Sunday, September 30, 2012

Weeks 1 - 12

As most of you know by now, I'm pregnant and we're excited to announce we're expecting our first little one next spring. We've been told the due date is April 13th once, and April 17th once, so we've decided to split the difference and we're shooting for April 15th, Tax Day! The child will be destined to be a CPA.

First, a roll call. This baby will be welcomed into this world by lots of family:

1 Great Great Grandma Powers
3 Great Grandmas (GGMS, Granny and Rose)
2 Great Grandpas (GGPB and PamPaw)
2 Grandmas (Nana and Gigi)
2 Grandpas (Papa and Poppi)
5 Aunts (Christine, Mollie, Kim, Katie and Aunt B)
2 Cousins (Aubri and Alayna)
And an abundance of mom and dad's friends!

We are really looking forward to snapping a 5-generation photo, as well as multiple 4-generation photos, and for this little one to be surrounded by generations of family, love, prayers and support.

If you do the math, you'll notice we have a dominance of female family members, including 8 of 8 female great grand children on my mom's side of the family. If we have a boy, it will be the first of 9 great grand children, and the first of 3 grand children for my parents. Because there are too many type-A personalities in this relationship, we will be finding out around week 20 if we are having a boy or girl, and plan to share with family and friends.

We're now crossing over the first trimester hurdle, and the reality that we're going to be parents is really setting in. On August 23rd we got to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time, and that was the moment when it began to feel real. Though, I began experiencing all-day-sickness (who coined the term "morning" sickness, it lasts all day!) almost immediately after we found out we were pregnant. I'll echo Julie's description of her first, first trimester, "I knew I was either pregnant or dying!"

We've been creative and found ways to manage the sickness, and Chris has been a huge support. We're eating out a lot these days, because what sounds good when I grocery shop on the weekend, typically doesn't still sound good by the time dinner comes around during the week. I've been eating a LOT of potatoes - in all forms - potato soup, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes. I'm also enjoying strawberry Poptarts or trailmix in bed when I first wake up in the morning. I've gone through phases throughout the first trimester, at first salads and vegetables sounded disgusting, but I had my first salad last week (in about 6 weeks) so I think things are improving.

Below is the link to the Google Hangout where we announced to Chris' sisters that we are pregnant. You can watch the video by clicking the link below, and the announcement is between minutes 11:00 and 16:00. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Alaskan Cruise

We started our Alaskan Cruise 9-day vacation with 2 days in Seattle. Chris spent time in Seattle when he was younger because he lived a few hours away in Spokane, but I had never been. We really liked the mixed landscape of water and mountains, and how green everything was. A theme of our vacation began to develop, perfect weather! There was no rain to be had in Seattle, which I hear is a rarity, and we were happy to enjoy the sunshine!

We spent Saturday at the Flight Museum at Boeing Field. 

And explored the city in the world's smallest (economy-size) rental car.

We walked through the first Air Force One airplane that flew a few important figures in history, see below for the abbreviated list.

We boarded our Holland America cruise ship, the MS Oosterdam on Sunday afternoon. We have both cruised before, but never on Holland America, so we were excited to see what it was all about. The conclusion we came to is that it is mainly about old people, keeping to themselves and enjoying the cruise. Fortunately, we tend to have more in common with old-people lifestyles vs. 20-somethings, so this worked out well. We gave up the party-until-3am lifestyle years ago, and have adopted the keep-to-ourselves and enjoy-time-together approach to vacations, so we fit right in.

Our home away from home for 7 days.

We enjoyed lots of delicious food - namely, cupcakes at afternoon tea time.

We cruised Tracy Arm Fjord and enjoyed spectacular scenery. Because we were on a smaller cruise ship, we were able to cruise very far into the fjord and all the way up to the glacier. The larger ships are not able to navigate these inner passages of Alaska.

Day 3 was the only day we experienced rain, on the entire trip! The rain was because we were parked next to a glacier. I enjoyed the scenery indoors and Chris explored outside.

The South Sawyer glacier. At the point the glacier meets the water, it is 30 feet tall above water, and 150 feet below water. This was incredible to see up close, we've never seen anything like it in our entire Missouri or Colorado lives. You can see little black dots on the icebergs in the water, and these little dots are actually Harbor Seals we could see through our binoculars!

A beautiful morning view of Juneau from our balcony.

In Juneau, we went whale watching and saw a whale breach (jump out of the water), it was incredible! I've never seen an animal so large, they are really incredible creatures.

We also hiked to this spot, across a lake from another glacier. It was a warm 70 degrees and sunny all day in Juneau (and most of our trip) but cooler in the shade. On this hike, we trekked through a rainforest, which was developed from the melting of this glacier. At one time the entire area you see in the photo was covered by the glacier (including the rainforest we hiked through) but over hundreds of years it has melted, vegetation grew and the lake formed. This lifecycle process continues every day.

The following day we docked in Sitka, and this is a view from the cruise ship of the nearby volcano that is no longer active. One of the most beautiful things about Alaska was the water and mountains together. We're used to seeing mountains in Colorado, but don't usually have bodies of water at the foot of the mountains. The scenery was beautiful, and so difficult to capture in a photo.

In Sitka, we went sea kayaking. We were transported by boat to this little cove, that had several little boat houses. From there, we boarded 2-person kayaks and explored the salt-water lake (which is connected to the ocean through passageways).

This is Chris being "attacked" by the starfish on this lifejacket.

The next day we docked in Ketchikan, famous for their Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show, which we of course had to see! It had a bit of a Branson-show feel, but we enjoyed the humor and entertainment! This is my lumberjack with the other lumberjacks.

Overall, the wildlife and landscapes were absolutely breathtaking, and we would certainly recommend the trip to anyone (and we would love to go back again at some point!) We were so happy to get away for a much needed extended vacation, and glad to enjoy a 2nd honeymoon after a wonderful 3 1/2 years of marriage!