Welcome back. I guess I’m welcoming myself back. I have been reading Bread and Wine, Shauna Niequist’s latest masterpiece, and loving it. The book released today. If you didn’t preorder, go buy it! You won’t regret it.

As usual, her writing and stories are raw, vulnerable, and honestly written. It’s easy to feel like you’re in her supper club with Shauna and her friends laughing together, cradling babies, and spreading goat cheese and pesto on a fresh baguette. The recipes are simply written with stories surrounding how they came about. They are easy to follow and delicious.

My husband and I don’t live near any family but we’ve been abundantly blessed with a Waco family. Our lifegroup is so dear to us. For Easter and many holidays, we gather with our friends for a meal. They are some of my favorite holidays and meals. This year for Easter, we gathered with 3 other couples, the Collins, Stephens, and Rodgers for dinner. Erin made her grilled chicken marinated in soy sauce and Italian dressing as well as tomato slices with mozzarella and basil drizzled with olive oil to start. Bethany made veggie kabobs and Sarah brought drinks and paper ware for easy cleanup. My contributions were Mini Mac n Cheese and Gaia Cookies.

The Gaia Cookies were my personal favorite. All the mix-ins made them out of this world. The suggestion to pop the dough balls in the fridge before baking kept them from spreading out, a trick I will now try with every cookie I bake. They were perfectly chewy with a yummy blend of flavors from the coconut, nuts, dates, chocolate chips, and granola. The boys even gobbled them up and every female asked for the recipe!




The Mini Mac n Cheese cups were creamy and cheesy with a tangy bite from the Dijon mustard. Not one was left and one of the husbands raved over them, insisting I make them every time we get together. A definite crowd pleaser!




Now, go buy Bread and Wine…then get to reading, drooling over recipes, laughing and tearing up over stories, cooking, and baking!! Enjoy!

Christmas card pic 2011

I am again thinking it’s been so long, I don’t even know where to start.  This time of year is busy busy, Camden naps less and less, and I have more and more to do!  We are doing really well…still learning lots and loving every minute God gives us with our sweet boy.  He is changing way too quickly.  Here are some Camden highlights at 4 months (19 weeks…some of these things he’s been doing for quite a while though):

first Baylor game @ 9 weeks...thank you, Bledsoes for the amazing seats that make games fun with a baby instead of bearable! =)

tells you just what he wants-try to play with him when tired, he’ll yell until I turn on sound machine/give paci/rock, then is instantly quiet (same with feeding, etc.), mimics dad blowing bubbles w/lips, laughs when dad sticks out tongue at him and does it back, cracks up at himself/us in the mirror, stands so proud and laughs in mirror when nakey before bathtime (it’s hilarious!), scratches his little fingers on me/material (blanket/bumper), Elise babysatt when we went to Baylor/UT game and though he’s recognized us for a while, he was whimpering as we came in the door and immediately started smiling and talking when he saw us (we melted), curled tongue when bottle taken away/screams for burp breaks, loves standing-no more spaghetti legs, barely needs help sitting up/standing, kicks legs/gasps in excitment, puts his knees up during tummy time and can push off my hands, tastes everything/chews on my shoulder, concentrates so hard and then can grab object you hold out with both hands and immediately brings in to mouth, doesn’t like being on floor in bouncer/nap nanny anymore when we eat din but is instantly happy when up high with us-super social, never wants to miss out, was awake for 4 hours one day bc naptime fell during church nursery time and he loved watching the babies walk/crawl around, etc. (SO social), loves to hear himself talk-loudly, needs alone time-he gets cranky so we put him in the swing thinking he needs a nap…nope, just hangs out in there a while!

love from Uncle...Kent kept saying, "Nice baby you have!"

It’s insane how much I love him.  I miss him when he takes a long nap.  I ache when he’s inconsolable.  He keeps me praying as I’m well aware of how inadequate I am without God’s help.  He has taught me the art of self-sacrifice.  We can’t go anywhere without people starring/smiling and mentioning to me or to one another how cute he is. (I am so guilty of this when I see cute babies too.)  It seems impossible for anyone to talk about him without mentioning his hair.  It used to be just how awesome/long/how much he has.  Now, it’s all turning white blonde at the roots so the crazy colors are adding a whole new dynamic to the hair conversation! ;-) Our friends and family adore him.  It’s really a good thing he has no idea how loved/handsome/precious/delightful he is and how happy he makes people or he would have a really big head!

seeing mom's besties @ 11weeks-meeting Morg and Liz for 1st time

Okay okay, I’ll attempt to talk about somethinig other than my little angel baby boy.  Harris Creek continues to grow and thrive.  It’s such an inexplicable feeling to get to watch my husband, our pastor, live life with such integrity, wisdom, and honor, and then hear God speak straight through him each week in so many ways.  I’m so thankful God keeps bringing new people to Harris Creek, as He knows they are getting to hear life-changing truth. 

Nana love and sweet cousin Matthew sharing trains

I am about to start working again.  I have been so blessed to stay home with Camden these first 4 months of his life (will be 5 months by the time I go back).  Brady works so incredibly hard and has been so gracious to give me this opportunity but I am also constantly surprised at how thankful he is that I am staying home.  I wouldn’t trade these months for anything.  From January-March, I’ll be teaching Mother’s Day Out at the church while a friend is on maternity leave.  C was going to start going to MDO himself anyway, so while he’s in the baby room, I’ll be an assistant teacher in the 3 year old room.  I’ll also start teaching Pilates and Barre classes at a workout club here in Waco in Feb/March-just 2 classes (1 of each) weekly.  Both of these opportunities basically fell in my lap as I was praying about what to do and I am so very excited, especially ab the exercise teaching as it’s only a couple hours a week, they have free childcare, the pay is adequate, and I’m finally get to dance again (kindof).

big boy in exersaucer at HC nursery

HC Trunk or Treat with Janny-he loved her painted face

I took Camden to Houston when he was about 10 weeks old so he finally got to meet his Uncle Matthew, Aunt Lauae, and cousins Kent and Matthew.  We went to Dallas a couple weeks ago where Camden finally got to meet his Aunt Amanda, Uncle Patrick, and cousins Annie and Bryn.  Janet and John came to visit before and after Thanksgiving, and we spent Thanksgiving in San Antonio at the Hill Country Hyatt (as we did 2 years ago) with my family, which was so much fun!  Most typically, our days are spent at home attempting to keep a good feeding/napping schedule.  We run errands when we can and often have C out past his bedtime for church/friend activities that aren’t worth getting a babysitter for.  He looooves being out with everyone but sometimes gets overstimulated and then fusses in the car on the way home and has trouble getting to sleep.  Brady is preaching 2 Christmas Eve services at HC, we’ll spend Christmas day here with our little family of 3 (or 5…sorry Amos and Zoey), and then fly to Vail the 26th to be with Brady’s whole family, which will be so nice as it has been quite a while since we’ve been up there!  Feel free to pray for our flight with an almost-5-month-old…although I’m probably more nervous about the packing than the flight! = /

Camden will be dedicated to the Lord this Sunday at church, which will be really special.  We pray that God gives us the wisdom to raise him as the child of God that he is and that he will come to know and love Jesus by his own choice in due time.  I proclaim that he is God’s daily to remind myself that the Lord gave Him and only He can meet all His needs, though I am so thankful He chose us to be Camden’s parents and the most important vessels in raising him to become a follower of Christ.  That will be a glorious day!  Thank God for this crazy beautiful life!

Okay, I must get this done before he wakes up from his morning nap.  Here are some weekly pics from where I left off…

9 weeks-first upright stroller walk (in Houston)

10 weeks-such a happy baby!

11 weeks-loves standing, is happiest in the mornings...bulldog jammies! =)


12 weeks-tummy time


13 weeks-his first cold was so sad

14 weeks-looking so handsome in my church clothes

15 weeks-love the bumbo, last time to wear biker outfit...hair recovering from being parted the wrong way

16 weeks-meeting Santa before Thanksgiving lunch at HCH

17 weeks-my closet is a glorious play place

18 weeks-not loving the mom/dad mistletoe kiss

I talk too much when I blog.  This has become like a journal/baby book, as I just don’t want to forget anything-the little or big things.  That’s probably why I don’t get around to blogging very often, as I take too long.  So I’ll try to make this short and simple and give you what you really want…PICTURES! =)  There are few things sweeter than watching people I love, love on my boy.  He gets passed around during lifegroup, gooooood over by family and friends, and begged to be babysatt.  Thank you for loving Camden and for loving us.  We feel God’s love through you all and are so thankful.

My new normal consists of…

sleeping in 2-2.5 hour segments (but hey, that’s progress from 1-1.5), opening doors with my feet, folding clothes/making coffee/feeding dogs/sending emails-with one hand, turning into a blubbering idiot at least once daily just to see the cutest gummy smile I’ve ever seen in my life, getting peed on, talking to/praying with/singing to a wee one who doesn’t respond, feeling accomplished simply by making it out of the house by noon, constant swaying/rocking/bouncing, doing squats, learning, reading books/watching videos about baby sleep, googling baby nursing schedules, nursing, changing diapers, and nursing and changing diapers some more.

Camden has already taught me…

the height and depth of God’s love for me/him/you-is greater than I even imagined, to respect my body-it works in miraculous ways and who cares if pregnancy gave me love handles, selflessness-no matter what, it can wait, how to pray-ultimately he is God’s not mine,  the meaning of compassion and empathy-crying means I hurt worse than he does, that boys are really special, how to be still and silent, and the urgency of becoming the woman of God I am called me to be.

My favorite things…

quiet snuggling, pouty lip, batting at pup siblings, loud coos, yelling then off switch, noodle legs when standing, trying to eat hands during tummy time, expressions while sleeping, hands covering face, grunting-especially during diaper changes, the ‘stop sign’ hand, wrinkly forehead and raised eyebrows-so alert, looking at trees/blinds, vigorous paci sucking, talking during massage, splashing like crazy during bathtime, knuckle dimples, the post-eating arch/stretch, the talk/yell, and settling when need is met.

Weekly Photo Debut


1 Week

2 Weeks

3 Weeks

4 Weeks

5 Weeks

6 Weeks

7 Weeks

8 Weeks

August 19th…

Wow, can you say lack of spare time?!  Everyone says to sleep when baby sleeps during the day to catch up on what you lack at night…but when he sleeps, all I can think of are all the things I need to do, do, do…and my mother in law is still in town.  How am I going to do it all when I have no help?  And how do people go back to work after having a newborn?  No comprende!!  Although I suppose they get 6 weeks off and hopefully by then, this sweet boy will sleep longer than 2 hour stretches at night. 

Well, Wednesday August 3rd 2011, Brady and I headed to the hospital.  I was scheduled to be induced at 8:00am, just 1 day before my due date.  There were no complications, but the doctor felt this was completely safe and reasonable since my body was already progressing and if he didn’t come on his own, we’d be inducing the following week anyway, who knows which day would be open, and my mom had a flight to Pennsylvania scheduled for the 11th.  Plus, I’d heard so many horror stories of babies coming late, being huge, and causing all sorts of complications for mom.  So why not have a baby during the hottest week of the year?

Okay so back to Wednesday morning…I didn’t sleep a ton the night before, but God gave me good peace, so I wasn’t as nervous as I’d been in the previous weeks.  I was thrilled to get to shower, shave, dry my hair, etc. that morning.  I can’t imagine heading to the hospital with greasy hair or feeling frumpy, knowing what I’d be about to endure.  I ate oatmeal with almonds and cranberries for breakfast while reading over Psalm 86 and praying for the day, specifically for a great, encouraging nurse, among other things.  We arrived at 8am with lots of bags and lo and behold, Brady saw a sign saying something about no bags, or limiting them.  HA.  We walked to the desk and when asked, “How can I help you?”  We responded, “Um, we’re here to have a baby…”  We filled out some paperwork, then were escourted to a delivery room.  We met our L&D nurse, Amanda, I changed into my gown, and by 9am, I had gotten my IV, was receiving Petocin, and started having contractions.  I was also getting pumped full of fluids so I look a bit swollen…since I was.

I think I labored for about 3.5 hours before asking for the epidural.  I wanted to feel contractions and know it would be pain I couldn’t handle before actually being pain free.  At first, they were about 5 minutes apart and not even painful.  Then they shrunk to 3-4mins apart and were painful, but totally bearable.  When they got to 2 minutes apart, lasting 30 seconds each, and were super painful, I was having to breathe through them/distract myself and once I endured that phase for almost an hour, I was ready for the drugs.  Sweet Jordan had been in the room off and on (and her husband Taylor), as well as Jim (one of our elders and a close friend of Brady’s) and Jason (another HC member and the CFO of the hospital).  I never would have anticipated being in a hospital gown in labor and casually having friends come in and out, but it was great.  Getting the IV and epidural weren’t bad at all…not to brag, but I’ve always had a pretty high pain tolerance and the nurse and anesthesiologist said some women scream and cry over getting the IV/epidural.  I didn’t like the way the epidural made me feel nothing.  The numbness in my legs felt awful and I hated not being able to roll myself from side to side when the nurse asked me to.  When Dr. R checked me initially, I was 3cm, at about 2pm, 6cm, then about 4pm, Amanda said I bet you’ll be 8 or 9cm…but I was still at 6.  I was getting nervous because her shift ended at 7pm…she was the most incredible, sweet, encouraging nurse (just what I prayed for), and I really wasn’t keen on the thought of getting a new one, especially for the pushing phase.  About an hour later, I was 9cm, so I started pushing with Amanda and Brady’s coaching about 5 or 5:15, I think.  This is all a bit fuzzy bc of the drugs/adrenaline.  I had to be on oxygen because here and there, baby’s heartbeat would drop, but everyone else seemed calm, so I stayed calm.  Amanda labored with me for about 30-45mins, when Dr. R. came in had me show him one push, then casually said he’d go change clothes and we’d have our baby soon.  By this time, there was a little crowd outside the door…my mom, Bledsoes, Underwoods, Teresa, Jennifer M. ..and Brady was furiously texting updates to our close friends and family.

September 4th…

Okay, I’ll try to finally finish this birth story and post some pictures so I can be done!  Then later I will actually work on a post about my ONE MONTH & ONE DAY OLD BOY!! ;-)  So at 5:45ish, Dr. R was in and ready to go.  Amanda was still doing all the coaching but he kinda took over.  Alot of other medical people were in the room by now and everyone’s faces started out so excited which made me excited and want to do a “good job.”  haha  Baby was making his way down the birth canal and then we had a scare.  I saw those excited faces turn to concerned faces and heart the ‘beep beep’ of the monitor again that his heartbeat was dropping.  Dr. Rister used forceps to turn him a bit and everyone in the room could sense this now-or-never-feeling.  We waited on one last contraction that wasn’t coming and finally they just told me to push anyway.  Finally, I heard a crying baby and have never sobbed so uncontrollably in my life!  Why?  Because it was REAL…and because of some crazy hormones.  But really, I didn’t let myself get too excited all along.  I’m the ultimate pessimst because hey, if you expect the worst, maybe you’ll be less let-down when it comes or more excited when it doesn’t?  Silly, I know.  I kept remembering all those stories of babies not making it and moms coming home without them, babies being born with major complications, etc. and didn’t realize until he came-just how much I feared those things, even though I ultimately trusted God and knew any baby He had for us would be perfectly created as He does not make mistakes.  So I was sobbing, Brady was somewhat teary, and they swept him away to do all sorts of tests and such.  I hadn’t thought to bring a baby book for footprints so they stamped them on a blanket, which I am never to wash. 

We got our first glimpses of our precious 7lb. 13oz. 19 3/4” baby boy, Camden Beck Herbert.  Even with his conehead and black right eye/chin marks from the forceps, he was beautiful and perfect.  We were immediately in love. 

After all that, I was supposed to make sure my epidural had worn off by walking, etc.  I fainted twice…probably since I hadn’t eaten anything since 6:30am other than ice chips and 2 Grape popsicles…and I had a pretty strenuous workout! I got wheeled to my post-labor room and the nurse ordered me dinner-chicken tenders and fries.  I slept 2 hours that night, as recovering from childbirth is more painful than the actual process (when given an epidural) and I was connected to an IV pole all night that I had to drag to the bathroom with me everytime I got up…and call a nurse to walk me there since I’d fainted earlier.  I had these awesome cookies made by Susie Mellen to announce his name and the following day, we had a zillion visitors to pass them out to.  Oh my word, we seriously had a zillion visitors.  This boy is already so loved!!  We stayed in the hospital those 2 nights…not sure Brady slept much either on the uncomfortable “couch” and with nurses coming in every few hours to check my vitals and bring Camden in from the nursery to eat.  We were discharged Friday afternoon and came home to settle into our new life…more on that to come.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!

Okay baby, you’ve obeyed well so far.  Now, you may come any day you like.  We made it through the week of my doctor and mom being out of town as well as the wedding weekend in Dallas and I’m so thankful!  It was such a beautiful wedding, fun to catch up with friends we don’t see very often, and made us happy to see Luke so happy!  I had a doctor’s appointment Tuesday and I am still only 1cm. dilated, but am now 75% effaced, as opposed to 50% 2 weeks ago.  All that tells me is my body is getting ready…and not much else.  We’ll have another appointment this coming Monday, and if baby is staying put, I am scheduled to be induced on Wednesday, August 3rd.  I’ve prayed alot about this and wrestled with it but now I have complete peace and know this is the right decision.  I’d really like Baby H to come on his own, so I walked 45 mins. yesterday and tried seducing my husband (jk), but of utmost importance=healthy baby, healthy momma.  I’ve heard too many stories of babies coming late and being so large that the moms have lasting physical repercussions 20 years down the road.  Secondarily, my mom is leaving for Pennsylvania on the 11th and if he didn’t come on his own, who knows when an induction date would be available the following week and I need my mom here, even if just for a few days after he is born.  We have another appointment Monday so hopefully there will be some progression if nothing else.  I’m sure I’ll have lots of questions!  As for now, bags are packed, I’m driving around with a carseat, and we wait and trust in God’s perfect timing!  I’ve also been praying about this naming thing…we still have 2 names we love and I really wish Brady would just pick one because I love them both and it stresses me out every time I try to decide…but he won’t.  So whether Goliath gets a real name before he is born or not, I don’t know, but I do know he’ll have one on August 3rd if no sooner! :-)

39 weeks today:

We had fun with our lifegroup last night having dinner at the Kinkeade’s house and playing Apples to Apples.  I had a lovely brunch this morning with Paige at Cracker Barrel, which was so dang good, I don’t know why we never go there.  Brady and I will celebrate our 4th anniversary next Thursday, August 4th.  Well, maybe we’ll celebrate another day, but nonetheless, I could not be more thankful for the best 4 years of my life.  He has done an incredible job of putting up with me through this pregnancy as well as through the other ups and downs in life’s past.  I don’t know anyone who works harder or challenges people to be better and draw closer to Jesus, just by being himself.  There is no one I’d rather do life with, so thank God He picked my favorite person to get to walk with…or sometimes crawl…or run with.  I adore him more than I can say.

Some pics from Uncle Lukey’s wedding…I know I look super bloated…guess I couldn’t resist the yummy food all weekend or something?!  Also notice the chandelier covered in flowers…it was spectacular!

Warning: It’s starting to creep me out again…how many people view this blog and leave no comments.  I created this and stopped posting pictures on facebook because the thought of 1,000+ people being able to look at my pictures-and me not know who-creeped me out.  I intentionally have never posted my blog link on facebook, but only send it to certain ppl via email or message if they ask, or those I’m close to.  Enough of that tangent, just comment if you’ve been here or I’ll shush and set a password.  That might be a good idea anyway if I’m soon going to post pics of my son on here…too many freaks out there! ;-)

38 weeks.  Yes, only 2ish weeks left.  He could come any day now…but hopefully not before next week, as we have Luke’s rehearsal dinner and wedding in Dallas this weekend.  His wedding has been my mile marker all along…I just wanted to make it past the wedding!  And then my dear mother headed to Michigan this past week and my dear doctor went out of town as well…so then, I really became determined to reach my goal!  At last week’s appt., Dr. R said I was dilated to a 1…I’ll spare you the details, but I’m not convinced he didn’t make me that way.   I didn’t think I’d had any Braxton Hicks or anything, but maybe so bc at night, my stomach gets hard as a rock…as of yesterday, sometimes it does during the day too.  Warming up!  We finally have a name.  Well we did.  We had a top 3, blindly ordered our preferences 1-3, both picked the same as #1, so that was it.  But then both still really liked another one also, so I told B I think we just need to keep both our favorites and see which he comes out looking like.  They are both awesome, studly names, with great meaning/sentimentality, so I’m super excited about either…but the boy doesn’t need 2 first and 2 middle names, so we must pick…but they’re both so good!!  Aaaaahh I don’t want to have to choose! :-)

37 week bump…no, I am not sticking my stomach out.  In fact, I’m trying to suck in. 

38 weeks-can’t help the awkward smile anymore, it’s just so big…as are my arms!  Yikes.
Pregnancy Highlights
How far along: 38 weeks-today!
Size of Baby: as long as a leek-whatever that means…ab 6.8lbs., 19.5” long
Total Weight Loss/Gain: almost 30 pounds and feeling every one
Maternity Clothes: still half and half…thank God for stretchy cotton summer skirts, empire waist cotton dresses, Harris Creek t-shirts, and not having to dress up for work!
Movement: still lots!  I can tell when it’s a foot moving…they swirl and feel like the tiniest little hard spot.  I can’t wait to play with those tiny feet!!  This morning, I swear he jumped when Brady’s alarm went off-as did I…then squirmed for a while before settling back down.
Sleep: worse and worse…now I just wake up because I’m so uncomfortable, and still 2-3x to pee…I think I put 2 & 2 together that the reason I’ve been sleeping so horribly the last week is because I’m having Braxton Hicks contractions, mostly at night.  Go figure.
What I miss: painless, good sleep, energy…i’m so tired, but dread getting in bed…and a mango margarita would be nice
Cravings: cold fruit, iced coffee-probably bc i’m always hot and tired, ice cream  
Highlights of late: cashing in another pedicure gift card, finishing nursery (except glider which ships Aug 5th), my bday-relaxing day, B brought me Cafe Capp and gorgeous flowers after a mtg, we lounged, had a long and wonderful dinner with friends at Chuy’s, opened some awesome presents from sweet fam and friends (Baby Food Maker, stationery, soap/lotion, mug/Sbux card, scarf, cute top, and Brady exchanged my Baby Food Maker-since my bro and sis in law got me one also-for a flip cam!), running 5+ errands all over town and coming home still having half the day left to rest since I’m not working…idk how ppl work full-time at this point in pregnancy, lazy mornings with Brady-Shipley’s for breaky, grilled pizza at Bledsoe’s, full mornings at church, prepping for baby arrival-packing, assembling gear, receiving packages, getting to see hubby midday when he comes home to eat lunch on occasion, spelling out our 2 potential names with the wooden alphabet blocks I ordered and discussing them over and over with Brady, reading The Hunger Games series, playing Hanging with Friends-I’m addicted…
People’s Remarks: My sweet friend Amy wins-every time we meet at Starbucks or I’d see her at work before, she asks, “How’s my cutest, favorite pregnant friend?”  I’m probably her only prego friend-she’s 10 years older than me and teaches 2nd grade at FWCS.  Nonetheless, I’ll take it.  I love her.  And the other day while waiting in line at Time Warner Cable, the lady in front of me just started saying I was so cute, asked how far along I was and when I said I had about 2 more weeks, she replied, “No way, you just look awesome, what is it, a little 5 pounder? You are just so cute!”  Then she raved a little more-enough to make me blush I’m sure, asked boy/girl, wished me luck with everything, and her name was called…then here comes the best part, the older man behind me in line rubbed his beer gut and said, “Yeah, I’m still waiting to find out if mine is a boy or girl…”  I admit, I LOL’d. Hard.
Lil boy at 32 weeks…Alien-like? Yes. Cute? Absolutely!
Here are some pics of the nursery.  I wouldn’t say it’s finished (the glider doesn’t ship until Aug. 5th, remember? It’ll go in the corner where the baby swing is currently.) but it is finished for now.  Thank you Jordan Bledsoe for helping with the decorating ideas-and painting!  I am so so happy with it and hope baby will be too! =)  Amos and Zoey think it’s their room.  Seriously, they sneak in there and steal his stuffed toys, wrestle on the floor, perch on the swing, lay in the sunspots/under the crib.  Pray they are good siblings.  Truly, I have been praying they’ll be sweet because I cannot stand the thought of shipping them off but A isn’t so sure ab lil ones, as Z isn’t ab other dogs…oh my furry babies.

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To say our hearts have been heavy this past week would be an understatement.  I am so tired of cancer rocking young people’s worlds.  Wren is our new community pastor’s wife.  She is 25 weeks pregnant and found out she has at least stage 3 colorectal cancer.  I so wish I could trade pregnancy places with her, because 37 weeks would be a great time to deliver.  25 is not.  What a random combination.  It almost seems like a spiritual attack, as we were just getting the ball rolling with Brian on staff, and the elders just came to the decision to start 3 services in the Fall because our attendance has been so high-so rare for summer months.  We’ll never have answers to all our questions, but please pray for Brian, Wren, their 3yo son Braden, almost 1yo son Eli, and baby girl Horn in mom’s belly!  Stay updated on the Horns here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/groups/180755501987790 and here: http://www.harriscreek.org/horn-updates God most definitely hears the cries of our hearts…I can’t help but again wonder why not me?!  After all, do we not all deserve death if it weren’t for Jesus dying on the cross to save us? 

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.  So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.  It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”  Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak,  because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.  All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.  Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”                  

2 Corinthians 4: 7-18

Okay, here are the bump pics you’ve asked for…clearly, clothes/camera make a difference in how the bump looks.  And just FYI, maybe once have these been taken on the actual day…it’s usually more like sometime within that week.

32 weeks

33 weeks

34 weeks

35 weeks

How did I get here?!  The first trimester craaaaaaaaaawled for me.  It seemed to last forever and I had the hardest time waiting 1 month between each appointment.  Once I started showing a little and feeling the baby (16-20 weeks), it got much easier and then suddenly I hit the last trimester and he could be here any day now-aaaaaaaaaaahhh!

I swore I wouldn’t become one of those people who talks about nothing but baby…and I proudly have not…but I have become one of those people who basically thinks about nothing but baby.  Not really, but it is hard to think about much else when you have this enormous belly, a little boy in there who is very squirmy, and are awaiting the equivalent of a major surgery in a month.  As if the medical/physical process won’t be bad enough, it will flip my entire life upside down and though everyone tells you how things change, you don’t reeeeally know what it will be like. 

My emotions are steady and I am so thankful to have this summer off.  Every week, I have a lengthy checklist and I actually accomplish all that’s on it!  Alot of it is baby tasks, but then there are usual household chores, and then the fun stuff-getting together with my wonderful friends!  There really isn’t much left to do in the baby room.  The glider won’t be here until around the time he is born, unfortunately.  The changing table should arrive this week along with other last minute items my sweet momma picked up off our registry, as we were lacking some definite necessities-even after 3 showers.  Then it’s just decorating and little details.  I can’t imagine what I would’ve done without the showers!  We are so blessed to have so much for our little guy-both things he will need and things to make our home more peaceful when he enters. =)

I still feel this crazy need to do everything I have the opportunity to do.  Maybe it’s a good thing I’ve had this urge throughout pregnancy, as I should probably live more like this every day.  From Seattle to last minute dates to fun nights out with friends, I feel this unquenchable thirst to do do do!  We grilled fajitas and had people over last night for the 4th, then went out on the Bledsoe’s boat to watch fireworks and at church this morning someone reacted-“You went on a boat?!”  Heck yes I did!  I have this serious determination to not let my life change now, nor when this little one comes.  I know I know, I’ll have to adapt and adjust, but I refuse to just lay around and not leave my house for 6 weeks because I’m scared of germs or it’s too much effort to get out the door.

***Just returned from Pei Wei and seeing Super 8…how can a movie be so hilarious yet so intense at the same time?***

Anyway, I’ll fill out this lil thingy bc I’m not sure what else to write. 

Pregnancy Highlights
How far along: 35 weeks last Thursday, June 30th
Size of Baby: heavy as a honeydew melon-5 1/4 lbs. over 18” long
Total Weight Loss/Gain: LOSS?!  um no…about 23 pounds.
Maternity Clothes: half and half
Movement: Lots!  When I lay on my left side or sit on the couch after being busy busy, he goes crazy-especially at night.  He started getting the hiccups almost every night as of about a week ago.  I couldn’t wait to feel hiccups, but hate to admit, now that it’s so often, the constant thump is a little annoying.  (sorry, baby)  Once in a while, he nicks my bottom right rib and it hurts…or I feel a weird internal scratch like it’s his toenail or something-weird.
Sleep: getting worse…potty trips increased from once to twice each night and when I get up, I’m in so much pain.  My entire groin area hurts and I can hardly get out of bed and walk like a 90 year old bc it hurts so bad…only in the middle of the night though, from circulation or something bc during the day, I’m not in pain and don’t feel all the ligament-clicking.  I’m getting more exhausted too, so I’m so tired but my mind is running thinking of baby stuff and I keep getting up…
What I miss: I missed red wine when I was still teaching…now that it’s so dang hot-over 100 degrees daily, I miss frozen fruity drinks…and being able to eat fast or alot without feeling so bloated/not good afterwards.
Cravings: any and all fruit-I seriously had to limit myself to 3-4 servings/day the first trimester…then salty/crunchy! Harvest Cheddar Sunchips-I ate nearly half a bag on my way home from HEB one day…and ice cream  
Highlights of late: Prenatal massage, using pedicure/manicure gifts from students, Cafe Cappucino w/Erin last week, hub this am, planning/cooking dinner on weeknights (used to be a burden when working), yoga Monday nights, bringing Waco High kids popsicles after training with our lifegroup, hearing about other unmentionable friends who are starting to try to get pregnant, errands, friends/family in town for shower, went to Dallas and had a day with Annie, Bryn, Amanda, and Patricia, Starbucks dates with Amy Smith, organizing baby items/his room (I love being in that room and praying for my lil guy as I prepare for his arrival), went to Canton and found wall decor with Jordan, celebrating 4th last night, date tonight with hubby 
People’s Remarks: lady in HEB stopped me even though I was in a hurry to ask how far along and then raved about how great I look, ran into an old friend in HEB who just kept saying, “You look beautiful.” <–Is there a secret code where people just know that prego women need to hear that so they say it or is it true? idk….and random lady at Canton booth yelled out, “Okay, you win! Cutest bump I’ve seen so far…” or something like that.  And then there’s the people who say, “You’re __ weeks?!  You are so tiny” and then try to nonchalantly inquire as to whether there might be something wrong with my baby or get this awkward, concerned look on their face.  It used to worry me a little, not going to lie, but after all this weight I’ve gained and as huge as I feel now, it bothers me not.
Here are the rest of the recent pics…baby showers, lake last night, Dallas with nieces, working on the baby’s room…

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Day 1

Seattle was fabulous!  We arrived Wednesday afternoon, took a lightrail, then a cab to get to our Bed and Breakfast, and then settled in and got to know our inn-keeper, Shelly.  We decided to do something other than go into the city since we were a bit tired from traveling all day and there was plenty to do closeby.  Ballard Locks was recommended to us and we weren’t really sure what it was…a boat dock with lots of restaurants around?  It took a mile just to get to the town, half of which was downhill.  We walked all around looking for the locks and a place to eat dinner.  Our feet were already tired of walking.  Thank God the weather was perfect-50’s and cloudy…drizzled for ab 5 mins.  We finally found the locks which we are assuming is a really cool thing some different time or day?  You’re supposed to be able to see the salmon jumping upstream, boats everywhere and such, but let’s just say there wasn’t much to see…well, there was some cool scenery-beautiful flowers/trees everywhere and lots of water docks/bridges, but nothing spectacular.  We left and ate at LockSpot Cafe, a diner type place and I got to eat seafood-salmon chowder!  We stopped at a shop or two, then headed back, as we’d already walked probably 3 miles by this point and this prego’s feet were swollen and my ankles had seriously turned into cankles-frightening.  What was I thinking wearing TOMS?!  I knew I was in trouble on our way back as I huffed and puffed all the way uphill that last half-mile…thinking, “Crap, all I brought to wear are TOMS and other cute shoes, nothing for walking.”  And I was indeed in trouble; the walking had only begun.  Despite the 55 degree weather, we were sweating when we returned so we stayed on the porch to cool off.  I was barefoot with my feet propped up on the porch rail, wearing a t-shirt and jeans looking very pregnant, hot, swollen, and pretty ridiculous since it was not warm outside in the least…and up walks Randolph!  Well, that’s what I thought his name was.  He was our new inn-keeper-babysitter, as Shelly was heading out of town the next morning.  We totally hit it off with Randal, chatting for 45 minutes on the porch.  Then we went up to hang out in the room, showered, and hit the hay.

Day 2

After attempting to adjust to the 2-hour earlier-time change, we headed down for breakfast at 9:00am and Chef Randal served us fruit parfaits, coffee, and OJ…then croissant french toast and sausage…yum.  Chauffeur Randal offered to drive us into the city, as he needed to go by his bnb over that way anyway and my feet gratefully accepted his offer.  We headed into the city ready to do all the touristy musts and we did.  We walked through Pike’s Place Market, a huge market with tons of vendors where fish are being thrown, the smells vary from fresh peonies to coffee, all sort of handmade crafts are being sold, and street performers play authentic music.  We walked to the original Starbucks, walked to The Crumpet Shop to eat Nutella crumpets, and walked down about 300 stairs and then a ways to the water.  The view was incredible…city behind us, water in front of us, and mountain ranges off in the distance beyond the water.  We relished it all and then walked back up the way and 300 stairs to get monorail tickets to Seattle Center to see the Space Needle.  Did I mention we walked alot?  We were told the food at the top of the Space Needle wasn’t worth it but the view was.  The tickets to go up were $18, but if you eat lunch up there, you have to spend $25 which includes the cost of the ticket up.  So we decided to eat up there even though we weren’t so hungry.  I had Dungeness Crab Mac’ n Cheese and Brady has a huge Cobb Salad with fresh avocado and everything else yummy on it.  They were both incredible dishes so we were pleasantly surprised.  God also pleasantly surprised us with a Christian waiter, Matt.  He couldn’t have been nicer and it was refreshing to hear about ministry in Seattle.  After lunch, we rode back on the monorail and caught the bus back to the bnb.  We rested for a very short while and then Chauffeur Korby (Randal’s partner) offered to drop us off at the Safeco Center, where we were heading to see a Mariner’s game.  Again, my feet could not resist.  The game was fun but since we weren’t hungry at all until then, we wasted a meal on typical game food-pizza/hot dog-boring.  It got chilly out after the sun went down and we figured that was a good time to head back anyway, as we were warned by numerous people to be careful after dark.  We walked to the bus stop and after 45 minutes of listening to a wasted, loquacious, couldn’t-put-beer-down, man annoy everyone who made the mistake of walking or standing in his path, we asked a nice man about the 15 or 18 bus.  He said it was overdue and 5 minutes later, up pulls the 25 bus, which he insisted was the one we needed to take, and that the # would change to 15 or 18 in a minute.  It never changed so thank God he knew what he was talking about.  Drunk man had just begun yelling at the “girl in the red jacket” (me) to come talk to him and saved by the bus, I walked on right as he yelled, “I love you!”  I was scared, tired, sore, and ready to be home.  We got off that bus in the city, then walked to the other bus stop to catch the 5 into Phinney Ridge to the bnb.  Another awkward ride, then we were finally back…well, we walked a few blocks back from the bus stop to the bnb, but then we were back!  We returned to a turned down bed, vacuumed floors, dark chocolate Lindt mints, and filled water bottles, thanks to Homemaker Randal.  Aaaaaaaahh bliss.  We showered and slept again.

Day 3

Aren’t you glad we only stayed 3 days or you’d be reading a novel?  Here’s the problem…side tangent: I started reading “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller, which starts by discussing how much of our lives we don’t remember.  And now I don’t want to forget things.  He’s not even talking about people who are naturally forgetful and whose grandmothers had dimentia…so I figure, I really better start writing things down!  Back to the novel…this morning Chef Randal served fresh fruit parfaits and coffee followed by some sort of Baked Apple Strada with pecans all over the top…and sausage.  Our top priority this day was to eat lunch at Red Mill Burger, some famous hole in the wall that’s been on Food Network and is recommended by everyone for the amazing burgers.  So we walked to Phinney Ridge, the town part of the neighborhood, thinking there’d by all these cute shops and such.  There were a few cute shops, none that opened until 11am though and it was a bit after 10.  So after walking all the way to Red Mill and seeing nowhere to stop and clearly not being hungry yet, we opted to head back to a cute coffee shop we saw or the park and sit outside-wishing we’d brought our books.  The park was even further back and my legs refused, so Brady got a coffee, cafe au lait for me, and we sat outside in the 65 degree, sunny, perfect weather and attempted to name our baby boy.  Progress was made, my friends, and we’ve narrowed it down to about 4 names which I am forbid to mention…and we may even have a middle name in place.  All while overlooking cute shops, and just beyond the neighborhood roads, the ocean and Cascade Mountains-Alleluia!  Despite our continued lack of hunger, we decided to walk back over to Red Mill and eat, ya know, for the sake of the burger…and so we could get back into the city.  Red Mill definitely met the hype.  You must go. Yum.  Luckily it didn’t matter how horribly we were eating bc we were walking so dang much.  So we fattened up, walked all the way back to the bnb, then Chauffeur Randal so sweetly offered to take us into the city and we had time to kill before meeting Brady’s friend/wife/baby from Truett in West Seattle at 6pm.  We went to some familiar stores like Nordstrom (which had the best strawberry lemonade and pomegranate tea ever) and Columbia, back to the original Starbucks, walked through the market again, then back down to the water.  We discovered that there was way more to the docks/view down by the water-tons of shops!  We just evidently hadn’t gone down far enough the first time.  So we walked all around those and I had this crazy insatiable craving for maple walnut ice cream, which was only insatiable because we couldn’t find it anywhere.  {but a friend had recommended Molly Moon’s ice cream and i saw it online on the menu before coming so i knew it existed but MM’s was too far to walk}  It was time to head to the water-taxi dock, which was a longer walk than we expected-shocking.  We made it in time and rode over to West Seattle, then took a bus to Aliki Beach to eat at this crazy Southwestern food place called Cactus with the couple Brady knew and their little girl.  The food was so interesting…every dish had unfamiliar words so he went with some sort of chimichurri steak dish and a weird jalapeno/cilantro margarita and I got poblano and corn tamales.  It was all great, just so different.  The friends were sweet and after 25 minutes at the bus stop and realizing we were bound to miss the last water-taxi back, Jeremy became our new chauffeur and drove us back into the city.  Bus time again.  Back to bnb to shower and go to bed again…this time, so wake up at 3:15am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  to be picked up by a shuttle for our 6:00am flight!!!!!!! What were we thinking?! Oh yes, that Brady had work the next day…and Momma Randal had packed us to-go breakfasts/snack bags complete with soy yogurt, croissants & cow cheese, bananas, juice boxes, dark chocolate Lindt mints, almond snacks, spoons, napkins, and handwritten notes.  Sweet, sweet Randal.  I tried to take him home with us but he refused…something about disdain for seatbelt tattoos when hopping in a scorching 110 degree car.  I couldn’t blame him. 

I hope you can figure these pictures out now that you’ve been given 17 pages of background information! :-)

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Anyway, if you ever have the opportunity to go to Seattle, GO!  It is such an incredible, unique city, one that must be visited to be understood.  Brady and I already want to go back, next time with a rental car, and visit Alaska and Canada as well.  There was much humor in this trip-stopping to pee in every public restroom we could find, much pain-walking way too much in the worst shoes at 7 months pregnant, but also much joy and nostalgia-our last vacation as a family of 2.  I’m so thankful we got to go and celebrate, but also love being home without working this summer, and getting to start on the baby’s room!  What an undeserving life we live.  Thanks be to God!  ADios.

Well, we have been BUSY in the last 6 weeks.  The last 6 weeks grading period of school is always insane…finalizing grades, end-of-the-year parties, end-of-the-year gifts, awards ceremony, etc.  The kids were wired and I was making 3 to-do lists a day of the exact same things, so worried I’d forget something.  I’d stay at work an hour later than usual and then still be up until midnight working on this and that.  But alas, I have breathed my sigh of relief!  Friday was our last day and it was a nostalgic and bittersweet one.  I gave away one of my class turtles to a sweet boy in my class whose hamsters died last month.  I disassembled my classroom and refused to say “bye” to any of my sweet work friends.  Speaking of those wonderful ladies, they threw me a shower the last week of school and I was overwhelmed with gifts galore…and nowhere to put them!  So sweet; we are so blessed to work with such generous, godly people!

All that to say, is that excuse enough for not posting any bump pics?  I love you sweet friends who always ask though…and I hope the texted pics held you over in the meantime! ;-)  I am almost 31 weeks pregnant now…not sure how that happened!  It has flown by, the baby is still nameless, and I have yet to start on the nursery (clearly-see pic)…after Seattle, I shall.  I feel baby H move all the time now.  He kicks my stomach out so hard you can see it through my clothes.  In fact, Jordan started laughing in the middle of lifegroup last Wednesday bc she happened to catch a glance at just the right time.  I can feel hard spots now where his head or bum (I suppose) are sitting.  It’s incredible to see the creepy looking ripples in my stomach.  During our awards ceremony, he shook my stomach like an earthquake for long enough to where I had time to tap Janet.  She saw is and neither of us could control our laughter. 

People make me laugh…and cry.  The most common comment is, “How far along are you?” I answer.  Then almost every time, “Wow, you are tiny for being __ weeks!”  My favorite comments I must say, have been from older men.  A sweet dad of a high-schooler at our church saw me at HEB and just raved about how wonderful I looked and how beautiful pregnancy is.  He encouraged me to enjoy it because it only happens very few times in your life and can be such an amazing thing if you figure out how to appreciate it.  Another time in HEB, I was comparing products in some aisle and an older gentleman passed by and then said, “My daughter is due June 4th and we are leaving to go see her.  It’s our first grandbaby!”  All that before I had said one word or he had said anything about me being pregnant.  His excitement was so cute.  Another time, I was getting gas and a big, jolly, black guy randomly said, “You’re wearin’ that belly well!”  I said thanks and we made small talk.  As he left, he said, “Take care of yourself and that baby, now.”  Again, so sweet.  Then tonight at HEB, the lady who checked me out said, “Are you having a boy?”  “Yes, “how did you know?”  “Well, I have 5 kids, 3 are boys, and when you have boys, they kinda give you a muffin top around your waist.  With girls, it just looks like you stuck a basketball underneath your shirt.”  Well gee lady, can I slap you now?  Just kidding…I politely smiled, turned red in the face and said, “Yep, I’ve definitely gotten thicker around my waist…”  Blah.

 I’ve cherished my time with Brady and friends lately.  The Greenways, Collins, Gists, and us piled in a Tahoe and drove 2.5 hours to Greenvile, TX last weekend for a wedding.  Brady and I grilled shish kabobs and corn tonight for dinner.  We went to the Bledsoe’s sister’s wedding last night. (pic)  We’ve had many lazy Saturdays of sleeping in, sipping coffee, then laying out in the backyard, running errands, napping…  We went to Pirates of the Carribean 3 last Sunday night, Keely, Blake, and the girls came in town one weekend, I met my mom in C.S. for Zoey’s allergy testing, we celebrated Taylor’s bday 2 nights in a row-1st at George’s, 2nd-at their house grilling burgers and watching the Mavs…and much more.  Lots of fun which I hope does not become seldom just because we become parents…yet I am aware that it won’t occur with nearly as much ease or lack of preparation!

**Forewarning, boys should stop reading at this point if anything prego-related grosses them out.  You’ve been warned.**  It seems I’m asked every other day how I am feeling, so here ya go…overall, great!  Let’s be honest, my calves are so tight and sore, which I only really notice when I’m sleeping and wake up in the middle of the night needing to stretch them.  I’ve been constipated, which evidently is normal?!  I’m pretty sure a couple weeks ago, I strained a stomach muscle.  I’ve been going to yoga almost weekly, done zumba, and been walking tons.  Well, on one walk, I suddenly was in so much pain in my lower abdomen and for days it hurt just to walk or roll over in bed.  I’m really sick of not being able to sleep on my stomach =(  and apparently past 20 weeks, you’re not supposed to lay on your back.  So basically, I fall asleep on my side and constantly wake up on my back…oh well.  I’m a little tired of feeling like I have nothing to wear.  My mom has bought be lots, Amy and Monique have both let me borrow their maternity stash, and that has all really helped.  But having 15 outfits to choose from instead of your usual 50 still makes things tricky and about once a week, I scream inside my closet after trying on 7+ things and them all just ending up in a pile on the floor.  Thank God I haven’t had to wear maternity clothes except during one season…I ought to plan the next pregnancy to be in the summer also, just so I don’t have to buy a whole new winter wardrobe.

 I feel blessed to have a squirmy, growing baby.  As far as we know, he is healthy and all looks well.  But I’ll be honest, it’s really hard to trust that all is well when we haven’t had a sonogram since 17 weeks.  Every appointment since, they just listen to his heartbeat and measure my stomach.  I had no idea they don’t do sonograms other than for the first check to see if he’s there and the 2nd to check his gender and major organ development.  I didn’t want to do a 4D sonogram originally even though Brady did, because they look like creepy little un-cute aliens…but now I’m dying to see my little alien, so I’ll probably drop the $100 and do it.  I love this little boy so much and can’t wait to see what he will be like.  I want to see what he looks like…if he’ll grow up to have green eyes like me or blue like Brady…if he’ll have Brady’s dimples or my tanner skin, etc.  I wonder what his personality will be like…if he’ll be OCD like Brady or super laid back like me, if he’ll be puncutal like dad or fashionably late like mom, if he’ll be a touchy cuddler like me or not like B…it’s just fascinating to me to think God already knows all these things and has huge plans for our little boy.  Or even more crazy, if he’ll be nothing like either of us!  Oh and how could I forget Mother’s Day?  Who knew I’d get treated for that this year?!  The sweet flowers were from Brady, of course, and the card was even sweeter.  Only 9ish more weeks…:-)  Now, for the bump…that’s grown into more of a…boulder?

24 weeks


 25 weeks

26 weeks


 28 weeks

 30 weeks


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