Thursday, December 18, 2014

Recapping the First Trimester

I wish I was feeling good enough to have posted updates on here live-feed so I could go back and read them. Now that I only have 3 days left of my second trimester I want to step back and remember my first two trimesters, and then hopefully the third will have a bit more to share!

So, to sum it up. 
The first trimester was like riding on a kids mini rollercoaster where I barely fit into the seat and the ride just keep repeating without asking if I wanted to get off. The rollercoaster was also playing tacky elevator saxophone music and smelled like cheese-steaks, frozen-yogurt, pizza and lunchmeat that I couldn't eat.

So how was that you ask?
Well I'd be a fool to tell you it was anything but amazing! (Can you tell I'm writing this from a much better place now, and not currently stuck on that roller coaster??)

We found out really early that I was pregnant, I believe I was 4 weeks and the ride started at 6 weeks. We also told our family right away, but I'll have a post about why we decided to do that later.

First Semester Documentation
Look how thrilled I was in this obligatory bathroom selfie (side-note: actually seeing the toilet in this picture is just weird, I'm obviously not a pro and didn't know to close the doors to create a nice little backdrop.)  This is the day after I found out and I'm trying as hard as I can to rationalize that I already have a bump at 3/4 weeks. Turns out I was just bloated from an unhealthy diet ;) I felt like I just had to do one of those pictures though! I'm thankful I did because things went downhill after that and I had no interest in the least to document that time period by photo.

But on a positive note, I survived. So what are my thoughts looking back? 
I shut down my shop for three months and had to rely completely on my husband to make dinner, grocery shop, and do pretty much everything as he started his second year in law school. I never liked to ask for help and I pride myself on being independent and constantly busy. The dependence I built on him was something I should have built much earlier, the trust in him that grew (when I didn't know it could) is something I am SO eternally thankful for and I know we will be better parents because of it.

As crazy as it might seem, especially to those of you in the middle of it, I actually do have to say that I'm really thankful the first trimester was hard. I was forced to slow down. I was forced to spend time by myself thinking and seeking the Lord. I was forced to rest and understand the necessity of rest. 

The Lord knows us. He knows I wouldn't have stopped, I would have kept going, I would have pushed harder with my Etsy shop and everything else in my life so that I could "get ready" according to what I thought was best. 

When I look back, I kind of laugh and I'm glad because I say "Yup, Lord - that was literally the ONLY way to give my body the rest it needed." He knows us so much better than we know ourselves. The one or two days I did need to go into my office for work I pushed myself way too hard and was physically sick and sore for days afterwards. It's hard at the beginning to realize the gravity that a little human is inside you and needs you to put their needs first and that means resting while they suck up all your energy. :) You can get so caught up in keeping up with the pace of the world because you don't "look" pregnant and most people don't know!

I realized how important it is to rest and refuel your body, and for me initially it was physically - but soon progressed to spiritually.  When you're body is exhausted and you're not able to get up or move, you find new things to occupy your now seemingly endless "free" time. For me that was picking up bible studies that I had started but not finished and just being able to take my time in them without the normal pressures of my busy life that seemed to always take precendence previously. Building this tiny routine when I wasn't feeling well helped build the desire to find a way to make this work when I was feeling better. Had I not been forced to slow down I would likely not be making as much progress as I am incorporating studying the Word into my daily schedule. 

Now, let's have an honest moment here - had I written this blog post during my first trimester - I'm not sure what it would have said - probably nothing positive at all and in all capital letters it may have only said WHEN WILL THIS END?!?!, but that's why I waited until now to hopefully encourage someone instead of commiserate. (We of course can do that too!) 

And then, of course, feeling her start to flutter around at about 13 weeks (crazy it was so early) made me literally forget everything about the endless nights awake crying and just staring at the ceiling. I phsyically can't even recall what it felt like beyond knowing it happened. 

You'll get through this - rely on the Lord, seek Him, be thankful for the miracle He's given you to take care of for Him and remember that it all will end and that you're stronger for it. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Finishing up 2014

I feel like sometimes when December comes around, people are so ready for a fresh start they start to wish away the end of the year in hopes of a better January where you can start new routines, diets, hold yourself suddenly more accountable ;) etc.

I decided a few weeks ago this was not going to be the case for me. I have some unfinished business and I'm settling into a routine right at the end of 2014. And you know what, I think that's good for 2015! Instead of all the pressure mounting, I'm going to work on strengthening that routine and really establishing it in 2015. You know, until the little one comes and at that point my routine will likely just be hers :)

The first thing I started with seems SO silly. I had been looking around online for Christmas gifts and found so many adorable journals I wanted to get...for myself. Because I justified, well if I get new journals I will get newly organized. Well somehow I controlled myself on that one and decided I was going to find all of the journals in our place right now and vow to use every last page. How many of you have ever actually finished a journal??? I was so surprised at the amount I had, with 10-20 pages of scrawled notes or to-dos that had been cast aside. Again, it might sound so small - but it was my first step. So, you'll be proud to know I finished my first one up, filled with to-do lists, grocery lists, priorities for work, meal schedules, everything in one place. And then, I tossed it. Friends, I've NEVER done that before. You know how great that felt? I saw all of these tiny minute things that had piled up, I stuck with it and filled up a book full of them and then once I had used it, it's done.

I'm now onto journal #2 and about halfway through and this seemingly insignificant routine/goal has made me feel surprisingly accomplished.

All I googled was "finish your journal" and this image popped up - so others must have the same issue ;)

The second goal of mine was to go back through my She Reads Truth studies and finish what I didn't start. (Sensing a theme here?) I attended a class through the Influence Network about how to just get into God's word - and they specifically marketed it as appropriate for those of us who pick up a million bible studies and projects and don't often see them through. They don't have it up on their site yet for you to purchase an archived version, but when they do I'll pass it along. It was really REALLY great.

So I'm working on the Advent study and the study in 1st & 2nd Peter at the same time:


The third goal of mine is to actually spend time planning the week's meals. I have this printable, and others from Joyful Papery and I love her style. Click the picture below to go to the listing.

We really only eat three different meals because that's what I know how to cook so it's been pretty easy to start doing this and the grocery list on the side really is enough for what I need! I told myself I would make one of these templates myself, but honestly - let's not hold ourselves back from just accomplishing our goal by making all of these other small tasks that get in the way! This was only $4.00 and seriously everything in her shop is awesome :)

So, finish journals, keep up with bible studies and plan meals - I think that sounds like a perfect way to finish 2014!! :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Back Into the Swing of Things

Blogging has really fell by the wayside for me, I was doing pretty well until this summer. I'm hoping to get back into this regularly, mostly for myself as I really enjoy looking back through my posts and seeing where I've been and watching the journey the Lord has me on.

First announcement - we're expecting a little one, Lydia Violet in March of 2015. She's awesome but definitely took away my energy for anything besides surviving this summer :) hence why the blog was quiet.

As many of you know, we started the process of adoption last September and a wise friend once told us it's all about the journey not the end result. Although we aren't adopting at this point, adoption very much still feels like part of Lydia's story! I love how much we've learned to listen to the Lord, about adoption and particular regions of the world in general and how many conversations we've been able to have with others who are considering starting the process. Carrying Lydia around inside me has also added an entire other dimension to adoption as I try to process what it would be like to give up a child after carrying them for 9 months. This adds so much gravity to my very limited understanding of adoption. 

I'll be sharing more about our gender reveal and other parts of Lydia's story, hopefully more regularly now. :)  I'm attending a class through the Influence Network about blogging so hopefully this encourages me to pick things back up, more on that later! Oh and the paper flowers, more to come on those too!!