What I Didn’t Expect About Pregnancy, But Probably Should Have

Whether your pregnancy was meticulously planned, medically coaxed, or happened by surprise, one thing is certain – your life will never be the same.  – Catherine Jones

1. The Questions

I realized that my situation (early twenties, married less than a year and pregnant) would raise some eyebrows, as well as questions. I had just always imagined they would be subtle, or just behind my back in general. I was definitely taken back by the boldness of some people and their intrusive questions. Obviously I’m not talking about the well-meaning “how are you feeling?” from other mothers. I’m referring to basically different versions of these questions from people I barely knew:

“It was an accident, wasn’t it?”
“Were you on birth control?”

 

2. The Doctors

Now for the literal poking and prodding. I have been very blessed to say this is my first experience with a need for consistent medical appointments. That being said, I cannot imagine there is anything (except maybe a previous pregnancy) that could make the feel of a cold, latex glove-covered hand through a paper gown feel any less invasive or foreign.  At least uncomfortable questions are more justifiable when asked by a medical professional.

3. Coffee

One of the first things I said when I found out I was pregnant was “But, I can still drink coffee, right?” Little did I know that the sweet, silky taste I looked forward to every morning would take on a bitter, acrid flavor whose very smell  would nauseate me.  Apparently, it’s nature’s way of keeping you from those things you should avoid during your pregnancy like sushi, deli meats, cookie dough etc.

4. Smell

If I had to choose to have one of my senses enhanced, I never would have picked smell. That would be the lamest super power ever, right? Sometimes I like to think it gives me a Sherlockian edge. Not that there is a lot one can deduce with only an amplified sense of smell and dulled brain power such as: who ate leftover lasagna for lunch, who just took a smoke break, who sprayed on some cologne to conceal a smoke break etc.

5. The Tears

Though some people may not believe it, I have always been somewhat of a crybaby. Pregnancy adds some ridiculous fuel to that. It’s like the hormones in my body are urging me to think of awful, sad things at the most inopportune times. The other day I found myself teary-eyed as I was washing dishes. Why? Because I was thinking about the Holocaust. Why was I thinking about the Holocaust? Because the other day my husband suggested The Boy in the Striped Pajamas as we were scrolling Netflix. That’s about as much sense as that is ever going to make.

While these all are things I was not expecting to face when I got pregnant, it does not compare to the excitement I feel when I think about being a mother. It has to be one of the greatest and most terrifying experiences, but I love it. My husband and I are lucky to have support from family and friends everywhere. Thank you all!

 

 

 

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It was my junior year of college, I, like every other
student, couldn’t wait for the short Christmas break that marked
the end of a particularly rough semester. I had just started seeing
somebody, nothing serious at that point, but I really liked him. He
was different, and by different I mean he someone I found
interesting for a change. It was the first time I wasn’t going to
be headed home right away. Because of work I would have to stay an
extra ten days on campus before I could go see my family. I told
myself it wasn’t a big deal, that I could handle it. Who was I
kidding? I had a chapel date for the annual dismissal service,
which was good because it would keep me from throwing myself a pity
party and letting myself sulk in jealousy for all those who would
be on their way home to food with flavor and private showers. It
was a good date, we laughed at the jokes, joined in with the
timeless carols, and enjoyed each other’s company, no sulking. We
watched  Mr. Evan’s dismiss with his infamous solo. All of
the students eagerly waited for the  “Have yourself a merry
little Christmas… NOW!”  The line was sung, the chapel
emptied, and we sat enjoying the chaos. I wanted to sit there
forever. I didn’t want him to go home. It was a nine-hour drive to
Northern Michigan, and he had his car ready to go. But he didn’t.
Instead, he walked with me to the dining hall where we ate bland
food on styrofoam plates. Every morning for those ten days, he had
breakfast with me in the Square where we played endless games of
Scrabble and talked for hours. I couldn’t believe it. Every morning
there he was, sitting on the other side of an uncomfortable booth,
drinking bad coffee with watered down creamer. With me. He chose to
stay with me. He didn’t have to. We had been “dating” less than
three months. He had no obligation to stay. But, he did. Those ten
days felt like nothing. Do you know why? Because every morning I
would get dressed and walk into that little campus restaurant and
see him sitting at that booth with two coffees and a Scrabble
board. A year later, he asked me to marry him. Stephanie &
Jesse Wedding [Captured by Studio Cline] Lake Portrait 045

Things I’ve Been Doing Instead of Blogging

I started Honestly Modest, like all bloggers do, with great intentions of updating it on (at least) a weekly basis. As I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, I haven’t even come close to that, but things happen. Life happens. Also, I am an accomplished procrastinator. I’m sure you’re curious (probably not, but I’ll tell you anyway) about all the things I’ve managed to distract myself with.

1. Folding clothes and cursing humanity. What? No, how could I have anything but love for the women (yes, it is always women) who watch me spend thirty minutes folding an entire table of shirts, yet somehow seem to have no problem walking over to that very table pulling shirts from the bottom of the stack and shaking out all my methodical creases? The only people who could hold more of my adoration are tweens and moms who leave their half-empty Skinny Peppermint Mochas for me to find shoved behind a stack of yoga pants. Lovely. 

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2. Indulging in a Netlflix binge of dark dramas. I’m up to date on my favorite serial killer, convict, ad man, Rick’s group of survivors etc. Now starting House of Cards (thank you, Becky.) Kevin Spacey is great in it, by the way; I’m a fan of the speak-to-the-viewer angle. I watch way too much televisions. I really shouldn’t be trusted with a Netflix account.

3. Reading, of course! I’ve learned a few things about myself through my literary adventures. For one, Veronica Roth would have probably placed me in Amity (I’d like to think Erudite, but I’m being realistic). Second, after reading Orange is the New Black I have concluded that my comparisons or dorm life to prison were really not that far off.  I would like all of those who called me over dramatic to retract their statements. Thank you. way too much television.  I just really shouldn’t be trusted with a Netflix account.

Now that I have confessed how I have failed to make this blog a priority. I am making a resolution to post at least twice a month, which is, I believe, quite doable.  I want to thank all my readers for being loyal and amazing these past two years! Love you all!  I wish you all a Merry Christmas 🙂

Fall Fever

fall

When I was in college I hated being there, so I took to daydreaming. I guess I didn’t think of it as daydreaming, but more of a visual plan for the future, and it was among these “future plans” that I stored plenty of mental slides of what autumn would look like  as a newlywed. Of course in all things imagined instances I was dressed fabulously with one of those tasteful pattern-mixed ensembles PInterest addicts everywhere would approve. Also, my hair was that perfect length  where the ends are five fingers above the elbow ( yes, I just used “fingers” as a standard of measurement) and they’re curled into perfect spirals.  My husband always looked great too, in a blue gingham shirt with a pumpkin under his arm that we just bought from an orchard, and we would walk hand in hand to a nearby Starbucks to pick up some lattes.

Truth. It’s Autumn and my hair still sucks. Not really, I still have some of the highlights from my wedding, but it’s a few inches off from being that perfect length. I was always too lazy to curl my hair in college, marriage hasn’t changed that about me either.  Due to my new job most of my outfits have consisted of red and khaki so, while I do try to look cute for work I’m sure I’ve let the imaginary fashionista-pinners down with  my boring Target uniforms.  I dress up for church sometimes, but I do miss having friends that tell me my outfit look nice. Is that totally lame? Probably. Moving on.

But we do have pumpkins! I bought them, at Aldi’s. I was so stoked to see them there.  In fact, I was so excited to buy these pumpkins I found myself pushing two elderly women out of the way as I dove headfirst into the large cardboard stand.  I had to find good ones after all. Don’t worry about the old ladies, we became friends after I made two pumpkin dives for them as well.  They wanted cute pumpkins, and I wanted jack-o-lantern worthy ones, so after we all found what we were looking for we drove our grocery carts our separate ways. Both pumpkins are on my front steps. While they add a small amount of visual appeal to our entrance as is, we haven’t been able to carve them yet.  My husband I bought a pumpkin at an orchard while we were dating with plans to carve it. It didn’t happen. First we attempted to draw on the pumpkin with a sharpie until we discovered how horrible we both were at simple art.  Naturally, we decided that the best fate for the vegetable was to be rolled down the college bowling lanes. We had a grand old time, and I’m pretty sure I bowled a strike or two.  As much fun as it was, I do my Aldi’s pumpkins serve the purpose I bought them for. October isn’t over yet, so I still have hope.

Now lattes. I enjoyed my first pumpkin spice latte a few weeks ago, and now I’m convinced that stuff has crack in it. My mother (also a Starbucks addict) has often joked that the vanilla and cinnamon shakers provided for the customers to alter their drinks are actually laced with addictive substances to keep their customers coming back for more. I used to laugh at her. Now I don’t think she’s that far off.  Ever since that taste of heaven I’m back at the in-store Starbucks every chance I get. I’ve found myself pushing $4.01 across the counter in change with withdrawal-induced shaking hands. Why? I’ve even memorized how much it costs with the employee discount! I’ve gone without eating to indulge myself with that sweet elixir of the harvest season. I mean I’m fine now but what am I going to when winter comes? I don’t like peppermint!

All that said, even though my newlywed autumn isn’t exactly how I pictured it, I love it! I wish my husband and I had days off together more often, but it’s okay because I celebrate my October days off with some horror flicks and errands, by errands I mean mapping out my next couponing expedition.  It’s been great, being married is the best thing that’s happened to me!

Until Next Time.

Honestly Modest

So, I Got Married Two Months Ago…

When I was engaged the one piece of advice that everyone wanted to give me was “everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Not that I fault these people for trying to keep me from having unrealistic expectations for my wedding, but my husband I got married a little over two months ago and I can’t think of a single thing that  went wrong. It was beyond perfect!

As you can see from the pictures, the colors were yellow and gray with a vintage-literary vibe. Literary in the sense that my flower girl scattered paper heart cut outs from old books, and my program was titled A Tale of Two Hearts, but all joking aside it was amazing. The  ceremony was flawless. I had an excerpt read from a children’s book titled “I Like You” by Sandol Stoddard Warburg had everyone laughing and Frank Sinatra’s “That’s All” was sung  while we lit the unity candle (my hand was shaking so bad I couldn’t light the candle and everyone in the front row was laughing at me.) After the ceremony, we took pictures by a local lake with the bridal party. It was ridiculously  hot, which was hardly a surprise for Southern California in late summer, but after an hour of posing for pictures my husband and I were parched. We stopped by a gas station to pick up some Big Gulps in our wedding attire (lucky for us  they were on the house. Yay!) Unfortunately, when we did arrive at the reception I forgot to take our gas station cokes out of the pictures, and  look a little out of place.  After what seemed like a million family pictures and a battle of the wedding toasts we drove off to our honeymoon.

My day was perfect.  I wish I could take the credit for it and say that it was because of my impeccable planning and attention to detail. Anyone who really knows how frantic I am, knows how far from the truth that is. My day was flawless because I had God and  people who helped me look over all the small details.  My photographers were also the best! If you don’t know where to start with wedding planning, I implore you to get good quality photographers so you can remember your day. I’m glad I did.

Stephanie & Jesse Wedding [Captured by Studio Cline] Decor 018 Stephanie & Jesse Wedding [Captured by Studio Cline] Procession 065

Stephanie & Jesse Wedding [Captured by Studio Cline] Ceremony 039 Stephanie & Jesse Wedding [Captured by Studio Cline] Ceremony 077

jStephanie & Jesse Wedding [Captured by Studio Cline] Decor 056 Stephanie & Jesse Wedding [Captured by Studio Cline] Decor 079 Stephanie & Jesse Wedding [Captured by Studio Cline] Lake Portrait 042 Stephanie & Jesse Wedding [Captured by Studio Cline] Lake Portrait 045Stephanie & Jesse Wedding [Captured by Studio Cline] Toasts 093 Stephanie & Jesse Wedding [Captured by Studio Cline] Lake Portrait 116 Stephanie & Jesse Wedding [Captured by Studio Cline] Procession 013 Stephanie & Jesse Wedding [Captured by Studio Cline] Rings & Flowers 004

Mean Things I Say to the Dog, But Hopefully Never to My Children

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Note: I’m not a dog-hater, and this was written exclusively for humor

It’s a really good thing you’re cute, cause you’re really dumb

As I’m eating   “Why are you smiling? You’re not getting any.”

“You are the stupidest dog there ever was.”

“That’s it! You’re getting neutered!”

“Shut up! Breaking Bad is on!”

“Move, you flea-infested animal!”

“Fight! Fight! Fight!”

On the Married Life

Forty-two days. That’s how long I’ve been a married woman. I’m a newbie to this whole spending-the-rest-of-my-life-with-someone game. One of the biggest transitions has to be the single to married transition.

They say when you get back from the honeymoon reality hits you hard. If this is true, I didn’t feel it because I had “honeymoon hangover” (not literally, calm down!) After a week of living in marital bliss and fairy tale optimism, and of course some of that still lingered as we started our life together.  I had intentions of being “super-wife”, and for the first few weeks I think I did a good job. 

Just about every morning my husband wakes up at six a.m., takes a shower, gets dressed, and heads to the kitchen. During my “super wife” stage I would head to the kitchen with him and make his lunch (turkey sandwich with Miracle Whip and lettuce on multi-grain bread), drink coffee, and watch some Fox News with him before he left for work. After that, I would groggily make my way back to the room and lie in bed with my eyes wide open (stupid coffee!) until I actually had to be awake. I kept this up for a while, and I was pretty proud of myself. Until I slowly stopped doing it as often, and as often turned into altogether. So pray for me and my lack of character.  

I love cuddling. After two years of dating/ being suffocated with supervision nothing makes me happier than to sit on our red couch with my husband.  Usually we’ll sit and watch something heartwarming and romantic like the Walking Dead; his arm will be around me, my legs will be on his lap.  Now it’s happened once or twice that he’ll stroke my leg as it’s laying on his lap and summon a Rebel Wilson impression to inform me of my prickly legs. Sigh. Gone are the days of hiding stubbly legs under tights and boots ( same goes for ugly chonies.) On the bright side, it does mean that someone appreciates my smooth legs when I go through the trouble of shaving. 

I’m a marriage rookie.  I love every minute of it.