Friday, May 28, 2010
1. I wrote a Memorial Day-type post about my ponderings of life and death. But Memorial Day was created first and foremost to honor our soldiers. My mom sent me this video of soldiers coming home and surprising their loved ones. I bawled.
2. I never really updated y'all on Ryan's interview. He said he felt "OK" about it, he was just really nervous so he thought he could have done better. I'm sure he did an awesome job. You can't help but like my husband. He can make a friend in the grocery store check-out line! Maybe I'm a little biased since I'm his wife, but I think he's a wonderful person! He finds out sometime next week if he got the job or not, so please keep those prayers going!
3. The day after my E.R. visit, I had my regularly scheduled doctor's appointment. He's still slightly concerned that my heart rate is high so he said to rest a lot and drink lots of liquids. I thought I was having a baby, not fighting off a cold! :-D Thankfully my blood pressure is normal. I've been paranoid about pre-ecclampsia but so far, so good!
4. So the Super Bowl is going to be in New York. No covered stadium. The Chiefs have been trying to get the Super Bowl for years and of course New York gets it first. Boo. Maybe this will open the doors for KC to get it in the future!
5. I have a lot of family coming this weekend and I'm really excited! What are you all doing for Memorial Day weekend?
6. My neighbors haven't been annoying me lately! Well... they did start hammering something during the series finale of LOST and both my husband and I about went crazy. Thankfully they stopped!
7. Sorry, folks- I don't have much more to write about! I have a busy day today! Enjoy your weekend!
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
My mom helping my nephew put flowers on his great, great, great grandfather's grave.
Going to cemeteries has never bothered me. My family has been very interested in genealogy for as long as I can remember. We've ventured to long abandoned cemeteries out in the country where our ancestors from a hundred and fifty years ago are laid to rest. We've even had to take a shovel to dig out their headstones that have fallen and are covered with years of soil and grass.
This is my mom and little 5 year old me digging out our ancestor's tombstones!
While looking at the stories of my ancestors, there is one major common denominator- they all died. It makes me think about death. Not in a moody, melancholic, teenager dressed in all black way, but more in a positive, contemplative way. I've been around "death" for awhile. Like I said, I ran around cemeteries as a little kid. While in high school I worked at a flower shop. I did a lot of arrangements for funerals and delivered them to the funeral home. I sang for quite a few funerals as well. The funeral director knew me very well and could even recognize my voice on the phone without me identifying myself. (That still kind of creeps me out.)
I'm used to death, but I still think it is a strange thing. It isn't natural. It wasn't in God's original plan for us to die. (Thanks again for that one, Adam and Eve!) One second someone is alive, the next- they are gone. But nonetheless, it is a part of our lives, no matter what we do about it.
As young people, we spend so much of our time thinking about what our future will be like and planning for it. What career we'll have, who we'll marry, where we'll live, what our children will be like. We exercise and eat healthy to add years to our life. We don't make funeral plans. Death is far from our minds.
On the other hand, older people, those who have lived long and fulfilling lives, do think about their deaths. They pay for their plot and pick out their own casket and headstone. The grandfather of my best friend was practically on death's door this last winter. It was a very hard time for her because she is very close to him. She didn't want to let him go, and what made it even more difficult for her was that he wanted to die. He had lived a good and fulfilling life. His beloved wife had passed on a couple years before him and he so badly wanted to be with her again. But that is something that is hard to grasp for those of us who are still in the prime of life. We don't want our loved ones to go, because we love them so much and want to be with them.
It is kind of a bittersweet feeling when our loved ones die. It is easy for us to forget that the other side is actually a much better place than here on earth. (I'm talking about heaven, of course.) However, we are sad because we want them with us- body and soul. We want to laugh and cry with them, have a conversation with them, be able to touch them. When that is taken away from us, it is a sad time.
I'd like to think that the funerals my family have reflect that. Of course we are sad. That sadness never really goes away. It's been years since my uncles have passed away, and family get-together's aren't the same. Not a family reunion goes by that I miss them and wish they were with us. However, we always celebrate their life. My family always jokes that we put the "fun" in "funeral." I really do believe that there is more laughter than crying when one of our family members dies. We go through pictures, we remember the good times, and we eat good food. We walk away from the event with an empty hole in our heart, since that loved one is gone, yet our heart is happy. A strange combination, I know.
Death can be beautiful. Knowing that our loved one is in perfect happiness, and someday, if we live right, we can be with them in that perfect happiness should bring us comfort. We cannot fathom what perfect happiness is. Imagine the best feeling you've ever had, the happiest day of your life, the most perfect day- and multiply it by infinity. That is what heaven is like. Our loved ones who have gone before us are experiencing that now. We mourn them? It really should be the other way around- they mourn us, for still being here in a non-perfect existence.
As much as I know that life after death is a good thing, I still fear it. I mostly fear my loved ones being taken away from me suddenly. When I think about my mother or husband passing away... well let's just say I know what I would think of if I were an actress and the script called for me to be a blubbering, sobbing mess.
Sometimes accidents happen. Sometimes they are bizarre. Last fall, there was a man who was driving in Colorado, and a huge boulder fell on his car and killed him. Just think if he had driven just a little faster or slower, that might not have happened. I remember discussing this with a friend and she said, "God was ready for him to come home. I just hope I'm always in a ready state for when God calls me to be with Him."
I still couldn't help but think that it seemed like a pointless tragedy. He was a father with very young children. What about those people who die in car crashes? Or who are accidentally shot in a drive-by shooting? Or happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time? I wrestled with these questions for quite a while until I heard Johnette Benkovic speak at a Lenten retreat I went to this past February. She talked about her young soldier son who had just come back from Iraq. If I remember correctly, I believe he had only been home about a week or so when he was tragically killed in a car accident. He had survived living in a territory where thousands of enemy soldiers wanted to kill him, yet when he was "safe" at home, he had died.
This situation is beyond sad, but she said something that really struck me. Even though the accident was tragic, even though she loved her son fiercely, even though she wanted more than anything for him to be alive, she knew God was perfect. His plans for us are perfect. His plan for her son's death was perfect, even though it doesn't seem like it to us. She said God "plucked" her son from this earthly existence at the perfect time. She saw some hints of post traumatic stress disorder when he came home. What if he continued to live on this earth and was haunted every single day by the demons of war? What if he was so depressed he decided to hurt himself? Wouldn't it be better for him to be in perfect happiness with Jesus, than to be beyond miserable on earth, even if it meant Johnette would be able to be with her son?
It made me think about my uncles and grandfather who have passed away. Of course we all prayed for them to be healed and get better. But if God didn't "pluck" them away at the perfect time, would they have suffered more than needed? Would they have been emotionally and phyisically tormented? I think about the three young girls who were killed in a car accident my freshman year of high school. I didn't know the deepest parts of their lives. Perhaps if they would have survived, their lives after the crash would have been miserable. I know these are all "what if's." Like I said, God's original plan for us didn't include death. But through our own sin, and that pesky Satan, we have to deal with it. But God loves us, and makes the bad in our lives good. Jesus Christ has conquered death, so we know that God has made death perfect. We can't wrap our heads around it.
I look forward to this weekend where I can be with my living family and friends, and honor my family that have passed away. But what I look forward to the most, is someday walking through those glorious gates and being welcomed by my family and friends... hopefully after living a long and fulfilling life on earth! I also look forward to "seeing" my future generations come to my gravesite to put out flowers after a fun-filled day of laughter, joy, and simply living.
Monday, May 24, 2010
This morning I went to visit my Uncle Bob's grave. When I came home I sat down to type out some words for a blog post when all of a sudden I felt very short of breath and had some chest tightening. This has happened before, but it is usually when I'm up and about doing stuff, and it was never to this degree. I started getting an over-all crappy feeling and my heart rate started getting faster and faster. I tried to calm myself down, and immediately Ryan knew something was wrong. He called the doctor, even though I told him not to, and away we went to the emergency room.
I was hooked up to a heart monitor, an IV was started and they gave me oxygen. They kept asking me if I was having contractions. I had no clue! Talk about being freaked out! They even gave me an EKG. All I cared about was if my baby boy was OK. I could feel him moving around, THANK GOD, and they checked his heart rate with a doppler fairly quickly and it was perfect! I definitely calmed down after that. I was a little dehydrated as well, so the fluids helped.
It turns out being short and petite isn't all that awesome. At a couple days shy of 24 weeks I have already run out of room for this little human inside me. Next I suppose he'll start using my bladder as a punching bag. I don't care if I'm short of breath or having to pee every 4 seconds- as long as he is happy and healthy!
I was observed for a little while longer and sent home to rest and drink plenty of fluids. I go in for my regularly scheduled doctor's visit tomorrow, so I'll get to hear baby boy's heartbeat again!I've stayed off the computer most of the day because, well... let's face it- being on the Internet/blogs/Facebook can cause unnecessary stress!
So what I'd really like to blog about tonight is: pray for my husband that he does well on his interview tomorrow morning! Pray that we accept God's will! And pray that I don't have to go to the E.R. again because that was just plain not fun!
Friday, May 21, 2010
Sunday. The End. LOST goes bye-bye. Sigh.....
I am really looking forward to seeing how all the mysteries of this show are solved. I have a feeling they won't be able to answer everything. I sure hope they resolve the big stuff.
I will be really sad when it is all over. It is something I've looked forward to each week. I think I will be lost without LOST!
I really need to start registering for baby gifts. I am officially 6 months preggo, and I really am clueless when people have baby showers. I'm also clueless as to what to register for. I don't know what I really "need" and what I think I need. What products do you spring for the nice name brand and what products can you get by going the cheaper route? I've been looking online for tips, but of course the major results I get are from Babies R Us or Target where they suggest registering for everything in the store. Any suggestions would be appreciated!
I bought one of those prenatal heart monitors. I had read horrible reviews on them, and they say they don't really start working until the 3rd trimester, but I couldn't resist. I can very slightly hear the heartbeat, but mostly hear the thump, thump from the kicks.
I've been able to feel our baby boy kick from the outside for quite awhile. Every time I try and coordinate it for Ryan to feel it, Baby C stops. I started to get a little worried and I kept imagining my son as a little emo child- black hair over his eyes, black nails, saying in some punk teenage voice, "Dad, you are so lame."
But when I put on the monitor, Ryan could hear the kicks. I must have eaten something just right, because Baby Boy was kicking up a storm. So hard that the monitor was moving. I took it off and told Ryan to stare at my stomach. Ryan poked at my tummy and all of a sudden my tummy "poked' back. Ryan was like, "Whoaaaaa...." Then I had him put his hand where the baby had moved and he FINALLY felt his son kick! The look on his face was of pure shock and pure love.
Of course I started crying.
I've been watching A Baby Story on TLC a lot lately. In fact, I'm watching it right now. Maybe that's why it takes so long for me to write a blog post! I need to stop watching them because I cannot wait to meet my son. I want to know what he looks like. Will he have his daddy's nose? Will he eventually have my green eyes, or will he have Ryan's mesmerizing blue eyes?
Sorry my Quick Takes are almost all about baby. I have a boring life and the only excitement comes from the human growing inside me!
The first thing Ryan bought for his son was a pacifier that says "Mute Button." Future Mommy didn't find it funny (OK, maybe she cracked a smile.)
Hopefully y'all haven't fallen asleep reading these. I doubt I write any Quick Takes next week because I will be busy with Memorial Day weekend shindigs. Have a happy weekend everyone!
Go check out Jen's page for more Quick Takes!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
While cooking lunch I felt the baby kick. C.K. was helping me get lunch ready and I told her I felt the baby move. She put her hand on my stomach but Baby C must have lulled back to sleep because there were no more kicks. "Maybe after I eat and sit down for awhile he'll start kicking again." As soon as we were done eating C.K. said, "OK, sit down now!" I sat but still no movement. (Since then I've picked up on his moving patterns. He's going to be a night owl like his Daddy.) The rest of the afternoon C.K. and R.C. would periodically ask, "Is the baby moving yet?" He never did, but I assured them that they will most definitely be able to feel the baby move at our family reunion in July (I will be 30 weeks then!)
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I was looking forward to sitting in "my chair" and relaxing. But my neighbor started working on his 3-wheeler. All I heard was VROOM, VROOM, VROOOOOOM every 5 minutes. I sighed, shut the window to drown out the noise and offered up my annoyances for the poor suffering souls in purgatory.
Then Ryan and I took our dog out to go potty and Chandler bolted towards the side of the house. Thankfully Ryan caught him before he started to sniff/eat the HUMAN THROW-UP on the side of the building. I won't go into detail, but trust me... this came gunk came from a person, considering every time we see our neighbor Joe he has a beer in his hand and is drunk.
That night while we prayed, I picked a special intention prayer asking God to lead us to the next location in our life- SOON! Ryan had applied for a new job the week before, so we prayed that something would work out with that.
Then.... the morning came. I have trouble sleeping because I'm carrying a small human inside me and it's hard to get comfortable. At 7:15 a.m. I was zapped from my finally-comfortable slumber by my neighbor WORKING ON HIS 3-WHEELER!
I WAS BEYOND ANGRY.
I am NOT a morning person. Ever. Especially after a crappy night's sleep. ESPECIALLY since my hormones are way out of control. I know that I joke about being a Darth Pregger/Preg-zilla sometimes... but there was no "ha ha" moment here.
This may be somewhat of an exaggeration (or perhaps not...) but this clip from the TV show V is kind of how I felt when I was woken up. (Imagine Anna was just woken up, not that her "soldiers" have been destroyed. It's hilarious!)
I stormed to the door while yelling varied expletives and ripped it open. Lucky for him, he had driven off down our very long driveway. He had escaped my wrath.... for now.
I went back to bed, but of course I couldn't sleep. I stared at the ceiling and had a conversation with God. I was almost in tears. I was tired and beat down. I very much wanted to love my neighbor, but it felt impossible. I kept thinking about what life would be like when our son was born. I want him to see his mother as kind, happy and at peace instead of a raging, crazy, angry lady.
I looked over at my sleeping husband. "God, please let him get this job." He loves his job now, and this job he applied for would be more of a promotion. He'd have better working hours which would be great for when our baby arrives. I hate seeing the look on his face when he has to miss out on yet another family event. He has so much to offer in his work, and the position he has now is kind of limiting. "He deserves the best. He deserves the best job ever. He works so hard." I told God.
We have been praying for awhile that God lead us to the next chapter in our lives. Surprisingly, we've been patient. It has taken me years to learn that God works on his own time, not Maggie Time. It may seem like he's not listening, but I know eventually we would get our answer.
Well... yesterday, we got part of that answer.
Ryan has an interview on Tuesday! Sure, he might not get the job, but being asked to come for an interview is a wonderful sign!
So I have some prayer requests to ask of you wonderful people. First of all, pray that I don't slash the tires of my neighbor's 3-wheeler. But more importantly, please pray that Ryan's interview goes well. Pray that we accept God's will, no matter what the outcome! Thanks, y'all!
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
However, there is one type of scary movie that scares the living crud out of me, and that is movies about Satan and demonic possession. After watching movies like that I practically sleep with the lights on with a rosary around my neck. Why do I freak out so much? Because evil like that actually exists. A man that kills you in your dreams (Freddy Krueger)... not so much.
Many times when we think of Satan we think of a very scary being. We think of a black-eyed demon, a gigantic monster with fire and a pitchfork, or a giant dragon. We think of death, decay, darkness and ugliness. We want to stay away from such unpleasantries. Because of all these horrid things it is easy for us to say we reject Satan and all his works.
However, that isn't always how Satan works. He knows that if he always portrays himself as scary and evil then it will be much harder to tempt us into sin. He disguises his ugliness into beauty- his evil into goodness.
That is one reason I enjoy the book The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. The book contains letters written by a senior demon named Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood, a demon-in-training. The letters contain advice on how to get Wormwood's "Patient" (an ordinary British man) to turn away from God and to enter into Satan's service.
Screwtape doesn't advise using the usual diabolical and wicked ways of tempting the Patient into evil. Instead he says, "...the safest path to hell is the gradual one." The way to do that is to be cunning, to confuse and corrupt.
A couple months ago my brother wrote an excellent post on how we must always be aware that the devil is among us and the slight, cunning ways he uses to tempt us. He tempts us by believing we have the right to make up our own truths, by putting doubts in our minds about the Truth God has revealed, and even by making us think that He, the Devil, doesn't exist and neither does Hell.
Satan also tempts us by turning what is beautiful into something ugly. It is hard to picture Satan being beautiful. But we have to remember that he was an angel, one of God's most glorious creations, before he turned wicked. There is a Bible passage in Ezekiel that is used to describe the evil King of Tyre, but is more commonly attributed to Satan:
"And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyre: And say to him: Thus says the Lord God: You were the seal of resemblance, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. You were in the pleasures of the paradise of God: every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, the topaz, and the jasper, the chrysolite, and the onyx, and the beryl, the sapphire, and the carbuncle, and the emerald: gold the work of your beauty: and your pipes were prepared in the day that you were created. You a cherub stretched out, and protecting, and I set you in the holy mountain of God, you have walked in the midst of the stones of fire. You were perfect in your ways from the day of your creation, until iniquity was found in you." - Ezekiel 28: 11-15
Think about the good and beautiful things in life that Satan has warped. For example: sex. Sex is an awesome and holy thing. (If you just read the Bible and read some writings of the popes regarding sex, you will learn that Catholics love sex. Hard to believe, I know... but it's better to go straight to the source rather than lame-stream media or to people who don't know what they are talking about.) God made sex to be amazing. If having sex was like clipping one's toenails then His whole command of "Be fruitful and multiply" might not have panned out.
Money has caused greed, wars, murder. It has caused jealousy and malice. Food and gluttony has caused life-ending diseases and yet there are still people in this world dying of starvation. Sex can cause unspeakable emotional and physical damage. Just like the Devil may be beautiful on the outside, his inner being is twisted and corrupt. He does this to the good things in life. He can make the beautiful and good things of sex, money, food, etc. into twisted and dark aspects of our lives.
So yes, we need to be vigilant, like my brother writes about. We should use wisdom and prudence to avoid the dark and dangerous. We should also use that wisdom and prudence to really know and understand the good things in life and to keep them good instead of letting Satan tempt and befuddle us.
Most importantly of all, we should always rely on the goodness and Truth God has revealed to us. We should rely on the protection of His love and the protection of the angels and saints in heaven. It is His purpose that we are happy, loved and safe... and at peace.
Monday, May 10, 2010
That's not what I'm feeling. No despair here. I think reading blogs regarding religion has helped in that area. But no matter how awesome a blog post is, I have been feeling spiritually lazy. Just blah-ness. Maybe that is what I'll call it- a spiritual blah spell.
Maybe it is because of the parishes I go to for Mass. I know it's wrong to "parish shop" but I don't feel anything powerful when I go to Mass. I remember feeling so spiritually uplifted after Mass in my college home town or at my mom's church. What is the difference? I know I am getting the same amount of graces no matter how spiritually satisfied I feel after Mass... but I just feel.... b l a h.
Maybe I should start reading more spiritual material. But that is all I've read for the past 5 years whether it be in text book form or saint biography form. Instead of reading my Navarre Bible before bed I've been reading Harry Potter. (Don't even start with the whole H.P. is witchcraft devil voo-doo and that's why I am feeling spiritually blah. I will go all Chuck Norris on that argument!) I just felt I needed some non-intellectual stimulation.
But I know what my main problem is: my prayer life stinks. The only time I really pray is when my husband and I pray before bedtime, and even then sometimes I'm too tired to really put my heart into it, and other times we start going off into our own discussions.
Other times I get so distracted when I pray. It doesn't matter if I pray before I go to sleep or pray in the middle of the day. It's like my brain is channel surfing while I pray.
I know that steadfast praying can combat this spiritual laziness. I just have no motivation. I could pick up a rosary or a prayer book- I just need to get off my spiritually lazy bum and DO it. I have prayed since I was a child, but sometimes I feel like I don't know how to pray.
How do you pray? If y'all have any suggestions- please throw them my way!
Friday, May 7, 2010
Our baby boy has been moving a lot! I was a little confused at first because everywhere I've read has stated that the first movements feel like "butterfly flutters" or "popcorn popping" but to me it felt like ginormo gas bubbles popping! Monday was the first time I felt the baby kicking from the outside and since then I've felt it a couple more times. Every time I get Ryan over to me to try and feel him kick, our baby boy stops! Hopefully soon Ryan will be able to feel these miraculous kicks!
Speaking of the baby kicking, Ryan and I went to see the movie Iron Man 2 tonight and Baby C was kicking up a storm! That either means he likes to jam out to AC/DC or else he was mad because the loud music and the explosion noises woke him up from a nap!
There was a mother at the movie with four little boys and a little girl. I wonder if that's how it will be for Ryan and I- an abundance of boys! My grandma on my dad's side had 3 boys and no girls. My grandma on my mom's side had 6 boys and 1 girl. I don't know how genetics work exactly, but you know what- I think a bunch of boys would be a blast!
My big brother Jamie's blog, Roman Catholic Cop, is up for a 2010 Cannonball Catholic Blog award under the category "Best Spiritual Treat!" You should vote for him by clicking here; it will make Baby Jesus smile!
I have been organizing photos.... from the year 2003... I'm a wee bit behind! I also need to print off pictures that have been saved to my computer from 2007. I think scrapbooking is a lost cause, so I'm just focusing on putting the pictures in albums. It's been really fun looking back at fun memories. It is also fun to look back on my relationship with Ryan. From being friends, to dating, to engaged, to married- we have made the same face in most of our photos:
Yes, I know we are dorks.
Ryan and I bought a joint gift for our one year wedding anniversary: Wii Sports Resort. It could be somewhat dangerous for our marriage because both Ryan and I are super competitive. I mean SUPER DUPER competitive. And I hate to admit this, but we are both somewhat sore losers as well. However, this game has actually brought us together and we usually end up laughing hysterically. We're a weird couple.
Well, I can't really think of another Quick Take... so I hope you all have a good weekend!
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Photo Credit: Artist MCSimon; Original Source can be found here.
Since then I've always been on a see-saw regarding how I look. I'll go through phases of being happy with my body, then the next phase soon occurs- I'll look in the mirror and scream in disdain, "I'm SO fat and ugly!"
I learned early in high school that there are some things about myself that I just cannot change. My short stature is one of them. I longed to burst out of my barely 5 foot frame and have a tall physique, or at least an average height. But I knew no medicine or exercise was going to make me taller, and I soon came to appreciate this unique quality of myself.
My thin hair, my super abundance of freckles and nose were other parts of my body that I just gave up lamenting over. Sure, I'm not always happy with them, but I found it was a waste of time trying to scheme a way of raising money for a nose job or freckle removal.
I remember being semi-unhappy with my weight during high school. (I look back at pictures of myself back then and wonder what the heck I was so unhappy about!) During my senior year of high school I decided to really start taking care of my body. I started eating healthier and exercised nearly everyday. I wasn't a health-freak. I didn't cut out calories or exercise to the point of exhaustion. It was a healthy balance of wanting to look better and feel better.
And boy did I achieve those goals! I am convinced that my healthier lifestyle helped me combat the depression I was struggling with the few months before my senior year began. And I looked pretty darn good, if I say so myself. (I still look back at pictures from our senior trip, me lounging by the lake in my bikini..... sigh.....)
Then college hit and my weight and body image yo-yo'd all over the place. In my days of partying and other shenanigans I maintained a low weight, but it was due to barely eating because of depression and drinking too much. Sure I looked good, but just looking at the bags under my eyes and the complete exhaustion and unhappiness reminded me of how I didn't feel good.
When I got out of that situation and started at Benedictine I started gaining weight. Maybe it was because I started dating Ryan and I was finally happy. I knew he was one of those guys who didn't care what his girlfriend looked like as long as she was happy and healthy.
The pounds started piling on and then I was asked to be the maid of honor for one of my best friends. Suddenly trying on bridesmaids dresses caused me to realize just how much I let myself go. My self-esteem plummeted, so in between classes I popped in my Pilates DVD and started contorting my body in all sorts of poses that usually made me fall into hysterical laughter. I lost a few pounds, but I was so busy and stressed with school that I didn't quite reach my weight-loss goal. However, since I had been exercising and eating healthier- I was happier and felt better about myself.
My weight kept fluctuating, usually depending on my stress level with classes. (For example: finals week = steady diet of McDonalds and Taco Bell.) As far as my body image went, well, I wasn't too concerned with how I dressed or looked. Many of the girls I had class with also wore PJ pants or wore their hair in messy buns. It wasn't a campus full of super models- we were just trying to be comfortable.
Then I got engaged and decided I was going to take losing weight and getting healthier more seriously. I joined Weight Watchers with my mom and to my surprise, it really did work. I knew I needed extra encouragement to exercise and eat right, and WW definitely helped me. I lost 10 pounds, and even though I wished I could have lost a few more pounds, I felt happy and beautiful when I put on my wedding dress and walked down the aisle.
Then of course the vicious cycle began again. After I got married I started gaining weight like crazy. I'd like to blame happy newly-wedded bliss and unemployment, but I'll just go ahead and admit it- I got super lazy. I started feeling like a fat slob. Then in the late summer I got pregnant and then had a miscarriage, so I really had no desire to work out.
Now I am pregnant again. You'd think I would be worrying over my drastically changing body, but surprisingly, I haven't been. I've always had a poochie stomach, so seeing my tummy balloon because of a baby (instead of fat) has made me happy. There was an "in between" stage where I looked more "fat" instead of "pregnant" but that didn't last long.
I have been eating healthier and walking nearly everyday, so I haven't gained too much weight. My doctor has said I am right on track when it comes to weight gain during pregnancy. There are those people who have made comments about how I'm getting too big, too quickly. Um, hello people- I am a short person! There is only one way for this baby to go and that is OUT. I'd rather look like I'm carrying a jumbo-sized beach ball under my shirt that have this baby crack all my ribs!
Then there is Jillian Michaels, the personal trainer famous for her work on the TV show The Biggest Loser, who has stated she doesn't want to get pregnant because she "doesn't want to ruin her body." When I saw that on the TV I went all Darth Pregger/Pregg-zilla and threw a baby carrot at the TV screen. I won't even begin to address that comment.
But yes, my body has changed dramatically. However, I am embracing my curves. There are parts of my body that I had always wished were bigger that suddenly are and wowsers... it's awesome! There are some changes that I could do without- like stretch marks. My goodness it looks like a cat has scratched up my thighs! Now I see why they call stretch marks "the red badge of motherhood!" Then there are parts of my body that are developing into a sort of cottage cheese-like substance. But you know what? I'm growing a precious human being. The baby inside me is healthy, I am healthy- and that is all that matters. I don't care if I'm not going to look like a cute preggo lady in my swimsuit this summer. I don't care if I ever look like I did when I was a senior in high school. As long as I am healthy and the babies I carry are healthy- I am happy.
So what is my point of this post? I think I have finally realized what has caused me to shift from being happy with my body to being disgusted with it: I compare myself to others way too often. When I have been unhappy with my body image it is usually because I look at someone else and wish I could look more like them. Sure, I might be perfectly healthy, but when I bend what happiness is for me and want to look "sexy" or have super cute clothes like so-and-so I see at a restaurant or in a movie I am miserable.
Comparing myself could be disastrous during my pregnancy because there are a lot of pregnant women out there who don't have any stretch marks, who look phenomenal in a bikini or who brag about only gaining X amount of pounds throughout their pregnancy. If I compare myself to these women I would be even crabbier than I am now, but thankfully I haven't been.
But when I stop comparing myself to others and focus on being healthy- that's when I am happiest with my body image. Sure I didn't lose all the weight I could have for my best friend's wedding or my own wedding, but I felt good about myself and happy for both occasions.
I'm sure this cycle of feeling good about myself will shift after I have the baby. Who knows how my body will adjust to caring for an infant while trying to get back into shape. Hopefully I don't fall back into comparing myself to others who have just had babies.
I have so many other things to say about female-worth and body image, but there is package of Keebler Elf cookies, a glass of milk and a movie calling my name!
Monday, May 3, 2010
- The obvious- get to heaven!
- See the ocean. I've never been there before!
- Travel to Rome... and hopefully see the pope.
- Learn to play the accordion. How many kids can say "My mom can play a mean tune on the accordion!" OK, so maybe kids won't WANT to lay claim to that, but I think it would be neat!
- Try out for American Idol just for fun. I almost had the opportunity to when the try outs came to Kansas City, but I didn't get around to it!
- See a tornado... from a safe distance of course.
- Have a book or even an article published in Catholic media. I'm working on it.
- Drive a Volkswagon Beetle
- Skydive. Once again I had the opportunity to a couple years ago, and I did NOT chicken out- the weather turned bad and the plans with my friend fell apart! But now that I am about to become a mommy I might have to re-think this one!
- Act in a movie and win an Academy Award. I have the speech all prepared. I practice in the shower and my bottle of conditioner is the golden statuette.
- Run around on the field at Arrowhead. (KC Chiefs stadium.)
- Visit ALL the places where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived. I've already visited her last home in Mansfield, MO.
- Ice skate.
- Go to Disney World. I know this sounds kind of boring or everyone has it on their list, but I have ALWAYS wanted to go. I am such a kid at heart that I would probably burst with happiness!
- Go to a U2 concert.
- Live on a farm with a pond, stream, windmill and timber.
- Re-learn how to play the piano.
- See Niagara Falls.
- Go to New York City during Christmas.
- Get another tattoo.
- Help at a mission in El Salvador or other foreign country. When I was a student at Benedictine I had the opportunity to go, but it always scared me a little. I'm ready to make a huge impact now.
- Fly in an airplane. I've never flown anywhere. In fact, my first time in an airplane would have been when I was supposed to go skydiving. Imagine- the first time in a plane would involve jumping out of it!
- Open up my own greenhouse or apple orchard/pumpkin patch. I'm not sure which one, yet.
I have so many more, but I don't want to bore y'all!
What would be on your bucket list?