How We’ve Spent our Time

food space
Last night I tried three new-to-me recipes. Chik-fil-a bites and honey mustard dipping sauce, peach pie, and brussel sprouts – which I reckon is just more of a new way to cook them, as I usually steam them. It only took mine about 15-20 minutes instead of the 35-40 the recipe called for. Anyway, they were all delicious! I recommend them all!!
Today for lunch, we were running late (according to Zack’s lunch time) because of my doctors appointment (more on that below),  so I swung by Hardees and Taco Bell to grab some lunch – but I put it on nice plates, so that counter-acts the fast food factor, right? Considering I have cooked 99.9% of our meals since forever, I think it was time for a break.
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Penelope has played with her train toy since she received it at her one year birthday party, but was never..hmmm…focused? enough to use the track and keep it in one piece. I dug it out today and she loved it. That train has not left her side since, it even came with us to the laundry room and every trip to the potty,
Zack and I started watching Lost from the beginning (for at least the four time) last week on his lunch breaks. Even though I’ve seen it so many times, I am still excited to start it all over.
My brother, Ben, gave me an AWESOME layered glass picture frame (above) a couple of years ago for my birthday (someone knows I love pictures…). The pictures in it had not been changed since before we moved from Bolivar, so the photos were dated, and I have yet to print recent photos, so until I get around to it, it will house Penelope’s lovely artwork! 🙂 Isn’t it gorgeous!
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I had a doctors appointment this morning, just routine. I go every two weeks now! Yay!
I was D.E.T.E.R.M.I.N.E.D to get answers this time – the kind set-in-stone, nailed down, written in permanent ink not pencil.
Mission accomplished!!
First things first lets get the giant elephant out of the way, shall we? I was told at the first appointment after my ultrasound that I had Previa again. Needless to say I wanted to cry, crawl into a hole, and panic was setting in swiftly.
Within the first two minutes of entering the room for the ultrasound I S-P-E-C-I-F-I-C-A-L-L-Y asked the lady if the placenta was in the right place, and after doing a few checks, she assured me I did not. You can imagine my surprise when the first things out of my doctors mouth a couple weeks later was (as if it was nothing, by the way), “Oh, it says here you have Previa.” –BOOM! My heart exploded.
This doctor “swears” Previa is nothing to worry about, quite boring, and no different from any other pregnancy. Really? I’ll play along… He doesn’t “believe in” bed rest, and told me I would go until at least my due date. I was certain I would bleed out and die by then. Zack and I agreed not to tell anyone, since this doctor was not going to do anything about it and the ultrasound photos had pictures that looked like full-blown Previa, and some where the placenta was nowhere near my cervix. So we decided to wait it out and see how it goes. I have yet to bleed. With Penelope I had just spent a week hiking up mountains in Wyoming before I bled.
This time I needed an actual delivery date. He actually took the request seriously! He checked my measurements, re-checked the photos, and compared them to my first due date. He says since the photos are a joke and I have yet to bleed, he is not counting it as Previa (which is why I am not telling you fine folks.). I will have another ultrasound somewhere in my 34th week to double check everything.
I will deliver at 39 weeks- NOVEMBER 9th our new little girl will arrive into the world!!
I still feel just as I did when I was pregnant with Penelope- dizzy, out of breath, and this girl has still not wandered above my belly button- and rarely get that high, but I will just be brushing it off and pushing through, ignoring the similarities.
I have a due date, no Previa, my blood sugar isn’t high, my baby will not need steroids (which in turn  means I won’t get “fat face” again – *bonus*), and my baby won’t have to be far far away from me in PCU after delivery! I am one happy lady today!
: : : Tomorrow Zack has a half day at school, my parents come into town until Sunday afternoon, we have a football game tomorrow night, Grape and Fall festival Saturday (WITH AUTUMN WEATHER!), and church on Sunday! Hooray for the weekend!!

Weekend and Today

This past weekend Zack, Miss P. and I took a trip to see family. My nephew’s second birthday was Sunday – which was the main reason we went up, he had an awesome party at Chuck E Cheese. Penelope loved it!

My brother-in-law’s birthday was also that weekend, so we spent almost two days with my nephew and niece, while my mother-in-law babysat. (Who, by the way, are growing up way too fast.) Penelope loves her cousin Logan, can’t get enough hugs from that boy.
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I also had two photo shoots Monday.  A full family photo shoot for Zack’s Uncle Mark’s family, and of his two new grand-daughters. My first family shoot and newborn shoot! The practice is definitely eye-opening! (and appreciated!)
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Today : : :
Lets just say, I feel the weekend in my bones. When I was on bed rest for three months with Penelope, my hip area became very sore – painful! – I’m sure my previous pelvic fracture didn’t help matters, anyway, I have felt that pain this entire pregnancy. I feel silly waddling around being so tiny, but pinched joints and sore tail bones prevent me from moving naturally sometimes… Today I am taking it easy.
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I had planned on doing laundry, but the thought of lugging a full laundry basket to the laundry room just doesn’t sound appealing. So, no chores today. Last night Zack and I plowed through unloading the car, unpacking, cleaning bits and pieces of the house we neglected in our pre-trip cleaning, and got ready for our day today- me with organizing photos to edit, and him with preparing Kindergarten assignments and getting a hair cut.

This morning Penelope and I spent some time on the porch while the weather was nice, and she began watching Cars, but has since worked her way back to playing alone in her room.
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I am not sure what the rest of the day entails past lunch with Zack and an afternoon nap but it will be relaxing, if I have anything to do with it!!
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The photo of the day goes along with these above, so hop on over if you just can’t live without one more photo of this sweet Miss P.!

Upcoming Weekend

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This weekend we are headed to St. Peters! A one day quick visit has turned into three! We are going up Saturday – hopefully in the morning – then Leo’s (my nephew) birthday is Sunday – he’s two! – and Monday I have my first official photo shoot in over a year!
I can’t believe Leo’s birthday is already here! That means I have a month until Penelope’s! Eek! I better get on those party plans… Can you guess what the theme is? Anyone? “Birds!”- or rather Rio. Brasillian food, drinks, music, and (if I can find any) bird decorations. We know which park we want it at, but I have yet to make an effort to call for a price/ availability- but I’m doing good otherwise, right? I didn’t think she would be choosing her own theme at such a young age, and she kept going back and forth between Birds and Cars, but has recently just chosen Birds. Birds it is! Guess I should make those reservations so I can get out invites…
I have had two senior photo sessions, and a wedding- but I have yet to photograph twins, newborns, or a family (aside from my siblings, Penelope, and my own) – Monday will change that!! I’m so excited!
More cleaning today, hopefully a nap, NO Rio today (for my sanity), and watercolor painting for Penelope. Maybe some packing…maybe.
Have a great Thursday!
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Taking Over

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Pretty soon I think Penelope will be taking over the blog. She knows more about her adventures than I do, after all. However, I should warn – all that will be on the blog, should I do that, would be random photos of babies. Lots of babies.
Just kidding. Obviously. She is actually not even allowed (with the rare exception – see above) to touch the computer – or any technology, and a good portion of my day is speaking the words – “Don’t touch that!” –  Computer, phones, camera, television, remotes, etc. I will not be one of those parents getting my kid a cell phone before they can drive. Even then it will be only for emergencies. Wow, not sure how this became about my parenting preferences…
This week Penelope has been a even mix of independent and needy. She has been doing pretty good with spending her time playing with her babies, looking through books, putting together puzzles, tossing balls and chasing them…but after her nap she wants me to spend every second with her – which is when I need to cook and get things in order for the evening, so that things go smoothly when Zack gets home.
I’m not sure what to expect when I get farther along in the pregnancy or after I have the baby. I hope Penelope still feels loved, needed, adored, and welcome once the baby arrives. The closer I get to delivering the less worried I become about the recovery or how much sleep I will be getting, and more about making sure both girls feel all of the love I have for them. I don’t want Penelope to feel like I have a new favorite, just that I love them equally.
I know she will LOVE being a big sister, and a helper to Mama. I’m sure Daddy-time will become even more exciting – or maybe one-on-one time with me will be something she comes to treasure more. I am at least so so grateful I am able to be a stay-at-home Mama, and spend all of my time focused on loving them!
Today will be spent (HOPEFULLY!) deep cleaning the entire apartment, I feel as though cleaning is never ever done. I am praying Penelope will be in a helpful mood and will enjoy wiping tables and sweeping floors, and not distraught that we don’t have time to do “fun” things. She typically loves cleaning but becomes upset when it is time to put away brooms, scrub brushes, or bring out the vacuum. We’ll see I guess…
Thanks for reading!!
Hope everyone has a great Wednesday!
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Photographer in Training

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I would say she’s a natural! but it has taken her most of the morning trying to figure out what I mean by – “Look through here, can you see Mommy?” and figure out not to close the eye behind the view finder.

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So I’ll just leave it at, She’ll be a pro in no time!

She sure is cute trying though!
I need to invest in a toy camera, I’m terrified she’ll brake the real one by dropping it. Maybe for her birthday…

Experimenting with Macro

In an attempt to broaden my horizons in regards to photography, since I hope to have my own business / / company by the beginning of next year, I have been practicing macro photography with the SIGMA APO DG 70-300mm lens I rarely use. 
I used my favorite model, of course, for the practice.  Let me know what you think!
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Family Photos

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Here are just a few of my favorites, the rest will be on good ‘ole Facebook later.
BONUS / /
Notice the reaction my kisses get from Miss Penelope…
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Seriously? She is not even two yet – Mommy’s kisses should still be DELICIOUS!
That is all.
I would love to hear your feedback. Hope you liked them!

I. Love. This. Man.

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I never could’ve imagined that I would’ve met the love of my life in high school. There he was. I did not have that –WOW! – moment, I had a, I am going to marry him, moment in my head as I saw him walking the halls one morning, and brushed it off (because, well it was high school). I just knew. We did not talk much that first year of knowing each other, we did not have classes together. The first day of senior year he asked me to go see a movie with him. Just to show you that this was God’s decision and not my own- I didn’t even notice his vibrant orange hair until much later and I didn’t pay attention to his “style” which seem to be normal things to take note of, right? I knew his humor, interests, smells (not in a weird way…I can’t smell many things, so some things stand out in my memory), and how wonderful he was to his Mom – and me.
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We dated for two years before making a decision to get married. It felt like a no-brainer. No hesitation or nerves a’flutter. It just was. Sounds unromantic and boring, no proposal, no ring, no over-the-top story. We just knew. Three months later we were OFFICIALLY inseparable!
Over the next two and half years we grew closer and more as one, in our interests, goals, and dreams.
We found out we were having our first child (which was a decision, not a ‘surprise’) and began an even bigger journey together. It just keeps getting better in my eyes, and looking back on those high school days, I really could not have imagined this.
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Just as I am feeling frumpy, unattractive, undesirable, like I could use some make-up, and my hair is gross… He walks my way and drops a “You’re beautiful.” or a “Daaang girl!” and wraps his arms around me tightly making me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. [and the luckiest]
I never go a day without hearing “I love you.” multiple times.
He listens to my advice and takes it to heart. I am blessed to have a man who values my words regardless of how deep or silly they may be.
He values God’s instruction over mine.
As a Dad : :
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My heart fills with joy and my eyes with tears when I hear him from across the house sing each bedtime story to our daughter, taking the time to make note of both the dramatic and silly parts as he goes.
Stern enough and playful enough. She shrieks with excitement when he enters a room and talks about him constantly when he is not with her.
He takes the time to show interest in the things she shows him and teaches her the proper way to do things (hold a crayon or spoon, wipe the table, put her shoes on, put her books correctly on the shelf, etc.).
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The Man: :
He is a man who is not above washing dishes, putting away laundry, or scrubbing the kitchen floor.
A man who sees something needs to be done and does it without a thought of “Ugh, maybe later…” (or does it despite that thought)
A man who never loses his desire to learn.
He has an awesome sense of adventure!
If our car needs fixing, he’ll find out how to fix it. Computer broken? He’ll take it apart to fix it.
Always eager to help someone when they ask, even if it means giving up his free time.
A man who cooks (well!) and sticks around to clean up his mess.
A husband who always thinks of me before himself.
Spontaneous foot rubs.
Brings me my favorite treats when he makes a run to the store.
Always gives me the perfect gifts – which shows he knows me well and takes the time to.
He is awesome.
I. Love. This. Man.

Exploring Independence

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Last night I decided today would be a television-free day for Penelope, and that we would just listen to music, giving her time to explore her independence and creativity. It is not quite ten o’clock and she has already “read” five books, had a dance party with her bath baby, filled a basket with tubs of Playdo, and lugged it into the living room and is now playing by herself with the Playdo on the coffee table.  She also picked out her own outfit- although her first choice was footed winter pajamas, which she isn’t tall enough for.
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Looking like Aunt Sarah
I have received at least twenty kisses and two “I love you”s!
I have had time to have a cuddle-fest in bed with Penelope before breakfast, hand wash a load of dishes, put on a load of laundry, and get dressed in under five minutes! Oh, and write this post 🙂

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These photos were taken in while Reese was going potty, but I do plan on spending time outside, playing in bubbles, swinging, and painting.
I plan to have the majorities of our days spent this way until the baby comes, to help me out during recovery.
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Hearing a choo-choo in the distance
Lets hope the rest of this day goes as smoothly. Off to switch over that laundry…
Happy FRIDAY!!!!!
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