Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My brother's wedding was absolutely wonderful. It was the latest wedding we've had yet (6:30pm) and true to Graydon tradition, set in the beautiful outdoors. It was the shortest wedding, very traditional (whereas Karen and mine both were more non-traditional). It was gorgeous. The reception seemed over all to quickly, but a large part of that was the vast amounts of people I had not seen in years (some not since my wedding) all running into me and us catching up. It was really wonderful, yet I would have liked to savor it more. Still - a great time. My pictures aren't as good as the ones Mary got, because my good camera is being sent off to be fixed (flash doesn't work). So those later. :)

Jonathan and I are down to a little over 3 weeks until he deploys (won't get an exact date until right before, just a "window" of time). Hence, our pre-deloyment trip will be starting Saturday for the next 8 days.... to Florida! We've got a lovely beach cabin rented, right on the beach, supposedly on a secluded part of it. Looks terrific, I can't wait. But the whole thing is bittersweet, since the entire purpose is to be together before the 70 day separation again. Makes it hard to really look forward to as it rather signals the Beginning of the End. But we will love it! We lived off of those precious memories we made last time in the mountains.

Little baby will be 15 weeks tomorrow! What a treasure to us. We are so attached to this child already, love it and want to protect it. We praise God for every day of this little one's life. I am grateful all indications are it's growing strong and healthy inside me. It makes all the huge uncomfortableness of pregnancy worth it. The sickness has been better (I'm up to one week without hurling, and I made it home in the airplane without throwing up too). I have even made dinner and packed a lunch for Jonathan the past few days (it was really hard for me not to be "taking care of him" in ways I always have). He has been amazing, though, not minding coming home and my telling him I couldn't cook. One particular morning around 13 weeks I was lieing on the bed after a shower, and felt so bad, and the smell of the shampoo in my wet hair was gagging me. So since I couldn't, he blew my hair dry for me, brushing it out over the side of the bed. He is a rare find. But I am never surprised by his kind, caring, never complaining attitude, he's always been that way: I'm just so grateful for it.

I go in at 16 weeks, and should again at 20 for the big anatomy scan, to check that everything is developing properly with baby's organs and nothing looks amiss. That's when they usually check out the gender too. However, Jonathan will be gone by that time, so my request is to get it a little early so we can perhaps find out the gender together. Baby could thwart us of course. But I'd rather not experience a milestone like that without him. We shall see how that turns out.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

News & 13wks!

All's rather quite here in the Wilson household. I'm in my 2nd trimester (Praise God!!!). I never saw myself getting this far, either. I am so humbled to have this child growing and living inside me. It's hard to grasp the reality of. We had our 13 wk appt & NT test today, which was utterly amazing to watch the baby move, hiccup, suck it's thumb, and see that beautiful heartbeat flashing away. Even though I listen to it on the Doppler, it never loses its beauty to me. I think today's ultrasound was a reality check for us, as we saw something that really resembled a baby on screen and had to acknowledge that it was ours and inside me. It was very touching. (Pictures at the end.)

The 4th of July weekend was awesome! My family was still in Vermont so we spent the entire time in NC with Jonathan's family. We are so grateful that our families live about 12 minutes from each other - but it does make holidays rather busy since we choose to split all of them between both families (with the exception of Thanksgiving). It turned out to be really nice that we were just in one place the whole weekend. We did go over to my parents to see Seth & Karen & their girls for a cookout and swimming one evening. The flight (in the 4-seater rented aircraft) did not go over well with my morning sickness, but I survived (how come airsick bags are always missing when you need them?). However, we landed in Charlotte to pick up Jonathan's brother, and since he was still working and we had 1-2 hours to kill, we headed over to my favoritest restaurant - Quaker Steak and Lube! I pigged out on Louisana Lickers & Arizona Ranch wings, so apparently my stomach recovered nicely. J kept saying, "I don't want to see this later." :) He also purchased me my very first maternity clothing - a very touching moment for us to have. (Sorry we didn't call you CLT friends to meet up, we didn't know if we had 30 minutes or 2 hours!)

Not having to go so many places also allowed us to go visit both my grandfather and my grandmother in their respective nursing/assisted living homes. I had not seen them in a few months and was really missing them. Each visit is really, very difficult emotionally, because they change/decline a lot between each visit. My grandfather has Altzheimer's, which regresses with time. Since my last visit my gradmother has had a feeding tube put in and all her teeth removed. They were also separated, as she needed nursing home care and he did not (and insurance only allows you to be treated at a place appropriate to what you need). It was a lot to take in. Jonathan had to remind me over and over as I wept for the memories of who they "used" to be, that this life here on earth is just a shadow, that it's just a little dot in time. Their spirits are made for an eternity in heaven and that's where the only lasting true joy is! That I will meet them again where there is no age and suffering and illness, and we'll worship God together and bow to our Savior. It's hard when you've had such wonderful memories and times here on earth to not selfishly weep for "what was". It's hard to always keep true perspective. Jonathan is so good at reminding me.

And now, on Friday, we head back to NC again. My brother Stuart is finally tieing the knot!!! I am super, incredibly excited for him! This is looking to be a wonderful wedding, and I'm so grateful to see my brother marry a girl we all love so much and who loves him & loves Christ. My father is the best man, my 2 other brothers are groomsmen, and my brother-in-law is a groomsmen. You can tell we're a really tight-knit family, because none of these choices are out of obligation, it's a personal decision. :) They're headed to Prince Edward Island for a 10 day honeymoon, which sounds fabulous!

Se without further adieu, here's our little 13-week-old baby. I'll have lots of updates and pictures after this weekend!!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

So, onto the Vermont pictures! I arrived on Friday. Stuart had already been there a week, and was leaving Sunday morning. So my trip coincided perfectly with seeing him for a few days (Dad's brilliance in ensuring). That's why he's only in the first two pics. :)
This was my first night there. Dad decided to have a real Vermont cheese tasting. All (cheddar) cheeses are white there, btw. They are serious about their cheese, even the most basic grovery stores carry about 20 different kinds. We were trying 8 different ones, by 2 different makers (Cabot and Crawley's). Their names ranged from Hunter's to Medium Sharp to Seriously Sharp. Each one had a paper next to it for our comments. We each tried various ones, then Stuart read aloud all the comments, and then we voted on the "best of the best." Incredibly enough, 7 out of 10 voted on the same kind! It was the strongest tasting cheddar. You know our father has had a huge influence on us (his opinion is there is never a sharp enough cheddar!). Many of the comments would be, "Disappointingly sharp" "Not distinguishably sharp enough" "Missing the sharp bite its name promises" and so on. It's hilarous. Even Fred agreed, and as he's not family yet, I'd say that's promising. Oh, and for the record, Carter obstained all-together because he "doesn't like cheese." Horrendous!
Stuart's last day there we went to Grafton to eat. This was an old barn/warehouse type place that's been made into a place for large gatherings. We've ambled here in the past and adore it. Dad wants to build one like this for our always-explanding never-under-30-people family gatherings. Seriously, even the most modest Sunday lunches can't stay small with us! It's (laughably) insane at times!

This was our Father's Day picnic! We've done this in the past too. We get near the falls, spread out blankets, and serve up sandwiches, fruit, chips, olives, and (of course) cheese and crackers. Dad loves sitting/laying down and listening to the peaceful sound of the waterfalls. We wade around too, but it was rather chilly.
This was Father's Day evening. Seth & Karen (from a distance) treated everyone to Ben & Jerry's ice cream (Dad loves that). And I, being the odd ball in the family who doesn't like ice cream, obstained. Dad looooved it!
Ok, 9 of us packed into the Sequioa for a 3 hour trip to Boston. Did you get that? 9 adults! The Sequioa advertises "seats 8 comfortably." That's not true, if the 8 are adults. But there aren't even 9 seatbelts! Sometimes the girls buckeled together, sometimes Fred&Mary. It was pretty fun, even so! And this is a picture of what 9 people packing for 3 days in Boston looks like. I am so doggone proud of our packing skills! (Laptops were mandatory as Dad & I had a 1-day business trip to Chicago.)
Noah, Carter, and Dad in the resting in the cemetary in Boston along the Freedom Trail.
This was us "kids" in the elevator of the hotel one evening we ate out in Faneuil Hall together. The hotel had lemon & lime water dispensers near the elevators & we were nuts over them! We'd come inside and rush to the water. It was pretty hilarious. And we were loud. So I got a picture of us in our mirth! Except my flash wouldn't work so it's a bit dark/blurry! I really have the best of times with my awesome siblings!
This was a snack bar about 3 miles from our cabin. Everyone except Suz, Mom and me jogged the 3 miles for lunch. We took the easy route. It turned out to be awesome food and great service (1 guy cooking it all!).
Suzanne and me after lunch that day!
Mary and Fred walked down Commerce street for me an unknown distance because I knew there was a Bruegger's Bagels "somewhere" down it. They were really patient and trusted me - and thanks to Jonathan's Iphone, he got us there without any wrong turns! So I treated them, the least I could do. I couldn't stomach Starbucks (haven't in weeks), but hey I wanted the picture.
And this is a lovely one of Mom and Dad at the waterfall. They're so cute toegher and I love them SO much! Their generosity made this ALL possible!