ten thoughts on a wednesday |32|

one.
holy week is here! i absolutely love heartily celebrating easter, and have tried in recent years to make the entire week leading up to easter sunday really special. this year, i am just so tired. and so consumed with baby prep. and feeling like i just can’t fit in one more special or fun or worthwhile or good activity or task. but i’m still determined to make an effort to ponder on the events of holy week and to seize the opportunity that comes with this time of year to refocus my life on jesus christ. i feel like i have let my spirituality wane a bit recently. i need to kick it up a notch and remember the true blessings of peace and joy that always come to my life when i take real time to pray, meditate, and study spiritual things. easter-time is motivating me to do that.
i really believe in and love jesus christ. he is real.



{i ordered this print ^^ to frame and put up in moses’s bedroom. he absolutely loves it. before and after every sleep he points out that jesus is on his wall. it makes me so happy.}

two.
i've been reviewing pages that i folded over during my last pregnancy in a book i highly, highly, highly recommend - the gift of giving life. seriously, this book is such a treasure, chock full of amazing insights and beautiful stories and incredible connections. i have learned so much from it, not just about pregnancy and birth, but about myself and humans and life and god and miracles and challenges.

three.
a few weeks ago, intrigued by reactions to comments i've made on my blog about my marriage, i decided to learn more from others' experiences about the hard-easy spectrum of marriage. i posted the following on facebook, both on my "wall" and in an active forum (which i love and appreciate so much) for wellesley graduates who are parents.
a question for my married friends that feel they can be totally frank and honest in their answer: for you, is marriage easy or hard? i am weary of the ubiquitous messages i see (especially on social media) that make marriage seem easy breezy. my marriage is awesome and brings me a lot of joy but sometimes and in some ways it is really freaking hard. i actually really appreciate the tough bits, and attribute them both to my husband and my personalities/backgrounds and to the nature of sharing a life with someone. obviously every marriage is different, but i am fascinated by the way marriages are described and experienced when it comes to easy/hard. i would love to hear any (*honest/frank*) perspectives out there in facebook cyberspace.
the ensuing discussion was fascinating and i absolutely relished reading all the different responses. i need to do a whole blog post about this. but my main take-away was that, while married people can relate in so many ways on both the hard and easy aspects of this unique human relationship / commitment, every marriage is so different. for some it is genuinely easy pretty much all the time. for others it is crushingly difficult. and there's a million in-betweens. people who said it is mostly easy also mentioned turning to marriage therapy. people who said it is really hard also emphatically followed that up with saying it is incredibly worth it.
anyway, more on this topic soon ... well, maybe not super soon given that i could give birth almost any day now ... but hopefully kind of soon :)

four.
some pregnancy tidbits i want to remember as we near the end:
-i miss how much i enjoy food when i'm not pregnant. the food aversions i experienced in the first trimester of this pregnancy have mostly gone away, but still a lot of times i just can't get excited about eating. this is so foreign for me and i just miss the joy i used to get from food! this time around i've really craved fresh fruit (especially grapes), cold cereal, and bagels with cream cheese. and every once in a while, just like when i was pregnant with moses, i need a hamburger.
-last night i went to what i think needs to be my last regular yoga class (i.e. a challenging class not modified as a whole for pregnant ladies). my body is just telling me it's time to slow down. i plan to continue working out for sure until the day i give birth, but i'm not pushing myself anymore. i'm trying to just love this amazing body and the incredible work that it has been doing and is continuing to do in creating a human. what a miracle.
-sleeping has been rough the past few weeks. every time i lay down i get pretty intense heartburn. tums are my best friend these days. and i'm woken many times in the night by a kicking baby or an urge to turn over or a need to use the toilet. i think my days of uninterrupted sleep are over for the next few months :)
-the nesting thing is seriously intense! it seems like i'm feeling it like ten times more than i did when i was pregnant with moses (and i definitely felt it then!). i am so so anxious about everything being ready for baby to come every day. all needs to be organized and clean! i need to do all the childbirth prep there is out there! everything needs to be set up just right! i know i need to chill.
-i really love being pregnant. and i'm so grateful that my pregnancies have been how they've been.

five.
moses is constantly saying "okay" these days. i think it is so adorable. he kind of says it in a whisper and almost always nods his head emphatically at the same time. i love that he says new words every day. it is seriously so much fun to watch this kid learn and grow up. there are some parts of parenting him that are not super fun (he just started hitting me quite regularly in the past couple of days...) but mostly i just love it so so much. i think both ian and i enjoy parenting more than we thought we would (even though we expected to like it a lot). i know there will be lots of challenges ahead with every stage of childhood (and into adulthood), but i'm also looking forward to lots more wonder and joy and fun.

six.
last saturday we invited a bunch of moses's little friends over to our square's communal garden for an easter egg hunt! moses and i both weren't feeling well and so it was kind of a crazy morning - and i didn't get any good pictures, boo!! but it was so much fun to watch this darling gaggle of toddlers scurry around picking up colourful eggs and then play together. ian and i want to host an easter egg hunt like this for our kids and their friends every year.

seven.
my mental health has just not been top notch the past while. as i mentioned in an earlier post, i have seen a therapist with some regularity (although it's been a few months now since i've had a session), and that has been helpful and illuminating. and i've also just been trying to work through some deep, psychological stuff. i'm not struggling with bona-fide depression of any type (for which i am grateful!) - i'm just peering in on myself a bit more as i've been challenged emotionally in a few different ways over the past year or so. while this kind of "dip" in mental health lately has been painful at times, i have also found a lot of beautiful learning and growth in it. and i feel stronger in many ways, and grateful for this time in life that is stretching me.

eight.
i know the exact day i want my baby to be born - haha! a couple days after my mom gets here, a day after our friend that we want to come take soon-after-birth photos gets back from a trip. obviously i have no real say in the matter, but i figure it can't hurt to hope - and try to keep up the adrenaline rather than kick in the oxytocin :)

nine.
no more progress on picking a name for this baby. we seriously have pretty much nothing. i'm banking on it coming to us when we finally see his precious face, but i'm also worried that if it doesn't there will be lots of angst around his arrival in trying to figure out what to call him! looking back it feels like it was so easy naming moses (and we absolutely love his name to this day). send us some good baby-naming vibes!

ten.
from the gift of giving life:
in our worship, we are reminded of the need for constant nourishment to body and spirit ... i can't think of a better example of constant nourishment than the umbilical cord. through this channel, your baby always has access to what he or she needs ... i once told a friend that i wished i had an umbilical cord to heaven, to constantly fill me with god's love. i will never forget her answer. she said, "it is only an illusion that you do not." 

happy wednesday! life is beautiful!

30 comments:

  1. I so appreciate your continued honesty about marriage! There's a ton of societal pressure (especially in the shiny, happy, blogger space) to make marriage seems so "happily ever after." Although marriage may be genuinely "easy" for some (although honestly I don't know anyone with young kids for whom this is true) everyone's life has challenges. When I feel down about continuing to work hard on my marriage of 15 years I try to remember how relatively "easy" or "lucky" parenting and my profession have (mostly) been for me. Both areas areas a huge challenge for others. We all have something!

    The name will come; just don't worry too much about it "going with" Moses.

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  2. Better than happy podcast with Jody Moore (formally bold new mom) has really helped me with my mental health dips. It's been my maintenance therapy for my mental health. She is also LDS. And she has a great podcast about decision making. Google it. It might help with naming your baby if the name never comes to you. Ill pray for you that your baby will come during that perfect window!

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    1. I just discovered this podcast! It has been good therapy for me so I second this recommendation.

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    2. I third this! I think I recommended it to you a couple months ago, but it's CHANGED my life. Honestly, give it a try!

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    3. thanks so much! i will definitely check it out.

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  3. Life is indeed a beautiful thing! Thanks for your thoughts.

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  4. I'm curious how you have modified yoga for your pregnancy! I am (newly) pregnant with my 3rd baby and since my last pregnancy I have taken up a consistent home yoga practice. Has your yoga teacher helped you or do you just see what feels good for your body? Still in the first trimester so I don't feel like I need to modify anything yet but I can see things changing once my belly grows (like chaturanga to up-dog...how do I do that!?). Thanks for sharing. Its good to read one of your updates! Best wishes for smooth delivery--my 2nd was far easier than my first!

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    1. i have talked with my teachers and also just done my own research / listened to my body for modifications. basically i just: 1. don't twist, 2. don't do poses lying on my belly (i usually just do cat-cows during those poses when they come up), and 3. widen my stance on most positions (especially as my belly has gotten bigger). other than that, i just do my regular practice! my belly hasn't gotten in the way too much on caturanga to up-dog!

      thanks for your comment!

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  5. Love love love that book! So inspiring! Trick with the heart burn. As soon as you feel it. Drink a shot of organic raw (with mother) apple cider vinegar. So much better for you then tums! Once the little guy drops hopefully the heart burn will stop!
    Ps.... i know everyone has their 2 sense to add. No worries if you don't like this tip! I will never know! :)

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    1. thanks for the tip! i'll try it! the heartburn has been getting much better. i hope that means baby is descending nicely!

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  6. Aaron is a good name. And in the Bible, Aaron in Moses' brother, so there's that.

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    1. i've heard this several times in blog posts (not sure if from the same person?). i personally think it would be pretty weird to have a moses and an aaron, haha! but thanks for the thought! :)

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  7. it blows my mind that people could ever call marriage easy... mine is a ton of hard work! but its for the best, honestly, because i have so much growing to do and its so good to be stretched.
    thanks for this list... i love me some lists. and good luck with the baby naming :)

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  8. My mental health really suffered with each pregnancy. There is actually such a think as prenatal depression (which I didn't realize until well after I had my first child). You said you've struggled with it for a while, but know that pregnancy might be adding to hardness.

    Good luck with the name. It will come! but I understand how incredibly stressful it is in the meantime

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    1. thanks so much! i think pregnancy hormones have definitely played in on my mental health dip. it's nothing too intense (i definitely wouldn't call it "depression" per say), but i think it's so good to use therapy and other tools to try to keep mental health in a really good place, regardless of our situation (just like with physical health!).

      really appreciate your comment!

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  9. Love your 10 thoughts posts! :) This site for helping Catholic families name their new babies has some really interesting ones - worth a skim. https://sanctanomina.net/

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  10. I also love Jody Moore’s podcast (mentioned above). If you’re into parenting podcasts, I really like Janet Lansbury, Unruffled. Her approach to negative behavior (like hitting) has helped a ton as well as her overall perspective on babies/toddlers. As for marriage, I don’t know anyone that would say it’s easy breezy (unless they are extremely young LDS newlyweds who portray their marriage that way on social media). I appreciate your candidness on that topic as well as parenting and mental health. We can all struggle with uncertainties and dips without being full blown depressed! Makes me a little nervous for #2 and the hormones and how our lives will change. So I look forward to following along on your journey.

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    1. thank you!

      i thought the same about "easy breezy" marriages but honestly i'm convinced by some of the very candid responses to my facebook posts - it genuinely is easy for some couples. it's really interesting to hear about people's different experiences.

      are you also expecting our second child?

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  11. You know what is funny is that as a younger married person I thought "this will get easier when the kids are older or out of the house" Nope. Because we are each individually growing and changing, the marriage does too. I decided I could look at it as a burden or an adventure-adventures are so much better.

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  12. What about Leo? Luca? Arthur? Theo?

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    1. a couple of these are on my list. the problem is that my list and ian’s list are very different :)

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    2. HAHA! My husband's list was very different than mine as well. I told him that next time he carried a human being around in his body for 9 months and expelled it through a very small orifice... then he would get final say on what to name it.

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  13. My son went through a biting phase while I was pregnant with #2. Instead of reprimanding him I would pull him in for a hug. It's what he waw crying out for and the phase passed quickly.

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    1. i have realized that the hitting happens oftentimes when i am distracted and not really paying attention to moses, so i appreciate this thought! not that he should constantly have my complete attention, but sometimes homeboy just needs a cuddle!

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  14. Just a suggestion about the hitting: kids who are still acquiring language aren't going to understand any discussion about why that's not allowed, but babies and toddlers do understand facial expressions. With both my children, if they did something naughty before they were old enough to talk it over and understand rules/consequences, I used a pronounced shocked/dismayed face with no words to show them their behavior was not OK. (I also have a "you're about to get in trouble" face that still works even now that they are 11 and 14, haha). Concern, approval, happiness are all feelings that show in facial expressions regardless of language. I like the hug idea, too - it is likely to be a bid for attention. Good luck with becoming a mom of two - the first few months were the hardest, but then I figured out how to take care of them both at the same time. Before long, they began to play together and that was pretty wonderful to watch.

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  15. We had a tough time naming our second daughter too. I really like the website Nymbler(http://www.nymbler.com/). You can put in your childś name as well as other names you like, even if theyŕe for the opposite sex. It then gives suggestions based on those. Worked really well for us. If nothing else, itś fun!

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  16. My husband and i were never able to pick out and agree on a name before baby was born. and in each case, all four of my vhildrennwere named something different than any of the names that were on my list! ha! i have always marvelled at people who pick out names long before baby is born. i guess i am just so indecisive and noncommittal in general. Boy names that i love but didn't get to use were Thomas, Jameson, and Nathaniel.

    All marriages are so different. I remember when I was engaged, I went to dinner with my two sisters. One had been married for 7 years and the other had been married for 10 years. I found it interesting that they each felt like the first few two or three years had been the most difficult relationship wise, and agreed that their marriages were better and stronger the longer they were married. Now fast forward ten years, and I can say nearly the same thing. The first two or three years we had to get used to each other and make personal changes to be able to work together. Ten years in and we rarely get in arguments because we know each other well enough to work through things without being disagreeable. Not to say that we don’t have heated discussions sometimes, but as the years have passed they are fewer and fewer and less intense. Usually only when we are under great stress or very sleep deprived do we let disagreements turn into arguments. But that’s the work of ten years worth of efforts to have a healthy relationship. Both of us have put time and effort into learning to communicate with each other and show love in different ways, to nurture each other, and disagree without being disagreeable. I wouldn’t ever say marriage is easy but I will say it’s kind of like riding a bike, the first while you have to concentrate on balance and pedaling and steering, and then it becomes second nature and you don’t have to think so much about it. We as a couple had to put a lot of effort in the first years of our marriage to learn to communicate with each other and fill each other’s needs. Because we’ve established those skills, habits, and attitudes, it’s become second nature to us and marriage is a lot smoother.
    I know this is not everyone’s experience and at anytime our individual choices can change the trajectory of a marriage. But there is such comfort and peace in a worn-in relationship that just gets more cushy as time goes on.

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  17. Have you heard of the LDS therapist Dr. Jennifer-Finlayson Fife? She is one of God's many gifts to LDS women and married couples. After taking a couple of her online courses, I don't know how anyone could not afford to take her courses. I would say her programs are a must for every couple out there - happily married or unhappily married. She will help you up-level your marriage from where it's currently at, and help you up-level your life as an individual person.

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