Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Good day, best husband EVER

Today went well! My kids were great and have made amazing progress...I found out yesterday that first grade has made the most progress in reading, *in our school*. Very exciting. It was good to be around the kids and while their sad stories break my heart even faster now, their desire to learn and wonder in learning made my heart really happy today.

Then I got a text saying "when will you be home, I'll try to have supper ready" - except he said dinner not supper, I am apparently one of the only people in the world that says supper. And when I got home I could smell the asparagus baking. Before I could get away to change into my slippers I saw the flowers and he presented me with a gift. This Sammy green sweater, with a hood, hoods are my favorite. (shout out to Isabel, the one week old, I just realized the sweater sleeper I got her is an identical knit, only cream and a full body suit, we'll be fraternal sweater twins)

I had expressed some concern last night (that's code for: cried and blubbered my way through an explanation of why I was crying at that particular time) about how I didn't like that I had forgotten about Sammy for a while at work. Dave listened, tried to make me feel better, and then today went searching for a sweater for me to keep at work that would remind me of Sammy. I love it. I love that he will get supper ready for me (amazing, left over turkey, asparagus, and some special 'tatoes). He even wanted to make me my favorite coffee drink but I refused for tonight, I need 'early to bed, early to rise' to work tomorrow and coffee at 8pm would not be conducive to such a goal.

I have the best husband ever. I was just extolling his character to a friend on the phone last night...I'm really blessed (try not to be jealous). Just sayin'.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Here we go...

L to R: Cami, Laura, Lawrence & Brandon
Dave's sister & family
the green reminded me of Sammy all day :-)

back row: Sharonne, Sam, Grandma Virginia
front row: My hair, Dave
seriously - how big is my hair? what is dave doing with his hand?

Whew. I don't know where to start. Michigan was good. We got to see family and friends. It was great to catch up with our church family on Sunday and personally thank all the people who have been praying with us and encouraging us over these last few months.

Tackled a couple firsts last week...really they tackled me...I don't remember a time where I felt so many conflicting emotions at the same time. I was so excited and happy for Isabel to make her appearance I didn't anticipate the sadness. I'm sure on some level I knew it would come.

It is impossible to look at pictures or hear stories about Isabel and not wonder how it could have been. On top of all that, I know I was planning this years double baby holidays before that May ultrasound so one bout of wondering led to another...and with a little lack of sleep it just made for a long week. Life with Isabel and without Sammy begins, 1st new baby in the family since Sammy.

The other first...well...two close friends announced their pregnancies this weekend. I knew both couples were "trying" and I am excited for them. And terrified for them. I don't understand how they could watch all THIS go down and happily plan a pregnancy. I'm angry that our innocence is gone. I'm sad. And somewhere deep down I'm hopeful.

I've called grief a roller coaster, well last week (still a little) it's the tilt-a-whirl. I hardly stopped spinning from one thing and we were off to spinning again. Can you imagine feeling happy for someone else, sad for yourself, and a little mad (at God! The audacity, I know, but it's true) all at the same time? Tilt-a-whirl.

I'm not sitting still much these days, full of nervous energy and emotions that don't want to be sorted or set to the side. I start back at school with students tomorrow. I went in today to get acquainted with things and spent the first 10 minutes crying in my room and then cried when the first person I saw asked how I was doing. Hopefully that's kind of out of my system and tomorrow I can function a little bit better.

I'm excited to see the kids and get back to work but really sad at the same time. It was jarring to realize that my mind was consumed by something other than Sammy and sadness this afternoon. It feels like I'm "moving on" from that period of time when I got to focus on Sammy 100% of the time. When memories are all I have it feels like a betrayal to not remember...and moments when I lose my eternal perspective are the worst...

Please excuse the randomness of this post, it's been a while and my mind is whirring at 100 mph. I've made 2 kinds of cookies in the last couple days and started 3 crafts (not finished). Returned items to four stores on Sunday and cooked a turkey. AND another lizard made its way into the house tonight...Stella chased it in between my feet and I let out the best Hollywood scream ever. It is still on the loose. I wasn't joking about not sitting still.

These verses have been lingering on my heart and Pastor preached from them on Sunday.

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

I need to get to bed, off to work tomorrow!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

What we've been up to:

Lumberjack breakfast at my nephew's school - it was a special day...

Usually his eyes are more open...proof Brandon was there too.

This kept my hands busy while we waited for Isabel on Tuesday :-) And this picture box is a gift from Dave's sisters family...gorgeous, it will probably hold Sammy's clothes and hats.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

She's here :-)

Isabel Renee arrived this afternoon around 2pm (8lbs 14ozs, 20.5 inches long). After a brief scare this evening with Mama, everybody is doing well but quite sleep deprived.

Thanks for the prayers!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Good morning!

I found out who the mystery gifts were from :-) Thank you ladies of Alden, I'll post the frame again when it gets a picture and a final spot in the house.

I really popped in to ask for prayers of endurance for my bro Paul, SIL Linda, and soon to be born niece Isabel. Linda started laboring last night and went to the hospital early early this morning. It's been over 12 hours of labor now with contractions every 3-4 minutes since at least 1:30am. It still amazes me how much work it is to just manage the pain of contractions.

I'll write more soon, we're in Michigan with Dave's family and so far it's been great. Not too cold! We got to stay with friends on Saturday night and visit our old church on Sunday...I made my first pie last night for us to take on a visit with family I used to nanny for. Catching up is great and the pie didn't hurt anyone's feelings either. *smile*

Friday, November 19, 2010

Speak now...

or forever be a mystery :-) We have received 2 gifts in the last couple weeks with no card or mention of who they were from. I love love love them and yesterday's necklace was wonderfully timed. I had my 6 week postpartum doctor visit yesterday on Sammy's 6 week Thursday. In case you're wondering, over the course of a day you can, in fact, cry off waterproof mascara. But of course I received a couple of encouragement emails and then another wonderful necklace to help lighten my burden.

I have kept pretty busy cramming everything I needed to do in the previous 5 weeks into this one week *smile*. My eyes, teeth, and lady parts are all checked out and healthy. Dave is jealous as his tooth ordeal from this summer just got resolved yesterday and he has had glasses since his elementary school days. I am still pleasantly surprised when I get through an exam and they say "everything looks good". Really? It's still 2010, ya'll don't have to start with good news for like 42 more days. And yet, I think I deserve good news, 1 defective baby is enough drama for one year. Just sayin'.

I took Sammy's foot/hand print Christmas tree ornament in to the pottery painting place to get glazed and fired yesterday. Lord bless that lady's heart. I walked in sobbing but I wanted to get it done before Christmas and before I go back to school. Yesterday I was the unapologetically sad and crazy lady. Thank goodness she kind of understood and no one else was there.

I had about 50 blog thoughts yesterday. I think I will start a list of suggestions for families walking this path...I wish we had made more than 1 ornament! It was a miracle they got one of Sammy's handprints (his fists were clenched) but I wish I could give my mom at least a footprint ornament for Christmas. The pottery place I went to sells the balls so I'm assuming most pottery places sell them. This is not one of the details I cared about at all until yesterday...too late...

Ok. Off to bake something and pack for Michigan!

Monday, November 15, 2010

lamentations and hope

"I don't even know what I would have wanted someone to say.
Not: It will be better.
Not: You don't think you'll live through this but you will.
Maybe: Tomorrow you will spontaneously combust. Tomorrow, finally, your misery will turn to wax and heat and you will burn and melt till nothing is left in your chair but a greasy, childless, smudge. That might have comforted me."

I read a great book this weekend. I have seen it quoted on a few blogs and decided that I needed to buy it and read it. The title alone practically sucked me in "An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination". It's a memoir about a woman who's first baby was stillborn. She does a great job of articulating the feelings and thoughts that seem impossible to express.

Imagine my surprise when my devotions this morning found a similar sense of drama and desperation, this time in the Bible, in the aptly named book of Lamentations.

"He shot his arrows deep into my heart.
The thought of my suffering and hopelessness is bitter beyond words.
I will never forge this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.
Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
the unfailing love of the Lord never ends!
By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction."

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
Lamentations 3: 13, 19-24

This writer, whew, he was going through some stuff. Read Lamentations 3 and try not to feel better. Dudes talkin' about how the Lord crushed his teeth with gravel and trampled him in the ground! I don't know if this is the first time the author of Lamentations felt this way or if he been through it before, I guess it doesn't matter.

The Lord is my portion, my inheritance, therefore I will hope. Ya'll today, that is the glimmer of light that invades my darkness. Hope. I have seen the Lord's faithfulness in the past; providing so many things for myself, my family, and my friends in so many different situations. Today (this week, this year) I need hope for the future.

I hope this gaping wound called grief will soon begin to heal. I hope it heals beautifully and the scar that remains will be a testimony to others and proof that God is real. I hope to survive this. I hope this sadness can produce something great...I hope for good things to happen in my life.

So I will hope as I remember and I will hope as I read of His faithfulness, goodness and love. And I will wait.

i spy...

auuugh - I did it. I bought the ceramic chicken.

Dave wants me to tell you to ignore the basket of mail. I say, this is mantel's organization is a vast improvement over the previous 20 months. From left to right: Sammy on a wire frame from Anthropologie (LOVE!), tall candle holder waiting for the perfect purple candle, el pollo, Sammy's star registry, fun frame with picture from our wedding night hotel room over looking the Detroit River, empty frame that Dave consistently asks about, fun clearance clock, and a bright blue vase sans flowers. This is our kitchen mantel so the chicken totally makes sense.

I promise I walked away from the chicken once. I took the picture and thought "ha, I would never". Then I returned to that row in Marshalls for some reason and picked it up quickly as I made my way to the register. I also promise it only cost $5. And I really don't intend to purchase *any more* chickens. But this one made me giggle and had a certain charm.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

5 weeks out

alternate title: 5 weeks out, a lifetime to go

alternate title: the one with excessive quotes

alternate title: numb

It has been a numb week. When I am tempted to say "I had a good week" and judge the week by the amount of tears and sadness, I feel reminded that it's because of the numb, not any emotional growth or anything that puts me in a "good" place.

And where the numb works for getting through it fails in the memories. I look at pictures and can hardly believe that is me holding my baby. Did it happen? Was I really pregnant for 9 months? Was I really sick for 5 of those months? Did I really feel kicks at all hours of the day and night? Did I really get to kiss those cheeks, squeeze those thighs, pat that bottom?

Reason #1593920 I feel crazy this week? I *hate* that grief is not a linear process so I find myself pretending it is, wishing the weeks away so I will get to "feeling better". And at the same time the tears I shed are because life is getting "back to normal".

Reason #1593921 - There is no going back and that "normal" no longer exists.


"You may notice an inability to make decisions, accomplish even normal things, and even a difficulty in getting out of bed. Your priorities may change and you might not know how to deal with this. Keep in mind that this is a temporary 'you'. It is what happens to many people during grief. Don't fight it to hard and recognize that is normal."
Empty Arms - Sherokee Isle

Amelia's mama emailed this week and brought to my attention this inability to make decisions. I am not very good at making decisions these days. Most glaring example - crying at the restaurant because I don't know what to order...and then crying again 5 minutes later when Dave asked me what I wanna do after we eat.

I make myself do "normal" things - like this week, my goal every day was to have the dishes done by the time Dave got home. It strikes me as funny because "normally" I would not have this goal, but it seems like a "normal" thing to do so it has been the goal this week. Basically it was the only goal this week. I like to keep things simple.

My real favorite part of that quote is bolded and it encourages me today. This is only a temporary me and this is a temporary "normal" (not the dishes part, the rest of it).

*deep inhale*

*deep exhale*


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

miscarriage in the news?

Read this article from the New York Times.

1. I'm glad the reporter went there...

2. I have a book that comes highly recommended in the baby loss community and it starts off stating facts like this article. I stopped reading the book before I finished the first chapter and I guess I'm not ready to start it back up again. I HATE the clinical, sterilized statements...even if they are true.


3. I don't generally read the New York Times :-) I saw this article on some media feed Dave has on his phone. I also don't watch Matt Laeur interviews or most anything where a US President is involved but I am tempted to find it and at least watch part of it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

on prayer or maybe grace?

Yesterday I found myself dealing with a problem that is partially my fault and I was hoping mostly someone else's fault. It involves the hospital and the insurance company so I was ready to dig in for some long and confusing phone calls. I thought back to my experience fighting for financial aid every semester, visiting the financial aid office each week for 4-5 weeks until someone who knew what they were talking about happened to be at the desk. *sigh*

Turned into quite the day. I thought it was over when I had to take lady #2's phone number to call her back because I couldn't talk through the tears (really sobs). It started out as laughter over the absurdity of the situation and then when I had to explain why the laughter was turning to sobs, lady #1 transferred me to lady #2. An hour or so later when I was good and calm I looked at my phone and noticed I had missed a call from the hospital. To my surprise, it was lady #2 calling me back to tell me she had looked into the situation (that I never had a chance to describe to her) and had been in touch with the insurance company who saw that it was their mistake. Everything is on hold now while the hospital audits the charges and the insurance company figures out why and how they are going to fix their mistake.

I didn't realize how much it was all stressing me out until there was some resolve. I was shocked and happy that the ladies I talked with on the phone didn't just dismiss me and my problem. I was shocked and happy that it was indeed a mistake on the part of someone other than myself. After I noticed the immediate mood change I thought 'what a great answer to prayer'. And then I realized that I had never really prayed about the whole problem in the first place and changed it to 'thanks for lookin' out Lord'.

It's the second time in a week that I realized my thoughts about prayer are in limbo. I know what I know (scripture) and I know what I've experienced but they don't seem to match up.

Matthew 7:7-8, 11
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened...If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!"

I can pray earnestly for other people the prayers that I have seen the Lord answer for me. I trust that the Lord knows best how to answer all prayers and understand that my preferred answers do not always align with his.

Isaiah 55:8-9
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts."

I guess that's where I struggle right now, accepting that his thoughts are not my thoughts and his ways are not my ways. That's not so much a limbo as it is hard-headedness. Today I will be thankful for the grace and mercy of the Lord as I work through this. And I am reminded to lean on and be comforted by this:

Romans 8:1, 26-28
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus...In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Monday, November 8, 2010


is what i mean when i say "grief makes me feel crazy"

blog is like
reading some great articulation of my heart

is possibly my favorite blog post of all time

Sunday, November 7, 2010

checkin' in

It has been a busy weekend!

We went out for supper with some friends Friday evening for the first time since Sammy was born. I didn't even realize until today that it was the first time in about 10 months that I sat and watched everyone else eat appetizers while I waited for an entree. Seriously, for months I walked into a restaurant knowing the beverage and appetizer I was going to order and dared any waiter to look me in the eye without taking my order. Funny what changes when you are no longer growing a human inside you.

Saturday I attempted to make eggs benedict for Lindsay's pre-bday shopping extravaganza. After an initial poached egg FAIL we were able to successfully poach some eggs...but whew - that's about all that worked. I swear I was successful at eggs benedict last time. As stated, the rest of the day was spent shopping where I spent $0 and Lindsay found almost everything that she had on her list...including some sweet dance moves courtesy of Hillari, myself, and an impromptu Express back room dance party. So to recap: eggs benedict 1, Lindsay 1, Express dominated by melissa & hillari.

Tis' the season for b-days tomorrow. HBD Isaac & Lindsay! We grilled for Isaac today and hung out. Tomorrow is Lindsay's official bday rock-n-bowl celebration. I wish I could accurately describe the wonder that is New Orleans Rock-n-Bowl...should be a great night!

In all my spare time this weekend I have been contemplating happiness vs joy vs contentment. You know, nothing much. Because I'm not working or looking at calendars I hadn't put together that today was the 7th, one month since Sammy was born. A few other people were on top of this and reminded me. I've been busy but honestly at this point I'm still counting Thursdays...I guess time will probably necessitate the eventual transition to counting months instead of weeks. *sigh*

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Starry Night

It's taken two bitter drafts to get to this post...here's hoping that's all worked out.

Thanks to everyone who left encouragement here yesterday or emailed, facebooked, or texted me some...SMH, typing that last sentence is when I realized just how much encouragement I did receive yesterday. I've recognized the Lord's faithfulness to provide a husband and friends to drag me out of my sadness. After a short poutfest with Lindsay this morning, we were able to remember many of the positive things that Sammy accomplished in his short life and that helps me. Yes, I count his 10 months of womb time as life. I don't feel bad about being sad or pouting, I know it's part of the process, I just don't like it. I'm serious, we're 3 for 3 on days I didn't want to get out of bed but someone called and wanted to do something I would generally enjoy so I made myself do it (food/shopping, pedicure, a visit). It just took this 3rd try at this post to make me see all the other ways He's provided for me this week. Thanks for powering through my grief Lord...

I want to share the story of how we picked out Sammy's urn (hence 2 bitter versions of this post). But I don't think it's going to work out today so I will share a picture of it instead.

This is in the corner of our living room right now. Turns out there are about 100 reasons why choosing this moon shaped urn was the best decision for us. #1 being the rest of them sucked. LOL - I have avoided that word on my blog for *so long* because my mom drilled it into my head as a teenager that it is a horrible word. But it's just the word I want to use when I describe the entire event that is "the urn". So there it is, and there it will probably remain as the only time it appears out of a literal context on this blog. LOL

I decided to try and write for the 3rd time today because I was reminded of a song I heard on the radio a couple weeks ago. I only had this to go on when I googled to figure out what the whole song was: "moon reflects the sun lyrics". Riiiiight. Mad props to google for working that out amidst all the science jargon I was not interested in. The melody of the song annoys me so much that I'm tempted to get a guitar, teach myself to play it (again), and record my own unplugged version...then I realize I'm too lazy for all that and I can't sing anyway. But I love the lyrics because they remind me of Sammy (he has a star and his moon) and my hopes for all this mess (that we somehow reflect the Son).

found his acoustic version on youtube! click on the title to listen to it

From the Birds that Sing, In the Tallest Trees.
To the Human Life, of you and me.
From the Desert Sands, to the place we stand.
He is God of All, He is Everything.

I'm giving my life to the only one who makes the Moon reflect the sun.
Every Starry Night, that was His design.
I'm giving my life to the only son, who was and is and yet to come
Let the praises ring, 'cause he is everything
'Cause he is everything

From the Autumn Leaves, that will ride the breeze
To the Faith it takes, to pray and sing
From the Painted sky, to my plank filled eye
He is God of all, He is everything

I'm giving my life to the only one who makes the Moon reflect the sun.
Every Starry Night, that was His design.
I'm giving my life to the only son, who was and is and yet to come
Let the praises ring, 'cause he is everything.

Hallelujah (Hallelujah)
I believe
Hallelujah (Hallelujah)
I believe

I'm giving my life to the only one who makes the Moon reflect the sun
On that Starry Night, He changed my life.
I'm giving it all to the only son who gave me hope when I had none.
So let the praises ring,
Ohhhh Let the Praises Ring

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

fast forward

In our own separate ways Dave and I have both mentioned wanting to hit the fast forward button in life. Dave is ready to set up a Christmas tree! I feel deeply unsatisfied in life and want to move to the next step. There must be a next step! It must be coming soon!

Looking back over the recent days I can think of a couple times where I told myself to slow down. I put some pictures together in a frame and was in such a rush that I messed it up a bit...rushed because?? Last night I substituted yogurt for sour cream in a baking recipe without looking up if one can even do that legitimately. *shrug* The bread tastes great, so I got away with it, but it's just not really like me to be in such a rush.

And everybody today is blogging about living in the moment. Ya'll, I don't want to live in *this moment*. People who don't have any frame of reference say time will heal, people who know say you'll just get better at dealing with the pain and loss. Either way, I want to be there, not here.

What do you do in the here, waiting for the there? How do I live in this moment without dwelling in it?