powered by The Bump

So much to do, so little time.



I love when Bria moves in my belly – whether is 2pm or 2am I love to feel her kicks, her pushes, her twists and turns. These let me know that she’s okay. For the majority of my pregnancy Bria has had a routine and I could predict when I might feel her move. But lately she has had some change of plans and when I would normally feel her move, my belly would be still. Sure, it’s concerned me. It must be what mom’s feel when they are waiting for their teenagers to call home to make sure that they’re alright. I want to hear from her, so I want her to move.


I’m into my 29th week now – I’m anxious to start my 30’s-weeks. Week 30 just seems so close to week 40, and for that I can’t wait. There is still so much to do and I am trying my best to remain calm and to keep my TO DO list up to date. I’ve started on Bria’s baby book; it now contains all of her ultrasound pictures and that’s about it. J Like I said, I seriously have a lot to do.


I want to: pack our hospital bag, take the Lamaze classes, decorate Bria’s room, make her bedding/curtains, buy items that won’t be given to me as gifts, move into a new house, unpack in the new house, and more. I feel like I have SO much to do!!



Some things I'm looking forward to (part 2)...



31. Bath time

32. Listening to her spout off words in Spanish, Italian, French… (which her grandma will hopefully teach her).

33. Flying kites.

34. Being grossed out by the bugs her and her daddy find in the back yard.

35. Making healthy and delicious dinners for Brianna, and her daddy, as often as I can.

36. Tucking her into bed at night.

37. Finding Easter Eggs on Easter.

38. Eating shepherd’s pie on St. Patrick’s Day.

39. Making tacos on Cinco De Mayo (and drinking an alcoholic beverage together when she’s old enough).

40. Filling her stocking with goodies, and letting her open them on Christmas Eve.

41. Encouraging her imagination.

42. Going on adventures, and letting her collect pretty things/smooth things/colorful things/whatever she wants. And saving her adventure treasures in an Adventure Jar.

43. Riding bikes. Then roller skating, and maybe even roller blading (together, as a family).

44. Sending her to summer camp with a waterproof camera (and making a camp-scrap book when she gets back).

45. Sending her off to prom (and staying up until she returns home).

46. Going to the zoo.

47. Cooking her her favorite meal on her birthday.

48. Dancing around the house together, in crazy clothes, listening to loud music.

49. Show her how to count her blessings.

50. Show her how to love others.

51. Teach her how to pray, and to believe that God will answer her prayers.

52. Help her build sandcastles.

53. And then find sandollars together.

54. Sprinklers, pools, and water balloons.

55. Afternoon naps.

56. Lemonade stands and cookie sales.

57. Baby breath, baby toes, baby butt cheeks, baby eyes, baby fingers, baby face.

58. Peridot – the most beautiful monthly stone ever and having it mean something forever in my life.

59. Labeling her eyes as mine and her dimples as her dad’s.

60. Being her mom.



4D Ultrasound


Our doctor’s visit went SO WELL today (once it actually got started). The lab was really late on drawing my blood to test my blood glucose level, so if the numbers seem too high I will need to go back for another test. Michael and I got there BEFORE the office opened (thinking we were running WAY late), and yet we were one of the last couples to be seen by the lab.

But as for the good news: Brianna seems perfect, the doctor says my pregnancy is going perfectly, and I only gained 1 pound this past month (amazing considering I have been craving/eating sweets galore)!!


Check out my beautiful little girl:

Check out her chubby cheeks!




Yawning :)


Sleeping, or trying to. She keep her left arm up by her head that entire time so it was kind of difficult to get a picture of more of her face.




And the ultrasound nurse says she had quite a bit of hair! :)


More good news: Only 9 more days until I head up to Ohio to visit relatives!






Want some updates? Here’s some updates:


-I am now in my THIRD TRIMESTER! Celebrate! Only three more months to go!

-According to our baby countdown “ticker”, Brianna is now the size of an egg plant. Her lungs are developed and she is practicing breathing thru her nostrils. Her skin is wrinkly but she will continue to grow fat so her skin will be pretty, pink, and tight when she arrives. She can now probably survive outside of the womb if I were to go into preterm labor (let’s hope not).

-It’s finally happening… I am starting to swell. My calves look ridiculously large. So I’m guzzling water like I’m dying of thirst and keeping my feet propped up as much as possible.

-I’m still not seeing any stretch marks, but my belly button is so stretched that it itches constantly! I’m lathering on the lotion but honestly that doesn’t always help either. I heard from someone that stretch marks are either in your family or their not – so if your mom was prone to them, then you may be too. Thank goodness my mom was not!

-Our 3D/4D ultrasound is tomorrow at 8am! We get to save the photos to a disc, so you better believe I’ll be posting her sweet face all over the internet tomorrow afternoon. I can’t wait!

-I’m still obsessed with food, but I’m happy to say Michael and I have been doing rather well in the health department. He made an amazing dinner last night for us: mango chipotle chicken skewers, grilled with pineapples and cherries. I’m really hoping he makes it again tonight, and I’m gonna add a side dish of sweet and tangy pineapple rice to the plate.

-Speaking of food (did I mention that I’m obsessed) I’ve promised myself that I will have ONE celebratory meal, post delivery. One day of completely gorging myself… followed by another diet. I’m thinking either a big ole pizza, or a huge bowl of pesto pasta.

-I have every intention of printing out a few pictures of movie stars/models/famous people with stunning bodies to post on my wall. I want to get motivated to burn this baby fat off as soon as I can, which means diet and exercise. I want to get back into running – its been the most effective way to keep myself in shape but I have to admit it’s hard for me. I know that at first I won’t be able to run so I will make sure to have nothing but healthy snacks in the house (fruit, smoothies, protein milkshakes, grilled chicken, veggies, etc.).



Baby Shower One Invites


They're beautiful! Thanks to my cousins Mindy and Jordann who are throwing me this special party.




The Crib (and hutch)


My love



I think the award for person who has dealt with pregnancy changes the best should go to Michael Ryan (and probably most other wonderful fathers out there). Yes I am the one with the expanding waistline, the rising temperature, the picky appetite, and the cranky moods… but Michael is the poor soul who must stand by and watch his once normal girlfriend change on a daily basis. And he has been the best about it.


Hopefully all women know before they get pregnant that their partner is someone who can handle the nine months of pregnancy. Hopefully they already know what wonderful men they have in their lives. But if some ladies out there suddenly discover that their man isn’t quite the best pregnancy player of all, I’m sorry. I am lucky enough to have the best of the best. J Michael takes care of me, forgives me, and loves me and for that I really couldn’t ask for more. He has dealt with my queasiness, my heartburn, my leg cramps, my picky eating, my flares of bad attitude, and my weepy spells. He’s patient, he’s kind, he’s loving, he’s tender, he’s considerate. He lets me show him all of the pretty little girl clothes, he goes “shopping” with me as we filled our registry’s with must-have items. He eagerly presses his palm to my stomach to feel Brianna move, and he smiles the biggest, most amazing smile when he feels her.


I have the best man on the planet, and I am lucky to have him.



Sanity Savers





Some things I’m looking forward to…

1.       Brianna being born a healthy baby.
2.       Watching her sleep.
3.       Teaching her how to talk.
4.       Watching her take her first step.
5.       This.
6.       The adorable clothes.
7.       Finger painting.
8.       Halloween.
9.       Baking sweet treats with her.
10.   Going with her, and her daddy, fishing… and getting her her own mini fishing pole.
11.   Birthday parties
12.   Making this.
13.   Helping her and her dad make a tree house/blanket fort.
14.   Helping her make cute father’s day gifts for dad.
15.   Going camping.
16.   Cheering her on when she’s playing soccer/softball/cheerleading/band/track/cross-country/etc.
17.   Taking tons of pictures/videos.
18.   Making her and daddy a big breakfast spread on the weekends.
19.   Listening to her get excited about falling in love.
20.   Taking her out on mother-daughter dates.
21.   Listening to all the fun she had with daddy on their father-daughter dates.
22.   Making wishes with her on falling stars, eyelashes, and dandilions.
23.   Teaching her about loving animals.
24.   Taking her on vacation with daddy  – to Disney World, to the beach, to the mountains, to the city…
25.   Rubbing/scratching her back.
26.   Teaching her how to read.
27.   Christmas
28.   Spending time with relatives: grandma, grandpa, mamaw, papaw, cousins, and more.
29.   Birthday parties.
30.   Being her mom.



Her name is Brianna



Countdowns on my internet homepage:






And the most exciting…








By now everyone should know what name Michael and I have chosen for our little girl. But if not, then you’re reading the right entry.


Growing up I was one of those girls who daydreamed about her wedding and her house full of kids. I thought about my wedding dress, the flowers, the colors, the bridesmaids, and the honeymoon. I daydreamed about my kids, running around the house, thinking that I’m the coolest mom ever. I pictured their hair color, their eye color, their little faces. I was always a dreamer.

And a lister – By age 23 I had developed lists of both boy and girl names that I wanted to use one day. My favorite once was Madelyn, then that changed to Grace, later I really liked Anna, then I heard the name Bria. When Michael and I found out we were pregnant I had a strange feeling (dreams, premonitions) that our baby was a girl. Of course we couldn’t find out her sex for a while, and although I would sometimes contemplate having a little boy I always went back to the little girl. I know my baby was a “she”. So I would stare at my list of names…








…most of while I just couldn’t love with all of my heart.

Little did I know the name would come to me all of a sudden and it would be a combination; a combo I had never thought of before.


I was hanging out with Michael one night and all of a sudden the name came to me. First, middle, and last.


“Briana Catherine Ryan… Catherine after your mom. Do you like that, baby?” And he did – he loved it as much as I did.

In the beginning Briana, with one –n occurred to me so that I could too, honor my mother (Luciana). But after thinking about it I realized the named looked too much like Brian, so we added the extra –n. Brianna it was!


I was thrilled because now I could still call her one of my favorite nicknames – Bri/Bria. I had heard the name Bria originally when I was attending ETSU, and then again on the TV show “Desperate Housewives”. I always thought it was different but pretty, and I still love that I can call her that. I also thought it was similar to the male version – Bram, which is a character of one of my favorite books (Modoc by Ralph Helfer).


Now Jesus himself couldn’t offer me a better name. Her name has become a symbol of HER – Brianna isn’t just her name, it’s what my sweet baby girl will be called for the rest of her life. That is who she is. I am in love with her name as I am in love with her, and I have been ever since that moment it popped into my head randomly one night.


We love and can’t wait to meet you, Brianna Catherine Ryan.






It's All About Family



Really and honestly I have some wonderful people around me. The good vibes are constantly rubbing off on me and through the stress of planning for baby, plus the other mountains I have to climb, I have been in a pretty good mood!


“As long as you love each other, are ready for the next adventure, and planning on staying together for the long run everything else just falls into place.” – Leti, my cousin.


Leti is right. Family is about love, and togetherness. It’s about getting thru the hard times because really… you have no other choice. It’s about viewing those hard times as adventures: how boring would life be if you didn’t have to think on your feet? You can’t pick and choose your family members and I’m blessed to have family members, near and far, that I would never want to replace anyway. Michael and Brianna have become MY family, and like Leti says we’re ready [and EXCITED] about the next adventure with no plans to tackle it separately.


On another family-note, we’re watching our PTO fade away as we plan much-needed family trips. This weekend Michael and I are driving down to Louisiana to be with his mom (mamaw), step-dad (papaw), step-brother and step-sister. We’re looking forward to rest, relaxation, good eats, good laughs, family, and friends. I will be meeting some of Michael’s best friends on this trip and I’m so excited to do so! Hopefully I can kick back and relax with his mom and talk about preparing for baby.


Next month my mom (nona) and I will be flying to Ohio to spend another elongated weekend with my extended family. Michael’s job doesn’t permit him to take any more time off until July so we’re not sure that he can come with us, although he’s wishing he could go. I’m still crossing my fingers that something can be done and he can get on the plane with us, even if it’s last minute.


I’m excited to see every last one of my family members. Their love for me, Michael, and Brianna is overwhelming. This is what make pregnancy so wonderful.



Things are just Things



Oh wow… Just when I condemn gizmos and gadgets Michael and I find one that we can’t wait to use. Funny how words can bite ya in the butt, huh? This weekend we spent about an hour and a half between Babies R Us and Target, developing our registries. First of all I wasn’t thrilled about regristring at Babies R Us because the prices are higher (albeit maybe just a dollar or two) and once I walked into that store the choices became overwhelming. The huge, warehouse-type feel, the bright lights, the stagnant air, the tacky patterns and colors, the echoing of commotion throughout the store, Oy! Senses-overload. But nevertheless Michael and I perused the isles and scanned a good 30-ish items. I wanted to give people the option: Target, Amazon, and Babies R Us. Amazon has the best prices [usually] but then there’s shipping and handling. Target has the second best prices but it’s not a baby-store so they don’t have –EVERYTHING-. Babies R US does have –everything- but it’s overwhelming and as a new mom, hard to get a handle on.


With all of that being said, our registries are closer to where we want them to be than before. And now here is a list of the items that we are most excited about receiving (this is not to say that we’re not equally excited about everything that is happened and that we’re not more or less grateful for any future gifts we may receive – we are! I just find it humorous that even when it comes to baby-shopping men and women will still find ways to be true to their gender):


My Most Anticipated Item:

The Crib

-I can’t post a picture yet on which crib we’ll be getting, because that has yet to be determined, but let me tell you that our options are beautiful! All of them! I CAN describe to you what the gist of our crib will be: First and foremost it will be a 4-in-1 convertible crib that will grow with Brianna as she grows. It will be a dark espresso brown and will be in-between contemporary and traditional. I’m not a fan of the “prison” look (lol), so the headboard definitely looks like a headboard to avoid that. I like simple embellishments – nothing too gaudy or overdone. Classic, simple, and pretty. Afterall, her bed won’t be the star of the show when she gets here – SHE will be!


Michael’s Most Anticipated Item:

The Camcorder [Target]

-I chose the camcorder online at Target and it seems like a great buy, but when we went into the store to see it first-hand it was unavailable to view! We may end up changing camcorder choices but Michael is definitely pumped about getting familiar with that little piece of machinery and recording our every advancement. We can’t wait to have stacks and stacks of embarrassing (for Bri), funny, sweet, emotional, and momentous family videos!


My 2nd Most Anticipated Item:

The Rocker [Target]

-I have a feeling that this item will change because the currently registered chair is –EXPENSIVE-, and I don’t feel comfortable having someone pay so much money for a silly rocking chair. OR I may have to buy this for myself! Regardless of the chair, I am looking forward to this piece of furniture being added to Brianna’s room. I know I will be spending a lot of time sitting in this chair at all hours of the night, rocking her or reading to her, or just starring at her beautiful face. Hopefully it’ll get worn down with memories (aka spilled food and drink) and we can keep it as a comfortable go-to place forever.


Michael’s 2nd Most Anticipated Item:

The Stroller [Babies R Us]

-I have to say that I am equally excited about this stroller as he is and this is where I am eating my words. This stroller is NOT just a stroller, my friends. It’s an amazing piece of mobility. What separates it from all the other strollers out there is this: MP3 player hookup, speakers, and pedometer. WOW! Gizmo central! But I have to say that it totally seems worth it. First of all I wanted to opt for a jogging stroller versus the traditional 4-wheel model because I wanted to feel like I could maneuver anywhere. The large 360 front wheel really makes me feel in control, and maneuverability seems to be no problem. Turning corners on a dime is easy (I tried it in the store). The “handle bar” (for lack of a better word) can be adjusted so depending on who is using it (my 5’2” self or Michaels 6’1” tallness) can be easily customized. The actual seating in the stroller is padded enough that I’d imagine a little baby bottom would be comfortable (although added cushioning would need to be added for when she is really small), plus baby has a tray for food and sippy cups and whatever else I deem travel-safe to have at her disposal. The storage below the seating is roomy enough for fit another kid (haha, not really) so it’s great on that front. The safe-factor seemed great; seat belts seemed secure, brakes seemed reliable, sun cover seemed perfect. LASTLY, and most impressive, the MP3 player hook up and speaker system is the coolest reason to get out, get fit, and get jogging with baby. Sure I could play my favorite songs, or Michael his favorite, but we could also play toddler tunes and whatever she might like – to make the jogging more fun for her. The pedometer is the added cherry on top – when I’m concerned with distance and losing the baby fat I’ll have something solid to go by and to aim for. We’re totally psyched!


Other things to get excited about:

-Baby bedding. I’m still not excited about baby bedding and the worry has crossed my mind regarding having too much fluff. I was torn about getting a baby bumper but it seems that there is a danger either way. The comforter will probably not be used during her first few months (and beyond) but we found a comforter that is adorable that I wouldn’t mind using as a blanket elsewhere (on the rocker, or living room floor, etc.) and eventually when she’s old enough to sleep with more covers can be added to her bed to make the ensemble complete. The colors of her room are transitioning in my mind: where once I envisioned a green and pink room I am now dreaming of a yellow, brown, and green room. As you can tell I’m setting Brianna up NOT to be a princess girlie girl.


-The clothes. I know that she will grow so fast that some clothes may not get their true value’s worth in wearage, but come on now! Little girl clothes are JUST SO DANG CUTE! I have to keep in mind that she won’t stay 0-3 months forever, and by 3 and 4 months she will need winter-wear (which I’m sure will be just as adorable). I could browse racks of girl clothes for hours and never get tired.


And honestly that’s it. The rest is necessity and these things are objects that we need to keep her safe (car seat), fed (breast pump, bottles, formula), happy (toys, teethers, play mats, swings), and beyond. But really the best and MOST awaited gift of all is HER. Little Brianna – I can feel you pushing inside me, bouncing around. I can tell when you’re sleeping and when you’re awake. Daddy and I love you already more than we ever thought possible. We are preparing everyday for your arrival and we will embrace the sleepless nights, the anxiety and stress of raising a child, and the learning on the job that we will encounter. We will embrace all of it. Because we will have YOU… and I just can’t wait for that. <3


Creating Baby



I love arts and crafts. Painting, drawing, photography, sewing, and on and on. Hopefully my love of creation will translate to money savings! One of the things I am planning on making is a unique mobile. I'm not a fan of most of the store-bought mobiles. I'm sorry, but I'm not.


But here are some inspirational mobiles that I might end up mimicking... Which do you like?


This one doesn't quite look easy to make unless I pick up ceramics... but its so cute! I would definitely buy this one!




Be Nice



Since becoming pregnant I believe I have met some of the nicest people walking this earth, and some of the rudest. What is strange is the nicer folks are generally strangers, while the mean ones are people that I know personally. I’m not sure what that says but…


-Yesterday I struck up a conversation with an older man who was standing in line at the bank, with a breathing machine at his side; oxygen tubes draped around his shoulders and into his nostrils. But he wore a Chicago Cubs baseball cap and that was all that I tried to see. We talked about baseball (the cubbies), football (da bears), Jimmy’s Hotdog Stand (only place in Memphis to get authentic Chicago-style eats), and Chicago. Finally it was his turn to the counter, and as he slowly walked away he turned back and with a smile said “Was so nice talking with you.”

It was nice.


-That same afternoon I needed a few things from Kroger. When finished with my shopping I meandered into a short line (two others in front of me). The lady in front of me turned around, looked me up and down, and I thought she had developed a quick judgment on my life and snubbed me to herself. But not a second later she turned around and offered to let me pass her up in line, and then the person in front of her did the same. I turned to thank them as I left and they both smiled back to me. They very well could have passed judgment on me but I am choosing to believe they let me pass because they too are moms, and they understand.


-One day I was taking the elevator down from the 9th floor (where I work), to the lobby – probably to get a snack, or my lunch, or whatever. I wasn’t carrying much in my hands, and I’m one of those pregnant ladies who likes to show off her belly (although hopefully not in an obnoxious way). So it’s pretty obvious that I’m “with child”. Anyway, so I have the elevator all to myself and I finally get off at the lobby. As I exit a pretty middle aged woman is waiting to get on. Without missing a beat she smiles at me, steps on the elevator and turns back to say “You are the cutest pregnant woman ever!”. And then the elevator doors shut. I was smiling the rest of the day.


Other people have come up to me and asked “How are you and baby doing today?” or they’ve gingerly placed their palms on my belly. Small acts and simple words like these are what I am savoring. I’m learning every day to let the small trivialities of the world roll off my back and I’m embracing these moments when I see the good in people. What a blessing it is to be pregnant – more love is bestowed on me during this portion of my life than ever before, regardless of the harshness of others’ words.


Believe it or not there are some people who don’t judge by what they see (don’t see) on my finger, but what joys they know I am experiencing and what legacy I am carrying on.



"I was just asking about your health"


The title of this entree is a quote Michael said to me once in a sleepy daze. Ask me to tell you the entire story -- it's HILARIOUS (although some people have told me that since becoming pregnant I am way more tickled than I used to be -- as if that's even possible! Oh well, more laughing, less crying!).

But seriously, i'm here to talk about health: food and work outs.

I'm not one of those people who naturally gravitates towards working out, and i don't think it's particularly fun. I've tried a plethora of different work out styles and have learnt a lot about myself and the workout world. First of all I thrive on the treadmill with music in my ears. If my iPod shuffle isn't playing Lady GaGa/The Blackeyed Peas/Enrique Inglesias/Katy Perry then I'm probably dragging. Also weight lifting and anarobic exercise is a MUST for me -- but I've learnt to like it. Lifting weights and experimenting with different muscle-toning routines have been fun. And lastly I may complain during a run but afterwards my lungs, legs, and heart thank me. I feel the best after a good run.


During college (ETSU) I did a lot of yoga, due to the free yoga classes held at the campus' student center. I truly enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere and I noticed that I had much better control of my body after a long period of yoga. Later when I moved back to Memphis I started taking a local yoga class (by a little asian man named Ky Rhee -- he taught Elvis!). The instructor taught us yoga (duh), breathing techniques, and tai chi. I loved it my pocketbook didn't. Since then I've stopped doing yoga regularly but I still use the stretches/stances/breathing techniques in my every day life, and have decided to start performing simple yoga again. I figured as i grow and get closer to August 2nd those breathing techniques/muscle extenders will really come in handy.

Yesterday I had my first spring photo shoot of the season. I was up at 6:30am prepping, starting shooting at 8:30am and didn't stop until 1:30pm. At the end of the day my left knee was killing me -- and considering I've never left a photo shoot in pain, let alone had joint issues, I wasn't sure what to do. I ended up cooling the area with an ice pack, then soaking it in a hot bath -- followed by yoga! Simple yoga that 18 year old marie would have laughed at me for, but it was yoga nonetheless. Michael recently suggested meditation in the mornings as well, which I think is a great idea. Currently I've started praying every morning -- on my drive to work when I'm alone and it's private enough for me to speak out loud (other Memphis drivers may think me crazy, though). Daily meditation, prayer, yoga, and walking (trying to avoid swollen ankles!) makes Marie a happy mom!

Secondly is diet -- and how obsessive I am about it. I've never been lucky enough to have a high metabolism. But cooking has become quite a hobby of mine, and if I were to live a second life I could totally see myself going to culinary school, moving to New York (or France or Italy), and devoting myself to cooking. Now, however, I am completely happy with cooking good food for my family. Making a delicious plate of food for Michael, myself, and Bria is fulfilling enough. This weekend Michael and I reminisced over the different recipes we've prepared for each other and together -- then we made pistachio crusted chiken with sweet potatoe fries.


Mmm mm!



How to Really Love A Child


My Prayer



Some of the best advice I have received so far into my pregnancy came from my Grandpa Balla. He said to me “The only advice I have for you, Marie, is to keep your faith. Above all else, pray because prayers are answered. And don’t pay attention to what anyone might say.”


Above the wipe warmer advice, the “patience is key” advice, the “rest and relax” advice, and above all other words spoken to me within the past few months… the best advice, hands down, was “Pray”.


So now, as I always have in the past, and for when I need to the future I turn to my favorite Bible passage:


Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor deamons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor ANYTHING ELSE in ALL creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.



Life outside of Pregnancy



My main hobby is photography, right? So you’d think I’d have oodles of pictures of me, myself, and I during –THE-most important time of my life. Well… sadly, that’s not the case. I’m very camera shy. I’d much rather be taking the pictures than be in them. However, I have received many requests for photos of my growing belly and before this week I wouldn’t have anything to share but… YOU’RE IN LUCK! See below…



This was taken earlier this week, at work (CB Richard Ellis – great company, glad I work for ‘em). We were having our Annual Employee Recognition Awards (for 2010… we were a little behind) and the theme of the day was Soul Train. I opted for a more comfortable look and went with a “flower child”-type outfit.


And bytheway, check out the hair! About a week ago my hair and nails really started to grow. I'm loving it! One of my sweet friends from work bought me a gift certificate for a pedicure (which I haven't had done since my cousin Mindy's wedding over a year ago) and I throughally enjoyed getting pampered/massaged. I'm trying to convince Michael to go with me next time -- sans the nail polish. The leg and foot massage makes it worth every penny.


I do swear to everyone out of sight to upload more photos of myself. And in an artistic fashion I HAVE scheduled a pregnancy photo shoot for June with the talented Kara Jo (www.karajophotography.com), so please stay tuned for those pictures. Once Bria arrives you better believe the picture-taking will commence once again; there may be too many to humanly view in a single sitting but they will be uploaded here regardless. And being a “look-to-the-future” type of person, I have already scheduled our first family photo shoot with Kara Jo, so you all should expect some cutesy Christmas cards this year! Once my address changes [again] I will post my address here, as well.


On that front, let’s talk about houses (picture of my current rental is below). My current lease is not up until August 1st… Brianna’s expected arrival date is August 2nd. This just won’t work. Michael and I have been touring homes for the past month or so and have seen quite a few of interest, but each time something falls thru – rented out to another tenant, the landlord falls off the face of the planet, landlord seems fishy, etc. We continue on our search!



Rigby, our shepherd-great dane-lab mix is doing well (picture below). His 1st birthday is this month so I plan on making him a little dog cake to celebrate (chicken, gravy, veggies, rice, in a bread bowl). He truly is our first child and we love him so. He was recently neutered and WOW what a difference that has made. Beforehand he was abounding with energy and was constantly fighting to be alpha – now he is much more relaxed, lazy, and obedient. While on the house hunt we are looking for a home with a fenced-in back yard so that Rigby can stay primarily outdoors. We love him like no other but he won’t be an only child for long!