{happy new year}

it's time for a new year - and what a year this will be for us! i haven't been into resolutions much in the last several years, but that doesn't stop me from appreciating a new year. it always makes me think of calendars (and i love calendars), schedules, organization, and new beginnings. and we have a lot of all that ahead of us - new baby-centric schedules, a nursery to organize (not to mention other parts of the house that are about to be taken over by baby supplies), and of course, the biggest "new beginning" of all - a new life!

but not everything is baby-focused. spencer has a new schedule of his own. with spencer and the baby, matt will definitely be facing some changes. we have plenty of projects ahead. around the house we are still needing to organize our laundry room and garage. spencer needs new furniture. (ikea - here we come!). we'd love to fence in the backyard. creatively, i'm already signed up for the "library of memories" class that will run february through june online. and i may be tackling a 365 project again.

i'm super excited about 2009 and think it may be one of the hardest years of my life, but also expect it to be one of the best!!! here's a toast (of bubbly juice, of course) to the wonderful year ahead...cheers!!

Photo Credits:
Happy New Year 2009, 2. Organized Desk, 3. Organized, 4. Untitled, 5. SWAPBOT - JAPANESE NEW YEAR'S POSTCARD - YEAR OF THE OX, 6. selfhelpblog.info-new-years-01, 7. Wall-E wishes everyone a happy 2009!!, 8. card catalog redux, closeup, 9. Kitchen Organization, 10. Someone's Lost Schedule Book, 11. Vintage Calendar System, 12. Calendar Mask for Tickler File

{32 weeks}

2 more months, 8 more weeks, 56 more days...no matter how you look at it...we're getting there.

Baby Coleman is measuring in at almost 4 pounds and over 16 inches. All major systems are functioning and the bones are strengthening. With most of the complicated stuff over, he's just getting plumper each week :)

Baby's Mama is about the same as last week. I'm still going to the chiropractor and it has given me some relief from the sciatic pain. I'm starting to not be able to eat as much at once without getting uncomfortable (think back to Thanksgiving Day and how you felt after the big meal - that's how I feel after about a half of a regular meal). I have a doctor's appointment on Friday, which will be my first with a midwife.
I've started getting comments about how I must be having the baby "any day now" which doesn't exactly help out one's self-esteem. I try to keep telling myself that it's just because I'm short so my belly sticks out more...


photos {casual christmas}

Since we’d already had our “official” Christmas with my family, we decided to exchange presents with Sherry and her crew over a casual lunch at Sonny’s Dutch Mill. Spencer got a couple of books, and we gave our gifts to Chip, Teddy & Bo. I also got a gift (though I wasn’t supposed to) and it was a nice chip/dip bowl set painted for the Gamecocks.
my brother-in-law and nephew (the one "zapping" me)
my redneck nephews
spencer opening his gifts

photo {trivial pursuit}

For the past several years, I’ve asked for a board game on my Christmas Wish List. Matt’s not a fan of playing games, so he tends to skip over this item. Surprisingly, this year I actually got what I asked for – Trivial Pursuit Family. Technically the gift was from Spencer, which might have had something to do with it. Later on Christmas night, we decided to play a game, and even though Spencer got a new game as well, he wanted to play mine. It was a lot of fun – though it ran long & Matt tired of it. The best part? I won!!

photos {our christmas morning}

“Christmas Morning” (the day after, for us), I was awake by 6:00 and finally came downstairs by 7:00…wondering when Spencer would wake up. I started some coffee, lit candles, put on Christmas music, took pictures of what Santa had left, and tried to start a fire…finally, Spencer & Matt rose from the land of the sleeping! We began with our own stockings and then helped with the other stockings (Spencer opened Coleman’s, Matt opened Rio’s and I opened Cooper’s). Spencer then dove into the gifts from Santa and then we all took turns opening gifts from each other. We were all quite spoiled!!

Santa was here!

Stockings all stuffed by Santa...
Matt checks out his new 40 caliber Smith & Wesson...
I love my new video camera!!!

Rio is definitely enjoying his treat from Santa...
Cooper breaking in his new dog bed
Spencer loved his Gamecocks baseball jersey (wore it two straight days)

photos {our christmas eve}

On Christmas night we had did our Christmas Eve traditions with Spencer. All three of us opened up a gift of new PJs (and I honestly didn’t realize we’d all gotten plaid pants until we opened them). After changing into the spiffy new digs, Spencer then opened his new Christmas book (another tradition). This year he got “Santa Claustrophobia” and we had him read it aloud to us – showing us pictures and all! Then, we gave him a final gift – Polar Express on Blu-Ray in 3D. I thought this would be a great movie to own for us to watch every year. So, we kicked back with our snazzy 3D glasses and enjoyed the show! Last, but not least, we left milk & cake for santa and some reindeer treats (caramel popcorn) outside.

Spencer gets new PJs

Reading to us (possibly annoyed that we are making him show us the pictures...)

In our snazzy new PJs (my face is really not that fat - I swear!)
Watching Polar Express in 3D
Chocolate Cake and Milk for Santa

photos {christmas day}

After picking Spencer up, we headed to Matt’s parents and were joined by his brother & family. We had a tasty meal, as always and then exchanged gifts. Spencer got a new video game, a gift card and some candy. Matt and I each got a sweater from his parents. Matt's brother & sister-in-law (upon request) got us items for the baby – an activity jumper, crib soother, and some diapers. Matt’s parents got us the same activity jumper for Coleman! We spent plenty of time hanging out and visiting before heading home for a much-needed nap. I don't have many photos because once I got there, I realized my memory card wasn't in my camera! I'm hoping to get some more shots from Matt's niece.


{31 weeks}

Baby Coleman is measuring in at 16+ inches and 3+ pounds. I can tell he's getting longer because I can feel him on both sides of my belly at the same time now. He's getting fatter (and less wrinkly), growing thicker hair, and hopefully starting to inch his way into the head-down position. Kidneys are fully functioning.

Baby's Mama began seeing a chiropractor last week. I think it is starting to help some (sciatica being the main issue). I went for a massage this week and was disappointed. The same pain that makes me unable to sleep on my side, also makes the massage uncomfortable since I have to lie on my side for that. What a bummer. Coleman is very active these days, which is pretty cool. I can even see my belly move and can sometimes feel a body part poking out (kind of creepy, but also neat). I continue to have killer heartburn.

We had a great Christmas and Coleman got tons of gifts :)


photo {30 weeks}

here's a belly shot from saturday @ 30 weeks...just keep getting bigger and bigger...

photo {stockings}

after christmas last year, i found these super cute stockings. i love how bright and whimsical they are. we didn't have matching stockings, so i went ahead and got four of them. good thing i was thinking ahead! this week, i got the stockings embroidered with our names (including coleman!).

photo {christmas breakfast}

friday morning, spencer's class had a christmas breakfast. the teacher had the kids all share their favorite traditions, which was really cute. spencer said his favorite was getting the tree and decorating it. i didn't take many pictures, but did get a shot of him and one of his good friends.

photos {daniel stowe botanical gardens}

tuesday night - matt, spencer and i finally got around to checking out the christmas lights at the daniel stowe botanical gardens. spencer loved it, so it was definitely worth it. more pictures here.

spencer under the arches of water
spencer and i

matt & spencer
the front entrance...isn't it pretty???

photos {art space studio}

last sunday, i took spencer and sydney (daughter of a friend) to art space studio (one of those paint-your-own-pottery places). i must confess that this was more about my wanting to do this than anything else :) spencer doesn't get into these *crafty* things as much nowadays so i decided i'd take syd instead. surprisingly i was able to talk spencer into going too...AND he had a good time!! here are the three of us with our finished (before firing) pieces. sydney did a penguin mug, spencer painted a snowman and i chose a cereal bowl (they told me i was boring).

Our finished products:

photo {jo & spencer}

last friday night, we did one of our annual christmas traditions - drove through the stafford park lights show. part of this tradition is taking matt's mom with us. here's a shot of her and spencer in the back seat. friends of us followed our car through the neighborhood and then met us for dinner afterwards.

photos {christmas with my family}

Two weekends ago, my family came into town for an early Christmas. We had lunch at our house - chili & baked potatoes. We exchanged gifts with the Conway Crew that we wouldn't actually see on Christmas. As we opened gifts, we passed around the Santa hat to say whose turn it was! Very cute :) More pictures at my flicr account.

Michelle & Maggie got matching aprons (made by Mom, of course)
Matt opens one of Coleman's gifts - so cute!
Spencer gets the newest Guiness Book of World Records - he loves these things.
Our Christmas Tree (one of them)
Chip, Bo & Marion

photo {christmasville}

Two weekends ago was our town's Christmas festival: Christmasville

Friday night was the parade - Matt, Spencer and I watched about half of that (it's ridiculously long). Saturday morning, we met my mom and sisters downtown. We did some shopping and checked out the gingerbread houses.

Me and my sister Michelle :)


{library of memories}

This week I signed up for the Library of Memories class taught by Stacy Julian at Big Picture Scrapbooking. The book that I read earlier this year, Photo Freedom, is based on this class, which expands on the whole concept. I have heard very good things about the class, so decided to sign up for the 2009 session (which begins in February and runs for 16 weeks). I started many things from her book and I'm hoping that taking this (which will fall mainly while I'm on maternity leave), that I will be able to finish what I started and change my mentality around this hobby of scrapbooking!
I have set a few goals for myself to complete before the class starts in February. I've already started re-reading Photo Freedom. I'm also going to order one of her older books, Big Picture, that goes into more details on the *thought process* behind the system. I also want to use some of her suggestions to get all of my digital prints organized before class. I think they are realistic goals and I've already started working on them...

{30 weeks}

Baby Update: About 15 inches long and three pounds...he's definitely a "little person" now :) Due to his plumping up, that weird baby hair that used to cover him is starting to fall off. Full-fledged kicks are converting to pokes & jabs due to tighter space in this belly of mine. His eyes are dilating, reacting to light. He is also experiencing REM sleep, which means he can dream!

Mama Update: I'm just increasingly uncomfortable. In the beginning of pregnancy, I was under the false impression that maternity clothes were comfortable. It turns out that all clothes are evil. Nothing is comfortable (except a couple pairs of PJs). One day earlier this week, my belly skin felt like it was being stretched the entire day - odd (and somewhat painful). Oh, and nosebleeds - had two in one day. Yuck. On a happier note, I washed all of the baby clothes that we have so far. They are SO tiny!
Just a little funny...


{29 weeks}

I'm late posting this week and I think I skipped last week altogether -- oops :) Please forgive me.

Baby Coleman: He measures about 16 inches long and weighs 2 1/2 to 3 pounds. His head is now in proportion to the rest of his body (and his brain is bigger). Muscles and lungs are maturing. Permanent tooth buds are forming. He is getting plumper, so his skin is smoothing out. :) This additional fat is energizing the baby, which I can definitely vouch for being true. He has been much more active recently! Plus, his growth is making for more cramped living space - meaning, I feel more of his pokes and jabs as he tries to move around in there. And if that's not enough reason, he is also more responsive to outside stimuli and is stronger than ever! It's an awesome feeling though. So far, his little karate moves have only hurt once!

Baby's Mama: Still having heartburn but nothing totally unbearable. Last week, I had my doctor's appointment. My glucose test came back fine. The doctor said I was having a "boring pregnancy" which is great to hear. I had a list of questions for him (for the first time since I've gotten pregnant) so it was nice to chat through some of those. Next week I have to start counting the baby's movements. We had family photos taken last week, including some belly shots of me (see earlier post for those). Over the weekend, we had an early Christmas with my family and Coleman got some gifts!


{Family Portraits}

Last Friday we had some portraits done. We decided to do them outside at my sister's house. She has gorgeous land and some really cool barns. The photographer is Leslie Hutchison. If you're local, you can see more of her work here and can email here at this address.
Below are a few favorites, but you can see everything she took here.