Quarter-Century Mark

On November 16, I turned 25! It is crazy to think that I am now in my mid-20s. When people ask how old I am, immediately I think to respond with 21 or 22 (and my dad actually does respond that way!) In no way am I bothered by the fact that I am 25, because I already feel like I have accomplished so much. I have a wonderful teaching job, I have been married to the love of my life for 1.5 years, and I have a beautiful baby girl! I am often bothered by the negativity on social media from other people my age claiming that “all anyone talks about anymore is getting married or having babies.” Well, those people need to realize that that is what many people our age do now, so they should join in on the fun! Our generation is growing up. We are adults now, and not that I didn’t have any fun in my high school or college days, but I have so much more joy in my life now that my world revolves around my faith, my marriage, and my child.

When Ryan asked me this year what I wanted for my birthday, I had no idea what to say. I already have everything that I need. Then I thought more about it and what is most important to me, and that is just to be with my family. If you have ever read the book, “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, you would know what I mean when I say that my love language is quality time. With my husband in Muncie most of the time, nothing makes me happier than simply spending time with him and Kinsie. Then I thought about something fun and not expensive we could all do together. Over the summer, I developed a love for fishing. Since I was pregnant the entire summer and couldn’t exactly go skiing or tubing at Heritage Lake, and fishing became one of me and Ryan’s favorite things to do together. So for my birthday, we decided to take a trip to the lake! Ryan’s family tagged along and watched Kinsie while Ryan and I went fishing. It was a little chilly and windy, but overall a perfect day for fishing. I caught a small bass, which I was very excited about, considering we had very few bites the entire day. I think Kinsie enjoyed her first of many trips to Heritage Lake!

After the lake, we went to dinner at my favorite sushi restaurant, Tegry Bistro with the rest of my family and Ryan’s. I wanted to stay close to the Brownsburg area for my sister, who was due to go into labor at any moment. We had ice cream cake at Krista and Ryan’s house afterwards. My birthday wish originally was to share my birthday with a new niece or nephew, but by later that evening, I came to terms with that not happening. However, I still hoped that it would happen the next day…which it did. Stay tuned for that story! Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday weekend!

lake 1 View from the deck. The lake is beautiful in the fall!

lake 3Fishing by the marina

lake 2 photo

361

362 My little family

363

Halloween Happenings

I’ve never been much of a fan of Halloween. I believe it is a fun holiday for kids, but other than that, I think it is taken a bit out of hand. I haven’t dressed up or gone to a Halloween party since high school. Call me a Halloween “Scrooge,” but it’s just not my thing. However, that has never stopped me from enjoying the beautiful season of fall. Every year, my sister and I like to have what we call a “Fall Foliage Festival” where we all carve pumpkins, eat pumpkin seeds and caramel apples, drink apple cider, and watch Hocus Pocus. To be honest, it is one of my favorite traditions that we do all year. We would always carve quite extravagant patterns and display them at our parents house on Halloween night.

Here are some pictures from previous years…

fallhome_11 fallhome_09 fallhome_30 iphone-oct_18halloween_3halloween_9 halloween_10 iphone halloween_11

This year was a little different for us. With Ryan and I having a newborn and him living in Muncie, and with Krista being 9 months pregnant and moving into a new house, it was a little difficult to find the time to have our annual Fall Foliage Festival. We never even got the chance to go to the pumpkin patch! Obviously our family had a lot going on this year, but they were all good things, so I didn’t let myself get too sad about missing our tradition! I felt bad not having anything on my parents porch for the trick-or-treaters, so the night before Halloween, my mom and I bought a pumpkin. While I watched the baby, she emptied it out and got all of the seeds for my dad to bake, then she watched the baby while I carved the pumpkin. I wanted to do something simple that wouldn’t take me hours like it has in the past, so I chose to make Briggs happy and carve a Mickey Mouse face (yes, this is my idea of “simple!”) I was pretty happy with it considering what little time and energy I have these days!

iphone pics_3

Now that I have a child, I feel like I get to enjoy what Halloween is really about again. Even though Kinsie is only a month old, it was so much fun dressing her up and hanging out with her cousin, Briggs (who was a lion). Kinsie was in somewhat of a grumpy mood on the night of trick-or-treating, and all she wanted to do was sleep, but we still had a fun night at her Grandma and Grandpa Vargas’s house watching Hocus Pocus and eating candy! It is crazy to think that next year, Kinsie will be a year old and her, Briggs, and her new cousin will be running around trick-or-treating together. Our family is growing every year and every day I thank the Lord for these amazing blessings!

halloween1_8

Our little ladybug

 halloween_9

Briggs the Lion

halloween_3

halloween_17 halloween_21halloween_25 halloween_28

halloween_32

halloween_34 halloween_35

Before and After

Like most women, I am a major advocate of Pinterest. I feel pretty lucky that it started up right in time for all the major events in my life. For example, I used it to plan my wedding, my classroom, my house, the baby’s room and much more. I mean, what did we all do before Pinterest started?? I know Ryan appreciates it too since I’ve gotten many recipes from the website and if you know him, the way to his heart is his stomach!

Anyway, on Pinterest I found so many great photography ideas to do during and after a pregnancy that I had to make sure that I did myself. I was SO happy that I did these photos and I highly recommend doing these before and after pictures if you are pregnant. Enjoy!

 36 weeks_9_2  after pics_22_2 

pregnancy_13_236 weeks_1_2after pics_13_2

 

 

Welcome to our lives!

Welcome to the Matthews family blog! I have always wanted to write a blog, but I thought, “who would care to read about my life?” Well, now that I have a beautiful baby girl and a husband in medical school, not only did I think more people would be interested in reading about our lives, but I wanted a place where I could document our journey and be able to look back on it in the future. When I was in college, I started writing a journal, which I still write in today. Looking back at the older entries now, it is incredible to see how much I grew as a Christian woman over just a few years. I went through a lot in college, both good and bad, and to be able to go back and read my raw emotions at the time, and to see how I overcame it and how I grew, is such an amazing experience. So that’s why I finally decided to write this blog. Even if nobody reads it, I will use it as my own journal that I can look back on and show my daughter when she is older and show her how we grew together as a family.

For those of you who don’t know our situation, I am a 5th grade teacher, and my husband, Ryan, is in his first year of medical school at IU Muncie. I cannot even begin to explain how proud of him I am for everything he’s accomplished so far. We started dating when we were 14 years old, and even then, he has always dreamed of being a doctor. In college, he worked his butt off taking 19 credit hours, working full time at Wishard hospital, coaching soccer, being involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters, and much more. We didn’t get to see much of each other and when we did, he was most likely sleeping. From the beginning, I knew that being Ryan’s partner in life would not exactly be easy because of everything he had to do to pursue his dream career, but I knew that he was worth all of it. Once we found out he got into IU Medical School, we were thrilled, because we didn’t have to uproot and move out of state. However, I was not so thrilled when we found out he got placed at the Muncie campus, which is 1.5 hours away from our home in Avon. While this wouldn’t be such a difficult situation in normal circumstances, I was pregnant with our first child due in September. We both knew it wouldn’t be possible for him to drive back and forth every day with all the studying that would be required of him, so we decided to get him a one bedroom apartment in Muncie, and he would come home on weekends. With this arrangement, I would be able to keep my teaching job at Mill Creek (besides, who would hire an 8-month pregnant woman who would need an immediate maternity leave?), and still be close to both of our families for them to help when the baby came. This was definitely not an easy transition for me, but I did feel very blessed that he was placed in Muncie instead of Fort Wayne, Gary, or Evansville. It turned out that this was the best possible situation for him because he has a smaller class in Muncie which he has become very close to. They have been extremely supportive and helpful through our situation, which I am very grateful for! When Ryan is home with us, we cherish every second together. He is such a hands-on dad and does everything he possibly can for me and our daughter. I cannot imagine going through life with anyone else!

I constantly have to remind myself that we are incredibly blessed with so many wonderful things happening in our lives, because we really are. Even though I wanted our situation to turn out differently, I trust God completely that this is the way it happened for a reason. He has never led me wrong before, and I know that He is on my side no matter what. As long as we keep God as the support system in our lives, we have faith that He will help us get through it!

whitecoat_11 whitecoat_1

Ryan and I at his White Coat Ceremony for IU School of Medicine (I was 8 months pregnant)