Saturday, March 26, 2011

Baby girl you've been on my mind

Last Monday we stepped into the ultrasound room. Our tech's name was Jan and she remembered when I was there last October before I was pregnant. Right before I found out I was pregant I was sent to get an ultrasound to checked for PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). Jan educated me more in that 30 minutes then one year of sex ed class. She has a very nurturing way about her. She told me that I didn't have PCOS and everything looked good. Needless to say, she was very excited to see us in here this time because she was right, everything was good. She poured the warm goo onto my ever growing baby belly and turned the monitor on. There was our baby, surprisingly way more human looking than 13 weeks prior. Jan showed us every inch of our baby. We got to watch it move and groove for almost 40 minutes. It had five phalanges on each hand and foot, a well developing heart, proper brain structure, lips, eyes, a nose, and all that we could ever dream of. We wanted Jan to keep the sex of the baby a secret at that moment but write it down and put it in an envelope. At the end of the ultrasound we were both sad to say goodbye.

Scott and I headed over to Perkins to open up the envelope. We asked our server to document our moment. His eyes lit up and he immediately high fived us then grabbed the camera to take pictures. Together, we tore open the envelope and looked at the picture. The picture just showed the baby's profile but then we grabbed the paper the results were written on and it said GIRL. I was so over joyed knowing that our "baby" was a "she-baby" now.

Our joy was contagious as we shared with our family and friends. The rest of the day I missed watching our baby. Later that night Scott said, "I want to hold our baby" and made a sad face. We watched the four second video of her moving around over a dozen times that night. We fell asleep with smiles on our faces.

The next day we felt a little further away from her just because we had so much to think about that pertained to our busy lives. Then, I felt a little thump in my stomach. I identified it as familiar baby movement and looked down. I could see my stomach bopping around for the first time. Scott put his hand where the bopping was and smiled. We knew it was her saying good morning and to not forget our joy. She's in there for now but one day soon I will get to see her pretty face every morning.

It's not about me

Fun things that people may say while you are pregnant.

"Your face is filling out"
"Have you been eating a lot?"
"You'll love the second trimester but then it gets awful after that"
"Being pregnant is so great because you can eat whatever you want" -anonymous man
"Now, you try to stay real thin, don't gain too much weight"
"Don't run, it causes miscarriage"
"You will always carry that extra 5-10lbs after pregnancy"
"Next thing you know you will be old and have wrinkles, time flies after kids"
Not said to me personally, "wow, you're only 24 weeks? you are huge!"
"wow! you are really showing already"
"when you have grand kids, it's the best because you can send them back to their parents"-I have a few years ahead of me before grand kids, right?

Feel free to add to this list :) It's all with good intentions that these things are said but now I am more aware of what I say to people about personal things such as pregnancy. There are no cookie cutter pregnancies and that's what I love and hate about the process. If women all had the same experience it could be comforting to know that everyone gets sick or everyone gains this much weight. God made us all so different. Our bodies and minds react different to the change of growing a human inside of us. I may never hit the stage of "loving" pregnancy but I'm okay with that. I am also okay with women that love being pregnant. Pregnancy is a unique, individual experience that whether you like it, love it, or despise it, should be cherished because it's really not about you. As much as I try to make it about me, I know, it's about an awesome gift of a child. This is about remembering the beginning of a life. Some day my child is going to ask me about when she was a baby in my tummy and in that moment I won't want to remember the negatives, I will remember seeing her in our first ultrasound and feeling her first little movements and remember how excited her dad was when I screamed "I'm pregnant!" I look forward to that day.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

what's growing in my womb?

Tomorrow we will hopefully get to see what the genitalia looks like on our baby. I am soooo pumped! Scott has a feeling it's a boy. I really don't have a feeling about it. All I know is that I will be excited no matter what. Our plan is to have the ultrasound tech write it down and put it in an envelope so that way we can open it somewhere special to us. I will make an announcement right away so wait for the news on Facebook or via call/text if I have your number.

It's so weird how everything happens in weekly increments. Now, at 20 weeks, my bladder is getting a beating from my growing womb. Every liquid goes straight through me no matter how much or how little I drink. I was walking for quite some time the other day and about three blocks from home I suddenly felt as if I had been holding my pee in for days! I was convinced that I was going to have an accident. If I hadn't been walking in a neighborhood then I would've "dropped trou" (dropped my trousers) and popped a squat (squatted down) right then and there. I couldn't even do a potty dance! I picked up the pace and chanted "don't pee, don't pee, don't pee, only three blocks left, two blocks left, four houses away..." I got to the steps of my porch, fumbled with the door knob (because that's always what happens when you really have to go to the bathroom), waddled through my living room towards the bathroom, then, sweet victory...three seconds of trickling pee. I might as well have peed my pants three blocks ago! Nobody would've even noticed. How disappointing yet so relieving. So, this is my life now. Everywhere I go I have to scout out the closest ladies room.

Monday, March 14, 2011


This weekend Scott and I took most of our staff to Chicago. It's our third year of doing this and each year is a great experience. This year I went to a business forum with a co-worker while the other girls attended classes on long hair design and new trends. The business forum that I attended was refreshing. I am the type of person that needs to soak it all in and process it a few times over. It was a five hour class that left me with quite a bit to digest. One of the speakers said that you can only have five major roles in your life. It made total sense but as I wrote down what I consider the most important roles I realized that these will soon be rearranged. I looked at my list, counted on my fingers, thought about it some more and yep, those were my roles. Wife, Salon Owner, Stylist, Fitness/health lover, and Educator. I feel God has blessed me with a deep love of taking responsibility for these roles. My roles are something I am proud to have. The learning process and growth over the years has deepened my faith and my relationships.

Since Scott and I took a leap of faith and opened our salon in 2008 we have been blessed beyond belief. We started out with two stylists and now we are a beautiful family of 16. Our staff is gifted and full of personality. It's not a coincidence that they were hired here though. It's purely because they were meant to be here. Even the employee that stole from us was suppose to be there at that moment. It was a learning experience for us and made us more aware of how to take care of the security in our business. Our staff has brought our dreams into reality and we have been able to make their dreams a reality as well. What a tremendous blessing!

Now, I am reflecting on my roles that I have taken so seriously since I was 20. I never would've predicted that a role would be "mother." I know that it's going to be amazing but I think it would be unnatural if I didn't say that a part of me will mourn a role that needs to be minimized. Some of you might say that this is not necessary but I have not taken my roles lightly. I am serious and dedicated to being a wife, salon owner, stylist, health/fitness lover and educator. These have been a strong source of blessing, strength, and growth.

I know that I need to make some adjustments but I have great peace about it all. My role as wife will remain. The role of "mother" will soon be next up on the list. I am praying about these other roles and what they will look like in the future. I don't think I want to try to predict it in detail but I know that it will all work out. Studio7 is thriving and our staff is hard working and responsible. My clients are understanding and supportive of my life changing. Personal fitness and health is what makes my body function and my mind refresh but it may look different in the future. Educating will hopefully still be a part of my life somewhere but we will just see where.

Life is suppose to change. It is suppose to move forward and once it's moved on you don't look back with regrets. You live and learn and keep on the journey. People always tell Scott and I that it was a daring move to open our own business but I don't know any other way of living. I am told that once our baby is born that I will not remember any other way of living. God opens doors and calls us to come inside. It's another door to walk through and great things await.

"A door opened and I went through it." Temple Grandin

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Scott Wrage...husband, berry farmer, salon owner, and soon to be dad

People tell Scott and I that we will be great parents and that is so great. It's very encouraging. I obviously watch my husband's behavior in a different way now that I'm pregnant and I have no doubt or fear in his ability to be a father. He's a fantastic caretaker of humans and animals. Even the fish that I have neglected to acknowledge for two years get entertained by Scott. He pets them! I can thank his "animal whispering" mom for that. It's genetics that they can speak any animal language. Scott can clean up any animal feces and urine without a second thought. Vomit doesn't phase him and he can bare-hand a dried dog turd. NO KIDDING...I've seen it. That may be too much information for some of you but I'm proving a point here. He's no wuss.

He was the youngest kid so he didn't spend much time with babies but he has a great babysitting story. He and his sister were babysitting some kids ages 8 months on up. They were playing tag with the older kids but it was suddenly put to a halt when Scott tripped over the baby on the floor and cut open it's forehead with a toenail. Can you imagine growing up with a scar on your forehead and having to tell everyone it was because you got sliced open by your baby sitter's toenail? GROSS!

He told me a few weeks ago that his biggest fear so far was swaddling. HAHAHA!! Feel free to die laughing. I'm thinking about pushing a human through my crotch and he is worried about wrapping it up in a blanket. I'm not going to burst his bubble though. He works better under pressure.

On a more serious note about love him. They run to him, remember his name, climb on him, smile at him, and reach for him. He's a natural. I look at him with curiosity wondering how that happens. I have never felt that natural with kids. I remember how awesome he was teaching English to first graders in Taiwan. I had a mental breakdown and he connected with them so easily.

I love watching his face when we go to our doctors appointments. At our second appointment the doctor forgot to listen for the heartbeat but Scott reminded her promptly. At the third appointment he was just as eager to hear the thump thump thump. In a week and a half we have another ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby. We are pumped! I will be watching his reaction because that's half the fun of it.

He's a man that's not afraid to laugh, love, get his hands in poop, work hard, baby talk animals, wash the dishes, worship, volunteer his time even if he doesn't have any, admit his faults, share his heart, watch HGTV, get eight hours of tattoo work at once, sing to our dogs, be a nerd on the computer, embarrass himself to entertain others, and he never misses a chance to tell me he loves me. I can't wait to see him in action as a dad!

...And yes we will share the big news of boy or girl! Put your vote in!

Craving, aching, and whining

Today was a tough day. Some days I feel fantastic and think that I can handle being prego for another 4 1/2 months or so. Today, not so much. I really should stop working 10 hours a day. I should really trade in my cute heels for something with cushion and velcro straps. I really should not have had Wendy's chicken nuggets. Seriously, don't tell anyone that I had a craving for honey mustard and chicken nuggets. Those poor hormone injected chickens that are stuck in a cage with 20 others until the day they are slaughtered. I told my mom and she about had an asthma attack right then. She is aware of my long time protest against fast food and tonight it got the best of me. I downed five golden nuggets dipped in honey mustard like it was a hot dog eating contest. I'm laying here now wondering if they are going to ever digest. The more I think about it, the more I feel them working back up my throat as a way of my body protesting all that I have stood against for so many years. I have been so proud to say I haven't had an unusual cravings. What's next? HUH?!? A bloody steak and pork chops? After all the women I talk to about pregnancy and their cravings I really thought it surely CAN'T be uncontrollable. It's all true though! I am sorry that I doubted you who ate a Big Mac everyday or eggs with m&m's (you know who you are).

Every night I come home and crash like a meteorite onto my couch. Scott has taken the role of caretaker because I act like I am about 97 years old. I ache all over and lift my legs up on three pillows. Whine, whine, whine...

During the day I feel our baby move around and I think to myself, "how could you not know you were pregnant?" I don't understand that show "I Didn't Know I was Pregnant." I mean a small part of me believes that some women are fairly symptom free but I would feel like a lunatic telling someone all my symptoms if I truly didn't think I was pregnant. Anyways...back to the movement thing. Some days I look in the mirror and have a mini panic attack because I forget I have this growing belly. Then comes the baby moving and grooving. Initially I think, "that's not a normal gas bubble." I have to remind myself it's the heirloom sized tomato baby trying to get comfortable in my womb. I do love that feeling though. Come to think of it, if I am uncomfortable then what must baby in the womb think? That can't be very comfortable AT ALL! Poor kid. That's why I believe we should have pouches like kangaroos instead of wombs. Just a personal thought though, I'm sure most would not agree.

I know that God created this process for our bodies but I will always be filled with wonder and amazement at it all. It's another beautiful mystery of our God. I'm glad I can partake even if it means strange cravings, achy bones, and uncontrollable emotions. It's going to be worth it.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The weed of fear

I recently went to a women's conference in St. Louis. It was a fantastic experience. I left with so much joy and excitement. I also left realizing women live with a lot of fear. The fear speaks to us in subtle tones, quietly at first. It usually starts with something that happened that caused us pain. The pain went deep and started to root itself without permission. Pain and fear act like weeds in a pure organic garden. It was not suppose to be there but it is. So, the weeds get rooted and spread through our nourishment and life source. Someone might say spray Round Up on it and call it good. Just annihilate it, it's a quick fix. You spray something toxic on top of something toxic. It's like using alcohol or drugs to "forget" your troubles. It's like trying to throw up a pound of junk food to make up for your binging. It's like eating because you feel fat. It's like shopping to avoid your horrific home life, eventually you have to take those bags back to your house. It's a vicious cycle and after so many years you don't even know where it began. You spray the weeds with Round up and kill all the good in the garden over time. It's all contaminated now. It's no longer organic, pure, fresh, and it's probably close to dead.

The pain that started so long ago is topped with a few more pains. Then, just for kicks, let's add a few more pains. The next step we take to get rid of weeds is to build a wall. It's small wall at first. That should stop the weeds from creeping right? The wall is built, it feels good, it feels safe. *Big sigh of relief...ahhh... The weeds are now creeping vines that scale the wall. You resolve to make the wall bigger. You cross your arms and take a look at that towering wall. It's super safe now right? Wrong. Now you can't get around to the garden to water it, take care of it and watch it grow. You are missing out!

Why is this not working out? Why are my attempts to kill these weeds not working? God, why?!?!!!! The weeds come in the form of thorns now and it hurts the garden everywhere. At this point our weeds have taken over the fresh, young garden that we had so many hopes for. Our Round Up bottle is empty and has made our garden lose it's vibrancy. Our walls have closed us off from seeing the beauty of our garden and there's certainly no way for others to see in.

After all the attempts to make it better we are now full of questions. It's time to let someone take a look inside. You can't let just anyone in to fix this problem. This requires an expert. We have to break down the walls to let someone see this mess of a garden. Possible fear driven thoughts: "What if the expert thinks it's unrepairable? What if the expert judges my poor attempts to fix the garden? What if the expert doesn't think I can handle all the responsibility? What if the expert laughs at me? I feel so stupid! I'm so afraid of being a failure. I've tried so many times and nothing seems to work. Someone told me that it will always be like this. This is my problem, I will fix it. It's too late for my garden to grow. There's no turning back. I can't forgive myself. I can't forgive the person who planted the weeds in my garden."

The fears are feeding the thorny weeds. The fear is harmful and injurious just like the weeds to our garden. The weeds have taken over and the roots are deep. You must let the expert gardener come in. He comes in and promises to take care of your garden. He doesn't promise the weeds won't come back but he promises that He will tend to the garden regularly. There were some bad seeds that rooted a long time ago. The expert makes you understand what your responsibility is in all this. He tells you to not fear because he is with you on this journey. He says, "even if you don't see me I am still watching over the garden." He tells you that when the weeds start coming in you need to pull them up by the root immediately. He tells you to start planting good seeds and water them daily. He tells you to call him if you need anything at all. He promises the work will be worth it. He gives you a plan and hope.

After all his instruction you can either choose to trust him or trust your own path. By trusting in someone like him you are taking the road less traveled. You have to know that there will be weeds that come in from time to time. (There will be pain) You won't always remember to water and you may even forget a few weeds but he will come in and take care of those. He also says that this is a life long process and journey. The expert promises that you can always ask him questions without fear. After following his instruction you will begin to see the vibrancy come back to the garden. It will begin to radiate and thrive even when there are a few thorns still left to pull.

There's nothing that says we are entitled to a pain free life but there is something that says there is hope. Everyone is going through something and it's worth sharing. After only writing four blogs I have had a plethora of messages from women telling me that I'm not alone in my pregnancy journey. How empowering to know that we are not alone here? We need to stop asking "why me" and start asking "who else?" Even if we are in the midst of a struggle we should to ask how can I be apart of a solution and who's with me? *With fists up in the air-"WHO'S WITH ME!?!?" Come on ladies! I'm going to quote a good friend of mine and say, "we don't have time to be fake."

Who's going to talk about the weeds in their garden with me? Who's going to share their story with another person who just needs to hear "I'm not okay either." Who's going to kick down their walls with me? Who's going help me pull up these painful roots? You don't have to be healed to help, you don't have to be whole to share, your book doesn't have to be complete for others to read.


Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Isaiah 43:18-19 Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pull yourself together!

There are some of you who will relate to this when I identify myself as an undercover perfectionist. I hide most of those tendencies and learned how years ago. I am not a people pleaser perfectionist, I am a Krista pleaser perfectionist. It's not that I am super hard on others or have grand expectations of my surroundings, it's just me. When elementary school began I was inside at recess perfecting my times tables and division. I wasn't naturally gifted at these things but I worked hard to do well. When the report card came home I hesitated to hand my A's and B's to mom and dad. They always praised my grades but inside I thought I could do better. Why didn't I try harder? My parents basically told me I was good at everything but it never gave me a big head because I didn't necessarily believe it. Later in life I learned to tell myself I didn't care about things that I didn't naturally excel at. Every few months would come a big breakdown. I didn't know how to truly hand these expectations and burdens over to the Lord. When the breakdown would come it was really just a huge build up of all these disappointments in myself that had snowballed and I couldn't carry it anymore. Through my twenties God has been able to unravel my tightly knitted protective layers I put on. Little by little He has shown me things in GOOD and PERFECT timing. All this has helped me identify certain behavior a sooner so I can ask him to take my burdens instead of insisting that I can control my life. I cling to this verse:

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Being pregnant has yet shown me another tightly knitted layer I wear around me. This layer of perfectionism is called my body image. I have learned how to enjoy running, I have learned the art of healthy eating, I have learned how to get myself into swimsuit season but I have not learned how except change in my body. Every winter I give myself "grace" to gain a few seasonal pounds to enjoy some comfort food. Now that spring and summer are approaching I examine every inch of myself. I'm ready for the rebound! I'm ready to step into my shorts and let the light hit my legs! The reality is I will not fit into my shorts this summer, I will not look the same as I have since 9th grade. My husband says I must have blinders on because I look great. When someone is comfortable with something for so long it is hard, I mean HARD to let go. I never realized how my body image has controlled me for so long. I always thought because I had a good handle on my self-esteem that it wasn't an issue. Boy, was I wrong and I am wide awake to these issues. Dealing with them is a daily battle at this point. People tell me it's okay, I am suppose to be gaining weight because I am pregnant. Tell me all you want but it's not soaking in.

Some women go into pregnancy with arms wide open and ready for this amazing change to happen in their body. They realize they are the vessel God has chosen to carry their baby in. I am resisting this change for some odd reason. I have a sensible head about me, I really do. I understand that this is a blessing and in moments I feel blessed and proud to carry our baby inside of me. Most of the time though, all I see is that my pride and joy (my body image) is slowly expanding and morphing right before my eyes. It is a slap in the face to come to grips that all these years I have thought what a healthy person I am and then come to realize I carried some self-righteous pride with that. This is quite honestly one of the most humbling times in my life.

Women are the worst at picking out their flaws. I talk to women everyday about taking care of themselves and seeing themselves for who they really are. I see beautiful women sit in my chair and I think "why don't you really see how wonderful and beautiful you are?" Now, here I am, haunted by my negative thoughts. This is truly the work of the devil. It's just like him to sit here and tell beautiful women lies lies lies! This is a bunch of crap and I am not going to stand for it! I believe God made us in his image.

In the words Jesus, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men." Matthew 16:23

Our world is polluted with sexuality and looking a certain way but God has created us to be different. Individuals sharing their gifts and talents and love. Love, Love, Love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Loving others and loving yourself is what will shine a light in this dim world. Writing this today has given me freedom I didn't expect, tears I didn't know I needed to shed, and layers of prideful disappointment scraped away.

I pray that the women who read this believe that God is bigger than the battle.

This is a song that touches my soul

You Fail Us Not:

Failure doesn’t phase You, worry doesn’t win,
Loss doesn’t leave You afraid to start again,
Our sin doesn’t shock You,
Our shame doesn’t shame You at all

Mistakes do not move You, terror doesn’t tame,
Death doesn’t doom You to life in the grave,
Our suffering doesn’t scare You,
Our secrets won’t surprise You at all

There is nothing above You,
There is nothing beyond You,
There is nothing that You can’t do…
There is no one beside You,
There is no one that’s like You,
There is nothing that You can’t do…

Whatever will come, we’ll rise above,
You fail us not, You fail us not,
No matter the war, our hope is secure,
You fail us not, You fail us not,
You fail us not…

Hatred doesn’t hide You, evil doesn’t ail,
Despair can’t disguise You and tell You that You’ve failed,
Our doubt doesn’t daunt You,
Our darkness won’t defeat You at all

You’re bigger than the battle,
You are bigger than the battle
You are bigger than the battle has ever been