carry on warrior, my thoughts

recently i finished carry on warrior by glennon melton.  i am enjoying getting back into reading and thought it would be fun to start some book posts, if for no other reason than to remember what i thought about them and truths i may have come across.

let me start by saying, i wanted to like to this book, really really wanted to.  i haven't been a follower of glennon's blog but downloaded the free sample on my kindle after seeing her/the book pop up quite a bit recently and was intrigued.  and it starts off pretty good.  although not my exact brand of philosophy, i found myself identifying in part and enjoying her stories.

on amazon there is review after review about how uplifting this book is... and that is where, for me, things kinda fell apart.  she tells story after story about how frustrated/exasperated/AT THE END OF HER ROPE she is with her kids and instead of my inner monologue identifying along and being like "so true glennon, motherhood is hard!  what funny moments that let me identify with you!" i found myself wondering "does CPS know about this family? does this woman even love her kids?"*  in turn, instead of being uplifted... i was actually becoming more and more depressed.  feeling as though i was looking uncomfortably in on a "broken" family that i would just prefer not to know about.  

the other big sticking point for me was, as the book went on, i could almost feel the author's defenses rising as she answers questions/speaks to naysayers that have emailed/commented.  as someone who is preaching LOVE LOVE LOVE, the attacks against the naysayers are very thinly disguised in this love language.  and here's the thing, it is natural to raise your hackles when attacked... to bristle when a mean comment about how we look/are raising our family/food we are eating/words we are writing WHATEVER comes our way.  the whole book of carry on warrior though, seems to be speaking against this natural human reaction, but in the same breath, the author CAN'T HELP BUT DO IT, IN THE BOOK!  this left me feeling very disjointed, and it left the book feeling immediately inauthentic.

in summation, this book for me was like showing up a little late to the gold rush.  there are some good nuggets but you are sifting through a LOT of sand to find them.

*i am sure she does love her children, this is merely how i felt reading the book

little things

(1) i forgot how good graceland is.  love love love that album.

(2) "She and I have shared the same body. There is a part of her mind that is a part of mine. But when she was born she sprang from me like a slippery fish, and has been swimming away ever since. All her life, I have watched her as though from another shore." Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club 

hearbreakingly perfect. i am dying to read this book and wondering if i can make it to my next library trip.  even within that, my favorite line is "sprang from me like a slippery fish, and has been swimming away ever since" that line brings tears to my eyes.  motherhood is such a gift, one that is best not held too tightly for fear of damaging the gift.

(3) i have decided on a new tattoo!!  still waiting on inspiration to strike with my daughters (tattoo in memory of her, not getting my 7 month old tattooed)

(4) long weekend and boy do we need it around here.  long week for my hardworking hubby.  cannot wait to relax with him and function as a unit- go team!!

little moments to remember, little prayers to say, little moments to remember that are in my day to day.

fantasy vs. reality

as previously mentioned in this post, i have been entering the HGTV smart home giveaway... every day.  this takes me approximately two minutes to complete every day, which has translated into about 1.5 hours when it is all said and done.

1.5 hours is a lot of time to day dream about winning.

the house is located in florida and i have this secret fantasy in my head where we win and move to florida (someplace the husband and i have NEVER wanted to live) but moving is all in this master plan and we end up LOVING it.  also florida is a hot spot for bloggers, so i end up becoming bff's with

kelle from bloom

and glennon from momastery

(i think they need a blonde friend, don't you?)

and then because we have to move to florida and get new jobs (well the husband does, my job remains taking care of the baby - i would get a book deal (awesome!) and we would never have to worry about money again and also we would get to swim WHENEVER WE WANT! (a huge deal for a native ohioan).

what's really sad about this is that i keep seeing signs that i am going to win.  i feel like i am playing the lottery with my last dollar.

while creating this made up universe in my head, i have also been working on "staying present" "staying focused"

clearly, i need to remain working on it... but until that HGTV winner is announced... well you never know, it could be me!


last tuesday, angelina jolie announced in a new york times op-ed feature that she has undergone a preventative double mastectomy because she carries a brca gene.

my mom was diagnosed with (advanced stage 3 or 4) breast cancer at 32, when i was 1.  she beat it and lived for seven more years before dying at 39, when i was 8.  my mom's death has (obviously) had a lifelong influence on me.  in many ways, i am only now understanding and overcoming the immense grief as i experience it anew as a mother.  parenthood changes everything, even things you thought you processed long ago.  as i am watching my daughter grow, it brings to the surface how much i really and truly miss my mom.

when you are little, you look at your parents as superhuman.  being able to overcome anything.  i remember repeatedly asking my mom to marry me when i was young because i couldn't imagine ever loving someone as much as i loved her.  you then enter the teenage years, think your parents know nothing, and then eventually come full circle where you are able to appreciate your parents as an adults and friends.  for me this cycle halted, cut short as a child, watching someone i thought was superhuman succumb to death.  that instilled a fear in me that i have never been able to truly cope with.  the pain of never knowing my mother as an adult is something that never leaves you completely.

medically, what her diagnosis means for me is that i go to check ups every 6 months, have yearly MRI's and mammograms, diagnostic ultrasounds of anything "suspicious", have already undergone a lumpectomy at 24 (benign), and have already had two specialists recommend prophylactic surgery.

at this stage of my life, i have begun genetic counseling and testing.  but the genes that we know about only account for 10% of cancer... 90% is still left unanswered.  i will go through this process and receive either positives or negatives... but i will still not know if it means anything because my mom didn't have any genetic testing done.  it's almost as if the best i can hope for is a positive because then i know.  no positive hit could mean i do have a gene that isn't detected yet, my mom didn't have a gene it was random, or my mom had a gene and i didn't get it.

there has been and still is a lot of fear in me in regards to breast cancer.  and in regards to life and death and loss.  my mind constantly swirls around loss, ruining precious moments that should be mine for enjoyment.  my daughter in the sunshine, my husband whispering "i love you" too often these moments are immediately followed by an arresting fear.

fear is given a bad rap in our culture "don't make decisions based out of fear."  but having my past that i do, i disagree with this.  fear is a NATURAL emotion and one that should not be ignored or explained away.  although we can do our best to overcome fears, this can be done in a multitude of ways.  for example, with the birth of my first child, i knew from the beginning i wanted a c-section.  my anxiety level about birth and the birth process plus the chance of emergency c-section (40%) weighed so heavily on my mind that for me there was no option but to schedule it.  my doctor fortunately understood my decision, and i received nothing but support from him or my husband.  this decision was based on fear, but there is no doubt that for me it was the right one.  i overcame my fear of childbirth but i did it in a highly unconventional way and one that many woman may not agree with.

prophylactic surgery, at this stage, for me would be based on fear.  fear of not watching my daughter grow up, fear of her experiencing the same, overwhelming heartbreak that i have, fear of leaving my husband...  but i don't think that these motivations are wrong.  and for the women that have chosen the surgery, if it was based on fear - that's ok! we stand behind you 100% for whatever reason it was made.  for right now, i am not 100% sure what i will choose (providing i don't get a "hit" during genetic testing, then my mind is made up and i would proceed with prophylactic surgery at the earliest possible time).  a preventative double mastectomy is not a walk in the park and it will forever change me.  but so would cancer.

sometimes fear is overcome by embracing extreme action.  "conquering" can mean something different to every person alive.  for now, i will walk all avenues available to me, counseling for my mental health and my specialists for my physical health.  i choose to leave no stone un-turned because my daughter depends on me.  i walk this road of conquering fear for her.

for now a "thank you" to the women who have to make these decisions and the specialists and doctor's out there that are helping us.  my doctor's are literally AMAZING and to have their support in addition to my family is almost to much to handle.  

this post is dedicated to my daughter and to my mom, who is missed every day.  


the weather here in ohio has been extreme lately.  we had 30s on monday and it is hitting 80 today. and for some reason the weather seems to reflect my mood swings (lucky hubby!).  

this past weekend was my first official mother's day as my little was still a bean last year.  and while i was eternally thankful all day for being a mom and definitely filled with joy over my family... i was also exhausted.  my m-i-l came into town for the weekend and thus cleaning, hosting, and cooking was my go-to over the weekend.  and it was a lovely time and very appreciated by all and the company was enjoyed... but it wasn't exactly relaxing.  throw in the fact that little is cutting her top teeth (OHEMGEE WHERE IS TIME GOING!) and she notoriously awakens ALL the time for night feedings during teething has left me going into this week exhausted, frantic, and a little emotional.

a lot of me recently has found myself wishing we lived in a different time.  some of my favorite books growing up were little house on the prairie  

part of me still wishes we lived in that time.  it sucks that my family spends 40+ hours a week being separated.  so much of me wishes my husband could just stay home.  although i love being a SAHM so much of me is missing that it is almost hard to fully engage myself with her.  my fuse is shorter and it shows.  on the weekends, when the whole family is together - the unit functions totally different.  it's literally almost like we are missing our engine while he is at work.  

on top of that you throw in the state of the world and i just can't say i am thrilled with raising a child in this time.  of course, there is no alternative - besides getting super rich and buying an island somewhere.  but one can't disengage completely and so we are left muddling through, doing the best with the resources at hand.  but i think there will always be a part of me that wishes for a simpler time.

in other news, i stopped especially to buy whole fat plain yogurt for my little today and of course had to spend an inordinate amount of time comparing brands and containers, finally decided, paid for it, got all the way home and realized i grabbed french vanilla.  mothereklfjkfsljlk.  niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice.

just because.

Happy Mother's Day to Everyone.  

and to my little bean, thank you for choosing me as your mom, i love you to the moon and back.

your momma


i will do almost anything to avoid confrontation.  with others, i will lie, pay more for an item.  to avoid it within myself, well there's drinking for that.

it is almost a disease, avoiding confrontation.  in my mind/heart, etc it feels like if i can avoid the confrontation and just get over whatever is bothering me, everything will be okay again.  i do it with everyone but the person it impacts the most is my spouse and eventually it will impact my kids.  i am so sensitive and have such a difficult time dealing with other's anger or not even anger, just unpleasant emotions, that i will do almost anything to avoid it.

the hubby and i are watching seinfeld from the beginning and this clip really struck me.  besides being hilarious (which it is) what struck me is that elaine has some chutzpah.  i couldn't help but be a little jealous when i watched this.  in fact, most of the characters on seinfeld are confrontational when the situation arises for it, even nice guy jerry.  and as i've been watching this show, i can't help but think "why can't i have a simple confrontation without having a panic attack?" why if someone else is in the wrong, am i more than willing to make up for their mistake?

i am a people pleaser, i know this, but what i am just starting to realize is how deep this goes and how dangerous it can be to a relationship.  my poor husband has to literally DAHRAG things out of me in order to for us to discuss them and sometimes i won't even do it then.

this post is going to have an abbreviated ending because as of right now... i don't have the answer.  i don't have this secret ingredient that i can say "well i used to be scared to confront but now i can!" so far... it's something i've realized and on my list of things to tackle.

half written.

i have a lot of half written posts.  writing down my life and what has been happening lately (it's been a lot).  but i can't say i have any real interest in finishing them...

as previously mentioned, my husband and i got married pretty quickly, as in less than five months.  and during those five months you would have thought i was waiting five years "ohmygosh i am soreadytobemarried already!!!" now i look back on that time and i wish i would have enjoyed it.  our somewhat crazy nights out (we were in the process of toning it down as we settled into coupledom), my cruise with my best friend that has ended up being my last friend vacation for a while, our lazy saturday afternoons coupled with nights out to dinner.

sometimes it's easy to look back and think "oh we were so in love then" because of course we were.  and it's probably safe to say, i didn't experience quite the same level of frustration with him that i do at times now.  but the truth of the matter is, it was just simpler then.  life was more simple, no kid, separate bank accounts, buying a house and moving was not on our mind.  but "more simple" doesn't mean "more in love" and something needs to be said for the love that endures the complications of life.  that's why love has to grow, you cannot love your husband now as much as you did on your wedding day.  it's safe to say that if you do, your marriage is in trouble, because it has to grow.  just to keep up with the changes you experience, your family experiences.  love has to develop to encompass the struggles and the joys that life brings.  it's safe to say our life was more simple then, but the depth of joy that i experienced at that time is no where near what i have experienced now, especially as i have added motherhood to the mix.

part of me is wanting to get bogged down in the stress we are facing now.  health, finances, it's all there, waiting for me to dwell in it.  but i am doing my best to force myself to remember that our life is only going to get more complicated.  my daughter's problems will turn into things i can't solve just by rocking her, we'll have even more complicated finances as we add a mortgage into the mix, we'll face aging parents, hopefully we'll add another baby into the mix.  there will only be more threads woven in, more ends that will need tied up, so heart treasure this time.  these simple days that you spend in your rental with the baby that you love so dearly.  treasure the simple love that you have for your husband, knowing in ten years, it will be completely transformed into something even deeper.  know that the trials and stress will not go away but as you endure them, they will eventually allow you to experience deep, deep joy as you develop.

"in three words i can sum up everything i've learned about life 'it goes on'" Robert Frost.

time stops for no man, be grateful little heart for right now.