Friday, December 21, 2012

Daddy end of the world birthday!:)

Happy birthday Daddy-o!
I really wish I could be home a week earlier than planned so that we could be with you on your birthday. I'm so thankful for all the time I got to spend with you this year in Ukraine and Paris and in the states...more time than I've gotten to spend with you in my adult years! It was so special getting to have memories with you in those countries.
I'm so thankful you're my daddy. I think back to your military days and your commitment to our family and to this country. You and mom have taught us how to love, how to cherish, and how to have fun as a family. I long for my own family to be just like us one day, with the long dinners at the table, the dancing and singing, and the non stop laughing we have when we're together.
Thanks for being a man of God...for being our one vivid example of what a follower of Christ and godly leader of a family looks like.
I just love you so much, Daddy! You're incredible and the first man I've ever loved.
Can't wait to see you and give you a huge hug next week! 

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Baby feet

On my way out from work, I stopped in the hallway to see one of God's greatest miracles.
A newborn baby.
It's never hit me as hard as it did yesterday how incredible cool it was the God created this little being.
One of the ladies I work with had her very brand new grandson visiting her-which gave all of us ladies a chance to ooh and aah over his teeny fingers, perfect lips, and kissable cheeks. He was so cute.
But when she asked if I wanted to hold him, it totally took my breath away.
Literally...took my breath away
Like, I couldn't breathe because I started blubbering the second she placed him in my arms.
I couldn't stop crying over how sweet and innocent a newborn baby was.
I was holding this tiny person and imagining the teenier tinier person that's growing inside of me and that I'll get to snuggle, hold, and kiss in just 6 months. 

Unfortunately, I had to give the baby back because my tears were streaming down my face quicker than rain, and I didn't want to drown the baby boy. But my tears didn't stop there.
When I got in the car, Ryan looked at me and said, "What's wrong?!"
I sobbed, "There was a baby!!!!! "

He just laughed, rubbed my knee as I cried about how incredible a baby is, and how tiny he was, and how we have one coming.

Don't know if you could tell, but I'm just thrilled to the bone about the miracle growing inside of me; the one that's making me cry at a moment's notice, and the one that's made me gain a pound, and the one that starting to make a visible statement that he/she is coming. 
(that's right! my baby bump is starting!:-D)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bright lights-sad puppy.

 After a wonderful Thanksgiving in Kansas with Ryan's family (which I failed to take pictures at), we ventured to put up our Christmas tree.)

This was the first time in a few years of putting up the Christmas tree with only Ryan and I, and we had fun doing it! Although, what was probably an hour job, took us about 3, because of all the distractions we had; like chasing the dog with the Christmas tree box and/or branches, stuffing him in the big Christmas box, wrapping lights around him, and of course, watching Elf and The Grinch while putting it up.
I must say, I'm loving the coziness of being home with my little family:)

Alexio still isn't quite sure of that big glowing tree that took residence in our living room, in fact, he found a spot in the corner of the couch, buried himself in it, and pouted. 
We, of course, couldn't stop laughing at Ryan's attempts of teasing and annoying the puppy.
Poor lil guy:)

 Well, here's to the beginning of the Christmas season-with lights, decorations, family, and if I weren't pregnant, White Chocolate peppermint mochas topped with whipped creamed and red and white sprinkles!!! 
(anyone know of an alternative hot drink that's just as festive and yummy as special coffee drinks?)
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Love at first sight

that's what it felt like.
When my doctor placed the ultra sound thing on me belly, we could see him/her right away.
I've never been in such awe before in my life. 

Tears sprang to my eyes as I saw for the first time, LIFE inside of me. 
Baby BB wouldn't keep still.
His/her little heartbeat was apparently visible and those little arms kept waving back and forth, and in our heads, we imagined Baby saying, 
(or dancing to Gangnam Style...)
Our doctor laughed as she said, "Your baby is swimming around in there! Baby won't keep still!"

There's a miracle growing inside of me.
and mommy and daddy are already so in love.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

First baby thoughts

I can't help but pray all day long throughout my work day and into the evening for this lil person that's growing inside of me.
I can't help but imagine what life will be with a third Brandenberger in this home.
My days are filled with day dreaming of this child I haven't even met: will you look like me or your daddy? Will you love football with your daddy? Will you be mischievous like your mommy was as a kid? What will you look like?
 I'd love it if you had your daddy's hazel eyes.

at 9 weeks, here are my symptoms: 
Fatigue: usually around 6:30pm my body is done for. By this time of the day, I'm usually sitting on the couch in my pjs and falling asleep. So, in between the time I get off work to 6:30, I get all the stuff I need to get done around the house.  at around midnight, Ryan wakes me up to go to bed. Then I go right back to sleep! Exhaustion seems to be the right word for my evenings. I'm just glad that I'm not so fatigued during my work day!:)

Food Cravings: Waffles with sliced bananas and honey drizzled over it. And my mom's cooking...which I can't get. So I'm dealing with it by cooking her breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausage, all with tabasco ,and white rice...except, it's just not the exact same as my moms. I LOOOONG for the day I get to go home and eat her food.

Nausea: Mostly at night. I used to get it in the mornings, but it's setlled for making me feel nauseated at night. Haven't puked yet at all though! 

Food Aversion: Everything that I ate before; I seem to be disgusted by. The normal sandwiches, spinach, white sauces, cheeses, steaks, bread, corn, vegetables, soup, coffee, creamer, orange juice, granola, yogurt, clif bars, etc...everything I loved, i now feel grossed out by. I open up my fridge and cupboard, and I feel sick with all my normal favorites.
Which has been limiting me to very few foods that I feel like eating: Cold apples, bananas, waffles, Tortelini (Butoni), and an Oven roasted Chicken breast Subway sandwich, has been my menu the last week. oh, and MILK. My usual non sweetened vanilla almond milk was a heavy favorite of longer! (Weird, huh?) I have been craving 1% white milk!!! Not even the usual skim that normally sits in my fridge-it's been replaced with the 1% milk. 

Getting these symptoms is a wonderful constant reminder of the little one that's taken residence, growing inside of me. So thankful for Baby BB!!!
31 more weeks!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

a week of ends and beginnings

Many happenings this past week: 

-We voted! (Alexio did too!)

- Our foster child of one whole year has transitioned out of our home - it's an interesting change after a year, not having the usual singing, thumping, talking, and squealing that we normally heard! 
We had a little goodbye party for him-steaks and cake with some of his favorite guys that have been in his life this past year. 

- Halloween was a treat; 
it was the first week night evening Ryan and I have had together in our home, and we enjoyed the slow trickle of trick or treaters that came to the door. 
Alexio greeted all the trick or treaters, hoping they had come to see him.

- My body is experiencing different changes with this pregnancy. 
The symptoms I'm getting are pretty light compared to what I've read about, but mostly I'm dealing with food aversions (not wanting to eat much of anything these days...except for milk) and just plain tiredness. 
Nausea hits me in the middle of the day and later at night, so I try to overcome it by staying still and keeping my belly full. Haven't puked yet though! Mainly just queasy and feeling odd.

Experiencing life with just Ryan and I has been a welcome change. 
With Baby BB on the way, we're cherishing the time that we have with just the two of us. Because come seven months from now, we'll be a family of three

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

And then there were three...

[special thanks to Aaron Ramos for taking this shot!]

We are so excited to make this announcement-
Baby BB is in the making!!

June 19, 2013 is our big date.
And we can't tell you how tickled pink we are to be sharing this great news with you!
So stay tuned as we update you on our little blueberry sized blessing!

Here are the special reactions of our families!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

This week:
I got to chat with my little sis for a couple hours this weekend.

Both husband and I have been physically exhausted and has made the week seem so long.
Ryan's asthma has been kicking in full force, so he's exhausted just struggling to breath.
I think I'm coming down with something.

So, seeing my family on FaceTime was just a nice refreshment. 
Laughing with them is just the best medicine.

Friday, October 5, 2012

the southern gal in me

Usually, my week day begins at 4:30 A.M.
I never thought I'd be that one that'd get up before the world to get a workout in before the rest of the town wakes up.
But I am.
I prefer to get my workouts done before work, so that after work, I can enjoy my family and my time at home. Dinner and baking are usually my agenda after work, and then we all walk together after dinner. 
such a great way to spend my after work time...
so that's why i have my mornings to work out-so i don't have to sacrifice time with my husband to do it.

Monday, Wednesdays, and Friday are my gym days. 
That's when I head over to our Anytime Fitness and do a strength training. 

Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, are my running outside days. 
I've never been a runner until this point of my life, but starting at half a mile last spring and practically dying, to four miles now and feeling like I could run forever if I had the luxury of time to do it, I'm proud of myself for the work I've done to get in shape.

Eating well, and living a balanced life with structure makes me happy.

Until today.
I couldn't get myself to leave the warmth of my house.
It was in the 20's this morning, and I could not find any good reason to run in that.
Cold makes me miserable.
And it's beginning.

I think I may have to start a new routine, because it's too miserably cold to run in those low temps.
I like to stay in shape, but i'm not crazy!
I might have to switch to afternoons and evenings for higher temps.
[Outdoor pics taken on Sunday morning at a little before 7 A.M.]
[the only day i get to see the sun come up after my run is on Sundays, so i took this shot because my street just looked so pretty with the colors]
Whether it's a gym day or a running day, I always get back by 6 A.M. 
That's my rule.
Because I like to get back with enough time to brew coffee, hit the shower, and climb back into bed by 6:25, refreshed and clean with my coffee, Bible and journal.
Then I enjoy slowly drinking my coffee, reading, and writing til 7:10. 
I LOVE my routine.
I hate to break it because of cold weather.
gr, you dropping temps!
So, yes, I'm currently sitting in my warm bed, enjoying my coffee and my sleeping husband next to me.
It's been a busy crazy week, but such a good one!
 I always welcome the weekends after such a good work week.
Maybe I'll run this afternoon instead to celebrate;)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Big sis hits 28!

Happy Birthday to my wonderfully, goofy, crazy, fun loving big sister, Ilene!!!
Wish I could be with you and the family as you celebrate your big TWO EIGHT!
Missing you on this special day celebrating YOU...
if i were with you, i'd bake ya something yummy.
so for now, here's a shout out to you, and hope you enjoy those bright red puddle jumpers!;)
hope it's especially a blast this year, and that mom, dad, ash, and [your] Ryan spoil you silly!

P.s. you wear your age well;)
28! Can't believe it!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dinner for two

It's been such a chill weekend. 
Just me, my hubby, and a rambunctious little pup.
I did some reading, hubby did some football watching, and the pup did some sleeping:)

here's the my view from the floor with my blanket and book.
 Lazy afternoon for Alexio.
 In the evening, we found ourselves grilling steaks in the backyard, enjoying the gorgeous warm October wheather, and watching the trees turn into fall colors.
 Can I brag for a second about Ryan's steaks? 
They're the best I have EVER had.
Even better than those you find in steak houses-we tried MANY of them.
He's just got some talent with his flavoring and grilling. 
OOoooh, baby...this family really really likes grilled red meat.
With a few different sides of veggies, fruit, and wheat rolls, our weekend meals with each other are so yummy...courtesy of my hubs;)

Besides some light baking, cleaning, and snuggling, our weekend has been really relaxing and chill.
I looooove that! 
Ryan and I are finding ourselves with more time together and it's been amazing how refreshed we feel and re energized for the week ahead.

On Sundays, i seem to find myself reminscing over the weekend, and life when my day doesn't start at 4:30 AM. 
But then I live my week, and happily welcome the next weekend...
it's just a going cycle:)
Here's to October! 
I have so many plans of fall activities and fall baking and cooking recipes. 
So pumped that it's fall and it's so warm and beautiful out! 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Alexio Brandenberger - Graduate of 2012

Yep, you read that correctly.
My puppy boy graduated from training school.
He's a different dog after going to school the last 6's incredible.

Walks are amazing, as this little one can keep up for 3 or 4 miles each walk...sometimes, both morning and night! Ryan and I are both seeing our dream dog coming out of, spunky, and very mischievous! (sometimes more than we'd like! )

He's still chewing everything he can get his little teeth on, but hopefully for not too much longer-I started noticing his baby teeth wiggling back and forth and his big teeth are coming in!(I had no idea dogs lost teeth like humans do!)

But right now, he's got all these little gaps on his gums from his cute little missing teeth. The thing is, i don't know where they all hopefully he either swallowed them or lost them outside, because the thought of teeny little teeth just laying around the house grosses me out!

 Each dog had to perform what they can do, individually.
Alexio knows ALL his commands really well when he's training with me or in class, but during graduation when he has to perform to impress?
what's that i smell?
are they all looking at me?
i wanna smell their butts.
daddy's over there.
where is that pretty girl that i played with?
yeah, he pretty much turned into a dunce during his performance and an ADHD one at that...

Alexio is VERY popular with the ladies at training school and in our neighborhood. Not sure why he always loves the girl dogs that are double or triple his size, but those are the gals that adoooore him.
he's also pretty popular with the owners, which is funny because they don't see his naughty hyper active side...everyone things he's so refined and calm.

This here is Lucy Raveling and Pency playing with Alexio. They both wanted a piece of him.
 Here's Daisy, Alexio's favorite neighborhood walking dog...she always walks by our house.
 And i don't know this beautiful ones name, but Alexio tried to play with him and he stood there all mature and one day alexio will be that cool.;)
 And of course, after every graduation, you've gotta celebrate with your family! 
So we went to Dairy Queen for some ice cream and Alexio was beyond thrilled to have a whole cone to himself.

Anywhoos, after this seemingly obsessive puppy crazy post, I'll close.
Have a great rest of the week!
Now go hug a puppy.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

a weekend with my boy.

I like weekends when it's slow, 
and just us.

This weekend, we took Alexio out to the country to leash, no choke collar, just running along on the dirt road.

He has a blast.

The pics of Ryan and Alexio make me smile. 
Ryan grew up in the country in the middle of fields, and he has fond memories of walking these kind of dirt roads with his dogs following along...
de ja vu for him, I guess;)
It was new for me, my first reaction toward Alexio being off a leash was, 
"Ryan!!! He's gonna run away!!!!!!!!" 
"He's going to get squashed by a car!!!" 

Turns out in the country, there really isn't much to worry about.
And we found out what a great dog Alexio is becoming...He likes to stay close, and he's actually very protective of me! (found this out when a giant black dog came running from his farm, wanting to play and jump on me.)

Saturday was spent going on another long walk with them (we are eventually going to train him to run with us), and then doing odd little things around the house. Alexio came with me on a trip to the pharmacy to fill a prescription and waited patiently for the man at the window to give us the meds.
One of my favorite things to do on the weekends or after a stressful day at work, is bake...
and then watch people it my food.
i enjoy the look on my husband's face when he takes a bite out of something sweet.
That's really why I bake...
I'm not much of a sweet tooth, sometimes I'll eat it, but mostly, i bake for my boys:)
They always love it, so as long as they do, i'll keep baking:)

Here is one of our FAVORITES...individual sized monkey bread bites.

and these here are a favorite of many of the boys that are in our home a lot: 
White chocolate Kit Kat Blondies.
yum, yum.

Here's to a grand 3 1/2 day weekend! Loving my time with my husband and puppy:)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Storm Lake Homecoming

One thing I can't get over about living in such a small town is how they celebrate events...homecoming seems to be as big a deal here as the superbowl.

the entire town is a part of it, the kids get out of school early, and the whole town has a part of the parade and game. 
The kids in town are so pumped on homecoming day as they all come out with their green hair, Tornado tattoos, and beads that show their school spirit.
Never have i ever been a part of such a spirited town as storm lake.

 Ryan and I went out to support the BVU float that held very enthusiastic 4th graders and two teachers that always seem to have a fun approach to teaching and activities.
I know this, because our 9 year old comes home each day from his class at school knowing what he learned from science, math, social studies, and whatever else they seem to be learning about that day. 
He came back from the parade wanting green hair and tattoes.