Monday, September 7, 2015

Around Here

This summer was for wagon rides, cousin time, and corn on the cob on the grill. 

Frogs and toads and flower planting. 

Swimming lessons and turtle racing. 

Movie watching down on the river, summer reading program super hero costumes, and Darth Vader kite flying. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

When You're Not Sure If There Will Be Any More

Once upon a time I wrote a post on Courtney's blog, in which I stated that I did not really want to have kids spaced much more than three years apart. Three and a half years later, I am still the mother to one rambunctious four year-old. A four year-old who, at one point (around the time Daniel Tiger got a little sister), was borderline obsessed with having a baby in our family. A four year-old who, a year later, still occasionally asks when we'll be getting a baby in our house. And I have to tell him the same thing I tell everyone else who asks about a potential sibling, "If only it were that easy..."

In the years since we had Liam we've dealt with concerns about insurance, maternity leave, and job changes. But in the past year, it seems as though things have settled in to a point where having another should be relatively easy (as if having a newborn is ever easy). In February, Craig accepted a promotion that moved us closer to my family. I accepted a teaching position in a traditional K-12 school, and while teaching is never "just 9 months out of the year," this position would offer me some freedom that my previous teaching position did not. Yet, adding a fourth member to our family has seemed nearly impossible.

For over a year, we've been "not really trying to get pregnant, but also not really doing anything to prevent it," we've experienced the joy of two positive pregnancy tests, and the utter devastation when seemingly "normal" spotting turns into not so normal bleeding. The night before Liam's fourth birthday, we found out about the most recent miscarriage, when an ultrasound revealed "no fetal pole." Devastating.

And I've coped with that devastation in the same way I've coped with every other stressful situation in my life -- by burying myself in textbooks and work and every other random project that will keep my mind off the actual stressful situation.


In June I made a much-dreaded appointment with the dentist. He bopped in and said, "We show that you were pregnant during your last visit. So, how's the baby?"

"Um, he's ..."

"Oh, no," I thought. "He's clearly not talking about Liam. Liam's not even a toddler any more."

"Well, actually, I miscarried," I responded.


When the dentist left, the hygienist slipped a post-it in my hand. "Here," she said. "It's an organization out of Minnesota. They do great work."

"Thanks," I said, as I buried the post-it deep in my pocket.


In my most recent appointment with my OB, I brought up the fact that I had recently read something about Vitamin D and fertility, and well, you know, I've always been concerned about my Vitamin D levels.

Ever so carefully, he let me know that I should indeed be taking a multivitamin that has Vitamin D, among other important nutrients, but, perhaps, before I start trying to get pregnant again, I should make sure and consider my health, including my mental health.


That night, I walked into my bedroom to find Liam sneaking out of the bathroom well after his bed time. "Mom," he whispered, "Do you think you could lay with me?" And, in spite of all of my fears of raising a spoiled rotten only child, I put aside whatever else I was working on and said yes.  

It's a start. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

'Sploring Time

"Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventure."
-L. Drachman

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Cure What Ails You: The Winter Blues

On Tuesday, as Liam and I embarked on yet another cold, icy commute to daycare, I heard the weather man come on the radio and announce that the high for Wednesday was going to be one degree (which, honestly, is better than zero or subzero). I promptly changed the station before they started announcing wind chill temps, and Liam and I car danced to cheesy pop songs the rest of the way into town, with Liam shouting things like, "Arrgh, I'm a biking ship." (I haven't had the heart to tell him that his new winter hat makes him a Viking, not a Viking ship.)

Honestly, I hate February. It's the worst. We are currently on month four of snow and cold and wind, and there doesn't seem to be any end in sight. Once again, Craig is heading out on recruiting trips every week this month, and let me tell you, I am not looking forward to the 12 day stretch he embarks on at the end of the month. The bright side to this year is that I no longer have to arrive at work before dawn and instead of fighting Liam to wake up, I am now greeted with a Golden Book plastered to my face and a "Hey, Mama, I wanna read Dumbo."

With that being said, I've learned that perhaps the best cure is not lamenting about February days, but rather finding ways to celebrate them (oh my goodness, did I seriously just say that)--dancing in our living room rather than lamenting that we can't go outside on these dark dreary evenings; drinking hot chocolate with whipped cream and super hero sprinkles rather than thinking about how much we miss the local burrito truck; relishing in the fact that I live in a climate where I can "curate a coat wardrobe" ;and  devouring those Vitamin D gummies like candy.

A couple of other posts I'm loving about wellness and curing the winter blues: here and here, plus a Cabin Fever Playlist.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Ninja Turtle bedtime story power. (Thanks to raiding my little brother's book collection a couple of years ago.)
Upon noticing that I was taking a bath to soothe the aches and fever from a nasty cold.
Liam: Hey, Mommy. Wanna play with my Biking ship?

On Poker Night.
Liam: No, Daddy is not playing cards with his friends. He is getting us monies.

Running into the kitchen after playing with his Batcave while wearing his Ninja Turtle jammies.
Liam: To the kitchen power!

To the dog.
Liam: C'mon, Ollis. Let's go play trains.

At 6:30 in the morning.
Liam: It's reading time. Cha, cha, cha.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Fun Finds: A Tribute to the Motherland

earrings//Viking hat//Uff da! mug
print//Setesdal blanket//Explorer shirt
All told, I'm about 1/2 Norwegian, much like many of my friends growing up in eastern South Dakota. When we moved to the Panhandle of Nebraska, I would let out the occasional "Uff da!," and my friends would look at me like a bit of a crazy person. (You know, like "Uff da!" it's hot outside or "Uff da!" that was heavy.)

Since my sister sent Liam a Viking postcard from her European adventure last fall and subsequently bought him a Viking ship for Christmas, Liam has been a little obsessed with "Bikings." I've been hunting for the perfect Viking helmet, and in the process, I spotted a few other items I would love to add to our collection.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

On Leaving Education and Other Random Thoughts

A few months ago, I ran into a student from my second year of teaching at the mall. As she told me about enrolling in a tribal college to study nursing, I wondered if I would ever experience this in my new profession--running into couples six or seven years after their wedding, having them recognize me, and spend time telling me about their new adventures.

Then a few weeks later, as I was rushing to a lunch meeting at the Alpine, a place that Craig and I occasionally consider for date nights but never make it, I noticed two of my coworkers turning off to the academy where I taught job-readiness classes in the afternoons. I thought, "Haha, suckers. I'm going to lunch at the Alpine." Then I realized that the passenger in the van was Karen, my office mate who had to sub for me when I was gone. That meant that either: a) they hadn't hired a replacement for my position, b) she was still training my replacement, or c) my replacement was already taking a day of leave and she was subbing for him/her. Either way, it also meant that she probably spent her planning period eating lunch or she hadn't eaten lunch at all, and I felt a twinge of guilt spending my afternoon leisurely eating at one of the best restaurants in the Hills followed by a tour of the museum for which we were planning a fundraiser.

In October, The Black Hills experienced one of the worst blizzards on record for the region. I had four weddings scheduled over the weekend. I spent Friday on the phone with brides and grooms making plan b's and c's and Saturday calling them to tell them that those plans would not come into fruition because all of the lodges I work with had lost power. On Saturday afternoon, I got a call from the brother of one of the brides inviting me to the wedding they had planned in less than a day in the town where they had been snowed in. "My mom is pretty fond of you," he said, "She said you really tried to help us out." When I told Craig about it, he said, "See, this job can be pretty rewarding. I know it's not like seeing a kid graduate or get his GED, but we get to put on parties for people and that can be pretty fun."

I haven't decided yet if this is going to be my full-time profession or if it's just my sabbatical, but Craig's right. It can be pretty rewarding (and fun).