Pregnancy Brain

This is my second pregnancy. My first child is only 13 months old, so you’d think the positives and negatives of pregnancy would still be fresh in my mind. Not so. There’s something beautiful that must happen in a woman’s mind after she has a baby. She remembers what her pregnancy was like, but the negatives just don’t feel as bad as when you were actually experiencing them. You think to yourself, “Nausea? Not a biggie. Stretch marks? Battle wounds. Hip pain? No problem. I can totally do this again”.  While you’re not wrong, your body can and will do this again, you’re mind begins to remember exactly what comes with making a human being. And this brings us to: pregnancy brain.

I pride myself on being organized and having a photographic memory. In school, I read through my notes once and they’d be essentially memorized. This has also worked exceedingly well in my marriage. Matthew is very forgetful. He can never remember where he leaves things and heaven forbid I change the organization in a commonly used area like the kitchen. It takes him months to figure out the new system. So for the past eight years of our marriage, we’ve relied on my ability to remember most things.

As I’ve already written, we moved to Virginia roughly one week ago. Moving across country, for lack of eloquence, sucks. There’s nothing easy or fun about it. I can honestly say though that this most recent move has been the easiest in our five move history. That being said, several days after we arrived, bid fairwell to my Dad and Karen, and started unpacking, my wallet and keys went missing.

I went two days without panicking. I started looking in the obvious places and still it didn’t turn up. Finally I sat down and tried to remember when was the last time I had seen it. I remembered keeping it with me in the rental car we had, but not after that. So I called the rental car company. No luck. Then I checked our credit card statement and there was an extra $150 charge on it. One that neither Matthew or I had made.

Ok, now for the panic. I started canceling my credit/debit cards, canceling my checks, looking on the internet about how to replace everything that had been in my wallet. During all of this, Matthew and I had to run a couple of time sensitive errands. While in the car, Matthew accidently sprayed my leg with car oil that was in between the seats. I opened the glove compartment to get a napkin and out popped my wallet. Stunned silence from inside the car followed.

Did I mention that I still didn’t have my keys? To make what’s already a long story shorter, I found my keys that night next to my bed. I’d probably looked at them a hundred times in the past couple of days, but I didn’t remember seeing them.

If I were normally a forgetful person, these incidents wouldn’t bother me. But it’s like my super power is gone. I can’t remember anything! As I think back to my first pregnancy I do remember making lists for everything, including “take a shower”. Humbling and sad. Ah, how pregnancy and motherhood can bring you to your knees.

Repeatedly.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

New Directions and LOTS of Change

It’s been very quiet around here. Thanksgiving, Christmas, the new year… all without a new post. I’ve stopped writing because I’ve been trying to decide what direction to take this blog. At first, I thought about trying to focus my content on what I thought others may want to read. This lead to a lot of soul searching and coming up with nothing. I have no real expertise in life coaching, french cuisine, counseling, or high theology. Just my own ramblings and beliefs.

So I stopped thinking about what others may want to read and decided to focus on where my heart is right now; being a mom and wife. What I plan to do is to start keeping a record of every day life around here. My personal experiences, funny stories, painful lessons, and the in-between stuff that makes up this crazy beautiful life. My goal is to one day look back at these moments in time and remember what life was like. The good, the bad, and the wacky. And what if no one reads this blog but my own family members? That no longer matters. This is for me and my growing family. If someone finds it enjoyable or insightful, then awesome. In the meantime, I’m just going to write.

Matthew and I are in a unique season of our life. We put off having kids for a very long time in order to finish our education. Now we feel like we’re racing against the clock in order to make the family we’ve always wanted and not be 40 and still in the infant stage.  It’s always been a dream of mine to have a big family. I love the noise, chaos, and excitement of adventure that kids bring to a home. God has blessed us with our first child and we’re looking on with hope at our growing family.

We’re not your typical family. I’ve chosen after many months and nights of indecision to stay at home full-time with our child. This has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. I didn’t think it would be as hard as it has been, but I want to elaborate on that in a later post. Matthew works non-traditional hours and I spend at least a portion of most weeks as a single mom. Our closest family is currently 26 hours away.

So on this blog, I plan to begin to document our journey.

Starting first, we’re moving across the country. Matthew received an exciting job offer from Williamsburg, VA. We’ve been in Colorado Springs for almost four years. It’s honestly been a very difficult time for us. We’ve met some awesome people, struggled a lot, learned a lot, had our first child, recovered from residency and PA school, strengthened our marriage and physical bodies, and sadly, stagnated. This new opportunity is a chance for us to begin again. There were so many things that we hoped would have come to fruition in Colorado, that simply haven’t. I’m optimistic about our new direction. I dream of swimming lessons, days at the beach, historical reenactment,  a home church, friends, kids everywhere, blissful chaos, and a place to put down roots.

So this is my new beginning: a new blog, new house, new city, a toddler now instead of a baby…oh yeah, and I’m pregnant with baby number two. Ah yes, life is good and always an adventure.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

My BIG Announcement!

I participate in an online girl’s bible study a couple of times a month. During our last meeting, one of the women spoke about how she had read a blog about a woman who celebrated her 38th birthday by doing 38 acts of kindness.

Check out the original blog here.

She then proposed that we consider doing something similar during this Christmas season. And thus, the 12 Days of Kindness was born.

Here are the basics:

We propose doing twelve random acts of kindness this holiday season. The acts are meant to be random and anonymous. You can do as many acts as you’d like, but the goal is twelve.

Why are we doing this?

We believe that the holiday season is about more than gift giving and mindless shopping. It’s about the birth of our Savior and showing God’s love during this beautiful, yet short season. In order to show this love, we plan to complete these acts of kindness towards complete strangers.

Can you participate?

Please, please join us in this venture. As they say, the more the merrier. This is a great opportunity to show family, friends, and even kids what the season is about. Also, you don’t have to be a Christian to participate.

What do I do?

Go to our website: http://www.12daysofkindness.com/ and check things out. Friend us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/12daysofkindness. Follow along with the stories and share ideas about what you can do.

Summit your own stories of the acts you do on our website. Everything will be anonymous. Don’t forget to take and post pictures, if possible.

When should I start my acts of kindness?

Everything begins December 1st. Anytime during the month of December, you can complete your acts of kindness.

Anything else?

Try to get others around you to join us. This will be a ton of fun and wonderful way to celebrate the season. So spread the word. Dig in. Let’s make this season kinder than ever before.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Restoring Order To My Life: Tip #11 and #12

My final tips! Congratulations, we’ve made it to the end of our series. I got a bit more wrapped up in holiday preparations last week than I thought I was going to and was unable to post these last two tips late last week. I’m sorry for the delay.

Tip #11: Develop a chore schedule

I know chores are amazingly boring and tedious, but a necessary evil. I think that a house should look lived in and comfortable, but at its base, be clean. Your house should essentially be company ready in 30 minutes of cleaning. This way, no matter who decides to stop by, you’ll be ready and won’t have to hang one of those silly signs in your home that essentially says: people live here in squalor, just accept it.

Just one of the many signs that tells people it’s okay to live in a dirty house. I completely disagree with this.

In order to keep your house at a general level of cleanliness, you need a basic outline of the chores that have to be done each week. I typed out my chore list and made it two weeks long. Each day I have a minor task to do and if I follow the schedule, my entire house will be completely cleaned every two weeks. This schedule does not include deep cleaning or seasonal cleaning. Just the basics. I’ve attached my chore schedule for you to see.

Sample cleaning schedule

Consider making something similar for your home. The key is to keep the tasks small and have a place to check things off as you go. For some odd reason, I feel better when I can cross items off as I go.

I laminate my chore schedule, so I can mark all over it with a Dry Ease marker.

Tip #12: Plan to sabbath in your schedule.

A day of rest is important for everyone.

What is sabbath?

Sabbath is a day of rest and a Christian concept. In the Bible, we’re instructed to sabbath regularly. It’s a time where you refocus and rest in order to recharge and reconnect with God.

What does sabbath look like?

It can last as long as you determine, hours to an entire day. We like to spend our sabbath with our immediate family either hiking, watching movies, having nap time, or reading books. If the weather is nice, we’ll head to a local park and eat lunch and play frisbee.

It’s important to try not to put others to work on your sabbath, so try to avoid going out to eat on sabbath (though this is really hard for us to do). You should do basic meals that day and avoid as much cooking as possible.

Try to avoid tv, the Internet, and turn off your cell phone. Read your Bible. Pray as a family. Play games and laugh together. Have fun!

You can have sabbath as often as you want. We try to do this once a week.

We’ll that’s it. My twelve tips on how to restore order to life. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series. It’s been a ton of fun to write.

Is there a topic you’d like me to write about? If so, please let me know.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Restoring Order To My Life: Tip #10

We are in our final week of our restoring order series. I’ll be posting three tips this week, taking a break for Thanksgiving, then sharing a special announcement on Friday, so stay tuned!

Tip #10: Exercise, even a little bit.

I know everyone knows this, but actually doing it is a lot harder. I’ve been at both extremes from being a gym rat and working out most days of the week for hours on end to going years without exercising. By far, my life is much more enjoyable when I find time each week to exercise.

How do you determine what to do for exercise?

First, you need to find out what you love to do. Do you have a signature workout? Is there something that you love to do that gets your heart going? My personal favorite is hiking/walking. After Dragon Egg was born, hiking was the only thing that helped me keep my sanity. He was colicky for the first three months and wouldn’t sleep during the day. The only way he’d sleep was snugged on my chest. Getting out and hiking got me the necessary physical activity I needed, provided Vitamin D and some basic sun exposure, and helped my post-partum depression.

Now that winter is upon us, I prefer to stay indoors and exercise. I’m not a big fan of the gym. I can spend hours looking like I’m working out, but never actually complete anything. I’m also horrible at showing up to a regularly scheduled class.

My solution has been Beachbody products.

I love TurboFire. When you hear about signature workouts, this is mine. Nothing gets me going or working harder than this program. Another favorite of mine is P90X. I like that I can workout in my own home, on my own time schedule, and truly see results. I don’t like to mess around with my fitness. In and out. No short cuts, just good old fashion sweating and fun.

It doesn’t matter what you chose to do, just do something.

Multiple times a week.

For at least 30 minutes.

Repeat.

Keep exercise in your life, no matter what age you are, and it will help you to remain active, stay healthier, and feel better longer.

As Nike says, “just do it”.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Restoring Order To My Life: Tip #9

Tip #9: clean out your car when you refill your gas tank.

I keep all of the trash in my car in one place; the front passenger floor. This way, when I stop for gas I can easily open the passenger side door and clean out all of the amassed trash. My system is not perfect, but it works because I rarely have anyone traveling in the front seat with me. This system really helps me to keep the main garbage out of my car, so when I have a chance to sweep out my car, I can do it with very little effort.

So here’s my suggestion: keep all of the miscellaneous trash that occurs in your car in one location, ideally in an old shopping bag or trash bag. When you stop to refill your gas tank, simply toss everything in the garbage can and continue about your day.

Easy peasy.🙂

Posted in Healthy Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Restoring Order To My Life: Tip #8

Tip #8: Dig into the Word

The most important way that I can “restore order to my life” is by starting my day with God’s Word. Spending even a couple of minutes each day reading God’s Word helps keep me steady and focused on what I need to do as a mother, daughter, sibling, wife, professional, and friend.

I will be honest though, I’m am not good at simply opening the Bible and knowing what to read or even understanding what I’m reading. Should I start in the new testiment? The old testiment? I also tend to get a bit confused when I read the old testiment. Ummm… God, what exactly am I supposed to be getting out of mold regulations?… How does this apply to my life?

My solution is to use bible studies. My favorite author is Beth Moore (Her David study is amazing. After studying the old testiment and David, we chose to make our child’s middle name David.) and I’m currently going through Kelly Minter’s No Other Gods bible study.

My only complaint with Beth Moore is that her bible studies include an hour+ long video (which you can purchase and download separately) each week. This is hard for me to fit into my schedule, not to mention a bit expensive when it’s a bible study for one.

I came across Kelly Minter about six months ago and personally like her studies better for individual study. You only need the study guide and a bible.

One other resource that I found really helpful was Jen Hatmaker’s book:  A Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study. Jen puts the “p” in passion and I love to follow her blog. This book (A Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study) helps you understand how to read the bible and get a deeper understanding of what you’re reading. This book is especially for those of you who want to dig into the bible and avoid bible studies all together.

No matter what you chose to read or do, getting focused on God’s Word is important for any Christian, especially for those stay-at-home moms like me. I’m not always available to attend a weekly bible study due to my child being so young and my husband having a very changeable schedule. So even though I can’t gather with other women like I love to do, I can continue to increase my own knowledge and discover God during this season of my life.

Have you come across any good authors that can be used for an individual bible study at home? Please share what you do.

Posted in Healthy Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment