This past weekend, Nicholas and I took a whirlwind trip to my hometown in Minnesota to see family and have my third and final baby shower. Friday, I drove to pick up Nicholas from his workplace downtown Chicago, and then we hopped on the road (albeit through some Chicago traffic), heading north.

I had packed us sandwiches and fruit and snacks, as we were eager to make good time and minimize stops. We drove the route, through Illinois, then Wisconsin, and finally Minnesota that I had driven countless times as a Purdue student, a route we hadn't driven in years(!) since we moved to Texas.

We noticed that things were less green the further north we went, but the stars were brighter. And despite it being a long day, it was so good for us just to spend time together and talk after how hectic these last several weeks have been. We talked and processed through life lately with all its transitions, and talked furniture and window treatments for our new home. As we pulled into the driveway past-midnight, my parents came out to greet us with hugs and offers of showers and a cozy bed.

Saturday gave us a nice morning at home, with my mom's signature veggie and munster frittata, along with fresh fruit and french press coffee. Then, while Nicholas, my brother, and my dad made a trip to get our very favorite gluten-free pizza, my mom and I talked sewing projects and got ready for the shower.

My lifelong childhood friends, Liz and Lauren, hosted the baby shower at their parents' house, and it was so beautiful. So many wonderful (gluten-free!) food options and the cutest woodland theme. My mom brought a hedgehog-shaped cheeseball and gluten-free crackers, there was an owl-shaped veggie plate, a vanilla cheesecake from Cafe Latte (such a treat!), coffee, citrus water, lemonade, and a make-your-own trail mix station.

Liz and Lauren's mom, Julie, read an entry from a devotional for new mothers and we prayed for baby boy, played a few shower games, and then I opened generous gifts from so many dear guests. I've said it many times, but I can't overstate it. We are overwhelmed with the love and excitement there is for our little boy and growing family. And it was wonderful to get to see so many people I either rarely get to see or who I haven't seen in years. My friend Lauren is also expecting(!) and we've enjoyed walking through pregnancy together, so it was wonderful to get to take a bump picture together! And Liz has an adorable nine-month-old, Penny, who I got to hold and meet for the first time! I haven't seen my friend Kyra since last July, either, and it was so good to get and give hugs all around.

I loved having some time with my mom, too, talking about her first grandchild(!) and motherhood (and lots of very-overdue hugs and feels for baby kicks).

The next morning, we went to church with my family and squeezed in a few more last-minute hugs, and then began the drive back to NW Indiana. Again, the drive was a perfect time to talk and laugh and brainstorm baby names and process our life and marriage together. We listened to a bit of a podcast, but kept pausing it to talk to each other.

Other favorite parts of our quick trip:

  • my mom's homemade granola
  • choosing from my parents' (excellent) coffee mug collection
  • my parents and brother getting to feel baby boy kick
  • selecting some of my brother's photos as decor for our new home(!)
  • opening so many generous gifts for baby boy, including two quilts my mom sewed (I'll take photos and share those soon) and a banner she made for the nursery

Back in Indiana, it's been rainy and a bit gloomy here these last few days. And so this, apart from my OB appointment and a few errands around town to the grocery store, etc., I stayed in, chatted with two sweet Texas friends about knitting and motherhood and how we're all doing, spent time with my mother-in-law, and did a little knitting on a baby sweater that is so close to being finished.

I will say, although life is still very much a whirlwind (as was our trip to Minnesota) it is feeling a bit more doable, a bit calmer, a bit more paced. We are certainly excited for the chance to settle in and unpack(!), and I can fully indulge in the nesting that seems so right at this time in my pregnancy.

Update on Baby Boy:

  • I'm 33 weeks today!
  • He's kicking a ton every day, which is awesome, and in the words of my midwife, "We love busy babies!"
  • I'm feeling good and I can laugh at a comment I recently got from a stranger. She asked me when my due date was, I told her, and her jaw dropped, because she couldn't believe how much longer I had, or that I was "still going grocery shopping by [myself]" ;)
  • in utero, apparently, he's opening his eyes now and he has a full set of finger- and toenails
  • on the immediate baby to-do list: setting up the nursery, taking a tour and a birth class at the hospital, finalizing a middle name for baby boy, thinking and reviewing birth plans through my OB practice
  • definitely enjoying most foods now (phew!)
  • taking lots of walks with dogs and my sister-in-law, Katelyn
  • enjoying being wrapped up in a cozy red bathrobe, reclaimed from my former bedroom at my parents' house, even if baby boy is bustin' out ;)

The bigger he (and I get) the more it sinks in that he, this new little person, created in God's image, will be here so soon! What a wonderful gift, this new life.