Father’s Day

John made Father’s Day easy by asking to celebrate at Q-Dogs BBQ. I don’t know my way around the grill, so props to this local company for smoking a full rack of ribs for John. Elijah even enjoyed the chicken and cornbread, and I’m a fan of their pulled pork.

As for dessert, Elijah and I included “finding a treat for dad” in our weekly grocery store run Sunday morning after Mass. When I suggested beef sticks because they are one of John’s favorite things, Elijah said, “That’s not a treat!” And we ended up coming home with cookies Elijah picked out from the bakery. A sun for John and an alligator for Elijah. We’re still working our way through that alligator. Talk about frosting overload. He picked a good one!

I’ve said it and blogged it over and over again, but my favorite sound in the world is Elijah’s laugh. No one makes him laugh like John. Watching the two of them do absolutely nothing together while they wrestle around in the living room brings me total joy. I know that joy will only multiply when our daughter is born and John continues to live his mission of fatherhood to two blessings.

30 Weeks

Thirty weeks goes a lot faster during a second pregnancy. Wowzers. While I’m beyond excited to meet our little girl, I’m a bit anxious about how fast this pregnancy is flying.

How am I feeling? I’ve stopped running. There is some intermittent jogging during a long walk, but it was time to call it quits on lacing up my shoes for the purpose of a run. Exercise is still a daily goal, but I’ve taken the speed down a few notches.

Preparation: The crib is up and so is a bookshelf. A few things have been washed, and my anxiety calms with just the smell of baby laundry soap. Aside from this, I feel like I need to get out a “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” book because my head just isn’t on straight right now in preparing properly. Maybe it’s because everything for Elijah was absolutely perfect right down to the vacuum lines in the carpet and we didn’t even get to bring him home from the hospital with us for three weeks. I have to assume “nesting” will happen sometime in July and my “Type A” personality will be more than ready in every way possible.

Names: John and I have one name we keep coming back to and it feels good. I haven’t ordered a personalized baby blanket or initials for the nursery yet like I had done for Elijah at this time, but it’s exciting to know we might just have our little girl’s name decided.

Elijah: At roughly 28 weeks I was helping Elijah get dressed for school one morning and he said, “Hey, your belly got bigger!” Ha! I hugged him and said, “You noticed!” Since then we’ve talked about his baby sister growing and that we’re preparing a room for her. When I asked for Elijah’s opinion about what kind of stuffed animal to pick out for his baby sister, suggesting an elephant, a bunny, a giraffe, he told me she’d like a tyrannosaurus rex. haha!

Baby Moon: John and I will get away to California for a few days while it’s still safe for me to fly. We’re looking forward to a change of scenery and a little escape. I always feel better when there are palm trees.

Summer Festivities

I love summer for so many reasons. One of those reasons is because the number of kid-friendly and family-centered events is endless. It seems like there is a festival, fair, or a farmer’s market every weekend in the area.

Last weekend was St. Joe’s Fun Days and this weekend included Strawberry Days. The inflatables carnival was impressive, but the parade won Elijah’s heart. It wasn’t even about the candy, believe it or not. He loved the tractors and has told me about the cement mixers multiple times. It’s so easy to find joy in these simple activities when I watch them through Elijah’s eyes.

I wish so badly we could spread the love of some of these activities throughout the long, cold winter months. Sometimes I’m left feeling like I need to cram a year’s worth of activities into a few short months. Right or wrong, I know we’re not alone. People are just so happy to be out and about after a long winter and a wet spring.

St. Joe’s Fun Days Round Two

Elijah and I still participated in the St. Joe’s 5k this year but this time we were the ones cheering the runners into the chute rather than racing like last year.

Elijah’s enthusiasm for every runner who crossed the line made me think he totally gets the positive aspect of the running community. I loved it!

Our family spent Friday night checking out the food tent, playing games, and Elijah was even brave enough to ride the carnival rides.

Abbie’s Baby Shower

My cousin Abbie and I were born just weeks apart. We’ll have babies about a month apart (her first, my second).

Since she lives in Colorado, we celebrated at her parents’ house over the weekend with a fiesta themed baby shower. It was really great to see her and she looks so stinkin’ adorable!

She doesn’t know the gender of the baby, so it will be a fun July surprise! My guess is a boy (and I’m always wrong….)!

Thanks for asking us to help you celebrate, Abbie. We’ll be praying for you and baby!

Shark Bed

“They are nice sharks!”

We transitioned Elijah into a bigger bed last weekend. He has been sleeping in a toddler bed (roughly a foot off of the ground) since last June. That bed used the crib mattress, so we just decided it was time to upgrade Elijah so that we could use the crib mattress for baby.

We already had this queen bed in the guest room upstairs, so it was just a matter of switching furniture around and buying some toddler-friendly bedding. I mentioned in a previous post that I am not a fan of character themed rooms, but the blue and green shark print caught my eye right away (Thank you, Target!). It even matches the green and blue theme we had for the nursery.

There have been multiple times where I go into Elijah’s room before I go to bed for the night and I can’t even find him in the sea of sharks. He’s so little in that big bed. Thankfully he has slept in it all night every night for a week, so we’ll go with it.

As for the baby’s nursery, it’s coming along. Updates soon!

Community of Faith Scholarship

The Community of Faith Scholarship has the face of Elijah but the heart of my parents.

Someday Elijah will understand this gift. For now, he just loves one morning a year he gets to run the halls of “my school” with the big kids. John even dressed him in khakis and a polo so he’d fit in with the dress code. Ha!

I can’t tell you how many times I heard students and adults say that no one is that happy to enter school in the morning, especially at 7:30. I pray Elijah is always enthusiastic about school.

This year’s recipient is a total sweetheart. High school allows plenty of opportunities to be negative, but this girl makes it a priority to find happiness in all she does. We’ve had multiple “faith” conversations, and I’m always inspired by her ability to choose joy. Thank you for being a light to others. You will forever be a part of our families prayers.

Graduation Season

High school teachers receive a ridiculous amount of graduation invitations. I’m talking 50-100 invites. Every year I get better and better at saying “no” to these invites.

You’re probably thinking that this doesn’t sound like me, so let me explain.

I love my students, but burning myself out in another way during the month of May isn’t good for anyone.

As I posted on Twitter a few weeks ago, “There is teacher tired, there is teacher in May tired, and there is pregnant teacher in May tired.”

I limited myself to fewer than ten parties this year, and Elijah attended a majority of them with me. He loved the treats and I loved that I didn’t have to pick between attending parties or spending time with him.

However, the last few weekends I’ve said “no” altogether to parties on one of the days so we could enjoy doing something as a family instead. My heart has needed these summer-like moments that force me to slow down and just live in the now with my favorite people rather than rush and rush in order to please others.

Saying “yes” means saying “no” to something else. Right now, I’m saying “Yes” to my favorite boys!

“Overwhelmed schedule, underwhelmed soul.”

If you haven’t read The Best Yes, I recommend it!

Summer Reading Suggestions

My countdown for summer break is in the single digits. Here are three reading suggestions to add to your beach bag.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Verity by Colleen Hoover

Pull it Off by Julianna Zobrist

What’s on my summer reading list?

Ghosting by Edith Pattou

I’m Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagan

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

…and hopefully many more. We have a trip to California planned and the itinerary includes soaking up warm weather with an iced coffee in one hand and a book in another.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Everyone wins when a family member has a birthday. Fun plans, special treats, and a reason to spoil people make a week so much brighter.

My dad was kind enough to share his birthday with his grandkids at the park. What’s better than pizza and the park when you’re a kid?!

Happy birthday, Dad! Thanks for the reason to celebrate!