The Siberian American: July 2017

Monday, July 31, 2017

Quick Thoughts: Our Maine Babymoon

Hello, friends! We are back from our Maine babymoon/birthday/anniversary trip! As many of you know, I felt a lot of pressure in deciding where we would go on this trip. There’s something about it being our last big trip before baby is born that made me want to make it as fun of a trip as possible. I can tell y’all I feel like we succeeded for sure. Chris had to push me a little to keep up with our normal pace, but we spent the week enjoying gorgeous weather, amazing ocean views paired with Maine’s striking rugged coastline, exploring the cutest small towns, and indulging on some of the best seafood we’ve ever had! I’m so excited to share this trip with y’all! I’m going to do something a little different this time and share at least part of the trip as soon as I can. I just really can’t wait to start sharing, so I will hopefully have my first post ready for Wednesday!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Happy 28th Birthday, Hubby!

It’s crazy to me this is the eighth “Super Week” we have celebrated, including the year we got married. Today, I wanted to share some things about my Christopher on his 28th birthday.

He is the best man I know, and he makes me a better person every day. He has the kindest, purest heart, and I’ve never met anyone as humble as he is.

I love watching him fulfill his calling of being a radiologist. Residency is hard, but it is so worth it because it’s so obvious it is what he is meant to do.

He is always up for an adventure. He loves to travel as much as I do, but even when we can’t go anywhere, he is willing to go on the little adventures I find around town, no matter how tired he is.

He is my very best friend. We are always laughing about something, and I would spend every waking moment with him if I could. We struggle a little after trips because we go from seeing each other all the time to barely any time together.

I absolutely can’t wait to see him as a father. Our son will be so lucky to have him. That’s all I’m going to write about that because these pregnancy hormones make me emotional just thinking about it.

Happy 28th birthday, love! I am forever grateful to walk side by side through life with you.

PS-We are headed on our Maine babymoon/birthday/anniversary adventure early tomorrow morning! I know I’ve been struggling with answering comments lately, but my goal is to get them all done as soon as we come back!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Reflections: Surgery Day One Year Later

I have written quite a few reflections over the past few months because it’s crazy to me how many changes there have been over the past year or so. Last year, on July 20, I was finally able to have the surgery I was waiting on for months. I’ve always been amused about the timing of the surgery because after all that waiting, it fell on our busiest week of the year. I didn’t really care at that point, though, because I was in too much pain to enjoy our “Super Week” even if my surgery had been a little later.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget how I felt the night before and the morning of the surgery. Honestly, most of the time I was at peace throughout the process. The night before the surgery, though, reality hit. I was having a major surgery, and obviously, there are many different risks associated with that, but what really made me lose it was knowing I could wake up from anesthesia the next day and find out I could never be a mother. I remember getting in the shower and applying the special soap you have to use before surgery and just sobbing hysterically.

That next morning, I woke up feeling at peace. It was still a hard day, but I knew God was in control, and I had an amazing team of surgeons operating on me. Right before the operation, a pastor from the church I used to work at before I moved to Chicago came in to pray with me and Chris, and that felt like such a huge blessing. When I woke up, I was so thankful to hear everything went almost as well as it could have (you can read all the details here).

As funny as it sounds, I am thankful for all I went through last year because it makes me truly appreciate the blessings we have received this year. Last year on my birthday, I was just thankful to be released from the hospital in time to spend the night in my own bed. This year, I am beyond grateful to be spending it in Maine with my love on our last big trip before the birth of our baby boy. I think all babies are miracles, but finding out I was pregnant this year has been the biggest blessing of our lives. This past year has strengthened my faith and shown me what a true miracle worker God is. He is so faithful!

On a lighter note, you know how I was so worried about losing all my reproductive organs? Well, even though it didn’t happen, somehow it got added to my chart that I had a hysterectomy. They had tried to remove it when I had my stent removed, but apparently it didn’t work because when I showed up to my first pregnancy appointment, my OB told me it was still in my chart, and she had spent 20 minutes trying to remove it, but it was locked! So I was the pregnant lady with a hysterectomy. I think it’s been fixed at this point, but it was pretty hilarious.

Friday, July 14, 2017

How I Told Chris About Baby

Happy Friday, friends! Fridays are even more special to me during pregnancy because they’re the beginning of a new week. Today, I’m 25 weeks pregnant, and I’m finally feeling great after that nasty cold I got from Chris last week! I’m definitely showing these days, and our little guy is constantly moving. I had no idea how much I would love feeling his movements! I’ll write out a full second trimester update after our trip (I can’t believe we are leaving in a little over a week!), but today I wanted to share the story of how I told Chris I was pregnant. I always love reading these stories on other blogs, so I thought it would be fun to document my own!

Walking back from dinner on the day we found out. We were so excited!
I had always wanted to come up with some fun, creative way to tell Chris I was pregnant. Honestly, I thought I would have plenty of time to come up with an idea, but, as I mentioned in my first post about our little one, we got pregnant right away, and I had to think fast.

I found out on February 17, and on Valentine’s Day, Chris had written me a poem. I decided to play off that and wrote a short “poem” to tell him about the baby. I put it together, printed it out, and did whatever I could to kill time waiting for him to come home from the hospital. When he called me to say he was on the way, he asked if he should go to the grocery store on the way, and I told him to just come home because we had leftovers (with the full intention of going out to eat to celebrate the news).

When he got home, I told him I had decided to write him a poem since he had written one for Valentine’s Day and apologized that it was late. I started filming him as he was about to read it, which he thought was weird but figured it was because I’m crazy about documenting things. Here’s what the paper I gave him said:

Life with you is the greatest adventure 
I treasure every moment, big and small 
The only thing better than having you as my husband 
Will be seeing you as a daddy 
I’m so excited to meet Baby Ball!

He jumped when he saw the last line and asked me if I had taken a test. I told him I had and showed it to him (side note: I only took two tests that whole day. As soon as I saw those two pink lines the first time, I was confident it was real.). He gave me a big hug, and then, like the doctor he is, told me not to get too excited because it could be a false positive. We went out for our favorite sunset fajitas to celebrate, and it was honestly the very best first day of knowing we had a baby on the way!

Soon I'll share the stories of how we told both sets of parents!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Twelve Books I Read in June

Hey, friends! Remember that time I had “start blogging three times a week again” on my summer goals…and then I didn’t do anything blogging related last week? Well, Chris brought home some kind of gunk from the hospital, and I’ve been sick with a bad cold all week. I haven’t been able to do much of anything for the past week, but I did manage to read quite a bit while I was resting. It has been a while since I’ve read over ten books, so I was excited that I managed 12 this month! I also read a fun variety of books and liked most of them, which made for a good reading month!

The Library of Light and Shadow by M.J. Rose
(c/o NetGalley)
This book is the third in a series about the daughters of La Lune, but it can be read as a stand-alone novel. (I read the first book and skipped the second, and it didn't make any difference in the storyline). I really liked the beginning of this book, and the whole concept was interesting, but I thought the middle dragged quite a bit. If it wasn't for the pacing, this book would be a solid four stars, but I think it is more of a 3.5 stars for me.
It's Always the Husband by Michele Campbell
(c/o NetGalley)
Honestly, I was pretty disappointed in this book. It is listed as a thriller, but it lacks excitement until almost halfway through. The writing style wasn't my favorite, and I wasn't excited about the ending. There are just so many better thrillers out there. I would pass on this one.

Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell
(c/o NetGalley)
Whenever I'm in the mood for a feel-good romance, I know Jill Mansell will deliver. The characters are always quirky and likable, and I like the stories. In this case, I liked both Clemency and Sam, and the book was filled with many funny and heartfelt moments. It would make a perfect summer read!

I Liked My Life: A Novel by Abby Fabiaschi
(c/o NetGalley)
This book was both beautiful and powerful. It deals with a daughter and husband dealing with the aftermath of their mother's/wife's suicide. It also has thoughts from the mother/wife from beyond (which I would normally think is odd, but it was done well). It was raw, heartbreaking, but also full of hope. Honestly, I have avoided this book for a few months because I thought it would be depressing, but it really wasn't. It's definitely a good read!

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter
(c/o NetGalley)
I like WWII historical fiction, but I only read it a few times a year. This was my first WWII book of the year, and it was an interesting read. I always learn something new when I read WWII books, and this was no exception. The Kurc family was spread out during the war, so there was information on everything from Siberian work camps to being a refugee in Brazil. I liked how this was based on a true story-it really made everything feel so real and intense. Even though many parts were hard and depressing, there was also a lot of hope throughout the novel. If you like WWII historical fiction, put this book on your list!

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley: A Novel by Hannah Tinti
(c/o NetGalley)
I don't know if it was a matter of timing, but this story didn't captivate me in any way. The book is well written, but I just couldn't connect to the story. I was bored and felt like I forcing myself to finish. I was also not a big fan of the ending. I know a ton of people who loved this book, but it just wasn't for me.

Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave
(c/o NetGalley)
This was a short, fun read I finished in one sitting. It took me a little while to warm up to Sunshine, but I think that was the point. I enjoyed seeing her growth throughout the novel. If you're looking for a quick summer read, I would definitely recommend this book!

The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner
(c/o NetGalley)
This book is the perfect summer read. It's a little sad, but it's also full of hope. It's filled with drama and secrets in a gorgeous setting. I liked all the main characters and found myself rooting for their lives to turn around. If you're hanging out by the pool or going to the beach this summer, pick up this book!

The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti
(c/o NetGalley)
This was an interesting thriller about a teacher accused of having an affair with a student...and then the student goes missing. I did think it had a little too many points of view and felt a little slow at times, but I was still eager to see how it ended and was able to finish it quickly!

The Grave Tender by Eliza Maxwell
(c/o NetGalley)
This book was so dark, raw, and heartbreaking. After her life takes a turn, Hadley returns to her childhood home with her daughter. As soon as she gets there, the secrets of her family begin to unravel. It was one of those stories where you almost don't want to know what happened, but it's hard to look away. If you're into dark but captivating reads, pick up this book.

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris
(c/o NetGalley)
I never expected to read this book in one sitting, but it sucked me in, and I couldn't stop reading. I liked it even better than Behind Closed Doors. I liked Cass, and this book had some interesting twists. If you are a fan of thrillers, read this one!

Stolen Beauty by Laurie Lico Albanese
(c/o NetGalley)
This is a historical fiction novel based on two strong women who were related to each other. One is experiencing Austria at the turn of the century while the other (her niece) is dealing with the beginning of World War II (and beyond). The story is a little slow at times, but it's really interesting, especially since it was based on real women.

Favorite reads in June: Meet Me at Beachcomber BayWe Were the Lucky Ones, and The Breakdown

Linking up with Steph & Jana.

I love book suggestions. What have you read lately?