Pregnancy Update: 27 weeks

Posted by Amy O. , Saturday, January 21, 2012 8:59 PM


Well, folks, I'm crossing the threshold into the third trimester. At 27 weeks, they tell me Baby O.'s now the size of an eggplant!  The second trimester has been so great, I'm a little nervous about the changes my body is about to endure in this next phase. But since the end result is our darling (for assuredly she will be darling) baby girl, I say, Bring on the weirdness!  At the moment, physically, all is well. At my last Dr.'s visit a couple of weeks ago, I got the good news that I don't have gestational diabetes (although the Valentine's & Easter candy displays at the grocery stores may overturn that :/), her heartbeat was still sounding great, and I was measuring normal for 25 weeks.

My belly is enlarging, but it isn't huge - especially when compared with other ladies I know due in March & April. I'm told that's where being 5'8" is an advantage but I confess I'm hoping for a little more obviously pregnant belly and a little less like I've just got a spare tire in the coming months.  As for other externals, after last weekend's shower, the number of baby items around our home has grown exponentially and that makes this all both more real and more surreal.

Baby O.'s still kicking and squirming on a regular basis and making me feel kinda funny on the inside, which I love because it reassures me that she's okay in there (as weird as it is that she's in there).  Makes a desk job a bit more interesting with a baby dancing in my belly as I make spreadsheets & type emails :-D.  

First Baby Shower - with friends!

Posted by Amy O. , Friday, January 20, 2012 6:45 PM

Thanks to my best friend Rebekah, my sisters Jenny & Emily, and my mom, and all their hard work (and Southwest Airlines for an amazing sale!), I enjoyed an incredibly fun first baby shower up in Oregon this weekend!  They did the cutest things in the world with a ladybug theme and it was so much fun to celebrate Baby Girl O.'s arrival with friends from church & throughout my life.


These are a few photos I got; once the ladies started arriving, I was too busy visiting to take pictures!  I'll have to get some more from others in attendance.

Welcome to the party!
Ladybug balloons :-)
Treats for the guests - Jelly Bellies, but of course!

My favorite flowers!
Ava (Rebekah's daughter) and Miriam (my niece)
Bea having tea :-)
Ava being silly

Ladybug cupcakes...
and appetizers...
and straws...
and decorations...
and books! :-)
Jenny made a guess-how-many candy game, with a chocolate ladybugs snuck in.

Me & my sweet Rachael


Debby & Margot Mae
Margot Mae & Jaime Ruth
Two Rivers' friends
Hostesses Jenny, Rebekah, & Emily - they did a questionnaire game about children's books and a Mad Lib which turned out to be our birth story, and a hilarious one at that!

Another activity was designing onesies.  
The ladies made so many cute ones!  Baby O will be stylin' for sure!

Update 1/23/12 ~ Rebekah posted more pictures of the cuteness at her blog: http://rebekahinreallife.blogspot.com/2012/01/little-ladybug-love-for-baby-o.html

Hello, 2012! And Reflections on 2011...

Posted by Amy O. , Tuesday, January 10, 2012 9:26 AM


2011 was a truly incredible year for Patrick & I.  I say this in the most sincere thankfulness to God; and I don't want to sound at all gloaty or obnoxious, whether it might come off that way.  It was a really rough year for a lot of our friends & loved ones, and I don't mean to make light of that.  But Patrick and I have individually had many rough years - years of loss, frustration, disappointment, hurt - and since we've been married, we have L-O-V-E-D doing life together, but we've faced our own share of challenges, like a horrible, horrible first job experience for me in Pasadena, which has unfortunately colored my entire view of the city & its people, followed by unemployment; a frustrating living situation for a couple of introverted artists who can't create in the midst of clamor; the unsettledness of campus living and job upheaval and being in a city neither of us like or can afford, for that matter; illness & loss for us and those dear to us; scholarship changes, etc., etc.

We have over & over seen the faithfulness of God in all those frustrations and have been deeply grateful to have a partner by our side through them.  We have learned much and grown up much.  We have wondered at some of the reasoning, the necessity, as one does, but we have tried our best to trust in the greater purpose. 

But, comparatively, 2011 was this amazing contrast of a year.  It was the year where everything worked out.  It was the year where all sorts of things that should not logically have happened did happen.  For example, we were in no way financially suited to plan a trip to Europe - let alone one for three weeks - and yet we leapt in faith & went and did it, blessed by the generosity of friends who housed & fed us & took us places, and other things like flyer miles which got us free hotels; and at each step, as things worked toward our being able to go and do this, we breathed deeply and took the leaps required to follow the Spirit's urgings to trust, to taste and see the Lord's goodness.  And we had the most amazing, memorable time - and even without incurring any debt!  We are in awe, still to this day.

Other 2011 highlights:

--Release of Patrick's second book "How Long? The Trek Through The Wilderness" in April (available at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/How-Long-Patrick-Oden/dp/1594980233/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326298315&sr=8-1)
--Release of my newest recording project "Homespun: Songs For Worship" (available here: http://amy.dualravens.com/)
--Trips to Oregon in July (worship leading at Black Lake Bible Camp and our Book/CD Release Party) & November (Thanksgiving & Grandma Gustafson's 90th birthday)
--New niece (Margot Mae) in May, and new nephew (David Richard) in November
--Island camping trip in August
--Getting pregnant & a healthy first six months of pregnancy
--Patrick passing his comprehensive exams (wahoo!!) in November
--Learning that a house was available to us for the first half of 2012

We are very excited for big things happening in 2012:

--Moving into the house in San Dimas (as of last week) - for at least through June
--Arrival of Baby Girl O. in late April/early May
--Patrick writing his dissertation (he's hoping to finish by summer) and exploring options for fall 
--Walking in faith into the rather unknown of July & beyond - housing, jobs, etc.

As we head into the unknowns of 2012, we are much in prayer these days and our faith muscles are being stretched and exercised.  There is such a temptation to grab hold of things and say, "I'll solve this!" but as they are not unknowns to Him, I am daily being challenged to say, "No, He'll solve this...just as He has so faithfully so many times before. So I will let go and enjoy the Great Adventure."  And I look forward this time next year, when we can again look back & see all He's done in 2012.

Mom Gustafson's End/Beginning of the Year Visit - 2011/12

Posted by Amy O. , Thursday, January 5, 2012 1:21 PM

My mom came down for a visit to ring in the new year - and to help us both prepare a bit for Baby O.'s arrival and pack up for our big move to San Dimas!  We were so grateful for her helping hands - and squeezed in a bit of tourism as well.  We enjoyed a meal with both of her brothers' families - my Uncle Lynn in Glendora, and my Uncle Paul, from Thousand Oaks, who was gracious enough to bring his crew all the way to Pasadena when we discovered, half way to meet them, that our car was overheating :/.

Highlights of her visit include...

A trip to the Reagan Library!  Patrick & I had been wanting to go for a long time and they had special Christmastime exhibit with 20 trees, each decorated for a decade (or two or three) of history since America began, as well as the Reagan museum and Air Force One.


 Piece of the Berlin Wall



On Saturday, we attended Shuvah Yisrael (Patrick's parents congregation) and enjoyed a lovely long lunch out all together afterwards.  Unfortunately, no pics of us all, but Mom Oden snapped this one:


We also enjoyed viewing the Rose Parade (on January 2 this year due to New Year's Day falling on a Sunday - weird Pasadena thing about scaring the horses parked at churches on Sunday...).  One major advantage of Fuller housing is being able to leave one's apartment shortly before 8:00 am when the parade begins, and then walk about four blocks south and find a perfectly good space to stand and watch the festivities.  We anticipate this being our last year with such an advantage (or so we hope) - so we had to indulge!