Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holiday Happenings

Whew - it is a busy time of year!  And with Thanksgiving being a week late, it feels even busier!  Even though it's been busy, I haven't ever felt really stressed over anything and we've made sure to not make Christmas a "burden", because it's not about all the "stuff".  Of course there are plenty of things I would like to do, that just aren't going to get done or seen or whatever.  And I especially love getting Christmas cards and giving them, but the fact of the matter is that I haven't even bought Christmas cards yet, haha, so I'm giving myself permission to not send them out this year even though I would really like to.

Anyway, here is a round up of what we have been up to this holiday season, including Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving was spent in Wichita with the family.  We were so very grateful to get an extended stay there and quality time with both sides of the family.  There was plenty of eating, shopping and time with my sweet niece.

About two weeks ago, Arkansas got a pretty big ice/snowstorm, resulting in about 7 inches or so of snow on the ground!  I absolutely loved it!  Bonus was that we got a day and a half off of work and our power stayed on.  Caleb loved playing in the snow and Nick pulled him on his new sled in the icy street.  There was lots of movie watching, online shopping, warm-drink-sipping, and cuddling accomplished!  One downside was that because of the snow and ice, our Christmas lights have not worked since.  :(  We only had them up for a few days before the weather came, and the lights haven't decided to start working even though it is all melted away.  I am hoping this remedies itself!  

Friends over 
Last Friday night as I mentioned here, we got to watch the Gutshall kids and their cousin.  They were so good and sweet.  Caleb and Emerson had a blast playing with Nick and laughed and laughed and Lyla and Nolah played so sweetly, checking everything out.  It was a really fun night.  Lyla even slept in Nick's arms toward the end of the evening.  So sweet.  I told him pink looks good on him.  Haha, we shall see.  :)  

Gift exchange & Birthday party
I wish I had taken some pictures of these, but I guess I was just enjoying myself and didn't take the time to get my phone out.  We have been so blessed with some friendships here in Siloam with people our age from church.  There is one family, the Butlers, with three brothers who are all married and have baby girls that we have gotten to know and hang out with.  Nick sometimes gets together and sings with the guys and the girls and the kids and I all hang out.  One of them hosted a gift exchange and a few other families.  It was so fun.  We did a white elephant gift exchange and got some pretty hilarious presents.  I walked away with a bag of beans with a note explaining it was for a "hot tub experience".  Directions are to consume the beans, wait an hour and take a bath - magically, bubbles will start appearing!  And Nick came home with an adult sized Betty Boop pink onesie.  Awesome.  We had delicious food and tons of fun.  
A few nights later we went to a first birthday party for the youngest of one of the families who was at the gift exchange, the Dees.  It was pretty much the same people there and we had a taco bar and all the kids had fun taking over their house!  We are so thankful for friendships here!  

Christmas Train
Just like last year, we headed to the Christmas Train again this year.  Oh man, I love this place.  It is an entire Christmas town with so many fun things to do.  We went with Tyler, Robyn and Jack and had a blast.  We stopped for some fudge first, ate a delicious BBQ dinner, bought some saltwater taffy, Rob and I lost the boys for awhile, we watched a puppet show and rode the train and carousel.  We were really tired by the end of the evening but got to do so many fun things!  The boys were really good too.

Nick's choir concert
Last Sunday, the church choir had their annual Christmas concert which Nick was a part of.  It was a beautiful service and they all did a wonderful job!

This weekend and the following week bring a quick trip to Wichita for Christmas with my family, small group, Christmas Eve service, Christmas, our anniversary, and Braschler Christmas!

Caleb Conversations

While Nick was gone for a week hunting in South Dakota.  I asked him this when I picked him up from school - Miss Michelle is one of the teachers who calls Caleb her boyfriend (and has since he was a little baby).
V: Caleb, do you want to go on a date with me?  Do you want to be my boyfriend?
C: No, I Chelle's boyfriend!

At the doctor's office for an ultrasound and we took Caleb:
as I'm laying on the table and the doc is rolling the ultrasound thing on my belly
C: It's gonna be ok mommy.

On our way home after daycare:
C: Where my daddy?
V: He's at work but he might be home already, let's go see.
C: Let's go see daddy.  My friend, daddy.  Daddy's a boy.  Mommy's a girl.  Baby's a girl. And I'm a boy.
disclaimer: We still do not know the gender of the baby.  Lately Caleb has insisted it's a girl.

During dinner just about every night for the last week or so:
C: Mmmm...that's pretty good!  Thanks mommy!

Friday, December 13, 2013

High Five for Friday

1. I have been loving the snow we got this past week!!!!  We got a snow day from work and got to play in it a little.  I think it is beautiful and I love it!  Bonus points that we didn't lose power.

2. Tonight we get to hang out with the Gutshall kiddos and niece!  I am excited to have a fun evening playing with them!

3.  Tomorrow, the church Honduras mission team is doing a fundraiser Parents Night Out from 3-9.  I am looking forward to some quality time with my man.  And maybe we can just about finish up our Christmas shopping.

4.  Sunday night we are headed to the Christmas Train with Tyler, Robyn and Jack!  So excited for this!  Here is last year's post about it.

5.  Today I have been listening to Christmas music all day at work and it is awesome.  Keeps this girl in a good mood.  :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

3 + 1 = 4

The Braschler family is growing from 3 to 4! We are expecting another little one!

 I don't know why it has taken me so long to get this on the blog. I think for the most part I didn't really know what to say. It is strange to have been through two miscarriages and now to be pregnant again. Your emotions change, your outlook changes, and your experience is completely different. Once you experience a miscarriage, the initial excitement and happiness of a pregnancy is overshadowed by fear and caution. You tell your family by phone call as more of a prayer request than a big announcement. You feel weird when someone says, "I'm so excited for you!" especially in the early stages because you are feeling less excitement and more nervousness. Most of these are feelings that I have experienced in the first trimester. Thankfully, we have been able to see our doctor as soon as we found out and got lots of visits in early on. It was a huge miracle when we got to see our baby and it's heartbeat and hear that precious sound for the first time. For many weeks my attitude was mostly "cautiously optimistic". I had my blood drawn several times to make sure my hcg levels were increasing as they should. And I also got my progesterone level checked as suggested by my sis-in-law. The doctor called back and said progesterone was a little lower than they'd like it to be so they put me on a supplement, which I think was truly helpful. A low level of progesterone could possibly be the cause of our past miscarriages, but we will really never know. We do know that it has seemed to help this time. Passing the first trimester mark and seeing our baby move at around 12 weeks was amazing. It was after that appointment that I let myself think ahead a little bit. Our two past losses occurred around 7 weeks, so to now be 17 weeks is a major thing. One thing that I wasn't really prepared for was at one of our appointments where they ask a bunch of questions and the nurse said, "So this is your fourth pregnancy, correct?" Nick and I just kind of looked at each other like, wow, I guess it is. I had never thought about it as this is my fourth child. I'm not sure why. It was just weird to hear it put that way.

 Some days (very few lately) it feels like I'm just waiting for it to happen again. The further along we get the less I feel that. We are truly excited and thrilled that things seem to be going along very well! We are so very happy to welcome another little one into our family. We know that Caleb is going to be a wonderful big brother. He shows us glimpses of his sweetness to the baby from time to time and we just know he will do great in his new role.

 One verse that has been key for me is Psalm 112:7. "We will have no fear of bad news. Our hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord." Doesn't mean that we won't experience bad news, but we don't need to fear it. Which is not easy.

 Here are the basics of this pregnancy thus far:
- I am 17 weeks along.
 - I have been so very blessed to not have any morning sickness. I have felt many times that if I don't eat something right this second then I might be sick, but have never experienced it. I think God knows that I don't handle it very well. :/
- Our due date is around May 15. That is a popular date because it is Nick's mom's birthday, his brother's birthday, and my niece's birthday!
 - Caleb knows that there is a baby in my belly. He will sometimes kiss it, but we do have to remind him to be gentle with mommy pretty often. He says there is a baby in his belly too sometimes. And he has said that he wants a brother and a sister. (There's just one in there - we checked!) Sometimes he says it's a boy and sometimes he says it's a girl.
 - We were supposed to find out the gender on Tuesday, but little baby was being modest so we will hopefully find out January 8th!

 Our past experiences have made us more aware of the struggles so many have in their journey to reach motherhood. Infertility, miscarriages and other issues are so much more common than I had ever realized. So I find myself much more concerned with how I share and talk about our news.

 We are so very happy to be expecting this little one. We have learned so much in the past year to trust in God's timing - He is in control. In all areas of life, we never know what the next moment may bring, but we know that God has a master plan for all of us that is better than ours. Doesn't mean that we won't experience pain as a part of that plan - after all, we live in a fallen world where hurt and pain are rampant. But we do serve a good God.

 This Thanksgiving I am grateful for God's grace and His redemption. We don't deserve the many blessings He gives us, big or small. I am thankful that He loves us anyway.