Monday, July 25, 2011

somedays I feel like this...

"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin-real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life."  -Alfred D’Souza


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

words, photos and being thankful

This photo, these words... it feels like it was written just for me, for you... for anyone who reads them.  It made me feel warm and fuzzy inside :)


I've noticed recently I've forgot about my "thankful three."  I promised myself I'd write at the end of each post three things I'm thankful for in an effort to be more positive, but honestly, I thought they were getting a bit stuffy and predictable, kind of like saying the same prayer over and over... 

I want to be thankful for more.  
I don't want to overlook the simple things in life.

So today, I stumbled upon this -->  Blog

A list of all the simple things we should appreciate.

So I decided at the end of each post, I'm going to choose one image from their site instead of racking my brain.

So I genuinely appreciate...

Monday, July 18, 2011

"not me" Monday

In an effort to show my imperfections.  Nobody's perfect.  I'd love to hear your "not me" stories too!

No, not me...

I would never let the dishes pile up and then have my two-year-old drink whole milk out of a Las Vegas shot glass for breakfast...

And I would never decide on a whim to try a potty chart to help encourage Jack to go.  And I would use star stickers for him to put on the chart, not the green, pre-labeled pricing garage sale stickers to use...

No... I would never do that!  I'd be the perfect Mom and go buy some star stickers asap...


I choose to be happy.

I've been a crazy blogger today.  This weekend has been filled with raw emotions... forgive me.

After dwelling, I've come to the conclusion... I need to look at this, our baby, in a positive light.  I need to think of Jude in Heaven.  I need to think of our baby waiting for us.  I need to think of Jack having a sibling, just in another world.

I spent a lot of time worrying today.  I thought about the likelihood of having another ectopic pregnancy, the percentage the doctor told vs. what I googled.  They are vastly different.

Google is the devil.  Seriously, don't do it.  It's the first time I've googled anything about this whole ectopic pregnancy (my Mom did enough to scare the both of us in the beginning).

(Wow I cannot spell today... apparently I need help from macbook to spell ectopic and vastly, I feel dumb.)

I kept thinking how I didn't want Jack to be an only child, but in reality- he's not.  I believe this was a baby.

I looked back at recent posts about being happy and it really is all in the way you view life.  There is nothing good about what happened, but I can't change that.  I can only view our baby in a positive light now, otherwise I just put myself in a depressing mood.

I'm thinking about getting a piece of jewelry to remember from etsy.  I'm not ready yet... but when the time comes when I can bring myself to sit down and think about the due date, I will get this necklace when he/she was due.  I know the time will come.  It's just too soon right now.  I actively try not to think about it, I won't allow myself to do the math.

I'm going to have it engraved with the name Jude.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I don't know how to get over this...

I feel like the rest of the world has moved on.  I feel Joel has moved on.  He won't talk about it with me, it's too painful for him.  And I feel like my family and everyone else in my life has put this past them, but here I am, still bleeding.  Still becoming emotional even when I don't expect it.

And I have yet to even count the months to when our baby would have been born.  I don't think I can even bring myself to do that just yet.

I was just on facebook and saw the most beautiful baby girl swaddled in pink.  One of my friends just had a baby and posted a new photo of her.

I just can't believe this happened to us.  I can't believe this happens to anyone.

Guess I just needed to talk... to write... to let it out...

follow-up post to "true love"

That whole post just got me thinking... 
What can I do to make my own marriage more solid?
I want Joel to feel special.  I want him to feel loved and cared for.

So here are my own marriage resolutions:

1.)  Joel can't cook.  I can.  Cook for him whenever possible and try to pack his lunch for him everyday.

2.) He loves when I rub the back of his head and neck while he drives, I should try to do that on every trip where he drives.  I know it relaxes him and makes him feel loved.  Plus I hate to drive so maybe this will also benefit me. haha, wait that's selfish right?

3.)  Leave small, embarrassing notes for him.  I once left a note in his lunch, and he's searched before entering work (prison guard) and they found his little love note.  The girls "awwwed" him and I know he relished in the attention.  I should leave them on the mirrors at home and in his truck.  Who doesn't love a good sincere love note?

4.) Touch him more.  Joel's love language is touch.  He's a total cuddle bear.  Me- I'm totally not!  Go figure.  
He loves hugs, kisses, snuggles, etc.  I should really try to be more snuggly.  Not to mention one of our "things" is we dance, right there- barefoot in the kitchen, and Joel usually hums.  I love it, and I know he does too.  Sometimes Jack tries to join us :)

5.) Buy him small gifts.  This one is easy, a bottle of Coke would make Joel's day, haha.  So when I'm out, I'm going to try to be more mindful in picking up something small for him just to say I was thinking of him.  (ps. remember to get dessert when out with the girls to bring home for Joel = Cheesecake Factory!)

6.) Get more sleep.  So I'm less grouchy!

7.) Be mindful of myself.  I've started the couch to 5k program, and been trying to eat healthy.  But I know, I know appearance shouldn't mean anything- but when you feel good about yourself, which doing these things does for me, it helps me to think less about myself and more about those I love.

8.) Date Night. Three words- MAKE IT HAPPEN!  At least once a month, it's a total relationship saver.  Our good friends Amber and Craig advised us of this after Jack was born, they are very wise!  (And happily married in FL. right now.  Love you guys!) 

9.) Keep the bedroom clean!  The love shack should not look like a shack!  

10.) Cook him red meat.  What can I say?  I make a lot of chicken and turkey.  Joel is a total guy and craves his red meat, I guess I could do it once a week to make him happy right?  This is going to be a total struggle for me I know, haha.  I hate red meat!  Maybe we'll say every two weeks?  That's good still, right?

So there it is, my small resolutions I hope to keep up with to help Joel feel loved.  Did I gross everyone out? haha... "ewww mushy love stuff"

What do you do to make your spouse or girl/boyfriend feel loved?

is true love for real?

     I mean the kind where fireworks are forever?  I've watched so many people have their heart broken it makes me wonder, where will I be five years from now? Ten? Twenty?  I feel like if it can happen to the people I love the most, it can happen to anyone... including me.

It's strange how the world can change the perception of my own relationship.

     I mean, I love Joel... obviously not the same way when I was fifteen, but I love him.  When we were fifteen we thought we'd just die without each other, now it's a mature love.  I love the man I dated, the man I married, and the man who I had a child with, and the man he is today.  All different people.  We all change... it's just a fact of life.

    Mature Love, I think is the kind where you make a choice, it's not always so easy.  And I know if anything ever happened to one of us, the other would carry on, it would be difficult, heart-breaking, but we would... number one because we have a child together and we would have to.

     It probably doesn't help I've been reading several books "Something Borrowed" "Something Blue".... they are stories about being in love with the wrong person.  They talk about finding"true love."

     What is true love?  I don't believe in fireworks forever.  I believe in fireworks at first, and then they come and go throughout your relationship and it takes effort and work.  Love is not just a feeling but an action, and the more you give, the more you'll get back.  Least that's what I think.

     I feel like many relationships in this world are turning into all about taking.  Me Me Me... I know I need to give more.  I think we all do.  I also believe in realistic love- the kind where you take out the trash for your spouse, make dinner, stuff like that.  Actions speak louder than words.

My heart is aching for the people I love right now.

     Joel probably wouldn't approve of this post.  But I'm not going to post it on my facebook, if you read my blog regularly then you'll find this on your own.  This is my place to be me, and this has been on my mind constantly.  It's killing me.

     This post makes me feel better, I guess mainly because I've come to the conclusion any relationship can crumble, and it crumbles when you stop trying.  When you don't choose love.  When you stop giving.  When you stop caring.  Marriage is work.  And I believe you can fall in and out of love several times throughout your marriage.  It's just something I believe.

So "true love"... I think is a choice.

I hope I always choose love, and I hope Joel always does too...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Meal Planning

     Here's a list of our homemade meals and homemade snacks this week, because meal planning saves me a ton of money, time, energy and it's way healthier.  

     I love to cook and try new recipes so there are a ton of new things on the list this week.  I'm also going to start trying some homemade smoothies for breakfast, they're suppose to be delicious and super healthy and even have hidden veggies in them (covered up by the taste of fruit).  

Here's hoping my pick-eater will like them.  And if you're wondering, no it's not Jack, my picky eater is Joel ;) 

chicken fajitas w/ whole wheat tortillas & homemade guacamole 
turkey taco lettuce wraps w/homemade salsa & chips 



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

how to make a lightning bug jar

Probably the simplest, yet one of the best parts of childhood... catching lightning bugs!  

I remember growing up my Dad making us jars or cups with holes so we could keep our bugs and watch them glow at night in our rooms.
So I decided Jack was old enough and made him a lightening bug jar tonight.

So here's what you'll need:
a hammer
a very small nail
a canning jar

What you do:
Take the small nail and hammer and make some small holes in the top lid while it's sealed together with the jar.

Afterwards, take the lid off and hammer the backside to make it flat.  
You do that so it's not sharp and won't hurt the bugs or you. 

Put the two pieces together, and just pop it back out with your fingers.

Then put the jar back together, and you're finished!

No go catch some lightning bugs!

And instead of waking up to dead bugs,
I'm starting a new tradition that is more fun and no one has to die...
I'm going to sneak into his room later tonight and let them go and tell him in the morning they are magic and they disappeared :)

mom's famous strawberry jam recipe

Growing up one of the best parts of the summer was the sweet smell of my Mom making strawberry jam.

I loved it, and if we were lucky Mom would give us a warm spoon full to eat.  
It's one of those traditions that sticks with you... 

My Mom still makes strawberry jam in the summer, but now she makes a special trip to my house and we make it together.  She came a few weeks ago and we made a small batch, but it was soon gone so I decided to make another HUGE batch to hopefully last us into the Winter and hopefully next Spring. 

So here it is... Mom's easy, and famous strawberry jam!

Makes about 13 cups

You'll need:
-6 pt. strawberries (roughly 8 plastic packages from the store)
-5lb bag of sugar
-4 boxes of Sure Jell
(Sure Jell can be found in the baking section and also in the canning section, 
usually in the canning section they sell them grouped together for less)
-Canning Jars with sealing lids
(make sure you buy the kind that have the two piece lids)

1) Put glass jars in dishwasher and put on the steam dry.

2) Place lids and seals in small pot of boiling water.

3) Crush strawberries in baking pan (roughly 10 at a time) with a potato masher and place in large saucepan.

4) Stir crushed strawberries and all four boxes of Sure Jell in saucepan over high heat and bring to full rolling boil stirring constantly.

5) Pour in sugar.  Bring mixture back to rolling boil while stirring constantly.  Boil exactly 1 minute. 

6) Remove from heat and ladle quickly (a funnel works great!) into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops.  Wipe jar rims.  Cover with two-piece lids.  Screw bands tightly and place upside-down on a towel on the counter. *Be sure to remove one jar at a time from dishwasher, and one lid and rim at a time to keep them hot so they will seal.  Use a towel and tongs to help handle the hot jars and lids.*

7) Flip jars right side up once finished.

The Large batch I made... mm mmm mmmm

What are your summer traditions in the kitchen?

I'm a sucker for a good quote...

Jack's 1st Swimming Lessons

Jack started swimming lessons yesterday. 
 He's pretty good at it and is a pro at holding his breath underwater, 
and kicking while floating on his belly.
He's still not happy about floating on his back, that he saves for bath time in warm water.

My little Nemo :)

(Adorable monster towel compliments of Aunt 'Nette.)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Thomas Edison once said...

"If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves."

A little bit higher

This quote has struck a chord with me.
I have all these ideas, things I want to do...  
I firmly believe we make our own happiness.

I think I really would have liked Thomas Edison.
I read many of his quotes today.
He was my kinda guy.

Photo by George Bentley

Friday, July 8, 2011

maybe this will be healing

     I wrote this several weeks ago. I wasn't ready to share it then, and told myself I may never share those feelings... but I wrote it for me. And since that day, I've crossed the paths of many women who have lost a child, some early in their pregnancy, some in the same situation as me, and some who were months into their pregnancy and showing. It's like this under ground world that I didn't know existed. People don't really talk about it. And why would they? It's painful. And most people, don't want to know.

     So I re-read my words today, weeks later, and I'm glad I wrote it. It helps me to remember, even if it was painful. It makes it real, and not so easily forgotten. And I have decided to share it. I have nothing to be ashamed of, and my goal is not to have people feel sorry for me. It's to share a story that is usually not told. Maybe someone will find comfort in my words, know that it happens and it's okay to feel unsure of your feelings.

     I'm still struggling internally with some questions, but I do believe it was a child. And one of the names we said we loved if it was a boy, was Jude. I like to believe it was a boy, I just have this feeling. And I even listen to the song "hey Jude" to make me smile sometimes.

     I will always love the name Jude, and every time I hear it I will think of our baby. And who knows, in the future if we have a boy, we may name him Jude.

So here is the journal entry I wrote the day after my hospital visit...

Maybe this will be healing.

     They say if you don’t deal with your feelings at the time of grief that they will keep coming back up to the surface, even years later. I’m pretty good at pushing emotions away, yesterday, is a perfect example of that. Any person who saw me probably thought I was visiting someone else at the hospital, except the band on my arm, which was a dead giveaway. 

     I laughed, I joked, I gave my son lots of kisses and I did everything not to think of what that shot was for. Maybe this is how everyone acts at the hospital when it’s something bad…

I tried hard not to think about how I wanted Joel there. I tried not to think about how some radical religious group somewhere thought of this as murder. I tried not to think about the names me and Joel picked out when those two days of hope happened.

I thought for sure I was pregnant, I could feel it, and I was.

It was an ectopic pregnancy.

     I cried at the doctor’s office when he confirmed it. It was so final. I cried slow, controlled tears, with a small apology. Men always look so uncomfortable when a woman cries… my doctor, who looked sad himself, told me it’s okay to be sad. I couldn’t bare to look at Joel. I know he was hurting too, and it would have made my semi-controlled crying spell much more ugly if I looked him in the eye.

     I really had the most mellow, calm, and caring doctor for all of this. Dr. Crouch will always have a special place in my heart. After the tears, I apologized and asked him to say whatever he had just said again, because I was in my own little world. And he gladly repeated himself, with as much patience and care as he did the first time.

     After our second meeting, an internal ultrasound, and three blood tests later, I was injected with a small dose of chemotherapy to kill the fast growing cells in my body.

     I’m so thankful I didn’t have to have surgery (so far so good). It takes several weeks, and several more blood tests to confirm it worked. I just want this to be over.

I’m thankful yesterday is gone and today is here.

I have lots of questions for God, many that even if he answered maybe beyond my understanding.

     Was this a child? Will he/she be there when I’m called home? Will he/she be an infant and I able to raise this child in heaven?

     Joel, normally, the talker of us, doesn’t want to talk about this. I think it’s too hard for him. And me, normally, the “leave me alone, I just need some time”… wants to talk about this.

     Joel got really sick yesterday with a stomach virus, so bad that he ended up at the hospital too (he is much better, I am happy to report). He couldn’t be there with me, so my mother, who was supposed to be our babysitter, ended up taking me, and Jack tagged along.

     Thinking I’d be in and out within an hour, I didn’t have a problem bringing Jack, he could be my distraction. Let’s just say we got there at 12:20 and didn’t leave Dayton until around 5 or 6pm.

It was a very… long… day.

     My mother, however, is always up for talking… so we talked. She told me she didn’t think there were ages in Heaven, and that we didn’t have spouses either. She also said there’s no tears, so do we forget about those who are not there? That was her question. She thinks it was a child, and he/she will be there, waiting for us.

I hope there are ages in Heaven, I hope we’re all the age we want to be, and the age that we want others to be.

 I’m not sure what I believe. I just know I’m trying not to imagine a child.  It’s easier this way. 
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