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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

photo shoot

Hi all! I know I sound like a broken record, but I once again want to apologize for the long wait between posts. I have to plan accordingly to be able to post when I'm somewhere with internet. We are 34 weeks, 3 days pregnant and we have our eyes on the prize!! The pregnancy is still going very smoothly, even though random strangers often comment on how huge I am or how uncomfortable I must be. So nice...
Truth is I love being big with baby and I'm really not uncomfortable much at all. I get heartburn in the evenings sometimes and my skin itches a lot but that's nothin. We are trying to savor the last few weeks we have as "just us" but are SO anticipating the arrival of this sweet little he or she.
At 31 weeks, a good friend of ours took some maternity photos for us so I thought I'd post a few of the favorites. Her name is Missie Lafrenz, she's awesomely talented, and you can check out her work at I can't wait for her to take the first pics of the baby!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

way overdue

I'm way overdue. Not in pregnancy terms, but in blogging terms. SO much has happened since my last post, but to sum it all up: we moved into our house and we don't have internet. It's one of those things we knew we could survive without and it helps us save money as we strive toward living on a single income. So, I apologize for the lack of updates!!
We are 28 weeks along and counting. Hard to believe that we will have our baby in our arms in just a couple months. Baby is moving all the time now and his/her latest trick is to get those little feet shoved all up in my ribs. OUCH! But I don't want to complain too much because feeling that moving, growing baby inside of me is something I know I will miss.
People continue to gawk a little at my large-ness but I'm okay with that. I get asked often if I'm having twins. I'm okay with that, too. Even though I'm a bit uncomfortable, I like the way I look with a baby belly and it's fun to show it off :)
The nursery is coming together piece by piece now. On Sunday Dameon and Zach assembled the crib and got the dresser situated. So exciting to walk past that door and see a baby room!! Tis the season for baby showers and childbirth classes which makes this all the more REAL for both of us.
I'll try to be more frequent to get online and post quick updates. Gotta run for now!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

the things i don't want to forget

The absolute amazement of watching my belly get bigger by the day.

Having cars stop on a regular basis to let me cross the street.

Being the only one who feels this baby's tiny kicks and nudges.

Being completely naive about this whole pregnancy and child birth experience, which means every single thing is a first.

Anticipating when Sunday afternoon rolls around and we can read the next week's chapter in our pregnancy book. Dameon always reads aloud while I listen.

Then listening to Dameon pause and comment when he reads something that really knocks his socks off like, "This week your baby has eyebrows and eyelashes."

Enjoying people's reactions when we tell them we aren't finding out the gender. "There's nothing like that kind of surprise!" they say.

Seeing the baby open and close it's mouth to practice swallowing on the ultrasound.

The anticipation of making my parents grandparents for the first time. Can't wait for that! Mom is already stocking up on baby gear that will stay at their house.

The feeling of hearing the doctor say, "Everything on the ultrasound looks perfect and healthy."

Embracing the sticky-up little hairs cropping up all over my belly.

The priceless look on Dameon's face during the ultrasound this week. A perfect combination of love, pride, and awe as he stared at that screen.

Remembering the feeling of hearing Dameon refer to me as "my wife" the first few times after we were married and realizing I'll feel something similar again soon when he says, "my son" or "my daughter."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

the one where i use bullet points

  • Internet connection is moody, so I'm making this quick.
  • LOVE feeling so good these days. Started seeing a chiropractor (my cousin) and I am pain free almost 100% of the time. Crazy how good God is!
  • Appetite is increasing quite a bit but I get full really quickly, so I have to eat in shifts. Around here we like to call it first lunch, second lunch, etc.
  • My belly button is halfway popped, which I've been fretting over for quite a long time. I have belly button fears. I get past it by making Dameon put the lotion on it and averting my eyes when I change my clothes. Weird, I know.
  • My weight gain is at a good place. I've gained 9 pounds since finding out I was pregnant. That will, of course, increase more quickly now that the baby is getting close to the one pound mark.
  • Strangers are now asking us when we're due. I can tell they think I'm really big for 20 weeks. And they're right. But that's what happens when you're five feet tall :)
  • I can feel the baby moving like crazy. It feels like twitching and nudging. Dameon can't feel it yet but he tries really hard. He also sits for long periods of time with his ear smooshed up against my belly. I think he's hoping he'll hear a heartbeat. It's pretty much adorable.
  • We have our 20 week ultrasound tomorrow. It will take about an hour because they check the baby's organs and all that good stuff. Can't wait to get a glimpse of the tiny babe. I'm really hoping for a profile shot so we can see some features!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Update...Winterset style

**I must apologize for this blog having no pictures. I can't, for the life of me, find our camera right now. I even remember packing it and making a mental note of exactly where it was placed. Crap.

Well, we have officially been Winterset residents for 6 days now and we're enjoying our new little town. The move went quite smoothly, thanks to the rockstar help of our family and some old (and new) friends! I was a touch "out of commission" during portions of the move, but I'll get to that in a bit. If you didn't know, we are staying in a one-bedroom apartment (above the Ben Franklin, no less) until we can move into our new house in September. Yes, it's a bit of a bummer, but luckily Dameon and I really never get sick of each other so we're making it work. The worst part is always having to walk the dog right in the middle of the town square. Ya know, first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Ah, anonymity.

Dameon has basically had to jump right into his new job, while also continuing to work on drill writing in his free moments. I think it's a weight off his shoulders to actually be here in town and have face-to-face contact with his students. He's getting things squared away in his office and preparing for marching band camp next week! Even though it's a crazy nutty time of year, I love marching band season!!

Okay, now for the little bump in the road. Baby Place is thriving, which we are incredibly grateful for, but I'm learning that mental toughness is going to be key. Early Monday morning I woke up with a bad pain on the right side of my middle back. It only lasted about 20 minutes or so, but I mentioned it to my OB the next day at my appointment. She didn't say much about it and I didn't think much about it. By the time I got home from my appointment, the pain was back and it was worse. I ended up calling back to the clinic and talked with a nurse. She said it sounded like deep muscle pain and suggested I try a heating pad. She told me any problem with my kidneys would have shown up in my urine specimen earlier that day. I was finally able to find a comfortable position on the couch, but continued to battle the pain the rest of the day and thru the night. The next morning I got up and drove to my meetings for work, which were held about 45 minutes away from here. By noon the pain was so bad, that I knew something was really wrong. I felt like something inside was going to burst. I called Dameon and told him I needed a doctor. He thought I should call my OB first to see what she thought I should do. After speaking with the clinic, I drove back to Winterset to get Dameon and we headed to Des Moines (where our clinic is). The baby's heartbeat was the same as the day before, so no trouble there. The doctor examined me and determined there was likely something going on with my right kidney. She sent me on to have an ultrasound of both kidneys to find the problem. During the ultrasound, the tech gave us a sneak peek of Baby! That kid just never stops moving!! He/she kept flipping from back to front so we'd see face and then spine. It looked a little alien-like, but we could definitely make out eyes, nose, and mouth! So incredible :)
The doctor called the next day to fill me in on what the ultrasound showed. She said I am experiencing some kidney nephritis. (By the way, don't google that. It'll just freak you out.) Basically it means my uterus is tilting a little to the right. It's pushing on spot where my kidney empties and is causing my kidney to swell. It causes me to feel like someone has punched me really hard right in that spot. The bad news is there's really nothing they can do for me, besides encourage me to lay on my left side as much as possible. This problem is very common in pregnancy, but it isn't likely to get better. Probably just worse until the baby is born. The good news is that this condition doesn't affect the baby at all. SO thankful for that!! So for now I'm just taking things one day at a time. I do find relief laying on my side and not staying on my feet for too long. Yesterday I went to my work meetings all day and only had two bad bouts of pain. We have our big ultrasound on August 23rd and our 20 week appointment after that, so they'll take another look at my kidney to see how things are going. The doc said in rare cases, they put in a stint to drain the kidney, but right now my kidney is draining pretty well, so no need to worry about that.
Still, we'd appreciate your prayers that I will learn how to manage the pain when it does come. And also prayer that no kidney stones develop. Thanks, friends!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

i feel large

I know, I know, I'm going to laugh about the title of this post in a few more months but still. It is crazy to watch this belly grow and grow! So much fun to think that in only a few weeks I will be able to feel our sweet baby moving around in there :)

So far second trimester isn't really much different than the first. Since I've really missed out on a lot of the bad pregnancy symptoms, it's not like I was counting down the days to 12 weeks in hopes of some relief or something. Seriously, I am so thankful for how easy pregnancy has been so far. I have a pretty intense gag reflex that gets me going in the evening hours but it's totally manageable...just annoying sometimes. And that heartburn I complained about last week? Not bad at all! I'm still struggling with swallowing pills and keeping them down so the vitamin thing is a little, well, nonexistent at this point but I am able to take a daily folic acid supplement. We bought a new kind of vitamin last week so now I just need to get up the nerve to try it. Always hard to swallow something WITH food, knowing you're likely going to throw up moments later. But we'll get there. I think my most noticeable and consistent symptom is my need to pee all the time. It's nuts! I'm sure this is only going to get more intense as things get more squished in there. Oh well, no big deal.

At our 12 week appointment, we learned that Baby Place is measuring rather large. The ultrasound technician was convinced that I didn't actually know when I had my last period. Which I do. She was sure we were 14.5 weeks along rather than the 11.5 weeks we actually were. We have another appointment one week from today but it's not an ultrasound, so we'll have to wait til 20 weeks to see if he/she continues to be a whopper. I have a feeling that baby is all noggin. I mean have you seen the size of mine or Dameon's heads? Just sayin'. We're looking forward to hearing the heartbeat for the first time next week!

Oh, and all the bloodwork stuff came back great. I am O positive, so I don't have to get the shots I would have to get if I was O negative. Or something.

Dameon is still handling this father-to-be thing like a pro. He never makes me feel badly for taking two hour afternoon naps, going to bed at 9:00, wearing my pajamas all day long, or saying, "Can we just eat out tonight?" Not that I ever do that stuff.

Alright, time for my afternoon nap.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

thinking lots about motherhood these days

"Oh that God would give every mother a vision of the glory and splendor of the work that is given to her when a babe is placed in her bosom to be nursed and trained! Could she have but one glimpse into the future of that life as it reaches on into eternity; could she look into its soul to see its possibilities; could she be made to understand her own personal responsibility for the training of this child, for the development of its life, and for its destiny...she would see that in all God's world there is no other work so noble and so worthy of her best powers, and she would commit to no other hands the sacred and holy trust given to her." J.R. Miller

Friday, June 25, 2010

the view from here

FINALLY! Finally I can let the cat out of the bag "officially". We have been so so so excited to shout our baby news from the rooftops and now that we're through the first trimester, we are so happy to share all the details. (Well...almost all the details.)

One of my favorite blogs to follow is MckMama's blog at I like to think that we're actually friends :) Anyway, she has a ton of readers and she recently did a Q & A post called "Ask MckMama Anything." Readers asked questions, she answered. Well...I don't actually have so many readers, but I do know there are some awesome friends and family who want to know all about the pregnancy, so I thought I'd do a Q & A of some questions you might be thinking about.

Q: How did you find out you were pregnant?

A: We have been using the Natural Family Planning Chart for a little over 2 years, now, so we keep a pretty close eye on my cycle. We knew there was a decent chance we would great pregnant this time, but I was a little doubtful because I had gotten sick with laryngitis and had been running a fever. Because of that, I wasn't taking my temperature for a solid week or so. My cycle is usually about 31 days long, so I had already decided that I would take a test on day 32. Normally I drag my feet a little about testing because there I have been many instances where I've tested unnecessarily and have gotten many "negatives". I can honestly say I had a little bit of a good feeling about this time around, and it made sense to test that morning because we were going to go house-hunting later that same day. The alarm went off at 5:30 the morning of May 1, and I stumbled into the bathroom. (First pee of the morning, ya know.) Dameon and I had always said we wanted to find out at the same time. We didn't want it to be one of those things where I take a test when he's not around and then decide on the right time to tell him. My plan was, as usual, to take the test, make sure it was working, and then leave it on the counter for 3 minutes. Well, when I pulled it up in front of my eyes to make sure it was working, the two lines were already there!!! I remember my mouth dropping open and my eyes bugging out. Dameon says that I then fumbled with the bathroom door knob for a solid 60 seconds before stumbling into the pitch black bedroom. "Dameon, there's a line!"


"There's a line!"

"A pregnancy line?"


And then he sat straight up and I practically strangled him and I clung around his neck and cried my eyes out. (I think he was in shock...but a good kind of shock.)

Q: How far along are you?

A: We will be at the end of our first 12 weeks tomorrow.

Q: When are you due?

A: January 8

Q: Where will you deliver?

A: Methodist Hospital in Des Moines

Q: Are you going to find out what you're having?

A: No! We want to be surprised! We have our suspicions, but those have changed a few times :)

Q: Have you chosen any names?

A: We have a few that we like, but we are going to keep them a secret. I will say that when you're a teacher, a lot of names get ruled out!

Q: How have you been feeling?

A: I have actually been feeling quite well. I've only had a few days where I've felt crummy and wanted to lay around all day. Other than that, I feel a little strange in the evenings and my appetite gets a little weird, but nothing that's unbearable. I've found that if I don't let my stomach get empty and if I don't get too tired, I can keep it pretty well under control. Some foods taste differently, and that's kinda weird but I can usually think of something that sounds good. No crazy cravings yet but I'm sure that will come. least I'm HOPING that will come!! :) Ice cream? yes, please! Cheetos? okay!

Q: How has Dameon been feeling??

A: Okay, so things are a little stressful around here these days. Especially for Dameon. He is taking on a lot of the burden of the move and all that because I know he doesn't want me to stress. Besides all that stuff, he is also writing several big-ticket marching band shows this summer, taking classes for his Master's Degree, transitioning into a new job, AND waiting on me hand and foot. He has seriously been incredible! Fixing me whatever I want to eat, keeping up with the house and the yard, doing the grocery shopping, and completely keeping up with all the "honey-do's" I throw his way. But more than ALL that, he is completely thrilled and elated to be a daddy. It is so much fun to experience all these firsts together and I am so thankful for him!

Okay, I that's about all I can think of right now, but if you readers have any other questions, please send them my way and I'll do a Part 2!

Monday, May 31, 2010

weekend in review

Whew! We are back home now after a busy and super fun long weekend.
On Friday evening, Dameon had to conduct the band at the West High graduation ceremony. I prepared for an evening-in by renting a chick flick (Dear John) and making a frozen pizza. We had decided earlier in the week that we would spend Saturday in my grandparents' town, which is about 4 hours away from here. When Dameon arrived home much earlier than expected, we decided to cut our Saturday driving down a bit by traveling to my mom and dad's house to stay Friday night. We arrived in Boone about 11:00 and hit the hay.
On Saturday morning we loaded into the Honda and headed to the Dutch Oven Bakery to get some breakfast for the road. We arrived in Elk Horn in time to head down to Main Street for the Tivoli Parade. I haven't been to Tivoli Fest since I was in junior high, so this was Dameon's first experience :) And if you ask my grandma, she'll tell you that Pella's Tulip Time doesn't hold a CANDLE to Elk Horn's Tivoli Fest. Hmmmm....the jury's still out. We took in the parade, pork burgers, Aebleskiver and Medisterpolse (Danish pancakes and sausage) and a stroll through some of Elk Horn's shops and attractions. It was a good time spent with family and a beautiful day to be outside! Dameon and I decided to head back to Boone that evening to stay.
On Sunday morning, Dameon and Blake decided to do some canoeing on the Des Moines River. I spent the time hanging out with my mom. We picked them up at their ending spot around 3:00 and then headed to Mom and Dad's to shower and get ready for the evening. Brad was playing a show in Ames at Border's, so we went to that at 5. It's always fun to see him perform. (shameless plug: you can buy his newly-released CD for $5! Also available on itunes!!) Then Dameon's dad and step-mom arrived to give us a major stash of boxes for the upcoming move. They took us out to a delicious dinner at Hickory Park. Yum! We had intended to drive back home to Waterloo afterward, but ended up deciding we were tired and would rather stay in Boone another night.
This morning I woke up early and took a bike ride with my parents to get some breakfast at McDonald's. Dameon grilled us a yummy lunch and we ate out on the patio together. We topped it off with ice cream cake for my birthday and then loaded up the Honda for the trip home.
Five more days of school.....the countdown is on!!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

On the road again...

Wow, it's been a loooong time since my last post! Some pretty big changes have happened since then, but most of you probably already know a little bit about that. It seems weird to write this entry just a year after writing our "moving to Waterloo entry", but load up the Uhaul cuz we have decided to make another move.

For a variety of reasons this Waterloo move just hasn't panned out the way we thought it would. Probably the biggest reason is that living here has confirmed what we already kinda new: we love small town Iowa and feel like that's really our niche. Plus, ever since we got married, we've talked about how our ideal location is somewhere in the Des Moines area. We really like Des Moines and will be closer to friends and family!

It's a little crazy to leave Waterloo after such a short time, but in a strange way it almost feels normal to move on. We've been "in transition" this whole year, so we'll just continue that transition for awhile longer. If there's one thing I know for sure, it's that being unsettled for the last several months has certainly grown Dameon and I individually in our relationship with the Lord and in our marriage.

Oh yeah, so I should probably mention where exactly we're going. Sometime this summer, we'll be moving to Winterset.

Claims to fame include (but are not limited to):

1. Many covered bridges

2. Birthplace of Marion Morrison (a.k.a. John Wayne)

3. Future home of a cutting edge, state of the art, INTERACTIVE John Wayne museum

Along with the decision to move, comes the joys and frustrations of selling and buying a home. We love, love, love our house here in Waterloo (funny how we always live in towns that start with "W") and wish we could just pick it up and take it with us. Bummer. But we're hoping there's someone else out there who loves it as much as we do. And soon. :)

That's all for now, but I'll do my best to update as soon as there's more to tell!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I surprised Dameon on Sunday night with carry-out dessert from the Olive Garden. We sat in front of the fire and savored the taste of White Chocolate Raspberry cheesecake, Lemon Creamcake, and Italian Donuts dipped in chocolate. It was divine.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to all my friends, family, and thousands of blog readers across the nation.


Dameon planned a great little night out for us last night, which included several of my favorite things. He told me to be ready at 5:00, and began by surprising me with the beautiful flowers pictured above and a very thoughtful card. I love to be surprised, so I insisted he not let on about where we were headed. We arrived at the movie theater in Cedar Falls just in time for the 5:30 showing of "Valentine's Day." Dameon had purchased our tickets online, so we already had the print-out of them in hand. Therefore, when we saw the ticket line snaking past the door, we just excused ourselves and passed by everyone. Why stand in a ticket line when you already have tickets? Turns out there's not a designated employee who actually takes tickets, so I guess we kinda snuck in??? The movie had some cute parts and a few unexpected twists, but overall I'd give it a C+. Seems like there are so many parts they could just leave out...ya know? Anyway, the best part was during more "serious" part of the movie. The theater was completely silent when all of the sudden somebody in row 8 ripped one. Dameon and I laughed that kind of laugh where you try to stifle it so hard that little squeaky gasps just come out. It was great.

Right after the movie, we headed for a restaurant in downtown Cedar Falls that's a fancy Italian-type place. We learned that it was a bit too fancy for our taste, but still had fun enjoying each other's company. It's so great when you share the same sense of humor. :) We decided to forget about "the diet" for the night and topped of our meals with a yummy piece of Tiramisu (2 forks). We came back home, snuggled up on the couch, and enjoyed a little TV time. I gave Dameon some chocolate and a Starbucks card, so we dug into those a little bit too. I have a little something planned for tonight, too, but I'll have to reveal it in tomorrow's post. Dameon loves to hate surprises, so I enjoy keeping him in suspense.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Winter Meltdown

It's true, Dameon and I have finally made a real commitment to losing weight, getting in shape, and getting healthy. We had started talking a couple months ago about researching the possibility of joining a gym. After viewing pictures of ourselves taken over Christmas break, we decided it was no longer just optional. I've never been one who has had to put real effort into working out or eating healthy, but I started to gain some weight after I graduated from college and then really packed on the pounds after we got married. I was fearful about making this total lifestyle change, but I knew Dameon would be extremely encouraging through the process and we could help keep each other accountable. I also knew that Dameon's pounds would melt off a lot more quickly than mine, so I was ready to work on not getting discouraged.
We joined a gym that is super close to our house and is open 24-7 so...NO EXCUSES! We joined at the very end of December and did three sessions with a trainer so we could figure out a routine that would really work for us to reach our goals and also clue me in a little bit on how to actually use weights and machines and stuff.
I quickly realized that there are a lot of "beginner-level" type of excercisers at this place, so I didn't feel too intimidated. And, I've managed to not do anything too dumb/embarrassing. Well, except for that one time. On this particular Thursday, I had dressed myself to endure the negative 30 degree walk in and out of the gym but forgot to consider the actual attire I would typically prefer during the workout. Therefore, I soon found myself running on the treadmill sporting a long-sleeved t-shirt, a fleece sweatshirt, and a regular bra. About 4 minutes in, both of my bra straps had fallen down and I was sweating so much that...well...things just weren't going well. I didn't want to "break my stride" so I figured I could just stealthily maneuver my arms in such a way that my straps would return to their correct position. In the process, I inadvertently hit the Emergency Stop button on the treadmill and about barreled right over the front of thing. Yep, you guessed it. Stride broken.
Anyway, Dameon has already lost 13 pounds and the scale is slowly but surely shifting in my direction! We are learning to choose healthier food options on a daily basis and dramatically decrease our portion sizes. I had originally suggested to Dameon that we get in our swimsuits and take "before" pictures, but he told me he wasn't such a fan of my idea. Oh well. Hopefully by the time swimsuit season rolls around, we'll be ready for some snapshots. :)