Thursday, July 24, 2014

90-Days to "Be Better"

At the beginning of June, I joined for her 90-day "Be Better" Challenge. I hoped to get back into shape by partnering with Shaklee (taking their Vitalizer vitamin) and setting goals to eat better and be more active for 90 days.

My short-term goals were: 1) Get outside everyday, which had been a challenge with work and baby 2) eat healthier and 3) do something for myself once a week. An underlying long-term goal was to loose the baby weight, but I wasn't going to hold my breath. My sanity and overall health were and are more important.

It started out slowly, getting outside once a day to take a walk (sometimes as short as 10 minutes) or drive into work. Trying to eat more fruits and vegetables and less chocolate chips and crackers. The doing something for myself was a hard one. The things I found myself doing "for myself" were grocery shopping or editing photos, or cleaning... not exactly what I had in mind. But I had no time to do them during the week and they had to get done.

The first month went by, and I had felt better than I did the month before. I wasn't having headaches everyday and I wasn't feeling quite like a zombie-mom. This was a huge improvement even though the scale didn't show any change.

The second month is almost over and I've pushed it up a notch by adding the 7-minute workout to my day which I try to do twice everyday. Chris's sister introduced it to me when we were in Texas and I was hooked. (Its an app on my phone that does 12 exercises for 30 seconds each with a short break in between.)

I've started to establish a little more of a routine with Baby B and work and have discovered a peace in this new balance. I'm less anxious and stressed and can actually enjoy my time at home. With this routine, I feel I actually have time to think about what I'm eating and how I'm taking care of myself (which I haven't done for nine months). There is still a ton of room for improvement but I'm on my way. And I'm excited.

I'm looking forward to the last 30 days of this challenge. I know I can "be better."

**I didn't write about this 60 days ago because I was afraid of failure. I was afraid of letting myself down publicly. But I've come a long way in the last two months (even if you can't tell on the outside) and I wanted to be accountable for the last 30 days. I really do want to be better -- a better wife, mother and a healthy person.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Our Week in Texas

On Saturday, June 21 (Yes, I am that far behind on blogging), we three Babiaks flew to Texas to spend a week with Chris's family. One of the main reasons we took this trip was to meet our newest nephew Elijah, who was born in April, but it would also be William's first time seeing his aunts and uncles face to face (Skype doesn't count).

Grandparents with all five grandchildren

William and Elijah had matching outfits!
Emilee and I both ended up wearing white too!

It was a fairly relaxing week; we spent a lot of time just hanging out with the family and watching the kids get to know each other. We tried to keep William's routine as normal as we could, which made him me happier. When the baby slept, we played games like Pandemic, Survive! and Bang.  When he was awake we kept him busy with toy trucks and chasing him on the floor.

On Wednesday were had planned to have a family photograph taken but it was raining. Later that afternoon when were all together for lunch we did a quick one anyway. It had been a year since we were all together last (at Brad and Emilee's wedding) and two little boys had joined the family since then!

On Thursday, Chris and I left William with Nana and went hiking at Perdernales Falls which was really pretty.  Then we took a little dip in the swimming area. It was a very relaxing morning for the two of us.

That evening, Chris's parents took us out to The Silo, a fairly fancy and elegant restaurant. They were treating us for our 5th Anniversary. With white table clothes, fine china, and a slice of cucumber for our water (or citrus of your choice--they came around to each table!) it felt like a real treat! Since Bob and Sheryl had just celebrated 35 years of marriage last month, we decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to glean from their wisdom. We had such a sweet conversation of reflection and story telling. I learned so much about my in-laws that night!

On Friday evening, Chris, William and I drove over to a friend's house for dinner -- Brandon was one of Chris's groomsmen in our wedding and he and his wife just had a baby. It was really great to catch up with them and meet their darling baby girl. They had a dog that William just loved to watch, too.

On Saturday, before our flight back home, I was able to meet up with my college roommate, Abbey. She had moved to the Austin area a little over a year ago, but I don't think I had seen her since 2009! Our visit was short but it was so wonderful to see her. (I totally forgot to break out my camera though).

William had gotten sick the day before we needed to leave. He woke up with a fever and was really crabby.  I thought it was an ear infection but thankfully by Sunday he was feeling better. He still has a cold but seems more himself now.

We had a wonderful time in Texas. We really were blessed to spend so much time with family. William got to meet just about everyone including his great-grandma and great-grandpa! The family made it so easy for us to be there as well - stocking diapers and formula and getting a carseat and pack and play ready for William's stay.

The week went quickly and it will be Christmas time before we see these silly faces again. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Sense of Awe

Last night, one of my co-workers past away.
He was 28.
He had lung cancer.

He was diagnosed on his 28th birthday, just a few weeks after William was born. I remember hearing the news and thinking, "Wow, I really need to stop crying over how difficult my recovery was. He is going through something so much more serious." Isn't it awful how easy it is to think "be grateful, they have it worse than you."

He fought so hard for nearly nine months. Chemo. Radiation. Pain medication. Tests. It rarely let up.

I can't say I knew my co-worker at all. Really, I can't. Which is sad. We worked in the same building for four years and exchanged a handful of emails and rarely said Hi to one another. He had friends, and didn't seem to need another. But to be honest, I would have loved to be a part of his circle. I'm not excusing myself from blame here, I should have put myself out there. But I didn't. We did have one conversation when I first started working there about film stuff.

He was really talented. He managed our social media presence and video ministry. Sort of like what my husband did for the Navigators (hence the film conversation above). He was on fire for Jesus. God caught his attention young and he was super involved in ministry and outreach. I know this from seeing his work and reading his blog, not from personal connection. His ability to share Christ in any story, post or video was amazing. To God be the Glory in all he did.

Have you ever watched someone from afar and wondered how they did it? How do they live life in such a way that makes you want what they have? Or live the way they live? I have what he has - a relationship with Jesus, but I still wanted what he had! I needed to have more.

I saw that even more so through his suffering. He was fairly transparent in sharing about it on his blog and Facebook. He loved Christ. Simple as that and nothing, not even stage 3B lung cancer, was going to stop his faith. If anything, it was stronger.

Why do I share this with you? Because although I didn't know him well, I feel something. I feel sad. More for those left behind: his wife -- I cry for her nearly every day. I can't imagine the pain her heart feels. And I can't imagine myself in her shoes. Saying goodbye to my husband.

But I also feel an overwhelming sense of awe. This guy is with Jesus, his first love, right now. It's beautiful. It's painful, but it's beautiful. No more tears, or pain, or messed up medical junk. Just basking in the presence of the King he worshiped.

Awe. I'm in awe of the life he lived. I'm in awe of the grace-filled death he died. I'm in awe of the eternal life he is now experiencing. I'm in awe of Jesus - the life he lived, the death he died and the eternal life he gives.

Thank you Lord for taking this man home to be with you. Lord, comfort his wife, his brother, his sister and parents. Comfort those who morn his death and help them rejoice in your eternal gift. Amen.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Baby B: Nine Months Old

Nine Months. In that amount of time a baby goes from being the size of a poppy seed and a ball of cells to a fully formed human being with toes and fingers, ears and nose and so much more. And now, nine months after William Bradley was born, he measures 30 inches tall and weighs 18 lbs. Far from a poppy seed. So much happens in a year and a half.

William has been moving, non-stop for a while now. Even when he's sick, he moves. There are very few moments to cuddle anymore. He crawls, pulls himself up to standing, cruises across the couch and falls down. He has gotten better at sitting from standing and doesn't fall nearly as much, but when he does, he still likes a hug from mom.

He is more interested in eating and we've gotten more serious about him joining us for meal times. Finger foods are a challenge for me -- trying to figure out what's appropriate and what's not as far as food type and size. But the doctor has assured me, now is the time for real food and real meals . . . and real messes.

He likes to talk now. Ba-ba-ba or Ma-ma-ma, and even Da-da-da can be heard when he wakes up. He seems to get more chatty when he's sleepy too. Sometimes he makes faces along with his words as if he were telling you something serious. He is the cutest little boy.

This month we traveled to Belverde, Texas to visit Chris's family and meet William's newest cousin Elijah. William's second flight was very different from his first experience as he is less inclined to sleep in our arms and much more interested in everything else going on. Trying to avoid the screens on the plane was impossible but we still tried. One the way home, he was super sick; thankfully he slept for a little bit and didn't seem to mind dad rocking him for a few hours. (Thanks Hon!)

It was the first time Chris's siblings had gotten to meet William, and the first time for William to be with his cousins--which he loved! I hope to write more about our trip later.

William started clapping last week! It's a silent clap but the movement is there. He also figured out how splashing in the tub works and is a huge fan. Bath time just got a lot more fun!

He started cutting two more teeth on the top, making six total. He is still waking up 2 or 3 times each night, which we hope to put a stop to this month (fingers crossed and prayers being said!).

He found a new use for his exersaucer!

Taking photos has gotten a lot harder lately! He doesn't like to sit in one place for more than a second. He loves when I bring out the camera, but now can't stay back far enough for me to get a shot. I guess now is when photographers bring out the props!