Sunday, November 10, 2013

Being pregnant blows my mind.

No posts in a few months feels like blog neglect to me. As most of my friends who still blog seem to be posting less and less as well, it makes me wonder if this is a fading trend. It also makes me wonder if this blog thing will continue to happen. It is nice to have a place to share thoughts and photos that is seen by a much smaller selection of friends. I guess that's why we have this? In any case, posting less in the past several months hasn't been intentional. It seems that life really has gotten busier than ever. Busier, with less things that seem blog-worthy.

Except, of course, that I'm pregnant. Now that is blog-worthy. Which is one of the reasons I am not taking this hour to nap and am writing instead. There are so many thoughts that I have wanted to record and express and just haven't made time.

This is my first pregnant belly shot, taken at 25 weeks. Is that pathetic?

Being pregnant is the most bizarre thing I have yet experienced. 

My body. It is indescribable to watch and feel my body change on a daily basis. I read and learned all about those physiologic changes of pregnancy while I was in school. But to experience it in my own body is different. I know my blood volume has expanded by 50%, and I can recognize how that fact is changing noticeable things in me. I know how the hormones going through my body are different, and I can see the evidences of this. I knew I'd get big and I knew I'd change shape, but I didn't fully appreciate how difficult it would become to dress myself, and how I would literally need a completely new wardrobe. I couldn't have anticipated how it would feel to have my belly stretch, little by little. I was feeling "full" at 3 months; that's 6 more months of fullness to go! My changing body blows my mind every single day, in one way or another. 

The little boy growing inside of me blows my mind too. I read the week-by-week guides. This week I read that babies at this stage are an average of 2 pounds and 14 inches long. (I bet my little guy is a little longer than average.) I have 3 months of pregnancy left and this child still has lots of pounds to gain. That actually freaks me out a little, to be honest. He's had all of his parts for a long time now, though. He's just hanging out in me, developing his heart and lungs, his brain, his muscles. And is he ever working on his muscles!!

Feeling him move rocks my world. It gets uncomfortable sometimes, but it doesn't matter. One of my favorite things is when we are getting ready to go to bed at night and he starts kicking big time. I love to watch my belly move. It always makes me laugh, which means I shake right back at him. I hope he doesn't dislike it; to me, it kind of seems like a game between us. He kicks, I laugh, shaking up his home. I love for his daddy to put his hand on my belly and feel him move. It is the best thing in my life right now. 

I've heard people say, "I love being pregnant." A few months ago I told Burke that if I ever said that he could remind me real quick that that's not true at all. I really had a tough time this summer, and it wasn't like the tough stuff was over when I hit 2nd trimester, either. Baby boy still has a lot of growing to do, too, so I know that the relatively few physical complaints I have at this stage will expand soon. And even in this very moment I probably wouldn't say "I love being pregnant." 

But I will say this: just experiencing pregnancy itself (since I haven't yet given birth or become a parent) fills me with amazement and wonder and gratitude for the immense privilege I'm being given. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Let's get straight to the point, shall we?

We're expecting a baby, due to join our family next February! But that's probably old news now to any blog readers there may be. We are so excited! And seriously so grateful for the opportunity that will soon be ours to become parents. Even to be at this point, it feels like such a privilege and we don't ever want to take it for granted. 

In all honesty, it's been a really tough summer. I think it's terribly unfortunate that first trimester is hush hush. I totally get why that is, and some people choose to share their happy news broadly much earlier than we did, but I was definitely on board with waiting to announce. It just turned out to be terribly lonesome. I had pretty awful nausea all day every day for many weeks. Even now my stomach feels especially testy, but I am doing so, so much better. But it was during that time that I really felt like I could have used more support, and would have loved to have talked to more people about what I was going through. Now that I have, I realize more and more people went through exactly what I did. It'd be nice if we could support each other better during the rough beginning.

Besides that, because we didn't talk about it with the people around us (except our immediate families) for a while, there was much less focus on the happiness and excitement of the coming baby than there is now. I expect that will only increase as my belly gets bigger (when even every single stranger will decide to talk to me about it, touch my belly, etc.).

Those months were tough, but the very best part was the early ultrasound. We saw that tiny little heart beating like crazy. We saw our baby, at 9 tiny weeks gestation, wiggle around. There was nothing like it. And that's what I had to keep going back to in my mind when I felt such frustration about being so sick.

I started my new job, my first job as a PA, 2 weeks ago. I was so nervous about having that conversation, you know, that I'm having a baby in 6 months, but it went amazingly well. They were so unbelievably supportive. I'm not sure what's going to go down after the baby comes, but I know Heavenly Father had a major role in me getting into this particular job and the timing of everything, so I'm really grateful. We'll see how things go!

When I was so sick I couldn't wait until this part would be over and I'd be showing and everybody could know that I'm pregnant, as opposed to looking completely normal yet feeling so miserable. I think it was literally the weekend before I started work that I decided I might actually be starting to have a bump that I could notice. And sure enough, every day that week when I would put on my dress pants that I hadn't worn all summer, I'd find them just a bit too tight. It turns out it's kind of stressful! I'm barely even showing so I feel crazy to buy maternity clothes, but I'm really having major trouble with the clothes I currently own. It's an interesting phenomenon to have my body change so much so quickly, and this is just the beginning.

We've been excited to become parents for a long time, but that excitement seems to grow daily nowadays. Can't wait for every change and every step along the way! 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer trippin'

The end of June took us to Utah and Idaho, because it's cheaper to fly to UT than ID and because we love the chance to see Grandma and Grandpa, Beth, Ian, and Emma, any chance we get. It was a busy trip centering around this lovely occasion in Boise.

Bride and Groom. They are so beautiful.
I spy Bonnie... 
Burke loves to be with his brothers.

 Next up was a very short weekend trip to Atlanta to see the Escobars. Life is super busy for all of us so we just had about 24 hours there, but we loved every bit of it. Of all the Atlanta attractions we picked a Braves game and a hike up Stone "Mountain." But the main attraction was catching up with these lovelies! Thanks for putting us up, we loved getting to see you!

And then it was our upstate NY trip. Whew. I think I'm still not far enough removed from it to forget how terribly much driving it was and how terribly hot it was up there, which wouldn't have been as big of a deal if places had AC. The occasion was a family reunion near Palmyra. We spent some time with some distant family (cousins of my dad, etc) and our closer family (my own cousins, aunts and uncles, etc). I was really looking forward to Niagra Falls which I vaguely remember seeing when I was about 5. It was so fun. Burke and I got to spend some time exploring super rural Amish country around Lake Ontario while Mom and Dad helped out with Youth Conference for their stake which happened to be the same week up in Palmyra, but we didn't take any pictures there.

We walked up these stairs next to the falls after our boat tour...
...And got completely soaked. There was no helping it.

Before we headed out of town we took a beautiful hike near Lake Seneca.

But this picture pretty well sums up the trip. 

And in case you hadn't heard, this is the year of the wedding in the Anderson family so our summer travels will wrap up in a few more weeks with a trip to Wisconsin/Chicago for Becky's wedding! Wow, three new sibs in one year!
In the meantime we are enjoying being home. sigh.

Friday, July 5, 2013

He's home!

Is there anything more fun than having a missionary come home? Aaron came home from his two year mission in Monterrey, Mexico complete with a sweet little Mexican accent. We were so happy to welcome him home! Beth, Ian, and Emma came out from Utah for a short trip so they could be here too.

The next day we packed up and headed to Virginia to a nice campground on the New River to spend a couple of days of quality time camping. 

On Friday we drove to Mt. Rogers to what must be my family's favorite hiking spot. Seriously, this place is beautiful and unique in so many ways. 
Usually the wild ponies are hard to miss, but we had to go looking for them this time. But we found them! And when we did, they started following us. They must get fed a lot.

Before we left we did some canoeing, kayaking, and tubing on the river. So fun!

It was kind of a whirlwind, but we loved being in some beautiful places and being together. And of course we loved chasing around this firecracker. 

Friday, June 7, 2013


Yesterday I found out that I passed my national certification exam. That's it, I'm a PA-C!

When I get all retrospective, it's interesting to think about the journey that got me here. The conversations and experiences that shaped my goals and allowed me to reach them, step by step by step. I'm really happy that I had the opportunity to do this. It was right for me. I'm really excited to be a PA and really grateful for the knowledge I have and will continue to gain which will allow me to bless others. 

I told Burke I couldn't have done it without his support, and he looked at my skeptically. But his support and strength were a tremendous blessing. The many decisions we made together surrounding PA school were difficult. We decided to move specifically for my school, which left him working from home in our dingy apartment for almost 2 years! {Some people don't mind working from home full time but I can tell you that Burke will never go back.} He helped me in a million and one ways and I am so grateful for the million and one things this experience taught us in our marriage.

I will miss my friends lots, but in case you need medical advice I will have some stellar PA contacts all over the country.

My family too, have been so supportive, and it made a huge difference for me. It mattered, more than I could have imagined. 

My parents, especially. They have been the biggest influence on me getting to this point. I always knew how important it was to both of them that I gain a good education and prepare myself for the unknown future. When I decided that the best way for me to do this was to become a PA, they were 100% supportive. I often wished I could have come up with something that didn't require grad school, but this is what fit me. I am so grateful for their wisdom and guidance, and their love. It makes me so happy to make them proud in whatever way I can.

And with that, we say Ciao, Norfolk. I don't know if I'll be back. But it's been real.

[And to myself I say, quit wasting time and get a job already!]

Ghost of Christmas future, anyone?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I got muddy

I am only posting this because Burke paid $5 (and complained about it LOTS) to come watch and take pictures, and he got some good ones, so it only seems right that we should share.

The weekend before last I ran in a mud run. It was literally only 10 minutes away from our apartment, and some girls from church were doing it, so I joined in. It wasn't your Tough Mudder or Warrior Dash or whatever those other mud runs are; it certainly wasn't hardcore like I thought a mud run might be. But it was fun! I love races, so a race with friends and mud was a win-win-win.

For some reason I felt zero pre-race jitters this time. See, it was low-key.

The obstacles were fun. This one was a series of things to climb over and crawl under.

Mostly it was fun to do the obstacles with the group. There was usually a little bit of a back-up waiting for the obstacles. This one was called fish nets. 

I have no idea why I was the delayed one.
Or why I ended up going completely under water
Or why I was never as muddy as everyone else on my team. They kept helping me.

One last mud bath before the finish line.

See how much fun we had?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

4 years later

See what happens is, lots of fun things happen in the space of a couple of weeks. And then when there is something to blog about it's all backed up. 

This post is dedicated to our 4th anniversary!

Maybe someday we'll have a big fancy anniversary celebration. This year was not that. But I was in between tests and getting ready to graduate and stuff and Burke took the day off work, so we actually did spend the majority of the day together! Our plans were limited by Burke's rec-league basketball game and my job interview, so we weren't able to go hiking like Burke had hoped (but we try not to complain about basketball and job interviews). 

So we went to the awesome park nearby and played disc golf. I had never seen such until we moved to Wisconsin, but they had it there and Burke used to play a lot. I can't say I'm good at it, but we had fun!

Burke's basketball game was right in the middle of the evening, but it was great fun. And then we ate dinner at home and slow-danced in the kitchen. (And took a self-timer picture of it, of course.)

Before we got married, maybe at my bridal shower (?) when people are suppose to give advice, my mom said "End each day with a slow dance." I was surprised and said, "Um do you do that?" and she said "No, but I thought it sounded like a good idea!" 
I always think of that on the rare occasion that we slow dance in the kitchen. You should try it!

And then, the next day Burke took off work early and we did get to go for a hike. It turns out we should have gone west instead of east and it wasn't much of a mountain (even for North Carolina), but that's ok. Nothing like a hike for some quality time together.

And that was our anniversary. I like celebrating us, however we do so.