I told myself that I was going to crawl into bed just as soon as my little lady went down for the night.
I've been running on empty for more days than I can count, and Em's 9pm bedtime seemed so inviting.
It didn't happen.
Instead I held my baby girl for nearly an hour after she fell asleep.
I'm lonely, and holding Emily lessened the loneliness.
Jason went from a business trip in Colorado to a backpacking trip in south eastern Utah, and for the last 8 days of his two weeks away from home he doesn't have phone service.
After I put the little lady to bed I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep and so I spent the rest of the evening, and now into the early morning hours, working on a project.
I haven't quite finished but when I do I'll show you pictures.
I'm sleeping with my bedroom window open tonight because there is nothing I love more than to hear the birds chirping as the sun rises.
And tomorrow I'm going to sneak into the yard of a vacant home and cut some lilac blooms...because I love those too.
Lilacs and birds...spring is here. I've needed spring to be here for a long time.
I fell yesterday.
And I hurt myself pretty badly.
The details aren't that exciting. I was an idiot and tripped over the tongue of a trailer that I knew was there.
But I was tired, and in a hurry, and it was 2pm and I hadn't had anything to eat yet for the day.
My shins caught on the trailer and I had enough forward momentum that I fell over the trailer and landed on the other side.
On the asphalt.
On my legs.
They are swollen and bruised and to stand on them for a long period of time, and to walk makes me wince and say ouch over and over again.
Tonight my legs are throbbing and I can't sleep, and Jason is still gone.
A few hours after posting this I had to get up to get Emily some formula.
It was dark and I was mostly asleep.
My foot got caught on the handle of a bag. I kept walking but my toes didn't, and while I don't think my toes are broken, they are most likely sprained.
I can't watch the birth of a baby...even if it's just on TV...without welling up with tears.
I can't see a pregnant woman without feeling a twinge of envy for the innocence that comes when a baby is healthy.
I can't watch a baby eating without feeling a little bit of sadness.
I can't walk through the doors of the hospital without being slammed with emotions that I don't know how to deal with.
I have a minor panic attack at the thought of ever going through another pregnancy.
My heart hurts every time I hear someone say something that implies that my baby isn't normal.
In a world where I am surrounded by friends and family I have never felt more lonely.
I still cry every day of my life, and I wonder when that will stop.
There are a lot of other things that I struggle with too...things that are too personal to talk about openly...
My little Emily fills my heart...and when I'm holding her close I know that I would do it all again for her.
A green salad was my assignment for our Easter Sunday dinner.
I tracked down the sister in charge of dessert and asked if I could switch with her.
She agreed after I told her that I was going to make cupcakes like Mom always made at Easter.
I Googled butter cream frosting and found a recipe that had 5 stars and 27 positive reviews.
The recipe called for 2 sticks of butter and 3/4 cup of powdered sugar.
I didn't have butter and used margarine instead.
That was only my first mistake.
When I realized that margarine was not going to cut it I called my sister.
She didn't have butter...and that meant a quick trip to the grocery store...the grocery store that almost requires you speak Spanish on the weekends. Monday - Friday you go and think you're in the United States but on the weekend it's a different story.
Lucky for me I speak Spanish.
After waiting in line for what seemed like forever, I took my butter home and tried again.
2 sticks of butter, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk ...
That's what the recipe called for. I double and triple checked it. And it had 27 positive reviews.
The frosting was basically a blob of butter and I couldn't use it. Just like that the second batch of icing went down the sink.
On my third attempt I used a different recipe. This one called for 1/2 cube of butter and 3 cups of powdered sugar...and as you can imagine it tasted purely of powdered sugar.
In my mind I heard my mom saying 'use more salt'. That was her cure for everything.
I tried more salt, more vanilla, more milk...nothing worked.
It tasted like powdered sugar.
I added cherry flavoring...I used more salt...
I was at my wits end.
Jason called his mom and asked 'how do you make frosting?'
She suggested we add cool whip, and so we did.
But then Jason just kept adding it, and by the time it tasted good it was too runny and wouldn't stay on the cupcakes.
I'll admit that I was beyond grouchy at this point.
I had a fine layer of powdered sugar on every surface in my kitchen, and had been working on making this frosting for far longer than I had planned, and as a result I lost my only opportunity for a nap.
I called my mom and asked, "Mom, HOW THE HECK (because I can't say the other word in front of my mom) do you make frosting?"
She gave me the name of another recipe to Google and after laughing at my predicament wished me luck.
I looked up the recipe and started on another batch of frosting.
At the point I realized I was out of powdered sugar, I thought about throwing my mixer across the kitchen.
My sister did have powdered sugar and not only did she let me borrow it, she brought it to me.
Jason declared that the frosting tasted good but I wouldn't know. I swore I would never taste frosting again.
You would think after such an event my family would take pity on me.
Yesterday I was in charge of Sunday dinner.
We had tacos...because how hard can it be to mess tacos up?
Not hard, unless you're me. When all was said and done I didn't have enough meat and my mom had to come to my rescue...again.
Anyone who has a good frosting recipe?
Late last night I sat on the couch in the dark, staring up at the moon that shone through my second story window.
Jason is out of town, and Emily had long drifted off to sleep.
I had finished a movie, and then had scrolled through my pictures, looking for a particular one.
I found one of Emily, after the second time they had opened her chest, and the pain that hit me as I looked at the picture was unreal.
I couldn't stop the tears for anything, and after a few minutes I didn't try.
I was that way for a long time...watching the moon and wiping away the tears.
* * * * *
Not too long ago I became reacquainted with a friend from high school.
We haven't seen each other since high school, and thanks to the wonder of Facebook we reconnected.
We both believe in God, but we belong to different churches.
Not too long ago she posted something to Facebook that was derogatory to those of my faith.
In truth, I wasn't upset by the content of the comment as much as I was by the fact that she posted it, knowing that it would undoubtedly open a dialogue that others would use as an opportunity to slander something that I and so many of her other friends hold sacred.
In an email I sent to her, I told her why her actions had disappointed me.
That email opened a conversation between the two of us that lasted several days.
My friend tried in every way she knew how, and with every accusation she could find against my church, to convince me of the error of my ways.
And even after I told her that I would no longer have a conversation with her that spoke of anything religious, she emailed me again, with another list of reasons why she believes I'm being deceived.
At the core of everything, this girl is worried for my soul.
She won't accept me as a Christian because I believe differently than she does, and nothing will convince her otherwise.
She doesn't trust that I believe in Jesus Christ.
* * * * *
I thought of this girl...who claims to be my friend...last night as I sat in the dark.
And I thought of my husband, who is saddened by the fact that I carry such a heavy burden in my heart.
The words of an earlier conversation between Jason and myself played over and over again in my mind.
"Noelle, the only person who truly understands...and the only one who can shoulder the burden for you is your Savior. You need to give it to Him, all of it, and allow him to heal your heart."
* * * * *
Easter, and all that it represents, holds more meaning to me than it has in years past.
Jesus Christ's sacrifice is more personal to me now... now that I know something of pain and sorrow ...
And in case there was any doubt, I believe and trust in Him with all of my heart, as broken as it feels, and I know that He has the power to make my heart whole again.
Sometimes when I'm really lucky I get to be in the same room with Jason when he's watching
(I hate The Simpsons.)
I don't hate my bathing beauty though.
She's still not feeling 100%, but she's not in the hospital so we'll take it!
Jason is leaving again in a few days.
I think it's only fair that between now and when he leaves, he should be on throw up duty.
...oh, did you want to see my blonde hair?
Well, one of these days perhaps I'll comb it and then maybe I'll take a picture.
Our house almost burned down just now.
Or at least it smelled like it.
I asked Jason if he could smell something burning and he said no.
I told him to smell again and then he could smell it too.
We got up and checked everything.
I told Jason there was a haze in our house but he didn't see it.
All of a sudden it clicked.
I opened the dishwasher and a cloud of steam and smoke came out.
I guess the lid to the sippy cup wasn't as secure on the top shelf as I thought.
It melted onto the heating element and man alive does our house smell.
(You know, because I have the hope that one day our little lady will use a sippy cup.)
Would you like to know what made me laugh more than anything else today?
The subject of the first boy to break my heart came up at dinner.
Jason said something like, "You snooze you lose...or maybe it's you snoozed you losed."
(He was referring to the fact that it was the boy's loss. He loves me, that husband of mine.)
I thought about it and then said, "You snost, you lost."
I laughed all night about that one.
Yes, perhaps it's pathetic to laugh at my own joke.
Such is my life.