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Friday, January 29, 2016

Goodbye January, Hello February.

Goodbye, January. 

Goodbye to a month of anticipation, of not knowing what to expect or when to expect it.

Goodbye to being worried about what life with Jack would be like.

Goodbye to being pregnant!

Goodbye to interview season.

Goodbye to knowing a world without this precious little guy, to only knowing him from the inside.

Goodbye to the most life-changing, hardest, most beautiful month of my life. The month that made us a family, the month that showed me Christopher and I can do anything together.

Hello, February. 

Hello to the month of love, to pink hearts and roses and chocolates and champagne.

Hello to actually being able to drink champagne again!

Hello to our first full month of having a baby, the first month Jack will start with us.

Hello to figuring out this whole parenting thing. To winging it when necessary. To lots of snuggles and extra cups of coffee.

Hello to finalizing and turning in our rank list for residency. To being simultaneously terrified and excited.

Hello to not being stuck in bed anymore, and to being able to move around and take Jack on some adventures.

Hello to a beautiful month full of new things, chocolate, and baby snuggles. It just doesn't get much better than that.

What are you saying hello and goodbye to this month? 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Baby Jack: A Birth Story. (Part One)

And this is the story of how baby Jack came into this world.

Tuesday, January 12th. I had been having contractions on and off since Christmas, and I just knew that at this appointment, only two days away from my due date, the doctor was going to tell me I was super close to having a baby. Instead, she said that wasn't the case and scheduled me for an induction on the 21st. I cried and told Chris I did not think I could physically be pregnant for nine more days, so we went to Chick-Fil-A. We ended up having the best night ever…we got pizza and watched The Martian and just hung out. When we went to bed that night, we said that if that had been our last night just the two of us, it would have been a great one.

After my appointment on Tuesday, I wrote this in my planner, like mayyyyybe it would make it true.
Wednesday, January 13th. Chris made us a big breakfast and we were having a lazy morning watching Netflix. I was having contractions, but at this point, I didn’t trust them at all. I downloaded an app that tracks them, and they were coming between 8-25 minutes apart. The problem was that they started hurting way more than before. We were in the middle of an episode of The West Wing and I decided to take a bath to see if I could get my body to relax if it wasn’t the real thing, which I was positive it wasn’t. Chris was not so sure, but I chalked that up to it being the first day he’d been with me where I had a lot of contractions. I was sure my body was still lying to me.

I could tell that he thought something was happening because while I was in the bath, he took the dog out and refilled his food and water, which was something on our list of what to do right before we left for the hospital. I kept the app open on my phone and just pressed the button when I had contractions, not really paying attention to the timing.

When I got out and went to lay down, Chris picked my phone up…and saw that my contractions were 4 and a half minutes apart. He told me I needed to get dressed because we should probably go to the hospital. The problem was that they were only lasting about 40 seconds each, and I was sure that I was going to get sent home from the hospital, which I had made a goal to NOT happen. Now, I’m pretty happy with who I am as a person, but even I have to admit that I am incredibly stubborn once I have something in my mind. At that point, I had in my mind that I was not in labor, and going to the hospital would only get me sent home with a bill. Let us also take a moment to remember that I am married to a man who will be a doctor in May. And still, I'm so stubborn. 

The following conversation took place between contractions.

Chris: Hey, why don’t we just go to the hospital? Just for kicks.

Me: I don’t think we need to.

Chris: Why don’t you get dressed, just in case?


Me: Okay, but it’s not time to go yet.

I wander around the house, trying to decide what to put on and if I want a snack.

Chris: Chelsea, why don’t you get dressed?

Me: Because I don’t want to go to the hospital yet.


Chris: Okay, so why don’t we do this: You get dressed, and we’ll go to Chick-Fil-A, and while we’re there, we’ll decide if we should maybe go to the hospital. And we’ll take our stuff just in case.

At this point, Chris has gotten all of our stuff together, packed all of the last minute things from our list, and I am literally just standing there in a towel telling him my contractions are fake.


Me: You know what’s funny? All this time I’ve had to plan, I haven’t thought at all about what I wanted to wear to the hospital.

Chris: You haven’t—what? Okay, no. Just get—


Chris: You are going to get dressed before your next contraction, or you are going to the hospital in my boxers and a t-shirt. Your choice.

So I got dressed, hugged Gatsby, told him we’d be home soon, and had about three more contractions while grabbing random things I thought I might need at the hospital before Chris made me go stand outside so we could actually leave.

On the way to Chick-Fil-A, I told him that I felt stupid because I was pretty sure they were going to send me home. He said not to worry about it, and then said something that struck fear into my heart.

“It’s better to get there too early and get sent home than it is to get there too late to get an epidural.”

We pulled into the drive-thru at that moment, because I wanted to eat a meal before checking in, and the mother of all contractions hit. While Chris was paying for the food I checked the app and saw they were coming at THREE AND A HALF MINUTES APART. I managed to eat exactly one chicken nugget and two French fries before starting to sob that I had waited too long and now wasn’t going to be able to get an epidural and that was going to be the end of my life.

We got to the hospital, where we had preregistered so we wouldn’t have to wait. I guess when I imagined not waiting, my imagination did not include a grumpy nurse at the front desk.

Me: Hi, we preregistered. Gives her information.

Grumpy nurse: Why are you here?

Me: Has contraction.

Chris: She’s in labor.

Grumpy nurse: You don’t look like you’re in labor. You look like you could go jogging right now.

Me and Chris: …….

Grumpy nurse: Well...come on back, I guess. But I don't think you're in labor.

To be continued!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

just write: life's great secrets.

chelsea jacobs poem

I think that you might know the answer
to every time I've wondered why,
because you smile like you are holding
life's great secrets deep inside.

I'm desperate for some answers,
grasping at any I can find.
I promise if you tell me how to smile like that,
I'll lock the answer safely up inside.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I've Never Been so Thankful.

Do you ever have days where you wake up and just feel floored by how incredible life is? Maybe it's not one big thing, or maybe it is, but life is just good? That's where I'm at today.

I have never, ever been so thankful.

I'm thankful for this sweet, sleepy babe who just slipped into our lives like he's always been a part of us. I'm thankful for the awe that I experience when I think about the fact that this little dude is equal parts me and Christopher, when I see him smile, when I hear him chirping like a little bird when he wakes up.

I'm thankful that I'm on this journey with the love of my life. This huge change is taking lots (and lots and lots and lots) of adjusting, and Christopher has been more amazing than I ever could have imagined. I say it again-marry someone who makes a good teammate. I'm also thankful that he truly is my best friend...that all the late nights and time we're spending together is something that is actually enjoyable instead of frustrating and annoying. I'm thankful Jack has two parents who love each other so much.

I'm thankful that we have a family who loves Jack as much as we do. That they'll drive over just to snuggle his chunky little self.

I'm overwhelmed with thankfulness at how unexpectedly beautiful life has turned out to be. At how late nights snuggling a little fox and a little baby and watching The West Wing are turning out to be some of the most beautiful nights of my life. I didn't expect it to be this good already.

Sometimes, life is hard, and you have to try to be thankful. I pride myself on how I wrote honestly about the good and the bad and the hard parts of pregnancy, and I want to keep doing that. Pregnancy was so hard. Recovering from labor is really hard. Having a baby who doesn't sleep more than an hour and a half at a time is really, really hard. Being thankful right now? Not hard at all. Not even a little bit.

Before I'm even fully awake in the mornings, I find the first words that leave my heart and shoot heavenwards are thank you. 

So cheers to celebrating the moments where thankfulness comes easy. Where it flows from every area of life.

What are you thankful for this week?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Life Changes.

I'm sitting down to a computer for the first time since the day I went into labor, and even though it's only been 12 days, it feels like an eternity has passed between then and now. I now have an eleven-day-old, and my tiny family is now made up of three people (and a fox!) instead of just two.

The day we came home from the hospital, I was so tired, so overwhelmed with love, in so much pain, and just so happy to be home. I had just experienced the most emotional and life-changing three days of my life, and I really, really needed a shower.

If you're wondering what pure bliss is, it's getting to take a shower in your own home when you've just had a baby and spent three days in the hospital. As I stepped into that little slice of heaven, I was struck by how different things were. Just the week before, I would be careful of how hot I let the water get, not wanting to overheat the baby. Now, I turned the water as hot as it would go. My hands instinctively went to my stomach, just as they had for the past 40 weeks, but this time, there was no baby bump. Instead, there were sore, stretched muscles and a living, cooing, snuggling baby right on the other side of the bathroom door.

In a single moment on Thursday morning, I went from holding Jack inside of me to holding him in my arms. Overnight, my life completely changed in the most beautiful way. I've never been so tired, but I've never felt so full of happiness.

Now, I'm sitting down to write-something I've done a thousand times before-but this time, I'm doing it while wearing a baby in a wrap hanging from my shoulders. And that's just something I never imagined myself doing. But let me just tell you-it is perfection.

A year ago, had I seen a sneak peak of my life today, I wouldn't have recognized it one bit. And that's okay. Sometimes you don't know what it is you want or need until it's right in front of you.

Life today is drastically different than it was last year, much different than it was even last month.

And it is absolutely beautiful. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

just write: just about anywhere.

chelsea jacobs poem

I can picture myself in the city,
where the sky never quite goes to sleep.
I can see myself in the mountains,
surrounded by snowy, powdered peaks.

I can imagine a life in a little old house,
with a front porch and a swing
and a pretty little green yard
where a garden grows in spring.

I can imagine making a life
just about anywhere, its true.
but the one thing I cannot picture
is having a life somewhere without you.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

It's Going to Fly By.

This year will fly by. Whether you stop to take it in or not, whether you choose to be thankful for it or not, whether you live each day to the fullest or not. There are 365 days in 2016 (21 of which have already come and gone) that are going to pass, whether you cherish them or ignore them.

So cherish them.

The holidays come with a sense of urgency, with the desire to take it all in, to cherish it all, to live in each moment and make time for what is most important to you. It is exhausting, but it is full. Then real life must begin again, and in the midst of it all-in the midst of going back to work and being forced to wear real clothes instead of pajamas and making resolutions and eating healthier and getting life back on track-the desire to savor, to stop and take it all in, quietly disappears. The second Monday of the year doesn't feel worth cherishing, the third even less so.

And before we know it, we will be nearing the end of 2016, saying things like, "I can't believe it's almost 2017! The year went by so fast!" And we will make promises for the next year of our lives-still high off of the Christmas music and kindness and twinkling lights, we will promise to cherish each day we are given.

That moment will be here before we know it, but at the same time, we still have an entire year to live in before then. So live in it. Soak it all in, even the mundane Mondays. Cherish the new experiences and the same old ones you've grown familiar with. Make time to spend on those who are closest to you. Do whatever it is that makes your soul come alive.

Because the time-the brief, long, magical, mundane time-between now and next year is going to pass whether you take the time to notice it or not. So notice it. Stop and take it all in. You'll only ever see it just this once.

Ps: Please understand I may be a bit slow in getting back to you as I'm either about to have a baby//currently having a baby//have just had a baby. I wanted to keep things going on my blog, but it may take a bit to get back into the swing of things since I'm, you know, bringing a human into the world and all. xo

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

just write: giving away a broken heart.

she told him life was ugly,
that it was harsh and cold and cruel.
she said to look for beauty in this world
simply meant he was a fool.

she told him nothing really mattered,
that the world had gone to hell.
she said even if she didn't break his heart,
it would be broken by someone else.

she shattered him and walked away,
and he never saw her again.
but he kept close to his broken heart
the lessons she taught him.

and when he met someone new,
he knew exactly what to say.
he told her life was made of magic
and there was beauty in each day.

he decided he would share happiness
with her right from the start,
for he knew that only you can choose
how to give away a broken heart.

Ps: Please understand I may be a bit slow in getting back to you as I'm either about to have a baby//currently having a baby//have just had a baby. I wanted to keep things going on my blog, but it may take a bit to get back into the swing of things since I'm, you know, bringing a human into the world and all. xo

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Be Someone's Cheerleader.

There's not much that feels better than knowing you have someone on your team. Better yet, knowing that you have someone on your team no matter what. That's one of my favorite things about marriage-knowing that no matter what happens and no matter what I do or if I fail or anything else, Chris is going to be on my team.

If you had the privilege of growing up in a good family, or you have a group of friends that have become your family, you know what I mean. They're your team, and they aren't going to turn on you when you make a mistake.

There's something about that knowledge that gives you so much confidence. It's a beautiful gift. And it's a gift I think we should give to others whenever possible.

Sure, you can't give everyone you meet the gift of having a permanent teammate who's always going to be on their side (although, if it's someone in your life for the long-haul, you definitely should), but you can give them the gift of being encouraging. Of being their cheerleader.

Your friends, your family, your acquaintances...I doubt there's anyone in your life who wouldn't benefit from being told that they can do it, that you do believe in them, that you think they're amazing.

Because really, doesn't it feel great when someone does that for you?

So be someone's cheerleader today. This week. This month. Choose to tell someone how great they are, how successful they're going to be, how much you admire their efforts. Choose to silence the negative and yell out the positive. It truly can make the biggest difference.

Ps: Please understand I may be a bit slow in getting back to you as I'm either about to have a baby//currently having a baby//have just had a baby. I wanted to keep things going on my blog, but it may take a bit to get back into the swing of things since I'm, you know, bringing a human into the world and all. xo

Monday, January 18, 2016

Our Little Fox is Here: Introducing Baby Jack.

The tiniest little love of my life made his way into the world right on his due date! He has the softest skin, the chubbiest cheeks, is deliciously sleepy all the time, and is the world's most snuggly baby.  He is absolute perfection and I already can't imagine the world without him in it. 

Way too many pictures and stories to come soon! 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Who Do You Want to Be This Year?

who do you want to be

Now that we've all had some time to think about//change//give up on//re-do our 2016 resolutions and goals, I have another question for you. Who do you want to be this year? Not what, who. When it comes to making new year's resolutions and goals, we tend to stick to a set of generalized questions that don't vary too much from each other. And that's not bad! I'm a big believer in asking those types of questions, and I do it every year. I think the problem is that we stop with those, and we don't go any deeper.

When we don't personalize things, we end up with goals that aren't personal to us. We decide we want to work out more, want to organize our closet, want a promotion at work, and call it a day. Those are all good goals, they just aren't personal. And it can be hard to feel passionate about goals that don't seem personal to you.

So I want to ask you a question: Who do you want to be this year? Don't ask yourself what kind of person you want to be, figure out what kind of you you want to be. At the end of the day, you know yourself. You know the good and the bad. You know your favorite parts and the parts you need to change. So you know the goals and resolutions that best fit you.

The thing is, once February rolls around and the newness of the year wears off, a goal like "keep the house clean" doesn't seem exciting, or even doable. But a goal that's personal to you, like, "I want to be a writer this year, so I'm going to keep the house clean so I can focus on writing in the evenings instead of cleaning up" can mean a lot.

Don't let this year be another one of generalized checklists, let it be a year of personal achievement, of becoming the best version of yourself, of becoming exactly who you want to be.

So: Who do you want to be in 2016? 

Ps: Please understand I may be a bit slow in getting back to you as I'm either about to have a baby//currently having a baby//have just had a baby. I wanted to keep things going on my blog, but it may take a bit to get back into the swing of things since I'm, you know, bringing a human into the world and all. xo

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

3 Years of Blogging: Things I Did to Grow my Blog This Year.

Today marks three years of blogging for me! I'm way more excited about this than I probably should be, but that's because I feel like this year has been so big for me in so many ways, including this blog.

Last January, I reached 1,000 followers on Bloglovin' and felt like I had some good momentum going. I decided I wanted to dedicate this year to treating my blog like it was my job...I really hope to be able to write full-time one day, and I see blogging as a huge step towards that.

I'm not even close to being an expert here, but I always love to read about the progress of others and how they push themselves, especially when it comes to writing, so I thought it would be fun to share five things I did to grow my blog this year.

things I did to grow my blog

1. I decided to write about what makes me the happiest. For two months at the beginning of the year, Chris was working in Tampa, so I would commute up there and stay with him for half of the week. It gave me a ton of alone time in a new location, and I starting writing poems. I'd never shared creative writing on my blog before, but I decided that for a few months, I would share poems on my blog, even if no one was reading them, because it gave me a reason to write creatively.

Sometimes, my "just write" posts are the least viewed and interacted-on posts of the month, but you know what? It has provided such a passion for my writing, and it has made me so much more excited to blog. Sometimes, you have to ignore the numbers and just write about what you need to write about, just for the simple sake of writing.

2. I had regular brainstorming sessions. In my favorite writing classes, my professor would come in on any given day and say that the entire class was going to be a private brainstorming session for upcoming projects. This meant that you were forced to sit alone in silence and just. keep. writing. It was the best because really, when was I ever going to do that by choice?

I started doing that for blog posts this year. I would set the timer for an hour and just write down every idea that came to mind. Sometimes I would get whole posts done this way, and sometimes I'd end my little session with only a few topics. But it kept my creativity flowing either way. Spoiler alert: It's way easier to write a post when I have a list of ideas to choose from.

3. I wrote posts ahead of time. I have Fridays off of work, so I made Fridays my write-like-it's-my-job-so-maybe-one-day-it-can-be days. Pre-writing and scheduling posts ahead of time has made blogging so much easier for me. It's funny, but not being pressured to write/edit/post an entire blog post every morning has actually made me write more.

4. I started posting every weekday. I tried a few different schedules, but having a post Monday-Friday was what I liked the best. It encouraged me to write more, and I really liked the idea of knowing that anyone who follows my blog can come here on any given day and find some new content.

5. I followed Helene's blog. This may sound gimmicky, but I promise it's not-this isn't a sponsored post, and she doesn't know I'm writing this. But seriously, I attribute much of the growth of my blog this year to the fact that I follow Helene. I've always followed her, but this year she became the blogging guru of all things and began sharing all of her secrets.

I took her first webinar (that she offered for free...she's always giving away free information on how to be successful), and she started out the night by saying, "There's room for everyone at the top. Why wouldn't we want to see each other succeed?" I just loved that. I've since taken paid courses from her, and let me tell you, they have been worth every penny.

So happy three years to the girl who loved to write. I have loved every second of writing on this space, and I hope to be around here for quite a bit longer. Cheers to year three being the best one yet! Thanks for hanging around and reading my means more than I could ever say. xoxo

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Are you Ready?

I once attended a wedding where the bride had a panic attack right as she was walking down the aisle. She froze, started shaking, and just kept saying "no, no, no." Unfortunately, this didn't happen until she was already in front of everyone, and her dad decided that the best thing he could do was pull/push her down the aisle until she walked on her own. I was nowhere near being engaged, but when I got home I told my dad about the bride who shook and sobbed her way down the aisle at the urging of her dad and told him, "Never do that to me!"

When I got engaged, my dad would check in with me every now and then about if I still wanted to get married. I would be hastily making paper flowers or coming home from a dress fitting, and he would sit beside me and ask, "Are you still feeling good about everything? This is still what you want? You still want to do it right now?" 

My dad was so happy for me, and for Chris. He had given his blessing before Chris proposed, and he was thrilled to have Chris joining our family. But he understood that marriage was about so much more than just a party with all of your friends, and he wanted me to be free to change my mind or postpone such a big decision without feeling like I was letting everyone down. "Just say the word, and I'll take care of everything. Don't worry about money. I'll rent a storage unit and put everything in there until you're ready. If you change your mind at any point, even the day of, just say the word." That's a gift that every dad should give their daughter.

The night before my wedding, at the rehearsal, we were walking through the music cues for the ceremony. My dad and I were standing in the back behind the doors, waiting on the moment where the music would change and they would open. And he told me, "This is your moment. Don't worry about missing your cue...they can play this song as many times as they need to. These doors don't open until you're ready for them to open." He turned to the people who would be opening the doors the next day. "Make sure you don't open them until she says she's ready." 

The day of my wedding, the song started, but the doors didn't open right away. Before they did-before they opened and I saw Christopher's face and I walked toward him to be his wife and join him on an adventure I never could have imagined, my dad asked me one last time. In a moment I will never forget, he turned to me-me, so nervous and excited and already crying a little bit-beaming with love and pride, and said, "Are you ready?" 

Everyone says you should make a playlist for when you're in labor. Calm songs that make you happy, that take your mind off of everything. I was drinking coffee this morning while listening to my playlist-trying to will this baby out into the world-and the song my dad walked me down the aisle to came on.

Instantly, I was transported back to that moment. How Pachelbel's Canon in D played while the doors swung open and I took a walk with my dad. How I wore the prettiest dress and joined Christopher at the front of the church and promised to love him forever. How we joined together and decided there was no one else we would rather do life with. And how, before any of that, my dad asked me one last time: "Are you ready?"

The answer was yes, even though I had no idea what I was saying yes to. The answer has been yes ever since. And now, two days before baby Jack is due to make his way into the world, as the same song is playing from my phone, I find myself asking the same question: "Are you ready?" 

I wish I could go back three years and see myself standing there with my dad. I'd give her a tissue (and maybe a shot of whiskey to calm her nerves) and when the question came, I'd whisper in her ear: "Yes, yes, the answer is yes. To the good and the bad-because they will both come-the answer is a resounding yes. To the adventures and the moving and the late nights and the dreams you will chase together...the answer is yes. To loving each other in sickness and in health and in times when Chris refuses to give you a straight answer about when he'll be home, the answer is yes. To trying to learn how to be a good wife and to ruining dinner at least twice a week, the answer is yes. And to the babe who will unexpectedly be growing inside of you three years from now....the answer is yes. Say yes. You have no idea how good it's going to be." 

Yes. The answer is yes. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

just write: merely skin and bones.

she wasn't just a person,
to him she was much more.
she wasn't merely skin and bones,
but a universe to explore.

and so he put his faith in her,
though somewhat undeserved.
he just knew that she would save him,
for she knew he needed her.

but she couldn't save him,
nor did she even try,
because she wasn't quite aware
of the way he felt inside.

and as his view of her grew dim
and quickly changed back to bones and skin,
he learned a person is merely a person
no matter how much you hope in them.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Little Things You Should Do Every Day.

During a time when giant resolutions are being made and you're formulating a New Year's plan to basically overhaul your entire life, it can be nice to take a step back and look at the basics. Big goals and resolutions are great, but there are also some smaller things that you can do to make big changes.

Drink water. Lots of it. I will probably talk about this forever, because it amazes me that such a small thing that takes such little effort can make such a big change. When I make sure I drink a ton of water every day I have less headaches, better skin, more energy...all by just drinking something that is free. Seriously, if there was a crazy popular supplement you could buy that did all those things, you know you'd be tempted to buy drink yourself some water!

Make something better. How many times do we stop when something is done enough? A work project, a blog post, a dinner...our everyday lives are full of things that we could keep making better and better and never be finished with. Obviously, that's not feasible. But every day, you can choose to make something better. Read over that email one extra time, or mop the floor instead of just sweeping it. Choose something and make it a little bit better.

Be thankful. If last year taught me anything, it's this: Thankfulness may not have the power to change circumstances, but it has the power to change me. Being thankful is a powerful thing. Switching your mindset to one of gratitude is life-changing. Focusing on the good instead of the bad is a mood-altering magic. Just taking the time to be thankful for one single thing each day can really determine the type of day you have.

Leave someone better than when you found them. When I was younger and would babysit at someone's house, my mom would always tell me, "Make sure you leave the house better than you found it." I think the same logic can be applied to people. You really do have the power to make someone's day better, and you can do that so simply, without taking anything away from your day. Throw away someone's trash for them, compliment their outfit, bring them a coffee, smile at them. Don't you have a better day when someone shows you love?

Choose silence over stupidity. I am not confrontational at all, but when it comes to people I know and things I feel passionate about, I am also not timid. So when someone is talking about something I disagree with, or have strong feelings about, my first reaction is to pipe up and give my opinion and let them know why they're wrong. I would venture to say that 90% of the time, I later (if not immediately!) realize that my words made no difference, and I wasted my time and maybe even dignity just to make myself feel better. You can't take your words back...that goes for words that are hurtful and words that just make you feel stupid later. So sometimes, it's best to just choose silence.

What's something you think you should do every day?

Thursday, January 7, 2016

39 Weeks: Things I Want to Remember.

Gatsby doesn't hate all this lounging and waiting on Jack to arrive. 

Remember how I said my pregnancy was both flying by and lasting forever? I take it back. It's definitely lasting forever. I didn't know time could move this slowly. It's only been 2016 for 7 days? Lies. Surely this year has already last four months, right? And I've been 39 weeks pregnant for about 12 weeks now? 

  • All joking aside, I'm reminding myself that it's a privilege to get to carry a baby to full term, and that many people have had to give birth early and spend a long time in the hospital instead of at home with their little love. I may be extremely uncomfortable, but I'm also extremely thankful that my little guy seems to be doing good...he's just nice and cozy and doesn't want to face the real world yet. On that, we can understand each other. 
  • At my baby shower, people brought me books instead of cards. Because we live in a studio, they had to go into storage until I could clear some space for them. I finally got around to clearing off my bookshelf (no easy task for any book-lover), and put all the baby books up on the shelf. I am so excited to get to read all of these stories to him.
  • We're at this weird place where everything that is going to get done is already done. Meaning that we've done everything we know of to do...everything is set up, the clothes and sheets are all washed, the hospital bags packed, freezer meals ready...we're no longer racing the clock on a to-do list, we're just waiting on Jack. 
  • Chris said to me, "I feel like we're just running out the clock at this point." He didn't mean it in a bad way, but I hate the idea of not taking advantage of time we have together, so I made him play cards with me. And about twenty minutes into that, cried because my back hurt, so we just went to bed instead. I'm learning that the advice you get for the end of pregnancy just isn't realistic for everyone. Things like, "Go on as many date nights as you can during those last few weeks!" (I love a good date night, but the thought of having to sit at a table for an hour and a half right now makes me want to cry) Or, "Stock up on sleep now, you're going to need it!" (HA. HA. HA. 39 week pregnant me would love nothing more than to stock up on sleep. 39 week pregnant me also happens to be incapable of sleeping more than a few hours at a time, since I'm housing an entire human at the moment.) So I'm letting go of the picture other people had painted for me--a relaxing, honeymoon-type phase with my babe before our littlest gets here--and instead embracing lots of Netflix and movie nights where we have to pause the show every twenty minutes so I can get a snack/go to the bathroom/switch positions/ask for a massage/make Chris switch seats with me because his seat looks more comfortable/pause again  because it wasn't more comfortable and I want my seat back. But hey, if running out the clock is what we're doing, there's no one in the entire world I'd rather be doing it with. 
39 weeks down, 1(ish) to go. ONE. WEEK. SEVEN. DAYS. Hopefully this is the last one of these posts I'll be writing, and next time I write anything about Jack, it will be accompanied by a picture of his sweet little face! 

Whenever you're ready, little man. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

just write: a helping hand.

a helping hand poem

he simply handed her his coat, 
and just like that, she was warm again. 
sometimes the answer isn't some grand solution,
but rather, just a helping hand.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

38 Weeks: Things I Want to Remember.

When you're 38 weeks pregnant on your anniversary, you may not get mimosas with brunch, but you do get double servings of really, it all works out. 

I've come to the conclusion that the last bit of pregnancy is so uncomfortable in order to balance out all of the terrified feelings. Last week, the thought of actually having the baby was terrifying to me-we're talking sobbing hysterically, almost fainting in the parking lot of the hospital before the tour because I was so anxious-that kind of terrified.

Fast forward to this week, and I am so freaking uncomfortable that when it comes time to actually go to the hospital, I'm going to be so relieved to not feel like this anymore (and to actually get to meet him instead of just feeling him kick my ribcage!) that I think it will balance out my sheer terror of actually having a baby. 

New Year's Eve marked 38 weeks for little baby Jack!

  • Christmas morning was so special, waking up for the first (and only) time to a morning where it was still just me and Christopher, but at the same time, our little family had already grown to more than just the two of us, as made evident by the little gymnast in my stomach who tumbled all around while we read the Christmas story out loud. I then had contractions all day and then puked a lot that night, so, merry Christmas, buddy. Here's hoping his first one here is much healthier! 
  • We celebrated our anniversary! 3 years! I've always heard people say that they never knew how much they loved their spouse until they were having a kid together. While that's true--I've never loved Christopher more than I have now--I will say that more than that, I've never felt how much of a team two people could be until now. The last few weeks have been a little rough, and it has blown me away how much easier everything automatically is because I know Chris is on my team. So guys, if you're going to get married, make sure you pick a good teammate. It makes all the difference.
  • Last Monday, we went on a tour of the hospital. As I mentioned above, for some reason this made me super anxious, but I am SO glad we did this! The nurse who gave us our tour was amazing, and I'm praying she's on schedule when I have the baby. It was very reassuring to see the actual rooms where everything will take place, and she went over every birth scenario and what those would look like, which made me feel prepared. Some highlights: They have 24-7 visiting hours, and there's no restrictions on bringing in outside food. This means that my family can come see me whenever, and that they can bring me Chick-Fil-A when they come. I'm feeling good about this already! 
38 weeks down, 2(ish) to go. But since I'm late in writing this, only 9(ish) more days to go! SINGLE DIGITS, PEOPLE! 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Spending Your January: A To-Do List for Adventuring Through the Month.

1. Celebrate the fact that it's a new year! We make such a big deal over Christmas that we sometimes gloss over the fact that we finished a whole year, and we're starting a brand new one. That's an exciting thing! Celebrate it!

2. Set some time aside to make some resolutions and goals. If you need some help, try answering these questions.

3. Pick a word for your year. Here's mine!

4. Take one step towards each of your goals.

5. Cook something new!

6. Buy a 2016 journal.

7. Make one of those holiday desserts you never got around to trying. 

8. Do something kind for someone. Start 2016 off on the right foot by paying it forward.

9. Make an effort to be positive about your job. Spend an entire day looking for the good things about your job, and don't complain about it for 24 hours.

10. Do one thing that makes waking up more pleasant. Whether this is going to bed earlier or making the coffee before you go to bed, finding a way to enjoy mornings is a game-changer.

11. Send someone a card. Since the holidays are over, it will be a surprise!

12. Go bowling.

13. Research your city like you would if you were going on a vacation there. See what new places you can discover!

14. Make a new music playlist. 

15. Journal about what you hope 2016 will look like for you. If you could decide how this year was going to turn out, what would you want?

16. Look up cheap, healthy recipes. Cheers to cooking more and eating out less this year!

17. Go on a coffee date.

18. Buy a board game

19. Have a movie night at home.

20. Pick a few complicated drinks or dishes you want to learn to make this year. If you give yourself a year, you can learn to cook anything!

21. Buy a planner.

22. Keep a running list of movies you want to see. That way you don't end up staring blankly at the red box machine come Friday night.

23. Read a book that relates to a goal you have. 

24. Pull out that holiday cocktail dress and go on one more fancy date. 

25. Go out of your way to show someone you love them.

26. Have breakfast in bed. 

27. Find a cheap bottle of wine you like. It makes grocery runs a lot easier!

28. Take a day off and relax. 

29. Plan a staycation. Don't just request days off of work, actually plan it like you would a vacation!

30. Look up smoothie recipes. Detox from the holiday food with some fruits and veggies!

31. Practice giving yourself grace. Remember that each day can be a fresh start, no matter what the day before looked like or how much you feel like you failed. It's never too late to start new!

How will you be spending your January?

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy 2016! Setting Goals: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself First.

Happy 2016! Can you believe it?! Today is a fresh start, the first step in a brand new year that can be anything you want it to be. So what do you want it to be?

I always spend January first making goals, and I love it. I curl up with a cup of coffee and make lists and dream big dreams and make binders and love ever second of it. By the time the day is over, I feel ready to take on the year and am sure I can do anything.

This year is different-baby Jack is due in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS, hello-so I'm sure my goals will change as my life does, that I'll discover new goals I need as the year goes on, etc.

Whatever boat you're in, whether you're wanting to make major changes with giant goals or minor adjustments with small goals, these questions are a good place to start. Your answers to these questions can really help guide you in your goal setting.

1. What is one way I want to be different by this time next year? Don't think about circumstances or things you want to be different, think about how you want to be different.

My answer: I want to be less of a worrier. I want to stop being so anxious about things I have no control over. This has been a crazy year when it comes to uncontrollable things, and I want to keep working on worrying less. You can't enjoy life if you're too busy worrying over it!

2. What is one thing I want to accomplish this year? 

My answer: I want to create a happy, full life no matter where we end up living. Like I said, I'll have to be flexible with all the unknowns this year, but one thing I do know is that I want to give my family the best life possible and I want to be the happiest possible-whether that means decorating a new house or finding fun things to do in a new town, or just being willing to be open-minded about my location. I want to create the best life possible this year.

3. What is a quality I find myself admiring in others? 

My answer: Openness. Is that a quality? You know those people who just roll with the punches and go right along with life's twists and turns? I admire them. I'm never going to be someone who doesn't get stressed when plans change, but I do want to be someone who is able to make the best of the unexpected and still enjoy life to the fullest, even when it's not going according to plan...even when there's no plan at all.

4. What will make me proud of myself a year from now? 

My answer: Continuing to do the things that I love, even though this year will be full of changes. I want to keep writing and keep blogging. 2015 was a great year for my blog, and I know that if I keep working at it, I'll be proud of myself at the end of 2016.

5. What is a word that embodies what I want out of this year?

My answer: Cherish. This year is going to be the biggest yet-Jack will be joining the party any day now, we'll be submitting our rank list next month, we'll find out where we match in March, and Chris will officially be a doctor in May. What. A. Year. I just want to cherish every single day, every moment, every change.

Hopefully your answers to these questions point you in the direction of the goals you need to make for the year! Whatever goals you have, cheers to 2016 being the absolute best year ever.