Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Come Thou Long Expected…

We are singing “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” at church on Christmas Eve this Wednesday. (The Tab is currently open on my internet window.) And it just dawned on me that I’ve essentially just been singing “Come Thou Long Expected Second Trimester” for 3 months now, and not doing a darn ’nother thing. Today is my first day of the second trimester. It’s Long Awaited Arrival is here.

It also occurred to me that song/bible verse “as the deer panteth for the water” has a different meaning for me now.  I have no idea what it feels like to be a deer and need water, but I am pretty sure this verse/song could be made stronger by changing it to “as the pregnant women pantheth for…” and you could say just about anything there. Like "second trimester", "to give birth", or even icecream/pickles/what-have-you. Pregnancy is one heck of an intense form of longing.
     Honestly, it’s so intense, that just giving that whole thought a good pondering kinda has me realizing my priorities might not be as good as I’d hope they’d be. I am not sure I’ve ever really gotten past my carnal needs/desires in order to long for God as strong as those intense moments in my physical existence where I’m longing so overwhelmingly that it’s the only thing I can think of. (Sorry this is way too heavy for the random start of this blog post.) But I do think in a way, having gone through these hard physical experiences does change how I need God, even if I can’t say I’d sing my new wording with full sincerity.

On that random, too heavy, out of nowhere, note I’d like to say, if you still read this blog at all. Thanks. I know it’s just a random modge podge of stuff anymore. I have zero blog focus. I don’t know that I’ve offered much of any useful information or interesting thoughts for a good 3 months. I’ve basically just sat here typing how I feel like crap for weeks. If you’ve stuck with me through that. Thanks. That’s love.

I’m hoping this long awaited second trimester brings me some relief and some energy.  I’m really rarin’ to go back to work on the house. I’ve spent these three months stuck on the couch, day dreaming up new plans and schemes for our less finished spaces.
Read: I’ve racked my brain till it hurts over this hard to design long narrow living room of mine. But I think I’ve at least come up with a color scheme to be excited about. I’ve abandoned the navy blue idea I mentioned earlier. A bit to Blake’s chagrin. But the more I looked at that room and really envisioned it that dark and that blue I just couldn’t feel at home in it. Plus, truth me told, I’m more of a green girl. Blue usually doesn’t do it for me as much as green does. Unless we can add some green to the blue, then we have magic.
     But in terms of this space, it’s right next to our reading room which is a vibrant green, with a dollop of blue to it.  So I have to be careful what I place next to it so they don’t fight.
     So in terms of the living room I think what I’m now leaning towards is a peaceful, sort of Lake Michigan blue-ish green-ish slightly vaguely gray (because it’s lake michigan and it doesn’t get tropical water blue) but mixed slightly with kinda happy robin’s egg blue. Maybe. (Give me a week and see if I don’t change my mind.)
    But I was inspired by some reading I did of how to paint long narrow rooms. Most everything I can find suggests painting the short end walls a darker color than then long walls. Which would give the room a suggestion of being square instead of rectangular. And one source said putting a pattern on the short walls will help even more to bring those walls forward and help "square off” the room.

 After pondering that over. I was really inspired by this wallpaper. As well as the general kinda fun and funky yet kinda traditional vibe of this room.

(It’s not 100% me. I’m not so into that light, for instance. But I’m realizing my general style is something of a new meets old, but an older old than mid-century (no matter how much a do enjoy that style.) I’m closer to antique vintage, myself. I knew that at one point, but sort of forgot it for a while.)

Anyway, I think I’d like to kinda fake that fun modern, yet antique wallpaper look on my short walls with a stencil.
(Because I will cry if I have to take down any more paper ever again.) (Also I can save myself mucho money, but not buying wallpaper.)  (But really the idea of taking it down later, just too much. TOO MUCH!)

I kinda like the simpleness of the just white(ish) in this photo, so I don’t know if I’d try bright colors like the wallpaper or not yet. Time will tell.

Now I just have to kinda lock down two colors for the walls. (I have my usually stack of tons and tons of barely different colors.)
Blake was happy to hear I’d still be including some dark, for the short walls. But I’m not sure how dark I will go.

Speaking of dark. That room, has felt incredibly dark since we bought the house. It has no over head lighting (hope to fix that someday.) So I always just attributed the dark feel to that. But it did always seem kinda counterintuitive since there is a window and a large windowed french door. But that goes into the sunroom, so I figured the light just couldn’t make it in. And the window just must be facing the wrong way for light.

Well that has all changed this weekend!!

 Blake’s family came into town to help us do a bit of work on the house for a day.

   The first thing Blake and his dad tackled was cutting down the very dead pine tree in our front yard. The tree was half alive when we bought the house (it had been overly limbed up and I think that did it in), but had since completely given up the ghost. It definitely needed to go.

Dead Tree, needs to go.

   We were all shocked at how easily it came down and how fast they were able to get it cleaned up and hauled off. 

I think within an hour and a half the tree looked like it had never been there and the guys were already back from hauling away the remains.  It was crazy.

It cost $18 to dispose of. Who knows how much it would have cost to have professionally removed. (Tree removal is super pricey.) DYI! Always so fulfilling.

The yard looks so great without it there. So great, it’s almost like nothing happened because it feels “right” for once.

Flash back fun:
Pre-ownership --

    Since that went so fast they were also able to do a couple more great things like:

Put up the electric for our future ceiling fans in the sunroom.

    And quite possibly my favorite event of the weekend...
(The other two were bigger deals, but this one changes my day to day more.)

Taking off the awning from the living room window. When we bought the house a couple people asked if I’d take the awing off (bottom left).

 But I thought it kinda evened out the porch roof line from the outside, and I figured the sun must attack the living room at night or something for it to be needed. After living here for a year, there was one season (forgot which now) where the sun did set into the room a bit, but not that much. It seemed kinda pointless, but one silly thing I did like about it was the way the rain sounded dripping onto it. So peaceful. It just kinda amped up raindrop sounds, which I love.

Here’s a terrible shot (including a toilet in the scary looking, no floor, started-to-paint-it living room) which shows how the awning covers up half the view and takes away lots of light.

     But as I started trying to figure out colors for this room I became certain that awning had to go. I didn’t think it would change much, but I figured it would add a smidgen of light.
    Once it was off, it was like the whole world opened up. 
I have no feel on the objects in this photo -- just the light. Layout & items belonging in this room still a mystery.

I had no idea the improvement could be so huge. The front window faces west. It doesn’t get direct sun until sunset, but even still, now the room fills up fully with light as soon as the sun is up, to nearly three fourths of the way down the long walls --- and even the last fourth still is significantly brighter. And to put the cherry on top --- the days since the awning removal have either been cloudy or rainy! A bright day is gonna knock my socks off!

The light makes a big difference in the entryway, the hallway towards the kitchen, and the light even makes it around a corner into the downstairs bathroom a bit. So awesome!

 Also…. the windows look HUGE now. They actually are really big, but I just had no idea before. 

The room feels fantastic. I finally feel drawn to the space.
I am SO SO SO glad we took it down. It was like a 5 min job. But it basically changed everything. (And it looks good from the outside too.) 

I really can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner. But honestly, I don’t mind that I waited so long because now I get to really really appreciate the difference, and the space will feel extra special to me now.

As far as pregnancy goes.

This week I was still tired and nauseous. My mom was awesome and came down this week and helped me clean everything. My house has been so messy and gross since I got pregnant. So it felt great to have a fresh start. And even though she did most the work, I was wiped out from the stuff I did do. I tell ya, this pregnancy stuff isn’t a cake walk. 
   I so often feel defeated by it. I’m used to thinking of myself as really capable. I’m used to being able to muster up strength and stamina to get hard stuff done. I’ve started to put accomplishments under my belt and look back on them to give the strength for new hard things. But right now, looking at those accomplishments are just baffling because I can’t physically accomplish more than mere survival. It makes me feel really wimpy.

    That said. I feel like my mental place is improving. I’ve been reading pregnancy stuff, which is bolstering me. 
    This week’s read is Ina May’s “Birth Matters.” I’m not done with it, to write about it. But it’s an awesome book. Highly recommend. 

Ina May is wonderful. Midwives like her (I’ve been blessed to get to know a couple in person) seriously improve life as a whole -- not just birth, but the whole essence of existence. Which is something Ina May touches on initially in her book, that a society who values birth and mothers will value so much more. It’s super true. 

   I’ve also been listening to my Hypnobabies “joyful pregnancy affirmations” every night now. (I’ve been having a hard time falling asleep lately, despite feeling tired all the time, so I enjoy how it kinda primes me for sleep.) And I think that is also really helping my mental state.

I really hope this week says “Yay second trimester.” But I kinda think I may have a bit longer to go before that sensation comes.

I’m getting round ligament pains when I get up now. And I get really stiff after sitting. And my hips are lose enough already that I often catch myself waddling -- I really can’t believe that -- but it’s what’s happening.

The good news is that the food I’ve been craving to cure the nausea has taken a dramatic turn from carbs and crap…. to veggies. Which is super encouraging. A little tricky because I feel hungry faster after those, and so I get nauseous more frequently through the day. But I’m so happy my body wants healthy things now.

      This week I’ve been feeling the baby move. There was one evening where I was positive that’s what I was feeling. And that little one was really going at it. That was pretty fun. I don’t feel that all the time though. I haven’t felt much after that evening. 

     This week I’ve also begun to feel braxton hicks. I think I felt them this early with my second pregnancy, but I didn’t know what I was feeling. (Having not felt natural contractions prior.) Back then I thought it felt like a bigger baby pushing hard on my belly with feet for a long time, despite knowing the baby wasn’t big enough to do that, so I had no explanation for the sensation. Now I know what real contractions feel like, and I know what they are, so I know these are braxton hicks. I don’t mind them a bit. Actually they kinda amuse me. I like when they are strong enough to turn my uterus into a round little ball so I can really tell where it is. It’s a lot bigger than I thought it would be now. I kinda just thought I was eating too much, and my belly was all food. But once it was hard, I was like “wow my uterus is already way up here.”

Speaking of which, I’d say this bump is officially official now. Poppin out, bigger and lower, than last week.

I’d say I’m trumpin the prior pregnancies by a lot.

14 weeks with Baby #1

Part of me wants to be like “Oh crap, I’m gonna be huge.”

 But I’m sticking to my Hypnobabies affirmation,
 “I love my pregnant body and accept it every day.”

Also, I keep reminding myself this little tid-bit. We just signed up for (different) life insurance. And had to have the health exam for that. I was all worried I’d get a crappier rate since I’m pregnant and have gained weight and figured my heart rate would be wacky. But apparently our Life Insurance person has on two separate occasion brought up to Blake how awesome my rate is because my health is so great. I keep telling myself that when I want to freak out about 'getting huge' --
“I’m healthy. I’m healthy. I’m healthy. That’s the real issue. Not what I look like." 

But I’ve got a good hubby who tells me I’m pretty all the time -- so that helps.

 Even if most the time I laugh at him
 because when he tells me when I usually feel like I’m lookin all:
 "'How I Met Your Mother' Season 6, Episode 1"’s Robin who’s let herself go: 

I’ll leave you with that. :)

Hope you have a Great Christmas or Holiday!

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