10 November 2011


photo via

i'm sitting here when i should be in bed.  i'm not even quite sure what i want to write about, but i feel like i should write my thoughts... 

i just read my friend ani's blog... i check it often, wondering how she is doing and how she's coping with the loss of her daughter. tonight's post was particularly hard for me to read. i feel so deeply her sorrow, her loss, and her feelings of wanting to hide in a dark room and never leave. what i would do if i could just take it all away from her so that she could be free of it.  that's not how this life works though, is it. that's not the plan, never has been, never will be. but sometimes the knowledge that i have doesn't always make the feelings of loss any easier. you know?

i have so much to be thankful for. i live a different life these days than i used to. i have been striving really hard to change things about myself that repulse me. i have made it a very prayerful effort, openly and happily admitting that i can do hard things, but i cannot do them alone. with the help of a loving father in heaven, i think i'm making some progress. the word "repulse" is kind of intense. i don't want you to let your imagination run wild and think that i'm a crazy person. no. i simply have a hard time sometimes with patience, and with keeping my voice down in moments where every tense bone in my body explodes. does that ever happen to you or am i the only one?

mothers have secrets, you know what i'm saying? i think we carry around a lot of things in our hearts that aren't really ever spoken about. we carry around weaknessess and moments where we've yelled at our tiny little people when we really didn't mean it. no one talks about it because it's shameful and you feel awful about it. sometimes i lose my patience when goldie hits annie after i've asked her 6 times not to. i will raise my voice, and she'll look at me with those eyes that make my heart break into a million pieces. "why are you yelling at me mom? i don't like when you yell." i mean she doesn't say that, but i know she's thinking it. those moments slowly, very slowly, are happening less and less. this is a huge answer to many thousands of prayers. prayers said throughout the day. prayers said in the shower, while making breakfast, when both girls are crying. "heavenly father, please, i beg from the bottom of my heart. please, please help me. i can feel myself growing tense. i can feel it surfacing. please help me to harness those feelings and just let it go. please." and sure enough, he takes the reigns and i'm learning what it means to let go of negative feelings.

i wish i had words to explain how much i love goldie and annie. i am excited to wake up to them every day. i do not take my time with them for granted. nothing makes me happier than seeing annie's little head pop up above the rim of her crib when i walk in to get her. she's perched up with her little arms, smiling like she just won a million dollars. instead, she just gets me. but she's pretty happy about that, it seems. then we walk together into goldie's room, where she has taken her night night's (her blankies) and hung them over the side of her crib. she exclaims excitedly, "mama! annie! hiiiiiiiii!" my heart could burst from happiness. i scoop her up, both of my girls nestled warm in my tired arms, and we start our day together. our days always start and end with laughter.

i had heard stories of people losing their sweet babies, and they always touched me deeply. when it happened to one of my friends, one of my very dear friends, words can't express how it made me feel. because of those stories, and because of ruby, i cherish my children more. i hold annie tighter when she wakes up to eat every once in awhile in the middle of the night. i don't rush to put her back in her crib so that i can get back into bed. i rock her slowly, with her little face nuzzled in my neck. i smell her and rub her back, snuggle her blankie around her. i take that very quiet moment at 4 am and remember ani's story. i remember ani writing about how she held ruby one day for 3 hours while she slept, and that it was the most beautiful 3 hours. so, i hold my own annie a little longer... 

sometimes i have a hard time remembering that time on this earth is really pretty short. i've been trying hard to forget about being busy and instead spend more time actually playing with my children. i put my phone away and instead take my girls on a walk. i rush to get ready so that we can all have more time together. not every day is like this, but most days are. i have my weak moments, but i'm going to pat myself on the back and say a very public thank you to the man upstairs for literally changing me. slowly, but it's happening. i can feel it.

i will not be defined by my weaknesses. period.

my bishop gave a talk in church last week and it literally brought me to tears. it's like he was talking just for me. his theme was not being defined by what people label you as, or even as what you label yourself as. i always say that i'm not a patient person. well, of course not because that's all i tell myself every single day. "you're not a very patient person. you never have been, but hopefully you will be." who says? why do i say that? god knows my potential, and i need to start seeing that and believing that. if we could only see ourselves how heavenly father see us... we could move mountains. think about how you look at your children, or if you don't have children, how you look at your husband/sister/mother/father.. someone that you love so much you could burst. i believe in my girls so much. i watch goldie say her letters and i swear i want to call everyone i know and tell them of her accomplishment. i watch annie scoot and roll across the room and you'd think we won the lottery over here. we only say positive things to them. "you are so smart, goldie!" "you're soooo pretty anita." "my pretty girls. my good girls." heavenly father thinks of us in the exact same light. why can't we think of ourselves that way? this is one of the many things that i am working on. we are worth something.. all of us. we're worth making a fuss over.

motherhood has taught me a lot of things, but the most important thing i've learned through this journey is that nothing is more important than unconditional love. all you need is love. i think the beatles were onto something. but i have been trying so hard to envelope myself and my children in a huge abundance of love. i want it to be thick in the air. i want you to literally feel love when you walk into my home. and it all starts with me, with overcoming my weaknesses and with making sure that i'm creating an environment that allows for that overflow of love and happiness. i feel very confident when i say that my girls are happy, happy girls. they live a happy life. their life is filled with love, laughter, and lots of kisses and hugs. the moments where i lose it happen. don't get me wrong. i am not perfect nor will i ever be. but you know what? i do the very best that i can and if i have a moment where i feel like i just can't do it anymore, i look at those little faces and i say a quick prayer and i start again. it was 2 minutes of my entire day. move on. be done with it. start again.

i feel like the ability to love comes very naturally to me. i really want everyone i know to be happy and to feel love from me, especially my family members. i know that sometimes i come across as a little stressed, but i've been working on that too. it's kind of amazing just letting things go. very liberating. 

now that you all know a few of the things that i'm trying to improve in my personal life, are you wondering why i'm even talking about all of this? i really don't have an answer. i felt inspired to sit down and type, so this is what i'm doing. the more "thoughtful" posts on this blog often happen in that way. i think about things and just write. whenever i thought about motherhood before goldie and annie came along, i always thought about my friend ani because i thought she was such a good mom to her daughter kate. this was before ruby came along. for some reason i remember her posting a picture a year ago or so with kate sitting at a little table having a snack of apples and ants on a log (celery, peanut butter and raisins). i was so impressed by this thoughtful little snack. she was such a good example to me then, and now that she's gone through the hell that she has, i can't describe the respect i feel for her. i have had great examples of mothers through my entire life, and i still do. many of my best friends have children now, my sister, jake's sisters... my own mom and jake's mom... the list goes on. we all just learn from each other somehow, through the happy times and the unhappy times. it's a strange, beautiful thing. one that i'm very thankful for.

so while we walk around smiling at one another, just know that some of us hold things deep in our hearts and walk with silent grief. some of us may have just miscarried, but we hadn't even told anyone we were pregnant yet... therefore we deal with it alone. some of us may have just gotten into a blow-out fight with our spouse, but we don't talk about it with anyone because no one else fights with their husbands, right? some of us may have cussed out the stranger who cut us off on the freeway, and it ruined our day... but we're not talking about it. perhaps we're struggling to pay the bills, but we don't talk about it. maybe our faith is wavering, but we're afraid to talk about it. maybe we feel alone, so desperately alone, but we still put our smile on and pretend it's all okay.

you never, ever know what someone is going through. and most likely the ones who don't treat us so well are going through the worst.

weakness or not, we just to do our best. that's all i ever know to do. i do my best, i make it a very prayerful effort, i harness my weakness and try to make them strengths, and i move on with my days. i love my children, i kiss my husband when he walks through the door. i pay my bills, clean my house, cook some dinner, and bath my children. there are days when i feel too tired to move, but i just have to push on anyway because people need me. and i am thankful that i am needed.

i don't know how to end all of these thoughts. i could probably just keep on writing, but instead i'm going to go to sleep. goodnight my friends.


michael. mindy. dane. said...

jenna. thank you so much for this. i loved it. this morning i have been feeling bad for myself about stupid things, and i loved reading this. when you said that there are things about yourself that repulse you that you are changing, it hit me. i was being whiny because of things that are my own fault. things that i can and need to change. i think you were definitely inspired to read this. your blog is my favorite. whenever i read your posts about you and your girls, i just love it. it makes me jealous, every time, that you are home with your girls every day. you sound like such a great mom and it sounds like you guys have so much fun. i always feel weird saying that because when people comment on my blog and say "you're a great mom!" or whatever i want to be like, "uhh..you don't know me and have never seen me in action." am i snotty or what? but that's how i feel. but i still feel like saying it to you. because by reading your blog, i can just FEEL that you are a good mom. and your girls are lucky to have you. and jake is too. anyway. thank you for this post. i needed it.

michael. mindy. dane. said...

WRITE this. inspired to write this. not read this. doh!

Jill said...

just what i needed to hear. some of the same struggles i am going through and am just now, sadly, really turning to the lord each time I loose it with my kids. thank u. i also enjoy your posts.. they really are real and make me feel you are human with real trials.

corrine said...

"you never, ever know what someone is going through." - so true. thanks for the "real life" post. loved it.

Poelmans said...

hey! I check out your blog every once in a while and I'm so glad I came across this post. You're so real, Jenna, I love it. thank you for your words. thank you for being you. your thought's on your friend anni make my eyes water. i hope i take full advantage of each day i have with my little one. take care!