It is Friday afternoon on a very cold but beautiful day. I've made myself a cozy spot on our bed with the computer, my favorite red blanket, and a darling pup is sleeping nearby in the sunlight that is shining through our bedroom window. It is quite cozy and comfortable. I have pondered about this post this morning--imagining what I would write and how. Yesterday I was in fine form as at about 5pm I was feeling irritable. There wasn't any irritant to speak of but try telling that to a pregnant woman. I, being the sensible, rational woman I am, looked for something to be angry at. I didn't have to look far. (This is the part where you think or say aloud, "Poor David"). He is trying to hang with me but I think that he is knocked sideways everytime a moodswing occurs. What is funny about a mood swing is that it doesn't identify itself. It looks, feels, smells, and tastes as real as a true emotion...but maybe on steroids? Something upset me and I felt really angry about it last night and I think that if I had a hairy back that hair would stand on end. I could feel my blood boiling, blood pressure rising, and my skin turning a strange shade of green (oh wait, that's the hulk but truly, "you wouldn't like me when I'm angry"). As cute as David finds my fiesty parts I think there are times that my temper sets him ill at ease. Now, in these foul moods, I definitely have parts whispering to me that I'm not being fair but every other part feels like a steam train thats too late to stop from crashing. I can't reason myself out of that emotion (most people can't, by the way--that's why "get over it" is not a very valuable solution). So, it is not until the mood passes that I can look back and go, "phew, that was doozy" as I try to scrape david off the ceiling or screw his head back on his shoulders. I am realizing that the true way to tell a real emotion from a moodswing is that when I'm in a moodswing there isn't anything that can be said or done that will change the mood--it just is! So, that means that the therapist who is trained to work through conflict says, "Let's just drop it". Seems unhealthy but really there is no point of wading through the emotions that will only serve to stir up more anger rather than lead it to pass. It is just the endure until over strategy. If David can see the signs he would do this--but again, it is really hard to tell. Thankfully, this is not a daily issue but probably bimonthly or so...for now.
I realize that being thankful is a practice rather than a natural state of mind. Therefore, I have decided to devote a post(s?) to what I'm thankful. 'Tis the season, afterall.
What I'm thankful about my country: (1) Our country was founded by a lot of godly men. (2) We have such a wonderful infrastructure (just travel to a war-torn country and see what I mean). We can count on the garbage man, postman, police, firemen--that is no small blessing. (3) freedom: freedom of speech, mainly but we have so much freedom here to be unique.
What I'm thankful about my extended family: (1) They are so diverse and wonderfully complex with their different parents and backgrounds and experiences. I could know them my whole life (and my half, I have) and never know all of them. (2) They like to have fun (but do have different definitions of that from time to time). (3) Everyone loves to laugh. (4) They are so numerous--i'll never run out of relatives to chat with. (5) They such a wonderful source of support: emotional, physical, financial. The Lord places the lonely in families, He said and I see why.
What I'm thankful about my new home: (1) It's bigger than our old place. We have another bedroom and a potential bonus room. (2) We have a yard that is beautiful and private. Cora, our lab, has a nice backyard that she loves. (3) We have recessed lighting and ample light in all rooms. Ultra important to a girl who isn't fond of the dark. (4) It looks like a cottage and those are my favorite type of houses. (5) It is close to everything we need: walmart, kroger, fastfood joints, book stores, interstate. (6) We have a fireplace that we've enjoyed. (7) We have 2!! bathrooms and ours has a big tub! (8) We've had lots of guests without feeling cramped at all--we love having folks over. (9) It is a great neighborhood. (10) We have a pecan tree and many others that drop pecans into our yard. (11) The house is great as is but it also has so much potential for improvement too.
What I'm thankful about my dog, Cora: (1) She is so darn cute! (2) She is very healthy and strong. (3) She is bright and has the ability to learn (we just have to teach her) (4) She has never been aggressive with others. (5) She is so sweet when we are sick. She'll just sit by us without demanding walks or extra attention. But believe me, she knows when you are faking (see #3)
What I'm thankful about my husband David: (1) He is very easy to be around. (2) We enjoy a lot of the same low-key activities. (3) He is very willing to help with housework. (4) He treats me like a princess a lot. (5) He walks Cora (she is too strong for me) (6) He works very hard and doesn't complain. (7) He loves physical affection (8) He is a gentle giant. (9) He has endless amounts of patience (ok, not endless but way way more than me). (10) I love that he enjoys the simple things in life (ie. a glass of wine, some chocolate, milk shakes, a great tv show, a good book)
What I'm thankful about my Lord: (1) He has been more faithful than I ever gave Him credit for. In my darkest times, He has walked with me and brought glimpses of hope when I felt hopeless--it kept me going. I persevered because of Him and all the people He used to encourage me. (2) He plans perfectly. Anyone who knows David and my background in relationships would know that our meeting and love grew under our Lord's good will and purpose for us. The timing was perfect for us. (3) The Lord teaches me everyday through His Word (Living Word) and through my experiences. He never stops; never gives up on my stubbornness or lack of insight. Through Him I learn what true love is, how people change and grow, and where to keep my eyes (on Him). (4) He shows me what love and patience is through David and dear friends. (5) He shows me what generosity is through my parents. (6) He shows me what true beauty is through those who sacrifice and humble themselves before the Lord and others. (7) He has prepared a wonderful place for me in His kingdom after I have fought the good fight where I get to enjoy His presence and the presence of my brothers and sisters in Christ. This place will be free of all that keeps the world in bondage and will be full to the brim (overflowing, really) with joy and love.
I've entered the relative calm of pregnancy. No crazy symptoms other than the occasional pain in my abdomen, promising that I will show eventually. Stories get to me more than they used to. Students would tell me stories in class that pertained to the topic we were discussing (i.e. post traumatic stress disorder, child abuse, etc) and these stories bring tears to my eyes that would not have a few months ago. I'm more sensitive to stories of children being hurt at the hands of their parents. I'm still not allowing myself to think too far ahead (i.e. life after baby is born) especially when I'm alone. If I am not bouncing my thoughts off of someone else they (my thoughts) tend to take on a scary life of their own. I want to concentrate on the joys of babydom without forgetting that it will be hard (so that I don't get blindsided).
We find out the sex of the baby on December 9th, Lord willing. We are excited about this as well as seeing the ultrasound for the first time. We haven't thought through names too much because there are so many other things that occupy our thoughts without having to plow through names for a sex that we may not have. To celebrate our first ultrasound we will purchase our first piece of sex-specific clothing for baby. I think that we have decided not to share the name until the baby is born. I recently decided I liked the idea of seeing the baby before naming him/her. It seems natural right now to see this child before bestowing a name with meaning. (I strongly believe in names with meaning.) I never liked that idea before (seemed to impractical) but for some unknown reason this seems right. David isn't too keen on it but he agreed to have a list of names we like and then decide on one when we meet "lil bit".
I've taken a short break from thinking about the nursery but recently picked up that project again. All this looks like is me browsing online at different bedding and such while reading up on bargains. (I highly recommend Baby Bargains--for new moms it is extremely helpful and insightful). I've not made any commitments to anything for maternity or for the nursery and look forward to when those decisions are made.
I can't think of anything else to tell but ask if you have any questions. I'm pretty open.
Nothing special to report or talk about right now. I just wanted to write something. I'm sitting on our couch waiting for a plumber to come and check out a leak we've noticed outside our house. Not sure how he's going to notice it since it is as wet as the atlantic out there. I want him to come and go so I can go to Hancock's fabric to get some supplies to make something. I'm hoping to go sew with Paula La (La Fam blog linked to the right) this week and I need something to work on. I know if I don't continue to work on sewing I will forget how. Also, since my guest room headboard came out well I need to get more supplies to make one for our own bedroom. It really could not be easier to make. After Hancock's I'm going next door to Fads n' Frames to check out their prices for christmas decor. I've been trying to find affordable wreaths and garland and I'm learning that classic christmas decor is NOT cheap. This seems like the perfect weather for these tasks because it is so wintry looking outside. Oh, here's the plumber. Gotta go.
Well, as you know (if you are a consistent reader of Growing Hope) that I have felt a surge of energy just shy of my 2nd trimester. Today, however, I felt so tired, unmotivated and sleepy. I woke up at 8:15am and not two hours later needed another nap. This is the beginning of my 2nd trimester so my expectations are that I will be bouncing off the walls with energy. Also, I thought I would walk around like a ravenous wolf all the time. Neither has been true so far. Though, it seemed like I had surges of energy it hasn't seemed consistent. And as far as hunger, I'm not hungry much. Sometimes, food has no appeal at all and I only eat because I have to. I'm not sure what it is about but I'm not generally concerned--it is just isn't what I expected. Also, I'm not showing a bit. I realize that I'm long-waisted and also that this is my first pregnancy which tends to take longer to stretch out and grow but hardly a bump is what I feel. I'm the only one who sees or feels it. I can tell that when I sit down in jeans that there are times I have to unbutton my top button--not a usual occurrence. So, I feel pressure where there is supposed to be our baby but that's all. I am hoping to be blossoming by Christmas if only to have a great Christmas card picture and so that my extended family won't be too disappointed when they see my flat (but not for long) tummy. It always seems like my students and faculty at David's work are always searching my midsection for any sign of a baby. I know there will time enough for looking like a whale but I'm looking forward to it.