37 Weeks

The Kids, always thrilled to have their photo taken 🙂

37 weeks today! How fast this pregnancy has gone.

Of course I have no previous experience to compare it to, but I feel I have been spoiled. We sailed through initial concerns and my midwife has shared her excitement for how well we’ve done throughout. She was also very excited to discover that babe was in a -1 station during our appointment on Tuesday. This means LoCo is sitting low in the pelvis, and is head down! All good signs. I give credit to this low positioning to my consistent chiropractic and massage therapy treatments. Alignment matters! At least twice per month, since the end of my first trimester, I have been getting chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy targeted at prenatal care. I look forward to those four appointments every month and believe they have aided in how good I feel. I enjoyed a treatment with the skilled hands of Melodi Luko today, in fact! She provides services out of Bowdatious Salon in Spring Green.

No swelling, no back aches, no leg cramps, and no “other common pregnancy symptoms.” I probably just jinxed myself!

With roughly 3 weeks to go, I am happy to still be sporting my wedding bands, and only have the occasional discomforts of muscle stretches, being poked in the ribs/lungs, and frequent trips to the restroom. I think I actually had more symptoms/pangs in the first and second trimesters. The Third has been great! Weight gain total so far is 27 lbs.

It’s exciting to consider that any day it could be “time!” We are hopeful for a full term of 40 weeks, and for the remaining time to prepare. Nesting has not yet set in, but we
are through with the interior home projects…. for now. More to come later, but with spring here (officially tomorrow, Happy Spring!) we’re starting to consider outdoor activities and projects, which includes lots-o-gardening!
DW4A3761 copyWe’ve also been on a “going out to eat” kick lately. And when I say “we” I mean “Cody.” And when I say “lately” I mean for the past several weeks/few months. On some occasions, we’ve joined family and friends for an outing, but in many cases, it’s just been the two of us. While we enjoy treating ourselves here and there, we have eaten out consistently at least once per week for the past several weeks–non typical behavior for us. I considered that perhaps Cody wanted to get out as much as possible while we can, while the babe is in utero and travels so easily. He confirmed it. Soon we will be nesters, home with LoCo, missing social gatherings, and we are OK with that. As we have become regulars at The Woods, we’d like to share this gem with you all and suggest you visit. Our seats will soon be vacant. 🙂 They have very good prime rib on Saturdays and a weekend salmon dish–new preparation each week. And we enjoyed our St. Patty’s Day dinner, via a corned beef carry-outs, also, very well done.

I am so proud of my husband and the efforts he put toward our home interior projects. The living room turned out fabulously. I am enjoying the new office location downstairs. We have an updated bedroom to offer guests. And the nursery awaits our little one.

Our nursery is generic. The result of not knowing the gender and simplifying. I really love this little space. I’ve spent multiple mornings and evening in the glider reading story books to LoCo and envisioning the day s/he will rest in this room.

We still have some finishing touches — tonight’s project. Finish the trim work and hang a photo frame. 🙂

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36 Week Update

Home project series recap: Build new living room > Move furniture and set up new living room > Remove carpet from old living room, transition this space to become the office > Old office becomes the spare bedroom, but needs an overhaul > Spare room becomes the nursery

Completing the living room project paved the way to get the upstairs tackled (well, part of it). This week, Cody put the finishing touches on our spare bedroom. After demoing and stripping it, we had new drywall installed then textured, painted, put in new floor, door, and trim. All that is left to do was move the furniture in and begin setting up the nursery! While there a many enhancements we’d like to make to the room that is our nursery, there are some things we can live with for now, and new projects to plan for in the future.

We’ll remove the carpet from the nursery, installing shelves and adding some functionality and decor, but otherwise leaving it as-is. Our new spare room will be the nicest of our bedroom options, great for family and guests when visiting. One day we will start progress on the second story addition and add a large master bedroom and upstairs bath. Someday. In the meantime, we will prepare for Baby LoCo. At 36 weeks today, we have just 4 weeks or so until their arrival. Which reminds me, I really need to get the hospital bag packed!

This weather is amazing! Spring appears to be here. Of course we’ll get some more bouts with cold and snow before winter lets go completely, but I am ready to start gardening soon! We’re enjoying the longer days and warm temps as we usher in “Mud Season.” So far, I still fit between the feed bunk bars!

35 Weeks, 5 Days, with Claire

On a very sad note, we lost our beloved Sadie last week (3.4.15). Normally, I would keep this private, as it is hard to share. But as this blog serves as the journal entries of our life, I would be remiss to not include a deep loss to our family. Sadie was beautiful, full of love and sweetness. I was so looking forward to introducing her to Baby LoCo. You see, I rescued Sadie when she was just 18 weeks old. She didn’t have much human interaction until that point, and a lot of fear. It took a long time to get her to accept anyone other than me. She grew braver each year and had her favorite people, Cody and I of course, and my family members who she saw frequently. However, with no luck was I ever able to get her to feel comfortable with kids. Children of all ages scared her and she would keep her distance. Visiting kids would say “I want to pet that one” and make their way to her only to have her retreat. I knew that with her own child, one she would be exposed to and age with, she would attach herself to them and love and protect them–I so wanted to witness that. It’s hard not to think of her. She enriched my life for nearly 9 years. She was our farm hand, our hiking companion, our watch dog, our greeter. She made our everyday chores into adventures with her excited spirit. I look out our windows and doors and expect to see here there. She was supposed to grow old with me. I will miss her terribly and wish so badly she could be with us. My heart aches for Kava who certainly feels her loss as her companion for the past 8 years. I pray she knows how much I love her, that she made my life better just by existing, and that she is enjoying new adventures in doggy heaven, as she deserves. God bless you, and keep you, Sadie.

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Reminder: We are seeking nanny applicants for Baby LoCo. More details here.


31 Week Update

This week marks 31 weeks into the pregnancy. Babe is doing great. Staying active and growing stronger each day. We have our maternity session this weekend with the wonderful Rachel Manke! And next week is the baby shower. I can’t believe how quickly it is going, and at this point, I would be OK with having a longer pregnancy! Many have informed me that I’ll feel quite differently in about six weeks. I can already tell that I will miss the belly and the movements. Cody claims that will be short-term since we’ll be adding another to the womb in no time! He talks! Let’s see how we adjust with one babe. :))


Last weekend we wrapped up the new living room project! There are still final touches to administer such as setting up the entry way with a bench and coat hooks, sealing the walls, installing the light fixtures. decorating…. so we are not done-done, but we are moved in! This is Cody’s handy work. It took over three months to get here, but he did it and I am so proud of this space because it has his touch, skill, and calculations. A big thanks to those who helped along the way. We just love the space. And there’s pleny of room for photo sessions too! I’ll have three sessions in this space before the week is over.


Light fixtures coming soon! 🙂


Pups are still getting adjusted


And once moved in, we were able to do away with the nasty, white carpet in the old living room, soon-to-be my office! We rolled up the carpet to reveal beautiful hardwood underneath, as well as years of ground in dirt and grime below the padding. Yuck!


Before: white carpet, circa 1990, stained and abused and gross—-it’s got to go!


Hardwood underneath! Fabulous, beautiful hardwood! My only regret is we didn’t yank this up before we moved in!

Anyone who is upset about this snow can blame me. I wanted snow for our outdoor maternity session photos and so glad it came! The cows and horses probably don’t feel the same….or Cody, who has to plow and shovel it, but we’ve been kind of spoiled this winter, and snow is good for the fields! And it sure is prettier than dead grass and mud.

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Dutchess | First 2014 calf

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Cybil Cow

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Sadie does love the snow, loves it more when we come out to play in it

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Legend, sporting ice from his mane and coat, this part I don’t like….always amazed at how resiliant our farm animals are

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And to close this post, a promise to my mother-in-law….my next post will contain a sampling of our wedding photos! Long overdue. Coming soon!


We’re making progress

We’re making progress on the new living room.  Well…Cody is. He started with an open space, void of warmth, shape, character or style. Began framing, then the walls, ceiling, trim, and now on to the floor. This space will give us a much larger living room and place to welcome guests. Cody also framed in a true entryway, as well as storage space and utilitiy closets to help us stay organized—or at least to hide the clutter. 🙂

I am so excited for this project to wrap up. When it does, it means we can move on to the others! The current living room will be stripped of carpet, the hardwood refinished, then my office will occupy that space. That then opens up my current office to become the spare bedroom, and the spare bedroom becomes the nursery. Bit by bit.

Nice work, Baby!

The flooring is going in!

The flooring is going in!


New entry way leading to bathroom



A work in progress…..



Car siding for the walls, deep rich wood floors



Galvanized steel ceiling



Added bonus! We discovered we have hard wood floors throughout the home—-no more carpet!

Home Expansion Plans

Many of our friends and family likely have heard the news or seen our updated cover images on Facebook in which we quietly revealed our announcement of expecting our first child. Here’s the full story.

Cody’s been indicating his readiness to have kids for some time now. Even before we got engaged. Once we were engaged, it was officially decided, we would start trying to increase our joy–and workload–on Bear Vale as soon as we were married.

We have personal experiences with family and friends who have tried for months and even years before successfully conceiving. So, since I didn’t think it would happen immediately, we opted to start trying prior to the wedding by a month or two. This decision by itself was awesome. We were electing to not only commit to each other for our lives, but to create and raise a child together. What an amazing blessing. More so, I knew that if we were not able to conceive on our own, that I was building a life and home with a man who would be open to fostering and/or adopting so that we could provide a loving, learning, and valuable home for a child. No matter what, we were going to become parents. It was just a matter of how, and when. And we left that up to God.

Much to my amazement, in about six weeks, a month prior to our wedding, I received the confirmation via home test that I was pregnant. It didn’t sink in–it seemed too easy. 

Cody was on the road and not due home for two days, and I didn’t want to share this life altering news with him over the phone. While he was away, I hit the baby clearance rack and found a onesie that read “Daddy’s Sidekick.” I bought it and added a small sign below the text that read, “Arriving Spring 2015.” I’d already pulled up the online pregnancy calculators and estimated our due date. When Cody got home at the end of the week, I had his “gift” wrapped and waiting for him. His response was true Cody fashion….calm and steady. He simply said, “Really? Well, great. Good!” For both of us, it took time to become reality.

We had the wedding to focus on and I didn’t want to share the news too early. They say it is best to get through the first trimester–13 weeks or so–just to be sure the pregnancy “sticks.” Our wedding marked 10 weeks and 2 days. And we had all our family surrounding us that weekend. I really wanted the opportunity to share the news with everyone, at once, face-to-face. The day after the wedding, we invited both our families over for brunch. We sat everyone down, thanked them for their love, support, and help in pulling together our lovely wedding day. Cody’s dad provided a pre-meal prayer, and when he finished, Cody proclaimed that we had one more announcement. With that, he removed his sweatshirt to reveal a shirt I purchased for him. It showcased two big thumbs pointing inward and the words, “This Man is Going to be a Daddy!” It was a fun way to share our news and we loved the opportunity to have all our family there, especially those who are not geographically close.

A few weeks later, my dear friend was out for her family photo shoot and she captured a few images of Cody and I with his revel t-shirt. This was just recently added to Facebook to share our happy news with our wider circle. Photo credit: Rachel Manzke Photography 

Last week, my company asked me to participate in a video montage of well-wishes for our members. We were to capture video of where we live/our home area (we’re a virtual company with staff from Seattle to Orlando and every where in between), say who we are, share what we are thankful for, and then wish the viewers a Happy Thanksgiving. I had not yet revealed to work my pregnancy. While a few of my close colleagues knew, I had not yet told my boss or counterparts. I thought this video was the perfect opportunity. Here it is (big thanks to my camera woman, Shae!).

(Video had to be compressed for uploading so resolution is terrible in full screen mode, apologies.)
This week marks 20 weeks, our half way point. I feel the baby moving now, the belly is coming in, and its starting to feel real, though this is just the beginning.

We are so happy and excited and tremendously blessed. God has been so good us. I am so grateful for the opportunity to create life, to do so with an amazing man, my partner and love. I am thrilled to become a mother and shape a life. And I am thankful for the family and friends who surround us and will give this child so much love and experience.

We will not be learning the gender of our baby—bring on the green and yellow, grey and beige! Our prayer is that our little one grows strong and healthy day by day, that they stay put until the time is right, that I labor and welcome this child into the world, surrounded by support and love and strength. Boy or girl, they will be the greatest addition to our worlds since we found each other.

We are starting some major remodeling projects to get ready for our little one. While most of these projects we would have conducted regardless, a babe has a way of giving you incentive… and a deadline! First up, a new living room, then on to the rest.

Thank you for sharing in our excitement.