Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Feet That Bring Good News

I don't particularly like feet. Baby feet are incredible, but other than that, feet are kinda icky to me. So when I saw the You Capture topic for the week was "Feet", I started thinking of something I could capture that said/showed "feet". Ah-ha.
As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

{Romans 10:15}

The Good News

Not the feet you probably came here expecting...but in honor of Easter (and the current lack of baby feet in my house), I couldn't think of anything more fitting.

You Capture - Feet

Thursday, March 25, 2010

You Capture

He was so sure that she would be a he. So sure in fact, that when the ultrasound technician said "That's a girl", he said "Are you sure?".
But then he saw the dresses, and the bloomers, and the shoes, and the socks, and the bibs, and the blankets, and even though he swore we wouldn't buy all pink, this is what he picked out.
My "moment" for the week? Watching my husband be excited about fathering a girl.
(And the next day, he went out ON HIS OWN, and bought her twice as much. Pink. All over our house.)
You Capture - A Moment.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hey There, Good Lookin'!

New blog design courtesy of Design by Mariah!

Not only is she a talented designer, she's a fantastic cousin and friend.

Love you, Merna!

On Losing, and Gaining

A dear friend from college emailed last night, telling of a recent miscarriage and asking when and if it gets easier. Responding to her email, with tears streaming down my face, I was able to put into words what I've been feeling. It was odd, as I'd never taken the time to write it down until now.

I will say that being pregnant again has helped, especially as Angel's due date came and went (Feb. 18). But there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her, and wonder how differently our lives would be if we were parenting a one-month old instead of anticipating the arrival of our little princess. Obviously, we are overjoyed that she is joining our family, but there is a void in my heart that will truly never be filled. Our first baby didn't join our lives. The anniversary of her due date was difficult, to say the least. I am thankful that so many remembered, and honored her. If you haven't told many people, that's okay. But if you have, can I encourage you to share the due date and allow people to celebrate the life of your baby? It helped me so much that people remembered.

On being pregnant again, there is immense fear. I cannot lie. Each day, I pray that she continues to grow, and anticipate as well as dread doctor appointments, as I pray that we'll hear her heartbeat, but dread that we will not. On the days where the fear becomes overwhelming, I have to remind myself of the truth that God is in control and He designed my body to conceive and carry children. The truth is very powerful, but I cannot deny that there is fear. I think He understands this, and sends me peace when I cannot find it otherwise.


(disclaimer: these were answers to questions she had, not me boasting of my current pregnancy)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

He Loves Her.

Friday Afternoon -
We walked into the store, he looked at me and said "We are NOT buying her all pink stuff, 'k?"
You wanna see what he picked?
Saturday night -
I walked in the door and he said "I didn't like our bedspread anymore. I bought a new one."

"What are you talking about?? We looked for that thing for 2 months! It's brand new!"

"I didn't like it anymore. I bought a new one. Go look."

(This is the bedspread we just bought. That was his trickery to get me to look at our bed. Sneaky.)
2 of Daddy's shopping trips, plus 3 pairs of shoes.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mama's Girl

I went to visit my Aunt and little cousins (6 & 7) on Thursday night. My darling little cousin asked that if I went to bed on Thursday night with a boy in my tummy, could I "make her be a girl" when I woke up on Friday.

Well, I'm not sure that's what happened, but we're getting our girl!

my girl

This picture is hard to see, but the technician was able to get another shot that was very clear. I'd been studying ultrasound pictures and when I saw the second picture she got, I was confident I was looking at 3 lines. Oh yes, I'm going to have a daughter!

She lived up to her name, Tiny Dancer, by being quite active and moving around a ton. She also wanted me to tell you she said hi.

waving girl

I know I'm biased, but I think she's just beautiful.

pretty girl

Little Princess, Mama and Daddy love you so, so much!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Day In The Life

So the day goes a little bit like this. I can barely pull myself out of bed because no matter how many weeks I am, I still haven’t felt this sudden burst of energy! I keep hearing about.

I drink my caffeinated tea, with my doctors approval, because if I didn’t, I would have a caffeine-withdrawal migraine.

After the tea, I have to pee. A lot.

I am tired most of the day, wishing I could crawl under my desk for a real quick (2 hours?) power nap. But work calls, and I answer the phone, answer a question, answer the call (from my boss) to manage, schedule, insure, follow up, and finally leave.

I collapse. But only into the recliner, which is fully reclined otherwise I can’t breathe. Usually I’ve taken off any constricting undergarments by this time, otherwise I really can’t breathe. The Bella Band holds up the pants that are too big, and the pants that are too small. But it makes me itch. Don’t get me started on the bra.

I eat dinner, which could be cereal or pasta or something without meat. If I was really ambitious, I would go to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for the salad that I have been craving, with cheddar cheese and full-fat Italian dressing. But when I’d get home, I’d look at it in the fridge and I wouldn’t want it anymore, so why bother.

I take out my contacts, brush my teeth, pee a few times, and say “I’m going to bed”. Then I go in the kitchen and eat something else. Maybe yogurt. Or cottage cheese, but only if I shake it up first because if I just take the lid off and see that it needs stirred, I will gag.

I’ve not done any housework because my husband loves me and knows that it takes everything in me to shower and get to work on time, and I am so, so lucky. He’s done the laundry, the dishes, and painted the nursery. He plays fetch with the dog, and makes sure he eats dinner.

So, my snack. I eat, sometimes a couple different things, usually drink some water, or some tea, and pee a couple more times before getting comfortable with my preggo pillow. I can’t sleep on my stomach. I can’t sleep on my back. It’s not comfortable to sleep on my right side because of how it pulls on my (ever-growing) stomach. So the left side it is! But then my shoulder goes numb. So I play on Twitter a little bit, chatting with friends, checking Facebook and playing Simon on my cell phone (if you have an iPhone, you need the Simon app.).

It is now 1 hour since I’ve laid down, and I am more awake than any time during the day. I get up to, you guessed it – pee, and then lay back down and pray with my whole being for some sleep.

Two or three hours later, I wake up in a sweat. Hormones, love ‘em. Of course I go pee because I’m up, and I lay back down, hoping it was just a quick break in sleep. But, hahaha, no. 2 hours and 11 trips to the bathroom later, I fall back asleep. Usually I dream about something related to food. On Sunday night, I dreamed about tomatoes and it was a beautiful, glorious dream, with perfectly ripe tomatoes overflowing in my kitchen.

The alarm goes off and I start again.

AND I LOVE IT. Every glorious bathroom-trips-in-the-middle-of-the-night-can't-eat-anything-can't-eat-enough-can't-sleep-dreaming-of-food-sciatic-pain-uterus-stretching-pain-back-pain-forgetfullness-more-bathroom-trips-minute of it.

Oh yes, Tiny Dancer. Mama loves every minute of it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I'd love some cheese with my whine. Or some WINE.

So, I feel like all I've been doing lately is complaining. My shoulder hurts and I asked Google (BAD IDEA, BY THE WAY) what it could be, and it said preeclampsia. But when I go to the doctor, my blood pressure is usually so low that they think I should be kinda close to dead.
The only good thing about my uncle/boss having high blood pressure is that there's a bp cuff in his office (and every room of his house).
I took my blood pressure and sure enough, it's low. Like 93/60 low. Like LOW low. But still okay (low).
So, hmmm. I don't know what it is, but my OB said if I had chest pain to go to the ER and I don't think the fact that I've scratched my chest raw because my boobs are so incredibly itchy means that I have chest pain.
What is with the itchy boobs, anyhow?
Aaron is wonderful to me. On Wednesday, when this started, he made me dinner. I also got a bag of maternity clothes from a friend (!!!) and he went through the whole bag for me, holding things up to himself in a modeling fashion. And then he put on the baby carrier we got him over the weekend to humor me. Because we do not have small children or animals, he used the only bear he could find.

I'm prettttty sure it's going to need some adjusting.

Because I don't want to be a complainer (because, HELLO? I KNOW I am so fortunate and blessed. I KNOW this.), I will leave you with a couple of pictures from the wedding I shot 3 weeks ago.

Jon & Heather's mother's lit their candles for the lighting of the unity candle, and Jon lit his daugther's candle. After Jon and Heather lit the Unity candle, Izzy came up and added hers. It was precious and I cried.
I also realize that you can't see the bride or the groom in either of these pictures, but come on. She's precious.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Meeting. And CUTE BABIES.

I wondered during the car ride there how the introductions would go. I was hopeful I wouldn't interupt a conversation, or feel awkward to say "hi" when so many had already arrived.

But as I walked in the door, she walked past the door. Our eyes met, (I think mine probably looked like this*) and we hugged. And it was so sincere and I felt the connection I'd heard others talk about.

We sat beside each other, she in a chair and me on the couch, and we talked about our babies and Joel and loss and our husbands. We talked about names for the babies growing in our bellies and about how we both think it's important to give our children names that will fit them as babies and as teenagers and as professional adults, even as a Supreme Justice.

Oh, the pressure.

And then we talked traditions. About how the girls on my mom's side of the family have middle names that end in "ette" (Annette, Lynette, Suzette, Colette, Mynette, Janette, Yvette, Danette. Oh yes, this is true.) and I asked her what her middle name is.

SaraJOY, what is your middle name?

Ah, there's no going back now. We'll be friends forever, because she knows I'm a complete ditz.


shower love

*photo by Beth.
**photo by CrookedEyebrow.
All photos from Beth's Surprise shower can be found here. Check 'em out!

For Real, For Heather.

She walked into the room, threw her bag on the floor, and sat on the couch, her feet tucked beneath her. She belonged to the largest sorority on campus, you know the one – “Girls want to be us, your boyfriend wants to date us”. Yes, that one.

Heather was so beautiful. She had strawberry blond hair that flowed down her back and she carried her height well. Girls really did want to be her, and their boyfriends probably wanted to date her.

She came to my room almost every Sunday night, to study for American Sign Language. We had taken 3 semesters of ASL together and had become frequent study partners, giggling at the terrible acting in the silent video we were forced to watch each week. Back and forth, we’d practice our words, sentences, and eventually paragraphs.

But on this night, she didn’t come to study ASL. She sat down on our green, tattered couch, and without the usual “how are you, how was your weekend” banter, she asked me why I cared about her. She asked why I chose to study with her, when I had “bible study friends” in our class. She wanted to know why I would let her in my room with her “damn” and “f’ing sign language” comments.

“Uh….. I don’t know. I just like you?? I think you’re funny and we have fun together.”

“Am I your project? Are you trying to “save” me?”

“Heather! You know me better than that! I’m not that kind of person. I just thought we were friends. Why are you asking me this now? We’ve known each other for almost 2 years…”

“I went home this weekend (Cleveland) and I was telling my mom about you. She said you were only my friend because you wanted me to know Jesus. She said you didn’t actually want to be my friend, because no one actually wanted to be my friend. She said I was your “project”. God, my mom is such a bitch”.

And I started to cry. Big, wet tears streamed down my face. I had grown to love this girl, this seemingly spunky, fun, outgoing girl, who really didn’t think she was actually worthy of real, genuine friendship. I couldn’t speak because I didn’t have the words to say. She had, in fact, started as a “project”. Yes, I wanted to get to know her so that I could invite her to bible study. I wanted to share my Jesus with her, not because I felt bad for her, but because I cared about her. But she went from being a “project” to being a real friend in a very short amount of time. I couldn’t admit this to her. She would be mad and I would be embarrassed. I already was embarrassed. I had been called out on my evangelism, or lack thereof. I still don’t know.

“So, my mom was right. You DON’T care about me. How could you do this to me!? I thought we were friends!”

“Heather, we are friends. I don’t know what to say. I do care about you as a person, I think you are a sweet girl, and I appreciate your friendship. There isn’t anything else I can say. You know me, you know how I am. This isn’t fair of you to assume….”

I had to stop. It wasn’t fair of her to assume that she was right? She WAS right.

She grabbed her bag, stormed out of the room, and didn’t say goodbye. I sat on the same green, tattered couch that we’d had some of our best conversations on, and mourned the loss of my only real non-“bible study” friend. I couldn’t defend why we’d become friends in the first place. She’d been hurt too much to hear my side of the story.

The semester was over the next night, and she made sure she changed her schedule so that we weren’t in the same class during our final semester of ASL.

Many emails and attempted AIM conversations later, she graduated.

I never spoke to her again.

I don’t know where she is, or who she is, but she taught me more about Jesus in the short time she was in my life than any of my “bible study” friends. She was real, she cared real, she loved real, she exemplified real. And I didn’t.

And I will never, ever forget the pain that not being real caused her. And the pain that it caused me.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Oh, little 17 week old Tiny Dancer. You are growing so much, making mommy's clothes uncomfortable, but I've never been so excited to leave the house in yoga pants.
Our food choices change pretty frequently. Up until last week, egg sandwiches were pretty great. Then, I made an egg sandwich with too much cheese, gagged on the extra cheese, and that was the end of our egg consumption.

Red meat still doesn't sound good, except for cheeseburgers. And thank you for that, because I've always loved McDonald's cheeseburgers, and they were actually the first "meat" I ate after 4 years of being a vegetarian. What can I say - I love warm pickles.

Daddy just left the room because I said "warm pickles".

We are going to find out if you're a boy or a girl in just a couple weeks! Your grandma and Aunt Payton are coming to see you that day, and are hoping you aren't shy.

I know that I am so lucky to have you. I worry that talking about you will hurt other women, all who want to be mommy's, but aren't yet.

There are other mommies who had babies growing in their bellies and they were born straight into heaven. This makes mommy's heart hurt so bad. Will you play with those babies before you come to us? Will you make sure they know that their mommies & daddies & brothers & sisters love and miss them very much?

Mommy actually had 2 brothers or sisters who were born into Heaven. They are there with you now, and I have no doubt that you are enjoying your time together before you come see us. Please tell them we love them.

I already planned our first trip, Tiny Dancer! You are going with Mommy to meet lots of other women, who want to spend time talking about how much Jesus loves us, and getting to be friends. So many of my friends already love you, sweet one, and can't wait to meet you.

But mommy & daddy are most excited to meet you!