Puppy Kisses

I didn’t get around to counting up my one thousand gifts yesterday.  I haven’t gotten around to it a lot lately, sad to say.  Our life has just been so busy!  I keep thinking it will slow down, but it doesn’t.

And then, if busyness wasn’t enough, there’s all the ruts and bumps that keep seeming to crop up on this road called life.  Things don’t turn out as expected.  Unexpected bills keep cropping up.  A fellow Christian lets you down, and the wound cuts deep.  Sometimes it can even be as simple as your A/C going out in 90 degree weather…when you’re 27 weeks pregnant and already sweating like a race horse.

It’s so easy to get frustrated…so easy to let these things get me down.  But then I’m reminded of those little gifts…those things I’ve been “too busy” to count.

Like the sweet faces who are so happy to see me when I get home.  And who love to give me kisses…no matter what.

Or getting to ride down to the creek with my man in our awesome CJ 7 Jeep.

Or getting new pictures of the most beautiful little girls in the world.

Or watching the first hummingbird of the year light on my feeder.

Or watching my seeds sprout and grow.

Or getting to hold a sweet baby at church.

Or savoring a bright pink sunset ending a sunny day.

Oh, and there’s this little guy…

…who kicks harder and stronger every day.  Whom I already love with a love so fierce I can hardly breathe sometimes.  Whom I would do anything for.

Despite all the bumps in the road, my life truly is blessed.  All I have to do is learn to look up from the road and see the beauty before my very eyes.

Pregnancy and My Body Image

My body has really changed since I got pregnant, and I know it’s only the beginning.  In some ways, it’s exciting.  I know that as my belly grows bigger, my baby boy is one step closer to being in my arms.  And what a miracle it is!  It’s amazing how my body knows exactly how to change and what to do to help this little one grow, and prepare me to bring him into this world!

I’ve been right-on-track with my weight gain, but so far most of it has gone to my hips and belly.  My face and my arms show no signs of the pregnancy…except for the lovely acne that has made me feel 15 all over again.  Woo-hoo for pregnancy hormones!  But still, some of the changes can be a bit shocking.  I’m having a hard time getting my pants to fit, even with a belly band, simply because my hips have gotten a bit wider.  I feel a bit self-conscious going anywhere because my usual shirts are no longer long enough and no longer “covering” enough on top.  Last night I even noticed my first stretch marks.

And then there’s this huge belly that gets bigger every day.  Because I’m tall, baby is spread out a little bit on my torso, but I still feel huge.  Turning over at night has become a definite chore, and I’ve even (gasp) began to waddle a little bit.  My husband still thinks I’m beautiful and attractive, and tells me often, but there are days that I really don’t feel that way.

Just this morning I came across something I had written near the end of last summer.  I wasn’t pregnant, but my sister was, as well as a lot of my friends and acquaintances.  I remember them complaining about how they looked and being very surprised.  To me, they looked beautiful.  As I read my own words, written not so very long ago, I realized that they could have been written for me, right here and now.  This is what I wrote:

“I have never experienced the joy of being pregnant. I hope to someday, but not as yet. Meanwhile, I watch many dear friends of ours, and even my own sister, enter that new and exciting time of life.

I would just like to take the time to tell each and everyone of them that I think they are never more beautiful than when they carry a little one (or little ones!) in their belly. Fat? Ugly? Lost figure? Far be it that they ever think so of themselves!

Pregnant women radiate such a joy and beauty that no one else can. They sacrifice their comfort and their life to nourish and protect the little one within their womb. They endure morning sickness, cravings, new clothes, being uncomfortable, and so much more for their babes. And yet, they radiate the essence of beauty.
So, to all the women who have been pregnant, are pregnant, or hope someday to be pregnant, I thank you. Never forget how beautiful you are!”

What a timely reminder at this season of my life!  Next week I’m planning on taking a couple of shopping excursions to get some maternity clothes (as of right now, I have one maternity sun dress and a be-band…that’s it).  My goal?  To embrace this wonderful season of life, and cherish this time with my son growing within my womb.  I don’t want to look frumpy or like I’m hiding.  I want to look beautiful, and celebrate getting to wear maternity clothes.

My husband thinks I’m just as beautiful as ever…so why can’t I dress that way?