Ice cream anyone?

One question I’ve been asked a lot lately is if I have been having any pregnancy cravings.  I used to think that perhaps cravings were just a myth that pregnant women started so that they could justify eating anything they want.  But it is not a myth my friends!  At any point of a given day I might be struck by the idea of a certain food and my desire for it eventually takes over my brain until I have it!  And sometimes, the food is really random.  Here are some of the cravings I’ve had:

1st Trimester:

  • Pizza
  • bagels
  • nachos
  • pickles (one night I sat and ate 4 big dill pickles in a row)
  • jello (who eats jello?)
  • homemade peanut butter milkshake (it specifically had to be homemade)
  • hot fudge sundae’s from McDonalds
  • Ice cream sundae with peanut butter sauce & whipped cream- which I made for myself and ate as my dinner one night (shh don’t tell my dr.  Thank God for pre-natal vitamins!)
  • McDonalds cheeseburgers (I guess grease sounded appetizing?)
  • apples (which I never really liked much before getting pregnant. But it specifically has to be “Pink Lady” apples)

2nd Trimester (so far):

  • Oranges
  • water with lemon
  • diet dr. pepper
  • mango & coconut frozen yogurt from YoPop
  • peanut butter shiver from TCBY
  • mint chocolate chip ice cream

So basically, I just need to move closer to a dairy farm as it seems ice cream is my #1 choice food item.

Also, my taste buds have changed a bit.  Coffee sounds disgusting to me (I used to be the biggest addict), and so does wine (which I usually love)- so that is helpful during this 9 month span!

My 1st Mother’s Day?

This past week, I have had several people tell me “Happy 1st mother’s day!”  It feels so crazy, I hadn’t even thought about the fact that from now on, this holiday applies to me!

So in celebration of my 1st Mother’s Day as a mom (still weird), I thought I would take a moment to celebrate some of the things about my mom that I hope to emulate in my parenting:

  • My mother is so sacrificial.  My whole life, I watched my mom give up pursuing things for herself for the sake of our family.  My mom stayed home to raise my sister, brother and I, which was a financial sacrifice.  She was willing to give up buying extra things for herself, nice vacations, and many other things to invest her whole life in our growth and development.  And she always exuded so much joy!  She was always there when we needed someone to listen or ask questions to; she used every day life experiences to teach us about Jesus; and she was so creative and imaginative, I remember having such a fun childhood!  I pray that I would be able to imitate my mother in these things and bless my children in the numerous ways she has blessed us!
  • She taught us to care for others.  Growing up, my mother and father would have our whole family do things like volunteer at the local soup kitchen, get to know and love some of the poor in our area or people who were different from us, and throughout my life I watched my mom volunteer and serve in the community.  When I was in middle school, my mom started a program at my school called “Make a Difference,” where she would gather all the kids who would stay after school for detention and instead of them just sitting in a classroom, she would have them help her beautify our school by planting flowers and picking up trash.  This meant that I often had to stay after school to help as well, but I didn’t mind.  I loved watching the way the kids lit up around my mom, and had so much fun making our school pretty.  And the school definitely looked WAY nicer by the time my mom and “Make a Difference” had gotten a hold of it!  I remember even then thinking that I wanted to be just like my mom one day and do something like that.  Her actions taught me to think for others and use my life to serve and show Christ to everyone around me.  I want to be this same type of example for my children, and disciple them in this way by bringing them along with me as I live out faith in Christ.
  • She was just so fun!  I already alluded to this above, but my mom loved being a mom and it showed.  Even watching her with my 9 month old niece today I see the mom she was to me coming out.  She is so laid back she doesn’t get stressed by the little things, she is creative and thinks of fun things to do even just around the house, and she laughs so much.  What better environment for a child to grow up in?  I hope to provide the same atmosphere for my little ones.
  • She always took interest in the things we were interested in.  I think my mom deserves some kind of award for the many hours she spent playing Barbie’s with me …how boring!  But she was such a trooper.  I do not ever remember her turning me down if I wanted her to play with me.  When I went through my Wizard of Oz phase, she would braid my hair in pigtails, let me wear my sparkly red dress up shoes, and threw me the most amazing Wizard of Oz birthday party ever!  She made me feel the freedom to love anything I loved or explore anything I found interesting.
  • She is so loving and caring.  I have many memories of crawling up in my mom’s lap, her stroking my hair, singing to me when I was scared, and always comforting me.  I had terrible asthma attacks as a child, and often had to use a breathing machine.  It was so scary not being able to breathe, but my mom would just hold me close, rub my back, whisper to me and calm me down.  The world is a scary place as a little kid, and I hope to offer the same kind of comfort and safe haven that my mother did for me.

That is only to mention a few of many things I have really come to appreciate about Laurie Bridges, that I hope to show in my motherhood as well.

Happy mother’s day mom, I love you!

3 is Better than 2

When Jordan and I were engaged, we loved the song “Two is Better than One” by Boys Like Girls & Taylor Swift (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AW3RspM7v9M)  Since we’ve been married, we often sing that line to each other randomly.  Once we found out that I am pregnant, we’ve changed the lyrics to, “3 is Better than 2!”  Clever, I know.  But it makes me think about an article I read with a student this semester in a book called “Discipleship Essentials” by Greg Ogden.  In talking about creation and the trinity (God the Father, Son & Holy Spirit), he makes the point that there is perfect love among the trinity that overflowed into the creation of men and women.  He says, “God did not create in order to complete something lacking in himself; he created out of the fullness and overflow of his love.”

So while Jordan and I were not planning on having a child at this point in our marriage, we’ve decided that we got pregnant because the love between us is so strong that it overflowed into creating a 3rd person to experience that love :); or that our love is too much for 2 people to contain, so God had to bring a 3rd person to help contain it.

Call us cheesy, but now we have a good story to tell our child about how/why they were born ;-)!

Growing in a Shrinking Culture (for a good reason!)

So I’ve had some people try to convince me to start a blog for a while now (ahem, Taylor).  I’ve always like the idea, but wasn’t quite sure where to start or what to write about.  Now that my life is taking a crazy and exciting turn with expecting my first child, I figured this was the perfect opportunity! 

The most difficult part of starting a blog is coming up with a title.  You may wonder where mine came from.  I hope to explain in this post, but basically I decided to go with the one thing that has been a surprising challenge to me thus far in my journey of pregnancy.  All of my posts will not be about this specific issue, but I figured it was a good place to start!

It is an issue that I’ve come to find is difficult for many pregnant women these days: A growing middle and weight gain in a culture that is obsessed with being thin!  I have always thought that pregnant women were so cute.  I even used to think about how I couldn’t wait to be pregnant “one day” and wear maternity clothes.  I’ve also heard statements like: “Pregnancy is so beautiful,” “My wife was sexiest when she was pregnant with our child” and in Hollywood it even seems like it’s becoming trendy.  Yet it is much harder believing these things when you are the one carrying the extra daily growing weight.  You don’t see billboards or commercials of “sexy” or “beautiful” pregnant women.  They’re all size 0-2, with waistlines smaller than their neck.

I work on a college campus widespread with beautiful young women.  Add to that the fact that I specifically work with Greek students—the cream of the crop when it comes to good-looking!  Now I’ll admit, I struggle with body image as much as the next woman.  By the grace of God I have never had an eating disorder (I enjoy eating food too much and certainly do not enjoy vomiting!) But do I walk by women and wonder why I don’t have their legs, hips, waistline or bust? Absolutely.  Do I look in the mirror and think of things that could be fixed? Sometimes.  Do I quote Proverbs 31:30 to myself? Often.

I want to take a quick second to say that we are not victims of our culture.  There is an underlying skewed view of our own importance underneath the insecurities and lies that we tell ourselves.  We think it is all about us.  We want to be loved, worshiped and adored more than we want to serve or let our bodies be used for good things like producing life. Therefore, often we need repentance more than we need the billboards to change.  However, I highly doubt that women in less media influenced cultures struggle with their pregnant bodies in the same way.  On the contrary, since pregnancy is a sign of fertility it is likely coveted and attractive in other parts of the world.

But here in the Western world, we worship the emaciated look.  Even in Hollywood where pregnancy is becoming popular we watch celebrities drop right back down to their size 0 within what seems like weeks after giving birth (for example: http://www.examiner.com/images/blog/EXID20836/images/ex_jess_preggers.jpg  and http://www.herdaily.com/blogimg/parenting/E_BodyAfterBaby_325.jpg).  This puts an enormous amount of pressure on women to be able to do the same and never look like you had a child!

I am at the beginning of my 2nd trimester so I’m in that awkward “wait…is she pregnant or has she been eating too many sweets?” phase, which I am convinced must be the worst.  You are not noticeably pregnant, but you are noticeably not thin either.  Maternity clothes are a little too big for me, but my normal clothes are too small.  It looks like I’m growing a gut right now, not a baby.

Now I know that at the end of this, I may look back on my pregnancy with joy and seeing all of its beauty while I hold my child in my arms.  But the way myself and other pregnant women feel about their bodies begs the question: how does one cultivate and maintain a healthy and positive view of her pregnant, growing body in a place where weight gain is condemned?