Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Heart Strings

I don't even know where to begin. Or how to put into words all the emotions I've felt the past few days.

Every day on Facebook I see statuses about the death of a grandparent. It's pretty normal for people in my generation to be experiencing that. But obviously when it comes to my grandparent, my grandmother, it's different. She isn't just another white haired old lady whose time is up. She the lady I've loved since I could remember, the one who delighted in all my secrets, the lady who I share a name and a flair for the dramatic. We are so alike it's scary. I'm the only grandchild named for her, but I was telling my mom yesterday, I think we share a lot more.

This weekend was supposed to be a lovely weekend in Charleston, SC. Enjoying family, a wedding of a dear friend, and of course the beach. Instead I got a call saying my grandmother had been in a series of falls and surgeries and that she had a heart attack and was on a ventilator. They were planning to unplug her, just as she always wanted, the next morning. I packed in 20 minutes and left at 4 AM with a sick baby and two sisters. We got there in time to say goodbye.

It was strangely wonderful to listen to each family member step up and whisper what was on their heart to Grandmother. Sweet memories, tears, laughter. Priceless jewels. I don't remember what I said, but I'm sure others do. I remember what others said. It's as if, you have no filter and the truth of your heart is exposed in a time like that. I wanted to jump in bed with her and wrap her in my arms and hold her like she'd done for me my whole life. My skinny little grandfather shook as he said, "We were married 68 years, but it wasn't enough."

And when they took the machine's off, she breathed on her own.

But with nearly zero brain activity and her living will, they removed all feeding tubes, IV's and moved her to Hospice to live out her remaining minutes, hours, or days.

I'm no stranger to death. Many loved ones have left the world too soon for me. But I am new to the process of dying naturally. I probably spent 10 hours with her spread over three days. watching the change her coloring, her skin temperature, the way her breathing changed. All of it lead to her leaving me. Wondering every moment, if I was watching this 90 year old woman, breath her last breath. I wanted to be there to witness it. I wanted to see if there was an obvious change in the split second between being in her body and being with her Lord.

Since I've been alive, my grandmother has talked openly about her excitement of death. She asked me nearly every time I was with her to play my violin at her funeral. She would excitedly share with me of her anticipation. She wasn't scared. In fact, we were all wanting her to go. How strange it is to pray for someone to die instead of live!
Her body wont give it up, and as my dad wisely reminded me, God has had her days numbered since before the beginning of time. Last I heard, she was still alive.

She was the epitome of a southern belle. A beauty queen with spunk. She was constantly making every mundane detail an exciting element in a dramatic fairy tale. Since I feel like we are one in the same, I can say with certainty that she dreamed of dying surrounded by flowers with her hair flowing over the pillow in a most dramatic way.

Since she was so dramatic, I just expected the moment of her death to be. There were so many times I held my breath as I watched to see if her chest would rise again, because that would have been the "perfect" moment to die.
When the family surrounded her bed, holding hands and singing hymns. Or when a sermon her son preached on mother's day was playing and he was describing the (again dramatic) way that my grandmother was saved (from hell and a fire). Or when my sister tearfully asked her to hold her baby when she got there. Or when my sister played Fur Elise on the piano and a beautiful sea breeze drifted through the windows. The list went on and on. I didn't want her to die when Barclay was pitching a fit because he didn't want to share, or when I was washing my hands, or when life was going on and no one was watching.

I do have to share probably one of the most pure and beautiful moments I've ever experienced in my whole life.

My Aunt had brought some fresh gardenias into the room and set by the window. Gardenias are what I think of when I think of growing up in Charleston. Their delicate and sweet, and every time I smell them I am taken back. I grabbed one and held it near her face. My sweet Grandfather swore he saw her smile. I placed it behind her ear and started braiding her hair. Granddaddy told me that she carried Gardenia's in her bridal bouquet 68 years ago. He then asked me, "Will you braid some of those into her hair to make a bridal crown?".

Slowly I weaved each perfect white flower into her long grey hair. I was treasuring every feeling of that moment. The cool breeze, the memories in my heart, the sound of my grandfather crying, the inhale when it was done. I stood back and saw something breath taking, a vision her 68 years before flashed before my eyes. An image from an old black and white picture I had seen. Not only was I think of her wedding day to my granddaddy, I was thinking of how she was Christ's bride. Perfect and holy because of Christ dying on the cross for her. And how she was about to meet her groom.

I sat back and watched as my grandfather wiped his free flowing tears with his hankie. And muttered things like,
"Look at my beautiful bride!"
"I loved my wife so much."
"She looks so beautiful"

My heart broke for him.

My heart swelled with honor as I witnessed such a simple moment.

I cannot believe I will never again pick up the phone to call Charleston and hear the honey sweet, southern accent of my grandmother,
"Daaaaling. Is this my heart strings? Is this my Helen Joy?"

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Why is it...

that on the days you are out and about, your babies want a nap and are super fussy.
And the days that you have set aside all day at home so they can have the nap they so desperately wanted the day before, they don't sleep?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tonight I'm aching for a baby. A snugly little newborn who will nurse and coo and nestle in my arms. I can't quite pinpoint if it's me missing Barclay's babiness or me missing the fact that I'm not going to have one in October.

It has gotten to the point where I can't tell you exactly how many weeks it's been...or how many weeks I would have been. I guess that's good. I go about my daily life as daily reminders pop up. Finding a onezie someone sent me for the new baby to match their with their big brother. Reading in my pregnancy journal the excitement I had . Find out yet another friend is expecting in the fall.

I was so sure that I'd be pregnant this month. I felt like God "owed" it to me. I bought the pregnancy test far before I could take it, I planned to take it on our anniversary because we found out on our 3rd anniversary with Barclay. But the morning before I was greeted by a much not wanted period a week early. I know I can't really complain because of the many friends I have who have tried for over a year. But as my sweet friend once told me when I was frustrated with a negative pregnancy test. Every month hurts, no matter how long you've been trying. That touched my heart. She tried for 2 years before conceiving her little one, and yet she could offer me so much comfort in my silly little one month.

Silly little honeymooners:-)

Thursday we celebrated our 5 year anniversary. (Which was actually Friday). We decided to try out Hot Springs. It's just an hour away and is a budget friendly alternative to our beloved Grove Park Inn Spa (where we usually celebrate).

We had a blast! It was pretty hilarious. It is pretty much the opposite of swanky and we were wondering as they walked us to our "tub" why we chose this ghetto, sketchy place. Literally, while waiting outside for someone to show us our tub, we waited behind two grizzly, oil soaked, middle aged men with beards down to their chest...carrying a six pack.
Why a man like that would spend $25 to soak in a hot tub alone, I cannot tell you...but to each his own.

When we got to our tub it was so charming. Surrounded on three sides with a wooden fence, and facing a beautiful river. The water is pumped straight from the hot springs and isn't heated additionally. It was the perfect temperature.

For 30 minutes we had the most amazing, romantic time. Kissing and enjoying a bottle of champagne. Now when they say they don't advise alcohol in those tubs, they aren't messing around. After jut a cup or champagne (ok a large solo cup), that hot water started getting to me and we became quit giggly. Then I poured half a bottle of Johnson's vapor bath in (cause I wanted it to smell like Grove Park's eucalyptus steam room) Bad idea! There were bubbles everywhere! Spilling to the sides and almost overflowing to the ground. We realized immediately that was a bad idea and spent the remaining 30 minutes corralling all the bubbles into the drain so we didn't have a fee for ruining things. He giggle the whole time.

All in all it was a delightful experience with my groom:-)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The depth of love

Tomorrow will mark 5 years since the day a blissfully giddy 19 year old married the man of her dreams.
So much has changed!
In talking with different people this week, my heart just hurts for some of the comments I've gotten.
"The rose colored glasses are definitely off!"
"Honeymoon's over, huh?"
"Bet you wish you could go back and be young and carefree again."
And even, "You don't love his as much as you did then."

Truthfully, once in a while, I think back to the days when my brain was consumed with thoughts of Noah. The night I decided to drive 2 hours to see him at 11 o'clock at night, turned around after only 30 minutes with him only to drive the 2 hours back to school. That passion was so hot, so consuming. Some days I look around and wonder where all that went.

We don't have long romantic dinners a lot. We don't talk for hours at night or kiss until the last possible second. There have definitely been changes in our lives since our wedding day.

Instead of , I've grown to love...

the pride on his face as he introduced me as his wife during our honeymoon.

his decision to buy a digital SLR camera with our wedding money, because he knew I had a passion for photography.

seeing how he handled loosing his job within the first 3 months of our marriage. The strength it took to do what was right and seeing his vulnerable side as he wondered how to provide for me.

watching him work at a coffee shop for $6 an hour because there was nothing near my school other than that. It was such a downgrade from his high powered, travel to New York every month job. But he never complained and he put his all into every cup of coffee.

watching him drive 4 hours round trip every day to begin a new career in another state. Even though it was months before we ever made a dime.

the way he let me be free in college to still be included in campus life. He never once made me feel guilty for wanting to still have my college experience. He never once asked me to work on in addition to my school.

how wise he was to by that old, falling down house 2 weeks before our wedding so we could live off the equity while he built up his real estate business.

watching him adjust from having everything and being able to buy or do what he wanted, to eating potato soup in our tiny apartment and wondering how we were going to make our $300 per month rent.

the way he watched me as I spun more and more out of control with my bi polar disorder. Never leaving ONCE, no matter how bad things got.

how he supported me as I majored in violin. He constantly listened to me practice and cheered me on when I wanted to quit.

how he has dealt with several family issues that were draining. He worked with me tirelessly to deal with things instead of sweeping them under the rug.

how he encouraged me as I decided in college to become a photographer...with a music degree.

watching the pride in his eyes as I took my final bow after my 1 hour senior recital.

the fact that he made marriage counseling a priority in our lives. We would pay for that before anything else. To see his dedication to WORKING on our marriage instead of hoping for our marriage was so inspiring. We have spent all five years of our marriage in some sort of counseling. I know it's not for everyone but it has saved our marriage. Noah loves marriage counseling so much that if I want to make him happy, I'll schedule a counseling session.

walking at my college graduation and accepting my degree with a new name than I came in with. I was so proud to be Mrs Helen Joy George that day.

watching him as we moved 7 moves in 2 years. That alone will show you a person's character. By then end of each move I would be on the ground crying because I was so overwhelmed. I would have quit, but Noah would gently pick me up and tell me I had to keep going.

watching him pick up the signals in my four younger sisters. When they need a positive male influence or a "daddy talk" or even just a movie out. He is constantly watching them and is there every time.

watching the care and honesty he gives to his clients. The Christmas we had a $20 budget for our entire family (that's about $1 per present), he had me buy a $10 fuzzy blanket for a lady he worked with who had no family.

watching him deal with his dying grandfather. Instead breaking down, Noah was strong and held his hand and whispered the gospel in his ear.

watching him clean up my throw up time after time, even though he's a neat freak. Because I was pregnant and too sick to do anything.

watching his eyes glimmer as he felt the first kick of his son.

watching the rawness of emotions as he mourned the death of his closest friend. And finding out how much Noah had been there for that friend.

watching how Noah loves the unlovable and the hard to love. He talks with my brain injured father who constantly repeats himself and gets frustrated easily, for hours. He makes him feel like he isn't brain injured and makes him feel so valued and loved.

the day he came home, heavy under the weight of pressure, and informed me that he had let his clients out of a contract with him because of medical problems the husband was having. We needed that money. He had put in hours and hours with them. But he was sick and they were stressed and instead of feeling sorry for himself and his loss of income, he asked me to get on my knees with him to pray for them because he felt so sad for the sadness they were feeling.

how adventurous he is. Korea at 7 months pregnant, Italy with an 8 month old...

feeling the contractions of labor wrapped in his arms. Praying and breathing together as we awaited the miracle of birth.

watching him hold Barclay for the first time. I've never seen such pride! He transformed before my eyes that day.

how he got up with me several times a night to help me change Barclay or get me water while I was nursing.

when he would take over for me in the early mornings when I thought I was going to die if I didn't sleep. Sometimes I would peek out from my room and watch Noah in those early morning hours. I was watching the process of falling in love.

when he tells me a good mom when I feel like a failure, when I need to hear it most.

seeing the childlike wonder in his eyes as he watches Barclay grow and discover. Noah gets more excited than anyone I know at every new thing Barclay does. When I told Noah I was pregnant, I was scared. He wasn't excited, he was scared and he never talked about it. Even nearing delivery I wondered if he was going to be that dad that wasn't involved and I would be the one raising our son. To see him now, and to see the love and dedication and delight he takes in Barclay. It truly takes my breath away.

how in this horrible economy, instead of sitting around griping about how bad things are, he puts his nose to the grindstone and is faithful. He works harder than anyone I know, even though we don't always reap the benefits.

watching him learn lessons about money this past year. When everything is up in the air and when you get paid next is never guaranteed and seldom pans out...lessons are learned. When we got married I realized how much he valued things, he always wanted the latest and the best. This past month, he looked at me and said, "I have learned that I don't care about things anymore. I don't need anything but my family." And I know that he meant it.
That was the day I watched him grow into the man my heart longed for.

telling him I was pregnant again and knowing he was excited.

having him there when the midwives told us we would loose our babies. The way he cradled me like a baby and just didn't say anything.

having him there for morning after morning as I sobbed into his chest.

having him answer calls in the middle of work to comfort me because the pain is still there.

the fact that he has never made me feel like I need to get over it, even though I'm sure it's draining to hear me cry day after day.

the times when I feel alone and am pining for those days of old when we could run off and do whatever we wanted. When I'm washing dishes and am lost in the vast amount of the daily...when he touches the small of my back and kisses my cheek.

when we look up from our chaotic lives, lock eyes and mouth, "I'm so happy."

the pride in his eyes when he introduces me as his wife.

No, our love isn't the same. It is deeper. It is richer. It is love with a history. And truthfully, I still do get butterflies.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Discipline Advice Needed

Barclay's at that stage. The stage where being a mother isn't all cuddly, cooing, sweetness. The stage where I know what I do or do not in regards to discipline will affect Barclay in every way, for his whole life.
I always hated that my mother called me a "strong willed child". I think James Dobson must have written about about that because many of my friends from my generation were also labled that. I hated it because I felt I was labled and could never break away from it. It was like I never had a chance to not be a strong willed child.
So I hate to say it, but I believe that this strong willed child has given birth to another strong willed child. I feel exhausted and sad at the end of the day because I've had to be strict and punishing to Barclay all day.

I'm going to go ahead and put these facts out there:

I believe that Barclay knows the difference between disobedience and obedience. I believe he can comprehend when he is doing somehting I've asked him not to. He sometimes even says "NO!" to himself right before he does it.

I believe in spanking.

I have "Shepherding a Child's Heart" and hope to read through it soon. But I have found out the pure GOLD that advice from experienced mothers is vs reading thoughts in a book.

So please share any advice you have in disciplining in an effective way.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hurt and Pain

It's everywhere I look. People hurting, people worried, people saying goodbye to loved ones, people scared about the future, people not getting pregnant, people loosing babies, people breaking up...
Hurt is everywhere. And even though it is everywhere and even though, "almost everyone has a miscarriage at least once in their life." (I'm assuming this was directed toward women), I don't feel my pain is any less. I do not feel like that fact should or can lessen the hurt in my heart.

I find myself reading facebook statuses of hurting people and staring blankly at the screen, willing my heart to come up with the PERFECT words to ease the pain or worry of someone. I don't want to blend in with the 12 or so people saying, "I'm sorry for your loss." I want to be the person who comes up with the perfect words to ease the pain.
So sometimes I just don't write anything, because I know it can't help.
And sometimes I do because I know even those little things help for a fleeting second, because they know they are cared for and thought of.

In church today, our pastor shared something I've never thought of before:
Jesus became human, flesh, to carry out the penance for my sin. And because he was and is flesh, he knows pain. He knows what it feels like to loose someone close to them, to wonder where food will come from. He knows the feeling of loneliness and he knows the feeling of deep sorrow.

So in my sorrow, I can know that God hurts with me. He knows how it feels and he isn't doing it to punish me or teach me something. He loves me.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


-This week I've felt pretty good. Like not even crying every day.
-I can't help it but every time I see an ultrasound picture...with a baby in it my heart just breaks.
-Every person in the world is pregnant right now. I know it's not true but it seems like it.
-I've gone from being semi bored during the day to not ever being home and having one thing after the other. I think I miss being semi bored.
-Does anyone else feel like they have to have a major "let's talk about what we want to do with our lives" talk with their husband every other day. It's exhausting!
-I've been worn out lately with having to discipline Barclay. This is NOT a fun part of being a mother.
-I am SO tired of dealing with high maintenance brides. Thank the Lord I've chosen wisely this year and gotten almost all sweet, laid back brides. My faith was renewed in weddings and I photographed a beautiful outdoor wedding today.
-Barclay is just precious. I was crying after watching the season finale to Private Practice and he jumped up in my lap and started wiping my tears away. I don't think my heart could even take it, it was so precious.
-I'm really trying to work on being content. Instead of telling myself, "I'll be happy as soon as we....fill in the blank"
-Our 5 year anniversary is coming up and I am going to leave Barclay with my mom over night. I am so ready. Ask me a month ago and I would have cried, but I'm ready. Ready to be with my husband mentally! And to sleep in for the first time in 15 months.
-I graduated from college 3 years ago today. That seems like an eternity ago.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

If things had gone the way I'd planned...

I would be enjoying the second trimester of pregnancy. Preparing for two sweet babies. I would be wearing dresses that showcased my 16 week bump. I would be feeling movement and preparing to find out the genders. Barclay would be saying his new favorite word, "Baby" to my stomach.
But they didn't. Instead I'm here at the beginning again. Square one. Even through all the pain and all the sadness and hurt...I am beginning to see how it will one day work for good.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Tomorrow is Mother's Day. Being a mother has changed every thing for me. This blog is a product of the changes that have been made in me and continue to be made in me. I'm so thankful to be a be Barclay's mother.
I'm also thankful for my own Mother who I love with all my heart.

My heart is so heavy for so many because I know tomorrow will be a hard day for a lot of people. Sad for friends who want to be mothers, but it isn't God's timing yet. Friends who last year expected to be mothers this year. Friends who have lost babies. Even though they don't have a baby here on earth, they are still mothers. Sad for friends who don't have a mother to hug and love on tomorrow because their mothers are no longer here.

And at the same time I am rejoicing with SO many friends who are celebrating their first Mother's Days tomorrow.

Babbling Bliss

I can't stand it! You are the sweetest, cutest thing I've ever beheld! Today I watched as you inspected everything in our yard and garden. You carefully squatted to pick the tiniest flower and exclaimed "tee tee!" (tree tree!). I literally feel like my heart is going to burst every day with the love I have for you.
Every single day you pick up about 10 new words. I'll try to write them out:
Baaaaall (first thing you say when you wake up. You love our pink Yoga Ball)
Belly Button (seriously!)
Tweet Tweet
Thank you
All Done
Wawa (water)
Baba (bottle...yes you still take a bottle)
Cookie (pronounced tootee)...this is what you use for crackers too.
Baby (probably your favorite word right now)
Jojo (pronounced ti ti. This is what he calls my mom)
Nana (for Banana)
NaaaNaa (for Noah's Mom)
Gigi (for sister)
BA BA for Noah's Dad.

You are so bright and just such a joy to watch grow! The part I'm not liking so much about being your Mama is the disciplining. Something I have come to realize has come sooner than I thought it would. But you know what you're doing and I want to raise you to be obedient and respectful.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day and I wouldn't be a mother without you sweet one.

Love Mama

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Name

Kelly is doing a Show Us Your Life, Baby Names.
I'm kind of tickled because I suggested this subject months back and she actually used it!:-)

After we found out we were having a boy, name choosing seemed to be a little easier. I don't know what it was, but it was like we already knew our son and not having to think of girl names helped us focus.

I remember the first time I heard the name Barclay. We were having a family dinner with Noah's side of the family and I asked them what some of their family names were. They started listing names and they said the name Barclay. I remember my response was, " That sounds like a dog's name." I did end up writing it down on my infinite list of names to consider. I wrote it down as Barkley. For some reason, we kept on coming back to it and Noah and I agreed it was a nice name. Especially when I saw that it was spelled BARCLAY, I really started to like it.

I did some "research" on the name (ie typing it into google and searching for Barclays on facebook). Both yielded wonderful results. Barclay is the name of a square where concerts are performed in England, it is also a bank. On facebook, the only boy Barclay was really hot. He was a beach boy with blond hair and he was holding a fish he caught in his picture. I was so relieved my two favorite forms of research made Barclay a good choice for us.

I have always loved names to be meaningful and was a bit disappointed when I read that Barclay means "grove of birch trees". At the same time, a name book I picked up said Ding Bat was a good name for an honorable child. Hmmmm I perfer grove of birch trees myself.

I had a hard time at first because pretty much no one liked the name Barclay. It reminded people of:

But I really liked it! I decided I was going to call the baby a certain name for a day and see what felt true.
I called him Fergeson for about three days and it was nice but I felt disconnected.
I called him Eli, Samuel, Henry, Oak and they all felt strange.
The day I talked to him as Barclay, I just felt excited and like I was talking to my child! So we decided that Barclay it would be and I didn't care who didn't like it. I've been calling him that ever since.

Barclay is Noah's Great great grandfather's name, but we mostly named him for his Grandmother's favorite cousin, Barclay. I found out later that Noah's mom and dad were having dinner with Barclay and his wife the night they went into labor with Noah. That made it even better.

I love the name because it is short, it is unique, and for some reason, I love last names as first names. (funny since our last name is a first name). And yes, I've already had trouble explaining it to the pharmasist.

"No, it's not George Barclay, it's Barclay George...etc"

Barclay's middle name was such a toss up. Probably because we like the first name so so so much we didn't feel the need to get another favorite name in there. We decided the day we delivered him that we would name him Barclay THOMAS George.

Thomas is a special name on both sides of our family:

My grandmother's father's name was Thomas Miller
Noah's grandfather's name was Thomas Miller George
My cousin Fergeson THOMAS was very special to me and was killed in a car accident two years ago.
I also have an Uncle Tom who I love very much.

Mostly, we named Barclay after Noah's closest childhood friend Thomas (Tommy) Huffman. Tommy was hit by a car while walking when I was pregnant with Barclay and was taken to be with Jesus. I remember the awful phone call that day and seeing Noah crumple on the floor in tears. I was so sick with morning sickness and I remember holding him on the floor, puking on him, crying with him. It was just a mess. But I remember telling him that if we were having a boy, we could name him after Tommy. Tommy was a special part of our family and we miss him so much. He was always sort of shy and I remember seeing him the day before he died, at church. He was so sweet and asked if I was still puking and I said yes. He said he was sorry. He was just so compassionate and LOYAL. I cry pretty much every week when I think about our friend Tommy who isn't here to see Noah's son, but it gives me so much JOY to know that he has a little name sake here on earth.

This is a picture of Noah and Tommy.

And George...well I love the name George even though it isn't a negotiable name:-) It's my Dad's first name and so, even though I cannot name my children after my Dad's first name, I guess in a way, all my children will be named for him:-)

Oh, and for THE million dollar question. We pronounce Barclay's name (BAR-KLEE), even though it is spelled BarCLAY. I will only call him BarCLAY when we have tea with the queen, or if I'm feeling especially snooty one day:-)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Loving someone through a miscarriage.

It's been 4 weeks since my D and C. That is crazy. It's been painfully slow and fast all at the same time. I was talking to a sweet girl today who miscarried two weeks ago, tears were filling our eyes and overflowing as we talked. The hurt is still so raw. One minute I'm fine, then I see an ultrasound picture on facebook or hear of another friend announcing their pregnancy. Then I feel like the air has been sucked out of me and that someone has pierced my heart.
Please don't get me wrong. I know life goes on. People get pregnant, people have babies. I'm not mad at them, I'm sad for me. I also don't want to people think that they need to not tell me about their joy over a pregnancy, or that sort of stuff. But it hurts and it's something that can't be helped.
In talking with this girl I was reminded of things that didn't help in my time of intense grief and things that did. So I wanted to share. I don't want to share this and have friends feel like they said the wrong thing or didn't do the right thing. I just want to share because I know that I felt completely at a loss for what to say when friends miscarried and now I know what to do.

*These are my opinions, and it is different for every person.

Things to do:
1.Bring that person some food.
(In this area, all I can say is DO it. Just do it.)
I was so emotionally empty and so desperately sad that making a meal was the furthest thing from my mind. But I was so hungry. I remember the Tuesday I found out that the babies were gone, I had like 5 people offer to bring me dinner. What a blessing! The only thing was I was too tired to say yes. I was too tired to coordinate. So I said "No thank you." All the time kicking myself because I knew I needed it. Then my friend Monique called me and said, "I'm bringing you spaghetti right now." Just like that. She did.
I had 4 different friends just drop by food without giving us even the option to say no, and that was the best.

2.Look that person in the eyes and say, "I'm so sorry."
That is all we want to hear.

3.Say something.
I can pretty much tell you every single person who wrote even the smallest comment on my facebook. Every single text, call, facebook post was encouraging. Just because a million people said the same thing, doesn't mean your words wont matter.

4.Go over to that person's home and watch a movie with them.
I was so lonely and so brain dead. So even though I craved company, I didn't want to feel like I had to entertain someone.
My friend Bethany came over twice to watch movies with me. She brought ice cream both times. It was exactly what I needed.

5.Don't forget.
Just because the physical healing is over in "two weeks" doesn't mean that we have gotten over it.
It had been two weeks and I thought every single person had forgotten about it. No one asked me how I was doing in that empathetic, concerned way. Everything seemed back to normal...for everyone else.
I just was sick inside and I felt like screaming, "I'm so not over this! Someone care!"
My pastor's wife took my hand that night and with such care in her eyes, genuinely asked how I was doing. I cried and it felt so good to not pretend to be "right".
6.Who cares if it has been a day or a year, ask someone about the baby they lost and I guarantee it will mean the world to them.

What not to do/say:
1.Do not say, "Well, it's probably best, there was probably something wrong with that baby."
Even though it might be true, that just doesn't help anything.
2.Do not say, "There was never really a baby."
This is not true. I believe the moment an egg and sperm meet, there is a soul.
3.Just don't try to lessen the pain. It's a sad thing. Don't try to make it less sad.
4.Don't talk about it all working out in the end. Or God's plan.
Again, even though it's true, it just seems like you are trying to lessen the pain.

And do not do this:
When waiting for my DandC to be scheduled, I asked the receptionist at my midwifery if we could do it that day because I had a baby sitter for Barclay. She looked at me and said,
"You have a baby?" (With a very condescending look on her face)
"Yes, a 14 month old."
"You must be SO relieved that this pregnancy isn't working out!"
(WHAT?!?! What is your problem lady? Why would you ever say that to someone?!)

And to make it better after seeing the state of shock my face was in...

"I have a friend with two babies under 2 years and it is CRAZY."

Thanks lady, but I would take crazy over nothing any day.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Last night...

I made out with my husband! Hehe:-) What fun!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Yogurt, yogurt everywhere and not a drop to eat...

Today my house was relatively neat. Then I got an unexpected call from a potential client asking about my photography services. We talked for an HOUR. This was unexpected, I usually only answer when Barclay is in a car seat when we're driving or when he's napping. It's so unprofessional to have a winey baby crying in the background...not to mention I cannot put two words together. So I had not prepared for this VERY long discussion. Barclay was crying and hungry and I was trying to concentrate on getting this client. So I just kept putting a variety of food on the floor for Barclay to eat. At the end of the conversation, not only did I have to pee like CRAZY, but Barclay had done some food art all over my floors. I just had to document it.

PS. Whenever I vent on facebook or on here, people are always so quick to remind me that loving on a baby is so much more important than having a perfect house. Although I do agree with that, I want to tell them,
"I don't want a perfect house, I just don't want to have rats living in my house!"
I really don't think my expectations are too high...

I'm linking up to Myra's Friday Fails.

Public Meltdown

And it wasn't was me!

Oh my Lord, today wiped me out. After being couped up in our house day after day, because we are now a one car family...and I live 15 minutes from civilization, I have accumulated QUITE the list of things I needed/wanted to do if I got my hands on a car. This week I've had two friends offer cars for two different days and I am so grateful. So today I had a list a mile long and two checks to cash. I had three goals:
1.Harris Teeter Triple Coupon Week
2.Staples for Jump Drives for my business
3.CVS for my weekly shopping spree (aka buying diapers and getting free lotion and lip gloss and tooth paste)
I love getting a deal, and since we have zero money for anything extra, I think I put that love of a deal into my grocery shopping. Because everyone has to buy groceries and if I can put my passion to save into fills a void:-) I have been loving clipping coupons, and although I do not follow any site or blog (isn't that stuff in another language?), I still manage to save a lot. Staples was easy. Check. CVS was wonderful. I got Diapers, 2 Nivea lip glosses (my favorite), 1 anti itch lotion for my itches (which come when the pregnancy hormone leaves my body), 3D Crest Toothpaste, Nivea body wash for men, 2 Root awakening shampoo and conditioner, 2 boxes of Russel Stovers chocolates, and 1 box of Whitmans Chocolates...all for $17 I have 2 extra bucks. I think I came by it dishonestly...aka ripped CVS off. I tried not to though! After trying to do several transactions and getting all flustered with how much I was spending, I got in the car and added it up and I had spent $50! So I went back in and took back three items. Not only did they refund me for these items in cash, they also refunded me money for the coupons I used! I was honest and explained this to the lady but she said it was too confusing to do it any other way. So I rocked CVS.
Harris Teeter....Oh my word. Immediately upon entering, Barclay started wining. I had spent HOURS clipping, organizing, making lists, and reorganizing my coupons. I took an hour to go through the store and decide which items were actually good deals even with the coupons tripled. Harris Teeter WAY marks up their food. After getting discouraged after throwing coupon after coupon in the "Do Not Use" pile, I had finally filled my cart with things I
#1. Needed
#2. Thought were a good deal.
I was already sweating and nervous from an hour of trying to calm a frantic baby and keeping my calm. I found a nice looking cashier and warned her I was new at this and needed her to be patient with me and my questions. I asked her twice if I could ring up my stuff in two orders (since they have a 20 triple coupon item limit). She assured me I could...then she went NUTS scanning stuff. I begged her to slow down and let me place the coupon with each item. But she said she had a different way of doing things. Then everything just went crazy. After scanning half my items (an eye balled half) she demanded the coupons...which I had no idea what went with what.
*By the way, Barclay is clawing at my chest and screaming and I'm sweating and maybe even re lactating.
I try to find coupons, some of them don't triple...she's going to fast. I have to put stuff back. It was a MESS. Then 30 minutes later at the very last, 5 coupons wouldn't scan. The manager told me I had exceeded my limit for coupons. I assured her I hadn't. Then she informed me that you CAN'T do two seperate transactions....
I just started bawling. Like embarrassingly shaking and bawling. I wanted to fall on the floor and pitch a fit...then take a nap! Then they looked at me and asked what I wanted to take out. I was so confused at this point that I didn't even know what way was up. I tried to get them to take stuff off, switch this for this. It was a complete and udder mess. My heart was beating like I was running a marathon. I just cried and said, "I don't know...I don't know..."
Finally we worked something out and I left. Only to discover at home, some of the items I paid for weren't in my bag, some of the items I didn't want were in my bag, some of the items I had put back, I had been charged for.
So I had to make a separate trip back in to get what I needed. I still came out short but was to tired to figure it out. Harris Teeter was very unapologetic. I was very calm but complained about how their cashiers don't know the simple rules of their coupons.
So to spite them, I took 2 cookies on the way out...even though you're only supposed to have one.

I can assure you that the Harris Teeter in Hendersonville, NC will NOT be getting any of my business ever again.

PS-I did save like $60, but I took ten years off my life.

I'm linking up to Myra's Friday Fails

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Dancing Fools

WARNING this is going to be cheesy...but it's SO true.

The moment I laid eyes on Noah, I was head over heels in love. I remember our first dance like it was yesterday. I had just finished playing with a youth orchestra at Carnegie Hall in NYC, Noah had flown up with my Mom and sister to watch it. I was 15, he was 21. I was wearing pink pallet sippers under a full length, poufy black skirt. I wore my hair up in a messy upswept fashion. I felt so out of a movie. We danced to "This I Promise You" by the Backstreet Boys (hehe:-) on a boat, on a dinner cruise at night. We had been eating dinner with my mother and sister and my heart just pitter pattered watching him. All of a sudden he got up and literally swept me off my feet to the dance floor. That dance was so slow motion. I felt so tiny in his strong arms and I was completely melting inside.

We had many, many dances leading up to our wedding day. Some by ourselves when we just felt like it. Others at weddings or parties. Noah is such a stickler for doing only what he knows how to do, while I'm a free at heart type of dancer. But no matter how off we are, I love looking up at him and seeing his twinkling eyes.

On our wedding day, we danced to "It's Not the Pale Moon" by Nora Jones. Surrounded by all of our sweet family and friends, it was magical.

We danced on our honeymoon. Giggly little newlyweds who had every excuse to dance off beat and love it.
We took Ballroom Dance lessons every week during our first summer of marriage. It was bliss.

A few days before I had Barclay we danced for about an hour to an old Nora Jones CD. Just me and him...swaying away with a kicking baby between us.
During labor I would lean on him and he would sway with me encouraging me and supporting me through the pain.

Today I realized we dance all day long, just in a different way. It's graceful, it's intuitive, and it's still magical. I'll be taking care of Barclay and right when I feel like I'm starting to get overwhelmed with something, Noah steps in and takes over. He loves on Barclay and gives me a break. Then I step in and take over for a while when I know he has things to do. Today was just sort of rough. After a wonderful weekend at a Blue Grass Festival (more on that later), I was just wiped out from all the chasing, running, packing and repacking and packing and repacking...and I have had the worse migraines for days and days now. I just felt awful and it was just beautiful to see how Noah stepped in right when I needed it.

He really is just the very best. And now I've gone all mushy inside reliving it all, so I'm going to go snuggle with him in bed...because I can! Hehe. Seriously, nearly every night I lay there and cannot believe I get to sleep with the man of my dreams, the man 10 years ago that I first danced with.