Saturday, September 27, 2014

The little things.

As I talked about last time, I think patience will be a difficult lesson for be in these next few weeks as we wait for baby to make his/her arrival. Being a very planned person, it's so unbelievably strange to have no idea what the birth experience will be like or when it will happen. I'm excited to find out, but also very anxious.

This is an awesome Saturday morning- we slept in, made a nice breakfast, and got to relax together. I am trying to enjoy it, but am fighting thoughts about wondering when this baby will come, wishing it would come soon, wanting to be done with conferences next week/work in general, etc. Oh, the battles of the mind...

So, to try to take my mind off of the big things, here is a list of the little things I am thankful for this week. Because sometimes the little things are actually the biggest...

1. Making cookies.
2. Seeing my family.
3. Kids at school gently touching my belly.
4. Kids at school asking everyday when the baby will come (for some reason, that endless question never gets old).
5. Carrying a healthy baby (although that is actually a really big deal, and we are so thankful).
6. Feeling the baby move.
7. Sleeping better than I have been recently.
8. Really perfect grapes (only my dad truly understands this love).
9. Receiving a check in the mail for $20.08 from our insurance company, because apparently they made a mistake and we paid too much.
10. Our nursery furniture shipment arriving.
11. Sleeping in.
12. Installing our car seat and setting up baby swings.
13. Kley giving me really excellent foot rubs this week for my swollen feet (and he even painted my toenails, and actually did a really good job!).
14. Being prepared for conferences (now just getting through next week and meeting with the parents).
15. Having only two weeks of work left.
16. Planning a special day to celebrate my last day in two weeks together.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Living in the moment.

These last few days at school have been hard/long for me. You know when a big change is coming and that looming feeling you have over you (which can be both good or bad)? I definitely feel that. With being 36.5 weeks pregnant, to only having 2.5 more weeks of work left, to the impending arrival of baby De Jong...I definitely feel like huge change is ahead, which I am really looking forward to. I have always wanted to be a mom.

But, that is also making these days just creep by and feel really long. I have felt like I have been praying less and complaining more lately, and I don't like that or want that to be true. I selfishly just want to fast forward these next few weeks until I am done working and holding our little one. That is the worst, because I have definitely learned the hard way that discontentment is a really bad place to be. It inhibits so many things in life, especially my relationship with God. Whenever I want to fast forward (or rewind) time, I find myself discontent, which means I am more easily prone to complaining, whining, or just being grumpy.

I felt that today a lot- like the work day was endless and I just wanted to be done (especially since I dealt with several intense tantrums). Even though today wasn't the best and I came home feeling really worn out/tired/defeated, I don't want that to ruin the rest of my night or go into tomorrow with negative feelings (even though that can be hard sometimes).

I want to enjoy these last few days of work with my kids/coworkers, because I truly am blessed to work at such a great school. It has been an amazing place for me to grow spiritually and professionally. I love my kids and I love what I do. I want to soak up these last moments with them.

I want to enjoy these last couple weeks of pregnancy (however long I have left), and treasure the amazing moments where I get to feel this little one move. What an incredible feeling that's unlike anything else. Even though I feel uncomfortable at times, I am so grateful to be pregnant and that we are healthy.

There are big changes coming (really soon!) for us, and I am excited/anxious for them, but I don't want to lose this time I have now by wishing for something else/feeling discontent. I want to live these last days in the moment- embracing both my last days at school and my last days with this baby inside me.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Apple picking that ended up at Hickory Park.

This morning we went to Center Grove Orchard with some friends from church to go apple picking. We debated about going at all because it was supposed to rain, but we decided to try. I was excited to go because I had heard from numerous people how awesome this orchard is. Unfortunately, when we got there, they told us the apples weren't ready for picking so we couldn't go. Oops. So we were there for about 15 minutes looking through the gift/treat shop. (I hope to go back again and experience the real thing!)

We were going to go to another orchard that was close by to pick apples, but then decided not because it was raining. So, we decided to go to Hickory Park for lunch. Even though it wasn't apple picking, I have heard many good things about Hickory Park, so I was excited to try something new. I have heard from so many people that if you are in Ames, you have to go to Hickory Park. I know of people from Des Moines who make special trips to Ames just to go, so I guess I had high expectations.

It was good, but I was a tad disappointed. The food was good, but it didn't blow me away. I also may have been tainted by the fact that we had to wait a long time to get seated. The prices were much more reasonable than I thought they would be though, which was a nice surprise. Next time, I definitely want to get ice cream. They had a huge dessert menu, but by the end of the meal, Kley and I were pretty full/ready to go because he had to be at church later.

Overall, even though our plans changed, it was a fun outing, and always nice to see our friends!

Monday, September 15, 2014


This weekend was pretty low key, which was really nice. We hung out with my brother and sister a lot (my parents were out of town at my other sister's volleyball tournament). We hit up some Glow Golf and Orange Leaf. We also got some baby practice in on Saturday when we watched our friend's baby for a few hours.

Can't believe how fast time is going- only a few weeks left of work and only a few weeks left until BABY! :)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The first (unplanned) visit.

Yesterday afternoon we went to the hospital! I was sort of freaked out, but actually not as bad as I thought I would be. For the past two days, I had slight vaginal bleeding, so after I saw it a couple times (it was very faint and not a lot, thankfully, but it was bright red), I figured I should call the doctor.

I have called my doctor with several other weird symptoms before and everything was totally fine, but this time I was surprised to hear her say that I needed to go to the hospital, and preferably now (I asked if I could go after work or if I should go now). I know you are supposed to tell your doctor about any bleeding at all, but I just figured that it wouldn't be a big deal since it wasn't a lot.

Fortunately, God took (and is taking) care of us and our sweet baby, and everything is fine. We are so thankful. We wondered in the car on the way there about what it would be like to have the baby right then, and Kley was so calm and comforting. (He has always handled stressful/unexpected situations WAY better and calmer than me.) Thankfully they said that both baby and I were fine, which is such a relief. I am not dilated at all yet and my cervix has not softened, which is good because it's too early. They said random bleeding sometimes just happens, but there was nothing concerning about me or the baby that worried them. So, we got to come home and thankfully I can keep all my normal activities. They just advised me to take it easy for the weekend.

It was reassuring to be hooked up to the monitor for about half an hour, so we got to hear baby's heartbeat that entire time! (Also, it helped to ease my nerves a little bit after the nurse gave us the TV remote, so I got to watch part of The Proposal instead of staring at the wall wondering.)

Today, I am so so thankful for a healthy and growing baby. We prepared to meet him/her possibly yesterday, but glad he/she has more time to get ready to come into the world.

Hopefully we don't have any more unplanned visits!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Third Trimester weeks 31-34.

I feel like I have changed a lot in the last few weeks! I can definitely tell that I am getting much bigger. My stomach seems to be sticking farther and farther out each day. Baby is coming and we are so excited! I am 34 weeks, so it's getting so close it feels!

I feel pretty good about my internal "get ready for baby" list. We have everything moved out of my parents house into our new house in Orange City (except for baby stuff that we will need/use), and we have also taken several loads up from our apartment. We have everything purchased that we will need for baby, so now all that's left is to set it all up. I can't believe it!

I don't want to list all my pregnancy symptoms because I don't want to sound like a huge complainer, but I have definitely been more uncomfortable in the last couple weeks, with backaches/pressure on my ribcage, which has made me not sleep the best. I also had a bad cold last week, which didn't help. All in all, I am grateful to have had a pretty easy pregnancy and that everything is healthy and going well! 

I also am finishing up things at work (which could be a whole other post in itself). It will be a big couple of weeks with getting things ready for conferences and actually having them early, but I am glad that I can finish well. My last day at work will be Friday, October 10 (unless I would happen to deliver earlier than that). I feel good about having an end date. It's helpful to have an end goal and to know when I will be done, and have that time to say good-byes.

Then it's on to baby time!

31 weeks

32 weeks

33 weeks

34 weeks

Tuesday, September 9, 2014



On Sunday, Kley started saying "woof" after minor unfortunate things that happen. Such as...

The dishwasher is full. Woof.
My favorite pair of pants are dirty. Woof.
It's raining outside. Woof.

At first, I thought it was annoying and I told him to stop. Then he told me where it's from (watch the clip above), and now I think it's absolutely hilarious.

So, since Sunday, we have been saying "woof" to each other and laughing every time. We'll see how long we think it's funny for...

(I also want to go watch Home Alone now.)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Weekend with family/Latino Festival.

This weekend was an eventful one! Friday night we had a teacher's get together at church for all of the life group teachers, so it was nice to hang out with Dave and Lindsay (our co-leaders) for a bit!

Saturday was a huge day! The De Jong's were here. Elizabeth had won an award, so we had to go to the Latino Festival downtown for her to accept it. As part of her graphic design class, they had to create the design that would go on the flyer for the 2015 festival next year, and hers won! So, we spent the morning downtown, and after that Brad and Elizabeth headed back to OC so she could get back to school. 

I had never been to the Latino Festival before- it was quite the experience! There were hardly any people there yet because it was in the morning, which actually made it kind of nice to walking around. Unfortunately, the food we tried wasn't the best. The woman at the stand convinced me to try this authentic sweet milk type drink, and it was not good. I also requested mild salsa on my taco, and it was mouth-burning spicy (though, I do have a very sensitive mouth for spiciness). Oh well, it's all part of the experience!

Dessert made up for it. Kley and I shared this gelati thing, which was like vanilla custard mixed with mango ice, and that was really yummy!

After Brad and Elizabeth left, Kley headed home because he had to play at church that afternoon, so Jana and I headed out for a big shopping spree! We went to lots of places- Buy Buy Baby to get a few last items from my registry, Furniture Source to check out sectionals, Younkers for purses/luggage, and Pottery Barn Kids to pick out the specific items to go along with our bedding. (We have one picked out for a girl and one for a boy, since we don't know what we are having.)

After that we took home Cheesecake Factory for dinner, and Jana helped us pack up some things from our apartment to take back to our house. It was a long day, but it was really good too. I feel really good about all that we accomplished!

Today we had church, then lunch with my family, and tonight we have our small group fall kick-off. Hope you all had a good weekend!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Acts 19:12 and personal devotionals.

This morning I finished reading Acts. For awhile I was reading the Bible through the YouVersion phone app, doing different devotionals. I liked it, but after about six months I really missed my highlighter and holding my real Bible. So, for the past couple months, I am reading on paper instead of electronically, and I really like it. Who knows? Maybe I'll somehow develop a mix of both.

Also, I used to be very set on always reading at night. That worked well for me when I was younger and in college, as it wasn't hard to stay up later. Now it is. I am a morning person, so after feeling frustrated for missing days for awhile because I would forget or fall asleep, I switched to the morning. I wake up a little bit earlier and make sure it's the first thing I do. (Kley and I also do our couple devotionals together at night, after dinner, so it's nice to spread those out throughout the day.)

It's been going quite well and I am happy with the switch! It's been easier for me to be consistent, and I like having something to fill me up in the morning.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that if you are feeling frustrated with how your daily devotionals are going, try changing it! I know that's easier said than done sometimes, especially for those who don't like change (like me). But, I finally did it after feeling frustrated for a long time, and it's been so worth it.

This morning I finished Acts. I hadn't read it in awhile, and I really enjoyed reading it again! I can't believe all the hardships Paul endured and how no matter what he went through, it keeps talking about how Paul continued to share the word "boldly." I would like to have more boldness. A lot more.

One verse that particularly stood out to me that I don't remember ever realizing before was Acts 19:11-12- God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

Isn't that amazing? Wow. I want to be used like that.

Monday, September 1, 2014

House updates!

Hello! We spent this Labor Day weekend up in OC, seeing Kley's family and working on our NEW HOUSE! We are so excited! 

In case you are new or missed it, Kley and I recently bought a house in Orange City, IA. We will be moving up there, officially, around Christmas time, after Kley graduates law school. He will be practicing with his dad. It is so so nice to already know that Kley has a job and that we have a house. I am very excited to keep working on it and choose details to make it our own place. 

I am so thankful for my mother-in-law, for many reasons. They just finished building their own condo, so she knows all the contractors, painters, plumbers, etc. in town. She is incredibly friendly and personable, so she has great relationships with all these people, which really helps in getting advice and getting things booked/finished. Her help in this has been tremendous- we couldn't do it without her! We spent a lot of time on Saturday making decisions.

We have been taking a few car loads up whenever we can, so we are currently storing all of our stuff in the garage and the sun room in the back, while the inside of the house is being worked on. 

The inside of the house is quite a mess right now, but I honestly didn't even care because I am so grateful that we ended up getting the house when we did (even thought it was earlier than we originally wanted), because now we have plenty of time to get everything done and move gradually. Here are some pictures of the house in its current state.

It's a work in progress, right? I am so excited for what it will look like when it's done. Currently all the floors are covered and taped because they are doing the ceilings. The previous owners had big medallions above their light fixtures that we wanted removed, so they had to fix the holes left from that and are resurfacing it all so it's smooth and fresh. This is the messiest part, they said. After the ceilings are done, they will move on to the walls. We are re-painting the entire house, and it will look so nice when it's done! We chose a lot of neutral tones, and two rooms will be a light gray/blue. We also chose carpet, and worked on a bunch of other little things (like picture frames, taking measurements, etc.)

Kley and Brad spent all of the afternoon cleaning out the shed and basement, so thanks to them for doing the not-so-fun part! There were about 50 old cans of paint in the basement, so they had to mix them up with floor dry so it would solidify before we could throw it away.

Here we are inside our very own house!

So glad we were able to go up for the weekend and see family/accomplish a lot!

Also, here are Kley and Brad golfing Saturday morning. This was taken from their deck- isn't it beautiful? Their new condo overlooks the golf course. How nice!