34 Weeks

img_2632How am I feeling? I would relate my aches and pains to marathon training. I get cramps in my calves during the night, which I typical got when I wasn’t hydrated enough after double digit mile runs. My doctor said there is nothing I can do for these, unfortunately. She even said she experienced the same issue. I’ve also had some pretty awful lower back pain (just on one side). Again, the soreness is equivalent to the first few days after a marathon. While there is an endurance test ahead, the prize will be better than a medal.

Daycare Update: After touring four daycares, we made a decision. When we returned home from the final tour last week, John and I sat down and ranked them. Thankfully, we agreed 100%. Decision made. I’ll put in the deposit to hold our spot.

Pregnancy Massage: I had my first prenatal massage this week. Since they have a cut-out belly pillow that props you up, you can lay face down. It felt incredible to take all of the weight off of my back for the first time in months. I already scheduled another session in a few weeks.

Nursery Update: (Link)

Preparation: We’re covering the basics before baby arrives: health, religion, and finance. In addition to birth care classes, we took a baptism class at our church. We’re hoping for an April or May baptism. We have also been working with an attorney to prepare a will. Thanks to my family of financial advisers who have encouraged me to get these things in order before baby arrives.

Anticipation: I can’t wait to hold my son, but I know he needs to gain a few pounds first. It will be worth the wait.

Baby W’s Nursery

img_2637“We’re having a baby next month!” was my greeting to John when he woke up today.

After a long trip to Target and a few hours of organization, the nursery is feeling more and more like a home for baby W.

John hung up the letters and numbers prints I ordered from Etsy, and baby’s first initial will go in-img_2648between after he arrives. I love how it turned out, but you won’t get the full picture until the name is revealed.

The “I love my library” print by Peter Reynolds is framed and mounted on an opposite wall. It’s the first thing you see when you walk in the room. It holds true, as this baby has more books than his small bookshelf will hold. I can’t wait to read every single one of them over and over again.

 

Catholic School’s Week 2016

Catholic Schools Week

How do I explain Catholic School’s Week to people who have never had the opportunity to experience Catholic schools? I would relate it to Homecoming Week. There are dress up days, school-wide events, and just extra energy and effort in people’s attitudes. It’s a positive week full of school spirit.

The difference between Homecoming Week and Catholic School’s Week is that every school gets a Homecoming Week. Only Catholic schools get to celebrate what it means to have the foundation of their school center around a common goal- becoming the person God created you to be.

My job allows me the opportunity to attend Mass with students every Friday morning, pray for and with them before every single class, and give them guidance on life decisions by suggesting they listen to God’s call rather than their own.

Living my life for Christ with my students challenges me to take my own advice and pray, listen, reflect, and serve. It reminds me that surviving and thriving are two very different ways to live life. Teaching at a Catholic school allows me to serve in the way I have been called, but it also encourages me to be a better teacher, wife, friend, daughter, sister, and christian every day through God’s grace. Whether you are Catholic or not, these are goals everyone can appreciate and celebrate. Happy Catholic School’s Week!

Since I Can’t Get A Snowday…

IMG_0720I’m longing for sunshine and sandals with a side of iced coffee.

I typically spend December and January finalizing spring break and/or summer vacation destinations. Since my plan includes a spring break trip to the hospital this year, vacations are on hold.

You won’t find me complaining about my spring break plans because I can’t wait to snuggle my little boy. Even if there is a blizzard outside, it won’t bother me. I’ll be right where I’m supposed to be come March.

That being said, a child is not going to keep me from stealing my husband away for vacations. John doesn’t usually have a preference where we travel. All he asks is that once he’s there, I don’t plan every minute. He wants a day or two for nothing but relaxation. That’s a request I can handle.

Even though we visited Boston just two months ago, I’m ready to experience another getaway. Since Baby W will be five months old before I have to head back to work, I’m hoping to slip in a short trip before school starts up in the fall. Grandparents, are you up for a visitor?

Baby Shower

IMG_2604IMG_2454IMG_2605My best friend and my sister-in-law make a great party planning team. Yesterday’s baby shower at my mom’s house was a day I’ll remember. While the gifts were overly generous, the house full of so many of my favorite women was a true blessing.

High school friends, college friends, and many family members made the trip to celebrate. I was blown away by my friends from Des Moines who spent more time in the car than at the shower, and my friend Lisa who came from Milwaukee. These ladies know how to make a mom-to-be feel especially loved. Thank you!

My only wish is that the day would have been longer so I could have spent more time with each of them. Celebrations where family from both sides (John’s and mine) and friends from all along the way come together in the same room are so rare. Weddings and babies bring people together.

I had so much fun reading their advice slips and re-reading their cards when I got home. One of the blessings to having so many of my friends already have children is the ability to count on them for advice as I begin this new journey.

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As for feeling ready for baby, this shower provided us with almost everything left on our “need” list. The nursery will require some organization (can I get a snow day, please!), but baby is set!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Morgan’s 1st Birthday

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I meant to post these pictures earlier, but the week got away from me. Last Sunday, John and I were able to spend a little time celebrating our Goddaughter’s first birthday.

Most kids doing a “cake smash” pick at it or are unsure. Morgan was confident that she liked chocolate cake. This made for way more entertainment and awesome photos!

Happy birthday, sweet girl!

Birth Care Classes

Wifey Wednesdays have taken a new path the last few weeks. John and I are taking a series of classes through the hospital in anticipation of our new arrival.

The topics covered range from pregnancy care all the way through post delivery health of the mother and baby.

Although nothing covered in these classes is necessarily new information, it’s reassuring to know the healthcare options around me are all incredible. Great doctors and nurses with support staff who genuinely care are not things I take for granted. While some women probably have “birth plans” in mind, mine includes showing up and doing whatever the doctors tell me in order to have a safe delivery and healthy baby. I am comfortable with my lack of knowledge because I know I am in the best hands.

I’m also thankful for a husband who doesn’t have to be “forced” to attend these classes with me. I’m accepting of the fact that he knows more of the medical field than me. While most men are covering their eyes or tuning the presenter out when the information gets graphic, John doesn’t flinch. I even find myself asking him questions on the way home.

While no one knows what the future holds, I’m thankful for a sense of calmness with the unknown.

32 weeks down!

Happy weekend, friends!

Family Weekend Away

img_2565My siblings and I have a difficult time coming up with gift ideas for my parents. For Christmas this year, we decided to give the gift of time. We cleared our schedules, booked hotel rooms, and invited them on a weekend away with all of us.

Unplanned time included relaxing around the hotel, visiting Backpocket Brewery, dinner, and pool time.

When the Christmas season ended, it was nice to know there was something fun planned on the calendar to continue the celebration. Not to mention, who doesn’t need a weekend away during the long, cold month of January?!

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Teacher Baby Shower

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While most people are rushing out of work on Friday afternoon, my coworkers were generous enough to throw myself and a pregnant coworker (our guidance counselor) a baby shower.

Held in our library, everything was perfect. Paper onesies were placed on all of the tables for people to guess names and write advice. Food, drinks, delicious cake pops, and a competitive game of Family Feud were all part of the event. Plus, check out the diaper motorcycles made by the guidance secretary for decorations.

I am overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity. From the gifts, to the time and energy it took to plan the event, I feel so thankful to be part of a community who supports one another.

Reset and Rediscover

img_2517Teachers are blessed with holiday breaks. It’s a gift I wouldn’t trade, but it does come with sacrifices. I logged enough hours this first week back to compensate for my time off, and my body and mind paid the price.

Since I helped with my school’s Girls’ Retreat the last two days, I wasn’t in my classroom. This was a great break from the normal routine, but it comes with more than twice the amount of work.

When I woke up this morning, my inbox was full of articles I needed to read and offer feedback, and my online grading box was full of students’ papers to evaluate. Remembering my exhausting of the last few days, I made myself a cup of coffee and…picked up a book to read. I haven’t touched the articles, and I haven’t started grading. I will make time for that tomorrow. Today, I needed to give myself permission to reset.

I’m loving this Matthew Kelly book. I started it last month, but I found myself forgetting some of the major points when read too big of a chunk in one setting. I’m trying to read it slowing and reflect along the way. The chapters are only a page or two, and each chapter ends with a “Point to Ponder”, a “Verse to Live”, a “Question to Consider”, and a “Prayer”. It’s the perfect book for a busy person.

Add this book to your reading list this year. It will help you grow spiritually and challenge you to continue the journey towards the best version of yourself.

  • “It’s time to stop everything, pause a little, and consider God’s invitation.”
  • “Knowing about Jesus is not the same as knowing Jesus.”
  • “Jesus’ teachings are astoundingly practical when we pause to reflect on them.”

If you want a free copy of this book, here is a link. You just have to pay shipping.