Monday, March 31, 2014

Our First Baby Shower

Since I promised most subsequent blog posts would be more positive, this is my first attempt. You're welcome. 

Two weeks ago, my mom and Patrick's mom threw us a beautiful baby shower. We got incredible gifts, and I'm continually reminded of how many amazing friends we have. This babe is one lucky girl! Can't wait to introduce her to everyone. I can already tell you'll love her.

This last picture on the bottom right is of some headbands Jacquelyn sent us. They are as cute as can be, and I definitely recommend you check out this creative gal's shop!

All other photos (except for the obviously iPhoned ones) are courtesy of my talented brother, Walter Hall. Check out his other work here

Big love from the Wests!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Griping + Rejoicing

This is one of those posts where I wish we were sitting across from each other at a coffee shop, or maybe on one of our couches. In fact, a bar might even be the better choice, as the loud noise would ensure that you wouldn't catch all that I'm saying. Thus reigning in your judgement a hair more than if you could hear me loud and clear. That might make this feel a little less dramatic, and maybe a little bit more endearing. Okay, well, that might be a stretch. 

The good news is that I'm hangin' in there. And by 'hangin' in there' I mean I am compulsively online shopping, switching out yoga for pj pants, and then going back to yoga pants. I have bought more doughnuts and Nutella in the last few weeks than in all of the years of my life combined. Patrick has had several long out-of-town work trips, which has left me to be the sole support for our dog and cat. Read: feeding and pottying in the early mornings and late nights, and offering general emotional stability for them while one of our pack is gone. Sidenote: pregnancy is not a time to be counted on to be emotionally supportive, not even for your pets. Hoping I pull it together in this area for the sake of child #2.

Yesterday I went to TJ Maxx, and found myself scowling at those who walked by. Normally I'd smile, say hello, and maybe even an 'Excuse me.' But I'm too cranky tired, and the other shoppers were moving so slowly that my 'quick' errand was turning into an endless excursion of weaving around retired women and waiting for them to make room for me on the aisle. So much so that I had to sit down on a couch halfway through my trip to rest. Mind you, I was only looking for a lamp. 

In other news, I attempted to paint my toenails last week, which was a mild success. But now the polish is chipping and I can't reach my toes to touch it up. Sorry, mom. (This is a cardinal sin in my family). 

Earlier this week I thought it'd be a good idea to do some arm weights. But then I got out of breath cutting up a cucumber, so there went that idea. Points for good intentions? 

But in all fairness, I have had some incredible support around me for the last 8 months (yes, I'm in the EIGHTH month). My mother-in-law has gone above and beyond and handled a few returns, washed baby clothes and blankets, and helped me organize them in the nursery. Patrick has graciously helped clean the house, or given me time to sit down mid-walk, or sent me to take a nap while we're in the middle of a project. My co-workers are dreamy, and are consistently checking in on me, encouraging me, and cheering me on towards the finish line. I'm in a group text with two friends and they've helped keep me sane and outwardly positive in the last few weeks. (Inward positivity at this point is a lot to ask). 

And I am also getting more excited as the day to meet this precious little one draws closer. I don't know that I've felt truly excited until this week. Maybe because we had a shower and I could start putting her room together. Hanging pictures on the wall, organizing books, folding her clothes, etc. Those little projects have helped me move from 'scared shitless' into genuinely thrilled and anxious to meet her. To see her face, hold her hands, tell her how much we love her and talk about her. Tell her about all the friends that have prayed for her for so long, and that to us she is such a sweet miracle. To show her the place we created for her in our home, to introduce her to Bailey and Lucy and tell her how well they'll help take care of her. 

All these little things have starting compounding in my heart over the last few days, and although I am getting more physically uncomfortable by the minute, I already feel like my heart is starting to 'get it.' And in some ways, there is something beautiful in the fact that women do the growing, laboring, delivery, nursing, etc. I can't forget about her, she's strapped to my stomach. She's with me everywhere and is already such a big part of me. Physically and emotionally and spiritually. Despite my griping, I've been entrusted with this grand task of bringing this child into the world. And that's big. And I'm so blessed to co-labor with heaven on this one. 

So thanks for listening to my complaining and negativity, if you even made it this far. If you did, plus one Thin Mint. I promise to make subsequent posts more positive and engaging. And show you pictures of the nursery, and some of my favorite gifts that have been given to us and Baby West. You guys are awesome, and have made this whole process hilarious and honest, yet joyful and grand. And I love you dearly for that. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Pregnancy and Life Snapshots

{and all thats in between}

Week 16, 18, and 20

Week 25, 27, and 29

Our first baby shower invitation

Girls, let's be honest. Maternity clothes are incredibly unattractive. I have desperately tried to save my budget for summery post-baby things, and to make my outfits work with what is in my closet. Obviously, this can only go on for so long as you start to realize you're stretching out all your favorite shirts, so I've had to humbly give in a little bit in that department. 

Here is a small glimpse into the types of things I've been wearing day-to-day - hopefully maintaining a little bit of 'me' despite my ever-expanding everything else. 

And now for the {and all thats in between}:

Pregnancy is something that I wanted to wear proudly and happily. I wanted it to feel right and perfect. I wanted to glow. And we had tried for so long that I thought I would be overwhelmingly ecstatic about the whole experience. And I am incredibly happy, and thrilled to be growing our little family. But I wasn't prepared for the onslaught of emotion I would feel once that dream became a reality, or how insecure I would feel with each passing week.

And in all fairness, I think I've had it pretty easy. I've been tired, uncomfortable sleeping, and have become less agile with each day. But those are all normal pregnancy effects, and to be honest, they're all fairly easily managed (despite my uncontrollable anxiety and continual tears). 

But the things I haven't been prepared for: knowing that my life will forever be tied to this precious child. Obviously that is a beautiful and great thing, but so incredibly scary. For the last 28 years, I've gotten to do what I've wanted to do. Chase the dreams that I've had for myself, choose the people I spend my time around, and go where I've wanted to go. And I know that I will still be me on the other side, but I know that I'll be releasing a lot of my freedom and control with this baby. 

I'm also overwhelmed by the fact that I alone can bring this baby into the world. Pregnancy, labor, delivery, and nursing are all things that only I can take on. But I'm being entrusted with a precious heart that grows so close to mine that I can sense her every move. And despite my insecurity (and unwillingness to admit how awkward and scared I feel), God will bring her into this world, perfect and whole. Loved from before she was even conceived. Perfectly planned and appointed for her to join Patrick and I in this world for the rest of our lives. I'm trusting those around me when they say that this exchange of freedom and body image and control are more than worth it once we meet our sweet little one in May. But until then, I'm just dying for a glass of wine.

  {the other pieces of my life}  

{and because you I need to laugh}