Nurturing My Heart

18 Mar

Lately, I’ve been feeling convicted of the fact that I’m neglecting my own heart. It’s so easy to lose sight of the gospel and forget to “feed” your heart with God’s Word when you have so much other stuff going on (work, marriage, pregnancy, weekends, planning, life in general).

I just started reading a book called “A Mom After God’s Own Heart” by Elizabeth George and it’s been so encouraging and convicting, particularly her reminder of the importance of nurturing my heart and filling it with spiritual food on a daily basis – especially as a soon-to-be-mom.

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She points out 4 major, serious issues that surface when you don’t regularly dive into God’s Word:

  • You start running on empty. Your parenting is empty and evidences of apathy creep into your life. You become dull and devoid of spiritual energy, purpose, motivation, and accomplishment.
  • You become heartless. You put yourself and your parenting on auto-pilot. You give in and give up the fight for godly standards and behavior. You fail to make the effort to live out God’s calling to be moms after Him.
  • You become worldly. You find yourself preoccupied with the things of this world, enamored by earthly pursuits and rewards. You stop following God’s criteria and His ways, and start walking in the ways of the world.
  • You become carnal or unspiritual. You fulfill the lust of the flesh and it becomes evident in your parenting. There will be screaming, yelling, belittling, name-calling, maybe even the slapping, shaking, or pushing of children around.

Scary, right? And honestly? I can already see the impact of skipping my daily Bible reading in some aspects of my life now. It affects my husband, my co-workers, other drivers during my commute, and even my innocent dog.

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This is Dodger, our dog.

Look at that face. You wouldn’t think that anyone could lose their patience with him, but when I allow myself to give into my temper and my pride, it all goes out the window. My pregnancy hormones are also partly to blame, but it’s mostly an issue of the heart. It’s been my biggest prayer that God would transform my heart, and it all begins with being more dedicated in reading the Bible every day and spending more time in prayer.

I want to be start building better spiritual discipline & habits for when I am raising Milo and hopefully be able to lead by example. Thank goodness for God’s grace and mercy, which are new every morning!

 

Pregnancy Update: 20 Weeks!

13 Feb

We’re halfway there! I can’t believe it! I’ll start with pictures first, and then include a wordier update afterwards for those of you who care :) I’m 5 months pregnant now (it’s still so crazy that I get to say that), and we’ve got 20 weeks left until we meet our baby. Here are photos of the growing bump during the second trimester (the first picture is my “starting point” at 10 weeks):

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At our 17 week appointment, the doctor was able to determine the baby’s sex! He printed out the scan and put it in an envelope along with a post-it that read either “boy” or “girl.” We waited ALL DAY to open the envelope over dinner (it nearly killed me). When we opened it, we both caught a glimpse of the post-it before the actual sonogram and flipped out. And we had it confirmed during our anatomy scan. It’s a …

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BOY!

I had a hunch it was a boy the whole time (especially due to the lack of any morning sickness), but we were both still kiiinda expecting it to be a girl, so it was a surprise. Knowing he’s a boy has made it seem so much more real. We’ve even decided on a name: Milo! It means “mild, peaceful, merciful,” and with God’s grace, that is exactly the type of little boy we hope baby Milo grows up to be.

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Waving hello at 18 weeks

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Can’t resist when I see stuff like this!

Now onto the pregnancy updates! A good blogger would have posted regular weekly updates, but a lazy blogger will do a single post that covers the first 20 weeks. :)

How far along: 20 weeks
Total weight gain: 8 lbs (this has been a fun guessing game between me and Paul every time I get weighed at the doctor’s office).
Maternity clothes: So far, I’ve invested in two pairs of maternity jeans, one pair of maternity leggings, one maternity skirt, and two maternity shirts. They’re all so comfortable! I’ll probably continue wearing them for the next decade.
Sleep: Not great. I am an avid back sleeper, so it’s been hard getting used to sleeping on my side. My sister got me a Boppy maternity pillow and it helps. But I’ll still get up about 6 times a night, and it’s almost impossible to fall back asleep.
Exercise: I’ve been getting into prenatal pilates/yoga lately, and I’m enjoying it so far! I heard it helps with breathing techniques and core strengthening and balance, which I desperately need. Other than that, it’s been hard trying to stay active during this pregnancy. It’s hard when all you want to do is sit on the couch and watch Friends on Netflix.
Best moment(s) so far: Finding out that baby is a he, and feeling the first kicks!
Miss anything: Salami and sushi. I want a chirashi bowl more than anything right now.
Movement: I started feeling flutters at around 17/18 weeks. He’s moving around pretty consistently now. I have a feeling he’s going to be an active baby.
Food cravings: Chipotle, tacos, udon, ramen, pretty much food in general. I eat sooo much!
Mood swings: My hormones have been out of control. My poor husband (and dog) have been on the receiving end of the majority of these moments, but they’ve both been so patient with me.
Have you started to show yet: Yup! I think the belly noticeably popped by 16 weeks.
Gender: It’s a boy!
Belly button in or out: It’s gotten pretty shallow, but it’s still in.
Wedding rings on or off: On.
Looking forward to: Decorating the nursery and the day Paul finally feels the baby kick from outside the belly :)

Hopefully I’ll find some time to do another post soon. Otherwise, see you in the third trimester!

We’re Having a Baby!

25 Oct

I’m 13 weeks along and everything looks great! Baby is due July 3, 2015.

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Right after we got a positive home pregnancy test in Oct, I left for a work trip to Vegas, and the entire time I kept thinking, “Am I really pregnant?” It was so surreal. When I got back, we scheduled our first prenatal appointment to fill out paperwork and confirm the pregnancy with a blood test.

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At our 6 week prenatal appointment, we got to see our little tadpole for the first time! We saw the embryo and fetal pole, and we even saw/heard the heartbeat flickering.

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6 week ultrasound

When we went back for our 8 week prenatal appointment, we couldn’t believe how much our bean had grown in just two weeks. He/she was starting to take shape and looked like a little blurry gummy bear. The heartbeat was also stronger and faster (it’s seriously such an amazing thing to hear).

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8 week ultrasound

We told both of our families on Thanksgiving Day. I wore a shirt that says “There’s a turkey in this oven” but not everyone got it right away (my dad thought it just meant that I ate turkey that day, LOL). But after showing them the sonogram, they got super excited. Happy tears and huge smiles all around :)

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Our recent 12 week NT appointment was the best one so far. Baby actually looked like a baby! S/he was moving around, bouncing and stretching. I couldn’t see the screen for the first half of the ultrasound, but I could see Paul’s face as he watched the screen (he was sitting behind the tech), and it was so entertaining. His eyes were wide and he kept mouthing “What… the… wooow.” Haha!

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12 week ultrasound. Caught him/her in the middle of stretching

Now that I’m about to enter the second trimester, baby has finished developing and just needs to continue growing. We feel so blessed and excited to have reached this point safely, and now we can finally share the news with all of you!

I’ll try to post monthly updates with bump photos going forward. I want to document as much as I can since it’s our first :) It’s truly amazing to think that God had a plan for this baby even before he/she was conceived. His timing is always perfect.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  [Psalm 139: 13-16]

Here’s To My 6-Month Sugar Detox!

2 Aug

Ever since I’ve been practicing these mindful eating habits, I’ve been more aware and conscious about what affects my body negatively. When I read this article about a family who stopped eating sugar for an entire year, I thought, “I wish I could do this, but it would be too hard.” Then I asked myself – WHY NOT?!

So, I made the decision to cut out sugar for the next 6 months. For those of you who know me, that might be hard to believe. I’m addicted to sugar at this point and I’m pretty sure it’s the reason I’m always fatigued and feeling bad about my body. I need a major sugar detox, and the next step is to empty our house of juices, soda, sugary cereal, jams, pastries, sweet coffee, and candy. I do know that most foods contain sugar (even “healthy” foods like packaged oatmeal), but over the next 6 months I’m only focusing on the major obvious sources that are easy to identify in my bad eating habits.

It’s gonna be hard, especially with weddings and holidays coming up. But I think it’s best for me to go cold turkey. I currently have withdrawals if I don’t have soda or sweets for too long, and I’m hoping that by the end of this, I’ll reset my body so that I can’t tolerate too much sugar in my system, except for the once-in-a-while treat for special occasions. So here’s to lots of headaches, withdrawals, and resisting temptation for the next few weeks. But I know it will get easier and it will be worth it at the end.

“Wit Beyond Measure is Man’s Greatest Treasure”

31 Jul The Hogwarts castle

To my surprise, a mysterious heavy box arrived on our doorstep this week. Turns out, Paul had purchased Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey (Collector’s Edition). The list price is $1,000 and the Amazon price is $600, but Paul took advantage of Amazon’s 1 hour lightning deal and got it for $100!!! Our edition is #1,963 out of 3,000.

HP Collection

The collection comes with 8 amazing books and a few other goodies, including:

  • A cloth-bound edition of Harry Potter: Page to Screen
  • Ten Years Later: Life on Set with the Harry Potter Cast and Crew
  • Movie Magic: Practical Props and Exciting Effects
  • Environments Envisioned: Building Fantastic Sets and Scouting Dramatic Locations
  • A Guide to the Graphic Arts Department: Posters, Prints, and Publications from the Harry Potter Films
  • The Creature Shop Compendium: Flora and Fauna from the Harry Potter Films
  • The Paintings of Hogwarts: Masterpieces from the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Sets
  • Wizard Wear and Muggle Attire: Costuming the World of Harry Potter
  • A replica of The Monster Book of Monsters film prop
  • A gilded portfolio of five prints of original Harry Potter concept art

I’m obsessed! I looove the smell of books and the feel of the glossy pages. As a die-hard Harry Potter fan, I have read the entire HP series literally at least 20 times. I even stood in line to buy Book 7 at midnight and stayed up until 8 am to finish it – so bittersweet. My dog-eared collection also includes The Tales of Beedle the Bard, written by J.K. Rowling. 

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Paul & I visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter for part one of our honeymoon in 2011. And now that they’ve added Diagon Alley, Hogsmead, King’s Cross Station, and a real-live Hogwarts Express, we definitely want to go back! One day…

The Hogwarts castle

The Hogwarts castle

"Respect The Spell Limits"

“Please Respect The Spell Limits”

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In front of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, the ride that Paul thought I passed out on, when I was just closing my eyes tightly because of scary dementors.

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Cute snowman and snowowl

Buckbeak!

Where’z da Buckbeak?!

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One of several Butterbeer stands

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Butterbeer = most delicious drink EVER

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The Hogwarts Express train model

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Cart carrying fake suitcases

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Zonko’s (joke shop)

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Honeydukes (sweets shop)

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In front of the Owl Post

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I so wanted to take home a plush Hedwig!

 

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