anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

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?
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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! 

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Friday, October 13, 2017

The Trials List

Normally I try to think about all the good things that have happened in my life. I try to focus on the good instead of the things that I have had to overcome. However, the things that have made me who I am and put me where I am today have been the hard times. It has been the trials that have shaped my character. 

I was sitting in church, thinking about how I feel like I'm in a pretty good place right now. While there are still so many things that I want to accomplish and things I want to change about myself, I keep being hit with the feeling that I am where I need to be. I'm not perfect, but I'm so much closer to being the person I have always wanted to be than I have ever been before. It has been the small things and the big things, good and bad that have made me who I am, but I was overwhelmed sitting there and thinking about all the things that felt like they were the biggest problem in my life that I had actually overcome. I've had hard days, I've had hard years, but I've made it this far. I'm so grateful that I had those hard things. I needed them, even though I didn't know it. 

As I sit here I'm thinking about the time that I auditioned for Choir Concert. I was so sure that I wouldn't make it. I wasn't good enough. I fretted about it for days. Then I looked at the list and my name was on it. 

Or, the time that my best friend moved away in middle school leaving me with literally no one. Through that, I eventually found my group of friends, some of which I still have today. 

The time that my boyfriend broke up with me and I ended up watching him marry someone else, even though he'd told me that we just needed to take a break so he could get his life together. I spent the next year putting myself back together, but I got there. I finally started waking up happy again.

The time that I couldn't find a job and I had no idea how I was going to start paying back my student loans and I ended up getting the job I'm still at today. 

The time that I thought I had breast cancer, just when things started to work out again. Suddenly it wasn't about whether or not Brian would get a job, it was about whether or not I was going to live to be with him. Just when it seemed like everything was crashing down, we found out that I didn't have cancer. Brian got a job and less than two months later we found out we were pregnant.

Over and over again I've watched myself fall to pieces. I've seen the things I've worked so hard for shatter around me. It has broken me and rebuilt me into the person I am today. 

Brian and I have a saying that we like. We wouldn't choose it, but we wouldn't change it. So many of the things that I have gone through, from loss of best friends to the divorce of my parents to not making it into the colleges I thought I wanted to go to, I would not choose. I would not choose to suffer the way that I did. But, looking back, I would not change it. I needed all of those hard things for reasons unknown to me. Some of them are STILL unknown to me. I'm ok with that. I don't need to know why, but I am grateful for what they have done. 

Life isn't about focusing on the hard things, but it is about learning to let those hard things make you better and kinder and more the person you want and need to be, instead of letting them make you bitter and sharp. 

So I invite you to write down 10 things. 10 trials, big or small, that have made you who you are. Things that you have overcome to stand where you are today and let them remind you that you are strong. That even when bad things happen, which they always do, you can get through it. 

Click here to print your list

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

A Letter for Everly

Pregnancy has been so stretching in so many ways. Although I don't have Everly in my arms yet, it has still been a new phase of life. I've decided that marriage is good preparation for becoming a parent. In both marriage and parenthood (or pregnancy), you know a little of what you're signing up for, but at the same time, there's so much that you have no idea about. Marriage is your first taste of signing up for something with no expiration date. You start something that you know you'll never finish and you know that's the point. 

I always wanted to be a mother. I remember from a young age wanting to be a babysitter. I remember making posters for it about the age of 8. I babysat through middle and high school (although, honestly, I didn't love it all the time). When I pictured my future, the main thing I saw was children. A family. A home together. Maybe because my own home was broken, I pictured what I wanted my life with my own family to be like. I made up my own happily ever after for my kids. In my dreams for the future, I knew they would involve a husband, of course, but more than I could picture him, I could picture my kids. I could see me with them; playing with them, taking them on adventures, helping them, teaching them to cook, loving them. 

Marrying Brian has been a dream come true. In so many ways it has been so much more than I ever really hoped for. Now, with this baby, another part of my dream is coming true. I have no doubt that it will come with its fair share of struggles. Marriage has come with struggles too. Although, the struggles don't take away from the joy of it. The bad times don't diminish those beautiful moments when things are just as you always dreamed they'd be. 

I am so excited to start this big adventure with Everly. I'm excited to show her all the wonderful books that became my friends when I was small. I'm excited to show her the wonder of the world. I'm excited to take her for walks and teach her about Santa Claus. I'm excited to dress her up in little dresses and take her to church. I'm excited to show her that no matter what she goes through, she has a choice in how she reacts, and that this life really was made for happiness. I'm excited to show her a good marriage and what happily ever looks like, authentic and real and full of love. 
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