Marriage

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Welcome to the Second Decade

Published April 26, 2021 by Malia

If you’re new to the blog, or it’s been awhile since you visited, let me catch you up on what life has been like.

Ten years ago, I started this blog when I moved from Nebraska to North Dakota. I was going through a bad time. I was lost and heartbroken, and I needed to get as far away from Nebraska as I could. North Dakota may not sound like the optimal place to run away to, but I fell in love with Grand Forks. By the December of 2012, I found myself moving back to Nebraska. There were a few reasons that prompted the move, but the main ones were a type 2 diabetes diagnosis and running out of money for school (I was working on my bachelor’s for the umpteenth time).

January 2013-January 2016 saw the following happen:

-I worked in a medical lab.

-I began dating, and got married to the boy. That’s how I referred to him on here for the longest time. His name is actually Tom, and to this day I firmly believe that the best choice I ever made was agreeing to go on a date with him.

-Early Term miscarriages 1 & 2.

January 2016-February 2017

-Tried being a homemaker, it was a bit of a disaster.

-We blew up our car engine by throwing a rod. This led to a giant headache trying to replace the engine. Pretty sure by the time we sold the car we had replaced the engine 4 times. Important lesson kids, always stay on top of your car’s oil levels and changes. It’s and expensive problem you don’t want to deal with.

-We were so broke, and I completely lost hope that things would ever get better. It was a really dark time.

February 2017-April 2018

-I went to work in the lab at our local pediatric hospital.

-I was sick all the time, mostly with respiratory infections.

-Was officially diagnosed with PCOS. I’d been fighting to get someone to officially diagnosis it since 2012. It’s awful trying to get female reproductive health issues diagnosed and treated.

-Decided to leave the job mainly due to my rapidly deteriorating health.

-Adopted an 11 year old Puggle. She’s my first dog ever, and she’s my baby.

-Early term miscarriage 3.

April 2018-August 2019

-Attempt #2 of being a homemaker, again was a bit of a disaster.

-Got officially diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety, and depression. I already knew I was struggling, but it was really helpful to finally have an actual diagnosis.

-It was a dark time, but also a time where I learned quite a bit about myself.

August 2019-March 2020

-Went back to the hospital lab job as a casual employee.

-My grandmother passed away.

-Early term miscarriage 4.

March 2020-Now (April 2021)

-At the end of February 2020, my job was going really well. I was getting healthy, and was finally losing weight. I was on top of the world, and when a full time position opened up I decided I was ready. Let me just say right now, if I had known what was going to hit by mid-March, I would’ve never gone to being full time.

-Working in a hospital lab, during the first 9 months of Covid was a special level of Hell. Eventually, I may be able to write more about it, but I’m not mentally or emotionally in a place where I can do that yet.

-The last week of December 2020, my mental/physical/emotional health bailed on me. I’d been trying so hard, for months, to hold it together. I kept telling myself if I could just keep going eventually things would better. At 2 a.m. on 12/28 I was sitting in the shower, sobbing, and I knew I was officially at my breaking point. Months of barely sleeping, high stress, panic attacks, crying all the time, and constant nightmares when I would manage to sleep had all taken their toll. I was put on leave through January, with the intention that I would be heading back to work. I had countless doctor appointments, and by the end of January I came to the realization that there was no way I would be ready to go back to work. So, I chose my health and my sanity over my paycheck and benefits. I know I made the right choice, but it wasn’t an easy choice.

-Early term miscarriage 5.

What does the second decade look like?

I’ll be completely honest with you, right now I qualify a good day as one where I get out of bed and put pants on. Overall, I’m not doing very good. I am starting to heal from last year, but it’s slow going. Right now, I can only manage baby steps, but I’ve decided baby steps of progress are better than no progress at all.

I’ve been encouraged in therapy to return to writing, and right now the easiest writing for me to do is this blog. And since it’s important to have goals, I will end this post with a small list of goals I have for the next few years:

Goal 1: Getting healthy so that expanding our family (whether biologically or by adoption) is an actual possibility.

Goal 2: Moving The Banana Gift from being a dream to a reality.

Like I said, it’s a small list. I’ll be back tomorrow!

Traditions

Published January 1, 2020 by Malia

During my twenties, every January 1st was spent marathoning the entire extended Lord of the Rings. While it is possible to do in one sitting, now that I’ve gotten a bit older I’ve discovered it’s also super exhausting. Then, I turned 30, and the tradition changed.

Tom and I had been together almost a year. We were engaged, and it was our first New Year’s Eve. I worked that night, but was done around nine or ten. I drove to Tom’s. He got a bunch of pizza and we sat up half the night eating and playing Diablo 3. Since then, every New Year’s Eve we’ve gotten pizza and played Diablo. Nothing like ringing in the new year by slaying hordes of demons.

This year, tradition shifted. Last night, we went out on New Year’s Eve. Nothing super fancy. Taco Bell and Star Wars. I’ve had a nasty respiratory infection, so it was both super fun and incredibly exhausting.

Today, I’m keeping quiet. Trying to continue getting better. So, we’re doing pizza, Diablo, and rewatching the Clone Wars series. Again, it’s nothing exciting, but it is pleasant and a lovely way to start the new year.

It’s been a long weird decade

Published December 31, 2019 by Malia

12/31/09. If you had asked me what my life would look like ten years in the future, I would’ve given you an answer that bears little resemblance to what actually happened.

How has it turned out? Let me see…

-I’ve lived in two different states.

-I’ve worked in two different medical labs.

-I got married.

-I discovered that I’m actually a dog person (I still like cats, but dogs are my favorite).

-I’ve discovered a genuine love of crafting.

-I’ve had two surgeries.

-I’ve had miscarriages.

-I’ve lost the best grandparents in the world.

-I’ve experienced evolution of relationships with both family and friends.

-I’ve learned to think for myself.

-I’ve learned hard truths about myself.

-I’ve been given gifts I never expected that have quite literally changed my life and given me back hope that I lost long ago.

Life has mountains and valleys. The last decade was filled with mostly valley, and as much as it hurt, as much as it tried to destroy me, I’m ending the decade able to say, “I’m still here.” I can’t say I’m ending the decade a better person, but I’m definitely ending it more self-aware and in touch with the world around me.

So, what about the next ten years? Honestly, I don’t know what life will look like a decade from now. If God gives me another ten years (which I really pray He does), I know that I don’t want to waste them. I don’t want to reach 12/31/29 and find that I’ve accomplished nothing. I do know that for the first time in my life I have a dream of something that I want to do, that’s not just a pipe dream (I know I’m being a bit vague, and I intend to flesh this out in upcoming posts). I know that I have certain talents, and I’ve got a calling on my heart to use those talents, and to give. I know what gives me joy, and what my purpose is. Now the trick is to dive in and not give into my fear of failure.

I survived the decade.

I want to thrive in the next.

Let’s redo the floor ourselves, we said. It’ll be fun, we said.

Published May 30, 2018 by Malia

I am not skilled when it comes to any kind of house or auto maintenance. Fortunately, I married someone who is.

Years ago, when we got married, we discussed eventually redoing the living room. There was a pointless wall, and awful carpet. The goal was to remove the wall, pull up the carpet, and lay tile. We’ve never had much money, so this whole plan fell into the category of “Someday.”

Then came the Saturday, early last fall. We had gone to the ReStore (think thrift store meets Menards). We needed a doorknob, and as we wandered through the store we stumbled across our dream tile. The tile we’d spent years planning to place in the living room. Not only did they have the tile, they had enough for us to be able to redo the living room, and maybe even one of the bedrooms. Even better? We could actually afford to buy it.

We made several trips with my father-in-law’s pick-up, and brought the tile to our garage. It would spend the next few months sitting there, collecting dust. During Thanksgiving weekend, the wall came down. Then we ripped up the carpet.

The furniture all got moved to the dining room and the basement. The piano moved into the kitchen.

The boy’s job takes him out of town for 3-5 days every week. The only time he’s typically home is on the weekend. His job is exhausting, so by the time he gets home he has little energy to do anything. Which means progress on the floor has been slow.

Six months of this has been a bit wearing. Fortunately, though, I can see the light at the end of this tunnel. We spent all of Memorial Day weekend grouting. I can best describe it as feeling like we’re icing a cake we’ll be looking at for the next 15-20 years.

The grouting isn’t perfect. There’s so many mistakes, you can definitely tell it was a diy project. There’s one spot that’s so bad, we spent hours trying to fix it, and eventually agreed that we’re going to put furniture over it and never move said furniture.

I’ve taken numerous showers, and am still covered in a layer of grime that I fear will never come off unless I figure out how to shed my skin like a snake.

The cuts, the dirt, the sore muscles, and the exhaustion are all worth it. We’re going to have a beautiful living room. It won’t be perfect, but neither are we. I wouldn’t feel at home if it were perfect.

I’m still trying to figure it all out.

Published March 21, 2018 by Malia

I was going to write this whole post about how frustrated I am that I can’t maintain a “normal” body temperature, and constantly run on the cold end of the thermometer. However, I was boring myself as I was writing it. Which means all you lovely people would be equally bored. So, I’m gonna set that post aside for awhile. It’s kind of funny, but it’s taking too long to get to the funny.

Instead, I’m going to take a moment to assure the world at large that as of right now I am NOT pregnant, and not adopting either. Maybe someday. Apparently, a previous post from a few weeks ago was a bit misleading, since I mentioned that there were some changes ahead in my life. Said changes are more of the “I’m trying to figure out what I want ro be when I grow up” variety.

There’s this thing about being married. You have to take the other person’s needs and wants into account. This isn’t always the easiest, especially when I spent the first twenty-nine years of my life being very single, and my choices really only affected me. Having the flu and then bronchitis and now bronchitis again (it’s not officially been diagnosed this time, but this is not my first bronchitis rodeo) has provided me with a ridiculous amount of time to think. There are things that I know the boy would like of me (his top love language is Acts of Service). They aren’t difficult things, and certainly nothing that is wrong of him to expect and want. I’ve come to realize that those things are far more important to me than so many other things. I know I’m being a bit cryptic, but that’s cause things are still kind of in flux. I just know that I want to be a good wife (especially since he’s such an amazing husband). I want to have the boy want to come home at the end of the week. I want to get healthy.

And my chest is really hurting, so maybe I should go to the doctor and get this bronchitis officially diagnosed…

Stormy Weather

Published July 7, 2016 by Malia

The clock just chimed four, and I’ve been wide awake since 2:30.  I counted 10 Mississippis between the most recent brilliant flash of lightening & the roll of thunder that followed.

 The boy is sleeping deeply beside me.  He’s completely exhausted.  In a few short hours he’ll be awake and gone; a 14-16 hour work day ahead of him.  These are the times I’m glad I don’t currently have a job, because if I did, I wouldn’t see him at all.  

I’m so tired and anxious.  I hate the Metformin.  I get that it’s supposed to help my health, but it also amplifies all my negative emotions and thoughts.  It makes everything feel so scary and overwhelming.  I hate it.  

More lightening.  7 Mississippis that time.  Storm’s getting closer.  

He was a GREAT-Uncle

Published December 31, 2013 by Malia

Brain: You need to put on socks.

Me: Why?

Brain: Because you don’t want your feet to be cold and your toes to get frostbit.

Me:  Is it really that important?

Brain: Yes.  You have to wear shoes to work, and you need socks if you’re going to wear shoes.

Me: Oh.

Brain: Also, don’t forget your lunch.

Well, I remembered the socks and forgot my lunch.  1 out of 2 ain’t bad considering how today went.

My Uncle Mike passed away kind of suddenly this morning, shortly before I went to work.  We’re all still kind of in shock here, hence me actually questioning the wearing of socks.

Uncle Mike was a pretty amazing guy.  He was incredibly smart, and really seemed to love life.  He was my great-uncle, but he was almost like another grandpa to me.  He was very kind to me, and even as I got older he still showed that he cared about me.

When I was little I would get to see him once a year.  We would come home to Nebraska for two weeks during the summer, and he and Aunt Donna would usually kid-sit me one of the nights we were home.  I loved them and their home.  Uncle Mike had a vintage Pong machine that he would hook up for me so I could play.  It was my first encounter with a videogame console, and I was a bit hooked.

At the end of those visits, he would usually slip me a twenty, which-to a kid with no money-was a pretty big deal.

When I was in high school, we were visiting him one night, and he was talking about this foreign exchange student they had hosted years earlier, and how he had told the kid that if they ever got married, he would be at the wedding.  He then turned to me and promised me that when I got married he would be there.  It was funny, because I didn’t even think about it until today while I was at work.  It was so hard when Grampa died because I knew he would never get to attend my wedding (should that magical day ever happen), and now both Grampa and Uncle Mike won’t be there.

When I was in school training to be a vet tech, I was taking Pharmacology.  Uncle Mike was a pharmacist, and he ended up working for the State of Nebraska.  (I’m not sure what he did exactly, but I know that if you were a pharmacist who was not behaving properly, my uncle was the last person you wanted to see walk into your pharmacy).  Pharmo wasn’t an easy class for me, and most of the time I felt that if I had to memorize one more drug that had a name ending in “-myicin/micin” I was going to scream.  When I got through the class, and passed.  Uncle Mike told my Gramma (his sister) to tell me that not only was he proud of me, but also to remember that if something wasn’t hard, it wasn’t worth doing.  This is probably some of the most meaningful advice an adult has ever given me.

So, as 2013 closes, I say good-bye to my uncle, and wish you all a happy and safe New Year’s.

Random Saturday Musings

Published March 9, 2013 by Malia

Oz: The Great and Powerful opened this weekend, and so far all reports I’ve heard from friends are in the positive.  I am anxiously awaiting my turn to see it!

-I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what brings two people together and makes them consider marriage.  I’ve known people who got married simply because they thought the other person had a cute butt (also, looking back, I think there may have been alcohol involved in their decision as well).  What amazed me was that these people were confused as to why they didn’t have a great marriage.  Then, there’s people who marry someone who seems like their perfect counterpart, and things either go brilliantly, or fall apart so terribly it makes others question whether marriage is really that great of an idea.  After watching The Mirror Has Two Faces again (for the umpteenth time) last week, I have to agree with the idea of marrying your very best friend.  I know this isn’t a new thought on planet Earth.  That’s how it should be.  You should marry someone who knows you better than anyone else.  Someone who knows why you do the strange, quirky things you do, and finds it all endearing.  Now, I have no magical idea that marriage is a happy-happy fun time wonderland.  In fact, I know just from observation that it’s ridiculously hard.  It’s tons of work.  Why would you want to try to tackle that with someone who isn’t your best friend, and doesn’t really know you that well?

-Realizing that my weight truly is something I’m using as a defense, I’m making moves forward (somewhat drastic moves, for me at least) to deal with it.  I find myself, sometimes several times a day, having to tell those memories of hurt, “You have no power over me!”  It’s all very Labyrinth.  It’s true, though.  Just because something happened doesn’t mean that it has any right to control who I am or what I do.  Yes, everything that happens serves to shape the person we become, but to live in fear and bondage and pain isn’t okay.

-Every time I watch Thor I come back with the same two questions.  Spoiler-ish alert.  1.  How is it that Thor manages to return to Earth in Avengers?  The end of Thor kind of left him stuck at Asgard.  Is Thor 2 going to solve this?  2.  Why are people such big fans of Loki?  Sure, he’s a great bad guy, but I’m a little weirded out by how girls seem so drawn to him.  He’s malicious and greasy.  Also, the way he toys with those around him is kind of emotionally abusive.

-Daylight Savings Time.  Not really looking forward to it, but am awfully glad there’ll be an extra hour of daylight each evening.

-I solved the issue of fans being mad that–Spoiler Alert!–Matthew was left the way he was at the end of Downton‘s most recent season. At the beginning of next season, he should suddenly regenerate into David Tennant, and we find out that he’s actually The Doctor.  Also, I would love to see the Maggie Smith character as a companion!

 

I don’t care, but maybe I do?

Published December 7, 2012 by Malia

I’m going home this weekend for one night.  There is actually a logical explanation for why I’m going to make a 1,000 mile round trip in approximately 34 hours.  Suffice it to say, it’s a good thing I’m going, even though it’s for one night, because it’ll allow me to take a load of belongings home.

Home.

What a mixture of emotions that thought conjures up.

I’m both excited and terrified of going.  I have such wonderful pipe dream plans of things I hope to accomplish, and yet I find myself obsessing over the fact that I’m going home with no job.  Yes, there are a few places that have indicated interest in possibly employing me (which is more than I had the last time I was unemployed), but there’s such a terror in the unknown.

I keep telling myself that I’m a strong young woman, and I don’t care a fig what everyone else thinks.  This is progress.  Even though a small part of me does care, I’ve at least reached a point where I can say out loud “I don’t care” and 99% mean it.  I think no matter how much we don’t care, secretly we all somewhat have that 1% of desire for approval from others.

I am truly looking forward to seeing my “niece” more than once every 4 months.  Babies grow fast.  I always knew that, but it’s really hitting home with me now that I have this little girl in my life.  She’s so precious, and I just melt when I’m around her.  That’s never really happened for me before with a baby.  I grew up an only child, and babies just weren’t a big part of my life.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve shied away from being around babies.  I think this is mainly due to the fact that when I see a baby, it hurts something deep inside.  It’s this reminder that much as I desire to be a wife and mother (not because I’m wishing I was a 50’s housewife, but because I want to love and nurture), to this point those are things I’ve been denied.  I’ve avoided babies trying to protect myself, and it’s not just babies.

I’ve come to realize that in the last 10 years I’ve built up quite the wall around my heart.  The building has been slow going.  At first, whenever something hurt, or I was rejected, I’d put in another brick.  Then, I began ending things before they could hurt me, which meant there were more bricks being placed around my heart.  I did try, a few times, to take a chance on various things, but all ended in disaster, and  I went from using bricks to welding a metal shield around my heart.  When I was home at Thanksgiving, and I saw baby girl, I realized just how much I’ve sealed my heart off.

I’m going to try, very hard, to remove the shield, and undo the bricks.  I don’t want to be a heartless old hag.  I want to love and be loved.  I want to be able to love and accept myself, even with the laundry list of faults I know I have.  I’m not going to be perfect at it, but I’m going give it my best, and that’s all I can hope to do.