Excuse me while I crawl out of the pits of despair and wave hello to this nice little neglected space of the Internet.


Well, I’m not literally in the pits of despair.  And I know what you’re thinking.  No one wants to hear your complaining … take it to Facebook where it will be welcomed amongst the shared recipes, weird article links, passive aggressive statuses, and general loveliness.

Photo Nov 28, 6 41 11 PM

According to the maternity store, this is what I’ll look like in three (?!) to five months.  I mean, that’s impressive.

Pregnancy is a wonderful, glorious, and delightful thing.  I’ve loved every minute of it.  Even the puking and the aching and the vein bursting from all the blood drawing.  This baby is so loved and wanted, and that thought helps keep the first trimester yuck in perspective.   But for weeks I’ve been longingly staring at this particular week on the calendar as my reward for the first trimester yuck.  The second trimester.  Past pregnant women speak of this glorious time as if it’s dripping in glitter and fairy dust.  Apparently you get your old self back and are no longer bffs with Saltines.

Well, I think I had about one day of this splendor and then sickness hit.  Like some sort of cold or flu?  And being sick while pregnant has moved its way onto my five-most-hated-things-of-all-time list.  It’s quite at home with others such as the phrase “long hair don’t care” and insurance.  It kept me in bed for nearly a week, and then I crawled out  for a doctor’s appointment.  I thought I was on the mend, and then combined with the bliss and sheer joy of hearing our little baby’s heartbeat again, I was ready to conquer the world.  I even bragged about it on Instagram.

I get home that day and Timothy is sick.  I’m sure he is so glad I shared.  I spent one day taking care of him and then BLAM.  I’m sick again??!!  What is that?  It’s like this bug said, nope, not finished with you yet!

At least I got our tree halfway put up.  A half of a tree is better than no tree, right?

So the Gothras have gone through three bags of cough drops, an absurd amount of tissues, and lots of orange juice.  And this pregnant woman has done more than a small amount of side-eye at her non-pregnant husband who can take the GOOD MEDS.  And when said husband threw up for the first time in this sickness and came to me expecting some sympathy, I *think* I was able to muster up some.  Ha!

So to the ladies out there, I’d love to hear tales of your second trimester magical rainbow unicorn time.  Also, when does this whole “nesting” thing start?  And does it make you actually want to clean?  Because that would be awesome.

On December 5, 2014 · 6 Comments · In Lovely Life

sesame-seed-babyWe took this photo the day after we found out about our Pumpkin.  He or she was the size of a sesame seed!  Such a teensy miracle.  I’d add an updated size picture, but I don’t have any prunes lying around.  Ha!

on food

Pre-Pregnancy: Healthy eating, schmealthy schmeating.  Who cares about healthy?  Give me some of that chocolate.  And a huge Starbucks cup full of swirly, frothy calories.

Pregnancy: I spend five minutes reading the back of jam jars in the grocery store trying to find the healthiest one with the least amount of additives.  Who am I?


on getting what I want

Pre-Pregnancy: I figure it out in a nice, normal human way.

Pregnancy: I beg my mom for some food and tell her in return she could hold her future grandchild when he/she is born.  I’m shameless.


on sleeping

Pre-Pregnancy: No problem sleeping.  It’s great.  Love it.  If I ever have to use the restroom, I ignore it until morning because SLEEP.  It’s nectar to my soul.

Pregnancy: Why does my back hurt?  Why is everything sore already?  The baby’s only the size of a prune!  How will this last nine months?  Do I need an inhaler?  I can’t get comfortable.  Maybe a pillow right here?  There?  No.  Oh, let me get up five times to use the restroom.  Because THAT’S fun.  Did Timothy accidentally touch me with his foot in the night?  Unacceptable.  I shall kick him away.  I need space.  And sleep. Oh forget it.  Maternity clothes pattern searching on Pinterest it is.


on eating straight out of the container

Pre-Pregnancy:  What are you, an animal?!  Who eats straight of a container?  Put it on a plate and act civilized.

Pregnancy: Stick that fork in the pickle jar, eat whatever comes up attached to said fork, repeat.  Grab container of leftover chicken salad, stand in the loving light of the open refrigerator door, eat with abandon.  Until Timothy comes.  Then hide and finish it off in a manner that more resembles cavewoman than civilized woman.  Again with the shamelessness.


on parental pride

Pre-Pregnancy:  I’ll totally be able to tell if my baby is cute or not.  Some babies just aren’t cute!  I’ll be prepared with lots of hats and/or ruffles if it’s rough looking.

Pregnancy: At 9 week ultrasound, observing a blob that looks like a gummy bear with legs: CUTEST BABY IN THE WORLD.  Back off moms of the world, my child wins.  At everything.  Look at his/her beautiful eyes!  Or is that the arm? Whichever it is, it’s amazing.  And the best ever.


Pregnancy changes for the win.  Yesterday Timothy told me that he thought my belly was getting bigger and I squealed with glee.  With glee, I tell ya.  I’m hoping the obsession my husband and I have with seeing my belly get larger will be one pregnancy change that ends after the baby is born.  Also the healthy food obsession.  Because I’m not spending the rest of my life lovingly rubbing my chub and examining jam ingredients in Wal-Mart.

On November 13, 2014 · 3 Comments · In Lovely Life


Five years ago today, Timothy and I started our little family.  We said “I do” to a seemingly simple question, yet a question that would transform our lives.  “I do” to joining yourselves as one for the rest of forever seems like the easiest “yes” of all when you’ve been in a long-distance relationship and the thought of never saying goodbye is bliss.  Then five years later, after experiencing some of the richer (still waiting on that one. ha!) and poorer, in sickness and health, in crazy emotions and socks on the floor, you realize that it is still the easiest “yes.”

Timothypal, I’ve loved you every single second of these five years.  Marrying you was one of the best things I’ve ever done.  (Aside from giving my life to Jesus and discovering chocolate, that is.  I kid on the second part.  Sorta.)  Through these last five years I’ve seen you in ups and downs, in sadness and joy.  I’ve seen the inner parts of your heart that most people can’t see.  Everything I see about you makes me love you more.

And recently, seeing you become a father?  Oh my heart.  You were made for this.  Your father’s heart is already working overtime as you make up songs to the beat of our baby’s heart.  As you scold me for not wearing a jacket because the baby could get cold.  As you pray for him/her nightly and never forget to mention the baby’s toes even though you have shunned that “horrifying” word and body part for your entire existence.   As you talk to the doctor with me and ask more questions than I do.  As you study up on all of the terms and processes of the whole thing.  And don’t get me started on how much tech you’ve already put on your list to buy the baby.

I thought these past years were the happiest of my life getting to know you as a husband.  But I have a sneaky suspicion that these next years getting to know you as a father to our baby will blow these past five years out of the water.

I love you, Timothypal.  Happy Anniversary!

On November 7, 2014 · Leave a Comment · In Lovely Life


Less than a week after we found out we were expecting a pumpkin miracle, I had a scare.  It happened right before church one Tuesday evening, and I was devastated.  Timothy was preaching that night and had to take care of the service, so my mom rushed me to the ER.  On our way there we called the ER doctor who said that they wouldn’t be able to do anything, but I couldn’t accept that!  So we drove thirty minutes to the closest hospital and prayed.

Well, tried to pray.  I would alternate between praying that I would do whatever it took to make sure this tiny life inside of me would keep growing and be okay, and then praying that God’s will be done.  If His will was that this baby not be, then I didn’t know what I would do.  This baby had already changed the course of our lives.  In an instant we had planned the rest of our lives around this tiny miracle.

When we got there, sure enough, they said they could only do the standard tests to see what my levels were.  Which wouldn’t really tell us anything that night.  My mom started getting a few texts from people at church, letting her know that they were praying for me.  One of my sweet friends told her that during the service she “got this beautiful feeling that Jesus was singing a song over Whitney right now.”  No one knew the situation (or so we thought!), but I immediately felt God’s love.  And then, the nurse came in and said she had caught the ultrasound technician in time and convinced her to stay over a bit to give me an ultrasound.  That was when I felt hope.

They wheeled me to the ultrasound room, and my mom held my hand as the technician got everything situated on the screen.  In less than five seconds she zoomed in to a little blob that was flashing.  See that?  That’s your baby … and its heart.  It’s still alive.


All the breath I had been holding for the past hour rushed out, and I just started crying and laughing.  My mom stood up and asked the technician to hold on, that Timothy should be here by now.  Timothy had just walked into the hospital, and my mom found him and motioned him to the room.  When he saw the heartbeat, he broke down crying and thanking God and rubbing my face like a mad man.  He said, “I was thinking the baby is a girl, but now I’m pretty sure it’s a boy.  Look at that heart!  He’s a fighter!” Ha!

It turns out that I have one of these, which still gives me scares every now and then.  Timothy and I were planning on waiting to tell everyone about the baby until closer to the end of the first trimester.  Until the time where the risk of miscarriage lowers a huge amount.  But after the scare, and after the love we felt from our church family when they didn’t even know the situation, we knew we wanted to share soon.  To God, there’s no statistics and chances.  Waiting to share the news wouldn’t change any outcome that God has planned.  For us, we knew we wanted to share.  And after the church service when we shared our news, I can’t tell you how many people either already knew (I have no idea how they knew!) and were praying or had an idea and were praying.  It was so comforting.

Even after we saw the heartbeat, Timothy and I lived the next several days in fear of something happening to our baby.  But our church family embraced us in love and excitement, and somehow without us even recognizing it, they took that burden from us.

If I hadn’t been a firm believer in the power of having a church community before this, then I surely would be a flag waving advocate now.  Ha!  While God is the ultimate source of peace, He loves to use His children to hold each other up in prayer and encouragement.

Our baby is still months away from being born, but already my heart has been stretched and grown and transformed.  Parents, how on earth do you do it?  How do you handle the crushing, fierce love that immediately breaks your heart and makes it whole at the same time?  Does it get any easier?  For some reason, I’m thinking not.  Ha!

On October 31, 2014 · 1 Comment · In Lovely Life

BECOMING | Baby Reveal

It was a Saturday – a day I often get to sleep in.  But not this day.  It was the first cold day of fall and we had to be up before the sun to set up some instruments and a booth at a local community event.  My normal state on a morning like this would be grouchy.  Very grouchy.  But for some reason I decided to take a test.  I always thought I would “feel” pregnant and just know, but I didn’t feel any different.  Yet I had an extra test lying around and thought I might as well.

Timothy was still asleep, so I was being as quiet as possible.  I went in the restroom, took the test, kind of shrugged, and tried to get all the sleep out of my eyes.  I glanced down before the three minute mark was over and there were two lines.  Ummm …. I was so tired that I figured I just wasn’t seeing clearly.  So I washed my face, scrubbed my eyes, and peeked at the test again.  Positive.

And that began everything.

We had been praying and hoping and wishing for a while, so I already knew how I was going to tell Timothy.  We had ten minutes before we needed to be at the church (the sun was still hours away from showing up. ha!), so I wasn’t sure I wanted to rush telling him and then spend a whole day working a booth at a festival while he was at work.  So I tiptoed back in the room and put some music on to help wake us (or him!) up.  His first words?  “Can’t you just turn that down?” Yup.  There was no way I was telling my grouchy husband the best news of his life right then.  Ha!

So we rushed around and got ready for the day.  After our choir sang early in the festival, Timothy had to leave for work and I stayed to help with our booth selling baked goods.  I felt like everyone could tell I had a secret.  Including a lady that I didn’t recognize at first, but then who explained she was the mom to one of my friends from high school.  In my head I replied “I’m a mom to someone, too!  Isn’t it AMAZING?!”  After staring at her for a second I realized she didn’t hear my crazy thoughts, and I tried to sell her some cupcakes.

As soon as the festival was over my brother and I went to Starbucks, but not before I ditched him in Wal-Mart to buy two more brands of tests.  This time I splurged for one of the kinds that actually says words and not lines.  When the word “pregnant” popped up, I squealed in the Wal-Mart bathroom.

We stopped by to see my handsome husband at work and I was shooting him with crazy love eyes.  He just looked at me like I was weird.  Then my brother mentioned that my face was really red.  Which it was because I HAD THE BEST SECRET IN THE HISTORY OF SECRETS.

Fast forward to over 12 hours after that first beautiful positive sign, and Timothy was walking in from work.  I told him I had a little present for him.  The night before I had made a whole bunch of pumpkin rolls for our booth.  Tears were involved.  Baking from scratch is not my spiritual gift.  My husband loves him some pumpkin rolls, and he asked for one the night before, but I told him I was never making another one ever again.  So when I told him I had a present, his eyes lit up and he asked, “is it a pumpkin roll?!?!”

He opened the card, read the mushy words and hugged me.  Then he opened the gift bag to find a shirt.  At first he just saw the big Superman logo and he smiled, but then he noticed “Dad” written under the big “S.”  He quickly looked at me with wide eyes, “what?!”

Then we hugged and laughed and cried and danced and just kept putting our hands over our faces.  What was this miracle?!  Timothy immediately started rubbing my belly and talking to our little, tiny baby.  Life changed in an instant.  And we couldn’t be happier.

Our little Pumpkin Roll, also known as Pumpkin, is coming next June.  He or she is eight weeks old today, and is the size of a raspberry.  We were going to wait until near the end of the first trimester to share the news, but as I’ll explain in a later post, this baby wasn’t having it.  Ha!  And this is also why I bailed on the whole 31 Days series.  I’ve been dealing with some of the glamourous first trimester symptoms that have left me feeling less than eloquent.  I will continue writing the series eventually.  As soon as I don’t have to stop and munch on some Saltines every two hours.

But until then, we’re just wallowing in happiness.  And a little bit of disbelief.  And a little bit of “did we just get away with something?!”  Because I still feel like a kid who is no where near grown up enough to be responsible for a tiny human.  But, in the words of Timothy’s mom, she’s been waiting FIVE YEARS for this moment.  Baby Gothra, we love you, we love you, we love you.  Keep growing all your little organs and limbs and brain cells.  We can’t wait to meet you.

On October 29, 2014 · 10 Comments · In Lovely Life