Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cookouts, Babies, and Birthdays

I need to start blogging more often throughout the weeks so my posts are a little more organized. But here are the highlights of another busy and fun week at home. We are truly loving every minute. Last Friday night, we had a cookout with some other couples from church. We enjoyed the delicious kabobs and s'mores around the fire pit, but especially being able to catch up friends we haven't seen for a while.

On Saturday morning, my mom made us fresh blueberry pancakes, eggs, bacon, and Orange Julius for breakfast before we spent the rest of the day cooking and cleaning in preparation for having friends over for Sunday lunch.

After lunch on Sunday, Ryan and I headed out for our tour of the hospital where we will deliver the baby. We are so blessed to live about 10 minutes away from a brand-new hospital. The rooms are spacious and bright, and have flat-screen TVs, mini refrigerators, and hot tubs. It definitely feels more like a hotel than a hospital. It's hard to believe we'll be back here in just a few weeks to meet our daughter!

Sunday night after church, we went over to my cousins' house for pizza, brownies, and games. They have the cutest house, and it was great being able to spend some extra time with them.

My birthday just happened to fall on Memorial Day this year. So Ryan's parents and brother took us out for breakfast at Cracker Barrel. I usually get the same thing every time we go there, but this time I tried their French Toast with fresh blackberry topping, and it was amazing! I will probably be getting that each time we go there from now on. Both our daughter and I were spoiled with some beautiful gifts from them as well.

After breakfast, Ryan headed back to the office for some more studying, while my mom and sisters and I prepared for our family cookout. The afternoon began with a little entertainment, as Ryan and my uncle had to dispatch a rather large but harmless snake we found in our yard (mostly so my mom wouldn't have a heart attack if she ever happened to see it). We have a very funny video of the whole process, complete with lots of screams from us girls who decided to watch the event. It definitely made for some good memories!

The food at our cookout was absolutely amazing. I think our family has some of the best cooks in the country! Ryan and I especially were thankful for the opportunity to spend time with my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents that we haven't seen in a few months. My cousin's little girl, Halle, is getting so big! It's hard to believe she was only a week old the last time we saw her. She is the sweetest baby, and I can't wait until our girls are old enough to play together.

Later that evening, I opened a few gifts with my family. My sisters bought me the most beautiful, comfortable pair of pajamas to wear in the hospital. Mom and Dad got me a duvet insert for all the chilly NJ evenings we will experience this winter. And Ryan bought me a new Bible. He also got me a new camera a couple weeks ago that I am absolutely loving! But the best present was being able to go to the airport and pick up my Dad from his 2-week trip to Turkey. He wasn't sure if he would be able to make all his connections, but the Lord worked everything out even better than planned, and he arrived home a few minutes ahead of schedule.

Ryan has gotten into a good study routine and spends about 8-9 hours a day preparing for his Step 1 exam in July. I have been able to get quite a bit done this week, but there is still much more to be done before this baby arrives. Thankfully, everything is in the Lord's control and His timing is always perfect.

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