Wednesday, June 5, 2013

2/3 of the way complete!

Wow, we've made it to the third trimester! Every time I say "third trimester" I have mixed emotions. I get really excited because I know we will be meeting our baby very shortly. But I also get scared for that exact same reason. It seems scary to know we will be solely responsible for a helpless human being. I have no doubt that we will be able to handle parenthood--I suppose it is more of a fear of the "unknown".  I've been reading up on parenting dos and don'ts, but it doesn't seem to ease any of my "what do I do if..." questions. I know when it comes down to it we will naturally know what to do, or we will call our mommas! Anyway, we are super excited about this journey called parenthood that we will embark on in 12 short weeks.  Here's an update on this momma and Baby S!

How far along? 28 weeks! 12 {or less} to go!
Please disregard that this chalkboard says we're in the second trimester...Must have been my pregnancy brain! 

Size of baby: This week the baby is about the size of an eggplant. I don't really like the food comparisons anymore because I don't think they can be that accurate, but I guess it gives you a little something to imagine when you're trying to fathom how big your baby possibly is. Right now Baby S is about 14.8 inches long {could be longer if it gets its Daddy's height!} and about 2 1/4 pounds. I can certainly feel the baby more now that it is longer and not all balled up all the time.

Weight gain: Still doing pretty good in this department, in my opinion...between 18 and 19 pounds, depending on how much I indulge in "good" food from day to day. My goal is still to be under or at the 35 pound weight gain mark by delivery day--we shall see! I'm continuing my exercising to try and keep the weight gain at a minimum...

Stretch marks: Still no. Cocoa butter is my tummy's best friend, though!

Gender:  I'll let you know come August 26th...

Movement: Crazy movement is going on inside me. I love feeling the baby move, but when I really think about it, it is the strangest thing to me. There is really another human being living and growing inside of me. What a miracle! I like to call the baby's movement "moving and grooving". My favorite thing to do is wake up each morning and feel the baby immediately start moving. It's like we wake up at the same time:)

Sleep: I am very thankful to still be sleeping through the night {aside from a bathroom break}. I do however, wish I could sleep past 6:30 or 7:00 a.m. For some reason I just can't sleep late anymore. I guess I'm getting ready for early rising once the baby gets here!

Food cravings: None. I still just like to eat my usual diet. Nothing out of the ordinary.

What I miss: Same as always. Beer, wine, sushi, and my long, DECENT runs. I can still run, but my pace is so dang slow! And when I run I feel like I have to use the restroom...even though I swear I go at least twice before I leave for a run. I'm definitely looking forward to being back to my regular, running self.

Symptoms: Really, just going to the bathroom every.10.minutes. No joke. That's all I can complain about right now!

Belly button: It's continuing to get flatter, but it's still not completely flat, much less an out-y. I'll take that!

Wedding rings: Still on!

Maternity clothes: Do nike shorts, t-shirts, and bathing suits count?? If so, yes {that's what my summer wardrobe consists of}! If not, then not really. I wear my comfy maternity shorts a lot now, but I still wear all of my same shirts. I did buy one cute maternity dress for Britt's graduation. Other than that I just throw on a flowy dress when I go somewhere. Oh, and I did purchase my first ever tankini yesterday. That was struggle! I don't mind wearing my bikini still, but figure I should have something a little more conservative on hand, too.

Best moment of the week: We got to hear the baby's heartbeat. That's always so special to me! We also ordered the baby's bedding, and I LOVE it. I can't wait for it to come takes 8-9 weeks so I guess I'll have to be patient!

We're also in the process of getting a new doctor in Atlanta. I found someone today, but I have to wait on my prenatal records to be sent to her before she can begin seeing me. We decided to use a doctor who delivers at Piedmont because it is a little closer to our new home. We are now at the point of appointments every two weeks so I will get to see my doctor here in Birmingham one more time. I am sad she won't deliver our baby..Dr. Tamucci is the best!

I also mentioned that our new landlord is super sweet...he got his painter to paint the nursery for us. Well, when he sent us the lease yesterday we noticed that he included Baby S as one of the tenants. How thoughtful of him! 
Check it out; its really tiny, but if you look closely you can see Baby Smith's name! 

We are getting ready to fly to DC at the end of the week to celebrate our 2 year anniversary, meet Britt's cousin's baby, and meet my college roomy's baby! We can't wait to spend time with everyone while we are there! 

Stay tuned to see how this last trimester goes...I'm praying for it to be as smooth as the last two!

Monday, June 3, 2013


control: power or authority to guide or manage

Control is what we think we have over our lives. We so often believe we have the power and authority to control everything that happens in our lives. And we do in a sense, we are able to control our actions and decisions. But we do not have control over our life's journey. Britt and I have found this out quickly. 

Just a few short weeks ago we were in control of our lives. We were ecstatic about the soon-to-be arrival of our sweet baby. Britt had just graduated from law school--hallelujah. He had just begun studying to take the Alabama Bar. I was excited about the end of another school year. Although I would miss by sweet class terribly, every teacher needs a summer break to rejuvenate and get ready for the excitement that comes with a new school year. We were in control. Britt was actively searching for jobs in the Birmingham area. We knew he may not find something until the Fall, but God would lead him to the job that was meant for him. We had money in savings to tie us over until he found the right job. 

Just kidding.

Right when you think you have everything under control, the man upstairs says, "WHOA. Hold on. You are not in control, I am." HE is not joking, I am certain of this. 

Why you ask? Well let me tell you. On one afternoon, in a matter of about 5 minutes, our life was no longer in our control. I found out that my contract was not renewed for the 2013-2014 school year. I was not given a reason {Under Alabama law, schools are not required to give you a reason for non-renewal of a contract if a teacher is not tenured}. When I tell you that this was a shock to me, that is an understatement. Words truly cannot express how taken aback I was at this news.  I had {what I thought to be} good evaluations. Of course there were a couple of areas to work on. I'm 99% positive that is how teaching works. No one is perfect. There's always room for improvement! Right after I digested this horrible news I was so angry I didn't even cry.  All I could think about was this helpless baby we are about to bring into this world, and how I would be able to tell Britt and my family this news. How would we live, eat, survive?  I felt like a failure. I felt embarrassed. I felt like I had done something wrong, but did not know what. I am thankful for my grade level because they consoled me while I waited to be able to get in touch with Britt. When I finally got in touch with him, the tears came flowing. He picked me up from school and we went home. Thankfully, he was strong for me because I was so upset. I wasn't sure how to tell my parents the news. For some reason I thought they would be disappointed in me. I suppose it's because I am so hard on myself when it comes to my work and performance. They were not, however, disappointed. They were as upset as I was. Someone had hurt their baby girl. Now I am at peace with what has happened.  I am no longer embarrassed or ashamed. I know that I am not a bad teacher. I had 17 children who I taught to read and write this year. I had 17 sets of parents who adored me and were thankful for all that I taught their children over the course of the year--they were giving me hugs of thanks and gratitude with tears in their eyes at our Kindergarten Parent Picnic just hours before I found out I was not longer invited back to teach at this school. After a few days to let all of this sink in I went back and reviewed my evaluation conference notes to try an make sense of why this might have happened. As I reviewed them, it was almost comical because of all of the positive comments I received on my evaluations notes. There is some underlying reason this happened--we will never know the true reason, but it is what it is.  In my heart I know that there is a better opportunity ahead. An opportunity to love and teach children--to foster a love of learning in the children. This is my calling and I am passionate about teaching. 

All of this being said, that afternoon I realized that our Heavenly Father is the one in control of our life. HE has a plan for us. One that we do not know yet. We are praying for answers and guidance. I got the daily devotional, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. It is amazing how the verses speak directly to us each day. 

It is already apparent that their are lots of little blessings coming out of this situation. One huge blessing is that I will get more time at home with our baby. I was only going to be able to take 8 weeks off with him/her. Now I will be able to take off longer. Although we love Birmingham, we always knew we wanted to end up in Atlanta eventually {we love the food scene, the neighborhoods, entertainment options, etc. that Atlanta has to offer}. The reason Britt didn't take the Georgia Bar and we didn't make the move to Atlanta is because I had a job in Birmingham. It did not make sense to us to leave my job and both of us be in search of a new job. We don't have my job holding us back anymore, though. Perhaps this is God's way of telling us we should, in fact, go to Atlanta. We do not know for sure, but the signs are pointing us in that direction. 

So, we are taking a huge leap of faith and making the move to Atlanta. It seems like it has been a whirl wind decision, but things started leading us in this direction. Britt always wanted to get his LLM {basically a masters on top of a law degree} upon graduating from law school. I was not a fan of that since I felt like he needed to have a job to add income to our family. But now it seems to be the best choice. My, how one's {my} view can change so quickly.  Now Britt has applied to Emory's LLM program. We are waiting to hear back from them, so prayers are appreciated! He will also be able to do some part-time work for his dad. I will be able to substitute a couple of days a week and possibly work at a preschool. I always knew I wanted to teach 4K or 5K at a preschool once I had children of my own. I could possibly have that chance now. Time will tell. 

We have been searching for a house or apartment to rent in Atlanta since we even began thinking of moving to Atlanta a week and a half ago. Let me tell you, that is a daunting task. The rental market is BOOMING apparently. Each house or condo we would find in our price range would be taken by the time the listing agent was able to get back to us. We spent a weekend driving around for about 9 hours and didn't come up with many options. We found a few places to look at this past weekend so we hopped back in the car and drove to Atlanta for another weekend of house hunting. We found about 5 possible places and thankfully one of them is the one we think is for us. It's a duplex off of Pharr Road. We love the location, it is half a mile away from the pool I usually go to when I'm in Atlanta, and it's in walking distance to a park--all great for when the baby gets here! It's about the same size as our apartment we live in now, but it has TWO of them even has a real vanity area! That's a major selling point to me. The landlord seems like he is going to be very accommodating. He is getting his painter to paint our nursery for us--one less thing we have to worry about!  We are signing a lease and slowly moving our things to Atlanta over the next two weeks. 

Leaving Birmingham at this point in our lives is not our choice. I am devastated to leave the town I grew up in. I do not want to leave my parents or all of our friends. Thankfully, we will be about 5 minutes away from Britt's parents though. We are so fortunate to have two sets of parents as a wonderful support system.  We are truly blessed to have each other, our health, and a healthy baby that is about to bring pure joy to our lives. Things could be much worse. This is all in God's plan for us. We are certain of this. 

Here is what I read in my daily devotional, Jesus Calling, yesterday: "I am involved in each moment of your life. I have carefully mapped out every inch of your journey through this day, even though much of it may seem haphazard. Because the world is a fallen place condition, things always seem to be unraveling around the edges. Expect to find trouble in this day. At the same time, trust that My way is perfect, even in the midst of such messy imperfection. 

Stay conscious of Me as you go through this day, remembering that I never leave your side. Let the Holy Spirit guide you step by step, protecting you from the unnecessary trials and equipping you to get through whatever must be endured. As you trudge through the sludge of this fallen world, keep your mind in heavenly places with Me. Thus the Light of My Presence shines on you, giving you Peace and Joy that circumstances cannot touch."

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. PSALM 18:30

For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. ISAIAh 41:13" Is that not powerful, or what? We are SO thankful we serve an almighty God who IS in control of our lives. 

Although this is a scary journey to embark on, we are excited to see what the future holds. We will keep you updated as this chapter of our lives unfolds. We love each and everyone of you and certainly appreciate any and all prayers!
-Jessica & Britt