Monday, December 08, 2008

One Year

So much can happen in one short year! Brad and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary this weekend and we can not believe how the last twelve months have just flown by. It has been an amazing year and I couldn't be happier than I am every moment I get to spend with Brad. I fall more in love with him every day. What a great adventure.

As we celebrated our first year of marriage, we laughed and laughed about God's sweet timing and the way He can bless us in such unexpected ways. We would have never believed that we would have a 7-week-old on our first anniversary (we had to get a babysitter- thank you, Aunt Suzanna!!) and would you believe we had baby pictures BEFORE our wedding pictures? Life is pretty amazing... and wonderfully unpredicatable sometimes. (We have also been nervously laughed about what surprises next year may hold!)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Grady's Birth Story

Okay... I know it's been six weeks, but here it is.. .finally. More to come!
Grady Cole was born on October 19th at 2:00 a.m. We could not be more thrilled. I began having "need to breathe through them" contractions on Friday night about 9 p.m. I stayed up all night pacing, breathing, and then finally getting ready to head to the hospital early Saturday morning when they were finally about 4 minutes apart for a couple hours. We were (thankfully!) admitted when they confirmed my water had broke (oops- I didn't even know) and I was SO relieved they didn't send me home because I was already exhausted.

Then the fun began with more regular contractions, pitocin to speed things up after a few hours, and what seems like a blur of back rubs, monitors, and staff shift changes. I had great nurses- and since I was progressing slowly I had a lot of time to spend with them. Grady's heart rate dipped a little low a time or two, but I'll never forget sometime onSaturday evening when the doors opened and staff came rushing in. I was suddenly getting a shot to stop labor, being flipped over and having my belly rubbed- all eyes were on that monitor and I could see Grady's heart rate dropping off the graph. A few moments seemed like an eternity, but everything was okay after that and we were back at square one. Late Saturday evening we decided something was wrong after his heart rate dropped again with strong contractions, so the C-section was set in motion. I was terribly dissappointed, but so relieved knowing our baby would arrive safely after 20 plus hours of laboring.

During the operation (it's now Sunday by this time) they confirmed that the cord was wrapped around his neck 3 times and that part of it was up by his head which explained his distress. I am so thankful for a capable hospital staff! God is so good.

We are having a BLAST and learning so much- the pics above are from his first moments of life... more to come on the amazing moments of the past six weeks.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Countdown...

We officially have FIVE days until the ETA for Baby H.... (who, by the way, FINALLY has a name!! "Grady Cole Henderson." Good thing he wasn't early or his birth certificate might have said "Baby H.") If he doesn't make his grand debut by then, we have an induction scheduled for Wednesday morning the 22nd!

It STILL does not seem real that we'll be meeting this little blessing so soon and I still just don't feel "pregnant enough" to be that close to the end- I expected to feel pretty miserable by this point, but I feel so good I'm not in a hurry to evict this little guy!

So, in honor of the 5-day mark, here's my Top Five Memories looking back over the last 9 months...

1. Seeing that "plus" sign in the little window one random Tuesday morning in February. I can't believe I didn't pass out and I am even more amazed that I actually made it to work and managed to function at ALL that day.

2. Telling Brad the news two days later on Valentine's Day. His face was priceless and I was shaking like a leaf. We celebrated by going to eat at Planet Burrito and I know our jaws were hanging open for most of the evening- Brad describes the whole evening as "kind of a blur."

3. The first ultrasound and the moment we saw the little life that was growing inside me. We were speechless when we saw the hearbeat and little fluttering kicks on the screen. We'll never forget the overwhelming sense of relief knowing that everything looked good and the baby was growing healthy.

4. The second ultrasound and finding out we were having a boy! That was by far the most fun doctor's visit and we loved having our family there for the big "reveal!" I couldn't peel my eyes off the screen as the doctor looked closely and explained all the ways our baby was growing healthy and strong.

5. The way God has blessed our marriage over these last 9 months. With only 11 months of marriage behind us, we have learned so much about each other and I can honestly say EVERY DAY has been better than the last. It has been so easy to love Brad and this pregnancy has showed us a great deal about priorities, God's sovereignty, and the unexpected in life.
*** We continue to pray for a safe delivery and for whatever it is that comes afterwards (something called parenthood, I believe?) We know our adventure is just beginning and as always appreciate the support and prayers from everyone!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Showered with blessing...

I had a fabulous shower 2 weeks ago with my precious church family and friends. I don't have pics yet, but it was so such a special day and I felt so supported and loved... I don't know how people get by without a church community.

Last weekend I had another shower... this one was unique because it was back home where I grew up. I was really blessed- it means so much to be honored by people who were such a significant part of my childhood.

My sweet sister-in-law, Suzanna, brought this beautiful cake! My other sister-in-law, Lauren, and my sister, Mollie, made some incredible nametags and decorations. How CUTE are they?

Jaime asked for some maternity photos- this is the best belly shot I have from the shower (can you believe we hadn't taken any yet?) And please note the stain on my shirt- that happens a lot these days since my stomach bumps into things... the little fingers which belong to my adorable niece on the couch may have had something to do with it, too (I'm squishing her, by the way, which is easy to do right now, let me tell you! She was laughing, though, I promise.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Scary Milk!!

I had a moment yesterday.... I bought a carton of milk and as I was putting it in the fridge I noticed something VERY frightening on the box. This milk will not expire until AFTER my due date!! Yikes! How crazy is that? Ok, so it IS the organic kind with a crazy long shelf life (for milk, anyway) but STILL... the fact there is a perishable food item in my refrigerator that could outlive my pregnancy gives me little fits of panic.

People keep asking me if I am "so ready for the pregnancy to be over." My answer is a definite NO. I feel pretty wonderful most of the time and I am thrilled to still have a few more weeks to prepare. Baby H can just stay in there as long as he wants... well, within reason. :)

Now everytime I open the fridge the milk is staring at me... like it knows...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Lost Pines Resort

What a great, long weekend. It was the perfect recipe for a memorable get-away: family, amazing food, lounging, sleeping late, gorgeous scenery...

The resort was beautiful.

We laid around the pool, made s'mores in the evenings at the fire pit, and just enjoyed the lazy pace and being together. A GREAT way to celebrate. We finished off the mini-vacation with a trip to downtown Austin where we stayed in a hotel and and met my family for a fabulous meal at The Melting Pot. I actually had to run to the bathroom at one point because I was laughing so hard that a dangerous level of pressure was put on my poor cramped bladder (thanks for that, Baby H.)

We even had a celebrity sighting in our Austin hotel... apparently this guy ran the Nike 10K Human Race and was chatting with his friends and new baby in the lobby. (That's Matthew M*Conaughey in case you're a little slow like me... Brad had to tell me twice that he was standing there... but I think Brad's main focus was how much he hated his shirt).

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day! Ours was the best yet...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Relaxation and Celebrations...

Well, I am pretty much loving August of 2008. Things have slowed down a little with the end of summer (just for a couple weeks, but I'll take it!) I've actually had a couple weekends HOME to clean up around the house and lounge with my adorable husband watching random TV entertainment and just being silly. I read a whole book in two days, made cookies, and beamed at my very short to-do list. I am hesistant to flip the page in my planner (I know the shift of busier days is ahead with September), but I hope I don't forget to intentionally plan for a little relaxation among all the "to-do's." It's good for the soul, you know. :)

Baby news: I am 32 1/2 weeks pregnant... I feel fantastic most of the time and am continually thankful for a healthy pregnancy and a baby boy that is growing right on track. We are nervous new parents, of course, and after our first "Prepared Childbirth Class" last week, I'm not sure that Brad will be attending the birth. He would have appreciated a little "heads up" on the video. (He handled it way better than the poor man who was almost hyperventilating afterwards... poor guy.) We aren't sure what to expect as October draws closer- but we are excited to find out. Any words of wisdom from you knowledgeable parents out there are appreciated, by the way.

Big Birthday news: Since October will be "baby month" we are planning a birthday excursion for ourselves this weekend. (Brad and I are both October birthdays and both turning 30! That's a reason to celebrate!) Since we can't travel far or run a destination marathon as we'd originally planned (insert hilarious image of me running a marathon at 9 months pregnant), we are content to hit a resort hotel this weekend and then hang out in Austin with family and soak up as much attention as possible before being upstaged by the new October birthday this year.

Other unrelated news: I am so excited that we have finally upgraded our sad, mildew-y wicker patio chairs for these that arrived yesterday!! I am even more excited for fall weather to enjoy them... hooray for rocking...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The smell of new carpet...

You know that feeling when you walk on velvety-soft sand in your bare feet? Well, my new carpet isn't quite that nice, but is a considerable step up from the well-worn and rather stained former carpet that I happily saw ripped up a couple weeks ago. It's amazing how lovely, new carpet can make a whole house seem so clean and fresh. I occasionally sprawl out on it and enjoy not wondering about the origin of that mysterious yellow stain from the previous home owners. I think we also felt better about plopping a new little human life down on a fresh canvas. All for the peace of mind... oh, and because it looks pretty. :)

Aside from smelling my new carpet, my days are spent (already!) wrapping up the summer here in the next couple weeks- although you wouldn't guess that from the consistent 100+ temps lately. (Yuck. Bun in the oven + walking around in an oven = very high electric bills. TXU, you're welcome.)

Here is the family pic from our "Homecation 2008." Please note how adorable my grandad and his girlfriend are- and yes, that is my parents' dog in a t-shirt.

AND- camp was greatness. It was a special week for our kiddos and I LOVED the incredible times of worship. (Although I did get attacked there by a 2-lb chihuahua that tripped me while I was running- I almost crushed his little body into pieces but saved him by dive-rolling into the mud. He thanked me by trying to bite my neck.)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Summer Daze...

Do you remember those summer days as a kid that seemed to drag on and on with lazy mornings and afternoons of swimming and lounging? I miss those days. Summers are nothing like that in the youth ministry world- quite the opposite, in fact. There is much to love about a youth ministry summer, but I sometimes daydream about what it would be like to have the gift of unscheduled time. I would start by swimming until I got all pruny. :)

Since my blogging is chronically sporatic, I'll give you some all-important life updates.

1. I am in my 26th week of pregnancy- ALREADY. Wow. That is 6 months according to "What to Expect When You're Expecting" and 7 months according to I am completely confused by the whole system anyway, so it's no surprise to me that there is no consensus on the month-thing. Maybe I'll just start counting down the actual days. We have 105 of them until Baby H's ETA.

2. Last week I accidentally kicked a dead rat covered in maggots with my bare toes. It was as gross as it sounds and I am forever scarred.

3. I leave in 5 days for one of my all-time favorite summer events: CAMP! I love it despite the vicious wasps and balmy east Texas weather.

4. I just got back from the Blanks Family's 2nd annual "Homecation." The motto for our event: "Less fuel. More fun." We played games, ate until we were stuffed, and laughed at our own dumb jokes for 3 whole days. Awesome.

This is my cutie group of 7th graders on our mission trip in June. They were so much fun.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

It's a....

We had a blast at our appointment this morning. Our families drove up for the "big ulstrasound" and we documented guesses with the video camera (everyone there guessed girl) before getting the word from the doctor that it was definitely NOT a girl! We are so thankful to see that everything is good and he is healthy and active. (It's weird to be able to say "he!")

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Europe Part 1

Our first stops in Italy were my favorite. Lake Como was probably #1 of the whole trip.

(This picture mysteriously shrank.) We hiked up a few miles into the mountains in Lake Como for some incredible overlooks.

The lake climate is amazing and it is just breath-taking everywhere you look. Sprawling gardens, beautiful hiking trails, balconies built high into the mountainside. Everyone here seems relaxed... there is no car traffic and you couldn't hurry somewhere if you tried.

This is the view from our hotel room balcony in the early evening. Can you see what we didn't want to leave?

Italy Stop #2: The Cinque Terre. Gorgeous! We hiked some trails and would have been content to do so for days and days.

We didn't want to leave our Cinque Terre village, either. Our little loft hotel room is in the upper part of this cliff sticking out into the ocean. Talk about a room with a view!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

We're Back!

We are home from Italy! I'll post some of my favorite pics soon, but here is one of my new all-time favorite places. (Lake Como... incredible.)

Speaking of incredible, here's a little announcement that spurred our somewhat impromptu trip overseas... I could have posted this sign across my pack for our little 10-day adventure:

That's right, folks. Brad and I took along a very small passenger! Having been married just a few months, you can see why this is what we call "the surprise of our lives." We are thrilled and still a little in shock that with an October due date, we'll have a two-month-old on our first anniversary! We know God's timing is always perfect... and He continues to teach both of us so much though we still feel like we have so much to learn. We can't wait to see where this new adventure will take us... and are incredibly thankful to have so much support along the way.

Here are a few lessons I have learned (or re-learned) lately:

1. God is in control, even when we think we are.

2. It is not possible to eat too much gelato.

3. It is very possible to eat too much pasta.

4. Pregnancy hormones and jetlag are a pretty brutal combination.

5. The European foot paddle for flushing a toilet is pretty much the greatest invention ever.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Bad Blogger...

I know I am... I'll try and do better. Sometimes I have a hard time completing a thought in my own head, much less an entire post. Am I the only one who feels so A.D.D. sometimes?

I realize that I must, in the proper blogger etiquette, catch you up on all the very important aspects of my life that you may have missed in my absence:

1. I couldn't sleep last night and was wisely spending my waking hours watching American Idol. Did anyone else see the little orphan girl find her sister during the charity promo? Was anyone else bawling like a baby? Good grief.

2. I do not understand this fashion trend:

Please don't be offended if you own a pair... I just don't get this one. With shorts? Really? If you haven't seen this, they are making appearances on the feet of high school- twenty something girls all over the place. I notice them everywhere I go now. (Or some variation of them.)

3. People of Blog Land, you gotta try mashed cauliflower if you've never made it. It looks just like mashed potatoes, has 110% of your daily vitamin C requirement, and tastes veggie-licious. Add a little milk, garlic, etc., and even paprika if you want to be fancy. Mmm... There are recipes all over the world wide web.

4. Brad and I are coming up on our 4-month anniversary. Hooray for us! We are having so much fun and are about to head to ITALY next week! More on that later... we'll have wedding pics soon, but our photographer posted a couple of his favorites. I hope it's ok if I re-post a couple here... (His name is Fred Egan so I'm giving him due credit!)

Our wonderful wedding party
I love this one: Isn't he the cutest groom ever? Ricky did the ceremony and my brother is in front.

Best part of this pic is my dad's face as he pelts Brad in the head with rose petals.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My sister...

is AMAZING. It's not her birthday, there is really nothing particularly special about today, but I just had a need to tell the blogging world that I am indeed blessed to have such an incredible person in my life. She is such a wonderful friend, brilliant at everything she does, and goes out of her way to show people how much she cares (example: planning my entire wedding including... to name just a few... taking engagement and bridal photos, choosing decorations and music, designing and printing invitations, basically being in charge of the entire reception... all while working and raising 4 little kids.)

We've always been close, even through the years when I was annoying and always wanted to borrow her clothes.

She is the perfectionist in the family.
She has always been really funny... and very creative at finding ways to have fun.
I'm not sure why she gave me a mullet here, though.

My mom used to dress us alike, which I probably thought was cool.

As you can see, I followed her everywhere. Poor girl.

Thanks for being a great big sister, Mollie! Can you imagine your life without your siblings? It sure would have been more boring...

Monday, January 07, 2008

A month and counting...

We've been married one month today. Ahh... sweet, isn't it? I am going to post pics a little backwards because I don't have any from the wedding yet. SO- here's a couple from our trip to the amazing Playa del Carmen where we are already dreaming of returning next year. (We could have easily stayed another week.... 6 days was not long enough!)

I don't think that's our footprint...

This place is amazing- my mouth fell open when we stepped on the resort.

It was the perfect time of year to be at the beach- gorgeous!

This tree was too big to fit in the frame.

It really couldn't have been a better trip. I'll have to tell you in a later post about an incredible discovery! Love to all...