Monday, October 13, 2014

update: currently growing a little person.

this will be the 14th puny post on this halfway deserted blog (including drafts that will probably never be read by anyone's eyes but my own).

yesterday: 17 weeks pregnant.
yep...this is the first post mentioning pregnancy, and the first post in months, period.
that's a little over 4 months, for people who don't count in weeks like the those of us who have to learn how to.
i've been reading posts about the difference between being pregnant and raising your first kid versus life doing those things with your second.
in case you wondered, this is how we announced the pregnancy on social media:
A new little Hill, due to arrive in late March 2015:)

starting about a month ago, i blessedly began noticing that soup --any kind, as long as it wasn't too rich or too spicy-- was always a good idea. my stomach approved of it.
the nearest thing to a craving that i have is the affinity for Campbell's chicken noodle soup heated up for lunch. the pre-prego beka would look askance at my grocery list at the moment. i grew up with most everything homemade. soups, especially, always from scratch. canned soup was gross to me. until now. that chicken noodle soup is my favorite. it's weird to say that about something canned. my wire fruit basket isn't as full of fruit variety as it was last year either.
a pretty constant trial of the second trimester has been being hungry and not having a clue what sounds good.
the trial of the first trimester, besides the obvious prevailing nausea (only cured sliiiightly by staying more hydrated than i've ever been -lemon water- or breathing peppermint essential oil slowly and deeply) for usually the first half of the day, was wanting carbs--pasta, bagels, etc., and hating anything sweet, even fruit. and 3 instances of heartburn --one of which was the morning my latest nephew was born. cajun trail mix is now the devil to me. saying the words out loud still makes me shudder;  4am-12pm heartburn, with nothing to calm it. a hellish morning for the experience of a sweet bebe boy coming into the world.

this morning the bebe started moving before i even got out of bed.
i like this part of the second trimester; feeling the little person make its presence known. :)
i started feeling little taps once every day or two right before i turned 15 weeks. it was such a lovely shock, the little movements.
now i feel the bebe every day, a couple times a day. usually when i'm laying down on the couch resting, or in bed in morn or night, and sometimes when i'm sitting up, the wee one will kick against the snug (while sitting indian style) waistband of my yoga pants.
i kinda really love it a lot.
(and i really can't wait till justin can feel the bebe move...statistically speaking, that's possible starting anywhere between 20-24 weeks.)

before breakfast, i barely look bloated.
after breakfast, with my stomach full of usually cinnamon-sugared oatmeal and a big mug of coffee, i look decently pregnant.
i wonder when i'll 'pop'. i know for sure there's no going back for my belly button; it's been half popped out for the last month, and now pretty much fully out there. when i wear any lighter-than-black color, you can see it clearly. i've heard some women complain about their belly button popping out; saying it's gross or weird. i've always thought it was a cute byproduct of growing a little human.

this morning was one of the best yet (lately, anyhow):
once i woke up, i felt good (normal, even! -gasp-), was hungry and thinking of how good an egg on toast sounded --which is something that has grossed me out for the last 4 months.
i got up before justin (he had a nightshift saturday night and was awake all day sunday afterwards, so monday is always a sleep in day for him) and had the drive to clean the kitchen, make coffee (always!), and cook up a buttery piece of toast with 2 eggs on it. turned out to be the best thing ever.
justin eventually got up.

after a shower, i followed up breakfast with 1.5 mugs of really good -fresh ground- Berres Brothers breakfast blend coffee, which i sipped while watching him play a video game called "watchdogs" that he's trying to beat before the newest assassin's creed comes out. :)
it's been a dreary day, complete with a downpour as i came over to my father-in-law's house (to use wifi and hang out --wifi is expensive out in the country), and a tornado warning for an hour or two while a cold front moved in with the rains and the wind.
we're all safe and sound, and now snow patrol plays on my spotify; a mug of hot cocoa is my current companion.

sometimes justin catches me staring at him before we go to sleep; wondering who exactly our bebe will take after in all those different ways. personality; nose; eyes; mouth; hair color.

then i get on my computer and look at old pics i instagrammed out of good ol' baby feverness (with my former, super crappy samsung centura -itty bitty- smartphone), and remember:
oh yah. he was stinkin' adorable when he was itty bitty. who cares what the kiddo looks like.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

chapters in life.

‎Sunday, ‎May ‎25, ‎2014

it's a weird feeling that's settled into my subconscious lately.
the first six months, i was focused on our newness and goal of enjoying and learning all we could from the phase of newlywedness and the fact that it was finally just us two, alone, starting life from square one.

the last six months, the utter fear of the next part of life has fallen away. it's still big and unknown and frightening to me...being responsible and losing sleep for small, needy humans that are constantly in my care; never catching a break; all the change that life will go through as we adjust to it all...
but i'm more excited and anticipating the challenges than i used to be.
it outweighs the fear now.

70% anticipation, 30% wondering, freaking out.

i know life throws wild cards, i feel like we have the beginning of understanding each other and how we work and disagree and cope and process this relationship called marriage.
i'm no longer scared that i'll look back and wonder about what it would've been like if we'd gotten to know and experience ourselves, alone, in this life just for a know life before children, before our family was we'd know the difference between the two, and be able to savor the one before, and then step into the new one knowing we'd explored the level of 'game' before.

and hey, i might have this all wrong. i might have all these thoughts backward, and all my friends who are parents are shaking their heads and sighing at my writings. but this is all part of my life, my thoughts, my wonderings. and in time, i'll learn through life and its experiences, and as it always --constantly-- happens to every one of us, my perspective will change. i might read this someday, 2-10 years down the road, and just smile at it all and how different my mindset was. who cares.

i guess i didn't want to just skip ahead.
each chapter is important, isn't it?
childhood. teenagehood. single young adult-ness. newly married. becoming parents. grandparents. done.
i wanted to make sure we enjoyed the heck out of details inside the present moment of newlywedness.
and boy, we have. life was busy and weird and full and boring and exciting growing up and becoming who i am so far today, and wedding planning was enjoyable but there's no denying the relief that comes after the day has been lived through, and everything began and ended well. then, this first year of marriage, getting to know the quirks of living with and communicating in real life with my friend turned boyfriend turned fiance turned ohmyword we're married and sleep together and wake up together and i'm a morning person and you're not and i need my coffee before i can discuss this and let me help you get ready for work, what do you want for lunch.
there are so many sweet, lovely firsts in our first year of marriage; especially because we were long distance from the beginning; 6 hours kind of long distance.
and it's not that the sparkle or sweetness has gone away; it's just that the canvas of life pulls at the soul to explore the meaningful future things that are in any unique heart of each of us. hard things, dreamy things. both things, twisted together, making something so worthwhile you love it more than when you started.

i find myself feeling like life has wound down a little...and it's waiting for us to turn the page to the next chapter. i feel so excited thinking about it. the sense of it being the right time...i like it. it's not the Perfect time...but it feels like we're close to the Right time. by no means is everything perfect and lined up in stellar condition and that's the reason why i feel so at peace. nope.
heck, we're about to go on our first anniversary trip this tuesday till saturday, and because of the weekend night shifts that he's going to need to take off regarding our not being home yet, there have been sudden up-croppings of complications from different supervisors and he may not get his extra holiday paycheck for the time off. so we're going to eat and drink a bit more frugally when we're in Portland. but that doesn't stop the ability to enjoy ourselves. it's the knowing we'll be together and exploring a whole new city, a whole new part of the nation we've never been to. i can't wait to experience the west coast.
and i can't wait to see what our second year of life together in this marriage brings.

Friday, May 2, 2014

the day's only half over.

Dreary day. Coffeecoffeecoffee. Freshly cleaned kitchen. Husband's weekend is drawing to a close before two nightshift twelvers.
My second day attempting to adjust to falling off cliffs and being eaten by an evil flycatcher dude in Jak + Daxter.
I tossed the ingredients for chicken garam masala curry into the crockpot, so there's that goodness too. :)
A few chicken breasts, a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, a couple dashes of garam masala and garlic salt, a teaspoon each of minced garlic and ginger is also technically called for, but do whatever you can. I had minced garlic, but only ginger powder, so yeah. Make it work.
I'll have it cook on high till the chicken is done, then shred the meat, adjust the seasonings, and serve up to eat with naan I bought at Wally's. :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

cheesy zucchini marinara

Cheesy Zucchini Marinara

Small zucchini
Marinara sauce
Garlic salt
Mozzarella cheese, grated
Parmesan cheese, optional

Don't feel like being weighed down with spaghetti or any other carby pasta?
Try this once. I swear it's yummy. But only if you're honestly in the mood for veggies.
Peel a small zucchini, all the way or just in stripes.
Saute it in a small bit of butter until it gets soft. A dash of garlic salt does good right about now.
Add some marinara sauce. I used a mushroom kind. (I love fungi.)
After all of that gets steamy, stir in a wee bit of shredded mozzarella cheese. Moderation or obsession; it's your call. ;)
As soon as it turns melty, serve it up into your vessel of choice.
Shake some grated parmesan cheese over it for some extra goodness and amazing flavor.

You're welcome.

Friday, March 28, 2014

what a (late march) day.

Hung towels on the clothesline with the husband's help. It was the perfect day for it.
Early afternoon helping my best friend of more than ten years and her husband and bebe boy start to move in just down the road. Even five years ago I wouldn't have even dreamed of such a thing happening. Three, even. It's strange, wonderful, bittersweet somewhat, and stunning how everything changes in just a few years.
Satisfaction for my ocd tendencies created by cleaning all their mirrors and windows. (Yes. I know.)
Found recipes for and made the best battered and shallow-pan fried fish tacos (tilapia) with a reportedly 'copycat long john silver's' baja sauce. I may have outdid myself, according to the best husband in the world.
Starting the fifth season of Gilmore Girls. Can't believe I'm almost through them all.
I just heard rain outside. It started falling softly against the side of the house as I washed off a honey mask in the otherwise quiet.
Ah, the evenings of a wife of a weekend nightshifter.
This really was a good day though.
Even though it was my older sister's twenty-seventh birthday and I wasn't able to hug her and celebrate it in person; the husband and I had an hour of silence and thoughts of how to mend a misunderstanding which ended in very good making up (we both process  arguments and misunderstandings quite similarly); and the kitchen still smells like fish and oil even though I sprayed a peppermint essential oil/water as a natural type of febreze.
This day was pretty fantastic.
Not in the always busy, always going places, always doing new amazing important things, but in a down to earth, enjoying basic, wonderful things kind of way.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

in which i write about sibling bonds.

‎Saturday, ‎March ‎8, ‎2014

"you know something, baby? we tell ourselves we're happy, when what we really are is content.
contentment is nothing but the conviction that things are 'good enough,' and we let our fear convince us that if we try to make them better, we risk losing everything. well, i don't believe that, sara.
we tell ourselves the only reason to make a change is because we're miserable. but change is the natural order. the people who realize that and embrace it, they're the ones who discover real happiness."
- runaway saint
[lisa samson]

in which i write about sibling bonds
what have i been thinking about?

what is true for me right now? what is real? what matters? what am i learning? what hurts? what makes sense?

living six hours away from your family can be hard.

it took a few months (i think 5?) for the missing to really seep in.

i reveled in the sudden room to breathe, the change of pace, the newness of everything that my husband and i had just opened the door to.

and then one day, in the beginning or end of november, either when we were leaving from visiting and celebrating lyddie's 13th birthday or when caleb and rachel were leaving here after thanksgiving and some wonderful and terribly unfortunate events (caleb getting sick and justin sleeping out next to the couch to help him when he woke up throughout the night while rach, jacklyn and i slept in our master bedroom), then one day, i realized: i miss my siblings. (i miss my parents, too.)

my siblings are growing up and changing and becoming wonderful, hilarious, awesome individuals. we understand (or are coming to an understanding) for the place the other is coming into.

all the years of bugging each other and fights and bruises and yelling and shoving and homework races and immaturity have given way, slowly, day by day and then year after year, to a wovenness that we seemed to have woke up to, because suddenly i have no clear memory of the changing, but it appears blurred though definitely changed when i look at the tracks behind us, from childhood until now.

we've hurt each other; on accident sometimes, on purpose other times.

we've celebrated with each other, stayed up late nights discussing current life things with each other, been angered at each other, laughed with each other, talked through easy things and hard things and worrisome things and laughable things with each other.

what do i want to say about siblings and the bond we share?

i wish i could easily tug the phrases and meanings out of my soul and write them in a way worth being stunned by; the rare resounding of truly good writing involuntarily bringing that loud, beautiful tone up in your soul as well, like the simple piano prelude for a favorite song.

i wouldn't trade any one of my family for anything. i cannot imagine my childhood, and my life as a whole, growing up without a single one of them.

i'm just so, so very thankful that i grew up with those people. so thankful for who they are and their presence in my life. i truly wouldn't be the same without them.

i wish i could blame my loss of more words, better words, on the fact that i gave in to sleep at 4:30am and woke up at 10:15am. that could easily be a legitimate excuse for it all, no? weird, terrible sleep hours?

yeah nevermind. (i tend to be an insomniac to a slight level when justin works night-shifts a couple nights a week.)

on another note, growing up so close in proximity and then bond-wise, here's a very odd, heart-stretching concept that we're all waking up to: that life was not necessarily, for every single person and every single family, meant to be lived in one town or one county or one state. dreams and purpose do not kill the love; the love grows the dreams and purpose that erupt after the right amount of years has elapsed for each human being.

the grace we have for one another, the tough love, the encouragement and nudging forward we have given each other through the teenage years and to this day, those things and the heart we have for each other is what waters the seed that resides in every soul, unique all to their own in all, and that grace and heart and courage we have for each other places that seed in an open, freshly tilled, spring-season field sometimes.

i wish i could perfectly, 100% of the time, express my heart to them so they would know that just because i can't be there to spend time with on any whim, or because i'm so, so far from being excellent at communicating and initiating it. time can only teach us these things. our importance to others. it's a deep, sticky subject.

on yet another note:
have you ever tried to think of an idea your mind finds amazing yet scary? something you might someday want to do, but maybe not? but maybe yes, and you're just going to wait until the perfect, over-prepared, well-thought-out time to do so and pursue it?

do that thing.

sure, wait a little longer if you need to summon courage.

but do that thing.

it grows the heart. it grows the trust in our Maker and the thrilling and unknowing one day turns into beautiful lessons that introduce us to new worlds and new points of view. it grows the capacity for feeling, for seeing, for wondering what else you can try in this life before we all reach the end of it.

i'm not speaking this out of the been there and done that experienced mindset.

i'm writing these things for my heart, to see it in black and white ink and reassurance, that earth shaking and things like change, and those terrifying and excited emotions, are good things, and usually precede things worth pursuing.

maybe it's something that will most likely hurt, but hold so much meaning that you can only hope to grasp the very beginning of at this time.

your soul knows this.

your soul knows where you need to go to find space and freedom to stretch into the pain and depth and light, and suddenly there's slowly a transforming coming about that happens as slow and yet as sure as breathing.

pain is beautiful when it leads you to something perspective-growing.

it's so hard to think of that above phrase as a good thing when you're in the middle of times that are especially rough...but it's still true.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

what to do on a bad hair day.

tuesday, january 21, 2014

ok this is getting weird.

i get the urge and lines in my head to start writing at the same time two days in a row? WEIRD.


what to do on a bad hair day --er, should i say "a bad hair, don't care day".
because really, in the winter, there are those days --regardless of length of hair, am i right?-- where you just don't want to mess with it. you don't want to put any effort into it. and maybe that's just me this morning because i woke up, showered, brewed coffee, and got the motivation to work out. bicycle crunches, pushups, etc. then i downed a glass of water with a bit of acv in it, and 5 minutes later my had-been empty stomach is feeling the nausea. i took that as my cue to pour a cup of coffee. :P it calmed it, of course. coffee's in my blood or dna or something. maybe that last line was redundant. that's ok with me.

so about these bad hair days...

what to do, what to do?

summon motivation and want-to? nah. just push it behind your ears, don't worry about brushing it (i know i don't; but then again my hair is barely to the shortest bob stage; growing out a summer pixie hairdo takes time, people), don't worry about gel. i mean, who are you going to see today? eh, don't answer that. it's a question for me. the house is neatened once again, shower and coffee and cozy clothes are taken care of, laundry is even started, and after the husband leaves for work i'm heading to my father-in-law's house to watch a chick flick with some sweet sisters-in-law. :) The Vow, if you were wondering. Jen hasn't seen it, and she really needs to. hahah. we're going to go hug our husbands tight when they get home from work later.

bad hair, don't care. i truly don't today. i'm tempted to put a hat on it and just call it a day.
i mean, with growing-out hair (i know, i know; it's my fault, it was my choice to get it chopped), what can you do on a bad day? with longer hair, you can finger comb it back into a ponytail and you're done. everyone does ponytails. no one knows unless you tell them you're having a bad hair day. but with short hair that's growing out and not even past your ears yet? you can't even do anything with it sometimes. i might be paranoid or over-thinking it, but come on. everyone can tell when you're having a bad hair day with not-quite-long-enough-to-call-it-a-hairstyle hair. :P

patience is a virtue, i guess. it's humbling to have nice quality hair but not being able to help the style as it is in the present moment. you have to live with it and let it go. heheh.

20 minutes later, here's my update. i got up from my cozy place cuddled on the couch with this laptop, poured myself another cup of coffee, and set about to pampering this thing at the top of my body. my head, of course. coconut oil to moisterize for those winter-induced dry spots. gel in my hair to guide it a bit. headband to keep it out of my face and behind my ears. i might even go so far as to add some basic makeup to this blank canvas.

happy january 21st.

(when will winter end? please say beginning of march.)

what to do in the morning when your husband has yet to wake up.

monday, january 20, 2014

i'm about to enjoy my second mug of JOY diva-nilla coffee from ben and martha (christmas gift). i've already showered, brewed a pot of coffee, cleaned the kitchen, neatened up the living and dining rooms, and even dusted the entertainment center and t.v. stand. they're both dark colors and haven't been touched by a dustcloth in probably 3 months. i'm not a dusting kind of woman. dusting's for the birds. but once every 3-4 less-than-full-moons, i'll take a damp cloth to the sorry little thing. dust gets gross after a while. i can't stand walking by it once it gets super noticeable when you put a dvd there, remove it, and there's a clear scuffmark in the dust. um. gross.

anyhow. to the subject at hand.

justin has yet to get up.

i've learned slowly --not in the first few months, but over the last one or two-- to let him wake up mostly on his own time. especially on mondays, when he is sleep-recovering from having been up for 24+ hours. in the first few months of being married, i would try all my morning-person ways of waking him. kissing him. bouncing on the bed. tickling him. pulling the covers off.

but then i learned (not a fast realization at all) that he wakes up much slower than i do on a daily basis. :P hah. and he also seems to need more sleep than i do. go figure. well, i can't say that. he works 4 long days a week. i do, in a different sort of spread out way. housewifery stuff, you know. i'm my own boss. my own slightly ocd boss.

so what does a wife of almost 8 months do in the afternoon/morning when her husband is sleeping?

well, i would highly suggest giving in to looking at the webcam photos from your best nannying job ever. you know, the one with the 3.5 month old mostly-bald, easygoing cutie? hahah, that one. and just because your fertile/babyfever times of the month usually only last 4 days, don't think you're past accidentally stretching this time into more than a week. :P looking at baby pictures of your husband will do that to you. flowermama (thoughts & whatnots blog) confirmed it's not an odd thing to get the worst baby fever ever when seeing baby pictures of one's spouse. cray-cray feelings of wanting to reproduce and see what the sweet bebes would look like are absolutely normal.


totes click on that photo folder. enjoy. feel your heartstrings tug and your breath catch at the sweet smiles shared in the pictures between you and the little one. savor the annoying-enjoyable feeling of your ovaries wanting to explode.


now go get another cup of coffee.

stare at more of those pictures. the cutie gets bigger, your hair gets longer and you see bad hair days and good hair days and take note of them; the cutie has yet to grow any hair to speak of. but the adorableness is undeniable. the good-naturedness of the kiddo is apparent.

you remember your night owl tendencies colliding with his sometimes too-short naps; the copious amounts of coffee ingested to carry you through another 6 hours.

but those other moments...the moments rocking the tired wee person to sleep, and that first moment when you walk into the room after you hear him waking on the baby monitor, that moment as he looks up to see you and smiles in that sweet, perfect way that fills your heart and the whole world with enough sunshine and love to melt the thoughts of tiredness and all the matters on your mind for a little while...those moments are logged with indelible ink on the soft, hard-working walls of your heart, no matter how many years you've seen.

the journeys of our hearts in well lived lives are mostly the same.

there are hard journeys of mourning the empty space in this world left by an early-passing beloved.
there are the thrilling journeys of finding one's love and looking forward to the rest of your life by their side. there are the hiccups, disappointments, frustrations and walls that your run into on that path...and sometimes you  learn how to scale the walls, while other times you have to walk on tired feet to find the end of the wall and trek around it in years of hard work and wearied determination. finding the one whom your heart feels at home in, that is a beautiful journey of loving.

then there's the journey of growing a portion of your together-love and together-life; bringing a small, fresh soul into the world, and sharing the joys and sadnesses and loves and wonders and pains of life with them.

we want to share life with people, no? we don't want to be alone. we don't want to be forgotten. so we bring our combined love into the world, in the form of another life to love and learn from and grow older with.

(i walked away from this writing to do something, and got caught up in other stuff so i didn't make it back while i was still in the certain mojo to keep writing on it. my apologies for the lack of a better ending.)