Some­how, I’ve man­aged to read more than fifty books, and write almost 200,000 words.

2016 wasn’t a great year until the end. I didn’t write much until after April. I didn’t read much either, and I don’t care.

I’m not a write every day per­son. I write when I can, I read when I can — mov­ing from one project to anoth­er when I get stalled, or switch­ing to read­ing for a block of time, works for me. Appar­ent­ly the lat­ter half of this year (most of those words hap­pened fair­ly recent­ly, like since this fall) was good for my cre­ative out­put. It wasn’t good for much else.

Things are start­ing to go well, I start­ed a new job so my hours are a bit more sta­ble than they were with two part time jobs — but I’m com­mut­ing more so I don’t actu­al­ly have any more time avail­able to me — it’s about even. That’s one good thing, the new job. My hus­band and I cel­e­brat­ed our ten year wed­ding anniver­sary in April. So that’s two. I made more friends with library peo­ple (three) and I seemed to care less in gen­er­al about … every­thing — which could be good, or could be bad, depend­ing on how you look at it.

I feel less stressed, less wor­ried over all the lit­tle things. I fig­ure after what we went through so far put things into per­spec­tive. It can get a LOT worse, I under­stand that, but it was pret­ty bad and we man­aged okay. Not great, but okay, and we’re on the oth­er side now, sor­ta.

I real­ized some things I was try­ing to do, just won’t fit into my life. I’m not a blog­ger. I’d like to blog about writ­ing, or about fix­ing up the house, but there’s far too much pres­sure and not enough time for any sort of depen­den­cy. I’m not an author­i­ty on any­thing, so I don’t feel like I could ade­quate­ly con­tribute. And I don’t have the time or men­tal ener­gy to fit stress­ing about not blog­ging into my life. So, I won’t. And that’s where I’m at.

My host­ing expires in April. I’m going to keep up the author page, maybe try to spruce it up a lit­tle, but this one won’t be stay­ing after that. It’ll prob­a­bly just redi­rect there. That way I can con­cen­trate on writ­ing, and edit­ing, and read­ing, and the main course of being an author.

I hope every­one has a won­der­ful 2017, or at the very least, that it sucks less than 2016 did.

I don’t want to use this place as a jour­nal. Noth­ing good real­ly comes of that, so I’m not going to go there. But I do believe in being open about things, because some­one else might be out there strug­gling, too. There’s nev­er an easy way to go through hard times … lit­er­al­ly why we call them hard times. It’s hard.

Last fall, I got preg­nant for the sec­ond time. I wasn’t near­ly as sick as the first time, but I was still filled with trep­i­da­tion. We wait­ed a cou­ple extra weeks before tak­ing the preg­nan­cy test. Then we wait­ed anoth­er week before call­ing the hos­pi­tal to have a test done to con­firm. At 7 weeks along, we had a dat­ing ultra­sound and every­thing looked great. Already I had made it far­ther than before, but still we didn’t want any­one to know. We didn’t want to let our­selves start to hope. Around 9 weeks I told my jobs, because I was start­ing to feel real­ly run down and rather queasy. I nev­er got sick, but I felt on the verge of it for months. By 11 weeks we told my par­ents. Then grad­u­al­ly we told more and more peo­ple. By the end of 12 weeks, we start­ed dis­cussing names, and at my 14 week appoint­ment, when my DR said every­thing looked per­fect, we start­ed get­ting excit­ed.

At 16 weeks I mis­car­ried. Again.

Mis­car­riage at 16 weeks is crush­ing for a few rea­sons. Obvi­ous­ly, you’re no longer get­ting the baby that you had hoped for.  You’re blind­sided because you were sup­pos­ed­ly in the “safe zone”. There’s doubt of whether you’ll ever be able to car­ry to term. Anx­i­ety about the wast­ed time and the tick­ing clock (hel­lo 32, I see you on the hori­zon there). But there’s also the pain of actu­al­ly going through labor. And then also, not hav­ing a baby at the end of that labor. The after­noon surgery I had with the first mis­car­riage couldn’t be done at the local hos­pi­tal. I’d have to trav­el over an hour to a spe­cial­ist up north to have a D & E per­formed at 16 weeks. It would have been a 2 day pro­ce­dure, and the risk of dam­age to the uterus was increased over the pre­vi­ous one. So, we chose to go through labor.  Since we still do want kids, we want to give any future preg­nan­cies the best chance pos­si­ble.

The nurs­es were great, but that was the sin­gle worst day of my life so far. I have nev­er been in so much pain. I had bruis­ing from the IV and blood draws for two weeks after. I couldn’t climb stairs for two days. And only now, two and a half weeks lat­er, do I feel nor­mal, no lin­ger­ing twinges, or oth­er pains.

I’m still work­ing through the emo­tion­al pain of it all. I’m not sure when or if that real­ly goes away.

When you’re young, birth­days are a thing to count down to, some­thing to antic­i­pate with excite­ment. What could the day bring? Who would you see? What presents would there be?

Once you’re out­side of the teens, it sort of goes down­hill from there. If you’re into drink­ing, than 21 is a big deal — I’m not, and it wasn’t. After that it’s, 25? 30? Noth­ing much real­ly hap­pened on those years. I threw myself a birth­day par­ty last year, and while I had fun — it’s less fun when you do all the plan­ning, cook­ing and clean­ing to pre­pare for it, and then get every­thing put back togeth­er after.

This year, I took the day off from work, which is a big-ish deal because I haven’t used more than a cou­ple days off all year (aside from the reg­u­lar­ly sched­ule one day per week, or a nation­al hol­i­day where the library is closed — but those are usu­al­ly made up for by an extra long day lat­er in the week). I did have a nice day, but it was like any oth­er day off with a lit­tle more say in what we do all day.

We went apple pick­ing, and it was beau­ti­ful weath­er out.20150926_120125[1]

We stopped for lunch on the way home. I did some plan­ning and plot­ting for my nov­el for the after­noon — inten­tion­al­ly not doing the house­work that need­ed doing. Then we walked down to main street for some frozen yogurt with extra top­pings at Orange Leaf. A nice day, but noth­ing over­whelm­ing or excit­ing like child­hood birth­days.

Being 30 wasn’t that bad, it wasn’t real­ly all that good of a year though, which didn’t have any­thing to do with my age. Gen­er­al­ly, age doesn’t real­ly mat­ter to me — just because of how my mind works, I usu­al­ly keep a men­tal list of how old every­one is just because I can’t keep the stu­pid details out of my head, but that’s about where it stops. I don’t care how old peo­ple are and I’ve most­ly stopped car­ing that every­one who guess­es doesn’t real­ly know how old I am. It used to both­er me that no one thought I was an adult, any­one who tried put me as about 10 years younger than real­i­ty. Now, it’s usu­al­ly about 8 years younger, or rarely 6 years younger. But, it only both­ers me because it’s done in a way, at work, where they think I don’t know what I’m doing because of my lack of age. That’s a dif­fer­ent prob­lem, and it’s not mine either.

I don’t feel much like an adult, but I know that I do plen­ty of adult things because I have to and no one else will do them for me — which is my def­i­n­i­tion of being an adult.

I’m hop­ing that 31 is bet­ter than 30 was, as far as things hap­pen­ing. I start­ed a yoga class that I enjoy, and the hus­band and I are con­scious­ly try­ing to eat bet­ter food choic­es. I’m mak­ing a lot more of an effort to fin­ish my novel’s third draft before my next birth­day. To do that, I need to write more and spend less time rest­ing my brain with the noth­ing­ness of twit­ter and tum­blr. The last cou­ple weeks I’ve been doing a lot of nov­el plan­ning, and a lit­tle think­ing about blog­ging. I tried blog­ging for a month  at my “author blog” site, but made it about two weeks.

I dis­cov­ered that I just don’t want to blog that often, or about writ­ing, that much. So now, I need to fig­ure out what I want to blog about, how much, and where. I don’t have an answer for that, and my ini­tial reac­tion is to con­tin­ue on the not blog­ging train and just con­cen­trate on writ­ing my book. There’s only so much time in a day, and that is what is most impor­tant to me.

Last week my hus­band was on vaca­tion, and this past week­end I took Sat­ur­day off to head to the beach. It was the most relax­ing doing noth­ing we’ve had in a long time.

We drove up Fri­day night, and thanks to Google, had no trou­ble find­ing it. He loves hav­ing a map that he can scroll through and see where turns are com­ing up and plan­ning out what lane we want to be in. It saves so much frus­tra­tion for both of us.

We arrived and the room was pret­ty nice, not big, but had every­thing we need­ed from it. Except wi-fi! It was being upgrad­ed so wasn’t work­ing in the rooms. :grr:

We would have liked a DVD play­er, but we had books so it wasn’t a loss to not watch a movie before bed. We walked down for din­ner, (and it was super expen­sive D: ) then walked back along the beach.

Sandy toes :D

A pho­to post­ed by Aman­da (@notquitepetite) on

I love putting my toes in the sand and let­ting the water run over them. After a long day at work, then dri­ving for two hours, it felt nice to get shoes off. Although my new san­dals, while cute, scraped the side of my foot raw :(

Foot pain aside, we end­ed the night ear­ly after read­ing.

Sat­ur­day we slept in, got ready, and had break­fast before walk­ing along the shops, com­ing back for lunch then head­ing out for mini golf. I did real­ly poor­ly the first time out, on the kid’s course. The sec­ond course we did, the chal­leng­ing one, I did real­ly well! My hus­band did amaz­ing­ly on every­thing, as usu­al. But I beat par five holes in a row toward the end, and it felt nice. We walked out along the beach for ice cream and saw a rest­ing seal. We couldn’t get too close, and it was near­ing dusk so we couldn’t see well, but it was pret­ty cool any­way.

Sun­day we got up ear­ly and it was pour­ing, so our plan to go to the Zoo was dashed :( but we did walk around in the rain at anoth­er beach before stop­ping at the out­lets to pick up some shirts for the hus­band and head­ing home to our cats.

Such a love­ly week­end. I’m glad we were able to spend the time togeth­er, we don’t often see each oth­er much, and it’s hard, but we have to work so we make the best of it.

I have a lot of inter­ests, and a love/hate bat­tle with hav­ing things all togeth­er, or noth­ing togeth­er at all.

Some­times I want one place to put every­thing. Some­times I want every­thing to have it’s own place.

Most­ly I just want some­thing sim­ple. But by try­ing to orga­nize it all, it’s just a mess in either case.

I want to do so many things, and end up doing noth­ing. Write a nov­el or five, read a book a week, but also have friends online and offline — inter­act with them, see what they’re up to. Draw or col­or, or sew, or cro­chet, or paint. Remod­el the house, plant a gar­den. Blog about it all.

We’ve decid­ed to start try­ing again, and I’m wor­ried that this back and forth, all or noth­ing approach to life is going to have me falling flat in any attempt at san­i­ty once a small human is intro­duced to the mix.

On the one hand, I’m look­ing for­ward to it. When you have too many balls to jug­gle, but one more is tossed in, you catch the one that’s the most impor­tant to you. On the oth­er hand, I’m ter­ri­bly unco­or­di­nat­ed and I’m wor­ried about just drop­ping every­thing and giv­ing myself a black eye.

… and that shouldn’t make me feel like I’ve done some­thing wrong, or that it’s some­thing to hide, but it does.

The whole preg­nan­cy and mis­car­riage expe­ri­ence is some­what shroud­ed in mys­tery. But, it real­ly shouldn’t be. Until I went through it, I nev­er knew how many oth­ers had also been through that pain. After read­ing about, or hear­ing their sto­ries, I feel lucky that it went as “smooth­ly” as it did.

It did not.

But it could have been much worse.

We found out when I was 8 weeks, that the baby had stopped grow­ing at 6 weeks. The Dr. rat­tled off three options over the phone, 1) wait 2) med­i­cine that may not work 3) surgery with a name I didn’t catch, because pan­ic — we’ve lost the baby. I was in shock and didn’t know what to do, what to think, so I chose to wait. He said not to call back for at least 3 weeks and that was the end of that.

3 weeks lat­er, I still felt preg­nant, or the same symp­toms I’d had for about two months.  Nau­seous like I’d just stepped off a roller coast­er, but not enough to throw up. Just a con­tin­u­ous yuck. Exhaust­ed beyond the nor­mal exhaus­tion I always feel. If I ate any­thing, I could only force down a few bites before feel­ing over­stuffed, but in a max­i­mum of 2 hours I’d feel like I was starv­ing. If I went more than 2 hours with­out some food, I’d get such a belly­ache. I nev­er slept well. The whole time peri­od just sort of went by in a blur. I wasn’t real­ly men­tal­ly around for any of it.

I lost about 8 pounds through­out the 3 months I was going through all this. I also gained a cup size, and a big­ger bel­ly pooch, so I don’t know exact­ly where I lost it from.

I’ve kept off about 5 since.

After those long 3 weeks, I called the Dr back, ready for any­thing to make my life nor­mal again. I just want­ed to not feel sick, to not be late to work, to make it through a day.

I had the D&C surgery a lit­tle over a week ago. I felt bet­ter, a lot bet­ter, almost right away. Every day I feel more and more like myself. I’m still deal­ing with some after effects, but I can go to work, feel like I’m doing a good job, come home and be able to do some­thing else.

And that’s huge. I had no idea just how awful I felt until I felt bet­ter again.

My point is this: I went through a trau­mat­ic expe­ri­ence and only told peo­ple when I couldn’t find anoth­er way out of it (my mom because I need­ed a ride home after surgery, my boss’ because I need­ed to use sick leave). It shouldn’t be some­thing to hide, to lie about, or be kept stig­ma­tized in secre­cy.

Ear­ly mis­car­riages are more com­mon than I ever knew. If I had known, I wouldn’t have felt so ter­ri­ble about telling peo­ple. I wouldn’t have felt like I was ruin­ing things, or that I’d be writ­ten off as a fail­ure, or dra­ma­tiz­ing things for atten­tion. It wouldn’t have tak­en away the pain of the loss, but it would have helped to have some­one to talk to.

My hus­band has been a sweet­heart through the whole thing, but there’s noth­ing like some­one who’s been there to under­stand. And that’s what this comes down to, if as women we talk to each oth­er about these types of things, than we’ll feel less alone. If we don’t feel alone, or dif­fer­ent on top of every­thing else we’re feel­ing, than it won’t be as bad. It may still be bad, but at least we’ll know it’s not just us.

A lot of peo­ple have had pret­ty bad years for 2014. I’m not sure mine was bad, but I don’t remem­ber most of it. I worked a lot, and that’s kind of it.

I had an awe­some vaca­tion, and that’s lit­er­al­ly the high­light of my year, one week in June.

Preservation Station

Play­ing with tiger cubs, pet­ting wolves, shak­ing hands with an orang­utan, hold­ing a chim­panzee, feed­ing an ele­phant, pet­ting a bin­tur­ong, snug­gling up to a lynx cub, see­ing a chee­tah, an otter, ligers, and an eagle up close.

The rest of the year is kind of a blur. I’m sure we did things, saw peo­ple, but we most­ly just worked. It was bet­ter than 2013, I know that. I’m more con­fi­dant in my jobs, and was able to do some new stuff. I think if things con­tin­ue the way they’ve been, than 2015 will be even bet­ter.

For this year, we had three occa­sions to dress up at work in cos­tume.

The first week, I was Kat­niss.

The sec­ond, I was Wednes­day Addams.

The third, I was a Raven­claw stu­dent.

 

It says some­thing, to me, about the work envi­ron­ment where you’re allowed to have fun with it a lit­tle. Or, maybe it just says some­thing about my past jobs.

(I had found pic­tures from work group shots that were tak­en, but I real­ized they all look like me just dressed in black, or black and grey, or a a grey skirt with a tie :? )

Tagged by felic­i­ty­may, sor­ta! ;)

  1. Get­ting lost in a book. Read­ing.
  2. Writ­ers trance: where writ­ing seems easy for once.
  3. Sleep­ing in, in a cozy warm bed with­out need­ing to get up for any­thing.
  4. Hot choco­late made with milk.
  5. Straw­ber­ries frozen into real cream, ice cream.
  6. Ice cream/frozen yogurt with tons of top­pings.
  7. The view from the top of a moun­tain after a nice hike.
  8. Dress­ing in cos­tumes.
  9. Cats. My cats, all cats, espe­cial­ly baby cats, but also the real­ly big ones, and the old ones and the fluffy ones. All cats.
  10. Owls, and sheep, and pup­pies (all dogs are pup­pies).
  11. Col­or­ing. Doo­dling. Paint­ing. Art. Cre­at­ing things.
  12. Literary/book relat­ed décor and cloth­ing.
  13. Hav­ing my nails long, and paint­ed.
  14. Hav­ing my hair long and straight­ened.
  15. Start­ing a blank note­book or jour­nal. New pens. Fun pen­cils. Sta­tion­ary.

For my birth­day, I host­ed a drink­able arts paint­ing par­ty.

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I’d gone to one at a cousin’s house before, and it was a lot of fun.

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So I want­ed to paint some more. When I was a kid, I loved paint­ing and draw­ing. I was nev­er very good at it, but it was always fun. It’s been years since I’ve had the time to sit down and just play with paint, or pens, or any­thing. I used my birth­day as an excuse to do it again. I real­ly did miss it.IMG_20140926_212641And this one, while being sim­ple, came out well. It was one of the pro­vid­ed designs, the oth­er two being ones I made up myself. I don’t drink wine, but I do drink dark fruit juice, and I think it’ll look nice in this glass. Once I bake it, that is.