October 28, 2012

you're not small

Luke and I were talking about kids and family and our hopes and dreams for our family and our children.  He said something today that I really loved and totally agree with.  He said that if we can teach our kids 2 things, it would be for them to have self-confidence/high self-esteem.  The other is for them to be able to recognize the spirit.  I feel like those really are the 2 perfect things for a person to have.  I want our children to grow up being happy and confident with who they are.  Not to feel put down and/or small.  And the ability to recognize the spirit, whether you follow it all the time or not, is a priceless gift.  I’m humbled at that thought because how do you teach something like that?  Luke also made the comment that we are no better than our children, or no greater.  It’s not like as parents we have somehow one-upped our kids.  We are all people, and we are all learning.  Although parents have a job to lead, I want our kids to feel as though we are a team and it’s not them vs. us or them against us or that they don’t measure up to us because they aren’t “adults”. 

There was a talk in the Priesthood Session of this last General Conference that really resonated with me.  It is titled "Be Valiant in Courage, Strength, and Activity" by Bishop Gary E. Stevenson.  To listen to the talk you can go HERE.  The story he tells at the beginning is what really got me thinking.  The story is regarding a college party that involved marijuana and the long lasting consequences for those who were caught with it, whether they had smoked it or not, and also the long lasting consequences for those who removed themselves from the situation.  I was touched by the talk so much because I thought about kids- whether they are in middle school, high school, or college and how it’s not an exaggeration to say that kids face decisions like that on a daily basis.  How do you teach someone the ability to follow the spirit, the courage to do the right thing, and to still feel good about themselves when they are standing alone? I loved the talk, it really resonated with me and made me think a lot about my own life and how there have been so many instances where I have felt like I haven't had the confidence to just be “me” and be ok with making my own decisions even if I stood alone.  I don’t want our kids to feel like that.  I want them to feel empowered at all times.

There was a day not too long ago that I was feeling small. On that same day, I was also thinking of something that happened in middle school.  Was it 7th or 8th grade?  For some reason our science teacher asked the class to divide up into 2 groups. One who believed in God and that he created the world and one who did not and instead believed in the Big Bang Theory.  We were learning about the chapters on the Big Bang Theory and evolution, etc.  Since so many of my peers were not religious, I always had insecurities about my religion growing up and I think it was because of that that this experience happened the way it did.  But, I joined the group who did not believe that God had created the world.  It was a small demonstration that my teacher did and we literally stood there in our groups for 2 seconds and then went back to whatever we were doing before.  I just remember being so insecure and wanting to not give anyone a reason to question what I believed.  I hated trying to explain my beliefs, my religion, anything.  I felt like I was always in defense mode when it came to those subjects.  I always let myself feel small.  It’s interesting because I remember when we split into groups, my teacher looked right at me, and because he thought I misunderstood him, he said, “It’s actually those who believe God created the world on that side and those who don’t on this side.”  But, I just kept standing there.  And to my surprise, many of the people who I thought would have not believed in God, actually did.  I remember thinking, “Oh, it would’ve been fine to just have stood where you belonged.”  And then I started feeling small anyway since I let myself become so insecure over it. 

I think feeling small can mean feeling a lot of different things.  It can mean feeling stupid/belittled/notgoodenoughforsomeoneorsomething/unprepared/unqualified/
disliked…the list could go on. 
I have found that when I feel small, I feel like giving up and I have lower self-esteem.  I am more likely to be negative about the circumstances around me.  This is not how God intended for me to feel or act. 
I went through a scripture journal that I keep, looking for notes that I took on a talk once, and I found this, even though it wasn’t what I was looking for…
-God intended for us to be powerful.
“The kind of power operating in our lives is entirely up to us.”
“There is only one thing the power of God and the power of Satan have in common: Neither can influence us unless we allow them to.”
-Sheri Dew “No One Can Take Your Place”

I obviously haven’t mastered the art of not allowing myself to feel small, but as I think about it, there is no reason that I should allow any person or any thing to make me feel small.  And I hope that I would never do that to others, but instead be a person that will only work to build others up, not belittle.

Going back to thinking about my relationship with Luke and the relationship we will have with our baby, I just hope that home will always feel like a safe place and that my children will never feel small, belittled, or unloved when they are home.

October 25, 2012

more from the 2nd trimester

My 2nd trimester has come to an end. So crazy! Time is flying by...

Here are more of my thoughts regarding this pregnancy and the updates.

21 weeks:
"I planned a hiking trip up to Donut Falls.  We drove up into the canyon. One of the best things about fall that I don’t do enough is getting outside, enjoying the fall weather, and the changing colors.  We started our hike up, it was going to get dark about an hour after we started, so we tried hiking quickly. Oh, my poor, poor body. I was out of breath and my lower back started cramping before the beginning of the trail was even out of sight!  It was sad.  Had we not been in such a rush, I believe I would’ve been fine, but at the pace my body wanted to go (slow), we were really worried about not being able to get back before dark.  Being pregnant is really being funny to my body.  My lower back hurts a lot with this extra weight that I am not used to carrying.  I have been doing exercises that have been really helpful and help me to not feel so “heavy” as I walk around and do normal everyday things.  I was so bummed I couldn’t hack the hike!"

"I have been doing yoga morning and night for the past 2 days and I love it!  It’s really helping my flexibility and my body is feeling better.  Like I said, I just feel heavy sometimes and I worry that since I’m only 5 months along, that the end of the pregnancy might be really hard if I don’t do more now.  Jogging is uncomfortable, so I go on lots of walks.  I pinched my sciatic nerve, so it’s been even more uncomfortable, but the little things I’m doing, like yoga, are really helpful and I pray that it will make labor and recovery easier." 

"I started working on a baby mobile that I am loving so far! I can’t wait until it’s finished.  Mostly I can’t wait until the baby actually has a baby room so that I can really start visualizing things, but the baby mobile is going to be great. The next project I am planning is the car seat cover. I love working with fabric.  I love that Luke will rub my belly daily, look at my tummy, and say “Hi baby”, “Hey baby”.  It’s cute."  

**Let's talk about the reactions I got from my sisters to this picture.
B's go more like, "Oh yay!!! I'm super excited!"
and C's go more like, "Seriously you're huge.  My niece is a chunky monkey!!"
And in other news I've had from C... Don't worry guys, she says she has a parenting book she's sending me and Luke.  Still waiting for it...

22 weeks:
"Baby was moving like CRAZY yesterday!  I am so in love with her.  Yesterday was the first day that her movements were noticeably stronger and they lasted pretty much all day.  It’s a funny feeling. I’m quite dramatic about my body when something is out of the ordinary. My body has always been extremely predictable for me (which I am grateful for).  So, when one little thing is out of the ordinary, I kind of freak out at first.  Well, I didn’t freak out, but I kept thinking…”I hope everything is ok”. It’s not normal to feel something pushing against your insides. As the day wore on, all I could do was smile as I continued to feel her movements. They make me so happy!  This morning she started moving a little and I looked down at my belly and watched a spot on my belly pop up with one of her movements. It was so quick but so funny! I can’t wait for that to happen more often and for Luke to see and feel that as well.
I know some ladies who have really hated being pregnant.  And other than the fact of being beyond excited about being pregnant, my first 3 months of pregnancy were definitely not fun, but ever since the beginning of September I have seriously felt so great! Not only do I feel great, but I really do love the baby bump and sometimes still get giddy over the fact that there is a baby in there.  I know that part of me is still in “La La land”.  I’m picturing having the baby and everything will be perfect- no crying, screaming, or hardships! Life will be bliss right? Ha ha. But, for now, pregnancy really is great."

"I started doing Yoga morning and night and I cannot tell you how much of a difference that has made.  Even though it is technically still safe to do light jogging, etc. It hurts me. It hurts the muscles on the underside of my belly (probably because I haven’t kept them strengthened as much as I should have…next time guys).  It’s too bad because I really love running, but this yoga stuff is my new love and I’m really hoping to do a postnatal yoga class after giving birth.  Another thing I absolutely love are bike rides, especially with Luke.  It’s a great form of exercise where the baby does not get in the way."

"I helped throw a baby shower for one of my friends! Shopping for something to get her was the first time I really allowed myself to walk around the baby section of the store and really look at all of the baby items. She is having a girl as well so of course I loved looking at all of the little girl things.  I am so against buying anything baby related until Luke and I really sit down and decide what we really feel like is going to be important and what we really feel like we will need.  It’s weird because I always pictured myself being the first one to hit the store for baby items as soon as we found out we were pregnant.  But, looking at all of the baby stuff for my friend made me so excited for everything baby and little girl.  Can’t wait! I still resisted buying anything for myself.  Great self control right?"

"Also, just as a side note…As I’m sitting here thinking about the baby- I am TERRIFIED that the doctors are wrong about the baby being a girl. Part of me just feels like I’m going to be that person who thinks they are having a girl, and when I actually give birth…out comes a boy.  What if this happens to me? Not that I wouldn’t be thrilled to have a baby boy- but it’s all about the planning people, and if I haven’t planned for a boy, then my stress level might go up.  At my doctors appointment I’ll ask if they’ll be doing another ultrasound.  I’m just not sure how these things work."

I loved coming home to this one day.  Luke had put up an ultrasound picture on our wall. Now she must really be a part of the family!  You can't see it well here, but this was actually the first picture they took of her at the ultrasound. The picture shows her spine, but it was when she was still all curled up in a ball until we bothered her so much that she had to move. So cute.

23 weeks:
"The baby has been moving like crazy lately.  And I know it will only pick up from here. I’m just not used to this and sometimes I’m caught a little off guard.  Once, the baby’s movements were even a little ticklish. Yeah, I’m not kidding; plus I was trying to sleep.  But, I’m soaking up all of these moments and enjoying them because I’m pretty sure a day will come when I’ll really miss it."

"This morning I went jogging!  First of all, it was a cold morning so I loved bundling up! I love the crisp air.  A cold morning jog like that always feels refreshing to me believe it or not and kind of energizes me for the day.  I went jogging just to see if it would still be uncomfortable and if I would have to walk, or if I would actually enjoy it. I’m so glad I did because it was the best little run I’ve had in months!  I LOVED every minute and my tummy muscles didn’t hurt once! I’m still waiting for the morning just to see if I’ll be really sore, but so far so good.  Next week I’ll hit 24 weeks, which is about 6 months.  I want to keep being as fit as possible.  Well, I guess I wouldn’t really call myself fit at this point, but I want to keep being as active as possible.  It’s so easy to blame not being active on pregnancy, but hopefully that is what is keeping me active at this point.  No matter who you are, you always feels so much better when you exercise and I think that is doubled when you are pregnant- and trust me, I don’t want to spend these next few months feeling weighed down and like and a slug."

24 weeks:
"I’m sitting here eating straight sugar.  Bless this Halloween candy I’ve been given…you know, the pixy stix, the twirl pops, mini butterfingers and crunch bars.  I saved the pretzels for Luke.  At least with this pregnancy people can’t really judge me for gaining weight this holiday season! 
 Speaking of sugar, I keep getting asked if I have any cravings…and the answer is no.  I must be the most boring pregnant woman ever.  No cravings and nothing that I absolutely despise. No late night last minute runs to the grocery store to get that food item I just HAVE to have and no crazy pregnant lady meltdowns over here.  Boring, I tell you.
 However, since we are on the subject of sugar, I will say that Luke says that I crave sugar more.  But, I can’t tell if that’s just because I went my entire first trimester wanting to eat nothing else other than peaches, tomatoes, and green beans. Or, if it’s because when I do want sugar I give in easier with the excuse of “I’m pregnant”, or if it’s because sugar is so much more accessible now since it’s almost Halloween.  Who knows… but I think I’ve always craved sugar my entire life.  But don’t worry.  I’m still eating really healthy and for once I’m being conscious of and getting my calcium intake now that I’m pregnant. Go, me!"

"I was reading through things I wrote in my first trimester and I came across my list of things that I could not stomach at the time.  It’s so funny looking back.  I’m glad I can say that I can eat all of those things again.  Except for the hummus.  Oh my, I don’t know if I’ll EVER be able to do hummus again, which is a real tragedy." 

"My 23-week appointment went great.  I almost wish the nurse and I could have more to talk about because it’s such a simple in and out “everything looks good” type of appointment.  But, I’m so grateful that my appointments can be simple and easy. 
 I’m gaining weight at a normal rate now.  Did I ever mention that in my first trimester I had practically gained 1 pound and the nurse told me that I needed to gain 10 pounds by 20 weeks? Talk about why people have body image issues during pregnancy.  Well, at 23 weeks I had gained my 10 pounds and I’m measuring normal.  At the appointment I asked them how much they usually like people to gain, feeling like I had pretty much almost made it to that mark.  She told me 25-35 pounds! I know, I know- that’s totally normal! But man that just seems like so much weight to me right now.  But, I’m just not even going to think about it and I'm going to keep doing my normal stuff, because it will happen naturally as long as I continue to be healthy and take good care of myself."

"In the rare moments when I can feel the baby moving, I really start to wish I had more time just to stop and take in those moments and just enjoy feeling the movements. 
One of the best things is cuddling up with Luke and being able to feel the baby move. He was finally able to feel her for the first time about 2 weeks ago!"

"Every night when I go to sleep, I go to sleep thinking either about labor and giving birth to the baby, or I go to sleep thinking about what the baby will look like.  Basically I picture her looking 2 different ways.  One is a chubby baby with big round cheeks.  The other is a small little skinny thing.  Sometimes I try to think of other things, but it doesn’t really work." 

"I’ve been going through girl names alphabetically online.  Don’t worry, I have a word document saved to my computer titled “Baby Names”.  I document them and then one day I’ll go through them with Luke.  It will get narrowed down real fast.  I’ve realized that we don’t agree on many names, but the ones we do agree on, we really love- so that’s a good thing.  We are not officially naming the baby until she is born and until we see her and decide what fits her best." 

"We have been purchasing diapers here and there….stocking up and saving all receipts.  Hopefully this will help financially at some point.  Other than the diapers, I still have not bought this little baby anything. I’m fine with that.  It’s just so funny because I’m totally the person who would have had everything exactly ready to go by the time I was 5 months pregnant, but I’m pretty positive I’ll still be doing everything very last minute around here.  And I still feel ok with that.  When did I ever become so laid back?  Trust me, I’m usually not this way. 
 Oh, I did buy maternity clothes…well, 2 pairs of work pants and one shirt.  I still fit into my jeans, although they are not as comfortable and it’s almost time to toss them to the curb for the next couple of months.  I LOVE my maternity pants. I was lucky to find some that I liked, for cheap." 

"I don’t really talk to the baby.  Which is another thing that I imagined that I would do more.  Luke and I sometimes say, “Hi baby” or “Hey baby” or “Goodnight baby” when we are being cute.  I always thought I’d be talking to/singing to/listening to music with the baby all the time.  It kind of makes me laugh."  

22-23 weeks.  Comparing the baby to a pumpkin.  It's what we do.

On to the final trimester!

October 22, 2012

good things in life...

Surprises from Luke
 Zucchini, onion, tomato, and cheese
 Reception with friends.
 and these cuties...