July 27, 2012


So I don't know how many of you have been in Iowa the middle-end of July and first week of August, but let me tell you.... it is not so fun. Brandan and I moved here the first week of August last year and the day everything had to be taken out of the truck was literally the hottest day of the entire year. We were covered in sweat within about a minute of being outside and had to chug water in between every load brought inside. This year I thought I could just stay inside and relax in the A/C around this hottest time of the summer but... just kidding!

I was able to participate in Stake Youth Conference, Ward Youth Conference and Girl's Camp for our church the past month and it was such a blast! But holy crap was it hot! Everyone was covered in a layer of sweat every minute of every day AND night, wore cool clothes, slept in top of sleeping bags without anything else, and never letting our water bottles leave our sides. Luckily, we could be inside for most of Stake Youth Conference, but Ward Youth Conference was a day hike and camping without any A/C, then Girl's Camp was outdoors from Monday through Saturday. I think any other summer I would have felt yucky and sticky and smelly but would have felt fine overall but being pregnant is a whole different ball game as far as what my physical limits are when it comes to exercising and being in the heat. Brandan was a stud and made sure I was constantly drinking water and staying in the shade at Ward Youth Conference, but when I was without him at the other two activities, it was hard to slow myself down. I'm grateful I had a few other fantastic women with me who have had children and were able to let me know, "you don't have to go on that hike," and "why don't you go sit in the lodge for a few minutes and cool down for a bit," so I kept my body from overheating too much. There were also some young men in our church who wouldn't let me even think about lifting anything too heavy at Conference - they were hilarious! I heard a lot of, "Sister Lym - drop that suitcase right now!" :). I'm not a sissy, so I had to learn the hard way that it's important to assume I won't do very well being in the heat or being really active for very long at a time each day until this baby girl comes. Here are a few pictures from the Conferences and Camp the last few weeks.

At Ward Youth Conference, we had the opportunity to be in two places at once! There is a pedestrian bridge in Omaha, Nebraska that has a marking where you move from Iowa to Nebraska or Nebraska to Iowa. A few girls in our group were super excited to cross that off their bucket lists! Brandan and I were the only married couple in the group, so of course all the youth cheered us on to kiss over the state line and, of course, we did.

Can I just say that Heavenly Father knows exactly what we need when we need it and He works in such mysterious ways that we usually don't know why something happens in our lives until later on? Well, if you didn't know, I had a fantastic (and fantastically stressful and busy!) job as a chiropractic assistant/office manager until the week before all our church's youth summer activities began. Without sharing too much unpleasant information on this blog, I will just say that I LOVED my job but couldn't emotionally and physically handle the last few weeks and simply had to quit. I was so bummed out because I always feel the need to be super busy with school and work and anything else, but Heavenly Father has humbled me so much. I was meant to quit at the time I did, even though sometimes I accidentally wish I was still working, because I was needed to help out at all the youth activities, my anxiety went down so much so that I am a lot happier all the time (not that I was awful before, but let's just say that pregnancy hormones are not cake and ice cream when the pregnant woman is stressed out and exhausted day after day from work), Brandan and I have been able to spend a lot more time together just the two of us before we have a little one joining our family and our lives are never this simple ever again, and I have been able to focus so much more on myself and my spirituality, finishing previously unfinishes projects, and actually helping Brandan in school by being able to cook dinner every night, give him a neck rub when he needs it and trying to help him study.

I am now 23 weeks along and can't believe I'm almost into the third trimester. I feel funny having already gotten a changing table, car seat with base and pack-n-play, but I found them for free or ridiculously cheap from garage sales the past few weeks so I feel like it's worth preparing this early to save some money later on. I also can't believe how much my belly has popped out in the past two weeks. If you look at that last picture at Girl's Camp above where I'm with two girls and in a green t-shirt, I don't seem to be showing that much yet. Two days later however, Brandan took the picture below! Anyone who didn't know I was pregnant within our neighbors and church now know. I get less funny looks as people debate whether I'm just top heavy or pregnant and when I walk into my Young Women's class each Sunday to teach, everyone rubs my belly. I'm glad I'm not a germaphobe and that I don't mind people touching me, because it's kind of fun feeling like a celebrity at church, haha!

July 11, 2012

20 Weeks Down, 20 More to Go!

Well, it is about time that Brandan and I have a family blog so that we can post pictures for friends and family to see that we feel funny posting on facebook! (Not that we have that many, but I get a little weirded out when some people post their ultrasound pictures or professional pregnancy pictures or kissing pictures, etc on something as open as facebook). So anyway, I am excited to be able to post pictures and fun stories of what's going on with our little family each week to keep everyone up to date!

So this week, Tuesday afternoon to be exact, we had our first ultrasound done to check up on the baby's progress, get measurements, check for physical issues, and most excitingly, to find out if we have a mini-Sarah or a mini-Brandan making me hungry all the time, having to pee several times a night, and make me super sleepy and tuckered out after what I use to think of as simple, low-energy-expending activities. Well, everything went very well! The baby's growth is right on target, we could see no physical deformities, and all the internal organs we could see were functioning perfectly. It was only at the end of a ten or fifteen minute procedure of taking various measurements and taking pictures that we finally knew the gender - IT'S A GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't really believe in the woman's intuitive feeling as to whether they're carrying a boy or girl as soon as they are pregnant, but I can tell you that Brandan and I have always assumed it was a girl. This could be because we've had our first girl's name picked out since we first got married (Kaia/Kaiya came from a joke about super embarassing biblical names like Zedekiah), or because Brandan tends to get really attached fast to baby girls of our friends and family members. But either way, whether we were having a boy or girl, we are excited and slowly becoming more and more aware that we are in fact going to be parents on or around Thanksgiving Day and our lives will never be as simple as it is now.

The cake above and the picture below is how I announced to my Young Women at church that we're having a girl. I made an almond-flavored cake and colored the inside pink and yellow to represent having a girl and then we cut it open at the Young Women's activity tonight after they guessed what we're having. Their smiling faces made me so happy! It was probably more because they love cake, but they all genuinely congratulated me and make sure I knew I had about 17 girls willing and wanting to be our future baby-sitters/nannies, haha!

Here are the ultrasound pictures below - the little profile ones are my favorite, along with the little feet that we had to wait on for quite a while to stop kicking so the technician could get a decent picture! It was quite funny - our baby girl's head was really low and she was bent at her little bottom in an L shape upside-down with her hands by her face poking at me and her feet along my left side doing what we only assumed to be kicking practice for when she's out in the world joining her first soccer league ;). Brandan and I have begun talking to her quite a bit, letting her know what to expect as far as what we'll hope she'll at least try (soccer, music, long-distance running, and pole-vaulting).

And of course, Brandan has been taking a few pictures of my "baby bump," but up until about 18 weeks it wasn't noticeable in pictures, so I won't waste space putting up all of them, but below were taken at weeks 12 (not showing anything but maybe a little bit bloated from...well.. being pregnant and in my first trimester...), then 16 where I felt quite a bit larger than usual but felt like it was still mostly just bloating, and then 19. I feel like I just woke up one day and BAM - baby bump was there. I am so glad that it's becoming noticeable enough now that I don't just look like I'm gaining weight - I feel like most people passing by me on the street now assume I'm pregnant. I get less looks of curiousity when people look me up and down, puzzled enough so you can see the wheels spinning as they debate my proportionality.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

[12 weeks]
[16 weeks-getting bloated]
[19 weeks and finally really startin' to show]

Oh - and please note that I don't normally look this nasty. Brandan and I had just gotten home from a much longer than expected bike ride downtown in the heat so I am sweating my guts out!