Friday, October 25, 2013

Tribute to Hubby

Jon's birthday was 9/20/13 and he willingly drove hours to go see my sister's daughter (our niece) for her birthday the following day.  We went out to eat (Mexican of course) and then drove straight down to KC.  My mom had made a pumpkin pie and had it on our table in our room to surprise him! :)  I felt so blessed he was willing to make the drive/trip on his birthday to make the weekend special for me.  The week prior was a horrible week.  We had miscarried for the second time.  We had not been on a trip since March (the last time we went to KC before finding out we were pregnant with Taylor).  This time it was a good "moving on" trip.  A joy to be around family.  I blessing to get out of our usual routine.  Yes, we could have done some painting at the house or worked more on just everything that needs done on the house...but he did the trip for me. :)  We talked.  It was discussed.  My body had bounced back enough to make the trip.  It was worth it!  We got refreshed and renewed.  It was a wonderful weekend!

KC Zoo
Then I thought how wonderful he was and how he needs a blog post all to his own.  For me to share with you all about him.  Everything that he has meant to me this past year.  But I never got that post written.  Then today I thought about it again.  And I can't help but start to think back on the past THREE plus years with him! :)  We've had our ups and downs.  And through it all he has been RIGHT there with me.  For better and worse.  These moments we have gone through together.  He does deserve a post all about him.

As you all have read about by now, it's been a hard year for the both of us.  But the first couple years of our marriage wasn't bows and candy either!  It was more like "pathetic wife" and "I must learn to deal with emotions I've never known were even possible." 

Our first year of marriage was me learning how to be a house wife.  I was future-planing of bigger rooms and a nice house.  We were in a small one-bedroom apartment and it was not even $500/month.  Which is good for a college town.  But our neighbors were...well interesting.  One night I even heard my hubby say, "Umm, Mary, I haven't been telling you this but there has been a homeless guy living in the hallway of our building."  Someday these type of memories we can share with our kids and what newlywed life can be like!

living, office, dining room combo ;P

This first year of marriage also brought on stress because I did not have a job for the first eight or so months.  We had plenty of money but wanted to keep our savings account for larger expenses in the future.  I searched and searched, but my "picky" choosing was getting tough as time went on.  I knew I would need a job that I liked if I was going to do it until I became a mom.  That's when God led me to the best job.  EVER. :)  I'm so thankful...and through it all Jon stood by my side.  And the blessings were overflowing!!

Our second year of marriage we started off with a bang! :)  We were so thankful the first year wasn't crazy awful like some were giving us a heads up about!  We learned how to live together, communicate well, and learned a lot about family dynamics.  (Like my hubby does not like to use the vacuum like my daddy! or the way we enjoy our free time.)  Our communication couldn't get any better (and has gotten even better since).  We were getting a rhythm down on how we were going to do things our "own way" as starting our own family's ways of doing things.

Then we found out we were pregnant.

Our days changed forever.

He had to help me daily (more like hourly) on day to day things.  He even stopped by my work (the house where I was the nanny) to help me feed the kids and me, clean their house, and entertain them while I was leaning over the toilet or needing to just rest my stomach.  It was almost like a practice run of how future pregnancies would look when we had multiple kids.  Jon was awesome.  It was then that he was excited if it was a girl.  (He had a lot of time with their oldest, a girl.) :)  I remember putting their baby to bed, cleaning the kitchen, and hearing Jon and her playing downstairs laughing.  It brought a smile to my face picturing our family some day. :)

But saying that reminds me, Jon was a true trooper!  100% willing to help me out.  Even though Ellie turned out to look more like her Daddy, I'm totally okay with that!  Jon deserves that sweet girl to look like him.  He was by my side through the entire pregnancy, labor and delivery, and of course my recovery!

Our third year of marriage was when Ellie was born, he quit his job in Cedar Rapids, we moved, we miscarried twice, and bought a house.  Am I forgetting anything?  I hope not.  It was a BIG year.  But I wouldn't want to have anyone else but him as the one by my side.  He has been there.  He cares more about me than himself through it all.  He is loving, compassionate, and strong.  He doesn't let us fall asleep until we talk (it's always been that way).  He knows when we need to talk and he has figured out when to just "be there" for me.  He is the one willing to get Ellie in the night to bring her to me to nurse.  He changes her diaper and returns her to bed.  That started when I was too pregnant sick to do it, and has continued to do it ever since.  He loves that moment with her, even though he is not a morning person!

our new house!

You can truly see his heart when he looks at Ellie.  He can hardly go a day without seeing her or hearing about what she has been up to.  He does everything he can to make sure he spends time with her.  He stops eating if he knows she needs some lovin'.  He's willing to drop everything and feed her, hold her, and play with her.  He will even stop his own "free time" choices to help me with the parenting thing.  He couldn't be a better Daddy.

My favorite time of the day is when he comes home from work and Ellie's response.  It's not always the same.  But she seriously stops what she is doing and happily goes to him!  Jon usually can't wait and hurries to her side and picks her up! :)  Ellie's first word was Daddy!  and her first two words together were, "Hi Daddy!"  She literally loves her Daddy with all that she can give!  She smiles uncontrollably.  And when he stays the night in Ames looks in the place on the bed where he normally sleeps and says "Dad-dy..."  Almost like, "Where are you Daddy?"  

During the miscarriages he was right by my side...just like he was with Ellie's birth.  It was like we were giving birth to another baby.  He was willing to hold my hand as I "labored" and gave me encouragement.  He carried me back to bed to keep me from passing out when I was anemic during Taylor's "birth."  That same man who was not so into girly bodily functions, was right there with me every step of the way!  He was in the bathroom.  He was helping me clean up.  He was kneeling down at my side willing to help in any way he could.  He was there for me physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  He searched the Scripture for helpful steps of processing it all.  He talked with me hours on end to figure out what was truly happening.  He was willing to talk about it --A LOT.

He let me get all my thoughts out, even if they didn't make much sense.  He let me get it all out in the open.  He didn't make fun of any of my feelings...he never has.  About anything.  He lets me be my true self.  And that's how we are able to be where we are today.  We can be OURSELVES, our true selves around each other.  We can speak our mind.  We can open up.  We can listen.  We can talk.  We can be stupid.  We can cry.  We can be mad.  We can let it all out.  And we don't look at each other any different because of it.  That love is something I was always praying for in a mate.  And truly thankful.  Thankfully God led me to him. :)  We've been through a LOT these past few years.  So thankful I got to walk along side of him through it all!

Thank you dear hubby.  You've been great!  Thanks for letting me be....well, me!

Time to get in a wedding dress again.... :)

the day I finally got to say "I DO!"

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Unfortunately, no belly

My sweet baby would be due in four short weeks.

And as I shopped for my sweet Ellie today, I happened to see the sales rack at baby GAP.  In the maternity section.  GRR.

During the day I have seen multiple pregnant women, sweet sleeping newborns, and a woman complaining of her pregnancy (due in eight weeks).  However, I would have been due in four weeks.  But I was not complaining.  In the "real world" no one could see that I had anything to complain about.  But every pregnant woman is asked, "How are you feeling" or "How much longer?"  But someone who has miscarried can't cry out, "HEY!  I would be due to have a baby soon!  I'm not big and feeling like a watermelon about to explode, but I do feel like my eyes will!"  And people are not coming up to me asking how I am doing.  People have no idea.  I have no belly to tell the world.  But I hide behind the racks.  I have nothing to tell the person complaining of her discomfort.  Yes, I've been there.  But I should be there RIGHT now.  But I'm not.

As my crazy mind kept looking at racks and racks of discounted clothes...I leaned over to those sweet newborn hats and onesies.  They were so small.  Innocent.  Pretty.  Soft.  I rubbed that soft goodness and thought, "some day.  some day.  God has a plan.  He always does."

And I don't know that plan, but I have hope in it.  I do have someone I can cry out to at night. or in the back of the store.  or in the maternity section because i like sale racks.  Because my God is BIGGER than any miscarriage.  or heartache I'm going to experience in this life time.  He can lift me higher.  He can deliver me from this pit.  He can, because my efforts are broken.  useless.

two babies with Him, and he let me have one.  Right now he continues to remind me to cherish these moments with her.  and without a prego belly this month, i need to press on.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October Madness

honestly, i dont know why i decided to post this.  which could be a bad thing.  because when i just randomly write my thoughts here, there's no purpose.  and i really like to post here when there is a good reason.  because really, who wants to read random ramblings from inside my brain?  oh, sorry honey.  you're the one who has to hear them.  ALWAYS.

but then...i guess this post is useful.  my hubby is not here, so here you go:

April was rough.  I was sicker than ever.  I was pregnant and nauseous.  May was hard because I miscarried my baby.  August was unhappily a repeat because I was sick with the next pregnancy, but trying to stay focused on a sweet baby I would meet in the spring.  a family we were making.  then September hit and we miscarried another baby.  this time i became even more of a wreck than i did before.  i missed my babies more each day and i tried to stay positive.

And then October hit.  My firstborn's first birthday was a blast.

and this Mommy stayed focused on celebrating her and her sweetness she brings to our lives.  because she truly helps me get out of bed every morning.  she is the reason i am able to eat. and smile. and sleep...i take that back.  (however she is starting to do better again.  thank you Jesus.)

once her birthday was over it was like my body went back into "survival mode" and i was just going through the motions.  i was angry.  ANGRY.  I was mad.  MAD.  anything would trigger it.  everything triggered it.  my daughter helped me smile.  if someone asked how i was doing i just smiled and said i was doing okay.  life is hard but im doing okay.  because it's true.  i'm not suicidal.  i'm still eating.  i'm still sleeping, decently.  i feel tired. i feel crawling into a hole a lot, but i'm okay.

words have their deepest, hardest, meanest meanings when you are already struggling.  little things triggered issues that made me weep.  lots of weeping.  for days.  i would cry in the bath tub. (i bathe during Ellie's good naps.)  i would cry in bed.  i would cry in the car.  i would tear up watching a mom on TV.  i would smile at a mom with two kids.  i would tear up looking at a mom with a young toddler and newborn.  i would pray for them...and keep moving.  i would cry in public bathroom stalls.

i was tired.  i was sad.  i missed my family.
you see, through this tough month of awful feelings.....awful thoughts, tough situations....people were asking me how life was, how's the new house coming along, and so on.  however i don't know the answer to any of that.  i missed my family.  my hubby i only saw on tuesday evenings, wednesday mornings, and friday nights and the weekend.  too much separation for this girl.  (doesn't help my love language is touch and time.) grr...ness to the GRR!

just last week hubby and i had communication issues come up.  we're not together every day where we can keep up on it and not let it get to the point where words start sounding off.  i always know the "mood" my hubby is in for when he talks to me, but i cant tell if i can't see the look on his face!  i miss this good communication we always have had in the past.  he is living in Ames too much during the week and it causes some "stuff" to come up that is not needed or necessary.  if only we could be together again, like before.  it would save a lot of issues.  on top of all the other emotions that have been going on in my head and was a little overwhelming to deal with it all.

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

hubby and i had a nice weekend this past weekend with family but we also made sure we had "us" time as a family.  we got our communication back on track.  we hugged.  we laughed.  we watched our daughter play.  i watched my daughter's love for her Daddy.

then monday morning i woke up to hearing my hubby say he wanted to come home to see me one extra day this week rather than staying in Ames at the house.  i was pleased.  i was thankful.  he knew it would mean a lot.  he knew it was worth it to make the drive.  it's good for our family.  it's good for us.

because when God called us to become one flesh He meant it.  we don't take it lightly.  we never fall asleep without considering the other's thoughts, feelings, and concerns.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  Ephesians 4:2-3

and that's why i'm so delighted to have my hubby willing to be with me.  i'm looking forward to our family spending more time together.  his sweet voice, his sweet arms surrounding me, and his good night kiss.

dear hubby, 
i'm so thankful for you.  thanks for helping the rest of this month go more smoothly.  you always seem to know what i need.  what my heart desires.  
love you,

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Our Ladybug Party

I have a daughter who is one year old...WHAT?

I am still amazed that she has been OUT of me longer than she was ever growing INSIDE of me!

**Note: I add details that you probably don't care to know about, but this is also a way for me to keep this memory for her.  So feel free to pass by the details and enjoy her birthday weekend...**

Her birthday was on Friday, October 4th and all day she was talking up a storm!  She was especially happy as if she knew it was a special day for her! :)

iPod quality pic of my birthday girl

Once she went to sleep I went crazy getting the party decor up and setting things up for her party the following day.  I'm a list person, so I had already made a list of things that I had hoped to accomplish before hitting the pillow and then things saved for the day of the party.

Our little "Lady" had turned one and I kept things red, black, and white (minus the food).  The previous week, whenever she went to bed and hubby was gone or playing his favorite video game, I went to town on making paper chains to hang up in place of banners or streamers.

A lot of our stuff is still packed away in boxes, but I was smart while packing and labeled the box AND packing paper inside of where to find our 8x10 of her newborn picture.  It was displayed on the kitchen island as part of the decor.

For the dining room I found a red tablecloth my mom had, used recycled baby food jars to put candles inside, and my dad picked up some roses on the day of the party for me.  We kept the flowers low, because who doesn't get annoyed with tall center pieces?  On top of the tablecloth we used black scrapbook paper to add large black dots to fit the ladybug theme.  The doorways also had the paper chains as well.

thanks to my mom and her bow abilities
In the kitchen my parents have a decent sized table where I had a plastic tablecloth, red hibiscus flower centerpiece from my parent's yard, and more black dots. Surrounding the table is a few chairs and a built-in "L-shaped" bench....perfect for all the eight cousins Ellie had at the party!

While she was still awake she had time to play with her cousins who came early (traveled over an hour to be there).  And she also had time to poop where it got on her matching pants that are like leggings under her cute ladybug dress I got her.  My mom went quick to the rescue to grab them and a few other things to throw in the wash real quick!  Can't have bare legs on an October birthday!  We hung them outside to dry in time for the party.... :)

When it came time to start food-prep...I couldn't help but chuckle.  My sister's boys were at the house and I had Ellie down for a nap so it was my chance to get things done.  My sister helped the kids block off space with Legos but then they decided to make something for Ellie.  With my mom's help....they made a ladybug car for Ellie.  I chuckled because how often do you have a firstborn's first birthday party going on in a two hours, and you have a craft going on in the kitchen at the same time?  Only Ellie.... :)

Ladybug car almost done....

the hard working crew
4:00 was party time

I never know what time Ellie will be awake or asleep during the day, seriously.  (She doesn't have the typical schedule of nap at 10 and 2 type of routine.  At one point in her life I tried to do that, and it just didn't fit right with her.  So I threw that idea out the window and let her tell me what she needed.)  But anyways, I didn't plan the party at all for when we were going to do anything.  I wanted it to feel like a one-year old birthday party....where you go with the flow of the baby!

I kept the food simple and had items that could just be set up like an open house.  Eat when you want sort of thing.  However, it worked out we all ate at the same time since Ellie was still asleep when it was around 4:30.  We served a hot 9x13 macaroni and cheese, hamballs in the crockpot, nachos with meat and cheese dip, rolls, veggie and fruit tray, chocolate covered strawberries, and of course the red velvet cupcakes.  We told people to eat the dessert whenever they wanted.

sorry no camera in use when the food was all out 
*those silver tins holding the silverware I got from ikea
*plates & napkins from Nobbies

She woke up when we were almost done eating, so it worked out wonderfully.  My mom fed her some baby food (her comfort food=sweet potatoes). :)

Before things got too crazy we decided it would be a good time to get some good pictures of the crew.  HA!  If only we had pics of the adults trying to get all the kids together.... :)  Here's just a few...

the family of 3

birthday girl

ellie with 8 of 11 cousins

boys will be boys!

my parents and their grandbabies

ellie in her ladybug car

Then we decided to open presents to let her tummy settle before having her eat her cupcake (plus she was a little overwhelmed from all the pictures).  It was so fun to see what everyone picked out for her!  Jon "helped" her open presents and it was hilarious!  Her sweet cousins even let her open them herself!

cousin Frank has the exact same toy and he was pretty excited!
Then the adults made the party more kid-friendly and started a game of their own--wrapping paper war!  There were "balls" being thrown across the room from every which way!  Very typical ;)

After the gift opening we let Ellie play around on the floor like she does on any typical day.  She had fun having lots of company!  You know it gets old after awhile just having her Mom around all day long....

But then at some point, she's like her Momma, she likes routine!  She wanted something she was familiar with....and it was Mommy time. :)  And let me tell you, this Momma was JUST fine with that!! :)

Then my mom and I looked at each other and was time.  Time to have her try her cupcake!!! :) (Picture overload ahead....just fyi)

singing, Happy Birthday!

first touch...

Mom tries to interest me....

Licks taste good but....

tried giving her just a "bite" to play with....

a spoon wouldn't even make her try it!

ok guys, I'm done with this!

Hi, Aunt Liz!

The spoon is good guys!

Still our happy girl no matter what!
So, she wasn't getting "into" her cake like the typical one-year old should...but that was okay.  It's who she is. :)  I think the overwhelming amount of people surrounding her trying to see what she would do was a little much.  Well, would you like numerous people taking pictures, video, and cheering you on to try to eat food that you have never seen before?  It would be kind of crazy!  Later that week she did eat some more cupcake and really liked it!

Anyways, after the cupcake we were typical party people and talked until everyone left.

Birthday Twins! (Ellie & my friend Britney)

My friend, Kate

Friend Mike (we called him the Baby Whisperer) :)

Ellie with her Grandma Kaisand

Then we got tired Ellie in her ladybug pajamas and I nursed her.  Then she went willingly to bed. :)

It takes three (me, friend Megan, and Jon)

Later that night my parents, brother, hubby and I had popcorn and watched the Princess Bride.

and that's what happened for Ellie's birthday!!