From Doubt to Doing It

The sun has just made its appearance over the curve of the earth.  The ground still silvery with frost.  The air, cold enough to shrivel the tender nasal passages. 

The trail stretches out before me.  Over small rises and dips, past deserted playgrounds and empty soccer fields.

Steven Curtis Chapman in my ears.  Vibrations from my feet pounding the pavement course through my body.  I am doing what I thought impossible.

I am running.

My weight loss hasn't been stellar.  I've been battling some unseen enemy (hormones?  thyroid?  insulin resistance?) since starting this journey back in September.   So, rather than focus on my "failure", a friend threw out a suggestion.  "Run with me in the 5k on 1/1", she said.  I snickered.  An obese asthmatic, running in the cold.  Riiiight.

But then I thought about it...what a fantastic mini-goal!  I know I want my body to be tamed under 200lbs before heading south in February, but that seems so far away.  New Years is just a month away now.  And that would be a great challenge for my body. 

But can I do it?

Yes, yes I can.  It's not easy, but every day I see progress.  Yesterday I'm almost certain I ran a whole mile non-stop.  For me, that's HUGE.  I don't think I've done that in over a decade.  

And you know what?  The scale is responding, too.  :)


Slackin", or Am I?

I'm ashamed of how little attention I've paid to the blog projects lately!  It seems like, when I moved from Mumblings to this new address, my mojo stayed behind.  I have lots to say, but not so much motivation to say it.  (sigh)

Where to begin...

Well, here's the latest.  I'm down 24lbs, and my size 16 jeans, which I was SO geeked to fit into, are getting a little saggy-baggy in the rear.  Why, you ask?  Would you believe I've found a new love in exercise?

I'll wait while someone hopefully grabs you some smelling salts or something.

Yes.  I'm exercising.  A lot.  While the weather was still mild, I was walking 5 miles every morning before the sun made his appearance.  Now that it's a little colder, I decided to do something even more sane.

Sign up for a 5k run/walk on New Years Day.

Still with me?  :)

Yes, fat Emily is now up and running in the mornings.  I have enough self respect to at least wait until the high school kids get gobbled up by the big yellow buses.  Because high school kids are cruel.  And I've already done my time.

I'm still in the very beginnings of training.  But already my endurance is getting better.  And my @$$ is getting more and more toned, or so DH says.  Ergo my saggy baggy pants.

So there it is.  Life's good.  I'm 214.2 lbs as of this morning.  And I'm well on my way to my first goal of 200 lbs by Success School.

I big pink squishy heart AdvoCare!!!!!!


My New Venture

It's been awhile since I've posted.  Life has been a little hectic.  Homeschooling, an extended visit from my mother-in-law, and trying to start a business has really kept me hopping!

I just wanted to post about my weight loss journey, and how it's taken a very positive turn. 

A month ago, I started uttering the dreaded, dirty s-word.  "surgery".  Yes, after years of seeing it as a cop-out, it began to look like my last resort.

Then a friend dropped the word AdvoCare on Facebook for the umpteenth time, and I finally paid attention.

Now, 2 weeks into the program, 8 lbs lighter, at least a jeans-size smaller, I'm on my way to fit.  No excuses.  No turning back.  It Is Happening Now, Folks!

So check out my website.  Flip me an email.  Let me send you a sample of Spark and make a believer out of you!

Pictures coming soon....  ;)


A Prayer Request

Every day I pray that God will give me a chance to glorify Him.  Yesterday, I think He answered my prayer.

I was at the store.  The phone rang, I opened with my, "thank you for calling (redacted) pizza, will this be for pick up or delivery?"

The voice at the other end was hesitant.  He asked for a manager.  I offered to help.

After much pause and almost stuttering, he said, "I'm homeless and was wondering if you had any pizzas that customers didn't pick up that you would be throwing away."

I told him to come in to the store and I'd make a pizza up for him.  And I prayed for God to use me, if this man came in.

About 20 minutes later, he opened the door.  Slight, stooped, unshaven.  Almost scared.  I asked him if he made the call earlier, and when he said yes, asked him what he'd like for lunch.  I had to ask him a few times before he gave an answer. 

When his pizza was in the oven, I went out to the lobby and sat next to him.  He jumped, like no one had done that in a while.  Oh, my heart twisted!  I asked him how he was doing.  If he was okay. 

He asked about my bracelet (I wear a rubber cause March of Dimes bracelet from the batch we gave out at Leila's due date).  I told him we lost a baby last year.  He couldn't seem to get over that.

Then he asked me, in this plaintive voice, "why are you doing this?"  I can't really remember my answer, because from there it wasn't really me speaking.  The Holy Spirit had firmly taken over my tongue.  We talked about God, and he said he knew the Bible.  I asked if he had Jesus in his heart, he said he wasn't sure that Jesus would want him.  He had tears in his eyes.  He talked about how scared he was, that he was an alcoholic and had stooped as far as drinking hand sanitizer to get his fix. 

We talked about church some more, and my faith in God and how He got me through the worst year of my life.  I went back to cut and box up his pizza.  Came back out with his food and my number written on a paper.  Gave him a hug, told him that God loves him where he's at.

And I'm praying for him.  That he'll call or stop in.  Or a miracle, that he'll show up at church on Sunday. 

My God is the God of miracles!

Please pray for my friend...


Sometimes You Need the Benefit of Hindsight

I have a friend out there, who received some wonderful news this week.  Except the timing is wrong.  Finances are unsure.  Life isn't going as smoothly as she'd like it to be when the stick turns pink.

To this friend, I have a story for you.

Six years ago my husband bought a pizza delivery franchise.   It was the heyday when we plunked down our carefully saved money, everyone was doing booming business.  We were going to be rich someday and have a wonderful life for our son and the rest of the family that God had yet to give us.

A few months later, on a lick and a promise, we built a 4-bedroom house.  For all those kids we're gonna have.  Because we can afford it (someday), right?

Then, over the next few years, the economy stared slipping.  Sales dropped.  Minimum wage went up.  So did insurance premiums.

A few more years, and we reached the point where paying ourselves was no longer a given.

Another year, and it was no longer an option.

And you know what happens when you don't pay yourself?  You don't have money to pay for the house.

We prayed and prayed for God to intervene.  To bring sales up.  To help us save our home.  But He had other plans.

We lived in that house for 17 months after we stopped making the payments.  We were able to put away a little money to help with the pending move, but not much more than that.

Right around 18 months, the store was doing well enough that we were able to pay ourselves.  Not much, certainly not what we used to, but it was so strange filling out a deposit slip for the bank again!

I believe that God intervened on our behalf, but we needed hindsight to see how He worked.  If we would have made mortgage payments during those 17 months, we would have lost our business.  AND we would have been homeless, eventually.

And there has been other "a-HA" moments, looking back.  Like how, because of our low income over these last few years, we've qualified for Medicaid.  That is a Godsend to us, since our health insurance inexplicably went up 200% as of the July renewal and is completely unaffordable to us now.

We need to keep foremost in our minds that we serve a GINORMOUS God, and He loves us every bit as much as we love our own kids.  He has the all-encompassing sight to know what's coming down the road.  He will carry us along.  He doesn't promise it's all pleasant, but He does know what's best for us.

M., I'm almost done reading Jon & Kate Gosselin's book Multiple Blessings, and I can't tell you how many times I thought of you and L.  I hope you get a copy from your library and read it. 

Homeschool Freedom

We started our 2010-11 school year on Wednesday.  And we're off with a bang - Andrew's enjoying the more relaxed atmosphere, and I'm rising to the challenge of finding our learning tools for free (or as cheap as possible).

We're armed with out 2nd grade requirements lists.  But outside of that, we're all eclectic this year, baby!

Some things we're using:

Head of the Class:  a fairly comprehensive that gives the "instructor" a good bit of control.  Printable worksheets.  Covers math, writing, spelling, reading, and Spanish.  And, maybe best of all, completely free!

IXL:  Math, intensified.  Online tests (paperless!).  You can pay for the service, but the free end of it seems to be sufficient for our needs.

Making Music Fun:  I thought this was going to be more helpful.  As someone who is "financially challenged", I struggle to get the music and arts into our days.  MMF has offered some basic worksheets on the composers (we're working our way through Bach now), but we're still left filling in gaps.  Thank God for the library and it's resources.  And the internet, of course (when it comes to music, YouTube is awesome!)

Andrew's Blog:  I'm really, really hoping this takes off.  He was so very excited about having his Very Own Blog.  And, so far, the posts are coherent.  BUT, his attention issues are painfully obvious.  We've got our work cut out for us.

Taste of Home Kids Coloring Cookbook:  We have a LOT of fun with this!   We started doing this last year - we'll take pictures while making the recipes, slide the colored sheet into one of those clear plastic sheet protectors, put it in his 3-ring binder, and glue the pictures onto the backs of the pages (when we finally get them developed). 

That's just some of the online programs we're using right now. Every day we stumble across another useful resource, bookmark another site. 

What are you using to enrich your child's education this year?


Could It Be a Sign?

Next month we take some little pills to help us have a baby.

And I'm exploring other things to do to increase our chances. 

Like using Preseed.  I bought some last month to round out a drugstore.com order and get free shipping. 

But today I was reading some of the information on their website

And realized those little blue flowers along the header were...(sob)

Yes, they are. 

Angel, if it's you, and you're trying to tell me something,

Let me tell you.  I love you.  I miss you every minute of every day.

I want another baby.  But that baby will never replace you in my heart.

Why It's Different

Losing a child is an eye-opening experience.

Something I NEVER considered.  That babies sometimes die.  It's thrust front & center into your line of vision.  For some reason, maybe by your doing and maybe not, there's a litany of grief, pain, and tears of heartbroken mommies and daddies never far from your mind. 

Babies sometimes die.  That's a horrible, tragic reality for so many.

But so many of these people still have hope.  They've never struggled to get pregnant.  How wonderful it must be to know, when they're ready, they can try again.  And succeed. 

Leila was my miracle.  4 years in the making.  I'm at the cusp of losing my ability to conceive due to advanced maternal age.  

So I'm jealous of these families.  Yes, they have lost a baby.  And it's nothing to make light of.

But they have not lost hope. 


Jon & Kate, and How They Affect My Little Boy

I have never watched the Goss.elins and their highly publicized life on TV.  I've heard my family talk about them.  There's a fascination with them because we're from the same area and many of the places they visit are old haunts of ours. 

I've heard about their messy marital problems, but never really paid attention.

But now, since getting Net.flix and being able to stream the show, it's captured my attention.

And that's okay.  I'm a grown-up, I can process their "quirkiness" against a lifetime of experiences and morals.

But Andrew is also fascinated.  And last night it came to light why. 

He's jealous.

He wants siblings. 

He's asking why we can't do the same procedure they did.

Or why we can't go to the "donation center" and adopt a child.

Infertility is a FAMILY issue.  It's something that profoundly affects every single person in the family unit.  Not just the parents. 

How do I explain infertility to an almost-7 year old?  One who looks at a couple on TV and their miraculous delivery despite fertility problems?  How do I explain to him that those options aren't open to us?  That we couldn't afford IVF?  That adoption is out of our reach because of our financial collapse last year? 

I tell him to pray.  God listens to him.  And I told him about the doctor's appointment on Tuesday and the medicine we'll be talking about that might help me get pregnant.

My trusting child.  As soon as he heard "pills", he determined that we will be getting pregnant soon with the help of the medicine.

I pray that he's right.  My heart breaks to see him so disappointed.


The Endless Yammering in My Head


I'm done.  Paleo was great, but I just. cannot. stand. the. endless. carb. cravings. anymore. 


So I'm going for the modified version. 

Light on the carbs.  But there will indeed be carbs.  Whole-grain carbs.

(whew).  I feel better already.

Abject denial in your diet leads to obsession.

(ya think?)

So, there it is.  Call me a failure if you want.  I'm off to a small bowl of oatmeal for breakfast.

Is it weird that I'm excited about oatmeal???


(one of) My Biggest Pet Peeve(s)

I have a very hard time with overweight children.  There, I said it. 

Maybe because I was one.  Because I was enabled to become "pretty plus", probably stemming from my mom's guilt at having to work 2nd shift throughout my childhood.  My grandparents, God love them, took it upon themselves to turn a "too skinny" 4-year-old into a fat 7-year-old. 

It's all too easy to recall how miserable my childhood was, once I'd made that metamorphosis.  The only real friend I had was a same-sized girl down the street.  I craved male attention in some unhealthy ways.  And my relationship with food has been way out of whack since.

Maybe that's why I struggle with overweight kids.  Maybe it reminds me of how I felt, that my parents didn't care enough.  I wonder if those children feel that way.  What kinds of demons are they feeding with their chips-and-twinkies habits. 

The majority of my friends have kids that are dealing with this issue.  Some are more accepting of this situation, which really burns me up.  When a friend tells me her (obese) 9-year-old has high cholesterol in the same conversational tone that she'd use commenting on the weather, oh, it's so hard to bite my tongue.  Another friend who has two children dealing with weight issues is more concerned about their health and self esteem, but seems almost reluctant to lay down guidelines lest she "exclude" her kids from family activities.  I understand that's a fine line to walk.  The last thing you want to do is shame a child into an eating disorder.  I wouldn't even know where to begin with that, except to keep all the junk off the grocery list. 

I am so very, very blessed to have a "too skinny" child.  I guard that obsessively.  More than anything, he shouldn't repeat my life.  I fret over his penchant for anything with HFCS, and I rejoice over his love for fresh vegetables. 

I'd just posted a FB status about the 25 Worst Kids Meals and how one restaurant actually has a 1/3 lb burger on the kid's menu.  And a friend commented back about how we have to lead by example.

At 225 lbs, what kind of example am I?  My son has watched me struggle with my weight his whole life.  Even if I ever got down to a healthy weight, it will be a struggle until my last day.  Is it better for him to see me working towards good health?  Or would it be better for him to have an example of acceptance instead of obsession?  That I'm happy the way I am.

There's little that's been hidden from him growing up.  He's been free to talk about my weight problem.  But a few weeks ago, he found a chink in my thick skin.  He came up to me and said, "mom, I'm going to love you forever, no matter what you look like."  It was a sweet moment, but do you see them veiled message?  He called me fat, and it hurt.

I don;t know if there's really a point to this post - it feels a little scattered.  Just my thoughts on a bunch of things.  What do you think?


The Anti-Rainbow Movement

Seriously, is EVERYBODY getting pregnant except me?

It feels that way.  One by one, my babyloss mamas, the people I leaned on for support since Leila died, I'm having to "hide" them on Facebook.  Because I have a serious case of sour grapes. 

I'm happy for them.  I am, really.  I just can't have their bubbly news slapping me in the face all the time. 

Once they have their babies, I'm good.  I can read about dirty diapers and spit-up and milestones all day. 

It's just that pregnancy is just too much for me.

DH says I need to get over it.  I agree.  Before Facebook gets too quiet. 


At church on Sunday, the pastor quoted the Bible.  "You have not because you ask not". 

So I'm asking begging, Lord, please.  Please...........


My Common Thread Bracelet, and some other shtuff...

I really, really wanted to be part of the Infertility's Common Thread campaign, but I couldn't just see myself putting a plain strand of embroidery thread around my wrist.  So here's what I made:
I used the DMC 814 that was part of the campaign, and also a variegated which was pretty close in color.  It's been many, many years since these bracelets were all the rage (waaaay back when I was in high school!), and I surprised myself that I still remembered how to make them!  If you would like one, please email me at celestialpetunia(at)gmail(dot)com.  Let's get this movement started! 

Sorry about the lack of pictures.  Weight-loss wise, I'm still pretty much the same.  My diet is still spot-on, I guess I could be exercising more, and my body's just comfortable around where it is right now.  That's not to say I've given up - on the contrary, I think I'll be sticking with this style of eating, at least for a little while.  Really the bad stuff doesn't tempt me very much anymore.  So we'll keep truckin' on, and I'll let you know if there's any change. 

Oh, Wednesday's ultrasound.  Went fine.  Dr. should have the results back today.  Which is good, because my u/s tech must have bumped something with her "magic wand" and started something going on.  Now it feels like very early labor down there, mild to moderate contractions.  I'll probably call the Dr. later and see what he wants to do.

Oh, and one more thing...DH and I agreed that, when all's been fixed, we're going to give Clomid one more shot.  So I've been looking for good deals at online pharmacies - you'd be amazed how cheap you can get it, even from here in the States!  What would cost me $100 at my local CVS is only $15 + shipping online! 

Anyway, you're all caught up. 

Bu-de, bu-de, bu-de, bu-de, bu, THAT'S ALLLLL, FOLKS!



Let me start this post by saying that I have no plans or ideas of getting a divorce.  I love my husband dearly, but (like every other marriage I've observed) I'm not always in love with him.  Lately, it's been the occasional struggle to be in like with him.  This post is about those struggles.

Are you married?  If you are, is your marriage all rainbows and lollipops?  Do you not have the occasional moment where you look at your spouse and just wonder, "what if..."  or "why?"

This morning on the drive out to the country, a few older songs caught my attention.  This was the first one:

Do you remember when your relationship was fresh and exciting?  Those are moments we reflect on for years to come.  But what about when it becomes rote, even stale?  I love how this song points out that mundane is not necessarily a bad trait in a relationship.  It really got me thinking about when "the usual" went from fulfilling to tiresome.  Why do I feel so restless?

And then this song, which tore my heart:

I think this song answered my question.  I am being lazy in the maintenance of my marriage.  Are you guilty of that?  Taking the other for granted?  Do you recognize that, many times, they're putting up with their own not-so-exciting feelings about you?  Maybe sometimes they feel your laziness in uplifting them, and wonder if they did something wrong?  Or, even more disturbing, don't really care?  Why do we put less thought into the health of our marriages? 

An excerpt from The Fish, a Christian-in-a-Pop-Culture-World website, ""We Build," a song about the challenges of marriage, is already leaving audiences in tears. "Anyone who's been married for more than a half an hour knows that it's really difficult," Nichole says, "but people, especially Christians, rarely talk about how hard it is. I can't even tell you how many people came up to me after I first sang this song live, one after another with tears streaming down their faces, saying 'thank you.' Not because I unlocked some deep, dark secret to the success of marriage, but because I simply admitted that some days love is a choice. A choice that means rolling up our sleeves and getting our hands dirty and trusting God for the blueprints. Sometimes it just helps to hear 'me too.'"

Truth time:  my real impetus on this reflection has something to do with my son.  Lately he's been yelling at me, and he thinks this is acceptable because he sees DH and I yelling at each other.  I have failed my child when it comes to showing him how to have a healthy marriage.  That scares me very much.

It scared me out of neutral and into gear.



Oh, the heat and humidity in central Ohio is INSANE right now!  Every day, 90 degrees, 90 degrees, 90 degrees, BAH!  I never thought much of air conditioning, but now that we live in a house without it??  And this is the hottest summer I can remember????? 

Last night, between the oppressive heat and overpowering humidity, the air felt like 105 degrees.  Outside the house...inside must have been at least 5 degrees hotter.  I came home from work, piddled around the house as long as I could stand it, and cried "Uncle!"

Instead of baking all night, when DH got home from work we headed out to see a movie. 

Because, you know, movie theaters are, as a rule, always freezing. 

Toy Story 3 was a sweet escape for our family.  We had a wonderful evening, the three of us, dinner and a movie, for under $30. 

I'm so very grateful I have a husband who sometimes submits to my impulsive side.  I know we don;t really have the money right now, but sometimes it's best to give in. 

Thank you, my husband, for giving us such a fun (and cool) night!


The Internet Can Be a Scary, Scary Place...

Today at work was a little dead.  The book I borrowed from the library just wasn't cutting it at holding my attentions.  All the prep for the day had been done.

So I break out Google on the crackberry and start reading about cervical polyps.

(note to self: never google medical conditions.  ever.)

Here's what I'm up against.  Minor outpatient surgery, along the same lines of a D&C.  1% chance of the polyp being malignant.  Quick recovery.

Best case scenario.

I'm nervous.  The ultrasound has been scheduled at the hospital for a week from tomorrow.  Dr. C. is looking for some specific things on that ultrasound, he's requested a detailed look at my ovaries and my uterus.  For my ovaries, I guess because of my infertility issues (despite my argument that I don't think we really want to be new parents again).  My uterus because it looked abnormal on his transvaginal u/s in the office, and because he saw some dark spots that may indicate some more polyps in my uterus. 

So, once my ears stopped ringing and I stopped sweating, I googled some more.  About polyps and how they affect fertility.

Here's the big news:  they don't.  They can act as almost an IUD and prevent implantation of the fertilized egg, but as far as I know I'm not dropping eggs to begin with.  Shoots that theory full of holes.

I'm trying to look at this surgery in a positive light - they may actually figure out what's wrong with me!  But on the other hand I just don't want to get my hopes up again.  This TTC spiral is just too emotionally sapping.  

And the icing on the cake, there  seems to be a flood of rainbow pregnancy announcements on Facebook lately.  And every one of them leaves me feeling a little more defective (while still rejoicing for those mommies and daddies, of course).

Will my day ever come?  Will I want it if/when it does?


Paleo - Week 2

Things, they are a cha-cha-changing.  I'm still weighing in around 230 lbs, however my husband says he sees changes in my body.

My goal is to be 220 lbs, but I'm by no means defining my success completely by a number on a scale.

This past weekend my son attended karate camp (he's 6...and now he's staying out overnight. sigh.) and Hubby and I had the day all to ourselves.  My plan was a "cheat" meal, and I guess I did have one, but it wasn't anywhere near as bad as it could have been.  We fired up the grill and rolled out some Flinstone-sized t-bone steaks, a few chicken breasts, and some salmon fillets.  As our side, we made tabbouleh, which is a parsley/tomato/onion salad with a handful of bulgar wheat thrown in.  I had a few spoonfuls of that, which was my only real no-no.  And if I ate a total of 1 tbsp wheat it would shock me.  Dessert was baby carrots.  Then we went to play some sweaty tennis, and after that it was unlimited watermelon and cherries.  There it is, my big cheat. 

On the health front, a visit to the GYN this week unveiled the uncontrolled mid-cycle bleeding.  I have a cervical polyp...or at least one.  And apparently a strange looking uterus.  So the good doctor is sending me in for a detailed ultrasound of all my female works, and, once all my oddities are firmly established, I'll be going in for surgery.  I remain prayerful that this may bring to light the reason for my fertility issues.  Please join me there.


Paleo - Week 1

Drum Roll Please.....

I weighed in this morning at 230lbs!  That's a loss of 7.4lbs in the first week, and it puts me well on my way to reaching my goal of 220lbs by the Family Reunion (8/7/10).  For the first time, I think this is possible.

Interesting thing happened this week.  My pants fell down!  Thank God it happened at home, so it wasn't a negative experience.  A good friend Robyn gave me some clothes she couldn't fit into anymore, and the shorts were admittedly a little big on me already, but that never happened before.  So yayyers!

And pictures.  This week:  (starting with my before picture)
I don't see much of a change...yet.  But it's coming.  Have no fear!


Paleo - The First Three Days

I may be jumping on another bandwagon here, but you have to give me credit - when I do it, it's with both feet and no reservations.

I'm committing to the Paleo Diet for 30 days.  In a nutshell, it's no processed foods, no grains, no dairy, (no fun), easy on the fruit, eating like Grok would have ate. 

So far I'm okay with that.  Day 1 sucked badly with a major, major headache, the likes of which I'd never experienced before.  Yesterday (day 2) was better, no physical ailments, but emotionally I'm a "witch with a B".  Today, a little better.  Still a bit testy.  Could be because it's 90 frickin' degrees in Troy, Ohio and we are bereft of climate control?  Hmmm, maybe.

No, what makes me nervous now is fasting.  According to (snort) evolution, our bodies were designed to go for periods of time without nourishment.  Understandable, Grok couldn't have felled a brontosaurus every day, now could he?  Ergo, the 24-hour fast.

I'm a hypoglocemic.  Or at least I was in my past life.  If I didn't have a fairly steady supply of glucose/fructose in my bloodstream, I'd get dizzy, fidgety, and majorly witchy. 

So I guess fasting is going to be my litmus test with paleo. 

Without further ado, what you've all been anxiously awaiting.....


(Tiger couldn't resist the photo op...)


The Simple Woman's Daybook 6/22/10

Outside my window...a morning thunderstorm.  Rain.  The cool breeze is a blessing after a week of heat, humidity, and lack of a.c.

I am thinking...about friendship.  How to be a good friend, why people I considered friends turn out not to be true.

I am thankful for...the true friends that I have. 

I am wearing...my pj's. 

I am going...to work.  Today's my "long" day, open to p.m. rush.  But I'm grateful that I can do this for Yasar, so he gets a day off every week.

I am reading...In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. 

I am hoping...yes, yes I am.  I won't put a name to it, but I still hope.

On my mind...Medicaid.  And the hoops they make you jump through to apply.

I am creating...not really anything at the moment.  Unless you count the garden.  I'm itching to start a new cross stitch, though.

I am hearing...rain outside, Andrew watching a movie, the fan.

Noticing that...(sigh) this house needs to be cleaned.  It's my Wednesday chore, so by Tuesday this place is looking pretty skeevy.

Around the house...homeschool curriculum that needs to be sorted and filed, a fish tank light that needs replacement (the whole light, not just the bulb), front flower beds needs tilling or mulch.

A few plans for the rest of the week...not really anything out of the ordinary. A few more hours than usual at the store to cover for someone who's out and as backup for customer appreciation special. 


Going Private

I am not a mean-spirited person, yet over and over I get portrayed that way.  And every time it happens, a little piece of my heart dies.

It's exhausting to defend my motivations constantly.

So that's why I went private.  Without going into it, someone took a post I wrote as an attack (which it was certainly not), and someone else out there in the vast internet is using my words to their own advantage.

I'm not sure where this is going to go.  I want to keep the blog going - it's been over 2 years, 500+ posts that contain so much of my memories, thoughts, and heartbreak.  Do I 86 it after all that?  Just keep it to myself?  Invite only exclusive people into my club?  I'm just not sure at this time.  As much as I love you, blog, you have taken up a life all your own.  You've gotten demanding, and are not afraid to throw out the guilt card if ignored for too long. 

But friends are asking....


Those Old Blues


That same song I was singing on the way to the hospital.

On the same road I was driving.

I don't cry much anymore, but it was more than my little heart could take. 

On the road marked with suffering, though there's pain in the offering...


I Couldn't Resist

I found this at the Strawberry Festival on Saturday.  It's wasn't really her name as much as the little blue forget-me-not flowers pressed onto the mat that had the tears rolling.  Those will always remind me of her, and seeing them together felt like a hug from my little girl.  

This past weekend has been really emotional.  I was honored to be asked by my friend Christine to accompany her to her ultrasound appointment.  As grateful as I was to be there, it was still hard.  I bit my tongue and sucked it up - it was an amazing moment for her, after 4 beautiful girls she's expecting a little boy, and the last thing I wanted to do was steal her joy.  So I think when I saw Leila's name at the fair, all those pent-up emotions just let loose.  Poor Christine, she didn't know what to do with me!



I've come to terms with my infertility again.  I think.

My friend Christine and her four daughters stayed with us through the holiday weekend, waiting for the first of the month and her new rental house to be available.  I want you to read that last sentence with the most positive tone you can muster - I *loved* having my house full of friends and laughter.  The small size of our home only concentrated the fun.  And I'm so grateful to have my friend back, not only in Ohio, but practically in my backyard!  She broke my heart back in February when she moved her family to Arizona, so it almost feels like a miracle that she's here in Troy again. 

Christine has this adorable, sweet little one-year-old daughter, E.  This little girl goes from sobbing to smiling faster than you can blink.  She also goes from sitting quietly to in-the-dog-food-out-the-door-grabbing-the-chotchkes- that fast. 

Our pastor this past Sunday mentioned how women forget the pains of labor and delivery so quickly.  I commented to Christine that we forget much more than that.  We forget how hard it is to have a newborn, an infant, a toddler.  Chasing E. around (or maybe I should say watching Christine chase E. around) reminded me. 

I think I'm satisfied with my life.  Andrew is at a good age, he's stretching for more independence.  I don't have to hover over my child all the time anymore.

I think I'm to lazy old to do it again.  So God, I give up.  If it's Your plan to give me another baby, I'm down with it.  But I'm done actively pursuing getting pregnant. 


A Brand New Year

It's as if I was holding my breath, waiting for that ticker to roll over.

And, now that it has, I feel different. Unencumbered.  Lighter.  No longer weepy and morose.

Either the beginning of May has been especially hard,

or, (dare I say it?) the hard grieving is over.

I've googled about grief release after that first anniversary.  It's real, many people experience it.  Even Stephanie seems to have caught a little of it. 

The litmus test will be church on Sunday.  Do you think I can get through a whole service without crying in the bathroom?

Why do I feel bad about not feeling bad anymore?  It's not as if I've forgotten her.  She's sewed into the fabric of my heart.

Maybe last year was about looking back, but this year is about looking forward.


Happy Birthday, Little Angel

We had the florist fill the balloons with forget-me-not seeds - I hope a plants bloom and Leila fills Troy with tiny blue flowers.  Maybe someone will see one and wonder.  I hope.

Love you, sweet little girl.  Till we meet again.


Project 365

Well, I've decided to give it a shot. Pun intended.

Please stop by my 365 Blog and follow the journey from idiot-with-a-camera to (hopefully) something better. :)


My Unhealthy Fascination

I've always been drawn to old cemeteries.

They seem so forgotten. Very few fresh flowers or flags, any evidence that someone who still walks this earth remembers...

But they're saturated with history. Most of these graves date back over a century.

Yesterday I walked through the old cemetery alone, looking for answers.

How did mothers in the 1800's deal with the loss of a child? It looks like a common situation back in those days. Did they just accept it gracefully as a fact of life? Par for the course? Did they scream and cry? Did they feel deserted by God?

Can you almost see the divots this mother's knees left in front of her babies' headstones? The flowers she put on the cold marble every year, every season? Did she accept her burden better than I am?

The cemetery remains peacefully secretive. And I rejoice for those mothers who have joined with their babies in heaven.


Waking Up is Hard to Do

Oh, last night was amazing! I took a pregnancy test and it came back positive! We laughed and hugged and celebrated that God had smiled on us!

And then I woke up.

I'm usually relieved to wake up from a dream. But this one, I wanted to crawl back under the covers and live in it. Pray that God would make it my reality. Go back to before waking up ruined my life.

God, hear my cry!



I feel like I'm cheating on my blog with my camera.

Both are unique forms of expression. Both have a way of centering me.

But the camera seems less demanding. Short of learning about aperture and shutter speed, and the options Nikon has placed in my hands, it's pretty much an exercise in creativity. On some deep level, instinctive.

And when I try to introduce the blog to my new flame, it just feels wrong.

I hope you'll bear with me while the struggle ensues.

Until then, a picture of which I'm very proud...


More Pictures


Is it me, or does my kid have a weird tongue? Is it supposed to do that split thingy?

The peony he brought me from the neighbor's house. It smells soooo good!

Honeysuckles rule the hedgerow at the house next door.

That sweet face.

Andrew tries his hand at photography. Me, I just want mah coffee!

I'm thinking about starting a Project 365...


Mother's Day 2010

I am amazed by the men in my life. Today they took what would have been a miserable day and turned it into a magical one. My husband, Mr. Thrifty himself, bought me a D-SLR! I have wanted a great camera for-EVER, so this was a wonderful gift and a complete and total surprise (how he got Andrew to keep quiet I'll never know!). Here are some pictures from today - my family. I love you so very much!
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So soon after my head exploded over the abject refusal to remove strawberry and chocolate milk from the elementary school lunchline on Jaime Oliver's Food Revolution...

Mead Johnson rolls out chocolate- and vanilla-flavored toddler formula.

If we're scratching our heads, wondering why our kids are dying younger than we are, let's give our poor scalps a break.

I love that quote, "What's next, genetically modifying moms to produce chocolate breast milk?"

Lady, don't give them any ideas.


Ready for my Badge of Honor Now...

I swear, I deserve some kind of medal or award for sitting in my old OB's office and keeping it together. And even talking to Dr. C, who had no idea Leila wasn't here with us on earth anymore (he strictly does GYN, while Dr. O does both OB and GYN).

It's not lost on me that, since Leila was not technically 20 weeks and therefore could not be listed as a stillbirth, the OBGYN history shows me as having "surgery" 5/21/09.

Ouch. OUCH!


Anyway, Dr. C. is scheduling bloodwork on in a few weeks to catch me midcycle and see where my hormones are at. AND he wants to do a pap, even though I'm not due for one until July. His concern is that abnormal pap I got on my first pregnancy visit with Leila, even though the follow-up was normal.

Let's just pray that Blue Cross/Blue Shield covers this. My health insurance has no maternity rider. Not that, at this point, it's me trying to get pregnant. I've no doubt that eventually it will evolve into that, but right now it's just about figuring out why my body is acting the way it is.

At this moment, I'm just emotionally drained. And more than due for a big glass of vino. I'll take that over a medal any day.


Tagged Twice

Blog Awards.

They're usually something I skip over. But since being tagged by both Lisa @ Retriever Farm and Missy @ Yankee Girl, well, just this once won't kill me. Thanks girls - love you both much!

Now, Ten Random Things About Me.

I tend to grocery shop in even numbers, usually buying either two or four of a particular item (depending on price, of course). For instance, my Alice order came in the mail yesterday - 2 recycled paper towels, 2 Sun & Earth hand soaps, 4 boxes sugarcane tissues. See the pattern?

I heart Jelly Belly jelly beans more than any other food in the universe!

I quit smoking 8 years, 1 month, and 14 days ago.

I have a disturbing habit of killing off one of my family members in my dreams almost weekly. David, if dreams are at all credible, do NOT take up golf. :D

I once threw up in the basement food court of the VF Outlets and have never felt the same about that place.

Right now I'm on a bread-making kick. A few months ago, it was cheesecakes. Before that, Middle Eastern foods. I seriously don't know how my family puts up with me.

I still listen to New Kids on the Block and Debbie Gibson in my car. Quietly. With the windows rolled up.

Right now, I take great satisfaction in touring our backyard and admiring everything that's growing. Radishes are just coming out, as are squash, watermelon, and cukes. Tomatoes are already a foot high and flowering! And my forget-me-nots, Leila's flowers, have a good head start.

I have an aversion to green peppers.

I love teaching people the disappearing art of driving a stick shift car. I learned to drive on stick and, except for about a year and a half there, have always owned a car with standard transmission. My saddest day will be when they stop making new stick shift cars.

This is not a "Random Thing". I am blessed. My Lord, my family, my friends, both blog and IRL.

There you go. Ten random, one purposeful.

Now I'm supposed to keep the chain going and "tag" ten more people. But I love you all too much! If you want to do this, consider yourself tagged. If not, go on without guilt or responsibility. Either way, have a wonderful day!


Happy Mother's Day!

Did you know today is International Babyloss Mother's Day? If you know anyone who "celebrates" today, give them a hug. Share a tear. Let them talk to you about their precious angel.

Just be there. Even though our hearts and minds are elsewhere today, we still need that.

Happy Mother's Day to all the beautiful, supportive, caring, grieving babyloss mamas I've met over the past year. Love you all very much, and pray for you daily!


Some Concerns

First, I seem to have lost my muse. It's challenge enough to pull together my weekly blog over at Almost Frugal - I just don't seem to have much to say otherwise. At least, not anything new or exciting.

I miss her. A lot. As her birthday creeps closer, my emotions are closer to the surface. I'm dreading Mother's Day, which will also be a baby dedication at our church. Might just have to skip that one.

But, before M-Day, the GYN. (men, please feel free to scroll down.) Ever since about CD12ish, I've been spotting. The internet is a wonderful and scary thing, with its wealth of conflicting medical information. So I made an appointment with my GYN for Wednesday. Combine the spotting with the inability to lose weight, (extreme) irritability, infertility, and a few other symptoms that I'll spare you, and I'm wondering if there's a progesterone deficiency. When I was pregnant with Leila I was diagnosed with LP and put on suppositories until we got to 14 weeks. I'm not making excuses, and this isn't as much about getting pregnant as finding out what's going on (not that I'd sneeze at a BFP).

Until then, I'll keep up my organic, borderline-vegetarian diet and my daily 4-mile walks. And the head scratching as to why the scale refuses to budge. And hopefully Dr. C will be able to shine some light on my situation.

One funny thing that happened today. We didn't plan ahead and ended up starving and out of town. Stopped at a Chinese buffet. I had the HARDEST time eating there. Just looking at all the fat and cheese and fried stuff was nauseating. They had a Mongolian grill, I loaded up with veg and some noodles, got to the meats, and just could not put any of that protein on my plate. I watched a trailer for a movie called Earthlings, and that's all I had flashing through my head (if you like to eat meat or have an affinity for animals, don't Google this. It's like the Faces of Death of the industrial meat industry. You've been warned.) So there I sat, with my sad little bowl of wonton soup and my veggie noodle stirfry. Yasar and I looked at each other and it was clear: we'd completely lost whatever enjoyment we once had in regards to eating out.

That's all, Folks! Emily out...


Pretty Toes II

Andrew chose the colors and the design for my pedicure. Let's all give him a hand! Reddish purple would not have been my choice, but the final result is awesome. WTG Drew!

I can't help but be a little sad, remembering the original Pretty Toes. Last year for Mother's Day Yasar got me a gift certificate for my first pedi ever. I was still pregnant then, Leila still safe and sound. At that point, I was still a week away from meeting my little angel. (sigh).


Jesus Says,

"Please recycle!"

Happy Earth Day!

(unrepentantly swiped from Jesus Needs a New PR)

Really, Really Good Flaxseed Bread


1 tbsp dry yeast
1 3/4 cup warm water
2 tbsp sugar (organic if possible)
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp salt
1 cup ground flaxseed - I pulverize mine in a coffee grinder
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached AP flour

Dissolve your yeast in the warm water mixed with the sugar. Make sure you get your kids to watch - it's really fascinating, and kids love to discuss how the yeast "burps" and "farts".

Add oil, salt, flaxseed, and one cup of whole wheat flour. Stir. Add second cup of ww flour, then your AP flour. Mix until incorporated.

Knead for at least 10 minutes by mechanical means or 15 minutes by hand, adding flour as needed to make a soft, slightly-sticky dough.

Rub some olive oil in a large bowl. Turn dough into bowl and flip around to get it coated with the oil. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place.

I fill my water pan with hot water and put it in the oven with the dough - makes a great incubator. (here it is with my sourdough starter, a story for another time).

Punch down, put into a greased loaf pan. Let rise again, covered.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then finish cooling on a wire rack.

Try (really, really try) to let it cool completely before slicing. And never, ever feel tempted by grocery store bread again.