Monday, December 9, 2013

Introducing Caden John Hixon!!

Our family became forever blessed on November 18th, 2013 at 8:23 PM when our sweet son, Caden John Hixon arrived into the world weighing 7 lbs. 7.5 oz. and measuring 20.25 inches long!  Seeing him for the first time was surreal!  We were finally able to put a face to this little life that we had been anticipating and feel move inside me for the past 9 months.  I know I'm totally biased, but he's such a cute baby!!  I would first of all like to thank him for not weighing 9+ lbs. (Sidenote: I weighed 9 lbs. 2 oz. when I was born (I have apologized profusely to my mother since I was pregnant for being so big), and I was hoping he wouldn't be that big for delivering purposes and also so he could actually wear some of the newborn clothes we had ready for him.
    I will admit I was shocked this little guy came a week early from his due date.  Past couple doctor's appointments I stayed at 1 cm dilated, so I figured he was pretty happy where he was at and would have to be forcefully evicted out of me.  When I woke up that Monday morning at about 5:00 to go to the bathroom,  I was surprised to find that my pants were slightly damp (sorry if that's TMI, but most of the labor/delivery process is not super glamorous).  I was kind of expecting this big gush of water, so by this point I'm not convinced it was my water breaking.  Then when I got back to bed, I started feeling these very unpleasant cramps (i.e. contractions).  Casey of course is sleeping away next to me without the slightest idea of what is going on next to him, but I didn't know if this was false labor or would stop after a few minutes, so I figure he could sleep while I figured it out.  After looking up on my phone and learning that your water breaking isn't always this big gush and these not-so-fun pains were not going away, Casey woke up to me in the fetal position asking what I was doing.
    I explained I thought my water had broken and this might be the start of labor.  The contractions weren't super close, so I knew we had some time.  Thankfully, I was already scheduled to see my OB/GYN that morning at 9:30.  My parents were going to chauffeur me to my appointment, but we figured this was "it", so Casey did not go into work and instead took me to the hospital.   Since I already had an appointment, I figured we would just get there early and my doctor could confirm I was in labor sooner than us going to labor & delivery people at the hospital could.  My family ended up beating us to the hospital, which I find humorous, but hey, timeliness has never been my forte (except to weddings and funerals, I'm always on time for those).  Part of our delay was due to one last stop to Shipley's so I could get some breakfast.  I knew it would be a long time before I would be able to eat, so I loaded up on some carbs (i.e. donut holes) on the way to the hospital.
    When we arrived and got called back, I found out my doctor was not there yet because she was delivering another baby.  So the nurse hooked me up to the monitors to measure/time the contractions.  They were definitely much stronger and closer than the week before, at least in my opinion they were.  When the nurse would come in to check on me, she would comment that they weren't too bad yet (I thought if they're not bad now, then I don't want to know what they feel like when you're in more active labor and 10 cm dilated, goodness!).  Over this time, apparently I continued to leak amniotic fluid (again sorry for the TMI, but nothing like not being able to control leaking bodily fluids).  Another doctor examined me and found me to be dilated to 1 cm (STILL!  I seriously thought with these contractions, that would prompt some progress, but no such luck).  However, my water definitely broke, which meant it was baby time!!!
      They wheeled me down to labor and delivery at about 10:30ish, got me all hooked up, and changed into that oh so lovely hospital gown.  The nurse asked me if I wanted an epidural, which I told he was a definite "yes"!  She then asked me if I wanted it now,, which I did not realize I could get so early, but since I could I knew I would be a fool to turn it down!!  Let me just say hats off to those that do it without the drugs, but since my pain tolerance is not high, they were the way for our family to go!  Once I got that epidural, life and labor were wonderful!  They started me on Petocin as well to help get the contractions going better, but it was a very low dose.  By about 4:30 when my doctor came to check on me, I had only progressed to 3 cm.  At this point, I think this process is going to take awhile and baby boy will probably come the next day.  My doctor upped the Petocin a little bit and told me that once my body got into a good rhythm with the contractions, I would probably progress fast.
     By 7:30, I was dilated to 7 cm, which was a nice surprise and shock!  It seems like we just blinked our eyes after that and I was at 10 cm ready to push!  About 20 minutes of pushing (which was also a surprise that too was not longer), and out came the most beautiful baby I'd ever seen!  I've got to brag on my husband for being the best coach/support system a girl could possibly have!!  He fed me countless ice chips, offered encouraging words, apologized for the pain I was in, said a very sweet prayer for our family, and kept friends/family updated on our progress.  Not much is better than seeing your husband hold your child for the first time and see him being the incredible daddy you prayed to one day find.
    We love being a family of 3 now and so thankful God brought our little boy into this world healthy and safely!!  Sorry for the delay and lag in posts, but I'm sure so many of you readers can definitely relate!!  Leave you with a few pictures until our next post...

"We love because he first loved us." 1 John 4:19

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nursery Reveal!

   Before, we get to Caden's room a little update on him and myself!  At 35 1/2 weeks, I went to my OB appt and my blood pressure decided to be a little high.  My doctor thought there was a possibility this could be preeclampsia, so she put me on bed rest and told me to monitor my blood pressure for a few days.  Since it stayed within the normal range, I was cleared to try to go back to work with strict orders not to overdo it and have my feet up as much as possible.  I checked my BP multiple times and even though I was doing my best to take it easy, my blood pressure was slowly increasing.  I made it half a day before leaving, and when I went back to the doctor a couple days later, she put me on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. She also confirmed that I do not have preeclampsia, just issues with my blood pressure staying normal when I get up and moving.
   Today at 38 1/2 weeks, we went in for another check up. I got hooked up to a couple different monitors to check Caden's heartbeat and to see if I was having any contractions that I couldn't feel.  I was having a few, small contractions, but nothing very strong or consistent to signify I was in labor (boo!).  I also was still dilated only 1 cm (double boo!), but my body seemed like it was progressing in the right direction.  My doctor said there's a fine line between avoiding a C-section that could result from being induced and keeping him in there with my blood pressure issues.  We go back Monday to see if I've made any progress (unless I go into labor beforehand) and based on that see if we schedule an induction for later in the week or wait till my due date of the 25th to be induced.
  On to our little boy's room!!!  It still needs a couple more last minute touches, but it is pretty much complete thanks to sweet friends (Cheryl and Melissa are the BEST!) who helped me decorate/wash clothes/get everything organized, my wonderful husband who assembled the furniture/hung everything on the walls, and my fantastic mother who hemmed the curtains for me!

The other wall has his closet, which didn't really seem worthy to photograph.  I'm thinking I'll add some pictures of him once we get his newborn pics done, but have to wait on those.  I know it's hard to see, but the wall with his dresser/changing pad has 3 frames with the following scriptures that Casey and I both chose:

  • "Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him."  Psalm 127:3
  • "I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted me what I asked of him.  So now I give him to the Lord.  For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord." 1 Samuel 1:27, 28
  • "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
I'm pleased with the way it turned out and glad it will be ready for him when he comes home!  At first, little man won't use it too much since his room is upstairs and our master bedroom is downstairs, so he'll be sleeping in his pack n play in our room until he is sleeping for longer stretches (I'm all about getting exercise, but I'm not into that many trips up/down the stairs with a newborn).  All we need now is a precious little boy to make it complete!!!

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." Psalm 100:4,5

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Going, Going, and then Bed Rest

Pregnancy with this little boy has really not been too bad up until a few weeks ago, and by no means is baby Caden to blame for the events of late .  I did not spend my first trimester with my head over a toilet, have super bad nausea, or really have to deal with any complications with my one kidney.  At the beginning of this month, I took a couple Fridays off from work to clean my house because it desperately needed it.  I learned the hard way that an 8 month pregnant lady can not operate at the same capacity as her mind may think she can and pushing past that limit is not worth it.  I ended up pulling a muscle in my lower back and really irritating my SI joint. So not a good idea!!!  It hurt to put any weight on my right side or turn in bed, which a pregnant lady will do both things multiple times to go to the bathroom or attempt to get comfortable.  Thankfully that has gotten better with time and the help of a great chiropractor!
   This past Wednesday I went to my OB appointment, which was supposed to be a normal, quick and routine check up.  What I did not expect was for my blood pressure to be a little high.  Up until then, my numbers had been perfect!!!  It was an unwelcomed surprise for me and my doctor.  There is a possibility it could be nothing and just a fluke thing, or it is also a sign of preeclampsia since I also had some swelling in my feet too.   They did some blood work and took another urine sample to check various things that might also point towards preeclampsia, but thankfully those all came back normal.  My doctor told me to stay home from work on Thursday, check my blood pressure twice a day, and call them with the numbers.  I took it multiple times a day and only once did it even get close to the high reading I had at the doctor (which I mistakenly took after standing up for a few minutes and walking around, a couple minutes later after I sat down it was fine).  Even though my numbers were good, my doctor asked that I stay on bed rest through the weekend and call back Monday with my results.  I'm not to go back to work until given the doctor's approval.
    Today would mark day 3 of bed rest and I must say I already eagerly anticipate its end.  It's one thing to not feel well, but it's a totally different situation when you feel fine and can't do anything (especially when you have a ton of things to do to get ready for a baby's arrival).  Now my list of to do's has transformed into a list of things for others to do for me, which goes completely against my default nature to just do it myself.  I'll confess I've done a couple things like laundry when I've been home alone because I know that is the only time I will be able to get away with doing it (not that I I truly got away with it, I just got chastised by Casey later when he figured it out).I'm trying very hard to comply because I prefer to do my bed rest here at home than at the hospital.  We'll be 36 weeks on Monday, so Caden needs another week to make it to full term, but I know any extra time he can stay in there will be to his benefit, so we'll do what needs to be done and the Hixon house will survive bed rest!
 Either this picture or one of me laying on my side in bed is my current view:

Thankfully my wonderful husband has truly stepped up to help out with cooking dinner, doing the dishes, and even went on our hospital tour class by himself!  My Mom has also brought me lunch and went to the grocery store for us. Sweet friends have brought iPhone chargers to me, so I had a way to charge my phone.  How blessed we are to have such wonderful family and friends to help us in our time of need!  We'll see Monday how long the bed rest continues for...

"Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.  Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken." Psalm 62:1,2

Friday, October 11, 2013

Random/Dumb Things I Have Cried About During Pregnancy

     One of the lovely things about pregnancy is the increase of hormones that flood your body making your emotions and frankly the lives of those around you (particularly your baby daddy) much more difficult.  I really don't think I had been too terribly unreasonable or overly sensitive for a lot of this pregnancy, which surprised both Casey and myself.  That unfortunately all started to change as I have finished my 2nd trimester and begun the home stretch of the 3rd trimester.  Here is a list of the situations in my life that have evoked tears (and not just one tear, but many):
  • Casey didn't ask me how my day was after I asked him about his.
  • Casey told me he wanted chicken and rice for dinner one night, but didn't ask me what I wanted for dinner.  (Keep in mind he made breakfast 2 days before without asking and that resulted in no tears)
  • Casey interrupted me, which really just irritated me not made me tear up, but as the conversation progressed, he then professes "I want my wife back" (referring to a much LESS emotional one) and that's when the tears began to flow.
  • The HR dept. at my work wouldn't validate my parking so I had to pay $25 to park in the garage. 
  • I'm still not sure what caused some tears one night as I was laying in bed (the only thing I think it could have been was that at dinner, which was at the Memorial City Mall food court before church one Wednesday night I was debating between pizza at Sbarro or Chick-fil-a.  I ended up going the Chick-fil-a route (which normally I'm all about) because I thought that might be slightly healthier, but as I ate my chicken nuggets and fries, I remember wishing I had chosen the pizza.  Either possible explanation: the unknown or being upset over not choosing pizza for dinner is pretty lame.
    Even more sad to say is that I think all of those examples happened in about a 10 day period or so.  Let me say that despite knowing the ridiculousness on crying over these matters, that does not make the tears stop (it may have delayed it a couple minutes, but the tears still came and there were probably more of them too because I knew it was dumb to cry over these things).  These were the things I was just willing to share crying about, believe me, there have been more tears.
    So let's all say some prayers for Casey as he deals with all these tears, which he is handling overall very well.  Bless his heart, the boy wants to fix it and try to understand why I'm crying, but I think these days there is no logical reason most of the time, which is very difficult for the engineer male mind to process.  I did warn him that right after the baby is born, the hormones don't immediately go back into place, that will take some time too.  It's a learning experience for us all!
  This coming Monday will be 34 weeks (Seriously?!), so each day  we make it through means we are one day closer to normalcy or more likely a new state of craziness (hopefully the number of tearful instances diminish over time).  I've been going to the doctor every 2 weeks since the 28 week mark, and this past Wednesday marked my second to last 2 week appointment, then the next step is going every week!!!  Baby Caden was doing great!  Measuring right on track and heart beat was good!  His movements are much more intense shall we say, so I think the boy is getting cramped for space.  He just needs to stay until the 37 week mark to make sure his lungs finish maturing, but after that, this little guy does not have to wait until Nov. 25th (or later) to make his appearance!  Until the next post my readers...

I'll leave you with is a side by side comparison from 28 weeks to  33 weeks:

Have a blessed weekend!!

"How great you are, Sovereign Lord!  There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears."  2 Samuel 7:22

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Love That Will Never Die

     You would be reading the words correctly on the pictured balloon above, Happy Valentine's Day!  If you refer to this link from a previous post, you will see that this balloon was given to me by my husband on Feb. 14, 2013 and it STILL has not completely deflated/drifted to the ground! That would make the life of this balloon over 7 months!!  Isn't that crazy?!    It boggles my mind even more that this balloon is older than our child! Needless to say that Casey for sure got his $6 worth when he purchased it.
     I never thought it would last this long, and I'm curious to see when there will no longer be enough helium inside to keep it afloat, but for now it is holding steady!  This symbol of our love just will not die!

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." 1 Chronicles 16:34

Monday, September 9, 2013

Going Out With A Bang!

Tomorrow morning I have an appointment with my OB/GYN (aka "Baby doctor") where I will take my glucose test to see if I have gestational diabetes or not.  By no means is finding out I have it the end of the world, but it will mean a much stricter diet for myself/Caden the rest of this pregnancy.  When I first found out I was pregnant, I wasn't too concerned about passing this test (which initially just involves drinking this sugary-like drink after fasting since the previous night and having your blood drawn before drinking anything and then one hour after to see how quickly your body processes the sugar).  As time has progressed (29 weeks today people!), I have come to see more and more people I know get diagnosed with gestational diabetes and we haven't even countered in the genetic history factor of diabetes in my family!
     I love the carbs, I'm not going to lie or downplay it at all! I have been a huge fan of bread from early on and have definitely let myself indulge more than I did pre-pregnancy.  In an effort to not gain an insane amount of weight, I have tried to still eat healthy, mainly relying on tons of fruit to keep me satisfied. However if I do in fact have diabetes, then both the carbs and fruit get drastically diminished to almost nothing, which leaves the food options very limited.  Thinking about all I would not be able to eat prompted me to schedule one last carb filled meal before I took my test.  Bad mom already?  Perhaps some would say, since if the test does show I'm diabetic it hasn't happened within the past 4 days.  At the same time, one meal would not make or break us.
    My chosen last meal (for lack of better words) was Double Dave's pizza rolls! I've been craving these things for weeks now, but have managed to put it off.  It was go time though if I was going to get to do it, so Saturday was the big day!  I started off by getting a salad (Caden/myself still got some good vegetable nutrition, probably to make myself not feel quite as bad about what I consumed after, but a healthy start nonetheless).  A golden word for a pregnant lady, but also trouble: BUFFET!  I made sure I got my money's and carb's worth that day!  I walked out of Double Dave's completely full and satisfied (and also amazed that I managed to down a salad, 5 pizza rolls (yes 5!) with ranch dressing, and then indulge in some dessert pizza too!  It was wonderful!!!
     If my test turns out that I do have gestational diabetes, I went out with a bang!  I'm still hoping I don't have diabetes, but at least I got one good carb-filled meal I had been craving!

"Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you." Psalm 9:10

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Casey scores BIG!

The past 2 weekends have been jam packed of activities at the Hixon House.  Overall, it was all very enjoyable because of what we got to do and the people we got to share it with, but this equated into very little down time at home, which is something Casey enjoys having.  Most of the time, I like to have something going on or planned, but my other half has slowly taught me the joys of enjoying not having anything to do and that being okay!  I really make a hard effort to not over-schedule us, but sometimes that does not work out.  That being said, Casey has been a trooper and scored BIG points!
     Last Sunday, he went to a baby shower at church (that was co-ed for a sweet couple in our Sunday school class who are expecting a little boy in September, which did result in him missing his regular Sunday afternoon nap), recorded the evening church service so it could be broadcasted over the internet for those not able to come to church, and then after services went to a Back-to-School shower for a children's home our church helps support.  He even helped clean-up after the shower too!  Though I did have to hear about missing a nap, Casey really didn't complain at all.
     Fast forward to this past weekend (all that really happened in between was work, which wasn't too eventful for either one of us minus the strawberry sundaes Casey got at his job for their monthly birthday celebration).  Friday night, he rushed home, showered, changed into a suit and tie to go a fundraising dinner for another children's home our church helps supports that was at a hotel in downtown Houston.  The boy cleaned up good and looked so handsome!  We were blessed to get to go and hear Willie Robertson from "Duck Dynasty" as the keynote speaker.  Saturday morning we were up early and out of our house because we were off to Anderson to celebrate the life of a very special lady.  One of Casey's best friend's grandmothers went to heaven last week after 92 years of life on this earth (and almost a week shy of her 70th wedding anniversary).  This sweet family has become extended family for us and what an honor to hear more about her wonderful life!
     After the funeral, burial, lunch, and visit at the family house, we headed back to our house in H-town and had a spare 20ish minutes to change out of our funeral clothes and into some comfy clothes to go to an Astro's game.  A co-worker from work had given me 4 tickets a few months ago, so we had asked my brother in-law David and his wife Taci.  The seats were GREAT and the Astros even won!

Back home again and then up early the next morning because our church was having an all-day marriage seminar.  By 3:00 when the seminar was done, we were both wiped out!  Thankfully, getting out when we did gave us the chance to go home and catch a quick nap before going to church with Casey's Mom.  After a nice dinner with her, we headed back home and just like that, the weekend was over.
     Monday, I came home from work to find dinner made and these beautiful flowers "just because"!  Love this boy!!

"And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It's a BOY!!!

July 10th was the day we've been anxiously waiting for, the day to tell us whether Baby Hixon was a boy or a girl!  I was really getting tired the past couple weeks leading up to this day of referring to my child as an "it".  Really there's not much option since I didn't know, but "it" got old after awhile.  Plus, it's hard to do too much shopping when you don't know, which may have been a good thing.  We could have found out earlier than our 20 wk. appointment, but I wanted to know for sure what "it" was.  I'd heard too many stories of people that found out at 16 wks. or earlier and then were told at their 20 wk. appointment that they were having the other gender.  For Casey and I, we decided we would rather wait and have that certainty.
    The ultrasound tech took some other measurements before and then she says "Here we go!".  Before she said anything else, Casey looked at the ultrasound and said, "And that's a penis".  The tech replied back, "Yes it is", so WE ARE HAVING A BOY!  Thankfully, it was very obvious we have a boy, so there were no doubts in our minds.  I had tried the night before to talk with Casey about boy names since that had still not been decided, but he did not see the point of doing so because we both thought it was a girl.  I honestly wasn't too shocked it was boy, Casey is 1 of 3 boys after all.  Casey was thrilled to not have to pay for a wedding, go to dance recitals, and to teach his son baseball (they were said in that order).  Not having any brothers, I'm looking forward to having this little guy and know what it's like to have a son.  Most importantly, God gave us what we needed.  The Hixon name will continue for another generation and hopefully he'll be and look just like his Daddy!
  So the bright pink onesie Casey's Pawpaw bought on the cruise because he was so certain it was a girl will have to be stored for now.  Knowing what to buy/look for and refer to the baby as a "he" was so nice!  It took us awhile to decide on a name.  We both went through the baby name book quite a few times trying to find just the right name.  All I can say is naming a person is serious business and not something we took lightly.  What I wanted for my child as far as their name was it to be common enough that it was not unheard of, but not so common that there would be 3 other kids in their class with the same name.  Plus,  you've got to take out family/close friend names that have already been used.  There's no rule that says you can't repeat, but my main point in doing so was to minimize confusion when there were get together's.
    We knew for the middle name we wanted that be a name after someone in our family.  We were able to narrow that name down to 2 possibilities very quickly.  His first name took some discussion.  Though I wanted to pull the "I'm birthing him" card to give me at least a 60% say rather than the fair 50-50, I knew that was not the right way to go.  After much talk, we came down to one name that we could both agree upon.  The name we have chosen for our son is....

Caden John Hixon
     We didn't want to experiment with any funky spellings and Casey was very adamant no feminine spellings.  I've seen Caden spelled with either a C or K, but since we decided his middle name was going to be John, Casey wanted them to have the same initials.  As someone who had the same initials as their Dad, I thought that would be special too.  The middle name is sentimental to us both for 3 reasons:  it's Casey's middle name that he wanted to pass down to his first son, Casey's father is named John, and I have an uncle on my side of the family that I love/admire also named John, so it was a perfect fit for us! Here are some pictures of Baby Caden at 20 wks 2 days:

The "Definitely A Boy" Shot

Here are some updated bump pictures!

20 wks.  
24 wks.
“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17

Thursday, August 8, 2013

North to Alaska (Part 2)

On Thursday (the 5th) the ship docked in Ketchikan.  In the morning, Casey and I went an excursion that took us to the Alaskan Rain Forest.  We were able to see a baby bear cub, feed some reindeer, and watch this local carve a gigantic totem pole.  Very cool stuff!!!  They had a lot of shops too by where the ship docked, so Casey and I spent the afternoon walking around and watching the small bush planes comes in on the water.  Very relaxing and another lovely day!

     Friday (the 5th) was a day spent at sea, but the scenery really is so lovely (even if it is cloudy) that you can just spend hours in a chair looking out on the water.  Saturday (the 6th) was also spent at sea and was much of the same.  Casey and I would sleep in since for most of the previous days we had to wake up early for our excursions.  It was nice by the end of the cruise to just do nothing if that's what we wanted to do.  I even got Casey to do the Newly Wed game (which Casey did not want to do, but was a good sport and participated).  We did pretty good, and even got a free cookbook out of the deal!
    There were many stories and memories made, but I'll leave you with the one where the dining staff tried twice in one meal to hurt our unborn child.  For those unaware, when you are with child you can not eat under-cooked meat mainly for the risk of the bacteria listeria that can harm the baby, so the experts suggest well done, medium well is okay but pushing the boundary.  We went to the nice dining room every night where you choose from various options.  On our last night on the boat, I chose a glazed bourbon beef.  The description did not specify how it was cooked, so I asked the waiter and he said "medium to medium well".  So I told him I had to have medium well because I was pregnant, he said okay and told me that it was the same in his country.  So dinner arrives and I'm guessing my plate went unknowingly to someone else because parts of my meat were medium well, but there were a lot of parts that weren't.  Meat itself was okay, nothing to write home about, but not terrible either, so I just ate around the parts that weren't medium well.  The waiter noticed I wasn't eating all of my meat and that it was not prepared as I had requested, so he's very apologetic and offers to get me another plate.  I said I was fine, it wasn't a problem and I was just eating the parts I could.  Then the dining floor manager comes over to apologize and tells me that I hope this is not a reflection of their staff and so forth (since they had passed out evaluations that morning).  I tried to explain again, it's not a big deal, and by this point I am just wanting to move on and get the attention from others around us off of me.  Then as his way of making things better he brings a bottle of champagne! Hello, I'm pregnant and if I don't want under-cooked meat, I for sure am not going to poison my unborn child with alcohol!  They brought a whole bottle for the entire table, which was a nice gesture.  Once I explained that I can't have that either, this guy is trying hard to give me something to make up for what happened, so what comes next you ask?!  That's right a copy of the cookbook Casey and I had received the night before for playing the Newly Wed Game!  The guy is probably greatly discouraged by this point that each of his efforts have failed to rectify the situation, so I just took the cookbook and gave it to my brother in-law and his wife, so the madness could finally end!
   We had a wonderful time and I highly encourage anyone to go.  Definitely go in the summer when it is warmer there, and as long as you layer you'll be fine!  Back to the real world it was on Monday, but at least Casey and I were smart and took the morning off to catch up on some sleep ( I was never more thankful we did that since our last flight that night was delayed and we didn't go to bed until 1 AM!)  We went to the doctor the Wednesday after to find out the gender of Baby Hixon, let me tell you that was a fun weigh in after just getting back from a week long vacation!  Read my next post to find out the gender and name of Baby Hixon!  Have a wonderful week my readers!!!

"Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,  then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." Philippians 2:1-4

Friday, August 2, 2013

North to Alaska (Part 1)

I apologize for the long delay in posts, I confess I am a bad blogger!  These past 5-6 weeks have been jam pack full of activities and work has been busy during the day.  You almost wish you could ask for more downtime so you can update your blog, but I'm sure that request would not go over well!  Allow me to take you back in time to the first week of July where Casey and I were blessed to go with his brother David and his wife Taci, his mom, and Casey's 86 year old grandfather on a 7 day Alaskan cruise together.  The vacation actually stretched out to 9 days because we spent a day in Seattle, but it was incredible!!!!
   What God created in Alaska was truly breath-taking, unlike anything else I have seen!  I'm so glad that Casey and I were able to go, and Baby Hixon came along for the ride too (at the perfect price too, FREE!)  It was wonderful to share this experience with our family, especially his Pawpaw.  We have memories that will stay with us forever!  So what did we do?!  I'll try to be as concise as possible, but I truly feel each detail is important.  On Friday (June 29th) we flew to Seattle to break up the time spent on an airplane, and most flights stop in Seattle on the way to Anchorage, so why not see another city you haven't been to?  We arrived late Friday night and our plane to leave for Anchorage left early Saturday evening, so unfortunately not too much time was spent here.
     We were able to go to the public market that's right on the water that has every kind of food and flower imaginable!  The flower bouquets were so big and beautiful and CHEAP!  Arrangements down in Houston that would be $20-$30 at least were going for $5-$10!  The original Starbuck's is down there too, but it is not very big and the crowd in and to get inside was ridiculous, so we took a picture and kept on walking.  After that we made our way to the Space Needle, which was very nice.  It's neat to see an entire city from high up.  I had honestly expected it to be very rainy in Seattle, but not a single drop and the weather was very pleasant.

     Onto Anchorage, which was definitely much cooler, but by no means miserable.  We didn't get a chance to do anything here because we got to our hotel so late Saturday night and had to leave Sunday morning for the cruise, but Casey was able to eat some reindeer sausage for breakfast that morning and let me try a sampling of it, not too bad.  Sorry to Rudolph and his kin for eating him!  Casey's Mom found this bus tour that would pick us up at our hotel and then take us to where the cruise departed in Seward, which was about 90 minutes away.  It even stopped at a wild life reservation where we got to see some bears, moose, elk, etc.
     Cruises are lovely, I love coming back to my room and having my bed made and room cleaned!  Easy to get used to, hard to go back to reality!  Monday (July 1st) was a day at sea, but what a day!  The boat went through a glacier passage and what amazing sights we saw!  Chunks of ice in the water and huge glaciers that we could see blocks of ice falling from was a definite sight to see.  I'll post a few pictures below, and try to get the rest on Facebook at some point.

    Tuesday (the 3rd aka my sweet Mommy's birthday) we docked at Haines, Alaska for the day.  In the morning, Casey and I went on an Eagle Preserve Wildlife River excursion where we were able to see beautiful bald eagles and the massive nests they build in the Alaskan nature all while being driven around on an aluminum boat!  The scenery was great and seeing our national symbol in its natural habitat was fantastic!  In the afternoon, we went on a bus tour of the city and learned some more about the area, which was educational and nice to do most of that while sitting.

     Wednesday (the 4th, Happy Independence Day America!) we were in Juneau.  The morning was a little rainy, but we still panned for gold in our rain jackets/ponchos without any problems!  That is some tedious work, I don't know how they did it back in the day.  For lunch, we were able to get Casey some crab that he really wanted to try (if I was a fan of crab or for that matter seafood, I'd probably be there right there with him and want some true Alaskan crab).  Thankfully, the city of Juneau came through and he was satisfied!  I will say the crab bisque I tried was tasty, but I don't I actually ate any crab, just the creamy goodness.  The afternoon we went on a whale watching excursion which was AMAZING!!! The excursion place guarantees a sighting, but I was worried that all we would see would just be this fin of a whale way off in the distance.  We definitely were not disappointed.  At first we saw the fins of a few, which was nice but later on we got to see about 10+ of them together doing what they call bubble net feeding.  Apparently this is a rare site to see even for the locals.  With a baby on the way, Casey and I bought us a what I call paparazzi camera that will take nice action shots that you don't have to push the button down and wait 3 seconds for it to finally take the shot that is now not the shot you wanted.  Casey was able to get some great shots of the bubble net feeding happening.

    Since this post is already quite lengthy, I am going to split up the trip over 2 posts (plus it will increase my # of posts!)  Until next time my friends!!!

"Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  You have set your glory in the heavens.  Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger" Psalm 8:1-2

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bump It Up!

I haven't really posted any "bump" updates because you couldn't really tell or it just looked more like a gut in that I had been eating too many potato chips and sweets (which probably isn't a lie either).  Food confession, I may or may not have any all of eaten the following foods this weekend: breakfast taco, sugar powdered donuts (it was National donut Day Friday so I kinda felt obligated to eat these yummy creations), a strawberry snow cone, half-ish of a vanilla cupcake, sliced beef BBQ sandwich with a side of potato salad, half a chicken-fried steak.  That is not even all of what I ate, I just condensed it down to the nutritious winners I indulged in this weekend.
     Back to the "bump" discussion.  I wanted to see the monthly growth of Me/Baby Hixon besides the number on the scale, which is growing too!  My husband/baby daddy/photographer took these snapshots:
4 Weeks

8ish-9 Weeks

12 Weeks

16 Weeks

As you can see Baby Hixon is growing along and doing great per the doctor!  I'm still surprising Casey by how often and how much I eat.  Frankly, it's mind boggling to me too sometimes!  We have just less than a month till we find out if Baby Hixon is a boy or a girl (mad props to you people that wait the whole 9 months!)  We are getting close on names, but aren't really sharing until next month when we find out.  Casey's Pawpaw is convinced it's a girl, so told us not to even bother with looking at boy names, so we'll see if he is right.  My sweet, dear friend/coworker Leslie is preggers too and due 11 days before me, so at work they put up a poster board in our area (picture below) with blue and pink sticky notes for you to put your guess.  Right now we are both even, but  not everyone has voted, so we shall see.  It's so nice to be due so close together (though not as nice for our boss and coworkers when we are both out on maternity leave at the same time!) and bounce ideas off or have someone so close that understands it's time for another snack.

That is all for now my blog readers!  Have a blessed week!

"Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths.  Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." Psalm 25:4,5