Living My Life & Finding The Words

life update

I click over to the back end of my blog at least once a week, sometimes more. I know it doesn’t look like it… the blog looks deserted and a little bit dusty. I’m still here, dear reader, living my life, trying to find peace and happiness in all the little things around me, and I have a deep down urge to tell you all about the good and the bad.

I just can’t seem to find the words anymore.

There are too many stories that are not mine to tell anymore, even though I am going through them too. If the blog were a bit more anonymous, then I would probably feel more able to share, but that ship sailed many years ago.

My blog has evolved a dozen or more times over the 15 years that I have been here, and most of those evolutions have involved a long period of quiet while I sorted out whatever was going on in my life. I like to think this is just one of those times, and I will be back.

I just have to figure out how to come back… what I have to offer.

I don’t want to alienate those who found me through the baby loss communities when I share stories and pictures of our rainbow baby, though that may be inevitable. I treasure each of you with whom I share a┬ámutual loss. I am still one of you, but the wound is not as fresh as it once was, and that is partly due to the passage of time, and partly due to those whom I met when I was writing my way through my grief on this blog.

I have met many readers who identified with my struggles with my oldest daughter’s mental health issues. I am still there, and I am sorry to say that, if anything, those struggles are more intense than ever before, but I am not comfortable voicing those things to the internet at large anymore. My daughter is almost 15, so as much as I would sometimes like to be selfish and tell you all about how I feel about her issues… I won’t. She deserves her privacy.

While I’m still sorting out what I have to say, and how to go about saying it, I do continue to post pictures on Instagram (username: thedestinymanifest). Please do come by and say hi there!

 

Their Stories Are Not Mine To Tell

Their Stories Are Not Mine To Tell

You may have noticed that there are a lot less blog posts on The Destiny Manifest today. I’ve left the more popular posts on crafty stuff, recipes, as well as many of the posts I’ve written about my journey through grief and loss… but I’ve removed nearly all of the personal family posts about my children.

This change has been a long time coming. I didn’t realize how public I’d actually made my children’s pictures and stories, and when it finally occurred to me, I still didn’t do anything about it immediately. I have decided to stop writing about the girls from now on, because they are older now, and their stories are not mine to tell.

That wasn’t enough though, and that became apparent when a group of tween misfits decided to cyber bully one of my daughters via social media. They created a false account and posted her picture, and then later, created an impersonation account in her name, using another stolen picture of her. It took us many days (and a police report) to have those pictures removed, and it really illustrated for me how much I have underestimated my family’s presence on the internet.

I’ve spent days making my public social media outlets as private as possible, setting thousands of pictures to private on Flickr, and removing blog posts that I now feel are too personal about my children. I’ll still blog, I think. But I’ll be a lot more mindful about what I post from now on. I love saving beautiful stories about experiences for my daughters to remember, but now I will save them only for my children, instead of the internet at large.

Just Out Of Arm’s Reach

Just Out of Arm's Reach

It’s difficult to reconcile being so happy for one baby, while nursing a broken heart over another. I keep waiting for it to get easier, but all I can picture these days is Clara at 15 months old. Would she be walking yet? Talking? Unpacking our laundry basket all over the floor? I wish so much that we could know her now.

I dreamed of Clara the other night. I dream of her fairly often, though I usually don’t remember the details. This last dream was vivid enough that when I woke up, I could still see the scene in my head. She was sitting on the floor in our living room, rolling a ball with Addah. David came in from work and she said “dada!” while scrambling to her chubby feet. She had dark curls all over the back of her head, just like Lakin used to have. She was beautiful. I woke up before David got to her. Neither of us ever gets to hug her or hold her in my dreams. She’s always just out of arm’s reach.

The next morning, I told David about the dream. We smiled sadly, happy to have these little pictures of what could have been, but still so fragile and hurt because we have to cobble together moments that will never be.

This pregnancy is much more difficult, emotionally, then I had imagined it would be.

I could swear that I felt a little flutter of movement the other night, just for a moment. I know 11 weeks is really too early for that, but it made me smile and feel such hope. We weren’t sure if we’d ever have another baby after Clara — if we’d be able to, if we even wanted to — but I could not be more grateful for this little life within me.

I’m a ball of anxiety though. I feel like I’m afraid to get too attached to this baby, because I know now that nothing is certain, at the same time that I am already so attached to this baby. I’m terrified all the time that something will go wrong and I won’t know it. I used to say, “I’m the mother, I would know if something was wrong; it’s mother’s instinct” — but now I know differently. Every cramp, every twinge, everything sends me into a spiral of fear and worry.

I’m working through so many emotions, not the least of which is feeling like, when I meet this baby, I will finally get to meet Clara, in a way. My older girls are half sisters to this baby and Clara, but this baby is Clara’s full-blooded sibling. I just don’t want to catch myself thinking of this baby as Clara, and sometimes I almost do think that way.

Maybe that sounds a little crazy. Maybe I’m just not putting it into words well.

I didn’t feel any anxiety during my pregnancy with Clara. Even after having multiple early miscarriages, I just knew that everything was okay. I am hoping the anxiety I feel this time will prove to be a good thing, that it will keep me more vigilant and careful in the decisions that we make.

There is a part of me that thinks it would be so much easier if I could skip the next 6 months of pregnancy and get to the part where I can hold this baby in my arms. Unfortunately, “easy” is also just out of arm’s reach.

Two Week Wait… and a Birthday Party!

Cori's Princess Birthday Party

It’s been two weeks since I wrote anything and I’m feeling a strong pull to get back in the game. I can’t say it’s been an enjoyable two week vacation, not exactly. It’s been a whirlwind of back to school, family visiting from out of town, temporary dog-sitting for my sister, who broke her kneecap, and of course… a lot of morning {all-day} sickness.

It’s the kind of all-day sickness that vacillates between a low-level blah feeling of “I’m okay, I can handle this” and a spinning stomach and feeling that everything smells gross, sounds hurt my aching head, and I just want to sleep. I can’t just stop going — there are kids to drop off and pick up, dinners to cook, laundry to fold, and groceries to buy — so I’ve been doing the bare necessities and forgoing the rest, which includes checking email more than once a day, writing anything, and {ahem} vacuuming.

I am going to try to get back in the swing of writing. This pregnancy brings with it a whole rainbow of various emotions: some beautiful, some very painful, and I know that writing and sharing those emotions will help me to get through them. Thank you all for your support on this new journey. I appreciate every ounce of love, every comment, every page view, even if I don’t feel well enough to respond to them all right away.

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On a slightly different note, part of my amazing two week whirlwind was my niece Cori’s 4th birthday party. It’s always a treat to see Cori’s smiling face, since she lives so far away in Louisiana, so we are excited that she and her brother are in town all this week.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Cori loves anything princess themed… although, to be honest, anything purple or pink will work for her. My sister and I decorated for her party in a combination of Disney princesses and “Sofia the First”. We combined miles of streamers, yards of tape, buckets of glitter, and enough balloons to cause a helium shortage, and the effect was fit for a princess.

Cori's Princess Birthday Party

Cori's Princess Birthday Party

David provided face painting services for the kids, and most of the adults consented to wear party hats, at least for a little while. Cori chose a princess crown for her cheek, Avery wanted his favorite – Mickey Mouse, and Addah chose a penguin for her face painting.

Cori's Princess Birthday Party

Cori's Princess Birthday Party

Cori's Princess Birthday Party

It’s hard to believe Cori is 4 years old! It seems like just yesterday that she was born, making me an auntie for the first time!

Cori's Princess Birthday Party

I’m connecting with others via Wordless/Wordful Wednesday today! Check out my blog hop directory to see who else is participating, as well as the other blog hops that I join each week!

Soaking Up The Summer Sun

Soaking Up The Summer Sun

I have really been enjoying my small break from blogging. By giving myself permission to only blog once a week for the last 3 weeks, I’ve been able to spend so much more time with my girls, my husband, and have even made new friends in our upstairs neighbors. It makes me wish I’d taken this step a few weeks earlier and allowed myself to fully enjoy the girls’ summer vacation.

That said, I’ve noticed that the longer I stay away from blogging, the harder it is to pull myself back into it… and I do very much enjoy writing and sharing my thoughts and emotions and experiences here. It’s a delicate balance, and one that I have not yet mastered. As summer winds down and the new school year begins, I plan to write more, and I have a few new projects in the works.

For now though, I’m soaking up the summer sun, the neighborhood barbecues, long afternoons swimming, walking in the mornings and evenings with my girls, and late night conversations on the front porch with our new friends!

Soaking Up The Summer Sun

Soaking Up The Summer Sun

Soaking Up The Summer Sun

Oh and before I forget… I have Instagram! It’s a long story involving my old cell phone and a swimming pool… but the short version is that I was forced to upgrade and for the first time ever, I have a smartphone! I’ve wanted an Instagram account for a loooong time and I’m happy to announce that I’m enjoying it just as much as I thought I would.

Follow The Destiny Manifest on Instagram!

I’m connecting with others via Wordless/Wordful Wednesday today! Check out my blog hop directory to see who else is participating, as well as the other blog hops that I join each week!