How Does a Moment Last Forever

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If you’ve been following this blog or my Instagram for any amount of time, you’ll know that we’re a crazy, fanatical Disney family. As I write this, Brett and I are listening to the retired “Wishes” fireworks score from Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

So, of course, when Disney announced they were doing a live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast”, I was hesitant. It is such a classic movie that defined Disney animation during my childhood, along with “Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” and “The Lion King.” How could they bring these iconic films to life without sacrificing any of the magic?

Then, they announced Emma Watson (“Harry Potter”) as Belle and Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey”) as Beast, I started to get more excited. More and more news began to come out, including cast additions like Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Ian McKellan as Cogsworth, Luke Evans as Gaston and Josh Gad as LeFou.

In March, Brett and I had a date day to go see it in the theater. Immediately, we were both mesmerized by the pure magic that Disney had created. I instantly fell in love with this new incarnation of Belle and the Beast, including the music from their world that can be credited to Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman.

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Giving Up Control

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I’ve still been seeing my therapist every two weeks or so for the past year. Earlier this week, I had my regular session and it was one of those moments that made me go, “hmm.”

Let me step back for a second.

My brother, John, has been staying with Brett and I for almost a month. He recently won his disability claim after nearly four years of waiting and appeals, and living in a several different homeless shelters in Wisconsin. It’s been a stressful and emotional time for him so his therapist recommended that he come out to visit us for a month or two so he can figure out what he wants to do with his life. He recently said to us as we were sitting on the back porch, “This is the first time I’ve felt safe in a long time.”

We moved to Massachusetts from Wisconsin almost seven years ago now. This is the first time he’s been able to see where we live. It’s nice having him here and to catch up with him again, but it’s been anxiety-ridden for me and a definite shift in our regular routine.

Particularly, it’s bringing to light a lot of “hidden” anxieties that I have. I’ve always felt safe with my older brother. We would go on amazing road trips every summer to Disney World from the time I was in sixth grade through my junior year of high school.¬† But, after my adopted mom passed away when I was a sophomore in college, life changed drastically for both of us.

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A Special Announcement

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I’m excited to announce that I’ve joined the writing team at Still Standing Magazine as a regular contributor. I’m working on my first posts now, which will start to appear later this summer.

I am really humbled to be joining a wonderful and talented group of writers from all over the world. I hate that we’re all connected by such a tragedy as losing a child. I hope that I can share some of the things that I’ve learned and that I’m still learning in my grief process since losing Emmett over a year ago.

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In other news, I also wanted to share that Emmett’s Sole Mates raised nearly $4,000 to benefit The Massachusetts Chapter of The TEARS Foundation and was the third place team for fundraising total. We fell just short of our $5,000 goal but Brett and I are truly amazed at all of the love and support we have received from family and friends, far and wide who made a gift in honor of our sweet baby. If you would still like to donate, you can! Just click here.

The walk was held back on June 25 and it was a gorgeous but emotional day. Overall, the chapter raised more than $43,000, crushing their fundraising from last year’s inaugural walk. As one of the walk committee members, it’s so inspiring to see a community come together to be able to help provide supportive services to those in need.

I also appeared with several of our other chapter members on a local TV show as a panelist discussing pregnancy and infant loss as well as the walk. You can still watch it here:

Finally, it may seem quiet over on Facebook this month. I’m taking a hiatus from the social networking site as part of my self-care routing for the month of July. You can still find me Tweeting or Instagramming if you want to see what I’m up to these days. But, I shall return to the land of Facebook again in August.

Career Goals

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Brett and I were talking last night about career aspirations. I’ve been struggling with working from home the last year. I work for a virtual company (which I honestly love my colleagues) but I just don’t see them frequently. We generally only talk on conference calls or virtual meetings. If we do see each other, it’s once, maybe twice a year. Many of my clients are scattered all around the country so I also don’t have a lot of face-to-face contact with them. I do have a few clients in the Boston area but it’s a pretty well-oiled machine that I don’t have to drop-in very often, except for maybe some trainings here and there.

I try to work a couple of times a month from Starbucks or somewhere remotely just to have some sort of interpersonal communications with others. (If you see me, I’m that annoying person who’ll comment on the book you’re reading or ask you about the pretty colored beverage you ordered, just so I can strike up a conversation.) Because of this, I have been searching for new opportunities where I can work outside of the house because¬†I can become so isolated and hermit-like just staying at home. There are times where I’ve gone 2 weeks without leaving the house.

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Interview About Our Karaoke Fundraiser

Brett and I were interviewed today by a Milwaukee radio personality, Dan O’Donnell. Dan happens to be a long-time friend of of ours, but also a former colleague of mine from back in my radio days. He’s since moved on to another radio station in town and I’ve completely moved on out of the journalism field into the nonprofit sector.

Tomorrow is the big day. Our last fundraiser before the big TEARS walk we’re participating in June. This is our Live Band Karaoke fundraiser I talked about here to help talk about pregnancy loss and let people know about support resources, both emotional and financial.

We’re excited about it and hope it will be a great turn-out. Since it’s a Monday night, not quite sure but hoping the weather will be kinda gloomy to force people inside.

The interview below aired on four different radio stations in Milwaukee today to help spark some new conversations about pregnancy loss and let a new audience know about TEARS. Take a listen…

A Different Kind of Mother’s Day

This weekend is Mother’s Day.

Last year, I was still numb and in too much physical and emotional pain to even care. It didn’t occur to me that friends from afar were sending me messages on that first holiday for me as a mother. I had nothing to celebrate because I didn’t think I was a mother. My baby was no longer with me. I still have difficulty believing that I’m a mother some days. But, I am.

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There are a lot of us “hidden” mothers out there. We don’t have living children alongside us. We don’t get the cheerful, handmade cards. We don’t get breakfast in bed with extra snuggles.

We watch from the sidelines all of the joy upon other moms faces as they get to embrace their little ones during brunch. We stifle back the tears so you don’t see the hurt on our face. We’re the mothers that are so often forgotten.

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