Anniversary Trip: What Really Happened…(Pregnancy Ain’t Pretty)

So I have a confession.  There may have been a bit of “lying by omission” happening in my post last month about our anniversary trip to the Northeast.  Now don’t get me wrong, we had a lovely time and I wanted to, and did, share the highlights of our adventure.  Buttttttt I also may have glossed over some of the less-than-flattering moments for me during that trip…

IMG_3188First off, let me tell you, there’s not much that’s pretty going on for a six(ish) weeks pregnant woman on vacation in August in a world where even the Panera is serving a lobster roll. I was tired, I was nauseous, I could smell EVERYTHING, and I wanted nothing to do with basically everything on their seafood-heavy restaurant menus. Normally, I’m all about enjoying seafood when we are on a coast, but after I ordered a lobster dish on the first night and took that first fateful, and disgusting, bite, I carefully navigated around similar offerings from there on out. Since most options sounded terrible or actually made me throw up (let’s just say it may be a while before I order chicken parm again…) I ordered a double portion of the buttered noodles off the kids’ menu the night we went out for our anniversary. I was even wearing a dress. Dan had the mussels and the Yankee pot roast; my first course was a fruit cup.

Thank God for kind waiters… Continue reading

What To Do When You’re Expecting Baby #2…by Kathryn Shindeldecker

One of my favorite friends in all the world, Kathryn, is expecting her second little beauty NEXT week! Today, she shares a few tips on how to prepare your family for a second child.  And of course, provides a few laughs along the way!  Enjoy!

Hello! Thanks for tuning into my guest post on Alyssa’s site. Alyssa and I have been friends for over 10 years now. We both attended Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, and after an initial period of “feeling each other out” for a couple months, we became very close. By the grace of God we have maintained that closeness through good time and bad. In fact, I can thank Alyssa’s previously referenced plan to meet cute boys at church for bringing me back into a relationship with God when I was feeling very isolated and lost. I couldn’t possibly not go to church when the rest of my roommates were going! Thank God for my FOMO.

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Anyway, I was really excited when Alyssa accepted my gracious invitation to be the first guest blogger on her amazing website (read: I forced myself into her awesome dream realized). First, a little about me. My husband Brian and I are lifelong Midwesterners. We’ve been married 5 years and have an absolutely amazing 2 ½ year old daughter. I work part time at a large academic health system helping imbed population health management strategies into current clinical and strategic practices (wow, did that put you to sleep or what??). Also, our family is less than one week away from welcoming a second baby girl into the world.  (At least I hope we’re less than a week away…pregnancy is about one month too long in my opinion.) Since they always say “write what you know,” I figured I would provide you all with some tips for preparing for a second child. Continue reading

Honest Friendship

One of the most unexpected results of our miscarriage story has been learning of the other stories of loss that have been carried silently by many of the women (and men) around me. I had no idea what those around me were going through!

You see, one of the first decisions I made after the fog had lifted was was to choose for this story to be a glory story. As much as I wanted to ignore my sad feelings and pretend that life was totally and completely fine, I decided that we could do more than that through our loss. We could use it to bring God glory.

Instead of hiding it in my heart, and covering up my pain, I openly shared our experience over lunch and coffee. When asked by dear friends how my summer was going, I chose to be fully honest, rather than utter the expected pleasantries that we women tend to do when we are hanging out with each other. And in case that wasn’t enough, I decided to blow the lid off this pop stand, and shared it with basically the world and wrote about it on the blog.

And let me tell you, after I stopped freaking out about telling people what was REALLY going on in my life, it was liberating!

But what was even MORE surprising, was how I learned that I was not alone. Continue reading

Our Little Life: How I Saw God In Miscarriage (Post 2)

This is the second of two posts I have written about the miscarriage we experienced back in July. If there’s one thing that this heartbreak has shown me, it’s that my faith in Christ is something that will always sustain me. I hope you’ll find hope in this truth, too.

And if you think I’m cray, thanks for not telling it to my face. I like to pretend everyone always likes what I have to say…

Miscarriage feels like a cruel joke. At least that’s how I would describe it. You go from excitement to heartbreak. From joy to loss. From growing life to losing life. It’s basically a horrible oxymoron of a life experience.

And the week it was happening to us, I cried out to God so many times to tell me WHY. Why does He make life just to take it? Why do we have to be going through this? Why? Why? Why?

I mean, doesn’t Jesus love the little children?!

But even if we don’t get to know the why behind our pain, we do get to know the One who heals it. And He was with me every. step. of. the. way.

Continue reading

Our Little Life: Experiencing Miscarriage (Post 1)

Recently in another post of (over?)sharing  I admitted that Daniel and I had been walking in the world of God’s timing for starting a family since we had lost our luggage, and our only form of birth control, on our way to the Grecian finale of our Euro tour back in May.  So you can imagine my shock when a single cycle into our family planning journey, a second faint line began appearing on one (of the twenty-pack!) of the cheapo pregnancy tests I had bought on Amazon.

Have I said I love Amazon Prime?!

I might also mention that in order to take said test, I had snuck into our second bathroom before six AM and before I had any reason, or viable symptom, to suspect pregnancy. Per usual, I was trying to not explain my crazy to my husband.  Well, mission failed…

So with hands shaking, I immediately woke Dan up from a dead sleep and showed him the evidence that our lives were about to change.  Talk about a wake-up call! Convinced that the test’s price tag was responsible for its overzealous representation of a positive test, I ran downstairs to the Walgreens on the corner and was able to confirm the news with a top-shelf First Response that we were officially “expecting”. Continue reading

Family Planning: Confessions Of A Crazy Person

It’s been about four months since a fire in the Rome airport created mass chaos and forced Dan and me to gate check our luggage (against our will) in exchange for seats on a flight with a final destination of Athens, Greece.   As fate would have it, after a long delay and a connection through Istanbul, we were left staring at an empty luggage cue well after midnight in the Athens airport.

IMG_2587Just great…

Despite our frustration, we were able to grab a last-minute (and very overpriced) room at the hotel across the street and hoped that our bags would miraculously appear by morning. When morning arrived with no bags in sight, we cabbed it into town and found an H&M and pharmacy to grab supplies for the next few days. Scheduled to depart to Mykonos the next morning, we decided that if need be, we could probably rough it in the Greek islands if necessary.

I know, tough life. Continue reading