Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Just keep trying, right?

Ever since the miscarriage, Matt and I have basically been trying to get pregnant. I wasn't sure at first if that was something I wanted to do but the longer it takes to happen, the more I want it. September 3 will be four months since my miscarriage and it's getting harder and harder each month that passes.

I keep hearing people telling me to give it time, it'll happen if it's supposed to happen, give my body time to heal, etc. But it's all annoying and it makes me angry. Because now having been on the side of the coin where I want it so bad and I don't have it, those are really terrible things to say to someone in this circumstance.

I know that I'm relatively healthy, I haven't had any issues carrying my other babies. It's like ever since the miscarriage, with each passing month, I feel more broken. I wonder what is wrong with me. Why can't I get this right a third time? I see people who are not in a position in life to have more kids. I see people who don't even want kids getting pregnant. I see people who then have kids and are more worried about finding a husband, going out and "relaxing" at a bar, and I sit at home wishing with everything in me that I'm pregnant.

And nothing happens.

The part that worries me, is the part where I see Matt's face when he asks if I got my period (because I dutifully write it on the calendar) with a gleam in his eyes hoping I say no. And every month, he's less excited to ask and I kind of think this month, when my period is supposed to come on Wednesday, he might not even ask. If he doesn't ask, I feel like a little part of me is going to shut down. Like all hope is lost and he's going to say we gave it our best and maybe it wasn't meant to be and gee- could you go get your birth control again?

I don't know if I can handle that. I really don't.

I also can't blame him. When it comes to emotionally supporting me, he admittedly is really terrible. Anything to do with emotions is completely foreign to him and he basically just stands there and asks what he can do, as if doing laundry is going to make my heart hurt less. I try hard not to get angry at him for not understanding something he doesn't get but sometimes I can't help it. Sometimes I need to be angry and frustrated.

Someone asked me if the only reason I want a third baby is to prove to myself I can still do it. I'll admit, it's part of the reason, but certainly not all. I had wanted a third baby for years and Matt always said no and I had to grieve and come to terms that I was done. But I don't know, something about being pregnant, against my will basically, turned something on in me. Like, maybe this is the opportunity I never had before and I keep thinking it'd be great to have a third at times when I watch Olivia and Jackson play. Then I feel selfish and I worry I'll be resentful if I have a third.

Then I get angry because I feel like I'm going crazy and maybe this all a symptom of something larger.

It's just so frustrating.

Then the trying. My god. I remember when we were trying with Olivia and Jackson it was always fun, there was an added element and a spark you only get in certain moments because I just knew I was going to get pregnant, it's just a matter of when. And this time... well this time it's not any of that. I don't feel as certain as I once did and it's like being slapped in the face with the aging process. And I'm only 32, I know. It's not old by any means but times like this make me feel otherwise.

So that's where we're at. I hope Wednesday comes and surprises us all. I don't feel hopeful though, but you never know I guess. But I guess we just keep trying until Matt says no more.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Olivia's best birthday present ever, a month early.



Way back in January I had heard that Katy Perry was going to be coming on tour in Minneapolis (which is like 2 1/2 hours from us one way) and I knew that come hell of high water, we were going to go. Olivia absolutely loves Katy Perry and not just because of her music, but she has become really cognizant of "pretty" people and how a lot of models, actresses, singers, etc are blond and occasionally she will tell me she wishes that she was blond. Not only are they blond, but they are skinny. Which, Olivia is a brunette and she is very skinny. But it doesn't seem to help when other girls at school say she's fat or something (which  yes, that happens. That happens quite a few times in any given school year.)

Which, to hear your child say she wishes she was something other than what she is, is absolutely heartbreaking.

But she really likes Katy Perry because she has dark hair, she likes her music, and Olivia tells me maybe someday she can be like Katy. Well, I don't know about that, but at this point, whatever helps her feel better about herself, I'm all about.

So I talked to my friend Andrea, and her daughter Sydney (Olivia's best friend) really loves Katy Perry too. Coincidentally, their dance routine was to the song "Roar" so we decided we were going to buy the girls concert tickets for their birthdays. Sydney's birthday is in July, Olivia's is September, and the concert was in August. It was kind of perfect. So we bought the tickets and kept our mouths shut until Sydney's birthday in July.

Which was so hard. Dude, you have NO IDEA how hard that was.

But they were kind of confused as to what a concert was because neither had been to a real one in a stadium before, but they were excited nonetheless to see Katy Perry.

So we left early yesterday so we'd have time to have dinner before the concert. Andrea made cute signs for the girls to hold at the show. I had purchased pink cat ears for them, and both girls had adorable concert wear and were totally ready for the show.

Pre-concert, holding signs. Stinking adorable.

Once we got to our seats, Olivia was pretty overwhelmed at how many people there were and how huge this was. She had no concept of what a concert was, so she was pretty damn excited.
Olivia and I before the first opening act, Feras, came on. He was pretty terrible. He's like, stuck in 1986 and had a synthesizer. He was a little emo and it was just... it was terrible. Olivia was particularly offended he had a see through shirt AND a dress.

But then Kacey Musgraves came on and we both love her, so she got excited.
And absolutely loved her dress. And loved that she sang "Follow Your Arrow" which is one of her favorite songs ever.
But then it was time for Katy to come on and I'm not kidding you, Olivia's eyes almost came out of her head. She really had no idea what she was in for.
Once the smoke settled and you could clearly see Katy, Olivia yells, "MOM!! That's Katy Perry! She's really here!!"
And she was.
I don't think I could have taken enough pictures of her face that night and in fact, these are really the only two that I got, but she was so excited.
She didn't even notice that we were almost in the nosebleeds. Pretty close.

Oh wait, I got one of her holding her sign when Katy zoomed through the air not too far from us.
She loves the song "Dark Horse" and she thought it was a real horse on stage.
Wait, no- I found another one of her! Holding my phone as a light during "Unconditionally". She thought it looked like a million little stars and wanted to be a part of it.
 "Walking on Air" was pretty cool. She was glad we weren't down there, we wouldn't be able to see anything.
 "It Takes Two" kind of a weird performance but good.
"Birthday" was pretty great as was "This is How We Do"- our girls were totally dancing and singing their little hearts out. Olivia said it was the best birthday present ever. Oh! And during the encore, "Firework" was played and you had to put on the prism vision glasses and everything basically looked like a prism. It was a pretty cool experience at a concert, can't say I've ever done that before. But Olivia loved it and said she wants to go to concerts with me all of the time.

I've done my job. My girl is properly introduced to the greatness of a live show, AND she got to see her favorite singer. I couldn't afford to get her a t-shirt so I convinced her a poster is MUCH cooler, so she now has her Katy Perry poster on her wall with her sign that she held next to it. I remember seeing New Kids on the Block when I was 7 for my first concert and it was literally the greatest part of my childhood. I haven't ever forgotten it and I don't think Olivia will ever forget Katy Perry.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Two jobs kind of stinks.

I tell the story often that back when I was in college, I had three jobs. I was full time in school, I had a full time job at a fast food restaurant, I had a part time office support job and I was part time as a telemarketer during third shift. I was getting maybe five hours of sleep, if I was lucky, each night and at least part of the week I slept in my car in the school parking lot. 


So every time I hear college students say they can't possibly work AND go to school, my eye twitches and I want to slap them. Because it is doable, and though it sucks, your bills still come and no creditor cares what your situation is or that you are sleeping in a 1998 Chevy Lumina in a parking lot during the winter. 

Fast forward to adulthood when I remember having one full time job and feeling like it was a total breeze. I felt like I had won the lottery not needing a second job and man, why are adults always bitching about this? This is AWESOME! 

But now we're in a situation where we really need to have more income coming in, even if only temporarily, and it's on me to do it. And I hate it. I hate that life feels like it has come full circle in some sick joke. 

So as of last week I have been working almost 60 hours between my two jobs. Thankfully, my inlaws has my kids for the whole week and it was just Matt and I. Well, mostly Matt. Poor Matt got kind of bored. But he did do cleaning around the house and managed to find food for himself. This week will be a different story. This is the first week where I basically won't see my kids all day except for an hour in the morning. 

And I hate it. 

I hate that I won't get to smell them after shower time, I won't get to tuck them into bed or read stories, get bed time kisses and snuggles, or hear about their day over dinner. 

Instead, I'll be going from one job to the next. For at least the next six months. 

I have to make some fairly large decisions career wise, pretty soon. I'm adult enough to be honest and say I'm completely avoiding doing that, because it's true. I also start school on September 2 and I'm kind of scared. I'm scared I won't do well and I'll be stuck with the enormous bill and have nothing to show for it, and I am scared I won't be able to do fun things with my kids. 

The plan was always to use one job to pay off things faster and use my other job to be our grocery money, pay my car payment, cover dental visits and extra activities for the kids. Then once all of the extra things are paid off, I'd quit one job and hopefully by then I'd be pregnant or giving birth soon, and it would all work out. 

Do I see that happening? I don't know. I really don't know. I don't know how long I'm going to be able to keep all of this stuff up either because I'm not a super woman and I'm older. Lots of friends were like, "You did more in college, you'll be fine!". Which, true, I did. But I'm also a good 13 years older, I'm tired, and I have kids. Things are different for me now. So we'll see. But for those who have emailed me encouragement this last week- thank you. Seriously. I maybe haven't replied but I got it, and I needed it. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sinful Folk

You guys- I miss you. I miss you all. I promise I haven't died or fallen off the planet! I am working 60+ hours for the next three weeks and I have so much to talk about, but I promise you I'll come back as soon as I can. In the meantime, I have book reviews to tide you over.

Like this odd little book.

Sinful Folk - Ned Hayes
Sinful Folk
In December of the year 1377, five children were burned to death in a suspicious house fire. A small band of villagers traveled 200 miles across England in midwinter to demand justice for their children’s deaths. 

Sinful Folk is the story of this treacherous journey as seen by Mear, a former nun who has lived for a decade disguised as a mute man, raising her son quietly in this isolated village. 

For years, she has concealed herself and all her secrets. But in this journey, she will find the strength to claim the promise of her past and find a new future. Mear begins her journey in terror and heartache, and ends in triumph and redemption. 


I will come right out and say this is not a genre or type of book I usually go for because it's just to much to think about for me and I generally avoid it. But as of late, I had a reader suggest I step outside of my box and I saw this and I thought, "yes- this is a perfect chance to jump out of my young adult/romance/new adult/paranormal box like a big girl!". And now, I kind of like my box because I didn't totally love it. It was kind of odd for me. 

The worst part is I am obviously a terrible judge of this book because everyone else I know who has read it, or reviews I have read are just in love with this book. And I can see why, it's a really compelling story. We have Mear, who pretends to be a mute man in a strange little village but really she's a former nun who got pregnant and had a son. So she left there and stumbles on this village by accident and decided that the best way to survive is to play the mute man card. Which, all is well and good for about ten years until her son is killed along with four other boys when this building in the village burns down. It's very tragic and horrifying really, so the townsfolk whose children died set out on this really ill fated and bizarre mission to haul the dead bodies of the boys to somehow avenge their death and prove that clearly, the Jews did it, despite having no evidence of that. 

A friend said this book reminded her of Chaucer, and though I admittedly have only read a small amount of Chaucer, I would agree. The writer has a real talent where you read this and you can almost imagine the setting, you can hear the voices of the townsfolk. You can feel this building sense of doom throughout the book while simultaneously learning about Mear and why not only being pregnant was scandalous but also learning who her son's father is and it's just... if you think back to what it would have been like in 1377 for a person like her, you totally understand why she did what she did. And, for me, it made the death of her song that much more tragic for her. Because not only does she lose her son, she's lost her identity, and now it's not like she just go back to being a nun. 

It's a hefty book and I'll be honest, this took me a few weeks to get through because I struggle with old versions of English language, so at times I got bored and had to give up for the night because it wasn't an easy, light read. The material is kind of heavy, but the descriptions really are great. I can't say that enough. I mean, Ned Hayes really went for it when writing this book and that is absolutely amazing. But if you are a fan of Middle Age books, you are going to love this. You will, and I'll admit- I'm the oddball who isn't totally loving this book. (Don't throw tomatoes, save them for your salads.) 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hexed

You guys! I think I have maybe found myself a new series!

Hexed - Heather Graham
The Hexed (Krewe of Hunters, #13)
Devin Lyle has recently returned to the Salem area, but her timing couldn't be worse. Soon after she moved into the eighteenth-century cabin she inherited from her great-aunt Mina—her "crazy" great-aunt, who spoke to the dead—a woman was murdered nearby. 

Craig Rockwell—known as Rocky—is a new member of the Krewe of Hunters, the FBI's team of paranormal investigators. He never got over finding a friend dead in the woods. Now another body's been found in those same woods, not far from the home of Devin Lyle. And Devin's been led to a third body—by...a ghost? 

Her discovery draws them both deeper into the case and Salem's rich and disturbing history. Even as the danger mounts, Devin and Rocky begin to fall for each other, something the ghosts of Mina and past witches seem to approve of. But the two of them need every skill they possess to learn the truth—or Devin's might be the next body in the woods...


Granted, this is number 13 in the series, but the great part is that it's stand alone. I didn't even know how far into the series I was until I pulled up the page on Goodreads! But now I'll tell you I liked this book so much I'm adding more of Heather Graham's books to my to-read list for sure! 

So we have Devin, who lives in Salem in a little cottage in the woods with a bird named Poe and her dead great aunt Mina's ghost. So, totally normal right there. She unexpectedly finds a body in the woods and runs almost into the road and flags down Rocky, who was driving by. Turns out, he's back in town to investigate the murder of another woman who, coincidentally, was murdered the same way as the one Devin found and of a classmate of his years prior. 

All of this launches a major investigation with Rocky's new FBI department, the Krewe of Hunters, in conjunction with the local police. It's a pretty informative book in regards to the Salem Witch Trials because the murders appear to be somewhat connected to them, but it takes quite a bit of digging, ancestral researching, and talking to ghosts of murdered girls, and a connection is made. But that doesn't give us who the killer is. Everyone is a suspect, though and it's so up and down. I couldn't put this book down at all and the ending? OK, I kind of figured?But honestly, there is a bit of a twist at the end and man- so good. I feel like I have to keep going with this series because it's everything you want out of a suspenseful romantic thriller. How's that for a genre?? I'm not kidding, this book is going to get you hooked on the rest of the series and if they are even half as good as this one, we are all in for a treat! 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Kicking ass temporarily.

You guys, the amount of exhaustion I feel is unreal. Like, I don't know that I have ever been this ridiculously tired ever. I think all of the stress from the last two weeks has finally caught up with me and like an true depressed person, the best way to handle problems is to sleep.

Until you wake up and realize oh hey- those problems didn't go away and you're still tired! And now you have more to do! Awesome!

So here is a wrap up of things:

1. I am planning a ridiculously gorgeous baby shower for my brother and sister in law. I have now resorted to carrying a notebook with me at all times and having one by my bed because I have been coming up with super awesome ideas at totally inconvenient times. They are having a girl, it's a garden theme party, and I rented a mansion. No, I'm not kidding. It's going to be amazing. BUT, it is only a few weeks away (like 6ish I think) and for most people, that's loads of time. For me? No. Because I a list making, party dominant person. The next few weekends is practicing a couple of dessert recipes I found just to be sure. I'm on the fence of, do I save money and make the cupcakes myself OR do I save time and order them from the person who did my wedding cake who is awesome? I don't know. It's so hard. And stressful. I can't even stress how stressful I make this on myself. But it might be my best shower yet? I know. I have pictures of things I so badly want to show off that I've made, but I can't because I want it to be a surprise for my brother and sister in law. No teasers. Lame, sorry.

2. I'm just going to go full steam ahead with school. I'm terrified, to be honest. When I saw how much tuition was for one semester? Well, let's just say I maybe wee'd my pants a bit. Hello, student loans. But I took just enough to cover my tuition, which means books are on me. Which, scary? Yes. I have to take an online gym class (no, I'm not even kidding you guys) and there is a $125 book with access code with it. No, I can't even make this up because it's that absurd. Ugh. So I purchased five of the nine books I need (one class alone has five books. Again, absurd.) to the tune of $40.88. Yes, you read that right. High five your lambwhore leader for being frugal! Now let's hope they all come and are in usable condition! Because yes, as a college bookstore employee I have heard every horror story there is about buying used books online, I hope I am not that student. *cross fingers AND toes*

3. We ripped up the carpet in the living room as well. That flooring needs a little more love than the dining room, but it will have to all wait until next summer where hopefully, we can sand everything and restain it. I'm kind of in love with the darker color opposed to a lighter color. Matt prefers the lighter color and I'm convinced it's because it's less work. You'd think after 12 years he'd know when to not fight me on something. His life would be so much easier.

4. Monday I start my new second job. I'll still be at the college bookstore, although I have no idea how my hours there are going to shake out and I'm hoping for the best on that front. But my second job is a new convenience store that is opening up a ton of stores in my area. I have three weeks of what seems like fairly intense training, then we do "live store" training, and then I think we go into a store. The positive there is that by the time I end up in a store I'll feel like an expert. So that's kind of nice. The downside means I will be working 60 hour weeks for the next three weeks. The crap thing is that the last three days of this training overlaps with the kids' starting school so those last three days are going to be really brutal. I also don't really know what my schedule will be beyond that so I'm hoping for the best.

5. Combine this with having to get PTO stuff in order for the upcoming year. Admittedly, I got a lot done this summer so I'm thrilled with that. I have our first meeting notice to copy, a bulletin board to decorate, and then get my wits about me. Yikes.

6. I need to sign Olivia up for dance yet. I'm such a fail. I hope I can get it together and do it tomorrow night and say it's done.

7. I have SO MANY awesome reviews coming.I have been getting a lot of my September books in the mail and they are all pretty so I'm hoping they are all equally good. I have two books to finish this week, so we'll see what I get done.
****

So that's the snapshot of my life right now. I feel a little more emotionally upbeat than past weeks but I'm not all of the way yet. I'll get there. I'm so up and down and it's kind of hard to live like that, you know? I can see why people just lose hope and say screw it. It's probably a good thing I'm so damn stubborn.

And because I can't get enough of this video? You can enjoy it, too.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Desire Lines

Chick lit time!!

Desire Lines - Christina Baker Kline
Desire Lines: A Novel
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train comes a novel about friendship and the memories that haunt us

On the night of her high school graduation, Kathryn Campbell sits around a bonfire with her four closest friends, including the beautiful but erratic Jennifer. "I'll be fine," Jennifer says, as she walks away from the dying embers and towards the darkness of the woods. She never comes back.

Ten years later, Kathryn has tried to build a life for herself, with a marriage and a career as a journalist, but she still feels the conspicuous void of Jennifer's disappearance. When her divorce sends her reeling back to the Maine town where she grew up, she finds herself plunged into a sea of memories. With nothing left to lose, she is determined to answer one simple question: What happened to Jennifer Pelletier?


Let's just get this out of the way up front: was this book as good as Orphan Train? No. No it wasn't. To be honest thought, Orphan Train was so great for me that I almost wish I had read her other books before Orphan Train so I'd feel like she was progressively getting better and better. With that said, it doesn't mean this isn't a good book. It's good in a chick lit kind of way. 

I think the hardest part for me was how slow it was. This wasn't a book that grabbed you because things were just happening and the story wouldn't let you go. What this story was, was slow. It was so slow and the only thing keeping me hanging on is I wanted to know what the hell happened with Jennifer. I think the problem is that the story really isn't about finding Jennifer at all, it's more about Kathryn figuring out what the hell is wrong with herself and her life- why can't she just get it together? Her being distraught over the unexplained loss of a friend is what's given, but honestly? Kathryn is a fledgling adult and I think even if Jennifer hadn't disappeared, her life would have been the same. But once I got going in the story, it became pretty obvious that we weren't going to get a really interesting twist at the end that just unexpectedly guts you, which is what I was really hoping for. Instead, I guessed the outcome by the time we're at the part where they are attending their reunion. 

But with all of that said? I think if you are a die hard chick lit fan you are going to really love this. It would really be excellent for book clubs and there is a reading group guide at the back of the book which I kind of went over just to see if I'd walk away with a different feeling. For me, though, it's not what I was expecting. I'm still going to count myself as a fan who would eagerly await a new release because which everything taken in, the fact that I finished the book even though I wasn't totally feeling it says something about the writing style, and I have to love that.