Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Thursday, September 13, 2012
So now I've reached the "end". 38 weeks plus 1 day. This is my fifth pregnancy. At this stage I have been the same with each one - miserable. It's not just the physical discomfort, which there is plenty of, but I simply cannot seem to focus on any of my responsibilities and/or commitments. All I can think about is how sick of being pregnant I am, and the longing I have to hold my new baby. At this point, I pretty much don't want to see anyone outside of my family until I actually have a baby outside of my body. Which isn't really practical, since I do have places to go and things to do. I get tired of the questions. I get tired of talking about my due date, which still seems light years away. I also get frustrated to hear of other moms giving birth, some who were due after myself. It's a hard time to be content and happy. And of course I feel guilty about that for a whole host of reasons, but that's for a different post.
So, last week, or the week before - I'm starting to lose track of time - I was feeling pretty good. I mean, for some reason the sciatic nerve pain I had been dealing with for months had settled down and physically, I was feeling better than I had been. I was sleeping better and had more energy. I was thinking, I can make it through this, and even made myself a list of things I could accomplish before the baby came. Like goals. Like, this baby can take it's time because I have things to do. Silly me.
Then came THE HEADACHE. This headache lasted a week+ and nothing would touch it. Along with that came back the serious heartburn. The headache took away any motivation I had, because I couldn't function. And I wasn't very fun for my kids to be around because even their regular talking level was more than I could bear. On Tuesday night, things were at their worst. Thankfully, Matt was home that night, and he graciously told me to hide out behind closed doors and he would take care of the children. I couldn't sleep and so I googled headaches in 38th week. There's the preeclampsia scare. I've never ever had any complications with my pregnancies, they just suck. Always headaches and nausea and heartburn and all that fun stuff. And very healthy babies. For that I am thankful, but I knew I was fine. Even so, I couldn't block out the noise through the door and so I decided to go to the grocery store to check my blood pressure. Honestly, I was actually hoping it would be high so I could go to the hospital and they could make this baby come out. But my blood pressure is great. And, my doctor was there buying groceries! And she was like, your blood pressure is great! Yeah, I know. She wasn't concerned about my headache, but she did sympathize.
I should point out that my last three pregnancies have ended with induced labors due to very good scheduling excuses. Like, baby's due date is Christmas. Or, doctor is scheduled to be out of town. These are good, right? So, I have a history of knowing when I get to have my babies. This is different. I have no excuses this time. The uncertainty is killing me.
So I get home from the grocery store (just after I know the kids will all be in bed). I am feeling a bit better, just having had some quiet (I spent an hour and half out, most of it just sitting in an empty deli). Chat with Matt a bit and we head to bed at 10. I notice some serious, abnormal pain in my lower back on the way up the stairs. That stirred some excitement. I lie there awake and when my stomach starts to grumble at 11, I get out of bed and head to the couch. My normal "can't sleep" routine is to eat cereal and facebook a bit or catch up on blogs I follow. Then the contractions started! After an hour of contractions, I started trying to time them. I was thinking, this could be it! But they were very mild and frequent. Always less than 5 minutes apart. That was confusing. Eventually, they spread further apart and even got stronger. I got more excited. I kept thinking, should I wake Matt up? Should I call my mom and tell her she should come over? But, since this is only the second time I'm experiencing "natural" labor, I am so reluctant to do anything. The first time, with my oldest, I was sent home from the hospital after like 10 hours of laboring at home and thinking "this pain can't get any worse" and told I was dilated "a dimple". That particular labor lasted 42 hours, and my second child and first induction was blissful and short, so you can see why I was happy to have good excuses for induction on numbers 3 and 4!
But back to Tuesday night, I didn't wake anyone, and fell asleep on the couch (obviously they weren't painful enough) and the contractions went away. I was sad they went away. But I woke up Wednesday full of excitement, just sure that it meant things were going to be happening! I told Matt he better get his sub lined up! Then all day Wednesday, that would be YESTERDAY, my excitement waned and I became more and more disappointed, discouraged, and eventually just bitter. If it was hard for me to focus on my responsibilities before, when I was just anxious to have a baby, it was 100% harder after I thought I was getting ready to have one and then didn't. That, plus a night with very little sleep.
Well, I made it through the day. I spent a lot of wasted time reading about how to make yourself go into labor. All things I've read before. (At least one post really made me laugh.) By the time I got the kids to bed, I knew this baby was nowhere near arrival and so I better find a way to snap out of it. Two weeks is a long time to be a bitter zombie mom. I crawled around the living room floor picking up toys and debris until I could see all the carpet. I swept dirt clods from someone's shoes off the dining room floor. Just seeing the floor always makes me feel better. Kids were in bed and I was watching a movie and eating in peace while waiting for husband to get home from a late meeting. It was peaceful, at least. Went to bed at 9:40 and fell asleep by 10.
Then I woke up this morning! I thought, that is really odd, I slept all the way through the night, didn't even get up to pee?! This hasn't happened in months. Then I began my internal grumbling with God and praying, as I do daily, that this baby would come early. This lasted 20-30 minutes until I hear Matt turn the shower off. Then I turn on the lamp and sit up to read my devotion. And this is how it starts:
Title: Your Will Be Done
"Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." --Matthew 6:10
(immediately, I know I am going to be convicted! I can't even continue on for several seconds...)
"God knows what will best minister to His gracious designs. He ordains all things according to the counsel of His will, and that counsel never errs. Let us adoringly consent that it shall be so, desiring no alterations...."
I think that is enough for you to understand what I was facing. I love God. I really do! He often has to smack me in the face like this. But I am so thankful for it.
Even though it is hard, sometimes, to change my frame of mind, I know that is what is required. It won't happen naturally every time, sometimes I have to make that decision. I needed to realize what a gift it was to have slept through the night! And now, what a gift it is that the sun is shining on me! I changed my attitude this morning and I am grateful I was able to. Because I had a pleasant morning with my kids, and we made french toast together, instead of cereal. And there wasn't any arguing or bickering or crying! And, the headache was gone!
So, I am TRYING to be patient about this baby. At least, I am praying for patience now, in addition to praying for it to come early! And praying the headache stays away, because that is really a mind changer!
Friday, August 24, 2012
So why am I awake? I haven't figured it out yet.
I feel God must really be trying to get something through to me. I just wish it could be more clear RIGHT NOW. My brain is jumping all over the place.
Some things weighing heavily on my mind tonight include:
- my children - how can I be the best mama possible to them and spur them on to love like Jesus? and how can I teach them responsibility in our home while maintaining a positive attitude of love and a cool, calm temper?
- pregnancy/new baby - please, please, please come early so I can be out of physical pain and discomfort! it's been a long time since there's been an infant in our routines. will everything fall to pieces?
- MOPS leaders in Alaska - how can I best support them and remain balanced in order to meet the needs of my family?
- MOPS moms - how can I put into practice this exciting new calling God has put into my heart? (mentorship)
- my online course for certification renewal - can't I just get it done already?! there are so many other things I need/want to be doing with my time. my heart is just not in it, but it is a roadblock to other activities that I need and want to be doing and the only way past is to get it done.
- the poor/orphans - for some reason God keeps bringing them to me, and my compassion is so great that I feel like I will nearly explode with anger that I am forced to keep reading about them/seeing pictures and be able to do nothing. My heart hurts. I am sick with guilt. I have no peace. God, please, I need you to be more specific in this area. What am I to do?!
Thursday, July 26, 2012
When I feel the warmth of the sun beating down on me, it is like a tangible feeling of the warmth of your Son embracing me. I am so very grateful for a beautiful day.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
|Look how happy they are to finally have a dog.|
|Even I can't help but baby the cute puppy.|
|First time I found Hallie asleep with her.|
|Maggie and Hallie love each other.|
|Carson loves Maggie.|
|Ollie reads a book about boxers while waiting for her to come home from surgery.|
|She is fragile and must be kept still.|
|Ollie is happy to have his buddy home.|
|The girls made get well cards.|
|The kids take turns keeping her company in her confined area.|
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
You make me new, You are making me new
You see, I have been in a deep pit of depression. Even with Jesus in my heart, I found myself in a dark, lonely place. And after many failed attempts to “get out there” to try to connect with other moms of young children, I came to believe every other mom already had all the friends she needed, and my personality just wouldn’t allow me to jump into an established group of friends. So I isolated myself further.
God, in his mercy, decided to save me from my own self-pity and self-loathing, and that dark place. He gave me MOPS. I never got to experience MOPS as just an attendee. But as I looked into this ministry, I realized the opportunity it provides for moms to connect could have saved me from the pain and loneliness I had endured. I was determined to provide this opportunity for other moms, because I knew there had to be others like me in this community.
God used MOPS to change my life. Not as a mom, but as a leader. I discovered my true joy was not going to come in the form of a BFF with the same aged kids and the same hobbies and the same parenting views (which is what I desperately wanted). But my true joy came when I looked beyond myself, and served God by serving others.
So I listen to this song with a smile on my face, and tears of joy welling up. Because I am so, so thankful God made me new and made a beautiful thing out of me.
It has been my privilege and my honor to serve you in College Heights MOPS.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Towards the end of the MOPS year, we (leadership) always start thinking about the following year and there are always changes to be dealt with. Pretty normal. So I was confident as I prepared to "coach" my team through change. And then I learned of some more changes that will be taking place in this ministry that is a big part of my life.
I'll give you a personal example. I've been living in the same community for a long time. Much longer than I anticipated living somewhere as an adult, when I was a youth. The thought of moving is quite exciting to me. Certainly not the packing and unpacking part, but starting fresh somewhere new and experiencing another part of God's great earth is a thrilling idea. I just love to travel and want to see and experience this entire world. Living in Alaska on a teacher's salary for a family of 7 can make you pretty "stuck". Before you start spreading any rumors, there is no moving in our near future that we can see. But that would be a huge change. A change that many would hate but, to me, sounds exciting.
On the other hand, some changes are harder for me to accept. Such as opening up my blog after 17 days away from it and finding everything different. Or when an organization I have been involved with for several years decide to change their terminology. Why? I thought it was all working pretty well the way it was!
The truth is, when I wanted to start writing about "change", I didn't know what changes were going to take place (other than having a baby!). But I knew changes were coming and I wasn't sure how I felt about it. Fearful would probably be the most accurate word. And if you are wondering just what I am referring to, it is MOPS, because, next to my family, MOPS has been the biggest and most important thing in my life since becoming an adult. There's too much history to tell there, but oh, how I wish I could! If you want to learn more, you can find snippets on this blog by typing in the word MOPS in the search bar. I've tried to tag them all...
Back to the changes....I knew I was having a baby and I knew I wanted to be able focus more on this precious gift when he/she arrives. Really, truly enjoy and savor all it. (In case you haven't guessed, I am trying to convince myself to be done having babies.) But MOPS holds a big part of my heart and I wasn't willing to just let it disappear. There are a small group of committed leaders ready to go for next year and I couldn't just drop them. Not only that, but this community is FULL of young mothers of preschoolers looking to connect with other moms. When I see them, I see myself 5,6,7 years ago and the dark, lonely place I was in. Unfortunately, there is no interest in leadership from within my church. So, a bit reluctantly, I committed to Coordinate again. I was so thankful for a precious mom/leader/friend on my team who said she is willing to help in whatever capacity I would like, as an assistant coordinator.
But God was still nagging me and I knew in my heart that something was not right with the plans I was making. It was at this point that He planted the idea in my mind of the possibility of MOPS not ending, but moving. I began to pray about this scenario. I had to process the idea of "letting go" of MOPS, essentially. But it has never been about me, it has always been about God and he gave me a peace about this idea so quickly. I approach my friend about this idea God has placed in my heart and it is no surprise that she has already considered this scenario. I just love the way God works. :) Now there were two of us praying. In the meantime, it becomes very clear to me that MOPS is supposed to end at my church, regardless of whether another church is ready and willing to take it on. So I make that call. It was still hard to make and I dragged my feet for more days than I should have...
But as soon as I did, the peace and joy that comes with knowing I am within the will of God just washed over me. It's such a good feeling. And almost immediately God started showing me why I needed this change and some ideas of what I will be focusing on (for the short term, anyways).
We are still praying for another church in this community to be ready to support a MOPS group. And if God provides a church, then I will still be involved for at least a year to help with a smooth transition (assuming the coordinator wants that ;). And I have no intention of quitting my Field Leadership anytime soon. I have such a passion for this ministry and the way it can change lives. And I love being a part of something greater than myself in my own little world. God really uses MOPS to change lives. He used it to change me. For the better, I might add!
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
So, I was pretty certain I was pregnant when I started my challenge. I felt fantastic up until day 23 and then the all day nausea set in. I have been working out with increasing intensity 6 days a week throughout this challenge. Five of those workouts take place at 5:15 am. On day 23, after working out, I was so nauseated I didn't know what to do because the quick and easy things to eat are definitely not whole30 approved. In my past pregnancies, I practically lived on cereal. I was thinking that maybe the foods I had eliminated were going to keep me from experiencing morning sickness, because I have read so many stories of primal/paleo women who don't. So that was an exciting thought. But no. I now have the nausea, the headaches, the exhaustion, everything. So I have to figure out how to keep myself from being sick without eating all the carbs that I crave.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Tonight's dinner also turned out very good. But let me just say, I am not a salmon lover. I have not found a way of preparing salmon that keeps me coming back for more. I eat it because it's free and we have a freezer full. And because I know it is healthy. I enjoyed the yellow squash much more than the salmon.
The sun has stopped shining and today I was feeling really cruddy. Headache, general yucky feeling, no energy. I tried to take a nap, and lay in bed for a full hour, but I don't think I slept much. I was hoping to wake up refreshed and re-energized, but nope. I sure hope tomorrow is better, because when I feel this way, all I want to do it medicate with chocolate.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
I don't know what happened over the last couple days, but I feel like I got my vitality back. On Friday I struggled. I wanted to quit. Matt and I had no kids for the night and a gift card to St. Elias. The craving and thoughts of all kind of sweets kicked in. I wanted pizza. I wanted beer. I wanted chocolate! But I was strong and resisted that urge. When we got home from Carson's game, I opted to make some baked bars with almond flour and dates. The dates were the only sweetener. Even though it may not be best to find a "legal" way to get past that craving, still, I did stay legal and managed to hang in. Then on Saturday I stuck with my usual Sat. morning routine of about 6 cups of coffee over the course of 3 hours and I ate 2 of those bars for my breakfast around 8. Then I went to Zumba at 10 and I was feeling great. I went about my day and never got hungry again. I finally decided to eat again at 5, when I was feeding Oliver dinner. I felt fabulous all day and never felt hunger or thought about food. It happened again today when I didn't feel hungry for breakfast and had my coffee with coconut oil instead and waited until lunch to eat. This makes me really happy because, not only do I feel great, but food is not on my mind. I am not wondering what I am going to eat and when I can eat next. I love not feeling hungry and not wishing I could eat something I shouldn't. And I love being able to see things and watch people eat things (i.e. doughnuts at church) and not wish I was eating one too. Not compelled at all. Not missing what I should not have. Big happy face.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Here is the delicious soup I made for dinner using the leftovers from roast chicken night.
And here is how gorgeous it was outside today, even though it was -20 degrees and the view from my bonus room window.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
- 2 lbs ground moose
- 1 lb country sausage
- almond flour
- 2-3 tbsp tomato paste
- sea salt
- garlic powder
- italian seasoning
- carrots, mushrooms, onions - finely chopped in a food processor
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
The whole family enjoying this Whole30 approved meal!
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Here are my beautiful jars of strained stock! (I kept enough out for a big batch of soup that night.) Homemade stock is so much yummier than store bought!
And here's a little picture of my salad lunch on Friday. YUM.
One last note about Friday. I had a girlfriend date and I knew I didn't want to have to face temptation and have to say no to all my favorite things involving sweetness or dairy. So we met at a billiards hall and enjoyed "playing" billiards while visiting and catching up. It was a really good time. We were both pretty terrible at billiards (me more so) but we were doing something other than eating while we caught up, which was really nice. I didn't think about food once.