Sunday, January 18, 2015

4 Years Ago, This Time of Year

It is Winter in the Minnesota.  We are closing in on the middle of it and the deepest part of the cold.  However, for me, this not why I struggle during this time of the year.  January, leading into February is a hard time for me filled with many emotions, what ifs, and trying to continue to move forward.

Four years ago we found out we were pregnant.  Pregnant with our first little one.  We had just made it through the joy of the holidays, only to be, how shall I say it... only to be slapped in the face by life.  We quickly found out that our little one had Turner's Syndrome.

This ultimately turned into finding out that our little one was no longer with us and no longer had a heartbeat.  We had only just found out we were pregnant and now at 17 weeks we were finding out how to be parents, but with a child that wouldn't be coming home with us.

January 27 our daughter Samantha was born.  Yes, at 17 weeks she was born.  I delivered her into this world.  And though she was no longer alive, she stole our hearts and taught us a lot about life.  The weeks to follow were a complete blur.

Somewhere in the middle of it all we tried to celebrate my birthday in the middle of having a funeral for our daughter and dealing with having to buy a new furnace in the dead of the coldest winter because ours was no longer functioning.

Kind of a representation of life.  The heat in our house not functioning and neither was I.  How does one celebrate a birthday of their own when, for every birthday card you open you in turn open a sympathy card.

I am not sure how I made it through those days, but somehow I managed.  And yes, even now I do still have hard days.  I have just learned better how to work through them.  You can read more about that journey on my other site:

So, during this time of year I do a lot of reflection and evaluation.  I sit in the quiet.  I take in the simple moments.  I savor the slow.  I try to remember.  I continue to move forward.

Monday, January 12, 2015


At times over the past years I have made resolutions at the start of the new year.  But as the year progressed I would end up forgetting about them or finding that it wasn't a great fit.

Four years ago I came across the idea of choosing a one word motto for the next year.  Mind you, the idea was not my own, but I thought why not give it a try.  My word that year was trust.  Since then, each year I choose a different word.

Most times, I can come up with one easily.  This year, I needed some time.  I kept rattling ideas off in my head.  Sure they sounded okay and could fit, but they all seemed to be part of a bigger picture...a word that was more encompassing.

After some thought, I decided on embrace. Embrace has a lot of strength and meaning behind it. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how much it was a good fit.

Embrace...embrace a healthier lifestyle.  Filling my diet with healthier foods and more variety.  Doing better at eating my fruits and veggies.  Exercising more often and try out different types, as well as remembering that chasing my toddler around and playing games is good enough sometimes.

Embrace...embrace who I am, who I have become, and what I look like.  Allowing myself to accept how my body looks now and not falling into the trap of what it was like before and what it could be.  Allowing myself to know who I am and not constantly seek the validation that I crave so often sometimes to know I am doing good and where I am supposed to be.

Embrace...embrace the mistakes and failures that occur.  Realizing that sometimes I am too hard on myself and sometimes my own expectations are too high to achieve.  Realizing that there are some things I really have now control over and knowing that sometimes it is not a mistake or failure, but instead just a part of life.

Embrace...embrace the fact that truly I am a good mom.  And deep down, I really do know that.  I just need to push past my fears, worries, and guilt, so that I can take the days happenings in better and for what they are at face value.

Embrace...embrace my emotions.  Recognize them, respect them, work them out, and move forward.

Embrace...embrace the fact that there are some things that in theory I like, but in reality not so much.

Embrace...embrace what I have in front of me every day.  Take in the moments, be present, and simple is okay.

Embrace is my word for the year.  Embrace the day.  The picture above is a little wall decal DIY project.  I wanted to have the reminder of my word where I would see it on a regular basis.  Anytime I go upstairs or come down, it is there.  I put it above the mirror because sometimes I need to look myself in the mirror to embrace and remember.

Happy New Year!  Here is to a year filled with many blessings, lessons learned, lots of fun and special moments, and laughter, stories, and smiles.