Thursday, September 29, 2016

Small Joys

Puffin in Bloom Box Set, books and flowers

I feel like my first trimester nastiness pushed right up to the half-way point of this pregnancy, and then I had a bout of second trimester relief, when things felt like they were getting better, and I might not actually hate being pregnant so much, and we could get out of the house, and I had energy and could do things and there was hope. That lasted all of two weeks, and then third trimester miserableness hit and hit hard this month (never mind I won't officially be in the third trimester for three more weeks, these pregnancy hormones don't care for rules like that). Exhaustion, back pain, swelling, leg cramps, heartburn, exhaustion, and more back pain. I just... do I really have three and a half more months of this? Really?

So before I spiral back down into my well of self-pity, let me count my blessings again and remind myself that life is actually very good. Very, very good. Here are my small joys for September.

1. Compression Maternity Leggings - No, it is not cool enough to wear leggings here yet. Nor have I ever found leggings to be really my style. But these things are magic. They make my tired, achy, swollen legs feel so much better, and I don't even care if it looks horrendous or if I'm sweltering to death, I will be wearing these leggings underneath every outfit every day from here until I give birth (they are sheer, more like thick tights, so can't be worn alone, but whatever, they feel good).

Book Art, Book Origami

2. Getting bookishly spoiled for my birthday. - I got celebrated and spoiled in many ways on my birthday, but that was more big-life joy (that I've already talked enough about). Some of the best smaller-level spoiling was bookish. My husband gave me the Puffin in Bloom book set (because I've only been salivating over these books for years, pictured at the top of post) and aren't they gorgeous? And then I opened a surprise package from my sister-in-law and nearly squealed with delight when I saw the incredible book art she had made for me (photo above). I've seen these origami 3-D book things before (all over Pinterest and Etsy and whatnot), and thought I might look into making myself one some day, but she did it for me! Isn't it so perfect? I had to do some serious shelf rearranging to get these lovely pieces properly displayed, but I just feel so happy every time I look at my bookshelf now and see these new additions.

3. One-on-one time with my second child. - My husband took our oldest on what will hopefully be the first in a new tradition of daddy/son weekend trips (to see a BYU football game), and while I fretted about being apart, I had an amazing weekend with just me and the littlest guy at home. He's such an easy-going, happy content little kid that sometimes it's easy to ignore him and just let him take care of himself. But without his brother around demanding all my attention, this little guy got more of my focus than he's used to. And it was such a delightfully pleasant weekend (except for when I had to take him to a meeting on Sunday night when he should've been in bed, and he was a little bit of a terror because he was so tired). Also, why is life so much easier with one child than two? I took naps, read a whole book, and soaked up the general peace and quiet. We celebrated this kid's 2nd birthday this past week, and I'm just heartbroken that he's growing up. Can't he just stay my sweet, adorable, hat-wearing baby forever?

4. Potato chip dip. This is not in line with my recent push to return to healthy eating, but I'm pregnant, so whatever it takes to get me through this. My go-to nightly craving/snack for the past month+ has been my mom's potato chip dip. It's about a cup of cottage cheese, half a cup of mayonnaise, two heaping tablespoons of horseradish (not the sauce, the stronger stuff), and garlic salt to taste. Usually I make this stuff once or twice a year (Christmas Eve, then maybe for a special football game or something), but I've gone through about five bottles of horseradish over the past two months, a carton of cottage cheese a week, and a super embarrassing amount of potato chips. I will never eat this stuff again when I'm through with this pregnancy, but right now it is hitting the spot. Pregnancy is weird. Don't judge. (And try the dip out sometime, it really is delicious.)

5. Violin Lessons. - I never thought I'd be listing this as a joy. We started our oldest boy with violin lessons this month, and to say I've been apprehensive about this decision would be an understatement. My husband plays the violin (as do his four siblings and five cousins, it's kind of a dynasty thing), and he made it clear early on that he wanted this same opportunity for his children. I saw the time and sacrifice my mother-in-law put in to get all of her children to such an elite level on the violin, and I knew it was going to be a commitment, not just for my four-year-old child, but for myself. I just wasn't sure that a four-year-old was capable of making this kind of life decision, nor was I sure we as his parents should be making it for him. But Josh seemed interested and excited about the prospect of playing the violin like Daddy, so I signed him up to begin Suzuki lessons this fall, and... I've been blown away. Josh LOVES these lessons, tolerates our daily practice sessions with much more pleasantness than I anticipated, and is picking everything up way more quickly than I expected. Yes, it is a time commitment and sacrifice on my part, but I've felt such a surprising amount of joy watching my son flourish in this new enterprise. I'm not saying he's gifted (um, no, not really at all), or that he will always be enthusiastic and excited about this, or that we will push violin for the rest of his life. But for right now, it's perfect for him (and me).

6. Celebrating a Different 10 Year Anniversary - This month marked the 10 year point since my husband and I met and went on our first date. We celebrated simply (take-out and a movie, not nearly as fun as our first date to the Ramayana festival at a Hare Krishna temple), but it was fun just to mark the occasion and take a stroll down memory lane. Obviously neither of us guessed ten years ago that date would lead to marriage, but here we are today waiting on baby #3 and happy as can be with our little life.

Okay, that's all for now. What have your small joys been this month?


  1. Oh I hear you! I can't believe I have 15 more weeks left. I am already so huge and tired. We can do this:)

    1. Ugh, I know! This is definitely on track to be my largest pregnancy yet, I'm so uncomfortable. But no other way through it than through it. Good luck with yours!

  2. I might need that puffin set for whenever my new shelves are put in; they are so pretty! (And maybe some book art too--I liked having it on my shelf for a few weeks!)

    I'm glad you both are enjoying violin lessons. Seriously, the dynasty pressure is strong, but each kid is different. Andrew wants to start, and I should really find a real teacher for Kate, but Natalie will never be a violinist. Good luck!

    1. Yes! You and the Puffin books would go so perfectly together! I'm hoping that someday mine get to decorate this baby girl's nursery (but she'll be living in a closet for the first part of her life, so this dream may never come to pass).

      Also, Andrew would be great at the violin! We wish you were still around to be Josh's teacher (but I actually really like the teacher we have him with right now, so it's good).