Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Wish List

I really don't need anything for Christmas - TL and I both feel pretty lucky for everyone and everything we already have.. 

But, my parents insist on a little wish list every year.  With all of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales... I was online figuring out a few things I would love to have.

Benefit Make Up
{to replenish mine}
I love their eyeliner, mascara, Hoola bronzer, and face wash line!

A pair of practical low boots
Love these by Chinese Laundry

Last year my mom spoiled us with a subscription to People Magazine... I look forward to every Thursday when it comes in the mail.

My girlfriend has one of these Cricuts and I love the crafts she does on it... these can be pricey, but I think worth it with all of the upcoming events in our lives :)

And of course a few baby items... can't forget those :)

and since we find out BOY or GIRL in just over 2 WEEKS (eek!)
maybe some fun clothes...

Anything special you are asking for this year??

PS.  THANK YOU for all of the sweet comments on our announcement.  It meant so much to me to read every single response.  I truly appreciate the support and love!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

& then there were 3. {TnT+Baby}

TL and I are going to be parents!! 

We are so excited and feel blessed beyond measure...

I'll never forget the September day I told TL he was going to be a daddy.  He had been golfing with buddies, and I had known for a few hours that we had some big and exciting changes coming.
After our 18 month long journey of "working on it" - I took the test just after TL left for the day, knowing it was still a little too early to really know.  When I saw the "pregnant" pop up on the little screen - I screamed and shook in excitement.  Nervous that if I took another one it may come up negative, I called the nurse we've been working with and told her.  She instructed me to take another one to confirm, and get my butt over to the clinic to take a blood test.
I did.  Fast.  I drove, shaking hands on the steering wheel and got my blood drawn, uncharacteristically with out TL, and felt a little more certain after taking another test with a positive result.

Back in June, I purchased a Father's Day Card just in case for TL.  I kept it and wrote in it.  It said "Happy {you're going to be a} Father's Day".  I went to 2 meetings for work with my exciting news bottled up inside... and then my tummy flipped over and over in excitement as I drove home to meet TL for dinner.  I held the card in my purse when I walked in and handed it to him.  There was such a deep feeling of excitement and my heart and tummy were fluttering.

He read it.  There were tears, giggles, "are you serious" questions, and a little bit of jumping up and down that ensued for a few minutes in the middle of our kitchen.  Slowly we broke the news to our immediate families over the following days.

Now... I am approaching 14 weeks... and we are finally letting the secret out.  This part of our life has taught me something really special - we've got some amazing people in our lives who genuinely love us and have expressed so much excitement and love - I can't even begin to describe how this feels.  I am overwhelmed.  I've had a rough few months of morning all day sickness, but I can't complain... I am just so happy.  There isn't a baby bump yet, but I check every morning when I wake up and will surely be keeping up with my pregnancy and snapping pictures so I can remember each step.

Thank you to Veronica at Nica Photography for taking the time out of her busy schedule to squeeze us into a stormy Friday night to snap a couple pictures for us. 

We have a LOT to be thankful for this Thanksgiving...
I hope you have a beautiful holiday!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thankful Sunday

It's been a rainy weekend here in Northern California... and I have to admit, I love it.  I know I say that all the time - but I am a sucker for being cozy :o)

Today we celebrate Thanksgiving with my dad's side of the family.  With how busy life have gotten for everyone, it's been a long time since I have seen many of them.  Two new babies have been born, babies have gotten older - and it's been months and months since I have seen any of them!  I am spending the earlier part of the day with my immediate family, who I haven't seen in several weeks as well!

I am really looking forward to spending a few days with TL's family who is coming to our house on Friday... I love this time of year because it means being around the people I love!

I hope you have a beautiful Thanksgiving week and Sunday.

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dinner in Berlin from 800 Feet

TL and I wanted to do one special dinner while we were in Berlin.  Our last night there, we ate at the TV Tower, or The Fernsehturm.  It's a tall tower that slowly spins to give you 360 degree views of Berlin while you eat dinner... you're also almost 800 feet in the air!

TL and I are usually quick eaters.  Not this time.  It took us more than 2.5 hours to eat dinner, dessert, and enjoy our coffee.  We watched the sun slowly go down.  It was an amazing experience.  We had a very nice waiter.  If you go, be sure to make reservations at least 2-3 days in advance.  Also tell them you would like a seat with views.

I had one of those moments where I was overwhelmed with happiness.  I felt extremely blessed to be there with TL enjoying the views in a country we love so much, Germany!  It'll be a moment I know I want to revisit again in my life.

The food is okay - we really liked the dessert and thought the views were totally worth it.  It was a little expensive, but not as bad as we thought.
 We took our sweet time figuring out what we wanted to eat.  Our waiter didn't mind!

What an amazing experience!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Istanbul: Hagia Sophia & Blue Mosque

Istanbul is so full of history.  It's old.  Really, really old.  And if you go, you can't miss seeing the Hagia Sophia or the Blue Mosque.  Situated just across from one another - they are two of the most beautifully built mosques I have ever seen.

The date of the dedication of the Hagia Sophia was 360.  Walking around inside is like stepping back in time... it's hard to believe how many people have walked on those stones, seen the interior, and visited.  I felt overwhelmed.  We did a walking tour with headsets and spent time wandering around.

After some time inside the Hagia Sophia, we walked across the courtyard area and over to the famous Blue Mosque.  The Blue Mosque is one of the most well-known Mosques in the world.  When you go, make sure don't go during prayer time.  The entrance is also to the back.  We were lucky to get in line quickly and made it in with out a wait.  They cover you up and ask you to respect their culture by covering your head and shoulders - and TL had to wear something to cover his legs.  We spent a while in there just in disbelief that we were there.

We learned so much, and the interior of both of these places is truly amazing.  It was an incredible experience, and one I will certainly never forget!!

 Hagia Sophia
 Inside the Hagia Sophia
 The chandeliers
 Some of the paint is wearing away... not shocking for how old it is!
 There was a painting of the Virgin Mary and Jesus from the 9th Century... crazy!
 They don't have stairs... they have winding hallways to take you to the second floor of the Hagia Sophia.  It's amazing to think of the millions and millions of people who have walked these halls.
On the second floor admiring the views of the entire Hagia Sophia.

The Blue Mosque
Before entering the Blue Mosque
 Crazy, beautiful architecture.
 Bare feet.
 Inside the Blue Mosque

What an incredible day seeing both of these beautiful places.  We'll never forget the experience of seeing them both.  While you are there, they do give you a little bit of information, but we also did a little research before we went so we would know what to expect.

Istanbul is amazing!

Monday, November 12, 2012

TnT in Turkey {Istanbul}

Ohhh, Turkey.  Istanbul captured me.  I wasn't sure what to expect when I stepped off the plane.  Landing there, I was a little intimidated and uneasy.  My comfort zone had been stepped out of on our first visits to Europe, and I knew Turkey was going to be very different than the several other countries we've visited together in Europe.  Well, it was different.  But, wow!  This country was unlike anything we've experienced.  It's a beautiful place.  Instantly, I think of the Bosphorus and the beautiful Mosques that litter the city's rolling hills.  Istanbul is a very special place.  We had one of the best experiences of our lives there and were swept away by the magic of the history of this place.

Istanbul is OLD.  Very, very old.  It makes our early 1800 & 1900's history in California seem like yesterday.  Some of the places we visited have been untouched since they were built more than 1,500 years ago.  

It's also crowded.  We got to know a few locals and they told us about 20 million people live in this city.  And it's obvious in the traffic.  LOTS and LOTS of traffic.  Everywhere you look.  It's insane.  Probably the worst city for traffic in the world.

But it's easy to see why 20 million people would want to live there.  It's truly a beautiful place with a lot of diversity.  It's the only major city in the world that sits on two continents.  And it was really neat going back and forth from Asia to Europe via the Bosphorus Bridge.

I could write a book on the 5 days we were in this city.  I am going to share bits and pieces of our experience in Istanbul through separate posts.  

We stayed at the W Istanbul.  It's a bit expensive, but for us, it was worth it.  We knew this could be the one and only time we may ever go there in our lives.  We had the absolute best concierge who led is in the right direction for restaurants to eat at... and while we were eating at one of his recommended restaurants, we ended up meeting 3 new friends.  These friends changed our entire experience and I can't even put into words how amazing it was :)

Here's a taste of Istanbul.  While we were there, we visited the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sofia, Dolmabahce Palace, The Grand Bazaar, we took a boat ride on the Bosphorus, and did so much more... can't wait to share!

 The little cafe we got breakfast at - right next to our hotel.
 The streets are FULL of TRAFFIC!
The Bosphorus Bridge that separates Asia & Europe.

The only thing that was difficult for me were the hundreds of thousands of stray dogs and cats that live in the city.  This is one of the dogs that I made friends with.  It was hard for me to see these animals with out homes... to read more about why they are there, click here.

Istanbul is incredible.  It's one of the most memorable countries we've ever visited.