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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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.

Double the trouble?

First of all I was a bit hesitant to babysit my brother and sister, because I thought how am I going to combine that with walking the dogs? My boyfriend promised we would do it together and he could help out too. Ok, so that was settled. Well it was, until it turned out he had to work that specific weekend, the whole weekend.

But spoiler alert, I did manage to do it mainly on my own. Some parents might be thinking now of course you can do that by yourself. Just remember I don’t have kids, I’m not used to having kids and I’m not ready for kids. Even though I did used to babysit a lot I just find my dogs a lot easier. Also I don’t have an elevator so my mom came to help and carry the babies down the stairs. After that we went for a family-walk.

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Surprisingly it was one of those special days in the Netherlands. A day when the sun is shining and it was hot. It literally was one of the hottest days of the year probably. My mom was babysitting my nephews of five and two, so it was a gathering of small little humans. When walking a stroller for two you do notice how heavy those things are! I immediately didn’t feel bad for skipping the gym that day anymore.

The walk took us to the center of my city. In the center a fountain or sprinkler-thing is installed for children to play with. The twins are still too small, so while my nephews were running around the sprinklers, I was relaxing with the twins under a tree. And I must say these babies are so chill. They were just sitting on a towel playing with their toys and picking grass and that’s it. No whining, no crying, just happy. If babies when they come in a pair are a ‘happy-package’, then I can handle two for sure.

Of course at night they were a bit more reluctant and didn’t want to sleep. By this time my boyfriend was home and we took turns soothing a baby. He took my sister and I went to cuddle my brother. I guess we did a good job and the twins decided we earned our sleep, because they didn’t wake up until 7:30 am the next morning. Thank you babies!

So what’s the conclusion? Are twins indeed double the trouble or twice the fun? Well, when they’re happy they’re still a lot of work, but no trouble at all. When they’re smiling it indeed is fun multiplied by two. Now you’re wondering if I can’t wait to have my own? Oh I can wait, no problem. I stil find my two doggies more than enough for now.

Never knew I needed

I guess for a long time I didn’t understand this. I didn’t get that I also deserved and could have unconditional love. Of course I knew this from my family and my friends, but I still didn’t fully get the picture. Perhaps it’s also due to the fact that I felt lost for a long time. I didn’t know what I wanted and needed.

Now that I do know this I believe I deserve this unconditional love. Having moved to different countries forced me to overcome difficulties, learning to be on my own and growing as a person. And I finally learned to love my self unconditionally.IMG_4768This might sound silly, but I think we often forget how important that is. If you accept yourself, your strengths and your flaws, you learn to value yourself. If you value yourself you don’t accept anything less from another person. You won’t allow someone else to continuously treat you poorly, because you know you deserve better.

It took me a while to understand what I was worth, to get to know me better and understand what I needed. I guess that is why I went from a not so good relationship to another not so good one. When I finally got it, hallelujah, and then I didn’t mind being single. Why? Well I rather be alone than be with someone that doesn’t make me happy. I could make myself perfectly happy. I felt loved by myself, by my family, friends and of course my dogs.

And that is when it happend. When I learned to be truly happy by myself I crossed paths with my boyfriend. We met years ago when I was on a holiday in the Netherlands, but it wasn’t until now that we went on a date. Just like years ago it instantly clicked and we never looked back. Sometimes I’m still surprised of how good he treats me and then I remember that now I believe I deserve that. Before I accepted the minimum, because I gave myself the bare minimum.

So I guess that is my point. It doesn’t matter what you prefer, being single or being in a relationship. The key point to remember is that you shouldn’t accept anything less than what you are worth and you deserve. It is then up to you to know your self-worth. To first know how to love yourself before you ask someone else to do so.

Read me one more time

So in school we’re forced to read a ton of things. Most of those books you probably didn’t like. Books about geography, math, biology, history and what more. There were also the books that were sometimes a free choice with simply stories. But what was the purpose?

Well in school the obvious point of reading was to learn. I guess that is where it begins. People either start to love or hate reading. I was one of those kids that loved to read and to learn for that matter. I didn’t like math books, but I loved stories about other worlds and other times. I remember being bored in primary school and finishing all my chores early, so I could read more books. You might think oh nerd-alert, but who cares, as long as you’re happy doing what you like.

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With a friend I would stroll around the library for hours. I picked out the biggest books, because I thought big books were cool. So even though we were not religious at home I picked up a huge bible for children only so people thought I could read big books. I must have been six, but my parents won’t let me forget about that story.

And why do I think reading is good for you? First of all you’re completely alone with your own thoughts. It’s one of the few activities that you’ll do completely by yourself. Sometimes a little ‘me-time’ can be really good. It can help you relax, get your thoughts together or get completely lost in ‘another world’.

Another benefit is the input of new knowledge. Whether it’s a fantasy book, a biography or romance novel. Usually there is a ‘problem’ in the story that needs to be solved and the main character usually evolves through the story. Following that story line can give you insights in your own life. It can help get perspective on your own problems. And before you know it, it can help you evolve too.

Lately I love to read books about how to live a conscious life. You know books about positivity, being grateful, being mindful and living in the here and now. Why do I choose those type of books? Well, because at times I actively want to search for books that can help me grow. When I seek for new ways to let go of stress, forget about negative thoughts and so what more I turn to those books.

So whatever you like to read, enjoy it. Whether it´s just the lasagna box instructions or ‘life’ instructions. Whether it’s just one page a day or a book per week, it really doesn’t matter. And if you really want to relax while reading I can recommend to get a cup of tea, a little blanket, a comfy couch and of course a good book.

Don’t stress about it

When you look at the situations that causes you stress, you often notice that in the end the freaking out wasn’t worth it. Why do we even experience stress? It is supposed to help us survive and make us take action when necessary. Many times however we stress about things that we can’t change, have no influence on or are situations that are better to be left alone.

For example constantly receiving messages and input on my phone is one of the things that gives me a stress reaction. I often ignore my phone, but secretly I still feel the need to check it every ten minutes when I’m expecting input. The other night I was so exhausted and tired from “discussions” on my phone, my boyfriend had a simple solution. Putting my phone on silent didn’t work, so he just turned it off. I must say it was a relieve.

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It might seem silly and quite a simple solution, but it worked. It gave a sense of rest not being able to see if there were new messages. And guess what? The next morning when I turned it on, I didn’t even have new messages! So one of the ways I’m going to create more rest is to turn my phone off more frequently, especially at night. Because in the end stressing about needing to respond is not worth it. Who really cares? It’s not like I’m going to save lives having my phone on. At least not in my case.

So in general I notice that the daily things that causes me stress are not important enough to stress about. Perhaps in that moment it seems important, but then I think ‘Is this important in a week from now? A month from now? A year?’. If the importance decreases the more time goes by you know it’s not worth freaking out about. In case you can’t even influence the situation then it’s definitely better to just let it go.

And even if it seems important on the short term or the long term, will the stress make it better? Or can you shorten the time that you feel stressed? It could be that for a short moment you encounter stress and it’s good because it makes you take action. After taking action however you should let it go. How can you do this?

I think it takes practice, but what can help is to write anything down that you need to remember. For example you can create a to do list and set reminders in your calendar. In between this time stop yourself every time you start worrying. Replace the habit of stressing with a healthier habit like going for a walk or reading a book.

And if you are stressed from too much input, then put a time limit until when you can receive new input. Whether this is from news, social media, your phone or something else. Set an alarm clock when you will shut yourself off from the world and take a moment for yourself. I know these are actions I’m going to make new habits of. I promise I’ll let you know if it works and I start feeling all ‘happy-go-lucky‘.

Will you teach me a lesson?

How do you keep on moving forward? I believe it is by learning new things. I remember being in primary school and teachers wisely told me that life was like a school. You were never going to stop learning and I thought ‘yeah I will’. I didn’t want to spend my life learning new things all the time. When I was done with school, I was going to be done with learning. And even though I was a good student, I didn’t like school at all.

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Now I believe the complete opposite. I actually think that the most important lessons in life are not taught in school. They are the bad boyfriends, mean friends, friendly neighbors and trusting bosses. The lessons are all the experiences you face every day again and again. The good ones and the bad ones. The plain days are just giving you a break to catch your breath. So try to enjoy those too.

I actually think that the best relationships with partners, friends and family are with the ones who can teach you to be better. I’m not talking about the people who literately need to tell you ‘be better’  and ‘grow up’, even though sometimes we need that too. But I am referring to the people who can show you or make you want to be better. And the last but definitely not least person who needs to teach you every day is you.

Some tips on how you can teach yourself? Well by being able to honestly look at yourself in the mirror every day. Be smarter than you were planning to. Travel the world, read books, watch videos, listen to stories and take all the pieces that can help you to improve yourself and become the best version of you.

If a look at myself from for example four years ago, then I’m happy I’m not her anymore. Of course I’m still her, but a newer version. I’ve fallen, made mistakes, felt broken a few times and then I got up, my scars healed and I climbed higher. And guess what? It all helped to made me so much happier. So I’m even happy I had to fall a few times to learn the lessons I needed. Who knows where we’ll be in another four years?