Monday, August 27, 2012

Finding Joy


That's my sigh of relief. The summer season at camp is over and we're back to only having guest groups in on the weekends. This means no more working weeknights, getting woken up by singing or screaming campers at midnight, etc. Back to the simplicity I love so much about living in the mountains :)

It has been a hugely blessed summer here, and I've had a blast working in the office. I've had the pleasure of meeting some truly touching people who have come to stay here. I've also been challenged and stretched in ways I never have before. Things I can't write about in the open, which is why I've been absent here. It's hard to keep blogging pretending everything is hunky-dory when it's really not. This season of life has been one of the hardest, and there were days when I literally wanted to give up & quit. But I didn't, I kept going, I kept praying and you know what? I made it. And I feel refreshed. And I feel stronger because I leaned into the Lord for strength when I knew I didn't have any of my own left.

I'm not saying I did this with the most grace, because I certainly am a whiner. That is something I am working on :) Through all the struggles I've faced this summer, one huge blessing has been the summer staff office help: Joyann. She is the most gracious, gentle, and kind spirit I think I've ever met. It's been HUGE for me to be able to sit next to her every day and see her example of holding her tongue, always keeping a positive attitude, and giving such Godly encouraging advice.  God truly blessed me by having the privilege of working with her day in and day out. That or He really wanted me to learn to be more like Him. Joyann is one of the most Christ-like people I've known and seriously, I can't put to words what her example has meant to me. I've learned a lot this summer from her, and just from being herself.

Throughout the challenges I've faced this summer, I've also been emotionally different. Pregnancy is hard. I haven't felt 100% in five months, I finally got over being sick and now I can't sleep through the night, I'm sensitive, and to top that all off I tend to be passive aggressive. At work I feel the need to hold that all in and keep a smile on my face. When coworkers offend or irritate me I just look away and take a deep breath; when guests are pushy or rude, I smile and offer ways to come to a solution.

It's exhausting. I don't want to ignore coworkers who bother me, I want to yell at them. I don't want to offer helpful solutions to guests who are rude to me, I want to tell them to figure it out themselves if they're so unappreciative. But instead, I hold it all in for eight hours and then when my sweet husband picks me up he gets the whole day of frustration poured out on him. I hate that I do that. It's not Christlike. It's not respectful. It's not encouraging.

It hurts my heart when I am impatient with Zach. Sweet Zach who loves me no matter what and hugs me when I'm yelling at him for no reason. So I've been trying to find ways to relieve that tension at the end of the days. I'm incredibly blessed to live in the woods where there are so many places to go, and also to live at a camp that has a herd of horses.

This week after work, I headed up to the barn and helped our wrangler feed the horses. AKA I stood in the back of a flat bed truck and threw hay into the pastures. And you know what, I haven't been that happy in a long time. Something about being outside, feeling the fresh air on my skin, hearing the horse noises when they see the truck coming & they are so excited.

When I came home on Monday evening after feeding, I was smiling, laughing, had energy. Zach even said "wow, I haven't seen you in this good of a mood in a long time." So on Thursday, my day off, I came up to help lead arena rides for a special needs group we had in last week. I spent two hours walking in circles, leading these adults around the arena on horseback. It was

Sometimes I'm overly tired, sometimes I'm emotional, sometimes I feel depressed, sometimes I get unnecessarily cranky. Always, God is enough. Always, He provides a solution. Always, He leads me to where I can find joy.

Friday, August 10, 2012

20 Week Update

It's a Boy!!
Bennett Clark Harris
I can't wait to meet this sweet little boy!

As some of you know, I really wanted a girl. Honestly, it was to the point that I wasn't sure how I would feel if this baby was a boy. In church last Sunday, part of the message talked about Abraham wanting an heir and taking a servant from his household since he had no children, and instead, God promised Abraham a Son to carry on his family. At this moment, I knew I was having a boy. I truly think God showed me that having a boy is more than just a baby with a blue nursery, it's about raising a strong, noble man. I couldnt help but be so incredibly proud that this baby boy will have Zach as his main example of a man of God. We are both also very blessed to have amazing Dads for this little boy to look up to!

When I got to my ultrasound on Wednesday, the tech pulled up the screen of the little legs and when I looked up I exclaimed, "That is definitely a boy!!". And to tell you the truth, I am SO excited! The Lord will give me a baby girl when it is the right time, and right now it is our time to raise a son. My heart hasn't been this giddy with joy since the day we got engaged!

Alright now to the update on my growing bump :)
Taken this morning at 20 weeks

Baby's size: One app says mango, one app says small canteloupe!

Sleep: I sleep pretty well, my sweet hubby got me the Boppy sleep pillow and it has been a life saver.
Maternity Clothes: I have a couple of loose fitting tops I can still wear, but other than that I'm all maternity! My belly hangs out of my regular shirts now haha! I wish that in the last couple of years I would have bought a few more looser tops so that I didn't have to purchase so much right now.

Food cravings:  Nothing overwhelming yet, but I have been loving a slurpee and coconut/mango froyo!

Symptoms I have: Cranky & tired. My poor husband :)

Doctor’s Appointment: Baby measured a week ahead of where I'm supposed to be. Hoping this means we'll meet him sooner than later!

Movement: Just started feeling him this week! It feels like an eyelid twitch but bigger. I am LOVING feeling him wiggle around!

Belly Button:  It's getting very very flat, but hasn't poked out yet.

Best moment of the week: Finding out we have a "him"! (I was so ready to not say"it" anymore)

What I’m looking forward to: 
Going home to Seattle in September, feeling Bennett move more.
What I miss: Wine.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Attempt #1 to Find out Baby's Gender

So when my friend Sarah (the one who was with me when I found out I was pregnant) moved here, we instantly clicked. She teases me because I always say I have the worst luck, but I have a pretty dang good life. Anyways, the longer we are friends, the more she starts to believe in my bad luck...

Two weeks ago I had a regular OB checkup. Last month, the doctor had said we could maybe check for the gender at this appointment (I was almost 18 weeks). So Zach and I prayed and prayed that it would work out. I am so tired of this guessing game and just want to know!

So we arrive to the office, checkin, and wait... and wait.... and wait. They finally call my name and by now I am convinced that we must have had to wait because my awesome doc just wanted to get us into the ultrasound room to check on that gender! And then they take us to room number 2, which definitely had no ultrasound machine.

The doc comes in and listens to the heartbeat, asks me the regular checkup questions, and says "OK, see you in another month!". At this point some words my dad said countless times pop into my head: Always ask for what you want; the worst that can happen is they'll say no. So I coyly say, "Hey last month you mentioned that you might be able to check on the gender..."

This is the funny part. The doctor gets a big smile on her face, peeks out of our room and says, "there is someone in the ultrasound room right now but just wait in here and I'll watch for when they come out." We only waited about a minute and then scurried to room 4 to check on the babe. The nurse was trying to put a new patient in there and the doctor had to stop them so we could sneak in! Haha!

So we hurry in, she preps my belly and starts looking around in there. She gets super quiet and keeps looking and looking and looking. By this point I'm wondering what the heck she sees in there!

After about 3 minutes of looking, she gets a sad expression, looks over at us and says, "I'm really sorry, but the umbilical cord is between the baby's legs. I just can't see what the gender is."

Seriously?! I swear this crap only happens to me!! The doctor SNUCK us in to get an extra ultrasound and still couldn't see the gender!

The good news is, we have an appointment in precisely two hours with a sonographer, and I'd appreciate all the prayers I can get that this baby lets us see if its a little princess or prince!