Thursday, June 28, 2012

Writing my book....

I have tossed around the idea of writing a book for a long time.  I have always known the story that I wanted to tell but I put it on the back burner to try my hand at another story, one that needs to be told as well.  The former is a true story, the latter fictional but loosely based on true life events.  I am going back to my first work in progress.  It's the story that has been in my heart for several years.

Most people in our circle know a few details of the struggle Mark and I faced on our fertility journey.  In fact that is how the name of this blog came day Laughter For The Journey might be found at a bookstore near you.  It is my dream to one day be a published author but more than that is my passion for this story, my story.  When it is published the book is meant to be a lighthearted look at our journey to become parents.  I have been writing a lot this evening and I have to confess I needed the break.  There were some dark moments way back before those two lines finally appeared on a urine soaked stick.  It's hard to let those memories wash over me.  I try not to let myself go back to that place in our lives because it was dark, and sad.  My heart hurts thinking about it, but it was real, and sometimes the pain, well it was brutal. 

As I sit here pecking away on my laptop, my sweet (yet oh so sassy) miracle is sleeping soundly tucked into her warm bed.  I sure am glad she can navigate around her latest, discarded wardrobe and the mountain of stuffed animals strewn about her floor, to get to her bed.  I have called Charli my "Sunshine Girl" since the day she was born.  I call her that because there was time when things were very dark but when she was born is was as though someone had turned the lights on in a dark room.
 I felt warmth, hope, joy, and life.  There was  life before Charli and life since Charli.  Please don't misunderstand, I adore my husband.  We loved each other a great deal then as we do now (though his ability to make me a crazy is uncanny) but we knew early on having a child could prove to be a struggle.  We never knew how long the road was going to be but I certainly won't ever forget where we came from.  It wasn't always easy but believe me looking back there was plenty to laugh at in spite of it all.  I am thankful for every single moment of motherhood even when I am the "meanest mom ever!"  I try to remind myself not to take the blessing of being a mother for granted, though I am certain there are days it seems that way.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post.  When the book is finished I promise there will be plenty of laughs.

Kimmi Junior

Just after midnight on December 13, 2002 a nurse named Barbara looked at my husband and told him that our baby must have been an immaculate conception. Barbara had a thick Jamaican accent and she says to Mark " Boy, dis baby look like just like her momma!" I can't even begin to count the number of times people have told me how much Charli and I look alike since the day she was born. It is true a lot of kids look like their parents, but with Charli and I...well it borders on creepy. I often tell my husband that God has a special place in heaven for him because, Charli acts like me too.

If I had to use one word to describe my daughter it would be animated. Charli has always been a fan of singing, dancing and making funny faces. She often times it a one girl comedy show, and goodness knows she has never met a mirror she didn't like. Charli loves to talk and never meets a stranger. When Charli was little and would do the silliest things my mother would often say "She is just like you." When Charli was rotten my mother would say "It's like you being little all over again!" Charli never went through the terrible two's but when she turned three I thought she had been invaded by a pod person. She had a temper, though thankfully throwing tantrums in public was never her thing. A number of phone calls to my mother began with..."Guess what Charli did?" and my mother would always say "Kimberly Ann, she is just like her mother!" Finally one day I had a come back and I said to my mother "Well then, how blessed were you?!"

I look at Charli now and at 9 and a half (that half is very important you know) I can see her father in her. I have seen it all along. She has Mark's eyes, and she gets her height from him. Charli is an adrenaline junkie just like her daddy as well. My father in law calls Charli, Kimmi Junior. I won't deny that we are alike in so many ways. Her stubborn streak and her temper ...well she gets that from her father :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Our First that's good stuff!

I met Mark in the summer of 1997. I used to work in the Parks and Recreation department and so did Mark’s father. His dad introduced us and the following night we went on our first date. I have said a million times that I had the funniest first date in the history of firsts dates. I should totally win an award or something for most hysterical, worst date ever.

Mark and I decided that I would meet him at his house. We went out to eat at a casual dining restaurant chain, then we went to see a movie. Now my first clue should have been the movie…we watched Austin Powers. Mark was so good looking. I remember thinking even if his ability to pick an appropriate date movie was lacking, he did have the most amazing eyes. When the credits rolled we walked out the Mark’s car. We were chatting and I was leaning against the car. We agreed to see each other again, then Mark leans in and kisses me. How sweet! It sounds like a fairytale right? After Mark kisses me he says “Excuse me” and he walks to the front of his car and throws up! Yes, you read that right he tossed his cookies. I was mortified but I had an image to uphold so I said to him “ Wow! I have had a guy or two fall at my feet in adoration after I kissed them, but you are the first one to lose his dinner.” We drove back to his house and didn’t talk much. When we got there, we said goodnight and eww no there wasn’t another kiss.

When I got home my Dad asked me how my date went. I told my Daddy I didn’t want to talk about it and went straight to my room. I kept thinking if I didn’t give Mark another chance I would be the most shallow person on the face of the Earth. Well, I refused to be shallow and when Mark called I agreed to go out with him again. We started dating and I brought him home to meet my family. Mark was the first guy I ever brought home that my Daddy liked. My Dad always said you can tell a mans worth by looking at his hands. My dad said to Mark, “Boy, let me see your hands". When Mark left that night, my Dad and I had a chat. He told me that Mark was a man I could depend on and that if things got serious, Mark was the kind of man who would take care of me. My Dad was old school. He thought that a man was a man when he earned his living by the sweat of his brow because it was reflected in the calluses on his hands. Mark proposed four months later at a park he used to play in as a little boy, growing up in Kentucky.  I said yes and my Daddy was right about him.

Cookies and... spinach?!

I am a planner by nature.  I have a back up plan for plan B and I have no idea how I got this way. (I certainly didn't get it from anyone in my family...whom I adore especially if they are reading this blog).  I have come up with the most grand plans often forgetting to inform people around me...people like my husband.  It was on such an occassion that led to one of the most ridiculous arguments (though hysterical in hindsight) that we have ever had.

I was co-planning an annual cookie exchange last holiday season.  Last year we decided to have the cookie exchange on a Sunday afternoon.  I was so looking forward to an afternoon of sweets, savory treats and most of all spending time with an amazing group of girlfriends.

 Mark, Charli and I got up and got ready for church.  We were going to the early service otherwise we weren't going to make it to church at all.  I knew after church I was going to have just enough time to make my spinach and articoke dip and head off across town to my friend Lisa's.  I laid the spinach out on the counter to thaw, put my make-up on and we were off to church...our happy little family of three.  When we returned home, I rushed to change my clothes and headed to the kitchen.  I start looking high and low for my spinach...then it hit me!  The whole time I am thinking "No, he wouldn't"!  He couldn't have...ah, but yes...yes he did.  My well meaning husband put my spinach back in the freezer before we left for church.  I am boiling mad while trying to thaw the spinach under water.  I asked my amazing husband why he would do such a thing.  I am a smart woman and did he honestly think that if I set spinach out that I wouldn't have had a reason for it?!  Oh yes there was a lot of yelling that afternoon.  I am not proud of that but I am being honest.  On the bright side I made the dip and was fashionably late to the cookie exchange.  I didn't find humor in this story at all until a few weeks later.  We went to a Christmas party with these same group of friends and one of them bought Mark a box of frozen spinach.  We all laughed so hard.  The things my husband does often gives me laughter for the journey...even if it is a delayed reaction.