top ten things i do while on this hiatus {surviving infant loss}

Funny hiatus related ecard courtesy of

I have been on a hiatus. A hiatus from working, cleaning, socializing, blogging, etc. Which means, every day when Graham comes home from work he asks, “So, what did you do today?” He isn’t asking because he is trying to hold me accountable for anything, but mainly just to make sure I am doing okay. That I do actually get up out of bed and literally live each day {even if my only goal is to watch the latest Brewers game}.

However, I was just chatting with my best girl friend last night telling her about this approach from Graham and I actually stopped when I realized my thoughts were moving towards, “Well, what exactly AM I doing each day?”

What I had planned to do {and realized I hadn’t been} was occupy my time with blogging about {sharing} what we have been up to as we continue to learn what our new life is going to be like {because, my old life, and old Jen are gone forever and will never return….things just cannot be the same after experiencing the loss that we have}. Sharing has helped me tremendously in the past and I think part of the reason why is that I really do believe someday, in some way, my sharing will help someone else.

I have been wanting to share pictures of the trees that Graham and I planted in memory of Laughton or share the pictures of the daffodils planted by all of our loved ones in his memory. But I just cannot. Every time I look at the pictures, I cry. And I am not talking a weepy cry that is over in a few seconds….these days, once I start to cry it is usually ends up taking on the manner of a full-on, hyper-ventilating cry, and it takes me a good while to recover from it.

And I am still crying every day. Every. Single. Day.

However, I wish looking at pictures was the only thing that set me off {because it would be simple enough to keep that photo folder on my computer closed}, but very random things are setting me off as well. Seeing a sweet little old lady accept an honor for her late husband at a Brewers game? Bawling. Thinking about the fact that Jonathan Lucroy is someone’s son, out playing major league baseball in such a respectable, humble way {I watch a lot of Brewer’s games}? Bawling. I cannot even begin to write out thank you notes because every time I look at the basket of cards and think about all of the sweet, yet sorrow-filled notes inside, I start to cry.

Maybe someday I will have the strength to open the folder of pictures labeled Laughton to look through them and share them with you {or even write you a thank you note because you sent your sympathy to us and Laughton}, but for now I just cannot. I am, however, learning that I am okay talking about him {or it is getting easier, for the most part}, and that I do not instantly bawl when I do so. But, I am still missing him so badly that things like pictures bring tears to my eyes way too quickly and way too painfully yet. We have his picture that we used at the memorial sitting in our living room and there are some days when I can look at it {even with crying}, but there are some days when I have to turn it around because the pain when I look at his little face is still too great.

So, I have been on a hiatus from blogging here, from working at Invites by Jen, and from even cleaning my toilet. However, for that person reading this that may be going through something similar, I thought it might be helpful to give my list of the top ten things that have been keeping me moving, keeping me going, keeping me living.

1. Read blogs

I love all things DIY and learning about new dishes to cook. Reading blogs written by those that post new, creative DIY projects, or share their latest cooking experiment, gives me an escape. I guess I am living {in a strange way} vicariously through their adventures. Some days, seeing all of the things bloggers are getting done does give me the motivation {or the necessary push} to do something creative or productive that day. My favorite way to read blogs, in an organized manner, is with Blog Lovin’.

2. Watch the Brewers

Or any of your favorite sports team if you are not a fan of baseball….but do not tell me if you are a Cardinals or Cubs fan. I will stop being your friend. If you fancy your chances, you could even place a small bet on a baseball game using a betting website like FanDuel. Even a small win could be just what it takes to brighten a bad day.

3. Paint my nails

I had been a habitual nail biter until I got pregnant with Laughton. For some reason, I just stopped biting them when I got pregnant with him. With the added help of prenatal vitamins, my nails grew pretty fast and pretty strong. I have become {almost} obsessive in taking care of them now. It almost feels like it is something Laughton left for me. He gave his mommy pretty finger nails.

4. Thoroughly enjoy drinking a cup of coffee or tea

Coffee used to be just a thing that provided a pick me up in the morning. Now, I like trying new flavors and roasts. Not only of coffee, but I am getting into drinking tea as well.

5. Take care of plants and flowers

I will note this one with caution. If something bad happens to those plants or flowers, you will cry and feel terrible. We had bad storms come through causing a huge tree branch to fall and land on one of the plants we got for Laughton’s memorial, and that was not a very good day for me.

6. Work on the website

Although working on the Invites by Jen website is technically “working”, I do not feel like I am “working” because I do not HAVE to get anything done. My plan is to revamp the entire site to allow the ability for brides to order right online. This will take a very decent amount of time for me to accomplish, but I figure it can be done whenever I feel the motivation to do so. I am hoping by the time I am done with this project, I will really be up for getting back to “work”, will have a big website launching, and can get the new wedding season underway.

7. Plan a trip

I mentioned in my last post that Graham and I are planning a little getaway. We thought it would be nice to spend some time together, now that some time has passed. We are hoping the trip will help us re-center, rejuvenate, and revitalize so that we can continue down the path of growing our family. We are currently planning a road trip out to Washington so that we can camp and hike at the base of Mt. Rainier. We had planned on heading out to the Grand Canyon, but due to fire restrictions Arizona currently has in place {meaning no campfire}, we decided to change our route. Mt. Rainier feels a lot more like Alaska, a lot more like the Laughton Glacier hike, and a lot of what we are looking to get out of this trip together. Even Graham has gotten really excited with the planning and it makes me happy to see him so happy.

8. Organize….anything big or small

Even if it is something as small as organizing the pencils on my desk, the result provides me with some sort of semblance.

9. Be a part of a friend’s wedding

Right now, I do not commit to much {if anything, really}. But I am finding, the one thing I am having the ability to say “yes” to is helping my friend as she plans her wedding. It gets me out of the house at least every once in a while AND she is one of my very best friends {who has helped me a lot with getting through all life has thrown my way} so spending time with her and her family definitely is an added bonus!

10. Shower

I shower multiple times per day. Not because I want to be more clean, but because showers help calm me down when I do start crying. You are welcome world.

Going forward, I will continue to share as much as I can about our memories for Laughton and as we continue to try and grow our family {adoption updates coming your way}. But, I do also want to get back into sharing us “growing” our home as well. So, stay tuned for more posts all about what is going on at West Street!


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