For Today

For Today, June 22, 2011...A glimpse into my day, just an ordinary day.

Outside my window...nighttime quiet.

I am thinking...that taking 2 online classes is really going to cut into my blogging time.

I am thankful for...the fact the my Godfather is home and doing well after carotid artery and quadruple bypass surgery.

From the kitchen...BLTs made by The Man.

I am wearing...black pants and a pink shirt.

I am creating...plans for The Man's birthday celebrations.

I am going...nowhere.

I am reading...The Book Thief.

I am hearing...rain.  steady, summer, rain.

Around the house...sleeping pups.

One of my favorite things...coming home on days that the cleaning ladies have been here.

A few plans for the rest of the week...work.  The Man's birthday picnic.

Here is a picture thought I'm sharing...



I've mentioned before that I love listening to Catholic Answers Live on my way home from work every day.  And Tuesday, was no different, until I heard this short little phrase, in reference to marriage:

'our goal is to get ourselves and as many children as possible to heaven'


So, I know technically this is true, but without the word 'responsibly' in there somewhere, I still cringe.

This simple phrase (and others like it) led me to misunderstand what the Catholic Church teaches about parenthood for many years.  I understand now that the Church does teach that we should be open to life, and have as many children as possible, as discerned responsibly, so I understand what the speaker meant.  However, if I had heard that sentence just 3 years ago, it would have just reinforced my notions that the Catholic Church was out of touch.  Especially since at that time we were shoulder deep in just reasons to not pursue a pregnancy.

I don't disagree with the statement, because I understand that 'as possible' as stated by a Catholic faithful to the magisterium includes responsible parenthood in it.  But, when stated in a forum that encourages non-Catholics and fallen-away Catholics to participate, I think as much effort as possible should be made to be crystal clear, and in this case, I think brevity was chosen over clarity.

Maybe I am a little over-sensitive on this issue because it hits so close to home for me.  But I can't help but wonder how many people heard that sentence and shook their heads saying 'yep, that is why the church should stay out of our bedroom and let us contracept.'



Once Upon a Time

I really thought I had figured out the cross that we would have to bear in our life.  Our struggles with money seemed at times to be so great that we would crumble under them.  Yes, we made poor choices.  Yes, we lived outside of our means.  And yes, we've had to face the consequences.

Facing the possibility of bankruptcy, I drew closer to God than I had ever dreamed I would.  I quickly learned that it's not about the things that I have and that if I didn't stop trying to do it all myself, God would continue to push until I finally turned toward Him.  And I did.

And like an idiot, as I stood up from the humility of bankruptcy, I patted myself on the back a little.  Saying, ok God, if this is our cross, I think we are doing an OK job.  Sure, at times it is heavier than it seems money could be, but we've turned to You and we are going to be OK.

I thought that was it.  Our cross to bear was going to be struggling financially.  Ok.  I know what I'm dealing with, I can handle it.  And while things have been much better recently, we certainly aren't 'there'.  We don't go out and buy whatever we want - we budget and we plan.  And we are OK.

And then, we felt the heavy weights of our just reasons to postpone pregnancy start to lift and we started TTC.

And suddenly, a new cross was thrust upon our shoulders.  And it is so. much. heavier.  And the pain is more than I could have ever imagined.  And the wondering why is becoming almost an obsession.

But then, it slaps me in the face.

12 years.

12 years of taking The Pill.

12 years of manipulating my body that worked just fine in the first place.

And the rational me says 'God doesn't punish us'; but the irrational me says 'but what if He does?'  And the cross gets heavier because I instantly feel isolated.

Because here I am.  Today, faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and ready to walk this journey in that Faith.  But do I really belong here, in this blogging community?  Where so many of you have always been faithful.  Have always known and believed?  And I wonder if when I write here or comment in your spaces if it's not just a big slap in the face to all of you.  If I'm trying to fit like an awkward square peg into this awesome round space?

What about with friends and family who chose differently?  There are more than a couple.  Those who may not understand why we are making the choices we are making.  Who, more than anything, I want to understand that just because my choice may be different it doesn't change how much I love them.  But how do I explain our choices to follow the Catholic Church's teachings in this delicate way?

And God.  Where once He felt so close, He now feels so far away.  Where once I read His word and the teachings of His Church, and I loved the Truth and felt the Grace, but now, despite loving and craving the Truth, I struggle to feel.  I struggle to have the sense that all will be OK that I once had.  Feeling again, like a square peg in a round space.

I am scared and I cling to the words in this blogosphere and in Catholic Teaching.  But what if the answer is that I did this to myself?  That God created me with a working body and I destroyed it?  Is it even fair to ask this question here?  Of so many of you?

Once upon a time, I was a girl so determined and focused and confident that I packed up my car and moved to Los Angeles for a year.  Today, I am a girl scared to death of what lies ahead.  And of the isolation that I see around it.


Father's Day

You know, I kept waiting for Mother's Day to be a horribly hard day for me.  And while it wasn't an easy day, I didn't have nearly as hard a time as I expected.  We were out of town, celebrating a friend's son's First Communion, so that may have helped, but the intense sadness I anticipated wasn't there.

But Father's Day is different.  It is killing me that The Man is not yet a father.  That my Dad is not a grandfather.  The words someone said to me a few months back 'you can't keep The Man from becoming a father, that's not fair' keep echoing in my mind.  They hurt then, but they are piercing now.

And buying Father's Day cards?  It's been a loooong time since I cried in Hallmark.

As I picked out the one for my Dad.  I wanted so badly to pick out a 'grandpa' one.  To tell him that a first grandchild was on the way.

And not being able to pick out a 'daddy' or 'daddy to be' one for The Man.  There just aren't words.

In all these months, I've dreamed of telling our families that a baby was coming.  As holidays have come and gone, I've planned just how we would tell them.  I've picked out the gifts that we would give them - a small stocking at Christmas; a special Valentine; a little 'luck' of the Irish; small Easter eggs with big surprises inside; Mother's Day framed ultrasounds; and now Father's Day.

To make this more challenging emotionally is that Friday will be P+11, the farthest I typically make it.  Though I did see P+13 last month.  That will be Sunday.  Father's Day.  At this point, I admit I am not extremely hopeful.  I feel just exactly like I've felt every other month at this point physically.  And emotionally, these couple of days seem to be the lowest other than CD1.  And then, on P+10 I seem to get this surge of hope.  I know, I like to torture myself.

Yes, I am not a mommy.  Yes, that hurts.  But facing a Father's Day in which I may have to tell The Man he is not yet a father.  It is almost impossible to bear.  It is the first holiday from which I want to run and hide.


The Most Ordinary Moment

Betty has asked for engagement stories and since The Man and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary on Sunday, this is fun for me to retell this week.

The Man and I had been dated for almost 4 years when we decided that we would spend an afternoon together looking at engagement rings.  We weren't going to buy anything, it would just be for fun.  That was September 2001.

In January 2002, I still didn't have a ring on my finger, but suspected the day was coming.  In fact, anytime we went out for dinner (or really went anywhere together) I made sure to look my best because I just *knew* that would be the night.

Come February 13, the night still hadn't arrived.  The girls at work kept saying they thought The Man would propose on Valentine's Day and I kept saying, no no no, that's much to predictable for The Man.  So, after dragging my feet and wrapping and rewrapping his Valentine's Day gift, I finally got my butt in gear and headed over to The Man's apartment around 10:00 that night (the 13th) to watch a movie (I was only 2 1/2 hours late.)  When I got there, I was so excited about the gift I'd bought The Man for Valentine's Day I insisted we exchange our gifts before our movie.  We did and when mine was not a ring, I felt vindicated that I knew The Man well enough to know he'd never propose on Valentine's Day.

So, after exchanging gifts, we were sitting in The Man's bedroom.  Me, in my fanciest sweatpants with my hair done up in my most stylish end-of-day pony tail, on the edge of his bed and The Man, yep, you guessed it on his knees on the floor beside me (which I did NOT notice until later).  I was rambling on and on (shocker to those of you who know me IRL, I know), and mid sentence, The Man turned to the bedside table and I said 'what are you doing?!?!' (annoyed because he wasn't listening to my oh-so-not-important story).

He turned back around and said, without answering me and with cutting me off (a must sometimes), 'I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.  Will you marry me?'

I said 'yes!' and he said 'you better call your Dad, he's been waiting up for you to call.'  You see, The Man had asked my Dad earlier that day if he could propose and told him we'd call after it was said and done.

It wasn't until sometime the next day that I realized while talking to The Man that he had intended to propose that night for a while.  It wasn't on Valentine's Day, we weren't doing anything special, and I'd never expect it.

I didn't expect it.  And while, it wasn't a special dinner or a special place it was perfect.  The Man transformed the most ordinary moment instantly into one of the most amazing.


A Little Luck for Less Drama?

A year ago today, Oliver Luck was named the new Athletic Director at WVU.  I was happy then, and I'm still happy today.

I am also interested to see how the next few weeks play out.

To say there has been drama surrounding the WVU Football program is a bit of an understatement.  The allegations have been flying and the national media has even picked up on it.  And how it all plays out remains to be seen.

The big questions, or rather those with the biggest implications, right now are:

Will Bill Stewart still be the Head Coach this season?
Will Dana Holgorsen get to coach even one snap as Offensive Coordinator? Or will he be promoted to Head Coach a year earlier?  Or will he find himself job hunting?

There are plenty of other questions out there - who knew what when and who did they tell? basically sums it up.

Many people are calling for AD Luck to make a quick decision to 'move on', but I like his taking it slow attitude.  He seems to be looking for all of the answers in an effort to end this drama once and for all.

One thing I do know, is that I was hoping WVU would be in the news this offseason for things like 'promising new OC' and 'Geno Smith recovering nicely from 3rd foot surgery in as many years.'  But instead, there is grown-up drama.

The one thing I can say for sure is that I truly hope that rumors about a return of a certain coach who shall remain nameless, are just that.  Rumors.  While I'm the first to admit, I wish he'd never left he did leave.  And if we are trying to reduce drama and focus on football, well then let's do just that.

Let's go Mountaineers!


Two (Plus Two) for Tuesday

See!  This is why I needed to blog about this stuff.  Because I knew that y'all would make me feel better.  By the time I'd read all of your comments, I was even laughing at the level at which I was freaking out when I first saw St. Anne Line pop up as my Saint.

I appreciate the practical information as well as the gently stated 'seriously Rebecca, get over yourself' comments :).  Seriously, I needed to hear it, and y'all were so sweet about it.  I feel much better.


I did finally suck it up and contact my doctor's office about scheduling an appointment, I totally took the chicken way out and used the online 'request an appointment' form, but I did put in the form that I needed some extra time to discuss in/sub-fertility.  *deep breath*

And I have a question, for those of you familiar with the FertilityCare Centers website, am I reading it correctly and seeing that there are teachers in WV, but not actual doctors?  It is kind of confusing.


My girls:


The Man:



And what do I follow this up with?

Well, I said there would be more, and more there will be, so consider yourself warned.  Don't worry, there will still be plenty of other things 'round here, but I need to get some of this off my chest (and out of my 'drafts' folder, also known as my journal).

I have so many questions (though thank God, truly, for Alison, as I had some answered tonight) and so many emotions that have been so bottled up, but I thought I'd start here, with just one moment of the last 9 months that felt like a kick in the stomach:

Back in April, I was intrigued by Jennifer Fulwiler's Saint Name Generator.  I had seen so many people who had received an appropriate saint for them and I thought I'd try it out.  I prayed hard to St. Gerard and any other saint who might help make me a mommy and clicked the 'find a saint for me' button with high hopes.

And who did I get?

Here is my response as written in my journal:

St. Anne Line.

Patron Saint of, wait for it....

Childless People.

Trying.  Hard.  To.  Not.  Freak.  Out.

St. Gerard, pray for us.

Yea.  As I wrote in my journal back in April, trying hard not to freak out.


The Road Becomes Real

When The Man and I started down the road of family and married life, we were frequently asked the question 'when will you start a family?' and we always felt a little bothered by it because we knew that we were already a family.  I even wrote about it last year, here.  And when asked 'will you have children?' initially we answered the question with not for at least 5 years (we figured that would give us some time to get life settled and it would take the pressure off and we wouldn't have to answer that question for a while).

Fast forward five years, and instead of being settled we had just moved and were in the process of considering filling for bankruptcy.  And we lived in a one-bedroom TINY apartment with barely enough room for the two of us, Kali, and Max.  And both of our careers were in a state of uncertainty.  And we were feeling so overwhelmed with life that we began to think that we would never have children, and we could not fathom even desiring them.  I mean, we felt like we had failed at life ourselves in a lot of ways, how could we possibly raise children, right?  And we started answering the question 'when will you have children' with 'never'.  We were truly started to feel like maybe having children just wasn't what God had in mind for us.  Certainly this did not make for happy potential grandparents.  It left us, me especially, facing an interesting set of emotions that I talked about here.

Now fast forward another 2 years and you get us to where we are today - having learned NFP and being open to life, but still not feeling called to have children.  At first.  And then, things started to change.  We moved into our new house.  Both of our jobs stabilized and income became consistent.  Even with my wavering on 'what will I be when I grow up,' there was a sense of stability.  And all of a sudden, all of the reasons, all of the 'just causes' were no longer there.  Even as I wrote about just cause, here and here, it was more of an opportunity to reflect back than an opportunity to speak about the present.

And there was something different.  There was the planning for a mid to late summer baby.  And the hope.  Oh the hope.  And the disappointment.  And the prayers.  And the tears.  And the realizing that this isn't going to be easy.  And the never even getting a point where a pregnancy test might be needed. And the feeling so so alone.  And the babies that all of a sudden seemed to be everywhere.  And then, this month, the realizing that this would have been *the* month.  That if our plans (ha!) had worked out, we'd not only be looking forward to our 7th wedding anniversary and The Man's 35 birthday, but also to the birth of our first born.

There will still be an anniversary and a birthday this month.  But there will be no first born this month.

And, yet again, we find ourselves on a road that we didn't imagine, turning another bend that we have no idea where it will lead.  A road that seems more like a roller coaster at times.  A road that we are on together, but experience so differently.  A road that seems to be paved with fear and somehow, sometimes, sprinkled with hope.

And today, this road becomes real.

A little over 2 years ago, I wondered.  And I felt guilty.  And I had. no. idea.  Today, I search for the words, because if I write them, it is real.  Today, the tears fall.  But this time, they fall for me.  For us.

Today, I tell you that for 9 months, we have been trying to conceive.  That if we had been successful on the first month, we would be counting down the final days until we had a baby to love.

And all I can say for today is that it is hard.  So. much. harder. than. I. ever. expected.

There is so much more.  And there is nothing else.


Customer Service

My faith in customer service and a company actually caring about their customers was renewed today.  At the cell phone store of all places.

To make a long story a little bit shorter, we'll fast forward to my phone call to our cell phone company, US Cellular, today.  My BlackBerry has been on it's last leg for a couple of months now and I thought based on the rewards program that I was eligible for a new phone at a promotional price today.  But, when I called, I learned differently.  When I called, I found out it was actually not until July 1.  But instead of the usual 'sorry about your luck' that I've come to expect from 'customer service representatives,' the store representative offered to transfer me to the main customer service people.

That should have been clue #1 - he was offering to transfer me, I didn't have to call a different number.

He also told me that he has known them to work with long standing customers to get them a new phone faster than 'scheduled.'

I talked to the representative and told her my situation.  After placing me on hold for a couple of minutes, she came back and asked for some additional clarifying details and placed me on hold again.  (At this point, I was not exactly hopeful.)  And when she came back, she informed me that they had 'found an extra 1000 points that I would need to be eligible for an upgrade today' (Instead of having to wait another month).  She then asked if I'd like my points applied to my account so that when I went to the store later it would be quick and easy.  I said sure.  And thanked her.  Lots!

After work, I headed to the store, still not convinced that it had been that easy.  And less than 30 minutes later, I walked out the door with my new phone.  One month earlier than I should've had it.  With ZERO hassle.

It was so refreshing to be treated like the loyal customers that we are (same cell phone company for 8 years, even when The Man really wanted an iPhone).  And to not have to make my case and beg and plead.

So, while I'm waaay excited about my new Droid (it has a touchscreen AND QWERTY slider keyboard :)), I am more happy about the way I was treated today.  Thank-you US Cellular!


Wordless Wednesday

For more Wordless Wednesday, click on the picture.