Friday, April 25, 2014

32 weeks and 33 weeks: Ready or not...

32 Weeks

This week FLEW by. I don't even know what to report pregnancy-wise. Things have been more or less status quo compared to last week. What consumed my mind, my time, and my energy this week was moving.

that moment when I realized moving and renovating in the third trimester was an awful idea
Major thanks to my mom for helping us pack the apartment! No joke, she probably packed about 2/3 of it (maybe more). I don't know what I would've done without her. I was working hard, and exhausted at the end of the day, but moving so slowly in comparison! We never would've been out of the apartment on time if it weren't for her.

We did hire movers as well, which made me feel so spoiled. But this is our third 3rd story apartment and since I'm basically out of commission when it comes to heavy boxes right now, I knew we needed help this time around. (I can't hug the big boxes to my torso to lift them anymore. Somethingone is in the way!) The movers came Friday to move the majority of our stuff, and I busted my butt to finish packing before they came. Then I organized our stuff for quick loading since we paid by the hour (maybe nesting is kicking in after all, but I just don't have the energy for it).

Then I beat the movers to the house and scrubbed the floors in two of the bedrooms for them to have somewhere relatively dust-free to put all of our belongings! (Also, nothing like moving to remind you that you have WAY too much stuff.) I was going non-stop on Friday with the exception of a one-hour break around noon to catch my breath. I paid for it dearly with lots of contractions and a headache and hip pain by that night. And tears. Oops.

33 weeks

To say that I've been steamrolled by this move would be an understatement. I feel a little guilty that the move feels like it's taking more of a physical and emotional precedence than the baby right now. When people ask if the baby's room is ready, I want to cry. Our HOUSE isn't ready! No I'm not nesting or painting or folding cute little baby clothes! I'm trying to figure out where we're going to live until our house is safe to inhabit. (Thankfully my brother volunteered his house).

We had to turn our keys in on Sunday, so we got most of our stuff moved out that Friday and spent Friday and Saturday night on an air mattress at the apartment.

saying a tearful goodbye to apartment 332
 Some massive shift happened physically between 28-32 weeks and I went from feeling more or less like myself, to feeling like I couldn't get anything done, and how on earth is this house going to be ready to live in, and are we going to have any down time to prepare for this baby?! I mentioned I spent last Friday packing the last bit of stuff (which always ends up being more than you think) and moving with the movers. Even though I didn't carry a single box up or down the three flights of stairs leading to our apartment, I was tired and sore to the point of tears that evening.

Watching Ross' face while I cried about not having eating vegetables all week and feeling like I'm not taking care of the baby, embarrassed me. My internal voice (today it was the nurse triage personality from my time in the high-risk OB clinic) had been telling me all day, you need to take it easy. You're having too many painful contractions. Lay down. Drink water. I drank lots of water, but I just didn't feel like I had the luxury of laying down because I wouldn't be able to relax knowing how much stuff has to be done.

Anyway, I felt guilty every time my stomach tightened and by the end of the day, I was worn out physically and emotionally from that on top of the packing and scrubbing floors and walls. My outburst must've left quite an impression because it caused Ross to leave the apartment before I went to work Saturday to buy smoothie ingredients and to pick up a juice and a treat from the Filling Station to go with my breakfast. It was so sweet!

Anyway, this is supposed to be a pregnancy update, not a moving update. I'm SO thankful that I look pregnant now!!!  I've become obsessed with taking selfies like, every day. It's embarrassing. But it's not because I think I look super cute (ha)... it's because you can practically see the little baby curned up in there! It's so fun to have a baby bump and it's so weird that it doesn't feel weird! I think it just comes in so gradually that you adjust daily. My mass feels the same, but my stomach sticks way out now when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror! Also, Ross struggles to pick me up when he hugs me now. Makes me feel better about being out of breath when I walk up the stairs. Gaining a pound a week is no joke!

Symptoms-wise, I've already discussed the inability to really push myself in regards to the move and the renovation and keeping up like I used to. I don't feel awful during my normal daily activities, but I can feel it at the end of the day when I've tried to push myself. Otherwise, fatigue is back. Sleep is hit or miss. Nausea and heartburn come and go, but overall they're not terrible. Feels a bit like first trimester again in that regard!

Easter 2014... last holiday with just the two of us
Baby is still head down with his butt on the right, facing the left. I LOVE when he presses something outward and I can get a mental image of an arm or a foot there. Again, SO happy to finally feel pregnant and not just weird and different! I'm already getting nostalgic for the baby bump, but excited for the baby!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I Pray That Someday We Will Laugh About This

So we bought a house in March.

I hate being a homeowner.

I'm hoping that in typing this out now, this will become the exhaustive list of what-the-crap-is-going-wrong-now. One can hope, right?! In all honesty, this is completely wearing us out mentally, physically, and emotionally. Genuine prayers would be greatly appreciated because we're just starting to get flat-out worried.

Here's the deal:

We bought a cute little house near the bottom of our price range with the rationale that we'd add a kitchen and laundry room and turn the current tiny kitchen into a dining room.

So we had someone come to move the AC in the backyard to make room for an addition, and he said it the AC was totally broken. We replaced the AC.

We had someone come out to give us a quote for moving the furnace from the kitchen (?!) to the crawl space, and they said the heater was totally broken. So we replaced the heater.

By then the addition was financially out of the question, so we settled for a kitchen renovation.

Had an electrician come out to give us a quote for moving a few switches and adding a few outlets, and he said our electric panel and wiring were an extreme fire hazard and replacing everything would be the safest bet. Given what had just happened with my grandma, we didn't think twice. (The electrician did a really great job and passed his inspection with flying colors but, right at the end, when he was installing lights in the drywall ceiling we had JUST hung, he cut holes much larger than he needed to. Not a safety hazard, but several more hours of work for Ross that could've been prevented.)

Then we had a plumber come out to move the lines for the washing machine and he said our plumbing was fine for now, but it wasn't great. But since the floor, walls, and ceiling were torn up in the kitchen, we decided to be pre-emptive and have the hot and cold water pipes replaced now, instead of after they'd leaked all over our new renovation.

We replaced them. And instead, the NEW plumbing leaked all over one of the bedrooms.

The plumber came back to fix it and still didn't pass the plumbing inspection. We're hoping the third time is a charm.

We tore down the wall in that bedroom, and for some reason it was really bothering me, so I got a lead testing kit from Lowe's. Sure enough, lead paint. Dust everywhere. Cue pregnant lady panic. Like, I can't even think about it too much because I may have caused irreparable damage to this poor baby's development and it could've been completely preventable. Now I'm basically afraid to go into the house, and I'm paranoid that all of our belongings are now "contaminated." Poor Ross is working even more single-handedly than ever before.

Honestly, it's been one step forward and two steps back with this house. Anyone want to give us some land so we can just start over from scratch?! But seriously, prayers for our physical and emotional health would be greatly appreciated.

Edited to Add:

April 2014-- it rained. The roof leaks. Now we know why the wall between the kitchen and the garage was so moldy when Ross knocked it down.

July 2014-- the fridge broke. It was from the early 90s, so it didn't make sense to repair it. Hello, new (sale) fridge.

November 2014-- our dryer started to malfunction. It will need to be replaced sooner rather than later, since the cost of repair would be half of the cost of a new dryer, and it's already getting old in appliance-world.

April 2015-- puddles in the crawlspace.  Removed awkward granite "patio" and re-graded the front fourth of the backyard with 12 bathtubs of dirt to keep water away from the foundation.

Friday, April 11, 2014

31 Weeks: Showered with Love

Such a cliche title, I know. But bear with me. My first baby shower was this past Sunday and it was so happy and humbling for me. It's still hard for me to believe that people would want to do stuff for me. To buy stuff for my baby. To go out of their way and do something completely unnecessary! It makes me teary-eyed just thinking about it! (I couldn't let myself read cards at the shower, lest I cry and mess up my eye makeup since I only wear that much makeup, like, once a year).

In spite of my extreme introverted awkwardness and paranoia that everyone is inconvenienced by me, the garden-themed shower was so great. Jami and Rachel hosted and it was quite convoluted trying to explain to my mom how I knew these great women:

Rachel started working at the KU NICU the same day I did back in 2009, so she was one of my first real friends in Kansas City.

Rachel bought her house from Jami and her husband that year, and then kept in touch with them. Who does that?!

I met Jami in passing at Rachel's house-warming party in 2010.

Jami and her husband set Rachel up with her (now) husband in 2012.

Rachel shared something from Jami's blog that spring, so I started reading it the week Jami posted this. Later that same week (I'm not even making this up) I learned something about my own marriage that caused me to e-mail Jami: Ummm I think my marriage is falling apart. You've been there. Can you help me?

I sat in Jami's attic a few weeks later, all bruised up on the outside from surgery, and all numb on the inside from the vast and seemingly abrupt turn my life had just taken. Everything I thought I knew had fallen away and I couldn't even cry. Jami just sat there on the couch in the attic and listened to this stranger tell her life story. What's more, is that God gave Jami the grace to walk through everything with me for the entire next year!

My husband lived with Rachel's husband (then boyfriend) for a bit that summer.

Jami faithfully walked with me through a really rough season, and she's one of the few people who has really seen the utter ugliness of my own heart. I'm so thankful she doesn't just cringe at the sight of me! Knowing her has been redemptive for my marriage, but it's also been redemptive for my own heart. I'm still learning how to have friends and how to love people and how to let them love me. I thank God that he's given Jami the fortitude to stick with me!

Ross and I were in the Nato's Redemption Group this time last year, which was another hard season, but so so so fruitful in the end. (I'm grateful some of those women were also able to be at the shower today!)

Rachel has also seen a lot of my cringe-worthy moments, and she's been so good to stick with me. We've been determined to learn how to be friends together since we were both so lonely when we moved here!

In late 2012, Rachel and I both left the NICU we worked at, for different reasons, but I'm thankful we still see each other. She started a book club of sorts on Thursday nights and it's been helpful for me since I'm so bad at keeping in touch with people I don't just see out of convenience!
Basically, I have no idea how I got so lucky, but God clearly orchestrated the presence of these patient and kind women in my life. And that they know each other and collaborated for a cute garden-themed baby shower is basically the best thing ever.

SO. The shower. I was so overwhelmed that I actually have friends, and so flattered that they threw such a sweet shower that I might have been stunned into silence. I mean, food is one of my love languages and they had an entire TABLE of gluten and dairy-free foods. And it was all cute and delicious! I basically felt like a queen.

So... do you just really like vegetables? No! I mean, yes. But the baby's nursery is garden-themed!


So cute

The company was great and people just went above and beyond with gifts. Everything was absolutely perfect.

Such a sweet afternoon

Rachel, me, Jami (please don't kill me for posting this, Jami!)

Rachel, Cara, me, Whitney, Kim, Shannon

Santina + me. Friends since 5th grade. So excited she's also having a boy this summer!

It all went by so quickly, and I'm sitting here scratching my head thinking, did that just happen? There was a baby shower for ME? What a crazy moment. I'm so overwhelmed with gratitude.

This baby boy doesn't even know how lucky he is. I'm certainly aware of how lucky I am, though. Thank you Rachel and Jami!!!

Other updates from this week:

Baby started getting the hiccups once or twice a day this week. So funny! And judging by the flailing arms and legs when they start, he seems to be a little confused by them. On my end, I'm doing okay, just feeling bigger by the day. The best parts of my day are when the baby starts squirming for a few minutes. His movements are bigger than ever and while none of them hurt, sometimes I'm surprised by the force he can put behind a good elbow swipe!

Emotionally, I'm extremely stressed by this move. We have to be out of our apartment in one week and our house isn't even close to being liveable. What started off as "just redoing the kitchen" has turned into a complete cascade of everything going wrong. Seriously, I don't think there's a system in the house that isn't affected: we've had to deal with HVAC, plumbing, electric, walls, floors, ceilings, and multiple rooms not being what they appear to be and needing something done about it. Just when we think we're making progress and starting to catch up, something else goes wrong. As if moving wasn't stressful enough!

I'm trying to help out at the house, but then I just end up frustrated. Of course just starting this week, I can't really bend at the waist quickly, and my swelling gets pretty bad after standing on my feet for a bit. A few hours there of seemingly light work, and I'm totally gone. This frustration combined with the stress of moving, and I'm ready to just fast forward a month (which I never thought I'd say because here I sit two months away from my due date worried that time is passing too quickly). But note to self: never ever ever ever move or renovate during pregnancy again.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Happy Birthday Ross!


You turned 30 today and you've been so mellow about it. So mellow, in fact, that you planned a surprise party for my birthday when I thought we were going to dinner for your birthday! Stinker. But I still got to hang out with you, so I consider that a good night. You beat me to this milestone birthday, so I can't give you advice-- but these ten tidbits seem pretty solid. To celebrate you, here are 30 things I love about you (in no particular order).

30 Things I Love About You at 30 Years Old

I love that you're pursuing God.

I love that you're a kid at heart.

I love that you are really settling into the role of provider and protector in our family.

I love that you already call our son "handsome" and that you can't wait to meet him.

I love that you came back to fight for our marriage.

I love that you're taking risks and being a more adventurous eater, even though it's out of your comfort zone.

I love traveling with you and seeing different parts of the world through your eyes.

I also love sitting on the couch with you eating takeout. I'm so thankful you're my best friend after all.

I love that you're finishing your Master's degree even though it's been a long ride.

I love that you find irony in the fact that you're doing medical architecture for a career... the one branch you thought you'd never go into!

I love that you can laugh at yourself.

I love that you can make me laugh.

I love that you can just hug me tight when I'm crying, without trying to make it better.

I love that you don't mind driving everywhere.

I love that you quote Friends with me from time to time.

I love the gusto with which you're attacking this home renovation, and I'm endlessly thankful that it's fun for you.

I love that you can put up with my emotional rants (pregnant or not).

I love that you're so enthusiastic about my gluten-free baked goods.

I love that you're supportive of my own creative endeavors, even though they're different from yours.

I love that you're so excited about getting white t-shirts for your birthday.

I love that you're adjusting to the large family you've become a part of.

I love that you're an optimist, even though you're learning that rose-colored glasses don't actually fix things.

I love that you do love to fix things and help others.

I love that you think dogs are great fun... but you're okay with not owning one!

I love that you love country music, even thought the radio stations here are slim pickings.

I love your smile. And your eyelashes. Okay, I think you're pretty good looking overall!

I love your spontaneity.

I love hearing what's on your heart.

I love getting to know you more as we learn how to communicate better.

I love that you're you! I wouldn't change a thing.

I'm honored, humbled, and excited to be by your side as you enter your next decade. Happy birthday!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Beauty Instead of Ashes

Today I have an unexpected day off of work and I'm simultaneously feeling grateful, guilty, and lazy in response. I really need to start packing, but I'm avoiding it. Straight up in denial about the fact that we need to be out of this apartment in 11 short days.

We bought a house a few weeks ago. I'm so NOT invested in it. This is actually a good thing! Because if I were involved in the nitty gritty I'm just not sure how I would handle the cascade of problems we've experienced in our short time as home owners. I have to give MAJOR kudos to Ross, who has totally stepped up to own every single thing about this house, from the mortgage paperwork to the physical renovations. Again, I feel bad that avoidance is my coping mechanism right now. But man, this guy is really in his element.

In the meantime, I started reading a book on grief that my friend recommended. So far, it's really good. The book is about the ways people respond to catastrophic loss, and it's taking me a while to read through it. But in the first chapter, the author also acknowledges those smaller losses that are a part of every life, and he really put into words a lot of the thoughts that have been swirling around in my head and heart recently.

All people suffer loss. Being alive means suffering loss. Sometimes the loss is natural, predictable, and even reversible. It occurs at regular intervals, like the seasons. We experience the loss, but after days or months of discomfort we recover and resume life as usual, the life that we wanted and expected. The winter's loss leads to the spring of recovery. Such losses characterize what it means to live as normal human beings. Living means changing, and change requires that we lose one thing before we gain something else.

Thus we lose our youth but gain adulthood. We lost the security of home but gain the independence of being on our own. We lose the freedom of singleness but gain the intimacy of marriage. We lose a daughter but gain a son-in-law. Life is a constant succession of losses and gains. There is continuity and even security in this process. We remember the losses that lie behind us, and we look forward to the gains that lie ahead. We live suspended between the familiar past and the expected future. The scenery we enjoy today gradually faces into the background, finally receding from sight. But what looms ahead comes nearer and gets clearer, until it becomes the scenery of the present moment that fills our vision.

Don't get me wrong, I'm so excited for this next phase. The idea of saying hello to a house and a baby in the next two months is completely crazy, and almost too good to be true! But the nature of life is that saying hello to this stage means saying goodby to the last one, and I've always had trouble saying goodbye.

Last night, Ross got home from working on the house for a few hours and he showed me the latest progress pictures of the kitchen. Our grand plans for an addition fell through when we found out our home inspector totally gypped us and we had to spend thousands of dollars replacing basically every major thing inside the house in the first 2 weeks. So we figured redoing the kitchen was still better than nothing.

I do feel a little spoiled, but the old kitchen just wasn't great given the amount of time I spend in there. Besides being ugly, the cabinets were filthy, the kitchen layout was awkward (have you ever seen a house with the furnace in the kitchen, just taking up room next to the fridge?), and while there was a dishwasher, it didn't really fit anywhere in particular, and it had to be hooked up to the sink faucet with a hose when you wanted to run it. Truly, none of these are life-threatening issues and I'm not complaining. But I am very grateful that we are able to redo the kitchen before the baby comes.

Ross the architect has tackled the project with gusto. I really had no idea what to expect, except that every day when he comes home and says, "we got so much done!" my non-architect mind hopes to see walls and a ceiling in place because it always seems like surely that's the next step! But that just hasn't been the case. Stripping away whats ugly, what's old, and what's rotten takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of work. It's a little painful. The dust is so thick it's hard to see clearly sometimes. And this morning it struck me, as maybe it's struck anyone who has ever seen a home renovation: redoing an old house is a great metaphor for life.

How often are we content or even complacent with where we are, reluctant to change? When it's your life, and you can only see things from inside the thick of it, it's sometimes painful when change starts to take place. Even if you know it's supposed to be a change for the better! The old roots are ripped out. The reasonably shiny facade that you've pieced together falls apart to reveal mold and decay. You think, how can this possibly be good for me? I thought things were supposed to get better, but they're worse than ever! You say the finish line is closer, but things look even more desolate! It struck me this morning that often in our own life, we just can't see the other side and we chose to cling to what we know, even if it's not what's better. We lose faith in the dark before the dawn.

With a home renovation, it's easier to keep the faith because you can envision the end product. Okay it's taking longer than I thought, but it WILL be worth it! (I'm aware I'm saying all these things as an observer, totally not the one putting the work in. Again, infinite thanks to Ross. I'm baffled that this has been FUN for him!) What would it look like if I placed my faith back in God during this time of transition in my life? Instead of feeling like I'm leaving the known and entering the unknown which, no matter how wonderful I'm hoping it will be, is still the murky unknown? Because it's known to God. These moments existed before I ever set foot on this earth. And walking forward with God will always lead to beauty, even amidst chaos and dust.

Yet lately these thoughts scare me a little more than they comfort me. After all, God knew how my Grandma Ginny would die before she was even born, and it's not the ending I would've written. At all. While I'm not mad at God, and I'm certainly not going to pretend that I know better than He does, I'm a little confused. I know in my head that he calls his own back to him, and he does it in a way that can only glorify him, but I feel like we haven't seen the end of my grandma's story yet. Something in this has yet to come to fruition, though I do love the glimpses I've had so far. God has been gracious.

Hows this for a jumbled post? Basically, sometimes in the thick of it, when the past is known and the future is scary, it's good to know that God's promises are still true. When he says he will "provide for those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor," he WILL do it (Isaiah 61:3).

Friday, April 4, 2014

28 weeks, 29 weeks, and 30 weeks

I'm not really sure how to gracefully transition from the abruptness of everything that happened with my Grandma Ginny in such a short amount of time-- on this blog and in real life. It's reassuring but also a little disheartening to realize that life goes on even in loss. You go to work, you make your meals, and then when you have a day off and you can't get out of bed, you realize you're maybe a little overwhelmed emotionally and not coping with it very well.

That's kind of where I am. I want to crawl in a hole and pause everything for a while. Add in the emotional and financial mess that our first house has become, and the fact that I only have ten weeks left until my due date, and I understand why the bubbles of panic are rising in my chest each day.

My Grandma Ginny loved babies, and as truly sad as I am that I can't ask her questions about her own pregnancy, or childbirth, or parenting experiences, I can still celebrate this baby boy whom she would've loved to meet.

Grandama + me in my best baby koala impersonation

Here are the highlights from the last few weeks:

28 weeks
(and 28 years old)

This week, I got my first baby shower invite in the mail! A baby shower for me. So weird. And the invite was our first real mail at our new address. It's surreal and scary and exciting that life is changing in so many big ways.

The baby's movements get bigger by the day, but he was kind of mellow for a few days when stress and exhaustion were high this week, and I had a few days with an alarming number of Braxton Hicks contractions.

I thankfully passed my 2 hour GTT this Wednesday (74, 117, 105) proving that I don't have gestational diabetes! And my H/H has gone up a bit, meaning that I'm not as anemic as I was. I celebrated with sugar!

But we had our follow-up ultrasound on a very long, bittersweet Thursday this week. Baby boy was so sweet and we got to see him sucking his thumb! And this was the first ultrasound where his movement actually corresponded with me feeling it. I probably normally would've been frustrated we had a new sonographer who was kind of terrible and who didn't manage get one good picture for us to take home, but honestly all of that got forgotten as we raced to Omaha that afternoon. The takeaway good news is that the placental abnormality they thought they saw last time is gone! Like, totally gone, which is really bizarre and they couldn't quite explain it. Anyway, baby's estimated weight is already 3 pounds. How is that even possible?!

Finally, this is the week people out and about started asking me when I was due, and not just if I was pregnant. SO weird to spent the first 2/3 of your pregnancy not really looking pregnant. I'm happy to finally have a belly! Yet since I don't see myself all day long, it's still somehow hard to believe it's happening to me!

29 weeks

I snuggled with some 3 pound babies at work this week and at times this baby business is getting very real. One of those babies is all folded up inside of me! I love it when he makes a big movement and I can really get a good idea of where he is in there. Otherwise it's still really hard to wrap my head around.

This week, I started feeling pretty huge. Overnight, it became a lot harder to breathe. Uterus, meet diaphragm. Baby started to move more again this week and I'm struggling to focus more on this than on the fact that my legs seem to have grown thicker overnight and nothing looks smooth over my back fat. (I'm not trying to be harsh, and I love the belly! It's just hard to adjust to the rest of my body changing overnight, too. I want to be more grateful and blissful. I do. I'm just struggling right now.)

30 weeks

Alas, given the last few weeks I think I could've told you when the third trimester started even without a calendar. Drastic weight gain, crazy hunger, even crazier emotions, and hit-by-a-train fatigue remind me of the first trimester all over again. I can. not. believe. that we have ten weeks 'til due day. I remember being so excited when I was ten weeks pregnant! And now suddenly it's 20 weeks later!

sunset after dinner with Ross' parents this week
This week has been mostly a repeat of last week-- lots of growth, lots of movement, and LOTS of emotions. I don't know why, but it's weird to me that this pregnancy thing that I've envied from afar for years... this monumental-life changing thing... is still life. Day-to-day living life. It's hard to grasp the changes that are happening until I catch myself in the mirror, and then it's hard to believe that's my body I'm seeing. I find myself frustrated that I don't know how to soak it all in and enjoy it more. It's so fleeting!

last pregnant run
I find myself having run out of time to take Bradley Method classes, having run out of money to take maternity pictures, and having run out of emotional energy to read all those childbirth books I thought I'd be obsessed with. The fact of the matter is, we're having a baby whether I decide I'm "prepared" or not. I'm still trying to figure out why I'm not as gung-ho about childbirth prep as I thought I'd be. Maybe I'm in denial? Overwhelmed? Or just tired. Who knows.

Still excited to meet the little guy, though! (Although I am not ready to be done with pregnancy by any means-- emotions, discomforts and all). I finally transferred my care to a midwife this week, since my last ultrasound showed that everything is normal after all. My mom went to the appointment with me, and I'm soooo glad I switched! I loved my OB, but she traveled a lot and had a huge patient load. The odds of her being at my delivery were pretty slim.

The midwife I saw is so wonderful and she even took the time to help my mom and I figure out what baby body parts were where, which was crazy! At the appointment, he was head down, hanging out on the right side of my abdomen, facing the left side of my body. His hands are punching the left side of my uterus and his feet are somehow kicking behind him on the right side!

so we cut down a tree in our new backyard. wow.
Overall, I feel good aside from the extreme emotions. Some back pain is to be expected, I have started getting nauseated again if I go too long without eating, and I don't sleep super well (although  that's not pregnancy-specific), but I can't complain! No real cravings or aversions to report right now, thankfully. It's been a rough few weeks mentally and emotionally. Lots of driving and lots of not sleeping in our own bed or eating our own food. I finally got back into my exercise routine this week, and I'm looking forward to meal planning and eating more balanced meals next week!

Thursday, April 3, 2014


The Gospel Coalition has an awesome Lenten devotional that Ross and I are trying to do this year. I say trying, because Lent has been a time of turmoil, per usual, and we're a bit behind. BUT I read this excerpt a few days ago and can't stop thinking about it. Funny how so much of the ugliness of my heart is exposed at this time of the year.

Pride is thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think (Romans 12:4). However, humility is not thinking less of ourselves than we ought to think, but simply thinking of ourselves less...

All of us want to be part of a community where pride and ego are put to death and selflessness and service are brought to life. This is just the kind of community that the Bible calls us to... (but) notice that the key to this kind of community is humility. In other words, our lack of concern for others and service to others is primarily because we lack humility. All forms of self-concern manifest themselves in a lack of love for others. We become consumer instead of servants...

Our consumerism is rooted in a lack of faith. We are worried about what others think because we are not convinced that God delights in us (Psalm 149:4). We are anxious because we do not believe God will meet our needs (Matthew 6:32). We vie for attention because we do not think God rewards what is done in secret (Matthew 6:6). We compare ourselves to others because we forget that Jesus is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30). A consumer is self-seeking because he is preoccupied with building his own kingdom in order to meet his own needs. During Lent, Jesus especially calls us to re-right our lives, to "seek first the kingdom of God..." (Matthew 6:33).

The simple practice of self-denial in Lent teaches us tat those who trust God to meet their needs are free to consider the needs of others. They discover this gospel paradox: As long as I'm looking to get my needs met, I will never get my needs met. But when I begin to meet the needs of others-- when I begin to live for them instead of for myself-- I find that God graciously takes care of my needs in the process. The grace of God turns us into servants. Instead of demanding that we be served, we joyfully lay down our rights and seek to serve God and others.

God's grace toward us in Christ needs to get down deep into our hearts in order to change us. We need to acknowledge our resistance to grace, which manifests itself in our desire to establish our righteousness and meet our needs apart from God. Jesus came to serve-- to heal, to feed, to make more wine, to wash feet, and to die. When we humbly receive the fullness and sufficiency of his love, then we will find ourselves increasingly joyful and selfless as we delight in serving others.

I've been in a funk the last few weeks, and I feel the old panic rising inside of me. I need some of this to get deep down into my own heart today.