Another pregnancy milestone! Halfway there!

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog and honestly that’s been weighing on me. Feeling very nauseous and extremely tired took away all the extras I usually do in a day. I did make some changes and it’s been helping me a lot. So what did I change and how is my pregnant life going now?

Last time I wrote I explained that I was struggling with accepting that I should do things differently. I managed to accept that part now.  Even when it doesn’t look like it my body is working very hard day and night. It means I’ll be tired a lot more and that’s ok. So I made some changes to be able to enjoy life and still work and keep up with my responsibilities.

What did I change? Well I work a few hours less, which means I get to rest and sleep a bit more. Much needed rest I might add. Another thing I have to admit is that my morning routine completely changed. A while ago I wrote a story about my relaxing morning routine. A routine that I loved, but since things changed so did my routine. Being that nauseas during the first 4 months kept me from doing yoga. I also stop drinking coffee trying to avoid too much caffeine. So soon I’ll write a pregnant morning routine. An updated version.

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And what else changed? I take more time for myself and try to live as healthy as possible for my baby boy. We also had some medical check ups which is all standard in the Netherlands. Here we call the biggest check the ’20-week ultrasound’. All results were good and our little boy is growing perfectly. Having past that milestone and being halfway through my pregnancy we started shopping for baby gear.

For me that’s where the fun started and made it all the more real. We got our changing table and shopped for tiny baby onesies. We even found some clothes that looks like my fiancé’s clothes but then super tiny. It’s all so cute. I can’t wait to hold my baby and see how it all fits and just how he will be.

We have to wait a bit more than 18 weeks and then we get to meet our little boy. I guess your life is not changing when you have children, but as soon as you are expecting a child.

Let’s not forget that we’re also planning our wedding which takes place in 2 months. Even though we have less time to plan that Big Day I’m more focused on my Due Date. I can’t help it, the baby just takes over my mind. However before that day arrives we’ll be celebrating another big milestone. I’ll update you soon about all the wedding plans. Stay tuned!

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Baby on the way: how was the first trimester?

So the first trimester is over and I´m almost halfway there. Of course I´m super happy and excited, but the last months have been somewhat challenging too. So what happend and how has it been like?

Well, let´s start with something very happy. We found out that we´re having a boy! It’s quite funny actually, because almost everyone was convinced we would get a girl. We went for the ultrasound and brought both of our moms. After doing the normal check up it was time to take a peek and find out what it would be.

We were asked if we wanted to guess.. well that wasn’t hard to do! It was quite obvious that we´re having a boy. Everyone was surprised, but all so happy. We would’ve been happy either way, but knowing makes it even more real.

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So now it’s time for the less fun part. Why have the past months been challenging? I’d like to start with saying that I’m super grateful for being pregnant and having a healthy baby boy. However feeling sick that often, extremely tired, super emotional and having headaches too.. yeah it was a bit hard.

It was especially hard because I didn’t wanted to listen to my body. I thought I had to go on and work and live as I usually do. Turns out sometimes you just have to set your boundaries and priorities. Normally when I’m feeling sick I just go on and battle through it. No complaining and waiting til I’m feeling better. This time around I have another person to think about and I don’t want to and can’t go over my limit.

Now you know the reason why I haven’t been posting my blogs like I used to. The reason I had to slow down at work and slow down in my spare time. I’m almost half way there and my baby is healthy and kicking and swimming all around my tummy. Do I mind feeling sick? Well, like I said, it has been challenging, but I don’t mind it. As long as my baby is healthy I really don’t care how sick I’ll feel.

I guess that the mommy in me is already coming out. I still have a way to go and some months to wait, but I’m so excited to meet my little boy. For now he has to stay exactly where he is and grow as he should. In the meantime I’ll take care of the both of us by listening to what my body needs.

Let’s also not forget about my amazing fiancé who has been there for me every step of the way. So, I’ll do my best to keep posting blogs and keep you posted on my life. See you soon!

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My tropical getaway and proposal!

A few weeks ago I went to a tropical Island to enjoy some time off. My boyfriend and I wanted to relax and have some quality time together. So we decided to go to Cabe Verde and more specifically to the island Sal. After all it was going to be our last vacation with just the two of us..

As I announced in my last blog we’re expecting a baby! We’d already booked the vacation before finding out that I’m pregnant, but the timing couldn’t be more perfect. It was lovely to relax and be together just the two of us. I was dreaming of swimming in the turquoise water and putting my feet in the soft sandy beaches.

So that’s what we did. During the first trimester of my pregnancy I’ve been sick, emotional and very tired. Relaxing on a beautiful island is exactly what I needed. On our first day relaxing is all we did. Sleeping, eating, reading a book and more eating and sleeping. Of course we also wanted to see a bit of Sal.

The following days we went on an island tour and also went on a trip with a catamaran. The island tour showed us the ‘blue eye’. It was a cave with water and when the sunlight hit the water it looked like a turquoise eye. It was gorgeous, but we could only enjoy it for three minutes until the next group of tourists got to witness the beauty.

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The catamaran was very special. We weren’t sure if we would see any whales, small ones I might add, so we weren’t sure what to expect. We were lucky and got to see three families of whales. They came pretty close to the boat and there even was a mother with a baby whale! Of course I saw that as a sign, since we were also there with a baby.

I’ve talked about taking time off and how it can be good for you. Since everybody is telling us that our lives will be turned upside down once the baby arrives, this vacation came at the right time. We saw beautiful things and we had time to talk about everything we hope and dream about. Most talks were about our future with the baby, but also about the future of our relationship.

Secretly my boyfriend was already plotting something about our future. We stayed at a resort where there were many romantic spots. We planned for a romantic stroll and my boyfriend suggested to do it on our last evening. So we went to take a walk and take some pictures. Just when I was taking some pictures of a few flowers my boyfriend had a big surprise.

I turned around to take the pictures and when I turned back around there was my dream man on one knee. Oh and with a ring in his hand. He had a lovely speech and my heart bloomed even more and of course I said yes when he proposed!

And what do we do now? Well preparing for a baby and planning a wedding! We’re thinking of having the wedding somewhere in the beginning of next year. The baby will arrive in the spring, so we still have time for both things. Of course I will update you regularly on everything that is happening.

For now I just want to say that I’m super grateful for having quality time together with my fiancé, enjoying my pregnancy and now also planning for a very special day.

Engaged & Mommy to be! Really?

I shared the news on my Instagram last Monday, but couldn’t wait to tell you in more detail what the past months have been like. The reason why I had to cancel posting a blog a few times and didn’t give so many updates on social media as I normally try to do.

When my boyfriend and I found out I was pregnant we were so happy. I was thrilled and excited and scared. All I could think was ‘please let the baby be healthy’. Finding out this news also explained why I was so extremely tired the whole time and as a side note also a bit irritated (because I was tired of course, totally not my fault). And then came the ‘all day- sickness’ which didn’t make me the happiest person either.

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It was very confusing, because I was and am truly very happy and so grateful for this blessing. I was just at the same time feeling so crappy that I couldn’t really enjoy it. Luckily that seems to have past and now I’m starting to feel better again. So now the time has come that I dare to think about a nursery, stroller, baby clothes and all of that.

Many people were very surprised by our news of our baby. They didn’t expect it and didn’t know it was something that we wanted. I guess that’s normal right? We’d preferred not to tell everyone it was something we were hoping for. We were very lucky it all happend fast, but when this journey started we had no clue if it would be a long one or a shorter one. Plus as I said before I like surprises and I like to surprise people too. Well, I guess we did that.

And what about my other big news? Engaged? Wow I can’t believe it and I am so unbelievably happy. When my boyfriend and I got together I just knew in my core I hit the jackpot. I finally found my one true person, the person I wanted to share the rest of my life with. Luckily he felt the same and therefore popped the question on our vacation in Cape Verde. I will share all details in the next blog, which will be all about our time on this tropical Island with these amazing whales. 

I think the beauty of life is that you should never give up hope, because you never know how close you are to your happiness. Last year around this time I could’ve never imagined how my life would change in just one year time. How I found my best friend and soulmate and everything just started to make sense. It was and is all I’ve ever wanted and I’m so glad I get to live the life I imagined.

So that’s it for now. My big news is out and I’m happy to share this journey with you. It was hard keeping it to myself and not being able to share what was really going on. Well now you know and I’ll probably share a lot more about my pregnancy, the engagement and our future plans. Just want to end the blog with a big thanks to everyone who’s supported us and is supporting us along the ride.

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Why compromise?

First of all however you want your relationship to be is up to you. It’s nobody’s business, but I know what makes me happy and that is balance. I consider balance in a relationship as sometimes you both get what you want and sometimes you or your partner will give in. How can making comprises help keeping the balance?

I guess in the long run it will help you sustain a happy and healthy relationship. This actually goes for any type of relationship. Wether it’s with your mother, your neighbor, your friend, colleagues or your partner. If one of the two always gets what he/she wants, well this person will be happy. The other one however will start to resent giving in at some point.

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So how will everybody be happy? Not just now, but also in the future? Learn to compromise. In the end you both want to be happy, happy together. So maybe you have to watch a dreadful movie for one night or clean up socks from the floor, again, but probably you get a lot in return as well. And if one of the two is really against something, perhaps you can find an alternative.

For example my boyfriend and I were looking for a new car. He was quite picky and had a whole lot of requirements and I didn’t. My knowledge of cars doesn’t stretch that far, so I had one demand. Let it please not be a grey car. I don’t know why, but it could be any other color but grey.

So we have a new car now and it’s great. It wasn’t too expensive, drives nicely and is …grey. Yes, it seems I lost this fight. However the other requirements were all met and more important than just the color. So I gave in and got to hang a turquoise bracelet around the mirror to add a bit of me.

In the end we’re both happy and… well I might have a bigger say in decorating the house, so there’s the balance again. What is important is to keep the communication going. Learn to understand and to listen to what is important for your partner and for yourself. You might be more on the same page than you expect and otherwise there’s always a middle ground that can be found. You’re a team and not fighting against each other, but with each other against the rest of the world. Just remember that.

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Self-Care Routine: When Feeling Sick

Lately I’ve been a bit sick, which is probably due to the weather changes. Perhaps that’s why they call it ´feeling under the weather´. Anyway I had to find a routine to make me feel better. My normal routine doesn’t work at these times, so I had to change things up.

So here’s my top five of healthy habits when feeling sick:

  1. Sleep! A lot of sleep! You’re body needs more rest at this time. What better way to do this then by sleeping? A little nap in the afternoon counts too if you really need it.

  2. Water, water and more water. Once when I was in high school and had a fever I wanted to get rid of it as soon as possible. I had exams and was very serious about school. So, I drank about 6 liters of water.. Yes it was a lot! But the next day the fever was gone! I’m not recommending to drink that much, but just make sure you stay hydrated.

  3. Healthy meals. Yes, this is cliche and probably not what you’re craving when having a cold or so. However you’ll feel a lot better a lot quicker when you do get your veggies and fruits instead of chocolate and cookies. Ok, indulge a little, but make sure you get your vitamins.

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  4. Go for a Walk. You might not feel like it and probably want to stay on the couch or in bed all day. Yes me too. The funny thing is that a little fresh air can do miracles. Since I have two doggies I need to get outside for them, but it’s good for me too. Even if it’s just 15 minutes taking in that Vitamin D.

  5. Be selfish! It might sound strange to recommend to be selfish. I do think that when you’re not a 100% at the top of your game you’re allowed to be a bit selfish. Do what you need to do for you. If that’s reading a book, getting even more sleep or being pampered by your boyfriend. It’s up to you, you know yourself best.

And that’s my routine of self-care when I’m not my best self. Hopefully when finding a routine that works for you, you’ll get better soon too. Another tip that I can add as a bonus is to be patient. Sometimes our body just needs a little bit of tender, love and care and with a little bit of time you’re back to your normal self.

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Celebrating one year of blogging!

Of course I do! I must admit in the beginning I was super strict and hard on myself. For example I couldn’t skip one week of blogging and I had to find the perfect picture to match the story. I’m not that good with pictures yet, so especially finding the perfect image was a challenge. I created all this extra stress for myself which robbed me from the fun I was having writing.

In the beginning of my blogging-journey I posted every Tuesday (sometimes on Wednesday), but I realized that wasn’t the ideal day for me. Even though posting on this day was challenging I forced myself to do it anyway. Why did I do that? I wanted a set date every week, but it didn’t have to be Tuesday. When I switched the day up for Thursday I had so much more time to write and felt way better doing so.IMG_7664
Something that I was asked a lot is if it’s hard to find a topic to write about. Well when I started out it was a bit harder to find a good topic. In my case I really have to ‘feel’ the subject I want to write about. Once I have this ‘feeling’ it takes me a train ride to work to finish the blog. The more I wrote the more topics I began to find. Suddenly everything could be a new blog. When I became more aware of my authentic style I saw a potential story in almost anything.

So practice really makes perfect. I am in no way saying my writing is perfect, but I found the perfect way to write. I found a day of posting my blog which works for me, I got better practice with selecting nice pictures and I found my own style of writing. I noticed that when I started I’d put a lot of pressure on myself for no good reason. The point of writing is to enjoy myself, to have an outlet for my creativity.

What have I learned over this year? Relax and enjoy what you do. That was my point all along anyway. I’ll do my best to post a story every week, but on holidays or when I’m sick I just might have to skip a week. I learned to stay true to why I write and that is because I simply love writing. I’m also very thankful for all of the reactions I’ve gotten over the past year. It’s so nice to connect with people all over the world and share thoughts. So thank you and here’s to one more year of blogging!

 

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How is trust important in life?

We usually have two choices in life. We can either be fearful and expect a negative outcome or we can be positive and trust the process. Of course the second option is the hardest, but it’s also the one that will make you the happiest.

When I look at my dogs I’m amazed of how easily they trust me. They both probably had bad experiences, since I adopted them, but they trust me either way. They trust I’ll feed them, walk them and give them my unconditional love. How do they know for sure? They can’t know for sure, but they just feel it’s alright (that’s what I imagine at least).

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Animals are very special in that way, because us humans let bad experiences prevent us from a happy future. We can dwell on the past so much that nobody gets a chance to earn our trust. This makes it hard for any relationship to work wether it’s a romantic one or a new friendship.

So what is actually happening here? As for so many things we focus on the negative side of life. We waste energy on fear, uncertainty and worry while we’re at it. Why do we do that? I think to mentally prepare ourselves in case of a disappointment. But does that help? Did the time worrying really help us prepare for a bad outcome?

We could also do the opposite, even though that one is a lot harder. We can focus on positivity, have faith that things will work out and trust the process. And what do you do then? You let it go. You trust the process and let it go. Every time you worry you should stop yourself. Stop yourself and replace the negative thought with a happy one.

It will take some time, but you will save so much energy not worrying. And another benefit of focusing on things that will make you happy? It will instantly make you happier. Because when you think happy thoughts you generate good energy.

And if you’re ever in doubt, just look at a dog or cat or any pet for that matter. Do they worry? No, they don’t. They just live their lives and trust everything will be alright. So let’s do the same with ours.

Why is self-love important?

Everyone has this little voice in their heads. The one who’s convincing you are doing good or that you should do better. When it comes to what others say and what our own mind says we tend to believe the negative comments. Why not go for the positive words? Why do we easily accept it when someone (or ourselves) calls us a failure but we can’t do the same when we’re called a winner?

I think it all has to do with self-love. When I was younger and felt down I couldn’t deal with any compliment. I would it ignore it or immediately try to downgrade it. For example if someone complimented me on my dress I would respond that it was very cheap and I had it for ages. Why did I do that? I could’ve simply said ‘thank you’.

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Another example is that you can’t forgive yourself for making a mistake. Actually either forgive yourself or accept it and move on and even better do both. Making the ‘wrong’ choice is part of your path and will lead you to the right path. So don’t hate yourself for being human. Instead love yourself for realizing you have to make another choice, one that will make you happier.

Perhaps you realize now you don’t really love yourself? Well that’s great. It means you can change it. The first step is to understand that you deserve better, that you can do better for yourself. The second step is to accept yourself for who you are. If you accept the core of who you are, only then you will get to the point of self-love. The third step is to focus on the positive side of things. Every time you have a negative thought try to imagine how it would sound if you change it to a positive one. Much sweeter, right?

Obviously self-love is a process and it won’t change overnight. However every day you practice self-love you will feel happier bit by bit. I talked about it before but I believe loving yourself unconditionally is the first step of everything. Only then you understand how others should treat you, only then you believe in yourself enough to follow your dreams and only then you will understand you true needs.

Keep on having difficulty with self-love? Try to name a few things you’re grateful for first thing in the morning. After that try to name for example three things about yourself that you’re grateful for. In the beginning it can be hard, but it help you shine light on your qualities. Everyone has them and so do you. Every step towards self-love is a step towards leading a positive and happy life. So what are you waiting for?

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Quit saying: ‘I have to..’

First of all why would it be good to change your words of ‘having to do’ to ‘getting to do’? I think we channel a lot of energy into our words. Therefore it’s good to think of which ones to choose. Every time you say something it makes you feel a certain way. It could be neutral, but more often it makes you happy or not so happy.

A while ago I wrote about how stressed I was in my blog Relax and Unwind. It was a busy period at work and a busy period privately. During this time I was also going to the gym about four times a week and I ‘had’ to do a lot more things. The funny thing is nobody told me I had to do all these things. I was obligating myself  to do it and if I would skip something I felt guilty and I felt like I failed. As you can imagine this made me feel even more stressed.

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So I was the one who was adding more pressure. I did this until I broke and I was mentally exhausted. During my holidays in Turkey I thought of things I could do differently. One of these things is simply not saying ‘ I have to’. Rather than that I can say ‘I will do’ or ‘I get to’. It might sound silly and as if it wouldn’t make a difference, but trust me it does! If you tell yourself a hundred times a day (which I did) that you ‘have to’ do certain things it starts to feel like you really need to. And if you don’t? Well then I felt I’d let myself down, since I had to do this, right?

Of course this is something you don’t change overnight. I notice that at times I still say it a lot, but every time I do I stop myself. So I’m becoming more conscious of my choice of words. By doing so I’m lifting the pressure I’d put on myself. There is nothing I have to do, but it’s my choice to do it, which means I actually get to do these things. I get to go to work and I’m grateful I actually have a job. I also get to cook and I’m grateful I have enough food every day to do so. Try this and you notice it will make you look at your life differently. You will start to feel privileged and grateful instead of pressured and obliged.

Now that I’m practicing this new way of thinking I feel I get more room to breathe. Without this pressure I feel free and a lot happier. It gave me more energy to actually do all the things I always want to do without the obligation of having to do them. It even makes me feel less reluctant to do the chores I usually don’t like.

How can you practice this yourself? The first step is becoming conscious of when you are telling yourself you have to do certain things. Try to stop yourself every time you do. Once you realize you’re obligating yourself you can think of an alternative choice of words. The more you practice it the better it will go and the better you’ll feel. There are already plenty of things we have to do in this world, but the way you talk to yourself is free of choice.

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