Today I cry a bit…

For a friend who I have not been as close to in recent years, but who, in the past, was one of my closest friends. I cry because I learned that the baby she and her husband were expecting was miscarried and as an expectant mother who’s deepest fear is just that, I can imagine (and only imagine) how horrible this loss must be for them both. I am praying for her and her little family and sending this song out to her.



Body Image

Over the years that I’ve had this blog, I’ve talked before about my weight some and how I wished I could get into shape. When Jarell got sick back in August, we both renovated our lifestyles, started taking some supplements to fix some issues, and began being healthier in general. It was discovered that I not only had an issue with hypothyroidism (thyroid slows down production of certain crucial hormones, causing weight gain, hair growth, and a ton of other fun stuff), the IBS that I’ve discussed in the past, but also a gluten allergy. When I began addressing these issues, the weight started melting off even though I was eating more than I usually did. It wasn’t a fast weight loss, but, I am proud to say that since the end of August last year, I’ve lost about 25 pounds. I’d been hovering at just over 200 (yes I’m short and round, but I know a lot of it is muscle, as I wear comfortably the same size as several of my friends who are my height and weigh 30 pounds less than I do) for a long time, and I was okay with that. Then, I got pregnant and my weight at my first doctor’s appointment was up several pounds which came as quite a shock since I’d only weighed myself 2 days before. I was okay, but it did seem off. Then two weeks, and a bout with food poisoning later, I went back in and they were shocked to see me sitting 10 pounds lighter than the previous visit. This made more sense to me considering both the food poisoning and the fact that it lined up with where I should have been. Since then I have ignored my scale, only getting weighed again last week when I went in to see my OB one last time. Again, my weight was where it had been before (I have a sneaking suspicion that I lost quite a bit in the month between the two appointments but finally started to put some weight back on when I was able to eat again and everyone else has commented on it as well) and I was thankful for this fact as it meant I wasn’t losing or gaining weight in an unhealthy fashion.

You might well wonder where I’m going with this rambling diatribe about my weight, but your patience, if you’re still here, is about to be rewarded. My weight right now at 3 months, 5 days pregnant is 197 and I’m perfectly okay with that. I have fought my weight for years and in one of those supreme ‘go figure’ moments, I am at my thinnest I’ve been for 4 years at least, while also 3 months pregnant. I look in the mirror and don’t see a body that is gradually gaining back the pounds I’ve worked so hard to lose. Instead, I see a body that is being transformed into a temporary home and safe harbor for the infant I am growing inside me and what I see is beautiful. The swell in my belly that is more than just flab left from problems with the gluten allergies and a faulty thyroid is amazing to me and my breasts that are growing slowly to enormous proportions (and I was a 36 DD before the baby started making its mischief there) are not alien to me, but merely a much needed and quite conveniently free baby accessory that is going to make my life so much easier when the little one makes their arrival.

I find it amazing how one simple change in the weight gain formula can so easily affect how I see my body. For the first time in a long time, I am happy with what I see and although I still have concerns about the various issues that go hand in hand with being overweight while pregnant, I know to that I have the tools to avoid most of those pitfalls in the form of better nutrition, a healthier diet, and the willingness to get out and move when I have the energy. (which is supposed to be coming back any day now… right?) I am thankful for the first time for my wide hips and stocky muscular build that will help me lift this child and carry the weight of it through pregnancy and infancy.

What are you thankful for?

Still alive

I swear I’m still alive. Its just been a very busy and messy year so far. Its almost April and we haven’t even sent out the yearly invitations to the family reunion! (oops!) My grandfather died in January and while that was sad, I knew he’d lived a long and productive life. I’ve been busy with classes but that’s not much of an excuse. I was sick quite a bit for a while there. I’ve been working on my photography business (yes business! I’ve currently got two paying gigs lined up in the next month!!) And then on Friday, my dog was sick. My 11 month old Bessie who had puppies on Valentines day. (yes she was too young, I wanted to get her spayed, but we were low on funds when it came time to take her to the vet due to my husband’s job not paying him for almost a month and it was too late by the time we had the money) I planned to take her to our vet on Monday because she had thrown up a couple of times and wasn’t eating much. Saturday night we kept her inside so she could get some rest and when I went to check on her Sunday morning, she was dead. I have no idea what made her so sick that she was gone so fast and I can’t help but blame myself because I feel like I should have known if something was that badly wrong with her, but aside from a worried sick feeling in my stomach, I had no idea. I took her to the vet after the puppies were born. He checked her out, sent her home with some antibiotics and she seemed fine. Its still a shock to me and now I have 8 orphaned babies to watch out for. Thankfully I have 2 adult females who tolerate the babies because they still need someone to show them how to be dogs.

For those of you who have dogs who are like your family (or closer for some of you) you understand what a blow this is I’m sure. It has me off-balance but playing with her little ones has been some of the best medicine. They’re precious and irresistible and I will be keeping at least two of them. We will be setting aside a nice chunk of our tax refund to take care of all the vet bills (spaying, shots, etc) so that I don’t have to worry about this happening again. 

I was doing pretty good

I was really- I posted 3 days in a row. But then life happened again. Monday morning my grandfather passed away at the age of 97Everyone in this picture has passed away

My grandpa had 8 children and is survived by 6 of them. My grandma passed away 10 years ago next Saturday and by some odd coincidence that is the day we’ll be holding my grandpa’s funeral.


Thought I’d drop by and say hi

I had a whole long post written and it disappeared into the ether so I’m just going to say that I lost my aunt over the weekend. I miss her already but I know she’s in a better place now. She lost her battle with cancer. Or maybe she finally won in the only way she could- she’s at peace now. Its the rest of us left behind who have lost someone dear to us but I like to think we’ve only lost contact for the time being. I know I’ll see her someday and that she and my other aunt and gramma are up there watching over us right now. I wish I had gotten a chance to say goodbye. I let fear hold me back. A good friend told me to ask her if she’d had a good life and I would like to believe the answer was yes. I know the part she played my life was good and I will miss her.


 Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.

          -Mary Frye 1932

In Remembrance

6 years ago give or take a few days, my aunt Marti lost the battle with cancer that had been raging in her body for just a short year and a half. She found out about it in early 2001 about a week before her mother’s death. The cancer was removed, but somehow it snuck past the doctors and moved into her brain and set up camp there in an area where its malignant tumors were inoperable. So my aunt who had always been active and kind of an angel to everyone was confined to her bed. When her hair fell out, her husband shaved his head so they could have the same hair cut. He kept her laughing and for that we were grateful. My mom and I went and spent a long weekend with her in June of 2002 singing and joking about old times. She was my mom’s little sister and since they were only about 2 years apart, they were pretty close. The youngest of 8 they tended to stick together as they became adults. When I was growing up there were two aunts who had made the move here to Missouri and Marti was one of them. She taught me to make pillows for my Barbies and had the most awesome Super Mario games for the Nintendo. She let me turn her swingset slide into a water slide and put up with countless hours Carmen SanDiego on the computer. She was the aunt that I only hope to be and tho she never had any children, (her first husband convinced her to get a hysterectomy at a very young age) she was wonderful with us. We stayed with her when my mom had a nervous breakdown and she made it less scary that my mom was in the hospital for two weeks. When she died there was a service held in Osage Beach where she had lived, but a couple weeks later there was another one held for all the family in California in one of the towns where she and my mom grew up. I was out there visiting my mom and so I went. My mom had written a song for her and we sang it at the memorial. Then my aunt’s ashes were scattered over the Pacific Ocean at Pacific Grove. It was a rough couple of days where I tried to be happy that she wasn’t hurting any more but was home with her lord. At 16 thats hard. At 22 I miss her more than ever and I know my mom does too. What I took away from this tho was to love those who are still around as if tomorrow might not get here. Lives are often cut short well before we’re ready to let someone go so I try to make the best of the time I have. I know this post rambles and is long, but its hard to stop the memories.

Light a Candle by Frieda Bacon

Light a candle to remember me 

No more sorrow

All is as it should be

Open your eyes

Open your eyes

I am living on in the skies

Light a candle to remember me

Stand and bear witness

Love is my legacy

Open your arms

Open your arms

I am living on in your hearts

Oh how lovely to be with you here

My sweet reunion

All my loved ones are near

Look to the flame

Look to the flame

I am dancing on just the same

Look to the flame

Look to the flame

I am dancing on just the same