Still Here.

I’ve struggled with what to write since I returned off my Lenten fast of Social Media. It was AMAZING, by the way, and I still wrestle with whether I want to fully engage again or start retreating away from it all.

So many times I wanted to write about where we are in this infertility journey, but found myself at a loss or just staring for hours at one lonely sentence.

“We are still here and still in it.”

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I wanted so badly to be able to log-on and type those exciting words that I typed last October only then to have to erase them in my heart.

We’ve been waiting, still, and the choice we made – I made – he made – was to try to live joyfully. Not to shy away in a reclusive state, but to find ways to move forward, to find reasons to smile and laugh, and to figure out how to live hopefully in this seemingly never-ending situation.

This is where blogging and life, in general, can get pretty weird. I started writing about infertility awhile ago, but even before that…years before that, I was talking about it with the people in our life. It’s not just been part of our journey…it IS our story and has been for the last 6-7 years. There’s no nice, neat red bow to tie on it…it’s not finished yet.

We press on, walking together Jay & I, and we try to figure out how to do more than just exist…we try to figure out ways to live life abundantly and with a strange joy in the unfinished…in this middle-earth sort of place.

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I have NO idea when or IF there will be some resolution to our story, if that red bow will ever be tied on. Our life’s story remains in this dichotomy of hopefulness in the hopeless. We fight to hope for the family we both believe we will have one day and yet, we try to not become fixated on the things we cannot see or make happen.

This weekend/holiday has been a hard one to wince through for the past few years, but this year, for some reason, all I want to do and feel is celebration.

To celebrate my mother & my grandmothers. To celebrate the many, many mother-friends in my circles. To celebrate the mothers I encounter on a daily basis who trust us to teach their children how to be better, educated, loving human beings at our school. To celebrate the mothers who are about to be – waiting and holding their breath while their bellies grow. To celebrate the mothers who are “mother and father” as they raise their children alone. To celebrate the mothers who are so, so strong as they battle disease, heartache and loss. To celebrate the mothers who FIGHT for the return of their daughters, ripped from their lives.

To celebrate with the mothers whose children may never become a reality. You, mother, I stand with in solidarity today and for you, mother, I will weep until our stories make sense. For you, mother, I will try to smile and I will try to look for the joy in this waiting place.

“We are still here and still in it…together.”

 

 

Snow Days

Living in the south, snow is a VERY rare occurrence. This year, 2014, Winter Storm Pax decided to descend on us and 2 days later, it is STILL snowing. We’ve got 10 inches so far and apart from the impending power outage, the shut-in status and the growing cabin fever…it is really beautiful.

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It’s pretty magical to look out of my window and see the wintery white landscape. Today, I’m slowly working through my Snow Day To-Do list.

Here’s what our snow day(s) have consisted of so far:

1. Play // Our beagle babies, Bella & Champ, have a love/hate relationship with the fluffy white stuff. Bella hates it, Champ loves it.

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2. Read // I used to say I’m not much of a reader, but the truth is, I love to read. BUT I don’t just love to read, I love to binge read. When I start a book, I CANNOT stop…I MUST know how it ends. Knowing this about myself, I have to limit my book reading binges to 3-4 a year or else, I will ignore life around me. Yikers, sorry Jay;).

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3. Cook // Snow Days and weekends are when I actually get to take the time to explore recipes & new cooking techniques. I absolutely love to cook. In the last few years, I’ve had a growing passion for all things culinary.

When I’m cooking, I feel alive in a way I’ve never felt before. To take different ingredients & orchestrate them together – where each element sustains its own distinctive identity, yet perfectly combines & complements the others – and create a delicious, harmonious meal. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know this to be true by my constant food pic posting (sorry, not sorry). I am SUCH a beginner when it comes to food styling/photography, so I wouldn’t even dare qualify it as such just yet.

My recent food adventures: (my first ever) Perfectly Poached Eggs, Israeli CousCous, Curry Coconut Butternut Squash Soup from Orangette and Spinach, Andouille Sausage Strata

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I’m so ready for warm weather and spring, but for today, I’m choosing to be present and appreciate these moments to do things I love to do – in the warmth of our home (which is something I’ll never take for granted on days like these when I know there are thousands of less fortunate) and to do it all with “my people”.

Today, my cup runneth over.

gratitude.

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when
our hearts are conscious of our treasures.
— Thornton Wilder

There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.

The other is as though everything is a miracle.
— Albert Einstein

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed.
Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute
with love, grace and gratitude.
— Denis Waitley

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I’m tired of living in the land of want. I’m tired of constantly looking for the next best thing. I’m just tired.

Life is too short and WAY too important to waste on constantly chasing the things we don’t have. I’ve spent countless hours and tears longing for…um, possibly obsessing at times…for the kids I don’t have. After the Great Sadness of 2013, I found myself longing for realness – longing for presence.

I grew greatly convicted by my unsettled heart.

How many conversations had I been in only half-minded and half-listening? How many opportunities to bless my family & friends were simply missed or ignored? To say my mind and heart have been distracted and consumed would be a understatement.

This year, I want to be grateful. Grateful for the good, grateful for the hurt, grateful for the experiences and circumstances we have ahead of us because they are OURS. My friend, Jessie, put it best…

“Why be thankful for hard stuff? Hear me – because the Lord has been true and real and mighty through it all. I am not abandoned. I am not neglected or shamed or judged by Him. On the contrary, He has lifted me up, chosen me, protected me and performed miracles right before my eyes. His love is so extravagant over me that I am just humbled and bewildered by this grace so glorious.”

I agree with Jessie on so many levels and I, too, am not abandoned or neglected. My pursuit of living a grateful life is risky and won’t be void of disappointment. I know there will still be painful moments ahead, but I want to move forward. I want to wade in this river of thankfulness and appreciation every. single. day.

Exhale -> Release -> Lay Down -> Forgive -> Let Go -> Trust -> Submit -> Accept -> Laugh (a lot)

Rinse and Repeat Daily.