Last December 13th, Molly found out something in the morning that she couldn't tell anyone. It was a Sunday and I was sick, so I stayed in bed while Molly went to church and then helped out with a "Cookies With Santa" event. All that time, she kept the secret that she was pregnant! When she came home, I was feeling a bit better, so she was finally able to tell me. I was floored. We had only been trying for a little over a month and I didn't expect it to happen so soon. It was a great surprise and really lifted my mood, to say the least.
That week, we went to my company holiday party and Molly's family came to visit that weekend. The weekend after that, we went to visit my family for Christmas. It was so crazy knowing what we knew and not being able to tell anyone. Most advice I read online said to wait 10 to 12 weeks to tell other people that you are pregnant because that's when the risk of miscarriage dramatically drops. We were trying to wait that long, but it was really hard because we were so excited and the holidays made it even harder.
New Year's Eve, Molly and I were sitting in our living room talking about when we were going to tell our families about the pregnancy. In a spur-of-the-moment decision, we agreed to tell her parents that night and my parents when we saw them that weekend for Christmas with my aunts in New York. I ran to my computer and whipped up a little image to text to Molly's parents. I sent this to her dad at 8:30pm while Molly was on the phone with her mom:
Molly's mom was in shock and there was a lot of happy crying.
That weekend, Molly and I went to New York for my aunts' Christmas party. We had purchased a bracelet for my mom that said "Grandma is always loved" on it. The plan was to give it to her without any explanation and just let it sink in. Before my family arrived, I asked my cousin's daughter to record my parents' reaction to the news:
The baby has been healthy all of this time, but it has been a rough pregnancy nevertheless. Molly has been sick throughout, though it was worst in the first trimester. We took to calling the baby "Little Monster" since she was causing so much trouble. It was mostly in fun, though. We already love her so much and can't wait to meet her.
Oh yeah, it's a girl!
The due date was last Wednesday, August 24, but it seems we'll need to coerce her out into the world. Molly is going to be induced on Monday at 5pm, unless the baby finally decides to come out on her own before then.
It makes me really nervous, but I am also really excited.
We're about to embark on a grand adventure with our new little Sullivan!
Molly and I got in to Selinsgrove around midnight last Friday night. Saturday morning, we went to Perkins for breakfast with my grandpa and my brothers. Then we met the rest of my family at the Susquehanna Sports Center for some mini-golf. Their church was having a summer fun day for the kids. Molly, dad, and I were the last to start going around the holes and must have been taking a really long time at each one. When everyone else had finished all 22 holes, we were on hole 13. Everyone was headed to the church building for lunch, so we skipped ahead to the last hole. Molly had been keeping score, but wouldn’t add up the final score. I’m pretty sure it’s because she knew I would have won. At the church building, we had pizza and then the kids played water games. I got to visit with my friend James and some others. It was a good time.
After all the kids were thoroughly soaked, we went to my parents’ house. Molly and I showed them pictures from our trip to Ireland and London (which I plan on posting about later). It was really useful having a tablet that can hook up to a tv so everyone can see the same pictures all at once. Even so, it took us an hour and half to get through all of the pictures. It seemed like Maria was the only one that got bored with it, except for my dad when we were showing the pictures from the Harry Potter tour. Molly will be reworking the picture collection for showing it to her parents. We also gave my family the souvenirs we got for them. I think the shirt I got my dad was the most perfect match of the bunch.
For dinner, we went to a new restaurant in Mifflinburg called Twisted Bull. While looking over the menu, I saw an item called the Miff Burger. In the description, it listed Biff Sauce as one of its ingredients. There was a burger joint down the street from The Rental Stop when I was growing up that was called Biff Burger that had a special sauce on their burgers. It closed down in 2001 and I couldn’t believe this restaurant was featuring their sauce on a menu item. Of course, that’s what I ordered. I added cheese and bacon to mix and it was both nostalgic and delicious.
Sunday, we went to church and rushed back to the hotel to check out before noon. Then we had a great home cooked summer lunch of fall-off-the-bone ribs and corn on the cob. After lunch, Molly and Maria worked on a craft project Molly had brought: glow-in-the-dark mosaics. Maria liked “charging” them up and then pulling each of us into the closet to see them glow. Meanwhile, I was having a lot of fun finding old art and writing projects from school and sharing them with the family.
It was a good trip!
2012 was a pretty low-key year for Molly and I. Here’s a breakdown of the highlights. (At least, the ones I can remember right now.)
Mandy got really sick, Molly took some time off from work to go help out.
Took a weekend trip to Pittsburgh to see Stars on Ice, since they didn’t come to Cleveland this year.
My family came to visit us. We went to the Great Lakes Science Center.
The company I work for was purchased by LivingSocial.
Molly saw Wicked in Dayton with her mom, dad and sister.
I lost a pie eating contest at work.
I visited the LivingSocial headquarters in DC with half of my company. Finally went in the Jefferson Memorial. Molly and I didn’t make it there last time.
While in DC, a couple of us found out that Roger Waters would be performing “The Wall” across the street from where we were eating dinner. We bought some tickets and had an awesome time.
Molly went to Florida with her mom and sister. I went to visit my family in PA.
We took a train to Rome, NY for my cousin’s wedding.
I went to the Uprise Festival with my brothers. Molly went to visit her sister at grad school.
Molly and I went to see Celtic Thunder.
I put up homemade bookshelves in our living room.
Molly went to the Scott Hamilton & Friends event. She was very excited that they had gathered every U.S. Olympic Gold winning figure skater in one place for the event. She also got to meet several of the skaters, including Kristi Yamaguchi.
Molly and I went to a cabin in Hocking Hills to celebrate 10 years since we started dating.
We spent Thanksgiving with my family in PA.
Spent Christmas with Molly’s family.
Went to New York for the Sullivan family Christmas party. The weather was really bad, so the trip there took an extra two hours. Thankfully, it was better on the way home.
We were pretty worn out from all of the traveling, so we spent New Years at home this time around. Resting up for the new year!
Saturday, June 16
Since the wedding wasn’t until that evening, Molly had organized a breakfast in the Peabody for the family to all get together in the morning. She had to be proactive because when there’s no plan, too much time is taken to formulate a plan and too many people get confused trying to figure out what is going on. More family showed up than we had accounted for, but there was enough space for us all. Everyone seemed to really appreciate that Molly had thought to arrange the get-together.
After breakfast, some of us walked down to the Little Rock Museum of Discovery. Molly and I had been there when we were in college for an after hours Regina function, but it was fun to be there with her relative’s kids running around trying out all of the exhibits. I do have to admit that there were some exhibits where it seemed like Valerie’s cousin Brent and I were having more fun than the kids.
One interesting exhibit was a tornado experience. A couple of the kids dragged me into what looked like a shack on the outside. Inside, it was made up like a basement with a tv and a small window. Once you start the experience, the tv comes on and shows news reports of a coming tornado. This is followed by a bunch of sound effects, the “outdoors” outside the windows turns darker and trees fall. I think it was a pretty intense couple of minutes for the kids. After it was all over, Brent’s son sounded worried and told him that they need to get a basement.
When we finished up at the museum, Molly and I split off from the rest of the group and walked through the river market for a while. Molly ended up buying an African Butterfly hair comb, then we went in search of lunch.
We decided to eat at Tropical Smoothie since they are one of my company’s clients and I had never eaten at one. As luck would have it, we ran into a bunch of relatives and had lunch with them.
Molly and I took a nice stroll along the Arkansas River on our way back to the hotel. We found a piece of Little Rock along the way.
We went back to the room and I took a nap. Then it was time to get ready for the wedding. I think we cleaned up pretty nicely.
The wedding and reception were held in The Capital Hotel, a historic hotel situated across the street from where we were staying. It’s a very elegant venue with marble columns and stately decor. The ceremony was short and very sweet. The reception was long and rather delicious.
Sunday, June 17
Sunday morning, we went to church in Little Rock and then drove up to Searcy. We visited the Harding campus, marveling at all of the things that have changed and remembering all of the things that were still the same. We spent the rest of the day visiting with family at Molly’s grandparents’ house.
All in all, it was a very nice trip.
Thursday, June 14
After work, I went to the Now, Now and fun. concert at House of Blues with some friends from work. Karl and I arrived about half an hour before the show started and tried to get as close to the stage as we could. Unfortunately, it was already packed. Mostly packed with high school students. I was definitely the tallest person in the pit, so no matter where I chose to stand I would have been able to see the stage. We did manage to get a good spot, but not nearly as close as I would have expected.
Now, Now gave a pretty straight-forward performance. I’m a fan of their music and they delivered it without a hitch. Fun. on the other hand, provided a lot of entertainment and energy throughout their set. You could tell that Nate Ruess, the lead singer, was having the time of his life. At times, he would simply stand behind the mic with the biggest smile on his face, soaking up the crowd’s cheers. There was a lot of audience participation; it seemed like a majority of the people there knew all of the lyrics to every song. The band did a good job of creating a setlist that included songs from both of their albums. They also did a really good cover of The Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” The set ended with an encore performance of my current favorite fun. song, “Some Nights.” It was a pretty great show.
After the concert, Karl was kind enough to drop me off at the Ramada hotel by the airport. Molly and I were going to stay there since we had a flight scheduled for early the next morning.
This turned out to be the worst hotel I’ve ever stayed in. It was stiflingly hot. Molly had the air conditioner on full blast and you wouldn’t have known it if it wasn’t making so much noise. The whole room was dirty. There were crumbs in my bed, Cheerios on the floor, and a dirty towel on the floor in the bathroom. We had reserved a king size bed, but were given two doubles. Molly mentioned the bed situation to the front desk when she was checking in, but was told that there was nothing they could do and two doubles usually go for more than a king room. Like that was supposed to make her happy?
It was too late to be fighting with hotel staff, so I opened a window to let in the relatively cool night air and tried to get some sleep on top of the covers. I think I finally fell asleep around 12:30.
Friday, June 15
I woke up around 4am to get ready to go to the airport and catch our flight to Little Rock. We were going to Molly’s cousin Valerie’s wedding. Running on only 3.5 hours of sleep, you can imagine I was quite tired. Molly thought I was upset about something, but I think I was just looking grumpy from lack of sleep.
When we reached airport security, I asked to have the pat down instead of going through the millimeter wave scanner; my little silent protest against security theater. It wasn’t too bad, but I wish we had a more intelligent security system set up for flight travel.
We had a layover in Chicago at the same time as Allen, Melanie, and Mandy. Molly wanted to go see them, but I kept her sensible. There may have been enough time, but I didn’t want to chance it and we would be seeing them in Little Rock very soon.
Once we got to Little Rock, we met up with Molly’s family, got our baggage and our rental cars, then went off to lunch. The girls went to a ladies luncheon put on by the mother of the groom, while Allen and I went to Cactus Jack’s Mexican Restaurant. It was pretty standard Mexican fare, which means that it was good. Since we were done eating a long time before the ladies luncheon would be over, we went to the movie theater and watched The Avengers. This was my third time seeing it and it was just as great as it had been the previous two times. Allen’s only comment after the movie was “Well, there was certainly a lot of action.”
We checked into our hotel rooms and caught up with some of the extended family that came to town for the wedding. We were staying at the Peabody Hotel, where their claim to fame is a group of ducks that live in the hotel. In the morning, they ride the elevator down to the lobby where they spend their day swimming in the fountain. That afternoon, we were able to catch their return ceremony to their room. It’s pretty neat watching the ducks walk down the red carpet and ride up the glass elevators.
Me, Molly, Mandy, Ava (their cousin Carmen’s daughter), their grandparents and Chuck Hicks (Harding professor and musician for the wedding ceremony) went to Copper Grill for dinner. The conversation was pleasant, but at times it was surreal - for instance: Mr. Hicks breaking into song about running over a cat with a lawnmower.
I ordered bacon wrapped shrimp and Ava ordered fried shrimp. When our meals arrived, Ava decided that my shrimp looked better. She offered to trade me two of her shrimp for two of my shrimp. I said that I would only be willing to trade one of my shrimp for one of hers. The next deal she offered me was one of her shrimp for two of mine. The bargaining didn’t get much better from there. She was determined to have two of my shrimp; one just would not do. Eventually, with some help from Molly, Ava realized I wouldn’t be giving up more than one and we settled on an even trade. Even though I picked out the biggest piece to give her, she later accused me of making sure to give her the smallest piece. I’ll tell you what: it’s hard to reason with a 7 year old. The fried shrimp wasn’t too bad, but my bacon wrapped shrimp was delicious.
On the walk back to the hotel, we stopped at the Taekwondo garden and relaxed for a bit. It was a nice night.
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