Unlikely Places

Thursday, January 31, 2013

*It seems as I've been incapable of expressing my true thoughts in this post, or that the opinion is just too ostracizing. Please bear this in mind while reading, as I feel energetic about the content of this post and the calling I've felt impressed upon my heart. It may read discouraging, but this is absolutely not my intent and I wholeheartedly believe what I have shared. 

“Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him ‘Thus says your son Joseph: God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not tarry.’” Gen 45:9

Surely Jacob had a hard time accepting an invitation to leave God’s promised land. Had God forgotten His promise to Abraham after only two generations? God’s invitation leads to unlikely places. Is the place God chose causing you to ignore the invitation?

Today I instragrammed this very message and shared that Tony and I have been hit pretty hard by it lately. Myself, it's been off and on for over a year, Tony a little more recently.

I've just been feeling this, thankfully not constant, burden of the heart to recognize that we're living small lives. Lives that are completely focused on our, God honoring, objectives, but that even through all of the ready praise for His wonderful provisions and blessings one huge problem remains . . . we're not living with our faith in action. We're incredibly self-reliant in comfortable lives. And I don't mean that in a monetary sense, because as Tony has been very quick to point out we live paycheck to paycheck, still a small accident away from disaster. Regardless of this, our lives are still so comfortable.

Tony and I are struggling with what this means. God makes it very clear in the Bible that He will reward those who seek after Him and provide them with the desires of their heart, but at the same time, the whole point of Christianity is not for us to be happy. Rather it is to humble ourselves so that He is always reflected. We were created for His happiness, not vice versa.

Does this mean that we can't be content?

Does that mean to be fulfilling God's will in our lives that we have to be uncomfortable? 

Doubtful, at least in a totaltarian way, but we do believe that a change of heart needs to occur. Tony and I don't know what these answers are for our family and have definitely resigned ourselves to the fact that we won't know. Ultimately though, and this has been a substantial change in our thinking, we're committing ourselves to ready our hearts to act in faith for what He calls us.

We want to be ready to lead big bold lives, even if it means unconventional choices.

29 Weeks | Baby Sweets

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

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How far along: 29 weeks. [29 with Ezra, 29 with Isaac]

How big is baby: Size of a butternut squash, 15 inches and 2.5 pounds.

Weight gain/loss: 19lbs. 

Stretch marks: After two pregnancies, I somehow still don't have any.

Sleep: Again, the issues are primarily with the boys, opposed to a pregnant mama. Ezra is having a really hard time staying down and we’re having a really hard time getting him down without him coming to bed. He literally giggled last night when I finally brought him to bed after 3 unsuccessful attempts to get him down.

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: I’ve been thinking about nachos . . . a lot. Otherwise, nothing much else sounds good.

Movement: I’m feeling hourly movement now.

What I'm loving: Parks and Rec. Not the answer you were expecting? Seriously.

Symptoms: Third tri has definitely made it’s presence known and new to the game is pain and achiness. I’ve dealt with a pain in my pelvis ever since giving birth to Isaac. The best way to describe it is a bone bruise. Imagine someone taking a hammer to your pelvis and the residual pain, not the actual blow itself. It isn’t as painful during the day, but with great regularity, I find myself waking up to this pain around 1:30am and it continues throughout the night. It usually disappears around 6 months post partum and is always linked to my activity level, as in the more active I am, the more intense the pain. Unfortunately, this is the first time I’ve had it prior to delivering . . . 11 weeks to go.

What I'm looking forward to: Shooting both a pregnancy announcement and gender reveal session with two old friends this weekend.

Best moment of the week: A fantastic lunch with AJ last Saturday! I do not remember the last time we’ve been able to see each other without our boys. AJ and I met on the knot almost 8 years ago while we were planning our weddings. I would have never dreamed the comfort and strength of our friendship and how similar our lives would play out!

After lunch, I came home for awhile and then decided to take advantage of Tony being home and head out to the quilt shop. I’d been scouring the internet for days trying to come up with fabric selections for a few projects like I had when pregnant with Ezra, but I just couldn’t commit to my choices. I’m so glad I was able to get out the door, because within 5 minutes I’d already found way too many wonderful options!
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Additionally, after planning to do a quick maternity session on Saturday, deciding to postpone said maternity session and then spontaneously deciding to utilize the beautiful snow on Sunday. I was able to show up at Gina’s house with snow drenched hair, minimal makeup and asked her to clothe me, freshen me up [seriously, she backcombed my hair for me] and then we frolicked in the snow for a bit.
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How I'm feeling: Still better, for the most part. So many friends have texted me over the last few days about learning my midwife will be out and I’ve been incredibly encouraged to just rest in God’s plan. Unfortunately, unlike with my pregnancy with Ezra where I battled thoughts about losing him, this pregnancy I’ve battled the irrational fear that this pregnancy will result in a [emergency or not] c-section. The fact that I know I don’t care for two of the OB’s at the hospital and that there aren’t any other MWs really rattled me and allowed that irrational fear to take greater hold, due to my lack of trust for the other care providers. “Obviously”, went my internal dialogue, “I will definitely end up with a c/s because I don’t have my trusted midwife by my side.” But the thing is, that’s 100% based on fear. I know a MW, especially my hospital grade, a little less crunchy CNM, does not safeguard me from a c/s, just as I know an OB doesn't guarantee one [as a reminder I had an OB with Isaac . . . even if the on call doctor didn't make it in time ;)], but this change and uncertainly is playing directly into my fear. My God however promises me the “best pathway” [Psalm 32:8], that I should “have no fear of bad news” [Psalm 112:7] and to “trust in the Lord with all my heart.” [Proverbs 3:5-6] 

*Additionally, I'm not trying to say that I'm opposed to a necessary c/s. It's just again this fear that was allowed to take hold, that is shaking my confidence based on hearing my MW will be out.   

Great Reminder

Monday, January 28, 2013

Today, I called in to make my most favorite phone call, the one in which I schedule out all of my remaining appointments.

I had one big, unpleasant, surprise as a result of that phone call.

I learned that my midwife will be out the week that I'm due, from 4/15-19.

For those that remember, Gina will be in Mexico from 4/10-13.

The priority is definitely to have my midwife there, as I don't trust or care for the other OBs and there aren't any other MWs, but it'd be awfully nice to have both Gina and my midwife, so I'm shooting for 4/14.

So there it is friends, just like with Ezra, I'm calling my date. ;)

But in all seriousness, just like Gina and I discussed today, this just seems to be a very important reminder that every good thing comes from God in His perfect divine timing.

Even when we plan for everything and assume that all of our choices will magically align for the best outcome, we.are.not.in.control.

So I'm pushing aside the panic and choosing to remember I'm not in charge.

28 weeks | Baby Sweets

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

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How far along: 28 weeks. [28 with Ezra, 28 with Isaac]

How big is baby: Head of Chinese cabbage 14.8 inches and 2.25 pounds.

Weight gain/loss: For the third week, I’m holding out at 18lbs. 

Stretch marks: After two pregnancies, I somehow still don't have any.

Sleep: Again, the issues are primarily with the boys, opposed to a pregnant mama. Ezra is having a really hard time staying down and we’re having a really hard time getting him down without him coming to bed.

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: Over the weekend I made a paleo-ish pizza and I’m mildly obsessed with them right now. I used goat cheese and all purpose gluten free flour, so while it’s friendly enough, it’s barely considered paleo. I’ll still take it though over the pig out and heartburn that would happen with regular pizza.

Movement: I’m feeling hourly movement now.

What I'm loving: That I’m actually starting to wrap my mind around the fact that we’ll be a family of 5, including a daughter.

Symptoms: I developed a linea negra again! So odd. With Isaac it started around 22w, but with Ezra I never got one. It’s faint, but it’s there! It never really bothered me, but I’m wondering with it only showing up later with this pregnancy if it will get as dark as it did with Isaac.

What I'm looking forward to: Gina dropped the M word on me. Maternity session, Saturday. This girl hasn’t even thought about clothes, so we’ll see how this pans out.

Best moment of the week: So far, finding out that I passed my 1 hour glucose test! With Ezra I failed and had to do the 3 hour, which was quite awful.

How I'm feeling: I’m doing a lot better. With a little more conscious thought, I’ve been able to put a lot, and I do mean a lot, of good food in my body. Additionally, I’ve been walking more and doing the stairs at work. Walking has the additional benefit of getting Shopkick points at Target and Macy’s, so it’s really a win/win. I like myself a lot more when I’m taking care of my body, pregnant or not and I just need to remember that. 

MishMash

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ezra came down with a stomach bug on Friday . . . which resulted in a massive public puke at Target. It was a parenting first for me and I would have been quite happy to still kept that box unchecked. After I got him home and cleaned up though, he was all smiles and acted just like normal! I was so worried that Isaac would sporadically start throwing up too, but thankfully he seems to have missed this round!
You'd never guess this sweet face just massively threw up at Target or that we just has a diarrhea situation during the clean up bath. Love this boy to pieces, just wish he were healthy.  Ezra's now sleeping and Isaac and I are watching #Up. I really hope the remainder of the night is a lot less eventful than the beginning, but I don't have high expectations.

There have been a few small Baby Sweets purchases, like this headband that doubles as a write off as a photography prop and this sweet twirlable dress by way of a Target gift card. ps :: Tony thinks these flowers are big.
Well, this at least made my day: a sweet headband for Baby Sweets! Ali at Little Miss Designs even included an adorable thank you note.Can we talk about the fact, my husband @fontainenine, made a face at this dress and said "I have to get used to all of the BIG flowers everywhere." Guy has no idea how bad it could be! ps :: @sarahlouise_rn I'm putting the gift card to good use. ;)

The temperature took a crazy plunge on Saturday, so we holed up and did our best to stay warm, while Tony reffed some hockey in Eau Claire, followed by two overnights practically doing a side job for a buddy.
Unfortunately forced out into this for my 28 week #glucosetest. What's the point of living in MN, if we don't get to brag on the extremes every once in awhile?Definitely awake after having to step out to pump gas! Let's do this! I failed the 1 hr glucose test, but then passed the 3 hr. I do NOT want to do the 3 hr again!

My eating was on point this weekend, complete with paleo friendly waffles at my parents house Saturday night. I think I've pretty much fully converted, because I thought the waffles tasted pretty bomb and everyone  that tried them thought they tasted dry. Below are a paleo "pizza" and chorizo chili.
I'm pregnant and want pizza, no pad Thai. Wait, no a Ranch panini, or was it . . . Yeah, pizza. I whipped up a #glutenfree #paleo pizza crust by way of @nutty4nutrition's late night pizza fix from last night. Gratuitous #28weeks #babybump and #toddlerdrivBecause when it's 7F, windchills near -30 and the high tomorrow is -3F, there is really no other viable option than chili. #paleo #glutenfree #hardcoreminnesotan

Isaac has daily told me for the past two weeks that I'm mean and this weekend was a little rough for both of us, due to being so cooped up and the fact that Tony was barely around. I'm pretty sure Isaac got sick of me. Ezra however, man that kid is so good for me. He is just pure sunshine.
This little kiddo has been tugging the heart strings lately, as he's told me daily for going on two weeks that I'm mean.  Tony tells me it means I'm doing things right and my Stepdad corrected Isaac to tell him I'm tough and that's what he needs. #ezrajohn is the best medicine. Still feeling the ish from the 1 hr glucose test and waiting on results of family member, but he's making me smile.

Yesterday I had my 1 hour glucose test and I'm so glad to have found out the same day that I passed! The 3 hour was awful with Ezra last time, so I'm really glad to avoid it . . . although I did find out that I'm borderline anemic. Last night our car decided it couldn't handle this weather and we had to bring it in for repairs. Thankfully, Tony was able to make it without needing a tow truck, although it did involve topping out at 15 mph and nearly being rear-ended on side roads twice. I'm exhausted right now. Just really tired, but I'm totally losing myself in these two shots I was able to snag Saturday morning with my Mom's help, just before the cold front came in.
After a long, chilly, challenging, cooped-up, snuggle-filled, throw up checkered, but ultimately needed weekend with my boys, I'm missing them something crazy right now.

27 weeks | Baby Sweets

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

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How far along: 27 weeks. [27 with Ezra]

How big is baby:
 Head of cauliflower at 14 ½ inches and almost 2 lbs.  

Weight gain/loss: Holding steady at 18 lbs.  

Stretch marks: After two pregnancies, I somehow still don't have any. 


Sleep: Everyone seems to be asking me how I’m doing and inevitably they ask how I’m sleeping. Thankfully the insomnia seems to have left, but man, I just need my boys to sleep!

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: This is such a boring topic to write on now. I want to say I’m craving Panino’s ranch [aka the most amazing ranch in the world], pizza, gyros and super yummy pad thai, but I’m just not. My desire for food isn’t as profound as it has been and I’m just eating as much greens as I can, which has included an almost daily smoothie snack.
In a bind today, I ran to Target on my lunch to grab some more smoothie fruits. Appalled at the downtown prices, I bucked up and paid it, mentally noting how much cheaper my Aldi bags would be. I have to say though, these fruits are not even comparable to

Movement: Baby Sweets is definitely active. I can now definitely say that I’m feeling hourly movement.

What I'm loving: How emphatically Isaac exclaims what he wants to be his baby sister’s name. Much like the love he gained for Ezra, I just can’t wait to see the relationship build between my boys and their sister. Sister! 

Symptoms: Heartburn, insomnia, moodiness, fatigue, sore boobs, weight gain . . . you know the usual.

What I'm looking forward to: I guess I’m just really not geared up for anything right now. Our social calendar is clear and there aren’t any upcoming milestones.

Best moment of the week: Hopefully tonight. Tony has been reffing at least one game a week since we came back on Sunday the 6th. Tonight, we get a little family time . . . but groceries will be the first priority!

How I'm feeling: Last week I made the mistake of comparing my 16w shot with my 26w shot . . . this week, I’m feeling much better in comparing 27w with Ezra and 28w with Isaac. 
And the 10 week comparison side by side. #16weeks on the left, #26weeks on the right. #chipmunkcheeksYou all know I LOOOOVE a good comparison. #babybump #pregnancyflashback


I hate that so much of my mood is tied up in how I physically feel and whether I believe the lies or not. I know I’m being healthy, but that doesn’t mean that I allow myself to believe it every day. Just like pregnant or not, every day is a battle of self perception. In general I have a healthy body image. It has definitely changed over the years, but it has always delivered what I have demanded of it. I just can't seem to be kind to it currently.

I think another component of how I’m feeling discouraged lately is that of the few baby purchases I want to make, I feel like I can’t. I have similar feelings to those I did when Tony implemented our first budget and the materialistic satisfaction of making a purchase can no longer “soothe” any of my sad feelings. I literally feel like every.single.dime. this year should be applied towards paying off debt. 

Grossness

Monday, January 14, 2013

Just a quick recap of the grossness of my heart. I've been really discouraged since we got back from the Dells. To be perfectly honest, I don't think I've really been firing on all cylinders since my midwife told me that I'd gained too much weight. Some might quickly chalk it up to vanity, but the more I dissect it, it's become clear to me why. I have never and do not have an eating disorder, but I can understand the allure to control something. It was a huge reality check to me that while I felt like things have been largely crazy and I fully owned that I felt along for the ride, since just before Christmas, I still thought I had some control on my weight gain. 

My disappointment in hearing disapproval from my midwife seems to have permeated many aspects of my life. Usually, I'm a pretty easy going person, but ever since hearing that I'd gained too much, I just feel like I'm failing. Throw in a weekend in a swimsuit with skinny minnies [and don't you even deny it :)], a brutal week of hockey with Tony reffing 9 games, including two in Duluth that involved travel, and well, it's just not a great place to be. There are no less than 4 baskets of laundry to be put away, actually scratch that, I'm not even certain they're all clean. We have no groceries, as the cold front mixed with Tony's hockey schedule doesn't really make me want to take both boys out into the frigid temps to shop. As you can imagine, I'm not a lot of fun to be around.

To cap it all off, every which angle I look at it I'm doubting the big words I came out with at the beginning of the year and I'm already doubting that it'll be accomplished. I'm sitting here incredibly blessed and yet, just there it is, the grossness of my heart.

WI Dells | #dellgtg

Thursday, January 10, 2013

As Julia has already so well recapped, this past weekend something of epic proportions occurred. The first, hopefully annual, WI/MN get together, that united Erin, Julia, Erin, Diz, Andrea and myself . . . oh, and not to mention our respective family's, with all having two kids a piece, at a water park in the Dells. It started simply, with an idea, an email, and then a text and then a group email, followed by a lot group emails and a google doc. It's no surprise with so many planners [read: note me] in the group that it seemed to come together seamlessly, from choosing the date [after Jim and Tony managed to get out of work], to the hotel, to the meal planning. But even though these ladies are good it was still pretty incredible how well the planning went.
And now it's our turn to set out for the #dellsgtg with @mrsandreateresa @mrsjuliagoolia @erinmich82 @dizflem & @erinkkr! I feel like its The Amazing Race or something and we're coming in last. ;) #roadtrip

With the excitement of the holidays, the first weekend of January seemed to arrive overnight. Isaac was over the moon excited to go to the water park and well, Ezra's always up for whatever we throw his way. As Tony and I made our way closer and closer to the dells, the last family to arrive to our 3 bedroom condos, we both shared how neither of us were nervous. Admittedly, I gave Tony a crash course on my internet friends, some of whom he'd been hearing about or stared at their faces from our fridge for the past 5 years. It's so amazing to me how close these friendships can become, even while never having met face to face. Erin and I have known each other now for almost 4 years, meeting when she referred me for my current job. Andrea and I got to meet this past summer when she assisted me at her friend's wedding in Wisconsin. Going in knowing that I already knew two of the ladies and that Milwaukee Crew spend time with each other frequently definitely helped.

I must say though, that while I wasn't nervous, I couldn't believe I was finally going to meet Julia. In terms of my blogging history, Julia is pretty pivotal. After blogging privately for a few months, sharing the angst of the heart of a 24 year old almost newlywed, Julia's blog was the first popular blog that I commented on. And shock of all shocks, she came to my blog and commented on one of my posts. It was my first taste of  the blog community, which is really why we continue to share. It seemed like I was coming full circle by being able to meet her, my online friend of 5 years.
@teamcorbin this my dear is for you, but I don't actually want you to cry. @mrsjuliagoolia and sharing the same room. #dellsgtg

I can't even convey how awesome it was to walk into a room filled by my internet friends, husbands, children and all. It had a surreal fairytale mood, combined with a complete underwhelming excitement, because really after so many years invested into the stories of each other's lives, all six of us together was truly just like visiting with old friends. It was comfortable. There were no false pretenses. It was just amazing. And I want to do it again next weekend.

With 12 adults & 12 kids, it was as imagined a little crazy, but it was a fun, barely contained chaos. There were some sleep issues, and a Vikings/Packers play off game, but ultimately, the weekend went off without a hitch. Who could have ever thought?

Saturday morning:
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The result of leaving the water.
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Followed shortly by.
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And guys, Isaac may have had his first legitimate crush. He requested this picture and stood there patiently waiting with his arm around Diz's Char, as comfortable and confident as well, I've ever seen him. And after I took one picture, he told me to take another and then another.
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Sunday morning we attempted several group pictures.
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All of us women are smitten with this picture. Man, those are some proud dads who were amazing sports.
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Sadly, we went last and got the least cooperative kiddos.
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Man, did the dads go for the slides.
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But after a little trickery, Tony got Isaac down the slide by himself and there's seriously no counting how many times he went!
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We didn't enjoy ourselves one bit, uh huh.
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