March 31, 2013

Does Anyone Know....

How this....
translates into THIS?
Bueller? ... Bueller? ... Anyone?
Happy Easter, xo

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March 29, 2013

Dear Diary,

I cried last night. 

Actually, I laid on TJs chest and I wailed heavy, uncontrollable sobs that came out of nowhere. 

But you know what? It felt good to feel. 

I've kept myself very busy - almost too busy - these past two weeks with work and wine. 
Work, wine, sleep. Work, wine, sleep. Wash, dry, repeat.
 
I've tried writing three other posts today, each with an inspirational, happy image, 
 but I've decided to acknowledge how I'm actually feeling, 
and remember that it's okay to not be okay. 

I've been told that grief comes in waves. I'm going to ride this one out.
via
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March 26, 2013

Hearted ♥

I enjoy spending time on Etsy, exploring the many different types of shops that one can find there. The creativity, heart and soul that many owners put into the goods that they sell in their shops is motivating and inspiring. Take a look at a few of my most recent favorite finds: 

by friedasophie on Etsy

by SakuraBathAndBody on Etsy

by artPause on Etsy

by SayWhatCreations on Etsy


by datedbydesigns on Etsy


by SeashoreLove on Etsy

by makingthishome on Etsy

by JerseyGirlDesign on Etsy

by Pupakes Treats on Etsy
Do you have an Etsy shop? Leave your link in a comment below, I'd love to check it out!

Happy Tuesday, Friends ♥

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March 25, 2013

That's A Wrap.

Dear Husband, You have 24 hours to act on this message:

Welp, the 2012-2013 hockey season is officially over. 

We will be packing up (yes, again) and heading home to Massachusetts for the summer. 

Solidified flights are still TBA, but my heart is happy.

European hockey is a funny thing - guys start resigning with their team or sign with other teams elsewhere in as early as December/January for the following season. 

TJ has yet to do so.

And I'm okay with that.

After six seasons and dozens of moves, I'm finally okay with not knowing where in the world we will be living a few months from now. 

I've finally learned that I cannot control one thing in my life - and I guess developing this acceptance is one thing that I can be thankful for as this season comes to a close.


TJ and I tried to control a lot of things this season. I've never written the following on my blog before because I didn't want to sound like a "bragger," but TJ had six different offers over the summer. Three in the States, and three in Europe. TJ tried to buy time with every single coach, claiming that he wasn't thinking about hockey contracts until after the wedding. 

But that was a lie. 

In reality, we were waiting on the call from Orlando, and decided that if we didn't hear from them by the wedding, that TJ would sign elsewhere. 

And wouldn't you know it, Orlando called the very first night of our honeymoon. We thought for sure that this was going to be the best hockey season ever ... but that quickly went to shit.

TJ and I sometimes wonder if the same situation would have happened had he just taken one of the other offers that came before Florida. It's nice to be able to pass blame on the NHL lockout for being a main factor in the fuckery that quickly became our life this season ... but we just don't know.

All I do know is that I'm glad that TJ had a job, because so many guys ended up without one this year.

A few people have told me that they think that I'm so brave for keeping myself together through all of the adversities that we've faced since October. But to be honest - I haven't been strong. I've carried a lot of bitterness in my heart this season, and I'm so relieved to finally be able to put this year behind us and move on.

I'm looking forward to whatever the future has in store for us ... but first, I'm focusing on enjoying today, tomorrow, and every other day of this offseason.

Peace out 2012-2013.
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March 21, 2013

What You Shouldn't Say To Someone Who Has Had A Miscarriage

The influx of love and support that I've received over the past couple of days has meant so much. 

Thank you. From the bottom of my heart - THANK YOU

Being that we're currently in Germany - everyone, even my family and friends back home in Massachusetts - have had to send their love and hugs through the phone or via text massage, Facebook message or Skype. 

It's been difficult, but we're getting better. 

TJ and I are laughing again. We're looking forward to tomorrow. We're carrying on. 

A few people who have contacted me have mentioned how strong I am for sharing my story here. I guess, because I often have to sort my feelings, emotions and experiences out through words, it never really occurred to me that it was a "strong" thing to do before I hit the "publish" button and told the entire cyberspace world that I miscarried our baby. 

As therapeutic as it was for me to share, I wanted other women who have been in my situation, or other women who someday find themselves in my situation, to know that they can talk out loud about their loss ... and to know that they are not alone. 

Too many women have suffered in silence, which is evident by the countless messages that I have received from such women who have felt like they couldn't or shouldn't share their early pregnancy loss ... many women wanted to extend a virtual shoulder to cry on if I needed it, so that I wouldn't feel alone like they did when they lost their babies so early on. It's difficult telling people you've miscarried when you hadn't even announced that you were pregnant yet, you know?
  
Sure, delivering a stillborn baby at 31 weeks is a little bit different than having a miscarriage at 11 weeks, but the loss of a baby at any week is as real as when you see the two lines on a pregnancy test. 

A baby is a baby. A loss is a loss. 

And the taboo of speaking out about early miscarriages needs to be broken. 

via

I understand that just the word "miscarriage" in itself makes people uncomfortable. 
  
It's a very sad, confusing, and emotional subject to talk about. 

But let me tell you something - if someone that you care about has experienced a miscarriage, the one thing that you shouldn't say is to not say anything at all
  
These angels need to be acknowledged, and their mothers need to feel supported - not alone. 

Many of the messages that I've received that have touched my soul were as simple as this:

"I know there's nothing I can say or do to make you feel better, but know that I am thinking of you, keeping you in my prayers and hoping you can find happiness sooner rather than later."

Nothing more. Nothing less ... there really isn't anything that you can say or do to take the pain away from the woman who has experienced the loss of her child, but you can offer your love and emotional support ... and that is more than enough for a woman who is grieving.

*************

This is the last time that I intend on writing in depth about my miscarriage. I can't promise that it won't ever come up again, but I like for Travel Babbles to be my happy place. From here on out, I'll be switching back to "regularly scheduled programming" and sharing the many things that make me smile. Thank you again for your love and support during this difficult time. xo
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March 19, 2013

Eventually, I Will Be Okay. Just Not Today.

I started writing this post in my head before the miscarriage was even confirmed.

I guess that's the writer in me. And I guess that a "mother's intuition" is a real thing.

I had half-known for the past couple of weeks. I was continually questioning why I never experienced morning sickness, why I wasn't tired anymore, why the soreness in my breasts had gone away, and why I felt "normal."

"Maybe I'm just one of the lucky ones?," I wondered.

Google quickly became my best friend in the days leading up to our ten week appointment. Some women had experienced the same decline of pregnancy symptoms that I had while rounding the corner into the second trimester. Some women went on to deliver healthy children - while other women were not so lucky.

TJ and I saw our first positive pregnancy test very early, at 3 weeks and 3 days along. After six months of trying, we experienced "is this real life?" emotions, which quickly turned into confirmed happiness after seeing those two lines appear on four tests. There was no denying it - we were finally pregnant.

We had no idea what we were doing, but we quickly started to imagine and daydream about what life would be like with Baby Fox.

Two days before my appointment this past Saturday, I was wide awake at 3:30am, and I went to use the bathroom. I saw shocked to see a little bit of blood. I woke TJ up, who had to be out of the door four hours later for an away game, and I somehow forced myself to fall back asleep.

When I woke up, the day was pure torture. I was still spotting, and TJ wouldn't be home until the next day. There are no girls here, meaning no physical support system, and I spent most of the day Googling for answers and texting with my mom and one of my best friends.

All I wanted to do was get on an airplane and go home.

I managed to pull myself together and take a shower. I put my hands on my belly, closed my eyes, and tried to talk to the baby ... but there was nothing. This is when I finally let the tears flow and let it sink in. I know that bleeding during pregnancy can be normal ... and I don't even know why or how to explain this, but I just knew that something was wrong with our baby.

TJ got home from his road trip the next day, and crawled into bed at 7:30am. I let him sleep.

We arrived at the hospital at 1pm.

The doctor that I saw was amazing. It was my first experience with a male doctor - whom I've always been so terrified of seeing - however he was honestly the best doctor that I've ever had. I feared that he would have broken English and that he wouldn't have the empathy skills necessary to be the bearer of bad news - but I was wrong.

He took my background information, asked about my last period, confirmed that I would be 10 weeks and 5 days along, and congratulated us on our first pregnancy.

I was in a daze and I forgot to thank him.

There's really no privacy when you visit the Lady Doctor here in Germany. There was a curtain in the corner, and the doctor instructed me to go behind it and undress from the bottom down. I did, then I took an embarrassing butt-ass naked walk halfway across the room, past TJ, the nurse, and the doctor, and hopped up on the scary stirrup chair.

I asked TJ if he could leave the room. The chair that he was sitting in was positioned just right, and I was not comfortable with him having a front row seat at my pap smear.

The doctor then gave me an internal ultrasound and we looked at the monitor. The nurse who was by my side suddenly touched my arm and began rubbing it. I couldn't take my eyes off of the monitor, and I whispered to the nurse, "Can you please go get my husband?"

They both returned within 30 seconds. TJ was now by my side, and by that point I had pulled my scarf up to my face and I had tears welling in my eyes.

The doctor hadn't said anything yet, but I knew that something wasn't right. I've YouTubed enough 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 week ultrasound videos to know that something was very wrong with our baby.

The doctor finally spoke. He asked me if my dates could be off. I arrived in Germany on January 10th and I had a positive pregnancy test 3 weeks later. The dates were definitely not off.

He went on to check my ovaries and everything else. He said that everything looked perfect. He went back to the baby and explained what was not perfect.

He confirmed what I had already known - that our baby did not have a heartbeat.

Everything after that was a blur. I somehow got off the chair, ended up behind the curtain, dressed myself, and found myself sitting next to TJ.

The doctor spoke but I wasn't listening.

The doctor discussed what would happen next. I went through the motions, occasionally saying "Okay" or "I understand," while he explained the surgery that I'd have to have to deliver the baby.

I couldn't take my eyes off of the last photo of the baby, who was still up on the monitor.

I heard the doctor say things like "the "loss" of pregnancy is very common in the first trimester" and that "1 in 4 women experience such a "loss."

But my baby wasn't lost, I could see it right there in front of me on the monitor. And it was dead.

The doctor finally wheeled his chair closer to me, breaking my attention from the monitor, and said "I need for you to understand something that is very important. This is neither of your faults. These things happen and oftentimes we will never know why, but it's usually because of a chromosomal abnormality, and your body just knew that something was wrong with the baby. I like to look at the positive side of every situation, and the good thing to remember here is that we know that your body can make a baby."

Something about those words just sunk in and gave me peace.

And I know that eventually, I will be okay.

That's not to say that I'm not experiencing random episodes out of nowhere where tears just start streaming uncontrollably down my cheeks ... but eventually, I will be okay.

I know that I just wrote a couple of blog posts back about not wanting to over-share here anymore. That post came from a place where I was preparing to share the news of our baby, and I knew that I wouldn't want to share it's sweet face all over the internet once it arrived.

I actually considered sharing our baby news a couple of weeks ago. Since we had found out so early at three weeks, it was quickly becoming difficult to keep our secret, and I was very anxious to spill the beans.

I remember thinking to myself when I considered writing the announcement post, "I understand why women wait until 12 weeks to share their pregnancy - because they think that they are out of the miscarriage clear - but plenty of women have miscarriages at 20 weeks, or deliver stillborns at 25 weeks, 35 weeks, or 40 weeks. Books and doctors and websites stress that you should keep your pregnancy a secret just in case something "bad" happens, which also infers that you should keep it a secret if in fact that something "bad" does happen. But if I do miscarry, I certainly won't grieve in silence, so what does it matter whether I share that I'm 8 weeks pregnant or 12 weeks pregnant, if I'd share that I had a miscarriage at any week? "

Ultimately, since I felt so uncertain about my decline of pregnancy symptoms, I decided to wait until confirmation that all was good - or not good - with the baby.

I planned on making our special baby announcement yesterday.

But now, here I find myself ... sharing that that I miscarried just shy of 11 weeks.

Over the course of the past six months, TJ and I have been continually tested, brought up, thrown down, and forced to pick ourselves back up. Since we got married in July, we've dealt with the worst experiences of our lives together ... and I think that we're so easily at peace with this miscarriage because we've made it through those awful moments together.

Together, we've been forced to deal with grief when we didn't want to, we've been forced to be mentally strong when we didn't want to ... and I think that in a way, all of those experiences prepared us for this.

Months ago, we developed the belief that everything happens for a reason.

And as painful as this is, I truly believe that eventually, we will have an understanding as to why right now is not the right time to bring a sweet baby into our world.

I know that someday, this will all make sense.

But right now, it doesn't.

We were just getting accustomed to the idea of life with a baby, and now we need to figure out how we're going to proceed without one. Together, TJ and I have spent nearly every night for the past seven weeks in bed Googling the babies growth and development, wondering if Brutus would be a good big brother, envisioning TJ taking the baby out on the ice for the first time after a game, wondering if we'd have a tiny dancer or a husky athlete, and laughing about how we'd never sleep through the night ever again.

I know it's a quick decision, but I think that we've decided that we're going to wait quite a few months until we try again. These past few months have been strewn with many disappointments, and we just want to enjoy the offseason, the summer, and most importantly - each other - without any more stress, anxiety or devastation.

I'm sure that anyone who reads this post will understand that it's going to be quiet around here until I can pick myself up again, and until I can figure out what my new normal is.

These emotions are still very raw, and this is all still very, very real - but I needed to release these words from my heart today, so that I can acknowledge my feelings and begin to move on.

I am not going to pretend that I am okay, because I'm not ... but I know that eventually, I will be okay.

Even if this is the fourth time that I'm typing those four words into this one post ... (and maybe it's because I'm just trying to convince myself) ... but eventually, I will be okay.

Just not today.

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March 15, 2013

Five For Friday: Things That Made Me Smile This Week

1. Did you know that a dogs coat can change as they grow? Brutty is starting to look like a(n overweight) dalmatian, and the little spots that keep popping out make me smile each time we're outside for a walk.

2. My new favorite banana pancake recipe. Mash one ripe banana, mix in an egg, throw in a dash of cinnamon, cook like a pancake and enjoy your foodgasm. You can thank me later.

3. Daily "Good Morning, Sunshine" texts from my Dad. His most recent one continued and informed me that I forgot to mention in Brutty's birthday post that the pup also enjoys ruining my brothers skateboards and soccer balls. Hi Dad, I love you :)

4. Learning of the possibility that GFC might go bye-bye. Am I the only blogger who is excited about this?

5. Realizing that I have 25 days left until I head back to the grand old US of A.

What made you smile this week?

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March 12, 2013

Happy 4th Birthday Brutus!

Age: 4
Height: 17 inches
Weight: 84 pounds 
Favorite Food: Lamb
Favorite Toy: Plastic water bottles
Favorite Snack: Sliced green apples
Favorite Stuffed Animal: My blue turtle
Favorite Game: Tug of War with dirty socks
How many times have you moved?: Fourteen
Current Interests: Naps, long walks, begging for cookies
What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?: A soccer player
Education: Graduate of PetSmart's Beginner Education Training Program
Favorite Thing To Do Outside: Chase snowflakes, falling leaves, or kicked pebbles


I might be a little bias ... But I think that I have the cutest bully in the entire world.

Happy Birthday Chubby Bubby!

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March 11, 2013

Remember When Privacy Was More Than Just A Setting?

Something weird happened over the weekend.

Well, nothing in particular happened over the weekend, but all of a sudden I became really aware and cautious about how much personal information I broadcast over the internet.

Let's get real - we have personal information shared on the interwebs whether we want it to be shared or not. Google your name ... heck, Google your grandmothers name, and I can 99.9% guarantee that something pops up.

It is called the World Wide Web for a reason. The second you publish something on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or whatever your social media vice may be - boom - it's sent off into cyberspace for anyone, anywhere to see.

And that, my friends, is all of a sudden deemed pretty damn creepy in my book.


There are a handful of people who I've crossed over the past 27 years of my existence who I wouldn't even enjoy sharing a "Hello" with - but here I am, sharing my life on my blog, 140 character thoughts on my Twitter, and too many photos of Brutus on my Instagram.

And for some reason, all of a sudden, I'm just not totally comfortable with everyone in the whole entire world having that all access pass.

What ever happened to Stranger Danger, people?!

Sharing our lives via social media has become as much a part of life, as life itself ... and I honestly think that's pretty sad.


It's actually embarrassing how many times I've held off on eating dinner because my plate needed to have it's Glamour Shots taken first. I'm guilty, I admit it.

I think social media and the many technological advancements that have happened over the past twenty years are amazing - don't get me wrong! - but that's not the point of this blog post.

Over the weekend I considered making all of my social media profiles private, and monitoring who has access to see what I'm publishing ... but then I realized that privacy is so much more than a setting. It's up to me to decide what I make public and what I keep private.


I've realized that I don't need to share every itty bitty tidbit of my life anymore just because I write a blog and I want to pretend that my life is actually interesting ;) ... Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere, for example, hardly ever shares any personal information about herself, and her blog is more popular than this little space by tenfolds.

Hot damn, I think I grew up??

What are your thoughts on social media sharing/oversharing?
Are your social media profiles public or private? Why?

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March 7, 2013

Beyond My Peripheral Vision

(via)

Traveling has given me the opportunity to see the world through different eyes. It forces me to look beyond my peripheral vision, to experience different ways of living, to learn new "normals", and to develop interesting perspectives about life and what inspires me. 

Whether we're living abroad or in the States - I tend to live more "in the moment" when we're in a new hockey home. I feel like I'm actually awake, doing things that are out of the ordinary, simply because those things are happening in an unfamiliar place.

Life isn't so automatic and habitual when we're away from home ... simple things like going to the grocery store can turn into an adventure. Every day feels new, interesting, exciting and stimulating.

I wish that I could bottle these feelings up and take them home with me for the summer.

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March 5, 2013

Natural Beauty

Today's ingredients are not for a cake. 
Or a cupcake. 
Or a cookie. 

For the past three weeks I've been experimenting with baking soda as a natural facial cleanser. 

I've also been treating myself to bi-weekly honey and cinnamon face masks, 
 as well as a weekly olive oil and egg hair treatment. 

The results? 

I'm quite certain that I will never purchase chemical concoctions for my face or hair ever again.


The benefits that I've experienced while using these products as part of a natural beauty routine (as well as additional tidbits that I found by Google researching) are as follows:

Baking Soda for the Face 
Natural exfoliant 
Antibacterial (less breakouts!) 
Brighter appearance 
Gentle on the skin (compared to chemical products) 
Environmentally friendly 

Honey for the Face 
Antibacterial 
 Hygroscopic (keeps skin hydrated by drawing moisture into the skin) 
Full of antioxidants (which fight skin damage and lighten scars)

Cinnamon for the Face 
Naturally dries out oily skin, then 
brings blood and oxygen back to the skins surface 
Excellent exfoliant properties 

Olive Oil for Hair 
Lightweight, great for moisturizing 
Improves the strength of hair 
Wonderful to massage into scalp; promotes hair growth 
A more moisturized scalp = less dry flakes/dandruff 
Quick fix for split ends 

Egg for Hair 
Contains essential vitamins and nutrients (which help strengthen hair follicles)
Egg proteins can temporarily "stand in" for keratin protein loss/damage 
Fatty acids in eggs help to brighten dull hair 
The sulfer and B12 in eggs can aid in hair growth


Do you have a natural beauty tip, trick or recipe?
Share it in the comment box below! xo

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