Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ode to Taylor

A few weeks ago I had the joy and pleasure of attending a Taylor girl's reunion. We had so much fun! I was reminded that friendships built on the God's truth and the love of Christ can flourish despite years apart and miles of separation. It was such an encouragement to spend time with these ladies once again. We've all grown and changed over the last 4 years, but we reconnected so quickly and it was so nice to have a group of girls to talk too. It was seriously reminiscent of being at Taylor sitting in our suites gabbing.

I'll stop gushing now, suffice it to say we had a spectacular time! The group was Hannah, Johanna, Sarah, and Drew. Hannah is a resident at St. Louis Children's Hospital and she invited us to come stay with her. She is the best hostess ever, hands down. She has an adorable apartment and made us tons of food to devour. Her mango avocado salsa, triple chocolate cake, oh I could go on and on, it was all divine.

We all arrived on Friday evening and talked the night away. In fact we didn't leave the supper table until midnight. Drew and I got to room together just like the old days :) Saturday we leisurely got ready then went to the St. Louis Zoo to see the sites, Forest Park for a picnic lunch, Trader Joe's to fulfill my need for some salsa, and then back to Hannah's place to relax. That night we went to dinner at Dewey's Pizza. We were all pretty exhausted but somehow we stayed up until 2:30 am talking. It really was just like the old days except now we're so much more mature and wise :) Sunday we got up went to church then back to Hannah's place for lunch. Then sadly, I had to depart because I had an 8 hour drive home.

It was so good to see those girls. That trip made me feel so rejuvenated and refreshed...what a blessing!
This is what we did most of the weekend: Laugh
This is what we do best: eat
Roomies: Just like the old days
Group pics at the zoo: Drew, Me, Sarah, Hannah, and Johanna...otherwise known as 1st Northers
Oh, and I can't forget the trip there...well it all started on Tuesday of that week. Kyle, being the great husband that he is, thought it would be a good idea to get our brakes checked before my trip. He took the car to the shop on Tuesday and they proceeded to BREAK a crucial part of my car and of course they didn't have the part in stock but they assured him it would be fixed by Wednesday. On Wednesday they did not receive the part therefore the car remained at the shop. I was leaving on Thursday so we devised a plan in which Kyle would pick up the car from the shop, then drive it to me in McPherson and someone would follow him there to take him home. Well, Thursday at lunch Kyle called and they still didn't get the part. This was all happening during a very hectic work week for Kyle and it was decided the best option was to rent a car. The nearest rental location was 30 miles away and I had no transportation. Papa and Tache graciously agreed to pick me up from work then quickly drive back to Salina to the car rental service. We made it there just in time, I got the car, drove to Papa & Tache's for a quick supper, then headed to the highway. About a mile from my grandparent's a dash light came on. I thought "oh great just what I need another broken down car." I decided to drive to the gas station before checking out the situation, plus I needed gas. I filled up and that's when I noticed...I had a completely flat tire! I called Kyle in tears, but of course he couldn't do anything and he was at a work dinner function. I called Papa and he headed to the gas station. Oh and to make the situation better I didn't have a phone charger (that was in my car at home). I called Enterprise but their office was closed. I proceeded into the gas station to use their phone (since mine was all but dead) and called the customer service line. The CSR told me I could have AAA come and put the spare tire on and then drive to the nearest open Enterprise location to get it fixed or get a new car. She obviously had no idea where I was because the nearest location was the Kansas City Airport which would have taken me 4 or 5 hours to reach on a spare! I incredulously, er I mean politely, declined that option and decided it was not meant for me to drive that day so I would stay at Papa & Tache's for the night, get a new car in the morning, and be on my merry way. I was told the AAA guy would be there in approximately 90 minutes (seriously)! Luckily, he was there in about 15 minutes. He quickly changed the tire, I bought a new car charger, and I was done for the day. I was spent and in the end it all worked out for the best. It was crazy frustrating, but I think God had a reason He didn't want me on the road that day. The ironic thing is last time I left St. Louis from visiting Hannah I had a flat tire...the only 2 flat tires in my life...there's something about that place, but I love it, so flat tires can't keep me away.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Creative Kicks

During a typical week I don't have much time to exercise my creative side. However, there are times when I simply must be creative. I crave it! On a recent creative kick I made these:

Onesie dress

Fabric blocks

Tie onesies

Lately all my creative endeavors involve baby gifts and I just love the results. I hope the mommies and babies love the unique gifts. Hopefully, once we know the sex of Baby Schenk I can make a few things for him/her. I'm also going to make a nursing cover and a sling for myself (in all my spare time). I've already made a nursing cover so I know I can do that, but making a sling is a little intimidating so I need to build up my courage.

18 Week Update

For all those curious souls that live outside of middle of no-where Kansas here's a belly shot at 18 weeks (4 1/2 months).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Football Transition

Signs football season has officially arrived:
  • The only time you see your husband is when you visit him at his office.
  • The laundry pile becomes more stinky.
  • You look forward to dinner dates at the cafeteria.
  • Your husband loses his voice.
  • Your topic of conversation revolves around who is hurt and who lifted weights this summer.
  • Cereal is the main supper meal.

Despite this annual transition I am so blessed that my husband has a job he is passionate about. I love that he can pour himself into a sport, but most importantly he can pour himself into the lives of his players. I know he has a deep love for football and could spend countless hours watching film or talking about the sport. However, I know he has an even deeper love for Christ and strives to show his players the love of Christ and how to be men of character. So, while the start of football season is a major transition from an eternal perspective it is well worth it!

I can't wait to see him invest his playful spirit and his love for Christ into our child just like he invests in his guys. The thought thrills me, especially when I look at this recent picture from China.

Is it a coincidence both of these recent pictures are with little girls?

Monday, August 10, 2009

The "Theme"

Okay, if you know me well, you know I hate themes (i.e. weddings, nurseries, etc.). I am much more interested in the feel of the room or event. I'm also typically all about clean lines and simplicity. However, the nursery furniture we chose has thrown me through a loop. The nursery furniture is very traditional. We chose traditional so we could continue to use for the furniture for many years to come. Anyway, now my thoughts on baby bedding and nursery have shifted drastically. I had to remove myself from the ultra contemporary to a more muted and simple approach. Since we don't yet know the sex of Baby Schenk (i.e. Spencer, Jewel, whatever you want to call them :) I have developed 2 strategies.

If Baby Schenk is a little (stressing the little part) boy the nursery colors will be light blue and orange with some neutrals mixed in. The baby bedding is JJ Cole -- Blue Bullseye.

Image courtesy of All Modern Baby

If Baby Schenk is a little girl (this is my guess) the nursery will have a vintage feel with light blue and red decor. I have searched high and low for baby bedding that matches my vision and I can't seem to find what I'm looking for. However, I have found fabric that would be perfect, so I might have the bedding custom made. The fabric is the Darla Collection from Tanya Whelan for Grand Revival. I love the vintage look, however I do not want it to feel like the Fourth of July. Here's the vision.Images courtesy of
In a few weeks we'll find out which direction we're going.

The Big Reveal (in stages)

After hearing the babies heart beat for the first time we decided to purchase the baby furniture. Many might think "wow, that's kind of early to be purchasing big items for the baby." But we have our reasons including the start of football season for Kyle, the beginning of a new school semester for me, full-time jobs, no weekends from now until, oh let's be conservative and say, 18 years. Needless to say we are feeling the pressure to get things ready for the baby before our lives once again become consumed with busyness. I am so thankful God has given us this one month period where we can actually focus on the baby. So, in that one month we will register, read all the baby books we can, pick out and order baby furniture, choose the nursery and bedding colors, clean out a closet for the baby, and anything else baby related we can cram into those few precious days.

Our first order of business was to choose nursery furniture. Luckily, Kyle and I have very similar decorating taste, so this was not a difficult job. In fact we decided in under an hour. And now for the sneak peak you have all been waiting for, the Cocoon 7000 series.
Convertible Crib

Tall dresser
Changing table

Images courtesy of

The Big Announcement(s)

After many weeks of waiting we decided Father's Day (June 21, 2009) would be the day we told the family about our precious gift from God. It took much orchestrating and many changed plans, but we successfully got all of our parents to convene in the same city on the same day (pretty sure that was a miracle only God could orchestrate).

After church we drove to Bennington to my dad's house first. Our plan was to go into their house and wish dad a Happy Father's Day and then regretfully tell him his gift had not yet arrived. It fact it probably wouldn't be there for another 7 months. However, first thing upon entering the house my dad, being true to character, asks matter of factly..."Are you pregnant?" I just looked at him incredulously and of course I couldn't lie, so I said "yes." I think my answer surprised him more than anything. But I swear (and I usually don't do that) it is impossible to surprise him. Why do I even try? Either way it was fun to FINALLY tell someone and he and Debra were very excited and happy for us. We ate lunch and said our good byes because we had more announcements to make.

On the way from their house to Tache & Papa's we decided to call Troy, Candace, & Gracie. Our original plan was to have a Skype date so we could see their reaction, but we couldn't get them to go for the idea without making them suspicious. So, Kyle called them and wouldn't you know Troy was in the we had to stall. After a few minutes we asked to "talk" to Gracie. She was babbling away and I asked her, "Gracie, would you like to have a cousin to play with?" Candace answered, "Yes, she would." And I said, "How about in 6 months?" Then there was complete silence. I would have given anything to see their faces at this point. By this time Troy had arrived on the scene and the first thing we hear is Troy say, "no way." After the shock wore off they too were excited with us.

About that time we arrived at my grandparents house to see Mom, Randy, Tache, and Papa. When we got there the guys were out golfing...again we had to wait to spill the beans. Can you tell it was killing us? So, Mom, Tache, and I went to run some errands. When we got back Randy and Papa still weren't back so we waited some more. When they finally arrived they wanted to shower and eat, but I couldn't stand it any longer so I insisted that first we had to celebrate Father's Day. For each of them we bought a brag book and using a computer simulation of both our faces we created a few photos of what our baby might look like and put those in the album. They were so slow opening gifts and it wasn't timed perfectly, in fact mom went out of the room to get something, but it was too late to stop them. Papa opened the gift first and realized it was a photo album. I instructed him to open it. He studied the pictures for a while and I asked "who are those pictures of?" He stated "you and Kyle." I said keep looking and that's when Tache caught on she said, "Are you trying to tell us something?" Of course we said yes. By that time Mom and Randy were just catching on as they were distracted with something else. But then hugs and excitement ensued.

Finally, it was dinner time and the last big announcement. We had invited Randy, Sheila, Jake, and Audra to eat dinner with my parent and grandparents. When we were settled at the restaurant (Gutierrez, by the way) we immediately gave Randy his Father's Day gift. Jake quipped, "Our gift is way better than yours." I just kept quite and thought, yeah right, if they only knew :) We bought Randy & Sheila a book titled: The Gift of Being Grand. It is a children's book about grandchildren and their grand kids. On the inside I wrote: We are excited for you to read this book to your next grandchild. Randy was a little perplexed when he opened it, but I instructed him to look on the inside. Sheila read the message over his shoulder and immediately it clicked (maybe it's the grandmother intuition). Immediately she ran around the table to give us a big hug. And once again much excitement and joy ensued. Even Jake had to admit he couldn't top our gift :)

On the way home we called Cliff, Wendy, Kale, and Christina to tell them the good news. Overall I think the overwhelming reaction was surprise and joy! What a fun day we had sharing our joyous news.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Notes from the Underbelly: Part I

So I don't forget...

May 7, 2009: Wasn't feeling "normal" so decided to take a pregnancy test on a was negative.

May 14, 2009: Still wasn't feeling quite right, so I decided to take another pregnancy test. Kyle was with me and we decided we would run the test and then not look at it for a full five minutes. As I handed it to Kyle to lay on the counter the line immediately changed! We just stared at each other in complete disbelief, hugged, then stared some more.

June 11, 2009: 1st doctor's appointment (8 weeks). Basically just an informational session with the nurse. Advised not to go to China and prohibited from getting any immunizations.

June 25, 2009: 2nd doctor's appointment (10 weeks). We had our 1st ultrasound and confirmed there was only one (what a relief...I hadn't even thought to be worried about that). The baby was very active moving all over the place. The technician could barely get the measurements. We met our doctor for the first time and she determined the due date is January 22, 2010.

July 1-13 2009: Went to China to teach English and play in orphanages while demonstrating God's love.

July 30, 2009: 3rd doctor's appointment (15 weeks). We (briefly) got to listen to the baby's heart beat. It was 169 bpm and the nurse immediately proclaimed "that's a girl's heart beat." We'll soon find out if she is right. The doctor said everything looked fine. I have not gained any weight, but I can tell my body is changing (I think the big indicator is the difficulty buttoning my pants :).

September 3, 2009: next doctor's appointment and we get to see if Baby Schenk is a he or a she!

And now I leave you with the first shots of the newest Schenk family member! Sorry for the quality they were scanned.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Welcome ONE and all

I have created a blog to act as a journal, scrapbook, and a reminder of creative ideas all wrapped into one package. I am a full-time business professional, full-time grad student, wife, daughter, friend, Christ-follower, craft lover, event planner, and expectant parent. Needless to say I don't have a lot of free time, so this site will be used as a catch all. I don't suspect many will read or follow this site, but I want to use it as a reminder of our life as we embark on the adventures of parenthood and beyond. Welcome, relax, and enjoy!

And because no post is complete without pictures...this is a 3 month shot of me and the baby and a recent picture of the hubs and me.