I’ve sat to jot down my musings a few times this summer and only made it through a jumbled up paragraph of loosely connected thoughts before I discarded my draft and said oh well. May and June have been a whirlwind and I think knotted and messy blog attempts clearly symbolized my brain’s state, and now July’s promise of relaxation is helping me untwist the kinks.
I came back from work in April post miscarriage (number 4) stoic on the outside and broken on the inside, and my coworkers and kids were amazing at helping me jump back into living. As any teacher (or mother, dad, daughter, son, or spouse of a teacher) knows, April-May-June is a teacher marathon of testing prep, kids are suddenly, miraculously concerned about passing, there’s wonky schedules and end of year events, and spring fever and itches for summer. It usually wears me thin, drives me crazy- but this year it was exactly what I needed. I so needed busy-ness to make me live. So Jake and I took our trip to Chapel Hill, went to M’s awards day and chaperoned a field trip with her class to Linville Caverns, celebrated Mother’s Day, which didn’t shatter my heart too bad, saw my sister in law graduate college, and Mak and I took a little Spring Break get-a-way to Whitney’s and let Pawley’s waves clear our heads. We stopped and picked strawberries at a farm on the way home, and I made pie, then jumped straight into the mad dash of EOG testing preparations. Somewhere in all that, Makinzy got kicked by a horse at Nana’s (read: my nutty kid who knew ever ever go into the pasture alone went in -alone- and be-bopped behind a horse, and surprise, surprise) so that resulted in a 7 hour ER ordeal that we can use to embarrass her when she gets older. Thankfully, she passed, and we are so hoping that next year is the school year she finally realizes she is so capable of doing well- she just has to choose to succeed. So fun times all around. In the midst of this, I also interviewed for a teaching position close to home, and subsequently through myself into guilt for wanting to leave a school I loved.
I had lost about 5 pounds in the post-pregnancy de-bloating that usually happens when I miscarry, but this time, the timing and all of our getting-up and getting-out made me drop more than just the few pounds I usually lose, so I took it as a jump start on losing some weight and getting myself happier at least with my health and fitness level. I didn’t make a plan or set a goal or make it a “thing” we were doing, and I vehemently stood against doing any kind of program or the like. So I started using the myfitnesspal app to count my calories and challenged myself to get out to the track at least twice a week, and resolved to finish our church’s annual 5K in May. Well, this got Jake into it, and so the two of us began training ourselves to run, and we did. We didn’t beat anyone or have extraordinary times, but we did finish. And we were proud. With that accomplishment down, we celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary with dinner at PF Changs (looove), a movie (The Fault in Our Stars- seriously one of the few (or only?) movie that was as good as if not better than the book itself) and gave each other FitBits to record our progress. Now, Jake is down about 15 pounds and I’m down around 25. And we’ve kept it up too. I see know when and where my occasional over-eating and occasional under-moving were colliding to make me gain/not lose weight, and having my caloric intake and outtake in front of me makes me so much more cognizant of my health.
We ended the school year (so late this year, thanks to snow and delayed starting) with selfies and hugs, and I launched my 6th grade babies into the unknown world of 7th grade. That last week, I accepted a position with a new school, closer to home- and Jake and I can carpool!- and packed up my room. I still have to move it all (when, I’m not sure yet, but that’s going to be a jobbbbbb. And I’m working on learning the new subject area and curriculum I will be using, and fighting the fear and nerves of something new and wondering if I did the right thing. It’s so hard to leave when you're happy.
Immediately after the school year ended, we had to prep for teaching VBS, and we had a blast working with rising 6th graders again. The theme, Agency D3, was harder than years past, but I truly loved the depth of the message - Discover, Decide, and Defend. Giving a defense of your faith in Jesus Christ is an absolute must in our day and age, so I really liked how VBS turned out. Once all that was over, I finally relinquished myself into enjoying summertime, and I devoured a few books. We took a family trip to Franklin, NC for our annual gem mining fun and family reunion, and stuffed our faces with a big breakfast at the Dillard House in Georgia. We went camping at our favorite GA state park, Elijah Clark, and swam in the Clark Hill/Strom Thurmand lake, and I even wore a two piece again for the first time in many summers. I didn’t necessarily rock the two piece, but I embraced myself as I was and wore it anyways, and managed not to be too mortified. We got back in time to celebrate the 4th with our friends Jeremy and Ginger, and their son Colin, and watch fireworks and eat red, white, and blue parfaits with my parents that night. Now, we’re planning a South Mountain hiking trip before we have to pack it all up for our trip back down to Cape San Blas, and I am now finally enjoying the summer freedom I love. I love being able to throw stuff in the car and go make memories with Jake and Mak. I love our family memories and the fun we have together each summer. It's more and more my favorite season (sorry, autumn...). I can’t help but feel sad that this summer is so short, what with me ending later and Jake starting earlier as an administrator.
Speaking of Jake, I am so proud of all he’s done and all he’s become. He’s rocked a fantastic GPA in grad school, started a podcast with Jeremy on fatherhood, and stood by me in this rebirth of mine since the last miscarriage. He and I talk so much about marriage, why others are crumbling around us - three couples we know just recently- and we are working so, so hard to guard our hearts from any crack in the foundation of us. He’s also been so open with me about the pain he experienced in our miscarriages too. I like to believe we can just keep trying, keep at it until it works and we have a miracle, that if it takes 10 or 20 loses before we make it, we can do it., but we both know that at some point, we are going to have to stop this and say no more, and quit letting our hearts fill up with joy just to break all over again. So we pray and ask God to show us direction in that. Let us know deep within that it’s time to stop trying. I know He will speak if that’s His will, so we will listen for Him. We have also found peace that if Makinzy is to be our one and only, then that's just fine. She is our biggest gift, our greatest surprise, our hardest challenge, and our most beautiful accomplishment.
So there’s your life update. I'm so grateful for the peace I've found, and the peace that continues to keep wrapping around me when I start to feel the grief or the anxiety crawl up my throat. We've had a good spring, and summertime is beautiful.