Category Archives: unknown

desparation then devastation

there is a time in my life where I need to realize some truths and accept them.  I am working on this – every day.  there is a long list and I don’t feel like this is the time to divulge that list in it’s entirety, but rather just glance at that list.

with the infertility journey and the adoption journey one of the truths that I have learned is that in the grand scheme of things I have no control.  I have no “real” say in my life.  yes I make decisions about what I am going to wear, what I am going to eat, what I am going to do, but this journey has opened my eyes that I can’t control everything, despite my best effort I just can’t.  I can make lists to control the happenings in my life (and the organization of my home), but in reality I don’t have control – just an illusion of control that I cling to with every breath.  if I had control I would have said “listen ovaries – you have one job – it is time to do it” and it would have worked.  if I had control I would have looked at my doctor and said “you have no option but to make this procedure succeed.”  but I don’t have control and I am learning – still – that there is nothing that I could have done differently or additionally to change the course of our journey.

this is where I feel like I should say “in reality we don’t have any control because God should be in control of our lives.”  whereas, yes I agree God should be the center of our lives and our decision making, this isn’t that type of post.

as stated in my last post we have been officially waiting for a year.  we have been passed over numerous times – for an entire year.  with that type of response or in this case lack there of,  I can’t help but think.  that thinking often leads me down a dark and narrow road full of doubt and sadness and longing.

a road that causes my imagination to run wild with “what ifs” and “what is.”

what if we are never placed?  what if I never get to be a mom and andy a dad?  what if I have robbed family of having the experience of us as parents?  what if andy will really one day regret not taking the “out” when he could?  what if he starts to resent me?  what if my life never feels complete?  what if that longing and desire never goes away?  what if I never get to experience all the things that fuel my fears?  what if I sink into misery and allow me not being a mother to destroy my soul?  what is so wrong with us that we haven’t been placed?  what is it that caused people to skip over our profiles?  what is the big picture and can I survive not having the control to understand right now?  what is the reason God gave me this desire to be a mother and paired that with bad ovaries?  what is the point – is there a point?  is this some sort of punishment from above?

that dark road is sometimes dotted with street lamps – glimpses of hope, answers, or things that get me back to the sunshine.  talking with other people that are waiting to be placed and hearing that they have the same fears – that I am truly not alone in some of those thoughts.  when andy tells me that he loves me and doesn’t resent me despite all the reasons that I have given him to feel the other way.  when I know someone looks at our profile and passes us by because they want a family that already has a child.  a beautiful sunset or sunrise over the mountains.  street lamps that brighten up my mind.

but sometimes the things on my road aren’t street lamps, but rather lanterns.  a little light that shines bright enough to tide me over.  not nearly as bright as the lamps, but still light enough to get me through.

these things usually show up right before I have a breakdown full of complete and total doubt and tears.  when I feel like I have come to the end of my road.  when i start to question why we are doing what we are doing.  when I am grasping at straws.  desperation for that normalcy and control.

desperation: a state of despair, typically one that results in rash or extreme behavior

synonyms: hopelessness, anguish, agony, distress

usually my desperation manifests in lists.  lots and lots of lists.  I clean things and organize things.  I constantly am trying to reorganize and make better.  trying to drown my thoughts with lists so that I can’t do anything but focus on what is in front of my face.  I write, take pictures, and create new projects around the house to occupy my mind.  it helps.  in the process of focusing on anything else, those doubts and sadness ebb away.  that longing is still there, but without the doubt it just turns back into “just waiting.”

once I realized that we had been waiting a year and that we had to update a bunch of our paperwork I started to feel overwhelmed and to be honest – sad and a little (ok a lot) mad.

**side “semi relevant” note**

there are times where I start to wonder if God is “doing” this to us because he thinks I would be a terrible mother.  or that other people think I would be a terrible mother so God is like “i agree.”  there was this time that I was with a group of people (and a young baby just a few months old) and everyone, except me, was being called away for just a moment.  the parents were trying to decide who would miss out and stay to give the baby the bottle.  I offered since I was not leaving and both of the parents looked at me like I was crazy.  like if God didn’t trust me with a baby, they weren’t going to either.  the parents exchanged looks and did let me feed their baby the bottle, but their looks and doubts just fueled that thought process.  it is possible that I was over sensitive to the situation and that I misread the looks and the hesitation, but in the moment those looks emphasized that God thought I would be a terrible mother and everyone agreed.

**end semi relevant side note**

so in my sad and a lot mad state I found myself thinking back to those events, of possibly not being trusted to give a baby a bottle, and to the thought process that God thinks  I would be a terrible mother.  my thoughts are fueled by fear of the unknown and once it takes root desperation sets in.  hopelessness overcomes rational thought and where my behavior isn’t always rash or extreme my thoughts tend to become that way.  I found myself on my dark narrow road, running.  running into the darkness looking for a street lamp to ease off the desperation.  I found a lantern.

at dinner saturday night dad told me that he was going back to the farm.  there was a calf down and he was going to have to bottle feed it.  I had been a hermit in my house working on various projects and told him I would be glad to go with him.  andy ended up getting home before we left to go to the farm and he joined in with us.  we loaded up our gear and headed into the muddy abyss.  the calf had gotten stuck in the mud and was weak but drank the bottle (and a little more).  dad made sure that it was in a nice bed of hay and warm and we left.

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sunday after church, dad, mom, and I gathered our gear and went back to check on the little calf.  as we drove up he was stretched out and his head was semi back  I leaned forward and said – “doesn’t look like good news,”  dad agreed.  as we got a tad closer he blinked.  I was ecstatic – he was alive.  we gave him another bottle and repositioned him to be more comfortable and in more warm hay.  dad decided that the little guy needed to be moved to the barn.  later sunday gene (live in farm hand/manager) was able to take the tractor and get the little calf to the barn; however, his mother was no longer interested in following her baby or the tractor to the barn.  it was left to us humans to nurse him back to health.  after youth on sunday andy and I headed to the farm to check on the little guy.  he was in the stall with his legs tucked under him and he was dry and warm in his bed of hay.  I sat on a bucket and fed him his bottle and he was my little “mud pie.”  cows normally moo but a little cow with pneumonia purrs like a little kitten.  he was given several shots to make him feel better.  I rubbed his fluffy little head and ears and told him that I loved him.  I put my hand under his chin and lifted his head up and made eye contact with him and told him to have a good night and that I would see him Monday.  dad sent me a message Monday morning that he drank his bottle and that he wanted to stand up but was still too weak.  he was still purring a little bit too.

I told andy that mud pie had to live.  he became my desperation.  I didn’t have a list this time, I had mud pie.  he had to live.  he was my way of proving to God and to the rest of the world that I can take care of a living thing.  that I could give a bottle and love.  that I could be passionate and that I could be the role of a mother.

Monday night after work I went to the farm and got there before my dad got back.  I went into the stall and mud pie was in a weird sling that dad and gene strung up to help insure that his legs were getting blood flow.  I grabbed my bucket and sat down in front of him and rubbed his head and said hello.  when I was rubbing his neck he leaned into my hand like a dog would do.  I told him about my day and he listened – he is after all a cow that couldn’t go anywhere even if he wanted to.  I noticed he wasn’t purring as much and was tap dancing with his front legs.  I informed him that he had to get better.  he had to at least try.  he mooed at me.  it was a moo filled with passion and anger and rebellion.  a moo that told me that he was a fighter.  after that I talked to him about my desperation and I rubbed his ears and he semi mooed in understanding.  dad showed up and we gave him his bottle and he drank most of it, but it was too early to let him out of the sling.  so we came back a few hours later and freed him and propped him up in his bed of hay.  I told him good night and we turned the light off bathing the stall in darkness.  my Tuesday morning update was about the same as the morning before.  Tuesday after work we went to check on him and dad said that he had been in his sling but was out for the night.  I walked into the stall and found little mud pie snuggled in his hay.  he tried to stand.  I tucked his feet under him and held his head up and talked to him while he drank his bottle.  we made eye contact and I told him how much I loved him and what a good and handsome boy he was.  we had to go to a meeting and I knew we wouldn’t be back Tuesday night so right before we left I went in and rubbed his head, told him good night and sweet dreams and walked away from my little mud pie.

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Wednesday morning I got my morning update.  the subject of the e mail was mud pie.  I opened my e mail and read “I am sorry!  We tried.”

devastation: severe and overwhelming shock or grief

I sat facing my computer and silent tears escaped the rims of my eyes rolled down my face.  I reminded myself to breathe and stared at the words.  mud pie was gone.  my lantern burned out.  my desperation morphed into devastation.  I was devastated that he was gone and that my attempts failed.  I couldn’t even do right by a cow.  I couldn’t save him.  my thoughts quickly went down the road that maybe God is right, maybe I am not fit to be a mother.

Wednesday night, with those thoughts circling in my head, I curled up in bed and cried.  my eyes filled with tears that rolled down my face and puddled on my pillow, followed by choking sobs.  a soul drenching cry.

I woke up Thursday morning with a throbbing headache – remnant of my tears from the night before.  as we drove to work I watched the clouds play on the tops of the mountains and with no other rational thought – other than it made me smile, I had found my street lamp and was finding my way back to the main road.

it was during this time of desperation that I realized a few things.  one is that I have no control.  I can cling to the illusion as much as I want, but it will always just be an illusion I create for my peace of mind.  another is that this process, from start until present, is just a constant ride of ups and downs: the waiting, the emotions of being rejected, the unknown, the way a person will walk by with a stroller and my heart almost leaps out of my chest, the looks of pity from other people, the hope that we will be the family that we always envisioned.  something that is difficult to explain and difficult for people to understand is that sometimes there are no words to make me feel better about this stressful time of just waiting and of the unknown.  that sometimes even the most rational comments and insight will not sound rational to me.  this time, my little mud pie, taught me that in my times of desperation, stick to the lists.

nov. 2013

 November was a long month in many ways.

my mom and dad both have birthdays in November.  dad the 5th and mom the 18th.

mom and dad awards

(my mom was awarded nurse of the year!  ok maybe not but she should be!  she was awarded for being at the hospital for so long)

i cried my first time (maybe second time) at work (i mean really cried) because i was so angry at a mean person who wouldn’t stop yelling at me it just frustrated me to tears.  it was also a time i was reminded at how awesome it is to work with wonderful people.

one morning we got a call that my aunt ann passed away.  November 19th.  (i am going to get on a soap box for a few minutes…sorry in advance – listen to your doctors and communicate with your family).  ann was my only “real” aunt.  my mom was an only child and my dad only had the one sister.  sure i had several great aunts but she was my only real aunt.  i have so many memories of her – good and not great.  i can remember when we stayed in tn for part of the summer that sometimes we got lucky and would go to her house to eat dinner and spend the night (if my grandparents had meetings).  we would make personal pizzas from scratch and would set up our tables (ironing board with a sheet over it) and would watch movies with her.  it was something that we didn’t get to do often, but will and i enjoyed it when we got to.  i remember baking with her growing up.  i remember helping at the green house when i was little (planting and helping deliver).  i remember many conversations with her and her support.

there are some iffy memories in there too that aren’t as positive…i remember the time that i offered to help her at the green house after we moved and she snickered and laughed at me because it “wasn’t my thing” and the unending comments about city people and country people.  but in a time of mourning and death i think it is customary to try to push those out of ones mind.  looking back those things don’t change the fact that she was my aunt and i loved her and i will miss her.

the other day we were standing in the green house and it was very surreal (as death is to me) knowing that she isn’t coming back.  i looked around and part of me was mad that she didn’t take care of herself better and that she wouldn’t listen to what the doctors told her and she was so guarded with her personal life that nothing we could say would change her mind about that.  that was who she was and at her funeral that was the message that we got.  even in her stubbornness she was who she was.  in those moments of anger it made me think of her funeral and at her funeral we laughed.  we told Jamie to keep it light and real and he did.  it was the most beautiful memorial service and the perfect send off.  in the good and not great, and the anger and laughter, and expectations met and not met there was love and at the end of the day that is what i choose to cling to.

ann

my aunt was an organ donor at the time she passed away and i was the one that talked to the screening people at the donation organization.  i am an organ donor because i like the idea and thoughts behind it.  i will be honest i never really knew what that meant.  i never really thought about what that means for the people that are left behind.  while i understand completely the need for the questions i was asked, somewhere in the middle of the million and a half questions i thought i have no idea on some of these answers.  on my soap box i would like to tell everyone and anyone who will listen – talk to your family…make sure they know your history and wishes as detailed as possible.  after i got off the phone (an hour conversation) i was exhausted.

will came for the memorial service (actually the service was delayed 10 minutes waiting on him since his plane was delayed.  we took him to the farm and it was so funny.  the ganged up on him and tried to take the treats.  i will post pics of the farm in another post.  but here are a few with the family.

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it snowed.

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church harvest auction with guests jed and lisa.

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thanksgiving happened. it was later this year and to be honest it was bad.  it made me lose a week before Christmas and that was so bad.  we went to charlotte for thanksgiving and it was great to see family and friends.  andy was glad to see tall buildings.  we got to see cj and ellen which is always fun and an adventure.  i had another allergic reaction to thanksgiving dinner but i was prepared and had medicine on hand to stop the itching.  i think i have it narrowed down to what dish i am allergic too, but still researching that.  who knows?!  cj wanted to take pictures with my camera.  i only had a mild heart attack when she almost dropped it so from now on if she has my camera the strap has to stay around her neck (she is ok with this).  she took mostly blurry photos and picks of people’s knees but with a little help she can center people and take a good photo.

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we also went black Friday shopping.  it was great to be so close to stores…

we also got our tree from the church and brought it back to tn with us.  it was really funny watching all of the cars go back towards charlotte with trees from the mountains and we left charlotte and took our tree to the mountains.  it was very scary for me.  i had a slight freak out when we left charlotte and could envision our tree rolling off the top and taking out all the cars around us.  so i kept an eye on it.

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we made it home with no trouble.

the only other thing i can think of is that andy trashed ace of base (i love ace of base and am still slightly upset over that) but, that pretty much wraps up an exhausting November.

hitchhiker

this morning i woke up and drug myself out of bed and drove myself to work (on most days we carpool but andy didn’t have to be up as early and got to sleep in).  i left the house a little early and decided to treat myself to a coffee before i got to work – so i drove to starbucks…oh wait we don’t have one of those.  so instead i went to weigles.  as i was backing out of the driveway, i picked up a hitchhiker.  he was quiet not saying a word, but we had a good time riding to the gas station where i thought he would leave me.  i pulled into the parking spot and i said my goodbyes and thought it a tad rude that he didn’t even thank me for the ride or offer me a few dollars in gas money.  but nonetheless i was glad to help out so i went inside and when i came out he was still waiting on me.  i told him i had to go to work and he was more than welcome to ride with me to my building and could go from there.  he didn’t really say much and made no attempt to stay at the gas station so i drove across the street and into my parking space at work and all he did was stare at me.  it was slightly creepy that i had this hitchhiker on my car and he went and got coffee with me and rode with me to work.  I really expected him to fly off at some point in time!

arriving at gas station

arriving at gas station

leaving the gas station

leaving the gas station

at work

at work

i am curious to see if he is still on my car when i leave work this afternoon and evening.  i don’t know why but it struck me as funny – what if this is like pinocchio and this little grasshopper or cricket is my conscience?  what would its name be?  i was kind of thinking jasper – would that be his name?  if he was my conscience why didn’t he tell me anything this morning?  am i doing an ok job and he was just checking up on me?

I don’t think I will ever know because when I got out of work he was gone.  just up and left me.  if jasper was my conscience I think I will be asking for another one because I don’t think that he helped me at all.

pancake is a jerk and other farm animals…

many weeks of events narrowed into one post:

pancake:  is a jerk.  he was let out into the barn yard (while i was at the beach) and he rolled in the dirt and acted like he was going to be good.  sometime that night he busted through the electric fence and got jack, the other donkey, and the horses and cows to inter mingle and go to places they shouldn’t have been.  so he is a bad influence.  so i was upset about that when i was informed that he was chasing the little calves.  it was feared that if he kept chasing them he would run them to death (it can really happen).  and my fear was that if it killed a calf pancake would be no longer…when i got back from the beach i found him (in the field with the cows and jack and the horses) and we had a talk about how bad he was.  he wasn’t to chase the calves any longer and he wasn’t to be mean.  he was to be a sweet donkey and stop running through the electric fence.  i am happy to report that he hasn’t been through anymore fences.  he has been good (as far as i know) and has been hanging out with jack.  he seems to like his friend and seems really happy in the field.  now when we go feed he will run to me (i am not delusional to think he is running to me….it is the sweet feed and treats that he loves).  when we are done feeding he will follow us back to the gate wanting more treats.  we can rub him and pat him now (he still gets a little skittish depending on if the horses are around) but for the most part he is getting used to us.  he had a cut on his neck (jack bites him and tackles him) so i had to get some purple spray to put on it.  i got the wrong kind because it makes noise coming out of the can…but we were both troopers and he didn’t kick me so it was all good.  even though he is kind of a jerk he really is cute and i love him.

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jack:  is old.  he has been around for a long time.  i think his official name is black jack but he has since faded and isn’t pure black anymore so i just call him jack.  he is so funny.  unlike pancake’s ears (that are always pointed straight up) jack will let his ears flop over and he looks sad all the time.  the first few times i would feed him he would just get a mouth full of food and would look at me.  now he sticks his head in the bucket and won’t move.  (it is funny seeing two donkeys trying to put their head in the same bucket – they don’t like it and act like they are going to fight it out).  we have witnessed jack nipping at pancakes legs and we have seen him tackle pancake.  we have seen him run and cut off a horse to get his sweet feed.  he will come to us and he will follow us when we go back to the gate.  unlike pancake who puts his head through the gate jack will but his head against the gate almost like he is bowing in prayer for one more.  and looks up like well…  jack is very relaxed (unless abbey is around) and you can rub him and pat him and put him in a head lock.  he is a sweet boy.

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abbey and flag: are horses.  we have started feeding the horses in the field because they make pancake and jack skittish.  they are demanding and want food yesterday.  we take an extra bucket so that they can have some sweet feed.  (i admit we try to sneak up to the field so we don’t have to worry about them being around while we feed).  they are both beautiful but they are a handful (especially when i am still not too trusting that pancake won’t kick me at some point).  abbey rules the field and all the other animals (cows included) will get out of her way.  flag isn’t as mean but is big and so i think he intimidates but is actually not as needy/demanding/bossy.  they really are sweet and if i wasn’t worried about getting kicked by them or the donkeys i wouldn’t mind them a bit.

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penny: is a horse full or surprises.  a while ago when i went to feed pancake i heard luigi making a fuss and pancake was making noise and i heard another noise that i didn’t know.  i walked around the corner and there stood penny with her baby (we call him argyle).  her owner didn’t know she was pregnant until a few days before she had the foal.  she refused to let me touch her and cornered me in the barn twice when i was feeding luigi.  she wouldn’t let the colt get close to me (she would snort and he would back up).  finally she ate some sweet feed and she is my new best friend.  as long as her head was in a bucket she would let us pet and brush her.  i was finally able to touch argyle by brushing her and moved on to him and he was ok (mostly).  we have made great progress.  penny body checked me and made me drop a bucket and almost fall on my face (never get in the way of a horse and her bucket).  argyle bit me (he is chewing a lot).  he will let us pet him and thinks he is 1. a dog (he leans into me when i rub him) and 2. a rodeo star (he will randomly run around bucking).  he is so funny to watch get bigger.  he is letting us pet him and pat him and will approach us when we call him.  i still am cautious about him kicking so i keep my hand on his back and make sure he never turns on me.  (andy laughed at me when argyle bit me…i got to laugh at him because argyle bit his leg hairs and pulled).  penny is a beautiful horse and her colt is so handsome.  we have great plans for him to win the kentucky derby….ok maybe not.

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luigi: is the proud papa.  he is still funny.  he tries to eat my camera when i take pictures of him.  we are able to brush him a little bit…but he really is only interested in flapping his lips and eating treats!

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blackie: is not my favorite.  dad went to check on pancake and blackie was in the hay loft.  blackie is a 18 foot black snake (ok maybe not 18 feet but when you are talking about snakes 2 feet might as well be 18 feet).  i seriously think he might be 5 foot but the next time i went to the barn i talked to the snake…i said please don’t ever show yourself while i am here.  i know that black snakes are good and i don’t want to kill him…but if he sneaks up on me or freaks me out i am not promising i wouldn’t throw my bucket at him.  we made a pack (at least on my end we did) that i wouldn’t hurt him as long as he stayed out of my way.  now when i go i make sure i turn on lights and that i look before entering.  blackie creeps me out.

we have had so much fun checking on and feeding the animals.  it has been an adventure trying to gain the trust of an animal that doesn’t really understand what is going on.  pancake was taken from the only family that he has known.  jack was thrown together with a crazy young ass.  penny had to trust that these strangers wouldn’t hurt her or the baby.  argyle had to learn that we wouldn’t hurt him or his mama (now if he would learn to not bite).  and blackie understands his hiding places is the difference in life and death.

with andy’s summer schedule i had to feed alone a lot of the time and it was hard work and sometimes scary.  “farming” is hard work but it is so rewarding when the animals walk up to you and put their muzzle in your hand after thinking that there would be no way they would ever warm up to you.

it never goes completely away

i’m not old (well if you ask the youth at church i am) but i’m really not old.  anyways i have learned in my short life that there are things that happen that you never really forget or that refuse to go away completely.  memories of those things sometimes fade but rarely do they just disappear regardless of how much pleading and wishing you do they remain a part of us.

my post yesterday was about leslie and her birthday.  i will be honest and say that when i found out she died i didn’t know how i was going to make it through the rest of  high school and to continue with that honesty i didn’t know if i wanted to finish high school without her.  but i pressed on.  my memories of her are fading.  i remember that we would meet before classes and during lunch, but those memories are lumped all together into one big blur.  but there are memories that are so vivid i can close my eyes and believe that they happened a few minutes before.  like the week she died.  i remember all of that week and her funeral.  i remember when we went to the beach together.  i remember prom promise.  i remember my birthdays with her.  those memories will never fade (i wish some of the sadder ones would fade a touch so it wasn’t a dagger in my heart each time) but they remain.  i am glad those memories will never leave me.  i am glad that i can remember her with our friends from high school and that i can still see her smile and see her rolling her eyes at me.  and those memories are what i cling to when i miss her the most.  sometimes they hurt but it is us – me and her and our story.

there are other things in life that don’t completely go away.  me and andy play the”what if” game a lot (ok well i force andy to play with me).  we talk about what if he stayed at western, what if i went away to college, what if we told each other earlier that we liked each other, what if we moved as soon as we got married, what if…there are things we talk about in our what ifs that haven’t completely gone away…missed chances in our relationship as friends and as significant others but we know that those things are there and they won’t completely go away.  there is nothing we can do to un-do the past but that is ok.  those things that happened or didn’t happen have shaped our relationship to what it is today and the love that we share.

memories are fading of lies i have told people, friends i have lost (to death and to changing lives), things that i once thought were important, places i wanted to be and go.  and while these things fade i know that all it will take is the sound of a song or the smell or a flower that will bring those memories back to me and send me into a fit of “what if”  and i will silently think to my self what could have been and then the thought will flutter to the back of my mind where it will stay until the next time for they never really completely go away.

bitterness party of 1

ok wow look at me 2 post in one day…but this isn’t a good post this is a post that i need to vent and why not write (since this might be a new thing for me).

right at 5 (our time) andy’s phone rang and it was little rock.  this was one of those phone calls that he had to wait on (he got an e-mail to expect the call) so  all day we have both been praying like crazy and our minds have been going crazy with what happens next.  well, the call came and it wasn’t good news.  i mean i guess in a way it was good news because that means that we can fully decorate for Christmas (we are still deciding if we are going to do a big tree or a little tree) that makes me happy.  it also makes me happy that we won’t be leaving and trying to move over the holiday.  it makes me happy that maybe we can find something a little closer to our families.  it makes me happy that we got to fly together and see part of the states that we haven’t seen together.  and it makes me happy that we were able to go through this together with little bickering and a lot of love and support.  it makes me sad and mad also.  it makes me sad because we have to stay in our current situation which doesn’t make us feel warm and fuzzy.  it makes me sad because we don’t get to buy a new house right away and we don’t get to “move” together (with a moving truck and everything).  it makes me sad because i know that the church was really cool and the people seemed really nice while we were there.  it makes me mad that they said no.  it makes me mad because i know that andy could have done a great job and that he was qualified to do the job.  it makes me mad that we flew all the way there and gave up a weekend (my mom’s birthday weekend) to go there and spend time apart instead of taking an “us” vacation.  it makes me mad because we have to start back at square one.  it makes me mad because i feel like we were led on.  but when i sit back and think about it we did pray that if it wasn’t right that it wouldn’t work.  and we prayed that it would be clear if we were meant to be there and obviously we weren’t.  with the rollarcoaster of emotions that we are both feeling right now we know that we are in this together and that there are possibilities out there and that the right thing will happen.  we know that we love each other very much no matter what happens.  andy is my hero and i am constantly amazed with his strength and love and passion in all that he does in life.  we will close this door and not dwell on it and not let it ruin our holiday season or dictate who we become.  we will let it shape us and we will move on.  in my honest humble opinion little rock is missing out (but we still pray that they find the right fit for them).

holding hands

update: andy was upset by my previous post that he “yelled” at me to get out of bed.  i will admit he never yelled at me, but he did turn the light on and said get up.  and i said to call

i love when i least expect it andy’s hand finds mine and fits perfectly molded to mine.  i love when his hand finds mine because of a sad song or movie (or stupid commercial) even when he is mocking how emotional i can be (and have always been).  i love how his hand finds mine in the car, or watching a movie, or shopping, or on a date, or across the table.  i love that when our hands clasp there is a moment of instant comfort to know that i don’t and won’t face things alone.  it doesn’t always make me instantly happy and it doesn’t always fix the problem, but it makes me happy.  i love that when i need andy the most he is there.

just my random thoughts on my husband today…

we watch our first Christmas movie today and we laughed and held hands and it really got me more in the mindset of Christmas is coming.  my goal is to finish up some things this week so that i can decorate this weekend.  we went through the office and a box of books from my parents and put them on shelves.  it looks ok (andy doesn’t see anything wrong with it, but i am still deciding).

andy is so nervous about tomorrow.  the search team meets tomorrow night in little rock and we will know soon what is going on.  i won’t lie – im nervous too.  but right now i think i am more tired.  i think on that note i will go on to bed.

and the rains came

i woke up this morning and automatically wanted to go back to bed.  the room was cold and i was snuggled down with otis next to me with andy yelling at me to get up.  i drug myself out of bed to a cloudy, gloomy monday.  (i planned to get a few pictures of the sky around lunch since it was really cool looking, but my phone couldn’t capture it and i didn’t have my digital in my purse). 

i sat at my desk and glanced at the window watching the rain pour down.  there is something that moves me about rain.  with the crashing rain drops comes a rollercoaster of emotions.  a lot of times rain makes me sleepy and makes me wish i was wrapped up in a quilt.  sometimes rain makes me want to weep.  i imagine that God is up there weeping for some reason (usually at what is hidden deep in my soul) and so it makes me want to weep…knowing that God is crying for and with me.  it reminds me of events and milestones that have passed in my life with a gloomy, rainy day.  days when i have found out that people i love have passed away, times when childhood friendships were restored on front porches, fun dates with andy, getting caught walking with otis, mending broken hearts at montreat, seeing the beauty of God in his creation.  after the urge to weep comes the sense of peace and hope.  it reminds me of montreat and all the bittersweet memories that come with that territory.  it reminds me of a childhood spent playing in the woods, and in forts and creeks, it reminds me of waking my brother up to make a big bed out of our blankets and pillows in the hall and sleeping away from windows (in case of tornadoes – long story).  it reminds me of summers in TN playing in the rain and sleeping with the windows open with the patter of rain on the roof.  i remember running through the house in the spring to shut windows during freak storms so that it didn’t blow in.  i remember when times were simpler.

me and will playing in the rain

there are days that i sit at my desk and i want to run outside and dance in the rain like i did before.  i want to run back to those memories and be comforted by the soft, cold raindrops that fall from the heavens.  i want to escape the stresses of life today and trade them for the happy memories that come with rain, but i know that with the happy memories comes some sad ones as well.  i also know that each day it rains more memories (happy and sad) will be made and my rollercoaster will continue…

blank stare

saturday morning we both rolled out of bed and ambled down the hall for breakfast in the hotel.  i will say i perked up when i got close because i remembered that i could make waffles BUT when we got to the little breakfast area there were about 10 7 year olds and they were surrounding the waffle maker.  bummer.  oh well we ate and packed our things and checked out of the hotel.  we sat in the lobby and waiting on our ride.  pam came and took us to look at houses in the area so that we could see what the market looked like.  i will say i was surprised at how much house you can get and for the money.  we saw several houses, some we didn’t like, some we liked, one we wish we had the money to fix it up, and one we loved.  (in this case i am assuming that andy felt the same way that i did about the houses – normal i won’t speak for “we” unless i know that it is true, but today i didn’t make sure that he totally agreed with me).  after we drove around for a few hours we went to the youth building and had pizza lunch (it was really yummy) and had doug’s first pie that he has ever made and some great brownies made by maggie (a youth on the search committee).  we watched a slide show of the past year that ken put together and had a debriefing meeting.  i will be honest i felt like i had a blank stare on my face from the time i woke up until the time i went to bed that night.  it took me a little longer to process what people were saying around me because i was so tired.  i felt like we left there with a lot of questions answered and more asked and next steps talked about.  we said our goodbyes and monica (member of the search committee) and kyle (her son) took us to the airport.  we checked our bag and went through the searches and walked to the gate.  andy got us a drink and we waited.  we tried to talk a little bit but we were a little mentally overloaded.  we had no problems on the plane ride to atlanta.  when we got to atlanta we weren’t hungry enough to eat dinner so we split a cookie and had some coffee.  we waited at the gate and waited at the gate.  we learned that we were about to board a plane that was from honduras and so they had to do a sweep of the plane for extra security measures.  once they did that (45 minutes later) we got on.  it was the biggest plane we were on this trip.  andy sat on the outside aisle, i sat in the middle, and a soldier sat next to the window (which i was glad since we were on an emergency exit he could get the door open).  i talked to him a little bit.  he was from nappa valley, ca and has lived all over.  he currently resides a few miles from my parents home.  he is getting home from 7 months away (i believe he said he was done and home for good) and is leaving in 2 weeks to see his wife (hasn’t seen her in almost a year) because she is in training etc so they are meeting in vegas while she is on leave.  i over heard the solider sitting behind us telling someone that he is on leave to see his mother that has stage 4 liver cancer and he said he hoped that he would make it to her house before she passed away.  the lady he was telling said that her mom passed away the week before.  at this point i realized that i am listening to too many conversations so i try to sleep.  doesn’t work.  we had an uneventful flight about 30 minutes and landed.  got our bag, caught a shuttle, found the car (unharmed), and drove home.  we got home to an otis free house.  it sort of makes me sad when we walk in and he isn’t wagging his tail.  but we ate (im pretty sure) and we passed out in bed.  the next morning we over slept (who didn’t see that one coming) so we got up a little in a rush and we went to church. 

we have been doing a lot of reflecting on this past weekend and have been  going crazy with making our pro and con list.  regardless of what happens with this job and a potential move we got to see a really cool city and meet some truly wonderful people.  so while we wait on final answers we pray and we remember our whirlwind weekend in little rock.

calm like a duck in a pond

i love movies.  i don’t know why but one of my favorite movies is “the replacements” when andy was still in school and i would put a movie in to clean to on saturday mornings (having no cable leaves a lot to be desired for saturday morning tv), i would find myself putting this one in week after week.  there are some great moments and speeches throughout the movie.  (i love the one about fear and quick sand and the closing lines are great) but one that sticks out to me this morning is when the coach is talking to the replacement quarterback before the big game they talk about being calm and the coach makes reference to being as calm as a duck in a pond.  the quarterback looks puzzled and the coach explains.  on the top of the water the duck looks like it has everything under control and doesn’t have a care in the world just gliding over the pond but underneath the water his little legs are going at a frantic speed…

i love the imagery that this story creates in my mind especially on days like today…

we stayed up late last night checking and re checking our pack list and what we actually packed.  i went from head to toe trying to recall everything that i would possibly need in the days that we are gone.  we were selective in what we packed to wear, selective in what we packed in the carry on bag and almost shed a few tears because i can’t take my pillow and blanket (which deserves it own post later on).  we also were trying to get things ready for my parents to come over (which means just picking up and getting clean towels out and getting the plan for clean sheets and most importantly getting things ready for them to take otis to tn this weekend).  we got to bed and the moment that i woke up i was wondering what i am forgetting?  we are so excited about having someone drive us around on our visit (so we don’t get lost, but also so that we will have time in the car to look around at where we are going and see more of the city), but it is hard when you are at the mercy of other people.  it isn’t like if we are in the hotel tonight i can say drat i forgot (name something) and jump in a rental and go to walmart.  we are at the full mercy of our wonderful hosts.  i am nervous because i like to be in control and this is a new experience where i don’t have full control of things and because i will be alone with church members while andy is in meetings and doing some other things.  i like to think i am nice (most of the time anyways) and able to make conversation etc but sometimes it takes me a little bit to warm up to people i don’t know.  while i sit here and write this i am sure i look calm (and maybe like i am actually working – if im lucky) but my mind is going a million miles a minute while i panic about forgetting something, what these meetings will bring, if we can find a house while we are gone, what it will do to relationships that we have here, if people there will be ok with my sarcastic attitude, what their weather is like, will we be ok on the plane, will we have time to eat dinner in memphis when we switch planes, will we have a comfortable bed with a suitable pillow and blanket, will otis drive my parents ok, should i have gotten his pills refilled, and most of all at the end of the day will this still feel like God’s will for us?

all of those questions being on a million other questions about timing and what will happen when we put our house on the market and so many things i feel like my head is going to explode…but it still feels right, it still feels like where we need to be.

i will glide around this weekend hoping to cover any quiver in my voice, or hands quieting my brain so i can enjoy their company and hoping to appear as calm like  a duck in a pond.