Sunny Weekend in Asheville

To celebrate our four year anniversary (and also our last anniversary without kids), we decided to enjoy the weekend in Asheville, NC.  We arrived late morning, checked into our hotel and went to grab a bite to eat.  Everywhere was so busy we ended up having to grab something to go in order to catch our “Historic Trolly Tour” through the city.

Historic Trolley Tour

Historic Trolley Tour

The tour took us through the artist district, Biltmore Village, Downtown Asheville, Grove Arcade, The Grove Park Inn area, and various parts of Asheville.  It was so nice to get the overall history and get the scoop on the best shopping and dining!

We had our anniversary dinner at the Grove Park Inn’s Sunset Terrace.  It was wonderful.  The view of Asheville was amazing and the hotel was incredible.

Dan inside the  enormous lobby fireplace at the Grove Park Inn

Dan inside the enormous lobby fireplace at the Grove Park Inn

Rocking and taking in the views at the Grove Park Inn

Taking in the spectacular views at the Grove Park Inn

Saturday Dan and I enjoyed the much anticipated Biltmore Estate.  I heard it was a beauty and definitely worth seeing, but I didn’t expect it to be as cool as it is.  The house was beautiful with every square inch carefully detailed and designed.  The gardens were colorful and just starting to take bloom.  The weather was perfect, which made for such a wonderful time on the Biltmore Estate.  We were suprised by how many acres there are and how many vast green fields and walking trails there are.  We had no idea how much land they had!  There were families with their picnic baskets enjoying lunch, and some couples were laying on blankets just soaking in the wonderful weather and scenery.  This is definately a place I want to go back to.

Biltmore Estate

Biltmore Estate

Biltmore Gardens

Biltmore Gardens

I'm helping the Lion guard the Estate

I'm helping the Lion guard the Estate

Entrance Gate to the Biltmore

Entrance Gate to the Biltmore

Our piece of Biltmore

Our piece of Biltmore

We finished off the weekend by visiting the Asheville Nature Conservatory.  We continued the tradition from last year  by visiting animals.  Last year we went to the Atlanta Zoo.  We saw bears, deer, an otter, cayotes, and various other animals.  It was such a beautiful day that we enjoyed taking in the sunshine and just spending time together.

Killer Deals

Dan and I went to the All 4 Kids consignment sale last night. Boy did we score some killer deals! Since we don’t know the sex of the baby yet, we had to stick to some gender neutral items. With that being said, we looked at larger ‘big ticket’ items instead of small things like clothes, shoes, bedding etc. There will be plenty of time for that later on down the line. So, here’s just a few of the deals we got:

 

Baby Trend Jogging stroller Retails: +/-$300. All 4 Kids: $20.! (definitely best deal of the night)

stroller

Fisher Price Nature Swing Retails: $140. All 4 Kids: $60.

swing1

Boppy Travel Swing Retails: $69.99 All 4 Kids: $30.

travel-swing

 

We got a Pottery Barn Kids toy blanket with mobile for $6. It looks brand new and never used. The little plush toys are so cute! I can’t wait until the baby gets to play with it!

Don’t Delay…Donate to a GREAT cause today!

It’s getting close to that time of year again! On Saturday, May 30th, we will once again “Be Heard” and support Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s efforts to find a cure.  This year the event will be held at: The Georgia Tech “Burger Bowl” Field.

For those of you that do not know, or did not join us last year, my husband Dan was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when he was 23.  Since then he has had two surgeries and he goes through painful episodes and “flare ups” on a weekly basis.  This is why we are asking for your support in participating in “Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis”.  This is the nation’s largest event dedicated to finding cures for digestive diseases. Not only are we participating in this event, but we are raising money for crucial research that wouldn’t have been possible a few short years ago. We are asking you to help with our goal to raise $750. this year.

Dan and AmandaWe would love for you to support our efforts in making a tax-deductible contribution to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.  Your donation is confidential and don’t worry if you can only make a small donation.  Every bit helps!  Make a donation and support this foundation by going online at http://online.ccfa.org/goto/Christiansen
For those of you that are interested in participating in the walk. Please go online and sign up for “Team Christiansen” you can sign up by going to http://online.ccfa.org/goto/Christiansen and click on “Join Sharon’s Team”

We appreciate your understanding and support!!

Countdown to Baby!

Okay, according to my iPregnancy application on my iphone, I have exactly 189 days remaining in my pregnancy!  Sounds like a lot, but that is only 27 weeks, and roughly 6 months! Is it really only 6 months away?  That’s insane considering that we’ve done nothing to prepare for the little squigz (new nick-name compliments of Tara).

So, with that timeframe in our minds, Dan and I decided (okay, I decided) that we need to come up with a plan.  Those that know me know I’m a planner and I like to be prepared, so we both collectively came up with a “Countdown to Baby-Schedule of Tasks” to help prepare.  We have so much to do!  I feel so much better now that I have it neatly listed in spreadsheet format for us to refer back to.  I definitely recommend this to others who have anxiety about preparing for a baby.  The main reason for having to prepare for everything is that we want to be responsible with our money.  We don’t want to spend a lot of money in one month, so we’ve split up our purchases so that we can hopefully pay for everything without dipping into savings or purchasing on credit.  We’ll see how that goes.  There’s so much to buy it’s overwhelming.  Dan is going to do research on Consumer Reports for the “safty sensetive” items like stroller, crib and car seat to see what is the safest as well as the most economical.  Those of you that have kids, we would LOVE your suggestions too. Once the yard sales and estate sales start back up in the spring, I’ll be all over them!

Everything is progressing like it is suppose to (praise God!).  I’ve been feeling MUCH better and getting my energy back slowly and no more morning sickness!  Although I haven’t been able to fully get back into my work-out routine in the mornings, I plan to ease into it with daily walks and eventually prenatal yoga.  I’m in my second trimester at 13 weeks, and I haven’t felt the baby move yet, but according to what I have read, Squiggles is squirming around all the time and is a healthy 3″ long and weighs roughly .9 oz.  This week the reflexes will get stronger with the fingers and toes responding as well as the eyelids.  The face will begin to look more human-like and the umbilical cord will continue to move into the body to form the intestines.  It’s so interesting to me to learn about how something is growing inside of me.  It’s so exciting!

Here’s a picture from my last ultrasound.

ultrasound-11-weeks

I was 11 weeks old.  It’s “scary baby” as we like to call because it’s the front scary view but I love how the hands are on either side of the head and the body looks completely detached.=)  It was so nice to see the baby squirming around and the rapid heartbeat.  Our next appointment is April 20th and we will learn if it is a boy or girl.  Does anyone want to take a stab at what the baby will be?  Dan and I think it’s a girl…but what do we know??