Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Peace

Thanksgiving was a very calm affair this year. So calm, in fact, that I plum forgot to take any pictures of our cooking frenzy. Even though I didn't plan to cook much this year because of my scheduled surgery the day before Thanksgiving (yes, it was very bad timing), it turned out that I just couldn't stay out of my kitchen!

Have I shown you my kitchen?

This is newly renovated as of last Thanksgiving and it's by far my most favorite place in our house!

I custom ordered the butcher block top and my handy husband made the island from scratch.

Notice my pot filler above the stove?
This one thing alone made the months of take-out worthwhile!

We finished off the floor with bamboo hardwood, purchased all new stainless steel appliances and installed granite countertops (shown below).

On the wall, right of the breakfast bar, is where I used chalkboard paint and an open frame to good use ...

And what is the question on every woman's mind while cooking?

Amid these surroundings, our feast came together. Even though we didn't have our usual crowd this year, it was a blessing in disguise because what we needed most this time around was peace.

I wish I had taken pictures of the table settings, food prep and finished dishes but the most notable differences this year was our decision to deep fry our turkey, homemade cranberry sauce (instead of the Ocean Spray canned) and the "Turkey Derrick" (courtesy of The Food Network) Ken rigged to lower the turkey into the fryer.

Knowing that this may very well be our last Thanksgiving at this house before we officially move up north, we're making each moment here count.

We're picking up our tree a week late because we had already moved our decorations to the other house so once we pick those back up, we'll be picking out a tree at the lot to decorate.

Christmas is almost here and we're already running behind!
Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

Watch out for Christmas decorations and crafts - It really is the most wonderful time of year!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wishful Thinking ...

I think everybody has those moments where you take a snapshot of a moment in your life and wish it away. Those moments make you doubt the person you are and test what you're made of. Most have a love/hate relationship with those moments. I know I do.

I'm looking at the tall turntable of festive and LUSCIOUS cupcakes.  The heavenly aroma of freshly brewed specialty coffees hangs in the air. I've been sitting in a quirky coffeeshop plugged into my iTunes and hooked into their Wi-Fi just loving this moment.

In the time of year where the focus is what we are thankful for, it is very difficult for me to BE thankful although I know that there is much I AM thankful for. Focusing on the positive is unfailingly exhausting these days but I'm trying.

I'd like to share with you my list of things that I'm thankful for this year.

I'm thankful for ...
... the unseasonably warm days of November in New England.
... the turning of the seasons (I would surely miss it if I were ever to leave this area).
... my understanding, supportive and positive husband.
... my well-intentioned family (you all know what I'm talking about here).
... knowing pain to appreciate joy that much more.
... understanding loss to treasure the present.
... feeling grief to honor my past.
... experiencing birth, even in it's tragedy, to realize miracles happen.

Life doesn't always happen in the ways that you might expect and often times, we're left with the scars and gaping wounds that can only hope to heal in time. Yet, even through the times where you aren't sure why "bad things can happen to good people" or why "good things can happen to bad people", stay faithful to the first phrase.

What do I mean by that?

Remember that you are a good person. Bad is the balance of good and that the grass always seem greener on the other side.

Thanksgiving is about more than food, it's about family and appreciating the glue that keeps it together ... whatever that may be!

Wishing eveyone a Happy Thanksgiving!!

p.s. Send me updates on your Thanksgiving. I'll be posting pictures and possible personal recipes after the holiday.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My First Time

Perhaps I'm naive or just plain ignorant but in this case, I wished to ascribe the saying "Ignorance is bliss" to myself.

~ flash back ~

I picked up Nari's ashes on Tuesday afternoon from the hospital. It arrived in a white paper gift bag, in a white box accompanied by a white envelope with gold writing. I'm not sure if all the white was intentional but it did invoke images of heaven, haloes, winged spirits and innocence but I immediately rejected them all.

Here is where my naivete kicks in ...
While the social worker was busy asking me about how I was coping, feeling and doing, all I spied with my little eye were the cremains perched on a cluttered entryway table.

What do they look like?
How do they package this?
Was that really my baby in there?

Not pleasant thoughts.

I was surprised to see that white envelope with all the fancy gold writing. What was in there? Oh ... the Death Certificate. I never knew there was such a thing and although it made logical sense (if there is a Birth Certificate, of course there would be such a thing as a Death certificate), my emotional sense was hurt by it.

There were a lot of mixed emotions coursing through my system while I drove home. The white bag sat small in the passenger seat but exuded such a presence. I will say that it isn't quite the way I imagined bringing my baby home.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


For those unaware (and trust me, I was most certainly unaware), in 2002, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts enacted a state law that gives parents who have experienced a pregnancy loss resulting in stillbirth the option to request that the state Registrar of Vital Records issue a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth. 

The above is taken directly from the reverse side of the application that was given to us by the hospital social worker while we were still there. I realized I hadn't read it completely until today.

It also states:

The law gives parents the option of requesting a certificate at any time in the future.

Given the option, Ken and I decided that we did want a birth certificate so we promptly mailed our application and check the day after we came home from the hospital.  It arrived in the mail just yesterday and here it is framed.

I'm sorry that this picture is not very clear. The ball of light you see is the camera flash but you will see that I added the little scrollwork up top and the pink footprint onto the cardboard matting.

Little by little, these are the ways we are healing and honoring our baby. Time is a conscionable thief. Taking the mediocrity out of each day but leaving the illusion of feeling that day only yesterday.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Letting in the Light

Today is only Tuesday but I would believe it if someone told me it was really Friday.  We were only pretending today was Tuesday. Everyone loves to play pretend, right?

Yesterday was my first day back to work. I had taken a little less than four weeks off from work thinking that would be enough to physically heal, mentally regroup and tie up most of our administrative loose ends. Turns out it takes a lot longer than four weeks to do all of that. Who knew?

Physically, things have calmed down. Sometimes my mind, body and heart don't all agree but I'm still moving, brain bustling and the blood is coursing in efforts to fuel my soul.

Several people have told me how strong I am. Others have asked where do I get this kind of strength?

I'll tell you an unsecret. I don't have strength. No, it is just that my heart and soul hasn't completely shut down. What an amazing self-discovery!

There have been many moments of sheer collapse.  It is strange because it isn't until your own most difficult times do you realize what virtues (that your fellow good citizen strives for) are ones you'd kept blissfully contained. 

I came back to the office after the company finished renovations to convert all of the cubicles and office walls to glass and a more open concept layout.  There have been reactions spanning each spectrum. Even stranger ... I, usually an outspoken advocate for causes and an enthusiastic picketer, haven't really felt anything about the changes one way or another. No overtly positive or adverse opinions.

I do notice the light that now floods the occupied and cramped space. I'm generally very sensitive to light due to my chronic migraines but so far, I haven't minded the light.

On the contrary, it reminds me of a quote that I'm fond of:
I keep the subject of my inquiry constantly before me, and wait till the first dawning opens gradually, by little and little, into a full and clear light.
~ Isaac Newton

I'm a notorious planner.
I'm a closet sentimental.
Now, I'm also the glass "a little more full".

Before this month, I did not even realize I was living in the dark but I'm opening up to the light and soaking it in.