Friday, January 27, 2012

Life: 500 days of Summer

I just stumbled upon 500 Days of Summer on tv. Oh how I love this movie. But its sooooo frustrating! He such a wuss and she is such a tease. That makes me ANGRY!! But the dance scene from the movie, so epitomizes what that feeling of butterflies in your tummy is like. This makes me so happy.

At one point, when the hubs and I were 500 days into our marriage, I wrote this:
500 days of marriage…and counting

            I have loved being married to my best friend. And it hasn’t always been a walk in a park, but I don’t think I would want it that way. I began dating Steven as a junior in high school. I was a lovesick puppy for that boy. I knew that there was something incredibly special about him, and each day I am blessed by his personality and friendship. Coming from a family that didn’t stay together, I was determined to not let that affect me. And it didn’t , for a while. I am a very analytical person, to a fault sometimes. I ignored the stress and feelings from my parents divorce and once Steven and I got married, it hit me like a brick wall. I was so blessed to have had Steven by my side as I sorted through all my emotions, and there was plenty ;). To be married isn’t about showing everyone else how lucky you are. I just don’t think that that what its about. I have always struggled with comparing myself to others. When we get caught up in how much bigger the ring is or how fancy the wedding is or how my husband is sweeter, it just seems like a charade.              
We have always referred to our relationship as a football game. There were off seasons, on seasons, pre seasons, and post seasons. Now that we are in a season  and are learning how to build a better offense and defense, so to speak, it is wonderful to sit back and enjoy the game. Steven has been an amazing person in my life. He has been my best friend and a great coach. I have cherished the times that we get to spend together. They haven’t always been often, but they are always filled with love. I know that even in moments of stress and frustration, he will continue to love me. Something that I needed to learn; somehow, my idea of love was it was meant for perfect people, so “Hannah, you better get your act together.” I constantly talked about the what ifs in life and compared myself and our relationship to others. I could never measure up. Its not perfect, but I have let it go and allowed myself to be love, be myself, and be messy. This has a been a challenge that Steven has so gently helped me with.            
Dating in high school is never an easy accomplishment, scratch that, dating isn’t easy and neither is high school. The combination is disastrous. Everyone has an opinion and it just gets so darn confusing. That is how I felt. Sometimes we won’t date or be vulnerable until were perfect. That is not the goal. I don’t believe that you should spend your whole life searching for the “one.” That, I believe causes, us, women to be critical and it will allow us to make an excuse for not fixing ourselves. Our relationship has never been perfect and we have always wanted to make that clear, so that others can ask us for help and we have the humility to ask others for help. It really comes down to understanding God’s love for us and relating that to marriage. Those big fights, seem to dwindle and dwindle when we realize that it is not about being right, but doing what is best for each other. I honestly believe that no matter how much the other person hurt you, you can still be sorry for something and learn a whole lot. I know that each day I’m gonna mess up, and I give that same grace toward Steven. We can’t always be perfect and respond perfectly.
I have quite the different outlook on marriage. I know that each day is a moment for me to grow and share that with someone else. I know that laughing usually makes things better. I know that its not always about me and making me feel special, but love is sacrificial and unconditional. I know that Steven is a wonderful man that continually surprises me with his intelligence, sense of humor, and love. I know that he will be a great father. And he is my best friend.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Baby: 27 weeks

It's the beginning of 7 months. I cannot believe that in just a few more months she will be here. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Book Club: Pre Week 1

I have currently created a book club on Facebook for friends that live far from me that I miss and want to connect with regularly. So what better way than a book club! Here is the pre-week question. Oh yea, we are reading the controversial Love Wins by Rob Bell.

Where does your image of hell come from? or What do you think hell consists of?

My response:
My idea of hell was first formulated from my time in sunday school. It's a evil place where bad people go. Then later in high school I was taught that it was a place of incessant torture, where everything and anything miserable would be present there. It was the epitome of suffering, the opposite of heaven. But then entered a period in my life when I stopped listening and agreeing with everything I heard and began questioning faith for myself and really making it my OWN faith. I'm still not sure about who goes to hell and what hell really is. But I do believe that it exists, that its miserable, and that it is a place for those who have chose to ignore God's calling (I cringe when I write that). To those who question me following a God who would punish someone who didn't love them. I ask them the simple question of why they dislike those who have disagree or persecuted them. Let's be honest we are not perfect people and will admit that I cannot even begin to imagine the reasons of God. His beauty alone astounds me. But with everything I believe God sacrificed his son for the whole world. And that is a reason why I don't deserve heaven. I can't earn it and I can't be a good enough Christian to get there. I can only worship and glorify the God I love and accept his wonderous grace that has been given to me. So in summary, I guess I do believe that the God I love would punish those who have openly admitted that they despise his being. But just by saying that I have created a line, which therefore creates a gray area. What qualifies as 'despising God.' And to that I say 'I refuse to live in hypotheticals.' Its up to each individual if they decide they wholeheartedly hate God. I'm not there to make that choice for them.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Life: Exercising and Feeling Good

Today Sattva Yoga had an Open House. I have been wanting to try this place out for a while. It is very close to where I work and one of my friends teaches their. I tried out two Booty Barre classes and Anusara Yoga class. It was wonderful!! The little studio was crammed with people. I loved the experience. Even though I am 6 months pregnant, it felt really good to work hard. The Booty Barre classes are what I would compare to a fusion of ballet and standing pilates. There is a lot of plie-ing, squatting and pulsing. Whew!! I definitely worked up a sweat! Then in between both Booty Barre classes, I took a Anusara yoga class. It was very different as I had to modify so much because of my large belly. But the experience was very serene. The yoga studio was just the right size and the teachers were amazing. At one point the class was doing bow position, which is DEFINITELY not recommended for me, so I did child's pose, one of the instructors came up and massaged my back so I could have a deeper stretch. Uh, wonderful!!! Anusara yoga is very different than attending a yoga class at the gym. They begin each class with OMs and singing the Anusara song. It is a stretch for me to feel comfortable, but once I got over that, it was relaxing and just swell :)

bow pose

Child's pose (I hope I looked like this)

The amazing instructors at Sattva Yoga.
(my friends the one of the far right, gorgeous huh?!)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Baby: 26 weeks

Since the hubs is at the Kings Game, I had to take this pic by myself. Well all I can say is...I sure have popped. Lilly Mae is growing daily. She so active, seriously, she is always moving. I love that reassurance that she's doing okay.

Pregnancy: Article for Epidurals (Not for the faint at heart)

I recently saw this article circulating its way around Facebook. The title of it "The Truth about Epidurals." It caught my eye, so I decided to take a read. To my surprise it was FOR epidurals. Okay not exactly for them, but that they actually don't cause as much harm as any other pain medication given during child birth. Before I continue I must say that this is MY viewpoint and as naive as I may be, I have researched much and also know that epidurals are essentially needed when pregnancy is induced because it causes contractions to be more intense and right on top of each other. Having said that, I do feel that we induce more labors in America than necessary. But your doctor I'm sure will disagree with me otherwise and convince, yes convince you that had you not been in the hospital, it could have been worse. Well thats all hypothetical. 
Okay back to the article and my beef with it. It convinces readers that when compared to women who didn't have an epidural, no real difference occurred, except those women said their birth was "very painful." Yeah no (insert expletive). Its not like a baby is the size of a pea popping out of a hole the size of a crater. Reality check! But the article did say:
'Epidurals may also have subtle effects on a woman’s physiology, lowering her blood pressure (which can be a benefit or a drawback depending on her blood pressure status in labor) and inducing a mild fever 10 to 15 percent of the time. Finally, epidurals do seem to lengthen the final stages of labor by about 15 minutes."

The essence of the article is to convince the reader that having a pain-free labor is better for the baby because it doesn't create stress related hormones that could affect the baby during delivery. But isn't a lot of that caused by the environment you are in. My favorite thing I have learned about home birth is that oxytocin (the hormone needed during delivery) is created in three ways, during intercourse, during delivery, and during breast-feeding. If you were to compare the environment that you have sex in and the environment that you give birth (hospital setting) I'm sure you'd see a difference. It would be hard to 'get it on' with people walking in and out of the room, pointing, telling you how to 'do it', and then taking over when its not going the way they (medical staff) like it. There is a reason why so many women have long first time deliveries. I can only imagine feeling stressed, overwhelmed, unfocused, and self conscience. That's why I at least have done my research to prepare myself. 

The writer of this article has wonderful credentials, so who am I to say that her opinion is wrong.  I don't it's just my thoughts. I sometimes get disappointed with our society and how eager we are to hang on other's words (hypocritical I know since I'm writing a blog). I can remember as a child feeling upset that a basketball player on a commercial was selling soda. This idealistic person embracing a product for money and totally affecting the younger population that looked up to him. I just wish we could have our own opinions and be confident enough to stand by them. Its the hippiness in me, as my husband refers to. Somewhere deep inside my ideas just don't blend with the world's, but I willing to take a stand if it means giving the world a bit of color :) 

I just hope that after all this. Whoever is reading this decides to do what is best for them because of what they want and not what they have been influenced by. On that note this is how the author to the article ended her writing:

"My unnatural childbirth left me with a memory that does not involve intolerable pain, and that’s exactly what I wanted."

I think the unnatural childbirth part says it all. Your missing out on something so pure (and painful, I get it!!! :))

( random cute photo)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Instagram: What's in your bag?

So I'd would totally do something cute, like put numbers on all the items, but I gave up and just decided to reveal the contents of my bag ( I also found that my hand salve and phone, were not included in this pic)

1. Makeup bag
2. book
3. sunglasses
4. Floss
5. Hand cleaner
6. Gum
7. Fake lashes (I don't know when I'll use them)
8. keys
9. trash
10. journal (its pink)
11. 5 kinds of lip gloss/lipstick/chapstick
12. 6 pens
13. altoids
14.perfume (its just oil and pheromones)
15. Mace
16. Straws
17. Spoon
18. Deoderant
19. Checkbook
20. Coupons
21. Wallet

I know. I know. Why all the stuff. I just keep telling myself, you always have to be prepared. Luckily, I recieved a large diaper bag. My mom has always said that since I was four, I used to carry around a large bag filled with nonsense (i.e., shoulder pads). It a Hannah trademark, and I proudly flaunt it. Just don't tell the hubs :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Instagram: 7-13 days

Day 7: Favorite: Running (obviously)

Day 8: Sky

Day 9: Daily Routine: VITAMINS I'm up to 15 now. But I must say...I have plenty of energy and  am feeling great!!

Day 10: Childhood- These are my favorite books. I actually got Patricia Pollaco to sign Thunder Cake. I cherish that book and adore her writing.

Day 11: Where I sleep
I should have taken a picture of my side of the bed, but I had to take one quick because the hubs wasn't feeling well and wanted to lay down.

Day 12: Closeup I recently recieved two of these mugs. I love them dearly. They are my favorite color combo right now (yellow, white, and purple) I'm sure if you don't know already, you can easily guess Lilly's bedroom color scheme.

Day 13: What is in your bag (Everything under the sun) See if you can guess all 20 items (there is actually 23, but I'll give a little grace. Plus there are multiple pens, so that only counts as one item)

I'll post the answers tomorrow!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Baby Lilly Mae: 25 weeks

25 weeks...I can't believe it! Five more weeks...I'll be 30 weeks. It's flying by. I can't wait to hold her!!

I feel like a whale...and I still have 15 weeks left. But I'm still running. Last week I ran 5 miles at 11.00 minute pace.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Photography: Instagram Photo a day Challenge: Week 1

Day 1: Me
I hate taking pictures of me, especially now that I feel like my face is filling up with fluid from this pregnancy. Although I can't really complain, full face, being my only negative. I wonder if Lilly Mae will smile like me?

Day 2: Breakfast
Oh, how grateful I am for our Vitamix. I am eating breakfast now! Lots of fresh fruit and greek yogurt (22grams of protein per cup). I feel healthier each day. Now I just gotta stop eating sweets :)

Day 3: Something I love.
My puppies: Gus and Tucker. Although we will be needing to get rid of Tucker and find him a loving home soon before Lilly Mae gets here. It makes me tear up every time I talk about him leaving me :(

Day 4: Letterbox
I learned not only that Letterbox means mailbox, that you SjD, but also a cropped photo or something like that. Here is my attempt:

Day 5: Something I wore
I recently bought these Betsy Johnson shades from Nordstrom Rack. Oh how I adore Betsy Johnson. She was my first favorite designer. I love her boldness and creativity. And her hair....need I say more.

Day 6: Something that makes me smile
Baby Lilly's kicks
I am so in love with her. Its weird to love someone you have never met. I can't wait to meet her and see who she looks like. I makes me so HAPPY!!

Stay tuned for Day 7-Day 13

Friday, January 6, 2012

Blog: Making a button

Yahoo! After coveting so many others...I have finally created a button! I love it! I used Blog Guidebook's link to help me create the perfect button and it only took about a half hour!!! Here is my final project:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Baby: 24 Weeks

We are so excited to meet Lilly Mae! Its getting harder and harder for both of us to wait.

Life: Being a woman

I recently saw a friend post this article on Facebook. It is a beautiful article, by Darling Magazine, about the art of being a woman while releasing the need to compete against others.
Isn't that what its all about: compassion and love.
Sure girl drama makes for great movies and definately juicy gossip.
Somewhere deep inside each of us, is the desire to want to be the best, the crowning jewel, the royal princess.
And of course, there is only enough room for one princess!! (note my sarcasm here).
I simply believe that this is where Satan gets us, in that deep, dark place where we can't be thrilled for other's happiness.
Where we sulk and mope when we don't look good enough.
Here is the article in case you want to read it here...but definately check out the website!!

I Don’t Want To Compete Anymore

Age twelve. I sit in front of the mirror in the locker room after gym, watching my friend put on her mascara.
“We don’t like her.” She whispers to me with a cruel smile, eyeing a girl walking past us.
“Why?” I ask.
“Because she’s pretty.”
This dusty little memory popped into my head while watching the movie “The Help” a few months ago. Celia Foote, (brilliantly played by Jessica Chastain) spends her time trying to fit in with the high society women in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1950’s. I watched as Celia Foote, a lonely, hurting and stunningly beautiful young woman, pathetically peered through the window of another young woman hosting a bridge party that she was not invited to. She unassumingly leans over the shrubs, pie in hand, and the women inside duck and shush, snubbing her, until she leaves humiliated. The look on her red tear-streaked face cut right into the heart of me. I had tears running down my own face!
It’s because I’ve seen that look before–on the faces of many other women throughout my life, as well as my own. I think it is safe to say that all women have been on one or both ends of this kind of scenario at some point in their life.
My question is this: what makes the “more compassionate sex” capable of such ruthless behavior?
The most common answer among honest women would likely be personal insecurity. At the core of who we are, we want three things: To be loved, accepted, and admired.
The threat of losing those things can bring a woman to despicable action. Our primal survival instincts kick in when we think another woman has the ability to take them away from us. Unfortunately, our society has taught us that all three of them are contingent upon our society’s standard of what “beauty” is. It is the slow cancer that grows roots down into the crevices of our lives, affecting so much more than what kind of makeup we buy or the most recent statistics on teenage eating disorders. In a recent survey I conducted for a project, 92% of women said that on some level, the pressure they felt to be “beautiful” or “sexy” resulted in a difficulty to maintain healthy relationships with other women. Instead of appreciating each other’s beauty, we need to feel like we are surpassing it in order to feel comfortable in our own skin. I know that in the past, I have had to fight off the urge to size up a woman when I first meet her. Many times, I have been in situations where I want to look a woman in the eye and scream, “Relax! I don’t want to compete with you!”
A woman’s beauty is nothing less than an expression of God’s creative hand. Among many things, God made us to be beautiful. Just like the sight of Mt. Everest or the sun setting over the ocean, the sight of a beautiful woman should evoke feelings of awe, wonder, and respect for God’s creation. When we begin to compete with each other within that reality, we are choosing to worship ourselves instead. Beyond that, we are robbed of the gift of relationship. I long to see a culture of women rise up that celebrates one another’s beauty. What kind of freedom would be accessible to women if their greatest threats became their greatest companions—supporting one another, defending one another, rejoicing with one another?
It begins when we see each other for what we really are: sisters.
We forsake ourselves when we forsake our sisters. The refusal to affirm our culture’s beauty agenda is the game-changing choice that will turn the tide in the expectation on women to compete with one another. Let’s create a new norm for our daughters and granddaughters to inherit. No more competing! Let’s leave them a legacy of love and respect for other women instead of an obsession with a standard of beauty that doesn’t even exist.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Life: New Years Past and Present


Next year there will be three of us :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Life: Celebrating Christmas

Here are a few pics from Christmas time:

Hope you all had a great Christmas!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Life: New Year Wishes

I sit here thinking about all the wonderful things that I have been blessed with.

I have been blessed with a wonderful pregnancy.

I have been given a wonderful job.

I have been blessed with an amazing, hardworking, supportive husband (he's pretty cute too).

I have been blessed with the energy and body to support my addictive running habits.

I have been blessed with sweet friends.

I have been blessed with wonderful family.

I have been blessed with many, many gadgets and toys to play with.

But sometimes, amongst all those blessings, my heart still aches.

I wish for a family group. (We belong, if I can say that, to a church that is growing and we have felt swallowed and unfulfilled. Of course, I know that seeking out a community group is our role, but unfortunately, maybe due to my hardened heart or aching wounds, I refuse to join a small group. I feel that they are usually impersonal, I can never relate with anyone, people are guarded and become judgmental toward me as I open my heart.)

I wish to read my Bible more (I know, my problem. Today for the first time in quite a while I craved God's word. I think I will open to Romans or maybe a good Old Testament story.)

I wish I was more clean and organized (these past couple of weeks I've been pretty good, but I really think that is because I'm not working and off for break. I really want to have a clean home and its something that has always been hard for me to keep up on. It frequently makes me feel less of a woman).

I wish for Tucker to find a good home (We recently put up posters for Tucker to find a new home. We are hoping to release him from our home soon. It will just be too much with two dogs and a new baby.)

I'm sure I have more, but I hope this inspires someone to be grateful for what they have. So quickly do I complain and whine about my misfortunes, when realistically I am rich beyond measure.