My friend Nico did a kick ass vlog about secrets.  You should watch it.  Here, I will wait.

It’s a really interesting topic, especially with a group of people like bloggers.  We share a ton of our lives online, that’s how it works.  The best bloggers, in my opinion, are the ones who are open, honest, and real.

I’ve always sought to be super honest here but, for example, I know that every day my Grams reads my blog.  So, the chances of my writing about adult themed things… slim to none.  (You’re welcome Gramsy.)  Emotionally however, this is where I am the most honest.  I am more likely to write out that I am feeling manic and anxious here than talk about it with a friend over coffee.  I guess that’s why I write.

Here’s my vlog:

15 Weeks!

And then there was the time that I stopped looking fat and started looking pregnant. (I just said that like the Real World intro, FYI)

What up Baby Bump?

How far along?: 15w0d
How big is baby?: The size of an naval orange.  Little thing is 4 inches, which is insane to me.
Weight gain/loss?: I haven’t gained any weight so far.  Which is also kind of hard to believe because I get STARVING every 2-3 hours or so.
Stretch marks?: Nope.
Maternity clothes?: I have a favorite pair of maternity skinny jeans that I wear constantly.  All my shirts are still working.
Sleep?: Besides crazy dreams, I’ve been sleeping so so so great lately.
Food cravings?: Apple juice and apples.
Gender?: We find out June 23rd!  My mom is convinced it’s a girl, Mr. A’s dad is convinced it’s a boy.
Movement?: Just started feeling little pops and movements 2 days ago!
Belly button?: No change, but if Mr. A puts his finger in my belly button one more time “while he still can” I will cut him.
What do you miss?: Margaritas.
What are you looking forward to this week?: Tonight is date night, I love date night.

So last night I was texting with a bunch of my dear friends who are in Vegas (and it’s made me feel so much better about NOT being there).  As a general rule Nico, calls me to do his Bill Cosby impression when he’s been drinking and he did not disappoint.  We talked a little about my being pregnant, and he had some wonderfully encouraging things to say.  To start, he’s just really excited that one of his blog besties is having a baby, which makes me excited too.  He said that the best mom blogger he knows it Rachel, which is totally true.  Nico said Rachel is kick ass because she’s awesome and honest and just happens to be a mom.  Then he said that he knows I’ll be the same and that I will be able to stay myself (the self that has awesome friends like Nico) and also be a mommy.

So encouraging.

I know that things will looks a little different here at some points, mostly because the whole “baby” thing is so new and exciting.  I promise I won’t ONLY talk about baby.  I’m still the same old me, I’ll just also have a super awesome kickass baby strapped to me too.

P.S. I’m bring my 6 month old to Vegas next year.  Mr. A and I were talking about onesies baby should have for a Vegas trip.  Some contenders:

  • Mascot
  • Craps Deals  <– Totally Mr.A’s idea, and hilarious

We hurt together.

There are a ton of fantastic things about the internet.  

We get to live vicariously though friends as they soar through life.  When people fall in love, we get excited for them.. we fall in love too.  When people take a risk and end up on the other side totally-bad-ass-awesome?  We feel joyful too, because a part of us feels like we took that risk too.  There are so many exciting and wonderful things happening to people all the time.  We, as a community, celebrate together.

We become invested, and it is beautiful.

Sometimes though, it’s really hard.

It’s really hard to have friends heart broken and hundreds of miles away.  It’s hard to sit in gChat and talk them through complicated and painful things because our hearts break with theirs.  We want to rush to their house and sit with them in the quiet; let them cry on our shoulders.  We want to hold their hand.  We want to physically hurt the asshole that played them.. but we can’t. 

So we keep skyping, texting, and processing together… hoping that the person in pain doesn’t feel alone. We want them to know that it will get better; that we’ll help carry them through this messed up situation.  Sometimes it helps but most of the time it feels like we’re not doing enough.  Our words feel ineffective and cliche.  We keep reaching out to their hurt places because that’s what they did for us that one time when we were broken… We, as a community, hurt together.

And then we cry because our hearts hurt with theirs. 

One Word: Community #Reverb10

Without a question 2010 was about community.  6 months after moving to the bay area I found myself in a group of amazing people, full of fun and depth.  We had, arguably, too much fun.  (Grandpa might have mentioned something about burning the candle from both ends, or something, I don’t recall)  We went out a lot, and had dance parties.  It was not uncommon for me to go to work Friday on 5 hours of sleep.  We dressed up to do the stanky leg, we went skiing in Tahoe.  Fundamentally, however, we were friends founded in our common faith.  We talked a lot about God, faith, and what it meant to live a life emulating Christ.  It was exactly what my heart needed.  I felt anchored in something beautiful. 
What I didn’t realize was that it was a preparation for the hard summer that was coming.  When my mom was diagnosed with colon cancer in July, it felt like I was thrown into a deep end of the pool.  My lungs felt tight all the time and I was struggling to keep my head above water.  I can’t imagine where I would have ended up if I hadn’t firmly tethered myself to a community that had no problem jumping in with me. 
Community didn’t stop there.  2009 will always be the year that I made my internet community tangible.  Friendships grew deeper (Hi Nora) to the point that my Grams knows a lot of your names.  Between gchat, twitter DMs, phone calls, and text messages: this blogging community knows me just as well as my IRL friends.  (Except the fact that I laugh more that you can imagine.  You can ask Ashley and Nico.  I giggle, a lot.)  August was for VEDA, and vlogging every day was so much fun, but it was amazing because of the COMMUNITY that was created.  We were at our best when we were being honest and vulnerable, we rallied for each other.  I met bloggers for the first time in real life.. and learned that people I love in the blogosphere I will love infinitely more in person.  This scientific fact is what prompted #SFNYE.  I have SIX of my closest blog friends flying here in 29 days, to hang out with me.  That is insane.  For four days I am going to tackle hug each and every one of these people repeatedly. 
I am surrounded by love and friendship in a way that boggles my mind.  It is the proof that I am doing something right.  
2011 will be about Love.  
I’ve said it hear before, but my grandpa told me once that every emotion comes from one of two places; love or fear.  It’s easy to slip into fear mode: fear breeds anxiety, anger, and insecurity.  Actively choosing love, however, leaves no room for fear.  It is impossible to feel fear and love at the same time.  Love is the light in the darkness.  It reaches every single dark spot we carry with us, if we choose to let it.  So that’s what I am doing in 2011.  I am choosing love.

A Very Special Birthday Celebration

It’s Ashley‘s birthday today!

If there is a person on this planet more deserving of a wonderful birthday it’s her.

She’s 100% kind and wonderful, thoughtful and hilarious.

She’s explosively adorable.

One of my favorite things about her is that she makes no apologies for who she is (or the music she likes).

She dances like no one is watching and inspires others to do the same.

So in honor of her birthday, we did.

Happy Birthday Soul Mate!

Editor: The amazingly wonderful Pham 
Dancing Done by: Pham, Nicole, Nora, Ian, and Me.

Side Note:  Vlogging will be back Wednesday.  And it’s question time!  SO, leave a question for me.  Anything.  Everyone should leave a question.  Even you.  YOU there.  Click through. Leave a question.  Go.