if the shoe drops, i know a cobbler.

I know terrible things have happened to good people for as long as good people have been around to have terrible things happen to them.

Before 2007 I didn’t know anyone with a special needs child, I certainly didn’t know anyone who had lost a child. I didn’t even know anyone who had experienced a miscarriage aside from my mom (which had she not had a miscarriage, I wouldn’t be here.) Hell, I’m not even sure I knew a Jewish person. (Oh Utah…)

Three years later and it’s safe to say those above statements have changed.

I worry a lot more than I used to. I’ve watched my friends get really sick, have surgery, get in accidents, lose babies, lose spouses, lose houses, experience natural disasters and even lose everything they own.

The possibility of horrible things happening probably isn’t a whole lot higher than it was three years ago, but my awareness is higher, I listen for that other shoe a lot more than I used to.

However, the world has become a lot smaller since I started living some of it online. I almost wonder if google has seen a drop in use as social social media rises. Real people (often strangers) talking to each other online. Telling their stories.  Within 24 hours of posting about Addie’s CVS someone told me about another mom in a completely different part of the country who’s son has the same condition.

It’s one thing to read a medical article about your child’s sickness, it’s a completely different thing to email a real person and share battle stories of catching vomit midair.

If I were to get in my car and drive right now I could end up at a friends house no matter what direction I drove in or how long I drove for. If something were to happen to my family I would have real people to talk to. Real people who have been there and lived to tell the tale. (road trip!)

Would I rather go back to living in my safe little bubble where bad things only happen in the newspaper? No. Because I wouldn’t have you and your unending (and sometimes useless) knowledge.

Very few people hear a shoe drop in a bubble, leaving one feeling alone and vulnerable.

And alone is a horrible place to be.

I’m so happy right here with you. No matter what.

(Also, are shoe fixers still called cobblers? Or should I get my nose out of fairy tales and into 2010 vernacular?)

the other one.

There’s something very strange about holding your friend’s new baby when she says “Stay here, I’ll go get the other one.

gemma and evaline

When she brought “the other one” my head nearly exploded. I don’t want to say I picked a favorite, but you guys, “the other one” and I must have known each other in a previous life.

the photo that made momo cry.

anna and evaline

gemma

Addie told my friend Anna that she’d be happy to come over and babysit “I’m an excellent babysitter!” She announced in the car on the way over.

addie and i found a baby to borrow.

evaline

I could have sniffed those little nuggets of baby until I had simply sniffed them of all there was to sniff. How something so tiny becomes something so opinionated in the length of a presidential term proves to me that maybe God really does know what He’s doing.

sparkles on the inside.

I can always tell when Addie is being contemplative in the back of the car. Her eyes narrow, she mumbles a bit to herself and stares out the window. She grows quiet, and then it starts…

Mom? How does Jesus make babies?

Well, there are spirits up in heaven and when a baby is put in a mom’s belly Jesus puts the spirit in the baby. Then the baby is born.

So, where’s the spirit?

It’s inside you.

Can you see it?

No.

So you’re telling me a spirit is like a firework that sparkles on the inside?

Yes. Yes I am.

addie and i found a baby to borrow.

when infertility affects friendships.

There isn’t much else out there like infertility. There’s no outward signs of it, it is both isolating and humiliating, many times there’s no logical explanation for it and most of all? Everyone has their own opinions on it.

“Don’t give up hope!”

“You worry about it too much, just relax, it will happen!”

“I had this one friend who couldn’t get pregnant and then…!”

Those of us who are left with no babies have learned to smile through these comments. Or at least stuff the pain in our hearts that results from hearing these comments deep down where they won’t offend those naive enough to say such things. Other times we turn to our most trusted girlfriends or partners and we rant, rave and cry through the reminder that something about our parts doesn’t work right.

It is a right and a priviledge as a woman to bear children. Sure boys can pee standing up, but we? WE CAN MAKE PEOPLE. Well, some of us can. And when that ability to make people is taken away? We’re left feeling like this strange middle gender, with boobs and periods, but no babies and certainly unable to pee standing up.

Knowing that my body worked at least once, that it made a perfect little person adds to the frustration. Imagine banging your head against a wall over and over. Finally a million dollars falls out of the wall. Hooray! Of course you’re going to keep banging your head against the wall, of course it hurts and it’s frustrating and it consumes your every thought, but for the chance at another million dollars? BANG BANG BANG! And no matter how much anyone explains how illogical it is to keep banging, or maybe to try another “get a million dollars” tactic, you’re going to keep banging until YOU are ready to stop.

Although I’m not sure anyone is ever really capable of stopping. The urge to try that wall just one more time…maybe this time it will work…that urge will always nag, somewhere.

Silly little things can set off the deep stabbing hurt of infertility. The swollen belly of a stranger, a facebook status update, filling out Kindergarten admission papers and having to leave the “other siblings” column empty, even buying a new car.

There isn’t much I can say about infertility that hasn’t already been said by other brilliant voices on the topic throughout the Internet.

But I can say this.

I have braved the trenches of the completely hideous emotions that result from the bitterness and anger that I allowed to overtake my heart and mind when I was deep in them. I was blinded by jealousy and anger. Some of the more mild thoughts were “Why her and not me?”  ”She can’t even take care of the other kid she has.” then they became more intense “Another one? Really? Does she even realize her other kids aren’t that great?” to the worst, I was actually happy when someone had a miscarriage.

Me.

Happy about a miscarriage.

That’ll show her! Teach her to talk about her pregnancy so much!

I’m ashamed that I ever allowed a thought like that to pass through my mind. I don’t care how much I hurt at the time, her pain was not about me. It never will be. The Casey who thought those thoughts deserved to lose friends. She was going rotten from the inside out.

Any difficult life situation will cause unavoidable thoughts to pop up in someones head. And just as we can’t keep a bird from landing on our head, we can very well keep it from making a nest while it’s there.

To those of you who have to watch a friend struggle with infertility, the truth is that there isn’t much you can do aside from be a friend. You will never be able to fix her (well, unless you’re a brilliant, brilliant doctor or a genie) but you can listen. Understand that there will be times when your friend is ticked off, but it’s not about you. And there comes a point where if she makes it about you? You need to set her straight. It’s not your fault you can get pregnant and she can’t. You shouldn’t have to change who you are or what your dreams and goals are in life to accommodate the ugly and hurt feelings of another. I can promise you that it’s hard as hell to work through a relationship where this is an issue, but in the end? It’s worth it.

To you others dealing with infertility, especially if you’re in an ugly place, don’t alienate your friends. It’s not their fault if they can and choose to get pregnant. Imagine if your positive test finally came and you called your friend up. How would you want her to react? Angry and distant because you finally got what you wanted? The truth is, your closest friends, and many others around you aren’t afraid of difficult pregnancies or what their insurance will and won’t cover. They aren’t worried about where a baby will fit into their lives and schedules, they are worried about telling you. They are scared to death of hurting you. They are frightened that they are going to lose you as a friend.

So they keep it a secret from you for as long as possible. Sometimes you find out from other sources and the hurt is magnified. But they didn’t keep it a secret from you to hurt you, they kept it a secret because they didn’t want to hurt you.

No matter when you hear it, it is going to hurt. I’m sorry, it is. But the amount of time it hurts will lessen and dull, and eventually jealousy and hurt won’t even be your first reaction. Please don’t take it out on your friend, they will hopefully understand that you may need some time to work through your emotions, work through them as best you can and support her as best you can, you would want (and dare I say expect) the same if the roles were reversed.

As for the friend facing that phone call to tell someone that you’re pregnant? You’re going to have to take a Band-Aid approach. Do it quick. Yes. Your friend is going to feel it. Sorry about that. Remember it’s not your fault. But trust me when I say writing that email or making that call when you think about it is much better than her finding out weeks later through a friend of a friend, because that’s the equivalent of pulling that bandage off millimeter by millimeter, hair by hair.

Infertility is just another thing that we’re all going to have to learn to get along on. Rarely, if ever, is anyone ever going to understand both sides. Love, patience, understanding and forgiveness are all going to have to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

Cupcakes, fruity drinks with umbrellas and stupid movies with vampires don’t hurt either.

ten things…blogher style.

10. Alexis. Thursday night didn’t go so well for me. I was working the crowd at the Social Luxe Lounge when I was hit upside the head with panic for whatever reason. I ended the night crumpled up in a corner crying. I’m giving God complete credit for somehow allowing Alexis to find me, whereupon she gathered me and my stuff and ran interference for me out of the party, up 6th avenue and back to the safety of my hotel room. Alexis? Thank you, whether you are aware of it or not, you answered a very desperate prayer that night.

Alexis

9. The Serenity Suite. What a brilliant idea Maggie had to come up with a safe place for those of us with any sort of social hiccup, be it depression, anxiety, the pressure to drink or just plain overwhelmedness. Huge kisses to Heather for organizing as well, BlogHer for allowing it and all my fellow hostesses for hosting it.

annie and maggie.

to keep reading…click more below.

[Read more...]

a funny thing happened on the way to the fair.

I was supposed to be here, taking pictures with her.

where I was supposed to be.

But I ended up here. For two and a half hours.

Indiana Traffic.

You know it’s bad when people start getting out of their cars and have picnics in the median.

Indiana Traffic.

But! Sometimes a guy busts out a guitar nine cars up and you just happen to have your camera. So you walk up nine cars (hey, you don’t have anywhere else to be) and ask to take his picture. You also may or may not end up with a new facebook friend. (You may also have grand fantasies about one of your facebook friends catching his eye after you post the picture, they end up dating, getting married and having babies. And then when people ask how they met you’re the catalyst of the coolest “how you met story ever.” Also may or may not be made into a movie in your little fantasy.

stuck in a traffic jam, the guitars and the cameras came out.

You finally make it to the fair.

Indiana State Fair 2010 (yay!)

The night is perfect.

Indiana State Fair 2010 (yay!)

The smells are intoxicating. You consider eating everything, hell, you’ve done it before.

Indiana State Fair 2010 (yay!)

Indiana State Fair 2010 (yay!)

Indiana State Fair 2010 (yay!)

Indiana State Fair 2010 (yay!)

Indiana State Fair 2010 (yay!)

Indiana State Fair 2010 (yay!)

Indiana State Fair 2010 (yay!)

Indiana State Fair 2010 (yay!)

Indiana State Fair 2010 (yay!)

Indiana State Fair 2010 (yay!)

Indiana State Fair 2010 (yay!)

You leave happy.

Indiana State Fair 2010 (yay!)

Indiana State Fair. Fourth year, I’m just in love this year as I was four years ago.

stepping away…

I have to take a break.

I have to step away.

I have to sign out of facebook, google reader, flickr, twitter and my email.

I have to close the laptop, turn off the wireless.

I have to.

I’m just staring at the screen. It’s 74 degrees outside.

Time to hit the reset button…

Take care of yourselves please.

solace.

(So this kind of sounds like a desperate cry for help, which it’s not. I’m just overwhelmed after the past three weeks. I need to feel bored. Or feel as though I’ve accomplished something that doesn’t involve a power source. I hope you’ll recognize if you’re overwhelmed too. Step away, the Internet will still be here when you get back. Promise. It always has been for me. Worn out bloggers are not happy bloggers. Worn out friends, moms and wives cannot be good wives, friends or moms.)

forty by forty.

1. Go on a one horse open sleigh ride.

2. Win a trophy.

3. Get a photo published in a magazine.

4. Lie on the floor of the Sistine Chapel.

5. Attend the Monarch Butterfly migration in Mexico.

6. Write a book.

7. See Green Day in concert.

8. Visit all 50 states (even you North Dakota). (26 down!)

9. Work for Hallmark.

10. Attend a black tie event.

11. Get a passport.

12. Disneyworld. The whole nine yards Disneyworld.

13. Take Cody to a Broncos game.

14. Learn how to wear red lipstick and look good doing it.

15. Grow a garden, flowers preferably.

16. Be the weight on my drivers license for longer than a week. (127.)

17. Rescue a cat, an old one no one wants.

18. Visit 15 different temples, not in Utah. (4 down. Chicago, Louisville, Palmyra and Vegas.)

19. Have a surprise birthday party (planned by someone else, obviously).

20. Go on a cruise.

21. Ride (on, let’s be honest) a Harley.

22. Fund another family’s trip to the temple.

23. Pet a tiger.

24. Ride a train in Europe.

25. Own an L-Series lens.

26. Get a present from Tiffany’s in a Tiffany’s box.

27. Complete a project 365.

28. Win a blue ribbon from the Indiana State Fair. (Win a 2nd and 3rd place ribbon from the Indiana State Fair.)

29. Read all of Shakespeare’s plays. And understand them.

30. Eat a cannoli in Little Italy.

31. Get a Bachelor’s degree.

32. Act in a play. On stage. (Again.)

33. Take a vacation with just my mom. (October, maybe!)

34. See a Broadway Show. On Broadway. (twice!)

35. Be debt free.

36. Fly first class.

37. Become a possible bone marrow donor.

38. Get married in Vegas (to Cody, duh).

39. Eat a beignet in New Orleans.

40. Help set a world record.

4273 days to go.