Category Archives: Holidays

2011: The Year of Positive Change

While two miscarriages in a year might indicate suckiness, I publicly declare 2011 a success.

In 2010, the year of despair, I decided to make 2011 the best year of my life.

It began with medication, making my anxiety and depression manageable.  Shortly after, I saw motherhood through a different lens which allowed me to enjoy parenting and really connect with my kids.

I suffered through my third miscarriage in May, two weeks before we moved across the country.  While it was hard, emotionally and physically, I finally reflected on my religion that had promised me a healthy pregnancy, twice, which ultimately resulted in miscarriages.  Since I was often wallowing in guilt–especially as a woman and mother–and confused by all the doctrinal inconsistencies, I decided to seek the truth, whatever the outcome. My conclusions were vastly different from what I had been taught I would find, so I finally said good-bye to Mormonism.

Leaving religion helped me find my voice.  I evaluated my current goals against my dreams for the future and decided that my husband and I were equally intelligent and capable of caring for our family.  We moved to the Midwest, Ben started medical school, and I became the breadwinner.  We learned how a partnership really works.

In November, I had another miscarriage.  Three weeks later, I found myself pregnant again.  I discovered a new perspective with this pregnancy and left my worries about miscarriage behind.

At the viability ultrasound, we saw the developing embryo and a beating heart.

All these events culminated in a successful year and I can’t wait to see what 2012 brings.

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A Prayer, Some Presents, and Wonderful People

My heart is swelling with gratitude today and I thought I’d share why.

Gratefulness #1

Our food budget has been drastically cut.  This is cool except for one thing–the Queen of picky, a.k.a Emily does not eat anything I set before her.  As I knew I wouldn’t be able to buy some of those luxuries–chicken nuggets and hot dogs–to tempt her, I had to come up with a new plan.  So I prayed.  Miraculously enough, she has eaten almost everything I have served her.

I don’t usually share these types of stories with people because I feel very strongly about my faith and don’t want it to be mocked; however, this experience, so simple and so powerful, has had a healing effect on my faith–which has been severely tested this year.  I needed this reminder that my prayers are answered, even if the content sometimes seems trivial.

Gratefulness #2

The holiday spirit has been seriously lacking over here.  Based on the note above, I’m sure you can deduce why.  Something, or rather someone, has changed that.

A certain person (or persons) has marked our family out for the 12 days of Christmas.  For the past week, he has left gifts on our doorstep, knocked, and ran away before we could thank him.  These gifts aren’t small, either, they are big and expensive.  And very thoughtful.

Exhibit A

If you can’t tell by this crude photograph, that’s a poinsettia.  A large poinsettia.  I mean, we don’t have anything large enough, besides our kitchen table, on which to place this beautiful plant.   But that’s not the point.  The point is this gift is huge!  And all the other gifts have been equally as tremendous.  I will admit that this very caring gesture has brought tears to my eyes on many occasions this week.  It has also reminded me of the true meaning behind Christmas: the spirit of giving.

Gratefulness #3

I hope this doesn’t sound cheesy, but I am feeling very blessed by all of you who visit this place and read my words.  As silly as they can be at times.  I was reminded of all your incredible natures when reading through the thoughtful comments on my most recent post.  Depression is a tricky topic to discuss and I’ve shared some pretty personal experiences.  You have proved my faithfulness in your trust by validating my need to share and offering hands of support.

One thing I can count on is your forgiveness and understanding when it takes weeks to respond to your lovely comments.  Thank you for making this a place of refuge; that’s what I need at this point in my life.

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Of Princesses and Puppy Dogs

After I came out about our family’s lack of holiday spirit (every holiday, mind you), I felt greatly relieved.  So much so that I actually celebrated Halloween with the kids.  Please don’t die of shock.

Ben worked all weekend, so I decided to take the kids to our church’s trunk or treat and chile cook off.

It. Was. Hard.  After arriving, I kept asking myself why in the world I even went.  I did have a good reason.  Truly.  I cannot use the excuse of Ben’s absence to abstain from out-of-the-home activities.  So, I will go when I can and do my best to make it fun for the kids.  I don’t know how to describe the event in greater detail without sounding too negative, but I will say that I am proud of myself for staying through the dinner and not breaking down.  I waited until after we left to cry.  Go me!

Ben worked Halloween day, so we were able to take the kids trick-or-treating to a few houses that night.  It was worth trucking through our cold and deserted neighborhood to hear Emily say, “trick or treat!”

I guess I could share photos with all of you.  (In case you are wondering, Ben nor I dressed up.  That would have been too much effort.)   I am so very proud of myself for  getting the kids in their costumes two days in a row.

Andrew kept his costume on long enough for me to take this picture, and then he acted like a one-year old by ripping it off and throwing it at me.  Silly boy.

Emily loved being a “pincess.”  Since she has never seen a Disney movie, I don’t think she has any idea what that means, but she did enjoy the dress, the tiara, and the wand thingy.

I like this new freedom I feel from the holidays.  It makes them kind of fun!

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