Sunday, November 21, 2010
There's really nothing like wearing your favorite shirt...am I right? :)
Sunday, November 07, 2010
Y'all...I wore LEGGINGS! in PUBLIC!
How do you all feel about leggings? I remember when they were huge back when I was in 5th grade. Ohmygoodness - girls in my class wore them ALL THE TIME! I never did though. I thought I was too fat to get away with it, so I steered clear. My friend Stephanie wore them though, and she looked awesome in them. I always was a little jealous that she made those things work.
I hadn't intended on hopping onto the legging bandwagon when they came around again recently. I'm fat guys - it's generally unadvisable to swath my tush in stretchy fabrics. But Matt and I were out shopping the other day, and I found this cutie-patootie sweater dress that immediately made me think, "This would look so cute with some black leggings!" What the WHAT? Who was that skinny girl talking about leggings in my brain? Surely it wasn't me. I don't wear leggings. I'm fat, remember? I took the dress to the fitting room anyway, and tried it on (along with a few other fabulous, although not as daring, items). I took pictures of myself wearing these items and texted them to my sister. "What do you think? Yes or no?" She texted back her complete support and excitement for these purchases, and I waltzed out of the mall swinging my bag happily.
I had a big day today, and needed to look nice. I decided that today might be the day to debut the leggings. I put everything on together, popped my feet in some fun red flats and made Matt take pictures of me to send to my sister. (I know - I just wasn't sure! I can't believe I kept pestering her. She's a mom with a 4 year old and a newborn nursing baby! Gah...she has so many better things to be doing!)
Please don't tell me if there's some sort of "fat girls don't wear leggings" rule that I broke today. If leggings are wrong for me, I don't want to be right!
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
This second pregnancy didn't go so well. In fact, when there were problems just a few weeks after we found out, we had an ultrasound, and they couldn't even find the baby. They tried again on another day - still nothing. We were losing this time too. Somehow it felt different - less traumatic - because we had never seen the baby, heard the heartbeat, watched him wiggle around like we had before. The doctor suggested we just wait for my body to miscarry on it's own rather than schedule a DNC. That was fine with me. I didn't need more medical bills! The miscarriage started happening right when we landed in New Orleans on our vacation, and continued through the entire trip.
Now we're here in November - the due date of that second pregnancy is fast approaching. Although this second miscarriage wasn't as difficult as the first (emotionally - physically it was way worse), it's still hard for me to hear about all these friends welcoming children into their families. Sometimes I long for the days when thoughts of having children weren't residing in large sections of my heart. I wish I could welcome these friends' babies without thoughts of my own failures swirling in the back parts of my brain.
I truly am excited for them. I just wish I wasn't jealous too...
Thursday, October 07, 2010
When Bishop Mike talked about this problem in our church, I couldn't help but see this face in my mind:
You've seen Weekend at Bernie's, right? It's a hilarious movie. I must have watched it a thousand times when I was younger. I had an odd crush on Andrew McCarthy, and you have to admit the antics of trying to make a dead man look alive are pretty entertaining. They put sunglasses on him, take him to fun parties, take him water skiing, etc. You see quickly that it's a real chore dragging around a dead body trying to make him seem alive. The guys fake it for a while, and fool quite a few people. Eventually a few people catch on, the body gets rank, and the challenge of simulating life in death becomes too much to bear.
Do you have a "Bernie" ministry in your church? What can we do to bury all our Bernies and put our time and energy in to vital ministries???
So, for your viewing pleasure, here are some highlights of the pictures I have taken in the past month:
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
"We were cleaning our office last night (making room for our new computer), and I found the positive pregnancy test from March. Maybe it's a little gross that we kept it, but I had never seen a positive one before! At the time, I couldn't bear to throw it away. We hid it in the office, and then ended up having a miscarriage. I hadn't seen it since until last night. My stomach just turned over and over as I looked at those two little pink lines. There was so much awesomeness tied into that stick months ago, and now it just makes me nauseous and sad. I quickly threw it in the trash, and maybe a little bit of hope went in the trash with it.
I think that's one of the worst parts of this whole miscarriage thing. I look back on these pregnancies, and I have such mixed emotions. The day I found out I was pregnant with Squooshy last summer was one of the best days of my entire life. Being able to tell my parents, my siblings, my grandma - everyone!, that I was pregnant was amazing. But even though I loved that day, thinking of it now makes me immediately fill with sadness. Miscarriage sucked all the joy out of those amazing moments, and left my heart full of sour memories. Add that to the fact that our desire for children remains unfulfilled, and this miscarriage stuff just plain sucks!
I was in Chicago with my sister last weekend, and we went to the Museum of Science and Industry. It's an awesome museum! If you've never been, you should. Anyway - I hadn't been since middle school, and I remembered an exhibit they had then. They still have it now, and it's a series of 30-40 fetuses, in age order from conception to birth. They are all real children who were miscarried or aborted or stillborn, so it's sad to look at all those little lives that never were. It's a neat exhibit though, and I forced myself to look at the one that was about 12 weeks along - where Squooshy was when we lost him. I had read online what he would have looked like, what had been forming on his little body, what he was doing, hearing, seeing, etc. But I could never quite picture in my mind the size of him. What he might actually look like. I had hoped that he would have been unrecognizable - like a blob or a mass of bone and skin and veins. Like a foreign object that my body couldn't be faulted for discarding. At the same time I had hoped he would look like a person. We thought of him as our baby - he was OUR BABY - a child, a human. If he looked like a person, then certainly he was worthy of the value we placed on him. Certainly the sadness in our hearts would have been validated.
I'll never know exactly what he looked like. Was Squooshy even a boy? We'll never know that either. I always think of him as a HIM. While I was pregnant, I had dreams of a 4-5 year old boy with blond curly hair and bright blue eyes. I'll never know if I was right. What I know now is that Squooshy was definitely a BABY. Very recognizable as a person with arms, legs, fingers, toes, a nose, ears, lips, etc. He had genitalia, so we would have known if HE was a SHE. He had started growing hair, and already had fingernails. He was small, but not too small to snuggle gently. He would have fit in one of my hands, but he would have almost filled it. Seeing that little baby, enshrined in a case for millions to see, made fresh grief wash over me. I don't know the actual baby in that case, but to me, at that moment, my little baby was right in front of my eyes. Separated for eternity by a pane of bulletproof glass.
Ugh...it was so hard to see, but I couldn't keep myself from the exhibit. I could have. It's set apart in a room that I could have easily avoided. I just couldn't though. I had to know. I had to see what was, and imagine again what could have been.
That experience has made the sadness a little more present lately. I must admit that I am disappointed to still be so sad about it. I had hoped that time would reduce my sorrow. Perhaps it just makes it less frequent.
All of this to say - I'M OKAY! I am so glad to be alive, even though life is hard to live some days. I already knew I had an awesome husband, but a fresher, stronger appreciation for him has really blossomed. Thankfully throughout all of this I have not had a crisis of faith. It has never once occurred to me that God might not be real or might not love me just as much as he always has. My God is the same as he was before we lost 2 babies and before my brain was irreparably damaged. He'll continue to be the same as we move forward with a brain injury and keep trying to create a family. He's the same God RIGHT NOW as we learn to be a family of 2 and as we learn to adjust to my new issues created by the stroke. I have been angry and sad and asked "WHY?" a gazillion times, but I have never felt abandoned or unloved. I guess that's something to hold on to, right?
A heavy heart is a difficult thing to live with, but we can thank God for the heart that's strong enough to handle the heaviness, right? I just keep telling myself that. I would rather feel this than feel nothing at all."
Monday, September 06, 2010
In my previous post I listed 40 things I want to accomplish by the time I'm 40. I can't help but feel some disappointment at the things I haven't seen and done by now. It occurred to me this evening that perhaps I need to shift my perspective, and think about the things I have done up to this point. So, here you go...my 30 in 30:
- Married my best friend
- Had two jobs that I have loved
- Learned about food and cooking
- Visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- Visited the Baseball Hall of Fame
- Learned to enjoy baseball...really!
- Moisturized every day
- Vacationed in New Orleans twice, and fell in love with the city on accident
- Discovered Ikea
- Dug my feet in the sand on the Gulf of Mexico
- Painted my nails about 300 different colors
- Driven to Gatlinburg 4 times to support our neice and nephew
- Met new neices and a nephew (Kamryn, Clarissa and Harrison) and have fallen in love with them on purpose
- Witnessed a birth live
- Acquired three pets that I adore (most of the time)
- Lived in 7 homes in 6 different cities
- Learned how to cross-stitch
- Owned 7 vehicles
- Learned to scrapbook and make cards
- Bought my own furniture (sounds silly, but buying our own brand new furniture was a real experience!)
- Made life-long friends
- Tended old friendships from far away - hopefully successfully
- Learned that my sister is my best friend
- Realized that my brother is one of my favorite people to talk to (it took moving out of my parents' house to discover both of these things!)
- Made some of my mother's best dishes (Swiss Steak, Kale and Sausage, Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, Beef Stroganoff)
- Learned to appreciate family history like my dad does
- Received some beloved recipes from my great Grandma, and successfully made her Cherry Delight with my little sister (one of my favorite memories)
- Grown closer to my Grandma Alice, and learned to love sitting and talking with her.
- Trusted that God's plan was perfect
- Witnessed first-hand that God's peace is there to comfort you right when you need it
Thank you Lord for a great 30 years. I have definitely experienced some trouble - some innocently, and some by my own doing - but I have yet to doubt that you are King of my heart and my life. However many years you see fit to give me, I will continue to love you for who you are, and thank you for the people you have let me share my life with.
Monday, August 30, 2010
I know that life is a continuous string of days and events, but for some reason this impending birthday seems to be a do-over point. Much like New Year's Day to the 10th degree. I can reset my clocks, wipe the slate clean, start my life anew. This is silly because of course I can do these things at any point. It just seems like now is the perfect time to do it. Maybe my poor health lately makes me feel like age is more than just a number. Maybe it's wisdom settling into my bones a bit more now that I'm (almost) not a witless 20-something. Maybe it's regret I feel over some things left undone in my 20's. In any case, I felt strongly to come up with a list of 40 things I want to have accomplished/seen/done by the time I'm 40. It occurs to me now that I left off a lot of altruistic items like, "see doctors cure cancer" or "world peace finally attained." I guess I assume everyone wants those things. These things are just for me. I must note that I fully retain the right to change this list on a whim any time I please.
Katie’s 40 by 40
(not in any order)
1. Visit Disney World
2. Go on a culinary tour of Italy
3. Go on a culinary tour of Paris
4. Take a cruise vacation
5. Pay off all my debt
6. Be at a healthy weight
7. Eat more whole, organic, locally-grown foods
8. Read 12 books per year OR 120 books by the time I’m 40
9. Be in the habit of working out at least 15 minutes daily
10. Find a hair cut that I love
11. Understand baseball
12. Get a great camera and learn how to use it well
13. Learn to play piano
14. Learn to play guitar
15. Learn Spanish
16. Read the bible from start to finish
17. Improve my complexion
18. Start a great ministry
19. See everyone in my family come to know and love Christ
20. Stop cursing
21. Be known for a dish that I make
22. See these artists perform live (again or for the first time): Neil Young, Van Morrison, Emmylou Harris, Metallica, Marc Broussard, (to be continued/added to)
23. Live in New York City – even if for just one year
24. Go to Las Vegas with my Grandma Alice at least one more time
25. Learn to bake like my mom
26. Learn to be rebellious like my dad (to a point!)
27. Become a mother (either by birth or adoption or surrogacy)
28. Find a beer that I enjoy drinking
29. Learn to bake bread
30. Create things that people love so much, they would pay money for them
31. Decorate my home well
32. Have a great garden
33. Finish at least one more cross-stitch project
34. Catalog family photos with my dad
35. Enjoy one last good conversation with Grandma Jordan.
36. Worry less
37. Rent a beach house with my family for an awesome vacation
38. See the ruins in Greece
39. Go on a genealogy tour of Holland, Germany and the British Isles
40. Be on The Price is Right
There. If I can do those things, I'll be at perfect peace and happiness, right? :)
Ten years is a long time to cross these things off my list. As I look at all of these items, I have to think of some things that will probably happen during the next decade:
- Tayla and Damon will graduate high school, and may even marry and/or have kids
- Kamryn and Clarissa will be in high school: dating, learning to drive, getting grounded and turning into women
- Harrison will be here, and will be a tall, lanky 10 year old
- Grandma Jordan will probably have passed away - one of the great saints of my life. (She's 99 now, if she's alive in 10 years, someone please call Willard Scott!)
- My parents will continue to age - hopefully well.
- My brother may marry a wonderful woman that fits right in to our crazy family
- One or more of our pets will probably die.
- We may move once, twice, 5 times! Who knows?
- If I remain in my current job, I will have at least one change in bosses.
Some things will continue to be the same though:
- Tragedy will continue to strike.
- Happiness will continue to prevail.
- Matt and I will continue to love each other strongly and deeply.
- God will continue to be sovereign.
Life is an exciting journey, and after the craziness I've been through lately, I just have to say that I'm so glad to still be traveling this road.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Last week one of my veryverybest friends (seriously - one of those besties that you have once or twice in a LIFETIME) got to tell me that she was PREGNANT! I immediately started to cry, because it's AWESOME news, and well, let's face it - I'm over emotional ALL THE TIME. I mean, LOOK AT ALL THE CAPS EMOTING ON THIS PAGE! We've been super close since we met in 8th grade, and we've lived a lot of life together. It's amazing to share this JOY with her as she prepares for the birth of her first child!
We talked about how they found out, how they told their family members, how her folks reacted, etc. She mentioned that her older sister was upset. Sister says she's upset because she was the last of the siblings to find out (on a technicality - but someone has to be last, right?). What Sister is not telling Friend is that she's upset because of how easy it was for Friend to get pregnant. Sister shuts down and sulks when Friend's pregnancy is mentioned.
I get it a little - Sister has had some serious issues with her own fertility. After a LOT of work, she has one child and another on the way. Bringing these lives into the world has been a struggle for Sister. I UNDERSTAND HOW PAINFUL THAT IS! I totally get how much it hurts to want a child to add to your family and not be able to make it happen. How your ovulation is always on your mind, you schedule sex as if it were your job, and every time you turn around another friend is pregnant, holding babies, posting pictures of kids, etc. I really know the searing pain of knowing your period has come once again, signaling your continued failure in the baby-making department. I even know the pain (physical and emotional) of losing babies you were fortunate enough to make - just not fortunate enough to hold in this lifetime. I get it. It's HARD. It feels lonely and desperate. It HURTS.
BUT - with all of that said, I have to say that I can't imagine how much more it would hurt for me to miss the JOY around me. The world is PREGNANT with hope! My friends (and sister!) are PREGNANT with new life! I refuse to let my fertility issues rape me of the JOY that is to be experienced as my family is expanded through my sister, my cousins, my best friends. Every one of those babies has an amazing purpose, and I get to be a part of it! Isn't that exciting?
Someday Matt and I will have children of our own - either through childbirth or adoption. When that happens, I know all these other women will support me and share my JOY with me. Until then, I am not allowing my hurt to get the best of me. I will do everything to have JOY when there is new life to be born!
Friday, April 23, 2010
First, I want to say that I have LONG been a fan of Jennifer Knapp. I remember seeing her for the first time many years ago when she opened for DC Talk in Indianapolis. I had never heard her music before, but as soon as she came on stage, I was instantly taken. Her music is powerful, but her lyrics are even more so. That woman can really string some words together! Her sound is raw and soulful, and her songs have always seemed to speak to my life in a very real and authentic way. I always get the feeling that Jennifer is who she is - no apologies. Through her music she seems to be so honest in both her praise of her savior and her questions about her faith. It's a beautiful thing...
I am surprised to see her on Larry King Live. I know her public revelation about her sexuality has really become big news, but I guess I always feel as though "Christian" artists are quickly disregarded by the mainstream. I suppose it's a good thing that this topic is becoming more and more prevalent though.
I have never watched Larry King before, and let me say this: I WILL NEVER WATCH AGAIN. He is so bad about interrupting people! It was really frustrating to watch. Plus, how many breaks do we really need in one hour? I joked with Matt that he must be having prostate issues because of all the potty breaks he was taking. (That's so mean...but it's funny, right? Just kidding...prostate issues aren't funny.) Besides the interrupting and the breaks, he really seems to only hear what he wants to hear. He would totally twist people's words into something dramatic to try to cause conflict. I'm sure that stirring up drama is good for his ratings, but it's rude and dishonest. I felt like a skeez just watching that show (and I watch some crazy TV people!).
I became a Christian when I was 16 years old, and have been struggling with the issue of homosexuality ever since. Someone who I love very much is gay, so right away the question of whether homosexuality is a sin was addressed in my soul. I have to say that 14 years later, that question remains unanswered. Now, I have not spent scads of time debating and researching and praying about this or anything. It's just always something that's in the back of my mind, and it comes out to stretch its limbs once in a while. As I have continued in my life as a Christian, I have met and loved others who are gay or who question the sinfulness of homosexuality. I have had some really enlightening, inspired conversations with these people, but I still have yet to make up my mind about it. The question still remains for me: What does God think about homosexuality?
The question I want to raise tonight is this: Can you be a gay Christian?
I am a follower of Christ. In an attempt to be totally open and real with you, I will tell you that I sin in a myriad of ways. I could list them, but I won't. These sins are either being dealt with now or have been already. The victory has been won either way, and that is between me and God. What I will tell you is this: My sins - past, present or future - do not keep me from loving God or receiving his love, grace, mercy or salvation. I fully understand that sin separates us from God, but I also understand that Christ came to bridge that gap my sin created. By accepting Christ into my life, and by continuing to seek forgiveness and redemption every day, I now enjoy an awesome relationship with my creator.
I am a heterosexual woman, married to a man. Not once in my life as a Christian (or before for that matter) has it occurred to me that my sexuality has anything to do with whether or not I can give love to or receive love from God. I know that God has created marriage, and that he created sex within marriage to be a gift. Trust me - I appreciate that on a fairly regular basis! ;) I don't know that if I were a homosexual woman in a serious relationship with another woman that my relationship with God would be much different. I just don't see how my sexual orientation blocks out the love and salvation that God has for me. Obviously I am only speculating. Maybe things would be totally different. I will never know.
What I do know is that GOD LOVES US ALL. Gay or straight. White or black. Male or female. American or not. Let's not get all caught up on who is a sinner and who isn't, because WE ALL ARE! Instead, let's get caught up in loving one another and supporting each other in our walk. There's so much more that needs our attention folks. Satan is at work among us, and he's using crap like this to divide us even more. Kick him in the face and love the crap out of each other!
What do you think?
(P.S. Jennifer? You are FABULOUS! So glad you're back!)
Monday, April 05, 2010
My hormone levels just weren't what they needed to be, so my doctor scheduled an ultrasound for this morning. I should be 8 weeks along, but there was nothing on the ultrasound. No sac. No baby. No nothing.
We're so sad, but hopeful for next time. I should begin bleeding in a few days as my body gets rid of whatever is there. Once I have a normal period, I will start Clomid again with some hormone therapy. The doctor is so optimistic, so that helps give us hope. Plus, he is a Christian man who prays for and with us and who shares his faith with his patients. I feel like I'm really cared for well.
Losing this pregnancy feels so different from our first miscarriage. Last summer we had multiple ultrasounds where we were able to see the baby moving and thriving - heart beating and everything. This time we didn't have that. We know that a baby didn't actually form this time, so although it's sad that this pregnancy isn't going to work out, we really don't feel as though a life has been lost - just the possibility of one.
Thanks for all your prayers...this is so hard for us to understand, but we know that God is looking after us.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Apologizing for not writing makes me a little sick. I usually love to write, and this blog was a place for me to do that. Whether I was writing about nail polish or losing our baby or music or whatever, blogging made me feel like I was connecting to that person that lives inside of myself - like she was finally getting to say all those things she was thinking. Knowing that she has not had that opportunity for quite some time makes me feel sad for her. And knowing that it's entirely possible that I won't blog again for a few more months makes that apology I just made up there seem trite.
It's the same old song when things go wrong (right Dad?), and when things go wrong with me, I suddenly drop the things I love. For MONTHS I have neglected writing, reading, cooking...all things I love intensely. It's as if I have simply lost the inspiration to do any of these activities. I have been working, cleaning house, watching TV and playing video games. That's about it. Looking back, I realize what a sad little existence I've been having lately, and I hate it.
Christmas was a blur. It was my worst Christmas ever, and I think it has everything to do with the fact that I knew deep inside that this should have been one of the best Christmases ever. I should have been very pregnant at Christmas, and instead my uterus reminded me day after day that it was empty. I thank God for my sister, who came to my rescue one Tuesday, and helped me get a jump start on cleaning my house for a church party we were hosting later that week. Her motivation to help me ignited the little bit of Christmas spirit that I had and it fueled me to get the house taken care of, presents wrapped, etc. I (hope) that Christmas came and went without my family realizing how miserable I was, but even if they didn't I guess the cat's out of the bag now. Oh well, it's over now. Maybe this Christmas will be better.
Some of my misery has a little to do with the increased hormones that are raging through my body. In December I started taking Clomid again, this time with Dexamethasone, a steroid that has been shown to increase fertility in some women when taken with Clomid. In December I took 50 mgs of Clomid. This month I am taking 100 mgs of Clomid, and next month (if I'm not pregnant) I will be taking 150 mgs. These meds, coupled with "coupling" obviously, should get me pregnant again. My new doctor is VERY optimistic, but I can't help feeling unsure. I am hopeful, but it seems like for a lot of my life, I am always waiting for that other shoe to drop. I can't help but think, "Okay, so we get pregnant. What if we lose THIS baby too?" The thought hurts me so much, I can't bear to think about it.
The pain that I have endured since August 11th is nothing short of monumental. Those first couple of days I kept getting comments from people about how strong I was, about how my faith was sustaining me, about how inspiring my attitude was. Looking back now, I think I was in shock over it all, and God's peace stepped in and allowed me to coast for a while. Since the reality of it all has sunk in, life just seems to suck a little. I close in on our due date, and I can't help but think about my friends who are due around the same time I was. I dread getting those calls from them to let me know their babies are here, safe and sound. I love them (and their babies) dearly, but will I be able to hold it together for them? Or will I break down in tears on the phone? I don't know...and I don't know how to prepare for it. I don't know how to prepare myself for February 26th either. Should we do something special, or just treat it like it's another day?
I can't help but get mad at God a little now and then about this whole mess. I mean, it took us almost 4 years to get pregnant to begin with. Shouldn't I have been able to keep the one baby we were actually able to conceive? Doesn't He see how unfair this is? Doesn't He know how much it hurts to lose a child? (Oh wait...yeah He does.) It just sucks. It sucks knowing that I can so easily turn my hurt and anger on God when I profess so much to have such great faith in Him.
5 months after our miscarriage, I am still hurting, and I can't help but wonder if the pain will ever go away. It must, right? I read blogs by women who have lost babies before, and their hurt seems to have been greatly diminished. I wonder, though, if that's because they have children to hold and raise after the fact. What if I never get that? What if I never have a child to call my own? Will this pain just sit in my chest throbbing for my whole life? I hope I never have to find out.
Having a baby just seems like the easiest thing in the world to do, and here I am, totally unable (so far) to accomplish this task. People who are totally unable and unfit to be parents do it all the time. Why can't I? Just doesn't seem right...but maybe that's a little self-righteous of me. I'm not perfect...just a little desperate I suppose.
So that's where I am. Yesterday at this time I was having a great weekend. We entertained (twice!) this weekend, the house was clean, I was cooking. It was great! Then last night as we laid down to go to sleep, it hit me like a ton of bricks. This grief just shows up out of nowhere, and smacks me down. And with one fell swoop, a great weekend ends with sobbing in bed, wrapped up in Matt's arms as he tries to console me. It's a big job, being married to me, and he's pretty great at it. I am so thankful for him.
I want to update you on things in my life though. Like my job, the new business my family and I are trying to get off the ground, etc. This just doesn't seem like the post for it though. I'll check back in soon...