Thursday, October 29, 2009

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

I'm trying to find comfort in that Bible verse right now. But the reality is, I'm just having a really negative day.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The tide is changing

This last weekend was a lot of fun. I went to the world's largest corn maze with my nieces and a friend of theirs. I went trick-or-treating at The Landing with my niece, Emily. I went to an apple orchard with my friend, Michelle, her daughter and my other friend, Krissy.

But I just want to blog about trick-or-treating. It was probably the first time Emily and I did something just the two of us since she was probably three years-old. This is mostly due to the fact that she has a younger sister, so special outings involve both of them. She was obviously excited that the two of us got to do something together.

The Landing is a pioneer village with interpreters dressed up as actual pioneers. Each of the different houses had someone giving out treats and toys as we trick-or-treated around. It was actually kind of spooky walking around, as none of the houses have electricity. The whole village was lit by lanterns on the walking path. Emily and I had a fun time. We both dressed up. I was a farmer and she was a pirate. I'd share the picture, but overalls are not flattering! She was a little shy of the interpreters, so she needed me to talk to them at first. And I watched her get more comfortable as the night went on.

But the reality of the situation is this. They used to run into my arms and give me big hugs when I saw them. Amanda still does that, but Emily doesn't always. At one point in time, my nieces would have loved to do anything with their auntie. Well, they still do, but the tide is changing. 

On the way home, I was asking Emily what she liked and didn't like about our trick-or-treating adventure. The thing that sticks out in my mind was when she said that she likes trick-or-treating in her neighborhood better, because she can go with her friends.

And I interpret that statement as she's growing up. Her friends are becoming more important in her life. I'm glad that she enjoys hanging out with her auntie. But I know as she gets older, the more she'll rather do things with her friends. It's fun to watch her grow up into the little lady she's becoming. But it's bittersweet when the reality of it all sinks in, because I love the girl she is right now. Don't get me wrong, I'm super proud to see the girl she's grown into. She's funny and sensitive towards others. She loves singing and acting and making people laugh. She loves animals and horseback riding. She's an awesome artist. I hope that as she grows up, she'll continue to look forward to the special times we get together.

Did you know that in first grade, she said when she grew up she wanted to be an auntie? Ahh, the love!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I was trying out for a co-ed hockey team. One boy and one girl would be cut from the team. It was clear that I was the least skilled girl on the ice. But what I lacked in skill, I made up for in effort. I could actually feel myself push beyond my limits each time it was my turn. But when it was scrimmage time and when the line with all the girls except me scored a goal against the boys, I knew my chance of making the team were quickly fleeting. And sure enough, my best efforts just weren't enough. I didn't make the team. And it broke my heart. I wanted to make the team so bad. Even though I was still in front of everyone, I cried. (And I never cry in front of people.) I couldn't. stop. crying.

And then I woke up from the dream. But there were real tears.

The dream made me think about when I didn't make the traveling soccer team in fifth grade. But I vaguely remember the day, talking to the coach on the phone in my parents' bedroom. Listening to him tell me that it was close, but I wasn't going to be able to play on the team. He told me to keep practicing and that he wanted me to try out again next year.

But at that point, I wasn't really listening. After he said goodbye, I started crying. I felt like I failed. I knew it was going to be so humiliating at school the next day when my friends and teacher asked me what team I made. I'd have to tell them I didn't make any team -- or I made the "c" team as in cut. I didn't want to disappoint my parents. My dad coached and practiced with me, so I was sure that I had disappointed them even as they assured me that I hadn't. They told me they still loved me and gave me hugs.

When I didn't make the soccer team in fifth grade, I felt like an outsider. At my friend's birthday party that summer, it was basically the whole soccer team plus me. They had their inside jokes that they laughed at and I just sort of chuckled along not knowing what they were laughing at, but I didn't want to be the only one not laughing, either. I just felt like I didn't belong.

This morning as those memories from so long ago flooded my mind, the tears flew harder and faster. Why was I crying about something that happened almost 20 years ago? I looked at the clock and it was 6:00 a.m.

It wasn't the first time I was awake at 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Four weeks ago, I awoke to terrible cramping and pain knowing that the time had come for my baby to miscarry. The pain was almost unbearable. I lay there whimpering as my husband slept soundly next to me. I guess I could have waked him, but he was sleeping and I knew if I woke him he would worry. So instead I said a little prayer asking God to take my baby. And I seriously felt my baby be pulled from me. And sure enough, the pain subsided and I slipped back into sleep.

Realizing the significance of the time, my dream started making a little more sense. Many of the feelings that I felt when didn't make the soccer team, I've felt since the miscarriage.

For a long, long time Dave and I have wanted a baby. I did everything I was supposed to do. I took my multi-vitamin and I didn't eat lunch meat. But something out of my control happened and I didn't make the team this season. Instead, I'm watching the baby bumps on my co-workers grow bigger from the sidelines. I'm looking at pictures of ultra-sounds and brand new baby pictures on Facebook. Believe it or not, I'm happy for every one else. Still, when I ask about the latest doctor's visit, I can feel the caution people make towards me as they talk about their baby. It's like they're hesitant and don't want to hurt my feelings. Yes, I'm sad about my baby, but I can still be happy for you. I still want to celebrate your moment with you. But please don't ignore me and make me an outsider. It hurts more to not only lose a baby, but also to feel like you don't belong.

I didn't quit playing soccer in fifth grade. I went to some camps and kept practicing. I tried out for the team again in sixth grade and I. made. the. team. Just like I overcame those struggles as a kid, we will come back and we will have our baby.

Monday, October 19, 2009

This is not a hoax

Will the media ever let the balloon boy hoax die?

Apparently, not.

Well, I, boys and girls, have two balloon boy stories to share that are real. Unfortunately, neither one has anything to do with me. Well, technically, one of these stories was made possible with a generous donation (or birthday present) from me (and others).

Story 1:
My sister, Becky, was telling me this story at lunch the other day. I could not believe that a boy actually has been stuck inside a runaway balloon once before.

During one cold Minnesota winter, a boy was inside a hot air balloon for a half-time show that the Met Stadium. The balloon was tethered to the ground when, suddenly, the rope broke and the boy and his balloon floated away. Finally the balloon descended and landed in a river. The impact of the crash caused the boy to be flung from the balloon and he was able to swim to shore despite his heavy layers of clothing. But minus the weight of the boy, the balloon went back into the air. Everyone kept following the balloon and when it crashed into a nearby field, the rescuers were surprised to find the balloon was empty. Thankfully, the boy was found and reunited with his family.

When Becky told me this story, I though it was a hoax. But she wasn't kidding and neither am I. Read the news story here.

Story 2:
My Dad and sister, Rachel, were given a hot a balloon ride for their birthday presents this year. On Saturday, they got to go on the ride. The others (myself, mom, Becky and my nieces) headed out to the field to watch. Once the balloon was in the air, my mom and I chased them across town and captured the ride on film (well, technically a memory card). Although I think the balloon ride would have been super fun, my mom and I had fun watching from the ground. Here's some of the pictures.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

We are not alone

Did you know today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day? I had no idea such a day existed. But really, before September 25, 2009, I never had any reason to be aware of such a day.

Will you remember my baby with me?

Even though our loss is still so fresh to me, I don't think I could ever forget about our baby. I'll never forget how I told Dave the news. He was actually gone fishing the morning I took the test. I have to share this conversation, because I loved it. I called and casually asked him a few questions...

Me: I was just calling because I was wondering what time you think you'll be home?
Dave: Why?
Me: I have a surprise for you.
Dave: What?
Me: It's just a surprise.
Dave: Tell me.
Me: I took a pregnancy test.
Dave: What'd it say?
Me: Well, it wouldn't be a surprise if it was negative.

I'll never forget what is was like to tell my parents or Dave's parents or our sisters. I'll never forget telling my grandparents or my nieces. My niece, Amanda, asked me why I wasn't fat.

I'll never forget the day we found out and Dave and I went to Kohl's and bought an outfit for our little baby. It was a little sleeper with elephants and giraffes on it.

I'll never forget the emails we looked forward to getting each week that said the size of the baby and explained what was developing that week. It was the size of a kidney bean.

I'll never forget catching myself smiling, lost in a daydream, just being so content that our dream of becoming a real family was coming true.

I really don't need a day to remember my angel baby. I remember every. single. day. But I find comfort in the fact that right now men and women throughout the world are remembering their loss and that right now you are remember my baby with me and I know that we are not alone.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wow. 400th post.

That wasn't going to be my title, but wow, it's my 400th blog post! And I think that deserves some sort of recognition, don't you think?

Anyway, the actual title of this blog was going to be: "Once every 24 years or so, you have to deal with this..."

Yes, that's actual snow that fell over the weekend here in Minnesnowta. Only twice on record has it snowed on two separate occasions before October 15 -- like it has this year (that is if I heard the news correctly).

I think it's going to be a long winter.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A little overwhelmed...

It's been a long couple of weeks. And probably not for reasons you'd assume if you read my previous post. I've been so busy, I haven't had much time to really think about it...which probably isn't the best thing to do, but I have to keep on going with work and school and my other obligations. My fall semester is in full swing now -- for the first time I'm taking two classes. I'm not sure how people do it, but it is EXHAUSTING. And when I get exhausted, it's harder for me to keep things in perspective. I get upset easier. I get irritated easier. I think I seriously hid at least three people from my Facebook news feed because I was so irritated with their political rants or silly drama (silly according to me.)

So even though I missed my "Thankful Thursday" post, I still want to acknowledge how thankful I am for my husband. He's been so supportive of me and our family. He supports me and loves me despite my falling asleep on the couch within 30 minutes of getting home. He supports me and loves me despite my emotional breakdowns. He supports me and loves me despite my mistakes. He supports me and loves me despite my irritability. He listens. He comforts. He makes sure I know that we're going to get through this together. He's exactly what I want and need right now. I love him so much and am so thankful that he's the love of my life.

Update: Dave's mom gave Dave and I a book of reflections and prayers, When I was reading it last night, one of the first things I read was this verse, which was exactly what I needed to read. "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." ~Matthew 11:28