33 weeks

I realize not much has been said about this pregnancy. It’s not that he’s not wanted. It’s just that we’ve been so busy raising his 5 year old brother and 2 1/2 year old sister that I haven’t had a lot of time to talk about him. I saw a friend post a cute little pregnancy questionnaire, so I figured that would be a great place for me to pick up.

How far along: 33 weeks

How big is baby? Average babies at this point are 4 pounds and around 17 inches long–the weight of a pineapple. Since we are petite people and make petite babies, I’m expecting he’s a tad smaller than this right now.

Gender: It’s a Boy!

Weight gain: 5 pounds {lost over 15 in my first trimester}

Maternity clothes: Blah. Maternity clothes are overrated. I wear a lot of leggings and long tank tops. Thrifting is the best for it. I just buy shirts a size larger than normal and call it good. Summer has been great because I can wear a lot of sundresses too.

Stretch marks: None really.  Just a little flesh colored on at my belly button that I can see when I move directions in the mirror.

Belly button in or out: Working it’s way to stretching out.

Sleep: I had been having a hard time sleeping a few weeks ago even though it really wasn’t the size or weight of my belly. I was sleeping on the right side of our bed but needing to sleep on the left side of my body. Once little ones started climbing in during the night and piling in line in front of me I wasn’t getting much room to move nor was I feeling the fan. My husband graciously switched me sides of the bed and now I’m all the way on the left side of the bed, sleeping on my left side, with a fan blowing right on me and little ones climbing in behind me in bed now!

Best moment this week: Having a night out to dinner with husband to celebrate our 8th anniversary and being able to wear a cute dress.

Worst moment this week: Having the energy to start projects/cleaning one day and being down for the count the next. Wishing I could check things off my list sooner so our household runs smoothly while we are in the hospital and after.

Miss anything: Taco Bell! Just two bites of most foods these days gives me heartburn. The last time I ate TB I felt really sick. Just being cautious now.

Movement: TONS of movement. Some nights Zac can even feel the bed moving because Little Man has kicked me so hard. He’s a mover for sure. Day or night. It doesn’t matter. He slithers more than his siblings. And he gets the hiccups a lot too. So cute.

Cravings: I’ve never really been one for cravings during pregnancy. Sometimes I just prefer colder things like Slurpees or Ice Cream over dinner but that’s mostly because I don’t want to induce heartburn.

Queasy or sick: Nope. Just tired.

Wedding rings on or off?:  My official wedding rings off–because my prongs are loose and I don’t want to lose my diamond. I’m wearing a cheap fake ring from the store just to take it’s place. No swelling in hands. Just trying to save that precious diamond my husband picked just for me over 8 years ago.

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy, but tired. It’s hard being in the middle of summer, with a 5 year old and a 2 1/2 year old with not many plans. A school routine would be great to keep us busy.

Looking forward to: The beauty of delivery once again {I love all things babies and birthing!} and learning what this Little Man’s name is. We still don’t have a clue. Ideas, lists, discussions, but nothing official.

Have you bought anything for baby yet?: Absolutely. I’m a planner. Lots of newborn and 0-3 months onesies and pants, but seriously lacking in sleepers or preemie clothes. Neither baby so far was a preemie but they were so small they wore preemie for the first few months. Next needed purchase: car seat.

Funny Sibling Moment?: While driving past his new elementary school, Mr. Man says from the backseat, “Mom, if brother wants to be born when I am at school tell him to just wait until I am done and Papa and Grandma can bring me up to the hospital. I don’t want to miss anything. Sister was born when I was sleeping. I just don’t want to miss it again.” So sweet, but it doesn’t work that way, kiddo.

And Little Miss always tells me, “I can’t right now. My back hurts.” I wonder where she heard that from?!?!?



Our Love Story for Valentine’s Day

A few days ago I entered our love story in a contest with the local paper.  While we did not win the contest we were asked if we would share our story in a front page feature.  We were so excited to be asked to do this.  We were sent a list of questions to answer and email back.  One of the questions asked about our children and we saw it as a great opportunity to share the news of our pregnancy with our friends and family in a unique way.  Well, as we all know, journalism picks and chooses what they want to say and although we felt blessed to be asked to share our story I didn’t feel like it was a true reflection of our love story or our heart for marriages.

Here is my submission:

Our love story started with a handshake at a bonfire and continues with a crazy love for each other after almost 8 years of marriage. Little did I know that my husband had a list of qualities he was looking for in a wife and was checking them off in his head the night he met me. We’ve been through the in sickness and health, for richer or poor, through good days and bad together and look forward to embarrassing our children with our love in hopes that they see how husband’s and wives should love and treat each other.

Here is the exact questions and answers we submitted:

1.) What is your husband’s name?

My husband’s name is Zac Holmes

2.) What city do you live in?

We live in Waterford

3.) What are your kids names? How old are they?

Our son Reese is 4 1/2, our daughter Emery is 2 and we are expecting in September {SURPRISE MOM’S AND DAD’S!}

4.)  What are some of the hard times you guys have gone through that you talked about?

We have been through a lot of trials in our marriage but always end up coming out of it stronger and more in love with each other.  One of our biggest heartaches was in January of 2011 when we unexpectedly miscarried our second child. No one can truly know or understand a mother or father’s heart until they experience it themselves. My husband was so helpful and supportive during this time. Even when he didn’t know what to say he gave me time to think, to cry, to snuggle, or to scream.  When I was rushed to the ER a week later with complications he sat with me in the cold, white room while we waited for results. My biggest fear was that I would never be able to have children again. Praise God that He had bigger plans for our family because we were able to get pregnant right away with our now 2 year old daughter!  Zac never left my side, he never made me feel like a failure, and he never questioned my emotions.

I’ve had plenty of times to be the one by his side too. From job changes to visits to the ER for health issues to huge financial setbacks for our family, it is important to me to let my man know and feel that he is a good man, a great supporter for our family and that it is not my job to shame him.

5.)  What do you love about your husband/wife? What kind of person is he/she?

Amy–One thing I love about my husband is how he shows our children his love for me by not letting them be disrespectful toward me.  He is a man full of never ending patience and support. He is a well of knowledge in a variety of areas and people respect him enough to ask his opinion or advice on buying electronics, purchasing a car or parental advice.  I can tell by the look in his eyes everyday that he loves me, respects me and is truly my partner in all of life’s trials.  I love when he rocks out in the car to his favorite songs but not so much when he uses my legs for his air drums!

Zac– Amy is a lover. She loves me, she loves kids, she loves people. She has an awesome sparkle in her big brown eyes. She is a joyous woman who has never met a stranger. I love how unrelenting she is when it comes to us–she loves me fiercely and is very supportive of the decisions I make for our family.  She is a fantastic combination of gentle and strong and brings the right kind of balance to our crazy life.

6.)  What would you like to teach your kids about how husbands and wives should treat each other?

And do you think this is lacking in today’s world?

Our generation is composed of a lot of hurting people who are either products of divorce or view marriage as disposable. Zac and I were married a little over a month after I turned 21. In our almost 8 years of marriage we have seen multiple divorces among our friends and age group.

The word divorce isn’t even in our vocabulary. When we decided to get married we made a life commitment to be “in it to win it”. Marriages are important to us and we strive to fight not only for our own but for others, especially those in our generation.  We believe that many couples stop fighting for their marriages, stop respecting each other, stop communicating, stop touching each other.

As a product of divorce myself it is very important to me that our children see us live out our marriage in front of them.  Zac and I dance in the kitchen often, kiss, cuddle on the couch, make dinner together, do dishes together, hold doors open for each other, pray together and even apologize. Without living this out in front of our children they will never know how husbands and wives should treat each other.

Just because it sounds fairytale-ish doesn’t mean it’s easy. Every day is a battle but it takes the recognition that it’s more important to fight for our marriage than to fight to be right.  Marriage isn’t a contest but a partnership. In our marriage we have three partners-God, Zac and Amy.  It is our goal to act this out not only in front of our children but those we encounter along our day who might need the encouragement to fight for their marriage.

*Here is a little more about our back story.

We met in the fall of 2005 when Amy has just decided to move back home from Taylor University in Indiana.  We learned along the way that we had many mutual friends over the years but never met until that one Sunday night in September at a bonfire. Amy arrived with her youth group friends, noticed people she didn’t know and decided to walk up and introduce herself.  That’s when I met her for the first time and began to know throughout the night that she was the girl I was going to marry.  A few months earlier I was talking to my pastor’s wife about how I was longing for a wife. She encouraged me to write a list of qualities I was looking for–no matter how silly some of them would seem.

Amy took my number that night and contacted me next day. We talked for hours every night that week and went on our first date that Friday night. From there, we were inseparable. She said that the night we went on our first date, she walked out of the house declaring to her family, “This is the man I am going to marry.”  As we began to talk and date God started to remind me of my list and I started checking things off in my head.

I knew very quickly that in fact she was the woman for me. I wanted to propose to her at Christmas but felt like God was telling me that it wasn’t quite the right time. I waited until Easter Sunday in April and proposed to her in front of the entire church during our Easter service.  We were married 2 1/2 months later on July 1st, 2006 with the help and support of many people we consider family and life-long friends.  We know that God brought us together for a reason and we are excited to see what all that entails.

Marriage Tips and Advice


Upon celebrating our 7 year wedding anniversary we were blessed with winning a photography contest to have our wedding pictures redone.  This was a HUGE blessing to us since we only have one wedding day photo displayed in our home.  A family friend was supposed to gift us with her photography skills for our special day but decided the day before our rehearsal that she wanted to go Up North for the 4th of July weekend.  That left us with no options—until our friends Randy and Marli Brown http://www.randyandmarli.com reached out to a friend who took their picture for one of their album covers.  Thankfully she was available the day of our wedding but only for a few hours.  There was no money budgeted for photography at this point so we used a little of what we had from our paychecks plus some out of our wedding cards {that we had to open early} and we received a few good pictures on a CD.

Fast forward 7 years later and this amazing photographer offers a contest on her Facebook page to do a wedding re-do session for couples who never had wedding pictures or had a bad experience.  I had been following her for awhile already because she had taken pictures of some friends family/children and I thought they were beautiful.  Somehow I didn’t even see her post about the contest in my own feed but I did when a friend shared it to her page.  I knew immediately that we were destined to at least apply.  Little did I know that God had bigger plans to bless my socks off!

MarieMassePhotography has been a HUGE blessing to us!  We had a great experience with her during our session, she captured beautiful images that are already on display in our home and we formed a friendship that includes messages to each other and play dates at the park.  Thank you Marie for going after your gift.  You are a true talent!  If you are in the Metro Detroit area, check out her work and blog at http://www.mariemassphotography.net

Before sharing a blog post regarding our session with her, she asked us to come up with some marriage tips and advice to go along with it.  While I still keep coming up with things to add to this list, here is what we came up with for her:

1.) Always stand up for your spouse whether you believe their view is correct or not.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and everyone has their own unique feelings.  Showing that you support them and their stance will go further than making them feel like their view doesn’t matter.

2.) Remember your spouse.  Think about things he/she likes and remember them when you stop at the store on the way home.  Don’t buy yourself a beer to bring home for dinner and come home empty handed for her.  Sometimes a favorite drink, ice cream or Taco Bell is much more meaningful than jewelry or flowers.

3.) Dance in the kitchen.  Always.  Turn on some music and whisk her around the kitchen.  Not only are you setting a great example for your children and having a little bit of fun but you never know where it might lead when they go to bed : )

4.) Always show your children how you respect their mother or father.  Demonstrating love and respect in front of them will help them know how they are expected to treat them when you aren’t around.

5.) Work together.  Many hands make work light.  Even after a long day in the office or a difficult day at home with the kids, when the dishes or laundry needs to be done do it together.  It will get done a lot faster if you each take a task rather than doing it alone and angry.

6.) Husbands–here is a BIG key of advice that no one has probably ever told you: When the house is a mess, her brain is too.  When the dishes are done and things are picked up her mind is free and her body relaxed to rock your world in the bedroom!

7.) Make sex a priority not a chore.

8.) Be humble.  Apologize.  It’s okay to be wrong and vulnerable in front of your spouse.  Nobody wins unless you both win.

9.) Never ever, ever, ever throw a frying pan across the room toward your spouse (not us–-a couple we once knew).  It’s better to take a time out, leave the room and collect your thoughts before you say or do something you know you will regret later.  Walking away isn’t a sign of weakness or a step toward isolation.  It is showing maturity and respect and knowing that you care enough about the other person to tread cautiously all in the name of love.

10.) Set aside time for date nights even if you don’t have a lot of funds.  Put some ideas on Popsicle sticks and draw one each date night.  They could range from dinner at a fancy restaurant to coffee only, movie, bowling, etc.  Be purposeful to take time together–especially after children join the family.

11.) Husbands–call a cousin, a niece, or a neighbor and line up a babysitter.  Sometimes women have too much on their plate that even finding a babysitter can be too much.  Taking this stress off her shoulders will help her be a more enjoyable date for you.

12.) Wives–Sometimes it’s okay to let your man go out for a drink with the guys after work.  If you’ve had a long day and just want him home–tell him.  If you can stand waiting a few more hours for his arrival–let him go.  He’ll feel so refreshed to be able to go somewhere that isn’t work or home.  It will help him be more present and appreciative with you and at his job.

13.) Stay up late to binge watch your favorite series on Netflix.  Eat lots of sherbet, drink craft Root Beers and enjoy each others laughter.  You might sleep all the next day since you’re not as young as you used to be but do it anyway.  You won’t regret it later when you say, “Remember that one night we stayed up late watching How I Met Your Mother until 5am?”

14.) Don’t talk down about your spouse to your friends.  It could affect your friends’ view of them and isn’t respectful toward your spouse.  Keep your gabbing under control.  Don’t say anything about them behind their back that you wouldn’t want them to find out five years down the road.

15.) The word “divorce” is never in your vocabulary.  Period.  Be in it to win it!