Friday, June 29, 2012


Happy Friday! Today is especially a great day for me! I felt Ava moving around this morning for the first time!!!!!! 

I should add that yesterday I had a regular check up with my OBGYN and right after we listened to Ava's heartbeat she told me that she felt movement with her hand. I told her that I have been feeling the "flutters" or "bubbles" that mothers describe a baby's first movements to feel like but that I had not felt a real kick or movement that feels like a baby is in there. So yesterday went on and I was kind of sad because although she is a doctor and is expected to know those kinds of movements - I WANTED TO FEEL IT! 

So here I am this morning in bed (Mark has already left to work) and I am laying on my back as I am waking up. All of a sudden I feel a very, very light little tumble movement on the lower end of belly! I didn't move... I stayed motionless so that I could feel it again. I was even reminding myself to breathe because I was so in shock and I did not want to miss her move again. She moved about 2 more times and I was smiling ear to ear [still am.] 

I think that maybe I had been feeling her, and had no idea what it was. My doctor told me what she would feel like and where I would feel it, and now I suppose I am paying closer attention and was able to know that I  did feel her this morning. 

Actually, I should have expected this today... Ava likes to give me exciting news to tell Mark on the last work day of the month. I found out that I was pregnant on the last work day of February (Happy Leap Year!), I found out that we were having a girl on Thursday, May 31st, and today Friday, June 29th I feel her squirming around :) 
For Mark, the last work day of the month is always the busiest day of the month at work. He works super late and I usually try not to bother him on this day being that he is crazy busy. Ava, apparently, already knows that she is the most important and likes to give her daddy good news to have him smile the rest of the day at work for these busy days. 

I just found this YouTube video showing baby movement! SO CRAZY TO SEE! 
I am nowhere near this point in my pregnancy, but crazy to think that this can happen later on.

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Bridal Shower In Honor of Alexandra Venezia

Over the weekend, I got to spend time with my best friend, Alexandra Venezia, for her Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party! Her mother, her sister, and I hosted the bridal shower for her at the W Hotel on Ft. Lauderdale Beach. It was a beautiful afternoon full amazing food, friendly guests, and great memories. Here are some pictures below from Saturday, July 23rd 2012.

Ali next to the world's most delicious cupcakes! These were SO GREAT. 
Stephanie (Ali's sister), Mrs. Venezia (Ali's mother), and Ali
Dayna, Jessica, Ali, Sarah, me, and Breana

Ali opening her bridal shower gifts!

My favorite part was after Ali opened the gifts.  I asked all of the guests to each think of some words of wisdom for a happy marriage. We each went around and gave our advice and things that have helped us in our marriages or relationships. My advice to Ali was what my abuela told me at my bridal shower, which is really the one that stuck with me the most.

She said, "In marriage, you will have some unpleasant times when you have arguments. You must remember that in those times, you need to choose your words very wisely. Once you have said something, you cannot take it back. Sure- you can always apologize... but the words have already been put out there and will be remembered even after the argument. So be careful when speaking to the one you love." 

Side note:
I love this piece of advice because Mark and I are big believers in the idea that rather than judging a couple on their good times in public, nice photos shared on Facebook,  gifts/vacations they give to each other, etc.,  you actually can tell more about a couple by the way they disagree or argue with each other. (For example, in all of the years that I have known Mark, he has not raised his voice at me or has ever called me a bad name when we have argued- even in the darkest moments.) I think this is something to keep in mind when trying to find a mature and loving companion to share your life with.)

Stephanie, Ali's sister, wrote each  piece of advice down on a heart shaped piece of paper and placed them in a pretty keepsake box that we presented Ali with at the end of the Bridal Shower. There were so many great things shared and said during this time, and I am happy that Ali will have these written down to look back on.
So excited to be sharing this special time with Ali!

I am honored to be Ali's Matron of Honor alongside her sister, Stephanie Venezia. The bridal shower was a beautiful day and the bachelorette party was very fun. ( I did not include photos from the bachelorette party - those are kept secret!) haha

Ali, I hope you are taking in each moment of this very special time in your life. You have three weeks left until your BIG DAY. I am so happy for you, and look forward to seeing you on your wedding day! You are going to make such a gorgeous bride and Lee a very lucky groom!!!
I love you. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Meaning Behind Our Daughter's Name

This blog post is especially important to us. I look forward to showing our daughter this post when she is older and explain how much thought went into her name. Mark and I have thought about our baby’s name for a long time now. I think we started about...oh, since the day we met 14 years ago hahaha 
Just Kidding! It has been for a long time though...
We pretty much had the same names for that entire time. Then, we got pregnant and it all changed. The name for a boy that we had picked out didn’t work for us anymore. We have a new name picked out and so if we have a little boy one day, he is all set! The girl’s name we had picked out was still a leading contender until we started saying this name and fell in love with it. We wanted a name that was timeless and elegant. We also wanted our daughter to be respected and have all the opportunities she wanted when this name was read on a resume or on an application one day.

Her first name makes me think of growing up at St. Anthony School, a Catholic school in Ft. Lauderdale that I attended from Pre-K until I left to attend their sister school,  St. Thomas Aquinas for high school. 

St. Anthony School
The original look of St. Anthony church in the 1920's.

St. Anthony Catholic Church Present Day.
Broward County's first Catholic Church had a celebration on Nov. 4th-5th, 2011 to mark 90 years since the establishment of the parish and 85 years since the establishment of the of the school. 
Our daughter's due date is Nov. 7th, my birthday is Nov. 5th, and my mother's birthday is Nov. 1st. As you can see the beginning of November is special to us!)
Once a week the entire school attended morning Mass before classes started. My favorite mass was always The May Crowning. At this Mass, we would lay a crown of roses atop the statue of the Mother Mary that sits to the right of Jesus Christ at the front of the church.  The church is dimly lit with candles and low lighting while the choir sings "Ave Maria." Maria is my mother's name and my middle name. Ave Maria is such a beautiful song. Before finding out that Mark's uncle unfortunately could not attend our wedding, I was going to ask him to sing "Ave Maria" as I walked down the aisle with my father.  His uncle, Gregory Lorenz, is an opera singer that has appeared in the Metropolitan Opera, The New York Philharmonic, Opera Camerata of Washington, etc.  

So our baby's first name makes me thinks of my amazing mother and the very small and beautiful Catholic school that I attended for 10 years. Many of the  friends I made there are still friends and more like my siblings.  

Here is Andrea Bocelli (a favorite of mine singing this beautiful song.)

For her middle name, we decided to add a family name. Mark’s mother married his step father when Mark was very young and days after that, they moved from North Dakota to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida so that his step father, Timothy Lorenz, could practice anesthesiology in South Florida. Mark's step father, who raised him, his mother, and his two little brothers all share this last name.  Tim is the reason that Debbie and Mark moved to Florida in the first place. Without the move, I probably would have never met Mark and our entire lives would have been completely different. For that reason, we decided to have their family name, Lorenz, represented in her name. 

And, of course, her last name will be our last name, McGuire. 
 I am so happy that all three names represent or make us think of our three families and special times in our lives.  

With all that said, we are excited to reveal that our little girl's name is:
Ava Loren McGuire

Half way there!  Ava's Due Date is November 7th!
She will be the best birthday present I could ever imagine.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mark's office in West Palm Beach

This post is kind of old and kind of new... 

I started this post a while back when Mark was first sent from Miami to Boynton Beach to open up a new office for his company, Cbeyond. There are now 15 different markets across the nation and they are based out of Atlanta, Georgia. The West Palm Beach branch is considered part of the much larger office in Miami. 

The Miami office
Mark was really excited about being given the opportunity, and it has been a great experience for him thus far. 

Mark and his boss picked out the office location, and from there Mark has done the ordering, organizing, assembling [etc.] for this office from the beginning. Coming home late sometimes dressed in shorts and a t-shirt from assembling and moving desks in with the movers, Mark has put so much into this branch. This is no surprise to me though. Mark is very hands on and doesn't just expect the paid movers that the company hires to do all the work- he gets in and does it with them. I am very proud of all of the work he and his team in West Palm Beach have done so far. Side note: his team is awesome and I love going up to say Hi sometimes or sending baked goods to work with Mark for them. 

Mark opening up the West Palm Beach office. 

The opening of the West Palm Beach office for Cbeyond! (about 10 months ago)

The "new" part of this post is when we headed over last Saturday. Mark wanted to show me the office now that it has been freshly painted and the new carpeting has been installed.
 (This is exciting to him because he picked out the colors all by himself...)
So before lunch in Delray, we stopped by his office so I could see the changes with a few things missing that he still has planned for it.  

(Below are some pictures)

Mark's office

Mark's office

Mark's office

The reception area

one of the meeting rooms

A work in progress in the meeting rooms (Mark is working on the TV wiring so that it is hidden. 
He also wants it to read, "West Palm Beach" above the TV )

Mark is proud of himself for choosing the paint and carpet colors for his branch.  Such a  designer... :)

One side of the cubicles where his awesome team works

a small meeting room 

Well done, Mark. Proud of you! 

Mark is currently in Atlanta, Georgia (the Cbeyond corporate offices) and has been there since Sunday. He comes home tonight, and I can't wait to see him! 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all of the wonderful fathers out there who have made a difference in our lives.  Whether they have already passed or are still here with us today, we thank you for being you! 

Here are some pictures of the awesome dads in me & Mark's life. 

Mark with his Grandpa Claude in ND

Happy Father's Day, Grandpa Claude

Happy Father's Day to Tim, Mark's step dad

Tim with Mark on the boat 

Happy Father's Day to Kim McGuire, Mark's dad

Mark showing his dad the boat in high school

Mark with his late Grandpa McGuire <3

Happy Father's Day, Uncle Mitch!

 Happy Father's Day, Daddy! 

Happy Father's Day LoLo! (I have called him LoLo my who life because I couldn't say  "Abuelo" when I was a baby. 

Love LoLo so much.
Happy Father's Day to my Uncle and Godfather, Elvis - loving his 80's outfit :) 

Happy Father's Day!

Me & Mark 

Spending time with the boys... & more baby gifts!

Hope everyone is having a good weekend. Here are some pictures from Saturday, June 16th.  We spent some time with Tommy and Luke (Mark's little brothers). Tommy helped me cook gnocchi and raviolis, Luke fished with Mark, Tommy and I wrapped Father's Day gifts, and Tommy and his friend, Quinn, made ice cream sundaes. 

Sometimes the best days ever are staying in with the boys and getting to watch Mark interact with them :) Mark's going to be a great dad. Happy Early Father's Day, Mark! 

Mark and Luke fishing on the dock.

Enjoying his cigar while waiting for a big one to bite...

Mark catching the big ones. 

bringing in the big ones! ha

Tommy and Danny (a friend who lives on the street)


Today, the mailman had a surprise for Baby McGuire! She got 2 onesies and a bib from Kendall Davenport!  You know she will get plenty of use out of these ;) This baby already owns more FSU outfits than I do. I am jealous of her variety! 

I am loving the "I drool Garnet & Gold" rather than the usual, "I bleed Garnet & Gold." 

Thank you so much, Aunt Kendall!

Kendall, myself, and Erika

Friday, June 15, 2012

My To Do's: Stroller Research & Ali's Wedding Events

Happy Friday! 

Today I went to BuyBuyBaby to test drive some strollers. Owning a stroller has been a secret obsession that I've had for a while now. Okay, I wouldn't say {obsession}...but I would say that for the last 3 years or so I always catch myself looking at which strollers mothers have and how they all looked so different. You have the huge looking ones that look like tanks, the mini-light weight ones that look like they're for my 7lb dog, Cooper, then you have the jogging strollers (I love these), and the list goes on and on. Now, I have always been told to buy the B-O-B stroller and that's it. So I just thought I would talk to some mothers that I knew and to read some reviews. Turns out, our neighbors upstairs have a baby girl and totally sold Mark on the Britax strollers and Britax Chaperone car seat. So when I texted Mark earlier that I was off to test drive strollers  today, he called immediately and told me to make sure and look at his beloved Britax stroller and car seat.  I must say, this Britax car seat (the Chaperone) is intense! This one has this bar across the bottom - which many car seats have not added yet-  so in case of being impacted, the baby doesn't flip into the seat because this bar acts as a barrier.

So, as of now, these are the ones we have on our baby that we have switched 3 different times...

stroller and car seat heaven 

I found it! The red Britax Agile Jogger stroller!

Of course my mom finds this $1,000+ stroller equipped with a knitted blanket and pink umbrella ... this this is  very "glam" but not for us. It was fun watching her play with it though. 

Also, I am VERY EXCITED because 1 week from tomorrow is Ali Venezia's Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party!!! This picture below is from the 1st night of my bachelorette festivities. Sarah Waldrup, myself, Ali, and Breana will all be together again for Ali's big day and night :) 

I am having a great time planning her bridal shower with her mom and her bachelorette party (well, I am in charge of this one on my own! ;)
Can't wait to see all of them and especially my cute little Bride to be! Love you, Ali !