When a Mommy Feels Defeated…

As we continue to prepare for the arrival of baby #2, there have been some changes in our household.  One recent adjustment has been transitioning my darling daughter from her crib into a big girl bed. 

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Weekly Image of Life: I Am Thankful For…

1Thessalonians5:18 (NLT)                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

I appreciate the Lord and where I am in my life today.  I’ve grown so much through my relationship with Him, and I know there is much more pruning and maturing to do.  Because of this, I could easily turn this weeks “image of life” into several posts within a post, but instead I will focus on my greatest reason for gratitude this year:  the healthy delivery of my baby girl.  Perhaps one day I will share my entire pregnancy and labor story with you all, but I want God to receive the glory for the numerous testimonies I was able to give from her conception to birth.  Although I experienced extreme illness during my pregnancy (which included several uncommon symptoms), prayed through the wave of emotions associated with a  threatened miscarriage, and had the adventure of an emergency c-section without my husband in the room, I never wavered in God’s promise to me regarding the birth of this precious child.

Even though my mommy intuition told me we’d have a girl, 😉 we chose to be surprised by the gender of our first-born.  Either way, we knew he or she would bless us tremendously and change our lives for the good.  Now I can’t imagine what life was like before we welcomed Miss Alexandra Simone into the world, and I thank  the opportunity to be a mommy.  It is one I will never take for granted…

The day we met.
8 months later!

I am also extremely thankful for all of you, and I hope you know how much you mean to me!! You’ve blessed my life and enriched me with friendships, new and old, and I pray we continue to give thanks daily….not just on Thanksgiving!! 🙂

The Weekly Image Of Life challenge is issued every Wednesday by The Island Traveler at This Man’s Journey. If you would like to participate and see other entries please visit here!

Weekly Image of Life: Celebration

The holiday season is upon us, and the next 2 months will be jam-packed with family, friends, and celebrations galore!  While I truly believe that the joy-filled moments we share with others are the best kind, the words of my dear blogging friend, Island Traveler, reminded me of another reason to rejoice.

“There are even celebrations of self for simply reaching a significant milestone in one’s life.”

I gave birth 7 and a half months ago, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have my moments days of insecurity.  God had allowed my body to do the most beautiful and miraculous thing, yet the aftermath left me feeling like a stranger when I looked in the mirror.  It’s been nearly a year since I’ve worn my wedding ring, and the day I finally put it on a necklace I knew it was time to make a change.   When my daughter turned 6 months old I started a new workout plan, and I’m happy to report that my confidence is building!  Although I’m near my pre-pregnancy weight, I’m not trying to focus on the numbers.  What matters most is being able to see myself as the beautiful woman God created me to be.  It’s amazing what determination, accountability and faith can do, and I hope you’re encouraged to meet your objective and celebrate yourself today!!

This was very near the end of my pregnancy. The thought behind my smile was probably “get this baby out of me!!” LOL!
Hubby and I had a GREAT date, but I wasn’t thrilled with my side profile. :/
6 months in, and the day I decided to make a change!
Using the baby as a clever belly disguise. Hoping all the focus is on her!
2 and a half weeks ago, and the first time I’d been able to fit ANY of my pre-pregnancy pants!!
This picture was taken this past Sunday. I wore orange and black to support the San Francisco Giants, and even though they won the World Series that day, I felt like the winner! 🙂

We all have goals, and whether big or small we should be grateful and excited when we’ve achieved what we’ve set out to do.  This should not be done in vanity or conceit, but for continued belief, personal growth , and trust in our ability to accomplish great things!

What are you celebrating today?!!

The Weekly Image Of Life challenge is issued every Wednesday by The Island Traveler at This Man’s Journey. If you would like to participate and see other entries please visit here!

The Ring Around My Neck

Labor Day Weekend 2012

I’m smiling so I must be happy right?  Well, not exactly.  Let me start at the beginning…

This past November I was 5 months pregnant and turning 30.  I’d experienced major swelling from the very beginning, but in the midst of certain discomforts I was grateful that a few normalcies were in tact.  One such joy came from still being able to wear my wedding ring.    Now I knew that this could change at any moment, but maybe, just maybe, I’d be one of the lucky ones.  My birthday is November 14th and at the time it was still sitting pretty on my finger.  Thanksgiving was 10 days later, and sadly, no more ring. I don’t remember exactly when it happened but I distinctly recall the tight, clinching, pinching feeling I experienced on the morning my ring suffocated my finger. I didn’t want to end up in the emergency room and watch a doctor or nurse cut it off my hand, so siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.  It was time to take it off. 

Days and weeks passed, and my once little hand felt bare.  A few people noticed the absence and suggested I try wearing it on my right side, because for whatever reason it worked for them.  No success.  Then there was the idea of putting it on a chain around my neck, but I was teaching P.E. and paranoia set in as I thought about the outdoor spaces, movement, equipment, and hundreds of students I was interacting with throughout the week.  So after consulting with my hubby the decision was made.  I’d go ringless until after the baby arrived.  I wasn’t particularly self-conscious about it when I was out in public (shame on anyone who would think it was their business to make certain assumptions), but deep down I missed it.  I knew it would only be a matter of time, and then voilà! It was March at last and my sweet daughter was born.

Upon her arrival, I was determined to be as realistic as possible when it came to shedding my baby weight.  I never had a crazy image of an insta-flat tummy or my ring miraculously fitting as I laid in the recovery room after delivery.  I’d give it some time and surely my goal would be attained in a matter of months.  The truth is it hasn’t quite happened this way.

Although some days are better than others, I’m generally pleased when I look in the mirror.  I lost much of my water weight with ease, and nursing has made a big difference in burning calories.  I walk often, and generally lead an active lifestyle, but the one change I longed to see most has yet to come to fruition.  It was Labor Day weekend and after several devastating disappointing attempts to at least get my band past my knuckle without throbbing, I decided to temporarily throw in the towel and start wearing it as a necklace.  I was happy to have it close to my heart, but deep down I felt a sense of defeat.

Trust me when I say that I’m not writing this to throw a pity party.  I know I’m beautiful at whatever shape or size I’m at, and that my goal will be reached.  The bottom line is that I’m not there yet, and this doesn’t make me happy.  I don’t want to continue wearing my ring around my neck, because for me, it’s not where it belongs.  I don’t want to get it re-sized either because, well, I JUST DON’T.  I want to work harder, make some changes and see where it leads me. If I need to do some re-evaluating at some point I’ll cross that bridge when it comes.

Alexandra turned 6 months old on Wednesday, and that morning I began an insane new work-out (more on this later).  The countdown to “Patricia Wears Her Ring” is on, and I’ll be sure to keep you all posted.  Feel free to check in on me and make everyday count!!

God Bless!!

What are your some of your goals?  How do you stay motivated?  Do you encourage others along the way?