Today is a good day.

Right now it is nap time at the English house and I'll admit that this is one of my favorite times of day. Is that bad to say? I absolutely love being home with Turner, but this is my "me" time. A chance to light a candle and relax, a time to catch up on some sleep, a chance to read a book or watch netflix, a chance to BLOG! Some days I will prep for dinner, clean, or do laundry... even though that may not sound like "me" time, I love checking things off the list, so it makes me happy.  Turner has been consistently napping from 1-4(ish) and I am LOVING it.  Really hoping this continues after his baby brother/sister is born... but yeah right, it's probably all going to change.

Today I am feeling rejuventated, optimistic, and refreshed.  Thursdays are such a treat for me because of my church small group bible study through Restoration.  We meet on Thursday mornings at a friend's home (with childcare provided!) so the moms can have a couple of hours to spend time together, take a deeper look at the passage that was preached on Sunday, and pray for one another. I am so encouraged, challenged, and blessed by this time and I learn so much from these women!

On our way home today Turner and I had a fun surprise lunch with one of my best friends here, Mickey and her son Dawson! Mickey is home from work today, so it was a real treat to get to hang out with them during the middle of the day.  I really do have the greatest group of friends here.  Over a year ago, I was really nervous to move to so far away from home, knowing no one, and being a stay at home mom to (at the time) a 4 month old.  It took some time, but I met one person, then another, and another and before I knew it I had this amazing support system of friends with kids.  Some days I feel guilty that Jesse is at work and I get to go spend our money (mainly at the grocery store...) and hang out with friends, but I am SO grateful for this wonderful community I have here.  Today is a good day.

Turner and Dawson hanging out at the playground.


Getting ready for baby!

We had a great summer in the Pacific Northwest, but there were a few things that made me so excited to get back to our little life in the DC area -- our friends, our church, but especially one little (growing) thing - our baby.  All summer long my appetite was growing, my body was changing, my mindset of childbirth expanding, but because we weren't in our home, I couldn't fully prepare for a new baby to join our family. Nesting is a serious thing and I feel like I haven't stopped since we got back!

Now Turner's room has been updated, we have a cradle and a glider in our bedroom, we've hung some new art, and we've reorganized our closets to make room. I've pulled out the infant carseat, baby bathtub, and Turner's gender neutral baby clothes have been washed. (I seriously forgot how small newborn onesies are.)  My mind is now racing through lists of things to get done and things to pack... thinking of how our lives are about to change... what is the baby's gender... what is the baby's name?!?!?

But the funny thing is with having a baby, even though you have this due date that you have been holding onto from the first doctor's visit, you never really know when this huge life change is going to happen! Tomorrow I will be 38 weeks.  My water broke with Turner the day I turned 40 weeks.  Technically, this baby is full term and could come at any time. I am feeling great -- wonderful, actually. I do get tired at the end of the day, but that is to be expected.  The weather here is gorgeous.  It is currently 67 degrees, sunny with no clouds in the sky, no humidity, and a cool breeze. 

This change of the weather signals a new season. I think we are ready... if you ever really are.  I'm not looking forward to the sleepless nights, the seemingly endless nursing sessions, allllll the diapers, but I am looking forward to experiencing the gift of motherhood again with a new baby.  I'm strangely looking forward to labor and I absolutely cannot wait to meet our boy or girl.


A trip back South

So, picking up where I left off... Next up in our crazy summer was a month long stay in Mississippi! Our time there started at the beach with my family, ended with Kelley and Trae's wedding, with little visits with friends scattered in the middle. 

 My Dad's family goes to Gulf Shores, Alabama every year for a huge family reunion. I haven't been able to go the past few years, so I really wanted to go this year! This is also one of the few times I get to see my sisters and their families all together, so I didn't want to miss out.  After our weekend getaway to Seattle, Mom stayed in town for a few days extra to be able to help me on my flight back to Mississippi with Turner.  I'm so glad to have had her help! We landed in Jackson, then 2 days later, packed up the car and headed to the beach.  We were there for a long weekend and it was so great to get to see all of my family.  It was so fun to watch my niece and nephews play with Turner.

Meanwhile, this is what Jesse and Maggie were up to...

One of Turner's favorite spots in Madison was the splash pad at Renaissance... so fun!

My sweet friends from college threw a baby "sprinkle" for me and it was so great to get to see everyone!  We had a great time at the sprinkle, went to dinner that night, and some girls spent the night. I miss these girls SO MUCH!  I am now one of 5 that are pregnant... and 2 more just had babies. I love being pregnant with my friends.

Lindsay and I together at the sprinkle with both of our babies #2!

I really enjoyed getting to spend time with my parents.  They are such loving grandparents and I cherish the times that we can be around them.

Another highlight of my time in MS was getting to go to Dan and Ameka's wedding!  Dan was my boss, but more than that, a WONDERFUL friend during my time that we were in Starkville.  I LOVED getting to be at his wedding and to see so many of my old coworkers. I sure do miss my Admissions family.

We got to spend a few days in Starkville and stayed with the Wardens!  Lindsay has since had her second baby, but we got to enjoy being pregnant together again with our #2s.  The week went a little differently than we had expected with their air going out, but we made the most of it and had a great time together!  Turner and Everett had so much fun playing together. A few weeks after I left, they welcomed sweet baby Hudson to the world.  I love experiencing motherhood with her.

After our time in Starkville, Turner and I made our way further north to Tupelo/New Albany/Memphis to get ready for wedding festivities!  We went to (I think) 5 showers over the next week leading up to the wedding day! One shower was a combined bridal and baby shower for both of us, so that was fun!  We went out with sweet friends for a little girl nights out the weekend before the wedding.  

Turner was so happy when Jesse joined us for the wedding!


Kelley and Trae's wedding day - July 20, 2013. Most of these pictures are from Facebook that Phil Van Zandt (photographer and friend) took.  To see all of the wedding photos, visit his website!

Kelley was a beautiful bride and the wedding was perfect! Welcome to the family, Trae! 

We had a great time in Mississippi and were so blessed to get to see so many of our friends and family. The day after the wedding, Jesse, Turner and I drove back to Jackson and caught our flight back to Portland.  We were exhausted but happy to get back to our little family of 3 and live up our last few weeks in the Pacific Northwest.