Memorial day & life lately
This past weekend, my parents and brother came to visit for Memorial Day. Before they left, it was a little surreal to say, "Next time I see you, I won't be pregnant!" The reality that we're (at the most) a month(ish) away from meeting Baby DeVries is beginning to set in. It was so wonderful to get to see my family one more time before baby boy's arrival.
My family arrived late on Friday night, and my brother, Matt, stayed with us on an air mattress, since our home is still awaiting a couch and more seating, a rug, etc. He and Nicholas stayed up late, talking audio setups and headphones and I sat with them and cast on a pair of what I'm referring to as my "waiting for baby socks," i.e. a mindless, fun project with beautiful yarn to keep my hands busy.
Saturday morning, my parents left the Air Bnb they stayed at and joined us for breakfast. I made pannukakku and bacon and French press coffee. After a leisurely breakfast, we headed to Albanese Candy to browse. My brother loves their gummies (and so do many of his friends!) so he stocked up. I bought exactly five orange slices, and spent a whopping total of $0.34. The cashier said I was the biggest spender he'd had that day. ;)
After candy shopping, we headed to downtown for thin-crust pizza (they have gf crusts too!) and it was perfect weather to eat outside on the patio. We then stopped by my in-laws for all our families to visit! It's been since before our move to Texas that we've all been together, so it was so nice to have so many of my family members all in one place. And for supper that night, we made tacos and hung out in our kitchen. Just before supper, during that wonderful "golden hour," my brother took some maternity photos of us and baby boy! Oh, I love them so much. And my sister-in-law offered to curl my hair, which always makes me feel so fancy. I will share them when my brother has finished processing them! Maternity photos aren't a necessity, and with how full life has been (and how long Nicholas' work days are), I doubted we could make it happen. But then Matt said he could take some, and I'm over the moon that we will have some photos of us together from this time.
Sunday morning, we went to church and then out for brunch. Then, Nicholas took some time to organize, unpack the very last boxes(!) and make a trip to the storage unit, while me and my family went to Indiana Dunes National Park. After a rainy morning, the weather held, and with cool breezes and "sweatshirt weather," we walked along the beach and over one of the dunes, past patches of columbine and groves of alpine blossoms, and then we drove around the park a bit. There's something so wonderful about the Great Lakes. I grew up visiting grandparents in northern MN, with trips to Lake Superior, as well as trips to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Lake Michigan. These huge freshwater bodies are cool and deep and so beautiful to me. And this was officially baby's first trip to the (big) lake.
After the lake, we stopped by my in-laws for another visit, which was so nice. And then we had simple sandwiches at home for supper, along with a round of Exploding Kittens. The boys talked audio setups again and my mom and I did foot scrubs (so nice)! Since we needed to leave early the next morning for a trek to IKEA for nursery furniture, we said goodnight and see-you-later to my family that evening, since they planned to leave after we did.
Monday, we left our apartment just in time to arrive as the IKEA was opening. We shopped our list (and a few other things) and figured out some big apartment furnishing logistics. Unfortunately, that IKEA location didn't have the dresser we needed, so after loading the car with our initial purchases, we drove further north to another location. Nicholas stood in the checkout line, while I got a cone of vanilla frozen yogurt. Seems about right. ;) And then, we raced home, outrunning some severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings. We unloaded everything into the apartment just as it began to rain at home. The afternoon was spent assembling and organizing, and then we went over to his parents' house for supper and my sister-in-law's amazing carrot cake for an early birthday celebration for his dad.
It was a full and lovely weekend of quality time with family, time outside, and completion of some big (and necessary) tasks that had been nagging us for some time. Now that the nursery is much closer to being "finished," we are feeling so relieved and excited!
Apart from a full and wonderful weekend, life lately has looked like this:
- meeting my SIL, Katelyn, for lunch (it's the best that we can do this regularly now!)
- a trip to Costco to stock up on paper products and pantry staples
- walks downtown and trips to the splash pad with my friend Lauren and her little girl
- responding to so many strangers' comments about baby, about my due date, his gender, how I'm feeling, etc. By and large, the comments are positive and sweet and make me smile. People are just generally excited about babies!
- sorting and organizing baby clothes, filling dresser drawers with clothes and cloth diapers
- making gf brownies from a mix
- packing the diaper bag, intending to pack my hospital bag rather soon
- FaceTiming far away friends (one who is a week and a half ahead of me in her first pregnancy! about labor and prayer requests and all the thoughts and feelings we're experiencing)
- sleeping in when I can, and drinking my coffee in bed most days
- talks with mama friends about the best nursing snacks and postpartum necessities
- replacing the back windshield wiper on our Subaru with my dad (thanks, dad!)
- sticker removal from carseat bases and the crib (thanks to lemon essential oil and a lot of elbow grease)
- my brother whispering to the baby "Like deep dish [pizza]" after a brief discussion about how Nicholas and I prefer a thinner crust ;)
- puppy snuggles
- feeling tons of baby kicks and frequent baby hiccups
- knitting on my sock project and a few rows on my Tecumseh Sweater
- a reassuring 37-week OB appt (he's still head down and doing well)
- skipping rocks into Lake Michigan
- feeling nostalgic as I drive past places around our new home that remind me of pre-marriage Nicholas and Andrea
- hugs from Nicholas and the sweet ways he talks to the baby
- sitting together in the nursery, thinking about what it will be like to have a baby very soon
P.S.— I realize there are three mirror belly pictures in this post, which feels like a bit much. But it's been so fun to document his growth and also what I wore/how different he and I looked throughout the pregnancy, and since I didn't do "week-by-week" photos, this is a nice substitute for me. :)
My favorite things, late February 2023
Sometimes I enjoy "jotting down" my current favorite things – music or shows, recipes, small purchases worth spending money on, or other little bits and bobs. For me personally, it's a fun snapshot of my life at this very moment, and it might be fun for someone else too.
Life lately, mid-winter 2023
The last several weeks have been a lot of regular life things, overall. Little happinesses sprinkled into everyday life. The boys are always doing new things, and that feels like a privilege to witness.
2022: A year in review
Welcome to my annual post of our life in the last year – a review of all the big and little events, travels, habits, heartbreaks, and joys. These posts require a lot of time and energy, in part due to sifting through all the posts I wrote in the last year, but also because these posts spur me to reflect and sit with the previous year for a moment, before stepping into the next one.