Thursday, February 27, 2014


it's late.
my favorite time to write.
as night wears on, i wax sentimental and nostalgic, which usually makes for my best writing, the kind of writing that gets it all out and leaves you feeling cleansed.

i'm trying to be better about not bottling up everything i feel. i usually wait for the storm to pass to write it out, but i'm afraid it will take years for this pain i have to leave, like most of the hard things we go through.

about four months ago i was sitting in my therapist's office, in the maroon wing back chair on the left.
like usual.
the session was getting close to being over, and i was finally crying. i say finally because i had been attending months of counseling without feeling like i was letting myself feel anything. the postpartum depression, the hyperemesis pregnancy, the feelings of wanting to leave the church, the suicide and OCD issues. i'd sit in that chair and hear myself talk in a calm voice. i was saying all the right things, how hard it all was and how sad i was, but i wasn't feeling any of it.

when i had gone to therapy for sexual assault, from the first session on, i felt everything. finally after almost a decade of keeping it all in, i allowed myself to cry and rage and mourn.
it was wonderful.

but trying to work through all the events of the past year just wasn't working.

until finally one day i figured out the part that really hurts.
i mean, all of it hurts. but this part, it took a while to admit out loud.

so i'm sitting in that chair, legs crossed, arms crossed. jessica, my therapist, says something that hits me.
"you're grieving. what you are feeling is grief."

i had just told her about a family member saying something about "filling up all those bedrooms" with children and how devastating it was to me that i'll never have another baby. never experience that magical moment, where the child is placed on your chest and your eyes meet for the first time.
with her eyes on my face, i finally feel the tears. finally feel my chest fill up with emotion.

"it's normal to feel a loss over this." she says. "you are grieving for those children you always thought you'd have."

and here is where i hear a lot of arguments in my head.

well technically you can have more.
maybe your next pregnancy would be better.
well at least you have one child. a lot of people don't get that.
what about adoption?

yes, i could get pregnant again. not a risk i'm willing to make. i won't spend 8 months puking and laying on the couch trying not to smell anything while remington lives with my mom and i miss out on his life. i won't give up what little enamel i have left on my teeth. no more IVs. no more $17,000 medical bills out of pocket.

and don't think i'm not thankful for remy. i know that so many people try for years, spend thousands of dollars and still never have the chance to have a baby. i know that adoption is an option, but it's a pretty expensive option that might not be possible for us.
i know that i am very blessed to have my healthy son.
i know.

sheesh, just let me feel my feelings, self.

day to day, i'm fine. i'm so happy! i love spending my days with my boy.
it's the small reminders that sting unexpectedly.

when you're joking with your husband about the little black book of sexy pictures you gave him, how someday when you're dead and your house needs cleaning out, the kids will find the book in the back of the closet and freak out. kids. and then you remember. kid.

when everyone you know seems to be pregnant with a girl, and you know that you'll never know what your little girl would look like, if she'd have her daddy's nose or your brown curls. and oh how you wanted to have a little girl.

when a stranger gives you baby advice and you say, oh i've never heard that, cool. and they say, oh you can use it with your next one.

when your family members sit and talk about the future, who will have a baby and when. they avoid discussing you.

when you walk down the street and see two brothers on their front porch holding sparklers. playing catch, riding bikes. you wonder, who will my child play with? will he wish for siblings? 

that grief, he's a sneaky basty.

it's a good thing i'm not going to church, or i'd probably feel worse, what with all the primary programs and mention of spirit children needing physical bodies, all the jokes about, "when's the next one?" with the other dads elbowing travis jokingly.

a few days ago, i went to a doTerra essential oils party. it was really interesting and i ordered a few things to try it out. there was also a test you could take, where you put your hand on a scanner and it supposedly scans your energy and lets you know what imbalances your body has and which oils could help. (clever marketing scheme.) my scan showed that i need ginger. the saleswoman leaned toward me and said excitedly, "ginger? are you pregnant?? most women who get this result are pregnant."

it took my breath away for a minute.
for a split second, the idea that i could be pregnant was exciting and hopeful and miraculous, just like when we first decided to start trying.
and then reality.
partly because the idea of me being pregnant again is the scariest thing she could say, and partly because WHAM, no i'm not pregnant, and i'll never be again, and i'll never get that pregnancy i thought i was in for, the one that is a celebration of the life you're creating, the pregnancy that feels like a pregnancy, not a terminal illness.

i don't want any of you who are pregnant or trying or whatever to feel like you can't talk to me about it. of course i'm ecstatic for you! but yeah, sometimes i cry about it all. jessica told me that grief can take time. it takes time to readjust your expectations and ideas about what your life will be like. but over time, the pain hurts less and you don't lose your breath every time someone mentions more children.

in the meantime, if you are the parent of an only child, or are an only child, let me know how that's going for you.


Saturday, February 15, 2014


okay. can we be real for a sec?
like can we talk about sex after baby?

warning: if you are uncomfortable with hearing personal details about my love life, or about my va-jay-jay, or about hoo haws after babies rip through them, or are my grandpa or father, please stop reading now.

also, to avoid picking up porn seeking weirdies who search sex terms and vagina terms, I'm going to use alternate language to describe the details of this conversation.
one more thing, although the events i'm about to describe are a little depressing, know that i'm laughing about them. because what good is the alternative?

so the other evening.
one of those glorious nights when the babe is in bed early and you fill up your big tub with scalding water and just soak. i think i was in there for almost an hour. reading my book, cruising the facebook, you know. i get out, get dried off, and then dressed.

and then. i moved a certain way and felt a gush of water in my jammie pants.
like water that had apparently gotten all up in my lady bits!!!!!!

that did not happen before having a baby.

so i touched on sex after baby a while ago, mentioning that it was painful.
yes, definitely painful. but what i didn't mention was how weird and awkward it was.

so you're getting ready for sexytimes.
you go in your closet and get into that special bag of skimpy clothing you reserve just for these occasions. you sift through the silks and lace, searching for something that will disguise your baby flabbed stomach. you're dreading the pain that your new ladybits scar will bring when you're getting it on. you're trying on different bras, trying to push up those sad saggy boobies that used to be so perky and nice. you turn around and check out the backside, noting your thunder thighs. you're starting to wonder why he even wants to do this.

enough. you dim the lights and walk out. he oohs and ahhhs and you're like, whatever, i'm too hot for this. you're kissing and all that good stuff. things are getting heated, just in time for you to roll over and realize you have 400 hairs in your mouth. your pregnancy hair is falling out and now it's everywhere. you try to be discrete as you swipe the hairs out of his mouth too. you both gag a little and say 'blehhhh" trying to get hair out of your faces. then as you are removing clothes, you find more hair. then the hair is stuck to the lube. you look down at your body parts and see nothing but flab bouncing around. LOOK AWAY! you want to scream.

"i'm not going to get pregnant right?" you can't help yourself from saying. "because i can't get pregnant ever again! my IUD isn't going to be dislodged right? IS IT GETTING DISLODGED?"

romance abounds.

and then. you're saying, okay. slow. slower. SLOWER! never mind DON'T MOVE AT ALL.

and you're stuck there, sure that your scar is ripping completely open. and you realize that more of your hair is on his face. and you're like, ummmmm does everything still feel.... the same? OR IS THIS LIKE TOSSING A PING PONG BALL DOWN A TUNNEL LARGE ENOUGH FOR A DOUBLE DECKER BUS.

then, just when you're sure this can't be any worse, any more mortifying, your body makes a sound. an awful sound, something that sounds like you FARTING. but no, it's far worse. you know when you were a kid, and they sold those putty things in plastic jars and you would squeeze them and they'd make those gassy sounds? yeah, those sounds are coming out of your cooter. QUEEF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

echoing off the sides of your stretched and spliced baby deliverer.


and you're like, I SWEAR I'M NOT FARTING I SWEAR.

which really just adds to the already steamy mood.

eh hem.

of course he is sweet about it, reassures you that you're beautiful, that it's all okay, that everything still is like it was before, that he doesn't mind the mouthful of hair or the slow motion moves.
or those strange noises.

everything will get better with time.

and it does. things shrink, the sounds go away, your hair stops falling out, you lose the baby weight. okay, the boobs are still a bit saggy.

through it all he loves you. he wants you.

but sometimes if you stay in the tub too long, that water pools up.
and when you do jumping jacks in your kickboxing class, you pee a little with each jack.

then your baby discovers one of these laying around the house and plays with it for 20 minutes.

i love travis. he never made me feel gross or embarrassed about anything. he always made sure i knew how much he loved my body, how much he loves me. after going through something like that with your partner, you just have a funny story and you are closer than ever.

and the closer you are, the better you bang.

just keepin' it real.



today was pretty great.
besides a nasty cold i'm trying to get over that kept me in bed most of the day.
but this afternoon, it was actually warm enough to go outside, so we bundled up and walked to the park. remington luuuuuurves the swings.

like, really loves.

i'm getting excited for this summer. when we go to the pool, we'll actually get to go in the pool. remy is at a really fun age, learning and becoming more aware of the world.

what else has been going on recently?

well yesterday was valentines!

i woke up to breakfast in bed brought to me by my two boys. travis also let me sleep in until 9!!!!!!! after having a baby, the gift of sleep is the sweetest gift of all time.

then we hung out together all day and dropped rem off with grandma and grandpa bodtcher so trav and i could go party.

and by party i mean go ice skating with a bunch of middle school kids.

and schmidt from my favorite show, New Girl.
yeah, i was that creep who didn't even try to be discreet.

that cute couple who holds hands and glides around the rink? no, we were that annoying couple racing and crashing into the walls and playing slap-the-butt tag. which is totally a thing.

also we went for pizza at our favorite, Settebello. we tried Cheesecake Factory but gave up after hearing there was a three hour wait.

not pictured was the giant gelato i devoured. panna cotta and cookies and cream. my sweets consumption lately is getting out of hand.

in other news, travis finally saw some fire action. two mornings in a row, he called and informed me that he'd been in a burning building all night. the second night he and his crew found a dead body inside.

i just can't imagine going inside a structure filled with fire and smoke.
the things travis does for a rush.

we got a blendtec for christmas. (thank you randy and julie!) my friend liana does green smoothies with her daughter and i thought it was such a smart idea. so we are going green, too. remington has done really well with them and i'm even learning to choke down the spinach. haven't worked my way up to anything like kale yet, if ever. remy still doesn't quite get the concept of the sippy cup, so we mostly mix the smoothie with oatmeal and then spoon feed him. it's a great way for me to feel confident that he's still getting nutrients as we cut down on formula feedings. (YAYAYAYAYAY!)

side note: formula is freakin' expensive. remington eats three $26 tubs of it every 9 days. yeah, once he is a year old and done with formula, we are getting a huge raise by not having to buy it.

anyway, our smoothies usually consist of a banana to hide the texture of the spinach, fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or really anything else that looked good at the store, the dreaded spinach, frozen fruit like pineapple or berries or mango, flax seeds for those omega 3s, and then a spritz of agave, and water instead of juice. (juice is just empty sugar calories!) in this picture, we juiced two oranges in the blender and then put that in with the smoothie.


also a few weeks ago we took a day trip to park city to get out of the january smog.
don't get me started on how disgusting the air quality has been.

we found a delicious and cheap mexican place that included a salsa bar. watch out, the mango salsa will burn your gizzards. it is called Chubasco's and you should go there.

we shopped a bit after and remy loved this balloon a charmed sales lady gave him.

another thing that has been going on lately. my bff morgan and i have been getting together weekly to play music. our goal is to have enough songs to record an album by next year. our first little "gig" was at a detention center for adolescent boys. they were a generous audience.

 that's pretty much what's been going on lately. oh and remy is walking more and more! i am loving the 9 month age. he can say a few words and he understands so much more now. he sleeps until 8 or 8:30 most mornings. (!!!) life is just getting better and better.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

hawaii in january.

in january we went to hawaii.
you guys, it was incredible.

my friends erika and travis hired me to shoot their wedding and they flew me out. naturally, we decided travis needed to see hawaii for his first time and so he came too.

we left remy with our moms. how spoiled were we to go on a 9 day trip, just the two of us? everyone asks me if it was hard leaving remington for that long. it was hard saying goodbye to him, and for a split second i was convinced that i would die or he would die and we'd never see each other again. but then we were being dropped off at the airport and checking in bags and going through security, and everything was fine. no tears.

i have to say, 9 days with no diapers, early morning feedings, sex being interrupted by crying, or hauling around a carseat was pretty excellent.

this trip was just what travis and i needed for our relationship. we hadn't had any one on one time like this since august 2012 right before i got pregnant and turned into a puke machine.

warning: there are 10984598345 pictures of our trip. most of them were taken by the great ting shen, an incredible photo journalist who i have the privilege of calling my friend. check out his website to see more of his work.

we started our trip by flying to seattle. we bought the cheapest plane tickets we could find, which meant we had a very long layover. we decided to use it to our advantage and explore a city we'd never seen. we only got lost a few times. seattle is a titch larger than slc.

we headed down to Pike Place Market, a big open market with all kinds of food and people.

i may have creeped on this cute couple.

we ate some delicious creole food in a hole in the wall place.
hopefully this summer we will get to see seattle again for longer than a few hours. it was a beautiful city.

although we did take a wrong turn down a street we shouldn't have. in the span of three minutes we saw a teenage kid pick up a cigarette butt from the ground and smoke the rest, a homeless guy peeing on the door of a building, and a woman on the ground yelling things to herself. there were also police everywhere with these huge nightsticks. we joke about being sheltered here in slc, but really, we are.

anyway, we finally boarded the plane to hawaii and endured the five long hours of being smashed in with strangers.

and then. paradise.

our first half of the trip we stayed in a little house in kailua. the giant king sized bed was so comfy and not having to sleep while simultaneously listening for a baby's cries was excellent.

hiking lailani pillboxes.

snorkeling at haumana bay. normally, i'd only go to shark's cove, but the winter waves were too big. :( we still had a good time being touristy and seeing tons of dead coral.

 cards against humanity on the beach.

this was the first beach i saw when i moved to hawaii five years ago. it has a very special place in my heart. pretty great showing travis around.

love dis guy.

portuguese man of war jellyfish. i felt pretty legit when i got stung by one, like i was a real resident of oahu.

ting shen, covered in cameras, as per usual.

these jumping pictures. there are no words.

sunset on sunset beach, a must.

we also hung around laie, played at hukilau, and explored our old neighborhood.

peering into alyssa's old house.

had to stop for shave ice from my favorite place, angel's.

looking at my old house. so weird, that other people are living in my old room and i don't know them and they don't know me.

then of course there was the actual wedding day, which deserves a post all of its own. learned a lot from this wedding.
see how handsome trav is!

did my favorite hike, crouching lion.

and of course, beach beach beach. what a treat to bask in sunshine and swim in clear water. all with my best friend and even with so many of my friends from hawaii.

and then, don't get me started on all the delicious food.
we went to ted's bakery for teri beef almost daily.

korean foods!

another random beach shot.

erika's bridal shower.

of course the guys went mini golfing during the bridal shower.


i ordered the small soup. this was the small guys.

ted's gave a free slice of pie with every teri beef lunch. i ate pie every day. chocolate haupia, my favorite!
also i tried to gain five pounds on this trip and ate as much food as possible. didn't gain an ounce. whatever is going on with my body, i'm cool with it.

ted's. so much ted's.

so hard to say goodbye.


we also saw my favorite sea creature! a real live octopus. unfortunately, he was caught by a fisherman and about to be devoured.

and of course, ting took some shots of me at the beach. we got quite a few strange looks from people on the beach.

ohhhhh it was hard to leave. i was literally laying flat clinging to the sand, telling travis he'd have to drag me away. good thing we left remy at home, because that was my only reason for flying back to the smog pit of misery that is salt lake city in january.

good reconnecting time for trav and me, just to have fun and be silly, not be exhausted parents. he loved his first time in hawaii. duh.

i had some good talks with the ocean. oh, it was good seeing the ocean.

so wonderful seeing old friends. and fulfilled one of my photographer dreams, shooting beach bridals.

and remington only seemed a little confused about who we were when we picked him up. so my heart wasn't too broken.

wonderful trip. miss you, hawaii.


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