Monday, December 31, 2012

And all I know are blessings

Looking back at my last post, I am in awe of how quickly time has gone between that last post and today-the last day of 2012.  Parts of this pregnancy have seemed to drag on forever, but looking back, I feel like I just returned from our honeymoon and wasn't even aware of the little life growing inside of me.

As I look back over this last year, I notice one constant denominator: overwhelming blessings.  Don't get me wrong, there were some tough moments this year and some days when I was wondering how in the world I would figure out xyz problem.
But at the end of the day, I could sit back and recognize how the Lord's hand has been over us in every moment of this year.

Perhaps one of my favorite moments this year was our incredible honeymoon to Punta Cana in May.  K and I had never had the chance to go somewhere just us and with him being gone the majority of our first year of marriage, I was beginning to wonder if we would ever get to take a honeymoon at all.  What I find so funny is that I kept telling myself that as long as we were able to take our honeymoon before we had kids, it would be okay and we would have us time without added stress.
Little did I know how timing would work ironically in our favor.

We had so much fun during our trip.  The beaches were beautiful.  The relaxation was much needed.  We were able to connect in new ways uncluttered by stress of daily life, work and everything else that takes over our normal days.  It was also a huge blessing and opportunity for us to grow closer after having spent so much time apart the previous year.

It was so beautiful.  I hope to go back someday.

Shortly before taking our honeymoon, I had a conversation with a friend of mine.  We were talking about children (she has one little one) and we were talking about planning for them.  I remember telling her that, even though we weren't trying, I had a feeling that something would happen in 2012, although it was probably unlikely.

On our way home from our honeymoon, I kept having moments of what I like to call "God's way of preparing you for a life altering event".  We came home on Mother's Day and I remember boarding the plane and thinking "this is my last Mother's Day not being a mommy".  I remember walking through the metal detectors at the airport and thinking that I might need to be careful, just in case I was pregnant for some weird reason.
My husband and I even had a conversation about halfway through our honeymoon trip about what we would do and how we would feel if we ended up getting pregnant before it fell into our "master plan" timeline.
Looking back, I know this was God's way of mentally preparing me-the ultimate planner-for His wonderful and unexpected plan for us.

I really believe that God opened the door for us to take our honeymoon at the perfect time.  It was a chance for us to grow even closer as well as spend some us time together, especially knowing now that there won't be as much "us" time once Miss E arrives. 

We came home from our trip refreshed, renewed and closer than we have ever been.

Three days later, our world was turned upside down.

I think there are still moments where I am just shocked and in disbelief, even with my belly obviously pregnant and my little girl taking several rib-brusing kicks occasionally.  In the moment that I saw that plus sign, I remember breaking down in tears.  I wasn't mad or upset, but I was scared and shocked.  I am a master planner, afterall, and this was not in my current plan for the Gazaryan house.  I was certain that I had misread the test...but 9 pregnancy tests all said the same thing, and I knew that this wasn't a joke.

I don't think there is a way to adequately wrap your head around or prepare for being pregnant for the first time, regardless of if it was planned or not.  It's a surreal thing.  I still feel like myself (although much heavier) and still act like myself (except when I cry over not having any orange sherbert left in the freezer).  I still do the things I used to before I got pregnant (minus those big fruity drinks in sugar rimmed glasses). 
But at the same time, I'm also a mommy.
Wrapping my head around that is almost impossible.  There are days when I still feel like I'm 14 and now God has given us our own child.  What a humbling, terrifying and incredible thing!  Truthfully, I am overwhelmed with knowing that God has entrusted us to care for, raise, and nurture this little life.  What a privalege and what a responsibility!
I am so looking forward to the challenge!

We found out in September that we would be having a little princess.  Another huge surprise for me, considering I was beyond convinced that we were having a boy.  I cried when we found out and I think the poor ultrasound technician thought I was disappointed.  K reassured her that "she's only crying because she doesn't like to be wrong"....he knows me so well.

So our world has become overrun by pink and lace and flowers and hairbows.  Not that I mind a bit.  I think K is still adjusting to the girl-ifying that is happening in our house.  I'm anxiously awaiting the day he lets her paint his fingernails.

Just look at how cute she is

We make seriously adorable babies.

As we gear up knowing she will be making her arrival anytime between now (unlikely) and January 23 (more likely), I am anxious to meet her.  I wonder what her personality will be like.  I wonder who she will look like and whether or not all of the thumb sucking we've seen from her (every ultrasound since week 12) will continue out of the womb.  I marvel at what purpose the Lord has for her life and pray that I will be instrumental in helping her achieve those purposes.  I wonder if she will be a reader like mommy or an athlete like daddy.
I can't wait to meet our daughter.  I can't wait to be her mommy.

This year has truly been covered with blessings, some expected and some unexpected.  We were blessed that K did not have to deploy this year.  He had a few TDYs, but they were short and sweet (and the internet worked).  We really needed this year together, and I am so thankful that it worked out to have him home so long.  While we know he's leaving again in early 2013, having been able to spend the time together that we did this year is making that easier than it would have been otherwise.

I have officially been at my job for over a year.  This is another incredible blessing.  I know few people who can truly say they love their job and love going to work every day.  Even now, over a year after my first day, I am excited to go to work and enjoy what I do.  Coming from a semi recent college grad, I know it's rare to be in such a great career early on.

Another blessing was finishing my Master's degree.  I graduated in August and am simply thankful I never have to go back to school again if I don't want to.  It was a hard road (especially trying to get it done in one year) and I still laugh when I look back and realize that on my final day of classes, I was just starting my second trimester (hello tiredness) and in the process of moving!  I was going back and forth from loading boxes to taking a test!  Only with the Lord's strength....

We moved into our wonderful house in August.

I never realized how nice it was to have a backyard for the dogs until we finally had one!  I also love having the space to spread out and not feel so squished.

Yet another blessings has been the ease of my pregnancy.  I managed to avoid morning sickness and have been growing steadily but not excessively
Here's me about 2 weeks ago at 35 weeks.  Still pretty tiny, even though I don't feel it ha!
I have managed to avoid most of the unpleasant symptoms that comes with growing a baby up until this point.  Lately I have been extremely tired and my feet aren't exactly tiny anymore, however, knowing I am in the homestretch of meeting our little girl makes it all worth it--and an extra nap won't hurt anyone.

So looking ahead to 2013, what are my goals and what am I looking forward to?
I can't wait to meet our princess (I think I've said that a few times)
I can't wait to learn how to be a mommy to Miss E
I am looking forward to how the Lord is going to grow and stretch me during K's deployment as well as how He will use our time apart and strengthen our marriage even though we are on different continents.
I am looking forward to finding out whether or not we are moving this's still up in the air, but it's a potentially exciting time!
I am hoping to run a 5K this year...I had planned to do that in 2012, but 2 weeks before my scheduled race, a little blue plus sign changed my plans
So many friends and family are getting married this year, so that will be great fun!
My goal is to shower every day...seriously, I hear that's hard to do with a baby
My other goal is to make sure Miss E always has a bow in her hair--superficial? yes.  Adorable? absolutely.
My final goal is to invest in relationships.  I was blessed to meet many amazing friends this year and I want to nurture and grow those relationships in 2013. 

If you are still reading at this point, I applaud you.  I tend to ramble.
All in all, I just wanted to express how blessed I have felt over the course of 2012.  There have been many challenges and moments of personal growth but there have also been great outpourings of love, blessings and things to be thankful for that I never expected.


From our growing family to yours, Happy New Year! May you be blessed and filled with joy in 2013!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

28 (plus some) weeks later...

Well, I am officially 29 1/2 weeks pregnant.  It's incredibly hard for me to believe, considering it feels like yesterday when that broken pregnancy test popped up with that little blue plus sign and turned our world upside down.

I haven't been great about taking weekly pictures.  I think that Pinterest set me up for disappointment and a severe overestimate of my motivation to be clever this pregnancy.  The last one I took was just over a week ago when I was 28 weeks pregnant.

My midwife keeps asking me where I'm hiding the little miss.  I'm glad that someone thinks I'm still tiny--but darn it, I sure don't feel tiny!  It's pretty crazy looking back at how I looked in May and comparing it to now.  God has sure created our bodies to do incredible things!  I'm pretty sure that by the end of this adventure, I'll be even more impressed with the capabilities of the human body and the miracle of pregnancy and birth!

So why did I choose the title 28 weeks later?  Well, I'm not a scary movie person, but I do watch the occasional lame zombie flick.  Some days, I feel like a zombie walking around sleepy and incoherent.  My husband is very tolerant.  He is also quite wonderful about getting me ice cream at 11pm when I must have a bite!

Pregnancy is incredible.  The entire process, I have been blessed to feel pretty great, have functional amounts of energy and limited to no pain.  I never had morning sickness (except for a handful of times something just didn't sit right with me).  I've never had any medical complications worth mentioning.
I realize I'm in a lucky minority.
However, pregnancy is also harder than anything I ever imagined.  Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love being pregnant (I will totally do this again someday), but there is something to be said for all the rapid changes that occur when you get pregnant--especially when that wasn't something you were anticipating for a while.

In recent weeks, it has been challenging for me at times to accept just how things are changing.  I am not used to gaining weight, as I have always been fairly thin.  I am not used to needing to sleep all the time, as I have always been a go go go type of person who only slows down when she is sick.  I am not used to the emotional roller coaster and frustration of not being able to describe everything that is going on inside of my head.
I am learning a lot of patience through this process.  My husband is earning the Medal of Honor.

I saw this picture and it made me laugh because, as much as they really want to be helpful, as K has said, "we won't ever really 'get' it".

Thankfully, my husband has never offered me a beer on my bad days.  Normally it's a backrub, an offer of a cheesy movie or ice cream bribery.
I'm quite happy to take him up on all three.

Truthfully, though, even my complaints are minor.  On the days when I struggle, I remind myself of the great prize we will attain at the end of this chapter: our beautiful little girl.  And she is worth every stretch, every pound, every nap and every tear.

This is our little girl at 26 1/2 weeks.  She is already stubborn like her mommy and daddy (did we expect anything different?) and didn't want to get her picture taken.  She still loves to have her hands in her mouth and she loves to be buried in her "placenta pillow" as the ultrasound technician called it.  I love that she is already a snuggler!

As we get closer and closer to her arrival (my sister pointed out that she could be here as soon as 8 weeks from now!), my panic button of "nothing is done!" is in full swing.  I have to remind myself that it will all get done eventually, and early on, she won't know the difference if her curtains are hung perfectly or not.
I still did order her nursery bedding this morning.  I'm waiting to order the matching hamper and lamp for another month or so.  K and I are also ordering the crib and dresser soon, and I can't wait to get it set up and settled in her little room!

I had the first of four (yes, four--I am absolutely overwhelmed with blessings) baby showers yesterday.  We had so much fun celebrating Miss E and her impending arrival.  Instead of games, the wonderful hostesses had all of us make hairbows for her!  I thought it was brilliant and considering she will be born head to toe with hair (look at her parents, we're essentially going to birth a very cute monkey), we need all the hair accessories we can get!

I don't have a lot of pictures back yet, but I will be sure to upload them once I receive them.

Here is my twin sister and I at the shower.  I received so many compliments on that dress!  It's from Everly Grey Maternity and I'm basically in love with all of their clothes. I am looking forward to fitting into my old clothes again.  Stretchy pants are wonderful, but lose their luster after 6 months straight!

All in all, I am blessed.  I am overwhelmed with incredible family and friends.  I have a wonderful husband and beautiful daughter.

So if it means I have to be an occasional zombie for another 2 1/2 months, I'll take it.  Every last bit is worth it!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We're Kind of Hoping for a Pony...

You will have to forgive my lack of updating.  I have learned that pregnancy does a number of things that you don't necessarily anticipate...
...such as feeling like the energy fairies have stolen the last of your supply.

I sleep a lot.

But, I am growing a baby and growing I am doing:

This was taken at 20 weeks, 1 day pregnant.  Hard to believe this is the halfway mark.  Tomorrow marks 21 weeks and the countdown to baby truly begins.

We had our gender reveal party on Sunday.  We had so much fun planning and preparing to surprise everyone.  Little one was plenty cooperative at our 18 week ultrasound, so we had hard evidence to support our big announcement.

Here is a picture of the little one.  Sweet baby didn't like having its picture taken and refused to move for us during the ultrasound.  Mommy and daddy have a very lazy baby on their hands!Regardless, we were able to arm ourselves with the necessary boy or girl information and off to our local HyVee we went.

We had the cake and food

Proper decorum

And lots of family and friends

                                                                      Team Pink

                                                                      Team Blue

So who would be the winners?  Team Blue or Team Pink?  The vast majority said boy (me included) and K went with girl.
The big moment arrived and everyone waited with much anticipation

The middle of the cake was PINK!  Everyone was so excited to finally know what Baby G was going to be.

The running joke this pregnancy has been that we are hoping for a velocoraptor or a pony.  My sister was able to find this gem for me to wear to the party.  We were definately able to garner some great laughs!

So while we aren't having a pony, I think I can handle having a little girl instead!

In other news:

We moved out of the apartments finally.  While we tried to find somewhere off base, our limited timeframe prevented us from finding a place suitable for our needs.  We were blessed with a lovely on base home and both puppies love our new house, the extra space and the backyard.  I am still getting used to all of this space!

I graduated with my Master's degree last month.  It was rather anti-climactic, but I did get a high five from my husband.
I figure that's a decent trade off.

Now that life is slowing down, I am really able to sit back and enjoy being pregnant.  We have recently begun to feel our little girl move and when she wants to be wiggly, the world will know.  We are also noticing a common theme in all of our ultrasounds:

Orthodontists are are going love our family!

So, in a nutshell, life is wonderful.  Pregnancy is wonderful.  My husband is wonderful.  God is wonderful.
It's a blessed life, even if we aren't getting a pony ;)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What Blessings, What Joy!

Throughout this pregnancy, I have seen in so many ways how incredibly blessed we are.  Now that I am out of the first trimester, I am happy to know that my energy levels will return to more managable levels and I can once again eat chicken without stomach upset.
We found a house in base housing and will be moving soon.  I can't wait for our fur babies to have a yard to play in and the extra 15 minutes in the morning for me to be even more productive.  My face will hopefully start looking more like the pregnancy glow I've managed to avoid and less like the pepperoni pizza it's resembled in recent weeks.
Our little one is now the size of a lemon--which is a little strange, considering I have lemon in my water every friend and I joked that it's hard for me to eat something the size of my baby!

I have some homework left to do this evening, so this post will be very short, but I wanted to share this picture with you.  This was taken at 13 weeks 3 days.  Baby is sucking its thumb.

Goodness, I'm so in love!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Baby, Baby, Baby

No, not the Justin Beiber song.  Ick.
Think more along the lines of what happens to be growing inside of me right now (minus 2 babies, of course).  Per my last post, we're expecting Baby G #1 in January, and I figured now would be a great time to recap our adventure of finding out we are entering into the unknown and exciting land of parenthood.
First though, I must share this photo:

Story of my life.
Someone asked me the other day if we knew what we were having.  I looked at them and said, "A puppy."  I can't wait to be 38 weeks pregnant and have people ask me when I'm due just so I can say "I'm not pregnant".
Goodness I'm so mean, but hey, you only get to do this a few times in your life!  I like to have fun with it.  Life is too short, afterall.

So, back to Baby G.  What an adventure this has been so far.  I will be 11 weeks in exactly an hour and a half, which means baby is the size of a lime (I miss margaritas!).  It's hard to believe, but baby has already grown so much--when we found out we were expecting, baby wasn't even the size of a poppyseed.  How incredible is that?!

K and I were not planning on our family growing yet.  I am finishing up my Masters--only have 6 1/2 weeks left--and he just started his.  We are anticipating a PCS move in the next year and a half and our small 1 bedroom apartment just can't handle any more growth, especially with two giant fur children involved.  I love how God changes our plans!

We were on our honeymoon, which I also addressed in my last post.  Toward the end of our trip, my nose got so incredibly stuffy I couldn't stand it.  I seriously thought I was going to die.  I felt so crummy because of my nose, that I spent most of that entire day doing this:

I looked like death.  My mother put it kinder: "You look like you just went through labor". Hmm, foreshadowing anyone?
What I couldn't understand was that I otherwise felt normal.  I was tired, of course, but I attributed that to our late nights and travel.  Boy, was I wrong!

As we prepared to leave Punta Cana, I was hit with the worst nausea ever, and I never get nauseous.  I remember telling K that there was no way I would make it through a 4 hour flight.  Coming from a family of nurses, I figured I was just suffering from side effects of post-nasal drip.  Go figure.

The next day was Mother's Day.  Mind you, I had absolutely no reason to think I was pregnant and wasn't even thinking about starting our family for at least another year, however, when I woke up that morning I had a fleeting thought of, "This is my last Mother's Day not being a mommy." I thought I was so strange and figured that was just a result of how tired I was because obviously the only thing that could make me that tired was travelling.

May 16th, I woke up very early for work (yes, I'm one of those lucky people who has a job they actually miss when they go on vacation) and started getting ready to shower.  I wasn't due for my monthly ladies adventure for another five days but for some strange reason decided to take a pregnancy test before my shower, knowing full well that it would come up negative.  So, I did my thing, put the test on the counter, turned around to get the shower going and turned around to grab the test and throw it away.  Except, I saw this

Well, that's never been there before!  I stared at it for a few minutes before it even hit me what I was seeing.  Then I started to shake that poor test like an Etch-a-Sketch because, obviously, I had a broken test.  The line didn't disappear.  In my entire life, I have never experienced the kinds of emotions that I experienced all at once.  There was joy, fear, happiness, sadness all rolled into one.  There's no guidebook that tells you what to expect when you find out you're expecting!

I had always thought I would tell K about our pregnancies in a really cute way (Thanks, Pinterest), but all creativity went out the window at that moment.  K was still asleep, and I walked into our bedroom and said, "Honey, you might want to wake up."
He didn't move.
"Honey, you seriously might want to wake up right now."
So he groggily opened his eyes and looked at me like I was nuts for waking him up at 6:30am on his day off.
All I did was show him the test.  Then I said, "It's positive."
He grinned, said, "Congrats, babe." and put his head back down on the pillow and closed his eyes.
I love my even-keeled husband.  He obviously needs his coffee in the mornings.

About 30 seconds later, his head popped off the pillow and he said, quite worried, "Shouldn't you be going to a doctor?!"
Goodness, I love him.

So, by 7:30am we were on our way to the base clinic to get what we already knew confirmed.  We were having a baby!
I will never forget that phone call from the nurse.  They go through your information whenever they call you and she asked me, "Are you Active Duty or a dependent?"
"Oh, I'm just a spouse."
I could tell by her voice that she was smiling when she said, "Oh honey, you're not just a spouse, you're a mommy."
I burst into tears of joy.  Let the pregnancy emotions begin.

This picture was taken the day we found out.

I have a feeling I'm going to miss that flat belly.

Being pregnant hasn't changed too much in my daily life.  I'm still way too busy for my own good (K is always telling me to slow down and take it easy), working full time and taking four MA classes.  I've been super fortunate not to be sick hardly at all unless BBQ is involved, which is rather unfortunate.  I haven't really had much meat either, which is a bummer.  Bagels, strawberry cream cheese, milk and peaches are my favorite.
The greatest change I've noticed is how tired I am.  I am usually a go go go type of person and am able to wake up whenever.  Not anymore.  The earliest I can get out of bed is 7:30am, and that's pushing it (maybe shouldn't have scheduled that 7:30am Chiropractic appointment tomorrow, whoops).  I've recently started getting the occasional heartburn, but even that is tolerable.
Baby is being nice right now.

We told our families about a week after we found out we were expecting.  K's family happened to be all together that Saturday, so we met them for dinner and broke the news.  This will be the second grandbaby, so naturally, they're thrilled.
On my side, this is the very first grandbaby on for both sides.  We told my family at my little brother's baseball game.  My twin sister was in on the secret (I wish we had recorded her reaction, it was very similar to this SNL skit... she really did freak out like that. It was awesome) and got everyone together for a picture.  When we were settled, we turned to my Dad's mom and said, "Hey grandma, did you know that today is National Celebrate Great-Grandparents Day?".  She didn't catch it right away, but my mom sure did!
Once we got through the numerous askings of "Are you serious?", everyone was thrilled and I can't count the number of times my dad asked when he could post it on Facebook.

So now, the news is public.  Baby is growing and is healthy.  Mommy is growing (bye bye, skinny day jeans) and healthy.  Life is beautiful and even though this baby was a surprise, we couldn't be more thrilled.  God knows what He's doing and we are ready to embrace this new adventure!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Life is Full of Surprises...

It really has been a long time since I've updated this blog.  For the record, while K was deployed, I kept a seperate, private blog, solely to give myself permission to be honest without fear of judgement.  But I'm back now--as is K!  He returned home from the desert on October 28, 2011--exactly 5 days after our 1st wedding anniversary.  Needless to say, it was the best anniversary gift I could have ever asked for!

So what, you may ask, has been happening in the Gazaryan family since my last post in April of 2011?  To truly convey it all would be impossible, but below are some highlights (and pictures!)

This was my sweet family before K left:
Look how teeny tiny Meshka was!  Hard to believe she was only about 5 months old in this picture.
Here is what she looks like now:

She's definately not a puppy anymore!  Thankfully, she's done growing (tipping the scales at 55 pounds) and now that we have her food allergies under control, she is thriving and full of mischief as always!

In November 2011, I was finally blessed with an incredible job!  It was a long and oftentimes discouraging road to get there, but I honestly believe that it helps me be even more appreciative of this amazing career I have now.  I am working full-time at a Consulting company and get to things that I am good at on a daily basis!  It is a low-stress, high-paced work environment, which is exactly what I need.  Few people can say that they love going to work every single day and even now, 8 months into it, I wake up every morning excited to go to work!  What a blessing!!

My incredible husband and I had a wonderful holiday season together, and we were fortunate to get to see lots of family during that time.  K didn't have to go TDY until January, and even then, they were short times away.  The highlight of our winter was a four-legged addition that we brough home February 10th. 
Notice any similarities?

This sweet boy was left at the local Humane Society.  He is Meshka's twin brother (from the same litter) and his family could no longer afford to care for him.  A friend of mine who works at the shelter called me and said that, while it was hard to believe, a litter-mate of Meshka's had been dropped off and needed a home.  K told me no, but I convinced him to at least go and take a look at the dog, just because I was curious what his temperment was like.
We ended bringing the dog home.  We dubbed him Volk, which means wolfe in Russian and the minute he met his sister, it was if they had never been apart.  These two turkeys are inseperable--in good times and in bad! Volk is much calmer than his sister (might have something to do with how hefty he is! he was 86 pounds when we brought him home, he's now down to 75 pounds and could probably still stand to lose a few more) and he is our "hunk of love" who just wants to snuggle all day long.  We love our two fur babies and are so thankful that God gave us a second one to love.

In May, K and I took our long-awaited honeymoon.  Because K deployed so soon after we were married, and once he returned home, I had recently started a new job, we had to wait a year and a half from our wedding day to take our trip together.  We traveled to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic which is in the Caribbean area for a week and a half.  It was the best trip of our lives!
 This was the absolutely stunning beach that we spent the majority of our days at--so incredibly beautiful!

 The same beach at sunset--you can tell what time of day it is by the amount of seaweed on the beach.  Every morning, resort staff would rake it up, so the mornings, the beach was solid white!

 K and I getting ready to go swimming.

 Isn't he just the handsomest man in the world? I am so incredibly blessed!
More views of the beach.  It was hard to leave paradise!

So, in essence, what I have learned in the last year is that life is full of surprises.  I learned a lot about myself during K's deplyoment and was faced with many surprises, both good and bad, throughout that time.  Volk came into our lives unexpectedly but has completed our sweet family in ways I could have never imagined.  I found a job that I never expected and am so blessed to be in a career I love.

And one really big surprise:
It was apparently a VERY good honeymoon.

Baby will be joining us in Janary.  I am currently 8 weeks 5 days along, so really just starting this journey, which is a whole new blog for a whole different day, but this surprise, while unexpected and turning our world upside down, is such an incredible blessing that we can't wait to see what all we have in store.

Life truly is full of surprises, and I am learning to embrace each and every one!