A Week from Due!

A Week from Due!

I am officially 39 weeks pregnant; just less than a week away from giving birth to our little one, inshallah, and that’s just according to my due date. My sister thinks I may be a few days early, and it’s overwhelming to think that the time I have left to prepare is so limited! I guess you can’t ever be 100% ready for your first baby and I’ll just learn things as I go, but I always just look at my stomach and tell him, “Keep on baking, baby!”! We still have so much of everything to read and learn as we anticipate his arrival.

The part I was becoming more and more nervous about was the actual delivery. ย When I heard about what to pack in the hospital bag and what to expect from the experience, just the thought of ice packs and adult diapers make my lady parts hurt. I’m so very thankful for youtube videos on breathing exercises and meditation during labor. Hopefully I’ll be able to remember the techniques.ย My biggest hope, which overshadows any fears, is simply that we have a healthy baby boy and everything goes smoothly.

Now that I’m so close, I’m feeling a lot better about things. We’ve taken a CPR and Safety course, as well as a Baby Basics class, and on the 4th of July we took a tour of the hospital. I literally asked 4 million questions. I felt bad for the other people in the group but hopefully they benefitted from what I was asking! We went around the room and everyone said their due dates, which ranged from late July through September. I just looked at my watch and was like, “uhh.. next Wednesday”. It was pretty funny ๐Ÿ™‚ We procrastinated a bit on taking the tour but it ended up being great. Plus, late in the game if there’s a fear of actually going into labor, you’re already at the hospital! So maybe it was smart of us to wait ๐Ÿ˜‰

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GENDER REVEAL

We had a traditional cake cutting get-together at our apartment in TX to find out the baby’s gender in late March. Everyone thought it was going to be a girl EXCEPT for our nephew, Layth, and our cat, Chuchu (yep, it’s true). We ran out of all of our pink favors and in the end when we finally cut the cake, we saw nothing but blue! It was a shock for all of us! We got to FaceTime with my parents and sister in VA, and as we cut the cake, they opened a box to reveal blue balloons. I wish all of our family could be in one spot but this was such a special moment and it was amazing to be able to share it with our families via video chat ๐Ÿ™‚

BABY SHOWERS

Below are some photos from the pregnancy journey that I wanted to share with everyone! The nice thing about having family in two places is I got to celebrate twice and have two amazing baby showers, ahumdulillah! At the start of April in Virginia my sister threw me a travel-themed shower, and it was so fitting for me and my love for adventure. I was expecting it to be just close and extended family, and then my friends started showing up one by one and surprising me! I literally cried because I didn’t expect it at all. Then in TX, my sister-in-law threw my husband and me a woodland-themed baby shower. We were surrounded by my husband’s family and had such a sweet time. We didn’t want to touch anything at the table because of how perfect the set-up was! We are so beyond thankful for everyone who helped us welcome our little one into this world. We now have everything he needs to get settled into this world โค

Home

We’re moving. I came home from work one day last week and found a Coming Soon sign posted up in my front yard. I didn’t expect to feel anything when it finally happened, but I had this strange knot in my stomach, and I had to take a second to breathe before getting out of my car and walking into my home.

On Monday morning I walked out of my house for work and I saw a family of three pointing at the windows around the house. We looked at each other, and they awkwardly started walking away. I called out, “Hi!”, they returned the greeting, and stood in place to stare and point some more. It’s a really strange feeling moving away from the house you’ve lived in for most of your life. It doesn’t really seem too much like our house anymore, though, since we’ve been renovating it for the last few months and we’ve had to move all of our stuff around.

After living away at college for 4 years, I’m pretty used to packing.. but I always knew I’d come back home. I think once you leave a place you’ve been for so long, it doesn’t really sink in that you’ll never revisit it. I remember the night before I had to move out of VCU. I cried uncontrollably knowing it was all over. At some point I’ll probably accidentally make a turn onto a street leading up to this old house when I move away, but I don’t mind.

I’m a little bit of a hoarder, too, so I have a lot of old stuff like journals I’ve kept while growing up, and my old Raggedy Ann doll. I like to keep a physical copy of my memories so that I don’t forget them. I’m so grateful for all of the experiences I’ve had while living in this house, and it makes me aware of every remaining moment I spend here with my parents and my family. It’s like leaving high school. You know you can always visit, but the desire to go back eventually fades because the people have changed, and you’re all of a sudden a stranger. You can’t visit an old house like that… it’d be weird to knock on someone’s door to tour a place you once lived in, or to show your kids where you accidentally punched a hole in the wall that one time.

It’s bittersweet. I’m really excited that my parents are moving to Florida because they’ll finally get to relax without the burden of their “four little brats” ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll miss them a lot but it means more to me that they’re happy and stress-free, soaking in the much-needed Vitamin D. Hey, I guess this means a ton of trips to the beaches and a warm escape from the cold Virginia winters. I think they’ll enjoy it quite a bit. Home will be a daily vacation for them.

I remember when I was younger I was kind of embarrassed because a lot of my friends and classmates lived in huge houses that had more space than their 4-person family could ever need. Imagine, though – I had heat, running water, a roof over my head, a fridge full of fresh food, clean clothes, computers, and comfortable furniture to relax in after a hard day of school. I had everything my dad worked for – from being a class clown at his school in Karachi, Pakistan, to being successful in his job, community, and family. I had all the care my mom put in – from taking jobs that would allow her to spend as much time with us as possible while we grew up, to STILLย making sure we get to work on time. I’m so thankful for this home, and everything and everyone in it.. because it really isn’t the roof over my head that matters as much as the nourishment that happened beneath it.

We call several places homeย throughout our lifetimes, and I’m so thankful to have lived here, in this house, with the crazies… my family.

a portrait I took of my dad on the roof of the building he ran – last week of work before his retirement ๐Ÿ™‚
my mom – waiting patiently as I take portraits of my dad at work ๐Ÿ˜›

Insight from a Friend

If you put all of your heart and soul into a relationship and that relationship ends, don’t feel like you’ve wasted time or energy. You showed someone love because that’s who you are. You’re someone who wants to make your loved ones happy, and that reveals beauty within you. Regardless of the reasons for the distance between you and a loved one, you should feel good about what you offered and shared with another human being.ย 

There are people who can’t express love, and then there’s you.

Turban Trial

Brothers

 

Atlanta

 

Road Trips

 

Frank Ocean

 

Somewhere between Tampa and Sarasota, Florida

Forida was HOT. With the turban being a fashion statement piece all over the world, I decided to try it out to cool myself down. It was AWESOME. I felt extremely comfortable, and extra breezy, and even got a compliment. I’ll rock it when I feel like it ๐Ÿ˜‰

Satellite

So I’m kind of terrible at blogging nowadays… I’ve had RA training, and the start of school just this past week, so I’ve been a little (VERY) scatter-brained. Here’s a piece I wrote about Ramadan: link.
and I got a tumblr, but I really don’t think it will last very long… http://www.pinkgingerale.tumblr.com and I probably won’t use it for real writing very much either, I was just always addicted because i love designing pages and making things look cute, and I always thought tumblr pages looked so put-together ๐Ÿ™‚

so this is my real post of the day: ๐Ÿ™‚
I was sitting in Jimmy John’s early in the evening with a good friend of mine after a bike ride.
they have SUCH good tuna subs, btw.
they kept playing all of these GREAT songs. songs I hadn’t heard in too long.
and everyone knows that feeling of hearing a song and being flooded with a million memories of the times you used to listen to that song, and the people you used to spend that time with…
there’s just this trigger that’s pulled, and something else sets in.
this summer when I was at home, I didn’t see my high school friends but a few times because of internships/jobs in other states, long work hours, and vacations.
my brother was spending his weekdays working late, and my sister and brother-in-law’s apartment was a 30-minute drive away, which wasn’t so bad… but setting the table for 5 people instead of 6 is the strangest thing…
meanwhile, my younger brother continuously plays our home videos on the small tv in my old room… and now we’re all doing our own thing, and we’re all just so… grown up.
our home videos seem like they’re a hundred years old because things are just so different.
this was my first summer where I really felt like I was just ALONE. and normally I wouldn’t mind being alone because I mostly keep to myself, but to have the fact set in that nothing will ever be the way it was, SUCKS.
I hate that I probably won’t ever have a summer with all the people I love together in one place for more than a few hours at a time.
and I hate that my high school friends have scattered and that playlist that was on at Jimmy John’s was full of songs that my best friend from high school sent me FIVE whole years ago when we were just juniors…. and now everything has changed.
change is inevitable, but you can hardly prepare yourself when things just… fade.
and i’m away at school, and i feel like i’m missing so much.
i think change is the thing that i get most sad about…
โ€œCertain things, they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone.โ€ -J.D. Salinger, the Catcher in the Rye