Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Women's Leadership Development

My goal to blog on a daily basis forces me to seek moments of beauty and significance in an otherwise very structured, routine day. Lately my life consists of blocks of times spent working, commuting, and home-bound evening activities. I don't want to say that my life is boring, but it sure isn't exciting in any particular way. Today was such a day. So I challenged myself to find something that made an impact on me today. And luckily, I found it.

My dear friend Ginny invited me to a free session of her Women's Leadership Development Program that she is starting in Des Moines. There I met an exhuberant 71-year old that just knocked my socks off. Barbara Lukavsky is a very successful business owner, consultant and speaker who has served on the board of directors of my company for more than two decades. She gave us some leadership tips and then told us about her remarkable life and read excerpts from her book, "The Road Home - Finding My Way" which is about her personal journey through life's extremes.
We all received a copy, and Barbara even signed it for me. Let's just say that within 6 months she lost her only son and her husband, went to South Africa where she took on a much younger lover and then got shot. And that's just her personal life. She also excelled professionally during a time women had two career options: to be nurses or school teachers. And what a presence! I was definitely blown away. Can't wait to read her amazing story.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Color frenzy

The appointment today went well. I heard baby's heartbeat and couldn't help but smile. In a month, we are going to do an ultrasound and will find out gender of our little babe. Now all I have to do is wait. And for a person who is not very patient, knitting helps. Here are some projects I've been working on.
Featherweight cardigan
Baktus scarf
Hunter's baby vest
Wiggle wrap
Maybe I'll get a few done before the baby is here. :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

16 weeks

Sweet baby,

16 weeks - about 38-40% done. Wow! Tomorrow we have a doctor's appointment, and I'm anxious to hear your heart beat. That's the only affirmation for me that you are real.  So I can't wait to feel you kick. It should start to happen sometime in the next month, and I'm so eager for you to make your presence known.

Mama's nausea is not completely gone yet, but it has gotten better. I've lost some weight (but gained a bigger bump), and the maternity clothes are still a little loose. Overall, everything seems to be going well so far. Hope the doctor's appointment confirms that.

This past weekend your pa painted your room a prairie willow green. It's very soothing. We decided to go with a forest nursery theme, with trees, birds, deer, foxes, critter, owls, etc. Both your parents love the outdoors and nature. Your mama spent a great part of her childhood in her home country playing in the forest. It's a magical place full of wonder. We hope you like it.
Dad doing some touchups
We also filled a few pages of your baby book together. It was fun recording some of the information in there, including some facts about your parents. Somehow, the limited lines and words felt kind of hollow - they couldn't capture all you should know, including the stories and emotions associated with each entry. But I hope this will be a fun small momento for you.

This weekend we also decided to start thinking about names. We bought a baby name book at a book sale, your dad split it in half, we took two different-colored highlighters, and marked the names we liked. Then we exchanged the book halves and hoped we would end up marking at least some of the same names. And we did. There are plenty of great options to start out with, but we won't finalize our decision until you are here. The name should fit you, and we can't quite commit to something until we can try some on for size. It was both fun and stressful, and we also got some great inputs from family and friends. But it's such a major and final decision, baby! We don't want you to hate your name, we don't want anyone to make fun of it, and we also don't want the name to be difficult to prounouce in either one of your cultures. This has been one of the most challenging tasks yet.

Can't wait to hear your reply in the form of a kick.
Until then, lots of love for you, child.

Your mama