Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A note for the future...

My precious child:

As I lie here drifting to sleep in the fading light, I cry. I cry silent invisible tears bursting with immeasurable sadness. I gaze upon the starry skies wishing my arms could reach high into the heavens wresting you from its angelic grasp. I would cradle you close and gaze into your beautiful face. I would smile and caress your soft fingers as I took note of your features. You would have Daddy’s nose, and Mommy’s eyes. Your happy coos and grunts would be like heaven’s symphony on my heart.

We would snuggle close drifting asleep together as I dreamed of the parent I would be. I want to feel my heart burst with joy at the sound of your laughter. When you cry I would not only be your shoulder. I would wrap you tight and close with a mother’s love, shielding you from the pain and sorrow you felt. I would be that parent who shows up unexpectedly to class, sitting alone in the back with tears of pride spilling down my face as you read your first “What I did on summer vacation.” I would hug and kiss you no matter your grimace or protest, knowing that someday you would come back to me seeking out hugs and kisses once more.

Someday my child, you will finally find your way into my arms and I pray that you can understand just how very much you are wanted and loved already. I dream every night of the joy you will bring to our lives and I often find myself imagining your personality and the funny quirks you will surely have. I have fought for six long and painful years to find you and bring you home. There have been times when the pain was so immense and I felt I had no more fight to give. Then, your face appears in my heart and I suddenly find the will to stand up and move on. I will never give up on you my angel and every tear, scar, and painful memory will be worth just a moment spent with you in my arms.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

The best gift of the year (more of a tell than a show)

This Christmas has been one of my favorites. Our family had such a great time this year and as corny as it sounds, we loved each other more than we have in a long time. With that being said, I have struggled internally the past few days. I feel so selfish. We had such a great opportunity and blessing to celebrate this year and yet I have these empty holes in my heart.

Behind the smiles and joy, I had some serious aches that left me with an unsatisfied or incomplete feeling as everything drew to a close. The first obvious hole is of course a very raw and painful one. I felt like Hubby and I were frauds as we hung ornaments on our tree and set out decorations in the house. Our tree never saw a gift underneath it and there were no children to snap pictures of in front of it. As painful as it is however, this is a wound that has been there a very long time and is felt every single day.

The other pains are empty spots in my life where others once were. I have a difficult time letting relationships go and I often feel like I have a tangled web of missing people following me everywhere I go. It always seems to hurt more acutely around the holidays. This year for whatever reason, I really had a couple of people on my mind. I even dreamed about them. I prayed and wished to run into them, knowing they would be near home for the holidays. As Christmas came and went, my heart sank, and I shrugged, hoping that maybe someday we would cross paths again.

Today, one prayer was answered! I hung back after church today to see what my parents were doing. I usually just go on home, but I thought maybe we could all go out to eat today. We hemmed and hawed a bit between two restaurants and finally headed out. As we sat down, a familiar voice caught my ear and I turned towards it instinctively. Recognition flooded my heart and I smiled as I saw the owner of the voice. The father of my best friend throughout school was standing at the buffet table talking to his youngest daughter. My heart fluttered for just a moment with hope, but I am no stranger to disappointment, so I just sat there trying to plan my next step.

Now, a bit of background info... This friend and I were actually part of a trio. We were all the very best of friends and even dressed up as three peas in a pod one year for Halloween. When I was raped, our relationship took a hard hit and we all fell apart. The last week of my senior year, we came back to each other briefly before heading out in separate ways to grow up. This particular "pea" and I just never kept in touch very well despite several visits and many desperate attempts to salvage our friendship. Eventually, I got married, moved, and the visits and calls stopped. I haven't seen her in almost eight years. I miss her so much and of all the things I grieve most from my rape, the loss of her friendship is probably the most painful.

I heard from my sister that she and her husband had a little girl a few months ago. My sister was friends with her sister through fac.eb.ook and I managed to get set up on there just so I could see the pictures. I cried for days that she had a baby and that I had missed it. I also cried that she had one and I didn't. Then I cried for being so selfish and bitter. I emailed her sister and asked her to pass along a message. That was the last I heard though.

Anyhow, I sat in the booth with my parents and my palms began to sweat and my heart started to race. My eyes followed her dad back to his seat, but I chickened out and looked away before he reached the table. What if she didn't want to see me. What if this turned out to be another disappointment. She might not even be there I reasoned. They did live 500 miles away after all. Still, this tiny voice kept urging me to look. It was the first Christmas they would have with their new baby. Surely they would visit.

Her sister made her way back to the table and once again I followed her with my eyes. This time I summoned up enough courage and followed her all the way. My heart stopped. There was my best friend. I just stared for a moment. I held up a hand and whispered breathlessly to my mom that I would be right back. It was like one of my dreams. My feet carried me on their own accord across the room. I stopped short with trembling hands and tapped her on the shoulder. The joy that flew into her eyes overflowed my heart. We hugged and then without a word she turned and held out her hands toward a car seat. "Look," was all she could say.

I peered into the eyes of one of the most beautiful little girls I have ever seen. It was so surreal. Perhaps it sounds a bit dramatic or silly, but I could see our past, present, and future in that child. She would someday giggle like we did and carry on the traits I loved best in my friend. It was an amazing moment that I will cherish forever.

Her family greeted me with so much love and I felt as if I had never left their lives. We exchanged numbers and emails and more hugs. Our meeting only lasted a few moments, but it will stay with me for a lifetime.

As I made my way back to my seat, tears glistening in my eyes, I whispered a thankful prayer for the best present I have gotten so far. I didn't eat much and my parents' conversation was merely white noise in the background. I could almost feel the hole in my heart heal itself and warmth flood my body.

On the way home, the tears flowed and I again thanked the heavens for my blessing. Then, daring only to whisper it silently in my heart, I prayed that perhaps I would be fortunate enough to heal two holes in my heart this year...

Show and Tell

Check out what everyone else is showing...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Let's all take a nap!

Whew! What a week! I hate the bittersweet feeling that hangs over the day after Christmas. The radio did not greet me with the joyful ring of bells, the tree looks naked without any presents under it, and I struggled this morning waking up. I feel like I should be rushing somewhere or scrambling to finish something for someone. Truth is, aside from visiting my grandmother at my parents' house later on, I have nothing truly on the agenda. It is nice to gain a sense of control and peace again, but I will miss the excitement.

I am exhausted, but my Christmas was fabulous! I fixed up gag gifts for everyone this year, and it made for a ton of fun as each person opened up their gift. My grandfather laughed which is something he doesn't do much lately. We even took a family photo! We haven't done that in years.

The big kicker about this year was having it at my parents' house. When they bought their house, we had Christmas there a couple of years until we found the damage in the bathrooms. The water damage was severe and throughout both bathrooms. Dad began tearing it all out and rebuilding. He was determined to do it all himself and then cancer hit. It put things on hold for a while, and he has slowly built himself back up working on it here and there. He finally got enough time off this year and the weather and his health all cooperated enough that he could finish both bathrooms! They are beautiful!

We had to work hard this week to clear out the remodelling debris, tools, leftover supplies, etc to ready the house for people to come over. My grandfather, being a carpenter has always helped my dad with every project. This was one he couldn't help with. Mom and Dad were desperate to get my grandfather over to the house for his approval on their work. That nod of approval was the best present anyone could ever give my parents! The look on their faces was priceless, and I will cherish that look forever.

My dad's mom came over yesterday, and we all spent the majority of the day alternating our nap and television spots. At one point, I think everyone in the house was asleep except my dad. We finally got up and fixed dinner and opened presents with each other. After that, we stayed up until the wee hours of the morning playing cards and watching movies.

I had so much fun this year. Even Hubby joined in with the card playing for the first time, and for once didn't push me out the door (He's a bit of a Scrooge at times). I hate that all our fun has ended, but it will be nice to get back into a normal flow again.

I hope that your holiday was as fun and fulfilling as mine was!

***Oh yeah, just as an aside...I'm pretty certain that at some point during all the craziness, Sheldon has joined us. Hubby and I did take time to say a special Merry Christmas to him and whisper a quiet prayer that he could stay. I'm not exactly sure how far into things we are this month because we couldn't temp, but I imagine that right after the new year we will find out. It would be an absolute miracle amidst all of the craziness we have had going on, but it would be a miracle under any circumstance, so perhaps we can hold out hope...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tis the Season to be sorry

I'm truly, truly sorry for my crappy blogging lately. It has been a rough week! Today was the last full day of school, so I have been busy helping teachers get things ready and getting gifts and such ready myself. I have been working my little fingers to the bone and my favorite crochet needle is starting to show some serious wear and tear!

I always try to be creative with my gifts and the economy certainly made it a necessity this year to try and make all of my small gifts for teachers, friends, and such. I made dish cloths, flower scrubbies, hats, ornaments, blankets, and baby dolls over the past week or so. I managed to sell a few items too and I will not be allowing my fingers any sort of holiday. I am going to have to work hard to finish a little purple and cream dress during my vacation. Truth be told, I still have a little baby doll in there begging to be finished and I am fighting the guilt back as hard as I can to take a break and blog for a bit. I love that people want to buy stuff though, so I will just buy new needles and if necessary, perhaps I can find a few replacement fingers at Wally World too!

There isn't too much news to share. I did update the gingerbread list a bit. You all have been so fabulous with this project and I think I will definitely try this again next year. The children have loved it, but I think the adults have gotten even more fun out of seeing where we will get a card from next. The Gingerbread Man showed up at our school yesterday and I managed to capture him. We took a vote and decided to gobble him up, so I fought and struggled and finally broke him to pieces so each child got a bit of him. I wish I had been able to video the discovery for you all to see. There was much (and I mean much) rejoicing in our hallway! *If you have mailed in a card that hasn't gotten here yet, fear not, we have a plan. We are going to share these with the kids too after break and take that opportunity to discuss the logistics of mail travel!

Sheldon should be arriving any moment to visit with us at least for a couple of weeks. I did not temp this month because my sleep has been very spotty and minimal. I didn't think that it would be very acurate and I was so tired that I couldn't remember even if I wanted to! Hubby has woken me up several nights this week with the crochet hook still moving in my hands. He just laughs at me and says "I think you are done for the night." I did receive the eggy signs yesterday though, and I am praying that we caught it despite the lack of temp tracking. I really did miss that peace of mind that I get with it this month.

Thank you all for your kind thoughts for my dad. He is still very sore and bruised, but he is doing fine and has been at work all week.
I'm sorry this has been a sort of bullet pointed post, but I am too tired and have a million things running through my mind that are competing for top priority. I hope that you will accept a picture of my tree as a consolation prize. Perhaps it will brighten your day...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Snow and Tell

The most amazing thing happened this week! It snowed! I can't believe it! The last time it snowed here in December was my senior year of high school. Even then, it waited until the 30th to fall. I have never seen snow so beautiful and huge in my life! My mother remembers one year when she was in college that the snow came down like it did on Thursday night. I was in awe. We didn't have flakes of snow. They were chunks. At one point a fat one smacked me on the cheek and it covered my entire cheek! It was amazing and wonderful.

The day was not all flakes and snowballs though. That afternoon my mother had come to me around one o'clock telling me that Dad had fallen and she was headed to the hospital. I turned into a mess. I scrambled to get Mom's classroom ready for the next day and called Hubby to come pick me up early from school.
Once home, I spent a lot of time on the phone calling my siblings and my grandparents to let them know about Dad. The ice started about 4, but my grandmother assured me it would only last an hour.

Mom and I were planning on going to a special friends and family sale and we worked feverishly to get my dad sewed up, settled at home, and make it to the sale in time. By the time Mom picked me up the flakes were falling hard and were huge! The ground was white and I had decided that maybe my cro.cs had been a bad judgement call despite the clomid induced fire living in my feet.

We finally got dad situated and piled into the car. Moments after leaving the city limits, my mother decided perhaps it would be best to turn back. In her words "For 50% I would keep going, but for 35%, I think we'll stay home!" You could no longer see the road. It was so bizarre for our town to get anything like that! Especially with no true forecast of snow!

Mom went to get us all dinner and headed for my house. Hubby had called to say he was home and warned us that it was bad. I told him we had just driven the same route minutes ago and we would be ok. I should have listened! It was icky! Roads that were clear only ten minutes before, were now solid white with a glistening layer of ice underneath. About halfway to my house I decided there was no way my mom could get up the hill into our complex. I called Hubby to bring me down a better pair of shoes and stuffed our dinner in my backpack. Mom dropped me off at the foot of the hill and finally managed to turn around and crawl to their house. I met Hubby halfway up the hill and switched my cro.cs for a pair of his tennis shoes. We trekked onward to the house.

About nine o'clock it finally stopped snowing and we were left with about three inches of snow and ice. For some of you northern folks that doesn't sound like much, but for us, here in December, that's insane! It was so beautiful though. School was closed on Friday and Hubby and I stayed up late. I alternated between watching movies with him and slipping outside to enjoy the still, cold, peace of the night.
The next morning, while most of the town slept, I crept out to capture a few pics before the snow melted...

The view from our balcony overlooking the town.

The driveway through the complex. It looked like this until about four that afternoon!

My favorite pic. I love my camera! The snow was a perfect, heaven sent addition to my Christmas present!

Show and Tell

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Lost! (A Show and Tell Post)

The children worked very hard this week to make sure that everyone would be on the lookout for their beloved gingerbread boy. I promised them that I would put them up on the internet so that everyone would see what he looks like and keep an eye out.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I hate to interrupt the fun and all but....

If you are wondering about gingerbread and laughing children please visit my other posts. This one has none of that. At least not for me.

I put up our Christmas tree tonight. This is always an emotional thing for me. I always debate putting one up, and I always give in. There is one moment that is always the deal breaker for me. I imagine myself curling up on the couch in front of the tree with quiet carols humming in the background. I love that one moment I always manage to steal for myself when I can just be. It is so peaceful and serene and I cannot bear the thought of missing that.

Hubby had to go in late tonight and I was left alone to decorate the tree. As I placed the ornaments on the tree, tears filled my eyes. Our ornaments feel so empty. Don't get me wrong, our tree is always beautiful and I love the ornaments I have collected over the years. We do have a few that mean a lot to me and warm my heart as I hang them on the tree. Still, there are no crooked cottonball snowmen or pipe cleaner candy canes. We have no "Baby's first" ornaments or handprints dangling amidst the twinkling lights.

Hubby and I will be the only ones to enjoy our tree. I go to all that work just for us. The emptiness in that moment each year is overwhelming. I hate it. I am so frustrated that we will not have any gifts under that tree. We won't toil away assembling plastic pieces in a frenzy, reading greek directions and scratching our heads. The hope and warm fuzzies aren't as full or warm for us. It makes me sad and weighs down my heart so much. There are times when that ache becomes so intense and I began to pray and wish for the season to quickly end so we can go on pretending again that we are happy just the way we are.

This is not enough for us though is it? Of course not. We are planning a last Christmas. It is the most heartwrenching thing I have experienced. I fight groping for every fraction of time I can get while resisting the urge to run and hide under the covers in a dark room, hoping I will wake up from this nightmare. The pain etched in all of our faces haunts my dreams at night.

You would think that would fill our quota, but no. Hubby called moments after I had hung the last ornament on the tree and told me that he has been cut down to two or three days a week at best. We don't know if this is a temporary thing or not. They had to cut out their third shift last week and Hubby had to give up his manager status. We were very thankful that he did not get let go, but our sails were deflated with the realization that there were six people displaced that were now scrambling to share hours with other people. I don't know what we are going to do.

Thank goodness our Christmas presents have mostly been purchased. I have some gifts at school, but I can crochet something there and get away with it. We have two family gifts to buy, but they won't cost very much and I'm pretty sure we can scrounge up a bit for that. We are blessed with only utilities and rent to pay. Still there are groceries and gas and Clomid. We also live, unfortunately a fairly meager life as it is, which makes it almost impossible to cut corners on anything without losing something vital.

How can I think of clomid at a time like this? I feel so selfish and silly, but I simply cannot miss a cycle when things are actually working for the first time in my entire life! Why? Why does He decide that we must travel the bumpiest narrowest paths so often? I have to start clomid tomorrow and despite the guilt that I am faced with, I am going to go on and take it. I pray that by the time Sheldon visits again, we will have a solution to this mess, and we can enjoy the holiday and make the most of such an important one for my family.

Hubby is going to start looking first thing Monday for another job I guess. This tiny town has very little to offer right now and there are tons of people already scrambling for work as it is. I pray his manager experience will help and that he can either find something super fast before things hurt too much or that he is given more hours again and we can move on.

We could use a few prayers right now. It breaks my heart to know that there are so many praying the same prayers alongside us. This is supposed to be the happiest time of the year. Seems a little blue to me.

My cup runneth over and flooded the kitchen!

You all are amazing and wonderful people! It gives me the warm fuzzies to know that people like you are out there in the world! I cannot wait to see some of these cards and the stories to go with them. The kids are so excited about it and even the more street wise of the bunch are beginning to melt.

This is what childhood is about. So many of our children face some scary stuff at home. They care for baby siblings and sometimes even parents. They see abuse and neglect. They know what it is like to go to bed hungry and have moved more times than the number of years lived in their short lives.

Even the ones coming from good stable homes struggle with the untrusting and sad reality that our little town has been hit hard with the effects of the economy. They know the look of fear and worry. They have seen it on so many adults faces lately.

It makes me feel so good to know that with something so simple that perhaps seems so silly, we can preserve the innocence of childhood just a few moments more.

Even the teachers have been different this week. We check our mail boxes often each day and wait as anxiously as the kids do for signs of the Gingerbread Boy. The story of my internet friends has travelled far throughout our school and the other grades are waiting on their toes too. Nothing like this has ever been done before. Usually the teachers ask relatives to send in a post card, but in a small community like this, most of our family members are close by and we don't get very many sightings. This year will go down in history as the coolest year ever thanks to all of you!

Thank you all so much for helping us make their eyes twinkle with excitement and anticipation! I wish I could wrap up a hug and tie on a huge ribbon of smiles to send to each one of you!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Sorry about the confusion.

Here's the address:

Marshall Elementary School
c/o Friends of Gingerbread Boy
401 Tiger Blvd
Lewisburg, TN 37091

Just to keep you all in the loop with our story...

We baked Gingerbread Boy today. On our way back from lunch, we all went into the teachers' lounge to see if he was done and you would never believe what we found! The door on the oven was cracked open a bit and that Gingerbread Boy was gone!

This totally flipped the kids out. It was hilarious to hear what they thought had happened to him. One child even got religion on our side!

One little boy had brought his older brother's little Gideon Bible to school. It was a huge distraction this morning and I made him put it in his backpack. He was so distraught with the missing Gingerbread Boy that he had gone and gotten his Bible out right after lunch. When I walked in the room and asked the class if they had heard the news, the entire class erupted into exclamation of disbelief and excitement as to his whereabouts.

This little boy comes up to me with a very solemn expression on his face and the most adorable speech delay you have ever heard and said, "Mrs. Arian, Wook." He flipped through some pages in his Bible. He said "De onwy way we will eber find dat gingerbread boy is wif God." It was so sweet. We are in a public school and I have to watch my p's and q's about that stuff so I just patted him on the back and said "You keep looking for him."

Some of the older and more street wise of our bunch have really played it out much like they would to a younger sibling. I cannot wait to see the shock on their faces when we begin receiving postcards from him in different places and start reading about sightings all over the world!

This is one of my favorite kindergarten projects and I am sending much love and thanks to everyone that helps us with it!!!! I am going to try to keep you all posted on some of the fun sightings we get in (privacy respected) and let you know how the kids react. They are an endless source of hilarious stories this year!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Urgent!!!! Postcards needed!!!!!! ***with update***

Ok. When this situation was put in front of me, my first thoughts went directly to all of you! You are amazing and wonderful people that come through for just about anything someone could need.

Well, here's the thing...

During December our kindergarten classes read The Gingerbread Boy. We talk about gingerbread people and decorate them. We graph them, eat get the idea. Towards the end of that week we always make a very large gingerbread boy for the classes to share a bite out of. Sometime during the baking process the gingerbread boy escapes.

Here's where you all come in...

We wait anxiously to hear from our beloved gingerbread boy and thanks to some careful planning, we start receiving postcards from people around the US and other countries with fun stories about their gingerbread boy sighting. We hang a large world map in the hallway and flag all of the different places he has visited. Close to Christmas break he will reappear one morning in a classroom and we let the children vote on whether to gobble him up or set him free again.

My mom hasn't done this for a few years and our close knit family doesn't stretch beyond the state really. We need some help with a few gingerbread sightings. I am hoping and begging for you to find it in the goodness of childhood fun to send us in a postcard. It would be awesome if you could find a postcard that has a local landmark or something to do with your state or country. I would absolutely love to get some out of country postcards if there is time.

You don't have to write very much. Just let us know where you were and what you were doing when you spotted him. (For example: Hubby and I were in the big city looking at the Christmas lights when we noticed a little gingerbread boy dancing and skipping down the sidewalk. We asked him where he was from and he told us about his escape from your school. We thought we would let you know we saw him and he seemed to be having a wonderful time!)

**** This is only for a school project. We burn or shred the postcards afterwards to prevent anyone from seeing addresses.

If you do not want to leave a return address, that is perfectly ok with me. I would ask that you at least put the city and state or country on there so that we can map it with the kids.

The address you are sending it to is the school's address. Please keep my privacy in mind as well and refrain from passing this address along to anyone else.

If you would like to, feel free to use pseudo names. Please if you would, at least put your blog site or refer back to my blog site on there. This way I know that the postcard is for my mom's room and has come from all of you.

If you could, once you send a postcard, put a comment on here so I know to be looking for it in my mailbox.

Thank you thank you thank you thank you! You have helped us create an awesome project for 82 kindergarteners. We know from past experience that they talk about this for years after.

Marshall Elementary School
c/o Friends of Gingerbread Boy
401 Tiger Blvd
Lewisburg, TN 37091

Packin Always in my Backpack

I must have ticked someone off up there really bad. I don't know what I did or how to repair thier bitterness towards us, but I'm going to do everything I can to fix whatever wrong has been done.

Yesterday we tested. It was early, but I wanted Hubby to be there when I did. We bought one of those "We can tell you're knocked up even before you ovulate!" tests and were not surprised to see a bfn for month 71. Hubby tried to stay upbeat with the old "It's still too early" try, but in my heart I could feel the end coming.

This morning, my temp took a dump. I feel like af will be here any moment. I have stuffed my backpack to the brim with emergency supplies and I am ready to face the battlefield again. I have not cried. I will not cry. Not yet.

The silver lining - because every maxi has one- is that it looks as though we will make it to 14 dpo. That is an absolute miracle to me. I'm jaw dropped that my body actually did what it was supposed to for once. It's a shame it couldn't follow through and keep little Sheldon safe and secure for a while.

Perhaps, next month Sheldon can stay a bit longer. Maybe he had something important to do before he settled in for a long stay. It just wasn't time.

This is the decision part of the cycle. We always make the same decision, but I think we discuss options just so we can feel a little bit of control. I think we want to tell the heavens that we don't have to try if we don't want to. We will discuss a break for the holidays, then we will discuss the fabulous cycles. We will revisit cycles from the past and how horrible they have been. Then we will call the doc and begin round 4.

I don't understand why so many people come to our house and visit with us. We are truly becoming very predictable, boring, old farts that don't even have any kids to distract you from our nose picking entertainment...