What I'm Into (May, 2015 Edition)

Reading:

Fiction:

I read three fiction books during April: Nora Roberts' The Liar, which was certainly not my favorite of her mysteries; David Baldacci's The Memory Man, which was fantastic; and Lisa Scottoline's Every Fifteen Minutes, which I thoroughly enjoyed. 

Hopecasting

Non-fiction:

This month I also read one lone non-fiction book, Mark Oestricher's Hopecasting, which was excellent. You can read my full review here.  

Watching:

TV: Turn, Call the Midwife, The Good Wife, Madame Secretary, American Idol, Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, The Black List, Modern Family, and The Amazing Race. 

Movies: The Avengers Age of Ultron, Fury, Rewrite (My favorite of the movies we watched this month. It wasn't anything earth-shattering, but it was cute.) 

Things I Love: 

Magnolia At The Arboretum

Walks at the Arboretum: We did a lot of walking at the arboretum throughout the first half of May - trying to both slow the rate of the baby's growth and induce labor. 

Kitty's Afghan

Handmade baby gifts: We received several handmade baby gifts from people - all of which we loved. My friend and mentor, Kitty, made Baby Girl this beautiful blanket. I love all that it represents - 20 years of friendship, love, faith, and of course, hope.

Daybed Reno

The Finished Daybed Reno: Thanks to a lot of help from family and friends, we finished the daybed portion of our multi-purpose room before Baby Girl's arrival. Now Grandma and Grandpa have a place to sleep when they come visit their granddaughter. 

Mother's Day 2015

Celebrating Mother's Day: Although I have mixed feelings about Mother's Day, we enjoyed celebrating the day with Mom. After an enjoyable lunch at Wildfire (in which I barely fit into our booth at 38 weeks pregnant), we went home and celebrated Doug's birthday. 

Doug's 35th

Celebrating Doug's 35th: We celebrated Doug's 35th birthday on May 14. It's strange to think that when he rounds to the nearest decade, he now has to round up to 40 (gulp). He was very thankful that Baby Girl decided not to share his birthday with him. Apparently, they'd reached an agreement about this quite some time ago. 

Glen Ellyn Fair 2015

The Glen Ellyn Fair: We enjoyed some food at one of Glen Ellyn's many festivals. Afterward, we walked over to the carnival, hoping to ride the ferris wheel. Alas, no pregnant women were allowed. So Doug tried his hand at a shooting game, hoping to win a giraffe for Baby Girl's nursery. Despite multiple efforts, he failed to shoot out the elusive target. 

39 Weeks

Not being pregnant anymore: We are grateful beyond belief for Baby Girl. That said, I am thrilled to no longer be pregnant. Here I am in my last maternity photo: 39 weeks, 5 days. 

Hope On The Operating Table

Meeting Hope:  Of course the highlight of our month was meeting Baby Girl - Hope Kathryn Bradbury, on Friday, May 22 at 1:57 pm via c-section. 7 lbs, 12 oz, 19 inches long. The name, Hope, embodies what this pregnancy was for us - an act of hope. It's also a reminder that our hope always lies in Jesus. Her middle name, Kathryn, was my grandma's name. 

Meeting Grandma & Grandpa Nelson

Introducing Hope to Grandma & Grandpa: What a privilege it's been to introduce Hope to both sets of grandparents. She's the first grandchild on either side of the family and we're grateful for the role her grandparents will play in her life. 

Bringing Hope Home

Bringing Hope Home: After 2 days in the hospital, we requested to go home. We had an incredibly positive C-section experience in regard to the doctors and nurses. However, once we got moved to the Family Care Unit, things quickly deteriorated. After 2 days, we decided we could recover much better at home. Indeed, we have! 

Serge & Hope

Introducing Hope to friends and extended family: Since returning home from the hospital, we've also enjoyed introducing Hope to friends, including Serge - one of the missionaries we've worked with in Rwanda - and extended family. 

Snuggles With Hope

Snuggles with Hope: Adjusting to life as a family of 3 has been challenging. We're exhausted and feeling all the things. We've cried every day since Hope has been born and have discovered that breastfeeding isn't as natural as one might think. Even so, we're soaking in the moments and relishing our snuggles with Baby Hope and our time together before Doug returns to work. 

What I'm Into Button

Today I'm linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I'm into. You can join the conversation here.

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the director of youth ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and the forthcoming A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

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Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

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