What a whirlwind of a weekend. It was packed. We got up early on Saturday to go to an all-day (9:00-4:30) childbirth class taught at Vanderbilt's 100 Oaks location. Nate had to work through the two-hour breastfeeding class I took a couple weeks ago, but he got the day off for this which was good. He needs to know what's going on. There were videos that I'm sure he would like to unsee, but from what I hear from friends, the videos we saw were much less graphic/more censored than the videos some classes show.

Our teacher was great and I definitely feel a lot less nervous about giving birth and confident in my decision to use epidural. The class also helped generate some specific questions I can ask my midwife at my next appointment.

The weather this weekend was wonderful! We were sad to spend most of Saturday indoors, but we did get to sit outside for lunch. I think the high reached into the 70s. Yesterday was in the high 60s, but unfortunately today's high is like 41. I am so ready for spring!

After class, we drove down to Franklin to celebrate a friend's 30th birthday. It was fun to spend the evening with lots of friends from Immanuel. We monitored the score of the KU game and made it home to see the end of the Wichita State game. March Madness is right around the corner. It's pretty much the best time of the year.

On Sunday, Jerry Root preached at Immanuel. Dr. Root is a renowned C.S. Lewis scholar and professor at Wheaton College. He is an excellent teacher and preached on God's love, even paralleling God's relationship with us and our dementia about our great love story with the plot from The Notebook. You can listen to the sermon through Immanuel's podcast page.

Then I drove up to Springfield—a 45-minute drive—to pick up a crib. So, so thankful for the generosity of friends (and strangers)! This crib is super nice; we are borrowing it from friends of friends who don't need it for awhile. Baby Jones' room and closet is starting to fill up with clothes and gear, and we are getting more and more excited about his arrival. I think the only "big" thing we still need is some sort of dresser we can also use as a changing table. We might use Nate's old dresser and just get him a new one because it's really small, but it definitely needs cleaned up and maybe some fresh paint.

I got home in time to start making some seasoned beef for tacos. Got that cooked up and headed to care group. We just started a care group at the home of some friends who live barely over a mile from us, which is awesome. Care groups are groups of Immanuel friends who get together a couple times a month to share life and pray for each other. Nate had to work this week, but we enjoyed potluck taco salads and asked the Lord to do big things. We are blessed by these friends.

Somehow I managed to get a couple loads of laundry in during the day. Nate beat me home and folded the laundry that was done and moved the second load into the dryer. We went to bed/collapsed on clean sheets and pillowcases—my favorite.


From Announcements to Invites: Baby Stationery for the Modern Mom

(This guest post is brought to you by Shutterfly.)

In the olden days, the news of a mom’s pregnancy or a baby’s birth traveled the good old-fashioned way—via word of mouth. Nowadays, many like to go the all-digital route, announcing their pregnancy on their favorite social media site – but what if you want to land somewhere in the middle? Fortunately, modern-day moms have several options at their fingertips, and it all starts with stationery.

Today, moms-to-be can design and order customized stationery for every stage of their pregnancy and baby’s birth. Oftentimes you can even get matching suites of stationery! You can choose from a variety of colors and fonts to customize your own stationery to your liking. Don’t have an eye for design? One great option is to use templates, which allow you to drop your own photos and wording into a layout that’s pleasing to the eye.

Here are some baby stationery options to help you celebrate the birth of your little one and share it with your world:
  • Pregnancy announcements. This is like the save the dates of the pregnancy experience. Just like engaged couples share their joy by announcing their upcoming wedding date, you get to announce the impending arrival of your little bundle of joy. A lot of women opt for pregnancy photo sessions with their significant other and any other children they may have. You can include these photos on the announcement or not – do what’s comfortable.
  • Baby shower invites. Even though the mom-to-be does not typically send out baby showerinvitations – it’s usually a friend or family member throwing the shower – you can recommend sending out customized invites that match the rest of your stationery suite.
  • Thank you cards. After a shower, it’s awesome to have thank you cards on hand. Why not order cards that match your invites and other stationery items? It will make your cards stand out from the rest – and besides, it’s just fun! Remember to order extra in case you receive gifts after your baby arrives.
  • Birth announcements. Probably the most important piece of stationery, birth announcements are the perfect way to let your family and friends know about the arrival of your angel. It’s a good idea to design the perfect announcement ahead of time so all you have to do once your baby arrives is insert a picture and any other details (weight, time of birth, etc.) – and click order!
  • Address labels. Of course, matching address labels aren’t necessary, but they sure are adorable and fun. What better way to send your announcements and thank you cards off in style than to post them with a return label featuring your new son or daughter’s name and picture?
This is by no means a comprehensive list! Other stationery options include notepads, gift tags, baptism invitations, mommy cards, and more. As a modern mom-to-be, examine your options and create fun stationery to celebrate the birth of your little miracle.

Author Bio: Heather Hewitt is a seasoned writer and guest author who enjoys connecting people with thoughtful products, services and ideas as they relate to crafting, photography, gift giving and personal expression.


baby cat.

Miles has been jumping into the bassinet on his own. I even caught Otis in it once. We are definitely going to have to de-hair a few things before Baby Jones arrives. :-)


snow dome.

There have been a lot of snow days for local schools that didn't actually include any snow. I don't mind. Living in Nashville has kind of turned Nate and me into softies. We don't get excited about snow. I mean, we don't freak out like the Southerners do, but it's a pain trying to drive in a place that is not prepared to deal with snow.

Nashville has not received more than an inch of snow from a single storm since February 9, 2011. Three years! And on that day, we got 1.4" and there were reports of people's typically brief commutes lasting hours. Fortunately I was home early that day. So suspicions arose that Nashville is covered by a mysterious snow dome, keeping snow away from Music City. And now I believe it:


domestic efforts.

Nate worked most of Saturday, so I spent the day cleaning. I think it's nesting starting to kick in. That and having clutter and cat hair everywhere and a sink full of dirty dishes just makes me stressed out. I've been intending to do a good cleaning but have lacked motivation, so I decided I'd not only clean but do a little rearranging.

My efforts were concentrated on the living room. I moved a couple of short bookcases from the study (soon to be baby room) into the front room, pushed the TV to a spot under the window, and slightly moved the couches a bit to the south. The result was a room that not only feels clean, it feels inviting. The arrangement opened up a little more floor space, and the bookshelves make it a room to come sit and read, not just watch TV.

When Nate got home, he carried my mixer down from the attic so I could make a strawberry cheesecake. Our last trip to the Cheesecake Factory, we skipped dessert because the cheesecake always disappoints us, especially for the price. I used a strawberry cheesecake recipe that is easy. Unfortunately the instructions on the website are just one big paragraph, so I wrote it out as 1) crust, 2) strawberry sauce, and 3) cheesecake.

Maybe I let it mix long enough to get plenty of air into it, but this cheesecake turned out to be the best—the creamiest and most beautiful—cheesecake I've ever made. It didn't even crack in the oven.

The worst part about cheesecake is having to refrigerate it overnight, which means waiting to eat it. But we enjoyed it on Sunday afternoon. Mmmm.

Sunday afternoons always make me worry we have a carbon monoxide leak. Naps for everyone! (We have a CO detector, don't worry.) We just crash really hard and wake up feeling like we got hit by a truck. That's what Sunday afternoons are for, right?

Baby Jones countdown: 9 weeks, 5 days.
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