Monday, November 30, 2015

Being thankful

A sort of Thanksgiving post! Quite a few days late... but that's life isn't it?

I took about three photos on Thanksgiving and none of them contained humans. So here's Brendon and I decorating our tree over the weekend. Which is more Christmasy than Thanksgiving, but whatever! Turkey Day is the gateway to Christmas.

I hope you all had a marvelous Thanksgiving, full of food, family and friends, relaxation; whatever floats your boat. We did our usual family hopping, so we had two meals in one day. It was fantastic, though by the end of the day I seriously thought I might be going into labor from fullness. I felt like I was going to POP.

I thought a lot over the weekend about being thankful and all the things I'm thankful for. What started out as a lovely weekend ended up with me basically being an immobile achy baby by Sunday. I'm not sure if I've just officially entered the rough stage of late pregnancy or if I just had too much fun (running a 5k followed by multiple long car rides? YOU WILL PAY!), but I have been struggling. So thinking of the many things I'm thankful for is a sort perfect therapy. This is written more for me than anyone else. I am a very lucky human and have a gazillion things to be thankful for, but I'd like to touch on the big ones.

I am very thankful to be where we are. I'm thankful that we're here in Temple, that Brendon is doing what he loves, and that I have the chance to be a partial stay at home catmom/baby grower. We are very lucky to be where we are in life, and although it did come with a lot of hard work, I'm thankful that we're here. Yes, I am thankful to be in Temple, which I like more everyday. Someone slap me.

I'm thankful for family. I have a crazy typical American family with a heaping dash of dysfunction and quirks, and I love it. There's nothing perfect or normal about our family, but I am very glad for every last one of them. Even if they stress me out (multiplied by hormones) and I may grumble about them, they are all wonderful. I am especially grateful for my parents, who have been extra supportive during this crazy time of growing a human. You guys are gonna be the best grandparents. I'm real thankful for that.

My grandpa passed away over the weekend, an odd thing to mention during a list of thankfulness, I know. But we were luckily able to see right before, and I'm thankful for that. He wasn't able to say much, but he was awake and he knew who we were. We told him about his great grand-baby again and he rubbed my belly for a while and mouthed the word baby. Beyond him to have been able to meet our little lady, I can't have asked for much more. I'm not one to get real sentimental, but you guys, that was a moment for me. One I will never ever forget. Being able to say goodbye isn't something everyone gets the chance to do, and I'm very grateful that we were able to.

I am so so thankful for the little life growing in my ever expanding belly! This girl is wrecking havoc on my body right now, but I'm so grateful for the ability and chance to be her mom that it's totally okay. Every time she kicks me, even when it hurts, it's a happy moment. Because she's alive and healthy and I suspect... a little feisty! Sometimes I think about meeting her and her actually being here and I can't handle it. I just want to explode with excitement. Don't get me wrong, I'm extra nervous and slightly terrified, but deep down I know it will all be okay. And it will all be worth it. There's a big change for us right around the corner and I don't think any one is ever ready for it, but gosh, I'm thankful for it. I am so thankful for her.

You knew this was coming, but damn, I am so thankful for Brendon. Y'all don't even know. There aren't enough words out there to describe the depth of my love and gratitude for that man, especially these days. He is my rock and my sunshine and my home. I am beyond thankful that he found me and that we've had so many adventures all these years. And I honestly don't know how I would survive being pregnant without him. This is a group effort, for sure. He has been there for me every second of the way and I would have legit perished on the couch months ago without him. He is the most patient human in the world with me. And I mean, with me, because I don't know if you've dealt with Brendon, but he does not have a whole bunch of patience in general. But with me, endless patience. Not something I can say for myself. He listens to me complain, does anything and everything he can for me, supports me in every endeavor, and loves me no matter how puffy and zit covered I might be. He loves the Seahorse and talks to her and rubs my belly and says he can't wait to meet her and I die every time. He's the best thing in the world, and I am so so SO thankful for him.

Those are the big ones. I am a lucky lady. Hormones, exhaustion, and pain (the joys of pregnancy!) are keeping me from functioning at my highest level of sunshine and rainbows, but through it all, I am so happy. I have low moments, but it doesn't take much to remind me that I am fortunate. And even at the lowest moments, I am thankful. (But for real though, the back pain can skedaddle whenever it wants.)

Monday, November 23, 2015

K&K in Temple!

Visitors are always a good thing. And when your visitors happen to be your best friend and her daughter, it's extra good. Kristy and Kennedy were unable to go to the baby shower, so instead they came for a whole weekend! Which was totally better because we got to spend way more time together, sans the chaos of an event.

We had a very relaxing weekend, just hanging out. Which was pretty perfect because the past week had been a wee bit too stressful for my liking. It was a good week, but I was thrilled to take a break! One of my favorite things about Kristy is that we can just sit around and talk and relax. And it's pretty much the best. Kennedy kept us entertained with her shenanigans and love of Disney movies. I watched Descendants this weekend, and oh my gosh. Too much for even me! But she loves it! Oh and Kennedy and Brendon had an epic chess match. Five-year-olds that can play chess are pretty impressive.

We ventured into Belton Sunday for some sunshine, crisp weather, and brunch before they had to skedaddle and snuck in some pictures. All of these photos are totally stolen from Kristy. No shame in my game.

Just casually stealing Kennedy and pretending she's our offspring. Also, these are my preggo boots, I wear them almost everyday. They are SO COMFY, but not really that attractive. Good thing about being pregnant is: comfort > attractiveness, hands down.

Laaaadies... Kennedy is the queeeen of making crazy faces. Never a dull moment with that firecracker.

Okay okay okay, this. Heart melting! Kennedy kept patting my belly and saying, "Hello baby!" and it was beyond adorable. She was so so gentle. As she was leaving we were talking about how she'll get to meet the baby soon and she said, "And I can hold her! I've never held a baby before!" SO SWEET. The Seahorse has such a good cousin (and Aunt!) looking out for her in Dallas!

One of the few bright and sunshiney parts of living in Temple is that we are only two hours from Dallas! So we're hoping to make Dallas/Temple trips a regular thing. We got to see Kennedy grow from her mommy's belly to the crazy smart kid she is now, and I want the same for them and the Seahorse! So prepare yourselves K&K for lots of baby visits! :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Wurstfest 2015

Wurstfest is my favorite. I love dressing up, I love polka, and I love food. It's the perfect combo. This year we went on the last day and we got there right at opening to beat the crowds. And I'm so glad we did because we got to see Wurstfest at the emptiest I've ever seen it! We just strolled right up to the potato pancake window, and you if you guys know Wurstfest, that's saying something! It was a nice quiet beginning to the day, because it definitely filled up as the day went on!

Brendon formally requested new lederhosen for next year. These are about three or four years old? And honestly, I could definitely make him better ones this go round. Every sewing project I have I say, "This is the last one before that baby comes." Because crawling around on the floor to cut out fabric has gotten difficult to say the least. But I keep making things. So Brendon said, "New lederhosen can be the last thing you make!" Haha. We'll see.

Lookin' extraaa pregnant. Here's my maternity dirndl! It's based off the same one I made for last year. (My perfect dirndl! It was heartbreaking to not get to wear this year.) The only way this one really differs is I added a little width to the front, raised the waistline to more of an empire level, and laced it up with grommets and ribbon instead of buttons. I personally far prefer buttons on dirndls, but I needed a little flexibility. This thing was pretty easy to alter and whip up, and the all fabric only cost me like $17! Clearance everything.

LOOK HOW EMPTY! It was awesome.

These guys were my favorite. We met up with Allen, Brendon's sorta-step-dad, and he insisted we see the Shiner Hobo Band, they're Czech! Allen is super Czech; he was teaching us lots of fun Czech words. He had an awesome word for the afternoon snack you have around three... I wish I could remember it because I am a champion snacker and would utilize the heck out of that word. Anyway, I'd never seen this band before but oh my gosh they were so fun. There's like twenty of them, most of them are pretty old, and they are extra entertaining. The guy playing the trumpet in sunglasses was my favorite. He was just such a badass. They were having a blast up there and they got the crowd super involved. I will absolutely have to find them and see them next year!

Allen and Brendon singing "You Are My Sunshine". The band had the crowd duel between the ladies and the men to see who was loudest. I think the ladies won for sure. We at least sounded better. ;)

We got to catch the tail end of the Polka contest finals! I'd love to enter one year. But I can't even two-step properly much less polka, soooo we'll see. And seriously as we were walking out the gates to go home a polka band in the back tent was playing the Laendler, which is pretty much my favorite. I've never heard it at Wurstfest before. It's the song Maria and Captain von Trapp dance to in the Sound of Music, one of my favorite scenes in the whole movie. Goals: Brendon and I learn that dance! And then win the polka contest.

You're welcome for those last two.

We skedaddled around four when the crowds started getting crazy. Plus we had to drive all the way back to good old Temple! But not before stopping in Austin, in full German gear, for our fix of vegan hippie food. WE MISS YOUR FOOD, AUSTIN! Not that traffic though.

We had a lot of fun at Wurstfest! Hanging with Allen (and AJ for a few minutes before he scampered off with his friend... oh, teenagers! ;)) was really awesome. We ate food, listened to music, and the boys drank lots of beer. A very good Wurstfest experience, as usual. And next year we'll have a little one with us! BABY DIRNDL. I can't wait! :)

Wurstfest blogs since 2011 here! Amazingly, they all look very similar except I age rapidly. Brendon doesn't age at all, jerk.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Baby Shower!

The baby shower was this weekend! I'm going to be honest with you guys, when the idea of a shower was suggested I kinda groaned. I am not a fan of baby showers and I'm not a fan of being the center of any attention. I have a weeee bit of social anxiety and honestly at first I was just like, "Can we not??". BUT, I'm so glad we did. Because it was lovely and so worth it. Big kudos to our family for putting this together. We had a very low key baby shower, which was more just like a party/get together/watch us open presents shindig. It was perfect. We had it out at my dad's place (which did so much good for my stress factor), and everyone just sorta hung out! We got to hug and chat and relax with people we rarely get to see. And thanks to my momma, we also stuffed our faces. And thanks to Brendon's momma, everyone (minus the knocked up lady) got to party with the aid of lots of alcohol. :)

Be patient with the photo quality. The weather was hazy and grey and thus the lighting wasn't perfect. PLUS I super slacked on taking photos until like the very end. Sorry for everyone I missed!

My handsome husband, boy am I obsessed with you. Deb, my mom-in-law got us the prettiest flowers from Comal Flower Shop. I loved it, because that is where Brendon and I got our flowers for each other when we went to prom in high school. HA! We're coming full circle, y'all. (But seriously, Comal Flower Shop creates the prettiest things! Thank you, Deb!)

Opening presents photo cred goes to my sister. Sorry there are so many, I just find so many of them hilarious. And you don't have a baby shower often so suck it up!

Seahorse painted by my sister! There were LOTS of Seahorse themed presents. We have Seahorse everything! I love it! Also, this is basically my face all the time. Forgive my puffy goofy existence, I'M PREGNANT OKAY?

Okay okay okay, so this photo is obv amazing, but this rocking horse. Not only is it super duper cool, but my dad made it. Like cut out and put together every piece of wood, the dang whole thing. And apparently it was a huge pain in the butt, haha. But I loooove it. It's beautiful, it's going to last forever, and I can't wait for Baby Hogan to play on that thing. I don't cry, like ever (unless baby animals or sad movies are involved), but I might have teared up when I opened this rocking horse. Maybe. You'll never know.

Kendra, you win for best packaging ever, also for traveling the longest distance!! DONUT BAG! I can't wait to see this guy pop up at family celebrations for years to come. Y'all reuse gift bags until they fall apart too right?

This is me, excitedly telling Brendon that I registered for a boy-friendly backpack style diaper bag so we can both use it! And this is him laughing, like, "Haha, NOPE."

GOLDEN BOOKS! My sister-in-law got us the sweetest collection of golden books (and a kitty cat dress to match one of them!). SO neat! Brendon and I are both avid readers, I can't wait to share our love of books with our little lady.

My dad also made this awesome mobile, Seahorses of course! It is perfect because I was just on the hunt for one! Also, taxidermied fish caught by my champion fisherwoman step-mom. Not a shower present, but worth mentioning.

SEAHORSE CUPCAKES! I looooove it. Seahorse everything!

Here come the, "oh man I took NO group photos and the party is basically over" photos. We missed taking pictures with my mom-in-law, because most everyone had left at this point!

This macho man photo was by request of my step-bro. I think he wanted to show of those muscles.

Don't mind my face. This photo taking party was devolving into a fit of giggles due to the amount of alcohol consumed by most.

My dad was really into comparing bellies. He really wanted to go no-shirts but I was like, uhhh I'm not wearing pants.

It was a seriously, very fun day. I am so glad it happened. I have to give a huuuuge thanks to my mom, my step-mom Lynne, my dad, my mom-in-law Deb and quasi-step-dad-in-law Allen for all their help. I have a weird crazy big family, but I wouldn't have it any other way. What is it Tom Hanks says in You've Got Mail? "We are... an American family!" Seriously though, those guys went above and beyond to make sure we had a wonderful day. I can't say thank you enough. PLUS, to everyone who came! Gosh, we have lived in four cities in the past decade, so our family and friends are naturally scattered across the state/country. I am always so blown away by how far people travel to celebrate these big milestones with us. You guys are such winners. And there were also so many people there with us in spirit! I wish I could teleport you all to me to give you a hug. Texas (and this country!) is too big. And dang, we were spoiled rotten with gifts. You should see all the ADORABLE outfits baby girl got. She's got more clothes than I do already. I have some serious laundry to do.

At the end of the day although I was drunk on love and good vibes, I felt a little overwhelmed and undeserving of all this generosity. People are far too kind. We are lucky to have such great family and friends who are really family. Sorry, we claim you! :) So thank you to everyone who came, who wanted to come but couldn't, and who spoiled the Hogans with love. You guys are the bright and shiny places in this crazy universe. We love you all. That Seahorse is a lucky lady and will be coming into this world with a fantastic crew of people who have her back. I am more grateful for that than anything. Hugs and more hugs to all of you.