Life these days…

Are peaceful, sweet, full and joyous. And also difficult, frustrating and challenging. While I’m definitely feeling better, I still do not like pregnancy. I love the kicks from my little baby girl, especially when she hears momma playing guitar and decides to dance in my belly. But the overall discomfort continues to grow and I know the winter months are not going to be fun. 

My husband has been a rock. When I’m grump or impatient, sick or lethargic, he is there, cuddling me, telling me how beautiful I am, laying on my belly and talking to our daughter. I haven’t done laundry in months. He does the dishes most days and we tend to split the cooking duties. Since we got married and bought a new mattress, we’ve had it on the floor. He has designed a bed and is in the process of building it. How did I get so blessed? How on earth do I find the gall the fight with such a wonderful man (not that we fight a lot)? When I think of it all, I am in awe. 

I have a gig next weekend. I’m excited about singing and playing. Since I got pregnant, I’ve only scheduled a handful of gigs. 

I finally finished my baby registry. I’m so glad we didn’t register for our wedding, it has been a week long, research-filled process to do a baby registry. I’m so glad it’s finished. My mom and sis are throwing me a shower in Houston and my girlfriends are throwing me a gender-inclusive one in Dallas. People have been so kind and helpful to me. 

I’m going to probably join the YMCA tomorrow to add swimming to my workout regime. I’ve heard it great for preggos and helpful to ease the burden of the belly bump during exercise. 

Crockpot Chicken Fajitas

5-6 frozen chicken breasts

2 cups salsa (any kind)

1 cup chicken stock/broth

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp black pepper

2 tsp cumin

1/4 cup olive oil

1 whole onion, chopped

8 small sweet peppers, whole or 1 bell pepper, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot/slow cooker. I didn’t make this in the morning like I wanted to and since the chicken was frozen, I cooked it on high for 2 hrs and low for 3 hrs. You can easily cook it on low for 8-10 hrs. My husband made rice and beans to go along with it and we created Chipotle style burrito bowls out of the ingredients that tasted far superior to Chipotle (we added diced avocado, sharp cheese and sour cream as toppings). I threw this together in 10 min. and it is one of the best fast/easy meals I’ve had in a while.

Nice Things About Pregnancy

I was pretty harsh about pregnancy yesterday. I know. I don’t think it will abate anytime soon, simply because I’ve got 6 more months of this left and I’ve heard the last 3 months are kinda terrible. My mom is definitely encouraging me to adjust my attitude, have a faith outlook and pray scripture over myself and my baby (her pregnancies were pretty great, so who am I to argue?).

So in the POSITIVITY VEIN, here goes:

1. Your hair and nails become that of a supermodel. My hair has gotten THICK. My hairdresser noticed it my 2nd week of pregnancy and I didn’t tell her the reason. Also, my hair is growing so fast!! I remember reading about teens taking prenatals for hair growth. Let’s get serious, it’s cuz you’re growing a HUMAN being, not some dumb vitamins. At this rate, my hair will be the length I’ve coveted for 4 years by the time I pop out Baby C. Let’s hope I don’t do something stupid, like chop it off the moment I get annoyed by it post-natal.

2. My skin has finally gotten glowy. I’ll go ahead and forget the first 2 months of my skin looking like a blotchy, acne-ridden mess. I can forego foundation most days cuz it’s just so dang pretty. Girls, you know how nice that is.

3. Being pregnant is the ultimate excuse. It’s a get-out-of-jail-free card. Most people get pissed when you bail last minute. When you’re pregnant, people ask you in advance if you can’t make it, they let you off the hook without you ever saying a word. Granted, preggo ladies need this A LOT, but it’s soooo nice to have people be sweet and understanding when you pull the pregnancy card.

4. Da boobs. We’ll ignore the fact that they hurt and itch constantly, but if you aren’t well-endowed prior to getting pregnant and you’ve always wondered what it would be like to have big jugs, pregnancy is like those grow 2 cup sizes bras. You get a chance to try on a new cup size (or 3) and then repent of ever envying your bigger sisters. The husband doesn’t complain at all!

5. Letting it all hang out. If you’re like me, you definitely don’t like the extra pooch in the belly to be obvious. You start sucking in all the time. But when your preggo, it doesn’t matter. In fact, the sooner you start showing the better. People love it!

6. Home birth. I’m beyond blessed that I married a man who is 100% on board with home birth and was already wanting that before we started dating. That is so rare. My mom had me and my sis at home and I grew up knowing I wanted to do the same simply because she raved about how wonderful her home births were compared to her hospital birth with my brother. It makes sense to me, especially with all the C-Section Knife Craziness in hospitals right now. Oh, you don’t want a C-Section? Well, we’ll do enough interventions and you’ll beg us for one, or we will scare you enough and make you have one. As long as I don’t become high-risk, I’ll stay home, thank you very much medical community. I love my midwife!

7. In Love. It could just be that we are still in the newlywed glow, but being pregnant has just increased our love for one another. I swear my husband gets more handsome every day. He is so tender with me, always helping me and doing things for me. He has taken care of me so well and I know I haven’t been the easiest person to live with because I’m hormotional. He talks to and sings to the baby. He’s such an amazing husband, I know he will be a wonderful dad.

Honest Musings on Pregnancy

Can I be real for a sec? Those chicks that claim they LOOOOVE being pregnant? Not only do I NOT believe them, I kinda wanna smack them.

My husband knocked me up (accidentally) in April and surprise! We’re gonna be parents early next year. After the initial shock and denial wore off, we got excited, because as much as we would have preferred to spend a few years enjoying our marriage sans children, we still adore kids and the looming fear of infertility due to my increasing age is now gone. I know so many women around my age who cannot get pregnant and it’s been a very real concern for me. Heck, I honestly gave up on having kids at age 31 when I considered myself permanently single. Oh how quickly things change (nun at 32, mom at 34, who’d have thunk it?)

I have plenty of friends who have kids, I’ve heard tons of convos about pregnancy, breastfeeding, & infant care. But absolutely nothing prepared me for how totally crappy pregnancy is. I cry ALL the time (right before I wrote this blog in fact). No reason, I was just listening to slightly sad music that sent my tearducts into overdrive. And that’s the only symptom that is not awful. My appetite is gone most days because NAUSEA (which I can’t spell), I don’t like most foods, drinking water takes superhuman effort because NAUSEA. I have crazy dreams, I get up to pee during the night 5 times (and I’ve heard that’s good) , and my sense of smell is so insane that my husband cannot breathe on me or I will puke. The fatigue is shocking, my belly isn’t growing too much yet, but everywhere else is. And those are the symptoms that are conversation friendly. The others, well…they are not for public consumption, but this video covers just a few:

I just started puking a couple times a week, which they tell you is normal during the first trimester and should go away during the second trimester. Um, no. I’m in the second trimester and that’s when the vomiting happens. Fantastic.

And there are all these things you have to do. Eat the right foods (it’s hard to eat period.), take vitamins, drink enough water to drown a cow, don’t drink COFFEE (oh…my love!), exercise every day (impossible when you feel like you can’t get out of bed), don’t eat certain foods, no alcohol, and everything you ingest or any activity should be passed by your doc.

And I feel like a jerk complaining, because I have to privilege of being married to an awesome man who takes care of me and does all the household chores, while I whine about the miracle of being with child. So many women can’t have kids, so many women have unsupportive husbands, so many women are single and would love to be in my swollen shoes. I know all that, and it definitely makes me more grateful, but it doesn’t help me hate pregnancy any less.

The Sorta-Country Girl & The Trail Snake

So my hubby and I are slightly addicted to bicycling. We like trail riding and road riding (even though I tend to be a chicken on the drops and tricky logs of the trail). Before I got knocked up, we were going on 3-4 bike rides on a good week. Well, the FATIGUEHELL of the First Trimester.

Ok rabbit trail on the faitgue thing: imagine being tired, feeling uber fatigued, slightly sick and like all your limbs weigh 3X as much ALL DAY LONG. I don’t even know how women who work high stress jobs even survive.

Now back on topic. We went for a ride this morning on an easy trail that is located in some lush woods nearby. I was leading on the first trail since it’s easy and my husband wanted me to set the pace. We are less than 5 minutes into the ride when I see something up ahead that looks like a snake. It is A FREAKING SNAKE, so long that I can’t see the either end of it and it’s completely covering the trail. I had the presence of mind to take my stupid hand OFF the brake and began to speed up and scream snake for my husband. We both ran over the 3 foot long thing I looked a lot like a water moccasin. I was screaming as I ran over it, completely afraid to look at it for fear it would bite me. It didn’t get me and it didn’t bite Chris either, but I was a wreck after that. I expected to see snakes around every corner. I think I made myself sick, because after trail 1 was done, I had to call it a day and let Chris ride a little more alone (it was hot as Hades and humid as the tropics too).

This is slightly pathetic of me. I lived in the country from ages 12-27. I have seen dozens of snakes, making my fear a little bit unreasonable. You’d think exposure and experience would thicken my skin, but I’m still terrified of them. I don’t even like seeing them at the zoo.

Needless to say, I might be chickening out on trail riding this summer (they come out in force during the summer in TX. I googled it).

"They are not the same person I married"

I noticed that when I was single, I was always so aware of when someone broke up or was dating a douche. My heart ached for them and I was always more cognizant of those folks then the “happy in love” types.

Maybe because as a single woman prior to marriage, all I knew was heartbreak and bad relationships. I prayed for those friends, and felt at times romance wasn’t worth all of the pain we put ourselves through. But meeting the man of God’s dreams for me changed that.

Now that I’m married, this has transferred to noticing marriages that have fallen apart and people my age who are recently divorced. It hurts even more to think about what they are going through and why they are going through it, than when a single friend went through a breakup. So many people say “my partner is not the same person I married. We are going two different directions.”

At first I though “Is that a cop-out? Is it easier to say ‘We’re different. We don’t want the same things. It’s time to move on’ than it is to say ‘My spouse is selfish & callous, we don’t even like each other, we don’t enjoy each other like we once did. We don’t care. We are done.’?” Honestly, I think many times it is both. I know without a doubt that in 5 years I will be a much different me. I will (God willing) be a mom, almost 40, older, wiser, and different. My husband will be different. We will definitely not be the same people the other person married.

And here’s the rub. Most of the time, that different person is both better and worse. I think what gets us into trouble in marriage is that when a couple doesn’t grow better together, they just grow apart, and all the ways we’ve grown worse are the areas that push us away. Those are the things that we fixate on, and feel are unresolvable, unforgivable and unchanging.  Our hope in marriage begins to dissolve when we see these differences creating a chasm that we either don’t know how or don’t want to bridge. Then the appeal of someone with no history, no issues, no hurt, no divide…that begins to pull at us. Satan uses that temptation and leaves out the fact that the pain will not heal and the issues don’t disappear. The same hurts and problems just crop up in different ways with the new person. When financial fights erupt, it can be easy to fantasize about single days of being able to make all the decisions with our own money. Satan forgets to interject the cost of divorce, counseling, childcare, child support and the toll of single parent living. Satan will dangle “freedom”, while hiding the chains that divorce shackles you with. 

We will inevitably encounter the thought “This is not who I married.” And you will be right. My prayer is that our marriages will grow in grace, forgiveness, love and selflessness mirroring the fruits of the spirit, rather than the lusts of the flesh.

I will not be the woman my husband married ten years from now. My prayer and desire is to be a better woman, a better wife, a better mother and even more unified and in love with this amazing man God has given me.



ack. sooooo cute!! Can I have one?

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I think a lot of people feel like God is just being a killjoy about their sexual desires. What if God wants you to have an awesome sex life just as much as you do? That’s why He wants to give you the real thing that actually satisfies instead of letting you settle for less.

Lee Younger on episode 120 of Say That

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Stuff I’ve bought recently

I’ve been meaning to blog, but I think I get into a rut and always feel the need to write something deep/encouraging/witty. Which is terrible, because it’s a freaking blog! There’s no pressure to write anything. So here’s a whatever post, aimed at the gals out there.

I think I found this gem from beauty blogger Maskara regarding the best self tanner, but she was DEAD ON! I’ve been using self tanners for ages, but because I’m cheap, I refuse to spend more than $15 on that stuff. I’m super pale, I don’t tan, I just get more freckles and I would prefer not to get skin cancer. I was obsessed with Banana Boat’s self tanner last summer (really good & CHEAP), but St. Moritz Foaming Self Tanner in Medium (found on amazon here), is unbelievable for the price. You can supposedly find it at Sally’s for under $10. You HAVE to use gloves, but this is by far the most even, naturally brown (not orange) tan that includes color in the foam so you get dark immediately. Be aware that if you order from amazon it’s cheap, but it takes 2 weeks to get here from the UK. I love this stuff, you only have to apply 1 coat for an awesome tan and it fades beautifully, not splotchy like other self tanners.

I’ve been wanting to try a hoop nose ring, but my nose ain’t dainty and I’ve been aware that maybe I can’t pull it off. Well, Etsy has custom made nose hoops and studs for cheap, and so I just ordered one for $10 this week (free shipping).

I’ve been dying my hair red since I was 16 and I love the color. Whenever I’ve tried to return to my brown roots, I don’t look like myself. I don’t like it. Red is my thing; it’s my favorite color. But I realized in my 20’s that all those chemicals sitting on my head every 2 months for the last decade couldn’t be good for me. I researched and discovered Henna, a plant that will dye skin and hair a coppery color. LUSH cosmetics makes amazing pre-mixed Henna bars. They are messy, complicated and time consuming, but the color is always astonishingly beautiful. The only problem with Henna is that unless it’s mixed with other herbs, the more you reapply, the less red your hair turns out. Now that isn’t true for everyone, but it has been true for me. I like auburn, but I’m in love with the bright true red henna gives. It looks so natural and allows my hair to grow long and thick since I’m not frying it every 60 days. I found a chick on Etsy who makes Henna mixes for all hair colors and she also has natural hair care mixes. Her Henna is the best. I bought some more this week and look forward to the color.

The first time I used Henna, this is how my hair turned out (far right):