First Glimpse - Baby Groberg

It still almost doesn't seem real, but J.R. and I are expecting a little one to join our family around the beginning of November 2017.  We're excited (and nervous) to share this new adventure in life.

I knew I was pregnant around March 2nd, but it took me a few days to tell J.R.

Our miscarriage in September of 2015 had been really hard on both of us, but I think it especially broke J.R.'s heart. So I was nervous about all the unknowns this pregnancy brought. Would we have another miscarriage? Or would this time be different?

When I told him I was pregnant, he went through all the emotions. Haha. First he was shocked, but when he realized I was being serious, the biggest smile broke out across his face. Then one or two tears might have escaped from his eyes. Happy tears. Which took me by surprise, and made me cry. That hadn't happened the first time.

April 20th, 2017 was our doctors appointment, and our first ultrasound with this pregnancy. I guess neither one of us realized how nervous we were for it. With our first pregnancy, the ultrasound had revealed there wasn't an actual fetus, only the gestational sac. There had been no heartbeat, and no baby.  J.R. told me that he had been holding his breath, expecting the doctor to tell us the same thing this time around.

But it wasn't the same at all! Almost immediately I could see that there was a tiny little human shaped image on the screen. Then the doctor found the heart beat, and the sound filled the room. I thought I would cry, but I didn't because I was so shocked. There was a baby. A tiny blur, and an intensely paced little heart beat.

In the picture above, you can see the outline of the baby's head and ear. Their little arm and hand is extended out above their face.

J.R. is convinced we are having a boy, and he tells everyone that the baby is flexing his arm in the ultrasound. Haha!

After our doctor's appointment, we were both stunned and in so much shock that we got half way home before realizing we'd forgot to go down to the lab for blood testing. Haha.

Later that day as we were eating dinner, J.R paused and looked at me very seriously. "Do you think our baby has a soul already?" he asked.

I'm not entirely sure what the answer is, but it made my heart happy to know that J.R. already cares so much about this little tiny person, that with Heavenly Father, we created together.

Wednesday, May 17th was our second doctors appointment. I'm in my 15th week of pregnancy now, and we got to hear the baby's heartbeat again.

As we were leaving the doctor said to J.R., "You have a great smile. Do you smile like that all the time? Or are you just happy to be a dad?"

J.R. laughed, "Both."

Daily Life

Do you ever get tired or your "daily grind"? Maybe your daily or weekly routine has started to feel wearisome and repetitive?

I'm sorry if you've been feeling like that lately. It's easy for those thoughts to sneak up on anyone. One thing that I try to remind myself is that each "phase" or "chapter" of life looks and feels different. When you're in the thick of it, it's easy to forget that you're life won't always look the way it does today. Eventually, your responsibilities and goals will change and your daily routine will change as well.

It's easy to forget what life was like when you were eight years old, a teenager, or before you met your significant other. What were your daily thoughts and concerns? What were you sick-and-tired of? What about life did you absolutely enjoy?

Thinking along those lines, I decided to write this post about what my life looks like on an average day. I wrote it mostly for myself, so in five or ten years I can look back and remember what my life was like during this time.

Our work days usually start at 4:30am, sometimes earlier. Most days I'll go back to bed after showering. On my worst days, I procrastinate getting ready by either surfing pretty pictures on Instagram for to long, or by hitting the snooze button to many times. Then I end up stressed and rushing to get out the door. On my best days though, I wake up and do something slightly more productive. My favorite thing to do on good mornings is to make us a green smoothie to share, and then spend a half hour doing stretches or yoga. (Honestly though, I usually choose sleep over green smoothies and yoga. Ha!)

My morning commute to work typically takes about a half hour. Most of the roads I take to work only have two lanes traveling the same direction. The worst days are when two people decide to go the exact same speed in each lane - or when there's an accident. The best days are when I hit most of the traffic lights green, or when I catch the beginning of the sunrise.

Work is a ten hour shift. Normally, the only "down-time" I have at work is during my breaks and lunches. It's usually go-go-go. But the best days at work are when all the paperwork is caught up, and the lobby and phones are slow. Then the bosses allow us to go on a paid half hour walk, because they want to try and promote healthy lifestyle choices. (I haven't been able to do this in about 10 months though, so that tells you how busy we always are.) There is a park and a walking trail by our building, so when we have the opportunity to go outside and walk it always makes my day better. I'm not gonna talk about my worst days at work, because I honestly don't want to relive or remember them.

Do I hate my job? Not usually. But I don't exactly love it either. It doesn't set my soul on fire or fulfill me in anyway.  I teeter-totter between feeling grateful to have a decent job, and then feeling restless and burnt out. I'm not exactly sure why I struggle with this so much. I'm good at what I do, but I wonder if I'm not cut out for the 9-5 corporate kind of job? I honestly think one of my biggest problems is the boredom that comes from doing the same mundane tasks all day everyday. Answering the same questions sixty times a day, like what our office hours are or what our address is. Then having difficult conversations with upset customers about the exact same topics or problems you talked to a customer about yesterday. The whole environment just starts to wear me down.

I guess I always imagined myself doing something that was actually meaningful and fulfilling, something that made a real difference in peoples lives. Right now, my biggest regret in life, was not having enough faith and courage to find a career that was more fulfilling four years ago. I feel like I "settled" for something that was stable and safe. (Which has been hard to admit to myself.) I know it's not to late though, and that I can still change careers and start on a path that I think is better suited for my personality and talents.

Anyways, the reason I included this little tangent about work is because these are daily thoughts that I struggle with and think about. They often sneak up on me while I am mailing out the mail or filing papers.

Coming home to J.R. is always one of the best parts of my day. He gets off of work before I do, so when I come home he's usually making dinner while listening to music. Normally, he has the music up loud, and he doesn't hear me come in. I'll pause for a moment and listen to him sing along to his favorite songs, which makes my heart happy. My favorite days are when J.R. is singing to country music, and the weather is nice enough to have the house windows open.

We always eat dinner together at our small kitchen table. This never happened when I was going to school, so I treasure this time together. There's no T.V. and no cell phones. Just us eating dinner together like an old married couple. We usually talk about the funny or annoying things that happened during the day, and it's nice to reconnect and check in with each other after a long day.

After dinner, we try to get a workout in together. Some days we'll do weights and resistance bands at home, other days we'll go for a walk. There's a park by our house, and I enjoy our walks the most when the weather is nice and we get caught in that "golden hour" of sunlight before the sunsets. While we walk, we tend to talk about our hopes for the future. (I usually spend about 10 minutes of each walk trying to convince J.R. that we need a dog in our lives.) And then we talk about other important goals like: improvements we want to make to our yard and house, trips we want to take, or things we'd like to do together as a couple or family. Sometimes I'll tell J.R. about the story and plot ideas I have in my mind for a book I want to write. Even though reading isn't his thing, he listens patiently, gives the best kind of advice, and calms my anxiety.

In the summer time, I like to try to spend at least two days a week with my mom's horse. She's a good horse, but she tends to be stubborn and lazy. The more I work with her the better she gets. J.R. always supports and encourages me with my riding and will come watch, even though it probably bores him half to death.

Then there's always chores and yard work to do around the house. The dishes, laundry, and vacuuming. Then filling the gas tanks, picking up groceries and prescriptions, paying the bills. (You know.)

We try to get to bed early since we have to get up so early. On good nights, we take turns reading the scriptures for about ten minutes. Most nights though, we spend time looking at Instagram or Facebook. I really wish we could break that habit. Since we've been married, we've never had a T.V. in our bedroom because we wanted our room to be a place where the two of us could connect and find relaxation and peace, but I feel like our cell phones kind of defeat that goal. Every night though, we always hold hands and say a prayer together.

If you've read this far, then you obviously know that our lives aren't glamorous or overly exciting. Our biggest goals at this time are: getting out of debt and improving our abundance, getting/staying healthy, making our house into the home we've envisioned, and trying our best to help bring happiness into each other's lives.

If you're struggling to get through "everyday life", then I hope that you'll reflect on what a typical day looks like for you and remember those small things that brought you happiness.

It's easy to get caught up in worrying about all the things we wish we had, and to take for granted the blessings we already have. While we look forward to the future and we're excited for what those days will bring, we also try to remember to enjoy the daily moments we have together right now.

I hope you learn to enjoy those little moments too. xoxo

The Free

Sometimes a novel will make me cry, and when I say, "cry" what I mean is one or two tears will leak out of my eyes and I will slowly wipe them away. This book though - this book made me bawl. I was sobbing. The characters and words touch my heart in such an unexpected way.  

Willy Vlautin's writing style is simple, but he has this talent for bringing huge emotion to realistic everyday characters. These characters could exist in real-life. Each of them are facing real-life problems with their real-life emotions.

But how do you write about real life problems, and actually make it interesting? (I'm not sure yet what the answer is, but Vlautin was able to do it.) This novel is one that I will be studying in depth to understand how he was able to tell such a powerful story in such a simple way.

There are three distinctive characters: a veteran with a brain injury, the nightwatchmen of the care center, and the veteran's main nurse. Sounds simple enough, right? But the understated qualities of the characters caught me completely off guard.

The Free: A Novel

The blurb of this book on Amazon says:

While serving in Iraq, veteran Leroy Kervin suffered a traumatic brain injury. Frustrated by the simplest daily routines, and unable to form new memories, he eventually attempts suicide. Lying in a coma, he retreats deep inside the memories locked in his mind. Freddie McCall works two jobs and still can't make ends meet. He's lost his wife and kids, and the house is next. Medical bills have buried him in debt, a situation that propels him to consider a lucrative—and dangerous—proposition. Pauline Hawkins is a nurse at the local hospital. Though she attends to others' needs with practical yet firm kindness, including her mentally ill elderly father, she remains emotionally removed. But a new patient, a young runaway, touches something deep and unexpected inside her.The lives of these characters intersect as they look for meaning in desperate times. Heartbreaking and hopeful, The Free is a testament to the resiliency of the human heart.

The Free: A Novel


What books have made you cry lately?