Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dear Chicken Salad, I sort of hate you

This week was hard.
I bruised my tailbone like you wouldn't believe and screamed bloody murder every time I had to stand up...or sit down for that matter, sneeze, was miserable.  Thank goodness it's finally healing. 

Martin has been taking very good care of me, still loving me even when I have a big ice pack down my pants or start crying when he goes over a speed bump in the car. 
I never wanted to be a "difficult" pregnant lady, but lately I feel like I have been.  The one food that I actually found to love while eating Paleo I can't stand to look at. I used to inhale bowls of chicken salad and now, I can barely swallow it.

Eating strictly Paleo has been the biggest challenge for me this far in my pregnancy. I admit I have not stayed true to eliminating gluten and processed foods from my diet.  With these new food aversions and plus my already picky appetite I am struggling to find things to eat that align with our lifestyle.  
I know the benefits of eating clean, I've experienced them myself, my husband has experienced them. I know the benefits it will have on our little one. I have to keep telling myself over and over that the food I eat isn't just for me anymore, it's to help nourish and grow our baby. Which is most important right now. 
I think maybe slowly I am starting to get the hang of being pregnant. By the time I have everything under control it will be July and the baby will be here :)  For now, I'm just taking each day as it comes. Celebrating when I go a whole day without eating gluten...celebrating each milestone that passes and continuing to be so thankful for this experience, even if chicken and I are no longer on speaking terms. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Learning To Love A New Body

My body is changing...and quickly.
Every mirror, or any piece of reflective glass for that matter, that I walk by I stop and stare. Is that really me? I think I walked into the bathroom 20 times yesterday just to look in the mirror at my belly. Yup, still there.
I was telling Martin the other day that when I was a little girl I used to pretend what it would be like to have a pregnant belly.  I would stuff shirts or pillows under my shirt and couldn't wait for the day when it would be real. And now it is. My stomach is growing bigger and rounder and it's pretty nice that it isn't lumpy like it had been with t-shirts stuffed under there. 
It doesn't feel like my body anymore. I guess it technically isn't my body anymore. My body's main purpose right now is to grow our little one and I'm just along for the ride. It's so strange to watch something change without your control. I think most of pregnancy is giving up control...which can be really hard. Everyday is different. Everyday brings new challenges, new things I've never experienced before.  There seems to be one more thing I can't stomach or one more piece of clothing that doesn't fit. As I folded the laundry this weekend I looked longingly at my jeans and wondered if I would ever wear them again.
Of course I will. I told them they were getting a vacation, but I would be don't go and get too used to the back of the dresser.
I remember when I was around other pregnant women and they would be lamenting about their changing bodies.  My first reaction was one of judgement. How could they say those things? Of course your body is going to get bigger you're having a BABY! But now being one of those pregnant women I know exactly what they were saying. 

Nobody wants their body to necessarily get bigger and we all know how important our body's role is right now. But sometimes it's okay to sigh and remember when it didn't take 45 minutes to get dressed in the morning and sometimes it's okay to be a little grumpy that we are now wearing pants that are about as attractive as elastic waisted sweatpants on a ninety year old man. 
It doesn't mean we didn't hope and wish for this experience. It doesn't mean we don't have days where we are in love with our bellies and our more curvy waists. 
After all, what better way to be reminded of our tiny little baby than by taking one quick glance down. It's a pretty amazing reminder.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Being an adult means you get to have a couch

Our college dorm-like living room is a mere memory. Our tiny love seat has gone on to bigger and greater things and our legs thank us every time we stretch out on 70 inches of pure bliss. Sure the love seat was perfect for cuddling, after all it isn't called a "love" seat for nothing. But we had had enough of the leg cramps and squished bodies. And I'm sure our friends will thank us now that they don't have to sit a nose length away from us.
Martin surprised me with this beauty on Christmas morning.  I opened my gift, confused...was it a piggy bank? For the cats? I kept smiling hoping someone would tell me what I was holding in my hands. Martin told me excitedly that we were getting a new couch and he was letting me pick it out! Such a nice husband.

I was tempted to take in my model couch with us to the store and ask a sales associate if they could please find something similar to this. "You don't have anything in this color? Well, that's a shame."

After spending an hour just walking through the maze that is Ikea, we came home with a couch that suits us perfectly. We love it and have even experienced a few naps that have not left us with a big charlie horse in our calves.
It's funny because the past few times that Martin and I have sat on the couch together I noticed that we both sat on the same seat cushion, squished together with miles of extra couch next to us. We're not used to all this extra space...but that's okay with me. I don't mind the snuggling for a little while longer. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I'm Going To Be A Mama

First off, thank you all so much for your kind comments! It was such an exciting day telling everyone about our little surprise! 

I think I'm still in awe that this is all happening. I am amazed everyday that God has given us this amazing miracle inside of me.  I walk around most days starring at my belly that is growing rounder everyday and daydream about the day when we will finally meet our little one. 

These past three months have been more than challenging for me. All day nausea is hard to handle when you teach kindergarten...  I'm not sure I really remember much from the last three months because I slept through most of it :) But now with the start of the second trimester I am feeling better everyday and feel like I can actually start to think about what all these changes are about to bring.  Every night before I go to bed I take some time to breathe deeply and give myself a few moments to soak all of this wonderfulness in.  Because even with the uncomfortable aches and sickness I want to remember this time--because it truly is amazing.
Martin and I found out that we were going to be parents very early just three weeks.  On Halloween to be exact. Although we knew someday we wanted a baby to join our family, the news came as quite a surprise and I think the first few weeks were filled with overcoming our shock and calming our fears. I knew the shock was gone when I came home from work and saw the table covered in baby books from the library. I knew right then that Martin was ready to dive into this new adventure with everything he has.
It was strange keeping such a big secret from those around me. Everywhere I went I wanted everyone around me to know that I was pregnant--that I was going to be a mama! When I pumped gas or walked the aisles of the grocery store I loved knowing that I wasn't exactly alone anymore. But we wanted to wait to tell our friends until we knew that things were progressing smoothly.  When we went for our ultrasound at 9 weeks I was nervous. Martin stood by my side and held my hand as we watched the monitor and right away we saw our little one. Dancing away. I was so overcome with emotion knowing that that was our baby.
Now we are just excited to keep watching our baby grow bigger and stronger everyday...staying safe inside of me for now. 

Thank you for reading along with me. I am thrilled to share this journey with everyone.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Love Story {Part VI} Then Comes Marriage

You can bet that the next six months were spent very impatiently awaiting Martin's arrival to Denver. But finally, after two years, he made the journey to the big city that would now be his home. But this time instead of tears there were smiles that couldn't be stopped.

We felt complete again. This was the way it was supposed to be. We didn't have to plan days in advance of when we would get to see each other. I could eat dinner with him on a Tuesday night if I wanted to!  

Martin arrived in Denver just in time to help me put the finishing touches on our wedding plans.  Our wedding day would take place in a small Colorado town, overlooking the mountains with our closest family and friends. 

When I look back on our wedding, it makes me smile. It was a beautiful summer morning and as I got dressed I nervously waited for the moment when I would get to see my groom for the first time. 
When it was time, my dad walked me down the stone staircase reminding me to breathe. He held onto my shaking hand and as I finally looked up all I could see was Martin waiting for me.
 We made our vows to each other, exchanged rings, and sealed our love with a kiss all while the birds chirped happily around us. 
We had started our life together as husband and wife. After seven years we were finally married. It was, is, the best feeling in the world to know that you get to spend the rest of your life with your best friend. 

It's been two and half years since our wedding day and I am more in love with my husband than ever. I still sometimes can't believe that he chose me to be his wife.  We have been through so much these past two years that have made us stronger and more thankful that we have had each other to grow side by side with. 

 And now with the start of a brand new year we are about to begin our newest and greatest adventure together yet...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Love Story {Part V} Promise

Thanks for reading along with me as I've been documenting our Love Story.  I wanted to have a place where it was all together...from the beginning to today :)

* * *
I was a college graduate.  It was the summer of 2007 and I was headed for the real world--the real workforce. Joining hundreds of thousands of other young folks just like me. I was living on my own for the first time in my whole life. My own apartment, my own rules, my own little space in the big city of Denver. I finally felt like an adult, making my own decisions, supporting myself.

I began my summer with my continued job search and summer nanny job. In June, I got the call I'd been praying and hoping for since I had started college four years earlier.  I had been offered a fourth grade teaching position!  I called Martin immediately and told him my good news. He was so happy for me and in my state of bliss I didn't or rather couldn't dwell too much on the fact that my new job was in Aurora and Martin was still in Greeley. 

We both knew I had to take the job.  We talked about how the next year was going to look. We knew it would be at least another year of long distance, lots of driving, lots of phone conversations. But there was no hesitation that this was the right thing to do. So we decided that the minute Martin graduated he would join me in Denver.  
I spent that next year being what I had always wanted to be, a teacher. All those years of playing pretend classroom in the basement with my sister had payed off.  I didn't have to pretend anymore and I got payed for it. 

I loved it.

When summer came I was ecstatic to be able to spend my summer vacation with Martin. One particular summer day Martin planned out a day in the mountains for us.  We would drive to Rocky Mountain National Park, find a quiet picnic spot, and enjoy the beautiful summer weather.  I didn't think anything of our day trip because Martin planned things like this all the time for us to do. So we packed up our lunch, hopped in the car and made the drive up the winding mountain roads.  We pulled off to a picnic spot that nestled right up alongside the was peaceful and the wind rustled the pine trees.  As Martin set up our lunch I wandered around taking pictures oblivious to the magical moment that was about to occur. 
A few minutes later Martin called me over and took my hands in his. He began telling me sweet things that I truly wish I could remember :) But I do remember him telling me how much he loved me and that he promised to spend the rest of his life with me. Then he asked me to marry him. This was the greatest promise of love. 
I don't think I had ever felt as happy as I did at that moment. We soaked in our good news, just the two of us, for a long time before we headed back on the road.

We had known for a very long time that we wanted to be by each others sides for the rest of our lives, but now the pieces were finally falling into place. Martin only had a semester left of school, I had a job I enjoyed, and soon he would be with me in Denver.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Love Story {Part IV} Survival Mode

In the late fall of 2006, I opened my placement letter for student teaching. I had been placed in a city I had never wanted to go to and I was devastated. Those who know me well know that I am a homebody. Home is where I feel the safest. Looking back now though, I can see that maybe I needed to be pushed to expand my wings and try something new. I would never have left on my own accord.

I would be moving to our state's capitol, somewhere I had only been with my family for special occasions...when we visited the museum or the zoo. I had never in a million years pictured myself living amongst the hustle and bustle of big city life. I was scared to death and didn't know what these next six months were going to look like. 

But there was one bright light amongst all these gloomy thoughts.  My big sister, Elizabeth, was already living in Denver working towards her PhD, and without hesitation she had asked me to live with her. I was beyond relieved.

I remember saying goodbye to Martin. We stood outside his rundown apartment across from campus and he held me in his arms for what didn't seem like long enough.  The cold wind whipped around us and I thought it was fitting that everything around us was dead and covered in dirty snow. Through my tears he told me it wouldn't be so bad. He would come visit me as often as he could and I would do the same. I nodded and gave an unconvincing smile. I got in my overpacked car and couldn't look back as I drove away. 
As I made my first drive to my new home...I cried even more tears. It was almost a two our drive to see the love of my life and I knew we would both be very busy with school.

I slowly began to unpack my new life. I started my placement at a school in Aurora, a suburb of Denver.  The school was rough and I had been assigned to a 5th grade class of kids who were much taller than me, where the boys were already growing mustaches, and where I was told by the students that they didn't like me. I worked hard, proving myself to those around me that I could do this. I began to fit into a community where I was the minority and I began to earn the respect of my new class. 

When my school days were over I longed for the moment when I could see Martin. We made the two hour journey more times than we could count, through blizzards and rush hour traffic. Our two weekend days together would fly by too quickly. It wasn't enough time to catch up on what we were missing. Some weekends we couldn't see each other at all.  Some weekends we spent arguing about things that didn't matter. But we continued to talk daily and continued to make the best of what we had.
When Spring came I felt like I had literally survived a battle and I was waking up with the sun. Somehow I made it through my placement with only a few emotional scars and much thicker skin. I was more ready than ever to take on my own classroom.  I was excited about my future. I applied to hundreds of jobs...mostly back home where I desperately wanted to return to. 
Martin still had a year and half of school left after switching majors and my number one goal was to move closer to where he was.