Well, we were darn sure he'd come on Saturday. It's now Sunday evening...no baby. No contractions. No nothing except his stretching his legs in there. I keep assuring him verbally that if he will come on out he'll have much more room to stretch out here. Especially if his legs are anything like his dad's!
My mom and dad are here now...and we wait.
And wait.
We'll see what the doc says tomorrow. Scheduled to begin induction Tuesday evening at the hospital! Woo hooooo!


Look! Over there! To the right! 7 days folks.

You know, other than the fact that it's our 11th straight day of 90+ degree temperatures, I'm feeling fine. I don't yet have that "GET THIS BABY OUT OF ME!!!!" intensity I've heard about. I am infinitely curious to MEET the baby, so in that sense, yes. Get this baby out of me 'cause I'm ready to pour out my love on him. 
I do have a "GET ME OUT OF HERE!" intensity about working right now. I'm just ready to take a breather and focus on this other whole set of responsibilities.
The brilliant news is that my doctor gave me a true "due" date yesterday. She basically said that if he's not here by early next week, we'll induce on Wednesday the 30th. I'm not a huge fan of being induced, but she feels it's best for baby and mama. So now I am grateful to have a definitive end in sight. I had nightmares about being a beached whale in the middle of July because I had made such a cozy home for the little guy in my belly.
I've told a few people...having a baby is a little weird in the sense that every other major event in your life, you plan a DATE and can count down and prepare. It's hard sitting on pins and needles as they say, with a bag half-packed and your family "on call." I mean, I could be leisurely waddling through Target and BOOM! Here he comes!
So...this time next week, we'll either have a baby or it will be baby-having-eve!


Gratitude. With commentary.

Our Sunday sermon ended with a charge to make a list of 30 things we're grateful for. OKAY!  :)
I'll do it in "public" then! I'm going to go ahead and say "salvation and Jesus" as givens...and here we go.

1. Family: all of 'em. Even the nuttiest of them are endearing. Jerod and I are both blessed to have great, supportive, and loving families.
2. Jerod: he's kind, real, smart, honest, tall, and awesome...long-suffering, patient, and interesting. And he likes me back.
3. Baby Shepard: I don't even know him yet, but he's been so sweet inside that he will surely be sweet outside. What a blessed and easy pregnancy it's been! Can't wait to meet this one.
4. Renovatus: my family in Charlotte. The place I feel at home. The place where my faith is grown and challenged and spurred.
5. My Pastors: dang. It's unreal how much I care for them.
6. My small group: there's nothing quite like a group that will cry with you and laugh with you, then pray with you...and sometimes do all three at once. With t-shirts.
7. Air-conditioning: no lie. I thank God for it about once a day in May - October.
8. My job: I rarely dread coming to work. I have great co-workers and work in a beautiful place that has felt like home since I was 18 years old. I make next to no money, but at least I like what I do. That says a lot.
9. My house: it's cozy, cool or warm depending on my needs, filled with love and fun antiques, fish and a dog...a great place to prop my feet up and feel at peace.
10. Godly heritage: when my faith falters, I can rest on the faith of my "fathers..." I know that God has sustained us, and that He always will.
11. Woods: I don't wander into them nearly enough; but whenever I do, I feel refreshed and serene. Especially if the woods are in the mountains and smell slightly of damp moss and ferns.
12. Creativity: I realize that any creativity I have is a gift from God. I don't take it for granted. I love the feeling of crafting something new or interesting or finding a new use for an existing thing...or stringing words together that work just so.
13. A good "ear": I love being able to sing along with the radio without hurting small dogs in my vicinity. It's a joy to sing. I can always find a way to poke holes in my talents and wish they were somehow better or more like "so-and-so's," but I am grateful that I enjoy opening up the pipes in the shower. 
14. The imac computer: If it were a person, I would hug it. Every day. It's the greatest computer on the planet.
15. E-mail: Odd, you think? Makes my life much easier...especially at work. I'd always rather write than talk, I guess. Good for documenting as well. I like e-mail.
16. Living between mountains and beaches: I love that if I need to/want to, I can be at a mountain or a beach within 3-4 hours. Need to make this happen more often, but thankful for a good geographical location in the world.
17. Being debt-free: Not everyone can be in this boat, and we've worked hard with God's help to make it happen. But having no credit card debt or extraneous debt is a blessing, indeed.
18. Education: So thankful to have been given opportunities to further myself and be challenged.
19. Birkenstock and Dansko shoe companies: given my foot condition (Fred-Flintstone-Flat), I am always thankful to have shoes that don't hurt my feet and are kinda stylish.
20. Travel: France, England, Africa...their people and beauty are etched in my heart and mind. And for all the places I've yet to visit, but can dream about...Italy, Greece, Germany, Japan, New Zealand. I can hope.
21. Mexican food: Cheese dip. Nachos. Fresh Salsa...yummo!
22. Books and Reading: For escape and information, I am thankful for the worlds I discover through literature and even the less-than literature
23. Mornings with no agendas: You know those days when you wake up and don't have a pressing "to do" list? Yeah, I barely know them...but I make sure I have one every now and again. A little coffee and space to think and be. You know, the ones when you can wear pyjamas for lunch?
24. Climate variations: I know, weird. But I love that I live in a place where I get all four seasons. About the time I'm getting done to death with one season, things change. Leaves fall or things sprout. I am not wandering around a desert or sweating year-round or sporting parkas every day. This makes me happy.
25. The Bible. The character of God revealed in the stories of real, fallible folk. God using broken instruments to make beautiful music and give us wisdom beyond our understanding.
26. Ice cream: glorious. in just about every flavor. any time.
27. Sunday afternoon naps. Weekly.
28. Missionaries and workers for justice: Thankful for all who risk lives and give up comfort to share the love and mercy of Jesus here and abroad
29. Clean/running water & modern restrooms: seems simple enough. But not everyone has access to such things. 
30. Cell phones: I mean, you don't have to answer it just because it rings...but it's nice to keep in touch with folks and to get a quick answer to "are we out of milk? 'Cause I'm at the store..."


15 days 'til due date!

Oh my. It really could happen anytime now. We spent the weekend trying to get the house picked up in case of emergency dash-to-the-hospital. Everyone says don't worry about the house...but please! I can't bring baby home to a wreck! And we still have to have clean clothes, towels, and sheets...you know!?

Jerod was so sweet to tackle the nursery closet as I supervised from the glider. We got most everything out of there and appropriated. Enough to get all the big baby stuff inside the closet as well as his hanging clothes. I can't imagine that his hanging clothes will ever be as long as his dad's! Just one last box of stuff I need to find spots for in the office/guest room.

If I had one wish from a genie in a bottle right now it would be that MY closet would get magically sorted, organized, and rebuilt. Just not gonna happen before due date...such is life.

The sweet husband also installed a ceiling fan in the nursery which was on my "to do" list. He agreed that we needed one after we spent time in there sorting the closet. It was a little stuffy!

We're ready. I mean. We have stuff. Lots of stuff. Diapers, creams, toys, onesies, wipes, bags, breastfeeding stuff, books, fans, lullabies, bottles, pacifiers, humidifier, socks, mittens, hats, furniture...man! Do we have STUFF!?! I still get the cold sweats when I think about delivery, but I just keep asking God to get me through it.

Feels like we're flying in airplane strapped to a skydiver and are about to be pushed out into the vast open skies. We don't know exactly when or exactly what to do...but we have an expert "attached" to us! And lots of family and friends ready to help us land. Thanks everyone for your excitement and prayers!


It's the Final Countdown!

25 days 'til due date, kids!
I'm in a last-minute flurry of purchasing the first-aid kit, thermometer, and gripe water! My hospital bag sits half-packed on the guest-room bed. You can't really pack up everything ahead of time. I have a short list of last-minute throw-ins. Surely I'll have at least 10 minutes to grab my phone charger! And I will take way too much. It's kind of who I am. We can always put something in the car...Jerod will accuse me of moving in.
One of the things I'm anxious to see is how our notions of parenting will be tested. We have a lot of those "I'll never...do (fill-in-the-blank) with MY child..." I'm sure it will all get blown to bits. I don't even think I'm going to bother writing any of it down. I'm hopeful I can stick to my guns about not going out in public with superhero costumes on.
From what I gather in my life experience, there are no definites. Just prayers and hopes, trial and error, sleepless nights, moments of hilarity, cuddles and hugs and growth.
We are getting excited about meeting him now. Some days it feels real and some days kinda hazy. We are about to meet one of the most important people in our lives! There will be so much to learn and get to know.
I'm so blessed. I can't wait to meet the little guy. He has been very sweet in utero. I hope that just carries on through.