Autumn was "The Scarecrow" from the wizard of Oz this year. I ended up being a scary looking Dorothy to go with it. (I did try really hard to find a Dorothy Dress that was modest, but that didn't happen, so I wore my Capris underneath - but forgot to wear socks) But, on the plus side - Autumn got to meet her Great Grandma April for the first time on Halloween! We stopped off at as many relatives' houses as we could for our "trick-or-treat" run. Namely: Great Grandma Jackie's, Great Aunt Cindy's, Great Grandma April's, Great Aunt Connie's, and Great Aunt Cherry's. It was a great night for visiting with family!
I can't believe how close Thanksgiving, and even Christmas are getting!
With that thought in mind I figured I would update everyone on what our Holiday plans are shaping up to be...
We're moving to Boise, Idaho!!
Jay, just this week, accepted an offer to work for Micron Technology, Inc. He will be employed as a full time Dry Etch Engineer. When they extended the offer they didn't set a start date, but asked how soon we could "get up there." Jay will be talking to the HR contact tomorrow to give them the date we've decided we could make it by (the 28th of this month... yes only 17 days away), and we'll be turning in a rental application tomorrow with a hold deposit for a 2 bed/1.5 bath townhouse once I make sure it's a ground level entrance so we can move the piano. Everything is moving so fast!
My to-do list for the next few days includes, but is not limited to: •Call Autumn's pediatrician and see if she has any recommendations for a good doc in Boise •Call my doctor & repeat •Pick up change of address form at Post Office •Possibly go through some stuff and make a DI donation •Post stuff online to sell: couches, sewing machine inside it's own table, coffee table, entertainment center, various odds and ends... •Call Daisy Maids and get quotes for "moving out" cleaning including carpet cleaning (to ensure we get our renters deposit back) •Call Questar Gas to give them "turn off" date •Call Rocky Mountain power & repeat •Call Comcast & repeat •Call car repair shop and get price for new headlight (it just barely stopped working... perfect timing) •Call Insurance company and inform them of move & go over all the changes to our policy that'll make, etc •Keep being a good mom in the process •Pack a little bit •Call moving companies and schedule one to move us (I'm not having us do all our own packing/moving with Jay still working part time 'till we move and me having Autumn to take care of while doing everything else... no way) •Change address for bank, credit card, hospital billing, etc •Try not to freak out or slow down during any of this
Yep... I'm going to be crazy busy over the next couple of weeks.
So... for Thanksgiving weekend we'll be moving to our new home. Yes, we will be moving 'home for the holidays.' Maybe we'll actually get a T-day meal somewhere... but who knows at this point.
For Christmas? As soon as Jay has his scheduled nailed down with Micron (and knows what days he'll have off) we'll be buying plane tickets home to Colorado. On the Christopherson side everyone will be coming home, so we will try to get us into a photo session at the same place we all went 2 years ago before any of the babies were born. It'll be great to have professional pictures of the 3 grand-babies all together in addition to the family.
My little brother will also be coming home for Christmas, so he'll be able to see/meet Autumn for the first time. Yay!
I'm so excited about all of this! Jay & I have been praying (more like begging) for a long time that he would get a job. It just so happens that he got one just in time (because if he hadn't I would have to go back to work) and a week before his birthday to boot!
Now I have to figure out how we're going to celebrate his b-day this next week... Hmmm, maybe I'll host a "moving away" party for our friends and family?! Or maybe not... that would just add another HUGE to-do onto my list.
I just hope I have enough energy to get everything done, in a reasonably organized fashion, and without loosing my patience. I'm stressed out! But, in a good way at least!
I spent this past weekend with Kayley and her family.
I can't describe to you the overwhelming sense of confirmation that I did the best thing for my daughter 5 years ago when I placed her for adoption. She is with the right family.
She was meant to be their daughter/sister/granddaughter/niece/cousin.
I met up with James, Stephanie, Kayley, Maggie, James' sister, brother, sister in-law, nieces, nephew and parents all on the temple grounds Saturday morning.
Jay and I were late getting there because little miss Autumn spit up all over her first outfit - so we almost missed them.
I dashed out of the waiting area for patrons not going into the temple when I saw them walk past the window toward the temple grounds exit. I scrambled as fast as my legs would carry me (unencumbered by the baby stroller that was waiting with Jay - Autumn tucked inside) and called out "Stephanie! Stephanie! Steph!" 'till I got her attention.
Actually, I got her mother in-laws attention first who echoed my cry to Stephanie.
It was like I caught up with one of my best friends. Her face lit up when she saw me and promptly came over to give me a hug!
Of course she asked: "Are your husband and baby here?!"
I sheepishly answered that yes, they were, and that we had gotten there later than we had expected to. We had a brief conversation as they were headed over to the reflecting pool to take pictures with the photographer she had hired - but I told her that I would go grab Jay and Autumn and meet them all over there.
As Jay and I walked over toward this group of practically strangers I felt very anxious - how was everyone going to react to meeting me?! I was practically petrified.
All that melted away immediately when we caught up to them and - James' mother Beverly took me into her arms in a very warm and tight embrace saying: "I've wanted to give you a hug for a very long time."
Every little tiny worry and doubt in my mind vanished. It was confirmation all over again that these people were exactly who God wanted my little girl's family to be.
Stephanie introduced me to Kayley - who immediately gave me a hug, and to the rest of the family that was there.
James' dad also gave me a very warm embrace and whispered words in my ear that brought tears to my eyes: "Thank you so very much for your sacrifice." I could only respond "you're welcome."
What else could I say?! I knew 5 years ago that James and Stephanie were supposed to be my little girls parents. I couldn't have asked for more than that - but she was given so much more. She was given a complete family of people that love and adore her. Something I hadn't even considered in my shallow 20 year-old mind when I gave her away. I just knew that it was about love.
That's what it's always been about. I love my daughter. I've always loved her. Deeper than I can explain to anyone that has never had children, or any child that they love or care for. I loved her enough to know that, even though I loved her more than I ever thought possible, I couldn't be the best mom for her when I was that young. When I was still growing up myself. When there were years of uncertainty before me. When I didn't have someone to be her daddy by my side - married to me. I wasn't my daughter's best option. I loved her enough to know that and to give her the best thing I could - a complete family. A forever family.
Saturday confirmed all of that, all over to me.
It's about love.
It always has been - and it always will be. I love you Kayley. I love you Stephanie & James. I love your family. Thank you for letting me be a part of it. When saying goodbye to James, Stephanie, Maggie and Kayley on Monday - Kayley gave me a bouquet of flowers picked in the grass where we were, gave me a hug and said "Goodbye, I love you." She said to me the same four words I said to her 5 years earlier. I cannot deny that it's about love.
I'm pretty sure that everybody officially "following" my blog knows that I am a birth mom. If you don't follow though, and you are unsure of what a birth mom is... I've provided the definitions to common phrases meaning the same thing:
— n the woman who gives birth to a child, regardless of whether she is the genetic mother or subsequently brings up the child
- n a biological mother (birth mother) or biological father (birth father); a biological parent.
So basically, I had a child, almost 5 years ago now, but placed her for adoption. I haven't seen her in person since the 2nd day I spent in the hospital with her (also the day I signed the adoption papers and gave her to her parents).
In the arrangements made between Kayley's (my daughter) parents and myself, we agreed that she and I would not have an in-person relationship unless she asked for one. I was the one to actually make this request because of a conversation I had had with a very close friend of mine (who was 65 at the time, and also adopted). He had said to me: "Krystin, you need to be open to the idea that she may never want to know you. I've never wanted to meet my birth parents. I knew I was adopted, but I had a mom and a dad. I was content. I never needed to 'look into' that part of my life to make myself whole as a person. If these people that you are giving her away to are anything like my parents were, she may never need or want to know you. You need to be prepared to accept that."
So, since I placed Kayley for adoption, I haven't ever "met" her in person. I've seen videos and pictures of her online via Facebook and her parents blog. I've stayed in touch with her adoptive mother, Stephanie, via e-mail and text as well. I've been content with this. I even share my story on adoption with random strangers when the subject arises (which it does quite often when you're pregnant and people ask "is this your first?").
Well, about 3 days ago I got a text message from Stephanie letting me know that, "out of the blue," Kayley asked if she could write me a letter. I responded with affirmation that that was ok, and that I was looking forward to reading it.
The letter arrived today. I opened it. After "aww-ing" at the picture on the front of the card, I opened it and read the first sentence. I started bawling immediately.
I'm not sure if I can describe the emotions of relief, joy, and absolute love I have for this little girl and her family completely overcame me.
So, I'm planning a trip in the near future, as soon as this baby gets here (hopefully before and/on around the 26th - because that is Kayley's birthday) to go meet my daughter. I can't tell you how much this means to me.
There really aren't words to express the love a birth mother has for a child she places for adoption. Anyone who says otherwise is gravely misinformed.
So yeah... the last time I really said anything about what was going on in my life was back in December.
So... here's to the 6-month update!
I'm still pregnant. 35 weeks + 1 day today. I'm having constant contractions - every 4 to 5 minutes 'round the clock. My due date is July 28th - but I doubt I'll make it there. My husband finished his Master's degree at the University of Utah as of 12/31/2010 and has been "unemployed" ever since. Right now he's tutoring part time at a local high school. Lucky for us, this tutoring position is steady throughout the summer because of summer school - otherwise we'd be in a financial mess.
As for right now, I am on a Leave of Absence from my place of work. My short term disability should kick in some time this next week. However, when I'm done with short term disability - my job is not guaranteed to still be available. So, I may be looking again come October for work - my doctor wants me on short term 'till October 21st.
Jay is searching for jobs all over the U.S./world right now. Turned in 15 applications today as a matter of fact. But, so far, he's only interviewed with one company and they didn't offer him a position. If/when he gets a full-time offer with an income that we can live on - we'll move to wherever the job is.
I've done some heavy spring cleaning this year to make room for our baby to come. I set up the cute crib and organized all the baby shower presents too. We will be having a little girl and will name her Autumn. It's super surreal to think that I'm going to actually have a kid and be a mom.
I haven't had any wacko cravings with this pregnancy - just green vegetables, same as when I was pregnant with Kayley. Veggies are awesome!
Once I deliver this little girl my mom will be coming out to stay with us for a little while to help out. When she goes back home Jay's mother is planning to do the same. After her visit, my best friend Allison is going to come out for a day.
I've taken a few pictures of the "prep" from Autumn - but haven't uploaded any onto my computer yet so I don't have any to post today, but I'm certain I will in the near future.
(Now I'm adding them in) So yeah... that's an update on our life for the moment. I'm sure I'll blog again before another 6 months have passed by. (at least I hope I will anyway...)
I’ve had a really hard time coming up with what to write to myself, that’s why this is so late.
Dear Krystin, Times are tough. Life isn’t fair. You know how it goes. I know you find yourself often hating the situation you are in. Work isn’t easy, money is tight, and depression drains you of your energy. But… don’t get caught up in the here and now. You have a very positive future to look forward to. You’re expecting you and Jay’s first child. You’ve dreamed of and prayed for this since becoming engaged to him. You made it. It’s actually going to happen. Boy or girl, you’re going to be a great mom. Jay is going to find a job. You know that. It’s just a matter of time and persistence. You’re a great friend. You always have been. You make other people’s days a little lighter with your warm smile and cheerful disposition (even if you’re faking it). You have the power to move mountains with your positive attitude toward finding the best in crappy situations. It sounds ridiculously like a fortune cookie, but it’s true. Don’t be afraid to continue to stand up for equality at work. Don’t be afraid to be an advocate for others. You are one of those unique individuals that can be bold enough to speak up when others aren’t or cannot. Don’t lose that quality, even if you’re continually fired for it. It will be a huge asset in your life and will serve a great purpose for you and those around you. Don’t back down from saying or doing what is right. Set attainable goals for yourself. You often find yourself “coming up short” because you’re afraid of setting realistic goals and losing your desire or willpower to see them through. You can achieve them. You just have to allow yourself to. Baby steps, Rome wasn’t built in one day. Read your scriptures, even if it’s only one verse a day. You know you need to. There is power in the Gospel that is bigger and greater than you. Allow it to work in your life. Don’t be afraid to take the first step by letting it in. You’ve always been a “fence sitter.” Stop doing that to yourself. Jump in, both feet, and allow yourself to fail a few times. You learn more by participating rather than watching life pass you by and others receive the blessings you so desire for you and your family. Start actively playing a role in your own salvation. Those basic Sunday school answers, do them. You never have consistently, so start. Go to bed on time, even on your days off. You know how vital sleep is to your health. Stop making excuses to not or finding things to distract you. Go to bed. When you feel better life seems happier. Your attitude is improved, and you are less stressed all around. Don’t compromise yourself by not following the basics. Be kind to your husband. He has to make the decision to be “in this” with you every single day. Stop taking him for granted and remember that. Love him unconditionally. Remember what you are both striving for together as a family. Play an active part in that. Don’t just stand by and wonder why things aren’t getting any easier or better. It takes constant effort and work. You will feel better about yourself for putting in the effort. No regrets. Love yourself. Forgive yourself for your past mistakes. So many people have found it in their hearts to forgive you for those things you have done. Allow you to forgive yourself. Stop carrying around that constant anguish. It only drags you down. Allow yourself to move on. Do everything you can so that your home is the optimal place for your son or daughter to learn and grow. Love is the basic necessity. Love of husband and wife toward one another, and love toward your son/daughter. It’s that basic. Everything else is chaff in the wind. Make sure you give your child the best start possible, just how you did for Kayley. Enjoy the ride of life. There will always be ups and down, the point is to go through them all and thank the Lord for the ride. It’s a beautiful journey. Don’t miss out by staying too focused on one point or another. Embrace the big picture. Thank God for those blessings you often miss when you focus on the negative. A thankful heart is a happy one. Read this letter to yourself on a yearly basis to keep your focus. Endure to the end, you will make it. Love, Yourself
Considering that I am... I can actually answer this question from two different perspectives.
I was once pregnant out of wedlock. My current boyfriend and I made immediate plans to get married. When that fell apart I made immediate plans to place my kiddo for adoption. I did just that. I'm happy to say that she has 2 of the best parents one could ever hope for. I wouldn't go back and change how any of that went for the world.
Now, I'm pregnant once again. But this time is different. This time I'm already married. This pregnancy was planned - although still a surprise. It's funny. On almost a daily basis I still have the "realization moment" of "oh my gosh, I'm pregnant!" My emotions toward being pregnant are still the same.
I really enjoyed being pregnant with my first. I'm really enjoying being pregnant with my second.
I know that I've done, and am doing the right thing for both of my children. I'm excited to be a mom. In both ways.
As for the right here and now, I'd have to say being happily married and expecting.
I can't begin to tell you the taxing emotions my husband and I have been through over the past year and a half while we tried to conceive, and had one failed pregnancy. It's devastating to be disappointed every month for that long. My heart literally breaks for every couple out there trying to become pregnant that, for whatever reason, cannot. It is simply one of the worst possible trials for anyone to go through. I'm so grateful we're not "waiting" any longer. I only hope I successfully carry, and have a normal birth.
Honestly, the best thing going for me right now is my future as a mom.
I'm really lucky to have had my parents growing up. My mom especially. There are a couple of specific times she could even list that she remembers taking me to the hospital due to my emotional breakdowns. Those weren't pretty, but honestly, had she not, I wouldn't be here.
I also think that at any time that I've ever considered, or tried, to commit suicide I've chickened out. I'm afraid to die. I'm afraid of mortal pain, or irreversible consequences for doing something stupid, especially life-threatening.
The first time I remember making an attempt on my life was shortly after my friend Miles committed suicide himself. My friends and I were so young. None of us knew how to deal with those emotions and life-altering realizations that we lost him, and nobody could ask him why. I don't think we'll honestly ever know all the reasons he did. This was the first time my mother ever took me to the hospital due to a mental freak-out of mine. I remember intentionally overdosing on insulin so that my blood sugar would plummet and hopefully cause me to go unconscious before dying. It wasn't to be so though. My mom crammed a bunch of sugar-loaded food down me while rushing to the hospital. They ended up not keeping me overnight, but I was there until 3am or so for psychiatric evaluation.
The second time we made a similar hospital run was after I lost my fried Sean. This time didn't involve me attempting to harm myself in any way. I remember being in the bathroom just sobbing and my mother asking me "do you need me to take you to the hospital?" I only remember nodding. And she did just that. God bless you mom. I don't know what my brain was contemplating doing had you not, or had you pretended that "nothing was wrong." Or that "I could handle it." Again, this time I was also not admitted, but the hospital gave me a set of scrubs to wear while on observation to ensure I didn't have anything to harm myself on my person. My mom and I kept these scrubs as a reminder - and as a way for me to not have to say anything if I needed similar action from her in the future. She told me to just "put them on" and she'd respond right away. I wouldn't have to ask or say anything. I can't tell you how many times having those scrubs in the bottom of my dresser drawer kept me sane and focused on the good in my life. I never had to put them on again. Just having them there was enough.
(I never realized how hard it would be to write all this out - I'm literally sobbing while I do because of how blessed I am to have my mommy)
The 3rd attempt I remember was one my friend Jennie Nguyen pulled me out of. I was raped on my High School choir trip. She was my room mate/bed mate for the trip. I remember her taking me out to the service elevator at the hotel, and sitting inside if for couple of hours while she helped me calm my nerves, and get through all the emotional fall-out that I couldn't tell any adult on the trip about. We had been severely threatened as students on the trip that if there was any "boy/girl funny business" there would be no questions asked, and an immediate flight home. I couldn't tell. We hadn't even competed yet. And I wasn't about to have rumors start. To this day a number of my friends still don't know the whole story. It's hard to have to tell someone their friend is a rapist and have them believe you. Especially as a young high school student.
I know I've had several other times when I've feel the desire to end my life. Or times when I've devised several ways in which I could. I'm just glad I haven't. I've seen the fall-out, and all the negative that comes from it. I've seen it rip friends apart, destroy hope, and drown all understanding. I never want to do that to anyone I love. Ever. It's simply not worth it.
"The" reason... I don't know if there is just one. I can think of several at least. But really, when I think about the most concrete reason I'd have to say it is: Because I haven't completed my family yet.
1. Truly, Madly, Deeply - Savage Garden. I chose this song because, well... it pretty much has all the lyrics I feel toward my husband without saying.
2. Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers. Another love song that fits how I feel about my husband. Yeah... I'm dang lucky.
3. Zombie Jamboree - Rockapella. I would not know about this song if it wasn't for Jay. When we were dating he made me a mixed CD which included this song. Really, I light up every time I hear it because it's just so dang funny. Besides, if you know my husband at all you'd understand that at least one song has to be about zombies.
4. Stand by your Man - Tammy Wynette. He doesn't like country. But this song has deep meaning for me concerning him.
5. Jump around - House of Pain. One of the first songs we danced to together at a Bishop's Storehouse dance.
6. Fever - (not written by, but performed by) Peggy Lee. Yep, you guessed it. That's how he makes me feel.
7. You shook me all night long - AC/DC. Why? A. It's a great song. B. There's a story here. Lol
Oh there's a fair number of things I could put down here.
However, with all the lessons I've learned from doing all of those "things," I really believe that I am better off for having done them.
I still think the one and only "thing" or situation that stands out in my mind is in regards to one of my previous co-workers. I wish I hadn't trusted him.
However, going through "that situation" allowed me to see the true nature of my current boyfriend at the time, and allowed me to learn that I was willing and able to stand up for myself and not be victimized a second time around. I went through everything by myself. Completely alone. Hospital, lawyer, court, etc.
I don't think I even told my mother about this all 'till a year later. In fact, I'm pretty certain of that.
Because of that lesson I've been able to protect other women from him in the future. We're talking permanent record, and lifelong restraining order from the state I reside in. Convicted, sentenced, prevented from making someone else a victim.
So really, regardless of the fact that I wish I hadn't trusted him. I'm glad I was able to learn my various lessons afterward and become a better person because of it.
I think the eluded to story pretty much speaks for itself. I don't let others tread on me anymore.
It doesn't matter if I'm in a fight with my best friend or not - if they are in a car accident (worse than a slight fender-bender) I would be there at a moment's notice assuming I got a phone call about it. This means I would rush to the accident scene, the hospital, wherever. Even across country or the world if necessary. I'm the kind of friend you only need to ask once to be there for you. And that goes for all of my friends. Not just my best.
I'll start, first and foremost, with my view on drugs.
Drugs - a medical necessity. Controlled substances are necessary for a variety of reasons and there are many people that could not survive without them.
My view is much more stern when it comes to "street drugs" or drugs with a classification DEA code of "1." These drugs are things like cocaine, marijuana, LSD, heroine, meth, etc. These drugs I am completely against their uses for "recreational" or sometimes even medicinal purposes. There is a reason they are considered "street drugs." They are medically unsafe in almost any amount, and their addictive natures make them more of a medical hazard than any type of medicinal purpose they may contain.
Alcohol - for cooking, medicinal, sterilization, and industrial purposes I think it's great.
For use as a beverage... really, you're better off just drinking water. Too much potential for abuse in my mind, and I believe the national drinking age should be raised. The number of deaths, even weekly, due to alcohol intoxication is staggering - regardless of the "method" a person becomes deceased (driving, etc.).
Basically my view on both drugs and alcohol when it comes to consumption in a recreational method - don't do it, or be 100% ready to accept any and all responsibility for the consequences if you do. Those consequences include, but are not limited to: death, dismemberment, medical problems, addiction, legal fines, jail time, and damnation.
I know there are many of my friends that disagree with my view on this. However, that does not mean I will change my view at all.
I believe that the true reason Sodom & Gomorrah were destroyed was because gay marriage was "legalized" and/or "sanctioned" by the government. Taking away the true meaning of marriage: a contract between Man and Woman, ordained by God almighty. Or in other words - only entered into under church authority.
I have no problem with you having opposing beliefs, but just note that I think any other op pinion on this matter is wrong.
I believe this is a total black and white issue. No gray areas. I think it is morally, ethically, and overwhelmingly wrong.
It's not a huge "out-there" kind of view change but...
In my British Literature class back in High School I read both Beowulf and Grendel, by John Gardner.
I was surprised by how much Grendel changed my view on the whole "what was right" within the story Beowulf.
I like the book a lot. I've even recommended it to my father (and my recommending a book to my dad took a lot of guts - this man is well read).
So yeah - not a huge change - just an opening of perspective.
You should read it. Here's a preview: http://books.google.com/books?id=RXw4jDg7o40C&printsec=frontcover&dq=grendel&source=bl&ots=FSdkMjQb-K&sig=yr-Om1KY3qIxzll594Lm1wPEIZ0&hl=en&ei=bXgjTZv6EJOssAOiobWSCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9&sqi=2&ved=0CFEQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q&f=false
It baffles me how both my mother and my sister double-attacked me over Christmas vacation this year about me not wearing makeup to church. Really - it's not necessary.
I feel confident in my own skin. I don't like my acne - but I don't feel the need to cover it up and/or make it worse by exposing it to more crap than my normal body oils, etc.
My best friend in High School NEVER wore makeup. Ever. And I owe her a lot. She gave me the confidence to do the same - granted, a few years down the road.
I find that when I don't have to fret about how my face looks I'm a much happier and less stressed out of a person. My skin feels better. My skin heals better. And really - I don't find "putting on a mask" makes me feel any better about myself.
Besides, my husband doesn't like to kiss me when I'm wearing any. It just gets in the way.
So... look out world. I don't wear makeup, and I don't give a damn about what you think about that. I like myself this way.
I actually don't listen to specific bands or artists much. I just generally don't listen to music very often at all.
However, every March I find myself leaning on the words to one of Evanescence's songs. It got me through the loss of Ryan. And I still find it's lyrics soothing every time of year when that wound is on the top of my mind.
Ok, time for me to start sounding like a whiny girl.
I never get compliments on my looks. Really. I know I usually look decent and/or good. But, I never get those desired "oh my goodness that is the cutest skirt/blouse/shoes/etc ever!" compliments that I give on a regular basis. Or "your hair is really cute today."
I admit, it would be nice to have to put up with more compliments than I could handle. But, I'm just asking for maybe one a day. That's it.
In general, I feel frumpy and unnoticed.
This fact is made even more evident by how my attitude automatically changes any time my husband compliments my looks without me fishing for them.
I'd be a much happier person if I got complimented on my looks more.