"But I have nothing to wear!"

So, I really shouldn't be blogging right now. I have finals this week and a huge 12 page paper to write on ratio analysis (really?!) but I just had to share my weekend discoveries.

If there is one thing I have been worried about, it's gaining too much weight during pregnancy. I don't know why this is a fear of mine, but I have been SO hungry and often guilty about satisfying cravings that hit me randomly (nothing in particular, though there does seem to be a theme: SALT. Yes, I know, not good but I'm trying!). The weight gain has been in the back of my mind often. I have discussed this concern with my sister who repeatedly tells me not to worry, but I keep recalling a conversation we had a few months ago when I asked her when she started growing out of her jeans with her first baby and she said, around 14-15 weeks. I have been anxiously watching mine to make sure they still fit.

Now, weight gain for me is hard to gauge because I wear scrubs all, the last time I put on a pair of jeans was last weekend. Well, yesterday I came home from work and piddled around the house and then fell asleep on the couch. I woke up at 5 and realized that I had to be dressed and ready to go to Andy's Honors ceremony by 5:20. I frantically ran into the closet and tried on a pair of dress pants that I had been thinking would make the perfect outfit for the ceremony, slightly dressy but not too dressy.

They didn't fit!!!

I could get them on, but they were so uncomfortably tight. So I tried another pair, and another, and quickly realized all of my dress pants don't fit. I yelled out to Andy that I had nothing dressy to fit and he asked about a dress. I quickly realized I hadn't shaved my legs, so I proceeded to lotion shave (ouch) and throw on a dress that...again, barely fit.

I just had to share this with everyone because I was so shocked that I would grow out of my jeans so soon!! Although you can't really "tell" that I'm pregnant, it is becoming more and more obvious from day to day. I consulted with my friend Rachael, who is around 32 weeks now, who informed me to purchase a belly band a.s.a.p. so I can keep wearing my jeans. What a wonderful invention! Definitely something I have to purchase soon.
Many of you have seen this pic, but here was my 9 week picture. I think I'm going to wait to do another until 12 weeks, just because you will be able to see a pretty pronounced difference.

I will be sure to update new pictures as they come.
Now off to start on homework...or maybe take a nap. :)
James 1:17
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."


Open Heart

It is past 10 on a Sunday and I have yet to even start getting ready for bed, which I will most definitely regret tomorrow morning. I have had a lot on my mind tonight that I just can't sort through unless I get it down on paper (or screen). Please bear (bare?) with me as I get these thoughts out. They may not make much sense because my feelings right now don't.

First of all, I am very happy right now. I know this, in part, is due to extreme bursts of happy hormones, but I am overwhelmed with happiness towards my wonderful husband, towards the fact that I am carrying a precious little one, and for all we have. Andy has been working for the past week on a beautiful deck and pergola that we are so excited about. His parents are buying us some patio furniture for Andy's graduation present (in THREE WEEKS!) and I am anxiously awaiting being able to sit outside in a lawnchair in the summer and read my books!! The thought makes me extremely happy.

On the way to my parent's house tonight Andy and I discussed our school loans. It is looking like when we both get out, our payments will be a huge lump sum each month- yes, just for school loans. I know that we won't ever regret continuing our education, but it is a huge payment, almost the size of our mortgage. This thought really freaked me out. I have already been a little freaked out by the extra $225 we have to pay EVERY month for the next seven months at each OB visit, but the thought of the school loan payment made me ill, especially since I will be getting out of school as I start my third trimester, which means that I will need to start paying on my school loans shortly after that.

Anyway, that was weighing heavy on my mind as well as the many things we need to buy for the nursery. These are all things that are so exciting and that I know we will be happy with, but I have been slightly freaking out about all of the extra costs...but, I knew a baby was expensive!!!

So on the way home my thoughts went back to someone I once was close to. This person had everything handed to them throughout life and still does. They have really been fed from a silver spoon their entire life, and this thought has been a sore spot for me. My feelings are so jumbled about this and it really upsets me that I am really struggling with being happy for this person. I want to be happy for them, but I find it so hard to be when Andy and I work so hard for what we have and truly appreciate all we have and this person is given everything and has little to worry about (financially). I asked Andy in the car if he ever struggles with being happy for someone, and he explained that it is hard sometimes but you have to remove yourself from the situation and just try not to think about it.

It is difficult. I want to be happy for them, and I feel that I could be happy for them 100% if I knew they really understood the gifts they were given and were appreciative of them...but I don't know that. What if they could care less? What if they feel they deserve it and that it's no big deal? What if they were hit with a huge monthly school loan would they feel then?

I prayed on the way home for God to heal my heart and to make me realize that I am blessed beyond measure in so many ways that this person is not. I just want to be truly happy for them - as well as for everyone else that I come into contact with...but how is it possible? How do you get past your own hurt and struggles to feel really joyful for someone else?

I know there is no good answer for this...I know that the answer lies deep in a variety of red and black words that I always seem to find comfort in. I just wonder...will I ever get past this feeling, especially when we are struggling with financial issues? Sure, I can learn to be happy for other people when I get my bills paid off and we are living the high life with a huge house and fancy cars...but what about until then (or...forget the first part, since I don't know if that will ever happen)?

I will continue to thank God daily for our blessings, for our beautiful marriage and the amazing child we are being blessed with and the ability to own our house and be independent. I will continue to pray for forgiveness for the feelings that I am struggling with, and will also continue to ask God to give me an open heart and learn to be honestly happy for those around me. I will also ask that I can continue to be happy and never forget how blessed we really are...I will pray that God will show true appreciation for the person mentioned above and hope that they really do understand what all they have, and never take it for granted.

Luke 15:25-32
"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'
"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'
"My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'"


His Plans

I have waited for so long it seems to type out this post. The words have been forming in my head for four weeks, and for four weeks my fingers have itched to make the announcement to my friends. Most of you, if not all of you, know by now that Andy and I are expecting our first child November 22, 2009! This is the most wonderful, thrilling, surprising, and scary thing I have ever been through, but I am trying to take one day at a time and be thankful for each stomach cramp, wave of nausea, and each time I go back for seconds at dinner. At four weeks, I was feeling pretty good. Five weeks I started to feel extremely fatigued and crampy, and six weeks bought on the nausea. However, eight weeks has been great so far!

Today we went to the doctor and were so happy to hear a great report from Dr. Garner. The baby is measuring exactly 8 weeks 1 day, which is exactly how far along I am, and the heart rate was 174 beats per minute. Dr. Garner was happy to see everything was going smoothly, especially after my two scary surgeries I had in the past year. He did say that we would have to do an extra pap smear since Dr. Bandy (the Oncology Specialist) recommended every 6 month screens. Andy and I were so excited to see the baby on the ultrasound and so excited to be able to finally tell the world of our news.

For those of you who haven't seen them: here is one of our pictures:

It is a little blurry, but Baby Arnold is in there, only a little less than an inch long!

So, in just four weeks I have learned a great deal about pregnancy. Below is a list of things that are hard to do during pregnancy.

Sleep. Yes. I am so tired, and I sleep during the day because I'm exhausted, but then I lay in bed waiting to fall asleep, or I wake up randomly in the middle of the night in a sweat due to nightmares. I have had all sorts of nightmares; I read that this is somewhat normal during pregnancy, but it sure does leave for a restless night.

Drive. No, let me rephrase this. Driving is almost impossible. Is this due to pregnancy hormones, or is every driver completely incompetent?

Go to Wal-Mart. Okay, this is hard anyway. But it is extremely hard when you are starving all of the time, the place is crowded, people are rude, smells make you sick, and people are outside blowing cigarrette smoke in your face. A friend at work told me a hilarious story about her being pregnant and passing by a lady in Wal-Mart and the lady smelled so bad that my friend had to leave the store. No one else could smell her, but because of my friend's heightened sense of smell, it was bad. Well, I had that same experience two weeks ago. I passed by a woman that was so overpowering that I couldn't take it. I was able to make it past her and to another area, but it was tough.

Work. This is mostly because I am so tired, so hungry, and so moody. I am usually okay until about noon, when I start getting extremely tired. People tend to get on my nerves more than normal, so that has been tough dealing with. There is one person that particularly drives me insane that will remain nameless. I try to laugh it off instead of blow my top!

Eat. Why is this hard? I am so hungry all the time, but I also am kind of sick at the thought of some foods. Sometimes something looks so delicious until I try to eat it, and then I am totally turned off by it. Or, I will be just fine and all of the sudden it hits me! I have to EAT! If I wait too long, I eat way too much and then it makes me ill all over again.

These are just a few of my pregnancy woes so far, but every bit is a joyride. I am so thankful for what God has blessed us with.

I also don't want to make this blog completely about me. I want to say a big thanks to a friend of mine that I care about deeply. I have worked with J for awhile, but we never really talked much until she sent me the link to her blog one fateful day. Her blog posts brought happiness, sadness, tears, and thought as I read through her battle with infertility and the joyful news that after a long battle, her and her husband were finally expecting TWINS!

Last week, J and her husband found out that they are having two beautiful twin BOYS! They also were given the news that one baby has special needs, most likely in the form of Spina Bifida, as he has a lemon shaped head, fluid on his brain, and a crooked spine. After reading the news, I spent the better part of the night crying and praying for J and her husband. What surprising news to be given - but notice, I didn't say bad news.

J is such an inspiration to me. She is so faithful and knows that this is God's will and that she was chosen to have this baby. After reading her recent updates and seeing her beautiful spirit, I admire her and her husband even more. They are so sure that although this was never their plan, it is God's, and we can never argue with something so perfect. They will be wonderful parents and their two boys will be the most loved and protected children. I ask that you please pray for J and her family as they get closer to her due date as it is imperative that she makes it to 36 weeks for the survival of the special needs twin. She will be going on bed rest soon and the doctors will be doing a variety of tests and research to determine exactly where they will be at delivery. Again, I ask that you add her and her husband to your prayer chain or prayer list. Remember : nothing is promised. God gives and He takes away, but it is never without meaning and a lesson learned, and it is never without reason.

I am going to end this blog with a verse on J's blog that she quoted before her beautiful and moving post about her boys.

Jeremiah 1:5

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I set you apart.