“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…come further up, come further in!” ― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle
Franny (St Frances, aka Queen Fran aka Franny Bannany) is not ok. A trip to the vet has concluded that her quality of life isn’t great and it’s time for good byes.
we’re loving on her today and grieving while we make plans.
this sweet girl came into my life April of 2013. there was a HUGE ice storm in Sioux Falls that led to a city wide shut down. I found her beautiful blue eyes at the humane society and fell in love. she was quirky. she was vocal. she was sweet.
when she got home to my apartment, she had to walk through every room and closet meowing (it reminded me of echo location). if a door or closet was shut, she’d sit and meow until you opened it for her examination.
she used to sneeze in anxious situations. I haven’t seen her do that in years. l
we joke that she isn’t like her name sake (St Francis of Assisi, lover of animals) because she only loves humans. animals bug her. 🤣😂
Franny is very motherly. She would pick up stuffed animals and bring them to you with a chirping sound. she wouldn’t stop chirping until you acknowledged her gift.
this girl made me a cat mom. she was my first baby. I know it’s time. I see it in her eyes and in her movement, but it doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye to my sweet girl.
who would’ve thought our Dexter, the cancer fighter, would outlive your stubborn grumpy butt! yes, he’s still kicking, albeit slowly and snarkily.
Tomorrow Franny will cross the rainbow bridge. We had a nice last day sitting out in the country where she could munch on grass and enjoy the outside.
Josh happened to be working in the office, instead of at home, that day. So I had the whole day to prepare a way to tell him. I went to the doctor and got a blood test to confirm the pregnancy. Picked up groceries and made a special meal. 2 years ago I had purchased the dad shirt, onesie, fox, and bear as ways to tell Josh. He knew there was a box in the closet he couldn’t open but didn’t know why. This was the day he found out what was in the box.
I felt so silly taking the first belly pictures but i knew that if i didn’t we we’d miss the full progression to 40 weeks. So the beginning of weekly belly photos began.
We wanted to tell our parents in person and at the same time. So we had to convince my parents to come from South Dakota, for no reason, and not raise suspicions. I made up a story about wanting to learn how to make gluten free pie crust for the Fall Harvest at church and that I NEEDED mom to come help me. …I mean she’s the queen of pie crusts in our family.
They had to keep it a secret until our first ultrasound. We wanted to see Baby and know things were ok before we officially announced to everyone else.
First Ultrasound at 10 weeks
more belly photos
We told the church at 11 weeks. Everyone was extremely excited! Christy Kelley gave us this sweet gift to celebrate.
The ever-growing belly & some of our Christmas photos that featured the bump. We announced on Facebook before this point but sent an announcement in our Christmas/New Years card.
We went to South Dakota for Christmas. This was the last family Christmas in my childhood home because my parents are moving to Indiana to be close to Baby Nugget. Liberty’s Christmas program was such a blast thinking about Baby Nugget being there for the next one.
The pregnancy had gone extremely smooth so far. Aside from some minor nausea. Baby Nugget kept growing, and we were full of joy. Not all of the pets were excited about Baby. I started feeling light flutters about this time.
Then we hit the halfway point! 20 weeks down, 20 more to go! The anatomy scan was exciting. We got to see a little face and wiggles from Baby Nugget. We did not find out the sex of Baby Nugget. Can’t wait to unwrap this surprise in June! This was the point we learned my placenta was low-lying and could cause a c-section. Because I have a skin condition that leads to too much scarring and potential for more surgery, this was not a desirable route.
So we earned ourselves a third ultrasound.
more belly growth
In Josh’s family, 4 of us were pregnant in 2022 (Jordan, Me, Abby, & Rachel). At the time, we only 3 we knew about. Jordan was due first and we had a blast at her shower.
more belly photos
We had 2 baby showers in one weekend: Church & Family. My parents came from South Dakota for this trip. This was the last trip they could take up here before Baby Nugget comes in June. i have a TON of photos from the showers but i’ll just post a few.
More of the belly
March 15th we got to see one of our favorite bands in concert: The Midnight. Josh originally was worried that my pregnant butt couldn’t handle the show. But I whined enough that we went and sat in vip and enjoyed the whole thing! i was definitely exhausted the next day.
As gifts kept pouring in we slowly made our baby room into a true nursery.
AND THEN we had our first baby scare and a couple of hospital visits. The week of March 20th was not our friend. First, i had some unexpected pain and bleeding at church. This lead to a visit to the ER. They examined me and Baby. Everything was fine. We still don’t know why that happened. The whole thing exhausted us and we napped with Martin boy.
Four days later josh was working in the garage on a knife and had an accident. This resulted in another ER visit and some stitches.
more belly photos
I had my gestational diabetes test …. a little later than usual… but that was a miscommunication. In the end, everything was wonderful there.
Then it was time for Holy Week! … my mother and I have a joke that sometimes we call Holy Week “Hell Week” because of the extra stress and energy it takes from pastors. The irony is that this week ended up being the best Holy Week I’ve had. I really felt God show up in beautiful, spiritual ways.
The following day- Easter Monday- we had an ultrasound that became scare number 3. Originally, this appointment was intended to simply check the position of the placenta and see if we would need to do a c-section. the placenta was still low, but we also learned that baby’s head was not the size it should be compared to the rest of the body. The doctor was uplifting and cautious but wanted to send us to Indy for further testing to ensure Baby Nugget was ok. …. so we earned ourselves a 3rd and 4th ultrasound.
In the midst of our uncertainty, we had a hint of joy. We FINALLY got to meet our new cousin Lynleigh, who had been born 3.5 weeks earlier, to Jordan & Eli.
We had some wonderful prayer warriors praying for Baby Nugget and sending us all kinds of encouragement.
After almost 3 full weeks of waiting (33wks on May 3rd), we had our specialist ultrasound. Baby’s head was smaller than the rest of their body and that could mean a few different things. So at 33 weeks (May 3) we had an ultrasound with a specialist in Indy. AND They gave us some videos!
Naturally, after we cried in relief at the good news for Baby Nugget, we celebrated in Clay terrace at Kona Grill and Sur La Table.
Now we prepare for Mother’s Day. My first one actually pregnant, feeling like an actual mother. I know my fur babies have always made me a mom, but this year feels different.
It’s amazing how fast my energy is zapped now.
May 8th -Mother’s Day breakfast at Liberty 2022 (apparently I didn’t take any photos of that breakfast!) Josh wasn’t feeling well, so he stayed home from church, but we went and saw Doctor Strange that evening.
We went crazy on May 15th. Here’s a crash course on the next 14 days: 1. put an offer in on a house, 2. my parents sold their house, 3. we invited them to live with us (they sold their home), 4. we prepped our house for sale, 5. pets to vets for vaccine updates, 6. boarding for vaccinated vets, 7. rainbow bridge for senior pets, 8. dr visit C-SECTION?!, 9. sold our house.
A little more detail: On our way home from church, we spur of the moment swung by a house we had considered buying a few months ago. I had received an email that it was still on the market and we had to drive by and find out why. This story deserves its own blog post, but suffice today we put an offer in on a home on Monday the 16th. The house plan led us to packing and prepping our own home for the market…. and preparing our pets for boarding and a move.
May 26th at our 36 week appointment, the doctor determined my placenta has not moved enough for a safe vaginal delivery. We will schedule a c-section when we meet the doctor performing the surgery at our 37 week appointment.
While they checked my placenta, they also gave us the gift of a 3D ultrasound. Look at Nugget’s chubby cheeks!!! They measured Baby at 5lbs 15oz at that appointment and still with tons of hair.
You may have noticed that two of our animals did not get their shots. We realized quickly that Dexter and Franny would not do well with this new move (stairs, electric fence, not to mention boarding, vaccinations, etc. needed for this to happen). Dexter has been battling cancer (and has allergies and regularly gets kidney stones) and Franny has extensive arthritis, which means grooming, potty, and other basic daily things are difficult. So Franny and Dexter crossed the rainbow bridge on May 27th to give them the best peaceful end. Their last day didn’t have to be a bad day. We miss our first babies.
ummm the last week of May…. beginning of June!!
May 31st i got to use up the rest of my spa gift card with a maternity massage. IT WAS HEAVENLY!
Baby is due June 20th but we will likely have a c-section the week of June 12th.
Lake Salamonie, In. We are camping Oct 5-10th. I will update this post as the days progress.
Day 1: (Tues) Set up camp and ran to Walmart for a few forgotten things. Ate at ‘Ninja Sushi’ because we were hangry. Josh got me ‘campsite pumpkins’ because #fall .
Meriah’s goals for this week:
Plan sermon series thru Easter
Plan music & specials thru Easter
Plan Sunday school
Plan kids min ideas for specials
Read for enjoyment and for my spirit
Josh’s goals for this week:
Cook from the dutch oven
Nature trails and identifying plants
Day 2: (wed) woke up around 8am. Did some organizing in our camper. Sat by the fire. Went into town (Huntington) for some supplies (yes including 1 more pumpkin), started details for Fall Harvest OCT 31 and ate at a tasty Mexican restaurant! Now I’m sitting at the fire planning an Advent sermon series.
Josh is currently hiking while I work.
day ended with me convincing Josh to watch my favorite Bollywood film
Day 3: (Thurs) I cooked us breakfast (pancakes, eggs, bacon). Ran to Walmart (wabash) for supplies for Josh to go hiking Saturday. I read a lot of scripture!
Josh made us burgers for supper.
Day 4: (fri) Josh got up early and sat by the fire while I slept in. He went for a walk and I cooked breakfast (waffles & bacon). After breakfast, we talked about life goals and where want to go. Our conversation led to exciting projects and cool ideas to look forward to in the future. Josh and I then picked out music for sunday’s through Christmas.
We went for a walk on a 1 mile trail before running to Fort Wayne best buy to look at laptops. (no success) we did find a biaggis (italian restaurant with great gluten free food).
i cracked down on work: finished planning sermons and basic details through February (transfiguration Sunday).
Meriah’s goals for this week:
Plan sermon series thru Easter (currently through epiphany) Plan music & specials thru Easter( currently through Christmas) Plan Sunday school Plan kids min ideas for specials Read for enjoyment and for my spirit (some) Rest (lots of sleeping in) Pray (lots)
Fish ☑️ Read☑️ Cook from the dutch oven☑️ Nature trails ☑️and identifying plan⏰
Day 5: (sat)
Josh is gonna hike a 14.1 mile trail. HE DID IT!!!
While he hiked 1/2 a marathon, I showered, did dishes, cleaned up our camper, cooked bacon for our sandwiches, read all RCL lent passages, refilled our water jug. I also did some panicking when his phone died on mile 10/14.
when he got back i made him an Ultimate Mac N Cheese sandwich and then we bought his trail patch. We drove into Wabash for slushies and ice cream. On our way back to camp we drove by the Salamonie Dam.
last campfire and a little bit of campsite tear down before we worked on a song rotation through epiphany.
Since Tuesday i have read all 4 RCL passages from Oct 31st- April 10th. I’ve made graphics for fb and ppt slides. josh and i have picked out songs from now through epiphany. i got time to pray, read, walk, fish, cook, and rest.
Today has been a full day and it’s only 3pm (at the time of writing the list) 1. Pets to groomers at 8:15 am 2. Breakfast at Frittatas 3. Aldi for camping stuff 4. Walmart for a gift and fall stuff 5. Pet smart & online orders for target 6. Goodwill – new dog blankets and flannel shirts! 7. Pf Hendricks- silicone rings, a yeti, & 2 shirts –Home- groceries inside, open up camper and put stuff inside 8. Dogs from groomers 2pm 9. Home- bouncing between sermon and scroll saw project!
The day is still young and the project list is endless
July 2nd we left IN at 5:30am EST. We arrived in Willow Lake, SD after 14+ hrs of driving. We met my parents, my brothers, and Lizzy at ‘the farm.’ (Pam & Denny’s farm in Willow Lake, SD)
July 3rd was the family fish fry. It was good to see some people I haven’t seen in 10+ years. We also drove to Watertown, SD for a fireworks show. Didn’t get to bed until late but it was fun!
July 4th included ATVs, side by sides, smoked sausage & smoked chicken, plus some kid friendly fire works.
July 5th Josh and I went to Sioux falls for a day of friends. I had breakfast with some female pastors– we chat weekly on zoom. Then we met for lunch with our South Dakota friends: Zach, Andrew, Alex, Mike, Deandra (And her corgie puppy), Sam, Jesse, & little Ellie.
July 6th we slept in then did some shopping before having Chislic for lunch. We picked up my parents for more shopping and then a delicious dinner at Minerva’s.
July 7th left SD at 5:30am CST and arrived home 8pm EST. Oof! Long drive but great time with family and friends.