Monday, October 31, 2011

Shrek and Princess Fiona are baaack!!

So tonight the kids from our neighborhood came by in an array of colorful and wonderful costumes to trick or treat.
I am not sure who had the more fun; the kids or Zev with his smoke machine.
One of my favorites was this little boy, probably no older than 3 or 4 who came by and said "Booooo" with big wide brown eyes. So cute.
Doesn't he look thrilled to be in his special Shrek tights?
Meanwhile, Princess Fiona made a quick dinner before the kids arrived....
Hope you have a great week!
Love Shrek, Princess Fiona and baby Shrek-to-be!

For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lunch Bunch and Baby Bumps!

Today the Spouses group on base had their monthly "Lunch Bunch" where we go to a different local restaurant to try out and rate their food and service. The restaurant we visited today was this neat restaurant called "artcafe" and the food was DELICIOUS and very well presented. The cafe itself was like an art gallery and they had lots of cool (read "expensive"!) artwork for sale. Nice to look at though! Work has been quite busy for me this week, so I worked hard yesterday and on Monday to try and get as much done as I could to have a fun "day off" today and catch up with some folks. The mushroom risotto I had at lunch made the hard work worth it!
Here is the risotto which was beautifully presented and equally as delicious!
Natalie had the tomato soup with side salad and a cheese stick.
I wasn't going to have dessert because I was full and because I haven't cared for sweet things lately (still unbelievable to me!) but I tried my neighbours dessert and it was incredible. It didn't taste like a dessert but rather like a nice, clean sorbet (well it WAS a sorbet). But the coolest thing about it was that it was frozen with liquid nitrogen and tasted sooooo smooth and fresh, like I was eating pure raspberries.
Zev would have totally loved this place. The best thing is that an Austrian lady owns it and was so sweet to come out and tell us about specials that they have (like Wiener Schnitzel every first Thursday evening of the month for lunch time prices! I like that!) After lunch, Natalie and I headed to the local outlet malls (I LOVE getting stuff on sale or drastically reduced. Timberland offers a 20% off military discount on TOP of their low prices. I had a 15% coupon and they let me use that PLUS my 20% military discount to get this awesome umbrella for $7.95. I like that too! So Natalie and I went to Motherhood Maternity (which, unsurprisingly, sells maternity clothes) and had fun trying on some stuff. We had some great coupons too so we saved a bunch of money. Don't make me go on that "Extreme Couponing" show on TV! Hahaha. Zev would love that, I'm sure?!!!!
They have these baby "pillows" that you put on underneath your clothes to simulate what you will look like in three months time! The first time I tried it on, I thought "are you serious!!? I look HUGE?!" And then I thought "wow, this is meant to be me at the 7 month mark...wonder what I will look like at 9 months." The clothes there are very flattering and cute. It was fun shopping with Natalie, because we can tell each other what looks good and what doesn't. She picked up some cute jeans and tops too.
I am still so happy that Zev and I got to hear our baby's heartbeat on the doppler at my 16 week appointment this Monday. Zev heard the heartbeat before the tech did! This Friday will mark the beginning of 17 weeks of pregnancy and the beginning of 5 months of pregnancy! Time is flying by. I thank God when I wake up every morning. For the opportunity to be growing a life inside of me, for my husband and family and friends and all of our blessings. Just watching the terrible earthquake in eastern Turkey or the countless sufferings of mankind around our world makes me really treasure what is put in front of me each day. I hope that you treasure what is around you today too. Not to get all preachy, but if you are reading our blog from a computer, you probably have a much better life (at least in terms of material comforts which by no means indicate spiritual happiness), but a much better standard of living than the majority of people on this earth. So to that, I pray for the people in need and the people hurting and thank God that He is great enough to look after everyone of us. Have a great week!

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

1 John 5:14

Sunday, October 23, 2011

New friends, great neighbors and a FUN fall football weekend!

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10.

The Bible verse above applies brilliantly to the marriage relationship, but I thought it was also a good verse to illustrate how friends can help and support one another. Today I would like to tell you about my new friend, Natalie, who is also an Air Force wife and pregnant and due within 2 weeks of me in April 2012!
Here we are at the Officer's Spouses Club fall luncheon on base last week. Natalie and I recently moved to the local area with our husbands and met at the kick off to the Officer's Spouses Club's 2011/ 2012 year. When I asked her if she had any kids and she sort of hesitated and then said "in April we'll have a child" I replied excitedly "so we will!" We like a lot of the same things and attend the monthly Lunch Bunch and Gourmet Club meetings as we both like to cook. Our husbands are also uncannily similar although they haven't met yet.
The Fall Luncheon on base was fun! It was another way to meet more spouses in the area and hear about great places to visit in the local area!
Once again, Zev and I have been incredibly blessed with awesome, warm, open neighbors! We seriously give thanks to God quite often for our neighbors! Starting with our neighbors in Australia, and all the way through Alabama, Louisiana, Germany and now Virginia, we feel so lucky to have been placed in such great communities. We still keep in touch with people from all those places too! So this weekend, we traveled to Virginia Tech university to watch the college football game between Virginia Tech and Boston College. Our neighbors, Debbie and Bill have season tickets and invited us to come up and tailgate on Saturday and then watch the game. We couldn't have asked for better autumn weather! The landscape was gorgeous; lots of oranges, reds, browns and the sky was clear blue and sunny the entire weekend. The game was really fun to watch too! I have been to a highschool football game in Alabama and a college football game at Louisiana Tech, but this game was HUGE. The school spirit was palpatable and Zev did a great job at explaining the rules of football to me. I had a smile on my face the entire weekend and we kept saying on the ride home how blessed we were to meet these great people!
This was my first tailgating experience and it did not disappoint! I love the tailgating tradition!
The theme of the tailgate was "German"!! Perfect! I made a traditional German potato salad (made with mustard base and red potatoes unlike the traditional Russian potato salad which has mayonnaise!) I had a couple of people go back for seconds at the "after tailgate" (after the game) and ask me for the recipe! I like cooking now! Ha :-)
I helped Debbie decorate her German chocolate cupcakes with a Halloween theme.
A funny note about sweets: since becoming pregnant, I have not cared for sweets too much! I know it seems (very) hard to believe this about me, but my taste buds seem to prefer savoury/ sour things. I like cheese a lot more these days as well as steaks and potatoes! Thankfully I am not piling on the pounds with all this meat and potatoes diet!

Debbie and Bill began attending the Virginia Tech ("Hokies") football games when their son, Billy, attended the school. Billy has graduated but Debbie and Bill still travel up and meet up with their friends, some of whome are alumni, to tailgate and watch their team!
Zev with Bill on his left side and a friend.
Some of the tailgating tents went all out, with heaters and radios and grills!
It was a beautiful drive back home today, although I must admit that I slept for a great portion of the way! Pregnancy is hard work :-)) Tomorrow is our 16 week appointment. Thank you for your prayers! Hope you have a fabulous week. We miss you!!

Love, Fi xo

The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing!

Zephaniah 3:17

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Folk Festival, old friend allergic reaction!

Yesterday was a beautiful day. An old friend of Zev's family, Ed, invited us to drive to Richmond, Virginia, to attend the annual Richmond Folk Festival. The drive was beautiful; completely blue skies, weather was perfect and warm but not too hot and the festival played some great music!
When we arrived at the Festival, we walked around and grabbed a snack and sat down to listen to some blues music.
We then walked inside the Dance Pavillion where Ed said he would meet us, and I sat inside while Zev went to get us some lunch. Zev bought some Chicken Pad Thai for me and a German bratwurst for himself. He had a couple of bites of my Pad Thai and then had his bratwurst. The Zydeco music reminded me of lovely Louisiana. It was so nice and sunny...I was really enjoying the moment!
About 30 seconds after he finished his bratwurst, Zev started to get a sharp pain in the middle of his stomach, just underneath his breastbone. He stood up and I asked him if he thought it was gas. When he said that he had never had a pain like this before, I became really concerned. I thought that he might be having a heart attack. I asked him if he could put his arms up above his head (ok I read in Good Housekeeping that you ask stroke patients if they can do this; I don't know why I asked Zev if he could do it) and then asked if he was feeling tingling sensations in his arms or a shortness of breathing. He said no to all my questions "I'm fine" but we still walked towards the first aid tent. Once we reached the first aid tent (THANK GOODNESS we were at a festival with a first aid tent), he said that he was feeling better. About a minute after he said this though, we both noticed that his arms, legs and stomach area were developing an immediate rash. His skin turned very red and he developed these large white bumps all over his body, including his neck and scalp! We went inside the EMT tent (the EMT later told Zev "I thought you two were arguing, but now that you are here, I figure that your wife was trying to get you to come inside, but you were saying no. Is that right"!) Anyway, they begin to take Zev's blood pressure and talk with him to make sure that his breathing is not compromised. Zev then turned to the EMT guy and said "I am getting tunnel vision. I am warning you that I will probably faint." Well my blood pressure sky rockets at this time, and as we lay Zev down, I am saying to him "stay calm, stay calm." Zev later tells me that he was feeling calm but that I was starting to freak out!! Some more EMT's arrive and they talk about taking Zev to the hospital to figure out what was going on. One of the EMT's tells Zev that his symptoms were typical for an allergic reaction to something. The fact that his symtpoms began almost immediately after eating indicated that he had probably had an allergic reaction to one of the foods. We explained to the EMTs that Zev had eated a lot of bratwurst in Germany. They suggested that the Pad Thai may have had traces of seafood in it. Neither Zev nor I eat seafood as we don't care for the taste. Zev has probably eaten more seafood than I have in my life, but he has never been tested for allergies. We concluded that the Pad Thai may have been scooped out using the same utensils used to scoop out shellfish or some type of fish (it had a fishy taste to it; perhaps from the fish oils). Long story short, after observing Zev for about 15 minutes on the ground, by which time his skin returned to normal and then having him sit up, they said that we could go home, but that we had to stop by a pharmacy on our way home to pick up some Benadryl for Zev to take. Poor Zev!!!! I had to drive home (this probably stressed Zev out more than any allergic reaction) but thankfully the Benadryl knocked him out and he slept the whole way home!! We were able to finally meet up with family friend Ed, who was a super sweet guy. We will definitely have to catch up soon; either in Richmond or with us here!
{BTW: Zev asked me to snap these pictures; I was still too concerned to even think about the camera, but he wanted me to record the moment...}
His bumps had gone down by this stage...
Getting his blood pressure taken...
We finally met up with Ed! He knows Zev's mum, Judy, since they were in grade school! Super nice guy. We both hope to spend more time with him in the future, now that we live in the same state! (Notice the EMT guys in the background?!!)
Stopping by the pharmacy on the way home...

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
Isaiah 41:13.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Visit from Hans and Gena!

This Columbus Day long weekend we had a very special visit from Hans and Gena!! We felt so happy that they were able to fit a visit to us into their busy schedule.
We had gorgeous weather this weekend and so did a lot of fun things like grill at home; go on boys/ girls separate trips (Gena and I got some GREAT deals at the Columbus Day sales at the local factory outlets!) and explored Colonial Williamsburg. The boys went shooting and well, did boy stuff. I didn't get a picture of Hans and Zev unfortunately! Gena makes me laugh; we always have a great time together.
It was a gorgeous day to be out and about in Colonial Williamsburg. The College of William and Mary is there and has a beautiful historic campus. We ate a local colleage diner called the "College Delly." Gena had a Classic Reuben, which I had never tasted before and I had a felafel on pita sandwich! Yum yum...
There were people doing a "reenactment" camp out at Colonial Williamsburg. They get right into the Civil War era, including dressing in period costumes, cooking colonial era meals, carrying rifles with bayonets and even speaking in old English! O yea o yea...
Gena and I did a lot of walking around in the warm weather, so we each took a nap when we got home. Zev and Hansipoo then made us a yummy Mexican dinner!
We then went and watched "The Ides of March" which starts George Clooney and Ryan Gosling among others. It was an interesting movie. Have you seen it? Hans and Gena left after a pancake and bacon brekkie this morning and are on their way back to Philly. Zev and I are pottering around at home, and I will try to get some more work done on my cases as well as do a run to the Commissary for some things. We are still glowing with excitement about our baby and love it when people write to us to share their excitement too!!

Have a great week :-))

He has done great things for us and our hearts are full of joy. Psalm 126:3.

Friday, October 07, 2011

14 weeks!!

Hello 2nd Trimester!
I woke up excited this morning and said "Happy 2nd Trimester" to Zev! I'm sure he appreciated the morning wake up call :-) haha. We were so excited to announce the news to our families this time last week! I wish that my belly would "show" more but I trust that in good time it will. I am eating right and swimming at the gym, but I still don't think that I look pregnant. What do you think?!!!! {That is not a trick question :-)} Our next appointment (16 week appointment) is on October 20th. Our doctor, who is an Air Force Major, is lovely and very thorough. Yes, my doctor wears an Air Force uniform and I will be giving birth right on base! So our baby will be a "Made in Germany and Born on an Air Force Base and Australian-American" baby! How's that for a mouthful!?

 For those not familiar with the military life, most babies to military personnel and their dependents (ie: me!) these days are born in private hospitals. There are very few military hospitals around these days that still have a Labor and Delivery ward on base. We are lucky that the base recently renovated the L&D ward and the Women's Clinic, so it is all new and nice. I thank God every single day, and many times a day for a wonderful pregnancy so far. I have had almost none of the "typical" pregnancy symptoms, except for some soreness and tiredness in the first 8 weeks. Lately I have been feeling very energetic and excited (well, if you ask Zev, that is situation normal, especially in the mornings). I would like to add here that even though I don't think of myself as vain, I didn't even comb my hair or wash my face for this picture, so please excuse the dissheveled look! I had Zev take a quick picture before he left for work; hence my bed head!

Thank you for your prayers! I pray that YOU have a great weekend!

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.
Jeremiah 1:5

Saturday, October 01, 2011

A picture (or three!) speaks a thousand words...

Due date of our special gift from God:
April 6, 2012!