anchored in light

anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Everly | Third Trimester

We're almost there. Time is going faster, and with tomorrow being Thanksgiving, I wanted to write out this post about how grateful I am. Brian and I were talking the other day about how everyone is lucky in something and for me, I think I've been pretty lucky to have the body that I have. It has been so good to me with good health and a good weight and liking healthy food, and now with growing us a baby.

I have always been the person who thought, why wouldn't that happen to me? For example, before I got married, I thought I might never get married. Not because I didn't want to or I thought that no one could love me, but because sometimes that happens, even to the best people. I thought, why wouldn't I be the person that happened to? Not in a really cynical way, but in a "Plan for the worst, hope for the best" kind of way. Then I got married and when we decided to start trying to have a baby I fully expected it to be a bumpy road. I expected to wait a long time before we were able to get pregnant. Imagine my surprise when we got pregnant after only a month! After that, I thought that I would probably miscarry. I worried all the time about it. I was constantly checking for spotting and doing all the little things that they tell you to do so that you don't miscarry. After all, my mother had 4 miscarriages, why wouldn't I miscarry? But the baby kept growing, and even though I had to take a pregnancy test the morning before my first OBGYN appointment to convince myself that I was still pregnant, she stayed in there. I thought that I'd have horrible morning sickness, but it never seemed to hit. Everything has gone so smoothly, and I know that it's not on me that they have. I've been incredibly lucky and I feel so blessed. There are so many things that can go wrong when you're growing a baby that it has really hit home to me what a miracle it is that any of us are here. 

I have so much to be grateful for. I hope that anyone reading this takes a minute to look at the things you're grateful for. In spite of whatever you're struggling with, I hope that you can see the things that you're lucky in.

For me, I've been struggling with keeping up with all the baby things I need to worry about. I get overwhelmed thinking about what I need to pack in my hospital bag, or the things we need to buy her before she's born, or the fact that I need to buy nursing bras and I have no idea how to pick one out, or whether I want a rocker or a recliner or where we would even put that. There are so many new things to worry about and all of them seem to cost money. It's been a struggle and sometimes I have to put all those things to the side and think about something else. 
I'm glad that these struggles are hitting this time of year though, with the chance to look at all I'm grateful for and put things in perspective. I'm grateful for all the things that we already have that I don't have to worry about. 

I'm grateful for all of you for reading. It really does mean so much to me that I can share these things and that people actually read them. I hope that they do a little to brighten your day or just make you feel inspired or less alone. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google Plus

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Baby Shower!!

Last Saturday Brian and I had our first baby shower. I'll admit that my little sister who was throwing it for me was way more excited about it than I was. I was fairly convinced that no one would come and that it wouldn't be very fun. I'd already opted for no games and so I wasn't sure if people would even enjoy it (I opted for no games because I don't enjoy games).

It was wonderful though. Better than I imagined. My little sister went above and beyond the call of duty and made it a beautiful day for me and for our baby. She even did my makeup and lent me a dress after I told her that part of the reason that I wasn't excited for the shower was that I felt like I didn't have anything cute to wear. 

She let me take home all the decorations to help decorate our nursery, which is currently our storage room. I have been blown away by all the support that we have received during my pregnancy. Especially from people that I didn't expect it from. 

As of today, I am 29 weeks pregnant. I can hardly believe that we are almost 3/4 of the way through. We start our birth class in a few weeks and after our appointment next week we go down to only two weeks between doctor's visits. I'm actually really ok with that because the farther along I get, the more nervous I get about everything being ok. I can't tell you the number of times I've panicked after realizing that I hadn't felt the baby move in awhile. I never know what is normal or what I should worry about. I'm sure that's a little taste of what motherhood is like :)

I know that I've said it before, but I'll say it again, I am so grateful for Brian. He has been so good to call the doctor for me when it's late at night and I'm worried something is wrong, or to hold me and count kicks when I was worried that the baby hadn't been moving, or give me priesthood blessings, sometimes multiple times in one day. I'm not sure how I would do any of this on my own. 

Everything seems to be speeding up as we get closer to delivery. I'm sure she'll be here before we know it! I can't wait, but I'm also grateful for the time we have together before she comes. I'm looking forward to spending our last holidays together as a couple before we become a trio. As ready as I am to meet her, I'm definitely not ready for delivery yet. I'm glad that there's still a little more time to sleep through the night and take uninterrupted naps. I don't want to wish away the time I have now. I want to savor each part of my life. I loved being single. I've loved being married with no kids. I've loved being pregnant with no kids. I just want to take each step as it comes.

Thank you all for your support of me! I have a great tribe :)

Pin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google Plus

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Our Story | His Words

We did this home shoot about a month ago now. I really wanted to do a shoot in our apartment because I wanted to showcase real parts of our relationship. So while this was somewhat posed, it's also true to who we are and how we really are together. I also wanted Brian to write his side of our love story for this post. We've been married two years now and I wanted to see how he would tell it :) So this post (with the exception of this introduction) was written entirely by my sweet husband, Brian.

Once upon a time, there was a princess named Rachael. Rachael was the most precious princess in all the land. And one day, there was a boy called Brian who fell madly in love with the princess and sought to win her heart. The story that follows is the miraculous tale of how Brian managed to sweep Princess Rachael off her feet and carry her off to create their very own fairy tale:

Hi, it’s Brian and this is my story. Like many great stories, things started out pretty bleak. Before my wildest dreams came true with Rachael, I was at the lowest I’d ever been and I was hurting in more ways than I could count.

I was at the end of my rope and felt like I was just barely hanging on. I had no one to turn to and I was desperately lonely, even with the friends and family I had nearby. So on October 4, 2014, I broke down. I cried and then pleaded in prayer that I could find a friend. I didn’t want just any friend, though, I needed someone that would help me to put my own broken pieces back together. I wanted someone who would listen to the mistakes that I had made and then still be kind to me. I wrote a list of things that I believed I needed in this friend and who I hoped would be able to help me.

Ironically, I also prayed that I wouldn’t date and/or marry this friend that I would meet. I felt that would mean I was relying on them to put me back together instead of learning how to put myself back together. As you have likely guessed, this part of my prayer was not fulfilled.

Later that week, thinking nothing of the prayers I had made, I arranged to meet up with an old friend of mine named Rachael Campbell for ice cream at Cold Stone; something we had done once together when we were in high school. I thought it would be a casual night of catching up with a good friend and enjoying some time together. Little did I know, though, that the events of this night would end up changing everything.

After we finished eating our ice cream, Rachael and I realized that we were still enjoying the night and we decided to go back to my place to continue our conversation and maybe watch a movie. As we talked, we delved into subjects and topics that I didn't normally discuss with casual friends because of how personal they were. It was terrifying to do so, but Rachael was incredibly understanding and empathetic regarding some of my painful experiences. Our discussion went late into the night and we both discussed our heartbreaks, fears, and dreams and it was a very special and therapeutic night for me. As the hours waned on that night it slowly occurred to me that she exhibited many of the qualities and attributes that I had earnestly asked for in my prayer earlier that week.

The outing that was supposed to only take a couple hours ended up going until 10 am the next morning. We stayed up all night talking, exploring, eating, and more. By the end, I was sure that I had found the friend I was needed.

It was ideal, too, because I had known Rachael for more than eight years by then and so I knew that neither of us had any interest in dating. My plan was perfect because neither of us could possibly fall in love with the other. In retrospect, however, I’m convinced that I did fall in love with Rachael that night, but it would be a long time before I would be able to admit that to myself.

So, finding the friend I was seeking, I was excited to do more things with her. I decided to ask her on a date, because that’s what friends do, right? (Further proof I’d actually already fallen in love but refused to admit it to myself) So on October 13, we went to a Jazz game together. Rachael looked super cute, and I thought how lucky I was to know cute girls like her who were also great friends who I could take on dates.

After the game, we again talked for a long time. I was once again impressed with her empathy and her ability to discern the best in me even when discussing difficult things. This furthered my desire to see her more and to keep her close in my life, but just as a friend.

After the Jazz game and after getting approval from my Alisa, Rachael and I started to hang out more often.  Previously, our friendship had been based on seeing each other maybe once or twice a year. However, I now found myself wanting to see her at least couple times a week. Our time together did wonders for me and I truly felt like I was learning to put my broken pieces back while also being a good friend to someone else.  Over the next month or so, we continued to see each other more frequently.

Now, it’s difficult to say when exactly, but then one day, it finally hit me in such a way that I could no longer deny it. I liked Rachael.

This was devastating to me because I knew that Rachael was about a million leagues above me in every way. I started referring to her as "stupid girl" in my head because I was irritated that I liked someone with whom I had no chance at all. I was also depressed because I realized that it wasn't just a simple crush, but instead, I had fallen head over heels for an angel. I knew that were I to try, it would only end in disaster. It would be the equivalent of trying for a moon landing with no experience in rocket science.

This was disastrous for another reason, too. We were best friends. Her friendship meant more to me than anything and I did not want to jeopardize it. Hadn't I prayed for a friend like her? Was acting on these feelings worth losing such a precious friend? For me, the answer was clear and I knew Rachael's friendship meant more to me. So I decided to do nothing.

I remained deeply unhappy for a couple weeks after this. I tried increasing my running to see if the feelings would diminish and did other things to distract myself. It was to no avail, though, and I found that my feelings for Rachael only kept increasing.

After weeks of struggling, I finally came to the conclusion that I had to try. I knew that my chance of success was minimal, but I knew that success would bring more happiness and joy than I could imagine. Because of our strong friendship, I knew that if we could start a relationship, it would never end. And so, imagining the happiness we could have, I knew that I had to give it everything I could.

The first time I tried to kiss Rachael, she quickly turned away. Of course, I was hurt, but not entirely surprised. Again, I knew that this was an endeavor most likely to fail. Her friendship still meant the world to me, though, so I made sure that we could still be friends.

Over the course of November, we stayed best friends. We continued to hang out nearly every day, we went on many dates, and our bond only grew. I even started to feel like she liked me, based on how close she would cuddle with me, how affectionate she was in and out of public, and the way she would talk to me. But every time we discussed it, she reaffirmed that she did not want to date.

By December, Rachael started to lose patience and I realized that I was about to lose her friendship as well. From the beginning, I knew that my cause was hopeless because she had valid reasons for not wanting to date me, and there was nothing I could do to change them. But the pain that came from being pushed away was nearly intolerable.

Not wanting to lose the friendship, I did my best to back away and withdraw. She will tell you, though, that I failed.

Then January came. And what can only be called a Christmas miracle, Rachael started to change her mind. To this day, I can't tell you what changed or why. But on January 3, 2015, Rachael and I officially became boyfriend and girlfriend. And as I predicted, once we got together, there would be no going back.

Thanks for reading! I'm so grateful for this life I have with Brian and also for this blog!

Pin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google Plus

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Writer's Gift List

So this year is the first year that I will not be participating in NaNoWriMo in the traditional sense of the word. It was a really hard decision for me on whether or not I should. After all, I’ve done NaNo for about 10 years now. It’s a November tradition! Added onto the fact that I know it will be harder to do once I have a baby. It was rough.

Ultimately I decided not to because I have 10 (maybe 11) first drafts in various stages of completion from previous NaNoWriMos. While I love all of them, I really want to focus on getting something published (even typing that out makes me feel all weak inside. Like what if it really happens? What if it doesn’t? What am I going to say if I try and get nothing published for 10 years? Or, 20??). So while I’m not starting anything new this coming month, I will still be writing! The plan is to start revisions on one of my previous novels, Half Face Girl.

That being said, I really have no idea what goes into revisions. If any of you know of any good books on that or any resources, I’d love to hear about them.

Since I want to get back into writing on a regular basis, I thought it would be fun to make a Writer’s Gift List. Christmas is coming up, and while these are all things I would personally love (or already own!) they are great for any writers in your life, stationery lovers, bibliophiles, or anyone like that. Plus, they could be a nice surprise for anyone you know who is participating in NaNoWriMo.
PRE-ORDER the QWERKYWRITER S® Typewriter-Inspired Mechanical Keyboard™

  1. QwerkyWriter Typewriter Inspired Keyboard 
    These are not cheap. Writers are poor.

    Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop Fountain Pen - Turquoise Dots - Medium Italic Nib - PILOT MPFB1BLKCTRQPi

  2. I found this off of another person’s blog and got it for my birthday. I loved it so much that I used all the ink that it came within few weeks. As they said, it’s kind of amazing, so if you buy one, plan on getting hooked.

    Sealing Wax Melting

  3. I love my wax seal spoon. Somehow it makes me send more snail mail, which is something the world needs more of anyway.

    Also, if you were making a million wax seals, this looks pretty awesome.

  4. I have 3 kinds of Wax. I have the beads, I have sticks, and I have sticks that you can light (no spoon required). Of the three, the beads are my favorite. Cutting off wax to melt is deceptively hard and sometimes the wicks on the sticks can be tricky to deal with. Plus, I love that on the beads I know just how much I need. One pearl is perfect for one seal!

  5. Definitely could fall down the rabbit hole of wax seals. I have 4 wax seals, but I still want more! You can never have too many. Especially since I don't have any with my last initial on them.
    That first link is to a general wax seal place, but Etsy is also a great place to go. I've gotten my seals from various places, including Barnes and Noble. This link is for Harry Potter wax seals because I think everyone needs that in their life.

  6. I have way too many pens and pencils, a cute place to put them is always a bonus.
    Here are 3 more options from the same place.

    1 Subject Spiral Notebook, College Ruled - Aqua

  7. Since I decided that handwriting is the way to go, an important consideration is what kind of notebook/paper to use. I’m personally a fan of 8.5" by 11" notebooks because it means I have more space to write before I have to do that weird writing at the bottom when you no longer have the support of the notebook (any of my fellow notebook lovers feel me?). Plus, Yoobi donates to classrooms whenever you buy one of their products, which makes me feel like I’m doing something good for the world.

    Pens- While I plan on maybe doing a post JUST about pens in the future, my number one favorite pen is Bic Cristal. They just write so smoothly! I used them last year for my NaNo and I don’t think I could have written as much as I did without them.
    Pencil GripsTrust me if you are thinking about handwriting your novel, these will save your life.
    Good luck to all my fellow writers out there! I hope that you have a very productive and ink filled November! I’d love to hear about your projects you’re working on :) And hey, you have my permission to treat yourself to anything on the list. Especially if you win ;)

Pin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google Plus

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Monthly Moments | October

Hey! Man October has flown by! It has been a good month for the most part, but there have been a few pitfalls. I spent a lot of time in the Canyons which I loved, but I also spent a lot of time at home doing nothing. If I'm honest, to be happy I need a good mix of productivity, going and doing, and resting. I also took my first trip to the ER (for myself) for a kidney infection. I'm 100% ok if that doesn't happen again. 

From the top corner, going left to right: 

1. My favorite bump picture to date

2. This picture was taken up the canyon toward the beginning of October. I'm frankly amazed that the colors have lasted this long. I still see so much color around. I'm so glad that it has found its way to the valley :) I'm totally ok if it wants to stick around for awhile.

3. Brian and I started doing this 3-year journal. Some of the questions are a little lame, or they don't really apply since i fill it out in the morning and it's like "What was the most honest thing you've said today?" But, still fun. It will be fun to see how our answers changer or stay the same through the years.

4. A sneak peek from our at home photo shoot! This was one of the sillier pictures we took. In case you were wondering, I have that face on because I was joking that the baby should kick Brian in the face, and then she did! I was laughing about it through the next several pictures.

5. A small view of our trip up Provo River Falls during Conference at the beginning of the month. So gorgeous and SO cold. 

6. From our date up to little dell a few weeks ago. This is by far my favorite place and I'm so glad that I was able to get a good shot of it. 

To-dos and Goals for November:

- Celebrate our Anniversary :) 2 Years!
- Write in my journal at least every other day
- Make a batch of homemade Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies
- Write another letter for Everly
- Start dejunking the baby's room (so that the baby will have some place to live...)
- Start doing Yoga or some kind of exercise other than just walking around at work
- Look into Birthing classes
- Start Christmas shopping
- Start a gratitude list
- Think of some dates for Date night
- Visit my Visiting teaching sisters
- Find a way to do some service
- Attend the temple every week
- Get a dress that actually fits for the temple :)
- Do a Maternity shoot

Books read this month:

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde By Robert Louis Stevenson
Dracula By Bram Stoker

Yeah, I had a really hard time finding books to read this month. I started about 6 more that I quit reading due to language and such. If you have any book suggestions, please send them my way!

Something to take away:

"It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it."

-Dale Carnegie

Thanks so much for reading! How was your October? Are you looking forward to November?
Pin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google Plus

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Bump

Hey, everyone! I was just sitting here today, scrolling through my photos, looking for something. When I came across this picture.

I took this picture the day I found out I was pregnant. I don't think I'd even told Brian I was pregnant yet. I had just read an article from a mother saying how she wished that she had taken a photo that day to show just how much she had changed.

It's strange looking at this picture now to think that I felt so fat some days. Most of the time I felt pretty good, but looking back I actually can't believe that I was that small! Pregnancy has been so strange for me, going back and forth between wanting to show and not wanting to show, worrying about gaining enough weight, worrying about gaining too much weight. Allowing the part of me that I would have counted as one of my greatest physical flaws to expand and grow to house our little Everly.

I took this photo on July 29 when I was about 14 weeks pregnant. I was convinced I was finally showing. My body was different to me, but it looking back now I actually laughed a little that I thought I was showing here. 

This picture was at about 18 weeks. I felt so huge. Which, even though I'm much bigger now, I don't feel now. This was a silhouette I had avoided all my life. It looked nothing like a cute little bump, it just looked like I'd gained weight.  

This last picture is about 21 weeks. Definitely showing, but in a better way (in my mind). It's so wonderful now. I've settled into the acceptance of my growing waistline. I still worry about gaining too much weight too fast, but I love feeling her kick. I love that she's big enough now that when she's kicking, I can watch my belly jump as she moves around. While I do feel so much bigger than I did before, I don't really feel fat anymore. I feel like I look like I'm supposed to. I credit that in no small part to buying maternity jeans. Wearing pants that actually fit me makes me feel less like I'm bursting out of the ones I've always worn. 

I must say, having a supportive husband has made a huge difference for me between feeling fat and feeling beautiful. Every step of the way he has told me how beautiful he thinks I am. In fact, I may hear it more these days than I used to. It's more than him just saying it though, it's that I know he means it. He still thinks I'm beautiful with my thicker waistline. It has made me feel beautiful, despite knowing I'm wider and heavier than I have ever been. 

Having him has made this whole experience feel beautiful. It has put my body into perspective for me. I'm just as happy, if not happier now than I was when I had that tiny waist. I'm so grateful for this body that has handled pregnancy so well. Especially the fact that it decided to skip morning sickness. I'm grateful for what it's doing and how it's keeping our baby alive.

We had a scare on Sunday and I thought that I was maybe going to have to deliver Everly. I suddenly felt robbed. People were only just starting to notice my little bump and I was going to lose it? I remember standing in the bathroom, looking down at my belly and thinking that I wasn't ready to go back yet. I wanted her to stay in there and keep growing. Which is something that I couldn't have imagined thinking a few months ago. 

I have no big words of wisdom. I'm just grateful for this experience. I'm grateful that even though I am much older than I thought I'd be when I was dreaming of becoming a mother, I'm grateful that things have worked out the way that they have. I can't wait to see what else motherhood teaches me. 

Thanks for reading! 

Pin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google Plus