Friday, November 30, 2007

Everyday Life

Its been a little while since I posted about everyday, ordinary life. Lets see...where to begin? I am now 31 weeks pregnant and my belly has grown a lot this past month. I am starting to "feel pregnant". I'm more tired and my back hurts a bit. I just "retired" from running this week, which is sad, but I am amazed I've been able to keep up my running routine with Reba & Jenny for so long (and extra 6 weeks longer than when pregnant with Alathea). So for the next 2-3 months its just walking for me, until after post-partum. I'm already looking forward to running again- I really miss it when I can't and walking just isn't the same to me. Overall this pregnancy has been a great as the last time...other than the typical fatigue & aches, I've got nothing to complain about!

It's hard for Joe & I to believe we'll have another baby girl in just 9 weeks!! We've been talking about baby stuff more now that it is becoming a names, where the baby will sleep, ect. We are very excited! I'm a little nervous about having two, excited but nervous. I often wonder how I could love this baby as much as I already do Alathea. I hope thats a normal concern! I'm tempted to feel this pressure to get the house perfectly in order, all scrapbooks caught up, ect, ect before baby girl comes, all of which is so slow going as I'm more tired...I've tried to fight the temptation by enjoying each day as an underserved gift from God and to rest that He will allow me to get done what His agenda is, not my own.

Tomorrow (Dec 2nd) would have been Mom's 52nd b-day. Days like this make me miss her very, very much!! And the thought of having this baby with out her can be quite sad. Pray for my family tomorrow if you think of it!

Alathea is quite the little personality now. She's a bundle of energy- especially when she is around people. She's your typical "college ministry" baby who loves a crowd and thinks the world revolves around far its still pretty cute. She's also the oldest Grandkid on both sides, and she LOVES all of our families. She's been asking for "Pop-Pop & Ju-ju" (My Dad & Julie) almost daily since Thanksgiving. Alathea has been talking like crazy. It seems like everyday she learns a word or two. This week the highlights were "Luv-lu" (I love you) and "A-ya-a" (Alathea- her own name). Her favorite things to do each day- take care of her baby dolls, play outside, sidewalk chalk & play dough, READ books (she's a book nut), do puzzles and have dance parties (literally- she'll gather everyone in the house to the kitchen, ask us to turn on the music and we'll all dance for 3-4 songs- she's hysterical when she's dancing & singing). She also loves seeing her buddies- especially CJ & Avery and "Kat-kat" (whom she still see's daily!). Alathea also loves to "help" me with whatever I am doing around the house- I'm so grateful for that.

These are just some random everyday pictures (the 1st two were from Jason Kovacs Photography)...

Alathea and Kathryn in their shades

Alathea exploring the outdoors

Me enjoying some sweet snuggles...such a Mama's girl

Alathea performing for a crowd on the piano :)

Alathea at a M28 Coffee House- she is front & center dancing to the music at 10:45pm at night- sure didn't seem tired to me :)

That is one thing I am grateful for as this baby approaches- Alathea is an awesome sleeper. She sleeps typically from 7:30pm to 7:30am and then takes a 3-4 hour nap during the day! If that keeps up, I'm sure the extra sleep will help me!!

That ended up being one long update! An updated belly picture to come...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Boys will be boys...

..enough said, huh? This is what the "Lechner Boys" (minus Aaron) do for fun. God knew what He was doing giving me two girls :) Although, I must say that I did shoot the 44 magnum a few times.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving on the Farm

Every person in my family decided that this was our best Thanksgiving ever. Thats a pretty amazing statement considering the past two years have been the toughest (2 years ago my Mom was in the hospital, and last year at Thanksgiving it was only 3 months since Mom had died- and our first holiday without her). We were blessed by the Mulligan family to "live" at their house- aka "the farm" to us city folk- for the entire week. Joe, Alathea & I stayed at their house for the weekend before Thanksgiving and were joined by my Dad, brother Rocky, sister Julie and Grandma Bowers on Tuesday and we all stayed in the house together until this afternoon. What a week we had! The pictures tell most of the story...enjoying the beautiful property & gorgeous weather, riding ATV's, shooting guns, jumping on the trampoline (Alathea's favorite!!!), feeding the chickens, driving their truck (just up the driveway- enough to make Julie smile!), eating Thanksgiving dinner with both sides of the family at their beautiful dining room table, playing frisbee golf on their own course, enjoying walks on their property and most of all enjoying sitting on their front porch enjoying being together as a family. What a week of amazing memories. We are so grateful to the Mulligans for their incredible hospitality!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My Little Pumpkin

Alathea LOVES pumpkins...even enough to "pose" for my crazy fall pumpkin shot!

Tagged- a week late

I'm obviously not real good at this "tagged" thing. I think Juli & Eileen tagged me over a week ago. Well, better late than never. I'm supposed to share 8 random things about we go:

1. I was an avid soccer player growing up and half-way through college. I sometimes played on up to three teams at the same time. For a few years I played on the Olympic Developemental team. I miss playing all the time and still play indoor with my siblings when I go home.

2. "Home" is Maryland- born and raised in the same house in Olney, MD since I was three. My family still lives there.

3. I grew up in a huge family. Just 3 siblings, but my Mom had 8 siblings, who all married and had more kids. On holidays we'd typically have 40-50 people at a time and I loved it! I have some second cousins who are in their 40's and and uncle who is 17- its hard to know exactly how I am related to everyone. We'd get together for every holiday AND everyone's birthday! It was about once a week we'd have a "party" at Grandma's house. One Thanksgiving a man walked into Grandma's house and stayed about 30 minute before he realised he was at the wrong house! Everyone just assumed someone else knew him!!

4. I LOVE Starbucks Lite Ice 2% Chai Lattes! They always bring a smile to my face!

5. I used to want to have all boys. Fortunately I have changed my mind..since we are working on girl #2 right now. I really love having girls...its the best and I really mean that. I wouldn't mind having all girls now (although one boy would be nice :)

6. My family raised Golden Retrievers...we had a Momma dog who had a couple of litters of puppy's. There is nothing cuter than a baby Golden Retriever!

7. I have visited over 10 countries. My Mom and I shared a love for travel. I'm so glad we were able to share those memories together. Joe & I love to travel too. We hope to visit all 50 states together. Right now we have a huge map in our closet with red pins for every place we've been together.

8. I was in the very first SGM youth group that they had the parents attend the meetings with the kids. Growing up at Covenant Life, we were the ginnea pigs for a lots of things! While the kids were not in favor at first- it was a huge shift in how we used to do things- the fruit was amazing and most youth groups have been modeled after that one ever since. I also graduated from Covenenant Life High school in a class of 18.

9. I guess I'm going over, but I thought of one more...Joe & I met when I was just 17 years old at my 1st college ministry meeting and I was just 19 when we got married. Not too unusual in the south, but up north people thought I was sooooo young!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Asheville with my Love

Joe & I had a romantic, relaxing 3 night get a way this past week in Asheville, NC. God provided in so many ways to make this last minute trip possible. It was wonderful timing for us just a few months before baby girl #2 enters our world!

We arrived Sunday afternoon at our little cabin in the woods. We loved the little thing- it was brand new, yet rustic; really cute and really affordable! After sleeping in of course, eating a homemade breakfast and enjoying the extra time for long devotions, we spent the day driving the blue ridge parkway. The leaves were still beautiful. We found a great place for a short hike. It was so fun enjoying the entire day just the two of us!

Monday evening we went to the Biltmores "Candlelight Christmas". It was festive, romantice & beautiful to say the least! Unfortunately we couldn't take any pictures or I certainly would have! For an extra $10 we were able to upgrade to a 12 month pass, so we did and went back on Tuesday during the day. We did an audio tour and a "Behind the Scenes" tour.

This last picture is the view from the Biltmore house- gorgeous! Tuesday night we ate at a nice restaraunt- our first meal out the whole trip! Joe cooked for me the entire time! He's amazing. It saved a lot of money, and we enjoyed eating in our cozy cabin. Wednesday morning came all too soon- we topped the trip off with a breakfast at Craker Barrell and then headed home to get our little Alathea. We are so grateful for our friends who blessed us with money for the trip (which enabled me to have Starbucks more than I ever would have!!!, on top of much more added to the trip because of their generosity) and the Seavers & Steve and Lizzy Honea for watching Alathea for us! She did great while we were gone- and I did too!! I was ready to see her by Wednesday though! I'm also grateful for my amazing husband taking the time out of his busy fall work schedule to spend this time together!!

**I love you baby!! I enjoyed every minute with you!!!***

Friday, November 09, 2007

27 Week Belly Picture!

Its hard to believe that this Sunday I will be 28 weeks! I'm still confused how many months pregnant that makes me?? Six maybe? Anyways, come sunday little girl #2 will be only 12 weeks away! Wow!!I'm sure with the busyness of the holidays she'll be here before I know it! Still much preperations needed for her arrival- like a double stroller, making room for her in the office, etc. And- still no definate name for the little princess...but we're making progress!

I've been feeling great. A bit more tired and uncomfortable than a few weeks ago, but thats all normal! Joe & I had a wonderful trip to Asheville!! I'll post about that later...tonite is the Womans Mtg, and belive it or not I'm helping with the Young Wives group. Since I'm a young wife myself, its kind of humbling that any other young wife would want to come. Pray for Gods grace!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Our Little Princess & God's Amazing Faithfulness

This is another beautiful picture that Jason Kovacs took for us a few weeks ago. It struck me today as I went through some photo's of God's amazing faithfulness. I vividly remember sitting with my original girls discipleship group when I was a few months pregnant with Alathea and sharing about fears I was stuggling the fear of miscarrying again, or the fear that this baby wouldn't be healthy, etc. Then the girls prayed for me and one dear friend of mine shared a picture the Lord gave her of Joe & I holding the hands of a beautiful little girl and swinging her up in the air...about how we loved her and cared for her the way the Lord cares for me...that I had nothing to fear (there was more, of course, but that was most of it). The amazing thing is that at that time we seemed certain we were having a boy- the thought of a little girl had never crossed my mind. I hadn't really thought about that time of prayer or that picture from the Lord until I saw this picture- Wow, God is amazingly kind & faithful to me. How can I ever doubt his goodness? We love this precious little gift more than we ever dreamed was possible- she is such a Joy & delight!!!

Joe & I are heading up to Asheville tomorrow for a pre-second baby get-a-way. It seemed like the perfect time to plan one. I always think its a great idea until I face leaving my baby girl for a few nights! Pray that she does well while we are away. Actually, on second thought, pray that I do well while we are away :). She'll be having a great time with the Seavers and Steve & Lizzy who are both serving us while watching her until we return. Speaking of God's kindness & faithfulness to us earlier- just with planning this trip God has provided for us in some amazing the cabin rental company giving us a free night, dear friends blessing us with money for the trip, and lots of other little ways God has provided the way for us to go! Pray for a sweet time with my hubby (I just adore him- I'm sure it will be wonderful) and health and safety for us all.

Friday, November 02, 2007

"Apple" Picking

We enjoyed a fun family day this week going Apple Picking with dear friends, Seth & Carolyn. We met early Monday morning and after a Starbucks trip (gotta love Carolyn and our shared love for iced chai's!), drove the 2 hours up to "Skytop Orchard", which was a few miles from Hendersonville, NC. We all laughed once there because there were no apples! Really- Carolyn spotted ONE apple on the top of a tree, and Wesley found ONE rotted one on the ground! So funny! We still had a great time. The scenery was beautiful! Alathea & Wesley enjoyed Seth taking them on a wagon ride all around the Orchard in search of apples. Alathea loved collecting "flowers" (dandilions) and rocks in her basket...she couldn't care less that there were no apples. The Orchard also had animals, a wagon ride, playgrounds & hot apple cider we all enjoyed. Alathea especially loved the pumpkins...she even sweet talked her Daddy into buying her two little ones, which are now priceless treasures to her! After our Apple Orchard adventure, we headed to the quaint town of Hendersonville for some exploring & lunch. We ate a local soda shop before heading home. A fun day! Maybe next year we'll bring home some apples too :)

Little LadyBug

Daddy & Alathea at the Harvest Festival (she really did smile a lot :)

Alathea, Kathryn & Olivia

My Lady Bug with b-day princess Avery

While I am not AT ALL a fan of Halloween, I did enjoy two opportunities for Alathea to dress up as a little lady bug. I think she enjoyed it as much as I did. I got a simple costume for $4 at the last consignment sale- and didn't add anything extra-special to it. Alathea enjoyed wearing it to her buddy's CJ & Avery's b-day party (where she had SO MUCH FUN!). Then on Wednesday we took her to a huge Harvest Festival with some friends. She loved the rides, seeing the horses and eating the food! Oh- and since I keep forgetting to take an updated prego picture- here you go. I am 27 weeks- WOW! And as you can see my belly has grown quite a bit!