Monday, April 28, 2014

A Special Post About Love and Devotion

Today, April 28, 2014, marks 35 years of marriage for my amazing parents.  I don't know how to quite put into words what this means to me and how much inspiration it provides.  In a world where things are disposed of if they're broken and commitments are seen as things that tie us down, thirty-five years is something to celebrate.

My parents have always been a huge source of inspiration, both as a couple and as individuals.  I grew up watching my parents celebrate one another; the admiration they hold for each other is refreshing.  I always heard my Dad say, "Let me tell you what your amazing mother accomplished today," at the dinner table or hearing my mother say "Did Daddy tell you about his big news at work?"  This taught me that your spouse's successes are your successes.  It's a team and you provide support however it's needed:  being a cheerleader, being a sounding board, being a silent shoulder, or being an anchor to keep them grounded.  

They also taught me a lot about parenting.  My parents have a great sense of balance in their relationship.  Read:  They are polar opposites most of the time.  No way they agreed on every decision that was made.  That being said, I don't recall a single time that I heard one of them undermine the other.  Whatever one said, went.  I imagine a lot of conversations and disagreements about choices went on behind closed doors, but Todd and I never saw it.  This taught me the level of respect required for your spouse to parent in a positive environment.  Why choose to build a family with someone if you don't trust their instincts and actions as a parent?

Finally, my parents taught me about love.  Not movie love, not Nicholas Sparks love, not sparkly vampire love.  Real love.  Love in the real world.  Love in a real marriage.  Love between busy working parents.  I remember when I was younger I was so disappointed that my parents didn't have an awesome engagement story.  They literally got engaged over the phone.  Something along the lines of "So I guess we should get married."  As I grew older and met the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, this became the greatest love story of all.  A mutual decision about the future of their relationship.  It guided me to have the same discussion with my own husband-to-be.  The greatest thing they taught me through this is how important communication is in sustaining a healthy relationship.  They were never afraid to have conversations, beyond "How was your day?"  It always amazed me at how involved my mother could be in the conversations about my father's business...quite a different industry from hers.  They valued each other's opinions and genuinely sought advice from one another.  They were also unafraid to have those tough conversations.  The harder it seems, the more important it is to have.  I remember a close family friend once told me how lucky my mother was to have a man who communicated as well as my father.  Watching their successes in this really showed me how important it is, and how it's not always easy.  

I love the life my parents built together and how much they've shared with us.  We are so lucky to have them and to have their guidance and example.  Here's to two true Pirates, a KA gentleman and an Alpha Xi rose, Richmonders at heart and North Carolinians in their souls.  Here's to Laynie and Pops and at least 35 more years!!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Week 22

Size of the Baby:  Baby Marshall is the size of a spaghetti squash.

Gender: baby girl!!

Maternity Clothes: All maternity pants, some normal tops are getting to be too small.

Nursery:  All furniture is out, I deep cleaned walls, baseboards, and the fans.  Going to work on the window panes....I might paint them.  After that we can start setting up!  The rug came today!

Movement: Baby Girl is doing a lot of flipping!  I feel her regularly now.  I love those secret moments with her.

Symptoms: I've been feeling a bit more tired this week.  Some days I have great energy and others I'm really sluggish. 

Sleep:  I've been also been having really crazy dreams.  Some are so scary or sad that they keep me up!!  Fortunately, being back at school has worn me out so I've slept a bit deeper.

Cravings:  HNCs are still my jam, but I've also added Kale, kiwi, apple, and banana smoothies.  I had 5 over Spring Break!!

What I Miss:  Feeling my best.

Best Moments This Week: Big week for Daddy!  Since she's been so much more active, Ryan got to feel his daughter move for the first time!!!!  He also got a great Daddy gift from Barrett!!

Looking Forward to:  Meredith and Jimmy's Baby Hailey!!!!!!!!  Hurry up, little girl!

Gestational Psychosis:  I can't remember ANYTHING.  I spent a lot of time prepping before Spring Break and forgot everything I did on Monday.  I also locked a cat in the closet and left beef thawing on the counter for Milk to eat.  Whoops!!!

I'll leave you with a sweet Milk Moment.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Week 21

Size of the Baby:  Baby Marshall is the weight of a pomegranate and the length of a banana.

Gender: baby girl!!

Maternity Clothes: All maternity pants, still wearing some normal tops.

Nursery:  We've spent a lot of time this week clearing out furniture.

Movement: Baby Girl is doing a lot of flipping!

Symptoms: Heartburn was pretty bad this week, and with foods that wouldn't normally do it!

Sleep:  I've been getting up more in the middle of the night which is no fun.

Cravings:  Still buying Honey Nuts Cheerios in bulk but I'm also on a fruit and veggie smoothie kick!  Could be worse!

What I Miss:  Socializing.  Especially as the weather gets really nice.

Best Moments This Week: I think we may have finalized a name!!

Looking Forward To: Seeing the nursery come together!!!!

Gestational Psychosis:  I had to sit outside Smoothie King for 10 minutes trying to pull myself together after Paul Simon's "Father and Daughter" came on.  I'll defend that one...this baby is one lucky girl to have a relationship with her Daddy on the way like I have with mine!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

20 Weeks

Size of the Baby:  Baby Marshall is the weight of an artichoke and the length of a banana.  

Gender: Baby Girl!  It's really nice to not have to awkwardly say "he/she" every time.

Maternity Clothes: Some shirts still work, but I feel most comfortable in things that show off my bump.  I've had strangers ask me when I'm due!  So glad to look preggo and not like I've let myself go!

Nursery:  We're going to keep the walls purple (shocker) and do grey with pops of green.  This is the bedding I've picked out.  Thanks, Rebecca, for sending it to me!!!

Movement: I've started to feel her more and more.  It's still a tickle but I can obviously feel rolls.

Symptoms: A few days of the week I'm just absolutely exhausted by the end of the day.  

Sleep:  Most comfortable on my left, which is good!

Cravings:  Can't get enough Honey Nut Cheerios!  Still.  1 box a week.  It's crazy...I never eat cereal!

What I Miss:  Not having to worry about deli meat.  What a pain in the ass.

Best Moments This Week: Finding out the gender and seeing so many people be excited!  I was shocked at how many people asked if I was OK with it.  Am I a monster!!??!  I promise that just because I thought she was a boy didn't mean I was wishing for a boy!

Looking Forward To: Ryan getting to feel some kicks!  Also, settling on a name.  We're test driving a few right now!

Gestational Psychosis:  I was pretty good this week.  I let my temper get the best of me one day at work and I had to practice some humility.  Thank goodness for wonderful friends!  I came down with the stomach bug this morning and I think I was more of a baby than normal.  Otherwise, pretty proud of myself!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

It's a Girl!!!

On Wednesday, Ryan and I finally had our 20 week anatomy scan after what felt like years of waiting.  We both took half days and went together.  It's easy to get caught up in the idea that the purpose of this ultrasound is to find out gender, but it's actually the last thing anyone in the medical field cares about.  This ultrasound is quite a bit longer and they measure everything from the feet to the circumference of the head to size of the bladder.  

We were so excited to find out the gender, but we stayed focused on hoping for a healthy baby.  We got there early and waited for what seemed like hours but was actually 10 minutes (it also seemed like hours because I had to pee so badly!!). 

We went in and told her we wanted to find out and she, as expected, said "Ok, if the baby will cooperate."  Warm gel, ultrasound wand, mounted TV screen, the usual.  She began doing all of her measurements labeling things and taking pictures.  I stayed focused on that beautiful heartbeat and smiled when I saw her snap a shot of the four chambered heart.  I think I saw a femur in there somewhere, so I knew we were close!  Suddenly, she just casually said, "girl."  

What?  Check again.  I'm having a boy.  

Nope!  Baby Marshall is a sweet little girl!!  A giant bow and monogrammed bloomers wearing girl!!!

I immediately started tearing up just thinking about my sweet angel.  But, I continually reminded myself that the focus needed to be in hearing that she was healthy.

We finished up and the ultrasound tech said she was measuring 2 days ahead and she weighed 12 oz... so far so good.

We headed back to the waiting room and just basked in the idea of knowing that we are having a daughter.  It seemed to make everything more real.  

Finally the doctor called us back.  I ignored the scale, gave myself a pat on the back for good blood pressure, and anxiously waited for good news.  Dr. Weatherford said she's perfect.  "She's gorgeous."  Our little baby.  

We talked a bit about what's next, I asked about a few delivery questions, and we were good to go!  2 more appointments 4 weeks apart then we head to 2 weeks.

Now it's time to celebrate!  We had our families over and asked them to wear blue or pink.

Team Blue

Team Pink
(Grandma cheated)

I think this was the first time everyone in our family was either early or on time!  (Particularly the Peeles :-) )

Then it was time to reveal!

We chose to put the good news on a pizza from our favorite place, Tony's.  This is where our parents first met one another, where we've gone to celebrate all kinds of things, and where we shared our very first ultrasound.

Everyone was so excited!  Once I figure out how to put videos on here, I'll share that.  

We are all just thrilled.  A sweet baby girl is on her way!  My mini me.  Daddy's little girl.  Our daughter.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ryan, Milk, and the iPad

Week 19

Size of the Baby:  Baby Marshall is the weight of a mango and the length of an eggplant.

Gender: Tomorrow!  We can't wait.  We're having our family over for a mini reveal dinner.  Ryan and I will find out before though.

Maternity Clothes: All day err day!

Nursery:  We will finally be able to make some decisions after tomorrow.  

Movement: Baby Marshall is most active when I sit down to rest after a long work day.  I love that little moment together! 

Symptoms: Same old same old!  No real changes this week.  

Sleep:  I've worked some pretty late days recently, so I'm nice and tired and sleep hasn't been an issue!

Cravings:  Can't get enough Honey Nut Cheerios!

What I Miss:  Fitness.  My preworkout, body changes, muscles, pushing myself.  It's tough, but I know I'm blessed.  

Best Moments This Week: Sweet reminder kicks throughout the day.

Looking Forward To: Tomorrow!!!!!!!!!  Besides finding out, I'm looking forward to the time Ryan and I will spend together when it's just us and our little secret :-)

Gestational Psychosis:  I've been insanely hormonal and emotional this week.  I've probably cried more these past few days more times than I have in years.  A sweet e-mail from Ryan, overreacting to something, and mostly the series finale of How I Met Your Mother.  Just thinking about that episode gets me going!!