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.



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!

Together Again for Memorial Day

Together Again for Memorial Day BBQ

My family is {almost} all together again, and it is shaping up to be a very busy week. The first day of every month is difficult for David and I, as we are reminded that another month has ticked by since we have seen our baby girl, so busy is most welcome.

We spent our Memorial Day weekend swimming and eating barbecue chicken at my mom’s house with my sister and her little ones. The littles live with their dad in Louisiana, so it’s always a special occasion when they come to town. My niece Cori is 3.5 and the funniest kid I know. She has a huge personality and conversations with her never fail to make me laugh. Her little brother Avery will be 2 in just a couple of weeks and he loves to tell us all of the letters and colors he knows. Such a smart and handsome little man!

Together Again for Memorial Day BBQ


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Baby Rabies – Wordful Wednesday

I’m an aunt for the fourth time!

I got the news early yesterday morning that my newest nephew was born! Erik Thomas arrived at 4:21 on March 13, 7 lbs. 12 oz, 20.5 inches long, healthy and beautiful. I couldn’t be happier for my brother Colin and his wife Stephanie, as well as new big sister Abby!

Baby Rabies - Mama and Baby

I have a serious case of baby rabies…

I was hoping that we would have found ourselves pregnant by the time little Erik joined us, but unfortunately we have not been that lucky yet. Now that we have another tiny baby in the family, my case of baby rabies is stronger than ever.

I’m charting my temperatures and fertility signs like a mad woman, figuring out the optimal time for this and that, and David’s been really sweet about it. He wants another baby as much as I do. We have talked about this a lot, and we both feel like we cannot fully heal from losing Clara until we have another baby to hold and love and raise. Of course there’s a chance that we won’t ever be able to have another baby, but neither of us is ready to think about that possibility.

This cycle looks great for us, so we’re hoping that this will be the one… that we won’t have to wait out another 3 years of secondary infertility, like we did before we conceived Clara. All we can do is keep trying for our fourth baby, our rainbow baby.

I’m linking up several places for Wordful/Wordless Wednesday…

live out loud button better in bulk button seven clown circus button babybabylemon jenni from the blog button pictimilitude button
Fresh Mommy Blog parenting BY dummies
Wordless Wednesday by David 5 Minutes for Mom

Random Struggles

This week is filled with random struggles. The beginning of the month is always hard, as I am consumed with thoughts of how old Clara would be (8 months now), what she would be doing (crawling? standing? saying “dada”?) and images of what she might have looked like by now. Then I have to go look at my photo albums so I can remember what Lakin and Addah looked like at 8 months old. It’s a special kind of torment.

By mid-month, I’ve usually pulled it together some and I can get things done as they come up, cross things off the to-do list, but as the end of the month approaches, I start thinking about how it’s almost the beginning of the month, almost the 1st, almost another entire month that she would be older now. And it starts all over again, the ugly cycle.

I can’t imagine that there might be a day when I won’t know precisely how old my third daughter would have been, if she had lived. Will I still be tormenting myself when she would have been 3 years old, 10 years old, 17 years old, 30 years old? Yes, I probably will.

Random Struggles - My older girls at 8 months
Lakin and Addah at 8 months old

My oldest little brother and his wife are due with their second baby this coming Saturday. They found out they were pregnant on the day that Clara died. I am very happy for them, but I am a nervous wreck as their due date inches closer. I refuse to entertain any thoughts of bad things happening, though they bump around in my mind against my will. I am eager for the phone call that tells me that my new nephew is here, safe in his mama’s arms, nursing happily while his proud daddy and big sister look on.

I feel like I have more to say, but the words aren’t coming this morning. I feel like this litany of my random struggles is too disorganized to even be published, but it’s the best I’ve got for you today.

I’m linking up several places today for Wordful/Wordless Wednesday…

live out loud button better in bulk button seven clown circus button babybabylemon jenni from the blog button pictimilitude button
Fresh Mommy Blog parenting BY dummies
Wordless Wednesday by David Good Girl Gone Wife 5 Minutes for Mom

How Sweet the Sting

This week, I’m participating again in “Stream of Consciousness Sunday”, hosted by Jana of Jana’s Thinking Place. The idea is to type for 5 minutes, a brain dump of sorts, and then to publish without editing the writing at all.

Three years ago today, my oldest cousin Joshua Alva Kirkman died. He was 32 years old and living in Beijing, China at the time of his death. On the same day, just a couple of hours later, my sweet little niece Cori Aletta was born in Daigu, South Korea. It has always brought me much comfort to know that, in the face of the tragedy of losing a family member, we gained a family member as well.

I don’t believe in reincarnation, per se… but it is a beautiful thought that the death of Joshua and the birth of Cori are somehow connected. I found out a few weeks ago that my brother Colin and my sister-in-law Stephanie are pregnant with their second child. They found out they were pregnant on the day that we lost our darling Clara… and this feels somehow connected as well.

I wish that we could have Josh & Clara here with us, but if we had to lose those wonderful souls, at least we have Cori & the new little one to remind us of how sweet the sting of life can be.