Technically I didn’t have a spring break this year because I’m not in class anymore. But really, I pretty much still had one! Jon’s sister’s due date was last Monday, the first real day of spring break for Jon. So the weekend prior to that was filled with time with Jon’s family. His parents and cousin Farrin were in town, all hoping Ashley would deliver sometime that weekend!

On Friday, before going over to Ashley’s, Jon and I bought our wedding invitations! I was so excited to have that out of the way. There was a BRIDES invitation kit at Michael’s I had been considering using ever since my sister showed it to me several months ago. The invites is one area Jon and I decided to save money on by not going the expensive route of having someone else make them, print them, and send them to us. Instead, I bought all the stationery as a set and will print on them myself. I had not seen the set I wanted at another Michael’s earlier that day, but the one at Southpoint had exactly four boxes left, just the amount we needed! PTL because I think they are maybe about to go out of stock. I love when things like that happen…just a little confirmation from the Lord that He is aware of what we need.

The parents of the little girl I babysit unfortunately had to go out of the country Monday through Wednesday for a funeral, which was of course planned last minute. The dad’s mom, who splits the week taking care of the baby with me, came to stay with her overnight those days. So I ended up having spring break week off, even though I wasn’t planning on it! I took care of the baby all day Sunday instead, since there was a gap between when the parents needed to leave and when her grandmother could get in town. I took her over to Ashley’s house on Sunday, hoping being around a baby might make little Lucas want to come out! Turns out she did not like being around a group of people and we had a rough time getting her to stop crying! 😦

I actually did work that Monday because I met Shawn (the wedding planner I work for) at her house since we weren’t able to meet the previous week. I was there most of the day putting together a blog post about a corporate event Shawn did at Christmas time.

After that, I met Jon at his house and we headed over to a custom jeweler we have been consulting about making a custom wedding band for me! It is a husband-and-wife team, and the intricate things they can do with jewelry in their little workshop is amazing! We could not find a wedding band that went very well with my engagement ring at Diamond’s Direct, where Jon got it, because of its unique shape. We heard about this custom jeweler through a friend of a friend, and I am so excited that they will be able to make a band that fits my ring perfectly! We left my ring there for them to use the next day to make a mold, and then design a model of their proposed band.

Jon and I went to his pastor’s house afterward to have a pre-marital counseling session. All this time we were wondering if we’d get a call that Ashley had gone into labor, but nothing….

The next day, Jon and I spent the day together getting coffee, doing P90X yoga (yeah, I got him to do that whole hour and a half with me!), doing laundry, cleaning, and packing his stuff for Charleston. We went back to the jeweler that evening to see the model of my band and pick up my ring, and then we stopped at Ashley’s house for dinner on the way to my house. Then it was my turn to do laundry and pack!

The next morning Jon and I met with a potential videographer, who I happened to meet about a year ago as the friend of one of my friend’s brothers. We had gotten a great recommendation for Peyton Lea from a married couple who used him, and I’m excited to say we have decided to have him video our wedding as well!

Next, with no sign of labor from Ashley, Jon and I got on the road to Charleston. We got there around dinnertime and had a quick dinner at Qdoba, then drove the rest of the way to my aunt Karen’s house. We visited with her for a while and planned how we would spend the next day.

Thursday morning Jon and I drove to Sullivan’s Island and parked at the beach. It was a little too chilly to lie out or sit and read, so we just walked, and it was so peaceful with almost no one on the beach. We also stopped at some rocks and did some yoga poses Jon had learned on Tuesday 🙂

Next we went down the street to Poe’s Tavern where I had the best burger I’ve ever had! I’ve been there a couple times before, but I must not have gotten a burger, because I don’t remember it being so good. They grind their own meat there, so they can do it any way you want it (shout out to Nanna – I know you would appreciate that!)

After lunch we drove into downtown Charleston, parked along the water, and walked around. We walked through White Point Gardens and the battery, and then around the gorgeous, colonial-style homes, which I love! We stopped at a local coffee shop to sit down, and then eventually went back to the car and drove over to the market. So much of the market has been renovated since I was there last year, and it’s so nice now. Before going home, we stopped at Sunglass Warehouse where I finally got some nice sunglasses and a case so I can’t break them like I always do!

That night we had dinner at my aunt’s house with my cousin Chris and his wife Susannah, who is due to have their first baby, Anna Merrell, March 23! We had still gotten no word on labor starting for Ashley…

The next day we went to King Street, my favorite! We found a good salad and wrap place called Verde for lunch. We went to a lot of local boutiques and stores, but of course ended up getting a bunch of things at J.Crew! I think the J.Crew on King Street must have a higher volume than the stores at Southpark, Southpoint and Crabtree, because it always has things I don’t see around here.

For dinner, we walked over to Church Street to eat at Bocci’s, a quaint little Italian restaurant that was really good. We drove along the battery and walked out to a pier on the Cooper River where we had a pretty view of the Cooper River Bridge and Fort Sumter at night.

The next morning my aunt made us breakfast before we packed up to leave for Charlotte. We stopped at my cousin’s house on the way out, where he and his wife’s family were getting ready for his 30th birthday party that night, including cooking a pig!

The Carolina/State ACC semifinals game was on when we were on the way to Charlotte, so most of the trip was spent with me trying to watch it on Jon’s phone and give him updates while it froze every other second! When we stopped for lunch we of course watched the game until it ended, and do I need to mention who won? 🙂

We got to my parents’ house and had dinner with them, then stayed there that night. In the morning Jon’s mom let us know that Ashley had been having more consistent contractions all night, so she might go into labor sometime that day! It wasn’t urgent enough for us to change our plans, though, so we went to church with my family, had lunch, and then stopped at the Charlotte airport on our way back to Chapel Hill to pick up my roommate Melissa who had just flown in and needed a ride back.

It felt like we had been in the car nonstop for days when we finally got back to my house Sunday evening! Jon was about to head back to Raleigh when his mom told us she was pretty sure they would be going to the hospital sometime that night! Ashley was going to deliver at UNC Hospitals, which is less than 10 minutes from my house, so Jon ended up staying on our couch, anticipating a phone call all night!

Jon’s mom texted around 4 a.m. that they were on their way to the hospital. Around 7 a.m. she told us to come on over if we could because Ashley would probably deliver in the next hour or so! I was supposed to nanny that morning, starting at 9 a.m., so I wasn’t sure what to do. I’m so glad I asked the mom if I could be a little late so I could go to the hospital – she ended up giving me the whole day off because her sister was in town and was able to take care of the baby! So Jon and I got ready really quickly and got there around 8 a.m.

As it turns out, little Lucas didn’t see the light of day until 3:17 p.m.! Jon’s mom taught childbirth classes for years, so she was coaching Ashley through contractions at home, and they waited longer than most first-time mothers do to go to the hospital. Since she was already pretty far along when she arrived, everyone thought the rest would happen quickly. Unfortunately for her, wanting to do it all naturally, the midwife decided she needed to have an epidural to help her get to where she needed to be to start pushing. It had been several hours of pressure that could do damage if prolonged, and she was exhausted. Personally, I don’t think I’d mind someone telling me I didn’t have to feel the pain anymore!

Everything went smoothly after that, and after a couple more hours of waiting, we finally got to see and hold the little boy! Look at his cute, shrivel-y newborn hands! What a miracle.

Jon with Lucas – so happy and proud!

We were SO exhausted at that point – not really sure why when we were just sitting around all day! I guess the waiting and wondering and staying in the tiny waiting room most of the day got to us. So Jon and I went home after we saw Lucas and I slept very well that night!!