Ready

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Sorry to be an irresponsible blogger but I’m going to take another break from posting until my daughter is born. Things are getting a bit crazy and days come and go without telling me they have. I’ll try and get back to posting as soon as I can. Thank you for your patience and thank you for joining me on this adventure.
I’ve gotten used to being pregnant, pretty soon everything will change again and the real fun begins. She is a healthy baby and she is primed and ready to meet the world. We’re just waiting for her final decision. It is all very exciting. I think children make us better people because we have to be. I know that God is with my husband and me all the way and we will move heaven and earth to be what our daughter needs us to be. See you all on the flip side.

What Destination?

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My husband and I went to our first parenting class last Saturday. Our hospital offers them for free if you deliver there. We learned all about diaper changing, safe sleeping, feeding, infant and toddler CPR, car seat safety, and what products you should avoid using even though they are widely marketed for babies. It was a lot to take in but it was also very interesting.

I had heard that crib bumpers were dangerous but I thought the mesh ones were ok but I guess not. I was also surprised to find out that you shouldn’t use baby powder…ever. Apparently the talc in it is even dangerous to adults but especially for babies because the fine powder makes it hard for them to breathe. Good to know. I know medical advice changes from year to year on what is good and safe and what isn’t but it makes logical sense to me so I’ll go with it. I guess corn starch is the substitute.

Less is more with babies. They don’t need all this fancy, fluffy, extra stuff that we enjoy until they get to be older. I suppose that makes sense. Not much use for blankets and pillows in utero. There is so much to learn and a lot of it is trial and error. That’s encouraging… But guess what? Our parents raised us the same way and we turned out fine. I figure God put life in my body and preprogrammed mommy and baby with instincts so He’ll take care of our little growing family and we’ll all figure it out together.

There is no destination in life where we get to say, “We have arrived.” Life is an adventure, a journey that you look back on and hopefully say, “That was awesome! Let’s go again.”

Journey of Baby Steps

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Both baby showers are done. There was a lot of good fellowship with family and friends, some we haven’t seen in far too long. I know one thing for sure. This child will never want for love or attention. She’s a show stopper and she’s not even born yet! Thanks to everyone who contributed to the baby showers I nearly have the nursery done. We are all getting excited about (and a little impatient for) our new arrival. No matter how badly we want to meet and hold her we keep telling her to stay in there as long as she needs to because we don’t want her coming three weeks early and causing a bunch of problems and worry like mommy did.

Part of me is totally cool about all this. “We’re almost ready. This is going to be good. We got this.” And part of me is like, “holy cow, six weeks. What are we going to do?” Welcome to my life. Everyone has been really helpful telling me the things I should know and dispelling some of the horror stories. I’m discovering that there is a lot more to pregnancy than you learn on TV (and it’s different too), go figure.

Ultimately, I am immensely grateful for the friends and family God has surrounded me with and the fact that I don’t have to do this alone. If I did, I would be freaking out a lot more right now but I think I’m handling these changes pretty well. Never underestimate the importance of your family no matter how much they drive you nuts. Their support and the things you learn from them are invaluable. Life is a journey. Enjoy the ride.

Adapting to the Journey

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As we close in on my due date I find my list of limitations growing. Limitations have never been something I let slow me down before but this time is different. This time I have someone else to think about. So my pride takes the hit and I have to slow down, rest often, and have my husband help me put my shoes on when I bother to wear real shoes. My flip-flops and slip-ons have become my best friends. Even the way I move has changed to accommodate this new growth that has changed my center of gravity.

Every time I get frustrated with something I can’t do or can’t eat because I’m pregnant I just remind myself that I did this on purpose, I chose this, and she is absolutely worth it. I may be a little freaked out about her becoming external and what changes that will bring but I look forward to having my body back, at least my full range of motion. She is worth it though. I was attached to her the moment I found out I was pregnant. I just want her to be healthy and happy. Her dad and I want to give her the world and we’re prepared to work however hard to make sure she has what she needs.

Despite the challenges this life change has thrown (and continues to throw) at us we are over the moon excited about meeting our little daughter and watching her grow up. Life will never be the same but when does it ever stay the same? It will be a learning experience for all three of us. Feel free to join us on the journey.

Counting Down…to What? I’m Not Sure.

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It’s Tuesday again…already. Funny how time flies when you’re not looking. Nine weeks (or so) until I get to meet my daughter. About 10 days until my first baby shower. Next emotional breakdown imminent. Next state of euphoria probably sharing a time slot with my emotional breakdown. My emotions have never contained themselves to one at a time or even the same category so I’m as likely to be happy and pull-my-hair-out stressed at the same time as I am to wake up blonde….oh yeah, I am blonde.

I’m an emotional person. It is a fact of life. My solution, just ride it out and never let myself sulk for more a few hours at a time. Avoiding large quantities of caffeine helps too. Good stress is a foreign concept to me. I used to always associate stress with being purely bad. As we count down to the many events leading up to the big event in August I am filling with anticipation. Some days it is difficult to tell whether I’m freaking out over becoming a new parent and having no idea (well some idea) what I’m doing or whether I’m excited because this is going to be so much fun. So I figure why choose. I’ll be both at once. If I can’t block or control the negative emotions running haphazard through my hormone hijacked body than I may as well try to balance it with a good emotion.

I’m sorry if I sound like a crazy person today. Last week was a hectic and I’m still winding down. My daughter is most definitely getting stronger and by consequence more distracting as she moves and grows. This is a path I’ve chosen and as usual it is nothing like I expected but it is strange and fascinating and I can’t wait to see where it leads. Until next week, keep your head up and your mind positive. If you are above ground it is all good.

More Than Just a Day to Grill Out

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Happy Memorial Day! This is a day to remember those who have not only served this country full of flaws and hope but who never made it back to see the difference they had made. I may not agree with or like the way this country is being run or the direction it is headed but I absolutely support the men and women who fight to protect it, who fight to protect me and the people I love most.

I try to look past the flaws and the failing of this country, my home. I try not to be the person so focused on what is wrong that I miss how good I’ve got it until it is taken from me. I will admit that because of how this country is being run I’m less confident in our continued security. How long can we remain the most powerful country on Earth when we are stretching our resources so thin, when we are so well hated?

But though I may not trust the leadership I love and admire, all the more, the men and women who still believe this country, my home, is worth protecting. It makes me admire their dedication, bravery, sacrifice, and hope. It makes me admire their faith. I may not trust the leadership but the followers still represent all the qualities I believe in.

So if you lost someone who served this country, remember them and thank God for their sacrifice. Then find someone, still living, either a veteran or active duty and bless them, even if it is just a handshake and a thank you. What they do can be thankless and it shouldn’t be. A thank you can go a long way. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to everyone who has served or is serving this country.

Strong

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“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”

 These are words of wisdom if ever I heard any, even if they did come from a piece of home décor. How many times in our lives (certainly in mine) have we wished we were stronger, braver, more clever? How many times has “life happened,” as I like to put it, and made us feel inadequate? Now look back on those moments. Did you survive? Are you still standing, still breathing? Hopefully, the answer is yes.

I have had many such moments in my life in varying degrees of severity but at the time they all seemed like the end of the world. When my favorite grandmother died I was crushed but I worked through the grief and it lessened. When I was going through that “fun” identity crisis most of us hit in high school I had to decide whether I could handle being someone I wasn’t to be liked or if being myself and finding people who liked the real me was more important. This one is a constant work in progress. They say God never gives us more than we can handle and sometimes I wish He didn’t trust me so much. But I am glad He also doesn’t make us go through life’s struggles alone.

One of my biggest challenges I had to overcome was discovering my mom, my best friend, wasn’t who I thought she was. When my mom relapsed into her alcoholism she hit it hard. Never once did she get violent with or blame one of us for what was happening. She took all of that resentment and hate and internalized it. She hated herself for what she was doing to us, for what she had become and she tried to end it. This, I couldn’t handle. This nearly broke me. I was losing my best friend, my constant and I couldn’t let that happen. This event really galvanized me. Now I had to rely on God to be my strength because I had to be strong for someone besides myself. I had no choice because the alternative, I believed, would kill me.

I bottled and hid my fear and pain and put on a brave face for my mom. Did I do everything right? Heck no. I’m still undoing the damage. But my mom and I both made it through, our family is still intact, and I have my best friend back. She has returned to her role as mom and supported me when I needed her most. You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. Is it pretty? No. Is it hard? Oh yes. Is it worth it in the end? Absolutely.

Not only did I get mom and my life back, it made me a better, stronger, more supportive and sympathetic person. I got what I wanted, not the way I wanted it, but I got what I wanted. So be strong even when you feel like you have nothing left and this too shall pass. And when it does you will be able to look back with a secret puff of your chest and say I survived that, I can do anything. Be encouraged.

And We’re Back…I Think.

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It’s May and I’m back as promised. Maybe a few days late but oh well. Life has been a big ball of crazy since my last post and it hasn’t really stopped. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts this is a year of big changes and not all of them are turning out as I expected. But we’re still rolling and I’m still above ground therefore life is good.

I’m loving the new house though from the shopping to the buying to the moving in it has been way more complicated than I expected. I’m finding that some things, ok maybe a lot of things, in life are that way. Our baby girl is growing quite nicely and the pregnancy, at least, is still uncomplicated. What comes after the pregnancy I have a feeling may be a different story but again, we’ll just keep rolling and taking life as it comes. Is there any other option?

I’m really not used to the limitations this pregnancy has put on me though it isn’t all bad. It was really weird and a bit frustrating that no one let me do anything during the move. I’m not used to being hands off. However, I can’t say I really missed doing all the heavy lifting and the cleaning. My husband’s family really showed up and took charge. It was great to have all that help.

God rarely does things in the ways I expect but He gets things done and that’s what matters, right? He’s got the grand, master plan. I just pretend like I know what I’m doing. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. I feel like that is all my life is sometimes. I just pretend like I know what I’m doing, waiting for God to step in and give me some direction. I prefer to follow rather than lead but I like the freedom to be independent as well. I’m pretty sure that is why God does things the way He does them. Be careful what you wish for, right?

In any case, welcome back to my crazy life. Hopefully it helps put things in perspective for you and let you know that no matter what happens we never have to do life alone. I don’t do change well so I couldn’t do this alone. But I’m having fun in my crazy, stressed, I have no idea what is going on sort of way. If you’re not having fun what’s the point. Be encouraged. God knows what’s going on, He wants to give His children good things, and He will always give us what we need.

A Needed Break

To my faithful followers,

I do apologize, but I think I’m going to have to take a break from my blog for the month of April. I’m in the process of buying a house and moving which has proven to be much more complicated and time consuming than it has a right to be. I simply do not have the time or focus that this blog and it’s readers deserve. I will be back in May with more encouragement and hopefully a helpful perspective on life as I see it. Thank you.

Worthy of Love

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God loves us better than we deserve. We are all messed up but God loves us anyway. We may not deserve it but God has erased out sin and made us worthy. How awesome is that? God is the birthplace of love, the ultimate role model. My husband may drive me crazy and several times I’ve wanted to strangle the dear, sweet man but it is impossible to hold a grudge against him. Many times I’ve thought, “This man is better than I deserve,” and I’ve told him so. His reply, “why do you think you deserve less?”

Love doesn’t make sense. That is one of the things that makes it beautiful and desirable. My husband loves God in a much different way than I do but I can tell that he loves God because he loves like God. This love is transformative. It isn’t condemning but creates a desire to better ourselves. TI makes us want to be worthy of such love, to reciprocate in kind. We can’t work our way to worthiness because God has already made us worth but that desire drives us to be the change the world desperately needs. We get to be a part of something bigger. Again, how awesome is that? Be encouraged and know you are loved.

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