Friday, February 18, 2011

A Quiet Weekend

I got to have a quiet weekend to myself at home last weekend, and it was wonderful. My mom had planned on taking Kalyn for the weekend so Fred and I could have a weekend away to ourselves. It took a lot of planning to find that particular weekend, and after my mom and I had it squared away, Fred realized he had signed up for a training for Saturday and Sunday 8-5. Kalyn was so excited to go to Nana's house that I decided to keep the weekend as planned and just enjoy some time to myself. IT WAS WONDERFUL. I feel guilty saying that because of course I love my life and wouldn't change a thing, but it felt so nice to be able to sleep in my bed and sleep in late in the morning without anyone needing anything for me.

Saturday, after sleeping in, I went for a long run and then got a massage. It was a perfect combination and might have to happen! I came home to a quiet house and sat and read my book and drank tea for the afternoon. Fred came home and we went out to a nice dinner and then I got to sleep in again! I spent half the day in my pajamas, caught up with a girlfriend that moved away last year, and didn't pick up the house at all. It felt rather rebellious to not do any of my normal roles for the weekend. I realized how strict I can be with myself sometimes, but to give myself the time to do whatever I wanted, even if it was nothing at all was very rejuvenating. I got my batteries recharged which was helpful before this past week when no one has been sleeping very well. I only made one comment (outside of earshot of a certain 3 year old) that night times are for sleeping, but otherwise, I managed to not get mad and know we would all catch back up on sleep eventually.

To have a weekend to myself at home was a gift that I received at perfect timing. I wasn't at my whits end before the weekend, but I definitely needed it before this week we had. This weekend is not going to be a quiet weekend, but it is also not too busy. There is always balance in life, sometimes you just have to take a step back to see it.

Monday, February 14, 2011


I've learned a lot about love this past year. Becoming a mother taught me a lot about love, and so did having my life turned upside down after Fred's accident. These moments allowed me to see exactly what was really important and forget about all the rest. I feel so fortunate for my husband and daughter. They have both taught me so much about love and showed me more love than I feel I deserved at times.

I tell Kalyn I love her so much that she just laughs a little and says "I know, I love you too." Language has always been fascinating to me, and especially how we learn and understand it. I know my daughter knows what love is, but when and how do we learn and associate the word with the feeling? I always think of learning a foreign language and how words that are super powerful can be said without realizing the impact a native speaker would have. Kids are such emotional sponges, so I'm guessing Kalyn has learned what the word love means because she can feel what my heart is feeling towards her when I say it.

Fred and Kalyn mean the world to me, and I love them both with all of my heart. It feels hard to narrow down what I love about them both to a couple of things, but I'll give it a try. I love Fred's strength and determination, but especially his sensitive and quiet side. He is one of the most giving people I have ever met in my life. I love Kalyn's belly laugh and her sweet cuddles after she wakes up. She has taught me more about myself than I ever thought possible and is the best gift I have ever received in life.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Strong Woman

I recently found out that a friend's second baby due early this summer has Down syndrome. Hearing the news made me very emotional. I have a hard enough time dealing with the emotions of how others treat my child for things as simple as her food allergies or if other kids like and accept her. It made me realize how small these worries are, but how wide the range of fears and worries a mother can have for her child. My friend is brave and strong and facing the situation head on. She knows her life is about to change drastically, but she is determined to be the best mom she can and knows her new daughter will bring so much joy and love into their lives.

I tear up when I think about it, and it makes me think of when I saw this same friend at Fred's benefit party last summer. She came up to me with tears in her eyes and told me she had no idea how I had stayed strong during such a tough time. Looking back, I don't know how I did it either, and I certainly didn't feel strong. I've always loved the saying, "A woman is like a tea bag, you don't know how strong she is until you put her in hot water."

My friend is going into the birth of a special needs child with an open heart. To me, this seems to be the only way to survive and find the beauty at the same time. As a mother, my heart hurts for the challenges she will have to watch her child go through. As a friend, I am fortunate to have such a strong woman as my friend. I know I will learn a lot from her.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Missing My Dad

I didn't realize until after I had written last that it was actually the 9 month anniversary of Fred's accident. It was nice to have that day pass without it sending me into a tailspin. There are other anniversaries this week. Last Sunday, Fred and I had the 11th anniversary of our first date. As one friend put it, that one is almost more important than our wedding anniversary because that is the day our lives truly changed forever.

Right now I have a more difficult anniversary to experience. Sometime between the fourth and fifth of February, my dad killed himself four years ago. As each year has passed, it gets a little easier, but it is still a sad time for me. I was pregnant when he died, and one of the hardest things for me is he and me daughter never met each other. He never got to experience being a grandfather. He was so excited when I had told him I was pregnant on Thanksgiving day, but he soon when into a downward spiral of depression and was too proud to ask for help or let his family know how much he was hurting.

It's hard to not look back and wonder if I could have done anything to save him. Of all the times in my life that I look back and wish I had or hadn't done something, this is the one time I wish I could change. I struggled with my relationship with my dad for a lot of my life. Quite often, he was never the father I wanted him to be, but I would rather have our imperfect relationship back than have him be gone too soon. Life is short to begin with, so don't end it too soon and don't throw away time by holding grudges and not taking time with family and those that you love.

I know he loved me and my brother, but he just got lost in a fog of depression, debt and feeling like everything was going wrong in the world. He had reached out to his sister, my wonderful Aunt Pat, for financial help in his final month, and she helped him without question. In his final week, she told myself and my brother that she was worried about him. Both of us called him, and I pretended like she hadn't told me anything. I knew he was struggling to find work and was trying to stay positive for him. To be honest, at the time, I was mad at him because he was being stubborn and was trying to find one specific job when he was really desperate for any sort of income.

This is coming from a very stubborn person that does not like to ask for help, but please don't be too proud in your life to see what really matters. We all experience pains and ups and downs. Don't forget the beauty in life and remember to have some shred of faith, even in the toughest times.

I'll always miss my dad, even on the day he would have been 120 years old. I will always be brought to tears special father/daughter moments, and I will always cherish the special moments we had together. I'll leave you with one of those memories, and thanks for letting me be sad right now.

My dad and I were waiting in the basement of my mom's house to walk down the isle so I could marry Fred. I was emotional and nervous, and my dad started telling me silly jokes. He was about to walk his only daughter down the isle and was trying to make me laugh. Then when we started walking down the isle and the piano player started playing, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, he said - oh, I love this song and started humming along with a huge smile on his face.