L1: Week 14 Update

Finding out
I had really wanted the first words out of my mouth when I saw a positive pregnancy test to not be “Oh, sh!it,” but there it was.  I walked out of the bathroom and tossed the stick on the bed in Chad’s direction, then promptly buried my head under a pillow.  Two teeny stripes on the teeny tiny plastic stick, barely bigger than a match.

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I half wanted it to be right and half wanted it to be wrong.  This was SO not planned.  But ugh, even the idea of trying to get pregnant just seemed to suck all the fun out of sex.  We had talked about maybe this fall.  Mid-July wasn’t so far off; it would be okay.  But this was SO not planned.  So I peed on another stick.  That second line was fainter than the first test had been.  But really, those pregnancy tests cost about $.17 each, part of a multi-pack of ovulation strips and preg tests that I bought on Amazon.  So I found another pregnancy test in the linen closet – trusty Walgreens brand – and peed on that one.  The test was quite possibly expired.  But it was definitely positive.  We laughed in disbelief and cried happy tears and stared at each other in stunned, crazy silence and finally fell asleep somehow.  The next morning, I peed on another stick.  Just to be sure.  We’re having L1.  The first Little to join our family.

My niece Dalya drew a picture and it’s pretty much the best ever

How I’ve been feeling
I never threw up during my first trimester.  I know; I’m lucky for that.  I did, however, feel kind of hungover all day every day for the first 10 weeks.  Dull headaches, that gross sour stomach feeling, craving breakfast burritos, don’t talk to me in the morning, do not touch me, I just want to take a nap, do I really have to get out of bed?  It was exhausting.

And the girls hurt.  That was actually the first symptom I noticed, right away.  My breasts feel A) uncomfortably huge, and B) badly bruised.  Super fun.

I’ve also had some pretty unfortunate lower back and hip pain.  I’m doing pilates and other stretching and going to a chiropractor and not sleeping super well very often, to be honest.  That’s probably my least favorite part about being pregnant so far.


We found out right at 4 weeks, and I didn’t have my first appointment until almost 9 weeks.  Those 5 weeks were long.  I felt sick, but I didn’t feel pregnant. The sonogram helped make it a little more real.  We heard the heartbeat at my 12.5 week appointment – loud and strong at 167 bpm.  Everything looks good so far and we really love our OB.  We don’t love that she’s at Lakeside.  West Omaha, womp womp.

At the 10 week mark, the nausea went away almost completely.  As long as I don’t let myself get too hungry, my stomach feels pretty pre-pregnancy normal. Now at 14 weeks, I’m still exhausted and touch-sensitive and exhausted and my back and hips still hurt and I’m still exhausted.  I would definitely like to take a nap. But all in all, pretty good.

What I’ve been eating / not eating
During the first few weeks, I was on a pretty steady diet of animal crackers and corn chex.  Then for a while, popsicles and grape kool-aid were the only things that tasted good.  I could (and did) eat other food, it just didn’t taste very good.  I’m still not loving to eat meat that I cook myself.  For the past several weeks, homemade Chex mix is hands down what tastes best.  I really miss hard cider, but Chad found some non-alcoholic cider at Target that hits the spot.  With the exception of one unfortunate incident involving an entire can of Pringles and a lot of regret (omg don’t do that), there haven’t been any ridiculous food issues so far.  I totally reserve the right for that to change in the future.

How I’m really feeling
I continue to be simultaneously super excited about having a Little, and also super overwhelmed by the timing – Chad is applying for business school for Fall 2015, and admissions decisions are announced the week after L1 is due.  We’re slowly marching towards the edge of a Big Life Changes cliff, and we know that we have no idea what waits beyond.  We’re in this together and I can’t say enough about how supportive and patient and gracious Chad has been – SO VERY, but it is a lot right now.

Also? No one told me that I’d feel fat before I felt pregnant.  I gained right at 5 pounds during the first trimester, which is totally okay, but WOW it’s uncomfortable to feel too big for my clothes.  Shirts that fit normally very quickly didn’t. Thanks, girls.  The old hair-tie in the zipper trick saved me from buying new jeans for the first couple of months, but it didn’t feel good or look normal (to me).  I switched to elastic waist jeggings and maternity pants this week and got a new maxi-skirt and I’m never going back.  BLISS.  Buttons and zippers are for the birds.


No significant bump yet, just big boobs and a few too many snacks.  And my big weird claw hand. Maybe I’ll have Chad start taking these pictures for me.

The best moments
Telling my sister was pretty awesome.  She may have screamed.  Posting it on Facebook & Twitter finally was amazing.  It was like engagement night all over; watching the joy and celebration roll in like ocean waves was tearful and overwhelming in the best way.  Online excitement is real excitement and online friends are real friends, yo.

I took a 5th pregnancy that 3rd morning, just to make sure it stuck.  Yep.  I’m having a baby.  Little #1 is coming – due March 19.  Our 2-family is becoming a 3-family.  We’ll never be the same.

Twitterature / September 2014

A Twitter-inspired look at books I’ve been reading recently.  (And here’s what I read last month.)  What’s on your bookshelf these days?


Anna and the French Kiss / Stephanie Perkins
I’ve been trying to read more YA, since some people say I shouldn’t.  This book was adorable.  Simply adorable.  I’ve read some valid critiques of the storyline, but I just plain loved it.


The Expats / Chris Pavone
I picked this up after seeing it on Anne’s can’t-put-down list, and that proved true.  I read this in nearly one sitting.  Not the best book ever, but certainly enjoyable.  I always enjoy espionage and Americans living abroad.

18050094The Accident / Chris Pavone
I rolled right into The Expat’s sequel.  Also enjoyable.  However, I found The Accident to be a bit more predictable, and this one had just a few too many branches of the storyline for my liking.

I also started 4 books that I didn’t finish.  I didn’t dislike any, just couldn’t get into them.  Might give them another try next month.



I’m linking up with Anne Bogel for her Twitterature series. Hop on over to Modern Mrs. Darcy for more.


Twitterature / August 2014

A Twitter-inspired look at books I’ve been reading recently.  (And here’s what I read last month.)  What’s on your bookshelf these days?


My Wish List / Gregoire Delacourt
A quick (short – under 200 pages) read.  Enjoyable and reflective if not a bit stodgy in places.  What would you do with a million dollars?


Top Down / Jim Lehrer
A character-driven novel based on the events surrounding the Kennedy assassination.  An interesting (but not fascinating) look at What If? questions in life and the big impact that seemingly small decisions may or may not have.

The Centurian’s Wife / Davis Bunn & Janette Oke
I enjoy Oke’s writing style well enough for what it is, and I’m not ashamed to say that I enjoy her books on occasion.  An interesting look at life in Judea immediately following the death of Christ – it gave me a new perspective on choosing to have faith in Jesus.


Match Me If You Can / Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Sometimes you just need light and fluffy chick lit.  This was okay, but not great.  I learned later that it’s actually #6 in a series, which made some characters make a little more sense.  A lot of the humor rests on gender stereotypes, which I don’t love.


Composing Amelia / Alison Strobel
This was not a great book.  The characters make terrible decisions, you guys, and the prose is nothing to write home about.  It highlighted a lot of what I have seen to be true when immature, overly-enthusiastic evangelical Christians marry at a young age.


The Beginning of Everything / Robyn Schneider
Everyone gets a tragedy, indeed.  I enjoyed Ezra, Schneider’s male lead character – I thought he was well written for a teen boy, which I would imagine to be hard to capture.  Cassidy, his love interest, is written as such an Enneagram 4.  An intelligent read, while still witty and quick YA.


Solsbury Hill / Susan Wyler
The setting of the moors was stunning and well-written, and became their own character in a way.  The rest of the book, and the characters of the human sort, fell flat for me.  A loose continuation of Wuthering Heights.  Bronte fans might enjoy this more than I did.


A Homemade Life / Molly Wizenberg
I read (and enjoy) Orangette occasionally, and I think Wizenberg’s writing style works better in blog format.  Great recipes, lovely memories, but overall disappointing as a book for me. #unpopularopinions

7362158Girl in Translation / Jean Kwok
I saved the best for last.  I loved this book.  The true-to-life circumstances of this little immigrant family are disturbing and left me with much on my mind.  Beautifully written, important story.  I want to read more from Jean Kwok.


17910558 Bread & Butter / Michelle Wildgen
I forgot this in my July edition, so I’ll include it here.  I was excited to read this since I love bread and butter, and restaurants, and brothers, but I found it a little boring.  Filled with sibling rivalry and mouth-watering descriptions of food and daily restaurant life, it should have been better than it was.


I’m linking up with Anne Bogel for her Twitterature series. Hop on over to Modern Mrs. Darcy for more.


What I’m Into / July 2014

A summer night is like a perfection of thought.  — Wallace StevensIMG_4560

I realized that I’m becoming like my Grandmother, starting these posts each month with a quote.  A few words that share the beauty of the month, the season.  There are worse things. She does like the summertime.  


I wrapped up my 33 Before 33 list, including the things I did not do.  But! All the things that I did do that were not on my list, for which I got zero credit.  I feel cheated.

I mean, in July alone, I cleaned out our linen closet, I tried cooking bok choy (successfully), and we had a roommate.   I’m giving myself extra points.

tbt dad

My dad found this #tbt gem at my grandmother’s house and basically won the internet that week.  Tiny Dad is just so cute.  


I did a week-long hydration challenge and subsequently used the bathroom all. the. time.  


Chad and I went to Pasadena for Max & Kate’s wedding (sadly missing Matt & Jenya’s celebration) and took pictures in a parking garage.  Because love.

IMG_4928Chad is exploring Business School, so we went to a Preview Day for a program at Northwestern, and naturally had to enjoy beignets and Bloodys at Dixie Kitchen.  Lake Effect makes for a nice July morning, I’ll say.  

What I’m reading
I linked up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to share books I’m reading in Twitter-inspired fashion.  This month’s reads included The Romanov Prophecy, Bound, Between Shades of Gray, Wedding Night, The Fault in Our Stars, and Department of Speculation.

What I’m watching
I was obsessed with The Face on the Milk Carton as a teen, and MTV’s Finding Carter fills a special place in my heart.  I don’t regularly watch the full show, but I can’t get enough of watching Kacy Catanzaro absolutely dominate this American Ninja Warrior course.  And, we finally watched Season 2 House of Cards and loved it, natch.  

Around the web
Consider digging into some of the Faith Feminism synchroblogs here.

Little things I’m loving

Summertime fresh fruit is the best.  Especially when Whole Foods has samples.


My friend Jenipher creates these amazing, encouraging doodles (and sells adorable prints and cards in her Etsy shop).  I loved this one especially.  Emojis are the best.  


Jazz on the Green on a beautiful evening AND Ranae in town.  The greatest.


Oh – I’m NOT loving this.  Starbucks, what is this straw?  Quit messing around.

Adventures in Piggery


The tassels on sweet corn are my favorite.  They pop out all ethusiastically Pfft Pfft Pfft!!  Plus, popcorn is super good.

IMG_4903 IMG_4753I mostly saw barn exteriors this month. This is what #RealPigFarming looks like from the outside.


I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for her What I’m Into series. Hop on over to her blog for more.

The things I did not do

I made a list of 33 things I want to do before I turn 33 in June 2014.  See the full list here.

4.  Tour a dairy farm.  I’ve never been on one as an adult, and I want to see how the operation works.
9.  Tour a feed lot.  See #4.
11.  Keep our hydrangeas alive.  Easier said than done.  I kill things.
17.  Tour a poultry farm.  See #4.
20.  Finish Project 4:4.  Amen.
27.  Purge my Facebook friends.  I’m up over 1,000 again and that’s just ridiculous.

These are the things I did not do.  No other way to say it.

There’s no real reason that I did not get the farm visits scheduled – I made some basic attempts, and it just didn’t come together.  I’m still interested in visiting a dairy, feed lot and poultry operation, and hopefully I can get it done this fall.


My hydrangeas.  You guys.  We have a beautiful large hydrangea bush in our back yard, and it comes back faithfully every year.  We had smaller hydrangea bushes planted in our front window box, and paid a kid to water them carefully last summer through the draught and our travels.  And then, the winter hit.  And they did not live.  At all.  So we have mulch and a few unwelcome volunteer mini-trees right now.  We’ll try again next spring.

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 1.47.33 PMIn 2012, the church we were attending underwent a year of reading the Bible chronologically.  There were videos and blogs and podcasts and a whole lot of support for readers.  However, we got all the way into the minor prophets and then lost steam.  So close to the New Testament, we really should have just kept going, but alas.  We had initial hopes of completing the readings and videos this past year, but nope.  It just didn’t happen.  We didn’t even start again.

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Have you ever tried to sort through your facebook friends to (kindly and thoughtfully) unfriend people?  They make it difficult, let me tell you.  Anytime you go back to the full list, you have to start at the top, and it’s not alphabetical. And there’s no “open this person in a new tab.”  So, I unfriended like 3 people and gave up the ghost.  And then I took two e-courses and became friends with about 30 new amazing people.  So, the more the merrier, y’all.  I have muted and unfollowed a few people here and there, and I’ve definitely been on a Do Not Invite Me to Play a Game Ever rampage, but I’m done trying to systematically unfriend.  Too much effort.

So there you have it.  Those are the things I did not do.

Snail Mail

I made a list of 33 things I want to do before I turn 33 in June 2014.  See the full list here.

10. Send one snail mail card each month. Between my grandmas and all my friends scattered about, I’ve got quite a few options.


I actually did this! Cards and packages went to Chicago, Seattle, Tacoma, Omaha, Kansas, South Dakota, Raleigh, and the last package I sent went to my friend Regina who lives in Zimbabwe. Mac & Cheese, taco seasoning, Twizzlers, all the great U.S. goodies…I went out with a bang.

I like receiving mail, and I like sending mail. I think I’ll keep it up.


Twitterature / July 2014

A Twitter-inspired look at books I’ve been reading recently.  (And here’s what I read last month.)  What’s on your bookshelf these days?


The Romanov Prophecy / Steve Barry
While not exactly great writing, I enjoy a good international conspiracy thriller. And, I love all things Russian, especially when it deals with Anastasia Nikolaeva or Anna Anderson.  I’m a believer.


Bound / Sally Gunning
Nicely written historical fiction set pre-revolutionary war. Bound is a sequel, although I didn’t know that until after I finished.  Enjoyable but not overly compelling.


Between Shades of Gray / Rūta Šepetys
An important, beautiful book.  The western world has long brushed over the atrocities of Stalin’s reign of terror in the Soviet bloc. Rūta does her family’s Lithuanian heritage justice with this must-read (but admittedly hard-to-read) YA book.

17910611Wedding Night / Sophie Kinsella
Typical Kinsella – fun, fluffy and quick.  Not my favorite of hers, but great for a sunny Saturday with a cocktail in hand.  


The Fault in our Stars / John Green
I cried as much as the next girl, I suppose, but I have a hard time buying the idea of My One True Love at age 16.  As good as any Lurlene McDaniel book was when I was a tween.  (Also, I kept thinking that Jennifer Lawrence plays Hazel in the movie, and that was super distracting.)

17402288Dept. of Speculation / Jenny Offill
Brief, lovely snapshots of a marriage – the “love, loneliness, grief, joy, fidelity, beauty, depression, mania, motherhood.” Less a typical novel and more enticing fragments of thought and life.  Should be read in one sitting.

I’m linking up with Anne Bogel for her Twitterature series. Hop on over to Modern Mrs. Darcy for more.