Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Would-Be Due Date: August 29, 2012

Since my miscarriage in January, not a single day (hour maybe?) has gone by that I haven't thought about it.  Most of the time, it's just a passing thought, as I think about how far along I'd be or how big the baby would be.  But sometimes, it overwhelms me so much that I find my heart breaking all over again.  This week is proving to be especially hard for me since our baby was due on August 29th.  Seven months later and the thought that I should be getting ready to bring a baby home from the hospital is still floating around in my mind.

Yesterday, as I played baby dolls with my daughter and watched how loving and sweet she is with pretend babies, I lost it.  She often asks me for a friend and points out that Ian and Brodie are friends, but she doesn't have a sister.  Ellery asked me if I was crying because I missed Great Papa. I know she was trying to remember a time in her life when she had seen me this upset and my grandpa's funeral came into her mind.  I told her I was just sad and she said, "It's okay, Momma.  You will see Papa again someday.  He's with Jesus."

I thanked God for the comfort he sent to me in the words of a two-year-old.  I had the World's Most Wonderful Grandpa and I thought of him holding my baby in Heaven.  A few days before he died in June, he told me he wanted to hold my "other baby, the baby girl."  When I told him Ellery is the only baby girl I have, he told me I was wrong and he would hold my other baby later.  This delightful old man said lots of things that didn't make sense toward the end of his life, so I didn't think much of it.  But now I'm thankful for his seemingly crazy talk.  And I am thankful I have a grandpa who walked with Christ, who is now in Heaven loving on the baby I haven't gotten to meet yet.

Often, I wonder about those who don't know Christ.  How do they make it through each day?  How do they endure a miscarriage with no hope of ever seeing their baby in Heaven?  Anger and sadness must overtake their lives.  Even on my hardest days of healing from this loss, I know that God's hands are wrapped around my life and He loves me.  How amazing and wonderful to know that the Creator of the entire universe has chosen me to be His child and he holds every tear I've ever cried.

I always seem to turn to Psalms when I need encouragement.  There is always a verse that speaks directly to my heart.  Psalm 62:1-2 says:  "Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.  From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I."

What an awesome reminder that when we are feeling overwhelmed, we need to seek God and his wisdom, rather than attempt to figure it out on our own.  I may never know why my miscarriage happened, but I know the One who does.  And I trust Him.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Target Loves Me So Much They Pay Me To Shop There...

I love Target.  The Target store nearest to my house is just close enough to shop there frequently, but just far enough so that I am not tempted to go there daily.  Last week was an especially fun Target shopping trip for me because it's "Back-to-School" sale time and they were giving things away...after coupons anyway.  Here is what I got for free last week, in addition to cheap toilet paper, granola bars and diapers:  (2) packages of Papermate pens, (3) twin-packs of RoseArt glue sticks, (6) 24-packs of RoseArt crayons (technically 9 packages of crayons, but I shared one of my coupons with another customer so that she got 3 packs for free), (2) Up & Up brand eye drops, and (2) packages of Hershey's Simple Pleasures chocolates.

My sweet cashier, Libby, even had another employee bring me the two packages of chocolates at the cash register because I couldn't find them while I was shopping.  For a Momma shopping with three children, one of whom was barefoot, covered in Dora the Explorer stickers that she found in my purse, and is eating one of the granola bars we haven't bought yet, this act of kindness is VERY much appreciated.  She also is a super-fast coupon scanner.  Libby deserves a raise. 

These fun freebies made the purchase of new soccer cleats for Brodie a little less unpleasant.  Dunham's never has their $17.99 sale-priced cleats in stock in Brodie's size, so we always end up with the more expensive kind.  Why do little boys' feet grow so quickly!? 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Farmer's Markets and Knitting

Pre-Farmer's Market table set up in the living room.
My kids and I decided to try selling some of the items from my Etsy shop at our local farmer's markets this weekend.  Friday, I set up a booth in Plainwell and sold absolutely nothing.  I did barter with another vendor who wanted a rattle for his newborn son, so my family got some cinnamon swirl bread to enjoy.  There were not many potential customers, though I did share a few of my business cards with people.  I also finished knitting some slippers that I'd been working on.  And the little girl in the booth next door was so intrigued with my knitting that she spent the entire day watching me and talking to me.  She was eight years old and my favorite quote from her after she asked me how old I was, "Oh, when I think of people who are, like in their thirties, I think they're usually taller than you are." :)  She also shared with me *possibly* too much information about her family and I shared with her the love of Christ, so overall the day was a success.

Saturday morning, my three sweet children awoke early and helped me set up a booth at the Otsego Farmer's Market.  I made chocolate-covered pretzels and watermelon-shaped Rice Krispies treats for them to sell, along with a few dozen eggs from our backyard chickens.  Since they only played video games the night before while I prepared these treats and they got to keep all of the profits, I'd say this was a good deal for them!  Armed with My Little Ponies, baby dolls, books, crayons, and snacks, I envisioned my smiling boys selling treats, my daughter playing quietly nearby, and people buying up all of the items from my Etsy shop before lunchtime.

Instead, I sold just a few items from my shop and my boys sold all of their treats and brown eggs.  I did meet a lot of people who loved my work and want to place special orders for things that I was selling in different sizes.  I learned that people don't bring lots of cash to farmer's markets, so purchasing sweaters and hats is difficult. Thankfully, many people took business cards and seemed truly interested in making a purchase.

 My boys were fascinated by the older man next to us, though I only found this out later in the evening when they were sharing the details of their day with my husband.  His name was Mel and he was a watermelon expert.  He was a character of a man who gets his watermelon seeds from Arkansas.  He gifted us with a watermelon because "those kids are so nice." As we were packing up, a couple of other extremely generous vendors shared cucumbers and sweet corn with us as well.

I decided to wrap things up a bit early when I noticed my daughter playing in the back of our vehicle...without her clothes on.  Naked toddlers and farmer's markets aren't a good match.