Friday, December 30, 2011

Gender reveal. . . part two

After gender reveal part one we headed to Brandon's parents house to do a reveal with them as well. His grandma (Jack's mom) was in town so we wanted to include her in the suprise. We wrapped three separate gifts for his grandma, mom and dad to open. All three gifts were enclosed in pink and blue tissue paper. The first two gifts were gender neutral baby items. The last gift (that his mom opened) revealed the gender. We had a lot of fun sharing the news and special time with each side of the family. Enjoy a few more pictures. 

Habakkuk 3:18 
"Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior."

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gender reveal . . . part one

The day of our 20 week anatomy scan we were also scheduled to have our annual family picture taken (w/ my side). Our ultrasound was at 8:30am and the picture wasn't set until 10am. We had plenty of time to kill between events so we thought we would get a head start on our gender reveal that was taking place later that evening, at my parents house. We had seen the idea to fill a gender neutral pinata with colored candy (pink/purple = girl & blue/green = boy) so when busted the gender of the baby is revealed. We thought my 9 year old niece and 7 and 4 year old nephews would love this activity, so that is what we did. We bought a pinata and filled it with lots of pink/purple candy and pink beads - b/c what little girl wouldn't want pink beads? When we arrived at the family picture the family was shocked that we already knew the results but were making them wait until that evening to bust the pinata. Our photographer then had a brilliant idea.... why not do it now and she can capture the whole thing in pictures? Perfect idea! Thank you, Tiffany! You did an awesome job capturing this fun memory! 

Gender reveal part two with the Blackburn side of the family coming soon. Have a great day! 

Habakkuk 3:18 
"Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior."

PS - Those of you who guessed the name Clara (in the last post) are correct! Loved some of your other guesses too. Clara Anne Blackburn.... coming May 2012 :) 

Monday, December 26, 2011

20-21 week pregnancy update... cantaloupe baby

Well I cannot believe another four weeks have passed since my last update. Time seems to be flying by these days. I had my monthly OB appointment this past Tuesday on 12/20 and the Dr guessed that, due to my measurements, I am a week ahead of schedule. We had our full anatomy scan on Friday 12/23 and the technician and Dr agreed that yes in fact this baby is a tad ahead of schedule. This means I am actually 21 weeks and my new due date is May 4, 2012. 
Hey if this is one week closer to meeting our sweet 
then that is just fine by me. 
Our gut feeling was right... baby Blackburn is 100% girl. 
So excited!! Looks like some of you were right, too. 

Week 20 (and 21)

Size & development of baby
your baby's the size of a cantaloupe!
Baby weighs about 10.2 ounces and measures about 6.5 inches. She's still got a lot of growing to do though. Can you believe you're halfway done?

Making it to 20 weeks probably feels pretty darn good...Of course, it wouldn’t be pregnancy if you weren’t experiencing some annoying symptoms. Right now, it’s likely swelling, heartburn and leg cramps, but all of that probably feels insignificant now that you’ve got ultrasound photos of your rapidly developing baby. How cute is that nose? If you found out baby’s sex, you’re in a completely new mindset, are we right? Now, those baby names you’re throwing out are more likely to end up as baby’s, and when you find yourself in a baby store, those little blue or pink outfits aren’t just adorable, they’re must-haves. And since now you can add clothes and other boyish or girlish things to your wish list, week 20 is the time you probably want to start putting together your baby registry too. Happy shopping! 

How I am feeling and how I am changing:
Overall, I feel great! The main things (besides my growing belly) that I notice is that I itch all the time. Like really all the time - especially on my back and sides. I also have these red-purple patchy areas around my ankles where my skin is changing colors. It doesn't hurt at all, just looks really strange. Good thing it's "winter" in Houston so I still have a few days before the shorts bust back out. :) My face is breaking out but honestly, this has been a problem for the last 15 years, so I really can't associate it with being pregnant. Yay for being 29 and still dealing with adolescent acne. 

Belly continues to grow by the day. Proof in the picture below (although this pic does not do the real thing justice in my opinion!)
20/21 week belly shot
What I am eating and What I am thinking:
Still no major food cravings or aversions per say, just foods that sound slightly better than others. I am still enjoying tortilla chips and salsa, red meat (maybe my body giving me a sign that I need more iron?), chickfila nuggets (try to limit these!) and cold cereal. The only thing that just sounds gross, but not a full out aversion, is seafood (although shrimp sounds ok here and there). No major changes in the food department!

Now that we know we are expecting a girl, we are thinking of names, nursery ideas, etc. We are 95% sure we have a name selected. We really like old fashioned names. Any guesses? Here is your clue - It starts with a "C." Immediate family... don't spill the beans!!

Another thought running through my mind is "Where in the world are we going to put all the stuff we need for a baby?" Which leads to a mini panic attack and trying to reorganize the entire house. Brandon loves this about me (sarcasm). He knows when I am stressing about something.... he comes home and finds me reorganizing and cleaning out a drawer/closet etc that has been previously reorganized 500 times. What did he give me for Christmas? The gift of organization. For real. He has been working on our garage and also trying to address the closet situation in the room that will be the nursery. Best. Gift. Ever. 
(And just so you guys don't give him a hard time... we agreed that we were not giving each other physical gifts this year since we have lots of expenses coming in the New Year.) 
Another thought ..."How in the world do we figure out this whole baby registry thing?" I guess this thought will be tackled in the next few months.

A few pictures from our 20 week anatomy scan:   

Close up of her left arm/hand
Close up of her leg and foot
Profile shot... love the little nose

Our little girl currently weighs 13 ounces and the ultrasound tech and Dr both agreed she looked perfect so far and they saw no concerns via the ultrasound scan. Praise God!! 

Your turn:
Anyone want to take a stab at our little girls name?
If you have been blessed with a pregnancy, did you have any weird food cravings/aversions?
Any tips for this mom and dad to be?

PSALM 139:14
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, 
I know that full well.

PSALM 13:6
"I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me."

Previous pregnancy updates:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Dear. Body, Letter & The Love Yourself Challenge

If you were to write a letter to your body, what would you say? Maybe something like this...

I stumbled across this blog and became very interested in the message and mission of the site. I have not read through every single post but it appears to be on board with my new outlook and personal goal of bringing ED and body image awareness to the public eye. 

The blog is currently encouraging people of all ages to participate in a 6 week love yourself challenge. A description, taken directly from the site, states the following:

The Love Yourself Challenge is a positive space that respects, accepts and loves everyone where they are for who they are. This is a space that embraces every body and encourages individuals to have self-love, self-respect and self-acceptance. We are a team of young people who are determined to spread the message of self-love like wildfire and revolutionize the way our generation sees ourselves and each other. This self-love revolution starts with you and I and then it is bound to spread like wildfire igniting hope, love, respect and acceptance for all. So please always remember that you are amazing because of who you are in this very moment, not because of what you could be. Everything that you will never be is nothing close to everything that you already are. You are not the size of your jeans or the number on the scale. Your worth can never be contained by a simple lifeless number. Your body is not a battleground and you have every right to feel respected, accepted and loved in your own skin. 
Keep fighting the good fight,
Rae Smith & The Team!

How amazing is that? A group of YOUNG people dedicated to spreading positive body image messages with the rest of the world. I am very impressed, to say the least. 

So I have decided to participate in the challenge. It's only 6 weeks and takes a short amount of time each day/week, yet I have a feeling it will make a big impact. Even though I am a few years into recovery I am a firm believer that revisiting these topics regularly is what will keep me on the right path, forever. 

You might have never struggled with an ED, but could you use a little more self love in your life? Do you want to start 2012 with a fresh outlook and put self criticism to rest once and for all? Want to wake up and start loving your body instead of ripping it apart, one negative comment at a time? Then I encourage you to participate with me. Take the challenege. What do you have to loose? I guarantee you will be no worse off after 6 weeks and you will probably learn something in the process. 

Details of the challenge are described here. 

All you need:
6 weeks
Someone you trust (spouse, family member, friend)
A journal and a pen (I know... I am not the journal type, and if this is you, let's just get over it together)
An open mind, honesty and determination
Perseverance when things get challenging

I will be completing the challenge for the first 6 weeks of 2012, beginning on Sunday January 1st and then will be blogging about my experience and sharing my Dear. Body, letter (will be writing during week 5) with you all.  

So... Who's in? 
If you choose to participate, and have a website, please blog about your experience and link up so we can all read and celebrate with one another. 
Heres to kicking off a happy and healthy 2012!

Monday, December 12, 2011

ED 101 (a free educational tool provided by NORMAL nonprofit)

I ran across this You Tube video (that I originally found from this site) and just had to share. It is 35 minutes long but so worth watching if you have some extra time. Many aspects of this video resonate with me and my past struggles (and now deeper understanding) of anorexia. I love the mission and goal of the NORMAL nonprofit and think their idea of bringing ED awareness to young people, through the arts, is genius. Eating Disorders are rampant and will not go away by simply ignoring the issues or the people struggling. We must educate ourselves. We must talk about realities. Watch, listen, learn and please share your thoughts, feelings and/or reactions in the comments. 

"ED101 provides hope—from those who have recovered and from those who have treated [eating disorders].
.. This film counters the shame and captures the courageous spirit of those who refuse to be bound by it.

Eating Disorders 101 (ED 101), sponsored by Timberline Knolls, is a free educational tool provided by the NORMAL nonprofit which educates about eating disorders, self-esteem and body image through arts and mindfulness programs. ED 101 is the result of more than five years of work and is possible due to ongoing support from Joanne and Daniel C. Smith, the Pink House Foundation, Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation, NIS First 100 Club, Innovative Women's Producer's Network and patrons. We are grateful to be collaborating with more than 15 national nonprofit organizations to distribute this DVD to schools worldwide.

The NORMAL nonprofit strongly recommends that this film be accompanied by our Myth Busters hand out as well as a discussion panel of experts. For our free 90-page curriculum, details on handouts and free guidelines on how to create an effective discussion panel, please visit

Reactions to the clip?
Did anything surprise you?
Do you think a musical that is based on Eating Disorders is a good/bad idea?

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