A Hero's Welcome

On a recent, cloudy & rainy Friday, we lined the streets with other small-town folk to welcome home our town's 1195th Transportation Company. While our family didn't personally know any of the soldiers that had been deployed this last year, small towns like ours are all affected when a large group of soldiers leaves- it's the "ripple effect". Families line the streets, yellow ribbons are tied on poles, signs are made, and then we wait with anticipation and excitement for the "parade" up our main road to the high school gymnasium for the welcome home ceremony.

While waiting, Madigan entertained herself with a small flag. Just as the local police blocked intersections, we heard a rumble on the horizon. Instead of thunder as we suspected, the clouds literally parted as the Freedom Riders & Patriot Guard rumbled in on their Harley's ahead of the busses hauling the soldiers. (The soldiers are "escorted" in by law enforcement and the Freedom Riders as a courtesy- because, yes- we actually have people who come protest the soldiers return. Sick.)
Firetrucks, motorcycles and police cars all proceeded by, followed by the busses, hauling soldiers who had family waiting for them at the school. Here was the day from our perspective.

We say, "Thank You"


About Babies...

With spring in full bloom and signs of life everywhere, it's nearly impossible to not think about the prospect of ... * gulp * ... another baby.

I know that if you've read my blog (or talked to me in real life) for any amount of time, you know that my husband and I struggled with conceiving our daughter. I jokingly call my journey "Infertility Light" since I have found so many friends along the way who have literally been to hell and back; however the difficulty that we faced was ours, and it definitely shaped our views on adding to the family again.
If we were to completely set aside the emotions of what that entails and look at the facts, we know the following things:
  • I have been told by two separate OB/GYN's that conceiving a second child is going to be an uphill battle. To quote one of the specialists: "Feel free to try on your own all you want. Come on back when you're ready to get serious about it." (Side note: because of previous treatment/outcomes, this would be starting with injectable medications.)
  • Because I have taken a new job since conceiving my daughter, my insurance no longer pays for any of the said treatments. One month, or "cycle", of treatment is going to be thousands of dollars.
  • I really, really want to be a stay-at-home mom if/when we have a second child, and that would mean that my now stay-at-home-husband would need to find a job that supports our lifestyle as it is now. (Not that it's remotely lavish! But we've basically cut all the corners we can and it's a priority for us to have a parent at home with our daughter or children.)
Ok, ok, that last one is more of an emotional "fact" than a concrete one. The truth is that our daughter has gone to daycare, I would have no reservation in sending her again if we had to. But the fact is, we don't have to. We have downsized our house, our cars are paid for and we are working hard to pay back what money we owe to be totally debt free. With all that, we have so far afforded for my husband to stay at home with her for the last year, and it's been fantastic for her. (Him too, I might add! However I never pass up the opportunity to let him know that I appreciate him sacrificing his degree and career to do it.) Luckily, we have the same long term goal of switching roles and having me home.
The almost bottom line is that we do want more children. Honestly, we want to have more biological children and we also have done heavy research into international adoption. The part that is depressing and frustrating is that either route is going to cost us thousands of out-of-pocket dollars. Not that it's not worth it- because it absolutely is. It's just saddening and upsetting that the fun-loving, free-spirited attitude of family planning has been taken from us. We don't get to have the "if we try in the fall we can have a summer baby" talks. We are on the same page: we want more children. The part that hurts the worst is that it's not that we're emotionally on different pages or worried about the timing of it: it's solely making sure that we can up-front finance it.
So what is the bottom, bottom line? Madigan. Here's what I want her to know, regardless of how we choose to pursue growing our family:
Madigan is enough for us. For me. For Brett. She is more than we deserve, she is everything we asked for and more. In the end, if no other children find their way into our lives and into our family, I want her to know that she has fulfilled my purpose in this world. Madigan is more than enough and our greedy pursuit of a larger family has nothing to do with her. I do not want our wants and needs to affect the kind of parent I am for her.
So there you have it. Spring, and babies, and emotions all in one big rambling post.
And that's enough.



Happy Easter! These are some pictures from the Egg Hunt. Yes, she managed to eat a Cadbury Mini-creme egg (some aluminum foil as well) before we could stop her. It got everywhere...

She was pretty good at finding eggs, once she realized that there were tiny pieces of candy in them then she was even MORE excited!
I realized that we took absolutely NO pictures of her in her dress & sweater before church. That's basically par for the course with us! But here's one more "play in the yard" picture from after the egg hunt: