Friday, June 7, 2013

7 Quick Takes, Volume 22

{story of a soul, condensed}

Visit Jen at Conversion Diary for more quick takes!

{1} Did you catch the two guest posts I wrote last week?  You can read about my first real broken heart here on Arleen Spencely's blog, and about my lessons in transitioning to newlywed life, thanks to some towels my husband found hideous, here on newlywed Tess' blog, Little House in Chicago.

{2} Somehow during the five-ish months I've been pregnant, my formerly pretty healthy eating habits have taken a dive.  I've come to understand that hormone-induced cravings are a biological reality and can't always be overcome by virtue (in the beginning, for instance, there were so many nights where I'd make a full meal for us, then decide I couldn't stomach any of it and have grilled cheese instead), and I'm at peace with gaining weight, though I want to make sure I do so from healthy sources, not from junk food.  So ice cream and I have become the best of friends lately.  Combine that with a husband who has a lifelong sweet tooth, a newfound love of baking, and a few minor issues that are probably related to overconsuming sweets, and I think it's about time to do a little sugar detox.  We buy very few packaged or prepared foods (as a preference even more than as a health-conscious choice), and I tell myself that since all the treats we make are from scratch, they're not as bad as they could be, but obviously...I've been doing a lot of research to make sure any dietary changes we make are safe for Baby, and I don't think it'll be anything too crazy, but I'd love your input.  Right now we're thinking we'll do 3-4 weeks of no added sweeteners (sugar, honey, or maple syrup, and we already don't consume soda or artificial sweeteners), no packaged bread or tortillas, slightly limited dairy and fruit, and from what we've read, a higher intake of healthy fats than of carbs to decrease sugar withdrawal symptoms.

Tell me!  Have any of you tried anything like this?  Anything I should definitely take note of?  And by all means, if any  part of my little plan sounds unreasonable or unhealthy, feel free to make alternative suggestions for us!  P.S.  We are moving in 3 weeks and there are three cartons of ice cream in our freezer.  I'm not about to let them go to waste, and besides, emptying the freezer is satisfying.  So this will probably all get rolling in a month or so--I'm trying to get prepared starting now!

{3} On the subject of moving soon: if you've said even one prayer for my job search and our apartment hunt as we prepare to leave our first married home (and our adopted state of the last few years), thank you so, so much!  ...Can I ask you to say a few more?  I go back and forth between being overwhelmed and blithely peaceful (or is it lazy?) as I go to interviews and consider where we'll live.  I feel like time is running out, in some ways, and also like the Lord wants to draw me out into a deeper trust.  I'm blessed with a husband so faithful, so patient, and so trusting, which is a huge gift to me, but there are some days where I just feel like flapping my arms in distress, you know?

{4} Honestly, I sometimes used to feel out of place when my friends would sit around the lunch table talking about different spiritualities and charisms (in the least pretentious way possible, promise!), since I felt like I didn't know enough about certain saints and religious orders to really identify what mine was and since I never loved the idea of putting yourself into a box, like, "Oh, I'm so Dominican," or something like that.  A few years later, I generally feel the same way about categorization, but I do think I've gained a little clarity in the ways of prayer and different, equally good lenses for one faith in the sense of what I'm drawn to.  My spirituality is pretty Marian, I suppose, pretty Theology of the Body.  When I read this book a few months ago, I also started realizing how much St. Augustine's discussions of restlessness and hunger have moved my soul since college.  This week I stumbled onto an amazing blog, Beauty Is Lived, infused with these ideas, and onto one of the most poetic, beautiful reflections I've read in quite a while.  A sampling:

To allow ourselves to become vulnerable is to invite another to pierce us with a sacred wound, to penetrate the depths of our most tender heart, and in so doing we expose ourselves as naked and bleeding creatures.
 Read the rest here.

{5} My hair right now is the longest it's been in years, and I've had the same layered-ish look for a pretty long time now.  I thought I'd love having long hair, but sometimes I just never feel like dealing with it.  I'm considering getting a long bob or just a different long cut, but I'm so nervous about taking the plunge!  I mean, it's taken so long to get my hair, well, so long!  I've been collecting inspiration here.  Thoughts?

{6} Also on the subject of moving soon: help!  What's your best moving advice?  This will be our first time moving with furniture (in college my campus apartments had all the basics, so did Andrew's first grad school bachelor pad, and all of my furniture was donated when I was a missionary), and it'll be a fairly long trip.  I keep hearing slightly mysterious, good-sounding things about PODS, where you put your stuff in big storage bins and then a company picks them up for you and transports them to your new place.  It seems convenient and cheaper than a UHaul--is it?!


{7} I'm officially halfway through my pregnancy (though when my baby will chose to make his or her entrance is anyone's guess)!

Have a wonderful weekend; I'd love to know what you're up to!

26 comments:

  1. Yay! First comment :) Thanks for keeping me company during first feeding!

    Couple thoughts--for the most part I followed my cravings. Often they say that they happen to be what baby needs--I think mine may have since they changed every few weeks. Ice cream and I also became best friends--which is good. You need tons of calcium or baby will leach it from your bones. I stayed away from almost everything packaged and dies. Doing your own baking is great because you don't get all the extra stuff. Interestingly enough all I crave while nursing is carbs. In general, I would do make sure you get enough dairy and protein and get those walks in :) As far as weight gain, don't read what they say is an acceptable number. I honestly would not keep track on the scale and let your doctor monitor it. He/she will let you know if you need to make a change.
    I gained a ton, but my doctor said that smaller women can gain a lot more. Not to worry, you'll most likely lose 20-30 pounds in the first two weeks. Anyhoodles, those are just my current thoughts.

    Oh. Penske is cheaper than Uhaul, but yeah, all depends on mileage. Don't know much about pods. Do you need any manpower? J may be off :-)

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    1. Oh, good point on the calcium; thanks! Like I said, I'm not concerned with gaining weight as long as its from healthy sources, and I just never feel as well physically when I eat badly, so that's the main reason I want to scale back on the sugar. Thanks for the Penske advice!

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    2. Indeed. Good way to think about it. I tried to, but it got hard around 32 weeks, lol. Sugar often just made me really sluggish. Also you want to stay away from a lit of salt too--forgot that one--can make you retain more water.

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  2. You are so beautiful and glowing!!

    As far as hair...I recently had 8 inches cut off. While it is MUCH easier to deal with, I do really miss having long hair!

    I'll be praying for you throughout this transition period! :)

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    1. I keep thinking of that feeling I always get after even a trim, where it's kind of sad to see my hair on the floor! Thank you so, so much for your prayers =)

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  3. You look so incredibly happy! And that dress you are wearing is super cute! Prayers for your move, I remember how stressful it can be. But I recently had a friend move from MD to CA and she used a POD and loved it. It was convenient and reliable although I don't remember what she said about cost.

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    1. You are too sweet, Tiffany! Thanks for your prayers and the moving input!

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  4. Your baby bump is so cute! You look so incredibly happy! I will continue to pray for your move and job search!

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  5. Your look so happy and glowing!
    Prayers for the transition too:)

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    1. I'm getting redundant in my replies here, but I really am so thankful for all these prayers and nice words! I really appreciate it, Patty!

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  6. Pregnancy weight gain... sigh... So, I'm not in the camp that you should diet while pregnant, but I do think you need to watch what you eat, for your own sake and for the sake of the baby. I once heard that carbs and sugar are like fertilizer for a growing baby and I think that's somewhat true, unfortunately. However, if you're craving warm just outta-the-oven cookies, make them! Then give most of them away! You know what I mean? Balance is key. Don't deprive yourself, but make sure you're getting plenty of the good stuff first, before you treat yourself in true pregnant lady fashion :) Also (and I speak from experience here) it's hard to break the habits you make in pregnancy, especially because right after pregnancy comes the super-hard-new-mom-breastfeeding-hungry-all-the-time stage. But if you cultivated good habits during pregnancy, they'll stick with you and work for you when you're postpartum!

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    1. Goooood attitude; I totally share your thinking, especially with the good stuff + treats! To be clear, I'm not aiming to diet, just to get back into better eating habits again. I can only imagine that things get more stressful after baby!

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  7. You're so cute!!! Love that belly (and the knotted belt)!

    4. I feel the same way. My husband is always talking about his Vincentian junk and I'm just sitting here like "I'm just normal Catholic, isn't that enough?!?"

    6. We hired people to help us move big stuff across town and it was so worth the money. We have a lot of big furniture and appliances that there was NO way the two of us could have done by ourselves. I don't know a lot about PODS but if they move it for you I'd go for it. :)

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  8. 1. You look lovely!! Pregnancy definitely agrees with you. :)

    2. Due to the military, we have moved more times in the past seven years than I care to think about. We looked into PODS at one point, but even with the military discount it was incredibly expensive. It was cheaper for us to hire a moving company. But that was a few years ago, so it may have changed. As far as hiring a moving company, call a few companies and get some quotes. Make sure to check out each company on the Better Business Bureau (if they're not members, don't use them. That's a big red flag). We rented a U-Haul once, and I wouldn't do it again. Will and I both had massive back and neck pain after doing the heavy lifting ourselves, and the rental fee combined with the gas we had to purchase really didn't save us a lot of money. I just didn't think it was worth the hassle.

    3. One of the things I loved doing during both of my pregnancies was making myself an "avocado sandwich." Slice an avocado in half and remove the pit, and fill each slice with a healthy filling (I am partial to chicken or shrimp salad!). Filling, delicious, and very healthy.

    Have a wonderful weekend! I'm sending lots of prayers your way.

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    1. Thank you so, so much for your moving input; I'm having trouble with just this round, let alone many moves over seven years! Good call on the Better Business Bureau (I have irrational fears of pirate movers who scam you and drive off with everything!). And yes! Avocados are such a staple of mine!

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  9. Thanks so much for your kind word! I don't get many readers, so I was wondering where the recent uptick came from...it's you!

    You truly embody the image of a "pregnant radiance" :)

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    1. Thank you, too, Michael! I subscribed to your blog and have been wanting to comment, but I've loved all of your posts so much that it felt excessive to comment on every single one. Believe me, that's my immediate reaction--you have such a gift! Glad you found my shout-out!

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    2. That is so kind of you, thank you so much!

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  10. Your pregnant pic is so adorable!

    <3 Haley @ Carrots

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  11. We just drove up from SoCal to Seattle area, and used the UHaul Boxes (their version of PODS). A lot cheaper than actual PODS, and turnaround time from dropping off at the UHaul Depot to seeing our stuff on the other end was 2 weeks. Nothing broken or anything, so pretty painless. The only negative was that their customer service center is a call center in Arizona, so it was SUPER DIFFICULT to get in touch with anyone that actually knew what was going on with our stuff.

    You are so cute pregnant! All I can say is protein, protein, protein during pregnancy. I realized late in the game that a little protein would prevent me from wolfing down donuts because I was SO. SO. HUNGRY.

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    1. I had no idea UHaul had a similar service! A two week turnaround is, admittedly, a little intimidating, but I'll definitely keep the idea in mind. And Amen to the protein, I have been eating hard-boiled eggs like nobody's business!

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  12. I didn't read the previous comments so I don't know if my advice is already there, but here is my take on a few things:

    My husband and I do the Perfect Health Diet - no sugar except that occurring naturally in foods, only carbs are rice and potatoes (and sweet potatoes), high fat, moderate protein. We love it. It's hard to do living with my parents who aren't exactly on board, but it makes me feel amazing, after about 2-3 weeks sugar/carb cravings are completely gone, and I have way more energy. I also feel less hungry overall and it's not a big deal if I miss a meal - my blood sugar and all that is much more regulated overall. I've written about it a little one my blog but I'm too lazy to go find the links now.

    I noticed that almost all my friends (well, the ones that are married and/or moms) cut their hair right after the wedding/right after having a baby. I feel like maybe you should wait a little while afterward to make an informed decision, because almost all of them have regretted it. I think the desire to do so came from the desire to have a new look match their new self (wife/mother) but that was more emotional driven. Just a thought. I've been growing out my hair since I got engaged almost 4 years ago and it's just now at the length I wish it was when we got married (nearly 3 years ago). I don't think I'll be cutting it anytime soon because, while hair grows, it doesn't grow nearly fast enough to replace these long locks.

    As for moving...next month will make our fourth July in a row of out of state moves. Pods (or the Uhaul version) are much cheaper than hiring a moving company to pack you, drive the truck, etc. but are much more expensive than packing yourself and driving the Uhaul yourself. Every time we've gotten quotes for our move it's been at least twice as expensive. It's a little more convenient, although I've had many friends that have had to wait nearly a month for their belongings to arrive - definitely NOT convenient! If you have the money to go that route, it could be a good option. We've always had to make moves without even really having the money for them (this time will be no exception, David is getting a little bit for relocation, but nothing near what the move will actually cost) so we've had to go the cheapest routes. Budget it generally cheaper than Uhaul but Uhaul will usually match prices (and you get better service with them I think). I'll be praying for you! You know my email, so let me know if you have any questions!

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  13. I realize I'm getting to this really late, but...

    PODS is definitely more expensive than the UBoxes (UHAUL's similar service)...although you can fit a lot more in one POD than in one UBox. Both of them are cheaper than hiring a moving service, but both of them are more expensive than simply renting a UHAUL or Budget truck and packing/loading/driving it there yourself (depending on the mileage you drive...but I'd generally say this is still true). Let me know what you guys ended up deciding to do because Michael and I will definitely be moving around a bit and always like to learn from others' experiences. :)

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    1. Thanks for the input, Steph! Because we'll be driving through mountains for a good 200 miles or so, we decided to nix driving a truck ourselves for gas reasons, and the mileage would've added up to a similar cost to the PODS. So for now, I think PODS it is, but if we were moving somewhere closer, I'd definitely go the drive-our-own truck route!

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