casey took the morning off to go with me to the doctor. When we arrived, we went directly to the laboratory to retrieve my absolutely fabulous, sugary drink. It was bright pink, and I'm pretty sure they inteded it to be some kind of fruit punch, although it tasted more like sugary pepto-bismol. Delish!

After I drank that, I had my doctors appointment, and everything still looks great. We have been upgraded to twice a month appointments since it's now 3rd trimester, but Mommy and Baby both look very healthy.

Then, it was back to the lab to actually have the blood drawn. Usually, I really hate this part because the techs have a difficult time finding my vein, so they often have to stick me three or four times before they can get anything. Fortunately, though, the tech was good and was able to get me on the first try - which was a huge relief. Casey was awesome, and held my hand and tried to distract me during the (fortunately quick) process. I know it's silly, but I hate having blood drawn! It was worth it, though, because both the glucose and iron tests came back in great shape.

All in all, so much to be grateful for this holiday season. Between the Nutcracker, the Parade of Lights, the Broncos and Avalanche games, the holiday parties and awesome visits with friends and family, not to mention finishing our basement, it has been a jam-packed holiday season. We feel blessed!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

To our Baby Girl,

Daddy and I have been reflecting today on the fact that it is our last Christmas as a little family of two. It is odd to see that phase of life come to an end, and yet so unbelievably joyful to know that next year, and from now on, we will be spending Christmas with you.

I can't wait to see the entire holiday season through your eyes! Although, by Christmas you will be quite the grown up young lady... Mommy has a hard time imagining that right now, as I do many things when it comes to you. Even though you occupy my every thought, and my love for you deepens by the day, you are still such a mystery to me.

A few things I am sure of: You already have an incredible impact on your parents' lives. Daddy and I are already better for having known you in the little way we do. You have given us the most miraculous gift purely by existing, and neither of us take for granted how very, very blessed we are.

We love you, we are excited to meet you, and can't wait to share all our holidays with you!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Welcome, third trimester!!!

Alright, so in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I missed the actual day of our entry into trimester 3, which was yesterday. But we are no less excited to be that much closer to meeting our daughter.

The second trimester was a wonderful whirlwind of milestones, and a joyous time for me physically and emotionally. Here are some of the highlights.

Before the second trimester, I didn't know:

...How truly fun and delightful pregnancy can be!

...How big my belly would get (I am sure I still have a way to go on that one).

...Whether we were waiting on a little boy or a little girl. That is still one of the most defining moments of my pregnancy.

...How, along with my joy and love for her, my anxiety over her safety would increase - not decrease - the further along in pregnancy we get.

...That the sweet movements - and even, more recently, the not-so-sweet ones - of our baby would become the absolute center of Daddy's and my world.

...The amazing amount of gratitude and love I could feel toward my husband. He has been the most generous, helpful, supportive, loving man through these past months. I wouldn't want to go through any of this without him!

...My own capacity to dream! I have never, ever been able to really remember my dreams, and frankly to my recollection, I don't really dream at all. Since starting the 2nd trimester, though, I have had some very vivid, strange and enchanting dreams!

...That this whole time of year - from fall to Christmas, which is usually my favorite time of year anyway - could be made even more beautiful by our daughter. I keep thinking about how next year will be all of her "firsts," and somehow, that doesn't really seem correct. In my heart it will be her second year to experience all of our holiday traditions - it's just that only Mommy and Daddy will really appreciate how significant that is!

Twelve weeks left, and I can't believe it. I hope that I will handle the next twelve weeks - including the big finale! - with strength, patience and joy, remembering always how very, very lucky we are to be blessed in this amazing way.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


It has been a tradition since 2004, but we forgot to capture it that year.

It was fun in 2005...

In 2006, we took a cruise and closed on our house one week later, so we skipped it that year. I think we were just a bit overwhelmed, and had a few other things on our minds.

But in 2007, we were able to return to it for our first Christmas in our new house!

(Part of the tradition is that Casey has to make a really obnoxious/lude cookie every year)

Thanks to some new cookie cutters, 2008's turned out better than ever!

And I wasn't disappointed in this year's batch:

...Even if it was a bit more challenging to reach the mixing bowl this year!

Cookie production line

Happy bakers...

My personal favorites from this year's cookies:

I like the first based on the sheer cuteness factor. I like the latter because it looks quite similar to me these days!

Wishing you a delicious holiday season!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

27 Weeks

We have arrived at week 27, just shy of beginning the third trimester. Although I am so excited (SOOO! excited), it is also a curious experience.
My brain understands that we are having a baby in about three months, and yet it is still extremely difficult to imagine what life will be like once she's here. My brain understands that she still has a LOT of growing to do, and yet when I look at my belly or in the mirror, it is impossible to imagine how that is actually going to be accomplished. I feel so big already!

I know the biology of it, but somehow, knowing what is coming doesn't help me to figure out just how it's going to work. It is a very odd feeling!

And so I am trying to relax, and take it all in a day at a time and savor every bit of it, including the difficult parts. When I do start to feel anxious or worried, I am usually saved when Baby Girl does something amazing, like hiccup (yes, this is vastly amazing in my world!).

A few days ago, Casey and I were able to feel the outline of her little baby body and where she was positioned in my belly. That was really cool! We're still stymied on which end was up (we could mostly feel the curve of her back, and what we think was a rear end), but it was neat to have such access to her.

We're definitely getting excited, and with that excitement comes a great many new emotions as we truly get ourselves prepared to meet our little one.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Key Ingredients to a Wonderful Holiday Weekend:

1. Double date with two wonderful friends. Go to dinner and to The Nutcracker, and enjoy the beautiful lights of Downtown Denver.

2. Host an awesome annual Christmas party, surrounded by some of the most wonderful friends in the world. Bonus: sing Karaoke Christmas in the newly-finished basement! (Yes, we actually did this, and no, somehow it was not my idea!)

3. Relax after a VERY, wonderfully busy weekend while watching the Broncos game. (Even better if they win... even though they're up against the undefeted Colts.)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Doctor, doctor!

Another trip to the doctor, another (thankfully and joyously!) great report!

Highlights of the trip include:

* Baby is measuring closer to week 27, even though I'm not quite yet at week 26. I hope that's not indicative of anything! Casey was a 9 pound baby... I'm just saying...

*I have somehow managed to gain just the right amount of weight, even though I feel MASSIVELY huge.

*The infection I somehow contracted in my nailbed - which I had to go to the doctor and get antibiotics for - is not a big deal. Evidently, self-healing is not one of my super powers!

*Baby's heartbeat is very strong, and she looks "perfect." I think she is perfect, but I'm biased!

*Glucose test in two weeks, which I am not particularly looking forward to. Casey wasn't able to go with me to this appointment, but I will definitely make him come to that one as it involves needles and having blood drawn. Yuck!

I continue to be humbled, amazed and grateful for each milestone we overcome. I'm so proud of our baby girl as she grows! It is such an incredible process, and one I am so thrilled to be a part of. I can't help but marvel at my once-little belly - now getting bigger literally every day. It is amazing how much you can love someone you've never even met!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Parade in the City

Item number two on our holiday-tradition checklist:
The Parade of Lights!

I adore this tradition! Casey and I always have fun getting bundled up, having a wonderful dinner date downtown, stopping for a little starbucks to keep us warm and watching the balloons, floats and marching bands stream down the streets of Denver. We cap off our evening with Cheesecake and coffee... well, the tradition is coffee, but this year we subbed hot coccoa since Baby and I had already had enough coffee for the day.
Parade of lights 2008
Either way, it was an evening of delicious food and cheerfully festive fun - despite the very chilly temperatures.

It was kind of amazing, too, to know that this is the very last time we will be attending this holiday tradition as just a family of two. That really struck me last night. Next year, getting to the parade won't be quite as easy or effortless; we'll have quite the entourage of stuff! Not to mention, a cute little Christmas baby who will get to enjoy the parade for her very first time.

Well... I like to think almost her very first time. Baby Girl did wonderfully during the parade. I thought that all the noise might make her squirm, the way it did at the Avalanche game. But she was very quiet, despite the loud floats, crowds and banging drums of the marching band. I think she was even sleeping during most of the parade! I suppose - having me as a mother - she has had to grow accustomed to loud noises!

The only bummer of the night was that we forgot the battery for the camera. Fortunately, we bought a little disposable so we will have some pictures of the special day, but we actually have to develop the film. How strange to think that, for most of my life, that was a very normal process! It seems like such an outdated way to do things!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A weekend of thanks

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a wonderful, joyous Thanksgiving weekend. It started with our annual tradition of Turducken (that's a chicken inside of a duck inside of a turkey, for those of you not in the know!) hosted by one of our dear friends. Every year, it is so much fun to get together with all of our friends and (over)eat yummy food!

Getting hungry and very ready to eat!

Smile, Casey and Jessica!

Awww, Casey looks so pretty!

Getting VERY big from the side!

The next day was Thanksgiving, and we spent a fantastic day together. My mom came over for breakfast, and to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade as well as the dog show. As an added bonus, we also got to show off the basement - or, at least, how awesomely the basement it is coming along.

We spent Thanksgiving dinner with Casey's parents and an assortment of their friends, which was really nice and delicious.

My favorite part of the day was coming home to decorate the Christmas tree, another of our traditions. I love the magic of taking ornaments out of the box and remembering the special story behind each one.

Setting up the tree.

Getting closer!

I always love our Christmas tree!

The first Christmas Casey and I spent truly together was in 2004, just a few days shy of our 2 year anniversary. To celebrate our first Christmas, I bought a little ornament with two snowmen that reads "Christmas Together 2004." Not only did the tradition of buying an ornament every year stick, but fast forward five years, and we are married and expecting! My favorite ornament this year is this one (which, of course, we bought at BabiesRUs!):

By midnight on Thanksgiving, I was about done!

We capped off the weekend by going to an Avalanche game. It was awesome, even though we lost the game. I choose to think that Baby Girl loved all the noise and excitement; when we first got there, she was moving all around and in about five different directions! About halfway through the game, though, she fell asleep, completely oblivious to the commotion that was going on around her. I certainly hope that's a characteristic that will stay with her!

And, yes... I am aware that I wore the same sweater to every event this weekend. Other than that, though, we have so much to be thankful for! Casey and I are extremely grateful for the many blessings we have had this year. Chief among them, our amazing friends and family, and of course, that special little lady who is already enriching our lives, and who we can't wait to meet!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Doggie Days

I have been wondering a great deal about how our dogs will respond to having a baby in the house.

Brody is absolutely a sweetheart, and I have no doubt will be a wonderful, loyal playmate as Baby Girl gets older. He loves kids, and his biggest fault is that he wants to follow them around and lick them non-stop.

He may be a little rough for her when she's tiny, but I also think that he has a pretty innate sense of how to respond in most situations, so he may intrinsically know to be gentle with a baby... and then again, maybe not. He is kind of a brute; a gentle giant, to be sure, but still. We'll have to wait and see. But generally speaking, I don't worry about him too much!

Eva, however, is another story.

She is quite the little lady of the house. And by lady, I mean spoiled rotten princess. For example, since she's so little, she is the only dog allowed on the furniture. And she doesn't just like to sleep on the couch. She likes to sleep atop the tallest pile of pillows or the thickest blanket possible....

Eva was my very first baby... the first living thing I ever truly took care of besides myself. She's quite attached to me, and she doesn't willingly share her time.

Little puppy Eva on the first day I brought her home!

Puppy after her first haircut. So tired!

Okay, so she's kind of a spoiled brat. The epitome of cuteness, but she definitely knows it and uses it to her advantage. She doesn't like anyone getting more attention than her, so that could be a very awkward transition!

I changed my font at