Here are a few pictures of our wedding day! :) We had a small, very intimate, beautiful ceremony with our closest family there. It was a perfect, perfect day. I couldn't be happier to be Mrs. Hysell! :)
Saying our vows. We wrote them ourselves and it was perfect. :)
Okay so this is the place for all the little things that I really want to blab non-stop but don't want to be THAT person. ;) This week's been okay. Eric and I have both been sick almost all week. It started last weekend when I took a nap on both Saturday and Sunday. It was easy enough to say that it was the result of my body creating a human but I feared it was more. Sure was. By the time I was trying to sleep Monday night, I knew that the head cold was starting to take over and it had already done so with Eric. :( All I could envision was wedding pictures with matching red noses - not exactly what I'd dreamed about. So far today, while we're both still super tired and the sniffles and coughs aren't totally gone, we are certainly on the mend and things are looking better for tomorrow. :)
My first trimester I took things really easy. I had a couple times where I'd tried walking or going about my day-to-day routine without putting much time in for rest and my body let me know I needed to take it easy. So between that and the crappy weather since then, I've not done much in the way of exercise. Yesterday it was gorgeous though so Eric and I went for a walk. It was only about 10 minutes into the walk (and too far from the house to do anything about it) that I remembered a fabulous little belt that my cousin/BF gave me that would've made a huge difference in the level of support I needed for this new weight I'm carrying around. It was about a 1/2 hour walk and by the end, I definitely needed to lay down for a bit. No way I'll do another walk without that support belt. But I am excited for the nicer weather and to get out and try it again!
It's been great feeling all of her little moves and twists and turns! Still not feeling much in the way of true "kicks" and "jabs" but TONS of twitches and movement. And so far she loves oranges, orange juice, orange popsicles and spicy things, most especially the Mariachi pizzas at Donatos with no meat (nice b/c it's basically a veggie pizza at that point. Mmmmm...I've always liked those but it's definitely crossed into craving-love! Last night I wanted ice cream pretty bad but that's nothing new. ;)
And finally, this week I scheduled our 3D/4D ultrasound for April!! Thank you, Amy & Greg! Honeymoon in March. Ultrasound in April. Shower in May. Baby in June. LOTS to look forward to! :)
So last night, I'm trying to fall asleep. The routine the last couple nights has been that just as I settle into that pre-sleep breathing pattern, the baby starts to move like crazy. It's not so good for battling insomnia but otherwise lots of fun so I'm thoroughly enjoying our little ritual. I've felt her in different spots and for the most part, it's all just seemed like twitches. Nothing that's felt like a definite kick or jab quite yet. Last night though, she found my bladder and I am pretty sure was using it as a trampoline! Or maybe a punching bag? I thought at first that I could just lay there and it would stop but it just got more and more intense. A couple flips of my own and she was back to her twitches. Part of me wanted to stay there just because this was the most I'd felt her up to this point but considering my concern with having a bed-wetting accident, I decided to find a new position.
I've gotta say (again!) that I LOVE all of this. I love being pregnant. I love the way I feel. I know I could easily be one of those people who posts 5 times a day on Facebook about my every symptom and flutter and excitement - I just don't want to be that obnoxious! So I'll just post it on here - Ha! As one who has always struggled with her weight, I've not always had a strong confidence in my body; infertility only compounded that when I felt like my body didn't work the way that it should. But this has changed all of that so much. I feel strong and beautiful and glowing. I have such a huge respect for the miracle going on inside of me. I can't wait for her to get here but in some ways, it seems like it's all going so fast. This part has been so exciting...I don't want to rush it.
So this year, I've become spoiled by a little $10 alarm clock. It wakes up my 14-year-old all on his own. He gets up for school each day. He knows the routine. And most days, he's ready by the time he needs to head out the door. So when he needed to get up 30 minutes early to get ready for a hike with Boy Scouts this morning, it didn't seem all that far-fetched to actually expect that he would follow his routine and get ready as he should. I even built extra time into the time that I gave him knowing that he needed to eat a better breakfast than pop-tarts and because historically these early morning hike mornings start by me wishing I had something of cattle-prod nature to make him move faster. I don't like being on him like that - it puts me in a foul mood and he loses all brain function trying to figure out what to do next - hence, the earlier time.
An earlier time does me no good however when he lays in bed for 25 minutes after his alarm went off.
"Did your alarm not go off?", I ask calmly. "It went off."
"Did you set it for the school time instead of the hike time?", again, calmly trying to get an answer I know is futile. "Nope, I set it for the hike time."
"Then, what exactly were you doing for the first 25 minutes you should have been getting ready?!", my questions getting a little more heated. "I laid in bed."
"WHY?!?!?", I ask in sheer desperation (and let's be honest, anger too) of understanding what was so different with this morning vs. any other morning. "I didn't know what to do...." Is EVERY 14 year old like this?!?! Funny b/c when I came down the stairs, he was gathering his clothes for his shower...the first things he would have done if he'd just gotten up when the alarm went off. So I'm not buying the "I didn't know what to do" crap. He knew exactly what to do when he realized he was about to get in trouble. So as with every pre-morning hike routine, I'm knocking on the bathroom door, checking with him every 2 minutes, reminding him of what he should be doing next only to watch him move at a snail's pace. I know English isn't his first language but after living in my house, I know he knows what the word "hustle" means. I just don't think his body knows how to do it. At least I've never seen it. It puts me in such a bad mood so quickly. I HATE being in that flurry-upset mode and I can't imagine he likes it much either. I hate getting him ready to go somewhere in that kind of a mood; it's a lot harder to keep my emotions in check and now with my hormones all over the place, you'd think in a simple act of self-preservation he'd think ahead. That doesn't seem to fly with the 14-year-old male mind though!
So he's off. He's on the way to his hike and I'm sure he'll do just fine. I've calmed down. The other kids have since woke up and we're on to cleaning up the aftermath of the preschooler that still struggles with the occasional bed-wetting and teaching him the difference between the truth and a lie, as well as the toddler who is being put down for her mid-morning nap since, based on the theatrics of the last 20 minutes, she's exibited a NEED for it. ;) This of course is all on the heels of a night of restless sleep for the little ones which, after you start to get used to them sleeping through the night, a restless one kinda takes you back. And of course, once I finally started to rest and Little Miss started going bezerk in my belly, my mind began racing that in just 4 short months, a newborn would be added to the mix. Most days I know I'm up for it; can't wait for it in fact. Some moments though, like in the middle of a sleepless night or when I start thinking about the cluster of teen years to come, I wonder... There are many moments that I'm grateful for my relationship with Eric but I'm especially grateful for him when this stuff feels overwhelming. He reminds me not to get caught up in the little stuff and is supportive in a way I've never known. He holds me close, listens and I know that as long as we've got each other, we can handle whatever comes our way. Even if it's 4 kids on a Saturday morning. ;)
Right now life is so good: getting married in a few weeks, got a baby girl on the way, been spending lots of time with family, kids are doing well. There are a lot of things to be happy about and it's hard to not just want to get on here and write about the latest thing. (Like for example the gorgeous diamond ring that finally came in this weekend that's sitting on my left ring finger! Or even my first "the baby was kicking me here" story that I thought I'd only ever get to listen to rather than actually get to share! For the record, it was my bladder at the end of a 3 hour car ride which I'd already stopped to go mid-way as it was...just when I was thinking, "I can make it to the restaurant", she found a new play thing!! Thank God I made it!)
Today though, I've got something bigger on my mind...something that looks beyond what's happening right now and into our future. Eric and I have been watching tons of documentaries lately. Actually, that accounts for probably about 70-80% of what we watch as it is (not counting kid TV!) but in this whole living simply focus, we've really been paying attention to what types of food we're putting into our bodies. Partially a weight loss effort, partially an effort in getting the best nutrition to the baby but also a big focus on paying attention to what exactly it is that we're so readily eating that sometimes doesn't even seem to qualify as food.
What we're learning is that there's a LOT of bad stuff out there. It's hard to find quality food and when you do, get ready to pay for it. We've started out slowly by adding in a lot more fruits and veggies, trying to buy organic when possible (canNOT wait for the summer farmer's markets to start up so we can add 'buy local' to that list too!). We've also been trying to minimize the canned or packaged items where we can. The first several grocery bills were so high but in retrospect, the eating-out bills went WAY down...I didn't do all the math but I'd venture to say they at least came out even. We're learning as we go and keeping lists of the things we like and the things we don't and trying to put that level of variety we're accustomed to into this new plan but in some ways, it's not easy. It takes a lot of planning and some days for me, the baby just takes over and convenience wins out over the new plan. I am finding though that the old fast-food standbys are not as appealing anymore. The one time I gave into McD's, I ended up eating only half of it and regretting the first half. So even when convenience wins out, I find myself wanting the healthier options anyway...they just may not be as healthy as the organic produce in my fridge.
So food has been a huge focus but there are other things that I want to learn more about how to do something about it: the overuse of oil, the way corporate greed can and does win out over the welfare of humans, the detriment of plastics on the planet, especially because of bottled water...that's the latest one we watched. The documentary is called "Tapped" and it had me making a mental note of the last time I drank bottled water. Not only is the water not any better for you, but because of the plastic that it's bottled in, it's far worse. Municipal water is tested 300-400 times per month; bottled water has very little to no regulation over it at all. It has known carcinogens in it yet it's marketed as "pure". We again are suckers for the media spin and have bought into a huge lie.
It's all a lot to think about. I told Eric last night, "I feel like I need a big chart that shows all the things I want to research more and then to start systematically trying to do so..." because at this point, it just feels like too much to even try to figure out what my social responsibility is. But we have kids. And they're going to grow up in the world that we leave for them. And I'm a Christian. I believe whole-heartedly that God created this planet for us and it saddens me to see how we're destroying it. Plus, I think that the level of convenience and greed that has gotten us to this place to begin with is so far fetched from where God wants his people. There is more to life than the lifestyle we've come to call the American Dream. What is the saying, "all things are good in moderation"? But many Americans don't know the meaning of the word. And our mindset is infiltrating the rest of the world. And I think that it makes God sad to see us so engrossed in ourselves.
So where does that leave things? What is my social responsibility? What is my responsibility as a Christian? Right now, I think it comes back to a post I wrote earlier about living a simple life. Getting away from the greed of the last decade and embracing a new form of life. One that starts with making family & close friends a priority over soccer practice, dance lessons, church committees, and any other social committment that puts a priority over feeling important because of an overbooked schedule rather than in developing healthy relationships with those in your life. It's okay to make time for your passions but if there isn't a passion for it, it should be heavily scrutinized why it's on the calendar to begin with. Same with kids stuff: are they signed up for this b/c the child really cares about it or b/c I need to feel like super-mom? And no, they won't die b/c you made them choose between soccer and dance.
Making health a priority over convenience. I've heard the word "cancer" too many times and the more I research it, the more it becomes clear that it's not a phenomenon that it's more prevalent. The foods we eat, the packaging it comes in, the bottles we drink from, the pans we cook in...so much of it contributes to what is happening to our bodies. We need to stop listening to the mass media that tells us the convenience is good for us. The biggest scam that comes to mind immediately are the McD's commercials that tote a happy meal as being a good, healthy choice. Just because it's 100% all white chicken (yeah, right...maybe chicken-product but for the sake of argument...), doesn't take away the fact that it's FRIED. Wake up people!
Stop listening to mass media. Money is the root of all evil and media's main focus is money. Whoever has the most money are the ones with the best media, not those with the best products or information. We do not have cable in our house and honestly, I prefer it to stay that way. We do have Netflix but it does not come with commercials and the impact has been great. I know there is no way to keep my kids from all advertisement but the more that I can do my part, the better. Nearly any article you read about something having a negative effect on children or teens (obesity, bullying, video games, etc), mass media is somehow involved. The more a kid is exposed to commercials targeted at them, the more they are influenced. And no, the makers of that super sugary cereal or the latest & greatest piece of plastic crap don't care about the long term effects on your child. And finally (for now)...
Education, education, education. Learn more about what "healthy" means. Learn more about what God wants my role to be in all of this. Learn more about what my social responsibility is with this. The more I educate myself and learn how to care for myself and my family, the more I'm investing in their futures. It's not about a college fund anymore. In some ways, it's about survival. I can't keep them from every harm but I can make an impact in my own home. And hopefully that will carry over to my community and beyond. :)
So probably the most consistent symptom of pregnancy has been insomnia. Some nights I have trouble falling asleep but then get through the night. Most nights I'm good till about 3 and then I wake up and rarely get back to sleep (and I'm learning it's because Lil Miss is kicking at that hour and I believe her to be the main culprit!). Last night though I woke up at 1:30 and never made ti back to sleep. Gonna be a long one today!
BUT - I'm feeling like it's worth it. See, my fiance and I are getting married in a few weeks and we're writing our own vows. Something very important to both of us but we've both been kinda hesitant to get started because we both know that no matter what we say, it'll never feel like enough. He is absolutely the love of my life. Even that sounds small compared to how I feel. So how in the world do you sum up all that you want to say to someone so special in something that would fit into a wedding ceremony?!?
Well, you don't. You get insomnia and you grab your journal and you just plain start writing. What started with 2 or 3 thoughts I didn't want to forget, turned into 35 promises by the end! And I know I'm forgetting some.
I love this...this true, one-and-only type of love. I'm not trying to over glamourize it or make this out to be a fairy tale. I'm just telling it the only way that feels right. My heart is so deeply connected to his...I've never shared this type of depth, this strength of love from another human being. I am one very lucky girl. To have this. To have him. To know the beauty of "us". I am so blessed by him...
...and by a little insomnia-induced inspiration. ;)
Pictures of our beautiful baby girl on the way...I'm already a proud mama, can you tell?!? :)
Her face with her mouth closed...
Her face with her mouth open...
Her lil' itty bitty baby foot :)
Her spine; I couldn't see it at first but now that I've studied it (yes, studied it!) I think you can faintly see a profile of her head with her thumb up to her mouth. That's what I'm going with anyway - makes me like the picture more! Hehe...