Category Archives: baby

Then and Now

9 years ago Christopher and I were engaged and my sister, Abby, used my super fancy point & shoot digital camera to take a few photos for us around our university campus. We wore matching black tops with light-wash jeans because we were super classy like that. What can I say? There was no Pinterest back then and matching outfits were what everyone we knew did for engagement photos. 😉 I have to tell you, Christopher and I were looking at these old photos earlier this week and literally laughing out loud at how terrible our clothing choices were. Aaaanyway, this past weekend my sister, Abby, took a few photos of us around campus again to document this stage of our lives. So I thought I’d share a few favorites from both back then and now! 🙂

hu swing 2008Us on one of the swings on the front lawn in 2008

hu maternity5.jpgUs on one of the swings on the front lawn in 2017

bell tower 2008 collage.jpgUs at the Bell Tower in 2008

bell tower 2017.jpgUs at the Bell Tower in 2017

pregnant tree 2008Us with the Pregnant Tree in 2008 (rumor has it that touching the pregnant tree can cause pregnancy… hence our scared faces as newly engaged youngsters).

hu maternity6Aaaaand 9 years later, here I am actually pregnant in front of the Pregnant Tree!

playground proposalThis photo was a re-creation of our engagement. Christopher proposed to me here at this playground on February 7th, 2008. He chose the playground because it was the spot where we used to go when we were just friends to talk and literally play on the playground, ha! Then it was the place we had our big DTR (you know, “determine the relationship”) talk and decided to start dating. And then it was the place we had our first kiss. So lots of sweet memories in this place which is why he chose to propose here. 🙂

hu maternity4.jpgAnd here we are in 2017. Another sweet memory to add to the list of wonderful things that have happened at this playground. 🙂

9 years ago we were two fledgling adults who had been together since we were teenagers (I had just turned 17 and he was 18 when we started dating). We had no idea what the future would hold, but we knew that we loved each other. We’ve had so many incredible adventures in the past 9 years, but there are no words to describe how excited we are about the adventure we are going to begin when we meet our daughter this summer!

Love Rach

Our First Baby Shower

What an amazing weekend celebrating the anticipated arrival of Baby V with family and friends! A few of my favorite highlights:

with sisters

So thankful for these sweet sisters of mine who went above and beyond in planning this baby shower! It’s no exaggeration to say that they are VERY excited to meet their niece this summer!

baby shower

Sweet baby shower activities! I absolutely loved all of these!

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My niece, Makenzie, loves feeling Baby V move! She had her hands on my belly most of this weekend. 🙂 And I have to say, Makenzie did such a great job helping out with the shower!

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Another favorite moment was when my mom gifted this book to my mother-in-law. I absolutely love that my mom and mom-in-law get along as well!

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My mom-in-law and my mom are both such amazing ladies! I’m so thankful to have them in my life (for more on this, see last week’s Mother’s Day post).

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Family! The photo at the top is all my “actual” family who were present at the shower and the two photos at the bottom include ladies who are like family to me. Debbie (on the left) was like a bonus mom to me when I was in college (I wrote about her and her husband a little here). And then Ms. Mary (on the right) was like an adopted grandmother to me while we were living in China. In fact, in a small world sort of way: she lived across the city from us when we lived in Wuhan, China and now she lives just down the street from my mother-in-law so I still get to see her!

There were so many sweet gifts (several of them handmade!) and I loved showing each and every one to Christopher when we got home. Like me, he is just amazed at the sweetness and generosity of so many people. And we still have another baby shower coming up in a couple of weeks here in Memphis. We are definitely lucky to be loved on by so many wonderful people.

Love Rach

Recent Happenings

Happy Friday, friends! Just wanted to share a few recent things.

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I started nannying Mallory when she was 9 weeks old and this week she graduated preschool. Believe me, her mom and I both cried happy tears when we realized how perfectly my due date lined up with Mallory beginning kindergarten. Speaking of tears… I totally cried during her little graduation ceremony. She is such a big girl!

snoozin oreo

Oreo doesn’t know it yet, but his world is going to be rocked this summer. We’re trying to give him a little extra loving lately. 🙂

entry way before and after

We’ve continued to work on projects around the house. Most of which aren’t that exciting to photograph. And really this one isn’t that exciting to look at either, but I’m so pleased with the change that I wanted to share. 😉 Ever since we bought this house, our entryway has looked pretty rough. No matter how much it is cleaned, it always looks dirty (even immediately after cleaning). Turns out that it was because whoever put the floor in, used the wrong kind of sealer on it. So we removed the sealer, cleaned the floor really well, used Grout Renew to fix the hideous grout, and then put down the proper sealer on it. It was a TON of work, but absolutely worth it in the end! Eventually we might replace the slate with a brick entryway because we think it would look better with the look of the house, but for now this is a major improvement! 🙂

fridge baby shower invites

Aaaaand finally, baby showers! Our very first one is this weekend and the next will be in a couple of weeks. It’s hard to believe that they are here already. We’ve been receiving gifts in the mail over the past couple of weeks and every one of them brings me to tears. We have been just amazed at the sweetness and generosity of friends and family! Also on the fridge – that “Mom-to-be” card was from my sister, Holly, in honor of Mother’s Day. Whew, there were definitely tears as I read her sweet, encouraging words. Definitely feeling the love and I’m so excited to celebrate Baby Girl with family and friends this weekend!

Love Rach

Mother’s Day Thoughts

I know a lot of people have mixed feelings when Mother’s Day or Father’s Day roll around every year. In fact, I wrote about my own mixed feelings a couple of years ago on Father’s Day. But this is not a post about that. This is a post about what this particular Mother’s Day was like for me as I wait in eager anticipation to meet this sweet daughter of mine.

As friend after friend wished me a “Happy Mother’s Day!” yesterday I found myself wondering what kind of mom I would be to this little girl. Which made me think of the examples of motherhood I’ve seen in my own life.

I think of the mom who carried and birthed me.  I mean, let’s be real: growing a human is hard work. That, in of itself, is something amazing. But not only that, my mom is an incredibly intelligent and fiercely strong woman. I grew up learning so much from her examples of self-sacrifice to her constant examples of what being a Christ-follower looks like. I hope that this little girl will see those same qualities in me.

I think of the mom who treated me as one of her own as soon as her son brought me home to meet her. Christopher’s mom has loved me as a daughter since long before I was legally her daughter-in-law. Not all in-law relationships are smooth or easy so I’m incredibly grateful to have such a wonderful mother-in-law. I hope that I will always be as gracious, loving, and accepting of the people that this little girl loves.

I think of the many women who have been like moms to me. Women who took me into their homes, women who mentored me, women who mothered me when my own mother was on another continent, and women who are still mothering me today. While I hope I’ll always be this little girl’s favorite, I do hope that she has many women in her life who will mother her. Women who will nurture her and speak truth into her life. She has aunts and grandmothers who adore her already so she’s already got a good start on this front. 🙂

I don’t know what kind of mom I will be to this little girl, but I’ve been blessed with so many moms in my own life who have given me some pretty awesome goals to aspire toward. I so look forward to meeting our daughter this summer and finding out exactly what kind of momma I’ll be. 🙂

29 weeksMother’s Day 2017

Love Rach

Beach Maternity Photos

While we were in Destin, we did a little photo session on the beach to capture this stage of pregnancy. We set up the tripod and used a 2-second delay on our little remote and we were in business. 🙂

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us4

rach 28 wks

us2.5

us2

us1

So sweet. I just love them all! It’s hard to believe that we’re officially in the third trimester now. Baby Girl continues to thrive and look great at every appointment. Praise God! Thank you for all of you who have been praying for us throughout this pregnancy. We appreciate those prayers so much more than I can express!

Love Rach

A few days in Destin

Destin, Florida has become a home-away-from-home for us. For the past few years we’ve gone at least once, if not twice a year and it is just wonderful. We have a bit of a routine down now so as I thought about writing a blog recap, I realized that we literally did the exact same things we always do. So I’m going to share the video I made from last year’s Destin trip again because… well… it was the same, ha! We wore the same tacky Hawaiian shirts on the first day, ate at the same places, stayed at the same place, did the same things on the beach, and on and on. We’re even wearing the same outfits in our dressy beach pictures, ha! Just pretend I look 7 months pregnant in this video below and VIOLA! It was the same! 😉

And just one sweet little BUMP pic from Destin for today…

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This trip was such a sweet one for us. Our last Destin trip before becoming parents. We actually had another trip tentatively planned in June (to visit the Pacific Northwest) assuming we were cleared to travel (which we knew we might not be), but after this trip we’ve decided to wait on that one until after Baby arrives. Everything turned out to be okay, but we had a bit of a scare on the last day of this trip and realized just how much we don’t want to be far away from our doctors in case of an emergency. So this trip was even more sweet for that reason. Our last “big” trip before our family grows. We may still get away for a weekend in June, but if so – we’re thinking it will be a little closer to home.

Later this week I’ll share some of the maternity photos we took on the beach. They are super sweet and I just love them! 🙂

Love Rach

That one time I had a kidney stone while 6 months pregnant on vacation…

I’ve made vague references to this pregnancy being high risk and that there is a lot going on medically and etc. Christopher and I are pretty private people when it comes to personal things so there is a lot that I haven’t shared on this blog. But suffice it to say that this little girl we are pregnant with is quite the fighter and is beating lots of odds. She’s our very own little miracle. Because of that, I don’t ever want to complain about this pregnancy. Every week has been such a precious blessing that I can’t really be upset about the normal challenges that have come with pregnancy.

So… when I thought I was experiencing normal pregnancy discomfort on a Monday, I didn’t think too much of it. My thought process went something like this: “Back pain is totally normal with pregnancy as the belly grows, right? And all this pain I’m feeling must be the round ligament pain kicking it up a notch. Oh, and are those Braxton Hicks? My app told me this week that I might be experiencing more of those.”

Tuesday was pretty rough, but I just kept telling myself that it was normal pregnancy stuff. But then Wednesday was awful. Just truly and completely awful. Agony all night long. As soon as the doctor’s office opened on Thursday morning I called them. Based on my symptoms, they were concerned that I might be in preterm labor (something I’m at high risk for) so they had me come in immediately. Thankfully Baby Girl was still nice and cozy in there with no signs of her coming at the moment, but I was still in so much pain. They told me that it was most likely a UTI or a kidney stone. They started me on antibiotics for a UTI and sent me home with Tylenol for pain. They still cleared me to travel the next morning if I really wanted to as long as I promised that I would go to urgent care if I didn’t start to improve.

So at 6am on Friday morning, we flew out to California. All those photos you saw on social media and in our travel videos on the blog (here and here) – totally taken while I was still in a lot of pain. But there isn’t another time we would have been able to go on this trip this year so we decided to still go and just take it super slow.

And when I say “super slow” I’m not kidding. It probably took us an hour to walk a mile on Saturday and Sunday while seeing the national parks. We stopped at every stump and bench we saw for me to rest a few minutes before continuing on. Elderly people with walkers were passing me. Seriously. It was pitiful. But! I’m still so glad we went. It was such a fun trip despite me not feeling well. Thankfully by Monday when we got to San Francisco I was starting to feel much better.

We got home from California around midnight on Tuesday and I went in to the doctor on Wednesday. My results had come back negative for a UTI so based on my symptoms, lab results, and some TMI info you don’t want to know, the doctor said that it sounded like I had passed a kidney stone.

A kidney stone, you guys. Suddenly I didn’t feel like such a wimp for being in so much pain from “normal pregnancy stuff” ha! Christopher keeps telling me that since I was such a champ with the kidney stone that obviously labor will be a breeze for me now. Ha! Here’s to hoping that’s true! 😉

It took another week of rest at home before I really started to feel back to normal, but thankfully I’m back to 100% now! Here’s to hoping that was my one and ONLY kidney stone!

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Have you ever experienced a kidney stone? What was that like for you?
Love Rach