Saturday, November 28, 2009

Telling the Rileys

November 01, 2009
The day after we told Jeff's parents, my parents came down with Mark and Heather, two of my siblings, just to visit. We all hung out at our apartment and my mom made some awesome chili.

My mom has always said that whenever I became pregnant she wanted to take one of those cute sideways pictures of me every month. I have always adamantly refused. The reason? During these early weeks, you don't really look pregnant. You look normal. But you feel pudgy. And fat. Well, I don't know how everyone feels, but that is definitely how I feel! So no. I do not want sideways pictures taken of me until I actually have something to take a picture of.

But, of course I caved. I went out and bought the cutest baby picture frame I could find and then put a sideways picture of me in it. But for the record, I will not post these pictures anywhere the public can view them. Maybe after I actually look pregnant. Maybe.

Anyway, I handed the picture frame to my parents. They knew immediately what it was and of course were very excited. Probably no one was more excited than my sister, though. She cried like she was having a baby!

Once both sets of our parents knew the big news, we went around town visiting some of the people who are important to us. We visited Jeff's grandmother, the Ayers, and the Borders. And of course we called a lot of people too. Like my grandmother, my brother Tim (who is having a baby boy in April), and a few of my close friends. Yes, I did enjoy the secret while it lasted, but it sure did feel great being able to tell all of the people who love us!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

10 Reasons...

10 Reasons I Love Thanksgiving Break (in no particular order)...

1.) The AMAZING Food
2.) Getting to eat said food with the Borlands and Grandmother on Thursday
3.) Getting to spend a few days in Georgetown with all of the Riley's and Mamaw
4.) Dogsitting for Bella (a big back yard for all three dogs to play together and run around in)
5.) Being able to sleep in past 5:20am
6.) Having an excuse NOT to go to the store on Friday
7.) I can start decorating for Christmas (I just can't start before)
8.) A Flip-Flop week of school: 2 days of school and then 5 days off
9.) Having some time to catch up on school work (If I'm a good girl and actually do it!)
10.) Having the excuse of "eating for two" - even though I really shouldn't be!

Did I already mention the AMAZING Food??

10 Reasons I Have to be Thankful (once again in no particular order)...

1.) Jesus Loves Me and he is my Savior
2.) Most of my family has accepted Jesus as thier Savior
3.) I have a really great husband
4.) We are having a baby!! (And I am almost out of the dreaded first trimester!)
5.) We have two of the best dogs ever and they are both healthy
6.) I have a job that I LOVE, even if it is often stressful
7.) We have a pretty nice apartment (even if it's not really clean!)
8.) UK's season looks promising
9.) We have a nephew on the way
10.) We are having a baby!! (Definitely worth mentioning twice)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Telling the Borlands

Even though Jeff and I found out on October 11th, we waited a while to spread the news, even to our families. This was just something that I have always been nervous about. I know how things can so easily go wrong in early, early pregnancy. Plus, it was kinda nice to enjoy the news with just Jeff for a while, you know?

Anyway, the weekend of Halloween we were going to have the opportunity to see Jeff's parents Saturday and my parents on Sunday. What better time to tell them? So after Trick-or-Treating on Halloween night, Jeff and I headed over to the Borland's. His parents were taking me out for a birthday dinner to Red Lobster (my fave!). Before we left the house, they gave me my present (a really cute travel bathroom bag with my name on it). Then Jeff hands his mom, Paula, a green apple. She just says thanks and thinks it is a Halloween gift. Jeff then tells his dad, Mel, that he has something for him too and hands him a miniature grandfather clock (the kind you can find at HobbyLobby, made for dollhouses). Mel is grateful, but you could tell he was still trying to work something out. Jeff and I stare at them until they realize they are missing something. "What kind of apple is that?" Jeff asks. Granny Smith. "And what kind of clock?" A grandfather clock. I think even after they realized they were still too afraid to come out and say it. Somehow though, the truth was realized and there was a lot of hugging and even some crying. This will be their first grandchild and I know they are so, so excited. We did still go to Red Lobster, but it became a celebration of so much more than just my 24th birthday : )

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Bit of an Explanation...

I don't know if anyone has noticed or not, but my blogging has slacked off a bit. I haven't posted about any new books in quite a while and even announced a MealPlanMonday hiatus. The reason for this is that my life has been turned upside down. Literally. Wonderfully, Miraculously, Completely turned upside down.

Ready for it? Jeff and I are going to have a baby. : )

We are so stinking excited and cannot wait to meet our little blessing. I know this may sound extremely corny, but that really is exactly how we feel! We both feel so blessed that the Lord has allowed us to become parents. We cannot wait to see what His plan is going to hold for us. It is amazing and scary and humbling and just plain ol' life changing.

I am still going to continue blogging, of course. However, since my life has changed so much, my blog will have to change with it. I will continue talking about the books I read, they just may change a bit. (I've already read a pretty decent-sized stack of pregnancy books! And a lot of the books on my Fall Into Reading Challenge list are going to be ignored for a while! Maybe a Spring Challenge??) I will still try to keep up with MealPlanMondays, but those too may be a little different. (The reason for the hiatus was that my morning sickness and general blah-ness kept me from wanting too much of anything to eat! It's also really hard to plan ahead for meals when something sounds good one minute and then repulses you the very next. Not to mention the smells! Don't even get me started on those!) And of course, you can look forward to plenty of posts about the highs and lows of our journey through this incredible time! There have already been so many things that I have wanted to blog about, but haven't been able to because "the word" wasn't officially out yet. Some of these things seemed important at the time, but now not so much. But some of those things I probably still will blog about, you'll just have to understand that the events happened several weeks ago.
I am excited about getting back to blogging, since now I can actually "talk" about what is really going on in my life!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Author Visit and Book Review - Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different

Today the fourth and fifth graders at my school were lucky enough to have, as the kids say, "a real live author" come to visit. The author was Kristin O'Donnell Tubb. She has written several books for commercial characters (think ScoobyDoo, Bugs Bunny, Holly Hobbie), but also has a new book out that is all her own, Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different. She was great with the kids. She gave them several good revising strategies to use that will spice up their pieces. Not to mention she was also as cute as a button! Very stylish, but still in a down-to-earth way, you know? 

I ordered Autumn  when I first heard Mrs. Tubb was coming for a visit. The book tells the story of the founding of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a place almost everyone who lives in this part of the country has been at least once or twice in their life. The story is told through the eyes of an eleven year old girl named, you guessed it, Autumn Winifred Oliver. Her family lives in Cades Cove, Tennessee, a town where things never change. But changes are surely on the way. It seems the town will either be lost to loggers stripping the mountains, or to the "Not So" Great Smoky Mountains National Park. And Autumn and her family find themselves stuck right in the middle. You can read an excerpt here

I read this book over Fall Break and loved every bit of it. Here's why:
  • Some of the messes Autumn gets herself into are so hilarious they literally had me laughing out loud! From riding a coffin down a flooded river to using sticks to prop open the mouths of geese, she definitely does things different! 
  • The book is loaded with mountain culture, sayings, and superstitions. It reminded me a lot of Appalachia. Some of the stuff I actually had to look up because I had no clue what it meant. Like, did you know you weren't supposed to burn sassafras wood in your house? It's bad luck and means someone is probably going to die. (You better run straight home and throw out all that sassafras, ya hear?) I also had no idea what a dogtrot was. (Check out the picture at the bottom.)
  • Parts of the book made me cry. No, not cry. Sob. Openly. But in the good way, you know? I just felt so close to Autumn and her family that when they suffered, I experienced it to. I LOVE books that do that. A mark of a really good writer.
I read this book aloud to a group of fourth graders who read at a pretty advanced level. The dialect did make it kinda challenging, but fun to use for a read aloud. We did have to stop a lot to talk about a lot of the phrases and bits of culture that they(we) did not understand. What I ended up doing was having the kids take notes on the phrases or words that they did not understand or just plain liked. Every chapter or so we would stop and discuss. And then at the end of the book they will have a list of really neat phrases and words that they could borrow for their own pieces. The kids also laugh out loud at the book, even more than I did. They have started using "Autumn" phrases and commenting that they "do things different." It's always neat to watch them have fun with a book as a group. 

How'd you like to have a dogtrot in the middle of your house?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I Can Finally Start Buying Clothes...

This week, Jeff and I found out that in April we will be getting a nephew! That's right. Timothy and Katie had an ultrasound this week and found out that they are having a baby boy! My brother said that the baby was very active and was kicking like crazy the whole time. He did two full somersaults during the ultrasound! Everything looked good and the due date is still set for April 07. We are so happy for Tim and Katie and cannot wait to meet their beautiful baby boy!