A true gift, from a Grinder

 

Yesterday was my sweet husband’s mother’s birthday.

Yes, my mother-in-law. That phrase, role, title whichever you prefer has rung negatively for so many for so long. For me, it is what I longed for the second I met Aaron.

There is no way a man like that came from anyone less than incredible.

And I was so right.

Karen Grinder was a kind soul, a caring person and a magnificent woman.

To deal with those Grinder boys, you have to be something special – trust me.

She married a man that I look up to greatly- a patient guy with a laugh that is contagious.

Those two raised the best guy I know.

I know Aaron looked up to his mother. What little boy doesn’t?!

She must have taught him that making his bed was proper, never to go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink and to always be on time. A true gentleman most days, but what is more than that is that she taught him to love whole heartedly. Love like there’s no tomorrow – because for some, there isn’t.

Karen lost her battle with cancer on June 12, 2011, at the age of 52.

I met her twice before that day came.

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Yesterday when we went with flowers for her birthday, I remembered ..

I remembered second I looked at her, she knew it was ok.

She knew I loved her son, almost as much as she did.

She knew I would make sure he was ok and that I would honor her in our life together.

She was there the day we got engaged, married, moved into our home.. she’s with us all the time.

Her small gifts sent from Heaven do not go un-noticed.

Not a day goes by that I do not think of her and what she did for me.

She gave me Aaron- a true gift.

I am forever thankful for you, Karen.

 

LEVERAGE.

My dad has always told me “It’s all about leverage.”

 

The summer I worked for my dad was one I will always remember. Wearing boots and carrying a hammer around. Mostly sweeping up saw dust and filling nail holes. He would pick me up before 7 a.m. with a smile on his face, no matter what. Most days I was late getting in the truck and that was ok with him.

I would get frustrated so easily – pulling nails, picking up 2×4’s .. other construction worker duties. And then there he would be, my dad, “It’s all about leverage honey, pull the nail out with the claw like this. If you put this under the 2×4, it will be a lot easier to pick up.”

Always in the calmest voice. His sweet soul has taught me so much over the years – how to tie my shoes, hook a worm, boil spaghetti noodles, but mostly about leverage.

How to look at the situation, feel it out and solve it the best way we know how.

With this, I am truly trying to live by. I am taking this situation handed to Aaron and me and trying to solve it the best way I know how.

 

Leverage. Pulling the nail out just right. Leverage. Leaving my doctors appointments with my head held high.

Leverage. Using a block to even out the weight of a piece of wood. Leverage. Using God to guide me, and weigh out this situation on my heart.

Leverage. Being patient with me because my dad knew that this time with me was priceless. Leverage. Being patient with this process and knowing that one day my husband will be the dad he has always wanted to be. And have these moments for himself.

 

Father’s Day may be hard for some. Those who have lost their dad, never had a dad to look up to but also those who strive to be a dad.

Not once has Aaron made this about him. He is so selfless and patient. He is so supportive in the idea of adding to our family – one way or another. There will come a day when he gets to show a sweet little girl the bunny ear trick with shoe laces. He will get to show a little boy with muddy hands how to hook his own worm. Those days are coming our way, along with sleepless nights that lead into long days. Be ready to love big, AG.

 

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Leverage.

Just leading each other home

Someone told me not too long ago, “We are all here just leading each other home.”

This statement has stayed with me, it has repeated itself over and over again.

All of those around us are there for a reason; they are our life lessons. They teach us patience, love, and to be kind. They are here for us to experience pain, hurt and jealousy. They were put here to help us while we are here. My husband was made for me.

We met at a time of our lives when we were not looking. I was not looking for a cute boy in a hat to ask me out to dinner. I’m sure he wasn’t looking for a girl to come into his apartment (a total bachelor pad) and leave her toothbrush only after a few weeks. But I did, he did. And now we are us. He is beside me for a reason.

Soon after Aaron and I made “our” lives official, he needed me. His mom passed and I was there for him when he experienced the pain and the hurt. He was there to teach me how to give off the strength he needed. We were there to lead each other.

Whether we realize it or not, each day we lead each other. Somedays not as much as others; somedays all I feel is people pulling me and leading me in the direction of where I am needed in life. I am needed to learn the Lord and his gift of life. We are put right where need to be at the right time. God has a plan.

God has had this plan for Aaron and I, we may not agree with it sometimes. But he’s got it. God has got it.

Read that again. Again and again. God has got it.

This is something that is new for me, trusting that there is a plan for me. That Aaron and I are leading each other to a more powerful place, home. This home is going to be full of everything great we have ever dreamed of; sweet babies laughing, sunshine for days and no more hurt. In the mean time I will just enjoy the time I do have here. I will enjoy the good times, laughing with loved ones and making memories while realizing they are here leading me home.

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But we both know someone else

You saw me, you saw me the day I needed a boost in faith. I didn’t even know you.. but we both know someone else.

Monday afternoon was just a regular day in my small town. I was working lunch when one of my girlfriends from school asked me how I was, how things are going and when are we going to have a baby? I answered with the truth: “We are still struggling. We are unsure about our next step.”  She replied back, ” What about adoption? Foster care? You two would be great for that.”

She is right, we would be great for that. We have a large yard, room at our dinner table and big hearts. We would love to welcome children into our homes and give them love they have never felt before. We would love to go to flag football games and cheer leading practice. We would love to show that little heart what love is, explain the love of God to them; we would love all of that. But to give up on everything thus far? Maybe it is a path for us to look down.. explore what foster care has to offer.

The look on my face must have said it all. I smiled at my high school friend and walked away with small tears in my eyes.  I know these hard conversations are going to happen, but sometimes they hit harder than others. Sometimes my brain spins faster than my heart beats.

A couple across the bar must have heard and seen it all. They waited until they cashed out (paying for a strangers lunch.) And looked at me with soft eyes and said, “We will pray for you.”

What? You will pray for me? You don’t even know me. You don’t know my name, my husbands name.. you know nothing about me. But you are going to take time out of your day to pray for me?

“Thank you,” I replied. “Thank you so much.”

“You are so brave.” The woman said. “I can see that you are having a hard time. We think it is great what you are doing.”

They saw me.

They left with that, I wanted to hug them. (For those of you who know me, I don’t do hugs.)  I felt so full when they left.. full with love and hope. Full of tears and a smile that no one could turn. God sent that couple to me that day.

They had no idea if I was close with the Lord, or knew him at all. But they knew that they were going to take a few seconds out of their day to say a prayer for me.

You saw me, you saw me the day I needed a boost in faith. I didn’t even know you.. but we both know someone else.

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You have been assigned this mountain

 

“You have been assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved.”

I find myself always looking… always looking for a project, a puppy, (that’s not a joke) someone who might need my help or even a sign. Just something to reassure me that I am doing the right thing. That all the decisions I have made the past couple months are the right ones for not only me, but my family.

The night Aaron’s sweet grandmother passed away, I was mopping and cleaning up at work and found pennies on the floor. There you have it, it was a sign. Not much longer and we got a call that she had returned home to be with her daughter and God. I looked at the pennies and one had the year Aaron was born on it… there you have it, another sign. A sign that it was all ok and that Aaron was going to be ok.

These are things that I look for daily.

Once in a while one comes along that really get me. Really speak to me, gets my brain just spinning in all sorts of directions. This just happened to be one of them: “You have been assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved”

This is it, this a good one. I was “given” this struggle to be able to move past it. I have this label of being infertile so I can take it and twist it, make it my own. I am certainly not just infertile; I am blessed with a different eye on things. I wanted to cry when a friend announced that she was pregnant on social media, but I do not anymore. I wanted to yell at parents who don’t respond right away when their child cries their name (MOM) reaching up with their little arms and little fingers. I would have loved to be in those shoes; having a child reaching for me, even if it just for something small. But I do not anymore. I wanted to go to every specialist in my area, every doctor, every clinic .. figure out what it was going to take for me to have a child of my own. But I do not anymore. I am happy, genuinely happy.

This is me, this is what it is right now. One day God is going to place a child in our path and it going to be the greatest day of our lives. It may be our own, it may not be our own, it may be for a short time.. it may just be a foster child. But it is going to happen one day.

It has taken me a long time to get to this point. And I am at this point right now because today, I feel strong. There are days that I won’t feel this way and that’s ok. There are women out there who have been to so many more appointments than me, so many more years of trying. I am sure they have felt just as I did the day I put my hands up and said, “It’s all over.”

It was cold out, my eyes were full of tears.. I was in my jeep and just said it out loud. “It’s all over.” And from that moment on I have been working on me. This has entailed of me going to the gym, joining classes where I know no one. Taking trips to the book store alone just to get some air. Writing a lot more, and praying. This whole process has brought me closer to my true strong self and to God. There it is, the sign. It is not really “all over” it has just begun.

 

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The mountain was put in front of me so I could move it and be moved, to right where I need to be.

 

 

 

 

 

“No one has me like you do..”

“I have never loved this big..”

Words I will never forget. Words spoken by my husband Aaron, part of his vows the day we promised each other forever. A sunny day in February on the beach of St. Petersburg… that is when our journey started.

It is one thing to explain to your partner that you may not be able to have children in the future.It is another to live it. It was a conversation had very early on for us. I was told at just 15 that it may be a problem for me.. I thought nothing of it then and let it go. Years later and we are here… those words are so much more powerful to me now. They sting; they bring me to a very low place at times. Although I am not on this path alone.. I feel I am. I feel like the world is against me, that I did something wrong, or that it is all my fault.

I cry sometimes before even getting out of bed, and then… and then just like that Aaron comes over and gives me a kiss (two actually.) And my world isn’t crashing as fast, my pain is lessened and he brings me back to where I belong. Next to him, next to our dogs, pig & cat. Next to my “as of now” family. They are my home and they are enough.

Infertility is always thought to be hard for the woman, which it is.. trust me, everyday is hard. But no one ever realizes how hard it is for the husband. Aaron was given such a gift, his love for me seems endless and his compassion for family is so strong. His patience is something everyone should envy..  Aaron didn’t ask for this. He has always wanted to be a dad. He didn’t ask to spend hours in a waiting room full of pregnant uncomfortable females and their crying children. He didn’t ask for the heartache or hurt; the wonder if he will ever be able to coach t-ball, throw a football with his son or teach his little girl how to tie her shoes. And he sure as hell didn’t ask for the fits of rage and uncontrollable tears during hormone treatments. But on that sunny day on the beach of St. Pete we promised each other forever. Promised to love wholeheartedly and have faith in God’s plan for us.

This may not be what we planned… but it is us. It is what is planned for us.

No one has me like you do, Aaron Grinder.

“I have never loved this big.”

All of it, always …

This is the post excerpt.

It’s always been all of nothing with me. There is no emotion I have gone through that wasn’t right on my face. Literally, I CANNOT HIDE IT. But I’ve tried.

For the last couple years I have tried my hardest to hide all these emotions, fears and doubts. I pretended to be “ok” with the fact that a treatment that cost us hundreds did not work. I pretended that my world didn’t crash when my pregnancy test read negative. I let it seem as though Aaron and I were just waiting for the right time when people asked at work, “When are you two having kids?” I smiled when I wanted to cry. I found myself falling into this hole where it was my normal to just be “ok.”

I wanted to be great, I wanted to glow, I wanted what seemed to be so easy for others to be easy for me.

“Take a vacation.”

” Just stop trying.”

“It will happen when you least expect it.”

All of those things that people say to you when they know what’s really going on.

I feel every emotion. Every emotion, every day. Every wave. All of it it, always.

Just now.

Just now..  from writing those emotions down, answering those questions I get daily with the truth and accepting those waves emotions do I feel like I am great. I feel like I’m not just “ok.” I am glowing, by the grace of God I am so great.

It’s always all or nothing.. I am going to dive right into being “more than ok.”

 

 

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