Quiet, Summertime Changes: Currently Series

Currently Series with Authentic Virtue Blog

I am thankful for the seasons life brings us. It’s summertime and the days are passing by as quickly as July’s rainstorms roll in. Our vacation time is over, we’ve settled in our new rental, and the fears of my first trimester and the misdiagnosed miscarriage are beginning to look more like memories instead of terrifying, first-hand experiences.

Life is quieting down and I’m finding new ways to make the most of my given time. I will not be teaching this year which means I’m not scurrying around decorating a classroom or writing lesson plans. The timing of baby’s birth did not combine well with the year’s contract. So, now is a season of letting go and preparing for what’s to come. Change is always difficult for my personality so there were quite a few emotions as I cleaned out my desk and put away lesson plans and curriculum. I’m going to miss the routine of being a part-time teacher and all the benefits that come from being in the student’s lives; I am looking forward to substituting though.

Dalton gently reminded me to focus on baby and all the joy this new season brings. I was a bit embarrassed by that — of course I’m loving baby and all that pregnancy means. But his words also reminded me that change is good and should be embraced. Now isn’t the time to mourn over a part-time job or be sorry over my changing routine and schedule. Now is the time to begin planning, dreaming, and investing in the new life which will forever change ours

I’m so glad I have time to plan for our new family member. His/her bedroom is slowly turning from a guest room/library to a garden and Beatrix Potter themed nursery combined with the guest room. Baby clothes have been folded and set into different categories. Blankets are being washed.

In the kitchen I’m trying new recipes, looking at freezer meal recipes (in preparation for our busy, recovering time), and trying to discover the best ways to accomplish meal prep a head of time. (Since waking up – cheerfully – and making breakfast for my Darling Man is a bit difficult these days.) I think I need to take a second look at my morning routines for being successful. 😉

Our new home is becoming more nest-like and comfortable. I finally have enough energy to weed through closets, the motivation to toss what I no longer need, and the desire to find the best ways to decorate our home. I’m hoping with each change I make it becomes more peaceful and welcoming.

Most importantly, I’m endeavoring to bring more focus on the Lord into my heart and home. Hymns and worship music are filling the air, negative thought patterns are being weeded out, and Scripture themed prayers are becoming more common. We have loved ones who need God’s grace in their lives, relationships which need treasured and protected, and a little one to raise up for the Lord; these are all things which come from God and are accomplished through His good will. They’re also things I can ask for in confidence knowing my Heavenly Father hears my pleas and understands my heart.

AuthenticVirtue.com // Currently Series on homemaking, pregnancy, and the grace poured into every day life

What beautiful things have come your way this week? Are there any changes you’re trying to adjust to? I love your comments and growing together as friends. Let me know what you’re thinking! 🙂

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Being Purposeful in Loving

Practicing a protective, purposeful heart with AuthenticVirtue.com

If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. You shield it and protect it. You never abuse it. You don’t expose it to the elements. You don’t make it common or ordinary. If it ever becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new. It becomes special because you have made it so, and it grows more beautiful and precious as time goes by.” – F. Burton Howard

Today I want to encourage you to protect what you love. Life can be corroding and chaotic, breaking down beauty with its salt-like wind and billows.

Shield what you love. When we plant young sprouts we protect them; we carefully tie stakes to the tender shoots and we water when the sun would rather dry everything out.

Marriages, relationships, and walking with the Lord are precious items meant to be special and protected. Too much harm comes from growing careless, bored, and unimpressed with what makes life special.

Sweet friend, take a few moments to cherish and polish what you never want to lose. Kiss your husband a little longer tonight; read to your child one more time before bed; call your out-of-state friend just to say hello; wake up a few minutes earlier to read God’s Word.

Practice protecting what you never want to lose and watch how precious and special the thing becomes.

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

 

Bump Update: 16 Weeks

Weekly pregnancy updates at AuthenticVirtue.com

It’s a sweltering July day and, sweet people, I’m sixteen weeks and a few days pregnant.

Baby Update: We’re 16 weeks and with 24 weeks to countdown! 🙂 Isn’t that exciting? Baby is now the size of an avocado. (Awe!)

Fun Fact: Baby Duncan may be able to finally listen to outside sounds! That’s perfect because I’ve 1) been talking to baby since day one and 2) have so many lovely classic pieces, lullabies, hymns, and sound tracks to fill our time and hearts with.

Mood: My mood has been much more relaxed and hopeful than in previous weeks. June was full of sweet busy times with family but it was also exhausting. July has been much more relaxed and helpful in my settling into our new home and establishing a routine which in turn has helped me settle into the reality of becoming a momma.

At 16 weeks moodiness seems to be taking a back seat although, like my friend Angel, I can struggle with strong and unexplained feelings of irritation or anger. My unexplained anger was actually my first prompt for taking a pregnancy test! I’ve also been told that I was abnormally aggressive during my first trimester which is something I hope is calming down.

So, overall, emotions are stabilizing back toward my normal. I still get weepy during sad movies (I cried again while watching Jin and Sun reconnect on Lost and during the last episode of The Office). I’m thankful God has shown some areas I can work on and given me the grace to 1) learn to be gracious again and 2) be gracious with myself and realize my 1st trimester was really stressful, crazy, and hormonal and mood changes are to be expected.

Sleep: Ah, sleep. It’s been interesting learning to sleep with my 16 week belly. Normally, I’m a stomach sleeper so learning to lay on my side has been difficult. I love it when Dalton turns to his side — I literally leech to him using his back like a pregnancy pillow. He graciously lets me do this (most of the time) except for when the house is hot (our thermostat has been chaotic). He hates waking up to me sticking to his back with both of us sweaty! Haha!

Weight Gain: Honestly, this is why I have avoided bump updates (tisk, tisk, Frannie — why are you so vain?!). I had read that few mommies gain weight during their 1st trimester and some even lose weight. At 16 weeks I’ve gained around 5 pounds.

I’ve been on slight bed rest/light rest orders since week 9 and have had two subchorionic hematomas (blood clots) most likely from two separate placenta tears. Plus, Missouri is hot, hot, hot this summer! In other words, my first trimester I took pretty easy. 🙂

When we discovered we were pregnant I began an awesome exercise routine but after spotting began I didn’t want to aggravate any issues. So, I’ve been pretty exercise-free these past months.

Mainly, my weight gain has been in the tummy region (hello, belly) and in the chest region (hello, bra size increase). 😉 Honestly, I’m not too worried about my weight gain because, other than special occasions, we have a healthy diet. I haven’t had one poptart or bowl of sugary cereal even though I’m dying to partake in these cravings!

Cravings: Speaking of, I am craving all things carby and sugary, like the said poptarts and cereal. Donuts, root beer floats, and pumpkin pie are also on the want-list. 😉

Exercise: With my blood clots being absorbed and decreasing in size I am feeling brave enough to begin exercising again. My plan? Stretching, long walks (on cool days), and kegels.

 Sickness: I’ve been enjoying nausea-free days for the last two weeks or so although I have headaches from dawn until dusk. I’ve been focusing on eating more protein (to fight against low blood sugar headaches) and good posture (to fight against tension headaches). Neither seem to be helping so until I discover why I’m getting headaches every day I’ll continue taking an afternoon nap which is the only thing that eases the pain for a few hours.

I am thankful that my sciatic pain is nearly gone. During week 14 and 15 I struggled with a sharp pain any time I lifted or moved my legs. I began some sciatic-specific stretches which eased the pain. Now, at week 16, I haven’t had one sharp twinge which is wonderful!

Best Part of Week 15: Dalton and I had a really great weekend together; God has been so kind in giving me such a hard-working, loving man and I love spending time with him! Also, my mom was able to visit for 2 days which was utter delight — she spoiled me with a homemade bag of puppy chow and we had lots of good time visiting and antiquing.

Looking Forward To: Seeing more family this week as well as an upcoming coffee date with a sweet friend. Also, I’m only a few weeks away from our next ultrasound! (Yay!)

Look at that bump! @ AuthenticVirtue.com

Are you a preggy Mommy? Maybe you’ve already had your little one? Or maybe you’re a single friend who isn’t near the season of having children yet? Either way, what are some things that surprised you about my list or that you experienced yourself? Do you have any ideas of what pregnancy will be like? 

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

My Top 8 Favorites of First Trimester Pregnancy

Pregnancy has been such an adventure for us. We’ve experienced crazy highs and lows and I am enjoying settling into being this little one’s mom. So often I struggle with worry or fear over our future but God has been good to me and sending me little ways to enjoy this time.

Here are my top favorites of our first trimester of pregnancy. The best part is that it will only get better now that I’ve entered the second trimester this week! (Praise the Lord!)

Resting in bed and pondering this miracle within me

I’ve been napping in the afternoon which means that Dalton typically falls asleep faster than I do at bedtime. These are the quiet moments when I talk to baby, wonder over him/her growing within me, and pray special Scriptures over baby. Some how night time seems to be a more sacred moment of the day as I rejoice and feel awe over our precious, growing bundle.

Pinteresting nursery ideas and other women’s weekly bump updates

I love searching for great ideas on Pinterest. (I think I’m addicted!) From adorable nursery themes to cloth diaper facts I tend to spend a lot of time learning through Pinterest’s gorgeous pictures and posts. (Here’s my boards) 

AuthenticVirtue.com Baby Board on Pinterest

Also, I love looking at other women’s weekly bump updates — it’s so fun seeing how my body will grow!

Seeing my belly grow (even though it still looks like a food baby)

I know my belly looks like a food baby to everyone else but I adore this growing bump. There were moments throughout my teenage years and early twenties where I would privately stuff a pillow under my shirt and try to imagine just how I would look as a pregnant momma.

It’s fun finally having that bump and knowing that it’s a real baby and not a pillow taking up all that space!

Praying Scripture over baby 

Praying over Baby Duncan has been the number one way I have grown from fear into hope in this pregnancy. I love the the below printable created by The Purposeful Mom. I’ll often pray through the list, meditate on it’s meaning, and repeat the words over baby and to the Lord.

All credit goes to The Purposeful Mom

This habit has made my pregnancy more special and real to me. Plus, it’s a beautiful way to invest in baby even before he or she is here in our arms.

Discovering great deals on neutral baby items (like my adorable Moses Basket!) 

I feel silly telling you that I’ve already been snatching up great finds at consignment stores and clearance racks! So many of my friends are waiting to buy baby items until they know baby’s gender but I can’t help myself.

So far, I’ve snatched up a beautiful Moses Basket bassinet (for $8!) and a few maternity items when Dalton sent me out for a shopping spree. 🙂

Eating well for baby 

Eating well has been a major joy in life lately. With the miscarriage scare, family visiting, and lots of out-of-town trips I haven’t been as diligent and focused on eating nutrient dense meals as I should be.

So, I enjoyed changing that habit and spent a good amount of time at the grocery store stocking the cart with snacks and ingredients I knew I could enjoy (even on days when I feel sick).

My latest pregnancy snacks? Raw veggies, prunes (for you know … 😉 ), yogurt, cow’s milk (we normally drink Almond Milk but were advised I should be drinking straight from the cow), and whole grains (which I normally avoid since we eat mostly gluten-free).

I’ve also taken to drinking chai tea as coffee is difficult to drink lately. (The horrors!) I still wanted my daily dose of warm goodness so the switch to creamy, home-brewed chai tea with a sprinkle of stevia wasn’t too difficult.

Drooling over modest maternity fashion

Is there anything cuter than maternity clothes? I’m tickled by the cute, layered hoodie and love the idea of wearing what I already wear — skirts, comfy shirts, and dresses.

All credit goes to Polyvore

All credit goes to Polyvore

Ah! Isn’t that so cute?

Having Dalton stroke my belly, talk to baby, and pray over baby 

Friends, I married an absolute gem. This man has blessed, encouraged, and cared for me since day one but he has really blossomed into a wonderful husband and daddy. I love watching Dalton pat my belly, talk to baby, and pray over us. There is nothing more precious than a grown man bending to talk to a baby still within the womb.

I love my husband and I love that he is enjoying this baby as much as I am.

There are my 8 top favorites of the first trimester. It’s been such a crazy yet beautiful time and these are just the beginnings of fun, delight-filled things. 

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Four Ways I Plan to Bless My Husband this Summer

Blessing Your Husband @ AuthenticVirtue.com

Summer is here; you can tell by the beautiful, thick, green trees, colorful wildflowers and warm, Missouri heat filling the land. And this summer F. Scott Fitzgerald’s words have never been so true.

 “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

This will be our last summer just Dalton and I. Next May we hope to have a lovely five month-old Duncan cooing and crying and in need of attention and diaper changes.

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