Future Family?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I'm 22, settled into my home and happily married.
So why am I so focused on what's next?

The last few weeks I have been totally preoccupied with the thought of having children. The idea terrifies me. When Cam and I first got together we were both adamantly against having kids.
I was anti-children mainly because having a girl terrifies me (my sisters were both bratty and dramatic children, which scarred me for life). Not to mention my terrible anxiety about the actual process of child birth *shudders*. Cameron's mom babysits in their home, which meant Cameron had to deal with his nieces and nephews plus a handful of other children on a daily basis until he moved out a year ago.
Before we got married we had dinner on night with Cameron's older brother and his wife. Somehow children came up in the conversation *queue Genna's anxiety* and when Cameron told his brother we had no intention of having kids he laughed and said, "Just give it a few years." Yeah, right...or so we thought.
We were at the county fair (strictly for the food, promise) a few weeks ago and we ran into a friend and his wife with their nine-month old. She had a little pony tail sticking straight out of the top of her head and was laughing and cooing and just being all-around adorable. I glanced at Cam, who usually grimaces when children are in the general vicinity. But this time he had a strange look on his face. Not quite yearning, but close to it.
Since then we've talked about the prospect of our future family a few times a week. Do we want kids? Do we wanna wait another five years? Ten years? Are we financially stable enough to even consider this? Should we just drift along and let whatever happens, happen and not plan at all? What if *gasp* we have a girl?
I am trying really, really hard to be content with where I am in my life. I have a wonderful husband, beautiful home, job that I love, two happy dogs and no babies to tend to at night. Still, I am preoccupied with the thought of kids.
My convictions about children have been stronger than ever lately. In pre-marital counseling we studied a lot about the Lord's purpose for marriage and families. He said children are blessings. Who wouldn't accept a blessing from God? Me. The idea scares me. Was I a bad person for that?
Maybe it's the idea of what's next. So far in my life I've always had something to look forward to. First it was graduating high school, then college, then engagement, then graduation, then the wedding, getting a job, then buying our home. And now...?
I need to be okay with where I am, I know that. But it's so nice to have something to look forward to.
Last week I was late. Not by a lot, just two days. My body usually runs like clockwork so I had a little "what if" floating around in my head. I didn't tell Cameron because two days is no big deal at all. But the seed has been planted.

Doing Life Without Your Best Friend

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

5. & 6.

There have been a few people in my life that I've really, truly connected to. If you are lucky enough to have one of those people you know what I mean. Sure most people have friends, maybe even best friends. But there are just certain people you click with, you trust and you love to the depths of your soul.
I met that person in sixth grade. I was new to a school and thrown to the wolves of big, bad middle school. To help me make friends before school started my mom forced me into basketball camp. I hated basketball and had no desire to play it ever (I was a swimmer. Hand-eye coordination/land sports were not my thing).
One light came from that terrible camp: there I met Kelsey. She was a friend to me and was my partner for all the drills, even though I sucked to an extreme. We were pretty much inseparable from there on out. I survived middle school with her and became close to her family. She was the fourth of five children, with three older brothers who counseled the two of us through our transition to high school.
I suffer from a friend issue. I tend to get really close to someone for a long time, then get annoyed with them and push them away. This goes for both guys and girl friends. It ebbs and flows, but I tend to stay friends with those people. Kelsey dealt with me through many of those times and she stuck with me.
From the night of the OSU championship game
In early 2008, we were on the upswing of my moody friendship and she spent a lot of time at my house during Christmas/New Year's break. We spent New Year's Eve together and the Ohio State Championship game. Maybe it was too much time or maybe it was my friendship disorder, but I was tired of her at that point. A few weeks later she asked me to spend the night for a weekend and I lied and said I was staying with another friend. 
Boy do I regret that. And I probably will for the rest of my life.
She died January 22, 2008. She texted me that morning and said she wouldn't be at school. This wasn't unusual. She had been sick for a few months with no solution from the doctors. All the teachers were told to announce her death at the end of the school day, at the same time so no one in the school knew before anyone else. I don't remember what was said, but I remember dropping my instrument in band and someone taking me to the hallway before I lost it.
I don't remember much from the next few weeks. I remember buying a purple blouse for the funeral (her favorite color), reading a poem after her eulogy and staring at her sparkly pink casket (a second favorite color) at the cemetery.
The guilt was insurmountable. The pressure of what I'd done, disregarding my friend, was killing me. I struggled and struggled and couldn't tell anyone.
There's a funny thing that happens when someone dies. "Friends" come out of the woodwork. I remember being so frustrated by all the people claiming to have known her so well. I was the one she spent her weekends with. It was my house she had stayed at most of the summer and then we she went home I'd go with her. I had known about all the doctors appointments and negative tests. It was me that should have been there for her. Me.

Combine that frustration with my guilt and I was a wreck, a complete, bonafied disaster. My parents forced me to go to school, but I struggled. My grades slipped, other friendships fell to the wayside, I broke up with my boyfriend of the time, everything was a mess.
Her funeral was almost a week later, with the autopsy holding things up. We wouldn't find out til almost a month later that it was Addison's Disease. Addison's is an autoimmune disorder that affects about 1 in 1,000,000. Of course that one was my best friend. Worst part of finding out? Finding out Addison's is treatable if diagnosed. But for Kelsey it was too late.
Almost a year later I met Cameron. I always say lightning struck twice in this regard, because I felt like I could breathe again with him. He was another one of those people I felt like knew the real, true me. The connection was instant and scary, because it reminded me of Kelsey and I wasn't ready to lose another people that meant so much to me. 
I have a saying I use to define my relationship with Cameron. I like to say we "do life" together. There's the exciting parts of life, like marrying and honeymooning. There's also the mundane like cleaning the house and trying to figure out when the damn cable bill is due. The good, bad, exciting and boring, we get to do it all together and I consider that a privilege.
When wedding planning became a part of my life, I needed Kelsey more than ever. As much as Cameron knew me like she had, he is a male and bless his heart never could quite grasp the importance of wedding colors.My mom and sisters tried their best, but we just have different styles and that's fine. I just need her because she knew me and would have known exactly how to help. 
The same was true for dress shopping. I wasn't excited about it anyway (I'm a little bigger than the sample size, if ya know what I mean), but knowing I'd have my family's styles to contend with was even more of a deterrent. I managed, but I missed her there.
The closest to a formal wedding picture I have with her- a picture from homecoming in the fall of 2007
Things got rough as the wedding grew closer. Our wedding date was a few weeks after the anniversary of her passing, and ten days after what would have been her 22nd birthday. People were frustrating me, wedding planning was just getting more tedious and I wasn't enjoying myself in the least. I don't know that anyone noticed (other than my family, who knew what was going on), but I was on the verge of a breakdown.
I barely made it to February 15 and managed not to cry when I saw my bouquet. I wanted to honor Kelsey, as well as the grandfather I'd never been able to meet. Kelsey's little sister was a bridesmaid of mine and it sort of felt like a part of her was there in the physical world with me.
Why am I all of the sudden rehashing these bad moments in my life? I'm in the process of evaluating everything. I'm trying to establish myself as a wife, daughter, friend and professional. And it's hard to do that when you're missing a piece of yourself that died many years ago and has missed so much.
Doing life without someone that feels like a physical part of you is not an easy feat. It's actually really, really hard. Like, harder than I could put into words. There are all sorts of adjectives to dress up the word "difficult" but that's the only real, straight-forward way to put it. It's just not easy. Big life events like getting married without your best friend standing at the altar with you, little life events like texting her when you need someone to talk to whom you just know will understand. Anything and everything in between.
It's just hard.

You Are Lovely

Monday, September 1, 2014

Today I'm over at my friend Amy's blog. I'm getting real about wedding dress shopping, because it  wasn't quite what I expected. Find me today as part of the You Are Lovely series!

I've Done Some Really Stupid Sh!t This Year

Friday, August 22, 2014

Maybe not the year as a whole, and maybe it wasn't all that stupid, but things have been a little crazy around here to say the least. Let's review, shall we?

1. Graduated from College: I finished school in December but my school doesn't have a ceremony in the winter, so I walked in May
I'm second from the left, in case you didn't know. 
2. Got married: Yup. Two months after finishing school I walked down the aisle. Planning a wedding while finishing your degree and capstone project is not any fun. Like, at all.

3. Went on My First Cruise: If you know me and my anxiety, you know why this is a big deal. Turns out, I loved it! We had a wonderful honeymoon traveling and can't wait to go on another.

4. Got a Job!: This one speaks for it self. After six months of searching I was hired in June and I love every minute of it. Talk about lucky and blessed! (I'm a radio news reporter, in case the office confuses you)

5. Bought a House: This is a more recent development. We moved in less than a month ago but we love it here.

6. Got Furbaby #2: Yes! We brought little Bo home just a few days after we moved in. I'll expand on how he came to us (really, we weren't looking), but for now here's some adorable pictures of our latest addition :) He's a beautiful silver lab. Pictures really don't do his coat and eyes justice. I could stare at him all day!

And he really loves his big brother, Trigger :) Maybe a bit too much. Trigger puts up with it though! 

We're home!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

You may recall about two months ago I mentioned we were buying a house. The actual buying process (i.e. figuring out mortgage stuff, satisfying the bank, etc.) took a lot longer than we thought. We didn't end up closing until July 29 (aka the day before we had to have our keys turned in to our apartment managers), three weeks later than we were expecting to.
To say it was stressful would be an understatement. We loaded all we could in a box truck, our cars, my parents cars, my siblings cars, etc. and pretty much were left with a mattress on the floor and the clothes we were wearing the next few days.
Tuesday the 29th I switches shifts so I was off work at 1 pm, Cam took the day off, and we were at the title agency to close on our home by 3. We had the keys in our hands and were on our way to start moving in by 3:45.
Needless to say, not everything got done that night. Everything is still not unpacked, I think there are 4-6 totes tucked away in closets I haven't even cracked open yet. In the next few weeks we are having some cracks in the ceilings patched and then the ceilings sprayed/refinished, so there really is no point to getting stuff out when it would just be something else to work around when the painting time comes.
We have a special connection with this home. In 1956, the year before my mom was born, my grandparents built this home. They're children (my grandpa and his sister) were grown and having babies of their own, so they built the home they'd stay in for the rest of their lives. My great grandpa passed away, then about ten years later my great grandma followed. My great aunt (grandpa's sister) then moved in around 1995 once her children were all grown and out of her care. My great aunt passed away earlier this year and in the interest of keeping it in the family, her daughter offered it to us.
This home has been a huge blessing. There has never been children or animals living here, so it's in great condition with just light wear and tear. There were a few minor things the home inspector identified, but nothing big. Cosmetically, it's another story. One room is yellow, one room is mint, a few rooms are blue, one room was pink, there is blue carpet, pink carpet and cream carpet. It's a rainbow, and not a good one. The pink carpet is already gone (thank goodness for hardwood underneath!) and the walls are soon to follow when the ceilings are done.
There's a million and one little things to do, but nothing we can't handle on our own. We are so, so grateful we were able to afford this beautiful house and keep it in the family where it belongs.

Hopefully I'll get around to taking some "before" pictures. I'll surely keep you updated on our DIYs!