Wednesday, June 30, 2010

worship music wednesday

this week, i went with a lincoln brewster song that i heard on pandora. if you don't know about pandora, you are missing out! still one of my favorite ways to find new music, and since i can stream it on my blackberry, it's always with me. great for long car trips or when i'm editing photos and needs some good background music :)



and i also wanted to share some of the photos from the may weddings that i recently finished editing, but didn't feel like adding them individually. so here they are in slideshow format from picnik (i'm going to have fun with their 4th of july stickers and fireworks effects when i do the monthly blog change tomorrow or friday--check 'em out!)


i have 3 weddings in july and my last one for the year in august. busy time! but exciting--i do love being there for the weddings, i just have a tough time editing all of those pictures at one time. the end result is worth it, though :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

i heart faces: pets week!

it's pets week over at i heart faces, and thought i've taken the last couple of weeks off, i found one i could easily use for this week. it is truly the "dog days of summer" here, and our dog pepper has quickly learned that the floor vents are the coolest place in the house, especially when she comes in from playing outside.

i just found this so funny! she couldn't get much closer to that vent and the cool air coming out--much like she enjoys hanging her head out the window of the car or sniffing the air from the car vents.

check out the other animals this week over at i heart faces!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

the dog days of summer

even though summer just officially started last monday, we've been feeling the heat here for quite a while.

including pepper, whose new favorite spot is chilling on the vent by her bed after a particularly tough play session outside with justin.
i feel ya, pepper.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

worship music wednesday

i know it's been a while, but this song spoke to me as i was walking tonight with pepper.





if anything, i think it was a reminder of where i need to focus. things have been crazy lately and i've been easily distracted--and this kinda brought me back to what's really important.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

family photos



just add one family, a tripod and a release remote (love that thing, and only about $12, if i remember corectly.)

we've been at the beach this weekend...
hanging out with family and spending time together...
(which may or may not have included lots of outlet shopping for an unnamed little baby boy)
but before we all went our separate ways, we decided we needed family photos of all 10 (and half) of us.
and you can't waste beach backdrops and sunset lighting like this.

in honor of father's day, my husband (soon-to-be-father of our unborn son) wanted to share this little nugget of wisdom he found on his daily blog reads. i wholeheartedly agree with it and think every new father should read (and follow!) this list of tips.

and happy father's day! to all the dads out there, including our own and the one i love that is going to be one in a few short months.

Friday, June 18, 2010

the big day

yesterday morning, we had our first ultrasound appointment. let me say that i have loved scheduling our appointments for first thing in the morning--there is so much less waiting, and it works well for both of our schedules.

the ultrasound tech was surprised that we were having our first scan so late and admitted that she always got a little nervous with someone as far along as i was for the first ultrasound. everything checked out great, though, and i was just amazed at the details and information they could get from the ultrasound. we got to see up our baby's nose, around its heart and along the spine, through its stomach and bladder, and all of the major organs. not that the baby made that easy--it was active, wiggling and squirming around so that as soon as the tech set up for the perfect profile shot, it moved again or rolled over. the high energy was fitting with the heart rate--it clocked in at 168 bpm (possibly because of the peanut butter on my PB and banana sandwich from that morning, the tech said.)

so telling people at work was going to be a big deal, because everyone was excited and had an opinion on what we were having. since i was going to work right afterwards, we had decided that i would wear something blue or pink for the rest of the day to "tell" them what it was when i arrived.

just so i wouldn't jinx it, i wore a yellow tank top to the ultrasound. so here's the before....













and here's the after!
blue! it's a baby boy--and i'll honestly say, i was surprised. i was really thinking it was a girl, just based on what everyone else was saying, but we are so thrilled to have a little boy on the way! still working on names and (i think) will let you know when we have something definite.

here are some photos of the ultrasound pics--i'll scan them in later when we get a chance. the profile shot...
and the "proof." "100% boy," the ultrasound tech said.
a little foot sticking out--crazy to think that it's likely only about a half inch long.
and a little arm and hand waving "hi" to us--so cool!

we are so excited to be able to plan for this little guy and to get everything ready--and just to KNOW! he will be coming along with a whole host of other little boys in our church and with friends that we know (part of the reason i thought we'd be having a girl--everyone else was having boys!) and we also know lots of boys that will be able to send along some hand-me-downs :) we are so blessed and we can't wait to continue celebrating with our family and friends this weekend.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

just checking in

i realized it had been a while since i posted again--so here i am, doing a weekly check in. maybe soon i'll have more to post about than just once a week!

i was at home all this weekend--an anomaly in my schedule--and i think the time spent relaxing and catching up on things around the house did me good. i was able to get up saturday morning and help with decorating for VBS at church. our theme this year is "high seas" so we have lots of nautical and ocean themed scenes around the church now!
i was asked to decorate the back two doors leading into the hallways, so i got some window paint and went to work with more underwater animals. here's my first door...

and my second one. i liked this one a lot--i've always had a love for dolphins, so to make this door go a little bit faster, i decided to focus on the dolphin and just add in a couple of other guys around it.
i love painting things like this and it's so incredibly relaxing to me! the only downside is that i was outside the whole time, but sitting in the shade. so it was warm and i took plenty of breaks to cool off inside.

that was sorta the theme of the weekend--keep cool! i think i've decided that i'm just going to constantly be hot/sweaty this summer, regardless of where i am. even being in a nice air-conditioned place, i still seem to get warm. saturday evening, we tried to take advantage of the cooler summer evening by getting out then. we drove east to washington for seafood at one of my favorite local places, backwater jack's, and then walked along the riverfront for the summer festival they were having. justin got a frozen lemonade and i got a snowcone and the river breezes just felt so good. i also saw lots of cute little booths of baby stuff, and picked up some business cards so maybe we can order some things once we know (TOMORROW!) what we're having.

sunday, we headed out to church and stayed afterwards for a meal helping the youth raise money for their summer trips. i won't be going on many with them this summer because of my vacation time, and the one that i went on last year--kingsfest at kings dominion--just didn't make sense with all of the rollercoasters that i can't ride :( but i'll still do as much as i can while we're back here in town.

later in the afternoon, our youth intern, joe, had his ordination service. he's been working with chris in the youth ministry for the past year and is about to return to school to finish up (and is getting married in less than a month, which i can't wait to photograph!) and enter the ministry on his own. he's done such a great job working with the youth, particularly in our middle school program, and we're going to miss him so much.

prayers from the elders and staff of the church
chris speaking to joe and the group there for the ordination
"guy hugs"
chris and joe have a long history together--joe was one of chris's kids at his first youth ministry job in virginia. during the ordination, chris was able to share how he's watched joe grow and change over the past few years. such an awesome story.

and after going grocery shopping and doing all those other sunday chores, i was ready to cool off once more. so we managed to "crash" our brother and sister-in-law's pool for a little bit to let me float and enjoy the water. hoping for many more nights like that over the next couple of months!

a couple of baby updates--i've felt some definite kicks over the past week, "like little popcorn kernels popping up inside me" i described to justin. i seem to feel them the best at night before going to bed. also, i went ahead and retired my rings. they were getting tighter and leaving indentations on my finger, so i've put them up and bought a couple of inexpensive sterling silver ones from kohl's that will work for me through the summer. i guess that's one of those "how long until" questions that has been answered!

alright, that's it for now. i will hopefully be back tomorrow to share with you the sex of the baby!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

baby update



we're solidly into the second trimester, and i will admit--i'm loving it. aside from stress at work and trying to do too much every now and then, i feel amazing and have very few complaints. the belly is finally really starting to show, where i feel like i'm looking obviously pregnant to people that don't know me (and not so much like i've had too much to eat.) my medium-sized maternity shirts seem to really show off the belly, where as the larger ones camouflage it still.

this morning, i put on this tank top that i had gotten at old navy over the weekend and also had my hair cooperate--it's getting long enough to do some cute stuff with it, finally, and i'm loving this length. i just felt good and decided it was the perfect day to take a belly picture before heading to work.

i am having a tough time dealing with the heat and have had the occasional set of hot flashes. i just bought a desk fan for my office, which will hopefully keep me cool! i'm sleeping well and using a body pillow to help keep me on my side--such a great thing. i don't know that i'd be able to stay on my side as easily without it. i'm going to have to start traveling with it :)

and my belly continues to grow and i wonder to myself, "how long will i be able to paint my toenails like this?" "how long until i can't sit up on my own?" (getting close on that one....) "how long until my belly button pops out?" and above all--"how long until i really feel those kicks?" i still have flutter feelings every now and then, but i'm ready for the nice strong kicks that i can't mistake for anything else.

and in one week, we'll have our ultrasound and finally know what we're having. i'm so excited about this, since i feel like all of our planning has been put on hold up until this point. i'm ready to choose a name, to start registering, to pick out the nursery details and everything else that has been a big blank question mark. being a planner by nature, this whole "halfway through the pregnancy with nothing but a few cute onesies and other miscellaneous things" is killing me. so july and august are going to be big months with getting that stuff done, and i can't wait to see how it all comes together!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

what i've been up to

wow, it's been a whole week since i posted and i have no real excuse other than--it's been crazy. blogging has been about the last thing that i can devote energy to, but i have been taking pictures! so here we are--my last week or so in poorly lit, somewhat grainy and occasionally blurry photos (all from the little camera i keep in my purse.)

we celebrated my co-worker christie's birthday last week, and also--unfortunately--her last week with us at the office. amber made a delicious dirt cake complete with flowers and a garden spade for serving :)

and this was a "happy birthday" performance that we couldn't pass up--the staff of the restaurant singing with kazoos and a triangle :) oh, and a sombrero.
video

and the birthday girl, serving up the dirt cake. seriously, so good. amber's recipe is much more than cool whip, pudding and oreo crumbs... she adds in some cream cheese, milk, i think vanilla? it's amazing. (says the pregnant woman who has had a total sweet tooth lately.)
friday night, justin and i decided to do something different dinner. i actually haven't had strong cravings for our dinners out the past couple of weeks, so we went with a new place for korean barbeque. we checked out the menu and decided to go for one of the barbeque meals that you cook on the grill in the middle of your table.
they bring out a platter of raw meat that you order, along with some good appetizers and stuff...
and then all the veggies and sauces to go with it (and some tofu and a chilled sweet chili salad that we weren't entirely crazy about.)
the waitress (who admitted it was her first day and was the only one in the place that didn't speak fluent korean) gave us the tip to share the dinner--thank goodness! and though the experience itself was cool, we weren't crazy about the flavors. we do great with chinese and japanese, pretty well with thai, occasionally try out indian--but i'm not sure we'll go back to korean. maybe another restaurant? or something we don't cook ourselves :)

then it was up early saturday morning to meet my college friend ashley and drive together to her baby shower in charlotte. it's hard to believe that we've been friends for 9 years, and now she's finishing up her residency and will soon be a pediatrician (i had tons of questions for her as we drove--so handy to have her around!)

we caught up with ashley's friends and family for the shower at her mom's house. her sister juli did a great job of organizing it and ashley got tons of wonderful stuff for cameron, her little girl who will be here in about 10 weeks.
and we played some fun shower games, like guessing how many squares of toilet paper it takes to fit around ashley's stomach. ashley is a petite girl to begin with, so she looks like she swallowed a basketball. so cute!
ooh, wanted to show off the diaper cake. julianna did a great job with this one, too.
here's the whole group from the shower--several of us were bridesmaids at ashley's wedding, so it was fun to see each other again.
and then the ECU girls--linda and i lived with ashley in the dorms, while amanda and erin lived with her in the apartments off campus.
linda and i stayed the night since we had traveled so far, and we had a great time doing some shopping, hanging out with ashley's family and sitting around talking (and feeling cameron kick up a storm in ashley's belly.) unfortunately, we all were exhausted and tried to stay up talking but i soon had to call it a night. we got up the next morning and had a big breakfast at one of the local diners before we all headed out.
i love these girls dearly and am so glad that we've stayed close, even though we're all living in separate places. we made it through college together, were in each other's weddings (for the most part--ashley's school schedule made it impossible for her to be in linda's, but she was invited) and are now getting to share this next big milestone. and i'll brag--we're a smart crew. linda's working on her ph d right now, while ashley's already an md. and i'm an lcsw. we like letters after our names :)

it was a rude awakening straight back into the work week. luckily, we got to celebrate another birthday yesterday, with this delicious cake that krista made for amber.
always a good crowd for an olive garden lunch and birthday cake!
and i managed to make it to the youth group "end of school pool party"--i'd been missing a lot of the weekly meetings because of work, but was able to make it to this one before we wrap things up for the summer. we honored our incoming 6th graders and our graduating seniors....
and had a great time with the crew that came out. i love being a part of this growing ministry!
behind the house where we had the party was a pond with several docks, and some people brought out kayaks to do races (and swimming, though you couldn't have gotten me in that water when there's a nice clean pool just a few yards away.)
it was popular with the kids and adults, though, and we had fun watching the races take place between all of the competitors.
and i hung out on the docks and grass with the spectators, including this adorable girl who is just too sweet. wished i had my big camera for these pictures...
and now we're halfway through the week, and i am so thankful to have made it through this far. we've had some major tech issues with our computers, where my computer started acting up on monday and i was afraid i was going to lose my photos if the hard drive completely crashed. justin's trying to fix it up now to get ready to sell it, and he's passed his laptop on to me since i need one for work and he has a computer at work and doesn't really need the laptop at home. (he actually went without his computer last week to try and prove he doesn't need it so he could justify an iPad. little did he know he'd have to put it into practice this week for real!)

on top of all that, my work schedule has been hectic with lots of changes in the office and i feel like i'm constantly playing catch up. i will be at home all this week (on call for the crisis phone, but somewhat grateful that it's making me stay put) and want to get caught up on photo editing and work stuff. and my family's dealing with multiple people being sick or going through treatments, and i think the stress of it all is catching up. (and creating a knot in the back of my neck and making me crave chocolate and other things that i can't have right now.) we have a long beach weekend coming up, and i'm counting down the days until then. i need four or five days away to just chill out--and i cannot wait.

sorry to ramble--it's just been that kind of day. i hope to be back to regular posting at some point, so just bear with me for the time being :)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

memorial day weekend

we had a great memorial day weekend, with no major plans to start with. i put out a plea on facebook for someone to invite us to the beach for a night, and we actually got a couple of friends who invited us to one body of water or another. so we enjoyed a relaxing weekend at home and then spent memorial day off with friends.

friday night, we ate out at a new (well, new to us) barbeque place in town called pete's wycked grill. it was delicious and reminded us a lot of the place where we ate in savannah--we'll definitely be back again! afterwards, we headed to the ollie's that had just opened up last week. i've been to one before and found some great deals for work. i wasn't dissapointed--i got several games to use for work, and some books for the baby to enjoy. i can't wait to get a bookshelf full and i know i'll enjoy reading to our child. so cool to pick out some books for that.

saturday, we spent the morning around the house and headed out in the afternoon to see a movie (finally got to see iron man 2) and do grocery shopping. we ended up going wild at the fresh market and choosing our dinner there--ribeye steaks, vegetable kabobs and roasted potatoes...mmmm....

i've also been trying out a variety of natural sodas, since i'm trying to stay away from caffeine and aspartame (aspartame is in a lot of the stuff i normally drink, like crystal light--sigh.) i've been making my own by combining juices and sparkling water (actually pretty good) and ones i can find at the stores, like the izze soda you see in the background here. really tasty and a nice treat for dinner!

we've tried to spend time outside, too, taking in beautiful sunsets like this one.
sunday, we went to church and enjoyed a guest speaker--one of the preachers that was here in greenville when i first came to college! it was wonderful to see carl again and his family, as well as many familiar faces at church.

after lunch, we hit the road for lake gaston, near the virginia border. it only took a couple of hours to get there, and we tracked down lynn, josh and her family there at the lake.

josh was having a blast in his boat on the dock--

and we were enjoying the water! it felt so good to swim, especially after i'd been warm all day. lynn's friends were nice enough to invite us to go to tubing, so we took turns and i let justin go with the guys first--i think that's him trailing behind the boat in this picture...
pepper and i just hung out at the dock--she did really well with all of the people there and only "explored" away from us a couple of times. we had a long rope to keep her tied up, but she kept getting it wrapped around all of the chairs and posts on the dock. she got in the water (against her own will) a couple of times and would swim to one of us in the water, then back to the person on the dock.
then it was my turn to go out on the boat, along with lynn, josh, and lynn's sister in law kate.
they promised me that they'd take it easy on me (being that i have a 17 week-old baby in my belly) so i managed to convince kate to join me on the tube. she was less than thrilled, but hung on for a couple of minutes!
it was my first time tubing, so i was glad they were taking it easy. i had a great time (though my arms definitely felt it over the next few days.)

then it was lynn and josh's turn--roy's son aaron rode with them to keep the tube balanced. we puttered along with them back into the dock.
the next day, we visited another friend's house to enjoy their pool by the lake. again--so good to swim! i will have to find a pool to enjoy regularly this summer...

josh was super cute in and out of the pool...
and justin and i joked about what i'll look like in just a few months--the pool basketball came in handy :)
and "delivering" the "baby."
before we knew it, it was time to pack up and head home. what a great, relaxing weekend with awesome friends! we're so grateful to lynn and her family for inviting us up there, and we can't wait to go back :)