Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

It’s New Year’s Eve and the most fascinating thing that has, or is going to happen for me today was exchanging clothes from Christmas. I have no plans at all for bringing in the new year, except to hang out with my two girls and probably go to bed before midnight. Pat has a gig tonight, so he’ll bring in the new year with some friends.

Am I jealous? Nah. I’m too tired and pregnant to be jealous.

Pregnancy isn’t really an excuse to stay home on New Year’s Eve, though. Eleven years ago today I was 7 months pregnant with Savannah, and Pat had a gig at the Velvet E here in town. I put on my finest maternity wear and headed out into the cold, drunk night with him. I sat at a table in the corner with my water or soda, I can’t remember which, and watched everyone dancing around and falling on each other. It’s pretty amusing, and sometimes sad, to be the sober one in a club full of drunks.

Talk about exhausted! It was 3 in the morning before we got out of there. I was tempted to curl up on the table and get in a few shut eyes before Pat said he was ready to go. I was glad to be there with him, though. I’ve always hated to bring in the new year alone.

But I won’t be alone tonight. I’ll put Sarah to sleep around 8 and curl up with Savannah under a blanket and watch a movie and drink hot chocolate. Then Pat will call me at midnight to wish me a happy new year and we’ll have our kiss when he gets home.

Happy new year, everyone!

And happy new year to you, honey. Here’s to another year of love, family…and a long-awaited son.

I love you.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A White Christmas???

(In my best Bing Crosby-esque voice)

I'm dreaming of a ....WAIT! Scratch that!

I HAD a white Christmas...

in Texas!

Dreams DO come true.

We woke up to snow covering the ground.

It was mostly gone by the afternoon.

But at least Biscuit got to enjoy it for a little while.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pregnancy Woes

My energy level is down today and my lunch is just not sitting well.

Ugh -- pregnancy.

And I have five more months of this.

Ugh again.

I can’t wait until I can write out a weekly meal plan without gagging at pictures in my cookbooks or thoughts of tomato sauce when Pat says he wants pasta this week.

I miss being able to have a glass of wine or a beer to unwind at night.

Oh to pop a pill and be rid of the sneezing, the sniffles, and the itching.

Sweet memories of when I could turn sideways and squeeze through tight spots without the worry of crushing a little being.

Is all the nausea, fatigue, and heaviness worth it?

You betcha.

Monday, December 21, 2009

What a Day

Last night at dinner Savannah started a conversation that I had tried to make a tradition (unsuccessfully) a few months ago. She asked me and her father for our favorite and least favorite parts of the day. When it was my turn to state my least favorite part of the day I realized…I really didn’t have one, and that brought a huge smile to my face. Usually I can answer right away with something about work, or a silly nitpicking fight that Pat and I had, or feeling I’ve wasted too much time that day. But yesterday was almost perfect.

Our time at church was great. The youth choir sang for our service and then I lead the congregation in Christmas songs with Pat and the band, and I LOVE to sing Christmas songs. Before and after the service many people, whom I now call friends, asked about the pregnancy and provided hugs and compliments for the music. My sister also mentioned my new blog and said how much she enjoyed reading it. (I come from a family of writers. When one of them says they like something I wrote it means a great deal to me.)

After lunch of a good greasy burger to satisfy my craving, I took a good, long nap and didn’t feel guilty about it. Then Savannah I started baking Christmas cookies.

My girl is growing up. She didn’t need me to help with much, but we had a blast together.

After the thought-provoking dinner we drove around Highland Park, the money area of Dallas, with our Starbucks hot chocolate and looked at the decorations. This was Sarah’s first year to take it in. She was adorable.



She even covered her mouth with both hands when she especially liked a house. Precious!

Shame on me for not taking pictures last night, but here’s one of Sarah for good measure.

After putting the girls to bed I took a relaxing bath and went to bed with a huge smile on my face. Nothing spectacular. I didn’t get a raise, meet a role model, or have a life-altering performance in front of a huge crowd. What I did have was a lot of great moments with family and friends and I took the time to really enjoy this most precious holiday season.

What a day!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mourning Loss

I woke up this morning feeling pretty good and ready to make a hearty breakfast with Pat – eggs, bacon, and buttermilk biscuits. After washing the morning dishes we all started our own morning routines for getting ready to leave for our usual Saturday lunch out followed by grocery shopping at various stores in the area: Target for toiletries and canned items, Central Market for an awesome selection of produce, seafood, and sandwich meats/cheeses, and Tom Thumb for meat, frozen goods, and anything else we forgot along the way.

As I was getting ready I was suddenly overcome with a feeling of loss. It hit so fast, like I had just charged into a brick wall. Right at that moment Pat came in with his usual goofy, morning mood and started teasing me. I tried to hide that I was upset, but ended up asking him to give me a moment. I shut the door to the bathroom and allowed myself a quick cry. It had to come out. Thoughts of my father, whom I lost 9 years ago, came to my mind and things I wish I had said to him before he passed.

But the one that really pierced me was our loss a few weeks ago. We found out early on, around 8 weeks, that we were going to have twins. Then 3 weeks later we were told Baby B’s heart had stopped beating. We only knew of Baby B for 3 weeks, but we had already grown excited about the big family we were soon to have and the unique experience of raising twins.

The first week after receiving the news was hard, but then I thought I was getting better. I still had one baby to nurture, an unexpected gift (a story for another time). My spirits picked up in the second week, although it seemed that twins were everywhere on television, the internet, and in magazines, but I dealt with it. Then this morning on tv I saw 2 twin boys about 5 years old dressed up for Halloween. I felt a slight pull, but dismissed it thinking It was nice for a while, but it’s not to be. 20 minutes later I broke in the bathroom. I hate that I won’t meet him. (I don’t know for sure Baby B was a boy, but I have a strong feeling that it was.) I hate that he won’t be recognizable as a baby when I give birth. I’m scared that the boy we do have will grow up feeling something missing, but not sure what.

My cousin lost a baby very early in her pregnancy a couple of years ago. She told me recently that she named the baby anyway. Even though it was too early to know the sex, like me she was sure she knew. When Pat and I found out we were having twins we had agreed that he would name one and I would name the other. I haven’t discussed this with him yet, but I decided today that I need to give him a name and acknowledge him as my fourth child.

Meet Charles Eli (on the left) named after my maternal grandfather, Charles, and his twin brother, Eli that died when he was just a toddler.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think it's time for another good cry.

Monday, December 14, 2009

That Damn Tree Stand

Yesterday we finally bought our Christmas tree and decorated the house. We’re later than usual, but we’ve had to make a lot of changes due to the problems I’ve had with this pregnancy. More on those problems later.

Along with putting up the Christmas tree came the annual Bitch Fest between me and my husband. Every year what I imagine goes without much ado for other families, causes major friction between us. That is the placing of the tree in the stand, which is now the part of the holidays I dread the most. We’ve gone through various stands over the years. Usually after maneuvering the tree and trying to get the screws into the trunk while lying on cold concrete, all the while grunting and mumbling a few choice words, Pat declares it’s time for a new stand because whichever one he’s working with is worthless. In his own words: “They can put a man on the moon, but they can’t make a tree stand that’s easy to use.” I kept pushing for a new one this year, hoping that I could drop the tree on the ground and march into Home Depot declaring that I need the easiest, made for dummies, tree stand there is. Not that my husband’s a dummy, but for some reason, he struggles with the stand every…single…year.

After an hour standing outside, me holding the tree in place with the needles poking my hands, and my pregnant body getting more and more tired, while he tried every thing he could think of, he finally declared the tree secure. We weren’t speaking to each other much at this point - not uncommon from previous years. Pat took the tree inside and set it up for Savannah and I to begin decorating. That’s when I realized I had at least 2 hours of work ahead of me. Night was beginning to fall, dinner hadn’t been made, and I was exhausted.

The silent treatment usually continues through most of the night unless one of us needs to break the silence for one reason or another, but this is when the growth in our relationship really hit me. Pat must have seen the look on my face because he came over to me and gave me a big hug, thanking me for helping him. He then went out to get dinner, helped me place our holiday decorations in various places through the house (which I usually do solo), and gave me a nice back rub at the end of it all. In the past I would have said no thanks out of anger for all the stupid things each of us said out of frustration during the tree stand debacle, but instead I graciously accepted it all and we were able to end our night in a festive mood with the Christmas lights casting a glow on us as we finally relaxed together on the couch.

Merry Christmas, Honey. Here’s to a mature, (mostly) fuss-free holiday together.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Maiden Entry

I’m taking the leap. I’ve wanted to start a blog for about 2 years now, but I guess I was scared to make the commitment or put my crazy, run-away thoughts out in public. Since I think about it so often, and enjoy reading other blogs, I figure it’s time (southern phrase) to start. So here goes.

What can you expect me to talk about? You’ll hear about Pat, my husband of 12 years. (Did I get that right, Honey?) You’ll also meet my 2 daughters: Savannah, 10, and Sarah, 2: the 2 best things I’ve done in my life. You’ll experience my current pregnancy as well. We just found out last week that it’s a boy. Yeah! I can stop trying now! Seriously, though, I’ve wanted a boy for a while and I can’t wait to meet him and have a little more testosterone in the house - not that Pat doesn’t provide enough!

I’ll also vent about my frustrations with my career, if you could call it that. At 40, I don’t feel that I’m doing what I should. Arriving and leaving work drained most days can’t be a good thing, can it? I hope this blog will help me sort things out so that I can get on the right track and maybe take some chances that lead to change.

Then there’s my spiritual side. Despite growing up with a Methodist minister as a mother and a Baptist music leader as a father, I’m just now trying to find my own spirituality. Not what mom or dad told me or showed me, but my own individual relationship with God. I’ve always been a believer, but never took it seriously. In my teens and twenties I didn’t believe you could be a “Good Christian” and still have fun. Know what I mean? But now, thanks to expanding my friendship base and opening my heart and mind, I realize you can still have a glass (or two or three) of wine, or let an occasional f-bomb drop (for me, it’s more frequent than occasional) and you won’t be laughed out of church or put in a corner with a picture of flames all around you to remind you of where you’re going.

I’ve been blessed to have been given the opportunity to explore my spirituality through music with my husband. He’s the band leader at our church and I now have the pleasure of singing with him (a secret dream I’ve had since I met him 15 years ago), along with other members of the band that we are so blessed to have. (Our rhythm section rocks!) Some of the sacred music out there is pretty hokey, but some of it is so honest and really describes where I am, and where I feel so many of us are in our spirituality with such a materialistic and fast-paced world. This music has opened up a new avenue for me to drive down and really try to take it all in while the whispers float in through the open window. (Ok – I just turned hokey myself.)

Don’t be scared away. This blog isn’t just a place to explore spirituality, though. It’s a place to write about my beloved family, our experiences and downfalls, my career frustrations, pregnancy, and, yes…dealing with turning the dreaded 40.

I hope you take the ride with me.