Category: family

Adventures in Baby Growing – The First Weeks

I’m pregnant, and I couldn’t be happier. We were trying for 3 months, and are so thrilled that it didn’t take very long. We’re having a baby in May or early June! During my pregnancy, I’ll be blogging about my adventures in baby growing. Join the adventure!
These first weeks have been crazy and difficult. I can’t believe how quickly my body started acting differently. Almost immediately my stomach rebelled against me, and continues to stage a rebellion. I haven’t been throwing up, but am nauseous ALL DAY LONG. The whole “morning sickness” description is a total misnomer. After 5 or 6 weeks of nausea, I finally had my first doctor’s appointment and was given a prescription for Zofran. It has been a miracle drug. I feel like I have my life back for the most part.
My other major symptom has been tiredness. I feel like I’m in a waking coma. At the same time, I have trouble sleeping. What the what?! It makes no sense at all. I won a $70 giftcard from CSN from Candace Rose. She has another CSN giveaway running right now, so go enter! Anyway, I used the giftcard to buy a super awesome Snoozer Body Pillow that was $71.99 with free shipping. I got it in the mail last week and it is helping me sleep more comfortably. I love free stuff!
People keep asking if I’ve had any cravings yet, and I don’t really think I have. My sister-in-law is convinced that if I crave sweet, it is a girl, if salty, a boy. Who knows? If a craving comes along, maybe we’ll start the guessing.
These first weeks have been exciting, keeping our secret from the world and slowly telling family and friends before announcing it last week. I love that as each weeks passes, my baby is growing and is more secure in my womb. I feel more pregnant as each week passes. It feels a little like an alien has taken over my body, but at least it is a cute little alien.
What were your early pregnancy symptoms? How did you deal with them?
Come back next week for an awesome giveaway – a 9 month supply of Nature Made Prenatal vitamins with DHA (worth $144)!

Adventures in Baby Growing – Finding Out!

We have been trying for a baby for three months now, and this time around I was sure we were pregnant. Jed asked me to wait until I was 3 days late to test. We took the test that night, and it was a bit inconclusive. It was the kind with the plus and minus signs, but the cross bar on the plus sign was VERY light. I didn’t know what to think. The test instructions stated that even a faint cross bar was a positive, but we just weren’t totally sure. We prayed that night for our future child, as we had been praying for three months.

The next day I drove to Walgreen’s and bought the digital test, the one that reads – pregnant or not pregnant. I figured I couldn’t screw that up, right? I took the test while Jed was still at work (I work from home a lot) because I couldn’t wait. It said with certainty – PREGNANT! I immediately called and texted Jed, telling him to call me asap but that everything was ok. I’m sure he knew immediately that we were pregnant. He called me after school and was so excited.

That night he took me out to dinner at Tillman’s Roadhouse, a cool restaurant in the Bishop Arts District. It is fancier than our normal fare, and felt like a real celebration. I’ll feature it in a post later. The coolest thing about finding out we are having a baby is that we both have a total feeling of peace about it.

How did you celebrate finding out for your first pregnancy?
Or, if you are trying… How do you plan to celebrate?

We’re having a baby!

 BabyFruit Ticker

We could not be more excited to share our good news! I’m pregnant! Our first baby is due at the end of May. This pregnancy has been a huge part of my disappearance from the blog lately. I have been so tired and the nausea has been out of control. That is all on top of losing Jed’s mom, my huge fundraising banquet, and moving. Yikes. Things are still a little crazy, but hopefully I will be around a little more now that I have nausea meds. 🙂 I’ll have lots more posts about the pregnancy, so I hope you don’t mind. I have baby on the brain lately. Is it weird that I think the blob on the sonogram is really cute? Because I definitely do think it is the cutest baby blob I’ve ever seen. The whole sonogram thing was weird, but totally worth it. After seeing my baby and hearing the heartbeat, I definitely feel like a mama.

Real Loss for Our Family

This past Saturday we lost Jed’s mom, Carrie. After a long battle with scleraderma and pulmonary fibrosis, she left us suddenly and without warning. No one expected that she would leave us in this way, and truthfully we are happy for her but sad for ourselves. Her body fought against her for 19 years, and doctors predicted that she would have 6 months to live back when she was first diagnosed. God had other plans, and gave her family almost 2 decades more time. Doctors also predicted that death would be painful and lingering, but God in His mercy brought it swiftly and painlessly.

She and Jed’s dad, Roe, had been shopping together Saturday morning, and she felt fine. They arrived at home and while he was helping her into her chair, she collapsed. He caught her and said that when he looked at her face he knew she was gone. Roe and Houston (the youngest son) did cpr until the paramedics arrived. The paramedics tried everything they could for 45 minutes, and took her to the hospital, but she never regained a pulse.

Houston called us right after he called 911, and we threw bags together and were in the car in 15 minutes. Soon after we got the call that she didn’t make it. It is still surreal and heartbreaking. We spent the weekend with family, but had to come back home yesterday for my fundraiser (more on that later) and for Jed to take the GRE. Our hearts are so torn, wanting to be with family but having to get stuff done here. Hopefully we will get back this weekend. Her memorial service will most likely be Oct. 16th, giving everyone time to prepare. She and Roe chose cremation several years ago, so we are able to take time to remember her well.

We have regrets about not talking to her more, spending more time with her, etc. We are both so sad for ourselves and for Jed’s sweet daddy, her husband of 42 years. I wish that I had called her more. Jed wishes that he had talked to her more. Our comfort is that she knew that we loved her and that we all said it often.

Carrie Scott Eby was a loving wife, a wonderful mother, a great listener and friend to many. She will be greatly missed. She was a woman of great faith, and we know that she is dancing in heaven in a new body that is free and not bound by disease.

Please pray for the family, for peace and comfort. Thank you.

A Little Oil Doesn’t Scare Us – Our Navarre Beach Vacation

My family has taken a Florida beach vacation almost every year since I was a toddler. We used to go to Destin, but now prefer Navarre Beach. It is a lovely piece of land that is much less crowded and has no traffic. We love it.
This year we almost didn’t go because of the oil spill. We thought that there would be oil everywhere and the beach would be ruined. Thankfully we had a great real estate agent who kept us updated on the real beach conditions, even sending pictures. With her encouragement we decided to go for it.

We saw very little oil and had a amazing week of sand, sun, and fun together. Perfection.

Jed learned how to snorkel and collected so many shells to add to our collection.
Sweet Caroline, our niece, loved her first beach experience. She played in the sand and loved the water.

The water was so calm and clear by the end of the week that the snorkeling was just awesome.
The clean up crews were everywhere, keeping the beach spotless. Their tent was just down the beach from us. You can see it in the left side of the picture above.

This was our incredible house. My parents and their best friends the Filipeks rented it for all of us to enjoy. We are so blessed.

This tent has been through many Short/Filipek beach vacations. It is a lifesaver in the hot Florida sun.

We went crab hunting one night, and it was so much fun. We hadn’t done it in years and had forgotten how much fun it was.

Here we are, the Shorts and Filipeks, now with the addition of the Johnsons and the Ebys. We have been going on vacation together since Sarah and I (the oldest kids in each family) were 4. That year was 1983, my friends. Each family has four kids, and now 2 of those kids have babies of their own. We play on the beach all day, play board games and watch movies, cook fresh seafood every night, and enjoy each others’ company.

Does your family have any vacation traditions?

How to take your own beach photos without harassing strangers or hiring professionals.

We’ve all been there. You are on vacation, wanting a group photo or a couple photo, but left without anyone to take it. If you go on a trip as a couple, you end up with lots of photos of one of you while the other holds the camera. I take tons of pictures and Jed always feels awkward posing by himself. We have harassed strangers to take our picture more times than I could even count. They always end up cutting off someone’s head. Then you feel bad making them do it over again. We know people who hire professional photographers to come and take their family beach photos. That is not exactly in our budget. This summer, we found a solution to this quandary.
No, we did not ask a stranger to watch us make out. We did a 15 minute photo shoot on our own on the beach in Playa del Carmen.
This is the group that went on our family vacation to Navarre Beach, FL. Do you know how long it takes to get a group this big to pose and smile at the same time? It takes a while.

Our new solution is two words:

We bought a small compact tripod for $20. It folds down to pack easily in a suitcase or carry-on. I can even carry it in my purse. How did I not think of this before? We simply set the tripod up on a beach chair or deck and found the angle and height that we needed.

My camera has a 10 second timer setting, so it gives me plenty of time to run back and join the photo. It took me a little while to get the hang of setting it and running, but thankfully I have a patient husband. For a big group photo, you just get 1 person to stand there while you set it up, then bring out the rest of the troops when the camera is ready. Make a place for yourself to jump in, and go for it.

There you have it. It isn’t rocket science, but it saved me a ton of headaches and stranger harassment this summer. My other beach photo tip is to take stage your shoot in the morning or evening, rather than midday. The light will be much more flattering.

How cute is this instant scrapbook page from! Seriously.

Do you have any beach photo tips? Share them with us!

Don’t forget to link your beach posts to the Beach Week Link Party!

I’m linking to some great parties. Check them out here.

frugal friday – estate sale decorating

we love estate sales, and have had a lot of luck with great finds lately. here’s the big one…
isn’t she lovely?! we had an ikea ektorp couch that was great, but we needed more seating. jed loved the back support of the ektorp, and wasn’t liking anything else. please excuse the ugly rug. it belongs to our landlord and she makes us keep it to “protect the floors”. u.g.l.y. you ain’t got no alibi…
at an estate sale in a ritzy neighborhood, we found this bigger 2×2 ikea ektorp sleeper & storage couch. it is $1200 new, and the people bought it one year ago. they had an extra brand new cover for it worth $200. they wanted $800. we bought it for $600. cash works. we loaded that sucker in the back of the truck, stuck the wicker set up front, and rolled through the ritzy part of town like the beverly hillbillies. it’s ok, i’m from arkansas.
we called a friend to help us move the couches, and he bought our old one on the spot for $300. so, we basically got my dream couch for $300. amazing!
what is your favorite estate sale/thrift store/flea market find? what would you love to find? now i just need some new throw pillows…

frugal friday – dinner @ home

last august we made our very first budget as a family. to figure out how much to budget we had to look at what we actually spent in a month. whoa. it was disturbing. the biggest shocker was how much we spent dining out. oh. my. goodness.
we are both work full time, and often when we come home we are too tired to cook, and dallas has so many great restaurants. the combination was proving to be destructive to our finances. we decided to set a relatively low dining out budget at $150 per month. you can spend that much on one good meal in dallas pretty easily. when the money is gone, we are done dining out. we have stuck to it since then, and it has been good for us. it is very difficult, as i’m sure you know, but we are trying to cook at home as much as possible. here is a meal we had this week:
we had a big batch of fresh strawberries that we sliced up, for 99 cents a lb at aldi. i looked at bagged lettuce and it cost $6.99 for red lettuce and spinach. i bought a head of each for $2.69 total, and they made double the salad. i added some low fat feta and black pepper. we used balsamic vinaigrette one night and raspberry vinaigrette another night.
we also tried the barilla plus pasta this week, and it was actually good. i’ve had bad experiences with whole wheat pasta in the past, but i’m loving this kind. it has to cook a little longer, but that’s ok. we browned some lean ground turkey and added it into the mix. we tossed it together with organic vodka sauce and fresh parmesan. the whole shebang took way less than 30 minutes, and unlike rachel ray my lettuce does not show up shredded during commercials. i love dinner @ home.

dining out was our budget buster. what is yours? have you conquered it or is it a work in progress?

i’m linking to:

Friday Follow The Girl Creative

The Trendy Treehouse

to the one i love….

today is my sweet husband’s birthday. i love him more than i ever thought possible. he is so good to me and loves me so well, because that’s how jesus loves him. he is a godly man who sacrifices his time and energy so that high school kids can know the love of jesus. he is the hardest working person i know, and will make an amazing father when the time is right. i am so thankful for him. happy birthday jed!