Friday, April 18, 2014

28 weeks

Top: Old Navy Maternity | Necklace: GroopDealz | Pants: H&M Maternity | Sandals: Shoe Carnival

I am officially beginning the third trimester next week! While I look pretty normal in this picture, Andrew actually snapped it right before I realized that my legs and feet were so swollen that I could barely get my jeans off. In fact, two women from our church stopped by a few minutes later to see how I was doing and were horrified at how bad my feet looked.

I have to admit that they had a right to be worried. My feet were purple and felt numb and achy when I tried to just walk around the kitchen, and my calves were humongous. They quickly instructed Andrew not to let me walk around, put some ice on my feet and keep my legs elevated.

After they left and Andrew helped me get my jeans off (you lose all sense of independence when you're expecting twins), I had a mini breakdown, worrying that I wouldn't be allowed to travel to Idaho next week for my birthday, my baby shower and my brother's mission farewell — which are all crammed into one weekend.

Fortunately, thanks to some prayers, loose skirts and coworkers who made sure I didn't walk around at all at work, the swelling has gone down considerably, and I'm still allowed to travel to Idaho as long as I'm careful and take breaks to stretch my legs. I have never felt so thankful.

In other news, the twins now weigh two pounds (the boy is 2 pounds, 3 ounces, and the girl is 2 pounds, 4 ounces) and are kicking up a storm. They still like to wake me up around 3 a.m. every night for their happy hour, and I can feel them rolling around and doing somersaults. They also really seem to like acoustic guitar music — which makes me very happy. They have great taste. :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Safari style with Kendra Thornton

I was flattered to be asked to participate in travel expert Kendra Thornton's latest style challenge! She's heading on a fun trip with her family and invited some bloggers to help her pick an outfit to wear while on vacation. See what she has to say below:

I love being the mom of three young children! We have a great time together whether we’re at home or traveling. I’m especially eager to enjoy time with them and my husband on an upcoming trip to Orlando. We’ll be staying a few weeks and having plenty of adventures together. I think it’s time to update my look, so I’d like to get some feedback from my favorite bloggers. I need help picking out an outfit to wear when my family and I enjoy an outing to Disney’s Animal Kingdom! 

We’ll be going on a safari, and I’m sure the kids and I will be posing for photos along the way. We’ll ride in an open-air safari vehicle through the 110-acre Harambe Wildlire Reserve. We’ll see more than 34 species of African wildlife roaming through this habitat, and the friendly guide will point out interesting sights along the way. We’ll get a chance to see rare black rhinos, a family of cheetahs, antelope, gazelle, warthogs and a herd of wildebeests. I’m looking forward to this wild ride and excited to learn what you recommend for me to wear on the adventure. 

There’s always something to enjoy in Orlando. I’ve had lots of fun planning excursions for our family vacation here with the help of other travel experts on Gogobot. We’ll be seeing lots of excellent shows and enjoying family dinners at some amazing restaurants. Whatever we do during our time in Orlando, I know that I’ll be happier when I feel comfortable and confident in what I’m wearing. I can't wait to see what outfit you recommend for my family adventure at Disney’s Animal Kingdom where I’ll be going on safari.

How fun does this trip sound? I won't be going on safari anytime soon with my twins growing bigger and bigger every day, but I love the idea of dressing for the occasion. Since Kendra will be in humid Florida, light layers are a necessity. Linen pants are comfortable and wrinkle-resistant, and the coral jacket and tribal pattern of the blouse play off the safari theme without being obvious.

And what outfit is complete without whimsical earrings? I may have to snag these adorable lions for myself.

Check out the board below for my picks. What would you wear on a safari? Any cute maternity picks out there you want to alert me to? :)

On safari


Monday, March 24, 2014

25 weeks

Top: Lilac Clothing | Jeans: H&M Maternity | Jacket: Old | Shoes: Thrifted

Andrew snapped this picture of me on Saturday evening. I was 24 weeks, but I guess technically today I'm starting week 25. I'm feeling exhausted all the time and pretty sore in my back, legs and arms, but other than that, things are good!

Some other random things:

  • Our little girl likes to hang out on my left side under my ribs, which gets very painful after a while. Her brother is always sitting very low in my tummy, and his kicks are already pretty powerful. He'll be a great soccer player (though I think his sister's kicks just don't feel as strong because of where she is right now)!
  • I got by with belly bands for a while, but I broke down a few weeks ago and bought two pairs of maternity jeans from H&M when they were on sale, and they are AMAZING. I feel so much more comfortable now and am not trying to squeeze into my pre-pregnancy jeans. I also bought this top when Lilac Clothing was having a promotion at Costco, and it's very flattering. You can wrap the sides around, which accommodates a growing belly, and the fabric is really soft.
  • My black MacBook has been slowing down for months now (I bought it in 2008), so Andrew finally convinced me to upgrade to a MacBook Pro when I got my annual bonus at work. I am embarrassed to say that I hadn't really used it until this weekend — and we bought it almost a month ago. I almost felt like I was abandoning an old friend, since that MacBook has been my baby for almost six years. Anyone else get super attached to computers? Just me?

I am planning to post about some of the things that have gotten me through this pregnancy (like an amazing body pillow that goes everywhere) soon, so look for that! AND we have two cribs set up, vinyl on the walls and storage baskets for the nursery. Once everything is in place, I'll be revealing the finished product. It is just perfect for our sweet little growing babies.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Titanium

I'm still here! After being sick, then super busy with work, then taking care of Andrew when he got sick this week, there hasn't been a lot of time to blog — and to be honest, I haven't felt much like blogging, either.

I'll be back with an update on the babies and life in general soon, but until then, I wanted to share this beautiful cover of "Titanium" from the latest season of The Voice (which, as you know, I am obsessed with). Madilyn has a gorgeous, sweet tone and is a Utah girl, so I'm mustering up some Utah pride (not as easy as Idaho pride) and rooting for her. :)



I've loved this song since it first came out, but I think the stripped-down, slower version helps you focus on the words. They've been in my head lately as I've thought about trials that come my way, especially the chorus:

I'm bulletproof
Nothing to lose
Fire away, fire away
Ricochet,
You take your aim
Fire away, fire away
You shoot me down
But I won't fall
I am titanium
You shoot me down
But I won't fall
I am titanium
I am titanium
I am titanium

If you're going through something hard right now, I hope you remember that you ARE titanium and that you can withstand anything. Don't let anybody bring you down or make you feel bad about yourself. You can stop yourself from falling and let those bullets pass you by.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, and I hope you have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Eleven things before 11 a.m.


 The lovely Eli of Today My Way tagged me and provided me with these fun questions to answer, and I thought it would be a nice break from my heavier posts lately.

If you want to answer these questions, please share them on your blog! I'd love to read them. :)
  1. Your mantra of the moment: "I never have yet felt a twinge of regret for being a little too kind."
  2. Your favorite destination for a romantic break: Kona, Hawaii (where we went on our honeymoon).
  3. Your most treasured possession: My great-grandmother's wedding ring from the 1930s.
  4. Obscure fact few people know about you: I can perfectly imitate the Teen Girl Squad characters' voices.
  5. What's your latest obsession? I am in love with EOS lip balm, especially the green mint kind.
  6. Your fantasy career: A coffee shop singer like Ingrid Michaelson.
  7. It's perfectly OK to... eat candy that falls on the floor (as long as you pick it up within 10 seconds).
  8. What gets easier as you get older? Letting things go — and realizing that you can't control everything.
  9. Thing you'd like to tell your 16-year-old self: You'll be married to the most wonderful man you can imagine, and life will surprise you every day.
  10. Spring makes you... want to buy flowers and eat sandwiches in the park.
  11. Your best advice: Find out what you're good at and what you're passionate about, and do that as much as you can. Don't focus on your weaknesses or the things that make you unhappy.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

We are just breakable girls and boys


This post has been in the works for about two years now, though I've thought about it every day since I wrote my last post about working moms nearly three weeks ago.

The main point of that post was that women who choose to continue working after having children should not feel guilty about making that choice -- nor should others make them feel bad for not staying at home with their children.

But there is a flip side to this coin, and unfortunately it is not as widely spoken about as supporting working mothers is.

Those who misinterpret the phrase "provider for the family" do a disservice to both men and women.

In cultures around the world, women have long been raised to believe that their place in a marriage -- and throughout their life -- is to raise children and take care of the home. This is definitely not a bad thing. In fact, my own mother taught me the importance of learning to take care of a home and of the joys that motherhood bring, and I am grateful for that.

However, the problem comes when girls are told that there's no need for them to get a degree or work toward an education because they won't need it as a wife and mother -- or, worse yet, that they should only pursue degrees or careers that will allow them to fulfill their most important goal of being a mother.

Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that every woman who wants to get married or have children will be able to. There's also no guarantee that every husband and father can immediately provide a steady income to support his wife and children. And he shouldn't have to shoulder that pressure alone.

I want my children to grow up believing that they can achieve whatever they want to achieve, regardless of their gender or the roles they think they need to fill. Here are a few of the things I will be teaching them:
  • Marriage is a partnership, and both the wife and the husband have a responsibility to contribute. If you and your husband have the income and flexibility to allow you to stay home with your children, that's wonderful. It works best for your family. If, on the other hand, your husband loses his job or is unable to adequately provide for you, making him feel guilty or refusing to help with income if you can -- whether it means taking a job or cutting back on costs -- is wrong. Assumed gender roles should never be used as an excuse or a cop-out.
  • Girls should pursue their career and education goals, regardless of their desire (or lack of desire) to be wives and mothers. It's sad that with the myriad opportunities available to women today in the workplace, there are still many who have been taught that getting a degree is unnecessary or that pursuing what they really love -- if it's not known for being "family-friendly" -- is wrong. Guess what. If you want to have kids AND become a rocket scientist, you can. You can do anything you want to do if you have the passion and commitment.
  • Boys should learn to respect ambitious girls and women and support them -- but they should not be taught that they're solely responsible for earning an income. I am grateful to have a husband who supports me in my career and understands that I need to contribute to our family. He has never made me feel like he expects me to stay at home with our children. I also never want him to feel stressed out because he is supposed to be the "provider" and make enough money to single-handedly pay our bills. Unfortunately, with an unstable job market and rising living costs, that kind of pressure can be absolutely crippling to fathers -- and unfair.
I respect friends who are staying home with their children and those who choose to continue working, and I'm grateful that I'm working in a world where women are becoming more and more respected every day, regardless of the path they choose. I just want to make sure my kids know who they can become, despite what other people tell them is possible.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Working mom


Ever since we started telling people that I am expecting twins, we've had nothing but questions -- questions about how I'm feeling, whether I'm eating right, whether we've picked out names, whether we're buying a bigger car and whether we've read all the pregnancy books out there.

I expected the questions, and like every other milestone in my life, I welcome them. I know that people ask questions because they care and want to help. However, there's one question that I never know quite how to answer: Are you going back to work after they're born?

I actually do have a simple answer to this question -- yes -- and I tell everyone who asks that I plan to continue working. But then I feel like I have to justify my answer by telling them that Andrew is still in school, that I have excellent benefits with my current job that we can't afford to lose, that we need the extra income to be able to provide adequately for our babies.

I am tired of feeling like I have to explain my choice to go back to work, and I'm sure there are other women who feel the same way.

To be clear, I always wanted to be home with my kids and be there for them. My mom stayed home with us until my youngest brother was in kindergarten, and I have always admired her for that sacrifice. I knew that if I called her from school because I forgot my lunch, she would be there. I knew that if I got sick, she would come get me and make me chicken noodle soup and jello. I knew that when I rode the bus home from school, she would be there to ask about my day.

I want my kids to have the same loving, dependable mom -- but I also want my company to have the same hard-working, dependable Lindsay.

It hasn't always been this way. Not that long ago, I came home in tears every night from a job that was completely wrong for me. I am embarrassed to say that I welcomed the thought of having children simply because it meant I would have an excuse to leave that job (and the workforce) until they were grown.

Nearly three years later, I am happier than I've ever been. I wake up every morning with a sense of purpose. I know people count on me to write, to edit, to publish content -- and they are reading the things that I write. I absolutely love my job, I love the people I work with, and I love feeling like I've finally found a place where I belong. I know my job matters and makes a difference, and it's an incredible blessing.

I've never been quick to form friendships, and it's caused quite a bit of heartache as the people I thought were friends moved in and out of my life. At my company, I have more than 50 close friends I know I can trust and confide in, and I've built lasting relationships that I don't want to lose.

Am I aware that things will change when I welcome two tiny babies into the world in a few months? Of course! But I am willing to balance things in my life, as is Andrew, and I'm willing to work equally hard at raising children and becoming even better at my job.

Life is about to get really hard, but I know that I'm making the right choice for myself and my family, regardless of what others expect me to do.

I'm about to become a working mom by choice. I'm ready for the challenge.