Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I bared my soul on our struggle with infertility.

And then one night, as I lay in the comfort of my husband's arms, waiting for sleep to overwhelm my senses, I listened to the quiet in our house.  I heard Taylor breathing peacefully, so close to my ear, quickly asleep after a long day of hard work.  I thought about our week and all that we accomplished.  I thought about our plans for adoption and the many children already in our lives.  I thought about the way we live our life now, and about our plans for shaping the future of our marriage and our family.

As I dozed off, I came to realize that I am most content.  As much as I long for certain things in my life and in our marriage, I am happy.  Incredibly happy.  And I am certain, deep down, that I'd never change a thing outside of God's plan for our lives.

It's true that we still have to prayerfully discern what God desires of us--what we must strive for and what we must pass by.  But for now, I am at peace waiting for the blessings God has in store for us.

Because after all, I have already been blessed infinitely with the Love of my sweet husband.  Any parent (and grandparent) will tell you that children leave the family eventually.  My parents did it. I have done it. My children will do it.  I don't mean to say that children are "lost" to their parents when they begin their own life, but every child grows up.  

Momma always told me your spouse if the only member of your family you ever get to choose ("so choose carefully," I hear her say in the back of my mind).  God placed him before me and I have chosen.  He is mine forever, to help me to heaven and to see God in all things.

And truthfully, what more can I ask for? 

Saturday, September 25, 2010


[given the proximity of this to my last post, a small note of clarification: this is my best friend's family w/ her new baby] :) 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Nearly Breathless

I'm a giddy, excited, basket case today.  Today our adoption case manager is coming to our house for the last meeting in our home study--the home visit.  Today, theoretically, the process will move forward into the real "waiting" period, when we wait to make a connection with an expectant mother, and wait to hold our child in our arms.

I don't know how to describe what I'm feeling.  I'm not worried about the process not moving forward.  I am confident that we will not have to wait terribly long for a placement.  But I almost tremble all over. My breaths  are shorter.  My heart is beating heavily.  Is this what hovering on the verge of parenthood is like?  Is this what it feels like, for instance, before that first prenatal appointment when you hear the baby's heartbeat? Is this when it becomes real?  I don't know.

But I am excited.  I gave the house a good cleaning, which was very therapeutic for me (boy did it need it, too!).  I couldn't fall asleep right away last night.  I woke up a few times early in the morning, before our alarms went off, with that same feeling I used to have on Christmas morning as a little girl--is it here yet? is it time to wake up?  Will it begin soon?

And just like those tedious (and, really, very few) hours that we had to let my parents sleep until the sun rose, the hours of today crawl by and I watch the clock.  Soon enough it will tell me it's time to go home and take the next step on the way toward parenthood.

and I really am excited :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I made two purses last weekend!  One large one for use as a minimalist diaper bag, and one medium one ordered as a gift. I'm very happy with how they turned out :)

First, the large one:

I was able to use a lighter-weight cotton on one side because of the stronger black twill as the reverse.  And I'm so excited that I finally got to use some of my pretty (favorite) yellow buttons!

Custom pockets, of course

reverse--a nice subtle, goes-with-everything black, but with just enough fun in the accents.

Now the medium bag: 

Since this purse was a gift, I had to improvise with some of the details.  I don't mind :) I like to improvise.


Pockets + key fob.  The fob is sewn into the top seam, so it can be used with either side of the purse out.

And my favorite improvisation:

The angeled pocket
See, it's good for taller, skinnier things (like a small lipgloss tube or a short pen or a nail file (not that anyone would really carry around a seam ripper in their purse (especially unprotected) but it's what I had)).

But it's also great for shorter, less skinny things, 
like a standard lip balm:

Am I the only one who is amazed at my genius?  Ok, that's fine if I am, but I still think it's pretty cool :) 

All in all, two satisfied customers--and that's pretty fabulous too. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

I Confess

I would be dishonest if I were to say that it has not been a struggle for us these past four years.  Anyone who knew Taylor and me before we got married knew that we wanted children right away.  We talked about it all the time. With anyone who would listen. We had dreams of being pregnant on the plane back from our honeymoon.  Every month we'd pray and hope that this would be it--the month we became parents. And so, we waited. And waited...

More than four years (or 53 months.. but who's counting?) and some four dozen babies (seriously) later, despite many evaluative tests and various remedies and strategies for conception, we still wait.

I have deliberately avoided discussing my struggle with infertility on this blog.  Not because I think you'd be unsympathetic, but because I didn't want it to become, for me, a forum for complaining.  I would be lying if I told you it hasn't been painful. But I would also be lying if I pretended we have not had our share of grace and blessing.  So many blessings..

St. Josemaria Escriva said:
"God in His providence has two ways of blessing marriages: one by giving them children; and the other, sometimes, because he loves them so much, by not giving them children.  I don't know which is the better blessing.  In any event, let one accept his own."
That was a hard thought for me: God is blessing our marriage by not giving us children.  Or at least, by not giving us children according to our plan and schedule.  I do hope to be a mother someday, but clearly my plans for immediate parenthood were not what God had in mind.

I've been thinking about St. Josemaria's words a lot, especially (you may have noticed) since it feels like everyone is getting pregnant lately.  There is a delicate balance between being thankful for one's own blessings and still pursuing the blessings we feel called to, like children; between looking around at my life and saying "I am so blessed" but still being able to look forward with hope and say "I do want children."

It's not enough only to look forward, because I could too easily forget about all the wonderfulness in my life right now.  But neither is it enough to merely "be content" with life as it is.  We are called to foster a sense of "not yet" in our plans.  What's in the future? How should we plan for it? What are we supposed to do to bring that future into the present?

Those questions have been difficult for me.  And I confess to feelings of bitterness when I read the ever-growing number of pregnancy announcements on facebook. I admit that I sometimes find it hard to look at swelling-belly pictures and the happy smile on the face of the parents.  I fight against envy when I see videos of cooing babes and exhausted-but-ecstatic parents holding their precious newborn.  Of course I am deeply (and truly) happy for them, but I can't help thinking "what about us?"

I even admit to selfish thoughts like, "well, they can't do all the things T and I can do, since they have kids."  But, inevitably, I say to myself, "but I know they don't care.. they'd never change a thing."  To be honest, we wouldn't change a thing either. Still, I have sometimes tried to convince myself that my life, sans bebe is better than life with kids, but that thought is empty.  Comparison is a deep, dark hole that will never bring fruit.

I won't tell you about the many blessings have in our marriage in this post, since the rest of this blog is an attempt at sharing those thousands.  But that is part of the difficulty.  To maintain true gratitude right alongside a deep, intense longing.  Part of the struggle is to reject those destructive, comparative thoughts and feelings of self-pity that tend to crop up at others' joyful news.  Part of the struggle is to sympathize with others who do not have the blessings I have, to bite my tongue and swallow my pride and not proclaim how blessed we are at just the wrong time...

I am no saint.  I can only speak from my experience and I have succumbed to these temptations many times.  But I do know that there is grace in abundance in such struggles.  "Let each accept his own" is St. Josemaria's advice.  Grant it, O Lord.

And we will keep waiting. But not without hope.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Three Hundred Sixty Five

September 1 was a big day this year. My niece Rachel turned four. The Byzantine liturgical year arrived (how did that happen so fast?!). Taylor got a sore throat :( Viv came over for salmon patties and broiled greens.  We watched a Poirot mystery and went to bed early (!).

And I also took a photograph.  It's nothing special, really, but it's a beginning--and everyone has to start somewhere, right?  I chose September first to start my project because it's the beginning of the liturgical year, in hopes that I will also be better about keeping the liturgical year at home.  So here it is, day 1.  These are the ribbons to our most-used prayer books, waiting to guide us through our morning prayers.


There are several things I want to accomplish over this next year as I take a photograph a day.  I want to get to know my camera better.  I want to know everything it can do, and how I can take advantage of all its features and potential.

I'd like to increase my skill in post-processing, too.  Even in film, you can take all the fun pictures you want but if you develop them poorly or print them badly, it just doesn't cut it.  In this digital age, any earnest photographer needs to learn her way around some of the photo processing software.

Finally, I want to get back into the creative side of photography.  It's been fun simply having a fabulous camera around, so that whenever I felt like it, I could snap a great picture.  But what I enjoyed so much about my first 365 project (with my point and shoot) was that it encouraged me to think about pictures most of the time.  I had to look around when I was walking somewhere, to try and see something worth photographing.  I had to poke around at home, sometimes late at night, trying to sneak a picture in before the day was over, looking for interesting things to capture.

Other challenges I foresee are carrying my dSLR with me whenever I go out (and maybe a tripod, too?).  It's larger than a point and shoot, harder to get out, takes a bit more thinking power to do the settings before I click a picture.. well see how this goes. If you start to see a lot of pictures "around the house" call me out on it, ok? :)

Now, it's one thing to think about pictures all the time (and you'd be amazed how many opportunities present themselves when you're looking), but it's an entirely different thing to actually take the picture you see in your head.  I'm terrible about this, especially if the picture I'm dreaming of includes some person sitting across from me, say, on the bus.  What if I pull my camera out and start clicking and they freak out and start yelling at me?! Or what if I end up with a picture of this person staring straight at my lens with an "I'm totally gonna kill you" look on their face?  That puts me off, a bit.  So.. I want to work on that, too. We'll see how it goes.

Wish me luck!