Friday, May 29, 2015

On the mend!

This past week has been nothing but feeling sick. Sick not because of the baby but because of the pollen. I told my husband the other day, I felt kinda down because I didn't feel pregnant. I couldn't feel anything but just miserable.

I've missed feeling the constant semi-nauseous feeling, despite it being a cruel trick on my body. Feeling like you want the throw up, only to discover it's because my stomach reached a level of less than 20% full. Eat some food, feel better. What a strange way we work. 

This morning, I felt sick. I ate some leftover tacos from last night at 6am. And now, if I'm lucky, I'll get to see if I experience some lovely heartburn as well. Here's hoping that I feel pregnant again for a while.

Also, 10 weeks today! I'm finally feeling good about this being a long-term pregnancy, since my personal milemarkers have all been met (heard the heartbeat, and reaching double digits). My bloodthinners seem to be working, and I hope to be posting my first pregnancy update on Monday. If I feel like it. Because honestly, these last two weeks I've feel like doing nothing. 

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

1.  Did you do anything "memorable' this past weekend?

We traveled to my mother's house for Memorial Day, which we do every year for our Anniversary. We really didn't do anything of significance. I was horribly sick the entire time and sat at home in pajamas. I spend most of the weekend napping, spending time on the back porch, enjoying nature despite its apparent hatred for my and my sinus'.

Tom and I did have a 'date' when I was feeling well enough to leave the house. We got Slush Puppies and took a walk downtown. We also made sure to continue our yearly tradition of taking a photograph on our anniversary, in a place where we had wedding photos taken.

2nd Anniversary- May 26, 2015
Two years later, newlyweddedness complete. Still standing in the way of oncoming train traffic.
And my post about Ephesians 5: Our 2nd Anniversary
1st Anniversary- May 26, 2014
1 year in, and still standing in roads blocking traffic.
See last year's 1st anniversary post here: 12 Things Learned Our First Year of Marriage

2. Ronald Reagan is quoted as saying-
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."  
Your thoughts? Do you somehow acknowledge and appreciate the freedoms you enjoy? Did your upbringing contribute to that sense of appreciation? If you're a parent, are there specific things you do to pass on this sense of responsibility and appreciation to your own children in regard to the freedoms they enjoy?
I know that the current generation will be incredibly different than the one to follow, especially in our values and the things we are passionate about. I don't think freedom will ever become something that we loose value in, but it's that will ebb and flow depending on the current events that happened in our lives. September 11 was a major one in my life, and while the retelling of this story to the next generation won't have as big an impact, I know that they will have their own moment of patriotism like we've had ours.

3. Loudest noise you've ever heard?
Hm. I guess right now I would say anytime I am on the subway, napping, and a mariachi band starts playing right next to my unsuspecting head. Beware the accordion. I can handle guitar players, but if an accordion player gets on, I move to the next subway car.

4. What was the last thing you ate that might be considered 'junk food'? Did you enjoy it?
I stopped into Dunkin Donuts on my way to work and got a donut. That's pretty junky. And also pretty tasty.

5. When was the last time you were somewhere the crowd felt 'packed in like sardines'?
I live in an incredibly populated city, and while it really doesn't bother me when I'm on a crowded train, it is an unfortunate reality that I accept.

6. Are you organized when it comes to packing for a trip? Do you make a list weeks in advance or toss items in last minute? Are you a carry-on only sort of packer or do you need an entire suitcase for your shoes?
I am a carry-on kind of gal, and try to pack as minimally as possible. That is, unless, we are flying JetBlue (1 free checked bag) or if it is for a trip over a week long. Depending on where we are staying (a cruise ship with a laundry room, or visiting family in Puerto Rico) we sometimes do laundry and double the uses of what we pack. And I rarely pack more that 3 pairs of shoes.

7. What was the last sporting event you attended in person? Did your team win? Did you care?
We watched my niece's soccer game in April, and (I believe) they won. Well... everyone seemed happy and we all went for Icees afterwards. That's my kind of scoreboard :)

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I've been incredibly sick this past week, but I've managed to post a little something about our 2nd Anniversary and how to appreciate the dual duties in a marriage.
Click here to check it out: Our 2nd Anniversary

So tell me...
Have allergies found you yet?
Do you have any suggestions on how to recover?
How do you remember your anniversary (or any anniversary)?

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Our 2nd Anniversary

May 26, 2015

Two years married today, and I find myself thinking that I am still a huge work in progress- we both are. Learning how to be married to another person, someone who is equally in need of grace and forgiveness as I am is more than a difficult endeavor. It feels like we often fail, but when we succeed it's an amazing feeling. Knowing that we can get through tough times while leaning on one another, and then share so much joy together in the easy days. To immediately call the other when we need to 'think something through' or when we have some amazing news! That they are the ones who we want to take care of and spend our lives encouraging.
Ephesians 5 often reminds me of how we are to operate as a married unit. Every well-oiled machine, every working unit has parts, and they have different roles to fulfill so that that they work together correctly.

There are many times when I think of how I do not deserve such a kind man who puts my needs above his own, but then I remember that his purpose as a husband is exactly that. He is told to cherish me and nurture my growth. To help me grow not just in our relationship together but more importantly, in my own relationship with Christ. To lead our family in a profitable direction and to provide for its survival. Ephesians 5 tells him that he will find find refuge in me, and that we will band together as one for each other.
25Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.a28In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30because we are members of his body. 31“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 
When I read that, I feel that he does this to great success. I, on the other hand, am told to submit to my husband, as to the Lord. I am not a quiet woman or one without opinions. I don't sit by and nod in agreement at everything my husband says. But (thankfully), I am not told to be a silent member of our marriage. I am told to submit and understand that in any major crossroads, he makes the final decision. To care for our family and the needs of it's members. Not about what to eat for dinner, or choosing what color to paint a room.
I am however, told to honor and submit myself to my husband. As to the Lord. This means that I am am to have a right understanding of how our marriage is to operate and that my husband is the leader of the house. Oftentimes I fail. I am stubborn and like to hold on to what I've already decided in my head. But, thankfully, I'm learning the beauty of following my husband's leadership, especially knowing that he only has our best in mind.
22Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
I love this verse, despite the worldly hatred of it. It reminds me that while I am cherished by my husband as though I was the church, I must also complete this interaction by respecting and honoring him as the church should honor and obey Christ. This of course doesn't mean that he has right to be overbearing and do harm- to assume that would be have a false understanding of the beauty of this interaction between husband and wife, Christ and the church.
And... if you really compare the husband's duty to the wife's duty... it seems as though I got the easy end of the deal. I already trust him and know he's prayerfully leading our family. If I were to be selfish and 'choose' which role I would prefer (and luckily I've no say in the matter)- I would choose the submissive wife every time. His role of leading and protecting the family undoubtedly comes with much heartache and importance.

I don't always remember to welcome him home and be a comfort to him, I'm working on it. And more importantly, I'm trying to remember that our marriage is a unit that requires a leader and a follower. To be his 'helper' in this world and to follow his lead. While we promised to do that 2 years ago, I'm making a point to remember this vow and invest myself in this role of mine. To submit, honor and be a refuge for him.

The header of this blog is our pinkie promise, as seen above. I love the symbolism of the pinkie promise, a gesture to remind me that our marriage is not something to take for granted. It's a vow to be there continually for each other, and to honor each other through our words and our actions. This blog may have morphed from a newlywed-reflection type blog to much more, but the pinkie promise still hold true in every aspect of it.

And this year for our 2nd Anniversary, we continued our tradition of  taking a
picture in a place where we had wedding photos taken. 
Check out our 1st Anniversary post here: 12 Things Learned Our First Year of Marriage

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Rise and Shine...

I wake up everyday by 6am, and I think this is a huge accomplishment. I work from home during the early am hours, and this morning routine is what keeps our life going smoothly since I would rarely find time to keep this place running if I returned to my old 11-7 weekday schedule.

For the first 6 months of our marriage, I would wake just in time to get ready for work and take the 1.5 hour train ride in. After 8 hours there, and another 1.5 hours returning home, I would be getting home at 8:30pm (on a good day). This commute alone was (and still is) enough to exhaust me, and I had no ambition to do anything other than collapse on our couch and let the dishes sit. And if I chose to clean, prep food, anything- I would not spend any time at all with my husband. And nothing would ever get posted on here. Ever.

I switched to my split work (and sleep) schedule in Nov 2013 and haven't ever considered going back to a regular schedule. Since I love reading how other people embrace the morning, I know others might enjoy this (and I'll likely return to this in a year or so and wish I could dictate the order of my morning).
Sit in bed and force myself to enjoy being in bed. Snuggle into blankets, since I never get the chance to any other time of the day. I do not spring out of bed. I need to adjust to the idea of waking up.

Stretch, from up above my head to toes, or twist around until I feel resistance.

Start coffee and pour myself a large ice water. Drink half of it immediately.

I start "work" and open up my email and the necessary websites that I need, and walk away. I'll come back, but until that phone rings I usually take it easy unless there's a pending email that needs a reply.

Get something in my stomach, and take pills and vitamins. I've come to realize that while I might not want to eat in the early morning, my body requires it. And there is nothing worse then throwing up prenatal vitamins in the morning on an empty stomach.

Make breakfast for Tom. Usually I fry up some eggs, or make pancakes. Sometimes I pour cereal if it's a crazy day and I'm swamped with calls (or it's Monday and my inbox is full).

Wake up Tom, starting sweet and making my way towards obnoxious. Open the curtains and turn on the news. Turn the volume up to 16 and wait until he emerges. If he doesn't emerge, harass him with a rousing rendition of Good Morning Good Morning. I usually go with verse two, he hates it :) Eat breakfast and watch the news until 7. I often refer to this as my favorite time of the day.
After watching the news and having some stimulating conversation, my brain is awake and ready to work. I return to my desk, and see if there are any emails to reply to. If not, do random projects with the website or for my department. Prepare schedule for the day and decide what needs to be handled before I get into the office at 2pm.

Some mornings there just isn't much to do. Instead of laying my head down or "resting my eyes" and waking up in a pool of drool on my laptop... I drink another large ice water and make my way around the house, cleaning up as I go.

Water the plants, make the bed, put laundry in hamper. Do any dishes from breakfast. Sweep and tidy up, or whatever applies. Return to laptop to promote any blog post that went live that morning, and to check in with friends online.

I barely make it until 9. When I get the call that my coworkers are in the office, I put my phone on Do Not Disturb, save my documents, and crawl back into bed.

Going to bed at 1am with my husband means that we can spend more time together when we get home from work. This also means that by 9am the following morning I am ready for part two of my sleep schedule. I'll never understand how he can function fine on 5 hours of sleep, I return to bed and sleep until noon, when I wake again for my day.

So tell me...
What does your morning look like?
Are you a little obnoxious when waking your spouse or family?
Do you have a split sleep-schedule, and how do you stay awake?

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Priorities and Life

I've been feeling so guilty about not writing anything for nearly two weeks.... but then I just slap myself and remember why I haven't.

I've been busy with life.
On May 9th, my good friend from Uruguay arrived in NYC for a month, and I spent a lot of time showing her around instead of writing.

On May 15th, 3 more friends showed up from various locations for a makeshift college reunion (which turned out to be amazing). Since I planned the whole event, the week before was instantly filled up and the weekend as well.

On May 18th, we had a sonogram and saw (and HEARD!) the baby's heartbeat. Baby is measuring a full 8wk2days, on schedule.

Yesterday I started feeling sick, and since I can't take anything really beyond Tylenol, I'm suffering at home. Sick day today, but the body aches or pains are gone.

On Friday I plan on having a post up. I have attempted to write in the past two weeks (I had a 6 week update and a hodgepodge post drafted) but they are still incomplete and unpublished. Since life has been kicking my behind this week, I know that once things level out, I'll be back at full force.

Until then, our baby says hi!

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Friday, May 8, 2015

Meet : My Mothers

As anyone who comes by here regularly might know, we've been trying to become pregnant and to maintain those pregnancies for the past two years. While you might think that I should be more adjusted to the idea of being a mother- since we've been trying so hard to get there. I get the feeling that you will never be ready until you are handed your first child and told to leave the hospital... and probably not even then.

I was raised by one mother, but I have 4 in my life who continually teach me how this is something that I can do and who are currently teaching me what it means to be a mother.

My Mother has taught me about selfless love.

My mother has been the best role model for me in my later years. I grew up never really understanding why she did so many selfless things, but now I see that it is just in her nature to care for others.

When my brother and sister from my father's previous marriage wanted to move in with us, they did. She has always put the needs of her children above her own, and now that I have some perspective on what that means I appreciate her unconditional love that much more.

My Sister has taught me that children take 
a lot of work and dedication.

My sister has always shown just how devoted a mother can be to the success and happiness of her children. Her oldest was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of 3, and her youngest had open heart surgery to repair a hole in her heart.

Watching her devotion to their growth in health, knowledge and personality, I have never in my life met such well-rounded, respectful, and fun kids and hope she will share her wisdom with me in the upcoming years.

My Best Friend has taught me about maturity.
My best friend got pregnant while I was still in college, While at the time I couldn't wrap my mind around it, I grew up watching her do everything possible to raise this little girl up despite some rough times.

She really mirrors my own mother in a way, with how life has maybe not given her the easiest road, but it provided her with a lot of perspective and maturity that I really respect. And while her daughter doesn't understand it now, she will when she gets older.

My Mother-in-law has taught the importance of family
I haven't really gone into detail on this blog about my family history and the issues I have opening up to others, but my mother-in-law has shown me an immense amount of grace and taught me a lot about the importance of having a close family. 

It took a lot of time (and I still forget to greet them sometimes with the cheek-kiss) but I hope that they know that this idea of a warm home with deep family involvement is still a very foreign idea. One which I am fascinated by and pray will be a part of our growing family.

So tell me...
How many mothers do (or did once) influence you?
For any mothers reading this, Happy Mother's Day!

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

About my Mom, and Nurse's Day

1. What's a phrase your mother often said to you? If you're a parent, is this something you now say to your own children?
"Do you have everything?"
Without fail, I have always have and still do forget where I lay my keys down... even when visiting my mother to this day. And now whenever Tom leaves for work I say "keys phone wallet?" without hesitation. And it's always keys. I don't have any children yet but I have a feeling this will be my phrase.

2. What is a scent you associate with your mother or your childhood home?
I feel like I'm referencing my mother's baking more than usual lately. The smell of baking bread reminds me of playing underneath the dining room table while they were rising.
How to Make Homemade Bread
Easy Cinnamon Raisin Bread

3. What's an activity you remember always doing with your mother (or someone who was a mother figure in your life)?
My mother was raised as one of 13 kids in the 1950s, and was taught to be as sustainable as possible. I remember working with her in the garden, weeding around the vegetables and snapping green beans. Shucking corn and watching her can and freeze the fruits of her labor.
Did I ever show her pantry on here? If we ever need a place to leave when Manhattan gets the plague, we can go here and eat like kings for years. This is just one of the freezers.

I also remember her mending my father's jeans all the time. Working on a farm meant he would return with basically the entire leg ripped to shreds after catching it on machinery. And so she would hand stitch those jeans until they looked like something Frankenstein might wear.

4. Flared jeans, maxi dresses, and jumpsuits are 70's fashion trends back this spring. Are you on board? Which trend would you be most inclined to try? For the men...flared corduroys, wide-collared shirts, and floral prints...what say you? 
I don't think I'm on board with any of that. I did just buy my first maxi skirt yesterday though in anticipation of a growing belly this summer. And unless I decide to become a mechanic at some point, I will not be in a jumpsuit ever, if I can help it. If I can help it?? Huh. So that's to say that if forced upon threat of life, I might wear one.

5. May 6th is Teacher Appreciation Day and also Nurse Appreciation Day. Is there a nurse or teacher  you have especially appreciated along the way? Tell us why?
My mother is a nurses aide and works incredibly hard at her job. She works in the Skilled Nursing Unit at the hospital and while she loves helping those who need to stay in her care, all the lifting of patients has begun to take a toll on her body. One reason that I never wanted to be any kind of health worker was because of all the strain and stress they are put under, mentally physically and emotionally.

If you are looking for a great gift for any nurses this May 6th, consider sending them out for a massage or to the chiropractor. Or get them some comfy sneaks. Or make them lunch whenever you visit, because they should sit down for once.
6. If I came by your house, what would I find on your frig door?
A whole mess of magnets, holding up photos and important documents, a licence plate from Puerto Rico. Drawings from my best friends daughter when she was visiting. Notice that she wrote "Tom loves Allee" and Farin loves Allee". Even our cat Dora loves Allee. Interesting she wrote it in that order :)
7. Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana made her royal entrance on Saturday, May 2nd. On a scale of 1-10, how much attention did you give to all the news coverage? 1=Who's Charlotte? 10=sat glued to the telly, cuppa in hand.
I'm a 3. And it's probably because I'm pregnant that the discussion of baby names is more interesting than anything else floating around on my Facebook feed.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
We saw the heartbeat of our baby on Friday and found out that we're due on Christmas Day.
I'm toying with the idea of how I want to record the ups and downs of this pregnancy on here, but in the meantime, know that we were quite relieved to see the heart flicker on the screen!

So tell me...
Are you a nurse or a teacher? I hope you get some appreciation today :)
Have you ever canned or frozen enough food to feed an army?
What exciting news did you get this past week?

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Opened Doors

Whenever one door closes another one opens.

That's how the saying goes, right? We had been trying to get pregnant for about 4 months when we learned that my husband's job was outsourcing his and several other departments in his company to Oregon.
Despite the troubling news and a somewhat uncertain future, we knew that we would keep trying to have a baby (versus putting it on hold). Knowing that it has taken a few years to get to this point, and knowing it could take a few more years of trying before we are blessed with a child. If strings were going to be tight, let them be tight.

God will provide, and something will turn up. When one door closes after all.

Last night I learned that the rest of the company (those who are staying in New York) are moving to a the new office building tomorrow. And my husband is going with them. A door opened, because my husband hustled and promoted himself to other department heads, because God ordained it. And a position was created for him.

Proof that our time isn't best spent fretting over the how, but believing that all will be provided if you're willing to do some work. I thank God that he has provided me with an industrious husband who understands God's providence in his life but also understand that we must be diligent in the opportunities we're given.

So tell me...
Where have you seen doors open for you?
Have you ever been shocked by a seemingly simple fix?

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