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meet rosie, al and luis

Rosie, Al & Luis: The Family-To-Be!

My dear friend Rosie is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.  She has been my companion on this unfortunate road of fertility treatments.  Her husband, Al, is one of the most dedicated husbands I’ve ever met – it is his delight to just be with his wife.  They are a couple that we simply marvel at and are encouraged by.

In their quest to become more than a family of two, they’ve suffered the loss of two babies, Katie and Daniel, in the second trimester of Rosie’s pregnancies. With other on-going fertility challenges, Rosie and Al had been considering fostering children. It has been their hearts desire to have a family and God answered their prayers!

Al’s older sister had abandoned two of her children with Al’s mother.  Struggling to find the energy to raise her grandchildren, Al’s mother asked Rosie and Al if they would be able to take the youngest, Luis.  Sweet Luis has not had an idyllic life: his mother tested positive for cocaine when Luis was born and he was even an innocent participant in a drug raid. Being shuffled between homes and parent-figures has taken a toll on the little guy.

After thinking and praying about this, Rosie and Al consulted a lawyer and determined that they would raise Luis and adopt him!  Luis is a vibrant, sweet little 3 year old guy and I truly believe that his life will be infinitely better because of Rosie and Al’s love.  It will be quite a beautiful family!

So here is my shameless plug: in order to get legal guardianship of Luis, they have to run ads in the newspapers and pay for a lawyer.  The cost is $1,500 and they are very humbly asking for assitance in achieving this goal so that they can provide Luis with a permanent, loving home.  If you are interested in helping out, please visit their blog. At the very least, they would greatly appreciate your prayers and thoughts.  THANK YOU!

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Ok, in no particular order:

1.  I am running again.  Well, jogging.  Very, very, very slowly.  At this point, it’s as much for my physical health as it is for my emotional health.  I find that when I run, I am able to process things better and have more energy.  So I am committed to running/jogging/moving my booty every other day.

2.  For anyone wondering about my sugarless lifestyle, yes, we are still sugarless in the K House.  I have to say, there have been quite a few moments of weakness, but we are proud that we haven’t caved.  The only sweets we had were for FK’s 30th birthday.  Hey, that’s a pretty special occasion, right?  So we busted out some cinnamon bread pudding and homemade whipped cream.  Soooo good.  I was worried that it would become some kind of gateway drug – you know, leading to other sugary delights – but we stayed the course and did not venture any further into Candyland.

3. There have been lots of different themes floating around in my life.  I want to write extensively on every single theme, but right now is not the time.  Here are some highlights:

a. Definitions.  I’ve been wondering a lot about how to take control about how I’m defined, both by others and more importantly by myself.  This concern is on a personal and professional level.  Personally, I’m not afraid of being defined as someone who has had a very difficult time having children, but I AM afraid of being defined as ONLY that.  And maybe “afraid” is the wrong word.  I think if people only saw me for this trial, that would be a very limited way of looking at me and that I, and others, would miss out on the bigger picture of what God is doing in my life.  I also think about this a lot professionally, too – the woman who did my job previously really only focused on one particular area, whereas I’ve branched out and brought an entirely different skill set to the game.  I’m concerned that my success is being defined only based on area, without taking into consideration all of the other things I’m bringing to the table.  I have ideas on how to resolve my professional dilemma, but it’s a little bit more difficult to resolve the personal side of things.

b. Attitude. I’ve been battling attitude a lot lately.  For a great many reasons, it’s been particularly difficult for me to keep my attitude in check.  The running is helping with cleaning out any emotional overload, allowing me to refocus my energies when I feel myself slipping into a swirling vortex of sadness.  I think it’s a difficult one to balance, though, because I do believe that I need to be where I am, and not rush through it.  Said another way, I’ve spent a lot of my life checking things off of lists.  I like to do that.  But living a life of checking things off of lists sometimes means that I rush through things to just to get through the list.  A conversation I had tonight reminded me that life is really a series of processes and experiences, not a neat and tidy notebook of lists with check marks next to each item. Discontentment is being in one place, but believing that I should be somewhere else.  I kind of wonder if I would be more content if I just said, “Ok, this is where I am today, and that is ok” – with an understanding that I would not be in this same emotional place forever.  What does it look like to live a more contented life?  Hm.

c. Fluidity. In 2004/2005, I was working a lot of hours.  A lot of hours.  Even when I was not at work, I was mentally at work.  My brain was constantly thinking about things going on at the office; looking for solutions to problems I was having.  It doesn’t help that I worked in advertising and our world is inundated with ad messages.  Even if I didn’t want to take work home with me, it was everywhere.  But when I look back at that time and remember trips we took or things we did, I don’t remember the pervasiveness of work.  I just remember the fun things.  It’s amazing how my brain can edit out work and make my memories into a nice, clean 30 minute montage.  So why do I bring that up and what does it have to do with being more fluid?  Well, I realize that I have a selective way of remembering things.  I remember the joys of the simplicity of life being young when I feel overwhelmed.  But when I really remember what it was like to be me in second grade, I also have to remember that I was totally overwhelmed by simple things then (which were not so simple to me at the time).  I remember lying in bed one night, tossing and turning because I forgot to bring a worksheet home from school.  I knew I would get a “zero” for the assignment.  I finally went into my parents room really late at night (probably 10 p.m.) and told my mom what I was thinking about.  She laughed and told me about times when she felt the same way. The adrenaline from worrying about that worksheet left a bitter, metallic taste in my mouth.  The same taste I get even now when I realize I forgot something or am on a tight deadline.  We edit our memories.  Things do seem better in the past and more hopeful in the future.  Life is constant change.  People are born, people die, people move away, people move in… The sooner that I am comfortable with the idea that nothing is permanent in this life, the easier it is to roll with the punches.  I was not born as a person who is comfortable with being fluid, but over time I’ve come to be better with it.  I think being married to a pilot has expedited my personal growth in this area.  Let’s not go crazy though – I have hardly mastered being fluid and I still love a good check list, but in the realm of things I cannot control, learning to be fluid has been an excessively helpful trait.

So yeah.  Just a few thoughts.  No particular order.  More on some of them later.  Or maybe not.  Well, you can be 100% assured that I will likely talk about running and sugar again.  I’m predictable like that.

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time with my brother

So, my brother Andy and I often explore some of the finer points of life when we spend time together.

Tonight, we discussed the virtues of colon cleanses.  And we wondered if that would give us the appropriate “reset” on our digestive lives.

We also discussed the disaster that is Jamba Juice.  Seriously?  Is there a Jamba Juice that is efficiently run?  I can be the only person there and I could still be in line behind 3 people.  How can that be?

I wonder if Jamba Juice has ever thought about doing a colon cleanse boost in their drinks.

Just a thought.

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life goes on

We’re going through one of those situations where life just stops for a while.

We were bumping along, a sunny, beautiful day (metaphorically of course- c’mon, it’s still bloody winter in IL), and then something horribly unexpected diverted us from our normal trajectory.

And unfortunately all that comes to mind are cliched sayings.

I wish something profound or amazing came to mind.

But now: just cliches.

This too shall pass.

Everything happens for a reason.

And maybe these cliches come to mind because they are true, or because they are comforting, or because they are both.

I was talking to my dad this morning and he was explaining to me a little bit about how he is grieving.  He said, “Emily, you remember that scene in Back to the Future* where the family members start to disappear from the picture because things weren’t changed in the past?”  “Yeah?” “That’s what it felt like to find out that you lost this baby.  Like someone who was supposed to be in our family suddenly was not. They were just erased from the picture.”

One week ago, our sweet baby stopped growing, but I had no idea.  I was still dreaming of what she would look like and what a hot summer pregnancy would be like and what it would be like to be in the delivery room with Frank holding our baby for the first time.

And now, just one week later, that whole reality has been altered.  In September none of that will happen.

It was all just so quickly erased and replaced with a new reality.

And we will be ok.  Slowly but surely, everything is coming back into focus and we are realizing that for this baby, this was the plan all along.

But man, I wish I had something profound to say about it.

*My dad raised us on sci-fi and time travel.  The first chapter book he read to me was The Time Machine by HG Wells.  It’s not surprising at all that Back to the Future came up as part of his analogy. 🙂

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abundance.

Frank and I have been amazed by the response from our family, friends, coworkers and even total strangers to our loss.  In a time where we are experiencing such a loss and great sadness, our cup still runs over.

We’ve had countless people tell us they are praying for us.  People have opened up and shared their own experiences so that we would know that we are not alone and that we would be comforted.  Family and friends have offered to bring over dinner and just come and sit with us.

While we haven’t been able to take everyone up on all of their kind offers, mostly because sitting together and just watching bad TV (turns out FK may secretly like the show Greek, but you didn’t hear that here…) seems to be the most comforting thing we can do.  We have found that leaning on each other is just about the best thing that we can do right now.  But I am sure that we will come out of our little cocoon sooner or later.  I mean, we will eventually run out of milk…

So – thanks to everyone who has called, emailed and texted.  It means so much to us right now – more than you may ever know.

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not much to say

Well, I haven’t updated much.  I suppose there are many reasons.

In no particular order:

1. My computer battery is on life support.  I am afraid to move the computer from it’s current location.

2. The computer’s current location is in the basement.

3. I am a little lazy about going downstairs.

4.  Well, it’s just so out of the way, you know?

5. I’m all cozy upstairs, snuggling in a blanket and the computer is downstairs. And not just downstairs.  I have to walk through the game room and the laundry room and past the shelves full of all the stuff I need to go through (argh – guilt!) in order to get to the office.

6.  Once in the office, I often realize that the fountain needs water.  And then I get distracted by all of my Mary Kay product… such pretty colors! and smells!

7. With all the snow, I’ve been busy watching FK use the snow blower.

8.  I’m lazy and there’s nothing to report on so many fronts.  I worry that my blog will become a chronicle of me getting up, going to work and coming home and watching Ugly Betty.

9. And then I remember that Ugly Betty is on the verge of being canceled.

10.  Oh, and I”m very distracted by John Mayer’s terrible Playboy interview.  What was that all about?

Valentine’s Day is on Sunday.  I think that Valentine’s Day is as much about love as it is about true love.

I am fortunate enough to have found my soulmate at a young age.  And I’m even more fortunate that he still laughs at my lame jokes and weird facial expressions and noises.

I am also so blessed to have amazing family and friends that I love very much.

We are drowning in an abundance of love.

That’s pretty cool.

Did I mention that our basement might be haunted?

Yes, I think it is.  It is haunted by mountains of clothes to fold and paperwork to sort.  I guess that is reason 11 why I don’t like to come down to my computer and update my blog.

So yeah.  Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope you get to spend the day with amazing, wonderful people that you love deeply.

Life is so sweet.

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normal family (except for weird devil dog picture)

 

493 divided by 23.3

hmmmm….

uh oh… Mom’s mad!  (notice that Andy is instinctively pointing at Caitlin…)

now we’ve done it!  we woke  up Dad!  here he comes!!

Funny true story about waking up our dad in the middle of the night.

Caitlin and I were up late one night, playing around on instant messenger with her friends.  No good can come from us being up after midnight: it’s a fact. 

Well, anyway, somehow my parents went to bed without realizing that we were still up and playing on the computer at 2 a.m.

Eventually our giggling woke up our dad 2 floors over us.  We heard his feet hit the ground next to his bed and we KNEW we were in trouble.  I tried to quickly shut down the computer and turn out the lights while Caitlin brilliantly started pacing in circles and then locked herself in the furnace room, still walking in circles and laughing the laugh of a girl in trouble.

Now, my dad is hilarious when he is mad.  It’s not funny at the time – it’s usually pretty intimidating – but man, in retrospect, it’s pretty funny.  When Dad is awakened from his slumber (which is often because he is a light sleeper), he squints with one eye and scratches his butt.  I don’t know why he scratches his butt and I’m not sure what is accomplished with this maneuver, but that’s just what he does. 

So when we heard Dad coming down the stairs, we knew he’d be squinting and scratching and generally not pleased with the two of us.  I barely got the computer turned off before Dad made it all the way from his room to the basement. 

“What is going on down here?  What are you doing up?” asked Dad.  And when I say “asked”, I mean “growled”.  Also, I am significantly editing the colorful language dad used when asking these questions.

“We were on the computer….” I replied lamely, racing to the stairs, following Caitlin up the stairs (somehow she made it out of the furnace room and to the stairs before I did).

“Uh uh uh uh uh… uh… uh…” replied Caitlin.

“Get to bed.  Gettobed! Get. To. Bed! NOW!  What is wrong with you people??”

I guessed correctly that the last question was rhetorical in nature and wisely declined to respond.

“Ok ok ok ok!” I was panting as I was racing up the stairs behind Caitlin.  Dad posed no physical threat, but the faster we got to bed, the sooner the squinting and scratching would cease.

Caitlin was up those stairs so fast that she was already cowering under her covers before I got up there. 

Lesson? For pete’s sake – don’t wake up Dad!!

 

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