Category Archives: relationships

Surviving First Trimester – Three First Trimester Pregnancy Tips

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Here are my top 3 tips for surviving the first trimester.
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Redefining “woman”

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Today is International Women’s Day. I have never felt more like a woman today than ever before. My day started at 6 AM by breast feeding my three month old child. From there I ran some errands with him IMG_2036which included my last visit to the lactation specialist office. When I got home I continued to ponder the meaning of international women’s day. I thought about all of the women around the world who have come so far in their independence, and also about the women/societies that haven’t been so lucky. I feel that I have experienced one of the most primal examples of woman-hood within the past few months through becoming a parent. I wish I could say that this experience has made me feel whole as a woman, however a glance in the mirror at my postpartum body left me saddened by what I saw. My body is more saggy and full of stretch marks and cellulite than ever before. Since I have always thought of women to be beautiful, strong, and courageous it was difficult when I stared at the body in the mirror that didn’t fit those descriptions. Insecurity set in. Then I picked up my baby and went back to that same full length mirror. I looked at the body that had naturally delivered a healthy 7 lb 14 oz baby into this crazy world just 11 short weeks ago. Every stretch mark is a reminder of my sweet baby boy. Woman-hood is not defined by the shape and appearance of our curves, skin, hair, eyes, and nails. The word woman simply means a female human. We must determine the definition of the word by ourselves. No one can define who a woman is but us.

I hope that over the next days, months, and years I am able to transform my definition of what a woman is. I want to challenge myself to be strong and courageous and rework my idea of what is means to be beautiful. I hope this definition will grow and change with me. I hope to break free of the societal stereotypes that I assign to myself through my insecurities.

I challenge you to create your own definition of “woman”. Write it down where you can see it often. Challenge yourself to break your own molds and stomp out those insecurities that are screaming “YOU CAN’T BECAUSE YOUR ARE A WOMAN”. Woman is a gender not a disability or deficiency. Be brave. Be courageous. You are beautiful.

 

Living Satisfied

 

To my friends during my pregnancy: An open letter

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Dearest friend,
I’m sorry I have not placed you as a priority in the recent weeks/months. The reality is, I can hardly keep 1920405_10201752990210438_1884537530_nmyself as a priority at this time. Everything in my life changed the day I found out I was expecting my first child and I have been fighting to figure out how to balance it all ever since.

Please forgive me for not being as good of a friend to you during this time. You deserve the world and I would love nothing more than to run around town shopping and laughing with you, however most days the very thought of leaving the house sounds like running a marathon…and we all know I don’t run.

Friend, my body doesn’t feel good and it seems as though once one exhausting pregnancy symptom subsides another pops right up. My dishes are piling up, e-mails have not been checked, and I am doing my best just to shower daily. I hate that I can’t be there for you and it breaks my heart to miss important events in your life. Please know that even though I am not with you, I still think of you often and long for the days when we can watch a movie and eat pints of ice-cream (Hope you don’t mind a baby in the background of that).

I guess my main point is that I’m not sure how to manage myself during this season of life and unfortunately we both know even more will change once the baby comes. So remember dear friend you have not been forgotten. I may not ask for updates as often as I used to, but that doesn’t mean I don’t really want to hear them. Changes are happening everyday for the both of us so please keep me updated with everything going on, big or small. I want to know about it all! I may not be able to physically jump up and down with you, but rest assure I am excited for you and will always be praying for you and all your future endeavors.

I love you friend. Thank you for your understanding during this time.

 

 

Living Satisfied

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To My Husband During Pregnancy: An Open Letter

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Note: Be sure to check out my youtube page for pregnancy updates! Also Living Satisfied Favorites for some of my favorite items for the home, baby, food, etc…

 

Dearest Husband,

I can’t count the amount of things that you do right. You serve me daily and would drop anything to be by my side. During this season of our life things are changing quickly and unfortunately for the both of us my hormones are just about everywhere. I’ve quickly become uncomfortable, insecure about my body, and simply am not able to do tasks as I used to.
More than ever I hope that during this time you and I can change and mold together and that our communication can grow stronger. During this season I am having to learn how to ask for help and learn how to support you in different ways. My goal in this letter is to give a little insight into my needs at this time and I hope that you can share with me how I can better serve you as well. This letter’s intent is to ease your mind. As a man you are built to serve, problem solve, and support your family. As a woman I am built to be serve, submit, and support my husband. While I feel as though we have been doing a great job at this, it is time to mold these actions into our new life as a family of 3.
Here are 4 items that I feel are important. I hope that after reading these you can let me know how to best support you as well.
1) Speak my love language and often: This has never been so incredibly important. While you have IMG_2507done a great job of this while being my husband, I really need some extra love. I’m having a hard time keeping my spirits up and while my Bible and God are a great help, it is really appreciated when YOU show me love through my own love language. I know this isn’t always easy for you, but here are a few things you can do.
My love language: Words of affirmation and gifts
  • Text me often while you are away and tell me sweet things.
  • Leave notes for me even if it is via e-mail
  • Tell me I look good even though I haven’t showered in 3 days. :)
  • Purchase some small cheap gifts for me occasionally such as food, flowers, lotion, items for a bath, etc…
note: find your love language here! CLICK HERE
2) Help around the house: At our house we have a terribly long list of items that need to be fixed, remodeled, etc… while those are really important and need to get done I sometimes just need you to vacuum the floors, clean the toilet, or do the dishes. I hate that I am not able to keep up with the house as I used to for you, however there are some days that it is really hard to simply get out of bed or touch my toes. Let’s plan out a schedule of house fixes/remodels so that it isn’t too overwhelming for you. At the same time maybe we can break up the household chores or work on doing them together. I promise to communicate my expectations if you promise to let me know what is feasible and what is not.
3) Rub my back and feet: I know you don’t mind doing this occasionally, but more than ever it makes a huge difference to my tired back and feet. Not only is there strain on my body simply by carrying the baby, but I’m sleeping weird, walking weird, and can’t work out/stretch like I used to. Even a 5 minute massage before bed can make a huge difference for this ever-growing pregnant lady. Maybe we could even take turns? :)
4) Be patient: I truly can’t control all these emotions. I have cried over really small items quite a bit already. I give you permission to let me be sad, mad, and frustrated. I know this is a confusing thing for you as the husband. Your desire to want to help and fix what ever you can is admirable, but right now I just need to feel these emotions. For me, sometimes I just need you to sit and listen. The logical side of me knows how to troubleshoot the issue, but the emotional side just has the upper hand. Right now I just need to be able to feel these emotions without being judged.
Here are some things to do during the time I ask for supported emotional time.
  • All these emotions already embarrass me because I know they are illogical so if I ask to be alone let me. It isn’t that I don’t want you or need you, so if you can stay close by that would be nice. If I really start to cry sit beside me, hand me tissues, and just let me cry it out.
  • Try to do things that will ease my stress during times of tears or frustration like doing some laundry, making dinner, or any other chores. Running out for a treat never hurts either.
  • Don’t worry about fixing the problem right then and there. This maybe the hardest part for you as the husband because you are always the first to volunteer to try to make me feel better or punch someone who is mean to me. If I’m mad or frustrated give me space to cool down. Do the tasks that need to be done and just try to show me love through my love language.
Bonus tip…Pray: Pray for me and the baby often. Pray for us in your private time and out loud in front of us. During this time I don’t need a grand prayer just prayer in general. If you can’t think of what to say, you can always offer to read the Bible to me or part of a devotional.
I love you dearly and I hope these tips will help you navigate this stage of having an emotional pregnant wife.
You’re the best,
Your wife

Check out my pregnancy updates via youtube! Don’t forget to subscribe! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6fI0UGTSRW5kQSz_g2PfTg

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Pregnancy Affirmations: First Trimester

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Here is some affirmations I wrote during my 7th week of pregnancy. I hope some of these could help my IMG_2272readers during their first trimester! Writing out affirmations when I was feeling anxious really helped put things into perspective.

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I am 7ish weeks along and full of anxiety. So much is passing through my mind on a daily basis and especially when I am alone. This first trimester is kicking my butt and it has been hard to see past the soda crackers and ginger/peppermint flavored everything.

In the midst of my anxiety I figured I should write out some affirmations for myself. Something that I could tell myself when I am alone and unsettled. I hope some of these affirmations speak to your heart as well.

 

  • I am made by God to make this baby.
  • God brought this into my life so I may be made whole.
  • I am stronger than I think I am.
  • My anxiety is nothing but excitement for the future.
  • In a few months I will be holding my first child.
  • Everything I am feeling is not scary, but new.
  • Women have gone through this for centuries.
  • You have an amazing support team that would do anything for you.
  • Don’t read into each feeling and emotion too much, your body is doing great.
  • The devil is not apart of this pregnancy and in the name of God has no power over you.
  • Though he/she may be but a small fruit in size, talk to him/her.
  • Think of all the amazing things that will happen in a few short months.
  • The first trimester is only 12  weeks and you WILL feel better than you do now.
  • Sickness is a sign that all is well with baby.

 

Thanks for listening!

Living Satisfied

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Anniversary: Expectation Vs. Reality

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When I think of my 3 year anniversary here is what I picture:weddinghug

Wake up in the morning to a lovely breakfast together. We head off to work and text/e-mail each other throughout the day with gross lovey-dovey stuff. Once we both are off work we go home and get ready for a romantic evening together. We get all dressed up and head to Ruth’s Chris for dinner. We order a lot of steak and sides and spend the evening reminiscing over our time together. After dinner we walk to the car, head home to our lovely house and stay up late and hang out. 😉

 

Now, let’s talk about how the anniversary ACTUALLY went…

We woke up. Said happy anniversary and apologized for not having anything prepared for each other. We both understood and therefore were not too upset. Jay heads off to work and I go to my parent’s house since I was feeling quite ill. We spend the day texting about how terribly sick I am. He calls/texts to ask how I am and that is about it. Once we are both home he goes outside to clean his car and mow the lawn and I stay inside eating saltines. Our romantic evening consists of frozen potstickers, water, and episodes of “Friends”. Then we head to bed around 8:30.

 

Jay and I have been married for 3 years and have been friends for a good bit longer. Although I wish I could stomach a big steak and french fries right now I feel very blessed to have a husband who is willing to stay home and take care of his sick wife. I love the time we have together just being normal. I’m happy that our anniversary was spent in PJs, saltine crackers, and old tv show re-runs. I can be on a date with Jay any day I want. A date is simply intentional time spent with another person or a “romantic appointment”. I had a date with Jay that night. We showed our love through our realness. Jay could have stayed inside and sat on his computer, but he chose to be productive and mow the lawn for us. He chose to prepare us dinner and massage my back while I was feeling ill. If this is any sign of what the next years of our marriage will be like, I’m all for it!

This was a great anniversary. While there was no fancy dinner, no presents, and no romantic evening we showed our love by being ourselves and caring for one another. What more could I ask for? I challenge you to think about what truly matters in your relationship. Would you be upset without a fancy dinner, presents, or a romantic evening? OR would you also be happy just being together no matter where you are? Marriage is life-long. Not every important event in your life will be spectacular and not everything will go as planned, but it is important to place your focus on each other and support one another no matter where one another is at.

 

Love your significant other today. Speak kind words and love them no matter what.

 

 

Living Satisfied

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Coping with Anxiety

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I’m not entirely sure why I am posting this, but I opened my dashboard for Living Satisfied to write a draftIMG_0378 or two and I felt that how I cope with my anxiety could be helpful to some of my readers. People write what they know and post what is close to their heart. Dealing with anxiety is close to my heart and I want to write this post not only to motivate others, but to motivate myself.

Anxiety:

I have dealt with anxiety for as long as I can remember and it goes through phases. At times I feel I can conquer the world and other times it takes everything in me to leave the house to run an errand. Anxiety isn’t logical. It doesn’t have a rhythm and can strike at any moment. Anxiety has been a battle that greatly impacts my life and I have become quite good at hiding it in public. I have always felt the need to hide my anxiety because it seems so illogical to me. Why would going out to dinner with close friends bring me anxiety? Why would running out to the grocery store cause me to have a panic attack? I don’t have answers to these questions. It is hard to explain to others why I am hesitant on making plans so I slap on a happy face and either move forward or at times I simply cancel the plans.

At this point let me take a few moments of your time to give you some tips that work for me.

How I overcome:

Self talk: This one is self-explanatory. Sometimes it is best to encourage yourself. At times I just have to tell myself over and over again “You are ok”, “You are strong and courageous”, “God is right beside you”. These words really can work and if you can’t talk yourself into a peaceful place ask someone close to you to encourage you. Sometimes I just give my mom or husband a call or text and ask them for some encouraging words and prayers.

Identifying the Trigger: What about this situation makes you anxious? What can you control about this situation? What can’t you control? Are you being triggered by anything?

Seek help: Seek help through a counselor, family, or friend and talk through what you are feeling.

Find someone who would be able to support or pray for you spur of the moment when you are feeling anxious. For me this is my husband, mother, grandmother, or a close friend. It really varies depending on what I am feeling and what kind of support I am looking for.

Take a step back: Take deep breaths. I know this sounds simple, but sometimes a few deep breaths can help clear your mind and help you restart.

Cold water: You always see on different movies or T.V. shows when someone slaps their friend in the face to snap them back to reality…This is very similar. Sometimes a splash of cold water can help you restart. Sounds weird I know, but has helped me in the past.

Be comfortable with where you are at:

It is OK to feel anxious. At times my anxiety makes me feel that I am not trusting God and am not being a good enough Christian, but that is far from the truth! God knows how we feel and will walk with us through it all. I know that my God is beside me even when I feel I can’t move one more step forward and I know he has grace for me. I don’t have to be perfect and brave all of the time. I am allowed to feel different emotions, but I have to remember that I am in charge of these emotions. I can choose to be happy and excited for life, but I also have to remember it is ok to not be ok and sometimes crying is the best option.

Care for yourself: It is ok to take some time for yourself. If you feel the need to cancel or adjust plans be honest. People may not fully understand, but honesty can go a far way.

Stay in the Word and pray often. Seeking God through your anxiety is the best advice I can give. He understands where you are at and is there to walk through it with you. Allow Him to give you the strength and peace you need.

 

I hope these quick tips encouraged you in your journey.

 

 

Living Satisfied

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Marriage isn’t 50/50

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Hello!
If you don’t know already, my amazing husband started his MBA this last semester. While we are so excited to start this adventure and IMG_0016know that it will be 100% worth it, we have found our schedules have changed quite a bit.
I have always gone on the idea that marriage is 50/50. We each do our part in work, household/yard chores, and relationship stuff. However, through reading “Messy Beautiful Love” By Darlene Schacht I have found out that this not exactly what God called us to do in our marriages.
While many days I feel that our marriage is in deed 50/50, there are plenty of days that I feel stretched thin or I simply place unrealistic expectations on my spouse. Through reading this book I realize that although marriage technically takes two, it is more about serving one another through the sacrificial love that Jesus demonstrated. I have to succumb to the fact that my husband will never read my mind. He will never be intricately in tune with my beliefs, emotions, or daily thoughts, however he will provide for my family, do the dirty gross chores, kill spiders, and hug me while I cry for no reason.
During my husband’s first semester in his MBA program this lesson seemed to continuously creep back into my mind. My spouse is tired. He goes to a full-time job, does necessary fixes/chores around the house, listens to me explain every detail of my day, and then spends a minimum of 2 hours on his graduate studies. While I know how hard he works, at times I just expect more. My spouse shows his love through acts of service, which means that if I ask, he will do, 9/10 times. However, I have learned that while I can ask, it doesn’t always mean that I should. Marriage isn’t 50/50. In my marriage it is a supply and demand set up. My husband is silently demanding less obligations and I should supply him with a peaceful home by taking a few minutes to do the dirty dishes alone or make dinner without asking for assistance.
God calls us to serve one another. He desires us to seek Him first and to love each other as Christ loved us. My husband goes above and beyond and sometimes I forget that. Sometimes I need to not ask for anything more from him and instead DO more FOR him. I need to extend grace just as I hope that he extends grace to me when I’m overwhelmed.

Thanks,
Living Satisfied

Check out more: One Year in my Marriage    Packing my husband’s lunch Part 2   50 Shades of Grey

Note: Of course I will add that my view of marriage is limited to my experiences and what I have observed, so I can really only speak about myself and my own marriage. I am not stating that a spouse should carry the weight of the whole marriage or that he or she should stay in a abusive relationship.
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Monday Motivator: Fresh Start

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“Every Monday is a fresh start. Take a deep breath, smile and start again.”IMG_3314

-Cody App

I actually like Mondays because I do see it as a fresh start. While it is hard to wake up and sometimes you feel the stress of the week on your shoulders, it is a new week. This week let us focus on taking a deep breath and moving forward.

When I was younger my mother would always tell me to go to my room for 5 minutes and come back in a better mood. I HATED it. I felt that she wasn’t being sensitive to my feelings, but then a couple of days ago I caught myself telling one of my residents at Mercy Ministries something very similar.  It was a great reminder for me that we are in charge of our emotions. We can choose to let those around us affect our mood or choose to let it go.

This week lets take some deep breaths, smile, and start again.

 

 

Living Satisfied