Happy Father’s Day!

In honor of Father’s Day, Glenn is letting me share the letter I wrote him.

Much love to all you Daddy’s out there!  And to those who are hoping to be Daddy’s soon: We love you.

~K&G

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Glenny,

I picked this paper out when we were in Tokyo – one of our many adventures.  You liked it because you like the coy… just like the ones at Balboa Park, where we go often and went right before finding out our baby boy would have to die. What an adventure.

You, my love, are the perfect partner in adventure. The grandest of all of our adventures so far was the creation, sustaining, and giving up of Branch. Oh, how I wanted to keep him! His feet were just like yours, and I knew they would love life and lead many to God, just like his Daddy’s.

I know the past year has not been easy for you, either. And still you press on. You fight. For me. For Branch. For God.

I will never forget the tenderness you showed me on that June day when we got the diagnosis. I felt safe even though everything around me was being destroyed. You held me, and God held us.

You are a great Dad, Glenn. I hope we get to raise kids together here — the world is truly in DESPERATE need of more of you. And that’s our job, right, to change the world?

I love you oh so much. You are absolutely the greatest gift God has ever shown me. Thanks for being my best friend ever in life, and my baby daddy.

Happy Father’s Day!

Love, Kristin

This past week was R-O-U-G-H! Wow! Not fun.

I am feeling all sorts of things, but mostly glad the week is over, and proud of Glenn and myself for making it to the six month mark alive. WE DID IT! Mostly.

Six months down, only the rest of our lives to go.  Anyone else find that depressing?!

 

Along with Branch’s six-month birthday/anniversary/whatever you call it, this week brought a few other changes.

First up, I am no longer working full-time at Sea World. I am pretty sad about it. It was a really fun job and I was really liking it. I am still there a few hours a week, but for the time being there isn’t room in the budget to keep me on full-time. I guess I will have to find another way to listen to a ten-piece brass band every day. Tee-hee!

Second, I had my eyebrows done. This is a big deal mostly because this is the first time I have had them done since Branch was born. You long-time readers will remember my obsession with my eyebrow lady, Melissa of Anastasia Beverly Hills fame.  WELL, she moved!!!! To TEXAS!!!! So not only did I have to face the loss of my son, I also had to figure out how to manage this mess of a face without the professional help I was used to! Too much change all at once led to me not caring at all about my eyebrows, or much else,  for several months.

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{this is right after having my brows done — nice and groomed!}

I finally made the plunge today, and went to a different “brow artist” who was trained by Anastasia as well. I am pleased with the results and am praying this girl never leaves! Or that Melissa moves back! Either would be perfectly acceptable for my eyebrows.

 

Third, I hit the twenty pound mark in my weight loss! Sometimes I am embarrassed to keep posting these weight updates, but the other day I realized that when I am reading blogs and people are getting healthy and losing weight, I like hearing updates and seeing pictures. So here you have it. Me at the starting point, and me down twenty pounds!

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I have just started getting more serious about my workouts, and am having fun with that, too. Maybe I will tell you about those sometime, if anyone is interested.  I haven’t joined a gym or anything, so everything I am doing is either at a park or in my backyard.  I’m looking forward to the day when my “current” picture includes some serious arm muscles…. it may take me a decade, but someday they will show up!

Losing weight is hard work. It seems like everything in my life is hard work… But that’s ok. God has such a great vision for our lives, and I hope that He shows me glimmers of it every day so I can keep at least a little hope alive.

That is all I have for today. Much love to you all. Thanks for reading along … it’s a bumpy ride over here at times, and I am grateful for your continued love and support, and that you read what I write!!! That’s pretty cool. 🙂

~Kristin

 

Empty

Today, Branch would have been six months old.

In honor of his half-birthday, I will post this piece I wrote yesterday for my writing class. Hope you enjoy.

~Kristin

 

EMPTY

I am in a writing class, and yet I cannot seem to write.

 

I stare at the blank sheet. Nothing. Emtpy. It reminds me of my arms: where he should be, but instead they are empty. Nothing.

 

I have been more sorrowful in recent weeks. More emotional. More fearful of the future. More hesitant to celebrate, and needing more time to mourn. I suppose this is part of it all. Life, loss, story.

 

I do not want this to be my story. I’m done. Hasn’t this gone on long enough? The pain that floods every ounce of my being, missing him and wanting nothing if I can not hold him again, this time forever.

 

Sometimes I lie in bed and I am angry.  Angry that my little boy is in the ground. Angry that life goes on all around me. Angry at the Devil for finding satisfaction in my torment.

 

I’ve had enough.

 

I am reading a book that talks about how the only way to truly know Jesus and be close to His heart is to experience sorrow and allow Him to meet us there. I agree with this book, but it’s still hard.

 

I met with Linsey the other day. I always love meeting with her. She speaks kindness and truth, and she listens to me.  In our meeting, Linsey talked about the ‘wrestle’ I am experiencing. There are so many things I know, I believe, I experience about God and His character, and yet I cannot seem to figure out how Branch’s death fits in.  I am wrestling.  Linsey says it is the wrestling that keeps my heart alive. I loved that picture :: of my wounded heart fighting for its life every day.

 

I’m doing it.

 

Tomorrow will be six months since Branch was born. Half a year. In some ways so little time, in some ways so long. It’s unbelievable, really.  I think it always will be.

 

We went to his grave this morning. The grass is growing and it looks slightly less “freshly dug” than it did before.  There were jacaranda flowers that had fallen from the surrounding trees, and I took one and pressed it into his book of letters.  We saw three or four hummingbirds. We saw the groundskeeper begin to dig a new little grave for another baby.

 

Just like that, I find myself here again, staring at the blank part of the page.  There are no more words I can add.  This part will stay empty.

I Remember You

Here is a “List Poem” I wrote for my writing workshop and wanted to share with you.

Hope this Tuesday brings sunshine and butterflies. And if not, then maybe just a glimmer of hope.

~Kristin

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I remember you when I lie in bed

In the middle of the night

In the wee hours of the morning

As I lay my head down on the pillow and my eyes begin to droop

 

I remember you when I wake up

Suddenly, from a deep sleep

As the alarm chirps at me from beside my bed

In the return of consciousness after a nap

When my mind has been fuzzy and numb

 

I remember you when I am walking

At the bay

At the beach

At Balboa Park

Through and in and around gardens

From the bedroom to the bathroom

Down the row of chairs at church

Past the baby clothes at Target

From the refrigerator to the stove

Up and down Aloha Drive

Out the big Nordstrom door and into the mall

 

I remember you on holidays

On Christmas when I could still smell you

On New Year’s when we talked about our goals and told the waitress about you

On my birthday when the pain of missing you made my muscles want to stop

On Valentines Day when hearts flooded the shops

On St Patrick’s Day when everyone wore green

On Easter when we sang of life and death and graves and Heaven

On Mother’s Day when I was shown great love

 

I remember you in the mundane

I remember you in the elaborate

I remember you in sorrow

I remember you in tears

I remember you when I am happy

I remember you when I hug your Daddy

I remember you when I see Mister Lion

I remember you when I think of the future

I remember you at your grave

I remember you at dinner parties

 

You are the apple of my eye

I remember you

Currently Obsessing Over

These are a few of my favorite things.

1. Downton Abbey.

Who isn’t obsessed with this show? I don’t know. What I do know is I LOVE every second!

2. Crushed ice.

It’s just plain better than regular ice. Come to Chick-fil-A Encinitas and you will get all the crushed ice you could ever want.

3. Picfx – the app.

You can add “light spots” and hearts and all sorts of fun things to photos. Here is our glamour shot from a wedding we attended a few months back. Fancy pants!

4. Navy blue.

My love affair with navy blue has been a constant since about tenth grade. It’s just so darn classy. If I could, I would wear something navy every day. I would probably also decorate my entire house in shades of blue, and maybe even paint all of my furniture blue. But then, if I did that, I would undoubtedly decide there was TOO much blue in my life, and have to pick another color to obsess over.

5. Making Things from Scratch

I spent a few hours on pizza dough last week, made a big batch of granola yesterday morning, tempted fate with Thomas Keller’s Chicken Mar i Muntanya last night, and turned a whole chicken into ten {not quite} perfect pieces. The Kristin that spends a lot of time in the kitchen is back!

6. And finally, something I am obsessed with but don’t own {yet}. Superga sneakers. I’ve had my eye on these for about a year and am finally pulling the trigger. I am debating between light pink or a neutral green. Which do you prefer?

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Talk to you soon — hopefully sooner than a month!

~Kristin

Families CAN be Fun!

Families. We all have ’em in some way or another. Sometimes they can be stressful, sometimes they make you mad, and sometimes they are a hoot and a half. Lately I’ve been thinking about how important it is to just SPEND TIME with family, because at the end of the day they really are your history and your legacy — and you are theirs.

If it’s been a while since you have done something fun with your family, might I suggest an excessive dinner out? At the famed and oh-so-fancy Bertrand at Mister A’s perhaps? That’s how my sisters and I roll. We choose one fancy dinner with a bottle of wine and cappuccinos over eating for the rest of the month. This is moderately acceptable behavior for us, as none of us are responsible for others at this point in our lives. If you have seventeen children and are living off one income, or, worse yet, are living at your parent’s house, I would not recommend this course of action.

Wait. Did I just say living at your parent’s house? Drats. That’s me. I take it all back.

For spending time with parents, here are the activities I have found most enjoyable:

Walking or Running Marathons
Calling the political opposition idiots
Taking walks around the neighb, or around the hood – whichever you prefer
Eating tacos, burritos, Eastern European fare, or sushi {even if they fight you on it, they love spending time with you!}
Visiting historical sights

Another great option for spending time with your family? Force them to make you dinner. Check out this fig, prosciutto, and arugula pizza #3 whipped up for us last night for our Debate Party. Highly Presidential!

Mostly, this blog post was just an excuse for me to tell my family I like hanging out with them, and for me to remind YOU to hang out with your nearest and dearest. They love you, even if it’s kind of hard to tell sometimes. {yep, I’m talking to you my precious friend!}

Happiest of Thursdays,

~Kristin

 

Caffeine

It happened last week. BAM. Out of the blue. A headache.

“I never get headaches.*” I thought to myself.

*This statement is not entirely true, but it is true that I seldom get headaches, and when I do the culprit is usually dehydration and excessive time spent in the sun. 

I was on my way over to Ryan & Julie’s and was SO tired I could barely stand it.

“What is wrong with me?!”

I started to go through a list of things I could potentially have that would be causing this headachy tiredness.

The list goes something like this: general illness, stomach flu, deadly illness, brain tumor, cancer, freaky disease no one has ever heard of that will kill me in a matter of minutes.

“Hold on. Take a deep breath. It’s probably not that bad.”

I thought through things I had done recently. Was there something I ate? Had I been walking 15-20 miles in the heat? Had I consumed a caffeinated beverage {or three} every day for the last two weeks without knowing it?

“Oh.”

I grabbed my phone and sent Julie this message:

 

Happy Thursday!

~Kristin