36 weeks and ready for Caden!

I was officially 36 weeks on Friday, so I guess Caden could supposedly come anytime now. I'm not holding out a lot of hope for him to come early, but you never know :). We just need to get the car seats put in our cars & then we'll be all set. Oh, and I guess I should pack a hospital bag.

I feel like Caden is getting huge - he's definitely running out of room in there! Lots of feet or knees or a little butt poking me these days :).

Looking quite round :)

Christmas decorations!

Since we were about to move last Christmas, we didn't decorate the condo, so this is our first married-Christmas-decorating attempt. It mostly involves lights, because I really love Christmas lights.

I do love our stockings on the mantle though! I'm planning to buy one for Caden after Christmas if I can find a good one on sale. I hope I have better luck finding a "C" initial than a "W" - I never could find a W stocking, especially that I liked the stocking part of. So I need to figure out how to put a W on Wade's at some point.

Christmas lights on the banister

Christmas lights by the dining room table

Christmas lights in the sunroom!

And the Christmas tree! I love turning on all these lights every night and having them be the only lights that are on, unless something else is needed in whatever room we're in. It's just so cozy feeling (I would say warm & cozy, but since we're still keeping the thermostat at 63 until Caden comes & we have to bump it up a bit, it's not exactly warm in here :)).


So behind...

So, I guess I wasn't kidding when I titled my last post "beginning a busy fall" - it has definitely been just that so far! On October 9, my sister & Wade's sister threw my first shower. It was very fun and special. I neglected to get any pictures, except Danielle took like 50 of me opening gifts, so I'll spare you a ton of them & just post one :).

Wade & I went to his good friend Jonathan Jakes' wedding the next weekend (once again, no pictures), and then I went on our church's women's retreat the weekend after that (still too lazy to get pictures!). We had a low-key Halloween weekend, and then this past weekend we drove down to Kiawah Island, SC, for the wedding of a good friend of the Tapps' - a girl who is like Wade's sister.

Everything was gorgeous, including the beautiful sunset over the ocean at the golf club where they had the reception.

It was pretty chilly, so I was all bundled up all night. Not the best fashion that way, but I was glad I had brought my leggings & sweater in addition to my dress!

I'm vowing to take more pictures the next 2 weekends at my last 2 showers. Less than 10 weeks until due date :).


Beginning a busy fall

This first weekend of October kicked off a busy fall - so many fun things between now & Thanksgiving - I can't wait! I know it will make the time FLY before Caden gets here.

Yesterday I went up to Raleigh with some of my best friends for Diana's baby shower. She is 3 weeks ahead of me, due on Christmas Day, so we've been swapping belly photos & experiences all along. It is always SO good to see these ladies. God blessed me with really amazing friends from Carolina, that's for sure!

25 weeks

And after the shower, a few of us went to Chapel Hill for part of the UNC vs. ECU football game (thanks to some tickets Jess was given by a doctor she works with). It was fun & nostalgic to go to a football game again for the first time in forever... although our seats were on the sunny side and it was really hot in the sun! So, we stayed for most of the first half, then walked up to the Pit & Student Stores, and I got one belly pic for the road. Evidence of Caden's first trip to Chapel Hill!


23 weeks & we have a name!

I'm 23 weeks today... less than 4 months to go (let's hope)!

A couple weeks ago, we decided on a name for our little man. He's going to be Caden Mitchell Tapp. Caden is a name we just liked - it means "fighter." Mitchell is from Wade's great-grandfather, Ivey Mitchell Wade, whom Wade is named after as well. It means "who is like God?" Tapp means "oaf, clumsy person or simpleton." Oh well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad :). Ha!

Here's me at 23 weeks!

Just this week, I started feeling like the belly was a little bit cumbersome. It started to actually be in the way of me tying my shoes or shaving. But it's still not bad, and I've been sleeping really well, so that's a blessing.

I went to the doctor on Monday and everything still looked good. At my next appointment I have to do the gestational diabetes test (yuck), and then after that I start going every 2 weeks! Crazy how this time is going to fly. I'm just ready for cooler weather - the highs in the 90s have got to stop!


Halfway through!

We've passed the 20-week mark - only another 4.5-ish months til we meet our little boy! I have not been feeling too huge... until I saw the belly pictures after Wade took them today... yikes! This is one of the better ones.

20.5 weeks

Here's the dresser & mirror we got for the nursery! I finished painting it gray, and put the varnish on last night... now our house reeks of varnish, so I hope I'm not causing brain damage to the baby just living here. (The drawers are a little open because the varnish is still drying.) The mirror may stay white, or it may get painted black - not sure yet. It will hang above the dresser, and we'll use the top for the changing table.

This is an incredibly special gift from my Aunt Dale (not a real aunt, but she was my mom's best friend when I was born - my middle name was after her). Mom had saved all different fabrics from the pajamas she made us when we were kids, so that we could have quilts for our children made out of them. So Dale made one for Madelyn, when she was born, out of Hillary's pajamas, and now this is mine from my pajamas! It is so sweet to have the memories of the things mom made and be able to wrap my baby boy up in her love and Dale's loving handiwork.

And Wade wanted me to include a picture of his new passion... he traded all his X-box games for a guitar earlier this summer, and he is teaching himself to play through YouTube videos and online tutorials. I think he has a lot of potential, and is certainly way better than I would be at this point (at any point).

So that's the update... I'm ready for the weather to get cooler - I think that will make everything start feeling closer. The fall will probably fly by - I can already see that our October & November weekends are almost completely booked, and then December will be full as well, and then it will be baby birthday month! We're still deciding on a name - will post it when we know :).


It's a boy!

We went for our 19-week ultrasound yesterday and found out we're having a boy! Wade is over the moon, and I am excited too - a little nervous of how well I'll know how to parent a boy, but then again, how well do I know how to parent anyone? I know Wade will be an awesome boy-dad, and I can't wait to observe lots of father-son moments over the years!

You can see our shy little guy above - he kept putting his hands over his face and turning toward the back, but we did get one shot of his profile. I think he's so cute already :). They said he has long legs (no surprise) and I think he has big hands in these pictures too, so he's all set to be daddy's little basketball player.

They also said I'm measuring a week ahead - I don't think that changes the due date, but maybe it's just because he's tall. We've also made a little more progress on the nursery - finding a great dresser & mirror last weekend for a total of $115! I'm going to paint the dresser a distressed gray, so I'll post pictures when that's done. And my awesome friend Erin is going to sew some curtains - I just need to pick out & mail her some fabric!

Yay - almost halfway through! After seeing these ultrasound pictures, it is so much harder to wait until January to meet our little guy... but hopefully the fall will fly by, and we have plenty to do in the meantime!


15 weeks!

I was 15 weeks yesterday... Wednesday I went to the doctor & heard the heartbeat again - so fun :). The baby had hiccups (the midwife said) while she was listening to the heartbeat. So far everything is going really well. I feel good, Wade's home from grad school and gearing up for CDS to start.

The glider & the crib came in, so the nursery is even starting to take shape!

The glider is so comfortable, and I picked this gray color so it would be neutral (boy or girl) and also could go in another room of our house someday after we don't need a nursery. The crib is a little taller than most of the others I saw, which I figured would be good for tall parents :). It was really easy to put together too.

Me at 15 weeks... whoa, starting to pop out.

Even from the front.

So, August 18 is the big day for the ultrasound and finding out if we're having a boy or girl! I can't believe it's so soon - can't wait!


The belly begins

I'm 12 weeks pregnant today, the baby is just over 2 inches long (so I've read), and this week the belly has begun to show itself! I went shopping for some maternity clothes last weekend, partly out of boredom, but it ended up being just in time, because they've been sooo comfortable this week.

Gotta put my hand there or else it looks like one large blob :). It's a little difficult to hold our huge camera and take a self-portrait... probably would be easier with a little pocket size camera, but oh well.

Not showing too much from the front yet, but you can see it some.

Maternity jeans! Love them! It's kinda weird that I probably won't be wearing any pants with buttons or zippers for the next 6.5 months.

So far, I have been so blessed to not have terrible morning sickness or really strong symptoms of any kind. I definitely have some of most of the symptoms, but totally bearable thus far. I haven't wanted vegetables at all though, which probably needs to change soon so I can get all the right nutrients! And also the whole exercise thing has not been happening because I've gotten completely out of the habit since, um, October, but I know I've got to start doing that again as well. I'm going to try to go for a walk most days (here's hoping the 90+ degree heat will stay away for a while).

Wade went with me to the doctor before he left for grad school, and we got to hear the heartbeat! So cool. We'll go back next when I'm about 15 weeks, and then the NEXT time after that will be the gender reveal appointment! So exciting. That will probably be in mid-August I'd guess.

In the last couple weeks I also ordered a glider and crib! It felt rather early to do that, but I got good deals on both I think. The glider was still a pretty big splurge, but it's sooo comfortable and I know I'll spend many hours of the day and night in it. The crib was on clearance and was the only one that seemed tall enough for Wade & me. Now to find a relatively inexpensive dresser we can fix up and paint - the baby dressers they sell at baby stores are crazy expensive!


Tiny Tapp is on the way!

Well, blog world, we have a new addition on the way to the Tapp household! "Tiny Tapp" is due in mid-January... making me 8.5 weeks pregnant now. We had our first ultrasound last week, so here's the little gummy bear, measuring a tall 1.62 cm.

We are so excited about this little one! It's still very surreal and hard to connect this picture with a living thing actually inside my body, but we are so thankful that our Heavenly Father has blessed us with a new life and pray He will be preparing us for parenthood over the next 7ish months.
I haven't been feeling too bad yet. At this point I think it's a boy, but I don't know what that's based on :). I'll be very surprised (but excited too) if it's a girl. I guess we'll find that out in mid-late August. Our next scheduled appointment will be to hear the heartbeat (they couldn't get the sound to work at the first ultrasound) when I'm 11 weeks, before Wade leaves for grad school.


One year!

On Sunday, we celebrated our one-year anniversary! Everyone has asked "whether it feels like it's been a year" - which I don't know how to answer, because I don't know how long a year is supposed to feel like. But, it's been a busy year, with lots of new things, so I guess it does feel at least that long!

The country club made us an anniversary cake just like our wedding cake, which we nibbled on while watching our wedding video Sunday night :). We're going to a conference this weekend, which will be kindof like a "weekend away" anniversary trip... it's all the way in exotic Concord, NC - but hey, it's a free stay in a nice hotel with all our meals paid for. And there's nothing more romantic to me than free & cheap things :).


Jess & Beau got hitched!

We had a blast this past weekend watching one of my best friends, Jessica Simmons, marry her beau Beau Mack!

Aren't they adorable! Jess looked so beautiful and both Friday and Saturday were perfect, gorgeous days :).

These lovely ladies were there... 2 of my faves, I must say!
Oh and I danced with this guy. He is my VERY fave!

Aaaaand the wheelbarrow made an appearance! Hilarity ensued. Gotta love that Clint Beaver's antics never get old.
Congratulations Jess & Beau! Hope y'all are enjoying Hawaii :).


Spring discoveries

One of the fun things about living in our new house is discovering what the yard looks like in the spring. Since we bought it in December, we didn't know what trees would bloom and plants would pop up when the weather warmed up.

The two dogwoods in the left of the picture are right outside the kitchen/sunroom windows - so fun to open the blinds and see those every morning!

I don't know what these bushes are, but I was very excited when all of a sudden they had beautiful white flowers all over them!

Paisley loves all the green grass! Here she is just rolling away in it :).

Precious puppy.

What would I do without sweet Paisley?

Meanwhile, back at the condo...

These azaleas had been quite dead for about a year before we moved out. I have not grown my mom's green thumb yet, so they were all sickly, diseased-looking, scraggly and not a single flower on them all last year, including last spring. Imagine my surprise when I went over to check on the condo the other day and they looked like THIS - despite the fact that no one lives there or takes care of them! Apparently they are independent little guys.

But that wasn't all... These guys I had planted in October when we put the condo on the market thinking I would just get a few weeks of life out of them since they're annuals. Nope, they are standing tall and proud, again with no one watering them or anything else!

And, last but not least, my knockout roses - no buds on them yet, but these were so sick-looking last fall that I just cut them down to the ground and figured they would kindof go away. Now with zero care they are full and green and 3 feet tall again! Crazy.

Update on life:

As you can tell, we still own the condo and it is still for sale! It's been on the market almost 7 months now. We've had about 10 showings in that time and 1 offer for an absurdly low price (25% less than our asking price). Unfortunately those buyers were totally unreasonable and their best offer would still have resulted in us losing $25,000 of our actual money we've put into the condo, so we would not go that low. Unless someone shows up real quick (like tomorrow), I guess the tax credit is probably going to pass on by as a selling point. But we're still just praying and trusting that God has a plan.

Wade is still busy with basketball camps, teaching & grad school. I am still busy with who knows what - I don't know where the time goes :). We're loving each other and being married more and more each day it seems like. So sappy, but it's true! Even when some circumstances in life aren't ideal right now, it's so fun to have someone else with a sense of humor like yours, someone else to bounce ideas off of, someone else to just rest your head on at the end of the day. I can't thank God nearly enough for perfectly matching Wade and me, and loving us more than we can even love each other!


Chop chop

It's the first day of spring, and the Tapps thought it would be a good day to shorten things up a bit.

My hair...
Wowza! This is probably the shortest Wade has ever seen it.

Not the most amazing haircut in the world, but when you're on a budget, sometimes ya gotta use your $4.99 coupon to Great Clips and just rock it no matter what.

And the yard... first mow! The weeds were out of control before this, so this looks a hundred times better.

Check out those lines. Wade did a great job :).

And, just a silly picture of Paisley wearing Wade's shirt to round things out.

Maybe with the onset of spring I'll be more consistent with the blog. I've been feeling like there's nothing to post about (and there really hasn't been). But in the next couple weeks I have some bachelorette parties & showers & such, so they should be some fun weeks! :)


Happy Valentine's Day

Our sweet little Valentine niece turned ONE yesterday! Can't believe that a year ago I was putting together wedding invitations when Hillary called to tell me she was in labor.

Here are a few shots of Madelyn's first birthday cake experience :).

Oh boy!
A taste of icing...
She has the best mischievous smirk :).

Some damage done... after 30 minutes or so of meticulously picking at it.

Sweet through and through.


What else is going on?

So all my posts in the last two months (and by "all" I mean "both") have been about house-buying & selling (attempting to sell), but you might wonder what else is going on with us these days. That has been a big chunk of life recently, but I suppose we've got a little more to us than that...

Wade is nearing the end of basketball season with his JV team. They've had a decent season, record-wise, and Wade really enjoys coaching. It makes for many long days, the longest being home-game days when Wade is at school from 7 a.m. til about 10:30 p.m. On practice days and away-games, he might get home at 7:30 on average. Then on Wednesday nights (the only day he doesn't have practice or games) he plays basketball with some guys from church and others who come. It's fun for him to have a little chance to keep playing and all the guys are super impressed with his skills :).

On another front, he is taking the GRE next Saturday, and then will be applying to grad school at Covenant to get a Masters in Educational Administration. Assuming he gets in (which we are, because how are they going to say he's not qualified when he graduated from their own undergraduate education program?), he will start that this spring. It's 3 years, with online stuff most of the year and then a 3-week period each summer where he'll have to go to Covenant and sit in classes 8 hours a day. It hasn't hit me yet how much work it is going to be for him, and how long... 3 years sounds short on one hand, but then again, a lot can go on in 3 years and I'm sure our lives will change so much in that time! He'll still be teaching & coaching during grad school, and at this point he still plans to continue his 2nd job of site manager for Yes I Can Basketball in the spring, summer & fall, but we'll have to see how much is too much eventually!

We're both really enjoying our new(ish) Community Group at church, and I've gotten myself into a Bunco group somehow :). My dad called the other night and I told him I was at Bunco and had the weirdest feeling of being mom at that moment (she used to go to Bunco)! We've only had it once so far, but I won $20 (after putting in $5, so I'm +$15) - yay!

I'm also trying to get back in gear with various other friendships I haven't had as much time to invest in. One of my best friends is getting married in May, so I'm trying to coordinate a shower for her, and attend various other wedding & baby showers too. I'm also trying to get back to working out, cooking regularly, spending time with the Lord, etc. Working out hasn't yet made it into the schedule, but I have actually cooked some this week, and we're reading through the New Testament along with the church where I work.

Paisley is loving the new house I think, and will love it even more if we can get a fence and she can be out in the backyard more. Although with the rain we've been getting, the backyard stays pretty soggy.

That's our life right now. It's a continual battle to remain thankful and dependent on the Lord when our hearts are prone to look at the hard circumstances and the things we're discontented with (condo not sold, constant busyness, missing mom). But He is good, and worthy of our thanks and trust no matter what!


Pictures of the house

At long last, we are finally moved in to the new house... only a month after closing! We had the popcorn ceilings removed the week after Christmas, and the guy did an amazing job - it looks like a whole new house. But that process was delayed just enough that we couldn't move in January 2 like we first planned, and then the next weekend didn't work either, so we had to push it to this past Saturday. It worked out really well weather-wise though - WAY warmer this weekend than the past two!

A crew of family & friends from church helped us load all the furniture & boxes that were still at the condo into the Uhaul & unload & set up at the house. We are SO blessed by the Lord to have so much support and love from so many people!

Here are some pictures of the inside...

The "sunroom" - it's really the breakfast area, but since we don't have 2 tables but we do have this futon, it is now a sunroom. It works well though because there is a lot of light from all the windows & skylights. A door on the left wall leads out to the deck.

The kitchen - a tad smaller in terms of cabinet space than our other kitchen, but I've added some cabinets (see them on the left in the sunroom pic) and we added some depth to the shelves in the pantry to hold a ton of stuff.

The half bath downstairs - it's so hard to take good pictures of bathrooms!

The dining room - the doorway on the right leads into the kitchen, and these windows overlook the deck. (The half bath is off to the bottom right of this picture.)

The "office/study/workout room" which is still very messy at this point :). This room is off to the left of the dining room picture above. There are built-in bookshelves/cabinets that you can see the corner of in the bottom right of this picture. Wade's desk is the one with the black chair, and mine is the little one with the iMac on it.

The den, from the office looking over the railing. The den & entryway are on one level, and then there are a couple steps up to the level where the office, dining room & kitchen are. You can see the side of the front door at the top left of this picture.

The view of the den from upstairs, which obviously overlooks it :).

The guest room, just waiting for a visitor :). And no, that mirror is not staying in that location on the wall, awkwardly between the bed & nightstand. The sellers left a picture hanger there, so I just stuck something up there for now.
I didn't take a picture of the 3rd bedroom (the "nursery") because there's nothing in there except boxes of decorations I'm figuring out what to do with. So that room will just be storage until there's a little Tapp to put in there :).

The guest/hall bathroom upstairs.

Master bedroom... it is huge. The mess on the left is the Ikea dresser that is waiting to be taken back because the holes were drilled wrong or something and it is not going to be able to be put together.
So there's the mini-tour! We're still getting boxes unpacked & pictures on the walls, but I think we've gotten pretty far for 1.5 days in the place :). We should be getting internet on Wednesday. Wade is stoked that apparently in our DISH Network package we get ESPN-U and several other ESPN channels we didn't have with Time Warner Cable, as well as a bunch of HD channels. And for $15/month cheaper :).
Two of the best things I don't have pictures of are the garage (oh how I am going to love having a garage) and the 2-minute commute to work (for both of us). 1.5 minutes of the commute is just trying to turn left out of the neighborhood!