Friday, June 4, 2010

Catching Up

With the the crazieness of the last few weeks in the States, the rush of travel, and the mountain that awaited me when I got home, I haven't put many pictures up lately. Since some pretty fun stuff happened, I thought I would post a few :-)

Here's a shot of what my belly was looking like at 16 weeks

This is right about the time when people that I don't know started smiling at me in stores for no reason. Not quite big enough for them to ask me, but big enough for them to be suspicious

On May first my sister Rachel got married. She and Josh had a beautiful outdoor wedding in Cotter, Arkansas. The baby happened to pick that weekend to have a huge growth spurt, and it was fun to have my belly be noticeably bigger everyday for about 5 days. It also meant that I was really hungry (good timing with all of the awesome wedding food) and in general not that much help. Good thing they had 14 bridesmaids and groomsmen (all together), three flower girls and a ring bearer to pick up the slack :-) hehe

I stole a few pictures from friends :-)

The wedding party looking snazzy

Rachel and Josh

My Sibblings - Amanda, Me, Rachel, and Jordan

My Mom's Family - Cousin Tim, Uncle Dan, Aunt Sue, Dad, Olivia (flower girl), Rachel (bride), Josh (groom), Mom, Leslie, Uncle Kevin

17.5 weeks - we waited a little bit to get a picture in the bridesmaid dress. At the time my mom said that the baby was trying so hard to grow so that people would notice her at her Aunt's wedding that my mom was sure it had to be a girl :-)

Jason sent me flowers since he couldn't be at the wedding with me – stargazer lilies, one of my favorites! So I took the 18 week picture with them

Then I headed to Houston to visit my friend Kelly. She is also pregnant and we due the same week so we had fun going out to eat to celebrate our first Mother's Day together. The baby decided that the day should extra special for me so right after church I felt the first kick – how about that for timing?

After that I went back up to Michigan and spent a few days in a crazy whirlwind of packing up about 160 pounds of equipment to take back with me for the youth center. I had toner cartridges for our printers, replacement parts for wide variety of things, certificates for our computer program, a 26 pound reel of fiber optic cable, and whole assortment of other things just like that. I did manage to fit a jar of sweet pickle relish and a bag of peanut M&M's for Jason's birthday.

After that I went to the doctor, got an ultrasound and a few more tests, got the all clear to head back to Africa, took a picture to document week 19, and hit the road!

The plane ended up being craziness! One of my tickets was accidentally canceled then reinstated, then one of my flights was late, and it looked like I was either going to have to stay in Washington DC for 5 days; or fly stand by to Paris, stay in Paris for a day, then fly down to Africa (with out bags which would come by another route); or run like crazy and pray that I could change 2 concourses and make it to my flight 40 minutes before departure so that I'd be cleared to board – with a 28 minute layover... Nothing's impossible with God, right? So after considering all of my options I decided to run for it.

I've never really been much of runner and being 5 months pregnant didn't help matters. I hiked up escalators, ran on people movers, and sprinted down the straightaways. People were calling out to me to slow down, but I kept on going. I arrived at my gate, pregnant and panting, 5 minutes before the plane was supposed to take off. I'm pretty sure the gate attendants felt sorry for me because even though the doors were locked and the pilot was turning up the engines to pull away from the gate, they radioed the plane, franticly scanned in my info, reopened the flight for boarding, and got me onboard moments before take off.

Sadly, my bags were not as speedy as I was, and while the flights to Dakar were booked full of people for the next 5 days, they did manage to find room for my luggage – no small feat! So the next day I got my bags on got on the overnight boat to the south of Senegal to finally see Jason again.

I slept like a log on the boat and arrived safe and sound with all of my bags to the biggest hug of all time! Then Jason and I crashed in a little hotel that has AC went out to dinner to celebrate my birthday. We got up the next day and set out for Guinea-Bissau.

This is my 20 week picture. It's not a great belly shot, but the baby and I were really happy to see Jase again!

It was so fun to come back home to Bissau and I have loved everyone's comments on my belly as it has been growing more and more noticeable! Usually when I see people I don't know here the first thing they say to me is “you're white”, but now the first thing they say is “wow, look how beautiful you are!” with a special gleam in their eyes as they rub my belly. Not a bad change. I should've gotten pregnant a long time ago!!! :-) lol!

About a week after I got back we celebrated Jason's birthday with a stellar apple pie! I didn't have any birthday candles, but we made due :-)

Speaking of pie, it's getting to be about that time, so I'm going to get some food ready – this pregnant lady's gotta eat!!! I'll post some more in a few days :-)