March 20, 2014

"Spring-less" Break Shenanigans

Well, it is now March 20th and I have yet to blog once this month! That is pretty sad! Another sad thing is that you may have noticed on your calendar a note that says “Spring Begins” – which is something that had previously gone unnoticed by me in all my years of living in Endless Summer Hawaii prior to Chicago. Well, this is the first year that it not only caught my eye, but also brought me a little hope that this winter might actually be coming to an end! Needless to say, I was looking forward to March 20 in hopes that we might see something spring-ish (grass, greenery, blossoms, birds chirping, etc.)! However, as I popped out of bed this morning and opened the blinds I was appalled to find that not only were there no birds, blossoms, greenery, or grass out my window, but instead there was a light but steady snowfall. *sigh* It seems that Chicago is doomed to an Endless Winter…
Thankfully, there are a thousand other reasons to be joyful and happy today despite Chicago’s complete disregard for the calendar. For starters, today is another wonderful day of David’s spring break! He has been off from school since the 7th, and we had decided earlier in the year that we would take advantage of our current place of residence and explore all that the city of Chicago has to offer! So, we bought a couple of CityPasses and have (so far) hit Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, and The Field Museum. In our last few days of break we plan to hit The Willis Tower (aka the Sears Tower Skydeck) and The Museum of Science and Industry! It's been a fun adventure! Plus, with these awesome CityPasses, we feel pretty ritzy when we get to walk by all of the people waiting for hours for general admission and then get ushered into the museums/aquarium/planetarium with the words, "EVERYTHING is included." When else do we get to feel so spoiled? ;)
Here are a few pictures from our adventures thus far...

They have a great water show featuring Beluga whales,
dolphins, & a sea lion! Made me think of my sister in her
aquarium days :)

Life with this guy is the best!

Exotic colors and fishies reminding me of Hawaii
David and one of our friends, Ryan, attempting to lift this
6,000 lb meteorite piece after one of the planetarium workers
informed us that we could take it home if we could carry it.
(Unfortunately, pushing or dragging it home does not count,
so it's still at the planetarium)

Of course another reason that we are so joyful and happy has to do with our baby girl - now due only 96 days from today! Last week we had another routine prenatal check up and the doctor was pleased with how baby is doing and how Mommy has continued to stay healthy and gain weight (a whole 20 lbs! I seriously can't believe it...). Something that we might ask for your prayers about is the Glucose Test that I've had to go through a couple of times now. The Glucose Test basically checks your blood sugar after they give you this really outrageously sweet drink that you have to consume in <5 minutes. They wait an hour and then take a few blood samples. The first time everything looked great but the second time my numbers were a little higher than they were supposed to be (don't ask me what these mysterious numbers represent, I have no clue). So, I got sent in for another test - this time I had to fast for 12 hours in advance AND wait for two hours before they took the blood samples. I haven't heard anything back from them yet, so hopefully all is fine. The doctor was not concerned at all that I needed to take another test as she says that it is pretty common for smaller women to have higher numbers (again, they're a mystery to me). Anyway, both of my arms are pretty bruised up now from getting poked multiple times, so it would be really nice not to have to go again. Plus, not having gestational diabetes sounds like a pretty good thing too ;) Thank you for the prayers!
We have been really blessed by our Sunday School community at The Moody Church! Lately we have been going through a study on the book of Romans, and God has really been working in the men who have presented to be clear and humble while they teach through it! It has been a huge blessing and we have both been thoroughly enjoying it. We also are part of a small group composed of a handful of couples from our Sunday School class and have been going through a book study for the past few months. It has been a great time of fellowship and these people have really ministered to us as newlyweds/newlyparents/newlyChicagoans! We have really felt the love of God through this experience and are so thankful that He takes such tender care of us. Really, nothing escapes His eye!
I forgot to mention that Amelia, the little 3-year-old that I babysit, has gone on vacation this week (to HAWAII, can you believe it!!!) and so I have a little break as well! I am really going to miss her though and will be excited to see her when she comes back. She brings so much joy into my life - and she gives me good practice for being a mommy when Baby Graef gets here ;) She and her mother have been so supportive and excited for the baby since my interview back in December, and on top of that, they have been a continual blessing to our family by giving us hand-me-down toys and clothes of Amelia's for our own little girl. About a month ago, there was a fire in their apartment building's basement that destroyed many of their precious and irreplaceable valuables that were down in storage, and even though they are very high up in the building, a great deal of soot came up through the elevator shaft and ruined many of their things in their home as well. As an unsaved, wealthy family, this has been pretty devastating to them as you can imagine that they put so much into their earthly treasures. I write all of this to ask you to just please pray that they would find hope and comfort and treasure in Jesus through all of this and that I might be a constant support and help to them during this time. Amelia's mother, especially, is always very observant and aware of the "rich" (not as in wealth, but as in "full") life that David and I lead, and I want her to see that the only reason that our lives are so rich is because Christ is at the center and He is the reason for the love and joy that we have for each other, others, and life itself.
This girl... She decided to put on a show for
me the other day (and yes, she picked out her
amazing wardrobe all by herself)!
As you can see, God has given us plenty to be joyful and thankful about even on the coldest and dreariest of days, and, really, we owe a big thank you to each of you for the amazing support and love that you show us even from far away! Sometimes there are people that I haven't even personally met who send us encouragement and pray for us because of this blog! What a huge blessing each of you are to us - probably in more ways than David and I realize... :)

With Love, The Graefs
"Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the clouds."
Psalm 36:5

Baby Graef
26 Weeks
96 days to go!
Size of a Large Zucchini

1 comment:

  1. RM, I love your uplifting attitude, not an easy thing to maintain throughout a cruel Chicago winter. You have done well, and you have been such a blessing to David. The next three months until Baby Graef's arrival will hurry by, but I sure hope she doesn't keep the figure of a plump Zucchini. Anyway, we will take her any way she comes, and we will love her with all of our hearts. We will pray about the sugar situation.