InstaFriday – 9/13/13

life rearranged It’s Friday! I’m excited to share my week in pictures via Jeannett’s InstaFriday link-up at Life Rearranged. I’m thedestinymanifest on instagram, if you’d like to follow me.

I’m excited that I finally feel like blogging again… it’s been too long since my desire to write matched up with my ability to sit and write without feeling sick.

The biggest news of our week — we got our car fixed! The poor girl has been overheating since April and we’ve been babying her along, hoping to have the money to have it fixed each week, and never actually having the money. A few weeks ago, our neighbor fixed the fan, which had come disconnected from its’ wires, and the week after that, we bought a new thermostat and David installed that, but it still wasn’t fixing the problem. I’d get into afternoon car line to pick up Addah, and within 5 minutes of moving slowly forward in line, the engine temperature would be at 116 degrees and you could hear the coolant bubbling and boiling in the engine. Not good… and as a result, I have been relying on my sister way too much to help me with picking up kids. She’s having knee surgery next week, so it was time to get to the bottom of this problem.

I called my old friend Craig (if you remember, the girls and I used to live with he and his wife, years ago) and asked him if he had time to take a look at the car. As luck would have it, he did. He checked it all out and said that everything looked good and he wasn’t 100% sure what the problem could be. He thought the radiator cap looked rusted and suggested buying a new one. $5.00 later… our car is no longer overheating! $5.00! A new radiator cap! I was impressed… and also felt a little silly, that something that small has been tripping us up for so long.

Mechanics Car Repair

The bad news from the mechanical check-up is that our master cylinder is starting to go bad, and we’re going to need to replace that very soon. It’s only $125.00, since Craig can replace the part himself, but still… $125.00 is a fortune when you’re constantly living paycheck to paycheck. I prefer the amazing $5.00 radiator cap = no more overheating kind of mechanical fix, personally.

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I convinced David to help me do a major overhaul of our bedroom and bedroom closet last weekend. We pulled every little thing out of our closet, and most of one side of the bedroom, so I could put my long dresser into the closet and move out the baby things that have been taking up so much room in there. Now I have the baby bassinet on my side of the bed. It was a little surreal the first morning after the big clean-up, waking up to the baby’s bed right next to me, because this is much earlier than we would normally “get ready for baby”, but it’s such a long time coming for us… it just feels right.

Baby Nursery Prep

We still have two very large boxes of baby girl clothes in the top of the closet, and I’m just not sure that I will ever be ready to part with them, whether this baby is a boy or a girl. Some of them will always be “Clara’s clothes” and it’s painful to think of seeing them on another baby. I don’t know… I have to hope that this part sorts itself out as the pregnancy progresses. I have so much excitement and happiness, but also so much fear and anxiety.

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I’m knitting my fingers to the bone! I finished two pairs of socks for my mama… and forgot to take a picture of one pair, unfortunately. She loved them so much that she ordered four more colors of yarn for more socks. It’s a good thing I enjoy this, eh?

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Knitpicks Sock Yarn Collection

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And finally, Addah wrote a “newspaper” this week for a class assignment. For the “My Hero” section, she chose David, and wrote the sweetest little note about him. He got quite teary when she showed him after work… so did I, to be honest.

My Stepdad, My Hero

In case you can’t read her writing, it says “My stepdad David is my role model because he is an artist. He also plays and has fun with me. Sometimes he yells but that’s because he has to. I know he loves me. I love him too. He’s the best stepdad ever.”

Is that not the sweetest thing ever? Or is that just my pregnancy hormones running out of control?

Mustache Club

So silly… and so sweet.

Oh and before I forget! Addah got a pug puppy! No, not a real puppy… I don’t need that stress in my life. A balloon pug!

And what’s a balloon pug, you ask?

Balloon Pug

This adorable helium-filled puppy was begging me to take him home from Party City. I couldn’t refuse, because I knew I’d get the biggest grin out of Addah when she saw it. I was right; the grin was amazing and totally worth the $8.00 I spent on the puppy. He’s still floating too, over two weeks later. It’s like having a cartoon dog living with us – the slightest movement of air from walking past him causes him to “follow” you, just like a real puppy would.

It makes the girls happy, so it makes me happy. It’s the simple things, y’know?

Have a great weekend!

In His Words – A Eulogy for Clara Edith Webb

In His Words - A Eulogy for Clara Edith Webb

My husband David wrote this beautiful eulogy and read it at Clara’s memorial service. He asked me to share it for Clara’s birthday.

The saddest and proudest moments of my life are one and the same. I became a father for the first time on a rainy afternoon in July. All the hope and joy of this day became crushed by five words – “we can’t find her heartbeat” – and our lives were forever changed.

Clara Edith Webb was loved and adored from her first moments in this world. I still have the positive pregnancy test that Heather took in Texas. The sheer wash of emotions that a simple chemical test strip can cause is awe inspiring. We didn’t know yet if she would be a boy or a girl, or if she would even stay with us. But she did. She stayed and she was welcomed.

A day has yet to pass where the sight of a baby in a stroller or car seat fails to test my eyes’ floodgates, and that time may never come. Though she never held my finger in her tiny hand, we did know each other well.

If this sounds forced, it is only because words to express the death of a baby are nearly impossible to find. The loss is not mine alone. The family I love so dearly, the friends so true, the world itself, has lost a great soul, and is lesser for it.

If there is a God, I will hold her again some day. Until that day, I commit her to the care of those loved ones who have gone before her, and to those who will one day rest here beside her.

Sweetest of dreams, baby girl.

In His Words - A Eulogy for Clara Edith Webb

My little sister wrote a beautiful blog post for Clara’s birthday that I would love for you to read, if you have time.

A Memory Box of Treasures

A Memory Box of Treasures

I’ve done a lot of thinking and remembering in these last few days leading up to Clara’s first birthday. Earlier this week, I went through the memory box that we received from the hospital, taking time to appreciate these treasures that help us capture our short time with Clara.

We have a stack of cards from dear friends. We have a lock of Clara’s soft dark hair. We have her hand prints and footprints, both in ink and in ceramic. I am immeasurably grateful for each piece of treasured memorabilia. They are all we have left, and they are irreplaceable.

At the bottom of the memory box, I found the poem that my sister-in-law Mishelle read at Clara’s memorial service. It is lovely and brings tears to my eyes.

Of course, nearly everything does that these days.

It is cathartic to remember, to mentally experience all of those sensations and emotions again. We have many photographs that I haven’t looked at since last July. It is heartbreaking to look at them now. I had already forgotten so many details of my poor sweet baby’s beautiful face and body.

It is sad to remember, but it is good to remember.

Memory Box Poem - These Are My Footprints #grief

One Year Ago Today

"Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell." - Edna St. Vincent Millay

I’ve been avoiding writing what’s really on my heart this week… but it’s about time to sit down and pour those emotions out. In one week, it will be our baby Clara’s first birthday. One year since she was born. One year since she died. Can it really have been that long?

One year ago today, I was as happy as I’d ever been. I was 41 weeks and 3 days pregnant, and I was so proud of myself for being that pregnant. David and I drove out to Campbell’s Covered Bridge, a tourist landmark near my grandparents’ property. We were alone, sans the older girls, just the two of us and our active baby girl, still in utero. We waded in the stream and splashed water at each other. David took pictures of my pregnant belly. It was blissful. After a while, we sat and talked, trying to come to a decision about whether we wanted to go on into the hospital for an induction or c-section, or if we wanted to continue to wait it out.

It was a long conversation, because we both had good reasons to go either way. Finally, we decided that we would wait until the weekend, and if I wasn’t in labor by Friday when David got home from work, we’d go to the hospital. It felt like the right decision. As we walked back up the long hill to the parking lot holding hands, I felt a sharp kick to my rib cage, followed by the low tightening of a contraction. I told David that we ought to get back home, in case this was the beginning of labor.

We were happy. We were excited. We couldn’t wait to meet our baby girl. I couldn’t wait to see my husband holding his own biological child, to see my daughters holding their tiny baby sister.

One Year Ago Today... Us

I haven’t felt that happy in the year since. Neither has David. I feel numb now, as the anniversary dates come spinning toward us, faster and faster. Then the numbness ebbs a little, just enough to let the pain and sadness and loss and absolute grief filter in, and I am stopped in my tracks. I breathe deep and collect myself so that I can continue on with my day. It happens again, and again, and again… more frequently as July 1st comes closer.

One year. 

I wouldn’t have thought that June 14, my due date, would be a trigger date, since she was born 17 days later… but it was. I wouldn’t have thought that June 24, one week before her birthday, would be a trigger date, but it is.

One year ago today, she was alive and I could have made decisions that would have saved her life, if only I’d known that her life needed to be saved.

I was more pregnant than I ever had been, more pregnant than I ever dared to imagine. I wish that had been enough for me, that I would have decided to go into the hospital. The irony of it all… I was reluctant to go in because I was so sure they wouldn’t let me attempt a vaginal birth after two previous cesareans, but when I did finally get to the hospital, when it was already too late, the doctor on call said it would have been fine for me to attempt VBA2C.

If I had known that, it could have {would have} changed everything.

I keep thinking, why didn’t I go in on my due date, why was I so certain that I should wait, that she would come on her own, why was I so arrogant to think that I could give birth naturally after two c-sections just because other people do? Shouldn’t I have known that something was wrong?

I torment myself. I’ve been doing it for one year. I move past the guilt and regret for a while, and then it hits me again.

I miss my baby girl so much that I can barely breathe tonight. I long to nuzzle her hair with my chin. I can’t stop imagining her learning to walk, smearing bananas on my pants leg, nursing to sleep with her chubby fingers around my fingers. I will never know those things.

I will never see her become a toddler. Clara will remain our baby forever, never to grow up, and it breaks my heart into a thousand pieces, every single day.

"Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell." - Edna St. Vincent Millay
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