Friday, November 21, 2008

One Month

Yesterday Levi turned one month! As most new moms have experienced, I cannot believe a month has already passed, it went by so fast! Levi is getting so big, today we had his one month checkup and he now weighs 10lbs and is 22 in. That is 2 more lbs and 2 more inches since birth. We are so proud of him as he is doing new things everyday. Within the past week I have been able to tell a huge difference in his focus in the bouncy seat. He loves looking at the toys and even gets his hands up there to hit them every once and awhile. He's also sleeping more and more every night, which makes Tim and I very excited. More updates to come! I'm sure month 2 will be here before we know it!

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Levi's Room

Levi's room used to be filled with football equipment but with a few trips to IKEA (my favorite!!) and crib from some friends it is the perfect little bedroom for a baby boy!

Cozy in his bed!

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Binki Love

Levi loves his "binki" as we like to call it in our family. So much so he wants to make sure it stays in at all times!

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Levi's story

Well, I just looked at my last blog post, dated about three months ago, to those of you who even check our blog anymore or get those update things, my sincerest apologies. Seeing that we now have our precious Levi and have added a grandbaby to our families I am realizing the importance of blogging more often since our little guy is changing so much everyday. I thought I would first catch everyone up to speed on the day he was born.

On October 17th I went in to see my doctor and discovered it would be my last as a preggo lady. We had discussed me being induced earlier in my pregnancy, especially because my parents were flying in from America, but more and more it seemed like a distant possibility. We were getting ready to leave when all the sudden she asked "So Anna when would you like to be induced, Monday or Tuesday?". Most of you who know me know I am pretty indecisive however this took me a total of 2 seconds to decide I wanted to be induced on Monday. Levi was already getting pretty big, I was uncomfortable, and my Mom scheduled to fly in on Sunday. So we scheduled me to come in at 9 on Monday morning. Tim and I left the hospital a little in disbelief and excitement knowing we would have a baby in just a few short days.

Sunday came and my Mom flew in, and man was she a trooper!! I am usually falling over I am so tired after an international flight but she was great, and she was wide awake on Monday morning at 9 ready to go to the hospital. When we got to the hospital they did a few routine procedures and around 11 am put me on an IV with pitocin in order to put me into labor. I prepared myself to be ready for a long day as I had heard of some friends who had been induced were in labor a really long time. However, when my doctor came in (who I love!!!) she gave us a surprise saying that she thought Levi would be here by the end of the day around 7 or 8. I was so excited, and relieved!! The pitocin was doing a good job or at least it seemed so to me but the nurses were coming in every 30 mins or so asking if I had any pain, to which I pleasantly answered, "no not at all". In response they would, with a smile, go to my IV and pump up the dosage. I kept thinking I would feel more contractions but I really didn't feel that many.

Around 3 my doctor came in to check in on me and at that point "accidently" broke my water. I guess it was ready to break, and I definitely started feeling contractions then. Luckily my epidural came soon after, and the pain subsided. Around 6:30 I really started feeling the urge to push, as they also started to bring in all the equipment. (Which by the way, is a little scary, it was my first delivery but does anyone else think those trays of sharp objects are a little creepy??) At one point during this time I told Tim to go get the doctor because I felt like he was coming right away. As soon as he walked out she was walking in and soon after I started pushing. With my mom and my husband by my side Levi was born at 7:02 after 30 mins of pushing. He is absolutely gorgeous and continues to look like Tim and I in different ways.

Having a baby in another country was definitely an experience working through the language was a challenge at times. It is an experience we will never forget. The hospital we go to is beautiful and everyone we worked with was wonderful. I am so grateful to everyone who came to visit us and help us as we got through this first month, we couldn't have done it without you! I can also tell that we had a lot of prayer for us during this time and for that we are so grateful. This is a long story cut very short but I hope to keep you updated as much as I can on our little man in the coming future.

Here are some pictures from that special day!!

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Friday, August 22, 2008

The Papa in Istanbul!

A few months ago we were driving down one of the popular streets in our area when I spotted a "Coming Soon" sign and at the bottom I saw a very familiar emblem which read "Papa John's Pizza". Needless to say I was very excited since it is the pizza I grew up on. Since then every time we drove by I would eagerly look to see if it was open, and this Sunday Tim and I saw that the sign had been lifted, and it was open!! It is actually a sit-down-and-eat restaurant, which I don't think there are any in America. Anyways, as we were eating one of the managers heard us speaking English and asked us if we had ever had Papa John's. Of course I explained that Papa John's started in Louisville, my home-town. I all of the suddenI felt like some kind of expert on the subject. His eyes lit up and he told us that he had just recently visited Louisville, Kentucky to visit the Papa John's headquarters. Being that it had just opened he wanted our American opinion right away. Let's just say it was good pizza, but, not enough sauce. I guess that is an American thing, but there is barely ever any tomato sauce on the pizza here. But other than that, it was great, and it was very exciting to see such a familiar place from home.

Can you see the Papa??? He is smiling pretty in the bottom left corner.

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Turkish Wedding

Wow! I just saw that my last blog was July 15th, pretty sad. I know when the baby comes I am probably going to overload yall with pictures, so lets just say that I'm pacing myself. That's my excuse for now at least. This month has been somewhat uneventful except for this past weekend.

Since we got to Istanbul one of Tim's football players and his family has really "adopted" us and taken us in when we definitely needed a surrogate family so far from home. They even helped me celebrate my birthday and made me a beautiful cake. This past weekend one of the uncles and his wife decided to celebrate their wedding in Istanbul since they had originally been married in her home country. It was such a privilege to get a little taste of a Turkish wedding. When we arrived at the house all the women were looking fabulous, looking like they all had had a day at the salon.

We hung out for awhile as they were putting on the finishing touches. Tim was actually shooting the breeze a little with one of the men in the family, in Turkish, I was so proud! Finally the groom arrived, and a very anticipatory moment occurred and the the bride was "revealed"!!! It was so cute! Tim's football player explained that it symbolized that he was coming to take her from her home to their new home together. As we left the bride and groom got in a decorated car with a beautiful flower bouquet adorning the hood and the rest of us caravanned behind. Driving through the traffic of Istanbul we got lots of honks and cheers for the wedding, a really neat tradition I think.

We drove to a beautiful restaurant on the sea and were served a full course, delicious meal. Since the couple had already been married awhile they didn't actually do a ceremony, however, there was a wedding party below us, so we got to witness a real ceremony. Honestly there wasn't much to it, short and sweet. The bride and groom are introduced with some fancy music, they walk in and are seated at a large table with two witness and a man from the government. The man then proceeds to read the marriage vows, and they sign the document along with the witnesses and then they are married. A large party proceeds the ceremony, but there definitely wasn't much to the ceremony, compared to some of our long American weddings.

The other bride and groom getting married (a little dark)

After we ate, the dancing began as the party below us had two live bands. One was an traditional Anatolian Rock Band, lets just say not my favorite. But we had a blast watching everyone kick up their heels and have a wonderful time. This family has been such a blessing to us and they continue to help make Istanbul feel more like a home.

Tim and I, and the bump (large and in-charge)

Our view for the evening

The family

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Isn't she a BEAUTY?!!

That's right folks! We now are official owners of a quality Arçelik air conditioner or klima as they are called here in Turkey. It is such a treat to sleep in the cold once again and be able to use a sheet. We decided to put it in the bedroom and I must admit I have been finding alot of excuses to hang out in here and turn the air conditioner on : ) We know its not a necessity but it for sure has made things a little easier. We'll I'm off to go fire her up for the evening at a cool 21 degrees Celsius and try not to convince myself to turn it down to 18 ; )

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2 years ago today....

Tim and I were getting ready for our wedding. It was such an exciting day and we were so blessed to have been able to share it with so many special friends and family. The Lord has blessed me with an amazing husband who just happens to be my best friend. These past two years have flown by, with so many exciting events in between. I'm looking forward to many more anniversaries and I am so grateful I have such a wonderful partner to share in this journey.

To celebrate we went to a really fancy restaurant here we like to call TGIFriday's. Yep, we went there again, a place that we always say we would never go if we were in the States, but their food sure does taste good right now. And, here it is definitely anniversary date prices.

Here we are before going to dinner (sorry so close our self timer works best on a bookshelf right in front of a table)

We also have had the opportunity to use a car, which is such a treat! I haven't had to ride the bus in awhile and Tim is getting really good at driving a manual.

My driver for the evening

Happy Campers in an air conditioned car!

Happy Anniversary Babe! I love you!

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Monday, June 16, 2008

The Little Kicks

Most of you know by now that we are expecting a baby boy in late October. We are so excited!! Recently it has become more real to the both us as he has started to kick. At first he would always kick for me and then stop as soon as Tim would come over to feel, that little stinker! He is already stubborn like his dad! But now he is doing some major kicking we both are able to feel all the time. We have an amazing doctor here who is so personable. I think she may have more fun watching the ultrasounds than we do at times. At the last appointment she took 11 pictures!! It was wonderful. She got some really great shots that I'm hoping everyone can see. We go for our 21 week appointment on Thursday so I'm sure I'll have many more pictures to post. We are so grateful that the Lord has blessed us with this precious gift and would covet your prayers in the next couple of months.

Sorry these are so blurry!! P.S. Dad, I thought you would enjoy the Seinfeld reference in the title!

There he is!!

His cute little feet! If you look close you can see his toes.

Waving for the camera.

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Friday, June 6, 2008

Wonderful Week With Family!

A few weeks ago we had the privilege of Tim's Mom, Dad, and brother Nathan coming for a much needed visit! From the start Tim and I were spoiled rotten with lots of super fun goodies from the states (which I want to thank everyone for being so sweet to send us and the baby something, it was such a treat and so encouraging!) and lots of wonderful dinners while they were visiting. We ate at TGIFridays twice, which I know some of you are saying to yourself " big deal" but to us it was like being back home. They were the most "American" type meals we had had in 5 months. I'm pretty sure the waiters remembered us the second time we went, and therefore decided that we deserved some honorary TGIFriday's hats!! Which by the way have "Miller Light" written all over them! Tim and I tried to make sure they got the full experience, we ate a ton of Turkish food, saw all the sights, and visited with some of our new friends. Danny, Charlotte and Nathan were great sports even when they were subjected to a hour and a half, very interesting, ferry boat ride.

One of my favorite things we did while they were here was visit Buyuk Ada, which is one of the 3 islands across the water from Istanbul. Buyuk Ada is the largest with the literal translation "Big Island". These islands are a wonderful retreat for anyone living in the city because they don't allow cars, only service vehicles, which even too are a rare sight. The only type of transportation you really see are bikes available to rent and horse drawn carriages. The quiet roads are very relaxing and the houses are beautiful. When we got to the island from a ferry we rented a carriage to the middle of the island. This first ride proved to be somewhat thrilling and terrifying all at the same time. One of our horses did not want to run fast up the hills and kept knocking his whole body around which resulted in Tim, Nathan, and I fearing for our lives. We were tossed back and forth thinking we would be tipped over any second. It was not funny at all at the time, but now makes for a funny memory at least. Once we reached our destination we hiked, and it was definitely a hike, about a mile and a half of incline, to an old monastery. It was defniately worth the hike for the view and the beautiful chapel at the top. Afterwards we grabbed a quick bite to eat and found a boat that takes you around the island to a beach club. It was really nice, and to me was a complete surprise. They had a nice place to change clothes and had chairs with umbrellas on the sand. We were even serenaded by man with a Speedo and a guitar, yes, its quite a combination, I've included a picture. He was definately not speaking English and none of us could figure out where he was from. We all decided that he sounded like a poor man's Louis Armstrong. It was a great escape for me to be able to just relax and sit in the sun. Nathan and I both left pretty pleased with our "basecoats". It was a great day. Tim and I plan to go back soon, I can't wait!

We were sad to say goodbye to our visitors but look forward to them coming again at Christmas! Love yall!! Miss you already!

The guys outside the Blue Mosque

Fun at the Haggai Sophia

Inside the chapel at the monastery on Buyuk Ada

The view from the top of our hike

Tim and I inside the carriage

View of our driver

At the beach club!

Our "singer" for the afternoon

Our view of the beach from the boat

TGIFriday's and our new hats!!

One last pic with the family and Seyfo!

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Friday, May 16, 2008

I'm Back! So sorry I've been such a slacker!

Well, to use a quote from my sister's blog, "we are still breathing"! Again, I apologize for being MIA, life here just gets crazy sometimes as it does I'm sure for everyone. Heather (my sister) tagged me on her blogged, I've never been tagged but secretly have always wanted to be ; ) So here it goes,

Four jobs I've had:

1. Concessionaire, Lifeguard and Receptionist (this has probably been one of my favorite jobs) at Lakeside Swim Club then a lifeguard again at Wildwood Country Club
2. Cashier at WKU bookstore (my sister has been a good reference for me at both Lakeside and WKU : ) )
3. Nanny
4. "Floater" (what a job title!) at Southeastern

Four movies I've watched more than once: ( I have alot of these but I'll try to narrow some down, I like movies!)

1. Pride and Prejudice
2. The Sandlot
3. Elf
4. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

Four places I've lived:

1. Coco Beach, FL (I bet this does'nt really count, I lived there till like age 2, I don't remember any of it)
2. Lousiville, KY
3. Wake Forest, NC
4. Currently residing in Istanbul, Turkey

Four TV shows I watch:

1. The Office
3. Friends
4. really anything on HGTV, but we don't get it here

Four places I've been: (I'm hoping for this list to grow more interesting in the next few years)

1. Cyprus
2. Arizona
3. The Outer Banks, NC
4. Florida
(wow, I feel kinda lame)

Four of my favorite foods: (I'll do restaurants too)

1. Panera Bread
2. Chick-fil-a
3. Popcorn
4. Mostly all fruits, I can't get enough of it!

Four things I'm looking forward to in the coming year:

1. The birth of our first baby!! It's a boy! Due Ocotober 30th
2. My Mom and Dad coming when the baby's born!
3. Danny, Charlotte, and Nathan coming in a few weeks, and everyone coming at Christmas!
4. Hopefully going to the beach this summer

Four friends I'm tagging:

1. Lindsey Isham (you may have already done this tag)
2. Marsha Turley
3. Bess Contreras
4. hmm... not alot of my friends have blogs... sorry I can't think of a 4th

That was fun! Thanks Heather! Can't wait to see everyone elses!

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fenerbahçe Futbol Fanatic

A few weeks ago Tim got an amazing opportunity to go to the Fenerbahçe vs. Chelsea futbol game. After a few days of wondering whether or not he would get a ticket a few friends from the American Football team pulled through and got him a seat. He was ecstatic and I have never seen him so interested in soccer. The day of the game finally came after much anticipation and we started to realize that he would stick out like a sore thumb in the middle of all the fans. We made a quick trip to the Fenerium store, bascially the "book store" of Fenerbahçe's team, which is filled with all the gear any fan would need for a game. Luckily we stumbled across a great European-looking jacket and ear warmers for him to wear that night. He also wore an official jersey given to him by one of his friends on the Football team. It is really cool and even has his name on the back! With all his gear I felt alot more comfortable that even though he might stick out people would know for sure that he was cheering for their team.

Tim left the house around 6:00 with the game starting at 9:45. He met a few of his friends from his team for dinner which turned out to be quite an event in itself. They got their food, which they ordered, and would not tell Tim what it was he was eating. It turned out to be intestine, yep you read right, Intestine!!! YUCK!! (Note to self: Do not let others order for you!) After dinner they headed to the game and Tim said he instantly got into the cheering and over all had a blast. I had a great time at home, not with all those crazy fans, watching the game on TV and listening to the cheers linger from the stadium into our apartment. Even more exciting is that Fenerbahçe pulled out a win against Chelsea. That game will definately be one Tim will never forget.

An example of the craziness in the stadium, not the game he was at, but I can only imagine. He had a great time, I think I would have been overwhelmed.

My futbol fan, I felt like I was sending him off to his first day of school.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

The Stallion's Stumble Late.

This past Sunday afternoon was the season opener for the 2008 TFL (Turkey Football League). This was the first of five regular season games. There are 12 teams in the league and the league is divided into 2 groups. Each group has 6 teams. Therefore, we will eventually play each team in our group and the top three teams from each group will advance to the playoffs. We began our season by playing "The Tiger's." We were very excited about this matchup, for we had played this team back in early December (Before I arrived) and were defeated 32-0. Therefore, we knew that it would be a great measuring stick for how far we had come as a team.

Sunday was a beautiful sunny day, with the tempature being around 60 degrees, it was a great day for a football game. The players were excited about dawning their new uniforms, of which they have proudly said are the best looking uniforms in the league. We won the opening toss and elected to kick off and defer to the 2nd half. The team was pupmed up and appeared ready for the game. We took the field with great confidence and looked as if we were prepared for a victory. I have to constantly pound into these guys heads that they must have confidence in their ability and begin to have the attitude of a winner.

We kicked off and covered the return very well. However, their offense came out sharp and proceeded to drive down the field and convert on 4th and 5 on the 5 yard line for the first touchdown of the game. They then convereted the 2 point conversion (There were no Field Goal post). The game then became a battle between the defenses as both offensive unit's began to sputter and struggle. However, mid-way through the 2nd quarter, we connected on a long pass play and the receiver ran in for the touchdown. We then converetd the 2 point conversion. With less than 2 minutes left in the first half we had the football and were driving. However, on a called run the play, the QB juggled the ball on his way back to the RB and allow the defense to get pressure and wrap him up for what looked like a sack. However, the QB decided to try and throw the football out to his receiver and ended up throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown. They then converted the 2 point conversion. Therefore, the score at the half was 16-8.

We made some adjustments at the half and came out on the opening drive of the 2nd half and drove the ball right down the field and scored a touchdown. We relied heavily on our 230 pound RB/LB who ran like a "MAN" and carried the team down the field. However, we were stopped on the 2 point conversion. The score was now 16-14. The defense remained strong and forced 3 interceptions on the next three possesions by the Tiger's. However, each time our offense sputtered out. At this point, with about 10 minutes remaining in the game it was clear that we were wearing out fast. Furthermore, both of our strong RB's who also play LB were out of energy (The game had already taken 4 hours at this point, so know wonder they were tired). Therefore, I tried to go to our back-up RB who has shown some promise, however, he ran the ball tentatively, therefore, I took him out. So, with our RB''s tired, and the fact that our WR's were getting open, we went more to the pass. However, with us driving, and the ball on the 50 yard line, the QB through his 6th interception of the game and it was once again returned for a touchdown. They converetd once again converted the 2 point conversion. The score was now 24-14 with less than 10 minutes left. On the following possesion, due to pentalties, and fumbled snaps we were forced to punt out of our end-zone. So, on 4th down punting out of our end-zone, the punter fumbled the snap and they recovered for a touchdown. On the following possesion, the QB threw his 7th interception and they proceeded to drive down and score only their 2nd offensive touchdown of the game. However, I was proud of the fact that the team did not quit. On the final drive of the game I put in the 2nd the team and we drove the ball all the way down to the 20 yard line where we were eventually stopped by the clock. This was done on their first defense. Therefore, the final score was 38-14.

I am obviously dissapointed by the loss and upset with how we fell apart in the final 10 minutes of the game. It is clear that our conditioning must improve and that we must change our way of thinking in order to get over the hump and get to the next level. However, the guys gave great effort and it was clear that they continue to improve. Furthermore, we had 4 players in particuliar that gave excllent effort on both sides of the football and showed incredible heart. I was extremely proud of their effort. This game made several things clear to me. First, we continue to to get better each and every day. Second, we need to improve our conditioning. Thirdly, we must work on finishing tackles, runs, blocks, plays, drives, quarter's, halves and games. Fourthly, we have the leadership on which to build a winning team. We must develop a winning attitude that is consistent on and off of the field.

I am continuing to work on trying to get some live video footage of the games up on the web ASAP! However, we continue to have difficulties with youtube and it is constantly being blocked for one reason or another. Our next game is the Sunday after Easter, we are facing the number one team and defending champions. I am very excited about the chance to play against them and to see how much we continue to improve.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Some things we miss...

We can offically say we have lived in Turkey for 2 months now and it is really starting to become a reality that it will be our home for the next couple of years. Recently, I have started to miss some things from America, ALOT! According to Tim and something he heard about moving to another country 2 months is usually the time when the "honeymoon" stage wears off and culture shock/missing home begins. First and foremost I have to say of course I miss my friends and family the most. However, I can't tell you how much I am missing some good ole American cuisine these days. The other day Tim was asking me what I wanted for dinner and I think I remember my answer being "A Chick-fil-a sandwich with a slice of Papa John's pizza on the side." What is wrong with me?!! I told my mom I guess me missing America has just translated into missing American food. In reality, if I had those options I don't know if I would go for them, most of you who know me know I'm a salad kinda gal (especially Charlotte). But right now those restaruants sound so good! One more thing I miss big time around here is lunch meat. I used to love eating a ham, or turkey sandwich for lunch and it is not to be found here at the grocery stores. There is some kind of sliced chicken which Tim and I have both decided tastes like bologna, ew. I know this has been a complete pity party but I had to get it out. I found some pictures on the internet of some of the food we miss so if you see something that is close to your house do us a favor and go eat some, appreciate it, and send happy thoughts our way.

These are the things we miss the most!! Love you all! P.S. I stole alot of these from other blogs and facebook!

Here are a few more things we miss!

Check out that yummy lunch!

For some reason I miss this cereal alot right now.
A Louisville favorite!
All of you know Tim misses this ALOT!
Kinda random but yes, I miss dryer sheets.

Lots of cheese here, but no cheddar!

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