Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 was...

...the year I did not take any photos. Or at least not very many, so this exercise is going to be a challenge. Next year however, will be different. 

Here we go - 14 pictures for 2014.
Ringing in 2014! 

A homegroup murder mystery, Jan 2014

An Oxfordshire weekend, February

Olivia Grace our beautiful niece was born, March 2014
Lots of Kensington folk at Word Alive in April

Sam and Nat's wedding, Birmingham, April

A surprise weekend away in Corsham, May

Steve's 30th birthday, June 
A lovely birthday weekend in Devon, June

This was Steve and Tanisha's wedding in July and whilst I feel like there should be a pic of the bride and groom (who were stunning) this made me laugh.

A family wedding and a long Cambridge weekend, July
In August we shared happy news!
...and had a weekend in the Wirral with this lot! We either did nothing in September or chose not to take a single photo.

We celebrated three years of marriage in Australia, October

And followed that with a glorious three weeks in New Zealand (which ran into November)

A Christmas postcard from our growing family to yours. December 2014.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Reflections on New Zealand

We had a wonderful, wonderful month away. Wonderful and hard. It was relaxing and beautiful and SO much fun! We also found out my mom had cancer about half way through the holiday. For all of it we are SO thankful to God. For keeping us safe and giving us the chance to have this time, to experience his amazing creation and for his peace that has carried us and my family through the last few months. In his kindness he has taken away any fear and panic and replaced it with an overwhelming sense of his presence and assurance and peace. We trust that he will carry my mum (and us all) through radiotherapy and chemo, and whatever the result we know that it will be well.

Before this all escapes my sieve-like mind, here are some thoughts on New Zealand and some pictures from the second half of our holiday. You can see the first half here.

- Over twenty days we drove 3000 kms doing a clockwise loop of the island that started and finished in Christchurch, and over the month slept in 13 beds. Fun!
- New Zealand has a lot of sheep
- And very, very few people. Like pretty much nobody lives there so the sheep kind of own and rule South Island.
- The very, very few people that do live there are so incredibly warm and friendly. We have never been anywhere where SO many folk stop to chat, ask questions and offer helpful suggestions. And so much more than just a 'hey' or 'g'day'.
- Steve and I had thirty days of being together all the time - like the maximum time we had apart was maybe twenty minutes for showers and stuff. And we didn't kill each other!! I joke. In fact, we loved it and got on really well and had lots of laughs and chats and would do it again in a minute.
- We spent a lot of time talking about baby names. Like a LOT. What a weight of responsibility! Eek.
-  We also spent lots of time in the car listening to stories (podcasts from The Moth), sermons, radio podcasts and lots of fab music. Baby Pat listens to lots of good tunes thanks to his papa.
- Wildlife highlights - a family of Orca in Kaikoura, little blue penguins, Ffiordland crested penguins and lots of seals.
- Landscape highlights - where to start!! Everywhere is stunning and you never do get used to being surrounded by snow capped mountains and blue, blue lakes and forests and lagoons and the ocean.
- We loved all the time we had catching up with friends in Australia and Queenstown and we loved the time that we had adventuring together - just the two of us - it's the best!
- Kiwis drive veryyyy slow. One of us may have got a speeding ticket (I won't say who) but the other of us massacred a bird that dramatically flew into our radiator so we're sort of even. Sorry birdie.
- I started this post so long ago I genuinely can't even remember the rest of what I was going to write. And I haven't sorted through pictures yet (or made our fun trip video) so here are just a few pictures because I am determined not to let this stay in 'drafts' until the new year.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

27 weeks - into the third trimester we go!

I can't quite believe that we are two thirds of the way through this pregnancy. That's baby, me and my long-suffering husband in case you were wondering. How did that happen?! Multiple times a day I will swing between real excitement about meeting this baby, feel the urge to start nesting and being struck by total panic about being parents. I mean, honestly, who decided it would be a good idea to give two kids a baby to look after! And what is going to happen to Saturday morning sleeping in??? :S

But whilst we're still here on the threshold of the last three months, here are the things I don't want to forget about this bit of the pregnancy.

My ultimate favourite thing about the second trimester has been feeling our little boy move!! The first time was on our anniversary (he totes knew!). We were on the train back from our crayzayyy night out in Melbourne city (at 9:30pm because that's how we roll) and I felt him wriggling around in my belly. It's just like they say - little butterfly type flutters and and you do just know that it's baby and not indigestion or gas or anything else.
His movements have got stronger and more frequent (like every hour of every day) and Steve (and anyone else that might be belly watching at the time) can not only feel them now but see them really easily which is so weird. Just over the last few days my mini footballer has taken to training in the early hours of the morning and as much as I love his kicks and headbutts and dives we are not encouraging that. Sleep training starts early at the Patersons! Are you listening boy!?

I've enjoyed generally feeling well and having lots of energy! I've thoroughly enjoyed the return of good sleep (hello my old friend - you are wonderful!) and will cling desperately to it for as long as I can. Can you tell that most of my major anxieties around having this baby centre around sleep? Does that make me a bad person? Steve has volunteered to do all the nighttime anythings ever. Men need less sleep than women do anyway don't they?? It says so here. Never mind that it's the DailyFail.
And fine, that's a total lie about Steve volunteering to do nights but now it says so on the BLOG he kind of has to right?

My mahoosive bump started off as definitely not my fave part about being pregnant but you know what, it's growing on me. (Hah, I know, I crack me up too!). Anyway, I don't know, I feel like now that I'm in my final tri it's kind of OK to have a big bump. Like people sort of expect it. And besides - I'm a little person, where's the poor baby got to go if not out. And people are lovely at saying all sorts of kind and affirming things (white lies, but it's fine I lap 'em all up) that include the phrases 'pregnancy glow' and 'neat bump'. Bah! Is 28 weeks pregnant enough to start being 'heavily pregnant'? because I feel heavy, that's for sure.

My other ultimate favourite part about all this (yes, this is my blog and I can have as many ultimate favourites as I want) is watching Steve grow a relationship with his little son. I wish there was some way to go back and record his sweet conversations with baby. He always starts with 'Hello baby, this is your daddy here..', will proceed to ask him questions/ tell him about his day/ tell him not to trouble mummy/ feed him some other trivial information and end with 'Ok, I need to go now, I love you.' I love his little introductions and the general letter-like quality of his chats. It's just so cute. 

I've given you the positives so I feel I need to balance those with some negatives too. I'm a pain wuss, if you know me you know that, so the sciatica and general all over, all-the-time, achey painey sort of feeling isn't amazing. In the last few days I've had an increase in particular types of pelvic pain and my doctor has mentioned the dreaded SPD. Look it up - it's horrible. If you're a praying person could you please pray it wouldn't get worse.

Our friends had a little baby last week who was born with GBS. They didn't pick it up in the mum or they could have prevented it in the baby. Thankfully baby is now OK and at home. Group B Strep is the most common cause of severe bacterial infection in newborn babies, and the most common cause of meningitis in babies under 2 months. Turns out I have Group B strep too but because we know that I can now have antibiotics in labour which can help prevent it from passing to baby. If I'm being honest with you, I'm way more worried about the SPD than the Strep B.
That's enough negatives for now though. They're all kind of outweighed by how much I love this little baby and what a gift he is now, and will be when he's born. 

As you've been so patient, here's another random picture of us from a few weeks ago in a time when the sea was sparkling and the skies were blue and we were kayaking through lagoons in the Tasman sea. Just kidding, 27 week bump picture for your viewing pleasure. 3 months to go!