I Threw My Dog A Birthday Party

I threw my dog, Finley, a birthday party and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I love him and to be honest, I really didn’t have anything better to do. He lights up my life, chews on everything I own, makes me laugh and cuddles me when I’m sad. I felt like it was the very least I could do to repay him for all he’s done for me. Trust me when I say we make him feel special every single day, from morning until night, so we went ALL OUT for his O N E year birthday: Balloons, cupcakes, Frito-Pie. Seeing him light up when we sang “Happy Birthday” and seeing him jump for joy for his new toys made the whole thing SO worth it. Our little one year old is spoiled rotten and it’s deserved because of how much joy he brings to our lives. When Wyatt and I lost our boys, we confided in Finley. He holds our secrets, our tears, our sorrows with such grace and positivity. If it weren’t for Finley, we don’t know where we would be. Honestly. Dogs just have a way of crawling unto the deepest parts of your hearts and staying there forever.

We love you Finley. (He’s sleeping on my lap as I type this.)

My PUPcake Recipe: 

I got my peanut butter dog friendly cupcake recipe from Fake Ginger.

We used only the safest ingredients for our pup and we even shared it with all of his friends and they loved it too! It was the easiest thing to bake. I definitely recommend it.

All the love to your pups,

From Karissa + Finley

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Loving Your Body After Miscarriage

This is a hard topic. Encouraging a woman that has lost her child to love her body again: Impossible, almost. I can’t say that I’m there yet either but I’m fighting hard to see the beauty in my body again, as difficult as it may be. I could write a novel about all the horrific things women physically and mentally go through after miscarriage or stillbirth and how tough it is to look at your body with grace. This short and sweet post is just the beginning. I feel compelled to share my miscarriage journey with you. I can’t go through what I went through and remain mute. Asa and Armie meant too much to me to do that.

I owe this voice to them and to the women all around the world that suffer in silence every.single.day.

◊◊◊

I COULD look at my new curves and only see the pain I endured. I COULD look at my body in a harsh light, thinking that it failed to give life to my precious boys. I COULD look at my weight gain and think it was all for nothing. Instead I’ve learned to look at my mommy curves and see beauty. I look at this body that endured SO MUCH in the last couple of months and smile. I delivered two BEAUTIFUL little boys that no, I didn’t get to keep on this earth but I get to keep in my heart. I’m thankful for that short amount of time that my womb provided for my babies. I really am.

After the delivery, my milk came in. This was by far one of the most difficult things that I experienced through my miscarriage. My breasts were supposed to feed my babies. I was so excited for this part of motherhood and there I was, completely engorged with no babies to feed. The physical pain didn’t even compare to the emotional agony that this put me through. No one told me how difficult this part would be. My body thought that there was a baby in my life to feed and there wasn’t.

Some women choose to pump because it makes them feel connected to their heavenly babies. I completely understand that. I chose to wait it out and just suffer through it so that my breasts would feel normal again sooner without having to continuously pump. It took about two weeks for the swelling to come down but even now, a month later, I still leak. My doctor said that I’ll probably continue to leak for awhile, even through my next pregnancy because my hormones are still very much active after miscarriage. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want this leaking to end because it’s a reminder that I am a mommy and I once had life in my womb. It’s a silly thing to confess, I know, but you would be surprised how many women want to express this but don’t. It’s completely normal.

Let’s talk body image. We all know the sacrifice that women make to carry and deliver their babies but what some people don’t know is the sacrifice AND torment that women go through after a miscarriage. We gain all this weight for a baby and when the baby doesn’t live, we’re stuck looking at our thicker bodies in the mirror completely missing our child while also feeling nothing like ourselves. This combo is difficult to explain and impossible to forget. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror for over a week. I was so angry at myself and even angrier at my body. I blamed myself. I still don’t understand why I had to lose my boys but one thing I know for sure is that it was not my fault. It was NOT your fault. Please repeat this over and over to yourself. “It was not my fault. It was not my fault.” Sooner or later you will begin to believe it. Feed your mind and and mask your thoughts in positivity. You will heal faster and stronger when you take care of your mind, body and soul. We may never know what really happened to our babies. This is something that’s hard to swallow, I know. But please trust me when I say that Jesus has my babies and the rest of the world’s unborn babies wrapped safe and sound in his arms.

It’s not every day that I hold my strength. I’ll admit that there are moments I’m so bitter towards my body. Why couldn’t it work like it was supposed to? I sometimes DO look at my stomach, my breasts and everything else that doesn’t look the same as it did and think “Failure” and “It was all for nothing.” It’s so easy to give up on yourself isn’t it? It’s easy to see yourself as less worthy, less important and less loved after miscarriage. I’m here to tell you that you ARE worthy, you ARE important and you ARE loved.

You ARE a mother. 

Take your time. There is no rush, whatsoever, to feel normal again. Grieve for as long you need to. Be mad at your body, its therapeutic, but don’t forget to give your body a little credit too.

One other piece of advice I’d love to share through my miscarriage is this:

DON’T SUFFER IN SILENCE. No matter how far along you were when you miscarried, whether it was 5 weeks or 39 weeks, your voice matters, your hurt MATTERS. Speak your mind and give away your pain, please.

God Bless you my sweet mommies.

Learn to love YOU again.

©Karissa Marie

Dear Wyatt // One Year Wedding Anniversary

Dear Wyatt,

Today we celebrate our  O N E  year wedding anniversary. Today we celebrate our strength within ourselves and our love for one another. We did it. This year happened to be the most challenging year of our lives. We weren’t prepared for the heartache we endured but we were never shaken by it either. We kept going. We took one day at a time and then did that 364 more times. This year was hard. We were brought down to our knees. There’s no other way to spin it. As we celebrate our joyous moments, reminiscing on the love that we poured into one another, it’s easy to acknowledge the pain too. As we stand here today, maybe not as tall as we once were, we recognize this pain that made us who we are. Let’s never forget that. There was a purpose for it. All those tears we cried, I know it in my heart will bring us closer to God and in the end will bring us closer to each other.

Let’s think back to the last 365 days.

In order of occurrence:

//We moved in together. This part wasn’t as challenging as people made it out to be. I love being your roommate. Waking up next to you is the best part of my day.

//We remained abstinent until our wedding night. We kept our relationship chaste from the beginning because at such a young age we knew the value and sacredness of intimacy. I absolutely love this part about our story. We waited 7 years for each other. I would wait 700 more. You’re THAT worth it to me.

//We got a puppy. Okay, okay. This challenge was actually quite fun. We both had no idea what we had gotten ourselves into the day we brought home Finley. I think he turned out just fine, don’t you? Who would have that thought that this small, 6 pound fur ball would have brought so much joy and laughter into our lives.  I won’t ever forget where our story began: You, Me and a dog named Finley.

//We moved across the country. New Mexico to Denver. Denver to New York City. Everyone guided us away from the Big Apple, saying that we couldn’t do it. We packed up a tiny U-Haul and after that nothing was going to stop us because we had each other. We had BIG dreams and BIG expectations that didn’t turn out as grand as we expected but we made it through. We grinded. Day in and day out, both working 12 hour days just to make enough money for rent. Looking back, we were kind of BAD ASS! Who gets married and then moves to New York as their first adventure? US. Me and you. We did it.

//We became pregnant. This short time, as husband and wife, about to become parents to our two little boys might just be my favorite season that I’ve experienced in the last eight years I’ve spent with you. Our love was glowing. The heavens could see us shining. We spoke of nothing but the future. What Asa and Armie would look like. Their favorite hobbies. Which schools they would attend. Everything under the sun we had imagined in our heads. Our love was bouncing off the walls. We were so excited.

Then the unimaginable happen to us.

As our story was just beginning, our world turned upside down. Our biggest fear was actually coming true. That moment in the ultrasound room quickly changed our plans. It crushed our dreams of meeting our twin baby boys, raising them to be the men we had pictured them to be. It’s a moment that haunts us, to put it lightly. Wyatt, losing our baby boys has without a doubt been the most heartbreaking thing to have ever happened to us. We both saw darkness like we never saw it before. I look at myself in the mirror and I don’t even recognize the girl standing there. Everything has shifted. We’ve had to, in a way, start from scratch. This tragedy that struck us will be the very thing that brings us EVEN CLOSER together. It hasn’t been easy. We both know this. We grieve so differently. What I love about you and I is that giving up has never been an option and never will be. This love can’t lose. No matter the pain we feel everyday, our love prevails.

You loved me through my teenage years, beginning at just 14 years old. You loved me through the loss of my brother. You loved me through my depression all those years. You loved me through our marriage, so fresh and fragile. And you loved me through the birth of our baby boys: holding my hand as my water broke and as Asa and Armie entered into the world and quickly left it. You’ve loved me through it all. You’ve loved me so fearlessly, yet so tender. I can’t ever repay you for the warmth and light you’ve given to me over the last eight years.

You are love. You are light.  You are my everything.

Happy One Year Wedding Anniversary Daddy. I love you.

 

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Starting New

Hello my dear readers. They say after you experience a traumatic loss you should try and get back to your normal routine. So here I am. Blogging is my safe place. I feel at home here, typing to you. There’s no way I can ever fully recover after losing my two boys but the very best thing I can do for myself is to get up, get dressed and do the little things that make my soul feel at ease. I don’t know where this strength within me came from. I like to think that my Asa and Armie are the reason behind it all. They’re here with me, pushing me along and I owe my life to them and the love they give me. Each step I take, no matter where this life takes me, no matter how happy I may seem in my Instagram posts… I’m thinking of them.

So here I am. I’m starting new. I saw darkness like I never saw it before. I felt pain and heartache I can’t even begin to speak of but I’m here now: Broken and patched up as best as I know how.

Thank you for your prayers. I feel them all.

With love,

©Karissa Marie

Top. Jeans. Bench. NEW! Drugstore Foundation

Pregnancy Update (Week Seventeen)

Hello my lovely friends.

I swear it was just yesterday I was taking a pregnancy test and crying with Wyatt over the news of our positive result. Jump to week eleven and there we are in the ultrasound room completely shocked out of our minds that we were having twins. Now here we are, Week Seventeen. Can time slow down just a little? I’m savoring every second with these sweet babies in my belly. Only hoping and praying that they’re growing okay and receiving every bit of nutrients they can. The babies will be here in four short months and I just cannot even believe it. We’re almost halfway through the pregnancy! WHAT! (Twins are typically born one month before their due date.)

My second trimester has most definitely been much easier than my first. Ladies, no one is kidding or exaggerating when they talk about how excruciating morning sickness is. UNREAL! I feel just so blessed to be alive right now because for a moment there I saw death. (Hehe.) But really, my morning sickness was ongoing and nonstop until Week Fifteen. Praise the Lord it’s since been a lot easier to handle. I’m still feeling really tired and can only handle a few hours outside the comfort of my own bed but I’m learning that it’s okay to listen to my body. If I need more rest, I’m no longer ashamed of asking for it. I take my happy butt to the couch, throw on some Netflix and just sit there for hours!

On the flip side, staying active is VERY important. Wyatt trains me for 45 min-60 min twice a week at his gym. Right now we’re focusing on strengthening my back because I’ve always been prone to back pain and there’s nothing that scares me more than having chronic back pain during the end of my pregnancy. We’re also trying to strengthen my endurance. It’s no fun walking up one flight of stairs and immediately feel winded! I’ve got a long way to go honey.

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. MY GROWING BABY BUMP! Statistically, women who are pregnant with twins typically gain 5-7 pounds by Week 17…I’ve gained 15 pounds. HA! Those comments like “Wow, you’re showing so fast” and “You’re belly is huge” no longer effect me (kinda) because before I got pregnant I was only 95 pounds and I’M CARRYING TWINS! Give a girl a break. I was so worried I wasn’t eating enough for them because there would be days I couldn’t eat anything at all due to my severe morning sickness. I’m thankful for these extra pounds and the extra curves that come along with it because that just means my babies are getting more than enough.

M-A-M-A  P-O-W-E-R!

{ I’ve gotten so many questions on if we’re finding out the sex of our precious babies and we’re actually NOT going to find out. I think some things should remain a mystery and we only have to wait four months until we meet our angels so what’s the point! Paint colors for the nursery can wait. }

Within the next few weeks, we’re really going to be buckling down on ultrasounds and other doctor appointments. We have many hours ahead to look forward to spending in the hospital. Two babies mean twice the complications. I’ll be having an ultrasound every two weeks from here on out. Every time my doctor will check my cervix to prepare  and prevent preterm labor. Pregnancy is beautiful and nothing compares to it but no one tells you how scary it is. I worry all the time. Are my babies okay? Are they eating enough? Is Baby A catching up to Baby B or his he/she still behind in growth? SO. MANY. UNANSWERED.QUESTIONS. This is where I have to put my entire trust in my God. He wouldn’t have picked me out to be a twin mommy if he didn’t think I couldn’t handle it. I remind myself of this every day.

 I cannot even express to you my gratitude for these tremendous blessings. Every second of everyday Wyatt and I are thanking God for gifting us with not just one life but two. From the moment we found out we were pregnant God hasn’t stopped blessing us and we feel so overwhelmed by his unending grace. He has truly answered every one of our prayers. Never give up on hope. Have faith in His plan because the moment you let go and give all control to Him, your life will never be the same.

Until the next BUMPdate,

©Karissa Marie

Wearing: Bra. Kimono. Maternity Leggings.

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