Friday, February 26, 2010

A Disney Twist

Reason #455 Why I Love My Job - Staff Retreats

The first Staff Retreat of 2010 is officially in the books, and oh my goodness, we had SO much fun!

This is the place that we get to stay everytime:

It's freaking amazing! Blake and I were lucky enough to score an AWESOME room that faced the ocean. So we left our windows open at night so that we would fall asleep and wake up to the sound of crashing waves. It was wonderful. Except for the fact that the place happens to be right next to McChord Air Force Base, so the first morning we actually woke up to a bajillion fighter jets going Bombs Over Baghdad (or at least preparing for it), but otherwise it was super peaceful and romantic. :)

Not only do I love and adore the people that I get to do ministry with (and their spouses), but it's always such a good recharge time for Blake and I too. With no agenda for 3 days, it's the best for us to just reconnect and cuddle when we want and enjoy life together. We always seem to come home knowing, feeling, and remembering why we married each other. :) That sounds crazy, but anyone who is married knows exactly what I am talking about. It's not a knock to Blake at all, but you just need those times to be together and appreciate and cherish the love that you have for one another. This is obviously especially timely because we've got a baby on the way, so without that foundation, WE'RE SCREWED! So thank you Ryan & Michelle for creating such a great environment and staff culture that encourages and allows spouses to do life with all of us through ministry.

Here's a group shot of everyone (including spouses). For a church of 4,000+ we only have 16 (and growing!) people who officially call this their job. Pretty amazing group of peeps.

Other than that, our time was spent laughing until our cheeks and stomachs hurt. The girls had dance parties until 2am, Leah and I sang a lovely pregnant karaoke version of "My Humps", and the boys played cornhole til they couldn't get enough of that corn in the hole (that's what she said). Oh and not to forget the fact that the food was AWESOME! Blake and I scored leftover chicken gyros to take home and I actually just had a yummy one for lunch. Kendall, Wendy Woll and Lynn Mckee have got some serious kitchen skills (it's part of the interview process).

Needless to say, I am blessed.

Friday, February 19, 2010

28 Weeks And Growing!

Well, the 3rd trimester is officially upon us now and I'm starting to feel it physically. I can't believe that we've turned the corner and are in the last homestretch of this baby thing! I had a doctor's appointment today for my glucose screening, and it wasn't THAT bad. From everyone else's horror stories, I was literally bracing myself for the worst...but the orange drink while yes, not the BEST beverage of choice, was manageable and before I knew it - the blood was drawn and I was done!

Then it was off to see our doc. She is so amazing. I told the nurse and doc of all the lovely unfiltered comments that I'm starting to receive and they quickly made me feel better and assured me that my size was right in line with HEALTHY progress. So TAKE THAT to all you douches out there who have been making me feel like a freight-train lately. I definitely had a growth spurt since the last appointment, but nothing that was worrisome or beyond what's expected. In fact, my doctor was like you better take those belly pics now because you look beautiful! Ohh...nothing like a good self-esteem boost from the baby doctor.

She also gave me the a-okay to fly up until 32 weeks! I'm throwing around the idea of getting away for some heat and sunshine in Arizona. Trying to coordinate with Steph to see if I could catch one of Brent's games (he plays for the White Sox and Spring Training starts soon), but we'll see. I don't think Blake is down for a vacation right now (so he can save his days for when the baby comes and after), so we'll see if it comes to fruition. That's all for now...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Are You Going To Read This?

So I'm really liking this whole blog thing, but I've realized that there's kind of a lot of pressure. Is it just pressure that I'm putting on myself though (that would be something new and different - insert sarcasm - )? Everyday, I'm like OH, what can I post on my blog?! Oh wait, nothing exciting is happening. I feel like I need to have an event to share with you all (as if there are many of you reading this), which is kind of a lot of pressure. Should I just create events? I'm pretty sure that would be considered lying...even by my standards. :) Either way, thus is life and figure that honesty should be the best policy - exciting or not.

So last night we kicked off our Growth Groups (through EastLake) for the Winter Season. I'm doing an Expecting Moms group (with my super cute friend Ali!) and Blake's doing an Expecting Dads group. We're going to be reading "Your Marriage Can Survive A Newborn" (I'll keep you posted on the verdict of the book - never read it before) and Blake's reading "A Baby Manual" that he so cutely added to his Christmas list this year.

There are tons of girls in my group whose husband's are in Blakes which should be super fun. Normally, Blake and I do our own thing during Growth Group season so it'll be cool to have similar topics and have them on the same night (thankfully, I got the house to host and made his group meet somewhere else!). I feel like we have SO much to learn in the coming 14 weeks. Yes, 14 more weeks. FRICK!

*Side note: one of my awesome volunteers did give me a pair of converted "A" pocket Seven's that have the maternity band on them so I feel cute again in the wardrobe department. :)

Anyway, 14 weeks doesn't sound like very much time, especially when I don't even really know what I'm looking ahead to. Yes, I know, a baby is coming but what does that even mean for us? What will his room look like (PS, my friend Kelly sent me some links to a few cute sites that I'll share)? WHAT WILL HIS NAME EVEN BE?!?!

Actually, we might have picked a name. THAT'S AN EXCITING EVENT RIGHT?! Oh, you want to know so bad. We both REALLY like it and are in total agreement but just need to finalize one more thing before it's announced. Blake actually came home from group last night and was like, "I wished that we had a name so I could have told everyone so that we could claim it". Haha. I've got a lot of confidence though that no one will be picking this name for their little boy anytime between now and next Tuesday...

Anyway, I best be getting in the shower right about now. I've got to go pick up some pizza crusts for tonight's Build Your Own Pizza/Clue Extravaganza with the Huttons and Petersons. All I know was that it was prob Mrs. Peacock with the wrench in the frickin Library!!

**Here are the links to cute baby stuff that my friend sent me:
I LOVE all of these fabrics.  And want them in my house.  Not just his nursery.
LOVE this mirror...but maybe not for my little boy's room.  Maybe for the girl.  That doesn't exist.
Ta ta!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Baby, Baby, Baby

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward." - Psalm 127:3.

Michelle was so generous and opened up the Meeks home to all of us Staff gals/wives last night for an awesome double baby shower for Leah and I. What an evening! We are so blessed to be surrounded by such amazing women and I just absolutely adore all of the times when we all get to be together and just enjoy each other's company.

Michelle served up some delicious homemade lasagna, accompanied by Leanne's caesar salad and yummy garlic bread. There was no agenda, no need for silly games - just socializing, laughing, and sharing life together. I absolutely loved it.

Of course everyone was extremely generous with the presents they shared with Leah and I for our baby boys. I can't tell you how grateful I am to have people in my life that are going through the same season as me, OR who have just recently gone through it and can share their wisdom and encouragement. Kendra said something of particular notability when she reminded Leah and I that no matter what, we are the chosen parents for our baby boys. God didn't choose anyone else to raise Rad and Baby Carb - he chose Blake and I, and Leah and Phil. That just really hit home and made me fully appreciate the gift that this little boy is inside of me. God picked me.

Here are a couple of fun pics from the evening!

The whole gang.

Little baby Jace.

Super funny moment when Jessica accidentally spilled red wine on Jessica Kretz, as she was showing us our proposed "meet and greet" song. Thank goodness for a brown couch!

Two of my favs - Amy and Kendra.

Leah, me and our boys! Only 2 weeks apart!

And then of course there is always the fun loot that we get to enjoy! Here are just a couple of highlights of everyone's generosity!

Little miss crafty Aaron made these ADORABLE customized screen print onesies for Leah and I. Mine of course didn't say "I'm Rad". :)

LOVED these! Crafty little stool from Kylie, ADORABLE green rainboots from Tahnee, and a mini-Blake outfit from Kendra!

"Tell Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel with this special blessing:
May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.
Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them." (Numbers 6:23-27)
Thanks Michelle!
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