Learning to be thankful

I’m going to get a little taboo here and talk about money because it’s weighing heavy on my mind at the moment what with it being Christmas time, and with our little man due to arrive in two months.

Jerry and I live on a fairly strict budget out of necessity, and I’d like to think I am quite responsible financially. Our first priority with each of our four monthly paychecks is first to put aside 1/4 of our mortgage bill into its own special savings account. We do this so that we can break it up rather than having to come up with that large sum of money at one time every month. After that, right on payday, I am immediately paying all of our bills due that week, putting a little something (anywhere from $10-50) into savings most weeks (but not every week), and then figuring out what we have left for the week. It’s not usually much, and will typically go to our groceries and maybe a little something extra like a date night to get frozen yogurt, or a little something one of us has been eying at the store. And then we wait for the next Thursday to roll around and I do it all over again!

Anyway, my point today is actually not to complain. I will admit that I get envious when I see other people or other bloggers who have huge, new, stunning homes or who can buy whatever they want whenever they want, or have grocery carts overflowing without batting an eye. I do get envious from time to time and I hate that. Jerry and I have to scrimp and save when we want something and we are constantly saying “maybe on our next check.” It’s certainly frustrating, but I am always reminding myself and Jerry on a particularly bad day that it isn’t all that bad. I tell him and myself at least once a month that while we may not have everything we want, we do have everything we need.

Yes, we have a mortgage and that’s a huge monthly bill. And yes, our home needs some renovating and remodeling, but t it’s ours and I love it, particularly when I’m not playing the comparison game. I married the man of my dreams and we went out and bought a house and my goodness, how proud we were (and still are). So I’m thankful… thankful that not only do we have a roof over our heads, but that it’s ours and only ours.

Yes, I have student loan bills that stress me out and overwhelm me. I obsess about them and think about them all the time and how daunting they are. And hell, they’ll haunt me for the next 24 years (I’m on the income-based repayment plan where you pay for 25 years… one year down so far!). And yet I’m thankful, in a strange way. I’m thankful because I have an education and both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees. And when I look at my loans and think on some days that it simply wasn’t worth it, I remind myself of what a coworker once told me: “you have an education. You have a degree and that is the one thing no one can EVER take away from you.” So I’m thankful.

Yes, we have car loans and these are our second and third biggest bills of the month even though we do NOT drive fancy cars by any means. Jerry’s got a 2001 Dodge Stratus (which will be paid off in July – hallelujah!) so truly… nothing fancy here. But when I stop and think about it, there are so many people, even in my city alone, who don’t have a car, let alone two cars per family. They have to walk or take the bus everywhere. Jerry and I have the ability to go where we want whenever we want, and even though we can’t usually afford to FILL our tanks all the way, we get where we need to go. After many years of driving cheap cars, I finally got my dream car too: a Jeep. While it isn’t new, I love it, and Caleb will be safe riding around in it. So I’m thankful for our cars. They truly are luxuries, even though they feel like necessities these days.

Speaking of luxuries, Jerry and I don’t have a lot of them, but we do have internet in our home, gym memberships (only $10 each), and recently upgraded to cable. Not everyone can even afford these things, but we manage to make it work. We did cut out a lot of our luxuries after buying our house, but we’re doing just fine. This means we very rarely dine out these days and no longer really shop for fun things, just groceries, but like I said, we’re certainly not missing out on anything we need. I miss buying books, but trust me when I say I have enough to last me two lifetimes… seriously.

So at the end of the day, even when we feel like we are “SO BROKE,” and I want to cry because I can’t buy that thing that I want when I want it, and we have to scrimp to get the things we DO want…. we are so lucky, and I am learning to be so thankful, too. We pay all of our bills in full and on time, and while that doesn’t seem like a lot, it is. Many people can’t do that, and we can. We are lucky enough to have a bit left over too, usually, even though it doesn’t feel like much. And when it comes right down to it, we truly do have all that we need, most importantly… each other and our growing family. As long we have each other to support and love, I can never truly be UN-thankful. I LOVE Zac Brown Band’s song, “Free,” because it always reminds me: “no we don’t have a lot of money. All we need is love.”

Bumpdate: 31 Weeks

image

I am 31 weeks today and I seriously cannot believe our “wait time” is now in the single digits… only 9 more weeks! Our Caleb should be about 3.3 pounds this week and almost 18 inches long! Is that not INSANE?! Thinking that a full size tiny human is inside your belly? Pregnancy blows my mind!

I had my 30 week appointment last week and everything went well. No complaints from my doctor. I asked him if Caleb is in a set position yet but he said he was probably still floating around. I was just curious because I feel his kicks and jabs all over and I’m never sure what’s what. Hand? Foot? Head? Little baby butt? I believe he said he starts checking for positioning at my next appointment, which will be my 32 weeker next Wednesday.

I had a really rough couple of days last week. I am so up and down all the time. Some days, like yesterday, I feel pretty great… but then there are bad days which are just so bad. There were two days last week where I thought I was going into pre-term labor because of how I was feeling. Perhaps they were Braxton Hicks, but more than likely just plain old discomfort. If you read my Five on Friday post, then you’ll already know that Thursday evening, I was at Walmart with my mom and I started to experience horrible back pain (what’s new?), and was slumping all over the cart. When I got home that night, it got worse and was accompanied by stomach cramps, stomach aches, nausea, and terrible heartburn. I could not sleep at all because of how uncomfortable I was. Jerry was telling me to call the doctors but I didn’t want to overreact again so I decided to wait it out until morning. I ended up being fine the next day… phew. It was really scary though and when Jerry got home from work around 2 AM, I was basically writhing in pain on the couch. Not fun! My sleep is also crazy. The last two nights I’ve gotten pretty good sleep but some nights are pure insomnia! Saturday night I didn’t sleep a wink and finally got out of bed at 4:45 to read. Around 6, I went back to bed and fell asleep for a couple of hours.

I’m also feeling so fat and gross lately. I’ve gained more than I should and feel so self-conscious. I really miss being skinnier and can’t wait to be able to run again and lose the weight after he’s born. I also miss having energy. Most nights I am so exhausted that I only have the energy to read a few pages before going to sleep. I’ve been watching a lot of TV lately because it requires a lot less energy than reading. Sad.

Moving on to the good… I had my shower on Sunday and had an amazing time! I’m not going to go into detail here because I’ll be writing a whole post about it this weekend with pictures so stay tuned for that. Caleb got so many awesome and thoughtful gifts and that’s all I’ll say for now! I’ll also say that immediately after my shower, we discovered that our washing machine was broken and wound up at Home Depot getting a new one. Total blow to our savings but a necessity. Dang!

Another good thing to share is that a few weeks ago, I was complaining to a couple of my coworkers about Caleb’s first Christmas since he’s due in January. I was saying how by the time Christmas rolls around next year, he will be almost a year old already but I want him to get to wear all those cute “My First Christmas” things. However, they generally only make those for teeny tiny babies, totally ignoring the babies who were born right after. So what do you know, last week, my coworker walks in with  a “My First Christmas” outfit that she found in size 18 months! I was SO touched and thought it was both hilarious and sweet of her to find that for me. I couldn’t believe she found one for an older baby and I am so grateful. I forgot to take a picture, but it’s super adorable.

That’s it for today! I can’t wait to share more about my shower this weekend!

Five on Friday (3)

Yay, it’s Friday! It’s a cold one and we actually saw a teeny tiny bit of snow yesterday, but Fridays are always welcome! Here are my five thoughts on this cold Friday for the weekly linkup!

ONE. My aunt and I saw Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on Thursday. We’ve had season passes to our local theater for the past few years and get to see around five touring musicals a year. I didn’t really think I would like this one but I thought it was pretty good… definitely not a favorite though. My absolute favorite musical of all time is Rent. I’ve seen it live about five times now including once in NYC for my 16th birthday. Wicked is probably my second favorite, but my heart really belongs to Rent. Prior to the show, I was feeling weird and thought I was having Braxton Hicks contractions… got a little scared there!

My aunt and I at the musical.

My aunt and I at the musical.

TWO. I had a good time at a hockey game with my friends and Jerry last weekend! I pretty much didn’t watch any of the game or know what was going on, but it’s always a good time with them!

20141108_200301    20141108_200013

THREE. Now that we finally have cable, I’ve started to get into a few new shows. So far, I’m really liking Selfie on ABC and House Hunters Renovations on HGTV. Once I catch up on Selfie, I’m going to move on to another show. I’m going to catch up on one at a time for the shows that are available on demand. As for House Hunters, Jerry and I are loving seeing these houses transform because we’re working on our own house. Of course, our renovations are much simpler and WAY less expensive, but it’s still fun to dream, right? We saw a split level episode the other day with a layout similar to our own house. They spent 80 thousand bucks on renovations ALONE. Um… yeah… we’re lucky to do just $800 worth of work, but we still got some pretty good ideas. ;)

FOUR. Speaking of renovations, our latest house update was replacing the dining room light and the kitchen light. I now have these mason jar style lights in each of those rooms as well as in our front foyer. I love them! Check out the before and afters (kitchen on top and dining room below). So excited to be bringing our house from the 70s to modern times. Woohoo!

temp-1temp FIVE. Really, really excited for my baby shower on Sunday! I’m even more excited to actually meet the little guy in January and finally see what he looks like. Actually, I thought I was going into early labor last night after having the most excruciating back pain ever along with a stomach ache, nausea, and heartburn. When Jerry finally got home from work right before 2, I started to feel a bit better. He found me sitting on the couch in pain, almost crying, because I couldn’t lay down any longer. I took some Tylenol and Tums, drank some ice water, and he rubbed my back. I slept with a pillow up against my back since my huge pregnancy pillow is nice to lounge on, but too big to sleep on, although I think I’m going to try sleeping on it again soon. I was finally able to fall asleep and am feeling okay today. I think it’s just a sign I need to listen to my body and rest more. Caleb sure knows how to scare his mama!

5 on friday

Bumpdate: 30 Weeks

image

Today I am 30 weeks. Um, what?! I cannot believe we are in the 30’s now and that baby boy is 75% of the way done cooking! Only about 10 more weeks until he’s here. Baby is probably about 17 inches and over 3 pounds now.

Lots of stuff going on lately and coming up. Tomorrow is my 30 week appointment, and Sunday is my baby shower! I can’t wait!

Sunday we did our hospital tour. All the other women looked like they were ready to pop and I’m not even close. My belly still just looks “fat” when I’m in maternity or baggy clothes. It only looks pregnant when I’m in normal clothes (like in my bumpdate pictures), which I rarely ever wear except for my pictures. Oh well! The tour went well and I feel a smidgen better now knowing what will happen and where to go. We didn’t see one single baby while we were there though! Aren’t any babies born on Sundays?! Sheesh.

Caleb, the little stinker, had me up all night Saturday because he didn’t move much for hours after or during a hockey game we went to with friends. I was terrified because night time is his most active time. He was back to moving and grooving by Sunday morning though. I think this guy has a mind of his own. Even when I poke, prod, and talk to him, he only moves when he feels like it. Just this morning, it took forever to get him to move for his daddy! The second Jerry would take his hand away was when he would finally decide to move. I’m trying to figure out his positioning in my belly but I have no idea. I feel movements very low, very high, and very to the side so maybe he’s just swimming along in there.

We got a huge box of goodies in the mail from Caleb’s great-grandma down in Florida the other day! She found him tons of clothes, a pair of shoes, and a snow suit which he will DEFINITELY need! How my grandma found a snow suit in FLORIDA is beyond me, but we are very grateful! Thank you, Grandma!

20141111_11021220141111_110234

I am feeling okay but very on and off. Some days I feel awful, some days I feel fine. Heartburn comes and goes, and so does the back pain. The fatigue is pretty much permanent though, and I’m not sleeping that well. It’s not because of my belly, but more just thinking, worrying, and general insomnia. I am also totally over having to use the bathroom every 20-30 minutes. Annoying! I’ve been pretty lucky in some regards though in that I’ve pretty much had no swelling. My feet and ankles look totally normal (to me, at least). My belly button is also still very much in. Honestly, I think some of this has to do with the fact that I used to weigh A LOT more than I do now, even at 30 weeks pregnant. Sadly, my body was used to carrying a large amount of weight, and it has helped a tiny bit with some of the typical pregnancy symptoms.

I had a small little burst of energy last night after work! I made brownies, did some dishes, and put away the laundry… and then I was exhausted. I am missing my second trimester days of productivity and am grateful for these rare bursts of energy now! We did get some new lights put up over the weekend in our quest to remodel as much as possible before his arrival. I’ll share some pictures on Friday! Now my main concern is to finish the nursery ASAP… so much left to do still and I am getting stressed! I’ve accepted that we won’t be able to afford all of the remodels that we wanted to do before his arrival. We’ve gotten a good deal done though, and I’m very proud that we were able to save and fix up some aspects of our home. The rest will have to wait until next year, and that’s okay. I’m trying to learn to go with the flow more but it’s a hard lesson to learn. It’s even more hard now that we have cable and are watching HGTV and seeing all these gorgeous remodels and renovations! Maybe someday, we too can drop 30K on a new kitchen… haha! A girl can dream, right?!

Well, that’s it for now! I can’t wait for my shower on Sunday so expect lots of pictures! And speaking of showers… if you have any ideas for fun shower games, please let me know. Or, do you think showers are okay without games or are they pretty much required? Mom and I are debating.

Five on Friday (2)

Happy, happy Friday! So excited to link up for Five on Friday with five things on my mind today! Here we go:

5 on friday

ONE. Jerry and I caved and got cable and DVR this week. We’ve been in our house for about a year now and have done just fine with Netflix and DVDs, but Jerry really wanted to be able to watch football, and I want to be able to DVR shows, so we caved. The price was pretty good, and we can cancel at any time if we can’t afford it, so there’s that. And now I want to DVR ALL THE SHOWS. I’m a DVR addict and I am way more excited than I should be. Reality shows are my favorite (though I watch others too), and I am pumped for TLC, HGTV, Food Network, and Investigation Discovery in particular. Hell, I even started DVRing some Christmas movies… but blame the channels for showing them this early, not me! I can’t resist! Any must DVR show suggestions?! My current favorite is The Mindy Project!

TWO. My mom will now just be working part time from home. I won’t get it into details about the circumstances about this, but I will say that Jerry and I are thrilled that Caleb will now be able to go to my mother’s when I return to work after maternity leave. We were very nervous and stressed about trying to make our schedules work since we didn’t have a steady sitter, and now that stress is gone. Jerry also works nights at the moment. He was going to be home with the baby during the day while I would be home with him at night. Now, if a day shift opportunity ever opens up, Jerry can switch to days. This will probably be a few years from now, but we’re hoping for this eventually!

THREE. Christmas shopping started last week. Not because we’re crazy, but because we figured it would be much easier on us financially to just buy a gift every week or two. This is another huge relief!

FOUR. Jerry and I are going to a hockey game tomorrow night! We have a pretty good local team and I haven’t been in YEARS! He’s never been, period… that’s what happens when you marry a California man! We’re meeting up with two of my best girlfriends and their significant others. It should be super fun!

FIVE. This dog… I just love him so much. And his underbite looks rather modest here, does it not?! Poor guy has been in and out of the vet for months due to re-occurring itching and allergies. A couple of months ago, even though he wears a flea collar and takes a Sentinel pill every month, he got bit by a flea and had an allergic reaction. Now it’s happened again, even though it’s cold out, and he is double medicated for it. Oy! So he’s been itchy all week. I’ve been giving him Benadryl and using the same ointment from last time to try and avoid yet another vet visit, but we’ll see!

dakota snoozing

Why I’m no longer a “book blogger” & became a personal blogger instead

image

(^^ image made on Phonto. Quote attributed to Rumi)

This entire year I’ve been going through a major blogger identity crisis, as some of you may know.

I hit my five year blogging anniversary this past September. Five YEARS! And for over four of those years, I was exclusively a book blogger. I absolutely loved it and I met some amazing reader and author friends along the way. I had so many wonderful opportunities, number one being a trip to BEA in 2011, and of course, hundreds and hundreds of books in the mail for review, including many ARCs (copies of books before their release dates). When I first started, I was always so eager to write reviews that I distinctly remember sitting on my parent’s couch, writing reviews the instant I finished a book. But after four plus years, I began to get book blogger burnout. In January 2014, I declared that I would be both a book blogger and a personal blogger, doing about half and half on this blog. But now? Now I’d really consider myself a personal / lifestyle blogger with a side of books thrown in on occasion… definitely not half and half.

I still do love to read and I will always be a bookworm. I will never stop reading or obsessing about books. In fact, I will still be talking about books and reviewing them on occasion here. Why? Because this blog is just about my life in general now, and books are still a huge part of my life, always will be. I just got so burned out though, and when I felt pressure to review every single book and meet specific goals and deadlines, it started to take away some of the pleasure I have always found in reading. I decided to take back control of my reading life, and here we are. No more pressure. I still find myself wanting to review books so I can remember them, but now it’s on my own terms, when I want to do it, how I want to write them, and how many I choose to write.

I guess the other big thing that led me to becoming more of a personal blogger is just that I’ve had so many big milestones in my life over the past couple of years including: losing over 100 pounds, running races including a half-marathon, meeting Jerry, planning a wedding, getting married,  buying a house, working on home improvement projects, and oh yeah… A BABY! These are all things that I wanted and still want to document and remember. I also just plain old love to write and no longer pigeon holing myself as a book blogger gives me the opportunity and freedom to just write what I want.

So after asking for some advice about my identity crisis a few weeks ago, I’ve settled on a few things. I will keep my name. I’ve been known as Steph The Bookworm online for more than five years and it’s a part of my identity now. Not to mention, I am still a bookworm and that will never change. However, as much as I love my design, that is also getting re-done and I am adding a new tagline that took me way too long to come up with (“musings on marriage, motherhood, and my life between books”). I am getting the woman who designed my current design to do the new one for me so I already know I will love it since she did such an amazing job the first time around. We’ve already been in touch, and Jerry is currently working some OT and saving up some funds to get me this for Christmas (self-hosted WordPress can get expensive). Isn’t he the sweetest man?

Anyway, I just feel that when people come to my blog, they will automatically assume “book blogger” based on the design, and I don’t want to push away potential readers. I have found myself reading and enjoying more and more personal blogs of other newlyweds, homeowners, other young women, and/or mothers, and I would love to gain some new friends and readers here. The new design should hopefully help with that. I am also currently working on adding new, personal pages to the top of the blog, and I reorganized my blog categories. As you can see up top, so far I’ve added “our love story,” and am currently working on pages about my weight loss and the baby. With all of these changes, I certainly hope all of my longtime blog friends will stick around. I still love my amazing book blogging and author friends, and will continue to do so, but new friends are wonderful too! At any rate, I’ve already been on this new blogging path for almost a year now so it’s time to make it official and get the new design, tagline, etc.

Now I have found my blogging passion again. I am always coming up with new ideas to blog about, writing notes feverishly on my phone late at night when inspiration strikes. I am finding myself constantly tweaking, working on, and improving my blog, just like I used to in the old days. I am constantly seeking out and reading other blogs, and am excited to make new blog friends any chance I can. I had totally lost my drive and fire for blogging for a little while there, but I still kept trudging along out of obligation. Now, I do it out of passion again and I am loving it. I love sharing my life, even if no one else finds it interesting. ;)

So, I guess that’s it! You will still see reviews and other bookish things on here occasionally, but you’ll also see all the other things in my life, as you have been for the past 10 months or so. This is now officially a general blog about my life and I sincrely hope you’ll stick around.

Bumpdate: 29 Weeks

1415116742019

I am 29 weeks today! I really cannot believe that we are going to meet our SON in 11 weeks or so! That is really crazy. This week, he should be about 3 pounds and 17 inches long! This week will be a pretty short update…

I can definitely tell he is getting bigger by the day with all of his kung fu movements in my belly. Jerry and I love when we get a big kick or movement. I lay on my back every night and every morning just to get him moving.

I definitely had a really rough week last week. So funny, I turned 3rd trimester on Tuesday, and that is exactly when I started feeling awful. I just felt so tired, out of breath, and sore, particularly in my back. When I’m sitting at work, I feel like my body is being hunched over or compressed, and it makes my breathing even more difficult. The discomfort is terrible on some days, but much better on other days… it’s totally hit or miss. Jerry and I talked about how I really need to learn to relax and rest on my days off. I always have every intention to just lounge around on those days, but then it never happens. I am a spaz, so I am always running errands or doing something around the house. Sunday, I tried my best to relax, and I didn’t leave the house once! I did a few household chores in the morning, then relaxed for the rest of the day. It was awesome, though I will admit that I am constantly stressing about things I could / should be doing when I’m relaxing. Either way, my body got some good rest and I felt much better for it.

Screenshot_2014-11-04-10-31-57-1

(^^ my tweet on Sunday… #goalsetting #success – haha)

I had my appointment last Wednesday for 28 weeks. Everything looked good. My glucose test came back perfectly, we heard his heartbeat, and he measured only 1 centimeter over, which the doctor said was normal. This was only after I asked him to measure me too… so odd that he doesn’t always measure me. At first, the nurse thought my blood pressure was high so that was scary, but then she re-did it and it was perfect as usual. Phew! I also got tested for a bladder infection (TMI?) because of the back pain, but again, that came back fine and we totally dodged a bullet.

My mom made the curtain for his room which came out great. It was her first time ever making one and I’m very impressed and thrilled with how it came out. Other than that, no more nursery progress this week. The main thing is that we really need to get his crib put together. Caleb also got his first Christmas ornament! My parents found a cute little “Caleb” snow globe… love it! And that’s it for the week!

20141102_201548caleb orn

Review: A Taste Fur Murder by Dixie Lyle

Title: A Taste Fur Murderfur mur
Author: Dixie Lyle
Genre/Audience: Cozy mystery, adult
Publication: St. Martin’s, 2014
Source: Library

Deirdre Lancaster, AKA “Foxtrot,” works as a personal assistant and all-around house manager for an eccentric old millionaire, Zelda Zoransky (“ZZ”). After Foxtrot spots a terrifying and huge animal-like ghost in ZZ’s on-property pet cemetery, things take a turn for the weird… and spooky! Suddenly, her dead cat, Tango, appears… and she’s talking. Along with Tango is a talking, ectoplasmic dog, Tiny, who can also change breeds on a moment’s notice. When one of Foxtrot’s coworkers dies under suspicious circumstances at the mansion, Foxtrot and her new ghostly animal companions are on a mission to solve the case before anyone else gets hurt. They are helped along the way by a variety of other animal spirits that Foxtrot can now see and communicate with in the pet cemetery.

I liked this mystery, but I didn’t love it. I enjoyed all of the talking animals and spirits, and found that they added both a spooky and humorous factor to the story. At the same time, I tend to struggle with paranormal stories on occasion, as I find myself to be a bigger fan of contemporary and realistic fiction. I think that was the main thing that prevented me from loving this story, to be honest, and I had a slightly difficult time getting into it as a result. Despite that, the mystery was well written and not easy to solve, and the characters were interesting. I do plan on continuing on to the next book in the series because I did find the book to be enjoyable, but it bored me at times and could drag. Again, just my personal feelings. Sometimes I’ll find myself really loving a paranormal book if I can get into it properly, but at times I just struggle with the unrealistic aspect of it all. That was kind of the case here.

My Rating: 3/5

Five on Friday (1)

This is my first time doing this Five on Friday link-up so hello and HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I heard from my neighbors that we don’t get many trick or treaters on our street, so I was bummed but have made other plans instead. I am working until 5:00 then going to dinner with the family. After, a couple of girlfriends may be coming over to watch some scary movies since Jerry has to work. Here are five things on my mind this week.

ONE. I had a woman come in to my work the other day and ask me where she could pick up her emails. Oh. Um. Ya know… on the INTERNET? Sometimes, people just amaze me. That was definitely my laugh for the week.

TWO. Here is my big old Caleb belly from earlier in the week. My belly has definitely popped lately. Everyone at work has been saying I finally look pregnant. I think I’ve had a big belly for awhile now, but I wear maternity clothes at work which typically covers it up pretty well. Anyway, they were not convinced. Here is the Caleb bump. It seriously looks huge in this dress in particular… not sure why. It looks much smaller in other clothes!

baby bump caleb

THREE. Over the weekend while we were doing some laundry, we had some major basement flooding. Turned out to be a drain pipe backing up and we couldn’t shower, flush the toilet, wash dishes, etc. My dad came over and he and Jerry spent a long while trying to fix it, using Draino and snaking, but no luck. We resigned to having to pay a plumber some big bucks out of our maternity leave savings but when I asked for a plumber recommendation on Facebook, my friend told me to call the town’s Department of Public Works. Her husband works there and she said they typically look at these issues for free. Now, I work for the town and had no idea about this but I called them anyway, even though I was skeptical. Long story short, they were at the house within 15 minutes and had it fixed for FREE in another 10. It was something about the drain leading to the street… I don’t really know, but I was so relieved, I almost cried.

FOUR. Jerry and I are going out to dinner tomorrow night at our absolute favorite Italian restaurant where we haven’t been in AGES! We’re going to order our favorites and have been looking forward to going out all week. We used to eat there all the time, but after buying the house, we had to rework our budget and dining out was one of the first things to go. We decided to splurge a little bit since we DIDN’T have to pay a plumber and we want to enjoy some more date nights together before baby arrives!

FIVE. Some of you know, I’ve had a bit of a blogger identity crisis. I’m no longer identifying myself as a book blogger, and have become more of a personal blogger over the last year which I’m loving. I have rediscovered my blogging passion after having been at this for over five years. I blog about everything in my life (including books, but only on occasion now), so I’ve been working a bit on revamping the blog. I’ve started adding new pages up top that aren’t all bookish (with a few more to come that I’m working on… “Baby C” and “Weight Loss and Running”), and I reorganized my blog categories. I love my current design, but it pins me down as a book blogger, so I’m planning on getting a re-design done by my same designer. Jerry is going to work some OT and save up to pay for it for me for Christmas… isn’t he sweet?! But in the meantime, I’m excited about the little changes I’ve started to make around here. So far, I’ve condensed all my bookish pages down to one tab with sub-pages including a new page (“Why (and What) I Read“), and made a new page of “Our Love Story.”

5 on friday

Bumpdate: 28 Weeks

1414510780660

Today I am 28 weeks and finally in the THIRD TRIMESTER… WHAT?! Crazy how time flies. We are now in the last stages of pregnancy and officially in the “panic” stages. Less than three months until we finally see his face! He is probably around just under 2.5 pounds, and just under 15 inches… crazy that he actually looks like a baby now, just teeny tiny.

Not a whole lot going on in Caleb’s world over the past week which is good after spending LAST Tuesday morning in the hospital. A calm week is a good week in our books. Our 28 week appointment is tomorrow and we’ll be back every two weeks from now on. I’m looking forward to hearing how big he may have gotten and hearing his heart beat.

For the first time last night, I actually SAW him move in my stomach. I felt really big rumblings and when I looked down and flashed a light, I could see my stomach moving around like ripples. I didn’t see any baby body parts, but just the fact that I could SEE him moving finally… wow! Guess he really is getting big! I then played “All About That Bass” to see if I could get more movements, and did see a few more bubbles in the stomach. My nephew likes dancing to that song, so I thought I’d give it a shot. ;) His movements really are getting bigger by the week and I love it. I always wonder what exactly it is that he’s doing in there when I feel him.

Still feeling pretty good but pretty big. I’ve had a couple of co-workers tell me that I am now waddling. Eeek! I don’t feel like I am, but I suppose it’s only natural. I’ve had some occasional knee pain and back pain continuing, but nothing I can’t manage. My sleep is fairly decent, except for all the middle of the night bathroom trips.

We received Caleb’s first baby shower gift over the weekend from a family member who can’t make it to the shower and are VERY grateful. We got a diaper pail, a dog toy that makes sounds, a blanket, snowsuit, and some other little goodies! She also wanted to participate in our wipe/diaper raffle, so we got a couple packages of wipes and a package of diapers – yay! Love adding to my stockpile and knowing that we will be pretty well prepared. We really appreciate that we have so many great family members and friends who are eager to meet Caleb and help us out!

My mom is currently working on a curtain for his room. We went and picked out the fabric at JoAnn’s last week. I’m looking forward to continued progress on the nursery and seeing it when it’s all done. I can’t wait to share pictures here!

I’m looking forward to Halloween. I wanted to wear something creative with my belly, but haven’t had the time or energy to put anything together. I might try and find a pumpkin shirt still. I have to work until 5 the day of, then I’m going to dinner with my parents since Jerry has to work. :( They don’t get any trick or treaters, and my neighbors say we hardly get any here either, which is disappointing. Afterwards, a couple of my friends may come over to watch some scary movies. I’m realizing that this will be my last Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s without Caleb. Life is going to change so much in just a matter of months! And on that note, that’s all I’ve got for this week!