Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Last Days of Pregnancy

I know, I know! It's been a VERY long time since my last post but life has significantly sped up and I had to take some eggs out of my basket...and my blog was one of the first eggs to go. My apologies. 

Just to let you know, my blog, from here on out, will be less reflection entries and more quick moments of my life. As Tim and I have been preparing for Harper's arrival, we found a quick moment to take some preggo pictures of my (our "our" if you prefer that saying instead) last days of pregnancy. I asked my brother to take some fun pictures of us the other day. I'm shocked he said "YES!" but then again, pregnant women get their way more often then not...not that I've utilized this...really I haven't. 

Anyway, the place we took pictures I just happened upon driving down Irmo dr days before. I loved the old rustic feel of the barn, truck, tire swing, and big fields. It reminded me of my grandmother's house in the country. It had a homey feel and thought it was just perfect for pictures. So here are a few for your viewing pleasure. Much thanks to the bro for capturing some sweet and tender moments (just on my end...Tim hated it, of course but I didn't have to ask him at all...again, pregnant women get what they want). I am almost 38 weeks in these pictures. Enjoy!

Okay, the reason we are laughing is because Tim pretended to put a gun to his head the picture before Ryan took this one. I was unaware of what they were laughing at, but you can tell I decided to join in. Ha! Later, I discovered what they were laughing at. FYI, this picture was #7 of 60. He really loves me!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Boy oh boy...

It's a...Well, I'm not going to give it away that easily just yet.

Tim and I found out the gender of our lil' one at a "sneak peek" visit at 16 weeks. I was so stinkin' excited and the anticipation was killing me. It was June 17th, on my birthday (there's significance to this date which I will go into later). As we sat, waiting to have our second ultrasound, Tim and I were betting to see who's instinct was right. Tim thought it was a girl the entire time, since the day we found out. My thought was a boy most of the time. I even went to 5 different sites and had the Chinese calendar predict the gender of our baby...and 4 out of 5 times it was a boy. So I stuck to my guns, and when she called us back to do the ultrasound, I became more and more excited with each step I took.

So we're in the room, staring intently at the screen and, and, and...we saw nothing! No nub, or lack there of...the baby was turned the wrong way. So the sonographer worked her magic and finally, the moment of truth shown very clearly across the screen in front of Tim and me.  The view was not proper at all.  In fact they call it the "toilet seat" angle...pretty embarrassing if you ask me. Well, as soon as we got the first close up of it, I knew right away...and so did the sonographer.  She said, "well, if you haven't figured it out, you're having a girl."  When I heard that, I was the happiest mommy-to-be! So, you heard it! The O'Neal's are having a GIRL!!! Tim was right!! It's amazing to me why God allows these blessings and my heart is just overflowing with love for this gift of a little girl. I cannot wait! Oh, and let the shopping begin! 

Here are some pictures and video of how we told our parents...

 Dad got to cut the cake to reveal the gender of our baby in the color of the icing. Neat story...27 years ago on June 17th (my birthday) dad found out I was a was also Father's Day. Well, this past June 17th Tim and I found out we're having a girl...and I told dad on Father's Day!

Mom...trying to hold back tears.

Happy Uncle Ryan and scared husband!

We were able to capture Tim's mom and dad and their reaction to the big news on video! They were reacting to me and my belly. I tied a pink ribbon around my belly and wrote on it, "It's a GIRL!" After dinner, I told them I was full and felt "fat" and then I lifted up my shirt to show the pink ribbon.  Just like Mrs. O'Neal and the rest of the family (with the exception of Tim and his brother, Chris), we all thought boy...made for a big surprise!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I Celebrate Him

My dad truly knows what it means to love his family without any conditions. He's a man after God’s own heart and I have come to realize how impactful a father’s role is in his daughter’s life. He has been my rock and protector since the day I was born, Father’s Day June 17, 1984. As Tim and I start a family, I can’t help but look to my father and realize how important a father’s love and devotion is to his child. My dad was that and still is.  My father will be remembered in a lot of ways, but I look at the life he’s lived for the last 27 years, and I can’t think of a better man who is more  godly, passionate about his family, devoted, and who always has his family’s back through and through. Dad, I love you more than words can explain.  You will always be my #1 fan.  I love you this (insert outstretched arms) much! Happy Father’s/Grandfather’s Day to a wonderful man!
“Miss Ash”

Thursday, June 2, 2011

God's Timing

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord..." 

When I reflect on the recent happenings of my life, I can't help but give all the glory to Him.  On March 28, 2011, when I found out God had given us this precious gift for me to bare a child, I was overwhelmed with so many being, pure shock.  I thought over and over this REALLY happening to me?

Tim and I have only been married for just under 3 years. It wasn't until several months ago we started talking, more seriously, about starting a family. However, it was clear to me that we were not going to have an easy time getting pregnant.  We were planning for a long road of trying and marking calendars and doctor's visits.  Tim also told me he was open to the idea of adopting.

Friends and family members were getting preggo and having babies and more babies.  It was so beautiful to see the people I love get such an amazing gift.  It got Tim and me excited.  When our one and only nephew, Simms, was born in September, we couldn't hide the joy we had for this little boy.  And, it was then that the seed (idea that is) was planted in our hearts and minds.

We were having fun with the idea of starting the next stage in our lives. Plus, Tim just graduated from PT school and started his new job at we started early hoping that would help us when we came to the point where trying on our own wasn't working.  I did all the right things, marking the calendar, taking prenatal vitamins, etc.Well, three months later, this lil' gift came to us.  I can not explain the feeling when I looked down at the digital test and it said, Pregnant! I was overwhelmed with joy. Then questions of, "Is this for real?" "How did this happen to me?" came to my mind. 

We always think God's time is never soon enough.  When things don't go our way, we always question God and his motives.  The thing is, God's timing happens when it's meant to happen...sometimes sooner than we plan.  But that's the pure beauty of it. It's His plans for our lives, not our own. The God of perfection, peace, and love has allowed us this amazingly beautiful that's unexplained.  I take it humbly.  It has changed my relationship with Him. I have this beautiful bond with Him and want nothing more than give Him all the glory.  At times, I question, why did this happen to me when there are so many amazing women who can't? Who suffer each day with the lack of hope that it will happen for them.  Then I go back to what made me believe.  My Lord, Jesus Christ, who died for me and my sins so that I might live for Him has my heart.  He knows what I desire and His timing is perfect.  It's up to God who chooses if and when a woman can bare a child. Our plans are not as perfect as His, so we need to let Him continue to do His work and honor Him when He blesses us and when those blessing don't come.  I choose to cling to the cross.  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Seeing is Also Believing

So we thought hearing the heartbeat was an incredible experience...well, today, we not only heard the heartbeat (which was 157bpm) we were also able to SEE our baby! You see, tomorrow, I'll be 14wks and to get to see our baby for the first time is one of the best feelings a pregnant woman can have. So here are some pictures and a video to follow...

Full body view. Image him/her laying down on his/her stomach and the head is facing to the right. Right hand is close to face. This is the way Tim and me like to sleep :)

Close up of face...still facing up with right hand on face.

 Tim took a video of the monitor as she was trying to get a clear image for the pictures. Notice the hand movement...practice for his/her follow through :)
Official Due Date: December 1, 2011

Hearing is Believing

Words just can't possibly describe the feelings of hearing your baby's heartbeat for the very first time. So...we got it on video! This was at just a little over 12 weeks pregnant. The tech is using a doppler to hear the heartbeat. Baby O'Neal's heartbeat was at 158 bpm! Strong and loud! Beautiful! 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Branding the Blog

Okay, I've put little to zero thought in naming this thing.  I just can't get my creative or witty brain juices flowing. So to explain my "current," yet subject to change, blog I must give you some schema.

When I thought about a great name I just immediately thought about my childhood. When thinking about life relations (aka writing a blog about my life) we always seem to resort back to what we know a lot about, what we're good at, what we're interested in, etc. Well, I resorted to a time and a place in my life; a memory if you would. Each time I think about this event, it makes me smile, occasionally laugh, but always comforts me.

 The short (or maybe not so short...we'll see if I waste words or make more words that spark your interest to read on) story goes like this...I was about 5 or 6 years old and my brother and I were sitting in my mom's white buick park avenue with navy blue, velvet-like seats (which, by the way, were incredibly comfortable). This car was the real deal when it came to traveling...I could fall asleep for days in the back seat and not realize we spent the past entire weekend at the beach house. It was 1,000,000 times better than the "Grey Ghost" which was NOT ghost-like AT ALL. It was grey Chevy Classic Caprice (early '80's).  Here's a similar picture just to get the amazingly horrific image in your mind...note: although the rims are impressive, they were not included on dad's ride. Just, a kid, rolling up to elementary school in this to have your safety patrol "friend" open the car door for you.  Let me just say, it wasn't long until I convinced my parents that walking would be more beneficial for my health as well as their wallets. Shew!

Back to the origins of this story...
Ryan and I were inside mom's buick waiting on something or someone...maybe Paw Paw. He was around a lot more after his first stroke. Anyway, the details of why we were in the car didn't matter.  It was raining and had been raining for a while; long enough to get the ground super soggy. We weren't saying much to each other, but I remember my eyes were so fixated on the passenger's window.  I'd watch the water drop and roll down the window, picking up other stuck-on droplets on the way down. I don't know if I wanted to talk to my brother or if this comment was me just thinking out loud.  So, as I looked at this one big droplet on the window I spoke, "Look, it's a piece of wet."  The thing is, it made complete sense in  my mind and I didn't understand why Ryan was dying laughing in the back seat. I was just being very technical with my comment. Like a "piece" of paper is individual; by itself; on it's own. And water, well (no pun intended) is wet. So it makes perfect sense. why can't a "water droplet" be a piece of wet? It can! I guess I've never been politically correct. So, this blog is NEVER going to be politically enjoy.