Pregnancy. It has been a little while, eh? That is what pregnancy does to a blog (at least this time around). This pregnancy has been royally kicking my butt some days but luckily, there are just about an equal amount of great days, too. The tough days have me holed up on the couch with cramps, (note to everyone: magnesium + calcium will be your savior...like take you from not wanting to move to walking around again), reading a million books to my toddler while I desperately wish I could be rolling around on the floor with him. There are also the few days of the week where my pregnancy insomnia literally keeps me up all night. Insomnia isn't something that is new to me, but it has also never been this extreme...kind of a lethal combination.
The great days find me catching up on everything else, cleaning, organizing, and getting in all of the fun time that I slack on during the tough days. We get out of the house, we got to the library to play, or the children's museum, and try to live that day to the fullest. It isn't perfect. It isn't super easy but we are making it work.
I think the biggest thing about this whole experience is how surprised I am at the tough days. I feel like I shouldn't have them anymore. There should be no throwing up after the first trimester, right? This should be my honeymoon trimester! But then our little inside guy (it is a boy by the way!) gives me lots of kicks and hiccups and I remember that I just don't care about being sick. I would go through hell for him. Those moments remind me that this little man waiting to come out and cuddle is worth all of the heartburn and aches. The little outside guy, Asa, also helps a lot because he is seriously so patient. He is content getting cozy with me and reading for hours (not joking). So, we're going to be alright. All of us.
Life. One positive (?) of insomnia is that it gives you a lot of time and time to think. I have been trying to use it wisely. Recently, I stumbled across a few bloggers who write about minimalist living and simplifying life. I realized that I did not have a lot of knowledge about living this way and was immediately sucked in. While I know we will never be an extreme example of this (probably no tiny house or rooms with no furniture), it has challenged me to evaluate our life in relation to belongings, money, and desires. It has challenged me to decide what is really worth keeping, what adds real value, and what is beautiful to us vs. just something that is taking up space. The startling result is that a lot of things don't fall into the earlier categories.
Honestly, making the choice to go down to one income has kind of forced us to minimize certain areas of our life. We downsized from an 1800 sqft home to one with 1300 sqft. We have always had only one car. We got rid of a bunch of furniture that just didn't fit into the new home. Things like spending money, money for entertainment, and general extras has decreased to virtually nothing. Don't get me wrong. We have money to pay for the essentials and important things in life. We also have chosen to live without accumulating debt beyond our mortgage and the pesky remaining student loans (this means no financing or credit cards). However, even though all of these things were already in place, I was astounded by the amount of excess I discovered in our life.
Over the last few weeks (on my great days), I have been combing through the house, room by room, and sorting things into four piles: keep, sell, donate, and trash. It has been so life-giving. We have taken so many trips to the donation center with a van full of useful things that were just no longer useful for us. We've been able to directly give items to friends who would actually put them to use and we have finally pitched items that were of no use to anyone. In fact, we have even been able to get rid of multiple areas of storage completely after getting rid of the excess. The rooms that have already been tackled feel like they have new room to breathe, extra space just because space can be beautiful (who knew), and that the items left over are ones that really mean something to us.
I am sure I will talk about this at more length at some point, but if you are interested in reading more about this type of living, here are a few resources below. It has already been changing our family for the better.
- A great blog for inspiration, Nourishing Minimalism
- Another great blog, Becoming Minimalist
- An easy and helpful read, Clutter-Free with Kids (I bought the E-book)
- Slow your home, a lovely blog
- One of my favorites so far, The Minimalist Mom
And brownies. We made a batch of brownies two nights ago and I just wanted to add as a closing that brownies really make everything better. They make a hard day feel brighter and a great day feel complete. With that in mind, regardless of the day you are having, try adding a brownie on top. It has helped me and it just might help you.
'Til next time,