Sunday, November 21, 2010

Desperate..not so housewives

This week in the news there seem to be an extraordinary amount of divorces. Eva Longoria (From Desperate Housewives) and Tony Parker (NBA player) have announced their divorce.

Christina Aguilera and Jordan Bratman (Music Executive) have also called it quits.

I know that this is not terribly surprising in Hollywood but for some reason, it is really disturbing to me this time. I think because Eva and Tony got married in July of 2007 which is dangerously close to my August 2008 wedding. Also, Christina and Jordan got together 5 years ago which Anthony and I did as well. I think it just cuts too close to home.

I mean, if you read anything in the news at all or watch Ellen, like I do, there are obvious reasons for these marriages ending. Infidelity is always the word we hear thrown around in the rumor mill of Hollywood, however, is that easier than saying "we just don't get along?" Does it seem more socially acceptable to say that someone cheated or was seen with someone else? I secretly wonder if anyone actually cheated and if there is just the issue of marriage being incredibly hard. I sure didn't know it would require this much work when I got married.

I remember being single only a few years ago and praying to God saying things like "God, if you just bring my husband, everything will be alright." I can't believe I actually uttered those words and mostly I can't believe how gullible I was. I should note that in my opinion I have a very good marriage. I love my husband very much and appreciate him while also feeling incredibly loved and appreciated. I would still say that Marriage is the hardest thing I have ever done.

Marriage is a collage of things I never expected at all in life. I never realized how selfish I was until I was married. I never realized how anal retentive and how much of a perfectionist I was until I was married. I never realized how incredibly stubborn I was until I was married. Marriage is like a holding a mirror up against the content of your character and sometimes what you see is worse than one of those scary Bloody Mary Horror movies in the 80's. I was not pleased to really truly see myself in marriage.

I wonder quite frequently if that is the reason so many marriages fail. I think it is hard to see oneself as you truly are. I think it's hard to see all of your fears, failures, and weaknesses displayed daily by watching someone you love be disappointed. I think it is super easy to be single and think about all of the ways that you will love your spouse and then the marriage comes and you realize that the things that you thought you would be good at, you fail miserably at daily. You learn that your expectations of what it would be like to be a husband or wife are vastly different from what your husband or wife thought you would be like. You learn that the person that matters the most to you and is closest to your heart, can make you homicidal by leaving their socks in the same place over and over and over and not considering that you are the one picking them up and there is no sock fairy.

I say that after doing 1 and 1/2 years of premarital therapy. I know some who get married with no more than a couple of months of dating and expect to not have a moment of disillusionment. I am not trying to dump on marriage or even to make people not want to be married but it is vastly different than dating and there really is no way to know what it is like until you are married. I don't care if you have lived together before marriage or is different. I say that and feel sad today that marriages are ending around me right and left. Not just in Hollywood but in my friend's lives. It is hard to see people break up when you got married around the same time. It is hard to imagine for me being able to stay married without feeling that my vow to God was important. I vowed so many things to Anthony and to Jesus and letting them down is just not an option.

All of this to say today...I am sad about divorces...Hollywood or not, they are marriages and they bring grief with their ends. Stay married people...I bet it gets easier! :)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

30 days and almost 3 months

Well here I am 3 months in to being thirty and so far, it's been the best year of my life. I have gained so much perspective on being an adult, a wife, and a mother that I can hardly contain all of my growth. In October, I headed to Indiana to see my niece turn a year old and that was such a pleasure. I stayed with my older sister, her husband, and my precious nephew Shawn and I really had a great time there. I also was able to catch up with a few friends and really enjoy time with my babies. I think I learned so much about being a mother just watching Hilliary and the way she so selflessly gives to Shawn and the struggles that come with being a single mom (Britt) and how that must be overwhelming. I gained a sense of real gratitude for Anthony and our marriage and all of the ways that he helps me in our lives.

When I got back I headed to the women's retreat I wrote about in my last post where I centered my attention and prayers on healing over the baby and how that was for me. I had so many fears after losing Jamie that I would never give birth to a child and every pregnancy would end the same way. I know that I have zero control over this issue and that really brought me to a place of healing on the retreat and I was able to come home and begin Operation Baby Lewis yet again. This year it means something different to me. One of the things that I realize upon having these precious babies (Kaylea & Shawn) in my life is that there are things about me that I would never want to teach a child.

I won't go into specific detail about most of them as they are far too vulnerable to share, however, I will say that there are days that I remind myself of someone that I do not admire. I don't appreciate that I have taken on characteristics that I do not admire in myself as a wife, a friend, a sister, a Christian, and a woman overall. There are things that I really want to be in life and some of those are crucial to raising a child. I don't plan to get "perfect" before conceiving again but while I wait for God to give us our little one, I want to be in progress as I have been the entire journey of this blog. This blog has traveled with me since 2004 and I am proud of the person I have become, but I am not a finished product.

There was a certain level of health that I wanted to have in my life before I got married and for the most part, I attained that. I have certainly grown in multiple ways since marrying Anthony but I did feel entirely ready to be married. I am glad I did feel ready and did a lot of prep work because our loss of Jamie and Anthony's loss of his job really took a toll on us personally and luckily the strength of our marriage has gotten us through it. We are not entirely out of the woods from the repercussions of the job loss or the baby loss but...we are certainly farther than we were. Overall, we are stronger than we were when we started this journey and I pray that each year of our marriage...actually each day of our marriage makes us more dedicated to this journey together.

The way that Anthony and I have decided to proceed into the baby territory is just to allow God to do his will. (chuckle) As if we have a choice! :) I really like control of situations and I like charting my own path and knowing exactly when something is going to happen. In my life, I have been able to accomplish that for the most part with my career, my marriage, my health, my relationships, etc...but this area is one that I can NOT control and I have given my desire away to do so. Anthony and I deeply want a child (biological or otherwise) and are taking one step at a time towards that. The main goals for us both are to have a VERY happy and healthy marriage and healthy bodies as those are great assets for parents to have.

I will go ahead and address this question as it always comes up to me, I will not be telling anyone when we are "trying" so we could be right now..and maybe we aren't. We have also chosen not to disclose to anyone about a pregnancy until we are able to know a gender, unless for some reason there is a desperate need to tell (like I am as big as a house!) These decisions are not to hide anything from anyone or to avoid conversation about it, it is simply for Anthony and I to get through the scariest part of the process (conceiving and the first trimester) so that we feel a sense of peace and security with how things are going. You can never feel entirely secure in pregnancy in general and even more so after losing a child but...we are going to get the peace we both need through the process and ask that everyone understands our desire to hold this by ourselves.

We are also not going to disclose when and if we pursue adoption or other such options. We are just trying to navigate this as married people and we find that the pressure that comes from our loved ones knowing is overwhelming given our circumstances. We understand that a lot of the questions, concerns, and curiosity is out of love for us and we are truly thankful for your love and for the way our family and friends held us up in prayer during the loss of Jamie. It literally saved our lives so many times. We both feel a great sense of peace and feel led to do this in this manner so we appreciate in advance all of the respect we know that we will feel with our decision. We just ask that the day that we do disclose any info, that you will understand that our love for you is real and we never mean to withhold information but to simply wait until its proper season.

In saying that, I have started Operation Baby Lewis in our home and that is simply Anthony and I joining together to get healthy physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually, and otherwise so Baby Lewis is in the best home he/she can possibly be. We both feel a need to get physically healthy including eating better, taking better care of our health concerns, and exercising as if we like it! :) We both also feel a need to make sure we are on sure footing spiritually to bring another life into this house and mold their lives. It is a huge responsibility and it is one we definitely don't want to take without God's leading. We are both pursuing financial maturity through this process of job loss and learning what it means to be a good steward and to make wise financial decisions. Overall, we are spending a lot of time fostering our marriage in date nights, intimacy, and working on our communication constantly so that the home is the most happy home we can make it be.

Anthony and I both come from very different homes but equally there were things we would like to do differently than our parents. Both of our parents are divorced and have remarried. We are really concerned about that aspect first because parents who are happily married and in love and work together create secure kids who know they have a safe place to fall. That is hugely important to us and we are very dedicated to that part our lives. We both feel that many couples have children well before they are ready to and in turn don't have their own relationship solidified and everyone suffers from that decision. We know we can't entirely ready for the challenges that children bring into a marriage but we can know ourselves and our relationship enough to be highly invested and as ready as we can be.

Anthony grew up in a saving home while I grew up in a spending home and we really want to be somewhere in between financially. We don't want to be so concerned with saving money that we forget to enjoy life and see the world but we also don't want to spend so much that money stresses create an unhappy, overextended home. We are beginning to work on this balance and we are really happy with how far we have come.

In saying all of this, we are seeking God's face on Baby Lewis and are excited to have you all pray with us through this journey. We both appreciate all of the support you have given us and we overly appreciate the lack of questions like "when are you going to try again" or "Have you decided not to have children now?" These questions are hard from any avenue during this process but it was nice that the people who love us and know us best have not even gotten near them. Thank you for respecting my grief, pain, and loss. You will never know how truly valuable it has been to not be afraid of these questions with my dearest friends. I will also speak for Anthony in saying thank you for understanding that although a woman goes through the actual miscarriage, Anthony is Jamie's daddy and his pain is very real as well. We have been through a lot together and we have really been so lucky to have the friends we have in this process.

We can't wait until we can give you news but in the mean time, please pray for Operation Baby Lewis 2010 -- ????

Thanks everyone for reading,

E & A