baby #7 pregnancy update: 39 weeks

We're in the very last stretch of this pregnancy!! At 39 weeks, I laugh every time I catch a glimpse of my profile in a window. My babies are SO big, I know she has to be 8 lbs already, and I probably have 2.5 weeks to go!! I am amazed when I see a smaller baby because they are SO tiny compared to my huge babies! :)

39.5 weeks 
(documenting only for the sake of posterity... I'm sorry, I don't take pictures anymore! :P)

When I was 37 weeks along we had a chance to get away for a couple of nights thanks to my parents. It was such a blessing to rest and be alone together for 48 hours. :D In the past +/-4 years since Zane was born, we've had just a handful of nights alone, so every one of them becomes a precious memory! :)

We enjoyed the free breakfast:

Then we went to BuyBuy Baby to look at single strollers (we have a wonderful double, but we will be up to 3 in strollers now! crazy!). They had the biggest selection either of us had ever seen:

And even fake 20 lb. babies to test them out: 

I'm so glad the real ones aren't as compact at that weight because I think my arms would give out! :)

And they had the smallest folding stroller I can remember seeing:

I have to happily record that this was one of the few times I've ever been able to figure out how something mechanical unfolded. :D I struggle with everything that unscrews, unlatches, or unfolds so I always hand it over to him in about 5 seconds because mechanical things make me twitch. :)

We didn't end up buying anything there, but I think we found the best one! For the rest of the weekend, we ate and spent an hour at the half-price book store, and then read at the hotel for hours on end. It was fabulous. Truly refreshing in every way!

Since we've been back, we've been doing school every day, so the structure is really helping me to pass the time. At this point I could have 2-3 weeks left, so any help is a good thing! :) We are all ready for this little miss to make her appearance. I actually can't wait to see how Ivy and Zane react when they meet her. Introducing the new baby to the family is one of my favorite moments as a mama! :D

Here's an update on how things are going lately:

Feeling: Very pregnant, very round! :) I had a rough week at 38 weeks (I always seem to- it's like a transition point of my body or something!), but then I always feel super at 39-41 weeks, so I'm getting ready for the long haul of 2-3 more weeks. 

27, 30, 35 weeks, all at the same restaurant-
 the only reason we have photos of this baby #7 growing is because we like to eat at the same places over and over :P

Tomatoes, watermelon, and protein bars. I have a problem with most food right now- nothing sounds very good. :( I have a feeling this will go away soon, however. ;)

Maternity clothes: I lost them somewhere? I think I may have given most of them away in April and I can't remember. (Pregnancy brain!) Luckily most things I can still make work with a maternity undershirt tucked in, and I have a couple of maternity tanks.

Looking forward to: Meeting this little lady, when the kids get to meet her, and then spending a day staring at her alone with my husband. :D And a full week of rest after that. :)

Something wonderful that happened: I was growing more and more afraid of birthing again and the drama of how it all goes down so fast and painfully, but the Lord gave me a new perspective this week, and I see it so much differently now. What grace He extends to us, to open our eyes and change our hearts!

Aches or pains: Mostly feel great! Only when I push the exercising do I get pelvic/lower back aches.

Belly: About the roundest belly I can remember having. :) One stranger asked me at the grocery store if I was headed to the hospital because that baby is low, and I laughed and told her pretty much!! :D It's quite a sight- most people guess I'm having a boy! :)

about 38 weeks
Exercise: I finished my bootcamp and kickboxing classes at 37 weeks, and I have been walking for the last two weeks instead, but my body is going through major endorphin withdrawal. I added running back a couple days this week and I felt 100x better- oh how I love exercise!! It's wonderful.

Morning sickness: That 38th week I had major nausea every time I woke up- thankfully, it's gone again! I don't really enjoy spicy foods as they give me heartburn. :D 

Praying for: That I would remember what the Lord showed us last week, and that I would fully rely on the Lord in this labor- I become afraid again when I don't take my thoughts captive to trust Him.

my first podcast interview with the Declare Conference

I shared about it over on Facebook the other day, but I've been meaning to share it here too: I recently did my first podcast interview with the Declare Conference. It was a great chance to get to sit down with Anne Watson and pretend we were having coffee! :)

Here are some of the things we chatted about:
  • Having energy when you have a lot of kids
  • Head & heart knowledge
  • Serving in the daily grind
  • Working for the end goal
  • Staying debt free & God’s provision
  • Under promise & over deliver
  • When nothing turns out the way you think
  • Being a non-technical, late adapter
  • Measuring success

Here's the link if you're interested in listening in! :)

p.s. Lord-willing, I will be speaking at The Declare Conference in Dallas in early October! Let me know if you're coming- I would love to meet you there!! :)

father's day 2017, one of the best secrets, & goals this week

If the sheer number of homemade cards was any indication, I'd say Father's Day was a success! We started celebrating early on Saturday night, so little Zaner made Robert three different cards with cut and pasted-on secret doors: :D

These six people bring so much joy into our life:

I think they may have an idea already, but I hope they realize just how wonderful their dad is too. He loves the Lord with all his heart and teaches them, feeds them, and loves them so well. :) I came downstairs to find the perfect example of how well he loves them on Father's Day afternoon:

Oh, my heart. :D These are sweet, sweet days. The older we get, the more precious it all seems.

During all our Monday lunch mess, I took the opportunity to make two pans of tater tot casserole- one for the freezer and one for an easy dinner last night so we'd have less to clean:

Speaking of making life easier, did I ever tell you one of my very favorite to-do list secrets is to order items from Walmart online?

On my to-do list last time was to buy shower curtains, a lead-free water hose, and trash cans, so in one big online order I also stocked up on postpartum snacks, hair gel, tea, and more, with free shipping on everything! You can't beat having groceries shipped to your house! What kind of awesome world do we live in? :D (not sponsored in any way, I'm still just delighted!)

I actually took all goal setting off last week after going through that big to-do list! :) Amazingly, the Lord gave me energy that week to do everything but a couple of little things I'm still working on. :) I'm officially done with teaching my classes and I'm trying to let my body relax by walking and stretching! :P

I don't have much left to "do" now to prepare for the baby other than home-improvement things that aren't truly pressing, so whenever she's ready, I am! :) 

Here's what I have on the list this week:

:: do ::
pray alone
vacuum under den sofa
clean/wipe out freezer
exercise 5-6 days/ goal 5k-8k steps or more
get lots of Vitamin D/ take other supplements daily
r: hang shelf in laundry room, repair broken closet drawers, hang light + mirror, work on thresholds
inflate birthing pool
make Ava's birthday cake and freeze
buy groceries for Ava's birthday dinner
pin and sew Ivy's blanket
patch wall paint
write baby/pregnancy update
research places to visit for our anniversary trip
hang pictures in nursery

:: read ::
continue finishing Jeremiah (I hopped around way more than expected these last two weeks and am still working through one book at a time)

:: learn ::
listen to 2-3 sermons
Psalm 138:3-5

:: be ::
so thankful.
I feel so overwhelmed with thanksgiving right now that we get to have a little baby girl!!! Through His grace giving me a new perspective, I am so thankful that God designed the perfect way for her to grow and come out safely, and for His providence of when and how and where that happens. :) I just want to hold onto those thankful thoughts and not allow fear or ungratefulness or worry replace them in the next couple of weeks!

Texas-style summer fun: Fort Worth + Waco

Since we finished school in April, we took a short summer break in May and had fun with little activities here and there throughout the month! :) 

For Mother's Day we spent the night at a super affordable Jellystone Park outside of Fort Worth:

The whole family slept in one room (well, some of us better than others, ha!). It was such a cute cabin!

DFW frugal vacations

We all enjoy traveling away for the night, but I think the best part of every overnight trip is taking the kids to the store and letting them pick out their own snacks. :D 

so many choices!
The next morning we headed to the Fort Worth Stockyards for the first time:

We accidentally arrived just in time for the cattle run:

After we walked all of the old viewing decks, we headed back home:

A couple of weeks later, we took a small trip to the Waco Mammoth National Monument:

It's always a bit difficult to take the world's view of millions of years of evolution at every turn, but it made for lots of interesting family conversations on the ride back. :)

The site was originally found in the 70's when two teenagers stumbled upon a gigantic femur in a riverbed in Waco, which eventually led to the discovery of the world's only mammoth nursery herd buried in a disastrous flood:

day trips to waco

And while we were there, only one of my children dropped their booklet down into the excavation site, so I'm calling it a good day. ;)

After our tour we visited the famous Magnolia Market. They added a beautiful bakery since our last trip:

We didn't buy anything other than baked goods to share, but I think it may have been the best purchase there anyway! :)

Though we didn't venture too far from home last month, I felt like we definitely squeezed in a couple of little summer adventures before the baby is scheduled to come! :)

crossing it off, pre-baby to-do lists, + gentle leading (goals this week)

I can't believe we're actually in the month the baby is due!! :D For some strange reason everything house-related suddenly feels so pressing- like I NEED to wash that couch cover now, and that mirror that's been sitting there for two years absolutely NEEDS to be hung before the baby comes... :P Ah, nesting. It's a wonderful blessing because I'm pretty sure I would have zero motivation otherwise! :D

After an hour at the fabric store on Saturday, I finally found a coordinating fabric to match the new baby's blanket top! I finished it that evening, thankfully crossing off that re-do from my list last week:

Now I need to prepare our birthing supplies and baby clothes. I bought tiny diapers last week and started considering if our upstairs will hold an inflatable birthing tub... ;) I have so much on my list to keep me busy for the next few weeks! (What I'll do other than twiddle my thumbs for the 41st and 42nd weeks I am refusing to consider... :P).

Here's what is on my list for this week:

:: do ::
the baby loves Rainer cherries! ;)
  1. Pray alone (daily)
  2. Wash sofa covers
  3. Wash baby sheets, new baby blanket, and wrap 
  4. Wash car seat cover and clean seat 
  5. Wash pillow cases in living room 
  6. Steam wrinkled curtains 
  7. Make 4 freezer meals 
  8. Buy shower curtains for birth and replace old ones
  9. Wash 2 fabric shower curtains (and put back up), delivery towels, and washcloths 
  10. Order birthing pool 
  11. Teach and sub classes/exercise 5x 
  12. Book last-minute babymoon night away (YAY!!!)
  13. Buy and plant flowers and bushes in front yard
  14. Fill out and submit needed paperwork 
  15. Order extra herbal baths 
  16. Finish guest bathroom: paint, re-install sink, mirror, light fixture (all honey-do, ha!)
  17. Paint old mirror for guest bathroom
  18. Buy trash can for guest bath 
  19. Cut and pin Ivy's birthday blanket
  20. Start a birthing/postpartum items basket (night gowns, several baby outfits and diapers/wipes, swaddling blankets, towels, sheets, shower curtains, washcloths, snacks, Powerades, water, Valor oil, birthing kit, nursing pads)
  21. Find baby clothes and wash them!
  22. Fill out goal plans for the rest of June
:: read ::
the book of Jeremiah (last 1/2)

:: learn ::
Psalm 138:1-2 with the children 
1 language lesson 
listen to 2 sermons

:: be ::

a diligent worker.
With about 3+ weeks to go before the baby is due, I suddenly realized we have much to do! Just a week ago, I was feeling very drained and was worried what I would do without a burst of nesting energy! Thanks to the Lord, it kicked in last week and we are checking several items off the list! :D

I have several early mornings left to teach my last few classes, and with school starting back for us today I'm praying my energy level stays higher so I can at least get the items we need for the baby ready. We can officially have her at home this week! :) I want to have a good attitude in the midst of these final (somewhat hormonal and uncomfortable) weeks and realize that Lord-willing, recovery while snuggling my little girl is just around the corner! :)

I'm thankful the Lord's mercy is new every morning (especially like today, when everything went poorly on our first morning of school and I cried!), and that He is so patient with me and gently leads those that are with young... even with our silly, slightly far-fetched ideas about what we "need" to get done before the baby comes. :)

pretty much how I feel when I remember the baby can be born here this week... ;)

:: meal plans ::
spaghetti w/meat sauce + salad (make and freeze 2 extra pans)
chicken strips, broccoli + rice
chicken enchiladas, beans, and rice (make and freeze 2 extra meals)
sandwiches or dinner out