Thursday, December 31, 2015

As 2015 Comes to a Close...


I'm laying in bed with Asher taking a little time to reflect on this year. It has been a year of struggles with a bright, shining light at the end of the tunnel. Even though I hated strongly disliked so much about this year, I'd repeat it over and over just for the moments I've shared with my babies (and Will, sometimes).

2015 was a hard year for Will and I but in the midst of our struggle, I was reminded of our three rays of light even on our darkest days. A reminder to slow down, to savor life. A reminder to figure my shit out and be the parent I needed growing up. A reminder that I'm not only here to teach my kids but to learn from them as well. A reminder that in order for me to be present and mindful, I must take care of myself first.

Over the last year, I've had visions of the woman I want to be. The woman that I know I am deep within and I plan to spend 2016 working on releasing that woman inner goddess. That doesn't mean that I'm not focusing on my family next year, it's quite the opposite actually. My family deserves that woman just like I deserve to be her. My family needs me and I am going to make damn sure that the me they get is the best version I can give. 

2016 is going to be a great year of adventure, abundance and most importantly, love. I wish you all a wonderful and prosperous new year!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Plant-based Family // Weeks 1 & 2

We are currently in our second week of eating completely plant-based! Even though we were vegetarian at home for a few months before I became pregnant, Will was still eating meat outside the house. Well, this time, he decided to be completely meat free as well (the boys have eaten meat a couple of times though). 

The transition was pretty much nonexistent. We didn't slowly cut out meat or anything. I just only meal planned meat free meals and when it was time to get groceries, I didn't buy any meat. It's really easy for us at home since we don't have a choice but to eat plant based but I must say that I'm really surprised that Will hasn't eaten meat. He has access to meat while at work but he's staying with this change and I think he's starting to see the benefits already. 

I thought it would be neat to share a few of our meals just so people can see what a plant based family eats. I hope you enjoy the pictures like we enjoyed the meals!

Vegan pizza! I added the sauteed mushrooms, onions and peppers.
Vegan banana crumb muffins
Vegan cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning
Our vegan Christmas dinner: Green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, cranberry sauce and dinner rolls

Friday, December 18, 2015

Pregnancy Notes // 34 weeks


We're a few days into our 34th week! I'm excited, nervous and a little anxious. I went into labor (naturally) with Asher at 37.5 weeks and I think this little baby will make an early appearance as well. We had our doctor's appointment early this week and everything looked great. I didn't have any contractions during the 20 minutes of monitoring but my doctor said that's completely fine. We scheduled my next appointment but due to the holidays and my doctor's office vacation, I won't see him again until mid January. I have a feeling I won't make it that far but we'll see. Either way, I'm ready for this baby's arrival...sort of...okay, not really but I'm anxiously awaiting the moment I see this baby for the first time. It'll be magically, just like it was the last two times. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dear Liam...


Five years ago, we met for the first time. I held you in my arms and for a moment we stared at each other. Little did I know that tiny little baby would turn into the amazing little man you are now.

You have this energy, this spunk that I never had the chance to experience as a child. You're the kid I wish I could have been and even though I constantly try to tame you, I never want to break your spirit.

Today I wanted you to have the perfect birthday. Even though we weren't planning a birthday party, I wanted to make the day an extra special day, just for you. Well, it turns out that your birthday was a special day for me. Everything wasn't turning out the way I planned, the way I envisioned. You never complained because in your eyes, everything was perfect. You had the perfect, imperfect fifth birthday and gave me the best present of all: your happiness.

Happy birthday lovebug!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Pregnancy Notes // 32 weeks



Last week, baby and I had our 32 week appointment. At the beginning of our appointment, I spent 20 minutes hooked up to the heart rate/contraction monitor. Once I met with my doctor, he noticed that baby's heart rate was low for a couple minutes at the beginning. Even though everything went back to normal afterwards, he wanted to be on the safe side. He had me schedule an appointment for two days later to come in and get monitored again but this time he wanted me to sit up instead of lay down. 


So baby and I came in for a special Saturday visit. I realized how uncomfortable laying down was compared to sitting up. It usually takes the nurse a minute or so to find the baby's heartbeat but this time, she was able to get it right away. Afterwards, our doctor looked over the results and everything looked perfect. I'll definitely be asking to sit up from now on. I think that will make both of us a lot happier.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Currently



Reading: I just finished reading "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho and I loved it! I don't know why I hadn't read it before. I started "Warrior of the Light" (also by Coelho) yesterday and hope to finish it soon since I'm next in line for both "Why Not Me?" by Mindy Kaling and "Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. 


Doing: I've been trying to wake up earlier than the boys to get in a little me time. I would like to get back into the habit of a daily meditation and yoga ritual before the baby gets here. Both will help tremendously while we figure out our new version of chaos. 


Thinking about: The thought of community has been on my mind a lot recently. With our upcoming move just a few months away, I am hoping to avoid the isolation I experience here. I know this means stepping out of my comfort zone and seeking friendships but it's easier said than done. I just need to remember that having a village makes life so much more lively. It'll be worth it in the end. 


Looking forward to: My lovebug, Liam, will be five next week. FIVE!! How did that even happen? Where did the time go?? We're keeping everything simple this year so we're not throwing him a party. Instead, we're going to do a special celebration at home then take the train to the N├╝rnberg Christmas market the following weekend. Liam's best friend, RaShad, and his mom will be going us so it should be an exciting trip. 


Loving: I am loving everything about this pregnancy (and little baby). If history repeats itself, we only have about six more weeks before we meet face to face. I'm trying not to think about it too much because I don't want this time right now to pass by. I want to savor this. 


This new series was inspired by Danielle of Sometimes Sweet who was inspired by her friend Megan.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Motherhood || Becoming the Parent I Needed


Motherhood is something I rarely thought about before becoming pregnant with Liam. I don't remember fantasizing about becoming a mother or thinking about baby names. As the oldest child in an unstable home, I spent so much time helping with my siblings that I figured I would be prepared for motherhood. It would just be something that happened and I would handle it and that would be it. 

This mentality stuck around for quite awhile until I started working on healing from my traumatic past (writing those words is hard for me because even though I know my childhood sucked in so many ways, I feel that there are so many people that had it worse). As a kid, both of my parents were absent in different ways. My dad was completely absent from our lives. No phone calls, no visits, no relationship (even to this day). My mom was physically present yet mentally absent at the same time.

It took me a long time to realize that I am repeating this cycle with my children. I am becoming a present yet absent parent. I am surviving motherhood rather than embracing this amazing experience in my life. And that's exactly what I don't want for my kids. I don't want to look back on all the ways I could have been there for them, on all the ways I could have been present. I want to look back and know that I am lucky to share my life with these little ones and know that I did my very best. And I hope that if parenthood is in the future for my kids, they want to be like the mother they have.