House Renovation Update

It is coming along. It is coming along. It is coming along.

For real. I have to tell myself this every day.

We are making progress, but all I am seeing is that I have no room for this baby…So pray for me. Pray for my husband so he can deal with me. Pray for our contractor that this timeline keeps moving down.

Some days I am in a hormonal panic that I don’t have things organized for DC’s arrival, and other days I am completely calm about the status of our house. This was completely insane to do this now, but she won’t know any different.

I just need to keep myself calm. She will be sleeping in our room for the first couple months anyway.

Here are some progression pictures. It is really fun to watch it all come together.

Seeing walls go up made it more realistic. Huge progress!

The dogs are going to love the new windows!

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Currently, my clothes are in piles in our spare room. So I cannot wait to get in this closet! I need to organize! I haven’t been able to nest AT ALL.

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Baby Girl and I barely fit through the studs.

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This will be the longest hallway. However, it will be perfect to put our family pictures throughout the years. We would have outgrown the walls in the dining room in the next couple years.

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Walls were my flashy gesture from the contractor this past week. I start really panicking when I can’t see things actually happening like the electrical. So Tom told our contractor that he needed to do something flashy every few days to calm me down.

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We are turning the new basement part into a gym. Both of us feel frustrated about our fitness. We both have access to gyms at work. However, it cuts into our time with the kids if we stay after, and we both feel like we don’t get the workout that we really want. We know having this at home will give us more flexibility since we won’t have to drive anywhere to get our sweat on. Tom dry-walled and painted all of this in two days. We both are so excited for this!

We just got the siding this week. AND I LOVE IT!

We will be painting the old house to match the siding here soon. Then we are going to add stone to cover the brick. Although, we probably will leave the brick in the back you see here, because no one sees that.

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So that is where we stand currently with the house.

It’s coming along.

 

Baby 2: Thirty-Three Weeks

33 weeks

How far along: 33 weeks and 1 day. It was right after this update that I was put on bedrest with George, so we’ll see how DC treats me this week with our next appointment.

Sex of Baby W: Gal Pal

Weight gain: I have gained 14 lbs. Apparently though, I look huge and like I am about ready to pop. I get the comment at least once a day that I look like I am going to deliver any minute by the judge of my size. They seem astonished that I still have 7 weeks to go. The other day I was at an event, and almost every person I talked to said this. I wanted to have a recorder that said my due date, “I know the belly is making itself known and I know June is far away,” and “we are having a girl.” It was just slightly frustrating to be at a professional event and all people wanted to talk about was the size of my belly. (While I will admit, that I am also hormonal, so answering the same question literally 30 times got old.) I can still tie my shoes, so that’s something right?

Size of Baby W: ferret or pineapple.

Maternity clothes: All the time. I have been wearing some jersey dresses that aren’t maternity, but are much more forgiving with a bump. I have been getting a lot of comments this month about wearing heels still. Yes, I still wear them. They are part of my normal work wardrobe, and I don’t have any swelling so I’m still rocking them a couple times a week.  This bump ain’t stopping my game.

Baby items: We got all the decorations for her room. I can’t wait for our building to get done so I can get my hands on that room. I have also bought more moccasins that I found for $2. It was hard to resist buying every. single. color. I also bought her homecoming outfit. So so cute. We have our baby shower this upcoming week, so we’ll see what that party brings.

Belly button in or out:  It’s becoming an outie and poking out just a little.

Sleep: Sleep has been a little better these past couple weeks. I am surrounded by a wall of pillows. I also haven’t had to get up as much to pee, so that is allowing me to sleep a little more deeply.

Best moment the past few weeks: Easter weekend was a pretty great weekend. My dad and grandpa also came to visit, so that was fun to show them the house updates.

Worst moment the past few weeks: My blood pressure was up at my last appointment. I am hoping that it was a fluke because I wasn’t with my normal doctor and nurse, and they made me wait almost an hour before they saw me. This is about the time that I was put on bedrest due to pre-eclampsia with George, so I am hoping I can stay away from that. They had me do some extra tests that day, and those all came back normal. That was a relief that it didn’t cost me a trip to the hospital like I had to do several times with George before they officially put me on bedrest.

Miss anything: being able to have George sit on my lap comfortably. Deli sandwiches.

Cravings: I still haven’t fulfilled my Taco Bell craving. I won’t ever say no to a donut. I am still not a fan of many vegetables. I want a Dr. Pepper all the time. I have been craving Cheezits too.

Movement: She is moving a lot. She is also a lot more aggressive than I remember George being. However, they both like(d) to stick their butt out in the same spot next to my belly button. DC also likes to kick my kidneys REALLY hard. I have also started being able to feel her hiccups these last few weeks. She also loves grapefruit because she goes nuts after I eat it everyday.

Symptoms/how I am feeling: I am feeling really good. I am tired, and I have fallen asleep on the couch a few times lately. But all in all, I am doing well. I get my steps in most days, and I still am managing to carry George around. I have had a couple days where I have had morning sickness again. I am having some Braxton Hicks/cramps a couple times a day. My belly is also really itchy, so I have been much better about applying lotion to it a couple times a day. I hate driving because the belly pushes the seat belt so much to the side that it feels like it is choking me.

Looking forward to: My baby shower next weekend.

George told me yesterday that he wanted sister to come out. I hope that he is still this excited when she is born.

Here is George at 33 weeks.

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Our Taste of Blue Apron

I was fortunate enough to win a free trial of Blue Apron through a drawing at work. I have been wanting to try these meals for awhile, but I never wanted to pull the trigger on the cost.

I am not being compensated for this review; I just thought I would share our experience with these meals.

Here are my pros:

  • They perfectly portion all the ingredients. So there is no measurement or buying too much of something (like a whole bunch of celery when you only need one stalk).
  • No shopping is required. When you have a toddler, this is awesome. They just deliver it right to your door.
  • The instruction cards are really easy to follow. I like to follow recipes, and they make it super easy to do so. I also like that I can keep these to use again.
  • We were able to try recipes that we never would have thought to try. It was the first time I have ever used a shallot…In a house of two picky eaters, it was nice to break out of our norm.
  • They use really fresh ingredients, which makes me super happy. We need to do better staying away from processed food, so these made that easy to do.
  • Tom and I cooked together. Usually we divide and conquer with one dealing with George and the other dealing with the food. We were still able to give George attention, but help each other out in the kitchen thanks to the clear instructions. It was nice to do this together.
  • THE FOOD WAS DELICIOUS. It was the best fish we both have ever had. Tom admitted that even though there was some spices added, it wasn’t too much for him to handle, which is awesome. Normally I can’t add even pepper to our meals. There was not a meal that we didn’t like.

My cons:

  • They lied on the prep time. I think that is for more experienced chefs than me. Most of the recipes said that the prep time was 15 minutes. It took us much longer than that to cut and dice everything. I guess I was expecting some of these things to already be done for me too. So it probably took us almost twice as long to get to the finished product.
  • I really only felt like we could do these meals on the weekend because of the length of time to complete it. We try to keep our meals during the week to under 15 minutes (prep and cooking all included). We have some standard meals that we have down to a science, and Blue Apron definitely does not fit that bill. I may feel differently if our kids were older and could join in on the cooking process more. I just don’t want to spend all of George’s awake hours in front of the stove at night.
  • Speaking of the bill, I am still not sure that it is worth doing all the time. Plus looking at some of the meals, they just would not fly in our house. We just happen to have a week where there was nothing spicy or way out of our comfort zone food wise. I know you can halt or skip weeks so that is helpful, but still.
  • With Tom’s schedule, we will have to be selective on when we could order it. I need him to be here when we do these meals otherwise the time and effort is not worth it. I need the help, and I like that we are all trying it together.

All in all, it is something that Tom and I really enjoyed. We think we may do it a couple times a year to change up our routine. I am glad I won the chance to try it out!

Here are snapshots of our meals:

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  • Za’atar-Spiced Chicken with Pink Lemon Pan Sauce & Pearl Couscous-
    This had a high citrus flavor. The couscous was the best couscous I have ever had. It was big a fluffy. And it was the first time since being pregnant that I could stomach Brussels sprouts. (This baby girl does NOT like vegetables.) The instructions really helped me make the perfect chicken too.

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  • Spaghetti Bolognese with Butter Lettuce Salad & Creamy Italian Dressing-I really liked the pork aspect of this. I never considered ground pork an option. And we liked the mix of carrots in there too. We didn’t actually make the salad though because the dressing was made from a cheese that I wasn’t quite sure I could have, and neither of us like radishes. I have never made a spaghetti sauce that didn’t come from a jar (thanks Ragu), and it was much easier than I thought.
 

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  • Seared Catfish with Udon Noodles, Mushrooms & Carrots-This was our favorite meal for sure. It was so easy to cook the fish, and it was so so so good. I love these type of noodles, so I was really excited to see this meal on here. Then the mushrooms were just an extra bonus. There was not a single complaint about this meal. So worth the time! We will definitely make this again.

This was a fun culinary experience. Like I said, we will probably do this once or twice a year to change things up.

Have you tried Blue Apron or one of the other meal deliveries? What was your opinion of the meals, the prep time, in general?

All Our Eggs In One Basket

Here is a summary of our Easter weekend.

Egg hunts, candy, constantly humming “Christ is Risen,” sugar comas, digging in dirt piles, family, and trying to talk a 2.5 year old off his sucker/fruit snack addiction.

It was really a great weekend celebrating the miracle that is the Resurrection with our family. AND Tom was off all weekend, which is the icing on the bunny shaped cookie.

Here are some of the snapshots of our weekend.

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At first, Mr. Man wanted to open each one as we picked them up.

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This was George’s Easter treats from us. Cars was the theme. He loves Mater, so when I saw this Mater pillow on Amazon, I knew he had to have it. All the books were cars related, and he got a set of matchbox cars to increase his collection.

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One of my favorite things about moving back to MO is to watch our kids grow up together. Cousins are so much fun! And George loves his “Aba.”

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George was spying on the terrain where the eggs were going, and also on the birdies on Papa’s porch.

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The kids with Grama!

The weather was soooo nice this weekend. We played outside in the dirt a lot. He loves HIS dirt. He says goodbye to it every morning. He also has to do the same to the sitter’s garden dirt everyday before we leave her house. It is really cute, but it also has caused some major meltdowns when he can’t play in it whenever he wants. (Which is why we started saying goodbye so there could be some closure if there wasn’t time to play.)

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I always will cherish holidays we get to all be together. It doesn’t always happen with Tom’s job, so we will take what we can get!

It’s really fun to watch George experience the holiday. He talked about the eggs all weekend. Watching his little brain take everything in makes my day!

Also I just realized this is the last big holiday we will celebrate with just George. What the what?

Book Review and Give Away: A Fragile Hope

When your life’s work revolves around repairing other people’s marriages, what happens when your own marriage begins to fall apart? Find out what happens to Josiah Chamberlain in Cynthia Ruchti’s new book, A Fragile Hope. Feeling betrayed, confused, and ill-equipped for a crisis this crippling, he reexamines everything he knows about the fragility of hope and the strength of his faith and love. Love seems to have failed him. Will what’s left of his faith fail him, too? Or will it be the one thing that holds him together and sears through the impenetrable wall that separates them?

Celebrate the release of A Fragile Hope by entering to win Cynthia’s Sign of Hope Giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on May 3. The winner will be announced May 4 on the Litfuse blog.

I received this book for my honest review.
Honestly, it was a 3/5 for me. It was good, but not amazing.
Here is my one con:
  • It took me about 10 chapters to get invested. It should never take me that long to get into a book. This is the only reason why I didn’t love the book. It just was extremely repetitive. We get it he was lost in despair and uncertainty. I think having that rough start gave me a weird overcast for the rest of the book.
Here are my praises:
  • While the first part seemed to drag on, ultimately there was an element of wanting to see improvement for the characters that kept me coming back.
  • This book was relateable. I liked how it showed the inner-thoughts of doubt and betrayal. I think we have all been there when our faith has been shook to the core. This story approached very real humanness and how we can overcome to forgive. I also love the fact that his job is to fix marriages and offer sage advice as a counselor, but he failed to notice how much his own marriage needed help. I think this goes to show that it is hard to hold a mirror up to our own issues and deal with them. She did a great job discussing this aspect of faith and healing.
  • The author was very intentional about the details of the book. For example, the quotes at the beginning of every chapter come from one of the characters print shop. It was nice little touches here and there that I though added a little fun to the book.
  • Ultimately, the message is really powerful. Everything in our life will not be perfect no matter how orderly we try to make it. Things will get messy and possibly shake us to our core. God will never leave you, we just have to be willing to lean in on him.

So it may have taken me awhile to get into the book, but it kept me engaged. The end result was worth it! I love reading stories that talk about real emotions and problems that are all around us, but also with the foundation of our relationship with God.

Good read indeed.