Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

Where We Are Now

I feel like such a tease telling you all that I’m going to start writing again and then not immediately writing a bunch of posts. A lot has happened since I quit writing, but instead of playing catch-up with the last couple of months, I’ll tell you where we are now:

  • I’m going to school full time to get my Masters in English literature. I’m not really sure what the long-term plan is (teaching private high school, teaching college, applying to PhD programs, etc.), but I love what I am doing right now. I love reading, discussing, and writing about literature, and that’s basically all I do now. It’s hard, especially since I took time off after undergrad and had to relearn quite a few things, like how to study or write an academic paper, but I can’t think of anything else I would rather be doing right now. Well, that’s a lie. I’d rather be a stay-at-home mom, but that isn’t happening right now, so this is the next best thing.
  • Hubby is in the hiring process at the fire department in our town. After he didn’t get the last job because they basically run on the “good ole boy” system, he started putting in applications at different departments. This department is completely different. Instead of hiring from the volunteer list, they have a multiple-step hiring process that takes months. Hubby passed a written exam back in September, and he is taking a physical exam next week. When he passes that, he’ll be able to get an interview. If he does well on his interview, he’ll take a psych evaluation (1 out of 4 fail it). If everything goes well, it will probably be February or March before he starts working, and if it doesn’t go well, we’ll move on to another department. Apparently, he was the only one out of over 100 applicants who showed up for the written exam in a tie, and he had two separate officers tell him that he made a really good impression, so we that’s a good sign. Also, he got one of the highest grades on the written exam, so that doesn’t hurt either.
  • As I mentioned in my last post, Hubby and I are going to start the process for foster adoption if he gets this job. As it is, Hubby gets paid on commission, and I get a small stipend from school so we have a hard time keeping our heads above water sometimes, especially with all of the medical bills from Hubby getting so sick this past winter/spring. The beginning pay at this department, however, would increase our income by almost $1,000 a month, and by that time, the medical bills should be paid off (assuming we don’t create any more), saving us a few hundred dollars a month. So that would leave us with some baby money. And as an extra perk, we could also afford to start eating meat again.
  • We got another dog at the end of August, Jack Jack. Molly was a very high energy dog, and she really needed a buddy to play with so that she wouldn’t be destructive, so we went to the pound and picked out a new best friend for her. Jack Jack was about nine months old when we got him. He was also scary skinny, and he had kennel cough. Looking back, I have no idea why we got this sickly, scrawny dog, but I am so glad we did. He is the best behaved dog I’ve ever had, and he learns very quickly. Plus, he’s the cutest little thing I’ve ever seen, especially now that he’s put on some weight. I’m sure you’ll agree:

Jack1

Jack2

It’s also nice that he matches our house so well, haha. The only problem is that Jack Jack is also a high energy dog and needs someone to play with–that’s why he was a perfect friend for Molly. Maybe we’ll go get him a friend in the spring because we’re not ready for another furbaby yet.

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New Year

This time of year always makes me reflective.

I remember at the end of 2010, my mom and sister were both saying how glad they were that the year was ending because 2010 sucked so much, and I actually got a little upset with them. Yes, 2010 was a hard year for my family because both of my grandparents died that year, but it was also a good year. It was the year I graduated from college, married the love of my life, and started my first job out of college. It was the year hubby and I moved into the little apartment we built together, adopted our little kitty Gaia, and joined our church. 2010 was a big year for me, and I was a little hurt that they overlooked all of that to only see the negative and the loss. I think part of it may be that I was the most accepting of my grandfather’s death, and I was apparently the only one who was expecting it. My grandfather was so heartbroken after my grandmother died, and I hated to see him that way. He was a shell. I was so sad when he died, but I took comfort in his death, too, because I knew he was where he belonged–with my grandmother. I insisted on pointing out the good to my family, and I was a little sad to see the year pass after I had spent so much time looking forward to it.

WeddingAfter five years together, 2010 was the year I finally married the love of my life.

Gaia2010 was also the year this beautiful, snuggly girl entered our lives

2011 was another big year for us. Hubby quit his job and followed his dream to be an auto mechanic, and I got my first full-time job. Hubby also joined his volunteer fire department and found another passion to follow. We bought a house, made some very close friends, and started trying to expand our family. At the end of the year, I had a lot to think about and a lot to be thankful for. I did have a nagging sadness because I hadn’t gotten pregnant yet, but it had only been four months, and I had high hopes for the future.

Now that another year has passed, I’m trying to look back without bitterness in my heart. 2012 brought three miscarriages, multiple friendships lost, a new atmosphere at my job that makes me hate going to work, and an unfortunate turn of events that eventually led to us leaving our church. I keep thinking about how glad I am to be rid of 2012, and how much I am looking forward to the clean slate of 2013. I also keep thinking about 2010. I keep thinking about how my mom and sister only saw the loss and couldn’t see all of the wonderful things that had happened that year, and I’m trying to see the good things. In 2013, we adopted little Miss Molly, I found this community, we made new friendships with good people who won’t treat us with the hate that our old “friends” treated us with, we found a new church that we are slowly finding our place in, and hubby has come a long way in his fire training. It really doesn’t feel like much. It really doesn’t make me feel better about all of the sadness that we have endured this year, but I’m working very hard to look into 2013 with hope and not look back on 2012 with anger and despair.

MollyOne good thing that happened to us in 2012. I love her little Batman collar–it has a seatbelt buckle.
How did that tiny puppy grow so fast?

What about you? How do you feel about 2012 and the new year that is rapidly approaching?

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Staying Busy

I have one of those personalities that are prone to anxiety and worrying. Remember my post about charting? I tend to obsess over things (like temping) and sometimes I have to make some adjustments to my life or the way I do things so that I don’t feed those tendencies. One thing I have worked on is taking all of that energy and applying it to a healthy distraction like cooking, cleaning, or playing with my new puppy :) Here are some of my favorite ways to stay busy so I don’t worry too much, especially during my TWW. These are in no particular order (Can you tell I like lists? Because I really like lists):

  • Cleaning up the house We bought our house in September of last year, and I love having a home we can call our own. Surprising at it might be, I’m not a neat freak. Hubby and I are actually both big slobs, and I’ve never really enjoyed cleaning. Ever since we bought our house, however, I take pride in having a home to take care of, so I try to keep it looking nice. It is definitely not the cleanest house on the block, but it is consistently cleaner than our apartment was. Every once in awhile, I will start to clean up the kitchen or something and get in the zone, realizing hours later that I’ve deep cleaned half the house. This has been happening more lately–probably because I’ve had so much going on mentally and emotionally and it is so nice to just turn off my brain and concentrate fully on physical labor. Although, I do have to confess that I’ve been really lax in cleaning since we brought home the puppy because she takes so much time and energy. So despite everything I just said about cleaning, my house is a disaster right now. Maybe I should do something about that this weekend…
  • Sewing I don’t have a ton of experience sewing (or doing anything that can be classified as domestic), but I have started working on some projects lately and I have really enjoyed it. I started a Pinterest account in July and have since made two skirts with matching headbands. I am also in the middle of making a cute dress from a pattern I bought a few weeks ago. When I start sewing, it’s like all of my thoughts and worries just float away and are replaced with a calm contentment–I’ll put my head down to work on a project and not even notice as the hours fly by. Plus I end up with cute things to wear and show off!
  • Cooking/Baking Once again, I wasn’t really raised to be domestic so this is fairly new territory for me. Because I didn’t cook much growing up, I have to concentrate really hard and double check myself to make sure I don’t screw up recipes. So it takes quite a bit of concentration to cook or bake, but I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I love being able to see a recipe and make it that night. Or when I get a craving for something sweet after dinner, I love being able to just whip something up. Lately, hubby and I have been trying meal planning, and we’re still trying to get the hang of it. It takes some effort, but I would rather direct my energy to planning meals for the week and putting together a shopping list than worrying at 6:00pm about what we are going to eat that night.
  • Playing with my furbabies :) We have two furbabies. Gaia is a dilute tortoiseshell cat that we adopted about two years ago. We couldn’t ask for a better kitty–she is very friendly and loves to snuggle. We also have Molly who is a little ball of energy and takes quite a bit of time and attention. She’s a labrador/australian shepherd mix, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at her–she looks all lab. We take her outside and run around with her multiple times a day, so not only is she a good distraction but she also encourages me to get some exercise (hello endorphins!)
  • Readinglove reading. My mom is a librarian, so I was constantly exposed to good books as I was growing up, and reading is my passion. I especially enjoy reading the classics: Charles Dickens, Alexander Dumas, Matthew Gregory Lewis, Fyodor Dostoyevski, etc. but I also have a special place in my heart for Harry Potter :) Right now I’m reading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Every night that we don’t have something planned, I take a long bath and read a few chapters. Talk about relaxing and clearing your head. I started doing this a week or so ago, and I’ve definitely noticed a difference in a my stress level.
  • Spending time with hubby Not only is my husband supportive, loving, fun,  sexy, and a hard worker, he is also the funniest person I know. Whenever we go somewhere, my favorite part is almost always the drive where we just talk about our days and whatever we are thinking about, and he almost always has some story from his day that makes me laugh until my stomach hurts. In those moments, I forget about the crap that has been bothering me. Usually, spending time with the hubby entails grocery shopping or some other errand, but as long as I’m hanging out with him, I’m fine. I am so content spending the rest of my life with that man.

I think that’s a long enough list for now. Maybe some of these things can help you get out of your head and be productive.  Storkchaser has started a Lazy Pinner’s Challenge where she encourages everyone to actually make something from Pinterest every month for three months, and I think that is a great idea that really coincides with this post. Check it out and maybe even join us (I’m making pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies because I love anything with pumpkin in it!).

I feel like I can’t write this post without also saying that I am sometimes guilty of distracting myself too much and not actually dealing with my emotions and the problems facing me. Sometimes when I am staying busy, I get this panicky feeling like something is creeping up on me and will catch me any moment. I can’t escape the reality of our difficulty getting pregnant or the loss of two pregnancies. That’s another reason why I started this blog. I can  sort through everything I’m dealing with and articulate my feelings in a safe way that doesn’t involve crying in the fetal position on my bathroom floor (although I sometimes do that too–everyone needs a good cry sometimes). I’m working on finding that balance of dealing with my struggles but not allowing myself to wallow and sink into a deep pit of self-pity.

How do you distract yourself from fertility issues or loss? Do you sometimes find that you distract yourself too much and need to slow down to face some of your emotions?

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