Friday, December 26, 2008

Madison Hope has arrived!

We would like to joyfully announce the safe delivery of our sweet baby girl,
Madison Hope Baylor

She was born on December 22, 2008
She weighed 7 pounds 11 ounces
She was 21.5 inches long

We are so thankful to the Lord for His love and grace!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy 28th Birthday Tim!

It's Tim's Birthday and I just wanted to say again how much I love and admire him. He has worked so hard for our family this semester. He has worked 15+ hours a week for our church, 20+ hours a week for Starbucks, and then took 15 graduate credits at Trinity. He has been amazing! It came down to the wire here at the end - he had big exam last Monday and a huge paper due today - on top of that he ended up working 80 hours at Starbucks in 10 days to keep insurance for himself and Maddy. But he pushed through and finished it all. This was basically his last semester of classes. Next semester he will go to one class at TEDS, while he writes his Thesis. The end is in sight!

All that to say, I am so proud of my husband. He is a hardworking man who I know will be a great father to our little Maddy (provided she ever comes ;) - I know this because he is already a fantastic husband! Happy Birthday babe!

Tim was really craving ribs, so on the recommendation of someone from our church we tried this place:

We had a really great time just relaxing and catching up after such a busy semester
As you can see, Tim really enjoyed his ribs :)

We got a seat right by the cozy, warm fireplace
On our way home, we stopped by the Cheesecake Factory to grab dessert to eat while we watched "The Office"
Tim chose their HUGE chocolate cake - his favorite. It was seriously good! Both of us together could not even finish it off. The rest is in the fridge right now, and knowing my cravings lately, it may be gone come morning ;)

All and all we had a really nice time together. Even though it has been a little frustrating waiting for Maddy, I am thankful that Tim was able to finish up his semester and that we have gotten a little bit of time to spend together. God is truly so good!

We go in for the ultrasound tomorrow at 11:45am to see the size of Maddy and where the amniotic fluid is at. Then at 12:15pm we will see the doctor to check if I am dilated anymore and discuss our options. So if you could, pray for wisdom :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Still Waiting...but now with an end in sight

Well, I went to the doctor's office today and he said that I was 1 cm dilated and that things seem to be progressing. I was excited to hear that! He said that if by Friday she has not come, we will do an ultrasound to check her size and the level of amniotic fluid. At that point we will discuss the possibility of being induced. Soo, we shall see!

Here are some of the things that I have been doing around the house while waiting (let's just say I have been NESTING!)

Bags are packed (except for last minute things we'll have to throw in)

I labeled everything in my pantry --haha I kind of went nuts - but it was so much fun!
All of Maddy's laundry is is washed and folded.
I baked coconut macaroons to freeze for the holidays when family comes.
Brownie cookies...
Chocolate chip, pecan Coffee cake for Tim (he said it would help him through the end of his semester :)
Stuffed shells to freeze for a meal after the baby
Presents are all wrapped and mailed (to family in PA)
The tree is up and decorated!
The stockings are hung by the chimney with care... in hopes that sweet Maddy soon will appear!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Nursery Pictures

Yesterday I put the final touches on Maddy's room. I had some MAJOR nesting energy yesterday. I was busy around the house all day long! It feels good to have it all organized and clean.

This is an adorable sign that Scott and Lindsay Logan found and bought for us. Tim and I love it!

This is the Olivia Set from Target - color is a little hard to see, but it is
pink, off-white, and brown.

This is my favorite - this little corner. I am sure I will spending a lot of time there! Lindsay found this glider for me on Craigslist. I bought it from a very nice, well-to-do couple in our area for $50! It was a horrible color, so my twin sister Rachael made some slip covers for me! Didn't she do a great job?

Here is a picture with the flash - so you can see the colors a bit better.

I finally got her closet organized. It is actually a combination of our things and her things - nothing like living in a tiny apartment. I had to do some serious rearranging!

Well, now I am ready. As you can see by my ticker - I am past my "due date". I went to the doctor on Monday and he did not see any changes yet. He actually surprised me, because he said that my due date was actually the 14th! I was like, "What? The early ultrasound had said it would be December 9th" I swear that early on - he agreed that December 9th was the due date and hasn't mentioned any other date since then. --oh well. So anyways, I guess I am trying to put things in perspective and be willing to wait if I need to. It's just hard if you have had one day in your head for sometime and then it suddenly changes. I have another appointment on Monday the 15th - so we will see what is going on then.

Friday, December 05, 2008

It is Finished!

I finished my last day with my students yesterday and then met with parents today for progress reports and to introduce my maternity substitute. I can hardly believe that I am finished until March 16th! In Early November I was in tears, thinking that I would never make it. This has definitely been one of my most difficult classes and just an all around difficult teaching experience. But God is so good. He carried me through. I am feeling very confident in my substitute that she will do a great job and have them where I need them to be when I return.

Funny, I texted my mom and said, "I am finished!" and she said, good now go put your feet up and get some rest! I replied, "I don't know if I remember how, but I will try". I don't think it has hit me yet that I don't have to lesson plan this weekend, respond to parent e-mails, or grade papers! What WILL I do with myself? There are a few things that I would like to accomplish still before Maddy arrives: wash and fold one more load of baby clothes, put up the curtains in her room, straighten the nursery and get a few pics, organize my Christmas card addresses, pick up around the house, and decorate the Christmas tree. I actually purchased our tree at Home Depot LAST Saturday for $15 - and it is a gorgeous tree! But it is still sitting in our living room (in a stand with water) undecorated. Tim and I have been so crazy busy. Hahah! So I guess now I have time to do some decorating this weekend :)

Here is a free photo I got taken at Babies R Us - I was about 39 weeks here - crazy how close I am getting!

I would ask that if you could pray for Tim. He has a major paper, an exam, and reading to be done by the 17th of December and he just found out from Starbucks that he has to have a total of 240 hours of work put in (for this quarter) at Starbucks by December 15th in order to keep insurance for himself (and baby Maddy). We originially thought the deadline was December 30th, so he was going to reach that no problem. Long story short - he has to work an outrageous number of hours this next week just to keep insurance. On top of that, he still has church things to deal with for our college group and quite a bit of school work left to do. He he so amazing! He has not even complained about it to me. He is just willing to do whatever it takes to care for our family. What an amazing husband I have!

He even found time to put together Maddy's crib and Changing table.There were like a gizillion pieces - he is so patient! I would have totally flipped out!

This is a picture of Tim with our sweet niece, Sadie Baylor. I know is going to be a great Dad!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Fun at Woodfield Mall

This past week, Katie Barker and I went out to the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg to do a little Christmas shopping and just enjoy the holiday decorations and atmosphere. We had such a fun time.

Here are some of the beautiful decorations. The mall is just so huge and the central area is just gorgeous!
This area is like a little North Pole Wonderland... so cute.

So we went into the MASSIVE Bath and Body Works store. Seriously, it had like 3 separate wings to it. We were in there forever... but we didn't even realize it. They had this deal going on that you could by 7 of the large lotions, sprays or body washes for $35 and then you would get the 8th one free. So we each picked out 4 that we liked... and then Katie had 4 coupons ($10 off if you spent $30, home fragrance free with purchase and so on) so basically we got $125 worth of merchandise for $27 ! We each only paid like $13.50! What a deal!!!

After that we stopped by an A&W to get a root beer float. And by that point it was like 8:30pm and we were exhausted! So we were a little zany to say the least:)

This one of the two of us was taken by a "bus boy" at the restaurant. He did not speak English and we were using my camera phone because we had both forgotten our cameras... so anyways, it quite the funny experience.

All in all we had a great time. It was a good way to kick of the holiday season and to spend some time with a good friend :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

37 Weeks and Counting

Well, here I am at 37 weeks. I can hardly believe that I am almost at the end of this journey of pregnancy. I have been feeling pretty good still. It's just getting a little painful to walk around too much and of course I am exhausted at the end of every day. But it is good to be able to see the "light at the end of the tunnel". I am seeing my doctor weekly now and he told me yesterday that she as head down and all looks good. So I am very excited about that. That is something I was specifically praying about.

I only have 2 more weeks of teaching at HFLS. (3 days this week 4 days next week) so only 7 more teaching days! I can hardly believe it. It will be nice to be finished and hopefully to have a few days of quiet at home before Maddy comes. Tim has asked me to wait until the 17th(the end of his semester). I am not sure I want to wait that long, but we will see :)

I hope you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving Holiday this year. We will miss not being home with family, but we are celebrating with another family at our church and will be helping to host some of the college kids in our group from church. I love the holidays. I am looking forward to getting my tree the day after Thanksgiving and setting up all of my Christmas decorations!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Obama Victory is an Inspiration

I know some of my more conservative readers might automatically think, what in the world is she talking about? Let me explain. Although I do not align myself with all that Barack Obama stands for, I am thankful for the inspiration that he has been in winning this National Election. I have a unique perspective on how this President-elect has impacted specifically the African-American community. As many of you know, I teach at a school on the west-side of Chicago.  The demographic is 100% African-American. Although this has been somewhat of a challenging transition for me, I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of teaching in such a culturally different area (especially compared to my previous job in VA Beach).
The day after the election, students were heard shouting "Obama - Obama- Obama!" in the school hallways. There was a sensation of new hope that came with this new day in American History. Our principal gave an inspiring speech about how there are no excuses left for why anyone cannot become everything that they dream to become. She shared how Obama was not handed everything he got; he worked hard for it. Students were reminded that they need to take advantage of their education and not make any excuses about why they cannot succeed. They have no reason to say now, that their life is too hard or society is against them. Barack Obama has proven that America is a country where any person (no matter their race, gender, or religious views) can have the "American Dream".  What an encouragement! I am personally encouraged with seeing how far our nation has come in the civil rights movement. This truly has been an historic election. One I am sure we will remember for many years to come.  

I want to end with one little interaction between our Chaplain (pastor Hunter) and the students. I wish I would have video taped it, but this is how it went:

Mr Hunter: Good Morning Holy Family!
Students : Cheer and yell, Good morning Mr. Hunter!
Mr. Hunter: I heard a rumor! (in loud excited voice)
Students: A rumor? (in excitement and anticipation)
Mr. Hunter: Yea, I heard a rumor!
Students: A rumor?!  
Mr. Hunter: Yea, that the next President of the United states looks just like YOU!
Students: Loud clapping, cheering, stomping, hooting and hollering!!!!

I am encouraged that these students have a positive African-American role model that doesn't bounce a ball or bust a rhyme. They have someone before them that has applied himself, by getting  a great education and is having an historic impact on our nation and world. 

Monday, October 27, 2008

Baby Shower Weekend!

Well, this was the weekend for baby showers! I have to say, I have been blessed with so many "mini-showers" along the way! (Baylor family on vacation, friends in VA Beach, Cohort at Trinity and then this weekend my class threw me a shower on Friday during school and Katie and Lindsay threw me a shower on Saturday!)  

As I said, my class (and their parents) got together and planned a meal and shower for me during school on Friday. In Holy Family fashion, they served fried chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, and greens. It was delicious!

The kids had so much fun. They sat sooo QUIETLY and ate (now I know the secret : I just need to stuff their faces :)
I got some really cute outfits and some other sweet "baby things".

Then on Saturday, Katie and Lindsay (and another girl from my church) planned a shower for my church friends, school friends, local friends and family.  The cookies below were made by Katie and Linds. Sooo cute!

This was the food - just absolutely stunning! And it was so yummy too :)
I got some really great things that I needed still (Praise the Lord!)

Here are some of the gals from church
And some of the gals from Holy Family Lutheran School
My mom and my twin sister decided to make the drive out (12+ hours) just for the day! They are too sweet! Rach organized my family by sending out e-mails and asking everyone to send her whatever they could towards a shower gift. Then she went to Babies R' Us and bought us a crib, mattress, car seat, and stroller!  Thank you Jordan family! You rock!

And lastly, just wanted to give props to Lindsay and Katie for planning this shower for me. I know how much time, money, love, and effort it takes to coordinate something like this. So thanks so much ladies!
And I cannot end without thanking the Lord for His love and provision. He is so good! 

Sunday, October 19, 2008

32 week Belly Shot

Here I am at about a week ago at 8 months (32 weeks). I am feeling well for the most part - just getting a little tired and uncomfortable (as is to be expected!) I am excited because I only have 7 weeks left of teaching (which is actually only 31 days of actual teaching days!!!!) Madison Hope will be here before we know it :)