Friday, July 26, 2013

Oh, Hey 23

Today's my birthday! 
A lot has happened in my 22nd year of life. 
I think back to where I was last year, living at home, not married yet, living in San Mateo close to all of my family and friends.
Here I am married, living in Gilroy, at a new church, with a new set of friends, oh and a baby on the way.
Phew. 
I am so thankful, so grateful, so in awe of how life has changed in the past year.
It has really been the best year ever. 

I feel like I have a really good grasp on who I am
I think that has come with growing more in my relationship with Jesus, being humbled every day in my marriage, and being thrown new circumstances and challenges all the time. 
I used to think I wasn't good at change, until I started thinking about all the change that has gone on and  how good I feel about my life after all of it. 
I'm thankful for my God who has been gracious to me in all of it.
The days he's been gracious in my cries of frustration, of helplessness, of loneliness, and utter disbelief that I am lovable to Him. 
I'm thankful He's been patient with me, too.
I'm thankful that He's God and that I don't have to worry about filling that role, ever. Because I would definitely suck at it. 

This is where I was one year ago:

Celebrating my birthday at home

Loving every minute of my besties visiting


Attending beautiful showers before the wedding



I was preparing to be a wife. Preparing to leave home and start a whole new chapter of life.
I think about how much young Christian women focus on being a wife and what that entails.
Cooking, baking, cleaning, decorating, nesting...
and how quickly those things lose priority.
Which is perfectly ok. 
Not that you shouldn't feed your husband and keep your house live-ably clean. 
But marriage is about so much more FUN than that. 
I also think of how thankful I am for Seth and that he doesn't care when the bed isn't made, the floor is covered in kitty litter and hair, and when the clean laundry has been clean for  week and is still in the hamper.
Since then I've done this:

bachelorette partied

ate lots of cake
and gained 10 pounds from it


honeymooned in Napa


We had our first Christmas -
it was slightly unconventional but definitely a memorable one.

honeymooned in New York City 
and the Bahamas



Life has really moved fast since we got back from our big honeymoon trip.
We bought a kitty. 
And we don't remember life with our little Peanut. 
Seth has continued to excel in school.
I was hired as a part time substitute teacher as I continue to work my job at the CRC call center. 
We became members of Garden City Church.
We found out we were pregnant.
 Ok well I'm the pregnant one. But it was a joint effort. 
We went to Seattle.

We continue to learn to rest in the plan that God has for us, and be ever so thankful for it.
Despite its unexpected twists and turns, it's really been wonderful. 
They say your first marriage is the worst or hardest one.
I don't believe it. 
Not one bit. 
I love what Seth had to say a few weeks ago, out of the blue he said:
"If I could do it all over again, I would have done it sooner."

Ok, back to the fact that it's my birthday.
I'm only 23, and I'm willing to bet the best is yet to come. 
Because that's how God is, He continues to give us joy despite the crazy circumstances - and there is so much more joy to be found resting in Him than freaking out about a plan for my life that I have zero control over. 

Here's to 23.
And becoming a mama. 
And having more adventures. 
And laughing at myself. 
And showing myself more grace.
And showing others more grace. 
And resting more in Jesus - becoming more like Him in everything that I do. 
And celebrating life - because it's so short, and so sweet and I want to drink it all in before it's over. 













Wednesday, July 24, 2013

21 weeks - A Spaghetti Squash!

The vegetable & fruit comparisons are getting a little out of control. I know. One website says this week he's a carrot, one says a pomegranate, and the other says a spaghetti squash.
On what planet are any of those similar in size or shape? 
I digress.

I'm starting to feel....big.
My doctor telling me to go easy on the weight gain didn't help.
You guys, I've only gained 13 pounds -- in most worlds that's NOT THAT BAD.

In her world I should only gain 7 more pounds before baby arrives -- which will probably be about how much he weighs....which means I need to be extremely careful. 
I digress from that too.

I know I will be thankful after he's here that I didn't gain 50 pounds. Because even though I plan to breastfeed and be smart about eating, the pounds don't fall off for everyone. 


How far along? 21 weeks - 4 days

Baby size? Baby is the size of a spaghetti squash. He is know measured from head to foot instead of head to rump - he is about 11 inches long and weighs almost a pound!

Total Weight Gain: 13 pounds. I swore I'd never publish that but it may help keep me accountable for what I eat for the rest of my pregnancy. 

Maternity clothes? There is nothing else I wear these days. I have retired my long sleeve shirts and clothes I won't fit into after baby (at least right away) to a box in the closet for now.

Stretch marks? so far my skin is still pretty smooth. I'm not trying to make a big deal out of it but I'm sure there are a couple more than the last time I checked.

Sleep: Inception style freaky dreams. Dreams within dreams within dreams. I will definitely be glad to not have those anymore. I bought a body-pregnancy pillow last week. Seth calls it the "c-block" (you can figure out what that means). It helps on some nights...other nights I just feel crowded and hot by it. Last night my hip ached the whole night and I desperately miss sleeping on my stomach. Right now I'm  experimenting with the right leg propped up lifting belly up slightly while still on my stomach method. It will work...for a little while.

Best Moment: Feeling the little guy move. Even though it's only slight it sure is exciting! I also started buying stuff for the nursery corner. Little guy will have a mini crib with a small corner of wall space. I'm going to do the absolute best I can with the small space we have to work with.

Our theme is Winnie the Pooh (duh). I've been collecting vintage Winnie the Pooh art and figures for a few years and I'm excited to incorporate them into the room. I started buying prints for a wall of different Winnie the Pooh quotes and story book pages. 
It will end up being a wall collage. I'm also going to buy a large decal (I think) to cover one wall. Something like this...


Miss anything? My sleep! Our cat has been especially obnoxious at night which isn't helping me sleep at all.

Movement? I definitely feel him moving throughout the day!
  
Cravings: Mexican food & pizza.
Which I indulged in both last week.
This week has been good so far...
I find if I keep myself full of good stuff I don't really crave anything.

Queasy/sick? Heart burn. I now carry tums in my purse everywhere I go!

Gender? B-O-Y

Labor signs? Nope. Baby boy is hanging out really low though which is slightly nerve-wracking. My doc doesn't seem to be worried which is good thoug.

Belly button? Definitely on its way out.

Wedding rings on/off? On!

Mood? Weepy.
I cry all the dang time.
Sometimes its for legitimate reasons....sometimes it's for ridiculous reasons.
I sure am glad Seth is a patient man. 

Looking Forward to:  putting together the nursery!

Also, it's my birthday on Friday!
Looking forward to celebrating that :)


Monday, July 22, 2013

My Favorite PinterTest of All

I started knitting sweet little Ashlyn Grace a blanket before she was born.... 6 years ago.

I was 16.
My knitting wasn't very good.
It's still sitting stuffed away in my closet at home,
unfinished.

My knitting still isn't very good.
But when I picked up crocheting and taught myself back in January, my eyes were opened to new possibilities.

I've always like crafty things, but I'm definitely more of an instant gratification craft person.
So, committing to a blanket is kind of a big deal.
But, you guys....

I did it.

When I found out Jess was pregnant with another little one, I got so excited.
First because, Jess & Dave make the cutest kids.
Second, because I had a new chance at finishing a blanket.

I started searching pinterest for the perfect pattern.
And by perfect I mean easy to follow.
Because as much as I love to crochet and am eager to learn new things, I kind of suck at fancy patterns.
This one seemed adorable, and easy enough to make.

Click here for pattern!

It took me a little over 5 weeks to finish.
A lot of counting, and recounting.
It's not perfect.
But I really love how it turned out. 


Here's a little bit of the progress:



This blanket also captured a lot of attention. People would ask me all the time what the story was behind it. And if I was having a girl based on the colors.
The day this picture was taken a woman stopped me and asked if she could take my picture, she thought I looked cute just sitting and crocheting the morning away. 

This is my favorite pinter-test of all time.
Because in a couple months a sweet little girl will be wrapped up in this warm blanket.
I can't wait to meet you sweet Holland. 
I hope you like pink & white chevron stripes as much as I do :)














Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Dark-Salty-Almondy-Chocolatey Goodness

I just passed these cookies around the office. 

Not my photo...mine weren't as yummy looking :)


I hear a lot of this:
"mmmmmmm"
"goodness gracious, what is this?!"
"whoa"
"dang these are good"

I'll be honest. These aren't MY personal favorite. 
I think it's because I know I messed up the recipe a little bit. 

I accidentally read "1/4 cup flour" instead of "1 & 1/4 cup flour" -- I added only 1/4 cup at first and realized at the end that it looked a little funny. So I added the next cup of flour but the dough was SUPER crumbly and I didn't know how to fix it.

This is why I avoid baking. Everything has to be exactly right all the time, I'm more of a estimator when it comes to cooking. I don't do exact measurements. I don't exactly like to follow directions all the time. 

I made Seth try one as soon as he got home, and he approved so I figured they couldn't be that bad.  I know it was more in my head that they were ruined.

I promise they're a hit- just make sure you add the right amount of flour the first time.
Our neighborhood group loved them on Monday night,
and here we are on Wednesday and they are as good as they were on Monday night.  
Still gooey and the chocolate chips a little warm, that's from sitting in my car in the sun though...my little secret for making them taste fresh :)

All of that being said, you should probably go and make these. 
They are the perfect chocolate chip cookie for the adult pallet. A little salty, a little dark, and the almonds are the perfect touch. 

Original link and recipe can be found here.

Happy Wednesday!




Monday, July 8, 2013

19 weeks - Hello Little Mango!

Hi little man! You are the cutest!

How far along? 19 weeks - 3 days.

Baby size? Baby is the size of a mango - about 6.5 inches 
 
Total Weight Gain: I feel like a whale these days...so I've gained enough.

Maternity clothes?: Yes. I'm a little bitter because they are so expensive. BUT, I did find some CHEAP maternity leggings that are not see through for only $5.99 at Ross. Best purchase ever.

Stretch marks? yes :( Discovered them this past week. The lotion I bought smells like gross cheap chocolate...so I don't think I'll be using that. Not sure what would be better for stretchmarks. Everyone says they can't be avoided anyways and that its all genetics.

Sleep: More weird dreams. General discomfort. Trying to stay on one side but my leg & hip falls asleep. I think its time for a special pregnancy pillow.

Best Moment:Seeing baby boy on Friday! We had a great ultrasound, even though it took him forever to flip over to see his little face. He's gonna be cute, I just know it. 

We also got to bring the rocking chair from my parents house down this weekend. This special chair was bought and finished by Grandma, then my mom used it for my brother and I, my other grandma used it when she lived with us before she passed, and now I get to use it for our little guy!


Miss anything? I miss being comfortable. I'm constantly having trouble laying down, sitting down, getting off the couch..

Movement? a little bit! I'm starting to feel flutters. 
  
Cravings: Burritos. I feel like I could eat one every day. 

Queasy/sick? Unfortuneately I started to get heartburn & indigestion in the past couple weeks. Last night was terrible..and now I have a fever/chill issue going. 
 
Gender? Our little turkey is a boy!!

Labor signs? No. Thank goodness, no.

Belly button? Definitely on its way out.

Wedding rings on/off? On!

Mood? Exhausted, tired, sleepy....I see a trend here. 

Looking Forward to:  Feeling harder kicks!

Names?Oh yes, conversation is over. We've got a good one!




Pregnancy is teaching me a lot about my husband. A lot of good things. He has been patient, caring and oh so kind to me. He makes me laugh all the time, even if it makes me pee a little. He is understanding of all my craziness, and he always snuggles me close at night. I'm so excited to watch him become a Dad. I know he will be amazing.

I'm also learning how awesome our friends are. There has been an outpouring of kindness ever since we found out we were pregnant. I'm just so happy to know that our friends will love the crap out of this kid. I know that sounds weird, but they will. I'm excited to see how this baby transforms our relationships with our friends and family. It will be a big change, but I think an exciting one.

We are off to LA this weekend for fun with some good friends of ours. I seriously can't wait!! This is a super exciting month. Visiting friends, baby showers, and my birthday...and it's already flying by. 

I'll be back with more adventures soon. I'm trying a new chocolate chip recipe this afternoon, if it's good I'll make sure to share :)


Monday, July 1, 2013

These Days

These days....
It's hot. I'm more thankful for air conditioning than I thought possible.

I'd rather not put on clothing, this bump is getting out of control and nothing is comfortable.

I need a daily reminder that my hips will go back to normal size, and that stretch marks do fade.

I'm feeling the need to nest. Yesterday I practically rearranged half of our house. It was necessary but a little overkill for one day.
Just a little sneak peak of part of the transformation...

I'm feeling withdrawn. I feel like I've been on overload and I just want to run away for a little while.

I need to connect. Mostly with Jesus. I rely too much on myself and forget how much I desperately need grace in order to do anything right. 

I need to stop stressing. About where were going to settle, how we're going to parent, how we're going to provide, how we're going to....survive.

I'm feeling tired. I think I already told you I need a vacation, but I'll go ahead and mention that again.

I need to appreciate my husband more. I take for granted all that he does, and need to remember that pregnancy is not a free ride to be a lazy slop of a wife.

I need to remember Gods promises.
That He is always good.
 He is always in control.
 His love and grace are never ending.
His power is greater than my fears and failures.

Life is only found in Him.


And as I waste my time in worry, doubt, and endless need for control...He says:

Child, stop it would ya? I've got this all figured out. In fact, I did before you even got here, before anyone ever got here. I love you. I love that baby boy inside you, remember the one that I purposed without your plan? Have you forgotten that I'm the provider? The bank-filler, the house finder, the job giver, the plan smasher, the only source of joy you've got.

And things go momentarily back into perspective, until my sin messes it up again.

So, I will hold onto this truth as long as I can remember. And when it fades, I'll repeat it all over again.

Because Your steadfast love is greater than life, my lips will praise You. Psalm 63:3