Thursday, December 29, 2011

Laughter.

Is the best medicine.

No, seriously.  I have rarely gotten sick since my husband and I got married :)

Something about a beautiful friendship and marriage that just permeates your heart and causes sound to come out in the form of laughter/giggles/etc.

I have married a man who will dance in the kitchen while cooking, (in fact, he will dance for no reason at all) have staredown contests, teach me about "pigeon-poop stoops," make all the funny faces in the world, call me out in my bad moods, paint my nails, and love me more deeply when I am the least deserving.

I believe that is what true love is.  It doesn't matter at all if someone loves you when you are on top of the world, it matters how they love you when you are in dire need of grace.

"Laughter is the most beautiful and beneficial therapy 
God ever granted humanity."
Chuck Swindoll

Wait for a best friend (if you are wanting to get married)-not just a husband.  Truly, nothing in the world like it.

This was pregnant at 5 months...and I thought I was showing! I had no idea...

And he makes my whole family laugh (and they are pretty hilarious).

The reason wee one moves so much is because he makes me laugh so much.

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I had no idea about his moves before we got married. This man LOVES to dance.






Christmas Celebrations.

We had such a lovely last Christmas as just husband and wife (before we don the new names of Daddy and Mommy).  We went to our church's Christmas Eve gathering at the Schnitzer Hall-brought me to tears it was so beautiful- and then spent the rest of the evening at my parents house with our tradition of eating grilled cheese/tomato soup and watching White Christmas-my fave film ever.

The next morning, husband and I had a quiet morning and started a new tradition of making aebelskivers!  We read the Christmas story and just enjoyed sitting next to one another in front of the fire.  He got me an Iphone (I am back!), some amazing books AND a shopping trip to Forever 21 once the baby is out :) 

PS: Babe, you rock.  You are the best gift ever. You could always just wrap yourself up every year...

We then headed to my parent's house where we were super blessed by them and sister and just enjoyed eating monkey bread, coffee cake, and breakfast casserole (amazing!!!!!). My parents got the baby outfits for it to go home in-one for a boy, one for a girl!

After that, my family all hopped in our car and headed to Matt's brother's home in Albany to celebrate with his family.  

It was all bountifully beautiful and we cherish that Jesus' has given us the reason for not just this season, but for everything.

xoxo, Anna N
Year one of aebelskivers:  I will try not to burn them next year.

Lemon curd, powdered sugar, and raspberry jam were the toppings!

Grandma's are all ready!

Clearly, the grandpas are too!


Matt and his beautiful mother.

I love this man. He makes me laugh ALL of the time.  I love him.

The Hurds, the Normans and the Wrights!

The good-lookin' Normans!

The Wright clan :)  And yes, the belly is getting HUGE.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merriest Christmas.

So I just wrote a different post and then while wrapping Christmas presents I realized that I truly do not grasp what this is about.  


I thought about this and then teared up while wrapping presents. I am selfish-I know I have many beautiful friends that might say differently (that is why you all have encouraged me for years). However, if I were to count every moment of my day I guarantee you that most thoughts would be about my condition-not the condition of those around me.


Then I started thinking of Jesus.  And being pregnant. And how dependent this baby will be on me and Matt. And how that is exactly how the Maker of this universe came to show us His love.


As a baby. 


And I am then convicted that if He was willing to give up all power and enter this world as a baby, then I need to learn how to serve others more.


This is convicting. Seriously-I still have tears in my eyes just in realizing how much more I need to love and be vulnerable.


I guess this is where Christmas is hitting me this year. This moment.


Goodness I would have been a horrible Mary :) Can you imagine if you were told that you would be the mother of Jesus?!?! And...here is the kicker, not get proud about that???


And I think, I need to surrender who I am to this God who is willing to become a baby and enter this broken world knowing He would have to die to save us from our sins.


This brings me to the word for this last year:

.humbled.


I just read this on Ann Voskamp's blog:


"God steps in front of us not so much in the lovely — but in the unlikely."


Please let me meet people in the unlikely and not just in the lovely.


All my love to all of you beautiful ladies: may we have the heart of Mary and the beauty and surrender of Jesus during this Christmas season.


Merriest Christmas.
One year ago!!!  Wow-that is what my waist used to look like :)  This was right before I got my trip to Disneyland!!!

Crafty husband made this :) It is Oregon!  


So apparently the three buttons on the left did mean we were going to be adding another Norman...this is from last new year.
xoxo, Anna and her wee one :) 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wee one update.

Lovely, peoples:

We had our 34 week visit on Monday!  

Okay-so now it is starting to feel real.  Believe it or not, I am kind of a realist (who has really high standards which makes me also a dreamer...) which is why it is just now starting to feel like we are going to have new names in 5.5 weeks.  "Mommy" and "daddy." Wow.

I didn't think I had been having any early contractions but the doctor said I was having one while she was measuring my stomach. I told her I just thought I had a newfound six pack :)  We are also measuring at 35 weeks which means the baby might be a bit larger! (I also think it will be muscly for the following two reasons: 1) dad 2)It moves ALL the time.)

Here is what started happening this week:  

I finally bought some baby clothes! Yes, it took me to 8.5 months to buy anything.  Reason being-we are now in the return zone so I have bought a few boy and girl items and can return.  Just wait til' you see the one below.  Husband says I have the right to be a silly girl about this stuff because I have been the baby's clothing for the last 8.5 months (not only is he handsome, he is also wise).

Side note: 

I LOVE not knowing if it is a boy or girl.  People always ask if I have a feeling and to be completely honest, I have prayed not to.  I have asked God to let me be truly surprised and that is exactly where my heart is. We have NO IDEA if this baby is a boy or girl and are just ecstatic that we get to steward the life of a child.  Wonder is one of the most powerful things in the world to me and we are living in it.  I seriously cannot even imagine the moment when the doctor will say, "Congratulations, you have a ?!"

Talk about tears. And our mothers...wow, they will undoubtedly cry :)

So here is the newest find.  I cannot deal with this. Or the husband.  I had to get the mini v-neck. It looks just like Matt (although he pointed out he doesn't have that color).  

Little person: if you are indeed a boy, please be IDENTICAL to your father. He is the greatest man ever and he will love you like you didn't know possible (how he loves me).  You are already so blessed and "abundant" doesn't even begin to describe the love you will be surrounded by.  God is so perfect in how He is forming you and I can't believe God wants us to be your parents.  

We are in love-with you, with each other, and with the Man who thought up this whole thing :)







And yes, that is the most rocking Christmas shirt that I bought four years ago at Forever 21. It makes my day just to look at it let alone wear it!!!!

xoxo, Anna N

Monday, December 19, 2011

A beautiful life.

This is a little (but long) post about waiting, beautiful things, great people and amazing grace. 

Why am I posting about this now? 

Answer: I want our daughter (if this is a girl), to marry a man just like her father.  And if we have a son, I want our son to be just like my husband.  Entirely.

Beautiful. Life.


Dear Ladies in waiting:

This has so been on my heart recently.  You see, I had the most amazing life up to the point my husband and I started dating.  I always said I wanted to marry someone that changed my life for the better and gave me a reason to transition from so many amazing things.  

I had the time of my life (I also LOVE my life now) before Matt and I started dating in October of 2009.  I lived with the most amazing women, in the most beautiful home, went to an amazing church, traveled the world, and was truly content. I was romanced by God everyday and really, I have never had standards set or raised in such a way as those few precious years.  

I decided to start walking with God back in 2007. I know a lot of people knew me as a "Christian" before that but lets be honest, I didn't know God at all.  I was good at knowing all of the "religious" things but really had no relationship with Him.  I didn't realize how much He loved me, how much beauty He saw in me, what plans He held for my future, and how He knew my heart.  I was "religious," like probably 90% of America.  But, as this nation has proven, "religion" does nothing for you other than give you a box to check off and a few specific cards to buy at certain times of the year.  There was something much more that God wanted me to know.

Coming to know who Jesus really was, that He is our saviour and one who shows us grace and truth and above all else, forgiveness, radically rocked my world.  My girlfriends thought my standards were high before and then I decided to actually accept Jesus into my life...that is when they skyrocketed.  My friends often ask why I am the only woman who tells them to raise their standards when everyone else tells them to lower them-it is because I have experienced what the Maker of my heart can do when I pray for big things and because of that, how could I ever want anything less for each one of you??? (If you have ever read this blog before, you know how MADLY IN LOVE I am with my husband...and my standards were through the roof for this one).

So here is my wisdom for you:  

1. Find out who God is.  He made you, He knows you, and there is nothing more beautiful in this world than BEING KNOWN. (you can ask me any questions about this) 

2. Get amazing girlfriends. I mean legit, solid, "I want to be like you" girlfriends.  

3. Live with these girls. 


4. Volunteer. No better time to serve others than now. It changed my life dramatically.

5. Seek God for your husband-not the bars, classes, etc. (I tried that: it cost me a lot of money and dignity).  

6. Find a man that you respect more every moment you spend with him.  Men become who you say and feel they are.  Date men that want to be greater men (and men that answer to God, not to man)

7. Don't live with a man, or sleep with him, before you stand before God and your witnesses and vow to love each other and say "NO MATTER WHAT".   I know people think that helps with the chance of not getting a divorce but stats still show that more people get divorced who live together first than people who don't.  This life is about faith and it is high time someone believed that you were the person that they would wait for the skies to fall for.  Sex is awesome-let it be captivated in marriage with your hot husband who said, "I promise to love you no matter what."  

I love knowing that my husband is the only one who has ever fully had all of me (I was 29 when we got married).

I know these are "old-fashioned" but I promise you, it is the loveliest "fashioning" I have ever experienced.

I hope this encourages all of you. I know many don't agree but I say this out of a girl who's heart has experienced real love and who's heart has experienced "something else."  Great love is all encompassing, passionate, sacrificial, all-knowing, "rock my world," sort of love.  


I want our daughters, if we have them, to believe this wholeheartedly. That they are worth it.

Please wait for it and let God romance you and set seemingly impossible standards.  ALL of my "impossibles" came true.  

"With God, all things are possible."  

Amen, sisters.

PS: My hot husband just did this:


And he even made me buy OPI :) If you know me well, you know I don't own one bottle of nail polish (literally, none) and had to go out and buy nail polish remover.  He thought I needed red nails for Christmas and wanted to help me.

Babe- I somehow love you more today than I did yesterday.  Thank you for loving me better than I thought humanly possible.  I love you smuch.

xoxo, Anna N

Weekends, sausages, meaningful Mondays

We had such an amazing last weekend/week!  The part about the feet is that after four Christmas parties, a baby shower, a concert and a birthday party, and a haircut for the hubby, my feet started to head the direction of sausages (thank you husband for a great foot massage to try to bring them back).  So attractive.

Husband won over $200 at his Christmas party! Ironically (we are such gamblers), he got 2nd place in the casino night and "shockingly" the other two guys at our blackjack table won 1st and 4th...thank you, Bill!!!  As my husband said, "the only gamble of the night was picking the right table to sit at."  So smart, babe. I had no idea you had such talent at blackjack and were such a risk-taker!

The rest of the weekend was made even more beautiful by church, a beautiful baby shower, an amazing Christmas concert, and topping off Sunday watching Cars 2 while eating Oreos and mint chocolate chip ice cream (feet almost up). 

These pics are from the Christmas Ball on Friday at Heather and Jimmy's!  She surprised him with...a trip leaving that next morning to see the Broncos play the Patriots AND they got to sit in Tebow's box AND meet him! Jimmy is a huge fan of him because he lives out his faith and is seriously such a solid guy.  Jimmy's dad even teared up with joy because he was so happy for his son :) I told her she won wife of the decade for this one...

Sorry for the picture overload-it is just what we do (and this is only one event).

For Meaningful Monday please be sure to check out my beautiful friend's blog for items to purchase that support awesome causes this time of year. Matt and I do advent conspiracy with his family and thus we purchase gifts for each other that go to support orphanages, buy food for families, gift bags for foster kids, etc.  Such a great tradition they started!

Yes, that is a hanging couch.





She surprised him with a poem complete with gifts and "the knee."


It is Heather's 30th on January 4th but they are in Turks for 10 days so we stocked her up with "tropical" items!

The Bachelorette Pad again :)





Yes, my husband has on my necklace.  I seriously couldn't stop laughing...and then he unbuttoned his shirt.  I love you so much-I think our baby was even laughing at this point.


xoxo, Anna N

(I just realized I never even had a tag for pregnancy...I guess that means it has been a great one up until the feet!)

Friday, December 16, 2011

What a beautiful season.

The lovely agenda of the Norman's for this week-it is a GREAT week.

Monday- Carlasita's birthday party (Bachelorette Pad member)at Chipotle and Irving Street...I will track down photos.


Wednesday- The Solid Rock Christmas Party.  They had an amazing dinner and we got to sing Christmas carols then...they rented a small theater at Living Room Theaters and we got to all watch "Elf!!!!!"...I ate too much sugar and popcorn.  Not a great pregnant idea, PS. Oh, and one of the pastors dressed up as Elf!!! He is about 6'5" so it seriously felt like Elf was there!


Thursday- Jan's Christmas Tea with nearly 100 beautiful ladies and amazing worship music, great food, everything amazing in the barn with all things awesome.  


Friday- Jimmy and Heather's Christmas Ball is tonight!  It is going to rock. Let's just say that couple could win any dance show-hands down.  And she has a little surprise up her sleeve (although I don't think her dress has sleeves-whatev)


Saturday- Matt's work Christmas party at the Governor Hotel (complete with a menu full of all things great that Jake's can make)!


Sunday- church and an acapella Christmas concert and possibly, just maybe, a trip to Ikea.


I wish I could express how loved I feel this time of year.  I am SURROUNDED by people that I would call angels on their worst days.  We have amazing parents, incredible siblings, beautiful friends, a home...and have I mentioned this week how unbelievably gracious and loving my husband is? Babe, as Jim said about Jan last night, "I love you so ridiculously much."  


Ladies: let the Maker of this universe romance you first and set your standards and rest in who He has for you to marry. You will forever be grateful for the joy that is proven in His perfect will.   And thus, marry someone you respect with all that you are. ALL.  


Off to find an outfit that this watermelon "accessory" can fit into (which is getting more difficult by the day). This pic was at our Christmas Party last week with the Comers-the wee one has grown quite a bit just in a week :)


watermelon.




Have the loveliest of weekends.


xoxo, Anna N


Next weekend is CHRISTMAS!!!! So excited to celebrate the joy that that day represents for all of the world.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

THE Bachelorette Pad Hotties

I seriously love these girls. Talk about a raise in the standard of people you know just by knowing anyone one of them...let alone five!  

This is where I used to live (I lived with my sis, the diva blonde with the insane model poses and Courtney, the gorgeous brunette with the curly locks and cream scarf.

I got to take their roomie pics for their Christmas card last weekend.  How do you get so many beautiful gals in one place?!?!?  Boys, you should be asking yourselves that and then do something about (only if you are amazing, godly, handsome, and well, funny).





That is their fish-Betsy.


Hey gorgeous are they?  And they are all the most beautiful, kind, giving/generous, serving others, group of gals ever!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Uppy updates.

I love alliteration.

First things first: the Christmas Tree. More specifically, the lights.  Oh, the sadness.  You see, I LOVE our lights. They are globe lights instead of the traditional ones and I am quite sure they are safe for trees (and yes, our tree is very well watered and not dry).  However, upon close surveying the other day, I found the beautiful lights were literally burning our tree.

What?!?! I know.  Don't worry-I have it on my list to call Target and let them know (these lights are also $9/strand and yes, they will take them back).




No bueno.  Do you see the burns?  I turned it on to take these pics...
Second:  We are due in a 1.5 months!  33 weeks.  Here are some pics from the nursery (I am in a standstill mode currently for no great reason other than creative block), the future diaper bag (I am assuming I will be even more excited about the baby than I am for this bag), the yellow/white/ducky brigade, Matt's mobile from growing up (!), and...the belly.

My mother told me it is possible to get bigger.  Clearly, she is right.  The coat I could zip two days ago no longer zips. Tiddlywinks.  

I am also working on getting a video of the workout machine in my tummy.  Mover and shaker.




It was spinning...


Isn't she a beauty???  And the elephant-come one, anything cuter?