Things I Want My Daughter to Know: Your Beauty Will Fade & That Will Be Beautiful

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I just caught up with Lori Alexander’s post on beauty fading from a Christian (Proverbs 31 wife) perspective.  You can find it here (it’s great)!

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I do think about aging quite a bit, to me it’s nice, but I’m also aware that maybe it hasn’t really “hit” me yet.  When I’m sleep deprived, which is more often than not these days 🙂 , I DO feel like the Crypt Keeper lol.  But when our baby girl actually goes the full night sleeping (very rare), I wake up and feel fresh again.

But I’m getting older, there’s no mistaking that.

To me, aging is a privilege.

“Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life.”

Proverbs 16:31

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Seeing my husband get older is actually quite sexy!  I love knowing we’re “growing old together.”  It’s very fulfilling in a way that’s hard to describe.

Seeing elderly couples who you know, are actually still in love, touches my heart!

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I think I’m lucky I married a man who is a dreamer ❤ and together we regularly talk about our plans for when we’re older.  The hopefulness of grandchildren, where we’ll take them, how much we’ll just enjoy having (hopefully) a lot of family around us during the holidays.  The real test of our parenting and relationship with our children will be when they’re finally adults and whether or not they want to spend time with us.  Our oldest son has brought up pretty often that he loves being with us and will be devastated when he moves out – I’m sure he won’t be as devastated when he becomes that age 🙂 , and I do assure him he’ll be “ready,” but at least right now, he tears up and says how much he loves living with us.  Everyone gets older whether they want to or not… as sad as it seems, at least it brings new chapters in life to explore as adventures.  I’d rather embrace these things than run away screaming from them.

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But even with saying all that, we still look pretty young – which is good and bad.

Just today a woman at the playground I was at with my children was talking to me, then suddenly actually asked me out of the blue, how old I was lol!  This does happen sometimes, and I don’t get it… it’s a little strange to ask a complete stranger how old they are in my book!  But I told her, and she was surprised and said how it was because I look so young and yet I have 3 kids.  She told me I don’t look older than 25.  A couple of months ago an elderly woman with her grand-daughter saw me grocery shopping alone, wearing my husband’s high school football shirt (where her grand-daughter just graduated), and thought I was probably from her graduating class!  When I told her how we’d been married 10 years, and had 3 kids, her mouth literally fell open.  Still shocked, she told me I looked 18.

I do sometimes wonder if the very cushy life I’ve lived, being married to a good man, having his babies and being able to stay home with them, has led to me still look younger than I would have if I had chosen a different path.  We definitely don’t have much stress aside from his job and some financial tightness of me not working.  But overall, we both feel very comfortable and happy – we have so many blessings we feel guilt over them at times.

But this is something I want my daughter to know and understand.  Even when you beauty does fade, and you start to really show your age (whenever that magically happens), I want her to enjoy it.

Part of enjoying it is enjoying (like Lori A. said in her post linked at the beginning) the relationships you’ve built up over the years with your husband and children.

I do think a large part of why I’m not afraid of growing older is because I feel so secure in the life we live together.  The Bible does say perfect love casts out fear.  My husband’s love for me, his enjoyment of growing older together with me, is probably the source of the happiness I can feel when I imagine being a grandmother myself.

It’s like the ultimate reward for a life well-lived.

Stephanie

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Things I Want My Daughter to Know: Keep it Classy

There’s an woman I know who looks, acts, (and even talks!) very much like this beautiful woman in this video.  For some strange reason, she has decided to adopt me over this past year, lol, and taken me under her wing (in advice, elegant home party planning, ettiquite, proper form, entertaining higher ups, etc.), and helps me a lot with running the events I do for our wives organization.  Her level of sophistication and class has truly challenged me to step up the elegance and effort on my part.  Wow was I ever lacking in this area!

Her sweet, beautiful and kind daughter is high school age, and I ADORE watching their relationship. 😀

So I would be remiss to not post this as “something I wish my daughter to know.”

Keep it Classy 😀

Stephanie

Christmas Season Joy!

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A half-done tree 😉  We waited until my husband got home to do the star at the top, which is always down by the youngest in house who is able to walk ❤  Watching my husband pick up our 2nd son and let him put the star on is like winning the lottery.  So. Much. Love.

We got our decorations up last week, it’s been so much fun decorating with the kids and seeing all the ornaments come out again.  I get so much pleasure from just seeing everything again – like seeing old friends… LOL.

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My mom got us this sweet decoration a few years back.  I know Santa is a controversial figure, but I do love the story behind him, the legend if you will.  And I love this decoration because it kind of epitomizes the importance of Jesus’ birth amidst all the craziness of Christmas shopping, Santa visits, or whatnot.  It’s really about this, when it comes down to it.  None of the other stuff matters, and it’s nice to be reminded of that.  We can have all the other joyful stuff, as long as Christ is still the at the center.

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Love lights ❤

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And at night….

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Our famous skyline.

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The top of the building in the center of the above pic, is where my parents bought their chunks of land in the country back in the 80’s.  All the way at the top in the penthouse.

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So cute… 😀

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Our river ❤  There were less lights for some reason this year.  It was still gorgeous and we can’t really complain – but apparently we have new boats that light up the water below them.  LOL

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Our cutie…

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Christmas Candle… I always try to get one every year and light it every night, at least through dinner.  It’s just a simple tradition, and the light is beautiful for the kids (and me) to look at.

LOL our mischievous one!  Wait… they’re both mischievous… oh well!

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Enjoy this season readers!  Please go out and have fun!  Do joyful things… go listen to some carolers, or watch a ballet of the Nutcracker.

Do something to remind yourself of beauty this season!  To recapture how you felt when you were a child.

Go see some glittering, brilliant lights around in your city.  Really look at a well-decorated Christmas tree at a hotel.  Enjoy some wine!  Go out dancing!

Do something this season to bring more joy into your life, please.

Stephanie

 

November Patreon Dr. Peterson

Awwww  I loved this… have had to listen to it over the course of a few days (just so long and with babies there’s no way to actually listen to it all the way through).

 

Things I like and relate to in this video:

-He talks pretty early on about envy, and why it’s just ridiculous to harbor it, and how to maybe help yourself get over it by practicing the biblical concept of being happy for other people when they’re happy or successful.  It’s not the other person’s fault that you’re feeling envy.  You can’t blame another person for “inciting” your own problem within your own heart.  Unless you want to play the victim role all your life, never growing or learning how to move on.  I like how he continuously confronts envy, never letting an envious person feel entitled or blame other people for their sin… reminds me so much of the things my dad said growing up.

One thing that keeps me from ever really feeling envious is that I can see how everyone in this world has had something hard to overcome – even the glamorous movie stars and singers, etc. they all haven’t had it really that “easy.”  When you have compassion for others, you’re less tempted to envy their happiness or success.  Some of the famous people you see, are actually very unhappy.  Even the ones who have found happiness, usually they deserve it because they’ve made choices to create happiness for themselves, and they have things in their past that are horrible and very painful that they’ve learned to overcome.  I don’t know.  I just want to live a quiet life, enjoying relating to people in my sphere of influence, enjoying raising my kids and trying to help others when I can.  No reason for envy… there’s enough happiness to be found for every person, if they’ll just take a look for it.

Neuroticism – he talks a little about this trait.  It is where you’re always questioning yourself, having negative feelings about why you question yourself, and about what you’re doing in or with your life.  It robs your peace if you don’t know how to deal with it.  I’ve always been fairly neurotic – not a true neurosis like a mental illness… but having “neurotic tendencies” of wanting to do the right thing, but at the same time, not even being sure I was.  If you receive praise, you always question if you really deserve it… if you’re really “good enough.”  You tend to believe that you’re never good enough on the regular… it’s my mind’s default setting, which is good and bad depending on the situation.

This is where I’ve found mentors and advisers (real life people I trust) to be amazing help.  They can often point out if I’m seeing something off, or if I’m actually right in my assessment of a situation or an idea that seems so wrong or even evil.  I’ve had to work pretty hard mentally to overcome the constant questioning of neuroticism, though, which is ok… it really does keep me from being over-confident, while still teaching me to remain confident enough in my ability to assess things so that I’m not bent by every whim or wave of theological deception.  And to have enough confidence to keep my own personal convictions –  no matter who in real life (or here) comes and tries to challenge me on that.  Ironically, not being so sure of myself has opened the doors to many wonderful older women taking me under their wing in real life ❤ which has honestly been incredible.  Something good from having neurotic (negative) traits lol.

My dad understood how and why I was a little neurotic.  He seemed to adore it and would assure me it was much better to always question yourself, than to have a character disorder.  He also would assure me that I didn’t truly have what was a neurosis (a real mental illness).  I think when you’re growing up hearing your dad talk about all kinds of psychological disorders and things, it’s easy to try to self-diagnose.  But he was keen on what I was always thinking, and helped me avoid doing that to myself.  Character disorders were extremely scary to me – the way they’d affect a person and the person wouldn’t even be able to tell.  When you have a character disorder, you tend to always feel sure of yourself – never questioning if you did the right thing, never seeking out advice that may make you feel guilty.  Neurotics are terrified of getting it wrong.  Sometimes that’s a good thing.  It can make you into an over-achiever.

On being neurotic and seeking out advice – the Bible tells us many times to seek out wise advice, and it is one of the reasons why I think I’ve been able to withstand entire communities with thousands of women hating me and attacking my husband and I, without cringing in fear and folding up shop, being intimidated by their hatred and slander and attacks and threats through these years.  I don’t talk about it here usually, because it’s such an ugly topic, and this blog is intended to be on more positive things.

I’ve seen these women gang up and happily destroy a woman’s book and reputation publicly online just because they hated her and hated her blog.  I’ve seen Christian women defend this ugly behavior toward another sister in Christ, and try to guilt trip the Christian woman being attacked and slandered into just accepting it, because accepting defamation and damaged book sales was “the Christian thing to do.”  I’ve even seen from a Christian woman who used to comment here, that she actually wished harm – real harm – would come to this blogger just because of what she writes so that maybe she’d be scared enough to stop.  That woman is the wife of a pastor.  Let that one sink in.

Anyway, on intimidation… my husband knows intimately that he holds the keys to this blog, and if he ever wants me to shut it down, I’d obey in a heartbeat.  I’ve asked him many times if he wanted me to stop or if it ever bothers him, and he always laughs and says no.  But!  If I ever disappear here suddenly, it will be because he’s asked me to ❤

Moving on….

-He talks about how to help a marriage that has lost its attraction, but wants to stay together.  Superb advice 🙂 and very kind to them.  He doesn’t doom it to failure, which I love (being an optimist myself and kind of wanting to see everyone get married… or be happy… which I know is naive, sorry).

-Dr. Peterson advises a paranoid schizophrenic young man 😥  on how to go about dating.  I really appreciate Dr. Peterson’s thoughts for this young man.  Ugh….

He advises someone thinking about going into Police work.   I totally understand that poor person’s hesitation.  This may be where I disagree with Dr. Peterson (for the first time, imagine that!).  I DO think it’s much worse for police officers in this culture, but then again I didn’t live through what he saw in the 60’s.  My dad ironically DID say exactly what Dr. Peterson was saying a couple of years ago in trying to talk to me about it.  If I remember right, my dad told me these things come and go.  Maybe they’re right.  Maybe it will “get better.”  For all my optimism, something tells me deep down that it’s not going to get better, but hopefully I’m wrong.

All I know is it is very hard.  It is very hard to watch what my husband goes through.  It’s hard to understand the depth of uncaring “sheeplike” people out there who have no idea what they’re talking about – regarding evil people and justice, etc.  It is just super hard.  Being the wife behind the badge has it’s own set of issues to deal with – none that I really talk about much here.

Just this past weekend, a sweet male cousin of my husband’s made the mistake of talking to me and mentioning his goal of joining my husband’s department.  It’s really hard for me to see such good men go into a profession where they’re going to be so hated, and possibly murdered simply for trying to do good.  He brought up how hard it must be, and I felt tears coming – IN PUBLIC of all things.  Ugh so embarrassing and I felt sorry that he had to witness me breakdown.  98% of my energy is spent on composure in public when police issues are talked about, I’m really lucky not very many people catch me off guard by actually asking how I am doing with it all.  I’m usually very good at keeping composure, but his kindness was just so real, that it touched something in me deeply and it brought out some tears – that someone actually cared.  So many constantly show that they don’t.  I’ve found it’s very rare to feel that kind of kindness from someone.  Most people want to hate, want to criticize, want to look for something negative, so that level of kindness really touches me emotionally… unfortunately.  :/

I think marriage is much harder for a police family, but also (I think anyway) a lot better BECAUSE of having to overcome such things.  I like it… but I also consciously try to make myself like it (instead of hate it, or feel like a victim, which would be very easy to fall into), but I wouldn’t trade it for the world even with all the hardships.  It’s been a blessing overall.

He talks about the dangers of giving out advice without helping someone think it through or fully understanding the issues they may be dealing with.  Reminds me of the verse saying that the person who speaks without listening first, there’s greater hope for a Fool than for them.  Without first listening to where they’re coming from, you don’t know if your advice will do more harm than good – going on then is a sign of a major pride issue in the advice giver’s heart.

There’s a lot more in the video… but I don’t have the time right now to write it all out 🙂 Enjoy it if you watch it!  Hope you get something from this stuff, he’s really good (and very hated).

Stephanie

 

Our 3-month Beauty

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So September is my birthday month, and I feel like I’ve been given the best birthday present in the world!!!  ❤

After having (and loving) boy stuff for 7 years, it still feels surreal to my husband and I that we have pink stuff around the house and especially all the itsy-bitsy girly clothes in the laundry.

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I think I’m enjoying this a little too much 😉

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Depression Cooking with Clara

Just found this woman from Mrs. White’s blog.  Fascinating stuff!  She reminds me so much of my paternal grandmother, whose husband never gave up his depression-era habits.  ❤

She even makes a remark about her mom giving them just a drop of coffee in their milk… but that they “were happy.”

So sweet.

Fall Routine Simplicity

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I love the beginning of the school year!  The getting supplies (the smell of books & pencils!), getting the classroom ready and organized, and just plain getting back into the routine is somehow really peaceful.

Monday was the first day of school for us in our household, and it’s been going pretty smoothly for now.  With my husband’s schedule, the only time he gets to see our older son during most of the days he’s here, is in the morning, and only for about an hour and a half each day.  Not very much!  And since it’s becoming more and more important for him to have those deep talks with his dad, our morning routine revolves around making this easier.

So to optimize their time together, I try to get up around 5am.  This is often after having fed the new baby at 3am or 4am.  It is hard, but it is SO worth it to watch them eating breakfast together, sitting by themselves, almost as though they’re having breakfast in a cafe.  I feel like I work in a cafe!! LOL  But I love it, being a natural morning person, it’s not too too bad.  I also love cooking… and breakfast foods are my all-time favorite to cook and eat ❤  So cooking them up a nice breakfast, having it all laid out with their drinks etc. and then retreating to the living room to eat my own food and write so they can have more privacy… it’s really nice!

Anyway, I’m going to miss the Summer days of going to parks and walking more and seeing museums etc.  Maybe we can sneak in a few trips here and there, but it’s getting a little harder with each child we add unfortunately, to be able to get out and handle all my work at home.  We’ll see.

Pictures of our adventures semi-recently!!

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Hunting for crabs at night!!!  The boys (wtth a lot of help from their dad) caught 4 I think!  It was so much fun to watch them doing this n the pitch black on the beach with their nets, buckeets and flashlights!

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Tragedy & Joy

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I wanted to write some kind of update awhile ago, we’ve just been so busy or I’ve been distracted – or distracting myself.  I don’t even know what to write now really… so much has happened in just one month.

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I think I’ll try to put it into bullet points what we’ve done or has happened in these past 4 weeks.  Sorry it will probably read pretty strange…

  • We had our adorable daughter, everything went well as far as the surgery.
  • The recovery had a hiccup when I started swelling in my right leg, and then the left leg… I called my doctor, and it was thought to be maybe the anesthesia.  After my milk supply came in and was pretty established, I took a couple of diuretic pills (“water pills”) to flush out the swelling fluid – and it worked well.  Apparently the “postpartum swelling” can be a big issue, and after we got home I began to look like I was 6 months pregnant again the swelling had gotten so bad.  This had never happened with our other two, but the diuretics worked fast and I ended up looking normal again.
  • Our little one wanted to breastfeed so often – every hour for 5 nights straight – that I actually ended up getting Mastitis in that very first week!!!!!  LOL  I didn’t even know you could get mastitis that quickly!  It was very painful but a bit hilarious – thank God for antibiotics!
  • In only the 2nd week of her life, 2 of our officers were shot when contacting a felon.  They were shot right when they stepped out of their vehicle.  One was shot in the face and the other in the chin, the former ended up dying and the latter dragged his partner to safety even after having been shot.  It was so traumatic, and both were about my husband’s age.
  • I’m in a wive’s group that supports our husband’s in their career, one I’ve blogged about here.  I’ve become an officer that deals with events – the coordinating and planning, and since all of the other group officials were either on vacation or unable to come, I had the task of coordinating getting donations for desserts, wives to volunteer, and serving the people at the funeral.  A police funeral is typically a devastating ordeal, but with hundreds to sometimes 1,000’s of officers from around the country showing up to pay their respects to the fallen officer.  Coming together like a family is so appreciated.  Everything about the funerals, though, is physically and emotionally draining and tortuous.  From volunteering for hours, to listening to the family pour out their hearts to us, to serving the army of Police Officers who have come who need encouragement, too… it is painful.  The last funeral before this I cried so much I had to actually go and completely redo my makeup before we had to serve the 1,000’s of guests.  We are in a war.  We lose officers almost every week or other week now.
  • Since I had to bring our 2 week old to the funeral to lead the volunteers, I kept having to disappear to breastfeed.  One time when I was tucked away in a tiny section of the ladies’ room where they provided couches to sit while you nurse, one of the officers who came to the funeral sat down next to me – exhausted – and started to talk.  She was part of the Honor Guard – which is the official name for the group of officers who go to the memorial services and funerals around the U.S.  She was a Sergeant, and from our city.  She knew the officer who had died that day 😥 .  For some reason, relaxing in the hidden corner of the restroom on the couch with me, she felt comfortable enough to let me know how tired of all this she was – how she felt she needed a break, that many of them do, from all these relentless funerals.  All these senseless assassination-style deaths.  I tried to encourage her and let her know how much we appreciate the Honor Guard and her love for these officers’ families.  But I could see it, too, when I was serving many of the officers face to face – they are so tired of seeing these decent men and women killed.  The collective Honor Guard are some of the best people, the ones who travel to show support and give encouragement to the families in need, but I’m starting to see in their faces just how hard this is on them emotionally to be constantly going to another funeral every other week or so.
  • Police deaths have spiked to 39% in 2017.  Again, it feels like we are in a war.  Like our husbands are deployed everyday that they go into their shift.  At the same time, it feels like we’re not alone.  The police community as a whole, is a safe place to show our emotions to each other.  At the last funeral when I was crying almost uncontrollably, one of the older Honor Guard officers came up to me and hugged me – it meant so much, but I felt so sorry that I knew I was making him feel pain, too.  I could tell that my tears almost made him cry 😥  and I don’t want to add more pain to these officers.  It was so touching though, that a perfect stranger would come to not only support us, but even hug one of the emotional wives there behind the counter.
  • I haven’t written about this myself before… probably because I’d have to write it in bullet points like this.  The emotions are hard for even me to put into words.
  • We had a second funeral for one of our officers who passed away from cancer.  We were thankful that he didn’t lose his life in the line of duty, but it still felt like an added insult to an injury.  The funeral was only a couple of days after the first.
  • Even in all this tragedy, my husband and I were invited to one of his favorite Police Academy instructor’s retirement party.  It was actually a wonderful time celebrating this man my husband looks up to and learned from.  We were able to get my mom to watch our boys so it was almost like a date night together with our tag along baby girl.  At the end of the night, his wife let me know they had felt almost guilty holding a celebration like this after all the recent tragedies – her husband had wondered if he should have cancelled it.  I told the wife that of course they should have had it!  It was good to celebrate something positive even in the midst of this.  Everyone there was focusing on the hilarious stories he had, looking at his adorable pictures of when he was young and in charge of the streets, and enjoying celebrating with him the end of a great career.  We needed that.  He did, but we all did in a way.

We’ve also just been enjoying time together as a family.  I’ve had my own thoughts of feeling so much joy when looking at our daughter, and then guilt that I’m feeling that way when our city (and officers) are enduring another tragedy.  It was nice having my husband off for a month… he missed his work and the excitement, but he had fun taking the boys on adventures and us all going out as a family for hikes and walks in the parks close by.

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Pregnancy, Pain, & Frustration

This past couple of weeks have gotten increasingly hard around our house.  I’ve made it to 37 1/2 weeks, but wow!!!  I’ll just say it’s been a brutal couple of weeks and feel like I have a ways to go still.  We only need to make it until next Friday (10 days), but handling two – just two!!! – active and loud kids has become embarrassingly hard now.  We know several families who have many more (4, 5, 6, even one family with 9!!!).  And yet here I am, struggling with only 2!  I have the hardest time walking in the afternoon/evening, and had made plans in my head a few weeks earlier that once Summer started, we were going to go out everyday and have fun at a water park we’re close to, but I soon realized that all that walking, being in the heat, and not even being able to really handle well our toddler’s tantrums when I’m out, would have made those plans nearly impossible.  That or they’d have possibly made the baby come early.  So home it’s been for the most part, and the baby is so low I feel like she could just fall out. :O

With all this going on, I’ve been really struggling with whining and complaining to my husband about any and everything.  I hate hearing myself complain, as I’m sure most people do.  It makes you feel like a failure and feel worse than before (at least for me).  But in these last stages where there’s so much pain at the end of the night, mostly where her head is putting “lots” (doctor’s own words!) of pressure on my cervix, I feel bad that he’s had to hear about all the pain and stress and frustration with our kids, after he’s just dealt with annoying people and criminals for several hours and is exhausted, too.

I’m working on trying to find peace and really asking God to help me better endure this short time left of the pain, and the difficulty of managing the other two kids with less of an attitude that I shouldn’t have it “so hard.”  This article was great for dealing with toddlers when they’re “driving you nuts!”  Getting help from my mom has been a God-send for me during this time ❤ and knowing my husband will be taking a month off after she’s born is so comforting.  And tactic #9 was used today, as both kids had high fever viruses and the little one had an ear infection.  Taking him in to the dr. while having contractions off and on was ridiculous, but my mom came with me and we got through it somehow.

We also had a false alarm yesterday, contractions were coming every 3-5 minutes and I forgot to wait it out to see if they’d go away, and instead drove to the hospital with the kids (while contracting… probably not the smartest idea).  My labor with our toddler came that way when it was his time to be born, and he was coming so fast the Dr. on call had to come in immediately to do the c-section.  This time though, the nurses and my Dr. said I was definitely having contractions, but by an hour or two later, they had gotten much less frequent and it wasn’t really labor.  We’re supposed to wait for a c-section in 10 days anyway, but our babies just tend to come on their schedule!

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So all this being said, I’m really trying to find some sort of spiritual blessing or something I can cling to that will help me get through with a better attitude until she arrives.  Some things I’ve thought about:

  • It’s hard right now physically (and emotionally) to be so pregnant and have a toddler, but that also means she’s so close to coming
  • Perseverance is a good thing… right?  LOL  Paul did say about our sufferings (not that this would really count to most people as a true suffering, maybe I’m a wimp but… ) that perseverance leads to character, and character leads to having hope.
  • Patient enduring of trials is good, even if it’s hard and not pleasant
  • Trials don’t seem to last forever, usually they come and go, and this particular one is so temporary, and there’s such a blessing at the end – a new baby! – to look forward to.

Motherhood & Childbirth

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Mother’s Day has come and gone again, and for some reason each year I just feel more and more content and happy with our life that we’re building.  I’m not sure exactly why I feel more content and happy with each year, but it may have a lot to do with the growing sense of gratitude of living this life getting to watch our children grow, love my amazing husband, and maybe just getting a little bit more mature.

I still have sin!  Definitely have to work on things at times, but in this area of mothering, even when it’s really especially hard with lots of tantrums or just stubborn behavior and lots to do, I can still see the end result in mind, especially at the end of the day (happy adults that know they were truly loved – no, adored!) and it somehow gets me through those tantrums.

Motherhood is hard at times.  Life in general has so many unexpected things come up and little struggles or trials, to me, mothering my kids just falls in line with normal everyday things to face.  There are many ups and downs with small children when they’re teething or in a tantrum phase, but I think it’s harder if you don’t really understand the fact that it is going to be hard to begin with.

There’s a new disturbing trend of moms on social media complaining about Mother’s Day, using it as an excuse to say how unfair it is that even on that day where they’re supposed to be honored, they still have to take care of their children (wipe noses or change diapers), or clean sometimes.  From reading several of these kinds of posts and videos for 2 years (posted the week before to prep women to feel jipped), it’s clear these moms don’t understand that life is just hard.  Mother’s Day doesn’t always go perfectly or smoothly, especially with small children – and it comes across as insanely immature of an adult woman who doesn’t understand this reality.  Or one who understands it, but still acts like it’s not fair and has an online virtual pity party about the duties of being a mom.

From one of my favorite books that my parents had loved when I was growing up (and got me reading before I was a teenager:

“Life is difficult.

This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths.  It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it.  Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult.  Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.

Most do not fully see this truth that life is difficult.  Instead they moan more or less incessantly, noisily or subtly, about the enormity of their problems, their burdens, and their difficulties as if life were generally easy, as if life should be easy.

They voice their belief, noisily or subtly, that their difficulties represent a unique kind of affliction that should not be and that has somehow been especially visited upon them….  I know about this moaning because I have done my fair share.

Life is a series of problems.  Do we want to moan about them or solve them?  Do we want to teach our children to solve them?”

                  -The Road Less Traveled

So back to motherhood… yes, it’s hard, but it’s also so beautiful and I think, really grows us as women to have to go through the struggles of mothering.  Anything hard generally (in my opinion) helps us to grow and mature.  At least it can, if we accept the struggle and go through it trying to learn from it and become better.  Unfortunately, as The Road Less Traveled points out, many people don’t allow problems and trials in their life to grow and mature them.  It’s easier to complain and have self-pity for our own struggles.

I love this quote from the 1800’s by Anne Pratt about the virtue of seeing life optimistically as a wife and mother:

“Every one must have remarked how pleasant is that household in which a cheerful spirit of energy is cultivated by the mistress and mother.

It is a pleasant thing to dwell with one who is not troubled by trifling annoyances,

who is skilled in looking at the bright side of things, and hoping for the best;

with one who believes that all the ways of the Lord are right,

and who attaches a deep importance to duty.

Such a one will work willingly, in the belief that God has appointed both her lot and her duties,

and it is surprising how many obstacles are met and overcome by such a spirit.”

~ Anne Pratt

In my life, it IS surprising how many obstacles we’ve overcome together, my husband and I, due to having such a spirit of adventure, optimism and gratitude.  In really hard times, it’d be easier to complain or fight or even blame each other, but instead we work together as a team to solve the problem and learn from it.  It really makes all the difference!

CHILDBIRTH

This is just an update on the pregnancy, but since it’s a “motherhood” post, I thought I’d squeeze it in here.

So because our first child was an emergency c-section, and afterwards we decided to not try a V-BAC, this will be my 3rd c-section.  We’re so lucky these days, even to be able to have c-sections!  I recently heard that death during childbirth affected 65% of women during the 19th century.  Obviously the risk is far less for us now, but still, having had repeated c-sections, medically we know each time the risk increases.  Then there’s always uterine rupture or tears where the scar has been cut and re-cut – these also increase with repeated pregnancies unfortunately.

Last time around I remember trying to prepare Patrick for if I was to die in childbirth during the c-section – I know it’s a slight chance, but you never know what’s going to happen and since there was that possibility, why not mentally prepare for it?  I wanted him to know that I wanted him to be happy and to remarry.  It’s been the same this time, except I’ve been having very strong pains where the old c-section scars are, which my doctor thinks is scar tissue stretching (little tears), and probably not “windows” which are where the uterus is so thin that you’re actually able to see things like the baby’s hair.  Windows are supposed to be painless, so the pain I feel at times is probably just stretching (hopefully!).  The risk of uterine rupture is still there though, even though it’s still likely very small.

Anyway, we really want at least to be able to have one more child after this, but unfortunately it depends on the state of my uterus – sometimes they can apparently become “paper thin,” or if they see windows when they open me up, or little tears, etc.  They’ll likely then advise me that I shouldn’t attempt another pregnancy.  😥  We’ll see, many women are able to have up to 5 or 6 c-sections… but it all depends on that particular woman’s genetics and her unique uterus thickness, strength, and elasticity.

Again, we’ll see.