Friday, December 4, 2009

So, I just realized that alot of my entries lately have been kind of down, but that's my mood, so my apologies to anyone who reads this.

I'm getting really tired of checking my facebook everyday and someone else has a new picture of their latest ultrasound or baby bump or a pregnancy announcement. The more there are, the harder it is for me to happy for anyone. It might seem a little immature or selfish, but I can't help it. It's hard to deal with a loss in the middle of a baby boom. I don't have any issues with my friends who have kids, and it's none of my close friends that are expecting right now. I just sort of had a mini breakdown today, which is ok, because I have to deal with this loss, and it's ok to be sad. It's just so unfair! And we're no closer to having any answers, which is so frustrating. And we have no idea what we want to do now. We're moving in 1 year, and I don't really want to move with a newborn, and I don't want to be uber pregnant when we move. Whatever happens will be fine, but it's just hard, because we don't know what we want to do. This holiday season is kind of hard for me; I didn't get to be with my family on Thanksgiving, although I did get to see Mom and Dad and David the weekend after. I don't get to be with my family on Christmas, because we're going to Colorado. We're celebrating with them before we leave, but it just won't be the same. Plus, we should be celebrating Bennett's 2nd Christmas, and it would be so much fun this year. And, we should be so excited because of our second being on the way. But I don't have either. And I'm just starting have a lot of doubts about this; even though my doctor said most women who have multiple miscarriages go on to have healthy and successful pregnancies. I can't help but worry.

So that's my depressing entry for the day. Hopefully I'll get out of this slump soon.


P.S. I did get some really great encouragement yesterday and today from a co-worker/supervisor, who told me that I'm one of her favorites, that I'm going to make a great mommy, that I'm a beautiful person, and that if I have any friends just like me, they should work for Lighthouse, because she thinks I'm one of the best house managers. I thrive on words of encouragement, so that really meant alot to me!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Weary, but Thankful Heart

A quick update:
I called MeritCare on Monday to get the results of my lab work and to schedule my X ray (which is technically called a hysterosalpingogram). Turns out, the lab techs didn't read the lab orders thoroughly that day and only did a pregnancy test, but none of the blood work that I didn't realize I was supposed to have. The pregnancy test obviously came back negative, and I had to go in this morning to have 7(!) vials of blood drawn, which will be sent to Mayo Clinic, and the results should be in next week sometime. I know one of the tests was to check my thyroid, but I don't remember what Dr Majkrzak (pronouced "Myshack"... who could guess that!) said the rest were checking. As for the X ray, I won't be able to get it done until next month sometime, because my doctor is off to China this week and I didn't call to schedule it in time! So now we wait even longer. According to Dr Majkrzak, what he's looking for in the X ray is a weird little flap in my uterus that, if an embryo were to attach to it, the embryo could not survive. So if that's what I have, the flap can be removed and should, in theory, solve the problem. I'm hoping it's a thyroid or hormonal thing that can be solved with a pill, rather than with a surgery! However, if neither the lab work or the X ray show a problem, then we try genetic testing on both Justin and myself. I'm not sure what we'll do with that, because I'm fairly certain our insurance won't cover that, and it's expensive, and something we really can't afford, so basically, we'll be back at square one. So pray that these blood tests and/or the X ray figure out what's going on!

Despite what we've been going through in the past few weeks (well, the past 20 months, really), I've been reflecting lately and have realized just how much I have to be truly thankful for, and with Thanksgiving tomorrow, it's time to think about these things. I have been blessed with the most incredible husband, who has truly been my rock as we've dealt with our losses. He has held my hand through it all, has let me cry when I've needed to, and has made me laugh at times when I didn't think I could. Being unable to keep your unborn children alive can be incredibly detrimental to a woman's self esteem; after all, we were built to bear children. It's just one more issue to deal with, but Justin has done nothing but encourage me and build me up. I've also been blessed with a wonderful family. Words cannot express how amazing they are and how much they mean to me. My mom has so many roles in my life; she is my best friend, my mentor, my confidante, and of course, my mother. I consider it the highest compliment to be compared to her. My dad is the most generous, compassionate, and genuine person I know. He is a man of few words, which I so appreciate in a world of gabbers. You know that words of praise from him are real and heartfelt, and they mean so much more than the mindless, meaningless compliments people spew out. My little sister is my best friend. She gets me like no one else does, because she thinks like me. We've grown so close over the past couple of years, and I couldn't be more proud of her. My Davey is the heart of my world. He is ultimately the reason why I've chosen the career path that I have. He is a ray of sunshine, and I'm so grateful that my parents made the decision to open our home to him. Since I moved out, the part of home I've missed the most is my daily dose of Dave. These 4 fantasitic people, combined with our eccentric dog and the inexplicable magic of being in my childhood home, is a refreshing retreat that I need on a regular basis to keep my sanity. And I get to go home this weekend! I have so much more to be thankful for: friends who care, encourage, and support me, a job that not only pays the bills, but brings me incredible satisfaction every day, good food in the cupboards, a nice car to drive, clean clothes to wear, and a roof over my head. And even though I don't have my babies with me, I'm grateful for the short few days I had them with me, even if I didn't get to hold them in my arms or see them. It's sort of like the "it's better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all" mentality. Yes, it hurts to lose them, but I now that I know them, I couldn't imagine never having them, even for the few days each that I did.

I hope this holiday season is filled with family, friends, good food, and lots of love for all of you! Thank you for praying for us and for just being the fabulous people you are! I love you all!


Thursday, November 5, 2009


Today is Bennett's birthday. Sort of. I guess I don't really know what to call it. The due date of our first baby was November 5, 2008. So it's a sad day for us. Last year we went to the cities for a couple days, today I worked all day and we went out to lunch together.

It's so strange to think that we should have a 1-year-old running around. We should have had a big party last weekend with family and friends coming to celebrate. But we don't. We have 2 babies in heaven, and no idea why. But hopefully we'll have answers soon. My appointment is tomorrow, so hopefully in the next week we'll have some idea what's going on.

I wanted to share a song by Jar's of Clay that really speaks to our experiences. It's called The Valley Song.

You have led me to the sadness
I have carried this pain
on a back bruised, nearly broken
I'm crying out to You

I will sing of Your mercy
that leads me through valleys of sorrow
to rivers of joy

When death, like a gypsy
comes to steal what I love
I will still look to the heavens
I will still seek Your face
but I fear You aren't listening
because there are no words
just the stillness
and the hunger
for a faith that assures

I will sing of Your mercy
that leads me through valleys of sorrow
to rivers of joy

alleluia, alleluia
alleluia, alleluia

While we wait for rescue
with our eyes tightly shut
face to the ground using our hands
to cover the fatal cut
though the pain is an ocean
tossing us around, around, around
You have calmed greater waters
higher mountains have come down

I will sing of Your mercy
that leads me through valleys of sorrow
to rivers of joy
I will sing of Your mercy
that leads me through valleys of sorrow
to rivers of joy
alleluia, alleluia
alleluia, alleluia

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The weekend is here

At last! I'm so glad this awful week is over! I work this weekend, and I'm really looking forward to going back to work. I've had 10 days off, unintentionally. But I realized yesterday just how much I needed that time. Obviously, I needed time off this week when I was sick and when Tuesday happened, but now I've realized how burned out I was. I love, love, love my job, but in the past several weeks, I've found myself dreading going to work and wanting to just sit at home. That's usually my cue I've been doing too much and I need to take time out for myself. So I've had 10 days to be home, see friends and family, recharge, process, and start to heal. Today starts 5 days straight of work, but I'm ok with that. I'm ready to be with my residents and to have something to distract myself with a little bit.

We went to the OHCC volleyball game last night... bad idea. I thought it would be good for me to get out of the apartment and be a little social. But I found myself in a bad mood by the time we left, and it didn't get much better after that. Justin got roped into being a line judge, so I didn't even get to sit with him. So I was sitting by myself on an uncomfortable metal folding chair, watching a sport I don't care for, getting harrassed for not being "enthusiastic" enough about the game. Halfway through the first of 4 games, I felt myself shutting down. Too many people, too soon. Lesson learned.

My favorite channels to watch when I'm vegging out are Food Network and HGTV. I've watched alot of HGTV in the past week, and one of my favorite shows is Color Splash. I watched an episode on Wednesday about a couple who wanted to start a family, so they wanted a nursery. Then, surprise announcement at the end of the show: they're pregnant. Gah. I caught the end of another episode yesterday, and surprise announcement at the end: they're pregnant. So now I have to avoid Color Splash for several weeks, because I can't handle anymore pregnancy announcements.

I've been doing alot of cooking this week, which I haven't done in a long time. I've forgotten how therapeutic cooking is for me. Risotto and chicken soup and fish tacos... yum. And sour gravy and dumplings are on the menu for next week.

Bring on the weekend, and a new week. It can only get better.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Today I'm...

pretty low, but a little better than yesterday. So there you go.

Since it's been awhile since I've updated, here's a recap of our life in the past several months:

My job became full-time in May, and that's how I've spent most of my time since. I worked some in the kitchen here at Oak Hills throughout the summer. In July, Justin and I went to Colorado for a week. We spent time with family and friends and took some much needed time off. When we came back, I was promoted to house manager at work. Basically, I still do the same direct care duties as before, but I'm also responsible for making sure the house is running the way it's supposed to be running. For anything house specific, other staff come to me, then I go to the appropriate person above me. I also get to do fun things, like shop for the residents, take them to get haircuts and other appointments, and one-on-one outings. I also do filing, house checks, and other house specific duties. In August, we had a bug party for Mom and Dad's 25th anniversary party, which was a great ending to the summer. When the semester started, I picked up about 12 hours a week in the kitchen. I've gone home as much as possible this fall, and this past weekend I was fortunate to be in my best friend's wedding and celebrate with some of my oldest and dearest friends.

On Saturday morning, Justin and I found out we were expecting again. This time it was planned, and it was only our first month of trying again. We'd stopped trying in April, and decided in September we were ready again. So Saturday was a great day, in addition to the exciting news, we were celebrating with Randi and Kevin. Sunday we spent the day with the Koep family, eating good food and saying goodbye to Doug, Daina, Abby, Austin, and Madison, who are moving to Texas next week. We got home on Sunday night and I felt miserable, sick with a nasty cold. Monday I stayed home sick and called the clinic to set up my first prenatal appointment. I had to go to the lab and take a clinical pregnancy test before setting up the appointment, so I decided to go in yesterday morning. I woke up yesterday and the first thing I noticed was that the pregnancy symptoms I'd been having (sore breasts, huge appetite, overactive bladder) were gone. It scared me, because that was the first indication last time that something was wrong. After getting out of the shower, I found some heavy bleeding and I knew it was over. I called Justin home from class and of course called my mom. I called in to work and spent the day on the couch. So now I get to do this all over again. When we lost our first, it took me almost a year and a half to recover. I hope that this time does not take so long, but it's so hard to know at this point. So I'll take it one day at a time, and one day I'll wake up and realize I can honestly say I'm good. I've made an appointment with an ob/gyn to try to figure out what's going on, and hopefully can solve this mystery of why I can get pregnant, but not stay pregnant. So we need prayer. Lots and lots and lots of prayer. For healing, for peace, for patience, for answers, for faith, for trust.

I will try to keep this updated better. If I don't get to it before my appointment on November 6, I will make sure to update then.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Sorry, sorry!!

I was informed this weekend that it's been 4 months since I updated my blog! Actually, I kind of got yelled at...

I'll update more extensively later. Right now, I'm sick on the couch and trying to get out of work for the day.

More to come, settle down, Katie! ;)


Wednesday, May 27, 2009


It's been a really, really long time since I've been able to say I'm content. In fact, I'm not sure I can remember when that was. But no matter. I am now. And it's awesome. For so long I've been anticipating something, regretting something, waiting for something, wishing for something to arrive. But I was always disappointed. There have been alot of changes in our lives in recent months, and they've brought about a change in me that I didn't expect. When I finished school last winter, I fully expected to be miserable until our move. But I found a job I really enjoy, in spite of the challenges unique to working with adults with developmental disabilities. I've developed deeper relationships with the friends I have here. I spend as much time with my family as possible. And I'm happy. God has really brought us through some crappy times to a place of peace and contentment. And much to my surprise (although I really shouldn't be surprised), it doesn't look much like I'd wanted. Alot of the things that I prayed for that I thought would make me happy, I still don't have. But I'm ok. I've learned to trust in God's timing in everything, knowing that He knows better.
One of the major changes that we've made is one that I've only shared with a few people, and considering I don't know how many people actually read this, I'm not expecting to make waves with this announcement! After my miscarriage last March, Justin and I made the decision to start trying to get pregnant once we had the ok from the doctor. We got the ok for June, so we started the process full of hope. As month after month went by with no pink plus sign, hope began to wane, disappointment, doubt, and discouragment took over. I grew almost obsessive, continuing to set new goals: I want to be pregnant by Bennett's (the baby we lost) due date of November 5. I want to be pregnant by Thanksgiving, by Christmas, by June... After 10 months of trying, of living my life in 2-week cycles, of waking up at the same time every morning to take my temperature, of meticulously charting every relevent moment and event of my days... I gave up. It was no longer fun, it was no longer hopeful. I was miserable, and I didn't want my child to be created that way. So I told Justin I needed an indefinite break, and bless him, he agreed. Suddenly, I felt a weight lifted off of my shoulders that I didn't know I'd been carrying. It was heavy with doubt, disappointment, pain, anger, sadness... discontentment. This part of our lives that we had so adamantly declared we were giving into God's hands, I had obsessively taken over and stopped trusting Him with this. But no more.
Contentment is a marvelous state of being. I hope it lasts.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Yay God!

God has been doing some pretty wonderful things lately.

When I finished my last final in December, along with the relief that my academic career was complete came a rush of panic and fear. I was no longer a student! I have been a student since I was 5 years old! 17 years! I know nothing of life but school years and summer vacations. My life has been marked by first days of school, Christmas breask, last days of school, semesters... 1 year isn't January 1 to December 31 when you're a student- it's early September to early June (with the beauty of summer right in between)! But when I turned in that last final exam, all of that ended for me. And I entered into a time of transition, the idea of which scared the poo out of me!

I'm a planner. I like to know what's going to happen next. I don't like change, and I don't like transition. I traded my school career for the responsibility of providing for our family financially. The only problem was, I didn't have a job! I spent Christmas break praying desperately that I find a job; and if I didn't, that God would take care of us on what little income we had. After all, He's done it in the past! We had several months in the past year when we had no idea how we would pay our bills, let alone eat! But every bill got paid, and we never went hungry. No matter where that money came from, whether we scrounged it up ourselves, humbly asked family for help, or received an anonymous gift from an unknown friend, it was God every time. The lilies are beautifully dressed, the grasses of the field are lovingly cared for. Of course He provided for us!

Matthew 6:25-34
"And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. "But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! "Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?'

Just 2 weeks into my job hunt, I landed a nearly perfect job (I say nearly because, after all, no job is perfect). I get to do something I love and get paid for it! Not only are my wages higher than I expected, but after only 2 months on the job, I've been offered full-time hours effective May 1! Our financial worries have ceased for the time being!

As time has passed, I've noticed a change in us. We were both stressed out all the time because we both worried about money all the time! And while we never fought about money, the higher stress levels caused more arguments. When I brought home my first paycheck, we were giddy! There was a positive number in our bank account! Now that we're more used to our new income and more comfortable lifestyle (not extravagent, just comfortable), our stress levels have decreased, meaning we argue less, we sleep better, we feel better, and we look better!

When I was growing up (and still to this day), my mother always said the same thing when I was going through a hard time: "Just think of it as character building!" During one particularly long and difficult time 2 years ago, I began to respond, "I have more than enough character, thank you very much, I don't want anymore!" I got so frustrated when she would tell me this, but she was right. We struggled. And we built a ton of character. I will never forget the past few months and how difficult things got. We learned so much in the past few months about trusting God. We struggled with it for a long time, but when I finished school, I had to let go of my control on our life and say, "Ok God, do what You want. I trust You to take care of us. You always have, and I know you always will." And then I got a job.

Ever notice how the best things happen when you just throw up your hands and say, "Ok God, do it Your way, since mine obviously isn't working!" Every time I've done that, God has blessed me enormously. Without those words, I would never have come to Oak Hills. I never would have met Justin. I wouldn't have my job. And as painful as the experience of miscarriage was and is, I would never have had my angel baby Bennett, my little bean who went Home early, who changed my life, our lives, our world forever.

God works in ways we can never understand. But I trust Him. He knows what He's doing. He's proven that time and time again. And that's good enough for me.


Friday, February 6, 2009

February Praises and Prayer Requests

God has been answering prayers like a fiend for us, but everyone always has prayer requests, and we do too.
~ God has been providing for us financially in the past couple of months, and there has been such a huge burden lifted off our shoulders. Our finances have been a concern for us for most of our marriage, and God has always pulled us through. Yay God!

~ I got a second part-time job caring for adults with disabilities. This answers our prayers for financial relief, and my desire to find a job that will not only provide for us, but one that I can enjoy. I've had a rough time with jobs since I moved to Bemidji, with the exception of my kitchen job, so I really wanted to find something that I would enjoy, and I have. Yay God!

~ Warmer weather! All of us have been in a deep freeze for the past couple of months, and there have been days that it was unbearable. But spring is coming, slowly but surely!

~ Justin is back in school and adjusting well. He was able to get enough financial aid to cover his school expenses, and then some. His job at KMart is working with his school schedule so he has plenty of time to focus on school, and our financial burden has been lifted off his shoulders, which is a great relief for him.

~ Sickness. It's flu season, and both of us are sprawled out on the couches hacking and coughing. Fortunately, this seems to be a short-lived strain. Yesterday I felt like death had thrown me down 4 flights of stairs and drop-kicked me. Today I'm just coughing alot and I sound like an 80-year-old chain smoker! Justin's on his first day, so hopefully tomorrow he'll be on the upswing. Pray that this is it for us for this season!

~ As grateful as I am for my new job, I'm a little worried about getting burned out. Between both jobs, I won't have a weekend off until after graduation, and I have to work at least a few hours every single day. I still have time for myself and time to be home, but I worry that I won't have time to rest and I'll get burned out quickly.

~ We're working really hard to put enough money aside to buy a new car by the end of the year.

Thanks all-

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Month, New Job, and a New TV!

This has been a good week for us! Sunday was my first day of work with my new job, and it had a bit of a rough start, but by the time I was done, I had completely fallen in love with the residents in my care! I'm getting about 30 hours a week, and since the majority of those hours are sleep nights, I get paid for sleeping! With my schedule the way it is, I still have my weekdays to be home and spend time with friends, which was something I was worried about losing. I'm also still working in the Oak Hills kitchen, so I'm busy busy!

Yesterday we went out and bought the new TV we've been talking about getting since we've been married. It's big and beautiful and a little sad how happy it makes me!

Mom came up for a visit on Monday afternoon. We went out to lunch, then bummed around town. We found a fun new store in Bemidji, and just had a good day talking and hanging out. Dad ended up having to work, so he wasn't able to come, which was a bummer. But Mom and I had a good day together.

Sunday I'm venturing to Fargo for the day. Katie and I are having lunch and doing some shopping, and working on more plans for Mom and Dad's 25th anniversary party. I also have to send our wedding rings off, so Justin's can be recoated and my rings can finally be sautered (sp?) together. I'm looking forward to getting to Fargo, I've always enjoyed going there, and having Katie to hang out with is a good excuse to go!

The one downside to my new job is that, combined with my kitchen job, I won't have a weekend off until after graduation! So it will be hard for me to get home for anything for awhile, but I'm sure I'll figure something out. I can't stay away from home that long!

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ready for a new year

Welcome, 2009! I haven't posted in a couple months, and there's been quite a bit that's happened, so maybe I'll work my way backwards!

I have been home in Fergus since Christmas Day, spending time with my family, and it's been so wonderful. I've been able to get together with a couple friends and see lots of family. Mom will bring me back to Bemidji (and Justin) on Sunday. Christmas was great this year, different than we've ever done it before, but very nice. Justin had to work on Christmas Eve, so we came to Fergus the Monday before Christmas and had Christmas dinner and opened gifts with Mom, Dad, Katie, and David. Then it was back to Bemidji for a couple days, and Christmas Day in Annandale.

December 18 was my last day of school... forever! It feels wonderful to be done, but I don't think it will feel official until I walk across that stage and get my diploma in May. I'm so grateful for my time at Oak Hills as a student; I can't believe how much I've learned! There is so much about the Bible, God, my faith, and the world that I didn't know before; I've learned how to think and how to find out for myself what the truth is, and my theology and faith have grown in leaps and bounds. I've gotten so much more than a bachelor's degree and that piece of paper. I can't imagine where I would be or what my life would be like if I hadn't listened to God's whispers leading me to Oak Hills. I'm now entering into a long transition period; I'm done with school, but not leaving Oak Hills. I'm able to keep my job as assistant manager in the Oak Hills kitchen for at least the spring semester and possibly the summer, and I'm looking for a part-time PCA job.

Speaking of school, Justin will be going back on January 12. He's planning to be done in May 2010. He's decided to stick with his youth ministry major, and while we're in Bemidji, he hopes to get EMT certified and volunteer for the Bemidji fire department, with the goal of becoming a salaried firefighter someday! I know, big change of plans! I've never seen him so fired up (no pun intended!) and passionate about something, so I'm happy he's found something he wants to do. Neither of us know what this means for us and where it will take us, but we're ready to follow where God calls.

We spent the week of Thanksgiving in Colorado visiting Justin's family, which was great. It was so good for him to see them; it's been too long! We were busy the whole time, visiting family, celebrating brithdays, and spending time with friends. We also celebrated Christmas early with James, Karen, Sarah, and Chelsea. We were so grateful the price of gas has dropped so drastically; it really saved us some money on that long drive!

In early November (the 4th and 5th), we spent a couple days in the Twin Cities. It was election day when we went down there, so we listened to the coverage all day and watched McCain's concession speech and Obama's acceptance speech in our hotel room. We ate out and got some shopping done as well. The goal of Wednesday the 5th was to have fun and be together, and not to dwell too much on the sadness of the day. I'm pretty sure everyone who reads this knows, but if not: Justin and I had a miscarriage in March, and the baby was due on November 5, so we wanted to get away for the day and be together. We went to Ikea and the Mall of America, and really had a great day, so I think it was a successful trip! It provided a lot of closure for me, which I didn't know I still needed until I got it.

So now I think you're all up to date! 2008 was kind of a rough year for us, between our miscarriage, some major decisions to make, and lots of money troubles. But God was good to us and carried us through the hard times. We're so fortunate to have wonderful family and friends to love us and support us. I'm very hopeful that 2009 will be a good year for the Distels, and I sincerely hope that it will be for all of you reading! Happy New Year!