Thursday, October 31, 2013

October --> November

I feel like I always say it, but how do the months fly by so fast? October was a busy but good month. Highlights of the month were definitely all about swimming, whether it was our chilly swims at Walden or my dolphin swims in Florida. The month was pretty busy and I'm hoping things will slow down in November, both at work and in life. I can always hope, right? Here is how I did with my goals: 

1. Say No to 3 things. Check. I actually said no to closer to five or six things. Some made only minor differences in my life, but at this point any obligation I can rid myself of seems to be a really positive thing. 

2. Read 3 books. Check. I was much more into reading this month and I read three great books. They are: 


Time Traveler is a book I've been meaning to read for years and maybe the only book ever where I saw the move (on the plane home from Iceland) before I read the book. It was a great book, and I'd definitely recommend it. Life Sentences was our blogger book club read this month and I'm thankful I was reading it at the same time as Lisa because there were some confusing parts and overall it was not my favorite book, not terrible, but not great overall. I think I might have been even too generous in my review on goodreads, ha. Becky sent me Tiny Beautiful Things and it was great. There was a lot of wonderful advice and I'm convinced that everyone can relate to something in this book. 

3. Yoga one time per week. Spin once. Check. I did make it to spin once :) It was okay, but I'm not jumping up to go again at the moment. Hopefully I will go a few more times in pregnancy. I mainly just don't want to get on a bike in the spring and have my body be like, and what would this be? It's probably hopeless anyways! I also have been going to yoga faithfully and I just signed up for two more classes so I know I'll be going about twice a week in November. 


November Goals

1. Buy Nothing November. I got the idea from Ashley (she has been giving me a lot of ideas lately). I'm stealing it. I'll do a post explaining this in more detail once I get the fine print worked out. 

2. Throw out, donate, repurpose one thing per day. Also known as: Simplify, Take 300 or Get Rid of Crap Before Baby Stuff Takes Over. Sigh. This might actually be a pretty big challenge since I just sold some more clothes to Twice and brought 3 giant trash bags full of stuff to Goodwill last weekend. 

3. Read 4 books. I need to read 4 in November and 4 in December to meet my year goal. It's hard to believe last year I read 10 more books than this. Somehow I must have known in January that I wouldn't be able to keep that up because I didn't aim as high this year. Next year I may have to aim even lower, unless reading kids books will count. Ha. 

4. Swim 5 Miles. Not all at once :) Just total in the month. I know I will keep up with yoga so this is just a little extra swimming motivation now that I am restricted to boring lap swimming again. 

What are you hoping to do this November? 






Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Week 23 and 24

I guess it's obvious that I'm well into my pregnancy now because I genuinely forgot what week I was on, and also thought I just did an update last week. Thank goodness I have the blog to consult or I'd just be very confused. Also, my picture taking has been terrible. I swear I have not yet forgot the baby is there. Not that he would let me- crazy kicker, swimmer that he is! 


Week 23

Week 23 began with my last swim at Walden Pond of the season. It's crazy to think that the next time I will swim in my favorite spot, I'll have a baby, probably an almost 3 month old. Yikes. Our last swim was a little chilly, as expected, but not as bad as you might think. The timing worked out well because it required BOTH of my friends to zip my wetsuit. Hopefully when I put it back on in May, it will not be all stretched out! 

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I am definitely going to miss my happy place this winter but I'm very thankful I was able to enjoy swimming there for as long as I did this spring, summer and fall! It's crazy to believe it was the same year when Caroline and I were doing our early morning wetsuit swims back in May. I certainly did not know I would have trouble fitting into my wetsuit come October! 

I've returned to the pool for swimming and continued with prenatal yoga. Some days it's hard to know if my body needs rest or a workout but it seems like the old saying of "you never regret a workout" continues to apply as long as I listen to my body and stick to things it likes to do. 


Week 24

Overall, I'm still feeling the second trimester bliss… and by bliss, I mean just feeling normal. I don't feel hormonal, nauseous, really anything that I experienced at the beginning of pregnancy anymore. But, my bump is definitely growing and there are many times during the day that I deal with the small consequences of this. I'll try to squeeze into a spot I no longer fit, or I'll try to use what used to be my abs to stand up and it will take more effort than I thought it would. I have some days at work when my hips just hurt from holding this baby up. Don't even get me started on tying children's shoes. BUY YOUR KIDS VELCRO UNTIL THEY CAN TIE. At this point, it's nothing a little swimming and yoga cannot fix and I'm grateful for that, but I know I still have a long way to go as far as weight goes, so I just hope I continue to feel relatively comfortable and able to work at the end. 

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The kindness of strangers continues to be a trend that is both enjoyable and also fascinating. When I was in early pregnancy everyone told me "but people are so NICE to you when you are pregnant" and I just didn't see it. I wasn't visibly pregnant so no one was really nice to me, and yet I really needed as much niceness as possible because I was so very miserable. Now, I'm happy and functioning normally and yet everyone is lifting things (okay, I unfortunately do really need this), opening doors and someone even WELCOMED me into their swim lane over the weekend. Usually I'm lucky if I get a kind "sure" when I ask to join a lane, but a woman basically called me into her lane on Saturday. I didn't realize why until I saw her in the locker room after and she asked me when I was due and proceeded to tell me how much she loved swimming while pregnant, how fast the time with kids goes, etc. I completely understand why people do it, as it is universally recognized as a happy, but often challenging time. I also think moms in particular either remember pregnancy with fondness, or not, and want to support "new moms" accordingly. I just can't help but think if we can be this nice, why not extend it beyond pregnant women? How do we know someone is not desperately trying to be pregnant, or in the first few quiet non-visible weeks? Or how we know someone isn't just having a bad day and needs someone to welcome them into their swim lane? Just a thought. I know, I know, just accept the niceness and shut up Kelly. 

When I'm back with my next update I'll be close (or possibly in… can we just agree on something in pregnancy?) to my third trimester. I am so not ready, so hopefully I will be by then! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Parties, Daycares, Red Sox and Swimming, Oh My!

I have lots of jumbled thoughts today, so you get a random post. 

1. This past weekend one of my favorite kiddos turned one (my best friend's son). If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you probably remember when Teddy was born and maybe also (like me) feel like it was 2 seconds ago. But it was really a year. We celebrated his birthday with a big party on Sunday. I shamelessly stole the idea for a block guest book from Ashley and it turned out great! It's not like me to come up with creative ideas like this so it's nice to have great blog friends to steal from :) 

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2. I have been trying my best to slowly plug away at the baby-to-do list. I've visited three day cares and still not sure what exactly I want/am looking for (or at least how I'm going to find it). It's funny because they seem to love that I am a kindergarten teacher, yet I don't feel like that degree in early childhood is helping me at all in this process, lol- just as I'm sure it won't help me actually parent!  Eric also moved our guest bed downstairs to the office (and put one of our desks in the attic for now), so the "nursery" is now empty and ready to be filled. I start parent/teacher conferences next week, so my goal is to solidify the daycare plan after that and also start my maternity leave plans at that point. We shall see, because I know things will also get busy with the holidays. I do wish I was a little more productive with this stuff over the summer, but at the time when I was feeling nauseous and exhausted, it just wasn't happening! 


3. I have officially put away my wetsuit and said goodbye to outdoor swimming for the year. This decision was made partly because it's getting actually chilly, and partly because it required two friends to zip my wetsuit last Wednesday. Ha. I returned to the pool on Saturday and again this morning, it wasn't as terrible as I thought it would be. I'm hoping to maintain swimming 2-3 times per week for the rest of pregnancy, and not get TOO bored in the process. Let's hope! 


4. The Red Sox are in the World Series tonight! Wahoo :) We had Red Sox Day at school today and believe it or not, I still have a Red Sox shirt that fits. I won't be able to stay up for a lot of the game, but it's still exciting! I understand they do the game times all for primetime/money but I do wish they would start them earlier so the kids could watch them. 


What random things are going on in your world?  


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Week 21 and 22 Updates

Week 21

Well, I am definitely getting bigger! The bump is starting to be more and more a part of my life. So are cupcakes, cupcakes need to be a part of my life too. 

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The photo above was taken at a Food Truck festival down at the Cape. This day marks the first official acknowledgement of the bump by stranger. I know that others have probably wondered "is she pregnant?" before this, but I haven't heard about it yet. At the food truck festival, I separated from Eric, his brother and girlfriend and then met them in the beer garden area. As I walked in, I was searching for my ID in my purse assuming I would have to show it. The guy checking ID looked at me skeptically and said, "are you actually going to have a drink?" I replied "no." He responded "I didn't think so, don't have to show me ID then!" Ha ha, why didn't you think so? Could it be the ever-growing belly? I still hold out hope that by the time I have my next baby, research will have proven (and people will have accepted) that a small amount of drinking is okay, kind of like coffee used to be a no no and now it's okay in moderation. Yes, I know, this is a high hope but I don't drink caffeine anyway, and I would enjoy a nice SMALL glass to wine every once in awhile. I know this is widely accepted in other areas of the world and by many doctors, so I'm just looking for some mainstream acceptance :) 

Week 22

One of my major reasons that I wanted to find out the gender of my baby was because I am not really a "love at first sight" type of girl. Of course I will love this baby, but everything I can know about him before he is born is going to make it easier and easier to "know" him, and love him at first sight even after what could be a very painful and exhausting labor :) I don't want to call a baby "it" for 9 months. Now that we know he is a he, I feel like I am slowly learning other things about him. I often joked in the first trimester that he loved vacation, because I always felt less nauseous on days I did not have to work. This continued to be true as I spent a four day weekend in Florida for a friend's wedding. 

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I also know from the ultrasounds that he LOVES to move all around. I'm starting to feel these movements more regularly- I'm not sure if it's really "kicking" or not, but it's definitely movement. I am even starting to notice that this baby is just like his dad when it comes to sleeping. I don't feel anything from him in the early morning, but at night- he is all over the place! According to my recent e-mail updates, babies do start to develop sleep cycles at this time, so I guess what I'm feeling is normal. It's fun to know this little detail about him and to imagine that maybe I will continue to have some quiet mornings even after the baby is born. Ha, I know- so much wishful thinking in one update post! 

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Most things are going delightfully well these days, a very nice contrast to the first trimester. I have been struggling with the whole rest/workout/work balance. I completely understand that in order to have a healthy baby, I need to rest more now. This was relatively easy over the summer when I was absurdly exhausted, feeling terrible and not working a full time job. But now, I'm at work at least 8 hours a day and usually have some work to do at home. I want to keep up with my workouts, but I still have normal errands to run, and things to do around the house. After a long day of being on my feet at work, it's hard to know if the best thing to do for my sanity and the baby is to go for a walk (or swim, yoga etc) or just put my feet up. I have been trying so hard to get more "feet up" time, but man there are just not enough hours in the day and I really need to start looking at daycares and make lunches for the week and do laundry- and well… the list goes on. 

Last week I swear I ran a different errand every day after work. This often happens especially when I'm away over the weekend when I would normally bust out as much as possible. So, this week I am tackling the errand problem first. I made a list of all the things I needed for the week. I ordered what I could online, and the other necessities I lumped into other things I have to do, so that I'm only running errands twice this week and once is on the way to work on Wed morning (grabbing a gift bag and some ribbon at Walgreens), and the other time is on my way to dinner with friends on Thursday (returning some maternity clothes that didn't fit) I still think it will be a busy week because I'm visiting two daycares after school and I really, really need to start writing report cards. But, I'm hoping the more organized I am, the more rest time I'll be able to carve out. I figure by the time I'm 80 years old, I may have balance figured out a bit better. No? 

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Visit to Naples, Florida

I don't know why, but I'm always very resistant to Florida. Before I went to Miami, I was convinced it was not my scene. When my friend decided to get married in Naples, Florida, I was more than happy to go but I did not have super high expectations. I love the fall in New England and I've barely even heard of Naples. Well I'm happy to say yet again I completely underestimated another area of Florida!

Our flight down was eventful. Back when we booked our flights I was feeling cheap, so I gave Eric an extra legroom seat but put myself in front of him in a cheaper seat. This would've been fine but more legroom on JetBlue also means you get a faster security line and of course the line at the airport was insane. Luckily, just showing Eric's ticket was enough and we were able to get through security with no hassle (even rejecting the full body scan which they are often so rude about!) When we got on the plane, we discovered my TV did not work. One of the many great things about JetBlue are the TVs and for someone like me who cannot sleep or read on planes, they tend to be a lifesaver. I was cursing myself for being cheap about the extra $40 and contemplating if it was worth switching to a middle seat for a working TV (I normally would but in pregnancy I'm supposed to get up every hour and I didn't want to drive the person next to me crazy!) As luck would have it, the guy across the aisle from me planned to sleep the whole flight and happily switched spots. Delightful.

The rest of our Friday included a delicious lunch at a place called Flatbread, some relaxation and of course dinner with a view. Everything in Naples was so convenient we never drove for more than 10 minutes.
On Saturday I woke up and decided I absolutely had to have a swim in the ocean. How could I not?
The ocean in the area often has jellyfish and sting rays, but there were no jellyfish to be seen (thankfully) and the sting rays stayed far away. As I was swimming laps back and forth, Eric called out to me that he saw dolphins. Sure enough I only had to stop for a minute and I could easily see dolphins ten feet away. It was so amazing to think that people pay lots of money for swimming with dolphin trips (including us in Hawaii!) and here we were just swimming outside our hotel and there they were. I was completely sold on Naples and maybe even the entire state of Florida from this moment forward.
The wedding ceremony was at a beautiful church with great lighting for pictures. I admit this is my main concern when it comes to church weddings :)

The reception was back at the hotel, and the cocktail hour was absolutely amazing. Due to Naples location on the west coast of Florida, we could enjoy cocktails (or water in my case) with a view of the sun setting over the ocean. It never occurred to me that there was somewhere on the east coast to do this!


The only minor set back of the night was when I forget about my inability to stand in heat for long periods of time. This was a huge issue over the summer, but I had near forgotten about it (mainly because I stand at work all day without issue, but I think the difference is I never stand in one place?). I stood up enjoying the weather for over and hour and then got suddenly really nauseous and faint. Luckily, a quick detour back to my room, my feet up and some water and I was back before the reception introductions. Lesson learned.


I have to just say that I absolutely love weddings. If you asked me why last year, I probably would've said its a lot of fun to have some drinks, hang out with friends and family and dance! Without the drinks, I can see even more clearly the number one reason I love weddings. It's just such a wonderful feeling to watch family, old friends, new friends-whoever it is getting married- be so so happy! The speeches at this wedding were wonderful. My friend's younger sister who is in middle school (she was born when my friend was 16, I still remember it clearly!) gave the cutest speech with my friend's college roommate who was the second maid of honor. The best man told the story of meeting the groom in kindergarten, a fact I will definitely share with my students. It's just impossible not to be happy at a wedding, at least for me. But, I'm not sad to say goodbye to sober weddings for awhile :)

The third day of the trip just helped me further fall in love with Naples. I had another wonderful swim, and a great French toast brunch where I got to see the bride for a bit.


For dinner, we went to a delicious restaurant in the downtown area called Campiellos (fun fact the same restaurant is also found in Minneapolis!) and enjoyed an insanely good bittersweet chocolate cake with caramel gelato.


We even made it back to the beach for our last sunset and a glimpse of the dolphins that I could never quite catch on camera.

To round out a great weekend, both the Patriots and the Red Sox both won in last minute comebacks. I didn't witness either of them in real time but it did occupy my flight home to watch the replays on Eric's TV while I watched The Great Gatsby on mine :)

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I know many of you were on big trips, running marathons and maybe even celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Saying No (or not…)

I've mentioned one thousand times on this blog that I am not the best at saying no. It's not so much that I'm bad at it, but also that I often feel like I'm super busy and will never come up for air. I've tried SO much to be better about this lately. I quit all tutoring for the year so I only have one still all-consuming job. This has helped a lot. 

For one of my October goals I have committed that I will say "NO" to 3 things this month. I think I also need to not volunteer for other things in the first place, but that's another story. One of the reasons I believe that Eric and I love visiting the Cape so much is that it eliminates almost all need to say no (well other than to just say "sorry we will be at the Cape!") We can just go there and have no obligations and nothing we absolutely have to do. I don't even mean just social things. It makes me say no to cooking (too difficult to get all the necessary ingredients down for just a weekend), organizing my house (too bad, not home), and often times I don't bring work down there (though I admit I sometimes do). IMG 9674

Since I've made similar goals before with no major success, I thought it might be helpful to look at why I struggle to say no. 

1. I genuinely want to do something. This is a big problem especially with my social calendar. I am so lucky to have many friends and family who live close by, and so does Eric. This means that our weekends are often bursting with plans. The reason why I'm bad at saying no to these plans is because I genuinely want to do them. I usually really want to see our family and friends and don't want to say no. In fact, I'd like to make plans with even more people- I wish there was more time to see and spend quality time with everyone I love. 


2. It's a good opportunity or experience. For example, the only thing I've said no to so far this month is a class I was going to take. It was a great opportunity- a class about teaching math, most of it online (only 1 in class meeting) and 2 graduate credits. Plus, all my K teacher friends are taking it (see #4). But, I ultimately said no anyways. I reached Masters + 15 credits this summer, and I promised myself I would take a break from classes while pregnant and raising a newborn. I doubt I'll really last that long (maybe I will, but I'm kind of a school addict), but lasting more than 2 months would at least be an accomplishment. 


3. I feel guilty saying no. Does this even require explanation? Does anyone out there really never feel guilty saying no to something? If so, can you teach me how to not feel guilty? Sigh. I think this is the reason for which I should say no the MOST often. Sure, sometimes we all have obligations. But if I am going to improve at saying no, and thus be a more sane individual I'm going to have to let the guilt go on some things. Besides, I am less than a year away from dealing with "working moms guilt" among other mom-guilt, the last thing I need is "saying no guilt." :) 


4. I don't want to be left out of something. Yes, I'm a middle schooler. If a bunch of my friends are doing something, even if it doesn't work for me, I still have a hard time passing it up. With my workout friends doing a triathlon without me this summer, I was tempted for 5 seconds to just do it even though I know I'm not really allowed to be biking right now. I mean, I never would've done it but I didn't want to miss a tri! I considered still taking the class I knew I don't have time/energy for right now just because all my K teacher friends at work are taking it. Really Kelly? Bad reason. I think in this day and age of social media, it's easy to see what others are up and feel left out. Time to get over that. Now. 


Ideally I would focus on saying "no" to #3 and #4 things, but I think a lot of times it's not this solid- sometimes it's a mix of reasons and that just makes it all the more tricky. Let's hope I think of some more things to say no to in the next few weeks :)


I'd love to hear from you. Please share with me why saying no is difficult for you. Or, tell me what steps you take to make sure you don't overcommit and do say no sometimes!  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Week 19 & 20 Updates

I've officially hit the halfway mark! Wahoo! :) We are going to ignore the whole, you are not really pregnant for the first two weeks and I didn't even really know until 6 weeks. Halfway, it is.
Week 19
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This was a big week on the baby front. I closed up Week 18 by announcing to the kindergarten parents that I was having a baby. This set off a big wave of excitement because I was able to officially announce on Facebook AND start wearing whatever clothes I want to (that fit) to work. Triple celebration. Facebook itself is really not a huge deal, but it just feels like the final push to being totally public and not having to hide it at all. Then, Week 19 started with the very exciting ultrasound! Most importantly, the baby is healthy and has all the necessary body parts, that they can see right now anyways. The baby is even measuring right on schedule which is welcome news when your husband is 6 foot 4. Yikes. But also fun to know, the baby is a BOY! I have to admit, I actually thought the baby was a girl, so my motherly instinct was not right. Let's hope that improves by the time the baby arrives, yes? It was a great appointment which ended with a visit from BFF Katie and future BFF of our boy, Teddy. They gave us a special blue teddy bear and took a picture of Eric and I right after the ultrasound.
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We had to wait over an hour for our appointment and then sit in a dark room, so I definitely look exhausted, which I was. But mainly I was just shocked that we really knew it was a boy! It's all starting to feel a little more real which kicked my butt in gear to actually get in touch with some daycares and start my registry. Yay for productivity!
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Week 20
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I've decided that the super fan shirt I'm sporting above is like the pants from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, it legit fits me no matter what size I am. I got it over 10 years ago now at freshman orientation, it's a wonder it has not yet fallen apart.
I am continuing to feel really great during this lovely honeymoon phase of the second trimester. All my students are sick so I am definitely fighting a cough/cold but after the nausea and exhaustion of this summer, it just doesn't seem AS bad as it normally would. I've also noticed a shift in my mindset as far as the long list of things I can't do. I barely think about the eating restrictions anymore, and even not drinking doesn't seem as bad these days. Except, I would LOVE a nice cold pumpkin beer.
Even though I don't feel physically as pregnant (read: crappy) as I did before, I feel more mentally able to face it all. I finished most of my registry, set up a weekly plan for touring and interviewing daycares and even bought some clearance maternity clothes at Old Navy plus a few more online. But even though I am finally being more productive on the baby front, I'm also finding that I have a lot more energy to focus on other exciting things in my life that are non baby related, which is also refreshing. This weekend my college roommate came to visit to celebrate her 30th birthday. We went out to dinner at Salvatore's on the waterfront (highly recommend- most organized meal I have had with a 12 person group EVER and super yummy as well). We also spent Saturday tailgating the BC football game, hence the photo above.
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Bring on Week 21.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Grateful: Baby Edition

I am very lucky, always have been. The past few weeks I have felt especially grateful for many things baby related and I thought it might be a good balance to my endless complaints (disguised as pregnancy updates) to post about it. Nilsa further motivated me by posting her own gratitude post.
#1- I am grateful that my baby is going to be a boy! 
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Yes, I know this means no pink clothes for the baby, very sad. But aside from the pink clothes, I was definitely meant to be a boy mother. So, so many adventures ahead.

#2- This baby boy, who is still (hopefully) 19 weeks away from birth is already loved more than many kids can ever hope to be. I know this because the excitement surrounding him has been very high from the start, even when I myself was a little shocked, hesitant, and just too sick to be excited. Recently the spoiling in the form of clothes, toys and books has started to pile up. My best friend Katie has been putting together monthly gifts for him including books and toys that her own son Teddy (aka my baby's BFF) has loved the past year of his life. Last week I got a soft and beautiful blanket (that I want to steal and keep for myself) from my college roommate Ash, and an outfit from one of my students.
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The baby has not just been spoiled in gifts. He has always been spoiled by wonderful people taking good care of his mom and of course Caroline taking lovely photos for us!

#3- I am grateful for my kindergarten students and their families. I worried ALL summer about telling my new kindergarten families that I was having a baby and would have to leave in February. Everyone assured me that it would be fine but I refused to believe them and was convinced the world would come crashing down (and was super annoying about this… sorry all). Well, I'm thankful to report that it went 100 times better than I ever could've expected. I know from listening to friends it has NOT always gone this well, so I really do counting my blessings every single day. It was not 15 seconds after sending the e-mail with the news that I had a response from a mom saying how excited and happy she was for me. I have had two of her kids before this, so I didn't expect this reaction from my new families who barely know me. But I was wrong, I received the same enthusiasm and excitement from them, even a card and a baby outfit from people who JUST met me two weeks ago.

#4- I am thankful for those who are happy for me when I know it's hard for them. I have some wonderful friends who want to be moms (and would be the BEST moms), but it's not happening for them. For various reasons, I have always believed I would be in their position rather than my own. I have only experienced a very small taste of what they are going through, so I don't pretend or claim to understand. I think about them every day, hope and pray for them that they will get what they want. I am very thankful that they seem truly happy for me, ask how I am doing and don't make me feel like the worst person ever when I complain, though sometimes I make myself feel this way when I think about them anyways.

For me it has been easy to focus on the negative: the nausea and exhaustion, the worry about every thing I eat and do, the things I miss being able to do, eat and drink. But in the end, like so many things, the good is really what is important here. Perspective is such a hard thing to get, but such an important thing to have.

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When was the last time you need some perspective? How did you get it? What are you grateful for?