Bless My Heart

the improvement of a southern girl



I started my new year today. I know I’m a little early, but I don’t want to wait. 2011 was a cruddy, cruddy year for me. Despite my best efforts, it just never got any better. Within a 12 month span, I had surgery to remove cancer from my leg, a continually disappointing and unsuccessful season of trying to conceive a child, a miscarriage, and a surgery to remove a 10 cm tumor and it’s host ovary.

I’m so over last year.

I woke up this morning and went to the gym. I started a new eating regime (I hate the word “diet”). I went through a stack of paperwork that needed to be tackled. I did laundry and paid bills and baked bread for my children. I sat in the sun. I did a favor for someone. I played fetch with my dogs. I enjoyed silence. I created hope for myself. Hope for a new year of happiness and less worry. I have faith that it is going to happen.

I see a new year in front of me. I see one that has my family and I going to another level in our life. Exciting and frightening and NEW. When I teach my young students something more advanced in class, they always say “but this is hard!”. I tell them, “It’s not hard, it’s just new.” They almost always accept this reasoning and continue on with their work. I’m ready for a NEW life. One that is not difficult to convert to after this past year, but one that is undiscovered. Unlearned.

My family and I went to a service at our church on Christmas morning. I think it was the first time I’ve been in an actual church building on the 25th day of December. The kids were with us instead of going to kids church. Our church family is always good about greeting each other and making you feel welcome, but it was so much more on Sunday morning. There was an excitement in the air. Friends hugged each other more tightly. Strangers looked each other in the eye and smiled a genuine greeting. The pastor spoke about  BEING the presence of the Lord for the world to see, and feel. No more in my life has that message hit my heart like it did on Christmas morning. My husband, my little blonde babes and I lit our candles as the lights dimmed and the music played. Being the light in a dark world, that’s what it’s all about. That’s a part of my new year.

I’m not going to let the stress of a to-do list take my smile away. I’m not going to let house work or school work pile up to a point where I have to say “no” to my kids when they want to snuggle or play. Abby told me yesterday that we don’t snuggle very much anymore because I’m always busy. It broke my heart, but it is true. I am going to change that. I am going to make her world NEW again as well.

I realized a few weeks ago that I am not the girl my husband started dating. I have watered down myself, for whatever reason. I am not as funky as I used to be. I’m not as crazy. He liked that (at least I think), and somewhere along the lines I made myself conform into a “safe zone” of matrimony and motherhood. Yuck. I’m not that kinda girl, y’all. 😉

It’s time to start anew. On December 27th, 2011. I’m 2/3 of a day into it already, and I’m liking what I see.



Bless MY Heart….

I really never intended this blog to be a way to chronicle my tribulations and illnesses, but to be a log of my journey to my “ideal” life. The one I see inside my head and inside my heart.

I’m getting there. Just not the way I intended.

Soo………  my last post was rather vague, but I was going through something that is not necessarily – well – socially acceptable as an answer to “How you doing, Juli?”, I guess you could say.

–“Good morning, Juli! How are you doing?”–

— “Oh, nothing much. Just had a miscarriage this weekend and now I’m back at work when all I want to do is lay in bed and wallow in grief. How are you?”—

Nobody wants to have that conversation. Not really. Because then, things get REAL. And so many of us are afraid of anything REAL. Keep smiling and ignore it and maybe it’ll go away. It doesn’t, by the way… go away. It will just fester.

So yeah, I had a miscarriage last month. We have been trying and trying and trying and then we were pregnant. Two positive pregnancies tests. Excitement. Nervousness. Slight freakouts and a bunch of happy smiles. I want another baby. The Man wants another baby. We like babies. We like being parents. I even have pictures of my positive pregnancy tests on my computer. I was saving them for a big blog post.

The Man told me to wait. Not to tell anyone. We should wait a while. We are older. You never know.

I lost the baby at 5 weeks. I was with my band at a football game. I was dying inside, but BY GOD, DON’T TELL ANYBODY. People don’t talk about such things.

Screw that. But yet, I stayed relatively quiet.

Enter the lump in my belly. I started noticing it a few weeks before my positive test. I wistfully thought it was a growing uterus (even though that didn’t happen for the first two). After I miscarried, it was still there. Weeks went by, it was still there. Especially noticeable in the morning as I woke up. My full bladder pushing up whatever it was so that it changed the shape of my figure. A hard lump. It is increasingly painful. Like right now. Yeah, it hurts.

I made an appointment with my ob/gyn. I had already made one for my positive pregnancy test, but after the loss, I called and cancelled it, talking with the nurse over miscarriage details. I told them I didn’t know if it was something residual from the loss, or maybe I had a fibroid growing. We have a family history of fibroids. It was my best guess.

My appointment was yesterday. I had to take the day off since it was midday appointment. I was expecting him to say I had a fibroid and us schedule a treatment. Or maybe for him to find nothing and call me crazy. I drank a bunch of water on the way there so my bladder would push it up like it does in the morning. I didn’t want to be called crazy.

So there I was waiting on the table with my “blanket”, or what should be called “huge cheap napkin”, covering my lower naked half. My bladder is full and I need to pee, like I do every 20 minutes, because whatever is inside of me is pushing on my bladder and taking up too much space. I wait. He enters. He feels my abdomen, right bellow my belly button. “Well, something is definitely there”. Yes, I’m not crazy. “Let’s take a look with the ultrasound”.

2 seconds pass. “Yeah, you have something in there.”

It’s not a fibroid. It’s a cyst. On my right ovary. It’s huge. 10.6 cm huge. Grapefruit huge. It’s pushing everything around and taking me over.

Look at my fluid-baby. I’m not so very proud.

He tells me we need to get it out of there before things get complicated. It can rupture. It can twist off the blood supply to my ovary. It can cause lots of pain. Yeah. Let’s get it out.


By a laparotomy (C-section cut).

I’ll be out of commission for 3 weeks. Full recovery period of 6 weeks.

Well holy shit.

He will try to save my ovary if at all possible. Probably not. I should be left with one ovary and a working uterus, though, so I am still planning on making another blonde beauty at some point. They will send the cyst to test for cancer. He says the chances of that are low. Pray.

So there I am. Here I am. I have two school days to get my classes in order. Find a substitute. Four days to clean my house enough so that it can sustain itself for weeks until I can get on my feet again. What about my Christmas concert? My poor students. I keep failing them. My poor husband that will have to carry my load. My poor sweet girls that I will not be able to hold up in my arms.

I am a 33 year old worn out bag of bones.

But also, I am not.

I am still that woman on a journey to her “ideal life”, as I stated in the beginning of this post. I see myself on the other side. I see myself in my head, the way I have always wanted to be.

I am greater than the sparrow…..   Luke 12:7

I have wings of an eagle…..  Isaiah 40:31

I am the phoenix that rises from the ashes.

The Sparrow. The Eagle. The Phoenix. I see a tattoo in my future 😉