16 week!

After a few weeks into the second trimester, I am finally feeling better from nausea and sudden hunger pains. I feel a little more like my old self again now that my appetite is pretty stable and my food cravings don’t seem as much of an emergency. Like I said in the announcement post, I had a very rough first trimester this time around. I was struggling with this constant sadness and felt like crying and depressed most nights. I was scared and felt helpless to see my body change and was definitely not ready to gain weight.  After dee was weaned, I started working really hard to keep a healthy lifestyle. I was doing cardio and strength training consistently at home. I was eating right with the kids. I felt good. For the first time in my life, I felt good about myself and how I looked in the mirror. But then the baby came, and everything I’ve worked so hard for was getting thrown out the window. I was so bitter and sad. And mad at myself that I was so vain to still struggle with body image issues like back in high school. I know it might sound ridiculous to let stuff like this get to me when it’s my third pregnancy, but it was all very real. I’m feeling better now, though. I’ve started wearing maternity clothes again and have invested in a couple new pieces since my old ones were so beat up after 2 pregnancies. And, as vain as it sounds, it made me happy…:)

Seriously though, now that I’m emotionally normal again (kind of), I am just very thankful that God has give me a healthy body for the baby to grow in. We are getting excited around here, too! Both Zoey and Dee got it, and they are getting impatient that the baby is so small and growing so slowly :) Z really wants a baby sister so she can name her Emma, and Dee loves laying on my tummy to be close to the baby. Gary and I have been brainstorming about baby names, too. We can’t wait to find out what this baby is! 4 more weeks! :)

Gary and I came to Portland by ourselves yesterday and we are spending the weekend alone without the kids. I had mixed feelings before we left and I’m missing them so much! But it’s been a really nice break. It actually took me awhile to get used to the fact that I am not needed by someone else and I can go about my daily routines and to-do list at my own pace. After that, I realize I am in some sort of wonderland ;-) I can brush my teeth and wash my face in peace, and I get to study and write a blog post. We’ve done a lot of productive shopping around here, eaten lots of good food, and watched a 3-hour long movie in a movie theatre! We are seriously so blessed to have my parents, my aunt, and Gary’s parents to help out this weekend with the kids. Luckiest couple right here :))

Some pictures we’ve taken during our trip here::

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a very merry year

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Merry Christmas! I can’t believe this year is almost over. I know I say this every year end, but seriously. This has been another super blessed year and so much has happened and changed. God has been so good to me and to our family. Feels like my sister was just here to celebrate Z’s 3rd birthday with us, and we were just in Taiwan sweating away. But now in 10 days, someone is going to have her 4-year birthday and I’m going to start real classroom teaching the same month, which means I’m approaching the end of my MA-TESOL program. We also got rid of our wonderful Xterra and traded it in for an almost brand new Odyssey. I still have mixed feelings whenever I see an Xterra on the street, but I truly appreciate and feel super spoiled when I drive our new car – the heating leather seats and the sliding doors! So nice. All in all, I’m thankful for another year spent with families and great friends around. Living so close to Gary’s parents and the Chungs makes it easier for all of us to get together often, and we get to play with sweet Emma and see her grow up to be her own little person. I have wonderful parents who spoil me to no end – flying across the world on a mission to watch their two grandchildren while their daughter is in class or studying (or shopping. or napping ;-) Plus an aunt who basically plays my mom when my real mom isn’t around…and my sister and girlfriends who are always just an iMessage away. I also have some lovely friends on Instagram and Facebook who cheer me up with their kind words when I’m down. Throughout the year there have definitely been times where I still feel alone and detached from everybody, but I am always reminded by many different people and things that I’m surrounded by so much love. For that, I’m humbled and thankful. Despite this pregnancy hormones that get me down and depressed, I am feeling a lot of joy today.

These two…

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…have been through so much together! I had forgotten so much of it already until I looked through the pictures on my laptop. Dee was born right before Zoey turned two, and in the next month they will each turn two and four (gasp!) Crazy how time flies.  I love watching these two together. Seriously, watching them laugh and play together is probably just about the best thing ever.  I am so so thankful that they have each other, and it’s something that’ll never change.

On a side note, the Lin family is expecting a new baby next year! :) There was a long debate this past year, about, you know, how having another baby could change our lives and affect us physically (as in no sleep), emotionally (as in less quality time for one another), and financially (as in college tuition).  It was a leap of faith for us to make this decision, since logical reasoning tells us that having another baby will only make our lives more difficult. But I kept having this feeling that something seemed to be missing still. Nothing like we are discontent with our lives as a family of four. But like, there should be one less empty chair around the dining table and more car seats in our car.  As crazy as that might sound…I know we are in no better place in life right now because God is leading our family. We are also happy and excited (and nervous :-) It’s a great relief to finally share it on here. It’s been the most difficult pregnancy I’ve had so far. All that hormones really took me over and sadly to say I’ve been a ridiculously emotional and depressed mess…but I’m hanging in there, and looking forward to second trimester already!

indeed my better half

hi there! i’m sorry i had to take a short break from blogging. things haven’t been the easiest over here, and really, i don’t exactly know what it is or how to put it into words. but one thing i’m eagerly trying to do is to take serious care of my body, which seems to have slowly lost its internal balance. i am super lucky though, because gary’s been so positive, encouraging, motivating, and supportive of me. PLUS he’s been helping around the house, a lot. one evening he insisted on going to greenlake together so i could go on a run while he stayed with the kids at the playground. he’s been doing some meal planning and grocery shopping (voluntarily!!) and he cuts carrot sticks (for my hummus) and apples (for the kids) the night before so we can snack on them the next day. he wakes up at 5am to work out so we can have family time at night. and for mother’s day, he let me sleep in and made me gluten free pancakes with chocolate words on them. i know it’s mother’s day today but without a husband/father like him, i wouldn’t have survived and enjoyed motherhood the way i do. and of course, there are Z and N. how can i forget about them, right? :) the three of us have a rhythm together during the week. we work perfectly together despite the occasional crying, whining, nap skipping and toy fighting. i still feel challenged by them daily, but they also know that mama is not perfect. we go through many good and bad days, and these two are just as dedicated as me to make more good days happen. so we try to eat a good breakfast in peace every morning. we do a lot of storytelling, reading, and singing. we eat out for a fun lunch once a week. we visit our favorite neighborhood coffee shop when we feel like it. and…we pray. i pray for obedience to His will and wisdom to raise Z and N for His glory. we pray together for yeye’s healing and baba’s safety during his commute to and from work. aaaand of course, we pray for a good night’s sleep for everybody before bed, which (unfortunately) we are still very hopeful for.

some pictures from mother’s day and this past week::

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I present to you…

this is the video version of a picture i instagram’d a few weeks back. zoey’s always loved singing and dancing, but this piece is a bit different from the usual kids songs that we do. she sings the same tune/words on repeat, which means she isn’t just making sounds but is serious about this song, her song. and i can’t get enough of it. so i’m watching it in bed at midnight and smiling to myself. can’t wait to see this babygirl first thing tomorrow morning!!