Friday, November 29, 2013

Snips and snails and sugar and spice...

This morning, I recieved a notice on my phone saying "Congrats! You are now 21 weeks pregnant!"

It stated some other stuff but I didn't read it before I cleared it away. I sat on my bed a few minutes in disbelief. How on earth can I be 21 weeks pregnant already? It can't be true.

Well, yup, it is. I know for a fact it is, because a little over a week ago, I had an ultrasound that confirmed it.

AND, Baby Boo was cooperative and shared the big secret- It's a girl!

I was in disbelief about that, too, I've always wanted a daughter, but my heart and mind had me feeling I was a boys' mommy and I would have three or four boys eventually. I LOVE being mommy to my sons and it just seemed to make sense that Baby Boo was a boy. We even had the name finalized.

So, when the first (of three) technicians and nurse said "it's a girl!" I think I probably gave her a strange "are you kidding me?" look. Not at ALL what I imagined that mystical moment to play out as. I saw myself giggling and maybe crying and squeaky. Instead, I was questioning her sanity and probably a bit smug. Eh, it is what it is. 

I sat there musing how my husband would think I was kidding, and my sister too, when I told them the news. So I had them re-glance, and the tech and nurse both said there were no boy parts. Okay then...

Toward the end, another tech came in and finished the ultrasound and she checked too. Independently, she also decided Boo is a little lady and printed an ultrasound to "prove it." 

By this point I was becoming a little giddy, but still totally shocked. I couldn't wait to tell Jake (who couldn't get off work to come with me), but wanted to do it in person, so I text asking if I could stop by work to talk to him- that it needed to be in person.

Fast forward: an hour (I had my midwife appointment) later, I was pulling into his work, with the ultrasound laying beside me. I could tell he was freaked out and worried I had bad news, but I simply handed him the print-outs. He looked at the first few before finding the one that read "it's a girl!" (I have this all on video because I'm sneaky like that, but I don't have permission to share it, sorry). His face turned into a smirk and he asked me (as I knew he would), if it was true, if they were sure, how they knew, and a few other things. He concluded telling me he doesn't know if he trusts ultrasounds, which lead me to start second (ah.. quadruple) guessing the results, but I said they were as sure as they can be and three different professionals all say girl.

As the day went on, he got more excited.

I wanted to tell my family in person because we were seeing them on Sunday, and nearly all of them were hoping for a girl. So, I avoided telling them and text a few close friends, about half of whom were shocked and the other half off-the-wall-I-told-you-so-excited.

Came home and put a pink border on Boo's quilt before I went to work (and told a handful of little girls who had been guessing the gender and were anxiously awaiting my news).

On Saturday, we did a quick gender announcement photo session with Something Clicked Photography for our public online announcement that would come after telling my family.  My sister and I joked with my husband about naming the baby Precious Beulah. He is NOT a fan.

On Sunday, we told my mom by way of showing her the adorable blanket we made, saying "look what we made for the baby!"  I gotta say, my family seemed pretty excited. That night, I shared these photos:

Spencer and Collin... honestly don't care. Haha. Not that I find that surprising in any way. Spencer gets excited to say "baby sister!" as well as the name we are basically certain we will give her (nope, not telling yet). It's ADORABLE. But beyond that, they're just happy for balloons in the house again, and a new fuzzy blanket to cuddle with. Yup, we are all enjoying her blanket, because 19 or so weeks is a long time to store it away. 

I'll be honest, I still catch myself thinking of Boo as "it" instead of "she" and I think it's because the concept of calling my children a feminine pronoun is just bizarre still. I know eventually it will come naturally.  But sometimes I still nearly call Boo the name she would have been if she were a he. 

I'm nervous about raising a daughter, too. Various things concern me: I'm not super "girly" and the idea of tons of baby-pink/pastel pink is a bit unnerving, we have to buy all new clothes, and will have to have girl toys! What? Jake and I both watch the boys play and say to each other "what is she going to play with? I hope she likes cars..." But more than anything, quite frankly, at this point in time, is my plaguing worry that she too will suffer from PCOS and all of the insecurities, ugly symptoms, and heartbreak struggling to have a family will affect her in the future as it has me. I've already cried over the possibility.

Only time will tell.

For now, I'm still wrapping my mind around this fittingly surprising (as everything about this pregnancy has been) discovery and realizing that another one of my lifelong dreams is (assuming that ultrasound was right!) going to come true.

Thanks to everyone who has congratulated us! 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Three, already.

Dear Spencer,

I must have blinked a few too many times this year, because it seemed the last 365 days flashed by in a rush. It cannot have been a full year since we celebrated your two full years on earth. Is it really possible?

Oh, sweet baby boy, my baby, grown much behind baby-hood, how I cherish you. I cherish you even more today, if possible, than the day you entered our lives.

You are the beautiful miracle that made me a mommy, and made Jake (as you were calling him last night) a daddy. I cannot imagine my life without you. I imagined becoming a mommy, dreamt of its splendor for so long, but could never have imagined how wonderful you would be.

Spencer, you are incredible. Do not let the world lead you to believe any different. At three years old, you are incredibly intelligent, so polite, kind, and loving (and mischievous, I won't lie). You are artistic and musical, resembling your father and I both so obviously. You make me laugh so hard, it wins over any frustration I find in times that are tough. 

Your kisses, your hugs, and every time you say "I love you so much," make every second of motherhood worthwhile.

I adore watching you play with your little brother. You may not always get along (and sometimes your fights are downright hilarious), but there is an unmistakable well of love for one another that flows between you. It is indescribably magnificent.

I love countless things about you, little man- the way you kiss your shadow on the wall, your glorious laugh, the overwhelming and contagious joy you find in a select few songs that causes your brother to join you in laughter, singing, and dancing, the way you will run from person to person throughout the house to give hugs, kisses, high fives, or shake hands, or how some early mornings you sneak out of your bed and cuddle up beside me, your love for trains and freight cars, the fact that it seems you occasionally dream about penguins and then feel the need to search your closet for them, how you tell me "good job" when I do simple things like pour Kix in your bowl, your ability to recite your favorite books word-for-word... and so many, many more things. You make it so easy to love you.

Dear boy, I want you to know that while some days I feel I may fail as a mother, I love you with every ounce of my being. I would lay down my life for you and your brother in an instant. I pray every day, nothing but the best that God can bless upon you. 

While every birthday is a little bittersweet (or maybe more than a little, as I realize I have tears on my cheeks), seeing another reminder that time passes so quickly, I look forward to celebrating each coming day with you. I cannot wait to see what your future holds.

I love you little buddy. 

Always and forever,

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Most Epic Day of my Life

Thirty years ago today was one of the most monumental moments of my life. Arguably, it was the most important and miraculous, but seeing as how I do not remember it, I claim other moments are equally as significant, in different ways.

But, Monday, October 17, 1983 was the day it all officially began.  Not only did Gerard Debreu win the Nobel prize for economy, the Green Bay Packers host the Washington Redskins and beat them by a mere point, and the Grateful Dead perform live at Olympic Arena in Lake Placid, New York (which is apparently available as a free-streamed recording), Evil Kneivel, Eminem, Rita Hayworth,  and Ziggy Marley's birthdays were being celebrated, but, on that morning, I was born. My parents, Richard and Anita, met their firstborn (of 5) children for the first time.

This wonderful day of my birth is always very exciting to me, because it's a yearly reminder that two people loved each other so much that they brought me into this world, and that God has blessed and watched over me another year, allowing me to create countless, irreplaceable memories and enjoy this life on earth.

Yes, it's sappy. But I'm sappy, so it makes sense to me.

As I said (and as also makes sense), I don't remember that day. So, as a fun little thirtieth birthday celebration to myself, and a (hopefully fun but likely a bit annoying) way to get my parents to reminisce, I decided to ask them some interview questions, all about myself.

When it came to being first-time parents, my mom and dad were both a little excited and nervous. My dad said he was actually most nervous about telling his parents that he was going to become a father, but the thing that excited him most was that I was a girl (sorry, brothers, dad likes daughters more).

I was actually born a few days early, on my own, unlike either of my sons. My mom remembers exactly what was going on when she started labor. She, my dad, and a couple of friends, had gone to the Berton theater (which was in my hometown but no longer exists, being built in the 1940s and closed in 1990) to see the movie "Stroker Ace." It starred Bert Reynolds and Loni Anderson. I forgot to ask either of my parents if they liked it, but it was rated 14% by online movie critics. 

Something about a race car driver pissed about wearing a chicken suit. I haven't seen it yet. 

If I had been a boy, my mom would have named me Dustin (the name given to my brother born 2.5 years later), though my dad was rooting for the name Steven. But, being who I am, they chose the name Nicole Marie. 

This (the woman) is who I was named after:

You may recognize the couple (if you've ever been into soap operas) as Nikki and Victor Newman from the Young & the a Restless. Yes, I am here to tell you that my dad was apparently a fan of this woman of... Questionable antics and behaviors, and this is how my name was chosen. However, I can also tell you that while I don't watch the show, I have heard some details about this Nikki lady, and I am nothing like she was at the time of my birth- aside, I suppose, from being a female homo sapien with eyes and arms and stuff... and now I'm married. I honestly know not much else about her to compare.

Turns out I was a bit of a spoiled baby, I guess, because I was the first grandchild on my mom's side, so naturally the grandparents were smitten with me, and my aunts and uncle gave me a fair share of attention. My dad said I was a typical daddy's girl.

My first birthday was spent in Dodge City, Kansas, at the Dodge House. 

It's apparently the only full-service Western themed hotel & conference center. By this point I already had long blonde (which is no longer that color) hair, and I could speak quite well (I had a lengthy phone conversation with my grandma, I was once told). We celebrated with a Care Bear birthday cake and the rest of the railroad crew, who my mom said adored and spoiled with me. My dad was not dressed like Wyatt Earp (I asked), even though the hotel is on Wyatt Earp drive/avenue/street/boulevard/something.

Yes, the railroad crew. My dad was part of the railroad crew for about four years before I started school. I am told my mom and I, and later my brother, traveled often with them, to various states (Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Arkansas, and Illinois, to name a few).

I asked about my personality and antics as a wee one, and had a good time reading their responses.   My dad said he thought it was awesome and funny that I knew how to walk before I could crawl. I would apparently fall down and get mad about being stuck. My mom said I would color only the circles in my coloring book pages. Spencer recently went through a circles obsessed phase, too! She loved that I could talk before I was one, and I sang a lot. I loved singing "You are my Sunshine" with my Grandma Leora. I now sing that with my boys! I also had a fondness for Bruce Springsteen as a little little girl, singing "Born in the USA" and "Smokin' in the Boys' Room." Haha.

I asked also what were the most annoying-ish things I did as toddler. Turns out, I allegedly would write letters and draw shapes on things like chairs, and blame it on Dustin, who my mom claims was too young to write such things. Haha. Also, I had him brainwashed into believing that his name was Papa Smurf, and he would only answer if called that. That was supposedly very annoying, though I still find it utterly amusing.

I became a big sister for the first time at about 2.5 years old, to the aforementioned brother, Dustin. I was very excited about it, and adored him and helping with him, both parents tell me. I still love being a big sister to the four crazy kids, Dustin, Bryan, Samantha, and Allison, that are all younger, but nearly all bigger than me. All but one is actually an adult now. 

My favorite movie as a toddler was the "Muppet Movie." I was adamant that ketchup was a food group, much like Spencer feels about peanut butter and/or sprinkles. My mom says that my favorite thing was people, and that Spencer is just like I was at his age.  My dad's opinion, however, is that I'm more like Collin. Guess both boys take after me somehow! 

And, here I am, 30 years later. I've moved about two hours from home, started a family with my best friend and only boyfriend I ever really had that I actually loved. Someone asked me already if I feel 30. I guess I do? I feel like... I did the other day, only on Thursday, and if that's how 30 feels, then yes. I've been asked if 30 makes me sad or nervous or anxious or whatever, and it doesn't. My friend, Jenn, says I'm finally in the 29 Forger club, where quite a few of my close women friends already are as well. 30 makes sense. And it sounds... Respectable somehow.

Happy 30th Birthday to me! How am I going to celebrate? By not being sick like yesterday, having coffee and pastries with one of my BFFs, hiding in my bedroom with my sister while the boys watch Elmo downstairs, and drinking two cream sodas! Living large, you know? 

Friday, October 11, 2013


When I was a little girl, before puberty, I dreamed of a wedding someday. As many little girls do, I went through periods of dreaming of marrying a prince. I dreamt of a movie-type romantic love.  I dreamt of being a mommy someday.  

When I hit puberty, I still had these dreams, but they were tainted with fear and worry. As many girls do, I suffered from self-esteem issues related to my appearance. I worried people thought I was ugly and fat. 

But, I also had added worries, and they haunted me for years. Well, they still haunt me sometimes. 

As most teens encounter, I began developing some acne. I felt so gross, because nothing seemed to help clear it up. I was sure people thought I was crazy hideous.

Next came a change on my arms. I started noticing the hair on my arms was darker and thicker than it once was. I thought maybe I was part man. It sounds stupid, but I had nightmares. I tried shaving my arms a couple times, but felt it worthless because it would just grow back, quickly, dark and coarse. I resigned to wearing long sleeves as much of the year as possible and just cry about it. I was certain I was a freak. And I was pretty convinced no one would ever think I was pretty.

And then toward my 20s, I started gaining weight. I wasn't really any less active in college than in high school. In fact, I would argue I was more so, walking campuses constantly, for example. But it didn't seem to help.

However, by the time the weight gain had started, I had met a new friend. His name was Jake. I thought he was pretty good looking. I had a crush on him I his from myself, or tried to ignore, for over a year. I met him in 2001, and the crush started a few months later when he caught a ride with his best friend and surprised me for my 18th birthday party, having traveled hours to get there. He wrote the sweetest, longest message in my birthday card (I still have it), and after, we emailed, talked on the phone for hours, wrote letters, and visited as much as possible. He would drive five hours to come see me for one night. He would kidnap me for a weekend. 

I just never imagined he could love me. I was too nerdy. Awkward, ugly.

But, in the fall of 2002, as I lay on my dorm room bed, he told me "I love you, Nicole." And I confessed that I had fallen in love with him, too.

It was surreal. There have been countless times since then where I have doubted him. Not necessarily his love, but his attraction to me, and whether or not I could believe if he said I looked great, or was beautiful, or sexy. And I would doubt whether or not he could just honestly love someone he wasn't really attracted to.

I love myself. I've gotten there, by the grace of God and support from family and friends. I do. But I still suffer from self-esteem issues. Especially from the symptoms of PCOS that I suffer. These things that haunted me since puberty, made me question if I was really a woman (or if maybe at birth my parents just decided to raise me as a girl). These things I didn't understand until college when I researched them more, and after college when I was diagnosed with PCOS after we began trying for a family. (Oh, I married Jake, in case you're new to my blog).

These symptoms cause me the most self-doubt and negative thoughts when  meeting new people for the first time. At job interviews. Around groups of kids. I still opt for long sleeves if the weather allows it. I try not to show my arms or full body in photos, if I can help it. Kids, as blunt as they are, sometimes ask me about my arms, or if I'm part werewolf. (Depending on the kid, sometimes I say yes, and they think that's so awesome.) I worry that one day my kids will get made fun of because their mom looks like a gorilla. Or is hairier than their dad.

I worry that the first things everyone notices about me when they see me in person is that my arms are hairy, my skin isn't clear, and I'm pudgy. I worry they are embarrassed to be seen with me. I hate it. But I am pretty good at hiding my dear and carrying on. 

Last night, I took this self-portrait for my August Moms group, because someone asked the pregnant mommas to show off. I was in a hurry and not paying a lot of attention, and uploaded it without "proofing" it to hide my flaws- those ugly symptomatic arms especially. In my caption, I apologized-ish for showing my gorilla-esque arms because they're unsightly and embarrassing.

And one momma replied she hadn't even noticed until I said something.

And this morning, she reminded me that there are some people who see me as beautiful, for whatever reason, or who don't see what I see in the symptoms that cause me so much self-doubt. She reminded me that my husband thinks I'm beautiful, and attractive, even if I don't see it. He even told me I was last night (or it may have been the night before). 

It reminded me that some people really like me for me.

On my blog, I sometimes wrote serious topics. I write for me, but also on behalf of the countless others who may relate but not be able to express.

I cherish every comment my blog receives. If you wish to comment, but prefer anonymity, you may comment that way. If you need someone to talk to, but don't feel comfortable commenting here, you can reach me at Nicole.m.worthley[at]gmail[dot]com


Friday, September 27, 2013

It's not that I'm brave.

I've been told in the past that I'm a great writer, too good a writer, or brave for writing. 

My own husband, today, sent me this:

I laugh now as I read that he says "you know it."  Pfft. I would argue I'm your common, every day blogger, just typing it out as it comes.

I digress (big shock, I know).

I posted last time about the paradoxical feelings of being joyfully, miraculously pregnant while you have dear friends suffering a loss. 

I recieved this comment:
It was written by a dear friend, one I admire and respect, who inspires me to be a great, God-loving mommy to my own boys, both by her blog and in real life. When I read it, I smiled, feeling, honestly, a bit of self-esteem boost, knowing she was willing to publicly say such a thing to me. Especially because I don't see myself as brave.

On Facebook today, I saw this:

I was totally not expecting to see it. I had completely forgotten I had given permission for them to use that letter. It can be read on their blog here:

A few friends, my husband, and I began discussing it. And the topic of "bravery in my blogging" came up. 

"I just feel like... I've been there, maybe you have, maybe you are, maybe you will be, but it won't be alone, because I've been there too. So don't be ashamed."

I write my life. I write about things I've either been through, am going through, or am passionate about. I have receive comments occasionally, not often, but I have thousands of views for the blog and sometimes hundreds of views on posts. I rarely look at my stars, because they just don't really matter. I'm not pleading for comments, though, admittedly, I love them.

But it's just not really about that. 

Today, I told my friends, that I just love when people are willing to openly tell me (via comment, email, or Facebook message, whichever is their comfort level)  that they relate to what I wrote about. I realized after I said it, it could come off a bit conceited, but that's not what I meant. I meant it in that "I just feel like... I've been there, maybe you have, maybe you are, maybe you will be, but it won't be alone, because I've been there too. So don't be ashamed." 

I mean it in that I believe it is important to know YOU are not alone.

I don't so much care about me. I know realistically I am not alone, but not everyone knows that. I've gotten comments before reflecting the sentiment that for the first time, after reading about my experience, they felt they weren't alone anymore.

That's what it's about when I blog intense subjects.

My friends pointed out that some of the things I write about are still a bit "taboo" to some social circles and media sites. Lots of people do not want to acknowledge them. 

I write about infertility and pregnancy loss a bit. Because I've been there. Because I KNOW others struggle and might not feel they have support or someone who understands.

But, sadly, most of the time, society and social media wants to brush these subjects under the table.

I'm here to say I think that is absolutely preposterous. There is NO reason that a woman (or a couple) should be made to feel ashamed for something they are already heartbroken about. 

So, I guess, if that makes me brave, so be it. 

If you are someone needing to reach out, feel free to comment below. It can be anonymously, or if you feel more comfortable, my email is nicole.m.worthley[at]gmail[dot]com

Peace to you all.

Thursday, September 19, 2013



It is absolutely heart-wrenching to suffer with infertility. To try, to battle, to lose month after month, while friends and family around you bring new life into their families. It's crushing to hear people say "we weren't even trying!" or "we got pregnant the first try!" when you live, day in and day out, in the agony and turmoil that infertility brings.

I know. I've been there.

It's so incredibly hard to lose a baby. It takes your breath away. It makes your uterus ache with emptiness, and your arms ache with loneliness. The hot if a positive pregnancy test shattered and stomped on with the absence of the heartbeat that was once in your womb. The constant ticking of the clock that no longer brings you closer to the joyous birth of your miracle. 

I know. I've been there.

When I went through those dark journeys, I did so openly, not caring that there would be (and there were) judgements and ridicule, shame and condemnation, for choosing the level of openness that I did. I knew that if I held it inside, seemingly to hold it all together, my hope and my spirit would crumble quickly. (You can read about my journeys here on this blog.) 

I've been blessed now with four pregnancies, and the births of two sons.

And in this fourth pregnancy, I find myself on the opposite side of the some of the darkest of journeys motherhood, or the pursuit of motherhood, can bring.

This time, I've been the one to openly confess that, despite years of infertility battles, we conceived without trying. 

I feel like I should be over the top overwhelmed with pure joy in this miracle that we never imagined would come naturally. And yet... 

I've been conflicted, openly, from the beginning, mostly regarding the timing of this new miracle.

However, there's more to it.

This time, I'm the one with the baby growing inside of me, while multiple friends that I love so dearly, struggle through the darkness of infertility, miscarriage, or the sheer longing to be a mother but the inability to be one due to various other life circumstances.

When I was going through the battles and the loss, as I said, the pregnancy announcements and births were quite a paradox. There was the incredible joy I felt for those I care for, but also the sharp stabbing pain in my own heart and hope. Jealousy, anger, despair- they are miserable and lonely emotions. You feel ashamed beyond description to feel the negative side while also the joy for them. You find yourself either distancing or trying to overcompensate by being extra interested. Not always, but sometimes. I've done both to various extremes. 

You try so hard to discount your negative feelings, because you think they shouldn't be there.

I say, embrace them. Explore them enough so you can understand them. Then, pick up the pieces of your broken heart, and try to heal. Somehow.

I don't have the magic answer. For me, it was being surrounded by support. Love. Empathy and encouragement. Understanding. Compassion. Prayer. Blogging.

It may take years, but I believe you can heal.

But, I digress.

I'm learning about the other side, as I said. I'm now the one who, God willing, will be delivering a baby in April. I have multiple friends due to welcome new life into their families around the same time.

But, I also have a few friends who were supposed to join. That's what their pregnancy tests confirmed. That's the joy they've embraced so fully, dreamed about, and maybe even shared with the world. And suddenly, as happened to me, the dream was shattered. They've empty wombs and broken hearts. And, no matter how much I portray I understand, I'm now a living, breathing reminder that they lost their child.

I am sure it was so with the previous pregnancies, though I cannot say with the certainty that I can this time around.

And, while I'm reveling in my miracle, my heart breaks for my beloved friends. Perhaps they need to distance themselves from me because just the sound of my name brings them to tears. Or, perhaps they've reached out for my comforting ear and empathy.

Either way, I cry. When I cannot sleep, and I feel the early flutters of this life I side me, I often find myself praying for these amazing women. Tears well up in my eyes, and my throat constricts with intense sorrow. 

I feel ashamed. I feel embarrassed. I want to withhold my joy and be private about this miracle. I want to take back my pregnancy announcement so we can be as we once were.

But I can't.

 It kills me inside every time I want to share, but feel incredibly rude in doing so. But, I know also that it's no good for friendships to deny my joy either. It seems the unselfish thing to do, but it doesn't necessarily mean its the right approach. 

It isn't my "fault" that I am pregnant, just as it isn't their "fault" that they no longer are. One of my dear friends said that to me recently, while we discussed how her loss and my sustained (this far) pregnancy affected us. 

But then, what can I do? I don't want to be the salt in the wounds that have not healed. 

I pray for them, knowing that I cannot heal them on my own, but that my God can. And, I pray it happens sooner than later. I pray they can embrace their sorrow, and hope for the joy that will come again someday.

And I miss them. 

I'm not sure I've made a concise point, but I'm hoping that my thoughts, which help me process, reach those out there that need it.

Love to you all.

Note: while I cherish all blog comments, I understand sometimes it is scary to put your feelings out there. You are able to respond anonymously, but if you are wanting someone to talk to, feel free to send me an email at Nicole.m.worthley[at]gmail[dot]com

Friday, September 6, 2013

Points are Overrated

Points are overrated right? Sometimes? Like... A pointy edge of your fingernail that catches and snags a sweater, or... Uh...

Yeah. Well, some are.

So, straight up, I wanted to blog. But, I don't really have anything that I would seem to be meaningful to write about. But, my sister and I have been slowly working through the seasons of HouseM.D. and the episode we just started is about a chick who blogs pretty much everything, which sparked my interest in writing.

I miss Wendell. Lots and lots.

Last blog I wrote was an important one. And the one before it. Read that if you'd like.  I think I'm finally fully grasping the reality of it, and now starting to practically prepare. Well, as much as one can this early. 

At work, they know I'm pregnant, so they are now working with me to keep me safe and not alone with the most agressive or violent kids. It feels a little embarrassing, but I know it's a blessing.

Pancakes are awesome. We need to go grocery shopping (real soon), but fortunately pancakes exist. Yesterday, my sister and I decided on apple cinnamon pancakes for lunch. Today, we had coconut pancakes for lunch. Yumm-o!

I've become an exceptionally enticing jungle-gym to the boys. I swear, 94% of my day is spent with them climbing on top of me.  But, tonight, both boys have special dates and I will get to sit on the couch ALL BY MYSELF. Yay!

Spencer has recently decided he is a nudist. More often than not, he walks out of the room and returns without a diaper on. It's... special. We suggest the potty chair, but he still has a meltdown when he gets on it. Any suggestions? I would love for him to be out of diapers come April.

Speaking of the potty chair, one of Collin's favorite activities is to push the potty chair around the house like its a walking toy. It cracks me up every time.

We have been convincing Spencer Baby Boo's name is Rochibo. Haha. Because its hilarious. And it is short for Rosita Chiquita Bonita (Chihuahua) from Lady and the Tramp.

Everyone keeps telling me that hope we have a girl. I would love it... but at the same time I am not sure I'm "mom to a girl" material. Not that it's up to me regardless. I still think its a boy. But we don't really have any boy names we agree on or love, so... 

I told my sister the other night that I think I'll take this third baby as an opportunity to flex my creativity (you know, because I'm out of paint) and name it something like Jiminixty Boogita. Or Cougar Banjo. OrChartreuse  Zimbabwe. Boing-Boing Lulu.  Or  Vulcan Pirate. Or Christmas Bogart. Or Prairie Echo. Or Thor! God of Thunder! 

(Insert political statement here.)

Haha. But really, the Syria thing is a lose-lose either way. No bueno.

I got a letter in the mail from my 22-year-BFF. It was the most wonderful surprise. I have been totally slacking on any and all handwritten correspondence. To the point where my handwriting is starting to look unusual. It's sloppy.. by my standards. I was writing on my calendar the other day and was kind if appalled by it. In general, I think my handwriting is pretty nice. 

Man, sometimes pointless babbling feels good. It's almost like therapy.

Kind of like sneaking into the Barnes & Noble bathroom the other night for the specific purpose of taking a stupid duck-face selfie with my coffee and posting it to Instagram (I am @goghgreen) be cause my sister didn't think I really would.

Complete with feminine products dispenser and mostly finished Starbucks.

Seriously, why do people do photos like this? The duck face is bad enough, but the butt-out and sassy pose and the "oh look I have an iPhone" reflection? Guess what, iPhone users, you can make the lens switch so you don't even need the mirror! And everyone wise, turn your phone around, for crying out loud. Oh, and why post multiple duck face selfies a week? Or a day? I could go on and on about this topic, but I'll stop.. 

I much prefer the folder of 534 Spenk Selfies on my phone.

Especially the ones his dad got involved in, for example:

I apologize if you read this hoping due any quality content.

And to close, courtesy of my sister.., "my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard..."

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Happy First Birthday, Ollie.

Oh, my sweet baby boy, how this year has flown by. You waited so long to meet us, and it seemed like the thirteen days between your due date and your birth day drug on forever.

And somehow with your birth, time sped up again. You could hold your head up for minutes at a time, the day after you were born. You scooted, sat, crawled, and walked early. You were smiling early.  You try so hard to be so big and brave, to do as much as you can. This year has sped by.

At 2:11am on September 1, 2012, you entered the world. 

You arrived without a complaint. You barely squeaked when they knocked your heels. The first days of your life were so calm. You barely cried for five minutes total the entire hospital stay, and to this day, remain the happiest baby (overall, though you are perfecting the art of a great dramatic cry) I have ever met.

I was nervous I would be able to love you as much as I love your older brother, but never once has it been an issue. In fact, I think I love you each even more than I ever imagined. 

 Spencer calls you his best friend, you know. You two make me laugh so hard I cry, and my heart just overflows with love. 

Happy Birthday, Collin Liam. Never doubt how much you are loved.

You bring your entire family such joy.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Peek-a-Boo, Baby!


Yes, that's right. Our family of four is going to become a family of five. 

As you may (or maybe do not) know, I struggle with infertility, specifically, Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and after three years, started seeking assistance from a reproductive endocrinologist. It took a few months before finding the proper treatment, and after two cycles of Letrizol, my husband and I conceived our first miracle. Spencer was born on November 1, 2010.

We decided we were "ready" to expand our family again around the time that Spencer was six months old. We conceived a few cycles after starting on the same regimens, however, we were devastated by the loss of our second miracle baby during the first trimester of the pregnancy in September 2011.

After a couple of months letting my body heal, we conceived out third miracle, with the assistance of Letrizol, Metformin, and Progesterone. Collin was born on September 1, 2012.

We are so blessed.

While giving birth to Collin, I told Jake I would like to wait a little longer (at least a year longer) in-between Collin and our potential fourth miracle.

Well, sometimes, God has other plans.

Honestly, we were "trying" not to get pregnant. After I was no longer nursing Collin, my cycles were fairly regular for the first time ever (without medical assistance), so I was charting and planning around when it was the time of expected ovulation. Just in case by some crazy odds, I actually was ovulating on my own.

The beginning of August arrived, and according to my calculations, my period should have. I dismissed it as my body going back to its old unpredictable ways. But after I was about 7 days late, Jake and a couple close friends suggested that maybe, just maybe, I should test.

So, August 3, in the evening, I took an ept test. That's the "error proof test" brand.

And, ironically, the test produced an error. Malfunctioned. No line in the control window. The test window read negative so I told myself it was probably negative, and decided I would take the other one in the morning, and then my period would finally show up.

Well, early morning, Sunday, August 4, that test stunned me.


I told myself the test was not reliable since the first one of the box was a failure. But my support system remained unconvinced, and later that day, I took another.

Jake was thrilled. The close friends I told were thrilled and shocked. 

I was terrified.

Not because I don't want another baby, because I do. But I kept telling myself that we aren't ready. With all the struggles we've been going through the last year, the timing was just not great.

But I was told by each person something along the lines of "God sees the bigger picture. His plan is not our own. You will be okay. This is a blessed miracle!"

I didn't want to tell my parents until I knew for sure, because I was not completely convinced. Also, I was very emotional yet. But two blood tests confirmed I am indeed pregnant again.

Two ultrasounds have shown me this amazing miracle. I've seen the heartbeat. 

My labs, for the first time ever, are excellent. 

I'm finally embracing it. It's sinking in. I'm preparing my heart and mind for this adventure.

And I'm still scared. Scared if we will be able to handle it. Terrified that we could lose this baby too.

But I'm choosing to be hopeful. I'm choosing to rely on God's bigger picture. I'm now choosing to publicly rejoice.

Join us, in prayers and joy, if you would love to!

I'm approximately 7.5 weeks pregnant. It's still a risky time. But, Baby Boo is looking healthy, and preparing to arrive in April 2014.

Special thank you to my friend Staci of Something Clicked Photography ( for helping us with this special announcement!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Happy Due Date Day, Ollie!

Dear Collin,

It's hard to believe that it's been a full year since you were tucked away inside my body.

That's what you looked like one year ago.

I was so incredibly anxious to meet you. Not only because I had reached the point of constant discomfort weeks before, but because, one year ago, we didn't even know your name. To us, you were still Baby Bojangles. We didn't know if you were a boy or a girl, and we were finding it a bit agonizing to have to wait and find out.

For weeks, I had been having uncomfortable contractions, and thought maybe, just maybe you were arriving soon.

Goodness, I was wrong. Your stubborn (albeit adorable) little self decided to stay put. I spent the next thirteen days trying nearly everything I could to coax you to come out. I cried nearly every night, wondering why you weren't as excited to meet me as I was to meet you. 

And one year from your due date, you're walking around the living room, chewing on apples, laughing, smiling, and bringing us joy.

Someday, I will tell you these stories. Until then, I will just keep telling you "Happy Due Date Day, Ollie!" because it is absolutely adorable to see your face light up with your precious four-tooth grin as you squeal with delight at my greeting.  


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

South Dakota, I am ASHAMED. (And how you can help...)

Tonight, I read something that unnerved, upset... Well, frankly, pissed me off. Hardcore.

A few months ago, I blogged about the End It Now Movement and the huge prevalence of slavery/human trafficking that exists in our country, and worldwide.

I have occasionally tried to do my part via social media, slacking, admittedly, to bring the issue to light. Tonight, though, I saw a graph that made me furious with my state (South Dakota) and the apparent complete disregard for the issue.

Now, yes, I realize there are many issues that officials need to address, I understand. But this one is too important to ignore completely. And, well, South Dakota is now the ONLY STATE IN THE COUNTRY that has not taken even basic steps to combat the issue. We are the ONLY STATE. 


It's SICKENING to me.

So tonight, I decided to start emailing my public officials. It's a start. And I'm praying others in the state will join in. If you live here, or know someone who does, take a few minutes to stand with me. If you can't think of what to say, you can copy and paste the following letter I wrote. I found my officials' emails via Google. It's that simple.

Here's the letter:

Good Evening.

I am writing you this letter out of deep concern for our state, our country, and our world.

You see, there is a huge issue that affects 27 million individuals worldwide, and I learned recently that our state is choosing to largely ignore this issue.

This issue is one of basic human rights. The right to NOT be owned by another. To not be property. Yes, I am in fact writing about slavery.

Slavery STILL EXISTS TODAY. In our country. According to the End It Now Movement, "Most people think that slavery in the United States ended with the Civil War. But right now, as you read this, there are roughly 200,000 slaves working in America. And 17,000 more will be trafficked in the next year." Also, from their site, which I provide below, "As many as 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States annually. That’s nearly 48 people a day who have become slaves on the very same soil where it was abolished 150 years ago. And the average age of these people? 14 years old."

Enough is ENOUGH. It is absurd to think this issue can be ignored.

According to the Polaris Project (also linked below), over the past year, our state has failed to do anything to combat this important issue. If you take the time to read and examine the graphic, we are now THE WORST STATE in the country when it comes to a lack of public, official, united concern for the millions still bound in slavery and human trafficking. We as a state should be ashamed to remain quiet. You as a public official should be ashamed that your power is not being utilized and your voice is silent.

Take a stand for humans. 

Let us work together to pass laws prohibiting human trafficking. Don't let our state live in the dark ages. Don't let our state give the impression that it is okay. It most definitely is NOT.

Thank you,

Polaris Project-

End It Now Movement-

Not on my watch.

Lately, things have been pretty crazy around here. With starting a new job and such, we are all learning to adjust to new ways of life.

And I've been learning more lately about what it means to do things according to my plan, versus God's plan.

My plan changes from time to time, admittedly. I like to think I have a pretty decent understanding of things and what would be smart decisions and what kind of things we should strive for now and what we should hold off on.

But it seems like, which, truthfully I know but honestly forget, I'm not really as "in the know" as I try to deceive myself into believing.

More details later, but lets just say that my plans and God's plans are very different sometimes, now being one of those times, and I'm finding myself needing to lay down my arms and embrace what he has in store. I need to worry about it a little less and lean on Him a little more.

If you've a few prayers to spare, I wouldn't mind them being offered up on my behalf.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Permanent Reminder (or 7...)

Sometime after my grandma passed away in 2007, I knew that someday I wanted a tattoo in her honor. I didn't know right away what I wanted it to be, so I waited for inspiration to hit me. 

On December 29, 2009, I finalized the design I wanted.

I Love You.

It's a simple, yet powerful message. And it's one that my grandma was sure to relay as often as possible. In every letter I have from her from my college years, she began and ended it with "I love you." I didn't realize it until one weepy day after she passed, and when I did finally notice it, it became something I thought was very special. I don't know many people who write letters that way.

So, that realization was what decided my tattoo. And, I put together the design. It is actually from two separate letters, because I wanted to make sure Love was capitalized (for emphasis) and I took the hearts from the second letter as well.

Green was her favorite color, and it's one of mine as well, so the hearts I made green. The lines were on the signature of one letter also.

Fast forward to a few months ago, I posted in my family Facebook group that I was finally saving up for the tattoo because I had decided on the location.

Somewhat to my surprise, multiple family members told me they thought it was a wonderful tattoo idea, so, I suggested maybe we get them together if we could find a date to do it.

That date was today (soon to be yesterday). June 22, 2013 was our "I Love You Tattoo" party.

My mom, my sister, my aunt, and three cousins all headed to the tattoo parlor (the Electric Crayon in Sioux Falls), and had a tattoo marathon. I wanted to go first, and my family was willing to let me.

I don't know that I was prepared for how exciting this tattoo would be. I was told (multiple times) that I was super giddy. I was. I was smiling and highly like a child on Christmas. It was SPECTACULAR.

And I was equally giddy for the next six tattoos.  My sister went next, then my mom, my aunt, and my three cousins. 

It was so much fun to sit there and talk and laugh and reminisce with these amazing women as we all became permanent bearers of my grandmother's important message.

We laughed talking about how it looks just like Grandma wrote on us with a nice pen, which is ironic, because she always told us not to write on ourselves.

We each picked a location on our body for our special memoir, some if us used the underlining, some of us didn't. But, the message and the green hearts were constant.

And, because my youngest sister and one of my cousins aren't old enough yet to have the permanent memoir, our artist sent the two remaining stencils with us to allow them to at least display the important and beautiful message temporarily. 

Someday, they too will wear it permanently, as may more of our family members. I hope so, not for my own benefit, but because I think it's a powerful reminder to us that we are all bound by love, and we are all loved for who we are. There's no greater gift than that!

Today was definitely a day I will remember always and a memory I will cherish the rest of my life.

Thank you, mom, Sam, Kat, Tarah, April, Naomi, Allison, and Hannah!  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


On June 19, seventy-four years ago, the world welcomed one of the most beautiful souls that I have ever known.

On this date, Leora Mae was born.

Now, I didn't meet this amazing person until 1983, nearly thirty years ago, that is, and I was only fortunate to have her in my life for 23 years, though that is longer than any of her other 18 grandchildren were able to spend with her. For that, I blessed. 

On days like today, her birthday, I miss her a little bit extra. I think about how I should be calling her or stopping by, but, of course, I cannot do that. I settle for hearing her in my mind, rewinding the countless memories I have collected like they are short films. 

There are tons of big things I miss- her hugs, her laughter, visiting her on an almost daily basis for most of my youth. 

I almost wrote that there are countless tiny things that I miss, also, but caught myself, thinking when you are missing a person from your life, not one thing about that person is a tiny thing.

Leora Mae was my first best friend. She was a confidante and a role model. Sometimes, I think of myself as her sidekick. I feel like we were somewhat inseperable. 

We still are, really. I carry parts of her with me every day. She formed who I am, not only by giving life to my own mother and shaping who my mom is, which then trickles down to my mom shaping who I am, but in direct ways.

Like my love of cooking and baking. I cannot tell you how many cakes I helped my grandma decorate for people who purchased them from her.

Or there's my interest in crocheting, which she taught me. I honestly was only ever taught the single and double stitch, but I have absolutely no interest in knowing more than that, because that's what she taught me.

There is also my love for "older" country music- by older I mean from the 1990s mostly, but even older than that also. Every single time I listen to "Tennessee Flat Top Box" for example, I hear her singing with me as she tapped her foot along to the beat.

I could go on for hours about the things we did, places we went, and memories I have, but I will save them for another day, another time (perhaps for my sisters who didn't know her as well, or my sons she never got to meet).

For now, I think I'm going to walk down the stairs (I've been snuggling with Spencer) and see her smiling face next to mine, hanging on the wall so I can see it multiple times a day, say a little thank you prayer to God, and imagine her laughing, and singing, and dancing with her Jesus.

Happy Birthday, Gma!

Friday, June 14, 2013

She's on the hunt.

I've been putting off writing this blog for at least a week now, knowing that when I did, the finality of the situation would feel even more real.

Alas, Collin woke at 4 and I have been unable to fall back asleep since, my mind racing. It's now nearly 5:30 and I'm laying in bed with tears.

The time has come in which I need to find a "real" job. A job that pays not in hugs and kisses, but rather money.

Out financial woes are just too much for my husband to quell on his own. 

Now, I'm nearly certain that at he beginning of my stat-at-home-mom journey, I wrote about how blessed I would feel to have the opportunity to stay home for even just a few days, or something similar.

While, in my mind, I know that is true, my heart is hurting. Yes- I was blessed to stay home for one year and five-ish months. 

But, I grew to love the job if raising my children so much more than I imagined I would that the thought if having to give up the one job I have had that I can't imagine ever leaving honestly makes me sick to my stomach. It makes my chest ache and tears stream down my face.

My sons are my passion. My sons are my calling.

And soon enough, I will have to walk out that door, knowing, honestly, I will likely never have that job back. The past year and five months have been some of the most trying times of my life, but also the most rewarding, and they have passed by me quicker than a breath. The next three years will pass even quicker as I leave my heart at home and go exchange my time for a paycheck, and before we realize it, Spencer will be in school. Soon after, Collin will join. And, if I'm completely honest, I am now reconsidering my dream of 3 to 4 children, because I hate the thought of bearing another child I feel I rarely see, and a third or fourth child I would have even less time with than the two miracles I already have. I'm undecided of course, but it has definitely been on my mind.

Their most impressionable years will now be spent, the majority of the time, with someone else. Someone who could never love them like I do. Someone who could never fill my shoes. I hate that idea.

I try to be okay with it, but it's a farce. I'm not.

 I know I shouldn't feel entitled to the position of primary care giver and teacher, but I've been spoiled in being that person, and so, I do. I'm sorry, I don't want to feel that way, and I'm trying to work through it.

It makes me so sad to know that there's a very strong chance I won't experience all of Collin's "firsts" like I did with Spencer. His first steps, for example, will likely be witnessed by my sister, who so graciously agreed to nanny for my miracles a while until I can afford to put them in daycare.

You would think, as a former daycare provider, I would be less anxious to put my children in daycare. I know that they won't likely hate it, and I know there are excellent care providers out there. Yet, I am very anxious to allow someone else to fulfill my role.

I've always had compassion for mothers that have to say goodbye to their children and enter the workforce, but I definitely have a new understanding for the pain many feel. 

I know that countless moms do it, but how they carry on without their heart breaking is beyond me. 

I know realistically, I am exchanging my staying home with my sons to make money for them and for all four of us, so that we don't have to live in a financial crisis for eternity, and that makes it feel more... okay. It is the responsible thing to do really. They deserve a home and food and clothing and all that, so the sacrifice of my time with them isn't for naught. But it's still filling me with emotional turmoil. 

I hope it feels better with time.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Quiet Moment

It's been a couple of long... trying... exhausting days. Spencer, bless him, is quite a stubborn little man, and we've been getting along a little less than we usually do.

Today, I have no idea when he woke up. At 11:30 I finally opened his door and he was wide awake, laying silently in bed. I decided to just see how the day went and decide if/when he needed to nap.

He didn't nap. 

No big deal.

But come bedtime, it was meltdown central. I finally scooped him up in my arms and carried him upstairs to his room as he screamed in my ear. I changed his diaper as he continued screaming, then cradled him in my arms again.

With the lights off and a soft melody playing on the CD player, I swayed to calm him down as he gazed at his lava lamp, falling silent. 

As I stood there, swaying in rhythm with the song, I couldn't help but peer at his small body, his head resting firmly against my bicep, his eyes transfixed on the lamp. His hands were wrapped, one behind me and one around my front. His long, slender legs dangled freely over my arm to my right side.

While his eyes grew heavy, the stress of our last few days seemed to melt away.

The words to the book "I'll Love You Forever" came over me, and slight chills ran through my body. 

I looked again at my sin's eyes, now closed- his dark, full eyelashes softly touching above his cheek. He seemed so small, yet he seemed so large. I cannot believe that it has been over 28 months since he arrived, screaming, into our world.

And then, all I could see was my baby boy. The miracle we hoped for... prayed for... fought for... and were blessed with after 3 years of marriage.

I laid him in his bed and gently stroked his brow, seeing more of his daddy's features in him than my own as he nestled into his pillow. 

I noticed then I had tears in my eyes, kissed him softly, and crawled out of his room whispering, "I love you, baby boy."

And now, I sit on the couch watching Collin grow weary, and prepare myself for another quiet moment with our second miracle, our other baby, our other blessing.

I wish I could pause time, just for a while.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

She's Got Skills

Ever have one of those days where you sleep too little, get up too early, and spend the first part of the day in a funk where it seems like you can't do anything right?

I mean, honestly, how did I drop soy sauce off the top of the refrigerator 5 minutes after I left the kitchen? That was a nice loud crash, resulting in a cracked soy sauce kid and a giant blackened puddle on the floor. 

That was my day today. Crikey. Almost as soon as I woke up I was ready for a restart or at least nap time. I had a negative view of myself and my abilities as a mom at 8:30am as I tried to convince Spencer, who usually wants to try to sneak out of the house to play outside, that we should go play outside. It was going to be sweltering in the afternoon and wanted him to hace somefresh  air. He fought me on it for 45 minutes. 


 It was mind boggling, and I swore that whatever the reason was stemmed from my sucktastical skills as a mom. I eventually, after tears on both our parts, realized he was mad about having to wear clothes, and we compromised for just shorts and sunscreen. (By the way, sunscreen in Spencer's opinion, is a torture mechanism...)


Nap time approached, and despite a bit of resistance, SJ went down and Collin was out for the count, so I was thinking that I would get to nap. Not so much, because by the time I was relaxed, Collin woke inconsolable, and by the time he was asleep again, I was on my third wind. So, I decided to work on cutting some fabric for the quilt I'm working on for a customer. (I do that, and many other things, now. Check them on Spenk & Ollie Creations on Facebook if you'd like.)

As I was cutting (fabric). I was revisiting the morning and again, dwelling on the ways I feel incompetent and inadequate. 

Then, it hit me (thanks, God, for the whisper), that although I may not be good at everything, and at times I feel a failure, even as a mom, I am good at things. I have skills, strengths, talents, etc.

And in order to change my mood around, I decided I should focus on those instead.

I decided to list the first 10 things that I am good at on paper. 

Now, I know this probably will sound like bragging, but... I decided sometimes, so long as you aren't doing to be pompous or make others feel bad, it's okay to highlight what you're good at. While it took a bit to pin down 10, due to my mood, by the time I was done, I had more I could have listed on my mind. Things that I used to do, for example, that I know I am talented at and miss doing- writing poetry or creating hand-bound journals, for example. Or other random little things like for the most part, I'm pretty good at deciphering Spencer-Speak. 

The list in the picture goes as follows:
1- sewing (at least easier things, I can't make a parks, sorry)
2- making people laugh (Collin will laugh if I chant "Ice, Ice Baby," I'm that awesome)
3- photos (I can even take decent to good photos with my cell phone, which is great as its all I have currently)
4- cooking (I specialize in creating soups, and baked buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese)
5- snuggling (yup, I will consider that a skill)
6- writing (by hand, by blog, etc.)
7- listening (for the most part, sometimes I admittedly don't hear something Jake tells me... but I've been told by friends they appreciate my listening ear)
8- artsy stuff (like doodling, drawing, painting... all of which I rarely do anymore)
9- caring (even for people I've never met, read some of my blogs on marriage or slavery for example)
10- teaching my kids (a team effort between Jake and I, of course, but I think we have taught Spencer quite a bit already and he's only 2.5)

And I decided that its okay to feel like I am good at more than ten things. In fact, it's great! I think it's important to focus on that sometimes. Don't you?

I invite you, whether you're having a good or bad day, low-esteem or high-esteem, to list ten things you are good at. Big things like being able to fix a car, or little things like being able to organize the mail (Im not good at that) or painting your nails (I am becoming good at that, and I used to be a nail biter). Recognize your skills. Pat yourself on the back. You are awesome. I hope you realize it.

If you feel comfortable, feel free to share your 10 things below.

Back to sewing. Peace.