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What I Learn

36 Weeks and My Favorite Prenatal Workouts

Hi friends! Christmas is just N I N E days away. Woah. I hope you’re fully embracing the wonder of this season. With glowing lights, cooler temps, and extra festivities, there’s just nothing like it. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in busy, but really, this month is all about gazing into the face of God, who came as a newborn baby – Jesus! – to show us how to live and to make our broken lives whole. He gave it ALL. One little way I’ve been slowing down is to write out scripture on index cards and read them over when I have a few minutes. What are your favorite ways to slow down during the holidays?

Today marks four weeks until Juniper’s due date, and that feels very surreal. I’ve been into readying her room and trying to make it all cozy, washing her clothes, and reading up on all things labor and delivery. Alex installed her car seat, and we’ve attended what feels like all possible birth/breastfeeding/newborn classes. I’ll tell ya, it’s hard not to go overboard with all the info out there. I’ve had some moments of, um, shall we say “unease,” but mostly I just have to trust that God is preparing me for the days ahead. He is sovereign and always good.

I’m grateful to still be feeling well, though I’ve definitely noticed a decrease in energy these last couple of weeks. It’s very important to me that I listen to my body, so when I’m doing things that were no big deal a few weeks ago – like cooking over the stovetop for a while or cleaning or walking briskly – and I feel extra tired or my back starts aching, I try to listen to that and sit down. So I guess being 36 weeks pregnant is a good way to slow down during the holidays.

One unexpected thing I’ve been LOVING these days is yoga. My friend sweet friend Sarah is a yoga instructor and got me more interested in prenatal yoga a couple of months ago. As I’ve gotten further along in this pregnancy, I’ve been turning more to yoga instead of running. So about five days a week, I try to do a short yoga video (10-20 minutes) and walk a couple of miles also about 5 days a week (with some jogging mixed in if I feel up to it). Everything about yoga – the breathing, the gentle stretching, the focus on body and baby – leaves me feeling fresh and less fatigued than when I started. I’ve also been enjoying a couple of short and simple prenatal cardio workouts. I have never regretted one session, but again, it’s important that we listen to our bodies and modify or take a break when needed. Also, of course, make sure your doctor has given the green light to exercise.

So, for any pregnant mamas or anyone else who’s interested, I wanted to share my five favorite YouTube videos for pregnancy fitness. Let me know what you think if you try one!

Prenatal Morning Yoga Routine: www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaSPLL0fF04

Prenatal Bedtime Yoga Routine: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQi9Ejk-TX4

10 Minute Pregnancy Yoga – Episode 4:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrO1dRBX7m4

Pregnancy Workouts – Best 10 Minute Workout: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qvopY5HddU

5 Minute Maternity Workout for 2nd Trimester: www.youtube.com/watch?v=guo6lEKGXto

 

 

xoxo,
Sar

What I Learn

G R A T I TU D E 

Happy belated Thanksgiving and first day of December, friends! I hope you had a delightful day of turkey and family that hopefully included a few extra moments to count your life’s blessings. Alex and I spent a few days in Arkansas with our families, and it was a joy. And to top it all off, our family and friends showered us with gifts and love for Juniper. We are grateful!

Speaking of gratitude,  it’s surely never too late to compose a gratitude list. Here are a few I’ve been thinking on lately: 

  • A God who is faithful and near no matter the season, never holding back His lavish love and perfect will. 
  • My husband, who is full of patience and humor and is so good at living in the moment and trusting God for the future. These 4 1/2 years with him in marriage have been a greater gift than I ever imagined.
  • Juniper Kate, who is 6 weeks (give or take hopefully not too many days) from making her grand debut. I’m so curious about who she is, and I pray she will be a bright light in this weary world. 
  • Friends near and far (including friends like you who encourage me to blog!)
  • Good health, especially during this pregnancy. I’m grateful to feel up for staying active (most days). 
  • God’s financial provision during Alex’s and my marriage and especially these last few months as we have moved to one income. 
  • The simple joys in life: a cold glass of water, the perfect planner, awesome Tex-Mex, an hour spent outside reading in the sunshine, the uncontrollable giggle of a baby. There is so much pain in life, and no one is immune. Yet God gives us joys big and small. Thank you Lord.
The Bird and The Bicycle Photography / www.birdandbicyclephotography.com

What are you grateful for? I’m not sure whether you’re in a season marked by pain or joy, loss or expectancy. With the official Christmas countdown on, let’s find a few sacred moments to slow down and soak in the wonder of this season. Thanksgiving may be over, but I find more and more that every season is one for G R A T I U T U D E.

xoxo,
Sar

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1.14

What I Learn

Why We Should Care About Having Fun

Stop what you’re doing and listen to the latest Journeywomen podcast with Annie F. Downs that came out yesterday. I’m not usually one to boss friends around, but trust me on this. It’s all about fun! As simple as the topic of “fun” sounds, the episode really impacted me.

Nashville based author and speaker Annie defines fun as “a shift in how you see the life you already have.” You mean I can think of the everyday tasks and “little” experiences I’m already having as fun?

Here’s a glimpse into Annie’s start to each day that I think we all can learn from:  “Waking up for me involves asking, ‘What is happening today, how is that fun, and what’s good about it?’Can I look at the life that God’s given me and find love and joy and peace in it?”

Can you imagine waking up every morning and asking yourself, “What’s going on today that will be fun?” Maybe you already do that. I don’t. This outlook reminds me of Christy Nockel’s quest to seek out “the glorious in the mundane,” which is something I feel God is nudging me to do lately.

But it’s not about having fun for self’s sake. Annie believes that her life’s calling is “to bring joy and fun into the lives of other people so that they will see God.” I love that. For more on Annie and the topic of fun, listen to her really, really good weekly podcast appropriately named That Sounds Fun.

And of course, listening to that podcast yesterday got me thinking about the everyday things in my life that can and should be fun. Today, that’s:

  • Feeling the cool fall air (something that’s new to us here in Texas) on a walk this morning
  • Doing yoga on a mat in the middle of my baby girl’s room
  • Writing a blog post
  • Going to the doctor’s office to check on Baby B.
  • Cozying up with a blanket, pumpkin spice tea, and a library book
  • Cooking dinner

Other recent/upcoming, everyday fun things I’m thinking about:

  • Going to the grocery store and picking out all kinds of colorful produce
  • Walking the trails near campus with friends
  • Organizing and setting up our baby girl’s room
  • Memorizing scripture
  • Seeing my belly grow beyond what seems possible
  • Attending childbirth classes (neeeever until now did I think this would go on a “that sounds fun” list)
  • Going on an evening walk with my husband
  • Dare I say it? Doing the dishes and wiping down the kitchen counters at the end of the day and facing a clean room in the morning

It’s your turn. What sounds fun to you??

xoxo,
Sar