Monday, July 30, 2012

Many Moods (and Outfits) on a Brown Couch



...and that was just the weekend.  Lord help us when this child hits thirteen.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Reason Why

Last week, I got my first rejection letter (well, email) on my book proposal.  I was not particularly surprised, let's face it...if JK Rowling got hundreds of rejection letters, good old AH Harris is bound to get her fair share.

Nonetheless, it was a bit of a bummer and I started questioning the reason I wanted to write this book, and have it published beyond my family, in the first place.

Admittedly, there are some selfish reasons.  There is some part of me that hopes publishing the book will somehow afford me the ability to spend more time with Gracie.  There is a very large part of me that feels like if this book gets published, Rip will live on in a way that he can't if it doesn't.

But whenever I think about publishing this book, there is one scene that flashes in my mind.  The December after we lost Rip, I worked only half days.  At 12:30 pm every day, I came home and put on my softest clothes.  The winter of 2010/2011 is the coldest winter I can remember, so every day I turned on the fire (thank goodness for gas logs).  Every day I poured myself something warm, wrapped myself in heavy blankets and every day I read books. 

Books about women like me, who lost a baby and somehow still managed to put one foot in front of the other.  Books about women like me, who lost a baby and actually seemed "normal" and "happy", despite it all.  Best of all, books about women like me, who lost a baby and went on to have more babies.

The books were a lifeline to me.  I held on to every single word.  I called my mom, I retold stories to Parke...it was possible, life could go on, see it says so right there.  Because, in those first few days and weeks and months after Rip died, I honestly didn't know how to live.  Those days I spent curled up reading by the fire gave me a start.

So, when I think about my reasons for wanting to publish this book, there are many.  The biggest reason why is still curled up on the couch in December of 2010, hanging on to Every. Single. Word.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

If it's good enough for Flo Jo...

Yesterday was an 11:11 kind of day.  I get that a lot of people (and whether he admits it or not, my husband is one of them) think that I am a bit of a loon when it comes to this "sign" from Rip, I get a lot of sympathetic nods when I try to explain...aka "the poor dear, someone clearly needs to up her medication".  But there are some things I just can't explain.  Yesterday, the number 1111 popped up at least a dozen times, at one point someone sent me at email at 11:07, but the time stamp read 11:11.  And yes, I asked if his clock was off, it wasn't.

I felt somewhat justified the other night when Parke and I were watching an Olympic special (which, by the way, I am so excited about the Olympics I can hardly stand it, but I digress) and a story about gold medalist, track and field star Florence Joyner, or "Flo-Jo", came on.  My heart nearly stopped (and I may or may not have stuck out my tongue at Parke) when her husband and daughter said that, since her death, they feel that she checks on them almost every day with her World Record winning time of 10:49.  Her daughter said that it is almost eerie, every day at least once a day she sees that number and feels her mother's presence.

Then this morning I was reading my daily devotional, Jesus Calling, and this line jumped out at me:
There is no limit to the variety of ways I can communicate with you.  Your part is to be attentive to my messages, in whatever form they come.


I don't know if my "eleven eleven"s are Rip speaking to me, or God speaking to me, telling me that my boy is okay, that I am going to be okay...but does it really matter?  All I know is that I see those numbers and I feel at peace.  And hey, if it's good enough for Flo Jo...

Monday, July 23, 2012

If You're Happy and You Know It...


Wave a Trash Bag Over Your Head! (I apologize for the possible neck injury you may sustain watching this video, I may have to fire my camera guy)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Peaks and Pits

Okay, I admit it...I watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians.  I should be more ashamed, but I'm not.  Furthermore, my favorite Kardashian is Khloe.  Do I want them to be role models for my daughter, no.  Do I enjoy them on a Sunday afternoon while I fold laundry, yes.
So, anyone familiar with the family K knows that it is their tradition to go around the table and list the peaks and pits of their day...incidentally, this is one of the reasons I like them, as this is also a tradition my family had growing up (although our similarities to the Kardashians pretty much end there).
I've been having some writer's block lately, I think there is just so much going on inside my head that I can't seem to get anything out.  I decided maybe the peaks and pits thing might be a good way for me to get my thoughts organized.
Peaks:
Obviously, Gracie.  Gracie, Gracie, Gracie. Which is a peak so huge it is practically a mountain! But,we also recently got the opportunity to move.  We are supposed to go September 1st, and this move is something we have been wanting for a long time...which leads us to...
Pits:
The dangblasted house we live in now.  Don't get me wrong, it's a great house (seriously, want to buy or rent it?!!?) It truly is a cute house, but we need more space, like yesterday.  If something doesn't happen before September,we might not get to move and well, that makes me want to say things not fit for this blog.
My other pit is kind of hard to put into words.  You know that story about putting golf balls, pebbles, and sand in a jar, where the golf balls are what's important and the sand is the small stuff blahdy blahdy blahdy (no? well, here you go...http://www.biz.colostate.edu/MTI/TeachingTips/Inspirational_Materials_Related_to_Education/MaynonnaiseJarTwoBeers.aspx)
Anyway, I feel like I am getting bogged down in the sand.  Do you ever feel like there is something you are supposed to be doing, and you aren't? I guess that's where I am right now.
So, there you have it...my peaks and my pits.  Khloe would be so proud.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It's the Knowing

Being a new Mama, you worry....a lot. I saw a quote the other day, I am sure most everyone has seen it because it is all over Pinterest (also known as "where did the last four hours of my life go"), it says...

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside of your body" Elizabeth Stone

And how true that is.  Today there was a huge thunderstorm, we're talking really big.  I sat and watched seven fire trucks whip by me and immediately began to panic...so much so that I made Parke ride by Gracie's daycare to make sure it wasn't on fire.

This kind of thing happens and people will say something like, "well, that is just being a mother", and I know that's true, just see the quote above.  But I have to wonder, how much of it is also being a mother who lost a child?

I think the difference is the knowing.  Not just the worrying about "what if" something happened, but the knowing what it would feel like if it did.  It adds a layer to being a mother, not always a bad layer. I know for certain that I take greater joy in Gracie's every breath because Rip also breathed.  But yes also an extra layer of fear and worry.

So as always, you take the good with the bad, you can't have one without the other. Half of my heart in heaven, the other half right here on earth. Right now my earthly half, part of  my good, is probably sucking down her last "ba ba" and waiting on her Mama to come give her some squeezes.  Yes please.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Spoiled...Just Another Word for Popular

Last weekend (after the Great Stomach Bug of 2012), Parke and I headed to Greenville to see The Lion King with my entire family.  The show was GREAT, but it was the first time Gracie was left with a babysitter that was not a part of her family and was not one of her "teachers" from school.  When we got home, the sweet babysitter (who has been keeping children, my sister included) for 24 years informed us that "somebody" had been spoiling this baby.  Apparently, Gracie demanded to be held the entire time we were gone.  Later, when Parke and I were slightly worried about this possible spoiling of our child, my mom assured us that spoiled was actually just another word for popular...makes total sense, don't you think??


The whole fam, post-show...I somehow managed to get a whole wad of gum stuck to the front of my dress after intermission, which is why I look a little sheepish


Spoiled?! I really have no idea what you are talking about.


Just a really popular kid

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

You might be a redneck if...



This is how Gracie has been taking baths for the past week or so...blue plastic baby pool in the front yard...heck, in this heat, anything goes!

(Apparently the heat got the best of Dock in the first picture as well)