Monday, December 26, 2016

A year in review: 2016

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
I visited the Biltmore in Asheville. I found an mixed alcoholic drink that I liked on my own account, a chocolate martini. And I just remembered we fostered 5 dogs and 3 rabbits this year, we had never had a pet as a family before.
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I was supposed to write letters to people. I did write letters, though I probably didn't do one each month like intended, I did write letters.  I also picked up knitting again after a long break of not knitting. 
3. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?
Hanging out with the kids and husband putting together a puzzle watching TV. I'm very lame, and I like it that way. 
I4. Did anyone close to you die? Did anyone give birth?
This was a year of death, so much death, and it was sad.  We lost a baby at 13 weeks, Noel Constantine.  And then my paternal grandmother died on my 9th wedding anniversary. And then my husband's maternal grandmother died in November. 
As for births, there were a decent amount of them, most notably a nephew was born in November and then a good friends double rainbow baby was born in October. The list could go on, and even though we lost our baby, I'm so very thankful for the new life in these babies that were born.  There is always room for more babies and the joy they bring.
5. What countries did you visit ? Did I travel this year?
I hemmed and hawed about actually taking a vacation post miscarriage, I was really still struggling with a lot of things with just living, but we decided to go through with our vacation to Asheville, NC, Nashville, TN and Cincinnati, OH. It was overall good to go, but it made me remember also why I like where we live too. 
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
Less hurt. More joy. 
7. What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 12, the day I delivered Noel.  July 14, the day my grandmother died.
8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year?
I climbed all the stairs of Terminal Tower in Cleveland. 
9. What was your biggest failure?
I never finished knitting a sweater I started making for my daughter because I messed up the one sleeve really terribly. 
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Well, I lost a baby and that felt like injury. I also have had an extremely rough time with this current pregnancy in that my left leg won't let me function or walk like I am used to doing.  
11. What was the best thing you bought?
A six month pass for 6 full body massages. That's helped a ton with stress of the madness of the year.
12. Where did most of your money go?
Medical bills and paying for new doors for the house. 
13. What song will always remind you of 2016?
I think Soldiers by the Rocket Summer
14. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Swimming in the summer. I was in a funk for most of the summer that I don't remember enjoying it like I should have.
15. What do you wish you’d done less of?
16. What was your favorite new TV program?
This is Us.  It makes me cry and smile and laugh.  A good program for sure. 
17. Do you love anyone now that you didn’t love this time last year?
I think two people.  Noel and baby girl Kurak #2. 
18. What was the best book you read?
The Awakening of Miss Prim
19. What item of clothing did I wear the most?
Full length compression stockings, and maternity leggings. I am completely 100% pro leggings at this point.
20. What was your favorite film of this year?
Inside Out
21. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
My husband cooked a meal for me, a modified thanksgiving dinner. I also went out with friends for a meal a bit later. I turned 33. 
22. What kept you sane?
Prayer, knitting, friends especially Sarah.
23. Who did you miss?
The obvious would be my grandmother and my baby. But I think also my friend Janelle. 
24. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned..
I think just life is really, really hard at times, and I think what I learned is that I am so thankful that God gave me my husband to stand by my side in these hard times. I also learned that I wasn't crazy on some things where I though I was, and so I think maybe to trust your gut but also to take care of yourself because if you don't then you can't help others very well. And lastly that death is part of life, and its a very unpredictable thing. 
25. What pictures best represent 2015?


Monday, December 12, 2016

A girl

Last week it was confirmed that we were having another girl at an OB check up. I had thought many times before that this baby was a girl.  It felt a bit like my previous girl pregnancy, full of emotion and just many other weird things that seem to go along with a girl pregnancy and me.

As you may recall my one grandmother died this past July and it hit like a ton of bricks because it was loss followed by loss for me and out of any of my grandparents, she was the one whom of which I was closest. Just a few days prior to her death I had an inkling that I was pregnant and took a test and found out I was. But everything in my head was such a mess and I was just in grief it was hard to focus.

One day though, I blurted out that if this baby was a girl, that I really wanted to name it after my grandmother.  But to me that was just a thought, and though it was a nice one, I didn't think it would come to fruition.

Fast forward to November, where yet another grandmother died, this time Keith's maternal grandmother, it felt like something was lining up. I went to my monthly appointment at the OB to check on things and well, baby at the time wanted us to wait a bit longer to see boy or girl. So deflated I went home, knowing that he or she was healthy but nothing else.

And then December came, and I got another chance at one of my last OB appointments before I officially made the switch to my old midwife for a home birth.  I needed some extra reassurance this pregnancy due to the later miscarriage last time and so, I chose to do co-care with an OB. It meant more appointments, but also I think it helped me see that last time didn't define this pregnancy. I asked this time if we could find out if this was a boy or girl, and the OB said that we could take a look.  And girl it was.

And so it comes back to the name. I know most people think through names a lot, and I am one of those people with the distinction that I like Saint names to be part of my children's names.  I didn't have this as a protestant growing up and it feels like its one thing that maybe my kids will have that will help them to remind them that they are not alone in this life and they can ask their namesakes to pray for them.

Thinking about girl #2's name, made me think about girl #1's name. Girl #1 for us is Helena Perpetua. Oddly enough without me knowing it and it slipped dear husband's memory that on top of having saint namesakes, she also has a great grandmother she's shares a name with, Helen. Some providential naming happening or coincidental affinities to names at the least.

When approaching girl #2, Keith and I have agreed we want to honor our grandmothers that passed away this past year, and it just feels right to do so. This means that baby girl #2 would have two middle names, and I think that's kind of fun though maybe tricky legally.  A side note is that I have one more living grandmother, and as odd or maybe not odd, her first and middle name is a combination of the other two grandmothers names. So not that it was completely planned out to be so, but it seems to be lining up as so. The only thing is we feel its good for her to have part of her name be her own and so we aren't just going to take the two middles and make one be a first. Instead she will have our picked out first Saint name. So two legacy middle names (Saints as well) it is and it seems just about right.

Now, as to what they are, well, that you will have to wait for to find out...

Sunday, December 11, 2016

To be me, broken and all.

I've been a bit restless these past few weeks, especially last night.  I didn't fall asleep until 3am. I couldn't shut my brain down enough to sleep.  And this is not always the case, but usually is something that comes when something big has happened.

I know many techniques of calming myself down, and sometimes they work and sometimes they don't because I can overpower that if something is really affecting me so much. In some ways, I find this helpful because it helps me to realize that I need to take time to process and can't just get by anymore.

And that's where I'm at. A lot has happened since Thanksgiving, and its fascinating and terrifying and challenging all at once. I finally spoke up about something that has plagued me for years. With it players played just so in a way that I knew I was no longer crazy.  That this needed to be done and I need to break to be changed.  I couldn't keep it together anymore, and that hadn't been happening for a while, I also couldn't be silent anymore. Because the silence was making me feel misunderstood.  Not that I'm ever understood, but anyway. So I wrote a letter saying how things were.

And I felt at peace doing that, but now I feel like I'm waiting and am in this weird place that if I started something I would just be pulled back into the painful disfunction. But now I'm sitting her questioning motives and trying to see where to go next and it just feel big. Like I recently noticed that to be an authority, I feel like I'm being mean every time. And I'm thinking this comes from not being assertive in my life until now. But how do you figure out if you are being mean or assertive when you have only known how to bend over backward not to make someone blow up in your face about something? It makes the whole Christianity bits of being our brother's keepers and watching out for one another be messy things in your mind.  Because enabling isn't helping, or watching out for someone even if it appears that way from the outside. And setting boundaries against hurt isn't blaming someone its taking ownership that this is more than you can handle.

Maybe, though, maybe its not my job to predict someone's reaction. And maybe that's where I'm struggling.  I still want to accommodate someone else's reaction, which I can't do.  I feel very selfish in saying that I need to think of only what I'm trying to communicate, but maybe that's not selfish?  Maybe, its just that I'm skewed in my thinking that I perceive it this way.

One more thing, in a way, I have been thinking that it would be nice to have things work well already. To lament that this is terrible and just be angry, but maybe, I just need to be in this brokenness. That this is where I'm going to see Jesus right now. That this is where I can feel his love, not in the perfect but in the imperfect.  And maybe there will be growth there as well.  One day it would be nice to be able to look back and see this as something that I can be an advocate for that one can get through this, but I'm not there yet, and that's got to be okay too.