Monday, December 23, 2013

22 Weeks

How Far Along: 22 weeks
How Big are the Babies? Roughly the size of a small spaghetti squash.  10-11 ins and almost 1 lb. each
Maternity Clothes: Yep!
Movement:  YES!  Last night someone was kicking me all night.  I loved it!
Belly button in or out? Normal.  Innie., but I'm flattening a bit.  
What I miss: Nothing.
Milestones:  My belly really popping out!
Food Cravings:  Nothing really.  Weird.
Aversions: Fried food, I guess.
Symptoms:  Numb tingly hands--pretty sure I have carpal tunnel caused by the extra fluids in my body.  I'm planning out getting some wrist braces to wear when I sleep.  Ankle swelling at the end of the day.  
Best Moment this week: It was a BUSY week!  I worked 5 days, had 2 guests stay with us back to back, finished Christmas shopping, spent time with friends... it was a full week!  Now we're heading to New Jersey for Christmas with Andy's family.  Looking forward to seeing everyone.  AND we saw the boys again on Ultrasound.  So sweet.

What I'm looking forward to: Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013

21 Weeks!

How Far Along: 21 weeks
How Big are the Babies? The length of bananas
Maternity Clothes: Oh yes.  I've borrowed some pants, shirts, and dresses from a coworker and loving maternity.  I still have a few things of my own and can use the Belly Band to hold pants up with, too.
Movement:  YES!  Finally at the end of week 19 I felt my first flutter.  Now, their movements are recognizable, and I love it!  How can little kicks and somersaults be "cute"?!  But they are!  :)
Belly button in or out? Normal.  Innie.
What I miss: Nothing.
Milestones: Feeling their movements.
Food Cravings:  I'm not really craving anything!
Aversions: Fried food
Symptoms:  Numb tingly hands when I wake up in the morning.  Reflux.  Swollen ankles at the end of long days :(
Best Moment this week: Seeing my belly pop out and people telling me I look pregnant.

What I'm looking forward to: Our ultrasound this Thursday!  Can't wait!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

19 Weeks!

How Far Along: 19 weeks and 2 days
How Big are the Babies? They are each about the size of a mango (I think in crown to rump measurement, that's how long they are...)
Total Weight Gain/Loss: Eek...  I've gained a few more pounds these past few weeks!  
Maternity Clothes: I'm still wearing most of my own clothes.  I have one pair of pants that I can still button, but everything else I have to wear a Belly Band to hold up my pants.  I just borrowed a lot of maternity shirts and dresses from my coworker, so that's nice.  I need to get some pants now, though.
Movement:  I still can't feel those little guys!  I had another appointment today, and my doctor seemed a little surprised, but she also said because of the positioning of my placenta, I might not feel them as soon as other people would.
Belly button in or out? Normal.  Innie.
What I miss: Sleeping without coughing all night--ugh!  I can't kick this bronchitis. 
Milestones: Hitting the halfway mark (counting 38 weeks as my max)!
Food Cravings: Eggs?
Aversions: Fried food
Symptoms:  Numb tingly hands every so often.  Reflux.  Swollen ankles (bummer!)--just today.  
Best Moment this week: Dr. Hollar chasing them around to hear their heartbeats as they squirmed all around my belly.

What I'm looking forward to: Seeing the boys again on Dec. 20th for our next ultrasound :)

At our appointment today, the doctor measured my uterus for the first time.  I'm measuring at 28 weeks!  That's crazy!!  Especially because I don't feel like I have really popped yet.  She said I could have a deeper pelvis and she commented on my "tight abs".  I liked that :)  Funny because I don't really have tight abs, but it was nice to hear.  I feel like my uterus is growing lengthwise but not outwards.  Oh well, I know I will get huge one day soon!

Friday, November 29, 2013

18 Weeks and Gender Reveal!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends and family!

I have been ready to post since Monday, but for some reason my 18 week belly pics 
would not upload onto my computer.  So, this lovely photo will have to suffice for my belly shot!
(Our friend Danielle Swanson is an amazingly gifted photographer.  
We will be hiring her for maternity and newborn photos, for sure!)

The pic I had Andy take of my belly showed my bump much better, but you can kind of tell here that I'm popping out now... or at least I think I am!  It's crazy feeling the bump.  I love it!
I'll do my pregnancy update then post the genders (although, most of you I'm sure already know!).

How far along: 18 weeks and 4 days
Baby size: as long as sweet potatoes (crown to rump)

Total weight gain: still about 10 lbs...  I may or may not continue to reveal this little detail!!  My doctor told me to gain 5 lbs every month here on out from our last appointment on Nov. 2, but I don't think that's absolutely necessary.  I'm trying to watch my portions and eat healthy and let things happen.
Sleep:  I've had a terrible cold/respiratory infection that has plagued me during sleep... coughing a ton and needing to blow my nose through the night.  But pregnancy wise, I'm sleeping well!
Movement:  I still can't feel their movements!  I'm trying hard to concentrate and feel those "flutters".  We found out both placentas are anterior--or basically on the top.  I read if that's the case, they have to kick through more layers, so you may not feel them til later on.
Food cravings/aversions:  I honestly don't think I'm craving anything in particular.  I don't like thinking that any food or craving will control me, anyway!  But I will say that bagels are still yummy and my love of rich coffee has returned :)
Pregnancy Symptoms:  The headaches are still on/off,  but not as bad.  I have gotten sharp round ligament pain when changing position really fast.  Other than that, I feel great!
What I miss: Nothing!  
What I'm looking forward to:  Picking out some cute clothes for the babies for Christmas and starting to plan their nursery.
Milestones:  We found out their genders!  In addition, their whole anatomy scan was amazing, and we were so thrilled to see their sweet little bodies and how miraculously God has formed them and continues to grow and develop them.  All of their parts and organs looks healthy!  (brains, kidneys, intestines, spinal cords, 20 fingers, 20 toes, hearts)

Best moment this week: Spending Thanksgiving week with my parents, Nick, Victoria, and Andy in my parents' new place in Scottsdale.  We're having a lot of fun together, and it has been great to relax with not much on the agenda.  I enjoyed cooking and baking a ton yesterday, too.

Now, onto the gender reveal!!!


We were actually SO surprised and almost taken aback, but after sometime to process and pray, 
we both realized how exciting this is.  God knows what's best for our family.
We have learned to trust him, especially when things don't go exactly how we planned.
We were thinking we'd have at least one little girl, 
but instead we have been given 
2 little boys. 
2 best friends.
2 mighty men.

We can't wait to meet these special, miraculous little guys!

Friday, November 15, 2013

16 Weeks!

How far along: 16 weeks 4 days (oops, I'm a little late)

Baby size: avacados

Total weight gain: still about 8 lbs

Sleep:  I'm sleeping pretty well!

Movement:  Still can't feel their movements.  I'm waiting on pins and needles for those butterflies, though.

Food cravings/aversions:  I haven't been feeling great this week, so I haven't really been eating as much.  An apple or bagel still does the trick, though.

Pregnancy Symptoms:  Acid reflux and terrible headaches :(

What I miss: Nothing!  

What I'm looking forward to:  Our ultrasound on November 22nd!  We'll find out their genders :)

Milestones:  On Sunday night, I gave myself the last shot I'll have to give for awhile... at least until we do IVF again (if we ever do).  I've been on some form of injection(s) and pills since May, with only a little break in July.  Nightly shots are no fun.  So thankful they're done... but thankful for the medicine and help they were to get our little ones created!

Best moment this week: Spending lots of time with Andy.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

15 Weeks!

How far along: 15 weeks 1 day

Baby size: Navel oranges

Total weight gain: about 8 lbs

Sleep:  Sleep has gotten better this week, although sometimes I'm woken in the night with round ligament pain (and least I think that's what it is).  I'm finally sleeping through the night without peeing!  I'm a stomach sleeper, but that's no longer comfortable...  now I'm sleeping on my back, but I know that can't last too much longer!

Movement:  I cannot wait to feel them!  I'm hoping I feel them sooner rather than later... but definitely not for at least 3 more weeks.

Food cravings/aversions:  Bagels... but I think they're more a vehicle for the plain cream cheese that I'm loving! Still loving apples.  Drinking lots of tea.  I've said goodbye to anything fried for now because of my reflux.

Pregnancy Symptoms:  Acid reflux... which causes stomachaches.  (I've started Zantac for that, which is helping!)  Round ligament pain.  Exhaustion.  Breathlessness.

What I miss: Nothing!  

What I'm looking forward to:  Our ultrasound on November 22nd!  We'll find out their genders :)

Milestones:  Baby A kicked during our last appointment when Dr. Hollar was listening to his/her heartbeat with the Doppler!  I didn't feel it, but you could hear this big "thud".  So cute.  Also, they can hear and discern voices somewhat.  I read that there was a research study done in Australia...  women who watched the soap opera Neighbours while pregnant, their babies calmed down  and focused when the show's theme song played after they were born.  So, Andy and I are trying to decide on a worship song that we want to play to my belly every night--in hopes that this can be the twins' "calm down" song when they out of the womb!  So fun.

Best moment this week: Last weekend I slept in a lot.  That was great :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

13 Weeks!

Our little babies are the size of a kiwi this week!  
(But I've also read that they're the size of a clenched fist... so somewhere in between?)
Their vocal cords are developing, 
their digestive system has moved from the umbilical cord into the abdominal cavity, 
their little fingers and elbows can bend, 
their fingerprints have formed...

Isn't that crazy?  Such a miracle!

As for me...
I'm feeling OK.  Definitely not out of the woods yet with symptoms... 
I'm having trouble sleeping, which causes headaches, which causes overall blah-ness.
My stomach is bothering me a lot, but not as much nausea, so that's good.
I can't believe I don't have a bump yet!  Or do I?
Definitely pudge, though :)

I was mistaken about the ultrasounds being monthly--that doesn't start until after 18 weeks--
sad!  So our next OB appointment is in a week, and we'll hear the heartbeats again.
But the next peek at the little guys won't be for another 4-5 weeks!  
The fun thing is, though, we'll find out their genders then, yay!
I feel like time is moving pretty quickly, so maybe the ultrasound will be here before I know it. #wishfulthinking

The weather is changing here, and it has been feeling so nice outside!  Still hot--up to the 90s during the day, but it's cooling down in the mornings and evenings.  
Andy's mom and step dad get in town tomorrow for a little visit, so that will be nice.
I also need to update with pics from my NYC trip earlier this month!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Almost 12 weeks!

I can't believe that I'll be 12 weeks pregnant on Monday.
It feels like these weeks are flying by... I also still can't believe it's October!
For the most part, I have been feeling pretty well.
My main pregnancy "symptom" has been exhaustion. Like extreme exhaustion!
It's weird to feel so tired and not look pregnant yet, but I keep reminding myself that 
my body is busy growing and developing TWO little babies.
It's hard for me to have grace for myself!  
But I'm hoping to find some good time to rest over these next couple of weeks.  
I've had bouts of nausea, but nothing too major, and I've had several migraines.
Oh, and I also have some of the other side effects of pregnancy, 
mainly the GI system slowing down majorly :)  Lovely.

But I am so thankful for this pregnancy and who knows?  It could be my only one, 
so I want to enjoy every bit of it.
(It's actually probably impossible to "enjoy every moment", but I'll do my best.)
I haven't had many food cravings, but I am loving fruit, especially big juice apples and oranges.
I've been making a lot of grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches, and I love my string cheese.
For some reason when I'm not feeling hungry or my stomach feels sour, all I want to 
eat is sticky white rice with soy sauce.  ugh, so unhealthy!  My mom got me these easy
microwaveable bowls of it, so unfortunately, I'm eating that every once in awhile, too!

Here's my first "belly shot".  Now, I wasn't the thinnest girl around to start and I think most of this picture is bloating--no bump yet!  But I'm looking forward to getting a bump here soon in the next few weeks :)

I had my first OB appointment on October 2, and I really like this doctor.  She seems really sweet
and personable and pretty laid back.
She found both heartbeats on the doppler, too!  I was amazed and so thankful
because I had been bracing myself for the worst, I think.
She wants to see me every month and get an ultrasound monthly, too.  
My next ultrasound should be in the next couple of weeks--it seems like forever
since we saw them last!  I'm hoping to find out their genders with the next one :)
But even if we do, we'll keep it a secret until a family gender reveal at Thanksgiving.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Our Dreams Came True!

We're Pregnant!

With TWINS!!!

I don't even know where to begin... 

God is Faithful.  

I will always begin and end there.
My heart is just so full.
Everything we have gone through has led up to this point, 
and it has all been worth it. 

I will post more in the coming days of the road we took to get here, 
but for now I will just leave you with these precious pictures.

Baby B (right) is a little bigger than Baby A and is upside down in this shot.
They measure about 14.9 and 14.4 mm (in this view B looks way bigger).
They won't be identical--you can tell they each have their own gestational sac, so they'll be fraternal.
Right now they're about the size of a kidney bean!  

Me and Andy after crying tears of JOY
when we heard the heartbeats of our little miracles.
Thank you to the hundreds of friends and family who have been praying for us.
These little guys will be part of your inheritance, too!

"Those who plant in tears
    will harvest with shouts of joy.
They weep as they go to plant their seed,
    but they sing as they return with the harvest."
Psalm 126:5-6

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Raspberry White Chocolate Chunk (Copycat Recipe)

Remember these cookies?
They were amazing, and I promised to recreate them...
well, I did!
Thanks to a recipe I found on's site, 
 I was able to tweak it and make my own.

Let's do a comparison...

Top left:  the famous Pooh Corner Bakery Raspberry White Chocolate cookie

See the swirls of jam and huge white chocolate discs...

My recreation!

Not as many swirls of jam, but you get the idea!
I think they turned out pretty spectacular!
I ended up making them on a whim, but then I needed to make a bunch of cookies
for our church's after service dinner, so I used my precious
Pooh Corner Bakery dough for the cookies.
I made them much smaller than I would have normally in order to make as many cookies
as I could, therefore, they weren't as grand.
But JUST as delicious!
Now, the recipes I found included semi-sweet chips, 
but for some reason I don't remember chocolate being in my Disneyland cookie! So I omitted those.
But chocolate makes anything better, so feel free to add a cup of semisweet chips, too, if you so desire.

Here's the recipe:

Disneyland’s White Chocolate Raspberry Cookie
adapted from My Baker Lady
2 1/2 C Flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 C butter, room temperature
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
Raspberry Jam (I used about 1/4 cup)
1 bag of white chocolate melts (you can find at Michael's)

1.  Cream the butter & sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg/yolk, vanilla and almond extracts. Mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add white & semi-sweet chocolate chips.
2.  Add the jam and cut it in using a butter knife. Be careful not to MIX it, or your dough will turn pink--you want big chunks of jam.
3.  Take the jam swirled dough and scoop by spoonfuls  onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat liner. Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon or spatula and place in a 325° oven for 12-17 minutes. *Your bake time may be less depending on the size of cookie you make.     
4. Take them out when the edges are set but the center is still puffy and soft. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

"but Hannah had none."

Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Benjamin, Samson, Samuel, and John... 

What do these folks have in common?  They were all prayed for and longed for by their parents before they were conceived and born.  The Bible is full of infertility.  Isn't that interesting?  I sometimes think of it as a contemporary issue (though, it may be more common now), but in reality, many women were "barren" back then.  Back in that time, if you were barren, you were seen as lacking God's blessing; His hand of blessing and favor was not upon you.  

Oh, how my experience has been different.  Our journey (struggle? fight? plight?) of infertility has been and will continue to be long and hard and challenging, yet because of our infertility, we have reached depths of God that I am sure I would never have reached otherwise.  I am convinced that through the specific struggles and trials we each go through in life, God is able to take us to, in turn, specific places of depth and intimacy.  That's not to say if you haven't gone through infertility, you won't go deep with God; I believe there is a unique place of BLESSING and intimacy that God placed aside for us, that we could only get to by going the way of trial and hardship.  

Let me share with you an excerpt from one of my favorite books, Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard.  It's an allegory about The Shepherd taking a timid, crippled girl to the high places, and what happens to her on the journey.  In this part, The Shepherd has just introduced to the girl the two guides that will accompany her on the journey:  the guides are called Sorrow and Suffering.  They have veiled faces.

"I can't go with them, " she gasped.  "I can't!  I can't!  O my Lord Shepherd, why do You do this to me? How can I travel in their company?  It is more than I can bear.  You tell me that the moutain way itself is so steep and difficult that I cannot climb it alone.  Then why, oh why, must You make Sorrow and Suffering my companions?  Couldn't You have given Joy and Peace to go with me, to strengthen me and encourage me and help me on the difficult way?  I never thought You would do this to me!"  And she burst into tears.
(chapter 4, pg 86)

This is how we often respond to trial or discipline.  Yet suffering is a friend, not a foe, when we are yielded to and controlled by God. When our wills are surrendered at His feet, we are under His perfect care.  So we can know and trust that everything that comes into our life has been filtered through His tender, loving mercy.  He can turn all things into good for those who love Him.  So, I have been able to accept this path of Sorrow and Suffering, knowing that my Shepherd is leading the way.  I want to go where He goes.

Sigh. But I sometimes I daydream about not having to go down this path.  If we had gotten pregnant when we planned, we would have a one year old right about now.  Crazy to think about.  Crazy to look around and see the friends who got pregnant before me, had their babies, and their babies are nearing their one year birthday.  And I'm still not pregnant.  I just never could have imagined this would have gone this way...  

But you know what?  It has gone this way.  And I'm still here.  I'm still smiling.  I'm still hopeful.  I still love Jesus with all of my heart.  I still believe I will be a mom, and Andy will be a dad.  I still love my friends' babies and get excited to hear when new wombs become pregnant.  The only reason why is the faithfulness of God.  The reason why I can declare with joy that God is Faithful--even though I still have empty arms--is because I am standing here today and thriving.  

I must be honest, though, there have been many days or instances where I feel like I'm not thriving.  I feel lonely.  I feel invisible.  I feel hurt.  I feel like my heart can't possibly break even more than it has. BUT GOD...  He meets me.  He carries me.  He takes my hand and walks me to a spacious place where I can breathe.  He leads me beside quiet waters; He restores my soul.  There have been times when I just hoped silently that someone would ask me how I'm doing today?  How are things going?  How is your heart?  Where I hoped someone would just pray for me or send me a note.  And those things didn't happen, BUT GOD... He did those things.  He's always been there, and He always will be.  This change in my life has really matured me in this way.  "Hey, Emily, if you want someone to ask you how you're doing and they don't, either go up to them and share your heart or press into God."  Yes, it's nice when friends just know what and when to say things, but I don't want to become bitter when people don't read minds.  And the point is, where people have let me down, God has been there.  

Did you also know that just because you're mourning and grieving, it doesn't mean you've lost hope or faith?  I have absolutely never lost hope.  My hope is in God alone.  I hope in Him because He is faithful.  I have absolutely never lost faith.  I fully believe that in an instant God could heal Andy and heal me and give us a child naturally.  I fully believe and have faith that God is doing something deeper than I could ever know.  But just because we have HOPE and FAITH doesn't negate the fact that there is pain in our hearts.  We can simultaneously grieve and mourn loss and hard things while still holding onto hope and faith.  I believe the more the church knows this, the less feelings that will be hurt by, though well-intentioned, haphazard words.  (When sharing my heart and being vulnerable, I have more than a few times then been asked, "Do you still have hope?")  So be encouraged, if you, too, are in a trial and are experiencing sadness, mourning, or grieving.  The enemy may discourage you and tell you you're not being faithful, but in reality, if we let God properly deal with our hurting hearts, we will come out the other side with even greater hope and faith.  Hope is the expectation of good because God is good.

Andy and I are in another sort of waiting period.  This whole journey has felt like a waiting game.  There have been lots of 2 week, 4 week, 6 week waits.  Lots of shots. Lots of pills. Lots of creams.  Lots of ultrasounds, not looking for a baby.  Lots of appointments.  My hands are open to what God would do.  However He wants to build our family, I trust Him.  My heart is open wide.  I hate waiting; but I love it just the same.  Ann Voskamp, the author of One Thousand Gifts, writes about waiting this way, 

“Because sometimes in the waiting for what we long for, we praise God long when the gift comes at long last. Sometimes God has his people wait long, so our gratitude becomes deeper and wider.” – Ann Voskamp, The Jesse Tree Journey

He sure is having us wait long.  We're coming up on two years of actively "trying to conceive".  In someways I can't believe it.  In other ways, I can smile contentedly and know that He is up to something.  May you be encouraged by reading this, if you are in your own waiting period or your own trial.  He is so faithful.  Sometimes it seems that He speaks a promise, and then our life takes the completely wrong or opposite turn.  No, no.  He knows what He's doing.  Sometimes we have to enter into what one of my favorite pastors, Jimmy Seibert, calls "the trials of hope."  Will we come out of the trial praising God, trusting His name?  Or will we come out defeated, bitter, angry?  I have decided that I really can only trust Jesus because He saved my life.  There's nothing else I can do.  When we enter into the "trials of hope", after a promise is spoken but we go a different direction, will we surrender it all to Him again and let Him work on our hearts in the process of reaching our Promised Land?  

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Amen."  Ephesians 3:20

Oh, and let's not forget Hannah (or Sarah or Rachel or Elizabeth...):  "...the Lord remembered her. "

Saturday, August 10, 2013

What have we been up to?

I haven't been the best blogger this summer!  
But we have kept pretty busy, so maybe I have an excuse ;)

Andy was gone, as I've written earlier, during the whole month of May
leading his 2012-2013 Antioch Training School class
on their overseas trip to the Middle East.
They did a tour of 4 different nations and had an amazing time.
Two students felt called to return in some capacity, 
and 5 students were asked to join our church staff here in Tempe.
So I would say that was a successful school year!
I am extremely proud of Andy and the way he has led these folks well.
I'm so thankful that Andy has been able to fully walk out in his teaching gifting...
more on that later.
While he was away, I kept busy.  
My mother in law came out to visit, 
I went home to Boston for my brother's graduation,
had my dad visit,
and worked a lot!

Andy came back (yay!) and we were in the thick of infertility meds.
By the time he returned home on June 2nd, 
I had been shooting myself up 4x/day with different hormones and meds.
(These were to pump up my ovaries and get them ready to produce multiple eggs.)
My cycle of meds lasted my longer than expected, so I was doing this for about 4 weeks
by the time I had my final ultrasound and got the green light for the egg retrieval procedure.
Andy had to have his own procedure the day before mine, 
so we were both laid up for a couple days recooping.
We also enjoyed an amazing and perfectly-timed (God) trip to Disneyland!
You can read my 2 blog posts on our trip.

July seemed like a long month to me.
I was on a break from a lot of the fertility treatments for most of the month, 
and we both just worked.
It has been great to have my dad in town all summer for work, 
so we've spent a good amount of time with him.
That has been sweet!  It's great having family nearby.  
I've never really known that since 
before college!
Here are some pics of things we did in July...
Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-a!

My brother Nick came to visit!

Birthday dinner I made for Dad on July 16th

We babysat these little things to give mom, dad, and newborn baby brother a night out.

Date Night!

(end of JULY)/AUGUST:
Finally, our whole church staff drove up to Snowbird, Utah
at the end of July for a 4 day Antioch US Church Planting Conference (USCon).  
It was an amazing time getting together with old and new friends, 
sweet times in worship, 
powerful teachings, 
great scenery, 
and re-envisioning as church leaders and church planters.
We always come away from these conferences refreshed and ready 
to see God do all that He wants to do in our city,
and we come away feeling personally refreshed, too.
It was a sweet time. 
Here are some pics...
I love my Camera+ app on my iPhone.  Gorgeous!


Andy and 2 guys on staff, Wil and Steven

Me and Kristen with Emily (L), from Boston, and Maddie (R), from Tempe

Most of our team on the road trip back home... at In N Out, of course!

We also celebrated our 4th anniversary on August 8th!
Wow, time flies.  I'm so thankful to be married to my best friend.  
That was such a fun and beautiful day.
I love looking at my wedding photos...
and I'm excited to see what God has in store for our 5th year of marriage!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dickies Scrub Top Review

I was recently contacted by Uniformed Scrubs to do a review of one of their summer scrub tops, and I gladly agreed!  I have lots of friends and blogs that I follow who do product reviews, but I have never been contacted by anyone (not surprising as my blog is more personal).  I was excited at this opportunity!

Most of the scrubs I wear to work are ones that I got on sale or clearance and aren't necessarily brand names (like Dickies scrubs).  Since I'm a pediatric nurse, my scrub tops are fun and printed ones that are appealing to children.

I was sent this lovely nurse scrub  top in the Royal Blue color with a white trim.  I ordered a Medium, but I should have ordered a Small.  I should have known, as most scrub tops are roomier than normal shirts.  So definitely be aware when ordering or buying the top.

It still fits nicely and has a tie in the back, which makes the top more form-fitting and flattering.  There are roomy pockets on the side (as opposed to the front), which can be a matter of preference.  I definitely prefer frontal pockets because I feel like my syringes, pens, etc more easily fall out of side pockets.  But if you're not filling your pockets with meds and supplies, the side pockets are great!

The material has more of a polyester feel but is soft and not scratchy.

Overall, I enjoyed wearing this top and would recommend it to anyone in the market for new scrubs!

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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Vacation Part II: California Adventure

Ok, so California Adventure is amazing!
We LOVED it!  

The park is split up into 7 different areas:
Hollywood Blvd.
A Bugs World
Pacific Wharf
Paradise Pier
Grizzly Peak
Condor Flats

When you first enter the park, you step into a 1920s era Main Street-type square.  SO darling.  
At times a trolley carrying a Newsies-type musical act stopped in the square and performed a 3-part musical.  Mickey even joined them in an act!  And an old-fashioned car carrying a jazzy singer and her crew road through doing their thing, too.  Here are the "Newsies" singers:

Before I get crazy talking about Carsland (our favorite spot), I'll show you around the other parts. 
Here's Hollywood Land:
There's a screen at the end of this road that was very Truman Show-like

We didn't eat here, but I thought that was clever!

Monsters University!  

This place was such a cool (read: awesome and air-conditioned) break from the rides. It was a large indoor courtyard with these huge screens all the way around, playing scenes from tons of Disney movies.  Each screen would be a different part of the scene, and some of the screens would show the cartoon actually being drawn or something like that.  We jut sat in here for a good thirty minutes one day, watching the movies.  A good place to take a load off!

Tower of Terror...

Tower of Terror!  

Nervous to get on the elevator!
They capture the moment right before the first drop--hilarious!

 Pacific Wharf is set up like the San Francisco Bay area.
They have a Ghiradelli shop and some other restaurants.  No rides there.  There was a bakery that made this huge Sourdough bread loafs shaped like a Mickey Mouse head.  You could take a tour of the bakery, but we didn't get around to it.  Bummer!
But the smells were fabulous.  
The only pics we got from this area were these silly ones...
I'm a catch!  ;-)

We didn't get any pictures of A Bug's Land or Condor Flats. A Bug's Land was so cute!  You really do feel like you're as small as a little bug by the way they built the structures really tall.  There was a walk through tunnel that looked like it was built out of a big cereal box deconstructed.  There was a ferris wheel type ride, and the cars you sit in were things like, an animal crackers box and a box of raisins, etc. Pretty clever!  
Here's a picture from the Disney website

 Condor Flats is like an airplane/flight kind of area.  This is where you can ride Soarin' Over California, which was great!  It's a simulated parasailing ride in front of an Imax screen.
It really feels like you're riding over the state of California. 
You smell the pine when you go over the forest and oranges when you fly over the groves!

Paradise Pier was awesome.  It has a boardwalk-style feel.  There's a roller coaster called Screamin' California that Andy loved.  I liked it... to a point.  You'll see in the pics that I definitely got a little nauseas towards the end.  Ha!

ok, this is fun but I'm ready for it to be over...

This is so embarrassing that I can't help but laugh at myself!
 In the evening, there is an amazing water and light show called World of Color.  The water and colorful lights were set to music and just so beautiful.  Here's a scene from Brave being displayed ONTO water!  Crazy!

I love the Mickey ears in the foreground.
Grizzly Peak had an outdoor hiking challenge thing based upon the little boy from Up and his Wilderness Explorer camp and a water ride we went on that was like white water rafting...


On the Grizzly River Run
Andy got soaked!
 And now onto Carsland!
Disney did such an awesome job recreating Radiator Springs... at one point we questioned whether or not Cars was a real movie or Pixar!  The road that you walk on is painted like Route 66, like you're walking on the highway, and every single shop that's in Radiator Springs is at the park and has something interactive.  Here are some pictures...

 Everything looked so real!

  Mater!  Always the gentleman.

 This fun sign is at the entrance of Carsland.  Throughout Disney and California Adventure, they have "castmembers" (what Disney calls their employees) staged at different Kodak moment places to take professional pictures.  All the pictures you take during your stay are scanned onto a card that you can then go online and plug in the card number and see all your pics!  Obviously, the prices are high for prints, but it's still fun!  The awesome thing is, though, you can hand your iPhone to the photographer, and they also kindly snap a pic with that, too!

And there you have our great day at California Adventure!  Thanks for reading.  I have one more post to go with more pictures.