NC Baby Shower!

Last weekend, I had another sweet baby shower. This one was thrown by Natalie, Carrie, Ginna, and MIchelle! It was at the Clement house in Oak Ridge- the same place I had my wedding shower.. and where we had Ginna's wedding shower, and Michelle's wedding shower, and baby shower! We usually throw a shower there least one a year. :) 

We drove up to NC the morning of the shower- My parents were actually making the drive back to the east coast that weekend to move back to their house in FL. They stayed with us on Friday night, and then we all drove to Oak Ridge on Saturday for the shower. It was such a fun day with so many friends! 

I loved the invitation! 
The decorations were adorable and the food was so yummy! 

 The hot chocolate bar was a hit! Salted caramel was my favorite!

Natalie made these GF sugar cookies in the shapes of onesies for favors, and her husband Dan decorated them! I was so impressed! 
Everyone wrote little messages to us on diapers.  :)

I loved all the babies that came to the shower! Michelle and Reagan drove down from Sparta...
Nina and baby Will drove up from Charlotte...
And Aunt Joy Lynne and baby P's cousin Meg drove up from Atlanta!
We all sat around on the back porch for gift opening... Baby Parker got so many special things! 
 Baby stuff is so fun!
One of my mom's friends gave her a grandmother gift- one of the books was "Walter the Farting Dog". It was pretty funny.

And appropriate since she has a dog named Walter! 
It was so special to have so many of my friends in one place.
Love these girls! And William of course!
My friend Angie is also pregnant! She was 26 weeks and I was 36 weeks.
It was so fun to spend time with my mom that weekend.
It was pretty cool to spend the day with these girls who I ran a marathon with an exact year ago from the day of the shower!
This baby is so lucky to have my sister as his aunt!
Hamilton Lakes girls group shot! I felt so blessed by everyone who came to the shower- Our baby boy is already loved by so many! Thanks ladies for everything you did to make it such a special day!

pregnancy: weeks 34-36!

This pregnancy continues to fly by. I definitely feel like I'm in the later stages, and as my body gets more and more uncomfortable, I get more and more excited to meet this baby! At my 35 week appointment, the midwife said he was going to be a big baby. She estimated that he was already 6-6.5 lbs. Yikes! He is positioned head down though, which is exciting. I've been having more braxton hicks contractions in the evenings and when I exercise. And lately, I've had increased blood pressure and swelling. Not my favorite. I'm keeping an eye on my blood pressure (which prior to week 36 has always been on the low side), hoping it stays where it should. It's weird to think that I only have 3 doctor's appointments left scheduled for the remaining 3 weeks. The longest they'll let me go before inducing is February 22nd (Toby's birthday!), so by then, we should have a baby! 

34 weeks - dresses are way more comfy than pants these days!
 35 weeks
 36 weeks
Here's a shot of the rug we got for the baby's room. We weren't going to replace the old one, but after Toby got really sick one night, we decided the old one was done. I love the pattern of this new one! I plan on posting pictures of the entire nursery with his name hanging on the wall after he's born. Just a few more weeks!

pregnancy: weeks 31-33

I've been on Christmas break for two weeks which I'm so thankful for. It's nice to have a little break and let my body rest a bit. I'm feeling quite large and a little uncomfortable. The baby is extremely active though, which is so fun! The other night, I was resting my book on my belly and it was bouncing around. It's so fun to not only feel him move, but watch him move too! My biggest complaint is still lower back pain which moves to my mid back at times. I also have started to have sleepless nights. I have been waking up at 3 or 4 am uncomfortable and wide awake. I usually go to the baby's room, sit in the glider, and read. Brian has been so sweet- always waking up with me, getting me water, and making sure I'm comfortable. I guess this is preparing us for a newborn's schedule?  I'm thankful for being pregnant in the winter. I'm always hot. Our heat doesn't go above 64 degrees much to Brian's dismay. Poor guy is always bundled up and his hands are ice cold! The baby also gets the hicups now! It makes me smile every time. I have to say- 

At my last appointment, the midwife said the baby is head down with his bottom up near my right rib cage. This explains the pain in feel in my right ribs. He really likes this spot! When the midwife was listening to the heartbeat, she pushed on my stomach, and the baby's heart rate increased. She said this is the sign of a very healthy baby. :)

Now to the belly shots! As you can see, I pretty much live in big sweaters, leggings, and uggs. I'm going to be sad when I have to wear real pants again next week at work... 

31 weeks
 32 weeks
 33 weeks
Even though this last trimester is not my favorite, I'm getting more and more excited to meet our little guy in just a few weeks! I'm also excited about my baby shower in Greensboro in a couple weeks! Lots to look forward to, lots to still prepare and figure out, but I'm sure it will all work out.

NYE 2013

This year, we spent NYE with the Neel's and the Day's in Charlotte. Carrie and Andrew have a lovely home and invited us all to stay for the night. It was so much fun. We got dressed up, made a nice dinner, listened to music, took lots of pictures, drank wine (or sparkling juice with a splash of wine for me), and laughed incredibly hard. I love having an "event" for NYE, but I also love staying in the coziness of someone's home with close friends. 

We didn't need entertainment... We can entertain ourselves. :)

Love these sisters- we've all been friends since 1988! I don't know what I'd do without them.
Next year there will be a little addition to our family! Although hopefully he'll be asleep at midnight. :)
The whole group!

Ginna's mother-in-law gave her a pinata for the party. It was a little random, but kind of fun! Maybe it'll be a new tradition?  

We made it to midnight! Barely....
The next morning, Carrie made an amazing New Years Day brunch. Our friends the Gregory's came over which was so fun! We sat around the table for almost three hours! We could have sat around for longer, but we had to hit the road...
We celebrated Christen's birthday!
Such a fun way to start 2014!
2014 is going to be an exciting and interesting year for the Parker's. Lots of changes will be happening... Baby Parker is just six weeks away from his due date. That will obviously be the biggest change. Brian will finish up with computer programming classes in May and probably start looking for a new job. I will switch from working full time in the schools to hopefully part time at a private practice. New jobs could mean relocating, which we are considering. So many things to think about! I could easily feel anxious and stressed, but am trying to take it one day at a time and trust that God will lead us in the right direction. Honestly, it's hard for me to think of anything besides having this baby. We are getting more and more excited to meet him every day. 

highlights of 2013

2013 was a great year. It was hard to narrow down the highlights.... I could have posted so many more pictures. It really was a great year. 
1. Ran my first marathon! Probably the biggest accomplishment of my life thus far...
2. Charleston trip with the Neels & Gregory's
3. Meeting John & Sherry from YHL with Julie!
4. Meeting our niece for the first time
5. California trip #1 of the year- Here we aer in La Jolla
6. Mom & I met Andy Cohen at his book signing! He thought we were sisters and told us we were pretty. :)
7. Ran the Jacksonville, FL Gate River Run 15K with Nat
7. Hosted Natalie's bridal shower in Ormond Beach
8. Hosted Natalie's bachelorette shower in Gainesville
9. Natalie's graduation from UF
10. Dan & Natalie's wedding in St. Augustine!
11. Spent Memorial Day weekend in St. Augustine with my family and the Clements
12. The day we found out I'm pregnant! I had just told Brian the news minutes before this picture was taken. He was still in shock. :)
13. Met my friend Nina's baby, Will for the first time!
14. Spent the weekend at Lake Murray with my grad school friends, Angie and Lauren. Lauren was 8 weeks ahead of me in her pregnancy, and Angie is 8 weeks behind me! We'll all have babies close in age. :)
15. Spent the day with Carrie, Michelle, and Reagan in Sparta. One of my favorite places to visit.

17. Opened my first etsy shop!
18. Spent the 4th of July with the newlyweds in Norfolk, VA
19. Toby meets his cousin Finley
20. California trip #2 of the year with Kristin!
21. Vacation in The Dominican Republic with the Gregory's!
22. First day of work- Kristin and I wore the exact same thing accidentally
23. Weekend in Asheville with Brian's parents
24. Spent Labor Day weekend in DC with the Neel's
25. Hung out with Kareem at Doug and Katie's wedding!
26. Doug & Katie got married!
27. Girls weekend in Asheville
28. Brian turns 30!!
29. Hamilton Lakes Girls weekend in Charlotte
30. My first baby shower!
31. First time in two years that my whole family had been together.
32. Weekend in Boone at the cabin with the Neels and Gregory's
33. Thanksgiving with Brian's side of the family 
34. 31 weeks pregnant! 
35. Christmas in California
36. NYE in Charlotte with the Day's and Neel's.