Friday, August 29, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

1000 Words

Obviously, I did not take this picture. But, when I scanned it this weekend, while digging through old family photos, I knew it needed a few words.

This is Ryan and me at my Junior Prom, 1993. Ryan is a year younger than me and I had a crush on him from the minute I saw him. He was my seminary teacher's younger brother. I remember him being pretty quiet, but not shy. Had a fun sense of humor and as with all of my crushes, I idiotically followed him everywhere I could. Oh, I'm embarassed just thinking about it. But thankfully, he was just clueless enough to my shenanigans to not be turned off.

One day, as I was leaving seminary, Ryan's brother, Eric came up to me and said, "How do you feel about going on a date with a younger guy?", ahhh what? I had an idea where he was going and tried not to jump out of my skin before I could say "THAT WOULD BE GREAT!!! WHEN? NOW? I'M READY NOW!!!" Not really but the ticker in my brain sure was trying to spit that out. I got ahold of myself and answered that I would be juuuust fine with that. And as is Eric's style, that's all I got. Just sit and stew...and wait....

I'm waiting tables at Western Steer one night and all of a sudden I see Eric and Ryan walk in. Heart sink stomach. Brain losing function. Scared out mind. Yeah, I was not well when I saw them. The fact that Ryan was holding flowers did not help matters. Eric asked if I could take a break and since it was a quiet evening, I could. He asked me to go sit at a table in the back and said someone would be with me shortly.

Ryan walks up, smiles, and sits down. Hands me the flowers and points at the envelope. On the outside is written "Open Me". Heh. Told you he had a fun sense of humor. Gets better. I open it and it says "Don't say a word. Would you go to the prom with me? Blink once for yes. Blink twice for no." It took all of my power to make sure I only blinked ONCE. (I still have that card. You know it.)

Fast forward to prom night. Can't you see the excitement on our faces????? We were scared to death! Neither one of us had dated very much and I was older than him. He didn't even have his license yet, so I had to drive. Add all of that together and we were quite a pair. Didn't know what we were doing, he didn't know anyone at my school and I was driving him around. Getting ready for when he would come to pick me up, I was so nervous I got a lovely breakout of hives. His family arrived, we took some pictures (with my hair UP, I might add, stupid clip broke after we left and I was not too happy about having it down the rest of the night) and we drove off in his sister's Ford Tempo. Niiice.

We went to dinner at Darryl's, and then on to the prom. I couldn't even tell you if we danced. The whole night is a blur. I'm sure we left before it was over and drove around for a while, not knowing what to do. We ended up going back to his parents house and hanging out with his brothers until everyone fell asleep. I woke up the next morning on the living room couch and he had gone to get us biscuits for breakfast.

Needless to say, I screwed it all up eventually and he was gone. I ran in to him a year or so later and man, was I jealous of the new girl. He was still cute as ever, wonder what he's like now.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It's Official!

Ok, I'm all set up over at Etsy. If you feel so compelled, please feel free to visit the Lily Pad Jumper shop. I'll be adding new prints from time to time and eventually will be adding note cards. If you see a print that you would like as note cards, please let me know.

Wish me luck!! (and tell your friends) ;)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Setting Up Shop

Ok, I'm jumping in. I'm going to start selling my photos. Yup. I'm just full of surprises this week. Oh, by the way, my seziure inducing decision? I'm going back to church.

So anyway, I'm getting my shop ready over at The more I look at the pictures I will be putting over there, the more excited I get. And, proud. Several people have commented lately at their appreciation of my point of view. I had never really considered it, you always see what you see. It is an interesting concept to consider that others don't see things the same way you do, even though you are standing at the same viewpoint.

Having said that, I would like to take advantage of your viewpoint. I don't believe in overly photoshoping a photo. I find great joy in looking at a photo and knowing that what comes from the camera is the memory I wanted to capture. Changing it is devaluing the memory. But, some photos need a tiny bit of help to bring out their character.

This iris grew in my Mom's garden, this spring. When adjusting the color and contrast, I couldn't decide between pre color adjustment or post. Please tell me what you think...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Breaking News

I'm about to do something in my life that will make most people fall over and probably have a seizure. I have this thing about me that makes me not want to tell anyone that I'm going to do it. Because even though they probably wont say it, I'll be thinking that they are thinking "we told you so". So, I'm avoiding it. They don't even know I'm considering it. Well, now they do. Kinda.

But, it's just that yesterday I had a very weird day. I woke up late, lazed around and popped in a movie. Man, that was one depressing movie. I turned it off and just had this strange, uncomfortable feeling. I had been really thinking some things over during the past 24 hours and I couldn't shake any of it. So, I tried to take a nap, hoping I could get the thoughts or the creepy vibe to go away. Two minutes in, the phone rings. Dang it! I'm working on ignoring some stuff here, people.

So, I get up. I think some more. I go outside to smoke a cigarette....

---pause here for ranting and raving----

and another overwhelming thought pops in to my head. Clear as a bell "blank is not going to happen, if you don't do blank." Oh, and I also had this one: "I need to set a goal." You know, it's a miracle the world hasn't spun of it's axis in the last 24 hours with all that is going on with me right now.

Well, you could say I'm getting ready to make a huge jump. And the only thing that is keeping from turning right around and acting like I didn't hear a thing? My new mantra: "You don't have to be perfect."

Sunday, August 17, 2008

How To

I love the internet.

How to Be Happy.
4. Be yourself. Much criticism is caused by people who are discontented with themselves, not with you. One way to get in touch with yourself is through journaling, diaries or (lately) blogs. Your goal may be to open up completely to yourself and learn to be your own best friend by being completely honest with yourself. What do you want out of life? What makes you truly happy? Who do you want to be?

How to Build Self Confidence.
12. Stop worrying. What worries you today will be forgotten by you and people around you tomorrow. Can you remember what you were so worried about the same day the same time last week? If not, then you should not worry right now. You will not worry about it even one week from now.

How to Find Yourself.
8. Be ready for dead ends. Finding yourself is a journey, not a destination. A lot of it is trial and error. That's the price you pay in return for the satisfaction you receive: More often than not, you hit a bump in the road, and sometimes you fall flat on your face. Be prepared to understand and accept that this is a part of the process, and commit to getting right back up and starting over. It's not going to be easy - it never has been for anybody - but if you learn to see that as a chance to prove how much you want to find yourself, then you'll find fulfillment and security in your pursuit. When you are yourself, then everyone will respect you more and treat you kindly.And you will always feel good about yourself.

Friendly Reminder

The last year has been a maze. I've gone between knowing where I was inside of it, to being completely blind to my surroundings. During those times of clarity, I had an inner compass guiding me. I was focused and steady, knowing exactly what needed to be done. Then, I encountered my own personal Minotaur. An otherworldly bull, fighting me and blinding me to my goal.

Reality became darker and darker, I lost my balance. Falling away from the strength I had built up. I was forced to consider a completely different course. I struggled to deal with the confusion and frustration, not always gracefully. It felt like war was being waged and the enemy was virtually pitting good versus evil. There was no Greek hero to save us from him, only our faith that in the end we would find a resolution in the best interest of our new little friend.

It has been a few weeks since the war ended. The epilogue is being completed and I have had trouble finding the right words. The blindfold was still covering my eyes, ears and heart. Last night, inspiration came from someone I hadn't expected. He reminded me of my focus, the goal I had always been working towards but had become distracted from. There are not many times in my life that I have physically felt weight being lifted from my soul, and I am so grateful to be able to see the light again.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Guilted Pleasure

Hero. Brave. Proud. Strong.

A friend told me the other day that I am her hero. People have mentioned that I am brave and I should be proud of what I've done. That I am stronger than anyone they know.

It is hard to process these thoughts. On one hand, it is nice to know that people think these things about me, but it is hard to think them about myself. I'm not sure if it is my semi-negative nature, or my perspective on the situation. To a woman who has place her child in to the arms of another, it is hard to find the heroism, bravery, pride and strength in such an act. I feel embarassed, heart broken, inadequate, lonely, weak, and generally scared. The idea that not being able to care for my child and having to ask someone else to raise him, doesn't feel like something I can necessarily see myself being proud of.

But, what I am proud of is that I never stopped fighting for him. When other people were fighting for themselves, I would not budge. I want him to have a life beyond what I can give him and would not accept less than the terms that would provide that. He is magic and allowing anyone the opportunity to take away any of that brings out every maternal instinct endowed to me. There are still days that I think about something that would not benefit him and want to protect him. I am proud that I have done all I can for him.

I am having more and more better days. But, on those better days, I have twinges of guilt for being happy. It is part of the depression; how can I be happy when I've lost so much and my child isn't with me? I recognize the unhealthy aspect of that though, but it doesn't stop me from having it, yet. I finally unpacked from being away and it felt like I was losing him again. Putting away my maternity clothes, finding a place to put away the clothes of his that I kept. But, dwelling on the negative aspects of my current life are not going to provide me the the positive aspects in the life I want to have.

I have to thank everyone for bearing with me as I continue to work through all of this. I know it can't be easy to continue to hear me talk about it, but I can't tell you how much it helps to be able to let it out. Thank you for loving me, despite my faults. Thank you for your support. Thank you for being my friends when you don't have to. Thank you for being positive aspects in the life I want to have.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

1000 Words

I had a strange imagination, growing up. I guess all kids have some things that they just think of a little differently. On road trips, while watching the sky go by out the window, I used to watch the clouds and think that my Grandpa Fritts was sitting on the biggest and puffiest of them all, looking down on me. I guess it was my way of getting to know him, since I don't really remember him. (I also used to pretend there was someone living underneath the eucalyptus tree outside my bedroom window. I'm beginning to sense a theme here.)

The clouds have recently been capturing my attention again. I'm unsure if they are exceptionally beautiful lately, or I just haven't been giving them the credit they are due. The sky seems to have an ethereal texture, kind of takes my breath away every time I look out the window. The clouds hold on to the sun's light and turn it in to that cliche of painted light.

I'm frustrated, because it seems to be one of those instances where I am unable to capture the moment they way it is happening in front of me. The picture is never quite as beautiful as real life. But then, what is ever as beautiful as what you have in front of you. That is one of the things we tend to forget, to be in the moment and be grateful for what you have. Lesson learned.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Step Two

It seems the weight loss will need to wait, at least the concentrated effort, I'm sure with all of this stress, it's gonna go anyway. So, Step Two is going to be taking care of myself.

With the twins, I refused any outside help beyond the counselor I had met with throughout my pregnancy. No group sessions, no talking to other birth mothers. Has anyone ever mentioned how fiercely independent I am? Surely you jest. Ha!

But this time, every thing is different, and I need to work through it differently. So I looked around on line for some resources and found a forum filled with birth mothers, adoptive mothers, and adoptees, all working to help each other find that balance in this strange world. I asked for help from them yesterday and it is beyond comforting to find empathy in their words. This morning, I got this...

"There's a secret to get through loss, pain and grief. If we're alone we can't see who we are. When we join the club, other people become the mirror. Through them, we see ourselves and gain an understanding of what we're going through. Then slowly, real slowly, we learn to accept who we see in the mirror. Then you become the mirror for them; by being honest about who you are, you'll help them learn to love and accept themselves." -Melody Beattie, The Grief Club: The Secret to Getting Through All Kinds of Change.

It's time for me to step out in to the world and stop trying to do everything by myself. Just saying that is hard for me, doing it will be harder. But, I have to do something. Thank you.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Treading Water

I've been struggling, these past few days. I don't know if it was the fact that Z celebrated his one month birthday on Friday. Or if it's just the general mist of sadness I walk through, lately.

It is such a different experience for me, to have all of this openness. The multitude of pictures at my fingertips, the ability to email and text a moments notice. I didn't have that with the twins and I think sometimes it is harder for me now, because it makes it a little bit harder to let go. Not that I don't want any of those things, but it does make it harder.

I am going through the grieving process and I struggle with it. Because of my history of depression, it makes it that much harder. My counselor, who I had been seeing during my pregnancy moved away for the summer. We had started to work on the grief aspect just before
she left, but things changed so much in the last few weeks of my pregnancy and after Z was born, that those tools she gave me were almost meaningless. I wasn't supposed to fall in love with Z,
which would have made this a different path, for me. But, Nathan knocked me off my tracks. I was firm in my resolve until his hurricane blew in and now I am having to deal with this new pain I wasn't expecting.

Just like I couldn't handle waiting that 10 more days until the papers were finalized, I don't know how much longer I can continue to rip this bandaid off and put it back on. I didn't expect to feel like I would need to step away so soon, but I don't think I will be able to move on if I don't allow myself to find closure.

I guess I let Nathan's words infect me a little bit, that I don't care. How could I WANT to step away from him? But, years from now, I would be doing Z a disservice if I met him and hadn't given him the gift of being happy with the life I gave him.

I guess, ultimately, my one hope for all of this, is that Z will know how much I love him. It is all I can think about, worrying "how will he KNOW" if he can't hear me tell him, feel me share it with him, see me show him? But, I just have to have faith that with T&N's love and guidance, he will come to understand it, one day. I wrote his birth letter yesterday and keep pouring over it, hoping that it expresses enough to him. Answers enough to comfort him, introduces enough of me to let him know who I am.

I emailed my therapist this weekend. She will be back in a couple of weeks and I let her know that I need to be on her list of people she sees when she starts back. I'm treading water and I need help. I'm tired of feeling this way and I don't see myself making progress, by myself.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Back To The Future

Scanned some old photos yesterday, to prepare a package to send to Z. Reminded me of a PostSecret postcard I saw a few months ago "I often miss the little girl whose dreams had no barriers, who believed in a world where anything is possible, with a heart that was full and unbroken." I look forward to trying to start my life anew, creating a fresh path. I have no idea how to do that quite yet, but I'm willing to be open to the possibilities.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

We Will Not Be Bargaining

In the book On Death and Dying, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross introduced the five stages of grief. It is important to be aware that she notes that not all persons enduring grief will go through all of these stages, nor are they always experienced in order. She did state though, that a griever will always experience at least two of these stages. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

I am going through an Anger stage. I think I started off with Depression and in the past few days I have been a mixture of the two. I also feel that the depression will maintain a low hum in the back of my head, and heart, for quite a while.

But right now, I have a large swarm of stings pricking me from all directions. Why does that girl waiting at the bus stop with her child get to keep him and I don't get to keep Z? Why do T&N get to be so happy, gaining everything, and I have to be depressed and feel like I am lost and empty? Winners and losers. Why did I have to go through nine months of growing this human being, be cut open to allow him to enter this world, and then not get to benefit from the pay off of holding him, loving him, and seeing him grow? Did I make the wrong decision? Is it too late to change my mind? Why do I feel forced that this is the only right option because of a fool on the other side of the fence? Why can't I hide from reality and avoid going back to any sort of life I had before he was part of the world?

Thoughts of frustration and indignation. Staring off in to space, I wake up forgetting where I am. I look around me to readjust to my surroundings and always feel something is missing. I watched some of the videos of Z's time with us and he feels so far away. It has only been 11 days since I last held him, but it feels like an entire lifetime. I want to sit inside of someone, to be able to feel something. Realizing that I will never hold that baby, ever again, breaks my heart again. How are there still pieces left to break?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Change Of Plans

So...that "beach" trip we took this weekend? Well, you can see we went to the beach. Just not as much as we planned.

It was actually on our way to the hotel after we left the beach Sunday evening, that we saw a sign for New Bern. I mentioned that it wasn't that far and Mom's ears perked a bit. It is a very historical town, the second oldest town in North Carolina. Tryon Palace is there as well as the Birthplace of Pepsi. (equally important, right?) We talked about going there instead of the beach for day two and decided to go for it.

Well....there were pluses and minuses. Plus number one...HELLO GARDENS. Anyone who knows anything about us recognizes the benefit of gardens on a Mom/Brooke trip. Let's just say we enjoyed that aspect. Minus number one...THE HEAT. Let's just say it was surriously hot and sunny. It made for great picture taking weather but not such great "let's keep walking" weather.

Plus number two...seeing new things. I love seeing and finding places that are new and interesting. It was fun to show Mom around somewhere she had never been. Minus number two...busting your butt when you fall off the sidewalk. I was attempting to get a better shot at something and didn't look behind me. The easement on the other side of the sidewalk dropped a good foot and I fell in a spectacular way. All I have to say is, thank heavens the camera survived. I don't even care that it hurts to put any amount of weight on my right ankle. The. Camera. Survived.

So, I'll let you check out the flickr page for all of the pictures of our adventure. We had a great time and I look forward to our next adventure.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Step One

Step one in my attempt to make changes and improvements is a hair cut. The mop I constantly had tied up at the back of my head wasn't really creating any statements that I was making an effort in my life.

So I went from this...
To this...
Next step, weight loss.

Friday, August 1, 2008

A River In Egypt

I'm still in a bit of a haze. Life is slowly gaining normalcy, but I'm in a bit of denial. Spent a couple of days by myself at my house in Durham, hating and loving it at the same time. It was nice to be in my own place but I was beyond lonely. I visited Nat & Drew one afternoon and again, hated/loved. I think it will be good to go back to work, but I'm not ready. Only one more week to get my brain in a "ready" place.

Fortunately, this weekend may help with that. Mom and I are going to the beach for a couple of days. Just to sit, relax, hang out and vegetate. We are both pretty excited. Well that was true until we stumbled on to The Lincoln Green Inn, in Carmel, CA. Anyone want to go for a week? Only $2500 for four of us!!!

So, for now, we will settle on Topsail Beach, NC. Of course, pictures and notes to come. Oh, and the return of food pictures.....Tony's Pizza, here we come!