anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Monthly Moments | November 2019



Man, this year though. I think I can safely say that this has been the hardest year of my life. With things being so crazy lately, I've had a lot on my mind. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about what I can do with my life to support this little family of mine. Due to our financial circumstances and things that may impact them in the coming year (or really, just life), I've thought a lot about what career I could pursue. It has been hard for me to think fo anything that I would really want to do. I have always planned on being a stay at home mom, but that may just not be in the plans for me. It has been a hard dream to let go of. Currently, I'm thinking of possibly becoming a yoga instructor or a Lactation consultant, or maybe focusing in on my hand lettering and becoming an artist there. Any of those would require some work/certification, and I'm not really confident that any of them would be enough to support our family if it came down to it. I'm passionate about being a mom. I love to write, but I don't really want to make that my source of income (for a variety of reasons). If you have any tips on how you found your passion, I would love to hear about it!



This was at 34 weeks! I can hardly believe that as I write this we are 16 days away from our due date. I want this little man to come in December (December 1 would be ideal), but we'll see. Brian is betting on a November baby since I'm already dilated to a 3 and 70% effaced. I feel like I keep thinking of little things I want to be done or still need to get before the baby comes (things like making up a couple batches of lactation cookies to put in the freezer or getting new bottles). We'll see how many of those I get through before he gets here! Also, we still have no name!


Everly has decided that she is against clothes this month. So she's pretty much just running around in a diaper all day long. Unless we go for a walk or a "venture" (adventure). 



A big tender mercy this month has been that Everly has decided she doesn't totally hate her breathing treatments. We got a nebulizer for her at the end of October because she had a cold and was having a hard time breathing. Every treatment that we did on her during that cold she cried and fought. 

Then a few weeks later she started having trouble breathing again. This time she didn't seem to have a cold. She has a cough, but no other symptoms other than not breathing well. I decided we should use the nebulizer on her and dreaded it, but she took it like a champ. She fought just a little the first treatment and didn't seem bothered at all after that. 


We put up the Christmas Tree. 

Honestly, I am usually one of those "wait until after Thanksgiving" people. But, it wasn't my choice when to put up the tree and it has been so much fun to see Everly start to learn about Christmas. I have been trying to think of what traditions to start with her now that she's getting older. I want to make sure that it's Christ-centered, without taking away the magic of Santa or presents. This is something that I feel like Brian's family does very well. They are all so generous and while there never seems to be any lack of presents in their house, I get the feeling that you could take all the presents away and they would still be just as happy (kind of like the whos down in Whoville). I asked them how they were able to cultivate that kind of home and the gist of it was that they were focused on others and on giving. They tried to incorporate scriptures and Christmas stories leading up to the day, but also focused on what they were giving to each other, not what they were getting. So I'm going to try and do that with Everly and our other babies! Hopefully, they'll get all the beauty of Christmas without any of the greed (I feel like too often I'm greedy and thinking about what I want or what I'm getting). 

Books I've loved this month:

Harry Potter 5 (honestly I haven't loved it, but it's all that I've read 🙈)


Podcasts I have loved this month:



A couple things that have stuck with me from these podcasts. 
-It's ok to have a passion outside of parenting
-Master something by focusing on learning everything you can and diving deeply into that topic (either through schooling or your own) every 5 years. As a dabbler, this is something that really appeals to me. Also, it got me thinking about what I'd like to learn even before I started thinking about what I might want to do to support my family.
-Your highest and holiest calling is whatever you feel the Lord has called you to do right now.
-We should value motherhood, but not idealize it.
-Start on your goals now. Don't wait until the New Year!


Thankfully my pregnancy insomnia has mostly gone away. I'm more excited about the Christmas season than I have been in years thanks to my planning ahead and actually planning Christmas before the week before. Also, I'm thinking that whether or not this baby comes in December, I'll probably still put him in a stocking. He has been such a bright spot this year and his little kicks and twists have helped me focus on the little miracle that he is when other things seemed to be falling apart. Honestly, this year has taught me so much about the value of my family. I'm so grateful for them. It has also taught me about tender mercies and learning to be content with where I am. 

Thank you all for reading! I hope that you have a fantastic Thanksgiving!
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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Micro Nesting



One of the hardest parts of being pregnant for me, both this time and last time, was the inability to nest. Some girls dream of their wedding day, I dreamt of my home life. I dreamt of being with and raising my children. I pictured what the house would look like. I thought of what we would do together. So when we got pregnant with Everly and it became very apparent that we weren't going to have the money or space for a nursery, it was really hard on me. It was especially hard to see those that I was close to, who were also pregnant, putting together their nurseries. Everly came home to our cluttered one-bedroom apartment and slept in a pack n play with a bassinet accessory until she was too big for that. Then we set up the crib (which was given to us, and I'm so grateful for it, but also I didn't get to pick it out) at the foot of our bed. 

When I got pregnant this time around, I was expecting to have a little more money than we did last time. And in some respects, we do, but this last year has had quite a few financial setbacks for us. I swore that I wouldn't be bringing a baby home to my parents' house, yet here we are. I again had to face the fact that I couldn't nest. That there would be no perfect nursery for this baby either. That there is a good chance that I'm never going to get the chance to put together a nursery for my babies (we're only planning on having 3 babies for sure, but maybe 4). It hit me that we are likely never going to be financially stable enough while we're in these baby-having years to buy a house, or to decorate a nursery. 

I didn't know how much I wanted those things until I realized that they probably weren't going to happen. 

While Pinterest and Instagram often make me feel like everyone has those kinds of opportunities, I realize that isn't true. Even people who are in a better place than me probably have to make choices about what they can and can't do with their nursery for financial or spacial reasons. 

So for this baby, I started planning early. I looked at what things I really wanted for the new baby. Things that could be done without but that would make me feel a little bit more like I actually got to have this baby the way that I wanted to. I talked with Brian about it and he agreed that I could use some of our savings to get a few of these things. It has still been really hard to know that I can't nest the way that I want to, but it has helped me to feel more excited for this baby. I know that the baby won't know the difference. I always knew that the baby wouldn't care if they slept in a Moses basket or a box. I would know. I would care. 


Bag: Greyfox & Company Moses Basket: Design Dua

So here are my tips for Micro-nesting:


1. Plan as far in advance as you can for what you feel would help you feel like you've nested.

For me, that meant that I chose 4 things that I really wanted for this baby. I totaled up how much they would cost and talked to Brian about whether or not he thought that was a reasonable amount to spend on them.


2. Once you've picked your things, start putting aside money every check.

I've been buying things for the baby (not just those 4 things), every check since August. We've had to skip a few checks when things were really tight and I sometimes just put the money into savings because...


3. Look for sales on those things that you've picked.

Knowing that I was going to be having a baby around Black Friday was really helpful for me. I looked at the things I wanted and didn't buy anything that I thought would have a better deal during black Friday. The things I did buy (my Moses Bassinet and Grayfox diaper bag), I bought knowing that it was very close to or as cheap as it would be during Black Friday. While I planned enough money to buy the things on my list at full price, it meant that I could actually get a few things I was planning to do without. For example, I bought my Moses basket in a bundle that included bedding and a rocking stand that I was planning to just do without but could afford because they were on sale. The same with my diaper bag, it was still cheaper than I would have gotten at full price, even with the added in changing mat (which was actually another of my 4 things). 

With Everly, the one thing that I bought was a Fawn Design diaper bag. That was my micro-nesting. I bought it at a warehouse sale that I stood in line for over an hour for. It helped me to feel like I was nesting. You do what makes you feel like you are nesting.


4. Prioritize your list.

While it would be all grand and dandy for sales to work out and for you to be able to get everything on your list... sometimes life happens. Financial setbacks happen. Even when you plan ahead and set aside money, it doesn't always work out. Know what is most important to you and prioritize that. Maybe you can only get one thing off your list. Maybe things work out better than you expected and you can get more than you had planned on. Either way, I think it's important to know what is most important to you. 


5. Wait until after your shower (if you can).

Sometimes deals are going to come up before your baby shower, you need to decide whether to wait or not. All the things on my list I knew no one would buy for me (because they were expensive and again, not really necessities), plus I knew that most of them would go on sale after my shower. 



Being poor while you're pregnant is hard. It's hard to let go of some of those dreams that you had for having a new baby. I still feel sad sometimes when I think about the nursery I would have put together for each of the babies I've been pregnant with, but it has helped to micro-nest and be content with what I do have. I'm very grateful that this time around I was able to get a few of the things I couldn't with Everly (or didn't know that I really would have wanted), even if it is less than what I would have chosen for this baby.

How would you micro-nest? Or, what was most important to you when you were having a new baby?


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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Stollen Recipes | Hot Chocolate




Hot Chocolate
Serves 1

Ingredients:

Your Favorite Hot Chocolate mix (works just as well with Chocolate as White chocolate mixes)
Hot water
Whipping Cream or Whole Milk

1. Heat your water. I typically do this in a teapot, but mostly that just makes me feel fancy.
2. Pour hot water into your mug or teacup of choice, filling about half full if using whole milk for this recipe, or 3/4 full if you're using whipping cream.
3.  Stir in as much drink mix as you would normally use for a full cup. For me, that's generally 2-3 heaping spoonfuls
4. Fill the rest of the way with whole milk or whipping cream.


This is one of my favorite drinks to make. I used to make it all the time with white hot chocolate when I was pregnant with Everly. It's perfect because it's rich enough to feel like a treat but not so heavy as if you were to make the whole thing with milk or cream. Also, the cold milk or cream tends to bring the drink down to just the right drinking temperature immediately. It's a super easy recipe to make and you can probably make it with what you have on hand! 

Let me know if you try it with alternative kinds of milk and how it goes! I would love to hear :) 
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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Poems of Motherhood | June-July 2019


June 20, 2019
for Everly

the honeysuckle that trails into your window well
is in bloom
like your love of the flowers is willing them down to you
so every morning
before I pick you up
I pull back your curtains
open up the window
before I can even pick you up
your room is flooded with the scent of them
pale yellow and white flowers

July 15, 2019
for Everly

I spun you
you giggled
and signed "more"
so we danced and spun again

July 16, 2019
for Everly

For now, I am your perfect seat
you back up
let yourself plop into my crossed legs
tuck your hands under your tiny thighs




July 17, 2019
for #2

I've named you already
next week we'll find out if we need a new name

July 18, 2019
for #2

You were kicking today
I can't help wonder
who will you be?
what will you learn from your sister?



July 20, 2019
for Everly

We went out on the deck
I placed a tiny homemade popsicle in your hand
the three (and a half) of us
with pineapple peach popsicles on a Summer day

July 22, 2019
for Everly

I watched you wake up today
watched you play with your bear
eyes closed
stretch your feet between the bars of your crib
until finally you saw me

July 23, 2019
for #2

We saw you today
your little feet
tiny hands
we found out you'll be a brother
not a sister like we thought
we are thrilled
little prince

July 27, 2019
for Everly

The way you cling so tightly to my neck
your body straight against me
protesting the diaper change because this one will hurt
yet, even after
you cling to me again for comfort

July 29, 2019
for Everly

Today I got kicked off the family iCloud storage plan because I take too many pictures of you
worth it.

July 30, 2019
for Everly

The beauty of holding you
alone in the dim blush light
you relaxed against me
a safe place
I want to always be that for you



July 31, 2019
for Everly 

A year and a half with you
what a wonderful ride

Thanks for reading! I am so excited to have two little ones to write poetry about. Life is really a beautiful ride.


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