Wednesday, February 23, 2011

So Glad He Gets It

Phone call with Jamie as he heads home from the gym:

Jamie: What's wrong?
Me: Nothing. I'm just in a really bad mood.
Jamie: I'm sorry. Do you want me to pick you up anything from the store?
Me: We have ice cream and cookies here from this weekend so I think I've got all my bad mood food covered.
Jamie: Ok, well stuff yourself.
Me: I'm almost done the first sleeve of Thin Mints.
Jamie: Well, start on the second. Remember, you're eating for two bad moods now.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Do You See It?

I was told twice last week that I'm getting a belly. I don't really see it. Although, I have invested in and gotten good use out of a belly band. To be fair, I think it has a lot more to do with the gallon of water my doctor is insisting I drink daily than the itty bitty baby I'm growing.

But still, I thought I better start documenting before I really start showing.

So what do you think? Do you see anything?

By the way, this picture requires a lot of explanation. I look like that because I was about to clean my house and decided I'd rather waste time playing with my camera than clean. I'm pasty and pale because it's winter and I'm fair. That's the breaks. I'm standing in the middle of an open room instead of in front of a wall or something that would give you some perspective because it was the only place I could find to set my camera up and do a decent timer shot. Jamie was at work so he couldn't help. This was in the afternoon - 2 meals, 2 snacks and 1/2 gallon of water into the day. So I admit, when I wake up in the morning the belly that might be there in this shot is not present.

Maybe there's no actual baby bump yet, but when I post another picture in a few weeks, you'll be able to look back at this one and say, "NOW I see it!"

And now I'm going to take my poor neglected puppy for a walk in this gorgeous 70 degree weather. That way when I start getting a for real bump, I'll know it's not just the extra ice cream I've been eating.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Very Valentine-y Post

I volunteer as a small group leader for the 8th grade girls at our church. My girls are amazing. I love them. I will miss them a whole bunch when a new baby and their middle school graduation end our weekly meetings this August.

This month of February, the month of Valentines when everyone is thinking and talking about L-O-V-E we're doing a series on sex which our pastor is calling simply, "Boys and Girls". I LOVE doing this series. We go through something similar each year at this time, and I always look forward to it. Because I have such a strong passion for teaching young, Christian girls about sex and intimacy the right way.

Last year when we were in this series, I asked my girls to tell me what they would think sex is like if they knew only what they've learned in church and at home. They used words like "wrong", "dirty", and "sinful" to describe it. "What about if you knew only what you've learned from school and movies and songs?" Their words then changed to "fun" "free" "passionate".

It broke my heart. For real. Because it's completely opposite of what they should be hearing!

I read this post today and thought That's what I'm fighting against for my girls. This married lady talks about the shame and guilt she associated with sex even inside her own marriage.

One of my lofty, dreamy, probably-ain't-ever-gonna-happen goals in life is to address this issue on a much larger scale. As an author, or a speaker at girls' retreats. Because I think, as a church, we're doing it all wrong.

I thank God for my family, my amazing parents who somehow managed to raise me with three very basic principles in regards to sex:
1. It's for marriage.
2. It was God's idea
3. And it rocks. (Although, I admit, I don't think my mom actually ever used that term exactly)

That's what young kids should be hearing from the church. Why do we use lies and shame and fear to try to keep kids from having sex outside of marriage? Are we doing kids a favor by teaching them that sex is wrong and that the consequences will tear them up? I don't think so.

Here's what I want my girls to know:
Sex is great. It's worth waiting for. You will reap the blessings of waiting for the rest of your life.
You were created for sex with your husband. There's nothing wrong or guilty or shameful in wanting to be physically intimate with someone. That means your body is working right! And if you practice a little self control now and avoid temptation as much as possible, you get to enjoy that all the more later!
Fidelity is a habit. You do not instantly gain the ability to be faithful to your spouse the day you say "I do". When you practice saying no to going "too far" with a boyfriend now, you are building into your future marriage. You're practicing the faithfulness that will safeguard your marriage in the future.
No one is born pure, so there's no "losing" your purity, a phrase the church is fond of. We're all born sinful. To desire sexual gratification outside of marriage is the way we're wired. We don't keep our purity by crossing our legs, we gain it by being in the Word, by drawing as close to Christ as we can, by seeking out Godly accountability, by being cautious about the messages we take in about sex through movies and music. And we learn about sex the way God created it and strive to keep it that way.
And, yes, there are consequences to misusing sex. I don't want to sugarcoat that part. There are consequences, there are risks of disease and pregnancy. There is guilt and a loss of the perfect plan God had. And there is also grace to restore.

What I long for, is for my girs to know that sex is good. That it adds a depth of intimacy to a relationship that is beautiful. And that it is worth waiting for. Not because of the shame and guilt and consequences you'll suffer if you don't wait, but because of the blessings you reap when you do. I don't want them to think that sex is wrong or dirty or sinful. I want them to know that it's great and when the time comes they're gonna love it :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Bad Case of the Jumpies

I haven't had many pregnancy symptoms. Morning sickness has skipped over me along with food aversions and any strong food cravings (so far). Although, I've always hated trimming fat off of raw chicken and now it literally makes me gag so maybe that's an aversion.

But one symptom has been very entertaining for Jamie and I: I'm so, SO jumpy! Last night I was putting away some cookies and Jamie decided he wanted one, so he said, "Wait!" Except I thought he was in the other room. I jumped a foot in the air and I think my heart literally stopped for a second. And that's just one of many instances. My boss scares me every time she walks into my office. My phone startles me every time it rings. It's getting a little ridiculous.

I know that might not be a by-the-book pregnancy symptom, but I'm absolutely certain they're related.

So if you see me out and want to say hi, please do so quietly. Or at least be understanding when your kind hello makes me jump a mile.

And speaking of nervous...prayers for our next appointment on Monday will be appreciated! I'm so nervous about it!! We'll be 14 weeks by then, meaning our risk of miscarriage will have dropped significantly. To me, making it to this appointment safely means I can finally relax, and really start planning for the future. I'm really anxious. After a lot of disappointment, it's hard for me to believe this is really going to happen. I keep expecting something bad to happen. So this appointment has me really worked up. Please pray we get to hear that beautiful, strong heartbeat and our little peanut is growing and healthy!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

In the Now

I've always been a grass-is-greener person. No matter where I am in life I feel like I'd be just a little happier somewhere else. When I was in high school, I was sure I'd be happier in college (actually I was so...), in college I was sure I'd be happier out in the "real world", when I was jobless I was sure I'd be happier working, and then when I was working I was sure I'd be happier at home! (and then when I was unemployed again, I wanted to be working....and then when I was working again I wanted to be home...)

I am fighting SO HARD to not let that attitude creep into this pregnancy! I find myself thinking If we can just make it to second trimester, than I'll relax and enjoy my pregnancy. I want to rush ahead to registering and decorating the nursery and buying maternity clothes even though I'm not at that point yet. It's hard for me to not think I'll be happier when...

But I am really making an effort to slow down, enjoy it, soak it all in. Because there's a big question that always remains in the back of my head - Will this pregnancy be my only pregnancy?

The fact is an infertile couple doesn't cease to be an infertile couple just because they get pregnant. It's possible we may never have any trouble again! We hope we'll go on to have 2 or 3 or 6 more pregnancies without a glitch. It's also possible that this one pregnancy is our miracle, our one trip down the pregnancy road.

And if that's the case, I want to soak in every.single.moment.

It's said that every cloud has a silver lining and one of the blessings of infertility is the deepened appreciation it's given me for the gift of this pregnancy. Delayed gratification and all that. I wanted it SO much for so long and I realize I may never have it again, so I am determined to enjoy the heck out of it!

So right now I'm tired and I have to get up to go to the bathroom 17 times a night and I can't seem to sleep and I bawled my eyes out over "Oliver and Company" and a news story about a lost seeing eye dog. But I won't complain about any of that! Because I know what it all means. It means a dream come true. And though I want to skip ahead - to my next doctor's appointment when we'll be safely out of the first trimester, to the day I finally start to "show", to the day we get to decorate our nursery - I will do my best to live in the right now and remember that each second of this pregnancy is a blessing.

Update 2/11/2011 12:50 PM I just got home from Target. I bought a couple maternity shirts. I don't need them yet. I just wanted to. There I go, rushing ahead :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Nazi Officers Wife

I'm not at all qualified to write a book review, but I want to share my layperson's thoughts on the book I'm reading right now.

It's an autobiography - true stories are always my favorite - about a Jewish woman in Austria during World War II. I love biographies, love reading about the World War II era, so this already has a lot going for it.

Here's the amazing part: unlike the Jewish men and women in "The Hiding Place" and Anne Frank, Edith Hahn spent a good portion of the Holacaust hiding right out in the open. As the wife of a German Nazi officer.

After being sent to labor on a German farm and then a paper factory, Edith was sent back to Austria to travel with her family to the ghettos in Poland. However, her family was shipped out before she got home and she decided to take a huge risk - she took the star off her coat and didn't report as scheduled to go to Poland. Instead, she found a friend willing to lie to Nazi officials, telling them she lost her official papers declaring her an Aryan. She was issued a second set, which she gave to Edith. Because they had now both assumed the same identity, Edith could no longer live in the same town as her friend so she fled. To Germany, the thick of the Nazi regime.

A German man falls in love with her and marries her even after she confesses that she is actually Jewish. And so for the remainder of the war, she lives in Nazi Germany as the wife of a German man who later becomes an officer in the Nazi army. Not only is she thought to be a good German citizen, but as a German housewife and mother, she is one of Germany's prized possessions!

Obviously what she endured was not as horrific as the suffering those in labor camps were put through. But still to read about what she went through is fascinating! To be greeted by "Heil Hitler" and pictures of the man who was destroying her family and friends everywhere she went, to listen to conversations praising "our great Fuhrer" and say nothing, all the while not knowing if her family was dead or was so interesting! She was a highly educated, intelligent woman who assumed a character of a simple-minded Red Cross volunteer to survive.

It's not the best book I've ever read about this era, but it's definitely a different look at how some Jewish people survived! I give my hightly sought after recommendation :-)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Friday night I had the pleasure of going to dinner with three of my 12Stone girlfriends. It was WONDERFUL! We spent 3 hours eating and talking and just catching up. While I still struggle a little bit with feeling that Buford is not quite "home", I have really made some great friends here.

The best part of our evening was that all of us are in the mom phase of life. We all either had babies, are expecting babies or are planning to have babies soon! So, of course we talked about babies the WHOLE night.

And for the first time in a while, I got to just enjoy it! I loved planning this dinner and not having to emotionally prepare myself for the baby talk. I loved joining in and adding my own experiences so far! I loved hearing the other girls who are farther along the mom path than I am share their stories, knowing that would definitely be me someday soon! Instead of wishing, hoping and hurting.

It was wonderful and I felt so so blessed!! God is good :-)