Friday, April 19, 2013

A Week in the Life- Friday, March 29, 2013

....and better late than never.....  :)

7:15am: Today is going to be a busy day.  Lily is already up and reading in her room and I'm heading upstairs now to take her her milk and get her dressed for the day.

Notice the blinds.  Lily has really made them her own with all of her little peeks out the window!

...this is what I walk into- books on the floor and a little gal ready to go!  She is so excited to start her day that she has been practicing taking off her pajamas.  She has not mastered this yet, but she is getting close!  Eeek!

7:40:  After some reading time with me, Lily is all dressed and ready.  We are working on her new room across the hall and she LOVES to run in there every day and check our progress.  Plus I think she loves having a wide open room with nothing in it to just run around in....

...I have started moving her shoes and a few of her summer clothes into her new closet and she enjoys getting all of the shoes out and trying them on...every day.

...Case in point.  Most of them are a little bit on the big side for her right now, so it is always a delicate balance of letting her have fun and enjoy wearing them, but also somehow convincing her that she cannot wear them out of the house (because she literally walks right out of them!)  Some days these "negotiations" go better than others...

...running around with her bunny and talking with her new bunny on her wall....

7:55am:  We are downstairs and time is ticking before we have to leave in about 15 minutes.  I turned on some Sesame Street (Thank you, Netflix!!!) and Lily was "entertained" for about five minutes while I raced around gathering our things for the day.  When we leave the house this morning, we are not coming home until dinner time, so there is a lot to gather!

...every day is a great day for sunglasses!  This cutie pie's future is so bright, she's got to wear shades! in the kitchen packing our bags...

8:40am:  We are now a little ways across town for our regular get together with two of my favorite friends.  We have been meeting together (not as regularly or frequently as we would like) for many years now, just catching up on life, our walks with God and ways we can be praying for and encouraging one another.  It has gotten a little bit crazy now that all of our kiddos are on the scene and our conversations are a bit more scattered, but these times are certainly times I look forward to.  

...the scene...

My view of my little gal all buckled in with her bunny.  xoxo

10:15am:  After some good catch up time and play time, we are loaded up and heading across town to Nana's house.  She has graciously offered to watch Lily for me so I can have some much needed "mommy" time today.

10:45am:  Lily helps Nana get out her Easter can never have too many decorative bunnies!  It was really fun to see Lily discover each one...

11:30am: Meanwhile while Lily hangs out with Nana, I enjoy a delicious lunch with one of my all time favorite people.  I HATE that this is the only photo I have of our time together- clearly my mind was focused on food and not her beautiful smile, but you can use your imagination.  Kaysie is my first friend I met at KSU in my social work classes.  She and I clicked instantly and have made many fun memories through the years.  I love that she is still in my life.

1:30pm:  It was strange today, I had the freedom to go anywhere and spend some time, but I had no idea what to do with myself!  So I ended up going to a nearby church that I know has some tables and is quiet and I spent some time just flipping through magazines, having some quiet time and getting myself organized (a little bit).  It was lovely.

3:30pm: I decided to be a little bit productive during this time and headed over to Hobby Lobby to look for some inexpensive decor to fluff my nest a little bit.  We are having a party in a few weeks and I feel like the place needs some fluffing! It was a BEAUTIFUL day today....a perfect windows down, radio up day.  (My dusty dashboard is so gross! Sorry!)

3:45pm:  Here I am!  I found a perfect big clock for my kitchen, so I was really excited.  It was really pricy by Hobby Lobby standards, but it was what I have been looking for over the past several weeks in MANY different stores around town, so I was pretty excited.  (In the end, I deemed it way too expensive and a little bit too large, so it ended up going back to the store.)

4:25pm:  Back at Nana's house, I discovered this sweet girl playing in Nana's basement.  I was informed that she did not want to take a nap today (which sometimes happens when she is napping somewhere else), so I knew things could get a little bit dicey in the hours ahead.  We still had a few more events in our day, so I said a little prayer and packed up our stuff.

4:35pm:  This is what was happening while I was gathering our stuff.  Lily LOVES to spin in Papa's office chair.  She and Nana have this whole little thing where Nana sings some cute songs while gently spinning Lily around while Lily giggles.  It is really cute and Lily always races back to Papa's office before we leave so she can have a quick twirl.

5-6pm:  We met Joe at church this evening for the Good Friday "service."  Our church has recently started this little "experience" where you walk from station of the cross to station of the cross learning about what Jesus experienced and what the times were like back in those days.  This year, they had a time for kids where they had people in costumes telling stories about that particular station of the cross.  It was really cool.  Lily got a little bit spooked by the Roman guard and started getting weepy and clingy so we moved on pretty quickly from that guy and she just snuggled me the entire time which of course I did not mind.  I knew she was tired, so I was just glad she chose to snuggle vs. melting down.  

(there's my giant new clock)

6:15pm:  This was a stellar day for me in the sense that I had double booked us and did not even realize it until my pal Dave -Lily's absolute BFF- (above) informed me that I was looking at the basketball schedule in Eastern Time when I made some of our evening plans.  Seriously! Who does that?!  Let me explain.  

We have a group of friends and their kiddos who all live in the same general area of town.  We all like to get together and share a meal while the kiddos play- usually about once a month.  Different people host and it is a great time of getting everyone together.  Well tonight was one of those nights.  Our friends were hosting after the Good Friday services and with little ones, the events never go too late,  so I had invited some other friends over to watch some March Madness basketball AFTER that dinner gathering.  The Jayhawks (my favorite team) were playing and I was SUPER excited that they were playing on a Friday evening and it just seemed like the perfect way to end the week...friends, food, basketball...and according to the schedule (in my mind) it would all work out perfectly!

Well, by MY accounting, the Jayhawks did not tip off until a little bit later in the evening (like 7:30ish), so it was going to work out perfectly for us to stop by our friends house for an early dinner and then have everyone over for the game a little bit later.  But Dave informed me that no, the Jayhawks tipped off an hour earlier because I had made my plans based on Eastern Time!  I wish I could say it was the most "blonde" thing I had done, but I can't even say that! (More on that later)  But anyways, after getting over my initial embarrassment, I had to cancel our plans to join our friends for dinner telling everyone what I had done and then explain to our basketball watching friends to come over earlier yada yada...I just looked ridiculous to everyone.  Luckily I have good friends who just rolled with everything, but I hated to miss out on the fun dinner gathering, but also did not want to miss the basketball game- not to mention, Lily was running on fumes, so in the end, it all probably worked out for the best being home earlier- but still.  SHEESH! Not my most shining moment to say the least!

7:45pm: Settled on the couch watching the Jayhawks (lose! boo!) with a nice glass of wine with my friends.  Lily is long in bed by now and I'm just enjoying putting my feet up and relaxing while watching some March Madness- my favorite sporting event of the year!  Life is good!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Week in the Life- Thursday(s) in March

Today is Thursday and I'm writing this on the second Thursday in a row that I have completely forgotten to document (3/14/13 and 3/21/13).  I am serious when I say that I completely forgot.  It was not until late in the afternoon both days that I realized that I did not take one photograph or write anything down all day (and again!). I cannot be sure, but I think part of my forgetting to document the "every day" normal things that have been happening on these Thursdays is partially due to the fact that well, some pretty big and emotional things have been happening that I'm not exactly sure how to document or if I even want to document them for that matter.  

For two straight weeks my early Thursday mornings have been a blur of doctor appointments; some uncomfortable, some emotional, while others have been more "routine."  I don't plan on writing much about the specific details of these appointments or where we are in this whole infertility process here on the blog and I'm sure you can understand why. I'm honestly still working on trying to figure it all out for myself.  But I will share with you a few things I have learned so far...

Infertility is really personal and painful.  I'm convinced that despite their best efforts and deep compassion, people who have never dealt with this type of loss or struggle themselves, will never fully understand what it is like.  There is grief, hope, pain, vulnerability, darkness, isolation, fear, and wondering.  There is this worry in your heart that all of these feelings, and this state of being will be with you forever...that you will never leave this dark, shadowy valley.  That there is no end in sight.  That this is how your story will end...forever sad, forever feeling a giant loss and tremendous ache.

It is easy to spin off into the "what if" world of various scenarios and plunge into the deep abyss of emotion that goes with them...but that is never a good thing. So I have been working on trying to be peaceful about where we are.  Accepting.  Giving myself grace to feel what I'm feeling, but letting Jesus carry the weight of it all...trusting that He is with us and is writing a good story here...and that the reason it's not good yet is because its not over yet!  This inspires me to keep keep climbing this mountain.  I cannot say that every day I'm peaceful about where we are, but I'm working on it!

In this process, your body does not feel like your own.  It is poked, prodded, injected, charted, studied, medicated, measured, discussed, scheduled, timed...and everything about this process feels invasive.  I look around the waiting room in my doctor's office and just want to strike up a conversation with the women there because I know they speak my new "language."  I want to tell them that I am sorry they are there and that I am whispering prayers for their future babies and for their broken hopeful hearts.  But no one makes eye contact.  No one speaks and no one connects with one another.  It is a deeply personal, sad and isolating condition.

On more than one occasion, I have returned home from an early morning appointment in tears, brimming over with emotions I cannot control just wanting to crawl back into bed and cry for a few hours wondering, "How did we get here?"  and "Why?" But my reality is that my day at home is only just beginning when I walk back through the door.  Lily is freshly awake after a 12 hour sleep and BUSTING with energy.  My sweet little gal does not understand my heartache or my longing to be still and think or be alone and write or just feel sad for a little while.  She wants to go-go-go and wants my full attention.  Those have been my toughest days....feeling like I do not have the time or the permission to process these experiences for myself in the way that I need to the most in the moment that they are occurring.  

For me, those days have felt impossible, but somehow, from somewhere deep within I have managed to keep moving forward...and maybe that is actually for the best.  With Lily requiring my best and and my all each day, I really have not been "allowed" to wallow or get too stuck in my own thoughts of doubt, fear, self-pity, worry or angst.  My feet have been on the floor, my arms open to Lily and we have just played through my tears.  She is a wonderful companion and does not seem to mind.  She does not know it, but she has been a life-giver for me and it is impossible to express the countless times I have whispered "Thank you, Jesus" for all of the ways he has blessed me through her beautiful life. I'm a lucky, lucky woman and Lily, along with her Daddy, are a constant reminder to me of His goodness- even when I feel most forgotten and unlovable.  Thank you, Jesus.

So instead of prolonging this project one more week to document a "normal" Thursday, I decided to just write a little about what has been going on that was too difficult to document with photos and little commentary. I am working hard on embracing how these hard days are part of our journey toward meeting our next littlest family member and are a part of our "normal" right now.  I celebrate how that little one will have a story that is unique and all their own.  I continue to work on remembering it all so I can tell them over and over how much they are deeply wanted and truly loved before they even got here....especially on some tough Thursdays in March.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Week in the Life: Wednesday, March 6, 2013

*Note:  I have been writing this A Week in the Life series one day a week for the past several weeks.  When the day arrived for Wednesday's entry (February 27, 2013), we were all sick, my phone's storage capacity was full, we were snowed in and I was feeling less than energized about the project.  So for those of you paying close attention, I decided to wait a week, and document the next Wednesday... hence the gap in the dates.

6:15am: Wednesday mornings are always busy in our household. Lily and I attend a mother's group at our church and the first Wednesday of the month is always a delicious potluck brunch day there, so that generally means that I am up extra early cooking a dish to share.  In the wee hours, its a challenge, but brunch days are the BEST!

Today I made my go-to recipe for a fast, easy, delicious dish.  It's Paula Deen's Granite Steps Blueberry Coffee Cake.... I did all of the prep work and then headed upstairs to get ready, so it was ready to put into the oven after I was dressed and back down stairs.

8am:  Here is Lily hanging out with Dad.  Joe is very sweet and on Wednesdays he goes into work a few minutes later than normal so he can help watch Lily and get her dressed for the day and give me time to actually shower and get ready so I can feel like a "normal person" at Mother's Together.  It is a gift and I'm very thankful! when I found them in the kitchen they were reading the American Girl catalog.  Lily loves to read these when they come in the mail.  She just enjoys looking at the pictures of the dolls and has no expectation or understanding that you can actually order one and have one at your house!  It is a great stage of innocence and it is so much fun to see what she notices and points out on the bright and colorful pages.

8:30am:  The coffee cake is coming out of the oven, Lily is in her playroom and I'm trying to wrangle everything and finish getting shoes and coats and bags and such ready to leave in a few minutes.

8:40am: We are loaded up with coat and shoes ready to roll!  Here is my view when I look into the backseat.  Lily still faces backwards in her carseat and does well with this.  She's now big enough that she can see out the window while we are driving and loves to look outside and talk about what she is seeing.  I'm excited for when she turns two and can face forward, but part of my heart is not quite ready because that too will be a bittersweet milestone in her world...she's really not a baby anymore!

...I'm a big fan of playlists and music, so here is a glimpse of the music we were listening to in the car this morning. It's from my playlist called "between the rains..."

9am: On Wednesday mornings, I always treat myself to a Starbucks coffee on my way to Mother's Together.  It just feels like a special treat for me and I look forward to it!

9:10am:  Here is Lily in her classroom.  She is one of the first kiddos there today.  It is cute to see her making little friends and playing in her element....

9:40am:  In all of my social-ness, I completely forgot to document the giant brunch buffet spread and my full plate of yummy food!  Brunch days are the best once you get there and get settled in-the hassle and extra juggling is always worth it.

9:15-11:15am: Mother's Together is 2 hours long and today we had some great teaching from the book of John along with some discussion questions for our group.

11:40am:  Back at home for lunch, followed by a good nap!

1:30pm:  I spent nap time today working on new baby gifts.  I volunteer at our church to help prepare these bags and reach out to new mothers.  I was really behind in doing this, so I got caught up and also spent some time "re-stocking" my supplies.  A woman volunteers to make these beautiful baby blankets to go in the gift bags, so I spent some time rolling those, and stuffing some envelopes with some welcome info...

2:45pm: then I spent some time scrolling around Pinterest looking for ideas for Lily's birthday party.  I don't really have a plan or an idea for what I want to do for her this year, so it was mainly a time of zoning out and looking at the amazing things other people have done.

3:05pm:  Lily wakes up and is ready to go!

....part way through her nap, I realized that I had forgotten to give her her ear medicine, so I gave her some meds before she got out of her bed...MUCH easier to contain her that way! Lily wanted to read some books after waking up, so we spent some time reading her counting books.  She loves these books right now.  She loves to find a '4' in one book and then look in the other two books to find the '4's and then matches them all together.  She is getting really good at it and wants us to give her numbers to  "Can you find the 2?"  And then she will find the '2' in all three books... kind of amazing how all of the sudden her little brain knows how to do this!

3:25pm:  We went downstairs for a snack, drink and some fun in the playroom... is our self-portrait of the day....

...a few weeks back, I had ordered Lily a new hat for next winter and it had arrived in the mail today.  Lily saw it an immediately wanted to put it on (and did not want to take it off)!  She looks super cute in it!

3:45pm:  Lily and I did some prep work for dinner.  We made a marinade for some chicken.  We are trying a new recipe tonight for Thai Honey Peanut Chicken.... we'll see how it turns out!

4:05pm: We are headed over to visit Nana and Papa for a little bit....notice the hat..she did not want to take it off!  I could not resist!

4:25pm: Having fun at Nana and Papa's!

...Lily loves to write these days...

6pm:  Back home and dinner is made.  It turned out really yummy and is super delicious!  We will be having this again! Lily loved it too!

7pm:  Lily is down for the night after her bath and the kitchen is getting cleaned up.  Joe headed out to our church's First Wednesday service and my pal, Janine came over for some good catch up time.  It was a chilly night out, so we enjoyed some hot tea and good conversation.  It was a great way to end the day!