Monday, June 26, 2017

Pause

I have disappeared for the last little while as things have been pretty crazy around here.  We are in the process of relocating, which will consume the entire week ahead, and most of next week as well.  Wrapping up work and getting ready for the move has been pretty intense and I am looking forward to unpacking and the down time that will come with being unemployed. I feel a desperate need for a break and a slower pace.

June 30 is fast approaching and I have felt a heaviness in my heart the past week or so. Not only will June 30 be the first full day in our new home, it is also Amy's due date.  Around this time we would be celebrating her first birthday.  I cant help but think about the things we are missing out on.

Last year we bought a weeping red-bud tree in memory of Amy.  I enjoyed watching it bloom this spring and the leaves are growing.





I have made some decisions about changes moving forward and the one foremost in my mind is getting back to a physically fit state.  After we get settled we are going to buy a couple of bicycles, and I have decided to give running a try again.  I am also going to set up my own room to do yoga and setting up some space for my sewing machine.  I'm looking forward to having more space, and a room I can create a sanctuary for myself.

We have been eating out more than usual with the craziness of the move coming up and saying goodbyes over meals, and I don't see cooking in the near future other than maybe hotdogs and mac and cheese!  it will be nice to get back to eating our more regular diet.  I had stomach pain last night for the first time in as long as I can remember so my body is letting me know it doesn't like this.

I find my evening yogurt key to keeping my tummy happy.  I can never eat my yogurt in peace as my cat watches me eat each spoonful waiting to enjoy the little bit I leave for him.  He likes yogurt as much as I do.

We have had meals from our regular rotation as of late, but I am hopeful once settled to start experimenting with food again.  We had halibut poached in cooking wine.  It fell apart when I took it out of the pan but it was tasty! I sprinkled it with dill & served it alongside roasted cauliflower, beets, & radishes tossed in olive oil, sea salt & pepper, and True Grain quinoa wild rice blend.

A regular in the rotation yummy butternut squash agnolotti tossed in olive oil & italian seasoning, served with steamed asparagus, sauteed cremini mushrooms, & seared scallops, with a balsamic reduction and fresh basil.  This is such a light & easy meal.

My favourite Pinterest recipe Thai Cashew Coconut Rice with Ginger Peanut Sauce.  This makes so much & I have finally figured out I need to make half the recipe.

I am loving all the summer fruit & berries! Great for a variety of flavours on the go.



I will likely be laying low on the blog the next couple of weeks as we settle in to our new home.  Once settled I will be back to share the journey of moving back to my home town as well as some of the healthy changes I will be making so stay tuned!

Sometimes she feels something is missing.  Not a piece of her heart or any feeling of inadequacy, but her soul misses something intangible.  The way a star misses the darkness in the morning.
~Michelle Schaper


Saturday, May 13, 2017

It's THAT weekend again...

Mother's Day. A day I have come to dread.

That piece of my heart will continue to be missing every year...

I have this continual dialogue in my head questioning if I qualify as a Mom having never raised a child.  The moment I found out I was pregnant I felt like a mother, and thinking of myself that way feels more validating of my loss and continual sense that something is missing.  The ultrasounds I was able to see that little bean growing were magical, and I felt so connected to her I knew this love was unlike any other.

I had one of those moments last weekend that knock the wind about of you. My sweetie and I were out of town heading to breakfast with my family. I was driving and all of a sudden felt my body vibrating and my heart pounding. I pulled over and said to my sweetie I was having a moment and needed him to drive the rest of the way.  I safely stopped as my eyes filled with tears and I felt a moment of utter panic.  I had been driving quietly lost in my thoughts, and my sweetie said he had seen the process unfolding wondering about my silence.  I didn't anticipate it, but retraced afterward and saw how my thoughts led me there.  It led me to the moment I said goodbye to our daughter. Literally I was reliving it all.  I could not pull myself together, but I knew it was okay that I was a mess.

I have felt sadness to the depth of my soul and thought about different moments before and after.  That is the mark of time now: before and after the loss of Amy.  That was the first time I was back in that moment, and it hurt just as much as it did when I experienced it first hand.  To feel a child in you, moving around and then to feel utter emptiness, there is nothing like it.

I try to carry on and often find myself frustrated with how deeply it still hurts.  Every pregnant belly I see comes with an intense sense of resentment.  Every pregnancy and birth announcement is a reminder of our loss and our longing.  Every time someone asks me if I have kids my heart sinks.  Do I say I had a daughter but she's an angel? Or no I don't, which doesn't validate the place she holds in my heart.  The worst is when someone asks if I want to have kids.  I can't imagine asking someone that, but some people think nothing of it.  Do I say I can't have kids or no I don't, just to shut them up & get them to leave me alone.  Every single time I have one of those conversations I find myself just trying to get through it until I can get away before I cry.   I thought it would get easier but it hasn't.  One thing that has changed is that I have gotten better at hiding it.  Time and practice I suppose.

I just try to continue living life as best I can, sometimes that means I am on autopilot and that's okay.  Sometimes I get so caught up in the busyness and then when I slow down it hits me like a rock.  I was at a community event yesterday for work and as I was leaving someone had wished me a happy mother's day.  I didn't say anything, but smiled at the person and carried on.  I left and ran in the pouring rain to my car and once out of sight burst into tears.  I had my cry, wiped my eyes, and carried on with the rest of my work day.  That is my life now.  Have a moment, be in the moment, take a breath, and carry on.
I have been reading a few good articles the past few days and thought I would add some links if you are interested.  I will say I am not always a fan of the language used but the messages really resonated with me.
How to Help Your Infertile Friend
A Letter to Mom's for Whom Mother's Day is Hard
For Childless Mothers
Those of Us Struggling with Infertility on Mother's Day

If all you can do is crawl, start crawling. ~ Rumi

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Spring Change

Well Spring has finally arrived and I am feeling a sense of spring within myself.  I feel like a caterpillar in the cocoon, I am not yet ready to fly but I know it is inevitable.  I have been feeling like I am in hibernation.  My wellness is probably at an all time low.  I just feel like staying in bed. All. The. Time.

I feel like staying in bed, but the busyness of life hasn't allowed it, which is probably a good thing. Yup I'm in a slump. I know I'm in a slump.  But, change is right there. A move to a new town is on the horizon and that change will be filled with lots of growth and health.  It's kind of strange because I know I am not in a good place, but I am not ready to change it just yet.  Weird right? I'm not giving up but I am just not there yet.

I do know what I need in order to feel better. First up, I need to get off my lazy butt & actually get some exercise. I actually have a plan for this! I plan on getting out walking and hiking, dusting off my kayak, and getting back to my yoga mat.  I also want to invest in a bicycle, and once we get settled in our new home start going swimming.

To get myself back to holistic wellness I want to make the most of this summer.  I want to spend time with my family, visit with friends, go camping, enjoy the beach, and do a little bit of traveling.  I also need to make sure I don't get too busy and give myself time for quiet and reflection.

I am not there yet, but I am heading in that direction, and I will get there.

This slump has also rippled into my cooking. I haven't had much creativity and have been opting for quick and easy meals.  Tonight I made tri-colour cheese mini ravioli tossed in olive oil & Italian seasoning, with steamed asparagus and sauteed shiitake mushrooms and a pile of chopped fresh basil.

 I took this dairy free Mushroom Stroganoff and switched out the beef for cremini mushrooms.  I love the richness of stroganoff, and enjoy the lightness of the egg noodles. 

Just to add some more veggies and colour I steamed carrots and peas to serve alongside it.

Porkchops with Mushroom Gravy which we had with mashed potatoes, corn, peas and steamed carrots.  These were a healthier spin on a recipe I used to make using canned mushroom soup.  It satisfied the craving, but won't likely be a regular recipe in the mix.

Barbecue Chicken Pizza, which I should probably call pineapple pizza. I used a pre-made pizza crust and spread some barbecue sauce and then added slices of red onion, chicken left over from a whole chicken we had eaten a couple days before, lots of pineapple, white cheddar, and cilantro. Yum!

She was no longer wrestling with her grief, but could sit down with it as a lasting companion and make it a sharer in her thoughts. ~ George Eliot


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Phoenix Resurrected

Another chapter in this Imperfect Girl's life.Today's post is all about the symbol of the evolution of my journey to where I am today.  Today I am rediscovering self in a whole new way.

So here I am making my way back home to myself... and what a great time to have a symbol that can remind me of the journey.

You may recall in October 2016 I had tattoo done by Crystal Desharnais at Blessings Studio ~ Tattoo Salon & Fine Art Gallery of a monarch butterfly, in memory of our little Amy.  I was so happy with that piece of water colour art that I knew I wanted her to be the artist to revive my phoenix.

I had booked an appointment at Blessings Studio in March for my birthday weekend, and had to cancel because I came down with that horrific cold that was going around.  I was super disappointed, not only did I spend my birthday weekend sick, but I had really been looking forward to seeing what Crystal would create. I finally got to re-book my appointment for today and it didn't disappoint.

First I will tell you a little bit about what led to this tattoo in the first place when I got it nearly 16 years ago.  At the time, I had recently come out of a 7 year relationship that really formed much of my teenage/young adult years.  For the first time I was completely independent, discovering myself, and who I wanted to be moving forward.  I was at a place in my life in which I was letting go of a lot of anger from past hurt and coming in to a place of more compassion and understanding.  At that time fire symbolized the anger for me and when I got my phoenix I chose cooler colours as a symbol of letting go of anger as I was rising up from the ashes.  I had purples, blues, and a greens.  It was about releasing anger and coming up from the ashes with a sense of peacefulness. Not typical colours you think of with a phoenix, but for me it was capturing a chapter of my life that I was moving forward from and it spoke to me.  This was also long before Harry Potter and most people didn't know much about the legend of the phoenix, so people generally didn't ask about my choice of colours.

It seemed like for a period of time the pendulum had swung from a place of fire and anger to the other end of the spectrum to a place of water and peace.  This was a good thing if you knew me at a time I carried all that intensity, but neither ends of the spectrum were really serving me well.  I like to think in the past few years I have found myself in the middle.   The past few years I have been wanting to have her revived, but I wasn't really sure what that would look like.  Now rather than anger, the fire represents my inner passion, which I wanted to have captured in the resurrected version of my phoenix as I move forward into the next chapter of my life.  Here is the before shot.

I knew I was ready to let go of the teal and have a more colourful pallette.  I love purples and wanted a fiery aspect as well.  Crystal laid out the pallette and started painting with the ink to get a sense of what she was envisioning and if that was a fit for me.

At first I wanted to keep the symbols in the center for strong spirit and Crystal played around with that for a bit.

We talked about symbols and how the symbolism could be there without the actual symbols being prominent.

I decided that I wanted the symbols there but not prominent.  I know they are there and that is what is important.  This piece of art is evolving, just as I am. 

Once both Crystal and I were happy with the freehand design she took a picture which would be her guide as she tattooed.

Then it was time to get to work!

The beginning outlines




video




video





A helpful guide but only a guide, the real deal is perfection!

I absolutely love the way you can see a bit of the original phoenix design below and how it looks as though she is rising from it.  This phoenix is resurrected!  LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Often it is the deepest pain which empowers you to grow from your highest self. ~Karen Salmansohn