Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The End of 2015 (Things I Meant to Blog About But Didn't)

Even though I feel like I either napped or wanted to nap throughout the last few months of 2015, we still had a lot of fun and excitement that is absolutely worth sharing. 

In early December, my mom and I went up to Buffalo to visit my sister and her precious children. Traveling with my mom is always the best and what made this trip even better is that my sister was under the impression that I was the only one coming. We surprised her so good by having my mom hang back and come down the escalator a few minutes after I did. It was so great. I was able to get the whole surprise on video and if only I could figure out how to get it from my phone onto the blog post I'd share it with all of you because it is the best. I also got to tell my sweet sister in person that I was pregnant which was super special. We came up with a sneaky surprise for this too -- which I also got on video and it is priceless. I really wish I knew how to get those dang videos on here...

Our timing was perfect because we got to attend this cutie's third birthday party. This kid loves trucks and tractors like you wouldn't believe so my sister threw the cutest construction-themed party - hard hats and all!

A few weeks before our trip, I saw a picture of my sweet nine-year-old niece making a duck face and I made it my personal mission to put a stop to this as soon as humanly possible. Here is just one of many chats where I was explaining to her that wholesome, happy smiles are totally in right now. 

I love these sweet weekend visits to give me a little dose of these guys and knowing we get to see them again in March made leaving them just a little easier this time.

I wasn't even around enough in November to share that we decided to get a goldendoodle puppy. On Thanksgiving weekend, we went and picked out this angel....

...and we got to bring her home for good just before Christmas -- quite the perfect little Christmas gift for us this year.

Her name is Abby and she is now 12 weeks old and full of energy and sweetness. The great thing about all this is that Taylor cat is actually adjusting pretty well to her new sister. I can't say she is thrilled with the whole situation, but thankfully it's going much better than expected.

Like I said, Taylor isn't thrilled as you can see by her facial expression above, but she is hanging in there.

We did the usual Christmas activities like going to pick out our tree, walking around our town to see the lights and taking too many photos of our pets near the Christmas tree...

We celebrated Christmas day at my parents house, hosted a small NYE celebration at our house and proceeded to enjoy our annual New Year's Day ritual of doing absolutely nothing.

Thankfully Abby went along with our lazy New Year's Day plans for the most part. Other than a few spurts of spastic energy, she was quite the snuggle and nap partner.

On January 3rd, we celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary. It was our last day before getting back into the swing of things with work and whatnot, so we had a low-key day at home and went out for a nice dinner that evening. With a little babe on the way, I couldn't help but think of how much will change in our third year of marriage. We have lots of decisions and changes on the way but I couldn't be more excited to experience it all with this incredible human being. 

The tail end of 2015 was a whirlwind and we certainly started 2016 feeling hopeful and excited about the new year. I hope yours is off to a happy and healthy start!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Baby Girl Snyder: The First 12 Weeks

Well, our happy news is out and I can't even tell you how good it feels. In case somehow you missed it, we're pregnant and I am still completely overwhelmed with joy. Since finding out in mid-November, I've prayed more prayers than I can count for a healthy child and at our 12 week ultrasound this past Wednesday, our prayers were answered abundantly when we saw a healthy, bouncy baby in there and even learned we are having a girl! 

We had actually been pretty open with close family and friends about the pregnancy already, but getting to tell those people it's a girl and then getting to share our news with the rest of our world felt pretty incredible. The outpouring of love and excitement from our family and friends has been the cherry on top of this sweet, sweet time in our life together.

I can sum up the first 12 weeks of pregnancy pretty simply for you by saying I've spent just about every day of the last 3 months trying to figure out the earliest I could get back in bed. I could have never prepared myself for the complete and utter exhaustion that is the first trimester. Whew! It is seriously no joke. 

My first trimester happened to span the busiest time of the year with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, which is normally when I'm buzzing around decorating, baking, shopping, wrapping. I definitely wasn't on top of my game which is totally okay because I was busy growing a healthy little babe. I still did everything I wanted to do it just included a lot more whining and procrastinating. I remember being near tears the week before Christmas trying to knock out the rest of our shopping list and just being so incredibly tired by the end of the day and having to talk myself into going to one. more. store. It was pretty pathetic but my coping skills were non-existant at that point. 

This also explains why I went completely missing from this little blog of mine. I had such high hopes everyday of being productive. I would take out chicken or something to make for dinner. I would pack a gym bag and bring it to work with me. I would think of a possible blog post topic and get excited to write that night. By the time I left work at 4:30 each day, though, I couldn't even entertain the idea of doing any of that. 

All of this to say that I cannot complain a bit because I haven't suffered even a little bit from the worst of the pregnancy symptoms. Aside from exhaustion and major discomfort in my expanding chest, I haven't experienced any sickness at all. This is an incredible blessing and I am so thankful because I know others who spent their first trimester sick all day every day. I've been incredibly lucky, that's for sure!

This 12th week of pregnancy has been so special. Here are some of the highlights for me:

- I got the call from our doctor about an hour before Jonathan was to pick me up for the ultrasound. They told me they had the results from our blood test and asked if I wanted to know the gender. I'd originally hoped they would wait until we were both there later that afternoon to tell us, but this actually worked out better because I could be the one to tell my sweet husband the news. She told me it was a girl and I proceeded to cry happy tears and try to control my urge to call Jonathan immediately. I decided it would be perfect to wait until after the ultrasound to tell him the gender once we knew everything was okay with the baby. Holding on to that secret for the 2 hours between the call and our ultrasound nearly killed me. I don't know how people do creative gender reveals for their spouse - there's no way I could've held it in any longer. That 2 hours of torture was totally worth it though, because we were both already so psyched walking out of the ultrasound. I grabbed his hand and told him now I could share a little surprise with him - that it's a girl! Standing outside of the doctor's office with so much happy news to celebrate is something I will never ever forget. 

- The ultrasound technician had a hard time getting a really good shot of our baby girl because she was moving around so much. I couldn't' have cared less about getting a photo - I was completely mesmerized by her bouncing around and waving her hands in the air. My eyes fixated on her most perfect little button nose and picture or no picture - I knew nothing would ever be the same. We did end up getting a few decent ultrasound photos after all which was just a bonus!

- I met up with my parents on Saturday so my mom and I could have some quality time and she came bearing all sorts of little gifts for our girl. Going through these teeny, adorable little items and picturing our own little bundle of love in them just felt completely surreal. 

I know what you're probably thinking and it's whether or not that adorable sweatshirt comes in big girl sizes. I asked my momma the same thing. It's my absolute favorite. 

This sweet baby is the best dream come true for us and we are incredibly grateful for all that is to come. Thank you for sharing in our joy and excitement! 

Second trimester -- more energy and soon enough a sweet baby bump -- here we go! 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

a short, sweet note and how it got me to [finally] blog again

Hello and happy 2016! 

I woke up this morning and promised myself I wouldn't end the day without getting a blog post up. It's been nearly three months and while I've missed this space, I haven't even considered making an attempt at coming back until today and I have Lauren at Lot 48 to thank for getting me here today. See, I don't have a huge following on here and that's never bothered me much. I've always promised myself that I would write as long as it meant something to me and if other people enjoy it, well, that's just a bonus. This isn't the first time I've gone MIA from this space and I always know I'll make it back eventually. 

Yesterday, though, I received a comment from Lauren on a recent Instagram post telling me she missed my reading my blog and hopes I write again soon. This meant so much to me. While I will always come back and write because it's what I enjoy doing, there is a lot to be said for writing in a way that engages others, that connects you with people you don't know, that other people can relate to and when you don't have hundreds of people following and commenting on your posts, you can't help but wonder if anyone is out there at all. Over the last few months I've had so much to share and so many things to say but couldn't motivate myself to actually do anything about it. Lauren's encouraging comment gave me that extra little push I needed to show up here today and I'm super grateful. 

Moral of the story: if you have anything nice to say to anyone -- anything at all, say it. It could be exactly what they needed to hear. 

I'm going to leave it at that for now, but I'll be back tomorrow basically cramming the last almost 3 months into a blog post. Spoiler alert: expect lots of puppy photos.

I hope you had a happy holiday season and that 2016 is off to a fabulous start for all of you!