30 weeks

I can't believe it ... we're at 30 weeks. In a few short months Shelby will be here! We're also moving in that time period - at the end of July actually. Yes, we just might be crazy. I know I'm "asking for" her to show up early (like in the middle of moving day or something) ... but then again, this is our first ... more likely than not she'll be late. As long as she's healthy - I say she can come when she is ready!

This journey to parenthood is amazing. We went from cautiously optimistic when that little digital test surprised me (but not Tim) with a "YES" to watching her kicks with confident joy. It is a little intimidating (ok, a lot) that we're about to have so much responsibility. But at the same time, she starts out so tiny and just wants her basic needs met ... and I know that even the tough times are precious. We'll be doing this together ... not only that, we have a loving Father who will be there every step of the way.

I had promised a while back to write about my trip (broken up of course - Rome wasn't built in a day, and it took us more than a day to visit it!). So the first thing that struck me upon arriving in Paris after the longest flight of my life (thank goodness we didn't do that during the 3rd trimester!) was the Eiffel Tower. Obviously I knew this iconic tower would be greeting us, and I fully expected my response to be something along the lines of "Yep, there's that thing they always show."

One of our first nights in Paris, complete with a full moon

In reality ... I was quite taken with it! It acted as a sort of compass throughout our trip, because you can see it from almost anywhere we went in the city. And the graceful yet industrial crests of its steel arches caught the light in ways that I hadn't expected. It is painted a sort of milk-chocolate color that is deceptively steely during the daylight hours, but almost golden at night. And unbeknownst to me, at night, once an hour, it "sparkles" for 5 minutes. Granted, the ADD in me is drawn to shiny things, but it really was beautiful to see in.

Looking up into the century-old and intricately woven beams
Unfortunately, one of the elevators was broken, meaning we waited in line for quite a while to get to the second level (where the legs come together) so we skipped the very top. Yes, we waited for the elevator - have I mentioned I'm pregnant? Even from there, the view was amazing. I did a little research later (the tower was much taller than I expected it to be; apparently its grandeur has not been exaggerated as I had thought) and at the time it was built the Eiffel Tower was the tallest building in the world (until the Empire State Building took its place). It was also originally meant to be a temporary exhibit! We certainly don't built our temporary structures like that anymore.

View along the Seine from the tower's second deck

Riding the original elevator (now automated) - no wonder one was broken!
My attempt to capture the "sparkling" affect - and the very last photo I took on this trip!