anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Monthly Moments | November

Well, November flew by! I swear the longer I've been pregnant, the faster time has gone. Lately, I've been very contemplative, thinking about the coming year and everything that it will hold for us. Part of me doesn't want to make any goals or plan anything because I have no idea how I will adjust to motherhood. The other part of me is all excited to start this new chapter and has huge goals and dreams for what I want to do and who I want to be. 

In fact, though I think I will make some goals (I'm sure I'll share them here!), the main thing I want to focus on in the coming year is who I want to be at the end of it. I feel like I've grown a lot this year and it gives me a lot of hope for what I can accomplish this next year.

I'm also looking forward to Christmas! Already we're making plans with so many people for the month of December, but I also hope that we have a few days just to ourselves where we can enjoy the season and spend some time with just us.

This Month:

-Brian and I went on an anniversary trip to Logan's Anniversary Inn. We absolutely loved it! It was so fun to show Brian around my old stomping grounds and where I used to live. We even managed to spend some time in the temple. 

-We had our first baby shower. It blew me away that so many people showed up to support me and Brian and this new little one that we haven't met yet.

-I spent over an hour standing outside in the cold with strangers to get a Fawn Design bag at half price. It was the first time I've done something like that, but it was worth the experience if nothing else. I really wanted one of their bags but it seemed a little (a lot) too steep to spend 160$ on a diaper bag. Especially when babies need so many things. The warehouse sale came at the perfect time! I was able to work and then go straight there afterward when the line was still pretty short.

-Brian and I have been trying new recipes and I love it! Cooking something new isn't something I could do every day, but I have loved incorporating new recipes into our lives and making them together.

-Brian and I went to our very first birth class a few days ago. It was fun to see so many other couples about to have their first babies around the same time we are. It made me feel better and worse about labor, that has been the scariest part of pregnancy for me, but going to the class also made me feel so grateful that I'll have Brian there to help me through it.

Goals and To-dos:

-Check some things off my Winter Bucket list
-Write in my journal more
-Write Everly some letters
-At least finish making a list of the things we still need for Everly
-Plan blog posts for January
-Make homemade toffee
-Go to the Festival of Trees
-Buy Christmas presents more than a week before Christmas (I am the worst at Christmas. And birthdays...)
-Exercise 3xs a week
-Eat less sugar 

Read this Month:

The Christmas Box Miracle By Richard Paul Evans
A Familiar Ring By R.K. Terry
Wonder By Raquel J. Palacio
Tuck Everlasting By Natalie Babbitt

Something to Take Away:

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. 
Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude."

-Denis Waitley

Thank you all for reading! I hope that you've had a wonderful November and are looking forward to the Christmas Season! Christmas is actually one of my favorite times of the year, minus Christmas day. Maybe weird, but I love the season way more than I love Christmas. 

What are you looking forward to?

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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!

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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 :)

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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!

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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 ;)

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