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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Reflecting- 1 Year Later.

Hello, there! It's been exactly one year to the day since my last post, and I thought it would be cool to sit down, reflect and update everyone about how in the world we're all doing. Even if no one reads this, I want to have this for myself. I just read the last post I wrote with knots in my stomach recalling everything, and I just cannot believe how far we've come in a year.

So let's begin...

Whew. 2014 was a whirlwind. Looking back at this past year, my head just spins when I think about everything that happened. I vowed to make 2014 the year of "New Beginnings". And, well, while the first half of 2014 was rocky, we certainly made up for it the second half of the year. From January-late May/June, things were rough. Not nearly as bad as they had been, when I hit my all time low, but they was still really rough.

I continued with my bi-weekly counseling sessions, and even began attending meetings through a group my counselor started. While they were so very good for me, I was still feeling a huge void in my life. I tried to brush it off and act like it wasn't there, but it was literally a little demon, always following me around saying "you cannot live life to the fullest without alcohol! You are never going to be happy, now that you can't drink!" I listened to that little voice everyday. It brought me down, I felt so heavy and sad 95% of the time. Here I was with an amazing life, but I couldn't see the reality of it or even enjoy it because of that stupid voice in my head. I honestly never, ever realized how much my life revolved around alcohol until I quit. And unfortunately, because of this, I fell back into my old ways a few times in attempt to fill said hole. Just for the record, it never worked. Even when I did slip up and drink, it made absolutely nothing better. Only worse.

The first half of the year was for sure my learning period. I made lots of mistakes and stupid decisions during that time, thinking no one would notice. But I was only fooling myself. I was making things so much more difficult and learning the hard way. Looking back though, as much as I didn't realize it, I was learning & making progress everyday, and bettering my life. Albeit in teeny, tiny baby steps, but still. It was progress.

I had my "aha moment" in what I believe was late June, after one of my counseling sessions. My counselor said to me "Lauren, I want you to make a video journal entry on your phone. In it, I want you to talk to alcohol like it was a person, and tell it how you feel about it." I think I rolled my eyes at the thought of the assignment, but I agreed and left that appointment feeling annoyed.

A week passed and while I was sitting at work one day, I wrote down the word "CONTENT" randomly in my notebook. Something came over me, and just told me to write it down. For the first time since my miscarriages and all the shit we've gone through, I felt content, and at peace with where my life was sitting. I wasn't waiting for the next big thing to happen. I didn't feel anxious or worried.

So, with that, I picked up my phone and recorded a raw 5 minute video of me telling myself how I felt in that moment. I described my relationship with alcohol as "the other man" in my life. I was having an affair with it and pushing my own husband out. At times, it took priority above all else, and I was DONE. Though my tears and choked up voice, I told myself this this is where it stops. I told myself to watch this video when I feel the need to take a drink. I talked to my husband in the video and told him how sorry I was, how much I love him, and how lucky I am to have him by my side unconditionally.

I told my counselor about the video in my next session, and he asked if I'd be willing to let him see it. He watched it through teary eyes, and when it was done, he was speechless. He could not believe what he just saw. He said it was nothing he did, or said, but everything to do with me. I had to decide when enough was enough, that was it. My husband happened to be at the appointment, waiting in the hall. My counselor told him to join us and asked if I would show him the video. I of course said yes. I cried at my husband tearing up watching my video. When it was over, he couldn't believe was he just saw. It solidified everything for him. That I really was ready to move on and make our life better, for real this time.

I will keep that video forever and ever. And watch it no less than 300 times, I'm sure.

That, my friends, was the turning point in my life. Things have only gone up from there. In August, on our 6th wedding anniversary, we put our house up for sale. So romantic, right? We needed a fresh start, and wipe the slate clean. There were too many dark memories in that house. I lost 2 pregnancies in that house, I spent too much time in my closet hiding & drinking, the living room was the place where too many arguments were held and tears were shed. We needed to move. The house was too big for us anyway, and we never really loved it to begin with.

While the actual process of selling and buying a house can be quite a pain in the ass, it was the BEST DECISION WE HAVE EVER MADE. On October 22nd, we moved into an adorable ranch style home to the city north of us. And I'm telling you, if you could marry a house, I so would. We are in love with it. It's cozy, cute, full of character, and most importantly, it's a fresh start.

Life is oh so amazing and sweet these days. My husband and I have never been more happy, or closer. Work is great for both of us. Claire is flourishing into the most incredible little human, and I am so (excuse my language) fucking thankful I am sober to witness it. Even my mom said the other day how extra happy and in love my husband & I seem. Our families can all see it. And that makes it even more worth it.

I truly never thought I could be this happy and fulfilled WITHOUT alcohol. I am just amazed how far I've come in a year. I never thought it could happen. 

If you have made it this far, BLESS YOU. I didn't expect this post to be so long, but I needed to go into detail about this journey. To look back at where I started, and where I am. And I am so excited to see where things will go from here.

2015, LET'S DO THIS.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pouring My Heart Out & Putting it on My Sleeve.

I almost don't even know where to begin.

**Warning. These are incredibly raw & honest words. I don't know why I always turn to this blog in times of hardship, but it helps blurting them out**

It's been 6 months since my last blog post & since then I feel like so much has happened. Another miscarriage in August, after seeing two babies at my first ultrasound in July. Claire turned 3 and started pre-school & dance class. We went on a Disney cruise and visited Disney World in October. Spent Thanksgiving in beautiful San Diego & Christmas & New Year's at home, here in Salt Lake. I turned 26 on 1/11. & Oh yeah, I came to the realization that I have drinking problem, hit rock bottom, put my marriage in jeopardy and started seeing a counselor & quit drinking two weeks ago.

I'm not going to call myself an alcoholic, as hard as it is not to. That word seems so permanent, and I am not going to live with that label for the rest of my life. Why? Because I am choosing to overcome this. Sure, I will always struggle with it. I have an addictive personality. I come from a bloodline of addictive personalities, I'm genetically pre-disposed. But I am NOT using that as an excuse for my drinking problem. And don't want to walk around with the label on my forehead for the rest of my life. I'm sure after this, people will think what they will & refer to me as such, but I am not going to let myself  refer to me as an alcoholic.

I've always enjoyed drinking. Wine in particular. I'd have a few glasses at social gatherings, I liked having a glass while I cooked dinner, while I ate dinner & while I sat on the couch after dinner. Wine became my third arm, if you will. If it was 5 o'clock, I had a glass poured.

I would always justify  drinking to myself to make sure I never thought I had a problem. "Oh, all the ladies on InstaGram have their cocktails now! Time for mine!" -"I had a hard, stressful day at work, I need this." -"Claire was a little demon today, I need to unwind from this." -"I will just have a couple of glasses while I'm making dinner to relax."

But then, after the second miscarriage in August, I turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism. I drank to feel happy, and to numb my pain from not only losing 3 babies in a span of 3 months, but to mentally & emotionally check out from life. I pretended everything was great! But on the inside, I was crumbling. And I didn't know how to deal. My husband was reeling from the losses just as much as I was. I didn't want to whine to him about how sad & depressed I was. He needed to grieve for himself, not for the both of us. I didn't want to put that burden on him. So, alcohol pretty much became my BFF, or so I thought. In reality, it was my enemy. Causing my life to fall apart right before my eyes.

It didn't take long for my husband to realize I was drinking more and more & the problems were still there. I didn't want to see it of course, because I didn't want to give up drinking. I couldn't stand the thought of not having alcohol in my life.

However, in September, we had a talk. Well, it was more of an argument. About my drinking. That's what all of our arguments had stemmed from lately, so I wasn't surprised. He basically told me he was scared about what this "habit" was becoming, and he thought I needed to quit. He didn't know where our marriage & family would end up if I continued down this path. It was either my husband & Claire OR alcohol. I couldn't have both.

I was pissed. Not at Dallas, but about the fact that I had to give up the only thing that guaranteed me "happiness". Wine had been my steadiness in all of the heartbreak we had gone through with the losses. HOW was I supposed to quit, just like that? I admit, I resented my husband a bit at the time for taking this away from me. Now? I couldn't be more grateful that he did so.

Fast forward to today. Without going into every single intimate detail (let's just say I was drinking in private & keeping it all to myself) I hit rock bottom on Monday, January 6th. Everything was brought to light to my family & I am proud & happy to say that with their support, I have been sober for 2 weeks. Now, that may not seem like a very long time in the grand scheme of things, but I am totally fist bumping myself right now. The past 14 days have been the most eye-opening, sobering (pun intended) days of my life. With the help of counseling, early morning gym classes, the support & love of my family & most importantly, the undying support & love of my husband, I am on this amazing path to a better, healthier, happier life.

With all of this happening, I had to take a break from InstaGram & Facebook. Between the posts of booze & pregnancy announcements (not together, of course!) every third picture, I just couldn't do it. They make me a green-eyed monster. "Why can she have a few glasses of wine without having a drinking problem & I can't?"-"Why can she carry subsequent babies to term, give her oldest child a sibling & I can't?" It was just a big ol' pity party every time I opened social media &it was so unhealthy for my mental state. I think it will take a while to not feel a pang of jealousy when I see these things. It's just a part of the process.

It has been a good thing though, taking a little break from social media. I've been intentional with my time with Claire and Dallas, instead of being half there mentally. And it has been so awesome. That, and not having my mind foggy from drinking every night while I am with them makes things even more awesome.

This whole sobriety isn't going to be easy, but it sure as hell is going to be worth it.
So, here's to 2014. A year of New Beginnings. A new me. A helluva better me & wife, mother, friend, daughter, sister, aunt.

(Thought I should throw in a recent picture of my little family. They are my everything, and the reason I am doing this. This was taken in San Diego over Thanksgiving. I didn't have a drop of alcohol on this trip, which was a huge challenge for me. But I ended up being one of the best vacations ever)

I have a long, long road ahead. But, I can to this!! Just keep swimming, right?

{I want to add that I never once put my family in danger because of my addiction. i.e. driving while drunk. But, it could have gotten to that point had I not decided to do something about this problem. And I am so thankful that I am deciding to change before something like that could have happened.}

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

So, hi.

Wow. I honestly forgot for a while that this thing still existed. I seriously cannot believe it has been almost two years since I sat down and wrote a blog post on our lives. I totally regret it. I have loved going back through here the last few weeks and seeing how much our lives have changed over the years, and how itty bitty Claire used to be! I have to make this somewhat of a priority from now on, at least a couple of times a month! For my benefit, at least.

And holy shit- I need to update my header. And the overall layout. Ha!

Anyway, yes, we are still alive and well. Claire will be 3(!) in a month and I am in denial that she's starting pre-school this fall.

Honestly, I am not going to bore you with mundane details of our lives from the past year and nine months. But I do want to document an event that will always remain close to our hearts. An incredibly sad, life-changing (for us) event that occurred in May of this year.

(This is so difficult to write, let alone publish. So please, bare with me. Ok, here goes.)

Let me back up a bit. My sister-in-law and her husband welcomed their first baby into the world this past December. I had been wanting to try for a second baby for a few months prior to their son being born. Claire was getting older, and I was getting the itch for another squishy baby to be in the house. Dallas (my husband) was so not on board quite yet. So, clearly, there was nothing I could to about the baby fever that had kicked in. But, I kid you not, the second my husband laid eyes on his nephew on that sunny December afternoon in 2012, he looked at me and said "OK. I'm ready. I'm ready to start trying for Baby # 2."

So, from then on, we threw all caution to the wind, and began officially trying to expand our family. It didn't happen right away, which is to totally be expected. But the morning of May 1st was a totally unexpected event.

I had been feeling pms-y about a week prior to this day. Definitely knew my period was about to show. Marking month 5 in the Baby #2 Production books. That week passed and I still never had my period show.

 I woke up on a snowy (blech) Wednesday morning, May 1st to a little girl trying to escape her room (we're the mean parents that have a child lock on the inside of her door. If we didn't, she'd be exploring the house at 2am without us knowing, doing God knows what). I got up to go to the bathroom and decided to take a cheapy Internet pregnancy test for the hell of it, since I still hadn't seen my period. I dipped the test, laid it on the counter and went to go get Claire from her room. I didn't really have much hope or great expectations of the results. Once I got her changed, I just peeked into the bathroom before going downstairs. And to my surprise, an incredibly dark line was next to the control line. Positive. I was freaking pregnant. Shocked, nervous, excited, all of the emotions you could possibly have, I had. I was just standing there laughing. Claire asked "What's that mommy?" pointing to the test in my hand. "It's a test that told mommy she has a baby in her tummy! You're going to be a Big Sister, baby!" "OH! A Big Stister (as she calls it)?! I want a baby!" Ha. She was obviously confused, poor thing.

After the initial shock wore off and I called my sister & sister-in-law to tell them, I called to make my first pre-natal appointment. May 23rd at 9am. Wow. So surreal and exciting. That date could NOT come quick enough. (In case you're wondering, I went out and bought Claire a Big Sister shirt that day and a First Response test. I had her wear that and hold the test when Dallas came home from work to tell him about our incredible news. It was the longest day ever! not telling him over the phone was the hardest! But I filmed the whole thing and it was perfect, so it was well worth the wait)

The month of May seemed to drag on, and on, and on. I had the typical early pregnancy symptoms. Sore boobs, exhausted, bone deep hungry all the time, slight nausea and incredible bloat. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Finally, Thursday, May 23rd arrived. I woke up in a great mood, albeit incredibly anxious. I had never been to this OB-GYN before, and had never met him, so I didn't quite know what to expect (i.e, if he would do an ultrasound, or what the actual appointment would entail). After was seemed like hours, we finally got called back into the room. The nurse took my blood pressure, asked me a variety of questions, and based on my last menstrual period, (LMP) my due date was December 26th (which I knew was not accurate considering I ovulate later in my cycle, putting me at the beginning of January to be due. I hate that doctors always go by your LMP, assuming every woman has a 28 cycle. Anyway). After the nurse left, I stripped down & put on that oh-so-comfy paper gown. The doctor came in, talked to us. The normal stuff. Then he decided to do an ultrasound to measure the baby. Based on the doctor's records, I was 9 weeks. Based on my cycle, I was about 7 weeks. I told him this, so when he couldn't see anything on the screen during the abdominal ultrasound, he was not surprised, and neither were my husband and I.

The dr. sent me downstairs for a viability scan (an awful term in my opinion). The ultrasound tech was the absolute sweetest ever. It took her a minute, but she immediately found the sac. Zooming in verrrry closely, she saw the tiniest of heartbeats. 95 beats per minute, and measuring at 6 weeks 1 day. Looking back now, this was a huge red flag for the pregnancy. There was no way I was only 6 weeks along. But, I went with it. The doctor said that it was a slower heartbeat, but probably nothing to worry about, BUT that my chances of miscarriage were raised a bit because of it and that he wanted to see me for a follow-up ultrasound in a week.

We left there feeling optimistic but nervous. I had a meltdown in my mom's arms in the parking lot, but quickly got over it. Everything was going to be fine. It had to be.

The day of May 30th was the slowest day ever. My ultrasound was at 3:15pm, and I was a ball of worry the whole day. I met my husband at the hospital and waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, the doctor came in, put the wand on my belly, looked around and still could not see anything. This is where my anxiety turned to panic. My hands got really sweaty & I was fighting back the tears. "Hm. I'm not seeing much, so I'm going to send you downstairs again for a vaginal ultrasound." He didn't sound concerned. "Before you go down, set up your 12 week appointment so that you don't have to come back up after the ultrasound if all is well." That eased my panic a bit. I set up my next appointment and went downstairs for the ultrasound.

As soon as that wand went inside and the image of my uterus popped up on that screen, I knew. I knew that it was not all OK. "Oh you guys, there's no heartbeat." The ultrasound tech said, in the sweetest, consoling voice. I immediately started crying, and my husband just put his hand on mine, but didn't say anything. "Damn it. Why does this always happen to the cute couples?!" The tech yelled. That made me smile a bit ;)

The baby was only measuring 6 weeks 2 days. Only 1 day more than when we had seen him/her a week prior. I had been walking around for 6 days thinking I am happily pregnant, when my baby really was no longer alive.

My biggest nightmare as a pregnant woman had become my reality. I was the ONE of the 1 in 4 statistic. I had had a miscarriage. Technically, a missed-miscarriage (no signs of losing the baby. No cramping. No bleeding). I lost my baby. So not FAIR.

We had JUST seen a heartbeat last week!! This wasn't supposed to happen. How were we going to tell our family? How was I going to move on? I literally felt broken. Like a piece of me was gone.

I had a D&C the following morning. I opted for the surgery to remove everything rather than waiting around to pass the baby on my own. I wouldn't be able to mentally handle that- just waiting and wondering when my no- longer- living baby would leave my body. It's so morbid. Not something I could handle.

I am doing better now. Those first few weeks were so rough, obviously. And I definitely do still have my random moments of feeling sorry for myself. Or crying from getting that e-mail from TheBump telling me I'd be ___ amount of weeks along in my pregnancy now (I un-subscribed the moment I got that first email, for the record).

It absolutely sucks how common miscarriage is. And even though it is so common, it doesn't make it any easier to deal with. I wish I could say that this would have been a bit easier to handle if I never saw that little flicker of a heartbeat in the first place, but I can't say that. Because I don't know if it would have made this any easier. All I do know is that I am loving on my little family extra tight, and not taking a single moment with my daughter for granted. We are so lucky to have her, and she has definitely made this hard time a bit easier for everyone.

I am so sorry for this novel of a post. And so sorry that it's such an emotionally heavy post after such a long hiatus here. I just needed to document this part of our lives. I'm never going to forget it. I don't want to, honestly. It was our second baby that we lost. That baby will always be part of our family. We are moving on with our lives, but it doesn't mean we will ever forget the month of May, 2013.

...May 1st I was pregnant. And by June 1st I wasn't. That just plain sucks.

I am totally not fishing for pity by posting this. Let's make that clear. That is not my intention AT ALL. I wanted to post this, like I said, to put the events on "paper". So I wouldn't forget. And I just thought, why the heck not put it on my blog? so, ya.

I really am going to be posting more than once every two years. ha!  I miss this blogging community and sharing our lives with the friends I've made from it!



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

a WHOLE bunch of random. & a thought...

* I am in complete & utter shock that a year has passed since we visited the pumpkin patch.
Claire was just about 7 weeks old when we went last year.

Check out the difference. Sorry for the shitty quality of the photos.


She has a BLAST at the pumpkin patch on Friday. They had goats this year. She was OBSESSED. So cute. She kept saying "hi!" To the goats, and they couldn't care less about her. Sweet girl.

*Claire is 13.5 months old. And more fun & crazy than ever. Period. She is crawling at a lightening speed, into everything & all over the place. I honestly wouldn't have it any other way.


*She has completed all of her first set of "goals" in Early Intervention!! Her therapist & I are so proud of her. We made a set of new goals, which include cruising along furniture &... WALKING! Eee!!

*She does headstands now. See below.


*I am still pumping. 2x a day. Morning and night. As my ignorant co-worker would say "You're like addicted to burning calories". Riggght. That's EXACLY why I do what I do. Bitch. ha.

*Rather than blogging lately, I have been turning to crafting & baking as my therapy outlet. It's an amazing thing. Wine + crafting after a long day= blisssss. I have consumed more pumpking chocolate chip loaf in the past 2 weeks than I would care to admit. 


*I can't WAIT to carve the pumpkins we bought & roast the seeds. FAVORITE part of this season!

*I bought  my first pair of TOMS a couple of weeks ago, a half size smaller than I wear in other shoes, since the sales woman said they stretch a lot..... I am STILL waiting for them to stretch out. Owwww. 

*I think Claire is a vegetarian. She WILL not eat meat. Any meat that I cut up for her, she immediately veto's it. I don't get it. 

*Speaking of meat, I love this time of year, specifically for SOUP season. I make the best/yummiest/fattiest  chicken noodle soup, thanks to this momma. I have been following her blog since before I started my own, and she posted this recipe forever ago. I've been hooked ever since. SO DAMN GOOD.

*I have a ton I want to blog about. But there are two big reasons I haven't: 1) I'm busy being a mom, wife & employee & 2) People I know in real life read this blog. And I want to write about things that are going on in my life that may offend said people. Which takes me to my next bullet...

* I think I may make my blog private. I know, I know, SO BORING, right?! Who goes private after this long?! I'm just toying with the idea. I just want to be able to write/word vomit whatever the HELL I WANT without people I actually KNOW reading about it. I hardly blog anymore anyway, so do I even have that big of an audience?! Doubtful .I am just so full of all kinds of emotions, that I think this may be the best option. I'm sick of trying to be all full of rainbows & unicorn shit when I blog these days. I feel so fake.YES, I have an absolutely AMAZING life/family, don't get me wrong. There are so, so many things in my life that are GREAT. but I want to be raw & real without being judged by those that truly know me, and be able to share with my e-friends at the same time. I want the best of both worlds :) 

I want to be real. I have not been real here in a while, and that's so not me.
But trust me, if I do go private, I will be sure to let you know. I am fairly certain I've already made the decision, but I will sleep on it a little while longer.

Hope you're all having a great week!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Canvas4Life {A Review}

I am & have always LOVED canvas prints. I think they are a very classy, simple way to add to a room while having a little piece of your family/loved ones present.

My mom has a big ole' canvas in her house from our wedding & I have wanted to get one of Claire just like it for OUR house. So, when Michael from Canvas4Life contacted me about doing a review on one of their products, I jumped at the chance. Of course.


Canvas4Life is an online canvas printing retailer. They specialize in printing special pieces for you. And? It is SO incredibly easy & reasonable. There are 3 steps to completing your order and that's it. You're done. And I'm all about easy, simple & reasonable.

The best part? It didn't take long at all. {least patient person on the planet} I got my order in less than a week from placing it. But that doesn't take away from the quality of their product. 

The canvas itself if very well made. I really was/am so impressed!! Of course it is best to use a high resolution picture when having something like this printed, or it won't turn out that great-but, this turned out beautifully! The folds of the canvas are so precise & not bulky like some can be. 

I'm love, you guys. 


Visit their website, familiarize yourself with it & order one yourself! Canvas4Life agreed to give my readers 10% off of your order. Just use the code "babydmakes3" at the checkout.

Thank you, Canvas4Life for allowing me to review such an awesome company & amazing product!!

Required Disclaimer: As a part of doing this review, I was provided with a 16 x 20 canvas free of charge.

Friday, September 23, 2011

You know what's REALLY weird?

Getting your period for the first time after 22 months & remembering where you keep your tampons.
Oh ya. YOU DON'T HAVE ANY. oops.

I haven't had "it"since November, 2009. The last cycle before I got pregnant. How weird is that?!
  I so didn't miss it.

Welcome back, old friend. Notttt.

Aren't you glad you opened this post? ;)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

MY, oh MY!

We have some big news to report...

no, i'm not pregnant. sillies.

claire is CRAWLING.

Yep. Full on movin' all over the place.

if you're new here, you're probably thinking "uuhh, she's a year old. shouldn't she be close to walking by now?"  ya. She's ONLY crawling..... nothing is wrong with her. promise.

Last Monday, I was sitting in her room while she played. I look up & she's on all four's rocking back & forth & before you know it, she took a couple of little crawls!! I silently squealed while Tweeting "SHE JUST CRAWLED". Then? She didn't do it for the rest of the day, so I thought for sure it was a fluke & hubbs thought I was making up stories :)

But sure enough, the days passed & she got more and more confident & faster. & I am now growing grey hair ;)

I fully attribute this progress to the Early Intervention program. I am SO beyond thankful & impressed at how well Claire has taken to her therapist & excersises.

She's also sitting up on her own from laying down. Something she wasn't doing a few weeks ago. We JUST lowered her mattress because she is able to kneel up to he rails now. This is also, HUGE progress.

I just love walking into her room in the morning and seeing this sweet face sitting up all by herself.


Here's the proof: sorry about the absolutely awful quality. Filmed on my iPhone. also? she's crawling towards music playing on hubbs' iPad. Kids these days & their technology. ha.

Now, I'm off to "baby" proof this house. I've been waiting so long to say that.
Claire, you rock, little girl.

Happy Tuesday :)