My reading this morning was about learning to give thanks to God, even when things maybe aren't going your way. Turning your grumbling into thanksgiving. Not always easy to do, I'm sure you'd agree.
So, I thought I'd give it a try today! There isn't anything huge and horribly awful going on in my life right now. But I kind of think the negative small, mundane, trivial, and everyday things can sometimes bring my attitude down on a more steady and regular basis. So...away with the grumbles! Here goes.
1. We have recently spent quite a bit of our savings on fixing the air conditioner in my small SUV. I'll spare you the details, but it has been quite the process. And I pouted. A lot. However, after being down to one car for our family for about a week, my attitude changed. I am so thankful that we are blessed to have the amount of money needed to make the repairs. I am thankful that we are able to afford upkeep on two cars. I'm thankful for family and friends that lent a hand during the whole ordeal. And, I'm thankful that, in the end, the second round of large repairs were done at no charge in order to make things right. A big blessing, indeed.
2. Recently, I had to make up my mind once and for all whether or not to go back to work next year teaching high school. My school held my job for me for a one year leave of absence, and that is now coming to a close. After much prayer and counsel and talking between my husband and me, I've decided to stay at home with my kiddos. I was a little sad about having to make this choice: I loved teaching and felt like I was good at it for the most part, but I couldn't imagine not being home with my kids. Tough spot...enter the grumbles. ;) But you know, I am so thankful that I left one job I loved for another that I love. I was blessed to get to teach exactly the age and subject that I wanted from the first day on the job, and I couldn't have asked for a better set of students. In a way, I am kind of glad the decision wasn't an easy one for me. It shows that I knew and found my career calling early, and I recognize that I was blessed to be settled and happy in my job from day one. And now, I am overwhelmingly blessed to be in a different kind of job...with a much cuter "boss"....! ;) I have felt satisfied and secure and settled in both jobs. Blessings, indeed.
3. Some dear friends of ours are in the exciting process of selling their home and buying a new one, and it is almost impossible not to dream and wish and plan right along with them for a new, bigger home! Surfing online for homes is like an addiction, I tell you. ;) However, it is not the right time for us to even be thinking about moving, because we have a few short-term goals to achieve regarding school loan repayment first and foremost...which brings me to my next point. I am so thankful for the little house in which we live. When my husband wanted to start school again, we decided to sell our bigger, 'fancier' house for a smaller one with a little more land. What a good move. We love it here. Yes, we will be stuffed to the brim once Baby #2 arrives, but this house is just "us." I can't explain why, but it feels like our first house. (Not to mention that we are blessed to even HAVE a house at all). And...I am thankful for the smaller payments while we are working towards getting finished with pharmacy school! Can't grumble about that! ;) But...I might not be able to stop looking at houses online. ADDICT, I tell you! ;)
One of my lovely friends posts daily "I'm thankful for..." Facebook statuses (while not on a break for Lent, of course...!), and they really do make me consider what I should be thankful for that day. Small things. Big things. Hard things. We have much to be thankful for, so...let the grumbling cease for now!
And so, in the words of my friend, what are you thankful for today!?!
First off, thank you all so much for your supportive and kind comments regarding our special news about Baby #2! I'm blessed with lovely friends and family, even of the virtual variety! ;)
Some stats and answers to some FAQ's to kick things off:
--I am about 11 and 1/2 weeks along, and the baby is due on October 2nd.
--My gut is out of control. Last time around, I waited and waited and pooched out my belly trying to finally "show." This time, it seemed like I took the pregnancy test and BOOM. Pooch. I'll just tell ya right now, the pants are being precariously held together by rubber bands already, and I'm pretty sure it's time to dust off the maternity clothes bin in my closet and whip those gloriously stretchy pants right back out! Eh. No biggie. Last time I cared about this issue a lot. This time, oh well! Things are going to get (much) bigger before they get smaller, right?! ;)
--The biggie: Was this a surprise...? Nope. We are just CRAZY and wanted kids close together! :) When we tried with E, it took one short month. We thought that must have been a fluke, so when we were just about ready to be pregnant again, we started trying...and again, it took one try. On a serious note, we understand the immense and undeserved blessing we've been given with quick conception. Believe me. Hugely thankful. Amazingly blessed. (Even when I'm nauseous and can't zip my pants.) ;)
--Why get knocked up again soon, you ask? Well. My husband and I can't decide if we want two or four kids. (His theory on the even numbers: everyone needs a buddy. I think that's cute. Cute enough to host babies in my uterus FOUR times? We'll see.) So, our idea was to have the first (and possibly only) two pretty close together, take a break for a few years, and decide if we plan to forge ahead into further loss of sanity. We'll see how it goes. Who knows.
--How am I feeling, you ask? A few extreme bouts of nausea, but I learned a LOT about controlling it last time around. Nothing to write home about. However. I forgot about the utter exhaustion of the first trimester. Oh. My. Goodness. I worked teaching high schoolers last time around, and now I'm staying at home with my one year old. This, my friends, is much more tiring somehow. Perhaps it is because she is still pretty helpless on a lot of things, and high schoolers can at least feed themselves and go to the bathroom independently (one would hope). The upside: I can lay down for a few minutes when she naps. Hallelujah!
--Names, nursery plans, etc? Nadda. Not even going to spend the brain power on those topics until we know the gender. And yes, we intend to find out. One of my friends said it best: the gender of the baby is a wonderful surprise whether you find out on ultrasound or at the birth. And I am waaaay too impatient to wait until D-Day! ;)
--Ironic side note: I made it back to my pre-pregnancy weight for one week...and then I found out I was pregnant. Needless to say, my poor body is quite confused!
--Gender preference? I would absolutely love another little girl. These two will be so very close in age, plus I grew up with a sister whom I now consider my greatest friend. I'd love that for my kids. However, I also would love to experience having a son and seeing my husband with a son. Sounds cliche and lame, but we really are fine with either. (My husband actually sort of wants a whole hoard of daughters. I love that about him.)
Well, there you have it.
A tour through my thoughts, feelings and uterus.
Stay tuned for more, and I'm so excited to share this second journey with you all. You made the experience of pregnancy so much fun last time around due to your kind encouragement and excitement--so thanks!! :)
Well. It happened. You turned one year old. I know you'll probably get sick of me saying this, but time is passing all too quickly, my love. Here are some highlights of your twelfth month.
(Not really loving the lamb/chair pictures anymore...!)
-You are 22 pounds (75th percentile) and 31.5 inches long (99th percentile).
-No new teeth to report.
-Your strawberry continues to slowly turn white in the center, although we think it might be awhile before it goes away completely. Not hurting you in the least, so no biggie!
-You eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. You like your meals served promptly, and you eat pretty early in the day (11am for lunch, 5pm for dinner).
-Some of your favorite foods are: freeze dried fruits, Ritz crackers, cheese, pureed food pouches, blueberries.
-You nursed for the last time a couple of days after your birthday. It was a little sad seeing as you are a big girl now, but you have taken wonderfully to your sippy cup of milk. Plus, you have weaned off of having totally chocolate milk, and now you get all whole milk (with maybe one teeny squirt of chocolate...!)
-These days, you pretty much feed yourself everything we put on your tray, but we are having quite the time getting you to eat meat. Perhaps when you get a few more teeth it might be a little easier.
-Like always, you go to bed early (around 6:30 or 7pm), and you sleep until 7am the next morning.
-You take one morning nap at 9ish for about 45 minutes, and you take another afternoon nap around 1ish for about an hour.
-This month, you have started throwing your paci and bunny out of the crib almost the minute we leave the room. You're smart. We used to rush right back in to replace the discarded items, but we wised up to your little game...! Now, we have to wait for you to get just a little upset at what you've done, and then, when we replace the paci and bunny, you have learned your lesson. You'll go right to sleep! You can't trick us that easily, Baby. ;)
-You are so close to walking on your own! You will cruise around holding onto all of the furniture, holding our hands, on your little walker, etc. You've also started standing on your own for a while before you realize what you're doing and plop back down on your bottom.
-The puppies are a constant source of interest to you, and you've started snuggling with Milly...when she'll let you. You've heard us tell them "OUT!" while waving our arm so often that you have started imitating us!
-This month, you have learned to stick out your tongue, and you love to do it on command!
-You are becoming more interested in playing and interacting with other babies while at playgroup, and you even try to give them your toys and snacks. Good girl. :)
-For some reason, you love to drape things across the back of your neck and over your shoulders. Daddy's ties, clothing items, toys, anything! You will crawl around with all kinds of things adorning your neck. What a fashionista!
-Juicy Penningtons is still a big hit...!
-You learned to show how old you are (or at least how to imitate us as we do it...) before your first birthday party.
-Organization is becoming your favorite activity. You pull all of your books off of your shelves and then spend forever trying to replace them. Also, you take all of the toys out of your basket and spend a lot of time replacing them. Pretty cute.
-You will follow us around holding up books all day long so that we will continue reading to you. Most of the time, your attention span only lasts through the first few pages, but it is still sweet to see you interested in books.
-You are your biggest fan. Any time you see a picture of yourself or catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, your eyes light up, you point and gesture to get closer, and usually you give yourself a kiss. Healthy self-esteem. Love it.
-First Birthday Party! We had a birdie-themed party (no big surprise!), and all of your family came out to your house to celebrate with you. You opened gifts and got your first good taste of sugar in the form of a cupcake. You weren't too sure about the icing (you don't like slimy textures), but you dove in after a little help. Your Daddy made a video of your first year, and Mommy cried. A lot. This has been such a wonderful year.
-Big Sister! You are going to be a big sister in October!
-Snow, Snow, Snow. Our state had so much snow this past month, and we were cooped up for quite a few days. You aren't too pumped up about the snow this year, but maybe next year you'll like to play in it.
Well my love, this has been such a special year for your Daddy and me. We love you more than you could possibly comprehend...probably ever.