baby and i are growing fast

baby and me

I am now 24 weeks pregnant.

And I look it.

I absolutely love being pregnant right now. Yes, I’m tired¬†all the time,¬†and no, I can’t fit into most of my usual clothes, but aside from that, it’s pretty amazing.

My little guy is quite the athlete these days. His favorite time to play is at night, which may be contributing a bit to my fatigue, because whenever I wake up in the middle of the night now I like to see if he’s awake and wants to hang out for a little bit. It’s often in the very middle of the night that he must be doing somersaults or jumping jacks or something, because it’s crazy how much he moves. I could lie there for hours with him doing that.

I’m already in love. Someone asked me the other day what I was most excited about, and I realized that most of all, I just want to meet him. I feel like I know him already just by feeling him move, by letting his tiny body pass by my hand as it rests on my ever expanding belly.

I told Marshall that I think I like the tiny movements the most, because I imagine his adorable little hand or foot punching or kicking in there when I feel them. I can’t wait until I can hold them.

I feel like time has flown, when I look back at how long I’ve been pregnant. We’re over halfway through, and we will be meeting our son (crazy!) in four months or less. I know that time will fly by, and that it will continue to fly once he’s born. So I’m doing everything I can to savor every moment as it comes.

I still can’t believe I’m having a baby. It’s pretty unreal. And such an unbelievable blessing. It truly is a miracle, this little life growing inside of me.

-me

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thoughts about rain.

rainbow

I love the sound of rain.

I always have, for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved most things about rain. There isn’t a rainy day goes by when I don’t wish I could run outside barefooted and bathing suit-clad to let the water soak my skin.

When I was little I used to sit at the window in our playroom when the rain came down in sheets, mesmerized by the patterns it played on the asphalt, wishing it would come down harder. It feels so good to be inside when it’s raining outside, particularly if I’m somewhere comfortable.

At camp I would wish for rain so that I and my fellow cabinmates could return to our wooden bunks until it passed, listening to it caress the leaves and dance on the roof above us. Summer rains are the best, that ever-elusive break from the heat, the immediate cool that rushes over the earth as creatures run for cover. The flowers love it, the grass is immediately greener, and once the shower dies down the deer and the rabbits come out in full force to explore the newly dampened creation.

Even cars sound better in the rain as they pass, flinging water aside as they tumble through. And thunder, wondrous thunder, the power it brings, in its many manifestations. Whether rolling and gentle or sudden and fear-striking, miles away or right by our side, we know it is something much bigger than we are, a glimpse into the world beyond our tiny lives.

I’ve never really been afraid of storms, or any kind of weather, most likely due to my love and fascination for them. I’m the one who hears the tornado siren and runs outside, who sits on the porch as the lightning approaches, who wants to go driving in the snow to see how pretty it is. So maybe I haven’t quite grasped how much bigger these acts of God are than I am, how utterly destructive and terrifying they can be. Or maybe that just adds to my naive infatuation with the weather in all its extremes.

I’ll never stop loving the simple rain, the gentle strength that comes with soft drops of water falling to the ground with nothing but good, restorative, beautifying intentions. Everything about it is wonderful, relaxing, and for some strange reason it draws my mind to nature more than the most perfect of sunny days. I can’t help but stop a little when it rains, think a little longer. Even the bugs seem louder, and the birds, as a kind of silence allows for listening ears to hear through the raindrops.

Nature adores the rain, it needs it. I think I do too. I must have been born on a rainy day.

-me

breaking news

Well, I guess it’s time you all knew one of the reasons I haven’t been super active on my blog recently, and one of the reasons I haven’t been feeling too well these days.

The Gallaghers are having a baby!

Ayda is happy to hear this.

Ayda is happy to hear this.

Yesterday I crossed that oh-so-anticipated threshold from the dreaded first to the apparently heavenly second trimester. I’m still waiting for the heavenly part, but I’m definitely starting to feel better than I have for the past several weeks.

Itty is not impressed.

Itty is not impressed.

Let me tell you, it’s unfortunate that the trimester when you feel your worst is also the trimester when no one else knows or can tell you are pregnant. All you want to do is scream out “I’m pregnant!! This is why I feel horrible, look horrible, and act horrible all the time! I’m not just being lazy and complain-y and eating Eggo waffles because I’m letting myself go!”

At least Marshall has known I’m pregnant. The poor guy has had to make his own dinners for going on two months now, while I sit eating my yogurt and strawberries (and yes, Eggo waffles). It was definitely also nice to have my family and close friends in the know so that I could complain to them all the time. And to share the excitement with me! My poor family has had to keep it secret from all of their friends for way too long, I’m glad that time is over. It’s such a joyous thing and something you immediately want to tell the whole world.

The unfortunate reality is that the first trimester is sort of a scary one, when you are beside yourself with excitement, but it’s always tempered by that little worry that something might happen and you might lose the baby. The statistics for miscarriage in the first trimester are higher than I had thought, so that possibility becomes almost as real as the little life inside of you is. I can’t tell you how thankful I am to be past that. But as my mom wisely reminded me, nothing is for sure until you have that baby in your arms, and even once you do, their future is still completely out of your hands. Thank the Lord I know they will be in His hands.

Oh, parenthood! I can’t believe I’ll be in it a mere six months from now, God willing.

Now I’m sure many of you are wondering, is her blog just going to turn into a mom blog now? And I can honestly tell you, I don’t know. So I guess we’ll just have to see! I don’t plan on that happening, but we all know how moms get, don’t we! In the meantime, I’ll just keep posting about life and other important things.

So, now that that news is out, can we talk about how it’s snowing outside?? Eeeek!

-me

celebrating a best friend

kim

I’ve made a lot of friends over the years– in high school, in college, in the working world, and now at seminary. In every stage of life we meet new friends who are in similar situations that we are, and it’s always fun when new people enter our lives.

But there’s something irreplaceable about a friend you have known since you were in braces, since before you cared about boys, since you wore calf-length tube socks and weekend activities entailed nothing more than a raucous sleepover at a friend’s house.

I’ve known my friend Kim since seventh grade, when I moved from elementary school to the all girls middle school Harpeth Hall, which to me seemed like an all-day sleepover when I first arrived. It pretty much stayed like that until we graduated from high school.

girls

Kim and I were possibly the most annoying girls to ever walk the halls of our school. This weekend, while we were in New Orleans celebrating her bachelorette party, we spent some time going over all of the antics we used to perform in the hallways of our school, and I have to admit that if I were a teacher there I probably would have hated us.

cafe du monde

Just a brief sampling of some of our “jokes”: We played “narcolepsy” (pretty self-explanatory, right?), repeatedly screamed “happy birthday” to one another in extremely loud, annoying voices, usually until someone stopped us because we would never stop ourselves; had fits in the middle of Latin class where we jumbled up everything on our desk as loudly as possible until our teacher gave us the eye; openly mocked our semi-masculine P.E. teacher by putting our hands on our hips like she did and speaking in deep voices like we were in charge of the class; numerous other activities that cannot be mentioned on this blog…the list could go on and on but I know my husband is rolling his eyes right now so I’ll stop.

sally

(despite the glasses, this is not Kim, but one of her college friends, Sally.)

So to see Kim get married and to get to be a part of this time in her life is such a privilege, and I know that no matter whom I meet, no matter who my friends are wherever I am, no one can ever replace the friends who have seen me grow up, who have lived more of life with me than they have without me. I’m lucky to have a few of those friends still, and they are priceless.

abby

I wasn’t the most fun participant in the weekend because I was a bit under the weather (“haven’t you been under the weather for like a month?” “why yes, reader, you are correct! it’s quite fun, i might add.”), but New Orleans is always a good time, as you can tell from the pictures.

It’s such an interesting city to me, it’s full of character and great food and entertainment, but it’s also poor and dirty and full of debauchery. Some of it is the fun debauchery, but some of it is that debauchery that leaves you feeling a little bit sick, and a little bit sad, and it makes you want to take some people aside and ask them if they are really having any fun, if this is really what they want to be doing with their lives. It’s definitely a place that warrants short visits, so as not to get dragged down by what really goes on behind closed doors.

Luckily for us, we had a fabulous time, ate some good food, got some huge daiquiris, and enjoyed time with good friends. It was a great preview for the weekends to come that we get to celebrate Kim and her soon-to-be husband Travis. My little Kimi is growing up!

Kim, I love you, I’m honored to be a part of your wedding and a part of your life, and I can’t wait to see you walk down the aisle!

-me

these days

There are times when I feel like my brain won’t stop working, I think double-time about everything that happens in my life, and things that aren’t even happening in my life, and I could spend hours writing in my journal trying to get it all out of my head.

Then there are times where I can sit down and try to think about things, like, for instance, something to write about on my blog, and literally nothing comes to mind. It’s as if my mind is on vacation, taking a rest from those times when it’s in overdrive.

Can you guess where my mind is now?

I don’t know what it is, but my thoughts are all dried up these days. Or at least my ideas, for writing blog posts. Maybe it’s because I have a lot to think about in my everyday life, practical matters that require most of my brainwaves. Or maybe it’s because, for the most part, my life is pretty boring and predictable right now. Not in a bad way, I love it because things are going well and there’s no drama, but I feel like it sort of stifles creativity.

I suppose I’m just being whiney. I shouldn’t be complaining, should I? But as a writer, I’m like, come on world! Give me something to write about! Maybe I should listen more.

Just give me a little while to get back on top of my game. In the meantime, you get to read posts like this one. And look at pictures of my puppy.

In other news, I go to New Orleans this weekend for one of my best friends’ bachelorette party! So that should bring back some exciting stories, or at least a few extra pounds. I can’t even begin to tell you how much food I plan to eat. I’ll be sure to Instagram all of my meals, like a good little hipster.

love,

boring me

p.s.

raydalove