Long Time in Between

It’s been months since I’ve posted, and so much has happened in that time.  We were matched to adopt a baby girl due in June, but that match fell through at the last-minute.  We’ve been traveling (Colorado most recently) and trying to live our lives as a family of two, but it’s hard at times.

We’re back on the adoption wait, hoping for a match soon.  I have a couple of trips planned coming up (FL to visit a friend and KY with my bestie), so that helps pass the time!  I’ll try to get back on here and post more often, especially with all my crafts and home remodel stuff!

Oh!  And also training for triathlons now!  I completed my first one in early June and I have two more that I’m already registered for!  It’s hard work, but helps me focus my energy, so that’s good!  I’ll post more on those at a later date!

Missed you all, hope you’re well,
K.

Whirlwind

journey

It’s been a month, but what a month it has been.  J and I have been planning out our cruise, and getting stuff done with work.  I’ve been traveling for work a bit, and right now I’m sitting at our offices in Wisconsin.  It’s been insanely busy, but not too stressful (which is good…normally busy = stressed in my life), and overall I’m just plugging along.

However, there have been some major changes going on!  After our failed IVF last year, we had intended on doing another cycle in February.  Then, we booked a cruise, that had us going to the Caribbean, and with the Zika virus outbreak and scare going on, we weren’t comfortable trying to get pregnant prior to going into a potential hot bed for the virus.  So, we decided to push off IVF until after we returned from the cruise, since my meds weren’t going to expire any time soon.

And that was all good and well.  I mean, it wasn’t ideal or anything, but we would have handled it.  But honestly, ever since our failed IVF, I haven’t really felt very confident in this next round working.  And, while my IVF cycle was VERY easy (I didn’t have a lot of problems with the meds or the procedure), I wasn’t really keen on putting my body through all that again for little to no payout.  J and I started talking about options, and he opened up that he wasn’t overly confident in the next IVF round working as well, so we decided to just not go forward with it.  With both of us feeling defeated before we even began, it didn’t make much sense to throw so much time and money at the issue, not to mention medical procedures that have a level of risk involved.

Which left us with a few different options.  We considered embryo adoption for a short while, but decided that we weren’t really interested in going down that path.  I am not really tied to the idea of being pregnant, only in being a mother, so at the end of the day I’d be fine skipping pregnancy altogether.  Once we discussed that, the decision was pretty clear…we were moving on to adoption!

And, with that…here we are.  We’ve started the home study process with our chosen adoption agency, and are in the midst of gathering mountains of paperwork.  Luckily, it’s all pretty easy to compile, except for our background checks from when we lived in the Netherlands.  That’s requiring a bit more finagling than I initially realized, but thankfully we have good friends who are Dutch and have been helping us out.  We’re very excited to be moving forward down this path, and can’t wait to bring home a baby!!  It feels right, which only adds to the excitement of it all.  Hopefully, the process will move smoothly and we’ll be growing our family shortly!

Much love,
K.

A Little Dash of Crazy…

I realize that my blog posting has been regular sporadic at best, which isn’t something that I had ever planned on.  But, as we all know, life has a way of going against even the best laid plans.

bestiesAfter Easter, things were fairly smooth.  I was working on a couple crochet projects (sadly, my Crochet Challenge blanket has taken a major back seat), and planning for my trip to Texas to visit my dearest, most bestest, friend.  I wanted to finish at least one blanket before I left (which I did…more on that in another post) and then have a weekend of relaxation with L.  I left for Dallas last Thursday, ready to relax!

Friday morning, all hell broke loose.  My mother called me while I was in the shower, to let me know that my father was in the hospital.  He had fallen the evening before and shattered his elbow, and now had to have surgery to repair it.  Both of my parents are older in age, and my father has Parkinson’s and early stages of Alzheimer’s, so any sort of disruption to his schedule hits him pretty hard.

Dad went into surgery and came out just fine.  Unfortunately, he was very weak (partly due to surgery and partly due to the Parkinson’s) and the anesthesia really caused problems with his mental comprehension and memory (due to the Alzheimer’s).  He was very confused and thought my mom had sent him to a nursing home and left him there, and was understandably upset.  After a few days, that calmed down quite a bit, which we were all grateful for.

Mom told me to stay in Dallas and spend time with L, so I stayed until Sunday.  Monday morning, I drove back home to see my father, who was still in the hospital.  By the time I got there, he was doing better, but still not great.  He was much more steady on his feet, which meant he could go home much more quickly than we had anticipated, but his mental comprehension still wasn’t great.  He wasn’t sure who I was, and at one point thought my best friend, L, was his daughter.  I can’t even begin to describe how absolutely heart breaking it is to know that my father will one day not recognize me.  I try not to focus on it, as we’re not there quite yet (I’m still convinced his lack of recognition was due to the pain medicine, etc.) but it’s hard to know that it will eventually happen.  I know we all grow older, but it’s still like a knife in my gut.

dad and iLast night, Dad was finally released from the hospital.  For awhile, we were concerned that we’d have to put him in assisted living for a short amount of time, but we managed to arrange for in-home care for him.  I am so thankful for that, because I really think he’ll do much better in his own home and his comfort environment.  Plus, it makes it easier on Mom, so she won’t have to run back and forth.

Overall, it’s been insane in the past week.  To top it all off, I managed to pick up some sort of sinus infection while on the flight home (or the hospital), and now have zero voice.  I’m looking forward to the weekend, where I can just sleep for as long as I want, and hopefully get better!  I promise that my next post will be an update on all my crochet projects, which will be a much happier post!  Until then…have a happy Wednesday!

Much love,
K.

30 Days of Blogging: My Happy Place

happy placeIt’s the final question for my “30 Days of Blogging” Challenge!  It took much longer to complete than I initially anticipated, but sometimes the best things in life aren’t the easiest.  I feel like even though I knew the answers to all of these questions, quite a few of them really provoked a lot of thought for my response.  And introspection is a good thing to entertain, every now and then.

My last question is probably the hardest.  “Where am I happiest”…a good question, to be sure, and one that really made me step back and think before answering.

The truth of it is, I struggle to be happy.  I’m a pretty content person, and have a wide range of emotions (with quite of lot of emotional instability), but it’s hard for me to pinpoint when I’m truly happy.  I will say, when I think back to all my “happy” moments, the vast majority have included J.  He’s my rock, my emotional stability.  He’s my perfect north on a compass.  When I’m with him, I feel like I’m the most “ME” that I can be.  No matter where we are, I feel like it’s home, because he’s there.

So, in reality, I can’t pick a place I’m happiest.  With J would be my answer.  The place doesn’t matter, just the person beside me.

 

Much love,
K.

Out with the Old, and In with the New

I realize that I’ve been a bit MIA from the blogging world.  I took a few months off from blogging…I wanted to give myself a chance to regroup, figure out where I wanted to take this blog, and give myself a break.  In the end, I am so glad I did it.  I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to put myself out there with certain aspects of my life, and I needed to decide how much I was comfortable sharing with the world.  While I never intended my blog to be solely based on the superficial aspects of my life, it’s incredibly nerve-wracking to determine just how much of your soul you’re willing to bare to the masses.  I needed to determine that line in the sand for myself, and the best way to do so was to just step away from it all.

2014 was a year of changes.   I spent a good portion of the year getting used to being back in the US and becoming comfortable in my career and relationships.  I can honestly say that I ended the year at a much better place than I started it, which is all anyone can ask for, I guess.  I also spent the year working on a happier and healthier me, which resulted in losing over 60 pounds and getting back to the weight I was in high school.  I’m healthier than I’ve ever been, but it’s taken a long time to get to this point.  Worth every minute, for sure.  The house has undergone several months of remodel, and while we’re not finished, we’re making progress.  I feel such a sense of ownership in this house, and it’s so satisfying knowing that my sweat and effort has gone into making it what it’s become.

But, just like anything in life, there was some bad interspersed with the good.  2014 brought with it a year of trying to conceive our first child, unsuccessfully. It brought with it visits and testing with specialists, and a diagnosis of unexplained infertility.  It brought heartache and frustration, both with the circumstances and my body, and we ended 2014 the same way we began it…still a family of 2 adults and 3 cats.  2014 taught me a lot about patience and struggling with the feeling that life isn’t fair (a good lesson for anyone, to be sure), and I’m still learning to be hopeful in the face of great sadness.  A part of me wanted to wrap myself in a cloak of denial, refusing to give voice to our struggles in the hopes that it would all just magically go away.  Obviously, that didn’t happen, and I got tired of feeling like I was hiding a large part of what had become my life.  So…while it won’t be the focus of all my blog posts, or even the majority, I’ll probably talk about it from time to time.

But, today marks a new year.  I have so many hopes and dreams for 2015.  I want to work on being even healthier, and continue running and picking up mileage.  I want to finish our bathroom and basement remodel, and show the world the fruits of all our hard labor.  I want to become a mother, or at least get pregnant, and finally expand our family.  Of course, these are only a few of my goals, but to sit here and name them all would probably bore you to tears.  Besides…these are the big ones, so there you go.

So…here’s to a new year.  Out with the old, and in with the new.  I wish you all the very best for 2015…may your year be full of happiness and laughter, and may your year finish even better than it started.

Much love,
K.

Life has a way of kicking you in the teeth.

Just when we thought everything was finally calming down with medical issues in the family, life had other plans.  Sunday evening, en route from Tokyo airport to Chicago, I got a text message from J’s mom that J’s father was being admitted to the hospital for chest pains.  For those of you who have been around for some time, J’s father had a massive heart attack on J’s birthday last year.  If you’re relatively new to my blog, the post explaining everything is here.  The doctor’s at the hospital took J’s father back to surgery immediately, and put in a stent to prevent further heart attacks and to allow the clot to flow.  J’s father recovered fairly quickly and was doing really well.  Until now.

Sunday came, and J’s father had chest pains.  The Nitro wasn’t helping, so he went to the ER and they promptly admitted him after looking at his history.  The doctors went back in and did another heart cath (luckily, they were able to go through his wrist this time instead of his groin), and determined that it was another block that was causing the pain, not the artery with the stent in it.  At this point, they had two options.

Option 1:  Put in a second stent.  This option, while not bad, wasn’t the best because J’s father is diabetic.  Due to the diabetes, the doctors have had better luck with a different course of action, rather than placing another stent.  Stents are more of a short-term fix in J’s father’s case, so they were wanting to make sure they were keeping their eye on the future, not just the “here and now.”

Option 2:  Bypass surgery.  At this point, the doctors were looking at AT LEAST a triple bypass, if not quadruple.  They felt this was a better option due to J’s father’s diabetes.  The only concern was the heavy dose of blood thinners that he was on, due to the stent placed last year.

J’s father decided to go with the bypass surgery, and has been scheduled for Monday.  We’re all nervous and worried about how this will play out, but we’re hopeful this will solve the problem.  J is a wreck, but hanging in there, which is good.  Overall, any spare prayers out there would be greatly appreciated.

That’s all that’s going on in my world…everything ok in yours?

Much love,
K.

One of those days.

Do you ever have one of those days where you feel like nothing you are doing is good enough?  I’m struggling with leadership at work, struggling with my relationship with my mother…just all around struggling.

Today was the final straw.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve been really discouraged at work.  I love my job, don’t get me wrong.  Love it.  But I’m struggling with some of the aspects of leadership and how that applies to my team.  I lead two different teams and each person has WILDLY different personalities…which really makes it difficult to find the best leadership style to use to get everyone on the same page.  It’s a lot to really juggle, and I really never understood how hard it would be until I was in this position.  Obviously, I’m not giving up, but I’ve been doing a lot of internal searching these past few weeks, to find a way to be the most effective I can be, while leading and encouraging my team at the same time.

So, this is all background.  Sure, I’m struggling at work, but that’s ok because it’s a hard job and no one gets it right all the time.  And if that were the ONLY area of my life I were feeling less than par in, well…well done in my book!  But, it’s not.  Ever since my mother found out that I’ve started the process of converting to Catholicism, she’s been incredibly discouraging, to the point of being downright mean (she’s told me multiple times I’m going to Hell).

So…today, after multiple weeks of being beat down at work, I’m walking through Lowe’s looking at tile and whatnot, and thought I’d give her a call.  I used to call more often (several times a week), but realized that every time I spoke to her on the phone, I’d leave the conversation bitter and angry because SHE is so bitter and angry…and I was internalizing all those feelings coming off of her in waves.  So…I still call…at least 1-2 times a week…which to me is PLENTY sufficient!  But anyways…I call her.  First words out of her mouth (after “hello”) is, “Well, you never call anymore.  What is this, the second time in two weeks?!”  I tried to defend myself (no idea why I bother), and mentioned that she hadn’t called me either (she never calls me, it’s my responsibility to call her), and she made the comment that when she calls, I never answer or I’m working.

Now, she’s right.  When I’m working, I cannot take personal calls constantly.  But how does she know that?!  SHE NEVER CALLS ME AT WORK!  I apologized that I couldn’t talk on the phone a lot while at work, because I was supposed to be, you know, WORKING.  She replies that “It’s not WORK that’s the problem.”  Which means, in mom speak, it’s back to the Catholic issue AGAIN.  I am so tired of having to defend myself to her!  I’ve explained my position again and again, and I (foolishly) wish she’d either a) be happy for me, or b) keep her mouth shut about it.  Then she goes on to say she’s not sure if we’re doing Thanksgiving this year.  Honestly, I feel bad saying this, but I’d rather we didn’t.  This way, I would be guaranteed a stress-free holiday with my husband, at home, where we could relax.  But, I know that won’t last and we’ll be expected to attend (once she gets over this snit, and before she gets into the next one).  I miss living overseas for this EXACT reason.

But anyway…the point to this is…I’m never good enough for her.  If I try to be good enough, she tells me that I think I’m better than everyone because I’ve lived overseas and have a few degrees.  If I don’t follow her exact plan to the letter, I’m a bad daughter who’s causing her so much stress and worry.  I truly cannot win, and I’m getting exhausted even trying.

So, there it is.  I’m tired of struggling with this feeling.  Work is work…I expect to feel this way at times.  But my own mother?!  I’m just not sure where to go from here with her.

Much love,
K.