Welcome March ICLWers!

by Kathy on March 22, 2012 · 9 comments

in Bereavement, Blessed, BlogHer, Books, Diversions, Exhale Magazine, ICLW, Molly, Writing

If you are visiting here for the first time, thank you for stopping by!

If you have been to my blog before, thank you for returning!

This is my first International Comment Leaving Week here at my new blog Bereaved and Blessed (formerly known as Four of a Kind)! However I have been blogging since April 2007. My family and I dealt with secondary infertility and loss for over five years and being able to write and share about our journey through blogging has been invaluable for me. To find out more about me you can check out this page. You can find links to some of my favorite posts here.

Every month here on my blog I host a blog hop/writing exercise called Time Warp Tuesdays. You can read more about it here. The idea is to revisit and share some of our favorite blog entries from our archives and reflect on our journeys since we wrote them. I would love for any and all of you to join me next month on Tuesday, April 10th or any month on the 2nd Tuesday in “doing the Time Warp!” In honor of my upcoming 5th Blogoversary, next month we are reflecting on a post from our archives where we talked about one or more of Blogoversaries. You can find out more here about participating in the next Time Warp Tuesday.

I also host a regular series here called Gatekeeping, which you can read more about here. The idea is for us to be able to check in and let each other know how we are feeling and what our plans are for tomorrow. Sharing those two things, especially during painful, difficult and uncertain times in our lives have proven to be therapeutic and help people who are struggling to find the courage and the will to keeping going, at least for one more day. Thank to those who already commented on my most recent edition of Gatekeeping. If you haven’t read it and commented, click here to check it out and let me know “how you are feeling” today and “what your plans are for tomorrow.”

I will leave you with three things about myself and three questions for you. I would love for you to answer any and all of them in the comment section:

Thing 1: Though I don’t find time/prioritize reading as much as I would like to, over the past year I have really enjoyed reading some wonderful and thought-provoking books for fun, as part of the BlogHer Book Club  and as a contributing editor who writes regular reviews for Exhale Magazine. I am currently reading Falling Upward by Richard Rohr, which I am loving and look forward to reviewing for the upcoming Spring issue of Exhale. The best book I read last year was  The Magic Room by the Jeff Zaslow. Sadly, I found out not too long ago that the author tragically passed away in a car accident near his home in Michigan.

Question 1: What are you reading now or what is the last really good book that you read? 

Thing 2: The weather here in Chicago this week has been unbelievable. It really feels a lot more like Summer, than Spring. Spring is a bittersweet time of year for me and my family. Four years ago we were anticipating the birth of our second child and our first daughter Molly who had a rare, severe and fatal  combination of congenital heart defects. She was born and died not long afterwards on April 17, 2008. When I see the beautiful magnolia tress blossoming and the flowers blooming (especially tulips and daffodils) I remember what it felt like to carry, meet and say goodbye to our baby girl. Her memory is always with me and I find comfort in believing that she watches over and looks out for her daddy, big brother Sean, little sister Abby and me from Heaven.

Question 2: What is your favorite thing about Spring? Do you have any special memories that you associate with this time of year?

Thing 3: Every year since my met my husband Bob during our senior year (1996-97)  at the University of Illinois, I grew to enjoy making predictions and filling out a NCAA College Basketball Tournament Bracket. For the past 10 years or so I have even hosted a pool for my side of the family and another one for neighborhood friends. I have won in both pools a few years and especially get into the “madness” when our Illini basketball team has played well and gone far in the tourney. This year U of I did not even make the tournament and my bracket has already pretty much busted, as I picked Flordia State to lose to Kentucky in the championship game. But I am still having fun watching the games, cheering for the teams I picked to win and rooting against those that my friends and family chose in their brackets.

Question 3: Are you participating in a NCAA Basketball Tourney “March Madness” pool? If so, how is your bracket doing? Do you plan to watch any of the games this weekend?

Thank you to those who have already left me comments here and here on my blog this week via ICLW! I look forward to visiting and commenting on your blogs too this week!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emms March 22, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Hi from ICLW!
I am reading the latest Hiding Piccoult book, lone wolf, and I love it!

I love the smell of spring. The new growth, the colors!

Nope, not doing march madness…


2 ErnieGirl March 22, 2012 at 8:43 pm

I am in a bracket this year and am winning! Sadly,my team, Wisconsin, just lost,but that was good for my bracket.

I have enjoyed reading your blog!


3 Lanie March 22, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Hi Kathy,

Visiting from ICLW. Nice to learn a little about you. It’s interesting you “came out” on your blog. Mine is public, but sometimes I wish it were a little more private when I want to share some deeper feelings or relationships. Feels good though to be all out in the open, doesn’t it? 🙂 Take care now.


4 dspence March 23, 2012 at 10:10 am

I am currently re-reading Marlena di Blasi’s books: 1000 Days in Venice, 1000 Days in Tuscany, The Laby in the Palazo. All are wonderful!

I’ve gotten into gardening since moving into our new home. Spring means the bulbs come up!

And I am sorry to say that I’m not a sports girl. Which is hard in NC!!
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5 Inconceivable! March 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Hi! New here from ICLW. I’m looking forward to reading your blog and learning more about the different exercises and activities you host – they sound great! In the meantime, to your questions:

1. I’m just finishing up The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles, and the last really good book I read is probably Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks or 1Q84 by Murakami.

2. My favorite thing about Spring is daylight savings time! Love having that extra hour of daylight.

3. I’m participating, but losing badly, in a bracket but at least my two final teams are still in it for now. And I think I am likely stuck watching games all weekend long with the husband…
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6 Amy March 23, 2012 at 10:16 pm

I just read Heave is for Real. I had mixed emotions about the book, bt it was still an interesting read, especially dealing with miscarriage.

I live in Orange County California, so Spring is kinda year round. 🙂

I don’t get basketball, but I like to choose who will win based on which mascot would win in an arena fight. I also like to cheer using this, resulting in things like “Go little devil guys! Poke them with sticks!” 🙂
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7 Jules March 24, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Hi from ICLW!

Love the questions. I am currently reading both “Origins” and “The Buddha Walks into a Bar: A Guide to Life for a New Generation.” My favorite thing about spring is all the green and the fragrant smell of the air! I don’t follow basketball, but support my husband’s KU leanings. : )
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8 Patience March 25, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Here from ICLW. I’m a fellow Chicago gal. As a middle school teacher, the weather last week was unbearable. It was hard to keep the kids focused when it felt like summer!

Hope you’ve had a great weekend!
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9 InDueTime March 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm

I’m not currently reading anything and I’m not doing a March Madness bracket!

Spring just reminds me of coming out of the cold and warming up before the hot hot hot summer. I love all the fresh flowers and green grass. 🙂
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