365 Days

Today is my son’s first birthday. I don’t know how many times I am going to say that today, but I have a feeling it will be a lot.

It blows my mind how quickly this year has passed. I remember thinking that my pregnancy went quickly, but I had no idea that the year following would go even faster. The first three...

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Carter's Story (1 Year Old)

I posted this last year, two weeks after Carter was born, six years to the day that Brandon and I had officially been together (that last part wasn't intentional). We wanted to share his story again, because it matters to us. He is our son. Today, on his first birthday, we are remembering the day we finally got to meet him, and the day we had to say goodbye...

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Why We're Worthy

Losing our son was the single worst experience of my entire life. Losing our daughter was a little easier. Miscarrying our third seemed almost routine. They have all been hard, but with each loss, I’ve also lost more and more of my hope and optimism. My motto of “keep moving forward” is getting harder and harder to follow. It gets harder every day to believe that I may...

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A quick weekend in Boise.

I had a whole nice post typed up, and then the page crashed and I'm too lazy to type it all again, so here's the quick version:

We went to Boise for the weekend and really had a great time! We went to a wedding for one of my cheer babies (really. I was getting so emotional seeing her all grown up, even though she's only a year younger than I am), drove by our old house (which we miss a ton, turns out), and went to a baby shower on Saturday. The guys went shooting while us girls went to the shower, but stopped by toward the end. We did a big family dinner that night with all 12 of us that were there (parents, me & Brandon, brothers & s.o.'s, grandma, aunt, cousin & her husband. Later that night we played Bean Bazzled, a risky jelly bean game where one color could have one of two flavors. Good flavors include lime, tutti frutti, pear, caramel corn, and others, while bad flavors were stinky socks, dog food, spoiled milk, rotten eggs, vomit, booger and a few others. It was the worst, but it was some good family bonding time! Then Brandon and I had even more bonding time when we were stuck on the freeway coming home on Sunday due to a rollover. But really I just wanted to share these pictures, because I'm feeling really grateful for my family, and also because they are a good looking bunch. You're welcome.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

And Brandon looking like a model while we wait for traffic to move.

 

Thinking about Carter & a visit from my parents.

This weekend was definitely a good one. My parents got to our house around six on Friday, and after catching up for a bit, we went to Godfather's for dinner. My dad used to work at Godfather's in Idaho Falls when he was younger, and has always loved their pizza, so I'm pretty sure we'll end up there whenever they are in town. And it's so good! After dinner, we wandered around The Container Store to make a little room in our stomach for dessert. The Container Store though...seriously I could buy almost everything in that place. It makes my organization senses tingle and I love it. We went to The Baked Bear for dessert, and Brandon let me choose our combination which meant dark chocolate ice cream and sprinkles!! It was a very good day.

Saturday morning we woke up and drove around to look at cars and houses. We weren't really shopping, but it's just fun to look. We wandered through a few model homes and dreamed of what life could be like. That afternoon, the guys went to the shooting range, and mom and I went to get pedicures. One of the ladies at the salon commented on how tall we are, then asked if I'm going to grow much more. I said I hope not, and then she asked if I was 15 or 16. What?! I wasn't offended, but honestly. I've had two babies, when am I going to start looking my age??? After pedicures/shooting, we went to see The Book of Henry. It was not at all what I was expecting, but it was so good!!! I definitely recommend it.

After a little breakfast on Sunday, we all drove up to Logan. My parents don't get to see the kids very often since Logan is so far from Boise, and kind of out of the way to/from Salt Lake, but I love that they never hesitate to say yes when I ask if they want to go. Brandon and I would have gone up later anyway, but it was nice to be there with my parents. We got to the cemetery and cleaned off the headstone, pulled the weeds around it, and left the babes a little 4th of July decoration. And when I say little, I mean big. Brandon's goal was to get the biggest American flag pinwheel he could find, and I think he did a pretty good job! We said goodbye to my parents at the cemetery, spent a little more time with the babies, then came home and had a relaxing night! We ate ice cream, and ended the weekend with a sunset walk at the lake in Daybreak.

I thought about Carter a lot this weekend, more than usual. On our way to Logan, I was thinking about the day of his service. I started to think that that day seemed like a blur, but that is actually the opposite of true. I remember that day so vividly, with the exception of getting to the cemetery, I don't really remember that. But I do remember how all the family that could be there was, and I remember the abundance of love I felt filling the cemetery that day. I remember going to the luncheon after and being able to share pictures and show off our sweet boy. And I remember going to dinner that night with everyone and wondering how on earth I could laugh when I felt so empty. When the table was minus one tiny person.

I also thought about our delivery, which is something I don't actually let myself think about that often. I am okay to think about being in the hospital, and the process of labor and prepping for delivery and everything after he was born, but it hurts my heart to think about actually delivering my boy. It was such an easy delivery, just a few pushes and there he was. They laid him on my chest, Brandon got to cut the cord, and just like that, we were parents. I was so afraid to touch him, because he was wet and delicate and beautiful. I didn't want to hurt him by cleaning him off, so I let the nurse rub some of the fluid off him while I just kind of laid there and stared at him. It made me feel like a terrible mom. I think about that a lot. There are so many things I regret not doing, and it's really hard not to be mad at myself. I wish I would have bathed him, dressed him, held him for so much longer. But his skin was so fragile...I don't know. I realize this last section doesn't really flow with everything else, but this was all on my mind this weekend. I don't know. I miss my babies.

All the cemetery pictures.

I have a few other posts drafted, but none of them really feel right for today. This one's going to be just kind of a life update. I feel like I just need to ramble today!

Things have been kind of rough since we spread our little bean's ashes. I remember feeling the same way after we buried Carter; it's kind of just like the finality of it all hits and makes life a little harder. We've been doing a lot of nothing, not going anywhere, not interacting with people, and honestly I think we're just trying to stay sane and un-angered at this point in time. We've talked a lot this past week about how we don't really have a lot of patience right now, so home seems like the safest place for us haha. When we do go out, it's just to Costa to get dinner, or to the movies, where we can go and not talk to anyone. We've always been pretty anti-social, but it's kind of at an all time high right now!  After we lost Carter, we were okay staying home because it was cold outside, but it's so nice right now that we almost feel bad if we just stay inside and do nothing all day. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions of things we can do where we don't really have to interact with a lot of people, let us know! 

I'm finally able to work out after the surgery, so we've started going to the gym again. We worked out pretty steadily until we went to Amsterdam, but from then until we lost her, I was always just too worn out to go. I was super surprised at how much I missed working out hard though. Obviously I'd rather be pregnant, but it's nice to go and really push myself again. Plus it gets us out of the house and makes us feel better about how much ice cream we eat, so win win!

On Memorial Day, I woke up to a phone call from my mom letting me know that my dad's aunt had passed away. We've always been really close with her and her husband, and had thankfully seen them twice within the last ten months. We drove to Idaho for the funeral on Friday and spent some nice but sad time with family. We've had way too many family gatherings in the past year. I love my family, but I'm over seeing them just because someone we love passes away. We need something happy to get us together! Brandon and I talked to my uncle (dad's uncle, really, but I call him my uncle) and he was being so tough after the service. I gave him a big hug and he said "You know how it is. We just have to keep going. Keep praying, keep being faithful, and just keep going. We'll be okay."

 I realized then why so many people always tell us that we are so strong. I always say to Brandon "people tell me that I'm strong, but what else am I supposed to do?' but I understood by watching my uncle why people think that. Realistically, he could have been laying on the floor crying and no one would have thought twice about it. He just lost his wife of 63 years; he has every right to be angry and sad. But hugged everyone and smiled, and I know his wife would be so proud of him. I know there will be times when he breaks down, probably when no one is watching, or maybe when someone says the wrong thing at the wrong time, but that day, he really was being strong. 

I think that when we lose someone, or when something bad happens to us, we feel a sense of responsibility to put on a face and make other people feel better. Even though he was being so tough after the funeral, I know how he was feeling, in all those moments when he was talking to everyone. I don't know how a loss on that level feels, but I know that during that hour after the service, when everyone approached him with sadness and tears in their eyes, he somehow was able to summon the courage and strength to put his own tears aside and say what everyone else needed to hear. And people will tell him that he's so strong, but I guarantee that as soon as he got home, or maybe even before he made it home, the tears came, and he wondered how people could think he was strong when inside he felt so broken? But somehow, he was able to do it.

I wrote a post about being "strong" that I'm not ready to share yet, but I'm grateful for my little safe space on the internet where I can write about all the not-strong feelings and times that I have. Thank you for allowing me to have that!

After the funeral, we drove to Logan. We had to take all of Carter's things off his headstone again, this time for the Memorial Day cleanup, and decided that it would be easier to stay the night in Logan, rather than driving home and back up the next day. We stopped to see our babies on our way into town (as we always do) before heading to Brandon's parents' house to sleep. We had some really good family time on Saturday that consisted of breakfast, lunch, and sno cones, and also caught up with some old friends.

When we got to the cemetery that evening, I had some really mixed feelings about it. Overall, I was so happy that we were able to go twice in a 24 hour period. If we lived in Logan, I would be at the cemetery all the time. But I also was really, really sad. We've spent far more time in a cemetery than I ever thought we would. I never imagined we'd be in a cemetery for our own children. It's nice to go and clean up the headstone, take them flowers, and rearrange all the toys, and I don't even mind these times when we have to take everything off the headstone. It makes me feel like I'm being an actual mom and taking care of our babies in some way. We take a picture every time we go, either of the headstone and all their things, or a selfie of us with the babies. Sometimes I feel like it's kind of weird, but it's all we get, so we do it anyway. They aren't ideal family pictures, but they are all we have, and we cherish them so, so much. 

Sorry to just ramble today. Writing helps me to get my thoughts in order (even if they don't make sense on the page) and I actually feel better after writing this post. It was an emotional weekend! And also, thank you for all the kind comments and messages we've received over the last two weeks. I don't know if I've said thank you before now, but we really do appreciate everything you guys do for us!

What a week(end).

You know how when someone's couch has an imprint of their butt on it, and you're supposed to be all like "oh wow, that person spends far too much time in front of their tv. they should get a hobby, they should go outside, they need friends..." Well I ignored all that negative self talk this weekend, and while I didn't leave a permanent imprint, I did leave the couch looking a little more worn than it was on Thursday, so I have deemed it a successful weekend.

Friday night, we got home from work, thought about going to the gym, laughed and headed immediately to the couch to binge 13 Reasons Why. I think I mentioned it before, but I finished the book on Wednesday last week and didn't know the series was being released on Netflix so soon, so I was pretty excited about it. It's probably not for everything, there is a lot of swearing, some sexual content, and the whole story revolves around a suicide, but I think it is an important story that needs to be told. Anyway! We watched it for like four hours until I fell asleep. I honestly think I only got off the couch to go to the bathroom and put my dishes in the sink haha.

Saturday, we slept in for a little bit, then took our time getting ready before running a few errands. Saturday was Sophie's birthday, so we kind of spoiled her all day (as much as you can spoil a cat anyway). She turned six, which is super crazy to me, because that means that Brandon and I have been married for almost six years! Anyway. We did spend some time outside on Saturday (with the cats, that was part of Sophie's birthday treat) and even went for a little walk! We didn't even turn on the tv until that evening, but once we did, we didn't move for the rest of the night. We still haven't finished 13 Reasons Why, but we definitely put a dent in the season.

We woke up early yesterday morning to rain, and enjoyed our morning before driving up to Logan again. Brandon's side of the family was having a big family dinner, so we drove up a little early to see Carter, then went to dinner. The whole drive up was pretty dreary, but when we got to the cemetery, the sky cleared and it was so sunny! I love that the blue skies always come out when we're with him. I have found that I really associate that color with Carter, so it makes me feel like he's there when the sky is so blue and I love it. The family dinner was so much fun that we didn't even notice how late it had gotten until almost eight. It's not a terribly long drive back home from Logan, but apparently long enough that Brandon needed a Dr. Pepper to keep him awake! We're old ladies that like to go to bed early, it's fine.

I feel like this post was just kind of rambly, but I honestly just had a really good weekend, despite how emotionally difficult last week was. I think we both really needed a weekend where we could relax and just be together, and spend a little time resting our brains and our hearts. Next weekend will be a little more exciting with not as much time to rest! Have a good week!

 
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