Confessions, Hilarious Happenings, Infertility, Letters to My Kids

Finding Humor in our Conception Struggles

Dear Child of Mine,
I have to be honest with you. While the issue of infertility is very painful, and our desire to have you is very real, sometimes I switch things up and lighten the mood. I’m sure I throw people off by the things I am able to joke about. But I figure laughter really is good for the heart, and I shouldn’t take myself (or my problems) too seriously. 
Our friends, Randy and Sheryl, have a quilt on their couch that was made for them years ago (four kids ago) by a lady who described it as a “fertility quilt.” (Obviously the quilt worked for them!) This concept has always struck me as funny, but every once and a while when we’re visiting together, I really get the giggles about this quilt. When Sheryl asked me if I’d like a blanket, I looked at Kevin and said, “BRING ON THE FERTILITY QUILT!” Yes, we were all laughing!
Then, the other night I gathered in the church library with 5 other church leaders, including your dad, in a meeting to discuss plans for the Christmas Eve services and holiday decorating strategies. I arrived at the meeting 10 minutes late because I had to speed walk (literally) from my piano studio after 4 hours of lessons, and then I would be heading straight from this meeting to my Wednesday night vespers gathering. All good things, but bam, bam, bam, one right after the other.
By the end of the meeting I was getting a little slap happy. (This happens to your mother when she’s low on energy, sleep, and/or patience. I figure it’s better alternative grumpiness.) After we closed in prayer (as every good church meeting does), I happened to catch a glance of this book on the shelf behind me:

Without thinking, I blurted out for the whole group to hear –

“This book is titled Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours, but I TOTALLY thought it said Making Children Without Losing Your Mind.”

Everyone erupted in laughter, with expressions of slight shock and a teeny bit of embarrassment thrown in. Had the title of the book really been Making Children Without Losing Your Mind it would have been incredibly appropriate for your dad and I. Oh the satire was just too rich!

I share this story so that you know I’m not always uptight. I’m not always super spiritual. I’m not always thinking critically. Sometimes I’m just plain ridiculous.

I hope you’ll appreciate my oddities as much as your dad does (most of the time.)

Love,
Your Mama

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About Me, Confessions, Hilarious Happenings

The One with the Laundry Faux Pas

I have a confession to make–I don’t do laundry “right.” I know all the rules. My mom taught me well. But somewhere along the road (actually, I know exactly “where” it happened) I threw it out the window. (The window, the second story window. High, low. Low, high. Threw it out the window.)
I was doing laundry alongside my mother from the time I could toddle. Year after year, I separated my whites from my colors. (Although I was forever confusing which side of the hamper was which.) I knew heavy fabrics like jeans and towels should be separate from permanent press items. 
But then I went off to college. And all of my training went *splat.* Now, before you go assuming I was going through some kind of rebellious stage, let me assure you I was not. No, friends, this was all about the money. Yep, the money. You see, doing laundry in a coin operated laundry room is REALLY EXPENSIVE (especially when you’re 19), and saving up all of those quarters was a pain (even though my mom did it for me for four years straight. thanks, mom!
[side note: if you do need to save quarters for any reason and you happen to have old film canisters laying around the house *ahem,* they hold exactly seven dollars in a very convenient fashion. You’re welcome.]
Even though the quarters weren’t really mine, I just couldn’t bear to put quarter after quarter into those little slots in order to do multiple loads of laundry the “right” way. AND besides the money, I just didn’t have enough clothes to make properly-separated loads of laundry without running out of every last item of clothing in order to make a full load. 
And so (hold on to your hats, people), I combined EVERYTHING INTO ONE BIG LOAD. Yep, that’s right. OH, THE HORROR!! And load after load, year after year, everything’s turned out all right. I’ve never had white-turned-pink-items-because-of-that-darn-red-sock. I keep those likely-to-bleed-fabrics separate a time or two and have no problems. 
So here I am, 8 years later, and still having the audacity to throw everything into one load. 

Yes, it’s awesome that my husband and I only make 1 (or maybe 2) loads of laundry of week. But you know what, I actually enjoy laundry. And if I didn’t have to pay the water and electric bills and if we had enough laundry to fill up more than two baskets (future-me will probably want to punch present-day-me in the face right now), then I totally would do all of those extra loads. 
But for now, I’m just enjoying dropped jaws of classically (laundry) trained women everywhere. 


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Family, Hilarious Happenings, Husband

The One with Florida in {10}

My husband and I just got back from the most blessed week of vacation. We still have yet to vacation to a “far off” land, just the two of us, since our honeymoon, but this was awesome-awesome. Kevin’s grandparents invited us to spend a week with them. They wanted to spend some time with us and basically spoil us to death. They succeeded–and we had a great time. 

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This trip–the driving to and fro, the sitting around and doing nothing, the eating out all the time, the sunning ourselves–took up all of my time, and I subsequently found myself “unplugged” from the internet. It was simultaneously hard to stay away and deliciously relaxing to not feel that tug of responsibility. 
Here are Ten Memorable Tidbits from our week-long vacay:
1. We got incredible gas mileage on the first leg of the trip, hills and all. 42 miles per gallon totally excites me. You go, little ’98 manual Civic. 
2. That trusty car of ours surpassed it’s 200,000 miles mark on the odometer–a milestone we eagerly anticipated with this most thrilling footage. (It’s sideways for some sad reason. bummer.)
3. We spoiled ourselves (or rather, the grandparents’ gift of spending money enabled us) with multiple Starbucks coffee runs. This was an exciting treat, given that we haven’t had a Starbucks to visit since we moved to our tiny town. Sorry, friends, Tim Horton’s just does’t cut it for us. 

4. A switch finally flipped in my brain and I magically understood how to successfully order my own cup of coffee at Starbucks. Kevin has been teaching and teaching all these years. He’s proud. (In case you’re interested, my favorite was the grande iced coffee with non-fat milk and caramel. Heavenly.)
5. In all 40+ hours of car-time we had, I didn’t accomplish half of the things in my travel bag. I brought 5 books, multiple crochet patterns, and some games, but occupied almost all of my time with my audio book. Man, oh man, was that the best invention ever. I finished The Friday Night Knitting Clubwithin 5 minutes of pulling in our driveway. Perfect. 
(I totally recommend reading (or listening) to that book. Fascinating character(s) development. Plus, the narrator is great. However, there are numerous swear words dropped. So be forewarned.) 
6. Speaking of travel time, I became a little driving machine on this trip. Normally I’m all of turning the keys over to Kevin and sitting in the passenger seat for the majority of any trip. But with my audio in my ear, I just wanted to keep driving. I realized it was much more enjoyable than anxiously sitting in the passenger’s seat, alternating between reading, napping, snacking, talking, and complaining about the heat (in our ac-free car). Kevin loves just reading and reading and reading for hours, so it’s a perfect match. Win.

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7. One of my first (and favorite) shopping trips in Florida always has to be Goodwill. The stores are almost always more impressive than any up north, and the selection is completely unique. My husband surprised me by being willing to tag along to BOTH (yes I both–as in two trips) to Goodwill. He helped me decide on a beautiful selection of summer tops plus easy-to-wear/everyday dresses and skirts. I plan on wearing a lot more dresses this summer. yay! 
I won’t tell you how many items I got for $50 because it’ll just make you jealous. ;) 
8. Old Navy flip flops=2 pairs for $5.00. Enough said. 
9. On Wednesday, Kevin and I spent the most glorious day together at the beach. It was surrounded by a couple successfully shopping trips, a Starbucks stop, and dinner at Texas Roadhouse, but our hours in the sun were perfect. It took me far too long to finish the last few chapters of Mockingjay, and we had fun snacking and alternating between dips in the cool water and sunning our pasty skin on our beach towels
10. The best attraction we visited was the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. Oh. My. Word. That was an incredible afternoon for all four of us. The beautifully colored tropical fish, the penguin show, petting the sting rays, the otter show, and the frightening sharks or crocodiles kept things interesting.

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Oh! And did I mention that one of the fish in the “Aquarimania” portion of the place JUMPED OUT of the tank onto the floor right next to me. Oh my gosh, totally freaky experience. But the poor little guy! Luckily a worker was nearby to save him. (There was a crack at the top portion of the tank. YIPES!)

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check out these cute little mini seahorses
(there’s a tiny guy by my fingertip)

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Aren’t those incredible aquarium pictures?! Our trip was amazing, blessed, and relaxing. We ate too much, tanned too much, and bought too many DQ Blizzards. We spent quality time with the grandparents and had some great husband-wife conversations on our long drive. Yep, it was a great vacation.




linked up with Many Little Blessings “Top Ten Tuesday”

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Confessions, Hilarious Happenings

The One with the Blood Drive Trauma

 

Tuesday afternoon I took a walk around the block to the local Red Cross Blood Drive. I have been a fairly regular donor for the past 9 years–ever since that fateful day in 11th grade when the Blood Drive came to my high school. That first experience was memorable–but for all the wrong reasons. Not only did it take at least a half hour to fill the bag, but I was queasy and lightheaded and had half the workers hovering over me to make sure I was doing ok. Heck, I was even breathing into a paper bag. (Not the coolest thing to do as a high school junior, mind you.
Despite my bad experience, I wasn’t going to give up. My mom is a marathon-type donor. She is faithful and has earned who know how many gallon pins as a thank you for her sacrifices over the years. I have gone again an again (probably 2 or 3 times a year since then) and faced my fear, armed with knowledge and experience. I know exactly which vein they should use–old faithful. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I need to be laid back the whole time or things will go south. Preventing the problem I am.

Tuesday was the first time I’ve been brave enough to give blood by myself. Normally I go with my mom or in college, I took a group of friends, or in November I got my husband to come with me for the first time. So I signed myself in, got registered in a new region as a first time donor again (the third time I’ve been a “first time donor”), and got settled on the table. 
My technician was very nice and stood by my side the whole time chatting away. It was wonderful. I was feeling good as she said, “You’re almost done!” I was thrilled–I was not going to complicate things. (I have a history of getting I’m-going-to-faint symptoms with blood drives or even IVs, but I never actually faint.) Then, almost immediately, her expression changed. “Why did it stop?!” she asked. “It’s so close to being finished too and the pressure just dropped. Squeeze the ball again for me.” 
I started squeezing, and instantly the feeling overtook me. “I’m feeling very lightheaded,” I told her. She shouted, “I need a cold compress over here!” My stomach was queasy, my skin was clammy, I was breaking out in a sweat, I was having trouble breathing, my vision was blacking out, and then–the newest and scariest experience–my hearing started to go. 
“I can’t really hear anything,” I announced, as other technicians were flooding to my side, reclining my bed even more. “The hearing’s always the last to go,” one lady said, as she was trying to get me to keep my eyes open and move my legs. “Don’t tell her that,” said another tech guy. (“Oh great,” I was thinking. I still don’t know exactly what she meant by that, but I don’t think I need to find out.) 
This whole experience filled up maybe 2 or 3 minutes time, but it felt like an eternity and I couldn’t wait for it to be over. I wanted to throw up, I wanted the pain and scary symptoms to stop. My body had decided it was done allowing all of that wonderful blood to leave it’s veins, and it put an end to things. Thankfully (SO thankfully), they were able to finish filling the full pint.
And just like that, I was fine. The nice technician who was kindly fanning me with his manila folder was now asking me if I could use something to drink. My color came back, I was smiling again, and I downed that cranberry juice. Pretty soon I was sitting up and walking to the table to eat a small sandwich.
My lightheaded and queasy symptoms lasted long into the evening. I felt weak and sick for the rest of the night–highly unusual for me. But I don’t regret it. The Red Cross employees were wonderful, and I know I’ll give blood again. I just hope I don’t have to go through all that trauma. 
Hopefully my story didn’t scare you away, but are you a blood donor?  
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