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Monday, January 31, 2011

30 Weeks

How far along? 30 Weeks. I feel like the past two weeks, since my last update have FLOWN by! I'm kind of hoping that trend continues.

Total weight gain: I'll find out for sure on Wednesday at my next appointment, but I'm guessing I am between 18-20. I feel like I "thinned out," a little over the last 5-6 days, perhaps due to lack of appetite. Or lack of desire to prepare food.

Baby Bump? Oh, yes. Definitely. It doesn't look quite as full as it did at 28 weeks but it is large and in charge!
{picture taken at 29 weeks and 2 days. Don't worry, our tree is finally put away. Hello, February!}

Maternity clothes? Yes, maternity pants or pajama pants constantly (apparently I don't like pressure of any sort on my belly. Who knew?) and I got 3 new maternity shirts while in the big city last week. They are super cute and comfortable! Plus, I got them each for about 10 dollars!

Cravings: Water maybe, but other than that my appetite is WAY down. I eat more out of nutritional obligation than anything.

Symptoms: A little heartburn, a little back pain (our break from school has been awesome for my back!) linea nigra since about 20 weeks, and stretch marks. The stretch marks don't bother me as much as I thought. I have stretch marks from previous weight gain/loss and it just is part of life, I think. The only part that bothers me is I have one developing almost in a ring around my belly button and that is just weird.

Sleep: I have good sleep/bad sleep on alternating nights. I am not really sure of the cause of it and am trying to narrow it down. Hopefully once I figure it out I can fix it!

Movement: Yes! I'm not really sure of her "schedule," but definitely when I switch from laying on one side to the other and nighttime (past 9pm,) is her most active time! {exactly the same as last update!} Still have never felt the "hiccups."

Gender: Sugar and Spice and everything nice! A little girl will be our first child. I can't wait to meet my Grace Madeline!

Belly Button in or out? In, all the way! Despite my last couple of updates saying it looked like it was about to "pop," it is definitely in. I attribute this to the "thinning out," that I feel like happened over the last week.

What I miss: Being able to comfortably put on socks or shoes!

Best moment this week: Being woken up in the middle of the night by such a strong kick that my covers "bumped," up and came back down. Strange!

Weekly Wisdom: I got nothing....

Milestones: 30 weeks! Every week feels like a milestone now.

Friday, January 28, 2011

fill in the blank friday

I'm joining up with the little things we do today to "fill in the blank."

1. If my house was on fire and I could only grab 3 things I would grab: My purse (it has all of my important travel documents ready to go, kind of important when you live in a foreign country, hours from an embassy,) my computer, and my books {because those count as one thing, right? well, I'd grab whatever I could shove in my purse, how's that?} My theory is, if your home is going to burn down, you can find clothes and bedding and other necessities pretty easily, but you'll probably feel guilty spending money on entertainment items in the near future, so have something to do!

2. A smell I really like is: freshly baked cookies or a real Blue Spruce Christmas tree.

3. Something you might not know about me is that: When I'm nervous, I rub the knuckle of my left thumb with my right thumb. I've been known to rub it raw in the past, but that has stopped since Ian's been in my life. He's my calming influence :)

4. Some of my favorite websites to putter about on are: Besides the ubiquitous facebook and blogger, I love going to teacher's and homeschooler's pages and getting ideas. I might not be a teacher anymore, but I'll always be one at heart. I have dreams of writing my own curriculum.

5. This weekend I will be: Encouraging my husband to recaulk the tub while I clean our windows {fun, no?} cooking chicken curry for a Saturday feast, and traveling to the interior of our country for a visit with a {near} stranger that my husband met at the hospital last month.

6. Nothing makes me happier than: snuggling into bed at the end of a long day, be it good or bad.

7. A bad habit I have: Erm, refer to #3. Or know that I have no self control whatsoever when it comes to the making and consumption of sweets. I made PW's cinnamon rolls yesterday and have consumed 4 since then! Good thing we gave away40 of the 60 rolls it made!

~~~~

On other news, we had a wonderful leisure week, spent with sleeping in, watching season 9 and 10 of FRIENDS, accomplishing small tasks on my never ending to-do list, and playing games.

We took a trip to the big city on Monday and got to eat some amazing "American," food. We might have overeaten a little, but we also wandered around one of the biggest malls I've ever been in for nearly 8 hours. Whew my feet were tired! We were able to find some amazing deals on a few maternity shirts and ordered the curtains for Grace's nursery. Other than that we just wandered the mall (didn't really go into shops!) people watching, looking at fountains and domes (the malls here are amazing,) and ate our dinner outside on a terrace while watching the fountain show. What a great mini-vacation, even if it was only for a day!

Some of you asked why we didn't spend at least one night in the big city, since we weren't going on vacation like we planned, and the answer is: we're cheap. Since we spent the money for vacation on Grace's furniture and other things, we don't have budgeted funds to spend on a night in a hotel. Plus, even if we wanted to, there is a HUGE shopping festival going on right now and the hotels are all booked.

My mother-in-law celebrated her birthday on Tuesday and my parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on Tuesday as well. What a special way to end the month!

We also got Grace's crib and changing table all set up. The room looks like a real nursery now and it's hard to believe that we are almost to 30 weeks (in a little over 24 hours! Crazy!)

I'm looking forward to the next {and final} week of vacation because it means more relaxation and rest! We'll go to the interior (Or coast, I suppose,) of our country for a quick day trip on Sunday and we'll go to the medium sized city over the border on Wednesday for my 30 week appointment. Other than that, we have nothing on our plate! Lovely!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Extending Christmas

Well, it's done.

It's January 26th of 2011 and I packed up our Christmas decorations today.

Tree and all.

My reasons for not packing up Christmas around New Year's, like most families were three fold.

1. I love the sparkly lights and they bring me much more joy than the average person. I turn them on as soon as I get up and just sit and stare while I eat my breakfast.

2. Language school and pregnancy was kicking my butt for the first three weeks of the new year. I prioritized and decided that having enough energy to, you know, walk was more important than looking insanely tacky by leaving my tree up.

and 3.

Well, 3 is the real reason.

And the most important.

3. We've decided to "Extend Christmas," as part of our family tradition. Meaning the tree and decoratations will go up about a month before Christmas and stay up until about a month after Christmas.

Why?

It comes down to two things.

#1- We want Grace and any subsequent children to truly understand the meaning behind Christmas. I always marvelled at the fact that adults and teachers would ask "What is the real meaning of Christmas? Not presents, not decorations?" and we'd all say "Jesus!"

But then, on Christmas day, the moment the presents are opened and the tree looks all lonely and deserted, you just know Christmas is over. Even if you still have a family dinner or other traditions in the next day or so.

Why then do we rush to put all of our Christmas decor away right after the presents are done?

Why not make it so the emphasis isn't on the presents and show that Christmas still happens even when the suspense and excitement of presents are over?

We haven't figured out what the details will look like, but we plan on studying and focusing on Jesus' birth in the month before Christmas, and His infancy and childhood in the month that follows. We're even reading up on the celebration of Epiphany, since neither of us even know what that is.

Perhaps we'll do an Advent calendar in December and a Jesse Tree in January. Maybe we'll have an increase of family devotions. Maybe we'll figure out and write our own "Post Christmas," tradition. We definitely want to have a distinction of before Christmas day and after, so that it won't feel like just a long drawn out Christmas season. We want it to have meaning and to be special. We aren't too rushed to figure it out, seeing as Grace won't really be comprehending Christmas for at least 2-3 more years.

#2- Lesser of the two reasons, of course, but still very important, will be an increase of family time during these two months. With everyone else only celebrating Christmas in the 3-4 weeks leading up to Christmas day, the holiday season can seem rushed and frenetic. There's a company party and a school party, a Sunday school party and a cookie exchange! All wonderful things but can leave you feeling pulled in a million different directions, helping you to further forget the purpose and meaning of Christmas to begin with!

We'll have 3-4 extra weeks where we can establish family traditions together, at a slower pace! A walk in the desert, a bonfire, making cards as a family, or finally having time to actually decorate those elusive Christmas cut out cookies! I don't know what this part will look like, as I'm sure the traditions will establish themselves over the years, but I look forward to it greatly.

So, that's it. That's why our tree was up through January 25th. I'm proud and excited about our decision to step outside of the norm (as if moving to the other side of the world wasn't crazy enough,) and dare to be different in order to remember the meaning of the season!

So, what do you think? Is it crazy? Do you feel like it will be stretched out too long? What would be something you implement to help your family remember the reason for the season?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

At Home Vacation

As I mentioned before, we were originally planning on going to Jordan to for our between semester break. Unfortunately, we weren't sure if our friends, who we would be staying with, would still be living there or not, so we did the grown up (aka, not so fun,) thing and decided to save the money and use it towards Grace's nursery.

Our plan was to stay home, hang out, and spend some down time in between semesters all the while getting things done that we had been putting off.

Alas in all of our grand scheming we forgot about the all important factor of "cabin fever."

Unfortunately our little town has zero to no places that a woman can go and "hang out," and about the only family places to go are the grocery store (oh boy,) and a park outside of town.

So far, we are a little over 72 hours into our vacation time (out of 2 1/2 weeks!) and are starting to go stir crazy.

Awesome.

Turns out, we don't have that many things that we want to do in our house. Ian plays a video game, I read my blogs and then we switch. That covers about 2-3 hours, if we really drag it out. ha!

We planned 3 "big city," days over the next two weeks, so those will be beautiful respites in this dulldrum of a break.

One day, we'll go to the mega city and spend the day at the HUGE mall there with a gigantic book store (heaven!) We'll eat out for lunch and for dinner (no dishes! yay!) relax in the bookstore, buy a few things for Grace's nursery (curtains, mainly,) and watch the fountain show while sipping hot chocolate all before heading home. I'm very excited about this little outing.

Another day, we'll go to the not so giant, but still big city that neighbors our little town for a doctor's appointment and I'm sure we'll eat lunch there before coming back for a birthday party in town.

And finally, we'll venture into the interior a little more to a city where we hope to see the ocean (? Maybe, I don't know anything about this city.) and visit with a man and his family that Ian met at my last doctor appointment. I'm a little more nervous about this trip, because it involves visiting in a local home, which can be fun but always puts me at my shyest!

Other than those three outings, we plan on rearranging our rooms, taking down Christmas decor, doing some house projects, and installing Grace's curtains.

I try to set small little goals for each day, so that even if I lay around and do nothing for most of the day, by the time bedtime rolls around, I'll at least feel like I accomplished something. Today's goals? Wash our bed linens, move our office into our bedroom, finish two rows on Grace's blanket, and read 3-4 chapters in a book for work. See? My days aren't complete wastes of time!

We also have work to do (you know, for work, ha!) and will spend the last couple of days preparing for the beginning of a new semester of Arabic.

In case you were wondering, which I'm sure you've been at the edge of your seats now for days, my exam scores came back beautifully. No, I'm not at the top of my class, but I'm also not at the bottom. I scored perfectly for a student who has never been exposed to Arabic before this semester (they told us that I should get between a 1 and a 2, and I got a 1.5!) and got an 85% on my Classical Arabic written test. I'm really happy with the results and even prouder of my insanely smart husband who scored at the top of the class! Good job, Ian!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Language, Pack N Play, and Cookies

Alot has been going on around the Galloway household, or, rather, I should say alot of little things have been going on. Not things that some would find important or interesting, but I do!

Today we had our first of two exams. Today's exam was an oral interview of sorts. There wasn't many ways to prepare ahead of time, I felt. It was one of those situations where you would be showing off what you actually knew, instead of cramming and expelling information.

I was a little shakey and nervous walking into the interview, but tried my best to speak clearly and answer correctly. We started off with a round of greetings (their greetings are very extensive, repetitive, and structured, and can take close to 5 minutes! Though I only have 1-2 minutes worth down.) next we moved onto a question about me and my "bent," (little girl,) before moving on to a question about travelling. I didn't conjugate my verb correctly (drat. I put it into past tense when I meant to say present.)

Our final open discussion question was on what I would want my "dream house," to be like. Unfortunately, I didn't remember all of the names for the rooms so I just did a general 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms with a big kitchen. They were surprised that I didn't want it bigger and I told them that I like my small little house and that I didn't think I would ever want a huge house.

We had two picture based questions, one where I told a story in sequence and one where I described what I saw in the picture. The final part of the interview was me reading out loud a narrative.

Overall, I thought I did pretty well! At least, I felt like what I did in the interview was a pretty accurate description of what I actually know in Arabic! It will be exciting to compare this interview with my interview at the end of semester two!

We have an early morning written exam on Wednesday morning and then we are finished for the semester! So hard to believe.

The whole thing only took 5-10 minutes and then we were done for the day with school! We spent a leisurely day hanging out at the house, watching FRIENDS, eating salad (a new obsession of mine,) and reading.

Speaking of reading, I'm so excited that I am finally back in a reading mood! I went from reading 50 books in 2009 to hardly reading 20-25 in 2010. I haven't set any goal specifically for this year, but I am glad to see my reading is picking back up. I just finished Terri Blackstock's Newpointe 911 Series which was very interesting, if anyone is looking for a good Christian Fiction series.

I can't wait to share with you the book I am reading now. Super interesting. And a real story!

Ian and I capped our day off by doing 3 exciting things.

1.) We pulled out the pack n' play we had bought and put it together. I moved it into our room, where it will be once Grace makes her appearance near April, and stood in wonder at the fact that we actually have a baby on the way! we'll probably pack it up into it's storage bag later this week, as I don't really want it sitting in our room for the next 3 months if not necessary, but it was still a sweet moment of realization!

2.) We went for a walk! The wind was blowing and the temperature was just perfect. I put on my tennis shoes, which I haven't worn since we got here, and we went on a 30 minute walk around our area, before stopping at our local market to get some milk.

3.) Then we hightailed it back home to eat some fresh chocolate chip cookies. Delicious! For some reason those little cookies totally made my night.

I have a final confession to make:

We still have our tree up.

As in, our Christmas tree.

And we left it up on purpose.

More on that later.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

28 Weeks

How far along? 28 Weeks! Officially in the third trimester and so excited to meet our baby girl in 12 weeks (or less!)

Total weight gain: As of January 5th, I am up a total of 15 pounds, which puts me right at where I thought I would be. I really think I am 2-3 pounds less than that though, since we finished all of our "holiday food," right around the time of our Dr visit and are back on track with healthier eatin.

Baby Bump? Heck. Yes. I'm as big as a house. I have an extraordinarily small torso and abdominal cavity (as in, between my hip bones and rib cage,) so baby Grace only has one way to go- straight out!

Maternity clothes? Yes! Some friends of mine have loaned me some maternity shirts and I imagine that the next time I am in the big city I will find a few more. Although, now, as soon as I get home I am changing straight into super loose PJ's because they are much more comfortable!

Cravings:Nothing really. I think my appetite is diminishing slightly so I am trying to get my calories in nutrient dense foods. Lots and lots of salads, beef, and milk!

Symptoms: The back pain has gotten alot more routine. I have found that as soon as I lay down on my side it is better and pretty much come home from language school and lay down for the rest of the day. The heartburn flares up every once and a while but it's not bad either!

Sleep: So much has changed in the last month! My nap is NOT back as I try to just "rest," during the afternoon and save the sleeping for nighttime. My nighttime sleep is horrible, to the say the least. I've been having charlie horses at night and waking up unnaturally early. I've had a few nights of low grade fevers with the chills but it always breaks by morning and is just annoying enough to disturb my sleep all night. Boo. I love my sleep, so that is SO hard!

Best moment this week: Ian and I spent our Friday evening, cuddled up on the couch and watching a movie. Ian had his hand on my belly because I felt like Grace was going to have an active night and WOW did she ever. Almost 45 minutes straight of nearly constant kicking. She gave us quite the show of flutter kicks and jabs! So special and since we don't slow down enough to let Ian feel her move often enough, I loved that he got to share in that moment!

Movement: Yes! I'm not really sure of her "schedule," but definitely when I switch from laying on one side to the other and nighttime (past 9pm,) is her most active time!

Gender: GIRL! Grace Madeline is her name and I can't wait to see her beautiful little face!

Belly Button in or out? In, but at the end of the day, and especially after a big dinner it starts to "bulge," a little.

What I miss: Solid sleep!

Weekly Wisdom: Enjoy every last day as your last "day," before baby comes. We celebrate every little thing as it means that we won't ever have a January 10th without being parents again!

Milestones: The third trimester! And though 24 weeks is viability week in the States, out here 28 weeks is closer to being her viability week. So comforting knowing she could make it now!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday Monday

Thanks so much for all of your kind words about our Grace Madeline's name! We L-O-V-E it and can not wait to meet her in 13 weeks (or less!)

Baby plans are in full swing, with the purchase of our crib, changing table, and pack and play last week (33% off everything!) I have some sweet friends here in town who are throwing a baby shower for me in mid February and I am so looking forward to it! I've tried to keep myself from buying all of the little baby things until we know what people are gifting us but I feel like I'm not doing enough to get ready for her arrival!

We have final exams next week and then a two week break between semesters. We were supposed to take a vacation to Jordan to visit some friends, but due to some circumstances we decided to stay in town and use the money for baby gear.

I'm really looking forward to those two weeks! We will still be using our vacation days from work (they expire in March, so we might as well try to use some of our 28 days that we haven't used!) and we plan on hanging out in the house, moving our office furniture into our room, putting together the crib, and having Ian teach me how to drive manual.

I have a feeling January is going to go roaring by and although it won't be the most interesting month, I will end it by looking back on all that we have gotten done!

Also, on a totally random point, what do you guys think of having breakfast for dinner (Brinner.) Yum, and always a favorite OR Save breakfast for Saturday mornings? Ian and I were talking about how we love brinner but feel like we do it more often than most people (once a week or every two weeks!) In our defense, we roll out of bed and have to eat right away so cooking a big breakfast isn't really an option.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

...And A Glimpse Ahead

Yesterday, you were gracious to come along with me on A Look Back.

And today, I'd like to take you into a glimpse ahead of our lives and into our little girl's (we chose her name!)

Now, I don't claim to know the future. Prophesy and all of that hoopla are not my forte.

Heck, I don't even know what I'm going to have for breakfast in the morning, none the less what my future looks like.

Really, in the last two years I have learned so much about trying to plan out my future and come up with my own "master plan," without consulting God's master plan.

If you go back into the archives of this blog for 2008, you'll find post after post about what I wanted for my life.

I wanted a husband and a house in the suburbs.

I wanted children and the perfect job as a teacher.

I wanted a church that would serve me and friends to surround me.

Turns out, my plans were a little self centered {ha! a little!}

God used that first year of marriage to shake things up and teach me that He was in charge, despite my best efforts to plan things out to the "t."

And when, in the midst of losing job after job, 8 months of unemployment, 6 moves, 2 of which were international moves, and a year long difficulty of getting pregnant, I often found myself asking God for the "why?" behind all of this.

I'd beg to be let in on the plan. I knew He had it, and that it wasn't up to me, but I just didn't understand why!

Again and again, Jeremiah 29:11 was brought before me:

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Turns out, God wasn't going to fill in my day timer with all of the daily essentials for the year 2010. He certainly wasn't filling out the "Future Planning," pages for 2011 to 2013.

Instead, He let me in on all of the information that my little mind could handle.

He had not forgotten or forsaken little ol' me. He had big plans and those plans were not for the harm of me and my family. His plan involved a little something called hope and a future, which were given to us through His Son, Christ.

I find it ironic that through all of this learning, God has the grace to allow us to "plan," ahead in one aspect. We have the honor of choosing a name for our little girl. I may not know what her future looks like, where she'll live, or who she'll hang out with, but, for a little while anyways, I do know what she'll be called.

Our little girl's name is Grace Madeline Galloway.

Grace because we liked the name and were so excited about the fact that everytime we say her name, whether in joy or anger, we'll be reminded of the grace that has been bestowed on us.

Madeline (said Ma-Duh-Lynn but I didn't want to spell it Madalyn) because, well, we just stumbled on that one. Turns out, it's really hard to find a middle name that sounds good with such a short first name like Grace. We loved Grace Anne but didn't want her initials to be GAG (you have to think about these things!) Then we loved Grace Evangeline because of the beautiful meaning in that name, but I couldn't get on board 100% with Evangeline, mainly because it reminded me of a certain actress named Angelina, who I really don't appreciate.

So, Grace Madeline it is!

A tiny, beautiful, bundle of joy that will be the closest thing to "A Plan to Prosper," that I'll ever be able to hold in my two hands.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Look Back....

Five Years ago today.....

A certain young college freshman came back into town. He had been home for Christmas vacation but had left right after the first of the year for a five day intensive class at Liberty University.

It was a Saturday and he texted me during his flight from Lynchburg, VA, to Orlando, FL.

He texted me while his dad picked up him from the airport and when his dad took him to a late breakfast at Denny's.

He texted me just minutes after walking into his home and giving his mom a hug. He wanted to know if he could fulfill a promise he had made earlier in break. You see, although I don't really remember the particulars, he had backed out of a friend lunch with me and some other people to Olive Garden. He promised me he would make it up to me.

So, just 1 hour after he had a "grand slam," breakfast, Ian picked me up in his red sports car and whisked me off to a lunch at Olive Garden.

I was in heaven. {and no, not just because of the food, but because of the company.}

I had had a crush on this young man for at least a year. Back in our senior year of high school, we had a class on the far side of campus together (well, he had debate and I had photography, but they were right next to each other,) and he was perpetually late. I'd leave our locker cluster and head to class on time (must. not. break. rules.) and he would, without fail, come running up behind me calling out "Brittney Cummins," in a super false low voice. It always made me smile.

But, I knew he wasn't interested in me, and I also knew several of my friends and/or their mothers (ha,) were interested in this young man. He was sweet. He was a gentleman. He had ambition. He was a genius. And Oh-So-Handsome! Dimples to melt you into a puddle on the spot.

So, we were friends. He became more involved in my circle of friends and in our youth group. We spent alot of time together, and my crush grew and grew.

The end of our senior year came around, meaning, Senior Prom.

Like clockwork, Ian came running up behind me on our way to our class.

"So. Senior Prom. It's coming up pretty soon," he said.

I held my breath, this was the moment I had been waiting for!

"I was thinking about taking someone,"

{Please be me, please be me, please be me.}

"What do you think about me asking Danielle?"

{failure. utter devastation. but I was a good friend, and, by golly, if he wanted to take our other friend, then it was his prom too, he should do what he wants to!}

So, I told him he should. That I thought she would say yes. And, a week or two later, when he asked me about wearing a matching corsage, because she had asked him to, I told him to do it, and that the whole thing would be fun.

Bleh. I hate this part of the story.

My cousin happened to be getting married the weekend of my senior prom, and though my family would totally not care if I stayed home and went to my prom, I skipped. It wasn't really my scene, especially if I wasn't going to be with the special someone I had a crush on.

Especially if I had to watch him take a friend of mine (who had just broken up with someone and wasn't interested in him as a boyfriend,) to prom.

I got texts from people all night and was sad to hear that my friend's boyfriend showed up at our prom (ummm, he had already graduated, making it a little awkward,) and she left her date all alone for the night. Talk about depressing.

Talk about something right out of a movie.

If only I could have swooped in and been the date that he didn't have.

Alas, I was 200 miles away on a beach, at a wedding.

Flash forward to the summer of 2005. We spent the summer getting to know each other even better. Summer camp and an amazing road trip Senior Trip with 10 of us and our youth pastor. Humid Florida nights laying out, watching the stars. Many, many trips to the beach.

*Sigh* It was the best summer ever.

I noticed during this time, he became more and more prone to talk to me. But, one of my friends made it very clear she was interested in him during this time, so I didn't do anything.

Fall came crashing in. Two days before he had to move to Virginia for school we had a long conversation about what God was doing in his life and where that would take him in life. He knew that he'd finish school and move overseas, but perhaps he should get a more applicable degree. Something practical. 48 hours before he was set to leave and he was in a panic.

I thought it was just over degree choices.

So, when he presented a program at a school just 2 hours away, I told him to go for it! But then we talked our way around it and figured out it wouldn't work.

So, he left.

He just got in his car and left.

I was devastated.

I was slightly depressed.

He had become one of my closest friends and now he was at a new school with new friends that I was not a part of.

Our first semester of our freshman year of college was spent figuring out "life." Yes, we exchanged many AIM conversations and texts, and even a few phone calls, but that wasn't our focus.

Then a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving break, I missed a call from him. In the garbled voicemail he said something about falling on a mountain and hurting his ankle. I called back as soon as possible, only to get his roommate. I chatted for a minute or two until I found out that the injured Ian was in the shower, and that was that.

Thanksgiving break came and Ian came home. He and I went to the beach and made a sandcastle, chatting the day away. He, our friend Katie, and I spent an evening under the stars. A very cold evening, but it was wonderful.

Thanksgiving break ended and Ian went back to school for finals. He called and texted a little more and I suddenly felt like more was a possibility!

I don't remember much from Christmas break but I do remember going to Passion 2006 the first week of January and texting Ian (who was in Virginia,) about seeing my first snowflake. Just one. But still. I was looking forward to getting home and Ian getting home.

Flash forward to that Saturday. Ian took me out to lunch and paid (what a gentleman! He actually was always taking some of us single gals out for meals and paying so I wasn't really alerted to anything at this point.) We played a round of putt-putt and then he had to get home to his family, who were going to the Orlando Magic basketball game that night. I said good bye in my driveway and told him I'd see him the next morning.

15 minutes later a text comes in...."My parents are too busy for the game so I have an extra ticket. Want to come?"

Of course I said yes, despite my complete disregard for basketball (I'm a college football kind of girl.)

We parked in a shady (as in suspicious, not well shaded,) lot and hurried into the game, chatting and having a grand ol time. We laughed at the fact that neither of us actually liked basketball, yet here we were. The game ended late and we began the 45 minute drive back to our suburb.

Ian got very quiet on the drive home.

I, apparently, couldn't shut up. I chatted and chatted and chatted.

About 5 miles from my home we fell into a comfortable silence and I started to drift.

In reality, I was daydreaming about what it would be like to date him.

I'm quite the daydreamer.

I got a little lost in my own world their for awhile.

So, I didn't really notice when we pulled into my driveway and Ian began nervously talking.

It went a little like this:

"I had a good time today. I'm really glad I'm home. I've been thinking alot lately, and I think that I would like to date you. But I don't just date to date. I'm dating with an end purpose in mind, marriage. Which is why I waited so long to ask you out. I wanted to make sure I really liked you. So, do you want to date?"

At this point my eyes were as big as saucers and my hand was poised on the car door handle, ready to get out. I honestly thought I was still daydreaming, and thought "wow, this daydream got a little odd!" It dawned on me though, as he sat across from me in the car that he was waiting for me to say something. I mumbled out a yes before he continued.

"But, you know. I believe God is calling me to go overseas. I've already got my year long internship in the Middle East set up for our sophomore year and the rest of our freshman year I'll be in Virginia, so are you okay with long distance dating, and are you okay with the fact that I am heading permanently overseas after school?"

I said yes, then hopped out of the car and ran inside. My parents were in bed already but my mom was up reading. I stuck my head in the door and told her Ian and I were dating, then went happily off to bed.

Little did I know that poor Ian was very confused about my fast getaway, and spent a very nervous night trying to figure out if my "yes," was yes. He even skipped Sunday School because he was so confused, ha! He showed up at church and sat with me, and we decided to get together and go hiking at my favorite trail by my house.

That afternoon, on January 8th, 2006, Ian and I ironed out the details of what our expectations, boundaries, and thoughts were about dating, and how we thought we should handle dating long distance.

But, even though things were clarified on the 8th....

Five years ago today, on January 7th, 2006, Ian asked me out and we began this beautiful journey together called Life.

We dated long distance for the Spring of 2006 and were in the same town for 3 weeks that summer. Before I left for a trip to Europe we said "I love you," and then I spent the summer up in the Poconos, working at a camp. In August of 2006, Ian let me know he wanted to marry me but we had to part ways again for him to move to the Middle East. Ian was gone for 1 year and we talked over Skype for the 2006-2007 school year. He came home for Christmas but I was incredibly sick that year with pink eye and strep throat and mono so our time together was limited.

He returned from the Middle East in May of 2007 and proposed on July 7th, 2007, 1 year and six months (to the day,) after we started dating. We were engaged and dated long distance for our third (which happened to be our final) year of college and we both graduated in May of 2008. We were married in our home church in a beautiful ceremony that sung of God's grace and redemption on June 14th, 2008, and moved straight from our honeymoon to our new home in Gainesville, Florida.

We spent 10 very hard months there. Not because marriage was hard- it wasn't. It was bliss. We fit together perfectly and were excellent at communicating due to the nature of our long distance relationship. It was hard because we were poor. And we weren't doing what God wanted us to do. We were trying to live by the plans that were in our own hearts (teach for me and gain more knowledge for Ian,) instead of living on trust and faith like God wanted us to do. Job after job fell through the cracks and I never really got to have that first year teaching experience.

I could go on and on updating on what has happened since then, but most of you know that already.

The point is, that Five Years Ago today, my Ian courageously took a chance and asked me to date him.

Five Years Ago today my life changed.

And you know what?

I knew it had changed the moment I said "yes."

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bits and Pieces

I just willingly ate pistachio ice cream.

Like, by my own accord.

Clearly this pregnancy is throwing me completely off.

Also, I just read in one of my pregnancy books that my brain is shrinking 3-5% during the pregnancy.

Before I address the concept that my brain is shrinking, the question that comes to mind is "will my brain shrink 3-5% per pregnancy? or just this first time?" because think about it. If it shrunk every time, that would mean the average woman loses 10-15% of their brain size. Crazy.

Christmas came and went. We celebrated mainly at home, just the two of us, which was good because I was kind of a wreck on Christmas day. It was my first Christmas away from my family and our little apartment was just SO quiet. Plus, knowing that all of the people outside of our apartment had no clue it was even such a special day made it doubly hard.

Add to that the joyous occasion of my best friend, Katie, getting engaged (yay!) but since we are a little hard to get a hold of, she was unable to inform me right away. I woke up on the 26th to find out about their engagement on facebook, and though I was super excited for her and her fiance, it broke my heart not to be there with her to celebrate. I spent alot of that day crying out to God to take me back "home," and to take away this calling from us so that we'd be free to live in the States again. Peace came over me by evening but I tear up just thinking about not being able to throw her a shower, see her pick out her gown, and pray over her on her wedding day.

(oh good grief. pregnancy hormones rearing their ugly head. Just writing that last paragraph left me sobbing.)

New Year's was quite the opposite. Ian and I had several friends and their family's over for the night, and we spent the evening playing games, chatting, and eating lots of good food. We had a lot of fun and were glad to get to spend some time with our new friends. It was a little weird when we went to bed, realizing that all of our Stateside family and friends hadn't even celebrated yet!

On a completely different note, baby girl Galloway has a name! I'm really excited to share it with you guys soon! We go over the border to our Dr on Wednesday for my 6 month check up and for my glucose tolerance test. Please lift me up if you think about it (around 12:30 AM EST) as I've always had a big sweet tooth and want everything to be healthy for our little girl.

Keeping in line with the "baby," train of thought, I think we're finally going to get started on our little one's nursery soon. All of our furniture is on sale this week so we will probably pick it up while we are over the border (or, at least as much as we can fit into our little car!) I don't really want to move our office into our bedroom just yet so we will probably wait until the end of the month to do that!

This was truly a mish mash of thoughts but this was the quickest way to get all caught up on everything that is happening.