Monday, May 27, 2013

Baby Showers for Drew!

My (gorgeous) sister and my (gorgeous) sister-in-law's threw Drew and I a baby shower at the beginning of May. The decor was so precious, and it was so great to celebrate Drew's upcoming arrival with my sweet friends.

Kaleigh made the drive over from Coeur D'alene - it was so good to SEE her! Also, she's due just three months after me. Obviously, I'm not-so-secretly hoping she has a girl: hello arranged marriage!!

A few weeks later my mom and Kyle's Aunt Cheryl hosted a family shower for Drew and I, with the help of Kyle's mom and Aunt Marjean. So much grandma and great-auntie love for Drew!

Giving it grace: Both showers were so wonderful! It was great to take a break from all of the baby prep and just fawn over cute baby clothes and eat lots of yummy shower food. Again - I'm not so great with the receiving gifts thing...I just always feel so awkward, like we don't deserve all this love and support. Thus, again, I'm reminded that gifts are given in love - and not earned - just like grace. You'd think God was trying to teach me something about grace in all this... :)

Maui 2013

When Kyle and I first talked about taking a vacation before Drew comes, it was nothing more than a fleeting "that would be really nice" (but way out of our budget) conversation. That being said, a few months later when my dad offered to send us to Hawaii using his travel miles we didn't think twice before hoping on that plane (after checking with my doctor, of course)! In case we didn't say enough: thank you Dad!!

Here are some of the highlights from our trip:

We stayed at the Pioneer Inn, right in the heart of Lahaina. It was so perfect for us! It reminded us of the Inn we stayed at in La Conner right after our wedding. The best part about the Inn was the open-air restaurant downstairs, where we indulged in pineapple juice, pineapple slices, and macadamia nut pancakes every morning.

The town of Lahaina reminds me of Edmonds, so of course I loved it! Every night after dinner we walked up and down Front street, just taking in the scenery, people watching, and window shopping.

The Pioneer Inn is right across the street from Lahaina's famous Banyan Tree Park. This tree is HUGE! Our room looked right out at the tree, so we could sit out on our deck and watch people come and go from the park. We also had to go check out the tree up close...

On our first full day, we headed to Black Rock beach. We rented a little individual mobile cabana thingie (not as fancy as it sounds) so that we could both be in the shade in between ocean breaks. Of course, the beach was beautiful!

For our first dinner, we headed to Cheeseburger in Paradise - YUM! While waiting for dinner, we were playing with my camera's zoom feature and found a little crab friend. After dinner we walked up and down Front Street, watched the sunset, and then played cards on our balcony while Kyle taught me all about the moon and other fun astronomy related topics.

The next day we headed to Makena Beach. I know this beach is many people's favorite's, but I have to say I was not a fan. To be fair, my dislike probably had 90% to do with the fact that we didn't have beach chairs to sit on, or any shade (other than the trees, which means you have to sit really far away from the water). Something I didn't think through about going to the beach while pregnant is that you can't really "lay" out in the sun for a number of reasons: you can't lay on your stomach (duh), you can't lay on your back (something about compressing a vein that provides oxygen to the baby), you can't lay on your side (just looks weird!), and you can't be in the sun for too long before you just get plain HOT. So, we found out the hard way that beach chairs and ample shade are a must when you're 28 weeks pregnant at the beach. After leaving Makena beach, we headed back to our Inn to enjoy the sunset (and of course, walk up and down Front Street).

The following day we decided to pick up some snorkel gear for Kyle, and check out Kahekili Beach Park - this beach was by far our favorite! Ample parking, ample shade close to the water, and we got smart and rented our own beach chairs from Snorkle Bob's!

This was a great place to snorkel because the water was shallow enough to see plenty of fish, but there was no real risk of crashing into any reef. The pictures of Kyle getting geared up to go snorkeling make me belly laugh every time I look at them.

Kyle spent the day in and out of the water on snorkeling adventures, and then we both relaxed by reading and just splashing in the water (seriously, how pretty is this beach?!). Salt water is heaven when you're pregnant, because your body becomes so buoyant you almost forget you're pregnant (not that I would ever want to forget - I love being pregnant - but my joints really appreciated the salt-water reprieve).

That evening we went out to a nice dinner at Hula Hula grill in Kaanapali and watched another gorgeous sunset. God really wasn't holding out on us!

On our last full day we headed back to Kahekili Beach Park for some more relaxing, and I even got brave enough to try snorkeling. I have a huge fear of marine life and being in the water so close to fish - I don't like that there is no easy escape route. But Kyle was really patient and held my hand the entire time so that I wouldn't get scared - and it totally worked. I even got comfortable enough to just paddle around on my own a little. After snorkeling I proceeded to take 362 photos of the water because it is just so pretty!

When we got back to our Inn, we found that a vendor fair was taking place under the Banyan tree. Hello trinket heaven! Kyle headed back to the room to take a nap, while I carefully inspected each booth for a good souvenir. I settled on a hand drawn painting of the Lahaina shore, made by the woman in the booth on the bottom left below. I put it next to a similar picture we have in our room from Cannon Beach. Love. Bottom right is a picture of our balcony taken from the corner of the Banyan Tree Park. From our balcony we could see the water (to the right) and then look straight out over the park, so needless to say we spent a lot of time just reading or chatting out there.

On our last day, we headed south to Kihei to kill some time before our red-eye flight that night. We found a park and spent most of the afternoon reading (I loved my book so much I read it twice on this trip!). We watched some beach baptisms take place before having dinner at Fred's Mexican Cafe, and then finished our trip by watching the sunset one last time.

Giving it grace: I have to be honest, even posting the pictures of this trip makes me a little uneasy. It was such a generous gift by my dad, and God was even more generous in blessing our time together - I don't feel like we remotely deserved it. But - I guess that's the true nature of a gift - it's not earned, it's given in love. Just like grace :)

Friday, May 10, 2013

30 Week Update

I'm a little behind in bump updates...working full-time, combined with church commitments, running a household (even if it's just for two right now), and squeezing in a work out once a week doesn't leave a lot of time for blog updates (much to my dismay). Am I crazy to be looking forward to "just" being home with a newborn??

The last six weeks:

It's worth clarifying that I think these fruit and vegetable comparisons are mostly
referring to length!

Weekly pic this week was from Maui! My sweet dad blessed us with our last vacation before
Drew comes. If I ever get around to editing the pics from this trip, I'll be sure to post them!
You can be certain there was lots of sun, sand, and pineapple juice - it was heaven!

Giving it grace: Before we went to Hawaii, we found out that I might have to have a c-section (not related to anything with the pregnancy, but because I have lens transplant in my left eye and there was concern about that eye holding up during the birth process). For some reason, I really struggled with this news. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against c-sections (I was a c-section baby, after all) and I realize that many births end in c-section, even when that wasn't the plan. Yet, there was something just so "heavy" about choosing right now - in this moment - to never attempt a vaginal birth. 

I shed quite a few tears over this decision in front of me before I realized the beauty of the lesson God was so graciously teaching me. I woke up one morning and God reminded me that Drew doesn't care how he is born, it was only I who cared. And why did I care? There are many reasons to be concerned about a major surgery (such as c-section), and some of my reasons were valid: risk of infection, wanting to be able to breast feed right away, and the painful recovery. Most of my reasons though, were just incredibly selfish: wanting Drew's birth to be spontaneous (just like the movies, right?), experiencing the "right of passage" of labor, and not having to wear one of those itchy hair caps during surgery yet again (I'd had at least a 1/2 dozen surgeries in my life and I just wanted the birth experience to be different). None of those things will matter to Drew, yet all of them mattered to me. And then God asked me the big question: if I had to choose between being pregnant and having a c-section or not being pregnant, what would I choose?

No brainer, bring on the c-section! Once I really began to acknowledge that much of my sadness was around the idea of my own desires not being met, I finally began to see the lesson God was teaching me about being a mom. I undoubtedly have ideals and visions for what type of mom I will be, and undoubtedly it will not always turn out like it is in my head. But the big question I need to be asking myself is: does this matter to Drew, or just to me? And more importantly, am I being choosey with my gifts from God?

Once we returned from Hawaii, Kyle and I met with my two eye surgeons to discuss the risks of vaginal birth more in depth. And out of no where, God surprised me with His oh so familiar yet often forgotten "here I am, right here in this with you" reminders. Both eye surgeons decided that my eye was in good enough condition to withstand a vaginal birth, and professionally recommended I not opt for a c-section (unless it is necessary for reasons actually related to the pregnancy or birth). We were overjoyed with this news! 

I share this story, because I love how God used something important to me to get my attention, even though it was important to me for mostly selfish reasons. God is that loving, and His love is that specific. I love that in the midst of my selfishness, He didn't get fed up and leave me alone to suffer. No, he pursued me more, with a purpose: He had a bigger idea He wanted to show me. And it's by His grace alone that He cares enough to design little lessons, perfectly placed in my life to draw me closer to Him - which is my ultimate desire.

Coming up next (and by "next", I mean sometime before 2014!): trip to Hawaii, maternity photos, and baby shower pics.