• And What I've Learned About Being Pregnant So Far!

I’m so thankful for this weekend. I was surrounded by friends who have literally known me since I was a baby. Momma and Daddy moved to tiny Sparta, VA when I was just a little over a year old. He became the pastor of our church in the middle of the country and is still there today. We grew up there! I went to high school there! I found my husband there …. at the age of 15! 😃 And the little crossroads of Sparta became the only “home” that we ever knew.

All three of us James kids remember growing up with the Beales, Beasleys, Terrys and Alsops living just right down the road. We didn’t grow up in a typical neighborhood… those don’t exist in the country! But we did grow up with an incredible community of friends and our church family. This past Saturday my Mom, Sister, future Sister-in-law, Mother-in-law and Sister-in-law all threw Baby Alsop a shower back home! Sweet ladies that used to rock me in the nursery at church were there. My first hairdresser, my second moms, my adopted Aunts, my parent’s best friends, my first Sunday school teachers, etc. etc. You know Michael and I haven’t really lived at home since we left for college, and that was almost 10 years ago… and yet this community still loves and supports us in such sweet ways.

These friends showered Baby Alsop with the sweetest gifts!! (If only we had a nursery we could put everything in!! Hopefully we get to move SOON!! I’m ready!!!) Saturday was wonderful, and I’m so grateful for everyone who helped make it happen. We are so thankful for the sweet gifts, and four stood out to me! :

– Michael ’s sweet Aunt Susan surprised us with the most adorable rocking “sheep” from Pottery Barn Kids that I honestly didn’t think we would receive! I registered for it because I just LOVED it, and I can’t wait to take pictures of her on it one day!!!! I was so excited when I opened it!
– Michael’s sister Sarah is a librarian, and so it made sense that she would give her future niece some classic bedtime books. But her gift was extra special because it included the story book AND the matching “Corduroy”stuffed bear… and inside of the book there is a picture of Michael when he was little holding the same bear! I cry at everything these days, so I definitely cried at this!
– Our sweet friend Doris starting cutting my hair when I was 2 years old. She’s been a part of our life since we were babies, and she gave our baby girl a beautiful pearl necklace that belonged to her daughter when she was a baby. Doris lost her daughter 17 years ago, and so I know how special this is to her. I can’t tell you what it means to us that she would give something that she cherishes so much to OUR little girl. Again… I cried.
– Last, but certainly not least…. Have you ever heard of “Goodnight Moon”? It’s a classic bedtime story book! Well, the Beale family found the 21st century version titled “Goodnight iPad”, and they bought it for Michael!!! So fitting! He loved it!!!!

There were so many other sweet gifts that we loved. I would be here all day if I listed them all. A big thank you to my Momma, Sister, Morgan, Perrin, Claire, Bobbi, and Sarah for their hard work! I know Daddy and Corey helped prep and clean up too! And an extra thank you to Emy for driving over 5 hours to help put together a shower for her sister when she’s 8 months pregnant!!!! What a champ!!!

So, before I go, I have always viewed my blog as a way to remember the seasons of our life! This is definitely a season that I want to remember, but it is hard to find time to document it all! Between the baby, my sister’s baby, launching a new course, re-launching another course, hiring a new employee, finishing wedding season and oh yea…. custom building a HOUSE and making a million pressing decisions…. blogging my pregnancy journey hasn’t really been priority! So at least today I want to share some of the things that I have learned/realized over the last 6 months!!!

– Pregnancy looks different for everyone. VERY different. I didn’t really have a “throwing up” phase, but I was nauseous the most during week 14-18! WEIRD! That whole “second trimester is a dream” thing wasn’t the case for me! I have a friend whose 30+ weeks and I’m bigger than her! WHAT?! I’m only 26 weeks!!! I also have friends who gained over 50 pounds, and I’m right at 22 right now. My best friend Jilly’s skin is GLOWING and perfect, and mine is a hot mess. I feel like it’s very humbling to recognize that you really can’t EXPECT anything! It’s always going to be different for everyone.
– Heartburn Hurts! This is my WORST pregnancy symptom. It doesn’t matter WHAT I eat or drink… it never goes away. I live with a bottle of Tums by my side (and no I don’t exceed the pregnancy limit!). It wakes me up, it happens all day long, and it can get intense! Whew! Just typing about it makes my throat burn!
– Feeling her move everyday is just the BEST thing in the world. I used to think that it must be SO STRANGE for pregnant women to feel another human MOVE inside of them. I was right… it’s strange…but it’s also the most miraculous thing. She moves the most when I’m trying to go to bed, (oh yea… insomnia, that’s a real thing too!) but I don’t mind because it’s so incredible to feel her. I also love the daily reminder that she’s ok. That’s such a gift from God and I’m grateful.
– I haven’t read pregnancy books. I thought I would be that girl that read it all and was over-prepared, but I’m not. And I’m ok with that. I’ve really found such a peace in knowing that I don’t have to perfect and do ALL THE THINGS! Sure, it would be awesome to hand make a baby blanket, but I’m filling up a “belly book” instead. I didn’t do the “weekly growth” pictures of “the bump”, and I don’t feel bad about it. We’re doing what Michael and I think we need for birth classes and not worrying about being on one side of the “natural” fence or the other. I’m a natural worrier and so I think that it’s a gift from God that I feel this way, and I’m not freaking out about everything!
– We care about strollers and carseats. We stopped by BuyBuy Baby, Target and Pottery Barn Kids to do our registry, and there is one thing that both Michael and I were super serious about, and that is the stroller/car seat decision. I have no idea why that’s our “thing” to care about the most, but we really want to invest in the best option for us. Michael has done some SERIOUS research on the topic!!
– We have a NAME! But we’re not sharing it! Sorry!!!! I can handle opinions about carseats and strollers, but I don’t want the internet’s opinion on what Michael and I love for a baby name. 😃 We’re going to share it when she’s born and we can’t wait!!!
– Cereal is my best friend. It doesn’t matter what I’m feeling like, cereal makes it better. Always. If I wake up and I feel like I might get sick, I grab a quick little bowl of Oat Squares and I’m good! It never fails!!!
– Being Pregnant with my Sister & best friend is just the BEST. Sharing this season of life with the two women I’m closest to has been the most amazing gift. I get teary when I think about it. I had so much fear about this season never coming for us. It wasn’t immediate, but it also took us by surprise when it actually happened, and I couldn’t wait to tell Emy and Jill. I’m crying while I type this. We don’t deserve the timeline that we were given. It seems too good to be true, and I’m so thankful for all of the moments where we’ve bonded over what’s changing in our bodies, our marriages, our lives, our houses, etc. etc. I just can’t explain how thankful I am. I thank God EVERY day for this aspect of the season that we’re in.
– I married a good man. Michael has put up with a lot the last 6 months. I’ve had mood swings, break downs, emergency 2am “I need to eat something or I’m going to throw up!” runs to the store while traveling, tears during takeoffs and touchdowns on planes because the altitude change made me feel sick, tears over worrying that she wasn’t ok, being overwhelmed about not registering for stuff fast enough, more tears about absolutely nothing, and meltdowns about how fast I outgrew my pants. Really? I’m a mess. I’m thankful for all of these changes… but Michael has to deal with me when my hormones get the best of me, and he’s always patient. He’s going to be the BEST dad, and while I do worry about the demands of the newborn stage, I find safety and relief in knowing that I always have him to help me. I love him so much and besides meeting this little girl… I’m most excited about seeing Michael become a dad. 😃
– Thank goodness for the SNOOGLE! The Snoogle Pillow changed my life! I’m literally taking it in its’ own suitcase to the next two conferences we’re attending just because I can’t sleep without it!!!! Thank you Jill for the reference! Life changing! My hips thank me!!!

So there you have it… that’s a snapshot of my life right now. There is so much more to share, but those are some of the highlights that have really stood out to me! It’s been a crazy season, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. This baby girl is such a miracle!!! We’re SO thankful for her!!! Here are a few pictures from the shower Saturday!!! Enjoy!! And a special thanks to Perrin & Morgan  for all of their decorating! It was the cutest!


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xoxo, Katelyn
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