Thursday, October 23, 2014

Giving Pain Significance

It is just about 2:00 am. I can't sleep. After dealing with multiple friends and family members who are pregnant, I find myself wondering—

Why does pregnancy always trump lack of pregnancy?

Why is it that my sadness and pain is never as valid as someone else's happiness?  As soon as someone tells me they are pregnant, I am required to tell them how happy I am for them and congratulate them. It doesn't matter how terrible of a day I've had. It doesn't matter if I just, once again, found out I'm not pregnant. It doesn't matter how many other friends have told me today that they're pregnant. It doesn't matter how emotionally raw I already am. I am compelled to tell this person that I am happy for them.

Am I happy?  No. I am holding back tears. I am angry. I feel hurt and hopeless and destroyed. But, because that doesn't matter, I congratulate them.

I'm starting to wonder if I have been doing this all wrong. I think I may have to start giving my pain it's due significance. I need to start putting my family (even without kids) ahead of someone else's family. If I don't, I think I may go crazy.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Summer Evenings

Driving on a country road, Ralph sitting comfortably at my side and Huckleberry letting the wind from the open window blow up his nose until he sneezes, I am content and free. Folk music mixes with smells of grass, cows, and hot, humid air. I am singing along to the words and melodies. Fireflies are dancing in the ditches, flashing their lights here and there and filling me with child-like awe and excitement. I love fireflies. I love summer evenings. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The First Few Steps Forward

Well, we finally gave up and gave in to the fact that we won't have a baby that genetically belongs to both of us unless we both lose weight. We have both put some effort into this in the past and have been somewhat successful. We have both noticed that we lose weight the fastest and most continually if we cut out sugar and starches. So, we have given up the things we love the most and have filled our fridge with fruits and veggies. We have been doing this for about 3 weeks now and have collectively lost somewhere around 20lbs. We have both done things to remind ourselves of our future children. When it gets really tough to skip the ice cream or the brownie, we remind each other of our reasons for doing this. We almost wrote their names on our fridge. I may do that later if it gets more difficult. 

If any of you are trying to eat more healthy, real food, I would suggest a couple of things:
1) This is a website that compiles recipes from a ton of paleo and whole30 websites. We don't always follow the recipes exactly because we aren't cutting out dairy, but the recipes have generally been really tasty!  The other thing that's great is that you "save" recipes and it compiles your shopping list for you!  It's so handy!
2) Be prepared to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Making everything from scratch is delicious and fulfilling, but it also takes some time and effort. 
3) cauliflower rice. We like rice and eat a lot of it, or at least we used to. Try chopping a head of cauliflower in your food processor (a few large florets at a time) and dump into an oiled cookie sheet, spread around to coat with oil. Then bake in a 400 degree oven for 15ish minutes until browned. It is good to mix it up and spread it around again somewhere in the middle. This is delicious and has made several of our meals more satisfying. 

Anyway, this will take us a while, but I'm so excited for our future, our children, our energy and ability levels increasing. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ups and Downs

I'm not sure I've posted about Katy Days before.  Parsons was built around the Railroad and thrived on Railroad money until the end of the Railroad era.  Parsons still loves its trains and its history.  Every Memorial Weekend, we celebrate the MKT (Katy) Railroad and everything that once made Parsons more populated than Kansas City.  They have the old guys who used to work for MKT come in and demonstrate how they laid the tracks.  They're called Gandy Dancers.  It is pretty crazy to watch these 70+ year old men throwing sledge hammers around like they're nothing, pounding huge spikes into the ground.  They have music, crafts, a petting zoo, Miss Katy Days pageant, and all the carnival food you could ever want (complete with roasted turkey legs and homemade root beer).  They also do something called the "Spike it Rich" Medallion hunt.  They hide a medallion somewhere in city limits on public property and then post clues and see who finds it first.  The winner gets $500.  So, Sam and I decided to go look for it last night.  The clues are pretty rough, but we thought we had it narrowed down pretty well.  After we looked at today's clue, I was pretty sure I knew where it was.  I told a co-worker about it so we decided to go look this afternoon.  We were right!  We were at the right park...just about 30 minutes or an hour too late!  Someone else found it right before us.  I'm disappointed we missed out on $500, but I'm pretty proud of us for figuring it out, even with the poorly-written clues.  Sam asked me if I was proud of myself for doing something traditionally "Parsons" (judging by the other people we saw wandering around looking for the medallion, he does not mean this as a compliment).  I did have a good time.  I felt very southern.


SEK is pretty humid and warm lately.  It has actually been pretty "dry" this year as far as rainfall goes, but it has been pretty muggy and humid.  I really dislike the humidity, but I have recently discovered something I really do enjoy about humidity.  I love going for a walk and hearing the birds singing and chirping in the trees and hearing those muffled echos you only hear on really humid days or in climate controlled botanical gardens.  For some reason that sound feels both familiar and special.  It makes me happy, even as the sweat drips down my back and my hair grows exponentially larger.


We had a rough Mother's Day.  I almost thought I was pregnant.  I let myself hope even though I knew I shouldn't.  It was even more rough because for some reason, no matter what I said, someone asked me if the reason I said/did ___________ was because I was pregnant.  This week one of our friends told us they were pregnant.  I am happy for them. I really am.  They will be great parents and they are excited.  But no matter who it is, or how happy I am for them, I always hurt deeply for Sam and I every time I hear someone is pregnant.  I long for the day I get to tell Sam that he's going to be a dad.  I want to be happy when someone asks me if I'm pregnant...I want to grin and be able to say yes.  It is hard to wait for that. It is hard to have patience and to remember that there is still time--that it would be difficult to deal with the stress of pregnancy or a new baby when we are still dealing with the stress of a graduate degree.  

I will probably still allow myself to be hopeful sometimes. I think without hope I would go crazy from the waiting.  

Sorry for the random post...sorry for ending on a downer of a thought.  But that's what life is like--full of ups and downs, silliness and heartache--and you just have to go with it and take it as it comes.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


I was driving to church this morning and the breeze smelled like new life. It smelled like fresh cut grass and sunshine. It smelled like blooming flowers. 

I want a baby. Sometimes it hits me out of nowhere. Sometimes it makes it hard to breathe. Sometimes it is far enough below the surface that I can pretend it isn't there, but not today. Today I feel it, deeply and intensely. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014


This is one of my favorite things about living in the south: seasons. I love that winter doesn't last until the end of May when it suddenly switches to a hot, dry summer that lasts until the end of August when it starts snowing out of nowhere. Here, we get blue skied days where the sun heats up what the breeze is cooling off. We get daffodils and lilies pushing their way through dirt toward sunshine. 

We went camping last night. Well, Sam slept outside. Between the cold, hard ground and my back still recovering from the latest "episode", I have up and slept at the in-laws'. But, we pitched our tent, cooked outside, and stayed up talking after the sun went down. 

We woke up to a beautiful day. Now we are sitting inside a quiet house, listening to the birds chirping and the breeze blowing. *Insert sigh of contentment here*

Friday, March 7, 2014

Inhale. Exhale.

I made it. I survived my week. I worked a total of 41 hours this week, which wouldn't have been too awful except that we had a snow day on Monday.  One of my department's had their application deadline this week, and they also had a huge reaccreditation project due as well. 

It was chaos. It was exhausting. I made it. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Stress Relief

I should have done something to relax. I should have done some preventative stretching. I didn't. Friday is the application deadline for one of the programs I work for. A week from Friday is the deadline for another program. So, work has been pretty crazy. I have been running all day long at work. I have worked through lunch two days in the last week. I could tell it was getting to be too much. My lower back was starting to feel weak. I took the dogs for a walk and my lower back got tired from holding huckleberry back when he saw cats or dogs. I still didn't do anything to help it. 

Yesterday we went to our niece's birthday party. We beat the family back to Sam's parents house. Sam was doing something outside and had asked me to put a snack in the fridge. So, I put it in the fridge and grabbed a Pepsi. I stood up and started walking and my back started hurting. I'm not sure what happened. 

So, I have spent the last 30 hours hearing and icing by back, laying on the floor, couch, or bed, letting Sam get me drinks or food. It is so much easier to have a bad back when you have a sweet husband who takes care of you when your hurt. He even helps me up off the floor or couch. 

Anyway, I'm relaxing now. I'm doing stretches now. I should have done them last week, but it is better late than never, right?

Oh, also, it is insanely cold outside today.  We had some freezing rain last night, then sleet, and now it is snowing. There isn't much on the ground, but it is reeeeally cold. I'm wearing two shirts, two pairs of pants, wool socks, a thick blanket, a heating pad is relaxing my back, the heaters are on high, and somehow my feet and hands are still freezing. Ugh. I'd still take this over summer. Call me crazy. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My not-pregnant self

I don't know how many of you have Facebook or other social media accounts. I do, and have several pregnant friends. You may remember that we have been dealing with infertility and have been trying for several years to get pregnant. So, bear in mind that the infertility issue may have made me more cynical and bitter than people who haven't struggled with this. 

Okay, so many of my pregnant friends post status updates that "condition drop" their pregnancy in the same way people "name drop" famous or important connections.  They do this in such a way as to imply that pregnancy is the only possible reason the rest of the update could occur. For instance:
  "My pregnant self slipped on the ice today.  I'm so sore now!" Or "I went swimming today.  I'm pregnant, so it felt amazing!" Or "I'm so tired! This pregnant mama NEEDS a nap!"

Don't get me wrong, I'm aware that pregnancy can make you more clumsy, or feel more warm than usual. I know that pregnancy can be exhausting. I guess what bugs be is that it sort of implies that I, because I am not pregnant, cannot possibly slip on the ice, need a nap, or enjoy swimming. It makes me want to start adding "my non-pregnant self" (or possibly "my barren self?") to status updates. 
  "Stayed up late last night on a date with my husband!  My non-pregnant self needs a nap!"  Or "I went on every roller coaster in the park today. My barren self is so sore and nauseous!"  

Is that terrible of me?  My friends do it in person too. "I think I'll go home after lunch today. I just am so tired. I mean, I'm pregnant, so..."  Ugh. I need to remember to not do this to my single or non-pregnant friends if/when we do get to have kids. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


I woke up at 5 this morning. My back hurt and several other minor annoyances were keeping me awake. Ralph seemed to notice my discomfort. Normally, he would jump off the bed and begin barking his frustration. This morning, however, he crawled up toward the head of the bed. He buried his nose in my hair and let me pet him, the two of us sharing the space of my pillow. He fell asleep there.  So did I. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

On Adorable Children

I downloaded the blogger app on my phone in the hopes that seeing it every day will remind me to write more often. So far, it seems to be working. 

We went to HuHot, a Mongolian BBQ place we like, in Joplin last week. We went with the Jacks for Elsha's fifth birthday and Sam's thirty-first. The cooks at the grill have a few "call and response" yells they do as a team. Elsha and Lizka have learned them and *love* joining in. "How hot?" one guy will shout. "Hu Hot!" The girls answer with the rest of the guys. The food is good, too, but the entertainment is top notch. 

Yesterday we went to my cousin Jono's son's second birthday party. The theme was Hungry Caterpillar. I made a caterpillar cupcake cake.  That evening, we got to hang out with them even more at my first Hickory Hole (a resurrection of an old Parsons BBQ place) experience.  It was delicious. They came back to our house afterward and we watched tv and talked. Atti fed us imaginary food while we all groaned from eating too much real food. They asked Atti if he liked his party and he said yes.  Courtney asked him what he liked most about it and he said "Cake!"  I'll chalk that up as a win for team Aunt Hannah. 

It is back to work tomorrow. At Chinese chef on Friday, my fortune said my life would find me on the water soon. I think that means I need a vacation. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014


I heard from a friend that the old blog site,, was shutting down.  The site had instructions to download your old posts and import them to a wordpress site. So, I made a new site for the purpose of housing my old xanga posts. I immediately got started on reading them. I started at the most recent post and worked my way back, leaving off at the end of my senior year of college. Reading my old posts made me realize a few things about myself and my life. They are as follows:

I used to post short posts every few days. I want to get back into the habit of doing that. It was good for my writing and good for the record-keeping. It is so fun to look back at what your led was like 5-10 years ago. Reading your own words brings back a lot of memories and emotions. I would like to have that record so that 5-10 years from now I can look back and remember this time in my life as clearly as I remember 2003.

I used to be very lonely and desperate for love. It is so lovely to look back and realize that 20-year-old Hannah would be so satisfied and content in her 28-year-old self's relationship and marriage. I am loved, and loved very well. Sam is such a good husband and man.  I never have to wonder if he "likes" me, or if we are on the same page. It is nice being secure in that.

I used to be very insecure and unsure of myself. I am still fairly insecure about a lot of things, but it is getting so much better. I give most of that credit to Dee, Claire, Caitlin, and Sam. Those guys have put so much into my life, constantly speak truth to me about my worth and character. If you hear it enough, you start to believe that you're alright.

This all came after seeing Five Iron Frenzy this weekend. Such a week of nostalgia and self-reflection.  Those weeks are good to have sometimes.

Anyway, other than that, it has been a pretty crazy week with work and church and helping people out. I'm thankful to be sitting on the couch after taking the dogs for our first run since the fall. I got a gnarly cold in November and I just got over it in the end of February. Then I was just crazy busy and still couldn't run. Anyway, I'm now terribly out of shape again, so I'm taking it slow on the running. During my insane cold, the weather was also insanely cold. Our pipes froze 3 separate times.   Ugh. It had finally warmed up a bit. It is nice to be in t-shirts with jackets again.

Well, I'm going to get back to the relaxing. Good evening, all.