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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

More Maternity Photos

Here's a look at more recent maternity photos of this sweet little baby bump. 

Can't forget a pregnancy photo with baby shoes...


  We can hardly wait to meet you! We're getting ready in as many ways as we can think of. But mostly, our hearts are ready for you to take up a lot of space in them. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

More Baby Shower Tea Pictures

Here are more pictures from the baby shower tea Grandma Osborne (my mom) hosted. If you didn't get to see the first set of pictures you can over here.

There is just something so classy about tea at the Washington Duke Inn.  It can make any girl feel like princess Kate for the afternoon. Minus the whole perfect hair and makeup thing (how does she do it?)

The delicious tea foods including deviled eggs, tea sandwiches, cheeses and desserts. (My favorite was the chocolate covered strawberry). 

My sweet friend Caitlin

Such a fun afternoon with such wonderful ladies. 

And thank you, (Grandma) mom for such a special memory. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Emma's Fall Wedding

This past weekend my friend Emma got married. Emma and I were close in elementary and middle school, and have maintained contact throughout different high schools, colleges, and moves. 

Her wedding was a beautiful October wedding. Here are a few snapshots from the big day...

Emma had a cupcake tower at her reception, possibly the tallest cupcake tower I have ever seen and the tallest icing towers on each cupcake. They were so yummy! Love me a wedding cupcakes tower! 

Me and Hannah, another friend I've had since elementary days. She's a sweetheart! And I've gotten asked several times if we're related, which I consider a very high compliment. 

I liked the subtle country inspired reception decor. Who doesn't love mason jars at a wedding? Her wedding colors were navy blue and fall colored flowers for bouquets and centerpieces- so pretty!

There she is, the beautiful bride! 

Enjoying a wedding cupcake. They had a 1pm ceremony with heavy h'ordeves for the reception. It was a nice break from the traditional sit down meals at weddings because we felt more able to get up and mingle with other wedding guests, rather than having to stay at our table for a plated meal. They had these absolutely yummy steak kabobs, I think the baby liked them because I must have eaten  four. I was CRAVING them! 

What's one of your favorite things about weddings?

I used to work in weddings and between my husbands friends and mine being in that "getting married" phase of life I think I've been to more weddings in the last few years than I could count! Of course, the wedding decor is beautiful to see, and being a foodie I'm always eager to try the eats. But I'd have to say my favorite thing about weddings is the ceremony and seeing how the couple's relationship comes through in different elements of the ceremony such as the vows they choose, or family photos displayed. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Baby Caroline in 3D

Last week we had the fun of enjoying a 3D ultrasound at Prenatal Peek in Durham. I went back and forth on whether or not I wanted a 3D ultrasound, but after the experience I'm so glad we did it. Worth every penny! And they make you feel so comfortable there. Unlike the very "medical" experience of a hospital ultrasound the Prenatal Peek ultrasound was a more relaxing experience- I got to lay in a super comfy recliner during the ultrasound and they had soothing lullabies playing in the background. 

The picture is a little blurry because I took a picture of one of the actual pictures they gave us, so not the clearest image, but it's baby Caroline giving a big yawn! Mouth open, her little darling nose, and eyes closed. And check out those chubby cheeks. Love me some baby chub! 
And if you're wondering what's that resting along the right side of her face, that would be her forearm. She was sleeping with her little arm right up by her face- JUST like I do! 

Less than 8 weeks till baby girl's expected arrival (but Caroline, you are welcome to come a few days early is you please!).

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Baby Shower Afternoon Tea

Late this summer my mom had an idea: she'd like to host a baby shower tea at the Washington Duke Inn. When I got married at Duke Chapel almost 3 years ago she had wanted to have a bridesmaid tea there, but as the busy season that is weddings would have it, we just weren't able to fit it in. 

Celebrating Caroline was the perfect occasion to visit the Washington Duke Inn for afternoon tea. Here are some photos from the very special afternoon. 

Chelsea & Me

Aileen, Caitlin, Hannah & Kim 

Emma...who is getting married this month! 

Afternoon tea menu at the Fairview Dining Room in the Washington Duke. 

 Liz, Annie, and Laura

Notice the balloons on the gift table. It's such a simple things but I was excited about the pink baby girl balloons. They've become part of my dining area decor at home until they deflate. 

Glad my blogging buddy Aileen has moved to Raleigh-Durham. guess I better practice saying "grandma" so Caroline doesn't get confused. 

Each lady got to choose her own pot of tea and then we enjoyed lots of dainty tea eats including tea sandwiches, chocolate dipped strawberries (my favorite!), deviled eggs, and the most yummy scones. Good thing they let us take home the leftovers at the end of the afternoon...Mike has been devouring the cinnamon pecan scones I brought him home. 

My friend Bethany who is due two weeks after me and is also having a girl. She lives a couple hours away in the mountains, but maybe once we've survived the newborn stage we can get our girls together for play dates...and yes, mostly so we can have a mommy date at the same time. 

Me and K. who I've read many bedtime storybooks and made many yummy nutella and peanut butter sandwiches. The Washington Duke chef actually put together a "kid-friendly" assortment of tea sandwiches and desserts for K. including, you guessed it, nutella and banana sandwiches! Yum! 

Thank you, Mom, for your generosity in the gift of such a lovely and memorable afternoon. I'll always cherish this special tea. And thank you to all the ladies who came to make it a special baby shower and for the thoughtful gifts for Caroline too. And thanks also to the ladies who couldn't make it but sent sweet cards and gifts for Caroline to let us know you're thinking and praying for us as we begin this new chapter. The love and support is just overwhelming- in the best of ways. Thank you! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

31 Weeks

Caroline and all of her sweet presents from the baby shower

Size of baby: approximately 16 inches long and weighing between 3 and 4 pounds

Baby is: busy gaining about half a pound a week from now until birth on average. And I found out at my midwife appointment this week that baby C is head down!!   

Maternity clothes: all maternity clothes here except for a few stretchy pj pants I can comfortably wear below my bump. I've also discovered how to better shop for maternity clothes on a budget. At first I didn't know where to buy maternity clothes so I ended up paying more, but now that I've discovered consignment stores I'm super excited about finding great deals on maternity clothes! The maternity dress I wore to my baby shower I found for consignment for just $7, and it looked brand new. 

Sleep: waking up every 2 to 3 hours to walk out leg cramps, make a bathroom run, or switch to laying on the other side (which takes a bit of effort when you're preggers 'cause you've got to rearrange your comfort pillows). Poor hubby, I've taken over more than my half of the bed with all my comfort support pillows. 

Gender: it's all pink here! 

Cravings: chocolate! I want to eat dark chocolate chips all the time. But since I know they contain a small amount of caffeine I'm having to limit those cravings. Also craving cheese, peanut butter and apples. At my midwife appointment this week we talked about increasing my caloric intake to help me gain the extra 20 pounds they'd like me to have reached come delivery. All that peanut butter and cheese ought to do the trick! 

Week's highlights: My mom threw me a beautiful baby shower afternoon tea at the Washington Duke Inn in Durham. It was such a lovely afternoon, the eats were delicious, the setting was beautiful and the company of women who came to celebrate little C was certainly the best jewel of the experience. I'm kind of on cloud 9 now organizing all of Caroline's new gifts and getting excited because she'll be wearing these outfits, I'll be reading her these books, she'll be sleeping on these crib sheets, I'll be carrying her in the Mei Tai...6 weeks till full term and as far as I'm concerned once I hit full term Caroline is welcome to make her grand debut at any minute! 

"For this child I have prayed"
- Samuel 1:27

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Baked Apples in the Crock-Pot

Here's an easy crockpot recipe that has become my favorite healthy dessert recipe for Thanksgiving & Christmas. 

- 5 apples (I used gala) halved with the core scooped out
- 1 1/2 cups spiced apple cider 
- 2 generous tablespoons of Earth Balance Butter 
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup oats

- preheat crock pot on low
- wash and dry apples. Slice in half and cut out core. 

- place apples skin side down in the crock pot and add apple cider
- combine remaining ingredients (it helps if you slightly soften the butter in the microwave) and place on top of apples.
- allow to bake on low for 1 1/2 hours or until apple is soft

Crocktober 2013

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pregnancy: What Really Matters

This week we had a scare. I noticed some spotting after using the restroom and my heart began to pound. I felt like my worst fear was happening. Something was going wrong. I called Mike before calling my midwife practice. After several calls back and forth between the midwife practice and the midwife on call at the hospital, Mike came to pick me up and we headed to the labor and delivery floor.

I had just texted my friend Chelsea to pray for us, Chelsea and I text each other several times a week with our daily challenges and prayer requests. Having a friend to share that with is priceless. I believe those prayers made a huge difference because I felt my worry literally melting away. 

After getting bejeweled with my hospital jewelry (aka my hospital bracelet), changing into one of those lovely SeeMoreButts gowns, and settling into our room, we enjoyed listening to Caroline's heartbeat on the fetal monitor while our nurse and midwife popped in and out to discuss next steps with us. Seeing one of the midwives from our practice was so reassuring.  I really love the midwives- they are so patient to explain everything to me and spend all the time with me I need. After several hours, several tests, and several conversations with the midwife and attending OB physician we were heading out. Caroline was absolutely fine, as active and healthy as ever. It all ended up being just that, a scare. On our way home we drove through the Chick-fil-A drive through for grilled sandwiches...we were starving after so long at the hospital. After getting home I was absolutely exhausted. I hadn't realized how much adrenaline had been coursing through my body. 

Reflecting on these events I'm reminded that a lot of the fuss we allow to take up our time and attention while preparing for a baby isn't really all that important. When I was at the hospital I wasn't concerned about finishing my baby registry, or picking out a bassinet, or fancy diaper bags. There's this pressure when you're preparing for a baby to have this adorable cute nursery, to have the most popular nursery items, to have a stylish diaper bag, to eat organically, to have a completely natural delivery, to have an organic mattress. I'm not exaggerating on the last one. If I could count how many times I've seen the importance of an organic crib mattress pushed in baby magazines and on baby websites. 

Now I'm not saying these things have no significance. I'm hoping and planning for a completely natural delivery with one of the midwives from my midwife practice. I'm trying to eat as nutritionally as I can for this little one and when it fits into our grocery budget organically too. I want her to have a fun, cute nursery. I understand that organic green nursery items, including a mattress, are great things to have when you can afford them. But you know what- Caroline's snap and go Graco stroller was bought second hand at a local consignment store. Instead of a brand-new fancy glider and gliding ottoman Caroline's nursery rocking chair will be the same one my mom used when I was a baby, refinished with white paint by my dad.  Her mattress definitely isn't organic, nor is her crib bedding. And the Gala apples I've been craving for snacks are conventionally grown, not organic because we're saving money for diapers and a car seat and all those baby things.

If at the end of these next few months Caroline comes into this world via c-section rather than the natural birth I have planned for - If she's wearing a second hand sleeper I picked up at my favorite baby consignment store- If I haven't gotten around to hanging pictures on her cheerful green nursery walls because I'm spending that money on cloth diapers instead- she'll be just as loved and cherished. 

At the end of the day we're celebrating this precious life God has given us, not the accessories that we buy for her.  Though the tiny clothes are cute and the diaper bags are fun to pick out, these things are just that "things", and not as precious as Caroline. 

Any of you other mommies ever feel that pressure to buy the perfect _____ for your little one? How do you handle the pressures that social media, stores, and blogs put on us as moms?