Sunday, December 8, 2013

Trip back to Chicago

Back in October (yes, it's December 8!) Jason and I went back to Illinois for his friend's wedding. Jason was standing up in the wedding so it was going to be a jam-packed weekend with wedding festivities. We later found out I was pregnant and because we were already paying for airfare, hotel and rental car for the wedding weekend, it would make the most financial sense to have my baby shower that same weekend while we were already there.  My aunts threw me a family shower and my friend, Jolene, through me a friend shower.

We arrived in Chicago on Thursday night around midnight after a long day of working.  (plus I'm pregnant which as I've been saying the whole time am exhausted all the time!) Friday we woke up at my parents house and my mom and I did some very quick shopping and girl time before meeting Jason and my dad at Portillos who were out picking up the rental car and Jason's tux.  After a delicious lunch we went home and got ready for the wedding rehearsal in Elk Grove Village.  The wedding rehearsal dinner was at Lou Malnati's (yum!).  Great day of Chicago food and good friends and family.

Saturday morning I was very panicked because I hadn't felt the baby move for several days.  In addition that Tuesday before I had had some really bad cramping which I had just ignored and figured was gas pain.  So then by Saturday I was a wreck thinking maybe something bad had happened and I was an idiot that I just kept thinking everything was okay.  So to make a long story short...after a sleepless night for both Jason and I (and the baby still not moving in the morning) I called my OB back in Colorado and told her my concerns. My OB and my relationship is a whole other story but lets just say she didn't ease my mind when I called her.  So I called CDH and they told me to come in and they'd hook me up in Labor and Delivery so there wouldn't be a wait and I could get peace of mind.

I hurried up and showered and got ready for the wedding which was at 2:30 in Elk Grove Village.  Jason had to be to the hotel at 10:30 so there wasn't much time in our day to fit in a visit to the hospital but as I said, I was a wreck with worry.  We got to the hospital, they hooked me up for a nonstress test and the baby pretty much immediately started moving (of course, right?!) So we knew the baby was moving but also found out I was contracting because I was extremely dehydrated.  I wouldn't have thought so but when I thought about it, it made perfect sense.  I hadn't drank a ton on Thursday at work. (my job doesn't allow for many pee breaks) then we drove straight to airport, then flew and both of those I didn't want to have to have to pee every second.  Got into Chicago at midnight...obviously didn't want to be up all night going to the bathroom so hadn't hydrated properly.  Friday during the day it was just busy. I did drink a lot of water at the dinner but also had pizza and their salad both with lots of sodium.  It just made sense that I hadn't made drinking water a huge priority so I learned that day how important it is to drink water...and a lot of it, regardless how much I have to go to the bathroom.  The nurse had originally told me I'd be there until about 4:00 because they'd have to do a bunch more tests to make sure everything was okay but in the end they just gave me about a gallon of water and apple juice, the doctor came in and reviewed the test...all looked better and I was cleared to go around noon with barely any time to spare.  I headed to my parents, changed, and got to the wedding with just a few minutes to spare.

The wedding was a lot of fun. I ended up being a long day since just the morning had been so exhausting. And I must add that weddings also aren't as much fun when you're not allowed to drink but we had a great time together. The bride looked fabulous and there was lot of love in the air! We danced and caught up with some of Jason's friends then went to bed around midnight since we had to be up early for church the next day.

In the morning we went to Willow for church...I cried through all the songs. I can't get enough of that church. I miss it so much but am so thankful we get to go back when we're home.  After church my mom and I drove straight to my family shower while Jason and my dad returned the tux and rental car.  After shower one, we went to shower two.  The whole day flew by and was overwhelming with seeing so many different people in one day but it was a day I will never forget!  (more to come on the showers in a separate post).

Sunday night was spent going through all the shower gifts and packing up before hitting the road for the airport at 4:30am.  What a weekend it was!  I could have used an extra week or two to do all we did in that very short 3 days but wow was it fun!  So thankful I got to see everyone that weekend and that my parents opened their house to us fed us well each morning. Hard to believe that the next time we're back in West Chicago we'll have a little one in tow!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

2nd Trimester Update

I'm not sure what it is but I had no idea about all the crazy changes my body would go through during pregnancy.  More than half my friends have been pregnant, most already have their second and some even have three!  Maybe I just didn't ask enough questions or maybe it's that every pregnancy really is that much different from the next one but I cannot believe all the changes and weird things my body has experienced since the day I got pregnant.

My first and second trimesters really weren't that different from each other.  Everyone I talked to and all the research I did told me that you could tell the two trimesters apart almost immediately at the stat of your second trimester.  I didn't notice any difference.  I have been completely exhausted since the day I found out I was pregnant, but we'll touch on that later.  The very minimal nausea I experienced the first trimester did go away eventually but it wasn't this immediate switch at the beginning of second trimester.

So as I was saying, pregnancy is's weird.  My body has gone through some crazy weird things...some I thought I'd share, some I'll keep to myself so that I keep the few readers that still follow this blog.  As for the ones I'd like to share...
  • I literally cannot touch my toes.  This started a long time ago. I can understand not being able to touch your toes in the third trimester when you're huge but I had no idea that this belly would get in the way every time I need to put shoes on or bend over to pick anything up.
  • My stomach looks like a forest...there is so much peach fuzz-like hair growing out of it.  They say its the hormones but I say it's plain weird.
  • I feel the baby moving all the time at the weirdest time of the day. From what I've read he should normally be moving when I am sitting but this kid is kicking me all the time. I LOVE IT.  Love love love how he is always moving.  
  • Headaches were such a common thing during the first trimester. I had them for days and had a few migraines.  During the first trimester I was really trying not to take Tylenol and obviously was staying away from caffeine until my doctor told me that both would probably help with the extreme pain.  She was right and thankfully now drinking a lot of water seems to keep them at bay.
  • The headaches were almost always accompanied by extreme back pain.  Again, 3rd trimester...I get that I would have back pain.  But early on, when I'd barely gained any weight, I was shocked at how extreme the back pain was.  Have I mentioned how much more I love my chiropractor now that I am pregnant?!  I walk out of that office practically skipping. (Though now it looks more like waddling than skipping, but you can the point.)
  • I touch my stomach all the time. I apologize now to all you pregnant people that I guess I used to judge in a way thinking you were just showing off your growing belly but wow, that belly is in the way and just begging to be touched.  I will find myself at work talking and my hand is on my belly like there's a magnetic force pulling my hand to it. And then when I am at home on the couch my shirt automatically comes up and I'm basically petting my stomach (or maybe I am caressing all the peach fuzz?) It's weird, but again...I love it.
  • Before pregnancy most would agree that I have what may seem like a problem with my bladder. I pee all the time.  Well add pregnancy to that and I am peeing every 30 minutes!  Then while I was back in Chicago for the weekend I was concerned about the baby thinking something was wrong so went to the hospital and found out I was extremely now I have to intentionally drink.  No joke, I am running to the bathroom every 20-30 minutes.  I'm not really running, but more like walking really slowly because if I walk fast I feel like I'll leak so there's definitely no running involved.  The slower the better but that doesn't work because one of these times I may not make it.
  • I knew you couldn't sleep on your stomach for obvious reasons, but I didn't know you're not supposed to sleep on your back either.  That leaves me sleeping on my side...which I have never done in my life.  Sleeping on my sides has basically broken my shoulders. Because I am not used to this awkward position, I wake up many times in the middle of the night in pain or both of my arms are asleep from my shoulder to the tips of my fingers. In the morning I cannot lift my arm and basically feel like my shoulders are broken.  Again, I am so thankful for the chiropractor!  
  • I am sooooo thirsty in the middle of the night.  Every time I wake up (which is about 20 times) I need water, my mouth is parched.  Drink water, pee's a great combination in the middle of the night when all I want to do is sleep!
  • There was about a month of time that I was waking up wanting to eat my hand off I was so hungry.  I am assuming the baby was going through some kind of growth spurt but wow, I was starving the second my eyes opened in the morning!  Hunger has also struck out of nowhere in the middle of the day too. I'll go from being totally fine to starving, needing food immediately.  Very weird.
  • Everyone says they have weird cravings or aversions...I haven't really had any cravings though I like sweets a lot more than I ever did.  I think this is just because I am missing my wine and beer ohhhhh so much and I allow myself the extra sweets because I am so deprived of my wine and beer.
  • So have I mentioned how much I miss wine?  And beer. Of course I wasn't much of a beer drinker until moving to Colorado and Jason got me into all these craft beers so now all I want is a dark beer. Thanks Jason...couldn't you have waited until after we had our kids to get me into beer? So beer and wine are really really missed. Oh so missed! Like I can't even put into words how much it's missed.
  • Which goes along with skiing. Part of why we moved here is to ski. Now I had to give up my season pass so no skiing for me this year. No skiing, no hot tubs and no beers.  That sort of became our weekend routine last winter.  Things are slowly changing for this soon-to-be mom!
  • I've heard people cannot handle different smells while pregnant.  I haven't had any real issues with this. I have, however had a major issue with the smell of gas (from people bodies) and boogers...especially eating boogers.  I work with kids with special needs.  4 boys entering early puberty, so to say they release a lot of VERY SMELLY gas throughout the day (then laugh about it) is an understatement!  I gag, continuously.  When one picks their nose (also a very normal and regular occurrence) I gag, repeatedly.  When they actually eat their boogers I pretty much have to walk away to keep myself from vomiting all over.  But other smells or bodily functions bother me so it's not too big of a deal. ;-)
  • I posted a while back how excited I was that my boobs were growing.  While they actually may still be growing, they look teeny tiny compared to my belly.  They almost look non-existent. Having them grow was fun while it lasted.  Now all I really have to look forward to is them hurting like crazy after the baby's born and my milk comes in. 
  • I get so winded walking. Before pregnancy I got winded walking up stairs from the altitude.They say after a year you should be fine withe altitude but I wasn't. Add to that a baby crushing my lungs and I cannot breathe after walking up a flight of stairs or trying to walk any short distance. At work, our main office is up a flight of stairs and I literally have to walk up them, them take a break to catch my breath before going into the office because I know I won't be able to talk without gasping for air. To think I used to be a runner!  HA!  That seems so far away now.  (but oh do I miss that soooo much too!)
  • Sneezing hurts. Unless I am sitting perfectly upright, sneezing really really hurts.  Its so odd.
  • I miss sleep.  Everyone says I should get all this sleep now because I won't be able to get it when the baby gets here.  It is impossible to get any sleep. Since about week four of the pregnancy I have had to get up to pee in the middle of the night.  As the pregnancy goes on I pee more frequently. I can't sleep and to say I am exhausted every day is putting it mildly.  I am tied (ready for bed tired) at 1:30 every day.  Bedtime had become 8:30 and that's pushing it.  I'm exhausted.  Wish I could take a bunch of naps during the day.  
So this is my 2nd trimester post. (even though I am now into my 3rd trimester...I only wrote about things that were affecting me through the 2nd trimester.) Been wanting to post this for a couple months now but as I was just saying...I've got a lot going on with my body, especially exhaustion and writing hasn't been my favorite thing to do after getting home from work. All in all - pregnancy has been the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. I really had no idea your body goes through all these crazy changes and just how tired you could get. In all honesty, I always knew I'd miss the wine, a lot...but wow what a super small sacrifice and all these crazy changes my body is going through is just the best thing in the world to be able to literally be making a little human being inside of me. I cannot even begin to put into words how excited  I am to meet this little guy who has taken all of my energy away. And just for the record...the amount of energy he's taking  must mean he is going to be one cute little guy! Love love love that I get to experience all this!!  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fall Love

Fall has been really different here in Colorado than last year.  We've already had two snow falls  and since Illinois has had some amazing weather I've been pretty homesick for fall in the Midwest. In a way to make that sadness go away I've been focusing on all the things that I love about fall and enjoying those little treats to help me appreciate life.  One of those things was to hit up a pumpkin fest. After doing some research I quickly learned that pumpkin fests and apple orchards pretty much don't exist here.  But I did find one that seemed big enough and would help me as least get rid of that itch to see and smell fall and pumpkins. So we gave it a shot...and we made a great afternoon of it!

We walked through their huge pumpkin patch but didn't buy any pumpkins mostly because of the price and the fact that we're not going to be here to enjoy them. Then we ate some pretty delicious fall foods which included corn on the cob and my first ever funnel cake then walked around, people watching and checking out all the activities they had for kids (lots of fun stuff!). Then we went through the corn maze which I was bored with pretty much the second we walked in but was still fun to try to find our way out and again, with kids, I think it would be more fun. While it was windy, it was a nice fall day and was good to get out and enjoy fall the best way I think Colorado has to offer when it comes to pumpkin patches.

As for the treats of fall that I am so in love with, there are plenty! Hare just a few I've taken pics of the past few weeks.

 I've blogged about this before, this stuff is amazing... YUMMMM

 Love caramel apples, Love them!  And also love that Cooper had to get in this pic too.

Fall brings the best apples to the grocery store...Macintosh are extremely hard to find in Colorado but I have been able to find them..but then eat them too fast to remember to take a pic.  This was the biggest apple I've ever seen!  But it was delicious!

Apple cider, enough said.

Love fall nail colors!  I got  new Essie Cashmere Bathrobe which I love but looks a lot like the one above (smokin hot), but any excuse to buy a new nail color and I'm in! :)

 Afternoon fall walks with amazing sunsets

This pic doesn't capture how pretty the fall colors are at my favorite dog park but it's beautiful! 

I sent this pic to my mom and she said it looked more like summer but the temps were fall temps...but the sun made it so much warmer!  Love being able to walk outside all the time here! (Coops in the background running his heart out!)

pumpkin pie - mmmm

more pumpkin pie...and there was more and more and more after this!

pumpkin muffins every Saturday morning - deliciousness

more pumpkin pie but this time it's fully loaded!

pumpkin cookies that I made by accident the other day...they were good and a nice little treat.

I love all the leaves changing colors which I think have been even more colorful than last year!  Love fall and love all the extra treats fall brings!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I so wanted to post this on my Facebook yesterday but decided I'd do a blog post instead.  I love my husband.  We definitely have our trials, we're both sinners, we are very very different people and don't agree on politics or college teams. (well I just hate the Hawkeyes...I don't really have a favorite team.) He is a morning and night person and I love my sleep (especially lately!)  He hates attention (and will hate that I am posting this) totally unlike me who would eat this up! There are so many things that try our marriage so by no means am I saying do we have the perfect marriage...but I really love and appreciate my husband!

Yesterday I woke up to my alarm to realize that Jason was still in bed so I very nicely woke him up to tell him his alarm never went off and he was oversleeping.  His very calm reply was, "I don't have to work today."  If those roles were reversed and he woke me (no matter if it was a good intention to make sure I was up on time for work) I'd most likely have been a lot less than nice in letting him know I should still be sleeping and that I didn't have to work!  Not Jason though, just nice and calm and then rolled over and cuddled with me.

After a little while but still before I got out of bed, he was out and showering like it was a normal day. (Again, could we be more opposite?!)  He said he had things to get done and no point in wasting his day. While I was at work I was hoping he'd get some R&R and just take it easy.  He works so darn hard every day of the week, he deserves a day off more than anyone I know!  Instead he took on the massive ongoing project of cleaning out of guest room and "zen room" (a tiny little add-on area that doesn't have a door so we've used as storage...and we've accumulated a lot of stuff over the past 18 months.) He worked on getting all of our unused furniture back downstairs and all the rooms cleaned almost completely out.  This included him changing out a huge desk for a small table and downsizing his desk and work space by about half...just so the baby has a room to call it's own. (the baby and Jason will be sharing a room as a nursery and office since Jason works from home.)  After he took all the furniture down and packed and moved many boxes he assembled the baby's crib.  As if that wasn't enough, he assembled the baby's dresser as well, then moved both those pieces into the space where we're storing it until much closer to our baby's due date. Amazing man. Truly amazing.

Like I said, he is the hardest working man I know and will always give the shirt off his back to whoever needs this case to myself and our baby. I am so appreciative of him and thankful that I was the one that God chose for him to marry and that Jason listened and loves me as much as he does.  So very thankful to have him as my husband and thankful our baby gets to have him as a dad.  Love you Jason and thanks again for all you did yesterday.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Song - Your Grace Finds Me

Happy Sunday! My parents were lucky enough to go to a free Matt Redman concert a couple weeks ago. I was jealous they got to go but they had a blast and my dad was nice enough to send me a copy of Matt's latest CD. (Thanks Dad!) Today's Sunday Song is from his new CD and is about God's great grace. Oh how I need His grace so badly these days! I know it is no accident that how I'm feeling (lonely, homesick and tired all the time) is related to how little time I've been spending with God lately. I was on such a roll for a couple weeks doing my new Bible study but then one day skipped turned into two, turned into three, turned into a week and then some more days. This past week I finally got back into the routine of my morning prayer time which includes but it's such a work in progress. On those days when I fill myself up in the Word my days are completely different. Why do I make it so difficult and stray away for lengths of time? With that thought, His grace is so amazing and I am so thankful for how much He loves me and always welcomes me back with such loving arms.

Your Grace Finds Me -- Matt Redmam

It's there in the newborn cry
It's there in the light of every sunrise
It's there in the shadows of this light
Your great grace

It's there on the mountaintop
It's there in the everyday and the mundane
There in the sorrow and the dancing
Your great grace

Oh, such grace

From the creation to the cross
Then from the cross into eternity
Your grace finds me
Yes, Your grace finds me

It's there on a wedding day
There in the weeping by the graveside
There in the very breath we breathe
Your great grace

Same for the rich and poor
Same for the saint and for the sinner
Enough for this whole wide world
Your great grace

Oh, such grace

From the creation to the cross
Then from the cross into eternity
Your grace finds me
Yes, Your grace finds me

There in the darkest night of the soul
There in the sweetest songs of victory
Your grace finds me
Yes, Your grace finds me

Your great grace
Oh, such grace
Your great grace
Oh, such grace

So I'm breathing in Your grace
And I'm breathing out Your praise
I'm breathing in Your grace
Forever I'll be
Breathing in Your grace
And I'm breathing out Your praise
I'm breathing in Your grace
Forever I'll be
Breathing in Your grace
And I'm breathing out Your praise
Breathing in Your grace
For our God, for our God

Yes, Your grace finds me
Yes, Your grace finds me

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday Song - From the Inside Out

Happy Sunday! I love today's Sunday song because it reminds me to give my all to God and that He is always in control especially when I am not, which is always.  It's powerful to sing,

"My heart and my soul, I give You control
Consume me from the inside out, Lord"

"From the Inside Out" -- by Hillsong United

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Colorado Bipolar Weather

Yesterday Colorado had it's first snowfall.  It probably made national news...I know all my Colorado friends had pics on their Facebook wall.  It is weird considering it was only October 4!  But I knew it wouldn't last long so held that thought in my head as I slushed into work with my little shoes without socks on. (why didn't I wear boots...I will not know?!  Oh and I quickly realized my winter coat already doesn't fit with my belly so I was sloshing through the snow with no socks and an open jacket...clearly not ready for this weird cold weather!)

Today we woke up with extremely chilly air but the sun was back out and the snow was gone!  It's now noon and I have the windows open and am enjoying the cooler temps with some of my favorite fall treats (that post is still to come.)  Love bipolar Colorado weather! When it's cold and gross I know it'll never last long!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Classroom Fish Tank

Today as our outing I decided to go to the pet store to buy a fish tank and some fish. It all sounded great in theory because there's a lot of life skills that go with this fish tank: picking them out, knowing what is needed in the fish tank, paying for them, learning about how to care for fish, how to assemble a fish tank then the weekly maintenance and cleaning of the fish tank and daily feedings. Oh so much my kids can and will learn!

Then after we purchased the fish and tank and placed the fish in their new home, I realized that school is 9 months of the year with several week-long breaks. Guess who is now going to be bringing fish home over breaks?! The Lockwood family has just added grew in size with one red beta and one blue beta. My cat should get a kick out of this...Jason probably not so much. :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

22 Weeks

Here's a pic at 22 weeks. I especially like it because it kinda has the flowers in it that Jason surprised me with for our anniversary which is tomorrow. I've been asking for flowers for about a year now so I am really loving these (they're my favorite color too!) As for the picture I'm so glad I finally posted about the's pretty much the only thing I think about all the time so it's nice that I can finally write about it!

Friday, September 13, 2013

New Girl

Jason and I have always enjoyed watching TV series on Netflix or DVD's. That way you can watch them on your own time and no wait time until next week's episode. (Oh how I wish I had done this with Parenthood...which, by the way, is starting up again on September 26th!) But our latest new show we are addicted to is New Girl. Could that show get any more awkward and lovable?! Love it. We finished up the latest season last night so will have to wait with the rest of the world until it comes back on this Tuesday, 9/17! (how good as that timing?!)  So excited!  Tune in!

The Best Dessert for fall

My absolute favorite dessert in the fall is pumpkin pie. I could have it every day for the season of fall, or maybe even every season. But since it's really not offered throughout the year my favorite dessert for the rest of the year is cheesecake. So imagine my excitement when I learned that Olive Garden (also my very favorite restaurant) is serving pumpkin cheesecake!?

I was hopeful in my order that it would be good but I had no idea just how good until I actually tried it. Heaven in my mouth! If you like either pumpkin or cheesecake I suggest you try this heavenly delight. Wow, it's amazing! I've already had three slices since I've discovered it about 3 weeks ago and technically fall hasn't even begun yet so I imagine I'll have just a few more slices before this one is off the menu! ;-)

*image found here

Rain Day - No School!

Woohoo! No school!  And I've kind of been waiting to post this to make sure all is really okay in the area because it wouldn't be that great to be excited about a day off school while peoples houses are flooding or being destroyed, right?

Obviously Colorado is making national news with all the rain we've gotten the past few days. It's comical to me because I've been wanting to post all week how I have had a new car for 3 months now. I've had the car without mats for 3 months but haven't given it much thought until this week and was reminded that you need car mats because of rain and snow. Well it never rains here in Colorado! It's one of the reasons we LOVE living here...if it rains, it'll rain for a little bit then the sun pops up. But even though the lack of sun shining in Chicago was a HUGE reason we moved to Colorado I have to admit that sometimes it's really nice to have a gloomy, rainy day where I can just stay under the covers or sit on the couch and blog or read or just do nothing and not feel guilty for needing to be outside enjoying life while the sun is shining. I mean that's how us Midwesterener's think, right?  If it's nice outside you better get outside to enjoy it because it won't last long! I remember many days in high school and college in April or May where the sun would come out and it was nearly impossible to go to school. In college we'd certainly not go to class and call it a personal day. Heck, half the professors would let you out early to enjoy the day and if they didn't they we're clearly mean-hearted awful people. Obviously work days were no different...when the sun is out after months of hibernation, you get out there and enjoy it! Call in sick, eat your lunch outside, go get your car washed, go for a run, whatever...just do something outside! Living in Colorado with a typical Midwesterner's mindset of sun = get out there and be busy, it gets truly exhausting! The sun is always out! Please just give me a gloomy day where I can just stay in and be lazy for crying out loud!

Well lucky me! I got those days...4 of them to be exact.  The rain never stopped this week and the sun never came out to shine. The week at school got really busy and rather stressful. I was having a hard time dealing with some issues at work and was literally almost in tears yesterday. All I wanted to do was crawl into a ball and cry, or lay on the couch with a good book or some Sex and the City reruns. Who'd have ever thought I'd actually get that wish?  Really...who'd have thought? They canceled the entire school districts school because of possible flooding?! In Chicago we would get as much rain we've had the past 4 days in just a few hours and life goes on. Heck, this much rain is pretty much normal in Illinois...and instead we in Colorado get a day out of school?!  Woohooo!  (as a discloser...I am, in no way, saying that I am judging the superintendents decision...things were getting really bad in our district's area last night and the devastation up north is horrendous. And this is not normal at all for Colorado to get this much rain, therefore the water has nowhere to go. People were not overreacting at just a little was real folks! Instead, I am just fully enjoying the fact that things haven't gotten any worse here and that we got a day off for it!)

This day off has been an answer to prayer for more reasons that I can even say. The gloominess and cooler temps are such a warm welcome for me!  (easy for me to say when I know the sun will come back out and shine all winter long!)  I have already caught up on some much needed sleep, spent some quality time with God, done laundry, relaxed with a book, cleaned, am blogging and have a long list of other things left to do today that I know I can get done. What an amazing, wonderful day it's been.  And the kicker...I'm starting to see a little bit of sky behind those clouds and have a feeling the sun might just be shining pretty soon!

Happy 3 day weekend to me...happy weekend to all of you!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Its a Boy!

Jason and I are super excited  to announce that we're expecting a baby boy in January! We found out back in May that we are pregnant and it's been one crazy fun ride the past 21 weeks! We had been trying to get pregnant for just over a year and I was really starting to get discouraged! Even though we are this far along I am still in shock sometimes when I look at my belly in the mirror! Ahh I'm pregnant and Jason and I are going to have a little boy to call our own!

At our appointment last week our doctor said everything looks great! We got to see his little feet and hands along with  every other part of our sweet boy. Jason and I wanted it to be a bit more personal of how we found of the gender so we had the ultrasound tech write it down in a card and we took it to dinner to open and celebrate just the two of us. After dinner we called out families and friends. That day is up there as one of the best days of my life with our wedding day and when Jason proposed!

Being pregnant and working in a classroom of  5 boys with autism has been extremely exhausting but I am just so thankful that we're pregnant and everything is going well! I had a little nausea each day in the first trimester then had about a week of a constant migraine coupled with really bad back pain. I have been totally exhausted (like where I can hardly function!) since the day I found out but have thoroughly enjoyed watching my boobs grow (I've been waiting 20+ years for this moment!)!  Now that I know everything is going okay and my belly is growing every day I am starting to "feel" and like being pregnant!

YAY for our sweet little baby boy who is due January 21, 2014.  Life is about to get really interesting in our lives!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Keith Urban at Red Rocks

Back in April we bought tickets for Keith Urban and Little Big Town at Red Rocks. Jason and I decided after our first concert at Red Rocks that every summer should include a night there so this year I decided on a country show. :)

Keith Urban did not disappoint! He has a new CD coming out next month so he played a few from that but most of it was his old stuff that everyone could sing along to. The weather cooperated and we had great seats (only because there isn't a bad seat in the entire amphitheater!) Only thing we forgot was our cowboy boots and hats and because it was on a Friday we weren't able to get there early enough to tailgate but all in all it was such a fun night with Jason!

Sunday Song - Awakening

Happy Sunday and LONG weekend!  We went to church last night and I'm so excited for a new series to begin! We've been going over the book of Luke since we started going there and the church been studying it for like 20 months or something. (my very small attention span needs things spiced up every once in a while!) Now we're doing a series on leaving a legacy and it's short and sweet...just 4 weeks. The series couldn't come at a better time in my life too.

I've been having a hard time connecting with God the past few months (this seems to be a common theme for me when things in my life are going well.) After prayer and prompting by the Lord, I bought a Bible study by Kay Arthur (my first by her...finally!)  I am not usually successful in doing Bible studies on my own but both of my small groups aren't doing studies that require outside homework and with the new job and everything else going on in my life the next few months I can't commit to another weekly obligation. I will try this on my own and am really hopeful that I'll finish it and get where I need to be with God.

Today's Sunday Song is one by Chris Tomlin (shocker!) and I'm praying God will awaken all of our souls to His will this week.  What a hard prayer to pray but one I definitely need this week!  I hope you enjoy your Sunday and Labor Day weekend!  

"Awakening" -- by Chris Tomlin

Mornings Just got a LOT Better!

I don't drink much, if any caffeine and certainly not enough to have a full cup of coffee every day (an occasional coca-cola makes me jittery enough!) But I still like my morning cup of coffee or tea.  Teas have a few decaf choice in different flavors but store bought coffee has one flavor...the green canned decaf PLAIN coffee. Boring!!!

While I drink my coffee black (I thank my husband for bringing me over to the dark side, literally) I decided I'd try the overly sweet creamer to add a little flavor to my morning cup of jo. While it is way too overly sweet, the Nestle Coffee-mate Pumpkin Spice is Heavenly!  This added flavor has changed my morning routine!  Gives me something to look forward to each day- YUM!!  Love love love it! Happy almost fall!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

DMB - Colorado Style

This past Saturday we went to see Dave Matthews Band at the soccer park here in Colorado.  I have been looking forward to this since March. It was fun because it was a night out with Jason and it was a DMB concert!  However, I was highly disappointed in the set-list.  I LOVE I found it pretty impressive that I could be so bored with the set-list. Almost everyone (excluding those who were super drunk or high...which there were plenty of those!) who was in the stands were sitting for a majority of the concert so I think it's safe to say I wasn't the only one who felt that way. There were two shows here in Colorado last weekend and Fridays set-list looked amazing so what a bummer we went on Saturday. I was still super excited to be there since its still Dave but now I'm just more anxious and eager to see them again and hopefully it'll be sooner than 2 years that I have to wait!!

Second Week of Teaching

So I won't be updating every week but I wanted to check in and share how great my second week of school went.  Behaviors were still there, my lack of ability to schedule where my TA's and kids should be has still proved to be a major flaw of myself and it's still craziness but it's becoming MY craziness!  I have so much more support than last year.  My kids are amazing, my TA's are plain awesome and things are slowly coming together. I survived my first "Back to School Night on Wednesday and I am proud to say we even had our first fire drill on Friday. Without giving any details about my students I will just share that what you may think is a normal bump in the daily routine for middle can be the biggest challenge of the month with 5 students with autism and other severe needs.  But we did it! And now it's Saturday where I sit about to enjoy a long 3 day weekend!  Ahhhhh, peace!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

First Week of Teaching

I survived my first week of school with the kids and TA's and by survive I really mean survive. It was exhausting and I am so glad the weekend is here. I have a lot to do and a lot to learn in a very small amount of time but this is it, it's my time to shine and give it my all. That's all I'll post on the job...maybe say a few extra prayers for me this week. :) Happy Saturday!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

First Hike of the Season

Yesterday we finally went for our first hike of the season. Since we are now in a small group on Sundays and seems like we've had other plans every other Saturday of the summer, our weekends are pretty jam-packed. But Jason did some research and found a close place to do an afternoon hike. It was beautiful! The pics don't do it justice but it was gorgeous and so peaceful.

I hike a lot slower than them so they had to wait on me a lot :) 

 Cooper LOVES any kind of water her can get into!

Beautiful day for a hike! Thanks for planning it Jason!

Sunday Song - Christ is Risen

Happy Sunday!  It's a beautiful summer day here in Colorado and Jason and I have so much to be thankful for these days. God has blessed us in every way possible and for that we are so grateful.  Today's Sunday song is more of an Easter Sunday Song but I love it and it's a great reminder that Jesus is always with us no matter what we may be going through.  Even when days are hard He is with us. So today when I have all I could imagine, I am so thankful for you Jesus!

"Christ is Risen" -- Matt Maher

Friday, August 9, 2013

2 Weeks of Training to Kick off School Year 2013-14!!

Today was my first of 6 days in my classroom before the kids come!  So exciting! Last week I attended a training specific to teaching autism and loved every single second of it! I am like a little sponge taking in any information that will help my students with autism be more successful.  I already knew much of the content that was discussed and taught but we were able to put it into practice and then watched how well it worked with real students with autism! Now I am able to put all I learned into practice with my students!

This week I had training that will eventually lead to me having a mentor which I am also really excited about. My three months at the elementary school were difficult because I felt like I was on my own. This time I will have a mentor (and many other people in both the district and in my school) to turn to when I have so many questions!  YAY!!

As I said, I finally got into my classroom today and was able to see IEPs and start planning how I will run the classroom. I have so much to do in the next week before the kids come the following Monday but I am so excited this time is here!  So thankful that I followed God's plan for me last year as a TA which then led to the long term sub job.  Everything is in the right place and I am so ready to begin my first year of teaching!

Goodbye summer! Hello 2013-2014 School Year!!

Oklahoma - The Musical

Last year we went to the local theater and saw Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and both loved it so decided we needed to do it again. This time we went to see Oklahoma and it was so much fun! It's a chance for Jason and I to have a date night where we get a little dressed up and enjoy a night a theater. We started the night with PF Changs (yum!) then went to the musical.  Such a cheesy musical but also appreciated just how cheesy and clean it is! We decided maybe we could make it an "end of the summer, back to school" tradition! Love it and highly recommend the PACE Center in Parker for a (cheaper than Broadway) fun night of theater!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Trip Back to Chicago

Its been a week since I've been back so felt I should take some time to finally write about my almost 2 amazing weeks in Illinois!

I had such a great time catching up with lots of friends and family and getting some much needed time at my parents lake house and in Chicago.  At first I was supposed to go for about 10 days but then found out I had to come back early for a training for work. I got a little greedy then and changed up my trip leaving on a Wednesday and coming back on a Monday night. I thought I needed that much time there to see everyone and do all the things I wanted but after a few days there I realized I was going to miss Jason and the animals a little too much! But I sure did a lot and enjoyed every minute! It was a wonderful 12 days and I got my fill of family, friends and Chicago to hold me over until Jason and I get to go back together in October.

Some of the highlights of my trip were that I got to:
  • See my super smart and super cute neices several times
  • Meet up with many many many of my friends getting to dine at lots of different restaurants, some which were my favorites and others that were new
  • Get in lots of quality time with my parents
  • Spend 2 weekends in Chicago where I got to see more friends and run along the (flat/sea level) lake a couple times  
  • See Andrew who I used to babysit for when he was 6 months (is now 6 1/2)! and his two little sisters and family
  • Go shopping with my mom several times
  • Eat at Portillo's many times
  • Spend time with my Uncle Dennis and Aunt Marilyn
  • Have a coffee and pedicure date with my mom
  • Eat Potbelly's several times
  • Meet my friends baby who was born in April
  • Have a nail painting party with my cousin's girls
  • Eat at Antico Posto with my parents
  • Go to Willow Creek...twice!
  • Spend a couple days at the lake house with my parents which also included a run along the lake and a boat ride and some relaxing on the pier.
  • go to the DuPage County Fair with my nieces, mom and god daughter, Katie
  • Have a sleepover at my grandmas and a lunch date with her to Olive Garden
  • Get a manicure with a friend
  • Enjoy a little party/get-together with almost all my relatives at my cousins house
  • Celebrate my nieces 3rd birthday at her party

 DuPage County Fair with Kaitlyn, Kaylee and Katie...K1, K2 and K3  ;-)

Happy 3rd birthday Miss Kaylee!

Driving into the city...practically in tears I was so excited to be back in my favorite city -- 
Miss everything about it so so so so much!!!! (well...except the parking tickets, politics and weather!)

Sitting enjoying the lake (Lake Summerset) where I spent just about every single weekend growing up

Enjoying a (very chilly!) run along the lake Saturday morning 

Painting my nails with a few of my favorite girls!

I had such a great time seeing everyone and just "being" in Chicago. I really wish I had taken a LOT more pictures with everyone so I could document it all! Next time! Thank you to everyone who met up with me and huge thank you to Andrea and Nikki who offered up their homes to me in Chicago so I could stay there overnight. Thanks to Jolene for coloring my hair! Thanks to my parents for all the meals and loaning me their car many days and their hospitality. Thanks Kristi and Joe for hosting the party so everyone could get together! I am so thankful for all of you who spent time with me!

Sunday Song (on Monday) - Sovereign

I'm a day late but better late than never!  I wanted to do this Sunday Song last weekend after visiting Willow Creek for the second time in two weeks. That church allows the Spirit to speak to me in every possible way. From the second I walk into the church I feel so filled up, almost to the point of tears. As worship goes on I cry and feel such a connection to the Spirit. The sermons always speak to me no matter who is preaching  I miss that church so much and am so thankful that I can still listen to their podcast every week but miss their worship music which they don't post.

My parents went with both times which made the experience (yes I'm describing church as an experience because it moves me that much!) even more special.  I love being them being there with me and seeing how God is working through their lives too the past few years. Thank you Willow Creek for being a place where God uses to transform and challenge me.

This weeks Sunday Song was sung last week and while I have blasted this song in my car and even heard Chis sing it at Red Rocks in May it took on a whole new meaning for me last Sunday.  How powerful of a song to sing that "no matter whatever comes my way I will trust you." It can be so hard some times but is exactly how I want to live my life and I will use this song as a reminder through the good times and the bad.

"Sovereign" -- by Chris Tomlin

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Meanderings

It's summer!  What excuse could I possibly have for not blogging in forever!? (I started this post on Wednesday and am trying to finish it today (Sunday!)  I haven't been to the pool yet this summer either, which really showed this past weekend when I was in shorts and my legs were super white! (Actually I went on Wednesday and enjoyed every second but still need to go again!) To catch up a little I thought I'd do a

Meanderings on...

ESY...I'm still loving it!  I only have another week left. I found out I have a training I need to be back early from Chicago to attend so I am leaving here a little early so missing the last two days of summer school.  I'm disappointed because it's that much fun but am also so relieved I found a sub so I can spend the same amount of time in Illinois! Some highlights of ESY have been roller skating, the (mini) water park and free pie Wednesday at Village Inn. Still to come is a tour of the small local airport, bowling and maybe a make-up tour of the local firehouse. FUN FUN! I am really going to miss the kids next week!

My trip back to Chicago... I am so excited!  Everything got all messed up when I had to change the dates and there's a few people I won't be able to see but I cannot wait to get back and see my family and spend a couple days at the lake and in Chicago! Portillo's will be my first stop and I have the normal list of places I'd like to eat. I really wish Jason was able to go back with me but he's travel schedule and then my work schedule didn't really allow us to drive and putting Cooper in daycare for a long amount of days isn't really an option. We'll see how I do being away from him for 2 weeks but for now I am oh so excited for my trip home one week from today!

Our trip to Iowa...Jason's dad's side of the family had a family reunion at his cousins in Sioux City.  While I think I do so so so much better in the country than I'd have ever thought possible there's plenty of room for improvement.  It was great to be able to see everyone and do some things we don't normally get to do here. Jason was able to shoot some guns (and even I shot two...which I did not like one bit!).  He got some quality time in with his cousins and we also got to spend some time with his mom and aunt who we stayed with. I went for a fun run on the country roads and learned that hills stink even when there is no elevation! I got to see about 15 kittens and tried taking about 5 home. (Jason wouldn't let me.) Cooper LOVED his cousins house. It had a huge back yard that he ran and ran and ran in, dogs for him to chase. Chickens for him to attempt to chase until he got in trouble, sand in the volleyball court to try to roll around in (again not allowed!) and a creek to dip into every time he got hot. The country dogs were allowed to eat rib bones so as many times as we told him he shouldn't have them he didn't listen. We think he vomited about 8 times later that evening. (They never listen!) After we got home we both felt like we needed another vacation after our vacation but thankful we were able to get back to see everyone and for me to meet many cousins I had only heard about.

The bonfire -- about 3 times the "normal bonfire!"

Coops new friends

one of the 3 litters - LOVE kittens!

Jason and his cousin Dan being country boys

My Saturday morning run

My Tomato plants...They're growing! I had a couple cherry tomatoes already last week. Can't wait until we can have a garden in our yard to really grow some veggies!

The Small Group...I'm still loving it!  Relationships are being formed and it's just so great to have friends here who I know I can count on.  The other day I thought my car might break down and Jason was out of town ad was like, "uh oh...what will I do?!" and it was so nice to know I had a few people I could call if I was really in a pinch!

New Nail Polish...I really really miss Chicago nail salons that have all the new Essie colors. I've always been more of an Essie girl over OPI or other brand but they barely have that brand here at salons and certainly don't have the new colors. I bought one I thought I like last week but am not a fan.  Now I've used it and it cost me $8 and I don't like it.  Oh the problems I have, right? Just saying I miss being able to try them out AND get a nice mani/pedi.

The New Car...I'm loving it! It's not my Accord but it's so much more practical. Think I'll enjoy it more the first time I am able to drive somewhere and not have to borrow Jason's car but am loving how practical it is for now. Jason's enjoying putting in a new radio and a few other things he enjoys.

Bocce Ball...Jason's step sister invited us to a Bocce Call tournament in Wash Park yesterday which was a blast!  Never played before so didn't know what to expect.  It was a lot of fun and a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  Thanks Jen and Grant for the invite!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Summer Break - Teaching ESY

I'm teaching ESY (extended School Year) this summer so I don't really feel like I have much of a summer break at all but oh my gosh, I love teaching ESY!  I have high school kids with severe needs and am basically co-teaching with another teacher and we have about 8 or 9 TA's.  We go on field trips almost every day so it's more like summer camp for the kids but we're all having a blast.  We've been to the roller rink, mini water parks, outdoor mall, Wal-Mart, had a few days of cooking and crafts and many other adventures together. I only have two weeks left (we're off this week for the holiday) but it's so much fun!  Thankful for the extra income but especially thankful for the experience and the how much fun I am having with these kids!

New Car

Since we've moved to Colorado (more specifically the suburbs) I have been wanting/needing a new car.  I love love loved my Honda Accord Coupe.  That car has been through so much with me the past almost 8 years!  But there have been many times over the last few years where I have had to borrow Jason's SUV for one reason or another because of the lack of space aka backseat.

We went to an event where all the local dealerships brought all their used cars to the event.  As I shared about finances here, Jason and I knew we wanted to pay cash for a car and have been saving up since last May so we had a price in mind that we could spend and knew financing wasn't an option.  It made the car shopping that much harder but also that much easier too.  We thought we'd end up with a 4 door car or nothing at all but once seeing all the cars a few times we saw a Jeep Liberty that was in our price range and for whatever reason it jumped out at me.  After owning a Honda for the past 8 years and not having to do anything buy routine maintenance I was convinced I'd only buy foreign for the rest of my life.  Jeeps do not fit in that category.  As we researched we learned that they are known to last plus our plan is to continue to save so we can get the cars we want in the right timing.

After a long long day at the event we ended up trading in the Accord and getting the Jeep for what we were willing  to pay.  I literally had tears rolling down my cheeks giving up my Accord with so many memories but in reality I really need something a bit more practical.  I hope that someone else can get that Accord who will love and appreciate it as much as I did!

Cheers to new memories in my new Jeep!

I Got a Job!

I'm only about a month behind on blog posts!  I got a job a few weeks ago.  Beginning when jobs were being posted, I began applying to every single sever needs position in every district surrounding where we live (and many many LD positions too after subbing in middle schools and realizing I'd probably love that position for that age group).  I was called to many interviews and also had many second interviews.  After over amount of this it was getting exhausting. It sounds easy.  Get up, put a suit on and go answer 10-15 questions about something I love talking about.  But it was exhausting.  Most interviews had about 4-6 people interviewing me and I felt like I couldn't read their faces.  When I thought I would for sure get a call for a second interview, I wouldn't and when I didn't think I would, I would!  But no one was calling me with the offer.  I kept hearing that they went with someone with more experience.  How was I to get experience is no one will hire me?!

The one job that I applied for and was most excited for was a middle school position as the teacher for an autism classroom.  I was really excited for this position because it was the grade I wanted and the "type" of classroom.  The interview went great, it lasted about 45 minutes!  At the end I was told that they were going to be making a decision on next steps so asked that I wait in the office while they were discussing me.  After only about ten minutes (it felt like an hour) they came back out, called me back in and informally offered me the job!  I'm so excited!

I have already met two of my students and two of the TA's I'll be working with.  (they are at the same school where I'm teaching ESY).  I met with the outgoing teacher last week and went over some things she thought may be helpful for me to know. I also was part of the interviewing process for the additional TA.  I still don't know my official first day but know I have a training I need to come back from Chicago earlier than planned to attend so basically I don't have any summer left after my vacation home in a couple weeks.  Poor me. ;-)

I'm thrilled to start this new job!  God has been so faithful through this whole journey of me teaching special ed.  So excited to see what is in store for me in my first full year of teaching!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Rockies Game

Last weekend we kicked off my 2 week summer break with the Rockies game.  It was a gorgeous day for a game...sunny and mild temps!  The Rockies even pulled off a win!