Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Baby Shower Joy

I have been so blessed by the generosity, love and support of our family and friends during this exciting season. This pregnancy has been a little stressful for a couple reasons - but it was such a joy to stop and celebrate the blessing that this little child is! 

The first baby shower was thrown by my best friends from college. It was so wonderful to get together at Jody's house and celebrate! Also it meant so much to me that my sweet Audrey drove all the way from Charlotte to be there :)

Adorable balloons that made me tear up when I saw them outside :) #pregnancyhormones

Adorable diaper cake made by the one and only Courtney Samuelson! I wish I had taken more pictures of all the decorations that Court made - she really made so many adorable things! 

With the sweet hosts of the shower! Court, me and Jodes

All the girls at the shower! So blessed by each one of these friends in my life and so humbled by their friendship.

One last pic with Shanny :)

The second shower was thrown by my mom and my sisters. They invited a lot of our family friends - the women from our church growing up who have known me since I was a toddler. It was so special to celebrate with them as well - get lots of advice and just be around these wise women who have loved me so well for all my life. It was a great reminder to me of how truly blessed I am.

The decorations for this shower were straight out of a magazine. Seriously my sisters are amazing at making things look exactly like Pinterest!

The punch was seriously the best punch I've ever had. The flowers were given by sweet Tracy from Springwell Gardens - she did the flowers for my wedding too. Those jars/vases on the mantle and on the table were spray painted the prettiest baby pink! 

The best gift: our stroller and carseat!!! My sisters all pitched in to give us this gift and I was so surprised and thankful and excited! :) It made everything so much more real.

And to cap it off, my sweet friend, Kristi, from work threw me such a sweet shower at her beautiful home in Durham. Almost all my co-workers (and former co-workers) were there and it was such a sweet time to be with these incredible women that I work with every day. I was totally spoiled by all their gifts (and the amazing food - yes Kristi did include caffeine free Coke! Does she know me or what?)... and the best part was when they asked how they could be praying for me and we spent some time in prayer. I really feel so humbled to work with such an amazing group of women who just showered their love on our little family. I am also SO sad because I didn't take a single dang picture! But it was such a special time and I left feeling so overwhelmed by God's grace in my life.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The best part: carpet!

Sorry for the delay in the basement progress updates! But I'm back with the most exciting stage yet - CARPET! Since you can't feel it in these pictures, let me just assure you that it is AWESOME. It is so soft and wonderful and it still smells so new in our basement. Once they come out with scratch and sniff pictures, I'll make sure to add them :)

Here's a quick tour of our unfurnished brand spanking new carpeted basement - with photos taken by Rob. At 6'8", his vantage point can't be beat :) I'll also try to take some more pictures with our furniture in place and some better lighting at some point :)

These stairs used to be so scary...

 ...and now they are so wonderful and beautiful! (We still need to add the banisters back in)


AFTER: Look at the white trim on the windows! My heart skips a beat! Also, check out our newly refinished fan.

Before (kinda...this is really during renovation)

After! Love the newly painted light (still needs to be tweaked a bit), the white columns and the white door!

More detail pictures...

The door before:

And after!

We love love love our new basement and can't wait to use it for ministry! There is still some minor touch-up to do but overall, it is finished and functioning again!! Pictures soon to come with furniture and decorations!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pregnancy Update - 36 Weeks

Yikes, last time I did a pregnancy update, I was 24 weeks :) Oh how the time flies! Here are some pics to catch you up since then...

 29 weeks - in San Francisco! These were my mega-swollen days. A flight across country plus entering the third trimester = hugeness. But it was a wonderful trip nonetheless!

31 weeks at Jay & Elizabeth's wedding. Glowy parents-to-be.

32 weeks

34 weeks! Baby shower with friends at Jody's house :)

35 weeks.

Pregnancy update - Weeks 25 - 36
How Far Along:
 36 weeks

Size of baby: Approx 19 in, 6.5 lbs, size of a WATERMELON (this is getting real)

Gender: It's a GIRL!! :)

Movement: Still moving nonstop! About a month ago, the movements became more uncomfortable and less fluttery :) She is now head-down and has dropped so her feet are up by my ribs...and she kicks off my rib cage about 10 times a day :) Because it's more cramped in there now, when she moves trying to change position, it feels like my stomach is being pulled in two different directions - it's a crazy feeling! But I still love love love feeling her move.

What I miss: Clothes that fit :) I'm down to about 4 outfits now.

What I'm loving: Still wake up in the morning some days and forget about my belly and that makes me laugh pretty hard when I see it. Loving these last few weeks with just Rob and me - trying to cherish those moments and not wish them away. I love going to the doc every week now and getting updates on my progress!

Symptoms: Still getting the infamous leg cramps :) But I've learned how to kill them much more quickly now. Nausea has ramped up again - but thankfully not throwing up like 1st trimester! Lots of Braxton-Hicks and some real contractions mixed in. Not sleeping through the night anymore but I was ready for that. Lots more lower back pain and definitely some waddling going on :)

Cravings: Still LOVING potato-y things. Love Burgers and fries (can I blame that on pregnancy?) Overall, not really excited about food anymore - just eating more because I need to and I'm hungry.

Best Moments recently: Two amazing baby showers - one by my best friends and one by my sisters. Wrapping up the nursery! Getting last minute baby items - pacis, burp cloths, blankets. Rob surprised me with a gorgeous bassinet last week - it seriously is unbelievably beautiful. Finishing up all our major projects and getting everything back into place.

What we are looking forward to: Baby shower this week thrown by my girls from work! :) Hanging pictures in the nursery. Getting our house deep-cleaned.

A new section - "Sponsors". I think it's fun to see the little ways my routines have changed in pregnancy so far. Things that quickly seem "normal" until I stop and say "Wait. What is my life?" 

And so...this pregnancy has been sponsored by:

Potatoes in every shape, form and size

Foster - instead of getting a pregnancy pillow, I just whipped out my old stuffed bear and it is perfect!
(Picture circa 2006)

My second pillow - so necessary to keep me from waking up from acid reflux.

Lowe's - We go on many trips per week to this store. I know it like the back of my hand now.

My water bottle - Ole faithful. My goal is up to 90 oz per day now. Whoa.

Katherine Jackson's maternity clothes - Seriously so blessed by this friend's generosity.
(she's to the right of me in the picture below :) )

Our bedroom ceiling fan - I would die without it. I get so hot when I sleep now and I had to go a week without our bedroom ceiling fan and I thought I would die :)

Maxi skirts - soooo much more comfy than any kind of pants (except pajama pants of course). 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

77 hours of painting...

...that's not a joke.  That's real life.

Between the two of us, we logged 67 hours total of painting in our basement - 57 of those hours in one week. And PTL for Kier and Sam coming and logging 10 more (not including the priming coat). It was the biggest beast of a project we've ever tackled...and we had no idea going into it how much time it would take. Looking back, I'm pretty glad we didn't know because I'm pretty sure I would have curled up in a little ball and cried :)

(PS, to see more details about our basement renovation so far, see part one and part two.)

Picking up where we left off, after the drywall was finished, Rob painted the ceiling, which was painful on the arms but probably better than it is for most people considering his height advantage :) Then, Rob and Sandy knocked out all the priming (one coat) in one night. This was awesomely quick... but may or may not have given us false hope for how quick the rest of it would be :)

Then one awesome Tuesday night, my sister Kiersten and her then-boyfriend-now-fiancee Sam (they got engaged 4 days after!) came over to help us paint! It was seriously the biggest morale boost and motivator we needed to start getting it done. We bonded over beautiful gray paint, little lighting (our overhead lights were not yet installed), Snoopy's hot dogs and a million cracks in the walls. Thanks again, Kier & Sam!
The happy couple :)

The color we chose is called Silverplate by Sherwin Williams. It is the same color my mom has in her kitchen - grays are so difficult to find, we just decided not to reinvent the wheel :) She has a slightly darker shade of gray in her living room that we also love but we went with the lighter color since it's a basement with less natural light.

Since it was too dark to take pictures the night we painted, here are some after pictures the next day...PS these are all just one coat.

Rolled the bottom half of the stairs (paneling)

First coat on all the cinderblock walls, First coat on 2/3 of cinderblock cracks and edges.

Rolled first coat on paneling in bedroom and first coat on HVAC sheetrock. You can also check out the abstract painting on the closet door of the bedroom - this was after one coat of primer.

Almost missed out on capturing the creepiness and terror that is the back of the bedroom door. This painting is straight up CREEPY and I am so glad it's gone now! :) I'm so glad I didn't get a closer up shot or one before it was primed because it was what nightmares are made of...

The one cinderblock wall we didn't finish painting the cracks.

Loving the color and definitely starting to see it come together!

You'll notice there is bottom top trim already installed below all the HVAC units. We painted those gray so that they blend into the gray HVAC above.
Also this is the new closet with the paneling all installed!

New paneling and door to the new smaller utility closet.

The next day, the contractor came by and installed the additional trim at the very top. It makes SUCH a huge difference in how finished the rooms look!

New top trim in the bedroom.

Better picture of the teensiest window in the bedroom + top trim.

Top trim in the main entertainment space

Trimming out the new columns! Love!

All the beautiful top trim

And here's a little teaser - my arch nemesis in life. Navy. Blue. Trim. I'm talking 4 coats to cover those suckers up!

We also got creative with the lights in our basement. We moved and refinished our old brass & wood ceiling fan from our bedroom downstairs to the basement, and we repainted the green barn light a new fresh color!

The materials - Rustoleum Oil-Rubbed Bronze, Rustoleum White Semigloss, Rustoleum Clear Gloss, and Valspar La Fonda Mirage Flat

The light - before

The inside before - just needs a quick fresh coat of white!

Look how much fresher it looks!

It took just a few coats of mint to cover up the dark green!

Beautiful new color! We later ORBed the chain.

Here is Rob uninstalling the ceiling fan light from the bedroom

All the brass ceiling fan fixtures

Wood fan paddles

Disclaimer: repainting the ceiling fan was 100% Rob's idea - this is him trying to convince me that it's a great idea (which it was). :)

Brass before - and a little ORB

He also cleaned the glass ceiling fan domes - made a HUGE difference!

Saving all the after pictures for you to see at once :) Next up - finished paint and CARPET!!