Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Leaving On a Jet Plane

In two days, Jackson and I will be flying to Maryland to visit family for my grandmother's 75th birthday.  I have a lot of excitement and trepidation about this trip.

I have already started packing and I am trying to get all of Jackson and I's clothes, toys, blankets, toiletries, bottles, and other necessities into one suitcase.  My husband can well testify that it is hard enough for ME to get everything I'd want to bring for a 5 day trip in ONE suitcase.  And, all you other moms out there know that even though babies are so much smaller, they require so much more stuff!  But I am bound and determined to get everything into one bag so I don't have to pay for two bags at the airport.  It is ridiculous enough that I will have to pay for one!

My first area of concern is getting through security.  I have found myself spending as much time on the computer checking the TSA website as I have getting stuff together.  I've had to go through all the stuff in my diaper bag to make sure diaper rash cream, hand sanitizer, gas drops, etc. are all under 3.4 ounces.  Luckily, they are.  However, I am worried that TSA is going to stop me because they think 3 bottles for a 2 hour flight will be too many.  But, I've heard a lot of people say that you should give babies something to drink during take off and landing because the change in cabin pressure can hurt their ears.  I am also bringing some juice and a sippy cup for this reason.  The flight is during Jackson's breakfast time so I have to bring baby food too.  Not to mention the water filled teething ring that is Jackson's favorite toy.  I can't possibly have him on a plane for two hours without it.  Needless to say, the amount of liquids I will be bringing on this flight could put me well on top of the terrorist watch list!

Second area of concern:  the flight itself. Typically, as soon as people see a person walk on a plane with a baby they think, "Please don't sit here!  Please don't sit here!"  I know this because I've thought it myself.   So, I have been specifically praying that God will put people around me that will want to help entertain Jackson.  I am bringing several toys, snacks, juice, and I've even downloaded an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba and The Backyardigans on my iTouch for entertainment.  None of these will help, however, if Jackson gets tired.  Lately, he has refused to fall asleep in my arms.  I think he is just too big now and can't get comfortable.  My second prayer (other than the obvious safety prayer) is that he will easily fall asleep if he gets tired.  It is possible that there will be some empty seats on the flight and the flight attendants will let me bring his seat on without paying extra.  That would help a ton, but I can't count on it.

Once I get to Maryland things should be a piece of cake.  As long as I can keep Jackson on some type of schedule while we are there, we should be golden. 

I do have a small amount of trepidation about seeing everyone on my dad's side of the family though.  I am not as close with this side of my family, which I totally share the fault in.  I guess that is just how it goes when you haven't lived close to them for most of your life.  Because I don't see them much, I always feel like I need to look my best when I do.  And I definitely don't look my best right now (read my last post for more details).  Also, most of my dad's family drink and aren't exactly Bible-totin' Christians so I often feel like the odd man out with them.  This is no knock on them by any means, I am just different.  Most of all, there has been a rift in the family in the past few years, which has added some drama into the mix.  I am hoping that everyone can come together, putting differences aside, and celebrate the woman who made all of us possible.  After all, the relationships you have with family members are the most important because they last the longest.

Even though I have all of these concerns, I am truly excited about going!  I am really looking forward to seeing all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins and introducing Jackson so many of them.  Plus, two of my cousins have also had babies in the past year so it will be fun to get all the little ones together.  I am sure all of the "what-if" situations will fade and I will have a really great flight and trip altogether.

You'll definitely get a post about how everything went once I get back.  I'm hoping for at least one "I can't believe that happened," type of story.  Keep Jackson and I in your prayers over the upcoming week.  We'll be back Tuesday!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Chunky babies are cute. Chunky mamas are not!

I think God should've made sure that as soon as a baby pops out, that moms look smokin' hot.  I mean come on, motherhood is tough enough, we don't need to worry about losing weight too!

Today I am having what I like to call a "fat day."  I stepped on the scale this morning and realized I only lost 1 pound this week.  Fat, I'm gonna need you to come off quicker than that.

I've always had some body issues but they have sky rocketed since I had Jackson.  As most pregnant women do, I got bigger all over when I was pregnant.  I really didn't know that my butt could get any bigger!  I have always hated the size of my rear end, as it has always been the largest part of my body.  I mean come on, I was named "Honorary Black Chick" in my teaching cohort because the African American ladies in the group said I had a "sister's booty."  It is things like this that I am sure are partially meant as a compliment, but seem to make me feel worse about myself.  Another reason I hate my butt and legs is that I've had cellulite since the age of 16.  That's a really freakin' long time to see cottage cheese every time you look in the mirror.

Before pregnancy, I could ignore my bottom half somewhat because of my nice top half.  But, I no longer have that flat tummy and "nice rack" that I prided myself on.  Instead, I have a "Kruger."  I call it this because the saggy skin and stretch marks have caused my stomach to look like Freddie Kruger's face.  Also, somehow, my breasts both deflated and got bigger at the same time.  How that's possible, I'm not so sure?  

I see all these celebrities that seem to bounce right back to their pre-pregnancy weight within what seems like weeks after giving birth.  I know they have nutritionists and personal trainers, but come on, it can't be impossible can it?  Also, facebook isn't helping much.  I have several friends who had babies after me and have already reached their goal weights.  I shake my fist at all you skinny girls!  Ugh.

I know that most of my struggle is my fault.  I haven't been sticking to Weight Watchers as close as I should have and need to step up the exercise a little.  It is so hard, though!  Life gets in the way.  Either Jackson gets sick, or it is raining too hard for me to run, or something else happens to prevent me from exercising.  There is always an excuse I guess.  The worst part is my eating habits.  I am totally addicted to sweets and fried, greasy foods.  And, I don't even want to get into how much more expensive it is to eat healthy.  It is virtually impossible to stick to my budget at the grocery store and buy healthy meals and snacks.  It's a conspiracy I tell you!

Today I am recommitting myself to get back on track.  I will be counting points obsessively and trying my hardest to exercise 3-4 times a week.  My goal for now is to get to my pre-pregnancy weight and clothing size before I go to the beach this summer.  That gives me around 2 months to lose 10 lbs and a pants size.  Think it's possible?  I sure hope so!

Any tips and support you can give is welcomed.  Thanks for listening to my rant.  I'll try not to make whiney posts a regular thing.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Story

Who is this Lindsey chick and how did she get here, you might ask?  Well, here's my story...

I am originally from and grew up in Mooresville, NC (Yes, where Dale Earnhardt lived for all you NASCAR fans, and no I didn't know him).  In middle school, I took a step that would forever change the rest of my life.  I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.  If it was not for the love and grace of Him, I would not be who I am and probably wouldn't even be here today.

After high school, I attended Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.  The four years I spent in Boone at ASU were probably the best of my life.  I really came into myself in college.  I had a horrible high school experience, but college was the complete opposite.  I made a lot of really great friends who are still so special to me.  To this day, I find myself daydreaming about transporting back in time to go back there.  I absolutely love Boone and my husband and I try to get back there as much as we can.

There is another reason that I love ASU so much.  It is there that I met my husband, Bryan.  We met my sophomore year, his freshman year.  That's right...I'm a cougar! From the time we met we were pretty much inseperable.  Not to say that we didn't have our rocky moments.  We broke up twice before we both decided it was much easier to finally admit we were in love instead of fighting it.  Even during the break ups we still spent all of our time together.  The good news about those break up times were that they allowed us to become best friends first.  I love being able to say that I fell in love with my best friend. 

After college graduation, I worked for a short time with a non-profit organization while Bryan finished his last year at ASU.  Working as a fundraiser was my first peek into the PR world and I was already beginning to realize that it wasn't for me.  But, I was not ready to give up on it quite yet.  Besides, I knew I would only be at that job until Bryan and I got married and he whisked me away to wherever he'd be attending grad school.

Bryan was accepted into the Doctoral program of Political Science at the University of South Carolina.  We moved there two short weeks after we were married.  For the first couple years, I worked for an Ad-agency.  It is no secret to my friends and family that this was a horrible experience for me.  The guy I worked for was a horrible person and I dreaded the sight of him.  I hated how the business was about twisting and turning things and deceiving not only our clients but their customers.  I didn't get to write nearly as much as I would've liked and found myself doing mundane tasks (such as peeling labels off of honey jars to put fake ones on) rather than PR work. 

Bryan and I found a church in SC (The Harvest in Lexington, SC...if you are ever in town go there!) that turned my world upside down.  We quickly started working with the youth group and I fell in love with the students.  We were teaching the middle school bible study for only a couple of weeks when I said for about the fifth time that I wished I would've gone into teaching.  Bryan quickly responded, "Quit your complaining and do it!"  I found an alternative certification program and started teaching middle school language arts the following August.

Teaching is absolutely what I was meant to do.  I loved getting up and going to work every day.  The teenagers at the church and the students I taught enriched my life to the fullest!  I learned so much from all of them.  Usually you hear people say how much teachers touched their lives, but I think good teachers would tell you the opposite.  It's the students that touch ours!

A couple years later, Bryan and I decided that we wanted to start a family.  We thought we had things all planned out and got pregnant in late summer of 2008.  It was perfect.  I would have the baby in May and be able to take my maternity leave at the end of the year and have the rest of the summer off to spend with the baby.  Well, God had other plans.  In early October, I began to miscarry.  On October 7th, I had a D&C and our dreams were shattered.  Having a miscarriage was the hardest thing I've ever had to endure.  I was truly broken for months but God pulled me out of my despair.  Alas, that is a story for another post.

Following doctors orders, Bryan and I waited a few months before trying again.  In late January, we learned we were pregnant again and couldn't have been happier.  This time everything worked out and we welcomed our beautiful son, Jackson Cole, into the world on October 1st.  Isn't it awesome that God gave me a bundle of joy a year after I'd lost one?!

I went back to work in November but it was short lived.  Bryan had started his job search for the following August a few months earlier.  In December, he got a call for an interview at the University of Tennessee at Martin.  Needless to say he got the job!  What we weren't expecting was the timeline.  They wanted him to start in January!  It was definitely a whirlwind, but I left my job, we found a house, and quickly settled in here in Martin.  The blessing about Bryan's new job is that we were in serious financial trouble in SC and I don't know how we would've been able to afford anything if we were still there.  Not only did this position allow us to be more financially secure, but we are secure enough that I can stay home with Jackson.  I never thought I'd want to be a stay at home mom, but it's funny how actually having a baby changes all that!

So, that is my story up until now.  It is only the beginning...

Umm...Did I just start a blog?

That's right folks, I broke down and did it. I, Lindsey Parsons, have started a blog! For years, I have been against the whole blogging trend. I mean come on, there are over 3 million blogs out there! People blog about every topic in the universe. Some of them interesting, some of them definitely not interesting. I have read several blogs throughout the years and have noticed that very few are successful and many have less than ten followers. This was my main concern about starting one myself. I mean come on, my life is not interesting enough, nor am I important enough that people (outside of maybe my mother and husband) would want to hear my opinions or know the aspects of my life on a regular basis.

One of my biggest fears about starting a blog is that it would become just another one of the thousands of mommy diaries out there. The last thing I want to blog about on a regular basis is dirty diapers, spit up, and cleaning my house. Not that there is anything wrong with that for all you Uber-Homemakers out there, but it just isn't me. Yes, I am a stay-at-home mom but that is not what defines me.

So, why am I starting a blog if I have all of these issues, you ask? I am doing it for me. I have always enjoyed writing, yet have never had a good reason to do it. I have always chosen jobs that allow me to write. Hence the reason I went into public relations and later became and English teacher. Also, I have been obsessing over whether or not to start one for weeks now. I figure, quit your obsessing and start one already! And of course, I secretly hope it'll become super successful and one day be published as a book. (I know, not likely. But a girl can dream!)

My promise to myself and to you (whoever you may be) is to write about everything that encompasses me. I am a mother, a wife, a friend, and a Christian. I promise to write about everything I obsess over - motherhood, pop-culture, food, friends, and family. Above all else, I promise to be completely transparent - good, bad, and ugly.

I hope you enjoy! Oh...and if you don't...don't be afraid to tell me.