I love him!

Well, my 3 weekends in a row of travel is over, and I must say I'm a bit grateful! Don't get me wrong, I loved all of the places I went, but I am ready to be home for a weekend! And best of all, this coming weekend includes my birthday...it can't get much better than that! :)

I had such a great time in Maryland! The main goal was to meet, hold, cuddle, love on, etc. my new nephew, C.J. I was definitely able to do that, and so much more! Saturday morning my mom, dad, and I headed to Lancaster, PA to some amazing outlets! Not only did they have a Carter's outlet (where my mom went crazy buying stuff for Riley and C.J.), but they also had a Motherhood Maternity (where my mom went crazy buying stuff for ME)! My parents are so gracious and I walked away from that shopping trip ready to face the rest of pregnancy. Thank you so much, mom and dad!! Then that night, my sister-in-law gave me 10 (yes, TEN) maternity shirts! I literally came back to New Orleans with a whole new wardrobe! Too bad I can't wear these clothes past August! :)

Saturday night we had a cook-out at my brother's house to celebrate my birthday (early). Here I am (my brother did a great job of taking an action shot...thanks, Chad, I think!) blowing out the candles on my yummy, HOMEMADE yellow cake with chocolate icing! Thankfully mom didn't put 30 candles on there...we may have had a small explosion!

Sunday we went to church and then Sunday afternoon mom and I hit their local Target to do some registering for sweet Riley. We went in at 2:15, and the next thing I knew, it was 4:15...and we didn't even finish! What a task! Just to vent for a second...why in the world does there have to be a million types/brands of pacifiers? or diapers? or bibs? or anything else for that matter? Oh yeah, that's right, because we live in the land of choices and over-indulgence! It sure would be a lot easier if all of those companies got together and created one product that worked perfectly and just sold that! Instead, first-time moms have to stand and read all about each type of bottle, or bathtub, or nursing cover, etc. to know which might be the best for their child. I was completely overwhelmed when we left Target that afternoon!

Okay...enough venting...here's the most important part of the weekend - adorable C.J.! I love him so much! I don't know when I'll get to see him again, but I feel a love for him I can't explain. If this is what it's like with my nephew, I can't imagine how I'll feel when I hold Riley for the first time...I could tear up just thinking about it...oh the pregnancy hormones! :)

The first time I held the little man

"Whatcha lookin' at?"

I love his facial expressions! And those eyes...just beautiful!

Sometimes it's hard to believe my big brother is a dad! He's such a great one!

C.J. whispering, "Auntie LaLa, do you really have to go back to New Orleans?"

"No! Please don't go!"

"Daddy, when do we get to go to New Orleans to visit Auntie LaLa, Uncle Daniel, and Riley?!"

Isn't it amazing the things a 10-week old can say? He is definitely an advanced one! :) So, in reality, he won't remember that I visited, BUT at least with pictures there is proof and one day he'll know that I was there in the early stages of his life. It's always hard to leave my family and come back to N.O., but this time was even more difficult...I pray that one day we'll live closer to one another so C.J. and Riley can be friends, wrestling partners, etc.

Speaking of Riley - and speaking of wrestling - he sure is an active one moving around inside me! I'm able to not only feel him on the inside, but also on the outside. I'm trying so hard to find a time when Daniel will be able to feel him move, but every time Daniel puts his hand on my belly Riley quits. Hopefully soon Daddy will feel his son moving around inside me! I know I haven't posted it in a couple weeks, but in case you were wondering, Riley has graduated to the size of a spaghetti squash - 11 inches long and weighing about 1 pound! It's hard to believe I'm 22 weeks and 2 days! Time is moving quickly...before we know it, he'll be in our arms! Can't wait!


On the Road Again...

Apparently, March is the traveling month for the Bramlett's. The first weekend we were in Arkansas, and then this past weekend we drove from New Orleans to Cleveland, Ohio! Some of our friends, Jay and Lilian, recently took a pastorate at a church in the Cleveland area, and Daniel's old college roommate lives in Cleveland with his family, so we volunteered to drive Jay and Lilian's 4-runner up to Ohio. Their new church was gracious enough to cover our travel, so we enjoyed a fun, mini-vacation! We left Friday when I got off work and drove to Memphis where we spent the night at Lilian's mom's house. We woke up EARLY Saturday morning and hit the road for Cleveland! It was an 11-hour drive, but it went by so quickly because we were able to go through some very neat cities. First, there was Nashville, then Louisville, then Cincinnati (which I REALLY liked!), then Columbus, and finally Cleveland! Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures until we got to Cleveland, but here are a few from the weekend.

The skyline of Cleveland with Lake Erie in front of it

Daniel, Baby Bramlett, and I with Cleveland in the background

Daniel with Todd's, Daniel's college roommate, oldest son, Tate...he is a cutie!!

My turn to get a picture with the little man!

Jay and Lilian's new church...I don't know if you can read the sign, but it says "Welcome to our pastor Jay & Lilian Schroder." We're very excited for them, but will miss them greatly!

The church building

In baby news...we have a name for the little boy growing inside me! :) His name will be...

Riley Whitlow Bramlett

Both Riley and Whitlow are family names from Daniel's side. Riley is Daniel's middle name and also his grandmother's (on his dad's side) maiden name. Whitlow is the last name of his great-grandfather (Daniel looks SO MUCH like him!) who pastored for years in Arkansas and later served for 11 years as the Executive Director of the Arkansas Baptist Convention (S.A. Whitlow). So, this name is definitely very special to us, and we're so thankful to be able to pass on both Riley and Whitlow to our little man. We pray constantly that he will carry on the legacy of faith that began so long ago in Daniel's family. May Riley be a man of God who desires to see the nations come to know Christ, no matter the cost!

Well, Daniel will be home this weekend, but I'll be on the road (or really, in the air) going to visit my family in Maryland. My birthday present from my parents was to fly there and meet my nephew, C.J., who was born on January 9. Here's the latest picture of the adorable one that I cannot wait to hold!

I mean, I don't think he can get much cuter!! I am so excited about meeting him, and seeing my mom, dad, brother, and sweet sister-in-law! I'm sure I will have lots more to share next week when I get back from the latest traveling adventure!


The Legacy Continues

Well, we are carrying on the Bramlett name! IT'S A BOY!!! Daniel and I are SO excited! We both started crying when the lady doing the ultrasound told us. Not only is it a boy, but he's healthy! Praise the Lord! They showed us his heart and said everything looked great. We also saw the kidneys, spine, feet, hands (he even waved to us, which you'll see below!), brain, and so much more! I found myself praising God over and over as I lay there watching our son on the big screen. Pregnancy is such a HUMBLING experience! To think that the Lord would trust us with one of His creations...wow! I am so grateful and so completely dependent on Him for every aspect of raising a child! So, we no longer have to call him Baby Bean! He is a 13 ounce (bigger than I thought yesterday!) miracle! Here he is...

Profile of our sweet little boy!

Look at that hand! He's waving at us!

Cute little foot...that will probably grow into quite a large one since both of his parents have big feet!

Proof that it's a BOY! :)



This past weekend Daniel and I drove to Arkansas to do a little recruiting for the Seminary, but mainly to surprise his grandmother at her 80th birthday celebration! Nin, as Daniel has referred to her all of his life, is one of the most amazing women I know. She has an incredible heart for the Lord and spreading His Name among the nations. She was such an influential part of Daniel's growing up years, and I am so thankful to be related to this faithful woman of God. Here are some pictures from the party/weekend...her birthday was Saturday, but we celebrated Friday-Sunday! :)

Here are the 25 and 28 year old brothers...I guess some things will never change!

Daniel and I with his grandmother

Daniel found this wooden piano at an antique store in Maryland. Nin has collected pianos for years, so Daniel bought this one and refinished it for her. Nin and I share a LOVE for chocolate, so I thought it was only appropriate to include the Hershey's bar. :)

Me, Daniel, Nin, Uncle Scott, Daniel's Mom, Aunt Debbie, and Uncle Alan. Alan flew in from Singapore to share in the special event!

As of yesterday, March 11, I am halfway through the pregnancy! Baby bean is 6 1/2 inches long and weighs around 10 ounces...about the size of a banana. :) Tomorrow at 1:20 pm CST, Daniel and I will get to see Bean on the screen and as long as he/she is cooperating, we'll find out if it's a boy or girl! We are SO excited! I really have no clue which it might be, but I do know one thing for sure...he/she is already an active little thing! I started feeling movement last week and it's been daily since then. Most of the time he/she (I sure will be glad when I don't have to call it he/she or "it"!) will kick my lower stomach, but sometimes he/she kicks my bladder and that's not so comfortable...especially when it's full! :) Anyway, be expecting an update tomorrow afternoon as to whether we're having baby BOY Bramlett or baby GIRL Bramlett! Can't wait to share the news!! I'll leave you with the latest prego pick of me taken at 19 weeks and 3 days...


Birthday Month!

Really this post will have nothing to do with my birthday, but it is the 2nd day of March and in 26 days I will enter my 3rd decade of life (I was re-reading this and noticed that really it's my 4th decade of life...that makes me seem even older!)...so hard to believe! It seems like just yesterday I was celebrating my 10th birthday with the most amazing birthday cake ever. My birthday fell on Easter that year, so my cake consisted of an Easter basket (filled with easter eggs) ice cream cake. Sure wish I had a picture of it to post on here!

Anyway, Daniel and I had a great weekend! This was the first in several weeks that he hasn't been working on his truck or some other project, so we were able to spend the whole day together on Saturday. Since meeting him, I've learned how to do so many new things, and this weekend was no different. You see, Daniel has desperately needed a haircut for the past month or so. He's tried trimming it on his own, but is definitely better at building things than styling hair, if you know what I mean! :) So, a couple of weeks ago we were at Big Lots (one of our favorite stores!) and he saw "Home Haircutting for Dummies." He was convinced that if we bought the kit, I could cut his hair and it would look like a professional cut! I wasn't quite as convinced, BUT I was so ready for some of that hair to be gone that I was willing to try anything! So Saturday afternoon we went to work. I wish I had taken a before picture. The most recent before pic. I have is from when Hannah was born and you can see it in this post. It took us about an hour to work out all the kinks, but here's a picture of the hair I cut off and then two pics of my new and improved man!

I'm pretty sure we could have made a wig out of all this hair!

The front turned out a little shorter than either of us expected, but we've grown to like it. Now I feel a little more confident about my hair-cutting skills, so if Baby Bean turns out to be a boy, maybe Laura's Hair Salon will have two clients! :)

I mentioned earlier that I've learned so many new things since meeting Daniel. Besides haircutting, I also learned a couple weeks ago how to stain wood. Several months ago my husband became very interested in wood-working. He started out small by making shelves to use in our other apartment and then a picture frame for my brother and sister-in-law for Christmas. I've always been impressed with his work, and the fact that he's taught himself along the way, but his latest project (which is almost complete) has blown the others out of the water! Just take a look for yourself...

Daniel made this china cabinet completely on his own! I stained the doors last weekend and helped him hang them, but other than that, it is all his handiwork! Almost all of the wood seen here was found all over the city. He only had to buy a couple pieces at Home Depot. All that's left to be done is to attach the handles to the front and latches on the inside of the doors so they'll stay closed. I am SO proud of my husband! I'm not sure I could have married a more talented man! Next project...BABY CRIB! That's right, Daniel is going to attempt to make the crib for our first-born. If all goes well, I think it will be one of the most treasured pieces of furniture we'll own! I'll keep you updated on the progress...