Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from us!

[Jesus] will stand and shepherd His flock

in the strength of the LORD,

in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God.

And they will live securely, for then His greatness

will reach to the ends of the earth.

And He will be their Peace.

Micah 5:4-5

Friday, December 23, 2011

December 23, 2008

December 23.
That's the day I said "yes" in 2008.
I was completely surprised (sometimes "oblivious" really is my middle name).
Proof: I said "What are you doing?" when he got down on one knee (in the snow, no less!).

We spent the day together. Such a lovely day. One of my favorite days ever.

Breakfast at Bob Evans. Flowers. A walk downtown. Lunch at Coney Island. All of our traditions together in one day.

And then a proposal.

This is a picture of a very happy Jana (and a happy Bryce).
God is so good to me.

Monday, December 19, 2011

8 months / 8 weeks

I'm not sure which is more exciting: that I'm 8 months along already or that we only have 8 weeks left. My. How time flies when you're having fun.

On the "What to Expect" pregnancy website, they have a list of Week 31 Pregnancy Symptoms, which includes the following:
  • More frequent urination - check!
  • Occasional headaches - check! (Tylenol usually takes care of it)
  • Varicose veins - not yet, but I haven't looked too closely (praise the Lord for cold weather & pants)
  • Nasal congestion - check!
  • Lower abdominal achiness - check!
  • Backaches - very few, surprisingly
  • Increasing clumsiness - check! (where are all these extra bruises coming from?)
  • Forgetfulness - check! (sometimes I really feel like I'm losing it)
  • Difficulty sleeping - check! (especially after that 3am bathroom run...)
Some nausea has returned in the early morning. Hello old friend. At least it doesn't stick around too long and isn't too overwhelming.

I'm trying to continue light workouts in the morning - alternating a "walking" DVD for 2 miles one morning and then light weights + squats/lunges the next morning. It feels good to be moving (a little bit). The goal is to be able to carry my baby (these arms are pretty wimpy and I assume my boy is going to be a big one) and hopefully dance again come summer time.

Last Saturday Bryce and I attended the childbirth class taught by a nurse practitioner and nurse from my doctor's practice. It was a long day with lots of info - some good to know, some TMI. I definitely feel like I learned a lot but Bryce was a bit bored (since a lot of it was review for him). We also got a tour of the hospital birth center (which was on my list - check that off!). Attending the class definitely made the whole delivery process seem more real and pending. It will be here before we know it. Not sure if I'm ready...

At the class, we shared the most surprising thing about the pregnancy so far. Mine was how awkward it is to do everything, even walk. It sure is hard to maneuver this belly around. Proof: Bryce had to help me put on my boots last weekend. I can still cut my toenails though.

I would sure appreciate your prayers about my work situation. There is a lot of "arranging" that needs to happen with a maternity leave and the stress of it is starting to get to me - Short Term Disability requirements, finding (and training) replacements for the three attorneys I work for, making sure my insurance will continue, etc. It's getting harder and harder to sit at a desk all day long and I can't imagine doing this up until the baby comes, so hopefully they'll let me take off a week or two early. I do want to finish well here and leave on a good note - please pray with me that I can do so!

Already today, four people asked me about my due date. I must look big or something.

Last Monday morning, I called the nurse, just to let them know that my heart rate had been fast (116) off and on since Sunday morning and I was feeling short of breath. It didn't seem like a big deal to me, but they wanted me to go to the ER just in case. (My first time in an actual ER . . . crazy.) Thank goodness Bryce was home. We spent four hours in the ER - they did an EKG, blood work, etc. but it all was normal. And the baby was perfectly fine. They sent me home with a holter monitor, which I wore for 24 hours and we'll find out in a few days whether it recorded anything abnormal. So, scare over. I must be pregnant or something. :) Trying to take it easy when I can and not overdo it.

To finish up this post, I must share about the lovely baby shower that my wonderful sister-in-law Janna threw for me two weeks ago. She hosted the Langebartels family, plus my mother and grandma. Delicious food, a fun game, being surrounded by family, and sweet gifts made for a lovely Sunday afternoon. I felt so blessed and cherished. A big "thank you!" to those of you who came and brought gifts for our little man!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mary and Me

Identifying with Mary the mother of Jesus during pregnancy . . . it's something I never thought about before. Even though I may be 10 years her senior, I imagine our first-time-pregnant experiences have a few similarities. I can imagine her . . .
  • feeling baby Jesus kick for the first time
  • feeling nauseous all day long
  • feeling her baby's hiccups for the first time
  • feeling calf cramps in the early morning
  • feeling the turns and rolls and boxing all day long
  • feeling such love for this baby inside her
On the other hand, our experiences are so completely different . . .
  • she was a virgin, while I've been married for over two years
  • she was most likely ridiculed and ostracized for her pregnancy, while mine has been nothing but excitement and congratulations
  • she had her baby in a stable with only a husband attending, while I will have mine in a hospital that feels more like a fancy hotel
  • she knew there was something special and infinite about her baby, while mine will be simply human and a sinner, just like me
Despite the obvious dissimilarities, I can't help but somehow feel closer to Mary this year and more understanding of her condition and experiences.

May I praise the Lord as she did:

My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. . . .
His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever,
even as he said to our fathers.
Luke 1:46-55

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

project: craft closet

Ever since moving into our house, I've been using the closet in the guest room as my "craft closet" - storing my collection of material, paper, ribbon, project leftovers, gift bags & tissue paper, extra photo frames, etc. Well, with the pending arrival of our little boy, the closet was needed to house baby stuff, so we created a space for my things in the upstairs hallway. Here's the "before" and Bryce hard at work putting in the shelves.

And the after! I love having a spot for everything, plus a large filing cabinet for all of our paperwork. Yes, I'm a collector of crafty things . . . you never know when it might come in handy for a future project!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

project: painting the laundry room

As part of the getting-ready-for-baby craze, we did a small makeover to the laundry room - it's amazing what a little paint can do! Chris helped me paint the trim bright white and do all of the cutting in. Bryce rolled the walls and then I painted the doors bright white.

The walls were blue and (in an effort to use up paint that we already had and tie the downstairs together even more) we painted them with the same dark gray of the fireplace walls. You can see the difference in the picture below, since we didn't repaint the shelves above the washer/dryer (that are hidden by the bamboo blinds).

It makes the room much warmer. It's hard to get a good picture of this room but hopefully this will give you an idea.

Monday, December 12, 2011

project: living room updates

Bryce and I are slowly adding little things to the living room. We got rid of our TV and stand - the TV was broken and we hardly used it. A friend picked up a few items at Ikea for me this fall. I love the expedit bookcases and coordinating bins, which we are using to store DVDs, games, my workout stuff and, later, kids toys. It also provides a place for (our growing collection of) children's books, which I wanted to have low and accessible in the living room.

A friend gave us a large, canvas world map that we hung in the living room in place of the TV. Bryce has been wanting one for a long time. Oh - and the leather chair we found on craigslist. The matching chair is up in the nursery/guest room.

Just keeping it real. That's where Bryce's stuff usually sits when he comes home from work.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

project: chalkboard door

Finally got around to painting our pantry door with chalkboard paint. After I did three thick coats with a small roller (and a face mask!), Bryce hung it back up for me and added the "verse of the week." The splash of black and a place to write adds a lot to the room!