The Life Not My Own

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Growing a Baby

I had another doctor’s appointment this week.  Again, I measured small (this time barely 31, and I’m 34 weeks).  Again, I had an ultrasound, and again, Baby B measured just fine.  The sonogram estimated him to already be over 5 pounds! 

And so I’ve come to realize that growing a baby inside of you isn’t once size fits all.  Every woman, and every baby, doesn’t fit inside a specific box.  It just doesn’t work that way!  I’m tall and thin, and my baby is just inside of me more.  (That would probably explain my intensely sore ribs…hah!). 

So anyway, as much as I liked those five minute appointments where everything was fine and I fit inside the “box”, I’m learning that not having those appointments isn’t a big deal.  I’m thankful for more opportunities to see my baby boy, and confirm that he’s healthy.  I’m thankful that I just have a few more short weeks and he’ll be here.  Most of all, I’m thankful for a God who is skillfully knitting him and growing him in my womb.

Somewhere along the way, I forgot just who God is and who He created me to be.  I forgot that he made my body perfectly able to carry and birth a baby.  I forgot that He gave my baby everything it needed to grow a healthy baby.  I about the miracle of it all.  In all this hassle, I’m starting to remember.  I’m remembering that it doesn’t really matter what centimeters I measure.  I’m remembering that my body knows how big to get for Baby B. 

And in the end, it’s all worth it after all.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Blister Beetles

Tuesday evening I came out to my garden to find my precious tomato plants being ravaged by some sort of beetle.  Hundreds of them

I rushed to the farm store before they closed to get some insecticidal soap, and then sprayed the little buggers as best I could.  The next morning, they were even worse.  I admit, I overreacted a bit. 

Here I was, almost 34 weeks pregnant, standing out in the scorching heat, trying to do everything I could think of to save them.  Finally, knowing if I stood out there any longer I’d get too overheated, I went inside.  By the end of the day, I’d called my mom (the master gardener-in-training) about a billion times, cut off every vine that held a tomato (hoping they might ripen in a paper bag), and had my sister-in-law come over and sprinkle Sevin dust on everything.  Yes, ardent organic gardener me now has a chemical on my garden.  Obviously it was my last resort.

Somewhere in the midst of my freaking out and trying to “save” my garden, I realized that I couldn’t.  I had to come to the realization that God truly is Lord of the harvest, whether that harvest happens how I want it to or not. He knew all along that these enemy beetles were on their way. He controls the rain and the sun, and He oversees every last blister beetle. But why would He just let them come?

I see now what a good reminder it was for me.  As I get later in this pregnancy, I’ve been doing too much.  The last few weeks, I’ve been failing to admit that my body is slowing down…and that I need to slow down with it.  I try to walk and lift and work at the same rate that I used to, and I just can’t. 

Had I not been eight months pregnant, I might have sat out there in the heat picking off every last one of those blister beetles.  But I couldn’t do that.  As much as I wanted to, I had Baby B to think about.  As it was, I probably stayed out there too long.  And really, what was it for? 

Slowly but surely I’m learning that slowing down and resting is not a sign of weakness.  God made my body perfectly able to grow and birth a child.  It knows what to do.  It knows I need rest.  Sometimes it’s just me that needs a rest. 

And so, I’ll continue to tend my little garden.  But I won’t let it rule my life.  I won’t think that I have all control over it.  And, instead of weeding every chance I get…I might just put my feet up for a while.  For Baby B, of course. :)


Check out Newlywed’s Bliss today for tips on how to start grilling!

Monday, June 18, 2012

The What Ifs

There are days when I’m completely overwhelmed by all the “what ifs” in life.  I like having a plan and a certainty.  I like having a secure and unwavering future to look to.

Yet, life isn’t always like that.  Rarely is it like that.  Our best laid plans crumble and fall, and worry begins to seep in…eating away at our happiness and our joy. 

The truth is, however, that we as Christians do have a hopeful and secure future to look forward to, both in this life and in heaven.  God doesn’t promise that we’ll succeed in everything we do, or that life won’t be hard.  He doesn’t promise that we’ll be wealthy or even financially “secure”.  What He does promise is that He’ll always provide for us.  Over-and-over He tells us not to worry.  He has a plan.  He’s got our back.  We won’t starve as long as we trust in Him.

Today, I take comfort in that thought as I learn to wholeheartedly trust in Him by laying down all my worries and fears at His feet.  I learn to let go of those things I cling to the most.  I learn that His way is far better than my best laid plans. 

Today, I learn what faith is.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Why It’s Already Father’s Day

For Mother’s Day this year, I was a little surprised by people’s comments to me…being that I was pregnant.  About half of the people I saw said “Happy Mother’s Day”, and went on about how wonderful that it was my first mother’s day.  The other half made comments to the affect of “next year you’ll get to celebrate too”.
Frankly, it surprised me a little bit that they didn’t think I got to celebrate this year.  Apparently carrying a living, breathing child in your womb for nine months doesn’t quite make you a mother.  Thankfully, no one I’m terribly close to was of this opinion, or I would have been a bit offended.  My sweet man got me a card, flowers, and a very nice gift (from him and Baby B, of course), and my mom sent me a very nice card and gift…the same she sent to my sister whose girls were born in November.  My sisters were even sweet and sent me cards!

Now that Father’s Day has rolled around, I’m interested to see what the comments to Andy will be.  No, he’s not carrying our sweet boy around with him, but does that make him any less of a father…or this any less of his first Father’s Day?  Here are the reasons I’m celebrating my man today—and all the reasons he’s already the #1 dad:

-Andy already works incredibly hard to support and provide for me and Baby B.  Lately he’s got even more careful about money and saving…all for our sweet little guy and me.

-The majority of his days are spent preparing and thinking of Baby B.  Andy has a house reno list a mile long.  Somehow, his priorities have all become centered around a little bundle due to arrive in early August. :) Top on his list is finishing the nursery.  Also, we’re carpeting our bedroom and the family room…all so little Baby B will have something soft to fall on.

-He sacrifices so much for Baby B.  Andy’s already given up a lot for this baby.  He’s even selling his truck.  Trust me, if you knew him, that’s a really big deal.  Most of the time nowadays he’d rather plunk down money on something for the baby instead of something for himself.

-He’s so excited and thankful for this little blessing.  I’m daily amazed by how joyful Andy is about this upcoming arrival.  He is so stinkin’ excited! 

-He sees this baby as a blessing. One of Andy’s biggest goals when Baby Baker makes his arrival is to see him as a blessing instead of a burden.  It’s something he’s passionate about, and I’m right there with him.

-He already loves this baby more than life itself.  It’s interesting to me how much you can love someone you’ve never even met.  In many ways, I have more of a connection to the baby because I’m carrying him around in me.  I feel is kicks constantly, and my belly swells and this little life grows.  Andy’s never had that experience…and yet he loves Baby B.  Like, incredibly much.  I know because he tells the baby so a lot. :) I know he’d lay his own life down for this baby in a heartbeat.  To him, he’s already his baby…his son.  And, to me, he’s already a father.

Happy 1st Father’s Day to the greatest dad in the world…my husband.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Preparing for Baby: Books

One of the things we were most excited about on our recent trip to AZ was getting to go to Bookmans.  For those of you who aren't fortunate enough to live in Flagstaff, Bookmans is just about the best used bookstore ever.  And, as any elementary ed major at NAU knows, they just so happen to have a really great children's book section.  Like, amazingly great.

One thing you should know about me is that I am a HUGE advocate of early literacy.  I could literally go on-and-on about it, but I'll spare you. :) It's no surprise, then, that one of the big things I wanted to prepare for the arrival of Baby B was a good start to a children's book library.  I knew that Bookmans would help us do just that.

It didn't disappoint. 

Really, though, it was just as fun for us looking through the books as it would be for a kid.  It's amazing how much emotional sway a book can hold over us, isn't it?  Just seeing a book can instantly bring back a whole slew of memories.  When we were checking out, the store worker snatched up Blueberries for Sal and exclaimed, "I haven't seen this in years...I loved this book!"

Isn't that what a good book is supposed to do to us?  I can't wait to share some of these favorites with our sweet little man!  But, anyway, I digress.

Here's a list of some of the (what we consider) classic books we were able to snag:

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

The Foot Book

Caps for Sale

Little Bear

The Story About Ping

The Poky Little Puppy

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day

Blueberries for Sal

Where the Wild Things Are

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

The Very Busy Spider

We were also able to get:

Yonder-This was totally a God thing, as I've been looking for this book for years!

How I Became a Pirate-We'd never seen this before, but it's very cute and, we thought, quite necessary for a little boy ;)

A stack of the classic little golden books

Several picture books on Arizona

Several other favorites

Books we still want to get:

Green Eggs and Ham

God Dog Go!

Goodnight Moon

The Runaway Bunny

Are You My Mother?

Curious George

The Very Hungry Caterpillar


Stone Soup

The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

A Beatrix Potter collection

The Story of Ferdinand

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

We're also looking for some good children's Bibles and Bible story collections.

What were some of your favorite children's books growing up?  Any recommendations?

PS: Be sure to check out Newlywed's Bliss today.  There are several great posts up, and I'm discussing making vacations with in-laws and family "work".  Check it out!

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

He Knows

Monday I had a another baby doctor appointment.  Honestly, it feels like I live there lately, I’m there so much.  In 2 1/2 short weeks I’ll start going every week (I’m every two weeks right now).  Did I mention it’s a 45 minute drive one way?  So, yeah, I’ll be putting a lot of miles on my car.  I guess that just means I’ll be that much closer to the drive where I actually get to take Baby B home, though, so it’s worth it! ;)

Anyway, Monday was one of my frequent treks.  Andy goes with me as much as he can, but he can’t always take off work just to spend 2 hours in the car, 30 in the waiting room, and then 5 in the appointment.  hehe!  This particular Monday one of my best friends was going (to the same doctor at the same time) to find out if her little one was was a boy or a girl.  I was going to just ride with her and her husband, but Andy decided to come at the last minute.  I am so thankful he did.

Everything seemed okay until they measured me.  I was only 30 cm (at 32 weeks).  Still within a good range, but since I was 30 cm two weeks ago too, the doctor was a little concerned.  So, lo-and-behold, I got another ultrasound!  Baby B measured just fine (actually a few days ahead!), so apparently I just hide him well.  That may be why it feels like my ribcage is going to explode from upward pressure.  Anyway, I was so glad that Andy came at the last minute.  I was definitely a little nervous waiting for the ultrasound (although everything else seemed to be fine, and Baby B is a very active little boy).  Andy was such a wonderful support.  Plus, I would have hated to get to see Baby B again without him! 

We didn’t see much this time…just a very cramped little boy itching to get out of there.  We did get a good view of his sweet little profile, however.  Andy thinks he has my nose…poor kid.  Most of all, we got piece of mind that he’s safe and healthy inside of me for a few more weeks. 

So, long story short, on the drive home I realized how Andy’s getting to come was totally a God thing.  Yes, on any other visit riding with my friends would have been just fine.  And how was I to know this visit would be different from any other?  I didn’t.  But God did.  He is so faithful and good, isn’t He?

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Friday, June 8, 2012

More Sweetness

Just because I missed out on these lovely pictures (we left too early), I thought I'd share them with you anyway.  And so, I present you my nieces...the two sweetest little girls ever.  Check out their story and just how far they've come!

Marie and Grandpa.

Sweet, sweet Jenny.

Aunt Tori and Jenny.

Grandpa and his little girl.

Look at that smile!


Sweet Jennifer and Grandma.

Yep, being an aunt just gets better-and-better. :)

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A Quick AZ Trip...31 Weeks Pregnant

So this past weekend we took a little vacation and jetted out to Arizona to see my family.  My sister was graduating from high school, an old friend was getting married, and my other sister and my nieces were also going to be in town.  So, in a nutshell, it was perfect.

The only thing a little crazy was I was 31 weeks pregnant.  Some people thought I was insane...others thought it was no big deal.  My doctor happened to be in the later group so, with a warning about blood clots and stretching my legs every couple hours, we went. :)

Really, though, it wasn't that bad.  My back ached the same there as it does at home.  So, no sweat, right?

Anyway, we flew out Friday and that night my baby sister graduated from high school.  I am SO proud of her, but also wondering how on earth she could be that old.  I mean, seriously?!  This summer she's spending two months in the wilds of Borneo with no phone, no internet, and no toilet.  How many 18-year-old girls do you know who want to do that?  All I can say is, I'm impressed.

Here is a picture of this crazy adventurer (she's on the left):

The next day we all drove up the hill to good ol' Flagstaff (the graduation was in Phoenix), just in time for a wedding.  This boy I've known forever and practically grew up with was getting married.  He's an amazing example of what it means to live set-apart, and to wait for the right one.  He's one of the few (very few) young men that I can honestly say will make a great husband.  So happy for them!

It also turned out to be a great day for a wedding.  Hello sunny and no humidity...I missed you!

Here's the motley crew (as a side note, I was still recovering from being sick...hence my red nose):

I have really attractive parents, if I do say so myself.

The "men".

And here you can really see my big, pregnant self.

This handsome man is going to make the best father ever.

Anyway, the next day was church, and then we kind of just hung around and watched a movie.  Really, though, we were waiting for my sister and the two cutest girls ever to arrive.  Finally, they did.

As you can see, Aunt Caitlin was smitten...again.  Here's sweet little Jennifer!

Aunt Hilary and sweet Marie.

Would you believe that this was the first time all four of us sisters had been together at one time in two years?


I love these little girls so much!  Can't believe they're seven months old already!!!

Anyway, we spent the next two days shopping for baby clothes and used children's books, and just relaxing.  It's been awhile since we had nothing to we seriously enjoyed it.  I only wish we could have stayed a little longer.

I truly am blessed.

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