Saturday, March 5, 2016

When You Haven't Had a Baby Yet...

It seemed almost immediately after our wedding almost 2 years ago, people expected us to reproduce. At first, I found it amusing and half expected it.  Now I'm at a point when I'm just trying to understand the "why" behind the questions and jokes.

In all honesty, I'm very excited about the possibility of becoming a mother.  I dream about what our children will be like and how wonderful D will be as a father.  Those dreams will continue until the day I finally become a mom.  Until then...

I have so many other dreams!  I just got married 2 years ago to my best friend and I'm eager to see and experience the world with him.  I know that having a baby right now would put a serious halt to our ability to do those things.  So, while we don't have children, this will be the time I choose to make our dreams priority.  When we have kids, those dreams will take a lot longer to make happen.  We only have this one life and I want to milk as much out of it as humanly possible.  Before my main job in life is keeping other humans alive,  I want to live myself!

Yes, there are some days I think, "Let's just have a baby now!"  On the other hand, I feel extremely empowered by my self-control; by the fact that we're choosing what is best for our children before we ever have them.  We're choosing to have priceless experiences that we will one day get to share with them through memories and gifts (yes...we get our future children souvenirs from our adventures).

No, I don't know how long it will be before we finally decide to take the plunge into parenthood. Much like deciding to marry someone, I think we will both "just know."  We're aware of the "ticking clock" and that "it's never the right time to have kids."  I'm sure when we finally decide to that it won't be after every item on our list is crossed off.  It will be, however, when we feel like we've experienced enough (or when God feels like we've experienced enough).

So what do you do when you're curious about when a couple might have kids?  It's perfectly okay to be curious!  I've found one of the most wonderful ways to satisfy one's curiosity (and I think I'll use it myself in the future)! While recently out for dinner with my parents on our trip home to Missouri, my step-mother asked, "So do you guys think you'll have kids in the future?"  I LOVED that question! Why?  Because it wasn't, "So why haven't you guys had kids yet?  You know you aren't getting any younger!"  I felt like she just knew how to ask the question the right way and I also enjoyed answering it.

What I want people to know?  I want those that haven't had kids yet to know that it's okay!  Whether you're having reproductive issues, choosing to wait or choosing to not have children at all; it's your life and you know how God has led you to live it.  I'd challenge you to be open to the curiosity of others.  I venture to say most who ask don't mean any harm.  You can reveal as much or as little as you want.  That is your choice.  Take solace in that.

To those that are just really itching to know if a couple is going to have children, it's okay to be curious.  Just use wisdom in whom you ask and how you ask.  Understand there may be some people who are really sensitive about it, so knowing who you're asking and how to ask is key to satisfy your curiosity and understand the people in your life a little better.

Along those lines, I also had a really wonderful week back home cuddling babies that weren't my own.  Here is a moment caught by my mom of me holding my cousin's brand new baby boy.  She and her family are really special to me, so I was happy to get to snuggle one of her little blessings. Special thanks to Brit for letting me borrow her baby for a few moments!

What do you think?  What is the best way to ask others about when they'll have kids?  What has your experience been?

Friday, March 4, 2016

Random Thoughts During The Bachelor (Week 9)

I'm a little late on this one because of our globetrotting the past week or so.  Thanks to Hulu, I'm catching up today!

I'll add, this is the episode I hate the most.  Not only does it bother me from a moral standpoint to have overnight dates before marriage, but it really bothers me that it's happening with 3 different women during the same week.  Now that I've made that disclaimer, let's get on with it!

Date with Caila:

*Raft ride...a little awkward.  Not the best conversationalists under pressure.  I'm actually sure nothing of any substance was said the whole first part of this date.

*And just like that, she snaps out of being awkward.  I never know if this stuff is genuine or not.

*It's really sad they never eat any of that food in real life.  It looks amazing.  I would take that off their hands!

*She tells him she's in love with him.  That was also pretty awkward.

*They walk into the ocean in the middle of the night.  Can't say I wouldn't be questioning exactly what could be lurking beneath those dark waters.

*Wouldn't it be pretty distracting to have fireworks going off directly outside of a "fantasy suite"?

*"Ben can't tell me he's in love with me."  Oh...but you just wait honey.  The spoilers say otherwise!  Dare I say Ben is just choosing not to tell you he's in love with you!  I think she's doomed.

Date with Lauren B:

*In any other situation, we'd be calling Ben scum for jumping out of bed with one woman and jumping into another woman's bed the next night.  Yet, somehow Bachelor Nation thinks this is romantic.  Well, okay then.

*Baby sea turtles look like baby aliens.

*Couldn't have let those little alien turtles loose a little closer to the water?  An hour later they reach the water...

*Ben, how many times can you say you started crying when talking to Lauren's sister?  Yes, we all know that you're sensitive. Cue applause.

*"It's a little difficult to tell someone you love them when you know there's two other relationships."  Really, Lauren?  Surprise!

*So woman #2 says she's in love with Ben.  Seems pretty normal until HE SAYS IT BACK!  Wait...did I miss something?  Is this the final rose ceremony?  Oh no...Ben just lost his mind, that's all.  I'm sure Lauren feels special right now, but her hopes and dreams may be dashed when she finds out who else he says that to.  On the flip side, I'm sure Caila feels like an idiot right now.

*So they show their clothes on the floor.  Was that really necessary?  We all know what happened in there...we don't need to be reminded.

*And then he says it again.  Way to make life really hard for yourself, Ben.

*"Telling Lauren that I love her really complicates things."  Truer words have never been spoken, Ben.

Date with JoJo (aka Isla Fisher):

*Ben has a tattoo...a scripture (It was supposed to be Proverbs 16:3 but the tattoo artist messed it up and added a 4 to the end).  Funny because there is no Proverbs 16:34.  If there were, it'd probably say, "Ben, Thou shalt not sleep with 3 women that are not your wife!"

*So woman #3 says she loves Ben and SHOCKER...HE SAYS IT BACK.  He's told 2 women in less than 24 hours that he loves them.

*Wonder what her brothers are going to think when they find out Ben said he loved someone else, too.

*Ben's swim trunks are ridiculous.  He looks like he stepped straight out of the 80's with those shorty shorts.

*Ben says to JoJo, "We're on the same page."  No you're not!  I'm pretty sure she doesn't want you being in love with another woman.

The ending:

*So now we know Ben doesn't love Caila.  Poor girl.  Probably because she's not a blond.

*So Ben knows he'll send Caila home at the rose ceremony.  Then she decides it's a great idea to go see Ben *cough* Producers?  For some reason, I get the feeling we're not making it to the rose ceremony.  Unless he decides to tell her he loves her too?  I mean, he's giving them out so generously this week!

*Oh, I think I'm a little pained watching Caila go see him.  These producers are heartless!

*Ben says, "I"m glad you came over." you can break her heart you doofus!

*Well, you finally make the girl who smiles all the time cry, Ben!  Well done!

*Why do they always hug? I'd say, "Don't touch me, jerk!"

*I wouldn't be disappointed if she was the next Bachelorette.  Or Becca.  Becca is my first choice.

*The small talk by the two girls is a little weird.  If I were them, I'd be wondering why he was giving out more than 1 rose.

*"I'm confident in this."  Wait...wha?!  You're confident in loving two women at the same time?  That's screwed up.

*JoJo looked at Lauren B. during her toast and almost looked to telepathically say, "You're going down this week!"

And on to The Women Tell All!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

5 Ways to Improve Your Daily Health Now

While I'm now back from visiting family and back in the blogosphere after about a week hiatus, I did want to drop a little post before getting back into my regular routine.  A little over a year ago, I had some major health issues.  It was obvious by my labs and symptoms, I needed to make improvements to my overall health and wellness.  While I'm not a health care provider, these are what got me back in working, healthy order again.

1.) Drink More Water

I'm pretty sure I spent most of my life dehydrated.  When it came to taking my blood, this was also evident in their inability to tap into my shriveled up veins.  So, I upped my fluid intake.  On a normal day, I drink between 48-62 ounces.  I use a Contigo water bottle that I carry with me to monitor my water intake.  I saw almost immediate results in my digestion, skin, and energy.  The increase in fluid helped regulate my appetite which helped aid in my weight loss (over 30 pounds down so far).  My skin looked and felt better.  I usually deal with major dry skin during the winter, but that's not the case anymore.  I also noticed an increase in my energy and a decrease in headaches and other joint or muscle pain.

2.) Daily Vitamins

After discovering my very messed up lab work, the doctor prescribed I take prenatal vitamins (no, I'm not pregnant).  Given I will have children in the future and my age, she felt the increased vitamins would help.  I'd certainly recommend that for women in a similar situation or regular multi-vitamins for everyone else.  I felt a increase in my strength and it certainly helped my immune system.  The best news?  When I had my labs done again, my levels were back in range!

3.) Probiotics

You know that bloated heavy feeling that just never seems to go away?  Yeah...I had that.  Then I started taking regular probiotics and I was honestly amazed at the improvement to my digestive system and decrease in that terrible feeling that makes it almost impossible to feel comfortable in your favorite jeans.  This also aided in my weight loss a bit by ensuring all my food was digesting properly.

4.) Decrease Sugar Intake

I'm a sugar addict!  While I haven't completely eliminated sugar from my diet, I've been more strategic about when I have it.  For instance, there are lots of everyday, processed foods that have sugar.  I immediately switched to whole wheat sandwich bread that was sugar free and salsa and pasta sauce that did not have any added sugar.  Sometimes it just takes a look at the ingredients to realize how much sugar we actually consume without it being a candy bar.

5.) Oil Pulling

Swishing a tablespoon of unrefined, virgin coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes may not seem all that appealing.  However, once you get past that initial gag reflex the first time or two, it really does become enjoyable.  I oil pull while I'm showering and then spit it out in the toilet (not the drain...or you'll clog it) when I'm done.  Then, I brush my teeth like normal.  Coconut oil has a ton of health benefits!  However, in this instance, you can utilize it's antibacterial properties to improve your gum health (which also improves overall health).  I noticed my teeth were a little whiter, smoother and an improvement in how my gums look and feel.

How about you?  Do you do any of these healthy moves?  What are your thoughts?

Saturday, February 27, 2016

How To Manage Living Far Away From Home & Family

I've been pretty quiet on the blog for the past week for a pretty good reason; I'm spending some quality time with my family back in Missouri.  My brother and sister-in-law just gave me a niece and I wanted to meet her.  So, the hubs and I packed up our car and drove about 15 hours to do so.  Since I napped today and just had a cup of coffee at almost midnight, I was up long enough past everyone else's bedtime to tap out a blog post.

I moved away from my lifelong home and family back in 2012.  Until that point, I'd always been in the same town as my immediate family.  At first, it was no big deal.  I was in a new relationship and the move was a new adventure.  Then, once I settled in to my new life, so did the homesickness.  I'd like to say that it gets easier, but it really does get harder.  I've had to find the best ways to cope and wanted to share those things with the thought that someone else might benefit from them.

1.) Technology & Social Media

I'm not sure I could have handled this move before Skype or Facetime.  I've really depended on those to keep in better touch with my family.  There have been nights I've been able to watch The Bachelor with my Mom because of it. It gives me a little sense of normalcy and helps ensure I don't miss little, but important moments in the lives of my family. I've heard about an app called Rabbit that I'm going to try out as well for a better way of spending quality time from afar with the family.

Skyping for my brother and sister-in-law's gender reveal party.
2.) Frequent, Planned Trips

I like to come back to Missouri every couple of months.  Longer than 4 months is too long and 2-3 months is my target.  Also, when we leave from our trips home, I like to say something like, "We'll see you guys in May!"  If I can zero in on the next time we'll get to see each other, then the leaving doesn't seem so permanent or so sad.

3.) Don't Miss Big Moments

As hard as it is to make the trips sometimes because of life, jobs, money or other responsibilities, I've also made sure not to miss the big moments in our family.  Weddings, births, and graduations mean a trip home should be made. I can say that, so far, I haven't had to miss these big moments since the move.  When my niece and nephew were born, I made a trip home.  When my brother graduated high school, I made a trip home.  If I have to miss the everyday moments, I'm not going to allow myself to miss the once-in-a-lifetime ones.

My brother's high school graduation.
4.) Surround Yourself with Things of Home

I've always loved Missouri.  However, my love for the state doubled when it was no longer the place I spend all my time.  I've since decided to surround myself with things that remind me of home including jewelry, drink ware, and home decor.  I feel closer to home when I have all the reminders surrounding me.

The daily view on my desk...
Sporting my state thanks to Fifth & Mae!
5.) Share Your Home Culture with Others

I'm sure the people I'm around in Tennessee get tired of hearing about my Missouri ways.  I don't really makes me feel better.  When the Royals won the World Series, everyone knew about it!  When the "snow days" in Tennessee paled in comparison to the snow we get in Missouri, everyone knew about it.  This week when we travel back to TN?  I'm bringing Kansas City BBQ sauce with me and everyone will know about it (and probably get to try it).  The more I get to share those things with others, the closer to home I feel.

Team spirit for the World Series! (KC also happens to be my initials now!)
Some more team spirit for the NFL playoffs!
I can't really say these things completely numb me to the sting of missing my home and family.  I can say, however, that these things have made that homesickness so much easier to manage.

Do you live far from home?  What do you deal to cope?

Monday, February 22, 2016

Random Thoughts During The Bachelor (Week 8)

I got to watch this episode with my mom this week in Missouri!!  This was way more fun than Skyping it together!  

Date with Amanda:
Nice shorts, Ben! *sense the sarcasm*

“There’s an octopus!”  No, Ben. Your foot trick did not work.  That is still just a heap of sand.

“It’s been a long day.”  Yeah, that’s pretty much every day with kids.

Date with Lauren B:
So she takes him to the Whiskey Library.  I get what she’s doing…get him all drunk before he meets the family.  Then he won’t remember how badly it goes.  That won’t work for the rest of your life, dear.

So, Lauren’s sister looks a little like Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

Ben’s tears: It’s that whiskey kickin’ in.

Lauren’s sister hugs Ben: AWKWARD!

Lauren’s dad explaining Ben has other women: Her non-verbals say, “Yeah, I get it.  Shut up, dad.”

Date with Kaila:
Precipice? Way to use the dictionary, Ben!

Kaila uses the word “validation” AGAIN!  This is seriously going to become some part of some Bachelor drinking game at some point.

One thing to note: They never eat their food, but they do drink their alcohol.

“Daddy, this is it.”  Her dad’s face is saying, “Uh, there’s still 3 other women.”

So she went from completely confusing and unsure last week to completely sure and in love this week. 

These people are really setting themselves up for failure with all this sureness.

Date with JoJo:
So she gets flowers?? AND a love letter?  IT’S FROM AN EX!?! That’s messed up!

The tears?  She is definitely in love with the ex.

She’s calling him?!  That’s even more messed up!

This guy is either an idiot or hired by the producers to stir up some drama.

Did you tell the ex how happy you were?  We didn’t hear that part.  As far as I’m concerned, it never happened.

So JoJo’s family is loaded.

Okay…her brothers hugging and kissing all over her is making me feel really uncomfortable right now.

I really can’t tell if JoJo looks like her mom.  Since I’m also not really sure her mom looks like her mom.

Her brothers are really creepy.  I can’t handle this.

JoJo’s mom says: “You’re not going to get hurt.  You’re beautiful!”  So that’s the prerequisite?

Her mom definitely gave her some terrible advice.  I’m pretty sure she was completely under the influence as well.

Her mom just drank that champagne straight out of the bottle!  See?  Completely under the influence!

The End:

And…Amanda goes home.  Not surprising considering the dress JoJo walked out in.

A little curiosity…Amanda walked out with 2 gift wrapped boxes.  Wonder what they were??