Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I am way too tired to write anything tonight, but here are some pictures from our Halloween! I made a shirt that says "JAX-O-laNtern" with a pumpkin on my belly, and we carved three pumpkins with our initials. Then we hung out with some friends and passed out candy on our driveway. Successful night!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Jaxon Kicking, Punching, and Rolling (25 + 4 Weeks)

Tonight Jaxon was going crazy! I think it must be because of the awesome dinner that Kevin and I had tonight :)

Anyway, he was doing much more before I finally got my camera out (that's how it always is), but I managed to get some kicks, punches, and rolls on camera!

He has been rolling (at least I think that's what he's doing) a lot lately, especially after I eat - which tends to make me a little nauseous. But it's also very cool.

I also got some great news today from HR - they have approved my FMLA even though I am coming up 19 days short of a full year of employment at Jaxon's due date. This is a huge relief because I was worried about losing my benefits among other things. Namely my job. I'm still only taking 5 weeks off (6 with Spring Break), but this allows me to be out sick before then if needed, or to take extra time if I decide to. Before, I was trying to meet the hours of employment clause and coming up VERY close.

Anyway, here's the video!

Have a wonderful weekend - TGIF!

Monday, October 25, 2010

25 Weeks!

25 Weeks has been eventful so far! On Wednesday I went to the doctor and he was appalled at my weight gain thus far. Let me just say that my blood pressure is average and my blood sugar is low. Also, I do not think that I look like a fat cow just yet, but I may be mistaken.

Anyway, my doctor did the thing that pregnant women have nightmares about and put me on a DIET. And not just any diet - I can only eat 1800 calories a day! The baby takes 300 so that leaves me with 1500 for my own 5'10, growing body. I told him that I was going to lose weight and he assured me that I probably would not, but that even if I did that Jaxon will be just fine. Surprise, surprise, I have already lost 6 pounds in 5 days. And I am STARVING all day long! I eat low-cal meals to try to leave room for snacks, but I am only getting three small, 100 calorie snacks per day. I plan on calling him on Wednesday to discuss this little "situation" further.

Other than that - things have been going great! I can feel him moving all the way at the bottom of my abdomen and at the top at the same time - he's a big guy now, and only getting bigger! I feel wonderful and have so much energy, which is a blessing considering my line of work! I have also been very pleased with my skin and my hair - probably a side effect of my prenatal vitamins and iron supplements.

On Saturday night two of our good friends got married and we attended the wedding. It was so beautiful and fun! Kevin and I danced as much as my pregnant body could handle in the 3 inch heels I dared to wear - and Jaxon loved it! I have a feeling we'll be doing a lot of dancing around the house with him in a few months. We took my 25 week pictures a couple of days early, since I was all dressed up for the wedding. Here you go!

I went to this enormous consignment sale last week called Just Between Friends (JBF) over in Klein by my school. It comes to town twice a year - in the fall and in the spring, and it is AMAZING. I bought 5 outfits, 2 robes, 3 hooded towels, 12 washcloths, a floppy seat grocery cart cover, a Milk Saver, a tummy time mat, another play mat, and some toys. Many of the things were brand-new with tags, and I only paid less than $80! It is so much fun to buy for our little boy :)

I'll update again soon!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

24 Weeks = 6 Months!!!

WOW! Time has really been flying by lately! I cannot believe that I am nearing the end of my second trimester and that we'll be meeting our son in such a short time.

We are now 24 weeks along, and I'm getting bigger:

I've been feeling great lately, with the exception of the never-ending backaches. Jaxon kicks almost all day, every day. Usually I love it, but sometimes he kicks my bladder really hard, which doesn't feel great. The other night Kevin and I watched either his head or his butt slide all the way across my belly. It was really neat!

On Friday, one of my students' mothers brought me a WHOLE BUNCH of little boy clothes. I had fun on Saturday sorting through them, but not as much fun laundering them. I did two huge piles of baby laundry and then got everything sorted by age and put into his closet and dressers. Look at all of this (free) stuff!

Then we went to The Dump (a wholesale furniture store, not a landfill) to look for a chair for the nursery. We had already decided to go with something a little more cozy and comfy than one of those wood-framed gliders. We also wanted something that we could use in another part of the house after we don't need it in Jaxon's room anymore. We found an AWESOME chair on clearance for under $300. It's a plush, big, comfy, rocking, reclining, massaging piece of Heaven. I took a nice nap in it today! Here's Bella breaking it in:

Last week I bought and built these shelves for his things:

We are now finished buying furniture for the nursery, and we are getting closer to having his room all ready for him. It's so exciting!

Aside from getting ready for Jaxon, Kevin and I have both been pretty busy with work. I have my maternity leave all figured out, documents signed, and have started preparing lesson plans and materials for the time that I'll be out - which is only 5 weeks. I know it's a long time away, but I will be able to relax once everything is prepared!

We've also enjoyed hanging out with our friends for the last couple of weekends. It's nice to have people over and not do anything fancy. Next weekend we have a wedding to attend and I'm trying to figure out a dress that I can wear without looking completely ridiculous. We've also bee trying out different Life Groups for our church, trying to find a good fit for us.

Alright, it's bed time! Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

God Has Been Gracious

Tonight I was blog stalking on one of my "regulars" and she was encouraging other women to write about their stories of hope and how God has blessed their lives. She was asking us to link to her friend's blog who started the idea. You can read other people's stories of hope here. I am going to get real here. I have thought about blogging our story for a while now - and tonight God has put it on my heart to do so. I hope that our story can encourage someone else who is in a tough place.

One year ago this week Kevin lost his job in Fort Worth. He had worked so hard for his company and put in so many stressful, long hours. His unhappiness with the situation had come between us, and the stress of an impending loss of income had haunted us for almost 6 months before it happened. But that's not where our troubles had started.

Kevin and I are two strong willed people. We are very much alike, but very different at the same time. This has always been a positive and a negative in our relationship, as we have learned to build our life together. The first few years of our marriage were, at times, the best moments of my life. At times, they were also some of the worst. There was a time where I could not see myself growing old with him, and all my dreams of us were falling apart. The job loss was when we hit rock bottom.

I believe that God knew we needed to have everything stripped away in order to rebuild our marriage and focus on Him, as it should have been all along. That's exactly what He did. As Kevin began looking for a job, we worked together to make ends meet with a mortgage and two car payments on a teacher's salary.

We were blessed when Kevin found a job only a few months later, but it was in Houston. It was a huge leap of faith, especially for me, to commit to leaving the job that I loved in Richardson and moving to Houston with our relationship hanging in the balance. However, I knew that it was what I needed to do, and I felt that God was leading me to do so. That's when everything started falling into place so quickly.

We put our house on the market (at a rough time), and it sold for asking price in just two days. We closed on it in 3 weeks and moved into Kevin's mom's house for a short time. Kevin began his new job here in Houston in February, and the plan was for me to finish the school year in RISD and then join him in the summer. We began building a house in Cypress.

As I began applying to school districts in the Houston area, I found an immediate opening at one of the most desirable schools in one of the most affluent districts around here. I felt compelled to look into it, and it turned out to be a third grade reading and language arts position - my favorite subjects to teach. I interviewed, along with 13 other candidates (so I've been told), and was offered the job. I started less than 3 weeks later. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do to say goodbye to my sweet students and walk out on them in February.

Kevin and I got a tiny, cheap apartment in Cypress as we waited for our home to be built, and we lived in that 500 square feet with our two dogs for three months. Surprisingly, I cherished that time. We found a new joy in our relationship as we took on these new challenges and exciting experiences together. Every evening after we got home from work we would go and look at the progress on our new home.

When I started my new teaching job with only 63 payroll days left, I took a pay cut by 1/3 through September. This put our chances of getting the loan for our home (in this tight market) in jeopardy. We prayed and we saved, and we did everything we could to make it work. Kevin even sold his truck. Everything came together with what can only be explained as God's help, and we closed on our home on May 21st.

We moved that weekend, and then on Monday we were blessed once again. I found out that we were pregnant! Right away we decided that if it was a boy, his name would be Jaxon. Jaxon means "God has been gracious." What could be more fitting for this time in our lives? And, as most of you know, Jaxon will be joining us on February 7th, 2011.

God looked into our lives and saw that we were headed for disaster. He slapped us with a huge wake-up call when we needed it the most. He saved our marriage, moved us to a place where we could call home forever, tied up all of the loose ends, and blessed us with a baby boy. And He did all of this in less than a year.

I learned that I am not in control, but that God is. Everything is according to His timing, not mine. I am forever grateful for the changes that He brought to us, no matter how stressful and crazy, because they saved us in more ways than I probably even comprehend.

We both now agree that we are happier than we have ever been - we have truly reached a new level in our relationship. And we are anxiously awaiting our little Jaxon's arrival early next year. We are close to friends, family, and the church where Kevin was baptized so many years ago. We have truly been blessed.

God has been gracious.