Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blog Anniversary

On this day last year I went public with my blog. It took me a few weeks to write the story of Audrey's very brief visit here, and gain the courage to share it. As I sit now and think back on those days I see a stark contrast to who I am now in some ways but some things have remained the same. I was a very private person and it was hard for me to be so vulnerable at first. I took the risk of starting a blog because I was desperate for a release. I had so much inside I needed to just get out into the atmosphere. I've been journaling for years and it became time for a new level. Now I feel like my life is an open book and I'm pretty okay with that. I know now that I'm not a freak, many others have and are experiencing the same range of thoughts and emotions. That makes it easier to write whatever comes to mind, and I put a lot less pressure on myself. I started out a baby blogger and now I feel as though I've made it through elementary, I kind of feel that way about my grief too.

I started with the title of my blog being Faith, Hope and Loving Audrey. I don't remember the day I decided to shorten it and I never mentioned it here I just did it. And the reason, well, this space along with my life became less about faith and hope than it was about loving Audrey. I longed for hope, and struggled to keep faith. Do I still? Sure I do. I used to feel ashamed of that, hence the title change. I no longer felt the content was worthy of such a title. Those first months after we lost Audrey I felt close to God, I felt like all I had was faith, then suddenly He felt so distant- I became distant. I started to doubt all that I believed, I lost hope for my future. I was being swallowed up by my tsunami sized grief as I explained in this post.  Now the image that comes to mind is more like me carrying my grief in a hobo bag that is actually kind of pretty. I've managed to contain it in a bag that is always with me, and at times I trip and fall, the contents spill out all over, but nonetheless I can carry it now, instead of it carrying me. I can look at the contents whenever I want, I can set the bag down when it is too heavy and I can do so in public or in private. My faith and hope are slowly being restored-they look different now. Maybe more realistic. Maybe I have a more accurate understanding of who God really is and who I am in and through Him. But I'm still here,still working it out, it still hurts.

I'm interested in exploring what the next year will bring and how the tone and content of my blog may change. Change is in the air and I feel good about it. I'm not okay going about it without Audrey but I'm learning to accept that I don't have a choice. I can't bring her back and I'm tired of wishing I could. I won't forget her but I must keep going and give my life room for joy. That means giving less time to the grief that tries to steal all of my attention. It's hard, I've given all of my attention to the grief, but now I feel the pressure of setting boundaries, though it feels like a healthy step to take. So here's to the end of one blog year and on to the beginning of a new....

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 30

A dream for the future~
I have always loved traveling! My dream is to see more of this world, period. I'm open to going anywhere, anywhere at all. I love flying, I love learning new languages (I'm not fluent in any other), and I love people! I'd love to afford to travel to many places in a leisurely fashion, but I also think it would be awesome to work for an artist or band and tour with them for a year. That could actually happen and is more likely than me coming up with money to say... tour Europe for 3 months.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 29

My hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days~

That's a lot to think about considering I'm learning to take life one day at time. But, for the sake of this post I'll venture beyond.....

My biggest hope is to bring home my rainbow baby and successfully manage being a mom to her and Audrey.
The second, to continue being married. I know that probably seems weird to include in the list, but I can't just take it for granted. I feel like it has to be intentional now more than ever to work on our marriage remaining.
I hope to make more money these next 365 days than I did the last.
I hope to continue on the creative journey that I have been expressing myself through these days.
And I plan on getting back into really good shape. I miss working out. I miss running. I miss feeling physically fit.
That's all I have.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 28

What is in my purse ~

Okay, so I dumped it out but I had to arrange it a little...yep that is a pile of receipts under my sunglasses. I thought a picture would be a lot more interesting than telling you in words.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 27

My worst habit since Audrey's death ~

I avoid the world. If I don't have to do something or be somewhere I will stay in my pj's, not do my hair or makeup and I'll even avoid phone calls. I shut out everyone and everything and revert to my little corner, the blog world.  I can easily spend an entire day this way....or at least until my husband comes home, then I have to cook and talk out loud. Then, I feel bad for 'letting myself go' although Jamie has never said that.

That's probably the worst habit. I do have others.

Day 26

My week in great detail ~

I am actually having a very busy week so I'm behind and I will sum it up pretty quick, instead of giving great detail. Now, this is an ever changing schedule like I mentioned in my 'day' post.
Sunday ~ Jamie bathed dogs while I changed sheets & dog beds, did a few loads of laundry, and baked a cake. In the afternoon we watched a movie, I napped then we headed to a new friend's house for dinner, then home for me to get on my call for the Threads of Hope Bible Study.
Monday ~ OB appointment in the am, along with making and returning phone calls. Ran errands came home for lunch and more laundry, then off to a Chiropractor appointment. When I came home I discovered a box on my doorstep, it was the Still Life Travel Journal!!!! Opened it up and was SOOO excited, but had to make dinner instead of diving into the contents fully. After dinner I watched TV while I started on a candle order and of course looked at the travel journal and marveled at all it included. And of course I made some time for blogs.
Tuesday~ Worked diligently on my piece for the journal and a few candle orders. Did dishes and more laundry (I do one load at a time, so it's never really complete) plus I didn't do much laundry last week so I have more this week. =0 Talked to my sister on the phone for 45 minutes.... In the evening I worked in the salon, threw together a pizza and crashed on the couch in front of the TV.
Wednesday~ woke up at the crack of dawn for no good reason. Tackled some computer work (perfecting salon website, struggled to fix my pay pal button for blog, returned emails and fb messages). Finished candles and packaged up the travel journal. Took them all to the post office. Took a nap and ate TWO chocolate bars! Well I didn't mention that I had eaten breakfast and lunch, so the nap and chocolate came in the afternoon. Did some dishes, cooked dinner and am now blogging.I will probably go put away MORE laundry after I am done.
Thursday~ in the morning I will clean the house or at least start and get through a few rooms. In the afternoon I'll meet a friend for a walk. Then I'll come back to do some hair in the evening.
Friday ~ This is my usual busiest salon day, so it will be spent between the salon and on in between this is why if you see- what seems like- me on fb all day, that's why, because that is how I kill time when my appointments aren't back to back. It rarely happens that they are because I over-shoot the amount of time I'll need for each appt. (remember the OCD post) because I can't stand being behind/late.
Saturday~ Salon in the am. Freelance hair and makeup for a photo shoot out of town in the afternoon and into the early evening. Home to host Jamie's cousins for a backyard bonfire with roasted marshmallows and smores.....fingers crossed for the appropriate weather. =)

Well, that's it in a nutshell, like I said this is not detailed but I can't imagine anyone would really wanna know much more.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 25

My day in great detail ~

 When I am getting out of bed I put my right foot out first, then swing my left leg over, both feet go into my slippers, then...... No really, I'll stop right there.  Can ya tell I'm feeling a little sacrcastic tonight? Some days are incredibly boring, well I'm not bored but I can't imagine you caring to read about my activities on some days. Others are quite exciting like Saturday for instance. I have no schedule, my schedule is my clients' schedule- whenever someone needs my services that is when I work. It keeps it interesting, I don't love doing the same routine every day. Routine has it's benefits but for the most part I enjoy the adventure of each week being different. Anyway here goes:
5:15 am wake up, get ready and head out of the house for a freelance client.
6:45 arrive, apply makeup, style hair and go back home/salon
9:00 first salon client
11:00 break time, join my husband on the couch as he watches movies through Netflix instant stream.
12:00 eat lunch, continuing to veg on the couch
2:30 back into the salon to prepare for next client
3:00 client
4:00 client
5:00 client
5:30 eat dinner that my dear husband started preparing
6:25 leave for another freelance client
6:40 arrive at hotel, attempt to valet park by unloading makeup chair, case & hair bag. Valet wanted to move my car and it didn't start. UGH. I will now be late (which I HATE) so in order to get my car out of the valet lane I have to do a little trick to re-set my car's computer that takes TEN minutes. I call my client who is waiting upstairs to say I'm here but gonna be late to come upstairs. HOW EMBARRASSING! All the while my car is re-setting - BTW- I must have key in ignition for this, sitting there looking like I'm doing nothing- a lovely valet girl is inside the hotel holding/ guarding all my stuff instead of parking other people's cars who were also waiting for me who is taking up the whole lane because I was in the middle enough to not allow for anyone to get in behind or in front of me. Yeah, nice huh? I finally made it through the excruciatingly long ten minutes and Ms. Valet told me to pull around to other side of hotel and just park in a no park zone and she wasn't going to tow or charge me. Phew, how nice! Then I was escorted by a bell hop who helped me carry all my stuff to my clients suite. Yeay for nice people... and I will definitely recommend this hotel!
7:00 apply makeup, style hair and do so professionally yet hurried-ly ( if that is even a word). Because I am making her late for her evening.
8:00 leave hotel and head to the grocery store
9:15 arrive home, unload groceries (find my hubby has left so I must do all the grocery work myself, poor me)
10:00 hit the shower and watch tv as dear husband comes home
11:45 wake up from the couch and drag my exhausted fat butt to bed.

Day 24

Where I live ~

I live in Des Moines Iowa - what I feel is one of the most misunderstood places of America. We are not potato farmers, that is Idaho. In fact I'm not a farmer at all, nor have I or any of my family ever been anything remotely close. Don't get me wrong I have nothing against farming, it's just that in my travels and living in larger places such as LA I've heard people say the most incorrect and stereo typical things about my home state. And those who do the hard work of farming here are commonly into corn, dairy, and pork, although we have probably every type of agriculture throughout the state. We also have an increasingly large number of vineyards...that's right, Iowans make wine too. The population here (the capital) is a little over 500,000. Des Moines is the place for the insurance and finance industries. During the two years surrounding an election this is the place to meet any presidential candidate of your choosing as we hold the caucuses, a major event in nominating the president. This place is literally crawling with campaign offices, flyers and signage galore. We are becoming more and more diverse every day, which I love! In the 7 years since I moved back I've seen this place grow tremendously in every way. We have a few cool areas with great boutique shopping and awesome restaurants. There are many hidden talents here such as phenomenal, salon &spas, photographers, tattoo artists and clothing designers. We have art galleries, a great music scene and awesome events. And yes we rank pretty high for our annual art festival and our downtown farmers market (rightfully so, seeing how we are a farming state). There immigrants from many different countries coming to our area as well, which I love to see. That was my favorite part of living in a major metropolis- meeting people from all over the world and learning about their cultures. Oh, yes and then there is education...our public school system leaves a lot to be desired, not unlike the rest of America, but we have some pretty great colleges throughout our state. So annnnyyyway, my immediate neighborhood consists of mostly Caucasian middle- aged families and our block is mostly retired folks. So, needless to say it's pretty peaceful and quiet here. I like it. It's taken me a long time to appreciate it because I miss the ocean SOOOO bad, but the cost of living is much more practical for us here and I've come to accept a slower pace. We won't stay for the rest of our lives though, one day we'll move closer to a coast.
I guess what I'm trying to say is Des Moines is not so bad, there is quite a bit to do here. The state of Iowa has a lot to offer as a whole... with beautiful lakes too- for you nature lovers. I'm trying to convince you that this would be a good place to visit! Heck, this would be a great place to consider moving if you 're looking to re-locate. ;)
Well, this is where I live!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day 23

A YouTube video that makes me laugh ~

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day 22

A website that has been meaningful to me since my loss ~

 Uh, how about every single one of the blogs I follow!?
 I can't say there is one website that has been meaningful from the beginning but Faces of Loss has meant a lot to me since it began this summer, for all they are doing to raise awareness and allow us a place to tell our stories in one place. Still Life 365 has been a wonderful place to see others express their grief,  a place where everyone's artistic expression is accepted. And ...Glow in the Woods...what a wonderful compilation of articles by various writers who so eloquently put into words what we in the baby loss community universally go through!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 21

A recipe ~
I hate cooking.Although I hate it, I do it because it is cheaper and healthier than eating out. I put together the easiest things I can for dinners. I like to use very few ingredients for meals. Baking is another story, as you saw in my post a few days ago. There is one recipe that I feel is share worthy because I fell in love with Cuban food from Versailles, a wonderful restaurant in Los Angeles, and I had to learn to make some Cuban food when I moved back to Iowa. There are no Cuban restaurants here. So I did online searches for a similar dish I would order there that was my fav. So here it is (and it is more than a few ingredients).

Carne Con Papas

2 lbs. beef stew meat
3 white or yellow potatoes
15oz. tomato juice
32oz. beef broth
1/2 small white onion
1/2 green bell pepper
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. Spanish saffron (yes, I use a lot, you don't have to use as much -I love the strong flavor)
pinch of salt

Chop green pepper, onion, and garlic finely or put in a food processor (that is what I do). Heat olive oil in pressure cooker on medium heat. Saute green pepper,onion,garlic,cumin and saffron & cook for about a minute then stir in tomato juice and broth. Bring to simmer, add the beef and potatoes. Cover with lid of pressure cooker  and cook under pressure for about 30-45 minutes.

Serve over jasmine or basmati rice. I also warm up some black beans with a dash of vinegar and onion powder added. And when I have been really ambitious or craving the full dish. I also fry up some plantains, mmm mmm good!

I went out and bought a pressure cooker just for this recipe- that's just how much I HAD to get me some Cuban food! This might discourage you from trying this recipe but I tell you a pressure cooker is definitely worth having  if you don't already. I also make beef stew and chicken curry in mine. It makes meat soooooo tender! They only cost about $25 and it comes with very thorough instructions that I suggest following. If I can do it anybody can!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 20

A hobby of mine and how it has changed since my loss ~

A hobby I've always had but have gone years between practicing is painting, drawing, and crafting. What has changed about it is that I need it now more than ever. I need to lose myself in whatever it is I'm creating 1) because it allows me to take my mind off of the grief. 2) It can help me dive fully into the grief and express it where I might not find words for it. 3) I find a sense of accomplishment which in turn brings about some freedom, some healing.

A painting I submitted to Still Life 365 representing all that I lost when Audrey died.

A lamp shade I recently made. It was plain white. I added all the fabric and made the rosettes.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 19

A talent of mine ~

Hmm, well since tomorrow's post is about a hobby which is closely related to my talent, I'll go with the less obvious...the thing that you wouldn't know about me. I make cakes for my family's birthdays, mostly the kids but I've tried my hand at adult versions. I'm still perfecting my fondant techniques but I guess you could call it a talent of mine. I hate cooking but love to bake and I'm good at baking about anything I've made so far. You won't be able to taste but I'll give you a look....

For my niece's 2nd birthday...and my 2nd try at fondant icing.

For my mom's 1st try at 2 different kinds of fondant.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 18

My wedding ~

Let me start by saying Jamie and I met in high school. A mutual friend revealed that he had a crush on me. He being too shy and didn't approach me, so I took the initiative to talk to him more and see if I was interested. After a few rides to and from play practice and home he asked me to go to a football game with him. At the game I sat with him and some of my girlfriends, us girls all decided he was too nice and a little nerdy for this bad boy lovin' girl. I was so rude to the poor guy and after that night he didn't speak to me again. Fast forward to 2003. I had just moved home from California. It was a funny chance encounter where my sister had been meeting up with some guy friends who had motorcycles, I told her I wanted a ride. So, she asked one of them if the next time they all got together I could have a ride. One agreed. She then told me  "Hey, you might know this guy, his name is Jamie etc. etc." I say, "Yeah, I know him. Did you tell him who I am? Cause he probably thinks I'm a real b*@!h and won't want to give me a ride!" I  proceeded to tell her about high school. So she informed him of who I am. Surprisingly he still agreed saying that indeed I was not nice to him, but he would trust that my sister was being truthful in saying how I'd changed. The night I met him again he pulled up in his truck, driving past the meeting spot on his way home from work to get his motorcycle. I will never forget the thought that ran through my mind. "Holy crap, he's grown up to be so cute! Oh, God help me I might be in trouble with this one!" Yep, I got butterflies in my stomach the moment I saw him. I had no intention of dating anyone, I had plans to stay in Iowa for about a year then go back to California. Needless to say those plans sure did change. It was really ironic too how I began working in theatre as we started dating. I hadn't been involved in theatre since high school. We got engaged in July 05. He proposed while we were on a trip to Chicago it was as romantic as it could be out on the Navy Pier at 98 degrees and record high humidity, completely sweaty. The poor guy, I've put him through so much. Not only did I reject him in high school I did it again a year after we were dating. He asked me to marry him once and I said no, broke up with him, got back  together and broke up with him a second time, then back again. I decided around Christmas time of 04 that I was worthy of a nice loyal man who cherished me and to stop jerking him around. I told him so and it took him 7 months to propose again which I don't blame him for - but can you believe I had a deadline in my head that if he didn't ask me again by such and such date I was outta there. Now I roll my eyes at myself. I had a feeling when we went on that trip that he might propose. He made me wait until Sunday, our very last stop to confirm my suspicion. He won't admit it, but I think he feared that I might say no again and he didn't want to ruin the whole weekend. Again, can't blame the guy. So here we are....

My handsome man

Goofing around

His parents, who are no longer on this earth with us.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 17

An art piece that moves me ~

I recently found this artist through another baby loss mom on SO many of her pieces move me. I wish I could afford to buy all that apply to motherhood and grief! This just nails it for me, what a picture of this past year, me feeling dark and vulnerable with my heart just hanging out there for all the world to see, yet I'm hiding my face because I can't bear the thoughtless comment or look of disappointment coming from anyone. And some days I might be hanging my head in shame...shame for the way I my body failed Audrey, shame for the way in which I am grieving her loss and how that is affecting everyone in my life.

Please Be Kind

Please Be Kind

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day 16

A song that makes me cry or nearly ~

 My question is.... On what day? This past year I've cried to anything from "Every Rose Has It's Thorn" by Poison to Louise Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World."  Then there's the song from Audrey's funeral, and a song from my grandma's funeral, and another my aunt sang to me up to the day she died. I'm sorry but I'm gonna have to be kinda lame and not really answer this one. There are just too many variables. Most songs just don't hold the same meaning for me anymore either.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 15

Double Post Day!, what do I like about my house?

I have a love/ hate relationship with our house. It is a home that was built in 1932, a ranch style. It has been "added onto" twice. It was once the farm house of an apple orchard. I love that our house has tons of history and that it happens to be the only one of it's kind for blocks around, due to the fact the farmers slowly sold pieces of the original land over many years, I believe starting in the 50's. It's kind of cool to think about how we are in the heart of the city and all my neighbors' houses and the surrounding streets were once apple trees instead. What I hate is the mess! We are updating it and by that I mean gutting it, re-designing parts of it and putting it all back together. The process is grueling. My husband is amazing though, he can do all the construction and he does it well, so I like what we have done so far. We just pick an area rip it up, make it pretty, take a break for awhile, then it's on to the next area. We've been here for 4 years and we are over halfway done with the remodel. All that is left is the kitchen and living room, then the outdoor siding. We hoped to have it all complete by now but decided to do it as we could pay for it rather than get a loan or put it on credit cards. So, without further ado I'll share some pictures with you.

The dining room

My husband's best work...vaulting the ceiling

And my favorite...a screened in patio in the back, just off the dining room.
I'm glad we are doing these thirty posts and that this is one of them. So often I look at all that still needs to be done with such dread. But, I am proud of what my husband has accomplished, and doing this really helped me appreciate how far we've come.Maybe I'll dig out the disk of "before" to show you at some point. And really I do have the easier job of picking the colors and painting, and adding all the decorative elements. By the way, the dining room rarely looks so clean as it serves as my art studio most days. 

I Remember

Today I remember our babies with all of you. I am so pleased to see filled with love and honor for all those lives that mean something to us. To recognize that we need not be silent, that it's okay to talk about them. Being a part of this community for a year now, I see the great strides we've taken to gain voices for the children we mourn. I can only imagine what next year will bring! It is so sad to think that we will add to our family in great numbers by next year's Remembrance Day.

Last Sunday my husband and I went on a walk to remember. It was a small walk- like around the building- on a hospital campus. About 300 people attended which was the largest turn out they had ever had in the eleven years they've hosted. They had a beautiful ceremony with songs, poetry readings, a harpist playing, all in an auditorium lit only by candlelight. They gave each family a white rose with a white ribbon where you could write a message. As soon as I saw the white roses my eyes welled up with tears, that's Audrey's thing- roses, white or soft pink. White particularly because that was what our hospital taped to our door to let others know we had a baby who died. And pink because I received so many pink roses from the moment I was admitted and on through her funeral. So, as I was saying the ceremony was beautiful, I shed many tears and at times I wanted to lay on the floor and just have an ugly, gut bellowing cry- you know the kind you would reserve for home alone. I left feeling rather disappointed though. The ceremony took place first then the walk, and last we placed our roses in a memorial garden and spoke our babies' names into a microphone as we laid them at the base of an angel statue. That was also beautiful.
What left me wanting was the walk. As some of you who've been following me for the duration know, I wanted to plan a walk. I thought there wasn't one in our area, then I found out about this one so I felt there would be no need for another. I guess what I'm getting at is after thinking about this for a week I still think I want to put one together, I imagine getting the community involved, one where we really walk - in public. Not hidden, not where only the people coming and going from the hospital see us. Not one where only couples who've lost and their children attend. One where we get teams together (our entire families) to wear t-shirts that represent our babies. One that is announced on the news not just at the hospital and funeral homes. This is not a new idea, it's what cities across the country are doing. We are behind- like most things, being in a state were our biggest cities are a far cry from being big metropolises. I'm writing all this to get your opinions and any ideas. I hate to compete with one of the three hospitals but I really think we can do better. I would be willing to work with the hospital if it weren't for the politics. Too many people are left out- this is a Catholic hospital and it was a very Catholic ceremony. Where does that leave everyone else who didn't give birth there, or are from rural areas, or are uncomfortable with a religious ceremony? Like I said I'm open to comments, I welcome them, I'm kind of begging for them! What should I do, where should I begin?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day 14

A non-fictional book that is meaningful to me since my loss~

Drops Like Stars by Rob Bell. The description of the book is just this, " A few thoughts on creativity and suffering."  It is a very short book but packs much punch, gives you something to chew on for a while. This book touches my soul on a level I cannot fully articulate. I've written a little about it here before. At the time when I bought it, it came as a  large hard cover book, now a paperback is available with some beautiful photography, and includes only 6 chapters-but not what we normally call a chapter, one page may have one sentence on it and the next seven, then before you know it it's on to the next chapter. He quotes artists and writers and brings together the art of life, he makes suffering beautiful and honest.Of course I would recomend this book to anyone as a good buy but if you are too broke or reluctant, you could sit at B&N and read it within an hour, that's sitting and pausing between his thoughts to get all philosophical -that's what I do anyway.

I've read a handful of other non-fiction books since losing Audrey but frankly, I can't remember enough about them to make mention. They were mostly self-help grief books that I know have made a difference in me- allowing me to see that all I've been going through is normal, which is good but not as meaningful to me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wow, I held a baby

So, another baby was born. We have become friends with a neighboring couple (mostly to the husband) in the few years we have lived next door to one another. We mostly talk to him because he is outside working in the yard, and we have attended a few of their 4th of July parties. Though they are only a few years older than us (we are starting late and they started waaaay early-like age 14) their daughter just gave birth to their first granddaughter. As you can imagine, they have been over the moon about it since the day they found out. We never really knew their daughter until about the last 3 months, and their whole family has been so excited that our babies will be playmates. Anyway....she was born the 1st. We got a text and a pic, which I thought would be the extent of our interactions until we ran into each other in passing. We said congrats, she's cute, you know the usual.
 I got a phone call the 4th.
Me: "hello?"
New father: "Hey, Michelle we are next door and are you busy-I mean we want u see our daughter, we wanted to come over but- well are you busy right now?!" reallllllly fast, I can hardly understand him.
Me: " Uh, well, um not really, sooo did you want to come here or you want me to come over there?
He: "It doesn't matter, we just want to show you!"
Me: "Well, um, how long did you plan to be there?"
He: "About another 30 minutes!"
Me: " Uh, let me just come over there, I'll uh be there in a few minutes." I say as I am looking out the window to see a lot of cars in front of grandparents' place and in the driveway.
I think to myself as I'm throwing on a pair of shoes "It will be okay, there are a lot of people there who will be passing the baby around, not too intimate- probably won't draw attention to the fact I won't hold her. I'll  just be in and out. Besides, sounds like they have somewhere else to be soon."
As I walk in the door, around the corner comes mama and baby. Baby is dropped into my arms, while she says, "wanna hold her?"
Uh wow okay, I'm holding the baby! Interesting that even in the midst of grief and fear of holding a baby my reflexes didn't break. I put my arms out like anyone would when you have a baby in your bubble. I imagined that going down differently.
Surprisingly, I did okay. The blood rushed into my cheeks and I got very hot and couldn't sit down once again. But I held her and looked at her. I'm glad that's over with. One little thing at a time right? That was probably the best way it could have happened. I wonder if they did it on purpose because all those visitors were around the corner in the kitchen when I entered the front. There were only three of us in that huge living room, yet everyone else seemed to be crammed into the kitchen. It surprised me so much when new father called me because he never has and he talked to me like we were best friends. I literally walked over there in shock. Then it was shocking to be handed the baby like I was such an important person, they were just waiting to introduce her to. I feel like I was just adopted into their family without knowing. The best part is I was able to talk about Audrey while holding her and the parents didn't get all weirded out like a lot of people do. Who knew that long conversations in the yard - mostly just in passing, with new grandfather would lead to a little healing for my heart. Of course I thought of losing Audrey but more-so I was just happy that they got to bring their gift home.

Day 13

A fictional book that is meaningful to me since my loss ~

I have not read any fictional books since my loss. I couldn't fathom reading anything that is imaginative up to this point. I've done nothing but grasp for the truth, and search for reality-others' realities, and what is my new reality. I love to read! I've just been reading story after story of other moms who've lost- boring answer- I know.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day 12

Something I am OCD about~

Being late. I hate being late! If I am it's because something out of my control has happened or I really don't care about the thing to which I am late. For instance when I have grown to hate a job I tend to arrive 5-10 minutes late. Or if I have a family function that....well I'm gonna stop there in case someone in my family is reading. heh heh.... Annnyway, I like to be 5-10 minutes early.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 11

A photo of me recently and how I feel about seeing it now ~

 - A very recent photo (a week ago).This is my little sister and I.
She is about to have her 5th baby at the end of this month. So about how I feel....I feel two worlds colide. I am pregnant with my second rainbow and she with her 4th. She had a miscarriage with her first and has gone on to have perfect deliveries- all natural- with the rest. She is really good at being pregnant and bringing my nieces and nephews into the world -like she was made to make babies. I love her tremendously and would want nothing less for her. I on the other hand feel like I am not so good at this, but am holding my breath, hoping to be proven wrong. I hope I can look back on this picture in December and have joy. Joy because I am holding that rainbow and she hers, not grieving for another baby lost. I agreed to taking this picture because I thought, either way I'm gonna want to remember this and I hope it isn't because it will be a keepsake in another memory box.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 10

A photo taken of me more than 10 years ago and how I feel seeing it now ~

 First of all I can't believe I'm sharing this with all of you! But second, I had to so you too would see how fun I used to be.
Yes, I said I used to be. This picture was taken exactly 10 years ago- in the fall even. I was at 6 Flags Magic Mountain having a blast, acting very silly, I was living like a child in that moment- as you can see. When I look at this picture I grieve for that girl I once was. I can't imagine letting myself go like this- practically embarrassing myself. If you can't tell I was jumping up and down because we were finally going on a ride(can't remember which one) that I had been anticipating- totally acting like a kid!

I miss her. I feel like I don't even know her. Life has become so serious, so mundane, so GROWN UP. 

I was Miss Adventure, spontaneous, a little wild- in a good way! I could be uninhibited whenever I wanted to and without any substance- it was el naturel- let it all (personality) hang out and have fun!
Now it's all I can do to leave the house and when I do I'm the person you will definitely NOT notice, just blending in with the crowd.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Day 9

A photo I've taken since our loss~

Yes, here it is, her headstone arrived. I just took this photo about a week ago. Nothing drives home the reality that you are a parent to a dead child like a solid piece of granite spelling out the facts.
I love the font. Those are her actual feet. I came up with the quote-if you'd call it that- about the flower.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 8

A photo that makes me angry/sad ~

I think it speaks for itself. I am not this kind of Christian.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day 7

A photo that makes me happy~

My dogs are such a blessing to me. They bring me comfort and make me smile. This is my littlest doggie Lucy. I call her the queen because she rarely lays on the floor or any flat surface, she thinks she is royalty and must have a pillow or two or four...I can't seem to capture her on our bed where I have quite a few layers of pillows, where she is most of the time. She's just too cute!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 6

20 Things that calm me..

1. The ocean
2. A warm breeze
3. Sunshine on my shoulders
4. Keepsakes from my aunt and grandmother
5. My dogs
6. Music
7. My husband's hand on the small of my back
8. Fleece, chenille, and silk blend blankets
9. Chai tea
10. Community
11. A walk
12. Prayer and meditation
13. Solo road trips (with good music)
14.Writing and journaling
15. Creating something with my hands
16. Comforting others
17. Nostalgia
18. Stretching on my fitness ball
19. Escaping into a movie or t.v.
20. Hugs

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 5

My favorite quote~

This has changed. I am the type of person that goes through phases- I mean we all do but, for me it's pretty evident. I can look back on periods of time and have a song, outfit, quote, food and smell that I associate with whatever I was going through at that particular time in my life, whether it be happy or sad. Then I move on to my next phase, when I love something I love it til I'm sick of it or something comes up that is more interesting. There was a time when I lived in L.A. that I was dating a Latin boy named Carlos who loved Depeche Mode, now I've always been a Depeche fan but I now associate certain songs by them with him. Every time I spot a certain color of brown fall boot, it also takes me back to that time along with a plaid coat I still have and the smell of satsuma, that's what I wore that fall I dated him ever-so-briefly.
Does everyone do that?

Well, that was a a big bunny trail I took you on just to say that right now my favorite quote is:

"We are healed of suffering only by expressing it to the full." Marcel Roust

That is where I am in my life. I cannot deny the pain I am going through for anyone. I cannot down-play the affects of grief to make others comfortable because I WANT to heal. I NEED to heal, therefore I will express it fully.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Blog award

Hi all! I've had the honor of being nominated for this blog award not once, not twice but four times! Thank you to Alissa, Shandrea, Kara, and Kristie I am seriously behind on all that I wish to write. Life is looking kind of normal these days-I mean that in a way that would seem normal to an outsider that is, like a busy routine. So without further a do I will list my most newly viewed, blogs. Some of these ladies may have already been nominated, not sure.......

1. Post award on your blog along with the person's name who nominated you.
2. Pay it forward by nominating 10 other blogs that are new to you, and post with their links.
3. Contact those who you've nominated so they can accept and do the same.

Lula's mommy
OWS this blog is not about baby loss, but it is SOOO worth the reading. She is a beautiful, deeply spiritual woman who writes from her soul.

I hesitated to accept this because I hate the thoughts of leaving anyone out. I even considered listing my entire blog list but I simply don't have the time for that!

Ta ta for now!

Day 4

Day 4- My favorite book. Has it changed since my loss? No.

Years ago I read this book, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, I borrowed it from a friend. It has made the biggest impact on my life, it is the most memorable book I've read, and I've read many books, I'm an avid reader. This is a must read for every woman! We all desire to be loved unconditionally and this book is such a beautiful, well written love story. For those of you who aren't into fiction or Christian fiction, I say give it a shot anyway..I'll bet you won't be able to put it down either! In fact I need to get my own copy and read it again!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Thirty posts: D3

A television show that has helped me get through my loss or that moves me, is the TLC show Hoarders.

The reason I say this is because I watch all the same t.v. that I did before Audrey died. But during my 11 day stay in the hospital I watched marathons of that show. It broke my heart just as much as it grossed me out to see all that these hoarders were holding onto emotionally as well as physically. I hate to admit that it also made me feel a little better to be watching something that dealt with reality- reality that we humans are fragile and broken and imperfect. I felt so imperfect sitting there in that hospital room and by no means did I think I was better than the hoarders just suffering in a different way. I didn't want to escape my reality with comedy, I was sure of that and I pretty well knew that show was safe- in that I wouldn't see some happy family with a new baby. It was also shocking enough that it really did take me away from my life for a while, holding my attention, which even now is hard to accomplish.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Thirty posts: D2

Day two: *a movie that helped me get through my loss or that jumps out at me.*
I would have to say Couples Retreat jumps out at me, for no other reason than this is the first movie we went to see after our loss. I remembered sitting in the theatre and thinking about Audrey every few minutes. I had to keep telling myself to come back to the movie and when I would I would laugh, then I'd feel so weird laughing, it just felt wrong. I remember being so exhausted when it was over because it was such an effort to feel joy, sorrow, guilt, and confusion all at the same time. Any time I've walked past that movie in the video store it just takes me right back to that night.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Thirty posts in thirty days. D1

Like I said in my previous post, I am behind, I'm going to play catch up quick, because I really like this idea, now hopefully I can find the time to actually post each day.
Day one:
I have a hard time narrowing down one song that reminds me of Audrey, so many of them do now. I guess I have to say the "one" that would really srike a cord with me if I heard it play on the radio is With Hope by Steven Curtis Chapman. I chose this one because it is the one song we had played at her graveside service. If you want to hear it scroll down to my playlist it's on there.

And here is the list if you'd like to do this project as well.
still life with circles: Thirty posts in thirty days.:
"Day 1 - a song that reminds you of your child, or one that you can't listen to anymore and why.
Day 2 - a movie that helped you get through the hard times, or one that jumps out at you after your loss.
Day 3 - a television program that helped you either get through hard times or that moves you.
Day 4 - your favorite book. has it changed since your loss?
Day 5 - your favorite quote.
Day 6 - twenty things that calm you.
Day 7 - a photo that makes you happy.
Day 8 - a photo that makes you angry/sad.
Day 9 - a photo you took since your loss.
Day 10 - a photo taken over 10 years ago of you and how it makes you feel seeing it now.
Day 11 - a photo of you recently and how it makes you feel seeing it now.
Day 12 - something you are OCD about.
Day 13 - a fictional book that is meaningful to you since your loss.
Day 14 - a non-fictional book that is meaningful to you since your loss.
Day 15 - what you like about your house.
Day 16 - a song that makes you cry (or nearly).
Day 17 - an art piece (drawing, sculpture, painting, etc) that moves you.
Day 18 - my wedding/future wedding/past wedding.
Day 19 - a talent of yours.
Day 20 - a hobby of yours and how it changed since your loss.
Day 21 - a recipe.
Day 22 - a website that has been meaningful since your loss.
Day 23 - a youtube video that makes you laugh.
Day 24 - where you live
Day 25 - your day, in great detail
Day 26 - your week, in great detail
Day 27 - your worst habit since your child's death.
Day 28 - what's in your handbag/purse
Day 29 - hopes, dreams, and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 - a dream for the future"