Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Blogging lately/ short update

Let's be real, since I've been married, blogging is more of a chronicle than an expose if you know what i mean. I've said this before but when i was in high school and college i needed my blog to help me express myself and feel valued.
Since i started dating Karl in early 2015, that need faded, because he made me feel valued and understood, and i felt free to express myself with him.

So the need to blog faded, but the desire was still there. But for the past few months the desire has been fading, too, and it has felt like a chore. I don't want that. I rather not post at all than post empty things. So i haven't been.

Also, I'm 9 1/2 weeks pregnant (YAY!) and have been increasingly sick (boo!) so blogging went from it's already reserved place on the back burner to pretty much out the window. priorities look different while pregnant.



I did want to record, though, that we are so happy to be pregnant, and that despite the sickness and fatigue, things are going great. We feel happy. Mallorie is a patient little angel and things are well in the Horlacher home.

I've been painting more for money, which brings mixed feelings, but mostly gratitude. People are generous. and the painting distracts me from my sickness. My family is awesome and helping out, and some friends from church have offered too now that more people are finding out. It's now a secret anymore but we're not posting it on FB/Insta for a few more weeks, so people don't really know yet. I hope and think it's a boy. Karl hopes it's a boy but thinks it's a girl. He refuses to talk names until we know the gender. sigh. Last time we had one boy name and one girl name from the get-go. easier times. We have a girl name, but the boy name is up in the air.

I've been doing a ton of family history lately, which is awesome and fulfilling and addicting and FUN. You should try it out (for free!!) at familysearch.com, let me know if you have any questions! I am love love loving it. It is like detective work, trying to find evidence that each person existed by locating them on documents, and connecting them to family members. It gets harder and harder the farther back you go in time, but that makes it more fulfilling when you do find proof of someone. I'm grateful that women and children are better documented now. I hope that the world is still functioning by 2020 because i have always loved filling out forms but i've been spending so much time searching through/working with previous census records, i'm excited to fill out the next one!!!

Karl is working hard in school. He's a TA, too, so he's on campus a lot, but we're coming up on the last big hill, and then the graduation finish line will be in sight!!

Mallorie is perfect as always. She has 8 teeth (two new molars this week) and two more coming up. #sendmeyoursleepaidsecrets She pats my stomach and says "Beh-beh" and signs "baby" every single morning as soon as i get her out of her crib and bring her to bed to snuggle. oh, snuggling. we do a lot of that since i have been practically living on the bed and couch in half-coma the past two weeks.

We are happy.
any toddler-friendly ideas for things to do in Provo, UT?
Also, how do i keep my toddler active in the winter, in an apartment? hahaha I am legit worried she will develop a vitamin D deficiency this winter.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Where is Mallorie?


The other day, i came out of the shower and freaked out, because i could not see Mallorie anywhere, and she wasn't making noise. I was literally about to run out the door in just a towel, convinced that someone had broken in and stolen her, but just as i was about to unlock the door, i saw her out of the corner of my eye and reenacted the scene in photos:





:)
There she is!

I made little paper bats to hang over our door.
oooooooooo spooky
 

My sister Katrina brought me roses during my miscarriage, and i let them dry decoratively. Then, i snipped off all the buds and put them in a bowl for Mallorie to play with. As you can see, she loved it, haha:


I made a little paper banner for the kitchen:

Mallorie's new favortie toy:

a favorite sight:


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Make the World Better Part One - Charities I Trust

Do you want to help make the world better RIGHT NOW?
Here are three charities that I wholeheartedly support. 100% of proceeds go to genuinely improving the quality of human life. I have followed and supported them long enough to totally trust what they are doing.
1. LDS Philanthropies 
https://goo.gl/RYbgT2
Yes, this is owned by the LDS (Mormon) church. 100% of proceeds help people in need all around the world regardless of religion, race, nationality, creed, etc. I have seen time and again the ways this organization blesses lives. They provide relief for every type of disaster, as well as support for unemployment, and many other needs.
2. Operation Underground Railroad
http://ourrescue.org/
Abolishing sex slavery all around the world, especially the trafficking of minors. They rescue slaves, put the captors in jail, and send the former slaves to safe houses for rehabilitation until they are ready for further steps, which they also facilitate. I deeply respect the work that they do.
3. Lumos
https://goo.gl/bSen8B
"Lumos works to support the 8 million children in institutions worldwide to regain their right to a family life and to end the institutionalization of children."
Do you have a favorite charity? One you KNOW is making a difference in the lives of real people? Leave a link below so that we can all consider adding it to our scope of healing. We CAN help the world become a better place, right now.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Turkey Vultures

We love living right next to all the "downtown" Provo events. Food trucks, free entertainment, a cheap date! :)
This was a Latino heritage celebration, we also went to a Polynesian festival earlier in the summer. both awesome with performing dancers, singers, etc. Both times we split a treat and Mallorie danced to the fun music. 


We love Provo! It really is a great place to live. they have so many free community events, and from what i've heard from neighbors, the politicians try to be really involved with the community and make sure the citizens are happy. 

When I'm in the shower, if it's gonna be longer than 5 minutes (on the days i wash my hair, hahahahahha) I let Mallorie watch a few minutes of a show [I know, i know, shame on me, but If she doesn't have a distraction, she finds something to get into and makes a GIANT mess (even more than usual, haha) so whatevs. #dowhatyougottado #Itsonly20minutes]
And The official Daniel Tiger Youtube channel is transitioning to all Portuguese videos?? So i let her watch the Little Mermaid in 20 minute segments. and then i didn't realize i had so many Ariel things still? haha i was OBSESSED with this movie when i was like...14 years old. haha. 

And she would point out Ariel in several places throughout the house (a cup, a blanket, a sticker on my old desk lamp) and get excited. ha! Then the next time we were at the store, i needed to buy her new PJs anyway, and they had Little Mermaid ones for some reason, 23 years after its release, and she LOVES them, as pictured below:


Karl's first day of 17th grade!! :) haha. 
Last year of grad school! Maybe school in general! yaaaayyy!


There are turkey vultures that live in the big trees on the street next to us and i HATE them. they are huge and disgusting and creepy and they swoop around us when we're out playing. jshvlkusdfhglks i get the creeps just thinking about their nasty little necks and their beady little eye. hugggglehu




Mallorie's helmet specialist gave her a teeny helmet for her baby doll and she ADORES it. the day we got it, she carried her baby all day long, signing "helmet" over and over again on both her head and the doll's. adorable. blurry proof:



When we first got married, My grandmom gave me an adorable vintage sewing machine and i set out making us stockings. Then one part of the machine broke, but since it was so old, nobody makes that part anymore and to buy the same part from a different old machine would cost half the amount of a new machine, haha. so i made me and Karl's and Mallorie's by hand (I knew i was pregnant by this point). My sister Allison gave me a hand-me-down machine a month ago and i was THRILLED. and one by one i am finishing old projects that I started when i was first married, not pregnant, and the owner of one billion hours of free time a day. 


Thursday, October 5, 2017

My Chemical Pregnancy (Miscarriage)

I considered not posting about this, because i didn't want a pity party, and i'd already recorded all of this in my journal, and we have genuinely moved on and are fine.
But, this was a part of our September, and this is our family journal, so i'm documenting it for myself, and my family.





At the end of August, Mallorie randomly lifted up my shirt, patted my belly and signed "baby". She'd never done this before and i hadn't taught her to. We'd decided to try to get pregnant, so i thought the whole thing was cute. I wanted to be pregnant and had already bought a test to use the next week.

So, the first week of September, i took two pregnancy tests, and they were both positive. We were thrilled and giggly and hugging and kissing. Karl wanted it to be a surprise, so i didn't tell him what day i was taking the tests. Then spelled "Baby 2" with Mallorie's blocks when i knew for sure. He was happy, i was happy, Mallorie laughed too because she wanted to join in.

A couple of days later, i started bleeding, it wasn't just spotting. I won't describe it in detail, but it was clearly not spotting. I waited until Mallorie was asleep and then called my midwife and she told me that based on my description and symptoms, i was most likely miscarrying. She ordered a blood test for me to take the next day, to be sure.


I was more sad than I have been in a very long time. Maybe ever. I felt empty and sick and just sorrowful. I hadn't told any of my family that i was pregnant, so i didn't want to call any of them to help calm me down, because "it might be nothing". That's what i kept telling myself, but i knew in my heart that i was miscarrying. I wept bitterly on the floor for basically Mallorie's entire nap, and then tried to keep it together and just jog to the bathroom if i needed to cry again during the day. I had bad cramps and was bleeding. I had previously volunteered to make dinner for someone in my congregation who had just had twins, so that kept me busy through the afternoon until Karl could come home. His phone had been off during school, so he got all my calls and texts all at once while getting in the car to go home and he was nervous because he didn't know what was happening.

He came in and just gathered me into a big hug. But dinner was boiling over on the stove and Mallorie was in her high chair, waiting for food, and so i broke away and started rattling off the list of things that needed to be done before i could take this dinner away. He grabbed the spoon and hot pad out of my hands and turned me to look at him and asked, "But, wait...are YOU okay?"

I sobbed and just fell into his arms and cried for a few minutes. He finished dinner and took it to the family and got Mallorie set up with her dinner. Then I laid on the floor while he rubbed my back and we talked.

After Mallorie went to sleep that night, Karl gave me a blessing. He told me God loved me and was so happy that I was willing to bring His children into this world. Karl paused for what i thought was a long time before saying, among other things, that i would still be able to bring this child to earth. Hope fluttered in my heart, but i also knew deep down that i had already miscarried, so this didn't make sense. Why would God tell me that i was going to still have the baby? I was sure i had miscarried.

I went to sleep early and the next morning contacted all our immediate family, giving them the news and asking for prayers. Right before we went to get the blood test, i was alone, and i had a special experience. It's too special to me to write here in great detail, but I felt like i got to talk to my child and tell them that i was not angry at them, and that I was disappointed that i had to wait to meet them, but i loved them so much and looked forward to them coming to our family someday. I also felt like that child got to communicate to me that they loved me and wanted to come to our family, and that they still would.

I believe in angels, i believe they are real.

In fact, I know they are real, through various true experiences in my life.

I felt angels with me on that day, holding me up and reassuring me.

Jonathan came over and stayed with Mallorie so Karl could come with me to the Midwife. As we drove there, I felt total peace. Karl and I talked about how we were sad, but no longer devastated. something had changed. We felt like we lost this pregnancy, yes, but not this baby.

That night, the midwife called us confirming the results of the blood test, and the miscarriage. She gave me a lot of information that i heard, but didn't process until later because i was just trying to accept the finality of her news.
we hung up and i clung to Karl.
"No baby." I said.
"Not right now." He added.
I nodded and he held me tighter.

Slowly, the next day, i felt lighter. I held to the hope of the blessing i was given, and the experience i had with my baby, assuring me that i would someday bare and raise that sweet child.

And honestly, within two days, i felt fine, emotionally. There were physical effects for the next week, but emotionally, i was okay. Really and truly okay, and that surprised me.

Once i felt better, i was able to process the information given me about the pregnancy.
It was a "Chemical Pregnancy". Basically, when the sperm and the egg joined, one or the other accidentally contributed two sets of DNA, leaving the zygote with 3 sets. When this happens, the zygote knows that it cannot survive, and terminates itself, but sometimes it implants before it is fully terminated, instead of passing through with a normal cycle. That is what happened. An egg was fertilized, and implanted, so my body started to produce HcG, and it was picked up the pregnancy tests i took, but the zygote had already begun to terminate itself. likely even before i took the test. So very soon after, my uterus cleansed itself.

Some professionals simply call this a "fertilized cycle" or "failed pregnancy" and don't even consider it a miscarriage because it usually happens at only 4-5 weeks pregnant, before there is even an actual fetus. It is still a ball of cells, yet to be formed into recognizable parts. If a woman wasn't planning to get pregnant, she might not have even noticed, and just thought she had a late, heavy, cycle.

Hearing and reading that made me feel invalidated.

But I do consider it a miscarriage.
I was emotionally attached to that pregnancy, and i was pregnant, even if only for 4.5 weeks.

My midwife said this kind of pregnancy is a weird fluke, and doesn't affect my ability to get pregnant in the future. It shouldn't even disrupt my cycle more than 1-3 days.



I wrote this in my journal the day after the miscarriage:

"I will have that child someday. ... Over all, though i still mourned the loss of pregnancy and the extended waiting period to meet my child, I feel peace. I feel hope. I feel calm. I feel loved and trusted and guided. I feel proud ... of my body for what it can do do, and of my husband for being so solid in truth. ALL WILL BE RIGHT."


I still feel all of that.


As strange as it sounds, i'm grateful for this experience. Not that i had a miscarriage, but Grateful for the way it made me rely on the Lord and totally turn my trust to Him. Grateful that that was my reaction, and that i didn't tailspin. I have been looking for the "collateral beauty" along the way. I feel blessed in small ways. If this had to happen, i'm glad i was in an emotionally stable place when it did, so i could recover and move forward.
I'm grateful for the baby that i have, and that i'm not afraid to get pregnant again. Grateful that my next baby will come when it and my body are both ready for a pregnancy. Grateful for all of the incredible family members and friends who sent love and flowers and love and meals and love and prayers. For the literal Angels that carried me through that week. This whole thing has just made me appreciate Mallorie so much more. I keep holding her long after she has fallen asleep at night, just to feel her close to me. I cherish every babble and toddle and tiny hair curl on her little asymmetrical head.

Things like that.


Just as no two pregnancies or babies are exactly alike, no two miscarriages are exactly alike. This was my experience and I am all too aware that other people who have had miscarriages all have different experiences. I'm not trying to compare. Or say that anyone needs to have the feelings i have.
These are mine, and i'm sharing them.


We really are okay. We are happy and thriving.

Thank you for reading this, thank you for being here. My heart is full right now for all of the people in my life.






"sa-si" and the second half of August

Mallorie has one hour without her helmet, in which she takes a bath, I clean her helmet, and we go outside so her hair and helmet can dry in the sun. 
She LOVES going outside. She calls it "Saw-sigh" and signs "outside". 

Sometimes i bring a toy but mostly i don't, she just runs around and explores the grass, it's great. 





so so cutey. I also love how long her hair is getting and whenever the helmet is off, i notice and he looks so old!






those ringlets! those bright eyes! her sweet face and chunky arms!




selfie! hehehe





She was so excited when Karl was excited to watch the first BYU football game (unfortunately, we haven't been excited for any other BYU football games, hahaha. #rough #sorrysitaki #youllgetemnextyear) 

AAaaaaaand she looked so darn cute, too. 






enjoying a little frozen milk chocolate treat:



a new Harry Potter puzzle:


a new HUGE phone, lol. I got an inexpensive upgrade after my old phone had water damage, and my new phone is awesome and i felt spoiled, but it's also GIANT. hahaha i can't text with one hand, because the phone is too wide to hold in one hand while typing haha. I feel ridiculous. 

I copied a quilt from my grandmom to give my kids, and Mallorie loves it, which makes me feel good :)



Saturday, September 23, 2017

I know.

I just watched the women's session of LDS General Conference, and i feel absolutely full of goodness and love.

WOMEN ARE AMAZING.

I feel encouraged. I feel inspired and useful. I love this tradition of Conference.



I also want to say that feel a warm peace in my chest. A glowing feeling, as if warm light was literally spreading from my heart to every part of my body, and shining through my skin into the air around me. I feel so much love and goodness! It is just one of those days that I absolutely KNOW, based on these undeniable feelings, impossible to falsely duplicate, that there is a God, a Father in Heaven who loves me and knows me. Specifically and perfectly. I know it I know it I know it.