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Love. As Momma sees it.

Dear baby,

You’re not even here yet, and I already wish I could save you from the pain of the world that we live in. I wish I could protect you from being disappointed, feeling pain or rejection or letting others hurt you.

What breaks my heart even more is knowing that I may do all of these things as your mom. I am not perfect. No one is. This is on my mind and heart today as I read blogs from other moms about their experiences and as I see parents and people around me interacting with each other.

It is a fact that someday we may act in anger and say things we don’t mean. But it is also true that I will love you more than anything else in this world. As people come in and out of my life and I transition from one phase to the next, one thing remains the same: I love my family. We are there for each other no matter what. At the end of the day, differences aside, we support, love and admire one another and would do anything to take care of each other.

Please keep this in mind someday. Yes, people will disappoint you, hurt you and even flake out on you. The people you are the closest to will hurt you the most, but they are also the ones that will lift you up and love you the most. Cling to family and the friends that are like family. Don’t be afraid to trust and love. Life is about embracing these relationships in spite of it all. After all, we are called to love as God first loved us. It is through love that you will find the reward. That you will be richly blessed by those around you. Open yourself up to give and receive love and you will find the beauty of life, the richness of relationship, the blessing of family.

With love,
Momma

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Values.

Dear baby,

I came across this beautiful blog today that made me realize the kind of mom that I want to be. And also, the mom that I don’t want to be.

I don’t want to be a distracted parent.

I don’t want to be driven by my schedule, my to-do list, my need to get things done. I mentioned to you earlier that I cannot do it all – and I am okay with that. You’ll learn at way too young of an age that in our world, life is measured not by who you are but by what you accomplish. Value is often measured in productivity and achievements rather than in the character of a person.

But in my eyes, who you are is all that matters. And you will be perfect just as you are.

I don’t want you to be raised by a mom who is a member of five different groups, has an obligation most nights of the week and has been named the “best” at what I do. (Not that I don’t encourage being involved, ambitious and doing your best, but there is such a thing in life called balance.)

As cheesy as it sounds, I want you to see me as the best mom. Because none of those other things change who I am, the kind of mom I want to be.

I don’t want to be distracted or driven by anything but the things that truly matter. I want to be a mom that slows down, takes in every precious moment instead of worrying about dirty dishes or what’s next on my to-do list.

I want to raise a family with your daddy that values God and family above anything. I pray that we are a family that loves God and puts Him first so that we may be a family that loves one another and our neighbors as ourselves. I pray that your daddy and I would teach you values that last a lifetime. And I pray that you will see and know just how much I love you, each and every day.

With love,
Momma

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Growing.

Dear baby,

I love feeling you get more active in my belly. Even in my discomfort with your kicking and movements, it feels so special to know you’re in there, this little miracle growing and forming with each passing day.

I’m also starting to feel like my belly is growing and forming each day.

22 weeks
22 weeks yesterday when this was taken. Today I’m 23 weeks already!

It’s hard to believe just how fast the time has flown. Only 17 weeks to go. I realize that’s four months, but I have a feeling it’s going to go by quickly. I’ve started doing research and looking into options for your nursery, from cribs to dressers to rockers for me to hold you in.
rocker
The rocker looks SO comfortable! I can’t wait to hold you close. 

crib
I love the modern simplicity of this crib.

I am drawn to white for the main furniture – crib and dresser – and accents in green and yellow. I am also looking at wooden glider rockers. There are so many options to choose from (and astonishingly high prices!), and I want to find what’s just right for your nursery space without busting our budget.

Daddy and I are going to register for items in the next couple weeks as our family and friends are wanting to buy you gifts! You’ve received a few things from our friends already that I can’t wait to put to use. There’s so much to register for and get, I hardly know where to start! I’ve been reading books and blogs like they’re going out of style so that I know the best things and must-haves to get for you. Not that you’ll notice much of what your daddy and I decide, but quality is what matters the most.

Your daddy and I have been keeping pretty busy, so we will be glad when the process of purchasing major items and registering is over. On another note, the other night, Daddy and I had a debate of whose belly is biggest. Your daddy pulled out a ruler and determined we are the same. Then we posted a photo to the Internet to let our friends and family decide.

bellies cropped
I’m on the left and Daddy is on the right. 🙂 Pretty soon you’ll be making my belly bigger by a long shot! 

Your daddy and I are planning to register in the next couple weeks – right before our anniversary! I can’t believe we’ve been married for almost six years. And we have been together for almost 10. Someday you’ll get to hear the special stories like how your daddy and I met and how he proposed. You’ll probably think it’s really sweet when you are little and roll your eyes once you’re a teenager. Not ready to think about those days yet!

For now, I’m taking things one day at a time to prepare for your arrival. My love and desire for you to be taken care of go into every decision I make. Because before I know it, you’ll be here!

With love,
Momma

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Family first.

Dear baby,

Did you know that you are already the center of my world?

I made a decision recently that could potentially change things, or it could change nothing at all. I am taking a risk, a step out in faith, trusting that God will provide the right direction for you, for us, for our family. Sometimes you just don’t know until you try, but you have to ask for God’s provision. And I am asking for God to take care of you first and foremost, as well as your daddy and me.

Planning for an unknown future is both exciting and a little bit scary. I am beyond elated for you to join our world, while at the same time the unknowns fill me with worry. Will I choose the right day care provider? Do I really know what I am doing? Will I be a great mom? The fun unknown: are you my little princess or my little prince? (Side note: everyone is bugging me and wants to know. But I don’t care. You’re my little angel no matter what.)

I am not one of those people who is convinced I can do it all. I don’t know how people can juggle so many projects and commitments at once in addition to having a full-time job and a family. I can’t imagine they have much balance in their lives or are able to put their families first. Because to me, all that matters more than anything in this world is our family. You. Me. Daddy. Our families. Our dear friends. The people I care about the most. And I am trusting that God will take care of us.

With love,
Momma

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Planning mode.

Dear baby,

Your daddy and I have started the adventures of planning for your arrival. He’s got the fire in his belly to complete some much-needed house projects, while I’m searching for childcare options and reading books and blogs on what to expect and purchase for when you arrive.

We’ve also started our rounds of shopping, but have yet to come home with anything. From baby boutiques to big-box stores to online shopping, there are quite a few options for what to get, most of it way more expensive than it needs to be. And it’s not like you’ll really notice the style of your crib, the rocker I nurse and soothe you to sleep on or the stroller I spend countless hours taking you for walks in. The stressful part of it all is making sure we are getting something safe and of good quality that doesn’t bust our budget.

In a few weeks will come the process of registering. We’ll look through seas of binkies, boppies and blankets and find ourselves researching car seats so we know what the best is for our baby. And while it seems like there’s a lot to do, I know it will all come together in the end. Your daddy says all we really need is a car seat so we can take you home from the hospital. He’s being silly, of course, but he says this to remind me to not sweat the small stuff. (Side note: I hope you get his laid-back, practical qualities and not my type-A tendencies. Although your daddy has his organizing, type-A side, too – he just doesn’t let it show as often.)

It feels as though the countdown has officially begun. We’ve crossed the halfway point and have 18 weeks to go. I am still feeling great and am so glad to hear our doctor say you are looking “perfect” so far. I am officially starting to look pregnant, and I finally broke down and bought my first pair of maternity jeans this weekend. They’re a little big, but I’m sure I will be fitting into them soon. 🙂

There’s a lot to do to get ready for you, and I know the weeks will fly by. Everything will come together and be just right when you get here.

With love,
Momma

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Ultrasound.

Dear baby,

Today was a big day!

I got to see you again, every little inch of you. I had an ultrasound where the technician took measurements of you. I got to see – and hear! – your heart beat, your tiny hands wrapped into little fists, the bottoms of your feet that have been kicking my belly, your cute face, your profile – and even your eyes and nose!

The doctor tried to take a 3D picture of you, but you were feeling camera shy today and didn’t want to move. We got a few pictures to take home of you to add to our collection.

8 weeks
You at 8 weeks – the first time we saw you! I like to think you have a halo. 🙂

12 weeks
At 12 weeks old, Daddy thought you had his nose.

21 weeks
Today’s 21-week ultrasound. The doctor said you were perfect and we agree! 

It was decision day: did Daddy and I want to find out your gender? We decided last night that we wanted you to be a surprise to us. We are so excited for you to arrive, and we would be overjoyed for a boy or a girl. We want you to be the biggest surprise of our lives.

The doctor told us you are 13 ounces today (bigger than I thought!) and that things couldn’t be more perfect. That was music to my and your daddy’s ears. We are so thrilled you are doing well and pray that you will continue to do so. We love you so much already!

With love,
Momma

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Babymoon.

Dear baby,

I apologize for all the food I fed you the past several days.

Your daddy and I just had a wonderful weekend away having a “babymoon” in Kansas City. A fun little getaway before you turn our lives upside down in just a few months. It was a chance to relax and enjoy some time alone together, have fun and explore a new city.

We spent the first day relaxing, enjoying a wonderful lunch on Gram and Dun’s patio before taking a long, sweaty walk around the Country Club Plaza. Because I need to be careful of not overheating and making sure I take care of you, we made it back to the hotel to cool down for a bit before heading to see fireworks over the river that evening. Since we had a large, late lunch we didn’t have dinner, but your daddy waited more than an hour in line to get us a funnel cake. The things your daddy does to take care of his pregnant wife. While it was tasty, it was not worth the hour wait.

sunset
The sun setting over the river where we saw the fireworks. 

Friday morning we slept in before heading out to check out the Crown Center shopping and Union Station. I enjoyed Chinese for lunch (it’s been one of my cravings) and your daddy had some BBQ from Three Little Pigs. Your daddy let me splurge and we shared some chocolate frozen custard for dessert.

When we went to do an afternoon Boulevard tour they were sold out, so we planned to get tickets the next morning. Plan B was a visit to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. We could have spent an entire day there, but after a couple hours we were ready to rest for a bit, so we headed to a coffee shop for a cool drink and solidified our evening plans. We ended up at Pizza Bella for dinner where we shared a sausage pizza on the patio before checking out the First Friday art event. It wasn’t quite your daddy’s scene but we enjoyed it for a little over an hour before my feet were officially shot from walking all day.

Before going to the hotel we stopped at the Zona Rosa shopping center for some dessert at Coldstone and a couple of sale purchases at Old Navy. Yes, I gave you ice cream twice in one day. It was a delicious day.

After a busy Friday we kept Saturday more low key. We stopped out at Boulevard to secure our tickets before checking out the City Market. After spending 30 minutes trying to park and 30 minutes at the square, we both agreed it wasn’t worth the hassle. Our original plan was to do Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ for dinner, but since we had a while until our tour we opted for lunch instead. We waited an hour in a long line outside of the gas station it was attached to, and boy was that worth it. Your daddy said it made up for the frustrations of that morning and it was the best meal of the weekend.

boulevard

After lunch we visited the Boulevard Brewery for a tour. Don’t worry, I didn’t have any samples. Your daddy enjoyed a few and the behind-the-scenes look of how the beer was made. We went back to the hotel before deciding on Osteria II Centro for an Italian dinner. Another long wait, but this was worth it as well. The tortellini was delicious.

After a big breakfast again this morning (compliments of the hotel each day) we headed home. It was a long, fun weekend I enjoyed with your daddy. When I got home, since I forgot to take my 20 week picture, I took one of 21 weeks and a couple days.

21 weeks
You’re in there! I’m starting to feel you move.

I’m sure we will have many more great weekends leading up to when you arrive, and once you’re here our fun will take on a whole new meaning. I am so excited for our adventures together.

With love,
Momma