Saturday, August 31, 2013

For the Baby I Never Knew

I'm feeling sad today. It's been like this on & off since the miscarriage but today I'm having a hard time. Andrew & I have discussed when to start trying for another baby. We're both ready to be parents but I now have such fear when it comes to pregnancy & I'm concerned I'll spend each day of those 9 months worrying. I feel so much like a failure already. Not only has it been super difficult for me to get pregnant, but I wasn't even able to STAY pregnant once I was. I know it isn't technically my fault but I'm coping with so many feelings of inadequacy right now.

Also, there's this residual sadness about the baby we lost. It's not an overwhelming sadness... More of a pang or almost soreness in my heart sometimes. I know I wasn't TOO far along but I still wonder about that sweet little life I carried for a few short weeks. I wonder whether it was a little boy or a little girl. I wonder what color their eyes would have been or how their little giggle would have sounded. There's so many unfamiliar longings I'm experiencing for this child I never even knew & it makes me feel so confused. This process has been full of strange emotions.

I did write a poem a few days after I lost our baby that I've been wanting to share. This loss has just felt so personal & I've been scared to share those feelings. It's strange but I've felt almost embarrassed about this. I've wanted to appear strong & indifferent. I've felt like my sadness about it makes me seem weak or crazy or over emotional. But I think that's the true tragedy of losing a baby in pregnancy... You're expected to just get over it. You're expected to take it as a sign that you're fertile & capable of getting pregnant. You're reminded lots of women go on to have healthy pregnancies & babies so you can too. People say things that are more confusing & hurtful than helpful but you just smile & thank them because you understand that they're struggling to comfort you. Everyone wants to say that THING that will make it all better. They want to be the person who said the phrase that got you through. But sometimes you don't need a clever phrase or comforting words. Sometimes you just need them to say nothing but "I'm sorry. This seriously fucking sucks" & nothing more.

Anyway, without further ado....

To our sweet angel baby,

I'll never see your smile
Or kiss your tiny cheek
Or gaze at your sweet face
While I rock you to sleep

I'll never know for sure
Whether you look like mom or dad
& tears fill up my eyes
For moments we'll never have

Your life remains a mystery
Answers I'll never know
An angel taken to heaven
Where all sweet angels go

You'll never get to grow up
Your dreams I'll never see
My heart breaks everyday
Wondering who you'd be

A love that feels so deep
Although we've never met
A bond that can't be broken
By moments never spent

Someday I know I'll hold you
Home, at heaven's gate
& gaze upon the face
That was always worth the wait

You brought us joy so deeply
Then so quickly you were gone
Although I couldn't give you life
In me you'll always live on.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sweet Chalk, Lake Effect & The Lockport Locks

It's a beautiful, sunny day in Lockport, NY! & today I had the chance to enjoy a little "festival" that combines all my favorite things in one, fun compact area -- Art, music, shopping, history & ICE CREAM!

I was able to drag my husband out of bed at a decent time, meet up with my sister, Lisa & my nieces Morgan & Kennedy. We started the afternoon with pizza at Papa Leo's on Main Street. When the day starts with pizza, you know it's going to be fantastic! We then walked from Main Street, over the bridge to the otherwise of the canal where the Lockport Community Market was in full swing! Lots of arts & crafts, produce & various other venders (including a fortune teller/psychic) line the street. There's a few shops in the area, all of which are local business with beautiful store fronts (including my FAVORITE ice cream shop, Lake Effect!)

Today was the Sweet Chalk Festival along the street/sidewalks near the market. Artists turned out to create beautiful masterpieces out of, you guessed it, chalk! One of those artists is a good friend of mine, Jess Adams Tomaino. She drew this gorgeous lion with vibrant color & beautiful detail! Pretty amazing, isn't it? It was great to see here there doing what she loves! But she wasn't the only one! There were so many lovely creations being made including a giant, chalk Mona Lisa! I've never seen anything like that! I'm lucky I can write my name in chalk, let alone make anything even slightly resembling art! It was really "sweet" to walk along admiring the artwork & watching it come together. There was also an area with a grid with squares specifically for kids to try their hand at their own chalk art. My nieces LOVED this & spent some time drawing rainbows, flowers & sunshine in their own boxed art area. This was such a great idea for a festival! I've never seen anything like this, although I've heard such "events" exist in other parts of the country. Nothing like this has ever been anywhere near my hometown though. To have an event like this in my own backyard is pretty cool! I hope to see a repeat next year!

Of course we had to make a stop at Lake Effect Ice Cream right across the street from all the festivities! This ice cream shop has literally every flavor imaginable.... & then at least 100 more than your wildest imagination. Rice Krisipie Treat Ice Cream? CHECK. Sponge Candy Ice Cream? Also, CHECK. Anytime we're in the city of Lockport, we just have to swing by.  I have a ridiculous obsession  with the place. It's quaint, but innovative. Not to mention, the place is ALWAYS packed full of people I know. Nobdoy can resist this adorable, frosty gem in the heart of Lockport. Did I mention it's locally owned? Because yeah. Nothing beats supporting local business.

Today I had sponge candy on a waffle cone. I had it in shake form the last time we went, but I have to say I enjoyed the chunky bits of sponge candy in the basic ice cream. Not that the shake was bad. Heaven's, no. Nothing at Lake Effect can be bad. But, lord. It was FANTASTIC today! I make a point to try a new flavor every time I go. & that's a lot. I'm not even 1/2 way through their menu though. Oh, but there's SO much summer left! :-) My nieces both enjoyed their ice cream in dishes to avoid a mess. My hubby got his "usual" Peanut Butter Epiphany which he swears is something the god's created & placed delicately in a waffle cone to reward him for being a good boy. Possible. But, I think Lake Effect might just be THAT good. If you're local & you haven't tried it yet... Well, besides my regret that you've missed so much time, I do encourage you to get on it. It's also on sale at Tops & Wegman's now. Uh, yeah. Because I can't spend every single night in the shop. C'mon.

Moving on.... I don't believe I've discussed where I live much. It's not like there's a TON to discuss. Lockport is a relatively small-ish town. It's a suburb of Buffalo. We're known mostly for the "Lockport Locks" which were pretty sweet concept during the industrial revolution & helped stimulate business throughout New York State. I refuse to get TOO into the details since I'm not exactly an expert myself, but if you're interested, here's some info on Lockport the city & the locks:,_New_York
While we were hanging out by the canal, we got to see a boat pass through the locks. It's super cool to watch. The boat goes in, the doors close on either side. The water filters out. The front door opens, the boat goes into the next barge. My nieces were actually pretty entertained by the whole thing! & I'll admit, it's still entertains me though I've seen it a bunch of times. When I was little, in fact, my elementary school teacher walked us (probably 2 miles) from our school to the library & the locks to watch the boats pass through. I used to think it was the greatest field trip ever. Now as an adult, I'm amazed that the teacher managed to get 20-some sets of parents to agree to that field trip. Oh, the 90's....

But in conclusion, it was nice to be able to teach my nieces a bit of "hometown history" today on our little adventure. I'm kind of a history nerd myself & seeing those girls interested in this contraption built in 1819 in a world filled with iPads & cellphones warms my heart a bit!

All & all, it was a super fun time! Now I'm going to make some meatloaf & potatoes for the Mister & enjoy a quiet, relaxing night in with some wine & a movie! A day out in the sun is enough to make a person appreciate their couch & I've been doing just that for the past hour or so. It's time to get up & get moving!

Until next time,

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Babies & Bye Byes

No Sunday Dinner this week... But I do have a lot of good stuff to share!

Today was my sister in law's baby shower! My nephew is due the end of next month & we are SO excited to meet him! It's been such an exciting 8 months & I just cannot wait to kiss him & love him up!

Unfortunately, I didn't get much of a chance to help with the planning. I gave my ideas to my mother-in law when she asked, but she did a wonderful job with everything from the decorations to the food. The weather was perfect. The location was fantastic. Being surrounded by such a loving family during times of joy & sorrow just makes everything more special. I feel blessed to be a part of this family. I couldn't have married into a better one!

Now for pictures! I can't take credit for the majority of these pictures. I got them from my sister-in law as I was a little busy & didn't get a chance to take any. Hubby & I bought this sign for Mason's room from It turned out perfectly & may have brought a few tears to the momma-to-be's eyes! Because this baby is our nephew, I wanted to get a special, personalized gift. I STRONGLY suggest this website for personalized gifts! We also bought Mr. Mason an adorable, jungle-themed jump-a-roo, a Superman bib with booties (& a cape!) & an outfit that says "I'm Awesome Like My Auntie!" We also bought the book "The Giving Tree" which is one of my absolute favorite books. We spent an embarrassing amount of time hanging out in the book aisle of Buy Buy Baby reading books. This classic by Shel Silverstein has always brought tears to my eyes & it truly has such an amazing message. It's always represented family to me. The tree is always there for the boy through all life's changes, no matter how much time has passed & no matter the cost. I want our nephew (& ALL our nieces, nephews & eventual children) to know that we are ALWAYS here with love & support! Definitely a beautiful book!

Here is a picture of the momma to be with her cousins & me! It was such an honor to be a part of the day & it makes me so happy that she enjoyed her shower! There are few days in a woman's life when she gets to be the "bell of the ball" so to speak. Bridal showers, weddings & baby showers are those days & should be a special experience for the guest of honor. Ashleigh was glowing the entire day. So many wonderful family & friends turned out to celebrate. Isn't she the cutest little preggo ever? You seriously CANNOT tell that she's only a month & 1/2 from her due date! She looks fantastic. By the way, the matching blue was SO not planned. Haha.

Anyway, I'm sorry about the lack of posting! I've been meaning to post our Sunday Dinners at the VERY least, but things have been crazy. As I mentioned before, my bank has been taking on a new business venture & I've been working a whole bunch of OT. The money is fantastic but I'm not getting much free time these days. This coming week will be SUPER full of overtime as this is the first full week we'll have all of these new mortgages. I hope to update as soon as I'm able! There are lots of exciting things happening in the Breen household & I'd love to have the chance to blog about them in more detail! But, here's the quick list:

We looked at a house on Thursday that we'd kind of fallen in love with online. Unfortunately, it was not quite as fantastic in person. We left feeling very disappointed, but kind of relieved. We JUST started looking at houses & I don't know that we're exactly ready to commit yet. Everything happened so fast with this house & it was a bit overwhelming. I'm almost glad it didn't work out so we have more time to figure this out.

Also, we've had some serious discussion about expanding our family to include another 4-legged critter! I've always had dogs & I miss having one! I think we may start looking for a brother or sister for Teddy at the end of the year. We've discussed possibly getting a Bischon or a Poodle. Our place is pretty small & I don't think a big dog would do well here. I'm super excited & really enjoying the process of looking around for the next 4-legged Breen!

& speaking of Teddy, I haven't posted pictures & in my "About Me" I promised pictures. I haven't been posting them as often as I'd like. Considering I take more pictures of this freakin' cat than most people take of their children, you'd think I'd be on it. Not so much. Just a warning, he's the cutest freakin' cat on the planet. Eat your heart out, world.

& last, but not least... I touched on this in a previous blog post but here's a bit more on the subject... My best friend is moving to NYC next weekend. I'm so excited for her but I'm also really, really, REALLY sad to see her leave. We've been best friends for 8-ish years & through college & wedding planning, high school, finding big girl jobs & pretty much all life can throw in the way, she's been there. She's been one of the most consistant, positive forces in my life for so long & we've laughed our way through so many rough times. This has been her dream for as long as I know her. She has worked SO hard to get to this point & I know she is going to do amazing at anything she does. & it certainly won't hurt having a place to stay for free when I visit the big city in a couple months! Haha. By then she should know all the city well enough to give me one hell of a tour! That's silver lining, isn't it? I threw a party to celebrate her big move on Friday. It was a ton of fun. We started with appetizers including dips with chips & wine punch. Then we moved on to pizza, wings & booze. It was a lot of fun. We played some games including darts & beer pong in our basement. My brother-in law who is working on becoming a DJ, played some music & kept the party hopping! It was pretty cool having a DJ set up in our basement. It made the party a lot more "underground club" & less "Frat Party" Haha.
Then we went to the a couple of the bars in the area for one last night out. A night out with our friends was pretty much exactly  I'm excited for her to come home & visit in a few months so that we can have a repeat & drink lots & lots of wine to make up for lost time. I'll definitely miss my best friend, but hey, if she has to leave, at least it's to make all her dreams come true!

There's so many exciting things happening right now. I'm so excited for what the future has in store for us! <3