Wednesday, December 30, 2009

34 weeks

Well, the nursery is in the works... We are stocking up on diapers. We're getting ready! And hopefully, if all goes well, I will be waiting for another six weeks and then lil baby Avery Grant will be here! It's surreal to think that it's almost time for him to be here.

Pregnancy this week has started to rear it's ugly head at me. I have yet to find a good night's sleep, and something tells me that it's not going to get better. Between the huge kicks in the middle of the night, the back pain, and the bathroom runs I think that the little guy is trying to prepare me for what is in store.

I have realized that my anal-ness has reached an all time high. Most people would say it's this nesting stage- I just wish Justin would enter the nesting stage with me so I don't sound like a broken record. There are about a million things that I want done before the baby comes and I am starting to feel the pressure.. For me, all of the pressure of getting everything done turns from motivation to anxiety. Last night for example, Justin was watching some football game and it hit my like a ton of bricks "I need to get stuff done now!" So I had this sudden urge to move the furniture around in the baby's room. I wanted the curtains up. And I wanted all the clothes put away- unfortunately Justin wasn't into getting it all done- after all-"the football game is on, Amber!"... so I seriously went through an anxiety panicky moment where I was trying to move furniture and climb ladders and get the stuff done by it's like waiting was not an option! Finally Justin saw the "neeeed" to get it done by he crazed moment of freak out that I had just displayed and put the game on pause for a bit (thank God for DVR!). lol.

But I think that it's all coming together! Hopefully this time next week I can say "the nursery is done!" and I will post the pics to see..


Thursday, December 24, 2009

33 weeks

Merrry Christmas Eve! Today I am 33 weeks along and feeling great. Had a Dr. appointment this morning and the doc said everything looks great and gave a guesstimate baby weight of 4lbs. today! How exciting!

Here's a quick picture. Sorry- no smile! I was late for work. haha


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Star

I read a post this morning from Shaun Groves website that really resonated to me.


"The Old Testament ends with two commands from the prophet Malachi. He tells God's people to remember:

Remember that God has done great things for you. Then he tells them to believe:

Believe God's not through doing great things for you.

Remember. Moses, manna, water gushing from a rock, the Law written down by the finger of God on a mountaintop. Remember.

Believe. Believe that no matter how much darkness comes your way God will not abandon you, forget you. He will rescue. Believe.

Then the prophet put down his pen and for the next 400 years the Israelites changed hands from empire to empire. Syrians. Persians. Greeks. Romans.

400 years. Some have called them the "darkest" in Jewish history.

Why? The Jews had known this kind of poverty, persecution and powerlessness before.

Why were these years the darkest?

Because God was the quietest.

For 400 years not a syllable was spoken by God to his suffering children. No prophets. No miracles.

Nothing but darkness.

And waiting, remembering, believing.

Then, one night, an angel appeared to shepherds watching their flocks. And light shone all around them. And Heaven sent a message to earth.

Before songs of joy there were cries of sorrow. Before peace on earth there was conflict. Before healing came hurt. Before the Light of the World there was darkness. Before the Word became flesh God was silent.

Wait. Remember all the great things God has done in your life. Believe that He's not through doing them.

Wait. Your star will come


In the midst of the busyness of life it so easy to forget what a miracle we are really celebrating. For me, this year is more meaningful in the fact that I am carrying a little one and are feeling the anticipation of this new life, just as I expected Mary felt. It's easy to get hung up on the dark times in our life but we have a promise and a hope that MY star is coming.

For those who don't know, Justin is currently laid off from work for the next two weeks. Being on furlough is never a fun time, for us it's filled with stress and penny pinching and lots of worry as to what tomorrow, next week, or next month is going to look like when all the bills come in. Luckily- this one is only two weeks. In any case, we went to PA this weekend and as we were enjoying the time with family, his old job, Norfolk and Southern called in and said that they will be calling him back within the next two weeks. If he chooses to go back he will forever leave his current job. His current job is something that provides the security that we need, yet he finds absolutely no enjoyment or fulfillment out of. His old job sits on the opposite spectrum, so much potential for growth and enjoyment- yet the security is not there. There are so many positives and negatives to each job that it instantly set us in a worry of what to do. What is the best choice? We are having a baby now and we aren't just making a choice for us, but for the little guy as well.

As I worried and worried over the weekend and drive home I finally heard the promise of God say "Remember all the great things God has done in your life. Believe that He's not through doing them". I know that God will take care of us. Is there a better season to find that promise than the Christmas season? Absolutly not.

"Wait. Your star will come"


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Week 32

So I am officially starting to struggle! I didn't get to post at all for last week AND i didn't even get a picture last week. BUT, in my defense can I just say that the past week has been SO hectic. Here are just a couple of things that have made my life hec-tic!

1. We had the Christmas theater at church a couple weeks ago and both Justin and I were in it. I had no idea how straining the small parts that I had would be with being so pregnant. Talk about a wipe out!

2. The Children's program at church. Justin was the prop guy who did a lot of the stage set up and making these wooden rotating signs. I ended up spending the best of last week doing the decorating part of the signs and he did the construction part. And I was helping with the preschool choir.

3. I turned 26! I am officially over-the-hill in my eyes. I am no longer a just a short skip away from 20- I am now a short skip away from 30... ayiyiy. Nonetheless- my parents made a special trip down to give me birthday wishes and Justin took me out the following night to celebrate.

4. We have started on the baby nursery! Here is the super cute set that my mom and dad bought baby Avery. The crib is set up, we are painting tomorrow and hopefully finish the nursery in the next 2 weeks?? maybe?

5. Oh- and lets not forget preparing for Christmas! With everything that has gone on, the blog is not the only thing that has not seen me- Christmas shopping hasn't either! I went and got a lot done on Black Friday, then purchased some online things, but have not got even a second to get out to shop! So the plan is to make shopping a priority this weekend!

6. Right now we are preparing to leave for PA this weekend to do Christmas with Justin's side of the family. Luckily for me, my black friday day was good because we got Justin's side completed, but on the way up to PA we are going to stop at some outlets to see what they have for us...

7. And we have had weekend guests- which are always fun. Jeni and Craig came down for a couple days last week, and Matt Carp visited this past weekend.

ANYWAY-- as far the pregnancy goes I am officially 32 weeks pregnant which means that I am starting month 8 of this 9 month journey. An average baby at this point would weigh close to 4 lbs and would be about 17 inches long, but I am not sure if our baby is a small baby, average, or large. I have now entered the wonderful state in which I am expected to gain 1lb. a week. Half of that weight goes to Avery.

Also, this week I have noticed a significant difference in the way baby movement feels. At first when I started to feel Avery he would jab and poke, while I can now watch my stomach literally shift in shape and size as the baby moves. It is just surreal.

Many people have been asking "so, are you ready to be un-pregnant"... Before actually being pregnant I felt that once I had reached this point I would be begging to see the finish line, but for me I have been really really really blessed with this pregnancy. I have yet to get sick or have excruciating pain or discomfort. I am still able to do pretty much everything that I had done before becoming pregnant. I haven't even had to call off of work. I actually have really enjoyed this experience and it's a little sad to see it go so quickly. I love being pregnant- but I am sure that once Avery Grant is here I will love being un-pregnant too.

In any case, like I said before, I feel so extremely blessed. Blessed because of this pregnancy, and the future with our son. Blessed to have Justin, who is an amazing husband and is so supportive. We are blessed to be in our new home for this Christmas. I am blessed to have a great church family, a handful of best friends, and a family who loves me and I them. With Christmas here it is just a great time to reflect and see just how amazing God's grace really is!


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Week 29 and 30

This picture is this week (week 30-today). This week is the end of the 7th month! How exciting. As much as I'm enjoying gaining weight like a sumo wrestler, I am all to glad to say that only 2 more months to go!! Many people ask how much I have gained thus far and I refuse to get on a scale and see. I usually just distract myself when I am on the Dr. scale. lol.. I mean, I am sure that they would tell me if I am over or under weight. I think just this week my belly grew 5 inches.. I'd say Thanksgiving didn't help that at all!

As far as the baby goes, from this week on, there is really nothing more left to do other than grow. Everyday that he is in here is better because his lungs mature more and more- but the little guy has already done much of his developing which helps me take a big sigh of relief.

I am starting to think long and hard about labor and delivery... And not in a fond way. I am NOT looking forward to that! I'm thinking "Wait a minute. The size of what is going to come out something that's the size of what?! Are you kidding me? ". lol Can't they just knock me out cold and take the baby?? I have got the "so what's your birthplan' question alot, and let me just say for the record- I have NO plan. I didn't even know people made "birth plans" I'm just going to take it as it comes and that may include drugs, and it may not. Only time will tell!
So, like I said yesterday I totally missed week 29! So here is a very bad picture of me. I look a little dazed and confused- but is the only one that I got last week. Oh well! I promise I am not cross eyed in real life! HAHA.


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Black Friday !

Yes, it occured to me that I completely skipped week 29 of pregnancy pics! Last week was one crazy week and I still am recovering from it. But tomorrow (week 30) I plan to post 2 pics one for week 29 and one for week 30.

But anyway, thanksgiving was great! Ate a ton, and then I had my first real black friday experience. I really didn't want to go by myself this year so I managed to talk my sister, Anetta into coming with me which made it alot better. We started our black friday rising at 3:00am- eating breakfast and venturing to Walmart. When we arrived there we realized that the line was going to be a 3 hour wait- so we decided to move on. Luckily Justin was going to work and managed to stop by the Walmart by his work and picked up 2 GPS. One for my mother and father in law and one for me (an early birthday gift). :)

My sister and I then ventured to Home Depot. This was the critical stop of the day because it was my main motivation to be out on black friday. Justin has been drooling over an 18 volt Makita drill set that normally costs in the high $300.00s, BUT luckily- Home Depot had them on Black Friday sale for a whopping $199.00- yes, still a large purchase. But I had saved enough each week that I had to get out and get it. We got there about 20 min. before the doors opened and I pushed my way through the burly men to get the drill. It was exciting!.

So after that stop- there was another hardware store that I had to stop by. We had drawn names this year and I we got Justin's brother. So I was on a mission to find a great gift (worth much more that our actual purchase price) and I found it! Another set worth well over $150.00- I paid much much less for.

We then went to Gabriel Brothers, Macy's, K-Mart, Target, Hallmark and finally finished off the trip at the Mall. Unfortunatly by the time we made it to the mall we were zombies. Although there were still tons of sales to check out we decided to check out and go home after a looong day.

All in all- it was great! We got alot done. It always feels great to get really good deals and save lots of money- espcially when you pay in cash! No charging for me this year!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Week 28

Well it's the final lap of this nine month race, which means it's week 28 for me (7 months) and final trimester!! woo hoo .. and I am starting to really feel the effects of the pregnancy. I had a Dr. appointment last week and found out that my blood sugar levels were a little wacky, so now I have to go back to the Dr. this weekend and get a 3 hour glucose screening test. I In other words I have to get blood taken out of me 4 times that day... I feel like fainting thinking about it!.. uhhg. I HATE needles.

Anyway- baby seems to be doing fine. I have been reading all of the baby books and most of them say that at this point the baby begins to dream. How they know that, I have no clue. They saay that brain wave activity measured in a developing fetus shows different sleep cycles in this stage, including the rapid eye movement phase, the stage when dreaming occurs. And what would a baby who has never seen the outside world dream of anyway?? lol. But in any case, it's kind of cute to think of the little one dreaming away.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Black Friday?

I am starting my black friday list today and came across a really helpful website:

You can search through the adds and make your list right on their website! They have most of the stores opening hours.

I will admit, I have not been a huge black Friday person. I went one year in high school and vowed to never go again, but then again, I didn't make a list and was just going through the stores aimlessly looking for deals. Make a list. Map out your route this year!I think I will attempt it this year.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Saving Time

Wow. Thanksgivng is almost here! This is crazy. Christmas is soon coming and then New Years. Unusual as it seems, I am more ahead of the game than usual. Not only have I started my Christmas shopping, BUT I am already thinking long and hard about a good new year’s resolution. Usually I am not one of those resolutionee types, but this year I am. Well, I roughly know what will go on the list already but to “keep it real”, I need to put it all onto paper and make a PLAN!.

As you may or may not know, I’ve been on a managing money spree.… I know, this sounds pretty cliché for my age group. Especially considering that I have grown up in a world where a simple swipe of a card can provide you with a new life. It obviously all started when Justin and I married and the realization of combined debt smacked us in the back of the heads. On top of the school debt that we accrued, 90% of our wedding sits right in our visa and we get to review it every month… how sweet… forget wedding pictures- we get to see every little detail of it monthly!
Anyway- It didn’t take long before I realized that our lifestyle was to quickly change if we were to make any headway, .and since then I’ve been blabbing on to Justin about investments and the options available AND MOSTLY Since there is a little MacQuarrie on his way I thought that there is no better time to get serious than now! We have taken a financial peace class through our church and we are on our way!! I’ve learned to push away my impulse to impulsuvley buy, and surprisingly, have found it rewarding! Actually, I have collected some really great ways to save money- at least for me.

One funny story- Justin and I have been in dire need of a bedset. Dire need. We are using the full sized set/mattress that I bought in college. I had purchased it at Goodwill… so, let’s just say that it’s life has came to an end. In any case- with our vow to never use another credit card this was the first thing that really tested that vow. For months we walked through furniture stores dreaming of the bed set we wanted all while passing little attractive signs that would say “pay as little as $20 a month with our store card”… oh did we drool..But we were strong. We held it together. We put back money weekly, and in the end we bought a nice set with cash…Dave Ramsey would have teared up had he saw us in action. Now when they asked “would you like a mattress/boxspring with that?” we had to count our pennies and say “maybe next week.” But we have a nice cherry wood bedroom set sitting in it’s room… no mattress or boxspring.. But maybe next week will be another story. Justin’s mom thought that we were funny to purchase a set and get the mattress and boxspring later- but you have to set your financial goals and stick to em! And we did. It felt good too.

But I will tell you, saving money seems to have gone out of fashion in the world we live in. Maybe we’re all too caught up in the material world (cue Madonna) these days, and it’s ever so easy with just a swipe of the card to build that fantasy life that we so aspire for. Maybe it’s peer pressure - everyone else is having fun, everyone is driving a cool snazzy car…why shouldn’t I too. When Justin and I walked into a furniture store and appliance stores and handed them cold hard cash you would think that we were speaking gibberish. The salesmen kind of give you the confused dog look when their heads tilt to the side. It’s amusing!

What do you do when the world around you is about consuming? Even the government wants us to constantly consume “It’s good for the economy”…as evidenced by the stimulants offered in Budget 2008.

For Justin and I, we knew that our lifestyle, although not as elaborate as most, still defiantly needed some financial tweeking.

So here’s how we started our savings:
• Use a clothes line—at least in the summer! I know, it’s just too embarrassingly simple- but throughout the year we averaged a good 10-20 bucks a month.
• Coupon- couponing was one of those annoying things that I hated! But coupons are literally money in hand. Who throws away money in hand? Well I did until recently! Not now… no sir.
• Buy generic- We’ve recently started buying everything generic and have generated an average savings of $60 a month
• Eat your leftovers! Seriously, I hated leftovers growing up- but when we actually took them for lunch the next day or had a leftovers night instead of providing a whole new meal, we generated a savings of $30-50 bucks a month.
• Two star bucks a month (if that!). Yep-one starbucks outing every two weeks. If you were a weekly starbucks person like I was, this may be a task- but you can do it!
• And Most importantly- SET A BUDGET… if it’s not in the budget, it’s not an expense. Simple as that.

I have realized that we are saving hundreds a month doing these simple little things! Seriously. And where do we put that saving?? We but it into our debts! Our plan is be debt free… Maybe not this year- but very soon!

At first I thought that setting all of the guidelines would do nothing more than imprison us. Instead, it’s done the opposite.

So taking stock of the world we live in, here briefly are some reasons why I think that cultivating the savings habit and committing to it is a very good thing if you’re still coming up with your 2010 list:

1) It makes you self-reliant in your older years - no hand-outs needed from parents, friends, family. No burden to society.

2) You are in control of your life and you will probably feel less stressed, guilty etc. etc.

3) You learn to appreciate the small and simple things in life…taking a walk, hanging out with friends, playing with the cat (substitute with a baby come February)

4) It’s good for the soul!! This is especially true if instead of consuming, we learn to create. So next time, you get the urge to consume (buy things, watch TV, buy yet another CD), maybe you should think…what can I draw, build, write (like keeping a blog for example!)…

5) If you are faced with a major expenditure if your car needs new tires, or you get pregnant and have to pay 1500 dollars to have the baby—you can handle it!

6) You can give some to charity and make the world a better place. Tis the season to give!

7) Very importantly….the younger you start saving, the more you save!!! Remember the 8th wonder of the world as touted by Einstein? The power of compound interest means that over a longer period of time, what money you tuck away in your piggy today will be worth more. So it doesn’t matter if it’s just 100 or 600 or even 50 bucks a month. Just start!!!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Week 27

Well This week marks the beginning of the third trimester for me, which for those who don't know what that means, I am starting month 7! Ahhh.. Very crazy! Avery Grant is now a perfectly formed albeit very tiny human being. This is when all of the fun belly growing really goes into high gear. I am a little scared about that. I keep looking in the mirror thinking "how the heck am I going to fix this when it's all said and done!" I can't imagine being much bigger- but according to the docs thats exactly what I should start preparing for.

Today I get to start going to the fun "pre-term labor classes" that my doctor requires me to go to. I am NOT excited about that. I skipped one class and have already got my slap on the wrist from the doc, so I am going to suck it up. I never really understood the need for classes. To me, this baby is coming out of me no matter what the heck I do. Now if the classes were about practicle things- like feeding, changing, cleaning, burping and taking care of newborns- sure! But this is strickly labor classes.

Also, another change is this week begins the 'every two week appointments'. So i get to venture to the doc every two weeks until the little one is here. So that's exciting!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pet Carrier

Funny story that I have to share. Justin just called, he usually calls around 3:30 pm while he is on his way to work. Well, he called and was telling me his experience dropping Autumn off at the vet.

A couple of years ago I had gave away my nice pet carrier and since I haven't really had to tote her around that much I never went out of my way to buy a new one. A about 6 months ago I was at Big Lots and found this cute pink barbie carrier. I thought "well, I may need it one day!" so i bought it for a couple dollars. We did use it to tote Autumn when we moved from one house to the other. But one thing i did not take into account was Justin dropping Autumn off at the vet.. Here is how our conversation today went:

Justin: Well, Autumn is dropped off. They have the Barbie carrier too.

Amber: You took her in in the Barbie purse?! I thought that you would take her out of it!

Justin: Yeah Man! I just took her in it and gave them the whole thing. I know I looked gay..

Amber: (laughing) Did you put it on your arm?

Justin: Yeah. I was trying to hide the barbie logo.. But the ladies saw it. They were trying not to laugh.

If you could just picture it like I do- you would be laughing too... poor Justin.


Poor little Autumn

This is my 17lb. cat Autumn whom likes to sit by the door and wait for me to come home from work. She's like a dog in the way that she gets so excited to see me come home from work.. She jumps on my lap and purrs and meows until I stop in my tracks to greet her. It's something that I look forward to everyday.... But today is different. Today when I walk into the house, her little food will be untouched and she will not be there. Today is a sad day for me. My little Autumn is sitting in the vet's office right now as we speak getting her little finger claws chopped off.

From the time I got her, I had told myself that she needed to get declawed, but somehow I had always talked myself out of it. I thought that I could train her to not scratch... nope... I tried alternative methods like Soft Paws which seemed to work for several months until she finally figured out how to leave her mark with them on. I tried to pretend that she was not ruining our furniture... but she was.

After going through several good pieces of furniture, laundry baskets, and carpet pieces Justin finally put is manly foot down when we made the move to the new house and forced me to make the dreaded appointment. Of course, I understand and would be equally as upset as him if she would ruin something in the new house... but I still pleaded and begged to no avail when we caught her scratching up our new couch. 'Sigh'.

Now that she is 4 1/2 years old, the healing process is going to be that much harder on her... poor little thing. I hope that she doesn't hate me! When I got her fixed she seriously walked around ignoring me for a week solid.... ahh.. the guilt is killing me!


Friday, November 06, 2009

26 weeks pregnant!

It's Friday and I have a confession! I almost forgot to make the week 26 post! I was running late this morning/ getting ready and then it hit me. Whoops. So I took a super quick pic.

Well this week I may just have to brake out the sparkling apple juice—baby Avery has now completed two-thirds of his stay in Hotel Womb. I am 26 weeks and 2 days along. At the end of this week I will be ending this 2nd trimester and begining a final stage of pregnancy! It's so crazy. I know that I keep saying it, but it just blows my mind how fast 9 months go by. I still feel as though I just found out!

Anyway this week I have noticed a ton of activity from the little guy..I feel like I am carrying the Karate Kid since he's become a pro at all the kicks and jabs. Also, this week, his eyes, which until now were developing under fused eyelids, start to open and close.

Tons of excitement and anticipation for the upcoming weeks!


Tuesday, November 03, 2009


I don't know where I got it, but it's here. This nagging bug that gives me the worst cough I have had. It's not accompanied by any other symptom- no headache, no fever, just a cough. But when you get to this point in the pregnancy there is this weird breathing issue that you deal with. At least for me, as the baby grows the more space for him the less space for me and he pushes on my lungs.. So between the two- sickness and breathing issues I have been miserable!! I kind of figure that I got from Justin. He can't stay away from me when he's sick. He's like a little puppy that follows you around. He was sick with a cough last week and it's a good possibility that he is the culprit. Either way- I am holding out and hoping that this is the worst.

On another note- I had a Dr. appointment yesterday. I am realizing the one thing that I dread the most at these appointments are the scale. I nearly fell off the scale in disbelief at the number that I saw. Yes, I'm pregnant- but if someone has been pregnant and they say that they never looked in the mirror at some point and said "what the heck have I done to myself" then they are lieing! Outright liars! For me, it's not that I feel like I am HUGE yet, but I think that all of the changes that you go through in such a short period of time can become overwhelming! Seriously! But I guess that's just all a part of the game.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

25 Weeks

well today I am officially 25 weeks and 1 day along on this journey. Sorry about the lack of posts but this week has been crazy for me!~ It totally hit me that I need to get on the ball with this baby thing. Up until this point I have been casually collecting clothes and items but Justin and I haven't really done any serious shopping for the baby or nursery. The other day I was sitting in the office and it hit me that once I hit 7 months (on week 27) I am in my third trimester!! And I am not ready for this baby to come!! lol. So Justin and I are planning on making some purchases this weekend for the nursery.

By this week Avery is is approximately 1.5 pounds and just under 13.7 inches long. It's at this point that babies start to take their own pace in growth. When I was born, I was a teenie tiny baby weighing in at 6lbs, while Justin was a gordo baby weighing in at almost 11lbs. He was so large that they had to break his collar bone to get him out!! yikes! SOO.. lets just hope the little guy gets my genes in the baby growth pool, he can have Justin's after he gets out of me, but I just hope he's a small newborn!!! otherwise we may start to have some issues with delivering him.
Anyway- to sum up the week so far I did have a tramatic day on Tuesday. I was driving to work listening to the radio and they were discussing the H1N1 virus and going through some of the local horror stories. Of course, this has been something that I had struggled with for the best part of the last month and a half. I turned off the radio and started praying for peace about the issue of whether or not I should get the vaccine. It has been such an issue weighing on my heart!

So- I get into work and I was not there for more than an hour when my Doc calls the office and tells me that she wanted me to come down and get the vacinne-NOW. I instantly start to freak out and panic and I told her that I was not sure that I really was ready to get it, and I had questions, and doubts, and fears. She again, went through some of the local pregnancy horror stories and long story short- I ended up going down and getting the vaccine. I cried all the way there. I even had one of the pastor's call a family member who works as a nurse and she said the same thing- "Go." BUT- now that it's done and over with I think I can rest a little easier. I pray that God will protect me and baby and I just hope I made the right choice!


Monday, October 26, 2009

Tired Monday

It's Monday and I had another one of those can't-sleep-at-all-nights!!!!! I seriously think I may have found 2 hours of rest last night. On the way home from church last night I started to feel this extremely sharp pain in my shoulder and then in my side. It was so sharp and painful that I was sure that something was wrong, a heat attack, a stroke, it was bad! Justin was suggesting detouring to the hospital, but I thought that maybe some googling a good rest would help it out. I came home and started googling and sure enough it's a common symptoms at 6 months pregnant. I guess for some people, when the baby gets to a certain size it is easy for the baby to lay in a way that may pinch a nerve or two. Regardless I was miserable!

Justin convinced me to stay up for a little while and watch a movie with him- A very scary movie, mind you that I will not mention here because it freaked me out too much. lol. So I did,and FYI -watching a scary movie does not help you fall asleep when you are already having pain! Bad idea!!!!!! Every time I would doze off I would have this evil scary image in my head and I'd wake to the already throbbing part of my body. So let's just say that I hope that this day goes by quick!

Anyway- I did want to show some pumpkin carving pics from the weekend. Unfortunately my camera was down but luckily Emily has some that I am stealing! Here ya go. (ps- excuse my homely look that I have going on. haha)


Friday, October 23, 2009

Pumpkins Pumpkins Pumpkins!

TGIF!!!! AND It's Pumpkins season in the MacQuarrie house starting tonight and I am super duper excited. Tonight we are planning on carving out our pumpkins for the season, baking the seeds, and eating pumpkin rolls until we are about ready to pop. (Will try to get some good pics up of tonight's festivities!) But I love fall! I really do. It is officially my favorite season of the year. Growing up, other than our regular trick or treating we really didn't have any fall traditions, but last year Justin and I had our first MacQuarrie Pumpkin Day where we spend the entire evening carving/ eating tons of pumpkin desserts, and seeds and it has since become one of those things that I looks forward to as fall approaches! It's weird how traditions are formed like that.

Tomorrow, if weather permits, we will be heading up to Circleville to take part in the annual Pumpkin Festival where we will be doing our regular taste testing of pumpkin chili and pumpkin pizza, and pumpkin ice cream, and pumpkin EVERYTHING! I don't know if it's because I am pregnant or if it's just the time of the year- but it sounds so appetizing!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pregnancy Week 24

Week 24 is here which means I am officially 6 months pregnant! (technically tomorrow). I obviously am starting to look the pregnancy part too which is fun and weird at the same time. I haven't had too many belly rubs, but I have however noticed that random people in grocery stores or walmart will stare and smile at me- which is fine with me. I just wish I knew what to say to them!

During this week our little Avery weighs about 1.4 pounds and will gain nearly 6 ounces this week as his body finally begins to fill out. This weight will mostly consist of muscle, bone mass, and the growing organs and tissues. His little ears are now fully functional, and I have already noticed that he is responding to sound! He seems to wake early to the buzzing alarm even before me. Forget hitting that snooze buttton! When you are getting a swift kick in the side at 6 am it's a little easier to wake up.... maybe that's a sign of whats to come! yikes!

But in any case we are excited. I finally got the shipment of clothes that I ordered from ebay and spend the evening organizing all the clothes we had by size. Fun times!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Monday

Justin and I had a nice weekend. We took a break from the house maintenance to head down to Portsmouth to visit with my side of the family on Saturday and then we had an action packed Sunday which consisted of church, football games, pumpkin roll making, and some Mexican food! It was good times but like all good things--it came to an end way too early.

I had a to do list that I didn't even get to touch with 'Get a Flu Shot' at the top of it. I am so stinking hesitant with getting a flu shot since I haven't had one in years and the last time I got one I ended up with a a 4 day flu-like thing. It stunk! But with all of the illness going around and with feeling the pressure about being pregnant, I feel like maybe I should just bite the bullet and do it. Also, the whole H1N1 thing is something that I have been asked on a daily basis."Are you going to get the vaccine?" My answer right now is "I have no idea!" It scares me to death to inject something into me that nobody knows for sure what effects it has on the baby. I have been really praying about this- and I still do not have a peace about it one way or another...

So now it's Monday and I have a major case of the Mondays. I am going through some stage of this pregnancy that causes me to wake at the slighted sound and to not be able to go back to sleep- so I have been going since 3:50am this morning. What a night! I am sooo exhausted.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

What's in a name?

Naming this little boy has been the most perplexing issue I faced as a pre-mom. There have been about five names that I grew up loving and dreaming about since I was a little one, and then bam- I'm pregnant and none of these names feel right! OR my wonderful husband hates them all with a passion.With this pregnancy I'd say none of the physical changes or adjustments compare to the gut wrenching attempt in finding the one name that is going to identify your child for life! It's crazy! Looking at naming web sites filled with thousands of ideas was the most boring task in the world. I needed a word that grabbed me. Something special.

And then I went through the stage of "what if my baby hates the name?" I didn't particularly love my name. It didn't seem feminine enough. And then there were about 7 other Amber Nicoles sitting right next to me in class. I remember thinking "if only my name were spelled 'Ambur' or 'Ambar', or I had a cooler middle name". Maybe everyone goes through that stage as a kid, I don't know. But I started to remember all of those little details as I was trying to think up the perfect name. So I knew that it couldn't be just another run of the mill 'John' name that's on the top 10 of baby names.

If you know Justin with this whole baby naming issue he avoided it like the plague. Our roles in baby naming was for me to come up with the lists and for him to pick from the list, unfortunately he never liked my lists so it was a vicious cycle. He didn't want to sit down and look at books or websites he just wanted to be the one who makes the final choice.

With that being said, A couple of months ago we took a drive to see my parents in Portsmouth. I knew that I had an approximate hour and a half of solid undivided attention from Justin so I took the opportunity to pack the car down with the top baby naming books and printed sheets from baby naming websites so Justin would have no other choice but sit there in the car and listen to the names that I was reading aloud..It was a genius plan.

So it began, and I went through a good solid 10 pages before I reached the point of frustration when Justin could not even consider one of the names in the book... So I decided to stop reading out of defeat.

We then just started talking about our plans for the weekend while we were down visiting my family. I mentioned visiting my grandma- and then somehow that led me into a story about my time as a little child visiting with my grandma and Grandpa Avery. If you know anything about me, it's that I am extremely close to my grandma, and was also close with my grandpa before he passed in 95. I would spend weeks visiting them as a child. At that moment as I am storytelling, Justin stops me and goes "What about Avery? I like Avery for a boy!"

I must admit though, at first I was hesitant with the name Avery for a boy because it has become one of those unisex names that I have seen little girls with, but I knew that 'Avery' was a special name, a family name! THE name for our little boy! Justin loved it, I especially loved it... But we did decide to hold off on making a final decision about any name until later in the pregnancy-At least until we knew what the gender was. On Oct. 1st after finding out that our little Mac was a 'He' it was the first response out of Justin's mouth "Avery." So I knew right away what his name would be.

We later picked the middle name 'Grant' as it seemed like a strong male name..And Avery Grant seems to flow together nicely. Also Avery is far from the top 10 of boy baby names, it actually sits at the modest ranking of #216th for a boy.

So I am happy to announce that the future little Mac's name is Avery Grant MacQuarrie.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's Chicken and Dumplings Wednesday!

Can you believe how cold it is right now? It is seriously 40 degrees! What the heck happened to my wonderful sweater perfect fall weather?? yuck!

With Justin working night shift over the past week and a half, I have spent very little time cooking. It's just not as fulfilling to spend hours in the kitchen to have nobody to share it with,(even if you have new appliances to cook with).

But yesterday when I got the weekly weather report and found out that today was a high of 42 degrees I knew that tonight had to be chicken and dumplins night. I spent the entire evening last night cooking the chicken and making the broth so the process would be a lot quicker tonight when I make it (also catching up with the my new favorite TLC show 18 kids and counting).. But anyway, now I am super excited! Talk about comfort food. I found this recipe online and have tried it a few times and I love it. It's suppose to be a copycat version of Cracker Barrel's Chicken & Dumplings but it's been so long since I have had cracker barrel that I don't know if it actually is. In any case, this is a keeper for me!

Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings
3 quarts water
1 3-4 pound chicken cut up
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 small onion sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and quartered
1 bay leaf
4-6 whole parsley leaves
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice


2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons of salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

1. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the chicken, 1 teaspoon of salt, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and parsley to the pot. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook the chicken, uncovered, for 2 hours. The liquid will reduce by about one third.

2. When the chicken has cooked, remove it from the pot and set it aside. Strain the stock to remove all the vegetables and floating scum. You only want the stock and the chicken, so toss everything else out.

3. Pour 1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) of the stock back into the pot (keep the leftover stock, if any, for another recipe-it can be frozen). You may also want to use a smaller pot or a large saucepan for this. Add coarsely ground pepper, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the lemon juice, then reheat the stock over medium heat while preparing the dumplings.

4. For dumplings, combine the flour, baking powder, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and milk in a medium bowl. Stir well until smooth, then let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface to about a 1/2 inch thickness.

5. Cut the dough into 1/2 inch squares and drop each square into the simmering stock. Use all of the dough. The dumplings will first swell and then slowly shrink as they partially dissolve to thicken the stock into a white gravy. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until thick. Stir often.

6. While the stock is thickening, the chicken will have become cool enough to handle. Tear all the meat from the bones and remove the skin. Cut the chicken meat into bite-size or a little bigger than bite-size pieces and drop them into the pot. Discard the skin and bones. Continue to simmer the chicken and dumplings for another 5-10 minutes, but don't stir too vigorously or the chicken will shred and fall apart. You want big chunks of chicken in the end.

7. When the gravy has reached the desired consistency, ladle four portions onto plates and serve hot. Serve with your choice of steamed vegetables, if desired.


Ebay buys

So I won some awesome things off of EBAY- but for some reason I cannot save the pictures so I will have to wait to show what an awesome shopper I have been. But I will give a summary...

- the cutest ralph lauren baby polo onsie that is yellow and navy blue striped for a whopping $5.00 after shipping (valued at 25.00 bucks new).

- a baby ralph lauren sweater for $8.00 (valued at way too much $70.00!)

- and then I won an entire lot of name brand baby boy clothes consisting of an adorable red baby gap jacket, a cute baby gap sweater, and about 9 complete outfits from other stores (tommy h, ralph lauren, carters, etc.) Some with tags still attached! All for a whopping $16.00 dollars!! I was pretty proud of myself! (valued at ALOT more than 16 bucks)

I have realized, though, that Ebay can be quite addicting! I think I will take a break for a few days.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pregnancy week 23

So as of tomorrow I am a full 23 weeks pregnant and I thought I would start to use this blog to log this pregnancy journey. As of this week our little mac is now the size of a small baby doll you might purchase. That's pretty impressive considering he could fit in the palm of my hand just a few short weeks ago. Baby mac is also about 11 inches long. It's amazing to me that at this point if were to have to give birth to our little guy he would have a 10 to 70 percent chance of survival! That's crazy because I just don't feel like I have been pregnant nearly long enough to have a baby that could survive- but that's how God does it!

Here is a picture of last week. I feel like I look larger in the picture that reality. I don't know if it was the shirt or what, but you at least get the idea. Also- Sorry, about the quality it was a phone pic.

It has been fun and exciting, and I feel like Justin and I are so blessed already. Friends and family have showered us endlessly with tons of baby clothes, toys, furniture, and even maternity clothes to use!~ Since being on the Dave Ramsey budget it's been wonderful to feel so many people willing to help us out. After finding out it's a boy, I finally was given the okay to do some shopping for our little guy and I have been an Ebay freak! I love that people sell their name brand baby clothes in large lots for so stinkin cheap. I have a couple auctions ending tonight and will be sure to post some pics of our new buys!


Monday, October 12, 2009

How UN-awesome..........

So, here's my vent. We are settling into this life in our new house and then bam- Justin get's the call that he's going on night shift for a week.. "Ok. Whatev." I thought. So last week he began his week leaving around 4:00 and not getting home until 6:00am. Mind you- I do not even get home from work until 5 and I am up at 6:30 getting ready to go to work, so we basically missed each other the entire week. It stunk!

I was so anxious for the weekend when this hideous schedule would be over and we could finally settle into a new normal with the move, nnd then Friday evening comes along and Justin calls to inform me that he was scheduled for yet another week of hell...AKA night shift..... seriously.I was devistated.

 A: I hate hate not seeing Justin for an entire week, and B: Who likes staying by yourself in a new house at night especially 5 1/2 months pregnant???? NOT ME! And what's worse is that there may be a possibility that this new night shift is our new normal.. How un awesome is that? I have no idea how this new schedule is going to pan out with a new baby on the way, so for now I am just going to pray that this not what it seems..

On a side note- we did try to make the best of the little amount of time we had this weekend to work on the house, and we painted the entire kitchen! Yay for us. Pictures to come!


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Intelligender Test

Has anyone ever heard of these intelligender tests??? If so- and your pregnant, or plan to be someday, or your wife is, let me warn you of these little things.

It all started about 3 months ago when I was sitting on the couch watching the nightly news when they began the story on these peculiar little gender tests. Basically, these tests are designed to tell the gender of your baby at the ripe age of 10 weeks pregnant. I thought that the idea was crazy, but what was more crazy was many Asian countries had banned the test right off of their shelves because the women who were taking the tests were actaully doing it to find out the gender of the baby- and if the baby was not the gender that was desired (boy) they would abort the baby at this early stage of pregnancy. I had never heard of such a test before! And sitting on the couch at 10 weeks pregnant I was so intriged by the possible accuracy of the results, and being the impatient person that I am I ran to the nearest CVS that very week just to take a look at one.

I could not beleive that these tests were 90% accurate like the news and other adds had claimed.. That began my infatuation with finding out the gender of baby Mac so early. I begged and begged for a solid week for Justin to give in and let me buy a gender test (that cost 30 bucks!). Finally after much persuasion he gave me the O.K.

So we purchased the test to find that Intelligender predicted us a little GIRL... It was exciting! According to my good friend Intelligender, there was a 90% chance that we were having a little girl!

I tried not to take it to heart, but I did...So over the next 3 months I did nothing but plan out the little girl nursery, the little girl clothes, the little girl everything! Of course Justin wouldn't let me buy anything that wasn't gender nutral until we got the 100% from the Doc. But I was sure of it...

So the day comes, Oct. 1st...the big day when we get to officially find out that it was a little sheMac... We get all prepped for the ultrasound and you could hear pin drop when they began. The tech leans over "do you guys want to know the gender?" she said. "YES!" we said at the same time....... "Boy!" she said...Now I would have loved to have actaully seen my face, because I was for sure in shock there. "Are you sure????" I kept asking her... Finally the tech said "I am 120% sure that this is a little boy."

there you go! A little HeMac.....A Boy!

SO, for anyone who has seen and is planning on doing something stupid like an Intelligender Test- Run! They are a big fat waste of money.


Monday, August 24, 2009


Have a Huskee 15.5 HP with a 42" cutting deck. new battery, new blades, recent oil change. We do not use this mower very much and are in the prcess of moving so we would like to sell this ASAP. We are asking $400 or best offer. If interested please call 937.205.3883 or email this account.

Must be able to pick up, and we will only accept cash. No check/ money order/ cashiers check.


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Cool Guys Don't Look at Explosions

So I recorded the MTV Movie Awards and got to see the whole thing for the first time last night. There were some pretty funny things. Here's one of my favorite highlights. Will Ferrell is the man.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Happy Birthday Justin

28 years ago my wonderful husband entered the world, and today we get to celebrate!! Wasn't he the cutest little guy?


Thursday, April 30, 2009

What makes a Super Hero?

Seriously? What makes a Superhero. Is it the ability to fly, or shoot super webs, or acquire super strength? I guess I have always assumed that it takes more than an average joe trying to “clean up the streets.” But I was wrong!

For those of you who may not have saw the recent news two days ago, did you know that Ohio has its own Superhero?? It really does. ShadowHare is cleaning up the streets of Cincinnati right now as we speak. It’s amused me to the point that I HAVE to share it with you.

So back to the question, what makes a Superhero…

A SUPER costume! And acts that are SUPERB!


Wednesday, April 29, 2009


We all know too well the downturn that the economy has been in. Fortunately, We are finally seeing the spark of hope or the light at the end of the long tunnel in many areas of the economy..For the past several months Justin and I have felt as if we were walking on eggshells financially. On one hand, we both have jobs, we are stable and doing just fine. We feel that we are at a point in our lives that we want to invest in a home. On the other hand-- there was the tyranny of the what if, "what if one of us lose our jobs, what if the economy plunges even more, what if prices of groceries, gas and everything under the sun becomes too much to handle." What if.
For Justin and I, its hard not being behind the control panel of our lives. Recently, our church went through a series "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality" with Pete Scizzaro. It was extremely revealing of our hearts, our motivations, and fears. For me, I came to a point where I had to accept that I am not in control of my life, and accept the outcome of our future whether it makes no sense in my mind.

With all that being said, Justin went in to work. For those who may not know, he works for Norfolk and Southern Railroad . He was hired on a little under a year ago, which puts him (ranking wise) as a peon. Norfolk- like most companies have been hit pretty hard by the economic downturn. In any case, Justin went into work this past week and found out that chances are they are going to do some more layoffs. He may have missed the layoffs once, but there would be no way for him to miss them again.

It's hard trying to see God's big picture through a little peeping hole. We always try to figure out why things in our lives happen, when in our minds it makes no sense! This one of those situations where we have absolutely no control.

We can only trust and know with every part of us that God's ways are so much higher, and His ways are so much better for us than anything we can fathom. For now, we will hope in the fact that God is behind the control panel of our lives and he is a just God.

"And they who know Your name [who have experience and acquaintance with Your mercy] will lean on and confidently put their trust in You, for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek (inquire of and for) You [on the authority of God's Word and the right of their necessity]."Psalm 9: 10


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Jimmy Needham

Justin and I have quite a bit in common. It was one of the obvious things that attracted us to each other. BUT the one thing that we could never ever agree upon was music. It seemed that when it came to music, we were on two totally different worlds. I love county, southern gospel, and slow coffee shop type music, where Justin loves the rock groups, and even some of the screaming music. For me, when he plays his music it hits a nerve. I can't think straight!

With that all said, this past week Justin found an artist, Jimmy Needham and we BOTH love his music! I have been listening to him nonstop. I don't know much about him other than his music is amazing! The music has a very old feel to it and his lyrics sounds straight out of a personal journal. Very intimate. His music is very reminiscent of Shuan Groves, and Shane and Shane, two groups that I absolutely love.
If Justin can like this guy, anyone can. Great music that is defiantly worth a listen.


Friday, April 24, 2009


Thank goodness it's Friday! I have no real plans other than my FINAL Upward game tomorrow, and that is very intentional. This weekend I am going to make it a priority to do absolutly nothing! :) :) :) Upwards has been great and I have enjoyed doing the cheerleader coaching thing, but my mind AND body are ready for a vacation.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Moments in Time

So I have realized that our lives are defined by moments. I realize that more every single day. Justin and I are young, newly married (just over a year), no children, and are still trying to figure out some of the big things in life. Our calling, house, kids, etc.. Everyday we are still asking God whats the big picture, Do you want this? Is this it?

I guess in my own mind I have always figured that God is going to make this huge entrance and send his angels down to say" This is it, this is what I have saved you for. This is my plan" The angels would be saying this to us all while handing us the scroll filled with the details of the golden timeline of our lives.....

But, it's obviously not the case.

I have realized that Justin and I have already made some huge decisions. We asked Christ into our hearts. We went to CBC. We dated. We married. We quit our jobs in C-ville. We moved here. And in each situation, they were triggered my small unnoticble moments. It is the moments, the forks in the road, the decision to stop, the decision to speed up, the choosing the wrong direction or the right direction that defines our lives. And they happen like a flash of light- gone before you realized it had arrived.

A phone call.

An accident.

A meeting.

A hurtful comment.

A moment.

And those God ordained moments, those mind/opinion changing spaces of time have the most sensitive triggers. One minute your living your life as you know it, and the next your on the phone with someone you havent spoken with in years (whom you eventually marry). They take on a life all of their own. Moments. They shape us, define us..

But each one has made me who I am and placed me where I am today. So I guess, In my futile attempts to find the golden timeline of God's will, He has quietly been working through these moments. And I guess in this point of our lives, its hard to not beg God for a glimpse of the big picture. It's hard. But I am realizing that His plans are far beyond me and anything I can comprehend, so for now, I will just trust, and wait for the next moment.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Marley and Me

Last night Justin brought home a couple of movies to keep me company while he went to the church board meeting, one being "Marley and Me". I guess I didn't read the reviews extensivley enough to realize that it was going to break the floodgates open the way it did. I was definatly not in the mood to be sitting in the dark living room, eating brownies, and sobbing, yes sobbing uncontrollably. But thats what ended up happening.

Justin came home long after the movie had ended. By this time I had recovered, and was enjoying a nice episode of "The Biggest Loser" . He walked in the door, "So, how was 'Marley and Me," he asked. I began to explain the movie, and in mid explanation I began sobbing AGAIN! Geesh, talk about a train wreck. lol.. I do not think I had cried that much since Leonardo died in the Titanic.

But, In all honesty, I don't think the movie was that heart wrenching- it's just been a weird week.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Just trying this out

Hooray! I just figured out how to post pictures directly from my email! I know, I am so behind in times with the blogworld..

Anyway-This is my adorable little nephew, Acie James.. Isn't he the cutest??!


I am a tweeter!!

I joined twitter about 7 months ago and completely forgot about it. Randomly I found out that a couple people were following me, so I thought, why not give this a try. This will be my weekly twitter trial!

Oh, and like always, I go MIA with this blog...This is also a trial session for blogging again. I have realized that I am in desperate need of an outlet, a hobby, something.! So that's why I am all of a sudden trying or re-trying all these new things. Justin is now on a completely different shift, so I am going insane!!!


  © Free Blogger Templates Blogger Theme II by 2008

Back to TOP