Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Big Baby Dart

I went for an ultrasound today and the baby weighs 7 pounds 9 ounces already! This baby is huge! I am measuring 5 weeks ahead of schedule at 37 weeks 6 days. My next doctor's appointment is Thursday and I am interested to see whether there is anything I can do to slow down this baby's growth. Matt and I are so thankful to all of you who are praying for this baby. I don't care when he comes, I just want him to be healthy!

I was able to see the baby in 3-D today, which was awesome! He looked so cute!

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Fun Weekend with the Family

We had SUCH a great time this weekend with my family in town! My parents got here after lunch on Friday, and we spent the afternoon showing my dad around Evanston. My sister's flight got in later Friday evening, and as soon as she got here we went to Pete Miller's, a great steak place here in Evanston, to celebrate Father's Day.

Then we came back and had pound cake, ice cream, and peaches. It was sooo good!

Saturday we drove down to the city and went on an architectural boat tour. The weather was beautiful and we really enjoyed it!

We had lunch at Navy Pier, and then drove around to show my family Hyde Park, University of Chicago, Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House, Lincoln Park, and the Cubs stadium in Wrigleyville. Saturday night we went to Lou Malnati's to let my family try Chicago deep dish pizza. 

Sunday we took my family to our church, and then we ate a late breakfast at Walker Bros. It was soo good! Sunday afternoon we took a walk to the lake. It was a gorgeous day, and it was really relaxing sitting at the park. 

Mary Beth had a late afternoon flight so she left, and mom and I went and picked out a small dresser for the nursery! While we were gone, Matt walked to the grocery store and got the stuff to make spaghetti and meatballs and salad for dinner! It was outstanding! After dinner Matt and my dad put together the dresser (pics to come!).

My parents flight was around noon today so they left late morning. We had such a good time and it was sad to see them go. I'm sure they'll be back soon though, when Baby Dart arrives!!

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Pound Cake

My family is coming in town today and we are celebrating a late Father's Day tonight, so I made a pound cake (my dad, and our whole family's favorite)! And my mom is bringing fresh Georgia peaches that she picked up at Lane Packing Co. last week in Perry, GA! I am so excited!

I love to bake, and my favorite thing to bake is a pound cake. Growing up, mom made a pound cake to celebrate every occasion, and I like to do the same now too. It is VERY rare for me to make a cake with icing or a pie! It just doesn't seem like summer without a homemade pound cake, fresh peaches, and homemade vanilla ice cream!

I use the same recipe that my mom used growing up, but for some reason I have never been able to make a pound cake that doesn't "fall". When it comes out of the oven it looks perfect, and then 10 minutes later the cake has fallen a few inches in the middle. It drives me crazy! In fact, Matt now tries to discourage me from making them because he knows how upset I get! (Last night when I was making this he told me if he wrote a book about our marriage he'd have to devote a whole chapter to pound cakes). The one I made last night didn't fall!! I was so excited. Now, only a few more hours before I can try it...

**UPDATE - Here is the recipe:

1 c butter, softened
1/2 c shortening
3 c sugar
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 c sifted cake flour
1 t baking powder
1/8 t salt
6 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 t almond extract

Cream butter and shortening. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add cream cheese, beating until fluffy. Alternately add flour and eggs, beginning and ending with flour (which has been sifted with baking powder and salt). Stir in vanilla and almond. Pour into greased and floured tube pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour 15 min. Cool in pan 15 min before removing.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

What's Going On

It's been a few days since I've posted, so I thought I'd let you know what the Darts have been up to this week:

Matt - Matt started his internship this week! He is working at The Cambridge Group, a marketing strategy consulting firm in downtown Chicago. It will be a 10 week internship, and so far he likes it! It is definitely a completely different lifestyle than what he'd become accustomed to at school - no more sleeping late and getting to wear shorts all day! Now he gets up early to take the 7:45 Metra train into the city. But nights are also much more relaxing now - no more late nights studying and going to group meetings! In fact, we've been enjoying the nice weather in the evenings and taking the dogs for a walk to the lake:

Miller - We had 3 big boxes of stuff from our showers sent up here this week, so I have been unpacking all of the baby stuff! I have had so much fun going through everything again! We've also been working more and more on the nursery - I'll post pictures soon!

Baby Dart - I went for my 32 week appointment today, and I was hooked up to a fetal monitor for 20 minutes to monitor the baby's heartbeat (called a non-stress test). Everything looked good today, but I will now be going in once a week to have this test done to monitor the baby, and in a few weeks I will start going in twice a week. Also, since the baby is measuring so big, I am going for another ultrasound next week to check his growth.

On a sad note, my doctor told me a story today about one of her diabetic patients who was completely fine at 32 weeks and then lost her baby at 35 weeks. She was reminding me how risky a diabetic pregnancy can be. It was depressing to hear, but it was a good reminder that I need to be praying constantly for this little life inside me. In the beginning of the pregnancy I was constantly worried about miscarriage, but now that I am this far along, I take for granted that everything is going to turn out fine. It was good for me to be reminded that I am completely dependent on God for this baby to be born healthy. If you think about it, please say a prayer for Baby Dart - that he would be born healthy when it is his time to come!

On a much happier note, my family is coming to visit this weekend! I am excited because this is the first time my dad has been up here to see where we live! Hopefully the weather will be nice and we can do a few touristy things - I'll be sure to post pictures soon!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Back in the Midwest!

We are finally back home! We flew back to Chicago last Thursday after a great week in St. Simons. We managed to get on an earlier connecting flight from Atlanta to Chicago, but our luggage didn't make it, so Matt drove back to Midway airport at midnight Thursday night to get our luggage. On Friday, we unpacked from our trip, washed clothes, and repacked to go to Milwaukee for the weekend for Steven Sperry's wedding!

Ever since being in St. Simons, I have been dealing with a new pregnancy side effect - swollen feet and ankles! It makes standing or walking not much fun, but I try to sit and prop my feet up as much as possible. Still, it hasn't been fun traveling with swollen feet. Here are my feet propped up in the car on the way to Milwaukee Friday!

We had a great time in Milwaukee, and it was so good to see our high school friends that we don't get to see often: Steven Sperry, Chris Tucker, and Craig Pope. Here is a picture of the guys at the rehearsal dinner:

And here is Matt giving a pretty funny toast to Steven and Kari:

Kari looked beautiful, and she and Steven looked so happy and excited yesterday. Here are the newly pronounced Mr. and Mrs. (actually it is Dr. and Dr.!):

It was also good to catch up with the Sperry family. The Sperry's are such a special family to Matt and I - Mr. and Mrs. Sperry did our pre-marital counseling (they are one of the wisest couples we know!), and I also worked with Mr. Sperry at the National Christian Foundation before Matt and I moved to Chicago last fall. Here is a picture of the whole Sperry family:

We've had a great time in Atlanta, St. Simons, and Milwaukee over the last few weeks, but we are SO glad to be home!

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

St. Simons

Matt and I have had a great time in St. Simons this week! We've gotten to spend a lot of time with our family, which has been really nice. Last weekend my sister Mary Beth, my aunt Faye, my cousin Chrissy and her husband Mike, and my cousin Sarah and her boyfriend Dalton all came in town for my baby shower. Here is a picture of all of us at Blackwater Grill:

We also had a chance to go with my mother-in-law Cathy to visit Matt's godmother, Edith Mauch. She has an amazing garden in the back of her house, where she grows tons of beautiful flowers and several different vegetables. She's also built paver sidewalks and a covered poolhouse - all herself! Here is a picture of us and a picture of her garden:

Speaking of flowers, Matt's dad's wife Shelia is also an awesome gardener and has some amazing flowers in front of their house:

I was not prepared for how hot it would be down here! Here is what I did every day at my in-laws to survive the heat!

It made me very thankful I am spending the rest of the summer and my pregnancy in Chicago instead of down south! We will miss our family but we are looking forward to heading home tomorrow!

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Punch Recipes

My aunt Faye gave me the recipes for the coffee punch and the cranberry lemonade that were such a hit at my shower, so I thought I would share them!

Coffee Coolatta Punch
1/2 gallon strong coffee (5-6 scoops for a 12 cup pot)
1 cup sugar
1/2 gallon whole milk
1 cup Hershey's chocolate syrup
1 gallon vanilla ice cream

Stir sugar into hot coffee. Cool. Stir chocolate syrup into milk and then add too coffee and mix together. Before serving, add the vanilla ice cream.
**Several people asked if this had Bailey's in it - it didn't, but goes well in it...or so I'm told:)

Cranberry Lemonade
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
6 oz frozen lemonade concentrate
3 cups cranberry juice

Heat water and stir in sugar until dissolved. Cool. Mix water mixture with lemonade concentrate and cranberry juice. Add additional water as needed.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

St. Simons Baby Shower

I had a baby shower in St. Simons this morning! My aunt Faye and my cousin Chrissy gave it, along with Barb Sperry and Pat Strickland (Steven and Craig's moms). The food was REALLY good - we had chicken salad sandwiches on croissants, orange blossoms, fruit, muffins, cheesecakes, mini cinnamon rolls, and quiches. And Matt's mom made a cake in the shape of a bassinet that matches the one she gave us that Matt used when he was a baby! It was awesome. There was also a cranberry lemonade punch and a cold coffee punch that was to die for (it had strong coffee, chocolate, milk, and vanilla ice cream in it!). It was so good to see a lot of people from St. Simons that I don't get to see very often. I am very thankful that they could make it to my shower! And we got some really amazing gifts...I feel very overwhelmed by the generosity of my family and friends. Here are some pictures from the shower (mostly ones that Shelia snapped...thanks Shelia!)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Atlanta Baby Shower

We had our first baby shower last night in Atlanta! Our siblings threw it for us, and it was so much fun! It was a couples shower, and they went all out, with everything I love - we had Willy's catered for dinner (my favorite, and I had been craving it!), and keylime cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for dessert (I love keylime cake...my wedding cake was keylime!). And it was so good to see all of our friends from Atlanta again - we've missed them so much this past year but hanging out with them last night it seemed like we had never left! We have really great friends. We are so thankful that they could come and spend time with us last night, and we are thankful for all the many gifts they showered on us for Baby Dart. We are also tremendously thankful for our four wonderful siblings: Casey, Jessica, Beau, and Mary Beth for hosting such an amazing shower and being such a wonderful family to us!

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