Prepping for December Daily

December Daily Kit 2015

I am having just a little trouble wrapping my head around the fact that we are pretty much one week from December. Where did this year go?

It's flown, is really the only answer. I'm now very nearly into single-digit weeks away from having a baby, and we're celebrating Christmas in Cincinnati this year (I won't be able to travel). So I'm trying to get ready to do all the things December (or as much as I possibly can, all things considered). 

Which means I'm prepping for my 2015 December Daily album. I did a December Daily Album at the end of last year and had a lot of fun with it, so I'll be revisiting that effort for 2015, only this year? I have different plans for how I want the final album to feel. 

Prepping for 2015's album started with how I wanted it to feel, and is coming up on December with a good foundation. This year, I'm using  Ali Edwards' December Daily Main Kit and a red chipboard album as my base, and I'll use stuff from my stash to fill in my pages as the month goes on. 

And while I do plan each day to have its own story, I'm not putting together foundation pages, beyond the opening page (pictures to come!), and the first day. I don't want to be tied to any one specific thing I liked now, when it may not fit the story of my day when it comes down to it. I will be using Ali Edwards free intentions printable, along with a free Stitch in Time calendar printable as just some of my filler.

One thing I'm working on this year is better capturing the essence of December, and how that feels to me. I love my 2014 December Daily album, but at times it just feels like a long, scrapped journal. I want my 2015 album to better represent how this season felt when I'm looking back at it in the years to come. Is there snow? Sparkle? Glee? It's the last Christmas we'll celebrate as just the two of us, and I want to capture the essence of the holiday as it is now. I also want the book to feel more cohesive down the line, instead of just a random collection, which means every page will tell a story. 

I'm already looking for inspiration for the book - Ali Edwards website, Stitch in Time, and many others are all providing a wealth of ways to capture the essence of this season, and I'm working on paring down what will work for me, what I want to do, and what techniques I'm hoping to try as we get ready to celebrate December, Christmas, and all that comes with it. I cannot wait to get started on my December Daily, and see just what fun it brings for me as we celebrate the last month of 2014. 

On Hypnobirthing


I'm four weeks into my hypnobirthing class and after writing about how I feared labor? I am feeling way better about the whole thing - going into labor, giving birth, and feeling really really good about my choice of childbirth classes.

The classes themselves are pretty straightforward. We're there every week for 2.5 hours of class, during which we talk about labor, what to expect, positioning to help make laboring easier, and science behind some interventions that could happen during the labor process. And each class includes a 15-20 minute long guided relaxation, which I love. We have lots of reading materials, and every week are given downloads to practice self-hypnotism and guided relaxation.

And well, I kind of adore the guided imagery exercises. I do them nightly, before bed, and for me, they really work. These may not be for everyone, but I am far more relaxed as I am falling asleep, and feel way more refreshed in the morning. The nights I've not done guided relaxation work? I don't sleep as well. But. BUT. I am teaching myself to relax WITHOUT the aid of the recording, so that I can go into relaxation when I choose. Which is a big part of why I am doing this - it's to learn to relax and let my body take over and do what it needs to do to help me labor and give birth to my baby boy.

Which involves a lot of practice. So I've been practicing my relaxation breathing on the couch at home. Today when I was getting a vaccine at a prenatal appointment, I used the breathing to (hopefully) avoid a sore arm from muscle tension. I'm not doing any relaxation exercises when it is unsafe to do so, but I am working on practicing breathing, relaxation, and positive imagery whenever I have the opportunity to. Which is normally at home on the sofa, or lying in bed at night.

This is a childbirth class I would recommend to anyone I know who was seeking a childbirth class for unmedicated delivery. I know that I am still very much on the "roll with it" bench, but I also know that I'm doing everything I can to prepare for as unmedicated of a delivery as I can get. And when the baby decides it's time to come, which is hopefully not sooner than 12 weeks from now, I hope to be prepared to roll with whatever labor sends my way. 

Life, lately

This is not even remotely the first time I've done a life, lately post. But it's okay. Because Life has been busy lately. Really. Really. Busy.

The weekend prior to Halloween we had our first baby shower. My mom, sister, and mother-in-law threw us a "Very Hungry Caterpillar" themed party and it was amazing. We got LOTS of great stuff for the baby, my grandparents came to visit, and we got to see a lot of our family! We were able to share the baby's name with our families and friends (but I'm keeping his name off the blog for the time being), and it went over really well.

Over Halloween weekend my in-laws came in to help us get our crib home and assembled. The nursery is very quickly coming together, and I cannot believe I am three. months. from likely having a baby who will sleep in that crib, use the changing table, and have toys and books in the bookcase! A year ago I had NO idea I would even be pregnant at this time, so going into the holiday season with a bun in the oven right now is very surreal. 

We're still taking our HypnoBirth classes, and I'll say that a large chunk of my fears about labor and delivery have been allayed in just three short classes! I have guided imagery and relaxation exercises that I do (nearly) nightly, and they're really helping me to relax and come into a new confidence surrounding labor and the birth of our son. I have a post in the works about the Hypno class I am taking and what I am getting out of it, and I can't wait to get it up to share with all of you!

Additionally, I have some other posts in the works - notably my second trimester favorites post (which, going into my third trimester in a week, y'all. EEK!) and some beauty favorites as of late. I'm counting the days to the Sephora VIB sales because well, I need some facial cleanser.. and holiday gifts!

We're still working to get everything ready for the baby's arrival, and are hoping to slowly finish his nursery out in the coming weeks. My hope is to have almost everything in place for him in his room by week 34 of pregnancy. We're starting to work out first weeks sleeping arrangements right now (which will involve making sure we have a pack n' play before he is born), in addition to our birth vision, and finishing up the nursery decor. There's a lot to do and we're slowly running out of time to get it all done in!

However - I know we'll have time after he is here. It's the basics I'm hoping to get in place now. Yep, folks, I'm totally nesting. And that's OK.

What have you been up to lately?


How I'm Conquering Fear

The world, in general, is a pretty easy to get along in space. But it's also a little scary.


I'm afraid of the unknown. Of not fitting in (sometimes I stand out more than I fit in). Of being left out. I'm excited to be a mom. I don't dislike pregnancy (in fact, I kind of like it). But I'm afraid of that whole "getting the baby out" part that is coming in about four months. 

Sometimes, I'm afraid of writing the wrong thing here. Of being judged for my words. Or that I'll lose friends over what I might write here, depending on subject matter and opinion. 

But I still put myself out there. I still try. I try to fit in. I write. I press 'publish.' And I seek out knowledge.

It all sounds very much like anxiety. But it's not. It's the little fears that get you day to day. The things that make you second guess. That's what it is for me, at least. 

And right now? I am working hard on conquering my fear. The little things that hold me back. My podcast of choice lately has been Tiffany Han's Raise Your Hand. Say Yes. And I've heard so many speakers, authors, and creatives on this podcast all talking about getting out there. Doing the work. Overcoming the fear.

So I'm raising my hand. I'm saying yes. I'm working on 100 days of Blogging, though that is shaping up very differently than I originally anticipated. Every other day posts, for example, instead of daily, with the days between being planning, researching, or behind the blog posts.

I'm working on fitting in while standing out. I'm letting criticisms roll away, while getting at the heart of what the intent is behind the critique - is it intended to help with improvement or cut me down? If it's the former I take it at face value. The latter? Set it aside. 

As for the fear of labor and birth? For that I'm working on acquiring knowledge. I have at least four months before the baby comes, so that's four months of time I have to learn all I can about labor and delivery. Including an eight week childbirth class that starts this week. I chose Hypnobabies, and I am excited for us to attend our first session and really start getting into the meat of this whole "having a baby" thing. 

For me, fear is the unknown. Taking a leap and not knowing what's next. Pressing publish and not knowing if a post will flop. Not having enough knowledge. So I can learn and I can try. I can write and publish, or write and delete. I can learn from my errors. I can step out, stand up, say yes. 

I am working on conquering that fear of the unknown. And man, can I just say? It's a powerful, wonderful process. I can't wait to see where I go from here. 

I don't know what to write

And that's okay. I don't always know what to write.

This weekend has been a whirlwind. Lots of emotions. We have a crib for the baby on the way, courtesy of my wonderful grandparents!

We have chosen childcare for when I return to work, and we put up the first piece of furniture in his room - a dresser/changing table - today. Then we promptly filled it with clothing.

This weekend also brought some sad news for me. And while I can't share now, I do want to say that's why I've been quiet these past couple days. I'll share very very soon. But tonight? I don't know what to write.