The Art of Being Kind: 31 Acts of Deliberate Kindness

At the end of July I committed to making the entire month of August a month of deliberate kindness.

Every single day I made a conscious decision to do something for someone else.

The amazing thing about doing anything day in and day out is that it becomes a habit.

I found myself smiling at everyone, opening doors even with a little one in my arms, and speaking with kindness to everyone I encountered.

The little things sometimes have the most powerful influence and I’m proud to have recharged my love and passion for helping others.

My dear friend Amanda also participated in this challenge with me and she blogged about her experience as well.

I encourage you to read about her journey as she taught her two daughters the power of doing good and helping others.

(You can read it here).

I loved Amanda’s post because she showed that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to go out of your way for others.

She is a beautiful soul and it makes me so happy to see her children growing up to be loving, selfless individuals just like their mother.

…………………

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DAY 1:

I left an anonymous card with an encouraging message and gift card inside for our neighbors two doors down.

DAY 2:

We bought buckets and shovels in the dollar section of Target and passed them out to kids at the beach.

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My original plan was to leave them like the photo above but as we were playing in the water I began to notice kids around who looked bored and so I passed them out.

It was so wonderful seeing their faces light up and to watch them build sand castles with their new toys.

DAY 3:

We paid for the guy behind us in the Starbucks Drive-Thru line.

DAY 4:

I made a donation for art supplies to The Sick Kids Foundation.

I really wish we had something like this here in the US, it is such a brilliant concept.

DAY 5:

At one of the parks Declan and I frequent we always see a group of mentally handicapped men and women with helpers.

They walk around the benches to get some exercise in a few times a week.

Since it’s been so hot recently, I decided to buy them some water bottles so that they could stay hydrated.

DAY 6:

I left dollar bills in some sympathy cards at Walgreens.

I figured that someone nice enough to go out of their way to get someone a card like that deserved to have their day brightened too.

DAY 7:

I frequent Target like most women so I found myself there in the dollar section once again.

This time I bought a coloring book and box of crayons.

When I paid for them I asked the cashier to then give them to the next child she came into contact with at her register.

She was very kind until I asked her to do this.

Once I had included her in my good deed she seemed annoyed and coldly said,

“Uhhhh, okay?”

And rolled her eyes.

I thought that was really interesting and also sad.

DAY 8:

You’ll see these pop up now and again.

Derek and I tag teamed on a couple days.

This day, he went and pushed all of the shopping carts into their proper place while I held Declan.

DAY 9:

We went for appetizers at T.G.I. Friday’s and left our waiter a large tip.

DAY 10:

I saw an old friend post a Facebook status about going through a rough time so I decided to reach out to her and send her a $25 Fandango gift card through Facebook to help brighten her day.

DAY 11:

I left flowers on a random car in the Trader Joe’s parking lot.

DAY 12:

We have been sponsoring a young girl named Mariella since the first time I did this challenge in 2012 but they always need more help at World Vision.

So I made an additional donation to be put towards wherever it was most needed.

DAY 13:

I went and got a massage and we gave the employees a box of cookies as a thank you for pampering people all day long.

I tried to take a picture but was in a hurry and it came out all blurred.

DAY 14:

We left mechanical pencils, pens, and a holder for the kids across the street from us who had just started school.

DAY 15:

I met my Beachbody coach for the very first time on this day at the Idea World Convention and she had very briefly mentioned that it was also going to be her birthday.

So I decided to surprise her with a cake pop from Starbucks.

DAY 16:

We made a $100 donation to ALS and also both participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge.

DAY 17:

I wrote out encouraging words on Post-Its and Derek spread them throughout the grocery store for people to stumble upon.

DAY 18:

A neighboring family recently adopted a sweet dog with a hip problem.

I love watching them play with her and wanted to do something kind for them so I left them a box of treats to give to her.

DAY 19:

There is this older man who periodically parks his truck on a busy street by my house and sits there for hours on end.

He’s got wooden crosses on the front and back of his vehicle and he just hangs out there, sharing his message with everyone who passes by.

I saw him on my way to Target (shocker) and decided I wanted to do something nice.

So I bought a thank you card, bottle of water, and bag of chocolate chip cookies.

I wrote in the card and made my way back to the spot only to find him gone.

Turns out God had someone else in mind for me that day.

So instead I gave the cookies and water to our mail person.

The funny thing is, it wasn’t even our same mail person that day.

It’s always a woman but on this particular day it was a man.

Seeing that my note clearly said woman, he rang the doorbell and explained to me that she had the day off.

I told him the only reason I put woman was because I had seen her before and to please take it and he was so incredibly appreciative.

He thanked me, welcomed me to the neighborhood as he knew we just moved last year, and walked away with the biggest smile.

DAY 20:

Declan woke me up super early so I decided to go on a coffee run.

I was making my way down the usual road when I saw the man in his truck again!

Determined not to miss him this time and still having the card I had written him in my passenger seat, I grabbed a cookie for him at Starbucks and hurried back.

When I walked up to his truck with Declan in arms I saw him sitting there reading his bible.

I got his attention and he rolled down his window.

I handed him the card and cookie and he looked at me as though nobody had ever stopped for him before.

We chatted for a few moments until Declan got fussy and then I left.

DAY 21:

I surprised Derek’s office donuts.

It was actually really neat because the woman and the donut shop showed me a random act of kindness as well by giving me three extra donuts for free!

DAY 22:

I made a donation to Whittier First Day Homeless Care.

DAY 23:

ADT salesmen came to our door and it just so happens we were in the market for a security system.

It was about 3:30 pm and they had been out in the field all day.

We had just finished up our fantasy football draft and had a bunch of left over food so we offered it to the ADT men.

They politely declined at first but quickly changed their minds.

Next thing we knew we were in our kitchen laughing and telling stories with them as they chomped on chicken soft tacos.

It was really cool to be able to do something like that, especially for door-to-door salesmen who are used to people being rude to them.

DAY 24:

We still had so much food leftover so I made a care pack of it and we drove around trying to find a homeless person to bless with it.

We drove for over an hour but never saw anyone which was bizarre because we see people daily.

So instead we bought a scratcher at the gas station and taped it to the pump for someone to find and enjoy.

DAY 25:

Derek has an employee who has been going through a rough time recently and told him he only eats one meal a day.

So Derek took that care pack of food I made the day before and brought it to this man at work.

DAY 26:

As I was leaving the grocery store I saw a woman and her young daughter sitting outside in the shade.

I had seen her there once before with her sign and Derek had given her money previously.

But I didn’t have any cash on me so instead I put my groceries in the car and walked over to her.

I offered to bring her and her daughter inside with me and let them pick out something to eat for dinner but she told me she didn’t speak English and unfortunately, I don’t speak Spanish either.

But I worked through the language barrier enough to explain to her where I was going and to make sure chicken would be okay.

I went back into the store and bought her a whole rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, cornbread, and water.

DAY 27:

I had seen a homeless man in the morning the previous day so I decided to go back and see if he was still there.

I went to Walmart to make a kit up for him.

For $35 I got him a towel, washcloth, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush/holder, tissue, bandaids, wet wipes, body wash, q-tips, hand sanitizer, Pringles, fruit bars, peanut butter, jelly, a loaf of bread, a gallon jug of water, and utensils.

When I approached him he was asleep so I put it all next to him and left.

But as I caught a glimpse of his face I noticed a big smile as he slept on the ground with so little to his name and it filled my heart with so much humility.

The sleeping man blessed me that day too.

DAY 28:

A friend had posted on Facebook that her son was doing a fundraiser  and really wanted to reach his goal so I decided to visit the website and support him by purchasing something.

I took the opportunity to make these items a little gift for my mom too as a congrats for starting her new job.

DAY 29:

I sent a “just cause” gift anonymously (I think!)

That was the plan, but it may have included my info anyway so we shall see.

DAY 30:

I made a plegde to Pay It Forward and I started by signing five other petitions on Causes.com.

DAY 31:

We left a $5 bill on our walk for someone else to discover.

We tried to take a picture but the memory on Derek’s phone was full and I accidentally left mine in the house.

…………………………….

I hope you feel inspired to go out there and do good.

Kindness is contagious and can not only make a big impact in other people’s lives, but in your own.

The heart is a muscle.

So put in the work and watch it grow.

31 Acts In 31 Days

I can always count on Derek to have good ideas.
Like building a bar around our hot tub or turning a salad into a sandwich with the side of bread they give you.
So when he randomly said to me the other day that I should do another round of my “30 Days of Deliberate Kindness” I was like:

So here we go!
Every day for the entire month of August (31 days) I will be doing a deliberate act of kindness.
Then I will share what I did each day at the beginning of September.

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If you’ve never done something like this before or even if you have I encourage you to join in.
Sometimes we have to step outside of ourselves and remember that this world is so much bigger than us and our troubles.

I look forward to sharing with you in a month!

Parents Confess

I’ve got to tell you, yesterday I was not a good mother.
I didn’t turn my back as Declan walked towards an open flame or lock him in a play pin while I double fisted cocktails, but I was grumpy and impatient and just downright bitter.
Declan has been much more demanding in general recently but yesterday after four failed attempts at nap time I hit a new level of low.
I was exhausted and blaming him for my feelings rather than taking responsibility for them.
I started scanning le’ internet for quotes on patience (because that’s what you do when you have none) and I found this:

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I realized that I was choosing to wallow in self pity because he refused to nap rather than making a conscious choice to revel in my son’s personality and enjoy my time with him.

Once I turned my frown upside down a calm came over both of us and he took a nap.

And today?
Today my cup is overflowing with love, happiness, and excitement hanging out with my little firecracker.

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I know how blessed I am to spend my days raising this guy rather than in an office.
It is the hardest job I have ever done but it is also hands down the most rewarding.
Money is just money.
But these moments I get to witness are priceless.

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Enough gushing.
On Monday I asked you all to share your Sexfessions.
Thank you to everyone brave enough to put their stories out there!
We have all been there, so let’s all share a good laugh and recap the entries I received.

*All posts are anonymous*

“I’m sick of hubby waking me up at 2 am so I have been trying to catch him before bedtime! My son was in our bed watching Mickey and Dh had just walked out of the bathroom so I grabbed him and pulled him into the closet. Well we weren’t very coordinated standing up so we had to move to the bathroom. Made it just as Mickey got done!”

“My daughter found my drawer of lingerie. She commented on how pretty they were and asked if she could borrow them when she was older like me. All I could do was laugh nervously and change the subject.”

“Before our son slept through the night, we had a lot of “Don Draper sex” (taking off as little clothing as humanly possible), so that if the baby woke up one of us could spring into action!”

“Had sex in the living room while I was 6 months pregnant despite the fact that my daughter, my mom, or my sister could have walked in on us. Talk about spicing things up! (no one caught us, thankfully lol)”

“Having a one year old boy unthinkable it would put a halt to our sex lives no not us we. Our son cosleeps with is he hate the crib but when he’s in a deep sleep we put him in crib and we have 20 mins or les to go at it and if he’s taking a nap we run in our tiny shower and get our sexy on and try and get it in as fast as we can cuz our son seems to hate sleep. But the romantic dinner and late nights out have come to stop so we make our romance simple and to the point . I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“Got interrupted during foreplay because my kid woke up. I threw a robe on over my sexy nightgown, but it didn’t cover the whole thing. Even though it was dark in the room she of course still noticed that it was different than my normal pajama pants and baggy shirt and asked why I was wearing a dress. Why are my children so damn inquisitive??”

“Honestly I’m just lucky for the crib we throw him in there all the time so anytime were in the mood we say “you do the kid, I’ll do dogs” and one of us throws him in the crib the other closes the dogs in their kennel… Then we are free to roam about the house ;) but we have had quite a few times late at night with the dogs sleeping (on the floor they aren’t allowed on the bed) and I have gotten sniffed and licked in the ass.”

“My partner and I once put our daughter in the umbrella stroller and awkwardly faced an iPhone on a makeshift shelf so she could watch Winnie the Pooh in order for us to escape to the bathroom for 5 minutes to have sex.

It had to be done.”

“Definitely have had to rush it towards the end because the baby woke up (the baby who was sleeping in a bassinet in our room). Then had to go from sex to breastfeeding instantly, which is just an awful mojo killer. Way too many hormones going on.”

“One time my golden retriever started howling because we made weird noises. Also we totally have done it on the floor of the nursery and the bed in his room (when he was an infant and was in our room in the basinette) and I hope he never finds out when he gets older lol.”

While our son played in our room my husband and I decided to have a quickie. But right when we started he looked at me as if I was in danger and came running over to me in a crying panic. I then coaxed him into his walker and pressed the buttons to engage him, while bent over so my husband could do the deed.

Well that was both awkward and awesome.
Thanks so much to everyone for sharing your dark dirty secrets!
Hope you have a fabulous weekend.

Father’s Day

When I fell in love with Derek it was that last night in Vegas, I’m all in kind of love.
We were high on the excitement of each other and drunk on our passionate love.
Only unlike Vegas, we didn’t come home ashamed and broke.
Instead, we were rich with love and found ourselves in a forever honeymoon.
I didn’t think it was possible for love to be any stronger than ours already was.
And then we became parents to our son.

This past (almost) year watching Derek transform from my husband to my husband AND the father of our child has been breathtaking.
I never doubted he would be a wonderful father but I still find myself in awe of him.

I have literally never seen a child in my life get more excited to see their father than Declan does every day when Derek gets home from work.
It’s easy and often expected for a dad to sort of sit on the sidelines and let the mom be the parent.
So I know how fortunate I am to have a partner who is so hands on not because he has to be but because he wants to be.

I have always loved Derek.
But the love I have for him now as I have watched him father our son has surpassed what I ever imagined was possible.

There’s so much more I want to say but I’m finding myself unable to put it into words.
It is very rare for me to be speechless but when it comes to this I just am.
So I will leave you with some photos that speak louder than my words ever could.

Happy Father’s Day my love.

I am honored to parent our child by your side.

Sharing is Caring

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People used to sit around the fire and tell stories.
They would talk of their lives in great detail and even pen them to preserve their life and legacy.
It was believed that there was something to be learned and gained from hearing about one another’s experiences.
It’s funny that now, in a day where we have such advanced tools to do such, the whole idea is looked down upon.

I am what many would consider to be an “over-sharer”.
After all, I write a blog about my life.
But what is so wrong with that?

I’m not writing about the different stages of my son’s poop, or that one time I had uncontrollable vomiting, or any “TMI” moments like those.

I write about the love I have for my family, the hilariously random things that always seem to happen, and the hardships that mold me into a better person.

Social media gives us the opportunity to display our lives however we want and be whomever we please.
But I want to be me.

And my life is messy.
And joyful.
And I really do still get butterflies when I see my husband every day.
And I have absolutely sat in a puddle of my own tears on the kitchen floor wondering how in the hell I am going to get through the rest of the day.

I post pictures of the food I make, the crafts we do, my adorable son, and the sweet things Derek does.

I talk candidly about my mom’s cancer, losing my daughter, and the trials of parenthood.

I love this little blog of mine and even if only one person in the entire cyber world got something out of it I would be happy.

There is nothing wrong with showing public love for your spouse.
Or posting photos of the things that inspire you.
Or letting people know that you don’t have it together all the time.

Don’t be ashamed of who you are, where you come from, or where you’re going.
Take advantage of technology to tell your stories and share your experiences.
It’s time to stop scrolling through the feeds of weather updates, zimbo quizzes, and tv show spoilers and start actually engaging with one another.

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What A Day In My Life Looks Like

I get asked a lot what it’s like being a stay at home mom.
So I thought I would go ahead and show you what a typical day looks like for me.

[12:00 AM]
Declan begins to wiggle around.
If I don’t make eye contact maybe he won’t see me and will go back to sleep.20140213-043659.jpg

[1:30 AM]

Declan seems to think he’s being stabbed to death in his sleep based off the Michael Meyers victim scream he’s letting out.
Relieved that it was just a dream but embarrassed of his reaction, he defensively begins to yell insults at me.

After I take a verbal beating I manage to calm him down enough to feed him until he passes out.

[4:30 AM]

Somebody is ready to partay!

Unfortunately I am not yet on his level.

I try to protest which he just makes him more hyper.

Since Derek’s alarm will be going off in the next 20 minutes I peel myself from our bed with Mr. Smiles so that he doesn’t wake daddy.

[4:32 AM]

Declan takes off Runaway Bride style during his diaper change, forcing me to chase after his bare ass and shimmy a diaper on him.

This is followed by a long play session where he pulls out every toy he owns.

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This picture was literally taken at 4:30 in the morning.

It’s not human to be that happy before the sun comes up.

[6:00 AM]
After several attempts to get Declan back to sleep I decide to eat, shower and get ready for my day.

The minute I finish getting ready & am wide awake:
He passes out.

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[6:45 AM]
We’ve nursed but someone is still hungry so I make a valid attempt to give him solids which usually results in him eating a shit ton of Puffs and fighting off anything of nutritional value.

[7:00 AM]
Operation crawl away from safety and towards danger has commenced.
I close my eyes to sneeze and all of a sudden he’s across the room trying to climb up the stack of chainsaws, dirty needles, and grenades that got left out again.

[9:00 AM]
Time for the dreaded car ride to the grocery store.

This is how I feel whenever I have to go somewhere that involves putting him in his car seat:

But Declan seems to think I look more like this:

And thus the crying begins.

[11:00 AM]
Yes, I’m serious.
It’s only 11:00 am.
Help me.

[12:00 PM]
Try to convince Declan to sit in his high chair long enough for me to scarf down some lunch.

[12:05 PM]
Eat my lunch one handed while fighting off the baby hands in my other arm that are trying to grab my food after a failed high chair attempt.

[12:30-3:00 PM]
Time for a nice long stroll around the neighborhood followed by more milk syphoning and lots of floor time.

[3:00 PM]
Daddy is home and asks about our day:

[4:00 PM]
I pass Declan to his daddy while I pee.

[4:02 PM]

Declan’s reaction to seeing me after said bathroom trip:

[5:00 PM]
Declan takes a bath with daddy while I cook dinner.

[6:00 PM]
The witching hour is upon us.
Nobody is safe from his wrath.

And we’re just like:

[6:30 PM]
After several minutes of standing and rocking Declan, he has his head rested on my shoulder and his eyes closed.
Convinced he is asleep, I naively try to sit and relax.
To which he pops up and responds:

[6:45 PM]

Fortunately I am prepared for his fight and come armed with lullabies and back rubs.

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[7:15 PM]

Stop the presses!
Declan Franklin has fallen asleep!

[7:30 PM]

Time for a glass of wine.

Maybe two.

[8:00 PM]
Derek and I play Tetris around our baby bed hog in attempt to cuddle up and watch some tv together.

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[9:00 PM]
Lights out.

[9:30 PM]
I dose off into dreamland.

[12:00 PM]
Repeat.

(It should go without saying that this is a satirical piece and should not be taken seriously but I’ll verbalize it anyway.)

Unplug Or Unravel

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Last Friday we hopped on the Catalina Express and made our way to Derek’s family home on the island for a little weekend getaway with his grandparents.
Grandpa generously made reservations on Saturday night for Derek and I to go have a nice dinner alone while he and Grammy babysat for us.
We ended up down there about 20 minutes before our reservation and opted to be seated right away rather than wait for our window seat spot they had reserved since there was a table that was practically right next to it already available.
The table that would have been ours was eventually sat and it was a mother, father, and daughter no older than 11 who claimed it now.
I watched as the mother texted, browsed the internet, and even had her daughter take a photo of her and her husband.
She then proceeded to filter and post her photo and continue to browse, showing her husband who was seated next to her things every so often on the phone as well.
Throughout the 30+ minutes of this I couldn’t help but notice their daughter, blankly staring off into the sunset completely alienated by her parents and their smartphone.
She would try to strike up a conversation every so often and they would exchange a few words, then go back to the phone.
Here they were with the best view in the house at a nice family dinner and yet they couldn’t manage to look up from their phones.
And it got me thinking:
We need to unplug before we unravel.
Families, friends, and lovers alike.
We are so caught up in being connected to the world that we have become disconnected to the moment.
Being with someone and enjoying their company used to be enough.
But now, we go to have lunch with a friend and spend the entire time talking to other friends through texts, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Why do we feel the need to Instagram a photo the minute we take it?
Won’t our friends online still “like” our picture in a few hours when we are no longer in the company of someone else?
With how plugged in everyone is all the time these days it almost makes it feel like we don’t have any other option but to fall in line.
Awe, but we do.
We don’t have to browse Facebook while watching a movie with a friend.
We don’t have to post that picture of our date night dinner the minute the plate hits the table.
We don’t have to neglect the people we are physically with, just so we can go online and see that everyone else is neglecting whomever they are with as well.
It’s a slippery slope we are on and relationships are suffering everyday because of our excessive media usage.
I’d like to challenge everyone to live in your moments and truly be invested in them.
Leave your phone in the car while you meet a friend for coffee.
Turn it on silent during your family picnic.
And give yourself the opportunity to have quality time daily, with the people you are surrounded by.
Me?
I’ve made a pact with myself that i will completely unplug every night after dinner until bedtime.
It’s the longest stretch of time that Derek and I spend together in a daypp and I want to make a conscious effort to be present.
Because at the end of the day I care more about my relationship with my husband than my relationship with my iPhone.
And I think that is something worth remembering every time I pick it up.
Here’s to unplugging!

I Don’t Watch “All My Children”

The room is quiet and there is just enough light coming from our dimmers for me to see the play yard bassinet for those middle of the night diaper changes.

Derek lay to my left while Declan is cuddled up on my chest.

It is in this moment that though I should be taking the opportunity to get some sleep, I find myself unable to shut off my brain.

This week I resigned from my position at work and officially became a full time stay at home mother/house wife.

I can only imagine the lack of enthusiasm people will have towards my “career” choice at my ten year high school reunion.

Feminism has taught me that choosing to stay home with my child will cripple me as a woman.

That I will be settling, no longer reaching my full potential, and conforming to a man’s ideas on what my place in this world is.

But why is a life lived for the ones you love considered an empty one?

When we as a society think of housewives/mothers we are conditioned to think of a mindless, submissive woman who takes too many prescription drugs and never misses an episode of All My Children.

There’s something so unsuccessful and lazy in our eyes about a woman who doesn’t earn her own income.

As if raising a child is as simple as turning on the Disney channel and passing them a bottle.

I’ve only been a mother for six weeks and already I have discovered how physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding parenting is.

We don’t get lunch breaks, coffee breaks, or even bathroom breaks.

And when the baby is finally napping and you’ve managed to get your hands free for a half hour, you try to do as much as possible around the house including eating something, which has become a chore in itself, all while running off of three hours of sleep.

So maybe I won’t win an award for most successful at my high school reunion.

Maybe I’ll forever be categorized as a pill popping, soap-opera-watching, sorry excuse of a woman.

if you see me as a failure of a lady because I’ve “given up my rights” then that’s your problem.

Because the way I see it:

It is my privilege as a mother to raise my son.

It is my privilege as a woman to choose my family over a career.

And it is my right as a person to decide my own path.

And there is nothing weak, lazy, or unsuccessful about that.

Andi the Cowardly Lady

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It was a week before my 7th birthday.

Kevin was supposed to pick me up from my grandma’s house and take me to Target to spend the remainder of the $25 gift card I got.

But he never came.

And at the time I don’t think either of us realized the value of that moment.

Yet here I am over 18 years later and it remains crystal clear.

That day started what would become a 15+ year struggle with abandonment.

I could go into great depth about all of the pain, questions, and insecurity I experienced throughout my life because of this isolated situation, but that is not where my story begins.

Today it starts with the future.

Sunday to be exact.

As fate would have it, I am to come face to face with my biggest fear:

My biological father.

My aunt is throwing a surprise 80th birthday party for my grandpa, but the surprise was on me when she added that Kevin would be there.

This moment has been on repeat in my mind since I was a little girl.

The day we would again come face to face.

But now that is it approaching I want to curl up underneath the covers, lights off, and pretend nobody is home.

Honestly, I think it felt safe to imagine it growing up because somewhere in the back of my mind I was convinced it would never really happen.

Or I at least assumed that if it did happen it would be on my terms.

But an 80th birthday party at a retirement home?

Eat cake, be merry, and meet the man who chose drugs over you your entire life?

Sounds like a plot to a bad Lifetime movie.

And then we would be forced to live together for some unlikely reason, and I would learn to forgive and love again.

Only this isn’t a cheesy movie, it’s my life.

And I don’t know if I’m ready to take this step.

I just hit a place of acceptance and forgiveness three years ago.

And honestly, I’m terrified that this will reopen the wounds I finally bound.

At the same time, this may be my only chance.

Unfortunately [and obviously] he doesn’t have the best track record for staying clean.

It may be only a matter of time before I hear through the grapevine that he’s back in jail again, like what happened just a year ago.

After talking with Derek and my mom it’s clear I have only one option here:

To be courageous.

Which I’m really quite awful at.

But here it goes anyway.

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Here’s to courage.

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When The Phone Rings

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[Insert pregnant lady breakdown here]

And so I shall.

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So this happened yesterday:

“Mrs. Franklin? This is Carol from Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park. We need to have you come in for some further testing of the baby’s stomach.”

I was speechless.

And then suddenly filled with words.

What is wrong exactly?

What does the paperwork say?

There has to be something written down, right? Can you read it to me?

She explained that she wasn’t aware of the situation and that all she had were some notes with big words neither her or I understood.

Originally she said I wouldn’t be able to have an appointment for another two weeks but once I bawled my eyes out, told her I have had a previous loss, and that I was going on a vacation I could not enjoy if I was left in the dark she managed to fit me in for this Monday.

In the midst of a full blown meltdown, I decided it was best if I left work and went home for the day.

Please don’t take him for us Lord.

I prayed.

I cried.

I Googled.

Yes Googled, the worst thing you could possibly do when you have a few “keywords” sloppily jotted down on a tear filled paper.

Seriously, I wish medical information was banned from Google.

Or that you would have to pass a test before you could access it.

“Are you currently:

A. Trying to self-diagnose with random keywords that may or may not even apply to your situation?

B: Covered in tears, snot, and runny make up?

C: Crazy enough to skip the majority of results and only focus on the freak cases that happen to one in a million?

If you answered yes to any of these above questions then I’m sorry, but you are too emotional to use Google Medical right now. Please try again later once you have composed yourself.”

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So after I allowed myself to freak out even more thanks to the internet, I sat alone in my living room in the silence and I listened.

Listened to the quiet room.

To my heart.

To God.

 I began to read and a weight started to lift off of me.

Derek came home and further lifted this weight by reminding me of some key things in my appointment the day before that I had forgotten.

1. The woman doing my ultrasound was in training. In fact, my appointment was over an hour long when it was only supposed to be 30 minutes because she was having such trouble. Her supervisor had to come into the room and help her out.

2. As they were trying to rush us out because the appointment had gone on too long, the supervisor said to the tech “Can you get another shot of the abdomen?” because her original shot was not clear enough. We then watched her take a picture, sit back to look at it, and say “that should be good”.

It wasn’t much to go off of but it was something to rest some optimism in.

Then around 5:30 pm I got another call from my doctors office.

This time it was my primary nurse Dee.

She said she saw that they called me and was upset because she wanted to call me first, knowing that hearing something like this would freak me out.

She then went on to explain that the reason they need me to come back in is purely because they just did not get a good shot of his abdomen.

I asked why they put the keywords and she said they do that to state all possibilities of problems but that sometimes it can look like something it’s not because the angle was bad.

She told me not to stress and that right now there is nothing to worry about.

I think this is when I finally started to breathe again.

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So here I am today, anxiously awaiting the worst day of the week:

Monday.

Monday we will see the same doctor we saw when we found out Kinlie wasn’t going to make it.

Days before leaving for a vacation, just like last time.

I can’t help but laugh at the irony of it all.

But I’m hopeful that the similarities will end there.

That they will tell us Declan is perfectly fine.

That the angle was just bad, he drank a lot of fluid that day, or any of the other non-threatening things I’ve heard of.

Derek says he KNOWS everything is okay.

That I need to just keep singing to Declan and send him positive energy.

I’m so thankful that I have a husband who picks me up when I’m crumbling all over the floor.

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Here’s to a good Monday.

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