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.

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

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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.

Over.

So.  School’s over for the year.  So are dance classes.  And here I sit on the eve of summer, and I’m scared.  I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but I’m scared.  I’m scared to spend all day, every day, with both my children.  I haven’t been in this position before so in addition to school being out and dance lessons being over, we’re throwing in a 9 week old that needs to be cared for.  It will be so very easy to spend each day in pajamas watching tv.  But I know I can’t let that happen.  It should be an interesting few weeks as A and I adjust to each other.  We’ll eventually fall into a routine that will include playing outside, crafts, maybe some baking and cooking and endless trips to the museum and zoo.  I’ve also signed her up for swim lessons, church camp (it’s only 4 days, 2 hours each evening), we’ll be taking a trip to see the in-laws over the 4th of July, A will spend a week with my parents in July and I’m still hoping to sneak a family beach trip in there somewhere.  I’m also seriously considering sending her to VBS at the church where she attends preschool.  We’ll see.

It’s a strange feeling to truly be fearful of spending time with your kid.  But I’m all about being honest here, and honestly, it scares me.  I’ve had so many reasons over the past 18 months or so to not be the best mom.  I was pregnant, then I wasn’t, then I was an emotional mess, then I was pregnant again, now I have a new baby.  But it’s time for me to get my proverbial shit together and be the best mom I can be.  I want my kids to remember their childhood fondly and endless episodes of Dora and Team Umizoomi only stick with you for so long and, given her age, I think I stand a good chance at leaving either a positive or negative impression on her childhood memories this summer.  I would also like to get back into the swing of things around the house.  Following my cleaning schedule, cooking dinner regularly (I actually do this one pretty darn well considering), perhaps a jog every now and then and also fitting in “me” time there somewhere.  These are all lofty goals when you factor in the new baby and lack of sleep.  But hey, a girl can dream right?

So here I sit, getting ready to embark on the Summer of 2012.  I know that each day I will wonder how my children will survive the remainder of the day; how I will survive the remainder of the day.  I know that each day I will look forward to bed time.  I know that each day I will catch myself sighing, or looking at my 3-year-old like she’s an alien sent to destroy me.  Some days my 3-year-old WILL be an alien sent to destroy me.  I’ll also, most likely, crack up each day.  And I’ll go to bed each night wondering if I did my best; recounting all the moments I could have done better.  I’ll spend my days trying to keep up with my kids, trying to maintain a house, trying to give my husband what he needs and around 5 each day decide I can’t, and pour myself a glass of wine.  Or grab a beer.  Or both.  I’ll juggle play-doh, markers, crayons, chalk, paint, glitter, stamps, diaper changes, time outside, errands, rocking the baby to sleep, nursing, and a whole host of other things on a daily basis.  I’ll try to keep my cool, remain calm and be consistent in my expectations of my children and how I discipline them.  I don’t want to yell…my mom yelled.  Hopefully I’ll make it to September and be happy with what I see behind me.  Now, I’m headed to bed to try to get some rest.  I want to start this summer off as rested as possible.  Cheers to the Summer of 2012 Y’all!

Love this face

She’s so sweet, so precious and such a good baby. Plus, she has such an adorable face. I never want to forget her at this age. I wish I could capture every face she makes, every look, every smile, every grin, every throaty laugh or giggle, every precious moment I look down and catch her staring back at me with wonderment or a smile. She adores me and I adore her.

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Sister Love

I’ve been amazed since day 1 at how much Baby C adores her big sister.  For now, big sister also adores her baby sister; frequently asking to see her, kiss her, hug her and commanding I go check on her baby sister when she hears Baby C fussing.  I love watching them interact and while Baby C likes me and her daddy, she absolutely has a favorite…her big sister.  Here’s proof, a random Wednesday morning before dance class.

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I miss blogging.

And I also know nothing lasts forever, so I’m trying to remember that my new baby is only 6 weeks old and the fact that I can’t nail down tons of time each day to blog is really ok.  But I do miss it.  I miss being able to put my thoughts down, to work out what’s on my mind.  Honestly though, there really hasn’t been any new developments as of late, but I’ve got some great pictures I need to share!

Baby C continues to be a generally happy and easy baby.  I can now see why people think babies are adorable, tiny little packages of squishy fun.  She sleeps pretty well, and has lately been stretching her feedings out to around 4 hour stretches.  When she does eat, it’s usually for about 15-20 minutes.  We’ll have the occasional 45 minute nursing session, but they’re so rare I don’t complain.  She’s SOOOOO different from  A.  I was still a wreck at this point with A and right now I’m sitting in bed on Hubs’ laptop while Baby C kicks around happily talking to herself and me in the pack-n-play next to me.  She makes it seem so easy.  Seriously.

A is taking a very rare after preschool nap right now.  She fell asleep on the way home and I just stuck her in bed; I try not to let her nap this late in the day but she’s staying the night with her grandparents so I don’t have to put her to bed tonight.  Hehe.

My 6 week post-partum check-up is tomorrow which means I’ll (almost) be officially done with this pregnancy.  Aside from an appt. to have my IUD put in and a follow-up from that, I should be in the clear for at least another year.  I’m thrilled.  I’ve had enough of my OB’s office for a while.  Not that I don’t love her and her staff, but between the twins and trying to get C here safely, I’ve spent a crazy amount of time in her office.  It will feel great to be “free” so to speak.  6 weeks post-partum also means I’ll be cleared for exercise, so, I suppose I should come up with something along those lines.  I assume I’ll run.  It’s free, and can fit into my schedule whenever.  We canceled our gym membership long ago since neither of us really used it and now isn’t the time to be taking on additional expenses.  Pregnancy is nice to me…I don’t gain much weight.  Breastfeeding is even nicer to me, as I drop a lot of weight quickly.  In order to keep it off though I either have to give up the booze (NOT HAPPENING) or exercise.  So, exercise it will be.  Eventually.  Maybe.  Probably.  The Hubs is thrilled for my 6 week check-up for, er, other reasons.  Because we have all this spare, alone time these days…

The Hubs celebrated his 31st birthday this weekend.  He wanted to spend the day in College Station as the football team was having their annual, open-to-the-public scrimmage.  I thought it sounded crazy, but agreed and we had a great time.  Both girls were great, A had a wonderful time at the game and running on the field afterwards and C was a super baby.  We also decided, for sure, that Hubs is quitting his job to try his side business on a full-time basis.  Right now, for insurance purposes, we’re planning for him to turn in his resignation on June 1, which also happens to be our 10 year anniversary.  Happy anniversary to us.  This whole decision is a huge step of faith (think the Indiana Jones movie where he steps out over the cliff only to set foot on a bridge that wasn’t visible) but I think think it’s the right one.  Please, oh please, let there be a bridge.  Just having him home, not traveling, will be awesome.  And I’m so proud of him and so glad that we have the opportunity for him to try this.  I’m really hoping we’re headed down the road we’re supposed to be on.  In order to stretch our savings as far as it will go, it will mean a change in life style (not that we currently live a super glamorous life or anything) for a temporary period, which has me a little wigged out, but oh well.  I’m really hoping it proves to be worth the sacrifice.

I promise to try to blog more regularly.  And I promise to be back soon with some new pictures to share!