36.5 Weeks

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Ohh lawdy.

Waddling? Check.
Braxton Hicks Contractions? Check.
Stopping in the middle of Target to cross my legs and pray my water doesn’t break? Check, check, check.

I’m feelin’ it.
When I was pregnant with Rosie, who stayed bundled inside my tummy for 42 weeks, I didn’t feel a single thing like this until the weekend she was born.Β This time, something about hitting 35-36 weeks signaled something to my body and I can tell it has been doing some pre-labor prep for me! Hallelujah! At my 36 week check up I was 50% effaced and 1cm-ish dilated. Which really means nothing, he could still wait until 42 weeks like Big Sissy did. I just don’t think that is going to happen. And hopefully all these “warm-up” contractions will help the real ones along.

I’ve been taking my Evening Primrose Oil and drinking Red Raspberry leaf tea almost every day. Hoping both of these also help labor along, as well as minimizing bleeding post-partum. Doing some of the stretches/yoga poses from the book, Active Birth,Β by Janet Balaskas has really helped my hip and lower back pain. They feel sooooo goooood. And Rosie climbs all over me while I do them!

Samuel’s “spot” has been all set up in a corner of our bedroom. We have the Pack & Play set up with the bassinet attachment, and all his little clothes washed, folded, and organized in the space below it. Rosie got a whole room, Sam gets a corner. Oh well. {Little boy, you are still loved and one day we will make you a fun, manly little room! What will it be? Pirates? Cowboys? We’ll see… :)}

My birth bag is almost completely packed. Samuel’s take-home outfit(s… ya know, in case of diaper explosion before we leave), diapers, wipes, and a few of my clothes are packed. The thing is, our ridiculous Texas weather has literally changed from 80 degrees on Sunday to sleet and ice on the ground Monday and Tuesday… and today it is warming up a little more. I have no idea what to pack to come home in. A coat and sweatpants, or shorts and a T-shirt? Haha. Hoping for the latter. I am also obsessively collecting Rosie’s paraphernalia (snacks, diapers, sippy’s, Desitin, etc…) and putting it all in a central location. I have written ridiculously detailed notes for my Mother-in-law for when she comes to watch Rosie while we have the baby. They are mostly to make me feel better that I have told her every detail about Rosie’s life, because my MIL is a completely capable Granny. πŸ™‚ I’m learning I might be a bit of a control freak. Also, my Mama gets here on Sunday! She will be here for my new niece, soon to arrive (eeee!!), and then for Samuel. My sister and I are so thankful!

As far as spiritual and mental prep, I am listening to my “Labor” playlist on Spotify, and the mantra “I will do this” has been playing over and over in my head. Note: “will” instead of “can”. At some point I know I will want to believe that “I can’t do this”… but I know I can always hold onto “I will do this.” Because really, the baby is coming no matter what I can or can’t do. πŸ™‚

I’m so excited to nurse a baby again, to spend those quiet hours in the earliest of the morning just he & I. I can’t comprehend how tired I am going to be, haha. But with Rosie’s first year still fresh on my mind, I know now how fast it will go by. I’m holding onto every minute!

Any last minute words of wisdom/encouragement for me? I’d love to hear it!
Waiting,
H

34 week bump

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34 weeks.

My first pregnancy, I had a new bump picture almost every week. These have been few and far between… because, well, the times when I get dressed and look decent enough for a photo op are rare. πŸ˜‰

In the last week or so, I have reached the “I am so done.” phase. I try so hard not to complain, but every once in a while it kind of builds up and overflows. :/ My husband is so sweet and encouraging, and lately has kept me laughing so much I have hardly had time to be too grumpy. πŸ˜‰ For the first time my left hip is kind of constantly hurting, which makes me waddle and moan like an old woman. Or a whale. Yeah, whale sounds more like it. πŸ˜‰Β I think it is because this baby is so low! Rosie was always up in my ribs, but not this little boy. He’s getting ready to make his entrance!

Sidenote: Rosie has picked up on what makes Mama moan and grunt… So, now when I drop something on the floor or grab the hard-to-open jar of coconut oil, she usually beats me to the “urrghhhhh!” noises. πŸ˜‰ It is hilarious and embarrassing. What am I teaching this girl?!

Last night, I drank coffee on our drive home from visiting in-laws in a desperate attempt to stay awake/sane. (Edit: haha, it sounds like I meant sane from visiting in-laws. I meant from the long drive with a sick, fussy babe πŸ˜‰ For the record, I have wonderful in-laws!) I’ve not had coffee much recently, and especially not in the evening. The result was me up late cleaning our disastrous kitchen and thinking about the last 6ish weeks of pregnancy ahead. I determined, in my over-enthusiastic state, to do my best to make these last few weeks good. I am tempted to throw myself headlong into a pit of despair. Really, I am. But who wants to live with that person for over a month? Not me, and not my family.

Life is about to change in a big way. I am enjoying every family Walmart trip, every dinner, every night of (mostly) uninterrupted sleep, and every impromptu walk around Cabela’s while it’s just the three of us. Soon, we will be four and things will not be as easy or simple. But who ever wanted easy, anyway? πŸ™‚ Our lives are about to grow, our love about to multiply, and our purpose deepen. Samuel, baby, Mama can’t wait to hold you.Β 

Looking forward,
H.

 

4 Years Ago

This time last year, I was desperately waiting for Rosie to make her appearance- today was her due date! Little lady, thank you for waiting 12 more days to be fully baked before you were born, and for sanctifying your impatient Mama. πŸ˜‰

This time four years ago, I gained certainty that I was a Child of God.

When I think of where I was just over four years ago, I can’t begin to understand how I could be where I am today- a wife to a sweet man, and a Mama to an almost-one-year-old girl and to an almost-here baby boy. It is a miracle that “because of His compassion we are not consumed,” but what’s just as unbelievable is our “adoption as sons” and the overwhelming Fatherliness of God. He gives good gifts to His children.

His Glory. I can’t understand how my good is for His glory- but I’m overwhelmingly thankful He made it so.

Last year I posted my testimony, and I’ve now included it as a page on my blog. I hope to be less about me and more about Him in the coming days, but I also want to share what God has done!

Happy January 16th! ❀
Love,
H

Black Friday Fun

Not many people would put the words “Black Friday” and “fun” in the same category, but my family definitely does.

You see, it’s tradition. Every year, my Mom, Aunts, cousins, sister, nieces and I go shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving. However, we are not “door busters.” We all meet in one central location, usually Target, and start our day around 9am, after most of the crazies serious shoppers have done their rounds and gone home. We meander through the store, sipping our Starbucks lattes and occasionally picking up a deal or two. Mostly, we’re just making memories.

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I don’t remember when my nieces (ages 17 & 18) and I started buying Starbucks drinks every year, but somehow there was once a joke made of a barista flirting with me while we ordered our coffee. I don’t even remember if that actually happened or not, but now that I’m the married old lady with a baby and a prego belly, it’s fun to point those jokes at them quietly as soon as we’re out of earshot of the coffee bar. πŸ˜‰

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Every year someone usually has a baby with them. Two years ago, we teased my cousin for carrying meatballs around in her purse. πŸ™‚ She had just found out she was pregnant and told us all at Thanksgiving. (Any woman who’s ever been pregnant knows the importance of protein when you’re nauseous all day!) Last year, we had a 9 month old, a 4 month old, and a 2 month old with us, and I was the pregnant one! This year is my turn to have the baby to carry around, and my sister and I both get to be the preggie-pies. πŸ™‚

And of course, there is the memory that will live on for decades (and what I really wish I had a photo of): the memory of the time my Grandma tried to take a sip of her Dr Pepper, and instead stuck the straw straight up her nose. Of course, every year we all do the same with our Target snack bar sodas and laugh as if its the first time it happened. People probably whisper about us and give us all kinds of looks, but we never notice. πŸ˜‰

My favorite holiday has always been Thanksgiving, which in my mind includes Black Friday. Two days in a row spent with the dearest friends I’ll ever have: my family. I may not come home with a giant TV or a trunk full of goodies, but my heart is filled to the brim every year, and I couldn’t ask for more!

Do you go shopping on Black Friday? What traditions do you have with your family?

Happy Thanksgiving (and Black Friday), y’all. πŸ™‚
Love,
H

Thankfulness.

This is the season that calls us to remember all we have to be thankful for. There is something magical about leaves changing colors, the sun setting earlier, and a cool breeze circling your nose that really does make these coming months the most wonderful time of the year.

The Lord has been specifically teaching me over the last few weeks what the words joy and thankfulness really mean. If you’re struggling for something to read in the Scriptures, or have struggled with having joy in your season of life, I would encourage you to do a study on these words! Grab a concordance and look up every verse they are in. I have found that they are almost always found hand-in-hand with one another, as well as words like: singing, dancing, shouting, steadfast love, and best of all… the Presence of God. When I invite him into my home, into my day-to-day life, He brings joy with Him. I can’t just “sense” Him; I have to dwell on His word, His promises, and above all remember to thank Him for all He has done. And He has given so, so much to be thankful for!

Happy Fall, from our family to yours!

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“But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.” -Psalm 79:13

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“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the work of your hands I sing for joy.” -Psalm 92:1-4

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“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” -Isaiah 55:12

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“And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!”
-Psalm 107:22

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“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His steadfast love endures forever!” -Psalm 107:1

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“Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” -Psalm 30:4-5

9 Months Old

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Dear Rosebud,

Can you believe you are 9 months old?! I mean, I guess you don’t really know what that means yet, but Daddy and I can’t believe it. People told us the days would fly by, but we didn’t realize just how true that was until now. I am trying to take in every moment I have with you, and I know your Daddy is too.

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You are crawling and pulling up like a pro. You are into everything...! Right now your favorite form of entertainment is finding any box, open drawer, or bag and pull everything out of it one by one. I don’t find this a very helpful task unless we are unpacking from a trip ;), but it sure is cute!

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In the last month, you have…
-spent lots of time with your Nana and Pa,
-stopped accepting jars of baby food as an acceptable food source and started eating whatever Daddy and I are eating,
-dressed up as a sheep for a fun-run we did with our friends Kayla and Ava,
-played at the park for the first time,
-and visited your first pumpkin patch!

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You also had your first major boo-boo when you rolled off the bed and busted your little lip. I was right there, but you are just so fast! We both cried, you nursed and napped on me for an hour and a half… I’m not sure if it was to make you or me feel better. Maybe both. Needless to say. you don’t get to play on the bed much anymore. πŸ˜‰

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I am so, so excited and thankful to share your first holiday season with you. We aren’t big Halloweeners (ha…haha…) around here, but Thanksgiving and Christmas are around the corner. It’s my favorite time of the year!

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We love you, little girl. So much more than you can ever know.
Love,
Mama and Daddy

Favorite Cold-Brew Coffee

Hi friends! I just jumped over to hubby’s computer to catch up on blog-friends’ lives since I’ve still not had time to try to fix my poor little computer, and I just thought I’d share a little something I’ve had sitting around for a rainy day. I know it’s Fall and we’re all loving our hot Pumpkin Spice Lattes, but Texas is a little confused about the weather so we still get a few warm days. πŸ™‚ And to be honest, I prefer this recipe year round… So, here ya go!

I’m just going to cut to the chase here: this is some stinkin’ good coffee. Smoother, stronger, and less acidic than hot-brewed coffee, this is by far our favorite way to have our morning cup-a-joe. All it takes is a little night-time prep.

See? So easy! A few words of advice: this makes a strong cup of coffee! I recommend a coffee-to-milk ratio of 1:3. Add ice last. πŸ™‚ Did I mention this is Trim Healthy Mama approved? Use cream or half & half for an S treat or Almond Milk for an E. πŸ™‚

A few more ideas:
-When you’re combining the coffee and water, go ahead and add your sweetener. It will sweeten up your cup all night, leaving you with one less step in the morning!
-I also occasionally like to add a splash of vanilla and some cinnamon when I’m prepping the night before. It adds a nice little taste of Fall!
-Don’t like your coffee iced? Brew it cold to give yourself the benefits of the lower acidity and the smoother, stronger flavor, and heat it up on the stove in the morning! ❀

Let me know if you try it or have any other ways you like to brew your coffee!

Love,
H