Saturday, August 10, 2013

the follow-up

First off, thank you everyone for such kind words! I'm always overwhelmed by the people I don't expect who are so generous and supportive with all those lovely words. So thank you. It warms my wee heart.

Secondly, the outpouring of condolences and flooding of my facebook message box, while very much appreciated, made me realize I definitely didn't make one thing clear, and I'd like to remedy that. It's not all that shocking, seeing as I never let my posts sit more than 2 minutes after writing stream-of-conscious style before "publishing," and I hear proofreading and rewriting really help one make a point, but it sounds overrated...

So what I wanted to clarify is that I felt a lot of pain during my miscarriage, and I went through normal grief processes (I had a major panic attack that night about Jethro sleeping in the other room and kept wanting Nick to check on him every 3 minutes or so), but that stage was incredibly brief. And now when I think or talk about the whole experience, there is absolutely zero sting and zero bitterness and zero hurt. That's not because I'm some sort of superwoman, but it's because all of that was taken away as a result of giving everything up to God. I'd experienced that amazing healing power in little bits and pieces my whole life, but this was the first time I did it all the way beforehand and never looked back, and the fruits have been incredible.

That's why I wanted to write that post. I wanted to say these things:

     1) The Atonement can cover anything we are willing to apply it to. Promise.

     2) Even though we all know that most women have at least one miscarriage at some point, all I could hear in my mind the night of was the doctor's voice repeating over and over that it was my fault because I was breastfeeding, and even though I knew that was false and I knew I was not alone (more like I had joined a club), I felt alone in that experience. I don't like that pregnancy loss is a taboo subject, so I wanted to write about mine as an encouragement to all my friends that I know have gone through this or will so they can have Real Life examples of proof that they're not alone.

     3) Life is a struggle, and the more we learn to handle painful things, I'm pretty sure we're lining up for more painful things. As we increase in our capacity to go through the dark parts of life, we also increase our capacity to see more of the light. A miscarriage is not the end of the world (a couple years ago, it probably would have been for me), but it is real, and it is pain. I hope I won't have any more, but it's not unlikely that I will--but now I know that I will be okay regardless. And I can extend that to anything else, because God's promises are not limited to what we consider fixable in our tiny brains, and I'm 100% positive that harder things are ahead. I know I'm still in the kiddie pool. I'm only 25 and most likely have a whole lotta time to refine my appreciation for the difficulties life has to offer. BUT...

     4) IT'S STILL SO EXCITING!! ; )

So hopefully I said it right that time. You're all awesome.

This one doesn't count as short and silly, obviously. It's my obligatory hemming and hawing post soul-bearing. So neener neener.


Friday, August 9, 2013


(This is one of those longer-than-you-thought-possible posts.)

I've been feeling the draw of writing again lately. So I'm back on the interwebs for a little while, at least. And after much deliberation (a full 7 seconds at my keyboard), I have decided to join the Adult World and include capital letters in my posts for now. I know. This is a big deal.

An aside: my name will ALWAYS be elyssa, not [E]lyssa. It's been 14 years since I last wrote my name that other way, including on formal/legal documents as of at least 10 years ago, and I don't see myself changing that. I apologize to those people who will always be disturbed or offended by my obstinate mule-faced need to avoid associating my identity with the visually offensive capital e.

Moving on!

These past two years have been an incubating period of personal growth for me. Much of my learning and stretching has been the inevitable outcome of newfound responsibility for a little human, and I am so grateful that this little human decided to join our family almost a year and a half ago. I am forever changed and changing because of his constant presence in my life. There are few better examples of the undying curiosity, the unconditional love, the intentional living, the quick forgiveness, and the pure, unadulterated ecstasy that precedes and accompanies the consumption of good food that God intended us to possess than my little towhead.

Oh, yeah, he's blond now:

This picture is pre-haircut-that-killed-the-mullet, so enjoy that little gem. Also, he's obsessed--nay, Obsessed!--with airplanes and has been for almost a year, much to Nick's utter delight.

And it's been one of my greatest privileges to love on this precious soul and to learn a little better how to put someone else's needs above my own and to peek a little deeper into my Creator's love and plan for me.

But Jethro hasn't been my only source of growingness this year. Not every piece has been dramatic or surprising or painful or delightful; in fact, much of it has been quiet, veryvery gradual, and the result of deliberate work. It's been real learning. As such, I sincerely hope it's the kind that will stick, and I hope to explore bits of it in the next while on this here blog, if it feels right.

There is one thing I would like to share at the moment, and here is the preface:

There are people who have the gift of being Silently Strong Suffering Soldiers, and I admire those people. 

I am not one of them. 

I've realized that one of my gifts, instead, is to be one of those people that makes other people feel really good about their ability to deal with their crap. Just kidding. I think my gift is being able to verbalize my own human frailties and allowing people to feel less alone in their personal struggles and weaknesses and heartaches. Maybe that's patting myself on the back too much, but there it is. I suffer publicly, not just through painful events, but through all of those annoying traits we all have and hate about ourselves, and I've come to a point where I don't feel the need to try to change that part of myself. I'm starting to think it's there for a reason--it connects me to the world, and I believe connections are a necessary part of life. So I'm rolling with it.

And that brings me to this video:

Her music is my style in some ways, and in a lot of ways it's not at all, but despite the elements that would normally turn me off to it, this song's been on repeat this afternoon over here.

In January, much to my shock and delight, I discovered that I'd be having another baby the first week of October. We'd expected another long period of trying before #2 came along, and this baby felt like an enormous, personal gift--I'd always wanted to have an October baby for some reason, and I wanted my kids crazyclosetogether, and I felt like I was getting a happy nod from heaven with that immediate pregnancy.

In early March, during the morning hours that are still dark, I miscarried at 10 weeks while Nick was at work (yes, at 4am) and I was making cavewoman sounds... in my in-laws' bathroom. It was a much more traumatizing experience physically than I ever anticipated, and it was obviously emotionally painful. I would never wish pregnancy loss on anyone. That said, I was and am very aware that as far as pregnancy loss goes, there are much bigger demons. But that's not my point here.

My point is growth, and that miscarriage was the first time in my whooooole life that I greeted a challenge with squared shoulders and declared the proverbial, "Not my will, but thine," and even as my heart was breaking, I meant it. And guess what? That Unspeakable Event that I'd always imagined would crush my soul forever did not, in fact, destroy me. I felt no anger, no "why me?" groanings, no illusions that this was any kind of Special Suffering; all I felt was sadness and quiet acceptance that this is mortality, and that I'm not exempt from the realities of mortality. And guess what else? In the weeks of pondering that followed, I learned that that pregnancy was an enormous, personal gift, just as I'd thought. And so was the early end of it. I have learned more about eternity and womanhood and the potential divinity within every person from the aftermath of that one event than anything else. No joke.

I have learned that creating my family was never intended to be and never will be easy. And I'm grateful for the struggles I've encountered so far and will indubitably continue to stumble through as I pursue this endeavor, because they've taught me lessons I needed to learn. I've also started to learn the concept portrayed in the above song: nothing here is ours. And once we can accept and embrace that fact, we can learn peace and real love. I expect I still have a long way to go on that one.

Also... I want every single girl and woman to go buy and read a copy of this book. I don't agree with every single word in it, and I'm normally not a huge fan of LDS books, but please do it. At the risk of high drama, I declare it done changed my life. Read it and love it and love yourself and your life. That is all.

Finally, as a temporary epilogue to this story, I am pregnant again. It appears my previous lack of fertility has vanished for the time being. This time I'm due February 14, during my least favorite month of the year and on my least favorite holiday (because I am a curmudgeon). And this time I recognize that none of that matters at all; what matters is that I'm housing another spirit on loan to me for this time, and that is breathtakingly awesome. What matters is that I'm a goddess-in-training, if you will, learning what it means to create, and so is every woman who has never been pregnant and every woman who has borne 15 babies. I also know more clearly that this pregnancy is not a guarantee of a sibling for Jethro, because life carries no guarantees. And I still embrace all of it--mine, the one I'm carrying, and the bigger-picture Life I hope to help create for any and all of the little souls that will make up our family, no matter what kind of bumps (or sinkholes full of crocodiles, or whatever else) in the road are ahead. I hope I can teach them to love every part of that road, because what else is there? We can feel joy through all of it, and that's what we're here to learn.

So to all my sistas who've struggled through pregnancies, pregnancy losses, labors, babies, and/or the lack of all of the above, here's my salute. Know that you're not alone, and that the work that we're doing is worth all of it and more. And feel free to remind me of that when I'm waking up every two hours again and cleaning projectile poop off the walls.

The End.

Phew. I promise I'll write something short and funny next time. Fo rilz.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

just watchin' the election coverage

because nick won't be coming home until midnight or so tonight. and by that i mean i won't be picking him up until then. yeehaw. guess who's looking for another car?

s'okay, though, because i love my baby!

he started crawling fo rilz a week ago or so, and now i can't keep him away from anything that allows him to lift himself to standing, such as the fireplace ledge. he fell off it tonight and cut his lip--first blood. so sad. and as the squirmiest baby i know, he also managed to flail out of my arms while i was wrestling some pants onto him the other day and clunked onto his head, which made me feel like pretty much the most fabulous mom ever. add that to the top teeth coming in this week, and he's had a rather rough week. just think of this as a self-promoting call for CPS to head on over here.

recouping after his fireplace fall with eyes glued to the TV. yes.

and because i don't really have anything else to add with the media screaming at me (after i invited them into my home, so i'm not complaining), i'll just add another photo. why not? it's not like much else happens over here during my days, and i'm definitely not complaining there.

i know this picture is blurry, but dang. how adorable do they get?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

we got internet

and it was very exciting.

it seems like this has to happen again every few months, but this time, it's for rilz, because we finally moved into our own place like responsible adults who wear pants and everything.

now, after finally getting around to watching the parts of conference we missed (due to a surprise trip to visit nick's mumsy in texas, hooray!),  i will leave you with an inspiring facebook quotation from my cousin, logan:

"I want Thomas S Monson to yell "release the kraken!" and then open a cage with Jeffery R Holland in it before Elder Holland gives his talk."

*referring to this talk. you should watch it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

pillow talk. or, how you know the honeymoon's really over.

"hey, nick. three things you're grateful for. go."

"okay. food. china."


"oh. and you. and jethro."

tender. second to china is nothing to sniff at, though, as the olympics showed us. also, i think i'll start blogging again. fun, huh?

Saturday, April 21, 2012


When I was in jr. high I always played on the A-team (at least in basketball) because I was tall. ... But, things change.  Tall is out, small is in.  Take a look for yourself.  I have been dethroned!

It's ok I guess, because he's pretty cute and I love him.  

Thursday, April 5, 2012

only 250 pictures behind

yes, i've taken over 300 photos on my phone of this face in various (but not all that varied, admittedly) positions. sue me. and if you don't want to look at photo after photo of my offspring, i suggest you take a little hiatus from this here blog. cuz that's what's happening over here for now. what else is there, i ask you? huh? huh? i dare you to answer...

packed up all his newborn size clothes yesterday. cried. so did jethro, a lil bit. so... a normal day, really. but holy cow, he's getting huge.

look how loose that outfit is! don't look at all the puke stains! there's no keeping up with this kid.

but i forgive him because he looks like this. cute even at 3am while giving the stinkeye.

does this look like an evil radish gnome to anyone else? love it.

this face was a favorite for a while.

he's kind of grumpy-faced, i guess. very serious, at least. this is daddy's fault. i always look like sunshine.

bahahaha. this outfit cracks me up. part farmer, part beach babe siren lady. but he can pull anything off with those eyebrows, which are always ready to perform to perfection. uh-huh.

darn, crooked. oh, well. fat old man face.

i call the following sequence the jethro dance. not really; i just made that up right this second because i'm very creative. and yes, he does look burmese here. goin' back to his roots. sort of.

he's got flair, baby.


he started gouging his face when his eczema got super bad, and i couldn't keep up with his fingernails because i'm afraid to cut them short, so we resorted to socks for a while. i'm a good mom.

i promise he enjoys walks more than this face would lead you to believe. last night's was followed by po' boys on the square with nick's high school buddy who stayed the night en route to texas. what? nick has friends? and he even took pictures of this guy this morning with his fancy-pants camera and photog skills. sooper exciting. thanks, ryan!

and ceiling fans are ALSO THE BEST!

in closing: burping jethro post-nursing is basically exactly like holding a friend over the toilet who's been binge drinking all night, except it's way less gross and actually kind of cute. but the noises and attitudes are the same, pretty much. he's in the complete-surrender-due-to-exhaustion phase here. awww. so tender.

also, i didn't bleach sections of his hair with hydrogen peroxide. not sure what happened with that lighting. wowzas.

and now he doth awaken! high ho, silver, away!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

my baby is cute

even though he's now super covered in horrible eczema that makes me sad and makes him scream just a little bit.

and he's 4 weeks old! how crazy is that??

as of last week, i am now able to put him down for some naps and in order to do things like eat and go to the bathroom. it was getting a little ridiculous, i admit, but it was hard to do anything but stare at him and cry for those first couple weeks. cuz he's the world's cutest baby, according to everyone in this house. and apparently everyone at work, school, seminary, etc. gets to hear all about his royal adorableness pretty much every day. i can't blame them--every time the nurse would come into my room at the hospital during the night (you know, every 30 minutes. ahem.), i would drunkenly exclaim, "isn't he just the cutest baby? he's so precious!" even though i knew i was embarrassing myself and that there are only so many times the same 3 people can adequately gush in a 12-hour period. i couldn't help myself.

here are some phabulous phone photos. sorry for the delay that would make me really mad if it were you with your baby. whoops, hypocrisy! once i regrow a brain and figure out how to get them off my phone all speedy, i'll put more up.

he was super smiley for that first week. look how tiny! awwww.

i miss his fro!! he's still quite hairy, according to those first meeting him, but he looks positively bald to me now compared to when he was a newborn monkey/werewolf. no joke, those were the hairiest shoulders i've ever seen. it made nick feel a little wimpy.

i have about 100 more of these. they're buddies. and we're all perpetually exhausted.

this was the windiest day i've ever experienced, and even though he may not look it, he stinkin' loved it.

he's pretty apathetic about tubbies so far. but this is one kid who loves having his diaper changed. so he can projectile poop all over. naw, that was just 3 times. but they were impressive and have left us in fear every time since.

this is definitely nick's kid. i think my mouth might have snuck in there, but that face is pure morrill boy.

...which is fortunate, because otherwise nobody would believe that this baby came out of my albino family. multiple strangers have haltingly inquired as to whether or not his dad is, um, white? and we love it.

thanks for the delicious blankie, grandma lois! (and stellar snail onesie, morguini. it may or may not be the only thing he wore for a few days... in a row...)

from last week, i believe, because he kept that stinking umbilical cord stump for 3 whole weeks. ew. but i love how he sleeps. he is quite the acrobat (and a noisy one, at that--i had no idea babies could grunt and scream so much while completely passed out).

again, more recent pics to follow. shortly. probably. but right now i'm being summoned not-very-patiently by his highness the gruntmaster. so ta-ta!

(as for the "birth story," the short version is this: 14 hours of back labor in various parking lots and at home, 5 in the ER, and 1 in my labor/delivery room all led to a whopping dilation of 3 cm, so we brought in the epidural man, and i almost kissed him, because after 20 hours [+ a couple months, but hey] i was a little, um, out of it... i was at a 10 an hour and a half later, and he popped right out, and i cried hysterically for about 30 minutes and look terrified and terrifying in all my pictures. it's not pretty. but i was smitten, and i guess me smitten is just not pretty. it was pretty much the coolest thing i've ever experienced. and nick was amazing. so there.)

Friday, March 2, 2012

and now the moment you've all been waiting for...

"hello world"
                                   -Jethro Cedar Morrill 

1 Mar 2012 - 10:54 AM
 8 lbs 9 oz, 21.5 inches, largin' and chargin', looking for chickies

 elyssa did a fantastic job! she is totally exhausted and happy its over and cuddling Jethro right now.  Since she is much longer winded than me, I'll leave it up to her to provide all of the details, but honestly, all you really want is pictures, right?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

the end is nigh


so i feel like i'm beating a dead horse and that no one really believes me, but fo rilz: the internet is so slow here. and i am so lazy. but here's what's shakin' with the morrill clan as of late, all ye voyeurs!

1) nick got a job. crazy talk. he starts monday, probably just in time to have to take time off for the birth of his firstborn. ha. so he's pretty hot, but we all knew that already. he'll be working with sam's club (let's talk about how weird that is) doing strategy or innovations or something, neither of us really knows yet, seeing as neither of us knows a thing about business. his soon-to-be boss just thought he was so sexy, i guess, he couldn't resist. and he'll do a good job, because nick does a good job at anything. i'm not even biased at all. but more on that glorious miracle news later, when nick can tell you what it means. basically, we know somebody's still looking out for us, and we're grateful.

2) my dad introduced me to someone at church this week by saying, "this is my oldest daughter, and she's as big as a house!" i'd put up a picture to let you judge for yourselves, but i just realized the "add photo" button is not even available right now. proof that we're super old school right now. dangit. my posts without pictures are dumb. just know that i'm huge, i'm contracting as usual, i'm having additional labor pains increasingly every day, and i'm finally getting to the point where my fear of labor is less than my frustration with constant false labor. and i have the best college buds AND new ward ever, so i have been very showered with gifts, and i have lots of good pictures for that, too. looks like we're due for a library trip tomorrow, assuming i'm not birthing my child.

but now it's time to go for a walk to encourage said birthing and then head to the OB so he can tell me i'm still nowhere near said birthing ; ) sorry for this awful post! but there it is. tchau, with love.