Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Has it really been 7 months since my last post?? wow.

So apparently I don't have a blog.

I have an online partial ledger of some pretty deep feelings that I occasionally share with the world. 

Perhaps that's too generous. Seldom is more like it...ohh and at this rate, if I post today, all I have to do is post one more time this year and I am now downgraded to a bi-annual sharing of thoughts and feelings.

But that's not why I started this. So, I begin again today.

New blog, new background...both to fit in with the new life we are about to embark upon.

I will start off by describing life over the last 7 months, over a few separate posts and then lets see where we can go from there! After all, I do have three weeks or less before my entire life changes.

Lets start from my last post. Silent Parenting.  (Go ahead, take a break and read that now).  Soon after that was written, my husband and I sat down and had a big talk.  My hubby is always honest with me, he doesn't want to be the kind of husband that tells me what I want to hear and I REALLY appreciate this, even though sometimes the truth stings a lil.

If you're reading this and have struggled with the ugly, dark and scary world of infertility like we have, then you'll probably understand where I'm coming from. However, even if you haven't had our struggles, I'm sure you can understand what I'm about to explain.

I had trained myself into a vicious cycle, one that creeps up once a month, just before my period starts.  No matter what I do, prayer, self talk, support from family and friends, anything- no matter what I tried, I would always get myself thinking "what if I'm pregnant."  Mostly every month for over 5 years,  prior to mother nature taking her course, my brain would shift into that no good, emotional roller-coaster of 'what-if.'  There were some months were I was able to not think of it.... but those were seldom.  The worst part about having a period and endometriosis are that the symptoms of PMS and what not mimic pregnancy!  What an evil game!

Enough was enough, Steve and I talked, cried and just comforted each other.  I finally heard how HE was feeling.  How selfish of me, not to even consider how he felt every month... He was suffering too, but in silence.

We prayed together and decided it was time to stop.  Stop the cycle, heal for our future.  He told me what I needed to hear, which was the truth. The truth, every stinging yet healing word.  We need to live the life God has for us- kids are not part of our story right now!  LIVE THE LIFE GOD HAS GIVEN YOU! (this not word for word, but you get the gist).

I felt like my eyes, ears and heart were finally open to receive these words.  I prayed more, but my prayers changed. I prayed that I would joyfully live the life God has given me and stop yearning for the 'what-ifs.' Joy...something I hadn't prayed for in awhile. Joy. Three letters that have formed a powerful word that has shaped our world this year.  God really has a lot up his sleeves.

Two weeks after this talk, around January 7th,  I got a message from my friend Jennifer Dean.  She is an amazing woman, servant, mother, wife and she has also dealt with the muddy waters of infertility.  We didn't talk much, but kept tabs on each others journey via facebook and her blog. She is wise in so many ways.

So, when I got a message from her telling me to enter into a contest on instagram, I was curious.  I used instagram for photos and whatnot, but had no clue about the amazing support group I would find there.  Jennifer told me about a conference she was participating in and that I basically needed to be there.  Like she's been praying for me and there is no way around it, I needed to be there.  I looked into it and knew there was no way I could afford airfare, hotel, food..etc but was definitely interested in attending.

It just so happened that they were holding a contest to send one person to the conference in southern California- all expenses paid.  I never win anything, I thought.... my stepsister and stepmom win every contest they enter, but not me.  So, I prayed and asked God to bless this entry and that if it was His will for me to be there for him to show me how to make it happen.  We were barely making ends meet and we had no clue we were about to be hit with huge medical bills.

The conference was called the Choose Joy event and was to be held in southern California the first weekend in May.  There's that word again- JOY!  I told Steve about it and that I was going to enter the contest to win a trip, all I had to do was re-post a pic on IG and enter my name on their website.   What a perfect opportunity for me to be surrounded by other women and men who would truly understand what we've been going through.

The contest started January 8 and went through January 17th.  You could enter everyday on their website and got an extra entry to repost this super cute pic on IG: (IMAGE NOT WORKING RIGHT NOW) (you can find it on my ig @redponykells)

I missed the first day to enter, but was able to remember the following day and so I entered a total of 5 times. I was quick to do the first 4, then kinda gave up and then tried once more on the last day.  Gave up because I let self doubt and a sense of unworthiness creep up in my brain- which I now attribute to a series of huge spiritual attacks.  I prayed for this trip and was super excited to watch the video that Emmy posted on IG... who's Emmy? yeah, she's the brainpower behind the Choose Joy Event and oh so much more. She is an amazing woman, friend, wife, mother and just all around awesome person.  I'm still getting to know her, but wow is all I can say. wow.

Needless, to say I was a bit disappointed when my name wasn't the one picked, yet I was overjoyed for the woman who was chosen.  I knew God had big plans in store for her- so many of us were praying for the winner of the contest, that God would work miracles in her life so she could attend.  But wait- there was more good work being done!  There was enough money generated by donors and sponsors that Emmy was able to draw another name.  How awesome!  Again, not my name, but it was that of Amber, another amazing woman of God, mother, friend and now roommate.  You see, God had big plans for Amber and so many women and when a third announcement was made that they had yet even more tickets to give away, my name was announced next!  I had been chosen  to attend! What?!?! this is the girl who never wins anything...but I suppose it had less to do with winning at this point and more to do with God's plan.

Amber was willing to share her room with myself and then yet another amazing woman of God, Nikki!  Nikki's journey is one to gasp at- the amazing things God is doing in her right now, leading up to and immediately following the conference are just incredible.  So, needless to say I was overwhelmed, nervous and excited for the anticipation of the trip to come.

I was still new to the IG community, but from what I can remember, Emmy was able to send the four of us all expenses paid (airfare, hotel, rental car, tickets to the event) and then was also able to bless many more with tickets to the event.   I am sure I missed out on the vast array of other amazing things that were going on from mid Jan-May, so please forgive me if I have some facts wrong.

I told Steve I won and he was happy, yet was quick to keep me grounded in all that we had discussed just two short weeks prior.  The conference was to focus on treading through infertility and adoption.  We are by no means ready to adopt and we are just barely choosing to embrace the life we currently I had to remember not to get my hopes up and to just pray. I prayed for focus and guideance.  I didn't want my wishful thinking tendencies win over me...the what-if's that I had so recently done away with, or so I thought.

About two weeks after being chosen to attend, I was sitting at home after work (it was also my mommas birthday) and I started to stretch.  This was a typical ritual for me, as lifting grown men and doing the various things we caregivers do can make for achy muscles at the end of a 13 hour day!

As soon as I started to rotate my right ankle, I got a full body shock response. I'm talking pain shot up my leg, followed by an immidate warm and tingly sensation all the way up to my head- a surge of sorts.   I knew something was wrong when I tried to walk and nearly toppled over.... this is the beginning of the last six months and is where I will leave you for now.  See you in the next post. I promise it'll be real soon.

Hopeful hearts
broken hearts
aching hearts

eyes opened
renewed vision
tears drying up

pain is so strange
it comes in many forms
blessed to be able to feel

love carries us on
bonds strengthen
life moves on

Monday, December 23, 2013

silent parenting

I have never been pregnant, but I am a mother.

I have not adopted a child, but I am a mother.

I do not have a surrogate, but I am a mother.

I have not attempted IVF, but I am a mother.

I am a silent parent.

I love unconditionally, 

I nurture, 

I discipline,

I care.

I am surrounded by men and women who have been blessed with the joys of pregnancy and parenting, 

I am surrounded by many men and women who have brought me into their lives as friends, but have given me more than they will ever know.

I am surrounded by friends that I now call family and their children who lovingly call me Auntie Kelly and I love it!

I may not ever have children of my own, but I am a mother to many, I have been a mother to some and will definitely be a mother to others in the future.

I am coming to terms with my infertility and will no longer live in the wishful world of "if, when and/or how" will it happen.  I will live in the present day and realize that it already has. 

For now, I will love and nurture those put in my path.

I will quietly and joyfully celebrate the moments I share with my families and their children.  

So don't be afraid to ask me where my children are or when we plan to have kids, we already have them. 
They're just spending time with their God-given parents right now.
Auntie Kelly gets to rest at night , play all day and then give them back at the end of the day :)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Itsuko 'Itsie' Kobayashi: a story of beauty, love and grace

It's funny the things you remember about a person.  We all hope to make an impact on the world around us, especially those we hold dear to our hearts.  So in the time I've had to reflect on my grandmother's recent passing, I find myself reflecting on a woman who had a beautiful soul, heart and mind. Creative, intelligent, happy and full of life are a few of her characteristics.

Some of my earliest memories of my grandma, Itsuko 'Itsie' Kobayashi, are of her in the kitchen. She was always creating new, tasty and healthy meals. We would eat at her house nearly every weekend, and she was always willing to teach me a few things, as well as share her yummy recipes. This Thanksgiving, I plan to make one of her favorite appetizers, Tzimmes; a Jewish sweet stew of carrots, yams, prunes, apples and spices.  I always loved that my little Japanese grandmother loved to cook cuisine from around the world.  We even had themed dinner plans that would change each year to reflect a different country's cuisine. 

Every year Grandma would have us all write down what we were thankful for on a strip of construction paper, which would be read out loud and then attached to the ever growing garland from years' past.  This year, I will start this tradition in my house.  Every friend that visits will have the opportunity to write what they are thankful for, which will be then hung in my home.  I am so thankful for the impact my grandmother has had on my life.  

Christmas was no exception to the traditions and festivities bestowed upon us by Grandma and Grandpa Kobayashi.  Together, through song, story, dance and lots of fun, our grandparents taught us beyond the ideas of Santa, but the true depth of the meaning of Christmas.  Love, compassion, sharing, giving, and caring through our Lord Jesus Christ were taught.  The message, although subtle at times, is easy to see as I reflect upon these memories as an adult. 

However important these memories are, they are not the first things that come to mind when I think of my grandmother.  Beyond all other memories, I often find myself reflecting on her days as a ballroom dancer and seamstress.  Grandma was an extremely meticulous and talented seamstress, her grandchildren greatly benefitted from her ever-growing red bag of dress up clothes!  I think of my grandparents moving swiftly across the dance floor, seemingly effortless.  The flow of her gown breathtakingly beautiful as they danced for the crowd.  

I will forever think of you as a graceful, joyful, loving and caring woman.   I pray that while you wait for us in heaven, that you have rediscovered your love of dancing, cooking and teaching.  Your life lives on through the memories, actions and hearts of your grandchildren, nieces, nephews, children and many more.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Happiness found.

Seven weeks ago a embarked on an adventure that will forever change my life.  I finally found a job that initially I was afraid to take.

I spent the last two years soul searching, trying to figure out where I am supposed to be in all aspects of my life.  I am by far no where near close to finding all the answers that I seek...but the one that I spent the most time and effort on (finding a new career path) has really paid off.

As I've said before, for me, the retail world is an awful place to work.  It sucked me in, chewed me up, and spit me out a convoluted, warped, bruised and damaged version of the woman I once was.  I was angry, bitter, unhappy, stressed out beyond measure,  overweight and bored.  

The spirit of happiness that I used to portray was gone.
No one should cry themselves to sleep because they hate their job.  
Worse yet, cry before work because you don't want to go in that much.
My husband, my best friend, really helped me cope.

Finally, through a lengthy series of events immediately following our first year of marriage, we decided it was time to quit my job. In fact, the company's inflexibility to help me relocate my position made it that much easier to quit.  
Within a week of my last day, we had our bags packed and I was moving to Oregon.  I had just reconnected with my Dad after 20-something years of no contact.  His health is questionable at times and I didn't want to miss out on anything anymore.

The last two years I have had a lot of time to relax, get back to who I really and truly want to be.
I'm still somewhat overweight, but that's slowly working it's way off...

I'm happy!  I smile and laugh a lot again.
I am surrounded by nature.
I am surrounded by people I love.
I am confident in the woman I have become and know my past only shapes me.
My passion is back!
Plus, I love my new job.

Seven weeks ago, I took a position as a caregiver for five developmentally disabled adults.  I have always had a special place in my heart for those with disabilities, now I get to make a difference in their lives.

I was scared at first.  I didn't want to let the residents down, they've been through so much.
Adjusting to a nocturnal shift (645pm-7am) three to four days a week didn't sound appealing, either.
I have found it more enjoyable than I could ever imagine!
The nocturnal hours aren't that bad, actually.  I get to enjoy dawn, my favorite part of the day, everyday!
The only hard part is figuring out how and when to spend time with the hubby, but our time is more quality now than ever.

The best part are the people I support.
Seeing them smile over the littlest things makes me so happy.
Playing music and dancing with the dudes is one of my favorite things to do.
Teaching sign language, giving them choices, taking them out on adventures...just a sampling of things my co-workers and I do for the dudes.
Mostly, we spend time with them.  We give them quality of life back, that was once taken away.

We don't know all of what they've been through, but what we do know is not pleasant.
I'm not at liberty to say anything, but you should research the history of abuse and neglect for the DD (developmentally disabled ) population.  What you'll find is that they are perhaps the largest group of people who have suffered from all forms of abuse.  It's sickening.

I am so thankful for the job I have and that we support the life and well-being of these individuals in Central Oregon.  

What would you do if you needed assistance in every aspect of your life? Would you still be able to find joy in your day? Our residents still find joy.  They battle many things in just the simple tasks of life, yet they still find joy.

The problems we face day to day seem so small to me now.  Sure, there are things that are going to get us down....but I ask you to take a step back from one thing today that pisses you off and remember that there are others out there who cannot even fend for themselves, yet they still have joy.

Their laughter is infectious.
Their frustration is real.
Their feelings are genuine.
They have no bias or judgement.
Their joy is pure and true.
Their day is full of structure and schedules.
Their life depends on the caring support of those around them.
They're people.
They have feelings and emotions, just like you and me.
A single step forward, a new word, getting out of bed, going outdoors, and many other things are daily victories that some aim to achieve.
They have a special place in my heart and life now.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


I have had more ultrasounds than most pregnant women will or have ever had.

yet no baby.

no miscarriages, that I know of.

yet I get the symptoms.

I've been late several weeks before and yet not a positive outcome.

yet I am still hopeful.

it may not seem as though I am and no one knows what the future will hold, but I am hopeful.

I tell my story because it heals me and by opening up myself to others' I hope to someday help someone.

I love it when people tell me I am good with kids, it makes me smile.  A small part of me is still really happy that I haven't had kids yet, maybe the selfish part, I dunno.

I write about my struggles because it heals me...sometimes you'll get raw, gut-wrenching reality from me, don't mistake that for a cry for attention.  It's simply the only way to express myself!

I really have no direction for this post, but perhaps as I sit here, working through the cramps of endometriosis, I have a need to vent.  To get some stuff off my chest.

I don't judge my friends, my foes or my family for the decisions they have made regarding children, but sometimes in the gut-wrenching pain-filled face of infertility I do get frustrated, down right pissed.  However, I eventually become level-headed again and realize that we are all living different realities.  What I want isn't necessarily what you want...and HELL, what we all want may not be exactly what we thought we were getting ourselves into in the first place.  But whatever your choices are, please don't baby me. Don't mock me. Don't think I'm fragile and can't handle your reality.  Don't let your guilt over your decisions make you treat me differently!  You will never know the pain of infertility until it is staring you in the face.  You, who take things for granted, please remember that your plan may not work out the way you want it to!  Please understand that your actions have reactions and that what you are planning for may  not happen because of the choices you are making or have made.  

I'm not saying you need to run yourself ragged with worry that your plan to conceive may not work out, but please be realistic!  Get yourself checked out, make wise decisions for yourself and your future.  

Please note, this blog post is not geared at any specific event that happened recently.  In fact, it has been festering inside for awhile and I just feel like blabbing about it tonight.

I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior! I know He has planned my life from birth, but sometimes I wonder have I made a wrong turn somewhere?  What lesson can I learn from this struggle? Patience? I thought I got that one down for a bit, lol.  Faithfulness, perhaps.

I believe He will provide me with my little miracle, but I am human and doubt has a tricky way of getting in when you're down.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Plans Change

Plans change....which is why this quote is so popular, right?
I have no clue where I am supposed to be in life, other than right where I am right now.

I left southern California in October 2011 and never knew my true self until now.

I am at peace here, aside from the job search and other thorns in my side.

I love living in Bend...away from smog, traffic, tons of people and completely surrounded by nature, beauty and clean air.  I have an amazing circle of support that is growing and thriving.

Don't get me wrong, SoCal is beautiful in it's own right. Beaches, sunshine, lots of things to do and of course all the friends I grew up with and our familes that we love.

A shift of perspective.

I have never had to work so hard to find a job until now.  It's discouraging.  I don't want to go back into retail, it sucks your soul away and spits it back at you in a twisted, convoluted form that you don't even recognize anymore.

I am smart, energetic, fun and dedicated.

A bachelors degree in marine biology, don't you know it's not a cakewalk? I went through years of schooling and dedication for what?!

I have successfully managed multi-million dollar businesses, too!

But I am lost, not sure what door I'm supposed to be looking at. Not sure if that door is here, in Bend, where I feel more like the true me than ever before in my life.

Passionate about photography, pets, derby, and life.

Love learning and teaching others.

Should I go to school for my masters?

what would it be in?

Plans change.

Plans end.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

wham, boom, pop!

Some days start off like today, easy, fun and full of entertainment...but end on a note in the complete and utter polar opposite...

woke up. made coffee. went back to sleep. woke up, had coffee.  ate a decent breakfast. meandered around the house and then went to work to nanny for two of the most unique, intelligent and fun kids I know.

filled the day with random surprises such as taking them to bouncing off the walls, mc donalds, seeing mom at work, buying them a baby chicken, affectionately named Chipper, played soccer twice, and managed to squeeze in some reading and problem solving from my favorite childhood book, The Eleventh Hour.

Seven hours of fun and activity.

Got home, chatted with neighbors and friends...went to a friends house for a delicious dinner and dessert paired with a lovely rose moscato and a NOVA episode about planet earth seen from space.

Then, wham, boom, pop! my endometriosis pain started up with a vengeance.  Started off as the usual subtle dull ache and within 30 minutes I was in full oh-my-gosh-this-fucking-hurts!  Today's spell made me almost vomit, but I have managed to keep it all in for now.

I know we all have our own deep, dark spot...well this is mine. It's times like these that make me question whether I will ever bear children of my own.  I am obviously good with them and love them, I've been told all my life that I'll be a great mom one day, but do we really know this? We don't know when that day will come, if ever. And yes, I know there are thousands of children aching for a loving and caring home, but I am not able to give up my dream just yet. The dream of carrying a human being inside myself, nor am I financially ready for this dream or even adoption for that matter.  Yes, I know there are fertility treatments but without insurance, and funding, that is out of the question. but hell, will anyone ever be 100% ready for this endeavor, whether it be by choice or not?  Are we ever 100% ready for the path that lay before us?

The pain is so crippling that I get to a point where I say fuck it, enough is enough, just rip it all out, I don't want to deal with the mental, physical and emotional pain anymore. it is draining. it is useless.  i had to stop buying pregnancy tests. why bother when it's the same result every month?  wishful thinking at it's best over here.

Pain is tiring, tricky and conniving. Ten years of knowing the source of my body's torment doesn't help find the solution. Yes, I probably over-exerted myself today and sabotaged myself by eating shit for lunch (first time having fast food in over two months) and not enough fluids, but damn....I wouldn't wish this on anyone.  Am I being punished for the things I've done? I know I am not, but sometimes I feel I am.  Logic and reason go out the window when you are doubled over in pain, tears, frustration and confusion.

So, I am at a loss. I don't know what to do next. Numb. yeah, Numb. that's the feeling.  Approaching my 34th birthday next week and I've never been so low at this time of year before. Usually I have it planned by now or I'm showing signs of utter forgive me if I come across as wounded or harsh or selfish...there's a lot going on behind that fun, happy, energetic face you're used to seeing. Believe me, the happiness I typically exude is real, genuine and true.  It's just that this deep, dark sad part is also real, genuine and true and once in awhile I have to acknowledge it and express it so as not to go crazy!

Fun day.
Lauging, playing, jumping.
Surprising the kiddos with fun things to do, it's what I do best.
Going home to a house full of people and puppies, but no kids.
Pain sets in, making me wonder,
will I ever get the chance to be someones mother?

Writing it out helps,
crying it soothes,
soaking in a tub heals,
while my mind trickles back to whats real.

I am an auntie to many wonderful children.
Always have been, always will be.
Loving my friends for letting me enjoy their company.
Thankful for the things I do have and trying to stop dwelling on those that I do not.