24 weeks--the body pillow

People have finally started telling me that I look pregnant, which is a welcome relief. I've felt more pregnant for the past two months, and at this point, when people dismiss my babe bump, I want to say, "Really? There's a baby in there--I haven't just been over-doing the Donut Gems" (nevermind the bag of synthetic donuts I consumed solo this week).

Sleeping has started to be uncomfortable, which is disheartening, because I have the lion's share of pregnancy discomfort ahead of me. My muscles ache more, and I'm a little intimdated by the fact that my pound-and-a-half babe is going to double in size over the next month.

One day last week after Josh left for work I curled back into bed, put his pillow between my legs and under my bump, and slept solidly for two more hours. That night I went out and bought my very own body pilllow, and my nights--while still punctuated with at least one bathroom run--have been filled with much more sleep. Best pregnancy investment so far.

Other notes at 24 weeks:
:: The cold-cereal kick has continued.
:: I also really like salty things, like Lays chips.
:: Don't forget the chocolate. Obviously.
:: Fewer mood swings, maybe? I'll defer that assessment to Josh--if he dares to wade that minefield.
:: Bella Bands are great; they put off the inevitable purchase of maternity jeans.
:: If I had my way, though, I'd be in stretchy pants all the time.

With more pregnancy discomforts in my future, let me end with a question to you mothers: What are your favorite pregnancy amenities? Tricks? Tips? Splurges? Give me the inside scoop, ladies.


another overdue reunion

I almost don't want to tell you the last time I took out my sewing machine. (Think Christmas.) I know. So after Christmas sewing I started battling first-trimester nausea and had little energy for anything but Gilmore Girls and necessary laundry. Then I started getting back up on my feet again and geared up for moving.

Now I'm mostly unpacked and getting ready for a baby, trying to balance work, settling in, and striving for more conscientious housekeeping. And really, I have a hard time being motivated to sew for myself when I'm only going to get bigger.

But last week, I had an itch. A sewing itch. I wanted to cut out fabric and feel the pleasure of feeding it through the machine needle, the satisfaction of pressing newly stitched textiles.

So I found some scrap fabric and made an apron. I even pulled out the aqua jumbo ric-rac. My machine was so happy to stitch, and I felt joyous at this reunion. I spent an afternoon creating, and boy, did it feel good.

I also finished some kitchen embroidery that I still need to hang up. I just like looking at it all. So happy.

My dearest sewing machine, I promise I will not wait four months to take you out again. That sewing hiatus was far too long. Start thinking Babe's nursery.


an overdue reunion

Long-time readers of my blog will remember Katelyn, one of my all-time favorites. We met freshman year, were roommates sophomore year, and remained close friends throughout the rest of college. She was very much an important part of my college experience. (She even knew Josh from the first time we dated.)

{02.22.08--Katelyn's 20th's birthday}

A few months before I got married, Katelyn left on her mission to Cleveland, Ohio, and I haven't seen her since then. She's been home for four months now, and just this weekend I got to see her! She flew up to Portland on Saturday, and after my work shift ended I made my way downtown.

So how was this reunion? Perfect. Think 75-degree weather, the Willamette waterfront, Cupcake Jones, Deschutes Brewery (sans the brew--obviously), Inception, pancakes, and hours of seemingly disjointed catchup that made perfect sense to us. 

{04.21.12--Celebrating at Cupcake Jones}

After six years of friendship, seeing Katelyn was just as it always was. These past two years have changed us in only the best ways; how wonderful is it to have a friend who you can go for two years without seeing and still feel like no time has passed?

A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.
--William Shakespeare


a contract

Way back in November, Jeremy Wilson came for Thanksgiving, and prior to his arrival we made an agreement that if he made his legit Italian lasagna, I would make him Wood Family Homemade Brownies. It was a deal of the best kind.

Just recently I bought a cookbook that I've really been loving. So far all the recipes I've tried have met with rave reviews from this Wilson chapter, and when I saw a recipe for lasagna, I thought that if I can't have Jeremy Wilson living close to whip me up some lasagna, then this cookbook could provide decent substitution.

After almost three hours of work in the kitchen--not just cooking/baking time, but actual on-your-feet-working cooking--dinner was finally ready. I was very hungry and borderline cranky by this point. The cheesy-garlic bread was super delicious, but the lasagna? It missed the mark, especially given the work that went into making it.

So, here's the thing: I'm saving my lasagna-ing for when Jeremy comes to town and for the forseeable future am playing the cold-cereal card at dinnertime, because I'm so sick of the kitchen after tonight's meal prep.

To Jeremy: Whenever you make lasagna, I will make whatever dessert you want, just so I never have to slave over substandard pasta. Okay? Okay.

pregnancy insomnia (probably)

I can't sleep. Partly it's because I'm uncomfortable when lying down, but partly it's because I inhaled my dinner at 9:00 tonight and am still uncomfortably full. I don't know if tonight's insomnia comes from pregnancy or not. Just because it's almost 3:00 a.m., let's blame it on pregnancy, yeah?

So instead of wasting time trying to fall asleep when trying clearly wasn't working, I decided to do something productive and work on editing my friend's end-of-term research study.

Forty-five minutes later, let's try this sleep thing again, shall we? I know that come wake-up time, this body will appreciate it.


recent life lessons

:: One of the worst aspects of adulthood is dealing with unhelpful customer service representatives and listening to tuneless hold music for 40 minutes.

:: Unpacking is never finished as fast as you want it to.

:: When Tylenol is about the only pain med you're allowed during pregnancy you take it for just about anything.

:: The best moments of the day are when Josh can feel the baby kick.

:: No matter your preparation for your Easter Primary lesson about Jesus, the four-year-olds will really only want to tell you about their Easter baskets that the Easter bunny left.

:: Even though two years ago you said that you'd never miss school, you do now.

:: Life really is easier with a dinner plan.

:: Sometimes you need to accept all that you have done during the day instead of focusing on all that you didn't get done.

:: Some days it's okay to chill on the couch instead of vacuuming.


the whole point

Easter embodies everything about Christianity, the heart of my entire belief system, the crux of our existence and purpose.

What more meaningful holiday is there than this which celebrates and rejoices over His life and triumph? What can bring more peace than a knowledge of our eternal redemption, than a promise of our ultimate deliverance? What greater image is there than the empty tomb, the proof that death is not forever?

The prayers uttered in that sacred garden changed the world--changed my world. He suffered over two millennia ago yet the results of those climactic and eternally decisive garden moments are very much alive in my life and world every day.

Today, I'm celebrating my Savior. Without Easter Christmas is moot, this life is devoid of design and direction. I wish you the happiest of Easters, an Easter that focuses not on spiral-cut hams or Easter egg hunts, but one that is full of humble and happy rejoicing.

Happy Easter--I can't think of a more important celebration.


expecting--20 weeks

I hit the 20-week mark over the weekend, which means that I'm officially halfway through my pregnancy. Even at halfway through, this whole baby thing has been so surreal that I can hardly believe that in four or five months Mr. Babe will be here as an external part of our family.

Expecting is an interesting term to use for pregnancy, because I have been expecting, yet I hardly know what to expect in the first place. Those first couple months of pregnancy, from seeing the digital "pregnant" read-out to hearing the heartbeat the first time, I was in a high state of anticipation (and nausea and fatigue). Then after that first appointment when the pregnancy was confirmed healthy, I realized that even though I was officially "expecting" I still had my current life to deal with. As much as I'd love to, I couldn't spend all day pinning nursery ideas.

So then life slipped back into relative normalcy. I wasn't showing, and I couldn't feel the baby; the only thing I had to prove to myself on a day-to-day basis that I was really pregnant was the hormonal reactions and persistent cold.

It's been in just the past couple of weeks (the most stressful weeks so far of the pregnancy) that I've been feeling the surrealism of pregnancy lift just a little. I started feeling Babe a couple weeks ago. It started out like tiny pieces of popcorn popping inside my abdomen and has since progressed to more deliberate and delightful jabs. And then seeing Babe on the ultrasound machine brought this pregnancy to a whole new level of reality.

And even then, part of me is still is disbelief. I have no idea how different life will be, how different I'll be after this experience. What I do know, however, is that ultimately I'll be different in the ways I need it, that Babe will alter our family in the best ways, that through Babe my life will hold more for me than I can realize now.

So, I'm still expecting, even though I don't really know what I'm expecting. I'm living my life now and thinking and praying about my expectant life with Josh and Babe--and it's wonderful.


welcome, April

I have been so ready for March to end, and not because it's been awful, but because it's been so busy, and frankly, I need a break. I need some regular, normal life.

We moved a week ago, and I got most of the big unpacking finished, but I still have all that little unpacking to do—you know, the boxes and bags full of stuff that never really had a home to begin with. And then last week most of my time on and off the clock at work was spent preparing for the store's Ladies' Night (the evening on conference Saturday when all the men are at one more meeting).

Over the past couple of weeks I've learned a few things:

:: Moving + pregnancy makes for an extra-sensitive Charlotte
:: Josh has great potential for Sneelock-hood (evidenced by his willingness to help me make cake balls at midnight on Friday)
:: Cake balls are not worth the effort
:: I just might be handy—I fixed a drawer in our dresser and completely assembled a bookcase.
:: I'm not great at email/texting correspondence when moving—my apologies to those who sent me emails that needed a timely response and didn't get it
:: We would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most.Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Now that April is here, I'm hoping that life settles down a bit before summer hits with its crazy mix of travel, wedding, and baby!
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