Last week marked one month. One month since we said goodbye to Kynsleigh and hello to being angel parents.
Honestly, it snuck up on me. I didn't realize it until I received an email from the perinatal bereavement nurse at Sentara sharing their June Circle of Love Memorial video.
This was something I had known about, but had forgotten in the craziness of the past couple weeks. It's something the hospital does monthly to celebrate the babies taken from us way too soon. Normally, the parents are able to be there in person, but with everything going on, they did it via video this month.
I teared up even just opening the email to read. I knew what the video meant and then it clicked that it had been one month. All of the emotions hit at once.
Nick and I sat at our kitchen table to watch it together. I started crying almost as soon as the video started. It still doesn't seem fair that she's no longer here, in my belly, kicking me and keeping me up at night. But I keep telling myself there's a bigger purpose for it all. Even if I don't know what it is yet.
One of the parts of the video that stood out for me was a story of a dragonfly. How they evolve and change and can no longer go back to their friends to show them their transformation. And that even though they can't go back and see their friends, it doesn't mean they no longer exist. Which is the same for our babies we've lost. We can no longer see them or touch them or feel them, but that doesn't mean they no longer exist.
Kynsleigh will always be a part of me. I carried her for every second of her life, and I will love her for every second of mine (thank you to my friend Hannah for that sign!).
We watched this video on Tuesday last week. On Wednesday morning while I was coaching, a beautiful butterfly was hanging around the gym. And not much longer after seeing it, I saw a dragonfly. It was on the whiteboard where I was standing and coaching. It stopped me for a moment, remembering the video and seeing this beautiful dragonfly. It brought peace and happiness to my heart that morning.
I'd forgotten about it until Friday morning, when the same thing happened again. Another dragonfly hanging out on the whiteboard. I've talked to Kynsleigh a lot over the last month, but this was the first time I'd felt her presence.
I will never view dragonflies the same way ever again. They will always be my sweet Kynsleigh, letting me know she's always with me.
Also, I'd never seen dragonflies at the gym before these two days. It further confirmed it was my sweet girl. I didn't know I needed that, but I'm so glad it happened. And of course, I texted Nick right away to let him know about it, both times. I think we both needed it.
I know I won't always be in this place...that I won't always feel like this. But for now, it's where I am. And I'm embracing it.
I miss Kynsleigh. I'll always miss her. And I'll always love her. And talk about her. She'll always be my first daughter, my first baby. And she'll always be Kai's little sister in heaven.
So, here's to seeing many more dragonflies over the years and always missing a small piece of my heart.
I hope y'all have an amazing week. And if you're missing someone who is no longer with us, always remember they're always with you. Look for the signs...they're always there.
With love and wellness,
Life has been overwhelming lately. It seems like everything has happened all at once, as it usually does. There really never is a "break" when you're adult...am I right?
It also feels like it's been a lifetime since we were in the hospital with Kynsleigh, but in reality, it's only been a little over 4 weeks. How can it simultaneously feel like it was just yesterday while also feeling like so much time has passed?
It's been helpful talking about her with people. Telling Malachi about her and how she's in heaven watching over us. Sometimes I can do this without crying, while others, not so much. I've also spent a lot of time praying and talking to God, which usually ends with me in tears. I'm thankful for the time I had with Kynsleigh, but I still struggle trying to figure out why this happened. Why she was taken from us so soon.
In those four weeks, a lot of things have happened. I had Mohs surgery on my forehead to remove two basal cell carcinomas. The healing from that has been a nice distraction from everything. I've had to be super conscientious of everything I do with my face, as well as with workouts and everything, really.
We also traded our two cars in for one, so adjusting to a one car family has been interesting. We are definitely in love with our car, but it's used, so there have been a few things we've had to get checked out and replaced, right away. Thankfully they're being covered by the dealership, but that whole getting it to the shop and back home thing has become interesting.
We're also working on a new business venture and hope that comes to fruition sooner rather than later (more on that later). But that has been super stressful for me and trying to figure it all out.
And of course, we have things we want done in our house to truly make it ours...you know, other than just painting.
Lastly, we're trying to decide if a) we want to try again, and b) how that will look...naturally or trying IVF. Not right away, but it's still on the table and trying to figure it all out.
So needless to say, I have a ton on my mind, plus our goal is to pay off our debt and live completely debt free. I do my best to not worry about it all, but sometimes it becomes so incredibly overwhelming. I also know medical bills will be coming in with all that has happened in these last few weeks and months. Nothing is ever easy or cheap.
I have to continually remind myself to keep moving forward. That it won't always be this overwhelming. That things won't always be so busy. That it won't always seem so daunting.
And it won't be. We'll get through everything, just as we always do. I have an amazing partner to get through this crazy life. And with God on our side, we've always made it through and we always will.
So for now, I pray and I let my anxieties go as best I can. If worry slips in, I do my best to not let it take over my thinking and to pray about it and let it go. If it's not something I can control, there's no sense in worrying about it. Once again, everything will work out the way it's supposed to.
So remember that not everything will be overwhelming all the time. Keep going. Keep moving forward. Keep trusting that everything will work out.
Have a beautiful week. And enjoy the first week of summer!
With love and wellness,
Trust, respect, and loyalty are important in any relationship. And once they're lost, even if it's just one of those things, it is almost impossible to regain them. There will always be some iota of doubt and wondering what's true and what isn't.
This is especially true in a romantic relationship, or even in friendships and with family. But, as I've recently learned, it is true across all types of relationships.
Nick and I recently experienced this...not with each other, but with an outside party. We thought we could trust what we were being told, but as it turns out, we were blinded by our passion and desires.
This often happens. We get excited about an opportunity or a new relationship or a new anything, and we don't see what's really happening. We take it all at face value, because we want to believe, we want to TRUST, that what this person or opportunity is telling us is the truth.
This has happened to me too many times to count. Unfortunately, I am very open and trusting and I believe that everyone is telling me the truth. Or at least that everyone is just as open and honest with me.
The hard truth is that not everyone will treat you the way you treat them. Not everyone will be open and honest with you. Not everyone will be loyal or respectful to you. And people will take advantage of your openness and trusting nature.
So yes, I give people my trust and loyalty and respect. Until it's proven that I shouldn't. Or until my gut tells me otherwise. And once any of those is lost, it takes a whole heckuva lot to regain them.
We've also experienced this the other way too. Where we are given trust, respect, and loyalty in return. And you can FEEL this difference. There are no ulterior motives. There are no falsehoods. There's simply a mutually beneficial relationship where everyone trusts and respects everyone.
It really is a nice thing when that occurs. It's a nice change from the normal that occurs all too often.
So, when you're going into a relationship, any type of relationship, remember that. It is always in the best interest of everyone involved to be open and honest, to build that relationship on those premises.
I haven't always done this, because I haven't always been confident in who I am or what I have to offer. But as I've gotten older, it has been my motto. Sometimes, I am too honest. Too open. But I'd rather everything be known right from the get go. And I too often expect the same in return, which doesn't always work out for me. But I suppose that's life, right?
I hope you all have an amazing week. That you build your new relationships on trust and respect and loyalty. And that you always receive that in return too.
With love and wellness,
2020 has been a tough year. Both personally and globally.
We came into this year thinking it was going to be our best one yet. We were going to make major changes and reach all the goals we set for ourselves. And with just as much conviction, it said, "Here, hold my beer."
Sure, there have been good moments, moments that have shone brightly. But for the most part, this year has given us some doozies.
So many things have happened. We've scratched our heads wondering what in the heck we were witnessing. How could this possibly be the world we're living in? I know I have.
I mean...we were all in disbelief when Kobe Bryant died. I was waiting to hear that it was just another hoax, because let's be real...how many times does something get posted on FB that ends up being an untruth? So it was a huge shock when it turned out to be true.
Then we hear about this insane virus on the other side of the world that is a huge threat and is coming our way. Then it's here and boom, we're all in a forced lockdown. In my whole life, I've never experienced something like that. Ever.
Nothing is open. Stay home. Wear masks if you go out. If you don't live with them, don't see them. Be cautious touching anything or being around sick people. It's spreading rapidly. Wash your hands. Wash everything coming into your house. Get undressed outside.
And then murder hornets. I mean, where did that even originate? Or was it just something we posted to be funny? Like how July is supposed to bring the aliens. I can't even keep up anymore.
In the midst of all of that, I had a miscarriage at 16 weeks. One that came as a total surprise, considering we'd made it through the first trimester and everything was going well. But, like everything else that has happened this year, God had other plans.
And now, on top of everything else, we are in a huge divide in our country. Tensions are high. We're being hateful to one another, rioting, looting, setting businesses and homes on fire.
I get the intent behind the protests, because yes, change is necessary and needed. But when it turns from peaceful protesting to violent riots and looting, it becomes a problem. We can't turn on each other. Not everyone is the problem. Yes, there are a few bad apples and yes, we need to hold them responsible. But killing one another, pin pointing police officers, regardless of whether they are "good" or "bad," shouldn't be the answer.
This world is so full of hate right now. You can't even post something positive on your social media without someone twisting it around and arguing over it. Why are we turning on one another? Why are we being so hateful to one another?
I don't think I'll ever understand it. The turning on one another, I mean. Yes, I understand the underlying issue and why there needs to be change. But how do we change anything if all we're doing is being hateful to one another?
Y'all...be kind to one another. It really is as simple as that. Let's be kind to one another. Let's support what's happening in this world. Let's support one another. Let's rally behind one another.
I don't know what's going to happen next. I don't know if or how change will happen. But hating one another...rioting...looting...setting fire to people's places of business and their homes...that isn't the answer. It can't be.
I hope y'all have a good week. That you stay safe. And that you stay kind.
With love and wellness,
We are a society that wants to look and feel good all the time. We want to have and own all the nicest things. We want to know everything. Do everything. Be everything to everyone. And we have all of these things blasted at us through social media all the time.
So instead of focusing on the things we do have and the things we are, we focus on what we don't have or what we aren't. We want to be different from what we are. We compare our lives to others. We want what they have.
But why? Why do you want to be someone other than exactly who you are? Because who you are is amazing. Perfectly imperfect.
And yes, there may be things you want to improve, but don't compare yourself to anyone else. And start focusing on all the things you do have and all the things you are. Because those are so much better to focus on.
And I'll admit. I'm guilty of this too. Especially during this last week as I was no longer pregnant. I was very hard on myself with the weight I'd gained during the pregnancy (mind you, it wasn't a lot, but it was for me). Throughout the whole pregnancy, I was eating more carbs, because it was often all I could stomach. So many of my normal every day choices made my stomach turn. I had to eat what I could in order to sustain myself and grow the baby.
However, that also meant it changed my body's composition. And yes, I know it's supposed to when you're pregnant, but it's a hard adjustment when you've never made it past 8 weeks before. So this past week, I've continued telling myself I wasn't pregnant any longer. I should stop eating like I was.
Yes, I was very hard on myself.
I had to turn my focus around and love my body for what it has done for me and continues to do for me. I was growing a baby. My body changed because it had to. And my body didn't know I was no longer pregnant immediately. I had to give myself grace during this period.
I started treating myself better too. Eating the way I know that nourishes me and can sustain me through my days. Slowly easing back into workouts without overdoing it. And being kind to myself during this period of grieving.
I have and am so much more than how I look. As are you. I'm able to be a CrossFit coach and personal trainer and demonstrate the movements to various classes throughout the week. I'm able to be a health coach and guide women to become healthier and happier in their health and wellness journeys. I'm able to run and manage a household, to include two fur pups, a 5 year old every other week, and my husband. I'm able to run and manage my business from home. And I love what I do.
It's a hard adjustment when you change from focusing on the negatives to focusing on the positives. It takes some work. But it is doable.
I was down on myself. And with everything that has happened in my life the past couple weeks, it would have been very easy to stay there, playing the woe is me game.
But I know that doesn't work for me, especially in the long run. I don't like to feel that negative all the time.
So I changed my perspective. Journaling helped. Talking to my family and my husband helped. Knowing that Kynsleigh is so incredibly loved by so many helped. Her loss was tragic...but I can't let it stop me from loving myself and living my life. To do anything other than that would dishonor her.
So tell me... What perspectives do you need to change? What do you love about yourself? Make a habit of telling yourself every day 3 things you love about yourself. And if you start going down the negative path, immediately notice it and change those thought patterns. Know that you are worthy of loving yourself. You are enough exactly as you are.
Love yourself. Love yourself for everything you already are. Be kind to yourself. You. Are. Enough.
Have a beautiful week. And welcome to June! Let's see what's in store for us this month :)
With love and wellness,