Monday, November 19, 2012

The Week of Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving.  What can I say?  I love to eat and Thanksgiving is great excuse to eat until your family and friends have to roll you away from the table so that you can fall into a food induced coma on the couch.  I love how my husband takes cooking the turkey VERY seriously.  In no way, shape, or form can the Schwartz house merely bake a regular turkey with stuffing.  Oh no.  We must take this opportunity to try something new and different.  Last year we did an apple cider brine turkey, and discovered that an un-stuffed turkey takes significantly less time to cook than a stuffed one.  This year, we will be trying a honey citrus glazed turkey.  Now, when I say we I say that with the knowledge that Chad finds the recipe and I do most of the cooking.  This is not because he doesn't want to, or it's "not his thing".  It's because he is working.  So the day before and the morning of I'm preping the turkey and making the sides while Chad does his duty to Uncle Sam.
So while food is, of course, the centerpiece of activity during this holiday I do realize that it is not the spirit of Thanksgiving.  We do not come together with our family and friends simply to eat a big meal and watch football (not happening anyways this year due to a lack of cable).  We invite these people into our home because we care about them.  They are our family, or our friends, or sometimes they are just sailors who need a place to go so that they are a part of something for Thanksgiving.  They are all welcome in our home.  They are welcome because they have made an impact on our lives and we are thankful that we have them.
Secondly, the spirit of Thanksgiving is ... wait for it ... being THANKFUL!  It is so easy in our lives to not realize all that we have.  Most Americans (including myself) have never been to part of the world where the idea of having clean water, regular meals, and a pair of good shoes is more than they could ever hope for in life.  It's easy for us to be focused on what we don't have and what we want rather than what we have.  We become so miserable because we don't have a new car, a bigger house, that designer (fill in blank), a bigger TV, a new computer, or we can't go out to eat as much as we want or at that fancy restaurant we want to visit.  We don't stop to think about the fact that if you make $30,000 a year you are in the top 10% of the world in income level.  The top 10%!!  You make more than almost 6 billion people!  The list of what else we have goes on and on.  So, I hope that this year, myself, my family, and those around us can truly realize why we celebrate Thanksgiving.
This is the start of my list of what I'm thankful for this year,

  • That I have the love of God in my life, and that He saved me.
  • That I can worship Him without persecution, or fear of death.
  • That my husband has a job that provides a home, medical coverage, and all of our other bills and necessities for us.
  • That I have a job that can help us with supplementing our income.
  • For our baby that's growing within me and that it happened so easily for us.
  • For our family.  We have one of the most loving and supportive families that you could ask for.
  • For our friends.  Just like our family, they have been so supportive and helped us through every hard time.
  • For our pets, because they make me laugh and keep me company when Chad is away.
  • That I have never known true hunger
  • That I have a room full of clothes and good shoes
  • I am not afraid for my life and have never lived in a war zone.
  • I live in the United States of America

Thursday, November 8, 2012

So, we're going to have a baby...

On September 16th Chad and I found out we were pregnant! It was a surprise just because we didn't anticipate it happening so quickly.  I didn't even know what to say to Chad.  I just showed him the positive test.  He got the biggest smile on his face and just hugged me and I started laughing.  We found out right before we went to California so we were able to share the news with our families.  We kept the "Circle of Knowing" very small at first since we hadn't even seen the doctor yet to confirm that everything was okay.  To tell our parents we made them gift bags with baby safety devices, onsies, and bottles.  They were all very excited too.  After getting back home and seeing the doctor, along with two ultrasounds showing that everything was going well, we felt that we could share the news with everyone else.  

Us with our 8 week ultrasound
Since then we've been pretty much in full baby mode.  Chad has been doing extensive research on the safety information and product reviews on child seats, strollers, and more.  We registered at Target and Babies R' Us. The biggest issue that we have come across with registering is that we aren't going to find out whether we are having a boy or a girl.  It is very difficult to find gender neutral things to put on our registry.  We've decided that green is our color of choice though.  There are so many things to think of.  Which kind of pack n' play?  Do we want a changing table or a dress/changer that can be used later?  Get a regular stroller or a jogger that's more versatile?  Will I strictly breastfeed or supplement with formula?  Can we use cloth diapers to cut our disposable costs?  Where is the best place to purchase cloth diapers?  Luckily, we've had a lot of help from family and friends to help us with a lot of these questions.  We've also started on our stockpile of diapers and wipes.  One thing at a time.  Slowly things are coming together and we are confident that we can get all of this done and mentally prepare ourselves before our child arrives.  

11 weeks!
The timing is going to be a bit off though.  On the one hand, this will be almost perfect for me working.  I'm due at the very end of May and by the time school starts back up I'll be ready to return to work and the baby will be old enough to go into childcare.  The first problem with the timing of our child's birth is that Chad, most likely, will be at sea when the baby is born.  Also, since school will not have ended yet, my mom will not be able to be here for the baby's birth either.  However we are fortunate in that we have other family and friends who can be here with me for that time frame.  We are trusting that God is going to take care of us no matter what through this exciting and stressful time.