The Bigger Picture

Monday, October 27, 2014

I'm typing this post as the little girl growing and developing inside of me has already kept me awake for several hours because she has decided to rest right on my bladder and stay there.
Talk about discomfort. 
But really, I love her for it.
 For letting me know she is in fact in there.
I know that she knows me, and I hope she knows how much I love her.
Last night I was sitting on the couch with Hunter and told him my concern that I hadn't felt her move all day long.
 As soon as I finished my sentence she kicked me, as if to say, "Don't worry mom! I'm fine, I was just a little sleepy today."
We played around with her for the next few minutes and completely enjoyed those sweet kicks.
We often talk about her little self and more often than not I catch myself tearing up thinking about holding her little body and kissing her baby cheeks.
We pray for her, we dream about all she will be, and we are preparing to be her parents.
Pregnancy is amazing for this reason. 
For the time you spend loving your child before you can hold them physically.
It is a time that Hunter and I have spent growing closer to each other so that baby girl has a loving home to be welcomed into.
We feel such a strong bond with this little one already.

However, I would be completely lying if I told you that pregnancy is a piece of cake.
I really haven't gotten very sick and have yet to experience a complication (and to all you mothers that do get sick and have numerous complications, you are a super hero to me) but I haven't quite felt that "pregnancy glow" that everyone talks about.
I vented to Hunter the other day about how my self esteem as far as self image goes has changed quite a bit since my belly began getting bigger and the rest of my body has began to swell.
Gaining wight isn't easy for me. Even if it is mostly out of my control.
I often look in the mirror and am not a fan of what I see these days. 
I'm used to a (mostly) flat stomach and being able to easily fit into my skinny jeans.
I now struggle to find a single shirt in my wardrobe that I feel comfortable in. 
It's silly. Really, I know it's silly that I'm even typing this.
I really do love knowing this little girl is in there and there are days that I actually do look in the mirror and think better thoughts. 
But, I'm caught in a very awkward stage of pregnancy where I don't feel that I look like I'm with child but rather that I'm just gaining some "newlywed weight."
Hunter hugged me tight after I let out everything I had been feeling and told me that he thinks I am beautiful and that he loves me more than anything.
He thanked me for being selfless and willing to be pregnant with our child.
His hugs alone were all I was really seeking, but what he said next is what really stood out to me.
I can't remember word for word but in my own words this is how my sweet husband comforted me.
Heavenly Father will bless me, and all of you other mothers, for bringing his children to earth and for having the desire to raise them and nurture them.

He will bless us for the struggles we endure during pregnancy and the trials we will face after. 
He will bless us for nurturing and loving these little ones.
He will bless us for all the times we spend getting up to pee in the middle of the night while our baby is sitting on our bladder.
He will bless us for the countless doctors appointments we go to and the moments we spend worrying when we don't feel any movement.
And, he will bless us for the months we spent not fitting into our old clothes but instead setting aside our pride and embracing the changes our bodies go through to bring his children into this world.

I needed to hear my husband tell me that there is a bigger picture.
He helped me realize that pregnancy and having kids is so much more than pretty nurseries, having the best baby shower, wearing the trendiest diaper bag, cute monthly pictures, the dreamiest birthday parties that took months of planning, and comparing our changing bodies to what they used to be.
I know I saw it before because this is what I chose, but I'm grateful that my husband helped me remember that I see and understand the bigger picture.
Having children is part of Heavenly Father's plan that he designed for us.
I know I can lose this baby weight, the heartburn will subside, my ankles will go back to normal soon enough, and my jeans will still be there in a few months.
But for now, I will look at these things as a reminder that I am creating an eternal family with my sweet husband, that our darling little girl will be here in about 3 and a half months for us to love forever, and that I am fulfilling my dream and purpose of becoming a mother and following His plan. 
I still have quite some time left of being pregnant and I'm only going to get bigger from here, but for now I will remember what a blessing it is that I get to be a mother and I will continue to remember that there is in fact, a bigger picture.

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


Falling Leaves

Thursday, October 16, 2014
I'm experiencing my first real fall (since I can remember) and I'm SO loving it!
Fall in Utah is GORGEOUS!
The mountains have the most beautiful leaves all over and every time I walk to the car my boots crush all the crunchy leaves.
The air is a little more crisp and the nights and mornings are much colder.
I can wear boots, sweaters, and scarves already and I'm just not used to that.
Also, I've had several bowls of soup and cups of hot chocolate and that just makes me so happy!
Seriously, I love it.

Not only does it look like Fall outside, but this is my first fall I got to decorate inside!
I love the warm colors filling our home, it's really gotten me in the holiday spirit!
Call me crazy... but I'm already planning out Christmas decorations :)

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


Our Little Girl.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014
So, now that I'm 22 weeks... I should probably do an update of some sorts on this sweet little girl growing inside of me.
First off, oh how I love her so!
I feel like I already know her so well.
At both ultrasounds so far, she has cooperated perfectly and let us see everything we needed to.
She's also incredibly wiggly.
At first I couldn't tell if I was feeling movements or uhm... gas... but I'm so beyond sure that it's her now.
She's an early bird. Just like daddy.
In fact, when I'm struggling to take Hunter to his early lifts she kicks away and flips around until I start laughing and get out of bed to take him.
She loves when I drink lemonade, and so do I so I can tell we're gonna be best friends already. 
She's not a huge fan of me sleeping on my side, that's okay cause it doesn't feel so good on my shoulder anyways.
She's been so kind and hasn't made me throw up still.
My doctor is very pleased with her progress thus far.
Everything is growing exactly how it should and that makes for a little bit of a calmer mama.
Although, he is a bit concerned that her daddy was 11.5 lbs at birth. He'll be watching me carefully. 
I'm still not completely showing. Whenever I tell people I'm pregnant they seem shocked...
But trust me, I feel pregnant! My body is definitely changing and she pokes out a tiny bit more each week.
Her little profile in her pictures makes my heart melt.
Daddy loves his little girl and loves to sit in her rocking chair already.
Goodness we love her.
I cannot believe she'll be here in 18 weeks or less!

Here's a little bit more of an organized update on little lady:

How Far Along? 22weeks 
Weight Gain: Around 15 pounds already! But my doctor said that's just on track. I feel like a whale
 Maternity Clothes? Maternity pants for sure! They are heavenly! Though the bump hasn't completely arrived my hips have definitely widened making the button a little harder to snap ;)
 Sleep? All. The. Time. I require like 10 hours of sleep every night if I ever wanna get anything done.
 Best moment this week? Just movement. That always puts a smile on my face :)
 Weird pregnancy moment? Dreaming about this little girl being a baby giraffe that Hunter and I totally loved... what? Apparently that's actually quite normal. So weird.
 Movement: YES! Such an active little thing. I love it!
 Food Cravings: Salad, fruit, and french fries mainly but I've worked up quite an appetite since the first trimester.
 Anything making you queasy? Still even the thought of raw chicken kills me. I've definitely gotten better since the first trimester but I'll never look at it the same!
 Gender: 100% girl! Bring on the tutu's hair bows and pink!
 What I'm looking forward to: Getting her nursery underway!

And that's all for now!
My blogging game is lacking but I'll try harder I promise! 

All my love, 
Aleigh Joy

Ps. How sweet is this? :)


From Old to "New"

Us newlyweds over here don't exactly have all the money in the world to go to the big furniture stores and make purchases on all the beauties inside.
However, I have always felt that furniture pieces that are your own really make a house feel like more of a home.
They take up a lot of unused empty space and help create just the look you were going for.
I love love love cream, white, light gold, light grey and anything else that makes a room look brighter.
I had been hoping one day I would find a side table to call my own in a creamy shade, but all the ones I had seen were much more than they were worth.
While Hunter was in Florida last week I headed over to our local thrift store and set out to find, not a side table. but a dresser for baby girl's nursery. 
So far we haven't found the right dresser but I wandered past this table a million and a half times.
I kept coming back and observing it thinking of all the ways I could restore it and make it my own.
After inspecting every inch I finally decided the small price was worth it, and purchased it!

I had never re-painted any furniture before so I texted my mom and she gave me just the pointers and motivation I needed.
I set out to Lowes and my project was underway!
I must say, I am beyond pleased with the results :)

This table was so drab to begin with, in my personal opinion...
I set it up on a plastic tarp and took out the drawer to begin with.

I then sanded it down with low grit sand paper.
The object here is not to sand like a crazy person... I went over it once and just made sure to pay special attention to problem areas, all you're really trying to do is make it easier for the paint to stay on your piece of furniture. 
Once I was done I used a slightly damp paper towel and wiped away all the dust.

Next, I brushed the table with one coat of primer.
The object in this step is not to do a million coats of primer, one will do just fine. This is not your actual paint after all. 

I then brushed the table with three coats of paint. I probably would have been fine with two but I would prefer to have this table last a while so I went ahead and did three.
I also made sure to let each coat of paint dry completely in between. 
I used a 3 inch paint brush and a tiny little one for the edges.

The step I have not done yet, but will get around to is adding a poly eurothane coat to seal it all together and make it last a while.

Lastly, was completing the mod podge drawer.
aka my favorite part!
I didn't sand the drawer at all.
I found the music note scrapbook paper at hobby lobby for 48 cents.
I cut it into four pieces. Two big ones for each of the sides and two small ones for the middle.
Once my pieces were cut I took a damp paper towel and dabbed each piece with it.
I did NOT drench them, I simply made them damp enough to reduce bubbling. 
I added a thin layer of mod podge to the drawer and carefully applied each piece of scrapbook paper.
Once all four were applied I added a thin layer of mod podge on top of that to hold the paper in place.
I then painted the edges of the drawer and let it dry completely.

I love the little twist the drawer adds to the table!
Painting furniture is time consuming but I kept telling Hunter how much fun I was having and how accomplished I felt when it was done :)
Now we are able to add this fun piece to our newlywed collection :)

All my love,
Aleigh Joy