Worth the Weight

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Four years ago today I ran a half marathon. It was a huge goal of mine and so amazing to accomplish. I had started running maybe 4 years before that because I knew I needed to do something and be a better steward of all God had given me, my body included. Running made me feel good and I was continually amazed at the ability of my body and the awesome way the Lord created it. I lost weight (probably 40 lbs from my heaviest), found my “style” in cute A line dresses, and was happy with where it had brought me.

Since then, so much has changed and so much life has been lived. I got engaged, moved, got married, bought a house, moved again, and left a job. We went through a season of infertility that was hard and stressful, and if it wasn’t enough that I had already gained 15 or so pounds after marriage (food is so a love language), I ended up right where I began all those years ago before we finally got pregnant.

During pregnancy I put on about 30 pounds, a normal amount in the grand scheme of things. But since giving birth, almost 9 months ago, I haven’t really lost much (besides the weight of the baby and all that fluid). It has been a crazy struggle; more of one in my mind and heart than anywhere else really. My lovely dresses are still packed in the attic with most of my “before” clothes; there just wasn’t room in the closet for them and the clothes that mostly do fit…plus just seeing them would set me longing for that body of four years ago. The one I worked so hard for. The one my husband first fell in love with. The one that just made me feel so good.

This morning I looked through my memories on Facebook, knowing full well what day it was and what would show up. As I saw the photos from 4 years ago I remembered the excitement of it all. The exhilaration of waiting with my group to even just go up the the starting line. The joy of spotting Steve in the cheering crowd. All the people. Pushing through the last mile, knowing I was almost at the end. I saw the photo of Steve & I, after having finished the race, and was saddened by the changes that have happened to my body over the years. CED6BBA2-11C2-48CE-A1B7-FFF2005EA53F_1_105_c.jpeg

But then I looked at my little girl, happily sitting in her highchair after eating breakfast, drinking and playing with her cup before tossing it on the floor. And that is when the realization hit. There is no way I would want that body back if it meant not having her. If that is the physical price to pay for this little one who is such a joy, who rarely stops smiling, who loves to cuddle and dance, who is an amazing miracle from the Good Lord Himself, so be it. This body of today has created life (with a little help from Steve, some doctors, and God). It has nourished life. What is more amazing than that?

Someday, those dresses will come down out of the attic (hopefully so I can wear them and not because it will be time to just give them away). But whatever the reason, that’s ok. That’s not to say that I’m ok with the health implications of this weight gain. I’m not and we are working on changing things to do better with all of this. But, finally, I think I am ok with knowing that this is just the season I’m in. And you know the thing about seasons is that they are always changing. Here’s to the next!

Love & Blessings,

KJ

Reflections

I’m sitting in the quiet house with a mug of tea. The only sounds are the furnace running and sporadic gusts of wind outside. The lights on the Christmas tree happily glow as they slowly become the only light about. The sun goes down too soon, but I do like having more time to appreciate the soft glow from the corner of the room.

So much has happened in a few short months. And yet it really doesn’t seem like much. Our baby is a whole half of a year old; teeth are starting to appear and other milestones reached. We’ve flown to San Diego and, with the road trip this summer to South Carolina, she’s dipped her toes in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. (I want to say I hadn’t accomplished that until I moved here 10 years ago). She’s had her first Thanksgiving and is soon to experience Christmas.

With all of this and the seeming rush rush rush¬†of it all (it all being life, mostly) I haven’t often taken much time to stop and just think about it all. This “it all” is mostly life since Evie arrived. As with every change, it’s now a little bit harder to think of a time before it happened. I had felt like I’d lived in Jersey forever once I’d been here for a bit. And then my life before dating slowly faded, and then life before marriage, life before buying a house, life before pregnancy, and now life before Evie. Not that I ever truly forget all that time. So much was learned in that time. So many changes; not just in my circumstances, but within myself. I hope I’m able to hold on to them always.

Along with marriage, having children is one of those changes where you realize life will never be the same. I’m still figuring it out; how this whole Mom thing works. How I can be a mom and a wife and just me all rolled into one. It’s not an easy task, but I wouldn’t trade it. Balance is tricky, especially for someone like me who’s never been particularly graceful, but I find myself teetering along. I might get there one day, but I don’t expect it to be any day too soon. More time to spend doing what I need, for myself, is slowly making its way on to the daily “to do” list, though. Hence this post. Just a rambling around of thoughts. More, hopefully, to come soon.

Merry Christmas, dear friends! I pray you’re able to take hold of where you are right now and see that God is using it for your good and His glory.

Love & Blessings,

KJ

Dear Baba,

Two years ago today…

I didn’t write much about it because I didn’t know where to start. I had been through a lot already that month and was recovering from major surgery. I was both in shock and not surprised, if such a thing is possible. Most of my childhood memories included Baba as she lived with us since I was 4. I couldn’t write about it then, but feel drawn to write now.

Dear Baba,

Thank you for all the memories shared. For telling me about when you were a kid and how you almost broke the principal’s arm (though I’m still not sure if that’s true or not). For letting me keep you company when you were watching your “stories” and I was playing with my paper dolls. For being honest with me when I tried to make you promise that you would never die after I experienced loss for the first time; “No one lives forever, Kellie.” For looking out for me (like that time you yelled at Teresa and Kimmy for locking me outside in the pouring rain). For being generous and helping me out in college when I felt things were falling apart. For eagerly listening to me read Harry Potter to you and telling me that listening to Jim Dale read the last one couldn’t compare to me. For the money you gave me at least 7 years ago, that was to be for my wedding “or whatever you might need.” I did use it for my wedding, Baba; I found the most lovely dress. Thank you for your contribution to that day. It was more than just the dress.

My 33rd birthday was just 10 days after you left us. On that day I finally decided to set up an online dating account. Don’t worry, I was safe and didn’t let any of them come to my house on the first date and I always drove myself to meet them. I thought it would be a good use of the money I had just received, and I’m happy to say, Baba, that it was indeed. I went out with a couple of what you might call duds. They were nice and all, but not for me. And then I met him, Baba, 6 months after you had gone, I met the man who’s now my husband. Thank you, again.

I regret that you were not at our wedding and that you never got to meet Steve. You would like him, of that I have no doubt. He has a great sense of humor and he would make you laugh. And, yes, Baba, he loves me and treats me well. I’m sad that my children (when we have them, Lord willing) won’t get to grow up with you in their lives. I admit I’m a little jealous that you were at both Teresa’s & Kimmy’s weddings & that you got to meet their firstborns. Don’t worry, though, my husband and my children may not meet you, but they will know your stories. They will taste your peanut butter pie and pierogies. They will gaze upon a Christmas tree with ornaments you made hanging from it. You are not gone as long as your memories are passed along.

Thank you, Baba, for the memories.

Love & Blessings,

KJ