Our Family Trip

Last week, we traveled for the first time with a baby.  The ride there was pretty uneventful.  He slept the entire way.  And throughout the visit, he was sleeping and eating at regular intervals, despite being completely off of his schedule.

The reason we traveled with Sam so early was that we wanted him to meet Michael’s dad.  His dad has Alzheimer’s disease which has progressed to the point that he can no longer travel and needs full-time care.  I didn’t really know what to expect.

Honestly, both he and Sam slept through their introductions.  But he seems to be happy and well taken care of where he is, which I am very thankful for the people who love on him on a daily basis.

The rest of the trip was spent with Michael’s mom, his brother and his wife and their daughter.  It was really a great time.  We walked around the local college campus.  We chatted about raising our kids and all the ups and downs.  We watched the two cousins interact (well, as much as a two-month-old and an almost one-year-old interact).

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Michael’s mom’s church threw a baby shower for Sam.  And there were lots of ladies there who cooed and snuggled Sam.  We are so thankful for the love and prayers from that church.  They have become a part of our amazing extended family these past several years.  I am so thankful for such a wonderful visit with family and friends!

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Birthday

So, this month, I turned another year older.

Of course, this birthday was super special because I had a precious little boy to snuggle all day (although to be completely transparent, the boy was quite a grump on my birthday, but I still managed a snuggle or two).

Michael also fed my insatiable book habit with six new books.  Two of them aren’t showing in the picture below because they are preorders that will come out in September and October (The new Deborah Harkness book and the new Ransom Riggs book).

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And then, Michael came home early on my birthday, and I went out alone to get my nails done.  I didn’t take any pictures because I was seriously just enjoying the moment.  I got a package deal that included an amazing neck massage with the manicure.  Simply divine.

And then last weekend, Michael’s coworker watched Sam while we went to dinner.  It was the first babysitting experience outside of family and, honestly, it was wonderful.  Michael and I ate steak and had dessert.  And we ordered things on Amazon for Sam from our phones.  Ok, so we were still thinking about him and our conversation was all about him, but baby steps, right?

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Overall, I would say this was a pretty amazing birthday.  I’m so grateful for this last year, and I look forward to the adventures this next year will bring!

Showering The Baby

As I mentioned in Week 18 of my pregnancy, we decided not to have a baby shower before Sam was born.  But we did have a celebration last weekend for his arrival.  To see it all put together was very overwhelming to me. I didn’t know if I would actually get to this point, but here we are.

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One thing I know for absolute certain is that Sam is loved.  And there were so many who have been waiting in anticipation to celebrate this arrival.  He was held and cooed at and loved on the entire time.  In fact, one little girl, the daughter of one of my friends, followed him around as he was passed from one loving set of arms to another, just fascinatingly smitten.

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Another special part of the shower were the people there.  Especially these four girls.  I hosted some of their showers when their boys were born, and now they were here to celebrate my son.

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I have an amazing community.  I am so grateful for the people who have celebrated this little boy’s arrival both near and far.  We have been just incredibly touched by those who have sent cards or other items, encouraging notes, and sweet messages.  Thank you for loving our little family and for providing such an amazing welcome for our son.

Black Panther: A Review

For our Valentine’s Date, Michael and I saw the new Marvel movie, Black Panther.  I’ve been stoked to see this movie since I saw the trailer back in the summer.  I know that there have been a lot of great articles out there that articulate the amazing things this movie has done and is doing for the black community, such as this one from the New York Times.  But for my review, I just want to share my two favorite things about the movie from my perspective as a Marvel Universe loving girl.  No spoilers, I promise.

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My first favorite thing is the women in this movie.  Last year, I thought DC had really cornered the market on the female representation with Wonder Woman, but in this movie, there were three fierce, beautiful, intelligent women who kicked butt.  I call them the soldier, the spy, and the scientist (because I love alliteration and it works).  And even though I loved their fight scenes, car chases, and attitudes, my favorite part was that they each held to their own convictions.  Throughout the film, they each get told in one way or another that they are naive, or that they are assumed to act a certain way (and this is coming out of an egalitarian society), but they stick to who they are and what they believe.  In the end, they each prove themselves by just being themselves.  I’m afraid that I can’t give too many specifics, though, because of spoilers.

The second favorite thing is the set design/cinematography.  The sweeping landscapes and deep, rich colors of Africa are pronounced throughout the film.  My absolute favorite set, though, was the throne room of the Jabari tribe.  A close second is the throne room in Wakanda.  But what I loved the most was the intertwining of the traditional with the technologically advanced.  When I think of futuristic cities, I usually imagine pristine, minimalist buildings.  But in Wakanda, you had what seemed ancient ruins mixed with hovercrafts.  There was a point in the movie where they showed a part of Wakanda where people were selling things in a market, and a hoverbus goes by.  I wanted to pause the movie and just get lost in all of the details – the ivy growing along the buildings, people communicating from their bracelets.  It was absolute perfection in a way I hadn’t thought of before.

Overall, I highly recommend the movie.  Like in most of the Marvel movies, there are amazing themes of redemption and mercy, understanding where people come from, and caring about the people around you and doing what’s right.  Definitely in my top five favorites in comic book movies of all time.

Recent Happenings

In my last post, I mentioned that January is usually the slowest month of our year, although this first week hasn’t really been an indication of that.  I suppose most of the weekdays are pretty quiet in this house, but this past weekend was filled with activity.  I took Tuesday to just rest and recalibrate.

So here are some of the things we did.

Friday night, we were invited to a pizza and game night party, where we made our own pizzas.  This was so much fun!  I really enjoyed helping to make the pizzas and getting to know some of the people at the party I had never met!

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Then, Saturday morning, I was invited to go see the movie, I, Tonya at the Alamo Drafthouse with a group of girls.

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I had a few takeaways from the movie.  The domestic abuse made me really uncomfortable, and I wouldn’t recommend people who have first-hand experience of domestic abuse to watch the movie.  Also, the role that the media played in this girl’s life was cringe-worthy.  I could just make media the bad guy, but even now, how many people would be ready to whip out their phones in hopes of views on their accounts?  In one of the statements made in the movie, Tonya had accused everyone in her life of abusing her, then turned the tables on everyone viewing the movie, and accused them of adding to the abuse.

Sunday, we had our last “in home” meeting for our missional community.  We are doing a trial run of combining both house churches in Dallas into one big gathering, which starts next week.  Michael and I have been a part of this house church for about two and a half years.  I’m looking forward to seeing what this new year will bring.

But my weekend didn’t stop there.  Michael and I got invited to a coloring and figure painting party at a friend’s house on Monday night.  I felt like such a cool kid to be out on a weeknight, even though I started to fade about 8:15pm.  Still, I had so much fun and laughed so hard.  I love being with people that make me smile.

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Needless to say, I took some much-needed downtime yesterday, and hope I have a little more downtime today as well.  This pregnancy energy level is no joke.  Most of my energy comes in the morning and I sputter out about 8 every night.  I’m so grateful to have friends who have been understanding and patient with me.  I’m sure it will only get more complicated with the baby is born.  So we will try to take advantage of friend time as much as we can!

How was your weekend?

Celebrating our 10th

Michael and I hit an anniversary milestone last month.  10 years ago, we promised to love and care for each other, through good times and bad, through sickness and health.  We had no real idea what we were signing up for that day, but it has been an amazing journey walking through this life with this guy by my side.

Originally, we planned to make this a big anniversary celebration, complete with an overseas trip.  But that trip has been put on hold due to my pregnancy.  I’ve mentioned before in one of my videos, I think, but we decided not to travel at all during this pregnancy, so a big trip was way out of the question.

Our anniversaries the last five years have become somewhat of a tradition, though.  And I love traditions, so it was still a great celebration.  First, we eat at a fancy restaurant.  Last year, we ate at Al Bernat’s original location.  We enjoyed it so much that we decided to try their new location.  It was still the same great food, but I think we prefer the other location a little more.

I didn’t take many pictures of the food.  I had the 12 oz filet mignon, Oscar style which included asparagus in hollandaise sauce and potatoes.  And Michael had the bone-in sirloin.  And we had brussels sprouts as well, with no bacon.  The restaurant does give out a complimentary dessert in honor of the anniversary.  We chose the seasonal fruit cobbler (apple) which was delicious and I did get a picture.

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After dinner, we headed to a bit of a nicer hotel than we usually use.  It was lovely and a nice, short getaway.  The next morning, we had room service bring breakfast.  I was chatting with the woman who brought it, and when she found out that we were celebrating our anniversary and pregnant (ok, I chat a lot), she came back with candy and some Tropicana drinks to celebrate.  It was so thoughtful!

Then, the next day we went to the Moviehouse and Eatery to watch Jumanji.  I have wanted to see this movie since I first saw the trailer.  It was really funny.  I probably won’t be writing a review but I thought it was quite clever that they also incorporated a lot of the actor’s personalities and quirks into the characters.

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I love being able to spend time with my husband.  These last two weeks he has been off of work, including celebrating our anniversary and Christmas and gender reveals to boot, have been truly special to me.  I look forward to where this next year and the future will bring for our little family.  I couldn’t ask for a better partner for this life!

Christmas Party!

Last weekend, Michael and I attended his work’s Christmas party.  I took it as an excuse to get a little gussied up with makeup.20171216_172136.jpg

And Michael took it as an excuse to wear his Ugly Christmas Sweater.  My parents just gave this to him during their visit earlier this month, and he has been wearing it to every Christmas function he can.  There are lights in the antlers that blink every time he moves.20171216_172358

We sat next to our friends who got engaged earlier this year.  Lizzi works with Michael.  I always have a good time hanging out with her!

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Towards the end of the party, we had a puzzle competition that had three levels.  Our table won one of the levels!  I thought this was pretty good, considering it was way past my bedtime.  I was pretty proud of myself for staying out until 10 o’clock, but I was definitely tired when we got home!

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It was a wonderful night, and I had so much fun!

Have you attended any Christmas parties this year?