If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we would find in each person's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

           

             Political turmoil in Egypt, Sarah’s pregnant! graduation, multiple, rigorous job interviews leading us to believe we would live in D.C. only to be told at the last minute “thanks, but no thanks,” saying good-bye to Cairo, saying hello to Texas, new job, new apartment, and the best of all, a new baby – Beauden Jakub Long.  That about sums up 2012 for The Longs.  Change and uncertainty, accompanied by a range of emotions – stress, relief, disappointment, excitement, sadness, joy - seemed to be the dominant themes competing with each other throughout the year. 
Around 3:00 A.M. on June 26, 2012, Sarah, six months pregnant, and myself, boarded separate planes in Cairo, Egypt that would eventually reach DFW.  We did not have a place of our own, we did not own a car, neither one of us had a job, nor did we have leads for a possible job.  Strapped in that 747, slowly rolling to the run-way, we possessed incredible memories spanning over three years in Egypt, a couple of new graduate degrees, ambitious plans that had recently collapsed, a baby on his way, some belongings stowed under the plane, including our new Egyptian dog Najee, and to be honest, a pit in our stomachs that only uncertainty could fashion.  
But, throughout that flight over the Atlantic, and the months to come, this uncertainty would contend with a certainty that can only be found in a Savior born 2000ish years ago.  And although the next few months had their moments, we were continuously reminded of the unwavering faithfulness found in Him.  It was not found in material possessions nor was it found in job security, but it came in the form of a welcoming family on June 27th, in a beautiful, healthy baby on October 23rd, and in a Savior we will celebrate on December 25th.  So we don’t have a nice, fluffy year to report.  What we can say is that aspirations were shattered, plans were diverted, and faith was strained, but, rest was found, joy was ignited, and faith was renewed.
At the end of December 2012, we are living in Frisco, TX and doing well.   Sarah is currently being a ridiculously amazing mom, and a caring, loving wife.  Marked by a servant’s heart, her passion to serve the oppressed remains vigorous, whether that’s refugees in Cairo, or refugees in Dallas.  Example:  Before our bags were unpacked and jetlag was overcome, she was in downtown Dallas mentoring refugees who had recently arrived in the U.S.  To be honest, I’m a bit nervous where her heart is going to take us one day.
Beauden is two months old now.  He might possibly be the best baby ever.  He is just like his dad; he loves to sleep and eat.  The most recent excitements are smiling and “talking,” or maybe communicating is a better word.  His entry into our family has definitely changed things up, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. 




Bella is still Bella.  She doesn’t mind the rules very well.  We are still hopeful she will learn, she’s only eight…  Najee (means survivor in Arabic) has successfully immigrated to the U.S.  After surviving life under a bridge in downtown Cairo, being hit by a car, and undergoing surgery that he only had a 20% chance of waking up from, he is sprinting through the fields of Frisco, enjoying this new thing called grass…even with a few missing toes.
I’m currently working at Bank of America, and to my surprise, I kind of like it.  Sure, it wasn’t in my plan, but nothing else that happened this year was.  Between learning a new industry and learning how to raise a son, life is busy…but when is it not.  And although plans change and aspirations alter, my hope and prayer is that I remain focused on Him, striving to lead my family well.  Because things do change and life is uncertain, but He remains.     

                                                                                Merry Christmas,
                                                                                The Long's


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Beauden-36 Weeks


How far along? 36 Weeks 
Baby is the size of a... Melon 
Total weight gain: 28 lbs
Maternity clothes? Yep.  Gap has been my friend.  My favorites are Gap Body oversized t-shirts, camis and maxi skirts.  
Stretch marks? I found 1...the little bugger.  
Sleep?: Sleep....ha!  No, not sleeping great. 
Best moment this week: Ben and I setting up Beauden's room.  Ben set up the crib, installed his ibaby and re-arranged his room 3 times.  I dyed his sheets, washed EVERTHING, and organized his diapers etc.  
Miss Anything? Being able to do things on my own and sleep.  
Movement: I can tell he is running out of room, but I love that I can grab a heel or knee on my right side.  So fun!
Food cravings: Sonic ice (after a cherry limeade of course)!
Anything making you queasy or sick: I am losing my appetite but nothing is grossing me out.   
Gender: Still a boy :)
Labor Signs: Lots of contractions.....but I'm not buying real labor yet.  
Symptoms: Back pain and itchy belly.  
Belly Button in or out?  Although he was strong, my belly button has been defeated by karate kid.  
Wedding rings on or off? Real wedding rings have been replaced by my cameo.  
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!!!  But sometimes moody.....lol
Looking forward to: Delivering a healthy baby boy, Lord willing. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Beauden-31 Weeks


How far along? 31 Weeks 
Baby is the size of a... should weigh as much as 4 oranges, but not my kid.  He is nearly a pound heavier.  
Total weight gain: 27 lbs
Maternity clothes? Yep.  Gap has been my friend.  My favorites are Gap Body oversized t-shirts, camis and maxi skirts.  
Stretch marks? No, even though I use lotion everyday I have heard stretch marks are hereditary.
Sleep?: Sleep is better than before, but still not great.  A cold room and 2 pillows is the best scenario.
Best moment this week: Seeing Beau wiggle on the ultrasound.  He is HUGE!  Maybe he will come sooner now.  Measuring about 1.5 weeks ahead.  
Miss Anything? Being able to sit up on my own.  It is sweet to watch hubs run over to help me though.  Not funny when he leaves me to wiggle until I hurl myself on my side.  I think he does it just for fun....
Movement: Like I never imagined.  I don't know how he still has room, but mark my word, he makes it happen!  Lots of kicks on the right side and body rolls all day!  
Food cravings: Snow cones or a Sonic cherry limeade.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Still not doing great with Chicken, although it is bearable. 
Gender: Still a boy
Labor Signs: Nope, nothin.
Symptoms: Back pain is getting worse on the right side.  
Belly Button in or out?  Although he was strong, my belly button has been defeated by karate kid.  
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!!!
Looking forward to: Moving into our new apt!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

BL- 26 Weeks




How far along? 26 Weeks 
Baby is the size of a... Length of a cucumber
Total weight gain: 22 lbs
Maternity clothes? Oh yes!  My maternity clothes from gap are starting to get a bit tight.  My favorite items include maxi skirts from target or gap and gap body cami/bras.  I need to borrow or invest in some tanks that will grow with me :)
Stretch marks? No, even though I use lotion everyday I have heard stretch marks are hereditary.
Sleep?: Sleep has not been good for weeks.  BL is on a schedule which wakes me up about every 4 hours.  I cannot get comfortable, even with a mass amounts of pillows.  A freezing cold room has helped, but I would do anything to be able to fall asleep on my belly.  
Best moment this week: We have been approved by a dr here.  It was quite difficult moving back to the US so far along in the pregnancy.  I am so thankful that insurance and hospitals have worked out.  Our first appt is this week!
Miss Anything? I am eating a glorious amount of food now that we are in the US.  Maybe that is why I have already gained 22 lbs.  I really, really miss sleeping on my stomach.  A few more months.....then I will probably just say I miss sleeping in general.  
Movement: The kid is practicing kara-tay!  It is unreal how I was dying to feel him do anything and now sometimes I just wish he would let me go to sleep.  We have started identifying his movements and positions.  Sometimes he is karate chopping, other times he is just doing the worm.  What is unbelievable is to watch the outside of my belly move when he gets feisty.  
Food cravings: Blue Bell homemade ice cream.....this could be a contributer to the 22 lbs :)
Anything making you queasy or sick: Still not doing great with Chicken.
Gender: Still a boy
Labor Signs: Nope, but I think I had some Braxon Hicks last week.
Symptoms: Does waddling count?
Belly Button in or out?  Although he was strong, my belly button has been defeated by karate kid.  
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!!!
Looking forward to: Finding an flat and decorating BL's room with all the great stuff we got from our loving friends and family.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

BL-20 Weeks



How far along? 20 Weeks 
Baby is the size of a... 300 g and length of a banana
Total weight gain: 6 Kilos-wowzers
Maternity clothes? Yep, I need em.  I may have cried a little yesterday when I put on a dress that had about a foots distance between the zippers.  I had to give a speech at my school's athletic awards which meant wearing something nice.  Nice is difficult while pregnant and out of the country.  My gap maternity stuff is coming this weekend.  Yippee!!!!
Stretch marks? Nope.  I am using shea butter and cocoa butter everyday.  
Sleep?: I am sleeping great now.   Lots of pillows usually helps.  Sleeping on my belly is impossible now but spooning a pillow has turned out to be quite nice.  
Best moment this week: Feeling BL do back flips.  Dr's apt was easy (minus the heated debate in the lobby about the next egyptian president).  BL is healthily measuring to be a week bigger than he should be.  Another great moment this week was saying goodbye to all my students and the staff at CAC and AHLC.  Bittersweet, as it should be.  I have two days left at CAC.
Miss Anything? This question is probably referring to pre-preggo, but I am going to make it my own since, well, this is my questionnaire.  I miss mexican food (chips and queso, tamales, everything really), I miss good healthy salads such as La Madaline's spinach or caesar.  I miss not having to pay 10 dollars for a box of cheerios that I crave everyday.  I miss blueberries, blackberries and raspberries from costco.  Enough about food, I miss my family the most.  
Movement: Yes, just in the past few days have I really been able to say "did you feel that?", "what about that?" to ben.  He can't feel anything yet.  I know he wants to feel what I do.  
Food cravings: We have already discussed this.  I better not take off again.  
Anything making you queasy or sick: Meat and all foul Cairo street smells.  There is nothing like walking home, eating some delicious frozen yogurt and smelling open sewers, horse/donkey/sheep poo and a dead cat.  The frozen yogurt isn't so delicious anymore.  
Gender: Sweet Baby Boy
Labor Signs: Nope
Symptoms: I can feel my stomach rising into my chest. Ya, it doesn't feel nice.  
Belly Button in or out?  Half of it is still hanging on.  Be strong, little guy!
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!!!
Looking forward to: Going to the beach this weekend with the Widener's, the Turlands and the Wilson's!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

BL- 18 weeks


How far along? 18 Weeks 
Baby is the size of a... Large pickle
Total weight gain: 2 Kilos
Maternity clothes? Yep, I need em.  Since we are still in Cairo, an old student of mine is bringing me a big order from gap and old navy.  I can't wait!  Thanks C Brewer!
Stretch marks? Nope
Sleep?: Sleeping is getting better, but I wouldn't say I am sleeping great.  Lots of pillows usually helps.  
Best moment this week: Finishing grad school at 7 am Monday morning.  What a marvelous feeling.  
Miss Anything? I miss the cool spring weather we were so blessed with.  It is H.O.T. now
Movement: Nothing big enough that I can say "he just did a back flip!"  Some times I think I feel him but it is usually after I eat dinner, and it might just be my full belly.  
Food cravings: Lots of fruit (grapefruit, oranges...I may have eaten 4 today) milk and cereal, chinese/thai food.  
Anything making you queasy or sick: Meat.  I am liking being a vegetarian.  However, Ben made Mexican lasagna that I found on pinterest.  He added shredded chicken and I liked it!
Gender: Sweet Baby Boy
Labor Signs: Nope
Symptoms: I can feel my stomach rising into my chest. Ya, it doesn't feel nice.  
Belly Button in or out?  It is still hanging on....barely.  Be strong, little guy!
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy as a peanut!
Looking forward to: My maternity clothes coming, finishing work and finding out where BL is going to call home.

Friday, May 11, 2012

BL-16 Weeks

video


How far along? 16 Weeks 
Baby is the size of a... Avocado
Total weight gain: Dr. visit was unusual b/c she had a patient go into labor, so she called her dr. friend to come read the ultrasound.  We have to go back for the checkup.
Maternity clothes? I am finding more and more clothes are getting too tight.  I have a few maternity shirts and pants, but I am most comfortable in skirts and dresses. 
Stretch marks? No
pe
Sleep?: Not great.  I am tired all day but can never sleep.  It is a very frustrating process.  We bought a giant pillow that can act as a body pillow, but it takes up half the bed.  Sleeping is tough.  Somehow I have loads of energy in the morning, though.  
Best moment this week: Much to our surprise, finding out that LL is a boy!!!
Miss Anything? Still missing sleeping and having energy
Movement: Nothing that is identifiable 
Food cravings: Jelly Beans, cereal and milk, ranch dressing on a baked potato and chinese food!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Meat.  I am liking being a vegetarian.  
Gender: Sweet Baby Boy
Labor Signs: Nope
Symptoms: The nausea is gone!!! Praise God!!  
Belly Button in or out?  It is still hanging on....barely.  Be strong, little guy!
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy as a clam!!!
Looking forward to: Finding out where LL is going to sleep.  And wrapping up grad school within the next 10 days.