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!