Monday, January 28, 2013

baby shower #3

Stephen and I hit the road on Friday morning and made the straight and easy drive to Portland! We met up with my mom (yay!) and uncle Shawn for some lunch downtown, before dropping Stephen off at our hotel to study (sorry, Stephen!). Mom and I then got a chance to wondered through the mall emptying our wallets. I needed/wanted some items for myself for once baby is here and since I have no idea how to shop for a nursing bra, I was happy indeed to have my mom with me. We met back up with Stephen for dinner and settled in to our hotel for the night, chatting and eating too many brownies (at least I ate too many brownies).
Saturday morning Stephen and I met up with two of his best friends from college that are now living in Portland, John and Joe! We got to meet John's girlfriend, Ashley, and oogle over Renee's engagement ring (good job, Joe!) while eating breakfast and playing with John's new golden retriever puppy (she's to die for!) I know Stephen enjoyed the opportunity to see them and catch up, do a little reminiscing over those fraternity days ;)
We then got to play catch up with two of my best college friends, Erica and Melissa! We headed over to Melissa's house to get some alone time with them before the baby shower started. They had done such a great job setting up and preparing, I was so grateful and so excited to get the party started!

The decorations were perfect (streamers, anyone?! ...Melissa! ;) ) and the goodie bags, or should I say booties, were so cute! My mom had a few fun games planned out and there were plenty of goodies and treats to mow down on. There were also plenty of presents! - All of which I am so thankful for! We couldn't be more prepared for baby Uriah to come, now!

I haven't seen most of my Kappa friends since Stephen and I moved to Alaska in 2011, so that was a real treat! They are such beautiful women, so full of life and laughter. It meant so much to have them at my baby shower after all we'd been through together in college! (Liberty was there when Stephen and I first started dating! She may have helped me set up a Delta Chi hang out or two ;) ) It's a different dynamic being married and pregnant around my college friends (I think I might be the only pregnant lady Dejia's ever known?!) but their love and support means so much! And even though Erica will never read this (or see any of my Instagram posts, Madison!) I wanted to thank her and Melissa for arranging all of this! They make for great hosts and even better best friends :) I don't know what my years in the Kappa Kastle would have looked like without these two, or my relationship with Stephen, or my relationship with God... You both mean so much to me and I am so happy I was able to spend the day with you! Thank you for loving me and my son so much!
And to my family who drove from Prosser, Cheney, and Eugene - It means so much that you would all take the time! I love knowing my son is already so loved! It is always a fun time in your company and I am so happy I was able to share in this day with you! From bridal showers and bachelorette parties to baby showers...! What's next?! ;)

Friday, January 25, 2013


I went into the doctor last week for an unplanned visit due to my new best friends, contractions. Two Sundays ago I had started to get them pretty consistently, about every 15 minutes, and even though they were just braxton hicks, meaning they weren't painful, I was told that any contractions in a consistent manner at 34 and a half weeks usually wasn't a good sign. With a few other symptoms thrown into the mix, I had all the signs for preterm labor and they suggested a visit. So in I went! And out I went not too long later with the task of waiting. My very favorite thing to do these days. While I was soft (tmi?) I was not effaced or dilated and baby was where near labor for us! I felt silly going in for no reason, but I had all the signs for preterm labor so my doctor kept trying to reassure me and make me feel better about it...

In again I went this week to the doctor for a scheduled visit. My contractions have eased up in consistency, but are more on the painful side now. It's like your very worst moment of your very worst day of your period. Cramps. It's been almost two weeks, now, and these could go on for another four more?!

Baby is healthy and happy, though, so momma is, too! He's head down, butt and feet in my ribs (all. the. time.) My belly is measuring right on track and I gained a whopping three pounds in one week. Impressive, right?! I've read that your weight slows down, stops, or even goes backward on the scale in the last few weeks of pregnancy but I just might be the exception to that rule. I can't get enough chocolate and sweets! My skin hates me for it, but oh it's just too good!

He is gaining weight right along with me! Somewhere around a half pound a week...?! I have no idea how he's still going to fit in there in four more weeks! I know packing on the pounds equals a healthy baby, but I'm secretly hoping he's not a 9 pounder. Ouch!

I really don't know how he's going to fit, though! My skin is stretched to the max! I officially, and sadly, have stretch marks! :( Granted, they are very, very tiny and are only right above my belly button (which is bruised and popping blood vessels...!) Maybe I'll get lucky and no more will grace my belly with their presence...?

The swelling has hit me, too. Though no one else would think my ankles are swollen, they are. I can tell. And occasionally my wedding ring gets a little tight. I always try and remember to slip it back on before leaving the house, though. People think I'm crazy for being 23 and pregnant, don't need them thinking I'm unmarried, too!

The nesting urge is still in full swing. I have no doubts that it's a real thing, now. My living room has been rearranged, the bathroom cupboards are in perfect order, as is the coat closet and my closet and Stephen's closet... Everything is cleaned and color coordinated, I am constantly doing laundry that doesn't need to be done, the house is decorated for Valentine's Day, the windows are washed, the diaper bag is packed, the couch slipcover has been ironed...?! I have lists everywhere for everything! I thought maybe I'd get bored during this time, not working with no baby, but I am finding plenty of unnecessary things to entertain myself. The best part? I actually feel like I need to do them. Afterwards I can usually see the crazy in it and laugh at myself, but while washing and ironing the shower curtain (yes, the shower curtain!) I am convinced it is a requirement in order to bring the baby home.

With no sigh of baby, though, Stephen and I are heading down to Portland today! My mom is on her way over to the coast so we're meeting in the middle for a couple days to eat and shop and do what best friends do. We also get to see all our college friends, all my aunts, and a few of my cousins tomorrow at my baby shower! (Yes, another one! I am so spoiled!) I'm very much looking forward to seeing everyone and catching up, and I know Stephen will enjoy the break before heading into a crazy school week next week! Enjoy your weekend, all! I know we will! :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

the way my iphone sees it

Grams. The insta kind.

baby shower #2

On Friday night I found myself at a yummy restaurant surrounded by the best of company getting spoiled with gifts! ...A baby shower! There were plenty of laughs and swapped stories and baby talk... I'm so grateful for the friends that came to show me and my little man some love! Thank you, all, with an extra special thanks to Amanda for setting it all up! How lucky am I to have friends like you :)

And how could I forget to mention the dessert?! 35 weeks later and it's still a favorite... Yum!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

happy birthday to me!

Yesterday was my birthday, and a happy one it was! I woke up in the morning to flowers and doughnuts (maple bars, duh!) and a husband who vowed to take the whole day off from studying! (In our medical school world, this is a big deal and very much appreciated!) After a lazy morning lounging, I got to spend some time with my friend, Amanda, and her little babe, Natalie, while we watched our husband's play some basketball. And they won! And a happy husband equals a happy wife!

Stephen then surprised me with possibly the all time greatest gift...ever! At least for a 34 week impatient pregnant lady... Inside my birthday card was a picture of Uriah from our very first ultrasound at 11 weeks, and on the back was written our plans to see him again, on my birthday, in 3D! Giddy and excited and oh so grateful (and oh so pregnant!) I started crying! What an amazing gift... To be able to see our baby boy...
It didn't occur to me until we were on our way that we could discover something was wrong with him at this appointment. We hadn't had an ultrasound since I was 18 weeks and I opted out of all the genetic testing... My mind started to wander and I started to get a little nervous. But there he was, on three different screens, in 3D, healthy and perfect! He had both his hands up by his chin (and even a foot!), sucking on his wrists and the umbilical cord! Always moving his lips, kissing, opening his mouth, trying to find something to put in it! Chubby cheeks, double chin, and rolls on his wrists... He was snuggling into my pelvis and the placenta, perfectly content. He's got thee longest feet and toes (definitely a Stephen trait) and everyone thinks he's got my lips and Stephen's nose. I know newborns change so much and so fast, but it's still fun to play the "who he looks like" game.
We got sent home with pictures, a CD of pictures, a DVD, and all sorts of free goodies. I made it to the car before bursting into tears... Happy tears! The very best tears! I was overwhelmed with love for Stephen for thinking of such a thoughtful gift and for my son who is so handsome and so real! Seeing him, actually seeing what he looks like, made all of this so much more real and so much more worth it and exciting! I already felt so connected to him, but now...?

After calling my mom and sharing pictures with our family, I found myself sitting in our living room just smiling... With the sun beaming in through the windows, looking at my husband and pictures of our baby and our cute little home we've been so blessed with... How lucky am I? I was feeling more emotions than my heart could hold. Love, excitement, gratefulness, joy, blessed... I sat there, just staring, feeling more content than I think I ever have. And what a neat experience to feel on my birthday? Total love and acceptance and joy over my life... It was a beautiful moment and a beautiful day.

Literally, a beautiful day! We woke up to frosted grass, but by the afternoon we had a clear sky, a bright beaming sun, no wind, just a crisp, clean feeling in the air! (It's supposed to stay sunny all week!) Stephen and I enjoyed each other's company for the rest of the afternoon. He made me carrot cake (my favorite! and his 4th year making it for me!) and read me Harry Potter (we're working our way back through the series! almost done with the third!). We ordered pizza and had some friends over for dinner, dessert and games. (Grateful for those who came and the gifts they brought with them! Thank you!)

Post dessert, Stephen and I headed out for a quick walk in the cool night air before turning in early to read some more and talk with each other snuggled under the covers in our cozy bed. What a perfect way to end such a perfect day!

So there isn't much to turning 23. Turing 21 is cool because, well, you're 21! And 22 is just one year after you turn 21 so it's still kinda cool. Most 22 year olds are still doing what 21 year olds do. Turing 24 is pretty big because in just one more year you'll be 25, which officially marks adulthood in my opinion. I mean, honestly, I would take someone more seriously if they said they were 25 versus if they said they were 23. At 25 I kinda expect people to have their life together. You know, a decent job, a wife or husband, maybe a kid... It just seems more adult to me. I feel like 25 is usually a good year for people, you know, it's like, their year. But then there's 23. Stuck right in the middle with no importance or significance. It's an odd number, too, and I don't like odd numbers (except for ones that end in 5... my mom will understand). So here I am. 23. And while I was 22, which is practically still 21, I thought that 23 would be an insignificant year for me. But now, instead, I'm thinking 23 could be the year. You know, the year where big things happen and big changes come and I kinda find myself. Maybe my 23 is like everyone else's 25. Maybe I become who I'm supposed to be, or at least realize who I've been... I think, maybe, this could be my year.

Knowing I could be about to experience my year, the year where it all just kinda clicks and falls into place...well, it's making me very grateful for the past 23 years. For my parents who raised me and have loved me and put up with me, my friends who have come and gone and all taught me something different, my husband who loves me unconditionally even though I don't deserve it, my God who created me and brought me here to where I am today... Thank you, all.


34 weeks (3 days) down, 6 (ish) to go!

Baby and I got all smiles from our doctor on Wednesday, whom we haven't seen in 6 weeks, but said everything was looking great! My belly is measuring around 32/33 centimeters, so a little small, but not by much! And his heartbeat was pounding away at 150 bpm! I was wishing so badly we could have done an ultrasound just to see him and see how big he's measuring. Not being able to see my babe since I was 18 weeks along has been torture!

I've gained 4 pounds in the last 6 weeks, just shy of the 6 pounds that I was aiming for, or at least what is "expected". I've gained 19 pounds since the start of this pregnancy, and hope to add at least another 6! No, I don't love getting on the scale and seeing numbers I've never seen, but I want a healthy baby with those oh-so-cute thigh rolls, so bring it on!

My newest craving is CHOCOLATE! Anything and everything that's made of the yummy stuff! I've always been a big chocolate girl (something I got from my dad!), but this is my first "got to have it right now or I might freak out" craving. I still continue to love my maple bars and apple slices, but I need chocolate. (Which might explain the cookies in the oven, the piece of chocolate cake on the counter, and the half eaten bag of chocolate chips in the cupboard on Wednesday).

No swelling, no stretch marks, and no sign of baby boy coming early! (Have I mentioned how impatient I am?!) My friends have planned a little shower for me here in Seattle over dinner this coming Friday night, and Stephen and I are making the drive to Portland, OR in a couple weeks to see friends and family at another shower! We sure are blessed :) And we sure are looking forward to celebrating Uriah with everyone!

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Four weeks until I am full term and seven until his due date! Ahh! Though I know once he's here the time will have seemed to fly by, day by day it is dragging! I have never been a patient person (never!), so this is really starting to test me ;) Of course, it'll be just my luck that he decides to come two weeks late... Keep your fingers crossed for me!

I still haven't had an appointment since the end of November, but according to the scale at my parents house, I've gained 2 pounds since that appointment 5 weeks ago. I'm betting that that's not anywhere near being close to correct and that I'm in for a shock at my appointment next week, but we shall see!

Baby is up to 4 1/2 pounds and at least 17 inches long from head to toes. Somewhere around the size of a honeydew...?! I can't believe he's going to double his weight in the next few weeks!

My back pain is still around, though I'm happy to say it's gotten a little better! It was awful while we were away and traveling, but a prenatal massage (thanks mom!) and back to being on our own mattress seems to have helped, some. It might be that he's moved positions, too. I wish I could see him in there! I'm pretty sure he's head down with his feet tucked up under my left ribs (which are officially bruised!). He's still constantly moving, which I love to feel and see!

He's had a few cases of the hiccups now and I'm sure that's what it is, no more guessing! A couple sessions have lasted much longer than my liking, but it's funny to picture the little sounds he'd be making were he here :)

We've completed our registry and had our first baby shower! He certainly doesn't need any more clothes ;) At least not under the 3 month mark. His newborn and 0-3 month clothes are washed and organized in his drawers, ready to go! We've figured out where everything will fit in our little room (we'll give him a proper nursery when we move and he's no longer sleeping in our room) and I've started organizing the whole house! I was already a pretty clean and organized person, but this nesting urge has kicked in full gear and I can't seem to stop it!

Still, thankfully, no stretch marks or swelling! Hoping these two things don't find their way into this pregnancy ;) But I've still got a few more weeks to go!

happy 2013

Stephen and I brought in the new year with too many sweets, fun games, and good friends. Truth be told, I'm surprised we made it 'til midnight, but I am so happy that yet another year began with a kiss from my best friend...

On New Year's Day, to celebrate the last day of Stephen's Christmas break, the end of 2012, and the beginning of 2013 (which promises to be a very exciting year!) the two of us enjoyed the sunshine on a walk through the beautiful Washington Arboretum.

That night we treated ourselves to a dessert date night on University Ave. Frozen favorite :)  Over our bowls of yummy goodness we talked about all that had happened in 2012 and all that is planned to happen in 2013. We talked about goals we had set for ourselves last year and ones we wanted to work on this year.

Last year I had set four goals for myself, and am pleased to say that I have made progress on all four of those goals... more or less. See, the things I wanted to improve on, and still want to improve on, I will never be able to master completely. I will never be the perfect wife, the perfect cook, the perfect servant to God... But I can continually try and learn and improve. I can become better at these things, but I will never be able to check them off my list as complete. Which challenges me greatly, because those who know me know how much I love my to-do lists and how even more, I love crossing things off it! But I guess a little challenge is the whole point...

So this year, similar to last, my goals are not to lose x amount of weight or attend x amount of church services... Again, my goals are continual and much broader. In the year 2013 I want to strive to be more intentional. In every aspect of my life. With my time and with my money... as a mother, wife, daughter, friend... in my pursuit of God... I want my life and my relationships to have meaning and purpose.

This resolution runs much deeper than I could write out in a blog post. Not only do I not want to bore you, but I don't quite know how to explain all that I want to accomplish in this new year with this new goal... I do know that much of my desire to become more intentional has stemmed from the overflow of blessings we have received this last year. And to think that our baby boy isn't even here yet, and that it could quite possibly just get better...? I didn't think that could be possible :)

Happy 2013 to you all!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Uriah Michael

As always when we're around my mom, we bust out the camera and our smiles. So when we were in Pocatello for Christmas, we had ourselves a 32 week maternity shoot! I just wanted something simple and for the bedroom and baby book. And I love them! She couldn't have done a better job! Thank you, thank you, thank you, mom for taking the time to do these for us! 

Little Uriah Michael, we love you and can't wait to meet you! 

Pocatello {part 2}

Christmas Eve came and brought snow! Not that it wasn't going to be a white Christmas, but fresh new white snow sure is a happy sight on Christmas Eve morning :) We got to play in it, well, I got to play in it while everyone else was hard at work shoveling and plowing the driveway... And take Tucker up the hill for some exercise and lovins'. 

After our hard work (their hard work), we enjoyed some coffee by the fire while watching The Grinch (how much more perfect could our morning get?!) After taking maternity pictures with my mom (in a blog soon to come!) we got dinner prepared and dug in! With a game of Down by the Banks to finish it off, of course! 

Our Aunt Kelly, Uncle Mark, and cousin Gail got in just after dinner (they decided to make the Boise drive just in time to spend Christmas Eve night with us and we're so glad they did!). Stephen and my parents and I joined Grandma and Grandpa for a Catholic Mass service, which was something I'd never been to! And though it wasn't my exact cup of tea, I loved getting to see Grandpa so happy and it was a nice reminder and reassurance of my faith in Jesus and all the wonderful things He's done for us. It's so easy to get distracted from the real meaning of Christmas, but to know that Christmas is first and foremost the birthday of a King... Well you can't help but fall in love with a story like that. Plus, it was fun to see my dad quote off scriptures from his childhood I was sure he'd long forgotten ;)

We came home to dessert and Christmas jammies and a book waiting to be read... Every year my dad reads our old version of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' to us like we're still little kids. And just like little kids we sit in rapture and love every minute of it :)

And then it was Christmas :) With stockings and presents to be opened, cinnamon rolls to eat, new games to play and movies to be watched... It was a quiet and relaxing Christmas day. Stephen and I squeezed in a nap, I stole a long hot shower, and we all did a lot of talking and laughing. It was so fun to experience Harper's first Christmas, too! Though she was satisfied with the first toy someone handed her, she was by far more spoiled than any of us! Guess she was good this year! ;)

The Bolander clan left on Wednesday and we said our goodbyes to Byron over a yummy Bagelry lunch. More movies and games and time with Harper... Our bags were packed and our drive to Boise planned out for the morning... We are so happy and grateful to have spent Christmas with my family in Pocatello. Happy and grateful for all the laughs and gifts and hugs... Happy and grateful for all the memories and fun and love... We love you all and can't wait to see you again!