I’m staying in the picture

Last week I came across this article and it really hit home. Wonderfully written, it addresses an issue that most moms deal with on some level: Photographs.

Most moms I know, myself certainly included, avoid the camera because we don’t like how we look in pictures. We are not the perfectly coiffed, pink-cheeked, mom-models that are so often seen in media today. I’m more along the lines of the short pudgy Italian lady in yoga pants and a drool and dog hair-covered shirt with crazy hair and no make up. This does not usually photograph well.

But after reading this article, I realized that this is who I am and that my son will remember me more for my laughter, hugs and kisses, playing, cooking, and just being me. I need to document these times, with myself in the photo, because they will be the mementos that my child will cherish after I’m gone. I know that he might possibly laugh at my crazy hair, but I think that he will focus more on how we both have the same nose.

I promise you, my sweet Joseph, I will grin, laugh, and smile for the camera.


Finding Time


“So many projects, so little time.”

I am positively itching to work on some knitting and sewing projects but I just can’t seem to find a free minute to do so and it is driving me crazy. I really need that outlet in my life. It helps me deal with stress and is a way that I can be “my own self” instead of mother, wife, cook, laundress, etc. Now, I enjoy being all of those other things (well, maybe not laundress) but in order to be good at those roles, I also need that creative release. Hopefully, I can figure out a way to find a balance and get back into the studio.

Leaving my baby

Shawn and I recently went on a trip to Las Vegas and left Joseph with his Grandma. (Shawn’s mom.) This was the first time that I was away from Joe for more than a few hours since I went to the hospital right after he was born. I really struggled with mixed emotions of guilt, elation, abandonment, and fear.

I knew that Joseph would be in great hands. My MIL is a nurse, raised two boys on her own as a single mother, and is one of the most cautious, careful people I know. He would probably take more precautions and care that Shawn and I do ourselves. I was more concerned about her stamina. I mean, I am whooped by the end of the day. Joey is a handful. He is all over the place, squirmy, and currently teething. He is also not a big napper. So, I was concerned that she would be worn out. Luckily, Shawn’s aunt and a few of her lady friends came by and helped out so she could get a break and have that extra pair of hands every once in a while.

I think that the biggest thing I struggled with was guilt. Guilt of leaving him, guilt of not being there, guilt of having fun and enjoying myself without him. It took me a few days to get over the constant guilt I felt about leaving him and allowing myself to relax and have a good time. I think that part of it was that I was getting reports that he was fussy, wouldn’t sleep, etc. After a couple of days of this, I had Shawn call his mom and talk to her to see how things were. She gave him a different perspective: they were having fun and she was enjoying her time with her grandson. It was hard work, but it was good. This made me relax a bit more and eased my mind that she, and him, weren’t miserable.

I continued to have some guilt about having a good time and enjoying myself without having to constantly care for Joseph. It was a revelation that I NEVER stop care-taking. Yes, Shawn helps a ton, but I am still “in charge” in one way or another. I can’t explain how good it felt to stop that for a little while. I know that is something that I have to work on, but I am unsure how to do this without having to fly across the country.

All in all, it was a really great experience. Shawn and I got the time we both really needed as a couple, I was finally able to relax and realize that he would be okay without me, and my MIL and Joseph got some serious bonding time together. I just hope that she wasn’t so worn out that she’d watch him again for us before he’s in preschool.




I want to that everyone for the encouragement and support in regards to my previous post.

It is difficult to not go down the “I failed, I’m not good enough” road when you don’t meet a goal that was so important and worked so hard for. (Running in this summer’s heat wave, 5:45 run times, etc.)

A good friend of mine put it in the perfect perspective for me:

“Samantha, you have faced many challenges in the past few years and wouldn’t be in such a good place now if you looked at them as failures. Roadblocks my dear, go around or over but never give up. We all believe in you. ”

So, I’m going to look at it as another roadblock and find a detour to get to my goal.


Last Friday was the March of Dimes Night Moves 5K. I did not run in it.

Ever since then end of August, I’ve been having a recurring problem with my feet as well as my right ankle/knee. I was struggling to be able to run consistently because of the pain and having to take days to rest it do I wasn’t hobbling around. I kept trying to work it out, but in the end I felt that I would do too much damage if I ran the race.

I’m planning on going to see my doctor and also talk to a running specialist about it. I am hoping that it is just a combination of needing better running shoes and maybe correcting my gait.

I am beyond disappointed. I was actually in years on Friday night when I had to finally come to terms that I wasn’t going to be able to meet my goal. I feel like a failure and I’m really sad, angry, and frustrated with myself and my body.

Until I can figure out what I can do to continue to run without pain, I’m planning on getting back into yoga and doing some lower impact cardio, like the elliptical. Hopefully, I can get things figured out and will be able to try again for a different 5K in the future.

I want to thank everyone, especially my sister and Shawn, for all of their support while trying to accomplish my goal. I’m sorry I let you all down.

Solo Parenting

I’ve been on my own with the little guy for the past couple days due to Shawn having to go on a business trip. He’s coming back today and I have to say that it is not a moment too soon. Don’t get me wrong, I love the peanut so much and enjoy being able to spend my time with him. I’m blessed that I am able to stay home and don’t have to deal the stress and worry that comes with sending your little one to day care while working full time. That being said, I really need a break by the end of the day and Shawn is amazingly helpful with taking up the reigns so I can get a breather. He also helps me so much with the little things; letting out the dog in the morning, getting bottles ready, making coffee, the list goes on and on. Okay, I’m not writing a post about how awesome my husband is (but I totally could!) but I want to explain why I am feeling extra frazzled at this point. Between being “on” with Joseph without any back up, no real interaction with anyone but an infant and a dog, and having to take care of all the big and little things through out the day and night, I am ready to drop. God bless the single parents out there who do this everyday without end. I am not sure I could make it. I am so lucky that I have Shawn coming back today. . . . maybe we should “welcome” him at the airport.

Things I’m Afraid To Tell You

I’ve decided to join in on a challenge that stemmed from this post by Jess from Makeunder My Life. Some 50 other bloggers and myself have decided to air our dirty laundry and just get things off our chest that we’ve often thought about sharing, but might have felt too fearful or uncertain to post. You can find the entire list of participants on Creature Comforts.
I feel like I’m pretty open about most things here (possibly a little too much so at times) but I think that it is a great idea to try to keep yourself honest and is a fantastic way to generate conversations about things that you might not always be comfortable bringing up. I feel like this previous post of mine is a great example. I was surprised and amazed by the comments and support I received, something I would not have gotten if I didn’t speak up.
I’ve decided to address this challenge using list form. (No surprise there.) So here it goes:
Things I’m Afraid to Tell You:
  • I sometimes feel guilty that I am able to stay at home with Joseph. I have many friends who work full time along with raising their children and I know how difficult that can be. I am blessed to be able to do it, but I am somewhat embarrassed to say it. I can’t fully explain why.
  • I watch the soap opera General Hospital. Usually, I DVR it so I can fast forward through story lines I don’t like. It is a guilty pleasure for me.
  • I feel that my husband is more stylish that myself and always ask his opinion on my wardrobe choices.
  • For the most part, I hated being pregnant. I felt like my body wasn’t my own and it frustrated me that I wasn’t able to do what I wanted. It made me realize how fragile my body is and to not take my health for granted. However, I would go through it all again for it was worth it to bring the light of my life into the world.
  • I worry about death and dying all the time. About myself as well as those I love. It terrifies me.
  • I have recurring dreams about tornados and train derailments. (Separately)
  • One of my biggest regrets is changing my major in college from Fine Art to Visual Communications. I did it because I was worried about finding a job, when I should have stuck with something I loved.
UPDATE: I am amazed by how open and honest everyone has been in this challenge. It is a great comfort to know that others have the same thoughts and worries that I do. I want to share a direct link to the participants so you can check out other posts.
Design for Mankind | Little Brown Pen | Beautiful Hello | Curating Style | Sweet Fine Day |The Jealous Curator | Happy Days | Sage & Berries | Really Handmade | Peck Life | Satsuma Press | Rena Tom | For the Easily Distracted | The Hemborg Wife | Vitamini Handmade |Courtney Khail Stationery and Design | Meg in Progress | Dando Photography Blog | Alison Citron | Pink Moon Daily | Just Pretty Things | From China Village |Tea with Me | The Darling Ewe | Not Your Average Ordinary | The Electric Typewriter |Elleby Design | Parsimonia {Secondhand With Style} | Life as an Artistpreneur | Hello Cupcake | Dellie | The A & B Stories | Pretty Little Things | Feistyelle | Nib & Zed | Well and Cheaply | I Ripple. I Dance. | Whitfield Awesome Blog | Foxtrot Press | Dry As Toast | The List of Now | Apple Blue

Bottles v. Boobs

I touched on this a little bit when I posted about Joseph’s birth, but I felt that I wanted to say a little bit more. I went into this thinking that I would breastfeed. I mean with these boobs, I thought that I would be the blue ribbon milker at the county fair. Unfortunately, things turned out differently.

The breastfeeding thing was hard. I was really wanting to do it and was pretty upset at first that it wasn’t happening. He latched on great at the hospital, but when I was home and got sick, my milk wouldn’t come out. I mean it was definitely in, I was swollen beyond belief. I was pumping with every feeding trying to get it to come out and nothing. My body was not letting me give up any fluids. I have to admit that I was really hard on myself about this, I was upset and felt that there was something wrong with me that I couldn’t do this for my child.

Well, it ended up that there actually WAS something wrong with me. I went to the hospital and was treated for the postpartum preeclampsia. This led to my milk drying up along with all the other fluids leaving my body. After some discussion with my doctors and with Shawn, I decided then that I did all I could to try to breastfeed, but I wasn’t willing to go on more medication to try to get my milk back. I just went through hell trying to get my body to regulate and get back to “normal” and I didn’t want to have a relapse or any other health issues so I could take care of my baby. He seemed to be happy and healthy on the formula and that is what mattered most to me.

Now, I must admit that I haven’t had too many bad comments from anyone yet, but I feel a lot of guilt about bottle feeding and also the need to explain WHY I’m not doing it. It’s a messed up thing. Society pushes the “breast is best” idea pretty hard and I understand the merits of breastfeeding, but for those who cannot -for whatever reason- do so, there is a great stigma there. I have some friends who were bullied by other moms about their choice and I truly feel for them. It is an emotional time and you are already wracked with guilt and anxiety over doing the right thing. It’s horrible to think that others would play on those feelings to make you doubt yourself and what you are doing for your child.

I am not saying either way which is better, I am only sharing what happened in my situation and how I am dealing with it. Bottom line: Joseph is thriving and that is all that matters to us.

Still no words. . .

One year ago today, my beautiful tiny twins came into the world. They were with us for such a brief amount of time, yet they will continue to be a large part of our lives forever. I think about you both often. Mary, you were so tiny and perfect with your little cupid’s bow lips, long slender fingers and your father’s feet. Christopher you were bigger than your sister, long legs and arms, the Torto nose and your father’s distinctive 4×4 head.

I pray for you every day and I know that you are together, which comforts me. I know that you are with me always.

You both have touched this pregnancy. Your little brother that will be here soon. Every moment has brought me closer to you . . . and him. I hope that you will both look after him once he has made his way into this world.


Shawn and I have decided to once again join the March of Dimes’ March for Babies walk in celebration of the twins, as well as their little brother, this year. The date of this year’s walk in Columbus will be Sunday, April 29th. We invite you to join us for the walk if you can, or perhaps you can find it in you to make a donation to this amazing cause. Our team page is located here.

We’d like to thank you all for the amazing love and support that you’ve given us this past year. We have gone through some of our highest highs and lowest lows and wouldn’t have been able to get through any of them without you. We love you all more than words can say.

grief & joy

Today was an unusually beautiful day here in Columbus. High in the low 60’s and partly cloudy skies. A spring day that was granted early. A day to be treasured.

I was out running errands, enjoying the weather by having the sun roof open and listening to the radio, when I decided that I wanted to go to the cemetery to visit the twins. This is something that Shawn and I usually do after church, I have not had the courage or strength to go there on my own yet. Something about the weather put it in my head and suddenly I was en route. The cemetery is not a beautiful place in the winter, soggy leaves, sad little monuments of love left over from Christmas, and black wet branches in a gray sky. But today’s weather distracted me and all I could think about was the warm, fresh air and the shy sun darting through the clouds.

It will be a year on Tuesday when I had that fateful appointment with Dr. Ruedrich and was admitted to the hospital for the attempted cerclage and bed rest. One year ago when our world started falling apart and we suffered the greatest loss possible. Here I am now, with another baby in my belly. A strong boy who likes to practice his ninja moves day and night. He’ll be here soon. I stood there thinking about how is it possible to feel so much joy and grief at the same time. Guilt and happiness, hope and loss, it’s all so intertwined. I’m glad that I went today, it was a big step that was made a little bit easier by a gently breeze and warm sun on my shoulders.