Monday, April 25, 2011

20 Weeks!

Just got back from the doctor's office and the final walk through of the house! Everything went great at both appointments! Since David was at work, my mom tagged along for both appointments, which was really fun :)

Blake's major organs are all functioning appropriately. All his organs are inside where there are supposed to be, the heart has four chambers, his stomach is visible - which means that he's been swallowing great for over 5 weeks now (you can also see his stomach - the little black spot in his abdomen - on his last ultrasound), kidneys - there are two, and brain looks great! All of those things are such a relief for a medical professional to hear :) Doctor said that little Blake is measuring a week ahead on size, which was no surprise to me at all! Might move my due date up at some point, but we will see!

Here is one of his profile pictures from today's visit!

His arms and legs are overlapping in the picture, so it's hard to distinguish his limbs. His little feet are not on the screen in this shot. Speaking of little limbs, I got to see him punching and kicking at the ultrasound probe for the first time today. I had been feeling it inside when he jumps up and down on my insides, but it was so neat to actually see his reaction when he was being prodded at. He already has so much force in his movements! He's gonna have some spunk like his mom, I think :)

Well on to the update!
*How far along?: 19 Weeks 5 Days
*How big is baby?: Small cantaloupe
*Weight Gain: 9 pounds
*Sex: Sweet baby boy!
*Maternity clothes: I need to buy some new scrub tops soon. My favorite article of clothing is my maternity jean capris!
*Stretch marks: Nope
*Sleep: I still can sleep like it's my job :)
*Symptoms: Just sleepy a lot, that’s about it!
*Movement: He moves the most right after I eat. He’s turned on his side, so when he kicks and moves his little hands my insides are the only thing that feel it!
*Food cravings: Really anything, I just really am not fond of cakes and other super sweet/sugary things right now. I’ll eat some chocolate no problem, but no really sweet stuff!
*Labor signs: Nope
*Belly button in or out: In
*What I miss: Sleeping on my tummy!
*What I'm looking forward to: Closing on our house Thursday so I can start decorating Blake’s nursery!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Student for LIFE!

Well, not really - but that's what it feels like! In a week, I will finally have my bachelor's degree from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama.

While I should have rightfully had my BSN 5 years ago (at 21, not 26), I'm honestly thankful for the "ride" that I've been on. Without the hiccups along the way, I would not have met all the amazing people that I know now, and I wouldn't be employed at the place that I'm at right now either. Which makes me sad to think that I would not know the people that are closest to me now. God definitely has a plan for each of us, far beyond what anyone could grasp on their own. No matter how much control we think we have on our lives, God constantly reminds us that he has a distinct plan for our lives.

Back to my nursing program ... The nursing program was entirely online, and truthfully - the easiest college courses I have taken thus far. I finished the program on the president's list for all three terms (I cannot say that about any other point in my college career). I would HIGHLY recommend JSU's STEP nursing program to any ASN nurse that seeks an online BSN program. There are no clinicals at all, and their is no out of state tuition (and it's a state school, so it's AFFORDABLE!). Strangely, my place of employment does not even give me a penny raise for this higher degree. However, my real intentions for getting a bachelor's degree was to continue on to my family/primary nurse practitioner career goals as many of you already know.

I was recently accepted into Auburn's Primary Nurse Practitioner online program for this summer (I thought I was applying for Summer 2012), but after many prayers I believe that starting a program before Blake is born would not be good timing. While finishing school BEFORE he was born would have been ideal, I didn't want to be a 30+ first time mom. Timing will never be right to have a family, so David and I prayed that ONLY if God wanted to bless us with a child that it would happen. And a few months later, it happened!

Many of you know that I always have a million things on my plate at a time, and honestly I love keeping myself busy (maybe I'm a little crazy!? ... don't answer that!). While many other mom's may not agree, I plan to start a nurse practitioner program in January 2012 (when Blake is 4+ months old). I know that it will be hard to be a new mom and in school, but if anyone can do it - I can, with a lot of prayer and support from my family :) I figure that it will be easier to juggle him and school when he's not involved in a ton of activities. Once I'm done with the 5 semester program (less than 2 years if I go full time), I'll be DONE with school. (Unless of course, someone pays for me to get my PhD later in life!?)

I am in the process of applying to Samford in Birmingham, Alabama (where I started my nursing school journey - so it would be pretty neat to finish there), Kennesaw State and Georgia State. All the programs are primarily online and allow you to do clinicals with an approved "preceptor" at virtually any hospital. I pray that it will be a fairly seamless process.

However, I'm looking forward to having the next two semesters off - the most time I've taken off of school in years!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Babies and Wedding Bells!

I think that 2011 is totally going to be the year for weddings and babies :)

Let me list the weddings so I don't lose track ...

Amanda - Dear friend of mine for about 6 years now, we were introduced by fate alone and our friendship has been life changing, for both of us!
Andrea - A sweet friend of mine in Florida is finally marrying her sweetheart at the end of this month!
Taryn - My bridesmaid, and friend from college, and now work, too!
Erin - From work, although I've only known her for about 5 months - we go together like peas and carrots :)

And now the babies ...

About 4 girls I know from college have already had their babies this year, so let's move on to the ones that are still due to pop :)
Chasity - Friend from work, is due with little Beckham at the beginning of May
Elizabeth - One of my highschool/church friend's little sister's is having her second baby boy in the middle of May with little Henry! Love keeping up with her cute little family on her blog!
Nicole - Friend from college, is finally adopting her precious baby Lily from China sometime before the end of May!
Jennifer - Met through a mutual friend, is due with little Liam at the beginning of June!
Heidi - Although we only met at work orientation, we keep up on FB :) Her little girl, Hunter is due in July!
Tracey - Friend from college, (I think we met in Physiology, how fabulous was that class girl!?) is due with her little one in the beginning of September!
Me - Due mid-September!
Andrea - Met through a mutual friend a couple years ago, is having her little one about a week after us!
Casey - Friend from work, is having her little one in the beginning of October!
And another friend that I've known since high school just found out she's due at the end of November!

If I missed you on the list, it surely wasn't intentional - I just cannot believe how lucky we all are to be starting and making families of our own :) God is SOO Good :) Can I get an AMEN!?

I want to take a minute to share my favorite proposal story and my favorite baby story! My favorite proposal story for this year has to go with the couple that has been engaged the shortest (only a couple days!), miss Amanda and Aaron! I cannot just start with the story, have to give you some background! Amanda is my godliest friend, by far. She has taken two seven month mission trips overseas and even donated her 2004 accord (paid off completely by her, might I add!) to her fabulous sister, Steen! Needless to say, Amanda is so selfless! Well, I digress ... On one of her mission trips, she met a girl friend who happened to live in Canada, named CJ. After their return home from the mission trip, they kept in touch and Amanda even went up to visit CJ at one point. Cue Aaron :) Amanda met Aaron through this CJ's boyfriend at the time. Well, needless to say. The rest is history! Amanda and Aaron have maintained a Christ-centered relationship, across two countries. I truly am impressed by their dedication to each other an the Lord. They could not ask for a better spouse :) Well, on to the proposal story already!!!

Aaron came to visit for Amanda's birthday this last week, and while he didn't propose to her at her surprise birthday party like we all thought ... He went above and beyond any of our dreams for our sweet Amanda :) Amanda and her family took Aaron to the beach over the weekend. Aaron finagled a helicopter ride over a beach with "Amanda, Marry Me!?" written in the sand! Now, isn't that like only in the movies!?!? I cannot stop smiling just thinking about how my patient, amazing friend finally has her prince charming!

I think they are thinking about an August wedding, and I cannot wait to help her plan (if she will let me!)!!! God is going to bless this couple like crazy and I cannot wait to see what He has in store for their lives together!
Now, onto my favorite baby story! Hands down, without competition - my friend from college Nicole, get's this award in my book! Nicole and I met at Jeff State's nursing school in Birmingham. Well, I have to give a little background on this amazing woman, too! ... Nicole was inspirational to me in a number of ways, but the three most prominent were her genuine, caring attitude, her wealth of knowledge (always the highest scores in the class!), and the fact that she has lost nearly 200 pounds with exercise and diet alone! I mean, WOW! Just to type those words alone it doesn't seem like one person could possibly lose that much weight on their own, but she did it!

Nicole and her husband Jeff have been married for a number of years, I'm thinking like 15+ maybe? [Correct me if I'm wrong Nicole :)] And they have never been able to successfully conceive. After years of trials in attempting to have a family, they decided that adoption would be the best option for them. They decided that they wanted adopt from China (which happens to be the most difficult country to adopt from). After nearly a 6 year wait, they were finally matched with their sweet, Lily Faith a little over a week ago! I cannot tell you how much paperwork they filled out, how much money they spent on the process, or the physicals, but I can tell you - it's a LOT OF WORK! I had no idea that adoptions were so complicated! Every time I talked to Nicole about her adoption on our study breaks (I miss those talks by the way - not the studying!), I always admired her courage and patience with the process. I always thought to myself - wow, I wish I could be like her! I'm the least patient person I know!

Nicole and Jeff are, by far, the most deserving parents I know! I cannot wait to see the pictures of when they finally get to meet their sweet baby girl for the first time in the next month or two! I am so excited and happy for you guys :)

Well, I think that concludes my novel of a blog post - MAN, I wrote a lot! Have a great rest of your week!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Don't Blink!

Can you believe that three months ago our lot was only grass and today it looks like this?

It's hard to believe that in less than 3 weeks that we will be spending our first night in our house! As you can imagine, I am beyond excited to decorate Blake's nursery :) I have another appointment scheduled for Monday, April 25th for an ultrasound. That way we can see that Blake is still a boy and then I can get started with his nursery finally! It's been so hard to hold off on buying a ton of stuff for him, particularly since we would have to be moving it again in a few weeks. I did, however, buy him a three-pack of onesies with little froggies on them!

I decided to get 6 month ones, since I'm sure he will be a little porker like the rest of us! For those of you who don't remember, I was a whopping 12 lbs 2 ounces when I was born (no, mom wasn't a diabetic, yes, I was a c-section, and I was 17 days late). Well, my superwoman mom had three children, and her smallest was 9 lb 14 ounces - wow, I know! My sister managed to have two little girls in the arena of 8 lbs, but for some reason I think he's gonna be a big baby ... Maybe I should start saying prayers now, huh?

I got the title of this blog from a comment my sister made to me on facebook the other day, she's so right. I'm challenging myself to take each day at a time and enjoy it to the fullest. If any of you interact with me on a daily basis, my thoughts are constantly consumed with what I have to get finished and the future. I'm going to try my best to sit back, and enjoy life for a change - day by day. I have a feeling that this year is going to be a whirlwind of memories when it comes to the end of December :)