Saturday, August 27, 2011

2004, year 5

When you really sit down and think about memories, I have found that some of the best one's fall into a basic time frame in my brain, but to remember the exact year it happened isn't always real easy.  So, the memory I am going to tell here I BELIEVE happened this year, but I won't swear on it.  Because I BELIEVE it did, I'm using it as this memory :-)

We made the decision this year to go on vacation to Virginia Beach.  K's parents had an old pop up camper  (K wasn't big on tent camping) and they were willing to let us borrow it, along with K's dad's new truck.  So we packed up the camper, put our bikes and K's motorcycle in the truck, and made the long drive from Ohio to Virginia. 

After we had been there for a few days, we decided to make the drive to the outer banks and go to Kitty Hawk, NC.  Makes sense, since K is (and always has been) involved with Airplanes.  So, we packed up a backpack, hopped on the bike, and headed out.  When we got there we realized that we weren't thinking, and hadn't brought bathing suits.  So, we did some shopping and hit the beach in Kitty Hawk.  It was an amazing time, and we loved soaking up the sun. 

I think I've mentioned before that K's bike is a go fast bike. 

So, there we were, chilling out on the beach.  Suddenly K looks up and says 'We have to go.  NOW.'  So I look up and see storm clouds rolling in.  They look pretty nasty, to say the least.  So, we are running across the street to get to the bike, throwing on our shorts and shoes on the way.  I didn't even take time to throw on a shirt over my bathing suit top.  I don't think either of us put on socks.  We knew we had to get out of there, and quick.

Go fast bikes are not fun in the rain, and they aren't very safe either.  So, we take off, K driving like a mad man trying to keep in front of the storm.  We keep looking behind us to see that sucker moving FAST.  So, we are halfway across the, what do you call it... the causeway I think it is... that runs out of Kitty hawk to get you through the rest of the outer banks.  It's really pretty long.  We are just getting on it when the storm hits.  I've never thought rain could feel like needles, but it did during this ride.  K tries to tail a SUV as it helps us from getting hit with as much of the rain, and keeps his traction a little better.  The SUV is uncomfortable with this and we finally give up.  We just rode as fast as we dared, all the way back to Virginia Beach.  By the time we got to the causeway that splits NC and VA (that really long land bridge surrounded by the ocean on one side and some kind of inlet on the other if I'm getting my geography right HAHA), the water is getting closer to the road.  Yikes!

By the time we get back to the campground we're both soaked and shivering.  But, it was a blast!  We had so much fun that day, even if it ended with the ride of our lives!!

The rest of the trip I managed to get the cartilage in my ear pierced (that only lasted about a year), we rode jet skies (K actually let me drive even though I pierced his tongue on a jet sky once), we did a whale watching tour, lots of window shopping and being lazy on the beach.  It was an amazing time, and I can't wait to do it again!

It's coming down pretty hard and fast, and you can see the water rising. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

2003, year 4

First, if you've missed the first few installments of my years with K, you can find them below:
The year we met
Our second year
Our third year together

I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with a good story from this year.  I could go obvious and tell about buying our house, but to me that's boring.  I have lots of good memories from this year, but for some reason none are calling my name to write about.  The first one's, and a couple after, have almost been whispered to me, you know?  While they may not be the 'obvious' stories, they are for me.  Except for 2003.  I could tell you about how we spent our first anniversary (downtown), or how we got our first dog (she didn't work out real well).  I could tell about sledding down our hill at Thanksgiving for the first time, or the busted soda bottles we found on our side porch after we finished sledding (what a mess!!), or how K's brother and I made peace that year.  I could laugh with you about our first Halloween in the house, at the end of a dead end street, so we parked the truck in the street and handed out from the bed of the truck (didn't go over real well, it was creepy to people - we didn't do it again!)

But none of those spoke to me.  But after talking it through, I know what does.  I'll tell you about a moment we had one evening not long after we moved into said first house.  We signed all the paperwork for the purchase and got the keys on my Birthday, April 14.  We actually kept our apartment for an extra month and did a LOT of work to the house before we moved in.  I couldn't tell you what day this moment happened, or even if it was before or after we moved in.  All I know is that we were exhausted from a long day and walked outside to relax a little.

Our backyard was magnificent.  We were set on an acre of land, at the end of a dead end street.  Our neighbors were close, but not THAT close.  Our backyard butted up to a creek, and our side yard to some woods.  No street lights.  Just far enough from the city that you could see a lot of stars, although not as many as really being in the country.  The house sat atop a hill so that you looked down into the backyard.

We walked outside and initially just kinda hung out in the side yard.  At some point K turned towards the backyard and I did not.  The thing I remember best was the low whistle followed by a quiet 'wow'.  It was one of those moments that you know something amazing has just happened.  I turned around to ask him what, but the question died on my lips as I stared in wonderment at this paradise that was our backyard.  Everywhere you looked there were hundreds, thousands, of teeny tiny flashing lights.  Jumping out of the darkness, first here, then there.  No matter where you looked your eyes caught shadows from the trees and blinking lights.  Lightening bugs.

I grew up with lightening bugs, knowing the power that they could hold on a young mind.  I never realized the power they could have over an adult until I saw them, really saw them, for the first time.  In that quiet night, surrounded by inky blackness that was only taken away by these magnificent creatures.  Talking to each other across our yard, through the woods, and allowing us to share in their dance. 

I don't know how long we stood there, staring, without saying a word.  At some point in time I moved closer to K and he wrapped his arms around me and we watched.  We really watched.  When we went back inside we felt rejuvenated instead of the bone tired from working full time, going to school, and moving into a new home that needed work. 

Every year after that, we spent evenings out there, enjoying our little light show.  Sometimes it started in the spring, sometimes closer to summer, but in the middle of summer was always the best.  If there is one thing I miss about that house (except maybe for our custom kitchen that we built ourselves), it is those little lightening bugs.  I wished away the winters because I hated winter with excitement and anxiety to enjoy our quiet evenings full of light every year.  Every year I was amazed at the way God's grace showed in this simple little thing. 

Even though the house is rented now, it is still OURS.  Next year, I will make it out there, if only for one night, to enjoy the beauty of God's creation.

Friday, August 12, 2011

2002, year 3

I could again go with the obvious, and talk about our wedding.  This time though, I think I will!

When we had gotten engaged in March 2001, I immediately decided that I wanted to get married on June 22, 2002.  I honestly didn't even know if it was a Saturday or not, but lucky for us, it was.

I planned our wedding for us, and had a blast doing it.  But as every bride knows, the last few weeks before the wedding I was stressed.  K told me I lost weight, but I didn't realize how much until I look back at pictures.  I was (am) pretty small to begin with, and I lost somewhere around 10 or so pounds.  May not seem like much, but I was skin and bones.

The two weeks before the wedding, I lived on ice cream.  It was shaping up to be a hot summer, which I thought I wouldn't have to worry about by getting married in June.  Boy was I wrong.  The day of the wedding  it was in the 90's with a heat index over 100.  Awesome.

I made it through the morning with tears falling only twice, once when we passed the cemetary where my Grandma was buried (she was supposed to be there for this!), and once when a former boss, as well as longtime friend, came down to see me in the room where we got ready.  We had some laughs getting the dress on without messing up my hair, veil, or makeup.  In the pictures as I am getting ready to walk up the stairs to walk down the aisle, you can see the excitement in my eyes.

The moment that I walked down the aisle was magical.  Both of my parents gave me away, and the excitement between K and I was palpable. We memorized our vows, but when I stood in front of that church, looking into K's eyes, I almost completely forgot them.  Messed em up a little, but no one but us knew.  When we did the part where K had to say 'I take you as my wedded wife' he said 'wedded husband' and the whole church laughed.  When the Father (a catholic wedding) said 'you may kiss the bride' we kissed, then we kissed again.  Right before the Father pronounced us man and wife, he made a comment that he was surprised K wasn't taking me away on his motorcycle (a go fast bike) instead of the limo we hired. 

As we walked back down the aisle, new man and wife, I know that everyone could feel our happiness.  One of the greatest pictures I have, but unfortunately not in digital format, is of that moment, I have a HUGE grin on my face, and K is giving the camera a thumbs up.  Says it all.

Some pictures from the church, after the ceremony:

I cannot say the rest of the day went off without a hitch.  As I mentioned, it was unbearably hot.  When we left to drive around before pictures, we had to stop and get me some nuts and water because I felt faint.  Then, we went to get pictures at the botanical gardens, and after we were done I took my shoes off because my feet were swelling, then couldn't get them back on.  So, we went to the mall (the entire wedding party) instead of the art museum.  Cooled down, bought some slippers, and got some lemonade.

Then we headed to the reception hall, where we managed to beat most of our guests due to a train.  So we left and went back.  In the process, someone realized that we had forgotten all of our mixed CD's at the church, 20 mins away.  They included all of 'our' songs (my brother was acting DJ for us).  So, my mom, being a saint, gave money to some friends and sent them out for the most important songs.

The reception was a blast.  Lots of dancing, lots of talking, lots of pictures.  In fact, the photographers were great, which was good because I found out that the photographer I had hired was sending someone in his place - 2 days before the wedding.  I almost had a melt down about that one... very stressed.

At the end of the reception, my mom and I fought over the fact that she forgot my contact solutions and case.  Then, we left and realized that the keys to our truck were back at the church.  So we had to wait outside, in the muggy heat in my dress, while someone ran to get them out of another car and brought them back to us.

But you know what?  It's all good memories.  Nothing bad about it at all.  The whole day was magical, as was the night :-)  When we finally made it to our hotel room in downtown, we overlooked the river.  It was so picture perfect.  We made some coffee, then counted our money from the dollar dance - pathetic, I know.  We needed some wind down time before we enjoyed consumating the new marriage.  The day was long awaited, and of course, flew by so fast.  Everything fell into place, even when dealing with the difficulties mentioned, and those I chose to leave out. 

This day was the moment that I felt my life come together.  It was the culmination of bad and good choices that built me as a person, and that person was who K fell in love with.  I thank God everyday for his love and devotion.  Without him I would be a lost soul.  With him, I am whole.  I love you K.

The honeymoon was in Jamaica, and was full of it's own surprises.  I'll give you two of the one's that still make us laugh.  One day we were enjoying a shower together, and I heard something, so I pulled back the curtain to find the maid handing us some towels, letting us know that they had been short towels when they cleaned the room. 

The second was the 3:00am knock on the door by a hooker (yep, a hooker) trying to convince K that she needed a place to sleep, and no, his new wife wouldn't care.  Um, yeah, not so much. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

2001, year 2

So, for those of you that didn't read my first post, you can catch up here

2001 was a crazy year.  I turned 21, K turned 23.  We got engaged!  We started planning our wedding, I paid off loans from the prior boyfriend.  I graduated with my Associates degree, and prepared to move on for my Bachelors. 

I was going to tell you the story of when K got laid off the first time.  I had it all typed up, but then I decided instead to tell you the story of our first Valentine's day, which is SO much better a story. 

As I mentioned before, we had some crazy schedules that did not match at all.  Every now and again they would finish things up early?  On time? at work, I'm not sure which, but they would finish up and he would manage to make it home before I left for work.  Mind you, I left for work at about 6:30 in the morning.  He worked Monday through Friday nights.  I honestly don't remember if our first Valentines day was during the week, or on a Saturday, but either way, I do remember how the day began.

I woke up to him home, standing in our bedroom, having brought me breakfast in bed.  It was so sweet, orange juice and some cranberry orange muffins.  I didn't really like muffins at the time (nor do I now), but these muffins were delicious.  I still love cranberry orange muffins becuase of this morning.

So, we ate breakfast in bed, and then he presented me with a card, a necklace and a teddy bear.  I still have the necklace, although sometime through the years the chain broke.  The teddy bear?  Still spends its days on my bed.  He still spends his nights cuddled up with me.  He's such a soft bear, and in my moment of pure genious inspiration, I named him Teddy.

Bug even loves this bear.  I'm afraid one day I'll lose it to her if I'm not careful.

We were so young at that time.  He was so excited to have been able to do that for me.  To be honest, I couldn't even tell you if I got him anything.  Or if we went out to dinner that night.  I have no idea, because the very best part of the day was the moment I opened my eyes to find him standing there, my mechanic knight in oil covered jeans and tee shirt shining armor.

It wouldn't have mattered if he brought me a McDonalds hamburger that morning (I was a vegetarian at the time), the fact that he did what he did for me was so touching, in a way that I had never been touched before, partly because I was young, and partly because the last long term boyfriend was just no good.

It's a memory seared into my brain, and I love him more for those little things.  We have never really celebrated holidays like Valentines day, or the others that we call 'hallmark holiday's'  (no, Valentines day is not a hallmark holiday, there really was a St Valentine).  It's just not us, not who we are.  Maybe that's what made it so special that year - that he really just wanted to do something nice for me, something to let me know that he was thinking of me.

It was barely over a month later, in the freezing cold, outside at our drainage ditch (yes, I said drainage ditch) where we shared our first kiss the year before (yep, at our drainage ditch) that he asked me to be his wife.  Where he told me that he couldn't imagine life without me.  This was done after a seafood dinner (neither of us liked seafood - but we love it now) at Joe's crabshack (which neither of us liked - but it's OK now.)  All because it was close to our drainage ditch, where he wanted to propose.

There you go - you got a twofer.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Still difficult....

So, I have this friend, D, that I have known since our freshman year in high school.  She got married in 2005 I think it was?  And they waited a couple of years to start their family.  By the time they decided to, I had already been knee deep in infertility for a couple of years.  She was aware of this, and even had some knowledge about what all we had gone through, including failed and cancelled IVF's. 

Her little boy just turned 2 at the beginning of July.  When she got pregnant, I was simply included on the mass email to everyone with an Ultrasound picture, announcing their new addition.

I was sick.  Heartbroken.  I felt betrayed by her, for not even having the decency to pull me off the mass email and tell me in a different way.  What would have been better?  I don't know.  But at the time I was SURE that there was a better way.  It felt so cold and impersonal for what I was dealing with.  But you know what?  Had she called me I probably would have been pissed about that too.  It was the person I was at the time, and being angry at fertiles was an easy thing.  Especially super fertiles like D was.... they got pregnant pretty much on their first try.  It took me a while to forgive her, although she never knew she needed forgiveness.  I knew enough to not take it out on her.

When she had her baby shower in May 2009, I planned on going, I really did.  But the day before I realized that I couldn't do it.  I was a mess.  I was bawling and so angry.  I called her and apologized and said I wouldn't be there.  She expressed understanding, and never acted angry towards me for it.  I had my moving away party that same day, and she actually even came up to it.  I was inebriated, in part because I was moving away, in part because of infertility, in part because it was just the sad person I was at the time. 

It worked out in the end, and our relationship is no worse for the wear.

Are you getting a feel for where I may be going with this??

I got another email today.  This time at least it was just to me, not some mass mailing. 

 I haven't talked to you in a while... so I thought I would see what is going on?  So what is new?  Oh... by the way I am pregnant.  How was Bug's1st birthday?
 Well talk to you later!
D  :-)'
Yep.  Of course.  Pregnant again, just when I want to be and something is keeping that from happening.  It's hard, and frustrating, but still a little different.  I emailed her back and picked on her for slipping it in, which she admitted to doing.  I told her that it was OK, and while jealous (which I would never admit before) I was happy for her.  And I am, I really, truly am. 
It's still hard.  She's 12 weeks along, and you know what?  I'll bet it happened pretty quick again for her.  Why can't it be that easy for us?  Why do K and I have to go through infertility? 
While it is hard, I don't feel animosity towards her.  She's a great mom, and a great person.  I'm only wishing that we were in that boat of 'hey, let's get pregnant' and then BAM, you are. 
I'm glad that handling it is so different this time around.  It's still difficult, but in a new and different, accepting way.  I'd love it to be me, but you know what?  It's OK that we have to struggle with this.  It's OK because I will go through it with K.  It's OK because every morning, and every evening, I get to give my little girl hugs and kisses, I get to know the unconditional love of being a mama.  I never thought I'd get that, and now I have it.  Oh my, I'm crying now.  I'm crying because I'm not in the same place as I was with primary infertility.  I have the thing that all infertiles strive for, I am so blessed.  I know that there are so many out there still in the throes of primary infertility, and all I can do is send you love and prayers.  Because out of my primary infertility came the biggest blessing that God could have ever bestowed upon me, and that is our daughter. 
It is for her that I am.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The year we met

So, today on my way into work I was really missing K.  A song came on the radio that was very nostalgic for me, although I'm not really sure why.  It's not a song that sticks in my head as being attached to any specific instance in our time together.  It got me to thinking, and I decided that (possibly with a few 'interruptions') I wanted to spend my next 12 posts telling a story from each year K and I have been together.  I think it will be difficult to pick just 1, and some of them will need at least a little background, so bear with me if I get sidetracked!

So, year 1, the year 2000, the year we met.

I could go obvious and go with the story of how we met, but I'm not going to.

I was 19 when we met.  I turned 20 when I was still trying to fight off his advances and charming, boyish good looks.  I think I was afraid of how deeply I felt for him so quickly, and with my childhood weighing me down, I fought him every step of the way.  When we met I had already been out on my own for almost 2 years.  During that 2 years I had spent some time living with a guy that had bled me dry.

So, A few months after K and I met I had ended up moving back in with my parents to get myself back on my feet.  By this time K and I were dating, but our schedules were all over the board.  He worked nights, went to school during the day and slept in the evenings.  I worked days, went to school in the evening, and slept at night.  Yeah, it was crazy.

So, the story.  It was about a month after I moved back in with my parents, and K was coming over every opportunity he had.  It was summertime, so we were both in school but taking less classes. 

Quick side note - it will help the story, I promise.  I am the baby of the family, and the only girl.

OK, back on track.  So, we were at my parents one night and having dinner with them.  It was a pretty quiet night, uneventful.  K and I were flirting under the table, hoping no one would notice.  Playing footsie and all that :-)  After dinner my Dad grabbed K and pressed something into his hand.  'I wanted to give this to you so that you could let yourself in the house.'  That was all he said, and then walked away.  K opened his hand and we both looked down to find a house key. 

Yep, my dad gave his only daughters boyfriend a house key.  Mind you, we'd only been dating a little while.  Wow.

Years later my mom admitted that she didn't even know dad was planning on doing this, but she also admitted to being OK with it.

Fast forward to school starting again.  K had transferred to one of the local Universities and had chosen to live on campus (these decisions made before we met and started dating).  This school was well known for its parties and promiscuity.  I cried so hard when I dropped him off and helped him move in his stuff.  I was so young and naive, and had finally given my heart to this man, and here I was, scared to death that he would get involved in all this and toss me to the curb.

4 months later he got out of his 'contract' to live on campus and we moved in together.

The year we got married, he admitted that that first summer, I was only supposed to be a 'summer fling' while he prepared to go to the University.  Ha.  I showed him!!!