31 Weeks & Showered with Love

Before I begin, I wanted to post my "30 week" picture that I never got a chance to last week. Now moving on... I am: 31 weeks pregnant
Size of Baby: Four navel oranges ~ 3.3 pounds and a little over 16" long
Total Weight Gained: 10.5 pounds
Maternity Clothes: I am wearing maternity jeans and a maternity shirt in this picture.
Gender: It's a BOY!
Name: Parker Holt
Movement: I feel lots of movement daily ~ he's quite the little gymnast.
Sleep: I am sleeping fairly good (still love my body pillow). I have occasional struggles ~ good nights and bad. I think it's gotten a little worse and I don't seem to be sleeping as well, but I do get some and it could be a lot worse. I am having a harder time turning over from side to side in bed and do miss being able to sleep on my back. I usually get up to go to the bathroom a couple of times a night and sometimes it's hard to go back to sleep.
What I Miss: I still miss the same things that I have all along.
Cravings: No cravings ... just craving what I can't have.
How I'm Feeling: I'm feeling really good overall and have been very blessed these past 31 weeks! I am looking forward to meeting our Parker, but I have enjoyed being pregnant and will miss several things about it. I have endured a variety "pregnancy side effects" that haven't been too fun, but it really hasn't been too bad. I know they say the final weeks are the worst though. I am starting to FEEL much bigger. I'm having more difficulty bending over, turning over in bed, squating down and getting back up, moving as quick as I used to, putting my shoes on...things like that.
Best Moment last Week: Celebrating Christmas and taking maternity pictures! We were able to celebrate Christmas a little early with Mom and Armando while we were in Odessa for the baby shower. Good times! We then spent Christmas with Dad and Kristin in Fredericksburg and returned home on Monday. More good times! We had back to back trips, but both were lots of fun. We had a wonderful time with everyone celebrating Christmas.

Also, while we were in Fredericksburg, our sister-in-law Heidi (Andrew's wife) took lots of maternity pictures in and around Dad's house. We wanted to take more outside, but it was bitter cold and cloudy. We braved the elements and got a few good ones outside, but the rest were taken inside. She is mailing us a CD this week with tons of pictures and I can't wait to get them. However, she did post a few on her website and they are awesome. I love them! If you click here you can get a sneak peek. Once you are at the website, click on the first picture to make it bigger, then you can click on each one to make them bigger. The very first one you will see is of us with an outfit hanging from a tree. That is the outfit we plan to bring Parker home from the hospital in. It is a pair of pants and hooded jacket with a white onesie underneath. We thought "Rookie" fit in nicely with our sports them plus a rookie is someone new and just starting out. Also perfectly fitting is the fact that the number on the outfit is 28 -our anniversary 2/8. It was meant to be!

Thank you so much again Heidi ~ we really appreciate it and will treasure these pictures capturing this chapter in our life.

On to the shower details!

As I mentioned in my last post, I had an AMAZING baby shower in Odessa on Saturday, December 17th. The shower was held at the church I grew up in, had my bridal shower in, we got married in and now had our baby shower in...so very special to have so many memories in one place! The hostesses were Carianne (my best friend of 17 1/2 years), Kitty (Carianne's Mom and my third Mom), Cindy (Carianne's sister-in-law), Bev (Carianne's Aunt), Kim (dear friend of many, many years) and Anita (long time family friend and friend of Kristin's). Sadly, I failed to get a picture of me with all of the hostesses - ARG! I got so wrapped up in all of the fun, it slipped my mind.

The shower was headed up by Carianne and Kitty and there was not a single detail missed. Carianne promised me long ago when it was time that she would throw "One heck of a baby shower" and boy was it. It was perfect and more than I could ever have imagined. It was such a busy time of year so unfortunately the turnout wasn't great, but several women attended and we had a lovely time. I just wish more could have seen this sensational shower! I'm forever grateful for all that was done for John, Parker and me - what a celebration! Our hearts are so full.

Let me take you on a journey through pictures to my baby shower!

This was given to me by my Mom on Saturday morning. It was a precious card and note from Carianne with the shirt I was to wear to the shower wrapped around a Dr. Seuss board book for Mr. Parker. The shower was a Snoopy sports theme - just like Parker's room...only I didn't know it until I arrived at the shower. The guests were asked to wear their favorite sports team shirt/clothing. What a fun idea!

Welcome to Parker's shower ... this was the sign on the door as you entered the Fellowship Hall. It was lovingly made by Kitty - Parker will call her GramMomKitty!

Mommy and Daddy-to-Be ... this was taken after the shower was over and John came to load up all of the gifts we received.

This was the sign-in table as you entered. Carianne made the "PARKER" by covering wooden letters with sports scrapbook paper. Instead of a guestbook, they had a picture of Snoopy framed with a mat for all to sign or "autograph" as the instruction note read - so cool. The women also addressed their own thank you note that had been pre-stamped (postage stamp) so all I have to do is write in the thank you note and mail - what a HUGE help!

This is Parker's piggy bank. Kim made it - she's super talented and owns a pottery shop! I'm so thankful to have a special, personalized bank for Parker to use as he grows up. Guests at the shower were asked to drop their spare change in to help start Parker's college fund ~ never too early! The women were very generous and we ended up with about $42. We plan to deposit into an account already set up for his future.

Carianne made this - talk about super talented. The Lovell women ooze talent in every facet of life! She made it with fishing line and a glue gun (among other supplies)...awesome. This was on the kitchen serving bar behind the food table. Sitting to the left of this sign were the party favors for the women that attended. They were little sheer bags filled with chocolate balls in sports foil paper.

Kim pinning on my corsage...

The next few pictures are of the fabulous food table. Not only was there yummy cake, these ladies made all sorts of delicious snacks and displayed them beautifully. The punch was SO GOOD too! It was a banana punch and I must have had 3 or 8 cups - hah!

This was the gift table with the Diaper Cake as the center piece. For those who don't know, a Diaper Cake is when diapers are used to form a "cake" structure - so it looks like a tiered cake, but it's really only diapers. The diapers can be used for baby once the "cake" is taken apart. Kitty, Carianne's brother Joe and Cindy (Joe's wife ~ mentioned above with the hostesses) made this. More adorableness (is that even a word?). I loved it so much, I still haven't taken it apart. Even better, each layer or tier of the cake contained small gifts from teethers, bath squirties, a rubber duck, bibs - all kinds of goodies.

The next couple of pictures are of the tables, not all of them, but a couple. Each table had a sports ball balloon along with solid colored balloons tied to a bean bag sports ball in the center of the table. Those were surrounded by gifts or an item we had registered for. So each table was a gift in itself! Also on the table were red star confetti, cookies and cream hershey kisses and "New Mommy Advice" cards where the women were asked to write down their words of wisdom and pearls of advice for being a Mom.

This was so neat..."Midnight Messages to John". The women were asked to write John a special message on a white sticky tag and put it on a diaper. (You can read the sign below). These will be put in the diaper stash and John will get to read precious messages when he's changing a few of Parker's diapers.

There were a few fun games at the shower as well complete with a prize bag for each game winner. There was a game to guess how many mints were in the two bottles. There was BINGO where the women were given a blank bingo card and they had to fill in all of the squares with items they thought I might receive. When I opened gifts, if I opened something on their card, they got to cross it off. My step-sister Carla and sister-in-law Amber both had a bingo. The final game involved the size of my stomach. There was a roll of yarn and each women had to cut a piece of yarn the length of my stomach all the way around - or what they thought it was. They measured me and Cindy went to each women to see how close they came. Kristin won! Before I began opening gifts, Kitty delivered a very heartfelt message detailing the journey we have been on to become parents. She also talked of how she thought God needed a gentle nudge to bless us with a child and when Grammy passed away in April, she asked God to give us a child and that was the nudge He needed because we became pregnant not too long after Grammy passed away. My brief description does not do it justice! It was a beautiful, touching message and I'm so glad to have it. Thank you GramMomKitty from the bottom of our hearts. She closed that with a wonderful prayer. There was not a dry eye in the room.

Me and my bestest pal, Carianne! Next summer will be 18 years since we met and became the best of friends. Wow, if I could list all of our memories, all that we have shared and been through together, all that we have done ... well, we'd be here a while! We met as 14 year old sophomores in high school band and here we are now in our early 30s married and Moms! We are about to start the gift opening and Carianne wrote down all of the gifts for me on fun, personalized paper. I told you not a detail was missed. Another special thing about this Fellowship Hall is that Carianne's bridal and baby showers were hosted here as well.

Here are a couple of shots of the women ... I didn't get pictures of everyone at every table, but here are a few. The first is of my Mom, Amber and Estella (my sisters-in-law, wives of my two step-brothers - Armando's sons). Amber is also expecting her first little one in June - exciting! The second is of Carla and my stepmom Kristin. The third is of our newest niece, Helana. She will be 9 months old in a couple of days and is already actve and all over the place. This is Carla's little girl and makes #11 for us for nieces and nephews. The last picture is of a few women from the church. We joined this church when I was in 2nd grade so most of these women I've known most of my life.

Gift opening time! We were blessed and showered with so many wonderful things. We got several things that we registered for, but also received lots of unexpected gifts, so that was fun. There were lots of pictures of me opening gifts, so I just included a few so as not to overwhelm you. We only got two duplicate gifts and we've already exchanged those for a couple of other things on our registry.

The pile o' gifts!

What a wonderful, fantastic day! If you are still with me and reading this, I commend you - haha! I know that was a lot to read, look at and take in. Thanks for joining me on this journey.

In other news, John and I plan to celebrate our Christmas together this weekend over the New Year's holiday. We have plans to go out for dinner on Saturday night, New Year's Eve. We will come home for dessert and board games until midnight (hopefully). Santa will make a very late stop by our house to leave a special gift and fill our stockings. Sunday morning, New Year's Day, we will awake to see what Santa left and open gifts from each other and then have breakfast. Should be a fun weekend!! Other than that, lots more to do on our neverending list so we'll be working on that. I guess all of the Christmas festivities will be over after Sunday morning so we'll start taking down all of our decorations and getting our house back in order and baby ready.

Until we meet again...


  1. Great pictures, Riley! I love the one of you and your mom while you opened the blanket from your aunt. So sweet! I'm glad you had a great time at your shower! It was an absolute blast making every detail perfect for you and Parker! These next several weeks will FLY...so enjoy every minute!


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