Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Thoughts

For most people around me, this week was Spring Break.  Even though I work for a school district, I am one of the few who still works through the week (+ the whole summer).  So really it was a lot like any other week lately.

Besides working, I've been spending my evenings catching up on a couple TV series I missed the first time around.  Pretty Little Liars has been Twitter topic in my stream for the last year or so and I finally started watching this month.  Boy, is it suspense-full or what?  And Sam & I decided to start watching The West Wing and I'm really enjoying the story lines and learning a little more about politics at the same time.

I finally took the plunge and joined The Influence Network officially.  I'm really not sure what took me so long seeing as it's hard to go a week without mentioning this community, but this week I have discovered the forums and have already been blessed by some amazing conversations going on there.

Last night I attended my second Influence Network class and yet again, it was just what I needed to hear.  Lindsey shared all about introverts and how to work with it instead of trying to change it.  While some may not think of me as quite introvert (my husband for one, partly because he's much more introverted than I am), a lot that Lindsey shared that really resonated with me and opened my eyes to what I can do to make things easier & not as stressful for me in larger group settings & work situations.  Thank you Lindsey!

This week, several posts caught my attention and had me asking my self some questions in order to dig deeper both in my faith and my every day life.

  • Earlier this week, in preparation for her class last night, Lindsey wrote about how much she doesn't like talking on the phone and I immediately related to this post.  I've never been a fan of the phone mainly because I don't feel like I'm an eloquent speaker and I have been thinking about how I can share that with those who I interact with so I don't hurt their feelings by not calling more.
  • The next post that caught my attention was from Erin at Blue Eyed Bride.  I've followed her blog for years now and mentioned her posts before, but her post this week on her family's mission and in a world where families aren't always on the same page in how they are living, this post left me wondering why we haven't thought about creating a mission statement for our family...
  • And lastly, Jessi from Naptimes Diaries, wrote an amazing post about six little questions we should be asking ourselves about how we're living this life God has given us to the fullest.  I've returned to these questions several times this week and even changed my direction mid-day to get back on course.  I'd urge you to check out these questions if you're looking for more out of your day.

So that’s what I’m thinking about this week.  What's grabbed your attention this week?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Life After

This might be an obvious statement, but I'm going to say it anyways: adjusting to life after Charlotte has been hard.

For most of my pregnancy, all my thoughts and prayers went into hoping Charlotte would be miraculously cured and we'd get the chance to watch her grow up. 

When the day finally came that we met out baby girl, the only thing I could pray for is that Charlotte knew how much we loved her, always & forever.  

And then when she left us, my prayers quickly turned towards surviving another minute/hour/day without her. 

While we’re still experiencing a heart ache that neither of us ever knew possible, we continue to encourage each other to get out of bed every morning (even if only to sit on the couch all day) and navigate this new path we’ve been directed to walk down.

As someone who enjoys reading about others experiences, Google has become my go-to especially when I find myself wondering how others have survived a particularly difficult situation.  Thankfully, I have found quite a few resources that have helped with some of my unanswered questions, but there have also been times where I come up empty when looking for other people's accounts regarding certain topics we've come across.  Which brings me to this post.

As a result of attending my first Influence Network class earlier this month, I left feeling encouraged to share about our loss and, more specifically, what life has looked like for us since December.  So over the next month, my plan is to spend some time each week addressing my thoughts around the following experiences:

  • How we have got through happy occasions like holidays & family gatherings;
  • How we've navigated through new mom “things” like pumping & putting away all the gifts we received without a baby around to show for it;
  • How we have dealt with questions about Charlotte & the future that have inevitably been asked.

Not only do I hope this will be therapeutic for myself after what we've been through, but I pray that this will also benefit others who, unfortunately, might be going through a similar experience and wondering the same thing.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Thoughts

It never ceases to amaze me how fast the months fly by with each passing year.

This year, it feels like I blinked and we’re already half way through March. 

I’m just going to blame it on getting older.

Regardless, we’re already half way through March and we’re not looking back!

Last weekend, we escaped to the Oregon coast with my in-laws.  They have a family friend who lends them their beach house every couple years and we get to tag along.  The last time we went, our sweet little niece was still in her mama’s tummy, so it was definitely fun to experience the new surroundings through her eyes.  We didn't have any set plans, but we managed to walk along the coast (several times), play a couple games of Settlers of Catan, share thoughts & conversations by the fire, and take a spin on the carousel, to name a few things.  And even though we got back pretty  late on Sunday, I still felt rested & ready for the week ahead.

Other than our weekend away, this week has been pretty quiet.

However, I’ve been feeling pretty inspired by my Internet “friends” (I haven’t met many of them in person, but certainly feel blessed by them on a daily basis).  Not only are their comments uplifting, but their posts on their own blog leave me feeling like they are writing just for me!

  • This first one should come as no surprise (I find it hard to go a week without mentioning the Influence Network to someone, which means they must be doing their job :)).  This week, Heather Boersma wrote about the process of pruning on the Influence Network blog and for obvious reasons, this post was just what I needed to hear as I continue to struggle with why God has led us where we are.
  • On a similar note, Kim (from oh, sweet joy!) also shared her heart this week on being good enough in a world that feels like it’s constantly tearing you down.  It was nice reminder that I plan to return to whenever I start to second guess myself.
  • Lastly, I really enjoyed reading Jessi from Naptime Diaries’ post about being more than just a mom.  While I don’t have little ones at home, I have thought about being a stay-at-home mom when we do and wondered a lot about if that will be enough.  I loved Jessi’s idea that every mom is a mom plus, which is something I think many people need to hear.

So that’s what I’m thinking about this week.  What's grabbed your attention this week?

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I posted this last month on my Facebook page and three months out, I can still say that I run across some of these people.  I know it's hard to find the right thing to say, I really do.  But sometimes it's not about saying anything at all, just being there for someone in need.  So to those who have just listened as I work through my feelings of heartache, thank you! You might never know how much your actions have meant to me, but I hope you can tell how much they mean to me!

"Somebody said
it was all for the best,
that something was probably wrong.

Somebody said
it was meant to be,
Different verse,
same miserable song.

Somebody said,
"You can have another!"
As if that would make it alright.

Somebody said
"It was not a real child."
Somebody's not very bright.

Somebody thinks it is helpful
To say when grieving should end.
Somebody shows their true colors.
Somebody isn't a friend.

But somebody said, "I'm sorry."
And sat quietly by my side.
And somebody shared my sorrow
And held my hand when I cried.

And somebody always listened
And called my lost baby by name.
And somebody understood
That I'd never again be the same." -Unknown

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Bullets

  • This week was sort of a bag of mixed emotions.
  • Last weekend, we had a couple guests come stay with us - my MIL, SIL, and adorable niece (my FIL & BIL were at a retreat) - and it felt great to have the house full of people.
  • We read books, climbed the stairs, played with little “guys”, took a walk, and looked at photo albums of baby Charlotte.
  • Fun for all!
  • At least until Monday, when my mood changed.
  • While waiting for a meeting to start first thing Monday morning, I was asked the question I have been dreading for the last few months…
  • “How’s that baby of yours doing?”
  • As I mentioned on Twitter, I feel like I held it together pretty well, simply answering that she didn’t make it, but boy if it didn’t feel like my heart was being ripped out of my chest.
  • Of course the person who asked had no idea what had happened and felt really bad for asking, which makes me feel sad as well, and I knew this question would be asked, I just wasn't expecting it would hurt so much.
  • Tuesday also marked 3 months since we met our baby girl, obviously another hard day.
  • I spent a lot of the day thinking about Charlotte and the milestones she’d be reaching this month, which always makes me a little more sad than usual.
  • My day ended on a good note with attending my first Influence Network class.
  • I want to write a whole post about it, but in case I don’t, I want it to be said that Raechel’s class on Loving & Being Loved through Loss was exactly what my heart desired to hear this week!
  • Not only was the topic near & dear to my heart, but the class setting with live video, a PowerPoint presentation, and chat boxes to allow interaction between all attendees was great too.
  • I am looking forward to checking out all the blogs & resources that were mentioned.
  • Speaking of blogs, I did want to share a few of my favorite posts from this week.
    • I really don’t pay too much attention to how many people actually read my blog, but I do know my blog isn’t that popular for one reason – I haven’t received my first mean comment.  That might sound weird to some of you, but I have seen many posts in regards to how mean some people can be towards a blogger’s post and that just makes me sad.  Lindsay at Hello Hue shared what she’s learned about dealing with the ugly side of the online community, which had some great ideas and was really well put.
    • Google Reader announced this week that it’ll be shutting down this summer and a lot of people posted about where they’d read their blogs from after GR is gone.  Nina of According to Nina wrote a great post about switching over to Feedly that seems not only easy, but quick.  I think I might even make the change before summer starts.
    • Mandy from House of Rose shared the 9 things she can’t live without at a blog conference and I found it really helpful, even if I haven’t been to one to know what they are like.  I’ve starred this post for future reference and hope I get to use her advice one day… (maybe in September for the Influence Conference J)
  • We’re off to the coast for the weekend to hang out with my in-laws and celebrate some belated birthdays.
  • Even though it’s not supposed to be very nice, I’m still looking forward to getting away for a few days to read by the fire, play games, and engage in good conversation.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Three Months

"Sometimes you will never know 
the true value of a moment 
until it becomes a memory." 

We miss you baby girl!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Bullets

  • Looking back, this week was pretty good and relatively quiet (compared to others), which is just what I needed.
  • The weather might have something to do with my happy mood.
  • Here in Oregon, we might be waking up to some chilly temperatures, but by mid-morning the sun is shining and it’s beautiful out!
  • And thankfully, it’s stayed nice throughout the day and we’ve gotten a walk or two in this week after work.
  • I hope we can take advantage of the weather this weekend when my MIL, SIL, and niece come down to visit on Saturday.
  • Maybe a trip to the park or even a walk around the neighborhood would be good for all of us.
  • Also on the agenda for the weekend – spring cleaning!
  • I have never really been a hoarder, but lately I’ve been in a extra purging mood.
  • Besides the usual of vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing, and laundry, I also plan to make another sweep through the house to see if there is anything else we can sell or donate.
  • My closet has already been conquered this week and placed for sale on eBay.
  • In case you missed it, I also reviewed my first Stitch Fix this week, which helped me decide what I love and loathe when it comes to my closet.
  • If you're looking to see what stylist might pick out for you, sign up for your own Stitch Fix here!
  • I’m still thinking (& praying) about attending the Influence Conference in September.
  • And this week they held a link up for those who are members of the Influence Network and wow, there some amazing women involved! 
  • The more people I find through this network, the more I feel like I understand the reason behind why I feel like I’m being called to go.
  • We’ll see if the introvert in me can stand down & trust in Him...
  • Well I’m off to finish out the work week and get on with the weekend.

Any fun weekend plans ahead for you?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Stitch Fix #1

Several months ago I read a post by Raechel Myers about a new service that involves a personal stylist who finds clothes and accessories based on my likes and ships them directly to my doorstep.  For someone who enjoys new clothes, but doesn't like to try things on in the store, Stitch Fix seemed like it was meant to me.

About a month after I signed up, I received my notification that my first Fix was ready.  I scheduled the date that worked best for me and waited to see which five items my personal stylist would pick out for me.  And when they did, I hoped I would like at least something...

Picasso Geo Print Cotton Cardigan by Angie

Bilson Pleat Detail Tabsleeve Blouse by Daniel Rainn 
& Florian Overlap Tulip Pocket Skirt by Dylan and Rose

 Korye Knit Longsleeve Top &
Carlita Cotton Crochet Top, 
both by Mystree

The verdict: pleasantly surprised!

Not only did I like at least one item I received, I actually liked four items enough to think about purchasing them.  On top of wondering if I'd like anything that was picked out for me, a little part of me was worried that everything would be too expensive for my usually clearance-only taste.  But with a $20 styling fee that can be used as a credit towards whatever I end up keeping and a 25% discount if I decide to keep everything in the box, the price point is pretty reasonable in my opinion.

In the end, I decided to only keep one item (the Carlita Cotton Crochet Top by Mystree, actually I ended up keeping the Korye Knit Longsleeve Top by Mystree), but not because I didn't like the other items, but rather I just felt that this top was different from most I already have in my closet, yet I can see it being paired with a lot that I already own.

I'm already looking forward to my next Stitch Fix and seeing what else they pick out for me.  It's really easy to sign up and you don't pay any money until you schedule your first Fix.  Sign up here!  (And come back & leave me a comment if you do because I'd love to see what you get too.)

Have you tried Stitch Fix?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday Bullets

  • Happy Friday!
  • All week, I've been thinking it's one day and it's really another. 
  • Like on Tuesday, I was convinced it was Monday and was pleasantly surprised when I was wrong.
  • Maybe my little getaway to see my mom last weekend had something to do with it.
  • But honestly, I seriously think that trip carried me through this week.
  • We shopped, we ate, we shopped some more, and we pampered ourselves --- all so needed!
  • But the goodbye part is never fun and before I got on the plane, we were already planning my next visit.
  • In other news, have you heard about the Influence Network?
  • I first heard about it after their first conference last September, when my Twitter feed was all abuzz with the amazing things that were happening there.  
  • Well, this week, the Influence Network announced their annual conference information and I haven't stopped thinking about it all week.
  • I've never been to a conference and to be honest, the idea of going by myself makes me beyond nervous, yet something in my heart is telling me to go-go-go!
  • Tickets don't go on sale until next month, so my plan is to spend the month praying about whether I should attend or not.
  • Any words of encouragement for those who have attended conferences like this one would be very welcome :)
  • Lately, my Google Reader has been full of posts I feel like have been written just for me.
  • A couple from this week include:
    • Lindsey from The Kubly Girl's posts are something I look forward to each week because I really feel like we have a lot in common.  This week, she wrote about being an introvert and it hit home for me.  She's hosting an online class this month on this topic and I can't wait to hear what she has to say!
    • Rhi from Rhi in Pink (the one I got 'Friday Bullets' from in the first place) posted recently about trusting your instincts when it comes to parenting and while I don't have a child at home at this time, I felt like it was good information for any aspect of life.  I'm a firm believer that your first instincts are usually correct.

So, how's your week been?