Saturday, May 3, 2014

i'm loving...

playing with photography on our evening walks
my husband
and sweet baby fashionista.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Begin Again

It's time to start writing again. After months of being absent around here I've been inspired to start sharing again. Sharing a story of our time here in Japan. The story of the new life we've created. Sharing our story.

I've missed writing and each time I sit to write I feel like I have to write a novel so I leave it for later.  It may just be a few words, pictures, mom things, baseball things, baby things, Japanese things, sewing things, or just whatever. I will attempt to be here more, but only when I'm not needed elsewhere - Wife, Mom, Housekeeper, Chef, then blogger.

So here we go takin' it back a bit to some honesty on being a new momma.

The beginning of my time as a new mom I was fearful, of everything. I was scared. I thought it was going to come more naturally to me. That it would be easy. I know... crazy idea right? My expectations were high. I would bounce right back after babies birth, and just go and do, she would wear cute outfits and I would be cute momma and life would just be peachy. But that's not exactly how it happens, at least not for us, and people are hesitant to tell you that. No one wants to rain on a glowing pregnant ladies parade, am I right? 

I cried those tears I was warned I would cry. Breastfeeding hurt like the dickens. And my baby, she wasn't as accepting to her new life outside the womb. It bothered me when she would cry. Then I felt all sorts of guilt. Guilt for not loving everything about our new baby, the crying. I loved our new baby more than words can say, the best blessing, but I also had no clue what I was doing. I remember telling Brandon as tears streamed down my face that I couldn't do this. He looked me in the eyes, and as scared as I know he was at the time, reassured me that we most certainly could and that he was there to help me.

We faced so many challenges those first weeks. High billirubin levels resulting in a return visit to the hospital for a two night stay. A tree falling during a storm that could have crushed our home on our second night there. Clogged milk ducts and cracked nipples. Yep I said nipples, read on its not a big deal. It was rough and totally not what I had imagined. But we pressed on, encouraged and loved on by our family and friends. Truthfully, I wanted to press pause on life, go crawl into bed and sleep for as long as I could. But I couldn't. I remember using humor daily. I just had to make things funny to accept what they were. Sadly I can only remember a few jokes but if you were to ask my mom and sister I'm sure they could supply you with some of my sleep deprived one liners. I was cheap entertainment.

I wondered if I would ever fix my hair and put on make up again. Vain I know, I was a new mom and she should be my number one priority. What about my dog, would he ever get snuggles again or have me take him out? I thought I would live in red Christmas pajama pants and a pink fleece until she was a year old. I had tunnel vision and just could not see things getting any easier.

They did, and continue to do so today. I'm not sure when exactly, or how, but they did.

I still question if I am doing things right. I question what is best for our baby. But the fear I had before has rescinded and I feel more confident in my role as mom. Each day is a learning experience, she throws us curve balls good and bad. I still grumble when I'm woke up in the middle of the night, but with grace, lots and lots of grace from the Lord, I get through it. Being a mother is my most favorite thing, it is hard, but oh so good.

Her farts make us giggle (sometimes gag).  She teaches us about patience, teamwork, and how to love deeper and unconditionally. She is the light of our lives and I look forward to sharing more of that with you all. But for now, those little farts and a dimpled smile are calling my name, most likely with an accompanying full diaper that needs a change.

Glad to be back - thanks for joining us. - Lauren

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Baby Nursery (or not)

I've had my blog window open for over a week now waiting to jot down some memories, throw at you some pictures of our recent activities or even show you the nursery that we have been working on. But lets be honest, the only real evidence I can show you that a baby is in fact on its way would be progressive selfies of my growing belly and a few shots from a baby shower along with a laundry basket and two bags of baby necessities.(Whatever those may be, I'm still trying to figure that out).
Last week, we started a four week series on child birth and all that fun stuff and it started hitting me that in seven short weeks our tiny human will be here. While all that is good and grand and making me more excited then ever, I was feeling sad and grumpy too.
Freaking hormones.
I felt like I was drowning in so many to do lists and want to do lists before baby comes that I've been overcome with guilt. Guilt that our house isn't clean enough, that I'm being crafty enough, guilt for not cooking dinner, that not one baby item is washed or put together. Guilt for not having 100% energy to do things I normally could. It is not a fun feeling. One would think, the extra 25 pounds, frequent trips to the bathroom, and all the other cliché pregnancy joys would be a constant reminder that it is okay to slow down but for some reason, I'm guessing it has to do with being a woman, we forget and stay in overdrive.
Then, I got the sweetest, most needed advice from a friend. I'll sum it up,
"I'm causing the burden and causing the guilt. God doesn't require a Pinterest inspired baby nursery to love me or greet me with open arms."
And that my friends is a freeing thought. God has equipped Brandon and I both with what we need to be awesome parents. Probably Brandon more than me but anyway. We both know there will be times of failure, struggles, and disappointments but as long as we love on our little baby that is all that matters and I'm absolutely confident we can do that.

So its time to go Jimmy Fallon style with some thank you notes...
Thank you.... society for making me feel like a terrible parent-to-be because we aren't giving our tiny human an entire room in our house. I'm sure it will need it almost never in the first few months of it's life while we are here. In reality I'm pretty sure it's stuff will be all over the house anyway so why try to contain it.
(I guess now would be a good time to mention we are moving back to Japan for another year, actually two, so baby will only be here for a little while before we leave)
Thank you... giant box stores for providing thousands and thousands of baby products that every new mom-to-be thinks she needs but will probably actually never use. How many types of butt cream do we really need?
Thank you... Pinterest for giving me thousands of ideas for an adorable nursery, but I'm pretty sure the only thing adorable I'll want to look at is my baby and its sweet little features.
(I am not saying you shouldn't give your baby a nursery, just saying that for our nomadic lifestyle, it isn't happening. I still love seeing everyone elses' come together for their sweet babies and totally get that your baby needs its own space.)
But in all seriousness...
Thank you, Brandon for always asking what you need to do for me every single day, it's time I give in and let you help me.
Thank you sweet friend and your always perfect Godly wisdom.
And thank you, 19 day old babies for giving me a preview of what life will soon be like for us, only with just one instead of two babies. The next fifty days are going to be long but I will fill them with sleep and rest until then, and maybe a little nesting if I feel like it.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Home is..

Home is... open back field and grass..
..hangers from cleaning out closets..
..chick-fil-a.. growing by the house...

..reuniting with good friends at Sunday morning church..
..homemade waffles instead of pancakes.. shoes and shopping..
..transportation I call my own..

..29 weeks..
..our first American doctors visit..
..31 weeks..

..road tripping ten hours with my guy..
..being reunited with my DOG..
..celebrating a 29th birthday and two adventurous years of marriage..
..Florida Georgia Line concert with my entire family..

..sweet friends from college loving on Baby D.. and sister throwing me an awesome baby shower..
..meeting one of my best friend's sons, Max aka Mr. Man..
..catching up with longtime friends I grew up with..

..loving on 16 year old Rudy..
..playing ball with Tag man..
..Tag comforting old man Rudy..
..and ten hour road tripping with both my guys.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Hawaii 2013

We've been home for almost two weeks and I'm just now finding some time to catch up a little bit.
Hawaii was very good to us and we still have peeling sunburns today to remind us of the sun and sand. We spent lots of time walking the beaches, ocean floating, exploring the North Shore and taking a submarine tour. We adjusted, for the most part, to some jet lag, ate one of my favorite meals ever at Roy's, and enjoyed the fusion of Japanese/Hawaiian/American people. Not to mention eating some tasty American food.
And then we started our travel home on the wrong foot with a single piece of luggage being left at the hotel, being a dollar shy for a luggage cart, two flight delays totaling four hours out of Hawaii resulting in missed connections. We finally arrived back home late Sunday.
Thanks Hawaii for allowing us to relax for a few days before reality set in. Hope to see you again next year.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Packed Bags

Well, this past month or two I have done a terrible job here to keep you updated.
I went on two road trips with Brandon. We are soaking up our time just the two of us while we can.
Been growing this baby. It's like a weed growing each and everyday. This past week I have
 noticed I'm slowing down but I try to keep my normal pace. Sleeping has been wonderful. Jet lag is going to mess that up pretty nice I'm sure. 
Been spending lots of time with other wives here. It's like we've become teammates of our own. Going to miss them lots this offseason as we go our separate ways. Always a bummer but feel super blessed to have made friends with them and hopefully our paths cross again.
And that's about all. Seriously the past few months in Japan have been great.
But, the time has come and our bags are packed.
Tomorrow, yes TOMORROW, we catch a flight to Hawaii to celebrate our two year anniversary a little early and enjoy our last vacation as a family of two.
By Sunday evening we will be sleeping (or not depends on jet lag) in our own bed.
Monday I will be cruising to Target and having Chick-Fil-A for lunch.
Cue angels singing.
So that's our plan. This is our journey. We've loved having you along. It doesn't end here but for now... we are closing this chapter of our Japanese adventure.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Final of Parent's Visit

The day has come! Here are the lasts pictures and places of my parents trip. And while I am a day late, it's fitting to share more photos of them because they just celebrated their anniversary!
And these happen to fall in no particular order because I have lost all track.
We took the rope way up the mountain, enjoyed the scenery and then mom and dad had a quick herbal foot bath. There was so many people waiting that day that I just decided to sit this one out. When we go to the top there was a school class there and they were so excited to try out their English on us. We then hiked down the mountain, a good leg workout to say the least.
Another afternoon, we headed over to the port of Kobe, pretty close to where we live. They have a bunch of shopping and restaurants right near the water. We decided to go up in the tower before the sunset, sit and have a snack and drink while the top revolved, and then enjoyed the sunset. Afterwards we grabbed dinner at a buffet that offered all kinds of different Japanese cuisine. I think I mentioned a while back we took in plenty of baseball, four games overall.
Then we ventured into Osaka to check out the Umeda Sky Building. Brandon I had never been before but he sees it on his daily commute and I had heard neat things about it. It is two separate buildings connected at the top with an observatory deck. Thinking we would get a pretty view we headed up before dark and stayed while the sunset. It was pretty hazy that particular day but still offered up a great view!
And I forgot this one from our time in Hiroshima. Mom had heard about these famous pancakes, which I now see everywhere but before their visit had no clue about them. So we found a little shop right near peace park. I wasn't so sure about it but I was starving and needed to eat something. They are actually pretty good and we had them once more during their visit.
And that...concludes my parents visit from MAY! I can't believe we leave in a month because looking back to when they visited seems like yesterday! I have no idea when I will start recapping my sisters trip. She actually said she would write that for me, but obviously I'm in no rush to get things done, possibly before Christmas.
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!!