Saturday, May 29, 2010

Off to a good start...

There's no combination of words
I could put on a back of a postcard
No song that I could sing
But I can try for your heart
Our dreams, and they are made out of real things
Like a, shoebox of photographs
With sepia tone loving
Love is the answer,
at least for most of the questions in my heart
Like why are we here? And where do we go?
And how come it's so hard?
It's not always easy
and sometimes life can be deceiving
I'll tell you one thing it's always better when we're together.

It's summer. I'm amazed at how different I feel during summer break. My inner audio kicks on and I'm constantly serenated by the sounds of Jack Johnson. I'll admit, I become quite consumed with the life of a school teacher during the months of August through May. It's a constant struggle of mine to juggle all that I value and find important: my husband, my students, my family, my friends, my faith, my house, my meal-making, blog-writing, flower planting, and project-creating. I know I'm not alone in this struggle and am thankful and blessed to have this time off. Especially this summer, which is special in many ways. This summer will be the last summer of 'Beau and Ashley,' the last summer to live the way we've been living for the last six years...just the two of us.

If Day 1 of Summer Break is an indication of the rest of the haul, I'm all for it.

This summer day was beautiful. A cloudless sky, a hot sun, and a balmy 85 degrees.

This summer day included a morning to the Farmer's Market. Although the market included a sparse number of vendors, we pretended we lived in a big city and spontaneously picked out yummy foods to use for supper. I grabbed a loaf of bread and a bunch of ruhbarb, and Beau grabbed a strawberry smoothie (which I eventually helped him finish). We've decided to make the Farmer's Market a regular part of our summer agenda.

This summer day included a day at the pool. Our pool. Even though it takes up the entire walkway from our garage to our back door, we like our pool. We turned on the Cubs game, picked out some books, munched on cheesy popcorn, peanuts, and gummy bears, and felt a small piece of Mexico back in our blood. A small piece. Sure Mexico didn't have the constant buzzing of our air conditioner, the constant tree debris flying in and swimming amidst our floaties, or a filter the size of a fish bowl net, but we had water, we had floaties, and we had sun. Beau says our next step is to build a swim-up bar next to our pool. I think our next step is a plan to keep the June bugs from taking a dip in our pool at night!

Yep, there's the baby bump, soaking up the rays. Embrace it, darn it!

This summer day included a spontaneously planned dinner of grilled strips with a crazy-flavored green sauce, bread for dunking and dipping, grilled maple sweet potatoes, watermelon, all topped off with a slice of Perkins' apple pie (I said this was spontaneous didn't I ;).

This summer day included laundry, Comet in the sink, a trip to Menards, and an overdue kitty litter cleaning. This summer day aimlessly forgot to finish grading the tests, update the final grades, and unpack the school bag.

This summer day was Jack Johnson. This summer day was relaxation. This summer day was us.

Recipe for Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes (Bobby Flay style):

4 sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered, and boiled until soft
¾ cup maple syrup (I make this from scratch by using sugar and mapleine extract)
1 tbsp. chili powder
Veg. oil

While potatoes are boiling, mix maple syrup, chili powder, and salt to taste. Drain potatoes when soft, yet solid (grill-able). Before placing over hot coals, brush each potato chunk with vegetable oil to prevent sticking. After placing on grill, brush heavily with maple syrup mixture. Turn and grill until evenly and slightly charred. Yum!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Week of FIRSTS...

This was a week of many 'firsts.' First day of summer break, first baby shower, first Poetry Slam in my class, first $5 pizza from Little Caesars. Some of these 'firsts' came with a great sigh of relief, some with ample amounts of excitement, and others with a mild dose of heartburn. All in all, however, they are 'firsts,' they are milestones, and they are memories...some I will forget sooner than others; some I won't ever forget.

My first 'first' had me skipping like a school girl across the backyard last night. I was attempting to sort through the growing piles of end-of-the-school-year papers on the kitchen table when a flash of bright pink from the edge of our backyard caught my eye. My peonies had finally decided to bloom. Peonies are not only my favorite flower, but they hold a lot of special memories for me. I was dead-set on having huge bouquets of pink peonies for my wedding; however, not so keen on the idea of spending $4 per stem. So...Mom and I scoured the town of Allison looking for peony bushes, called several homeowners, and asked to steal their buds the day before my wedding. It sounded like a clever idea at the time, right?

The morning before the wedding, Mom and I beat the sun up with buckets in hand, ready to rid the town of Allison of their ant-infested blooms. We had a ball (or at least that's how I remember it three years ago), and we ended up collecting several buckets full of pink peonies. Now, if you know anything about peonies, they bloom around Memorial Day weekend and only stay pretty for about two-three days. Depending on the weather and the amount of rain, we were in for quite the gamble. I remember Mom gave me a card that morning with a picture of peonies on the front. I remember smelling up the entire church with the aroma of peonies, and probably filling the cracks and crevices with a colony of ants. I don't, however, remember what our plan 'B' was in case the peonies decided to bloom too early or too late...

Now, that distinct aroma fills my living room. It's still a baby plant, so I was only able to get about three buds cut from the stem. I'm hesitant to plant more, as I've heard peonies like to take over a yard; however, I could stare at the intricate blooms and smell their beauty forever. Ants or no ants, I'm a sucker for peonies.

My next 'first' actually had Beau skipping like a school girl. Beau purchased his first Lazyboy recliner last weekend. Besides our kitchen table and a couple pieces of furniture Beau has made since we've been married, we have never owned a new piece of furniture. We are grateful for our hand-me-downs; however, with a baby on the way, we decided we needed something that rocked. And reclined. Let's just say, this chair rocks in more than one way.

Today also marks my first official afternoon of 'summer break.' We had an 11:30 dismissal, followed by a faculty get-together at Mulligans. I got some welcomed sun, three of my favorite Mulligans appetizers, and a few Arnie Palmers before heading home to begin the next several weeks of bliss. I still have a lot to do this summer, yet am looking forward to not having 'Go Cubs Go' wake me up every morning at 5:45.

I didn't get an official 'last day of school' picture, so I thought I would include pictures of a summer dreamland...last year we were leaving on a jet plane for Paradise! This year, I'm filling up my own inflatable 'paradise' family swimming pool!

It's SUMMER BREAK...Go fly a kite!

My final 'first' is one I've been waiting for. Wednesday night, I got home from my baby shower and unpacked all of my precious baby gifts. Beau left to go watch the Cubbies play for awhile and I settled on the couch for the American Idol Season Finale. Soon, for about the third day in a row, I started feeling really crummy. A mixture of heartburn, flu-like symptoms, tiredness, and crampy tummy had gotten the best of me and I decided to call it a night pretty early. I went to lay in bed; however, couldn't decide I was about to fall asleep or throw up. So, I laid really still, TV off, home alone, and rubbed my tummy, trying to soothe it. For the first time in a very long time, my mind was completely clear. I thought about nothing but how thankful I was that I hadn't felt this way previously.

I felt him three times. The first caught me a little off guard, as I didn't exactly know what to expect. The second, however, was stronger and there was no denying the fact that my little guy was moving. It felt like a little punch way deep inside my stomach. I'm not sure if it was a foot, or a head, or an entire body, but it was a feeling I've never felt before. And it was a feeling I didn't want to end! It was sooooo cool.

By the second kick, my nausea had subsided and I was fully concentrated on 'trying' to make him move again. I'd lay really still, rub my tummy, and wait. It happened one more time, slightly more faint than the time before. Beau was excited when I told him the news; however, I think he was a little jealous too. I told him it won't be long before he'll be able to see the shape of an entire foot pressing up into my boobs.

P.S. As I'm typing, my little guy is swimming! I can feel him so much right now; it's as if he knows I'm on Summer Break too! Either that, or I'm feeling slightly more clear-headed!

What 'firsts' have you experienced this week? Happy Summer!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Since announcing our baby news several weeks ago, I've felt repeatedly blessed to work at a school. Not only am I surrounded by people who deeply care for kids, but also surrounded by so many experienced moms and dads. The minute they found out the news of my pregnancy, they've welcomed me into the club with wide open arms, and I've realized through this process that I need them. In the busyness that comes with the end of a school year, they haven't missed a beat. The unexpected hugs from teachers for no other reason than to feel the progression of the baby bump, the sweet questions from teachers I would never expect to be concerned (especially the males), and the overwhelming offers of help, loans, and support have been uplifting.

Yesterday, Elizabeth and Bridgette threw Baby J a shower, complete with cold beer and vino for end-of-the-year burnout, fancy cheeses and cookies, and little plastic babies trapped in ice cubes, seeking to be melted through a variety of creative techniques by multi-disciplinary teachers determined to win a door prize! I was humbled to see so many teachers come to celebrate, and blessed to open so many nice cards and baby essentials! These teachers know how to shop! I received the cutest button-up sweater for Baby J, a travel bassinet/pack n' play, Burt's Bees for Babies, several cute sleepers, and a 'Whale of a Tub!'

Other Highlights???

-I loved that Mr. K, our high school art teacher, went shopping 'on his own,' and used the gift receipt as his card, signing it, To: Boy Jorgensen, From: Boy K.
-I loved the science department's 'mish-mash' gift, given with much 'love and affection,' as signed in their card.
-I loved the library of books! So many books given to the English teacher by mommies who have read with their littles for years and know 'the good stuff.' I think Beau needs to build a bookcase!
-I loved watching Shelly vigorously try and melt her 'trapped' baby by sucking on her ice cube, only to lose miserably to several others first

Thanks to my readers and fellow teachers. And we're off to Summer BREAK!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Fab Four

Dear Lil' J,

Well, baby, this is a big week for you. Not only have you graduated from ounces to a whole pound, but you are utilizing four of your senses. I'm a little frustrated that I haven't felt you move yet, but hope you are practicing these fab four (nothing to smell yet) often. They are important for so many reasons and enable you to experience all that makes up this world we live in...this world you will soon be the newest member of.

My pregnancy bible, 'What to Expect...' says you have just recently acquired your ability to touch; however, I can't imagine there is a whole lot for you to touch in there. I picture you pulling and yanking on your umbilical cord (be careful with that), and maybe even touching your toes. I'm sure you can feel the warmth of your surroundings; however, don't get any wild ideas about staying in there longer than expected (like past October 5). Turns out it was pretty warm in my surroundings too this week. Yesterday, it was 90 degrees outside, and my classroom was even warmer than that! I had a glimpse of what it is going to be like in August, only 9 months pregnant! I only hope I can avoid the kankles and grape toes, but as the Black Eyed Peas say, "I gotta feeling..."

Sight...although your little eyelids are still fused shut (how annoying that must be), you can still sense light. I think I'm going to shine a flashlight on my belly until I feel you move. Maybe I can blind you into flinching :)

Just wait, little one. Just wait until you can experience all there is to see in this world. Your first fireworks on the fourth of July, your first snowfall, the bright blue summer sky, and the lush green grass. Your first trip to the mountains, to the zoo, and to Wrigley Field.

Sound...this is cool. Not only can you hear me, but you can hear your dad, probably my students when they are being too loud in class, American Idol, and Jack Bauer on 24. You can for sure hear Jay-Z's Black Album as Beau blares it in his car, and the sounds of Jack Johnson while I clean the house on Saturdays. Music will definitely be a big part of your life and you better get ready for a wide diversity of it.

Taste...I might have saved the best for last. This is really exciting for me, as I love to cook and play with new recipes and new ingredients. Although you are limited when it comes to touch and sight, taste is different. You can taste just about everything I eat...that means, it is up to me to start introducing you to all the fabulous tastes there are in this world. The fresh taste of a cucumber from the Farmer's Market, a ripe, juicy strawberry, and a savory hamburger fresh off the grill. A perfect piece of pepperoni pizza, the melded taste of veggies in a fresh salsa from Pablo's, and the sweetness of a melted chocolate chip cookie dunked in a bowl of vanilla ice cream.

The fab much to see, to feel, to taste, to hear. You won't miss a beat, little one.

Love you to pieces!

-Your mom

Week 22

How far along? 22 Weeks

Total Weight Gain/Loss? Well…I didn’t weigh myself last week, so was surprised to step on the scale this week. I gained four pounds in two weeks!!! I hope this is not the story for the rest of the pregnancy…

Maternity Clothes? A few items were added to the list this week…mainly tops because of the length…I should have been shopping maternity a long time ago!

Stretch Marks? Nope

Sleep? YES

Best Moment This Week? My first baby shower! My school friends were too good to us! I’m pretty blessed to get to work with so many great mommies.

Food Cravings? Fresh fruits and veggies. The heartburn has been escalating this week, so I’m learning to be careful with certain foods.

Gender? Our house is already filling up with lots of BLUE!

What I Miss? Shopping for cute summer clothes. I’ve decided to replace shopping for me with shopping for Lil’ J

What I Look Forward To? Getting this nursery done. The bedding is here and now I’m deciding on paint colors. Anyone who knows me well knows this is not an easy feat.

Milestones? From the pregnant woman’s bible, ‘What to Expect:’ Forget about ounces, baby. This week, we’re talking a whopping weight of 1 pound and a length of nearly 8 inches, about the size of a small doll. Baby can sense light and dark, can hear Beau, and can taste just about everything I’m eating. A big week for milestones, Baby J is using all of his senses, including grabbing onto his umbilical cord! Now, if I could only feel him move! Come on little one!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bare Feet and Chubby Cheeks

I love weekends. Especially weekends in the summer. And today, it felt like summer. A 90 degree, May 23rd day seemed like a week in August. And let's just say, I'm glad it's not August yet! Today was Charly's baptism day. A day for our families to join and celebrate the life of one little girl. In her pretty pink dress and cream satin shoes, she was so sweet during church. She listened intently to the band and calmly sat in Jordan's arms, almost as if she knew she was about to be part of something important. She was especially a trooper when the pastor got a little crazy with the water. As he doused her little head of hair with the holy water, she only blinked tight a few times and stared at the congregation as they stared back with wide smiles and plenty of 'oohs' and 'awes.'

Afterwards, we went back to Jordan and Kelli's for a reception. It was hot, but I was more than happy to rock my little niece to sleep in the shade of a big oak tree. Although her hair resembled Jack Nicholson from 'The Shining,' and her little arms and legs were sticking to mine from the heat, she was the sweetest. Later, we brought her in and she soaked up the center of attention. She smiled, cooed to her Grandpa Denny, and showed us her new trick, over and over again: rolling from her back to her tummy. She rolls to her tummy like nobody's business; however, hasn't figured out how to get back to her starting position. She squeals and kicks her feet in frustration until someone helps roll her back. She reminds me of a little ladybug stuck on its back. Only in reverse :)

Summer is here. Days when you can almost see the steam radiate from people's bodies, only to be cooled to almost shivers when stepping into the AC. Days when my flowers seem to bloom into new shapes every single day. Days when bare feet touch more bare sidewalks and prickly grass than carpet. Days when nothing sounds more refreshing than a quick dip in a cool pool. Days when freezy pops become a regular part of a balanced diet, and ponytails replace the hair straightener. Days when the nights come late and the mornings come later. Days when the sounds of Ron Santo and Pat Hughes and an ice cream cone from MooRoos beat even the most delicious dreams.

Summer is here and for that I am happy.

The Happiness Project Returns

Although I've managed to stay regular with my blog posts, I have not done the best job of staying true to my Happiness Project. So, during the hundreds of commercials of the four hour Lost series finale, I will add to my list of the simple pleasures that life brings. The simple keys of happiness that fit in the locks perfectly. I think I'm on number 37...

37. As the school year comes to a close, I find myself more relaxed at bedtime. What usually consists of about 2 minutes from the time I lay my head on the pillow to the time I fall into a deep night's sleep, lately, has been a little longer. Longer, as in enough time to flip through the channels, savor the puff cloud of comforter that engulfs me, talk with my husband, and eat apples. Yes, lately, I've been craving nothing more than a juicy apple at 10:30 at night. And something about crunching away on its goodness while turning the page of another night with Beau makes it special. Not to mention, I've heard apples help heartburn.

38. It's been a week since we pulled our families together and announced the addition of a Baby BOY Jorgensen. After the announcement, I've been able to unleash the beginnings of a new obsession...filling Little J's closet. I've already received a few things from family, and have had lots of fun scouring sale racks and lately, garage sale-ing. Every now and then, I sneak up to the spare bedroom, sit on the floor, and snap the buttons on the sleepers, rearrange the clothes on the bed, and thumb through the board books. It's become an escape for me...a place to drown out the noise of the world and focus on my newfound peace.

39. When the first few days of summer sweep through the Midwest, I crave nothing more than an ice cold Corona. Although I will have to wait a few months yet to inaugurate this in the Happiness Project, I have been proud of myself for my idea of compensation for the lack of 'summer drink.' I have decided that from now on, I will only partake in non-alcoholic drinking in fancy glasses. I will drink water out of wine glasses, and Caffeine-free Sprite out of champagne flutes. I will add lemon wedges, or lime slices, or cucumber pieces to my glass, and become a pro at smoothies.

40. Yesterday, I snuck out of the house for an hour to get some sun. I rolled up my tank top and timidly revealed my baby bump to the neighborhood, soaked it in Banana Boat tanning oil, and started my first free read of the summer. Soon after, my neighbor Jim finished mowing his yard and decided to indulge in his own moment of sun-catching. His involved a tall glass of beer and an old CD of 1950s Jazz. I'm usually not one for Jazz; however, at this moment, it couldn't have been more perfect.

41. Spontaneous meals made up of fresh veggies, fruits, and simmering coals. Our first meal outside on the deck. Plucking fresh fruit out of a bowl with our fingers. Watering the flowers and spilling some on our feet. Neighborhood walks as the sun sets.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Summertime Saturday

As I sit here blogging, I glance and see a brand new, crispy paged book, Eat Pray Love, that I can't wait to sink my starry eyes into. The book sits next to a tall glass of ice water with a plump lemon wedge that brushes my lips everytime I take a drink. The book and glass of ice water are coated with a cool breeze that first brushes the curtain panels as it sweeps into the living room. Today is Saturday, but not just any Saturday. Today is the last Saturday of the school year. The last Saturday before I can close the dusty cover of another school year at NU High. I am almost short of breath thinking about it. I've had a great end to the school year, yet I'm more than ready to begin another season of summer. And boy do I have plans...

-Last year, I splurged on a pool pass to The Lost Island Waterpark. A couple days a week, I packed my gray and white striped beach bag with gossip magazines and Shakespeare plays, a tall jug of water, and a granola bar, and wasted the day away on the lazy river. I loved it; however, this year, I want to catch some rays in the privacy of my own backyard where I'm free to let my baby bump stretch to the steamy sun. order to make this work, it's only necessary to create my own Lost Island. No, it won't be elaborate and include a chlorine mist that cools my sun soaked bod every few minutes, but it will get the job done. That's a promise. I've already spotted a pool at Target for $25.99 and the hubs has give me permission.

-I want to overdo late nights on the back deck with Beau. Tea lights and porch lights, glasses of wine and Italian soda (non-alcoholic), Scrabble, Uno, and Cribbage. Since I'll be taking a summer off from ice cold Bud Light Limes and Coronas, I've decided I will overdo all the summertime cuisine instead: big bowls of fruit, corn on the cob, cucumbers, tomatoes, grilled pizzas with fancy cheese, cedar plank salmon, juicy burgers, apple pie, and homemade vanilla ice cream.

-I am excited to transform our current 'all-purpose' room to a little boy's dream world. I can't wait to find the perfect paint color, to wash, fold, and put away all the littles I've purchased already, and to design all four corners of the room with personality and little man flair. I'm going with a surfside beachy getaway. It feeds my love of summertime and will help us get through the long winters. To see a sneak peak of my palette, click here.

Besides the essentials on this year's summer to-do (like finish my Master's paper, defend my Master's paper, begin maternity leave plans, deep clean the house, and figure out what to name this little man), I plan to find time to devour the simple pleasures of the season...This is, after all, our last summer as just Beau-and-Ashley.

Here is what I've come up with thus far...

-partake in many late night fires, with at least one night including a late night stroll through the neighborhood and swinging in the park by our house...blankets, long talks, and most importantly, a cookie sheet of the three essentials: grahm crackers, jumbo marshmallows, and melty chocolate.
-pic-nics in at least three different locations around town.
-rent or purchase a cheap fishing boat. Sun hats, fishing poles, and a bag of Doritos.
-go on a 'babymoon' adventure to a place we've never been
-make a blanket for my little
-go to the Farmer's Market often. Buy random veggies and come up with exotic dishes that include them.
-have Sunday breakfasts on the deck before church.
-have friends over yard games, learn a new dance, and sing songs we once learned in French class :)
-recreate our first date and proposal night with a night on the town. Bourbon Street and ironic enough, the new Shrek!
-go camping
-a shopping trip to Des Moines to buy cute little baby things
-pedicures...once every few weeks

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dear little man...

Not only is it hard to believe I am halfway through this pregnancy, but it is even harder to believe that I am writing my 21 week letter to my son. Last week, the day of and the days following the ultrasound were surreal...I almost felt like a completely different person. I think for the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy, I was playing. Overeating and enjoying every minute of it, sleeping long nights away, and dancing around the fact that I would be a mom in October. Don't get me wrong...I felt pregnant, and being an English teacher, I'm a pretty reflective person, yet I don't think it had completely sunk in.

That is until I saw you last Tuesday, your little hands and little feet, your rump and your little bald head, that everything became stand-still real. A little scary real even. In about 20 weeks, our simple little life will turn into something entirely new... was a life-changing moment. One of the only I can really encounter in my life.

And if last week evoked that much of a response, I can't imagine what it is going to be like the first time I really see you. Really touch you. Really hold you in my arms and love you forever.

So...for the next 20 weeks, I want to feel pregnant. I want to take every little minute of being so closely connected with you and embrace it. I don't want to look back on my pregnancy and wish I had felt pregnant a little more. I want to stay up late in bed, crunching through an apple, watching TV, and deciding on the perfect name for you. I want to lay in the sun, read a good book, and feel every kick you can give you me. I want to cook like Pioneer Woman, set the table, and introduce your little tastebuds to a world of wonderful flavors. Most of all, I want to recreate a summer that focuses on the simple things...

Week 21!

How far along? 21 Weeks – it’s really hard to believe I’m in my last half of pregnancy

Total Weight Gain/Loss?

Maternity Clothes? I’ve added a few pieces into the wardrobe this week. After about suffocating myself last week in one of my suits for an important day at school, I owed myself a comfy day at school. Comfy as in cotton skirts. Another summer mission to add to the list: cotton skirts for August!

Stretch Marks? Nope

Sleep? I heart sleep! Especially with the windows open! Awww….

Best Moment This Week? Lots…registering for cute BLUE baby stuff at Target and Peekaboo, telling our family the “It’s A BOY!” news at our little party last weekend, finishing my last full week of school, and watching a baby grow before my eyes (or before my tummy at least).

Food Cravings? Apples and chocolate milk. I can make a meal out of these two!

Gender? It feels so cool to finally say it….We’re having a little baby BOY!

What I Miss? Last year at this time, I was stuffing a suitcase full of swimsuits and flimsy dresses for a trip to Mexico!

What I Look Forward To? Feeling that first bit of movement. Little J was really wild during our ultrasound and Dr. Hines says I should be feeling him anytime. I’m ready for ‘anytime.’

Milestones? Little J can taste! That means, it’s time to start doing better about my daily veggie intake!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Baby Jorgensen REVEALED

After we found out we were pregnant, we both knew without a doubt that we would find out what we were having. I, being the planner, wanted the summer to pick out the perfect paint color for the nursery, with bedding, stuffties, and decoratives to match; Beau wanted to know simply because he doesn't do well with surprises. We counted down the days to the infamous 20 week appointment, and prayed for good light, no shadows, and wide open baby legs!

Just like the heartbeat, Baby J revealed its gender to us within about the first 30 seconds of the show!

And just because we found out as soon and as early as we possibly could, did not mean we would do the same with the announcement to our family. Although it meant for a challenging week of 'keeping a secret,' we decided to drag the surprise, and most of all, the suspense out all week. We wanted to see their faces. To share in their reactions. To hug, to laugh, to dream about the little boy or girl that would soon be a new part of our families. The surprise was way too good to share over the phone, so, I planned a party.

A Baby J Reveal Party!

Some may say I went a little overboard (my husband included). Any chance I have to reveal my inner Martha, however, is an opportunity I can't put to waste! I love details; spending time on small little accents that make for pretty pictures and pretty little memories....

The party included a color scheme; mainly oranges and yellows, with a few splashes of bright pink. I wanted the colors to be gender 'discreet,' yet scream summertime bliss. The colors splashed in a jug of lemonade with slices of oranges and lemons, a white tin of Orange Crush, yellow cans of Squirt, and Welch's Strawberry, and plump balloons, handmade tissue paper streamers, and soft tea lights.

Since the old wives's tales say that expectant mothers of boys crave salty foods, and expectant mothers of girls crave sweets, I made sure to include a sample of each. Popcorn for the salt lovers, and lots of candy for the sweet tooth.

I made a poster in order for our family to document their guesses. For the most part, they had wavered between boy and girl often; however, once and for all, it was time for them to get their guesses on paper. Even though Beau and I already knew the secret, we still added our initial guesses...Beau was always convinced we were having a girl; I always thought boy. As you can see, Grandpa Ray cheated!

And finally, the cake. The cake that hid the secret of our reveal. The cake was a hit; however, it took everything in Jordan not to walk in and grab a chunk of it. The tediously designed, rubber ducky cake was tinted a soft color of blue or pink to reveal the news to our family. Isabel Bayer made the cake. It was the focal point of the entire party...and mighty cute if I don't say so myself :)

Although a cake is usually cut after the meal is served, typically to mark the end of a night's gathering, we couldn't wait too long. We let the two Grandmas-to-be have the honors... soon-to-be aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and great-grandparents of Baby J crowded around the cake with wide-eyes and anxious smiles...

A BLUE cake was revealed!!!

It's a BOY!

The reveal was perfect. I wish I would have had it on video to capture the details of the laughter, tears, and happy shrieks that filled the air; however, I was pretty focused myself on making sure that cake was the right color!

Beau and I are beyond excited about a baby boy in October. I have a feeling he will be a dimpled little bruiser, full of spunk, who follows his daddy's lead, and loves his mommy a whole lot!

Ever since Baby J decided to make his manhood known, he's also decided to show the rest of the world that he exists. I've popped this week and now am waiting ever so patiently for a little kick or a little flutter. HIS timing has been impeccable so far...I'm expecting big things in the near future!


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