I think I start nearly every post questioning time and how fast it goes. I swear I blink and BAM! Another month has come and gone. I have had a lot on my mind the last few weeks and this post will only prove that. Things like baby, finances, graduation, families, commitments, etc.
Obviously baby is on my mind because my body is going through everything baby. I am starting to show, which is exciting and not-so-exciting. I have been having a hard time with it. I know it a good thing, trust me, but I don't like it. It seems most first time moms WANT to show off the baby bump. I am the opposite. I don't want to show off anything. In fact, I would have been fine had we not told many people at all. Not because I'm a downer but because I struggle with all the attention. I'm uncomfortable with people looking at my body - it's mine and I'm okay just blending in with everyone else.
I haven't bought any maternity clothes yet...that's a big step for me. I've been borrowing my sisters shirts that are more of the tunic look. Thankfully I still have a few pairs of pants that fit and I have lots of skirts/dresses I plan to pull out as well. Plus Ash has some maternity clothes she's going to let me borrow when I need.
Things have been going pretty good other than the fact that I want to hide when I catch people lookin' at me. I don't feel sick anymore (unless I get up early in the morning) which has been a huge blessing. I'm still sensitive to smells and certain foods but for the most part I'm doing pretty good in this department.
Oh, I recently had to chop my hair off because my little baby decided to suck all the health and life out of my hair and leave it nasty to look at and nasty to touch. I had been considering cutting my hair but hadn't made the full commitment to the idea. However, things quickly changed when I went to my scheduled hair appointment. My hair dresser saw my hair and said, "Oh my goodness. We need to cut your hair. Not just a trim...I'm thinking inches." I have always said I will NOT have long hair if it's nasty looking (I don't want to be one of those women who you look at and think, "The best thing they could do for themselves is to cut their nasty hair!"). So, off it came. It was a bitter-sweet moment. I was relieved to have the nasty stuff gone but sad to say goodbye. Trav loves my hair long (his exact words were, "Oh, so you're getting the 'mom' hair cut?!" when I told him I was thinking I needed to cut my hair) and for the most part I enjoyed it too. But my hair dresser's reaction was enough for me to say GOOD BYE! Needless to say, I now have what some people call the "mom cut" (ehem, Trav). But at least it's healthy. I'll post pictures when I finally have a good hair day! :s
I am shocked at how much it costs to have a baby. I know that sounds incredibly naive but I figured since we have health insurance we'd get some good coverage and only need to set aside one or two thousand to pay for baby. Not the case. We found out a month or so ago that our deductible starts over every September 1st. Since baby is due the beginning of October we will have to pay our deductible TWICE (doctors appointments, ultrasounds, etc before baby is born and delivery/hospital stay after baby is born)! Plus we have coinsurance after meeting our deductible (we pay 20%, insurance pays 80%). So, we're trying to save like mad. The blessing in all of this? We were able to pay our car off (in less than two years!) by doing bigger payments and putting some of our tax return towards the balance. So, the large payments we were making each month will now be set aside for baby. :)
Trav and I requested a special ultrasound to be done when we find out the gender/health of our baby. This in-depth ultra sound is only done on high risk women or if an anomaly was found during the routine ultrasound. Nic and Ash had this ultrasound done and suggested we do it too, if we could afford it (it costs hundreds more than the routine one). I asked our doctor, who also happens to be Nic and Ashley's OB/GYN (he typically works with high risk or in vitro patients) to refer us. Thankfully he knows our family past, with Mercydez and heart disease, so he said he would refer us if it would allow us to sleep better at night. My response was, "YES!".
We are scheduled to go to the hospital on Wednesday, May 23rd. Ashley warned us, telling us we would be there for a few hours because the ultrasound is so indepth (again, people are only referred if there is an anomaly found previously or if there's high risk involved). I don't care how long we're there - as long as they check our baby from the tip of his/her head to the ends of his/her toe nails. Gender is important to us but health trumps it all!
Anyway, finances have been on my mind but I'm certain we'll be just fine. We live with my parents (HUGE blessing!) and don't intend to move before the little one makes their debut. I don't want to be alone - during the days - as I take on this new adventure. My parents successfully raised seven children, we figure we can learn a few things from them. ;)
I am all but finished with my college degree. I was planning on taking my last required class this summer, completing my under-grad before baby comes. But the crap-shoot of this plan is the one class I have left to take isn't offered until NEXT SPRING! I have to wait a year to take my last class! So frustrating. This means I will not be graduating until next April - assuming the world doesn't end this year. Ha! Just another little hick-up in my little life sketch. But ah well. Not much I can do about it. So, I shall grin and bare it. :D
I have always known Travis is going to be an incredible father. I noticed how he treated his mother from the very first time I saw them together. I don't think I have EVER heard him get upset with her or get sassy with her. I'm not exaggerating either. The guy loves his mom with his whole heart and soul. I also noticed how his father treated his mother. This says more to me than how Trav treats his mom. The example set by parents is more powerful and influential than anything else, I believe. Travis' dad is gentle, kind, loving, humble and genuinely sweet towards his wife. I saw similarities in the way Travis' dad treats his mom when watching how his dad treats his children. I love, love, LOVE Travis' parents. I love how invested they are in each other and in their children. If ever in need, THEY ARE THERE. They're not ones to be push-overs, don't get me wrong. They have healthy boundaries. But they take their roles as husband and wife, father and mother very seriously. I know this has rubbed off on Travis. He will be such a great dad.
I really believe this to be true. Travis is invested 150% in our marriage and this little baby on the way. I'll often catch him looking at my tummy (I don't mind when it's him who's looking). He often gently touches my tummy and smiles. It's ever so simple but genuine to the fullest. He is excited to be a dad! He is ready to take this on. But what I love is his humility in it all. When asked how he feels about the whole thing he'll smile and say, "Uhhh, you know..." as if you really know. :)
I am blessed to say I don't have any anxiety when it comes to my husband and the father of this baby. He will be more than I could have ever hoped for. I know I am blessed beyond measure for this man. I have always felt I don't deserve him.
I have also had Mothers, Grandmothers, sisters and daughters on my mind. Being tomorrow is Mother's Day it makes sense...well that and the fact that I'm going to (biologically) be a mom in the next few weeks. I love my mom so much. I owe her everything, I really do. She carried and delivered me. She fed, clothed and taught me. She made sure my needs were, and still are, met. My mom taught me the power of music through her own love and appreciation of music. This hit me HARD last Sunday while sitting in church. I saw her and was filled with this overwhelming sense of gratitude for her. Had she not learned and loved the piano, I honestly don't think I would love music. I wouldn't have been involved in anything musical, that's for sure. But because of her I had opportunities to perform and she was - and still is - my preferred accompanist. My mom is gifted at the piano. She really knows how to FEEL the music, to read the performer and follow them, making the experience more of a duet then an accompaniment. She is so eloquent in expressing herself through the piano. I love listening to her.
I have fond memories of waking up in the mornings to my mom playing her piano. Every now and then I fall asleep to her practicing (our room is basically below the piano room) or wake up to her practicing. It's THE BEST alarm clock.
My Grandmother, Grandma Evans, and Grandma Judi are all influential women in my life. I have a deep love and respect for these women. They each teach me righteous principles. They often go about it in different ways, but the lesson is still the same. I believe this is because each of them are elect women. They are respecters of others. They value family, God and being their best. My Grandmother passed away two years ago this month. Even now it feels unreal yet so right. She is with my Grandpa, the man of her dreams. She was separated from him for 17 years and held on to the reality that she would see him again - and now she's there with him. This is what makes her being gone seem so right. But I miss that woman. She was a fierce light in my life. Her memory is still brighter than the sun but it's definitely not the same having her as a memory rather than in person.
My sisters...I love them. I love Ash and Aur. I have come to cherish them. They teach me a lot about loyalty and endurance. They teach me the importance of facing things - especially HARD things - head on. Running from life does not help you or the problem. The problem will follow you wherever you go...it's silly to think we can out run our problems. Life is not a game of hide and seek. They have taught me this by the way the both live life and take on what life has dealt them. They're very elegant women. Head strong. Determined. Honest. Sincere. Thoughtful. Kind. Aware. Beautiful. Both of them. Ashley is an incredible mom and I totally know Auriel will be too. She has a deep love for Scarlet. Just today Auriel was the only one who could calm Scarlet! It's cute!!
Daughters. Hm, where do I start. My Mercydez is just that: mine. I did not bare her or deliver her but I love her as my daughter. I don't care who's eyes may roll or what unsolicited advise/correction others may offer. When someone does that (rolls their eyes or tries to correct me when I claim Mercydez) I roll my eyes back at them. They have no idea and probably never will. Their ignorance is, well it's ignorance. Mercydez is my baby. How grateful I am Nic and Ashley recognize the spiritual connection I have with that little angel. Ashley always says, "Mercydez has two moms." I can't tell you what it means to me that she willingly, openly, and sincerely acknowledges my maternal love for that girl. We have already agreed I will help raise her when the time comes (in the next life). You better believe I look forward to the day when I will have my princess and will get to actively participate in her being raised. SHE IS MINE and NO ONE can take that from me. No one.
I also have daughters on my mind because we have a 50/50 chance of having a little girl! So, I may have [another] daughter!!! You know, my mind is going a million miles an hour, but one thought led to another. I must say how grateful I am to be a part of a religion that respects, admires and values women. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints upholds women. The church does not look down on women. The church does not support an sort of unrighteous dominion of men towards women. In fact, it is viewed as serious sin. Men may be the patriarchs of the home, but women are equal in their need and role as the matriarch of the home - the church stresses that. I am grateful I will get to raise my daughter/son in a church that respects and holds sacred the family unit: not just the mom, not just that dad, not just the children but the ENTIRE family unit.
What a blessing this will prove to be, especially in today's world where women are mocked, objectified and degraded. I am very passionate about how ugly the world views women. It makes me sick to my stomach. I whole-heartedly disagree with what they're doing. Movies, music, magazines...they all portray women as something they're not.
I recently saw the new Reese Witherspoon movie, "This Means War" and was furious when it ended. I was disgusted by the whole thing. Girls, if you're stupid enough to fall for the stereotypical-loser-lying-shallow guy then in my opinion you don't deserve the nice-truthful-sincere guy. This is what we feed the women of the world: that we're THAT stupid, shallow and desperate. And these kinds of movies teach our sons/husbands/brothers that the nice guy really DOES finish last. That's bull shit.
I went home and had a nice LONG talk with my brothers about this pathetic movie. Why do we feed our families this garbage? We all say, "it's not real, it's just a movie." Well, I challenge you to have a serious conversation with a niave teenager who's looking for love and see what they thing is "real" or not...or what they should identify love as. It's heart breaking.
Thankfully, I found a guy who sees that kind of bull crap for what it is. Travis would never treat me that way. Travis doesn't make objects out of women (sex symbol, stupid-desperate girl, etc) and I credit his upbringing and his religion.
Whoever reads this, I hope you know you have worth and that worth is more than just temporal, shallow worth. It is much more powerful and real than that. It is divine worth. You're of value and you don't have to succumb to the ugliness the world throws at you to come to feel of that worth. Please don't fall into the trap the world has set up for you. It's clever and subtle - AND IT'S REAL. IT IS A TRAP. You deserve better.
I have had the wonderful opportunity to spend nearly every day with my Grandpa this month. I plan to be with him the rest of the month as well. My Grandma Judi recently had a serious surgery and is in a rehab facility for physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc. She will be in this facility for at least another two weeks, possibly more. Because I am the only one who isn't working out of the home and I don't have any classes right now, I have taken on the great opportunity to be with my Grandpa during the days. My Grandpa has dementia - among other things- and can't be left alone for more than 30 minutes. So, I am here hanging out with him. It's been wonderful. My Grandpa has turned into this kind, gentle, innocent man. Not that he wasn't kind and gentle before but the dementia has caused him to become almost like a little child again. He totally trusts me. He is so grateful for anything and everything (he can be heard thanking me through out the day, "Thank you for being here", "Thank you for making me lunch", "Thank you for driving me [to visit Grandma Judi]", etc). I don't think Grandpa knows my name but I try to call him Grandpa enough that he'll eventually remember I'm his grandchild.
I have come to recognize the importance of the little things. My Grandpa is so grateful for EVERYTHING. He'll eat whatever you make without complaint. He never asks for anything so I have to remind myself to ask him if he's thirsty, if he's hungry, etc. Otherwise he'll sit and read the paper or his book and never say a peep. It's been fun taking him to get ice cream or a snow cone. He loves a little treat in the afternoon. :) I especially love how innocent he is. Checking the mail four times a day, picking up the newspaper, taking out the trash, opening my door (he's such a gentleman!). I let him do these things because it helps him feel needed. I try to allow him to be as independent as possible because I think it's important. It's these little things that he enjoys. His health isn't such that he could do a whole lot more (basic yard work would be WAY too much for him) but I am enjoying taking care of him. I feel my relationship with him has become so much stronger and deeper. I love my Grandpa. This commitment has been more rewarding than I ever imagined. I am so grateful my schedule is open so that I can be here.
It's funny because if I go without seeing him for a day I find myself truly missing him. I text the family who is with him to make sure he's okay, find out how he's doing, did he get his medications?, etc. As I write he is sitting in his chair (just went and grabbed the paper) eating a little slice of chocolate-chip-banana bread, while reading the news! So cute!
Blessings all around.
Paris Part Three
1 hour ago