Always Look For The Silver Lining

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

This weekend was all about celebrating my daughter’s 3rd birthday. But to me it was so much more. There was a time that I never thought I would be able to have another baby. Then after years of struggling I finally got pregnant, just to miscarry a few weeks later. My heart was broken. I was broken, pieces missing forever. I was surprised when I managed to get pregnant again, and terrified. Her entire pregnancy I was scared I would lose her. I had a high risk pregnancy, and spent the entire time on bed rest. There was a time when I thought I would never get to this point. And now here we are, celebrating her 3rd birthday!

Every day I am so thankful for my children. Every day when I look at my girl, my rainbow baby, I am reminded that there is someone that will forever be missing from our family. Without that loss, my daughter wouldn’t be here now. It is so hard to explain the conflicting emotions that happen. My heart breaks for the baby I will never know, but my heart bursts with love for the children I do have.

My daughter is a constant reminder that life doesn’t always go as planned. There is good and bad, heartache and sorrow, but also so much love and joy in life.

There is always a silver lining. Always a point, or lesson to be learned. Sometimes, most times, its just incredibly hard to see at the time. Or at least thats what I like to tell myself on the bad days.

Bad days like when you fight with your husband after your child’s birthday party, and you are not exactly sure what started it. It was sort of the perfect storm of emotions, lack of sleep, and bad choice of words to be said by both parties. I will never understand the point to fighting, but I know there is a silver lining, a lesson to be learned. After the fight we always end up stronger. I just wish the heartache didn’t have to happen first.

So my point to all this, is that life is all about ups and downs, love and hate, tears and laughter. Really big heart breaking downs, really big huge living changing joy and love, or small bumps in the road – like fights, or small joys like waking up after a fight and finding out that your husband woke up early to clean the kitchen for you.

You just have to remember to look for the sliver lining in all things, big or small.

~ Michelle

20 Life Lessons I Learned In My 20s

Am I the only one that does this on my birthday, to go over the last year, and your past and reflect.
Reflect on all the good, the life lessons learned, and even the bad, because without the bad you wouldn’t be who you are.

So here I am about to turn 30, and after much reflecting I have decided to share some of my life lessons with you.

Without further delay, here they are.

Lifelessons

1. Life doesn’t always go according to plan. Just because you want something to happen a certain way doesn’t mean it will. Things will happen in their own time. Don’t try to rush fate. Plan and work for it, but also trust in the right timing, even if you don’t understand when the right time really is.

2. Read. A lot. All the time. Read everything. Reading is amazing, it can take you places you never thought of, teach you new and exciting things, and it can open your mind if you let it.

3. Thank your parents. Seriously, they are awesome, and chances are you were a major brat in your teens.

4. Don’t stress about where you are compared to where someone else is. Enjoy your own path. This path was made especially for you, embrace it and enjoy it.

5. Travel. Travel and experiences are worth far more than any item you could buy.

6. Don’t be your own worse judge. Push yourself, test limits, but know its ok if you fall, just pick yourself back up again and keep going.

7. No one is perfect. Seriously. Everyone has their own issues. Embrace what makes you different or scares you.

8. Take care of yourself. Ok, I know this, but I still suck at it. It is so important to take time for yourself, to spoil yourself every once in a while. And most of all take care of your health. Seriously. Its important.

9. Workout because it is fun and good for you, not because you have to. You will enjoy a workout so much more if it is for fun instead of feeling like you are forced into it. And your body needs it. Soon things will start to hurt and be sore. So take care of yourself.

10. There is no day of the week called “Someday” or “Later”. Do it today. Don’t keep putting things off. Tell someone you love them. Go for your dream. Eat the last cupcake!

11. It is ok to say NO. Really it is. So you don’t volunteer for 100 things, instead only 99, that’s ok. The world won’t end because of it.

12. Listen. Listen to your heart. Listen to others. Listen to your feelings. Listen to the birds. Listen to the rain. Just listen, really listen.

13. Learn how to budget and save money. I know it sounds super boring, but trust me, its worth it.

14. Never stop asking questions. Kids ask like a 1039048404830380287595 questions a day. Keep your curiosity alive, keep learning.

15. Let it go. Forgive and forget. Even when you never actually got the apology. Don’t let someone that isn’t worth your time take up all your time. Don’t let them move into your head. You have more important things to focus on.

16. People change. It’s a part of life. People will come and go. Let them. Some people are meant to be with us for a long time, and some for a short, its important to know the difference.

17. It’s the small things. The small things can be the most important. Sometimes a kiss on the forehead is all you need to make a bad day good. Sometimes its the way someone looks at you, not what they say to you.

18. Change is scary, but it can also be really really good. Embrace change.

19. Say what you mean. Don’t hide your feelings. Trust your self.

20. One day, the pain and broken hearts will all make sense. The pain, heartache and all the bad stuff, there is a silver lining there. It may not be tomorrow, or the next day, or next week, but eventually, it will all be worth it.

Here’s to sending off my 20s. You were a wonderful decade. I learned a lot. I had 3 beautiful children. I married my best friend. I traveled. I had my heart broken and shattered. I had my heart full and bursting with love. Its been a roller coaster that’s for sure. Can’t wait to see what my 30s hold.

~ Michelle

Lets Talk About Birthdays and Adoption

adoption

There are not many times in my life that I have ‘felt’ like I was adopted.
There are times that it gets pointed out to me, like at doctors offices when they ask for family medical history. Or on my birthday. Yes my birthday. People feel the need to ask me if I’m sad on my birthday, or rather they assume I am. It usually goes a little something like this “I’m sure this day is sad for you, you know, because your adopted, but Happy Birthday anyway!” Um…what?!

My birthday has never been sad. My parents, the lovely and wonderful people who adopted me, did a good job at loving me, raising me, and making sure to always celebrate my awesomeness on my birthday.

I don’t know what it is like for other adoptees out there, but I can reassure you that my birthday was never sad.
There is however a difference with feeling sad and feeling like something is missing. Or someone is missing. With adoption you do always feel like a piece of you is missing, because it is.

But since finding my Birth Mom a couple of years ago, I have noticed a difference in how I feel on my birthday. My Birth Mother and I didn’t have the reunion that I am sure many adoptees dream of. Or maybe we just haven’t gotten there yet, who knows. All I know is that at this point in time we don’t talk. So now on my birthdays, now that I know her, now that I know she’s a real live person, now that she has been in my house, now that she is making the choice not to be involved (as she had no choice before being that it was a closed adoption), that is hard to swallow and deal with. Being rejected all over again.

For the first time in my life I do feel sad and feel like something, someone, is missing. I feel sad that it turned out this way. I feel sad for the woman I have yet to get to know. I feel sad that this woman is missing out on the potential to know some really awesome people; my family.

Yet in saying that it just goes to prove how powerful adoption is, how it doesn’t take blood to make a family. My parents love me so fiercely, I am their child, I am loved and we are a real family, and that is enough for me.

So next time you know someone who is adopted and they are celebrating a birthday just say Happy Birthday. That is it. Happy Birthday. And maybe give them cake. Cake is always a good option.

~ Michelle

The Best Is Yet To Come

It is almost that birthday. I’m not sure how this has happened so fast. But alas, here it is.

I feel like I should be at a different place in my life than I am. Yet I am happy where I am. It’s extremely confusing.
I feel like I should be at the place in my life where I write post cards. I should host endless dinner parties complete with dinner games. I should have fresh-cut flowers on my table all summer long picked from my own garden. I should go to bed before 10pm every night. I should be a morning person by now. I should have more patience. I should be in a constant Zen like state. I should only watch educational stuff on TV. I should eat only organic healthy food.

But here is the thing.
When I sat down and actually thought about it I realized something; I don’t really give a crap about any of that. I’m happy where I am and with who I am.

Post cards? Ok. Sure, they would be nice, so would hand written letters. Which yes I am making a point to write more, but for now, are you on Twitter? Because I will for sure send you a Tweet!
Endless dinner parties? That sounds fun, but also exhausting. And dinner games? What is that, food fights?
Fresh cut flowers? Sure they are pretty, but they die quick, and from my garden?! Good luck with that one.
Bed before 10pm? Where is the fun in that? It’s the only time I can get things done without any distractions, granted the kids are actually asleep.
Morning person? If it hasn’t happened by now, it won’t happen. And that is ok.
Patience? I try, but I have 3 kids. Some days are better than others.
Zen like state? Please refer to above, 3 kids and a husband. Enough said.
Educational TV? Does binge watching The Flash, or NCIS, or Once Upon A Time count?
Organic Healthy food? Chocolate counts right?

So there you have it.

You may be expecting something deep and profound to be written next, but nope.

I used to be scared about entering my 30s. But now that its here, I’m excited. I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my life. I’m looking forward to the journey that is before me. I may not host dinner parties, eat the “right” foods, or go to bed at a decent time, but I’m happy. I’m happy with my late nights and chocolate. I’ve learned a lot so far, and I know I have a lot more to learn. I’ve made some mistakes, but I wouldn’t trade those experiences, they have made me who I am today. You know what? I’m happy with who I am, where I am and how I am living my life. So here’s to 30.


30 is going to be awesome. I have my husband by my side, I have my beautiful children, and a wonderful support system around me.

I may not be in a constant Zen like state, but I am in a happy state, so thats good enough for me.

How did you feel before your big birthdays?

~ Michelle

The Last First Birthday

The day has finally come and gone. The last first birthday. It was a fabulous day. It was filled with love, laughter, family, and great memories were made. But it was also a sad day for me. The last first birthday I will get to have as a mother.

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When my husband and I celebrated our sons first birthday we were filled with joy and excitement. It was such a happy time. Our son was 1 and a month later he would be getting a baby brother. We had made it through our first year of parenting and we survived. I felt such pride and happiness, I was a little sad that my baby boy as growing up so fast, but I knew this would not be our last baby, so I took comfort in knowing I would be experiencing the baby stage all over again.

When our second son turned 1, again I was happy. Not as happy, there was a little bit of sadness there, but I was still happy. The option was open to have another one, I just didn’t know when or for sure if we would. So there was a little bit of a cloud following me around that day.

Now our daughter has turned one. And this is the last time I will be able to throw a first birthday for one of my children. And that stings. In the pit of my stomach there is an uneasy feeling there. Lurking below, behind the smiles, there were tears. Behind my happiness and joy, there was a pain. Behind my feeling of pride, there was longing.

Let me try to explain why.

I can not even explain how fast this year has gone by. I feel that is has passed by so quickly that I have been ripped off of the newborn baby stage. I swear weeks, if not months, are missing. Something must have happened, a time-warp, worm hole, something!

Don’t get me wrong, I love watching my children grow. I want them to grow up to be strong, independent, confident adults, and I can not wait to see that, but at the same time, I want them to stay small and innocent, for just a little longer. The baby stage and childhood pass by far too quickly. There are not enough hours in the day for all the cuddles and fun times I want to spend with my children.

I love my children so much. I love watching them learn. I love watching them grow. But does the growing up part have to happen so fast?

~ Michelle