Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Waiting game

Five years ago, the method of how I would give birth wasn't a thought in my mind. Even two years ago. About a year ago is when we got snowed in, walked to the Summers' house and watched The Business of Being Born and drank a lot of PBR. A lot of people's come-to-Jesus moment with birth was when they watched that documentary (which is not only informative, but entertaining and you should watch it). I'm one of them. And I'm also someone who just said "come-to-Jesus moment" in reference to something other than coming to Jesus. That's annoying. But I won't backspace it.

Currently, I'm researching ways to clean the hose that will put the water in my birthing tub. Weird.

I got a little scared yesterday, but I think it was a good scared. I talked to my natural-birthing sister on the phone. I was there for one of her natural births, and it was petrifying and beautiful and she screamed a lot and I cried really hard (and quietly) as I held her leg back. She is also super tough. So last night as I let my humidifier soak my face and I lay wide awake in bed, I let myself be scared.

It's about time, because, as I've said before, I'm overconfident. I look at things like, "It's got to come out somehow," and shrug my shoulders. I guess that's not confidence. But. I know that some people are sighing and going "Oh, Shannon. Stubborn, bossy little 4-year-old Shannon." I've always "known" what I was doing and I've always had to make my own decisions/mistakes and sometimes it worked out and other times it didn't.

Anyway. It's almost just a waiting game now. I'm 36.5 weeks along. Tonight I'm taking dinner to my friend who had a baby last week, and her birth was like a dream. Her midwife showed up and she was 8 cm. She had no idea, and at 10 cm, a picture was taken of her where she was smiling. Now, I could only hope and pray for something like that, but I'm not expecting it. It exists though. And people need to know that.

I've had some fears lately, like of people taking my baby away, or both of us away from Tyler. I've been reading about human slavery and I should probably tone it down a bit. I have fears that I'll bleed to death, or that the cord will be really short. I'm even fearing going to the hospital.

So if you have a chance to pray for my anxieties and the health of this little baby and that I have a blissful birth :) please do so.

Lastly, what I want to take away from this time right now is just to remember how to treat other people in my stage once I've moved past it. Encouraging words are few. Bitter words are overflowing. Even if a person says something negative and then laughs about it, or tells me that ignorance is bliss, they may as well have said "you're screwed," and walked away. I want to the be woman at the grocery store who maybe tears up a little bit and says "these next few months will be the hardest and sweetest of your life. You can do it. You are already a good mother. You know what's best for your baby."

And now, onto sterilizing the hose.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The dogs are restless because it's cold outside and their hair is short. I know, people say "but they're dogs," and literally, Char is outside for five minutes and it takes her an hour to stop shivering. So they fight inside and jump on the couch or tear up a piece of paper and follow me to the toilet. I think they will be very difficult to handle when we have the baby. We will get through it though.

I am so blessed - I swear I get a package in the mail once a week. Today it was from Amanda - a bobble stitch blanket that she made herself and it is high quality and beautiful, like something you'd spend $50 for at a neat little shop, and her gently used diaper bag that is hard core and exactly what I wanted. I tell you what. Free things are great. They don't have to have the tags on them or still be in the package. I got two used chairs, a lamp, this diaper bag, a few slings (one very fancy) - for mostly free. Our crib and changing table were $50 bucks.

I understand some people want new stuff. I like new stuff too. But one day I look forward to sharing all of my cool stuff with people.

I'm having yoga teachers from Blue Bird over tonight. I cleaned my house and now I'm freaking tired. We're just eating finger foods and chatting... probably about yoga, because that's just what happens. It's a little bit ridiculous.

Tyler is taking me on a date tomorrow. He called it "our last date." I'm still excited.

And officially, I hate everything that I wear. I think there are two outfits that are ok, but I'd rather just stay in the house and look like Fancy Nancy than try to look cute. Ah. Well. It will... never be over soon.

But also, there are two jackets that I wear incessantly and I wouldn't have them if Ange hadn't sent them to me in the mail. Thanks, Ange.

I'm going to make some beef stew and get things ready for tonight. No naps today

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I've written several posts lately and left them as drafts.

Here are some thoughts. I see people who have opinions and are passionate, and even if I don't agree with them, I'm like, "GOOD FOR YOU!" because at least they haven't picked everything apart until there is nothing left except except coexisting (I do that a lot). I do believe in truth, and I also believe that not everything is black and white.

I posted an article that I really like about not shopping on Thanksgiving or Black Friday. I agree with it, especially being someone who worked retail for four years. Honestly, Black Friday wasn't too bad at my store because we sold expensive shoes and gave minimal discounts. We weren't like Wal-mart. The dread of Black Friday came from the depravity of man that I experienced year round.

I know there is another side of this story. Some people want to work holidays because they have no family or their family life isn't great. I get that. But that doesn't take away from the black hearted consumerism that takes place as people get trampled and stabbed over a television. People have their traditions, and that's fine. But when your tradition goes against the entire idea of the holiday, I just don't get it (thankfulness and greed and green beans). But then again, what's so wrong with buying a TV for a nice discount?

I don't know. All I know is we can pick this apart all November. The root is that people are dark, and anything that dehumanizes someone is evil. Bullying, human slavery, trampling someone. Of course, as Christians we can go into that and try to make it better by being nice to a sales associate? Sure, that is really nice actually. Brighten someone's day, and get your discount. I sound like I'm being sarcastic, but I'm really not. I don't have an answer.

Anyway, I've tried to find my passion/soapboxes and not be afraid to share them, but I think ultimately I just want it to be the gospel infiltrating my life and what I do. And perhaps that means being quiet about certain subjects. Like shopping on Thanksgiving.


Monday, November 18, 2013


Yesterday, I had the sweetest church shower and I got to share it with my dear friend Holly, due a couple of days after me. The theme was rain drops! So cute. They did such a good job, and there was lots of food, and Picasso's coffee that I did not drink, and lots of women showed up. It was so sweet.

Every gift was thrilling, but one in particular caught me off guard. I was opening gifts and rattling off names of gift givers and what they gave to my friend who was writing everything down. I opened one from my mother in law, and then imediately after I opened one in the same wrapping and said in a business like manner, "Ok, this one's from Granny," and began to open it. I stopped abruptly, looked up at Olivia who was taking my picture (Tyler's sister) with a confused face, she smiled and shook her head yes, I reread the tag again that said "granny," and opened it up to find a beautiful quilt.

I knew she had made one for Brittany's little boy, but didn't expect to get one since she passed away. Turns out she had put the squares together about 40 years ago and they were sitting in her house somewhere. Tyler's mom found them and told Granny they could just get it backed for my baby. She said Granny was so happy because it was one of the few things on her list she hoped to get done before she passed. So sweet. And I couldn't quite contain myself after that - tears, sweat, I didn't talk for about five minutes.

Sort of a lovely, overwhelming day. I was exhausted and sat in my baby room for a good while just staring at bags of things. Lacy flattened and folded all of my tissue paper and bags. We slowly found places for things.

After eating Indian food and returning/buying at Target, we came back to the baby room and hung some things. It's coming together nicely.

Ok, so this morning we drove out to Granite City, IL to lead worship for a church. They are a congregation of probably 40? It's small and sweet and they meet in a community youth center. Normally they just sing with youtube videos or MP3s and it's my understanding that many people in the congregation are recovering addicts. I think the church is just a couple of years old, and ours is seven. I just find it interesting how the more established a church gets, the more formal things become. Now, there is something, for sure, to say about order. It's important and necessary. But this church was not put together and it was awesome. It was hot, the sound system wasn't great, people came in late. Toward the end of the service, the tornado sirens went off, so we went to the basement. Once it passed, we went upstairs and a girl a little younger than me got baptized - she's a recovering heroine addict. I could hardly sing because I was so choked up being in the same room with these people who's worship was so raw. It was beautiful, and I'm thankful to have been a part of it.

It really seems like the more shit you've been through, the more honest your worship. And I'm not saying you have to raise your hands or close your eyes or dance when you sing, but there was a noticeable different between the group from our church and their church.

I slept hardcore this afternoon. Complete exhaustion, but it was worth it. Tyler went to the grocery store for me, and the pups and flipping out over the wind.

Exhaustion has truly hit. When I got up for the second time from my nap to pee, I really though "Whoa, this is it. It's got to be crowning." Now, of course I'm way extreme. But it was so ridiculous. I walked to the bathroom bent halfway over. Pretty soon I'll be doing the Alyson and crawling to the bathroom. I can feel it's sweet little legs sitting across my belly button and toeing my right rib cage.

I've had maybe three people tell me that the painful contractions happened to them weeks before their due date. I'll be honest - I don't want people to think I'm a baby. But to hear someone say that it's normal makes me frustrated, because my midwife says it's not normal. It's like, "no, it actually hurts, it's not just my belly getting tight, and they're actually 6 minutes apart." So, I'd just rather not tell people anything I guess. I think it's just more terrifying to have contractions happen and think that I'm going into labor at 35 weeks, but then that weird feeling of "I'm probably overreacting," so I sit alone in my bed with scared tears in my eyes and yell "noooooo" with every wave. But in two weeks, I'm going to clean the house and go for walks and scrub my tub. I think this baby will come before 40 weeks.

We shall see. Happy Sunday night.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Well. Contractions.

For being such a "hyper-aware" person, somehow I don't realize when I need to slow down. Or that I'm stressed... until I start crying (that was a before-pregnancy thing). But, gosh. I went to bed at 9:15 last night and woke up a little after 11 thinking it was time to wake up and teach a yoga class. I cussed. 11:15 and wide awake. I waited around until after 1am, and made a bowl of ginger snap cat cookies mixed with cereal and almond milk. I ate the crap out of it, and tried to go back to bed. The contractions were lighter than last time, but still made it extremely difficult to fall asleep.

Tyler put is heavy hand on my head, in a loving way, but it's like when someone hugs you and smashes your face in their hug. Anyway, heavy hand on my head... he says, "You're going to be a good mom." I always ask very quickly and abruptly to people who say that, "Why?" Mostly because I'm curious. And a little bit because I think they're just saying that. Anyway, Tyler says, "Because. You're so loving... AND a hippie." Well, alright. Then later in the night, "How's the baby?" I say good, and that I'm having contractions. He says, "Oh." Rolls over. He's cute though. Oh, I forgot I'm not supposed to tell people this stuff.

I taught this morning at 6:30. I came home and herbed myself. I need to herb myself again. If it were time to give birth, I would "welcome" these contractions. It's not time though, so damn it, I'm frustrated.

Nap time. But first, I did meet with my midwife yesterday and she measured me at like, 31 inches? I think. Last time I was 29. My belly is, therefore, growing. I've gained about 15-18 pounds, depending on my starting point. My weight fluctuated so much before. Let's just say 18 pounds and I'll stop having a competition with myself in my brain. The baby is in perfect postion, and kicks me hard in my right ribs. Shoves his butt into my left side, I think I saw an elbow during yoga, but stifled my yell. Oh, and it's a boy. I'm fairly sure. We just say he.

Ok, goodnight. Please say a prayer that these contractions cease. I need at least 2.5 more weeks.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Ah, Monday. I remember going to bed on Sunday nights full of dread at the thought of a new week, due to work. I am thankful not to have that feeling anymore. I had some intense belly itching going on yesterday. I was in KR again with sixteen 4-6 year olds. Thankfully, the women's restroom has body cream, so I loaded it on my belly and tried not to yell at children. Controlled chaos. Tyler doesn't help. He says things like "CLEAN UP!" in a loud voice with his hands over his head, and blocks go flying. I did not give the kids snacks yesterday because we had about seven goldfish and thirteen nasty plain cheerios, and time flew. It was almost time for them to go. At the end when Tyler told them their parents would be there soon, all the kids came up to me - "we didn't get a snack." I said to them, "Yeah, but would you rather have stale, plain cheerios or a really tasty lunch with your family?" and they'd just stare at me.

All I know is, a kid in the nursery for forty-five minutes to an hour doesn't need a snack. A kid asked for water. I told him to drink his spit, because that's what my Aunt Janet always told me to do. Tough love, my little children! Aunt Shanny doesn't care if you're thirsty. Ok, I don't know why I'm talking this way. Moving on.

The baby has been a little more still last night and this morning, but still shoving itself into painful places. So he's fine. She's fine.

The other day I got jealous of someone. Jealousy is silly. Sure, sometimes I look at other people and long for their flat abs, or their sense of style, or something of theirs that usually has to do with identity, but it's more like a "Oh, that would be nice," and not a "I'm bitter and upset that I don't have that." But the other day a sweet girl with an immaculate body who is halfway through the yoga training that I decided not to do... well, she taught a class. I taught after her, so I asked how it went. It was her second class to teach. Of course she was nervous, but I was so happy for her when she said it went great. Then, a guy who comes to a lot of my classes walked up and said "That was your second class? I thought you'd been teaching as long as Shannon." I just smiled. No, dummy. No. But that's okay.

My issue that I've been working through in counseling is being misunderstood. I wanted this guy to understand how much work I've put into teaching, and how his comment just drowned all of my efforts. Not truly, but almost. In my head, I wanted to take away this girl's skill to make myself feel better. And that isn't fair at all. I'm sure she taught an incredible class. And maybe he was just trying to be extra encouraging.

Either way. I try to be honest with myself. And I want honesty from other people. I am a good teacher, and I have more to learn. My students love me. I had a brand new student in class the other night who hugged me after and said, "it was just that good." On the other hand, I had a woman who pretty much just sat on her mat and scowled at me about a week ago - I think I blogged about it - I talked to my teacher and she said, "You know, Shannon, not everyone is going to like yoga, or Blue Bird, or us as teachers." Amen, Sister. Good reminder.

Anyway. I'm going to move along to the rest of my day.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tyler came home. We talked on the phone for three years when we dated long distance, so we're kind of over that now. Our long distance talks when he's on a business trip go like this: I say hi, ask what he ate for breakfast/lunch/dinner, ask if he has any funny stories to tell, how the day was, and then say goodnight. He likes simple conversations. His answers are normally one word. "Good." "Steak." "No."

Sometimes I'll tell him a story or two, because golly, I'm a story teller. Sometimes I'll save them for when he gets home though. But then when he got home, I was cranky pants and contractiony and mad. And quiet.

I taught a fun handstand class this morning, then met a new friend for coffee. She's 2 weeks away from having her second kid. She brought a bag of cloth diapers and a babydoll to give me a tutorial in the middle of a busy coffee shop. It was awesome. She is sweet and she does not care about being a little goofy. I like that she wears long socks and cuffs her jeans short.

Then I met my sister-in-law for lunch. I really love her. We are so different, but we just laugh at each other for how different we are. Glad to be related to her.

Birth class tonight. I think it's nap time.

But also, I just figured out putting a cookie in a cup and pouring almond milk over it and eating it like cereal. Yum.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Day Two: Bachelorette Style

Yesterday I managed to feed myself an apple and some coconut ice cream, not including what Tyler made me for breakfast before he left. Then I went to Trailhead for a nice glass of water and some nachos, and fellowship with my dear friends. I texted him this morning to let him know that without him, I would be a disgusting and unhealthy, possibly starving person. But rather than using all of those descriptive words, I said I'd be a man.

Besides practicing yoga in the morning and going to a yoga class last night, I literally spent the day reading. Eventually I realized I was sitting in my own filfth and I took a shower. The thing is, I didn't feel bad about it. I think you're allowed one of those days every once in a while.

Lately I've had many subjects of things I want to write about floating around in my head. I wrote out my Gospel Story to share with my community group girls. I'd encourage everyone to do it, and maybe just start by sharing it with one person or two. You can always take things out or add things to it as you realize the significance of things. Don't get me wrong - it's terrifying to share. But it's good. And it's basically your life story through the lens of the gospel. Mine is specifically from the perspective of how my experiences have impacted my view of who God is, mostly in a negative way, and coming through that as a 25-year-old, married, pregnant woman rediscovering the true personality of God.

The other two subjects I've been wanting to write about have to do with yoga. One of them being a letter to new practitioners. I basically want to say go see a counselor before you start yoga. It sounds insane, but people come expecting a workout class and then find themselves challenged with their insecurities and inabilities, and then literally throw fits during class. Sixty year old women sitting on the floor scowling at me, saying "WHAT?!" when I give and alignment instruction. Another big one is that new practitioners are so obsessed with getting into the pose and "being good" at it that they don't listen to a damn thing. I'm working on being patient with people who literally do not listen. But I want to yell at them.

And lastly, trying to figure out why yoga is so much different for some people than other kinds of workouts. It's not my religion, and I don't want people to think that my life is yoga + God. Yoga is another activity like drinking coffee and going for a walk. But, these things I know: I've never left a class not feeling better than I did when I came in, it challenges me not just physically, but mentally for sure, sometimes emotionally. Spiritually, because it's an hour of being quiet and sometimes I'll talk to God during that time. It causes me to think about my purpose. I can tell you that practicing yoga consistently for over 2.5 years has increased my level of awareness and desire to be present, not just on my mat either. It's different from any other "work out" I've ever done. Yet, I still can't put my finger on what it is. Maybe it's having a teacher. Maybe it's that I've learned to be my own teacher. I don't know. The hardest part so far has been being pregnant and actually learning and believing that I don't have to take it to the limit. I can only do what my body lets me today. And then I see people who have taken three classes, have a knee injury, and can't touch the floor, yet they push push push because they are out to prove something to themselves and others. For some reason, seeing people where I was when I first started is so frustrating. I want to give them tips to help them speed up their process, but perhaps they should just enjoy it. No, they should. It's kind of like how I want 12 year olds to be much more mature than they should be.

Sorry for blabbing about yoga.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

They were lovely because He loved them.

I figured out the Bloglovin' is just a reader. It's not for posting. That's ok. I love robots and humans.

This morning Tyler and I were in Kid's Refuge (our church is called Refuge). We have kids age 4-6, and we usually have about 12-15 kids. It's kind of nuts. Today they were oddly calm and fantastic. I love asking them questions and reasoning with them. We were drawing pictures of the world and talking about how God made it. I asked them if God made Halloween candy, and they all flipped out "NOOOOOO!!!" But He did make milk.

 Anyway. I really connected with some of the kids today, and some that have a reputation for being "bad." Kids just need to be listened to. They're smart, and they want to be sweet.

Tyler read them the story of Creation from the Jesus Storybook Bible. At one point it says, "And they were lovely because He loved them." And I had all these little girls sitting around me and one of the "bad" little boys, and I just wanted to hug all of them and tell them how lovely they are, not because they're good, but because He loves them, and always has.

I took a catnap, Tyler made this incredible lunch of ground turkey, squash, zucchini, and some canned pumpkin.. spinach too I think. Anyway it was awesome. We went for a walk at the Eco Park with the dogs who probably felt like they were on vacation, running through the woods with no leashes. I never had a dog that would do that without running away or murdering a small child, so it terrifies me and thrills me at the same time, and I get a little controlling and bossy... but I love it. We drove by Charlotte's dad's house, Mac. He was out, as was his sweet owner Janet, who hugs me and kisses me when she sees me. We let them play together and it was a madhouse.

A really inspiring girl named Hope, who I barely know through my soul sister Lacy, is doing a two week yoga challenge and documenting it on instagram. Practicing for 20 minutes a day and documenting one pose. It's a lot harder than you think to have a home practice. The space needs to be right. It helps to have a freakin mat, but mine is always at the studio. I'll bring it home tomorrow. Anyway, I feel great. Just what I needed right now. And whilst the interweb can be a tricky labyrinth to maneuver, I'm thankful for it because I actually get to know really cool people that I wouldn't otherwise.

I reached out to a lady on facebook that I've been seeing at church, but had yet to meet her. I am normally the one to awkwardly facebook message or ask a basic stranger to coffee. There's just something in me. When I get the little push, it just can't be stopped. Usually it's well received, and sometimes I think I terrify people. Anyway, I was behind this woman at church today and I could have not said anything and she wouldn't have known. I considered it. But then I said "Hi, Whitney" from behind her and stuck my hand out to say "Nice to meet you in person." She stared at it, possibly even disappointed, and said "Oh, I want to hug you." So we hugged and talked and I kind of love her.

I'm heading to girl's night now, for our Community Group. Tyler leaves me tomorrow morning for a work trip and won't come home until Wednesday night, so I might just die. But... no, I'll live. With the lights on, and crazy sleeping patterns.

With love... Shanny.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Hm, ok. So I'm trying something different. A girl I follow uses bloglovin. I haven't tried it enough to know if I like it, but I'm tired of robots reading my blog. Seriously. I have twenty million views, and most of them are from robots. No thanks.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

PS, Amanda and Denise, thanks for your mantras. I like them a lot. And now they're mine.