Waving ‘Goodbye’ to One More Trimester

6

Today is the last day of my 2nd trimester….

I write that with a healthy mix of excitement and fear, as I honestly can’t believe that I’m facing the last trimester of my pregnancy.  I’m so excited to meet the baby boy who dances around in my belly and who seems to grow on a daily basis now.  Then, on the other hand, I feel as though time is speeding past at an alarming rate, and I realize that I still have so much to do and learn before he arrives.

Up to this point, I’ve only read What to Expect When You’re Expecting.  It’s a great book, but I’m pretty sure that reading a minimum of three books is a mother-to-be-requirement.  What if Brady is born before I’m finished with that third book?  What if I miss that one piece of information that would have made all the difference in the world?

Yes, I know, I know!!  My husband says the same thing.  We’ll survive.  And Brady will still probably be one of the happiest little boys in the world, because kids need love… not parents who have all the answers.

Still, I’m fairly certain that having most of the answers doesn’t hurt.  ;)

That being said, I’ve decided to face this last trimester with the same attitude that I have all along:  I’m going to take it one day at a time.  AND I’m going to make these upcoming months count by focusing on the things that will keep me and baby healthy.  August was a busy month.  Maybe too busy.  So my goal for these last several months is to slow down a LOT and to make sure I have time to get the rest, exercise, and prepping done that I need to.  (I plan to recite that previous sentence verbatim to my doctor tomorrow at my checkup, as I’m slightly concerned that maybe I put on a bit more weight this past month than I needed to.  I definitely didn’t make time to exercise enough over the past few weeks, and there were a few too many splurges).  *sheepish grin*

I decided to start the month of September off strong by going for a small hike with my family yesterday afternoon.  Although I get out of breath faster than I normally would, I felt great!  The fresh air, forest scent, and light conversation left me feeling energized.

Although I do have to say that the conversation also left me hungry.  My family apparently talks about food… a LOT!  Within the course of three hours, my dad, mom, or sister managed to mentioned pizza, clams, macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, BBQ’d ribs, cheeseburgers, shrimp, and ice cream.  Pretty much all of my cravings thus far, except this was the first time that I craved all of them in one night.

Fifteen minutes after returning home from the hike, my parents called and asked if we were up for fried seafood.  Of COURSE we were!!!  So my parents, sister, husband, and I once again piled into my dad’s car, except this time we drove to our favorite fried seafood restaurant.  In my defense, my iron seems to be low, and clams are an excellent source of iron.  So, you know, I was just fighting anemia one fried clam at a time.  ;)

(I split that plate of seafood with my hubby, by the way).  Ha, ha.

It will all come together.   I realize that.  :)  And if I don’t get absolutely everything done that I planned to, that’s okay.  This last trimester is important to me, and I plan to make sure I do make time for rest, exercise, AND reading those two extra books.  ;)  But just as summer is slowly melting into the colorful season of autumn, my third – and final – trimester will lead me to the beginning stages of motherhood.  And I’ll learn, and grow, and figure it out.

I still just can’t believe that it will be here so quickly!  :)

 

Cupcake Dreams

2

I haven’t officially announced on my blog yet that my bestie Liz (the beautiful, red-head that is so often my workout partner and bargain shopping-trip partner) is pregnant too and expecting her baby just eight weeks after me!  I’ve been waiting for our belly-bump photo shoot, but we haven’t had the chance to do that quite yet.  So here’s the official announcement…  ;)  My bestie Liz (the beautiful, red-head that is so often my workout partner and bargain shopping-trip partner) is pregnant and expecting her baby just eight weeks after me!!!  :)

(Since we haven’t done a bump photo-shoot yet, here’s a pic we took during one of our shopping trips last year).

I was  thrilled from the onset to be pregnant with my first child.  But expecting a baby at the same time as such a close friend has made being pregnant so much more exciting, precious, and hilarious.  We talk almost every day on the phone, comparing food cravings, baby kicks, or nursery plans.  We encourage each other after a long night of little sleep and laugh when pregnancy brain kicks in and leaves us quite embarrassed… but with a good story to tell.

The simple truth is that being pregnant together has made pregnancy extra fun!

So when Liz’s family threw her a gender-reveal party, and I was asked to bake the gender-reveal cupcakes, I instantly said “yes”!  Baking is my passion; and I’m pretty sure that (other than getting paid to write) being paid to bake would be my favorite job ever.  AND it was such an honor to be a part of Liz’s special day!!

Granted, as much as I adore cupcakes, I didn’t have a ton of experience baking or decorating them, so a trip to Michael’s craft store for inspiration was a must.

(Which reminds me, I need to add “Take a cake decorating class” to my ‘bucket list’, if it’s not already on there)!

I picked up a few cake decorating tips (the large-mouthed ones that would make for easy piping of frosting), fun cupcake tins, chocolate for melting, a few chocolate molds, and mini Oreo’s.

Then, this past Saturday morning, my kitchen was transformed into a bakery, complete with flour-coated floor and deliciously-sweet smells.  After mixing, blending, beating, and baking, I soon had 70 cupcakes cooling on my kitchen table, just waiting for a gender reveal party (and a church outdoor picnic).  Seventy, gently-mounded, little cakes just waiting to be nibbled on and devoured.  Thirty pieces of molded chocolate, now shaped like hearts and swirls, waiting to add a special touch to a frosted cupcake.  :)

Oh such sweet, sweet fun!

Liz had given me the top-secret, doctor’s note that revealed whether she was having a boy or a girl, and the plan was to fill the cupcakes with blue frosting (for boy) or pink frosting (for girl).  Using a sharp knife, I carefully whittled out a small piece from the top and center of each cupcake and then filled it with the colored frosting.  Then, to make sure the surprise wasn’t discovered until the  first bite, I replaced the cake ‘cap’ and covered the top of the cupcakes with buttercream frosting.

The note from the doctor said “Girl”, so the frosting was pink!  :)  YAY!!!

I made three types of frosting (from scratch) and three types of cupcakes (one from scratch, while two were box mixes that I doctored up a bit).

And I’m really happy with how they turned out!  :)  (Click here if you want the recipes for the lemon buttercream frosting, the Oreo cupcakes, or the chocolate cupcakes).

Soooooo, it may be awhile before Nikki’s Cupcakes is taking orders, but you can be sure that I already have a list of must-try cupcakes for the near future!  ;)

I think it’d be fun to make a new cupcake every couple of months, at least!!!  :)

Oh, how I love cupcakes!

And, oh, how I love my friend Liz!  I’m soooooo excited for you, Girl!!!!

Bloggy Break This Week

3

I hadn’t planned to take a blogging break this week, but my computer crashed over the weekend.  Also I haven’t felt all that well the past few days.  (Don’t worry, it’s nothing bad!  I just think that the pregnancy caught up with me, and I’ve been absolutely exhausted).  :)  And since I have a busy – but absolutely FUN – weekend ahead of me, I think that when I’m not teaching piano, catching up with chores, or going to the doctors for routine checkups, I’ll be trying to also catch up on some much-needed rest.

I just didn’t want to disappear for a week without letting you all know that I’m doing well and just taking a little bloggy break.  :)  I’ll be back Monday, for sure!

But until then, what have YOU been up to?

pic

Thanks for the Blog Award!

14

Happy Friday, Everyone!!  :)  Is it just me or did this week absolutely FLY by?  I honestly can’t believe that the weekend is already here.


 

Jeni from Sunny Day Sundays nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, which was so very kind of her!  :)  Her blog always  brings a smile to my face, especially when she posts pictures of her adorable baby boy!  He’s just too cute!!

The nomination definitely brought a smile to my face, so thank you, Jeni!  Thank you soooo much!

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 10.00.57 AM

Here are the rules for this award:

1. Thank and link to the amazing person who nominated you.

2. List the rules and display the award.

3. Share seven facts about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.

5. Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.


 

Here are seven facts about me:

1.  When I was super little, I told my parents that I was going to marry Michael Jordan someday.  I had seen his picture on the Wheaties box, and I figured that you couldn’t get much more famous than that.

2.  I had many guy friends growing up… but only one boyfriend.  And I married him.  (I guess you don’t need to date more than one, when you know – for sure – that you’ve found the one).  :)

3.  I had been a Freshman in college for just two weeks when the September 11th terrorist attacks happened.  I was thousands of miles away from home (in Florida), and I was beyond terrified.  I don’t know what I would have done had it not been for three girls I met soon afterward on campus.  Mandy, the beautiful bride in this picture, asked me – after Speech class – to join her for lunch… and the rest is history.  The four of us became inseparable over the next two years, and I still think of them as sisters.  We stood together through some hard times, but also many beautiful times too.

(Hi, Mandy!!!)

4.  While I was a Junior in college, a girl who lived in my dorm used to tease me about how I’d one day marry a mountain man, have ten kids, and drive a mini-van.  I have no idea how this joke started, nor do I have any idea as to why it somehow managed to bother me so much.  At any rate, I still hate mini-vans to this day.  ;)

5.  When I was a little girl, I almost drowned on a family vacation.  My parents were inside the cabin making dinner, thinking that I was playing on the beach with my brother and sister.  I had been, but then I decided I wanted to float around on a water-tube for a little while.  (I was too little to realize the dangers of going out into the water alone.  And my parents didn’t realize I had left the beach… It was one of those ‘ they closed their eyes for two minutes’ kind of things).  Anyway, as I bobbed along on the waves, the tide came in; and my dad stepped out of the cabin in time to see me floating away.  By that point, I was a little speck in the far distance, almost out of the small bay and into the endless ocean.  (I should add that I didn’t yet know how to swim).  My dad had to run – and then swim – out for a very long distance, and he saved my life that day.

6.  I’ve yet to write about it; but when I was 15 years old, I struggled with an eating disorder.  I keep wanting to write about it…  And I think I’m close to being able to share that experience.  I guess I’m just waiting for the right words.

7.  When Nate and I were just becoming friends, we attended a Christian, outdoor concert together, along with a large group of mutual friends…

Just as Jars of Clay began to sing Flood (Rain, Rain, on my face…), the clouds opened up and it began to downpour.  The crowd instantly scattered, and I lost sight of our entire group.  Nate had been beside me, so he grabbed onto my hand so that I didn’t get caught up in the stampede of running people.  I instantly stiffened, fearing that this guy – who I really didn’t know well – was being fresh and just looking for a reason to hold my hand.  So I let my hand hang limp… but I didn’t pull away, because I also didn’t want to get lost by myself in this darkness.  Nate really was just trying to protect me and still – to this day – tells people that holding my hand that first time was like holding a wet fish!  LOL!!

Don’t worry, we like holding each other’s hands now.  :)


 

Last but not least, here are 15 blogs that I recommend checking out (and who I nominate for the Very Inspiring Blog Award).  I read so many amazing blogs (so really, I should be nominating every single one of them), but these are just a few that I’ve been reading for awhile now and on a regular basis.  :)

They’re fun, so I thought you might want to check them out this weekend!

Yes, I Want Cake

The Fisk Files

A Desert Girl

Allie’s Life

Extending Grace

The Simple Dietitian

The 20 What

This Italian Family

Magnolias and Sweet Tea

Adventures with the Clawsons

 

SamanthaMenzies

Playing House

What You Make It

Perception is Everything

A Simple Vlog

18

I’ve been writing some long posts lately, so I thought that – for today – I’d do something different and just post a follow-me-around-for-the-day vlog.  :)

(And, YES, there will be a crazy cooking video with my sister Sarah coming soon!  Summer just got so busy, but we’ve got some great recipes to try for this upcoming fall)!

Hope in Front of Me

19

I think that women, in general, tend to worry more than the opposite sex.  Men see a problem; and although they may be overwhelmed, frustrated, or even scared about how to solve it, they will focus solely on that one thing – Solving it.  We of the female race see a problem… and then we come up with fifty other potential problems that may arise once – or before – the problem is fixed.

We want to see our families cared for, and so we run through every possible, worse-case scenario.  We don’t only want a solution to the problem at hand.  We want to be prepared for every single problem that could potentially arise.  (And many of us are pretty good at coming up with that list of potential problems.  It’s like a super-power, only not a good one).

And on the surface, carrying the safety and well-being of a family on her shoulders may seem like a noble cause for any wife or mother.  But in reality, no one can hold that weight for long.  The worry of ‘what if’ and ‘what may be’ begins to eat away at peace, leaving behind an intense fear.  And no one should have to live like that.

But so many of us women do.

After we spent thousands fixing Nate’s car, Nate and I had decided to bite the bullet and dish out a small chunk of money to help put a down-payment on a really good, family vehicle.  The Jeep.  We decided that we’d rather have a planned, monthly payment than put money into a vehicle that was dying.  We also knew that – with strict budgeting – we could rebuild the savings account.

(This was all determined after Nate didn’t go along with my plan to run away to Amish country and just buy a healthy horse instead).

Days after taking the Jeep home, my car’s check-engine-light went on; and the fix brought the recent fixes on my little, yellow Cobalt up to about $3,000.  (I don’t even want to do the math of how much we’ve spent over the past few months on car repairs / down payments, but let’s just say that the local mechanics know us by name now.  They’re also probably going on a really nice cruise, thanks to our constant business).  Nate and I again decided to just go with the fix, since the car is paid off.

Today, after last week’s expensive fix, my car’s check engine light went on… again.  I wanted to cry.

And by this point, the ‘what if’ wheels were running full-speed.

Nate was obviously discouraged as he watched the savings account go down yet again, but he immediately worked on solving the problem.  He checked the savings account, set up an appointment to get the car fixed, and then looked into solutions that we could consider if this car repair is another huge expense.

“Everything is going to be okay,” he assured me, when he saw my eyes well up with tears.

I, on the other hand, instantly panicked and thought about every worst case scenario.  I had us losing the house…  I had us needing a new water heater, or fridge, or stove and unable to afford one (even though everything in the house is working quite well)…  I had us eye-deep in medical bills that we were unable to pay…  I had us financially struggling just as a baby was born.

Thanks to our very large car expenses as of late, the ‘what if’ situations were easy to come by.  And to me, they were terrifying.

And I’m sure that, as I’m writing this, many of you readers are personally relating.    Finances are a huge worry on many of our minds.  And with or without car problems, most of us are probably worrying about the possibility of car troubles.  There’s always something that might happen hanging over our heads.  Finances might not even be the thing.  There may be relationship, health, parenting, or even transition fears.

As I felt my chest tighten with fear over how much money we have had to dish out lately (and with fear over what else could go wrong), I sat myself down in the spare bedroom with my Bible and just had a chat with God.  I prayed for peace… for guidance in making the decisions we had to… and for provision.  Then I Googled the word ‘devotional’.

I know, I’m so spiritual sometimes.  Oh, the ways that one can use Google!  ;)

The first devotional I came across was a Daily Devotional by Joyce Meyers.  It read:  “Dread is expecting something unpleasant to happen, and it has nothing to do with faith. Faith looks forward to something good. Listen and obey the word of the Lord, and He will fight for you.”

It really spoke to me, because too often I do look to the future and see dread.   I see worse-case-scenario, and I panic over what might happen.  Instead, I should be looking to the future with hope.  The same God who has stood by my side in the past (who has shown me miracles) is still by my side now.

It doesn’t mean that the future will always be easy.  Because let’s face it, bills happen.  Cars break down.  Sometimes we get sick, or we have to deal with change, or family members hurt us.

BUT through that all, God will be present.  He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  He is that never-ending peace that can help us look to the future and see promise… not dread.  We just need to start focusing on Him – on the ways He has provided and on the ways that we can live to praise Him – instead of focusing on the problems (or potential problems).

I know that I want to look to the future and see hope!  And someday I want to teach my son to see the future the same way.  Life is so much more beautiful when you live it that way.  :)

And honestly, I truly believe it’s the way we were meant to live.

Oh, and on the same day that I discovered the encouraging devotional, I also heard this song on the radio.  It’s such a powerful reminder that there is hope.  There is ALWAYS hope!  :)

 

 

 

 

My Monday So Far

14

So for some reason, my black cat craves cotton every-so-often. Don’t ask me why…  I’ve researched the possible causes, and they can range from anything from a vitamin deficiency to boredom.  I’m going to chat with the veterinarian about it next month, but I’m inclined to agree with my husband’s theory – the cat is just part goat.

Well, early this morning, I heard him chowing down on something, so I quickly sat up in bed and noticed that he was trying to eat one of Nate’s Patriot’s T-shirts. (A sacrilegious act that would have not ended well for him, had he eaten more than the little hole he was able to).  So, forgetting that I’m pregnant, I half-dove off the bed, leaving my hips and legs on the mattress while I held myself up with my arms (like a not-so-pretty-plank-move).

I successfully managed to swipe the t-shirt from my cat, but then I quickly realized that my belly was a lot heavier than I had remembered.  I mean, I’ve never been very good at planks anyway.  But try doing one with a mini-watermelon strapped to your belly, and it adds a whole new meaning to ‘gravity is not my friend’. 

I lifted one arm back towards the bed, hoping to grab something in order to pull myself up.  But it was absolutely no use.  And my arms just did not have the strength to hold myself up that much longer.  I was going down.

So after balancing there for just a moment longer (you know, just long enough to wonder to myself if this sort of predicament had happened to any other pregnant woman before) , I kicked my legs to wake up Nate from his sleep.

He was, shall I say, slightly startled at waking up to feet flailing just below his face. 

“Help!” was all I could choke out. By this point, I was crying from laughing SO hard.  Full-on sobbing and hiccupping… but all because I was laughing.  (I’m fairly certain that I’ve heard this type of I-could-crack-a-rib laughing is good for a person’s health, so – you know – there are worse ways that I could have spent my morning). 


Of course, Nate started to cry-laugh too, so he lost all of his strength. He tried to grab me around the shoulders but – maybe due to not yet wearing his glasses – instead grabbed my neck in the process. So I started to flail and try to pull away from him, because my head was about to be ripped off.  Oh, yeah, and I couldn’t breathe.  (This part probably wasn’t so healthy).


 Finally he got a good grip on my shoulders and heaved me back onto the bed, where I lay gasping for air and cry-laughing. 

Sooooo, yeah, that was my Monday morning!  :)

You know, I keep praying for baby Brady that he grow strong and remain safe.  But I think I need to start praying for his momma too!  ;)

Flavor of the Month

13

For me, the seasons of New England aren’t just about changing temperatures and landscapes.  They’re about flavors.  The most delicious, mouth-watering flavors that you can imagine.  But since my cooking passion is baking – and there are only so many cookies, cakes, and pies that one should can eat in one sitting – I sadly often miss the flavors that belong to a particular month.

For example, one can bake blueberry muffins at any point in the year.  But in August, a girl can pick her very own, plump blueberries – the sweetest and juiciest possible – and turn those into the most fresh, tender muffins imaginable.  (It also doesn’t hurt that food purchased in-season also tends to be much more affordable).

And is it just me or does pumpkin somehow taste that much better once the leaves have begun to change color?

Sometimes, flavors just taste best when served in the right month.  I couldn’t tell you why.  It’s just the way it is.

I went blueberry picking this morning, and I stared at the large bowl of berries in my hands… and I wanted to panic.  How does one choose what to make with such fresh, sweet fruit?  How could I decide between blueberry pancakes, pie, crumble, crisp, bread, donuts, cupcakes or even cheesecake?  Of course, there’s even the delicious – but healthier – option of simply tossing a handful of the berries into a bowl of cereal and milk.

So many endless possibilities!  So little time before they would need to be eaten or frozen.

“Don’t forget about blueberry buckle,” my mom reminded me, as I began to recite all of the blueberry possibilities out loud.  “Blueberry buckle is really good too.”

*Insert photo of me screaming, waving my hands in the air, and running through the blueberry fields like a crazy person*

And then it hit me.

Time and time again, I wait until last minute, and then I realize that the season for one of my favorite flavors is over.  (Sometimes, that ends with my not having made even one recipe with my favorite seasonal flavors).  But really, all that could change if I came up with a flavor of the month!  If every month had a flavor to focus on, I would be a little more decisive when it came time to bake, and I’d be sure to use my favorite flavors in season.

For example…  I remember that, when I was growing up, I could have told you what season we were in, just by the types of foods my mom was baking.  To this day, zucchini bread signifies the end of summer, apple pie announces the arrival of fall, and pumpkin bread sings that the leaves are falling and soon-enough snow will be too. 

So I did it!  I began a list of flavors for each month (hopefully most of them correspond to the correct seasons they best fit with).  My goal is to make one tried-and-true recipe each month that I absolutely have to bake (like strawberry shortcakes or pumpkin pie), and then to make one new recipe too (should I have the time).  I decided to add in a few seasonal, savory flavors as well; because I don’t want to miss out on those favorites!  (Of course, a few months have more than one flavor, so I’ll just use the list as flavor inspirations to guide me when I’m picking out something to bake or cook.  AND this is a list-in-process, as I may have to adjust flavors to better match each month as it comes).  :)  

Think I can do it?

At the very least, I put a list together… and – well – you all know how much I do love a good list!  But the main thing is that it will encourage me to bake at least one dessert – or to cook up one meal – that includes some of my favorite seasonal flavors.  And documenting it will help me try new things each time, instead of panicking about not being able to fit everything in at once.

ALSO, my goal is to print out my favorite recipes and put them into a binder, so that – when a particular season hits – I’ll have tried-and-true recipes at my fingertips.  (If I’m feeling particularly motivated, I may even write up a little paragraph about who I ate the food with and also may include a photo of the occasion.  But no promises…).  ;)

I just think that it would make for a wonderful keepsake of favorite, family recipes!   Hmmmm, this is kind of sounding like a fun (and delicious) scrapbook project.  :)

(Oh, but I need flavor inspiration for April.  Ideas, please!!  Also, did I forget any important flavors / seasonal foods that just have to be includedI definitely feel as though I might have left some out).


 

FLAVORS OF THE MONTH – Sweet and Savory

January –  Cinnamon / Cranberries

February –  Oatmeal

March –  Bananas

April –

May -   Lemon

June – Strawberries

July – Watermelon / Cherries / (Does ‘grilled food’ count as a flavor?  Ha, ha)

August – Blueberries / Corn / Zucchini / Basil

September -  Peaches / Rosemary

October -   Apples / Maple syrup / Butternut squash

November –   Pumpkin / Gingerbread

December –   Chocolate (obviously) / Peppermint 



Nursery Sneak Peak

14

So I think I’m going to be one of those annoying bloggers who makes you wait until the very end before revealing a project.  ;)  As much as I’m dying to show you stages of the nursery as it’s coming along, I think I’m going to take the ‘Here’s the finished product’ route instead!

But here’s a little sneak peak…

The room is painted!  :)

My First Preggo Melt-Down (part 2)

11

The day had been a never-ending compilation of events that – on their own – would have been funny. But in the moment, with everything happening back-to-back, I started to spiral towards that first pregnancy meltdown. (See My First Preggo Meltdown – Part 1).

Like when I slipped into one of my favorite T’s, only to realize that it no longer covered my belly bump.  It wouldn’t have been an issue had our plans that night consisted of attending a costume party at which I could try to pass off as Magilla Gorilla.  Nor would it have bothered me had the handful of shirts that still fit me not all been dirty and in the laundry basket. But since neither were the case, and I honestly couldn’t find a decent outfit that fit, we decided to do pizza at home instead of our planned, date night out.  (Still delicious, but a slight disappointment just the same).

Other moments were my fault.  Like when I dropped the last piece of cheddar cheese (the one snack I was truly craving) on the floor.  Actually, I kind of flung it across the kitchen.  One second I was looking down at it and bringing it towards my mouth… and the next second, it was hurtling through space.  I’m not sure that I can blame my weird, wrist reflex on pregnancy; unless maybe the baby somehow kicked a nerve that controls my hand movement.  That’s not very likely, but let’s just run with that.  It sounds so much more believable than me randomly throwing my snacks across the room.

That being said, I totally would have still eaten the cheese-gone-wild (five second rule, and all) had my cat not decided to pounce on it, leaving behind enough hair to cover Chewbacca.

(Source: Pinterest) 

By the end of the cheese-tossing, floor falling, nothing-fits, swollen ankles day, let’s just say that I was feeling a whole lot more like throwing something then laughing.  And, no, throwing that piece of cheese didn’t count, because it hadn’t been intentional.

But my meltdown officially began when I found out that pregnant women, once in their second trimester, are not supposed to sleep on their stomachs OR their backs (due to serious complications that can arise for both mom and baby).  I knew the stomach rule, but this back-sleeping info was completely new to me.

 

When my friend called to tell me this, I was convinced that this torturous bit of information could not be true.  But I should have known that it was, because she’s pregnant and therefore knows better than to joke about these sorts of things.  (Please note that this is before I had ordered my pregnancy pillow… to which I will soon dedicate an entire blog post because it is that wonderful).  :)

So that night, I cried.

“It’s hard enough having cankles, and no brain, and backaches all the time, “I said, sobbing into my pillow.  “But now they’re messing with my sleep?  How am I supposed to sleep like this?”  I stiffened my body, lying straight as a board on my left side, to really emphasize how uncomfortable it would be to sleep ALL night like this.

This was also followed by me tearfully admitting to Nate that I sometimes worry he won’t be as attracted to me now that my body is changing.  That I worry about not being a good enough mom, because this is all so new yet happening so fast.

So delightfully fast.  Yet also so fast that it’s scary.

Nate held me close, let me cry my eyes out, promised me that I will be a great mom, laughed a bit when I told him about my day, but then also seriously assured me that I will always be beautiful to him.  And he promised that he will be by my side every single step of the way, to laugh with me when I sit down on invisible chairs and to hold me when I’m feeling like everything is falling apart.

With time, I calmed down and realized that I actually already felt a little better.  Nate had listened to me spout off my insecurities and frustrations; and – maybe most importantly – he had let me cry.  And after releasing those emotions, I actually did feel a whole lot better.

It’s not that my situation had changed.  It’s just that I was reminded of the fact that I wasn’t facing it alone.

Sometimes life is hard (whether you’re pregnant or not).  And difficult times are best faced with a let’s-make-lemonade attitude and a sense of humor.  But I think it’s also very important to be real.  It’s okay to admit to someone that you’re feeling insecure or overwhelmed, because it’s impossible to be strong all the time.  We’re human, after all.  If we were all made of steel then Superman wouldn’t be that big of a deal, and he’d probably be working at the deli in your local supermarket instead of showing off his cape on the big screen.

It’s OKAY to sometimes feel as though you can’t do it.  As though things are a little too hard.

It’s okay to cry!

Sure, we all know those people who seem to never stop focusing on the negative and whose Facebook pages are riddled with “poor me” updates.  I’m not saying that approach is necessarily healthy.  ;)  But as much as I’d prefer to focus on the positive, I also am learning that it is okay to admit that you are tired… scared…and overwhelmed.

That you need a whole lot of prayers to help you get through!

Admitting this to someone who truly cares about you is a healthy way to take a step back from the situation and to see it more clearly.  And it’s also a way to realize that you’re not walking the journey by yourself.

And you know what?  I woke up the next morning and my feet weren’t swollen, my cankles were gone, and – well the backache was still there I suppose. ;)  But I felt like my usual happy self, just excited to be going through this process. Because honestly, most days are absolutely amazing!  So far, being pregnant has been an unforgettable (in a good way) experience.  It’s been little baby kicks, and adorable outfits, nursery planning, and beautiful dreams for the future.

So maybe I had my first pregnancy melt-down…  And who knows, maybe it won’t be my last.  After all, I still have that lovely third trimester to look forward to.  And as my friend Sylvia said, “Girl…….you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” ;)

But you know what?  This whole experience is worth it, so I won’t let the rough patches steal my smile… or my laughter!  :)  (After all, there’s a precious, sweet surprise waiting for me at the end of this adventure called pregnancy).  And I do know that on the days that feel just a little too tough, I won’t have to face it by myself.  Because – pregnant or not – no one was meant to do that!