Sunday, April 29, 2012

Offensive About Abortion

I try to stay away from controversial topics on here, but being pregnant has made me think about abortion a lot more than usual. I'm writing this post to Christians, but hopefully it's helpful to everyone.

In college I was really fiery about being pro-life. I did a speech in speech class including bloody pictures of aborted fetuses. I wrote "life starts at conception" on our dorm bulletin board, where people could draw pictures and write quotes. There was a girl in my dorm who was greatly offended by my message. It ended up being a big thing that our RA got involved in. I apologized to her, but the potential for relationship was already ruined.

Years later the thought occurred to me that she might have had an abortion.

I still consider myself pro-life, but my attitude is very different. The behavior I exhibited before was not a good representation of Christ. Jesus didn't shove pictures of people's poor choices (in my mind) in their faces and then expect them to join Him. He loved them in the midst of their poor choices.

When I was in my first trimester, I felt pretty sick somedays. I thought, "I could see why people would get an abortion." You don't feel like you're carrying a person; you just feel sick.

But once I saw Daisy in our 12-week ultrasound, I wondered about women who abort at that stage. When I started feeling her move, I wondered again. She keeps getting bigger and bigger, and I don't understand how someone could abort, knowing that it's a baby - or even the potential to be a baby, if that's how they think of it.

I've also never been in a situation where I would need to consider abortion. I have a healthy pregnancy, a great support system, and faith in Jesus Christ that He's going to take care of me no matter what happens.

I don't understand and I even think it's wrong, but it doesn't give me the right to judge women who choose to abort.

It also doesn't give me the right to be loose with my tongue when talking about abortion in public. The damage that occurs when saying offensive jokes can be done through a snide or harsh comment about abortion. The concept of God's unconditional love gets thrown in the dirt. Our strong negative verbal out-lashes towards abortion can cause a greater gap for building bridges of love with women who have had abortions, whether they are our sisters in Christ or women with whom we'd like to share Christ.

If I had an abortion, I would NEVER tell some of the Christians in my life for fear of being given a red "A."

I read this pro-choice 40-day of prayer pamphlet recently. It was written by religious people, but not followers of Christ (to my knowledge). Maybe our first reaction as Christians is to be offended, but the reality is that there shouldn't be a need to pray for this:

"Day 6: Today we ask for blessings upon the women who pass through hostile protesters on their way into an abortion clinic. May they be shielded from physical and emotional harm from those who do not know them."

Way to show the love of Christ, people! Not.

I'm not saying we shouldn't try to change abortion laws. I want to see more people choose life. I want to see more babies get a chance to become adults and influence this world. I can vote and give time and money to crisis pregnancy centers, but I can also choose to give my baby life and unconditionally love women who choose abortion.

God knows how many babies don't get a chance to live outside the womb. He knows the hearts of their mothers, and He loves them and values them. Let's try to be like Him and love them too.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Last Four Months

The last four months in belly progression pictures: 

January - 16 Weeks

 February - 20 Weeks

March - 25 weeks

April - 30 weeks
Only ten more weeks to go! Not sure what this belly's going to look like in June...or July, if I go that long.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sewing Room Valance

I finally finished the valance for the window in the sewing room/guest room. I've been working on this/putting it off for weeks. The lower fabric was pieced together from the remains of the old cushion cover that I used to make my sewing machine cover.

The hardest part of using fabric from covers or other projects is ripping out stitches. TEE-DEE-US!

I basically cut the patterened fabric in to 7'' strips and pieced them together until I had 80'' long. The top fabric was already 80'', so I folded it in half, sewed an anchor stitch to go above the curtain rod, and sewed the other fabric to the bottom. Lots of long strips of sewing straight lines. And with all the ironing between makes it a tedious project, but not difficult.

The problem came when I wanted to hang it. Right now I'm seriously into "Don't buy anything new. Just use what you have." I had this expandable curtain rod that my sister gave me that I used over the closet for a while. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite expand far enough to reach across this 40'' window.  

So I got creative.

I grabbed three plastic knives. My intent was to extend the bar by a 2-3''.

I stacked them and stuffed them like so:

Then I taped it up really good.

Zane helped me put the valance on the bar and hang it. The knives worked well to extend it, but they weren't very stable, so it sagged in the middle.

This frustrated me. We took a break for dinner, even though I really wanted to finish my project. I get in the zone during projects, and even my stomach's neesd are put aside. However, since Zane was hungry too, I couldn't neglect my family (good lesson for when Daisy comes).

After dinner, I pulled out my craft box and found an old wooden ruler. After finding three more rulers (no shortage at our house!), I felt okay using this one for my valance project.

I taped it very tightly and flat over the knife-taped middle of the rod. The ruler extended far past the gap, so it provided a lot more support for my curtain rod.

Then I re-threaded the rod into my valance. It's pretty snug tight around the ruler section, but I was able to scrunch the fabric enough to make it look just fine.

Zane helped me hang it again, and voila! It's straight!

One step closer to finishing this room! Once I have the sewing chair finished and a couple pictures on the wall, I'll give you a full before-after tour of this room. Daisy's room has a little farther to go.

Total cost: $0! Everything was given to me or purchased last year. I think the fabric for the valance was $4, and I used it for two projects.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Order Up Cafe

A restaurant review.

One Sunday morning, Zane and I woke up and said, "Let's go out to breakfast before church." We decided to go to Order Up Cafe, one of the local restaurants on my list of places to try out.

We dropped in about 9:45, and there were a few tables, but I was surprised by the number of people in there. I had the idea that many of them were regulars, based on their camaraderie with the waitresses.

The atmosphere was pretty plain. But I liked the openness of the dining room. We snagged a booth near the window...and sunk into it. My legs were balancing on the wooden frame of the seat, which was kind of uncomfortable, but I didn't want to sit at a table either. I suggest they get new booth cushions.

The breakfast menu was pretty extensive, but all of it was heavy. I got the Order Up breakfast special, which can be found on their website. It was fried eggs, a biscuit, home-ground sausage and breakfast potatoes, which were red potatoes fried in some awesome seasoning. Zane got a corn beef hash and veggie omelete. We were both satisfied, but I don't know if either of us would rave about it.

They also have a breakfast special of pumpkin cranberry french toast. I think I'd like to try it, but I'll have to be ready for a sugar overload that day.

The service was really great. Our waitress was super sweet and low-key. She brought us potato samples before we ordered.

The prices were reasonable. What you would expect - about $6-9 a plate.

I don't know if we'll be inclined to return, but it was a pretty good experience. If you like heavy diner food, then it's perfect for you.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Paradox of Pregnancy Feelings

I feel like I'm always talking about pregnancy, which was something that used to tick me off about pregnant people. Again with "the what goes around comes around" thing. It's hard to forget I'm pregnant, though, and much of my life is consumed with preparing for this baby. This musing is about the paradox of feelings that I have about being pregnant.

Pregnancy isn't comfortable. I think that the curse on women for pain in childbirth extends to all things related to childbirth: menstruation, pregnancy, labor and delivery, raising babies.

But I love being pregnant. I love my belly more as it gets bigger. I love feeling her inside of me! Sometimes I feel like my pregnancy is going too fast. I'm already seven months! I'm sad to think about packing away my maternity clothes in a little while.

But I'm also looking forward to having my body back, even if it's never quite the same. It'll be nice to move furniture, sit on the floor easily, sleep on my back, and be more comfortable in other ways.

But I love food! I don't want to go back to not liking it.

But I'm excited to see Daisy, to hold her, to get to know her personality. There are also lots of other things in life to explore and pursue after Daisy comes into this world.

But I get a little worried about life becoming all about Daisy. People are really nice to you when you're pregnant, and I love all the positive attention. I have this fear that I'll be in the hospital after delivery, an exhausted bloody mess, and everyone will be ooing and awing over Daisy - including me - but no one will say "Good job, Deb!" (That probably won't happen, but it's a fear, and most my mom friends have said that I won't care when the time comes).

But then I also think, "Wow, I get to bring so many people joy, because I'll be the one bringing her into the world!" No one else can deliver Daisy but me, and that makes me so excited! What a privilege!

The other day told Zane I couldn't wait to be skinny again. Ten minutes later I said that pregnancy was going by too quickly. It's the paradox of pregnancy. I love that I am finally experiencing something that I've wanted my entire life. The delayed gratification has made it all the more special.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Wall Shelf Refresh

Wednesday I had some unexpected time when I was waiting for Rufio to get finished at the groomers. I didn't know how much time I'd have before the groomer called me, so I grabbed this wall shelf, which I have been meaning to refresh for the nursery, and went to town. 

When I was in high school, I had pictures in those frames. In college, I made these dance letters. Now it'll be Daisy's - and guess what? Her name has five letters!

I actually did this in crayon, because my markers are pretty dried up. I don't own pretty gel pens and I didn't wan to buy supplies. Painting letters is kinda hard for me, so I went with crayons. Crayons are not the easiest medium to work with, but they do have bright fun colors. 

I didn't finish before the groomer called, but I was able to finish it up in the afternoon. I matted them with green card stock and stuck them back in. A quick, fun art project for a day with a little unexpected time. Can't wait to show you how it looks in the room...whenever I get to that. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Daisy's Bookshelf - Left Side Painting

This table has been in the family for its whole life. My great grandfather and great grandma used it for their turntable, the interior for records. I think that was its original intended purpose. Since then it's mostly been used as a TV table by my grandparents, parents and me.

My grandma used it as a bookshelf when my uncle was a toddler, and he'd go into the family room every morning and pull out all the books. Now it'll be Daisy's. It's going in her nursery as a bookshelf, and I imagine she will eventually pull out all the books just like her great uncle.

I sanded it down and spray painted it lavender. The paint color is actually called gumdrop. After I finished, I realized the shade was a little too bright and more pink than purple. It was super overpowering. 

The overpowering color motivated me to paint the side panels. I was going to do that to my other bookshelf, but that project got rejected

Here are some pictures of evolution of the left side panel painting: 

The final product:

I finished it this week and started on the other side. I'll share that with you when I finish it. It's going to be a completely different picture, but with similar colors so it coordinates. I'm excited about it! Stay tuned for the right side painting.

After I finish both sides, I'll polyurethane the whole thing so the paintings will be secure.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cheap and Yummy Chicken Salad

Lately, I've been trying to cut back on grocery shopping. Plan meals, etc. I made egg salad on Sunday, so I wouldn't have to buy deli meat this week. Monday at lunch I realized the egg salad was kind of bland and not super filling, so I spiced it up for the rest of the week. Tuesday's sandwich was freakin' awesome.

4.5 oz can of chicken shredded (or you can use tuna) (I'm guessing on the oz size. It's the small can that looks like a tuna can, but it's actually chicken, and not chicken of the sea.)
4-6 hard boiled eggs chopped up
1-2 apples chopped up (I used 2 really small yellow delicious ones, which were delicious)
A bunch of spoonfuls of mayo
A bunch of squirts of yellow mustard
A couple squirts of spicy brown mustard
Several taps of paprika (I'm guessing 1/4 tsp)
Several taps of black pepper

Just make it the consistency that you like. Then mix it all up and put it on bread with provolone cheese and spinach leaves. Eat it. Then you can die happy because you just ate an awesome sandwich. That's how I felt after eating mine.

It makes about eight sandwiches, depending on how much you pile on your sandwich.

Can of chicken - $1.20. (Tuna's like $.69 a can. If you like tuna, go the cheaper route!)
4-6 eggs - $.75
1-2 apples - $.50
Condiments/spices - $.50
Total: $2.95
Total per serving: $.37 (before the cost of bread/cheese/spinach) What a deal!

Additional Ingredients:
If I had sweet relish, celery, and/or craisins in my pantry that day, I would have added them, but I was going with what I had on hand. Just throw in whatever you like! That's how I make everything. (Disclaimer: sometimes I have to throw out disgusting combinations [green smoothie almost made me vomit earlier this week], but not this combo! This is a safe, yummy combo!).

Sorry, no photo of the sandwich or the chicken salad. I ate it too fast. Here's someone else's photo of hard boiled eggs for your viewing pleasure. Mine were boiled harder than that, though. I don't like the yoke to be squishy.
via flickr

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Crazy Daisy on the Move

Daisy's been moving a lot lately, which is definitely a cool experience. Last night she got crazy around 10:00pm when I was reading. I had to take a video for you guys. My sister says she either loves or hates those Game of Thrones books. 

Daisy moving in my belly.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Daisy Love of California

A friend passed along this blog to me, Pray for Daisy. There's this girl in California named Daisy Love, which the same name that we chose for our daughter. My friend sent me the blog because of the name coincidence, and as soon as I started reading, I was hooked.

California Daisy is seven years old and just this week underwent surgery to remove a tumor that was wrapped around her spleen. They had to take her spleen out too. This is her third bout with cancer in three years.

I shed a lot of tears while reading her story. The timing was good, because I was introduced to her story the same day as her surgery, but with enough time that I could pray for her while she was in surgery.

I feel a connection with her family.

We're connected in Christ. She's the daughter of a pastor in Santa Barbara.

We're connected through childhood cancer. I think of my in-laws, and how they suffered and persevered through Zane's childhood cancer. I didn't go through it with them, but hearing their stories always breaks my heart. God saved Zane and gave him a strong, fruitful life. I want Him to do the same for Daisy.

We're connected through suffering. I know what it's like to question God, to fight for joy in the midst of sorrow, and to resolve to praise Him no matter what life brings.

We're connected through our girls' names. I think of my little Daisy Love in my belly. Here I was thinking it was such a unique name, and before she's even born, I learn of another Daisy Love across the country. I want to tell my little girl about California Daisy and how God saved her life.

You can follow on Facebook too, which I started doing today. Her dad posts updates and scripture, but it's linked to the blog, so it's the same information.

Zane and I started praying for her when we pray for our own Daisy Love. Maybe you can remember to do that too. I know there were a lot of people praying for me, Zane, and our Daisy before she was conceived, people I didn't even know. I'm glad I can do that for California Daisy.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Babymoon Anniversary Trip - Day 2

Here's part two of our Sarasota vacation! Part one can be found here

Saturday morning we started the day with pedicures. Zane was surprisingly willing. He loved the massage part but didn't like the part where she picked at his toenails. I loved all of it. I almost fell asleep while she was massaging my calves. We walked away with happy, beautiful feet.

Then we ate lunch at Peach's Restaurant, which I posted about yesterday. We considered going to the Ringling Museum, but we chose mini golf instead. We're not anti-museum people, but neither of us were super excited about it, so we thought we'd save it for another trip. 

Zane and I both got holes in one! I actually got two during that round. We came back after dinner and played again (they had a special going for a second round in one day), and Zane got another hole in one! We're just great at putt putt. We each won round, so we're pretty well-matched too. 

Then we headed back to the hotel to get ready for our nice evening out at St. Armand's Circle.

28 weeks and officially into the third trimester!

We walked around St. Armand's Circle and checked out all the menus before finally deciding to eat at Tango. We ate on the walkway, because the sun was setting and the weather was beautiful. Tango was an excellent restaurant experience. Our hostess and waiter were both really attentive and sweet.

The food was so good too! Zane got a skirt steak, and I got coconut crusted chicken with raisin sauce. Just writing about it makes me want to go back and get some more. We also got Philadelphia sushi rolls as an appetizer. That was my first sushi experience, and I concluded that I haven't been missing anything. 

Kilwin's was just a few stores down from Tango, so we had to get ice cream! We also got some yummy fudge. 

Enjoying a delicious mint chocolate chip ice cream cone.

The next morning was Easter Sunday, and we had already decided to not go to church. We ate a Peach's and tried to go shopping, but EVERYWHERE was closed, including the Ellenton outlets. Apparently Easter is treated like Thanksgiving and Christmas in the retail world. This surprised me, because I figure there are a lot of people in the country who do not celebrate Easter. But maybe I'm wrong. I don't know what all the Jewish and Muslim people did on Sunday, but I know they didn't go shopping. 

We decided that we're better off hanging out with family on Easter from now on. I missed my home church too. Oh well, lesson learned. 

We saw Wrath of the Titans, which I enjoyed more than the first one. I thought it was a pretty great movie. I was delighted to see Rosumund Pike in the leading lady role. You may know her as Jane from the 2005 Pride and Prejudice. I think she's a fantastic actress and absolutely beautiful. Who knew that you could look so gorgeous when you're fighting monsters and such?

We ended our sweet weekend with Easter dinner with Zane's family. My sister-in-law is pregnant too, due 10 days after me, both with our first babies, so it's extra fun to share pregnancy stories and talk baby stuff with her. Can't wait until the six of us officially become eight this summer!

There you have it - our fantastic anniversary/babymoon. It will go down as one of our best vacations ever. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Peach's Restaurants

A restaurant review.

We went to Sarasota on an anniversary trip last weekend, and through Urbanspoon we came across Peach's Restaurant. It's a breakfast, brunch, lunch restaurant. We were looking for local places with light menu items.

We weren't sure when we pulled into the parking lot, because it looked rundown from the outside, but I think it was just the plaza. I'm glad we got out of the car and gave it a chance, because we LOVED it!

The atmosphere was country-like and the service was really great. Very low-key and laid back, but attentive and sweet. The food was delicious!

I got a chicken salad crossoint with fresh fruit on the side. The fruit was amazing. It was made up of honeydew, cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberries and grapes. I ate the melons first, because they're usually not ripe at all, but these were cut really well - none of the rind was on them. You know what I mean too, if you've ever ordered "fresh fruit" at restaurants. The chicken salad crossoint was to die for. I inhaled it.

Zane got a wrap. I can't remember exactly what kind it was, but he loved his too. He got the fries, which were crispy and delicious, and I kind of regret not ordering them for myself.

We loved it so much that we went to a different location for breakfast the next morning. I got a ham and cheese croissont (couldn't say no to the crossoint!) and it was delicious! Zane got a traditional eggs and sausage breakfast that he said was okay. Not anything special. But they have quiches and other interesting items to try if we ever return.

We took some menus with us, even though there aren't any Orlando locations. If you're over in Bradenton/Sarasota area, go check out Peach's!! I can't recommend it enough!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Babymoon Anniversary Trip - Day 1

This past weekend Zane and I celebrated four years of marriage on an anniversary trip/babymoon to Sarasota. We had such a wonderful time doing lots of fun things, which I will share with you now.

We drove over on Thursday night, leaving Rufio with Zane's parents. Our hotel was right off the interstate, and we got in a little after 9:00pm. We were both exhausted. The shower head fell off during Zane's shower, so we got upgraded to huge room for the same price. We would have found another hotel if they hadn't upgraded us, but we were pretty happy with the new room.

Friday we went to Siesta Key beach. I dared to wear a bikini, which was only scary before I took off my cover-up dress. After I exposed my belly, I forced myself to be oblivious to others. That's the same bathing suit I wore on our honeymoon. Zane was on modesty patrol and said I need to get a new one that fits better. Okay, fine.

Full belly exposure.

Siesta Key is a popular beach - just look at all the people in the background. There were several layers of people from the water on up the beach.

We had fun throwing a football, flying a kite, and jumping over the waves. It was the best beach weather ever too: breezy and beautiful! The water was cool and refreshing, not too cold. And neither of us got sun burned.

Zane took this awesome picture. He's so cool.

Afterwards, we went to lunch in the village at The Hub, which was fun. The food was good, the atmosphere was great, but the service was just okay. Polite and nice, but not super attentive.

We shopped for a while, bought a shell night light for Daisy's room, swam in the hotel pool, and headed back out for dinner and a movie. 

We went to Lakewood Ranch, which is one of those live here-work here all-inclusive communities, like Celebration. Apparently they have a "First Fridays" community event with live music and booths, so the marketplace streets were swarming with people.

Phone picture while waiting for our table.
We ate at MacAllisters, which to me was just okay. Zane loved his ribs, but we had to flag down our waitress just to place our order, get refills, get the check...anything we needed. Maybe she was unattentive because it was so busy that night due to "First Fridays." She was working about five tables.

Then we saw Mirror, Mirror. We both liked it, although Zane liked it more than I did. The costumes and sets were great. The story was cute, but how many times can I handle the story of Snow White? At least once more, because I want to see the huntsman one too.

Friday was a perfect day, which ended with the joy of knowing we would wake up to another full day of vacation on Saturday.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Wind Trailers

Last summer I was so privileged to be part of the filming of The Wind. I wrote about it here. Well, guess what? There are two teaser trailers out for it now! I hope they get you as excited as they got me. I can't wait to see the film!

Here are the two links to youtube:

And here's a production still of yours truly: 

And here's where you can like the film on FB: 

It's a short film that's already been submitted to film festivals around the country. The trailer footage looks amazing, so I'm super excited to see the whole thing. Check out the website linked above for more information. I'll keep you updated with details about the the premiere. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Vanity and Pregnancy

"She blew up like a whale" versus "She was all belly."

I'm 27 weeks and just barely entering my third trimester. They say you should gain 25-35 pounds throughout your entire pregnancy. I've already passed that, so yep, I'm headed toward the whale side of the scale.

Today the OB told me to cut down on my sugar intake, stop drinking juice, only have sweets one day a week. Paired with some comments about my size earlier this week, those orders depressed me. Not because I'll miss the sweets (although I will), but because I hate the strong grip that my vanity has over me.

Weight has never been an issue for me. Neither has food over-consumption. Just when I started to realize why the world loves food so much, I'm faced with the super frustrating discipline of portion control and eating right.

I'm hungry all the time! And I want dessert!

There's a double-standard for pregnant women. Eat whatever you want, enjoy it, you're pregnant! But maintain the highly desirable "all-belly" body.

Maybe I'm pressuring myself to this standard, but based on the two common statements at the beginning of this post, I'd say it's a pretty universal standard in the western world. I wish pregnant women received a "get out of judgement free" card, but they don't. I'm guilty. I've TOTALLY noticed when women exploded during their third trimesters and thought, "Yikes."

Maybe that's why I'm feeling extra depressed. What goes around comes around.

What's most frustrating to me is that pregnancy weight is causing me to want to rush the third trimester to get to breastfeeding when I'm supposed to lose weight really fast. What the heck? I'm more concerned with looking "pretty" (translation: thin) again, than I am enjoying being pregnant! No! Stop it, self!

I wanted to be pregnant, and growing big is part of it. Struggling with body changes is part of it too.

Daisy's not twins. I'm looking round. I'm filled out. I'm swollen. I'm not even close to being done, so watch out - because this former rail is turning into a whale, no matter what my diet and exercise looks like. There's no losing weight in healthy pregnancies, especially trimester three.

I have no choice but to be okay with that.

I appreciate all of the comments this week about me looking beautiful. I've been wrestling with the definition of beauty and pregnancy. I can hear a dozen "You're so cute" comments, but the ones that stick are the negative few. I'm not going to turn away compliments, but I would really appreciate prayer for my heart, because apparently vanity is weakness of mine. I want to feel confident and beautiful, no matter what I look like.

P.S. I don't only want to rush the third trimester to go back to my other body. I also really want to meet Daisy!

But seriously, pray for my sanctification. Vanity cannot rule my life!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bookshelf Re-do Reject

One of my projects last week was to repaint this bookshelf for the nursery. We painted the walls almost the exact same shade of blue, so it looked funny staying in there this color. Since I painted my other furniture pieces, I was feeling pretty confident with this one. 

The blue was painted over a very slick white that hadn't been primed. It flaked off easily. No problem, because I was going to sand it anyways. I sanded for 30-45 minutes before I started having second thoughts. The paint flaked off enough to require sanding, but not enough to make it easy. 

At first, I thought I'd only have to sand the edges of the shelves, but I started sanding the side and realized the entire bookshelf required sanding to remove all the paint. Then it would definitely need priming before it could finally be painted. 
That's when I decided this bookshelf was fine to stay in the garage for a while. A project reject. 

I have another bookshelf for Daisy's room, which I'll hopefully finish sometime next week. I was working on three re-painting projects that day, so reducing it to two was no trouble at all. Someday I might get the motivation to go to town with a heavy-duty sanding block, but not anytime soon. 

Not every project is worth the work. I have to choose where to invest time and energy. I think you'll all be pleased with the choice I made when I show it to you. Here's a sneak peek of the before:

Monday, April 2, 2012

Seeing Two Lines

I didn't talk about being pregnant on here until I was pretty far along, so I never really shared my pregnancy discovery story with you guys. But I'm going to now. Some of this might be TMI, because I discuss my menstruation expectation, so read with caution.

We weren’t necessarily trying that month. We were always “trying,” but we hadn’t done anything differently. I was expecting my period on the weekend, and I ended up testing on Friday morning, because I was anxious. I often tested before my period, because the tests I had were early detection tests. They detected 10 mlU/ml/hCG, which is really early. The text came back negative. All I had to do was wait for my period.

Friday I ended up having cramps and spotting, so I figured my full-on period would come on Saturday. But Saturday and Sunday brought nothing.

Sunday afternoon we went out to lunch with friends who have kids. It was really emotionally hard for me that day. I remember laying down to take a nap and praying out my feelings. I cried some, not sobs, but just tears. I said something to God like, "I really want you to give me a kid. I don't want to try to manipulate you out of my sorrow, like 'make my sadness go away.' I just really want a baby." Then I fell asleep.

Monday, October 24th, at work, I looked up implantation, because I know that you can spot when the egg implants. In all my years of research, I hadn't ever learned that hCG doesn’t start to build in your system until after implantation. Since I spotted after my test on Friday, I thought there was a possibility. When I got home, I tested right away.

There were two lines.

I started crying, sobbing. I was shaking and sobbing and saying, “Oh my God” over and over again. I ran for my camera and took a picture of the test with shaky hands. Rufio chased me around the house, probably wondering what was wrong with me. I couldn’t stop crying. After a while, I started alternating, “Is this real? Please let it be real!” in between my “Oh my God”’s.

It was 3:30pm. I texted Zane. He wasn’t going to be home until 6pm. Three hours before I could tell someone!

Then I started to worry that it was a false positive. I searched the type of pregnancy test I had, and apparently false positives occur if hCG levels are lower than 25. Since my test detected 10, I drove up to Walgreens and looked for the non-early detection tests. The plus sign showed up immediately on that one too.

I busied myself in the kitchen baking for a work party and making chili for dinner, but after I was finished I was anxious for Zane to get home. I sat on the couch and watched the driveway.

I don't know how long it took, but Zane finally arrived. I opened the door and welcomed him home, gauging his mood. It seemed good. We walked to the kitchen, and I held up the ziplock bag that contained the two positive tests.

He stared at it for a moment before saying, “What does that mean?”

(Later I learned that he originally thought I was holding up a negative test and was preparing himself for a hard night, but then he saw the two lines).

I shrugged and smiled. He smiled, “Really?” I nodded and shrugged. Then he came around and hugged me and we both got teary eyed. I cried a little more.

We were both in shock. Neither of us said it right away, but we both were waiting for the bad news. We were so used to bad news, we couldn’t believe that there wasn’t something following this. We ate dinner and just kind of talked it over saying, “I can’t believe it.” a lot.

We told our parents that night, which are two different stories of their own.

I hope you enjoyed this peek into our lives last October. We were pretty scared and shocked, but in the last six months, 99% of that has faded away. We're so excited to meet Daisy now that I only get afraid of bad news every once in a while. I think it's hard to ever let the possibility of bad news leave my mind. There's aways that chance, not that we should dwell on it. I'm prayerfully expecting a great delivery and a healthy baby girl.

Thanks again to all of you for your prayers throughout this whole crazy endeavor!