29 September 2015

Curiouser & Curiouser: Full time momma with a part time job.

(I know that I haven't written in a long, long time. There are other things I could write about, but this is what I want to write about now. Maybe I'll blog more, maybe this will be my only post for the rest of the year.)

I've started working part-time at Old Navy. My availability is 5 pm-close on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays; and all day on Saturdays. Most of the weeks I've worked TWT 5:30-10 pm and Saturday 10 am-4 pm. It's been amusing the way different people have reacted. Because I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt that they were asking out of curiosity and not judgement, I thought I would explain how that all works logistically. Because before I worked I wondered how families kept themselves family-centric when both parents worked. Families are big in the LDS faith.

"But who watches your kids?" 
Jeff works from home. He works in our basement. He starts around 8 and gets done around 4:30. We go down and visit him throughout the day some times. He comes up and eats lunch with us. It's really nice. So he is the one who watches the kids when I'm working. This means he has to take them with him to mutual (youth group) on Wednesdays because he is in the Young Men presidency. This is fine because he is their father and because the church is family-centric and it's a lay ministry. I did the same thing when he was traveling out of town for work and I was in the Young Women presidency. It is also an awesome time for the kids to have dad time because dads are important.

"You don't get to spend much time with your husband, then."
I mean, I guess. But it is more time than when he was gone 75% of the time for work. Also, I am a firm believer that quality of time is more important than quantity of time. You can be a parent who works and still puts your family first. I know kids who have awesome relationships with their full-time working mothers and kids who have not great relationships with their stay at home mothers. Your family can tell where your priorities are.
And for me, having a part-time job (especially at this season in my life) helps me to be a better mom and wife. SELF CARE IS IMPORTANT, PEEPS. You can't give from your love bucket if it's empty. There are lots of ways to fill your bucket. You may be able to fill your bucket from inside the walls of your own home. That's great! Right now working part time helps fill mine. That's great, too. We are all different and there are lots of ways to achieve the same goal of having family as top priority.
Jeff and I do companionship inventory and we are open with each other about how we're feeling about stuff. When he was working out of town all the time, we both wanted him to be home more so he could spend more time with all of us, even if it meant some other sacrifices. Now, he supports me in this because we both think it is good for the whole family. He has actually been encouraging me to do something like this since I started staying at home when I became pregnant with Ezra. He knows that the work I do inside the home with Ezra and Lucy is important and worthy and vital. He also knows that my doing something outside of the home fulfills a different part of me that helps me be a better mother and wife at this time in my life
But if our marriage fails or our kids turn out rotten, I guess you can blame it on me being a greedy, worldly workaholic.

"Will you always work?"
I don't know. I'm not really doing this for financial reasons. But like one of my fellow part time working mom friends said, "Who wouldn't want to get paid for spending time outside of the house?" Part of the reason I am working retail is because it wouldn't be a big deal if I had to stop working. Like I said, we're always talking about what is best for our family at the current time. I do plan on getting my masters at some point. But for this season of my life, 10-20 hours a week folding clothes is good for me.

Because this is the Internet, I just want to reiterate that all you parents who are doing the most that you can to fulfill yourselves while having your family as top priority are doing the best thing. This may mean Dad working full time with Mom staying at home. This may mean Dad and Mom working full time while kids get care from a family member or a thoughtfully selected daycare or nanny. This may mean Mom working full time with Dad staying at home. This may mean Dad working full time and Mom working part time. There are countless ways to reach the same goal, and being family-centric is a worthy goal. Because families are important. They are where we learn the most, and are the unit our society is built upon. Love yourself. Love your families. And trust that others are doing the same.

09 August 2014

her arms grew tired as she held the world in its place.

I am exhausted these days.
This has been a season of my life where I have been asked to do much to help others. And not always directly asked, but I have given myself that responsibility. Which may be part of the problem. I can not say no. I feel unable to carry the duties and assignments and callings and souls that have been entrusted to me.
And I wish there was more relief.

This may go without saying, but my depression has been worse lately. I think it's mostly due to environmental influences and pregnancy hormones, but I still have to talk to my doctor about upping my dosage. We have another sweet soul (a girl!) joining us in November. I don't know how I will handle it all.

I still miss our other baby. The one that was here for the briefest time. I don't know if it's society saying that the little one was just tissue or my own fear of opening up because of people's disappointing reactions in the past, but one of the most heartbreaking things about that baby is that I feel I can't mourn her loss. This baby that is coming in November isn't our second child, it's our third. But most people will never know that.
I've been praying to know more about that little one. Because of experiences too sacred to share over hyperspace, I feel she is a girl. I've also learned that she must be the most selfless spirit. It would have been hard for her to come in May because of things that were happening in other people's lives. And if she would have came in May, this next baby wouldn't have been able to come in November. If she would have come in May, it would have been harder for my brother Jason to go to Idaho to see my grandma after seven long years of being apart. I haven't been able to hold her, but she has already taught me so much. I ache to go to the temple, where where I am and where she is overlap, so I can be as close as possible to her.

This is just a season. I will figure out how to better carry my load and what things are extraneous. 
But it is still heavy and it is still hard.

11 May 2014


Today is Mother's Day.

Today is also the day our family was supposed to go from three to four, but the baby came too early in October.

28 April 2014

Dear Diary.

I'm never sure how to break months long silence on my blog. So here is a picture of Ezra, just after he turned two, at the zoo. He has gotten really hard to take portraits of lately because he doesn't want to smile at the camera.

Other Ezra news: He is potty trained. We did the bare bottom method. He has a chart up in the bathroom where he gets to put a sticker up each time he goes, and then gets a chocolate chip for a treat. The first day was hard (which was to be expected), but he is doing really well. He still has some accidents, but has really impressed us.  He still wears diapers during naps and bedtime.

As for the things I was waiting to hear about in my last post, one did not work out and we are still waiting to hear about the other one. We're sad about the one that didn't work out, but hopeful about the other. I know that's cryptic, but I don't think I can really talk about the former because it involves someone else and the latter I don't want to jinx.

We're still loving our ward (Mormon congregation), but it is so unique from any other we have ever been in. The ward feels like it is 35% medical school students, 35% African refugees, and 30% misfits like us.
We probably have quite a bit in common with the medical school students, but they mostly hang out with each other. It makes sense because humans are naturally drawn to people they have a lot in common with. But it is still somewhat disheartening for me. I don't know why I've had a hard time making friends, but I am making some.
A lot of our Young Women are African refugees, mostly from Liberia. All of our Young Women have difficult circumstances. They have seen war, been abused by family members, live in homes where there have been suicide threats, serve as translators for their parents who don't speak English as well, don't have dinner, have parents who don't really care about coming to church, serve as second mothers for their siblings because their parents work, and a variety of other hardships. But still they want to be good and do good, and come to church, and if not church, mutual (aka youth group) on Wednesdays. We drive our girls to pretty much everything because their parents either can't or won't drive.
This ward is very Back to the Basics Christianity, which is a good thing. There are so many people who need help that the opportunities to serve are numberless. Mormonism and other Christian religions have a lot of interesting and important theologies and teachings, but at the heart of Jesus Christ's ministry is loving and helping others however we can. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:35)

Things have been pretty good, but still hard for me sometimes. Which is really how life is for everyone. We've been lucky to see a lot of people we love within the past couple of months. We're taking a family vacation, just the three of us, for the first time ever. We haven't taken a trip that hasn't been for work or to visit people since our honeymoon (which was only three and a half years ago, but still). I feel kind of guilty doing it because we have soooo much family in so many different places and doing this probably means we won't be able to go visit some of them. Hopefully they understand. We're going to Florida because that's where Jeff's hotel rewards had some cheap points nights. Jeff has to work in Tennessee and then we're going to drive down to Florida. It will be nice and I'm looking forward to it, but I still feel guilty.

28 January 2014


++We have a bunny named Ned. He bakes pies and wakes the dead. He lives a very sheltered life. Also, bunny urine is potent. Keep this in mind in case you want to adopt a rabbit. He is a kind soul.
++I completed my No Clothes Buying 2013 goal without cheating. I am proud of myself.
++There has been too much cold this winter.
++Our entire apartment is Ezra's playroom ever since his second birthday.
++I might have to talk to the doctor about medicine because I have been feeling down and heavy. But mostly still functioning. But I think getting downer and heavier all the time.
++My new calling at church is Mia Maid (14-15 y/o) adviser. I am still terrified of teenage girls. A Laurel (16-17 y/o) in our last ward made me cry.
++We are waiting to hear about some things (Can't tell you...Spoilers) and it has given me the most anxiety.
++I have been trying to make friends. I have been trying to make friends with people who seem like they don't really have friends. But one week I feel super friendly and outgoing and chatty and the next week I want to crawl into a cocoon. It is also discouraging to know that the other newer ladies at church are already friends with people. Like, why hasn't anyone wanted to welcome me and include me? I don't know. But we do have this awesome couple friends who have a little boy Ezra's age.
++Jeff has a playlist on Spotify called "hauntingly good" and I love him for it.
++There are some great people, but there are also some people who really suck no matter how hard you try.
++Accepting other people's agency is a challenge.
++There are cupcakes cooling and I want to eat them but they are for the Young Women.

08 January 2014


I miss the baby.
I miss the baby all the time.

Oh my gosh. It's positive. It's finally positive.
"Jeff, I took a pregnancy test."
"It's positive. Do you think I should wait until morning to take another one?"
"Really?! Yeah. That would be a good idea."

"Well, looks like Ezra is going to be a big brother!"

I wonder if I should get a double stroller?
I wonder if the baby is a boy or a girl?
Boy: Henry. Otto. Orson. Are those too weird? Would having an Ezra and an Orson be too Mormon celebrity?
Girl: Lydia. Lydia Jane. Charlotte. Delaney. Madeline.
Where will we put the Pack-N-Play? Should we get a bassinet?

"When do you think we should tell our families?"
"How far along are you?"
"8 or 9 weeks. I was thinking about telling my dad and Kristen when we see them next weekend."
"Yeah. Maybe I shouldn't."

Oh...No. No. No. No.
"Jeff. There was blood. I think I'm spotting."
"Was there a lot?"
"Well, let's just wait and see."

Heavenly Father, please let everything with the baby be okay. Please, please let everything be okay.

"Jeff, I'm still spotting. What should we do? I don't know what we should do. What's going on? We're going to lose the baby."
"We don't know that. What do you want to do?"
"I don't know. I don't know what we should do."
"I'll call the nurseline."

"We need to go to the emergency room."

"What are you here for?"
"Well I'm almost 11 weeks pregnant and I've been having some spotting and some light cramping."

"How far along are you? Do you know?"
"Almost 11 weeks."

"Well, the fetus is measuring at 6 weeks, 2 days. This doesn't mean that it's a miscarriage. You could have had one pregnancy and lost it and then another egg could have been fertilized, we don't know for sure right now. It looks like a miscarriage, but we don't know for sure. You'll need to call the OB/GYN on Monday and they will want to get you in as soon as possible. They're usually really good about these kind of things."

"Jeff, I lost the baby. The baby is gone."
"We don't know that."

There is so much blood. And...tissue?

"Jeff, I think I passed the baby."

I felt the rush of a thousand heartbreaks.

"Oh, I'm so sorry. This will affect you in ways you don't even understand. That was a little piece of your heart down there."

Blue like I've never known.

"It looks like it was a miscarriage. I'm very sorry. It's nothing that was your fault, and unfortunately this happens with one in four pregnancies."

It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah.

"It's my fault. I lost the baby. I wasn't good enough. I wasn't ready for it."
"Amy, you can't think like that. It had nothing to do with you."
"But the baby was inside me. I was supposed to protect it and take care of it."
"And you did. But these things just happen sometimes."


"I want the baby back."
"I know."
"I want my baby back. I would have loved it no matter what. Even if something was wrong with it. I just want my baby back."
"I know, Amy Doll. I know you would have."


"Baby?" *pats belly* "Baby?"
"No, Buggy. Mommy had a baby in her belly, but she doesn't any more."


"It's not fair. My baby is gone forever. I never got to hear its heartbeat. I don't even have a bit of its hair or something to hold onto. I'll never get to hold it."
"Yes, you will. The baby is still ours, Amy Doll."
"You don't know that. People who have stillborns or whose babies die will get to have them again, but we don't know what happens with miscarriages."
"Well, I believe in a just God. Don't you believe that Heavenly Father will make everything right in the end?"
"Well, then we'll get to hold our baby one day."
"You don't know that."
"You don't know that we won't."


I'm glad Ezra does so well watching me get my blood drawn every week.

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.

I wish I just had a friend here.
A best friend.

In the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can't see.

Why am I still bleeding?
Will I ever stop bleeding?
It's been over a month.

O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?

Two months.
Is there no balm in Gilead?

"Your levels are back to normal."

Why am I still bleeding?
This is so annoying. I don't have a baby and my body just keeps bleeding.
Home births aren't so wonderful when they're like this.

"It takes your body a while to get back to normal. We can offer you birth control to help regulate it."
"Umm...no thanks."
Birth control makes me crazy.

"It's not fair. Why does she get to have a baby and I don't? I'm supposed to be having a baby. May would have been the perfect time for the baby. I want the baby to be back inside me. I want to feel the baby growing inside me."
"I don't know, Amy Doll. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

"Jeff, I think my bleeding is finally slowing down. For real this time."

I miss the baby.

i carry your heart

I want the baby back.

(i carry it in my heart)

07 December 2013

Three. Four. Three.

quote from Penelope

We were going to have a new baby in May, but I had a miscarriage.

When I called the OB/GYN, the receptionist said, "I'm so sorry. This will affect you in ways you can't even imagine. That was a little piece of your heart down there."
And there will always be a lentil sized piece of my heart missing.

I don't know enough words and am not eloquent enough to adequately express the sorrow that this event brings me, but I will tell you what I'm grateful for.

I'm grateful that I was able to go to the temple three times in the weeks before my miscarriage.
I'm grateful that I didn't have to have a D&C.
I'm grateful that the week after I miscarried, Jeff was working in the Des Moines area and we could be home.
I'm grateful to have had kind doctors and nurses.
I'm grateful that I am taking my antidepressants.
I'm grateful that the only friend I have in Des Moines is one of the sweetest, kindest Tenderheart Bears.
I'm grateful that I have had other heartbreaks, though none this devastating, to prepare me for this one.
I'm grateful for Jeff.
I'm grateful for Ezra.
I'm grateful for Winston, Bouncer, and Ned (our new bunny).
I'm grateful for the sympathy of others.
I'm grateful that I've had people disappoint me in the past so that their cold responses to this news don't affect me as severely. (This is probably also due to being medicated.)
I'm grateful for my body, the God who created it, and the miraculous way it can take care of itself.
I'm grateful for hope.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)