30 Day Challenge: Day One

Let me start by saying how overwhelmed I am with the response I had to my previous post (comments ended up on Facebook, but there were many heartfelt and uplifting words).  Things aren't always easy right now, but I'm moving forward and feeling a measure of peace. 

Having said that, I feel like my blog needs a little revitalization!  Writing that post was really great for me and reminded me of why I enjoy blogging.  The opportunity to express my thoughts and share them with others is good for me!  So, I did a little searching and I came across a 30-day blog challenge that I'm going to give a try.  Starting today. 

So, here goes nothing.  Day 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts [about yourself].

Introduction: Well, introductions seem a little formal since I've had this blog for years now.  But, for anyone who's new, my name is Amanda.  I've been married to my fantastic hub, Geoff, for 5 years (it will be 6 in 2013).  We've got a 15-month old son who is amazing!  We are located in Fargo, ND. 

Recent Pic:
The Hub and me on New Year's Eve.
15 interesting facts: "Interesting" is up to interpretation, I suppose.  But here goes nothing:

1) I've been to 20 states, but I've never been outside of the US.
2) Of those 20 states, my visits to 9 of them happened in the past 3 years.
3) I love to bake and I consider cookies my specialty.
4) I didn't inherit my looks from my mom, but I did inherit her brain.  She's my bestie.
5) My favorite movie falls to a toss up between Men In Black and Mission Impossible, depending on my mood when you ask.
6) My favorite color is purple.
7) I collect Salt and Pepper shakers.
8) I enjoy TV and some of my favorite shows include soapy dramas like Grey's Anatomy and Parenthood, comedies like New Girl and The Office, reality shows like The Bachelor, and Sci-Fi shows like Star Trek (the hub and I are in the final season of the Enterprise series currently).
9) If you were going to buy me a treat your best bet would be brownies, Ritter Dark Chocolate bar with Marzipan, or caramel corn.
10) We LOVE thrift store shopping and have scored some serious steals over the years.
11) In the all-important debate, I think that McDonald's > Wendy's.
12) I don't sing nearly enough.  It is one of my few real passions.  I just feel good when I'm doing it.
13) Mean Girls and Zoolander are two movies that are quoted at some point during my day on a nearly daily basis.
14) Baseball is the best sport.  In my opinion.  My opinion is right.  ;-)
15)  I think that breakfast food is welcome (and encouraged) for every meal. 

Here's to tomorrow!



It is with some trepidation that I write this post.  The past few weeks have brought some unexpected curve balls into our lives.  I try to keep my blog fairly light-hearted and optimistic.  For this very reason, I fought long and hard with myself as to whether I wanted to discuss this topic on my blog.
I was reading some older posts of mine, however, when I read my own blog description, "A little snippit of our joys, sorrows, laughs, tears, smiles and love."  So, with that in mind, I'll give you fair warning that this post is going to err on the side of sorrows and tears.  But, I think it's important that I write about it.

This summer is shaping up to be one of the happiest and most baby-filled summers I can recall.  I have 2 co-workers, 4 close friends, and 2 sisters-in-law who are expecting babies before the summer is over.  For a brief 5 weeks, I expected that I, too, would be joining them with a baby due August 11th.

However, it turns out, that my little one wasn't meant to be.  At a 9 week ultrasound in early January, we found that the little one, as the ultrasound tech indicated on her notes (three words that have been seared onto my memory), had "no cardiac activity" and that I should expect to miscarry shortly.  The little one had grown to about 8 weeks and, for reasons unknown, his/her little heart stopped beating.  This was certainly not the result of our first prenatal visit that we expected. The nurse practitioner was appropriately sympathetic and discussed my "options" with me while my head tried to steady the dizzying twirl of the room.  How could this be happening to me?

They gave me an ill-titled book, Miscarriage: A Shattered Dream, and offered to sneak me out the "back way."  I distinctly remember choosing the front exit - because I wasn't embarrassed.   So what if the people waiting for their visit saw that my eyes were filled with tears and sadness?  I wasn't going to sneak out the back and pretend like sadness isn't a real part of life, a real risk when starting (or building up) a family. 

Over the next week I tried to find out as much as I could about what to expect.  There was surprisingly little information available, which is a big part of why I'm writing this post.  They don't even keep statistics on miscarriage rates.  It's estimated that 20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage...however, that's estimated because it's not actually reported.  It began to break my heart a little bit that my little lost baby wouldn't even get to be a tick on a chart.  That the only way my baby would ever be remembered is if I shared his/her story, a story that I don't think is really even over yet. 

My mom used to teach my early morning seminary class when I was in high school.  She used to tell this ridiculous (or, what felt ridiculous to a 16-year old) little story about choices and trajectory.  How you could be heading along path A and then run into a fork in the road and suddenly you find yourself on path B, heading an entirely different direction.  And, the direction that you go is actually really important!  Especially if, let's say, your future spouse is heading along path C which crosses path A but not path B.  Suddenly the choice you made at the fork is all the more meaningful.  Although I'm not sure I'm at a fork now - more like a sharp curve with no other options - my trajectory certainly has changed. 

I found myself saying to a friend one day, "Everything is different now, but nothing has changed."  My day-to-day life hasn't changed significantly since the miscarriage, but I share this story because my whole life has changed.  I'm a different person now.  My life has taken on a whole new trajectory.  One that has lead me to feel more appreciative of the blessings and love that I do have in my life.  One that has helped me to realize the total and utter awe that I have for the human body and a new found respect for my own body.  I am sad.  All the time.  But, I also know that this is the beginning of a new journey.  I know that the little baby that I didn't get to nurture and grow will always be a part of me. 

For that reason, I write this post.  To share our sorrows and our tears.  To honor my little one who I only had the privilege of loving and carrying for 9 weeks.  So that when I look back on my blog and review the events that I chose to record - that this little one will not be left forgotten, will not be unmentioned.  But, that this little one may be remembered joyfully and with gratitude.