DFS: The Arrival

Michael and I are pleased to announce that our son, Sam, arrived this week.

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She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.” (1 Samuel 1:20)

We are over the moon excited and completely exhausted. In anticipation of this event, I filmed a video early that ties up the Dear Future Self/Pregnancy Update videos.

Basically, I’m going to go on a hiatus from social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc) and from blogging for the rest of this month. The plan is to come back the first full week of June, unless it’s still a little too crazy and in that case, I will still probably let you guys know what’s going on with a short post that first week of June. And coming back may only be a post a week for a while, building back up to a regular schedule as I gradually get into the swing of things. No worries, I’m giving myself a lot of grace and space for this process.

I hope you all have a wonderful month of May. Due to the hiatus, I may not be able to respond right away to comments, but just know that I’m so grateful for all of you. Now I need to go snuggle a baby. Talk to you in June!

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Anticipating May

The last month of the Spring season is here, and so many other things I’ve been waiting for.  But first, a look back at April.

The pregnancy has been moving right along this month, thankfully without any more trips to the hospital!  The baby has grown to over 6 pounds, and everything seems to be going well.  My anxiety definitely has heightened, despite the pretty easy month.  But I continue taking it one day at a time.

I did get some reading done this month.  I managed to complete 4 books, which is the most I’ve been able to do all year.  The book binge is still going strong after the slump of March.  It’s been a nice and needed distraction from the anxiety of the pregnancy.  I’ve also been perusing a few pregnancy/baby books in preparation for the impending arrival of the boy.

And I did manage to complete a lot of organizing projects for the baby and the nursery this month, despite my heightened anxiety.  The nursery seems as ready as it’s going to be.  And the registry should be up after the baby arrives for whatever sip and see will be scheduled after his arrival.

Now, onto the month of May!

anticipation

  • The arrival of my son.  We are nearing the actual due date of our boy, which is Mother’s Day, however, I’m pretty sure he’s going to come before then.  My nerves are very raw and there are still some impending concerns and issues that could arise (as with all pregnancies and deliveries).  I’m anticipating (and praying for) a smooth labor and a healthy arrival of this sweet guy.
  • Some time off.  I will be talking about this more in an upcoming video, but the plan is to take a small hiatus this month after the arrival of our son from blogging and social media.  With family coming in and the transitions and chaos of a newborn, I just know taking a break will be beneficial for me.
  • New Rhythms.  I know that no matter how everything will go this month, there will be some definite changes in our life.  And that will probably be the most consistent thing in our life – change.  If I’ve learned anything from my friends, doctors, and family it’s that I should expect to feel lost and hopeless and overwhelmed for quite a while.  But that it all will be worth it.  

I’m still not out of the woods yet.  And I’m, again, cautiously anticipating the arrival of this little boy and this new facet of motherhood.  But I just have to remind myself that I’m not alone in this journey.  Not only do I have amazing doctors, supportive family, and an incredible husband, but I have an all-knowing, all-powerful God by my side every step of the way.

April Favorites

April is coming to an end, so I guess that means a little recap of my favorites from the month!

Book of the Month

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I had an incredible reading month.  I don’t know if it was because I finally put down a book I wasn’t enjoying or if my body is prepping for the baby and knowing that I won’t have a lot of time to read (although maybe I will, I’m hopeful).  But I managed to complete four books this month (instead of the one book last month).  My favorite of the four was definitely Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.  I shared a review of this book here.

Baby-Related

I’ve been ordering a lot of baby-related items this month.  Of course, most of them I haven’t used yet since the baby isn’t here yet.  But one item that I’m already loving because it is SO comfortable is the Abbyson Hampton Beige Nursery Swivel Glider Recliner Chair.  Michael and I went to a baby store in March and tried out all of the gliders/rockers.  This was a definite hit with both of us.  Plus, it reclines all the way back, which I think will come in handy sometime soon.  It’s probably the most expensive piece that we have purchased this year for the baby, but I’m thinking that it will be worth the price.

Beauty-Related

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I’ve been using the Aveeno Positively Nourishing Antioxidant Infused Moisturizing Body Wash for two months now, and I absolutely love it.  I think I’m slowly becoming an Aveeno fan (not sponsored, of course).  I use their shampoo and this body wash.  It smells so amazing.  It’s a mix of peach and ginger (I smell the peach much more than the ginger).  It’s a perfect spring/summer scent for me.  Plus, I really like the way my skin feels after I use it.  I was using another kind of body soap before this one that dried out my skin and caused it to break out.  But only after a few uses of this soap, my skin was back to normal.

Food-Related

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I saw this Twinings of London Buttermint Herbal Tea advertised at my local grocery store as a new product from Twinings.  I love their decaf English breakfast tea, so I thought I would try this one as well.  I have to be careful with herbal teas during pregnancy, but with just peppermint and vanilla as the main ingredients, this one was quite safe.  Usually, in the evening, I enjoy a cup of peppermint tea, but this is a perfect alternative when I want something that is a little different, but still minty.  The vanilla is not overpowering at all but almost gives a different, warmer texture to the tea.  And I don’t steep this tea for very long because the taste can be quite strong, but it’s really good.

What are some favorites you have been enjoying this month?

All disclaimers have now moved to my About Me page.

Page Habit Review

My fascination with subscription boxes continues.  Instead of a food box, this time I asked for a book subscription box from Michael for Easter called Page Habit.

There are so many book subscription boxes to choose from.  There are ones that only send books for you to choose.  And there are several that have bookish items that sometimes follow a theme and sometimes do not.  Each box has a kind of gimmick to it.

Page Habit has two “gimmicks,” if you will.  First, with each box, they donate towards children’s literacy.  In my particular box, Page habit partnered with Books for Africa to donate books to the Kiangua community in Kenya.  They gave a little information about the area’s statistics.20180411_152611

The other “gimmick” that Page Habit has is that the book in the box is annotated with small notes from the author.  So, as you read through the book, there will be these little notes on certain pages that tell you what the author felt while writing that particular piece of the story (all of the annotations are put on post-it notes so your book is not actually written in unless you want to write in it).  Also, the book is going to be one that has come out recently.

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In this box, I received the book The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, a YA contemporary written entirely in poetic form that was released in March.  I really liked this kind of storytelling, and it was perfect to read this month since it’s National Poetry Month.  I will probably have a review on my blog at some point in the future.

But that’s not all that it’s the box.  There were several other items included.  A letter from the author.  A pad of adult coloring pages.  A cable photo hanger.  A bookworm beanie.  Stickers.  And a Page Habit bookmark.  I was impressed with the selection of items as well as the quality.  The only item I wasn’t really interested in was the collection on stickers, but the rest I’m definitely going to use.

I got the YA box, but they have other genres as well – literary fiction, fantasy, mystery, horror, romance and historical fiction.  They also have quarterly boxes for YA (young adult), literary fiction and cookbooks.  The monthly boxes are $30.  If you want to try it yourself, you can use this link.   It is a subscription service, so it signs you up to automatically get one each month, but just like Hello Fresh, you can skip months that don’t pique your interest, and you can change genres if you like.  You get an email before the next box comes out describing the next book.  They don’t tell you what the title is, so the surprise isn’t ruined.

I really liked that there is a cause behind this box, plus the annotated book is a plus as well.  And it’s a neat way to be introduced to books you might not have heard of or may not have picked up.  It’s a definite recommend from me!

 

 

Children of Blood and Bone: A Review

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1)Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an incredibly entertaining and beautiful story set in African mythology (West African, I believe). I love mythology, but I had never really been exposed to mythology from this part of the world, so it was a real treat. Besides that aspect, the story itself is an epic quest adventure within a vibrant world with an amazing cast of characters.
The writing is told from three perspectives. Zelie, a diviner. Amari, a princess. And Inan, a prince, and brother to Amari. Diviners are known for their white hair and silver eyes. They would have inherited magic if it did not mysteriously disappear from this world. When magic disappeared, all of those who had already had magic when it disappeared were rounded up and killed – including Zelie’s mother – in the Raid. Amari and Inan grew up in the palace. Their father was the one who initiated the Raid and taught them that magic was evil.
The story begins when the magic starts to resurface, and the king is bent on snuffing magic out again, no matter the cost. There are themes of how power and strength are defined. As well as what is truly evil or not.
The characters in the story are so diverse and flawed. They each face their own cowardice and don’t always make the right choices, which can affect outcomes beyond themselves. Even when motivations and intentions are pure, decisions can still be wrong.
One aspect of the writing that I really enjoyed was the use of chapter lengths. The author would write longer chapters when deeper issues and themes or descriptions of worlds were being discussed. But, when the plot picked up or there were fight or action scenes, the chapters would get shorter. It felt like you were rushing with the characters themselves.

There wasn’t a lot of profanity as we know it. A diviner was referred to as a maggot which was a slur. They also had blasphemous words, like Skies or Oh my gods, which would be different words in our culture, but used the same way.
There was one sex scene toward the last third of the book, but it wasn’t graphic. A lot of it was implied, but it would not be hard to know what was implied.
There is a lot of violence in the book. Lots of people are killed, by sword or magic, and some of those deaths and fight scenes are pretty detailed. There is a lot of talk about scars that different characters had.

Overall, I definitely recommend this book. You don’t have to be knowledgeable in West African culture to understand what’s going on, what’s important, and what’s impactful. I can see some glimpses, some foreshadowing into the next book, which I’m not sure when that would come out, but I’m definitely going to put it on my list!