Making Room For One More

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I have a 3 (almost 4) year old daughter.  She’s lovely, vivacious, feisty, sweet, gentle, independent and kind.  She is my little buddy.  It’s been just her and me for last 3 years and now that I’m 7 months pregnant, the thought of making room for one more in our household is hitting me pretty hard.

When we first found out we were expecting, we were super happy, then I couldn’t help but feel a bit guilty (which is no surprise since guilt is a feeling I often feel about pretty much everything).  I felt guilt because I didn’t want to replace my baby.  I couldn’t imagine loving someone as much as I love her.  She is the epitome of a mama’s girl.  This girl is stuck to me like bees to honey.  My nickname for her is mi moco; that’s Spanish for “my booger.”  I am her world and she is mine.  There are times when she could play with something super cool or watch something, but many times she chooses to just sit on my lap and chill with me.

We love to cook, bake, do puzzles, sing, dance and play together.  Pretty soon I won’t be able to give her all of that undivided attention anymore.  Once the new baby comes I will naturally be pulled from here to there, meeting all sorts of needs and I don’t want her to feel neglected.  I’ve been reading and talking to friends about ways to make your firstborn feel special when baby arrives, so I hope those things will help her through the transition.

As much as I will miss our times together, it just feels right to have another little buddy in the mix.  She’ll have someone to watch over, care for, play with, share with and love in a way she didn’t even know she could love.  My love for the life growing in my belly is increasing daily and now I have a small glimpse of how people can equally love all the kids they’re blessed with.  I recently read a quote that said: “Only love can be divided endlessly, and still not diminish.” I love that! ❤

Over the last few months I’ve been taking pictures of my girl and me just chillin’, snuggling, and enjoying each other’s company.  I don’t want to forget these moments.  I don’t want to forget how blessed I was/ am to stay home with her and get to share these special times in her younger years.

It’s not always rainbows and roses…we definitely have tough days and I know having another little one will only add to daily stresses, but it just feels right.  And these younger years will pass quickly until we have to tackle other stresses as they get older, but I’m glad she’ll be sharing life with someone.  I have an incredible relationship with my older brother and I look forward to her having that companion she can trust and confide in-until she starts confiding in boys.  O Lord!  But we won’t go there!  That’s a whole other blog 😉

Well, just 2.5 more months ’til we meet the new addition to our family.  It’s so weird to think that another little us will be making his debut pretty soon.  *God, give us wisdom in how to raise him and give us the strength and ability to help Aurora through this big life change.

Until then, I will try to soak up all the snuggly moments with my girl and try to remember that soon these times might be far and few between.  And no matter what…she’ll always be my baby.

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Random Thoughts on Pregnancy #2

img_2982Last night I saw my reflection/silhouette in the mirror and was taken back. Sometimes I surprise myself with how big I’m getting.  This pregnancy has been quite different than my first and I wanted to share a few things I’ve experienced this time around.  I was pregnant with my first about 4.5 years ago…let’s just say that your body handles pregnancy very differently with your second child and you’re going to feel very different carrying a child in your late 20’s than you will in your early 30’s.

Let me start by saying people thought I was having twins very early on in my pregnancy. It’s as if as soon as I found out we were expecting, my belly just popped out.  Many people are surprised to find out when my due date is…I mean, I can’t possibly be this big and still have 3 months left!  Well, yes, I am this big and will only get bigger, sorry to disappoint.

Another thing I’ve come to peace with is everyone’s body is soooo different.  Everyone will carry their kid differently.  I’m a short Hispanic with a small torso…there’s not much room for little buddy in there, so naturally, I’m going to pop out and round out.  It’s genetics.  Someone who’s taller or has a different metabolism will carry their weight differently and that’s okay.  We’re all beautiful and doing a beautiful thing 🙂  I can’t get down on myself if someone looks WAY different than me at the same stage of pregnancy. Our starting weight, genes, current diet, number of pregnancy, etc. are all factors that play into how we carry our baby (to name a few).

And while we’re on the topic of how we carry our baby, why are people so superstitious about what the gender of your child will be?  They’ll look you down from head to toe and depending on how big or small you are, how round or pointy your belly is, how high or low you’re carrying, how swollen your face is, etc., that determines if you’re having a boy or girl.  {Sigh}.  There’s a 50/50 chance, people!  The odds are not against you.  If you guessed right, there was only one other option.  Not only is everyone’s body different, every pregnancy is different, so I have to just take a breath and let people tell me their predictions and just smile when they are so sure it’s going to be either a boy or girl.

Another thing I’ve come to terms with is that there is a lot of mass going on in this girl’s body.  I wish I had an “all-belly” pregnancy, but EVERYTHING grows!  I started using maternity pants at about 3 months.  And.  Cellulite.  We’re like besties.  I have cellulite in places I didn’t know you could have cellulite.  She’s like always there for me, keeping me company and letting me know I’m not in this alone.  On a side note, cellulite is hugely a part of your genes.  I could weigh 115-120 lbs. and if all I do is cardio and no strength training, I will have cellulite.  So it’s just a part of me.  And that’s okay; I just have to work a little harder to build more muscle so my bestie doesn’t show up all the time.

And since we’re talking about the physical aspect of things, can we talk about facial hair? Like I mentioned before, I’m Hispanic, so being hairy comes with the territory.  During my first pregnancy, my brother so kindly lent me his facial hair trimmer and I was freaking out; I didn’t want to “shave.”  This time around, I actually bought one.  It’s pink and pretty and gets the job done.  I wax and trim those side burns and feel like a million bucks.  Just accept it.  Your hormones create all kinds of “perks,” so just roll with it and deal with them appropriately, that’s what I say 😉

Also…pregnancy brain.  I think it’s very real and sometimes I do things and wonder: “I never would’ve done that before.”  But then again, things have been just a little different lately.  All the oxygen that should be going to my brain is being shared with a tiny human inside of me.  This only makes things worse because of how clumsy I naturally am.  My husband’s nickname for me is “the dropper.” I. DROP. EVERYTHING!  Now that I’m pregnant it has doubled and my heart sinks every time I drop something with thoughts of: “NOOOOOOO!” and “Okay, how do I position myself to pick this up?” and “Seriously?!  Again?!”

And do you find that certain movements just hurt more?!  Boy, have I felt pain this time around like never before.  My hips, lower back and hamstrings…they just ache in so many ways and I have to do different exercises to help ease the pain, along with a belly band and massages by my wonderful husband.  Maybe the baby goes through growth spurts inside of you because there are times where the pain subsides and you’re like: “Okay, I can do this.” Then 2 weeks later, you can barely walk and getting up off the couch is excruciating.

Lastly, this girl is pooped!  I don’t remember feeling so tired the first time around.  Then again, I do have a toddler I am caring for in addition to incubating a human.  So naturally, I will feel a bit tired.  If I don’t nap during the day, I will always fall asleep around 8 or 9pm.  Que sera sera!

As difficult as this pregnancy has been, I am more than thankful for the life that’s growing inside of me and I wouldn’t trade it for anything! ❤

Day By Day

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This week has been a heavy week.  A few families I know (my family being one of them) are really suffering right now grieving the loss of a loved one or going through a very difficult time in their family life at home.  I feel like nothing I say will ease their pain or make them feel any better.  The last thing they want to hear is “They’re in a better place” or “God has a bigger plan” or “You’ll get through it.”  What do we say to people that are hurting to their core and are battling depression or trying to understand why their loved one was stripped from their life so suddenly?  Maybe all they need to know is that we love them and that we are there.

I was messaging a family member and she mentioned that she’s getting through it one day at a time, then later that day I read a hymn entitled “Day By Day.”  I thought of her and how all the people I love that are grieving right now are probably just trying to get through this day, then tomorrow they’ll try to get through another day, then another.  Sometimes, they are moments by moments.

The author of the hymn “Day By Day,” Lina Sandell Berg, was 26 years old when she accompanied her father on a trip to Gothenburg, but the ship they were on suddenly lost control and Lina’s father fell overboard and drowned right before her eyes.  Through that tragedy came forth this song:

Day by day and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best–
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Ev’ry day the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He whose name is Counselor and Pow’r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then in eve’ry tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.

I marvel at the strength people exude in times of deep pain.  God promises that His Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105), so I hope and pray these verses bring some kind of comfort in these times of deep suffering.

Psalm 72: 20-21 “You who have shown me great and severe troubles, shall revive me again, and bring me up again from the depths of the earth.  You shall increase my greatness and comfort me on every side.”

Job 5:18 “For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole.”

Psalm 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

Joshua 1:9 “…Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Psalm 67:1-2 “God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us.  That Your way may be known on earth.  Your salvation among all nations.”

Psalm 71:3 “Be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress.”

Who I Am

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I recently read a blog that spoke so vividly about the realities of being a mom and it so clearly depicted what many of us go through when it comes to feeling overwhelmed, anxious, unsatisfied and sometimes depressed (I have posted the link of the blog below).  The author mentioned the story of the prophet Elijah depicted in 1 Kings 17-19.  As I read through the passage, I couldn’t help but notice how if I were Elijah I sure would be struggling with a sense of identity once all of the busyness and excitement of being God’s spokesman, serving the Lord, experiencing God’s provisions, killing bad guys, raising a dead boy, traveling all over in obedience to God, performing miracles, calling down fire from heaven, etc. had been put on pause.

Once he had “accomplished” all of those things, one woman, Jezebel, threatens him because of his opposition to pagan worship and he loses all confidence and flees in fear. He basically asks God to take his life and doubts much about himself and God.  He travels in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights.  Yet, in the midst of his fear, doubt and loneliness, God reveals Himself to him and calls out to Elijah in a quiet voice and reassures him that God is not done with him.  He is to use Elijah to anoint Hazael and Jehu as kings and Elisha as prophet.

How quickly we forget God’s faithfulness in the past that it so easily affects how we view the future.  It’s easy to say: “I can’t do this anymore.  I’m the only one who knows what this feels like.  I’m defeated and I need an escape.”  What a victorious life Elijah lived and how quickly that turned to defeat and fear.

I can’t help but struggle with my sense of identity when my accomplishments are merely a memory or printed on a resume.  Being a mom has been more rewarding than I could’ve imagined, but there are times when you feel so lonely, overwhelmed and insignificant that you forget that God is still there in the midst of the mundane and lack of “amazing” accomplishments.  I keep wanting to tie my sense of self-worth to what I’ve accomplished in my past from counseling, evangelizing, teaching, traveling the world doing missionary work, leading worship, being involved in theatre and acting where people would give standing ovations for your performance, being an active singer and musician…I miss the accolades, the recognition and sense of accomplishment, but at the end of the day, unless my heart is in the right place what does it matter?  Do I seek to bring glory to God or myself?  Although performing different tasks now-a-days like wiping bottoms, keeping a budget, trying to be creative in making daily meals, running errands, cleaning throw up and doing piles of laundry are less glamorous than the former, God is using all of that to minister to my family.  I may not feel very significant, but my family does appreciate what I do and that’s where God has me in this season.  I need to be faithful in the little and the big stuff.  This is my ministry at the moment and I know God is not done with me.

In the midst of our fears, doubts, anxieties, dissatisfaction and feelings of inadequacy God is still there faithfully calling us and drawing us to Himself.  I know God still wants to use me in other ways, but as Psalm 51:10 says: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”  I want my heart to be in the right place and be faithful where God has me because He has ALWAYS been faithful and will continue to be faithful in my life.

My identity and who I am should not be tied to what I do or my accomplishments, but rather, whom I belong to and what He does and has done. My sense of self-worth will be apparent when I stop focusing on myself and stay focused on God’s majesty, grace and goodness.

Psalm 139: 23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart!  Try me and know my thoughts!  And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”

Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Proverbs 3:3 “Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.”

Reference to Blog Post:

To the Mom Who Is Exhausted, Depressed, and Completely Overwhelmed

Tutu Nail Polish Tutorial

Would you like to recreate this for your next party/baby shower?

Tutu Nail Polish Party Favors

1) Start off with a piece of ribbon

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2) Cut small pieces of tule to your desired length

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3) Tie one end of ribbon to something to help create tension

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4) Gather the tule in the middle, pinch the bottom ends together & wrap the other end over the ribbon…like making a loop & pulling it through the loop

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5) Pull tightly

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6) Push each section of tule together to create the tutu look

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