"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,
to them who are the called according to His purpose"

Romans 8:28

January 28, 2008

Ballygalley Head

Dear Diary,

As I mentioned yesterday, we went for a drive and walk around the coast at Ballygalley. It was a lovely afternoon, warm at 11 degrees but more importantly, no rain. Here are a few photos....

The above photo is of Stephen McIlwain and his two sons who we met on the beach. Stephen's family also attend our church and as you can see youngest son Ben is a bit of John Deere fan. Everything about him is John Deere right down to the baseball cap!!!! Too cute.

There is a retriever in the above photo and the last time we checked he was half way to Scotland. This silly dog kept going and going and going, much like the Engerizer Bunny!

Who said there were no polar bears in Northern Ireland?!??

I was contemplating life or was I watching the dog swim by?

Hopefully the last photo of just the two of us!!! Yes, I wear Colin's oversized sweaters since not much else fits!

'Til next time,
Heather and Colin

January 27, 2008

36 weeks and 4 days

Dear Diary,
Are we there yet? That's what I am starting to ask myself everyday but so far the answer is a resounding NO. Oh well, I waddle my way on through the day.

I've been home on maternity leave now for two weeks and surprisingly, I'm not that bored yet. Alot of sitting around in order to get the blood pressure down, which has worked by the way, but the days are going remarkedly quickly. I make sure I go somewhere everyday and do a few things around the house just to ensure I don't feel too lazy and I'm still earning my keep!
Colin had Friday off work and we did a bit of shopping for a chest of drawers for the baby and a few other things around the house like lights to replace the hanging light bulbs (thankfully there are no Schoons here as that could've proved dangerous to their heads). It's been put together and the nursery/office/guest room is becoming more baby friendly every day. By the end of this week, even if she came a bit early, we would even have a place for her to sleep!! What good parents are we?! We were originally going to have her in our room in a Moses basket for the first few months but since our house is not very large it made more sense to get a crib right away and have her sleep in the room beside us. Once I have the room set up the way I like, I'll take a pic and post it.
A couple of pics:
Some of her lovely clothes - combined, she has more than Colin and I put together!!!
Me at 35 weeks and 3 days
(yes, I look pretty rough but I wasn't expecting the camera to come out!)
Some of you have been asking about the America move. We are 98% certain we are going, in fact, Colin's boss told us to list the house but we are holding off until the baby arrives and is a few weeks old before getting total strangers snooping around the house. The American clients were in Belfast at the beginning of January and since then have been in constant contact with either Colin or his boss. It's developing into both a client relationship and also as a partnership as they hope to become to dealers for GPC once we're open for business. Colin's boss has already been enquiring into American incorporation of the company however an early hiccup has come up as it can only be done by American citizens but there is a way around it and we don't think that will inhibit the expansion of the company in any way.
As for location, we're still on course for the east coast somewhere between Washington DC and New York City. I know, that's a large distance but those are the two locations his boss his chosen, both of which I am not fussy about so my vote is still for the Philadelphia area.
Anyways, I think that is all for today. It isn't raining for once so I think we'll go for a drive to the coast and possibly get a few decent photos to post.
Have a lovely Sunday.
'Til next time dear Diary,
Heather, Colin and Baby Black

January 15, 2008

5 weeks or 35 days to go...

Dear Diary,

I found this poem on the internet and thought it must capture what every expectant mother feels and thinks....

The Gift

I wonder if you ever dreamed…
About me and the world unrevealed
I wonder if you ever smiled…
Whenever I talk to you from the outside

I feel butterflies within…
Is that you that I am feeling?
I feel happy when you do that…
Now let’s see, what else do you have?

Every night I want to dream of you…
Hold your face and kiss you
Feel your soft skin and smell it…
Give you a hug and tickle your feet

That is real enough for me…
To see you in my dreams and hold you tenderly
However, I still can’t wait to see…
My precious little gift… my baby.

I can't believe I am counting down the days already! It seems only like yesterday that I had an idea that I could be pregnant and here we are, 35 days to go! We are both excited and anticipation is growing daily especially now that I am home on maternity leave.

This past weekend we, or more specifically Colin, moved furniture around upstairs and put up the crib and change table in what was the guest room, now nursery. Today I fianlly started on my hospital/labour/post delivery bag but there is still loads to do. The baby clothes are up in the attic and need to be washed and ironed but at the moment I don't have anywhere to keep them so we will go out and buy a chest of drawers this weekend. The baby "equipment" is up in the attic too and I think this weekend Colin will be making a few trips up there.

I started my maternity leave a week earlier than planned as my blood pressure started going up. It was so high last Wednesday the OB was going to admit me to hospital but the senior OB said I would be more relaxed at home. It was still up, although not as high, the next day and today as well, so it's back to the outpatient clinic tomorrow to see the OB again. Thankfully the pre-eclampsia test I had done last week came back negative...

While on the subject of babies, our dear friends Karen and Herman were blessed with Maiya Keanne Post on January 7th, 2008!
'Til next time,
Heather, Colin and baby Black

January 2, 2008

The last update of 2007 and the first of 2008....

Dear Diary,

By now 2008 has entered with a bang, quite literally around the world, in fact the City of London spent a cool £1 million on fireworks alone which is ridiculous if you ask me but that is another story.

Colin and I have both returned to work today after the holidays and it's a good thing traffic was really light or else I would've been late. Colin thought he was going to Londonderry to start a new installation but the plans changed and he was told to go to Galway instead. Since he didn't expect to go and we were already half way to Belfast when he got the call to go, he didn't have an overnight bag to take with him. Being a man, all he needed was a new pair of knickers and socks and hey, why not wear the same clothes for a second day!! I can't imagine it but whatever, it doesn't bother him.

I have 12 working days left before I start maternity leave on 21st January. I had a little freak out a couple of nights ago about this and Colin just smiled and tut-tutted me - I've always had a job since I was 13 (even earlier if you include the Hamilton Spectator paper route) and not having to go to work and collecting a pay cheque at the end of the month, will be culture shock. That's been my life for the last 20 years! In a strange way, I'll miss working, the comraderie with co-workers and the laughs with each other but I think once I settle down into a routine I won't be able to imagine going back full-time. I see myself in the future going part-time especially if we start the business in America but even that is up in the air at the moment.

Anyways, we enjoyed our Christmas break of doing absolutely nothing.
We had a Black family Boxing Day lunch at the Ross Park Hotel in Kells, Ballymena.
The family group photo
Ryan with Philip, Colin's youngest bro, in the background
Erin acting silly with Nanny Black
Amy sitting still and being well behaved, for once.
Alan, Colin's bro
Tara, Amy, Rosie the doll, Erin and Clare
Colin received new camera equipment for Christmas and he's been experimenting with it by taking photos of everything that moves and everything that doesn't move. His latest interest is the night sky and has some really nice pics.
If you can tell me the constellation, you win a prize!
I had to work Thursday and Friday of last week but Colin was still home. We went to my midwife appointment on Thursday morning to monitor the babies' movements but she has wiggly for over a good week non-stop, so no worries. Today I am 33 weeks pregnant and it's hard to believe that I can now say next month the baby will be here, DV! I've been picking up clothes for her (?) for a while and went a wee bit crazy with the Boxing Day sales. I think it's safe to say she has more clothes than Colin and I do combined.
I'm still struggling with fatigue and it was fantastic to be able to nap during the holidays and so I opted to stay home on NYE while Colin went to Jeffrey and Jenny Dempsey's for some NYE craic and silliness. He needed to get away from me for a while as all I do these days is waddle around and sleep!
I guess that winds up 2007 and brings in 2008 which we anticipate will be a year full of sleepless nights and dirty diapers! Wow, we can't wait, really, we can't.
No post would be complete without Pearl and Dixie - here are my stars showing off their fence walking skills. If you only knew how many pics we have of these two, can you imagine the amount we'll have of the baby!!

From our family to yours, we pray for a blessed, happy and healthy 2008!
Heather, Colin and Baby Black