Friday, September 19, 2014

Our Descent

They told me to expect euphoria.

So here I lie one day and six hours into my journey. The dawn is breaking and if I can gather my strength and bring you into my arms I will have reached it. The top of Mt. Everest, The Pinnacle, The Peak.

And I want so badly to see it, you, to breathe in that moment I've earned and I deserve. Every text book, and story, and film I've done nothing but absorb for nine months has led me to this and we're so close now.

I've kept the visions of that glorious ascent into the best moment of my life so clear that all of this pain will have been worth it. The very moment I've dreamed about since I can remember having dreams.

So I push, I push and I sleep because that's all I can do. My attendants look on with family and friends knowing I can do this.

I can.

So inch by inch I bring you across the veil until one mere push is all that separates you from me. With all that I have left you slip into this world and for a few brief moments nothing has ever been more right.

I reach the top and see a vision I've only been lucky enough to imagine in my dreams and now the image seems like maybe it was only a mirage. Because before I can breathe you in, we're falling.


And just like that you're gone.

Gone from my arms and slipped back between my legs and onto the bed and all I can do is watch in silent horror.

They said it wasn't the only important thing. That the experience would change a woman and she deserved the process to be respected. That a healthy baby is what the doctors use to threaten you into submission. That you matter too.

But I'm here and I'm in it and he is all that matters.

Tiny lungs soaked with poison fight and fail to inflate, seconds tick by feeling like hours and I watch in horror.

Call them, Call the ones who we've fought to avoid, let them save him.


I'm still clawing at The Peak. Fighting to regain our position at the top, fingernails bloodied and broken at my attempt but we won't see it again because we're falling.



Why am I tingling?

Perhaps it's the overwhelming urge I have to lay my own life down in exchange for his breath.

But No.

Bags beneath me begin to fill in a warm fluid so familiar yet strange because I've never felt so much of it on the outside of me. Bags drop into a trash can beside me and I see that the very thing that pulses through my veins is now exiting my womb at a rate I'd not ever known possible.

Another blood filled bag hits the can.

We're both fighting for our lives now and I watch in silent bewilderment, could this moment in time possibly be real?

Maybe I will die and he will live and that would be better than what might be.

Tingling, burning, as they fight to extract the very thing my body is refusing to expel because it sustained you for nine months and four days and like a mother sending her baby off to school for the first time, maybe it's not ready. Maybe you can just go back there now and be safe again. But it pools out of me and with it our attachment is severed in ways I won't fully understand until later.

Men, maybe angels appear and bring us closer to the one place I think will save us.

The moment I haven't anticipated comes as we arrive at the hospital and they wheel me away from you.

You're screaming now as my body wretches at the first feeling of being so without you.

I'm not falling now, I've landed on the ground with the stark reality that I'm alone and the top is gone forever.

These people are supposed to save me but in the end only cast a scornful eye my way. I lie in a river of my own blood willing myself to live until my will escapes me and now I'm the one slipping. So easily and comfortably asleep until I'm abruptly woken by the sound of anxiety for my life that has filled the room around me. Bodies hover over and when I ask my own mother if I'm going to die she responds, no, but there can't be certainty in it.

Hours pass before the ones who were supposed to help me, give me the thing my womb gave up, while my body refused to give up my baby. Four bags of someone else's blood are passed into my veins and suddenly I don't even feel like me. Almost a full day has passed and I am so grateful for my own life that I almost forget what brought me here. My own son lies alone on a mat under lights so harsh they chap the skin on his toes. He's lived a full day without the touch of his mother and yet he is thriving.

I think when I see him again we'll be back on our mountain peak together at last. But the first time I glance upon his face my mind is so dulled by my situation that I can't even recognize him. Instead of the baby I held safely in my womb, I see a stranger and I'm sure if his eyes weren't so blurry he'd see one too.

I cry now for so many reasons but mostly because I know we're going to be ok. The next climb won't be a familiar one but we'll get there together, growing stronger in love everyday as our bond becomes real and my body fights to sustain his, I offer him the only thing I have, my milk.

It doesn't happen right away, my mind stays cloudy from the memory of our descent and for so long it's all I can think of.

Then something happens as we make our way up a new unfamiliar path.

One by one he replaces those images for me, until one day, I close my eyes and his face is looking back at me, now familiar, and he tells me it's ok. And I know that it's going to be, even though it wasn't on a day, not so long ago.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


So I officially suck at blogging. If anyone was actually reading this thing they'd be pretty disappointed in my lack of spilling my every life's move (seriously, if you're interested in that just friend me on Facebook, yep I'm one of those). So anyways, without further adew let me just tell you now, THAT WE'RE PREGNANT! Well we're not, technically I just am, but I feel that we is the right thing to say nowadays, makes daddy feel all involved and whatnot. I don't see him putting on a pound (and a stretch mark) every minute though but whatevs. So yes, it is true. We're expecting our first little bambino, yep bambinO.. it's a BOY! Due... like in 4 months *holy shit*. As a matter of fact he is due on my birthday, May 21st and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he stays put until somewhere near May 30th. Our life has a funny way of planting huge milestones on us around that time of the month. Our wedding and the anniversary of when we bought this house, now the birth of our first child. It's all a bit overwhelming although the little mister was every bit planned.

So as you can probably imagine we've kicked it into hyper mode on the renovations. It's 7:22 on a Sunday night and Aaron is still going strong as I type, framing up the new closet for little Mr. No Name's nursery. Since we saw those two lines he has mudded, sanded and primed all the walls in the main living area (I'll post pictures of that at a later time, once the trim and floors are done), completely finished our office and is now chugging away at the babe's room. We're hoping to finish that with enough time left to refinish the hardwood floors before the big arrival but we will see. So yep, there's my big news. We're thrilled. Absolutely thrilled and a little terrified and we both have contemplated heading for the nearest U.S. border and never looking back and/or burning the house down but we're going to make it. It's going to be crazy but we are going to make it just fine.

So here are the pictures! I always find myself asking how I lived with the room looking the way it did for so long when I make these posts. Pretty soon we will have more finished space than unfinished and I won't know what to do with my time anymore. I had hobbies once, right? Oh well, the prodigal son should keep me busy enough for the next 18 years and then I'll start a new blog called Ashley's Midlife Crisis, fun!

 This was what the room looked like the day we bought the house. 

This is what it looked like up until a few months ago when we started making transformations.  

After :)



After- I am in LOVE with this color (Sold at Lowe's- La Fonda Spanish Dancer)


After- Isn't she lovely?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Goodbye Summer, It's Been Swell

So summer's officially ending. I'm a little bit sad. We spent the whole thing working on the outside of the house.. the painting, the deck, the pool. I feel like we barely got to sit down and enjoy any of that hard work. Auh well, I can't complain because the outside is looking fan-freaking-tastic and we all made some memories we won't soon forget. Seriously though, next summer all we have to do is paint the garage and landscape.. lots and lots of landscaping.. but the house, it's done! Man, does that feel nice. Now it's on to lots of messy drywall finishing. I for-see a solid 6 months of cleaning white powder off of every visible surface in my home. After that comes the floor refinishing. It should be exciting figuring out how to move every piece of furniture in the house off of the floors for a week. I think I'll go on vacation during that particular renovation. Psh, I wish.

Alright, alright on to the good stuff.. I know all anyone really wants to see is PICTURES! So here they are.






Aaron always puts his own touch on things <3.

Aaron, me and my Dad headed out to dinner after a long day
of working on the deck. Thanks for your help Dad! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Coming Full Circle- One Year

One year ago my husband and I set out on what is sure to be the biggest feat of our lives. We have slaved over this house and spent countless hours and long weekends doing nothing but tedious labor. While most people our age work their asses off all week long and relax on the weekend, we crave said weekends so that we may have uninterrupted days to get things done. We beat ourselves up if those two days pass by and we don't feel like we've accomplished enough.

Are we where I thought we'd be as far as progress a year from the day we bought this house? No, and I am totally fine with that. I have learned more in this last year than I have in many years combined and above all of the lessons I've been taught, patience has been the most valuable. I have learned to slow down in this life. I have learned to love and appreciate the here and now, something I have struggled with for a long time.

We spent the last two weekends really in awe of the beauty of this house and the beauty of our lives. Two weekends ago, all of my loved one's gathered at my house on my birthday to help paint. It was more fun than I could have imagined and incredibly touching. We laughed and drank and took pictures and even did a little painting. I felt so loved that day, I will never forget it. Last weekend, we celebrated our two year wedding anniversary and coincidentally, the one year anniversary of the purchasing of this house. Two memories I hold near and dear. Aaron woke me up Monday morning to let me know that he had just put the finishing touches on the front porch and that the house was finally ready to be photographed. We waited till that evening and had a mini photo shoot to celebrate both anniversaries at once.

Bright eyed and bushy tailed cause we had no idea what the eff we were in for!

Two years of crazy marriage :).

Before ^

After ^

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I've Got a Vision

This is pretty much what my house looks like today (minus the ridiculously long grass)

It's a beautiful house really. We have thirty plus windows, a handful of interesting butt-outs, a sunroom, awesome deck and screened in porch. All great aesthetically. By no means a rambler. The house's great qualities, are however, all too hard to notice next to the sun faded, blue exterior, rotting trim, and overflowing gutters. It is no doubt, she needs some TLC.

My dad has been talking about coming down for a visit and helping us paint the whole thing come spring. He finally told me a few weeks ago that he'd officially be coming the weekend before memorial day. My birthday weekend! So then my little brain started coming up with ways to spend time with dad, paint my house and also have a fantastic birthday. That's when I came up with this ultra fabulous plan, PAINT PARTY! I sent out my mass text yesterday so it is official. May twenty-first, this pig is getting more than just a little lipstick.

Now on to the fun stuff. What color to paint it? I am so not good with paint choices. The only room that's been painted is our bathroom and it's on our to-do list to be repainted. The grayish purple turned lavender was not what I had in mind. So, I'm kind of  sort of freaking out about picking a color for the entire house.

I love yellow, I love it so, so, so much! It makes me happy. I'm automatically drawn to anything yellow, yellow flats, yellow sundresses, yellow bags, yellow, yellow, yellow. My wedding color? You guessed it, yellow. Oh, what's that you say? You want to see a picture of my gorgeous yellow wedding?? Okay.

Those are my sister in laws, beautiful huh? Anyways.

I AM GOING TO PAINT MY HOUSE YELLOW! I think, with some moral support and after I change my mind 12743985 times.

This is my vision. Buttery yellow siding, very similar to my bridesmaids dresses, not quite white, more cream than white trim, black front door, black shutters (which we'll have to buy, currently the house has none), light gray stain for the porch floor and the front concrete stairs, that same cream for the railings and a black farm style fence with an arbor framing each side of the house. Can you see it? Are you with me?

Here are some photo's I've found to help us all keep said vision:

I like both of these yellows a lot and how cute is the one below with all
the window boxes and overflowing flowers everywhere? Le sigh.

And a fence, similar to this:

with one of these on each side of the house.. all covered in roses. Le sigh again.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Long Time, No Update

Well, it's been about 7 months since my last renovation update. Everyday someone asks me "So are you finished with your house yet?", to which I normally respond by laughing out loud and then bursting into tears. So let me address this question here, once and for all. WE WILL NEVER FINISH THIS DAMN HOUSE! Eh, so maybe I'm exaggerating but seriously, we are nowhere near done. I feel like we've barely started.

We have, however, completed 2 major projects since my last blog post. We gutted the entire basement. This project alone took us from August until October. We did all of the labor ourselves mostly, with the occasional help from friends and family (which we so appreciated). We also ran all new electrical in the entire house. I say we, but my only involvement was the occasional getting up off of the couch to help Aaron pull a wire through a tricky spot. So we have eliminated two deadly threats in this house. The crazy wiring that threatened to combust at any moment and burn the entire house to the ground (there were times I wished it would) and the potentially toxic mold and asbestos in the basement (although I'm sure to have several types of cancer after breathing in that shit for as long as I did).

See the pretty pictures!! (I know, not so exciting.)

Some of the scariness that was our basement. 

 About two-thirds of the way done gutting it all.

The trash bags I mostly carried all by myself. They're filled with moldy drywall.

The finished product. This is exactly what it looks like today.

This disturbing picture shows what was powering our house.

And now look, glorious!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This may take a while...

I'm living on a construction site.. or in one, I should say. Since my last update we managed to spend a month demolishing pretty much everything and moved in about a week after that was completed. We've got unfinshed drywall on the walls, holes in the floors from where walls used to be, one very moldy basement and enough work to keep us busy for YEARS to come. Despite all of this, we finished two projects and trust me, when your living in chaos any finished area feels like an oasis.
Master bedroom closet BEFORE:
Master bedroom closet AFTER:
Guest bathroom BEFORE:

Guest bathroom AFTER:
So even if progress is slow, it's pretty fantastic when it's complete and always worth the wait!