What September holds.

                                                                            Source: flickr.com via Emily on Pinterest

This September will be a memorable month for us. Aaron will start his first full-time job next week; we will get to find out if our baby is a girl or a boy; and hopefully there will be more good news and opportunities throughout the month. I am ready for the change.

In order to appreciate the forward momentum, I want to remember how tough August was.

Aaron graduated from graduate school and became unemployed for the first time since he was in fifth grade. We faced a lot of silence and rejection from ideas we thought were opportunities and had to deal with the disappointment and even heartbreak that comes from thinking you aren’t good enough. Doors never opened and doors were closed. God said “no” to moving us closer to our family (for now) and even to moving at all. We had to meet the monster that is grad school loans and deal with how that will affect us long-term, and I especially had to adjust my hopes and dreams to fit the reality of a mortgage-like loan payment. We had to begin to adjust our thinking and planning to accommodate a little son or daughter who will soon be here.

It has been truly a tough month. And that’s part of the reason I haven’t been blogging too much. I’ve been discouraged, and guilty for feeling like the blessings in my life (a baby! a husband who now has a master’s degree and amazing possibilities in his future! a new chapter in our lives!) were more like hardships. And I think it’s OK to admit that I struggle with all of these things. I am just a person. I can’t say I’m at a place where I expected we would be, and I’m constantly wrestling with contentment. My heart aches a little each time I think of fall in the Midwest and cool temperatures and when I’ll see my family again. Nonetheless, we have been so blessed to be taken care of in the ways we have.

And now I look to September in hopes that in it will be a new season, both on the calendar and in our hearts. I’m thankful for a husband who will be able to serve his family as a provider and for a Provider who keeps us close even when we doubt and fear the unknown in the plan. I’m thankful I’m not dismissed just because I worry, and I’m hopeful that each step taken into the unknown will teach me how to trust.

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14 Weeks (Aaron Version)

How far along are you? I guess 14 weeks (but Emily keeps telling me that 14 weeks actually means 16 weeks, or vice versa?)
When is the baby due? When I say it is.
How are you feeling? Well, my back is hurting more.  Maybe it’s the uncomfortable bed?  Or the fact that I now sleep on the left side due to Emily’s need to sleep on the right side so the baby gets more nutrients when she sleeps on that side?  Other than that I’ve been working out almost every day since I’m no longer active with school.
What helped with feeling sick? I have given the entire couch to Emily when she comes home from work.  I now share a kitchen chair with the cats. Trying to think of things that Emily might like to eat as meals.  Usually my first guess is “Bacon”, which was always the correct guess before she became “heavy with child”.  But now I’m guessing things like Potatoes? Fondue? Cheese Breadsticks? Soup? 
Are you showing? I hope not.  Unless I’m Junior!
Do you have any weird cravings? Just slushies 24/7 with my kick-ass Kangaroo Cup.
 In the announcement video, the little person was pink! Are you having a girl? We’re having a Wookie.

14 Weeks

How far along are you? 14 weeks
When is the baby due? Estimated February 20th
How are you feeling? Much better than I was for the last five or so weeks. The extreme nausea seems to have disappeared with the first trimester. I had severe nausea for most of July, which (fortunately or unfortunately) reared its ugly head at about 4 p.m. every day and lasted until the time I fell asleep. I have hated eating everything but cheerios until about two weeks ago. Please don’t bring chicken near me. 
What helped with feeling sick? Singing out loud, cheerios and water. I tried taking B6 and half of a Unisom  in the morning and before bed, but the sleeping pill knocked me out, which meant I couldn’t take it Monday-Friday because of work. I tried to tough it out for the majority of the first trimester, but I finally got so tired of feeling bad that I filled my prescription for Zofran. I took it for about nine days; it kicked the nausea and I felt OK eating bread/toast, fried eggs, mashed and baked potatoes and different types of cereal. In week 12 I stopped taking it to see if I needed it, and thankfully, I haven’t felt bad enough to take it since.
Are you showing? Not much of a bump yet. Happy to keep wearing my regular clothes for as long as possible!

Do you have any weird cravings? Still not much of an appetite, but I’m doing much better than late June and all of July. Just give me fruit! Aaron has had a tough time policing me to eat at mealtimes. Breakfast seems to be the only time I can eat a full meal; lunch and dinner have become my least favorite times because nothing sounds good. I’m hooked on green monster smoothies. Also, I can’t stand the thought of eating Chipotle. Aaron can’t believe it either. 
 In the announcement video, the little person was pink! Are you having a girl? We don’t know if baby is a boy or girl yet. We chose the pink peg only because the LIFE board game doesn’t have a unisex option. That said, I feel like I know what the baby is. We’ll see!

Those are the most asked questions so far. This week, baby is the size of a little lemon. Now all of our friends and family as well as co-workers know about the baby, and it’s made everything a bit more real. It’s nice to not have to keep a secret anymore, especially for Aaron. I think I would have kept it a secret for as long as possible if he hadn’t put an end to it.

Image courtesy of my mom. That’s me as a baby! Wondering if our baby will get my dark brown eyes or lighter eyes. For what it’s worth, I’m the only person with brown eyes in my family. Every one else has hazel or green eyes! 

Lemon Poppyseed Bread Fail

I was so excited to blog tonight about the AMAZING DELICIOUS lemon poppyseed bread I made tonight, but then two things happened:

1. As I was gathering ingredients, I remembered I forgot to let the butter reach room temperature, and
2. I forgot to measure the flour.

So, first of all, softening butter… ugh. But you can’t just microwave it. You have to let it sit until it’s softened. So I took out the butter, put it on the countertop, did some other stuff for a while, came back and re-read the directions. I was terribly worried that the butter, which was to be used last, would end up getting in the bread somehow. I should mention now that I am not a good baker. Just ask Jillian, I’m sure she’ll be happy to regale you all of the tale of the milk in cookies incident of 2000.

So, I mix all of the other ingredients in to the bowl, and I’m super relieved that I didn’t add in the butter. I’m rushing to finish cracking the eggs so I can pour the batter in the loaf pans, I finish, I don’t inadvertently add the butter, I’m happy.

Fast forward 40 minutes. I can smell the lemon poppyseed bread nearing its completion time. But it doesn’t smell quite right. I reach in to take out the loaf pan and immediately remember that I forgot to add in the flour the recipe called for.

Awesome.

I am really good at editing things, penmanship, not liking tomatoes, and wiping kitchen counters. I am not good at baking.

You may be wondering how the heck I forgot to add in flour. Well, the “recipe” I was using happened to be from my good friend Betty (Crocker) and her lemon poppyseed muffins. There were a few slight alterations to make bread, one of which was to add flour. So now I have a pan-sized lemon poppyseed muffin.

You win, Sunday.