Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Some of The Things...

I have started compiling a silly little list in my head of all the things I will and will not miss once we move to Saipan.  Most of these are of no real consequence, but more general thoughts as I go throughout the day.

I Might Miss:
*Girl Scout Cookies, especially Thin Mints
*Grocery and Electric prices I can predict and account for in our budget
*Availability of fabric and craft stores
*A/C 24/7  (We *know* I will miss this one..)
*On-Call/Free Babysitters (aka Grandmas) ;-)
*Radio music
*Snow days
*My Lifesong Photography clients

I Will Not Miss:
*Having to blow dry & staighten my hair, ever.  Updos and ponytails, here I come!
*Worrying about what to wear. (No one cares about how one dresses on the island, so I've been told)
*Working out of the home (!!)
*Traveling every weekend and not having anything be "normal"
*Long drives to the store, work, church, restaurants, etc.  (On an island 4milesx12miles, I imagine most trips are relatively quick)

Other Things I am Excited About:
*Utilizing market vendors for fresh produce, etc.
*Making new friends in a new place
*Being home with my kiddo(s) every day!
*Continuing to pursue my passion of photography
*Having time to hopefully join/start new ministries as need on the island.  (My heart feels drawn to a young mother's ministry, if there is a need for one.)

As I said, this list really doesn't serve a purpose to anyone, but I wanted to type it out anyway.  Maybe it will help keep me balanced. 

Yes, there are many things I will miss about life in the States (more than I've listed, of course).  But, the things I am excited about and the things I will Not miss are important too.  If I ever need to be reminded of the exciting things about moving, I can to a quick look at this list and remember.

Girl Scout cookies or not, I am ready for Saipan and hope Saipan is ready for us!  (O:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Our News (O:

It has actually been almost two weeks since we announced our newest "Big News" to friends and family (which means almost all of you already know about it).  So this post isn't exactly earth-shattering, but I wanted to record this exciting time to look back on at some point in the future.

14 weeks tomorrow
Lemon-sized baby ;-)
No morning sickness (yay!)
Minimal heartburn after meals
Very. T.I.R.E.D.
Craving Chinese, BBQ, fried fish and apple juice
Still Zumba-ing, but modifying certain moves
Still in non-maternity clothes
Starting weight maintaining so far
Memory worse than normal..haha.

Emilia is pretty excited about it.  We don't think she completely understands, but she does like to talk about the baby.  Some days we ask and she wants a baby sister, but more recently she has been saying she wants a baby brother.  I told her they could dress up as the Princess and the Frog for Halloween if it's a brother. She liked that idea. ;-)

Were we trying?  Yes and No.  We have been "trying" for almost 2 years, unsuccessfully.  Last October, I started going through testing to see if something was blocked or what was going on.  We had zero trouble getting pregnant with Emilia, so everyone seemd baffled by the trouble this time around.  The tricky part about this testing was that my insurance from my previous employer was going to expire on 12/31/11 and we were not yet sure what we were doing for insurance in the new year.  So, I was pleading with every doctor to get all my tests done before the end of 2011.  The last test I needed would have had to been scheduled for the week between Christmas and New Years...but they couldn't squeeze me in since they were short doctors and overbooked.  I felt helpless.  I got angry and gave up.  I decided I was done trying, I was done testing, I was just done.

I absolutely believe in God's perfect timing and my heart was healed over the next few months.  I came to terms with the fact that we may not have any more biological children, or it might be a long, long time before we do.  Life was picking up as Saipan stuff started taking up more and more time (in a good way!), so I stopped thinking about it altogether.  Until about mid-March, when I realized I hadn't had a montly visitor since at least January, maybe Decemeber...hmmm...  I waited a several days before telling Jason, because I didn't want to jinx anything.  But that home test changed so quickly, I knew I was pregnant!

We were both thrilled and I started set up appointments right away.  Since I wasn't sure how far along I was, my doctor scheduled me for an ultrasound the same week as my first appointment.  Things get a little hairy since we move to Saipan in July and I am not due until October 24th.  My doctor wants to make sure we have precise, clear records to send to Saipan and determining the exact due date was a big one to clear up.  It was super exciting to find out that I was already 12 weeks along!  We don't like to share pregnancy news before 12 weeks, so there is less chance of having to share bad news if something goes wrong.  Luckily we didn't have to wait ANY time!

The weekend before my appointment, we had taken Emilia to a park to snap the photos used for our announcement.  This was Jason's idea and it turned out really cute.  Everyone seemed to like it and we loved including Emilia in sharing the news.  We also let her be the one to tell both sets of grandparents.  One set by exclaiming "I'm going to be a big sister" (which she pronounced Stister)  ;-)  The other Grandma with a "Big Sister" shirt.  All the grandparents are excited and sad. 

This is just another reminder for them that we are moving far, far away and they won't get to see their newest grandbaby for several months after he/she is born, or possibly 2 years if the cannot come visit.  I have days of struggle with this too.  They were such a strong support system after Emilia was born- helping with laundry, preparing meals, holding E so I could sleep/shower/etc.  I know we will not be alone on Saipan, but it is a little scary to think about not having our mommas close by.  This is just another way God is teaching us to trust HIM.  He knows exactly what He is doing and I have faith that everything will be OK.  (It also helps to remember that I would SO NOT want to have a newborn during our 26 hours of travel to Saipan.  Ugh, can you imagine!?)

Now I have a whole new layer to my packing lists, shipping lists, purchasing lists...oh the lists!  Thankfully we have quite a bit of Emilia's old baby stuff still.  But, we sold all our bigger items, so it's back to car seat and stroller shopping.  I am running into some trouble with this because none of the major stores ship to Saipan.  So we will have to purchase while in the States and ship it to Saiapn ourselves.  I am looking for a good deal on a double jogging stroller, and hope to find one second-hand to save some money.  The bigger items are all I can really spend time looking at for the moment, at least until we find out baby's gender--hopefully the beginning of June!  (O:

We have also decided to "Go Green" and cloth diaper this time around.  Honestly, it has much less to do with the environment (shame on me) and more to do with money.  Jason learned on his visit last year that on Saipan, they take one large box of diapers, the kind with 2 plastic sealed sections of diapers inside, open in and sell each of the plastic sections for the price of the one box.  So, say Pampers are $25 per box, they are selling each plastic section for $25!  Yikes!  That will *really* cut into our small budget... I have pretty much made my decision about which clother diapering systems to go with, now to pull our money together and start stocking up.

I think that about covers everything, for now.  I am going to try and post weekly updated throughout the pregnancy.  I always love reading other bloggers weekly preggo updates about cravings, thoughts, etc. and think it will be fun to look back on one day.  Back to one of many product review sites to continue my searches.  (O:

Friday, April 20, 2012

Small Style :: Belated Easter

Yes, I realize Easter was not one, but TWO weekends ago...I am very behind.  Tardiness aside, I wanted to share a couple photos I snapped quickly before church on Easter Sunday. 

I have been waiting almost a full year for her to wear this dress!  I still laugh when I think about the day Jason called me from Kohl's and asked, "Is $3.80 a good price for a dress?"  He went on to explain what it looked like and the brand.  I told him $3.80 is ALWAYS a good price and especially for that brand.  I was so proud of him that day. (O:

We were so glad to be able to attend our home church for Easter.  It was a welcomed break from all our deputation traveling.  Sadly, I forgot to have someone take a family photo of us, but here's my cutie little girl! ;-)

A few thoughts that crossed my mind as I uploaded these:

1.  I have no idea why she started faking "laughter" and "surprise" while I was snapping photos.  She has a mind of her own and I'm just glad they turned out cute!

2.  I kept thinking the sash of her dress was cream and now after seeing these photos, it definitely was.  Color matching fail.

3.  I am so lucky to have this sweet little lady in my life.  She challenges me every day, makes me laugh and is a true joy (most of the time).

As seen on Emilia:
Pink dress with *cream sash ::  Chaps brand at Kohl's, major clearance
White cardigan :: Gap, eBay
Pink bow :: Handmade by me
White sandals :: Payless
Necklace ::  I cannot remember, but it was super cheap and it is her absolute FAV to wear. ;-)

Linking up here:

Friday, April 13, 2012

{Embrace} and {Small Style :: Birthday Girl!}

Good morning!

I am so so excited about today's post!  This has been a big work in progress for me and I am thrilled with how it turned out.  More importantly, Emilia loved it!

We celebrated Emilia's THIRD birthday this past weekend with a "Tinkerbell Party", at E's request.  The only catch was that she wanted to be Rosetta, Tinkerbell's fairy friend, because she wears pink.  My MIL found an awesome deal on a peachy colored fabric which matched our Rosetta doll's outfit perfectly, so I set out to create something fantastic. 

Emilia loves tutus and all things twirly, so I really felt the stress of perfection...haha.  Honestly, I just kind of made up the skirt as I went along...I looked at a couple tutorials for petal skirts and tutus, but ultimately, just kept playing with it until I liked it.  It didn't pass the "Twirl Test", but E still loved it!

I also took a plain white tank and added a small fabric rosette embellishment.  I didn't want anything too over-the-top and I think it turned out great!

She was also very particular about which character each family member was to dress up as...and here is our little family!  I was Tinkerbell and Jason was Terrence- Tink's boy fairy friend.  Such a good dad to get in on the fairy fun! (O:

I am excited to post all about her party details soon.  Please stop back by! (O:

As seen on Emilia:
Rosetta Skirt - Handmade by me
Rosetta Tank - Target's Circo brand plain tank, I added the embellishment
Leggings - Walmart
Wings -

I am linking up with two wonderfully awesome blogs today; please go check them out!:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Birthday Balloon Surprise

My daughter, Emilia turned 3 this past Saturday.  I still cannot believe she's 3 already- time is definitely flying!  When I started formulating birthday and party ideas, I came across a really fun surprise idea on Pinterest.  E is definitely a little balloon lover, so I knew she would love this surprise!

I stayed up late Friday night blowing up balloons and filled 3 trash bags.  I set my alarm to wake up at 6:30 to make sure I got them in her room before she woke up.  If you're my friend on facebook, you probably saw my post saying "One of the few acceptable reasons to set an alarm clock for Saturday morning :: covering the birthday girl's bedroom floor with balloons as a surprise for when she wakes up!"  And it was totally worth it!  When she first woke up, she just laid in bed calling for me...I could tell she hadn't realized the balloons yet, so I grabbed our camera and went in her room like nothing was different.  I closed the door behind me so the balloons couldn't escape and just started asking her how she slept, etc.  It took her a couple minutes, but when she finally looked down, she was SO excited!

She ran into the hallway to tell Daddy, Grammy and Grampy about the balloons!  We pushed all the balloons into the hallway and let the fun continue.

It was the perfect way to start this great day! 

Another post to come soon about all her party festivities...there will be pirates, fairies, friends and fun!  Plus I will finally be able to show off the Rosetta tutu skirt and coordinating tank I made for my little birthday girl.  (O:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Yummy Produce

My MIL is part of a bi-weekly produce co-op thing (how's that for specific...) and we are starting to really get into trying out new fruits/veggies.  The organization has several drop locations set up around our area, one of which is at her church.  You can either go early enough to help sort the foods, or just come between 7:00-8:00 to pick up your bag.  She usually takes Emilia with her and E has a blast.  She loves helping Grammy pick up our "produce".  (Am I the only one who thinks it is adorable for a 3 year old to call it produce??) 

The part we weren't completely sure about at first was the randomness and uncertainty of what we would receive.  For the most part, it has been good stuff that we know we like and will use before it goes bad.  This week had a couple odd items, including something we had never tried before.  Enter, the mango.

Jason has been trying to inform me about what fruits, veggies, and foods in general are available on Saipan.  It turns out, mangoes are Super abundant on Saipan, which means we need to learn to love them!  Any food items we can purchase locally, as opposed to foods shipped from the mainland to the grocery store, will *hopefully save us some money. 

We all braved our first mango experience and the results were was very tasty!  It reminded us of the consistency of a peach, but a little more tangy.  I let Jason cut into that bad boy and the seed is stinkin' huge!  He cut it into 4 sections, removing the seed, and we just cut or spooned the fruit out of the tough skin.  Jason, Treasa and I liked it quite a bit.  Emilia took one tinsy bite and said she didn't like it.  This is pretty typical of my picky-eater.  Her first response, more times than not, is not to like something.  We will try it again another day and see if the response is the same.

It was fun to test something out together, including Jason's mom in a little bit of pre-Saipan experimenting.  I am also glad to know I like them enough to eat them semi-regularly once on Saipan.  I'm MOST excited about lots of watermelon (yum!!) on island, but am glad to have other options as well. 

Even though this may seem totally insignificant in the grand scheme of things, for the moment, my heart was at ease.  There are many, Many things I am still anxious about concerning our move to Saipan and I feel relieved to mark this thought/worry (no matter how small) off my mental list.  It also made me feel a little more connected to Saipan, in some weird way.  Each time I make a new connection with a person on Saipan, try something we will eat regularly while on Saipan, check the weather and humidity, I feel closer to my little island.  Am I looking forward to the 84 degree day that feels like 92 due to humidity?  Not exactly.  But God is preparing my heart, little by little, for the biggest life change we have encountered thus far.