Keep on keepin' on...

Lilypie Trying to Conceive Event tickers
Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is that quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow!' (M. Radmacher)

October 22, 2013

Leaf to leaf

I rise up, I kiss and hug, I laugh, I work, I eat chocolate, I work some more, I dream, I write, I take pictures, I laugh and kiss and hug some more, and I fall down to sleep.

The days march on and oh, how I try to forget - in a world where forgetting just isn't possible - and oh, how I try to say... that this unfillable hole is just okay. And oh, how I try to look to beauty and hope and grace, all whilst I pray this gaping hole might yet go away.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
(Robert Frost)

September 2, 2013

Still wondering....

Will my whys be answered in Heaven, or will I just not mind anymore?

Until then, I wonder if I'll ever stop wondering why.

Why do most get the joy of creating a family bigger than two, of which I am denied? I see these families everywhere, at all stages, and I always wonder why... not why them, but why not us too?  Why don't we also get that joy?

When I wrote last time about how it was so bittersweet seeing Ar so wonderfully with my nephew... why not us too?

When my nephew was born (30 years and 2 days after me), I dreamed that it wouldn't be too long before Ar and I would marry and have our own. Back then, even with my PCOS, I still believed it would happen. How wonderful to raise kids right behind my brother, I thought... cousins! I had this dream that we'd all meet up in the Wisconsin Dells every year in the winter for indoor water park fun, and our usual north woods trip in the summer. Such fun we'd have. We were never close with our own cousins, but I very much believe that if we'd had kids, they'd be close to my beloved niblings.

I still struggle with the notions of "what did I do wrong to deserve this?" Intellectually, I reject that notion; emotionally... well, that's a different matter.

Why, and will I ever stop asking why?

And... why do I get to live and walk and see and feel and work? Why do I get to have a family of two, with such an amazing husband? Why is my life filled with more love than I could ever possibly deserve? Why do I get to live in relative safety, freedom, and comfort? Why am I never hungry for longer than... a blink of an eye? Why me - and why not others?

Why, indeed.

We are living in a beautiful, but fallen, world, to be sure. Are there answers beyond that, or is there only faith, hope, and perseverance?

Oh Lord, I just don't know. Please help me always be more grateful for what I have, than devastated for what I have not.

August 26, 2013

A little happy heart hurt

We went on our annual family vacation in the Wisconsin north woods, this past week. If you've already read my other blog Boy and a girl..., or looked on Facebook, or talked to me, or... have psychic abilities, you already know this. You probably also know that I really had a great time. There was really no family drama to speak of, which is wonderful! Maybe we're all growing up... who knows. ☺

It was a very nice time, a happy time!

Sometimes happy makes the heart hurt, though. It was a little bit hurt from joy - at least that's what it stemmed from. See, I adore my niblings - I adore them ever so much.

It's always wonderful to spend time with them... they live, as does the rest of my family, about six hours away, so times together are too few and too short. Being up north together seems to be the best of our times together. The trip really was wonderful - completely wonderful!

So why the hurt heart? Well, see, my nephew really adores my dear Ar.  (Who can blame him??) They are kindred spirits, I do believe. Both my niblings are always so happy when Ar is around - but especially my nephew. He follows Ar around everywhere. He even got his own awesome hat, to be more like Ar. It's truly a lovely and heartwarming thing.

And heartbreaking. Incredibly heartbreaking.

Oh how I wish, how I wish, how I wish....

Week 34 of Photo 52: Face in the Crowd 

This was Ar's catch, and nephew helped him with the net. 

Now, on this next one, they had caught the same bass...

Nephew caught one off the pier, but it was too big and snapped his line. He was hoping to catch it again because it was that nice. A bit later, Ar snagged a similar looking bass... and it just so happened to have nephew's hook that he's just lost in it!! That's what they're looking at in this photo. These two awesome fishermen were over the moon about catching the same bass. Aren't they adorable!?!?

Oh yes, it made my heart so happy.

And so very, very sad.

How I wish.

August 17, 2013

Dark, and not very humorous, humor

Wanna know something funny?  I haven't told anyone else this yet, but it's pretty HI-larious!!

About a week and a half ago, I had some spotting. I very rarely ever have spotting, though it happened one other time recently too. Both times, because I'm not a very fast learner, it occurred to me that it might be implantation bleeding.  Get it? Implantation bleeding!!!  Good one, huh? I actually pictured myself telling Ar, this very week after AF would surely fail to show and I surely would get a BFP, that we finally made it there...  how weird am I?

Sorry, I suppose my IF humor isn't very humorous at all... but I have to try to poke fun at myself.  It's better than all the alternatives, which still happen, but laughing at myself does help.

Implantation bleeding.  Ahh, that's funny stuff. Like this old girl has any hope of having kiddies.  Ah well.

No, instead, AF decided to show up the very day we're heading for vacation - today. And that, my friends, is AF's dark humor. AF always gets the last laugh.

Anyhow, such is life. At least I didn't tumble out of a booth this week...  Oh wait...  I did - here it is, in case you haven't been reading my new blog - the one about new: Strange, but true.

Not that I'm feeling particularly whimsical, but I'm behind on posting my Photo 52 photos. I'm mostly going to post them over in the new blog now, I think, but this one makes me feel a little lighter at heart, so here is one from a few weeks ago, which I haven't posted in blog-land yet.

Week 29, Photo 52: Whimsy
I wish I could have had the time to circle around this adorable, whimsical statue to shoot it from different angles - but I was with a group of friends, who aren't as patient as Ar is at waiting for me to take a zillion photos of one subject, so I had to shoot and run. I do like the reflections though, and that all those cute duckies are in there... Aren't they too cute!? The photo could be better, but the statue is just wonderful!!

August 5, 2013

The road long traveled

Some days I feel like I just might make it through the rubble... some days I trust that I won't always have to feel so sad... so thoroughly broken. Some days, I can acknowledge the grief and the triggers, but am able to cope - to keep going, to keep smiling... to believe that the road long traveled is still leading somewhere worth going.

Then there are all the too many other days. The days that I just don't know how I can keep acting normal and functional, when I feel so horrible - so completely wrecked. Days when I have no energy and no motivation to even think about coping, and when I'm woefully sure there is absolutely nothing new or good under the sun for poor me. Days when something so small and seemingly harmless can completely derail me, and when the bend seems to be merely a far off mirage.

These days, when my heart just hurts so much that it extends to my tummy and every muscle in my body, the only solution seems to be to crawl into our bed and hide, which is too frequently not an option.

I don't even know what the difference is between the days. Am I really that mentally unstable? Probably! With a few heavy dashes of wrecked.

Week 28 of Photo 52: Rustic
Still, somehow, somewhere deep inside, I know that whether I walk, skip, trudge - or even crawl a couple inches at a time before lying face-down in the dirt for a while - the only way remains forward.  But not now, now is the time for that bed.

July 31, 2013


Oh yes, if wishes were babies...
I'm trying to keep moving, but my heart really hurts.

I'm not really sure I ever have any strong days... but I guess it's just step by step. 

July 26, 2013

New blog

Well, I finally got my new blog up. The blog about new. We'll see how it goes - what feels right. I'll perhaps still write here, if I need to process my grief more... I don't plan to dwell on anything like that there, but who knows. As I write, I just let it come out. It's always been my style. But this is a new phase, and a new blog is warranted. I always wondered what I'd do, if I had kids... would I turn this blog into a mommy blog, like so many IFers who got their happy ending have done. I always thought I would not, because I've so often noticed that every time I found a great new IF blog, the next week it turned into a mommy blog. I think my subscribing to IF blogs was a lucky charm for them. Wish I'd have a lucky charm.

Anyhow, I've had a number of things nagging at me these last couple weeks, bringing me down. It's just always baby central around me, it seems, and it really is so hard. I hope others can understand how hard it is. I hope you, my few but loyal blog readers, can understand....  see how the painful reminders are everywhere.

I hope that because I worry I've become an awful and petty person, but it's just so incredibly hard.

However, I'm actively working on not focusing on those things that are constantly flying around me. I once read, supposedly from Martin Luther, though I've never verified that he said it:

"You cannot keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair."

Whether he said it or not, I like that. That's where I am, I guess... trying to stop the birds from building a nest. 

And so, I may need to step back from my last remaining IF groups. I don't know though. It's just that most of those I'm closest to have found good outcomes by now, so I won't feel like I'm abandoning anyone who needs support. The few that I'm close to, who are still struggling, are ones that I largely communicate with outside of the groups, anyhow - and I wouldn't want that to stop.

It's hard though, when I think about it, because these women have been so important to me throughout this, but I'm not sure being in the groups are healthy for me anymore. I have to think that through more, and feel it out. They're barely even active anyhow, because of all those good outcomes. I guess that's part of why it's hard - the feeling of inadvertent abandonment - others get to move on. I have to move on too - just not the way I want to. And so, such is life.

So here is my new blog... the blog about new: Sweetest in the Gale.  So, in case I haven't already scared you off too badly, by my anxious, depressive, horrid personal rantings, you can check that out. It's strange to have a new blog - a blank slate. This blog, Under Our Tree, which I started during the worst and the lowest of my life, has been so important to me in this nightmare of a journey.

Writing here, and the love and support from you few and loyal, has felt like such a lifesaver! I generally can't speak of it - my grief - very easily, so I'm grateful for this - for you! - and I hope that the new one will be as positive an experience, though I do find myself having some anxiety about the newness of it all - but what else is new, eh?  ☺

July 13, 2013

New at 42

 So it seems I'm another year older. I'm thankful for that, though I wouldn't mind if I could age just every three years or so.... Kinda like how a year in dog years is equal to seven people years, only in reverse.  Still, I really am thankful - not for the aging thing (fertility issues aside, as I sit here on ice, I can tell you that my back and I are not thrilled about the aging process part) but life is good, even when it's bad, and I'd much rather be here than not.

My birthday, and the days leading up to it, were wonderful!  I traveled to see family and friends and then Ar and I took a little trip. Everything was lovely! This birthday was much less emotionally difficult on me than the last couple were, so that's good.

My friend K was the only one who would pose with the Fonz and me...  Ayyyy
In the midst of the fun, with lots of time spent on the road and with the word FREEDOM floating in my head from the photo challenge, somehow I came up with the idea that for me to be free, I have to be ready for newness.

I've often written of how stuck I have been and how impossible the thought of getting unstuck is. Somehow, in a road weary state, I decided to challenge myself this birthday to become new again. Not me, so much... I'm not interested in a new me - take me or leave me, love me or hate me, but as for me - massively flawed though I am - I'm generally okay with who me is.  But I'm not okay with me remaining stuck.  Life is both too long and too short to let myself stay stuck. After all, life still wants.
It's good to keep making new friends too...
So I challenged myself to do 42 new things this year - my 42nd year. They don't have to be big or major or profound things - knowing me, most of them will be silly and/or edible...  but it's really just about an attitude of unstuckness. An attitude of actively remembering that, despite the chronic harshness of my inability to bring new life into this world, life is still good and new. I've been waiting for so long for the newness that I want, that I'm missing out on much of the newness that is and that could be.

As the poet once said, "You can't always get what you want. You can't always get what you want. You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes... well you might find you get what you need." (Rolling Stones)

I continue to - and will always - grieve for the newness that can never be mine, but I don't want it to prevent me from seeing that newness that is.

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.  His mercies never come to an end... they are new every morning, new every morning - great is thy faithfulness, Oh Lord, great is thy faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22)

So I've accepted my challenge to do 42 new things before my 43 birthday. I believe I will start a new blog, in the spirit of newness, to document this journey of new. I'm still hesitant to share this blog with more people in my life, since it's rather intimate, so a new blog might be an opportunity to be more open. Actually, less open, but to more people...  Anyhow, if I do, I'll post the new link here. Hopefully I'll get that going in the next couple days.

But to follow up from my last post, and because this would count as my first new thing of 42, I will just note quickly that we attended the adoption information meeting this morning. In short, it firmed up in both of our minds that this route is a closed door to us. 

About 80% of this is simple fact of the matter - not emotion. For some reason, I'd blissfully forgotten that Ar's age is a major limiting factor for agency adoption. In fact, it's a closed door to the only kinds of agency adoption that we mutually agree are feasible for us. 

There was a lot of good information, over the three hour presentation. Along with a wealth of facts and experience, the adoption coordinator warned us to not heed the adoption stories we've probably heard from past adoptive parents, because trends have changed so dramatically just over the past few years - and that it's a really different story now.

All of this was strangely comforting: freeing. This is a closed door. That is the reality. Over this journey, there's always the burden of possibility... it's a blessing and a curse. In this case, it's good to know that it's a closed door, to know that we are operating based on fact. I'm glad we went. 

The only possibility for us would be if we hear of someone personally, who is looking for adoptive parents. The chances of this are slim, but Ar has some inquiries to make about that, but I'm not counting on anything. 

I'm sad about it and, well, about everything. But this is how it is. And that is that.
The lumberjack who makes this 42 year old feel like I'm only 22!!

July 12, 2013


 I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

Week 27 of Photo 52: Freedom

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill 
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom. 

(Maya Angelou)

June 30, 2013

Summer days

"What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade." (Gertrude Jekyll)

Ahhh, summer days...

...summer days! Are there any nicer words in the English language?  (Not many!)

Week 26 of Photo 52: Photographer's Choice
 Everything seems so fresh...

and new.

It's a lovely time to stick your head out a bit, and...

...stretch yourself, even if it makes you look a bit awkward.

Go ahead... taste all the goodness that summer has to offer. 

And be sure to kick back and relax some... especially with the ones you love most. 
(Love: there really is no nicer word in the English language than that one!) 

Yeah, somehow summer makes it just a bit easier to believe again
 that every day holds the possibility of a miracle.

So cheers to summer, and to stretching ourselves a bit, even if it's awkward.... 
"Hi HJ and Ar,
You are registered for the adoption information meeting on Saturday, July 13, 9:00-11:30 a.m. at the E Street office. We look forward to seeing you there.
Best regards, 
Carol Adoption Information Specialist" 
 ...and even if it's a long shot to work, and

even if you aren't sure you're ready for it to work, even if it were possible for it to work. 

Yeah, summer is a fine time for exploration.