Family

Life Lately

We are all moved into our new place and fall is officially here. These last few years, fall has been a season of change for us. Last year we moved across the country and I made a (sort of) career change. This fall we moved — again — and I just had an incredible breakthrough with my health issues.

I don’t talk about medical issues very often on BBB but this is a moment in my life I want to remember. Since Matt and I got married, I’ve been to many doctors, had surgery, several scans and office procedures, months of taking this medication and that, months of blood tests, physical therapy, frustration, confusion, exhaustion, and tears. All that to say, after five years of trying everything I possibly could, I was left with no answers and a dead end.

After an encounter at an event over the summer I can only describe as providential, I learned about a doctor in Oklahoma who I’m able to work with over Skype. Thank you technology! I won’t get too into the details but basically hormones are super important and mine were incredibly out of whack. With one prescription, it’s looking like I will finally, finally, feel like myself again.

The fact that this news came at the beginning of fall is simply the icing on the cake. In between traveling all over the country for work, we’ve been able to explore our new neighborhood and a bit of the surrounding Maryland/ Virginia area.

Time for a few recent pictures to remember this season in our lives:

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Asking For Help

As women, we want to do it all. Clean the house, grocery shop, do the laundry, have a successful career, maintain a social life, take care of the dog, take time for ourselves, take time for our husbands, all the while maintaining a “perky” and “can do” attitude so as not to come off as a royal Witch.

Couple feeling like I alone have to do all of these things with a sometimes intense type-A personality, having it all or (attempting) to do it all is exhausting. But, I’m learning, it really doesn’t have to be this way.

I don’t have to do it all. And you don’t either.

Whether you have a husband, a best friend, a roommate, or a friendly neighbor, you can ask for help.

I know it sounds obvious but honestly, I’m really just starting to figure this out. I’m away from my home five days a week for about ten hours a day including my commute. This doesn’t leave a whole lot of time during the week to grocery shop, clean, cook, etc., etc. To think I have to do all that stuff on my own and keep a full time job is insane.

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I don’t like to ask for help. I like to just do everything myself. And that’s stupid. I have a wonderful husband who is happy to help. All I have to do is ask. That’s it! And sure there are some days I feel guilty that we don’t have a home cooked meal on the table by 7pm (or at all), dirty laundry is exploding out of the hamper, and the refrigerator hasn’t been cleaned out in a month. But that’s okay. I don’t have to do everything. I have help. We have help. It will get done. All we have to do is ask for a little help.

On Making Friends In Unexpected Places

For the past thirty days or so, I’ve been been getting my blood drawn for testing every other day. This means I’ve spent a considerable amount of time at Labcorp in recent weeks. If you’ve ever been to one of these lab testing locations, you know it’s not the nicest place to hang out for an hour with such frequency. It’s usually packed with people, you end up waiting way longer than you’d like, and at the end you get poked with a needle. Not really my idea of a good time. I’m grateful I have the means to get the testing I need, so I’ll try to keep the complaining to a minimum.

Because I’ve been going so frequently, the nurses and phlebotomists have really gotten to know me. I kind of feel like Norm from Cheers when I make my thrice weekly appearance! Everybody knows my name there. And during my most recent draw, I realized I had actually made friends with all these women.

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My lab order is pretty unique so for the first couple days they asked me lots of questions about what was going on and why I was having this particular set of labs done. I shared a little bit of my story with each of them as they prepped and drew my blood. I’m sure they hear all kinds of medical issues and sagas day after day, but they listened patiently and responded with such empathy and kindness. As time went on I got to know a little bit about each of them. Some shared their work stresses with me or their own medical situations which are similar to my own. I heard about their daughters’ birthday parties and how they met their husbands. Through a series of ten minute interactions, we got to know each other and it made an uncomfortable situation infinitely more bearable.

I’m almost at the end of this set of tests and I’m hoping it will lead to successful treatment of whatever is going on. But I can’t help but think about the sweet women I’ve met along this part of my journey, who I probably won’t see much of moving forward. This part of my journey has made me thankful for kind people in seemingly depressing situations and new friends in unexpected places!

Starting Out

I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to launch a family tab on BBB for a couple weeks now. It seemed dishonest to begin this part of this blog only when Matt and I can say we are expecting.

Don’t get excited. That’s not what I’m getting to with this post.

But I want to be honest with you all so that when we do begin that chapter of our lives, it doesn’t seem like it came out of nowhere. And to be honest, I want you to know that it was hard-fought and my life isn’t just a series of perfectly filtered and curated blog posts.

Matt and I have been married almost four years now. We got married my senior year of college and I fully expected to be heavily pregnant on graduation day. Obviously that didn’t happen. To simplify things and to use the words of Meredith Grey, let’s just say I have a “hostile uterus.” Between structural issues and “erratic hormones”, the whole conceiving a baby situation for us has been anything but easy.

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Seeking answers and treatments has included extremely painful exams, surgery, various medications, vitamins, stretching regimens, chiropractic care, physical therapy, charting, blood tests, and more painful exams. There have been lots of tears. And lots of prayers.

But there came a moment, during a conversation with my husband, when I realized how grateful I am — we are — for this struggle. We’ve had the chance to grow closer because of this. I appreciate my mom and dad so much more because of this. I’ve matured and grown because of this. I am more empathetic because of this. I pray harder because of this. I’ve learned to let go and let God, because of this. This struggle has made me better and strengthened our marriage in ways that I cannot put into words.

Though Matt and I haven’t faced too much financial uncertainty, when and how we will start a family is anything but certain. But we press on.

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We all have our crosses to bear. And it’s easy for me to get sucked into thinking that mine is the worst; no one understands; I will always feel this way. But that’s not true. What is true is that when we hold our first child, we will look back on this time, this cross, and be thankful. Thankful for growth, struggle, and family.

The family section of this blog will probably have a lot to do with DIYs, cork floors, and vintage kitchen appliances. But we all know what makes a family. And I can’t wait to start ours.