Thursday, April 30, 2009

You Capture: Joy

A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy can live. Bertrand Russell

When I first learned that this week's You Capture theme would be joy, I was--well--overjoyed. I have so much joy in my life that I thought for sure I'd end up with too many pictures. Right? Yeah, wrong. I had trouble with this. The weather thwarted me by being colder and rainier than I thought it'd be this week. My house thwarted me by being messier than I wanted. Luke thwarted me by being grumpy and not photogenic.

I had to look hard to find my joy, but I found it. I found it by feeling the baby's foot stuck behind my belly button all day. In eating an entire small pineapple and yellow pepper pizza by myself. In skipping working out because I just didn't feel like it. In taking a bath, even though I know it doesn't help sciatica.
And finally, I found it in climbing into a bed with clean sheets, with a new candle and an old book, enjoying the joy found in the quiet moments before sleep.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

29 Down...

11 to go!

Lest you think I'm throwing gang signs, that's my fabulous pose for 11. Oh, and lest you think my camera is the reason this photo is blurry, let me assure you that the blurriness is entirely a result of my inability to stand still.

Just for fun, here's another bump photo, in which I use my bump to assault Crooked Eyebrow. I love how Sarah looks all, Yeah, I'm going to pretend like I have no idea who these freaks are.

Although people keep telling me I'm tiny, I tend to think they're lying because I feel fairly giant. But I'm loving it. I've been seeing a chiropractor, and my sciatica is becoming so much more manageable. What's really great, though, is that at this time with Luke, I remember starting to get so scared about the end of pregnancy, about labor, about having a BABY. I don't have those fears this time. I know every labor is different, but I also know that I made it through 22 hours of labor without so much as an aspirin and loved every minute (well, almost). I know every baby is different, and I know that it will be different with a baby and a toddler, but I also know that I made it through Luke's infancy without dropping him (or ramming my hand through his soft spot which was my super big fear. I hate soft spots). Although soft spots still freak me out--and yes, I know that soft spots aren't really THAT soft--the rest of the fears are so much less this time, leaving me to just enjoy pregnancy. It's really rare that my brain ever shuts up and lets my enjoy something, so I'm grateful!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

You Capture: Letters

My captures this week are not really artistic or unique, but when I think of letters, these are beautiful to me.
I keep this special box next to my bed, under the nightstand. I don't open it a lot because, well, it's sort of magical. I know that sounds silly, but if you use something that's magic too much, doesn't it lose the magic a little bit?

I open this box when I'm having the worst of days, when I'm doubting myself, when I need a reminder that I'm loved. In it are all the meaningful letters and cards I've received over the years--some recent, some ten years old.

Words are so powerful, and the letters and cards in this box all mean the world to me, so much that I don't know what I'd do if something happened to them.

I rarely ever make it to the bottom of the box, because after just a few of these letters, I remember that I am loved and not alone.

After looking through this, I realize that I need to write more of these letters because they're so simple yet meaningful, and I bet that they mean just as much to others as they do to me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Seeing Double

This weekend, my bestie Leah (please go to her blog and say hi!) visited, and she mentioned that she thought I was smaller than with Luke. I've actually gained the exact same amount of weight so far, but I do feel smaller than I did with him. I'm not sure if it's that I'm carrying differently, or if it's because of the pregnancy workout DVD that kicks my butt HARD every night, or if it's all in my head, so I booted up my old desktop to snag a few photos of when I was 28 weeks pregnant with Luke.
For comparison, I even pulled out the same shirt I was wearing in these photos and tried to pose the same, but mostly I failed.

28 weeks with Luke

28 weeks pregnant with #2

I think the weight is definitely not going to my face as much this time (YAY), but past that, I am not sure. What do you think?

And just to make this the most picture heavy post EVER, here is a photo of my mom when she 28 weeks pregnant with my older sisters!

Let me just go on the record as stating two things: I am so glad that there have been amazing advancements in the field of maternity clothes since the 70s, and I cannot believe my mom only gained seventeen pounds with TWINS (and she carried them to 38 weeks). Look at how tiny her arms were!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Be Still My Love

This morning, I awoke to a text that brought me briefly to my knees. The world gained another angel, as Josh lost his battle with cancer last night.

But don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

I don't understand why children die. I don't. I've never understood, but since becoming a mother, it breaks me even more because I think, "what if..." I put myself in the shoes of every child's mother, and I think My God, how do you go on? How?
But what I have to try, to hope, is that these children they understand. That they know that there's a greater plan out there for them, and they're okay with that. That this life on Earth, this short life here, wasn't their real life, that there is SO MUCH MORE in store for them.
I was never lucky enough to call Josh a student. The one time that I spoke with him, I joked that he needed to get better, so he could be on my team next year because I'd heard he was a troublemaker. He laughed and joked, and I held in my heart that he'd get better, and I could have those jokes every single day in class.

Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
I'll stand on the bow, feel the waves come crashing
Come crashing down down down, on me

After his diagnosis, Josh didn't stop. He didn't see his brain tumors as a stop sign or even a yield sign, he just saw them as a part of himself that maybe made life a little harder, but still liveable. And so, this fall, Josh laced up his shoes and ran with the cross country team at our school. It didn't matter that he was having seizures, that it sometimes wasn't easy for him, he wanted to run. And he did. Despite all he had hanging over him, Josh crossed the finish line in FIRST PLACE during one race. Can you imagine the joy in his heart? In his mom's heart?

And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart, let the light shine in

Though I never had Josh as a student, he's become a teacher for me. He's reminded me that life is short. That excuses only hold us back. That no matter what, we all need to lace up our shoes and run, run like there is nothing holding us back. So in honor of Josh, I want only this for everyone... think of him when you don't want to do something. Think of him when it's easy to make excuses to not reach your goals and hopes and dreams. Be still for a moment, think of all you want to do and all you love about life. Think of him, then, put on your shoes, and run harder and faster than you ever thought possible.

When I awoke today, suddenly nothing happened
But in my dreams, I slew the dragon
And down this beaten path, and up this cobbled lane
I'm walking in my old footsteps, once again
And you say, just be here now
Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin
Let me throw one more dice
I know that I can win

If nothing happens, make it happen. If you're only slaying the dragon in your dreams, make your dreams real. Hold your babies and love them today. Breathe in their sweet scents, feel the softness of their skin and hair. Tell your spouse or significant other what you love about them. Tell your friends you're thankful to have them, that you love them. Because life is short and fleeting, but it is also beautiful. Find the beauty today. Grab it, make it yours, then look up and tell Josh thank you. I know I will.

lyrics from "Waiting For My Real Life To Begin" by Colin Hay

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Rounding Third

As I'm nearing the third trimester (OMG IKR!?), I'm finding that I want to dress up less and less. I remember looking forward to getting into maternity clothes at first, but right about now, I'm ready to spend every day in yoga pants, a tank top, and flip flops. Unfortunately I think that would get me super fired, so I'm trying my best to keep dressing like a professional adult. But by the time June rolls around? All bets are off!

Today I have my gestational diabetes test. With Luke, I passed with flying colors, so I'm not too concerned. What DOES concern me is the thought of having to go all day without any sugar, not even a 100 calorie fudge brownie (or two). But here's a secret... you know how every pregnant woman in the world hates the glucose drink? I love Glucola. I love it so much that I would buy it if they sold it in the store. I would buy it and mix it with vanilla ice cream, and it would be flat sugary orange drink LOVEfest every day at my house.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

You Capture: Fun

I have to admit that I've spent a few days cursing Beth for picking fun for this week's You Capture. If I had to come up with adjectives to describe this week, fun would NOT be on the list. The letters F and U have certainly been involved in this week in oh so many ways, but not with the letter N attached.

This week has been long and heartbreaking. It's been difficult because none of it is suitable for blog fodder, yet I so badly need to vent. It has tried on every ounce of my sanity, yet fun time with this little guy always allows me to step back, count my blessings, and remember what matters.
Also fun was setting the timer for this picture and dashing back onto the couch to get into the shot. I got my exercise!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Flower Child

I've been having a really rough time at work lately, so Shane and Luke surprised me at work Tuesday with these beautiful yellow tulips. Shane apologized because they were just from the grocery store, but honestly? They are the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen.

26 weeks. I can't wait to add one more little bloom to my life.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

You Capture: Spring

The theme of this week's You Capture is SPRING. Emphasis all mine because I love spring. Spring is my favorite season because it makes me so hopeful. Winter is ending, and everything is blooming, fresh, green, and colorful. It makes me think of new beginnings.

Despite my love for spring, this wasn't as easy as I thought. We had SNOW on Sunday, and I had to break my winter coat back out on Saturday night. Still, when I pulled in the driveway yesterday, I saw these hopeful yellow flowers pushing up against the house, and I remembered why I love this season so much.

I love how despite the lack of sun lately, the wind, and the cold, this little flower is trying so hard to grow and reach the light and warmth. Aren't we all?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

25 Down

And 15 to go, which is so hard to believe. And also a little scary.

I'd like to title this one: "Soon I will need a bigger mirror."

And this one didn't turn out like I wanted, but I still had to share for the story. On Monday, two of my wonderful friends randomly dropped by with FUDGE because they knew I'd had a long day work. I settled down on the couch, using my stomach as a table for the awesome chocolate walnut fudge egg I was about to devour, when the baby started kicking RIGHT where the egg was, causing it to jump all over the place. Apparently the baby wanted fudge, proving that this is SO my kid.