Monday, May 23, 2016

Our Favorite Podcasts

As lovers of stories, naturally Jenny and I love getting lost in a good podcast. You might have heard 2016 declared as "The Year of the Podcast," but these mini radio shows have been a big part of our lives for a while now. Podcasts are great for stimulating your brain during those fringe hours--while you're driving to work, cooking dinner, doing the dishes, or out for a walk. Today Jenny and I are sharing just a few of our favorites!    

Lesley Anne's Favorites

1. Around the Table Podcast - This is my #1 can't-miss podcast right now. When I first discovered Around the Table, I went back and listened to their entire backlog of episodes--it's THAT good. This podcast is chatty and fun, and I love the dynamic of Jacey and Maggie's different personalities. If you like conversational podcasts, then this one is for you!

2. The Relevant Podcast - Whenever I've just finished a really serious audiobook or life is getting a little mundane, this is the podcast I like to listen to. It's guaranteed to make me laugh out loud, and everyone needs a little ridiculous humor in their life. This podcast is also a great place to discover new music and books, but a warning: this podcast tends to be LONG. Episodes average about an hour and 45 minutes, so make sure you have plenty of time on your hands when you listen in.  

3. What Should I Read Next -
If you read Modern Mrs. Darcy's blog, then you already know about Anne's brand new podcast. We're only twenty episodes in, and I'm in love. Host Anne Bogel asks each of her guests a series of questions, and based on their answers, gives them suggestions on what they should read next. Hi new favorite! 

4. Pregnancy Perfect -
I actually discovered this podcast before we started trying to get pregnant, but after listening to a few episodes, I had to stop. I realized it wasn't good for my heart to think so much about pregnancy before I was actually in that season. That was totally a personal decision, but I'm glad I decided to wait. Now I seriously can't get enough! Hearing about other women's pregnancy and birth stories is so fascinating to me and I've learned so much in the past few months. I highly recommend this podcast if you are pregnant or have an interest in women's health!

Jenny's Favorites 

1. RadioLab - I have no idea how to even begin to describe this podcast. If there is something new, cool, or mind-blowing out there, RadioLab will find it.

2. In Our Time - Definitely an egghead podcast. It is a round table discussion of a historic topic in which some of the preeminent minds in the field give a general overview of it.

3. Serial - This podcast took over the world last year. It is about crime that was solved but, perhaps, was solved incorrectly? You be the judge.

4. Just Thinking + Let My People Think - Christian apologist, philosopher, and thinker Ravi Zacharias is the mind behind these podcasts about how Christianity and modern thought (or really any thought) go hand-in-hand.

What are your favorite podcasts? Which episode would you recommend as a first listen? 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Adventures With Baby Fenton: First and Second Trimesters

If we're connected on Facebook or Instagram, then you've known the exciting news for a while now--there's a baby in my belly!  

Sometimes I can't believe this is real life, that there is a precious little baby growing inside me. This pregnancy has brought so many emotions to the surface, but I've been resting a lot in the fact that God is SO so good. I constantly find myself thanking Him and entrusting me to be a Mama. He has taught me so much about unmerited grace over the past 7 months, and I know we have a lot more to learn on that front in the days ahead! 

As I'm now in my third trimester, I've realized how important it is to capture the anticipation of waiting on our sweet baby. So while this post deviates from our normal blog topics, I hope you'll bear with me as I document our excitement over the next few months! 

I'll start with questions I get asked the most often, since I know many of you may be curious:    

How far along are you? 
28 weeks 5 days

How did you find out?
We found out on November 30, 2015--forever one of my favorite days! This happened to fall on a day I was working from home, so Kyle had already left for work by the time I got up and took the pregnancy test. I had barely sat it on the bathroom counter when the word "Pregnant" popped up--I could NOT believe it! I stood there for a minute to make sure my eyes were working correctly, and then that's when the happy tears started to flow. It's so hard to describe how surreal that moment was!

How did you tell Kyle?
Since we had been trying for a few months, it wasn't a total surprise for him, but I don't think he was expecting us to get pregnant when we did. After seeing the test was positive, I wrapped it up in a gift bag and placed it under our Christmas tree. I initially was going to wait until the end of the work day to give it to him, but when he got home for lunch, I just couldn't help myself! He was so excited, but pretty shocked too. I'm pretty sure he said "Really?!" about 5 times in a row. Such a sweet moment I'll never forget!

8 Weeks
How did you tell your family? 
This was so fun since we got to tell our families at Christmas! We spent Christmas Eve with my family, and after we finished opening presents, we watched a slideshow I put together of family pictures and videos from the year. At the end of the slideshow, we had the picture of my pregnancy test with "Baby Fenton, Expected Arrival August 2016" written underneath it. Their reaction was priceless! There were plenty of hugs and happy tears to go around. With Kyle's family, I bought a little green and red onesie that said "Santa's Favorite" and wrapped it up to give to Kyle's parents over Christmas. We told them we had one more gift for them to open together, and they were SO surprised and excited, especially since this will be their first grandbaby! Kyle's dad in particular was so shocked that he barely said a word for the rest of the night. I always laugh when I think about it because speechless is definitely not a word I would use to describe my Father-In-Law. But no worries, he has plenty to say about his grandbaby on the way now! ;)

10 Weeks  |  13 Weeks
Are you having a boy or a girl?
We found out in February that we're having a boy and we're SO excited! I'll never forget the anticipation as we headed to our gender ultrasound. I had a feeling the entire time we were having a boy, and sure enough, there was a little boy in there! I can barely describe the feelings of happiness that have swelled up in my heart for our little guy. Obviously we would have been happy either way, but I'm so excited for our family to start this way and for our future kiddos to have a big brother!

19 Weeks
Have you decided on a name? 
Yep! We had a boy name and girl name picked out before our gender ultrasound, so from the minute we found out we've been able to call him by name. We've shared his name with family and close friends, but won't be posting it on the Internet until his birthday. :)

Did you have a gender reveal party?
I'm in the minority when it comes to gender reveal parties and not the hugest fan. We decided to do a small one with just family, and it was perfect! We knew we wanted to incorporate our Weimaraner, Doc, into the reveal, so he was wearing a pink bandana and a blue bandana all throughout the evening. After dinner, everyone waited in the living room for Doc to come out of our room wearing only the pink or blue bandana to announce the gender. Obviously he came out proudly wearing the blue!  

Gender Reveal at 16 Weeks
How have you been feeling?
Great! I've been really surprised at how my body has handled pregnancy so far. I thought for sure I would struggle with morning sickness, but by the grace of God my first trimester passed without any severe nausea. I did experience a lot of exhaustion though. It was so strange to feel at any moment during the day I could fall asleep, since normally I'm not a napper. And most nights I could barely stay up past 8:30. I was so glad to get my energy back in my second trimester, but I did have an episode with low blood pressure/low blood sugar at 24 weeks and I passed out during church. After a checkup with my doctor the next day, she's had me aiming to drink a gallon of water a day, and that has made such a huge difference in how I feel. Now that I'm in my third trimester I can feel the fatigue coming back a little bit, especially since I'm not sleeping the best at night. But overall I'm still feeling good!

21 Weeks  |  25 Weeks
Have you had any food aversions or cravings?
Not much has changed for me in this area. I can still eat pretty much anything, but there are certain smells I'm really sensitive to, like vinegar and collard greens (of all things!). The only time I've gotten sick so far was right after I had been at my sister's house and she had been cooking collard greens in the crockpot. So weird! As for cravings, I haven't had any strong, I-will-kill-you-now-unless-I-have-X kind of cravings, but I've certainly had more of an affinity for donuts. Give me ALLLL the donuts. But like I said, not really anything new about that. ;)

26 Weeks  |  27 Weeks   
Have you felt him move yet? 
Oh yes--we've got a little kickboxer on our hands! He's constantly kicking and punching every internal organ possible it seems, and it's getting to the point where it hurts occasionally. Little man is big enough now for us to see him moving on the outside too--such a neat (but also kinda weird!) feeling. Overall this has been one of my favorite parts of pregnancy--the reminder our little guy is healthy and strong (and obviously loving life in the womb)!

How are nursery plans coming along? 
We've got all the major things done! Kyle installed the board and batten and painted everything himself, and we've got the crib, dresser, and rocker set up. We aren't going with a particular theme, but when people ask me about it, I usually just say we're going for a rustic outdoors look, very similar to this inspiration board. I'd love to do a separate post on the nursery progress so far, but I won't make any promises. Baby boy wears me out by the end of the day and it's hard to find motivation to blog!  

What are you looking forward to most in the third trimester?
Besides the obvious of meeting our son in August, we've got baby showers, maternity pictures, and 3 more hospital classes on the calendar. And of course I can't wait to finish decorating the nursery! There's a lot left to do, but so much to be grateful for in our house. :)