mother’s day

When we were going through infertility treatments and struggling to get pregnant, this day was so bittersweet. I have a wonderful mom and a great mother-in-law. But the pain of feeling excluded from this day, because of the challenges we faced having a child, weighed on me.

This year is different for two obvious reasons and I am beyond grateful for our twin girls. They are smiling, cooing and starting to develop a little bit of personality.  It definitely helps make the long nights worthwhile.

But since I had the twins, a realization that had started to take shape when we struggled with infertility has continued to become more clear to me.

Motherhood does not happen to you, it happens in you.

Yes, it sounds totally cliché and trite, but bear with me. I did not magically become a mother on February 19th of this year. There was not a moment in the delivery room where a rush of hormones released a locked part of my brain, making me a mom.

Becoming a mom started a long time ago when I watched my own mom care for my sister and tried to imitate her with my doll I named Karen. It started in preschool when I pretended to be the mom when we played house. It continued to develop when I would babysit my siblings and neighbors. In my career, my instincts to mother grew as I learned how to nurture my coworkers and help those who reported to me achieve their goals. In volunteer work, I practiced and developed mothering skills with teenagers – one of the toughest and most rewarding groups to work with.

That being said, on February 19th when the doctors gave me my daughters to hold, I was filled with the requisite awe and wonder at our infant daughters. And while I loved them immediately, the moment was not transformative as I had previously imagined it would be. Sure, now I had the title, but it occurred to me that I had been doing the job, in one way or another, my whole life.

Am I saying that being a mother isn’t full of responsibility, challenges and difficulty? Certainly not. After being up most of the night with the twins, I have new appreciation for my own mother. I also have an even greater appreciation for my husband who was up with me, changing diapers, making bottles, rocking and burping.

But I also have a great appreciation for all the women in my life that have mothered me without having the official title. From teachers, bosses, mentors and friends, I have been fortunate enough to have a fantastic biological mother in addition to an army of women who have come alongside me and used their mothering skills to help me grow and flourish.

Mothering is encouraging, growing, nurturing, challenging, comforting, loving and caring for others, with little to no reward.  For the women out there who feel excluded from this day because they do not have children, I hope that this realization affirms the wonderful women that they are. It may not take away the pain and heartache of not having a child in your arms, but I want you to know that the amazing work you do in the lives of others is not, and will not be, forgotten.

And for everyone out there that has had the great fortune of having an army of mothers as I have had, I hope that you can take some time today to thank some of those outstanding women.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the women who mother – you are all a wonderful treasure!

100 joys (91-100)

In a change from how I’ve been documenting my daily joys, I’m switching gears and am going to cover the top 10 joys of 2010 (in no particular order) to round out the list, and the year.

joy #91

Last January, Frank and I were ecstatic to learn that we were expecting a baby in September 2010.  We were filled with wonder, hope and joy at the thought of finally being blessed with a baby.  While Lily’s life ended at 9 1/2 weeks, I still look back at the time we were pregnant with her as such a treasure and a joy.

joy #92

This summer we hosted a party and loved gathering our friends around for cocktails and desserts.  We really enjoy entertaining and it was a highlight of the summer for us!


joy #93

This was Frank’s crashpad in Atlanta.  Why is that in the past-tense?  Because, blissfully, Frank is no longer based in Atlanta.  He no longer has to commute Chicago to Atlanta!  His commute is an easy 90 minute drive to a nearby airport.  Oh, what a joy to see my husband more than six full days a month!!


joy #94

Our Church family.  We continue to look for ways to be more plugged into our Church and we are excited about the future at our church.  As always, a particular joy for us was attending our church’s Christmas service this year.  We were so blessed that our friends Rose and Al came along for the ride!


joy #95

Our Friend family.  Many of our friends have made up my 100 joy list, but there are so many that I didn’t include that are also joys and delights!


joy #96

Our family-family.  Everyone, at the time of this writing, is healthy and happy and safe.  It has been more than three years since my dad had his stroke and he is approved for driving, bike riding and general getting-into-troubleness.  All of our parents are up to their usual antics and getting excited to welcome the twins into the family.  My sibs are up to their usual antics, as are Frank’s sibs.  It was such a joy to spend time with our families this year and we are looking forward to more time together next year.  Not only is it a great joy, but a huge blessing.


joys #97 & 98

When we had a positive pregnancy test for the second time this year, we were ecstatic and when we found out we were having twins, we were over the moon!  This pregnancy, and everything about it (nausea, food aversions, heart burn, back pain – you name it!) has been a joy.  We are hopeful that our babies will stay put until late March 2011 and we plan to enjoy the next 88 days as we prepare to welcome them into the world.


joy #99

Aw, c’mon, y’all knew that Frank would be one of my top 10 joys, right?  Stop gagging for a minute and bear with me.  For as much as we’ve been through together – infertility treatments, family health issues, job changes, etc, being with Frank has made all of it a joy.  He is my absolute best friend and most favorite person.  While I treasure all of the stuff he does for me, I am most blessed by just spending time with him.  He is just a fantastic person.


joy #100


This year there were many times when I wondered, “WHY do I have to go through this?  WHAT am I supposed to learn?”

There was a song we sang at church where the refrain was “God is good all the time.”  It’s so easy to believe that God is good when things are easy.  It’s so easy to believe that God is loving when things are going your way.  But a lot of times, life doesn’t go my way.  This year, we experienced a lot of heartache, too.  There were times when my heart was just broken.  I would look at the mess I was in emotionally and wonder, “How am I going to piece this disaster back together??”  And sometimes it seemed like there was no winning.  But God has consistently shown Frank and I over the course of our lives that He is always good, sometimes especially when we don’t get what we want.  Frank and I can both cite example after example of God blessing us by closing doors that we desperately wished were open.

God’s love and patience with us as we struggled at times this year was almost palpable this year.  Without these struggles, we wouldn’t have stopped to pay attention to what God was doing.  We would have happily continued onward – and I am not sure that would’ve been the best course of action for us.

So my hope for the new year, and for you all, is that when we encounter new struggles and when hope seems lost, that we would remember that we have a loving Father in Heaven that only gives us good gifts.  And like all parents, sometimes the things that are good for children (vegetables, for one…) are not always what we want.

Changes 2 & 3…

Are also known affectionately as Baby A and Baby B!

Yes, that’s right, the K-Fam will be doubling in March with the introduction of twins to the mix!  We are obviously very excited and very nervous.  We are 12 weeks along today, which seems miraculous to both of us.

While we are elated at where we are at, we are also very mindful of the long, hard road we traveled.  I am acutely aware that while it seemed like an eternity (18 months+), it was a far shorter experience than what many people I know have endured.  Life is a fragile, delicate thing.  The creation and continuation of it is in the hands of a creator far greater than ourselves.  Why some people struggle and why others don’t, is something that I cannot begin to fathom or explain.

Why it was now, why it was us, why we’re having twins – I really don’t know.  I am glad, of course, but still aching for all of the couples that are longing to bring home their baby from the hospital.

Over the course of my twenties, I’ve heard nearly every miraculous pregnancy story and practically every tragic fertility experience.  I have had friends and families lose babies late in pregnancies and I’ve had friends and family that seem to have no problem getting and staying pregnant.

Fertility was a major struggle for us.  We’ve experienced other struggles in our 7 year marriage, but this was the biggest.  Infertility caused us to pause and wonder about the legacy that we are leaving behind – biologically and otherwise.  It made me think about the people that have come before us – the giants whose shoulders we stand on, as my father in law would say – and wonder at the future generations that might not ever exist to look back at us.

I think about that a lot because we truly live in a culture that is so self-focused.  I am intrigued by the generations before us who thought of us, knowing they would never meet us, but were so driven by the determination to make the world better for a future time that they would never experience.  I wanted to influence future generations – provide another building block to the foundation.

I struggled a lot with the ideas of God having a plan and “everything happening for a reason.”  In the midst of such heartache and sadness, it seemed unfathomable that such trite-sounding concepts could be true. I did not doubt God’s ability or greatness, but I wondered a lot at why this was such a hard road and why He seemed to be so silent so often.  And maybe I just have to be content with the idea that this is the road He gave us and this is the road we had to go down to become the people we are supposed to be.

I look at these two little miracles and am amazed that they even exist.  I am hopeful that this is just the beginning of a new great chapter in our lives.  A difficult chapter I am sure.  A chapter that does not involve a lot of sleep.  A chapter that does involve a lot of crying… from all of us…  Many people have reminded us that it will be hard, but many more have reminded us that it will also be worth it.

So yes, big changes in store for the K-Fam!


Ok, welcome to crazy town.  Population FK & EK.

Prayers were answered – we have a mature follicle! 

However, the cluster that has ensued in order to get this little follicle ruptured and, you know, “taken care of” has been a little nerve wrecking.

Our original plan was for me to take the shot that causes the ovary to eject the egg today at 4 p.m. and then go in for the IUI tomorrow at noon.

That was until FK’s company extended his stay in FL.  At the moment, he is trying to get back, but since we aren’t 100% certain of his travel situation, we have had to juggle things a little bit…

So now, we are hoping that I don’t ovulate (which I shouldn’t ovulate on my own) and tomorrow I have a follow up ultrasound.  Then I will take the shot later that day and go in for the IUI Wednesday.

Thank you for being prayer warriors on our behalf.  It is making all the difference in the world.

And if you could keep praying, that would be excellent. 

PS.  Not having a good hair day today.  But hey, you win some and you lose some.