Sunday, December 26, 2010

Feliz Cumpleanos Jesus!

Well, now that the commotion and chaos has died down in the Dennis household, I thought I might sit down and write about it before we go to our second Christmas with the Gutshall side of the family!  That is one nice thing about  married life is that you get multiple Christmas celebrations!  I have been observing the differences between my family and the Gutshall family.  Growing up at my house, everyone was always loud and there was always something going on.  My family is the type that will have the TV blaring while we all sit and have a conversation, not watching the TV but trying to speak over it.  The noisiness intensified when we got my little brothers Asher and Clay (ages 6 & 5), who use their outside voices wherever they are.  Caleb's family is the type that is always quiet, one person speaking at a time, and they might sit down and play a quiet board game.  I appreciate both styles and it's nice to have both.  It might be a little much to always have one or the other, ha :)

So, I spent the first few days in the kitchen when we got into Joplin.  My family is also the type that goes overboard on food for holidays, especially sweets.  We had an entire table filled with sweets: oreo truffles, peanut butter bars, puppy chow, toffee, chocolate-covered peanuts, Christmas cookies, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera...  And we have no problem going through them.  However, I do have to say that we had 13 adults, 2 kids, 1 baby, 1 baby-in-the-making, and 5 dogs running around.  Meaning we had people sleeping in all rooms of the house, including the work out room.  On Christmas Eve we went to the service at my parent's church and came to a surprise visit from Santa Claus!  He has visited every year since we were tiny.  It's a tradition...

Our festive boy in his Christmas sweater:

Brody opening his stocking.  Surprisingly, he knew just what to do!

Christmas day we were up at 7 opening presents, which is not bad, because I'm sure it was much earlier when we were little.  It was most fun watching Caeden open presents.  Since we always have so many relatives here, it always takes us the entire morning to go through all the presents.  We decided we would like to go simpler next  year by limiting the number of presents.  We'll see if that happens... Nana (my mom) likes to spoil people a little much :)

Caleb has spent much of the time here working on Emerson's baby furniture.  We bought some white wood furniture (crib, dresser, changing table, glider) and have decided to distress it.  So, Caleb has devoted a lot of time to sanding the corners/edges and staining the furniture.  It looks great so far!  It ends up with a creamy color rather than stark white and will go really well with the brown and green colors we have picked out.  I cannot wait to get it all put together whenever we move into a roomier place before Emerson comes.  I am getting very antsy for him to come, especially after spending the week with my precious nephew Caeden.  It will be so fun to have a 9 month old with us next Christmas!  

Here are a few more random pics for you that I couldn't not put on the blog:

So you can see my belly:

Because footy pajamas on toddlers are wonderful:

Well, time for me to go help clean up now! I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and were blessed by the time with your families as we celebrate Christ's birth!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Amber vs. moth... the showdown

When living with all females, I was the fearless bug killer.  When I got married, I figured I would be able to retire from this position, since I would be married to a man.  Boy was I wrong.  I wasn't wrong because Caleb is scared of bugs, but because the bugs only come out when Caleb is at work.  They know I'm alone and they want to get me.  So, this morning I was sitting on the couch, minding my own business when I heard a squeaky noise.  Who knew that moths made squeaky noises?  At least this one did.  So, I looked behind me and a couple feet from my head is a moth.  Not the normal kind of moth that sits there without moving; this was a crazy, psycho moth.  And he was a fat moth, full of guts. 

So, what do Brody and I do, but jump up!  Normally Brody comes to my rescue with bugs because he is a fearless hunter, but this bug could fly and Brody is only about 8 inches high when standing on all fours.  But he knew what was going on and he was prepared to go into battle with me.  So, at this point I am torn... fly swatter or shoe?  My instincts make me run to my closet to get a shoe.  Then I remember that I would rather get Caleb's shoe gutsy than mine, so I go to his closet.  Then I remember that all his shoes are heavy and I should go get the fly swatter.  But as I begin to exit the bedroom door, in comes the big, crazy, sporadic moth.  He followed me!  What makes this so scary is that I know he senses me with his wave radars.  I feel like he follows my movements.  So, I grab one of my flats and chase him into the bathroom.  Brody and I stare him down waiting for him to be still, because he is all over the place.  Finally, he flies behind the shower curtain... I sneakily approach him and fling open the shower curtain!!!  And he goes behind the shower doors.  I hurriedly open the doors and find Mr. moth flying all over the place again. 

Then I begin a game of whack a mole with this moth and miss about ten times before I finally hit him, since he was soo fast and unpredictable, just like any good warrior would be.  But I got him in the end and he lie dead on the floor of our bathtub, unmoving.  So, I picked him up with some TP and flushed him down the potty, never to lay eyes on him again.  I have to admit, I was flustered and feeling anxious about this whole experience.  I was feeling a little bit angry at Caleb for never being there to come to my rescue.  It was traumatic, like all my bug incidents are.  I am not scared of bugs, usually, especially when I am in control of the situation, but every once in awhile I am not in control, like today. 

But, Brody and I survived to tell another battle tale, no thanks to Caleb.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Deck the Halls!

Warning:  this is going to be long and full of pictures.  I know it takes me forever to post, but we don't have internet and as you know, this is the busyest time of the year!  Where to begin?  Well, I will just go in chronological order of the events which have taken place...

I am sad to say (yet grateful to say) that we sold my car, Roxy.  Roxy was my first car ever, thus she was mine for 8 years.  We have developed quite the bond, so I had a bittersweet feeling inside as I saw her drive off.  Caleb and I just came to the point where selling her was the wisest decision for us financially.  It's because we have the whole newlywed, student, pregnancy thing going on.  But praise the Lord we sold Roxy for the asking price.  They didn't even try to talk us down!  Answered prayer.  Now, let's have a moment of silence as we remember Roxy.

After saying goodbye to Roxy, we zoomed off in Yoshi (our Japanese Toyata RAV4) up to KC for Thanksgiving.  We spent Thanksgiving with Caleb's family.  We relaxed, shopped, trotted with turkeys, and ate.  It was perfect.  Mike, DeeDee, Danielle, Caleb, and I ran the 5k, and it went well!  We now all have matching turkey shirts.  It was a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Though I did realize later that I forgot to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which stinks!  Oh well :)  

After Thanksgiving Caleb and I decked our halls, making our little apartment look quite festive.  We are now in the Christmas spirit :)  We also purchased a dog-sized stocking for our boy, Brody.  It is hanging on the corner of his cage.  He thinks it's a toy, but little does he know it will soon be filled with treats from Santa ;)  Here are some pics!

There is just something about Christmas time that fills me with joy.  I just love the season.  I think it's because I grew up with an entire family that loves Christmas.  I have so many fond memories from my childhood of our Christmases as a family.  So, I am loving this time of year.  My family takes an annual trip to Bass Pro Shop in Springfield to take pics with Santa.  We did that this past weekend and here is the pic:

 Please excuse my cousin to the far left who was so excited to be in our family picture that she couldn't resist the urge to pledged allegiance, so sentimental.  Our family is continually growing.  We started with five people in the picture and now we have eleven (not including Santa)!  Next year, little Emerson Paul will be in it... as a 9 month old, which is CRAZY!  Speaking of Emerson, I have some belly pics for ya!  This is me at 23 weeks, which is 6 months. 

We took this picture 2 weeks ago, because now I am 25 weeks.  I'm growing every day, because I'm in the second trimester!  We had a doctor's appointment last week and I have gained 16 pounds so far and Emerson's heartbeat was 152 bpm, which is normal.  Here is a little baby update for you: Emerson is about 9 inches from head to bottom (not including legs) and weighs about 1.5 pounds.  My uterus is the size of a soccer ball... Emerson's nostrils are beginning to open this week and his vocal chords are developed :)  He still seems to be a pretty calm baby.  I feel him probably about 2 to 3 times a day, usually in the morning or evening.  I love it when he presses outward against my belly.  You can feel a hard area and figure out where he is.  I just like to rub him when that happens, because I think he can feel my touch!  I am becoming so eager to meet him already, but I still have 15 more weeks.  I know if I'm already getting impatient that I will become even more impatient the closer March gets.  I have to just remind myself that he is still growing and we are in preparation for him.  I would be better if he just waits :)  

Finally, I will conclude with a little bit about my honey, Caleb.  He is doing well and finishes school this week (one week earlier than me).  He has a possible job opportunity for May when he finishes school.  I will reveal more about that as it gets closer.  He has been working on his winter beard for a month now and it is growing in nicely...and thickly... and scratchily.  Anyway, he stopped to pose for a few photos to show off his beard:

What a dork :)  Anyway, I hope this post made you smile.  Enjoy this Christmas season and let's try not to get too caught up in the commerciality of it all...  Love y'all!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Joys of Autumn!

Greetings beloved followers!  I hope you are all well and enjoying the cooler weather.  Right now I am perched at a coffee shop enjoying some spiced cider..mmm!  Random observation, every time I go to a coffee shop there is always one or two people who feel the need to talk loudly above all the other conversations.  It is slightly distracting and never helpful for getting some reading done.  I kid you not, one guy sitting two tables to my right just broke out in song on his phone.  Maybe coffee shops are better for people watching than for reading. 

Anyway... I promised I would write about our trip to Mount Magazine, which actually went down ten days ago.  Sorry I am just now writing!  So, Caleb's dad, Mike, came into town and we decided to drive down to Mount Magazine, the highest peak in Arkansas, for some hiking!  The timing was perfect, because the trees had the most vibrant colors of the season!  The weather was perfect for hiking, upper 50's and sunny.  We stopped in Alma on the way home for some Red Rooster.  If you have never been to Red Rooster I insist that you try it out the next time you are down that way.  Their specialty is sandwiches (get the Rooster bread) and pie... Delish.  It was the perfect conclusion to our perfect day :)  Well, here are some pics!

Some colorful leaves..

A pretty flower... please note the butterfly and bee on it :)  I'm such a photographer!

I wish the camera could capture the brilliant colors. This pic doesn't even do it justice.. The hillside was just speckled with yellows, oranges, reds, and greens.  Perfect fall view.

The boys!

Here's a belly pic for ya :)  We seem to be taking a lot of these lately.  We never took pics with Caleb's hands on my belly before we got pregnant.  It just seems like the right thing to do.  Odd?  yes.

Full bellies, happy hearts!

 Well, that is the end of our Mount Magazine adventures!  This weekend we are driving down to Tyler, TX to shower our engaged friends.  And then next Tuesday we are driving up to KC to spend time with the Gutshall side of the family for Thanksgiving!  We are actually running a Turkey Trot 5K for Thanksgiving.  Watch out, lady with a baby!  As a matter of fact, I have continued running throughout the pregnancy, which is encouraged these days.  Supposedly exercising makes for a smoother labor.  However, I must say there there is more huffing and puffing and a slower pace :)  But that's ok, I'm sure Emerson enjoys the ride!

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's a BOY!!! And his name is...

I come to you this wonderful day bearing fantastic news!  We had our 20th week doctors appointment yesterday (meaning that we are half-way through the pregnancy!) and all is going well! We went into the appointment with prayers that we would leave with only good news.  And God answered our prayer :)  Our little boy weighs a whopping 12 ounces (3/4 lb) and has all his organs in place.  She showed us his face, feet, knees, heart, kidneys, stomach, hands, arms, and brain!  He is a growing little boy and had his cute little hands in front of his face during the ultrasound.  He looked so cozy and comfortable in there which is reassuring.  

The doctor said things are progressing perfectly and even went as far as to describe us as the "textbook pregnancy". I have gained 9 pounds so far, which is in the right range.  And he measured my belly this week (from pelvic bone to top of belly) and the number of centimeters is supposed to match up with what week you are in.  Mine measured 18 cm, even though we are in the 20th week.  But he said that was ok and it's probably just because I'm "petite".  We are so excited to have a son and I have just been so happy about it the last 24 hours!  We got a short DVD of our ultrasound and I want to figure out a way to get it on my computer so I can show it to you.  So that is a work in progress.  However, I did take pictures of the ultrasound pictures that we got and I will post them below.  And there is also a picture of my belly from this morning, because I thought I was looking especially pregnant today :) 

This is a picture of his face with his arm lying under his head:

This picture shows the bottom of his little footsies:

This picture proves that he is a boy.  It's an undershot of his little wee wee.  

This is the final picture of his face.  You can see his belly and his right arm on top of his head.

This is me in my maternity clothes at 20 weeks:

 Now, I will unveil his name to you (drumroll please).  He will be named Emerson Paul Gutshall.  I heard of the name Emerson before we were even pregnant and I have liked it for awhile.  We were more set on a boy's name before finding out the gender than we were on a girl's name.  So, it was easy to decide.  We just kept coming back to this name :)  We like it.  Ha, I just felt him move while I was writing this.  I love when that happens.  Anyway, I began writing this last Friday, but I couldn't get the pics to upload, so I am just posting it today.  However, stay tuned to hear about our trip to Mt. Magazine that we took this past Saturday.  Farewell!

ps: 136 days until Emerson arrives
45 days until Christmas

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fall is in the Air!!!

Howdy Friends!  It's November and I can't believe October flew by so fast!  I'm sitting in Chick-fil-a drinking a mouth-watering lemonade, but I think it would be more fitting for me to be sipping a hot drink... however, I cannot do it when its 70 degrees outside!  Cold weather, please come soon!  No matter how much I keep singing let it snow, let it snow, let it snow, it's not working...  Speaking of which, I introduced my baby to Christmas music the other day.  We had a jam session on our drive to KC, which I will tell you about later.  It made me feel all warm inside :) 

Back to fall, we had some friends over to carve pumpkins last week.  We had to go all out and include baked pumpkin seeds, caramel apples, and warm apple cider.  It was very festive and a good time!  Here are a few pics of our little pumpkin carving party:

Din had to use a head lamp to properly see into her pumpkin...

My and Caleb's pumpkin:

The Caramel apples were so delicious... baby loved it :)  This past Thursday I made a trip up to KC to visit my in-laws.  DeeDee (my mother-in-law) and Danielle (my sis-in-law) and I spent the afternoon roaming the square, visiting all the cute shops!  The highlight for me was when this lady asked when I was due (meaning she noticed I was pregnant)!!  She made my day... Then us girls met up with Mike (my father-in-law) and had some scrumptious pizza.  Then us girls drove to Lenexa to listen to this hilarious Christian comedian.  We laughed, we cried, it was a perfect night ;)  Sadly, it was a very short trip for me and I had to leave early Friday morning to get back to Arkansas.  I had a wonderful time in KC and it was so good to get to see my in-laws and spend a little time with them.

On Saturday, I woke up early and went to Lowell to have a reunion with my youth group :)  They were having a weekend event and I got to go be a part of it.  It is always such a joyful experience for me to get to meet back up with these kids.  Even after two months of being away, they still have such a special place in my heart.  I think they have probably made a bigger impact on me than I did on them!  It's fun to get to see them every so often and I think they like getting to be a part of my pregnancy.  I am grateful to live close enough to maintain those relationships... Here is a pic of the girls from the corn maze.

It was a perfect weekend!  So, finally, I just wanted to share a lil pregnancy pic with you from this morning.  I am 19 weeks (5 months).  We find out what we are having in THREE DAYS!! I am extremely excited.  Some say its a boy, some say a girl... soon we will know :)  We went trick-or-treating with my precious nephew last night and it made me so excited to have a baby of my own...  Anyway, here is that pic:

Sorry if they are blurry- I didn't have the flash on.  Oh, guess what!!  I'm a cleaning lady now!!  I am going to begin this week cleaning a lady's house from my church.  It is a big blessing because it is a nice source of extra regular income and is so flexible!  I am very excited about it.  The Lord is so good to provide.  

Anyway, thanks for reading, as always!  And I apologize for such a scattered post full of random topics!  Next time I'm sure the entire post will consist of one topic... our baby!  See you soon!  God bless!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Baby Contacts Outside World!

So I was lying on the couch last night reading from a magazine when all of a sudden... poke!  It just came and went that fast!  There was no warning or re-do.. just poke!  Despite the fact that it was 10 at night, I texted my network of friends to share the excitement :)  My mom says I must not be that sensitive to my body since I didn't notice all the flutters and went straight for noticing the kicks... I'm excited to start feeling it more regularly.  Feeling movement just gives you a certain peace, knowing that everything is ok in there.  Anyway, I can't write long, because Caleb is waiting on me to be done at the library.  But, pics soon to come: tonight we are carving pumpkins and also I am making a trip up to KC to see my mother in law and sis in law!  So I will try to take some snapshots and post them soon!  Also, we find out the gender of our lil peanut in less than 9 days!  So, be watching to find out!!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall, Tummies, Doggies, and Memories!

Greetings Friends!!  I am excited to post again and feel like I have so much to tell you about (and so many photos to post)!  Things are going well in the Gutshall household :)  We are loving the slightly cooler weather and enjoying the fall season.  I am currently sitting at the Fayetteville Public Library, one of my favorite get-aways in town, and staring out the window at the colorful trees and sunshine.  This is a fantastic week for me, because I have a week-long break from classes!  I begin my last two classes next Monday, which is a joyous thing.  I am taking a discipleship ministries class and a ministry of teaching class.  I will definitely enjoy them, yet I will be excited to be completely-finished-with-school-for-the-rest-of-my-life-in-December :)  I keep finding myself saying that exact same phrase...

Anyway, Caleb and I recently purchased a nice, round pumpkin and some bright mums to spruce up our little porch.  Here soon we will carve our pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern, which we will surely post pictures of!  Here is what our porch looks like now...

The pregnancy is still progressing nicely!  I am growing a lil belly and I am wearing maternity tops most days now.  It is an exciting time... it is also amazing to see the miracle that God performs in creating another human being.  Even though our weeks seem to be passing by quickly, it feels like our ultrasound doctor's appointment is not getting any closer!!  I cannot believe it, but we begin our 5th MONTH in four days!  This is flying by and we will be parents in no time... kinda scary isn't it?  So, here are some pics we have been meaning to post of our tummies...

9 weeks (when we first found out I was expecting):

12 weeks (I see a bump!):

And 17 weeks (just a few days ago):

I plan on wearing the same shirt each time so the pics are consistent and we can really see the progress.  Oh, and here is Caleb and his tummy at 9 weeks:

Haha... actually Caleb hasn't gained any sympathy weight, which I think is a little unsympathetic, don't you?  But he has been great with taking care of me during the pregnancy... he runs slower with me when we run.  He does favors for me (such as fetch my drink off the counter or turn off the light), since I'm pregnant... :)  I have a good husband!

Anyway, I haven't introduced our dog to you yet, so I thought I would do so in this post.  His name is Brody and he is 2 years old.  We began fostering him last February and it eventually turned into adoption.  He is an Australian Terrier and he is part of the family.  We are attached to him.  He is such a quirky dog, which you will discover when being around him for a short time.  He had a traumatic day yesterday, because I was trimming his toenails and accidentally cut one too short, causing it to bleed....and bleed... and bleed.  He kept licking it which would result in blood on his face.  So, he needed a bath (which is also traumatic for him).  Then, because he wouldn't stop licking it, which would make it continue to bleed, I had to make a bandage for him which we tied around his foot (also traumatic).  I wish I had a video of  how he walked with that thing on.  It was hilarious!!  He took normal steps with all his other feet, but took giant steps with his front right paw... so funny!  He couldn't get his mind off it.  Anyway, here are some pics of our boy, Brody.

I apologize for such a terribly long post.  Who knows if you are still reading it at this point.  But I have one last thing to share.  Three years ago, when Caleb and I were dating, we went to a park in Siloam Springs and carved our initials into a tree.  Every so often we go back and see our tree.  This past Saturday, we went back to Siloam to spend the morning.  We got some coffee, walked around JBU, visited our tree, ate at this little English tea room (delicious!), and explored the downtown area.  It was a wonderful day, full of reminiscing.  Our tree still stands and the initials have now turned black, making it look as if we branded our initials into the tree (kinda cool)!  Here are some pics:

My, how our lives have changed throughout the past 3 years... we never would have guessed that we would be expecting a baby at this point in our lives.  But we are blessed with a very good life.  Though we might be poor newlyweds with a baby on the way, we are joyful each day, because the Lord is accomplishing His will (even though it might be different than what we thought).  We are also grateful for each of you, friends, and the blessing of getting to go through this experience with you by our sides :) We hope you have a splendid week!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Our New Church!

Greetings Friends!  I just wanted to share with you all our excitement about our new church.  We have been attending University Baptist Church and have loved it so far.  We joined a Sunday School class of young married couples which is wonderful.  It is exciting having people to relate to who are in the same stage of life that we are.  We are going through 1 Thessalonians currently :)  We also love the Sunday services.  The worship is fantastic and we love the pastor's style of preaching...  We also just joined a life group, which is a group of 20ish people with a wide range of ages.  In our life group, which meets on Sunday nights in a member's home, we are reading the book Radical by David Platt.  It has certainly been challenging us spiritually.  It has been a wonderful experience getting to know so many new, amazing people.   We thank the Lord for this experience and this church which is such a blessing to us already :)  We are so excited to get even more involved in our new church family!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

New Chapter, new blog!

Hello All!  Welcome to the Gutshall Tell-All!  I have just been thinking lately that with us starting a family, it would be a good idea to create a blog so our friends and family can follow along throughout our pregnancy and parenthood with us :)  I realize that with Caleb and I not having internet this might be difficult.  However, I am going to do my best to keep you posted fairly regularly.  So, here goes...

We just began our 16th week of pregnancy (Due March 24th), which means our baby is about 4.5 inches long and just about 3ish ounces.  Baby's eyes are sensitive to light and now responds to touch (though I'm not quite sure I have felt baby move yet)!  It has eyelashes and eyebrows :)  I am thankful to say that I have had a very smooth pregnancy thus far.  I have not had any morning sickness.  The only sysmptoms I have had are headaches, slight abdominal cramps, and I had a bloody nose the other day!  I am wearing maternity clothes for the first time today and it is much more comfy!  I will try to post pictures soon of my baby bump! I am so thankful it has been a smooth process, since I am still completing school.

Caleb and I are both closing in on completing our Master's degrees.  I will finish in December with my Master's of Arts in Christian Leadership.  Caleb will finish in May with his Master's in Electrical Engineering.  He will begin the job search in a few months.  We are hoping to settle somewhere in the midwest.  Possibly Northwest Arkansas or the Kansas City area.  I am planning on getting a part time job in a few weeks, to save up a little money before we have the baby. 

This weekend we came up to Joplin for me to meet up with a few of my high school friends.  It was a good reunion :)  We also took a trip to the Pumpkin Patch today and picked out some mums and a pumpkin, which we will carve into a jack-o-lantern soon (see pics below)!  We enjoyed getting to see my family and enjoy the fall season with them!  Thanks for reading the Gutshall Tell-All!  I hope to write again soon!