Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011

This morning I've just sat and looked through my blog posts from the last year. What a roller coaster ride!
But I see God's hand in every step.

2011 started with just experiencing my 2nd miscarriage. I was devastated and in a dark place. I had hope though that 2011 would be "our year".

3 months later, we were pregnant again...only to lose that one too.

As hard as all of that was, I felt God gently leading me by the hand for the next part of our journey. Our reproductive endocrinologist fell into our lap. We were able to see him immediately and begin testing.
We quickly began hormone therapy in hopes that would help me carry a baby to term.
And with that first try? It worked.
I was terrified for the testing. Afraid of the pain and afraid of the results. I was afraid to 'try' again only to lose another child.
But I felt this peace that this is where God wants me.
And on June 12, 2011 we learned we were expecting our miracle.

As hard and painful and heartbreaking as that experience was, I have seen God use it several times to help others in just the past year! He has brought several women in my life that are experiencing something similar and I am able to listen, give advice and just understand! And praise the Lord, I have a beautiful miracle to share with them as well.

Mr. Free and I have been so blessed by our little baby that will be here in 6 (or less!) short weeks!
Overall, this pregnancy has been so easy. Our baby is healthy and beautiful.
I never knew if we would be able to be parents, but I'm seeing what God's plan was for us this whole time.

2011 has brought many other blessings as well:
- Mr. Free got a full-time teaching job in the district that he wanted. We both are now full-time teachers! HUGE BLESSING!!!
- God has provided to pay all our medical bills as we underwent fertility testing. I didn't know how we'd afford it, but God made it work!
- With the unexpected medical bills, we were still able to finish our basement. We had to delay the project, but we were able to pay for it every step of the way and now have a great space to fellowship with others.
- With both of us being out of school for the time being (collegiate school that is...) we've been able to spend great quality time together, with our families and with our dear friends.

God has been so good and I am so looking forward to what He has in store for 2012!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Weeks 31 & 32

31 weeks 4 days
Christmas Eve

How far along? 32 weeks 1 day

Maternity clothes? Umm....yeah

Sleep? During Week 31 I was getting glorious sleep! Still tossing and turning, but felt SO rested. Now that I've hit Week 32, I've gone back to having a hard time being comfortable. Right when I find a position that my hips feel good, my back hurts. Then right when I find the "sweet spot", Baby starts kicking at the mattress.

Best moment of the week?
1. Christmas!!!
We had a great Christmas with all our families, filled with some quality time, great food and presents of course! It's so fun seeing our twin nieces discover the magic of Christmas. I can't wait for our own little one!

2. My birthday!
I turned 27 today and had a fantastic day. Mr. Free woke me up with some french toast. We then headed to Target to do a little shopping. Then headed to a new restaurant I had wanted to try on the Plaza. I then waddled around the Plaza with him for a few hours and wound up buying the baby a couple of cute things. We finished the evening at a local Italian restaurant that gives you a free meal on your birthday! It's been wonderful! I feel so blessed with where I am at on this birthday and am excited for the next year!
32 weeks, 1 day
My 27th Birthday
Food cravings? Orange juice! And Sonic Sunrise's. Sooo yummy.

Gender? Still don't know...

Belly button in or out? Still in! Barely!

Movement? Like crazy! The nurses always comment during the Non Stress Tests how active of a baby we have! It's hard to think that they still need to grow...I feel like there just isn't room!

What I miss? Still nothing. But I will say, I keep thinking about how I wont be pregnant forever. I'm just so used to it by now, that it blows my mind that eventually I won't be pregnant anymore. That Ill be able to sleep on my tummy and eat deli meat without second thought. So strange.

What I'm looking forward to? It's hitting me that in around 6 weeks we could be meeting our child! I am seriously SO excited for that!!

Milestones? We keep passing our NST's and Biophysical Profiles with flying colors! Baby is quite active and so entertaining to watch during the ultrasounds! This baby LOVES their feet. The last couple ultrasounds, Baby has one foot up by their face and grabbing the other foot with their hand playing with it. It is adorable!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kick up your feet and stay awhile...

Have I mentioned how much I'm loving our new space?!

For a long time I have wanted a sectional and big ol' ottoman. Our little upstairs living room could no way accomodate the sectional, and we had picked a different coffee table for that space made of glass to help it seem more spacious.

But now that I have my new family room....

I ordered this ottoman off of for just $79. It's nice and big at 4' by 2'. It had 108 reviews all at 5 stars, so I knew I couldn't go wrong! The top is nice and firm so you could set a plate or drink on it without it falling over. But just cushy enough to put your feet up on : )

We figure it will be nice whenever Baby Free starts toddling around, so there isn't a hard edge to hurt themselves on.

Plus I like the way it looks!

So, are you a cushy ottoman or a sturdy coffee table person?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Basement Decorating!

One thing I was really looking forward to in finishing the basement was decorating it!

Our small home was pretty much all decorated, so I was stoked to have another room to decorate!

And since the rest of the house is pretty much beige, we decided to go with a slate pallate downstairs.

We had already moved the furniture in, so I did a little shopping to pick up some accessories to make it a bit more homey.

Target happened to have perfect slate colored pillows to coordinate with the walls. They were $20 for a 2 pack.

The end table, also from Target was $69. I liked the clean lines. I also picked up at Target the glossy white lamp and the white tray. I really like the neutrals and slate with pops of white. Also, picked up the vintage looking wire basket at HomeGoods for just $7.99 to hold our current magazines. But the tray was pretty necessary, so I could easily remove the items on top of the table..

Flip the top over and make it into an ottoman! How cool is that?! Thought for big game nights, it'd be great for extra seating!

I also dressed up the bookcase corner a bit. I found the white boxes on sale at Michaels for $1.99. They will soon hold baby items, like a few extra diapers and wipes for quick changes downstairs. I also nabbed the cute basket in the middle at HomeGoods for $12.99 to hold some of our favorite books. The bookcase is also holding some games for game nights and a nice big basket we already had to hold the soon-to-be overwhelming amount of toys.
I also threw a throw blanket we already had and a pillow to help dress up the hand-me-down recliner.

Love the details of the basket and the pop of white in the boxes!
We definitely needed a back door mat for wiping feet/paws. I loved this mat at Target ($25) since it had the browns and grays in it.

I had seen lots of 'Family Rules' signs on Pinterest and loved the idea. I was browsing Hobby Lobby and stumbled upon this one in the clearance section. It is very sturdy and made of solid wood. Mr. Free said the "Obey Your Parents" should've been the biggest one : )

Also at Target I picked up this Starburst mirror to help break up the long wall. I like the little bit of shimmer it adds.

We also picked up at Costco a pet bed for our pooches. They are NOT allowed on the furniture downstairs so figured they needed a comfy spot to lounge too.

Mr. Free also got the surround sound all rigged up this weekend and it is AWESOME!

Since our lives are going to change in approximately 8 weeks, and we will become much more of homebodies then we ever have been, I am so thankful for this space to be able to watch movies and play with Baby Free and not feel so crammed.

Our home is 900 square feet but the addition of the family room makes our home now 1400 square feet of living space. We keep commenting on how huge our home feels now! : )

Thanks for looking around. We absolutely love the space and plan to just veg down there for the month of January while we wait for Little One!

Friday, December 16, 2011

30 weeks!

Love this one...foot to the face!

How far along? 30 weeks 3 days

Maternity clothes? Oh yes...many shirts becoming too short even.

Sleep? Better, but not nearly enough. Mr. Free and I have had a crazy week and once we get home we're staying up too late hanging out in our new family room : )

Best moment of the week?

1. Seeing Baby Free again. Mr. Free and I are getting a good idea of what this child is going to look like...these pictures are pretty consistent. Though no one can figure out who baby looks like. We've heard "exactly" like me, "exactly" like Mr. Free and even "just like" Grandpa. We will see!

2. Seeing that Baby Free is looking healthy and gaining the right amount of weight! Baby's kidneys are looking a bit better, which is a relief! Baby currently weighs 3 lbs 10 oz and is in the 57th percentile. Baby is also head down!

3. Finishing the basement! It is finished! SUCH a relief! Mr. Free and I anticipate most of January will be spent down there relaxing, waiting for our next "project" due in February!

Food cravings? Totally depends on the day/moment. Yesterday it was Mexican...again. We will see what today holds!

Gender? Still don't know...

Belly button in or out? Still in!

Movement? Definitely. It's now VERY visible from the outside. In the evenings I'll just sit and watch my belly change shapes and move all over. So crazy!

What I miss? Still nothing. Feel very blessed to be in this stage of life!

What I'm looking forward to? Now that I know this child will be here in 9 or less weeks, I am just SO excited to meet him/her! I can't wait to see what baby truly looks like. I can't wait to hold him/her. I can't wait to have all our family and friends meet this child!

Milestones? Now starting weekly appointments with Biophysical profiles and Non Stress tests. Knowing we have 9 or less weeks is crazy! But we're crazy excited!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It is finished!

Yesterday the carpet fairies came and finished the last step in our basement project!

Mr. Free and I were so excited ALL DAY and couldn't WAIT to get home and see how it looked!

Here was Mr. Free's first reaction...

Needless to say, we've both missed having carpet.

Hardwood is beautiful and easy to wipe up messes, but nothing is as comfy as some plush carpet underfoot.

We wasted no time once we got home and saw the finished product, and started moving in furniture.

Mr. Free's parents delivered our brand new sectional.

It had rained all day, but let up just in time to bring it over.

Mr. Free immediatly put together the new TV stand so he could get his prize up and running.

The TV stand is actually pretty great quality considering it was $85 at Target!

And fits the TV size perfectly!

I put together the bookcase (which matches the TV stand) and we brought out a hand-me-down recliner to put in the corner.

The bookshelves will be full of DVDs, board games and toys for baby.

We also brought down Baby Free's bouncy seat. Figure this side of the room will become Baby Central.

Santa also delivered our new curtains a little early.

I love the way they look!

(Ignore the laminate that needs cleaning after the carpet installers...I was too excited to snap some pics first!)

This is the TV sitting area.

The couch on the left is a full-size couch that Mr. Free's parents had given us a few years ago (it's a sleeper too!)

So with that and the sectional we will be able to comfortably seat 8-9 for movie nights!

Mr. Free ordered his new 7.1 surround sound and let me order the ottomoan for the seating area.

I think it'll look great and will offer a cushy place to put up our feet and if baby is tottering around they won't hurt themselves if they fall against it.

I have lots of decorating to do now, but am TOTALLY up for the "challenge"!

And for those wondering, to finish our approx. 511 square feet of living space came in at $4,007 for all materials. This includes every tool, screw, and piece of wood we had to buy. We saved THOUSANDS in labor and are thrilled with the results!

Monday, December 12, 2011


We are thisclose to being done with the basement!
Mr. Free has worked his booty off for the past 3 months! And he has done a FABULOUS job!

Tomorrow our carpet is being installed and then we can move in furniture and start decorating!

I will do another post with the step-by-step of the transformation, but here is the Mood Board for the final product.

This space is approx. 511 square feet with the primary purpose of a family room.

Here's the break down:

1. Swiftlock Curly Walnut Laminate flooring- Our basement is a walkout so we wanted a landing that went between that door and the door to the laundry room. The dogs and cat have their food and bed in the laundry room so frequently walk the path of the back door and to the laundry room. When it's muddy we thought this would be much easier to clean than carpeting.

2. Berber carpet from Lowe's- This is one of their in-stock options. We chose this because it will hide lots of dirt and be easier to keep clean with 2 dogs, a cat and a baby.

3. Tufted ottoman- Walmart. This is on order, should be in in a couple weeks. I definitely like the look, the reviews and the price. Think it's a stylish option with a little one on the way.

4. Sectional- Nebraska Furniture Mart. We loved the look of this sectional and it was a bargain for the price. It appears it will hold up well with being used often.

5. Bookcase- Target. Simple, nothing elaborate. Will hold some board games, DVDs and a basket of toys for the tot.

6. Family Rules sign- I saw this on clearance at Hobby Lobby and am really considering getting it. Think it'd be cute and a good reminder for us all...

7. Cream throw- Target. Pretty sure Santa is bringing this for me. It's super soft and will be so nice to snuggle with!

8. Cream furry throw pillow- Pier One. I've hinted at this to Santa as well. It is sooo soft.

9. Espresso baskets- Will use this to contain magazines, dog toys and baby toys.

10. Arc lamp- I bought this YEARS ago at Target and it's still been in the box! Think I will finally bust it out for this space!

11. Chocolate curtains- Target. We have a large window next to the walk out door and loved the quality and print of these curtains.

12. TV and TV stand- TV Walmart, TV stand Target. For Mr. Free's super hard work, he got the TV of his choice. The TV stand matches the bookcase. Not the best quality, but we will have to save up a bit for a solid wood TV stand that will hold Mr. Free's new TV.

We are SO excited for this new space! It will so wonderful to be able to have more people over at our house and a wonderful new room for baby to play in!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Nursery

The nursery is 90% done!

With our first shower last weekend, I knew I wanted it mostly put together so that any gifts we received could be organized and put away.

Mr. Free and I decided early on that we wanted the nursery to be neutral, cheery and modern. We wanted to be able to use it with multiple kiddos, regardless of their gender.

We also aren't "theme" people, so we decided to stick with a color palatte and mix and match fabrics and textures.

Here was the idea board I had come up with a few months ago

First, we chose a paint color. I can't even tell you the *exact* color, because it wound up being a custom color.

Mr. Free and I were in a huge hurry when we picked it out and ended up telling them the wrong color.

Luckily, Lowe's is awesome and did what they could to fix it.

This paint does photograph different in different lights. It's an aqua color, but in bright light it looks brighter and with soft light it looks more seafoam.

The nursery walls were covered in 2 coats of wallpaper and paint. I spent several evenings steaming and peeling off the wallpaper. Fun times.

Over Thanksgiving I came down with the stomach flu, which put me way behind on the nursery progess. Mr. Free was awesome and busted his hiney to paint the nursery and keep on his schedule with the basement. Love that man.
We had bought the Zig Zag rug a few months prior, and my mom and I redid the glider a month or two ago as well.

Once the paint dried I was antsy to get the crib set up, so Mr. Free pulled a late nighter and set it all up for me. I was so thrilled to see furnitue in the room!

A few nights later I pulled together the rest of the accessories we had for the nursery.

I put the crib bedding on, pulled in the nighstand for next to the glider, and stocked the bookcase.

The crib will have a changing tray that sits on top for changing the baby. This room is TINY so there just wasn't the space for a changing table. Come January, and the basement is finished and the holidays are over...this will be Grandpa and Daddy's new project. But it will look something like this, with the changing pad tucked inside it.

By the way, I love love the crib.

It's the ParkLane Baby Mod crib from Walmart.

It was a little more than I wanted to spend ($300), but it was the only big purchase we needed for the room. The rest of the furnishings were either repurposed from around the house or free.

Plus, it had the clean lines I wanted and the extra storage drawer on the bottom.

The construction of it is great too and it got fantastic reviews.

After the shower I got busy organizing the bookcase. Baby Free will be cloth diapered, so I have all the supplies handy on the shelf, which is right by the crib for changes. Baby Free also has a good start on their book collection, their own Scentsy and an impressive stash of stuffed animals.

The glider is perfect for the space. I snagged that little blanket on clearance at Target a few months ago and loved the geometric print. Mr. Free's aunt got us the Basset Hound stuffed animal years ago, which will be *perfect* for our little they will instantly have a Basset Hound brother and sister upon arrival. : )

I like that the glider has the pockets on the side too...I've already loaded it with breastfeeding accessories which will handy.

I love the way the dresser turned out. I knew I wanted a yellow dresser and luckily a friend on Facebook had one to give away! It took about 4-5 coats of this lemon yellow paint, but I love the way it turned out! And it fits perfectly in the closet! Baby has the start of their wardrobe, which I know will double in size when Baby is here and we know whether to fill it with pink or blue!

So that's what we have so far!

We still need to hang things on the walls (a couple of DIY projects I've saved for January). And need a few more storage baskets for the closet shelves up high to hold blankets and such.

Then we are done!

I feel so much better that if Baby Free were to come early, we are nearly set!

Maybe this is that whole "nesting" thing I've heard about?!

Friday, December 2, 2011

28 weeks!

How far along? 28 weeks!

Maternity clothes? Oh yes!

Sleep? So-so. The beginning of the week was AWFUL. I had a stomach bug, and then after that battled some insomnia. The last couple nights though I've slept like a baby! Praying that's the new trend!

Best moment of the week?

* Seeing Baby Free again

* Finalizing everything with the basement (all that's left is painting and flooring!)

* Starting on the nursery! We have the wallpaper peeled, paint on the walls, paint on the dresser, the rug, glider and crib in!

Food cravings? None really. We've been SO busy wrapping up the basement and the nursery that I haven't thought much about it. We've just been grabbing quick bites to eat in between errands and chores!

Gender? Still Team Green.

Belly button in or out? Still "technically" in....

Movement? Oh yes. Starting to really see Baby's active patterns and sleepy times. Began kick counts this week too!

What I miss? Nothing : )

What I'm looking forward to? My first baby shower is this weekend! Ahhh!!! I can't wait!

Also, finishing the basement project and working on the nursery!!

Milestones? 3rd trimester! Starting kick counts and biophysical profiles weekly.