Friday, April 18, 2014

Bump Update: Week 14

No bump picture this week.  :( Kept forgetting and with Easter and our car dying we've been insanely busy.  I promise there will be one next week!  :)

I know that during my first bump update I talked about how pregnancy was so different than I ever expected.  And it is.  

This week I just kept thinking - I really thought I would feel different.  Yeah, every once in awhile I don't feel good, and I'm a little more tired than usual...but if I didn't know I was pregnant, I don't know that I would be able to tell.  Not sure what I expected.  It's just weird to me that physically I don't feel all that different...especially now that I've got most of my energy back and my morning sickness is pretty much gone.  Mentally, I am more than aware of that Little Sprout.  And emotionally...well, I can be a little bit touchy....but physically it is amazing to me how little I notice.

This week, baby is the size of a: Lemon.  In my head a peach is bigger than a I feel like my baby shrunk since last week.  lol.  But my 14 week video said the size of my fist so that was an easy visual.  :)

Next appointment: May 1st.  Halfway there!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: My weight has been fluctuating a ton lately, which isn't normal for me.  It used to be that I would step on the scale and it would be the same day after day.  It would fluctuate a tenth or so up or down depending on the time of day...but that's it.  Now I'm down 3 lbs, up 1, down 1, up 2, down 1.  I think, since last week, I'm about the same.  Which I'll's better than losing more!

Exercise: So much more than I have been getting!  I've been taking nice long walks with the little one I watch on days when it is nice.  Not only is it good for me...but she has so much fun too I think!  She just gibber jabbers the whole time or just watched everything go by.  Can't wait till I can do this with my own little one!  I also did a bit of yard work this weekend which was nice exercise. 

Maternity Clothes: Still don't need to wear them.  Though certain pants are uncomfy, everything still fits.  I did order a pair of shorts though since I found a pretty good deal.  And Mom, Dad, and Grandma picked me out a couple of shirts for my Birthday! 

Sleep: I've been sleeping really well this week.  Thankful for that.

Food Cravings/Aversions: A friend of ours celebrated her first birthday recently.  There was a candy bar at the party.  I brought home a bag full of candy.  Last week I remembered I had it and got some out.  There were these amazing sour watermelon candies!  And I ran out.  It was devastating.  Ever since then I've just needed them!  Hubby got me a small bag at walmart Saturday night.  It is gone.  Thinking I might need to order a 5 lb bag.  ;)

Movement: Nothing.  Not supposed to feel anything for a few more weeks.  Cannot wait for that moment!

What I Miss: Accomplishing things.  I had a couple of really good days this past week and it felt so good to get things accomplished.  But then I hit a road block again.  I'm either feeling a little blah, tired, or just not motivated at brain just doesn't want to work.

What I'm Loving: My bump has really made more of an appearance the past few days - just decided to show up I guess.  Before, I had to be wearing the right clothes, kind of had to pull them snug...but now, it is kind of hard to hide.  Not that I would anyways...  ;)

What I'm Looking Forward To: Feeling my baby and seeing my baby again!

Best Moment This Week: My church family noticing my bump and apologizing for just touching without asking.  Honestly, I don't mind it.  Just don't look forward to random strangers doing that....

Milestones: I am crossing my fingers as I say this, but I think, for the most part, that morning sickness is officially behind me.  Yay for the magical 2nd trimester!  :)  Speaking of - we are 1/3 of the way there!  Crazy!

Goals: Eat more.  I'm so used to not having an appetite, I've got to make myself eat now that I can.  And hopefully I'll gain some weight along the way!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Christians - Why Can't We All Get Along? Why Must We Criticize?

The past couple of weeks I have seen a few things I'm not proud of.  And, frankly, that have upset me a bit.

Christians belittling other Christians or ministry avenues.

Not cool.

First of all, I was shocked to see a select group of Christians berating the movie God's Not Dead.  Yes, I know it wasn't perfect and there were extreme stereotypes.  And no, maybe taking someone to the movies isn't the best form of evangelism...but maybe it is.  You see, in my opinion, you telling me I shouldn't see the movie because of reasons x, y, and z could keep me from aiding someone else's walk with the Lord.  

Now, I need to clarify,  Movies like the recent Noah, should be brought to the spotlight for what they aren't - a remotely accurate Biblical interpretation.  If movies are seriously taking Scripture out of context, then yes, tell everyone.  Don't encourage it.  But if a movie just has a few tiny things you might not agree with, like extreme stereotypes of atheists, or if you think it might, then let it be.  Please, if you haven't seen a movie like this yourself, keep your opinion to yourself.

I saw God's Not Dead this weekend, and while it still has a tiny bit of that cheesy Christian feel, I loved it.  Christian films have come a looooong way from back in the day!  And I know, for a fact, that it really strengthened the faith of a few that have seen it, including young ones.  And if the movie did that for only one person, it would be worth it wouldn't it??  It would be worth if for that Christian who is riding on the fence to be moved enough to get off the fence.  It would be worth it for that child who has kept their faith to themselves to be able to share it with their friends or family...even if it was a simple text message.

I really don't believe that the movie gives anyone any false perceptions of anything as I was led to believe by a few articles posted, not Muslims, not atheists, not young people trying to defend their faith.  That movie is changing lives.  Whether you want to believe it or not, God is using it!  Because it is Good!  

Who are you to get in the way of that?  To tell people that they shouldn't go see the movie?  How many people that could have been changed for the better were stopped because you convinced someone to not go to the movie?  Sometimes, instead of getting on our soap box (which I know I do myself sometimes...probably on one now actually), we should look at the bigger picture.  Sometimes our soap box can become a road block for others.  

After talking to others that have seen this movie, I just couldn't get past all the things I had "heard" from other Christians about how horrible it was.  And I had to get this off of my chest.

Okay...done with that rant.  Moving onto rant #2.

I stumbled across a Facebook group, on accident, that was specifically for a certain "type" of Christian.  You see, we're categorized sometimes by the things we believe.  And I'm okay with that.  What I'm not okay with, is a discussion (that was obviously public enough for me to see) about why the "other" group of Christians would or could ever believe a certain thing.

Pause for a second here for an interjection.  I have often wondered these same things myself.  And I have asked the very same question. But I have done so privately and without condemning the other side.

That was not the case this time around.  The conversation was public on Facebook.  And it was not civil.  The "other" side was made to sound uneducated and naive.  It was like they were poking fun instead of trying to honestly learn (which was probably the original intent of the question).  

My heart hurts because of this.  Why can't Christians just get along??  When we fight each other we aren't fixing any thing.  We're just hurting ourselves and giving the world a poor view of who Christ is.  Yeah, you might think your soap box is worth the argument, but in the it helping or hindering?  Is it really worth it.  And, yeah, sometimes those small things can become big issues.  I stand firm when it comes to such things.  But some of those small things are really just small things.

Let's all make some effort to get off of our soap boxes and to really love all of the other Christians - no matter what subcategory they might fall into.  Let's keep our theology arguments to private messages.  And let's not get in the way of true a ministry opportunity...even if we might not fully agree with it.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Bump Update: Week 13

I think keeping this weekly journal is making this pregnancy go by even faster.  This baby is going to be here before we know it!  Eek!  No bump picture this week...just didn't feel like taking one tonight - a little hormonal and very tired.  ;) BUT, I can show you what is IN the bump!  Here are our first baby pictures:

This second pic shows a good profile - Hubby says Sprout has his nose! hehe.  We shall see....

This week, baby is the size of a: Peach - I love peaches!!  :)

Next appointment: May 1st.  This may be the only time in my life I wish a doctor's appointment would come sooner.  May 1st seems SO far away.  But it will come faster than I expect, I'm sure.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Since last week I lost two pounds and then gained them back.  So, no weight change.  Still down 7 pounds.

Exercise: Last week I was able to take two walks with the little one that I nanny.  And it felt so nice!  Thankful that the weather is getting a little nicer.  Hoping to make walks a part of our regular routine. Didn't happen today though.  Too much rain.  :(

Maternity Clothes: Nope.  Almost bought shorts off of Zulily because they had an awesome deal.  But by the time I remembered to get on and order they were completely out of most sizes, including mine.  :(

Sleep: Seems like I have been sleeping really well lately.  But I've also been doing a lot more.  Which means by the time we head to bed, I'm exhausted.  It used to take me at least a half an hour just to fall asleep.  Now I don't even think my head has a chance to hit the pillow. And I've been falling back asleep after Hubby's alarm goes off in the morning, which is not a normal thing either.  Loving my sleep!

Food Cravings/Aversions: Meat has been a little hard to deal with.  But I think that is getting better.  Hopefully.  And no cravings yet.  :)

Movement: After seeing our ultrasound, I'm 100% positive I've never felt Sprout move.  That baby was going crazy - the tech had a hard time getting a picture and had a hard time getting the heartbeat.  Definitely one of the most amazing things I have ever seen in my life.  But I didn't feel a bit of it - which shocked both me and Hubby.  And since my uterus is tipped pretty far back - there is a good chance I won't feel anything until much closer to my 3rd trimester.  :(

What I Miss: Energy.  It is hard for me to not do everything I used to be able to.  

What I'm Loving: I think it has become a bit more real for Hubby after seeing our Little Sprout on the ultrasound screen.  It was really fun watching him grin from ear to ear as he watched.  I was torn between watching him and watching the baby.

What I'm Looking Forward To: We've started planning our gender reveal party.  At my next appointment we will schedule the gender ultrasound and I can't wait!!  Pinterest has become my best friend.  ;)

Best Moment This Week: Our first official (non-ER) ultrasound.

Milestones: Getting in some exercise is a HUGE deal for me!  Hoping I can keep it up!

Goals: I didn't get the bathroom floor sanded like I had hoped.  But it turns out, since we have gotten so busy, Hubby won't be able to get to that until at least May anyways.  So that got pushed to the back-burner.  My goal this week is to get some of our closets organized.  When we moved in, things just got shoved into closets, some things still in boxes - I really need to take care of that.  Baby wise - I want to start putting together an invite for our gender reveal party.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Review: White Matcha Tea

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. 
I got my White Matcha Tea to review a couple of weeks ago.  And I was beyond excited!  I had heard so many great things!

Did you know...

*No GMO's or additives - LOVE this!
*Matcha is usually Green Tea - so this is special!
*The tea is stone ground into a fine powder - the key to matcha!

Why stone ground?  Because it doesn't take away flavor or health benefits - and tea is SO good for you!

What kind of health benefits?

*High antioxidant count to kill free radicals in the blood stream
*Reduces the risk of certain types of cancer
*Decreases fine lines and wrinkles (yeah!)
*Helps maintain a good complexion

So what did I think?


It tastes good.  Really - I am a tea drinker at heart.  I don't like all.  So, tea is my thing!  It definitely has a unique flavor - but it is a good one!

It lasts a long time.  You only need to use a tiny little bit for each cup, so even though you only get a small pouch - it will last you a decent amount of time.

I do think that drinking the tea helped my complexion.  Being pregnant means I feel like I"m in high school again with all of the random break outs and obviously noticeable pimples.  And the 3 or 4 days I remembered to drink the tea in a row led to 3 or 4 days of less break outs.  :)

Most of all, I love eating (or drinking) things that I know are helping my body and not hurting it.  Because, let's face it, most of the stuff that we eat is probably doing more harm than good. 

I was very disappointed when I opened the package and found that there were no directions.  The products are on Amazon (which is how they sent my product) so I went there and found incomplete directions.  I had to go to their website to figure out what to do.  Which is extremely inconvenient.  I feel like it would take 2 seconds to print out a brief set of directions for each order.

I'm not sure if it is because I'm pregnant or what - but the texture really bothered me.  No matter how hot I made the water, the powder didn't quite disappear.  That really didn't agree with me.  However, I tried putting it in my Keurig self-brew cup and made it like I would loose leaf tea.  It is much better that way - though still has a somewhat weird texture.

Would I get more?

Probably not.  I love the health benefits.  But I just can't get past the texture for the price.  But everyone is different - so you should definitely give it a try!  
You can buy 30 grams on Amazon for 19.99 and FREE shipping!  And who doesn't love free shipping!?!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Bump Update: Week 12

First, can I just say that pregnancy is not at all what I expected.  I'm not sure what my expectations looked like, but no matter how much you think you know, you just don't.  Some things are better than I imagined and other things I just wasn't prepared for.  But, in the end, it is all worth it.  :)
One thing is for sure - I'm not as sick as I had always imagined.  In those first few weeks after finding out we were expecting, it concerned me.  I thought if I wasn't puking every moment of the day then something wasn't right.  Now I'm just thankful that my gag reflex doesn't kick in at every meal and that puking has kept itself to a minimum.
Apparently being congested is a pregnancy thing!?!  No one tells you that!  haha.  But now I did.  So if you haven't gotten to experience this yet - good luck.  Not only are you nauseous and exhausted - but you won't be able to breath either!  ;)
And your brain just doesn't work.  Yes, I've heard of pregnancy brain.  But, I thought that kicked in after your first trimester.  And it also has affected me in ways I couldn't foresee.  It isn't so much that I forget things (though I do) - I just can't seem to function the way I should.  My thoughts don't work together well, my body doesn't always listen to what my brain is telling it to do, and I am very easily overwhelmed and frustrated.  
Anyways, now for my weekly questionnaire and bump picture:

Definitely not my favorite photos but if you look really close, you can see my tiny little baby bump!  :)  I tried doing a comparison with my 6 week pic but I think with the factor of my weight loss, they both look about the same.  :(

This week, baby is the size of a: Large plum.  Last week it was a lime.  That was more fun.  ;)
Next appointment: Tomorrow!!  After the hassle of my last appointment (directly after my ER visit), we finally got into the new OB practice and my first appointment is tomorrow!  After a bad experience, we are going to toture the poor doctor with questions.  lol.
Total Weight Gain/Loss: I've lost 7 pounds!  For the first time in my life, (well, actually the 2nd, but that story is for another day), I want to gain weight and I just can't!  I haven't been horribly sick but my appetite is lacking and I do have a hard time finishing meals on occasion.  However, thyroid issues run in the family, so we are making sure to ask the doc what he thinks tomorrow. 
Exercise: Ha!  What is that??  I've really got to get into a routine.  But I am pretty active at work and around the house - and even that much is difficult right now.  Hopefully with nicer weather it will be a bit easier...
Maternity Clothes: Not yet.  I purchased a swim suit on Zulily because it was super cute and on sale.  But I won't need it for awhile... Jeans are a bit uncomfy but they still fit just fine.
Sleep: Depends on the day.  But the past few days have meant a couple of solid hours and then tossing and turning because I can't get comfortable.  And I don't even have much of a belly yet!?!  
Food cravings/aversions: Haven't really had any cravings.  And aversions - well, that just depends on the day.
Movement: Every time anything happens in my abdomen I wonder if our Little Sprout is doing somersaults but I don't think I've felt anything yet...still too early.
What I miss: My It Works! Greens - they give me energy and help my stomach feel better - both of which I really need right now.  But there is one ingredient that could cause contractions and that isn't something I want to risk right now.  And I miss sushi.  A lot.
What I'm loving: My belly seems a little bigger every day!  Its neat to actually have a little bit of a bump.  It makes it all feel a little bit more real.
What I'm looking forward to: Our first official ultrasound.  I've only had one done in the ER.  Hubby wasn't allowed to be with me and I wasn't allowed to see the screen.  I heard the heartbeat for about 5 seconds, but that was it.  I'm so anxious to see our Sprout!  And for Hubby to experience it with me.  Hoping we can get this scheduled at our appointment tomorrow.
Best moment this week: Showing off my barely-there bump!  :)
Milestones: Not to sound bump!
Goals: Hmmmm.  I'm guessing a lot of my goals during this pregnancy are going to be house related since we want to have quite a bit done before Sprout decides to join us.  So, that being said, I want to get the floor in the bathroom sanded this week so that Hubby can seal it next weekend!  And I should probably try to gain some weight...

Friday, March 28, 2014


Growing up we had two horses.  Regretfully, I never learned how to ride well.  I was too scared of them to get very close when I was younger.  But I loved to watch them.  They were majestic and beautiful.  And I loved listening to my parents tell me stories of when they worked at a stable (I vaguely remember some of those days but I was really young then).  Dad would talk about the personality of the horses and how ornery they could be but also how sweet and gentle they could be.  Or he would tell stories about breaking* horses - some were easy and some were not so easy.  *(See note at bottom of post)

The idea of "breaking" a horse has stuck with me all these years.  And as I studied the Word over the past few days, I was reminded again of that imagery.  You see, a horse has to be broken because they are naturally wild.  They are unable to follow your lead or be taken care of properly if they keep resorting back to those wild tendencies.  Once broken, the horse is better able to follow the trainers lead and the trainer is better able to take care of the horse.

Psalm 51:16-17
16 16 For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
17 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

God requires that we have a broken spirit and a broken heart when we come before Him.  This doesn't mean 'broken' in the sense that you are sad or depressed, but broken in the sense that you are able to listen and respond to what He has to say.  Much like the trainer has to break the horse, our Father has to break our spirit.  We are naturally sinful.  We are unable to follow His lead or be taken care of properly if we keep resorting back to those sinful tendencies.  Once our spirit is broken, we are able to follow His lead and He is better able to take care of us.

A little over a year ago, I was at a get together with some old high school friends, most of which do not exactly follow my lifestyle.  The subject of drinking came up, as it usually does.  While I'm not opposed to drinking on occasion (wine is one of the few things that will instantly bring relief to my stomach condition) - I do believe that getting drunk is a sin.  The Bible states that pretty plainly.   Someone asked me what I thought about getting 'tipsy', or 'buzzed'.  I thought for a moment and replied with, "I'm not sure that it's okay because it alters the state of your mind."  The reply came, "Well it just brings out who you really are, so isn't that a good thing?  Shouldn't we always be our true selves?"  

At that point I didn't have a reply - all of my theology courses and ministry schooling left my brain apparently.  But on that drive home, and sometimes to this day, that question haunts me because I know the answer.  We are all inherently sinful.  Because of the fall of man, sin is a part of us, which is why we have to choose every day to pick up our cross for Christ and choose Him over self.  So when you become tipsy or drunk, chances are that the inherent sin, present in all of us, is going to surface.  Yes, our true self will show, but that isn't who we are in Christ.  And that is not a good thing.

The point here is not about drinking, the point is that we need to be broken.  Because, if we aren't, that inherent sin will rear its ugly head.  And it never ends well once it shows.

You see, "It is a work wrought upon the heart; that is it that God looks at and requires...It is a heart breaking with itself, and breaking from its sin; it is a heart pliable to the Word of God, and patient under the rod of God, a heart subdued and brought into obedience: it is a heart that is tender...and trembles at God's word.  Oh that there was such a heart in us!" (Matthew Henry).  

Have you run across a person like that?  A person with that sort of heart?  They are different.  In a beautiful way.  Their heart shows through in every part of their life.  They are broken.  Not sad or depressed.  But broken so that God can live in them and through them.  What walls does God need to break in your life?  Is there a sin you don't want to give up?  Or fear of not being good enough?  Or maybe there is a wall built from the guilt of your past (or present)?  No matter what the wall or how big - God can still break through.  You just have to let Him.

When David wrote this Psalm, he was suffering from a severe case of guilt.  He had committed adultery and then killed a man to try and cover up his sin.  Adultery, murder, deceit - he had every right to feel guilty.  

In fact, his words preceding vs. 16 and 17 are as follows:

Psalm 51:14-15
14 Delivery me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
That my mouth may declare Your praise.

He desperately craved the Lord's forgiveness, wanted to openly sing His praises again without the feeling of guilt or inadequacy.  And he knew the power of our Lord - he knew the Lord was capable of forgiving even him.  And he also knew what the Lord required - not an animal sacrifice, as was routine in David's day, but, rather, a broken spirit and contrite heart.  

Psalm 51:16-17
16 For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

What is holding you back from allowing the Lord to break down the walls around your heart?  What will it take for you to let Him break your spirit?  To allow Him to use you?

Allow your heart to:

  • Break with itself and from its sin
  • Be pliable to the Word of God
  • Be patient under the rod of God
  • Be subdued and brought into obedience
  • Be tender
  • Tremble at the word of God

Then and only then will you be broken and able to follow the Lord completely.  Then and only then will He be able to use you for the purpose He intended.  David was a murderer, an adulterer, a deceiver – God still forgave him, broke his spirit, and used him!  If God can do this with David, can He not do so with you?

*When I speak of 'breaking' a horse - I simply mean training.  However - using the term 'training' didn't work for my illustration purposes.  My dad was never cruel towards any of the horses he dealt with.  :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Giveaway: Opulent Monsters Pattern and Fabric Kits

Sponsored By: Opulent Monsters
Hosted By: Mami's 3 Little Monkeys

Bri here with Learning to Be 31 - I'm super excited about this giveaway because I've often thought of making my own cloth diapers.  I haven't attempted to yet but my sewing machine is just sitting in the other room.  ;)  And now, I've discovered Opulent Monsters, which would make things 10 times easier!

Opulent Monsters was created while Crystal was pregnant with her third child. She was on the journey of looking into cloth diapering and decided to make them her self as she has been sewing for over 20 years. She quickly fell in love with the cloth diaper community and became obsessed with the cuteness of all the cloth diapers out there. She made and awesome all-in-one design and loved it, OMMO was made by Crystal out of her pure love for cloth diapering and the necessities for something easy to use while chasing around her other two children. She has been drafting patterns since the 90's and loves to pass on her knowledge and tricks to others who would like to learn. Crystal now has four children.

Sarh at Mami's 3 Little Monkeys has made three pairs of Monster Bunz. You can read her full review here.

Two very lucky winners will be able to chose their own sewing pattern of choice from Opulent Monsters as well as three (3) sewing kits per winner! For the fabric kit, the winners will be allowed to choose which size of Monster Bunz they would like to make with the kit and for which gender(s) they would like their kits for. This giveaway is open Worldwide (void where prohibited), but please note that winners outside of the US will be responsible for shipping fees. Canadian entrants MUST complete the mandatory skills test. This giveaway will end on April 7th at 11:59pm CST. Two winners will be chosen at random via the entry form, winning entries will be verified and the winners will be notified via email. Winners will have 48 hours in which to respond to these emails or a new winner(s) will be chosen. 
Good Luck! 

Disclosure: Learning to Be 31 and all other participating bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment of these prizes. Prizes will be shipped by Opulent Monster, any winner(s) outside of the USA will be responsible for paying their own shipping. If you have any questions please contact Sarh at