ETC: Week 40

Hello friends!

I hope all is well! This past week, we made it to 40 weeks! It’s very bittersweet because I am very happy baby girl is fully cooked, but I’m also very anxious to meet her already!

We had a rather busy week and even had some visitors, but still, no baby!

Our 40-week weekend was beautiful; warm and filled with sunshine! Saturday we ran our weekly errands and Sunday we didn’t move until about 1pm. After relaxing all morning, we decided to go on a long walk. We walked down to the lakefront path and took a stroll through Andersonville on the way home. It was nice to reminisce along my old running path. Once Naomi is here and old enough to be in the jogging stroller, she will quickly become well acquainted with that path as well!

I worked from home this week which was extremely stress relieving. Not having to commute on crowded public transportation or worry about my escape route from downtown to up north if labor were to start was a blessing. Also, not having to try and fit in to office maternity clothes was pretty nice. At this point, a few maternity items still fit because they are stretchy, but are they by no means comfortable.

My mom and sister also came to visit this week. Unfortunately for them, when they booked the trip, they had planned to spend time with the baby since it was technically 2 days passed my due date that they would arrive. Joke was on all of us because, Naomi never made her grand entrance into the world.

It was nice to see them both one last time without a baby though. We went to Homeslice pizza one night and Xoco another night. Two places we wouldn’t have been able to check out with a newborn. We also stopped and walked around Oz park. Did you know, the statues can talk to you?!?! You enter a website on your phone then Dorothy or Tin Man will call you and talk to you for a minute or two. It’s a neat idea and I can’t wait to take Naomi to see them, once she’s old enough to understand the hype.

My mom and sister left at the end of the week but booked another stay the first weekend in May. They will be guaranteed to meet Naomi this next time around!

It was also our precious Pumbaa’s birthday this week! He is 7 and I cannot believe where the time went. I adopted Pumbaa when I moved to Whitewater for college and since then, he’s become such an important part of our family. I hope he loves Naomi as much as he loves us. It may take some getting used to, but he’s a cuddly lover so I have faith in him.

We made it the entire week, everyday asking ourselves ‘is today the day?’ We’ve tried nearly every home remedy people suggest and have answered the “where is she” or “how are you feeling” question at least 55 million times (little to no exaggeration on that estimated number). I’m fully convinced that all of these “at home labor inducing tricks” only work if baby is ready and Naomi is just not ready yet.

It’s definitely bittersweet going past your due date. Yes, I am so happy she’s fully developed in my belly, but we are anxiously awaiting her arrival. There’s a sense of frustration that kicks in when you wake up in the morning and realize it’s time to get up for work but you haven’t had any contractions and today may not be the day. However, it’s a blessing to continue feeling her movements. Soon, she will only be able to kick me from the outside 🙂

Currently, I am 41 weeks and 2 days pregnant. Our next update WILL have a baby update because I will be induced at the end of the week if she doesn’t come out on her own. I personally think she just wanted to wait for the month of May because Te’s birthday is also in May; so we have a serious daddy’s girl on our hands! 🙂

We cannot wait to meet our little bundle and I cannot wait to be done with pregnancy! We’ve got quite an exciting week ahead – Stay tuned!!

Until next time..

ETC: Week 38

Hi friends!
I hope everyone is having a great week! This past week we completed our 38th week of pregnancy. We are coming so close to meeting our little girl and we can NOT wait!

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Olive Park – Chicago, IL

Luckily, no one was sick this week – Thank you, Jesus! 🙂 To start off the 38th week, we took a trip downtown to visit Olive Park. It is a very pretty part of the city and the weather was gorgeous! I started feeling some pains in my lower belly area while walking – they amounted to nothing but it was reassuring that my body seems to be preparing for labor and delivery!

After being sick last week, I took it easy this week. Instead of 5 am wake up calls to go to the gym, I started getting up at 6 and going on a 2 mile walk around my neighborhood. This is definitely a change in pace for me. I am used to HIIT and running workouts followed by weight training, so allowing myself to learn to apprecite walking as a workout has been interesting. It definitely feels good to stay mobile throughout these last couple of weeks, but I cannot wait to get back to running!

Monday at work they threw me a baby shower. We had a delicious Sweet Mandy B’s cake (Chocolate with vanilla frosting – YUM) and the sales team got together and got Te and I an extremely generous gift card to Target. We are very thankful to have so much support from both of our work families in the city! I had a doctor appointment on Monday night (as I do every Monday now days :)) and it was super quick. Everything seems good, we’re just waiting on baby girl to come on out!

Tuesday night we had some friends over, Natalie and Reni, for a taco Tuesday celebration. It was so wonderful to see them and catch up! They just returned from a trip to Japan so we talked all about their travels and caught up on life. We also asked them to be Godparents to our little Naomi and we are so excited they said yes! 🙂 She is so lucky to have such positive influences in her life – they will be such great role models for her growing up!!

The rest of the week, we took it easy as well. We continue to clean the house and prep for baby as much as possible, but we’re pretty much all set. Now, we wait! I am feeling very ready to meet the baby! Also, I only have a few items of clothing that fit me now and I refuse to buy anything new, so dressing for work.. and life, really, is becoming quite a challenge. Also, the swelling I’m experiencing in my feet/ankles/legs/fingers is intense. I am ready to be done with the discomfort that comes along with these last couple of weeks!

Te and I put a fun little bet on Naomi’s birthday. I said April 16th (Which if you’re reading this now, it didn’t happen..) and Te said Thursday, April 20th. We’ll see if either of us are right! I couldn’t care less what day she comes, I just pray she comes before or on her due date. I am not looking forward to 41 weeks of pregnancy – I want to meet you little Naomi!! 

We just started our 39th week of pregnancy this past Saturday and we are hoping it was the last bump photo we have to take! I’ll update you next week with a bumpdate and HOPEFULLY, a baby intro! 🙂

Stay tuned!

Until next time..

Thank: Thankful Throwback Thursday

Happy Thursday everyone! I hope your weeks are going very well!

I’ve been meaning to post this message for a couple of weeks now but haven’t gotten around to it. So without further ado, here it is!

Lately, I’ve had a few songs stuck in my head. I’m not exactly sure when it started or how it started, but it did and I’ve felt compelled to share them with you.

Years ago when I was attending youth group, I heard songs by Jeff Deyo. They were up-beat worship songs like I’ve never heard before. I thought, how awesome?! Don’t get me wrong, I love to hear the slower songs that I belt out in my head in my Celine Dion voice, praising God. Sometimes though, I just want to shout out a faster, up-beat, tune because loving God is fun and should be celebrated both ways.

Jeff’s song ‘These Hands’ has been playing in my head nonstop. It’s an awesome #tbt song, as it takes me to my youth group days. It’s a fun song and the words are a great reminder of why we are all here. Check it out below:

As I began to mention, this song truly takes me back to 7th and 8th grade when I was attending a non-denominational church in Wisconsin with some of my best friends. We were an inseparable group of girls who loved each other, Starbucks, and Jesus. It was during this time that I realized church wasn’t always confusing or filled with adults who couldn’t relate to the problems of a 14 year old middle school-er. It was really cool because our youth group was filled with close knit friends, the message was preached in language we understood and, with catchy tunes like the above, it was fun to worship God.

Since then, I’ve gone through seasons where I haven’t been as focused on my relationship with God. I have always believed in Him, I just haven’t always put Him first. Through the involvement in my new church, Destination Church, it’s brought back the realization that God should always come first. It’s also welcomed me in to a community who loves God and encourages one another to continue seeking Him.

If you are in Chicago and haven’t found a church home, check out Destination! We have an awesome worship team who can rock out these throwback songs along with many others! 
The below song, Satisfy, is seriously perfect to describe the up and down relationship I’ve had with God. It’s like, I’ve always known He was there and that He was the one and only savior but I haven’t always been obedient (it’s impossible because we are all sinners) and I knew it hurt God. But seriously, I just want to live for God. He is so amazing and His grace is so amazing and through Him ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is possible.

Learning how to die to my old self so I can dedicate my new self to God was an unbelievably awesome decision. Just like Jeff says in the song ‘But now I’m letting go and reaching out to You’. Such a good jam. Listen below:

In addition to #tbt , this post is also simply, a thankful post. I am so thankful for everything I have and I don’t say it enough. I’m thankful for my life, my health, my job, my family and friends, my happiness, my church and church family, I’m so blessed beyond belief. We all are so blessed. Honestly. And it’s so easy to forget how blessed we are.

I challenge you today to just be thankful. Look at your #tbt pictures and realize all that you came from, be thankful for that. Then look at your present and be thankful for that as well.

I hope the two songs posted above left you wanting more worship in your life today or this week or this year. Below is an awesome playlist I found with an amazing mix of Jeff Deyo songs to get you singing and praising God.

God is good always and for that, I am so thankful.

What are some of your favorite youth group memories? What are some of your favorite worship bands? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Until next time..

ETC: To the Next 50

In honor of Sarah Jessica Parker’s 50th birthday it is only necessary that we celebrate with a select list of overused Carrie Bradshaw quotes, some photos and a clip from the Sex and the City movie.

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I have always connected with Carrie Bradshaw because I could never really see myself acting as any of the other girls as much as I could Carrie. Although Carrie is uninterested in cooking, she smokes and is lacking in the tech savvy department, there are a lot of things I love about and connect with as far as her character.

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I absolutely adore her relationship with Big throughout the series. Her fashion is quite honestly questionable at times, but I love the boldness it radiates. She’s a creative mind, as am I, which is noted through her career in writing. And she lives in the big city where she is always exploring, which is enviable.

I also connect with Carrie on a superficial level because I have a name necklace that I wear daily. The combo of the necklace, a blog post and my hair styled curly like hers is what I like to don as an epic ‘Carrie’ day.

Without further adieu, let’s celebrate SJP turning 50 with some classic Carrie Bradshaw quotes:

1. “I’ve spent $40,000 on shoes and I have no place to live? I will literally be the old woman who lived in her shoes.”

2. “I’m someone who is looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.”

3. “Shopping is my cardio.”

4. “Women come to New York for the two Ls; Labels and Love”

Carrie Bradshaw's Apartment in NYC I got to see when I visited October 2014

Carrie Bradshaw’s Apartment in NYC I got to see when I visited October 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.  Big: “I don’t wanna screw it up. I screwed it up twice before”
Carrie: “Here’s the thing. This is me you’re marrying tomorrow. Me. It’s nobody else.”
Big: “Yeah”
Carrie: “And I’m marrying you. It’s me and you. And do you wanna hear the great news there?”
Big: “Yeah.”
Carrie: “We’ve both already done everything we can to screw it up.”

6. “I’ve done the merry go round. I’ve been through the revolving door. I feel like I met somebody I can stand still with for a minute and… don’t you wanna stand still with me?”

7. “I revealed too much too soon. I was emotionally slutty.”

8. “Maybe the past is like an anchor holding us back. Maybe you have to let go of who you were to become who you will be.”

9. “Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed. Maybe they need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with.”

10. Big: “We’re getting married. Should we get you a diamond?”
Carrie: “No. No. Just get me a really big closet.”

The closet he promised

The closet he promised

 

 

 

 

 

11. “With an arm full of discount clothes, I realized I couldn’t discount my feelings”

12. “Just tell me I’m the one”

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“You’re the one” – quite possibly my favorite scene/episode ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

13. “Men, I may not know, but SHOES, shoes I know.”

14. “They say nothing lasts forever; dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style.”

15. “The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well that’s just fabulous.”

16. “I’m more of a ‘solve your own problems’ kind of gal.”

17. “I will never be the woman with the perfect hair who can wear white and not spill on it.”

18. “Sometimes we need to stop analyzing the past, stop planning the future, stop figuring out precisely how we feel, stop deciding exactly what we want, and just see what happens.”

19. “The universe may not always play fair, but at least it’s got a hell of a sense of humor.”

20. “The odds of bumping into the one who broke your heart are incredibly high. The odds of bumping into him when you look like shit are even higher.”

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21. “Someone once said that when one door shuts, a window opens.”

22. “Why does one minus a plus one feel like it adds up to zero?”

23. “Do you know what the odds of catching a fly ball are? I didn’t. I couldn’t help wondering if they were any higher … than finding a relationship that would last.”

24. “Oh my God! Do you know what these are? Manolo Blahnik Mary Janes! I thought these were an urban shoe myth!”

25. “Somewhere out there is another little freak who will love us and understand us and kiss our three heads and make it all better.”

I’ll cut the list at 25 in honor of my turning 25 this year and well, you know, since I channel Carrie through my necklace and hair, that make sense, right?

Sex and the City, you rock. Carrie Bradshaw, you rock. Sarah Jessica Parker, YOU rock. I hope you have a fabulous 50th birthday and are able to walk in your best pair of Manolo Blahnik’s to meet your friends and family for cosmos at a hip NYC restaurant. Since that’s what Carrie Bradshaw would do, you would obviously do that too, right?

A toast to you SJP, 50 and Fabulous
To the next 50…

Thank: The Horse Race

Where to go? What to do? What to choose?

Lately I have just had so many ‘to-do’s on my mind that I feel as if I am not sure where to even begin. It’s almost as if I have a line of ideas, stabled like horses. When I wake up in the morning, the gun goes off and BOOM, each ‘horse’ [idea] takes off as fast as it can. The ideas race like horses, faster and faster around this track, which is my mind. All of these ambitious hopes and dreams just racing against one another, trying to win my attention; trying to win the race.

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I think it’s great to have ambition and ideas and hopes and dreams. However, I think it’s hard to decide what those should be. Meaning, where should I focus my time. ‘What do I really want?’ Because of this uncertainty about where to focus my time or what I really want, it becomes hard to find the time to fully explore each option. At which point, I get overwhelmed.

This internal horse-race going on in my brain is just draining me. It’s as if I’ve gambled all of my money away. A little on each horse, yet I’ve won nothing back so I cannot continue betting and eventually, the horses will just stop. At this point, I feel lost.

Perhaps this is my pre-quarter life crisis (I say pre-quarter life crisis because I’m owning age 24 until I have to turn it over to the big two-five). At this age does anyone know which horse they want to bet on? Does anyone at any age ever bet on the right horse? I think maybe some people get ‘lucky’ and they were either born into knowing which dream to follow because of a family business or an exceptional talent like singing or acting.

And for the rest of us? I guess we just have to pick a couple of horses and bet away until we find one that really excels for us. And that betting period should be exciting! You’re learning about yourself. You’re making mistakes. You’re figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Somehow though, this betting period for me, it’s scary.

I’m not a great gambler. I mean, buy me a $2 scratch-off and I’m all in (serious thrill-seeker, I know) But honestly, gambling with big, life decisions? I’d rather not. It’s so easy to dream and say ‘I wish’, ‘I want’, ‘I’d rather’ but sometimes those wishes, wants and rather’s come only after we take a gamble.

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I guess this is what our 20’s are for right? Gambling and figuring out which horse we want to be the jockey of. Which idea or dream to pursue. And if that horse breaks a leg, we then decide to either bandage up the sprain and keep going or jump to a different horse and try that dream, right?

Through all of the discomfort of not knowing which horse to choose, there’s got to be a way to remain comfortable. When it all becomes too much we can break down so easily. I can break so easily sometimes. I crumble and fall, at which point, the horses just stop. No dream is being pursued because it all becomes too much, I just break down.

Luckily, if this is something you’re also feeling, there’s a free solution to help you find comfort while your horses are racing. Be in prayer with The Lord. God can pick you right back up. Thanks to God, my horses started running again today. Even though it’s been a crazy couple of weeks and sometimes I feel like I’m not accomplishing anything, I look back and just think WOW. Horse #3, #5, #7 and #10 are all really making some great progress. Slow and steady, but progress nonetheless. I think it’s very vital to reflect on how far each horse has come over a period of time. Especially when you’re feeling lost or stuck. Just look back and reflect on how far you’ve come. Progress is progress, no matter the size, it’s the effort that counts and we must remember that. Thank you God for getting my horses back up and running.

Additionally, I must mention that I have been blessed with truly an amazing support system on this earth which is my boyfriend, Te. He’s always pushing me to keep going, supporting each additional (sometimes crazy) horse [idea] which I add to the stable, helping me through the inevitable pre-quarter life crisis meltdowns and constantly reminding me to seek prayer and guidance in my decisions. I am so blessed.

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So whatever horses are in your stable, racing around day after day, trying to help you figure out where to go, what to do, what to choose, look at it as a blessing. Don’t gamble without getting anything in return. The way to make some of that ‘money’ back, is through prayer. Ask God for guidance and comfort when things just don’t seem like they are making any progress. He wants your horses to keep running. He will recharge you so you can continue to dream. So one, or maybe 3, of your horses can just take off and lead you where you should go. Around the track God wants you to be racing.

Until next time..