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...