Tuesday, April 23, 2013

cutting comparisons

I don't know about you, but I tend to compare myself to others, I would say daily.  Perhaps several times a day.  It may be as early as seeing my husband run down the street as I sip my coffee, wondering if I'll ever get myself out there like that.  Or maybe as I pack my kids lunches, staring down at the cheese stick, yogurt and sandwich, thinking of my good friend who packs lunches full of veggies and fruits and creative things like turkey pinwheels with sprouts of some sort.

As my day continues, I'll see women who are thin and fit, well dressed, hair done and makeup beautifully applied.  And no, these women aren't on tv, they are at school and church.

At work as I take notes long hand, again I lament that I will do my report later on my husband's computer, as we have not yet had the money for me to buy my desired Ipad.  As I drive home from work, I will perhaps notice the well-kept lawns and bigger, beautiful homes.

Ten minutes after my kids get home from school, maybe I will yell that I WILL CHOOSE THE SNACK AND SHOW SINCE THEY CAN'T AGREE ON ANYTHING, and my mind will flash with a picture of a mom I know, who abhors yelling and as far as I know, has never done it.

I put dinner on the table for my girls, waiting to eat until later with Kevin.  I am reminded that eating at the table as a family is best, and I sigh.  I sigh again, as my children beg me to not make them eat the gross, smelly, disgusting singular carrot or broccoli spear on their plate.

As I lay my head on my pillow, whispering a note of thanks to God for a day with our needs met, love in our hearts and continued health, I say my prayer with a feeling of guilt that I did not give more of my day to Him.  I think on the author of the book study I am currently behind in, and remember her words of encouragement to spend time everyday reading the Word and in prayer.  I remember her sharing how she gave up tv, as she felt it kept her from time with the Lord and distracted her.  I turn on King of Queens and fall asleep.

Yes, I compare myself to others all-the-time.  Try as I might to silence that pesky voice in my head, without me even realizing it, I know she pipes up every day.  "You're so fat, look at how pretty your friend is."  "Going to the store for produce with pesticides while so-and-so grows her own AND her family eats all of it without complaining that it's gross and disgusting." "They have such a nice marriage..."

But.  Someone may be comparing herself or family to me.  What?!  But it's true.  And you, my friend, do you compare yourself to others too?  I can guarantee someone is also thinking parts of your grass are greener.  Maybe not the whole yard, but the nice garden in the corner, or your lovely tree out back.

I am not perfect, nor will I ever be.  Even if I do tackle some of my challenges and my own grass gets a little greener, there will always be some dead patches.

Today I am grateful for who I am, what I have, and my little yard that needs a lot of work.  Because it's mine and was given to me.

Look at your own yard through sharper glasses my friends.  Chances are you have lovely, thriving trees  that your neighbor wishes they had.  Like me.  I could really use a dogwood tree and a veggie garden.

Ah, but no child in this house would eat anything from it.  I'll stick with my dandelions.

Monday, April 15, 2013

one year later

As I write this I am watching "The Talk" on daytime tv to kind of take my mind off of my emotions.  However, the guest on the show is a woman dying of cancer, so there goes that, I'm crying anyway.

One year ago we lost our baby, and because I wrote a few posts about what that experience was like I thought I'd update.  2012 SUCKED.  There's no other way to put it.  Not just because of losing the baby, but other things happened as well.  The year went out with a bang, my mom breaking her leg and then having Hurricane Sandy rip through her house and neighborhood.  So much stress permeated our every-day.  We tried to keep humming because of the children, and I think that if we did not have our 2 sweet girls, we'd be in a much worse place right now.  The girls made us not just keep getting out of bed in the morning, but forced us to find joy wherever we could.  On New Years I don't think I've ever been more excited for the calendar to flip.  2013 is proving to be much, much better.

On April 12, 2012 - Kevin's birthday - we found out the baby had died.  I had gone to the doctor because of severe cramping and spotting.  I miscarried naturally over the next four days and April 16 to me is the date I will keep in my heart as the day our precious surprise baby left us.  I don't want to always affiliate Kevin's birthday with such a sad day in our family.  Although I guess I always will.  On April 16 I was home alone, and I wanted to be alone.  Kevin didn't know whether or not to work but time is money and I was tired of the sad look everyone was giving me.  I was thankful for the empathy and love, but tired of the sadness.

The cramps had mostly subsided by that day, and I thought the miscarriage was over and now I would just bleed.  I thought the worst of it had happened 2 days before.  But the cramps came back with a vengeance and I felt an urge to push and I knew then it was finally really over.   I sat in my bathroom and cried my eyes out.  It is traumatic to be sure, seeing what only looks like huge clots of blood in the toilet and wonder if you should take it out and try to look for your baby.  Perhaps you winced at that sentence, but I am telling it like it is folks.  I decided not to have a D&C, and a few times I have regretted it.  One reason is sometimes I wish I could have known what caused this - did the baby have something wrong?  But then at times I am glad I don't know, for if they found nothing wrong I surely would blame myself, more than I already do.  Also sometimes I wish we could know if it was a boy or girl - even though we call the baby "Baby Collin" and believe it was a boy.  Sometimes I'm so thankful I don't know.  Also, that memory for me of finally flushing that toilet revisits me often and it can make me shake with grief...sometimes I wish I didn't have that memory.

But I do, and here I am a year later and I am really doing ok.  I still cry, my girls still cry, Kevin still cries.  It is painful to hold babies, it is painful to think about how old our baby would be, it is painful taking pictures of our family because I feel like one is missing.  But life is still good.  My girls bring me so much joy, it is impossible to convey how thankful for them I am.  My relationship with Kevin, while going through our first very difficult season of marriage last year, has improved and I am once again taking deep joy in our time together.  We laugh a lot, and I am so SO happy to have the laughter back.  I am also happy to have chosen to return to God, for I left His side for a while. But as God does, He followed me and kept tapping me on the shoulder until I turned around.

One foot in front of the other.  I will always look back on those weeks that we were expecting our third baby fondly.  I will also always look back with deep pain.  Several months ago a wise friend told me that I will always have grief, because I love our baby, and the baby is a part of me that is gone.  And so I will grieve, because I will always miss what I love, that is not here for me to have and to hold.  Taylor said the other day she just wishes she could see what his eyes look like and it's hard waiting until Heaven.  Those moments make my heart actually hurt.  Bailey and I sat last week and cried for quite awhile mourning the loss of Baby Collin.  She would have been such a good big sister to him.  And I am sad that we did not get to see what Taylor would have been like as a big sis...and when Taylor gets mad that she was robbed that opportunity I remind her how she prayed for him when he was in my tummy, and he knew she was there.  My girls amaze me with their depth of understanding and sweetness concerning this baby and the loss.

To all who loved me up during the weeks following the miscarriage, thank you.  The flowers, cards, meals, groceries, phone calls, prayers and love...I won't forget it.

No it's not easy sometimes but the good times far outweigh the bad and I am so thankful every day for my many blessings.  Thanks for reading.  xo