It's Halloween, Baby!

When I first met Rory, he told me about this tradition that he and his friend John Link had every Halloween. They set up Rory's porch with a "dummy" man next to a bowl of candy. The dummy however was John and when the kids got close enough he would just slightly move his hand or something and scare the little children.

The kicker is that they had a video camera all rigged up and in the house, behind the porch windows Rory threw a party each year where the guests could watch in real time as John scared the children.

I participated one year while we were dating, but then after we got married John moved away and I just felt funny about being the house on the block that was known for scaring children. So the tradition ended with me. Talk about a kill joy.

Our friend Beth recently asked about the video footage and in the midst of the boxes downstairs we found a dvd of one of the years. Rory clipped it together as sort of a best of. If you're not into Halloween, you may not appreciate this. But if you are, you may find yourself laughing and getting pretty fired up for an evening of trick or treating. Happy Halloween, everybody!

Boo! Halloween Live at the Groves from Becca Groves on Vimeo.

Happy Halloween!

I'm starting to get phone calls during the day wondering if I'm in labor since I didn't post anything on my blog! Ha! The truth is, I'm just really tuckered out. And I cannot tell you how scattered I am these past few days. Even when I think about what to blog about, I get all distracted because my content is crazy and unrelated and it makes me not want to write anything. But just so everyone knows I am still great withchild, I thought I'd post a few of the things I am thinking about in regards to halloween:

**My niece, Mara, carved her pumpkin last weekend. She told me over the phone, "And Aunt Becca, it is fierce." "Fierce? Wow. What makes it fierce?" "Well, one eye brow is a diagonal line going down this way, and the other eye brow is a different diagonal going down this other way, and it is fierce." She's five and I found this commentary hysterical. Her folks have no idea where she learned this word.

***We tivo's Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin and tonight is the night we're going to watch this classic. I'm excited. I also have high hopes of not having this baby before halloween because I have a costume idea I am excited to try to pull off.

***(this has nothing to do with halloween) My sister called and said that her little Svea is already moving into the next size of diapers and probably soon will be out of her 0-3 month clothes. This kills me because I haven't even gotten to HOLD SVEA YET!!! But, she has been posting lots of fun stories and pics if you want to read all about Sweet Svea here.

***I talked to both Annika and my bff Heidi today and their 5 year olds both had costume changes before school this morning. Both mom's thought they were going as one thing, but the kids had a different idea when they woke up. And both mom's thought the original costume idea was way cuter, but in the end, you can't really mess with a 5 year old. Mara changed from a witch to a bee at the last minute and Isaiah switched from a Knight to a fire-fighting-army-super-hero.
***Stay tuned this weekend for a video of Rory's idea of a good time on Halloween. You will not want to miss it.

trader joe's


Do you remember the first time you shopped at Trader Joe's? I do. It was this morning. And even though I know I'm late to the party, I am so, so excited about this place.

hot soup


This picture was taken two weeks ago...

Something dramatic happened in the weather yesterday, and it turned cold. And very, very windy. I think these first days of the change of season are very jarring. I kept thinking yesterday, "Oh that's right, the wind sucks the breath from your mouth. I hate that." And then I remembered that I need to wear my contacts on rainy days when I'm running errands because they steam up so badly from building to building.

But I'm trying to take this change of seasons with a positive attitude. I do like to hunker down and cozy up. We started a hopeful new tradition at the Groves house this fall. We call it "Soup Sunday" and try to make a big pot of something each Sunday afternoon. So far we've had a few winners including chicken and dumplings, chili, wild rice soup and chicken noodle.

Here are two absolute winner recipes:
Byerly's Wild Rice Soup
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (best ever.) **I recommend using a rotisserie chicken and two boxes of Chicken stock and I left out the cooking sherry because it was too expensive...

Hope the thoughts of warm goodness keep you toasty today!

T-minus one week...

...more or less.
We're due a week from today, and I'm not getting any smaller that's for sure. My belly is so tight, and it is getting less and less comfortable. Rory and I were at Cub the other night and he picked up a pumpkin. I asked that he kindly shove it under his shirt for the rest of the shopping trip just to see what it is like to have such a heavy load. He set the pumpkin down, smiled and me and told me that I am doing a great job carrying our child.

Sleep and I used to be really good friends. I remember the days when my head would hit the pillow and sleep would welcome me immediately into a deep rest. But not so, lately. I get completely out of bed about every hour just to stretch my belly and let everything settle back into place. Rory is also sleeping horribly, and we are in awe of how accurate everyone's words were that this stage is just preparation for the sleepless nights that are to come.

I am nesting in the deepest sense of the word. The past few days I have been digging out every single box we own and going through each item with not a whole lot of sentiment attached. Nothing is safe. It feels good to deep clean like this though, and thanks to my mom and my helpful husband who are carrying my loads away, I think I'll finish the basement before this baby comes.

Still amazes me that this baby could come in two days or in two weeks. I can't think of any bigger life event that is wrapped in so much mystery!

And finally, speaking of mystery, at our last doctor's appointment he asked us if we had any questions. I didn't but I commented on how I still can't get over the miracle that is happening inside of me, and how hands-off this whole process of creating a life has been. He said, "Not to get all spiritual on you or anything..." And Rory interjected, "Oh, please do." And then he did. He told us miracle after miracle of the timing of birth. How right now there is a shunt blocking the blood from flowing to my baby's lungs because it's not necessary yet. But moments after my baby is born, that shunt will close up, flow through the vein and in an instant there will be blood pumping to baby's lungs. He smiled and said, "Now you go find a group of engineers who can duplicate that."

He went on and on. The three of us were just excitedly chatting about this miracle of life and it felt so right to celebrate like that with our doctor. It was cool to see him still get so excited about something he has been practicing for decades now. The thing is, the wonder and mystery of life just never gets old. It is pure gift and by far the greatest gift we have ever been given.

hymn cards

I remember sitting beside Rory's grandpa's bed as he was beginning to pass away. Papa was a remarkable man, a powerful speaker and a passionate preacher. It felt odd to sit there and watch him sleep with such labored breathing, seemingly so far away. We decided to sing some hymns to him. For each hymn we could usually get through most of the first verse, belt out the chorus and then end up fumbling over words, inserting la la la's for unknown words and looking at each other in a panic and skipping to the chorus once again. I remember being overcome by giggles that night with Rory. We had been sad for long enough and our emotions snapped the other direction and our tears streamed not from crying, but from laughing, trying to sing verse two of "The Old Rugged Cross." Not the funniest song in the world, but that night, it had us in stitches. And even though this laughter was perfect and helpful for that moment, I still wished I had known the words. In general, I wish I had more lyrics committed to memory. I remember working on the advanced memory loss floor at Mount Olivet Home and beginning Beautiful Savior and listening to the residents sing all four verses. Men and women who didn't remember their own children would remember every word to every verse of these songs that had been shut up in their bones. So to help me, I made these hymn cards for our baby nursery. Rory and I are excited to sing these favorites to our little one. My plan is to have 6-7 hymns on rotation at a time. If I'm super ambitious, I'll change them for different seasons. (Christmas is just around the corner!) But at least we'll have the words visible to look at as we rock and snuggle and coo at each other. My Uncle Jake made the welded metal stand that they are sitting on and it's perfect. They are set on a shelf that looks directly at the glider rocker, so I have a feeling they actually will be used. I've been practicing already.

a life of journals

Have you ever met someone who has written in a journal their whole life? When I read about writers like this I always have a tinge of jealousy...wishing I had that sort of written history.

But today I realized that I do! My mom came over for most of the day and we went through boxes in the basement, getting rid of a whole lot of paperwork and school binders that I have held onto over the years. And in one special box we came across more than a dozen journals that I have kept since the 1st grade.

It was so perfect to discover these notebooks of written history with my mom! We laughed as we read entries filled with memories of hurt feelings, excitement, disappointment and all sorts of age-appropriate "stress." It was obvious that I have always been a bit of an extreme writer, very feeling, and very dramatic.

The above text killed me. It is from the very first page of my journal from second grade. To think the same little girl who wrote these misspelled, poorly constructed sentences ended up loving words, and still loves writing, is a pretty cool thing.

dad and baby

Rory is 33 today. I found this picture of him and his dad and I cannot wait for what is ahead of us this year. I can't wait to watch him as a father.

I'm actually more consumed today with how quickly the next 33 years will go by, and how his own mom must be feeling today wondering how life moves so quickly.

lots of thoughtful baby gifts

I love this card that came from my sixth grade math teacher and her mom. Inside it read, "Just be yourself."
***
When it came time to open presents at the baby shower, I knew I needed to be considerate and speedy. It's fun to watch someone else open presents...for a while. And then it just gets a little long. My goal was to open each card to see who it was from, open the gift, thank that person sincerely, hold the gift up and move on to the next present. I told the ladies, if you get bored, simply watch my magical inflating feet. They will double in size before your very eyes. (And they did. They do not disappoint...)

This meant that I wasn't able to read every card (because viewers get bored when watching other people silently reading) while at the shower. But now that I'm writing thank-you's I have been reading these thoughtful words, and I came across two gifts that I hope to duplicate myself for other mama friends. A breastfeeding kit. My cousins Sarah and Kathy gave me this and I think I love it so much because it is so mama-centered. These luna bars are for me. And this adorable water bottle?!! I love it! The cream and pads came highly recommended and altogether the thought and creativity that went into putting this kit together is adorable. The card explained each part of the kit and why it was chosen.

The Mom-Tool. My friend Anne gave this to me with this humorous little flip book, explaining how a mama would use each part of this swiss army knife. The flip book reads as follows:
- Tweezers: Use for removal of small objects lodged in child's nose or ear. ie: beads, beans or pebbles.
-Scissors: Use for cutting a drinking straw for child's drink which prevents multiple spills down the front of the child's shirt. (Hint: cut about 1/3 off)
-Nail File: Mom's new self-care tool-perfect for grooming her own nails while waiting for the doctor.
-Screwdriver: Use for removal of batteries in most children's toys.
-Key Ring: So Mom always knows where the Mom Tool is located.

grandma's caramel rolls

I have to begin this post on caramel rolls with a confession. I am a bit phobic of yeast. Not in a I'm-afraid-it-will-beat-me-up-in-a-dark-alley sort of way, and not even the fact that it is alive and living and tiny. My fear comes from what I might do to the yeast. What if I draw too hot of a bath for its survival? What if the water is too cold? What if the yeast hates me and then all of the work I went through to make the bread is all for nothing. I think about these things and usually opt for making things like monkey bread instead of homemade caramel rolls.

But Grandma was in town last week, and since she has been best friends with Yeast for 93 years now, it seemed like she might be able to introduce us with the most success. After all, I have made caramel rolls with my grandma a number of times throughout my childhood. (Although it should be noted I have never made them while 9 months pregnant. I was utterly exhausted by the end of our baking time together! I had to sit down a few times while my, again, 93 year old grandma stood and washed the dishes by hand!)

We were at my mom's which meant we didn't have a Kitchen Aid. And not having a Kitchen Aid meant that we had to stir in the flour by hand and knead it forever.

The stuff was so sticky. But not for Grandma. Everytime Grandma touched the dough it would become lovely and smooth. She kneaded with ease and made it look so, so easy.

And then she'd let me have a go. And within seconds, the dough would turn to sticky goo, stuck between my fingers, attached like cement to the counter. I was so awkward! This clearly is some sort of practiced and perfected skill and I am a novice. But I did improve over time, and I think Grandma saw some promise in me by the end...

Here she is, fixing my goo back into bread dough.

I kindly let Grandma finish kneading and I moved onto melting the caramel goodness over the stovetop so it would be ready for the rolls.

She rolled our dough and spread butter, cinnamon and sugar all over.
And then we rolled it up.

We cut them up and placed them over the melted caramel mixture.
Then I had to leave in order to make my baby appointment, so Grandma and my mom finished the rolls and brought them over later that night. And I ate more than one. And the baby jumped for joy all night long. Thankfully, I was wise enough to freeze most of them so we'll have some good treats for after the baby comes too.


Grandma's Caramel Roll Recipe:
1/2 cup very warm water
2 T. dry yeast
1 T. sugar
Mix together in a bowl, cover and wait for bubbles to appear.

In a different bowl combine:
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
add yeast mixture to this bowl. Beat 2 minutes with a mixer

Add to this mix 2 eggs, and beat for 2 more minutes.
Then add 1/3 cup soft butter
Beat for another two minutes

Blend in 4 cups of flour gradually. If in a Kitchen Aid the mixer can handle this. Otherwise, stir in by hand. If you're 9 months pregnant, your breathing might become labored...

Put 1/2 cup flour on countertop and knead the dough for a VERY long time. If you mixed in the Kitchen Aid, you will not need to knead it for so long.

Place dough in a buttered bowl and cover with a towel under a warm light. Let rest for 20 minutes. If you're 93, you might do the dishes during this time. If you're pregnant, you might sit down during this time.

After 20 minutes, knead the dough again. Roll out into rectangle and spread butter, cinnamon and sugar on the dough. Roll into a long log.

In 2 buttered pans on the stovetop, melt the following together:
1/3 cup butter melted slowly
1/2 cup brown sugar
After melted and combine together add
1 T. Karo Syrup

With a scissors, cut the dough into 3/4 inch rounds.
This recipe will make 2 pans of rolls with 15 rolls in each pan.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or so.
ENJOY!

things I don't want to forget

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This weekend we got the nursery put together. And I love it. I love getting to dream and vision and then to see all of those ideas and creative thoughts come together. The room is happy, bright and peaceful. Look for a full picture tour at some point on this blog...

I have spurts of energy, usually timed about every other day. I will push it one day and the next my body will kindly tell me that we're not going to do that again. Thursday, Saturday and today are busy days. Friday, Sunday and probably tomorrow will be reading-in-a-glider-rocker days. I told my brother today about this cycle and he explained that even on the lay low days I am still very productive as I am producing one product at all times, even while laying on the couch. I loved that perspective.

In the last week Rory has replaced the nursery windows, painted the sills, built a dresser, built a crib, put up shelves, installed the carseat, put together the stroller, replaced a light with a ceiling fan, assembled a glider rocker and hung all sorts of things on the walls. Next are the blinds and curtains. He is really making me happy...

You should know that all of those listed items above come in large boxes with lots of packaging. When you think about how tiny a newborn's footprint is and compare it to the baby's carbon footprint, I believe the later is quite a bit larger. Sorry earth. We do recycle.

On Saturday I washed everything for the baby in Dreft detergent. Which means that I got to fold my first loads of baby clothes. Melt my heart. I have never, ever had such joy in doing the laundry in my life. Tiny, tiny, tiny.

Last week we had our last night of baby classes. Our final task was to bathe, change and swaddle our cabbage patch kid dolls. Except the mama's couldn't talk and the daddy's had to do it all. Rory was so gentle with that baby doll and I couldn't get over how mushy my heart got watching him put a diaper on cloth-dimpled doll legs. I cannot wait to watch him use this same tenderness with dimpled wiggly legs.

I'll try this again...

I am excited to put up this slide show, but Photobucket thinks I want the pictures to show backwards of their chronological order. And if Photobucket knew me at all, Photobucket would know this would drive me insane. I tried posting and reposting five times this morning, and I'm not sure what the dealio is. Then I went and took a three hour nap.

Until I figure this out, here is a link to the slide show with the pictures in their proper order. (My North Shore pictures also displayed last picture to first...anyone use Photobucket and have any tips?)
Click here to watch the Slideshow. and enjoy!

one colorful baby shower

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Alright. I've got a few pictures, and I think they sort of sum up the tone of this shower. Somehow the party planners took my quirks and oddities and turned them into a really good time. The room was decorated with paper chains, in honor of my love of a good looped countdown. They were gorgeous and made sort of a tent for the celebration.

I called this the mother of all baby showers, because it was all of my worlds come together. There was Cedar Valley Church family there, Shepherd of the Valley Church family there, Bredberg, Harrington and Groves family there, friends from Mount Carmel, friends from Flathead, and even my third grade teacher, sixth grade math teacher and 10th grade English and History teacher.

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Mrs. Ice (3rd grade), Mrs. Groves (10th grade), me and Mrs. Johnston (6th grade)

To have this many women together to love on and support this little life growing inside of me was fantastically overwhelming. When God set us up in community, I believe this is exactly what he had in mind. I felt so affirmed and loved and supported as we prepare to step into this new season

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I'm adding these next two pictures, because they basically sum up my mood the entire evening. I was quite excited, all night long.

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Sara gave a very thoughtful devotional, focusing on the different roles each member of the family brings to the whole. She referenced The Art of Family and Real Love for Real Life and I have a feeling lots of ladies there will be ordering these books real soon.

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The cake is worthy of a post all of its own, but I'm dying to share this one. First of all, this was my face when I saw the cake:

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And my face looked like this, because this is what I was looking at:

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Remember the Scandinavian wall hanging we are going to have in the baby's nursery?

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Unbelievable. I still can't get over the colors and detail that was put into this cake! And this is how the whole night felt. The thoughtful details, all of the prep that went into every part of the shower, and the special touches were perfect. Lisa, Sara, Beth and Marlene pulled together one of the best parties of my life. I can't thank them enough. And I can't believe we didn't get a picture! But we did get this one, with all of the lovely ladies who helped pull the night off.

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Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to Sara, Beth, Carleen, Lisa, Maddie, Melanie and Dawn! (And Mom Groves!) This baby has so much love awaiting its arrival!

The mother of all baby showers

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I am imagining our neighbors just now as they looked out their window, "Hey, come look at this. Becca is very pregnant in her pajamas and taking pictures of balloons. When is that baby due again?"

***
Last night our little baby-to-be was celebrated big time by one fabulous baby shower. I have no pictures from the evening, but will get them from others so that I can show, rather than just tell.

But let me just say that the night was more fun than I could have imagined, more colorful than even I could dream, and with more considerate thought going into every detail than I could comprehend. I literally could not sleep last night. I was wired. I told Rory all about it, and at 2 in the morning I still had a grin on my face as he tried his first attempt at deep breathing exercises with me. Then I was up at 4:30, just excited to see all of the new baby things that had been generously given and I began creating a game plan for where each thing will go in the nursery.

Lisa, Sara, Beth and Mom Groves hit this one out of the park and I'm so excited to share every detail. They outdid themselves, which is saying so much, because they always are outdoing themselves.

More than anything, to be surrounded by that many women ready to support, love and help us raise the little life inside of me made me feel strong and able. Rory and I are not raising this babe alone- we've got a deep, faithful and supportive community ready to love and help shape this life right along side of us.

sugar cookies

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Last February I made frosted sugar cookies during the Super Bowl, and I remember thinking it was so fun to make these typical Christmas cookies at a different time of the year other than Christmas. This week I decided to make them again, since I have super cute fall cookie cutters and every magazine I see seems so inspired and festive for the change of seasons.

My favorite recipe as of late is my sister-in-law, Sara's. This is saying a lot, because my great grandma Anders has held her own as the favored sugar cookie my whole life long. The truth is, they're two very different cookies. Great Grandma's are the kind of sugar cookie where the dough must be cold when you roll it out, it falls apart easily and when you eat them, they literally melt down on your tongue they're so filled with buttery goodness. I love them, but they are a project to take on. You've got to be committed and patient with the super fragile dough.

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Sara's are a different ball game altogether. They keep their shape perfectly. The dough is so easy to work with, and the thicker the cookie (in my opinion) the better. They only need to bake in the oven for five minutes, and the recipe doesn't make a ton of dough so making them is not an all day process. In fact, I made and baked these cookies in a bit over an hours time and had the dishes loaded in the dishwasher before an hour and a half had passed. Then I stuck the cookies in the fridge so that I could decorate them today.

These are milk dunkers for sure. Coffee is even better, if you like the stuff. They can soak up a lot of goodness before you take a bite.

Here is Sara's recipe:
1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder

Cream butter and sugar, on low beat in egg and vanilla. Mix in flour and baking powder a little at a time. Do not refrigerate. Dough will not roll if cold. Cook 6-7 minutes at 400.

*I was able to fit all of my cookies onto four trays. They do not spread, so you can put them fairly close together. I also only baked mine for 5 minutes and they came out great. I really appreciated that the recipe only makes about 4 dozen. It made for quick cookies...

Cream Cheese Frosting:
I deviated from her royal frosting recipe, making my own favorite cream cheese frosting. I added enough milk to make it a bit runny and glossy. And then I used those Wilton's food gels to really punch up the color. Again, I apologize if you are anti food coloring. I just really like the brilliant colors!

cream cheese
powdered sugar
vanilla
milk

I have no recipe or real method to this madness, other than I think the milk helps it look shiny and I usually whip it with my kitchen aid for a few minutes, adding milk and sugar until it looks about right...

My favorite cookie cutter in this mix is the squirrel I got at Betsy's wedding reception. Grey frosting seemed a bit yucky to me, so they are a sweet purple in the midst of all these brilliant colors.

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candy wreath

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I bought these corn candies after seeing the Women's Day magazine with a cute corn candy wreath on the cover. Seemed doable, seemed adorable, seemed like an easy project to attempt. Only problem is that the rest of the bag has been mysteriously eaten. And this cute dish is almost gone too. I don't know who keeps eating them around here, but Rory is not a huge fan which makes me a bit suspicious of myself.

me and the dmv

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A few tips from my week at the DMV:

1. Plan your day as if going to the DMV is the main event. Go get a new magazine and grab a hot apple cider before you arrive. Because the DMV will end up being the main event of your day, whether you are in a hurry or not. So sit back, settle in, and just wait for your lucky number to be called. It's going to be a while.

2. Plan on going to the DMV two times. For real. I don't believe I have ever been there when I haven't gotten to the front and they say something like, "and do you have two certified pieces of mail addressed to you at this location?" What? No. I have my license here, my car insurance, title to my vehicle, checkbook...

This week I truly planned on the second trip, so my rejection at the first one didn't bend me out of shape. I had even told Rory that morning that I was doing my preliminary DMV visit today. Now deep down I was hoping it would be my only visit, but when I had to return home without plates and a MN license, I was relatively less annoyed.

3. And a final bonus thought: it's not really fair to have to take a drivers license picture when you're 9 months pregnant. A bit round in the cheeks, I'd say. But, they did let me make up my own weight based on not being pregnant, so now I'll have a little piece of plastic with a magical, hopeful, dreamy number written in. Maybe, one day...

enter to win!

Rory is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of his company Swift Weather this month. It's a pretty big deal and we're excited about hitting such a landmark.

To celebrate, he has put together a month of weekly giveaways on the Weather Defender Blog. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment answering the question that pertains to the giveaway. The giveaway for this first week is awesome...and I really want it myself. But Rory told me that I can't enter because it would look bad if his wife took the loot. Point taken, but this thing is cool... and it retails at $99:
That said, I would LOVE for YOU to enter to win. It would please me to no end to see someone I know take some of these great prizes for themselves.

Just click over to The Weather Defender Blog and answer this question: Have you ever had a close encounter with Severe Weather? A winner will be picked on Sunday, so bop over now, and drop Weather Defender a line. :)

can you imagine?!!

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Mom Groves just sent me an email filled with pictures of Holland in May. She said the pictures reminded her of the rainbow cake. Just look at this picture! Hello Life List...I must go here some day. I can't imagine seeing these tulips first hand.

Actually, I know that Washington grows a lot of Tulips too..and that might be more realistic than Holland and could easily be done as a trip to see my brother and his family. Hmmm...I think Rory is going to hear about this idea at lunch time.

36 weeks

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Monday marked our "one month countdown" (give or take...can't make a paper chain for a due date I'll have you know.). Went to the doctor and was told, "the baby has dropped!" I have no idea when this happened, but I do know that in the last week or so I have started walking with a bit of a waddle, and I'm thinking this might be why (?!!)

We went to our birthing class that night and toured the hospital. A whole new reality came into focus and Rory and I had a really good talk about beginning to feel how this is going to change our lives forever, while still not sure what that means. But we're excited about this change and starting to actually feel a bit more mentally prepared.

We finished our baby registry at Target and Babies R Us as well that day. Let's be honest: I have no idea what I'm scanning and for what reasons. There are parents out there with spreadsheets and consumer reports...and that's great. But Rory and I operate a bit differently. Prices were either reasonable or offensive and decisions were made accordingly. Mostly we just wandered each aisle saying things like, "I like these colors together." "Okay, good, scan it."

Last night we went to my cousin Mark and Kathy's for dinner. They are our neighbors now! Just 15 blocks away and it is a dream come true. Mark made the most amazing supper for us (the lasagna had SEVEN cheeses in it and he broiled the pears for the salad!) Then I whipped out my LeSporte Sac with crayola markers from sixth grade and made Kathy draw on my belly.

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Deliverance.

On Sunday we were all set to put up the crib. We've had it in the box for a while now, and Sunday was the agreed day to assemble the thing, since this project has been burning on my heart for weeks now.

But then I started to second guess the crib we got. It's adorable with a curved back, but suddenly I wasn't so sure I wanted a curved back. Maybe I wanted a flat back. You know, how would pictures look hung over a curved back. Wouldn't the lines be nicer if it were a flat back? I hemmed and hawed over such life-changing decisions aloud to Rory and he said he really didn't care. He was fine either way. I continued to lay out my case to him some more and then Rory grabbed the electric hedge trimmer and went in the backyard and took out three bushes. When I went out to check on him an hour later, he was breaking a sweat, digging the roots up with a shovel and had filled five yard bags with bush parts from all over the backyard.

I had a conversation with a Groves family friend, Joanne, at church on Sunday all about how crazy it is to live with raging hormones. I don't usually deal with such mood swings and extreme indecisiveness in my not-pregnant state, and so I am very aware of how crazy-short my fuse is, and how crazy-unpredictable my actions are in this last month of pregnancy.

Joanne told me there is a reason they call it labor and delivery.

Ah, yes, deliverance. That surely must be Rory's daily prayer: ...and deliver me from this crazy lady. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory...

In the end, we still have the crib I like the best nicely boxed in the nursery. I missed my window to get the thing built on Sunday. But on the other hand, we also have a nicely manicured back yard. Give the boy one more month with me, and we may not have a single bush left back there.

happy weekend!

I'm spending the weekend with my high school bff, Heidi. I called her about a month ago with a dream in my heart and knew she'd be the one to jump on board. You see, Heidi is also pregnant, due with her third, and I just kept imagining us spending the day at Water Park of America, not going down the slides, but instead floating our enlarged selves down the lazy river and riding the tides in the wave pool.

So that will be us today, stuffing our pregger bodies into inner tubes, ready to float round and round and round on the lazy river.