Wednesday, December 28

A new chapter

Last week marked my journey into the final trimester of my pregnancy. I'm getting a little antsy to say the least and I can't believe it's gone by this quickly.

So what does this trimester look like? Well... lots of working, planning, decorating, and organizing.

Funny thing about this final trimester is that it's a busy season with holidays and birthdays and lots to do. But have I even started preparing for this baby? Umm... sadly, no. We haven't even touched the nursery yet but I'm confident that it will all come together in the next 10 weeks before this baby arrives.

So much to think about and plan and prepare. We are so excited to paint Elwood's walls and put together his crib and his furniture and buy fun art and put away all those precious baby clothes but somehow I still haven't found the motivation.

We did pick Elwood's official birthday (unless he chooses to surprise us, which I'm praying against!) which will be March 14! Elwood will share his birthday with my brother-in-law, Lynn, who couldn't be a more perfect person to share it with.

Some of biggest must-haves for the 3rd trimester are the following:

-a good body pillow for sleeping. Support at night is very important to prevent cramping, soreness, and general discomfort.

-Sleep! Sleeping as much as you can is essential for your body and your mind. Sleep is hard to come by in the 3rd trimester, so soak up anything you can get.

-Tums. Heartburn can be one of the most annoying, painful and uncomfortable things. Bending over can give you heartburn and so can a PB & J. Keeping an antacid around can really ease this.

-Date nights. After baby arrives, dates will be much harder to plan for. You may not be ready to leave your baby and even if you are ready, finding a sitter that you can trust may be difficult. Relish in the time you have with your husband.

-Nesting. Take some time to dedicate to your baby's room and your house. Do extra cleaning projects, paint the walls, do all the baby laundry. It will fulfill the nesting bug and make your life easier when baby arrives.

-Shop! Buy new things for your baby. Even if it isn't your first, finding special things for a new child is important and will help you bond to your baby.

-Seek the Lord like crazy!!! A baby is a huge change and a big commitment and the Lord has some things He'd like to tell you. He wants to lavish you with love and confidence and sow in good parenting skills. He is the greatest guide you can have.

-Listen to your momma instincts. There will be so many people that throw their two cents into the way you do EVERYTHING -- from your pregnancy to the crib you buy to the books you read to the hospital stay... and etc, etc, etc. Consider their opinion but pray and seek God and follow those momma instincts that the Lord gave you.

-And don't forget to breathe. Take time to relax and do things for yourself. Take long baths, get a pedicure, read a book that's been sitting on your shelf for months. Don't forget to slow down and take time to relax while it's still available.

Ben and I are anxiously awaiting the moment we get to meet and hold this sweet baby boy. Lots to do before the day, but we can't wait!

Sunday, December 4

This life

I'm sorry it's been a couple weeks since I last posted! It's been a hectic couple of weeks full of busyness and time with family. It's been so wonderful to spend time with the people I love the most.

Right now I'm up in bed taking some time to myself while my husband is laughing hysterically with his guy friends outside on the front porch. Kind of hard to write when I hear such boisterous laughter :)

I'm in week 26 with baby Elwood and I feel like it's flying by and taking forever all at the same time. I'm sure a lot of you mamas know exactly what I'm talking about. One day you feel like it was yesterday that you found out you're pregnant and others you feel like this pregnancy could possibly last forever.

I've been honing in on life lately and can't seem to get some thoughts out of my head. Right now I feel like I'm this precious time where I get to be so close to my loved ones and really experience and walk out life together. We've cried, laughed, played games, ate, and talked transparently. It's been the kind of moments that you want to just take a picture and hold on to it as long as you possibly can. Just a raw kind of life where things are very real and life seems so fragile and precious not to take with all the seriousness you can give it.

I only have this one chance to live life here on Earth and I am soaking up each day for what it is and learning so much about taking things in stride and grace.

This morning at church I just broke down in tears as I thought and looked around the room and was hit for the 100th (but it always feel like the 1st) time with how precious life really is.

I am such a fragile being. But God has so wonderfully been working and blessing me with this life. Showing me who He is and walking each step with me. Working in my family's life in such beautiful and mesmerizing ways that I just cry every time I even think about it. What grace and abounding love He has lavished on us!

Aiden reminds me of the fragility of life and how important it is to live and be present in each moment. Even as we prepare for Elwood's arrival, grief is as strong as ever. Celebrating holidays wondering what he would be like and what stage he would be in. Thinking about what foods he would have loved on Thanksgiving and what we would have bought him for Christmas. Telling him about the new baby coming into our lives and how we would need him to be a good big brother.

Grief is such a strange journey. As a friend of mine said so wisely tonight, "Grief is one of the strongest emotions." Such truth and boldness. Grief has a mind of its own. It's not like happiness, which is based on circumstances. Grief can hit you like a ton of bricks even when you are happy and sometimes it sneaks up on you when you least expect it. And most times, grief is a front-of-the-mind presence that you can coherently live with even though you feel like it's stock-piling every day you are without the one you lost.

It's not the kind of thing that you ever get over or get used to over time. It's just this thing that is always there that you have to continually walk with and learn its kinks. Unfortunately it's not something you can see coming or come down off of because it's always there doing different things. It brings out the most wonderful and the worst in ourselves. It knows us deeply.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm slowly realizing this thing called life makes me want to be focused and intentionally involved in every day. And that I want to learn how to see God more clearly through it.

I'll continue to write about this over the coming weeks as I see God stretching me and teaching me so much about it.

To be continued...