Pregnancy: weeks 13, 14, & 15

So it still doesn't feel real that we'll have an extra person in our family in five months... As my belly continues to grow, it becomes more and more real. I'm actually a little surprised that I've popped out this much so soon! I knew I'd regret it if I didn't document weekly baby bump pictures, so I went ahead and started with week 13.
Week 13 when I could still button my jeans! 
 Week 14
 And week 15! 
I'm still in that awkward stage where you don't really look pregnant... Flowy shirts and the bella band have been fabulous!

Overall, I really can't complain. I'm still really tired, but not as tired as weeks 5-12. I think working 12 hour days twice a week doesn't help with the exhaustion.. On the days that I'm able to come home at 4:45, I literally crash immediately on the couch for at least 30 minutes. Toby has gotten used to this routine. He doesn't even ask to go outside until I wake up. He just lays next to me and waits patiently... It's so nice.

I'm still exercising at least four times a week- I wish I could do more! Last Saturday, it was cooler and I had the best run I've had in a while. I usually run 2-4 miles... I have to walk a few paces here and there because I've been really short of breath! Apparently this is normal. If I don't run, I try to walk at least 3 miles or do yoga.

I've had some interesting cravings... Root beer and french fries have been the biggest so far. This weekend, I really wanted a grilled hot dog, so I bought all natural GF hot dogs and they were fabulous! I really wanted the last one for dinner tonight and almost had a meltdown when I discovered that Brian had eaten it yesterday. I almost cried. Peanut butter is another big one.. Every day in my lunch, I either have apple slices or a banana and peanut butter. Oranges and grapefruit too! And any time I see food on instagram, I pretty much start to crave it. It's bad. I have made it a whole week without ice cream though, so I consider that a success! The only real aversion so far has been brussel sprouts. Every time Brian makes them I want to gag. I normally LOVE them!

I had my 15 week appointment on Tuesday and heard the heartbeat again! It took a little longer to find it this time because the baby was moving around like crazy. At one point, my midwife said, "Did you feel that? It wasn't me, it was the baby!" In three weeks, we'll know if Baby Parker is a boy or a girl! Based on my cravings and the fact that I haven't been sick, I'm thinking it's a boy. It's been really fun to tell my students my news. They are all so excited! I can't wait to start buying clothes. I went into Carter's last week, and could have spent a fortune.

I'm really excited about getting the baby's room together.. That's going to be such a fun part of the process! I started making a granny square blanket for the baby too... It's so fun to make something for MY baby!

cabin visit

Every summer Brian and I try to make a visit up to his parents' cabin in the NC mountains. We didn't make it up before school started, but we were able to go last weekend. It was a beautiful drive and makes us miss living in Boone! It felt so good to be back in the mountains.
The cabin is currently under renovation. Brian and I couldn't believe how much bigger it is now! We were able to walk through the house and get a feel for what it will be like when it's finished. It's going to be beautiful! We can't wait to visit with our friends who went with us in college when it was just a small little cabin in the woods. :)
Lloyd and Susan were so gracious to let us stay at the Buck House Inn, the most charming little B&B. It felt like a vacation!

The weather in the mountains was a little rainy and unseasonably chilly. We spent the day in downtown Asheville antiquing which was so much fun! Evan joined us for the day. 
We ate lunch at Creperie Bouchon in downtown Asheville. I discovered this little cafe when I was here last with Ashley. The crepes are amazing (and all are GF!) And the french fries are to die for. 
After lunch we went to a few more antique stores, ate dinner, and went to see The Way, Way Back (which I highly recommend!) We finished out the night at French Broad Chocolate Lounge. Ashley also introduced this place to me... It might be my favorite spot in Asheville. The line to get inside goes out the door on a Saturday night. People were even waiting in the rain! It's that good. I got a chocolate milkshake, but I tasted the chocolate creme brulee which was absolutely wonderful. I want to try a liquid truffle next time!
The next morning, Susan and Lloyd joined us for breakfast at the Buck House Inn. We then headed over to the cabin to the cabin to play games in the shop. Lloyd fired up the old wood stove since it was so chilly! We sat around drinking chai, listening to the rain, and playing a game. 
We always have such a wonderful time when we come to visit. We can't wait to see the progress on the cabin when we come next! 

4th anniversary & a surprise!

I am happy to finally announce our big news! We are having a baby!! February 15th is the due date! We made it public last week, but I haven't mentioned it yet on the blog... So here we go! It's still hard to believe that this is actually happening, but we are so thankful and SO excited! This picture was taken right after I told Brian the news.
I found out the morning of June 13th... It was a Wednesday, and Brian was already at work. I didn't work that day, so I called Brian and told him I had errands to run over by his work and asked if he wanted to meet for lunch. The whole morning feels like a blur. I had to tell someone, so I called Natalie. We squealed over the phone, and I tried not to panic... Lots of thoughts go through your head when you find out you'll be raising a human... I was in such shock that I forgot to drink coffee that morning! This never happens. I went for a run, and then left to meet Brian. I couldn't stop smiling, but I tried to act as normal as possible. I dropped the news with no build up whatsoever. Right after we got our food, I flat out told him I was pregnant. He was in total shock. It still makes me laugh thinking about his reaction... We were in the middle of Five Guys (out of all places- we never go there!) He was of course excited, but I understood his shock.. I had had a few more hours to process the news. 
That night we went to dinner at Chow Baby. I thought the name was appropriate for our celebration. 
I didn't have (and still haven't had) and morning sickness or nausea at all. I consider myself blessed! It was really hard waiting for my first doctor's appointment because other than being extremely tired, I felt great! When I finally went to the doctor for my 8 week appointment on July 10th, I had a fear that they would tell me I wasn't really pregnant... I told my midwife, and she said, "Oh no, you're definitely very pregnant!" 
It was the day before we celebrated our fourth anniversary when we saw our baby for the first time. It was such a strange feeling, but amazing to see the baby's heartbeat flutter! 
Happy anniversary to us! Life will be drastically different when we celebrate next year. :)

So now, I'm in the middle of week 13. I am back at work full time and doing pretty well... My pants are starting to get tighter, but I'm not really showing yet... I'm in the in between stage with normal pants and flowy tops. I'm still running and exercising as often as I can, so hopefully I will keep that up. It's starting to feel more real as we slowly start collecting baby items... Here's what we have so far.
These are mostly little things that friends have sent us. I bought the crib sheet when I was in California with Kristin- it was my first baby purchase. :) I also bought an antique dresser last weekend to use as a changing table! I plan on painting it as soon as I can find the time. I have a vision for the baby's room and can't wait to see it slowly come together. 

Originally, I didn't want to find out the sex of the baby, but Brian did. The more I think about it, the more I want to know, and the fact that Brian wants to know makes me want to know more... So I think we'll end up finding out the gender around my 18 week appointment in the middle of September. I'm so excited!
It's been so fun slowly sharing the news with family and friends. Thanks so much for your excitement for us! We couldn't be happier!

Punta Cana

Last week, we took a trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic with our friends Jimmy and Christen. For the past five months, Christen and I spent hours and hours searching for a great deal. We knew we wanted to go somewhere we had never been, we wanted it to be tropical, and we wanted it to be all inclusive. After literally months of searching, we found a great deal through expedia for five days in Punta Cana at the Bahia Principe Punta Cana Esmeralda. It was such a wonderful vacation!
Jimmy and Christen drove to Atlanta on Thursday night, and we all flew out together the next morning. The flight was only three hours, but it took a while to go through customs in Punta Cana, and then it was about a 30 minute drive to the resort from the airport. When we arrived at the resort, we were pleasantly surprised that they had upgraded our rooms free of charge.

I loved how open and airy the lobby was.
By the time we were finally settled and checked in, it was close to dinner time. We enjoyed drinks at the bar before dinner.
We went to bed early since we were all exhausted from our day of traveling. Christen and I woke up early every morning for runs on the beach! 
And then every day after breakfast, we'd head straight to the beach or pool for hours in the sun (or shade for Brian). 
We were so thankful for fabulous weather the entire trip. 
The ocean was crystal clear and the perfect temperature. 
One afternoon we took kayaks out for a bit. I had never been kayaking before, but I really liked it. For the first half hour that is... I got a little queasy from the waves and had to stop a little earlier than everyone else. I think I'd do better in a lake, but it was absolutely gorgeous on the water! 
 Our routine every day was to read, swim, nap, grab a quick lunch, repeat. Sooooo relaxing.
Christen and I talked the guys into taking pictures on the beach one night before going to dinner. The lighting was so pretty! 
The pool was nice, but really hot... This was just one of the many pools on the property. 
There was a breeze on the beach, and the ocean was cooler than the pool, so we spent most of our time there.

We tried different restaurants each night. My favorite that we tried was of course Mexican. :)

On Tuesday we headed back to Atlanta and ended our trip. I'm so glad we went- It was great to be in a beautiful place and spend time with good friends. It was the perfect end to summer- (I started work back at school the next day). It was fun while it lasted, and we're so happy we went!