Although the weather seems a little confused about what month it is the past week or so – it is actually JUNE… which of course means that we have some May photos from behind the scenes to share.
May was quite the month for us. I started to miscarry on Sunday, May 3rd… the same day we had two engagement sessions scheduled and so the show had to go on. James came along and was my rock that day. Throughout the rest of the month we kept busy with lots of regular sessions, engagements, and a couple of weddings… among that we celebrated James’ birthday, Mother’s Day, and our 6th wedding anniversary. It was a month of grief and of celebration… of highs and lows… joys and sorrows (as life always is, I suppose). We were able to spend a lot of quality time with loved ones as we dealt with everything and it was SO GOOD for our souls. My best friend came down from Madison for an impromptu girls’ night; my mom and sister came down another weekend to shop for my mom’s dress for my brother’s wedding; and we spent James’ birthday/Mother’s Day weekend up in my hometown with my parents. It’s funny – because we only had two weddings all of May (on the same weekend, no less!) – so it allowed us much more weekend time than normal to see our family and friends (who hold normal working hours, unlike us). I remember thinking last year as our May started to book up, how odd it was that we only had two weddings all month (which isn’t the norm), and that they were on the same weekend… allowing us quite a few Saturdays as “normal” people this year. As it turned out, it was exactly what we needed at exactly the right time.
And something else we noticed at the end of the month (when we got a certain Citi mastercard bill in the mail)… is that apparently we were in recovery mode all of May and racked up one heck of a credit card bill. Oops! (At least it earned us more miles, right?!) We learned that James and I both deal with grief through retail therapy… dinner out therapy… drinks out therapy… frozen yogurt therapy…. and more. Basically, we realized that we just had to get out of the house after the miscarriage happened. We had to keep moving forward, doing our best to enjoy our life together as it was, and held tight to each other as we each dealt with our grief in our own ways.
In short, it was a month… but we are better for having lived it.
Anyway – enough yapping about it… here’s May behind the scenes in cell phone pics. xoxo
1. First of all… I couldn’t start this post without saying THANK YOU to every single person out there who sent us their kind words, and made me cry (happy tears) with your beautiful gestures of support. We got more bouquets, care packages, and cards than I could keep track of. Seriously, one bouquet would reach the end of its run and another would be delivered the next day. It was so crazy, unexpected, and absolutely appreciated more than any of you know. I honestly don’t know how other people deal with miscarriages on their own (because they often haven’t shared the news that they were pregnant with anyone). The support we had from everyone is what helped us get through it… and we cannot thank you enough. Here are images of just a few of the beautiful flowers and packages you all sent our way.
2. We also got through it with lots of frozen yogurt, dates out (like our impromptu Brewers vs. Cubs game), drinks out, and of course… Chloe cuddles! I didn’t share this story on the blog, but when we got the call and found out the pregnancy wasn’t going to make it to term, I kind of lost it in a way I really never have before. It felt like I lost my footing underneath me… like the ground had shifted, and I fell to the floor sobbing like I really haven’t cried ever before. I only share this because the point of this story is how Chloe reacted… She immediately ran to me and started to lick me frantically all over my face… attempting to scoop up my tears before they could hit the ground. She didn’t know what on earth was wrong with her mama, but she wanted to make it better. When she realized that all the kisses in the world weren’t going to put me back together in that moment, she ran out of the room, and a moment later came back with her bone and dropped it at my feet. An offering. “Please, mama, take my bone – it will make you feel better… I swear!” James and I laughed, but the tears continued, much to Chloe’s dismay… at which point she slowly reversed out of the room and then started barking like a total lunatic – directly at me. We joke that she was saying, “Mom!!!! If the bone doesn’t fix you, I don’t know what else to do!!! Please stop crying!!! Stop right now!!!” haha. It was the cutest and sweetest thing, and I love that she wanted to help so badly. Anyway – point being… she did help. All the Chloe cuddles and love this past month – not to mention healthy distractions from ourselves with her insistence on playing and getting outside into the fresh air – was exactly what we needed.
3. Speaking of which…. Chloe and I walked 70 miles in May!!! Wowsers. That beats our monthly average by quite a bit, and was such a lifesaver to my sanity. We spent the month exploring our neighborhood for the best blooms – and boy did we find them!! Bleeding hearts, tulips, lilacs, daffodils, and crab apple trees galore!! We chased the blooms and the blooms did not disappoint. (Notice the bottom right photo? That is the best smelling alleyway in the city in May! SO MANY LILACS! We probably looked crazy walking among the garbage cans every day – but I did not care! The lilac smell was unreal!)
4. As I mentioned… in May we also celebrated James’ 37th birthday and headed home for Mother’s Day with my parents! (Here I am proving to my brother that I delivered the hug to mom that he requested I give her for him!) Also something I couldn’t help but notice (because I see signs everywhere) – were the two rainbows that followed me around the week or two after my miscarriage. On Mother’s day weekend there was the most beautiful FULL DOUBLE RAINBOW back in my hometown that was bright and visible for seriously 20 minutes or more! I couldn’t stop taking photos of it and just staring at it in awe. I thought of my friend, Diana, and how she mentioned the idea of “rainbow babies” – which are babies that are born to couples after a loss (be it a miscarriage, stillborn baby, or a child passing away). They are seen as “rainbows” of hope after the storm of loss and pain. So when these two rainbows showed up I couldn’t help but see it as a sign from the two frozen embryos we have waiting for us to transfer on July 7th. Hoping they are our rainbow babies after this storm.
Then we were back in Chicago and I headed out to meet up with the local ladies from the fertility support group I started on Facebook – and look what appeared on my menu again – really in the least expected place! Two more rainbows! Maybe I’m crazy – but really – I have never seen so many rainbows before! (And I couldn’t help but share this last pic of James photographing his godson for his first birthday! Look at all the crazies trying to get the baby to smile behind the camera!! haha! This is seriously what so many kid & baby sessions look like behind the scenes!! haha!)
5. Then we wrapped up the month with:
a) A visit from my best friend, Krista (doing touristy things downtown, as seen below)!
b) Chloe wondering where spring went when the temps dropped dramatically for a bit there!
c) James and I celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary with Kelly & John on their wedding day!
d) Chloe constantly keeping an eye on me and giving me grief for being so busy with work again (I mean… really – creepster!)
e) An amazing anniversary photo shoot by Tami Paige Photography!! (Click HERE if you haven’t seen the pics yet!)
f) And a weekend visit from my mom & sister (and impromptu overnight stay by my brother whose flight was canceled out of Chicago)!! Here Chloe is SO EXCITED her nana was here to visit she just had to jump in bed with her in the morning!! haha!
Overall, it really was such a beautiful month. It is amazing how the hardest times have a way of actually reminding you how incredibly blessed you are. We are unbelievably lucky to have such wonderful, life-giving people in our lives who support us through EVERYTHING. We had the best month taking note of all our blessings and hugging/loving on/laughing with those that mean the most to us. Thank you again to all of you… we appreciate and love you more than you know!! Here’s to a beautiful June ahead! xoxo