Thursday, December 31, 2009

(mis)Carried Away

{Lucy Snowe Photography}

With one phone call, I found myself to be a member in a new group. I found that I could participate in forums, join support groups, and seek advice on how to cope.

One phone call.

The thing is, I can't be a part of the forums. I can't read how other women feel or have felt. I can't seek advice on how to cope because, well, I'm certain that I am in between what is real and just a dream.

Last Tuesday I believed I could hope my way out of a situation. I believed that staying positive would buy me a one way ticket out. Mid sentence and loss of verbal ability, I knew - hoping was over and it was done. I felt the beginning of the end. As in a movie, I collided (literally) with a waiter and as he balanced his plate of food, my insides flipped onto the floor. I wanted someone to fix it. I wanted someone to make it right, however, all I could do was wait.

It was a night of restless sleep. I wandered our small home and fought the urge to know NOW. To have someone confirm what I knew was slipping away. I waited until the morning and at 8:47 it was confirmed:
"I don't believe you need to go to your ultrasound appointment. You are having a miscarriage." My world went a little fuzzy as the doctor's words continued. I just needed to breathe. I needed someone to remind me how.

What do you do when you learn that life that you had kept a secret for a Christmas reveal was gone before anyone could know he or she was a reality in your heart?
What was I supposed to do?!

I cried out loud. I cried hard and buckled half broken to the floor but I was desperate to worship. I would NOT surrender my hope for His goodness. I would proclaim my love for Him and His plan in spite of this unbelievable ache. I turned the music on. Wanting to soak myself in music that would help me cry I claimed this moment as God's, turned worship music on, and let truth reign. He would be victorious and I would survive what I still don't understand.

It was December 23, 2009.
As we prepared our homes and hearts for a season of celebrating the birth of Christ, I mourned the loss of my 8 week old secret. While I thought I would never have the chance to see another pregnancy test come back positive after the one I took on December 9th (this would be our last addition), I had no idea that I would just stop being pregnant. I would walk with this internal wound that would persist for days and not a soul would ever know what I was losing.

I wasn't a victim of a playground accident and would wear a cast to visibly show my pain. What I would do is join a rank of women who walk with a loss they feel slipping away every second for days and no one can see the injury. I would curl up inside and pretend that I was ok. I would attend Christmas parties and be who people wanted to see. I would hug and say Merry Christmas wishing you could know but begging for you not to. This was embarrassing. This was no one's business. I would fake it til' I made it and cry only in the arms of one man who would hold me together. I wanted to hide and shout to the world, "Don't tell me statistics on how normal it is because this isn't normal for me. Don't tell me you're sorry because I will absolutely fall apart. Don't--just don't... I won't survive what you're saying."

It's almost over now. The aching and contracting- it must be close to over. Soon I can bury this. I can plan for the day I will meet that baby in heaven. I can think in my heart that my healthy and perfect son now has a guardian angel. I can praise Him because "Oh no, He never lets go through the calm and through the storm. He never lets go through every high and every low, no He never lets go of me."

I can give myself the time to grieve, I can ask my husband to let me talk, and I can hide this from my physical world. I will unravel here and work to understand what all of this is. I will not tell myself I am required to speak of this with anyone before I do what I have to heal- write. This pain isn't anyone else's to own or define their relationship to me by. This is my ache and one day at a time, in my own way, I'll make my way out in true glory.
Be patient with me....a polite pleading and a vehement demand.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Today is a hard day.As it rains outside I find myself absolutely lost.
I am lacking the ability to think, process, move.
I feel stuck in something I should perhaps be over?
I feel totally alone.
I am not interested in talking-- the words choke me.
I want to purge but I not interested in having hands reaching into my hurt to massage the pain they don't understand.
I need something but I don't know what it is.

Today is a hard day.
I want us all to pretend it's all okay
and yet
I don't
because it's not.

I think I can safely say that today I feel depressed.
The familiar weight and inability to remember what "good" is.
The numbness that makes you want to pinch yourself just to do a "life-check."
The stillness that comes when the energy drains out and the weight of your own body is too much to lift.

I'm sitting in that today
and fighting...
no one knows how hard I am fighting for just this moment
because tomorrow could be great
Today is a hard day....

{image from Monko Photography}

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

10 Things That Make A Happy Day

10. An actually not-s0-good song that can make you dance despite bad lyrics.

9. A husband who does all of the dishes (including boiling the water to disinfect bottles when your house is missing a dishwasher...and you've bypassed doing it for weeks {months})

8. Trader Joe's pre-cooked spaghetti (because boiling water takes so much time!)

7. A cousin who is a friend and you know will always be there.

6. A Mom who takes a drive with you and buys you what you could never afford (I'm not above momentary material healing if it's offered ;)

5. A son who calls you at work to say "eh wuh oo. bye, bye." (Don't speak Midge? Translation: I love you, bye bye.)

4. Paying someone else to clean your house because you just need some kind of magic to take place without you behind it.

3. A bottle of red wine and a really hot shower because they are perfectly divine.

2. Seeing your friend's first ultrasound and that itty bitty baby I'll get to be buying present for soon.

1. A husband who says, "Lets run away. Lets call your mom and tell her to pick up the Midge and lets just leave." Because while you never actually would, knowing he's mentally right there with you and wanting to make it better is all I really need on this earth.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Praise in the Darkness

There are things you plan in life. You plan to go to college, you plan your wedding, you plan a family--technically. Then there are the things you never plan. You never plan on losing your home, a car accident, or loss of life. Perhaps we plan to avoid them, we plan to expect them but we can never plan how we will respond. Ever.

What do you do when the unplanned finds you?
What do you do when the unexpected knocks on your door?
You make a choice.
You give in and drown or you stand and praise through the darkness.

My unplanned, unexpected moment knocked on December 23, 2009.
The choice I made was intentional.
When I wanted to drown I chose to fight.
I made a choice:
I would remind myself of truth
"I know that God is able- I know that He still reigns- I know that LOVE has found a way."

I can't talk-- I can't give you reason yet-- I am repeating truth one moment at a time:
I am loved by a Great God
He has reasons beyond my understanding
I have much to be thankful for
My God looks at the storms as times He can draw me close so I will rest in His arms.
Like the Nooma video I love, I trust that He is saying,
"I love you, Allegra. I know the way home."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mommy's with Mullets

It's been soooooo long!
I would complain about how sick I was last week
(I missed 3 days of work after inheriting the most painful cold I've ever had...Thanks, Son!)
However complaining won't give those 72 hours back.

Aside from hanging my head over a completely pointless humidifier,
taking showers at 3 am just begging for nostril clarity,
and sucking back the Gatorade like there was no tomorrow,
I made an interesting decision.

I decided to get my hair cut.If your hair dresser is like MY hair dresser, she's impossible to get into!
Not only that, it's Christmas and I'm going to see countless relatives I barely know and don't talk to 364 days a year so my hair has to look good, right?
$105 later and with color I love, I left with a faux mullet.

Forgive me, I believe they are technically called "bangs"
BUT once the bangs extend past a certain part of your forehead, eliminating length that typically covers your ears, you have entered mullet territory.

So, sadly, I am forced to play with my hair more than usual in an attempt to save my mangled mane.
(Granted, it's probably not that bad, BUT if you tell me it's fine I won't believe you and if you say nothing I'll think you think I'm ugly. No winning.....Estrogen. AWE-SOME!)

*Note to self: No big decisions like BANGS when sick*

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Silly Mommy, Big boy beds aren't for Babies!

When it comes to parenting I never stop feeling like a
bona-fide newbie!

Sure, I've picked up a few things along the way....
Like "No" isn't actually a cute first word.
Learning to throw a ball is fun but there's a limited ability to comprehend that not ALL things are balls.
It's adorable that I've got a socializer, it's NOT adorable at bed time.
Gas is funny in the bath but not funny when you go to the ER and pay the bills to find out your little one's lactose intolerant.

Then there are things that are, no doubt, "DUH, You didn't KNOW that?!"
Like turning the crib into a big boy bed when a munchkin is only one.

Yah yah, I wanted him to grow up faster or I wanted a reason to decorate the room...whatever the case may be, it took whining to my coworkers and being sent an article to get that the torturous bedtimes are MY FAULT!
Mistake #6: Going from a crib to a big bed too early Mistake
Let me quote something here...and add a little commentary:
"Your child turns 2 (Lets try 16 months in my case)— what a big guy! — and you want to celebrate by buying that cute toddler bed you saw on sale (or just redecorate). But as soon as you make the switch, he starts getting up after lights out or waking up in the wee hours. (Yup!!)
Why? Before the age of 3 or so, many kids are just not ready to leave the crib behind. "They don't have the cognitive development and self-control to stay within the imaginary boundaries of a bed," says Mindell. (OHHHHHH!!)"
The next conversation I had went like this....
"Hi hus. I suck. Can you change the bed back to a crib? He doesn't have the cognitive deveelopment and self control to stay within his bed."
(Really, Allegra? Cognitive Development? Speak human)
"Sure babe. It will take me 20 mins. I'll do it when I get home."

B. Last night, while he cried and screamed as usual, it was SO MUCH BETTER not having to get out of bed and lay with him at 4am beacuse he was knocking on his own door saying, "Heh-woah?! HEH-WOAH?"

images from pottery barn kids

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Beauty for Ash(es)

The things that make us who we are.

I'm sure there's a recipe to goodness... Like 10 cups of love, 2 cups of discipline, 2 TBSP rules, and 20 gallons of forgiveness.... I think that's the recipe we're all born with, our ovens just bake us differently.

Born in true purity, we slowly, gradually, both better and spoil. In a world of imperfection and hurting hearts, there isn't room for any of us to get out scott free.

Lately I have been thinking about all of the ingredients that have been added to my original recipe and changed the taste over time-- for sweeter and for bitter. I guess it was yesterdays post that really spurred this on. As I remembered who I swore I'd be: rich, successful, independent, and alone I recalled how I built that dream.

Divorce, abuse, alcohol, drugs, infidelity, custody battles, hate...

Some people take those ingredients and toss them out acknowledging they are bad, others make posters with big red circles and lines through it saying WARNING so they know not to go there, and others let the ingredients sit and define them. I know at times I was the latter but through my college years, I chose the poster method. I decided my major based on how those elements of my life shaped me. I put on my pink gloves and became a Women's Study major in the hopes that I could defend women like my mother, protect children like I wasn't, and crucify the people who wanted to poison goodness. I guess I also chose the latter though because it fired me up when my family didn't understand why I would be a feminist, why I would denounce motherhood and marriage.

I will always have a place in my heart for my pink gloves. I will always champion for women's rights. I will always want to step in and defend children who don't have a voice in the legal system. I am, however, grateful for a heart that has forgiven.

My husband is often patted on the back for the ways that he has changed me, bettered me even. I still get sideways looks of awe when the family who knew me when sees where I am now. While I know my husband is a huge part of the hole that was repaired in my heart, what I wish people would see is that it was Jesus. It was understanding how He loved me that repaired me and prepared me for the love of the man He had set aside for me. If I had not known my God, I could not have accepted my husband's love for me.

So lately, while I struggle with hurts and hang ups, I try to remember how imperfect I am. How I was born in purity but over time I have spoiled in places. While I have a good heart, ugly things can come from it. While I have good intentions, some times my communication is not effective. While I love, I also have the capacity to both be seriously hurt and to cause genuine hurt.

Beauty for Ash(es)....

Monday, December 7, 2009

The reason I will never own a BMW...

Did I say reason?
As in, there is only one reason that I will never own my White X5?
There are many reasons
but lets pretend I could afford it
lets pretend that the car doesn't cost years of wages where I'd starve, go naked, and dehydrate
lets pretend it wouldn't be a choice between sending my son to college
(USC mind you...fight on)
or driving.
lets pretend we wouldn't have to live in the car and attach a camper to it to survive.
lets pretend...

When I believed I would be single and barren for eternity my dream was to own a white house, have a white cat, and drive a white BMW 325i with brown leather interior.
I would own a white Pottery Barn couch and I would rule my own world in Gucci glasses and Prada shoes.

I cashed in on that dream for something far better--
an awesome marriage and a gorgeous baby boy.
Despite the fact that I never became an attorney in family law and wouldn't be able to buy my BMW
I realize something deeper...

I never want a thing to be more important than someone I love.

Accidents happen.
Just ask my mom.
In 1985 I found a pack of peppermint Bubble Yum.
When I was done, my piece went right into my mom's beloved Jeep Wagoneer Seat.
My dad bought her a brand new Mercedes back in 1987
The first day of owning it, my sister took a bite out of the passenger side head rest.

About a year ago, the hus and I bought our first piece of brand new furniture--
a Pottery Barn Coffee Table.
I felt like we had accomplished something huge.
I wanted to engrave Pottery Barn on the top just so people knew, WE DID IT!
Well, we didn't engrave it with those words...
the table has been engraved though....
with the scars of trucks and cars being tossed across it by one precious little man
(so precious I want to squeeze him too tight sometimes).

Point is, it got me thinking--
it's just a thing!
I don't want to own nice things if it means I will make my son think he's worth less.
I need to own things knowing they aren't going anywhere with me
but I have one chance to make my little boy's heart right.So, goodbye BMW.
Not because I can't afford you
(I am sure I could sell enough blood to buy you)
But because I'd be a wreck if my little man bit a hole in your head rest or smashed a cracker into your German leather.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

When nothing else matters....

Life's too short.
Too short for what?
To short to forget to say I love you
To short to stay angry.
To short to work so hard you forget what's most important.
Youth is wasted on the young.
Why do they say that?
Because it's true.
When I was young, I only wanted to be older.
I was always looking forward because the future was so much better.

Present vs. Presents.
The present IS a present.
I just seem to toss each gift aside though wondering what's in the next box.

What I want....
No--what I NEED
is NOW.
I need SLOW
I need FOCUS
I need FAITH.

Embrace what today is.
Let go of what yesterday was.
Accept what is.
Realize my family should be my focus.

And nothing else matters.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas With My Boys

Yesterday I got to talking with one of my best friends about Christmas.
"What are you doing? Where are you going? What parties are you attending? What are you buying?"
You know, all of the standard Christmas questions.
One, however, really stuck out to me...
"What are you doing with YOUR family?" She asked.
I responded, "My family? Oh, me and MY boys?
Christmas is about making everyone else happy."
"You HAVE to do something with your boys. Lets think about this," and her wheels were turning.

Although she left me mid thought to get her lunch ;)
I was intrigued and kept thinking on my own.

I looked at our calendar, canceled an event that I had attempted to host, sent out the email to all who were invited and sent an evite to my husband:
You are invited to Christmas with your family :)
December 18-20th we have NOTHING on the calendar and it belongs to US.
Join your son and I for the following:
Friday: Pizza & A Christmas Movie

Saturday: A Day on the coast. We'll eat burgers for lunch, visit the seals, and walk the town. That night we'll do a wagon walk downtown for hot cocoa. It will end with family movie night in bed!

Sunday: Church at Saddleback & Daddy's Rollie Pollies

Only rules are:

Consider it a dare to us both!!

I love you,


I love Christmas however this year already feels different.
I don't have the energy to decorate.
(apparently I wasted it on glittering pumpkins in October)
I don't want to buy a tree.
(I would rather donate the $60 to a family in need)
My brother will be working retail and unable to come home. My sister is going to Hawaii with her boyfriend (Lets not even talk about how I never would have been able to get away with that one!)
It will be my first Christmas entirely spent away from my family.
(Had to happen some time but doesn't mean I like it)
I'm really ready to start having Christmas with my boys not going anywhere!
(one day)

So, instead of moping --- aside from what you read above
My friend encouraged me to MAKE my own Christmas.
A little evite, a heart full of good intention, and Christmas is just around the corner!!

Oh, and my husband already RSVP'd Yes :)