Friday, October 28, 2011

Getting down to business...

I've been working hard on stocking my online store with new holiday card/ baby shower/ announcement templates over the last few months - between naps and building baby furniture. It's come together really well and to launch the store I've set up a special coupon code for those who have had family pictures taken already and are searching for the perfect holiday photo card already to get ahead of the Christmas rush.

The coupon code is EARLYBIRD50 and can be used at checkout. You'll receive 50% off your purchase. 10% off is never enough to entice me, 25% is more attractive but 50 - 75% is my personal favourite so I'm giving it to you!

Click the image above to go to the shop and see. If there's nothing you fancy I'm open to custom work but you need to know what you want and fast - I've got 9 weeks left before this baby comes out and my brain is shutting down by the day ;)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fulfillment.


When we first moved to California Stuart strongly encouraged me to find fulfillment in my life since for the previous 5 years I'd been entirely dedicated to following him on his educational journey and supporting him wherever that took us. I'd expected along the way to become "with child" and so didn't engage myself in any commitments that would be affected by becoming pregnant.

Pregnancy was always the next goal, the next logical step and expectation of us. We never felt too much pressure within our own relationship to focus very hard on that next goal because we were ok with each other and the pattern our life was following ie. autumn and winter in Rexburg, Idaho and then summers working in Washington. The main thing that made not achieving it difficult was explaining to people how long we've been married and how many kids we don't have. Feeling judged and embarrassed or like everyone knew there was something wrong with me that I didn't know about; that's when it was the most difficult. Those feelings took root deep in my sense of who I was meant to be, the spirit of my womanhood. The more time that passed, the more hurtful and regular those looks and sometimes, comments became and the stronger the roots took hold. I felt like I was failing at something I was supposed to have been made for and also confusing because I felt like I didn't really want it when I should have. It was frustrating because I had no control and no answer for why our attempts were failing - now I know differently.

My story is no secret, I have shared it before. What is new is that a few weeks ago whilst watching the LDS General Conference I gained some understanding and true contentment like never before; perspective that's really rounded my character. I feel practically enlightened!

I feel like I've been extremely blessed the last couple of years since moving to California and working on fulfilling my potential: we moved into a little house, I got my degree in graphic design, lost a good chunk of weight, became pregnant... Lots of really great stuff all coming to pass through hard work, planning and faith.

That Sunday whilst watching conference a talk by Robert D Hales really left a huge impression. The little quote they use from the talk, on the website is this:

"The purpose of our life on earth is to grow, develop, and be strengthened through our own experiences."

The quote that my mind keeps wandering back to is, "In my life I have learned that sometimes I do not receive an answer to a prayer because the Lord knows I am not ready. When He does answer, it is often “here a little and there a little” because that is all that I can bear or all I am willing to do."

Yes. That is why I'm where I am now. All those years of knowing what direction I was expected to go in wasn't the direction I honestly, truly wanted to go in. I needed to be prepared to do my "here a little and there a little" before receiving a blessing I was being prepared for. I did my part. I knocked and then received - a change of heart and eventually this wiggly baby.

Hard work, planning and faith. Here a little and there a little.

"Waiting upon the Lord gives us a priceless opportunity to discover that there are many who wait upon us. Our children wait upon us to show patience, love, and understanding toward them. Our parents wait upon us to show gratitude and compassion. Our brothers and sisters wait upon us to be tolerant, merciful, and forgiving. Our spouses wait upon us to love them as the Savior has loved each one of us." ---Robert D Hales

Read, listen to, or watch the talk here.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

30 weeks and getting prepared.

I should have started getting prepared a lot sooner than now but honestly, if I'm going to blame anything it's time - and not myself. Time is going so fast and pregnancy has made me extremely forgetful, and also tired. Time though just isn't stopping!

A few weeks ago I pulled myself together briefly and made Stuart help me pick out a crib. JCpenney was having a baby furniture sale and

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Timeline.

I was going back over my facebook statuses to update the Stuff Stuart Says section and decided that since I was way back in January that I'd put together a timeline of  pregnancy related events leading up to where we're at now. Then I remembered that the day we found out that we're pregnant I started a new private blog for us - have I already said this before? It feels like I have.

Anyway, here's the post about the reactions from my family members:

"We decided over the weekend that it might help the news seem more real if we told our families. Honestly, after seeing my mum and dad's reaction on Friday I just wanted to make more people cry! Ha!

I told my mum and dad over Skype of Friday towards the end of our chat because it seemed like they (my dad) already knew somehow. It's also harder talking face to face with someone and not sharing news like that! I try to get on skype a couple of times a week and have been missing for a couple of weeks due to my new sleep habits. It wouldn't be long they'd put it all together. I told them.

We wanted to just tell parents first, since we were only about 7 weeks into the pregnancy . On Saturday morning Stuart text his parents a picture of the pregnancy test and made sure to tell them to keep it to themselves, just the two of them. We got a voicemail from his mum and we could hear his youngest sister, Danielle in the background... We didn't want anyone to feel left out so we text his brother and other sister the pregnancy test pic too and enjoyed those reactions.

By  Saturday night I decided it was only fair to spread the joy a little further and to keep things fair I sent a private message on facebook to my own siblings:

"Barf's out of the bag - Stuart and I are expecting a baby in January!

I'm about 7 and a bit weeks along and really excited! We just found out on Thursday night and would really like to keep it quiet for a few more weeks until we find out everything's ok.

YAY!

Love to you all xx

PS. Can someone make sure Andrew gets this message? I don't know the best way to get a hold of him."

Wendy: "Awwww Porridge ... I love, love, love this news! big high five to u & Stu!!!"

Emma: "Oh wow!!


For some reason I can't see your message on FB but I can in my email notification on gmail!

So I should start to save up to visit you next year!?.. That's so so so exciting!! I have to tell Nora she is going to have a little cousin! (will be her first little cousin!)
SO exciting!!!.. Thinking it may have worked out best after all with little Roxy dog?! xxxxx"

Mum: "There is sunshine in my soul today, more glorious and bright  but i can't stop crying tears of extreme joy Xx."

Dad: "Oh, I am going to have another Skype Grand Child! God Bless the three of you ! I am so happy for you .... life will never be the same again, you only get what you deserve"


Andrew: "i thought dad would have informed you the best way to get a hold of me is round the neck, great news little Lau. im telling michele hope you dont mind. x"

Scott: "
that's brilliant news. i'm really happy for you and Stu (and mum and dad) i shall resist the urge that overtook mum and not write hymn lyrics, but there is a wee tear in my eye right now, but don't tell anyone. Love you x"



It's hard not telling EVERYONE because the reactions are just the BEST! It's for that very reason I'm avoiding facebook chat for the next couple of weeks."

There was no reply from Beki and when I asked her about it weeks later she said, "
Yeah I got it. Du everyone seems to be at it!"...
That's the only response I've got from her concerning the pregnancy... or rather, the only thing at all directed towards me since June.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

An afternoon stroll.

On Sunday I freaked out. I freaked out good. I went to the babies room and I started writing down what we have for her and in what sizes, I also took a huge mental note that the corner for her crib is still not filled. My list of what we have was short: 3 full newborn outfits, 3 onesies in each size from newborn to 9 months, 4 pairs of socks, 4 blankets, a boppy... I then went to gerber.com to see what they suggest we have in each size and let me tell you it's a LOT more than 3 onesies in each size!

I sent out an APB on facebook (and if I'm being honest I don't even know what an APB is) to see if any friends have baby girl clothes they're looking to part with. Send em my way and I'll pay the shipping. I started worrying about all the clothes we need to get, the toiletries, diapers, bedding, crib, stroller, car seat, diaper bag etc. and where the money was meant to come from to pay for all that stuff. We're paying for this babies birth out of our own pockets and birth ain't cheap!

Lindsay came over with her month old baby girl and took a look at what we have. She assured me we aren't anywhere near being ready.

That night we purchased the crib.

Today at 3pm there what a knock at our front door and a thump on the doorstep, "YAY! A package!" I exclaimed expecting our usual sized box from amazon or maybe an Avon box from Stuart's gran. Stuart opened the door and brought in a HUGE box! I recognised what was in the box from the image on the side - the travel system from our registry and I instantly suspected who it was from but being sensible and cautious had to look into it first, just in case. You don't want to go accusing someone of something this great if it wasn't them. That'd be awkward.

The clues continued pointing towards the original suspects and a shipping label was found to confirm it. I'm still totally amazed by the whole turn of events. To go from worrying that we'd never be able to leave the house with the baby because we don't have a car seat to all of a sudden having it appear on our doorstep - the one huge expense I'd been afraid to face!

Thank you so much girls! I'm so excited and blessed to be a part of your "group" and to have you in my life ("life"? ;) You have no idea how much this means to us and how in tune with things you really are. I'll be saying an extra special prayer of thanks tonight for each of you.

Dolphin Ninja baby has the best (and most) aunts ever :)