Archive for September, 2014

Another CRAZY Announcement

As if this year needs any more craziness, we have gone and added some more crazy to our lives.

We are very excited (and slightly overwhelmed) to announce publicly that . . .

That’s right!  We are moving!  We grew up in a small town a few hours from where we currently live.  We have thought about moving back closer to our families before, but the opportunity had never presented itself.  That is, until about a month and a half ago when San received a text from a previous coworker asking if he would be interested in a position as a Sous Chef with another company.

A couple interviews later and now our entire lives are upside down!  The end result will be completely worth it, and being pregnant is what really motivated us to jump on this because the idea of raising our daughter and any (hopeful) future children near family is important to us, but the timing is a little less than idea.  What about this year has been ideal, though?  I’m learning to trust God because he’s just doing some amazing things and I don’t want to stand in his way!

San already started the new job next week and has moved in with my parents who we are so grateful for!  They have a large house with a finished basement (which definitely doesn’t feel like a basement at all) that we can call home with a little kitchenette (a small fridge, a sink, and a mini dishwasher), a living room, a bedroom, and an exercise room.  The dogs will be quite at home with us down there.  As a nanny, I couldn’t just give the standard two week’s notice (well I could have, but I didn’t feel right doing that), so I gave about 5 weeks’ notice.  I have to find a job now in the new city, so that is my biggest concern right now.  I have a little over two weeks until I am done.

We met with our wonderful realtors a couple weeks ago to run through a few market analyses to see what our home would sell for given different scenarios.  Basically, the price we could sell our house at right now with no changes would be about $11,000 more than what we bought it for, but after all the fees of selling, we would only be left with about $2,000.  We put a lot more than that into the renovation, so it’s not worth it to us to not make anything back.  Plus, we would love to be able to have some extra money to put toward our next house.

We ran a few scenarios, but we ultimately decided on the whole shebang: finishing the basement, and bringing the upstairs to a “finished” standpoint.  When we renovated the main level of our house, we turned a legal bedroom (that made no sense – had four doors in it – and was being used as the dining room) into an open dining room to make the floor plan open.  By doing that, we took our house from a technical three bedroom/one bath home to a two bedroom/one bath home.

To the main level, we will be:

When the basement is finished, the house will have about 600 or so more square footage, another bathroom, a family room, and two more legal bedrooms.  It should sell for  A LOT more than we paid for it, and even with the cost of finishing the basement, we should have made our money back and then have plenty extra to put toward a new house.

Here is what the basement floorplan is currently:


The laundry area is on the back wall of the house under the dining room and the utilities (furnace, water heater, etc.) are positioned right about where our upstairs hallway is.  There are currently two “bedrooms” already sheetrocked, but they are not legal because only one has a closet, there is only one entry into that area, and there are no egress windows.

Here is the plan for the basement when we are all done with it:


Under our current upstairs living room will be a family room.  Behind that will be the bathroom and behind that, the storage/laundry/utilities area.  We will add a little hallway off the family room to the two bedrooms.  The front bedroom will use the closet that currently has a doorway into the back bedroom (which will be closed up).  The back bedroom will then get a brand new closet with only one bifolding door since the electrical panel is on that wall.  The two windows on the back of the house have been replaced with the same size vinyl windows.  The two windows in the bedrooms that are on the right side of the floorplan will be replaced with 36″x36″ egress windows.  Thankfully, our house sits up high, so not much digging will need to be done to add the egress windows – just a lot of cutting cement blocks.

The list for the basement seems almost endless, and I think it’s pretty obvious by the changes in the floorplan that there will be a LOT of work.  Thankfully, it is in an unused space and there is not a lot of altering the existing structures, which is what made the upstairs renovation take so long.

I’d like to give a shout out to my amazing parents, by the way!  Whenever I say “we will be _____” what I really mean is, “my parents will be _______ and San and I will be helping as much as we are able.”  My dad is a contractor and together, my mom and dad have turned an Amish house into a beautiful farmhouse (with added electricity, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, etc.) and have built a house from scratch, with countless other house projects under their belts that I haven’t mentioned, plus all the work my dad has done during his 30 years of carpentry experience.  They feel very strongly about helping us live the “American dream” of owning a home, and have helped us build equity through renovating our home.  We could never have done the initial renovation without them, and there is no way we could ever even attempt the basement renovation without them.  We are very lucky they are not only letting us stay with them, but they are working as quickly as possible during their own spare time to help us make money off our house.

Wish us luck as we get to this new chapter in our life!  We hope to update as much as we can, but it certainly won’t be as often as we had been.

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20 Weeks | Celia Rae (Baby Raisin)


How big is baby: 6.5 inches long; the size of a banana!  Ahhh!  So big – no wonder my belly has just exploded!

Weight gain/loss: About 12-14 pounds.  I’ve decided not to stress about the weight.  As long as I’m eating mostly healthy, I am doing the best I can, and am eating when I’m hungry, then I’ll let the weight come.  It’s definitely been a struggle with my body image lately as I can barely fit into my regular pants (I have one pair that is stretchy so it has worked wonders as a transition pair) but can’t quite hold up maternity pants I bought.  They are just too loose around my hips but fit everywhere else, so even with the elastic all the way up to my bust, I’m constantly pulling them up.  I no longer really care if I look cute at all.  I just want to be comfortable and buy the least amount of maternity clothing as possible.

Sleep: Overall, good!  Waking up on my belly and feeling Celia kick is not fun – it’s so uncomfortable and I feel like I’m squishing her.  Other than that, I’ve been sleeping through the night most nights.

Stretch Marks: None yet

Cravings: Nothing really.

Aversions: Still chicken.

Movement: Celia is kicking regularly.  I haven’t noticed a consistent pattern, but it brings me to tears just thinking about how excited it makes me to feel her!  I will admit, thought, that she must be sitting pretty low in there today, so ever since I woke up, I’ve been pretty achey (almost crampy like I have my period) and I just feel super uncomfortable.  I’m assuming it is normal and will just get even stronger as she gets bigger.  Too bad telling her to find a new position doesn’t work!

What I’m loving: If you couldn’t tell by our gender reveal, I am just still in so much SHOCK over the fact that our miracle baby is the Celia Rae we have had in our hearts for years.  I just feels so incredibly blessed, thankful, humbled, terrified, excited, and overjoyed all at once.  I love calling her by name, finally being able to start picking out registry items and stuff we want to buy, and just dreaming about our little angel.

Symptoms: Nothing other than those listed.

What I’m excited about: I’m excited to start planning our registry (we already made one the day we found out we were pregnant, but it was pretty impulsive, so I want to do more researched planning this time around to refine it).  I’m excited to be pregnant even though it definitely isn’t easy!

What I’m nervous about: Um….just so much is up in the air right now.  I’m nervous about what I will be doing in even a month, but I’m holding on to faith like crazy!

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Baby Raisin | Gender Reveal

Oh my goodness, the day I had been waiting for for YEARS finally arrived!  San and I are both dreamers, so we have always talked about our children like they are already here.  Before we were even married, San was convinced our first child would be a girl.

We had her name picked out years ago, and when we found out we were finally pregnant, we wondered if his prediction would come true.  As the weeks went on, I was fully convinced Baby Raisin was a boy.  I’m not sure why, but I figure that with so much pressure for the baby to be a girl, I wanted to be super excited either way.  I had two dreams that the baby was a girl, but I didn’t take it as much of a sign.

Because this baby is such a surprise and a longed for miracle for us, I have wanted to photograph as much as possible to document every emotion during this ridiculously happy time in our lives.  We may never experience this again, so I want to be able to look back and remember with our baby for years to come.  I have wanted to do a gender reveal photo session for a few years, but now I went all out.

San and I are big doughnut lovers, and we had been planning on having a gender reveal party as a few friends had wanted to be there when we found out, but due to a lot of chaos in our lives right now, and the fact that the ultrasound was on a Wednesday and we couldn’t have the party until a Sunday (no way could we wait that long!), we went ahead with the private session.  I’m really glad it worked out that way, because as much as I would have loved to have been with friends and family, I’m not good at reacting authentically with all eyes on me.

My dear friend Anna is so special to me, so I’m so glad she got to be there during the reveal!  She was the first to know (other than the ultrasound technician) and she did an AMAZING job of hiding it on her face when she found out!  She told us she is glad there is autofocus on the camera because she was crying right along with us!

I have adored our wedding photographer, Leah’s, gender reveals (baby #2, baby #3, baby #4) in the past, so the photographer and over achiever in me wanted to do something big and grand to document our reaction to learning if our baby is a boy or a girl.  I had never known just how nerve-wracking these sessions are!  The adrenaline was pumping!



Root beer, our favorite, with bows and straws from our wedding!


Craspedia flowers dried from a wedding and a blue mason jar from our wedding.  So special to include those in our session.


Boy or girl?



I was seriously freaking out at this point.  Part of me didn’t want to open my eyes because the anticipation was just too much!  I may have said some swear words just because I am not good with so much intense emotion.  This was one of the most exciting moments of my life!  When we found out we were pregnant, we were not expecting it, so there was no adrenaline.  It was pure shock and a humbling sense of gratitude.  This was so different because we had been counting down the days for months and it was finally time!




Complete and utter shock as I looked down and saw not blue, but PINK.  I think I looked at it for a second not realizing I was seeing.  I was completely certain the baby was a boy!




Then, the tears came!  We have dreamed of this little baby girl for years, she is already named, and we couldn’t be happier!




I love this man more than words could ever describe.  Pictures are worth far more than a thousand words in this situation!  They are worth my whole life and so much more.  This sums up our marriage and bond perfectly.  Complete adoration and protection.






So, coming in February, we are happy to get to welcome little Celia Rae Syhakhoun, the love of our life!  Her first name means heaven, which was our intent to have her named for years, but now God made the name have real meaning after our infertility struggle.  She is sent as a gift straight from above and her name will be a constant reminder of just how blessed we are.  Her middle name I just love anyway, but also comes from my Scottish heritage of my dad’s Scottish family coming from the Macrae clan in Scotland.   I can’t wait to meet this little one!  In the ultrasound, she already looks just like daddy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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19 Weeks | Baby Raisin


How big is baby: 6 inches long from head to bottom!! The size of an heirloom tomato or a mango!

Weight gain/loss: According to my scale, I’ve gained about 10 pounds (although I didn’t weigh myself on that consistently at the beginning of becoming pregnant, so I’m not sure).  We will see tomorrow the official weight gain at our 20 week ultrasound (these updates are a week off, so I’m technically 20 weeks today, but I’m just posting at the end the week.

Sleep: Overall, good!  I’ve been really trying to sleep on my side which has been working overall.  It just is very uncomfortable and somewhat painful when I wake up on my belly!

Stretch Marks: None yet

Cravings: Nothing.  No consistent cravings to find here!

Aversions: Still chicken.

Movement: I’m officially feeling the baby daily, and San and I both felt Baby Raisin kick on the outside of my belly on Saturday.  It was the best way to wake up that I’ve ever experienced!

What I’m loving: I’m loving that the baby is moving daily and can be felt in my lower belly if I push a little hard.  So cool!  I’ve been waiting for this start!

Symptoms: Nothing other than those listed.

What I’m excited about: We learn the baby’s gender tomorrow!!!!  I cannot wait!  I’m also just so excited to see how big the baby is on the ultrasound screen!  So exciting!!!!

What I’m nervous about: I’m just a little worried the baby won’t cooperate or that the ultrasound will show something abnormal, but we are holding on to faith that everything will be just the way we hope for!

We plan on posting the gender reveal photos tomorrow if all goes as planned!

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18 Weeks | Baby Raisin


How big is baby: 5.5 inches long, or the size of a sweet potato!   Wow, that’s something I can really picture since I ate so many of them trying to get pregnant!

Weight gain/loss: No idea, truthfully.  I’ll find out next week at our 20 week ultrasound!  I’ve realized that I’m posting the updates pretty much a week late, but oh well.  I turn 19 weeks tomorrow, but it’s a good recap of the week I just had, I suppose!

Sleep: Um…we have some major changes going on in our life (we haven’t shared it openly on the blog or our Youtube channel yet, but we plan on it, so sleep has been really hard because I’ve honestly been incredibly stressed out.  I’ve gotten better at calming myself during the day, but at night, the worries wake me up quite often.

Stretch Marks: None yet

Cravings: I think I’ve had my first consistent craving: apple juice!

Aversions: Still chicken and just random things at night.

Movement: I’m not sure if I’ve felt anything that was real movement, but on Friday, I had a lot of pressure, almost like the baby was using the bottom of uterus as a trampoline.  Definitely not butterflies or flutters!

What I’m loving: I’m loving all the support we have from family and friends!  I’m loving that I feel good overall and that I can use more energy now since I definitely need it with all the stuff we have going on.

Symptoms: Really nothing this week.  I seriously don’t even feel pregnant really anymore except for the obvious belly and other growing parts.

What I’m excited about: I’m excited that in a week and two days we will (fingers crossed) know what the sex of our baby is!  We can finally start shopping!

What I’m nervous about: Um…where do I begin?  I’m leaning on God right now 100% to get me through the next couple months because our life is completely turned upside down right now.  It’s all in very good ways, but it leaves this hormonal woman feeling very stressed and out of her element!

Let’s do a fun comparison of my belly pretty much before I started showing at 6 weeks compared to now, three months later.  Um…a lot has changed!  I may need to buy a different tank top and bra because certain parts don’t really fit into what I started this photo journey wearing!


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17 Weeks | Baby Raisin


How big is baby: 5 inches long, or the size of a turnip!   He or she is growing super quickly right now!

Weight gain/loss: At my appointment last week, I was up 6 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight.  I believe at least 1-2 of those pounds were from the state fair two days earlier, but either way, it’s a healthy gain so far.  Let’s hope it continues to increase slowly!

Sleep: Sleep has gotten a lot better.  I’ve been sleeping through the night most  nights now.  The only hard part is transitioning to sleeping on my side since I am a stomach sleeper all the way.  I’m on the edge of ordering of pillow that wraps around the front and back of me.  It sounds heavenly!

Stretch Marks: None yet

Cravings: No really strong cravings.

Aversions: Still chicken and just random things at night.

Movement: Nothing, no matter how much I concentrate, poke my belly, or talk to the baby.

What I’m loving: I’m loving that two people I know just gave birth yesterday/last night!  They both posted photos earlier while still pregnant and then by the time I woke up, the babies were born!  It made me so excited to meet our little one and also made me realize that in the scheme of things, delivery will not last more than a day in more cases, and even if it does, it’s really just a small amount of time compared to how long we have to wait for the baby to come.  Maybe I can actually push a baby out of my body naturally!  We shall see . . .

Symptoms: Random shooting pains in random areas once in a while.  Nothing else otherwise!  Just congested, but that’s due to allergies as well.

What I’m excited about: Two weeks from tomorrow we will learn the gender.  I am doing just about all that I can to stay sane, but it’s not working very well.  I’m not sure I can wait that long!

What I’m nervous about: Life has become really hectic.  Like, really, REALLY hectic.  We aren’t sharing publicly why yet, but we will shortly.  Let’s just say that the blog is going to be taking a hiatus for a while, which I am bummed about, but BIG changes are coming!  GINORMOUS!  As if having a baby isn’t enough for us, we have to go and make some more drastic changes.  All for the better, though!  More on that eventually.  I’m just nervous about handling the stress, but I’m keeping the end result front and center.

I was doing biweekly videos, but I don’t have much to say right now since not much has changed, so I’ve decided to do them randomly when there are new changes to discuss.

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