Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Better Days

I don't know if I've ever been more happy to see a year end than I am this year. It's not that I'm hopeful for the coming year, I just really want 2009 to be done.

This has been such a horrendous year for us. We thought 2008 was bad. We lost too many loved ones, dealt with too many illnesses and just had a generally bad year. Then 2009 came with more lost loved ones, more illnesses and more sadness. We thought the year was turning around for us when we got pregnant. But when we lost our little boy, things just came crashing down. Going through labor and giving birth to a baby I'll never hold, a son I'll never know, has been too much to deal with. I feel like someone is always missing.

I am grateful for my beautiful son, Keller who continues to brighten my dark days. He is the reason I get out of bed in the morning. And I will be forever grateful to my husband, John, who has been my strength and courage for over ten years, but especially so in these last 5 months. I am thankful for my parents, brother & sister-in-law, uncle & aunt, and those few friends that have let me cry on their shoulders and release some of my sorrow, if only a small amount. I am also thankful for my clients and my fantastic job and coworkers. My job working in the running community has given me something to focus on besides my own sadness and opened a world of love and support that I so desperately needed. I am thankful to be part of a sport as wonderful as running.

I don't know what is in store for us in 2010. I don't know where the path will lead us. I do know that I won't be alone and I don't have to hide how I'm feeling. I am not the same person I was when 2009 started. A part of me died July 24th and I will never be the same. This scares me. A lot. But I know that I have to move forward. I have to look ahead. I will do my best to be hopeful and open to what's in store.

Happy New Year to all.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Oy to the World

It is way too hard to be happy and joyous right now. This year's holiday season sucks ass.

I'm letting people know right now that I am not happy it's Christmas, I am not feeling festive and I am certainly not in a good mood. I am sad. We were supposed to be welcoming a baby into our family. And we're not. It's not something to get over, it's not something that we can just forget and try for again. It's a loss of a member of our family and it sucks. This is not a happy time of year.

We are trying. We are trying to make it nice and happy for Keller. We are putting up the tree and Santa is loading up his sleigh. But behind the smiles there is sadness.

I told John last night that I'm not sending anyone holiday cards this year. If I had to pick a card right now, it would say something like "We hope your 2009 didn't suck as badly as ours," or "2010 can't be as bad as 2009, can it?" I was joking with John that the card can have a picture of Lola pooping with a Santa hat on. Crappy Holidays from the Gills! We didn't think the older relatives would appreciate it though.

I think I've moved into the anger portion of my grief now. That certainly has to be healthy, right?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Kind and Generous

So yesterday was Thanksgiving. Somehow it was actually possible to be sad and happy at the same time.

I was happy to be spending the day with my wonderful son and husband and very great friends (who are pretty much family). I had a great run in the morning, cooked all afternoon and then ate all night. Not too bad.

I was sad because even with all the love and laughter, I couldn't shake the sadness at what we've lost. I just thought things were going to be so different at this time of year. But life happens when you're making other plans.

I guess there really isn't much else to say. That pretty much sums things up. I'm just trying to keep my head above water and not let the sadness take over. Some days are better than others but for the most part I'm doing all right.

Hope everyone had a great T-giving. Enjoy your leftovers :)

P.S. Today is our dog Lola's birthday. Happy birthday, girl! Hard to believe she's 8 already.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Give Peace A Chance

We went up to NY a couple of weekends ago. We hadn't been up there since before we got pregnant, which was a lifetime ago. I was nervous about the trip. I wasn't in a good place and was afraid of the feelings that would be stirred up by going there. But this is the time of firsts (first time for things since we lost the baby). And this was the first trip to my parents' since then.

Well, I had a horrendous breakdown while we were there. John and I went for a run on a trail close to my parents' house. It's really nice and soft, we really enjoy running there. I was looking forward to it. If I haven't mentioned it before, running has been pretty emotional for me since I started back, for a number of reasons. But I had been all right for a while, running was becoming my thing again. But for some reason, I lost it out on that trail.

I really had a breakdown. I was hyperventilating and everything. I just wanted to lay on the trail and stay there forever. I was imagining myself staying there as it got dark and I just wanted to sit there in the dark. John, of course, wasn't about to leave me there and somehow I made it back to the car. I was able to get myself together and we were able to actually enjoy the rest of the weekend.

The strangest thing is that I somehow feel more at peace after that breakdown. I left a huge piece of my hurt out on that trail. I'm not saying I'm 100% and all is great, but I feel more at peace with my life and how things are for us now. Don't get me wrong, I still get upset and have my moments. I had a panic attack in Ikea yesterday. Sometimes it feels like the entire world is pregnant and I was surrounded by about 20 of them in Ikea yesterday. I thought I was going to explode.

But I made it through. I guess that's the thing. I feel like I'm making it through. I can laugh a little deeper now, smile a little longer. My crying spells don't last as long. I hope it continues. I'm really nervous about how things will be as we approach the holidays and my due date. All I can do is honor how I feel and go with it.

But I'm thankful for my friends and family for being there for me. Without you I wouldn't be able to start making peace with this. I love you.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Don't Talk to Strangers

Today Keller's school had their Halloween parade. The kids dress up and then have a parade around the school. It's fun and sweet and everyone has a great time.

I was standing with some parents of kids in Keller's class. We were just talking about random stuff and all of a sudden I found myself telling the mom of one of Keller's friends my life story. The terrible pregnancy with Keller, the miscarriage, the turmoil we've been in. I hardly know this person. And I'm spilling my guts. She didn't mind, she made it very easy for me to just open up.

Why is that we can spill our guts to complete strangers? But yet we have trouble talking to the people we're closest to. I don't get it. I have to say how cathartic it was to talk to her this morning. I don't talk about what's been going on much anymore because it feels like everything thinks we should be over it. So it felt relieving to get some of it off my chest.

Things have been all right this past week. Last week was awful. But this week was all right. I have been really busy with work and home, so I guess the distraction has been good. There have been less days where I feel like I'm teetering on the edge.

Anyway, the next time you're feeling like you need to talk and get something off your chest, talk to someone who doesn't know you. There's no judgment, there's no history, there's nothing. It will make you feel better :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nobody Knows

Sometimes it feels like we're living a double life. I guess we are, in a way. There's the life in front of other people and the life behind closed doors. We can be relatively normal in our everyday lives. We can do our jobs, have meaningful (or meaningless) conversations, etc. But we also go home and cry.

This Saturday marks the 3-month mark since we lost the baby. The thought of that makes me sick. On one hand, I feel like I should be better because it's been 3 months. And I guess we're better in the larger, abstract sense of the word. I don't cry every day anymore. But the feelings are just as intense. So, on the other hand, it's only been 3 months. Three months really isn't that long in the grand scheme of things. Three months is enough time to get to the point where I'm not crying everyday.

Sometimes being a sensitive person is really a character flaw. I have always had too-intense feelings. I take things to heart way too often. Sometimes it's great because I can feel intense joy and happiness, but I can also feel intense sadness. And I've never felt such sadness as I have these past 3 months. In the other times in my life where I've experienced loss, it's been sad. But nothing like this. Nothing.

So now it's time to bring myself back to life. Somehow. I have been underwater for the last 3 months and I have to get to the surface somehow. I am trying to get back to the things that have made me happy in the past. I have some races lined up that hopefully will spark my love of running again. It's hard to love anything when you feel dark inside. Hopefully training for something will shine a light. I'll take a flicker at this point.

I'm pretty scared of how the next few months will be. We were supposed to be welcoming a baby in those months and now that that isn't happening, I'm afraid of the sadness taking over. I'm trying to head it off by scheduling races to train for. Give myself something else to focus on. It works on some days and it doesn't on other days.

All we can do is our best. We can get out of bed in the morning and see what happens.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sun's Gonna Rise

Wow. I'm really touched at all the emails I've received from people reading my blog and connecting to our story in some way. Thank you for reaching out and thank you for being there.

This past weekend was pretty ugly. For a couple of weeks now I've been all right. I've been able to manage, even be social and not freak out. I've been able to be around my pregnant friends, my newborn-having-mom friends, whomever.

But I think I was trying too hard to be "normal" and prove to myself that I can handle things as they were before we lost the baby. Well, things are not like they were before we lost the baby and I am not like I was before I lost the baby. I was a fool to think I was normal and things were all right.

And, well, needless to say, this weekend was not an emotionally sound weekend for me. Saturday was manageable, but Sunday did not fair as well. I was cleaning up the kitchen and was going through a pile of papers. I save just about every receipt I ever receive for some reason. And I came across a receipt for all the pregnancy tests I bought when I first found out I was pregnant with the second baby. When I found out I was pregnant that Monday morning in April, I was in shock. Seriously, I really didn't believe it. So that day I went to CVS at lunch and bought 5 pregnancy tests to hold me over until I got the confirmation from the doctor. The pharmacist laughed at me and I felt like a dork, but it didn't matter. I practically ran back to work and took another test in the bathroom. And that one and the four others I bought were all positive.

And here we are.

Anyway, I just want to thank all of you who have reached out to me. It definitely means a lot. And while the sun continues to rise, and I am "carrying on" and getting through the days, I still need help and support from you. Keep those shoulders handy because I'll need to lean on them soon.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Stand in the Rain

This week has been pretty tough for me. Nothing happened, there wasn't a moment that made it all come crashing down. It was just a bad week.

I don't really have a mechanism for getting through tough times anymore. This experience of losing our child has stripped me of that capability. Yes, I'm surviving and carrying on, but it's not the same as living. I don't really know how to be truly happy anymore, to feel the light inside, to want to see what the day brings.

In the past, I've turned to other people who have gone through heartache to hear their words, to try to understand that through their example, maybe I can get through my trouble too. I've turned to Molly Barker, Founder of Girls on the Run, to read her words and through her find some strength. So, this morning, I turn to her again and I've spent the majority of this morning reading her blog. Molly is truly an amazing person. She has been through so much in her life, and somehow has found the strength and courage to not only pull herself back up onto her feet, but start an amazing organization that helps girls (and women) do the same.

Girls on the Run started back up here 3 weeks ago. I'm lucky enough to be coaching over at Ronald McNair this season. We have an amazing group of 12 girls. They come to each session with excitement in their eyes. And through them, I feel excited. I feel alive when I'm with them. I know that I can be myself and not be afraid of judgment, because we're all in the same boat. We're all just doing our thing.

I don't really know where I'm going with this. I'm just typing words. I guess what I'm saying is that reading Molly's words and being a part of Girls on the Run is a wonderful way to get through tough times. It helps me feel a little stronger. I'm really looking forward to Tuesday morning, when we meet again.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


So what do I write about now? Most people use their blogs as a way to "talk" about the things that cross their mind, both inane and meaningful. But I don't really have a lot crossing my mind other than just trying to get by. I have never really lived my life like that, just trying to get by. I've always had motivation, but now I don't really have much. When you are on course for a certain future and that future is suddenly taken from you, it's kind of hard to just move on. We're trying though.

It's really hard to talk about what we're going through with most people. Not because of the subject matter. It's easy for me to talk about it, it's a part of who I am. But talking to certain people is difficult because of how they react. Some people can actually listen and they get it but others are so incredibly uncomfortable. I was telling John this morning that it's those uncomfortable people that I want to talk to the most. They need to know that just because they want us to be "normal" because it makes them feel better doesn't mean that we actually are. Does that make sense? People that ignore what's going on with us make us feel insignificant. It makes us feel that our baby was somehow insignificant. Which he wasn't.

I guess if you're a regular reader of my blog you'll be pretty disappointed with my posts in the foreseeable future. I don't have a lot of amusing things happening in my life right now. Yes, there is still laughter and life. I mean, we have Keller to fill our days with laughter. But at the end of the day (and the beginning, middle, etc.) we feel like something is missing and that something will never be returned. Something was taken from us and while we only had it for a short time, that something will always be a part of us.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pictures of You

I haven't written about this because writing it would mean that it actually happened.

On July 24th, we lost our baby.

I had been having bad abdominal pains all week. We had gone into the OB's office, had a sonogram, everything looked fine. The baby was perfect. But these pains just wouldn't stop.

Thursday evening they got really bad. And then I started bleeding. I knew it was not good. I went to the satellite ER that's near our house. John got one of our neighbors to come and stay with Keller and he joined me. We were there for a couple of hours. They did another sonogram and saw that the baby was in the birth canal and the placenta started to tear. I was in labor. The pain was unimaginable. I had multiple doses of morphine and dilaudid and it did nothing. It was awful.

They transferred me to Shady Grove Hospital. We delivered our baby in the early hours of Friday, July 24th. It was the single worst day of my life.

The last two months have been the hardest to get through. I have never experienced a hurt so bad before. I have never felt so empty and alone. We have had to try to be "normal" for Keller. He's definitely seen us upset and we've told him what happened. He understands to a certain degree, about as much as a 4-year old can understand.

I left my job. I couldn't possibly deal with this while working there. For the first time in my life I don't really give a damn about anything other than being true to my feelings and taking care of myself and my family. I just couldn't do that while working there. I left August 14th and haven't regretted it a single day. I working from home now, doing the marketing and promotion for Fleet Feet Sports, Gaithersburg. I've worked with them since 2006, so I feel good coming back full-time. And so far it's been good.

I can't really put into words how terrible this has been for us. Losing our child has been the absolute worst thing that has ever happened to us. We were almost halfway through the pregnancy. We made it through the cerclage surgery. We thought we were out of the woods. We thought we would be welcoming a new baby this winter.

We found out we had a boy. A little boy. Keller had a brother. My heart aches for what he has lost. I picture in my head what the two of them would have been like together. What trouble and fun they would have, what we all would have had. And now there will always be someone missing from our family.

We are doing the best we can. We take it day by day and some days are far better than others. I feel like I'm moving through life extremely slowly. I feel like I'm watching other people go on with their lives and I'm just sort of stuck here. Things go on, obviously, but in my heart, I'm stuck. I know I won't ever "get over" this and anyone that thinks you get over losing your child, born or not, is sadly mistaken. Just because we can have a conversation and perhaps laugh and smile, doesn't mean we're "better" and "over it." It means we are all right on the surface but deep down we're broken and trying to heal. There will always be a scar on my heart and this is now part of who I am. I am not the same person I was when I found out I was pregnant. I'm different, sadder, and a piece of me has died.

I'm writing this for a number of reasons. It helps me feel slightly lighter getting some of the emotion out. I leave pieces of my sadness everywhere. And that takes some of the weight off of me. I'm writing it so people will understand what a loss like this does to people. While everyone is different and how they grieve is different, losing a child like this is a multi-dimensional thing. It's different than other forms of grief and loss. It just is. And the term "miscarriage" just doesn't cover all the physical and emotional pain that comes with it. Miscarriage is an ugly word.

Lastly, I'm writing this to help other people going through this understand that they're not alone. While having friends and family supporting me has been extremely helpful, knowing other people going through this at the same time has also been helpful. Knowing that I can be sad and not explain why is more helpful than you would think.

Take care.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked

Did you know that today is National Nude Day? I'm totally serious. And last week (the whole week!) was Nude Recreation Week. That's hysterical.

I wrote an article about it yesterday on the Examiner. There are a number of people that actually run naked. So many that there are several organized nude races throughout the country. Could you imagine? Most of the stories people have written about them have said that once you get past the initial self-consciousness, it's actually quite fun. Everyone is naked, so it's not like people are really only looking at you. I guess looking at butts the whole time you're running isn't necessarily a bad thing. I guess it depends on the butts ;)

I just think about how most races have a decent number of people running and the starting line can get crowded. Some races are so crowded, you're kind of rubbing up against each other. That would be a no-no at a naked race. And if it's summer? The smell would be wretched. I think I just got a little sick.

Anyway, I'm glad I'm able to celebrate Nude Day in the comfort of my home today. It would be awkward (and a little chilly) at the office.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Black coffee in bed

Well, I'm not drinking coffee in bed. I just like that song.

Today I begin Day 5 if bed rest. God, this sucks.

Surgery on Wednesday went well. What I can remember of it. I thought I was just getting a spinal for anesthesia but I ended up getting general anesthesia and I don't remember much after going into the operating room. I guess that's a good thing. The anesthesia didn't really agree with me and I was kind of sick after the surgery. I don't really remember coming home and I slept all day. So, at least I slept through the first day of bed rest.

Thursday everything kind of hit me. I was in a lot of pain and still not feeling well from the anesthesia. It wasn't until Friday when that actually wore off.

I really wish I had some wonderful stories or profound thoughts. But bed rest is like my nemesis. I do not do well. I know people mean well when they say I should enjoy the rest and all that. But it's not really restful. When you spend all day laying down (when you really don't want to), it's hard to relax. It's hard to sleep at night when you are laying down all day. It's hard to tell Keller I can't play with him. One can only read for so long, watch so many movies, and watch so much really bad TV.

Speaking of bad TV, I guess I do have a comment about that. Have you seen Bridezillas? These women are crazy. I don't know how much of it is staged but these women are awful. They are rude and bratty. One woman didn't like the centerpiece the florist made for her so she threw it on the ground. She also smashed the cake her baker made for her to taste because it wasn't chocolate. Could you imagine marrying that? Yikes!

Anyway, I go back to the doctor this Wednesday so hopefully I'll get the all clear to resume life. I will at least try to be more upbeat in my next post :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sweet Child of Mine

Wow, it's been a long time since I posted anything here. Well, there has been quite a lot going on but nothing I could really talk about because we felt it would be best to wait.

I'm pregnant :)

Yuppers, that's right. Baby #2 is on the way. And it has been super hard not talking about it for the last 3 months (I'm 3 months along now). We had a lot of difficulties with Keller with premature labor and 3 months of bed rest and we have already started having some issues with this one as well. So, we felt we wouldn't announce it to the world until we at least got out of the first trimester. There it is.

We're not completely out of the woods. I have to have surgery in a couple of weeks where they literally sew things up (internally, of course) to prevent the premature labor thing. Sorry to those that feel this is too much information. But it is what it is. It's called a cerclage in case you want to learn about it. It is pretty routine, though there are risks involved. Needless to say, I'm worried. Which is why we haven't told Keller yet. Though we think he probably already has an idea since my ever-expanding middle is quite noticeable.

The surgery is July 8th and I'll be on bed rest for the week afterward. Hopefully it will be the only week of the pregnancy, though we shouldn't get our hopes up.

We've already had like 7 sonograms, so I'm pretty familiar with this baby already. I had one today and it's looking so much like a baby now. It's weird because it's only just over 2 inches long, and it looks like a baby. It was stretching it's little legs out and rubbing its face with a little hand. It's getting in shape to start its marathon career. Or to at least keep up with Keller.

Keller, our boy wonder, has started in a new classroom last week. It's the preK room and he's doing well. Granted, it's only been a week, but he's gotten less reluctant each day. Today he even walked in there excitedly. Good sign! He continues to amaze us with the things he says and does. He spelled 'butterfly' on the way to swim lessons yesterday. We're hoping next year he can help us with our taxes.

I promise to post more frequently now that I'm allowed to talk about what's going on. You know I like to talk. A lot. So imagine how hard it's been for me to be silent. It's been torture, quite frankly. Be prepared for me to make up for lost time. :) And look out for next week when I'm on bed rest and have lots of time to pass...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Pour Some Sugar on Me

So, lately I've been on an 80s kick. I've been playing my theme song quite a bit (Don't Stop Believing by Journey). I've been playing it so much that Keller now requests it EVERY time we're in the car. And I have to sing. It's awesome. We were even rocking out to Bon Jovi and Cheap Trick over the weekend. My kid is cool.

Anyway, I'm in the car this afternoon and Def Leopard comes on. Every time I hear Def Leopard I am instantly reminded of my Oma. This is my dad's mother (Oma is German for 'grandma'). Oma was quite the lady. We have many funny stories about Oma. So, why would a band like Def Leopard remind me of my Oma?

Well, I guess I need to give some background here. Oma lived with us from when I was about six until I graduated high school. She was a special lady and by that I mean she drove us all crazy. Don't get me wrong, we loved her dearly, but the woman was interesting, to say the least. She had a hearing aid (which she called her 'ear') and couldn't hear a darn thing without it. Her room was next to mine, which was a lot of fun for me. She had her own phone line which rang off the hook day and night. And she would yell into the phone because she couldn't hear half the time.

Again, what does this have to do with Def Leopard? Well, one afternoon I was minding my own business watching some MTV. Def Leopard was on, though I don't remember what video it was. Oma comes into the den to see what I'm doing, trying really hard to be a part of my life (God bless her). Anyway, she asked me what I was watching and I told her it was a band named Def Leopard. Here is kind of how the conversation went:

Oma: What are you watching?
Oma: What is that?
Me: It shows music videos.
Oma: Oh. Who is that?
Me: Def Leopard.
Oma: Who?
Me: Def Leopard.
Oma: What?
Me: Def Leopard (I'm seriously getting annoyed at this point).
Oma: Dead who?
Oma: Dead Lovebirds? Who would name their band Dead Lovebirds?
Me: I don't know, them I guess.

I laugh every time I hear Def Leopard and I think of my Oma. What a character.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Dreamed a Dream

So, it's Thursday, which means it's jury duty day. So, as you can imagine, I'm not in the best of moods. The day didn't start out right, with some BS I had to deal with all before 8:00 AM. I won't go into it, but I basically think some people in this world just don't give a rat's behind about how they treat people. Needless to say, I was on the receiving end of someone's lack of compassion.

Then I spend a glorious day in jury duty hearing about all the wonderful residents of Montgomery County. I mean, really. We have some real prize citizens here. UGH.

When I'm done today, I drown my sorrows at DSW. Yes, I know, it's not the healthiest of things to do. But I did pick up some cute Spring/Summer shoes! I do feel a little better. :)

I also wanted to share this lovely video. Last night we saw this video of Susan Boyle, who competed in Britain's Most Talented show. She walks onstage to laughs and snickers. The audience thinks she's a joke. And then she sings. Oh man. I cried like a baby. This woman epitomizes the notion of never giving up your dream. Just stick with it, stay positive, and someday you will have your moment. And a moment she had. So, please watch this video and believe that you can have all you want in life too.

Here's the link

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Baby Got Back

Whew. Home from a great weekend in NY. We didn't do a darn thing other than hang out with my family, eat a lot, and watch movies. It was wonderful.

Friday we colored Easter eggs, which was lots of fun. Keller and my dad did most of the coloring. Saturday it rained most of the day, so we weren't able to go to the Easter egg hunt in the park we were planning on attending. We had our own egg hunt Sunday morning. In fact, we had about 20 of them. And we continue to have them at home. It's Keller's new favorite past time. You can see all of our Easter weekend pictures here.

Sunday was nice. All the rain stopped, so after our egg hunts and Easter morning bread, we flew our kite. It gets crazy windy behind my parents' house, so it's a prime kite flying area. Keller was having some trouble keeping the kite in the air, but he loved the loops it would do. After that, we had a great meal with family we hadn't seen in a while. We left to come home at about 7:00 PM, which was the time most people decided to go wherever they were going. It took us about 3 hours to get to New Jersey, which is normally an hour and a half drive. It was miserable. The only bright spot was this billboard we saw a couple of times as we were leaving Brooklyn, before the Verrazano bridge. It said "Got Hemorrhoids?" And underneath this was the name of the clinic: the Proctology Clinic. And while this isn't especially funny, the second 'O' in Proctology was a butt. A big old butt. It's hilarious. See here:

We saw these particular billboards on the BQE. However, there is another one we see on the Belt Parkway. It doesn't have the butt-as-an-'O' but it does still have the butt. Here's this one:

I have to say, that's pretty effective advertising. I wonder who's butt it is?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bullet the Blue Sky

I was on the way to work yesterday morning and the car in front of my had those little bullet hole stickers all over the back. You know, those stickers that make the car look like it's been riddled with bullets. Why would one put those idiotic things on their car? What does it really say? That you're a bad ass? Because, to me, it just says that you're an ass.

Because I'm deep in a rant, when did Easter become so commercialized? I know it's always been an opportunity to sell candies and stuffed bunnies, but it's getting out of hand. I was at Target and it was a little overwhelming. All the different types of Easter baskets, toys, clothes, candy, decorations, etc. I mean, we give Keller an Easter basket and do the egg coloring and hunting, but it's not like it's prime present opening time. It's ridiculous.

Now I feel better.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Killing Me Softly

I think that, by being on the grand jury, I am dying a slow and painful death. It is excrutiating. And I'm not talking boring. It's literally painful to go there.

We're now in our second month of service and we're all becoming disgustingly jaded. We sit there and listen to maybe 15-20 cases each day and it's just horrible. I obviously can't go into exactly what we hear but it's just case after case of crimes. Some of the crimes are not so bad and they usually involve an extremely stupid person committing the crime. Sometimes we even chuckle at the stupidity. But then there are cases we hear that bring us to tears.

I honestly don't know if I'm going to make it through the rest of my service. John and I were talking about it this morning and we're interested in knowing if there have been any studies on grand jury members before and after their terms of service. Are they dead inside after they finish their terms. Because I can definitely see myself heading in that direction.

Maybe it's the weather that is making me feel this way. Or at least contribute. I cannot wait for this weekend. It's supposed to be gorgeous weather-wise and we have some fun plans. Tomorrow morning we're walking in the Race for Lung Life 5K, which is a race honoring the founder of my company who died of lung cancer last year. Then tomorrow evening we're going to Susan's 30th birthday party (Hi Susan! Happy early b-day!). Then Sunday is the Cherry Blossom 10-miler. I'm excited about it because it's truly my favorite DC race. I would love to do well, but I'm not so sure how it's going to go. It took me a lot longer to come back after I broke my toe than I thought it would. I guess because it was a break and dislocation, it was more traumatic. I still have pain every now and then. Between that and all the stuff that's been going on for the past few months, I haven't been able to train as well as I'd hoped. And to top it all off, I've been sick all week! I guess we'll see how things go on Sunday.

Well, this was a cheery post. Hopefully after a fun weekend, I'll be in a better mood on Monday. :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Best Friend

As many of you know, I am a person of obsessions. I glom onto something and literally become obsessed with it and think, eat, sleep, dream about this one particular thing. I have written about my various obsessions before. They are numerous and varied, encompassing many ranges of interests. Just thinking about them all makes me laugh.

Anyway, my current obsession is Twitter. I have been a Tweeter or a Tweep for a long time. I have two personas: Coach_Jenn which is generally where I discuss running-related issues and promote my articles and other items of interest to other runners and endurance athletes. For those of you that go to my actual blog page (jennifergill.blogspot.com), you can read my Coach_Jenn tweets. My other persona is simply JennGill where I'm, well, me. I haven't tweeted (i.e. posted) in a while as JennGill because I always was Coach_Jenn. And it's confusing. But over the weekend, I was sick with a yucky stomach ailment (to be polite) and I went to my JennGill page on Twitter to see what was going on. I decided to follow all celebrities using my JennGill persona. You'd be amazed at how many celebrities there are on Twitter. I now know a lot of what these famous people are doing throughout the day and I have to say it's quite fascinating. For example:

  • Mark Hoppas (Blink-182 band member) does not sleep well and wakes up very early in the morning.
  • Margaret Cho (comedian) really really loves animals and has a dog named Ralph whom she took to the vet this morning to have a lump looked at (it's nothing).
  • Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster) had a business meeting this morning and asked what to wear: jeans or a dress (I responded to her and told her to wear a nice, but not-too-nice, dress).
  • MC Hammer (sort of rapper, wearer of very baggy pants) had a birthday yesterday.
  • Perez Hilton (gossip monger) loves Cadbury Eggs (as do I).
  • Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore are currently in the South of France (how horrible for them).
  • P.Diddy calls himself Ptwitty (ha!).
  • Snoop Dog only "tweezles" after 11 AM.
  • Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office) thinks he's developing man boobs. And they are an A cup.

You get the idea. I also follow Lance Armstrong who tweets A LOT. He's more obsessed with it than anyone, and clearly admits it. For instance, he just tweeted that he's picking up his kids from school at the moment. Such regular people!!

I highly recommend you get on the Twitter bandwagon. It's so much fun. If you do, be sure to follow me (JennGill for randomness and Coach_Jenn for running stuff)!

By the way, today's song title chosen for my blog post title is by a band named Tweet. Get the connection? Good...

Happy Twittering!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


It has been a busy couple of weeks! I don't even remember what happened last week, so I can't really write about it. I honestly think I have some early dementia or other neurological problem developing. How bad is that? I can't remember a week ago!

I do remember this weekend being fun. Saturday was the National Marathon and Half Marathon, for which I coached a group. John also ran the half and I had some friends and a client run it as well. Keller and I were down there for the whole thing. It was great. I bought this giant smiley face balloon to use so people could find me before the race and as they were running. And when I say giant, I mean giant. It worked well because everyone could find me and some other random people were telling their friends to meet them by the crazy person with the giant smiley face balloon. It was a little breezy and it kept hitting people in the face. One woman was smashed in the face and John told her she was "kissed." HA! John and I were looking through the official race photos last night and there were tons of photos with the balloon in the background. It was hysterical. We found a new race necessity.

So, race start was at 7:00 am and it was freaking cold. I felt bad for everyone, but I knew it was better than being freaking hot. In fact, it turned out to be a beautiful day for running. Keller and I hung out at the finish line the whole time, which is always fun. We had our cow bells and were screaming our heads off. I always laugh when Keller screams at a race. It's so amusing to me. At first it was general "woo hoos." Then he starting yelling, "Where's my daddy?" I just laughed. And then John came in and all was right with the world. I have to say, while I normally get choked up when my people cross the finish line, I was especially emotional at this race. And not just for my runners, but for everyone I watched at the finish. Because I could really see the range of emotions on their faces: pain, the realization they were at the finish, pride, elation. It really got to me because I know how they feel. It was nice to see. Anyway, all my peeps did really well, I was so proud.

Sunday was the circus. It was a lot of fun. I'd only been to the circus a couple of times in my life and (surprise!) I don't really remember it. But we had a good time, Keller really enjoyed it. Especially the popcorn and sno-cones. He wasn't a big fan of the cotton candy, which just left more for me. He was completely overstimulated after a while and we had to leave a little early. Which, overall, was fine with us.

I actually started feeling sick on Saturday, which hasn't really developed into anything. Well, it's in that in-between stage. Just enough to make me feel icky but not enough to make me stay in bed. I'm actually feeling a little better today, so that's good.

Speaking of today, I had a dentist appointment this morning. I normally see this one hygienist, who I've become pretty friendly with over the years. She's out on maternity leave, so I was with someone else. And this person was quite nice, but too nice. You know how you get completely annoyed by really nice people? You know, they're so sweet and talk your ear off, call you Sweetie and all that? Well, that was this person. "Go ahead and spit, Sweetie." And I feel bad being annoyed, which just adds to the annoyance. Oh well. At least my teeth are well. I have perfect oral hygiene, you know.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Nice to Know You

I was home with Keller today. He woke up with a bad cough that sounded a lot like croup. So, I wanted to take him to the doctor and get him started on the steroid if it was indeed croup.

We had a nice morning before we went to the doctor. Just cuddling and playing. I didn't even have to fight him to go to the doctor. The doctor (whom Keller told was 'silly' the moment he walked into the exam room) said it's not croup and just a bad cough. Good. I couldn't get over how good Keller was at the doctor. He hates being examined, especially his ears, and he was just fine today.

After the doctor, we came home for lunch. He managed to eat two sandwiches. He can definitely pack it in. I put him down for his nap, and did some work.

He's been up for a while now and he's just been such an angel. I really love the person he is becoming. He is outgoing and friendly, extremely smart and observant, and so sweet. Yes, he has his moments of ugliness, but who doesn't? I don't know why this is hitting me today, I guess it's been a while since it was just me and Keller alone together all day without any other distractions. I've been able to focus on him.

The other night, John and I were looking at some of the photos of Baby Keller we have in the den. In most of them, I can see a tiny little bit of the Keller that he is today but for the most part, he's changed so much. He can do so much on his own now, which is sometimes a good thing and sometimes not so good. Like when he took the eggs out of the fridge because he was going to make himself breakfast. That was a mess. But at least he tried.

I think I'm going through a mid-life crisis or something. My tiny baby isn't so tiny anymore. He can tell me what's wrong and what he needs. Not to mention when he tells me to leave him alone. I'm sad that he's growing up so quickly but at the same time I'm excited to watch him become this pretty cool person. I hope I remember this when he's 16 and telling me how I've ruined his life. :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Plans & Reveries

I love the weekend.

My parents came into town this weekend, which is always a nice time. We didn't do anything, but it's just awesome to spend time with them. We haven't seen my dad since Christmas because he was sick and didn't come down with my mom last month. It was so good to see them.

Saturday night the crew went to the Rock and Roll Hotel to see Black Gold. The front person, Eric, is the brother of our friend Marc ("Mr. Mawk" according to Keller). It was a lot of fun. We all had babysitters and basically let loose. And the band was awesome. Such a fun night.

On the way there, we saw a pod of tourists on Segways. Really? A Segway? How do I know they were tourists? It was not just one person trolling DC, but a gaggle of people. No self-respecting DC-area resident is going to ride around on a Segway. It was really quite amusing and pathetic all at the same time. Ever since our former president was filmed falling off a Segway, anyone riding one is automatically deemed a dork. Sorry. By the way, I mentioned this for Susan. Hi Susan!

There was a terrifying twist in events last night. We went out for dinner and as we were getting out of the car, we heard what we thought were gun shots. In Germantown. We then see 3 guys tearing through the parking lot. We went into the restaurant and, coincidentally, Keller threw a fit. He wanted to listen to music in the car. No one wanted to deal with it, so, we left. We go back into the parking lot and the police are all over. We told them what we heard and saw and hopefully something came of it. There weren't any ambulances or anything, so we don't know if anyone was actually shot. I really think a move will be in our not-so-distant future.

On a happy note, my new No Boundaries 5K training program starts tonight and my latest crop of runners will have a wonderful night for their first run. I am quite excited because I love spring running programs. And my friend Kerry will be helping me out with this group, so it should be a fun time.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Jury Duty

I never updated from Monday. I think I'm still in shock.

After I updated my blog, the legal supervisor from the grand jury came into the waiting room and said that, most likely due to the weather, not enough people showed up for grand jury duty. So, they took about 10 of us up there (myself included). Well, after a scientifically sound way of selecting the grand jury (the judge simply picked), I was selected for grand jury duty. What does this mean, you ask? Well, I need to report to jury duty every Thursday for the next 3 months. Yes, 3 months. Not good.

I'm trying to stay positive about it, but really it's not a good thing. This has thrown a wrench into life since John will need to being Keller to school every Thursday, I have to reschedule a few things with work, and then the whole question of if I'll be able to get paid. I'm not happy about it but at least it's not everyday.

On a completely different note, Keller has been a giant pain when it comes to getting dressed in the morning. He usually wants to stay in his pajamas. So he fights us to get dressed every morning. Then he wants to pick out his own clothes. Which is fine, but he keeps picking clothes that either don't fit or are not appropriate for winter (sue me, I haven't packed up his summer clothes or clothes he's grown out of...I've been busy). Today his shirt is fine but he's wearing some serious high waters. I told him that they were too small and his pants would be too short and he said he liked it. Go figure. When he was a baby, I promised him that I would never put him in high waters. But I didn't pick these pants out for him, so I don't really feel like I failed him. He just has to make these decisions for himself.

Monday, March 2, 2009

It's a Mad Mad World

Guess where I am...I'm sitting in the jury lounge waiting to find out if I'll be on a jury. But I'll be waiting longer than most. Why? Because Montgomery County, Maryland, one of the richest counties in the country with resources up the ying yang, delayed its opening 2 hours because of the snow and neglected to inform anyone until 40 minutes before we were supposed to be here. We civic-minded folk left early because it's snowing and we wanted to be sure we'd get here on time. Which means we missed the announcement. So we all nearly killed ourselves to get here only to sit and wait for 2 hours to see if we even need to be here. Our tax dollars at work.

So, yes, it's snowing in DC which means the world is coming to an end. At least for today anyway. You know, they've been talking about this snow for days but do you think they plowed? No. Side roads, of course not. But even the interstate was terrible.

Speaking of terrible, on my way here, I nearly hit a dog because some stupid lady let it off the leash. Why are people so stupid?? I turn out of my neighborhood and start towards the main road. I see a dog run out into the street and then turn around and go back. So I continue down the street. I see the dog squat and do its business. Do you think the owner put it on a leash? Nope. I guess she didn't want to disturb the dog. So the dog then darts into the street. I swerve to avoid the dog and run up onto the curb. Not even a half mile from my house. I put down the window and yelled at the lady. I know it was silly but it made me feel better. All I said was, "Could you get your dog, lady?" She said she was trying. Yeah. Looked that way.
And now I'm here. I guess I could be happy I'm not trying to go down to work right now. But I'm in the mood to complain. I'm definitely having some wine when I get home tonight.

Stay tuned, I'm sure I'll update throughout the day.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Say Anything

I left you all hanging with regard to our date last week. Sometimes I forget I have a blog and therefore I forget to update it. Then, when I do update it, I wonder if people actually read it. Sometimes someone will say something to me about it, but I don't know if writing a blog for a handful of people is really the best use of my time. I could just call them and tell them what's going on. Or write them an email. Which would you prefer?

Until a decision is made, I guess I'll keep writing. Onto the latest happenings...

Our date on Valentine's Day was great. Taylor the Babysitter arrived as we were putting Keller to bed. He went down fairly easily, which was a surprise. I was certain we were going to get a call that he woke up and wouldn't go back to sleep. But there was no call. I was then considering calling home to see how things were going but I had was faced with two possible outcomes: 1) Taylor may not answer the phone and I would freak out (this was our first time having Taylor stay with Keller and we actually didn't discuss this) 2) I would be "that mom" that calls the babysitter 800 times. I didn't call and it ended up being a nice night (though I did sit with my cell phone in my lap). We ate at Rock Creek in Bethesda and it was nice.

Now, I know it sounds like I'm loony when it comes to Keller. That I don't feel comfortable not being home or something. Not true. I am perfectly fine with going out! I was just nervous because this was the first time we had gone out in a long time and I had a feeling something was going to come up that would make us come home. Thankfully, nothing did. So, it looks like more evenings out are in our future. Yay!

We are heading down to Williamsburg today. Sadly, John's grandmother passed away on Wednesday. She was in bad shape, so while it wasn't entirely unexpected, everyone is still understandably upset. I know John's mom is pretty upset. It was her mom.

So, on that note, take some time today to tell the people you know that you love them and appreciate them being a part of your life. I hope my peeps know they mean the world to me.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love is in the Air

Today is the big V day. How did the day begin for us? Well Keller woke up at 4 AM. And he was up and ready to go. Grumble grumble.

So I coach my marathon and half marathon group through their long run on Saturday mornings. This morning I went into Safeway to get some water and post-run treats for them and the store was filled with men getting their last minute Valentine gifts. I know it's the thought that counts. But really? Safeway? At 7:30 in the morning? How romantic.

We are still quite excited about our date tonight. We're going to dinner at Rock Creek in Bethesda. We've never been but hopefully it will be good. We could go to McDonalds and I'd be happy.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's Day. Better get to Safeway before all the good gifts are gone.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday I'm in Love

I am in a GREAT mood today.

It is the Friday before a long weekend. Yay! I have a date with my husband tomorrow night. Yay! We were trying to remember the last time we had a date just the two of us and we were completely unsuccessful. I think it was over the summer when we were in NYC and my parents had Keller for the weekend. That was July. How pathetic is that? But the times they are a changing.

I have been sick with this horrendous sore throat this week. I had a fever yesterday and had to go home from work early. I feel better today but my throat is still ridiculously painful. The glands in my neck are so swollen that it hurts to turn my head. I had a sore throat like this back in January too. I'm probably dying. But even that won't mess up my mood. I'm just really looking forward to this weekend.

Keller isn't feeling well either. John is home with him today. He's had this cough for some time now and he's just been under the weather. Hopefully he will be feeling better by Sunday because we have a Valentine's party to go to and I wouldn't want him to miss seeing his little friends.

Well, that's all for now! Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Box Full of Sharp Objects

John is out of town this week. He left yesterday. Have I mentioned how much I hate it when he is out of town? HATE!

Anyway, have you heard of the Snuggie? I know it's been going around on Facebook and it was featured on the Today show of all places. This thing is really strange looking. Here's the commercial:

I don't know what is more funny, the product itself or the commercial. I kind of want one. I know my mother would love one. I could totally see her walking around the house in one. And she's really short, so it would be all dragging behind her.

On the Today show yesterday, they were all wearing them. It was hysterical. The crew and all the anchors had them on. Apparently they're 100% polyester. Could you imagine the static generated by that thing? You'd have to be careful, you may throw sparks all over the place and set the place on fire. My cat, Percy, is always throwing sparks because he's so fluffy. In the winter time he generates static like crazy. I'd have to be careful if he laid on my while I was wearing the Snuggie. We'd be dangerous. Once false move and the couch would be up in smoke.

I think I'm going to get one...

Monday, February 2, 2009

One Week

Another Monday and another week. This week looks like it will be crazy busy, but good nonetheless.

John is going out of town on Wednesday and will be gone until Sunday. He's going to Marcos Island in Florida, the loser. He goes to this conference every year and we talk about me and Keller joining him, but we always forget about it until it's right here. Oh well. I guess we'll try again next year. But my parents are coming in this weekend to help, so at least we will have fun here too.

This weekend was good. John went out with the boys, so I had Saturday night to myself. I watched Mamma Mia with Meryl Streep. It made me a little uncomfortable. I mean, I liked it, I guess. But seeing her in the role she played was really strange. All the dancing around and singing was hard for me to believe. And then Pierce Brosnan? That was even more unbelievable.

Sunday we did nothing during the day except fight with Keller. That boy. He's something else. He didn't take a nap, which is always a recipe for disaster. Just a lot of not listening and acting badly. But we went over to Holly and Mark's for the Superbowl and that seemed to get him back on track. Seeing the other kids and not having to deal with us is more enjoyable for him, I guess.

On a completely different note, I saw a school bus get pulled over by a cop this morning. I had never seen such a thing before. I don't know if the bus had any students on it but could you imagine? Riding along to school and your bus gets pulled over? I don't know about here, but when I took the bus to school, the kids on my bus would have made life miserable for the bus driver if we got pulled over. The kids on my bus were wretched and the bus driver had no control over them. There would be something going on everyday. It made the 5 minute ride to school pretty interesting. Lots of yelling back and forth between the wretched kids and the bus driver, things were thrown, the bus driver would stop the bus and go back there and yell. It's a wonder we ever got to school.

Happy Monday!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Missing in Action

I get it. I haven't posted on my blog in a while. It's been busy. I won't go into the tremendous detail, but I hope I'll have something good come out of it soon.

You would think that I'd have a lot to say since I haven't posted on my blog in a month (a month!). Well, not too much has happened. We started a new year, we inaugurated our 44th president, you know, the same old stuff.

I had my last run with one of my clients this morning. He's training for this race called the Krispy Kreme Challenge where you have to eat donuts in between two legs of 2 miles. I think I would puke. I know I would puke. Anyway, he gave me a box of donuts this morning (thank you, Steve!) and, needless to say, the calories I burned during the run have safely made their way back home. I like donuts. In fact, donuts were the first food I craved when I was pregnant.

Anyway, it's Friday and I'm happy. I have nothing witty or exciting to say. But I figured I throw an update on the blog for the heck of it. Maybe something exciting will happen this weekend and I'll have news next week...