A Birthday Letter to My Son in Heaven

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

One year ago today, you were born into heaven. I wish I could be there to celebrate with you. I know you are celebrating with our Father and my grandparents, Daddy’s grandfather whom he misses dearly, my uncle, your great uncle also born into heaven, my friends’ children born into heaven, and most recently a baby girl named Evelyn. You are so loved there. I want you to know that you are loved here as well.

After I lost you, one of my friends asked me what your name was and I didn’t have an answer for her. I asked Daddy and he didn’t have a name for you in mind. I looked at a calendar and noticed that the first letters in the months from July to November spelled “Jason.” I thought that was interesting and I immediately looked up its meaning (name meanings are important to your father and me). It means “Healer.” Even though at the time I was completely broken from losing you, “Healer” seemed to fit. I had no idea why at the time. Your Daddy liked it and we agreed: Jason Harris.

Months later, I spoke to a woman who needed to talk to someone. I listened to her. She talked to me with an air of contempt. How could I understand what she was going through? How could I realize the depth of her hurt? Did I even know pain? I told her about you. I told her that I almost died losing you. I told her that there were times I felt the crushing weight of guilt for surviving. I told her that I didn’t understand why you had to die and I got to live. I told her that I was confused and lost and ached almost continually. She cried. I told her that even though I didn’t understand, I KNEW God loves me. God has a plan. I told her that God’s love for me, what He did for me by sending Jesus to die on the cross, was the only thing that got me through the day. She cried harder. I prayed with her.

God used you to bring healing to that situation.

I don’t fully understand the cloud of witnesses and I don’t know if God allowed you to see that moment, but I wanted you to know. I am not holding a five month old in my arms. I am, however, holding you in my heart. You will always be a part of me. I know Cupcake will be so excited when she meets you in heaven. She wanted me to have another baby so badly. Your brother is too little to understand, but I know he will be happy to meet you and have a best friend waiting for him in heaven.

Thankfully, I asked God to give me a vision about whether or not I was pregnant. I took a pregnancy test that confirmed it before God gave it to me, so I wasn’t expecting one from Him. He gave me one anyway. He showed you to me. A baby with brown hair the same shade as his Daddy’s, with a smushy face, wearing a blue onesie. Just like the first time I saw Cupcake and like the vision God gave me about being pregnant at your uncle’s wedding, I will always treasure the vision of you in my heart.

I love you,

Mommy

Hunny Ruined My Birthday Cake (A Random Act of Kindness Fixed It)

I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. My birthday is in June.  So why in the world am I making a birthday cake months after my birthday?  It’s a long story…

On my birthday’s eve, I started to make my birthday cake.  A Milky Way cake.  The recipe was found in my grandmother’s cook book from the 1960’s.  A cake made with my favorite candy bar, a perfect choice for my special day.  Since it was summer and we didn’t have any air conditioning, I thought I would conserve the heat by baking at night when it’s cooler.  We kept the windows open at night to let the cool summer night air in.  The light in the kitchen is a beacon for bugs, so I suggested Hunny spray some bug spray on the window.  I didn’t specify which one and he sprayed the window in front of which I was standing and baking.  Bug spray splashed on my arm and lips, so I knew that it got into the batter, which I promptly threw away.  Then my lips started burning and I hopped into the shower.  Not the best way to start off a birthday.

Last week, I thought, Hey, I only need four more ingredients to make my Milky Way cake.  So after I dropped Hunny off at work, I took Cupcake and Yeeyum to Walmart.  We weren’t there very long before Yeeyum got hungry.  Freaked out, screaming hungry.  I picked up some Gerber Graduate Puffs and made my way to the candy aisle.  The candy aisle is also the juice aisle (very clever, Walmart) and Cupcake wanted a juice bottle with Strawberry Shortcake on it.  Instead of arguing about waiting for juice later, I threw it in the cart and kept going.

Even though I had six items total, I let a guy in front of me who only had one item.  I am so glad that I did because it gave me a chance to look in my diaper bag and discover that I did not have my wallet.  The line was already forming behind me, but I had to figure out some way to pay for the snack I opened.  I never do that! Why did I do that?  I scrounged around in my bag and found enough money for the snack, but I didn’t think I could find enough for the juice.  I calmly explain to Cupcake that if I don’t find more change, we can’t get the Stawberry Shortcake juice.  She throws her head back wailing like I told her I was going to execute a family pet.  Praying to find more change before it’s my turn and trying without success of calming Cupcake, God gives me the money I need.  I ended up paying in quarters, dimes, nickles, and pennies.  The cashier even commented on it, “That was close.”

I felt like an idiot as I walked back through the store returning the other items, and I really didn’t feel like driving all the way back home and all the way back to Walmart just for a stupid cake.

I put the cart up and took Cupcake out of the cart.  I started to pick up Yeeyum when a lady approaches me.

“You’re going to think I’m crazy, but…”

That little girl is so gorgeous.  She looks like my sister/mother/grandmother/cousin/Shirley Temple.  Can I take a picture of/hug her?  I smiled ready for whatever compliment would be bestowed on Cupcake.

“.. I want to pay for your items.  I should have done it when we were in the store.”

I just cried.  I have money! I just don’t have it with me.

Then I remembered something I read from another blog, “If someone wants to do something for you, don’t take away their blessing by not letting them.” I put the Littles back in the cart and tried to pull it together to go back in the store and retrieve the items.  We weren’t in the store for very long, but I got to know her pretty well. Her name is Teresa, she works third shift, she loves to bake, her signature cake is a Pina Colada cake, she has her grandmother’s cookbooks and shares them with her little neice.  If you’re ever up in the middle of the night, say a prayer for Teresa.

I do Random Acts of Kindness, but I never thought a Random Act of Kindness would be done to me.

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When Life Gets in the Way

I know.  I know.  I promised a week of celebratory birthday/movie posts.  Those posts  have been postponed until next week.  When I made such promises, I didn’t know what the days ahead held.

Thursday our microwave broke unexpectedly.  That is probably not a big deal for most people, but it’s kind of a big deal for us.  I use the microwave in almost all of my cooking and we don’t really have the money to eat out.  I honestly don’t know how to drink a cup of coffee in a single sitting without having to heat it up in the microwave.  Our landlord looked at it on Monday to make sure it was broken, and someone will come by Friday to fix it.

Last Friday, Hunny came home feeling so dizzy that he was unable to drive and felt like he couldn’t walk.  He asked my mom about it who told us it was probably his blood pressure.  We checked it and it was 141/90.  His systolic was in the early stages for hypertension and his diastolic was prehypertension.  We both knew he was more stressed than usual, but we had no idea it had come to this.  Hunny isn’t the usual candidate for high blood pressure.  He eats well.  He would rather have carrots than cake (I know.  I don’t understand it, either).  He’s at a healthy weight.  The only reason is stress.  He reminded me that high blood pressure is what kills people.  Not a comforting thought.

This weekend we looked at a place to live that we both really liked, but due to a miscommunication (not on our part) it’s not a place that we can move into.

In all this chaos, there was a bright spot yesterday.  We got to see our son.

The best part of all is that he’s healthy and he’s developing normally, and for that all I can say is, “Praise the LORD!”

 

The Best Laid Plans…

I’m not much of a birthday celebrator.   I’ve had a lot of let downs over the years: my name misspelled on the cake – twice in the same year, the party where I invited everyone from school and only two people showed up, the slumber party where my “friends” found and read my diary and complained that it was boring, the birthday I spent in the hospital waiting to hear if my Grandmother was going to live or not… Fun times.

I had decided to not “celebrate” this year.  Just let the day come and go with little to no fanfare or even acknowledgment of the day. Then I thought, No way! Everyone deserves a special birthday.  Even me! I’m even going to celebrate on my blog! In your face, past crappy birthdays.  

My original plan was to do another 30 Days, 30 Movies series, but this time watch a movie starring the person who was celebrating their birthday that day.  Great idea, right?  Not really.  June is a lackluster month for birthdays.  Not every day has an actor (or even director, writer, composer, costumer, etc.) who has worked in film.  Some days have multiple people, and other days no one.  There are days with actors who only do television or haven’t done any movies I’m remotely interested in watching (Sorry, Jim Nabors).

Compounding the situation is the current chaotic state of my life.  I’m six months pregnant and I’ve been diagnosed with ITP.  Despite the poor state of my health, God is keeping Peapod (that’s what I’m calling him now) healthy.  He looked normal in the sonogram I had a couple months ago and his heartbeat is strong.  Next week will be the beginning of my third trimester, which should be exciting.  It’s not.  Hunny and I still haven’t found a place to live.  Our one bedroom apartment feels like it’s shrinking around us.  There’s not enough room for Cupcake to play here and I don’t have the energy to take her for walks.  She’s having trouble taking naps.  That wouldn’t be a big deal if I didn’t need to take naps.  So, this is how I’ve been feeling lately:

It’s hard to celebrate when you feel like this.  But I’m doing it anyway!  Next week I’m going to share my favorite June birthdays, and I will try to enjoy my birthday.

Christmastime is Here or (I’m Overwhelmed, Charlie Brown)

With all the birthdays, anniversaries, and celebrating Jesus’ birth, this is one of the busiest times of the year for my family (I mentioned a little bit about it here).  Throw in a couple of weddings, and I’m stressed out.  As in right now.

Did you know that I’m a bridesmaid?  And I’m wearing this in the wedding…

 

It’s a lovely dress, but shoulders and arms are its main focus.  Neither of which are one of my assets (How many women walk around thinking their arms look amazing?  Other than Michelle Obama and Kelly Rippa, not many).  So I need to start working on them.  I honestly have been trying to start an arm exercise regimen for several month now.  It’s just so hard for me to exercise.  I have to trick myself into it, and there isn’t an arm exercise that makes you think you’re having fun.

There are two more bridal showers before the wedding.  Then the wedding is on a Friday, which complicates things for Hunny job-wise.  He was supposed to be in a wedding two years ago.  He asked off for that Thursday and Friday because it was out of state.  He was told he conditionally had those days off, then they were taken from him.  We weren’t able to attend, and our friends had to find someone else to fill his spot.  This wedding isn’t out of state, but we’re kind of in the dark about where we are supposed to be and when.  I’m just praying it all works out.

Then there are the birthdays I have to get ready for.  My father’s is probably the most nerve-wracking.  I love him dearly, but he drives me crazy sometimes.  I ask him what he wants for his birthday and I get, “I haven’t really thought about it.”  Last year for Christmas, I bought him one of his favorite TV shows from the 90’s on DVD.  It sat on the shelf, intact in its shrink-wrap, for months.

I also have to gather the Christmas decorations from my parents garage and put them up in our apartment.  I have to put together some handmade Christmas gifts and gather the materials I need to wrap them.  Thinking of all the things I need to do makes me feel physically sick, which brings me to you.

I don’t want you to get lost in the mix.  I want to share what little is left of my Christmas cheer with you.  So I devised a plan.  I am going to give you 12 Days of Christmas {Polite and (paranoid) Style}.  Starting December 13th, I’m going to share something with you daily leading up to the most important day – Christmas.  Between now and then, I’m taking a hiatus from posting.

I hope all my American readers had a blessed Thanksgiving.  A blessed weekend to all!  I’ll see you next month!

Happy Birthday to Us or (The One Year Anniversary of this Blog)

One year ago today, Polite and (paranoid) was born.  I started this blog as an outlet for writing, a way to break writer’s block, and a distraction from my employment status or lack thereof.  I am really excited about this day and a little surprised that it is here.  This is not the first blog I have written.

I started a blog six years ago that had maybe three posts.  I was writing it as a character, like that girl who was a youtube sensation until it was discovered that she wasn’t a teenager and two middle aged dudes were writing her vlog.  I was hoping that I would become an internet hit like that girl, but I had trouble coming up with fake daily events for a fake person.  You would think this would be easy for a writer.

I started another blog a year later to have an outlet for my surly side, but she’s kind of a pest and I don’t really care for her.  I prefer to diminish her, which has worked pretty well so far.  You should have seen my surly side as a teenager… YIKES!  And I formally apologize to everyone who knew me then.

I started a blog about movies three months before I started this blog.  I mainly wrote about movies I watched on Netflix, but I was kind of intimidated by all the other movie reviewing blogs out there.  So I thought I’d start one that was more about who I am than what I think about movies.

After I started this blog,  I felt lost and didn’t know where this was going.  No one was reading my posts, but I’m not a blogger.  I’m a screenwriter primarily.  I was confused.  I didn’t understand why no one was reading my blog (I’ll let you in on a little secret.  Other than Hunny, no one I know reads this blog.  A few of my friends know I have a blog, but they don’t read it because I haven’t given them the website… Hey!  Don’t look at my surly side that way, it isn’t her fault that they didn’t ask).  I didn’t write during the holidays.  But I did enjoy spending time with my family.  When I returned to the blog after the holidays, I had more of a sense of what I wanted to blog about.  Even though I am still not where I want to be (as a writer in general), I’m having fun enjoying the bumps along the road and sharing them with you.

Instead of asking you to send me a gift, which would be appropriate considering one does receive gifts on their birthday, I am giving you the opportunity to win a copy of Day 24’s movie, The Thin Man!  In order to win, you have to do one of the following steps:

  1. Subscribe to this blog
  2. Like or Comment on a blog post (it doesn’t have to be this one)
Those who already subscribe are automatically entered in the contest.  If they have commented or liked a post, they have a second entry.  BONUS chance to win by:
  • Referring a friend to my blog or twitter account (let me know which friend of yours is following me so you get credit)
Super easy!  Three chances to win The Thin Man.  Happy Birthday to us.

This Could Be Yours

yes, even I will be 30 eventually

My plan/goal was to do a post every Monday.  It’s Friday, and I haven’t posted in a while.  It’s a total cop out to say that I’ve been busy, but I’ve been busy.  My life is pretty hectic, and I know that I am not the only one with a hectic life or the desire to be creative that gets squelched pretty easily by the drudgery of daily living…  Moving on.

I’m tired of all these women, seemingly afraid to turn 30, going on a blog quest.  I will be 30 eventually.  What’s wrong with 30?  I blame Julie.  If it weren’t for her super popular blog, book, and movie starring adorable Amy Adams and amazing Meryl Streep; ladies would not be making a dress a day or going on a billion dates.  Even one of my friends has a list of books she wants to read before she turns thirty.

First of all, I don’t begrudge these wonderful women of coming up with a creative thing to do and blog about.  Making a list of things you want to accomplish is smart.  As the saying goes, “If you don’t have a plan, you plan to fail.”  Going a step further, Proverbs 29:18a says “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”  But what does turning thirty have to do with it?  I haven’t done much research on it, so please let me know if there are any, but I don’t know of many men who are doing something before they turn 30.

Second of all, these ladies are making me look bad.  As a creative person, I feel like people look at me like, “Hey, you’re going to be thirty.  What are you going to do for it?”  Um, celebrate?  I like to bake, but I’m not going to bake 365 pies the year before I turn thirty.  I like to sing, but I’m not put up 365 videos of me singing karaoke the year before the big 3 – 0.  I get enough pressure from my mother to “do something” to drive the most sane and self-confident person insane without having strangers make me feel bad.

From what I’ve heard, your 30’s are great!  You don’t worry as much about what other people think about you and become more comfortable in adulthood.  Some people get in the swing of their careers or new families or start a family.  One of my personal New Year resolutions was to enjoy the moment. I’m still working on it.  For the times when I’m thinking about the future, it’s good to know that it will just get better and better whether or not I turn thirty.