Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Day to Remember 2011

"Gratitude looks to the past and love to the present." -C.S.Lewis

Last year Will and I decided that we wanted to take some time to remember the past year. We made a list of all the things both good and bad that had happened. It was fun to remember together. We each remembered different moments adding to the variety of our list. We continued this tradition this year while we were in Zanzibar. After finishing we both were pretty speechless as our list was very long and filled with so many wonderful blessings. 

Here are a few of our highlights:

Moving to Africa

Finding out we were expecting

Travelling to New Zealand to celebrate Georgie and Mark's wedding

Deepening new friendships

Finding a new church

Thursday, December 29, 2011

30 Weeks

The picture quality isn't so good this week, but here I am at Yod Abyssinia Cultural Restaurant in Ethiopia. There will be more about this trip later. 

I am a little behind on my updates due to travelling. I was 30 weeks along in this picture. I felt the bean get hiccups for the first time which is just cute. She/He is 15.7 inches long and weighs 3 pounds. The bean is the size of a cabbage. Her/His eyesight is developing, but can only see 20/400 at the moment (how do they know these things?).

The whole thing about being more clumsy is so true. I have broken many items recently two in record timing. The first I stepped into one of the doctor's offices at work and broke a picture frame in about 90 seconds. Then I was at a different doctor's home and put my purse down and knocked over a wooden sculpture. That one took me about 2 minutes. Be sure before you invite me over to child proof your house. Sometimes I feel like a tornado blowing through town.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Birthing Art Assignment Part 6

Imagine your birth as a landscape; it could be water, earth, sky, a forest, desert, or something else. What's the weather like? What and whom would you want with you on your journey through the landscape of labor?

I chose a hillside that overlooks
the ocean. There is a calming cool breeze.
Will is sitting with me and I can feel the
presence of God all around me.

Monday, December 19, 2011

My Favorite Holiday Treats a.k.a. Christmas in your mouth

{Snap} These are also delightful crushed up in a sugar cookie mix.

Molly introduced me to this lovely treat last year. My hot chocolate has
 never been the same.

{Snap} A Christmas season favorite.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Our Homemade Tree

Will was in Eastern Province for part of the week and since he was gone I used my time to do a little crafting. We had some friends let us borrow their Christmas tree so I decided I would fill our tree with homemade decorative pieces. Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Zambian Wedding

Last weekend we got to attend a Zambian wedding. Let me tell you it was AMAZING. I wish we danced half this much at home. We technically only attended the reception. The church service was earlier that morning. The couple rests and then the reception starts in the evening.

Everyone gets confetti to throw as
people dance by.

First the little kids. They learn how to break it down early on.
See what I mean. business
The adorable bride and groom.
The bridal party dancing into the reception.
Everyone cheers and throws confetti.
Some stuff money in their pockets.
Then there is the knife aisle dancer.
She dances the knife to the bride and
 groom so they can cut the cake.
The bridal party dances and then...
The bride and groom pick people from the crowd.
I got to dance with the groom 6th grade style.
Sydney caught the eye of the best man.
Last but not least, wedding cake to go.

Friday, December 16, 2011

29 Weeks

The bean weighs 2 1/2 pounds and is 15 inches head to heel. He/She is the size of a butternut squash.  This week has flown by. Nothing out of the ordinary to report. I am getting bigger. I feel like I drop everything these days. Bending over is becoming even more of a challenge and I have started to get tired again.  I did feel what I think was a heel kicking me.

Our time here in Lusaka is drawing to a close which is bittersweet. We have 37 days until we leave. It is hard some days for me to be present and not make a to do list a mile long. My prayer is that we will be present and enjoy these last few days.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Birthing Art Assignment Part 5

When you think about being in labor what image comes to mind? How does it feel for you to be giving birth? This drawing could express an emotional, physical, imaginary or realistic experience.

Being prepared mentally, feeling pain but
it not overtaking me, and having the
presence of God comfort me.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Beads, Beads, Beads...Just Start

Will and I went to a local bead store this past weekend. I have wanted to make jewelry for a while, but I tend to get really overwhelmed when I am surrounded by all the bead options. It is like all my creativity runs for the nearest exit.

When we got to the bead store I expected a similar scenario.  At first I started to feel overwhelmed but then as I zoned in on a few beads I got excited about creating.  I began dreaming about all the color combos I could make and decided to make earrings as gifts. I will let you know how it goes.  

Chapter 9- Recovering a Sense of Passion

The blocked artist spends a lot of energy on self-hatred driven by anger and/or fear. Often Cameron mentions that we think in such broad strokes that we become defeated before we even have a chance to fail. We need to learn to take smaller more attainable steps. It seems to me that taking smaller steps is a way I can practice being kind to myself.

"Do not call the inability to start laziness. Call it fear."

"There is only one cure for fear. That cure is love."

"The need to be a great artist makes it hard to be an artist. The need to produce a great work of art makes it hard to produce any art at all."

We often sabotage ourselves because it is a lot safer to stay blocked than be a productive artist. Cameron calls these creative U-turns. "A successful creative career is always built on successful creative failures."

I often find myself stuck in fear because I am not sure what I am good at. Maybe that is just it...maybe I just need to start trying new things instead of assuming I need to get better at something I think I want to do. 

I had a  "Just Start"  moment this past weekend that I want to share with you later.

{Blog content was taken from Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way}

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our First Baby Gift

If you remember from this post, last week was an emotional one. We recently met a couple who has been so kind to Will and I. Caroline made these onesizes for the bean. She said she thought they would make my week better. She was right they did.  It was kinda weird when I held them up because I thought these are for us. I kinda felt like I was taking some kids clothes home with us. 

Not only did she send us home with a gift, but they let us borrow their Christmas tree since they will be in the States. More on the tree later. Yeah!! for thoughtful gestures.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas is Coming....

I can't believe it is almost the middle of the month.  I am trying so hard to get in the Christmas spirit, but it is a lot harder this year. Mainly because it is so hot, there are very few decorations, and Barbie's Christmas is the only seasonal movie on T.V. This past week me and my roommate Sydney celebrated St. Nicholas Day on the 6th of December (a day late) by filling our roommates shoes with yummy treats. Let's just say there were some happy people on Chingombe Road.

Friday, December 9, 2011

28 weeks

I am now in my third trimester!!! I can't believe we have only 11 more weeks until I am 40 weeks. The bean now weighs a little more than two pounds, the size of a Chinese cabbage. He/She is 14.5 inches from head to heel. Lately, it has been harder to remain positive. It is difficult to do little things like: turn over in bed, sleep, or bend over. I had my first big tired pregnancy cry this week. Sweet Will just listened and waited for me to finish. I know it is all part of the process. Thankfully, I had several wonderful surprises this week which I will post more about that later.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Birthing Art Assignment Part 4

Make a drawing that depicts your fantasy of labor and birth.It can be realistic or completely imaginary; it may express the physical, spiritual, or emotional aspects of birth.

I drew about God's presence, soothing music, calmness,
and sweet words from Will.

Monday, December 5, 2011

When you make me laugh

I recently have been introduced to two new funny websites. These may be old news to some but maybe to a few others you will get a laugh .

When Parents Text and Damn You Auto Correct are good for a quick laugh. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Weekend Wrapup

Friday afternoon I collected some long awaited packages. My mom sent me several care packages two months ago, but not until Friday did I think I would ever get them. Packages get to Lusaka within the 7-10 days as promised but the notice slip takes about a month or two to get to my work. It can be maddening, but what are you gonna do? My mom included some essentials: cheezits, ranch packets, and reese pieces. She also sent 3 much needed maternity tops. Thank you Mom!

I heart care packages.
You may remember this post about a dress I had made. I have several dresses that used to go to the knee but now are threatening to expose my girl parts due to my pregnant belly. In Lusaka thighs are more risque than a woman's breasts so I am having two long dresses made so as to avoid any unnecessary gawking.

On Saturday we headed back to Kamwala for more fabric.
Afterwards we went to Sugar Bush for lunch and to take some time to read. We enjoyed the nice breeze as we sat on the porch sipping our lemonade.
Yum such good lemonade.

Our porch view.
There was also a shop with all kind of crafts.
We spent the rest of the day relaxing. I took my usual dip in the pool and read some more. We ended the day with dinner and a movie at home. It was a good ending to a busy day.

Sunday afternoon our boss had all the interns over and we ate and we talked and we ate some more. I am really thankful for the people I work with, delightful some might say. After our bellies were at max capacity we did what any sensible person would do... we slept it off at home. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Birthing Art Assignment Part 3

Draw a picture that expresses what being pregnant is like for you. This could depict a physical experience, a spiritual feeling, a thought or even an abstract image. Sometimes your picture can tell a whole story, or just a moment, in the story of being pregnant.

I drew about the waves of emotions I feel at times.