Sunday, February 24, 2013

"What in the world were we thinking?"

In God's grace He must make it so that moms forget the terrible pregnant nights and days like today so they keep having babies. Nights where you literally get maybe two hours of sleep, looking at your husband all night long, sound asleep and comfy, as you think, "What in the world were we thinking?" Days where the sweet guy who plows the tiny road you live on piles all the snow around your car so you have to tip toe around it, balancing on ice with a pregnant belly, snow past your boots, bending in the most painful positions to attempt to get all the snow and ice off your car, failing and decided you have to get on the road anyways or you'll just run out of gas right there in your parking spot. Days where you slam your middle finger in your car door for the first time ever while pumping gas, with nobody around but an old man who you just look at and silently turn to start crying, continuing the whole way to church, to quit just in time to drag yourself inside, and cry to the first friend who asks you how you are. All because of a stupid purple fingernail that is throbbing and on fire, setting off all the other emotional troubles to your morning. Sigh. Yes, days like these. I've done enough crying this morning.

Then the spiritual battle sets in, complete with anxieties, doubts, fears, and insecurities.

Yep, I can hardly see my toes anymore. That happened a whole lot quicker than I thought it would.

As you can probably tell, I'm feeling all sorts of discouraged today, but I know it doesn't just end on that note because God is big enough to handle all my emotions, even these ugly, distrusting, sinful ones. He can handle the fact that I feel so disconnected from everyone in my life these days. He meets me in that loneliness. He can handle that I feel big and pregnant and never pretty. He is what makes me beautiful. He can handle all the physical trials pregnancy puts on your body. He took more pain of the cross than I could imagine. He can handle that I have absolutely NO CLUE why I wanted children, thinking I had anything in me with the ability to raise them right for His glory. He is the perfect parent I will never, ever be. He can handle my fear of labor that arises every night when I can't even get through an hour of sleep without pain. He is the one who designed the female body in such a way to give birth to children, curse or no curse.

"Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother's breasts. On you I was cast from my birth, and from my mother's womb you have been my God." Psalms 22:9&10

God is the one always at work. Even when I'm proud and think it's me. I'm truly going to seek rest in this today, and literally, as I sleep off these silly emotions.



This is not a pity party. This is to show that the gospel applies to all those crazy pregnant emotions. And the actual writing of this is my process of walking in that belief.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I love these words.

"The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew." Proverbs 3:19-20

God created through His wisdom and knowledge. How crazy is that!? When I think of creative worship songs, this is one of my top favorites. The words are so, so powerful. My hubby and the worship band did this one last week. I just have to share because I love it so much. Enjoy!


Friday, February 22, 2013

Sometimes, I would put my pen down.

One of my professors in college said that as writers, we want to be reading writing that is so breath taking and well crafted that we want to put our pens down forever, knowing we could never create something that compares. I was reminded of this today as I was reading through a book of poetry on motherhood I picked up at the thrift store a while ago.

I loved studying Anne Bradstreet in school. One, because she was a Christian and I could relate to the views shared through her journaling and poetry. And two, because she journaled and wrote poetry, and for many of the same reasons I do. I stumbled upon her when I was trying to figure out the whole point in journaling and the role it played in my faith. Journaling can often feel pointless, filling notebook after notebook, sometimes wishing nobody would ever peek, and other times desiring to share a treasure we've authored. In a letter she wrote to one of her children explaining why she journaled, she said she hoped they could gain some wisdom from her writing somehow, even if it was simply "what not to do." When I read that it clicked for me that a major part of why I journal (through prayer, regular journaling, this blog, any writing I do really) has a lot to do with sharing wisdom and things God has shown me to others. Anyways, I really enjoyed one of the poems I came across in this collection today, and was pleased to see it was by my Mrs. Bradstreet. :) I have to share.
Before the Birth of One of Her Children

All things within this fading world hath end,
Adversity doth still our joys attend;
No ties so strong, no friends so dear and sweet,
But with death's parting blow are sure to meet.
The sentence past is most irrevocable,
A common thing, yet oh, inevitable.
How soon, my Dear, death may my steps attend,
How soon't may be thy lot to lose thy friend,
We both are ignorant, yet love bids me
These farewell lines to recommend to thee,
That when the knot's untied that made us one,
I may seem thine, who in effect am none.
And if I see not half my days that's due,
What nature would, God grant to yours and you;
The many faults that well you know I have
Let be interred in my oblivious grave;
If any worth or virtue were in me,

Let that live freshly in thy memory
And when thou feel'st no grief, as I no harmes,
Yet love thy dead, who long lay in thine arms,
And when thy loss shall be repaid with gains
Look to my little babes, my dear remains.
And if thou love thyself, or loved'st me,
These O protect from stepdame's injury.
And if chance to thine eyes shall bring this verse,
With some sad sighs honor my absent hearse;
And kiss this paper for thy dear love's sake,
Who with salt tears this last farewell did take.

A bit of a random switch in genres, but B got me Listener's album, Wooden Heart, today. It gave me hope that this white girl could learn to rock some spoken word. (Anybody who knows what spoken word is also knows how ridiculous I would be attempting it.) Again, their writing just left me in confusion as to how someone could come up with lyrics so clever and creative. Here is my favorite from the album. It's called Seatbelt Hands.
She's the kind of lady that calls everybody baby
Honey sugar sweetie she's always making friends
And she keeps us all locked outside her thick leather skin
She always starts with a smile it's small and butter yellow
But easier than a handshake doesn't like her hands touched
She tans alot gets burnt alot smoking through the cartons
But then gets put out so much she's considered a bargain
She was born on the fourth of july with her hand on her heart
Loves america & being patronized no one ever told her to guard her heart
She was an angel for halloween once but never again
And for christmas ever year she's haunted by demons
They always tell her they love her.

She used to believe in innocence until she lost it
And spent a long summer riding the trains
She has cats and collectors plates to keep her sane
Watching tv in her favorite chair...both of which are rented
She's alone and surrounds herself with loners
Her life is a loan lent out to anyone who will own her
Waiting for the night to sweep her off her feet while she mops the bathroom floor
Hoping for a winning ticket or a man to treat her right
But they're both a gamble and she's been a loser all her life
And if she had a nickel for every time she's been punched and kicked
She'd put it together with her camel cash try to buy some happiness
They always tell her they love her but then they take something from her.
She would always show us her dreams
They were crumpled up like leaves from holding on too tight
Scattered in her shoebox coffin on the cardboard walls covered in butterflies
She's got love in her heart for her babies and hope in her mind for tomorrow
And blood on her hands that only she sees holding the last bit of time that's borrowed
But you never know where that heart has been and we'll never know how hard it's been
I wanna cut open my chest and let her in but that won't fix what needs to mend

And she stands there unlit cigarette in hand
Filling up that empty hole with anything that'll pour
Insides hanging out like a flare warning.
There's beauty in that pain can you see it?
She's crashing through life with seat belt hands
One accident away from a miracle
And there's an honesty there but i can't take it all in
She hides the worst of it in the wrinkles
That's the ache you get when there's no where else to go.
And she's got no where else to go she doesn't want to go there.
So i promise i'll go with her.
Can you say wow? How deep, truthful, yet brutal. As my fellow artist friend Nate says, "Your work is only as light as it is dark."


Thursday, February 21, 2013

I know how good I've got it.

I've got to post this before he gets home, or I'll lose the urge. :)

I am so, so, so, so thankful for my husband. For countless reasons, but there are a few that I've been thinking about all night.

My favorite view. Would you just look at that....B and me sitting at some diner. Reason #1 of thousands that I'm thankful for him: he loves breakfast dates more than dinner dates.

Ok, but really. My husband is the hardest worker I know. He's worked at least two jobs since I've known him, one of them always being ministry, which is at times a very stressful (yet rewarding) job. He is such a willing servant. I've often thought he's just a workaholic, but God's really been showing me lately that this is the guy He has made B to be in order to most glorify our Creator. Willing, willing, willing, usually when I am not.

Two jobs and full time (if not more) school? Yes, he's done that too, up until this last semester where he realized for his sanity and health he really needed to take less. And he balances it well. I have to be careful not to hog too much of his time because at the drop of a hat I know with enough batting of my eyelashes I could convince him to abandon work or school work and take me out or watch a movie with me. :) I have to be a good steward of his time too. haha

He's supposrting me in being a stay at home mom next year. Do you realize how against today's culture this is? He is willing to take on more work for himself just so I can stay home and pursue my calling of raising little ones to know and love Jesus. This is so amazing to me, and he continues to amaze me. He is sooooo good to me in this area that I constantly doubt he could really love me like. I tell you what, it is truly a JOY to serve my husband. It is so supernatural. I can't explain it as anything else except being exactly what God made me to do. (I'm sure there are plenty of days I don't exactly act or look joyful while serving him, but deep down...I know how good I've got it.) I take joy in doing load after load of laundry, planning any meal he wants, no matter the butter content (even if I do try to talk him into something healthier) I could go on and on. I just love him.

And, last but certainly not least, he loves me like Jesus loves me. I can't even express the safety that makes me feel. Again, it makes me JOYFUL to serve, submit, and follow him because he shows me Jesus' love. Someone once asked me why we emphasized submission in our wedding vows so much. I understand what a bad word that sounds like to most people, the "s" word. But I explained to them that if our husbands really are being the Jesus-like figure the Bible calls them to be, then it's so easy to submit to. I know, I know, I know, believe me, I know there are times when they aren't being like Jesus and we STILL have to submit, but I am just so thankful that in our marriage it is more often than not  easy for me to submit to my hubby because I know Christ is working through that.

Here he is now, walking in the door from a long day of work. :) And I'm just so thankful that he's happy to be home. :)


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A lonely Tuesday.

B and I usually work opposite shifts on Tuesdays. Which stinks. And he basically works alllll day Thursdays between a regular job and then ministry, and I also work Thursdays. So Thursdays also stink. But on my way to work this morning I was soooo overjoyed at the thought that I won't be lonely Tuesday and Thursday nights for much longer. :) I know this is the romanticizing part of having a new baby, but I am so going to love to have a little man to spend the night with while his daddy is out providing for us! I guess I'm spending time with him now....haha I can even feel him kicking me while I type this. Now that's love. ;)

I busted my butt getting stuff done in this little guy's room yesterday. For the first time ever, I made a list of things I was looking for before setting foot in the thrift store (thanks to some advice I got from a friend's blog post). I still only found one thing from my list...well, it wasn't even on my list, but I've always got my eye out for a good crate. I also scored yet another book and some maternity shorts. I'm not sure if this pregnancy will call for those since I'm due the last week, but they were only a couple bucks so I can pull them out if I need them.

After blogging on Sunday about all the things I really should be doing to get his room ready, I actually did them. haha I found a used changing table that was at our place by 5 p.m. and I also ordered a few of those small prints, since B and I couldn't decide on just one. All very affordable pieces. So I spent a good hour or so really dusting and cleaning the changing table. AFTER all that cleaning was when I got the bright idea to sand it down and make it look worn. I have lots of pieces in my house that really ARE old and warn, almost to the point that I don't like to clean my furniture because it just pulls more old paint off. haha Here are the before and afters:

I had already started working on the front when I remember to snap a pic.

Aaaand after. After many awkward positions, finger burns, pieces of sand paper, a purple, blistered finger, and an achey belly. I could have kept going, but it honestly took a lot out of me. Plus, it was cold standing outside for over an hour sanding away. haha But I'm quite happy with it. :) It adds to the eclectic look this doll house is going for.

By the way, today marks the beginning of the END!! :D Woohoo!! Hello third and final trimester!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

A home is a garden.

I haven't really wanted to nest lately. Sadly. Fearfully. What does that mean? Probably that I'm just busy and can't bring myself to go out and spend any money to cutesy up the baby room. So today we're hanging out at home all day after B gets home from church. I'm taking this time to search around the web for some more cute, affordable things to include in the nursery, and I'm hoping to hit up some thrift stores this week. (Anyone wanna make a trip to SLC with me? ;)) I've hit a sort of creative block with the nursery and keep talking myself down about it. "It doesn't have to be cool....he doesn't need anything, blah, blah, blah." Yes, that's all true, but I think I'd enjoy the next three months more and work through this ridiculous anticipation by staying busy making a little Hobbit hole for my little boy. Also, I've always stood my the conviction that a house becomes a home when creativity is encouraged and present. God placed Adam and Eve in the most creative, colorful, expressive garden that ever has been planted in history. That was the home He made for them before sin came and made homemaking more of a chore. I want to encourage the same sort of environment for my little ones, so they know God IS a creative God, and He has made us creative to reflect His image. (These thoughts and more were encouraged when I read The Hidden Art of Homemaking which I've mentioned before.)

While searching on Etsy, I found this adorable shop! I love all these prints!! How could I decide on just one? :)

This was the first one I came across. It has all the little animals I'm trying to incorporate (but still haven't?). But look at the others! Aren't they darling? Very earthy, yet creative and storybook-like. They sort of remind me of Where the Wild Things Are.

Ahhhhhh!!! Foxes AND France? Oh my!
Hopefully my creative juices are being stirred. Have a relaxing Sunday afternoon!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Prego Questions!

Because everyone is just dying to know these answers....not. haha I've just had lots of nothing but thoughts about baby and adjusting to my new uncomfortable body this week, so why not just continue with the theme here? ;) I found these cute questions on this blog.

How far along are you: My doctor and I have made a compromise haha So I'm a few days short of 27 weeks now. :)

Size of Baby: Huge! lol The Bump has a cute chart that shows the size of the baby at each week based on a food. So this week my little babe is the size of a head of lettuce.

Maternity Clothes: Ha...well, I think I have four shirts that I remember off the top of my head, and a few dresses. I don't think I'm going to buy anymore though. My of my sweet student's parents got me a be band last week, so that's been really nice to just wear under normal clothes and get the extra length I need on shirts. Other than that, I'll probably have to start sleeping in B's old t-shirts soon. ;)

Stretch Marks: Not yet haha I have an odd combo of things I've been doing to try and prevent them, but obviously I can't do much if they do happen. I use Mango Shea lotion, Neutrogena Norwegian body wrap, and Doterra's Wild Orange oil mixed with some coconut carrier oil. I just grab whatever I have on hand. The Neutrogena is the same lotion I've used since high school. My skin would get so dry that when I'd shave my legs they'd just bleed afterwards. This was the lotion my mom found that really helped. I used the mango shea butter because I read that any lotion with shea works for stretch marks, as well as any essential oil. Luckily, while reading my book on essential oils during pregnancy, I learned that Wild Orange is one they specifically suggest using. So I did, but some days the smell can be a bit strong for me and it makes me sick, so I really have to be careful when I use it. (I ONLY suggest using Doterra's oils during pregnancy. Noting else has gone through the testing like they have to check for purity and quality, so who knows what else you're really putting on and in your body when you use another brand of essential oils.) Anyways, there's my spiel about that.

Weight gain/loss: I don't really care who knows this. lol I'm about 19 pounds as of my last appt. My doctor said I'm gaining a bit quickly and he really wants me to try and stay at 30 total since I'm little, so his suggestion was cutting out dairy and bread. I do looooove my Greek yogurt, as well as cheese, and I could eat a few bagels a day, so yes, I'm guilty on both those accounts. haha I've been having some fun switching up my diet this week, as well as trying to cut out white flour and sugar as I go into my last trimester. (starting TUESDAY!! EEEK)

Sleep: I'm feeling much more comfortable. I take off the top pillows on the Boppy body pillow that's for your arms and use that to support my tummy. Using the whole thing just made me soooo hot at night, and it was like having a person laying between my husband and I, which we didn't really like. But this has made me much, much more comfortable. It's just finding the TIME to sleep during our crazy schedule. ;)

Best Moment of the week: When B was scratching and poking my belly before School of Worship last night. :) It has freaked him out so far, but without even realizing it he just seemed to be scratching it (which made me VERY happy) and poking around while waiting for these to start last night. :) It just felt like a very natural, dad-like thing to do. :) Am I crazy? Yes, I think he's wonderful. :)

Movement: Oh my goodness!! Since he's my first I have nothing else to compare him to. The first long, long while he was really chill. Everyone told me that. My doctor, the ultrasound tech, and I knew he wasn't a crazy mover. But these last few days I seriously feel like he's trying to bust out of the oven!! It's like he takes both his feet at the same time and tries to pop my belly!! He's crazy strong.

Symptoms: Still no period. ;) haha I couldn't resist. Other than that, I'm just really, really uncomfortable in basically any position. I think I'm coming to the end of being able to bend over and help my student's clean up toys. I'm feeling lots of pressure under my ribs.

Food Carvings: I have wanted a vanilla cone from McDonald's alllll week (probably because my doctor said no dairy) haha

Gender: Boy!! :) I prayed for a boy. I would have been just as happy with a girl, but I really, really prayed God would bless our family with an older, godly brother to love on, guide, and protect his other siblings. :)

Belly button in or out: haaaaa! It's almost out!! That's so crazy!! One of the most painful things I've experienced during pregnancy is (well, I don't actually know what it is) when he starts kicking the belly button! It's like he is literally pushing it out from the inside!

Anything make you queazy or sick: Essential oils. haha I put some rose oil in my humidifier about a week ago, a normal, safe number of drops, but I just think the scent was too, too strong. So basically any of my oils are making me feel sick now.

Labor signs: Not that I know of haha

Wedding ring on or off: On. :) I don't really think I've had any sweeling at all....yet.

What I miss: Get up and bending over with ease.

What I am looking forward to: meeting my handsome little man!!! Ahhh...can't wait!!! :)

Nursery: Sigh...basically at a stand still until the shower. I'm not sure what I do, so I'm not thinking about it too much. It's honestly the least of my worries when it comes to planning for this little guy.

Emotions: haha This week I've totally relied on myself to be nice, instead of asking the Holy Spirit to help, which resulted not being very nice. I've noticed I say the first thing that comes to my mind without even thinking a lot more and use "pregnancy" as an excuse. Really, it's just sin. So Jesus had a good headrt to heart with me yesterday. :)

Stupid things I have done: Well, I called all the men on my husband's side of the family wiener-meanies while we were playing a boys vs. girls game a while ago. I was VERY tired and sick of playing games, so....yeah, again, first thing that came to find just came out. They all got a good laugh, but the phrase has since stuck around.

Name: Not telling the world on here just yet. :) We have two names, but B has decided he just wants to wait to see what he looks like. :) So cute!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A moment to gush...

I like today, Valentine's Day, simply because it's a day to privately (or publically) gush about how awesome my husband is. We've never really been huge Valentine's Day people. I think this may actually be the first year we're going out ON Valentine's Day. We've always worked in the past at jobs where we couldn't get off, so this is the first time we're going out with a big group of friends. We could all use a little dinner getaway to SLC. I'm excited. As long as I have a full tummy, I'm a happy and thankful girl.

I came home from work a little while ago and this sweet little love note was sitting on our kitchen table. sigh What a sweetie...he's always been so good at leaving me little notes everywhere, and since I'm truly a hopeless romantic, I looooooooooooooooooooooove it! (Speaking of hopeless romantics, have any of you poetry lovers out there seen Bright Star? That's a true Valentine's Day movie. A little on  the depressing side, but every good story has to have a dark side.)
Anyways, I always write B a little Valentine's note. I love writing, so writing him love letters is awesome. Some years I've made him Valentines. One year I even made him a good old Valentine's Day show box full of notes. He still has it. He says it was one of his favorites. It's up in his closet. :)
So I'm taking this chance to publically honor my hubby and tell you how lucky I am. :) Because I really am, and I know I don't deserve it one bit, especially after all the pregnancy fits he's put up with the last few days. (Crying and screaming in to pillows, not filtering my thoughts before I speak, being a meanie-head, etc). He has always, always, always been patient with me and continues to grow in that every day. One thing I recently read in a book was that God gives us our husbands as a form of protection. I am sooooo thankful that I have B as my protection and he is very good at his job! :) He is such a hard worker and I'm always blown away at his willingness to serve. Believe me, he complains a whoooole lot less than I do. I have so much to learn from him.
I already told him this this morning, so I'm thinking it's ok to share with you guys. So far, I think pregnancy has been the best part of our marriage simply because I have fallen in love with him soooo much more as I've watched God grow and prepare him to be a daddy. I loooove it!! It's definitely a sexy thing. I can't explain it. haha So I'll just stop there. But I will keep on having his babies if it means watching him be a dad over and over again. I just love it!! I really can't wait to see him with this little guy. :) 

Love you, b.


Monday, February 11, 2013

More thoughts on pregnancy: anticipation & diet

Yep, it's here. All my days and lots of my thoughts are filled with anticipation of this little guy getting here. I finished registering with a friend on Saturday, and I'm sooo thankful I did that! As a first time mom I had NO CLUE about all the little gadgets that you need for breast pumps/feeding, little tricks for having diapers ready in the car, etc. It was very helpful! (Thanks Stac!) After that, I attended a baby shower yesterday. All this combined with the cold weather is really causing much impatience on my part for May to get here, and secondly, summer!!

Summer means gardening. Actually, summer means your garden better have been in a few months ago with plenty of time to start soaking up the sun. I was planning my garden online through Smart Gardener. It's a sweet tool that help you literally plan out each square in your garden (I have a raised square foot garden box), but it also tells you what grows well in your area according to your zip code. Super easy! One of my favorite parts is that based off of your zip, it can tell you which plants are ready to be planted each week of the year, if any at all. I learned there is a lot more that can be planted in the cold months in Utah than I thought.

After looking over my calendar, I realized the bulk of what we like to eat and that is plantable needs to be in the ground right around week 38 of my pregnancy!! Can you imagine? I'm having visions of going in to labor with dirt up to my elbows....

It's either that, or I just go for it as soon as baby is born. ( I may recruit the help of many of my gardening friends this year. My herb garden will all come back on its own, I just need to get those veggies in! I think gardening will be fine with a new born, since my bed is literally right outside our front door. I can lay baby down for a nap, leave the screen door open, and soak up some rays while pulling weeds. :) And for when I want to hang outside with my little guy, I registered for this super cool portable activity seat.

I can set it up next to me while I garden, put a hat on my little man, and hopefully garden away. Since our condo is kinda small (I'm not complaining, I love my little dollhouse) we love to spend time outside in the cool of the morning or evening. I prefer reading and studying in the that I think about it....we prefer reading in the evenings too. ;) haha (We literally sat on the couch reading from about 3 in the afternoon until 9 at night yesterday. Sundays...are exhausting, so we really try to Sabbath in the afternoons.)

So much gibber gabber today.

I'm really trying to cut out white sugar and flour in this last part of my pregnancy. I've been reading and hearing from lots of people that it really helps prevent tearing and cuts down on blood loss during labor, as well as after birth. Since I've developed this crazy, untamable sweet tooth the last few weeks I've really been searching for some healthier sweet treats to make. I'm turning to one of our favorite vegan desserts which is an upside down fruit cake. I love it because you really can use whatever fruits you have on hand, or that are in season. Since strawberries have been such a good deal these last few weeks, I'll be using those up, along with the banana a day I'm trying to consume to help these ridiculously scary charley horses that attack at of nowhere. (I'm scared to go to bed at night for fear accientally pointing a toe and causing a charley horse.)

It looks like the blog I got it from doesn't really exist anymore, but I search some more on pinterest and found the recipe in a comment under the picture of the dessert, so here it is for ya'll:

"8 dates 1/2 cup shredded coconut- in processor till thick paste. Slice a banana and line bottom and sides of small container. Spread half of paste smoothly. Layer the fruit-3 layers and spread rest of crust over the top, so it all looks pretty. Refrigerate overight. Carefuly remove from container."

(You don't NEED to refrigerate over night, as long as you make it early enough in the day to set. I better hurry up and finish here so I can go do that!!)

This is what it looks like so you know how to layer it. I use my little ramekins or small containers that I usually store leftovers in. So yummy and healthy! :)


Friday, February 8, 2013

On my Bookshelf: Part 1

As I'm getting ready for our workshop tonight, I wanted to share some books to get your creative juices going. Most of these I have read, a few I haven't, but have for specific creative reasons (which I will explain). I also wanted to share to show you that there are many books out there that people may not view as creative, but really almost any book can get "creative" juices going (either because you agree or disagree with what it's saying, giving you something to write about). I spent many times in college worshiping Jesus through reading textbooks about child psychology or boring early American literature, while getting my thoughts going.

These are a few of the books I'm choosing to take tonight. We are going to do a little "First we read, then we write" activity. We'll each pick a book and read through it for about 10 minutes, taking down any notes, creative thoughts, or ideas that are sparked while reading. Then we'll provide time to expand on one thought. First, they're picking a book to read, then they're writing about whatever the heck came to mind while writing. (Yes, this is totally a preview to any of you guys that are coming tonight!! ;) )

So, from top to bottom:

The Christian's Secrets of a Happy Life : This is one I haven't read. I have it because I often turn to my best friend's mom for suggestions on creative books when my creative well is dry. (She writes like me, only much more seriously at this point than I do! GO JEN!) This is one of the books she told me to grab over a year ago when I was in college and trying to figure out what my life as a Christian writer/artist of any kind looked like, and if that was even what God was calling me to. I plan on getting around to it eventually. I've also heard the title is much cheesier sounding than the book itself.

A Poetry Handbook : This was one of the two "textbooks" required when I took my poetry class last Spring. Very simple straight forward book on all the how-to's about poetry. Anyone who doesn't know a thing about poetry could pick this up and learn. I am a truly tone-deaf poet. I couldn't scan a line of poetry to save my life, but this book was very helpful on teaching me to use other sound devices in poetry to keep a beat going. Also, I love Mary Oliver's poetry! I'm not too big into many poets that are still living (I mean, who is? ;) It's cooler to read their stuff once they've died. Ha!), but on our last weekend trip to SLC I picked up her poetry book, A Thousand Mornings, and was really in love with it! I also follow her on twitter (haha) and  really enjoy reading one liners from her poems every now and then.

How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One: This was the other "textbook" required for my upper division poetry class. I guess you could say this is more for the grammarian, which was helpful for me because I'm not too much of a grammarian. I'm a creative writer, not a technical writer, but I need grammar to polish up any creative writing, so this was a good one for those sort of things!

About Time : This is one of my nerdier books, but it just goes to show you how science can help in the area of creativity! I can't actually remember if I've read it, but I believe I've scanned it. For a while there I was really in to studying the theory of time because of a poem I was writing. I was amazed at the idea that time is slower (or faster? I don't remember now) the more you travel away from the earth. See, I may even have this wrong, but the whole idea of that being possible is so fascinating to me! So I got this book to help me understand it, and hopefully help add to my poetry writing. Research totally helps add meat to your writing!

The Prayers of Kierkagaard : For my notebooks and journaling class, I had to pick an artist's notebook to read and present on. I was going to do this one, but somebody else in the class got to it before I did. (I ended up presenting on Pascal's Pensees another great Christian artist, writer, inventor who I think I get to teach on a bit in this semester's School of Worship! woohoo) Even though this is debated, Kierkegaard is regarded as a Christian in some circles, but he was also dabbling into Existentialism (I wish my hubby was home so I could confirm that). Either way, his book of prayers is esentially just like my prayer journal that I (try) to write in every morning, but it's so cool to look into the heart of another artist calling on God to infuse their art! So, so cool!

Alright, well that's lots of books to chew on for now. I'll share more in the future (literally, shelves and shelves more), as I really enjoy the sharing of books that influence creativity in people's lives. Any suggestions out there? :) I hope you guys can stop by the library this weekend and pick something up! :) Remember, there is always, always, always something inspiring in God's Word too! Psalm 45:1 says, "My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe." I love, love, love this verse and bring it up lots in the workshop because it just reminds me of the endless themes we have in God's Word to write about and meditate on for creativity. You could never exhaust any numbers of pens or pages just exploring the topic of God's grace towards us, and that's just ONE of thousands and thousands of topics. Anyways, so always remember to go to God's Word first for creative inspiration! Ask the Holy Spirit, and He will inspire!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Registering for baby & more evidence that we have no clue what we're doing.

We went and registered today. Finally. When is the right time to register anyways? I don't know, but it's one of the things my thoughts turn to at night now while I'm not doing much sleeping.

Registering really just freaked me out more. I think. What it really did was confirm that we have no idea what we're getting into as parents, and only by God's grace will we learn. haha I'm having a good friend of mine go back to help with some of the items I had more questions about, like breast pumps, and also help me register for the things a first time mom just wouldn't think to register for. (Like socks. Do I register for baby socks? AH!)

I found this blog post on what to register for very helpful. Besides being registered at Babies-R-Us, I'm also registered online at which I HIGHLY suggest doing. Throughout my pregnancy so far I've really wanted to research bigger ticket items to get the best bang for my buck, as well as learning about things I actually NEED and will use. At first, I started forgetting everything I liked because I didn't have a log of items in one place, but through this website I've been able to keep track of items I like, as well as watch sales and get any items that are a good deal. (For example, I got my diaper bag on Black Friday.) Now I can just keep the extra items I consider must-haves, but I can't register for at Babies-R-Us.

After all my research, becoming more relaxed and practical about what we actually need, will use, want, etc, here are my favorite items that I can't wait to use!

No, Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bags were not a need for us. This was a little bit of a splurge my hubby let me get. We had a little extra money one month after he sold a bunch of guitar stuff, and I found a rockin' deal on this bag on Black Friday. Petunia's actual website never had a sale section (believe me, I looked and looked) but on Black Friday one magically appeared! I had been searching and searching for sales since I found out I was pregnant in September. I only found two diaper bag brands that carried backpack to shoulder carriers, which I wanted. (There are many on Etsy, but since they're handmade they are MUCH more expensive than Petunia.) I wanted to have a backpack while having my arms free to carry our little dude around. I saw a mom who had one like this at Ikea once, and I thought it was genius! I also generally have really terrible lower back pain, so anything carried on one shoulder tends to become very painful. Anyways, the other one I liked was the Ju Ju BE BFF bag. I have a smaller diaper bag for when I don't need to carry this huge one around, but if you know know how big my own purse is! haha The bigger the bag, the better. ;) How is my kid going to be a bookworm if I don't allow extra space to carry around extra books? ;)

I asked several people I knew who had used baby carriers, and they all said if they did it all over again, they'd go with the Ergo Baby Carrier. I was all set and registered for a Sakura Bloom sling, but after reading several reviews on them I saw a common complaint of backpain again. My hubby, being an Eagle Scout, says the idea of the Ergo is better for your body because there is a hip strap which allows you to carry your weight in your hips, like a backpacking backpack does, instead of your lower back. We went to Nordstrom's and tried one on, both of us, got all our questions asked, and we were both happy with this one. It really is so, so comfy! And the cool thing is that you can wear it front, back, and on your hip if you want.

I can't remember if I've mentioned B's sudden weirdness about making sure his child and I have nothing to do with BPA products. He usually doesn't care much about that stuff. I'm more gullible than he is by far, so when he actually believes something that's a huge red flag to me. haha So one night as I was doing dishes after dinner, B came in and started throwing away all sorts of canned veggies (mostly tomatoes because we don't use canned much else). "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?" Not that it was too expensive, but still! We're on a tighter budget these days, folks! Anyways, he proceeded to tell me how all the cans have BPA in them, which is bad for people in general, but especially pregnant ladies and babies. He's so silly and cute. :) He said he doesn't care if I have to spend a little more on jarred food, he doesn't want me buying cans where BPA is used anymore.  
That's where Life Factory bottles come into play! They are glass and BPA free!! I find it cute that B wants to protect us in this way. I'm hoping we won't have to use too many bottles (and if we do the world won't end), but I did register for a few of these. They also make water bottles and some other products.
A mom I know went with me to pick out a stroller, which I later made B go back and test to make sure he liked too. He literally RAN around the store pushing it to make sure he liked it. ;) Even though I know we'll survive without a stroller, I found her advice very helpful. She said to pick one that you can easily turn with one hand, since you may be holding the baby at the same time you're trying to push the stroller around. She said you obviously want something light, so it's not too heavy to carry around from car to car. She also said to get one with cup and snack holders that are plastic and not fabric, making it easier to clean. We ended up picking the Graco Moonstruck stroller, as well as the car carrier that goes with it.
Like I've said before, my baby and myself will survive without all these things. Standing around the store having no clue what half the things in there are for made me realize this is allllllllll about learning to grow in my role as a mom. So, if you guys have any suggestions of these to register for, feel free to let me know! :) I feel like there was a bunch of random stuff we didn't need, but we registered for it anyways because it looked so fun. You only do this for the first time once, so I guess we made the most of it. :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tonight, around my table.

While the husband's away...working and providing like he does so well....the wifey is home, working. And catching up on some reading. :)

Yes, there it is, the much controversial Hypnobirthing book.

I will say two things: First, I enjoy reading and learning. That's just who God made me. I read almost everything I can get my hands on. I know for a fact I would research Hypnobirthing on my own time even if I wasn't pregnant because I find it interesting. Just because I have this book, and am reading it, doesn't mean I'm doing hypnobirthing (at this point, I still have no clue what it means), but just because I'm saying that doesn't mean I may not incorporate it or go with some of their exercises, if I choose to go that route.

Second, I could care less about a "birth plan." Now that it's actually coming down to it, I care so much less about how this baby gets out of me, as long as it's healthy and breathing, than I thought I ever would. I'm much more worried about a life plan of raising with little boy in the Lord beside my hubby than I am about the first few moments of how it entered this world. I'm seeing my weaknesses and insufficiencies in myself, as well as my absolute need to depend on Christ more and more to raise this child in a God honoring way.

So, epidural, no epidural, all natural-smatchual...I trust God will provide wisdom through my doctor and my husband to help me make these decisions. But in my down time, I am choosing to read up and educate myself. And, like I said before, I truly enjoy learning about this stuff.

Paired with my reading tonight is a cup of hot mint tea. I'm really trying to avoid peppermint since reading this, but I diffused some rose oil in my humidifier tonight and it really made my tummy upset, so I'm hoping the mint will settle it. I'm also snacking on this delicious strawberry yogurt cake. I found a rockin' deal on strawberries this week (1.48 per pound!) and I couldn't pass them up!

Alrighty, well I'm out! I hope you guys have fun catching up on your reading and nightly activities as well! :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Thoughts from around the house.

I could say this over and over again: I am happy as a lark being in my home 24/7. God's just made me that way, moreso over the last few years, but He has good reason. God warns about the wily woman in Proverbs 7:11 when Solomon writes, "...her feet do not stay home." So I'm plenty thankful, and B has expressed to me many times as well, that God has made me this way.

I spent the last week and a half either running around like a crazy person, trying to ignore my lack of sleep and energy, or prepping to run around like a crazy person. Unfortunately, I can't even guzzle down extra coffee for energy, so I've just given a sleepy smile at most of the, "You look tired" comments from this last week. No harm done! Now you and I just both know I've been tired and pregnant. haha This being the case, I was sitting in second service at church yesterday wanting nothing more than to just laying down in the pew and go to sleep. Since B was teaching I didn't want him to feel bad that his wife fell asleep during his sermon. haha

After feeling that tired, I decided to go home and clear my schedule for today. I have seriously spent the entire day, and will continue to, tackling the dust bunnies, mixing natural cleaners, contorting my body into strange positions to reach hidden corners and clean them, vaccuming (my chest muscles are pretty achey from this now), and just getting this little doll house cleaned up. When I apologize to B for there being too many books on the table, or a random pile of unfolded clothes for a day, he graciously responds with something like, "It's really ok. I don't mind out house looking like we actually live here." What a sweetie. :) Despite that, I do want our home to continue to be a place of comfort to him because I totally gush when I hear him say, "I love being home!" everytime he walks in the door.

Anyways, accomplishing all these things around the house today, God gently reminded me of the call He's placed on my life. He has called me to have a homeward focused heart. Nobody else can clean my house except for me, nobody else can be my husband's God ordained helper except for me, nobody else can raise this little boy and (hopefully) others except for me and their daddy. Someone else can always be a better pre-school teacher, encourager, prayer partner, friend, pastor's wife, and many other things, than I can be. Even though nothing terrible got out of hand during this last busy week, I just realized how much smoother things are when I do it God's way and make sure my heart is homeward focused first, and then all of those other things.

Proverbs 14: 1 "The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down."

I've also had a complete lack of any sort of drive to finish the baby's room, also mixed with some normal feelings of anxiousness as I see my last trimester approaching. (I've said this to many people, but that means there's a REAL HUMAN BEING at the end of this next trimester!) It just seems like there is sooooo much that has to happen in the next three months or so: baby shower, reorganize the rest of the house, get the furniture we still need, spend money on baby, spend money here, spend money there, decorate, sigh....a lot. haha

Proverbs 14:26 "In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have refuge."

God again quietly reminded me through this verse this morning that this baby honestly has everything he needs already: a Savior who died for him, a mommy and a daddy living under the same roof, a crib, and a home. NONE of those above things that I listed really matter. None of them. I just need to make sure that I keep my eyes and heart on Jesus, and God will bless my little ones with a home that is a refuge.

I hope this encourages any other anxious, tired, exhausted mommy and wife hearts out there!