Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I Can Feel It Coming...

Yesterday was a lovely day here in Central Florida. The sun was shining brightly, not a drop of rain fell, and adding to those elements, there was a gentle breeze in the air. I know that I sound crazy to some of you but I can feel fall in the air. As I’ve mentioned before, I am a true Florida girl so honestly, any temperature below 80 degrees seems to me that we’re heading in the right direction.

I spent the evening on our back porch with a good Norah Roberts book and an ice cold beverage (usually this would be a glass of Riesling but considering my current state, I opted for an O’Douls). This is certainly the ideal way to end any day for me. I mean really, check out this view... we are beyond blessed.

Sitting there relaxing with the breeze off the lake got me really excited about what’s in store for us the next few months. Let me explain, the slight change in weather means that fall is on its way- I can feel it coming! Officially it will be upon us September 22nd. Fall brings with it all sorts of things I adore. So, let’s get excited together!

With some help from Rich, here is our list of the top 10 things (in no particular order) that we are most looking forward to:

1. Good television! We can hardly wait to watch our shows again; Grey’s, Bones, Private Practice, Criminal Minds, Desperate Housewives... Oh My!

2. Fall décor which at our home includes hay bales, scarecrows, corn stalks, and mums galore!

3. Harvest scented Yankee Candle! This will be burning in our house October 1st, I can guarantee it!

4. Gator Football starts this Saturday! Can we get an Orange... Blue... Orange... Blue?!

5. Sleeping with the windows open. Ahh... the sounds of nature lulling us to sleep!

6. Spiced Pumpkin Lattés from Starbucks. Please tell me these come in decaf?

7. Being able to actually utilize the sunroof in my new car! Seriously, who uses those in the Summer time anyways?

8. Homemade banana bread on a sleep in Saturday morning. No description needed!

9. Using the outdoor fireplace in comfy oversized sweatshirts. We may have to wait a couple more months for this but I am telling you, it’s on its way!

10. And last but certainly not least... as of this minute there are 115 days, 12 hours, and 51 minutes until Christmas! Anyone who knows Rich and I know how much we love Christmas and all that it entails. Bring it on!

I hope that this put a smile on your face! After all, we made it through a scorching Florida Summer. The least we deserve is a good day dream session. Make it a great day!

Monday, August 30, 2010

16 Weeks...

We’re moving right into the 16th week of pregnancy so I am now officially 4 months pregnant! It seems so much farther along to say the time in months rather than weeks. I have been incredibly lucky throughout the pregnancy process. I haven’t felt nauseous or sick at all. The only side effect that I am feeling so far is tired! Seriously, I could take a 2 hour nap everyday and it would never get old. Hopefully I continue to be just as lucky as baby and me continue to grow.

Onto the weekly update from BabyCenter.com:

“Get ready for a growth spurt. In the next few weeks, your baby will double his weight and add inches to his length. Right now, he's about the size of an avocado: 4 1/2 inches long (head to rump) and 3 1/2 ounces. His legs are much more developed, his head is more erect than it has been, and his eyes have moved closer to the front of his head. His ears are close to their final position, too. The patterning of his scalp has begun, though his locks aren't recognizable yet. He's even started growing toenails. And there's a lot happening inside as well. For example, his heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day, and this amount will continue to increase as your baby continues to develop.”

The whole, “we’re having a baby” thing is becoming more real every day. I find in my spare time I am reading safety reviews on car seats and strollers and browsing through Pottery Barn Kids dreaming of the perfect nursery. We can’t wait for this little boy to be here. To love and cuddle and kiss and hug!

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 27, 2010

One Week Down...

Happy Friday All!

We've reached the one week mark of back to school here in Central Florida and I am willing to bet that one of my readers, most likely a teacher, can tell us all how many days until Christmas Break. Any takers?

Like I've mentioned before, I love school stories. My Mom is a teacher so I grew up with the funny, and sometimes not so funny, school day tales. Now that I am older, many of my friends are teachers themselves so I get a plethora of stories come days end!

My favorite story thus far goes to Heather. She has a runner. A first grade runner that is. A student that when isn't given his way, takes off out of the classroom and down the hall. Can you imagine how this child got through Kindergarten? We won't mention what the child did when he was taken to the office after one such event (hint, there may or may not have been bodily excretions involved).

A close first runner up goes to Lynn. This is her first year teaching public school and she is dealing with the culture shock of cafeterias, bus dismissal, and children who are "walkers." Mind you, she is a Kindergarten teacher and on her very first day she had to let a 5 year old walk out of her sight, alone, to head home. About an hour later she had a panicked parent on her hands because, "their child was missing and they were going to call 911!" Don't worry, the child was found safe and sound and from this point forward, I bet a parent will be there promptly to meet their kid.

I am sure that there will be many more school day tales to come. Congratulations students, teachers, and school workers alike- one week down and only a million more to go! Good luck!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

There’s A Celebration Going On...

For those of you who were lucky enough to be a part of the youth group at First United Methodist Church of Kissimmee while Mr. Carl Jones was there, I’m sure that you have a smile on your face already! He was truly an amazing leader and had a way of capturing our attention the second he picked up his guitar. All of the road trips in the blue and white vans, four square tournaments, inside jokes, ice cream dashes, warm fuzzies, and singing while we walked to our prayer circle have not been forgotten.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina--->

He’s a blogger himself and I have been a follower of his for a while now. Just like in the past, he continues to inspire me. I look forward to reading his blog everyday to see what crazy memory or piece of scripture he has to share.

Today marks a very special day for him... it’s his one year blog-aversary! He’s put together a beautiful slideshow capturing all of his years in youth ministry and whether you were a part of it or not, it’s a blast from the past! Hop over and check him out at: http://youthguy07.blogspot.com/

<--- Last Gasp Summer Blow-Out: Melbourne, Florida

Congratulations Carl! Thank you for all of the wonderful memories then and now!

All... Because of Jesus.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Way Back When-esday- Kindergarten Flash Back Edition...

It’s that time of year when everyone’s a buzz with back to school chatter. There are school clothes, lunch boxes, backpacks galore- crayons, glue sticks, pencils and more! It brings so much joy to my heart to hear and see all of the students and teachers alike, excited about getting back to the swing of things.

For this edition of "Way Back When-esday," we’re taking a look back to when Rich and I first started school. I am sure that we were just as nervous then as the kiddos are now. I’m also quite certain that our Moms shed a tear dropping us off that first day of school. After all, who wouldn’t miss these adorable faces?!

Rich’s Kindergarten Picture- Highlands Elementary, 1989
Rich felt the need to add a disclaimer that he was completely in love with his Kindergarten teacher. If you're out there Mrs. Noark, you must know that to Richey, you're the one that got away!

My Kindergarten Picture- Highlands Elementary, 1990
I was in Mrs. Fifer's class. She was an amazing teacher and we've kept in touch over the years. She even came to my high school graduation party with pictures in hand. She is definitely remembered as one of my all time favorites.

On another note, today is Rich’s Dad’s Happy Birthday...

Happy Birthday Papi! Celebrating your “Double Nickels” and you don’t feel a day over 20. We hope that you have a fabulous day! We love you!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Blessing of True Friendship...

In the past couple of years I have a found a group of friends that are nothing less than a blessing from God. They have taught me the true meaning of friendship. I’ve found in them the kind of friendship that is based on individuals who are free to be themselves, while meshing together perfectly as a group. From past experiences, I realize that this is no easy feat.

I wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for simply being you. You truly have become my extended family and words cannot express how grateful I am for you. It’s wonderful to have people to share the joys and sorrows of everyday life with. To have people who cheer you on in the highs and pick you up in the lows.

I am so excited to see what the future holds in store for all of us. Think of all of the engagements, showers, marriages, babies, more showers, kid’s birthday parties, our birthday parties, and Holiday soirées we still have coming our way! A busy schedule and a major blessing all wrapped up in one!

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
- Anais Nin

Thank you for arriving...

I love you all!

Monday, August 23, 2010

15 Weeks...

Every Monday I get an update from BabyCenter.com that tells me specifically what's happening that week with the baby. I absolutely love it and look forward to looking at my inbox to find the e-mail.

From now on, every Monday I will be sharing the happenings of the week with each of you! The comparison between the baby and a piece of food still makes me laugh but when you think that we started with a Poppy Seed, we've come quite a ways!

"Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). He's busy moving amniotic fluid through his nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. His legs are growing longer than his arms now, and he can move all of his joints and limbs. Although his eyelids are still fused shut, he can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, he's likely to move away from the beam. There's not much for your baby to taste at this point, but he is forming taste buds. Finally, if you have an ultrasound this week, you may be able to find out whether your baby's a boy or a girl! (Don't be too disappointed if it remains a mystery, though. Nailing down your baby's sex depends on the clarity of the picture and on your baby's position. He or she may be modestly curled up or turned in such a way as to "hide the goods.")"

Luckily for me, Baby Halquist wasn't a bit shy at our twelve week ultrasound so we already know that it's a boy! I may have driven both my husband and family nuts by now if I wasn't able to know the sex.

On another note, today is the first day back to school for all my teacher friends and family. I wish you all much success this year and am looking forward to all the stories that are sure to follow. I genuinely believe that each and every one of you are amazing teachers and your students are lucky to have you! Here's to a fabulous year!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Houston, we have a (shopping) problem...

As you can see, I am very excited about the arrival of Baby Halquist and have already gotten a head start on his quite fashionable wardrobe.

However, I am beginning to think that I may have a little shopping problem.

Really, can you blame me? Baby clothes are beyond adorable.

Additionally, I am contemplating buying stock in Baby Gap. I mean really, look at these onesies! How could we have possibly left these on the rack all by their lonesome?

Happy Friday yall! Hope that you have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mommy Meltdown #1...

Tuesday I had my first (minor) Mommy meltdown. I laugh when I write this and you will be laughing too by the end of this story because I may have lost my noodle for a few brief hours. I am now a firm believer that pregnancy hormones make you act like a crazy person.

We bought the baby’s nursery furniture a month and half ago. I was so excited because it was on sale for 25% off and we were able to use a 20% coupon that I already had. That’s right- we got the crib and changing table at 45% off! That made me one very happy lady. Problem is, when we went to place the order the dresser that matches the set was on backorder. The salesman assured me that it would be coming back and that it was probably on backorder because the set was on sale and a lot of people were buying it. He said to check in with them once a week and it would eventually become available to buy.

Now, they had a perfectly good dresser in the store as a floor model. I asked if I could just purchase that one and he said that they weren’t allowed to do that because other expectant mothers needed to be able to see what it looked like so that they could also purchase it. Selfishly, I just wanted the dresser for myself but I didn’t get my way.

I continued to check back once, sometimes twice a week, on my lunch hour to see if it was ready to be ordered and every time I got the same response.

Salesperson: “Sorry, the dresser is still on backorder.”
Me: “Okay, you are sure that it has not been discontinued.”
Salesperson: "Oh no mam, that’s one of our best sellers. It should be available soon.”
Me: “Okay, I guess I’ll just keep checking back in. You’re sure that I just can’t buy the one off the floor? I will buy it right now.”
Salesperson: “I’m sorry mam, we’re not allowed to sell you that unless the product has been discontinued.”
Me: “Okay, and you are 100% certain that it hasn’t been discontinued?”
Salesperson: “Yes mam.”
Me: “Well then I’ll see you next week!”

Do you see where this is going?!

I was just in there last Thursday. I went back to the store on Tuesday and started my normal routine. I walked over to where the display usually was and it’s gone. I thought to myself, surely they’ve just moved it. I walked around all the furniture displays and it’s gone. Not there- not on display- the whole set- crib, changing table, dresser- gone! Panic immediately set in.

I need the matching dresser! My baby NEEDS the matching dresser!

I located the nearest saleslady and luckily she had helped me before so she knew what I was looking for. We sat down and she started to go through their computer system. After sitting there for nearly fifteen minutes of her clicking screen after screen she looked up and told me that the set had been discontinued.

I could feel the heat rise in my face. Have I not been asking this simple question for a month and a half?!

Since the set had been discontinued I asked if I could buy the dresser that was displayed on the floor. She went and looked in the back. Bless her heart, she came back to tell me that the manager must have sold the whole set to someone over the weekend.

At that point, I was just plain mad. She said the only chance of us getting that dresser was if we could find a store that hadn’t sold their flood model yet. She printed out a list of every store in Florida and as soon as we got in the car I started calling. About half way back to the office and after being told by three stores that they had already sold their flood model, a call beeps in. It was Claudia, our saleslady, and she had found a store in Altamonte Springs that had one and they were holding it just for me! I was very happy that I hadn’t completely shown my butt just minutes earlier at the store. She must have felt really bad (or feared for her life, I can’t decide which one) to go through all that trouble.

Rich, Donna, and I made an afternoon road trip up to Altamonte Springs to pick it up. I wish I had my camera because fitting that dresser in the back of my SUV was comical in itself. Honestly, at that point the comic relief was welcomed. We had to lay down all the seats and Rich had to cram into an open space on the floor board for the ride home. What a good Daddy he is going to be.

After a long and emotional day, Baby Halquist now has his first official piece of furniture in his nursery. I am sure we’ll look back one day and laugh about it but at the time, I felt like it was the end of the world.

Again, pregnancy hormones make you act like a crazy person.

Plain. And. Simple.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Way Back When-esday- Fall in Tennessee, Simply Beautiful...

Today we’re taking a look back to our trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee in October 2007. Being a true Florida girl, I had never really seen the change of colors come fall. It was a beautiful experience to say the least.

While there we visited Cades Cove, drove through the Smokey Mountains to take in the scenery, walked through the old Sam Houston Schoolhouse, visited the Walker Sisters Home, lodged in a gorgeous log cabin complete with an awesome game room, ate at the “Donut Frier” (a place that Rich and his family always visited when he was a child), visited a very old Methodist Church, and took some time to simply relax.

(Rich & I in front of The Walker Sisters House. Literally put together with logs and mud and somehow standing strong.)

(The old Methodist Church- Men and women had to enter through separate doors- times sure have changed huh? Also, there was a working piano, old and out of tune but working. Donna played "Amazing Grace" for us. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.)

(Cades Cove- Simply breathtaking!)

(The group playing school. We were trying to show the typical classroom. Me teaching, Rich asleep, and Ashley eager to answer!)

(Tole & Papi outside the Schoolhouse)

(Rich and his Dad in front of our cabin.)

A great time was had by all and we walked away with some pretty wonderful memories. I am so looking forward to the day that we go back for another visit. Not to mention you simply just don’t see colors like that here is sunny Florida!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Nine Months of Pregnancy- Month Three...

August 14th has come and gone and that means that I am three months into this little thing called pregnancy. This month Mom is helping out with my pregnancy cravings. I’ve always been a fan of Chipotle but lately I can’t seem to get enough of the salad (or should I say dressing) from Chipotle.

I suppose I could have worse cravings right?

We just won’t mention the bag of Sweet Sixteen powder sugar donuts that I devoured yesterday. Ooops- that must have slipped out!

In other news, a small baby bump has appeared! This picture was taken after dinner. The bump is definitely at its biggest in the evening and after dinner.

Three down, six (or more like seven) to go! Easy peasy right?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Drum Roll Please...

Ladies and gentleman, it’s a boy! I’m playing a bit of catch up but we had a doctor’s appointment on August 4th. Because I was only twelve weeks into the pregnancy our doctor said immediately that he was pretty sure it would be too early to tell us what we are having. About thirty seconds into the ultrasound all that changed because this little fella was sitting Indian style, the perfect position for us to clearly see that we are indeed having a little boy!

I think the cutest part of it all was that our doctor happens to be the same doctor that my parents used when they were pregnant with me and my siblings. After having both me and my two older sisters, my parents wanted a boy so badly they could hardly stand it! When it came time for my parents to find out whether or not Kenny, my little brother, was a boy, the words that came out of the doctor’s mouth were, “Well, looks like there’s a stem on the apple!” Low and behold, these were the very same words that he told Rich and I. Funniest part is he didn’t need to say a thing! I saw it before he spoke the words, “Well there appears to be a stem on the apple!”

Yay for stems!

The doctor still wanted to be cautious because again, I was only twelve weeks along, so he said that he was only 85% sure that it was a boy. While I was 100% sure no matter what he said, we decided to be certain we would get the gender prediction test. I went that afternoon to CVS and bought one. The next morning I took the test and undoubtedly, we know that it’s a boy! Check out the pictures, I mean who are we kidding?!

And now the real fun begins... nursery decorating!