It’s Okay To Not Be Okay

Ready to dive in with me on my most vulnerable post yet?!

***ONE YEAR AGO***

“This is not a viable pregnancy.” After those words were muttered by our doctor I didn’t really hear a lot else. So many thoughts raced through my head. You mean we are going to miscarry? Miscarriage – why did that feel like such a dirty word? It shouldn’t, right? Was it my fault? Did I do something wrong? Why do I feel guilty? Why do I feel ashamed…like I shouldn’t talk about it?…thoughts continued to race through my head… *** ***

I’ve debated for some time now how to put this post into words. How to describe those feelings that many have felt, but are not often discussed. I’ve debated how vulnerable I wanted to be. How will people react? How do you write about something that is so sensitive, yet needs to be talked about more frequently? How many people would care? How many would feel sorry for me, when that isn’t what I want? Who would relate? Would it seem like I am trying to make people feel sorry for me? Why do I feel guilty about this? Would….how….when…who….where…what if….???…Then my next thought was NO! STOP! I am not feeling guilty for sharing about this topic, or the things I’ve felt, experienced, or thought. My intention for this post is to educate, help, or just simply relate to others who have gone through it, and it is NEVER my intent to make people feel sorry for me, because what Derek and I have experienced together only made us stronger, more conscious about our health, and appreciate the things that we learned along the journey.

Even though it’s been a year since our first miscarriage, and 7 months since our second we still carry that weight with us each day. And yes, I do mean WE and OUR, because Derek grieved along with me, and felt that loss too. So many times we were asked how I was doing. Very rarely did they ask how WE were doing. I know that everyone meant well, but if you think I was the only one experiencing pain, you’d be wrong. Derek was just as affected as I was. Not only was he grieving with me, but he also worried FOR me. He watched closely as I emotionally deteriorated at times, and worried about my physical pain too. He told me, “As a husband it is really hard to watch your wife go through all the physical and emotional ups and downs [that miscarriage brings].”

A couple of months ago I came across across a post on Facebook and I couldn’t have put this part of it into better words myself. So let me tell you a few of things this journey has taught me. “…Loss makes you love harder, love more, love selflessly. Loss teaches you that life is never promised. Loss teaches you ANXIETY. Loss gives you ANXIETY. But loss also makes you stronger. It teaches you that you can go on to be okay, to cope. Some days are easier than others. Better days will come…” **Credit: Darian Janae** And yes, I capitalized and italicized the word anxiety, because for the ones of you that know me well, know that I am a go with the flow person and had NEVER DEALT WITH ANXIETY prior to this experience! Let me tell you, it changes you in ways you wouldn’t think!

Want to know what some of the best advice I got from Megan was? She said, “You do know that it’s okay to not be okay, right?” I sat there and thought…IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY? And you know what? She was right…why did I not know this? Why did this never occur to me? Because, I needed someone outside of our circumstances to tell me this, to let me know that feeling NOT OKAY is a totally VALID EMOTION. Bottom line – whatever you are feeling during this journey is VALID. It’s okay to feel sad, angry, anxious, and it’s even okay to smile through it, even when it’s hard, it’s okay to imagine what could have been.

My hope is that we continue to share and communicate widely and openly about miscarriage, because it is often overlooked. It’s easy to talk about a happy and exciting new birth, and it’s amazing, but it’s often awkward and hard to talk about loss, so ultimately we avoid it. So, talk about it for the ones who don’t know, for the ones who have experienced it personally, and for the ones supporting others through it.

Until next time, I’ll be living the dream! Katie. K (Yes…I purposefully put the period after Katie. Why? That’s a story for another time).

A New Chapter

I’m about to get a little mushy and sentimental because last weekend we said good-bye to our old house. I’m not completely sure if this is just a “Megan” thing or if most other people feel this way too, but I found the whole thing a pretty emotional experience. When we were just talking about the possibility of moving I was filled with apprehension with just thinking about leaving our home. Once we found the house we wanted to place an offer on, a small part of me was ok with us not even coming to an agreement in negotiations because I was so scared of the change ahead (don’t worry, absolutely no regrets now!) During the actual move I was ok, filled with excitement for the new house, adrenaline to get things moved and put away, and powered by the mom drive to get the kids feeling settled. But when I start to think about the entire process and look back on what our first home has meant to me it does get the emotions flowing a little bit.

This was the house we brought our babies home to. This was the house that I carefully decorated each of my kid’s nurseries. Around 8 weeks along with Amelia I remember coming home from work to a huge gaping hole in what was going to be the baby’s room. David thought he needed to better insulate the wall because it was too cold in there for a baby. After the walls were intact again, I carefully picked out just the right shade of yellow and did the nursery into a Winnie the Pooh theme. Everett’s nursery was the complete opposite, finished actually after he arrived, because it was on the tail end of our basement remodel which we were doing mostly ourselves (neither of us are DIY experts by the way). Talk about stress! When I think back to that time in our lives when I was 8 months pregnant, off work due to high blood pressure, David working two jobs, a 4 year old at home, plus trying to finish the basement, switch bedrooms, and finish the nursery. It makes me smile now that we got through it, but I sure wasn’t smiling at the time! I think about how many hours David and I spent crunching numbers, talking about our options, sweating, cursing, crying, wondering how we were ever going to make it work. Hard to believe its all over now and there are new owners enjoying the finished basement.

That was the house we spent our first year of marriage, where we had our first real arguments, learned more about forgiveness, how to divide housework and outside work, and shared so many “I love you’s”. It is where we learned, failed, and relearned how to manage our finances as a couple. It’s where we fell in love with each other several times over again. We watched Amelia take her first steps, say her first word, get her first boo boo, and take her first day of school pic. This is the place we found out our daughter would have a baby brother. Both times I found out I was pregnant was in that little bathroom. We had both of our kids’ first birthday parties in that house.

Why is it that we can become so attached to a place and we feel sad to leave? I keep telling myself it isn’t the place I’m attached to, its the memories. The feelings of love and comfort that I’ve felt inside those walls. What a wonderful thing it is to have such a thing to feel sad about.

I am looking forward to the memories to be made in our new house. It feels we have started another chapter in our life. The one where instead of wishing and preparing for babies and making our way through the newness of sleep deprived parenthood, we continue to watch our children grow, teach them right from wrong, support them, and learn from them. We will get to experience so many new “firsts” in our new house and soon it will be these walls that I’m growing attached to. I can see this chapter will be filled with family, friends, community, adventures, and love. It is always sad to close a chapter but it is even more exciting to open the next one. Here’s to the next chapter.

-Megan

My Better Half

Last week Megan and I were talking about our writing styles and she said “you know, you usually figure out what you’re going to write as you’re writing. You start in one place and end up somewhere different”. After she said it I realized how right she was! I’ve been struggling all week to try and plan what I was going to write, or how to say it. Then I thought to myself, what am I doing?! Just sit down and start writing and it will all come to me. So, here I go…I’m beginning by introducing you to my husband, Derek, but who knows where this post will end up! 😂

I could tell you ALL the things about Derek and everything I love about him, but I think the most important parts are in the WHY.

  1. Wanna know one of the first, and WEIRDEST questions he asked me on our first date? Get ready for this one…”Do you like horses”?! I replied “no, my dad always called them hay burners”. And he replied back, and very loudly “THANK GOODNESS!” Lucky for him I’m not a horse lover, in fact, they scare the crap out of me. I later found out the real reasons Derek doesn’t care for horses, but that’s a story for a different time. The real thing I’m getting at here is WHY was he asking me this and WHY was it so funny and important to me the more I thought about it? Well…because… Derek is pretty blatantly honest and I found that out QUICKLY here. If he doesn’t like something, he’s going to tell you, and have 10 reasons to back up his theory! Just try and argue with him…you won’t get anywhere without concrete proof. Which makes for some pretty fun banter in our home…we have a lot of laughs, and a lot of silly smiles trying to get the other to back down first. Don’t worry…it’s all in fun…we’re both stubborn Germans! Bottom line, I’ve come to appreciate his honesty and integrity, not a lot of people have it.
  2. How about one of our saddest moments together? We were in my Ford Escape, on our way back from our doctor appointment where we were told that we were miscarrying for the first time. About half way home Derek pulled over on a gravel and said “It feels like a punch in the gut, and the air knocked out of you”. We cried together in our vehicle on that road. WHY was this important? Because Derek is strong, yet vulnerable when he needs to be, (I probably just ruined his street cred there 😂.) the best of both worlds.
  3. If you know Derek, you know he will probably have a quippy comment or remark to make at just about anything you say. He has a cheesy joke for just about any moment, and if you know me…I laugh…at everything…see why I love those quippy comments he makes?! And no joke…as I am writing this he is sending me ridiculous texts…When it comes down to it, he makes me laugh…pretty much constantly!
  4. Wanna know what his super power would be if he could have one? To be impervious to hot and cold. The first time he told me this we were canning tomato sauce and he says “I just wish I could reach in and grab the jars and be done with it!” He now tells me this on a weekly basis and applies it to whatever he’s working with…ie: the smoker, the grill, the hot or cold temperatures, fire, boiling water…basically everything. I’m pretty sure he’d walk around with no pants most of the time if he had no sensitivity to the cold (you think I’m kidding, but I assure you I’m not…). It makes me laugh because it is an answer that fits only HIM! It’s so practical, yet so randomly funny like he is!
  5. One last thing…if you plan on playing against him in any kind of trivia game…well DON’T. He’s good at it, and he knows it. He’s so dang smart, and he has a smart mouth! He will win. He will show no remorse. He hates to lose. He will taunt you. He will laugh and smile because he knows you’re wrong (insert eye roll)! And it’s ten times worse when we are both competitive…but I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Hey look at that, I actually stayed on topic! Well, I could keep going for pages and pages, but this at least gives you a snap shot of Derek. More to come in future posts…that I am sure! Until next time, I’ll be living the dream…

-Katie K

Keep Your Friends Close

Ok… so just a heads up. I don’t want this to feel like some lecture about how you need to add one more thing to your plate that you’re not already doing. Or some article that’s going to make you feel like a terrible friend. I want to share with you the things that I think help to make a friendship to last. I’m talking the kind of friendships like Thelma and Louise, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, or maybe Oprah and Gayle….better yet- Megan and Katie! 🙂

Katie and I have been friends for 24 years and I’m here to tell you neither of us is perfect but we have somehow made our friendship last all this time and I wanted to make a list on why I think it has!

Don’t make a big deal about things that don’t really matter. This goes for any relationship in life. Try to look past the little things and realize we’re all just human. If something is bothering you, talk it out. If it’s not worth mentioning then just drop it. You’ll all be happier.

Find stuff to do together. Like start a blog! Just kidding…unless you really want to! Then I say go for it! Katie and I also like getting together (with my mom and sister too!) and watching scary movies! We look forward to having a girls night with pizza and snacks, watching a movie together, and catching up. You could also read the same book, listen to a podcast, watch your favorite tv shows, and then talk it out and let let each other know what you thought!

Find things to laugh about! I’m sure anyone who knew Katie and I in high school can remember us cackling… I mean laughing. We know it is annoying, but we can’t help it! We love to laugh! Don’t take life too seriously and try laughing once in a while with your friend it will sure brighten your day and bring you closer as friends!

Think of your friends as they are going through tough times. Be present when they need to talk. If you don’t know what to say, that’s ok, just listening is so helpful! Send a message or a card saying you’re thinking of them. Send flowers or their favorite candy. Check in on them. If you feel like they’re ignoring you or pushing you away realize it’s probably not you, its them and most likely a time when they need you the most. Katie is really good at gift giving. I remember her sending me flowers at work when I went back for my first day after maternity leave with baby #1. She also brought me suppers just because, a present when I had to go on bedrest. Don’t underestimate those little things they really do mean so much!

Set time to hang out or talk. Go to a movie or out for lunch. Have a play date and bring your kids along if you have to! Help each other out with a project you have going on in the house. If you live far away, try to arrange time to talk on the phone or FaceTime once in a while. Katie and I use Marco Polo quite a bit. If you don’t have the app, I highly recommend that you download it! It is a way to send video messages at your convenience. Its the next best thing to talking in person in this high tech world we live in now.

Make other friends! Spread the love! We all need friends to be there for us! I find it so hard to make new friends now a days when everyone (me included) is on their phone, stuck at home or at work, or just not sure where or how to meet new friends. Try to say hi to more people when you’re out and about. Ask about their day, what they like to do, if they ever want to hang out!

We as human beings require socialization and not just internet friendships- real life human connection! It is a basic need just as strong as food, water, and warmth. Don’t under estimate the importance of keeping friends by your side. I want to know how you and your friend or friends keep each other close. What are ways that you’ve made new friends in adulthood? Any other thoughts or comments share them with me here or on our socials! Talk to you soon!

-Megan

A Friend Will Help You Move, A True Friend Will Help You Move a Body

Oh hey there! Katie here! I thought for my first solo post I would tell you about how Megan and I became friends. I thought I’d tell you the whole story, A-Z, beginning to end. Then I realized, if I told you everything all at ONCE…uhhh…we’d be here for years…and I DO mean YEARS. We’ve shared countless laughs, tears, smiles, giggles, frustrations, and basically every emotion under the sun. If you can think of an emotion, we’ve been through it together. I think our time, mine and yours, would be better spent telling you the things I’ve learned from our 24 years of friendship.

Number 1: Just because you are best friends, doesn’t mean you will agree on everything. And you know what?! That’s a good thing. You will argue and be mad (sometimes for longer than you should), but those diversities that each one brings to the relationship is what ultimately brings you closer. It’s those differences that spawn GREAT ideas..sometimes ideas that got us in trouble (Who?! Us?! Megan and I in trouble?! Nah!), but they made for the best memories! Stay tuned, and I’m sure you will hear plenty of the trouble we got into.

Number 2: The house don’t fall if the bones are good. I’ve been listening to Maren Morris’s latest song, The Bones. Basically if you have a good foundation for any relationship it’s going to remain solid no matter what storms it goes through. Be truthful, be open, communicate, laugh, cry, FORGIVE.

Number 3: It is okay to have more than one best friend (Hi JENNA! MISS YOU!). How does the saying go?…Two is better than one? – ah yes! Having multiple best friends doesn’t make the other one less important or better than the other. It just means that each friend brings a different, relevant quality to your life. Each one brings out a different side of you, and acts as a crash pad when you just need somewhere to land. And seriously, making TRUE friends is damn HARD! So when you find good ones, hold on to them!

Number 4: FORGIVE. It’s ok to be mad. It’s not ok to hold a grudge. Be mad, do what you need to do, but then talk, communicate, forgive, and continue on. If Megan and I or Jenna and I would still be holding a grudge from some of the stupid things we’ve fought about, I wouldn’t have anyone to help me move and hide a body (refer to title of this post) and wouldn’t that just be a tragedy?! We wouldn’t have made it past the first year of friendship, and look how many years we would have missed out on!

There are so many other things I have learned from my friendships and relationships, but I want you all to actually read this…not open it, see that it’s 15 pages long, and then hit the X button. Until my next post, I’ll just be living the dream…

Much love! Katie K

Yes, You Can Have Cake for Breakfast

Hey! Megan and Katie here and we are each other’s better laugh. We are sitting at the the cutest cafe, ordered a delicious coffee (because lord knows we needed it), and of course a chocolate chip muffin (aka – cake for breakfast). We are finally jumping in head first and writing our initial blog post. We don’t know what we are doing, so laugh with us and at us!

Want to know what to expect? We are here to tell you. We are here to talk about the funny things, the hard things, the crazy things, the simple things, and the messy things about life. We’ve been doing this together for 24 years and now we want to put it all out there so you can relate and laugh with us.

Follow along if you know us, used to know us, if you don’t know us yet, or if you want to get to know us! Even though we are best friends and very much alike we have different opinions, beliefs, lives, interests and we feel there is always going to be something for everyone to relate to. Sometimes we will post together (like this one), separate, or an occasional video. Be prepared to expect funny stories, tough conversations, vulnerability, and absolute absurdities!

Expect to hear from one of us at least once a week! And we would love to hear your feedback. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with topics that may be on your mind that you want us to chat about. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram under My Better Laugh. Talk soon!

DISCLAIMER: We are not responsible for what the other person posts…**laughing hysterically**…no but seriously.