16 February 2018

First trimester: the good, the bad, the nausea

This pregnancy has been hard to be excited about more than nervous for. I guess that's what a miscarriage does to you. I didn't mind telling close friends about my pregnancy after two healthy ultrasounds, but I still hesitate to press publish on anything public. I sit here at almost 13 weeks just barely writing something down for the first time, and still not sure when it will be shared.

The only thing I can say, is it has to be sooner than later because bumps don't hide themselves for long on a third pregnancy. It's like your body has muscle memory and remembers what's coming and just decides to go ahead and do the dang thing earlier rather than later. I mean, I already have the stretch marks, so may as well get some room going for that little prune size baby and its  accompanying home before we get uncomfortably tight. 

The nausea has been ever-present, and though it has slowed considerably, it still rears its lovely head every night around 9 to... lull me to sleep. Punk. It was present through the move, and through Christmas, and through being at our new house every night until ungodly hours installing floors while Rory slept. Still no puking- not that I anticipated any after my 15 year clean streak. I used to feel a little sorry for myself that I couldn't throw up when I was so nauseous, but after hearing from other mamas that pregnancy barf doesn't relieve any nausea like the flu does,  I cut that right out. Faking non-sickness is a lot easier when you don't have to run to the bathroom to lose your lunch.

And now it's just past 14 weeks and here we are. Sporting a bump that I feel like is the same size as 19 weeks with Rory, finally not absolutely NEEDING a nap while Rory naps (though often I still would like to), getting a little more organized at home, and not dreading cooking (though still dreading the nighttime hours when the nausea rears its head).

We're still doing the one car gig, which honestly takes some stress off of me because I sit in my bed and do research for things online instead of feeling like I should be out and about with my two year old. We play at home, and I fully enjoy being her mom. Though I should say, I have to watch my temper with her more than I usually do (dang hormones make everything harder).

And today... gaining speed on that 18 week mark, I'm finally getting around to (hopefully) polishing off this post. I get asked regularly how I'm feeling. And mostly, I'm feeling good! The glorious second trimester is here, we are coming up on all the exciting stuff like the fetal anatomy ultrasound, decorating a nursery, and actually feeling like I can tackle more than just keeping Rory alive and living for the next nap.

I am trying REALLY hard to keep up with exercise, mostly for my health but also to try and keep aches and pains at bay and (cross my fingers!) have an easier recovery than last time. Because I definitely cried real tears when I was out of pain pills after having Rory. The exercise front has been tough since we are in a new city, with less space, and no gym membership close but I've been getting in a workout twice a week and I can still run a mile without cramping which I'm counting as a win.

Overall, this pregnancy has been far from hard compared to what a lot of women go through, but the second trimester itself is less breezy than it seemed to be with Rory. Maybe I'm older, maybe I am just using more energy and mental capacity keeping up with a two year old. Either way, I am just so happy for a (so far) uncomplicated and healthy pregnancy and a body that is taking it in stride. What a miracle.

30 November 2017

sweat the small stuff

We've had a million showings on our house and just generally a LOT to do after those were over the last couple months. And gosh, I'm tired.

But through all the cleaning and prepping and packing, as it does, my mind has been doing a lot of thinking and drawing parallels and coming to conclusions. Something that has come to the forefront of my mind the most is this concept of the small stuff vs. the big stuff.

We all put off the big things sometimes. I do, at minimum. The mopping floors, cleaning all the baseboards, the huge painting projects, etc. etc. But you know what I put off more often? The small stuff. The packing a couple more boxes in free moments here and there. The keeping up with the dishes before there's a whole sink full. There finishing a small project instead of starting a new one. The taking five minutes to meditate...to read...to shower.

Satan has this insane way of making us feel hopeless. The "I haven't done it in several days/months/years, so if I don't do it for one more day it will make no difference." "Or I'm so overwhelmed with everything I don't know where to start."

So instead of taking a small step and putting another couple drops in that bucket of things we have to do, we just... don't. We waste time, we lose ourselves in social media for an hour, we look through a meaningless catalogue sitting on the counter, we stare at the wall, we start another project instead of finishing one that needs attention. Even if we just do one, or two, or three small things to put a drop in our bucket of "small stuff" each day; at the end of each week we have a dozen or more extra drops and at the end of the year we have hundreds or thousands.

What I'm really saying here is that if I/you/we sweat the small stuff.. if I put one foot in front of the other... even if they are small steps, the big stuff really seems more manageable. If I read a chapter every day, the test on the concepts seems easier. If I keep the house tidy, the deep cleaning doesn't seem so mind-blowingly huge. When I check in and keep up with my friendships, it doesn't seem like such a daunting task to call or know what to do when something catastrophic happens to them (or me). When I feel a little distance or detect a small problem between Jay and I, if I have the small conversation then it keeps bigger harder conversations from being necessary. The list could go on (and leave in a comment what situation it makes you think of for you!)

I want to be the kind of person who sees what needs to be done, and does it. I feel better on days when I'm closer to being that kind of person. And can you imagine if we had a world full of people who didn't freeze when they got overwhelmed, but instead put a drop in the bucket?

And here's Rory sitting on and falling into my massive pile of laundry, that happens to be my small stuff that was ignored and turned into big stuff right now.

16 November 2017

God's plan and my plan

The best laid plans are no match for the mess of reality. Isn't that how that goes? 
It's true just so you know. Or at least it's proved true for me. 
And since it's Jay's birthday, I'll tell you. He wasn't what I pictured. 
I pictured tall, dark, and handsome, and super sweet. 
(Jay is most of those things, but I wouldn't define him by those specifically)
Then I dated tall, dark, handsome, and super sweet and couldn't fall in love. 
And nothing was working according to my plan, and really nothing was working at all.
So I started focusing elsewhere in my life. And when my guard was down- Jay happened. I had mission papers in for my church so I was open to it.  And it ended up being perfect, and so much better looking back than anything or anyone else.

And God knows me, because Jay is honest and dependable and loves me with the deep, abiding, true kind of love that's exactly what I need. He isn't showy, he doesn't say things he doesn't mean, and he let's me have my own wings and dream and be myself completely. 

Then we started to figure life out together.  First we felt like law school wasn't the right choice and that we should pursue tech jobs. Then we felt right about a company in Utah. Then that company ended up not being a great fit or situation and we decided to move on from after a year. Which then led us to Jay's current job, which came about through moving to Utah and rekindling friendships here, but wasn't ready for Jay's position until last fall. 

We felt right about buying a home when we moved to Utah initially, and home after home after home didn't work out for us. I was 39 weeks pregnant and still had no home to bring Rory to after she was born. It wasn't working how I pictured and certainly not how I wanted. And eventually after a lot of hassle and push and shove we ended up in our sweet foreclosure and got to work making it ours. We love our home, and our ward, and everything about the way things ended up.

And nothing went as planned. And now we feel like we should move again, and we made a fair offer on a house that seemed perfect and they refused to budge. So we looked and looked and finally found a house that seems like a more perfect fit than anything else we looked at, though it wasn't what we had in mind at all. It's a recurring theme. 

I guess what I'm saying is almost every plan I've ever made has gone completely differently than I planned for it to go. I mean I could go on and on and on. I remember feeling so lost in college because I wanted to fit the mold in my program and I didn't get the right internships or ace the right classes and it just never ended......I digress. 

But it all worked out. And sometimes it wasn't until I set my plan aside for a moment and got out of my own way that the Lord could do the work in getting me what I actually needed and getting me where I actually needed to go. Sometimes I just had to have a blank slate so somebody that knew better could come in and paint the picture I couldn't see. And even today, I have a lot of parts of my life mural that... well, I'm trying to see how the current strokes fit. And I'm having to hold back and wait, reminding myself that it will always work out. 

I just really believe this sentiment shared by Gordon B Hinckley...

It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. 
It all works out. Don't worry. 
I say that to myself every morning. 
It will all work out.

03 November 2017

Favorite things Friday:

To watch: Humans of New York, the Series. I've always loved Humans of New York and the Series is even better I think. It's not "feel-good" necessarily, but it's thought provoking and human and authentic and raw. It makes you think and open your eyes to other people's reality. I don't think you have to agree with everything everyone says, I don't, but i do think it's necessary if we are to develop Christlike love to understand people-all kinds of people- and that's what I feel like this series helps do.

To listen: General Conference. I've been listening to general conference talks like I would a podcast while I'm putting on makeup, doing the dishes, or sewing and it's been awesome. Leave your favorites in the comments so I can listen to them next! Some of my favorites are here, here, and here.

To read: We found Rory's favorite book randomly while at Costco a while back (have you ever seen those massive board books they have sometimes!? I'm obsessed!), and it is the sweetest book with a message I love! It has kind of quirky illustrations and Rory wants to read it constantly and has the whole thing memorized. If you ever watch my instastories, it's the book she's most often quoting. It's called 'I like myself' and it's all about self-love. If you're looking for a good children's book to throw in the mix that you won't hate, this is a good bet.

To use: Marco Polo! It's essentially a combination of FaceTime, snapchat, and texting. I got several recommendations to try it out, but the concept seemed a little redundant to me. Turns out I LOVE it. I'm way better at responding than I am with texting because you don't have to sit down and type out a response, you can use it while you're multitasking, and there's not as much miscommunication because people can see you and hear the tone of your voice. Disclaimer: I use it mostly with my mom friends and I don't think I would use it as much if I was working or in school because you can't send or receive messages silently.

To eat: THIS Magnolia's banana pudding copycat. I enjoy it best the morning after I make it when the Nilla wafers are soft and the banana flavor has set in a little- it's near identical to the New York crowd pleaser. (That I've also had in Hawaii?) Also, don't make the same mistake I did. Use instant pudding and save yourself the heartache of a pudding that is impossible to set. hahaha. My whole family is now sick of it because I made it like 3 times in a span of two weeks. hahaha literally in love.

02 November 2017


I read an article on sex trafficking today that just about made me sick. It was about a woman who started dating somebody, fell in love with him, and he convinced her to sell her body and eventually took all her money and ruined her life. It sounds crazy, but it's real. She was raised in a stable, two-parent home and had a degree and a good job... but was made a victim.

And do you know why he targeted her? Her lack of confidence.

It scared me to death. I've been there, I'm raising a girl, I know too many girls who have been there too.

I lived that way for so so many years. I thought I wasn't pretty enough or thin enough, I thought nobody would love me the way I was, and that perfection was unattainable. The adversary fed that lie for all it was worth. He told me that my lack of confidence was only affecting me, he made me think as long as I wasn't "sinning" it was all reasonable and fine. He made me think it was justifiable to treat my body poorly and punish and think poorly of myself. I was miserable, and all the causes for my lack of confidence consumed my thoughts day in and day out. I was an extremely harsh critic of my own body, and unconsciously became a harsh critic of others as I constantly compared.

I think about that time in my life sometimes, and most often I feel overwhelming gratitude that I am a different person now: now that I have confidence. Real, genuine, confidence.

Now before I go any further, I feel like there's an important distinction to make. Confidence and arrogance are not the same thing. Arrogance is feeling like you are worth more than someone, and confidence is knowing that your worth something. Arrogance is thinking you could do something better than others, confidence is believing you can do hard things.

I believe in confidence. I believe in teaching it to our daughters and encouraging it in our friends and spouses. I believe knowing who you are and knowing you have a purpose and a role on earth is crucial. If you have real confidence, you can get through hard trials, and withstand hard temptations, and do really good things.

It really is an individual matter. I think confidence doesn't come from anyone else but you (and God). But i do think other people seeing good in us can help us along. Other people's faith in us can help us get to a place where we are ready to believe in ourselves. So just.... I guess the point I didn't know I was getting to is for us to.... be builders. It may not help, but what if we each tried to be builders of other people.  It certainly wouldn't hurt. If we could help inspire confidence in those around us what could we keep from happening in our world? Drugs? Sadness?

And a picture that to me represents this. This is me this summer, one week after having a miscarriage with a body that is a far cry from my fittest, but happy. Genuinely happy and not thinking a second thing about that body that has done so much for me and is such a gift. Not cropped, not covered. My sister asked me to be in a picture, and I got in the picture. (sidenote: I don't think being comfortable in our bodies is the only form of confidence, and I don't think pictures in bathing suits represent confidence. But for me, that's where I've struggled and come from so it represents a lot of personal triumph to even have a picture like this.) So I hope we all strive to find real confidence within ourselves. For me, it's a continual effort. Find purpose and meaning, and build other people. It will change your life, it will change theirs, and it can help change our world.