Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: Year In Review

Jeff and I are anxiously awaiting 2011... I mean, it's just a hunch, but I think it will be pretty big -- you know, between a new job (fingers crossed), a new home (fingers crossed again), a new city (maybe), a NEW BABY, and - the latest in denim revolution - pajama jeans... Something tells me it will be a good year.
Either way, at times recently, we've said that 2010 has been a hard year.  There are a lot of unknowns in our life right now. BUT... When I look back at the last twelve months, I feel nothing but thankful...

So, before we officially say goodbye to 2010, let's take a little trip down memory lane, shall we?  (I'll just throw this out there... this post is mostly for me - and maybe my mom.  Feel free to skim/skip if you want...  Twelve months is a LONG time. No offense taken.)
January: My New Year's Resolution last year was to watch more TV.  This might be my first successful resolution EVER in history.  Pretty exciting.  In addition to television, January was full of important thoughts and discussions on: Wendy's Frosty Club, bra anxiety, diets (of course), coffee, neti-pots, jeggings, eavesdropping, leftovers, doppelgangers, and Kathryn at the Grammy's.  Clearly,  it was a busy month.

February: In February, I gave up Facebook.  I will probably do it again this year (anyone in?).  It was good for me, and my mom loved it!  We also got tons of snow, I threw away my brand new Kindle, broke my nose (completely forgot about that), had my first blog giveaway (in celebration of my first 50 followers, how wild is that?), allowed my sister to guest post (she said she would never do it again because I "edited" her so much --- gotta keep this PG-13), and talked way too much about The Bachelor.

March: March began with The Flat Belly Diet.  That worked out real well.  
Which, was followed by a 10k that I signed up for with two college friends, but in reality ended up watching from our hotel room while eating gummy bears.  (In our defense, one of my friends was pregnant; and, for that matter, I became pregnant a mere seven months later.)
Yes, Addy also fell in love with Nacho. 
Oh well, at least... my master bedroom won a contest (thanks to you), I hosted two real give-aways (as in, people actually wanted the gifts), had a blog friend mail me yellow books, got my adorable blog make-over from Tricia Nae (new one on the way... promise), wrote the most blog posts per month to date, AND... celebrated my golden birthday with the release of my 30 Before 30 List!!! 

Plus, I saw T.Swift (and promptly became obsessed) in Charlottesville with some of my favorite girls ever.  Priceless. 

April: I fooled you all into believing a had a movie deal (right),  joined The Nester's Mantle Party, and introduced the first ever Bachelor of the Week.  (Just look at that face... still single ladies, and living in the midwest now.  Any takers?)

I also helped my mom and MIL plan a beautiful Lovebirds and Linens wedding shower for my best friend Amanda.

May: Started with a wild trip to Nashville to see Jimmy Buffet during the biggest flood of the century.  (We didn't let it stop us.)

My custodian asked if I was pregnant (I wasn't); I started doing Zumba, planned the prom, celebrated Amanda's bachelorette days, and... ADDY WON US $1,500!!! (Edited: Typo.  She did not win us $15,000.  Oh how I wish!)

June: I ended my third year of teaching and saw my first group of sophomores graduate.  (This year is officially my "senior" year.) We shaved Addy, Amanda and Davey tied the knot (and I got a terrible spray tan). I beached it with my family for a week (while Poppy slept 99% of the time), and my blog celebrated its first birthday. Tzu and Diana got married in Raleigh, & we celebrated our third anniversary by packing the bags for three weeks on the road...

July: Jeff and I drove across the country for three weeks.  (Trip of a lifetime.) We also said goodbye to our dear Gracie, and welcomed Jonathan into our exclusive group of "The Twelve" as he married Jenni in Valdosta. 

August: I played kickball (and actually made it all the way around the bases this year... once), started Mid-Week Laughs (a royal flop, perhaps 2011 will be better), celebrated Pryor and Gregg's marriage, dressed like a zedonk, re-modeled my laundry room, and started my fourth year of teaching at my alma mater. 

September: Um... 9-02-10.  :)  Also, a camping trip with our good friends Jake and Amanda that resulted in SEED TICKS for Addy, Labor Day at the lake, and a trip to Clemson with the gang to see the Tigers play.

Oh, and Jeff quit his job.  No big deal.

October: I danced for Breast Cancer (as part of 31 Days of Healthy Living that lasted all of about 3), hosted the 4th Annual Chapman Oktoberfest, reached 300 blog followers, saw Boyz II Men in concert, attended DaPalooza III, and found yet another way to incorporate sweatpants into my Halloween costume.
 November: We put our house on the market. Kathryn went sky-diving (since we're related, I can include this in my year-in-review). I helped pull off the Junior League Stocked Market, saw Carrie Underwood in Concert, presented at the National Teachers of English Conference at DISNEY WORLD, hosted a Thanksgiving Table Decorating Contest, oh and found out some pretty darn exciting news...

And December:  In December, I became the worst blogger ever.  (I haven't written so few posts since my first three months blogging.)  I did, however, enjoy a wonderful white Christmas and share my BIG NEWS with the world!!!
Honestly, it's almost embarrassing how much fun we had in twenty-ten.  It's incredible to think about how much will happen this next year.  We are so blessed!

Thanks for reading!! (Now, and all year long!) Resolutions to come tomorrow!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Plus Sign (No pictures of pee-stick here.)

For starters, you should know that I'm slightly obsessed with taking pregnancy tests.  Not in a creepy way, but I just always have these weird "feelings" about being pregnant.  This started back when Jeff and I first got married.

These are not mine.  I make it a rule not to post pictures of things I have peed on.  Just my personal preference.  Either way, I thought some one out there may have never seen a pregnancy test and, well, it's relevant to this post. ;)
For example, there is one infamous story where I woke Jeff up in the middle of the night (this, after I had already walked to the nearest 7-11 seeking a pregnancy test, but to no avail) convinced that I was pregnant.  I MADE him drive me to the drugstore, and, of course... Was NOT pregnant.  After that event, we kept a box of tests in the bathroom for such an occasion as this.  ;)  Over the past three and a half years, I've probably taken over 25 tests. (That's a lot - especially considering that for at least 3.25 of those years, my odds of getting pregnant were .1%.)  

Anyways, this fall was no exception to my craziness.  In the weeks before finding out we actually were pregnant, I had taken several tests.

Jeff and I found out we were pregnant on a Saturday morning.  The TUESDAY before, I took a pregnancy test in the morning.  And, to my surprise, there was a very, very faint positive sign.  So faint, in fact, that when I showed it to Jeff - who was still sleeping, mind you (Mistake #1) - he said, "That's just a line showing through.  It probably looked like that before you took the test.  I'm sorry girl, but you aren't pregnant."  So, I threw the test away and finished straightening my hair.

Again, not mine.... But, this is the closest I can find to what mine looked like that morning.  See... very faint plus sign in the circle.
About lunch time, I was struck with an uncontrollable need to Google "very faint positive signs."  When I did, I kept reading the same thing... "Any positive is a positive."  So, by the time I got home from work, the cycle had begun again.  I was convinced I was really pregnant this time.  After digging my test out of the trash (is this tmi?) and comparing it to photos on the internet (see above photo) for a few hours, Jeff finally agreed that there was a chance.  We went to Kroger to buy a digital test - no room for human error this time - and settle this debate once and for all... 

Jeff hid in the bread aisles while I went to the pharmacy.  Apparently, digital tests are a hot commodity, because they are behind a locked door. So,  I was forced to speak to the pharmacist  - who instructed me to wait "a few days" or, at the very least until the next morning before taking the test.  Something about diluted pee?!?  My brain was in a fog.

Test in hand, we left.  And, I assure you, I had ZERO intention of waiting until morning to test.  (Mistake #2.)

P.S. On the way out, a security alarm went of - hot commodity I tell you - and a guard had to stop us and go through our (one, very small, obviously from the pharmacy) bag.  She definitely congratulated us three times and asked if this was "planned."  "Hello?  We are just trying to get home and TAKE the test!!! Is this really happening?"  So awkward.

Anyways, we went home and I immediately tested.  Then, we stood in the kitchen and waited the exact two minutes as the package instructed, before peeking.  This time, even Jeff felt more confident.  We were nervous, but giddy and excited.
And, when we walked up to the little white stick, it read:  "Not Pregnant."

I'd taken plenty of tests that turned out negative.  This was no big deal.  But, this time it felt different.  I doubt I will ever forget that moment.  I was genuinely sad and disappointed.  BUT, at least the wondering was over...

We went to bed after that, and prayed, and convinced each other that NOW just wasn't God's timing.  We weren't ready to be parents.  Our life wasn't set-up for a baby just yet.  This was a GOOD thing.  

Little did we know...

I think I rebelled the next two days.  I'm not a drinker.  But, I drank wine on Thursday night at an event with my mom, and beer on Friday at a concert.  Of course.

Then, Saturday morning, as soon as my eyes opened I had one thought: "We bought a pack of two."  While Jeff was still sleeping (again), I snuck to the bathroom to take the second pregnancy test.  (Well, third of the week... But, you know what I mean.)  

I took it, but I knew what it was going to say.  I didn't even stand over it and stare.  I just set it on the counter and got in the shower.  When I got out, well... the rest, as they say... is history...  I surprised Jeff (again) in bed, and this time there was no denying it.  

We just sat there.  Stunned.  Scared.  Happy.  But, quiet and shaky.  Just three nights before God had told us it wasn't our time. And, we'd accepted that.

I always thought when I found out I was pregnant, I'd want to scream it from the mountain tops... But, I was kind of silent.  Jeff and I had said we'd take the day off of whatever we were doing and just do cartwheels all day (or something like that)... But instead, I got dressed and worked the Stocked Market.  I picked up donuts at Krispy Kreme and got a decaf coffee.  I shopped with my mom and Peggy, and didn't say one word (about baby at least).  I called Jeff a lot, and we just kept repeating "This is real.  This is real."  And that night, we met Jeff's parents at a winery (go figure) for dinner, and pretended like our whole world hadn't just changed.

Of course, in the days that followed... it sunk in.  Telling our parents was HUGE.  So fun, and so reassuring.  And, seeing our little heartbeat - we both cried tears of joy and gratefulness. Jeff and I CAN'T WAIT to be parents.  Literally, I think it is what we were made for.  

But, that first day, was NOTHING like I thought it would be.  To be honest, a lot of pregnancy hasn't been. (I guess no number of What to Expect When You're Expecting books can really prepare you.)
So, that's our story.

I tell it because... 1.) It's funny.  The whole time it was happening (especially with the security guard at Kroger), I kept thinking "I can't wait to write about this on the blog."  And 2.) Because, I want to remember it.  It's funny, and sad, and happy - like all good stories are.  I want to look back in ten years and remember how faithful God is, and how perfect his timing is... even when (and maybe especially when) it doesn't match up with mine. 

I don't really know what happened on that Tuesday night.  But, I'm glad it happened that way.  I'm glad all of this happened when (and how) it has... There was a time in my life when I felt like I deserved to be a mom.  Like, of course, I'd get pregnant when I was ready.  But, God had other plans for me... for my heart.  He had to bring me through a season first.  A season of wanting and waiting and even (although short lived) accepting "No."  

I don't claim to have a "hard story."  (I know too many people who have really struggled and ached for a baby, and my heart hurts for them - know that I have prayed and cried out to God for you more than ever in the last few weeks.) But, I'm certainly aware now of the gift that this is.  I don't take it for granted. 

This is our story.  It is the beginning of our adventure, and I am thankful for every part of it.

P.S. On the off chance you are still reading (sorry I'm SO wordy these days), don't forget to take my little gender poll in the upper right corner.  Just for kicks! :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Details...

First things first, THANK YOU for your sweet messages and well wishes on our last post.  If you only knew how long (about six weeks in reality, but it's felt like an eternity) I've been waiting to share our exciting baby news with my blog family!  I LOVE how so many of you can be so genuinely happy for us, and most of us have never even met! Jeff and I are SO excited, and I'm so happy that I'll get to document this journey and share in the joy (and inevitable difficulties) of the next six and a half months on my blog.  It's sure to be a wild ride!

Whew, it feels good to have it out!!  (Truth be told, Jeff really wanted me to wait one more week till the end of the first trimester, but I just couldn't hold it any longer.  Plus, I wanted to use our Christmas card to share with the world.)  I KNOW I have been a terrible blogger the last month or so... I just didn't have anything else on my mind!  What can I say?  Sorry!  But... I've got months worth of blab to catch up on.  So, consider me back in the game!!

So... Baby Chapman is on the way!!!  

Here are a few details...

- We found out on November 13th - my dad's 52nd birthday - during one of the busiest weekends of our fall.  (Of course!)  To be perfectly honest, as much as my (our) heart desired a baby, this came as a bit of a surprise.  With Jeff's job situation and the transition stage we have found ourselves in (yes, our house is still "on the market"), this was not something we were planning...  Needless to say, however, we are THRILLED and trusting in God's perfect plan for our little family! As usual, we are blown away by his graciousness --- summer due date for a teacher?!? --- and sense of humor with this Type A mom-to-be.   

- As of Christmas Day, I was eleven weeks pregnant.  We went to the doctor for the first time at eight weeks and got to see our little bean and hear a heartbeat.  The heartbeat was  nice and strong at 157 beats per minute.  (A little girl?  Does anyone believe that old wives tale?)

- I don't like the terms "preggo" or "preggers."  They make me feel like Britney Spears.

- We told both of our parents the day after we found out.  My dad's birthday was Saturday and Jeff's mom's birthday was Monday, so we took advantage of some creative birthday card wording.  It was simple, but sweet and something they can keep forever.  They were absolutely ecstatic!!  Seriously, they could not be more supportive and wonderful. Cutest.grandparents.ever. (And, yes, they are already spoiling us rotten with baby gear - nevermind that most people don't start buying until at least 6 months.  We're rarin' to go!)

- I was pregnant at Disney World - about six weeks... So I couldn't ride ANY rides.  Oh well, all the more reason to go back with my baby one day!

- Coffee and Diet Coke were the things I was most worried about giving up, but the very thought of both makes me gag. 

- My stomach is HUGE.  I bought maternity jeans at 10 weeks and probably will never go back.  (I promise I'll post a "bump" picture this weekend at 12 weeks -- I had taken one every week, but had a moment of weakness/hideousness and deleted them all.  Thank you hormones!)

- And finally, I've not been too sick - but, I'm definitely not having one of the glamorous pregnancies I always read about on blogs and in magazines...  Mostly, I've been SUPER tired.  As in, I usually sleep more than I'm awake.  Thank goodness for Christmas vacation!!!  I have had a few days/weeks of pretty crummy nausea, but overall, I think I've been very blessed.  The first few weeks I was also hungry ALL.THE.TIME.  (I'm sure that has nothing to do with my huge stomach.) But, even that is getting better.  My hair is hideous. Awesome.

I think that just about does it for now...  I promise not to turn into a strictly pregnancy blog now, but you can expect lots of updates.  We are SOOO excited!

Friday, December 24, 2010

A VERY Merry Christmas

From our (growing) family, to yours!

Jeff, Elizabeth, Addy
(& our little gift on the way)

Surprise!!!  We have an extra special blessing to celebrate this Christmas! Details to come next week...

In the meantime, hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family.  We are so thankful for Jesus and all the LIFE he has brought us!  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What I've Been Up To

Ok... I admit, I have NOT been sick since my last post.  In fact, I've been enjoying myself quite a bit.

Friday did, actually, come early via a mini snow storm last Wednesday night... So, I've been officially "on vacation" for over a week now.  Wonderful.  (And they are calling for snow on Christmas too.)

We've been baking, wrapping, Christmas partying, celebrating Granny's 81st birthday, playing board games, shopping, eating, visiting, etc. etc. etc.

Addy and her (early) gift... We are those parents who can't wait till Christmas.  She LOVES it.
Some sweet friends who surprised us with carols.  (They were singing here - sorry girls!)
Jeff's hidden talent - I wish I could take credit for these cute packages.
Oh... and A LOT of sleeping....

Now, stay tuned for our Christmas card tomorrow... I am SOOOO EXCITED to show it to you!!

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