Friday, December 9, 2011

Meet Woody Bright.

 When his eyes are really open, they are so so big.
10 days later, I gave birth to a completely perfect, sweet, soft, bundle of life and love named Woodrow Bright Buchanan. November 30, 2011. 2:19pm. 8lbs, 8oz. What an end to a pregnancy story, and beginning to a new season of change, adjustment, growth, and family. I'm not sure I've ever been so exhausted combined with a feeling that I could explode trying to articulate all of the feelings and thoughts I'm having and experiencing. Having this new baby boy makes me feel full in a way I've never felt. I can have no energy, and feel absent minded and useless, yet more needed and wanted than any human on earth. I feel strong and courageous while my body feels close to broken. I'm essentially on bed rest, though that doesn't really mean much because I am not good at following directions. I spend little time actually in bed. Also, being about 30 lb's lighter overnight leaves me feeling like I want to get a lot done with my new, more mobile self.

 I will have more to say soon. My labor and delivery was so incredible and I can't wait to write it all out, but right now we're soaking up the newness and sharing it with as many people as we can. Gosh, oh gosh it is so much fun having a little human in our home.

MANY more pictures to come.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Self Pitty

So I was saving the last post to add some pictures and really update fully but realized coming back to it just now, not only has a bit of time passed but I have had very new experiences in the last day, much less weeks since I wrote.

I will cut to the chase, to say that I woke up yesterday morning feeling sorry for myself. It's been easy to imagine ways I could complain, or ways others seem to have a hard time in pregnancy but overall, things have been so good and I don't think I've been editing myself in saying that. I don't do that well anyway. Even if there have been times where I started to feel huge or less attractive, or even fussy, I have had overwhelming support from more than a few people that have helped me feel appreciated and encouraged through the last 9 months. Yesterday morning I woke up in a funk though. It was mostly in the sleepy first minutes of the day when I was saying goodbye to Aaron as he left for work but he noticed before I did. I don't even remember what I said or how I said it but by the time I woke up and had some breakfast, I realized that out of eagerness and impatience to meet our baby Bue, frustration with still lugging around a large belly, and changes that are so soon to come that will undoubtedly change things I haven't even thought of - I had sent my husband off to work without showing him that I appreciated him. Not only that, but I didn't wake up thankful in any way. It was all about me, as much as it could be. I don't think I'm being hard on myself. I wrestled with it all day in different ways. I essentially had the thoughts that I shouldn't have to still be pregnant. I had decided long ago that once I got to 37 weeks, the baby should come and God would surely let him because I have had a great pregnancy and I really didn't want to wait any more. .... Does that sound crazy? I think I had totally decided he was coming early. He still definitely could, but I am faced with the truth that God has successfully timed EVERY moment I've had on this earth without need for my input. So if my child came tomorrow (or in 3-ish measly weeks), I now feel like the kid that threw the tantrum about not getting ice-cream on the way to the surprise ice-cream party.

All that to say, today I fell in love again. Haha. Maybe it was partly because communion is offered every Sunday at our church and I'm faced with the gift of grace whether I go looking for it or not. But I love those moments you see your sin for what it is, small or big, still serious. I don't feel beat up. I feel loved. I feel moved. I feel pursued and taken care of. I have had so much peace in my home and life for the last year. I've had nothing to complain about.  And I can't get over how good it feels, I don't ever want to stop loving it, when I remember that I'm not in control - Christ is... and I am better off because of it. Even if Him being in control just means that despite how I would wish things to go, they will go as they should and He will receive glory. I love it! I get so cheesy, I know. I kinda think genuine love is unpreventably cheesy with me.

I wrote last on November 8th I guess. I can't believe its been as long as it has. Time still feels like it's not passing because I am waiting. The baby definitely dropped atleast a week or a week and a half ago. (That also got my hopes up that he was coming soon, even though everywhere you look people say that can happen weeks and weeks before birth.) I have more room to breathe but it doesn't necessarily feel like it. My ribs are sore but its a result of him being in the best position to exit my body so that is something to be very pleased with. Just recently my hips have been sore a lot. I have forgotten what it's like to lay on my stomach, or I think I would miss it. Daily I remember that I bought an exercise ball and I find time to bounce on it, hoping it encourages Mr. Bue to consider exiting. I've been sewing anything and everything, quite productive. My house was too clean to feel like nesting but now the upstairs is an explosion of fabric and scissors. I'm more motivated to sew than I can ever remember being. Mr. Bue is somewhere around 7 lbs. (Sounds healthy and ripe does it not? Haha..)

So, excitement has never been so hard. And I may have said this but I think I am so eager because in some way, it's still unbelievable that this is really happening. One day, not so far, I will have a little human in my arms and a memory of pregnancy. I will be making mistakes in parenting and learning new skills. Part of me wants labor to happen because until it does, I can't imagine the little bundle that makes every little struggle thus far worth it. Part of me still, and surely will keep looking at Aaron every so often and thinking "this is real? we've really had a part in creating life together?" ..... Man. End of rambling for now.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Time can fly.

I can't believe I haven't written in so long. So much has been happening and changing. At the same time, until I meet my little man, I can't say anything too exciting has occurred, (atleast in comparison).

I'm writing all of these posts into a paper journal so I can keep it and have it for our little guy. Someone else was talking recently about having a journal for each of their 5 kids from the moment they knew they existed and I loved that idea. That's essentially why I started this but don't plan on sending him to check out my blog in order to read about my thoughts. Haha.

Anyway, things are great. Great because I can't think of a reason to really complain about anything legitimate. Life is on it's way, created by myself and my best friend in the whole world. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it all because in so many ways it still doesn't feel real. I'm sure at this point that as much as my belly has grown to the size of a large watermelon and there's lots of movement in there, belonging to our sweet first child, and my ribs are as sore as they could ever be harboring his little active feet - the only thing that will make all of this feel like it's ACTUALLY happening, is meeting him. I'm sure the labor will help too. As we get closer and closer, (anywhere from 1 and 1/2 to 5 weeks now), my imagination runs a little wild with how our birth story will go. Fear creeps in. Unforseen circumstances and decisions seem as much as possibility as ever. Our birthing class was a lot about just preparing us to adjust to anything and I am really thankful but the curiosity at times overwhelms me. I just want to know how it's going to go. I am not a fan of surprises at all. I don't like knowing that a surprise is coming, I'd rather be caught off guard than walk into something aware that it could play out any way at all. Could this be a control issue? ........ I'm now a size that I am so ready to be done with and the thought of growing for another month possibly is a little bit of a bummer. I do feel cute, as cute as a pregnant person can be. That doesn't mean I don't feel HUGE. Aaron and I both miss my mobility as a non-pregnant woman. He has been amazing though for sure, affirming me and telling me how proud he is of the work I'm doing and carrying our boy. It's so funny that it makes such a difference to hear those things. I will miss some of the special treatment of being a big pregnant momma. I will miss doing minimal heavy lifting. I will miss all of the big smiles from strangers, merely because of my belly. I'll fade into the background again at the grocery store, and that's bittersweet.. haha. I will miss unlimited night time massages from Aaron just because I want them. And of course, I will miss in some way, it just being us two together in our little family.

All of that being said! I can't wait to list all of the things that I love about our new family. I can't wait to take pictures and go to nature centers and make big deals about first teeth and first giggles and first steps. I can't wait to know what it feels like to touch and see the little human that we have created and are helping shape for his own independent life experiences. I can't wait to watch him come to know the Lord and fall in love with his Creator.

We're still hosting a small group with atleast 7 or 8 people almost every week. We've been going through 1 Peter and this is probably the most I've ever enjoyed a scripture study. I think it's just because I've grown and care more than I've ever cared. I look forward to it each week and I can't say I've ever done that before. I'm super thankful for Aaron's education and passion about studying scripture and history. It's clearly a large part of understanding in a new way and feeling like there's so much life to the words that we're reading. I've always struggled with reading scripture, much less having a desire to really do it regularly on my own.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Good News!

I'm in love.
With a season of life.
With a season of the year.
With a husband that I'm earthly and spiritually bound to.
With a tea that's warm and spicy.
With a baby human that I've never met.
With a clean and serene downstairs of my home.
With the ability to breath life in and see old colorful mountains around me.

I'm also sleeping(ish). Bathroom breaks will gladly be replaced by baby-wakes once he's here. It does make all the difference to have a good pillow between my knees. But as I like to move while sleeping, each time I move means waking up enough to lift the sheets, roll my body with pillow to the other side, then drape sheets accordingly and fall back into sleep. I look forward to easy mobility more and more.

Last weekend we had 3 sets of visitors. It was so nice sharing our space and catching up and just being with people we love. It was short.

This week I realized how big I am! I must post a picture. I have had no clue. Looking down at my belly and not being able to see my upper legs, or even dressing and struggling to reach my toes to put tights on, or feeling the need to exclaim every time I squat to pick something up or bend over hadn't alerted me to the reality of my huge belly. It was Sunday afternoon and the pregnant women were out on the town in Asheville so every one that walked by was compared to my current size. A little shocked, I went home and studied myself in the mirror, now very aware of the fact that I am not as little as I thought I was. When did this happen? I've been noticing it grow but my thoughts were "there's no way I'm as big as she is... she's huge!"

Man oh man. Changes that happen faster than I can notice them are so strange.

I read a girl's thoughts on being a soccer mom today. She was really proud and a little shocked to find herself driving a mini-van, watching little boys in over-sized shirts run around often without a soccer ball and having so much fun. I hope that's me down the road.

I'm meeting some girls in the morning to start a discipleship group. I can't wait. I have been longing for more constant meeting and prayer with women and I have so many hopes of growth and challenge tied to these meetings.

Aaron and I are going to visit my mom's sister in Myrtle Beach, SC. I'm so excited. We're leaving tomorrow afternoon. Time with her is refreshing. She encourages us and shares herself in a really refreshing way. Too, its really nice feeling at home somewhere so familiar, with nothing expected of us. I love Aaron getting to know my family. I love how similar and different my aunt and mom are. I always feel like I know my mom better after I hang out with my aunt. I'm excited about Lutheran church. I'm excited about a possibly warm ocean and whatever weather that comes. I'm excited about riding the golf cart through the neighborhood to the beach. I'm excited about digging a hole for my belly and laying on the sand. AND I'm excited cause we're staying till Tuesday then coming home to small group and a southern food potluck.

BABY SHOWER. Happening Sunday November 6th. It'll be sweet and I've been banned from helping plan it which oddly is making me excited. I wish everyone that I know could come just because I want it to be like a big reunion of people I love more than anything. I'm not really thinking of it as a shower cause I want it to be more like a party. Though it'll be midday and maybe a little short. I'm registering for silly things and everything!

That's it for now. Hopefully I'll have lots of reflections and quiet time this weekend with Aaron.

Friday, September 16, 2011


It's closer to 6:30am and I've been up since somewhere around 3:40am. I laid in bed with few entertaining thoughts until about 4:30 and decided to get up and partially clean my kitchen, dining room, and bathroom, eat a bowl of applesauce and made myself some tea that's almost gone. I would like to be sleeping. While laying in bed I basically wrote letters to friend's in my head, things I'd like to tell them but once I got up, I figured if I was going to do that this morning, I needed to get my current circumstances out of my head instead of writing to friend's about it.

Week to week changes I noticed yesterday: sleeping isn't as effortless as it has been. Atleast for the past couple nights. It could just be a thing that'll pass but since I've read it's a symptom of my state of pregnancy, I'm assuming that's what it is. Things really do change that quickly and noticibly pregnant anyway. Also, like clockwork, when I entered the second trimester, within days I was feeling remarkably rested and energetic. So it's funny, but yesterday was the first day of 28 weeks. 7 months ya'll! Third trimester.  When I think about how fast the first trimester went by, I feel pretty bittersweet. Based on the weeks they dated me I didn't even know I was pregnant for 9 weeks. Not much else about this process has seemed to pass quickly. Sure it'll seem like a blink of an eye once it's over but I think it was designed to allow a woman to feel like she's got time to soak in it. I sure have.

We finished our birthing classes last night. There's lots of other classes I could take but that one is the one I looked forward to most, Aaron was encouraged to be with me, and we learned so much. They covered so much. From reading silly encouraging poems and writings, getting massages, watching birthing videos, to practicing birthing positions, getting tea infusion recipes, and walking step by step through growing our babies, going into labor, having contractions, dealing with unexpected circumstances, pushing our babies out, delivering the placenta, and talking, touching, and massaging our newborns. We even had cupcakes with candles and sang happy birthday to our unborn babies. It was a funny, informative, intentional class.

We took our hospital tour this past week with our birthing class instructor. That was great. Part of me was really excited about the point that I get there, and part of me started to feel really nervous about birthing. I know it's going to fly by but a lot can happen in a few hours. I think I'm a little overwhelmed.

Baby Bue has been practicing having his head down! This means his feet are lodged under my ribs. If this means he'll be ready and come out quickly, then I'll take it. I'm feeling huge. I'm a little terrified of what a couple more months or having this bun in my oven will do to me. Some days my size is overwhelming to me.

Have I mentioned how much I love my husband? The best human I know. I am excited to labor with him beside me.

Also, we're starting small groups again Tuesday. Some new people are coming, and some old.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I wish I had pictures. I know I couldn't have done the trip justice though so maybe it's for the best. In some ways this has been my favorite trip to Pittsburgh that we've taken.

Every trip to Pittsburgh is bittersweet. We look forward so much to a community of people that we feel very much a part of in ways but rarely get to see. An 8 hour drive between us really forces us to make fewer trips than we'd like and we can't ever stay as long as we'd like to. Pittsburgh in some ways feels like home. I found myself the last couple trips wishing we had our own place here to invite people in and cook and share meals. I think Aaron and I both really like hosting people more than we feel comfortable being extended-stay-visitors. At the start of the trip I always hope that Aaron and I will love the friends we're with successfully. I worry that in a place that he has many experiences with out me, that I won't remember that we're together, on the same team and that he'll feel supported and know that I'm proud of him. It's hard for me to keep my things from spreading out over someone else's home while I'm visiting. It gets harder put our bed away every day when, at home, it's a place that I love to escape to for moments on occasional days.  ........ All of that being said, we are made to feel so welcome. We have people's homes and safe havens opened to us. We've been cooked for and provided for every time we've come. We've been prayed for and prayed with. We've been not only let in, but welcomed into our friend's lives, told their excitements and struggles, seen their projects and hopes. I love the way each trip to Pittsburgh reveals new depths to the people that I so easily and immediately grew to love when I met them. I love that each time I go home I know more specific ways to pray for these people.

Heaslips were in town and it was so good seeing them and their Sailor. I really felt at home with them. And Aaron couldn't get enough time with their sweet little girl.

Sunday we were thrown a surprise baby shower! I'm not sure it could have been much nicer. Good food was prepared, (tacos, my favorite), sweet onesies were decorated by our friends, baby goods were given to us. It meant so much to us that this time was set aside to celebrate the coming of our sweet babe. I loved sharing all of it with our Pittsburgh friends. It's hard to be content with having seen them so little this past year. Missing out on so much that happens in their lives. We want to live life with them, eat with them, struggle with them, rejoice with them... it's a lot like a long distance dating relationship. We see each other in such small dosages that it's hard to say goodbye.

Every time we leave Pittsburgh, the trip home is such a time of preparing to enter back into our world. We reflect on the week, we hope that the things we're learning will help us love our friends in PA and NC better. I try to tell myself to stop asking for more and appreciate the time we were given. We do dread returning to our schedules that can seem monotonous but I think, we always come back challenged and with a new wind in our sails. This trip, in some ways felt the least like we were visitors. In a way we felt more like roommates, and locals. There was a lot more down time than usual, quiet conversations. Less planning and roaming. It was settling and strange. It was really good. I guess the next time we visit we'll have our third family member with us and it'll be a whole different kind of new and familiar.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Writing Letters, Taking Names

I'm trying to challenge myself to write more letters. I doubt a letter from me is much different than reading any blog post... I do just ramble till my pen stops or I feel like I've exposed too much of myself for one sitting but I do love writing. Maybe close to as much as I love dancing...

I want friends to know how we're doing and I want to hear from them. As the year finishes, I hope to have made some new good habits in reaching out to loved ones. I'm reading through the "Simplicity" section in Celebration of Discipline and it has moved many things inside of me. I've never really thought that in order to be simple outside, I have to first be simple inside. This is something I know that I am not. And I've taken much pride in it at times. Complicating things is so Romantic sometimes, when really, it's not. It's tragic, and boy do I live for tragedy. So I hope the things that I'm reading are resonating. I've been learning a lot about praying for change and starting small. This is something I'm starting to pray more for.

I don't have a lot to update. Aaron has not been patient when I ask him to come feel our little Bub move. He will give me his hand for a few seconds but if there's no big movement, he will get distracted... Maybe mostly because we always happen to be sitting in close vicinity to a guitar. So we succeed most I've noticed when he is sleepy. He'll give me his hand especially when we're laying in bed. The other morning Aaron was getting up slowly for work and Baby Bue was moving a LOT. I was still sleepy but I pulled Aaron's hand over and placed it accordingly, and I don't even think Aaron realized it but every time the babe would move, Aaron would giggle - a perfect MANLY, proud dad, sleepy giggle. It was one of my favorite moments so far.

Monday, August 15, 2011



It's really so simple but mind-blowing at the same time to think about this little buggar inside of me fidgeting and moving around. When I'm driving, sitting in a coffee shop, watching a movie, taking a walk and I feel little movements, big or small, it makes me feel like a creator. It's a strange thing to explain. I feel like I've got a little project that's constantly being worked on. And in less than 3 months hopefully, I'll have a little wiggly human to show for it. In some ways its the most productive feeling a person, I believe, could have.

During yoga a few weeks ago, some of the first times I felt him moving, we were ending the class with some meditation and stillness and the little bumps from his limbs brought tears. It's so huge! This, what's happening to me.

I know mom's all over could relate but similar to getting married, the biggest decision I've ever made and the most rewarding, people don't say the things that I experienced going through all of that. I love experiencing these new things and them being as epic as they are but it's confusing to me that more people don't shout about it from roof-tops or atleast tell me about it when they experience these little glories. It's not like there are millions of opportunities in one's life to feel what you feel when you get married, learn your pregnant, feel the baby moving, give birth. But sometimes I feel like the only person that wants to really talk about it.

People keep too many things to themselves is what I'm saying maybe.

The same goes for the ways you fall inlove with the Holy Spirit. The way He pursues you and gives you peace in any moment. Why don't you hear about those moments more often? The more praise I hear from people that I care about and know, the more encouraged I am and the more I want to grow in my intimate knowledge of Him. I myself hesitate a lot of times in fear of just being cheesy or coming off self-righteous. But if we could equally be open with our struggles and convictions, pray together, imagine how close we'd all be?

Just thoughts running through my head over a pot of mint tea.

At peace.

I keep thinking about the fact that in a few months I'll be holding up a little man as he wiggles and jerks, figuring out how to hold his head up. An adorable, soft, sweet, baby boy. A little soul. And I get to look after him and be a huge part of his life. He'll be such a mirror of the way that I love and care for people. I'll learn so much. It's wild to see yourself entering this unknown. Scary and exciting. So many things all at once.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

23 weeks today.

A friend took these from a church retreat.

My husband is so so so attractive. I know.

Time is flying. And my body is changing noticibly almost every day. It's super bizarre to be experiencing something that is so extraordinary and ordinary at the same time. Being far from the first to get pregnant and experience these things, yet having this absolutely unique, made special just for me, miracle happen inside and through my body.

In the last few weeks, every few days, something significant has changed. It started with little flutters of baby movements - total magic. It felt like a couple bubbles moving in any direction from the core of my body, then a few days later it started feeling like my uterus was actually doing small somersaults - JUST like your stomach turns when you go over a roller coaster, but much more subtle and exciting. Yesterday at an appointment, the Dr. and Aaron both saw a little limb move across my stomach. And I've now been asked by 3 people how far along I am, which is really exciting. One day I noticed myself unable to move without bumping into things, as if my depth perception wasn't working anymore. I'm finding myself trying to squeeze between friend's chairs and tables or counters and people that I know I would normally have fit through gracefully, but instead grazing them fully with my front or back-side. You could say this is forcing me to know people more intimately,  lots of invasion of personal space. Another day, I found myself wishing I could just take off my belly for a water break. It's become noticeably heavy and last weekend my ability to walk up or down stairs quickly or even at a normal pace has subsided. I am becoming a slow-moving mama. Similar to the huge changes in energy in the first trimester, these things take a toll on my momentum, my confidence, my adequacy, my ego. ... I'm watching myself in the mirror week to week turn into the pregnant me that I always imagined and I am not as unbareably cute as I thought I would be. Haha. I'm feeling large. And my body temperature has decided to kick itself up a few b.t.u.'s just to make things more interesting. By the way, it's HOT in Asheville these days.... without being pregnant. So I'm hot, and slow, and for the time being, i have lost my hour-glass figure. Aaron has been loving and supportive. We've been really praising God for the way He's blessing us through this season. There's so much peace in our home. I love trusting my husband. I don't want to take for granted the ease I'm finding in respecting him and supporting him in the decisions he's making for us. I am a strong-willed woman, and getting married I worried, (still worry), that I will be contentious and rebellious because these are things that I enjoy doing sometimes, things I'm good at doing. So I am happy to report that God is giving me some grace and patience that I want to hold onto. I still have a sharp tongue and get plenty of opportunities to learn repentance. Aaron is an incredible husband and leader and I am ever learning to pray for him. It's something that has NOT come naturally to me.

Speaking of how great everything is, ha, I am very ungrateful. A good friend from church had a miscarriage. She and her husband had been wanting a child for something like 7 years and I'm not sure how far along she was because the baby may not have grown as many weeks as she may have been pregnant. Can you imagine wanting a child for multiple years then expecting one for weeks, maybe months and losing them? I can't totally. We weren't hoping for a baby at all when we found out. I was immediately aware of friends that I have prayed that they could have children and some part of me thought "I wish it was them and not me that was pregnant." I still catch myself thinking that I know people that deserve a chance at parenting more than we do. I've had the thought that if we never got to meet this little man inside of me, our lives would keep going. At one point I feel like I would have thought to myself, "Phew, that was close...(to really having to change)" and pick up where we left off with childless marriage. I say all of this to share the worst thoughts I've had. Some days it still doesn't feel real. Some days we just talk about how weird it is to see my belly actually growing like a "real pregnant person". I want to make clear as much as I can that we are every day, some more than others, learning to think of this new life as a total gift. It's really strange though to genuinely feel that way, then just not believe it's real in a moment. I guess similar to salvation. Even if you have it all the time, there's times where not only are you not overwhelmed with thanks for it, but you don't even think about it, you take it for granted. That's what I'm saying. I guess being human, this happens in everything. Wouldn't it be incredible to never take anything or any one for granted ever again? In my life, it really has been proven that no matter how much I'm given, I still miss the point a lot.

I had a 'near death' experience with heart burn this week. I would take nausea and vomiting over the heart burn. It lasted for about 24 hours and I was unable to lie down. I had to sit straight up, any other posture was much more painful. Drank baking soda and water, so gross. I slept in a recliner sitting up for the most part. I was sobbing and unable to breath. Aaron thought he'd have to take me to the hospital. The worst part is probably that anyone that knows anything about heart burn just nods and says "yeah, that happens". I'd like to think no one has ever felt the wrath that my body took out on me. Also, I am sure that labor will be easier than heart burn. I have nothing to show for my survival of this episode. I am appreciating pain-free life much more now. Aaron sympathizes even more because he went to the hospital once for something similar following a BBQ sandwich. He thought he was going to die. He'll say things like, "thank Adam and Eve". I hit a new high for high maintenance. I couldn't move without assisstance. Remedies I found interesting/possibly helpful:
  • plain baked potato
  • digestive enzymes/papaya enzyme
  • milk
  • 1tsp. brown sugar (in milk, I decided)
  • no drinking and eating at the same time (SO HARD for me.)
  • no eating 2 hours before bed
Not using much medicine to just fix things is exciting and patience growing. And on a positive note, people have said that heart burn can mean a FULL head of hair! (Dark hair, I've heard!)

There are so many people in my life that I've been thinking about and haven't seen in a long time. I am a little terrified of having even less time than I have now to reach out to friends. I haven't been doing that much at all. I miss a lot of women and have really been alone a lot. I am growing to love solitude but I also really value and benefit from the relationships I have with women. Even though I really am enjoying the changes, all of this self-observing and surviving myself is making me feel so torn.

The last few weeks since my trip to Florida have been really good but exhausting emotionally. A lot is happening. I fear internalizing things. But I don't have enough hours in the day to share everything I want to share. And while I'm trying, I feel like I'm missing the point. And possibly exhausting the people that have been around to listen.

Baby showers happen when in a pregnancy? I think I'm gonna have one in October some time.

We are going to Pittsburgh at the end of this month. I don't even know if anyone up there knows but we've marked off our calendars from the 31st to the 7th of September. SO Excited!

INCASE it wasn't clear how lovely my belly is looking. Haha.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Change and 2 Very Busy Weeks

The last couple weeks have been packed! I haven't seen a lot of friends but I've been all over the place.

Two weeks ago my Mica (my dad's mom) passed away. She was 83 and lived a full, incredible life. Growing up in a communist country, finding out that her son had left the country and moved to America, then immigrating with her husband here in 1987 and learning a new culture where they'd reside till the end of their days. My dad came to town for her last moments and I'm so glad he got to be with her. This was the most peaceful loss of my grandparents so far for me. Maybe because I'm older, maybe because the others had gone; but I think it's because I'd never been able to speak her language enough to have full conversations but I've known her since my first memories on earth and what I know of her was settled, full of faith, and full of love. Seeing her body at the viewing, I started to cry because I realized how much I'd miss her. But looking down at her, her hands folded, skin lifeless, and no more soft pinkness surrounding her smile, I realized her soul was gone to heaven. It's a simple thought, and sounds like a cheesy, contemporary/country christian song lyric....  but to have confidence that this person that I loved so much was no longer in her body, it made it easy to let her go. The first time I felt joy at a funeral. I'd love to only have to say goodbye to people that I know loved Christ.

Last week, because my dad was in town, he offered to take me with him to Florida to see my brother who's been there now for a little over 2 months. The drives were long and divided by many bathroom breaks, intense Florida heat, cable tv and internet for emailing LONG emails to Kaki in France (who is coming back early and is supposed to arrive in Atlanta today!), exercise in hotel work-out rooms, the ocean, and a warm condominium pool, good food, and great time with family.
  ....... (Sorry for the strange spacing of photos and text. I don't know how to fix it.)
Seeing my little brother was beyond exciting. I can't express how much joy I had just being in his presence. He sounds happy and encouraged. I guess I haven't seen him since the beginning of May but it feels like it's been a lot longer, he has sounded so grown up on the phone. I and my family need lots or prayer. We all have a long road ahead of us just learning how to care for each other and communicate better. I'm so proud of him but know that without Christ, nothing is possible, so pray with me that Christ is invited to transform us and the way we love and support each other.

Lots of treats. Anyone ever heard of bubble tea? Not in FL.

Hard to see, but there's a trail of lizards straight back and down the left side of this photo. They were everywhere.
   Man, the time was good! I will say the week was the most intense, emotional week I've had in a long time but I enjoyed it so much. I wish Florida wasn't so  far away.

Elliot - Morrow's babe

Charlie - Chrissy's babe.
I got to spend some time with Kate and Derek Morrow and their family. Chrissy and Kate, (twins), both have 8 month olds and they are amazing. I rarely take pictures around people I don't see often so I only stole some shots of babies in car seats. It was great to see them and be taken care of for a few short hours.

Getting back to Asheville was sweet. I absolutely missed my husband. I've never left him home before, he's always the one to travel. He did fine, better than I do. This week I spent some (too-)lengthy time at the pool with my sister -got an overdose of Vitamin D, had our Dr. appointment, had a great small group, and am halfway through a much needed productive day with Aaron. We've run around and put up some flyers, our friends the Scurvies are coming to town next week and we had lunch and are lounging doing reading at a coffee shop.

I want to make a suggestion to anyone that comes across this that they read this blog. If I could live in two places at once, currently it'd be Charlotte and Asheville just so I could attend this man's church. I have been reading his blog from the beginning posts and haven't gotten further than about 15 or so posts plus some skipping around to current posts. I wrote about the Martin Luther King message a few weeks ago and this is the pastor that I heard it from. Part of me may be slightly intrigued by his Pentecostal roots and the way he laughs at it as much as he does but he's one of those men that you know spends time in the Word and has a real heart for teaching scripture and caring for his community. If you have extra time to read any of his writings, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Gender Update!

We had our big appointment this week! And the verdict is: Mr. & Mrs. Aaron & Grace Buchanan are having a sweet, soft, and sure to be handsome baby boy!

It's so funny, leading up to the appointment I'd tried to prepare myself not to want a girl or a boy more than the other, and as we got closer I really didn't care. If people asked, I would tell them it felt like a boy for whatever reason. Aaron started thinking it was a boy too. I'll never know what those predictions were really based on. So we are in the room with the nurse, the lights are off, and she's scoping out our little human's body with the ultrasound machine, showing us all of their bones and organs that are visible. She took measurements and seemed in no hurry to venture down to the "nether-region" and give us a look at what I thought this whole appointment was about. As minutes rolled by I relaxed and started enjoying this almost "magic school bus" tour through my babies healthy body. We checked parts of the brain and she took snapshots of everything, she showed us the babies spine and kidneys, their feet, their hands... It was a whole human in there, even weighing only about 9oz. So when the time came, we found ourselves staring at what was obviously the pelvis and a straight-on shot of the little babies legs spread into the air. I'm not sure how quickly Aaron saw 'it' but there was no mistaking the little 'part' we were looking at. My baby is a Mr.  The nurse seemed unsure how to say it, as silly as it is, it was almost awkward because it was so visible. "Here's his little wee-wee" she said. I teared up, it was so intimate and strange. I quickly looked at Aaron to get his facial expression and he was beaming. It was so neat to see his proud face at this new information. Again I just found myself wanting to spend more time staring and scanning over our little one. There's not a good time to turn the machine off when you're seeing your child for the first or second, I imagine, millionth time if you had a chance.

I do want to say that as much as we had previously agreed we wanted a boy first, and having all the feelings I'd had, it was as shocking as it could ever be to find out. I realized at that moment that the only things I had been imagining really clothing my child in were floral prints and lacey things. I figure that's because these things can be found in my own wardrobe. Alas, I am super excited to adjust to plaids, flannels, and denim that will keep my little man warm this winter. We're gonna have a little cowboy/lumber jack!

Now my curiosity has moved on to what color hair he's going to have, if it will be curly or straight, and who's eyes/feet/hands he'll have. I hope he has Aaron's nose. I have my dad's hands and feet but my mother's skin.

Little Bue, I love learning more about you and I am not a fan of having to wait to do it but 'for you I will', as Monica put it. (My first cd single I'd ever owned.)

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Re-Occurring Theme

Last weekend Aaron had Spiritual Formation class in Charlotte. I went with him and hooked myself to our friend's Netflix and watched almost 17 episodes of Dexter from the beginning of the 1st season, (never seen it before, was pretty sure I didn't really like it right away, but it grew on me.....). When I wasn't watching Dexter, I spent time at Trader Joes, ate great food with Aaron, and went to one evening of his class with him. It was fun meeting people and being a student for a night. The lecture was very introductory but good about depth in spirituality. There was also a session the head of the counseling department came in and spoke about 'attachment theories' with children and adults. It was interesting. I really get psychology, even though I don't buy it all because some is just really hard efforts to put everyone in some kind of box. Anyway, if you don't know about it, you should read something on it because it is interesting. And I may have learned something about my rearing and how I relate or attach to people, that I found helpful.

Saturday we met up with the Heaslips and had dinner and spent time catching up. I love that family and Aaron and I are both super encouraged with good time with them. Sunday church was incredible. Its hard not to wish we lived in Charlotte merely to hear this pastor every Sunday. I've only heard him twice but he has a presence that you know the Holy Spirit is with him. And you know they spend time together through the week. He told great, to-the-point stories about his week. He spoke on Revelation 10 and 11, Aaron said it's probably the most debated scripture in Revelation. I loved it. It was hearty. And we watched a video clip from a documentary done in 2009 about Martin Luther King's death. There was a great tie-in for that, it wasn't random at all. Revelation speaks about being a witness and the title of the movie was "The Witness". I think he said it could be found entirely online. .... To top it all off, the church had a tent outside and staff that made root-beer floats for everyone in celebration of Father's Day. (Aaron's first technically!)

At our smallgroup this week we talked about comparing themes in Adam and Eve's lives and Noah's. This may seem obvious but they were also witnesses. This theme has really impacted me. After talking about the two different stories for over 45 minutes, the covenants that were made, the missional aspects of these scriptures; the fact that these people witnesses came back to me. I've just never thought about it. At first I was annoyed a little, because I am impatient and kind of wanted to move on. There's lots of "be fruitful and multiply" and "spread about the earth" but outside of relationship and love and the reconciliation, I felt like what we were talking about was pretty elementary, until the simple re-occurring theme from earlier this week dawned on me. Noah was a witness to something incredible. Building a huge boat in the middle of a drought was probably really lame, even if he did have faith. Getting on that boat and seeing the world around him get swallowed up probably didn't feel all that great either. Spending 40 days and nights on that boat probably got a little old. I don't imagine him and his family to be playing endless games of texas hold-em and singing road-trip songs the whole time. .... Then the last few days when he was sending out birds to try to find some land, I bet those were some LONG days. Even if he knew God would in the end save them.  .... So the story is concluded with everyone getting off the boat, surely celebration, a rainbow and a covenant. I've never appreciated this story like I do now. ...... The thought to really bow my head every time I see a rainbow hit me. The thought may be silly but there's so much packed into it. We were focusing a lot on what was being said about mission in these passages in Genesis. The fact that these humans experienced what they experienced, then told the stories for years and years to bring God the glory. All of this put a new meaning to the word 'witness' for me. Previously the word annoyed me because it made me think of irritating people that want to be seen as righteous and surely have good in their hearts but are so busy trying to tell "their story" that they don't ask questions or want to understand the people that they're talking to. I realize these thoughts are simple but I love it.

Today I'm going to yoga at noon and writing some letters.
Gender specific ultra-sound in just over 2 weeks!
My Toyota is working great with new breaks. I am enjoying it so much.
We're having dinner with my sister tonight at her new apartment and tomorrow I'll be hanging out and helping with a friend's wedding all day.
And I guess I should note that last night, many people remarked on the baby that was obviously growing inside my belly. Hooray chub! It's getting baby shaped!

Love, love, love, love, love.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sidenote: Why I like blogs, Why I hate blogs:

OH Man.
I was browsing through my "subscribed blogs" while Aaron was playing guitar beside me this weekend. He stopped to look at some pictures of a cute family of 3 talking about how they spent their fathers day, tons of tattoos and attractiveness with trendy iPhone photos. He asked a question I think then got upset and said "I don't want to look at these" and got up and moved away to continue playing guitar. I thought he was just fussing to discourage me from spending time online but I asked him "what's wrong?" and he said "looking at those photos makes me feel like I'm missing out on something. No matter what my life is like, when I see pictures like that I can't help but want something about what I see." ..... WOW. You may think this is silly, but I know my husband, and when he's hurting, or confessing something that he thinks is gross within himself.

I started thinking. I don't get upset, or necessarily envy the things I see on people's blogs... but then I realized, I enjoy seeing these blogs because I like hearing about the exciting things in people's lives. I even enjoy a post about an outfit and why someone is so proud of it once in a while. People write mostly about the things in their days that they are most proud of or happy about. It's in some ways a really, really positive way to spend your time, sharing what you love about your life. I enjoy doing it and am inspired by other people's cute pictures and sweet date photos and ideas with their husbands or families, picnics in parks, camping trips, icecream moments, or craft ideas.

THEN, you think about how these things do affect you. I have had a few conversations with Aaron, never impressed with anything that keeps me on the computer for long stretches of time; he has brought up the idea that I am comparing myself to the people I see online. I have insisted this isn't true. I really do like the blogs most that are by people that I know and they just share about their lives. It's easy to make fun of the people I don't know and lighten the pressure I may feel looking at pictures of how adorable their families or evenings are by telling myself and him "these people spend way too much time thinking about how they are going to share what they're experiencing with their blog friends instead of really enjoying what they're going through."

I've been really motivated to blog about my daily activities merely because Kaki is a few countries away and I like feeling like she's still living things out with me. I don't like realizing she hasn't been informed of something that I really enjoyed or experienced days or months down the road when I want to laugh about something - then she gets the LONG back story. And because I care as much as I do about Kaki, I figure anyone else I care a lot about could share the same with me by posting it online. So I like that. I like being an open book. Of course I like sharing my joys. I also like sharing my struggles. More than people probably always want to know, but I love sharing how I'm learning to rely on my Maker. And as much as I want to learn to be a "gentle and quiet spirit", I want to learn to be open and strong in prayer. I want people to know they can ask me to pray for them because I will, and I don't want to take myself or my problems so seriously that they are too big to share with the world. Privacy is something that I am not sure I care much about in some ways these days. I don't want privacy any more than is needed to experience intimacy and intentionality with friends and family. For a long time, I haven't understood why people keep as much to themselves as they do. I don't think I so much process things externally as I strive to live as externally as I can. Really experiencing what I go through. I feel like I get much more fellowship this way. Does that make sense?

ANYWAY, I don't like blogging because I do judge people. A lot. I spend a lot of time thinking about how I could do the things I see other people doing. Inspiration does cross over with envy at times. I loved that Aaron shared what he did and was so aware. I don't feel the way he feels necessarily but think any creative person, or less creative for that matter, would feel some version of it browsing through blogs, magazines, tv? Any media these days. Even a silly Relevant Christian Magazine article could bring this out.

I'm not sure what the solution is. I think I had decided a couple times in the past weekend to stop writing a blog. At the chance I wasn't being entirely honest. I don't know if anyone is encouraged by the things I write about that aren't easy or I am enjoying. That's what I'd hope for. I did start this to write out thoughts to make a baby book but maybe I should let the letters I want to write to my little one be just for my little one and friends until I get published. HAH.

Anyway. Hooray writing. I love writing. I think I like it more than I like other art forms that I have experience in. It's the only one that I am confident I can be truly heard with.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday! Bloody Sunday.

Thankful! Thankful am I. The past week was beautiful. Light on work but full of friends and food and nature.

 The bowling action shots were all blurry but appropriate for our friend Jeff. He has some serious bowling moves and it'd take quite the camera to keep up.

 Best friends Class of 2002.

Wednesday went bowling with a great friend, Jeffery 'Squirrel' (Earl) Watson. We went walking downtown, and just because, Aaron and Jeff took me to get my favorite lavender creme brulee from the Chocolate Lounge.

Thursday we all went hiking/swimming with our friends Jon and Chelsea Atkinson.

Yesterday Aaron and I hiked about 4 miles atleast through some of Dupont Forrest and about halfway through it started pouring rain. It was such a gift. I love having reasons to get soaked in rain on a warm day. I didn't take any pictures yesterday, I guess I'm glad cause the camera may not have made it through the rain. But there were 4 large waterfalls and a gorgeous lake, a few sweet bridges. Living in the mountains of NC is such a gift. I'd love to live somewhere else for a season but this place is packed full of beauty.

I've been eating tons of fruit. This is notable because I don't usually let myself spend much but have decided eating mostly organic produce is going to reward me. And I took a picture. HAha. Kiwis are supposed to be one of the most nutrient packed fruits, and I learned that I should be scraping the fuzz off and eating the skin. It's like eating a thick globe grape skin.

Cravings have been high for everything Cracker Barrel so we made a weeks worth of casseroles and cornbread muffins. Wednesday's 'broccoli cheddar chicken' and hashbrown casserole. Mmmm. I think we made too much cause I'm not really going to want to eat it all week but that's the way I seem to fulfill my cravings, I overdo them so I am forced to crave something new. Tacos and mexican food are the only things that I can't seem to get enough of.

So, it's Sunday. We don't plan on cooking anything or exerting ourselves. Relaxing, more crackerbarrel, church, and a dollar movie are likely in the midst. We'll be inviting whoever is interested in coming home and helping us eat our casseroles.

I'm thankful for sweet moments with friends, even sweeter moments falling in love with my husband this week, simplicity, creation, and God's provision.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Small Group!

Buchanan home group started back last night. We have a few new people who came, I'm pretty excited about it. I think there's only 4 returning that are still in town. We've missed having people over and it's really been a blessing to get to know the people in our group. From the start our group wasn't at all our ideal, and of course we knew the benefits of diversity but Aaron and I would both admit we had moments of wishing we had more in common with everyone, whether it be marriage, hobbies, or lifestyles. Also, it seemed like in 3 months, the same combination of people never showed up at the same time. As we've gotten to know these people though, I'm confident that the immediate differences between us have pushed us to know each other in a really great way. As much as our relationships are very much still starting, I'd like to believe that we've skipped over some superficial stuff and jumped right into eachother's lives. Last night I was joking about how unorganized our times together had been, commenting on how we might change it up this time around and one of the guys said almost shocked "I thought we'd had great conversations" ... I was trying to take some blame for some disorganization but it was really good to hear that affirmation. I think people are really enjoying meeting here. There's three girls in our group for the summer, and maybe a fourth coming if it works out, so I am excited to pursue more women and experience discipleship.

I was going to take some pictures just for fun but ended up not thinking about it, also I would have felt really awkward, cause it felt really new. Everyone brought taco supplies and we had some AWESOME tacos. Mexican cuisine is an absolute pregnant favorite, so I was very happy with the many ingredients we had last night. Almost everyone came by 6:30pm and everyone was gone by about 9:40pm. It was so nice. I'm really looking foward to getting to know these people more.

Here's Aaron after making himself a late-night banana milkshake, (I got him hooked), and I myself, am very happy with a stomach full of tacos, watermelon, and an all fruit popsicle!

 And this is Aaron addressing some very important mail. I have just finished writing my blog.

Sorry for all the pictures, I just want you to get the feel that you are sitting here with us.

You can tell he thinks I'm funny and enjoys being a part of my posts.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Update, or Not

No Dr.'s appointment until June 14 so no new updates. Aaron tried to listen to my uterus Sunday. I bet you can't hear an infant heartbeat at any point without technology but it was fun trying. We've started thinking about songs to familiarize the baby with when he/she can hear. Aaron asked me Saturday night if I was pushing my stomach out while I was brushing my teeth with my shirt off. I wasn't, and we both started cracking up but it was nice that he noticed cause I've felt my body taking a definite new shape. Instead of the usual little soft spot'o'chub under my belly button, on a moderately flat abdomen, my whole abdomen has become very circular. My uterus is still pretty low but I can feel and see a big difference in the way my belly looks. I have heard too that the weight gained in the first trimester can be the majority of the weight you gain. I don't think that's the case for me cause I think I've only gained 5lbs. I just want my thighs to stop getting bigger. I had plans of getting in shape before I knew I was pregnant so the big exercise regimens are on hold, and as I go further I dread the work it's gonna take to recover physically. If there are permanent changes, I'm not scared of that. I just want to take care of what I do have control over. I spent some time yesterday looking at fitness magazines about eating healthy and working out. I wrote down a few preggy-friendly recipes. I'm excited to get it together! Though I ate Mc Donalds for the second time this month. Ick. It absolutely made me happy then grumpy.

Sheena Heeslip and her family stopped by to see us Monday night. Aaron is beyond smitten with their baby. I've never seen him with a little girl, it's adorable. She's 3 months and she giggles in these heart-moving bursts. Sheena kept saying "I can't believe you guys are gonna have one". ME either. In under 6 months hopefully! If the little bugger is on time or early.

So weird! What kinds of goals do other people set in 6 months time? I always think of a year when I set new goals because I can't imagine big changes in shorter amounts of time, though they always happen. .... NO big deal, I am just hoping to have squeezed out a little human by December.

Our friends "The Valentines" have the same wedding anniversary as us, a year previous. We didn't realize we stole it when we set the date, but since then, I decided anyone that did set the date on our date, I would be excited to share the anniversary with them. (Especially if I liked them a lot.) Anyway, they also had their first child the last week of November the following year. This isn't motivation to have the baby sooner, but I myself would prefer a November birthday to a December one, so I'm hoping thats when it comes. I think we'll be done copying them after that. We don't have family in GA to move closer to.

Salon Business is slow. Steady I guess but slow. Each week I make the appointments as the days crawl by so God is providing but giving me plenty of time to just sit back and dream about what it'll be like to hold a baby in all this free time in a few months. Hooray baby! Haha.

I have been thinking a lot about the ways I'm going to be busier with a child but relationships with other women mean so much to me, I can't imagine being happy without good girl time. I'm excited that in some really cool ways, as much as my life will be entirely different with a child, it will still be the exact same. Just a new responsibility of providing for a little one. Other than that, still seeking Christ and growing with my friends and family. I love that as we go further into life, as much as the adventures are unknown ahead of time, our purpose stays the same. I hope I can really rest in that. And remember it when I get overwhelmed. .... I'm not afraid of sleepless nights. I can go longer than anyone I know without sleep. Haha. I'm the loser kid at every sleepover that would out-talk everyone else while they dozed off. I'd go to sleep because there was nothing else to do. Or when I have craft projects I'm excited about, I don't know how to put them down until they are finished. I decided that the thing that may help me most in preparation is if I could learn to pack snacks for myself throughout the day while I'm pregnant, I will be better at parenting. I think it will transfer into many different types of planning and being organized once I'm toting a young'un around. I just need to remember to eat, cause when that baby comes, I hear there won't be any forgetting to feed them.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Spruce Pine, North Carolina

Dearest Baby Buchanan,
It's almost 11:30AM here in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. I've been thinking about you for um, almost 12 weeks consecutively now. Hah, according to my Dr., Im twelve weeks today. I can't stop thinking about you, or talking about you, or talking about what life has been like since I've known you exist. I sat down to write a little bit about being in Spruce Pine and decided I'd tell you about it. I was here last week while your papa was out of town and I was thinking about how much I wish he was with me so it's really cool that I didn't have to wait to get a trip here with him. I love coming here, it's where I met him. Every time we come I'm filled with memories of my first trips here and falling inlove with the mountains in a way I never had. It's kinda funny because when he comes back he thinks of growing up here and all of the things he doesn't like about this town. On our way driving up the mountain yesterday he said how strange it is that he immediately thinks about what he doesn't miss about being here. It's so strange to me because my perspective was that he was always such a popular character here. I think of staying up all night flirting awkwardly before we'd admitted to being smitten with each other, swimming in lakes and creeks, sitting through sweet southern baptist church services watching Aaron doodle my name on his bulletin, being the underdog more than ever because I was the girl that swooped into town and stole Aaron's heart. He was in a way, a ring-leader in the community and people were always drawn to him. He always seemed so full of life and spending time with him there were always people dropping by and showering him with comments on his character. Even if I hadn't been drawn to him immediately, just sticking around and seeing the way people doted on him would have either convinced me that he was something special, or he was up to something. Haha. Such a rockstar in a pokey, magical, middle-of-nowhere, mountain town. One of these days I'll probably take the time to write down the moments that swept me off my feet when I met your dad.

So, yesterday was your appalacian Grammaw, and Aunt's birthday. We came into town and had supper with them and watched some super-over-stimulating tv that I hope you go for many years without being exposed to. (I hope you never see or enjoy American Idol in particular. It was a finale show that felt like the longest ever superbowl half-time show ever.) It was entertaining, but they spent millions of dollars to get me to feel that way, as disconnected as I am to mainstream music and entertainment. ...... We ate an incredible concoction of strawberry cobbler and icecream. I had an extra portion and a half just thinking of you. We spent the night at our friend's Meghan and Ian Cresawn's home.  I have been sitting here all morning gushing at the beauty that surrounds their home. They have a tiny house on a hill with land on all sides. I don't know how Aaron isn't mesmurised by this beauty enough to want to live here. Though it'd likely take a LOT to get a cute house like this on any amount of land but a part of my soul just feels as close to heaven as I've ever been. That's pretty extreme but ...(Im just shaking my head... I can't find words to describe the peace and fullness I feel when sitting in the middle of such a display of creation's perfection.) ... the only thing that I know for sure about heaven is the feeling of being completely full and without want. So looking out over rolling mountains and green with an occassional wire or wooden fence, overgrown fields, some fresh-cut grass, old tin-roofed sheds, and rocking chairs.... I guess these things make me feel full in a small way. Haha.

 I can't wait to lay you on a blanket in the grass out here and soak it up with you. I love that I get to dream about one day when you'll be running around in it and letting it be some imaginary land where you carry out any obscure duty like doctoring little creatures you find or roaming through jungles of tall grass. On that note, I hope you don't enjoy bugs, I'll get over it if you do. Maybe you'll grow up wanting to be an Entomologist, I guess that'd be really cool.

Letters from my parents about their thoughts of me and hopes for me from when I was unborn or even as I was growing up would be so cool to read so hopefully there'll be a day when you can read my notes and see in hindsight the way my love for you started and lived itself out. Hopefully you'll be proud of me despite the boy/girl I cried over catching you kiss or the parties I knowingly sabotaged thinking I was protecting you from something. Man, I'm praying for patience and wisdom in parenting. And I'm praying that you grow to have patience with me and see often that I make mistakes. I just hope that you grow up seeing me repent for my wrong-doings. I hope I can be open and honest with you instead of trying as hard as I have in the past to protect the people that I care about from knowledge of the darkness within me.

Your Sweet Momma

I love entering a season of my life filled with so much hope and desire. I don't like whatever it is that sparks in a person when they hear me talk about these things that make them want to tell me "how it's really gonna be." I pray that the hope I feel is righteous and God given, not prideful or selfish. I guess I feel like a lot of this "optimism" is rooted in love and reality that Christ inspires. I'd like to think I'm a realist so as much as I (hope that I) welcome advice or correction - I would love to find a way to politely and quickly end some people's free parenting tips.

These are Cheapskates Thrift Store, Jeffery "the squirrel" Earl Watson, us driving in Jeff's truck, and Jeff took a picture for us of Aaron and myself with Carl, the guy that sold Aaron the lot that used to be Aaron's home and business. And a lumber yard beside the railroad.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Uneventful Waiting

I walked a moderate-paced mile today for you baby bue. Im gonna start doing more but I read somewhere that tests have proven that exercise during pregnancy makes children smarter, so this is a more serious start towards investing in your SAT's. HAHA. (I would love it if your 'out-the-roof' test scores payed entirely for college, IF you want to go, but I really don't care what you score. I did pretty terribly and I think I have an above average IQ.)

We just have to wait. There's no exciting Dr.'s appointments coming up for another few weeks, no traveling plans, just spending time together, hopefully settling into our new home more and having friends over soon. Tripper and Cherilyn may be coming to visit in the next couple weeks, we're trying to work something out. I think we've decided that we have to abandon all summer trips this year. Aaron's summer classes conflict with some good friend's wedding in June, we'd been planning to be there for over a year so that's hard to accept. And Cornerstone Festival is out this year I think. I can't tell yet how Aaron feels about it but he made the call so I guess that is that.

I'm finding that if I am with friends and I've been paying a lot of attention to how much I talk about being pregnant. So if I can't think of other things to talk about, I try to stop talking. I feel like I've been pretty silent lately. Ha.

I don't like waiting! ..... Something I was thinking about this week a lot was what a gift pregnancy has been. I feel like my thoughts are changing radically and it feels really good. Aaron and I are growing together in ways that we'd never imagined. There's an amazing peace in our home just knowing in this small way where we're headed. And more and more Im realizing that having a child, as radical as it will be in changing our lives.. I am tired of viewing it as limiting. I did that with marriage and though I was smitten with the amount of limitations that force us to make due with the new circumstances, more and more I'm seeing that the more limited I feel, the more tendancies I have to look negatively at my situation. I immediately felt the need to tell good friends "do it while you still can, of course I love being married, but go to France while nobody is stopping you!" ..... That's not all I said but it did make me so "appreciative" of singleness, in a way that I easily saw myself envying single people. How ridiculous.

So there are new possibilities. Possibilities that would not have necessarily opened up if we hadn't gotten pregnant. And anything we wanted to do before, we can still do, whether it takes more work now or more organization. My least favorite thing lately is hearing from people that have lame attitudes towards parenting. People that want to tell you to "enjoy it now, because you won't have any alone time later" and people that you hear more complaints about parenting than good things. I am one of the MOST critical people that I know so I can complain more and more articulately than anyone I think.. haha.. but I don't want to be seen as someone who doesn't see beauty in everything. Because I believe I do, even when I am complaining, or when I'm done complaining anyway. The most Godly people that I've met are people that are very realistic but so trusting in Christ that every conversation (not necessarily statement) comes back to the purpose of serving Christ through living. So any complaint or struggle has a purpose and God will receive the glory. So.... as scary and life altaring as having a kid can be, whether you've been married 6 weeks, 6 months, or 2 years, or 10 years, why in the world do people focus so much on what you won't be able to do anymore. I enjoyed being just a wife. I enjoyed being a friend, sister, neighbor, and wife. I didn't yearn to have more on my plate (other than using my INSANE amounts of free time and taking classes on decorating cakes, making or writing books, finishing college just because, or learning to upholster furniture). I rarely do want more on my plate because I know that I have plenty of room for improvement, so why take on more responsibility, if I wait long enough, the laziness will subside and I will perfect something! So something new is thrown at you, and it absolutely won't be easy all the time, but it will surely be different and good. And if Aaron and I can continue to work towards loving each other rightly, serving and pursuing our Savior, and providing a healthy safe haven for our young'un... I don't care if I ever get a better job, or get to take the classes I always hoped I'd get to take, or travel the places I hoped I'd travel. I'm so encouraged. Hope is the anchor of my soul. I'm overwhelmed with the selfish ways I continue to think. The ways I tear myself and others down and want so much more when I'm not taking care of what I have.

The perfect job would be having the time to just spend with people when they needed it, be in prayer and meditation the majority of the day, and seeing my child grow up believing in the gospel. If there's time to plant a garden, cook a meal, read a book, paint a painting, build a cabin, and sit on a wrap-around porch in rocking chairs with my husband and marvel at God's beauty, that'd be even better.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Nausea stinks.

Thankfully the worst that ever happens is I start feeling really nauseous and then after a fair warning, I cough/gag and it's official, my body is screaming to be fed. I rush to food and everything is usually back to normal. I guess I like that every pregnancy is different. Every thing I've read agrees that all pregnancies are different. Like fingerprints. And I read somewhere yesterday, about a person noting that at the beginning of her pregnancy, how glad she was that she wasn't going to have her child surprise her and arrive tomorrow. What a gift 9 months of preparation and settling is. ... I don't necessarily agree but I want to try to. I don't want to rush it and I am learning to appreciate the design behind all of this 'baby making' but at this moment, I feel impatient. And tired of the inconveniences of being pregnant. Its far from instant-gratification. You feel crummy or tired or both and the only thing that makes it pass quickly is a friend that will sit and listen to you gripe, and encourage you to exercise, and cook for you. That friend of mine is in France. Aaron absolutely helps take care of me but maybe because he just stays so busy, I am better at asking Kaki for help. And of course she offers things that Aaron can't offer.

After reading a lot of "What to Expect When Your Expecting" (Thanks Kaki!) I was talking to a friend, a new mother of a second little boy, and telling her ways I wished Aaron would read the small section for "Expecting Dad's". She quickly said that I shouldn't read any of those sections because the advice one person gives about what to expect or needs from Dad is different for everyone. As soon as she said that, I think I immediately appreciated the ways Aaron was on his own picking up the slack and serving me in all the ways he was already doing it. Wow. I love the way her words snuck up and sparked a new love for my husband.

Speaking of! Of course we've been missing each other through the last week as he's been away. But yesterday I spent a long time online, talking to Kaki, then talking to Aaron on the phone, then later he messaged me on gmail chat and we made silly jokes and comments about nothing. While we were talking we were having so much fun we realized that this time apart was pushing us together in a really cool way. If you're in covenant with somebody then you probably know those sometimes small or huge moments where you sit back and think "so this is us becoming one flesh", you feel a rush of chemicals flood you as you fall deeper and deeper inlove with your Maker and your husband. Similar feelings happen with friends when it occurs to you how much you enjoy them or love them. Or when you're holding a baby that you are slightly disgusted with how much you don't want to ever put it down. And then of course when you're anywhere and you catch a glimpse of Christ's grace or mercy and you fall on your face with desire for Him. I love it! If only every moment of the day could be so focused and meaningful.

Here's a cheesy snapshot of my snapshot of the "little peanut' in action. From that first appointment over a week ago. Im 11 weeks yesterday. I thought I was 12 all week so Im feeling behind on progress. I don't want to start taking pictures of my belly as it changes because there's not a lot to see yet and I really just feel chubby, so maybe once people start exclaiming how cute and pregnant I am, I'll post some. For now, my lower abdomin feels TIGHT and happy. And Im less "hour-glassed" shaped than normal, and feeling like a tube with my belly filling out. Haha, its kind of gross. And I'm getting over it. Right now I just want to get pregnant-looking enough for Aaron to not feel silly talking to my stomach. He finally stopped addressing our child by saying "hey baby zygote" and is coming up with new, more appropriate names for him/her. After all! Baby B is officially a fetus and has developed ankles, knees and elbows, baby teeth buds, protective body hair, nailbeds, individual fingers and toes, nipples, and most of his/her systems are fully formed. Week 13, baby B should be about the size of a peach.

Cambell's canned "chicken with rice" soup. Is two of those an unnacceptable meal? Ugh, I wish I hadn't looked at the ingredients. That's the only canned soup I buy anymore that isn't organic and that I don't add my own ingredients too. Pregnant me is such a settler for less than acceptable food choices.

I had a Dr. appointment today. Baby B I heard your heart pitter-patterin'! If Aaron hadn't been in class the Dr. would have let me call Aaron to let him hear the heart. So neat. .... the more excited I get about birthing, the less I care who Im birthing with. Everybody promises to take the best care of you. I do like being the least hippy person in the room too when I have visits. Haha, I feel cute, unique, and less anal than everyone else.

I'd like a friend to make me chicken pot pie. I ate some last week at Aaron's sisters house and it was glorious. So since then I've looked up recipes everywhere and just stared at them. Im not sure I can bring myself to do it. I get anxious thinking about cooking these days. And dread the way-too-long season of smelling food before I can eat it. I always lose my appetite. This is something I look forward to after birth, enjoying cooking again.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Everything On My Mind

Our friends in Charlotte post atleast a picture each day since their little babe was born in February. This was from this past week while Aaron was staying with them between trips to the Library. I love it. So much.  Day EIghty Two: "Scared of Technology"

 I left Facebook. I'm excited about the new challenge to share life with friends and family that will come of being out of this particular social network. I may not be prepared because it is likely that I will be very behind on everyone's news since everything gets posted to Facebook but I am pretty hopeful that friendships will be richer with more personal human interactions. (As I now blog about my personal life... HA.)

Aaron is in Charlotte for 2 more days. He'll be back Friday. (My 26th birthday by the way.) I can't waittttttt. He's been gone since last Thursday. Living apart feels so unnatural. But resting has been really nice. I've felt a lot of peace. I've also spent a lot of time at our grocery store on the internet talking to Kaki while she's in France. Its strange to think about the minutes that I get to speak to her and hear about her trip are merely seconds in her day packed full of new experiences and sights. I love the friendship we have and the ways that I get to know her like nobody else does. I love asking her questions and getting a ton of extra information about what she's experiencing just by knowing the way she speaks and moves so well.  In a way I feel like I know her better than Aaron sometimes. I love these things about knowing your spouse too, but its a neat thing to behold when it occurs to you that you share something so intimate with a good friend. And when its brought to my attention, Im a lot more appreciative of Kaki.

Aaron and I are praying about where we should be living. When I start having feelings about something that are strong enough to feel really pulled in a direction, Im learning that I take it to prayer a lot slower than other things that I dont feel direction on at all. So this is what's happening for me. Different conversations with friends and family have really backed up some pretty recent feelings of being unsettled here. I dont know why, and Im absolutely not checking out because community has been the thing most laid on our hearts while living here... but we, (me more than Aaron I think), have been feeling maybe more than anything, an openness we've never experienced to being uprooted and living anywhere. A friend that I spoke with this week said that she experienced something like this in her first pregnancy. As we talked, we both aren't sure if its just an attachment to the new family we're creating and a feeling of detachment from all other superficial things? Obviously community isn't superficial and lots of other things about where we live, we just have discernment on whether this is merely hormonal changes or spiritual pangs towards something we're being called to do - now on our radar.

The midwifery that I am doing all of my prenatal visits with has my due date down as December 8th instead of the 7th that we were told at the hospital. Thats my brother's birthday. Im sure the specific date is rarely all that accurate but I wouldnt mind if the baby was born healthily at the end of November, what an awesome Thanksgiving gift that would be. And personally, I'd prefer a November birthday. I have an appointment tomorrow that I'll likely hear the heartbeat. I really can't stop thinking about ways that I could get access to my own ultrasound machine so I can spend every waking minute watching my little one grow. I don't feel like a super mom and I was never a fan of the way pregnancy makes a lot of people narcissistic and unable to talk about anything but babies, now Im realizing that:

  1. I have been too hard on these women because good grief, its 9 freaking months of the wildest, most rapid health/physical changes a persons body probably goes through without death being an outcome.
  2. It does feel really narcissistic and maybe some of these people have struggled with the fact that they cant spend time with friends without talking about themselves this much. Haha, seriously. I dont know how to stop it. I think I already had this problem previous to all of this, because I enjoy the challenges of accurately articulating EVERYTHING about being me. (It may not be fun for everyone else but I always feel like I've accomplished something when I feel like I've truly expressed a feeling or thought I've had - I never run out of this type of material.)   (:
I've signed up for every ounce of financial aid we can through this. Oh socialism! Just kidding. It is bizarre that through Medicaid, having a baby at a hospital will only cost us $300. One day I'll get to show my child a receipt for their first breath. That's funny to me. And it was only $300. 

Something I was so curious about previous to pregnancy was what food aversions I would experience because in my adult life so far there hasn't been a food that I dislike. Well, pregnant me dislikes everything. Unless its cooked for me and I just get to show up and eat it. Peas by themselves so far are the only thing I can't really force myself to eat. They have no appeal. My favorite foods right now are all fruit, tacos, chicken pot pie, and Lucky Charms. (Aaron forbode me to buy them and doesn't know yet that this week while he was away I bought some.) Im pretty sure Im going to have to either get a in-home-chef or start drinking protein shakes because I can't force myself to prepare any meats. I still like them, just dont want to cook them. Or handle them unless Im putting them in my mouth.

All of that being said, aren't I interesting?! Haha. Till next time!