...Aaaaaaand, we're moving.


I never expected this. I hadn't even HOPED for this! We will officially live in our own condo on May 1st. Wow!!! Just when I was starting to feel really hopeless about our whole situation, God sweeps in and gives us a job and a place to live. Not only that, but the timing is amazing. We will have two full months to prepare for Baby and settle in to our new place before we're totally zombified by our newborn. Praise Jesus! It's an unexpected blessing and I'm extremely thankful for it.

So, where are we moving to? Newcastle! It's about ten minutes from Nick's work (and that's avoiding all freeways to get there!) and very close to Factoria Mall. The condo is just off of Coal Creek Parkway and is surrounded by three - yes, three - grocery stores. Guess who gets to walk to get groceries?!? Woohoo!

Oh, and I should probably mention that the condo complex that we will be living in is called Walker's Run. Umm... yeah. I think that's pretty self-explanatory.

So anyway, it's a place we can call home! It the first place that Nick and I have lived on our own. It's the first place that I have EVER lived on my own. I am SO excited to start nesting!! Ikea, here I come!!!

Oh, and if anyone is free this Friday or Saturday, we're going to be doing a lot of loading and unloading and could definitely use a few extra pairs of hands/biceps! If you are willing and able to help us out, please give us a call or shoot us an email. We'll promise you food in return!


Moving Forward

I'll make this short and sweet...


Well, yes, he already had a job at 24 Hour Fitness... but this is a real job with benefits, bonuses and career-building opportunities! Nick was officially hired yesterday by Efinancial - a life insurance agency based in Factoria. Needless to say, Nick's previous experience as a life insurance agent helped him get the job and he's really excited to be a part of that industry again in a growing company!

This also means we get to move out of the basement now and find our own home! Triple yay! We are looking for an apartment or condo within fifteen minutes of Nick's work in pretty much any direction so we could be looking at Renton, Bellevue, South Kirkland, Issaquah or Factoria. We're even hoping to move before Nick starts at Efinancial on May 3rd so we just might be having a moving party next weekend! Wow! Now that we have the green light to get out there and find a place, it's kind of overwhelming how fast everything is picking up.

I think I'm still in the shocked phase. It's all just too amazing. God provides! He always does. Now if He could give us some direction as to where we should live...


A Couple Of Shoutouts

This week has been slow, but good. Nick is finally getting over his two-week cold, which I have been able to avoid...until this morning. I really hope I don't go completely under, but we'll see. We were also able to go to the Mariners game on Tuesday for Nick's birthday, which was excellent and fun (considering they FINALLY won a game!). And now we're closing in on week 29. You know what that means? On Sunday, we're approximately TEN WEEKS AWAY FROM HAVING A BABY.


Now that we're getting ridiculously close to me exploding with Baby, I figured it was time to start looking into making a list of what we're going to need. Enter the baby registry! Until this week, the whole thought of picking out baby stuff completely freaked me out. I was overwhelmed and was always hiding from the baby section in stores. But with the help of SimpleMom (I'll come back to her later), Target and my own Mom, I finally made a list. And it's not long, strenuous or overly-detailed. I just wanted to cover the basics. And now I officially feel like I have a hold on things! After making my list, I went to Wishpot.com and signed up.

This website, let me tell you, is amazing. Not only can you register for items from any website on the internet and put them all onto one list, but it has a Facebook app, abilities to link up this blog and my personal favorite - a Wishpot button for my Safari bar. This thing is so cool! I can be browsing strollers on Amazon and when I find the one I like, I just go to that stroller's page and click on the "Add to Wishpot" button and a little window pops up with the item I'm looking at so I can add my own details and comments about the item and then it automatically sticks it on my list! Whoa!! If you have a wedding, baby or even Christmas coming up, I would HIGHLY recommend looking at Wishpot for your gift list-ing needs.

Here's the link to our Wishpot Baby Registry.

But I never would have found out about Wishpot had it not been for SimpleMom. This is a website I stumbled across around Christmastime and discovered that it's probably the best-kept blogging secret on the Internet. The woman who started and manages this website is a Christian wife and mom to two children and, oh yeah, is currently seven+ months pregnant with her third (!!!). She blogs along with a few other women about homemaking, organizing, being a mom, creating a daily schedule, meal planning, budgeting (Dave Ramsey-style, of course) and keeping the clutter out of life. Basically, she's me. Well, who I want to be in a few years. She simplifies the logic of cloth diapering (which Nick and I are now for-sure doing), goes really in-depth about organizing and spring cleaning and discusses being intentional as a mother in raising intelligent, question-asking, independent, creative children. She's pretty much awesome. And I am SO glad I found her! I would highly recommend any and all mothers check out her writings. Even if she's not quite your style, she has a lot of wisdom to share.

I also am very close to finishing my birth plan. Our birthing class last night was the first where Nick and I actually learned a lot and we are getting really confident in how we want the labor and birth process to feel. I am SO excited that I'm starting to get a grip on what I want and need in all of this. I'm learning that if I'm going to go all-natural, I need to physically and emotionally prepare myself for it. I can't just walk into the hospital and be all, "Don't touch me!". I need to be aware of what can go wrong and prepare my body to undergo the birthing process. I'm confident that I can make it all the way with no medical interventions, but that's only if I practice my breathing and prepare my body to stretch like crazy. No, I'm not approaching things "the easy way", but I feel like I'm approaching them the right way. At least...my right way.

So I guess you could say I'm pretty content right now! I feel like I have a handle on things and even though we're still currently living in our Aunt and Uncle's basement, I'm at peace about it all. I'm healthy, Baby is healthy (and kicking like mad!), Nick and I have all the basics and God is on our side. What more could we ask for?


Hannah & Liz

I did some photo work this weekend and am pretty happy with the results! I love working with my camera as well as with iPhoto to turn images into works of art. One of my favorite things about photography is looking at the collection of photos taken in one shoot and noticing an overall color scheme. Each shoot develops its own personality and overall feel just from the colors that are common in each frame. These two photoshoots went really well and made me itch to get back out there and shoot some more!

On Friday I shot my sister Hannah's senior pictures. Her shoot was very green/yellow/brown. We went to Marymoor Park to get most of her pictures and had way too much fun climbing in trees and walking around in the beautiful sunshine. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Yesterday I took some headshots and bodyshots for Liz's modeling portfolio. We walked around Kirkland and had fun keeping out of direct sunlight and managing the windy waterfront! The feel of this shoot was much more dramatic and colorful so it was a great contrast to the previous day's shoot. Here are a few favorites:

Thanks for being such great subjects, you two! And if anyone else is interested in having some photography work done for them, I would be more than happy to work with you :).


Enter the Third Trimester!

It's official... on Sunday I will be 2/3 of the way through my pregnancy. How insane is that?! I feel like it was only two days ago that we found out. And yet, SO much has happened in between then and now that it also feels like it's been a lifetime.

This week I had three baby-related appointments. Wednesday I met with my new Washington State OB, Thursday Nick and I went to our first Birthing Class and Friday I went to my monthly WIC appointment. All three went fine, but were interesting. I now know that the next time around I might look more into having a midwife (key word: might) and I also will want to select our birthing classes from a list of options. Unfortunately, we're kind of limited when it comes to medical options not only because we're on Medical Coupons, but also because when we transferred up here I was in my fifth month and we didn't have time to stall in finding medical support. Next time we will hopefully be in more of a position to be picky about who we see and how we go about things. Oh well... no matter who we have as a doctor, no matter what our birthing classes are, no matter how this labor ends up playing out, we WILL have a baby at the end of it. And that's what matters.

My OB is fine, but I can't really get attached to him. There's no way to know if my doctor will be on call the day I go into labor so there's like a 1 in 6 chance he will actually be delivering my baby. That's one of the downfalls of doctors in my opinion. I want to build a relationship with my OB and discuss my birthing plan with him so we're on the same page, but it sounds like I just need to be really clear about my needs and post my birthing plan on all the walls and make handouts for all the doctors and nurses. Unfortunately, I cannot choose who assists me in labor, other than Nick. They all will just have to refer to the paper because I'm not going to be in the mood to explain myself. 

Thankfully, I have an amazing husband who stands by me in all of my birthing decisions. Granted, he still doesn't fully understand why I want to go all-natural, but the fact that he's letting me make that call and is willing to stand by it shows an amazing amount of trust in me. It just makes me trust him even more! The most important thing to me is that my birthing coach knows my birthing plan inside and out. At lest then he can relate my needs to the doctors and nurses when I'm not feeling so hot.

Birthing classes were... not what I had hoped. The first week was pretty much all review for me, with a few details about post-birth medical procedures that were new. Nick and I were one of two married couples in the room...out of nine. Most of the parents-to-be in there looked like they were about my age and I really doubt that any of the pregnancies were planned. It was just a little sad to see. I'm not trying to put Nick and I on a pedestal, but most of these couples did not seem to be in it for the long haul. It's really hard for me to see two people about to become parents who will probably not be together for that child's whole life. I see a lot of pain, heartbreak and confusion that their child will be forced to come to terms with. I see potentially repeated patterns. I see the need for counseling and therapy. I see the need for Jesus.

Maybe it'll get better as the weeks go on. Hopefully we can build relationships with some of the couples and be a light to others. After all, that's what we're called to be anyway. Sometimes, though, it's sad and frustrating to be the minority. Why can't more people love Jesus and see how amazing His love is? After all, that's what this weekend is all about.

In other news, who else is totally stoked for the movie Babies?!?!? I know I'm kinda freaking out a little because the preview looks so awesome. Plus, the brilliant directors put the preview to a Sufjan Stevens song, which always gains instant artistic respect from me as a Sufjan fanatic. The subject of the film looks totally awesome and the fact that it's coming out on Mother's Day is just too cute. On the film's website there are interviews with all four of the mothers of the babies and it's fascinating to hear their responses to the film and the other mothers shown in it. When you smash together four cultures like America, Japan, Namibia and Mongolia, you're sure to get some massive differences, as well as some curious similarities. I cannot wait to observe those as the filmmakers did!

Watch the Babies Trailer on Youtube.

Anyway, have a Happy Easter everyone and enjoy celebrating the new Life that you've been given! He is Risen!