Monday, August 26, 2013

26 & 27 Weeks:

This baby belly is not messing around. I read somewhere that in the last trimester you grow 1/2 an inch a week. If that is true, I still have seven inches to grow. This could get really interesting and entertaining over here.

I had my glucose test last week and all is well. I was a 140 and you are suppose to have a 139 to pass. The nurse asked the doctor if he was fine with me passing with a 140 and he thankfully agreed! We had a mini-date during the glucose test because we had an hour to kill before the results got back. We went to the bank, walked around Salvation Army and Doug stopped and got coffee. After the appointment we stopped in town for breakfast and to get our babysitter a baked treat.

Henry has learned how to say baby. He also does the sign for it occasionally, which is where you put your arms together and pretend to rock a baby. It is hard to know how much he understands at this point, but he does love to say baby and wave and pat my stomach. It it pretty sweet.

We also did some work in the kids (!) room this week. We have decided to attempt to keep our guest room as it is. We get a lot of use out of it and would hate to lose the space for our guests. Plus, simple is better and by having them in the same room we are forced to make sure it stays simple. We moved some furniture around and Doug will soon be building Henry a new bed so that baby can have the crib.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

27th Birthday:

I turned 27 yesterday and it was a pretty perfect day. I woke up to my sweet boy calling my name from his crib. Doug got home shortly after with not one, but two bouquets of flowers for me. One from him. One from Henry. In his other hand was a cinnamon latte from my favorite coffee shop in town. 

Henry and I headed over to a children's consignment sale and found some good deals on a pair of shoes for him and some maternity shirts for me. We found ourselves in the Goodwill finding all kinds of good deals. This is a major area in my life that the older I get the more I feel myself becoming my mother. I love a good thrift store find. 

Doug asked what I wanted to do that evening. I told him I wanted to go out to dinner with just him. Since adding a child into our lives I cherish those just me and him times. We went into town and split our appetizer, entree, and dessert. In my family growing up it was tradition to go around the table and say something we liked about the person celebrating their birthday. Doug kept with tradition and told me many sweet and kind things. One being "people are always telling me how cute you are". It made be blush a little and laugh a lot. I love the ambiguous 'people' in that statement. 

Other sweet gifts I received: Gwyneth Paltrow's new cookbook, maternity clothes, some checks , note cards, and I bought myself a new pair of shoes and the book Bread and Wine. 

It was a sweet and special day. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Couples Branson Trip:

This past weekend we dropped off the boy at Grandma's house and headed to Branson with our dear friends, Jon and Emily. We stayed in a free-to-us condo and enjoyed time away with these two. On the drive over we realized that we were celebrating our six year anniversary of being couple friends. (Doug and Jon go way back to elementary school, but the four of us really became close after we were engaged) This is the kind of friendship that is refreshing, fun, encouraging, and life-giving.

- experienced the Branson Walmart and made it out alive and with not enough food for all of us for the weekend. I think we were all a little distracted by the hundreds of people crammed on the dirty, crowed aisles.
- toured a 'winery'...which really turned out to be a tourist trap and the real winery was 250  miles away in a different town. We did get to watch a video of the real, beautiful winery. But we did get to experience Bob the bottler, he made the stop worth it.
- ate lunch at a restaurant without wrestling toddlers in highchairs.
- wanted an ice-cream snack in the afternoon so we stopped at Dairy Queen. We walked in and it was a walmart experience take 2. So we left before we even got in line and drove down the road and got frozen custard instead. (After we made Jon make a few left turns which proved to be almost impossible, but he used his experience driving in Honduras to get us there)
- decided to head back to the condo and not leave until the next morning. we took naps and showers.
- made frozen pizza for dinner but realized really quickly that we had really only bought enough for two people. so we finished our first pizza then took a walk to the convenience store down the road to buy another pizza and some pizza rolls. we can call that the night of frozen pizza products.

Really the highlight was precious time with these friends. We loved not having our kids with us for a bit. We talked about the upcoming additions to our families. We laughed. A lot. We had several topics that were off limits to insure that we really did have a break away from work and life. Weekends like this remind me how blessed we are to get to be friends with wonderful people. We love you, Jon and Emily! Thanks for the fun!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Weeks 24 & 25:

A super strange pregnancy symptom I have experienced this time around (especially during these past few weeks) is congestion and a stuffy nose. It is not a huge deal, but it does make life a bit more inconvenient and deep breathing during my yoga videos is quite a challenge.

I have just entered the stage of pregnancy where I thought this past week..."this baby is going to have to come out at some point". I think since pregnancy is so long (in certain terms) it is easy to coast through the first several months just thinking about being excited about being pregnant. Now that I am only a few weeks away from the third trimester (what!?!) it is go time. Time to start thinking and preparing for childbirth take two. I am rereading my books. Reading lots of birth stories. Searching birth techniques on youtube. Doing stretches. I am getting ready (and excited) for the challenge.

Doug also told me the sweetest thing this week. He is training for a half marathon at the end of the year and then his ultimate goal is a triathlon next year. He told me that when he is working out and it gets hard he thinks about how hard I worked during Henry's delivery and it motivates him to keep going. Just like I did. I thought that was the sweetest thing.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Camp life is busy and constant. Summer camp ended and then we went right into our family camp. Then we had a four meal break and Doug was right back to serving another family camp that kicks off our retreat season. I think the constant pace is one reason that the years are flying by here. It is crazy to think that we have already been here for three years. At the pace we move there is not much time to sit and get bored with life.

Doug asked if I wanted to go into town for dinner during the short break. I answered, "I always want to eat in town". We had thai food where they got the heat level mixed up on our dishes. This little mistake left me burping lots and Henry had noodles instead of rice for dinner. Doug wanted to go to look at some bikes at the local bike shop downtown. It was a pretty evening so we walked over to the park for a bit. Henry thinks he is always suppose to see ducks there. Hard to explain to a toddler that ducks are not always right where we want them to be.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Summer 2013:

Summer camp is over. The staff are gone. And the Castles are sad. This is our third full summer here on staff and it might have been our favorite so far.

Some things that made this summer so wonderful:
- A great great staff
- The most consistent work schedule for Doug of any summer so far
- Tuesday night dinners at our house
- Prayer group with ladies here at camp where we spent intentional time praying for each and every camper by name. Such a powerful and wonderful time of asking Jesus for all that was needed for the precious campers that were here that week.
- Henry at such a fun age of interacting with the staff, taking naps, sleeping all night, and just generally being a much a happier child than he was last summer.
- Weekly small group meetings
- All the rain and the cooler than normal summer temps
- Being pregnant with number two
- The intentional and good conversations that were had between us and summer staff

So many wonderful things about this summer but the thing we will miss the most (and always do miss) will be having the summer staff around. They bring a level of energy and joy that cannot be replaced during the rest of the year. It is so refreshing to see this ministry through the eyes of those that are here during the summer.

We are blessed and thankful to have been involved in all that the Lord did this summer through the ministry here. Praising Jesus for his work, his protection, and his faithfulness.