Thursday, December 26, 2013

Introducing Our Baby Girl

BOSTON, MASS. -- On Sunday, December 15 at 6:42 p.m., in the middle of a massive New England snowstorm, Isaac and I welcomed this cute little girl into the world.

Meet Marin Jean Reeve. She's named after a special place with deep meaning to the Candrian family; and after Isaac's grandmother, a tremendously talented, gracious woman, who passed away a few years ago. Marin weighed 8 pounds and measured 20.5 inches long. We are so glad she's finally here, safe, healthy and happy.
Just four days old in this photo
Overjoyed dad gazing at his daughter a few minutes after her birth 
Proud, tired mom just moments after Marin was born
Marin was a week late, so I was induced Sunday morning, after checking in to the hospital Saturday afternoon before a big snowstorm hit the region. They started me on some kind of pill Saturday to get the process going (since I had not progressed at all), and boy did it work!  After a sleepless night of ridiculously painful contractions every minute and a half, I got an epidural (how does anyone give birth without one?!)... wondering why on earth I didn't ask for one sooner. After a day of slow but steady progress, the doctor popped in around 5:30 to check my progression and she gleefully announced, "Are you ready to start pushing?!"  I wasn't expecting it to happen just like that, and it kind of freaked me out a bit, but moments later I was pushing. And less than an hour later our little girl made her big debut into the world.  She sure is a sweet little thing. We are so glad she's ours, though it hardly seems real.  Christmas was extra special this year with Marin in our home.  What a tremendous reminder of our Savior's birth.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pregnancy: Curing What Ails Me

BOSTON, MASS.- Well, my due date has come and gone. A certain little baby girl never got the memo apparently. If she doesn't come on her own this week, then the plan is to likely be induced early next week.

So, in recognition of still being pregnant, I thought I'd jot down some things to remember/not remember about this first pregnancy of mine:
This is me on my due date, December 8. I'm posting it knowing full-well I look chubby. I feel it too.
  • During my first trimester, I never got really bad morning sickness, but I did feel something equivalent to being car sick much of the time. And smells... ohhhh. I wish there was an on-off button for my nose, because I would shut it off for sure! I could smell anything and everything, amplified about 10 times. It was the worst! Especially during lunch time at work when everyone would eat lunch at their desks (open cubicles nonetheless) and all the scents would some how accumulate to my desk. I remember covering my nose to keep from gagging more than once. 
  • I get hot all the time. This is a huge incentive to me to never be fat. I now understand how overweight people are hot all the time. Folks: there is a cure: don't be fat (or pregnant)! Problem solved.
  • My back aches in this one spot, right in the center (and slightly to the right) almost constantly. It feels like someone is twisting one of my back ribs.
  • Pain underneath the ribs is not fun. For months, this baby has enjoyed digging in under my right rib cage.  At one point it throbbed constantly, but now I think it's so bruised beyond repair that it is often times just numb. 
  • It's hard to stay comfortable sitting down at my desk at work (or sitting anywhere, really)... but if I stand, then I suddenly feel like I have to go to the bathroom every 5 minutes. I'm not sure which is the lesser pain.
  • Pressure. Holy moly. Sometimes it's bad. And it makes me limp when I walk. Now I know why pregnant woman waddle.
  • I've never had trouble sleeping before, so this ailment irks me to the core: Every few nights I have a hard time sleeping (though it's become more regular as the days/nights go by). Like really hard time. Tossing, turning, not being comfortable, feeling overheated, major heartburn, having to get up at least a few times to go to the restroom. If I've slept well for two or three nights in a row, I know I'm due for a lousy, restless sleep. Last night was one of those nights. I hate them.
  • At night (though sometimes during the day) I get MEGA heartburn. It burns my entire chest and develops into acid reflux. So gross. And so uncomfortable.
  • Off and on during the last nine months, my feet and ankles have become the unattractive "cankle." Some days they come. Some days they don't. Most recently the doctor noticed even my legs are swelling a little. And my fingers. Some days my wedding ring doesn't even fit (but on cold days, which we have a lot of around here, it fits just fine, thankfully). 
  • One symptom I won't go into detail about has caused some not fun moments involving what I think is these. Ew. Thankfully, they've subsided for the time being.
  • During my first trimester, I craved smoothies all the time. And pretty much anything that could be classified as a dessert. Now, most "food cravings" are minimum (though I still crave any dessert always, any time, anywhere), and instead I have this weird thing for toothpaste and certain smells. Mostly smells that contain chemicals I shouldn't be smelling in the first place, like paint, gasoline, cleansers, etc. They smell amazing to me!  And if I wasn't concerned about my brain cells, I would be sniffing them all the time. But back to toothpaste... oh my. I could brush my teeth for hours at night, if my gums didn't bleed so dang bad! Another fun pregnancy symptom.
I think that's about it. Sometimes it feels like I've been pregnant forever. But I'm sure as soon as this little baby girl is here in my arms, it'll seem like she's been here all along. So for now, I'll enjoy a few more diaper-less, non-crying days and nights. Our lives are certainly in for some major change, that is for sure! 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

One year...

BOSTON, MASS. -- I always say this, but this time I really mean it... WOW, how time flies! It was one year ago today that Isaac and I tied the knot! One year! I still contend that it was the best day ever... oh my goodness, I loved it so much. But this year... this entire year has also been pretty amazing. We have done so much in just 365 days. Here's a little glimpse into all our adventures from our first year of married life...

And, talk about what a difference a year makes. Today, in celebration of Isaac putting up with me for one year, I wore the same dress I wore leaving our wedding reception (it has ruched sides, so it's stretchy and accommodates my growing belly. At least no seams have split yet).
Black lace dress... on the skinny Andrea one year ago
Black lace dress on the not so skinny Andrea after church today (yes, I'm aware I "carry high")
Bless Isaac for putting up with all my wacky hormones the past almost eight months. He's a trooper! And oh how I love that man more than ever! Just seven more weeks to go!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Vacationing Overseas

BOSTON, MASS-- You know you had a really great vacation when you come home exhausted and can't stop thinking, "I am so glad we did that!" Isaac and I returned home yesterday from a week and a half vacation to Germany and Israel, and we can't stop thinking about how we are SO glad we made this trip happen. There were so many reasons why we might not have... too expensive, too much time off work, not comfortable traveling so far being pregnant, etc. But, ultimately we figured it was now or never. So, now it was! We had a wonderful time we will remember always. Incredible sites, wonderful to spend time with family (who were incredibly hospitable (THANK YOU a million times), and many touching experiences. Below are just a few of the hundreds of photos we took.

Germany first to see Isaac's brother:
Train ride up the Rhine River to Cologne after we landed in Frankfurt
In Bonn at the gardens behind the Augustusburg Palace
Augustusburg Palace in Bonn
Some neat little grove of trees in Bonn, near Augustusburg Palace
We loved touring all the "old cities" everywhere we went
Hanging out on the Rhine River
Cathedral in Cologne
Isaac, me, and Casey in front of the cathedral in Cologne
One of the trip's highlights: Having dinner with this family who are in Casey's ward. They made us a real-deal German dinner. It was incredible. 
In Aachen's "old city"
Also Aachen
We may have stopped to partake of delicious baked goods like these, every so often
Aachen "old city" with a bag of cookies in my hand
In front of some cathedral in Aachen
Got to watch part of Casey's rehearsal at a cute church in a city whose name I don't recall. The music was beautiful.

On to much warmer weather in Israel to see my brother and his family (and lots of sites):

Isaac in the BYU Jerusalem Center's backyard. What a view, eh?
Funny that it seemed perfectly normal to meet up in Jerusalem with a few of my favorite cousins. Loved seeing them!
At the Western Wall
Wanted to capture some of the fun headware these guys sport. It was so hot too... I can't imagine wearing a fur hat!
At the Dome of the Rock. We weren't supposed to be touching (religious rules there) but forgot. We were quickly reminded. Oops.
At the Garden of Gethsemane. Lots of Olive trees behind us.  
I think I took a million pictures of this sunset on the Mediterranean Sea near Rob's house. So beautiful. We tried to squeeze in beach time whenever we could.  
Another sunset picture. I could have stayed and stared at this forever (until it got dark, of course). Actually, I think that's what we did.
At the Garden Tomb. One of our favorite places in Israel. So powerful. It alone made the entire trip worth it.
Golgotha (now a bus station)
Inside the church of the Nativity in Bethlehem
The spot where Mary apparently laid Jesus after he was born
Favorite meal in Israel: Arabic food. Chicken, couscous, and an eggplant tomato sauce, along with freshly squeezed Pomegranate juice. SOOOOOO good! 
A view of part of Bethlehem. We had a blast driving around the narrow roads, getting lost.
Sea of Galilee from Capernaum
Ate lunch in Tiberius, right on the Sea of Galilee. Ate "St. Peter's fish" caught fresh from the Sea to honor the occasion.
Had the best hummus there too! 
In Caesarea at an old theater with my niece, Ella (isn't she so cute?! I love her)
Isaac and Michael made it to the top of the amphitheater!
In Caesarea, where they used to hold chariot races (and other gruesome sports) behind us

Exploring the ruins
Loved hanging out with Rob and his family! Michael and I played no less than 50 games of Uno while I was there. 
Isaac with a great view of part of Caesarea behind him.
Caesarea, right on the Mediterranean Sea (we got splashed by the tide coming in, hence the spots on his shirt... he's not sweating that bad. ha ha)
Jaffa, a really old port town, and my increasingly chubby, pregnant self. 
Met up with Rob for lunch on the Mediterranean Sea our last day in town. The view was spectacular. 
View of Jaffa from near where we had lunch
Everywhere we went, we could spot these beautiful, bright, vibrantly colored flowers. They were breathtaking! 

That was a lot of pictures. If you made it to the end, congratulations! And if you have the opportunity to go to Israel ever... good grief: GO!!!!  It will be well worth the long flight, rest assured. All the tourist sites aside, it was just really nice to spend some quality time with family who we don't get to see much. We are so grateful for their hospitality and kindness in entertaining (and feeding) us. We can't thank them enough for such a wonderful vacation! 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Travelling and Other Things

BOSTON, MASS. -- Isaac and I are trying our best to squeeze in as much travelling (and really anything fun) into our lives before December rolls around. Two weekends ago we went whale watching off the Boston coast... and it was spectacular! This past weekend these travel/fun plans included a last minute flight to visit Britt and her cute kids in Tennessee. Oh, how I wish I lived closer to family. They were like a breath of fresh air...

We played at the park, and just had a merry time.

Alivia was all smiles on the swings

 Every time I pushed James on the swing he'd gleefully yell at the top of his lungs, "WOOHOO!"

Yes, I look fat. I feel it too.

How did this kid get so big?! I swear just yesterday I could easily give him a piggy back ride.

We're also headed to see these cute kids next month in Israel, after a little stop here to see Isaac's brother. And sometime before December, I'd really love to squeeze in a trip to see this kid too (and his mom). Other planned weekend getaways include a stop here, here and possibly here.  And this weekend we are going here.  In between all of this, we are having several visitors come, which we are beyond thrilled about!  I may be exhausted from all of this by the time December rolls around, but at least we can say we lived up all the East Coast has to offer before our lives change forever (I realize we can still do fun things post-children... but... you know...).