Big News In Our House!

Big News In Our House!

It’s been a busy week in our household!

First and foremost, if you haven’t already seen the big news on my Facebook page, let me be the first to tell you our wonderful news!

Big News In Our House! - Pregnancy Announcement

We’re pregnant! Baby #4, our rainbow baby, is due in April 2014! We’re very excited and more than a little terrified. We’ve already found ourselves having moments that are simultaneously happy and heartbreaking, and I don’t imagine that will lessen as the next 8 months go by. I feel great — nauseous and a little dizzy until about midday and very tired — but overall, great. I’m staying active, although I guess my weight loss journey is going to have to wait a little longer.

We are going about this pregnancy (and birth) in a completely different way from my pregnancy with Clara. I have fought going the conventional route with my last 2 pregnancies, and I have had a premature baby and a full-term stillborn baby. This time, we are going to an obstetrician that I trust — he delivered Clara and literally saved my life. Our first appointment is tomorrow afternoon, in fact, and I am hoping to see the little one via ultrasound.

When it comes time for this baby to be born, I will be scheduling my fourth cesarean section. Three past c-sections and every one was either a surprise or an emergency. As much I wanted to have a natural birth, and as much as I will always mourn that I was not able to have that experience, I tried, and that has to be good enough. This will be an all-new experience, going into a surgical birth by choice, instead of by necessity.

It’s really peripheral to me, how the birth takes place, and it was once so very important and all-consuming. All that I want this time is to bring our healthy baby home with us. This baby will never take the place of Clara, nor will he/she take away the pain of losing Clara – nothing ever will, I don’t think – but it’s a step in the direction of feeling less empty and broken inside.

We feel fortunate to have this chance to make better decisions than those we made last time. We know better now, so we’ll do better.

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Next up… school started today!

My girls are in 5th and 7th grade, which I find so hard to believe! SEVENTH grade?! How on Earth did that happen? Wasn’t she just a little kindergartner yesterday? Last year? You always hear that time goes by so quickly, but you don’t realize how true it is until you’re looking into the face of a kid who is halfway through middle school, or in their last year of elementary school!

Look at these girls of mine, through the years! They’ve gotten so big! {Note that we didn’t have a camera, or even phones with a camera, in 2010, so we have one missing back to school picture.}

Big News In Our House! - Back to School Collage

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What else was there? I’m working on my Insane Goals update for July (I know, I know, August is almost over… what can I say?). My sister broke her kneecap in a fall on her first day at the community college, so we’re babysitting her dog for a little bit. Oh, and I had my eyebrows shaped yesterday for the first time ever. Who knew that just shaping your bushy eyebrows could dramatically change your face and make you look 100% more “together”? I didn’t… lesson learned!

Big News In Our House! - New Eyebrows

I hope you’re all having a fantastic week! I have missed blogging regularly but with school back in session, I plan to get my act together and do some writing, reading, and commenting. Thanks for bearing with me through the long summer!
I’m connecting with others via Wordless/Wordful Wednesday today! Check out my blog hop directory to see who else is participating, as well as the other blog hops that I join each week!

Soaking Up The Summer Sun

Soaking Up The Summer Sun

I have really been enjoying my small break from blogging. By giving myself permission to only blog once a week for the last 3 weeks, I’ve been able to spend so much more time with my girls, my husband, and have even made new friends in our upstairs neighbors. It makes me wish I’d taken this step a few weeks earlier and allowed myself to fully enjoy the girls’ summer vacation.

That said, I’ve noticed that the longer I stay away from blogging, the harder it is to pull myself back into it… and I do very much enjoy writing and sharing my thoughts and emotions and experiences here. It’s a delicate balance, and one that I have not yet mastered. As summer winds down and the new school year begins, I plan to write more, and I have a few new projects in the works.

For now though, I’m soaking up the summer sun, the neighborhood barbecues, long afternoons swimming, walking in the mornings and evenings with my girls, and late night conversations on the front porch with our new friends!

Soaking Up The Summer Sun

Soaking Up The Summer Sun

Soaking Up The Summer Sun

Oh and before I forget… I have Instagram! It’s a long story involving my old cell phone and a swimming pool… but the short version is that I was forced to upgrade and for the first time ever, I have a smartphone! I’ve wanted an Instagram account for a loooong time and I’m happy to announce that I’m enjoying it just as much as I thought I would.

Follow The Destiny Manifest on Instagram!

I’m connecting with others via Wordless/Wordful Wednesday today! Check out my blog hop directory to see who else is participating, as well as the other blog hops that I join each week!

A Lot To Lose, But Everything To Gain

A Lot To Lose, But Everything To Gain

I’ve been so active in the past seven days; I barely recognize myself.

I’ve been up by 5:40 every morning and spent the entire day cleaning, walking the neighborhood, swimming. I realize that’s probably what the rest of you do all the time, but I usually have a pretty sedentary lifestyle, especially during the summer months when I don’t have to run to/from the schools for drop off/pick up.

I’ll be honest with you… I’m exhausted.

A Lot Of Weight To Lose, But Everything To Gain

Don’t I look exhausted? You know how you always hear that exercising gives you energy? Yeah well, I look forward to that part kicking in, because right now, I’m wiped out at the end of every day.

I’m still at the point where a 15 minute walk feels like it takes 45 minutes. I know I should be able to go for longer than that without a break. I want to go longer than that without a break. I have the drive, but my knees and ankles protest, and take a break I must.

I read online yesterday that every pound of weight you carry puts 4 pounds of pressure on your joints. I’m not going to tell you exactly how much pressure that is on my knees and ankles… but it’s a lot. It’s no damn wonder my knees are rebelling against me.

I’ve lost 3 pounds in the last seven days though, so that’s a start. I’m hoping to lose 10 by September 1st. I have about 150 to lose, give or take a few, but 10 is my baby step.

My oldest girl, Lakin, is proving to be an excellent exercise buddy. She’s a little overweight and wants to get in shape. The Nintendo 3DS she got for her birthday has a pedometer in it, and for every 1,000 steps she walks, she can unlock a new something-or-other, so she’s been pushing me to walk walk walk with her. Today, for example, I really didn’t want to do anything today, and it had rained this morning, so I was hoping to use that as an excuse to be lazy. She wouldn’t hear it though, and she pushed me until I laced up my shoes and got out the door.

I’m very grateful to have her to help me and motivate and inspire me. She’s an amazing kid.

My little sister is a great inspiration too. She’s in way better shape than me, and she reminds me that my (half-kidding) suggestion that I should make the last two boxes of cupcakes so I can eat them, so they won’t be a temptation anymore, might not be the best idea.

She tells me when I’m doing well, and when I’m only fooling myself. It’s good to have someone to keep you honest.

A Lot Of Weight To Lose, But Everything To Gain

If you’re on a weight loss journey yourself and you’d like to friend me on MyFitnessPal.com, please feel free! I’m tracking my food and exercise religiously over there and it helps me tremendously with making healthier food choices.

I have a lot to lose, but everything to gain by losing it.

I’m connecting with others via Wordless/Wordful Wednesday today! Check out my blog hop directory to see who else is participating, as well as the other blog hops that I join each week!

Baby Steps and Rainbows

Baby Steps and Rainbows | The Destiny Manifest

Thinking about: It’s been a full week since I wrote for the blog or myself, and it’s been a long time since I’ve gone that long without writing. I apologize if it is tiresome to keep reading that “it’s been a hard week” — it is equally as tiresome to keep living hard weeks. In the past seven days of not-blogging, I have done my best to remain fairly productive, in spite of my deep down desire to just huddle under the fuzzy blanket on my bed and alternate sleeping and crying.

There are a lot of changes I’d like to make… for myself, within myself. I’m struggling with writing and blogging, and I’m not sure why. It’s taken me days to figure out what to write here, and that’s not something I typically have trouble with. Everything I started felt forced, or too emotional, or not emotional enough. So I did everything but write.

Worried about: I want to lose weight. I’m not at all happy with my weight or health. I feel defeated before I begin, because the mountain is such a ridiculously high one, but I can’t allow myself to use that as an excuse not to begin either. I want my family to exercise more. I want to be able to walk to the mailbox and back (1/4 mile) without feeling like I’m going to either have a heart attack or blow out my bad knee. A quarter mile is difficult for me. How ridiculous is that?! Of course my knees and ankles hurt! They were not intended to carry this much weight.

So… I’m trying to change. The four of us walked to the front of the apartment complex and back this evening – 0.8 miles. 14 minutes. I was beat when we got back, but I’m going to do it again in the morning and evening. They are baby steps, but they are steps.

Baby Steps in Rainbow Shoes | The Destiny Manifest

Listening to: I absolutely love to listen to music… it feeds my senses and soothes the heartache. When David got home from work last night, he brought his iPod and speakers into the bedroom, wrapped his arms around me, and we kissed and sang and listened to music until the kids came in from playing outside. It was beautiful… the kind of connection that makes it all feel better.

Darius Rucker’s cover of “Wagon Wheel” has been in my head for days. It makes me smile every time I hear it.

 

Watching: My sister told us about “Orange is the New Black”, a new Netflix series that focuses on life (and the women) within a women’s prison. My preference would have been to binge watch all 13 episodes in 1-2 days, but that’s just not possible when David has to be at work so early. We’ve watched 1-2 episodes a day and finished the series tonight. It’s excellent… really excellent, and I am glad to know that a second season is coming. It’s been a while since I felt so invested in characters from a television show, but it’s not all that surprising; I loved producer Jenji Kohan’s “Weeds” just as much.

Reading: I’ve finished one book and started another. I read “Orange is the New Black”, thinking that since I was enjoying the show so much on Netflix, the book would be even better. Eh, not so much. This is one of those rare instances where I think the path the show is taking is much more interesting than that of the original memoir. Once I wrapped that one up, I started reading “The Dark Side of Innocence: Growing Up Bipolar”. I’m only a couple of chapters in, but so far it’s very good.

Knitting: I’ve finished a new pair of socks for my mom and I’m almost done with her second pair. I should have that one finished this evening. I’ll knit one more pair for her, and then a pair for Lizzi… and then David wants more. He’s slightly addicted to his hand-knit socks, which makes me feel very good.

Hand-Knit Socks | The Destiny Manifest

Loving: David’s been grilling for us lately, in the moments between rain storms. Last night we had grilled hot dogs, and two nights before, he grilled chicken breasts marinated in Italian dressing. Delicious! Also, we saw a rainbow after the last storm, and it made me think of our sweet Clara, who would have been 13 months old tomorrow.

Baby Steps and Rainbows | The Destiny Manifest

So how about you? How is your week going?

I’m connecting with others via Wordless/Wordful Wednesday today! Check out my blog hop directory to see who else is participating, as well as the other blog hops that I join each week!

Knitting To Stay Sane

Knitting To Stay Sane

I’m having a rough week, so I’ve been doing a lot of knitting to stay sane. Knitting is my “go to” project when I’m struggling, and it hasn’t failed me yet. Focusing on the details gives me something to think about that doesn’t hurt or make me sad, and many times, finishing a project gives me a sense of accomplishment that bolsters my mood and gets me going in the right direction again.

It’s still raining a lot here (every day in July, so far), so the kids can’t get outside to play as much as they would like. We’ve been lazy this week — cuddled up on the couch watching movies and TV shows on Netflix. The rain will pass soon enough and they’ll be back to running a hundred miles per hour, but for now I’m really enjoying this quiet downtime with my girls.

I finished a pair of socks that have been languishing on the needles for months now. I’d work on them a little, then set them aside to work on something else. David was thrilled to come home from work to a brand new pair of socks; this man loves his hand-knit socks!

Knitting To Stay Sane | The Destiny Manifest

I’m particularly proud of how the stripes line up on this pair of socks — that was no easy feat! The socks fit him perfectly and he wore them to work today, so I’d say he’s pleased!

I used my own basic toe-up sock pattern for this pair of socks. For David, this means a magic cast-on of 28 stitches, increase to 76, knit for 9.5 inches, short row the heel down to 14 stitches and back up to 76 total, {knit 2, purl 2} for 8-9 inches for the cuff and cast off… then repeat for sock #2.

Knitting To Stay Sane | The Destiny Manifest

I’ve already cast on for the next pair, one of three pairs for my mother. She’s got almost as many pairs of my hand-knit socks as David does, and she’s been requesting more for a while now. I’m more than happy to acquiesce to knitting for people who appreciate it as much as these two do!

I’m connecting with others via Wordless/Wordful Wednesday today! Check out my blog hop directory to see who else is participating, as well as the other blog hops that I join each week!

Happy 12th Birthday, Lakin!

My oldest daughter Lakin’s 12th birthday was yesterday, but she’s decided that she’s not “officially” a year older until exactly 10:55pm, the time she was born on July 16, 2001. I was going to post these pictures yesterday, but she requested that I wait until she was “actually 12”. So, here we are!

We had an awesome Pokemon birthday party on Saturday, complete with super cool Pokemon “Pokeball” fondant cake that David and I spent all night decorating. {Check out this post with fondant cake decorating tips and hints for beginners!}

We also decorated two dozen Pikachu cupcakes — and in case you don’t speak Pokemon, Pikachu is one of the more popular characters, widely considered to be the mascot of the Pokemon franchise. He’s not Lakin’s absolute favorite Pokemon, but we were pretty well out of energy by that point and fondant decorating two dozen cupcakes to look like Squirtle the turtle just wasn’t going to happen. Next year!

Pokemon & Pikachu Tween Birthday Party!

Early Sunday morning, we headed over to the video game store so Lakin could use the gift card that was burning a hole in her pocket. She traded in two older games for store credit and used the whole amount to buy… a new Pokemon game! Who would have ever guessed?

In addition to the new game, she is also the proud owner of FOUR new Pokemon t-shirts, several brand new outfits, and a make-up bag with mascara (clear), powder (ivory), and lip gloss (nude). I’m willing to let her start wearing a little make-up, but as you can see, I’m not ready for it to look like she’s wearing make-up. In time, my girl, in time.

Pokemon & Pikachu Tween Birthday Party!

All in all, she said it was an “awesome” birthday – the highest of compliments from a tween!

(I can’t believe I’m almost the mother of a full-blown teenager! Yikes! Where did the last dozen years go!?)

Pokemon & Pikachu Tween Birthday Party!