Welcome Home

Well, hello there.  It feels strange to be here.  I haven’t forgotten about this place, not at all in fact, but I feel somewhat a stranger coming back here.  Although these are my words.

My life.

My story.

I feel almost unwelcome here.  That these words are from a place I don’t want to visit…a part of my life, if you will, I want documented but don’t wish to truly remember.

But we never forget, do we?

And it’s important to remember.

No matter our desires, our heads and hearts hold onto those memories…clinging to the feelings, like the talons of a bird cling to its prey, because letting go of them means something dies all over again.

If we don’t cling to the memories, we can no longer re-live the experience searching for clues as to why?  As if we’d missed the answer, hidden in the shadows, from the thousands of preceding mental viewings.

Everywhere I’ve looked today has been today’s date…3/24.  Megyn’s birthday.  Tomorrow is Whitney’s birthday and yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of the day we were told our twins had died inside my body.

This year, it’s a difficult 3 days.  I can’t say I’m incredibly sad this year, I’m not joyful, I’m just, melancholy?  Is that the best word?  I found myself worried late last night about their birthday party.  I believe in Heaven and I found myself praying to a God, that I’m still angry with, that someone give them a party.  That they had balloons, cake, candles, that someone sang to them, told them Happy Birthday, that they had a day filled with laughter and celebration.  That someone hugged my girls and told them they were loved.  Wanted.  Some of you may think that sounds absolutely insane, but grief plays itself out so very differently in people.  This was my way of dealing with the grief of losing my two girls this year.  I don’t wish to go on like this…each year has brought dread and sorrow, and truly, I don’t expect that to be the case as time goes on.  As with most other things, time is the great healer.

When I think back to 2 years ago, I don’t really remember it.  I seem to recall a life free from such tragic grief, free from the reality and fears that come with our experience, but I don’t have a clear picture of that life.  I almost don’t recognize myself these days…2 years out.  I CERTAINLY don’t recognize who I am today compared to the person I thought I would be.  I’ve lost weight, I dress differently, I’m a different wife and mother than I’d ever imagined myself to be, my emotions process differently and I carry the weight of the reality that I lost 2 daughters.  None of these things are particularly bad…who wouldn’t want to lose weight?  I feel like I’ve found my own fashion style and it suits me.  I feel better about myself now than I’ve ever felt before.  The way I process emotions may be different, but I have to believe they are more real than ever before.  The weight of reality I carry with me requires me to view life differently.  Life is so much more precious now than ever before, which can be both awesome and so scary at the same time.  My relationship with my husband is both easy and amazing and difficult and mind-boggling.  There are parts that are better than ever and parts that make me feel like we are at square 1.  My personal journey is confusing also.  While I believe I’m meant to serve my family…my children and my husband, I feel there is more I should be doing.  I volunteer, but there’s more.  I don’t know what it is…I’m not even sure when I’d fit more into my schedule, but there’s a piece of me missing.

I was right, a long time ago, when I started writing here.  My story was just beginning.  It’s a journey, that is still very much in the beginning phases.  I’m no closer to knowing how the story ends today than I was 2 years ago and at the same time, I feel like I’ve solved a good chuck of the puzzle just by walking the walk.  Just by getting out of bed each day…especially in the early days.  Just by being willing to say losing the twins was only the beginning, and not the end.

I’d like to come back here more.  I’d like to share more, to catch up and tell you what has happened over the past year, and share with you what my heart desires in the months and years to come.  My avoidance here has been mostly due to time constraints…this year has been busy.  It’s hard enough to find the time to write, even harder to have the peace of mind needed to process my thoughts and emotions and put something here that’s worth reading now and worth remembering years from now.

There’s a part of my that yearns for time here, though.  I’m pulled here, a place to write, to be emotional, to document this life of mine.  A place to chronicle this journey I’m on and a place for people to come that may find some small bit of help here.  Even if only to learn they are not alone in this crazy thing called life.

So I think you’ll see more of me, very soon.

Friday Night Closet Hunting

You know that dress?  The one hanging in the back of your closet.  The one you’ve had for so long, it’s practically vintage.  The one you keep passing over during Spring Cleaning because it’s beautiful, timeless, classic and one day, you WILL wear it again.

Then comes the magical moment when you’ve worked up the courage to try on the dress.  You inspect it on the hanger, hold it up to yourself and start to feel the confidence welling up inside you that it might actually zip up.  You slip on the dress, adjust it so it’s just right and start the zipping process.  You know that wonderful, thrilling moment when the zipper easily reaches the top of the dress and you admire yourself in the mirror wearing a dress from years ago you never thought you’d wear again?

Yeah, me neither.

Back of the closet dress FAIL.

Busy Bee

It’s fall!!!  Well, not really, since I live in Texas, but it’s been below 100 here and THAT’S worth celebrating.  I love this time of year.  A few years ago I couldn’t really tell you what my favorite time of year was, but now, I can say fall, without a doubt.  We wait ALL YEAR LONG for football season.  We love football around here and we’re already knee-deep in Aggie football and pretty much any football that is televised.  As much as I love fall for the football, cooler temps and holidays, it’s also the time when my life seems to get back in swing.  Everything I’m involved in starts up around this time.  It’s busy, but that’s the way I like it.  Until I don’t.  Then I’ll proceed to whine to the Hubs and complain about it here. 🙂

A started back to school last week.  And quickly proceeded to contract what seems to be Hand, Foot and Mouth disease.  At least, that’s what Dr. Google and I are diagnosing her with.  It’s either HFM or chicken pox.  I think the pox is out since she doesn’t seem to have enough sores popping up.  So she’s house/bed-ridden for a few days.  I also joined MOPS this year at the church where she attends preschool and our first meeting was last week.  I was invited by the mom of A’s little bestie and I’m so glad she extended the invite.  I’m really excited about MOPS and looking forward to our meetings, playdates, service projects and holiday parties.  We also enrolled A in Zoo Preschool this year which is 1 afternoon, once per week.  Her first class was this past Monday.  Among other ridiculously cool things, she got to meet a penguin named Jack.  Apparently he was walking around on the table.  I’m only slightly jealous of Zoo School.    I’m also a member of a women’s service organization and my placement is in full swing, as well as my yearly obligations (meetings to attend, hours to complete at fundraisers, etc.) to the organization.  I also decided to sign up for an additional placement this year, so there’s that.  I may have over-committed.

That’s all my stuff outside the house.  Around here I’m making a more diligent effort to clean house on a regular basis and keep up with the laundry.  And I should probably start exercising.  I pretty much took the last year or so off from house duties and exercise and I’m ready to start holding myself accountable.  I’m also still making a concerted effort to see my mom friends when I can, take some time for myself (NOT HAPPENING.  AT ALL.) and spend one-on-one time with Baby C while her big sis is otherwise occupado.  I also want to take more pics.  I’m getting better and better and I don’t want to stop now.  I’m trying to help where I can, mostly administratively, with Hubs’ business then there’s that whole issue of starting my own business.  Plus, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas (I host at least 2 family parties each year) and all the travel in-between for football and to see family.  I may have forgotten to mention one other teeny-tiny detail…I have baby fever.  We’re not acting on it, but the itch is definitely there.  I have nowhere to put a third child, physically or mentally, but that doesn’t seem to matter to my crazy brain.

I complain a lot that there never seems to be any down time in our lives.  If I’m being honest, I’m not sure we’re meant to live that way.  We bring this kind of stuff into our lives, willingly, and we always have.  And because we don’t have quite enough to do, I’ve decided I want the entry way and hallway repainted.  Like, yesterday.

Due Date-versary

Today is August 20th.  The due date for the twins was one year ago today.  Had they survived, they’d be just over a year old since the chance of them going full term was near 0.  But they didn’t, and I’m left with another date during the year that leaves me wondering exactly how I’m supposed to feel.  I suspect as the years go on, this date will hold less and less meaning for me.  Although, I can’t be sure.  Today hasn’t been terribly difficult.  I felt more emotional than usual this morning and slightly weepy, but as the day went on, and my responsibilities unfolded in front of me, I didn’t really find too much time to sit in sorrow or contemplate my feelings.

I wish I could sit here today and tell you about how I’m all better.  How I’ve healed up and am continuing on with life barely thinking about the tragic events that took place last year.  But that’s not the case.  In fact, I told the Hubs just this morning that I feel like I’ve stalled out…like I’m stuck somewhere on this road of healing and I’m not moving.  I’m not in a terrible place, or even a bad place, but I can’t say I’m feeling significantly better than I did yesterday, last week or even a few months ago.  It’s frustrating even though I knew better than to expect a quick turn-around.  You don’t just bounce back from something like this.

It’s been a while, in fact, a very long while, since anyone has asked how I’m doing.  I’m not sure how I would respond.  I mean, I’m fine, but I still have moments of sadness, moments of anger.  I still wonder what it would have been like.  More than anything else though, when I find myself thinking about the whole ordeal, it seems like an out-of-body experience.  I know it happened to me, but when I replay the events in my mind it’s like I’m watching it happen to someone else.  In a way, I guess I am.

I wanted so badly to take pictures of A and C today.  To capture what my life looked like on this day…but it just didn’t work out.  That’s ok…maybe tomorrow.  I did take time to really look at both my girls today.  To be thankful for them.  A spent a long weekend with her grandparents and I was thrilled to have her back home.  To hug her, to see her pretty face and even to put up with her 3-year-old antics.  And sweet baby C…sometimes looking at her is so bittersweet.  I love her completely, but there’s no hiding the fact she came after the twins.  She’ll always hold a special place in my heart as the baby that wouldn’t have been here if events hadn’t unfolded the way they did.  She’s only 5 months old and I just CANNOT imagine our life without her.

I’ve been taking tons of pictures.  I can still remember the day I decided it was time to quit playing around and learn how to use my camera.  I’ve come so far since then and I still have much to learn.  I will say this for my healing though…I’ve noticed a difference in myself in photographs.  I look happy.  For the first time in a very long time, I look happy in pictures.  It’s progress, tangible evidence that I’m moving forward on this journey, and that makes my heart smile.

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My “Weight”

I’ve been a little tense lately.  I haven’t felt much like myself.  I’ve been feeling, heavy, in a way.  Like I’m carrying around a lot of stress, a lot of emotional weight.  At first I figured part of the problem was a lack of sleep and the general frustrations that come with having 2 young children.  I started thinking, “Things will get better when A goes back to school in September.”  But the truth is, I’m dealing with a lot more than having my kid home during the summer.

I feel there is a lot being asked of me right now.  In addition to a pregnancy/new baby…the whole thing was highly charged, emotionally, since it was right on the heels of losing the twins.  I still haven’t had a chance to come down from the emotional high I was on for the duration of my pregnancy.  Less than 2 weeks after C was born, there was a shitstorm with Hubs’ job and so began the process of him quitting and starting his own company.  It wasn’t as simple as turning in a resignation.  There were many things to manage, many things to consider…one of the biggest issues being my medical needs relating to my skin cancer diagnosis.  I find myself stuck at home a lot yet I still feel my house is a disaster.  I can’t seem to get anything cleaned during the day.  I don’t manage to get out of the house much…it’s not easy.  Plus, I’ve cut my spending dramatically in order to preserve our savings as long as possible.  I rarely get “me” time.  The Hubs and I haven’t had a date in I don’t know how long…hell, most nights we don’t even really talk.  Strangely enough, even though he’s not traveling and is working from home, we seem to have much less time together than before.  He works all the time and after the girls are asleep (a whole ‘nother problem) I just want some alone/quiet time to surf the web, catch up on my blogs/message boards and spend some time without someone needing or wanting something from me.  Or touching me.  Bedtime in this house is a disaster.  If A doesn’t nap…she’s a bear.  If she does nap, she won’t go to sleep at night.  C goes down pretty easily, but is awake within 30 minutes needing to be rocked back to sleep.  She’s still up at least twice a night to eat and about 50% of the time, she won’t settle down and go back to sleep.  For example…she was up at 4:45 this morning.  Bedtime just adds to my frustration that has mounded up during the day and by about 8pm, I’m ready to run out of the house screaming.  It’s like the straw that breaks the camels back every.single.day.

But I signed up for all of this and I own it.

Nothing on my list of complaints is surprising to me and I’ve taken it all on voluntarily.  I can’t even fix the sleep issues because I’m too big of a wuss to let C cry and I flat-out don’t have the time or desire to read one of the several sleep books available.  But my list of “issues” isn’t even what really bothers me.  My problem is the guilt I feel for being frustrated about any of it.  The guilt that comes from knowing I should be thankful everyday, for every moment I get with my husband and my kids but finding myself, at the end of each day, wondering if I’m actually looking forward to getting up the next morning and doing it all over again.  I wanted my kids.  I pined for them.  I prayed for them.  And they are both more precious to me than anything else I’ve ever known and I would do just about anything to see them happy.  I’ve known the heartbreak of loss and I know what it’s like to wonder what my life would look like if I hadn’t lost the twins.  I know what it’s like to long for a moment with them, no matter the circumstances, to be able to touch them, to hold them, to tell them I love them…to know them…if only for a moment.  I know what it’s like to beg for a glimpse into what life could have been like if things had gone differently.

I feel awful…so damn guilty for complaining about any part of my current life.  And I feel like a horrible mother and a horrible person for not being able to be joyful in every moment in every day…especially where C is concerned since I was so fearful of her not getting her at all.  I sometimes find myself fearful that something else tragic is going to happen…wondering if I didn’t learn my lesson wholly the first time around.  I desperately need something to lighten my mood…something to relieve some of the tension I constantly feel.  Someone or something to take some of this weight off my shoulders.  I took A and C to the mall yesterday to play on the indoor playground.  On the way out, I passed a double stroller with 2 matching carseats (black and white damask with hot pink trim) each holding a teeny-tiny, sleeping baby girl.  It was as close to tears that I’ve come in quite some time and my heart still hurts thinking about it.  I’ve managed to avoid seeing a brand-new set of twin girls for over a year and my first encounter just came at the wrong time.

Gremlins

I read this quote yesterday, and it makes me smile every time I think about it.  “You have to hang in there, because two or three years later, the gremlins will return your child, and (she) he will be wonderful again.”– Jill Eikenberg

So true for my life right now, and adding that bit of humor is what keeps me going through the day.  I love my kids, every one of them, completely, but I’m pretty sure they’re out to destroy me.  I’m actually beyond thankful today.  6 weeks ago A found a disposable needle in a field and punctured her finger.  We’ve had 2 rounds of blood tests…one immediately and one at 6 weeks.  We heard from the doctor yesterday her final blood test came back completely normal.  Thank God.  It was, so far, the scariest thing I’ve encountered as a parent.  Having your 3-year-old tested for Hepatitis and HIV is just plain wrong.  But all that aside, I find myself dealing with a 3-year-old that is absolutely convinced the world revolves around her.  I presume most 3-year-olds share her sentiments.  It doesn’t matter what I’m doing…tending to C, talking to the Hubs, dishes, laundry, making the bed…she’s not happy if my attention is not on her 100% of the time.  I feel awful because it seems everything else and everyone else, in my life is being neglected.  If I’m making the bed, she wants to be jumping on it.  If I’m doing dishes, she wants me to get out her playdoh, or markers, or stickers, or anything she can come up with to interrupt me doing the dishes.  If I’m folding laundry, she wants to roll around in the piles.  If I’m tending to C, she wants to be in the same room and try as she might, she’s just not capable of being quiet…so putting C down for a nap with A in the same room is basically impossible.  We’re on the final stretch of summer here and it shows.  It’s hot (too hot to be outside for a good chunk of the day), she’s bored, I’m bored and I struggle to get out of the house with both girls in tow.  I’ve just had C for the past 24 hours…A spent the night with her grandparents and while I’ve missed A, it’s been so nice to run a bunch of errands and have some time to sit and breathe.  I wouldn’t give up any of it though.  As crazy and difficult as it is, I love it.  I’m looking forward to August and September too.  A will go back to school in September and I just signed her up for a 1 day per week preschool at our local zoo.  She’s going to have an absolute blast.  She didn’t want to do dance again, so zoo school it is.  We tossed around the idea of her playing soccer, but during the fall the games would interfere with Aggie games, so….yeah….maybe she can play soccer in the Spring.

Like most mothers, I’m sure, I find myself constantly striving to be a better mom to A.  The past few weeks have been especially hard.  I told Hubs I thought maybe I should go back to work…that being home with her isn’t the best thing.  I don’t think I actually feel that way, but geez, when nothing you do seems to work in terms of teaching or disciplining, you’re left wondering if you should just wipe the slate clean and start from scratch.  I’ve been so close, too close, to walking out the door at 5 o’clock several nights and not coming home until late, late at night.  Just dropping everything, because I’m frustrated and angry, and leaving.  One of the things my mom taught me is to never leave the house angry.  That lesson has stuck with me for a long, long time.  I did get some time away this week, spent a few hours running errands alone then split a bottle of wine with Aunt D.  It did wonders.  It’s amazing what a few hours away will do for my sanity.  I’m going to start doing it more often.  Even if I don’t plan it for myself, my volunteer obligations are getting ready to kick into high gear and I’ll be forced to spend time away from home, the Hubs and the Littles.  I’ve been struggling lately because it seems my needs, wants and desires come dead-last in this family.  And I guess that’s the plight of a mother, but it’s still a hard pill to swallow sometimes or in my case, most of the time.  I sleep until the girls wake up in the mornings because C is still up several times a night, I don’t nap during the day, and I fall into bed bone-tired at night.  There’s just nothing left for me at the end of the day.  I know it’s all temporary…in the blink of an eye C will be done nursing, she’ll be sleeping through the night, A will be back in school and I’ll start convincing myself it’s time to try for another baby because I’ll start longing for days like the ones I’m currently experiencing.  But isn’t that one of life’s biggest challenges?  To take what you KNOW and take what you FEEL and somehow morph them into one consistent thought and action?  I’m working on it, but I’m just not very good at it.

Checking-in

Just a quick post to say, “Hi!  I’m still here!!!”

***waves frantically***

I’ve had so much on my mind and I think to myself, often, I need to blog about this…

Then someone cries, or whines, or poops…or cries and poops at the same time.   It’s usually the baby, but not always…

Baby C is suffering from the dreaded 4 Month Wakeful Period that I swear didn’t exist.  It doesn’t matter though, because I’ve decided to become a vampire.  That way I never ACTUALLY need to sleep again.  Do I have that right?  Vampires don’t sleep, right?  I never got into the whole Twilight thing so I’m a little rusty on my vampire trivia.  If I’m being serious, I still totally adore Baby C and recognize this, too, is only a phase.  Even if it’s shaving years off my life.

Baby C is 4 months old today and she’s doing fab.  She’s laid back and relatively easy-going.  Little A is doing great also.  She can be such a sweet little girl.  She can also be such a little hellion.  I recently took her to her first movie…Madagascar 3.  I kind of had an out-of-body experience sitting in the theater with her…her with her own popcorn, drink and skittles.  I can’t believe my little A is old enough to go to the movies.  We had a blast.  I really enjoy being out alone with her, she’s totally different when she’s by herself and now that she’s almost 3-and-a-half, I can actually hold a pretty good conversation with her.  She loves her little sister, no doubt, but one-on-one time with mom (or dad) is invaluable.

The whole “Hubs started his own company and doesn’t have an actual job right now” thing is going ok.  Actually, it’s going fine.  My “handling” of the whole thing is only going ok.  At least once per day I have a minor panic attack.  Each time I swear to myself tomorrow will be better.  Each time, I fail.  Bummer.  It still remains to be seen if this whole thing will be a success, but having him home (not traveling for work) has been amazing.  I love not having the stress of him having to fly out every few days.  He’s working pretty much non-stop.  The ideas just keep coming to him and he keeps acting on them.  I can only hope I maintain my end of the bargain and remain supportive and not melt into a big pile of dramatics.  I suppose I also need to get my business up and moving…because I have all this spare time and all.

Here’s Baby C today, at her 4-month photo shoot.
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xoxo,

B

Mr. Golden Sun-1 B-0

I’ve been neglecting this blog.  I just haven’t had much to say and honestly, adjusting to 2 kiddos and a husband that now works from home hasn’t left me with much down time where I can quietly gather my thoughts and write about what’s on my mind.  I so miss writing here though, sharing my thoughts and my photos.  This has been a good outlet for me and I need to carve out some quiet time and space in this busy life so I can write.

I find myself angry these days.  I’m feeling unimportant and purpose-less (is that a word?) and it sucks.  It’s a very trying time in my life.  There’s been a ton of stuff happening and I’m feeling the weight of it just camped out on my shoulders.  I’ll share it all with you, but let’s start with the most current of stressors.

I have/had skin cancer.  It sucks.  I had a small, flat spot show up on my face near my hairline when I was pregnant with A.  I assumed it was a hormonal change and figured it would go away.  It didn’t.  I’ve had 2 more pregnancies since then and I had another spot show up while pregnant with C.  This one was closer to my hairline but was a raised bump instead of a flat patch.  It was really quite gross…almost wart-like.  I’d mentioned it to my GP over the years and he was nonchalant about getting them biopsied and inspected.  I wish he’d been a little more insistent.  The only reason I had the biopsies done when I did was because we’d met our deductible for the year and wanted to have everything taken care of while I was only responsible for 10%.  Since Hubs was leaving his current position and would be losing that insurance, I decided to get it taken care of.  Needless to say, both spots came back positive for basal cell carcinoma.  The most common form of skin cancer, slow-growing, rarely spreading, but skin cancer none the less.  To have both spots removed I went to a dermatological surgeon that performed Mohs Surgery leaving me with 2 gaping holes in my head.  Thankfully, he was able to get clear margins on both spots with only one cut (the Mohs surgery is where they do the pathology right there and keep cutting down and around until they remove all the cancer).  I was cauterised, patched up and sent straight to the hospital (my 4th stint in a hospital in 3 years) where the plastic surgeon used a skin graft to close the opening closest to my hairline and stitched up the opening closer to the center of my forehead leaving me with a 4cm incision site.  Lordy.  I’m now about 4 days out from the surgery and I closely resemble a cyborg.  Even though I have no idea what a cyborg is or what one looks like, I’m pretty sure I resemble one.  The last time I left the house was last Thursday morning when I went in for the initial surgery with the Dermatologist.  Did I mention I spent all day Thursday with a horrible migraine?  I was begging for drugs once I made it to the hospital.  I haven’t been able to wash my hair since then and I just took my first shower where I took painstaking measures to scrub the skin I could get wet yet carefully avoiding my bandages and incision sites.  My hair is disgusting.  It’s matted with blood and gunk in 2 different spots that I can do nothing about until the sutures are removed later this week.  I’ll go to scratch an itchy spot on my scalp only to find it caked with dried blood.  My eyes, bridge of my nose and cheek on one side are puffy, and there’s bruising under my eyes.  I can’t wear my glasses thanks to the swollen face and the fact I can see the bridge of my nose and part of my cheek, thanks to the swelling, is driving me batty.  And my mother in-law wants family pictures next week…  The skin graft was taken from behind my ear and there’s bruising down that side of my neck and my ear is swollen and numb.  There’s no bandage where the skin graft was taken and I’m supposed to keep antibiotic ointment on the incision site so I constantly have goo running down my neck and into my hair as my body heat liquifies the ointment. The actual incision site on my forehead looks like I’ve taken a gunshot wound to the head.  There’s a bolster sewn over the skin graft to keep it in place and the incision in the center of my forehead has slightly bled through the tape so it looks like a big, bloody spot about the size of a quarter in the center of my head.  And everything is starting to itch.  My girlfriend says that means it’s all healing…  I was secretly hoping for some nice, clean, white soap-opera type head bandages…no suck luck.  When my doctor suggested getting these spots looked at saying it could be some basal cell carcinoma, he said it was no big deal to get them taken off and that would be the end of it.  Holy hell.  This whole ordeal has been waaaaayyyyy more of an ordeal than I could have ever imagined.  You can only imagine the amount of appointments this has all required…and I requested to have all of it done by the end of June so I’d only be responsible for 10%.  It’s been less than calm around here lately.  And we’re not done.  There are still 2 spots on my head I’m concerned about.  One on my forehead and one in my hairline.  There’s also a spot on my leg I’m watching.  And of course, I’ll now be closely monitored by a dermatologist, for who knows how long, to check for any new moles, spots, growths, etc.  Sigh.  It could be worse I suppose, and there’s always a chance I’ll never have another cancerous spot show up, but for now I’m suffering some major consequences.

So, how did I get so lucky as to have some lovely skin cancer at the tender age of 31?  I’ll tell you.  I have no idea.  We had a pool growing up so my sister and I spent our summers outside…I’m sure that didn’t help.  I also had a convertible when I turned 16 and had the top down all the time, probably another contributing factor.  I layed in tanning beds in high-school, college, and even as recently as when I got pregnant with A.  I canceled my tanning membership when I found out I was pregnant.  I didn’t tan non-stop or year-round, just a few months here and there throughout the year.  The biggest factor though, seems to be genetic.  The dermatologist says fair-skinned, blue-eyed folks are just more prone to skin cancer.  It’s not that I haven’t taken precautions throughout the years, I’ve always been diligent about sunscreen on my face, but like most people, I didn’t really focus on the hairline.  I’ve always worn sunglasses, so my eye area has been protected, but I’m not big on hats.  Also, the hormonal changes from pregnancy does weird, weird things to your body…this was also confirmed by the dermatologist as a contributing factor.

I’m sure my girls will ask to tan when they get into high school.  The answer, is a resounding HEEEEELLLLL NO!  I will, however, agree to let them spray tan.  I know all too well the vanity of a teenage girl and I’d rather appease their vanity with a spray tan than have them go behind my back and lay out in the sun slathered in baby oil because they don’t possess the ability to understand there are consequences to their actions.  I don’t blame my parents though…the warnings about sun damage and skin cancer 15 years ago were not what they are today.  And to be fair, as a child, I never burned…I was super tan all summer just from being outside.  My poor girls though…both have my fair skin and blue eyes and you can bet I will be FANATICAL about sunscreen usage and sun avoidance.  Oh, and I’ll be investing in some fun hats for myself!

So that catches you up for now.  I left out a few things though. The pastor of our church is leaving at the end of July.  It’s a big deal because I would really like some stability, SOMEWHERE, in my life and his leaving came out of nowhere.  We had our first trip to the ER a few weeks ago.  A was staying with my in-laws since I was in DESPERATE need of a break and she spiked a fever and was having trouble breathing.  I was practically out the door before Hubs even got off the phone with his mom.  She ended up in the ER at 11:30 on a Tuesday night diagnosed with a sinus infection and RSV.  We spent the next several days nursing A back to health while keeping her and C separated since C getting RSV just wasn’t an option.  Then a few days later A found and poked herself with an unidentified, used needle near a parking lot.  Seriously…what kind of asshole leaves a used needle (turns out, it was a disposable needle from and epi or insulin pen) near a parking lot?  At this point, once I realized she’d actually punctured her skin, I lost it.  I’d had all I could take.  I was sick to my stomach and I cried.  I cried for A, for all the doctor visits I knew would come, for me, for our family, for the desperation I felt, for the fear I felt, I was just done.  We’re still not finished with that whole ordeal.  Her doctor ordered blood work (um, NOT fun, AT ALL) immediately to check for really scary diseases like HIV and Hepatitis.  At the 6 week mark, when anything she may have contracted would show up, we have to check again.  Hubs has left his job and is now self-employed, full-time and we’re all home. All the time.  It’s an adjustment and comes with a MAJOR learning curve.  And because I seem to be a glutton for punishment, we’re headed out of town next week to spend the 4th of July with my in-laws at their place in Fredericksburg.  It will be fun, but their place is only 600 sq. ft. or so.  It’s close quarters.  Should be, interesting, to say the least.  I’m planning to drink lots of beer and wine.

So there it is.  My life lately, in a nutshell.  It’s stressful right now and I’m in need of a break.  I’m in need of some good stuff, some positive stuff to start heading our way.  I feel wound up, stressed to the max all the time.  Hopefully I can find time to get back to regular writing.  It helps me so much to be able to get my thoughts out and it helps to go back and re-read when I feel like I’ve been standing still and no progress has been made.

Tomorrow

Tomorrow is a big day.  Tomorrow, the Hubs and I will celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary.  We got married young, the summer between our Junior and Senior year in college.  We were both 21.  We felt it fitting to mark our 10 year anniversary with this decision.

The past 10 years have been nothing short of exciting and to say we’ve both grown immensely would be an understatment.  We’ve had opportunities to do some amazing things, we’ve taken some great vacations and we’ve been through some serious rough patches, albeit very recently.  The majority of the past 10 years has been nothing short of amazing.  I don’t really have much to complain about.  But there’s been something missing.  There’s always been something missing.  Tonight, the sun will set on the life we’ve known for the better part of those 10 years.  The sun will go down, for good, on a seemingly predictable and safe future.  The sun will rise tomorrow marking not only a new day, but a whole new life for us.  One that we both believe has been in the works for a very long time, but only began to reveal itself to us over the last 18 months or so.  The Hubs will be resigning his current position which he’s held for close to 4 years.  He’ll be leaving the employer he’s been with for almost 8 years.  It’s a HUGE step.  He has not and will not be accepting a position with another employer.  He will be delving in, full force, going balls to the wall to make his small company a success.  Tomorrow marks the dawn of a new era.  I will continue my role as a stay at home mom, raising our 2 girls until the time is right for me to launch a small business of my own.  We won’t have any income coming in (until he starts making money on his own) and will be living off money that we have saved over the past 3 years.  Money that we couldn’t have saved if it hadn’t been for Dave Ramsey’s class, Financial Peace University, almost 3 years ago which I was firmly against.  I’m so very thankful for my husband’s gentle but firm stance that we needed to attend this class; he was aware of my sensitivity to the subject of money, but never relented.  It has changed the course of our lives.  We didn’t know what we were saving for, we were simply…saving.  There have been several big-ticket items we’ve wanted to purchase recently yet neither of us could pull the trigger.  I’m thankful for gut feelings and discretion and wisdom.  We’ve created and agreed to a budget that will allow this savings to carry us for many months and give him ample time to ramp-up his business.  If, at the end of the agreed upon time, the business is not performing as we desire, he will then seek full-time employment elsewhere.  In the mean-time he’ll be self-employed.

There is, of course, a certain amount of nervousness to all of this.  I keep telling myself there would be something wrong with the person that WASN’T nervous.  If you say it out loud, what we’re doing, it sounds crazy.  Truthfully though, we’ve looked at this every way possible.  Multiple times.  This is not a decision we’ve come to easily nor has the decision been made light-heartedly.  We have also sought the counsel of many people we respect in our lives.  We recognize the many sacrifices it will require.  If we want to make a go at this, this is how it has to be.  All in.  No questions.  One job and only one job.  He can’t make it work on a part-time basis.  Not with his travel schedule and the demands of his current position.  Not to mention he’s been increasingly unhappy in his current position and while he didn’t do anything wrong (it’s on permanent record with the company that he’s in no way violating company policy) by starting a business on the side, his current manager was less than thrilled when she learned about it.  There are also many signs his current division is in trouble.  All signs point to this being the right call.  While the seed for entrepreneurship was planted long, long ago, we started to see its growth while on vacation last summer, after the twins died.  If it hadn’t been for them dying, I’m about 99% sure we wouldn’t be where we are now.

So this is my last post as the wife of a traveling salesman.  As the stay at home mom while my husband brings home the bacon.  Going forward, it will be a joint effort to make this ship sail.  Granted, he’ll do most of the heavy lifting, but I’m sure I’ll be needed somewhere.  And before too long, I’m hoping to start my own thing that’s been in the works.  I know this isn’t true, but this really feels like my first experience with true faith.  I don’t know what’s on the other side…the unknown has always been scary to me.  But there’s something nudging me forward, something telling me to press on and to stay the course, and amidst all the nervousness, I recognize a peaceful feeling telling me this is the right move.  Although it’s often shrouded in the fear.  I’ve accepted the fact that even though this is the right move, it may not turn out how we want, but that’s not for us to decide.  All we can do is act and work our tails off.  To the life I’d grown too comfortable in yet provided me with so much to be thankful for I’d like to say, “Thanks.  It’s been an awesome ride.  I’ve had ups.  I’ve had downs.  I’ve had more ups than I’ve had downs.  I’ve made lots of mistakes, some of which were fun and I’ve grown into a woman who would be unrecognizable to the young bride I was 10 years ago.  I’m thankful, for it all, but I’m ready to move on.  To see what’s on the other side.  I’m ready to close the curtain and see what happens next.”

I’ll see you all on the other side.

xoxo,

B

 WMFlorida 2009 013

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

I made a batch of cookies earlier this week.  Yesterday I whipped up a batch of shortbread because it sounded delicious.  Earlier this week I bought all the ingredients for and put together some homemade mosquito repellent.  Twice this week I’ve harvested the seeds from some of the flowers in my garden to use next year and also to give to my mom.  I’m back on the kick of planting a vegetable garden and putting in some herbs along the back patio.  I publicly breastfed my baby in the middle of a party last night surrounded by a ton of people I didn’t know and this morning, I dried my daughter’s sheets by throwing them over the fence and letting them blow in the breeze.  I don’t know what’s happening to me.