Monday, July 13, 2015

believing, smiling, living...

Weeks 26-31!!!  Time is flying!!!

Oh, my friends, I have utterly failed with posting weekly bump pictures... so this post is an update on my life as well as a catch-up on preggers/life pics!  :-)

On our way to our first 3rd trimester appointment!  Andrew likes to avoid the camera, but I got him to smile!!!

Seeing… hardly any sign of my feet.  ;-)  My tummy now completely hides them.

Hearing... many people ask if I'm expecting twins (mostly in jest).  Both of my ultrasounds have assured me that there is only one baby... and they've also revealed that she is probably a big girl (doesn't surprise me since Andrew and I were both nearly nine-pound babies... not to mention that I was my mom's smallest full-term baby... and my hubby and I both have large frames as adults).  If Rennie Faye arrives at under eight pounds we will all be shocked.

Smelling.... coffee and warm summer air.  Love the former... could do without that latter.  "Bun in the oven" isn't just a cute way of saying "pregnant"... I literally feel like a living, breathing oven!

Needing... to thank whoever invented fold-over-waist linen pants!  One of my biggest problems these last few months has been how uncomfortable I find maternity pants/shorts to be!  I feel so squished.  Plus the extra over-the-belly layer of fabric is so hot to wear this time of year.  My solution was to track down a couple pairs of linen pants that happen to have a pregnancy-friendly waist (the fold-over part is made of a maxi skirt-like material!).  I found one pair at TJ Maxx and another pair on sale at Old Navy.  Score!!!  Can't wait to style these flowy, comfortable pants.

Wanting... to get the nursery finished!  Andrew has assembled the crib, so now we just need to hang some pictures!  I also need to empty out the dresser in her room... it has been my craft supplies organizer for a year or so, but now I get to stuff it full of onesies and itty-bitty socks!!!  <3

Feeling...  nervous and excited as the weeks fly away.  My Serenity-girl will be here before I know it!!!

Wishing... for Indiana weather.  Have I mentioned that it's hot here and how I'm a human oven???  ;-)

Thinking... how the dream of being a mom and the reality can be so different!  Nothing makes me feel more like an eight-year-old child than hearing the words "your daughter/baby".  Andrew has been so good at calming my heart and telling me that I will be a good mom... I don't always believe him, but it's still really sweet.  <3

Laughing... at myself.  My forgetfulness... my clumsiness... my utter whale-ness.  In these last few months especially, I've hit my head several times (on a sign, the freezer door... Andrew's head...), tripped, and stubbed my toes (thought I'd broken one, but thankfully not!) countless times.  One time I forgot I was pregnant and tried vaulting up a flight of stairs, skipping every other step, only to collapse on my knees a few steps up as my lack of balance and added weight to the front brought me down... I just sat there and laughed... 

This last Thursday:  32 weeks!!!

Believing... that God goes before me.  He goes to September to strengthen me through delivery... He goes through the years I will spend raising my daughter... He goes to the days I will fail as a parent... He goes ahead of me to every single moment.  I am so thankful for that.  Amidst all of the emotions, excitement, and fears, that is a beautiful truth to hold in my heart!

Anticipating... my second baby shower!  Friday was my first, hosted by my church, which was so sweet (thank you again, ladies!).  The second one is coming the 1st of August and will be hosted by my mom-in-love, Janine, and sister-in-love, Amanda!  I have experienced a lot of mixed emotions about these parties, mainly since none of the ladies on my side of the family can be there (one of the many sacrifices we've all made with living so far apart), but I am still *so* thankful for the women who have taken it upon themselves to help me celebrate this time and the very-soon arrival of my daughter!   Especially Janine and Amanda (seriously, I love you two so much!!!  Serenity has an amazing grandma and aunt in you both!)

Dreaming... the same as last time... of Serenity.  Almost all of my dreams include her being born!!!  One really weird dream I had recently was that I missed her birth and was really bummed out.  Yeah... my mind is a strange place.  :-P

Praying... for grace, humility, and a servant-heart as I enter this new chapter called "motherhood".  I truly want to be that mom who joyfully, whole-heartedly sacrifices her time, energy, and *self* for her child.  My mom has been a beautiful example of that.
Also desiring wisdom in continuing to adore and give of myself to Andrew as we add a third person to our family.  He is my first love and I never want to lose sight of that, even as parenting demands so much of us.  <3

Reading... Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (very good so far... almost wish I didn't already know the ending... Anne is so plucky and, so far, this is definitely a book I want my future teenagers to read when they study WW2).  Such a touching glimpse into the life of an "ordinary" girl.  If any of you enjoy WW2 reading, I would also highly recommend "Trapped in Hitler's Hell" by Anita Dittman.  It is perhaps my favorite non-fiction I have ever read from that time-period.

Baby Shower!!!

Singing... randomly.  Worship songs, hymns, occasionally Josh Groban, the songs on the soundtrack of Spirit (blast from my childhood!!!), and oldies on the radio!

Wearing... a couple of maternity shirts.  I finally caved and bought two really cute maternity shirts, but ONLY because I had a gift card to Motherhood Maternity.  ;-)  I really do love them... they are so soft and really long (which is rare for a tall girl like me!).  One of them is featured above in my 32-week pics.

Preparing... freezer meals... very slowly.  I have a meatloaf frozen and am going to get a pot pie frozen this week as well.  Still figuring out more meals that will be super-easy and decently healthy.

Remembering... where I have been as I look towards the future.  Fertility struggles are a nightmare... they tear away at who you are and can leave you feeling so empty.  But, when morning comes, it leaves you with a perspective you would never otherwise posses.  The nights of crying myself to sleep have made the nights I can't sleep from insomnia and jumpy leg-muscles *much* more bearable.  The utter exhaustion, soreness, and emotional craziness I have experienced in this pregnancy aren't nearly as hard to shoulder as I look back on the years of waiting, praying, and hopes dashed.  Our pasts can be powerful.  They can be painful, but they can also give us incredible strength.  <3

Loving... Andrew.  Serenity.  Botanical prints.  And food.  :-P

Texting...  grocery lists to my hubby... because food. 

Knowing...  that this time will be over before I realize it!  People say that the last month or so drags... and I do get that.  With six weeks left till my due date, I am sore constantly and would love to be able to bend over again.  ;-)  But I am still really enjoying being pregnant.  I love feeling her move inside of me... I love sporting a baby bump... I don't want time to go too quickly, because before I know it she'll be grown up and having kids of her own.  So, even though some days can be slow (and I'm sure that will happen after she is born too as I go through the process of adjusting to motherhood), I am okay with that.  Each day is a blessing from God and I do truly want to embrace each one.

Smiling... because this is all grace.  Each day my heart beats.  Each excited grin from my husband.  Each kick or stretch my daughter makes.  Each loving look from my Savior as He grows me, molds me.  I don't deserve any of it.  It is *all* grace.



Valencia Canales said...

Hello. I have never left a comment but I been following you a while now before you got married. Yeah a long time. I enjoy reading your blog and I love your faith in Christ ans God. I really admire that you stick to what you believe in. That is awesome and very admirable. I am sure you will be a very awesome mother. I can't wait to have children but in the mean time I enjoy reading about your experiences. I love Anne Frank and love learning about WW2 and now I want to read the book your suggest. Have a good day!

Danielle Fisher said...

Rachel, you are so beautiful, as always. I'm so thankful to hear that you, your husband and Serenity are doing well. I love your attitude and perspective in all of this. It's easy to get stressed out by life, by our responsibilities, by the people who are dependent on us and have expectations for us. But in all of our fears we simply must remember that the gifts only come with pain. Your thankfulness is inspiring.

Thank you for sharing! And don't feel bad about not posting for a while. I think you have a pretty legitimate excuse. ;)

Dani from a vapor in the wind

OldFashionGirl said...

What a delight this journey has been to read this blog and see God's goodness in your life! EEE! So happy for you my dear!

Ashley B. said...

Oh Rachel, you are just looking splendid! You face just glows and I can feel the love and excitement you have for you baby girl! Can't wait to see her! (:

Victoria W. said...

Hi Rachel!
I am Victoria. I ran across your blog while talking with our mutual Indiana friend, Alison. I always admire women that strive to live up to Godly standards as first, a woman, friend, wife and mom.
I am from Texas myself, almost 26 years old loving the rural life and live with my large family while I am waiting to meet the right guy and begin my own. :) Seems you already have quite a head start on me and it is so exciting y'all are looking forward to another on the way!! ;)
What inspired you to blog?
I would love to hear back from you!
God bless!

Rachel J said...

Hello Victoria!
Lovely to meet you! Thank you for your sweet comment.
I am definitely excited to be adding to my family with this sweet girl-on-the-way. We have prayed to have children since we first were married three years ago, so this blessing is one we are so excited to be experiencing!
Your life sounds lovely! I've always been a city-girl myself, but do love the environment of rural living. :-)
Blogging actually started off as a homeschool assignment from my mom! When I began 9th grade, she challenged me to use my writing skills more publicly. I ended up falling in love with it and have blogged ever since (switching to a newer blog as my life changed). Now it has become one way for me to minister to other ladies like myself and also to keep many long-distance family and friends "in the loop" with my life. It has been such a beautiful blessing!

God bless you as well! Again, lovely to hear from you!