Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The end of our Summer of Love- What's the point of being intentional?

Hey Guys,

I hope you guys all had a great weekend!

Chris and I had a great time this past weekend with friends and mentors. We had a special leadership conference that was truly inspiring. It always feels great to expand our knowledge.

This week was the last week of Summer of Love for our Covenant Group. You can read my posts about the different topics we've been discussing and experiences during the past weeks here: post 1, post 2,  post 3

It was also the last day for Chris and I at the Young Adult Covenant Group yesterday. We'll be transitioning to the Family CG in September. It almost feels like we're graduating into the next chapter of our lives.

Since it was officially the last day for "Summer of Love" we all shared what our experiences were like this past summer; especially learning about love. Generally, most people said they really felt true love through the actions of people around them and through NUMA family which was awesome.

Chris and I also felt a great measure of love through our brothers and sisters at NUMA as well. We were newcomers and looking for a community to be a part of and we really felt like everyone embraced us into their family which was in turn God's family. It really reflected the love God has for us.

I've also seen a change in Chris over this past summer. He shared that he learned how to intentionally be interested in other people lives. He's become a much better listener and a friend. He also shared how he was able to be himself wherever he was. He didn't have to separate himself by the work Chris, church Chris, husband Chris, etc. He was just Chris. His focus was on the other person and not on himself. This helped him to build more meaningful relationships. That lead him to ask more questions and listen instead of talking all the time (not that he does that). It's interesting how much we grow when we become more selfless. This is definitely something I've been learning as well. I've been more intentional in getting to know people on a deeper level. Thank you NUMA family for showing us through your example.

I'm praying that this wouldn't be just for the summer but a lifelong thing. Genuinely listening and caring for the people around us and through this showing love responsibly.

Love God relentlessly and love people responsibly- Joana Cho-

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Sandy Choi

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pregnancy Week 26: Stronger Kicks/ Cramps & Marriage as a priority

Hey Guys,

I officially have 95 more day's until we meet Topher if I have him on Nov.28th. Baby bump say's that he should be approximately 14 inches and weigh 1.75lb. That's the size of a hothouse cucumber.
I've been experiencing more cramps, backaches, and nauseousness this past week.  I'm hoping it'll get better.

Lately, I've been feeling a bit of a husband withdrawal. I kept thinking about how Chris and I won't be spending as much time alone and I kind of got me sad. I heard some women go through this and I'm sure one of them. Chris and I are making a concious effort to do as much as we can before Topher comes. Although we're both excited we both know a lot is about to change. There will be some tough moments but we know that's just part of parenthood.

I've made a commitment that my husband will stay a priority along with my son. Which means I will make a concious effort to spend my alone time with him. A personal decision I've made was that I wouldn't allow our kids to sleep in our bed. I've read married couples have a non existing intimate life because their kids are always with them and that can cause problems in the marriage. A person shared that their married men friends with kids feel less important then their dog at home because their wife is too busy taking care of life or sometimes vice versa. I've noticed that a lof of people are afraid to have kids because they feel it may break up their marraige. Aren't kids a blessing from God? Then why is it that people feel this way? It's really disheartening and sad. I'm sure it'll be a challenge for Chris and I but we've make a commitment to put our marriage as a priority while raising our kids together. We believe that's important for our kids as well.

On a separate note, here are some pictures from the weekend. Chris and I went to Genwa BBQ this past weekend and the food was pretty amazing. The experience was even better. It's a little more pricer then most Korean BBQ but I think it's worth going at least once to experience their ambiance. They give you massive amounts of side dishes and they serve high quality meat (kobe beef).

Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer of Love- I've been in love with the idea of LOVE

Hey Guys,

Have you guys ever been in love with the "idea" of being in love? I sure have.

Our pastor John Park was sharing a few weeks ago that he's also been in love with the idea of being in love before he met his wife. He said he dreamed about marriage ever since he was 4 (or something like that). So, everytime he met someone he would think "she could be the one!" then fell head first. I can totally relate to that because there was point in my life when I was in love with the "idea" of being in love as well.

I was pretty independent all throughout high school and college. I didn't mind being single and actually enjoyed not being committed to someone. It wasn't until after college when I started really thining about love and marriage. I had a list of things I wanted in a husband and prayed priodically for him. Then everytime I met someone I would think, "can he be the one?" and I would fall head first instead of God really showing me who my better half was.

I think there was a part of me that subcontiously knew when someone wasn't the right person for me. I use to pray to God to show me confirmations if the person I was interested or dating wasn't the right person for me. But when I met Chris, I prayed for God to show me confirmations if he was the right person for me. My prayer itself was different. Although deep inside I knew it wasn't right a part of me wanted it to be so I prayed for God to show me comfirmations so that I may be able to move on. I'm not sure if all this is making sense.

One thing I realized is that I really wanted to get married because of the "idea" of marriage and love. The stability, companionship, acceptance, friendship, being loved, and etc. I didn't want it for the sake of just love. Does that make sense? I was seeking love for merely my selfish wants and needs. In 1 Corinthians 13:5 it says "It is not rude, it is not self seeking." It meanig love. That's what I've been relearning these past few weeks.

When I met Chris, I was at a point in my life when I was completely fulfilled with just God's love alone. I didn't need a man to fufill my voids anymore. So, I didn't need to be in a relationship or want to be married because of my own needs. It wasn't self seeking. I fell in love with Chris for Chris and not for the idea of being in love.

I was reminded to seek after God's love first before I looked for it in others because people can always dissapoint me but God's love is neverchanging.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pregnancy Week 24 & 25: My prenatal workouts

Hey Guys,

I'm currently on week 25 and day 3 of my pregnancy. I have 103 more day's until we meet Topher. I think I'm gaining about 1 pound a week these days. I've read that was average. I went for my doctors appointment last week and I'm currently 104 lbs. The doctor said everything looked normal and great which is awesome.

This past weekend Chris rearranged our living room to make more space for Topher. It looks a lot more roomier. We both love the new layout, especially Chris. Maybe i'll post some picture later.

Lately, Chris has been acting really cute everytime we talk about Topher. We recently made our first baby purchase and bought a car seat. Whenever Chris looks at the car seat he starts talking to it as if Topher's sitting in it. Our car seat has tiny seat belts and cushions that looks like the shape of a baby so it's incredibly cute. We both can't wait to meet him.

Prenatal Workout DVD's:
I've also started working out more frequently. I've been using 3 different prenatal DVD's and elliptical for my workouts. The DVD's I got got really great reviews on Amazon and it was very close to what I was looking for.

The instructor for this workout was a former cirque du soleil performer so you can imagine what great of a shape she's in. I don't recommend this work out for someone who hasn't workout at all prior to getting pregnant. It may be a little challenging unless that's what you're looking for. I use to work out about 4 times a week including strength training. I also trained with P90X for over 1 year so this DVD wasn't too challenging for me since I was active.
I really love this DVD becaust it really works you out. The entire work out is about 40 minutes and there's 3 different levels you can follow. There's beginner, intermediate, and advance.She's shows you all 3 poses for each work out so it's very easy to follow.

This workout comes with two discs. I've only tried the first one and I really enjoyed it. It also has a workout you can do with your partner which is great. I was looking for a yoga DVD that was more then just stretching. I wanted to feel like I was actually working out. I read the reviews for the DVD and I read that it was challenging. I tried it this past weekend and the workout I chose from the disc was a little over an hour. It was really relaxing and I was sweating after 20 minutes or so. If the full hour is too long you can split it up. I'm looking foward to doing my yoga this weekend as well. You don't use any weights but some yoga tools are needed such as mats, yoga blocks, etc.

This work out is great for people who are busy and can't seem to make time to work out.  It's also great for all 3 trimester. Each work out is only 10 minutes and theres 5 different workouts in the DVD so you won't get bored. If you have more time you can do 2 of the workouts in one session or all 4.  I actually got sore after this doing this workout. It incorporates light weight lifting, thigh, arms, buns, sides, back and chest work outs. If you're looking for a pilates workout that only does strethces this isn't for you. It does push you a little but it's not too hard to do.

My work out routine is  to do cardio twice a week and strenth training twice a week. I took a Weight Management DNA test and it said that I metabolized carbs well and I needed to do more intense work out in order to stay fit and lose weight. So, ideally I would be on the elliptical twice a week and incorporate one of the DVD's twice a week. So far i've been working out only twice a week so I'm slowing trying to increase it. Sometimes it's hard because I feel really tired but if I can I usually take a quick nap and then work out after so that I don't get fatigued. You usually feel less tired throughout the day when you're active. It's also better to walk around more then sitting down all the time because there's a lot of pressure as your belly get's bigger.

Post Workout:
I  drink a power smoothie after my work outs to make sure I get my protein and it helps me to recover. I use a scoop of organic Nutrilite soy protein, 1 banana, 5 strawberries, and 1 packet of organic Nutrilite fiber powder. This taste delicious. I make sure I eat enough calories and protein so that I don't get too tired throughout the day.

I've talked to my doctor about my workout routines so if you would like to be safe you should consult with your doctor as well.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pregnancy Week 23: My feeling towards being a mom + Comfortable bra's during pregnancy

Hey Guys,

That's how our baby looks right now

I can't believe 23 weeks has flown by already. I have about 4 more months until I meet our little Topher. Since my due date is coming around sooner I started getting a little nervous. I'm also getting a little nervous about motherhood too. Especially after being with all 4 of my nephews this past weekend. It's a little scary to think that another human beings live is in my hands. I'm sure we all had moments when we said "When I have kids I'm not going to be like that to my kids" after getting into an argument with our parents. I just want to make sure our kids always feel like they can talk to us.  I not only want to be their parent but also a friend at times. Chris and I started talking about how we're going to raise our kids and we both agreed that we don't want to smother them but show them a lot of love and discipline them when it's needed. Also, we've made a commitment to not let our kids take over our lives. I want to make sure Chris is still my priority as well as our son. I don't want Chris to feel like I'm neglecting him and I wouldn't want to be neglected either. Chris and I are also going to take parenting classes that's taught through the word of God. One of my mentors teaches parents- to-be and I heard so many great things from people who took the class. Her kids are wild because that's how kids are but they also listen to their parents very well. They also sleep exactly at 8:30 pm which is awesome. They never sleep with their parents and sleep in their own room which is what I want as well. It teaches how to train our kids from the beginning so that it's healthier for both the parents and kids in the future. It'll also help us as a couple. Thinking about parenting really makes me lean on God more and more. I know Chris and I would not be able to get through it without his guidance. I trust and pray that God will continually work with us so that we can be a great parent and a friend to our children.

Our baby right now:
I read today that Topher's sense of movement is now well developed so our baby can feel me dance now. The blood vessels in his lungs are developoing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that our baby's increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing him for the outside world. The baby should be the size of a mango which is about 11 inches long and just over 1lb. Our baby was about 1lb on week 20 so I'm assuming he'll be a little bigger then that now. Everyone's been saying that my tummy is getting gignormous. Then again I'm only 5'0" tall so at this point any type of belly would look extremely huge. My morning sickness has been coming back lately which kind of sucks. Some people say it can be because Topher is moving around a lot which is giving me motion sickness. I'm just praying that Topher is developing well and he's healthy.

This is Chris and I @ Mammoth this past weekend with my family.
Week 22 and 6 days
Maternity Bra:
I've read not to buy maternity bra's too early in the pregnancy because our boob size will continually grow. So, I was holding off on it for a while but all the bra's I currently owned were getting too comfortable. I would feel like I was getting indigestion because my bra was too tight. So, I was on a hunt to buy something incredibly comfortable. I wanted something with no wire, full coverage, and extremely comfortable.
I went to Motherhood and tried on a few bra's but I didn't like them too much. It didn't feel too comfortable and it was more for nursing. I tried victoria secret but they're bit pricey for a bra I'll only wear for a few months. Then I decided to try Target and found one that I liked which is pictured below. It wasn't too expensive and it was comfortable. I liked how it had no wire but provided support. It doesn't have any type of padding so I used thin pads that comes with my swimming suit for coverage.

Stella Nursing & Maternity Bra from Target

I also needed a strapless bra especially since it's summer time and I'm wearing a lot of tanktops. I saw some bandeau's as Target and thought it was perfect. Bandeau's are wireless and extremely comfortable. I used  thin pads from my swimming suit for support as well. I wear this almost everyday. You can get white bandeau's at Target, Urban outfitters, and most clothing stores. You can be creative and get colorful one's to make it more fashionable under your garments like the picture below.

White Bandeau (similar to the one I have)

Black & White Bandeau (http://www.mikkatmarket.com/)
Looks great under garments to add some fun to your outfit


Hope you guys all have a great week!

Sandy Choi
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