Tuesday, September 20, 2011

First Baby Shower

My first Baby shower
Mercer, PA
Hosted by my mother, Christine Ritchey
Theme: Vintage Toys for baby Boys
I just loved the shower my mom hosted for me & baby bean. Several of the toys shown above were from my Aunt Debbie & various other places. The horse was from my brothers girlfriend, Richelle & the baby pictures were of my late Uncle Jim. My Grandma had his baby shoes bronzed & they are to the right of his baby pictures. The cute little clothese were actually some both of my brothers wore when they were babies.
My friend Janice even made the Cowboy diaper cake! I just LOVED it! My husbands family is really into horses & all things cowboy themed & it has carried over into our house & seemed like the perfect idea for nursery decor too since I have so many things related in that area...my mother in law wants to use it for the shower they will have for me here in AL as a decoration. Can you guess what the actual theme will be for that baby shower?? =)

Instead of cake, we had an assortment of pies. Such a FUN idea! My mom found this frame & my Aunt Sandi helped her make a chalk board out of it. I just loved the cute little saying & all the pies listed below. They were ALL delicious! {yes I had a pie fiesta after the shower}

 Richelle made the "Congratulations" Banner & wrote all the words on the chalkboard. I loved being able to display our baby's name in the blocks on the pie table.

Here several of my friends are helping with the punch & getting everything ready for the shower.

My mother is making sure everything is ready & the guests start to arrive!

 My 2 little cousins, Cole & Conner helped float the rubber duckies in the punch. Apparently they had a little trouble staying upright. Cole said that's ok that their heads were under the "water" because they were just looking for "fish" HAHA
Great food & fellowship awaits! & Richelle holds my cousins sweet baby Makayla! She is getting so big!
Mommy Julie & Makayla

 My cousin Rebekah & I together with our baby bumps--We are both having Boys! She is due in October & I in December! =)

 ~Time for yummy food & visiting with all the guests~
Amy Saragian & her mother, Julia Messner drove over from Ohio to be there. They are sitting at the table on the right side & have been such great friends of my family for many many years. It was so good to see them...they brought so many cute gifts & even had to leave early to get back to a wedding. It meant so much to me that they took the time to be there, even just for a little while. =)

Of course you have to have games at a baby shower...this particular one was having to draw a baby, on a paper plate, on your head, in 30 seconds! I got to judge the best "babies" & there were 3 winners. Most of the other games were played while I opened my gifts.

 My good friend Janice helped write down all the gift items & who they were from

 I got SO Many great & wonderful gifts! Here are just a FEW snapshots since I had well over 40 gifts to open...& several cards!!

One of my most FAVORITE gifts was from my mom. I have wanted a little sock monkey hat for the longest time even before I was ever pregnant. I think they make the cutest new born pictures are cute to boot! Especially when baby Greyson will be born in the winter & will need this hat. Cole decided he would try to model it for us! =)

 I was blessed with so many gifts & things for the baby. Most of which came from ladies in my parents church that I have never even met. I was overwhelmed at the thoughtfulness they had for me & my family during this time. It was so wonderful that they could be a part of it, even if they didn't really know me.
I also had so many gifts sent from friends & family & even more church ladies that couldn't attend the actual shower. There were several gifts that even came the next day while we were at church. It's a good thing we drove the truck to PA, because the entire back was loaded down with gifts & a few pieces of furniture =)

My sweet MaMa Ritchey & I after the shower. She is an inspiration to me & a wonderful Godly role model that I look up to & strive to be like one day.

A HUGE Thank you to my wonderful friends who helped with the shower!
{Tina, Jenn, Jodi & Janice}
Jenn & Jodi came all the way from Indiana to share in this time with me & it was SO nice to be with them again!

Richelle also had a HUGE part in making this shower so unique & fun. She added so many artistic touches that also included this little sign for the favors. I loved this idea & it was actually my first time to have real Cracker Jacks! Imagine that~

Richelle & I with her dog, Fio. She has become not only a special friend, but a sister to me & I'm just putting this out there...but I'm teaching Greyson to call her "Aunt Chelle" when he's old enough to talk!

I had a WONDERFUL first Baby shower & it was such a special time in our lives. I missed so many other family & friends that were not able to be there, but overall I am so glad that I was able to be back home for a few short days & enjoy the brief time spent with my family.

I can't wait until December when I can actually start using all these gifts! =)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Maternity Photo Shoot

You saw the sneak peek...now here's the real deal & let me just say...this isn't even all of the photos we had taken! I couldn't decide what I liked best so these collages really help keep the major photo overload to just an overload. =) 
It was so much fun to have these taken & Jenn did such a great job. We were limited on time & didn't even leave the property & still managed to get TONS of photos. Please check out the Imagery Elixir info at  http://www.facebook.com/#!/imageryelixir
Some of the photos are of JUST me...
...& then some of them are of Matt & I together. No particular order...just lots of photos representing this pregnancy & the soon arrival of little bean (a.k.a. Baby Greyson)

So if you haven't already looked at the abundance of photos on my facebook page...sit back, relax...& ENJOY!

 We are looking at a beautiful butterfly in the bottom right corner =)

 Matt's truck is a GMC. Couldn't pass up getting a photo of our baby boy's soon to be initials =)

Matt was making me laugh so hard, I was trying to be serious for some of these poses!
Greyson's name in blocks...I have gotten lots of compliments & comments on this idea!
Baby shoes & my "half way there" ultrasound.

I'm not sure if I will get maternity pictures done every time I have a baby (which I'm not sure what that number would be anyway) but I did enjoy documenting this first one, & hope to keep these memories alive from this blog.
Looking at each photo will remind me of this special time in my life & the anticipated arrival of our blessing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What we've been up to...

Here is just a quick preview of some of the maternity pictures I had taken this weekend.
My bff Jenn Byler is an awesome photographer for her & her friends company
*Imagery Elixir*
You can visit their facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/imageryelixir#!/imageryelixir

Anyway, I had a whirlwind weekend in Pennsylvania just recently. My mom threw my first baby shower for me & my best friends from Indiana made the trip out to be there. I will have to do a post on the baby shower later, but like I said, my friend Jenn took a ton of photos of the day & I can't wait to share them with you.

For now, here are a couple of just me from the maternity shoot. My husband joined me in a few later, but those are in the editing process =)

This photo is a nod to the name we have finally picked out for baby bean!

We have chosen: 
Greyson Matthew
...after his daddy (of course) & since his initials will just happen to be G.M.C. we got a picture with Matt's truck since he drives one!!

Update on the pregancy so far~
 How Far Along: 27 weeks & 5 days
Size of baby: 14.6 inches long
My weight gain so far: 13 pounds
Baby weight gain so far: 2.2 pounds
Maternity Clothes: I can still fit into a few things "non-maternity" but at this point it is getting harder. I got a few dresses & am in the process of finding fall/winter clothes for the next season!
Gender: A BOY!!! We have finally picked a name~ Greyson Matthew
Movement: He is either a lot more active or just getting cramped & I can feel him more. Either way, he is all over the place in the mornings & evenings & takes his nap in the afternoon.
Sleep: it is getting a little more uncomfortable...sometimes I can sleep really good, but always wake up with a sore back or a few aches & pains
 Symptoms: I'm still getting heart burn on occasion but mostly the aches & pains from sitting at a desk job all day & my feet swelling are the sypmptoms I'm dealing with the most
What I miss: Being able to bend over! haha I am having a harder time getting up & down off the floor, bending, painting my toes & all things related to that area. I get out of breath faster too!
Cravings: Sweet stuff...maybe since I passed my glucose test I am allowing myself to want more chocolate, right now chocolate covered oreos are my main craving
Best Moment this week: Attending the baby shower my mom hosted for me in PA- It was wonderful!
What I am looking forward to: Getting more of the nursery organized now that I have lots of gifts to unpack & the next few baby showers coming up!
The last couple of weeks have been so busy. While my parents were still here, my mom got to go with me to my Dr.'s appointment. It was my glucose test appointment to check for gestational diabetes. I had to give blood, then drink a sweet, orange drink (which wasn't bad at all...I thought it would be thick & sugary but it tasted more like a flat sunkist & was very light) which I downed in about 30 seconds (they give you 5 minutes). After that, I had to sit in the waiting room for an hour while the drink processed through my body. It was nice having someone to wait with me & we took the time to plan out our shopping trip for after the appt. When the hour was up, I gave a little more blood & was on my way. The next day I learned that I had passed the test, but my iron was low so now I am on an iron pill for the rest of the pregnancy. I'm glad that's all taken care of!
Once we left the doctor, we headed to Home Goods & I bought the first peice of furniture for my nursery! We had a great time.
The weekend AFTER my parents left, Matt & I attended a Baby Expo with our friends Matt & Emily Powell (& their baby boy, Jace). It was really neat! Several companies & boutiques had booths set up with all things baby. You could register to win prizes, coupons, & pick up information for everything you can think of. Matt made sure he went around & picked up all the free items..haha. We got a lot of great information for Doctors, & even helpful things like magnets with numbers for poison control, emergencies, etc. to put on our refrigerator. You never think of those things until you need them! I registered at a few stores once we were finished & ate out with our friends afterwards. It was a productive day!
The very next weekend, we attended the State Horse Show in Montgomery, AL. Matt placed 4th in one of his classes out of 30+ horses! There were 3 judges & 2 of the judges had him placed 1st & 2nd, but the other judge didn't even have him listed. Because of that, he got 4th, but if the other judge had only just placed him at ALL he might have gotten 1st! Overall, we were happy & Zeke rode the best he ever had.
This past weekend, we made the trip to PA for the baby shower. While I was at the shower, the guys got to go to the Alabama/Penn State game at State College. Here are a few photos of them before they left.

Matt is NOT an Alabama fan, but he's not used to being a Penn Sate one either...haha

Still dark & sleepy when they left

Penn State lost, but they still had fun & it was something for them to do while I was enjoying the shower with lots of ladies. They didn't get home till 10:30pm so my friends had a girls night after the shower with pizza & a movie...then I got to show Matt all of the amazing gifts we received for Baby Greyson. We are blessed!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Machinery Show & Vacation

Atlanta was great!
We were there to attend the 2011 Machinery Show & represent the family business. The show had a pretty good turn out & it was nice to hang out around the booth & meet the different poeple that came by.
I think they have a pretty neat booth to show what Woodland Parts & Service is all about.

This is Matt & his dad Leslie
Jac was able to meet up with us there, after being on tour with his college singing group.

Family photo =)

One day after the show, we took a little walk through the Olympic Park right across from our hotel. It was really beautiful & relaxing. We took a couple pictures together with the gorgeous greenery & flowers.

We had a really goot time eating out & being together.

Two days after getting home, we had to get ready for our family vacation with my parents!
We all met up in Gatlinburg for a few days so this included several activities & a trip to the Dixie Stampede.

First, we started out with breakfast at the Old Mill

Then we headed off to play some putt putt golf
Brandon & Richelle!

 We rode a train to the top of the hill where the course started. Mama & Uncle Jerry were taking in the view as we rode.

 It was so much fun! I got 2 hole in ones! =)

Brandon also got 2 hole in ones...in a row too!

 Mom had the record with 3 hole in ones, but still ended up in a tie with dad for the final score.

Next the guys & Richelle rode go-carts.

Ryan beat everyone!
Of course, I just watched, but it was fun to see them all race against each other.

We did a little shopping & browsed around Pigeon Forge before heading to the Dixie Stampede show that night.
We had been there before, but it was nice because this time they had added a few new features that made it seem a little more new. The food was great! & Matt even sat on the NORTH side of the arena. I think my family gave him a pretty hard time about that, but he was a good sport. The south ended up winning most of the events though, so he was able to cheer from his spot at the table. HA
(if you've never been to the Dixie Stampede, it is a tribute to the Civil War, where the North & the South sit on opposite sides of the arena & the cast/staff does all kinds of activities to see which side wins. The waiters for the food even dress in the blue & gray uniforms! Plus, you have to eat your entire meal without utensils!)

In the days that followed, we got to go to down town Gatlinburg to shop & we also rode the sky lift. I forgot my camera during this time so all my pictures from the lift are on my phone. It was pretty neat though! I had not been on it in a few years & it was just nice to take in the views again. Dad's joke to everyone as we passed was..."This is such an 'uplifting' experience!"...he did get a few laughs. =)

We also got to drive through cades cove & AGAIN I didn't have my camera. Richelle did, so she got some great pictures! We saw 4 black bears, tons of turkeys, deer & one really HUGE buck. It was really amazing to see that many animals at one time. I think the best time to drive through is the evening when they are all out finding something to eat.

 Uncle Jerry, Aunt Linda & Ryan all left early so the rest of us stayed another night. Here is our final family photo from vacation. We traveled back to Alabama & I got to spend another week with my wonderful family! Didn't take anymore pictures while they were home with me, but we crammed in a lot more food & fellowship.
One night we had a big fish fry for all of Matt's family & mine. Of course, we did a lot more shopping & dad took a day to use Leslie's smoker & cook 35 Boston butts & some chicken. They took most of it home with them to eat throughout the year.
All in all it was a successful visit! They are few & far between, so we try to do as much as possible. I have left out a lot from our time together, but then again, there is only so much room for posting =)

I'm a CEO!