Thursday, October 10, 2013


Do get pregnant. Don't do it in the summer when you do not look pregnant and everyone wants to buy you a beer or an orange crush.

Do tell your friends and family. Don't let it get to you when some of those friends ask you if you are having more than one at 5 months along....more than once!

Do keep the toilet clean. You notice a lot of sh*t when you're hugging that bowl, pun intended. Don't clean it yourself.

Do take prenatal vitamins. Don't panic when you have to tweeze your stomach.

Do eat the things that you are craving. Don't make eye contact with the doctor as she calculates in her mind how much weight you have gained since conception.

Do buy maternity clothes. Don't catch a glimpse of your rear in the dressing room mirror.

Do buy Old Navy maternity khakis. Don't put them in the dryer.

Do go to Motherhood. Don't allow them to walk you away from the clearance rack.

Do wear pre-owned maternity clothes. Don't assume they are in perfect condition...always check the crotch and back for splits, preferably before going to work and CVS.

Do buy designer Seven for all Mankind maternity jeans. Don't buy them in the size you were before pregnancy. FAIL.

Do buy bras that fit and don't give you quadruple boob. Don't keep it on one second longer than need be.

Do grease up your belly at night with tummy balm, oil, and butter galore. Don't put on your favorite pjs and expect them not to stain.

Do blame all gas on the baby. Don't ever not blame it on the baby.

Do exercise. Don't dress up like a zombie and chase competitive men for three hours. You will pull a muscle...a muscle you didn't know you had.

Do allow your husband to go out and have fun. Don't face his breath while in the bed on his nights out on the town.

Do watch the movie, "What to Expect When You Are Expecting." Don't watch tragic baby stories on Lifetime.

Do scan the mail for baby coupons. Don't allow your eyes to graze the cover of any Victoria Secret catalogue. As a matter of fact, write a note to leave in your mailbox telling your mailman that you will cut him if he puts another in there.

Do keep a hand held mirror handy for the places you can no longer see with the naked eye. Don't look.

Do enjoy every second of this amazing journey. Don't ever take yourself too seriously.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dear Mom


I am twenty weeks pregnant today, twenty of the hardest and the most beautiful weeks that I haven't been able to share with you. Nick and I are having a little girl! We laid in bed the night we found out and wondered if you and Barbara already knew that though.

I keep thinking about the morning that Jaime went into labor with Lilly. Ryan called me around 4:45 in the morning. I am not even sure I brushed my teeth before rushing to the hospital to wait to meet the angel. You arrived not long after in a stylish outfit, hair done, and lipstick. Even though you never needed a speck of makeup, you always looked perfect. Your light from the inside shown so brightly on your outside.  You were and will always be the most beautiful woman I've ever known.

Last Saturday I went to Babies R' Us. I've been getting really overwhelmed when looking at baby items because of price and not mention there is SO MUCH STUFF!! I started small looking at the bottles, spoons, and bibs. My eyes went to a pink bib that said, "If Mom says no, just ask Grandma." My first thought was, "That shouldn't say Grandma, it should say GiGi." Then, I lost my breath. My daughter won't have her GiGi. She will only  know you through stories, pictures, and the love left behind in your legacy. Even though that love is great, it's not enough. I need you, my daughter needs her GiGi. The tears started in that aisle so I moved along wiping them away as casually as I had something in my eyes. I continued through the car seats, the swings, the strollers, pack and plays, and finally the cribs. By the time I reached the cribs I was in serious need of tissues. I looked around and noticed that every pregnant woman was with their mother Of Course! They were all trying not to stare at me. I decided it was time to get out of Dodge and stop making everyone in the whole store feel uncomfortable!

I sat in my truck for a long while in between panicking about my lack of knowledge about babies and grieving the fact that I couldn't just call you, ask all my questions, and have you alleviate all my fears. I texted Jaim through my tears and she said it the best, "It just sucks and it isn't fair." There is no way around it. It sucks. It isn't fair. (Sorry, I know you hate the word sucks).

Some days when I am driving I imagine how a conversation between us might go.

Hi Momma
Hi Darling, how ya doing?
I'm good, a little tired, a little back pain, but good.
Are you using a heating pad for your back? I remember Jaime was able to take some Tylenol doll, are you taking any Tylenol?
Yes ma'am, I just worry about drugging that little baby too much.
Awwwww, that sweet baby
I'm still throwing up every day in the morning and I am halfway through my pregnancy!
Oh Bayba, I was so sick with you. Just be happy that you haven't already gained 50 pounds like I did when I was carrying you. I was a house! It's no wonder we called you the Michelin Baby.
And I'll never live it down! Good thing I didn't end up with an eating disorder because of that nickname Mom!!
Laugh, laugh, laugh, and then I dubbed you Lumpy as a teenager!!

We would both laugh and I would try to bottle that laugh. Fill my insides with the sound of your voice and the sweetness of your words. I would live in that moment.

I miss you every day. I wish you could see my belly. I wish you could see Chris with Lilly and Roman and how much they love him. He was born to be a "Bud". I just wish you were here.

Some days I imagine you can peek in on us and catch a glimpse of all of us "holding down the fort" without you. I imagine that you can hear Lilly when she says, "I love my family, my family is beautiful." We appreciate the times we have together so much because we know all too well how short and precious life is. Thank you for teaching us to love the Lord and love each other with open hearts.

Till the next time we meet, from my world to yours, and with all the love in my heart,


Friday, July 19, 2013

The Craziest Path So Far!

It is June 19, 2013. I won't be posting this for a while because I am not quite ready for the world to know that I am currently 8 weeks 6 days and 20 some hours pregnant. (Ok, I don't know how many hours but it sounded cool).

On the morning of May 18th I was getting ready for my graduation from Loyola with my Masters. I was grumpy, my tatas were sore and I was totally sure that I was going to start my period the moment I needed to walk across the stage. The only thing keeping me from pretending some kind of illness was that my family was coming and we were all going out to celebrate (with many bud lights) that evening. When I got out of the shower, I opened the cabinet to get my lotion and there were some ovulation tests that never got opened and a pregnancy test staring at me. I thought for a minute. I am 3 days late, but that's not so out of the norm. Now it was stuck in my head though, what if? I was annoyed that I let my questioning mind get the best of me, but peeing on stick commenced.

A few minutes later Nick's finger tips are tapping at the slightly ajar bathroom door. "What's the grad doing in there?" Well, "I am looking at a pregnancy test." Door flings open. I am wondering: Is he pale or is this just the lighting in the bathroom? I can't stop staring at the stick, wait two minutes my ass, those lines show up instantaneously. "Nick! We are pregnant!" He replies, "Let me see that thing." I hold it up for him because I have a kung fu grip on it and am not ready to let it leave my hands. He says, "Tiffin, you are reading it up side down for one thing." My response, "Nick....It's still a plus sign."

I did not miss partaking in those bud lights after graduation. I was on a serious, "I'm going to be a Mom high." That didn't last.

After about a week, I started with the puking. I puke every day multiple times a day. The only glow that is coming from my face are my newly added pimples. My skin is dry and so is my hair. I want to eat anything in the world besides saltines, but can't stomach it. My restless leg syndrome is so bad that I have scheduled acupuncture for this coming up Friday. Everything I once loved makes me puke: Coffee, chicken, vegetables, mouthwash, and my own husband (Ok, ok, Nick doesn't make me puke but there are some certain bodily functions that do!!).

I am sure that once I give birth to this precious miracle (which feels like an alien reeking havoc on my body right now) I will forget every bit of misery this first trimester has thrown my way, but until them I am going to commiserate!!

Last week we had our first appointment and saw little bean for the first time. It was such a beautiful thing. We were thrown a bit of sad curveball when the doctor told us that this started out as a twin pregnancy, but Baby B did not grow as fast and did not produce a heartbeat like Baby A. I was taken aback at how sad I could be about something I didn't even know was there, but we definitely grieved little B. On the brightest of notes though, we have a little bean in there that is growing and heart-beating, and thriving just like he/she should. I am reminded of this on a daily basis when I hug the potty.

Nick and I are both scared to death! 7 months are going to FLY by. I become so emotional when I think about bringing a tiny little human into this world that I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR! It makes me cry tears of joy and then just like clockwork, tears of sadness for my Mom come right after that. I can't believe our baby won't know his/her GiGi. I pray that all the love and tools momma gave to me will help me raise a sweet, respectful, faithful little darling. Thank God for my sister, both of our families, and ALL of our amazing friends that are going to help along the way.

Stay tuned for more prego blogs! I plan to be really honest, because this is not all flowers and sunshine!!

June 27, 2013:
I am 10 weeks today. I am still puking. I have no energy and I don't feel like myself. Acupuncture didn't help my restless leg (at least so far) and I am afraid Nick wants a "do over" on his wife choice. I am sure I look my sexiest with my compression stockings pulled up to my thighs, granny panties, oversized t-sthirt and my legs propped up on the wall at the head of the bed, moaning in discomfort. My diet consists of carrots and ranch, olives, red meat, and Oreos, lots of Oreos. I miss Bud Light and I hope we are still friends when I come out of these 9 months. 3 weeks until this trimester is over...I hope there is a pot of gold waiting for me at the beginning of tri-2.

Debbie Downer signing off.

July 19, 2013

Thirteen weeks and 1 day (sober) LOLOLOL. I throw up every morning, but my energy levels are better. I am sleeping more at night because my restless leg is getting better by the day.  Yesterday I exercised, but was rewarded with 45 minutes of vomiting up everything I had eaten for the past 2 days! Does baby not like exercise or not like exercise after drinking a protein smoothie?? hmmm. I think I will give up the exercise for a day just in case. ;)

Last week we got to see the jumping bean!! That little one was waving, sticking it's tongue out, and so wiggly! I couldn't help but get teary when that tiny little hand was swaying back and forth saying, "hi mom, hi dad." Nick's smile and shining eyes were precious.

I need to get cracking on moving my "dressing room" to the loft in preparation of a nursery. Poor Nick's office is about to get a lot smaller and have a lot of jewelry and scarves as additions. I will miss that room, but the time for being selfish is coming very close to an end. Every time I think I am going to get started the couch calls out, "Tiffin, I'm lonely, please come back and fill in your spot!" That damn couch is so convincing! Maybe tomorrow....

Thursday, May 2, 2013


As I logged onto to type my thoughts and feelings, I read the title of my blog for the first time in a long time. "The Winding Road of a Young Widow." That doesn't quite fit anymore.

May 7th 2008- Exactly one month to go before our 06/07/08 wedding!
May 7th 2009- We can't believe it's almost been a year, what will we do to celebrate our anniversary?
May 7th 2010- I am still in bed. The sun probably still rises in the east, but I don't notice. The "why?" cloud looms over the shell of a person that I used to be.
May 7th 2011- I am falling in LOVE AGAIN!! I can't get enough of Nick Smith. I know we will get married one day.
May 7th 2012- My knees are on the cold tile floor. My left hand (adorned with a beautiful engagement ring) is on her right leg. My right hand is on her left leg. My head falls on the lap of the greatest woman I will ever know. My mother takes her last breaths and goes home to the Lord.

I walked down my winding road rather publicly, as you all have been so kind as to read the words my heart has bled.  I had many friends and family members accompanying me along the way. When I met Nick he led me off of that winding road and onto a bridge. By the time I was walking off of that bridge we were hand in hand and I felt even more appreciative that God led another wonderful man to me. My cup runneth over.

Now Nick and I are still hand in hand, but I am back on a new road. I am on a road without my Momma.

It's almost been a year, yet not a day has gone by when I haven't spoken to her. The new chapters of my life that are synonymous with being married and "happily ever after" give me panic attacks in the middle of the night because I don't have my Mom.

I finished the Master's Program at Loyola with a 4.0, and I don't have my Mom to tell me just how proud she is of me. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE hearing that from my loved ones, but I want to see her smile, and hear the words from her.

Soon it will be...

May 7th 2013- I will smile at everyone I see, just like she did. I will dance with a child until they belly laugh the way my sissy and I did when she "cheek to cheeked" with us. I will close my eyes and remember every word of the last long conversation we had together. A part of that that just made me smile was... In the middle of our talk (as I am crying and snotting and being completely pitiful), she said, "you really have a gift at putting makeup on." We both laughed through out tears, Steel Magnolias style. I will tell my sister what an amazing Mother she is and what an amazing Mom/Sister/Best Friend she has been to me since this day 1 year ago. I will tell Father to get over here and let me hug his neck and make him dinner!!

Happy Soon To Be Mother's Day to all of the amazing Moms out there. Hug your Daaaaarlings in true Trish fashion!!