waiting in the word

14 Things I Wish I Had Heard with My First Baby

October 12, 2016

Emily Rumsey Photography I think every mother, womb-grown & heart-grown, has this litany somewhere in their head: those things they wish they’d heard when they were anticipating the arrival of their baby and the thereafter. Those things they wished someone had told them. My list is pretty long. Probably because I was the first in my family to have a baby, and first in my immediate friend group to be pregnant, and had just moved prior to being pregnant so even those new moms I did know now lived far away from us. A few of my cousins who lived close by had young children and that helped! A few neighbors did, too. No one I worked with that I was close enough to ask things like why is this happening to my unmentionables?? I read a lot, and found community online where I could ask questions. Mostly I just plodded through, trial & error style. Some of these may resonate, some may not. Hopefully you’re hearing (or heard) what you needed to during your first transition! It can be physically hard to be pregnant, and that doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong. *** Not everyone who you think doesn’t have a baby, doesn’t have a baby. Lots of loss is invisible, from adoptive plans gone awry to miscarriage to fertility struggles. Don’t assume anything about other women’s bodies. *** It’s okay to feel emotionally out of whack, but if you’re having trouble with day-to-day functioning, tell your provider. You’re not whining. You…

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I want a better marriage

October 3, 2016

Yes, I really do! I really do. And it’s on my mind often. What can I do to improve our marriage? Okay, that’s a lie. Somedays all that’s on my mind is the long list of things he can do to improve our marriage. But I married a great guy to begin with, and I bring at least half the problems to the relationship so I really can take credit for needing to improve it and being able to. 1) recognize where we are. Like, without the hormonal influence of pregnancy. Really, truly, I sat down and took stock in where our marriage is. I wrote down what our habits are. How much time we actually spend in actual conversation. How often we bicker or fight. How frequently I’m slaying him with death-emojis in my mind’s emoticon board. I also wrote down what I appreciate about him. I wrote this out before the list of things that are hard for me because it’s easy to get swept up in the negative, at least for me. It’s not social media’s fault. It’s not my iPhone’s fault. It’s my fault for spiraling down a negativity black hole when a simple acknowledgement of an annoyance would do. Let go, bite the inside of your mouth, find ice cream. All better things to do. 2) talk openly about our children and future children. Laura & Nancy & I wrote another Scripture study (Waiting in the Word: A Couple’s Journey) that I know I told you about a few…

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The Story of Women’s Fertility

August 31, 2016

Maybe you grew up thinking like me: if a woman wants to, at some point, she can have kids, or not, and it’s that simple. Just wanting something, having sex, and there you go. My family was really open about how conception happened, how a baby grew & birthed, and it seemed all very straightforward. My mom never experienced a miscarriage nor her mom, nor anyone close to us who talked about it. I was clueless about the  sweeping arc of the journey of a woman’s fertility despite understanding the biological process. Even as a young adult, I really didn’t know that many people who lost a baby, or couples who struggled conceiving and carrying to term. I heard lots of “oh, a miscarriage is God’s way of taking care of a baby who would have had problems anyway” or “that couple must be waiting to have kids until they’re more financially stable or out of school.” It wasn’t until law school, when I first met peers who actually were married and had families, that I started to hear the stories. Stories about loss. Stories about trying and hoping and waiting for the pregnancy test to be positive. Stories about unexpected pregnancies when they already had a passel of kids and it looked “like too many” to outsiders. Stories about longing for a partner to have kids with, or the hardship of solo parenting. Stories about people who actually used natural family planning, or the fertility awareness method. New stories…

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Almost 7 Years of Marriage & a Marriage Scripture Study I Wrote

May 12, 2016

Who are these youngsters?? Okay, we’re coming up on seven years of marriage at the end of this month. I simply cannot believe it’s been so long but so quick. My friends Laura and Nancy and I were talking about our anniversaries that are all coming up soon and the vows we took when bam! we realized our next scripture study should center around marriage vows. We brought on a superstar to write on the fourth vow: Jenna Guizar, creator & founder of Blessed is She. She’s simply remarkable and one of my fav people in the world. Monday May 16th you can download your e-study guide right here for Waiting in the Word: Our Vows. We cover the four vows used in most Christian marriage ceremonies: 1) Love and Cherish, 2) Promise to be True, 3) For Better or Worse, and 4) Until Death Do Us Part. I wrote on being true. And it took a turn I didn’t expect. On our wedding day, I thought being true meant not having an affair. I’ve come to learn it that for me it means being invested in a rich intimate life–three kids later, even through extremely hard pregnancies, his long work hours, blah blah blah. There’s always a reason to not be emotionally and physically available to each other, and honestly open to treating the other with attentive love. We hope you’ll join us. It works a lot like our other Waiting in the Word scripture studies: you get a study with…

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Mom Who Reads Self-Help Books

February 16, 2016

I’m an English major with a creative writing emphasis. And a lawyer. {and new hair!!} But all I want to read is behavioral psychology and child-rearing books. And self-help. Didn’t I write about this last year? I guess you can say it’s diversified? It used to be all Sharon Olds poems, and then all SCOTUS decisions {RIP, Scalia!}. Now it’s all Dr. Sears. Colleen asked what I’m reading now and I took this selfie. Yes, an English major said “selfie.” {{hides face in shame}} And yes, sometimes your almost four year old girl needs to be calmed down by carrying her in the carrier the tot won’t even go in anymore! // Better than Before // I LOVE GRETCHEN RUBIN. Gretchen, if you somehow read this late one night when you’re scrolling trackbacks to your blog, know you have a real fan over here. Love all your books. This one is all about identifying how we make decisions, and then how those form into habits. And how to make new habits. // The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up // Marie Kondo. Admittedly, there are some very odd parts to this. I don’t agree with the extreme anthropomorphism of personal belongings. It does not resonate with me. But I do agree that one must be merciless and detailed when examining whether or not our closets, attics, and wardrobes really need to bulge at the hinges. It’s a quick read and helpful if you’re on the cusps of decluttering. // The Collapse…

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Five Going on Fifteen

February 6, 2016

Somehow this last six months has felt like a shift in our family. SuperBoy isn’t a little kid anymore. He’s in a whole different place, so I’m in a whole different place as a mom. Yes, he still has epic clashes with me and trouble listening at times, but his maturity is sometimes (sometimes) amazing. His wings are growing. Banging. Bashing around, looking for higher heights to leap from, and leading the way for the little kids to want and be and do more and more. Case in point. The other day, for the first time in months, SuperBoy was the gentle big brother I know is in there somewhere. He changed into his play clothes in the morning without a fight. He let his sister play with his legos without apoplectic screeches. He spoke in the cutest LOUD SLOW BABY TALK to the toddler who understood him perfectly and let us know with lots of “BABA” and “JEE-JEE” responses. {that’s my dad’s name and Jesus, FYI}. His idea for Lent? Offering up all treats and adding in doing all his morning chores before breakfast. WHO IS THIS KID? I thought about these posts I had written throughout the years: big boy battles,   taming your toddler’s tantrums, feeling powerless with your preschooler, power parenting: why force & fear don’t work,  helping emotional boy find his voice & ears. He’s growing up. That’s my dad’s dresser from his childhood we’ve repainted around those 50’s decals a few times for our babes. …

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