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The last days before baby.

October 8th, the due date of Baby Bucky, as we are affectionately calling this kid until we know more, has pretty much come and gone.  The nursery is ready for an occupant.  We are as ready as we can be to meet this little person.  Our families are anxiously awaiting.  I feel like we are in stage that seems so typical and cliché.  Just waiting on a baby, happily.  I don’t mind it he/she stays put for a few more days.

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Throughout this experience, I have made some observations and acquired some favorites to share with others who are headed down this path.  I thought I would share them here, and a few pictures of the nursery, which is really a room for my delight more than anyone else’s.

First, Le Tote.  This is a clothes rental service in which you pay a monthly fee ($70) and they will send you 5 things at a time (two are always accessories).  While they have a “normal people” track and a maternity track, I think this is mostly beneficial for maternity clothes that one only needs for a short time.  You can wear each once, 5 times, whatever, and return dirty.  Then they will send you your next batch.  I subscribed to this for my last two months of pregnancy, rather than sitting in my closet each day having a tantrum.  I have averaged about 4 “totes” a month—I wear each item about once, throw each item in the return envelope dirty, and at the end of the week return, only to acquire the next one by about Monday of the following week.  It has made dressing for work so much easier.  I highly recommend it.  If you want to try it, let me know and I will send you a “free tote” online.

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Also, safflower oil.  In the spring, Mom, Megan and I went to Santa Fe for a quick trip.  It was glorious, especially the few hours we spent at Ten Thousand Waves Spa.  The spa used safflower oil as massage oil and it doesn’t smell at all.  I have been particularly sensitive to smells during pregnancy (and most of life) and I have used this each morning as moisturizer to avoid stretch marks.  It has worked so far.  Scott says stretch marks will come when I “shrink,” so I will report back then.  I love that guy.

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Babylist is another favorite.  This is a registry site that allows you to curate your registry from all corners of the web-world.  I registered for things on etsy, Nordstrom, Anthro, etc., and I think it made the registry process much more fun!  Of course most still love to buy from Amazon (me too) but branching out a little has been really nice.  

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I have observed just how different it is for each person to be pregnant.  I actually really enjoyed it.  I have felt pretty good.  I don’t have to wash my hair as much.  People tend to be pretty nice.  I have less guilt about ice cream.  I can unapologetically eat in every single meeting I have during the day.  I had to replace two tires and they just gave them to me for free earlier this week.  I think I looked a little too large and crazy.  The tire dudes were a little freaked out.  I have had reason to celebrate with friends, and be with my family more.  Scott has checked so many house projects off our list.  There is sort of something natural to talk about with people.  There is excitement in the air.  It has been fun!  (And weird!  But mostly fun!)  But I know that is not the case for everyone, and I am really sympathetic to that.  It is different for everyone.  And that is really okay.

Mostly, through this whole experience, I am grateful.  Grateful for the experience.  Grateful for friends who have celebrated this baby.  Grateful for family who is excited.  Grateful for the prayers of our big world to pray us into parenthood.  Grateful for a husband who is steadfast and kind.  Grateful to God who is always good. 

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God’s faithfulness.

Thirty-eight months after beginning our “maybe we should try for kids” journey, we finally heard the news I truly never thought we would hear. A positive pregnancy test. And more than anything, I am struck by God’s faithfulness in all 38 months. He is constant. He doesn’t change. And that faithfulness was and is enduring.

I have shared our struggle on this blog, here and here. We left off with a few questions to the world. Inquiring about international adoption. Inquiring about fostering. Inquiring about knowledge of a young girl seeking to find a forever family for her child, perhaps without using an agency.

Many graciously reached out with their own experiences. Those that shared, provided insight that helped Scott and me guide our next steps. I heard from high school friends. Long lost friends. Friends of friends. I am grateful for each contact. They made a significant difference. We did not know what we were looking for, other than something that felt like the right thing. We were looking for God’s guidance through his people.

A few of my observations from the experience:

The calling of a foster parent is no joke. My respect, admiration, and love for those super heroes runs deep. But that calling is not ours.

International adoption takes years. And lots of trips elsewhere. And well, there were a lot of reasons why it did not feel right to us. But my goodness, the steadfastness of those waiting for children overseas is inspiring! But it is not for us.

I won’t talk on the blog about all the ins-and-outs of how we got to where we are, other than to say that God was creative and good to us to reveal an avenue to carry a child, thus having a much needed gestational period for a much needed opportunity to get used to the idea of a child coming into the mix. If God made a gestational period for anyone, he made it for us. And I am grateful.

So here we are. Fifteen weeks pregnant, scared to death about caring for a little human, with gratitude coming out our ears. We utilized the help of Texas Fertility Center and just had to do one round of IVF. This one round opened my eyes to those who suffer multiple unsuccessful rounds. All the shots, the prohibitions, exams, blood work, and appointments could be endured because of our end result. It just seems like salt in the wound when a baby doesn’t reward all that junk. God bless each one who has endured that heartache.

October 8 is our due date. That gives us plenty of time to wrap our brains around all this and avoid mosquitoes with a vengeance.

Thank you to each one of you who has diligently prayed for us, encouraged us, and loved on us in the valleys of these 38 long months. We have felt prayers from all corners of our world. Thank you for lifting our names to God even when we really didn’t know what to pray. Keep it up because I think we will need all those prayers and encouragement as we make this transition to parenthood.

Just a few things.

I am almost ready to show “after” pictures of our master bathroom.  We need to add a few cabinet pulls and we still need to remove some paint tape.  Maybe next week?

In the meantime, I wanted to share just a few random things….

I recently read about Harper Lee’s new book and it made me want to reread To Kill A Mockingbird.  I read it in school but couldn’t remember the exact story.  I am loving it.

My favorite moisturizer of the moment.  I keep it in my bathroom with this.

The best waterproof sunscreen.

This is on Scott’s short list of places he wants to visit this summer.  Who knew Waco could be such a destination?

I read about this shirt on a blog and bought one.  It lives up to my high expectations.  I want it in every color.

I have never taken a good fireworks photo.  Maybe now I can?

We love the movie Chef, and the Chef Pasta (with a few modifications: reserve some pasta water to add to the mix, cut the pepper a bit, and DON’T let the garlic burn).  The movie makes me hungry!

 

 

 

Cenotes, rain and shopping in Playa del Carmen.

A tropical storm hit the Texas coast early this week and I am pretty sure it was organized over Playa del Carmen while we were there. Bummer. We left Holbox on a sunny day, made the ferry ride back to Chilquila and then had a very easy drive to Playa del Carmen. As we drove into Playa, the rains came. And while there were periods of sun during our visit, the ocean remained angry and the beach stayed blustery.  We never put our toe in the ocean.

My overall impression of Playa was mixed. It is a charming town. Lots of streets to explore and great people watching. But it is quite a tourism mecca, and as such, I found it hard to really dig to find the authenticity. Our favorite discovery were the cenotes.

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Our friend, Rosie, who grew up going to Playa from her hometown of Cancun, told me that her favorite cenote was Cenote Azul. It is open air—basically a swimming hole with cliffs bordering one side. Cool, refreshing water. Many Mexican families were there but we seemed to be the only English speakers. Perfect.   Continue reading