Saturday, May 30, 2009

Help!

I have this problem...my best friend lives very far away. And I cannot go shopping with her. It's probably for the best because we tend to egg each other on and buy way more than we should when we do go shopping.

But I still miss her because I have been desperately searching for a pair of shoes that do not seem to exist. I have logged about 6 hours online and in stores searching for a pair of brightly colored (not yellow) 2-3 inch dress shoes (pumps or sandals) that have an upper strap so that I can dance in them and aren't too high because what's the point of buying cute shoes if you're just going to take them off? And that do not cost more than $80 (I refuse to spend more than that on stupid shoes).

Complicating matters is that I must find a clutch (purse) that doesn't exactly match but sort of matches so as not to look too matchy. Now if I had my fantastic friend here who is amazing at accessorizing I would perhaps already be done with this task and could go on happily knowing that I will look fantastic at the wedding(s) I have to go to this summer. Assuming of course that I can also fit into the little black dress I am hopefully going to wear.

Writing this it seems that a lot of things have to fall into place for me to actually wear the outfit that is in my head at the moment. But I have faith. I will keep searching and find the perfect shoe. Hopefully it is between now and June 20.

I've resorted to mowing my lawn in a strapless shirt that I use as a bathing suit cover up to get a tan for the aforementioned black dress. Am I straight from the 80's or what? (Also, don't tell my grandma I'm trying to get a tan. Or my mother-in-law. Or my wrinkly old lady hands. They would all be pissed.)

I also keep reading those signs in tanning beds that say, "If you don't get a tan from the sun you won't get a tan from the tanning bed." Do you think these signs were written for me in particular? I'm pretty sure that bronze will never be my color. I do hesitate to try the spray tans though because I think I might turn out looking very much like an oompa loompa.

Speaking of oompa loompas, I generally dislike most childhood movies like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory & The Wizard of Oz. I mean--really--those oompa loompas are creepy and the flying monkeys are downright scary. I still get freaked out if I watch The Wizard of Oz when it's on once a year.

I need a standout shoe...like those ruby slippers...But I don't want high heeled red shoes with a black dress because I don't want to look like I came from an escort service. I may be thinking about this too much. I tend to think too much, have you noticed?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Perfection

I made the perfect grilled cheese sandwich today. Was it the white bread? Was it the perfectly spread margarine or the heat setting? I'll never know.
I almost took a picture and then thought about how weird that would be. It's just too bad I had no one to show it to except my one year old son who won't even remember.

Is it strange that when I think about losing weight I think of those cute mommies in little velour tracksuits with their perfect bodies, perfect hair, perfect tan, and perfectly manicured hands? I know these people exist because I have seen them. What I don't know is their stories because I have never met one. I'm usually sporting the lounge pants/T-shirt combo with slightly disheveled hair. Because hell, I'm chasing a kid all day. Perhaps me and the velour tracksuit are just not meant to be together.

I just have to say...lounge pants from walmart: LVU4EVR

Depending on the day, makeup may or may not be on...thank goodness that day I met Kevin Costner I looked in the mirror and decided it would be a good idea to put some on. I didn't find out until later that I would be meeting good ol' Kev. I guess maybe I should do that more often because who knows when I might a) meet a celebrity or b) run into that guy from high school or college (or even that one that looks like Paul Newman, remember?)--you know the one--I think each of us has one that we secretly don't want to run into because in our heads we become the girl we used to be, no matter how many years have gone by and how confident we are now.

I might be able to pull off the disheveled hair in the summer as "beach hair" but the other stuff is just inexcusable. My huge sunglasses do cover over a multitude of sins though, so I can always use those as the back up plan, if say--I run into a.) or b.) at the Lincoln Children's Zoo...however unlikely that may be.

Now all that's left of that perfect grilled cheese is the crust. Holden enjoyed it immensely. I'm never going to fit into that tracksuit if I can't resist making another one and eating it myself. Oh, self control, I need you now more than ever.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty"




The quote above is sometimes attributed to Patrick Henry or Thomas Jefferson, but no one really knows where it came from.
Doesn't this seem true not only on Memorial Day, but in many different things? I saw it today and it got me thinking about how being a parent--hell, being a person--it seems like constant vigilance is necessary. It makes me think of my husband spending months in dirty sand, using wet wipes to shower and always on guard for that next round of mortars or machine gun fire.
It makes me think of all those days I spent making his care packages, getting to know the postal workers.
It makes me think of him telling me about how a whole pallet of mail was dropped into the sea.
It makes me think about how I used to wait and wait for a phone call, sometimes for weeks.
It makes me think about coming down the escalator at the San Diego airport and running into his arms.
It makes me think of him in his dress blues on the beach on our wedding day, and that breeze off the ocean.
That quote also makes me think of losing weight--realizing that for the rest of my life I will have to eat 1600 calories or less per day and work out religiously to be the weight I want to be. It is sacrifice. Small ones and big ones.
It is running over to my son every time he bends over to pick something up off the ground to keep him from choking on it. It is every night when I spend five or ten minutes with my hand on his chest while he sleeps feeling him breathe. It is exhausting. Eternal vigilance.
Even though I know it isn't the truth, it is that I wasn't vigilant enough when pregnant. I keep thinking that maybe I could have done something more--maybe I should have being doing kick counts earlier (even though they don't recommend them until about 26-27 weeks). Maybe I should have called the doctor sooner.
I tried to do everything right and it didn't matter. No matter how vigilant I was, it just wasn't enough. I know the guilt is unnecessary. I know that in my head, but my heart is harder to convince. Tony makes me repeat this to him sometimes, "There is nothing I could have done."
My heart is broken.
But that freedom and happiness and all the wonderful things that come from certain kinds of vigilance...those things keep me going. All the minutes and hours I spend carefully watching my son, they are worth it. All that money and time I poured into a long distance relationship--those months that I spent worrying and waiting--it was all worth it. Having the opportunity to be with Allison for 25 weeks...I wouldn't trade a day. No matter how painful it is now.
Liberty and happiness both exact a high price.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Animal House

I only ran into two spiders while cleaning my basement, and I'm fairly certain that neither was a brown recluse. That basement was dis-gust-ing. To let you in on the level of disgusting it was I would compare it to a frat house full of freshman and sophomore boys.
I cleaned for around 2 hours and maybe got 1/4 of it done. That is being generous in my estimation. Not sure why it's so dirty. But then again, I can't really recall the last time I truly cleaned it. So that's never a good sign.

Either way, I'm not going to have one of those houses that smells like a damn litter box. And if you think I do already, spare my feelings and don't tell me about it. My scrubbing and constant floor mopping already feels futile enough.

I have a lot of work ahead of me next week (I'm taking the weekend off, of course!).

I found out yesterday that Dad's radiation starts June 1. Just praying now that he has few side effects from it. It's possible that I will try to spend some time out there to help out if needed. It will be six long weeks.

Not forgotten

I said to Tony the other day, "I feel like no one even remembers she existed."
And he said, "I will always remember, even if no one else does."

Then today I read this blog, seemingly written especially for me to read this week. God is very good. I continue to believe there are no accidents.

http://blog.todayschristianwoman.com/editors/2009/05/free_to_grieve.html

Paul Blart: Mall Cop


I can't lie, I must admit that I liked Paul Blart: Mall Cop way more than I should have. We watched it last night and I just chuckled about something I remembered and it is 7:48 a.m. I am generally a fan of Kevin James though, so that is probably why.


Just had to share that with you. Other excitement we had last night was our cat getting in a cat fight on our front porch. That was fun. Today I get to tackle cleaning the basement. I'll let you know how it goes. Hopefully I don't run into any brown recluse spiders hiding in my piles of dirty laundry*. Wish me luck.

*That actually happened to me once.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ERGO


I have an ERGO baby carrier I bought when Holden was 3 months old. I loved it then and I love it now, although I don't use it as much as I thought I would. As it turns out I live in the Midwest (I must have forgot that when I purchased it) so I don't really walk around that much unless it is intentional...like going on an evening walk with my souped up stroller.


But anyway, I was feeling really motivated the other day and decided that maybe I'd be able to mow the lawn with Holden strapped to my front and decided to try it out. This was a bad idea and the reasons are threefold:

1) you can't pull the engine to start the mower without jarring the baby that is on your chest

2) it was insanely windy so pieces of grass/rocks we're flying up and into our faces

3) it's hard enough to mow my huge yard, let alone with a baby strapped to me


Now you'd think I would have realized these things before I began, but sadly, no. Thank goodness Holden came out unscathed, but the yard has one small sad swath of grass mowed and the rest is (still) swaying in the wind waiting for the guy we hired to mow it.


Ok, to get to the point of this post: I realized as I was trying to carry around my 22 pound baby on the front of me that perhaps if I lost 20 (or 40) pounds I would feel better. I can't even tell you how much lighter I felt when I unstrapped that little guy and let him roam free again. This seems like an obvious thing, but when weight comes on slowly you don't notice it as much. It is insidious.
So anyway, the last few weeks have felt like the good old calorie-counting-and-see-how-much-exercise-I-can-fit-in days. Not in a bad way. Who'd have thought something as simple as a baby carrier would jump start my motivation to lose weight? That and our high school reunion is coming up in a year. It also gives me something to focus on besides sad things like Ally and all the stuff going on with Dad.


The above pic is Holden immensely enjoying his bananas at snacktime.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Bachelorette

It's the season premiere of the bacherlorette tonight! It's on in the living room and I'm sort of watching it. I only get one channel (ABC) so I don't have much choice if I want to watch something else...but I love the bachelor and bachelorette. The show is one of my vices. I started watching with my roommates as a sophomore in college and have watched on and off ever since.

Holden is asleep and Tony is playing baseball so I (sort of) have the house to myself. I have the most recent copy of Cosmo (I know, I'm too old to be reading cosmo). I don't need any more sex tricks...but for some reason I can't quit that bad habit. (And really, they just keep putting the same "tricks" in there year after year). Waste of money. But it's my guilty pleasure.

Other vices include but are not limited to: Expensive highlights, waxes, pedicures, and shoes (occasionally). I hate how old my skin looks already but I am going to damage it some more by tanning for a couple weddings I have to go to this summer. I wouldn't, but I have a black dress so I will look like Casper the friendly ghost if I don't.

I'm really a miser, but when I write it all down at the same time I sound like a spendthrift.
I have caviar taste on a tuna budget I guess.

Speaking of caviar...I got an invitation to a wedding today and they HIRED A CALLIGRAPHER to address the invitations. I have never been to a wedding quite that fancy. It's at the plaza in Kansas City--at one of the hotel ballrooms there. I'm looking forward to it, and just praying that I will fit into that cute black cocktail dress I mentioned above 8 weeks from now. We're at the not-quite-zipping-up point at the moment. But I just had a baby, and I have 8 weeks, so I'm optimistic.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Foxhole

It was date night tonight! We went out to eat (among other things) and spent waaay too much money at Misty's--which was delicious as always. Oh my goodness, if you have never had king crab you have to have it sometime. I forget how good it is until I order it. I usually don't order it because a) We live in Nebraska and b) Market price is $29.99! Luckily we had a gift card and we shared a half order along with our entrees so it worked out quite well!

It was so nice to have a day to ourselves--we didn't actually get "away" until about 3 p.m. because we had to drive and drop off Holden at my MIL's house for the night and also have lunch with them...but it was still great! I dropped Tony off at the racetrack where he lost some money betting on the Preakness. We both like horse races, but I decided shopping sounded more fun. I found the most fabulous couch at The Nest--it was white leather-art-deco-ish...gorgeous. It was also $900. I'm going to have to keep dreaming there.

Tonight after we got home I was talking to Tony, or really we were just lying there not talking, and I said,
"I can't do this." (Referring to all that is going on in our lives in general). And with his best southern Bubba accent he said,
"I can't do this either, but together we can. We'll just put our backs together so neither of us have our heads in the mud."
Don't you just love the movie Forrest Gump? I am so thankful for my husband because a lot of the time it seems he knows just what to say to make everything better. He knows how much I like Forrest Gump...not all people would get that quote.
And he also knows when not to say anything too, because sometimes words just aren't enough.

Friday, May 15, 2009




Here are the flowers I bought yesterday for myself. Pretty, aren't they? In the picture is my cat, Sadie, who did me the honor this week of bringing me the bottom half of a dismembered bunny as a gift on the porch.
So sweet.

Body Snatchers

I have my body back, sort of. I’m pretty close to my pre-pregnancy weight, but isn’t it interesting that my stomach still looks sort of deflated? No stretch marks here, so yea! And hey, I can feel my rib and hipbones again! Woo HOO! But it does look like someone has been cutting into me. I’m wondering if crunches will do it or if I will forever be reminded with a deflated balloon of the births of my children. I’m guessing no on the crunches, but a girl can hope…

For my mother’s day gift I am getting a tattoo of my sweet Allison’s footprint. I like tattoos and already have one, however I wonder if getting a tattoo of her footprint is redundant. She left her mark physically already with a few extra scars that will be there forever.

She left her mark emotionally with scars that will be there forever too.

It is so interesting that once you have children their grubby little hands hold your heart like a vise. I mean that in a good way, of course. Who knew love could be so achingly wonderful?

Do you ever get jealous of celebrities because they have c-section tummy tucks (all in one surgery!)? I keep telling Tony that someday my mother’s day gift is going to be a breast lift. Maybe when I’m 40. At that point I can tell my 16 year old son,

“Honey what I really want for mother’s day are some perky breasts. After all, you owe me big.”

I can already see the eye-rolling beginning.

Seasons

I once read that to make a friend you have to have just the right amount of self-disclosure. Enough that they can relate to you, but not so much that they are overwhelmed and/or alienated by you (you wait until later for that much information).

I think this may be my problem. You see, I have verbal diarrhea. I seem to be a pretty quiet person, but once I get talking I can't STOP talking. TMI and all that. I never used to be like this, I used to be more stoic but now don't seem to know how to keep my mouth shut. I don't say bad things...just give too much information too fast.

Tony and I were listening to a sermon on the radio the other day and the pastor was talking about loneliness. How everyone feels lonely sometimes and you just have to walk through it. How sometimes (especially in the last few weeks) I can be lying there with Tony talking and telling him I still feel lonely. Since he heard the same sermon, he said to me last night,
"You're going to be lonely no matter what I do. You are going through things I don't understand and although I can be here, I can't ease your loneliness."
Profound. Bet you didn't know I had such a profound husband, did you?

Anyway, I've also noticed this when talking to my friends who have moved away. None of us has really close friends like we used to have. I haven't even moved away and I feel like this.
With babies, and husbands, and distance, work, school, and busyness--it seems that we're all feeling sort of lonely at the same time but have no way of bridging that gap.

I'm still negotiating this gap of my late 20's. You don't live with your friends anymore (except one and he's a boy!), you don't stay up until midnight talking and drinking red wine with the girls anymore (well, I don't), you spend all your free time trying to get a minute alone and away from people because you've had a little one hanging on you all day, and when you do have a minute alone you're loading the dishwasher, washing clothes, mowing the lawn (or shoveling snow), cleaning the house, and driving to and from appointments or the grocery store.

Am I alone here? Didn't think so.

So it continues. I know this post makes me sound unhappy but I am not. I just want a girl's night out every once in awhile and some girls to go on that girl's night out with! I want people I have something in common with to talk to. I don't pretend to think that they will be like my best friend, with whom I spent nearly every evening one summer in college watching Sex and the City and drinking red wine and talking, but they would be different in their own way. In a new and good way.

Is this just a season of life? The busyness, happiness, and loneliness all meshed together? Is it just my season, or do other people feel the same way? I hope it's not just me. I think that's how many people go through life, hoping it's not just them that feels a certain way. And hoping to find many people to share those feelings with. Too much self-disclosure be damned.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from His life. For each scene he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonging to Him and the other to the LORD.
When the last scene of His life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life. This really bothered him and he questioned the LORD about it.
"LORD, you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the saddest and most difficult times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me."
The LORD replied, "My precious, precious child, I love you and would never leave you! During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you."

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

What I'm feeling right this moment would best be described as soul-gnawing, shrieking pain, pain beyond anything I have experienced. And yet I'm still functioning...and pretty well at that. I've gotten some studying done, and some laundry and dishes, and managed to help care for Holden (his great-grandma is here--see previous post).

I found out today that this brain tumor of my dad's is not going away. Probably ever. Not until it kills him. Mercifully, it is only a stage 2 and not 3 or 4. This does not offer a whole lot of comfort. I don't want to be an orphan before I'm 32 (I'm 27 now, you do the math). Actually, I'm probably being a little over dramatic. The doctor said 50% of people live more than 5 years with this type of tumor. If you want to google it--it's a low-grade glioma, diffuse astrocytoma that has infiltrated into both sides of the brain in the frontal lobe. There is no curing it, only treating it, and eventually, palliative care.

Just typing palliative care makes me feel sick. I've worked in hospice before and seen it. I've worked with Alzheimer's patients too and seen how it is when they lose pretty much everything they know. I don't want my dad to slowly lose his ability to function. Note: This is not Alzheimer's--it's a brain tumor but you can generally expect a slow loss of function as of course the brain tumor will grow and the more it does the more it will affect him.

I feel utterly helpless

I'm sure everyone else in my family does too...but as is the nature of blogging and my obvious narcissism (or I wouldn't be blogging) I'm going to go ahead and focus on myself for just this few minutes here. I think I've earned it this last 3 weeks.

Gosh, I'm feeling sorry for myself huh. It's not pretty.

I am going to wal-mart today to buy some pretty flowers for my porch. And it is a gorgeous day outside--perfect for walking. Holden loves riding in the stroller. He finally started saying "Mama" again yesterday. It's been like 2 months since he would say it. Now I feel positive that he is actually referring to me when he says it.

I have a lot of studying to do so there's no more room for feeling sorry for myself at the moment. Plus, I have lots of other stuff to do around the house. I'm feeling better already. The snippet of the poem above is by Robert Frost. The title of the blog is the title of the poem.
But maybe you already knew that.

I hope you are having a better day than me. But to prove Tony wrong since he always says I am a pessimist I have to say that I know it will get better from here. How can it not when it is so nice outside?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Shrinking Violet

Funny story. Tony's grandma is in town and has been since Monday. She is staying over to help watch Holden so I can actually get something done around the house. We had a funny conversation the other day. I was talking about how I haven't been able to get much of anything done around the house because, well, I haven't been able to move. The whole c-section thing, you know. And his grandma was like, "Does Anthony ever complain about it?"

I may have laughed. I'm not sure. I can't really remember.

Okay, I have to acknowledge here that I am not a clean person by nature. But I do try really hard to keep my house presentable. Of course I don't try hard to keep it presentable WHEN I CAN'T MOVE, but other than that it's usually ok.

The other question that this brought up to me was whether she thinks I am some shrinking violet or whether she is just a really anal housekeeper. I think perhaps a little of both and it's possible that in her marriage it was a BIG DEAL if things were in the sink for more than 10 minutes. Not sure.

What I do know is that in the many years she has been coming to stay with us she has only taken a bath here once. In all fairness I didn't have a tub stopper--because who takes baths anymore? And I do now becaue obviously we give Holden baths in the regular bathtub. But anyway, she still hadn't taken a bath here until TODAY after she watched me (and by watched, I mean pretty much actually stood there and watched) scrub the bathroom for an hour. I'm being literal here. It was pretty dirty but I scrubbed extra for her benefit.

She is such a nice woman to come and help out. I really do need the help. Also, I guess I shouldn't feel bad. My mother-in-law (who would be her ex-daughter-in-law) said that grandma used to come over and clean her house while she was at work (without asking). I was like, "That would be sweet! I wish I had someone who would do that for me!" Sounds a little bit Everybody Loves Raymond to me though.

And she said that it was an insult to her. Sort of. Hey, I say if you've got someone cleaning your house WELL and FREE you should just consider yourself blessed. My MIL didn't really see it that way though. I suppose in the same situation I would feel the same way. Heck I sort of felt the same way when she asked if Tony complained about my housecleaning.

I guess beggars can't be to choosy though, can they? I need all the help I can get...did I already say that?

Happy Wednesday to you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The other 'Old blue eyes'


Some of you may know about my love of Paul Newman. Some of you may not know who Paul Newman is--besides the guy on the salad dressing.

Let me enlighten you. Paul Newman is possibly the most physcially attractive man who ever lived. Stunningly beautiful.

He died last year though. He was in his 80's and happened to live in the same town as one of my friends. It will always be one of my few regrets that I never tried to meet him (hey--it's possible--I reached my dream of meeting Kevin Costner didn't I?).

He was a movie star in the 60's (and beyond). My favorite movie to watch him in is Cool Hand Luke.

I once knew a young man who was the spitting image of Paul Newman. Shame I haven't seen that guy in like 5 years. By the way--happily married here, I just like to look at beautiful men...I guess it's a vice of mine.

Paul is a legend. When he died I went over to visit my 78 year old grandmother that day, and my aunt was there as well. My grandma said, "Paul Newman died." And I shared her moment of sadness. She said, "Old blue eyes. He had the most beautiful blue eyes." My aunt agreed. So his appeal reached from a 78 year old to a 26 year old! Although I thought he was most attractive in his 40's--he was more from my grandmother's generation. His pictures don't do him justice, you must watch a movie he did to understand his dreaminess.

Go out and rent one!


Ally


This feels like the. longest. week. ever. I'm having trouble getting through the day. Trying not to think about Allison and trying to think of something else. Anything else. Not succeeding.

Better than the last

It's dreary today. I felt fine all day until this afternoon and now it's dragging big time. I
I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and my doctor said something that kind of struck me. He said emotionally each day should be better than the last (or the same--I asked). If things start going downhill instead of getting better then there is a problem. I don't feel better than yesterday, but I don't feel worse either. So that's good.

I was lurking around facebook today and reading about someone who I have heard a lot about. Kind of has a "reputation" if you know what I mean. This person is now in a long term relationship and seems quite happy with their life. I think they are doing well. So I have to wonder...does your "number" affect you later? I mean, say you get married--all you out there who have a) stayed a virgin till marriage or b) only slept with your spouse this does not apply to you. Well actually it does apply to you if you are (a) or (b) and your spouse has a little more history than that.

So anyway the point I'm getting at is that we're told (well many of us are told) from day one (in church) that if we happen to have premarital sex or more than one sexual partner that it will affect you FOREVER and ruin your future relationships and all sorts of other things that I just don't think are true. I mean, there may be a little residual effect but is it really the end of the world? And what are your experiences with this type of scare tactic for kids?

Now I know some people truly believe that this is the truth...that their marriage will be ruined forever by the ghosts of the past (even their past together!). I don't mean to mock this way of thinking but I just don't see how it is even remotely true if you have a healthy and loving relationship with your spouse. I realize this is diametric to what I am supposed to believe as a Christian (and not just a Christian in name either, I truly am).

Isn't it interesting that in theory I agree with the not having sex until marriage camp but just don't see it in practicality? To be quite honest sometimes I see some of my friends who I *know* (and by know I mean I'm pretty sure) waited until marriage and wonder if perhaps on the day they got married they found that they had no sexual chemistry, he couldn't get it up, she only allows him to do it missionary style, he or she has such a low libido that they never want to do it, she can't do it with the lights on, etc. etc.
Surely this only happens to a minority of people, but really only a small minority of people actually wait until they get married. Something like under 10%.

So then, what in the hell do I tell my son and any future children about this little sticking point? Ah the thoughts of parenthood. Hopefully I don't have to (really) worry about this for another 16 years or so. Hopefully.
Isn't this an odd thing to be thinking about right now?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Measure of Faith

What measure of faith have you been given?

"For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith."
Romans 12:3-6

I was in church yesterday and the message my Pastor gave us was interesting. He spoke about how God is preparing us to come into contact with someone either to speak to them or have them speak to us. To teach or to be taught. I never thought of it that way but have had several instances in my life where this has been true. I wonder what God is preparing me for right now.

Also, I was thinking that this experience of Allison being stillborn has in some ways been easier to deal with that my first two pregnancy losses. The reason being that with those no one acknowledged them. Now we are getting cards and stuff so I feel like people knew she was actually a baby that we lost. I am still sorrowful, but it helps that people realize it.

Secondly, I have a face and a name to put with this loss of our baby. The others were too early, too young to have names and faces and therefore it was hard to grieve those losses. I am thankful that we had Ally for as long as we did, and got to see her sweet little face and hands and feet, and to hold her for a short period of time before we had to say goodbye.

I have been thinking about the saying that the more faith you have the more will be expected of you. I thought that perhaps it was true, or maybe hard times beget more faith? I'm not sure. My grandmother had a brother die in WWII, a baby die around 20 weeks, her husband die (when she was 30 with 4 kids under 7 at home), and another adult child die. Along with her grandparents, and parents when they were fairly young. That woman seems to be made of steel. Perhaps the most faithful woman I have ever met. And prayerful. Not without flaws of course but she has somehow made it through all these things relatively unscathed. Or seemingly so.

And I also think of Job (bible). Poor guy. But same story there. More faith, more trials.

I am not lumping myself together with these people though. I just look to them when I start thinking about how unfair life is and start feeling sorry for myself. Tony is also a "buck up" kind of guy. He doesn't like it when I get all sorry for myself and usually tells me how lucky I am to have such a great family, and shouldn't I focus on that instead? The answer is yes, I should. Do I always? No.

I have so much more to say but things around the house desperately need to get done and I have to do them.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Being Mom

The other day while I was at my Dad's house he told me he had found some paperwork of my Mom's. As we looked through it, it didn't seem all that significant. Some college receipts, some old college report cards. But then I stopped to think about how often my Mother had talked about college and her grades and how disappointed she seemed that she had never finished. At the time (and I still feel this way), I took it to mean that she was regretful that she had children so young. But my Dad says that she desperately wanted children. After losing two at 20 weeks she had my brother and me. At the time my Dad was still in school and they had to live on something so they both had to work. I guess she dropped out of school to have kids.

He held up the paperwork to me and said, "Really, this is a lot of your mom's life right here in this paperwork." She saved it. So it must have meant something to her. I can't recall a report card I've ever saved. I'm not that sentimental, and besides--I can get it all online now. Although when I think about my mom at my age I think I am something like her. I get my love of consignment shops, antiques (not the same kind she liked though), iced tea, and slight obsessive compulsiveness from her.

Sometimes I feel like she is gone forever but find myself doing things that she used to do. She could never sit and watch a movie and as a kid it annoyed me to no end. She would get up, walk around, stand and watch the movie--she would never sit down and watch it. Now one of Tony's major complaints about me is that I can't just sit down and watch a movie. It takes me 4 hours to watch a movie because I pause it constantly and do other things. It drives him crazy. I never used to be like this so it's odd that I do it now.

I'm like her in that I feel like I am just about to find some treasure in an antique shop, a consignment store, or an old furniture store. I have once or twice. I walked into a furniture store shortly after I had my son, saw a chair and thought "this is the one". It's a feeling I have only had one other time and that was when I knew I was going to marry Tony. :)

I am so particular about my type of decor that I have lived in my house 3 years and have nothing (or nearly nothing) on the walls. Not because I don't want to but because I haven't found the perfect thing. I think the other day I saw something I like but I'm still thinking about it. I would rather have my ugly green, hand me down, dog smelling, back-cushionless couch in my living room than a couch that does not fit my idea of how I want my living room. I'm pretty sure I get all these tendencies from my Mother.

I find myself putting water in a measuring cup and heating it up, then putting a tea bag into it and letting it sit and steep for a long time like she did. So much so that Tony often asks me why there is tea sitting on the counter and whether or not I'm drinking it. I have to explain that I'm not drinking it now, but plan to at some point.

I was looking at old family pictures (like from my last post) and in all the family pictures (mom, dad, Nate, and me) she never smiles. Never. She does smile when she is holding one of us kids. I know I'm not like her in that way. I love to be with my family (including my hubby). I am happiest when I am with Tony and Holden.

All of this got me thinking about what you do when your dreams have come true. If you have a longtime dream, and it's finally come true--you have all the things you thought you wanted--what do you do then? Make new dreams? Be content? Do you think that contentment breeds complacency? I'm not sure. I do know that when I look around I have most everything I have dreamed of my entire life. Minus the most recent heartaches--but no one plans for those anyway, even though perhaps they should.

This post is getting too long and rambling, so I'm just going to close with: Happy Mother's Day.
If it's not such a happy day for you, I wholeheartedly understand. I'm with you in the ranks of 'just getting by' on Mother's Day. Here is another blog for you to read if this is you.
http://blog.todayschristianwoman.com/editors/2009/05/the_messiness_of_mothers_day.html

Thursday, May 7, 2009

You look great! Have you lost weight?

I love my dad very much. As we were looking at (old) pictures of everyone because my brother was searching for our home videos and couldn't find them he said,
"You were really skinny then too." to me. And I couldn't help but say,
"Yeah dad, that's because I didn't eat." And I literally didn't eat. The picture was from 11 years ago when I was 16. And had an eating disorder. And worked out 4 hours a day.

So I have to admit I get a little prickly when anyone mentions my weight. Especially RIGHT AFTER I have a baby. Seriously. I'm willing to give him a break because he just had brain surgery but I probably would have laid into him if not for that simple fact.
To be honest I get cranky when anyone mentions my weight period, even when I'm not pregnant, just been pregnant or about to be pregnant. I hate it even when people say "You look great! Have you lost weight?"

I'm not sure exactly what compels people to say such things. Maybe they think this is a compliment? I'm not sure. Just so you know, it's not a compliment. If you think someone looks great, just say, "You look great!" Omit the weight part. If you don't think they look great, don't say anything.

It's like people who say, "You look tired." I know that I look tired, you ass...I haven't slept for a year of COURSE I look tired. I'm not speaking to anyone in particular just that general comment gets to me. But I digress.

Obviously I'm a little cranky today. Forgive me, I promise the next post will be all sweet and rosy. I will talk about how much I love being a mother for my mother's day post (even though I hate mother's day), and I will not complain once about how I haven't had much sleep in a year.

I hope that you all are doing well in internetland, do any of you have blogs I can read? I get bored with the same old blogs I always go to. There is nothing more fun than going to my bookmarked blogs and seeing that my favorite bloggers have posted something new or finding a new blogger that I love reading about.

Monday, May 4, 2009


My dog is acting out. So much so that he has run away EVERY DAY for the past 4 days. And most recently he was enclosed in a large kennel (18 X 5) inside our fenced yard and still escaped. I'm at my wits end. I don't want to give him away, but we obviously aren't taking very good care of him or he wouldn't be so desperate to get away.


I know that it will only be for a brief period of time when we are away from home so much, with me being in the hospital and now with my dad's recovery. I use the term recovery loosely, since I haven't seen him since last week, but I expect that he is improving. I have spoken with him on the phone every day, and sometimes he seems worse than others. Sometimes I have trouble understanding what he means when he is trying to tell me something and other times he sounds like himself again.


I told Tony I feel like I lost my baby and my dad in the same week. I know my dad is still here but it's not really like I can talk to him like I used to be able to. He is busy trying to recover. I hope that his brain recovers quickly and that they can get the rest of the tumor with radiation. I'm frustrated that there isn't anything I can do to help (or at least it doesn't feel like it). Wrangling a one year old with a huge incision across my abdomen is about as much as I can do at the moment. I guess I can't be expected to do much more than that.


I am going to head out there and stay at dad's house to help him if he needs it. He can get around just fine but I think gets a little tired and confused sometimes, and Tina had to go back to work this week. My brother is coming to town on Wednesday so I think that will be a huge relief for everyone, even though he will only be here until Sunday it will help.


Above I posted a picture of my two favorite people in the world. It really doesn't relate to this posting, but I love them so much and they are so cute I had to post it.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tips

Tips for talking with someone who has experienced a stillbirth:


Say the baby's name, please! It lets the parents know that you think of the baby as a person.

Remember dad. He lost a baby too.

Don't use clich├ęs. Don't tell the family that this is for the best, that the baby is in God's hands (they want the baby in their own hands!) or that an angel will be watching over them. Just tell them you're sorry and give them a hug.

Please, never say to anyone, "You will have more children." You do not know that for sure. To the grieving person, this comment is fraught with pain. You are not validating that they are grieving and have suffered a loss. A simple, "I am sorry," does wonders in a moment when you don't know what to say.
Tony and I had a nice day alone together because his sister offered to watch Holden for the weekend. I also went to visit my dad on Thursday. I felt pretty good when I left to go see him and not so good on the way home.

I know he just had brain surgery, so I would expect him to be tired and confused. I wasn't quite as prepared as I could have been. He was just very different, and it worried me. I know that he will gain most of it back, but then there's the radiation for him to go through. I'm just emotionally drained and feel like I don't have much to offer him (them) as they go through all this.

People keep asking how I am, and the truthful answer is not very good. I cry at least once a day. I think I'm doing pretty well considering how the last week and a half has gone though. From prior experience I know that things will get better. It may not be very soon, but they will get better.

A month goes by, and then two, and then a year, and then five. And you feel better. I know my sweet child is in a much better place than here, but like I told Tony, I'm still here and she is there so that thought doesn't give me as much comfort as it probably should. But those thoughts help him get by so that makes me glad. I am so lucky to have such a great husband.

He always tells me we used up all our luck on each other.