Cheers to the 99

We all know I’m pregnant. I’m due in 15 days (but who’s counting) and like most pregnant women at this point, I’d be totally fine if she decided to come earlier than that.
This is supposed to be one of the happiest times in my life, right? And for the most part it is. I’d say 99% of it is. But somehow, through the course of all this, I lost a friend and I have no idea how. Not just any friend either, someone I was incredibly close to for a very long time.

And it hurts.

It hurts that I’ve reached out numerous times, only to get ignored.

It hurts that they used to be like family, but now I can’t look at a picture of them without sadness.

It hurts that I’ve been unfollowed on Instagram (and probably Facebook) but all the friends and family that this person met through me are still there. Still followed. Still liked. Still commented on. Still loved. And I get nothing.

It hurts that seemingly the only reason that they dropped me is because I’m pregnant, yet they’re fine with other people being pregnant.

It hurts that they love kids, but they probably won’t love mine.

It hurts that they’re happy for one of my best friends who just had a baby, but they probably won’t be happy for me.

It hurts that they’re happy to play with their friend’s kids and love on them, but they probably won’t even acknowledge mine.

It hurts that we’ve had disagreements and issues in the past and have never once had a problem talking them through, except apparently this time.

It hurts that I have absolutely no idea what I did or didn’t do to have this happen, and therefore have no idea how to fix it or even get past it. One day the friendship was there and the next day it was gone. It feels like a break-up. One of those ones where your significant other just up and leaves you and you’re left holding the pieces wondering what the hell just happened.

Now, it would be very easy for me to sit here and wallow in self-pity and sadness (which, believe me, my hormones are begging for me to do) but I’m trying to rise above it. This blog post is a compromise between my head and my hormones – Ha! I don’t even know if that’s a thing! But hey, I’m trying here.

It’s time to stop focusing on the 1% and focus on the 99.

And you know what? Part of that 99 is that I haven’t been completely blocked, so there’s still hope of restoration. And the rest of the 99 is so full of people who love and support me that when I think about it, it’s honestly completely overwhelming. No exaggeration. I know the 1% might still hurt every now and then, but I also know that if I keep my gaze on the 99 (and power through these freakin hormones) I’m going to be just fine.

So cheers, 99, thanks for making my life so amazing. I wouldn’t survive it without you.

 

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Guess Who’s Back

I don’t even want to look at the last time I wrote something here. It’s been a long time, of that I am certain.

So I guess an update is in order.

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Let’s see, I guess the biggest news is that I’M PREGNANT!!! Mama status is coming! I feel like my whole life has been leading up to this moment and I am so thrilled!

I stopped taking birth control February 2016, so we weren’t preventing, but we weren’t necessarily trying either. We were also house hunting because bringing a baby into a 2br 1 bath house with 2 adults and 3 teenagers half the time wasn’t exactly an option.

September 2016 I thought I MIGHT be pregnant, but that turned out to not be the case, and that is when (at least I) started to try and track things.

A mere 3 cycles later, we got our positive!

David Wagner (my second favorite David, and a prophet) visited our church the first weekend in December and one of the things he said over me was that I carried the power to walk in the “I am”. So I left church that day and screamed “I AM PREGNANT!” in the car at the suggestion of a friend. It felt kind of silly, but did it anyway.

The night of December 14th I had a dream that I took 2 tests and they both came back positive, then I took a digital just to make sure. So when I woke up on the 15th we figured I should at least try. It was still a little early to tell but what could it hurt? I took the 2 tests and they came back positive! Faint, but positive! I was so excited/unsure/in disbelief that I almost showed Michael (my middle stepson) instead of Dave.

When I got home from work that day I took a digital that blinked “YES +” at us and we lost it, but I still didn’t think it was true.

We told the boys and our families on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and then had to keep our mouths shut until we knew for certain. That was difficult, especially since I was so flippin tired all the time and literally only ate berries for like a month. Half way in and they’re still my favorite food, along with pickles – which have magical powers.

We told everyone in late January and have had nothing but love and support from every angle. ❤

Tomorrow I’ll be 21 weeks pregnant with our BABY GIRL and we expect her arrival sometime the end of August 2017.

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LOOK AT THOSE LIPS! Ugh, she’s perfect and I can’t wait to meet her!

Hopefully this doesn’t mean that I stop this blog all together. Hopefully this means, in time, I’ll have so much inspiration and content for you I’ll be bursting at the seems to write it all down.

And hopefully I’ll come back here and write before she’s born!

Love to you all! New adventures and seasons await! Go get yours!

 

Speak Truth. Speak Life. Especially to Yourself.

Have you ever felt like you’re in a battle with your emotions and feelings?
In the midst of those battles, do you ever think “I’ve been here before. I’ve fought this war before.”?
More importantly, do you ever think “I WON this before, why the eff am I still fighting?”

This is what Dave and I call “familiars”. Battles and issues you’ve had in the past (ie: unworthiness, abandonment, etc. Basically: fear) that keep rearing their ugly heads for us to stumble on again and again, no matter how many times we think we’ve dealt with them.

Well, in the spirit of honesty, I’ve been punching one of these familiars in the face all week. A big one for me: being left out and forgotten.

Growing up, I was left out of a lot of things for one reason or another. Mostly because kids are just plain mean, but sometimes it was due to circumstances that were beyond my control. Regardless, it was never my choice. Even people who I called my friends – my GOOD friends – hurt me at some point, made me feel like I didn’t belong, or literally completely forgot about me.

Sadly, it became something I expected from school friends, church friends, and even family – because these familiars don’t give a crap who the offender is, they just want to make sure you’re wounded. It became a way of life for me. I expected people to leave me out of things without thinking about it. I expected to not be invited to things. I expected everyone to have amazing or hilarious stories and inside jokes that I would never be apart of and would subsequently feel the sting of every time they were brought up. I actually expected to be forgotten at places or during activities. And worst of all, I expected it would only get worse as my life went on.

I’m now 33 years old, have forgiven all of those people, have moved on, and yet somehow, just when I’m feeling comfortable, that stupid voice in my head starts lying to me again.

I repeat, because this is important, it’s LYING to me.

I know that people love me.
I know that they chose to pull me into their inner circles.
I know they’re not going to forget about me and leave me in the dust.
I know they are for me and not against me.
I know that even if/when our relationships morph, it doesn’t change the foundation that is there.
I know they’re not going to rub things in my face and make me feel bad.
I know all of these things and more but sometimes I need to remind myself. So that’s what I’m doing.

This is not a pity post. I’m not fishing for compliments or affirmation. I’m simply sharing my heart, in hopes that putting everything in writing will help me win my battle.

Maybe it’ll help someone else win theirs.

Maybe it’ll help you.

Hey. Remember me?

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Blogging.

It’s been so long that I had to re-log into my account. And that’s just sad.

It’s August guys. AUGUST! In a little over a month I’ll have been married for a year! Where has this year gone? Does that make me sound old? It makes me feel old.

I’ve heard a lot of people say that the first year of marriage can be a rough one. There are adjustment periods and all sorts of things you have to get used to, especially if you didn’t live together beforehand – which we didn’t. But I have to say, we had none of that. Not even with the boys. Everything has just been normal from the start, like this has always been our little family. It’s awesome.

Let’s see, what else can I tell you?

We’re still looking for a house. House hunting has got to be one of the most infuriating processes I’ve ever been a part of. We walk into some of these houses and our first thought is “who the heck thought this layout was a good idea?”.

Seriously though – why build a house with a kitchen as small as the bathroom? Who does that? The phrase “get out of my kitchen” would be so commonly used it’d become white noise.

Or why is there a bedroom right off the kitchen? Literally, steps away from the fridge? Is midnight snacking that important to you?

How about all the walls. Why are there SO MANY WALLS dividing up every little space? We like to see our guests when we entertain. That’s kind of the whole point, right?

And don’t even get me started on colonials (which account for 90% of the homes in New England) or how overpriced some towns can be (get over yourself Old Saybrook – the same house in another town is 100G less).

But I digress. We’ll find our house, and it will be amazing. Until then, don’t mind us. We’ll just be the people creeping on wandering around the outside of a house before wasting our realtor’s time to look inside.

Side note: part of me wants to say “let’s take a whole day and look at EVERY SINGLE HOUSE in our area and hope we stumble on something”. Maybe that’s the key? 

We went to a Connell Family Reunion in Texas last month. I wish I had a group shot for you, but I don’t even think I have a picture of Dave and I except for the one I took after we ran for 20 minutes. I always struggle with either taking pictures of everything to remember, or just sitting back and taking everything in. I’m sure there’s a balance there somewhere, I just haven’t found it.

It was great to see all of Dave’s family though. His mom came out from California, along with his sisters and their husbands, so it was a great excuse to just see them. But I met a ton of other people as well, and they’re some of the nicest and sweetest people I’ve ever met.

Traveling with the boys was an adventure to say the least. I don’t have any siblings so I don’t fully understand the whole “sibling thing” with the fighting and the teasing and the wrestling, but I still loved it.

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For more gems like that, feel free to search “#ConnellsdoTX” on Twitter or Instagram.

I guess that’s about it for now. Just wanted to let you guys know that I’m still breathing. You’re welcome, world.

 

The Next Step

It’s so funny to me how we always want more. More from our job, more from our family, more from our life. Everyone always wants more. And when you get it, you’re on to the next thing.

Why can’t we be content with where we’re at?

Because LIFE propels us forward.

2 years ago, all I wanted was to be in a secure, stable relationship headed towards a future.

1 year ago, all I wanted was to be married.

Today, all I want is to be a homeowner.

At each step, you see others getting to the next one, and sometimes that can be difficult. I’ll admit that when I see someone get what I want, a little part of me hurts. But then I realize, without them, I wouldn’t have the drive and motivation that I do.

Without someone showing me the good of the next step, I won’t want it. Isn’t that why you surround yourself with a diverse group of people at all stages of life?

Whether you realize it or not, if you look at your circles, you’ll see it’s true.

Sometimes people push you forward, other times you’re pushing them. The key, I think, is to not take any step for granted, because where you are is where someone else longs to be. Looking ahead is great, and vital to life. But looking back to see how far you’ve come is – I believe – equally important.

So to all those who want to be on my step, you’ll get there and I’ll be cheering you on the whole way.

And to those who are on the step I want – I’m comin for ya.

I DIDN’T DIE! But There’s A Good Chance I’m Gonna Get Fat

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If you know me, then you know for the past 5 years or so I’ve had a sensitivity to gluten. This came about after a crazy detox that I did – every time I added gluten back into my diet, my body rejected it.

At first I had some people rolling their eyes, thinking I was a bandwagon jumper. But everyone, put your eyes back in your head and facing the right way –

I do not have a sensitivity to gluten

I’m a mutant who can’t process folic acid.

What?! Yeah, it’s true.

A month or so ago, through a series of ridiculous events, I had my blood tested for something called an MTHFR Genetic Mutation, and it came back positive – I’m homozygous C677T. Basically, what this means is that my body can’t transform folic acid into folate (which your body actually needs) like most people, so the folic acid just hangs out in my body as a toxin. And since the FDA requires the US to enrich flours with folic acid (again, supposed to be good) it masked itself as a gluten sensitivity to me.

But now I know the truth!

This is not a blog about the MTHFR mutation. If you’re looking for information, check out www.mthfr.net  

Also, MTHFR – it’s the mother flippin genetic mutation.

Anyway, back to becoming an X-Man.

The good news is that I’m good with gluten. The bad news is that folic acid is in so many things. So while some doors have opened, others have closed, and I need to read the labels on everything because apparently folic acid hides everywhere.

For example, did you know that Tropicana OJ has folic acid added to it? But Stop & Shop OJ doesn’t? Yeah, fun stuff like that.

I can’t go see a doctor until September, so I’ve been doing my own research/experimentation, and using my friend Lynda as a resource (she’s also a mutant and is where I got the crazy idea to be tested in the first place).

My first experiment was to try an organic wheat pasta mac & cheese, because who doesn’t love mac & cheese, and there wasn’t any folic acid in it. I was a little bloated, but blamed that on the cheese part.

The second experiment was to try whole wheat pasta since the only ingredient is stone ground red wheat. I wasn’t shy with it, ate way too much, but was completely fine! I couldn’t believe it!

This Saturday we had the boys and it was time to step it up a notch. They love homemade pizza, so we bought whole wheat flour (again, the only ingredient is the stone ground red wheat) for the dough. And you guys, I DIDN’T DIE!! It was so delicious! I don’t remember the last time I had pizza that wasn’t on a gluten free crust! I couldn’t believe it. No bloating. No pain. Nothing!

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So the next step is to buy a bread maker, because guys, if I’m in control of the ingredients of the bread, I can eat it! We just need to pray I don’t get fat, because a whole world of carbs that I haven’t eaten in 5 years just got opened up to me.

And that’s scary.

Dear Single Christian Woman

I know what you’re thinking. What right do I, a married woman, have to write to you about being single? Well, I was the Single Christian Woman (SCW) until I was 32 years old. So I feel like I know a thing or two about this subject.

You’re probably already looking for potential in any single guy at your church and your heart leaps when someone new walks in.

You find yourself going to any and all church events, at multiple churches, in the hopes of finding someone.

You go to conferences. You go to open mic nights or talent shows. You go to nights of worship. Basically anything you can where you could meet someone.

Because where are you supposed to meet a man of quality? At the bar? At the club? If you’re out of school your options are probably church or the internet. And internet dating is another world. Not to mention that if you DO find someone, and they go to another church, oh man! What then? Are you going to leave your family, or are they? Who wins that? And is it really a “win” if you or your man are miserable because you left your home? I guess if it’s meant to be God will change someone’s heart, but that was always one of my fears. Thankfully, my story never came to this.

Now, if they haven’t yet, chances are any of your older and/or married friends (heck, even acquaintances!) at church are going to do one – or all – of four things.

  1. They’ll try and set you up with any single Christian man they can find. It doesn’t matter if they know the person or not. Basically, the only thing they need to know is that you’re both single. Actual “compatibility” is not in their realm of necessity.
  2. They’ll automatically assume that any male you sit next to at church is your future husband. Heck, you’re probably already dating him! Good for you! …but seriously, why can’t we be friends with guys without people assuming there’s more?
  3. They’ll encourage you to pursue someone. If this happens, make them stop. You are the girl. You are to be pursued! I don’t care if they’re the Pastor of the church or someone you met once, you do not do the pursuing. If they feel that strongly about it, they should go to the guy and tell HIM to pursue YOU. Then tell them to go read Wild at Heart, Captivating, and Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.
  4. They’ll make it their life’s mission to pray your husband in. Do not get mad at them for this! I repeat: DO NOT GET MAD! Thank them. Continuously. This is the single most helpful thing they can do for you. And if their prayer is “Lord, let her find her husband before I find mine. I’ve been married before, she deserves this before I do.” you make sure they’re invited to your wedding and get the best thank you card possible. They put their life on hold for you. It’s the least you can do.

See, I’m not only writing to you about bad things! Just mostly bad things 😉

You need to remember that single Christian men are in the same boat as you. Well, a different boat, but the same river. And they’re probably going to all the same events thinking the same thing. Is that the girl I’m going to marry?  I just have one bit of advice for this situation. If he uses the pick-up line “I was praying, and God told me we’re supposed to be together.” Run. But before you do, let him down nicely with something like ” well, He hasn’t said anything to me yet, so let’s wait and see” and then run.

But more than anything, I want to leave you with this:

Run after the Lord, focus on Him, learn to be content with where you’re at, and trust that He will bring the perfect man into your life at the perfect time.

And don’t get down on yourself thinking that you’re doing something wrong or that you heard the Lord wrong. There are two (ok three…no Jesus Jukers please) parts to a relationship and while you may have all your garbage dealt with and are living your life the best you can, maybe he isn’t. Maybe he still has junk to get rid of and things to deal with before he’s ready for YOU.

So if you feel like it’s taking a long time, pray for him. You never know what your prayers will do.