Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pregnant Together

My friend Nikki and I showing off our pregnant bellies.

I met my friend Nikki over nine years ago on a cold February night. It was the winter of 2000 and Mike and I had been married all of 8 months. During the first few months of our marriage we had begun the search for a church we could call home, and in the process found Lifechurch. We instantly loved Craig, our pastor, and we felt like we could grow spiritually and get involved in service projects that we felt passionate about. After months of attending, we decided it was time to join a home Bible study group with other young married couples, so we decided to just jump in and try one out the following Wednesday night.

When we walked into the small, but very crowded living room we felt a little intimitaded not knowing anyone. But as the night went on, we started to settle in. Everyone was friendly and easy to talk to. As we went around the room, we each said our names and how long we'd been married. After Nikki (and her husband Reed) said their names, they announced that they had been married only one month-- the most recently married in the whole group. Later I spoke with Nikki; we just got along so easily right from the beginning. And from that point on, we started hanging out together (along with several other couples from that group). It was during those Wednesday night get togethers that we not only deepend out sprititual walk, but we found connections with other couples that have lasted nearly a decade now. Friendships that are deep and meaningful and like family.

Now Nikki and I are both pregnant with our third babies and our due dates are only five days apart. We were at the hospital when both of her other children were born, and they were there the day our girls were born too. We've gone on vacations together, mission trips together, stayed up way too late talking, watching movies, playing games and laughing together. I guess you could say we've just done life together in many ways, which is something I really cherish. Over this past weekend, the four of us went out for one last kid-free hoorah before our little ones make their arrivals. We went to dinner, then over to a new frozen yogurt place called Orange Tree. Afterwards we rented Twilight and settled in for a good movie. It was such a nice, relaxing night. Now the countdown is on-- three weeks and two days left!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Funny Bits

Four year olds say the funniest things sometimes. I mean, some of the things they say give me side splitting fits of laughter. Here are two conversations that have recently given me a case of the giggles.

In the car after seeing the movie UP this weekend:

Daddy: Girls, what was your favorite part of the movie?

Leah: I liked the part where they got married. Daddy, you and Mommy got married?

Mommy: Yep. Ten years ago we got married.

Leah: To get married you just have to kiss and then eat cake. Then you're married, right?

After finding Hannah in our bathroom belting out a song from The Little Mermaid to an imaginary audience (excuse the bathroom humor on this one):

Hannah: Up where they walk, up where they run, up where they stay all day in the sun....oh where is my turd?

Mommy (giggling already): I think you mean to say "When's it my turn?"

Hannah (very adamently): No, it's "where is my turd?"

Mommy (in full blown laughter now): Ok, sing it however you want to.

Hannah (in a serious opera voice): Oh where is my turd?

Oh these girls.....they are so funny.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Baby Shower

This past weekend my friends Nikki and Lisa, along with my aunt Lindell, threw me a wonderful baby shower. It was so great to see all the friends and family that came to help me welcome our little boy into the world. And it was fun to see all the blue balloons and candies and decorations that represented the change coming to our house. I received so many nice things like a swing, a stoller & car seat, some really cute clothes, and lots of other essentials. I feel very blessed to have such thoughtful and generous friends and family. Here are some photos of the day:

Me with the crew who put my shower together: my aunt Lindell, Lisa, Nikki, me, Shauna

My dear friend Shauna drove all the way up from Dallas to see me. She was my Maid of Honor ten years ago and we've known each other since she was two and I was three-- before we even remember knowing each other!!

My wonderful Mom

Me with my other dear friend Lisa. Lisa and I have met at our church's Vacation Bible School back when we were 10 years old. And we've been inseperable since! And Lisa was the Matron of Honor in my wedding.

My awesome mother-in-law. She was in town from New Jersey!

Just a few of the cute things that our boy will be wearing and using. =)
A few other updates worth mentioning:
* The hospital called today and my c-section date has been rescheduled for Friday, July 24th at 7:30 am!! This date shouldn't change again-- unless I go into labor before that!
* My last day of work will be next Tuesday, June 23rd. That will give me a little over three weeks to try to relax and get ready for the baby. I've enjoyed tutoring, but I'll be ready for a break.
I hope you all had a great weekend as well!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Every year, just before Father's Day, I take the girls to have their portraits taken. I love the way this documents each year's growth, and every year I am absolutely blown away at how much they have changed. This year, in particular, I think they have lost that "baby" look completely, and are starting too look so grown up. How I love that we're moving into the years of independence and both academic and social development! But, the Mama in me misses those chubby baby legs and kissable toddler toes. Thankfully, I'll get my fill of baby again soon. My c-section date has been officially set-- July 22nd. It will be here before we know it!

"We will be friends forever." They say this to each other a lot these days.

Leah on the left; Hannah on the right.

"Hannah Banana"

"Leah Bee"

My favorite picture of my favorite, grown-up looking girls!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sneak Peek

Here's a sneak peek at what the baby's nursery colors will look like:

We bought and used this bedding when we had the girls knowing that we might want to use it later on for another sibling. I'm so glad I saved it and it's in good condition. With the girls' nursery we painted the walls a soft, buttery yellow color and mixed in a few "girly" colors (like pink and lavender) in a subtle way here and there. With our baby boy's room we're going to emphasize the red and blue more. But overall, the colors are soft and of course I love the animals too.
Over the weekend I washed a small load of a few baby boy clothes that had started to accumulate in his closet. Then today I went into his room and just spent a few quiet moments looking around, holding up a few tiny newborn onesies, imagining that baby lotion smell on a fresh clean baby....one of my favorite smells ever.
Later today the girls and I made some chocolate chip cookie bars and went out for an afternoon bike ride. The sky started off blue and sunny, but is starting to look overcast and cloudy. I'm wondering if our swimming lesson will be canceled later on this afternoon? Either way, I'm just happy to be home. It just feels so right.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


"Do you miss teaching?"

I get asked this question a lot. I've only been doing this stay home Mom thing for two years now. Before that I taught sixth grade language arts for eight years. That time for me seems both very distant and yet not that far back. And even though I couldn't imagine doing anything other than being a stay home mom right now, the answer to the aforementioned question is, "Yes."

Yes, I miss the good days of teaching. The days when a lesson just came together, and the kids just got it. The days when I felt "in the zone" and I could tell that lightbulbs were going off for my students. I miss the days when my kids would proudly stand up and read their final poem or short story. Or the days when I somehow managed to make a boring subject like comma usage both exciting and interesting. I also miss the times when my students would give back to me with a hug (yes sixth graders still hug their teachers) or a smile or a sweet note at the top of their spelling test like, "Have a good weekend, Mrs. Galloway!"

On the flip side of this, I do not miss the days when I felt unprepared, frazzled, tired or frustrated. The days when the kids seemed out of control or confused or bored. I don't miss the days when I felt like I was giving 110%, but the students were just not interested. Or the times when I would intercept a note between two students only to discover by reading the note how "mean and unfair" I was.

I know in teaching, as well as in life, there are good days and bad days. And I know the good days outnumber the bad ones by far. So for me, I choose to not let the bad ones ruin my view. Yes, they happen. But they also make me appreciate the good even more.

So will I ever go back to teaching in a classroom full time? Maybe. I can't predict the future, but I will say that it's a definite possibility. But for now, I can say that I am loving the full time job I have. This job that invovles a smaller "classroom"-- two little girls to be exact. And soon a little boy too.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Swimming Lessons

"Come on, Emily, jump in!" my swimming teacher called out to me.

All the other kids in my class had jumped in without hesitation, but there I stood in my favorite red bathing suit with tiny white polka dots, staring at the water. It was the cold water shock that I was dreading.
"Emily, jump on in!"

With a deep breath, I bent my knees and took the plunge.

I have always loved to swim, but jumping into the cold water was the hardest part of the lesson for me. I guess I've always been more of a take-thirty-minutes-to-ease-into-the-pool kind of girl. This stragegy didn't go over so well during a thirty minute swimming lesson. It was more about jump-in-and-get-started. Eventually, I would swallow my fear and just jump in. And every time (after I got over the initial shock of the cold water) I was fine and would have an enjoyable time. I just had to have a good staring contest with the water first.
My girls started swimming lessons today, and they surprised me. When it came to jumping into the water, they didn't hesitate at all. They were just so excited to swim that they were in the water in a matter of seconds. This seems to be the case with them in any new situation. They jump right in and get started. I am so impressed and proud of them for this. Maybe it's because they always have each other to lean on, but I'd like to think that they are just confident little girls. And I pray that they keep this happy confidence throughout the rest of their lives.

Leah after swimming a short distance all by herself and Hannah returning back to the steps after her swim as well.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

10 Year Anniversary

June 4th, 1999

Today is my ten year anniversary. I can't believe that ten years ago I married my best friend. Ten years has flown by, and here we are nearly three kids later! Looking back we can see the twists and turns in the road we've been going down. God has provided at every part of the journey, and it makes me excited for what's coming up ahead.

In honor of this being our ten year anniversary, here are ten favorite things/memories about being married to Mike.

1. Traveling: I can't pick just one trip! We love to explore new places, and some of our favorite vacations together have been: St. Thomas, Spain, France, Italy, New York, Kansas City and Austin.

2. Buying our first home: I remember how excited we were to buy our first "fixer upper". It was such a cute house, and we put a lot of work into it. We lived there for six years and had so many happy memories there.

3. The birth of our daughters: This is quite a big one! What a joy it has been these last four years raising Hannah and Leah. It has brought us together in such a deeper way, and I'm looking forward to the birth of our son in just a few more weeks!

4. Family: We both love our parents, siblings and extended family so much and we both enjoy spending time with them.

5. Music: Mike and I share similar tastes in music, and we've had a lot of fun over the years going to shows together and discovering new artists. Some of my favorite shows we've been to have included: The Appleseed Cast, Death Cab for Cutie, Taking Back Sunday, Relient K, The Anniversary, and this October we're going to see U2 when they come to Oklahoma! Fun!

6. Friends: Over the years we have made some great friends together which has been a lot of fun for us. From doing things like camping, movies, game nights, practical jokes, mission trips, and volleyball to being there when we've moved into parenthood, we have made some good friends along the way!

7. Food: We both love to try new things and eat at "off the beaten path" places. We've had a lot of fun checking out these "hidden gems" together.

8. Building our current home: Some people say the true test of a marriage is building a home together. There are so many little decisions to be made, but in our case, we loved it! I so enjoyed the process with Mike. From paint colors to picking out tile-- I think it brought us closer together.

9. Support: I think we've always supported each other's individual passions. I love watching Mike grow as an artist. He's always got a creative project going, or he's reading a book about art, or he's taking a risk and trying a new medium. And he supports the things I love as well: namely writing and books. I think it's healthy that we have seperate interests, but that we encourage each other's interests!

10. Love: Ok, as cheesy as this sounds, I am thankful for the love that we have. It is so sincere and unconditional, yet it has continued to grow and deepen over the years. It's like a well that just doesn't run dry.

Mike, I'm looking forward to many more anniversaries to come!

Anniversary flowers from my sweet husband

I pulled out this old box 'o love notes and cards.

It is filled with so many fun memories!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Doctor Visit

At my last doctor's appointment, I decided to take the girls with me and let them hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time. Beforehand we had a big talk about appropriate behavior (no running, screaming, etc) and we reviewed our polite manners (like saying please and thank you). I was a little nervous because there is always a bit of waiting involved, and little four year old hands are so curious about everything. At one point Hannah picked up a model of how a vaginal birth control ring insert works. She asked, "What's this?" So I had to just say something quick like, "Oh that's just something for the doctor, please put that down." Really, they behaved very well. And when the doctor put the doplar on my belly and the comforting whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of the baby's heartbeat filled the room, the girls got really quiet. When I looked over at them, they both had huge smiles on their faces. I'm so glad they got to come with me. They are going to be such great big sisters.

Future Big Sisters: waiting in the doctor's office