Monday, April 30, 2012

When Enough is Beyond Enough

My heart was stomped on again this weekend. You see, in this world of baby loss, there are a good number of us who grieve online. We blog and support one another in this journey that never ends. Each generation of baby loss moms, as I see it, creates a special cohort and bond that connects us. Each cohort contains a group of women who lost babies within about a year of one another and sometimes within days or even hours from the last. It's somehow nice to know that you weren't alone in your misery and that somewhere across this great stretch of land on Earth, someone else understood you. That the gates of the heavens opened and our babies entered in alongside other babies to support one another as we supported each other here in life. Or the shambles we were left with.

In this season, my cohort is moving on to have their first babies post loss. So many of us have just given birth or are on track to do so within the next days, weeks and months. We fought through the battle to conceive again with our hearts at our feet and fear as thick as mud in our throats. But we overcame. We're definitely worse for wear, but we pressed on. Unfortunately though, loss doesn't always strike just once. It's a cruel and unfortunate and absolutely unfair reality that lighting can indeed strike twice. One of our friends has endured just that. She's gone on to bury a sister to her son who was awaiting her arrival. He trailblazed the way for her while her parents sit in despair again. It's absolutely unfathomable that this can occur twice to the same couple and I mourn deeply for them. I've had nightmares every night since and felt such anguish in knowing "the drill" they've had to experience not once, but twice-- to two viable babies that they wanted so desperately to share their lives with.

This world can be a cruel, cruel place. And I'm just so heartbroken for their family.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Other Momma

 Showing herself to the Wilsons for the very first time (on Earth Day no less)...Momma Fox. 

Who picked under our deck for her den... to raise three babies!

Three incredibly cute...

...and curious babies.

...who are a huge blessing to be able to watch from inside our home.

We have no idea how many days they will stick around...

...but, we're not mowing the backyard as long as they do! 
(...or until the HOA complains)

Because these guys are just precious...

...even if they make Benjamin (who naturally wants all the attention) a bit jealous.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


That's the news we got today about B's hips.

We went in for our 10 a.m. ultrasound at the hospital. B was a champ through the whole thing. He did manage to mark his territory and show the ultrasound tech who was boss, but that's sort of expected when you're messing with a 2-month old boy.

The ultrasound lasted about 30 minutes and I tried really hard to focus on the screen and see if the left hip and right hip had any differences. I couldn't see any, but let's be honest-- I don't know anything. A pregnancy ultrasound, I might be able to figure out better considering the amount of those I've had in the last two years. But on a hip? Of a baby no less? Nope.

I'm not going to lie. Walking in to have an ultrasound made my stomach curl up a bit... but after a few minutes, things were okay. The technician was gentle with B and super nice to us. She made three comments throughout the ultrasound that gave us the indication that things were okay and the hip was fine:

"He'll be crawling in no time" -- not if he's casted!

"He has beautiful hips" -- said after she was done

and the one I think really sealed it:

"Do you have a followup appt. with your doctor scheduled? (No) If it's bad news, you'll be getting a call very soon but if not, you can expect a call in about 48 hours. I'd bet on getting a call in 48 hours (as she looked me straight in the eyes and smiled)."

At 3:30, the phone rings. It's our family practice doctor. Holy crap. They're not supposed to call this early if all is well! {heartbeat elevates...}

The nurse called to tell me that B's hips are perfect and he is good to go! I let her know that I was nervous about the call coming so soon, but she told me that she didn't want us worrying, especially since B is so young. Phew. Phew. Phew. Oh, and it probably doesn't hurt that everyone and their mother is aware of our file.

Thank goodness. I need a glass of wine.

Monday, April 23, 2012

If Only I Wanted to Work as a Medical Assistant...

I spend a lot of my day sitting down. On the couch. In the same spot. Watching TV. Lame, uninteresting TV with equally uninteresting commercials. No cool Budweiser commercials for sure. I could probably spend my time reading the rest of Mockingjay, but for some reason I just don't want to part with Katniss, Peeta or Gale. I'm not ready for it to end, and half the time I'm certain I'll be too tired to retain any of it and just have to repeat the pages I'd just read anyway. No complaints here... just facing the facts. So while I'm watching random repeats of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, I'm plagued with commercials about cleaning products, paper plates, and trade school/colleges advertising their Medical Assistant programs.

Who are they advertising to? I have to believe that most stay at home moms aren't just uneducated women looking to get the heck out of their houses and into these random trade schools, right? I mean, women can be intelligent, educated, and just plain see it as a positive experience to be home teaching and raising their children, right? Maybe they're not advertising to stay-at-home-moms or retirees, but those out of work and in need of training, but honestly, how successful can these commercials actually be? I'd be thrilled to know they were successful as we see lots of these medical assistants ourselves...

We're laying low today. Little B has a bit of a fever following his 2-month shots at the doctor today and his cries are much more fierce. Needless to say, I've been doing twice as many feedings and holding a little babe all day as he builds back his energy and motivation. And as usual, doctor visits always yield worrisome results. Whether it be in utero (low scoring NSTs, subchorionic hematoma...) or out in the world (TTN, NICU), we're still getting some bum news here and there. B is growing well, but obviously being 3 weeks early and not being able to breathe very well at birth meant he wasn't eating well and therefore not gaining as much weight early on. He wasn't up to birth weight at 2 weeks. So... we went back for a 1 month checkup. He was at 8lb and past birth weight. Phew. Then, at 2 months (today), he is weighing in at a beautiful 9lb 7.5oz. It's not high when rated on the percentile scale compared to other 2-monthers, but he's not a typical birth story or even at 2 months gestationally... so we're mostly tracking steady growth and that is going well. We'll catch back up with the percentiles for height, weight, and head growth around the 6 month mark.

What I'm not thrilled by are the rest of the concerns that have been brought to our attention. First, he's had herniated tissue in his belly since birth. We noticed, but none of the neonatologists or our other checkups have brought this up as a concern or even a mention, so we assumed it was normal. And may I mention that we are vocal about all the concerns we have regularly, so we really cannot tell unless he's exerting himself in a major way-- like tummy time. This type of hernia usually works itself out by a year and doesn't affect their development, but it's not exactly a wonderful thing to hear about your child. The second concern brought to our attention was a possible hip dysplasia on his right hip. Our doctor has referred us to have an ultrasound on B's hip. He also prefaced this by saying that he's recommended 12 other ultrasounds for other babies in the past for this same issue and none of those children actually had hip dysplasia. Of course it also only occurs in .4% of babies. Rare, wouldn't you know. If hip dysplasia is diagnosed, he will likely be casted or given some kind of brace to keep that hip in place for awhile. We've noticed no pain or movement issues (as a matter of fact, he moves both legs quite a bit!). We'll see what this ultrasound reveals-- that's not a grief trigger at all. Sigh.

While neither are life threatening, he now has about 5 "dings" on his file since birth. TTN, slight murmur at birth (reason for Echo), jaundice that never developed (thankfully), hernia, and now possible hip dysplasia. We're so thankful for B and know that none of those concerns are really major concerns and can all be lived with/curable. But for once I'd love to have a wellness check that yields no issues or concerns. These diagnoses are more painful for mama to hear than anything. I just want desperately to shield him from any concerns. Yet, I don't have much of a choice in the matter... as usual. I also know that this is typical for parenting. I think I'll be worried about him physically and emotionally for the rest of my life. It all comes with the territory. I can't help but think our history of loss has made each "ding" along the way even harder to swallow.

So I sit. Watching television and noticing an insane amount of medical assisting commercials as B sleeps on my lap. It's a cuddle day. He needs his mama and his mama desperately needs him.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Airplane Diaries are Back! Newborn Edition.

It's about time I post some photos and commentary from our visit to Savannah. I'm lucky enough to be able to travel with Ray when he has a meetings in a faraway city-- especially if I've never been there before. We usually extend our stay a day or two for exploration. Let's start our story the day before we left, shall we? I have the perfect story for y'all.

The one where I felt awesome about my body image.
I know I just posted about all that in my last post, but I forgot a little something. I was searching my closet for something I'd fit into for Easter service. We went the night before since we were traveling on Sunday. I selected a short sleeved brown dress with a cute collar and ruffly front. I started pulling it over my head and realized it might be a little tight. Not only was it a little tight, but my arms barely fit into the sleeves. For some reason, I still thought this little endeavor was a good idea. Before I knew it, I was asking my husband to help me pull the rest down. Once on, I realized very quickly that it needed to be taken off immediately since it was a no-go. Then, it took two of us to peel the dang thing off me. I got on the floor and Ray was above me bracing himself while pulling with two hands. It was not pretty, folks. I'm surprised he didn't have to brace his feet against the wall or something. Honestly. In that moment, I felt beautiful, I tell ya. I just may be burning that dress. I definitely wore pants to Easter service. I also want to add that from my last post, I am not intending to be in bikini shape anytime soon. As a matter of fact, my beautiful stretch marks pretty much nix that idea altogether. I just want to fit into pants and feel healthy again. After so long with very little exercise, I want to feel healthy again.

The next morning-- our first flight with a newborn.
I mentioned being a bit cheap, right? Well, I also refused to pay a baggage fee (I've never paid one, ever) for our 5-day trip. The carseat and stroller are gate-check items and we were allowed one bag and one carry-on item each, allowing for the following to be in our possession for free:
  • stroller
  • carseat
  • 2 rolling carry-ons
  • backpack with computer & iPad
  • diaper bag (yes, my cute, new one I bought at the lululemon sale!)
  • Ergo + infant insert
B was in the carseat and clipped into our snap stroller and the diaper bag and laptop backpack were in the stroller basket. The Ergo was stuffed into the backpack and I was pushing the stroller. Ray was managing both of our rolling carry-on bags. Mine is quite small and he'd done this many times before (and all through Europe), so we're pretty skilled. Also, I'm a master packer. We've traveled a lot together and I make sure never to pack more than I need. I managed to fit all of my clothes for 5 days (it's warm in Savannah) and B's clothes and our toiletries with room to spare. I then packed in one of B's Aden & Anais blankets to fill it so things wouldn't get all messy and shift around. We didn't pack many diapers or wipes because we intended to stop off and buy some once we reached our destination. Another lesson in traveling with the Wilsons: always stop to buy a case of bottled water, granola bars & fruit for a cheap breakfast, and now-- add diapers and wipes to the mix. We did this all through Europe and saved a lot of money not buying overpriced water and breakfasts on-the-go.

Before our flight, I strapped B into the Ergo and we were off. He did amazingly well on our first flight and I managed to feed him at the end of our flight and while we taxied so we could make our connecting flight (I know, ridiculous!) on time. Second flight from Charlotte to Savannah was also great.
 His very name on the ticket! Also, I had no idea you needed to get an infant pass at the ticket counter. Now I know...

The arrival at our destination. So not uneventful.
Once we arrived in Savannah, we took our time getting to the rental car. B then started having his massive breakdowns-- thankfully he waited until we were out of public range. I went to the bathroom to change him since I didn't have time between flights and whatdoyouknow, blowout. Crap! (pun intended) I now had a naked baby in the airport bathroom and I was cleaning not only his outfit (I recommend dark outfits, especially for travel), but I had to clean the WHITE infant insert to the Ergo. Why do they make those white? And why was I stupid enough to buy that? Well, it's sort of gray, but it may as well be white when your kid's poo is of a bright yellow hue. I scrubbed with thin paper towels and the automatic soap that decided in my haste not to want to come out no matter how many times I waved my hand in front of it. I walked naked baby out of the bathroom leaving the rest of our things in place and handed him off to Ray to re-dress him while I attempted to salvage our insert. Add to our shopping list a bottle of Shout {Excellent $2 investment}.

We had a nice 5-day adventure between Hilton Head, SC and Savannah, GA. We had lots of stroller and Ergo walks and some nice dinners and exploration while there. I'll post some photos with commentary...

B's first touch in the Atlantic Ocean... a bit cold! Hilton Head, SC

 Marriott sinks make excellent bathtubs for 7-week old kidlets. He looooves his bath time.
 I like big beds and I cannot lie...
 Naptime at the beach/pool
 Just before dinner in Savannah
Ergo walking all over Savannah while Ray was in meetings
Popular Savannah joint, Zunzi's. The locals love it. Vegetarians don't fare as well... but it was good. I'd say we enjoyed a leisurely stroller walk and lunch in the park, but that didn't happen quite like that... B had other ideas.
Our trip home was equally as uneventful as the trip there-- except random sick guy directly next to me on our first leg. It was a small plane that was about 60% full and I made sure B was covered up and then some. Ugh. Otherwise, we had a nice trip... looking forward to our next trip. Our flights are already booked for Jersey! We're headed to the Poconos and Long Island for a few days to visit Great Grandparents and Ray's parents. We also have a Nashville, California, and Canada trip planned for this year as well! B is going to be one well-traveled kidlet by his first birthday.

Speaking of birthdays... I cannot be more excited to welcome all kinds of BLM babies into the world. I think there are about 15 of you having babies in the next few months! I'm looking forward to reading all about these babies and seeing their photos, my friends.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Operation Cut the Crap. Again.

Saw this card in a cute French store in Savannah.
Yeah no, probably just fat. That's what a bebe (or two) will do to a body. Especially a 30-year (almost) old body. So here we go again... trying to slim down so I can fit into my stinking pants. Currently, this is my plan:

Breastfeed. No news there. It's supposed to just "shed those pounds away" and all that jazz. Well, I still don't fit into those Gap jeans, you guys. I know, it's not been that long. Just chill, right? It's been 8 weeks and there's still a very incredible muffin top just waiting to depress me whenever I try to put those bad boys on. Luckily, I can at least zip them up. I'm about pass out, but anyway.

Box up those maternity clothes. I took of my maternity clothes and put them in the guest closet last night. They are no longer being used/worn/seen in my closet. I refuse to wear them. Which means I'm wearing fat jeans, leggings, yoga pants, skirts, cargo pants with stretchy waist, etc. It forces me to face the reality and find something in my wardrobe to wear.

Run 2x/week. I'd really love to get back into Zumba, but we're already pressed for family time as it is and I absolutely refuse to drop my little kidlet off with the random YMCA nursery. I can't even handle the thought of all those germies. Plus, I've done my reading and I surely don't want intense workouts to dry up my milk supply I worked hard to establish. I know 2 runs a week isn't much, but I can only really do so on the weekends when Ray is home. I just hate going when he gets home because by the time we both get a run in and dinner, it's just about shower and bedtime. That leaves very little socialization time and time for us as a family. I'd take B with me, but he's a bit too small for the jogger and I don't have a seat adapter. He's only a couple months away from that possibility, so I'm not investing in one now. Speaking of strollers, here's our lineup. Let me first preface things with the whole thought that I'm a little cheap. I don't want to buy the most expensive strollers for one child when I know we'll need to buy a double at some point. So for now, here's what we've got for just one kid:

Graco Snugrider Snap Stroller - super light, super easy and super convenient. Paid $25 at the local consignment store and I've put tons of miles on this already and traveled to Savannah with it. NOT jogging material. Brisk walks, sure. Jogging, no.

Britax B-Agile. Amazon purchase for $200 and that's about as expensive as I'm willing to go with one kiddo. It's light, folds up compact, but it's not really jogging material. Again, brisk walking. This will come in handy as our everyday stroller when B is sitting with better head control.

Baby Trend Expedition LX. It's the jogger we have right now. We paid about $45 on Craigslist. B is too small for it still and I refuse to invest in a adapter when he'll be big enough before we know it.

Now, when we have another kid, we'll invest in a much better double/jogger and the adapter for the carseat. This is my pick for when that time comes (not necessarily that color):

BOB double -- yes, I know most of you are super cool and already own this. I'm a little jealous but can't bring myself to buy a single BOB and a double BOB. I do want my children to go to college. ;) And truth be told, my dream double is the Bumbleride Indie Double. Now that's lovely... and a freaking down payment on a house. Hah.

Cutting out sugar. I've decided to take a sweet break. Last year I did this in the spring and worked out like a madwoman. It was incredible and I dropped the pregnancy weight stat-- but what wasn't incredible was the reason I wanted to lose it so stinking quick. This time, I'm just cutting out sweets for a month. We'll see if it lasts longer. I'm on day 6. And don't get me started on the Reese's Eggs I picked up on after Easter clearance at Target for $.09. They're stashed away.

Brisk walks for at least 30min/day. I've been walking pretty regularly with B because it gives us something to do, gets us out in fresh air, allows for some exercise, and it's a good 30 minutes of not having to walk around the house rocking him so he won't cry. He's a little sensitive lately and wants to be moving constantly. As long as I'm keeping up my heart rate, I'm pleased. It gives me 30+ minutes of heart rate elevation a day and without exercising any other way each day, it's all I've got. I'd love to use exercise videos or even the Wii to motivate me, but B is seriously clingy right now and cannot be put down for longer than 10 minutes. It's impossible to get a workout in. I went for a nice walk in the forest preserve with a friend yesterday and took B in the Ergo. It's not as easy as stroller walking, but I was walking fast enough to feel it-- shows just how out of shape I am. I wouldn't do anything more than walking (and even then had to hold Ray's hand because I was afraid to trip) with B's pregnancy and I can tell.

And with that, I'll leave you with my final motivation:


Monday, April 16, 2012

Yellow Zebra

I was having a nice little cuddle session after feeding B today and looked down later to discover a mysterious yellow zebra on the Boppy pillow. Zebras aren't yellow, you might be wondering. Nevermind that some of the animals on this pillow cover are of proper coloring and others, like giraffes are blue. But this zebra? This zebra is indeed white with black stripes (or isn't it that they are actually black with white stripes?). Anyway, this zebra was now yellow. And we're not talking about urine here. It was straight poo.

I was laughing as I talked with my friend Lauren about her twins having blowouts and how I hadn't experienced such things (lucky me! my kid is so special!) until literally, the next day I experienced my very own blowout. And let me set the record straight that I'm comfortable talking to Lauren about parent/baby crap because she went through hell and high water plus multiple miscarriages to get those babies. And then the next day, another blowout. Now we've lost count of how much poo has been discovered on our clothes, baby items, skin, you name it. I even *vomit* discovered some suspicious yellow on his bouncer yesterday. Let's just say I'm thrilled we chose a dark color for that thing. Baby crap can sure get massively dir-tay. We've also started giving him Poly-Vi-Sol drops (he drinks that baby straight and likes it) every other day and that makes the whole poo process even more grodie. I urban dictionaried that for you in case you needed more explanation on the word.

We've also decided that there is an acceptability factor when it comes to baby urine. Not only does he have blowouts (and please don't advise me that his diapers don't fit because we've tried two sizes and three different brands and none are blowout-proof-- and no I don't want to hear about cloth diapering because I'm too lazy), but he pees like a racehorse. I have been peed on probably 30 times, y'all. At this point, I don't even flinch and half the time, I don't even change my clothes. I know. I'm repulsive. If it's sort of small or in a place that will dry quickly or if I'm not going anywhere anytime soon, I don't change. I know. Urine is sterile, right? And somehow it feels more acceptable coming out of an 8-week old munchkin.

I'll update traveling with a newborn and our visit to Hilton Head, SC and Savannah, GA soon with some photos. Until then, I'll leave you with a photo that currently is without a caption. Because, I mean... it speaks for itself, no?

no. he did not sleep there.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Drooling Like Flip

My husband sent me an email yesterday titled, You'll Start Drooling Like Flip (if you remember, our nickname in utero for B. It still manages to find its way into everyday conversation. But now it has new meaning for him flipping out and going AWOL on us for no apparent reason. I do not claim to have that seriously perfect baby. That he is not. Quite fitting, considering I'm definitely not a perfect mom).

So, the title of that email. Once I opened it, I saw a link to this beaut:

That would be the 2013 Audi A4 Allroad. This is what I refer to as the hot mom car. Before I even became a mom, I had starry eyes for soccer practice duty and being an overall taxi for a couple littles in the backseat. For awhile, my heart was set on the Volvo XC (60/70/90, no matter. All sexy.), but then I got all nervous about the company going under and gave up on that dream. I still have a little matchcar Ray bought for me as a reminder of my desire to own said car.

I don't drive either, and oddly, I haven't been feeling very hot mom either. I love my Accord and purchased it for two reasons:
1. I owned a Honda Civic and it was one of the best investments I've made in a material thing. I knew the Accord would live up to that same potential and it has.
2. Ray owns an Audi and you can't even buy stinking wiper blades anywhere other than the dealer for an astronomical price. You can practically outfit a Honda at the nearest dollar store. And just about every single car mechanic can fix a Honda blindfolded.

But man, do I love the European car. The XC is more of a consolation vehicle at only about 70% sexy compared to that sweet Audi Allroad. We drove an Audi in Europe as well and loved every minute of that luxury. I'll be waiting a few years on that Allroad, if that dreams comes to fruition.

Gotta admit, that is one hot mom car, right? Sure beats the days of wood paneled station wagons. And for the BLM record, it's a hot mom car, with or without a kid in the back seat and cheerios stuck between the seat cushions. I stand firm on that and feel we've all earned that right, tenfold.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Friday Mish Mosh

 I'm not sure I've ever even used that term before... or if I'm using it right. *Also, update: It's Thursday. Obviously I don't know what I'm talking about.

I spent the day celebrating the life of the man who I mentioned in my last post. I only shed a few tears at his funeral. Partly because it was so well done and more of a celebration than anything. It was incredibly special to honor such a wonderful person and the celebration of his life was perfectly done. It was uplifting and beautiful. I brought B with me and he was good for the majority of it, but like any 6-week old, we had our limits.

Yesterday morning I got up early and headed 10 miles away to drop off some breakfast treats for the staff at the school I was working at through my entire pregnancies with Andrew and B. These people have been remarkably sweet and supportive. They've lavished me with support in words and gifts and I'll always be so grateful how they embraced me in my broken state and allowed me to feel so valuable. When I walked back into the house around 7:30 a.m., I saw this:

 B was perfectly still and getting a manicure from his dad. It was freaking precious. Doesn't he look like such a balding old man? My son, not my incredibly handsome husband.
Ray's parents were in town for a few days and spent lots of good quality time with their grandson. B has now been held more by grandmas than he has slept in total number of hours. Hah.

Here's a Yoda outfit picked out by my FIL.
Ray's grandparents, Gramie and Papa bought B a plate just like Andrew's and the one we have from our wedding. Each of the three plates has the same bridge painted on it. The bridge is a symbol from the Japanese Garden where our wedding reception was held. Don't mind how ridiculously tired we look. We're totally exhausted, obviously.
 Going for a riverwalk...
As for B updates, he's sleeping just fine. Just one caveat-- he'll only sleep, night or day on someone. It's a bit challenging to say the least. But I am reminded that he won't be like this for long and at some point, I'll wish he wanted to be near me so often. Otherwise, he's doing great. We're headed on our first airplane ride this Sunday. Lord. Help. Us. and the people next to us on the plane. My current plan of action is to Ergo babywear him and attempt to breastfeed as long as possible on the plane if I can. And keep him covered from all the germies.

I made a delicious dessert from Pinterest the other day. I was definitely taking advantage of having a few extra hands around. This recipe turned out excellent:

I even added my own personal touch-- almonds. I love the extra crunch. I made a mini version for us to keep and Ray told me that he would love for me to make it again. The graham crackers really did soften, but even about 36 hours later, they were not mushy and still had some texture to them. Next time I'll attempt to make it a bit healthier (not that much heavy whipping cream), but otherwise, it was fantastic and insanely easy. I allowed 5 hours in the refrigerator before eating to allow the crackers to soften enough to be cake-like.
Now that I've written about dessert, I'll mention that I'm so over maternity clothes. I've had my 6-week postpartum checkup and I'm either wearing maternity clothes (like to the funeral since I have no suitable bottoms for the occasion that I fit into), yoga pants, or jeans that are skin tight and uncomfortable. I've also been wearing maternity for the better half of two years. They're comfortable, but I'm ready to feel like myself in my own skin again. It seems I've even gained weight since a couple weeks ago. Sigh. I've been for about 5 jogs since B was born, but nothing longer than about 2 miles at a time. I was in incredible shape after Andrew was born and before B was conceived. I wanted to control something and was an exercising machine! I also went on a 3-month stint with no sugar or alcohol. I was in better shape than before I got married. I'm not expecting to be slimming down that much since I'm breastfeeding and simply don't have as much time (thankfully!), but I'd like to fit into my regular jeans comfortably enough. Once we get back from our little vacation to Savannah, I'm thinking about giving up all sweets again for a month.

We left B with my in-laws to go see the Hunger Games! We rarely see movies in the theater because I think it's expensive and germs are everywhere. But this movie... we saw! Since we both read the series (okay, I'm still 1/3 through Mockingjay since B was born earlier than expected.), we wanted to see how it measured up. We both agreed that it was excellently done. A couple tidbits:
  • For the amount of violence in the book, they did an excellent job being tasteful about the whole thing.
  • Haymitch? He totally didn't look like I pictured. I thought he'd be less Fabio-like. 
Sort of weird to end on that note, but anyway. That's all I've got right now.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What Choice Do We Have?

Someone wonderful died this week and it's been on my mind ever since.

When we moved to the Midwest, we searched and searched through the good and bad to find a church that we could call home. The truth is, we didn't know any other way to meet people. We were out of college stage and we'd been married a couple years. Frequenting bars to lurk on people we might ask to hang out with us? It felt desperate. And weird.

We're Christian. Not specifically any denomination to claim, as we've literally visited or attended services in just about every Protestant denomination you can speak of. We like good music (a requirement) and a good community of people who are caring, considerate, and generous with their lives and actions. We also wanted to befriend people that we'd want our children to be around... because I was pregnant about five minutes after we touched down in Chicago from Germany.

This church we found. It's Lutheran (a new one for us). We have met some great people who have been so supportive of our heartaches and triumphs these couple years. We're thrilled that all of our living children will grow up with friends whose parents we admire and respect. One of the pastors of this church we attend was diagnosed with Stage 4 Carcinoma in November at age 55. And this past Saturday, he joined Andrew in heaven.

I shed quite a few tears over this. First of all, he was one of those realists. He always spoke from his heart and from a different perspective. He didn't appear to be overly conservative, but offered a fresh outlook on Christianity and life. He fit our style and although he didn't know us personally, we admired him greatly.

Fast forward to the next day, Sunday. The lead pastor spoke and basically admitted that he just thought for sure that God would heal him. That he'd be speaking on Palm Sunday and not him standing up there in his place. The message was about When God lets you down. Boy, did I feel the heat from that message and the well of tears from Andrew's death was refilled. Fresh. I appreciated his perspective. He didn't offer excuses for God not coming through. He just plain said that although God can let us all down, he still loves us. And to be honest, what choice do we have?

It brought me to tears thinking about Andrew. We laid in bed the other night talking about this message and how we prayed more for Andrew probably than anything in our lives. And yet, we feel God let us down. He's also been a great source of comfort and has been the center to finding wonderful friends. We all experience loss and sadness in life. We'll all die. I will just never accept death happening in such devastating ways and to such young people.

One year ago, almost to the day, I wrote a post about prayer. Not a lot has changed. I still pray, but it's definitely taken a beating. We still pray for B's health and life, but I'm not sure that really has much weight. We pray for peace, most of all. After all, what choice do we have?