Saturday, March 5

We're having a GIRL!

Well, it's been almost 2 years since I touched my blog.

Here's how the anatomy ultrasound/gender reveal went down:

Woke up at 5:45am with Hagen crawling into my bed telling me he's going to get his snow pants on and play in the snow. I told him he needed to wait.

We laid in bed until 7 when Henry woke up. The Mr. slept up till then, but I did not. So I asked The Mr. to get up with the boys and feed them breakfast while I slept. I didn't sleep, but I did lay in bed for another hour. Then I got up and showered.

9:40 am we left the house. Our appointment was at 11:10 (which I had double checked on multiple occasions). With the snow I didn't know how traffic would be so we allowed ourselves LOTS of extra time. We were taking the boys to our friends house to play. She was super wonderful about watching the boys! They live about 25 minutes away from us, so we were giving ourselves lots of padding. After getting the boys in the car we headed out.

9:50AM we are stopped at the first red light out of our house (2 minutes away). I pulled out my planner to double check AGAIN what time it was. Paranoid much? Well... I'm thankful I was! I read 10:10... WHAT????????? The light turned green and I went straight instead and pulled into the doctors office parking lot. We talked about our options. Go home, I get the other car and The Mr. delivers the boys THEN comes to the ultrasound... missing most of it. OR... the boys come with us. After a small fit by Hagen, who was VERY excited to see his friends from TX, we talked (bribed) him into going, being good and THEN getting to play with his friends and going to Chick-Fil-A for lunch...

We weren't sure kids were even allowed, as they ARE NOT on base in TX! But we just walked in like nothing was out of the ordinary and that we wanted them there! HA!

Got into the room. Hagen was SOOO excited to know when they were going to tell him he was having a baby sister! HA! Baby Bug was super uncooperative in allowing the sonographer  (Sp??) to get the images of head/brain/spine/heart, etc. It took a lot longer than planned. They boys were super good for the first 30/45 minutes. Then they started to get antsy! We finally hooked Hagen up with something on Netflix, and that allowed The Mr. to focus on Henry. I was looking at the boys and the lady said, "well he's right, she's a little girl". I was NOT prepared for that! I thought she was still looking at the spine. I had taken my eyes off the monitor for a bit so didn't know she had changed. Hagen was engrossed in tv and The Mr. was keeping Henry occupied. I said, what??? She repeated and said she's definitely a girl! I made sure Hagen and The Mr. heard. Then we all watched as she told us how she knew without a doubt that she was a girl! I was SHOCKED!!! I had an inkling that she might be a girl, but I REALLY was hoping for another boy and only referred to bug as a boy! HA! Hagen was SUUUUPER excited!

We finished up the ultrasound. The boys came with me to the bathroom. We went back and waited for the doctor to talk with us/look at the images. She said SHE was doing well that there were no indications of anything out of the ordinary. Nothing that would warrant more frequent ultrasounds at this point. And she told us she was measuring in at weighing 11oz. so everything looks good with our July 21st due date!

It was not how I pictured the day going. But I actually REALLY enjoyed having the boys there with us at the ultrasound and it was kind of fun to have the tech just tell us there and to be able to see images!! I'm getting really excited about the thought of having a little girl now, which really surprises me. I think SHE will be a wonderful addition. I am really looking forward to seeing Hagen as a big brother to a little sister. And Henry just being a big brother will be fun! I can't believe how our family and growing and changing, but it is soo amazing and I take NONE of it for granted and give thanks to GOD daily that it is all going they way it is! A miracle!

Wednesday, May 14

Henry's Birth Story

Henry is TWO MONTHS old!  Hard to believe we are a family of 4!  It's still very surreal!  So, while it's still fresh in my mind I thought I'd jot down Henry's birth story so I have it to remember!

Tuesday March 12th:
2:30pm I wrote on Uncle I's facebook page apologizing that he wouldn't get to share his birthday with his newest nephew.

3:00is: Realized that after a bit of sitting was still not feeling Baby Boy move very much.  He moved, but I had to really prod him, so I decided to call the Triage nurse to reassure myself that this was normal due to lack of room, etc.  I mean, he was still moving!  He was a VERY active baby my whole pregnancy and now he was back to normal for my pregnancy with Hagen!  (Hagen didn't move nearly as much my entire pregnancy with him).  The nurse did not tell me what I wanted to hear and instead suggested I head to Labor and Delivery just to be on the safe side.  She said decreased movement is worth a shot to be monitored.  I called The Mr. and told him the news and he wasn't getting out of class until 4:30, so I thought I'd get ready slowly, and let Hagen finish his nap.  I called my mom just to be near her phone in case I was told something.  Called a friend to call off our walk. In the process of getting ready, I got to thinking that I should pack a bag in case of a worst case scenario (which in my mind there was only 2 outcomes, I was being paranoid and I'd come right back home or there was something serious and would have to have an emergency c-section) But I'm always the person to think of the worst and figured it would be nothing and that if I packed my bag it would be nothing to make a fool of me!  So I called a friend to see if she could come over and help me go over a list in my head so I wasn't forgetting anything and help with Hagen.  I got my bags packed and all loaded up and Hagen and I drove to the hospital.

4:30, we met The Mr. in the parking lot and we walked into Labor and Delivery together.  I got checked in and filled out some paperwork, joking with the receptionist that I was probably a paranoid mother and we both agreed it was probably nothing but better safe than sorry!  Keeps them on their feet!  HAHA!!

I got in and got hooked up to the monitors.  The INSTANT the put the monitor on Baby Boy, he kicked a normal kick and started resuming his normal crazy movement!  HAHA!  I felt so embarrassed! I continued apologizing to the nurse for making a big fuss and they were just going to laugh and say, another paranoid new mother... They wanted to keep the monitors on me for 20-30 minutes just to make sure everything really was ok!

During this time, The Mr. and Hagen were kept busy by walking up and down the halls, outside and playing on the elevators!  The nurse came in after a bit and told me they were going to put an IV in.  I thought this was odd and while texting the friend who was supposed to go on a walk with me, told her this and she thought it was normal, even though I wasn't convinced with her comforting words!  From here to the next couple of hours I'm not confident in times as it was kind of very fast paced!!

5:00is: A tech came in and attempted to put an IV in and my vein rolled so she had to start over.  Another tech came in instead and before he started the actual doctor came in and said "we're having a baby!" I was shocked!!  (To say the least)  I just assumed since he was moving again that I was going home and waiting some more for baby.  After some explanation we found out that his heartbeat was decreasing with my contractions.  I had started to get a few contractions while hooked up, but they still weren't hurting so I didn't consider them a contraction.  Just figured they were Braxton hicks contractions!  She felt it was in the very best interest of the baby to induce labor and get him out sooner rather than later.  She started going over all the risks and legal paperwork with me and I was STILL so in shock that this was all happening!  At this point when they're talking about c-section and blood transfusions and other scary stuff, The Mr. walks back into the room with Hagen.  Talk about a scare for him!  He finally got filled in, I put my clothes "on" (over all the monitors it was difficult) and we walked to our delivery room.  I had The Mr. try calling my mom in this time frame to fill her in to see if she could change flights and get there for delivery! (She was NOT able to make it until after Henry was about 14 hours old)

In the room I had a quick ultrasound to make sure baby's head was down, and then was checked.  I was only 1.5 cm dilated (though she was nice and said I'll give you the .5... the intern said I was only 1cm, and I was sad because a week before at my doctor appointment I was 2cm, so I think the doctor felt bad and gave me the .5 for my mental state!  HAHA!  She then talked with me about all of my options with induction.  She asked me what I was thinking.  I was upfront and honest and told her I really don't want to be induced, but will do what needs to be done to keep the baby safe. She said she would always tell me what she was going to do, why she felt like she needed to do it and ask my permission first. If I ever told her no, she said she'd find another way. That alone comforted me to know I was in control as the mother of my child. So we got started! Lots of questions, especially with being asked multiple questions about students being in the room (it is a teaching hospital and you can opt in our out but I felt I would be a good candidate for students since I knew they need to learn and I am a patient person... From there on out I was always checked by a student first, then the doctor. The doctor actually delivered Henry, but to be honest I didn't really even notice extra people in the room because they made the environment perfect for what I needed to be in the moment with my body, my baby and The Mr's. support), the anesthesiologist came in to ask what I wanted. I told him I would not be needing his services because I didn't like using them with Hagen since my left leg stayed numb for so long after delivery AND it didn't really work. He was wonderful and told me he wanted to do whatever he needed to support me during labor and delivery and if that meant I didn't see him again, that was wonderful.
They asked all sorts of questions about where they wanted him right after birth (my chest of course, with skin to skin contact), breastfeeding RIGHT away, that I wanted The Mr. to cut the chord, etc. I was all hooked back up and off we went. They started my antibiotics and then they inserted the ball thing! They showed it to me first and I didn't think it would be so bad!  HA! They put it in and filled it up and off we went. So did The Mr. and Hagen. It was almost 8pm at this point and Hagen hadn't eaten yet, and it was about his bedtime. So The Mr. took Hagen out to eat, brought him back to the house where my godmother's were waiting to take care of him, got him ready for bed and then came back to the hospital. In the meantime, they checked me 2 hours after inserting the boulbous thing and I was 4cm dilated. They checked me just shy of 2 hours later again and I was already at 6cm. The Mr. came back right as they were taking it out, and boy... that was NOT fun! The nurse was incredible, she kept coming in and giving me words of affirmation and telling me that she was impressed I was getting through the bulbous thing without medication. She
knew I'd be able to deliver without meds because she could tell I was a strong woman. Even if she made up these words, it was fantastic to hear! The room stayed dim and quiet and I just got through every contraction, knowing that the stronger they got, the closer I was to meeting my baby! At this point they started the Pitocin. I did NOT believe before that Pitocin could make contractions worse! I thought it was all in people's heads and I assumed they just said they were worse because they were painful, but I figured it was just because they hadn't had a contraction without it so were just wimps! Well don't ask me how it works because I still don't understand it, but believe me... pitocin contractions ARE WORSE!!! Wowzer! They are more intense and never ending. You don't get a break between them! They continued coming in and uping the dose. I think they thought they weren't working, so they kept giving me more.  2 hours later, I know WHY they were. My contraction monitor wasn't picking up my contractions so they really didn't think they were moving along! They put an internal monitor in, which I have to say was one of the more
uncomfortable parts of the labor! HAHA! They were wonderful and brought me a nursing ball in if I needed it (I never used it, the internal monitor was really uncomfortable) and they worked with me and all my monitors to be able to pee lots (I was drinking so much water) and stand/move through my contractions. The Mr. was INCREDIBLE. I used him to sway through the contractions, and during them he held me up and offered words of affirmation. I would have moments of complete body shakes, like I was freezing, that I couldn't control. My contractions were so intense and one right after the other that I just stood clutching The Mr. for a long time! They came in to check me because I asked if having to fart was part of feeling like I have to poop because I got super gassy!  I was only 9cm, so they told me I was close but a little longer (potentially at least an hour). 3 contractions later, which was MAYBE 2 minutes, I had to push. I told whoever was in the room that I needed to push. I started bleeding. They told me I probably hadn't changed, but they'd get the doctor in to check just in case. So I'm climbing onto the table and my body is telling me that it was time to get him out. She checked me and I was still only 9 cm, so told me not to push!  HAHA! That was the WORST part all night. Not pushing, and actively trying to keep your body from pushing when it wants to push HURTS! The doctor told me to stop pushing and I said "then tell me how to stop, 'cause I can't!" She told me if I pushed I was going to tear everything, and she said she had to manually finish opening me. OY VEY! Not pushing, but manually dilated that last CM... YOWZA! Thankfully it really only lasted a few minutes, but talk about extreme discomfort! She told me I could finally push, so the next contraction (about 3 seconds later) I pushed. I felt his head come out, I continued to push and felt his shoulders. During my push, with all the breath I had I spurted, "%#@^, it really DOES burn!" and into the world came Henry Clifford! ONE push! While the Mr. was cutting the chord, I kept asking, is he really a boy, is he really a boy? Does he have a penis?
Finally someone said, yes he's a boy! HAHA! They put him to my chest and I just held him and cried and saying, "I did it" I did it". I got to hold him for the longest time while I delivered the placenta and they sewed me up. They took him away to be weighed, measured and cleaned up. Although the epidural with Hagen didn't really work, I didn't feel the afterbirth stuff. Man, that was incredibly awful! I was shaking uncontrollably, they were pushing on my belly, they were sewing me up and that stuff might have been worse than the delivery, in my opinion! I finally got Henry back in my arms, and I nursed him right away! He got it almost immediately! (I knew what I was doing this time too, so I think that helped a lot). Slowly people trickled out and it was just us and the nurse again. I finally asked what time it was, and was told he was born at 1:56 AM. When they told me his weight, I couldn't believe it! I was SURE he was going to be bigger than Hagen and he wasn't! 7lbs. 12 oz. 20.5 inches long. What an incredible birth it was. I felt so empowered. I labored without any medication while being manually induced,
which is a pretty proud thing for me. I continued saying over and over, "I did it. We did it. I did it". I felt like the whole experience gave me confidence as a mother. Henry and I worked together to get him into this world. He slowed his movements to get me to the hospital because I might have been stubborn and not gone in. He was ready to join our family and he told me, and I had the strength to bring him into it. Of course, that strength was given by God and he used the nurse, who was beyond amazing about empowering me and giving me the time and space to be in touch with my body throughout the process. He also used The Mr. who not only physically, but emotionally supported me throughout the night. He even used Hagen, who previously was so excited to meet his baby brother that is gave me strength. He also had to to home, which allowed me so peace and quiet all to myself where I was able to come to terms with the fact that I was having a baby that night!
I got all cleaned up and I got to walk on my own 2 feet, while pushing Henry in his bassinet, to my recovery room. I loved the staff there as everyone I passed said something along the lines of "you JUST had a baby? You look incredible" I'm sure they say it to EVERY woman who comes it. I don't care. Every woman deserves to hear that! It felt so good! I felt so good! I am the mom of 2 boys and damn, it feels good!

 From start to finish, it was under 9 hours. I was making plans to go on hikes, and choir practice, and the zoo. But there were other plans. Plans to bring Henry into our family! 2 months later, I still can't believe I am so lucky! Hagen is such a good big brother. Henry is such a smily, easy going baby. (Except today, he got his shots and poor guy has a fever and is obviously not feeling awesome). Although not a lot is perfect in our lives, having these 2 boys feels pretty darn perfect!

Tuesday, November 12

No deep thoughts, just ONE photo!

No deep thoughts.  Just a photo.  ONE!

Well I think the photo explains itself.  I'm thankful I'm finally slowing down.  I was looking about 10 weeks ahead of where I was from last pregnancy.  Now I'm only 4 weeks ahead!  I am happy however I look though because it is truly a miracle what our body goes through!  I was a little worried that at the rate I was going I was going to be HUGE by the time I delivered!  I do think it's interesting to see the differences wearing the same shirt!  It's hard to believe that the "little" guy in the photo on the right was the one in my belly on the left!  Hard to imagine another beautiful baby boy gracing our world with as much love and joy as Hagen!  I could only believe it so much with Hagen too, so I know it's going to blow my mind!!!  

Ok, well no more thoughts!  Enjoy the comparison Dorcy!!  (Since you're one of the few people who enjoys reading this!!)  I love you

Sunday, October 6

Less of Me...

Less Self-Centeredness, More Service

SELF-CENTERED.  I hate people who are all abut themselves.  The fact is though, we are all self centered.  I am self-centered. We need to do more for others.  I need to do more for others.  I want to take myself to the next level though.  I want to change my heart when it comes to these things.  I read an article a few weeks ago.  Sadly I don't remember where I found this article, or any other information other than the fact that I did read it.  And you know, I don't even know if I remember the whole of the article.  I read one line or paragraph, and it has stuck with me and I can't shake it out of my head, and it fits perfectly with today's challenge.  On the blog series, 31 Days of Less & More, the challenge is to do something, anything to serve others. If you are like me, that part is kind of easy.  Yes, I say easy and yet I still don't do it.  But if I do it, it's not hard.  But I need to go deeper.  I need to change my HEART to serve others.  Going back to this mystery article, it talked about having people over for dinner.  I LOVE to have people over for dinner.  What a great way to serve them.  That is what I thought I was doing.  I was serving others by taking the time to clean my house, and serve them a meal.  It sounds good, doesn't it?  Ok, but here's where my confession time comes in, and what the article made me think about.  While I was serving my guests, I was hoping they were thinking, "Wow, She is an AMAZING cook, I wish I could cook like her", or I was hoping they were thinking, "Wow, I don't take the time to set the table AND She does and She has a kid, she is pretty darn amazing".  I'm sure there were many other things I was hoping they were thinking.  WOW!  That is HARD to admit!  Even in my serving, I am hoping that people will take time to PRAISE ME!!!  Where is my heart of service with that?  It's not.  It's me outwardly serving so that people will notice ME!  Yep, I am self-centered.  WORSE than anyone I know!  Also, in my serving others, I expect things to be perfect while my guests are here.  So much so that while they are here, I'm in another world worried about this or that, and not truly enjoying my company or serving them with my love and friendship.

This then leads me to question, 'how do I change that?'  Just SERVING others isn't going to take those thoughts away.  I have been doing things to serve others for a long time.  No, what I need to change is the root of my service.  Do I serve people and purposely fail?  No, that is not serving them.  What I think I need to do is serve people when THEY need to be served, not when I want to serve them.  So, when my house is a disaster and I don't have a 5 course meal planned, I need to call up a friend and invite them to come over to have frozen pizza with us and I'll poor them a big glass of wine, and myself some water, and we will sit and enjoy each others company.  I know they won't be able to think about how awesome of a mom I am, because my child will probably be naked, my house will not be clean, my dishes will still be in a pile on the counter, laundry still in the baskets and my floor not swept, and they are eating frozen pizza, the easiest thing in the world to make!  And no, this will not be how I serve people forever.  I still would like to make a special meal to show someone how special they are to our family, and take the time to show them I care for them by cleaning my house first.  But before I can get back to that state, I need to humble myself and serve people in my my lowliest state.  Serve them, EVEN when I feel like I am not up to standards.  And yes, there will always probably be a tinge of self-centeredness in my serving, but I hope that soon I won't be able to see this flaw as the bullet point to my service!

I will share a small snippet of me attempting to change my heart this morning.  I view singing as a way to serve God and others.  Sadly, I admit, that when I sing I often think about what other people are thinking about my voice.  Usually I'm hoping they will think, 'Wow, she has an amazing voice'.  (Wow, that is REALLY hard to put out into the open as I am quite ashamed of this...) Today as I was worshipping through song, I decided to sing praise to God without caring what people thought of my voice.  And you know what, I sang loud and with meaning.  And I squeaked when I hit high notes, and I had trouble hitting the low notes... but I didn't care if the people around me thought I was the worst singer they had ever heard or the best.  I was lost in praising God with my voice, and didn't even think about the others around me!  (except my son who was so cute dancing next to me, that I knew in his 20 month old self he was praising God the least selfishly of us all!)  So, here is to a change of my heart.  I hope that because of this I will be a better friend, daughter, sister, wife, mom, cousin, niece, god-daughter, granddaughter, stranger and acquaintance to all of you.  And watch out, I may start calling you to LISTEN to how your day went and never even tell you about mine!!  

I Am Who I Am...

Less Comparison, More Self-Confidence

I would venture to say that if you are human, especially if you are of the female variety, this is a struggle.  DAILY!!  We are bombarded with ways to compare ourself in tv, radio, fashion, education and my list could continue.  Even with something so positive as education, we are given a class ranking.  You are student 56 out of 309.  (no those are just made up, luckily this was one area that I didn't put too much weight in, so I don't really know where I stood.  I will tell you I was not valedictorian or salutatorian...).  But there you have it.  We are forced to compare ourselves to others. Luckily I never grew up in a house where my parents compared me to my siblings, but I have heard the statement way too often, "why can't you be just like your brother", or something along those lines.  Even well meaning, loving parents get caught up in the world of comparison.  So how do you expect teenage girls (and boys, I know it is an issue for males too) to move from a society where we are always being compared, to the point we are able to look at magazines and NOT compare our bodies, or hair styles, or personalities (thanks personality tests...).  Then you become a mom.  You already have NO idea what you're doing (even if you lie and say you do) and expect to be thrown into this role where NO ONE knows what they're doing when they start and be GOOD at it.  How many times do you start a new job and on day 2 of work are already getting a promotion because of how good you are? NEVER!  (Well, maybe never, but then that person would be a person that I would have to compare myself to... So I like to think such a person doesn't even exist!)  Yet, as a new mother that is the expectation thrown at us.  But like a new job, where once you learn the ropes things get easier, being a parent has a new job description thrown at you every few days.  Once you think you have it "figured out" it changes.  If parenting wasn't hard enough, let's bring in the Internet and Pinterest and Facebook.  I LOVE all of these things and the helpful ideas they elicit, but they are harmful to a society that has had comparison engrained into our beings from way too young an age.  No my house is not only not clean, not organized, but not magazine beautiful with the right paint colors, fantastic furnishings, and matching decor.  Am I failure of a mom because my house isn't perfect?!  We went out to eat AGAIN tonight because I didn't feel like cooking AND cleaning up afterwards.  Does it make me a failure of a mom because I don't have a full organic, homegrown, 5 course meal on the table for my child and The M?.  I haven't worn my hair in anything but a ponytail that hasn't been brushed since I last washed my hair 4 days ago, does that make me a failure of a mom.  NO.  None of these things do.  They make me human.  But when you only see the good sides of peoples lives, it's hard not to feel like a failure.  Feeling like a failure is a sad and lonely place.  And it makes you loose your self confidence. The line that most struck a nerve for me when reading Life in Grace: Day 4 was this:
Our tendency to compare ourselves to others makes us more self-centered than we ought to be.  And once we settle into our own skin- comfortable with who we were made to be- we can finally stop focusing on ourselves and start spending that valuable energy on how we can best serve and love those around us.

I have spent a lot of time praying for me.  Playing the world's tiniest record player set on repeat to the song "My heart bleeds for thee".  Woah is me, I'm not good enough.  But that is just stealing my energy away from truly being able to serve and love those around me.  If could just stop comparing myself to other Super Moms, I would be the best mom to Hagen, the child that God entrusted me to care for. God did not entrust Super Mom to be Hagen's mom, he entrusted ME.  Maybe Super Mom wouldn't offer Hagen was HE needs.  I know Super Mom is the best mom for her children, but not MY child.  God gave me my body to do the things that he has called ME to do with it.  And that is not the same thing that he has called other women to do with their bodies.  I am learning this is the way I want to live my life.  I want to be happy, and having more self-confidence is how I am going to get there.  And being happy and having self confidence I am going to be able to use my gifts to serve more, and that will only continue to add to my state of happiness.  I know that I can do this.  I have experience this.  Today I was reading through my old blog posts and came across this gem.  A "Perfect" Rainy Sunday. For one day, I let go.  I just WAS.  I was happy.

I hope that you have already become comfortable in your own skin.  That whatever issue you once compared yourself to others, you have learned to only compare yourself to you.  If you haven't, I hope that my insights into this deep canyon of comparisons will challenge you along side me to remind ourselves that we were given everything WE need to live OUR lives.  It won't be easy.  It will creep back in.  But let's stand up and fight against it!  I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR!  (Haha, ok... beyond cheesy, but I had to empower myself, and surprisingly that did it!!)

Friday, October 4

Cows, Colleges and Contentment...

Less Bitterness, More forgiveness...

Today's challenge is easier for me than overcoming fear, but still something that I think we all need to look into.  Yes, I can be bitter with the way people have treated me.  But when I think about the people who I am bitter at, I have forgiven what they did to me.  But I hold in my heart bitterness for their character, and I thought I would never do this.  I love my mother to death, but sometimes I didn't like to go to her with personal problems dealing with another person.  I knew she loved her daughter so much that she would continually find fault in this person, even if the friend and I moved past our differences.  I told myself I would not do that... but yet I do.  I have forgiven their action towards me, and find a way to move past it to become friends again, but what I do is to judge their character silently.  I mean, I am so mean in my heart towards them that I will look at facebook photos, or hear stories of them, and think well it's only because they are XYZ that that happened for them (usually a negative XYZ...)  When I think about it, it's usually out of jealousy.  I want what they have, so because they have wronged me, I think negatively of them... I know it really makes NO sense, but that is how my messed up brain works.  The challenge for today is to write down the name of the person, write them a letter (you won't send) detailing the harm done to you.  It doesn't end there though!  The letter is to write down how you will let go of the bitterness and then PRAY for them every day of the week!  My generic letter is to write down how I will pray for BLESSINGS for the persons life.  I will pray that God shows me how to see them as He sees them.  I hope that this will help me to see who people really are, and not just their human, broken sides.  I know I want people to remember the good parts of me and not just my shortcomings, so I will do the same for others.

Although today talked specifically about overcoming bitterness toward people, I am also going to be working on not being bitter towards our life situation.  It's not a surprise that I was not prepared for military life.  I really had NO idea what I was getting into when I married The Mr.  I thought, he works for the military, that's his job, we all have jobs and it doesn't define us. It is a lot harder than that.  From where we live(I miss MN and fall and family and friends, and I HATE the heat), to the stress his job brings him, to the fear of not knowing the future at ALL and much more, it is tough to not get bitter about our situation.  I have to remember to be thankful for what we HAVE been given through this opportunity, and what we are able to do.  We get to see the country, we get to teach our children to experience many new things, there are great health benefits (that makes up for the kind of yucky pay), my husband gets to come home almost every night (Even if it is just to watch him eat dinner and crawl into bed, it's better than him being deployed, or being unemployed), we get to learn to really rely on each other and challenge/strengthen our marriage because of the obstacles we face.  My husband although has a controversial job (aka peace vs. war) he gives up his freedom to protect people and their opinions and that is something to be proud of.  We give up our ideal living situation to help and serve others.  And yes, I say we... maybe it is taking too much credit for myself, but I feel that we are in this military thing together.  Too bad if you think I think too highly of my job!  I also complain about not getting paid enough to cover our student loan debt, but I have to remind myself that we are two of the very fortunate people in this world to receive education and excellent education at that.  I wouldn't go back and not do college, so I need to stop complaining, stop being bitter.

See... look I REALLY do have a lot to be content with: an amazing, hard working husband, a beautiful, sweet son, a roof over our head (a new one too, literally!) and a Risen Lord who overcame death to give us life.  

Contentment, happiness and sweetness are antonyms for bitterness.  I can't wait to get back to a place where my heart is filled with contentment and happiness and people see the sweetest exude from me and use it as a defining character for me.  Do you have stories of overcoming the bitterness you feel/felt in your life and learning to live a life of forgiveness? Anything you have learned to help give me a heart of compassion and empathy towards people?  How about not being bitter about situations you have found yourself in?  I'm sure there are stories that are way worse than ours, so I will continually work on praising God for the gifts he HAS given me, and not just see the things that are turning me bitter! I want to be content and happy with this beautiful life I have been given!

PS- A side note on the title... that is SERIOUSLY the slogan of the town I grew up in.  I have a hard time thinking of the word contentment and NOT thinking about our unique town slogan.  I don't really want to add more cows into my life, just contentment! :)

Thursday, October 3

Fear, you can NOT control me!

I am following a blog post called 31 Days of Less & More, from Living Well, Spending Less and Life in Grace.  It is two separate blogs, one is 31 days of getting rid of stuff and one is 31 days of adding something into your life.  So far, day 2 has been a huge thought process for me, and I felt like writing things down for my self, and for the 2 of you who might actually read this, you should check it out!

A quote from Living Well, Spending Less:
 "The key to overcoming fear is not to give in, but to acknowledge it and then to do it anyway."

What am I afraid of?  What am I NOT afraid of would be a more realistic question for me right now.  I used to be braver; doing things even though they scared me.  Lately, I have let fear control me, and therefore I freeze.

I don't know if it has been the move or if I have just slowly stopped getting over the fear and doing things anyway, but all I know is this move has been a HUGE struggle for me, and I realize how much fear I have.  (yes, I realize that was the world's longest sentence...) So, I am going to write a list of things I'm afraid of.  That is the first step.  Realize what I am letting control me.

-Having a miscarriage
-Having a baby with health problems
-Not being able to handle 2 kids
-Not being a good mom/wife
-Starting a graphic design job
-Not being good enough to actually have a successful graphic design business
-Not knowing what I have to do/learn to have a successful graphic design business
-Our finances... not having money scares the CRAP out of me...
-My husbands stress level with his job
-Going new places by myself
-Starting something and having people think I'm not good enough/knowing myself I'm not good enough.
-People thinking, 'oh, here's another stupid girl thinking she can do XYZ, when she has no business doing that'
-Meeting people that aren't going to be like my friends whom I miss terribly
-Not having my family around to help me
-Continually being sad
-Not having the energy to do the things for my family like I should
-Not moving past my failures to improve myself
-If the graphic design doesn't work out, going back to teaching
-If I go back to teaching, I'm afraid of putting myself out there... resume writing, the interview process, starting a new job, with new students, with a new administration, not being good enough...
-Not ever reaching my goals
-Not living up to my expectations
-Being self centered/not doing something to help others

Ok, there are a lot of things I'm afraid of.  I could seriously probably continue my list, but for my sanity I need to stop because I'm in tears. I thought I could be a blog writer for money at some point... but I can't!  I write these things for me.  I'm sure no one else has these same or weird fears.  But today, I am being brave.  I am afraid that people will be bored by this or that it's not well enough written to help other people out.  But despite that fear I am going to post to help myself overcome at least one of my minor fears!

So although the post says to list your one fear, tell it it can't control you, then do it despite your fear;   I'm not ready to necessarily do it to all of these.  I am going to try.  I DON'T want fear to control me.  It is a very lonely place to be.  It is hurting my relationship with my son, it is hurting my relationship with my husband, it is hurting me.  I spend way too much time crying over not being adequate, not doing the things I want to do... and it's because of fear!  I want to get back to my adventurous self who did things despite my fear!  I don't know when I changed, or how long it took me to get to this point.  But I am going to start the process back.  It will not be changed over night.  I didn't get here over night. This is me thinking about what life will be if I am courageous again.  I need to be brave for The Mr. and my son, and this new baby!

I will be courageous by:
        * Reminding myself that I am human, and it IS ok to fail!
        * Trying to learn something new every day about Graphic Design so that maybe soon I can get the courage to start, which would start to bring in some money for our family, which would make me feel less scared for a lot of things.
        * Spending time in prayer so that I can learn to leave it at His feet so that I can spend less time worrying and more time loving my family.
        * Doing activities with Hagen even when all I want to do is crawl back into bed!
        * Making dinner again for my family, even though by dinnertime I am thoroughly spent and just want to sit down and put my feet up.

A quote from Life in Grace
"Do we have the courage to become who we really are?"

I hope so.  I hope that I can be courageous to overcome my fears and be the woman my husband married (or better than the woman he married!!).  I hope that I can be courageous to overcome my fears to be the mom that God created me to be and to take care of my beautiful baby boy that God entrusted me with, and to prepare to be a mom to TWO beautiful babies.

I would love someone to help me, challenge me, keep me accountable, push me... whatever words you want to use!  If you read this, please consider helping me get back to my adventurous, fear-facing, courageous woman that I know I can be!  If you have knowledge about starting up your own business, I'd love to hear how to do it!  If you have multiple children, I'd love to hear how you do it!  If you are pregnant and have the energy to still do a full day of activities for a child already, I'd love to hear how you do it!  If I can be reminded that it can be done and that I just need to overcome the fear of failure and be courageous, I can hopefully get back to a state of happiness and contentment with our current situations (as many of you military families know they aren't always ideal!).  Thank you for helping me be a better person!