Saturday, January 11, 2014

I no longer have an other.

Divorce is hard. It is brutal. It is painful.

I've been through some very, very difficult stuff. Being sick, almost dying, watching loved ones die. Those are all harder. But divorce is very hard.

The more excruciating part is what is does to my children. And I can't stop it. I can't make it better. I no longer have the powerful magic of kissing an owie to fix this. Causing your own children pain, knowing that no matter how you handle it, you will fail, is just downright horrible.

It's hard to no longer have a person to walk through life with. Even if that person hasn't been walking with me for a long time now. There's no one there to hold, no one to call in an emergency. Except that isn't true. I have an amazing family, and beautiful friends. I have them. They have saved me, over and over. By loving me, being there, and reminding me of exactly who I am and of how loveable I am. That I deserve to be loved. Genuinely, for exactly who I am-the good, the bad, the ugly, and the great. I have my children, who are the most important people in the world to me. I did not ever think they would have to go through this. I never wanted this for them when I chose to have them. I wish I could make it better, and as much as I love words, there aren't any to fully describe my feeling for them or how much I wish I could heal them. I'm so blessed that they are mine.

So. Life has been hard. It's been brutal. But it is still beautiful. I'm myself again, more fully than I've been in a very, very long time. It will get better. I'm amazed at the people who've reached out to me, at just the right times. Thank you. As in most things, you never really know until you're in something how it is. I'm thankful for those who've helped, and encouraged, and just loved me.

Hopefully I can start writing more. I'll not use this place to delve too deeply into my marriage-this is far too public for that-but it's been my writing space for a lot of years now. Hopefully it won't take me another year to come back.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

If you haven't heard this song yet

here you go.

Tenth Avenue North is one of my favorite bands. They are incredible live and I highly recommend you run out and buy their albums and see them if they come anywhere near you. Beautiful music and a beautiful message.

I love their new album The Struggle, and this was my favorite song until I heard "Worn" which I heard for the first time at Lifelight live. Unbelievable. Comforting. So true. Anyhow, happy Sunday :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

I have my computer back!

I'm one of those fortunate people who has a father that fixes computers (among many other wondrous things) and thankfully he fixed mine! A new power supply was what was needed and he installed it.

I haven't used my computer in two years. We moved in with my husband's parents and most of our belongings went into storage, included the monitor and power cords and keyboard and mouse and all those other things you need for your desktop computer. We didn't really have a place to set up the computer while we all shared the house, so I told my dad it was definitely not a rush job and remained thankful that I have an iPhone and later a Kindle Fire. However, things like no word processing program or printer or human finger size keyboard held us back from all sorts of computer exploits and enjoyment.

Finally, this week, the computer was fixed! We were so excited. Until we remembered that the monitor and everything else was SOMEWHERE in our storage unit. Tonight the kids and I tackled the issue. We hadn't been to our storage unit for a few months, which was evident upon opening the door as were hit with cobwebs and dust and startled crickets. We forged ahead. Climbing over boxes, moving things, opening containers and said boxes in search of our lost computer support pieces we found ourselves sweaty and dirty and unable to even find the massive 22 inch NON FLAT SCREEN monitor or the box containing the rest.

We continued, determined. I spotted the monitor. The girls had thought the behemoth was actually a tv, not realizing it was the MASSIVE monitor I purchased ages ago from Tech Truck, barely able to carry it to the car. After much sweating and contortionist positions we excavated it and I got it into the back of our Pacifica.

We still hadn't found the long lost box of computer accessories. We opened everything, moving endless boxes and taking breaks to get a breather outside of the dusty and hot storage garage. In spite of our best efforts the box was not to be found.

So we went to Walmart and then Best Buy and more money than I'd like to have spent later we had what we needed-minus speakers. Just carrying the monitor into the house did me in (why did this have to be the week Joe is out of town?) so we took a break for dinner and lounging and wine-drinking (that part was just for me, I hope that's obvious.)

After dinner we tackled moving the desk back to the living room and other things out of the way and I set to work. The kids were excited, trying to decide who would have the first turn. They failed to realize that after 2 years of non-use this old machine needed more than a few updates.

I'm only about halfway through updating, but I had to stop to actually type a post to my blog and revel in using a REGULAR KEYBOARD! And having a GIANT SCREEN to read my words on. Oh computer, how we've missed you!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Another long absence...

At this point I'm fairly certain I'm the only one left reading this blog. That's okay though, if anything I enjoy reading back through it. It's like a scrapbook, although sporadic at times. So far its been a tough year, a year of unbelievable heartache and sadness, but also a year filled with joy and amazing blessings and beautiful moments.

 I've been to nine funerals this year. I've lost more than a few people who've meant a lot to me and to my family. Some were expected, as in lengthy illness, others seemed too sudden-like my cousin Mark. My grandpa and my aunt passed away within weeks of each other. There is so much loss, so much sadness. I've often felt drained, as if I have no more to give. I struggle with not being able to care for others and feeling as if I am losing my empathy. I miss them.

 In the midst of the bad, however, there has been so much good. I'm not sure I'm up to the task of putting it all into words, so you'll get my best efforts in this moment. I've seen more genuine love and care by so many people than I probably ever have in my life. I've watched our family and friends reach out and love each other, support each other, and laugh with each other. We've cried together, hugged each other, and worshiped God together.

I could honestly write books on each of the individuals who have passed away, on who they were and how they touched so many. My Grandpa Dick was a beautiful example of a husband, father, and grandfather. Someone who lived his faith daily in all the quiet, real ways we should and someone who gave us all an example of how to truly live. My Aunt Traci touched so many with the love of Christ, loving and leading others-and all of us-to truly know Him and to live and rejoice in His love and providence. She taught us to embrace our faith and be loved by God even when things are horrible and painful-to know that hope is always there. My cousin Mark was loved by so many people, he was a great friend and a wonderful father. So many people talk of how he was there for them, with a quiet word or funny joke.

This weekend a benefit concert street dance was held for Mark's kids. It was bittersweet. Amazing to see so many people come out in support-and those who really just came for the music ;) A ton of people worked hard to put this on and rocking bands entertained us. We had a blast. We missed Mark. We celebrated his life and danced and laughed. I'm so thankful to everyone who came out in support and so very, very blessed to have such a close, loving family to go through all this with.

 There is a lot more I could share, and some I'm not ready to yet, so I'll save it for later. Hopefully I won't be absent for as long this time. I will say trying to write a blog post on my phone or Kindle isn't quite as easy as computer-which I will hopefully have back up and running soon. Life has changed a lot on my end, I've worked hard at living healthier and have lost 65 pounds so far. I am now home taking care of my nephews and niece-as well as my own four-and having an absolute blast doing so. Its so much fun I can't believe I get paid for it. ;) I am still reading a whole bunch and knitting and crocheting as well-I definitely need to get some pics uploaded. I'm off for now, thanks if you're here reading this and welcome if its the first time you've read here. I apologize for my lack of posts, if you read back you'll realize that's a recurrent theme here.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Words aren't enough.

If you know me, you know I love words. But today, they aren't enough. My cousin died today. It isn't right, it isn't okay, and I've come dangerously close to questioning God.

Mark is only a few years older than me. He has three amazing kids. He is an awesome and wonderful guy. I refuse to type in past tense. He is these things and this person. He IS.

I can't express adequately who Mark is or how much he has meant to me; how much he has meant to so many people.

I will miss Mark more than I can say. So many will miss Mark. His laugh, his voice, his humor, his intelligence. What an amazing guy and how blessed we are to have known him.

I miss him so much.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I finally finished my Grandma's scarf

and promptly forgot to take a picture of it. It turned out very nice and is wonderfully soft and she loves that it is made from the same yarn as the super special secret project I made for my soon to be born niece.

I've been adjusting to my new role as a stay at home mom/homemaker/sick person with no job. It's been really good focusing on my family and the important things and being able to be there for my husband and kids. Between that and church I stay pretty busy. I've also started doing some odd job type things to make a little extra cash, but its a tad disheartening to see how long a writing project takes me now. All of this has made it easy for me to forget what's been happening with me cognitively; to pretend it maybe isn't as bad as I thought. Maybe people were right when they suggested it could be normal.

But it isn't. I was reminded this past week when I had a whole bunch of stuff going on and by Thursday was feeling it. It started with forgetting to press the button in the elevator. I was with my Grandma who can't see well and is also not a big fan of elevators and my forgetting to push the button caused her a bit of anxiety when she thought we were stuck. Later that day, as I took my husband's Grandma to the doctor I told her about this on my way in with her. And then forget to push the button AGAIN as we left. I joked with them both that it must be reassuring that I'm the one taking them places.

That same day I found myself in the grocery store, overwhelmed and confused as I tried to find things on a list from my husband. I was muddled and couldn't figure out why. I couldn't remember how to find things, how to look for them. And then I ran into someone I knew, except I didn't realize I knew him at first (despite actually knowing him quite well.) Thankfully when he talked to me my brain kicked in and my focusing on our conversation helped to sort of reset my brain.

This weekend I again I saw someone I knew very well a few years back. I haven't seen her in awhile, but its someone I would normally know right away and was very happy to see her. Except I couldn't figure out who she was. I used to try to pretend my way through these moments, but now I just come out with it and admit I am not sure who they are. If the opportunity presents itself I explain the whole disease thing.

The hardest part, I think, are my own reactions to these moments. There is this huge awareness that I'm doing something wrong and it absolutely unsettles me. I then get flustered and upset. Instead of trying to hide it I just acknowledge it. It seems worse when its someone I know well and I feel like its hurting their feelings when I can't figure out who they are.

At the moment I'm reading a book called Still Alice by Lisa Genova, about a women in her 50's who learns she has early-onset Alzheimers. I don't have Alzheimers, but I sure do have many of the same moments as the woman in the book and have found myself close to tears reading about a fictional character experiencing it. In a way its comforting to see what I feel written down.

The good news is that I'm learning how far I can push myself, and at what level of activity I should keep things, before I get too tired and befuddled. I'm also getting motivated to once again start the medical process rolling in the hopes of getting some sort of help. I seem to get stymied each time I try, but its better to keep trying than get complacent.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


We just finished watching the Hawkeyes beat Northwestern and I am pretty darn happy and excited about it. I love watching football, and I especially love watching smooth football plays that end in touchdowns. Nicely done Hawks.

I'm pretty excited because I finally logged back into Ravelry for the first time in a bit and had requests to feature some photos on a pattern page. It's the second time its happened to me and each time I feel like I've won some sort of big award or pageant and I walk around showing the computer screen to each member of my family-who've now learned to give me big grins and congratulations, commensurate to my own level of excitement and pride. So thanks, for featuring my pictures, I really dig it.

I'm currently knitting a scarf for my Grandma, that I really should've finished in time for her birthday on Sept. 23rd. Thankfully she KNOWS me and loves me and pretty much understands procrastination is my middle name (its silent, after Michele.) I still remember when my other Grandma asked me if I knew what the word procrastination meant back when I was a kid-I didn't, but boy do I embody it. So, at some point-hopefully this month-I will get it finished. What doesn't help is when I knit while watching the Hawkeyes and get distracted and k, p the wrong row and have to frog a few rows and go back and do them again. I also forgot to send off the surprise stuff to my sister in time for her baby shower-so that'll end up being a new baby gift instead. Which means I should really send it tomorrow, since the baby is due in a month or so-WOOHOO my niece is coming soon! Hooray!

In other news my health funk has continued in bits and pieces, but I'm fairly certain I'm regaining my perspective and getting back on track. Still looking to God and holding on there. Tightly, mostly.

So I miss my family out in Cali and wish I had been there for my sister's baby shower and am VERY thankful for our other sister for putting on the baby shower and just being full of awesome. I'm thankful for my brother who keeps me honest and laughing and puts up with me and my kids. I'm thankful for my in-laws for allowing us to live with them and loving us-I mean, really, there are SIX of us. I'm thankful for my parents who rock and are there for me in ways I don't expect and comfortingly in those I do and are pretty cool grandparents. I'm thankful for my friends and other family, thankfully, of whom there are many. I'm thankful for my online friends, who still like me and put up with me even when I'm absent and not involved and not all that great at holding up my end of the friendship. And I'm very thankful for God, for all His love and blessings and for sustaining me and reminding me to be happy and loving in spite of the rest.

And for those of you who have lost children, you've been in my thoughts and my heart and mind today and I've prayed for you. As someone who has had a miscarriage I know the significance of today and my prayers are with you.