la vie en rose | love burt living | at home with bb

ethan made me leave the house the other day from one to four in the afternoon. he was going to be using loud tools which makes it impossible for me to be anywhere near. i gathered some friends and met at the park and then the coffee shop and then a summer walk. when i arrived home e was in a tizzy. he wasn’t ready quite yet and came to meet me in the driveway. we had to leave shortly for a chiropractor appointment and then baby class that night. i had to change and pee. he didn’t want to let me in the house! apparently my surprise had arrived! a super secret surprise he was so adorably giddy to give me. a while back we found the perfect credenza at an antique store. perfect shape, lovely mid-century vibe and we both liked it and purchased it for forty dollars. a win-win! e made me promise to not paint it for at least three months and i am happy to report we’ve had it now for roughly two years and i still haven’t painted it. sitting atop the credenza was a BEAUTIFUL RECORD PLAYER!! i have been deeply desiring one for years and today was my surprise record player day! i asked e why now? and he gave me a list of sweet answers. a few of which i will share. he wants me to get back to myself, truly. reading poetry, writing at random hours when feeling led, listening to records, slowing down, preparing for baby love life and motherhood, knowing a day of rest and reading is a blessed day and not useless. and filling our home with all sorts of music, teaching our family how to love intensely. 

this morning i was awakened first of course, to pee. thanks, baby. and secondly because the birds called to me and the sunrise beckoned my soul. 

i had “la vie en rose” and “it is well with my soul” on repeat in my mind so i rose and sang to baby while opening the blinds to the day ahead.  

then i wanted to read poetry. and i am wonderfully in love with words and morning and summer light.  


who made the world?

who made the swan and the black bear?

who made this grasshopper?

this grasshopper, i mean -

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down -

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

now lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

i don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

i do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what i have been doing all day.

tell me, what else should i have done?

doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

—mary oliver

baby burt | community | stuff about ethan | love burt living

written at eight weeks pregnant

ethan burt knew he wanted to marry me within a day of meeting me. 
probably just hours. here's a list of a few things he was feeling that night :  

1. i terrified him. 
2. he didn't immediately want to sleep with me.
3. he immediately wanted me to have his babies. he wanted a woman like me as a mother of children, especially his. 
4. i helped him meet God without once saying a bible verse, Jesus's name, or anything about salvation in our first hundred hour conversation in his car. 
5. he thought i was the most beautiful human he'd ever seen. 

i think it's hilarious that i terrified him because he can be intimidating. 
he's very intense. he looks intense, has intense feelings, shocks people with his intense conversation. and yet i terrified him! he didn't know what to make of me. he couldn't immediately figure me out like he can with most people so i was very interesting. and also, he totally had the hots for me so he was freaking out. which is totally adorable. he still hates that he was wearing his office max uniform that night. and i was thankful i changed out of sweatpants at the last minute and put on real clothes. 

the sex thing. 
ethan and i were very different when it came to this topic. 
we had very (read; VERY) different life stories leading up to our meeting at 20 years of age. my ideas of sex and marriage were what you'd call "wholesome" or "after school special" but also deeply romantic as he would find out later i believed that sex would be great between a husband and wife no matter what because God makes it so. not because of "trying someone on" to see if you're compatible or "mixing it up" so you know what you like. he believed differently and had other partners. which was a difficult truth for me in the beginning. but quickly faded as God healed and grew us together. and, i was right. it's always worked beautifully, i've never felt like i'm missing anything, and he finally feels like he's purely having the perfect intimate life. 

the baby thing. he's wanted kids since he was a kid himself. he's always thought most about becoming a husband and father. the very first poem he wrote me talked about me looking out the window holding our baby while the baby gazes at me and laughs joyfully. the years of not being able to give him a baby sometimes broke me thinking about and rereading that poem. but also brought me so much joy knowing that he's enjoyed every day of our married life together no matter what we get in this life. he is the best. 

the God thing. 
God is so good. so clever. so loving. he loves to connect us to Him through each other. i have seen it so many times and now experienced it so many times that i could not believe any other way. God was working on ethan's heart for many years and i am just amazed and thankful that i get to be a part of his journey. all of ethan's hold ups and angers and fears were swept away as we talked and got to know each other and God poured so much love into that car and our conversation that night. it softed ethan's heart and just days later he was a complete goner. he was woken up in the middle of the night and punched out cold with full forgiveness. i wished i was there to experience his experience but it was all his with God alone. it's now part of his testimony that he gets to share with others and i get to hear over and over again. 

the beauty thing. 
i don't think there's anyone else in the world as attracted to each other as ethan burt and i are to each other. heart eyes for dayz. 


last night we enjoyed one of the best nights. we brought dinner over to our friends who are remodeling their new home and are also 30 weeks pregnant with their first baby! they were elated at our news of being 8 weeks pregnant! and we spent the night snacking together after a full dinner and relaxing on their amazing couches talking about raising these babies. what i loved most was their openness and questions. their willingness and hunger for community with us. none of us have these things figured out but we are all better together and it was so refreshing to hear their take on discipline, love, and building character in these tiny humans. we told stories of our childhoods and encouraged each other. they also were reassuring that even at 30 weeks, they worry. at 8 weeks, we haven't heard the heartbeat, i haven't felt anything baby like inside, just a little growth and a lot of insane-lady symptoms. she was helpful with ideas for maternity clothes. they were both sweet-eyed about the excitement of their sweet baby girl coming so soon. they are some of the most easy-going, genuine, kind, welcoming and warm souls. definitely people we want to keep being around. 

and ethan talked about how i will be the perfect mother. 
he's been doing this for years. way before the news of this pregnancy. 
i'm getting more used to it. now i just eat my snack, let him go on and wait for him to be done. and try to remain humble. ha! i mean, he's ridiculous. he says if i had lived in a different time and maybe suffered a little harder i would definitely be a saint. he cracks me up and i love him and his outrageous love for me. 

they asked how we both feel about each other and parenting together. 
i wished later that i had answered and asked them the same. ethan answered with sweet words about how he's so excited to watch me mother. reflecting on that conversation and allowing myself to ask the question what am i most looking forward to him teaching our kids? made me think of qualities. ethan mostly mentioned my character. and the qualities that i have which will translate into building up a great kid. i immediately thought of the fruits of the spirit. the ones that come naturally to ethan are not the ones that come naturally to me. i may have more of the fruits of the spirit at one time, but he has the amazing ones. like the ones that i think are the most hard to come by. longsuffering, faithfulness, self-control, patience. he is the most enduring soul. he is the most faithful to me. he suffers the most joyfully - the best example i have. i lack self-control like mad. i don't even try sometimes to pretend to have it. i just let myself be the weak one and get the extra donuts. but he has incredible self-control. he is very loving and incredibly disciplined. he keeps a tight rein on his vices. he allows himself to be upfront about them, very upfront when he's currently struggling, and spends most of his days conquering the vice/sin/selfish desire because his eye is on this Prize. 

i might more easily feel or express or show other's love, joy and peace. but i lack the meaty fruits. i am incredibly thrilled for him to father our baby. they will grow up to see a strong, fruitful tree. their father will bear all for them. and show them how to become strong in their love for God and become very fruitful. i desire for them to follow his lead. i'll have the easy job with sweet joy, calming peaceful presence, and loving people. but their father will truly be teaching them the fruits that will see them through the hardest moments of their life. and will strengthen them to depend on the God ethan depends on and looks to to gather his character fruits. he will also be in charge of teaching them math. 

i know ethan is already prepared and ready to lose this baby. and i know exactly how good he'll be at weathering the sorrow. and seeing me through it, too. 
in my head i know the possibility. i'm worried about my emotional state and physical state if we do. we are thankful for each pregnant day. and that's enough for now. we can't expect anything more. 

i really don't want him to lose another loved one. the pain he has endured is just too much. but we will do as God sees fit for our lives. and we will know he is good, not because this baby lives or dies, but because time and time again he has proven to be good and is always the answer. 

we already decided we would remain a husband and wife who are having a baby. 
not a wife who finally gets herself a baby and becomes a mother. not a husband who may finally have a son to carry on the burt name. we want to not lose each other in the hopes and dreams a child can bring. he sweetly pleaded with me to stay with him, as in remain very present and husband and wife first and not emotionally leave him because of my personal sorrow or joy, but to remain one, as we have been one for many year before children. and whatever comes our way, we will handle together. this was our conversation on the very day we found out about this wee burt. after the happy tears. we talked and talked. and vowed to each other. 

at this point i'm finding it very hard to not share the news. 
a lot of my close friends still don't know, and neither do our families. 
we want to hear the heartbeat. we want to get a little further along before more and more people know. we are setting back up plans in order for our weddings during that baby-due time before announcing so our couples don't freak out in panic. it's sweet having this secret but also very hard since i love instagram and daily picture journaling on it. sharing life with so many awesome people online. 

we are making plans now to share with our families in the coming weeks. as soon as they know it'll probably go quickly with the posting and the sharing. i have so many people i feel i need to share in person but it'll probably happen at the touch of the fingertips, sharing a belly photo and excited emojis because i can't possibly see in person all the people. especially with this ridiculous exhaustion. 

we are just assuming everything's fine unless we feel/hear otherwise. we will see our midwife at 10 weeks and hopefully hear a heart beat. we are telling our mentors this weekend. they are also pregnant, but with twins! and she's 35 weeks. and has 4 other kiddos! they are welcoming us into their home for the weekend and we are going to tell them and ask for a blessing. 

they blessed us getting married and we would be tearfully thankful for another moment of our lives like that, but this time for our sweet little one. a staple in our memory and we've looked forward to sharing the news with them as soon as we found out. we were going to visit the day after hearing the heartbeat but with their babies due so soon we needed to push the visit one week sooner in hopes of no labor, and time to see them for a few days before their lives get even more covered in sweetness and spit-up. 

these are the days. 

i'm amazed each morning and it's all feeling like a happy dream.


baby burt | love burt living | the story of finding out

"you should write all of this. don't publish it yet, but have it ready. it'll be good for you to experience and good to post later" - ethan burt. january 6, 2018. the day the lines turned blue. 

i never want to forget the emotions of today. 

it was morning. ethan was still sleeping. 

i had been sick for about two weeks at this point. i got something at christmas and the weekend following we had a double header wedding weekend. one in kentucky and one in illinois. we loved both couples so we couldn't say no but it was really stupid. we were so miserable and tired and i was sick. i had a fever of over 100 (i was living around 101.5/102 for four days) and i was useless. ethan had to do everything and take care of me. i didn't even pack enough clothes for myself. i had to wear his underwear. thankfully he packed extra for himself. i was just not myself. not thinking. i was sniffling and feeling awful that i was going to make everyone sick at each reception probably. an amazing man named rodney with a servant's heart at the second wedding kept bringing me hot tea refills. he was amazing. our couples were so sweet to us and extra kind to me and my sick face. so after that weekend we came home. our roommates were also experiencing some of the sickness by this point. they also got it from christmas gatherings. no one is safe. everyone was getting better each day except me. but my symptoms went from sinus pain, air hunger, fever and aches to intense nausea and super charged cravings and heavy emotions like feeling depressed and not wanting to get up in the mornings. nothing sounded good and then all of a sudden i was starving and only wanted amy's organic veggie soup. of course i didn't think of that when we were out. and my sweet best friend/roomie offered to make me homemade soup but that's all i wanted was the canned stuff. and ethan was kind enough to go get some. i also had two pints of dairy-free ice cream within a week. usually we allow one pint a month and sometimes we don't even end up doing that. still most of this is normal for me. i have lyme disease and sometimes have very weird and random cravings and symptoms. i even have been late on periods, thought i was pregnant, took a test, cried and then started the next day several times just because lyme is weird and makes my body weird. also sometimes very stressful months can cause my period to be way late. so, still i was not thinking much about it. just really upset at the longevity of these weird, newer symptoms. 

i kept feeling like maybe i was pregnant around christmas and new years. my sister told us about their new baby (ahhh!!!! oh, yay!) at christmas and i really wanted to be like ME, TOO, MAYBE. COULD BE! wouldn't that be cool!?!)
i missed my period around the 20th which isn't super uncommon, again, but for the last year i have been very regular. so when it was the 26th and still no sign of period but definitely having body symptoms i started to secretly wonder and hopefully wait. 

i told ethan as i have before.. maybe i'm pregnant. he sighed sweetly and said probably not, love. 

this didn't upset me. at all. i know how much he loves me and in what way he meant his words. but something really made me think maybe this time he's really wrong. and how beautiful it will be to let him know this time it's actually a pregnancy. he will be so happy to be wrong. 

a few more days pass and i am just in turmoil in my brain. do i take a test? do i risk it being negative and feeling that awful feeling again? do i tell anyone? who would i talk to? once i tell someone it'll be negative and i'll be the fool again. 

we went to menards. it was a friday. i am struggling to stand and walk around. all the smells of the warehouse building and items inside start to make my lips curl up. ethan is with the guy who has been helping us fix our impossible photography studio space and i'm trying to find a place to throw up. i decide to text my doula/midwife friend. i tell her all my fears. and this is only the fears if i am not pregnant. there are so many to come if i actually am. i tell her how i don't want to buy another test. also, i'm never not with ethan and he may not believe it's time to take one so how foolish i'll feel if i bring up the convo and he doesn't want to take one. then i remembered my roommate has pregnancy tests in our upstairs bathroom. maybe i could use one of hers. but if i ask her then she'll be waiting on my answer and i'm so not ready to deal with the emotion of another nevermind-negative. midwife babe friend tells me to get one from the dollar store and take it. and she'll help me through the process. she is unconditionally loving and i'm so thankful for her in my life. i still don't feel like i'll take a test. i tell her i'll just wait and pray i get huge. she tells me i'm a amazing. i almost cry. 

i meet back up with ethan. it's so hard to not just spew all my thoughts and also everything in my stomach currently right there in the nuts and bolts section.

i just stare at him. he smiles at me.
he looks ridiculously handsome today. i totally want to have his baby. 

we head back to the studio and of course nothing worked out (that's been a theme), so we grab pizza for dinner and head home to watch the crown. our roommates are out celebrating their five year in their favorite city. we let little daisy (their dog-o) snuggle with us in bed. we are softies. then she pooped under a chair the next day just to remind me she's still boss. 

saturday. back to this morning. i wake up super depressed feeling. again. 
finally make my way out of bed around nine. ethan was having a rough lyme morning so he was in bed until around eleven (some days ethan feels really "pulled-down" it is awful to watch. he feels awful that he can't just wake up. some days are better than others but when he's on more lyme kill, it's nearly impossible for him to get up). i was in the turmoil again about taking a test or not. i was trying to just enjoy a saturday off but i was so uncomfortable. being in chronic pain with lyme i'm already uncomfortable but this was worse. i was so angry that normal people can just lay or sit in a position with a book and a blanket and just read it. but i was moving around and uneasy and nauseous and hungry but so incapable of making myself anything. i ate a banana and that helped. read two chapters. felt worse. grabbed almond flour crackers which are my favorite and then felt blah. i crawled over to the other couch, and sat on the floor with upper body on the couch cushion using my arm as a pillow. and waited. am i crazy? am i pregnant? should i just take the test? ethan woke up. came down and sat by me. he held my hand and told me how rough he was feeling this morning. that pulled-down feeling and he was sorry he wasn't up earlier to help me. 

he asked if i wanted bulletproof coffee. which i really didn't but i said ok, sure. 
then, while he was making it i decided it would just be better either way to take the test today. if i am, well. wow. and if i'm not, he's with me. we can handle it together. i have to know now. 

i listened in the kitchen, knowing very well all the sounds of making the coffee and determined i had just enough time to pee on the stick and wait for the results. i've taken enough pregnancy tests to not have to read the instructions anymore. the test box had one more left and i already decided i would replace the box and apologize later. i silent prayed and peed and as soon as i placed the cap on, the first line was turning blue already. the second one was coming in but very faded. i was worried that would mean i wasn't but i kept looking and reading the guide and it looked like the first circle is the most important. and i have very much seen an empty first circle many many times before. never before a first blue line appearance. 

i immediately cried. but also it all felt so unreal that i could be experiencing a positive test. i was was just like WHAT THO? HOW! GOD? AMAZING. REALLY? AHHH!

i thought of all the cute ways to tell your husband you're pregnant and how to quickly become adorable but instead i just cry-called loudly for ethan to come to me upstairs. i always startle him and sometimes it's just because of something cute or cat sleeping in some adorable way or i just wanted to tell him a funny or an idea. but also sometimes it's because i'm so ungraceful and i've fallen or stubbed my toe or hurt myself somehow and need immediate husband help. he is used to this but still is always in slight panic mode to get to me. so he was in mild panic mode and then as he came up the stairs he say me holding my mouth with tears in my eyes. he said, kind of sighing and out of breath, "did cat just do something cute?" and then searched my face .. "or what happened??" 

i told him "i really thought i might be pregnant, you know??" and then he was like "what do you mean!" he looked worried and so curious. he looked very serious. i just kept saying "i really think i'm pregnant!" he looked around me at into the bathroom, searching. 

we walked into the bathroom together and i just gave him the pee stick. 
still serious. looking at me, looking at the pee stick, he asked for the instructions. i forgot he hasn't read a ton of these! i handed the paper to him and he looked puzzled. then happy. then worried some more. i knew he wanted to be elated but also we are very aware of my disease, and the issues pregnancy may cause. and has caused for others. but also wanted to be so happy. he said "but what about the faded line?" so i told him i could text our midwife and see what she says. so we immediately went downstairs, both holding back happy tears, and texted. i sent her a picture so she would know exactly what we are dealing with. she said "ommmggeeee bethany!!! this means you're pregnant!!"  i told ethan and me gushed with joy. and tears. we asked so many questions, ethan immediately made me take a multi vitamin, and tried to do the math of how far along we are. between five and seven weeks. WHAT!? WE ARE PREGNANT!! 

ethan was very cautious. sweetly. 
he said he wanted to be elated. but also, didn't want to get to far ahead of himself. i told him i understand. i am not even thinking farther than this very day. he said that made him feel better. he kept looking at me with serious, deep, ethan burt intensity eyes. i knew he was already seeing two options. devastation and heartbreak or the happiest little joy of our lives. and i know it, too. i feel it very much. he worried that i was already seeing this kid as a 5 year old and 19 year old and we just don't know. and he knows the pain of loss so well. he said he felt the worst loss of all 18 years ago and lost the rest of his sentence in tears. i know. but this time i'm here. and he didn't have me last time. and we are in this together. and he told me now we prove what we believe. that this doesn't make God good, God is good no matter what happens to this baby. at any time. agreed. but also, in this very moment, we are pregnant. there is a baby in there. life. and that we can celebrate. and oh, did we. the sweetest exchanges. the best i've ever felt in my heart since after falling in love with him for the very first time. 

he cried thinking about telling his dad. we can't wait to tell our mentors. 
i cannot wait to tell my mama!

we can't believe this is real right now. 

i haven't even wanted coffee. that should have been a sign!

i don't know what tomorrow holds. but today i'm thankful for this little baby we got to create!

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