So many blessings to report! I just love days like this. :)
First off, as most of you know, this past weekend was the much-anticipated First Weekend Without Abby and RWA Rita award ceremony. Many of you have been praying for us, that Abby would be alright, that my mom would be alright as she took care of Abby, that our trip to Dallas would go without a hitch. Well, y'all are mighty prayer warriors, because things could not have gone better. Granted I was crying inconsolably (no joke) when Mom took Abby Saturday morning, but we managed to get out of the house and to the airport much earlier than planned, which gave us time to grab some breakfast as well. Our flight, um, flew by--definitely didn't feel like we were in the air for nearly three hours--and got in twenty minutes early. Woohoo #1! Got down to the baggage claim and both our bags were coming 'round the corner. Woohoo #2! Got to the car rental place and there was no line and we got a nav system as we'd requested. Woohoo #3! Had no trouble getting to the Singers, where we were staying, and even had plenty of time to eat a leisurely dinner. Woohoo #4! God is so good.
We did have a little trouble figuring out where to park when we got to the ceremony, but it was quickly resolved and we got into the event without a problem. It was a bit uncomfortable, though, because everyone else had been there all weekend and knew each other and had been bonding through critique groups and workshops and whatnot, so we just sat in our row and kept to ourselves. The program was a little silly, but not terrible, and it was awesome seeing all these women be rewarded for all their hard work. The first award, called the Golden Heart, is given to an unpublished author who's trying to get published--they submit their manuscripts and they get critiqued by editors, which is an amazing opportunity for them to learn and improve and hopefully get their stuff sold. The Rita awards came after that, and Tamera Alexander did indeed walk away with the big gold statue, just as I predicted. But, though it's a cliche, it's true: it was a huge honor just ot be nominated. There were thousands of books submitted for this award; to be one of such a select group is a huge vote of confidence for me.
Afterwards we went to Cheesecake Factory for dessert and then back to the house. I didn't think I'd sleep well without Abby right next to me, but it turns out I slept for a solid 7 hours! I haven't done that since before I was pregnant! Man, did it feel good. :) Dan didn't get up until 10:30 so I was able to lounge and read and relax, which was lovely. It was so weird to have all that time to myself! When the Singers got back from church we all went out for lunch, and then they drove us around some really cool parts of Dallas--down Kennedy's motorcade route, around some mansion neighborhoods where folks like Ross Perot and the owner of the Dallas Mavericks live. Gorgeous places. After that we went back to their place and packed and talked until it was time to get the car back in order to only pay for one day's worth of rental. We had a ton of time at the airport, but DFW has tons of shops and restaurants, so it was actually kind of fun, like going to a mall but with planes outside. :)
Coming home all we could talk about was Abby. We missed her so much. She did fantastic, though--save for sleeping Saturday night, which she kinda didn't do. No meltdowns, though (Woohoo #5!), and Mom's body held up (Woohoo #6!) though I heard she went to the chiropractor today, poor thing. When we got home I literally ran to the door and through the house until we found her, along with my parents, playing in one of the bedrooms. Abby looked up, said, "Mama," handed me a Lego, and went back to playing. Much better than the angry, "Why did you leave me?!" meltdown I was expecting (Woohoo #7!) though I wouldn't have minded some spontaneous hugs.
When we got ready to go, we outfitted Abby in a new shirt we got for her--Woohoo #8 is written on the front:
Yes, that's right, come mid-March Abby will have someone else to boss around! Talk about a surprise. Though it wasn't at all planned, we're SUPER excited, of course, and Woohoo #9 is that Kyle and Kelli will be in the states from November-June, so they'll be able to be here, if not for the actual birth, at least sometime in the first couple months. Woohoo #10 is that, so far anyway, I'm not experiencing the protein aversion that had me on a carbs-only diet and which contributed to the 75 pound weight-gain during my first pregnancy, so despite the fact that I'm ravenous most of the time, at least I'm able to eat some more solid stuff. I have already gained a couple pounds, but I'm not anticipating the 10-pounds-a-month like last time; I think most of what I've already put on is from the lousy eating I was doing earlier in the month. As of tomorrow I'll be 5 weeks, and I'm going to start blogging at my old pregnancy blog again to keep the pregnancy stuff separate from this blog, so if you're interested in following the development of the newest Morrow, be sure to keep an eye out there. For those of you who are the praying type, please say one for myself and the baby--especially for this one to culminate in a natural birth and not another c-section. I'd really like to avoid that this time around if I can.
Well, that's all the news here. Guess I'd better go unpack!