Thursday, December 30, 2010

A few "Why nots" to become "Oh ya, that happened in 2011!"

So, this fog in NE Iowa is oppressive.  I'm also coming off a high from all the build-up of our Christmas celebrations.  Also, I apologize for any male readers, but my hormones still are jacked-up and some days this blanket of sadness just lays on me.  SO....I will combat with thanking my Maker for the dreams that became realities in 2010:

*Steve was offered and accepted an amazing job in Independence, IA*Our nephew Caleb Lynn was born the day after Steve started his new job*Jacob and I had challenging, yet amazing bonding time for three months before we *moved to Independence*Shed a lot of unwanted stuff through the "If it's not marked, it's a quarter" yard sale - we made $426 at that yard sale - $250 came from items that were a quarter - astounding, isn't it?*Moved to Independence, into a home that we LOVE*Next day, found out we were preggo, after 2 1/2 years of trying*Had the last visit with my Granma and great aunt, in Iowa [they won't be able to make that trip again.  They were real troopers to ride about 1700 miles from Pennsylvania to Iowa and back again.] *Jacob celebrated his 4th birthday*Jacob started preschool*Levi - we "officially" became parents of an angel baby*Clyde*Lost 33 lbs*  .......

Kind of a big year!  The whole list, in chronological order was necessary set up for the last quarter of the year.  The last quarter of the year is setting up a beautiful backdrop for 2011!

Here are the "Why nots" [see post from earlier in the month titled Why Not?] for 2011:

*lose 60lbs. - Why not be psyched about the way I look and let the inner sex kitten out?  heehee...that just really cracked me up..but seriously...why not?* Earn supplemental income through Mary Kay - Why not be a tool for women to truly feel beautiful about the skin they live in?* Learn to play piano and/or guitar - Why not have the tools to outlet my authentic creativity? * Sell "vacation" home in Monona, heehee.  Why shouldn't someone else enjoy the beauty and warmth of our first home and we be free of the cost of it?*Get preggo again.  Why not?  Why shouldn't our family grow?  We are awesome!  

Hebrews 11 1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.


What kind of things are you hoping for in the coming year?  The things that happened to us this past year, were things we believed would come to pass and we hoped for them.  The avenues, life takes to deliver, are not always idyllic.  Hey...we live in an imperfect world.  Nonetheless, I am grateful for the deliveries....I am learning so much from them. 

Bring it, 2011!  Use your vision that doesn't require eye sight!  I hope as these things start to become evident in your lives, you'll share them with me, as I will share with you!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Precious.

Wow.  What a Christmas!  We were so blessed with family time with 3 branches of relatives over the course of 4 days.  One of my favorite times is when Grandma Diers was telling Jacob [but really all of us] the Christmas story.  My dad, stepmom, husband, sister-in-law and I all sat in the family room as Grandma told the story of Christmas, by the glow of our fireplace and live Christmas tree.  It was idyllic.  It's so rare when something so uncoordinated turns out so beautifully.  That is true of life, isn't it?  The impromptu scenes of life are the funniest, the loveliest, the most memorable.  It all started because I realized I didn't have a christmas story book and the story isn't in Jacob's children's bible [ya, I don't know why...strange.], but this was so much better.  It was really a joint effort between Jacob and Grandma.  He's no stranger to the Christmas story.  Jacob helped Grandma tell it.  Loved it.
My favorite moment through the 4 day celebration, was Levi being acknowledged.  My friend, Heather, sent a beautiful arrangement for us.   I can't put into words how this helped me through this Christmas celebration.  Heather, I need to see you soon.  I wept Thursday night, out of deep loss, mostly out of deep joy that someone identified and let us know they were remembering.  I know that kind of reaching out can only come from someone who has lived through this kind of loss.  I pray I will be the kind of loving and lovely person you are, when I learn of a friend enduring the loss of their baby.  I pray my friends and family never know this kind of loss.   Here's the arrangement she sent....

Precious.  We are so grateful Heather and Joe.  Thank you. 

Another of my other favorite moments, is from Christmas morning.  In the midst of opening presents with three different family celebrations, Jacob brought me the gift he bought with his own money.  I was sitting next to Aunt Krissi on the sofa.  He handed it to me and curled up on Krissi's lap.  Then he whispered loudly to her, "It's a purse!"  =D  Precious.  It is an awesome purse from one of our local stores in downtown Independence.  I <3 it! 

Side note:  Oh, Krissi, I think we'll actually have to celebrate Christmas, in the Bahamas, by ourselves, if we ever want to get through any movie from start to finish, together.  ;) 

On to New Year's!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holidays 2010

Joy & Peace New Year's Card
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Levi, part of me is missing and with you.  This morning I feel that hole and am struggling with how to keep the smile turned on and my focus and to be all festive, when I want to crumble.  Am I able to be myself and let family hold me today and this weekend?  I didn't know I would feel this way days before Christmas.  I am altered and part of me wants to pretend none of this happened.  Most of me wants to hibernate and stew and emerge, having birthed some amazing...new...something... to try and fill the hole.  I love you Levi.  Thank you for leaving me a legacy of searching deeper and lessons of being true to myself. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

a poem

I was reminded about this poem I wrote for Jacob heading into his 2nd birthday.  I decided to post it here.  As he crawled into our bed this morning with his hot hands and little boy morning breath, and excitement for a new day - I thought of this ......

My Little Boy

My little boy is a champion destined for greatness.
He's a rainbow of promise in this world.
He's no fool when it comes to reading people,
I'm amazed by his internal barometer.

My little boy, is the spitting image of his daddy.
With his cheeks and mouth and lips.
Even his toenails grow just like his daddy's -
did I mention I love to kiss both of their lips?

Some have said to me, "Don't you think it's selfish having children in these times?"
To which, I think to myself, "What's selfish about receiving this gift?" I staked no claim - he was given to his dad and I freely....why would we ever turn a jewel away?

My little boy has changed me forever.
My heart will never be the same. And with each day,
the blazin' flame grows whiter as I hear him call me, "Mama!" -
I now know - that I'm living my dream.

What love is this? What kind of bond have I been entrusted with forever? When I look into his eyes and see his cheesy grin, I can't help but cry and thank my God for the beauty of the relationship he wants with me...

My little boy has taught me more than I will teach him.
He looks at the world with no disdain or despair.
He even likes bugs and slugs and beetles.
His mama likes to just hug him and love him and whisper in his ear,
"You are mine and I'll treasure you forever!"

Monday, December 20, 2010

"This baby just wants to be seen today"

I am sitting in our family room, as I scan the room, I enjoy what I see.  To my right, is our wood-burning fireplace, moving left is our lovely Christmas tree, then the tv and then, the corner where our overstuffed chair and ottoman set.  On the wall behind them, the pictures of our sons.  Jacob's first school picture is outstanding.  Truly!  I know I'm his mama and I'm supposed to say things like that, even if he looked awkward or had a really cheesy grin. But his first school picture is perfect.  Jacob is prone to a lot of cheese factor when he gets his picture taken  and this photo is a perfectly, relaxed smile with twinkly eyes.  To the right of Jacob's picture, is his baby brother's 16 week ultrasound picture.  This is one of the few stories we have, in Levi's short time, which we draw much comfort.  We draw comfort because the Master Conductor, orchestrated a masterpiece, this story is the bridge.  In the midst of dark pain, when you can still see the twinkle dust of hope - there is no denying the mastery of an Almighty God.  I find it's imperative to have faith, so we don't miss these magnificent cues.  The mornings I knew I had a doctor's appointment, were so exciting.  I knew I'd get to hear Sugar Bean's heartbeat.  "Just one more month, we'll get to see the ultrasound and possibly find out the sex and see him or her again.",  is what I remember thinking, on the drive to Waterloo.  Jacob was in the backseat.  He got to hear the heartbeat with me at the 12 week appointment.  "Swoosh swoosh swoosh, " could be heard from my firstborn.  He was making the sound of what baby's heartbeat sounded like at 12 weeks.  I will say, it was amazing and made me sob, when I heard Jacob's heartbeat the first time, at his 12 week appointment.  However, add him to the equation of experiencing the doctor appointments with me, for Levi, and it's pure ecstasy.  To live those moments through the eyes of a child and one that is going to be a big brother...well...I find myself reliving the appointments to keep hope alive and to give me a jolt of joy, even now. 
We are in the sterile, bright room.  Jacob is sliding back and forth on the vinyl loveseat, as I'm laying on my back, with that gooey jelly they put on your tummy to slide the wand over to pick up that heartbeat.  The first nurse, couldn't get one.  I didn't think a thing about it.  I got a lot of jelly to get that little wand through to begin with, add the scar tissue of a c-section with Jacob and I figured, "Oh...she just needs to push a little harder.  It's blubber, I can live off of it for 6 months."  She gives up and says with a smile, "I'm going to get the doctor's nurse to try.  This baby may just want to be seen today."  Kristy comes in, the doctor's nurse, and poo poos the first nurse's efforts.  "Let's just try this....baby can be positioned that it's hard to get through the scar tissue of your c-section."  Jacob is sitting still now.  I look at him and smile really big and with a lot of effort to get twinkles coming through my eyes as Kristy is not having success either.  I start to panic.  "Keep it cool, Beth.  Jacob will be fine as long as you keep your cool."  Kristy gives up, "Let me get Dr. Weno to give it a try.  This baby may just want to be seen today."  Jacob asks something about not being able to hear a heartbeat yet, as the nurse exits.  He comes to the side of the table and lays his head on my hand.  I caress his chubby cheeks with my palm and fingers, look into his eyes and say, "Nope, not yet.  but they will...and if they don't, we'll get to see picture of Sugar Bean like we did at our last appointment."  Jacob flashes me the cheese, while his large, blue eyes turn into squinty slits, because his cheeks have pushed up so far.  The Dr. enters.  She's calm and lovely.  She's very feminine.  Maybe all the other staff are too, but she's wearing regular clothes and every hair is in place.  I close my eyes and - not a joke - do my best to will Sugar Bean to move so we can get their heartbeat.  I just remember thinking waves of love and warmth and how excited I am about him or her - in hopes that they will get where we need them to be to get their heartbeat!  Jacob is setting perfectly quiet, looking at me, getting his reading of me.  I smile at him, a tear has now gone down my cheek, but I keep smiling.  I've always called Jacob my human barometer.  He instinctively measures the air pressure - he is an excellent judge of character already.  This was a quality I recognized in him, even at infancy.  The doctor says, "This baby just wants to be seen today.  I'll get an ultrasound ordered." 
Jacob and I head to the ultrasound room.  I am trembling.  She runs the wand over my tummy and the picture shows up on the screen.  AMAZING how much bigger Sugar Bean is in 4 weeks!  I smile and know all is ok, fear dissipated.  The ultrasound technician gasps at how big "he" is.  "I can't believe how big he is!" She exclaims.  Jacob picked up on it right away, "He? It's a boy, mama?"  I am now crying without sound for two reasons.  Number one - it's exciting to find out that I'll have TWO sons!  Number two - daddy really put the hammer down, which he rarely does, and he wanted it to be a surprise.  The technician looks at me, panicked, "Did you want to know? I just can't believe we can tell so clearly at 16 weeks....is it ok?"  I told her yes I wanted to know, but now there was no way to keep it from hubby since Jacob knows.  So, I just gotta figure out how to deal with that because he really was adamant about not wanting to know until birth."  I was actually afraid to tell Steve.  Any of you that know Steve, know it's absolutely ridiculous to be afraid of anything with him.  But I was.  She apologized and said all looked well with our growing son.  She hurriedly gathered us out of the room.  We met back with the doctor and that went well, so we were on our way home.  I called Steve and he was elated to find out he would have TWO sons as well.  =D  It was fun to have new pictures of our baby boy.  I placed them on the refrigerator...honestly, not really knowing exactly what I was looking at - just so excited to have bragging rights on the fridge.  Ok...so now I can just relax.
Nine days later, my water broke, which is for another post.  Three days later, our son was gone.  Two more days after Levi died, we had just returned from University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Labor & Delivery ward.  I walked into the kitchen, holding our Levi's remains, in the pretty angel urn.  I set him down, on the counter.  Turned on the light over the kitchen sink, proceeded to get a glass of water from the tap.  I was going to need that Ambien before I walk back the hall and realize there will not be a baby coming for that bedroom back there, in February.  I took the pill, turned, facing the refrigerator and continued to lean against the kitchen sink counter.  There were the 7 pictures we had between the 12 and 16 week ultrasound pictures of our Levi.  "Oh dear God...how many more times is this kind of moment going to happen to me?  How many more reminders of my dreams for this little one are there going to be????, " I thought to myself.  At this point, I really did feel numb.  It was all unbelievable.  Then....in the dim light of the dining room light and kitchen sink light, I saw him.  The second ultrasound picture from the top - from the 16 week appointment - was Levi's FACE!  Wait.  What?  I thought I was seeing things.  I doubted myself instantly.  "STEVE!  Do you see him?  Is that his face?  Come here.  Is this for real?"  Steve came running.  We were both standing inches from the freezer portion of our fridge, looking at this ultrasound picture.  I wasn't crazy.  I wasn't hallucinating.  There, at 1:30AM, two days after Levi being removed by a D&E procedure, most advised because of the level of infection, in my body - I was getting to see our son.  I've posted the picture.  We framed it, along with the prints of his hands and feet.  It is the only picture I have of Levi's face.  If you look, just to the right of the center of the photo, you'll see a face with eyes closed that greatly resembles his big brother's infant pictures. Maybe we couldn't hear his heartbeat that day and it had nothing to do with my blubber or scar tissue.  It had everything to do with our Creator and our son knowing, we would just want to see our baby today and everyday. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Double

It's another snow day for Jacob this morning.  He's in a.m. preschool and there's a 2 hour delay.  I am getting spoiled by having him home so often.  It's been an interesting morning.  I woke up at 5:30 because of a horrific, vivid dream of us driving over a bridge in Cedar Rapids.  Ahead of us, was a white minivan that was swerving all over the lanes, just when we cried a prayer because we thought the van was going to hit the right side of the bridge, nearly head-on, which I envisioned would come swirling back at our vehicle, the van shot right over the bridge, falling into the river.  Screaming is all I heard.  It was awful, when we got to the end of the bridge, suddenly we were on old Hwy. 218 driving past the McDonald's in Mt. Pleasant....just strangeness and disturbing. We were untouched, but the loss of those lives and the screaming is really grating on me this morning.
A really cool development, my SIL, in NYC, texted to say she had her photo taken with Liam Neeson  while she was at the Today show for a toy drive this morning.  Jacob and I kept busy until 8:50 commercial break so that we could catch a peek of her on tv, as a Plaza visitor on the Today show.  I got to see her.  Jacob was confused...it's hard making out the ones you know, on tv, when all of them are bundled up and the camera's pan goes so fast.  She looked cute and her smile totally stood out from everyone else's, as it usually does.  =D  I teared up, for someone I love, living the dream, man!
Overall today, I'm still recovering from a heaviness that kinda settled last night.  I was sitting on the sofa and telling Steve that I can't seem to get past this one "number" on the scale.  For the past month, I've struggled within 2-3 lbs. above it or below it and it's getting to me.  As I was talking to him about what I probably need to do, I realized that I've relaxed a whole lot more in the past 3 weeks.  For a solid 2 months I had chronic pain all over my body, after Levi's death.  My torso especially, most of the time felt like it was unraveling.  I've been without that pain for at least a month now.  Sometimes, it returns, but it is not a constant.  I am grateful for that...but I feel this deep sense of more reality setting in, as I move on.  Moving on is good.  Moving on is also a conscious decision when one realizes the moments are easier and they're moving on.  I realized that in contrast to the first 2 months, I'm not bound to a notebook full of lists for EVERYTHING and I mean everything.  I was exercising out of a drive that sometimes seemed unnatural - just trying to plow through.  In life, I've discovered that I'd rather plow through the hard stuff than to gain a strategy or take my time or assess a situation.  It's also something that drives me insane about the Iowa Hawkeyes...their offense and lack of drive to plow through other teams...OT...sorry...
I remembered a moment I had with Jacob yesterday and was telling Steve about it.  I was taking a breather in the front living room, mesmerized by the snow falling and my pretty little christmas tree decorated in white and gold and glittery ornaments.  Jacob woke up from his nap and curled up on my lap.  His curling up, feels like him just trying to bend his limbs in awkward positions around me, because he's growing up.  But the way he nuzzles his chubby cheeks in my neck and wraps his plump, hot hands in my hair and starts twisting, is sublime.  For some reason, in that moment, the realization that I will never feel Levi's cheeks or hot hands, ever, hit me kind of hard and I fought back stinging tears.  I never want Jacob to feel that deep sense of loss, because I don't want him to ever think he's not good enough.  Maybe he never would feel that...but it's my own personal fear.  In the next moment, I was reminded of Pastor Elissa's prayer over Jacob during Levi's memorial service.  She prayed that Jacob would get double of everything.  I have to be honest.  I didn't really know what that meant, until yesterday.  Levi has everything he'd ever want or need...he knows neither want or need.  So, all the love I have for Levi, can be poured into my Jacob.  So, visualizing what to do with this excess of motherly love, I pulled Jacob tighter.  He let out a sweet sigh, and his hands rested on the back of my neck.  "You feel soooo good Mama."  I'm going to stop there, because there's nothing else to say and I have to have a good cry.  Then the heaviness will be gone.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What excites me!

In no particular order, this post will encompass a wide range of levels of excitement.  =)  Oooh...now I feel pressure to be sure and mention my hubby first.  LOL  I'm not giving an awards acceptance speech, but that aside - he really does, excite me.  He doesn't get how much he excites me.  He's a city government official and watching him on tv during locally broadcasted telecasts really excites me. More than his job, he's the best man I know.  I am elated that someone so solid, brilliant and fun wants me...forever.  Ok, ok...moving along......
I get excited, walking through my kitchen to turn off lights, before hitting the hay, to see my Bunn coffeemaker.  Sometimes, when a day is tough, the thought alone of fresh brewed coffee and it's velvety goodness sparking my tastebuds first thing in the morning, just gives me a whole new appreciation for the beginning of a new day.  Our fireplace excites me.  I've never lived in a house with a fireplace.  I believe a fireplace really IS as romantic as it looks like on tv or movies.  Marzetti's stuffed olives, either garlic or jalapeno, excite me!  Random - but they're so YUMMY and make me feel like I'm having a sophisticated snack.  Of course, I limit my intake to 2 or 3 or else I won't be exciting my hubby to create romance in front of our fireplace.  ;)  As Steve would say, "Hey-O!"  ...again...moving along....
 When my postal lady rings my doorbell, because she has to hand me a package that won't fit in my mailbox, is exciting.  Paying off debt is e-l-a-t-i-o-n!  Dark chocolate, red wine and bleu cheese crumbles excite me.  Jazz is a new excitement for me. {Thank you my mommy and her friends that I can't wait to meet.}  When my dad calls me, I get excited.  Dancing, a good acoustic set and preparing for a large family gathering or company, in our home, really get me going.  The words, "You were right Mama!" from Jacob's stunned voice, excite me.  I get charged when I get to sing karaoke.  Give me some "Alone" by Heart or any song by Evanescence that I get to pretend I'm a kick-ass rock queen and I'm in frickin' paradise.  Spotlight excites me - this is a truth I've downplayed for a lot of years now....so over that...just sayin'.  Making dough for bread or rolls is strangely exciting for me.  There's something I feel like I'm learning about each batch I make - temperatures, water or milk and dry ingredients - don't always mix the same dough, but they ALL feel so good in my hands and [knock on wood] have always tasted so good.  Taking communion at church or with the ones I love excites me.  J-A-C-O-B is excitement and the greatest high, in the flesh, of my life.  His very existence and the intricacy of how he's fearfully and wonderfully made - excite me, cuz he's evidence, as we all are, of a great Creator! 
And....that's all.  For now.  I am preparing for snow and a holiday party in our home, this weekend.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Why not?

I've just finished my jamming session with Pink!  Her song, "Raise Your Glass"...just freaking liberates me. Her lyrics ..."What part of party don't ya understand?  Wish you'd just freak out..." - awesomeness!   I've found myself saying, this past week, "I've got to get out of my head."  I find there are so many opportunities to not live inspired when my brain is totally in control.  Some are going to tell me, "Holy crap Beth...life isn't supposed to be inspired 24/7!!!  You freakzoid!"  To which, I will turn, smile, and ask, "Really?  Why not?"  [Well, actually, I don't have the kahunas to do that, but I'll tell you I do, in my own blog. ;) ]    Truly though?  I'm saying the phrase, "Why not?" more and more.  Ask my hubby.  AND if someone were to question my sanity as to whether or not it is acceptable and appropriate to let our spirits freak out and lead our brain, I know I'd be asking on the inside, "why not???"  At only 6% operational, I'd say my brain hasn't had to fight too hard to keep the reins.  Now that I'm realizing how it makes me "too school for cool" [lyrics to the song mentioned above] and actually enslaves creativity most of my time and keeps me in fear of acceptance of other people's brains at 6% functionality...well...I've discovered life is just too dang short to keep trying to explain myself to anyone and attempt to gain their approval and so it's just time to live.  I used to be a slob, before Levi.  I used to be a terrible manager of time, before Levi.  I started my unslobbyness and excellent time management because I couldn't bear to sit still and be left alone with my thoughts and feelings and flashbacks.  Know what I found out?  I have more time and space and opportunity to be creative and find out more about who I am and what I should do because I'm disciplined about order and organization.  I think the brain's function is to help our bodies and mind visualize what IS possible, under the direction of our spirit, as well as be the "Houston" of our bodies.  Maybe I focus too much on my brain being a mission control and have next to no vision for the mission.  Well...that's changing.  It's been a year, in the process, and it's going to take retraining or just plain freeing up my mind.  My theme for 2011 is, "Why not?" 
Tell me, what is your theme for 2011? 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Toenails

It's 12 weeks ago.  I know, I know.  There are quite a few that believe I'm supposed to be past the loss of my Levi.  Hurrying up and trying to get pregnant again does not take away the void of my womb and heart.  Complying with the curse to deal silently - is also not the way I work.  I've been amazed how instantaneously, I felt like losing a baby was something taboo to speak of.  It was such a heavy burden.  There are so many layers and facets to how this affects a woman's soul, or at least my soul.  We've come through the first trimester since I became unpregnant.  This experience is something I can only speak of in fragments.  My purpose in starting this blog is to have a place that mommies and daddies can come and feel the pain, reconnect with their pain, if they choose to.  I've come to learn that the pain of it is what it makes it real.  I crave it daily.  Why?  Cuz everyone else has moved on or at least they appear to.  Don't get me wrong, I am moving on too....but there are days and today is one of them that I don't want to. This morning, when I bent over on my hands and knees to water our Christmas tree, my tummy didn't get in the way, in fact, it gets flatter and smaller, and I get angry. 
While in the University of Iowa Hospital, we were told of a funeral director that would creamate Levi's remains, for us to travel home with.  We are so grateful for Dan Ciha.  He entered my hospital room and commented immediately on how surprised he was to see bright red toenail polish, so stylish, on a woman's toenails who just lost so much.  I had been sitting there for most of the morning, wishing I had done something with my toenails, cuz they needed done...badly.  Dan came in, sat down and we proceeded to hammer out the details.  Actually, he and my Stevo did that part.  I just sat there, in disbelief that I was bringing my baby home in an urn.  The time came when we asked him what this would cost us.  His eyes softened so much, they looked melty.  He wasn't going to cry, but it was as close as one could get to it and not glaze over with wet tears.  I'll never forget this man's demeanor.  He said, "It's no charge."  He proceeded to explain how when he got into the funeral business, a woman friend of his, approached him and said about her son would have been 21 years old, if he had lived.  He learned of the pain of his friend, and how not having a burial or something for him, didn't really make it real.  Therefore, he determined when he had his own business, he would offer this service, or I call a ministry, to families that lose their babies.  Steve and I just started crying.  We hadn't spoken of it, but I knew how I had been imagining carrying some sort of container.... or what...??... would it be to take Levi back to Monona for Josh [a funeral director friend of ours] to prepare a service of some sort.  The nurses also made it known to me that we could just have them dispose of our baby's remains....interesting how she knew we had named him, but wouldn't use his name.  Even if we hadn't named him, it's another reason Dan Ciha provided this ministry...it's a REAL life and REAL death.  Nine hours later, when I was finally being discharged, at 11:30PM, Dan met us at the entrance to the Uof Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.  There we sat as he handed us our Levi, in a beautiful angel.  It stood about as tall as Levi would have been from crown to rump.  Dan left, and we stood at the final doors to exit the hospital. We were being kicked out, being left to figure out how to live, in the real world, without Jacob's baby brother, our second son. 
Twelve weeks later, it does hurt much less.  God gets the credit for that.  I just pray that I can be a vessel of God's grace and healing balm the way Dan Ciha was for us that dark night.  Oh...my toenails are still stylish red, only on the top half of the nail now.  I haven't touched the paint on them since a week before our world changed.  I will, when I'm ready to.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Faith like a child

Thursday, on our way home from preschool, Jacob randomly said, "I can't wait to be a daddy with my own son someday!"  This is a remarkable tribute to the kind of daddy HIS daddy is, and I am their biggest fan.  Jacob's frustration erupted while he was trying to understand that he'll have his own family, and when that happens, I will be getting older [God bless him.], and getting older to him means that I'll die.  Since the loss of Levi, death is a topic which comes up about every other week.  These outbursts of how he processes life's mysteries always catch me off guard.  I have to shake my brain in it's cage and do a couple of armpit farts, in order, to get out of my head and release the inner child to explain, so it makes sense, but isn't information overload or scary to him. Jacob says, "But Mama, when I have my own son and Mommy [his future wife], you will be old and die!"  I said something like this - I'd be a liar if I wrote that I remember word for word.  "Honeypie!  Yes, everyday, I get older, but it takes a lot of years to get old. [I did not tell him the older I get, the faster the years fly past me.  That is scary! ;) ] Mommy and Daddy's mommies are still young and healthy and happy, your Grandma Diers and Mimi!  Besides, don't you worry about me.  When you have your very own wife, she'll be the most important woman in your life, and you'll be happy.  You'll be older too, ya know and tall like daddy!"   I watched his face, in my rearview mirror, as I turned onto Terrace Drive.  His mouth changed from turned down and started to creep upward, which makes his cheeks move higher and then he smacked his hands together and said, " Ya!  And then my wife's tummy will get humongous and a baby will kick out!  Awww....I will have my very own son!" 
Now...I'm teary.  His facial expressions are so beautiful and it reminds me of when we told him about Levi, which will be another post.  His face and eyes tell me that he "got it".  No further explanation required at this time.  I've always said that becoming a parent, for me, means that I will learn more than I ever teach Jacob.  I learn more about myself - history, present and future.  I learn more about my relationship with my Creator.  I learn more about my parents.  I'm so blessed with a brilliant, bright light that is Jacob.   

Friday, December 10, 2010

New slate

...every moment.  When I make a poor decision, be it words, actions, thoughts, not following through with any number of things, the next moment is a brand new slate.  Say, "I'm sorry."  Pop in that Winsor Pilates VHS tape and empower your core instead of taking on guilt about missing yesterday.  Pick up the phone and call your Granma - don't feel guilt that you haven't called her in a couple weeks, just pick up the phone and do it. Hollered at your son?  Hug him.   Ate 3 cookies?  Don't eat a 4th.  Feel like you're never going to succeed at being the person God created you to be?  Laugh, because if I actually believe that, that will be the result I get. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

a few of my favorite things...

*due to needing to regroup after unraveling so much yesterday on Hallelujah Mama, this post is fluff*

coffee * Wii Fit * Mary Kay * ....oh ...who am I kidding?  I just totally had all this written out and even funny and of course my computer somehow just decided to highlight and delete all the entertaining fodder I'd written and it's g-o-n-e.  There's no "edit" button to "undo edit" and bring it all back.  So, dear readers, I'm finished for today.  Good afternoon! 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

No matter what....

...and it may take me a bit to steady myself to praise God...but I get there. I'm not a religious person and the longer I live life, the less I want to hear men's version of what is spiritual and holy, only because I don't want to feel the restriction of how to be close to my Creator.  Someone so vast, so amazing - does not need to have rules on how to love or be loved.   I curse.  I like vodka AND wine.  I love to shake my booty to Pink!, Snoop Dogg and Eminem.  Jesus loves me the way I am. I love to worship HIM.   I love to appreciate the creativity of His own creation. I love to worship God.  When I am broken and have busted through my home with my whole body, eyes closed, dancing like a flame across an open prairie, envisioning all His color and glory - HE ALWAYS delivers!  He brings peace, brilliance, clarity, vision.  I am reminded of the stories of the Israelites, in the Old Testament, heading out to battle.  What did their enemies hear, which caused them to fear and tremble?  The pageantry, the instruments and the voices of those psyched out of their minds to lift up the name of their God and to watch Him orchestrate a victory. 
September 20, 2010 - it's personal, it's intimate, it's the night our dead son was taken from my womb.  It's still raw.  There are so many things I don't understand about our loss.  What do I keep reliving?  I keep reliving the moments, without my husband, in an operating room.  Bright lights and it seemed like 15 staff surrounding me, preparing to remove Levi Matthew from my body, polluted with infection.  They were saving my life, while all I wanted to do was save my son's life.  To no avail....he'd been gone for hours. I lay there, as vulnerable and exposed and out of control as anyone can imagine.  I tried to crack a joke, it's what I do when I hurt the most - to cover the unbearable pain, in my soul.  Unfortunately, it usually works and I get the laughs and feel "safe and undetected".  Not this time.  Every staff's eyes met mine.  Tools were put down.  At least six sets of hands were laid on my body, wherever they could reach and rested while a wave of "I'm so sorry Beth." whispered across the room.  I started sobbing, like nothing I have ever felt - ever.  I lifted up my eyes, exhaled and started singing, "How Great Thou Art".  I could feel HIM.  My Creator.  My Source.  My Strength.  My receptacle to all that is truly real.  I am not a robot.  God is real and his presence and peace are for all of us to soak, drink and reside in.  His arms know no bounds.  "I will praise Him in this storm."  The waves have long since subsided, and we are still rummaging through the rubble.  The echo I hear is "There is so much more!"  As my husband and I walk along the path of death and grief, God's light never fades..  He continues to bless us through the most unexpected avenues.  God -I love you.  You picked me long before I ever picked You!  I praise you for the beauty of the pain, in this life.  I praise you for giving us the gift of Levi.  We are grateful and as a mama, I trust, in your care, he doesn't need to know how much I ache for him and love him.  But Father, would you please tell him anyway? 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Writer's Block

Not. Cool.  My first post on my blog and all I can think to tell you is how excited, hopeful, rejuvenated I feel to have this blog.  This blog will be about the adventures I have in life, as a modern-day housewife and stay-at-home-mom.
I need to give a shout-out to my friend, Heather, for my stellar header design.  She has done it again.  Heather designed my wedding invitations, baby shower invitations, a website, business cards - and it's like she's in my head, seeing my vision for a project, and VOILA!  She makes it so easy, because I don't have to try to use words, to describe my visions.  Sometimes, that is really hard for me.  My husband calls it 'bethanese'.  It's my total ability to screw up words, their order in a sentence, and mix them around.  Somehow, he always understands what I'm saying, and will mock me with a pouty look on his face and throw his fists down and say, "Words!"  It's like I'm throwing a hissy fit because I just lost a battle with the english language.  Back to Heather - her business is called Design With Life - check her out!  I'm trying to figure out how to add her button to my blog.  This is a whole new broadening my horizon adventure.  Look out world!  ;)