December 31, 2009

Belly Photos - Week 30

30 Week Pictures

This morning Dan took a few belly pictures for me - we got the inspiration for this photo from a picture we saw at the 3d / 4d ultrasound place we went to here in town

This is my favorite one - I love my Ava and I love daisies!

In my pj's - we call these "butter pants" because they're so soft and I could literally live in these pants if given the opportunity!

Me and Ava - she weighs almost 3 pounds now and is a little over a foot long from head to toe.

We got to see her for a couple minutes the other day during our 3d / 4d ultrasound but she was sleepy and had her hands up near her face so they re scheduled us for January 5th. Hopefully we'll get to see more of her little face next time :) I loved seeing her even though it wasn't a clear shot - the best part was seeing her toes wiggle around. They are all the way up by her head now! Will post our ultrasound pictures once we get them next week.

Have a great day!

Christmas Update

Happy New Year;s Eve Day Everyone :)

Hope you all had a great Christmas and are ready to have a great New Year! Dan and I had an awesome Christmas in Maryland with my family... we even got to see lots of snow while we were up there (the pups loved it too!). It has been a while since my last post so I am going to do an over view of all the fun things that have happened since then...

Ava's First Christmas Presents

Picture of me being cheesy with Ava's first Christmas Present from Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Hampton :)

Her presents - My favorite part about the first one is that the sleeves fold over to make little mittens... the second one will be really cute once it gets warm outside!

Ava's AWESOME new jogging stroller that we got from Bi-Bi and Grandpa Troy... can't wait to take this out for a spin once Ava gets here (lots of trails to run on base!).

Thanks everyone for the sweet gifts for Ava!

Painting Ava's Room

Before we left for Maryland we started painting Ava's room... here's a picture of Dan before we started (he's so cute!). The bottom half looks great and we're going to hopefully get started on the top half today which will be a slightly lighter color than what you see below. We really love the dark wood of her crib and soon to be dresser against this tan color!

It's coming along!

Christmas Treats

Dan working on the insane amount of chocolate pretzels we made - we made these for my Mama for her birthday around Thanksgiving and they liked them so much that they asked us to make them for Christmas too :) So we made them...

Buckeyes - Peanut Butter dipped in Chocolate, yum!

We also made sugar cookies which were my personal favorites - so simple but so tasty. We had lots of fun making these even though we waited till the last minute... thank goodness Dan helped out so much or else I would have been up all night :) It would have been worth it though since the family enjoyed them so much!

Christmas Eve Pictures

Me and Ava - Christmas Eve 2009

Dan, Me and Ava - Christmas Eve 2009

Me and my brother Connor (he's growing up so fast!) - Christmas Eve 2009

My family - Connor, Troy and Mama :)

It was a great Christmas Eve with my family... Aunt Pooh and Ed were there too! We all went out to dinner at Morton's and got to have a lot of tasty food. My favorites were the salad with Thousand Island dressing, mac and cheese and the chocolate lava dessert - yum! Ava seemed pretty excited about the food as well and also the Journey we listened to on the way home (she was rolling her feet and hands all over the place - I loved it!). Dan and I also went to church for the candlelight service once we got home from dinner.

So that was our Christmas in a nutshell! I wish I had a picture of the pups playing in the snow... they had so much fun. We're home now and ready to spend the next couple of months getting ready for Ava's arrival - only about 2 months to go!

Have a great New Years Eve everyone! We'll be spending it with some great friends here in Fayetteville :)

December 17, 2009

Week 28 Belly Picture and Update

Hey Everyone!

Well another week is coming to a close and I can still hardly believe how fast time is going by now and how fast Ava is growing! I have been getting to feel her move in different ways the last week or so - it has turned from kicks and punches into rolling and pressing type of movements. I always try and picture what she's doing in there and which body part is pressing against my belly. It's tough to figure out right now but I'm thinking in a couple of weeks it should be easier to tell. This past month Ava was the size of an eggplant weighing in at around 2.5 pounds. In this 7th month she will now be the size of a squash and will weigh 3.8 pounds by the end of this month :) I can really start to feel her weight shifting around when I lay down or when she lays off to one side more than the other. Bending over is also becoming quite a challenge and it appears that my organs are moving further and further up along with Ava making this difficult. Dan has had to help me tie my shoes and paint my toe nails now (very sweet of him!) a couple of times. I have also been getting more and more worn out during the day despite how little or how much I do - this has the been the toughest thing for me to get used to so far since I'm not able to necessarily do all of the things I'd like to do during the day... taking it easy so I don't tire both me and Ava out is very important to me though (not saying I am good at always taking it easy - I'm working on it). Workouts have decreased quite a bit but if I am feeling good still later in the afternoon I will usually get one in and as always I am loving yoga! As the weeks continue to fly by I am getting more and more excited with anticipation about meeting Ava face to face for the first time. I can only imagine how amazing it is going to be to finally have her with us - Dan is as excited as I am, especially since he doesn't get to spend the quality time with her right now like I do :) I wanted to share this poem that I read on another pregnancy blog that I love to follow :

Awaiting Little You By Sherri L. Sides

Coming into my world, is what I long await
Nine months have passed so slowly, giving you and me time to relate.
Your arrival will give wings to us, changing couple to sweet family,
Bonding us all in our lifetimes as the two of us become three.
I have read to you lines of poetry to develop your love of verse,
I have sung to you songs and hymns I love, to quench your spiritual thirst. I have s
poken to you of family and the world they mean to me,
All of whom will surround you soon, this beautiful new baby to see.
I have spoken to you of our home and the warmth and love you will bring, may you always know your importance here and how your laughter will make my heart sing. I have spoken to you of God, the joy and hope He gives to my heart, praying that you, too, will discover the richness His love imparts. Little baby you just can't imagine wondrous blessings as your life begins, may you feel the love that we have for you and know that it has no end.

Me and Ava at 28 weeks :)
Somehow my belly button is still in... but just barely.

Thanks to the blogger that shared this poem - I absolutely fell in love with it when I read it and couldn't help but cry a little out of pure excitement for us to meet Ava in a few short months. Hope you all enjoyed it too - especially you other expectant Mama's out there :)

As for things that have been going on this week - just finishing up Christmas presents, had another puppy play date with my friend Sam, took my 1 hr. glucose tolerance test (YUCK!) and today I'll be going to my next prenatal appointment. Hope you all have a great rest of your week and that you all are enjoying the holiday spirit - I know I am and especially just taking time to let others know how much they mean to me and reflecting on all Dan and I have to be grateful for :)

<3 Love,

Ash, Dan and Baby Ava

December 16, 2009

Christmas Truffles

This year for Christmas Dan and I made truffles and fudge to send as presents to a few family members. I love making homemade gifts as Christmas presents and especially the kind you can eat :) They were a lot of fun to make - a little bit trickier then I first anticipated but I am really happy with how they turned out. Now all I hope is that they make it where they are going in one piece! Here are the pictures from our truffle making adventure -

Almond covered truffles

The finished product :)

Here is the Martha Stewart packaging that I bought at Micheal's to put the truffles and fudge in - I love the little details that come with these boxes like the stickers and the tissue paper. Not to mention I got them 50% off - such a good deal! Packaging and wrapping presents are one of my favorite things to do during the holidays. I feel like having special packaging can make any present so much more special for people to receive and open! Here's the recipe if any of you guys are interested in making truffles of your own :

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Truffles


2 cups of 60% Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
1/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa
1/3 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, cut into small pieces


In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Add the butter and stir until melted. Add the chocolate chips. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and pour into a shallow bowl.

Cool, cover, and refrigerate the mixture until firm, at least 2 hours.

Using a melon baller or small spoon, roll the mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in the cocoa. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Note: The Unsweetened Cocoa can be replaced with 3/4 cup of chopped almonds or pecans.

December 14, 2009

Family Christmas Photo

Hey Everyone!

Happy Monday - hope you all have a great start to your weeks! Just thought I would post our family Christmas photo for this year. We have never attempted to use the timer on our camera to take a picture of the whole family - to say the least we had to try it a couple of times before we got it right :) It was a lot of fun though - and some of the pictures are pretty funny!

Family :)

Our Christmas tree - we both think that Christmas trees are so pretty on their own that we never decorate ours. I think we'll probably start though once Ava gets old enough to enjoy that tradition.

Eeek - this is what happens when you use the timer for the first time hehe :)

That's better - Dan, me and Ava <3

As for our weekend - it was nice and relaxing! We watched a bunch of movies including Boondock Saints 2, The Most Wonderful Time of The Year, Night at The Museum 2, A year Without A Santa Claus and some others that I can't remember. We got to spend Saturday night hanging out at my friend Sam's house and played this game called Continental (fun game - we need to play this again soon when we're not all tired). Sunday we got to sleep in a little, go to an AWESOME church service at Manna, relax that whole afternoon, run some repeats in front of the house and make some Christmas candy :) It was a great weekend and I'm so glad to have Dan home from the field!!

December 11, 2009

Week 28 - Hellooo Third Trimester!

Today is the beginning of Week 28 and you know what that means... only 12 weeks to go!! I am getting to so excited for Ava to be here and so is Dan. If I am this excited now I can't imagine how excited and ready I will be for her to get here when the time actually comes. Here is a growth chart that I found online this morning that I thought was very interesting and really shows how much we'll both be growing these last 12 weeks :

Very medical looking - I know but I just couldn't get over how much growth will occur just in the last little bit of the pregnancy and how much she'll change even between now and week 32! Today I'll be scheduling our next 3D/4D ultrasound which we're going to do (hopefully) on December 30th which is Dan's birthday :) I can hardly wait to get to see her sweet little face again.

With the package that we're going with this time we'll get a DVD of the entire ultrasound that we'll be able to watch at home - very excited about this since it's hard to remember the little details the further away you get from when you had the ultrasound. I'm so glad I have these pictures on our computer from the first one.

In other news : Congrats to my husband Dan!!! He just found out last night that he got selected for civil affairs and will be switching over to one of those units very soon. He's been waiting to hear back from them for quite a while now and it was such a relief to finally know either way whether he was chosen or not - and of course we're veryyyy excited that it was a YES you are chosen :) And he ended up getting home from the field last night instead of today which I was VERY excited about... when I saw him pull into the drive way I was at the front door jumping up and down like a little girl hehe then I proceeded to try and run up and jump on him like I used to before I was pregnant but quickly realized that wasn't going to work :) Ahh once again I'm sure we were quite the sight.

Hope you all have a great Friday - Ava and I are off to go do some yoga!

December 10, 2009

Fun Things - Week 27

Hey Everyone!

Just wanted to post a quick list of some fun things that happened this week :

  • Puppy play date with my friend Sam and her pups Gracie and Sylvia - Rico of course tried to be the dominate one of the group as always but like usual he was over thrown by a female... poor guy :)

  • Watched Julia and Julie - such a good movie... just made me feel good! Not to mention it was fun to snuggle with the pups on the couch during the movie since Dan is in the field this week
  • Got all of Dan's presents bought and wrapped this week. Very excited about giving one gift in particular. I hope he likes it!

  • Went to the Trees for Troops event on base and got our beautiful free Christmas tree - this thing is ginormous and was at least 3 x heavier than all the other ones I looked at while I was there. So glad I got in line early this year - it was a zoo when I was leaving. Couldn't help but think about next year when Ava will be with us to pick out our tree :)

  • Got the tree inside and set up all on my own... this always makes me feel good, especially when it's a monster like this one!
  • Realized I have almost gained 30 pounds and can't believe it because I don't feel that much heavier. Feeling good and glad that Ava is growing healthy!

  • I have become a true chocoholic this week - hot chocolate, chocolate candy, chocolate covered cookies, chocolate ice cream... you name it and I would LOVE to have some of it!
  • Set the date for the baby shower - January 30 @ 6:30 PM - Thank you John and Clare for planning it, it means so much to us.
  • Realized that we are in the THIRD TRIMESTER starting tomorrow (week 28) - home stretch here we come! We are so close to meeting Ava I can barely believe it.
  • Enjoyed spending time with great friends, clients and talking with my family that lives far away. I am so blessed to have such amazing people all around me.

That's all for my quick update of fun things that occurred this week. Dan will be home tomorrow but first I'll be going to yoga, planning a tasty dinner for him and hopefully working on Ava's room before he gets home. Hope you all have a great night and enjoy this wintery weather :)

December 07, 2009

Week 27 Updates

Hey Everyone!

Just wanted to do a quick post with a few updates from this week.

My biggest news for this week is that Dan and I both got to feel Ava's little foot for the first time the other night :) It's so funny because I'm starting to feel her move in different ways now - more rolling around hands and feet then big punches and kicks like she was doing before. I also feel like she is pressing out more with her hands and feet in certain spots. Dan and I were sitting on the couch as I was telling him about this... I reached down to see if I could show him what I was talking about and there was her little foot pressing right under my belly button!! It was such a great moment and made us feel that much closer to her. Dan laughs at me because I'll just sit there and stare at my belly sometimes waiting to see her move in different ways... I can't help it, every little move still amazes me!

Week 27 Picture

I have been feeling a little bit more tired the last two weeks than I have in a while... I'm thinking I need to bring back the afternoon naps from the first trimester. Today I also had a pretty bad dizzy spell. I was staring at a handout that I was helping explain to a friend at work and as I was sitting there my entire vision shifted to the right and then to the left and then back to the center again. That was the worst of it but the dizziness didn't go completely away. I think it had a little to do with over doing it during the morning and not eating enough (I ate my usual stuff but I don't think it's cutting it anymore for feeding both me and Ava). It scared me a little but my friend gave me some peanut butter and I took it easy for a bit before I decided I should probably go home, lay down and get some food. I ended eating lunch and sleeping for about 3 hours - after that I felt MUCH better... still not quite myself but much better. I am definitely going to do everything I can to keep that from happening again - not a good feeling, not to mention it means I could be doing more to take better care of myself.

As for workouts - they have been more sporadic as of lately and have included more running than before. Yesterday afternoon Dan and I went to a track on base and did a Fartlek workout - mine was significantly modified but still was a lot of fun! For this type of workout you do 1:00 minute at a slow pace, 1:00 minute at a medium pace and 1:00 minute at a fast pace. It was pretty funny how similar all three of my paces have become :) It felt great to be outside though and to watch Dan and all of the other people on the track run repeats and things like that. I was hoping to do a CrossFit workout today but after my dizzy spell I figured that was not a good idea. So for now I am playing my workouts by ear... if I feel good I'll do a workout but if not rest it is :) I still have been doing yoga every Friday with Clare at the Breathing Space which I LOVE! Will probably start doing more yoga - per Clare's suggestion - the closer we get to Ava's arrival to help me stay relaxed, loose and focused.

That's about all the news for now. Been having fun getting everything ready for Christmas and can't believe it's almost here already! Will be going to the Trees for Troops event this Thursday to hopefully get our free Christmas tree - our tree that we got last year from this event was so beautiful. Alright, time for bed :) Goodnight and I hope you all are having a great week so far!

December 01, 2009

Thanksgiving Photos

Hey Everyone!

We made it home safely from Maryland and are finally getting back into the swing of things here at home. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family and we hope you all had a great Thanksgiving as well :) Here are some pictures from our trip - only ended up taking a few:

My family on Thanksgiving morning before our annual Thanksgiving 5 mile race - the race was a lot of fun and I was able to run the whole thing without stopping, yay! My brother was so sweet and stayed with me the whole time so I would have some company :) Everyone else had fun racing and got some pretty good times!
In the photo (left to right): My Brother Connor, Step Dad Troy, my Mom Lya, random turkey, Me, Aunt Pooh and Dan.

My Mom's beautiful Thanksgiving table :) She is an amazing decorator and I am convinced she'll own her own decorating company someday soon (hint hint)!! She always does such an awesome job of making Thanksgiving a special day for everyone. Thanks Mama!

Mama getting everything ready... at the crucial moment before everything is done!

Those are pretty much all the pictures I have from the trip :( Wish I had taken more but we were busier than I thought we would be. I will work on taking more at Christmas time... which is coming up very quickly by the way - eek! I can hardly believe how quickly time is flying by. In 3 short months or so Ava will be here with is :)

Highlights of the trip:
  • Getting to see my family for Thanksgiving and my Mom's birthday
  • Having some funny conversations at dinner with the family - those are always the best!
  • Surprise fireworks at National Harbor on the night before my Mom's birthday - fireworks are one of her favorite things and this was an AMAZING fireworks display. The willow tree one was my favorite.
  • Georgetown shopping for my Mom's birthday - got to spend time with my Mom and Aunt Pooh and find a bunch of great buys including two pairs of awesome boots (Thank you Aunt Pooh and Mom for your help!).
  • Black Friday shopping with Dan - something I have never done before but had fun wandering around with Dan, yay for Bath and Body Works sales!
  • Dan and I getting to recreate some college memories at Einstein Bagels - we used to eat there almost everyday when we both went to ASU. They had our favorite holiday coffee too - yum!
  • Dan surprising me with a cross necklace that we saw while we were out on Black Friday :) He hung it on our bedroom door at the house so I would find it - so sweet!
  • Ava getting to be around and hear everyone's voices - can't imagine how amazing it will be to have her there with us next year for Thanksgiving and Christmas!
  • Just being home - I love it there so much.
Things I am grateful for:
  • My husband Dan and our little family - including Rico and Marley :)
  • Our baby girl Ava and the smooth/healthy pregnancy that we've had so far - here's to the next 3 months going just as smoothly.
  • All of our friends and family - I am so blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people and am so happy that Ava will have such loving people in her life from the very beginning.
  • Our cozy home - lots of memories yet to made here!
  • Our jobs - very thankful for the stability that we have.
  • All of the things we have had the opportunity to experience and grow from this year - it was a BIG year for our little family, lots of happy times and some rough times but all of them have helped us to grow in a very good way. God is so good :)
  • The opportunity to do the things we love everyday.