Friday, March 29, 2013

For Every Season

It is currently a strange time in my world. It is, in general, a blissful time for our family. Sure life is incredibly hectic and there aren't enough hours in the day. But it is magical to watch a toddler discovering the world and getting so excited about all of its details. Life really is about the simple things right now. And knowing that we'll soon start all over with little Allison is very exciting. I am definitely trying to soak it all in, expecting that this will be my last pregnancy and knowing that we will never experience this exact phase of our lives again.

Still, it seems like everyone around me is not in such a blissful time. There is currently so much disease and loss everywhere. My heart breaks for all of my friends and acquaintances who are struggling right now. Yet, I remind myself that many of them were experiencing smooth sailing when I have been pushing through hard times. And there is no promise that tomorrow will be easy for any of us, so I should soak up today and enjoy it. But why do I feel guilty? I'm just praying hard for those around me and trying to focus on enjoying today in my own life.

Friday, March 15, 2013


My husband and I have been watching The Bible miniseries on The History Channel this past couple weeks. We have really enjoyed it, as we re-visit Old Testament stories which we had forgotten and learn a few that we didn't know as well. It is so incredible to see God speaking so specifically to His people! I'm always even more amazed as I see Him working in my life, even though many of the ways I feel He speaks to me are far less profound. One of those little ways has been on my mind this week.

A few months back, I was not content with the baby carrier I had been using for Andrew. I researched and researched and decided to sell the one we had to fund a different one. There were two which I thought would work well for us, given my frame and his size. And both had great reviews for young babies too, which was a bonus. I looked for several weeks for a used carrier but didn't have any luck as they were still very pricey, even used. Finally, I settled out on a new one which I loved. A few weeks after that, I was poking around in our local kid consignment store and found the other carrier I had looked at. And it was only $30! (These carriers are $125 new so this was a steal!!) Even better yet, it was a pretty, neutral print. Though I certainly didn't need it, I wanted it as it had the best reviews by far for newborns. But I wasn't even pregnant so it seemed crazy to consider purchasing it, right? I had complications after having Andrew and we were very unsure of whether we would get any more babies in the few months after he was born. But thankfully, I was healed and we planned to have at least one more baby. I contemplated the carrier a bit and really felt like I should just buy it, so I did. I figured that I could easily get my money back out of it if I changed my mind as the going price for a used one was roughly twice what I paid. After getting the carrier home, I looked up the print and was taken aback - the print name was "Allison".  Allison was the name we had chosen if Andrew was a girl and it has been my girl name of choice for many years. My husband was sweet and quickly agreed to it during my first pregnancy as I loved the name so much. As I looked at the carrier and the name, I really felt that it was a promise from God - that He would send me another baby to love, even if it wasn't an "Allison" and was a boy instead. A couple months later, I found out I was pregnant. And this week, we found out that we'll be welcoming our sweet little Allison this summer. I am still in shock, honestly. Apparently my feeling regarding God's promise was much more literal than I thought!

So I'm obviously the crazy girl who feels like God gives her promises through used baby gear but I am okay with that. I am just feeling incredibly blessed that He speaks to me at all and has given me all that He has. Has God spoken to you? What messages or reassurances has He given you, big or small?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Baby Bump at 18/19 weeks

Almost halfway there. And definitely wearing this shirt for the last time for a few months!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Little Mr or Little Miss?

Next week should be an exciting week for our house - we will find out the sex of Bean 2.0! As many of you know, we did not find out the sex with our first child so this is a whole new experience. The anticipation is building...will this baby be another boy or a girl? We shall see!

The comments and assumptions of society re: gender have been a bit surprising to me. One, that we automatically want a girl. (Honestly, we would love to have a daughter so that we could experience parenting both sexes but I know many parents who prefer one sex over the other or simply have no preference at all.) Two, if you have a boy, at least he can be close to A. Huh? My husband and his sister, who is one year older than him, were very close growing up. Likewise, I know many sets of siblings who are close in age but not close at all, even if both are the same sex. I tend to think that closeness is dictated by personality versus gender. Three, if you have a girl, she will be super-girly and decked out in pink all the time. Honestly, I hope not. I can't imagine encouraging a daughter that she is a "princess" and should only wear pink. But again, I tend to think that kids are who they are. Just today, I watched A run around outside wearing his bike helmet like it was a fashion statement. I would never encourage that one but hey, safety first, right?? 

Thursday, March 7, 2013


I miss my mom. Intensely, at times. I am sad for myself and I am even sadder for her. It feels like everywhere I turn, there are reminders of the emptiness I feel where she should be. Motherhood has made me miss her more than I ever could have imagined. Honestly, losing her and watching her struggle when I was young was hard but I feel like I was somehow stronger then. Maybe I was naive (I think I somehow always thought she'd come back) or maybe I was just more resilient then? Mostly, I think that I just assumed that I would push through a couple rough years and leave everything behind.  For the most part, that is exactly what I have done (at least to the outside world). It just seems simpler as I don't think anyone really understands anyway. And I feel incredibly selfish when I try to explain it. I mean, how do you say, yes, I'm nearly 34 years old and I feel like there is no one to really take care of me? Crazy, right? God has blessed me with an incredible husband, a sweet little boy and some amazing friends. But no one is quite like your mama, and I still feel that void all too intensely at times. So that's my dirty little secret. I may act like I'd have it together (and some days I do), but underneath it all is the same young girl who stood at the window, praying and pleading it's God to see her mother again. I know I will someday, but the days in between are tough.

I vividly recall coming to the realization that she was gone when I was 13. I have been blessed to see glimpses of her on a handful of occasions since then. But the mom who took care of me when I was little, who played with me and comforted me, is gone. Even with this internal realization, it feels so strange and awkward to explain my situation, so I don't. My closest friends know the gist of it but I don't really talk about how deeply it still hurts. Truthfully, I feel so ashamed of all of the hurt, as it just sounds so selfish anytime I try to verbalize it. And the foreign looks people give me just make me feel even worse. Plus, I have had too many people say, "well, she didn't actually die, so..." And then I feel even worse. She is still alive, even if she is like a completely different person, trapped in a body that looks like her. I realize that many people just don't know what to say but I feel like others just don't get it. I know my dad feels similarly, but I really don't know about the rest of our familyas no one ever talks much about it. My siblings break my heart, as they only know Mom as she is now, and remember me as a mother figure in their younger years. So, I again feel like an island. To be fair, this is one of those situations in life where I don't think there is anything to say. Sometimes, people have pain and problems for which there are no words or solutions. You just pray and give it to God, which I have done thousands of times over the past 23 years. Still, it always seems to come back at points when I least expect it.

I have read Motherless Daughters, by Hope Edelman, numerous times over the past few years. I would highly recommend the book to any woman, young or old, who has lost their mother in any manner. I have a copy of Motherless Mothers (also by Hope Edelman) on the way. I'm hopeful it will bring a sense of peace over the rawness that I am feeling right now. In Motherless Daughters, the author writes about her experience of losing her mother to cancer at age 14. She talks about many of the emotions I felt too, including not really understanding the depth of her loss at that time. The author interviewed nearly 200 other women who had also lost their mothers in various ways, many of whom I could relate to as their mothers didnt actually die. After conducting all of these interviews and from her own life experience, she had several conclusions: One, that certain life events (for me, late high school/dances, weddings/marriage and children) will be tough. As she highlights, these are all events in which mothers are typically an integral part and the emptiness of them not being there can be really hard. Next, she points out that we all have a natural tendency to experience anxiety about our own mortality as we approach the age our mother was when she left them (either due to death, physically leaving, etc).

Anyway, I am not sure what the point of this post was. Catharsis, I suppose? I'm not even sure if I will publish it. I haven't decided yet. If you are reading this, thank you for listening. Please know that
yes, I am fine. And I don't feel like I really need anything, less prayers for continued healing. This is just an ongoing struggle for me, which I rarely address to anyone due to all of the emotions that are wrapped up in the situation.

Explanation: if you are reading this and are wondering, my mother was in a car accident when I was 10. It was a normal day of work and school for everyone. She was coming home from work and the car she was riding in was in a bad highway collision. One of her close friends was sitting next to her and died, while my mother was ejected from the vehicle which was traveling at approximately 60 mph. As one would expect, she suffered devastating injuries including nearly 30 broken bones/crushed bones and a traumatic brain injury. She spent nearly four months in the hospital and was in outpatient therapy for over two years. She had to re-learn to do just about everything in her life, including eating, walking, using the restroom, etc. To see her today, she truly is a miracle. But with traumatic brain injury (TBI), many things are changed. For her, she is a very different personality and nearly all of her "warmth" is gone.  Don't get me wrong, I still love my mother and greatly admire her strength and how far she has come. But the TBI left her completely different than she was before her accident. On top of that, the affects of these injuries on the families are incredible. Divorce rates for TBI survivors are near 100%, costs of therapies and rehabilitation are incredibly high and many of the patients never regain full independence and need daily care. When this happened, I was 10, my sister was 2 and my brother was 2 months old, which meant that my family role changed pretty drastically as well.