Monday, December 16, 2013

Ebates - Pays YOU for shopping online!

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

I have a Capital One credit card that I used to use to buy anything and everything.  We get bonus points per dollar on all our purchases.  And on top of that, they had this thing called Perk Central where if you bought online through the links, you could earn even more bonus points depending on the store.  For instance, I got an extra bonus point per dollar when shopping at or 5 bonus points per dollar when I bought tickets at an AMC theatre.
However, a few months ago they took away Perk Central in favor of the new “Capital One Deals” program.  There has been a grand total of TWO deals over the past 1.5 years they’ve been doing this that I have actually used.  The problems that I have with this Deals program over Perk Central is that 1) They are usually stores that I never shop at, and 2) Even if it is a store I shop at, I have to go and spend that much money THAT week.  The deals are only good for one week.  So basically this program is telling me when I can spend money.  So we do not end up using this program and it has made me less loyal to Capital One.  And what frustrated me most about it was that they never notified us that they were removing the Perk Central.  I had to call them after several times of trying to find the new location when the website was updated.
So since then I’ve been trying to find more ways to save money because we are frugal and hey, why not try to save some money while spending it, right?  I saw a commercial for over the weekend, and vaguely remembered when one of my husband’s colleagues told him about it years ago.  At the time, we had Perk Central, so it made sense to stick with that.  But  since we now don’t have Perk Central, I decided to check it out this weekend.
After looking it over this weekend, I definitely signed up!  At most places, all you have to do is just shop online after starting on their website.  It will open a ticket for you, and as long as you place an order, you’ll get the designated cash back from each store.  And the best part?  Amazon is one of the retailers!!  This is even better than Perk Central!  I made my first purchase yesterday.  I’m not sure how long it usually takes for the credit to show up in my account, but then they are supposed to pay you out quarterly.  Pretty awesome.  And here’s another cool part:  If you refer friends, you get even more money!  So friends, if you haven’t already, please go sign up and finish your Christmas shopping by using ebates!

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Miscarriage Thanksgiving Update

I love holidays where we get together with family.  They’re such good support even when you don’t really know you need support.  Thanksgiving was not a day where I was expecting to need support, but it turned out I needed it a lot more than I thought I would.

I had woken up the day before Thanksgiving thinking to myself how strong I had been lately.  I hadn’t cried over our baby in quite a while.  That doesn’t mean that I didn’t think about him, but that I had almost healed from the experience and was looking toward the future.  But everything came crashing down on me on Thanksgiving.

Maybe it’s because I was looking forward to the future of trying again.  Maybe it was seeing everyone being thankful for their kids.  Maybe it was seeing my pregnant sister-in-law.  Maybe it was just spending Thanksgiving without our baby.  But I ended up having a bit of a melt-down.  I felt the tears coming, so in order to not embarrass myself in front of our entire family, my husband and I took a walk.  I had to let it all out.  We took about 10 minutes for me to gather myself and put everything back in a box.  But I think that’s all I did.  Just put it in a box so I could get through the day with our family.

I had several aunts come up to me later that day.  We haven’t seen the family since the miscarriage, so we haven’t really talked to anyone.  It was really nice to hear that they were thinking about us and praying for us.  And they said some really nice things about our future and how hard this is.  It really meant a lot.  It had been so long since it happened that not many people talk to us about it anymore.  And I know life has to move on, but it’s going to take me a lot longer to move on than the rest of the world.  So it was really helpful to have such loving people wrap their arms around me as I teared up again.  I didn’t feel as silly holding back tears anymore.  But I had already put most of my feelings back in that little box a few hours earlier.

It didn’t really hit me again until Saturday and Sunday.  I had things to keep me busy throughout the weekend like shopping and putting up all my Christmas decorations.  I did some pinteresting on Saturday and found some really sweet quotes.  One that most comes to mind is about pennies from Heaven.  It states

“I found a penny today / just laying on the ground / But it’s not just a penny / this little coin I’ve found / “Found” pennies come from Heaven / that’s what my Grandpa told me / He said angels toss them down / oh how I loved that story / He said when an angel misses you / they toss a penny down / Sometimes just to cheer you up / Make a smile out of your frown / So don’t pass by that penny / when you’re feeling blue / It may be a penny from Heaven / that an angel tossed to you”

Remember this one for later. 

Sunday is where it really hit me though.  I woke up in kind of a funk, and was in a bad mood almost all day.  I was either angry or depressed.   While I was in Walmart, I was thinking about our baby who should have been there for Thanksgiving with me.  We should have been talking about the next 3 months and what it holds.  But we don’t get to. And so many women terminate their pregnancies willingly or hurt the babies they are blessed with.  But as I was walking out of Walmart in my funk, I saw a penny on the ground.  And I instantly remembered the poem I saw on pinterest, and it made me think that our baby sent that penny to me to make me smile and know that he is okay.

I obviously picked up the penny and squeezed it tight and thanked Baby Ray for sending that penny to me.  It pulled me out of my funk.  But then I was just sad the rest of the day.  Missing our baby.  Wishing we had gotten more time with him.  And at the same time, I realized that I think some of it is from fear.  Of us thinking about trying again.  As exciting as it is to think about being pregnant again, I’m really scared of the same heartache all over again.  I don’t want the next baby to feel any less loved because of my fear, but I’m scared.  I’m scared of walking in to that doctor’s office again. I’m scared that we’ll lose the next baby too.  I’m scared that when we do get pregnant again, that everyone, including me, will stop thinking about Baby Ray #1.

So physically I’m doing great.  My period came back 4.5 weeks after the surgery.  Everything seems fine.  My body finally went all back to normal.  But emotionally I had a relapse this weekend.  Actually, now that I’ve typed it out, I don’t think it’s as much a relapse as just new fears.  I had overcome the other fears and guilt.  But now that we are in another chapter of our lives, new fears seem to have come to light.  About forgetting our baby again (but for a different reason) and the fear of this happening again.  With a little bit of loss remembrance sadness thrown in for good measure just to bring on the tears.

I’ve been told by those who have had miscarriages that you’ll have good days and bad.  That sometimes you’ll find yourself crying for no reason. The littlest thing can bring on a bad day.  I think a lot of things surrounding Thanksgiving brought on my bad day, but it ended up being a bad weekend.  But writing this blog has actually helped me figure out some of my feelings.  This blog has been very therapeutic to me – it was my way of initially dealing with my grief as well.  I’m not sure how many people actually read this blog, but to those who do, I’m grateful.  And I hope my story touches just one other person who is feeling the same way.

I believe that our baby watches out for us though.  I believe he wants happiness for us and that he is in good hands in Heaven.  I believe that we will meet him when we get to Heaven ourselves. In the meantime, he will send us pennies when we’re sad, to remind us that he’s okay and that we’ll be okay.  And that gives me hope.  Now I just need to focus on that hope to overcome my new fears.
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