Tag: chicagolina

The power of laughter

laughIt’s probably impossible to play catch-up here, not only because it’s been 6 months, but because it has been a jam-packed 6 months… some of the most surprising of my life.

The summary is that in February, we found ourselves very unexpectedly pregnant. The range of emotions went from terror to shock to utter bliss in the matter of about 10 minutes, and then 2 weeks later, to devastation, as we were told the baby had no heartbeat.

Miscarriage. I have checked that off my bucket list of nightmares I hoped never to face. It sucked. It still sucks. But we survived.

I remember the day I found my laughter again. It was probably 3 or 4 weeks after my D&C. We were lounging in bed on a Saturday morning waiting for the girls to come and jump on us. They did. And for some reason, I grabbed my iPhone and turned on the song “Happy.” (You so know the one). Then I started lip syncing. And dancing. Rod was watching me with the light in his eyes you can only have for the person you adore when she is being completely odd.

And I cracked up. And I couldn’t stop.

That was the day I found myself again. Even though when I look back at my early life, I see a thread of melancholy, the real truth that has arisen as I have “found myself” in adulthood is that I am a joyful person. I smile. I laugh. I embrace happiness. Having a family of my own, becoming a mama, helped me to see that and be that. And while losing a child could have been the thing that changed it (as indeed, it did change me to my core, but that’s another blog), I refuse to let it.

Death doesn’t win.

Fear doesn’t win.

Joy, love, laughter… it will, it must conquer the sad things in life. It will give us wings.

It did this year. But news of another Burton Baby certainly has also helped.  Our first grandchild will be born to Josh and Kirsten this fall! And in May, in the spirit of twofold blessings and almost 3 months to the day we lost our baby, we found out we will be having another, one whose heart is beating and arms are waving.

And I laughed…

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Chicagolina 2014

The holidays were wonderful – the wedding was beautiful.
We said goodbye to my dear Gramma, the day I turned 37.
There are a million thoughts, but also, a few changes, and so,
this space remains, but is perhaps a little less visited these days.

See, I’ve been remade from the inside out over these past 3 years.
Now, I’m focusing work on the outside. I want…and NEED… to be stronger and healthier and for my outside to reflect who I really am.

I am pleased to be featured at A MOTHER’S HEART bi-weekly and ABSOLUTELY GOSPEL monthly. I am also the humbled and proud new co-Senior Editor of TRU Magazine! Please keep visiting… there is always a spot on my Chicagolina beach for you!

chicagolina 2014

day 20: our neighborhood

It has beautifully colored houses of many shades…blues, greens, browns, red, orange, yellow…and then there is ours, which is… butter? cream? I don’t know. It’s plain, but that’s okay, because we can see all the others.

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We have neighbors up and down the streets who say “hi,” who walk their dogs while smiling, who are nice to our girls, who give away bikes and herbs. But more, most importantly… we have neighbors who have become part of our lives.

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Their kids play with our kids.
Their dogs play with our dogs.
They help with bus stop emergencies, couch delivery emergencies, pool pass emergencies, and homework.
They let us hold their babies!
They offer help when they see “we’ve” locked the keys in the van again.
They dawdle with us outside to talk in the backyard and in the front yard.
They smile politely when “we’re” letting our 5 year old “drive” home from the bus stop.
They come to our stuff and invite us to their stuff.
They know our names.
They let us inside.

The struggle of home and roots continues for me, because my perspective has shifted so much from moving and losing stability. But this “haven” in which we’ve lived since June 2012 feels homey and comfortable, looks beautiful, and has embraced us and our girls. So I will exhale, sitting in the rocking chair on my front porch, enjoy the rainbow and the waves, and settle in.

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summer lovin’ happened so fast

The #bestsummerever is quickly transitioning to #readyforfall.

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This week is the culmination of sorts. The last of our summer visitors will say goodbye. Paige is packing to leave for her new life in Charlotte (I need to learn how to spell that) with Shabbach Masters’ Commission on Monday. Then we will begin the countdown to having a kindergartner and first grader.

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The circle of life... is exhausting.

I was pretty sure my emotions were at bay until about an hour ago, when my husband sent me my new phone number. It seems after 2 years and 3 months in a new state, I am finally able to make the change. With the school and with work, it makes sense.

But seeing that 843-xxx-xxxx started me on a road of nostalgia. After all, I’ve been 708 since 1989, when 312 changed and well…whatever. Chicago has a lot of area codes. We had 3 or 4 in the same household. Myrtle Beach has one, and it’s time to embrace it.

 

Other things I’m embracing this week~

Our house is going bye-bye…our house in Illinois, that is. It’s full of details and very typical 2013 economics, but I’m thankful for closing this chapter. It is a house full of beautiful memories… getting married, making a family, bringing our babies home…but it stopped being where I thought of as home a long time ago. HOME is where we are together, my love and me, our kids (as many of them as we can have around!), and whoever is daring enough to call themselves our family. One of the most profound lessons learned for me in the past 2 years and 3 months is that definition of home.

IMG_2699Our wedding anniversary is Thursday. 10 years, baby, 10 YEARS! Yes, we celebrated this in March, on our marriage anniversary. Yes, we got married twice, so we celebrate twice every year. We will be delaying a big date night a little bit because of all the other stuff going on. But really, every day is a celebration with this guy! I’m thankful for the great health God has blessed him with this year. I’m thankful almost every moment of this #bestsummerever involved him being able to play and bask and enjoy with us!

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The week ahead will include scurried calls to update the phone number, turn summer hair into back-to-school hair, find the perfect backpacks, cook an awesome steak-and-fettuccine-alfredo-farewell-dinner, soak in some more free summer movies, find a babysitter to keep on retainer, and…get me to the beach.

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These faces make it easy to have a blast, even when the boat rocks or the waves take us by surprise.

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Lots of mixes metaphors here. I’m on medicine (for just a few days, thankfully) that makes my heart beat fast…and my emotions are trying to keep up with all the crazy change, again.

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Stay happy, friends. Summer isn’t over yet!

2 Years

So what were the questions…?

Basically, they all started with “how long before…?” Some of them were quite simple, but took longer than I’d have thought, like:

– we find family doctors?
– I can go from one end of the strand to the next without using Google Maps, and I don’t panic when someone asks me for directions?
– we don’t immediately turn to tourist traps as our recreational destinations?
– people ask me where to go to get their hair done?
– I have a regular-standing-girls-night-out again?
– I know other parents?
– I say we are going to a Pelicans baseball game or to get Mexican food without smirking?
– I learn that Walmart must be avoided on the weekends from April-August?
– we have a hang-out worthy patio, with party lights?
– we become south-side snobs (again!)?
– we have favorite beaches. Ranked. (for the record, MB State Park, followed by Huntington State Park, followed by Surfside Pier).
– we form opinions about bike week? (for the record, in favor)
– I have random run-ins with people I know? (for the record, that actually, suddenly, seems to be happening more here than it did in the Chicago south suburbs where I lived for 35 years!)

But then, my heart, there are the other questions, the ones I spoke only to myself or my husband… the ones to which I didn’t really want the answers… the ones that I still can’t verbalize, even though now…I know.

They involve moving on…relationships…instincts…feelings…home. They’re a little scary and a lot bittersweet. In some ways, acknowledging the answers to those brings me to the exact same tight rope feeling I had when we first moved.

The last question that shares the answer is: How long will I be the new girl?

Incidentally, the related question that is still unanswered is:
How long will I feel like the new girl?

I hope it’s 3 years…or maybe even 2 and a half.

~

ridearoundwithyouNothing on this ‘adventure’ – and I mean nothing, and I mean adventure – has gone how we thought, planned, hoped. We have lived through some of the hardest times of our life here…and we have celebrated some of the best. And that is what to hope for, it seems… balance, perspective, and faith to face whatever comes.

I can’t be thankful enough for not just the ride, but who shares it with me.

Happy Chicagolina-versary.

~

Wow…two years!