12.30.2008

Prayers for Preston and Parker

I am asking for prayers for my sweet nephews Preston and Parker. They are still safe and sound in Angie's womb, but she is having some pre-term labor symptoms. The doctor had her go to the hospital last night to get a closer look. They gave her a steroid shot to help speed up the process of Preston & Parker's lung development, and monitored her contractions. She will go back again tonight for another shot and more monitoring. I know I will forget all of the details she gave me this morning, but basically...we need prayers! The boys are not quite ready to come into this world, so please pray for their health and safety, and Angie's as well. The nurse said they hope to keep the boys in for a few more weeks, if at all possible.

Angie is on complete bed rest. She is only allowed to get up to use the restroom. She has to be fed all her meals in bed. I know this has to be frustrating to her, because she is the busiest, most active person I know. Prayers for her to relax, and to calm her anxieties/fears would also be most appreciated!

Thank you to all of our prayer warriors out there! We are very grateful!

12.27.2008

A few pics from Oklahoma

Rebecca, Me (Jackson in tummy), and Jessica - at the country club for Shelley's Bridesmaid Luncheon

Rebecca and I in front of her Christmas Tree

12.26.2008

Wii Fit

Ohh boy! This morning, Scott headed out to Game Stop to purchase a Wii Fit. He's been wanting one for quite some time, and after he played it with Rodney yesterday...I think it sealed the deal for both of us.

IT IS SO MUCH FUN!!!!

It is definitely my new favorite toy at our house. There are several exercises included - Yoga (my favorite), Strength Training, and Aerobics. There are also a few balance games that are a lot of fun, too. The part about the Wii Fit that is really cool, is that it tracks your weight, BMI, and allows you to set goals for yourself. Since I'm pregnant, I decided to set a goal for myself to gain 2 lbs. every 2 weeks. The books I've read say it's good to gain about a lb. a week after your first trimester, so that's my goal. I think my Wii Fit trainer is a little confused as to why I set a goal to GAIN 2 lbs., but oh well. There's not an option on this thing to tell it that you're pregnant...so I have to find some way to make it okay that my weight and BMI will keep going up! Haha. I'm super excited about what it's going to say after I deliver, and lose weight. I think my trainer might just say "Wow, Jenny! Your'e doing a great job." Instead of, "Your BMI shows that you are slightly overweight". Haha, too funny. Technology is soo cool.

Christmas

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! Scott and I had a wonderful Christmas Eve/Christmas Day with our families. We started off by attending our church's Christmas Eve Children's Mass, which was wonderful!! All of the kiddos did the readings, songs, and even acted out the Nativity Story as the gospel reading. It was so precious!

After church, we headed over to my parents' house to open presents with my family. Shortly after we were off to The Echols' house to celebrate Christmas Eve traditions. We ate delicious food, sang Christmas carols, and watched White Christmas. Then we headed off to bed to anxiously await Santa's arrival, and the Christmas morning traditions. We opened tons of presents, and ate a delcious breakfast. :) Scott, Jackson, and I were given several wonderful gifts this year. Thank you SO much to everyone!! We love all of our gifts, and are so thankful for them!!

After breakfast, we all watched Christmas Vacation. As soon as the movie was over, Scott and I had to leave. We came home, showered, and made a few dishes to take over to my sister's for Christmas Dinner. We arrived at Rodgie's around 2:00, and spent the afternoon hanging out with them and playing their Wii. About 5:00 we ate a yummy dinner with the whole family, and played an exciting game of Catch Phrase to wrap up the day o' fun. Whew...by this time I was exhausted! Scott and I came home, made a pallet on the living room floor, and watched Iron Man (one of Scott's Christmas presents). Then off to bed for a nice, long, sleep.

What a wonderful Christmas, we had!! Thank you to all of our family for such a wonderful time. We love you VERY much!!! '
And thanks be to God for the wonderful gift of His Son! Happy Birthday, Jesus!!

12.23.2008

Quick Update

Things are BUSY lately, so I haven't had much time to post. I'm actually really busy at work right now (which is why I should NOT be updating this blog, and should be focused on writing test cases instead). I'm one of the few TI employees working during the last few weeks of December. Most people around here do not have a whole lot to do, so it is pretty hard to stay focused, and avoid the temptation to chit-chat in the halls. I have a hard deadline that I must meet, so I better get back to work soon.

What's new with The Echols?

Let's see: We had another check-up yesterday with Dr. Bailey. We heard Jackson's heartbeat, and she measured my stomach. Everything looks great! I also had to ask the question about my weight gain, to make sure I was on track, and not gaining too much weight. She assured me that everything was fine, and it wasn't about "getting fat", but that I was making a safe home for another human life in my body. Even though Scott tells me over and over again how beautiful I am, and how I look great, I really needed to hear it from the doctor to stop worrying. Scott is such a sweet husband, and does everything in his power to calm me and make sure I'm doing alright. I am so blessed!

Last weekend, we traveled to Oklahoma to stay with our friends Clay & Rebecca. It was my college roommate's wedding weekend, and Rebecca and I were both bridesmaids. We had SO MUCH FUN!! Rebecca even got to feel Jackson kick, while we were waiting to walk down the aisle. So sweet of him to kick on command for her. :) He is not usually one for kicking when others are expecting it.

Another SUPER EXCITING thing that's happened, is that Katherine, Jason, and Luke are in town!!! YAY!!! For those of you who are unaware, Katherine is Scott's oldest sister, and her family lives in Egypt. We get to see them twice a year: during the summer and Christmas break. We always look forward to the time we are able to spend with them while they are home.

I cannot believe Christmas is just 2 days away! Scott and I did our Christmas shopping last night, with all of the last minute shoppers at the mall. It was insanely busy! I have to work 1/2 day tomorrow morning, and then the Christmas festivities begin. I am so excited!

I better get back to work. Until next time, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

12.16.2008

I'm Growing!

I do not have much to update on the baby, but I can tell you that I am definitely growing. I keep getting requests for pictures, and I keep forgetting to have Scott take them of me. But here's a little story that will show you how much I've grown in the last few weeks.

My college roommate, Shelley, is getting married on Saturday, and I am honored to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. When she asked me to be in her wedding, Scott and I were still on our honeymoon in Hawaii. She asked me to call in my dress size to the bridal salon when I returned. Well, as you can guess, the dress that I now get to fit into is the dress I ordered when I was not pregnant. :) When I tried this dress on 2 1/2 weeks ago, it fit perfectly. Last week, when I took it to the alterations lady in Coppell (who I will never again take anything to), it no longer fit. Long story short, the alterations place in Coppell had my dress for a week before calling to tell me that could not fix it. I was in a panic to find someone this Monday who could fix it in a few days. Luckily I found a tailor in Plano, and will be picking up the dress tomorrow after work. The lady who works there was SO nice, explained to me that they do this all of the time for pregnant women, and it will be very easy for them to let it out, or even add fabric if they need to. WHEW! Problem solved, but that was a close one.

The point of that story (which ended up being sort of long anyway), is that I am now big enough where people can tell that I'm pregnant. And I have to say, I LOVE IT! No more questioning whether Jenny has just gained a few pounds. It's obvious that Jackson is comfy and cozy in my big belly. :) And another nice thing about this, is that people love to smile at pregnant women. When I go out in public now, people just look at my belly and smile. It is so sweet, and I love it!

Baby Shower #2

This past Saturday, Rodney's sister and I hosted a baby shower/brunch for Angie & the PP Boys (Preston and Parker). My mom, although not officially a hostess, was the BIGGEST help ever. She helped decorate, and made a lot of the food/desserts for the shower. Thank you, Mom, for all of your help!!

I had a lot of fun doing this with Jenn. We are both very laid back about most things, so I REALLY enjoyed planning with her. It was SO easy, SO much fun, and it turned out beautiful! Here are a few pictures from the day.


This was the cake table. I made a diaper cake, and my mom made a German Chocolate Cake, and some vanilla and chocolate cupcakes. The whole theme was safari/animals, hence the tiger and leopard prints.

We decorated the gift table w/ a miniature Christmas tree. It had a giraffe head on it, and some little monkeys stuck here and there. We also tied some animal print ribbons on the tree.

This is a picture of Jenn and I with the CUTEST pregnant girl ever! We decorated the food table with various safari looking items.

There were several other pictures, but I'll end with this one because it's just too sweet! This is my 91 year old grandmother with Angie. Grams keeps saying that she "can't wait to get her hands on those little babies!" We are so thankful to still have her with us. She is just as precious as can be!!

12.09.2008

Seester's Baby Shower


Last Saturday, Angie had her first baby shower. It was a lot of fun, and she got a million presents for the little ones! She looked super cute in her little black dress and boots. You can't even tell she's pregnant from behind...only when you see her from the front. She has a baby bump about the size of a basketball, but that's about it! Sooo cute!

Here is Angie w/ her new twin stroller.

Today, Scott and I had another sonogram at Dr. Bailey's office. The baby is still doing great! Jackson now ways 11 ounces, and is measuring a few days ahead of schedule. We got a few cute pictures, that I will hopefully one day scan and load to the blog. And I need to post some pictures of my growing belly, too.

Tonight, Scott and I went with Angie & Rodney to an open house of Baylor Frisco, where we will be delivering. OH MY GOODNESS, it is incredible!! The hospital is very nice!! The rooms are spaceous and cozy, and the staff there is extremely friendly. The nurse to patient ratio in the labor and delivery area is 1:1. After you get to your post-partum room, they have this online system that will allow us to chat via the internet with our friends and family, if we choose. A webcam in our room will allow whoever we are chatting with to see us and little Jackson. (Kath, I am thinking this will be PERFECT for communicating with you guys!!) We also learned all about the childbirth, breast feeding, and other classes offered at the hospital - FOR FREE!!! In a few more months, we will be signing up for some of those. :)

And as a parting comment, I turn 20 weeks on Friday. That's 1/2 way through!! I cannot believe how fast time has gone by. In 20 more weeks, we will be meeting our sweet Jackson Scott Echols. I am SO excited!

12.02.2008

Sequential Screening - Part 2

Today we went to Dr. Trimmers (the specialist) for part 2 of our sequential screening. The blood test from last visit came back negative for all tests (cystic fibrosis, mental retardation, and a few others i can't remember). I had my blood drawn again for the 2nd part. I'm not sure what they are checking for this time, other than to make sure my thyroid levels are okay.

We got to see little Jackson moving around! He is weighing in at 10 ounces, and measuring about 7 inches long. We are still projected for a May 1st due date. I need to scan some of the sonogram pics and add them. Today he was very stubborn, and would not cooperate with the sonographer. He was in a weird position...it looked like he was doing a headstand. But he seemed to be very content staying where he was, because he was NOT about to move from that position...no matter how much we wiggled him or pushed him around. Too funny. He was moving his little hands and feet around like crazy, though. He is such an active baby! I feel him moving all throughout the day.

I go back to our regular doctor in 1 more week, for yet another sonogram! We're going to have lots of pictures of this baby. :)

11.29.2008

Exhausted.

Whew, what a weekend. Scott and I are exhausted! But we've had such a great time, and enjoyed our visits with family and friends throughout the weekend. Scott spent most of yesterday cutting back our trees, while I shopped for bargains. We now have all of our nursery furniture, hooray!! The rocker is coming in within a week (I got the 50% off deal!), and we picked up the changing table last night. :) Yay!

Today Scott hung the Christmas lights, while I decorated the inside and cooked appetizers for our football watching get-together. Our friends Grant & Jill, and Cody & Amy came over to watch the Tech vs. Baylor game. Cody & Amy brought their sweet baby girl, Sage. That girl is one happy baby!! I love her sweet little smiles...soo precious! We had a great time with everyone.

And now, we are struggling to stay awake throughout the Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State game. Gooo Sooners!! Tomorrow, we are definitely being lazy. Besides church, I think we'll just lay around and watch some football.

11.27.2008

Turkey Coma!

Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope everyone had a great day, stuffing themselves to their hearts content. Scott and I went to Gainesville this year to have Thanksgiving with his side of the family. It was a lot of fun! He has a LOT of cousins, and it was fun to see all of them and all of their children, too. So many precious kids running around everywhere!! And the food was delicious...I definitely felt the turkey coma after lunch.

We were also able to take our guest bed up to the warehouse today, for storage until we move into a bigger home. It's time to start transforming our guest room into a nursery!! I'm headed out Black Friday shopping in the morning (what in the heck am I thinking?), so maybe I can find some good deals on furniture? I saw an ad for Babies R Us, 50% off a rocking chair/ottoman set. I might just have to snatch one of those tomorrow.

I'm not sure if I mentioned it on the blog yet, but one of my co-workers gave us a crib, and mattress. That is one large expense we won't have, praise God! Scott is going to work on re-painting the crib with his dad. We LOVE the crib, we just prefer a brighter white color. Right now it's a sort of tan/beige color. Slowly over the next few months, we will be working on all the fun baby preparations! :)

Oh, and I cannot forget CHRISTMAS DECORATING!! This will also be an exciting part of our day tomorrow. I, personally, am very excited about it. Poor Scott is stuck with the task of hanging our lights on the roof outside. He's such a good sport about it, though. I can't wait to see what they look like. :)

Well, it's definitely time for me to get in bed...I will be waking at 4:45 am, to head out with my mom & seester for some good bargains. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving Holiday!! Good luck to any of you brave shoppers tomorrow.

11.25.2008

Right on track

Yesterday, our doctor appointment lasted all of about 5 minutes. They took my blood pressure, and did a few other routine procedures. Dr. Bailey listened to the baby's heartbeat, and we were on our way. She said the baby was great, my blood work from last time came out great, and I was right on track with my weight gain. (I've gained about 10 lbs so far...we are almost to week 18.) We go to the specialist next Tuesday for a follow-up appointment on the sequential screening. And then we're back to Dr. Bailey's for our first ultrasound there on December 9th.

Last night we went to dinner with Rodgie (that's what Scott calls Angie & Rodney - my sister and brother in law). I got to feel one of the twins, Parker, kick! It was so crazy!! Angie looks awesome! She is almost 7 months pregnant, with a super cute pregnant belly. I need to start taking pictures of us together, so we can have some memories of this shared pregnancy time.

I have also started to feel our little one kicking. Right now it is a verrry soft kick, but I can definitely feel it. It happens a lot when I'm sitting still, and especially around bedtime. Scott even got to feel a little baby kick last night before bed. Soon it won't be so soft anymore, and they'll be full out kicks like Parker's & Preston's! So much fun!

11.24.2008

BOOMER SOONER!!

We spent the weekend in Oklahoma with our friends, Clay & Rebecca (or as we like to call them, Claybecca). Like always, we had a wonderful time hanging out with them. We ate delicious food, played some Mario Kart, and went to the OU/Texas Tech football game. I won't spend a whole lot of time talking about the game, for obvious reasons. I will say that it was FREEZING COLD, and I have never seen/heard the stadium as rowdy as it was on Saturday night. Those Sooner fans were fired up! So much, that I got a few elbows in the head by my drunk seat neighbor to the right (grrr).

Now it's back to work for a few days, and then a nice, long, 4-day weekend!! Today, Scott and I go back to Dr. Bailey for a checkup. :) I will post any news that we hear...although I don't think we will find anything out/see any pictures at this visit. Have a Happy Monday/Thanksgiving week!

11.19.2008

Movements?

It's been awhile since I've posted...so here are a few of the latest happenings. I'm still feeling icky off and on, but overall much better than the first trimester. I'm starting to feel things happening in my tummy...but I am not sure exactly what it is. Nothing has happened that has made me think "he's kicking!", but at the same time, I can definitely feel something going on in there. My stomach has also really started to grow in the last few days. In no time, everyone will be able to tell I'm pregnant. Right now, I bet they're just wondering "Does Jenny look like she's put on some weight?" Hehe. I often wonder if people at work who don't know, think that. Too funny!

Scott and I are headed to Oklahoma this weekend to watch the big game. OU vs Tech! The moment has arrived, and I'm nervous to stand next to Scott in the stands....it's going to be such a great game! However, nobody consulted with me to see if I was okay with a game time of 7 pm. Don't they know that my bedtime is 8:30/9:00 these days? :)

11.11.2008

Answered Prayers

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for Parker (one of my sister's twin boys). Yesterday, they did another sonogram, and the cysts are completely gone. Praise God! :)

I just wanted to give a quick update. Now I must get back to work. Have a great day!!

11.08.2008

Legacy of Love

My high school youth minister, Kurt Klement, has a beautiful wife named Jenny. She has always been someone that I've looked up to, and aspired to be like. She has several amazing qualities, and is an incredibly talented singer and song writer. Her voice is very angelic, and her songs always move me. Jenny Klement wrote a song, Legacy of Love, that Scott and I used in our wedding ceremony. I've watched her sing this song while playing her guitar, and everytime I watch/hear her, I am moved to tears. Her music is the inspiration behind tonight's blog.

I was driving home tonight, listening to Legacy of Love, and again was moved to tears. I have copied the lyrics below for your reading enjoyment. What a beautiful song! I was moved by these words tonight as I realize how blessed both Scott and I are to have such a wonderful family and legacy of love. Our parents and siblings, and even extended family, have all been such a critical part in our faith journey, and our lives. We have become who we are today because of them. Reflecting on this has made me so grateful! And looking forward, Scott and I have a HUGE responsibility ahead of us. One that is both humbling and exciting! I continue to pray that Scott and I will daily surrender ourselves to God's will, so that we may be the parents to our kids that we both had...parents that will continue to carry on with the amazing legacy of love that we've been given.

Lord, thank you for giving us this precious gift. Please give us the strength and wisdom to do your will, and be the parents you desire us to be.

Legacy of Love by Jenny Klement (http://www.jennyklement.com)

In the beginning, before the Earth was made,
God conceived a plan.
In His very image, He created them,
both woman and man.

"This one", He said, "will be flesh of your flesh
and bone of your bones.
Be fruitful, multiply,
and one day, I will lead you home."

Chorus:
A legacy of love has brought us here,
and a moment of God's grace is drawing near.
Surrounded by the love from which we came,
in this legacy of love may we remain.

A man shall leave his father and his mother,
and cling to his wife.
And the two shall become one,
and bring forth new life.

Only to raise a child in love,
by daily dying to themselves.
So that one day that child may also leave,
and give that love away to someone else.

Repeat Chorus

All glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now,
and forever will be.

Repeat Chorus

Healthy Baby

This week we got a call back from the specialist, and our Sequential Screening results were normal. All is great, and our baby boy is healthy! Praise God! :) We are so thankful and blessed, and will continue to pray for our baby's development and health. I am so excited, I cannot wait to meet this baby!! May 1st seems so far away, but I know the time is going to fly by.

Many people have asked me if we've started working on the nursery yet. Ha! The short answer is no. Well I guess you could count us going through the closets, and moving everything up to the attic. That has been one huge feat that we've accomplished. But as far as shopping for a crib, etc., we have not started that yet. There is still plenty of time, and I'm sure I will start looking around soon.

Today, Scott is going to the SMU football game with his dad, and I am getting ready to attend a personal shower/bachelorette dinner for my college roommate, Shelley. She is getting married on December 20th, and I am honored to be a bridesmaid in her wedding.

Tonight, I am returning home to my husband and some football. Texas Tech plays OSU tonight. Raider Power!! I sure hope they win! That would be awesome. Oh...and the latest funny story is that Scott asked me what I thought of the name Graham for a little boy. As in, Graham Harrell (Texas Tech's quarter back) or as in graham cracker (mmm...Smores!). I actually do like the name Graham, but it was just so funny that he brought it up after Tech's big win last weekend.

11.02.2008

Wreck 'Em Tech!!

What a football game!!! Scott and I had a great time watching the Red Raiders beat up on those Longhorns last night w/ his cousins out in Gainesville. It was Steve's 40th birthday, and we had a surprise party for him. It was a lot of fun! I must also mention that we won $42 playing LCR. Woo hoo!

I also had a great time hanging out w/ Mary and Jacqueline yesterday. Mary and I went to the Coppell Farmer's Market, and then met up with Jacqueline for lunch in Carrollton at The Chocolate Angel. YUM! :)

Today has been nice and relaxing with church, grocery shopping, playing the Wii, and watching those "Dallas Cowgirls" as Scott likes to call them. Poor Cowboys...they need Romo back ASAP!

I made dinner tonight for the first time in who knows how long. At the farmers market, I got some homemade garlic basil linguine. I made an Alfredo Sauce and some chicken to go on top of the pasta...we even had salad and garlic bread!! WHOA, JENNY! I'm telling you, this is a shocker, and it must be a good sign that I'm starting to feel better, because cooking has not been an option for me lately. Hopefully for Scott's sake, I will get back into it. I actually do love to cook, it's just really hard to do it when you feel terrible.

Nothing much else to report at the time. We have several great new sonogram pictures that I need to scan and upload soon. Hopefully it will happen sooner than later. I hope everyone had a great weekend! I'm off to watch Miracle w/ my hubby.

10.30.2008

SURPRISE!!!

I went to the specialist today, and they were able to take the baby's measurements. All looks good! The baby is measuring in at 4 ounces, and is a little over 3 inches in length. All the body parts are there, and working properly. And there was this one small detail....

IT'S A BOY!!!

Bet ya didn't see that coming!! I didn't either! But we are so excited, and so happy!!

10.28.2008

75% Chance

Scott and I went to our new doctor yesterday, and we LOVE HER!!! She is so sweet, very soft spoken, and takes plenty of time with you to answer all of your questions. It was a great visit. We even got to have a real quick sonogram (even though it wasn't technically part of that visit). Baby Echols is a gymnast!! Our baby was moving around like crazy! Tucking its knees into its chest, doing back bends, moving arms and legs around like crazy. It was so awesome to see. And drumroll please......there is a 75 % chance it is a girl. Dr. Bailey said she saw some parts that looked pretty girly, but wasn't 100% sure yet.

So I'm thinking we're having a girl. Especially after everyone else has been thinking it is a girl. Scott's mom called it from day 1. And the other day, my mom and sister also said they thought it was a girl. How do you people know these things? :)

I go back on Thursday for a possible Sequential Screening. This is a routine test done to see if the baby has any developmental disorders. It consists of 2 blood tests and a sonogram. Thursday is the possible sonogram. They aren't sure if I'm too far along yet, so it's iffy on whether or not they can do it.

The only last update I have is that my thyroid levels were off. Dr. Bailey is upping my dosage so I will be normal again.

And last, but not least, today is my sister's 30th birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SEESTER!!!!!! I love you OH so much!

10.23.2008

Feeling icky

I turned 13 weeks on Wednesday, which means this is the last week of my 1st trimester. WOO HOO!! Not that I'm wishing this pregnancy to go by quickly, but I am definitely ready to feel better. I'm slowly getting there.

Today I had to go home from work at lunch time, because I was feeling terrible. I got my first flu shot yesterday, so I'm wondering if I am just a little icky feeling from that. I've heard of some people who get that reaction a day or so after the shot. Or maybe it's just coincidence. Either way, I don't feel well. Scott and I are headed to Oklahoma tomorrow night for Shelley's bridal shower. The boys (Clay and Scott) are playing golf Saturday while we are having the shower. I hope I feel better!! I think I'm going to take time bank tomorrow and rest up, just to make sure.

It's almost time for me to get in bed. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

10.22.2008

Prayers Please


This is a picture of my amazingly beautiful, intelligent, caring, loving (I could go on and on) sister, and her best friend Jamie Seedig. Angie is on the left. Jamie has also been like a big sister to me growing up, and I just love her to death. Here is the super exciting part - they are pregnant at the same time! Angie is pregnant with twin boys, and Jamie is pregnant with her second baby girl. How fun for them to go through this at the same time! (I have also enjoyed the benefits of this.)

Here is the not so exciting part, and where I'm asking for prayers. Angie went to see her OB specialist yesterday, and they found 2 cysts on Parker's brain. (Her boys are Parker and Preston). The doctor said he wasn't too worried right now. This is normal in some pregnancies, and within a few weeks, the cysts disappear on their own. I've also done a little research on BabyCenter.Com, and read several articles that said the same thing. In any case, lots of prayers would be appreciated. I promise to post updates as I hear them.

10.21.2008

Fun Fact

I get weekly e-mail updates from babycenter.com on how the baby is changing, and what changes I should expect in my body as well. Today, I got the 13 weeks e-mail...and listen to what it said. If the baby is a girl, she already has 2 million eggs in her ovaries! Say what?! That's incredible. I am continually blown away at how a human life progresses within the womb. How amazing. The baby is just now 3 inches long, weighing only 1 ounce...and if it's a girl - she already has 2 million eggs!!

Now, if I only knew if it was a boy or a girl... We'll know soon enough. :)

10.15.2008

Busy Bees!

Scott and I have been pretty busy lately, and just realized the other day that this will continue until next year (and when May comes, it will only get busier)! From now until the end of 2008, we have events/plans every single weekend except for this coming one. Which means, this weekend we will be spending some quality time with one another, and plenty of it RESTING. :)

This past Friday and Saturday we got to celebrate with Jacqueline and Travis on their wedding weekend! It was so much fun. They had an awesome rehearsal dinner at Maggianos on Friday night, and a beautiful ceremony and reception on Saturday night. It was so much fun to watch them over the weekend, and witness their union as husband and wife. We had a blast at their reception, and I was wiped out all day Sunday. 2 am is not a time that I need to see these days. When that happens, I am completely worthless the entire next day. I literally could not move from being so exhausted, and Scott started to get worried.

I'm feeling pretty good lately, just really tired as usual. And the nausea seems to be lingering around, and getting worse at night now. Tonight, I wasn't even able to finish half of my dinner. That's not normal for me these days. Food is usually a good thing, but for some reason tonight, I couldn't get it down. I am 12 weeks along as of today, so I'm hoping things get a little better in this next tri-mester. I can't wait for October 27th when I get to meet my new doctor, and have another sonogram. I want to see our precious baby again, and possibly even find out the sex! It's a little early, but might be possible. That would be AWESOME!

I'm off to do some work, and then to bed. Night night everyone.

10.09.2008

Birthday Weekend

Last weekend was so much fun! Rebecca and Clay came into town, and we had such a great time with them all weekend. Scott's birthday party was a lot of fun, even though I had to leave early due to not feeling well. Thank you to all of our friends and family that made Scott's birthday one of the best he's ever had! Here are a few pictures from the weekend.
Clay & Rebecca...what a beautiful couple!


Happy 26th Birthday, Scotty!!

10.03.2008

Visitors!

This weekend, Scott and I are having our first guests stay with us. And we are SO excited! This means we actually get to use the guest room before it is turned into a nursery for Baby Echols.

Clay & Rebecca are coming in town from good 'ole Oklahoma. We're going to spend some time catching up, eating some good food, and celebrating Scott's birthday on Saturday night with some other friends. I hope to have some great pictures to post after this weekend. Stay tuned. :)

10.01.2008

Happy Birthday, My Love!

Today is my sweet husband's birthday. The big 26! In a few moments I get to head home to see him, and spoil him tonight on his special day. I'm very excited about it, too. We are going to dinner at Pappa's Brothers Steakhouse. Fancy Schmancy. Scott loves him a good steak, so I am excited to take him there.

What I would like to say to Scott on his 26th birthday:

You are an incredible man, and a huge blessing in my life. You bring more smiles to my face, and more joy to my life than I knew existed. I am fortunate to spend my life with my very best friend, and I cherish every single moment we have together. You make me want to be a better person, Scott. You open my eyes, and show me what really matters in life. I have already noticed a change in myself since we've gotten married...a change for the better. You have helped me to slow down and soak life in. To relax. To laugh. To live. And to love. Thank you for every single day that we have together, and every single precious moment. I love you more than words, and I thank my God everyday for you. Happy Birthday, Love. I hope it's one of the best years to come!

9.29.2008

Alligators and Haircuts.

This weekend, we had a lot of fun. Saturday morning we got an early start, and had breakfast at the Local Diner (yum!). After breakfast, we headed out for the Dallas World Aquarium. There were all kinds of animals, both creepy and cute. Here is a picture of one of the baby alligators, hanging out on the surface of the water. EEK!

And here is Scott with Mr. Shark! Hahaha...I love this picture!


After the aquarium, we went home to watch some football/nap. And then, I got my haircut. I don't know what it is about getting a haircut...but there is something VERY refreshing about it. I always leave the salon feeling so much better. She cut off a good 4 inches or so, and it feels SO great now. :)

Saturday night we had dinner in downtown Grapevine with Mary, Kyle, Jacqueline, Travis, and Morgan. We ate at Tolbert's and even got to hear some live Blues music. It was a great time! Here is a picture of my favorite girls and Kyle's awesome head. Jacqueline was being a goof!

Sunday was a lazy day full of church, football, and relaxation. We ate dinner w/ Scott's parents at Spring Creek BBQ that night, which was fun and delicious. And now it's Monday...back to the grind. I hope everyone has a great week!

9.26.2008

Doctor Visit

Today we had a follow-up doctor visit with Dr. Behan. This was our last appointment with him. We are changing doctors, and will no longer have to drive the 45 minutes to Presby Dallas on I-635 in the middle of traffic. :) Dr. Behan was nice, but Scott and I both felt like we should transfer to a different doctor. So, we'll be going to Dr. Bailey in Frisco. Now that the tollway is open all the way through Frisco, it will take us about 15-20 minutes to get there. Muuuuch better!

Our appointment today was pretty uneventful. He reviewed my blood test results with me, which were all normal and good. He discussed a few things such as my bleeding, and that these things are sometimes normal for women in pregnancy, and that he was not worried. He mentioned that since we've seen the heartbeat, our chance of miscarriage is now less than 5%. That is great news! Other than that, he gave me a prescription for medicine that "should" help my nausea. I'm crossing my fingers!

The first presidential debate is now on TV, so I must go watch and learn now.

9.24.2008

Another scare.

Yesterday, Scott and I made another visit to the emergency room at Presby Dallas. I was having some bleeding and cramping again, and when I called the doctor to let them know, they told me I had to go to the ER. I was not a big fan of that response (still am not a big fan). Anywho, we went...and hours later we got to leave. The baby and I are both healthy. They are still unsure of what is causing the bleeding, but they still see the spot on the sonogram they saw before which could be either a blood clot, or a polyp.

Long story short, mom and baby Echols are doing well. We got to see baby Echols yesterday, and the baby is growing so much! I'm not feeling so hot, but I'm hoping to be back to normal soon. :) We go back to the doctor this Friday for a check-up to make sure all is going well.

9.21.2008

A good weekend.

This weekend we had some fun. Friday night was date night, and it was all going well until I started feeling sick at dinner (Salt Grass). We had plans to go to a movie after dinner, but those changed quickly. We just came home and enjoyed our DVR'd shows. It was still a nice time together.

Saturday started off with a shower for Jacqueline. 3 more weeks until her big day!! I'm so excited for her. We're going to have a lot of fun at the wedding. I am looking forward to it.

Saturday night was game night with the family. We all gathered at my sister's house, and ate tacos while watching football. Later in the night the adults played a game while the kids watched a movie. We played a game called "Eat It!" It's basically Trivial Pursuit but with food questions. Scott and I dominated! I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Our favorite category was "COOKIES!" :)

Today we have been pretty lazy. Scott watched a lot of football while I watched re-runs of America's Next Top Model and took a nice nap. We went to church at 4:30, and then ate dinner at Pei Wei. Yum! Now we are watching the Cowboys play some football, and pretty soon it's bedtime!

Nothing too exciting to tell for now. I hope everyone had a nice, safe, and relaxing weekend!

9.18.2008

Better.

Today was an interesting day. The morning started off weird. A little drama at work made me wonder again "why do I do what I do?" The drama that happened put me in a pretty pissy mood, and I needed to get out of the building. So I went shopping at the grocery store. Have you ever been to a Market Street? Because I declare it my new favorite grocery store! I cannot wait until we get one here in Coppell. It is AWESOME. And even more awesome was the boy I encountered while I was there.

I was having emotional breakdowns while shopping for snacks. (This pregnant woman grazes all day, in order to combat nausea....which requires a variety of snacks.) Anywho, I finished shopping and approached the checkout counter. And there to greet me was the sweetest mentally challenged boy. He INSISTED that he helped me out with my 2 grocery bags that I had planned on carrying out. And I gladly allowed him to do so. He asked me how my day was going about 10 times on the way out to my car, and when I couldn't find my car, assured me that we would find it soon. He was the turning point in my weird day. It's amazing how God places the right people smack dab into your day, to bring you little rays of sunshine.

From then on, my day was pretty good. I didn't feel sick at all the rest of the day! (It's 8:21 and I still don't feel sick yet...thank you Jesus!) I got a lot accomplished in the afternoon for work, and then came home to my husband - which always makes my day 1000 times better. The only complaint I have right now is that I have excruciating pain in my rear end. I believe it's caused from my Sciatic Nerve. When you get preggers, your uterus grows, and it can sometimes push on the sciatic nerve. This causes major pain in your rear, and down your leg. It hurts to walk, even. But it will get better, and it is all worth it, because our precious baby is the end result of these temporary inconveniences.

9.17.2008

You Alone

I want to start this post by saying that I have been blessed with the most incredible friends and family I could ever ask for. I have relied on them countless times, and know that I have a solid support system very near to me anytime I need someone to run to.

But there lies the problem. I believe our Lord blesses us with people here on Earth to run to, but I am pretty positive I have abused this privilege. Instead of running to my Savior, I have gotten in the habit of running to the people in my life. This habit must be broken. For the first time in my life, I feel alone. I know there are a million people around me that I can run to, but I am being called to run to my God, who is waiting with open arms. He wants me to come to him with all my hopes and fears, my daily challenges and struggles. I've known this...but I've been running in the wrong direction.

I need to run to Him. I need my God more right now than I've ever realized. Thank you, Jesus, for opening my eyes to this truth. I need you. I need You in order to live, in order to breathe, in order to get up out of bed in the morning. Thank you for always being there, even when I wasn't running to you. My prayer today is that I never forget this simple truth.

"You alone are all I need
For you hold my destiny
You alone are all I need, O Lord
In you alone, I am complete."

9.16.2008

Simple gratitude.

Today I am thankful for those things which I normally am not.

1. I am thankful for the sound of snoring at night, for that means that my amazing husband is asleep next to me.
2. I am thankful for my job, for even though I do not like to go there each day, it provides for my family beyond our needs.
3. I am thankful for the constant pain and sickness in my stomach, for it means that one day a beautiful baby will be born into our family.
4. I am thankful for the noisy neighbors next door, for it means that I have a house to come home to, and a roof over my head.
5. I am thankful for the times I fall, for my Sweet Jesus is always there to help me up.

9.14.2008

My love

I was once challenged by our youth minister in high school to replace the word 'Love' with my name in the famous 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 verse. When I replaced the word 'Love' with my name, it was extremely convicting to see where I might not be living out the true meaning of love in my life. I never forgot that challenge, and often re-visit it to keep myself in check. As I was reflecting on this today, I decided to substitute my incredible husband's name.

"Scott is patient; Scott is kind; Scott is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. He does not insist on his own way; he is not irritable or resentful; he does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. Scott bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

Each and every one of those words is true. Scott is indeed all of those things. I have an amazing example right beside me each day, and I have a lot to learn from him. There are so many qualities of his that I so wish I possessed. Thank goodness I have many years to watch and learn. :)

I love you, Scott. And I look up to you more than you know. Thank you for teaching me how to be a servant, and how to love so freely and completely.

9.13.2008

Lazy Days

We decided to spend the weekend inside, laying around, watching movies, football and being just plain lazy. So far, so great! I have to admit though, I'm starting to feel useless...like I need to "get things done around here."

Yesterday we had a sonogram, and Baby Echols is still doing great! The heartbeat is at 146 beats per minute, which is normal. :) I am still blown away by the whole thought that there is a human life forming and growing inside my body! I just do not feel worthy of such a HUGE honor and blessing. Thank you, Jesus, for entrusting this child to us. I am amazed, and thankful beyond words.

Not too much else going on, I think I'll go work on cleaning the house. I hope everyone stays safe this weekend from Ike! Let the rain inspire some Lazy Days!

9.07.2008

Let the nausea begin

At my first doctor visit, the nurse asked if I was feeling nauseous, and I smiled and excitedly replied, "No." She turned to me and said something to the effect of, "maybe not yet...but just wait." Why, oh why did she have to be right?

It started a few days ago, the queasy feelings off and on. And now I'm just in this state of trying to figure out what food sounds good at the time. I had tomato soup for breakfast this morning!! How weird is that? Scott definitely thought so. Hey...I've gotta feed the baby, and whatever sounds good is what's going in my mouth.

This weekend, Jacqueline and Travis brought us a big bag of pregnant goodies. Inside the goodie bag were these awesome Preggie Pop Drops! They help ease the "morning sickness", which is really not a good name for the constant nausea that lingers throughout the day. My sister (who is also pregnant, and w/ twins!) was a big fan of these in the beginning of her pregnancy, but apparently now she is "out" on them. For now, they're working for me. Thank you J & T for the great gifts! Those drops are life savers.

9.05.2008

Happy Birthday, Grams!

Yesterday my Grandma Reinhardt turned the big 9-1! WOW! I am amazed at how she continues to pull through anything and everything. What a strong woman. Now I know where my mom gets it from.

My mom has graciously accepted the call to care for my grandma day in and day out, which believe me, is not an easy task. From hourly trips to the bathroom, to feeding her meals, administering her meds, and giving her the amazing love and care that she needs, my mom is a true saint on this Earth. I hope and pray that I grow into the strong and selfless woman that both my grandmother and mother have become. I look up to my mom more than she knows, and I am forever grateful to have such a sweet and loving mother to call my own. I also pray that I am able to be even half the mother to my children as she is for my sister and I. If you're reading this mom, I love you more than I could ever tell you!

This is a family picture from Grams' party last year when she turned 90. 4 generations!

9.04.2008

"You haven't even changed your name..."

After the honeymoon, getting back into the work thing was a little rough for both of us. Life is so much better on the beach! I was having a pretty bad week at work, and had several nights of coming home unhappy/stressed/anxious (more on this in a later post). So on Thursday night, August 21st, I was ready to come home and make me a big 'ole drink and just relax. Well...that's not what ended up happening that night. For some reason, due to my emotional state as well as a few other things, I decided I needed to make sure it was "safe" for me to have a drink that night. Without telling Scott, I took a pregnancy test, and to make a long story short - WE ARE PREGNANT!!!! When I told Scott, we were both initially in shock, and he kept saying "You haven't even changed your name yet!" So funny.

This was definitely not in our plan, but thank God His plans are always so much bigger and better! We are so very thankful, blessed, humbled, and excited to bring a new life into this world. I pray that Scott and I remain focused on God's will and not ours, so as not to lose focus in this distracting world. As many of you know, we have decided to use Natural Family Planning (NFP) as our choice for family planning. Not only does this coincide with our Catholic Faith, but we are both personally convicted of using this method. At times it can be very discouraging, and we've already started to question "how?" "why?" "are we ready for this?", but again, His plan is ALWAYS better. I've learned this lesson more than once in life, but I'm positive I still have a few more times to learn it. And I pray that through this awesome journey, our faith is strengthened as we surrender our all to our precious Lord and Savior.

Excitement


On August 2, 2008, I married my very best friend. Our wedding day was the most fun day I've had, and a memory to last a lifetime. All of that silly pre-wedding stress was SO worth it! The ceremony was beautiful, and we had such a great time with all of our family and friends at the reception. It was a blast! I hope to post some photos when we get them back from our photographer. I can't wait to see them, since it was such a blur and went by so quickly.


We left August 3rd for Maui, for a week of relaxation and fun in the sun. We had an incredible time on our honeymoon! Days of being lazy by the pool, reading good books, eating awesome meals, and enjoying fruity beverages. Our evenings were filled with romantic dinners, a luau, magic show, and other fun filled times. The last day we were there, we went on a Jungle Tour with a private guide, and got to explore hidden waterfalls. This was definitely the most memorable experience I've had on the island! It was extremely scary for me (as I'm deathly afraid of heights), but it was so much fun. We swam under waterfalls, hiked through bamboo forests, and had a great time with our tour guide. And then we had to come back home the next day... :( Let's just say that week back to work was a little depressing, but still so very exciting to come home to my husband after work! Scott and I have adjusted well to married life and living together, and we are loving it (yes...even though he snores at night, I still like having him by my side...hehe).

New Blogger!

So the blogging world just found a new sucker! I decided this would be a great way to keep family and friends up to date with the life events of the Echols Family. :) It still sounds so weird to me to say that, because The Echols Family has always been Scott's parents, and sisters...but now we have our own little Echols Family!

God has truly blessed us ABUNDANTLY over the last few years, and especially the last few weeks/months. It has been quite an overwhelming experience, one that we are extremely grateful for, but nonetheless quite a crazy ride. When I was talking with Scott tonight about starting a blog, he suggested the title "Life in Fast Forward", and I think for now it fits perfectly. I hope you all enjoy!