Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy Blogoversary to Me.

Almost one year ago, to the day, I was 32 weeks pregnant, helping my husband home from surgery. His cut 6"4' frame balanced on my squatty, imbalanced body full of Thor and anxiety as we worked our way up the front steps of our home. We knew it would be a challenging time for our family, but he needed the surgery. We walked into our front porch, and the smell of freshly created vomit wafted into our nose. My mother was frantically cleaning up puke and sheepishly confused as to why Beatrice was throwing up. The stomach flu visited our home at the same time that Sam had surgery. And so, the next day, I was sick too, as is the way of the puking virus. I was cleaning my puke, Beatrice's puke, and Sam's pee pee. I was supposed to be on modifed bedrest, honestly, and all of this, I feared would kill Thor. It was a whirlwind of suck the like of which I feel I am still recovering. Honestly, the last year, I can say that I have had a bit of post-traumatic stress disorder. Any hint of norovirus amongst friends and family has met with a fierce and unwavering shiver and then distance. "Good luck with that. See you next month."

It did not keep the stomach bug from visiting the ranch almost exactly a year later. Thomas Harry started middle of the night from Sunday to Monday with explosive diarrhea that was (hell, still is) bright green. (It is such an interesting color, I had to note it). Then about twenty four hours later, his Exorcist-like puking began. Projectile. All-encompassing. We actually had to change our bed sheets until we had no more bed sheets. Tuesday night, I literally sat on the couch all night watching Thelma and Louise, Giant, Fiddler on the Roof, as he slept on my lap. I started puking sometime on Tuesday. It ended quickly for me, except for this math.

Check it out:
lack of sleep + puking + caring for a puking child + one high-energy/cabin fevered not sick child + a dog + a cranky, sleep-deprived husband = me fucking losing my mind.

Actually, Sam has been amazing. He took off work to care for me and Thomas Harry, because I simply haven't been able to rise very much. Or rather, maybe he took off work to care for Beatrice while T.H. and I writhe in crawling-out-of-our-skin-itis. Last night, lying in bed, inhaling the sour smell of psychic and physical defeat, I remembered and concluded in pure monkey style: the pukes might be the harbinger for my blogoversary.

This week is my two year blogoversary.

TWO YEARS! Whoop! Yee haw! Yippee! WONKA WONKA WONKA!

Two hundred and ninety five published posts. Forty unpublished posts. Amazing. I don't know what I thought this space would be two years after starting it. I don't know what I thought it would be the day I started it. But all I can say is that I would not be the person I am today without this blog and without you. You have loved me, supported me, made me feel like part of a community and helped me more than I could rightly express. So, thank you. Thank you for reading here and writing here.

For my two year blogoversary, I will give away something. It is actually your choice. One: a mizuko jizo painting of your choice painted by me with your baby in mind. This is the listing from my etsy shop. I will work with you to create something you will love. (If you are not interested in a mizuko jizo painting, you can also request a meditating mama painting, or a small painting of your children/child.) Two: a jizo statue for your altar. The jizo is shown in the Remembering section of my sidebar, right in front of the Buddha. I actually ordered it from this Etsy shop for this giveaway. or Three: They Were Still Born, which is a book in which my essay Mothering Grief appears.

And so to win one of these three things, please comment below. Tell me which of these items you would like to win. And, to steal borrow this idea from the lovely and very talented Lori Lavendar Luz from Write Mind Open Heart, I would really appreciate you leaving ME a present in return. That gift would be to tell me which of my posts made an impression on you and why. You don't have to link to it, but just mention the idea of it. (Or you can link to it, if you want.)

Happy blogoversary to me! And thank you, again, for your love and support.


  1. happy blogoversary to you, Angie!! Wow, lot's of time gone by and lots of posts. It's difficult to pick my favorite, maybe it's because I just like the person behind it all, I imagine you, you, you in all these situations you describe and I just take part in it from far, far away. When i read your posts and i think about the life you live and the life i live and the things that happen to us all, I'm just happy to be. We are all doing our best, trying to, every single day. And that's why i like your blog, because you try and do.

    much love

  2. ^ sorry... that deleted post was me logged in under the wrong google account...

    It would be impossible for me to pick a favorite, because you know I am a huge fan of all you write and create, but I think the last paragraph in The Woman Who Cried A River is a beautiful example of how your way with words speaks to me. You wrote
    after seeing a baby who was roughly the same age as your daughter would and should have been...

    "And so the tears pooled at my feet, and rose in our car, until they cover the seats, and our toys floated by us, out of the cracked windows, until the river ran back to the village, surrounding the babies and their mothers, guiding and protecting them from a sorrow they do not know."

    Just so beautiful. Even reading it now gives me the chills.

    For my entry I would choose one of your paintings because I love them :)

    PS hoping the stomach bug bugs off!

  3. Happy blogoversary! Since I found your blog, I've read almost all posts. Our stillbirth experiences were only a few days apart and unexplained. These are the only coincidences because our lives are completely different! Yet I share most of your feelings and reading your posts makes me feel a bit more normal. Thanks for sharing your thoughts in such nice writing.
    My favorite post? Hard. For obvious reasons I like winter solstice, but remember having a lot of fun with the one you talked about the legs your mom brought home one day.
    As for the entry, I think I would like the statue for my altar, but any of them seem fantastic.

  4. Happy 2 Years!!! Yours was the very first blog I had read after Aiden died. I read as many of your past posts as I possibly could. While absorbing your emotion and grief and comparing it to my own. My absolute favorite post of your is the about the old tail of the women who soaked up the river with her hair. I remember reading about you crying in your car and Bea telling you it was okay. You desperately wanted someone to notice and to come to your side as you cried in a parking lot. I swear I had been in that exact fucking place a dozen times.. ugh, grief is a bitch.

    Thank you, Angie, my beautiful friend, for having this blog and allowing me to read along in your journey. If I were to win your giveaway, I'd want a painting of a women in tree pose, hands at heart center. I realize this isn't actually one of the three options, but I just love doing this pose. It reminds me so much of Aiden's Tree, under which he is buried.


  5. I love reading your post because you are a great writer, your interesting, honest and real. But I especially like that you are past me in the journey and I can see what lies ahead. And theres also the hope you inspire of getting through this pregnancy with a living baby and child to raise. I would love to win the book with your essay.

  6. happy blogoversary, angie. I am ever so grateful for you and for your writing.

    pick just one of your entries? impossible. every piece you write leaves such an imprint on me. the one about winter in your bones and magical realism comes to mind right away, but I also don't know if I'm blurring a few pieces or not. making peace with your body, making peace with yourself. your children in viking hats.

    thank you for you, for sharing yourself here.

    I'm sorry about all the puking. ick.

    and I'd love a painting. or a statue. or a book. wait! pick one! ok, a painting.

    much love and again, thank you,

  7. Happy blogoversary to you too. I am newish to your blog but was so moved by your post on grief. I felt you really described the overwhelming and powerful sense of grief and how it waits for you. It resonated very strongly with me, you have so much power in your words.

    I would so love a painting if I was lucky enough to win, they are beautiful.


  8. Hope the flu goes away away before Beatrice and Sam get it.

    We are suffering from head colds here. First time Beanie has been sick...

    I would have to say that the post that made the impression on me was the first one of yours that I read, otherwise I wouldn't have subscribed to your blog! What that post was, I have noooo idea.

    I usually like your meditation/ intentional mothering ones.

    I would love one of your paintings

  9. Happy blogoversary, indeed! While I find it incredibly difficult to choose just one post, your post about the winter solstice, being outside at night with Thor looking up at the stars was simply beautiful.

    Tough call on the giveaway. I think either the painting or the book.

    Thanks for all the great writing and inspiration and support!

  10. angie, happy blogoversary! so glad you are in this world - the real one and the blog one. you have written many beautiful things over the past two years, but if i am perfectly honest, the post that has made the biggest impression on me is "Babylost Conversation". still makes me laugh, and cry, and want to punch the sky like judd nelson at the end of the breakfast club. xo

  11. Happy blogoversary!

    I cannot even come close to picking a favorite post. Ones about Bea usually make me laugh hysterically. I like that girl. But all your writing is really good.

  12. Happy Blogoversary to you Angie!! Where would we be without your beautiful words! XXXOOO!

  13. Happy Blogversary Angie. I have always enjoyed reading your posts. Thanks for putting them out there, and I am sorry we had to "meet" like this.

    I loved the post about your cooking, you put the recipe on the post. I just felt like I could be in the kitchen with you. Were you cooking Pumpkin Pie? I don't even know what that is, its not something we have in Australia. I loved the language you used and that is my favorite one.

    Please put me in the draw too. I would like the book. But it was a hard decision so any of your giveaways would be very gratefully received. Did you get my ATC yet?

  14. Happy blogoversary... (and screw the puking your brains out). Sucks you have been feeling sick lately -again.

    I love your writing with all my heart and it will be next to impossible to choose that ONE favourite blogpost. But your recent post about life as a leper echoed with me for a long time.

    As for the giveaway, I like them all and would be thrilled about any of them. But the jizo statue would just make the best addition to my little painted jizo collection altar. Here's to hoping you'll feel better soon and all nasty bugs stay the hell away from you and your family.

    much love. xo

  15. Happy blogaversary, friend.

    You cannot make me choose one post - I won't do it. From the moment I found you online, reeling from your loss just as I was ours, I have clung to your words - your rage, your confusion, your grief, your questions, your love, your desire to love and to be loved. I cannot imagine this space without you. I love your voice and I love your spirit and I love that I got to know you in person.

    I think your entries around meditation and buddhism are the ones that draw me in the most, because in theory, I dig it, but as I dig deeper, there are things that are hard to reconcile (me not being able to sit still is just one physical piece.) I went and got some Pema Chodron from the library (blocking my ears from my husband's teasing) because of one of your posts. So, if I HAD to pick one post, it would probably be the one where you talk about all of us, the world of us, being united in our grief. Our grief is what makes us human and makes us the same as everyone else, not alone and lonely and different. That is still a hard concept to get my head around. But I try.

  16. I wanted to post to say my husband, daughter and I all had that stomach virus too. It was terrible, awful, disgusting. It was coming out of me every which way, sometimes simultaneously. I couldn't even stand up on day 2. I'm so sorry you guys got it too.

    I do love your paintings -- something about them stabs deep into my chest when I see them, in both a happy and sad way.

  17. Happy Anniversary, Angie - sorry about the puking, lack of sleep and it being February to boot (because, by now, those of us in the land of snow and ice all have serious cases of cabin-fever).

    Also, sorry about not getting back to you about the painting - I'd love it as is and please let me pay.

    I can't choose a favourite, sorry but I do like the ones in which you make me laugh.

    Feel better. xo

  18. Happy blogoversary Angie!! Wow...that's a lot of posts! I would love to have one of your paintings...they are beautiful! The first post that comes to mind was about random acts of kindness back in October 2009 (the only reason I remember when it was is because Emma & I were both sick with swine flu oink oink!) I think it so important to always be kind to others (although I fail at this often) and to go out of your way and show someone by doing something is even better! Hope you're all feeling better!

  19. I meant to leave you a p.s. but forgot, so:
    P.S. Don't forget I still owe you a necklace from 25 days of giveaways!

  20. As you know, I have two favorites- the one about your early football career and the one you wrote right after Thor was born. Both of those just play in my head over and over again,for such different reasons- the former because it spoke so eloquently of who you are and what you wish to recapture,and the latter because I had never seen love jump off a page that way before. You are one of my all-time favorite writers, no matter what the subject or the forum.

    'twere it me, I would love a jizo painting. But I also just like getting to say 'twere. So,your call.

  21. Happy blogoversary to you! I actually just found your blog via your etsy store.

    This evening a friend and her husband came to have supper with us, and I had an absolutely lovely time, but once they left, my husband mentioned that you can *really* tell she's pregnant now.

    She's due 4 weeks after I would have been due, and after doing the math, I realized I would have been 32w today.

    9 days after my miscarriage, our house burned to the ground, taking with it all traces of not only the miscarried baby, but also all the mementos of my 3 year old's infancy.

    I was looking for some way to assuage my grief and found your shop, and through more looking for Jizo, your blog.

    As I'm not a regular reader (well, I hope to be going forward!), I don't expect you to pick me (as you've probably already done so), but if you did, I would love the statue.

  22. Happy Blogoversary dear Angie!

    I have to say your post (i think it was on international babylost mothers' day) about tonglen is one that actually changed my path in a really lovely way. I had never heard of tonglen before, and that post led me to read about it, and find authors that really gave me new ways of understanding and being open to my pain and sorrow (and to everyone else's).

    Thank you so much for that. I also loved your one about Lucy being stuck behind the couch - I often think of that when I'm in our living room.

    If I was the lucky one, I'd love one of your beautiful jizo paintings in memory of Z.

  23. Happy Bloggyversary!

    Geez, what it is with the dying embers of winter and sickness? We're purging snot and fever here. I think I'd rather have that over puking simply because of cleanup, but not breathing for days has it's downside.

  24. Happy belated blogoversary. : ) Each post of yours is like a gift. I love your vivid, honest descriptions.

    I haven't read any later posts yet, but I hope you're all feeling better now.


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