It’s An Honor.

Those Crazy Sorokas // Addison Graduates to Toddler Seat

Those Crazy Sorokas // Addison Graduates to Toddler Seat

Whenever I look Addison, I’m continually amazed that such a beautiful being emerged from my body almost two years ago. Her devilish grin and contagious laughter is the fuel to be a better parent each and every day. But some days when I look at her, that toothy smile strikes a different cord in my heart.

In light of our new president entering the office, protests, and recent world news, some fear has started to settle into my spirit. I look at my daughter and am afraid for her and what her future will look like. I’m scared of circumstances that are beyond my control. My daughter, who’s spirit is fierce, is naive to the pain and fear that is muddying our media. I look at her and wonder what the world will be like when she finishes school. Will her spirit be as unrelenting as it is now or will the world try to bring her down with it?

Tonight while Addison and I shared our favorite mango sorbet with strawberry bobas, I had this realization that I could be sharing my sorbet with a future president, activist, manager, scientist, professional athlete, doctor, or evangelist. The tiny fingers scooping bright pinks bobas out of the cup could one day be writing life changing documents. She has the potential to be an influencer and leader.

This realization, though it seems obvious, sank into my heart in a different way. No matter where Addison ends up, I have the privilege and responsibility to raise her in a way that sets herself up for success. The characteristics that I want her to carry into her future, are ones that I should be living out as her parent. I want my daughter to stand up for what’s right, even in the face of adversity. I want her to be unrelenting when it comes to righting the wrongs around her. It’s her responsibility to care for those who can’t care for themselves. It’s her responsibility to be kind and loving to all people despite the differences she has with them. And it’s my responsibility to teach her.

I usually view myself in a darker light. I try to be a good person but often feel like I’m failing. I feel like my flaws are constantly in the spotlight. I know in my head these things are not true but I can’t help to fear that Addison will pick up on all the negativity rather than the positive. And when you know you have a future leader sitting next to you (that may or may not be smashing crackers and feeding them to her canine counterparts), it adds a little bit of pressure into the mix!

If you are a parent, remember that you have the most important job in the world. You have the power to shape history by shaping your children and it is the greatest privilege. Remember that if you feel like you’re doing a bad job but are trying your best to do right by your children, then you are doing a good job and are a great parent. Don’t let life bring you down. You rock!

Emerge.

Those Crazy Sorokas

Today was one of those days. One of those really hard days. I had plans to go out with friends, see a movie, & grab lunch. But that didn’t happen. Sometimes sadness covers you like a warm blanket. It starts from the bottoms of your feet and each step becomes heavier until you can no longer move forward. It makes you cancel plans. It makes you wallow in a puddle until you raise a flag of surrender. It consumes you for every reason and for no reason at all.

I spent half of my time in the shower with my back pressed up against the warm tile floor. My head filled itself with many thoughts. Thoughts of resentment and bitterness. Thoughts of the past and the present. Thoughts that weighed me down more each time they boiled up.

I eventually pulled myself out of the shower. The water was cold by this time and every hair stood on end as the remaining droplets of water tried to escape off my skin. I propped Addison up on my legs and she smiled at me a bright big gummy smile. This should have comforted me, but it didn’t. My vision clouded and my heart felt heavy. She drifted asleep and I curled up against the sheets. I cried for what felt like hours. I cried for every reason and for no reason at all.

Chris came in with a cup of coffee. I swear he’s a mind reader.

“It will be okay…”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“Do you want me to go?”
“It will be okay…”

He held me for a long time. Each tear stung as it left my eyes. The sun’s rays rested on our faces as we shared the moment. A moment that was beautiful and saddening. One that you want to remember and want to forget. It was a moment where you literally have to force yourself to move forward from even though all you want to do is fade away.

We ended our day in what was left of the Florida sunshine. All six of us. The dogs chased lizards and sniffed the bushes. Chris skated up and down the driveway. Addison and I pressed our stomachs against the concrete giggling and smiling at each other.

When you pull yourself back into reality, the reality where you have people who love and depend on you. A reality that to someone, you’re the one and only. The pain fades. Your vision clears and you realize that in the end, love always wins. It always emerges from the darkness. It fills your heart for every reason and no reason at all.

Those Crazy Sorokas

Image Insecurity & Pregnancy

Image Insecurity & Pregnancy: You're Not Fat and Other Truths // Those Crazy Sorokas

Image Insecurity & Pregnancy: You're Not Fat and Other Truths // Those Crazy Sorokas

I think everyone deals with insecurities, especially about their bodies. I went through a pretty destructive self-hate phase in middle school and early high school. People always assume that if you’re “skinny” you’re happy, which is definitely not true at all. When people would complain about their bodies, I would join in. I got many eye rolls and envious glares. “You have nothing to complain about!” they’d say in the locker room. But that didn’t cease the insecurities, but rather push them deeper.

I finally got to a place in my life where I actually loved myself. I was confident in my body and how I was designed. I could easily push negative thoughts and imagery out of my mind. This didn’t happen until college, but it happened. I was proud to have pushed past it all and entered a true self-love phase. I thought that I had mastered the art of loving oneself and would never have to deal with that again.

I was wrong.

It wasn’t until my third trimester until the negativity came back. It came with a vengeance. Maybe it’s because I’m the largest I’ve ever been, maybe it’s the hormones, or maybe it’s a bit of both. However, it’s not really the number on the scale or the pregnant belly that I’m insecure about but the reality that my body will never be what it once was. For those of you who don’t live on my side of the town, it’s summer here in Central Florida, which means most of the people I know are at the beach constantly. My Instagram and facebook feeds are filled with tan bodies, abs, bikinis, and belly rings. All of which, I do not have.

I look at those around me and realize that I’m being pulled back into that dark phase. Sure, my stretch marks are in hidden places but they’re there and I see them. I wonder if my stomach will ever look normal and if I’ll ever be comfortable with wearing a two-piece in public ever again.

The worst part of the comparison is when you involve it in your relationships. Maybe this is too personal, but will Chris ever truly desire me again? Will he look at my body and be happy with what it is? Will he still think I’m sexy? I know he will and I know that I don’t have anything to worry about. I know that Chris loves me, will always love me, and would never do anything to hurt me or break our vows. But when you’re not even satisfied with yourself, you wonder if anyone else will be. You second-guess compliments and analysis their validity through your microscope of a mind. Then when people say hurtful things (even accidently) your glass wall of confidence shatters and you crawl into a hole where you repeat the comments like a chant and cry because it’s easier to believe the criticism than it is to believe the kind words that people speak into your life.

Why that is, I don’t know and, unfortunately, at least for me, the problem can’t be cured with compliments, healthy foods, or massive amounts of endorphins. Because at the end of the day when you’re in bed staring at the faint light creeping under the bedroom curtains, it’s just you. Compliments aren’t sustaining, endorphins wear off, and you’re left feeling empty.

What saved me many years ago, I know will save me again: Jesus. I know that seems crazy, but Jesus literally saved my life years ago and His Word restored my confidence. What makes God’s Word different than the compliments that get tossed around is this:
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.... 2 Timothy 3:16 // Those Crazy Sorokas

When I read this verse and what it means, I know it’s talking more about the correction of sin and that the Word trains us to be godly and righteous. But to me, it also means more. God’s word has power.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. - Hebrews 4:12 // Those Crazy Sorokas

It rebukes the lies we hear from ourselves and others. It shows us the truth and helps correct our train of thought. So when it says in Psalm 139:14, “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” I know can stand firm in the knowledge that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I can be confident in the knowledge that my God made my body the way He saw fit and that it’s beautiful and amazing.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;     your works are wonderful,     I know that full well. - Psalm 139:14 // Those Crazy Sorokas

As far as being pregnant, God designed my body to develop this baby. My body was designed to provide and sustain life. I shouldn’t be ashamed that my body is growing or that it’s being stretched. Stretch marks are a small price to pay for a beautiful life that God created for a purpose.

If you’re like me and truly struggling with your image, meditate on Psalms 139:14. Pray it over yourself. Put it somewhere you can see it. Make it a reminder on your phone. You’re not speaking fallacies but rather the truth you either have not been told or have chosen not to believe. I know it’s hard to push past the lies, I’m struggling hard right now too. But it’s possible. We can do it.

You can do it.

Those Crazy Sorokas - Kaitlyn Signature

9 Months: The Countdown Begins

06.16.15

The day of my 36 week visit was interesting, to say the least. I started my day at around 6:30. I tried to get my sleep as my stomach contacted over and over again. I went to work and all day my stomach continued to contract. It wasn’t painful. It was more annoying than anything. Focusing on work felt impossible. Even walking down the hallway, I could feel my stomach tighten with each step. It felt like I was involuntarily trying to suck my stomach in. I felt short of breath and hot all day.

At the appointment, the nurse strapped me to the NST monitor and right away I saw a contraction appear on the printout. The nurse stared at the test. Instead of the normal, “ok, the doctor will check on you in about 20 minutes.” I got the, “I’ll be right back.”, which instantly annoyed and scared me (what could possibly be wrong now?!). The doctor came in the room, which, by the way, was not the same doctor I was supposed to see that day. While the doctor looked at the printout, I just could imagine in my head the nurse running out the door and grabbing whichever doctor she saw first. The baby’s heart rate was too high. My heart rate was too high. And contractions were registering. The doctor kept me hooked up and the baby settled.

After 30 minutes, the doctor explained that everything was fine because the both the baby and I were at normal levels. However, I did have 6 contractions register, so I would have to be checked for dilation.

Not dilated. No pain with contractions. False alarm.

Those Crazy Sorokas // Are You My Mother?

Then lucky me, I needed a spur of the moment ultrasound to measure baby’s growth. She was measuring ahead. However, when it got time to do the breathing test (where the baby has to practice breathing for 30 straight seconds), the baby wasn’t doing that great. Apparently, you only get 15 minutes to pass this part of the test.

Five minutes passed.
Then ten.
Then thirteen.
Then fourteen.

The ultrasound technician looked uncomfortable as she announced, “only one more minute…”. Then suddenly, the baby started breathing… for exactly thirty seconds. The tech sounded relieved as she started putting the equipment away. “She could have done that, I don’t know, maybe fifteen minutes ago.”

“What would have happened if she hadn’t made the deadline?”

“You would have gotten to take a trip to the hospital for extra testing. But everything is fine. I’ll go get the doctor.”

Needless to say, I even though the doctor says she thinks I’ll go full term. I don’t know if I fully believe her. I feel like it will be soon. But what do I know? I’m not a doctor. I’ve never had a baby. So until I feel those Braxton Hicks turn into labor contractions, I’m packing my hospital bag and tucking it safely away in the car. I will continue to drink water like it’s my job and try not to focus on my body but on what’s going on.

06.24.15

37 weeks. 1 day. (taken from Instagram // 37 Weeks. 1 Day.)

Today has been, by far, the most physically and mentally challenging day of my pregnancy. When I sat up this morning, the shifting of weight felt like all of my organs and bones were being crushed. Sitting, standing, and walking didn’t provide any relief & the pain increased with every hour (makes for a miserable 9 hour work day). I truly struggled to get through the day. Every Braxton Hicks contraction proved to be more powerful than the last and some even took my breath away. Trying to focus on work and the endless amount of responsibilities was a challenge in itself.

Those Crazy Sorokas // Addison Belly Shot

06.28.15

I have 2 weeks left of Addison’s pregnancy. The countdown has begun. “Any day now!” I hear from people saying to me as I waddle past.

Any.
Day.

Initially, at the 37 week mark, I wanted to have Addison that very day. I’m full term so everything is good to go, right? I’ve done my waiting duties. I’ve waited for 38 weeks for goodness sakes! But a few days ago I watched a video of a woman who was pregnant with her third child and was in her final stretch of pregnancy giving advice on how to soak up the last bit of pregnancy you have left. She went on about things I’ve heard before, “you’ll miss the kicks!” or “you’ll never be as close to your child as you are now!” I tried not to tune it out and put my brain on autopilot. I focused on listening to her.

It’s not that I’ve had a bad pregnancy, actually, my pregnancy has been spectacular and I’ve actually enjoyed carrying Miss Addison. Except for my seemly excessive amount of doctor’s visits (I’ve gone to 23 doctors visits so far. yes. 23.) and my ONE day of excruciating pain, pregnancy has been great.

Anyways, the one thing that caught my ear that she said was, “what if this is you last pregnancy?” Now for her, that could be very likely. Tons of couples stop having children after they reach 3. But for me, that thought scared me. This is my first baby! What if something were to happen that my pregnancy with Addison would be the last pregnancy I would ever experience?

Those Crazy Sorokas // Almost Kisses

I would never again see my body morph into the giant incubator it is now. I wouldn’t be on first name basis with the awesome nurses at the OBGYN. I wouldn’t feel a tiny baby butt/back press up against the side of my stomach. I would never see another ultrasound of a growing baby. I would never again be able to tell Chris, “We’re going to have a baby!”

What if this was it for me and my baby-making career?

Ever since I heard that, I’ve been trying to be present with my last attached time with Addison. When she moves, I press my hands against myself to better feel her movements. I embrace Braxton Hicks and focus on breathing through the pressure. The little pains don’t seem so annoying anymore.

Pregnancy has taught me so many things about myself and life. I’ve been exposed to areas in my life that have been dead and lifeless. I have seen a strength in me I didn’t realize I had. I have learned more about God and His wisdom and knowledge that surpasses my own.

But one thing that I hope to remember from this day forward is to be present, truly 100% present with everyone and every experience.

One day my dogs will be old and won’t be able to bounce up on the bed. One day my husband won’t be able to pick me up into his arms. One day I won’t be able to do everything I can do now. One day my baby will be grown and will move away.

I need to be present. I need to listen to my husband when he goes on about things that don’t really interest me. I need walk and play with my dogs while they’re puppies. I need to enjoy the Florida sunshine even when I’d rather be inside scrolling through my Facebook feed. I need to listen for God’s whispers in the morning and not rush through my devotions.

So yes, even though I want to meet Addison so bad, I will wait for as long as I need to. When the time comes, I will be present with her with every contraction and every push. And I will soak in every moment because never again will I give birth to that child and never again will I share those first moments with my husband.

Those Crazy Sorokas // Addison Ultrasound

In-Laws & Birthdays

They say when you get married, you don’t just marry the love of your life, you marry their family. I know some people who despise their in-laws. Their in-laws are clingy and have their hands in the couple’s finances and personal affairs. I’ve seen in-laws create rifts in marriages and have caused couples to turn against one another.
I’m fortunate enough to have been blessed with great in-laws. They don’t meddle or judge. They are loving and kind. They offer advice but don’t push it upon and always have our backs.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of celebrating the life of a wonderful mother-in-law. Having known her for close to ten years, I can definitely identify her as my family. She is such a kindhearted and loving person and I can see bits of her reflected in my husband. I know without such an amazing woman, I would not have the husband I am blessed with today.
2015 Julia & Kaitlyn
Chris grilled up some steak with two vegetable sides: lightly pan fried broccoli (my addiction!) and roasted carrots (a new discovery for us). For dessert, we planned to make these adorable apple roses, that looked surprisingly easy to make (WRONG). They were so difficult to make and I think the ingredients I used were just off (I did have to improvise on a few things). So (thank God), Stephen had brought a birthday cake from Publix and it was oh so delicious.
Flank steak with chimichurri sauce. Sides of pan-seared broccoli and balsamic marinated & roasted carrots.
Happy birthday, Julia! I hope you had a great day and I love you so much!

Those Crazy Sorokas - Kaitlyn Signature