Thursday, August 20, 2015

Summer Highlights

Much has happened this summer and it will continue to be busy until things settle down in the fall.  Here are some highlights:


  • New job is going well.  The work I do makes me happy and I like the people.
  • T~ got a job offer and will be joining me next week!
  • Temporary housing has been tough and a blessing.  There was a lot to finangle before my move to get things set up for my new job and finding a place to live.  I also had to rush to do some pre-packing before hitting the road.  Although, my tetrising skills came in handy with fitting most of what I needed for two months in my car.  The rest was brought with strategic flights with checked baggage.  My wedding dress came with me in one of my bags for carry on luggage!  I had thoughts of Ben Stiller trying to hug his bag and not gate check it like in the movie, Meet the Patents.  I also do not like feeling unsettled with so much up in the air.  But, I am rolling with it and floating along.  However, living in temporary housing gives me pause from moving to focus on my new job without having to settle into a new home.  Cooking and cleaning are a minimum with a small space.  The commute is short.  It was planned and I just keep telling myself it will all fall into place.
  • T~ and I planned two trips to see each other while being apart during the transition.  He came to visit me for a long weekend.  We went to a gaming convention for a day and spent time by the pool.  I went back to Florida for a weekend and got to go with him to his farewell party hosted by his co-workers.  It is easy to take for granted the time apart as another thing on a checklist and chalk it up to it will all be alright.  But, spending time together is so important, to feel each other's touch and hear each other laugh and to talk.  Intimacy is a delicate thing to nurture.
  • With me being in Ohio and T~ being in Florida, I have taken advantage of visiting with my family and friends.  I am grateful to have this time with them and just hang out.  There is no rush of holidays or the feeling of trying to cram it all into one visit.  We cooked out on the grill, ate outside and made smores.  Went to Cleveland to go to the flea market, the Westside Market and some local restaurants.  Flipped through some family photos and sorting through things from my childhood.  To just be is wonderful.
  • Got to see my brother on my original drive up to Ohio.  He lives in North Carolina, so it was a good stopping point.  Glad to spend some time with him and hope I can plan another trip soon.  The weather will be great for biking.
  • Wedding stuff is plugging along.  Invitations got lost in the mail.  Have to now pick them up from my parents' house.  T~ picked out his tuxedo and for the groomsmen.  Bridesmaids are nearly done getting their dresses.  My sister fell off her bike, broke her collarbone and had surgery.  So, that put a delay in shopping.  But, more importantly she is doing better and will have full movement in her arm.  Rings should be ready soon.  T~ is hoping to take them with him before he leaves Orlando.
  • T~ and I will camp out in our new apartment until the rest of our stuff arrives.  Yay for making deals with it being the off season for moving!

That kind of wraps things up.  A sprinkling of things to remember the summer before it becomes a blur.  Cannot wait for T~ to come home!

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Passing Thought

While chatting with someone recently, I asked about their pregnancy and if they knew if they were going to have a boy or a girl or if they were going to wait to find out.  They said they did not know, but we're planning to find out.  She said she was really excited to have a gender reveal party.  Happy for her, really.

Then I thought about how if I were to have a child, I had always wanted it to be a surprise.  I don't know if I will be able to have a baby of my own.  If I can't, I will feel sad not being able to have that choice and experience.  I wonder, if you adopt do you have to find out the baby's gender ahead of time?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Resiliency

Good words from a friend that can apply to many situations in life...

"Getting knocked down can happen to anyone.  That's easy.  It's what you do to get back up that shows your real character."  --  C. Brann

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Monday, July 13, 2015

At Home in the Midwest

Today was the first day of my new job.  It is the start of a new chapter.  I've returned to my home state of Ohio, and it makes me feel happy.  I have not lived in Ohio for nearly 16 years, and I have been longing to come back home.



I missed being closer to my family and long time friends, a car ride verses a plane ride.  Just doing everyday things together and not feeling like every visit is about trying to catch up.  Wanting to be there instead of living through pictures.  Feeling the hugs and hearing the laughs instead of remembering them or imagining them as we spoke on the phone or sent messages.

I missed the seasons, the snow and the fall.  I missed it being cool enough to enjoy hot tea or hot chocolate.  I missed the rich warm hues of fall leaves.  I missed having some gray days to hide away and curl up with a blanket.  I missed the quiet brightness of the snow.  I missed the tulips and daffodils.  I missed the rustle of leaves when the wind blows.  I missed the cool summer nights.  I missed the reduced humidity, so as not feeling like you need gills to breathe.  I missed the sweet corn.  I missed the richness of the varying shades of green and grass that feels soft beneath your feet.



T~ will follow once he secures a job.  Then he will come with all of our stuff.  I will be in temporary housing until then.  He is also excited to return to Ohio as his family live here, as well.  It will be nice to be closer to family.  And we have friends here and near by, too.

Something about home runs deep.  It feels good to be home at last.

Microblog Mondays

Monday, June 15, 2015

Kaleidoscope 2

Photo Credit:  H. Pellikka, March 2005, Link

"Life is like an ever-shifting kaleidoscope--a slight change, and all patterns alter." -- Sharon Salzberg

As of late, it seems best to follow my heart, to make the best decisions I can with what is known to me, and to go my own path.  It is a mindful balance of prioritization and living in the present.  Know that plans are just plans, and they will bend, evolve and change.  And for that which you cannot plan will somehow fall into place, that life has a way of making room and figuring it out as it comes.  One has to be brave to trust, and one has to be trusting to let go and see where it takes you.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

To Plan or Not To Plan

This week, a blog post by The Polka-Dot Umbrella really resonated with me.  It was titled Where Making Plans and Infertility Intersect.  The author was able to put into words things that I have had related thoughts.

She talks about the emotional pain of infertility and the difficulty of helping others to understand.  But she also experiences a breakthrough with her cousin because they are able to stick with the conversation to get to the meat of understanding what the other is asking and trying to express.  It is a moment of the joining of two minds for deeper clarity and understanding.

She also talks about the difficult struggle of work-life balance when the life part is also trying to balance maybe baby and living the life you have now.  It is a lot to juggle.  You want a career and a child.  You don't want to feel like you have to pick one.  It is hard to just pick baby at the cost of your career if baby never comes.

The part that spoke most to me was after sometime, "you stop making plans.  You stop putting your life on hold for something that may never happen."  For me, I am trying very hard to live the life I have now.  I don't want to miss out on what is going on around me for something that may not come to be.  But, what makes it so hard to let go is the fear that if I "stop" hoping for a child, then it will just not ever happen...that somehow I must not have wanted it badly enough.

The logical part of my brain knows this is not true.  But, my heart struggles.  It wants to hope a hope that is real and full, but not so loudly that it drowns out all else around it.  Just because I want to temper this hope or place it on a temporary shelf doesn't mean the I want it any less.  My life just needs to be more than.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Chess Game

I have a little bit of a tendency to get ahead of myself sometimes.  I worry easily.  In my last post, I eluded to what has been occupying my thoughts.

Life can sometimes feel like a chess game, where it seems important to set yourself up towards getting closer to your dreams.  The dream is possible motherhood and I worry about time.  T~ and I will be getting married in December and I am very happy.  I don't want to rush into trying to have a family, but time is limited.  On top of that, I am not quite where I would like to be in terms of my career.  I'm getting there, but I would feel much more comfortable if the status was a bit more permanent.  I want to be in a position to more comfortably provide for a child.

But, it is also for my feeling secure.  T~ is open to me working part-time and figuring it out.  But for me, having been through divorce, I do not feel comfortable possibly giving up my career for a child.  I left my full-time job in my past marriage when we started trying to have a family (the timing fell into place with him transferring out of state and I just finished the school year--I did not just up and quit--this was also just as the recession was rolling in and we moved to state with an over saturation of teachers), and then he left me.  I went back to school, and now I'm building a second career.  I do not feel any doubts about T~ and his commitment to me and to us.  I just worry about other terrible what if's.  The job market is very competitive and tight right now.  You don't really get an infinite number of chances.  There are times I wonder if I should have stayed with teaching.  It would have been the safe choice.  But then, I would not have met T~, and I was following my heart.  And he is wonderful and makes me feel happy.  I just hate being in a place of limbo.  I'm trying to be okay with where I am, but it can be difficult.  Also, I just don't want to end up in a place where I feel like I have to choose between child or career.  It feels like there is little room for error.

It is stressing me out.  I feel like if I don't get all of my ducks in a row in the next two or three years, then my chance at motherhood will quickly pass.  And even if it all works out like I hope, it is no guarantee for a baby.

So then I try to refocus my thoughts on the present and remember to be happy with what I have in my life.  It is not easy when you are a planner.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Ugly Day

Some years are better than others.  This was not one of them.  This year I felt angry leading into Mother's Day.  It is difficult to avoid social media.  Mother's Day related posts on fb are not just restricted to the day.  I feel that the trend on my feed this year was a bunch of "what moms really want for Mother's Day" memes.  These were not sweet sentiments.  These were gripey expressions of wanting more alone time, not wanting to wear crappy handmade jewelry and frustration about missteps in gift giving.  The memes screamed Mom Club.

The work of being a mother is difficult.  It is a job for life.  It is important to make time for yourself.  It is polite to accept gifts with grace.  However, if someone has been unintentionally hurt by someone's gift giving choice, there may be better tact to share this information.  As a person who has struggled with becoming a mother and who still dreams of one day becoming a mother, these memes feel ungrateful, insensitive and hurtful.

On the eve of Mother's Day, I wrote a brief comment on a few of the originator's memes, from where it seemed created.  Generally, it expressed validation that mothers work hard and need time for themselves.  But, it seems ungrateful to be complaining when there are women whom would love to have a child express their love for their mom, a person whom that child feels they are the most wonderful, loving and beautiful person in the world.  There was no response.

The next day was difficult getting out of bed.  I just wanted to crawl into a hole.  Lately, I have felt in a dark place about motherhood and feel like it may not happen.  I called my mom and wished her a Happy Mother's Day.  I wish I could be closer to home.  I was glad my sister was home to spend the afternoon with my parents.  The Cavs won, so that made my mom happy.  We sent texts back and forth about it.  I love my mom.

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Friday, May 8, 2015

Wax and Wane

Some days, some situations are easier than others when it comes to babies and kids.

Baby showers, for instance, can feel okay or bring feelings of distant dread.  In March, I was secretly relieved when T~ wanted to visit his new nephew on the same weekend as another friend's baby shower.  It wasn't really planned that way, but just happened.  I am very happy for my friend, but for some reason had difficulty getting excited to go to her shower.  Instead, I mailed the gift and we later met for dinner and then she showed me the nursery.

Then, I got an invitation for another friend's shower in May.  It was a bit of an impulse, but decided to go because I have not been back to Pittsburgh in three years.  There was a good flight sale, and it would be an opportunity to visit with other friends, as well.  I was somewhat surprised how well I was handling it.  However, I have a friendship with the pregnant friend and a longer friendship with her sister whom taught with me.  Plus, I have done some pet sitting for their parents.  There are many ties to this family and I am grateful.

For the May shower, it was nice because I got to help out with setting up.  Then I was asked if I could help with either writing out the list of opened gifts or manage the flow of gifts.  I was open to either task, but with me being the one wearing flats, it was easier to wrangle the present pile with some help from my pregnant friend's nieces.  It was nice catching up with some of the other ladies, too.  But after glancing around about half way through the gifts, I realized the blessing it was to be helping.  It kept my mind busy and the focus on my friend.

I also noticed someone else in the room whom seemed a little sad or tired maybe, but I could be wrong.  Showers seem to be more complicated events.  When I was growing up and later, but before trying to have a child, I saw wedding and baby showers as celebrations.  It was difficult for me to see or understand why people complained about going.  But now, I see layers of complexity for whatever the reason.

The other tricky situation is hanging out with a friend and their kid.  Sometimes it seems to go better than other times.  There are many variables with maybe how I am feeling that day (realized or not), how the child is feeling, how well I know the child or their comfort level with me or adults.  Some kids are more open and outgoing and that makes it easier.  I think it also depends on the parent.  I'm just saying there are a lot of dynamics to juggle.  I feel badly about a possible misstep.  I may have hurt one friend's feelings a little bit.  But, most of the time when the kids were around it was fun and pleasant.  My favorite was The Hockey Player (as he sometimes refers to himself) belting out the national anthems for both the US and Canada while swinging in the park.

T~ made the observation as we were coming home from Pittsburgh after meeting more of my friends, "So, all your friends have kids."  Me, "Um, yep."  Pause, "Well, kind of.  That's where we are in life.  People have kids."  I clarified and reminded him that there are a few without kids, but the ones he met this weekend have kids.  This didn't bother him, but I think it surprised him.  I think it was that because ratio wise I have more friends with kids than he does.  It is what it is.  But, I think it gives him more perspective on how much it can fly in my face that I do not have a child.

After thinking about this weekend and the past couple of showers, I think one thing that makes a difference about my comfort level with baby showers and spending time with kids is the level of closeness with that friend and how much of the journey they were present while I was actively trying to be a mom.  For instance, the March shower would have been with a whole lot of strangers who don't know my back story.  The May shower was different.  This friend and her family and another friend know my past and know it well.  I think that my friends who knew me and supported me during that time have another lens than those who I met after actively trying.  These friends saw the longing in my eyes, the yearning and the heartache when I was most raw.  They saw how badly I wanted it and told me how they believed that I would be a great mother.  I think they can sometimes be more gentle and forgiving.  They want to share their children with me; there is a deeper awareness and trust.

It is not to say that the friends I made after actively going through IF are not compassionate or lacking in being more inclusive with their children.  I think it is just not talked about and there is a lot of uncertainty.  It is a bit of a fopaux for either person to bring it up.  Maybe I just need to be more forthcoming.  Sometimes, yes it can be difficult.  I cannot predict the triggers.  But, the joy I feel from really spending quality time with you and your child outweighs the pain.

Thank you friends who get it.  Thank you for being a safe bubble for me to freely enjoy my friendship with you and your children.  And sometimes friends it is not you, but the situation in how safe I feel, which may not be something you can control.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Cake!

My favorite parts of a wedding:

  • The groom and bride seeing each other for the first time.
  • The bride's dress.
  • Cake!!!


This weekend T~ and I went to Ohio for wedding planning, which included meeting our baker about the cake.  I love wedding cake.  I love the creativity in the decorating.  And even more so, I love eating wedding cake.  Honestly, when I go to some weddings, I look forward more to the cake than the appetizers or entree.  I'd almost put cake at the top of the list.  But the day really is about the bride and the groom, which I enjoy celebrating with them and feel it is an honor to be invited to share in their special day.

Anyways, we got to take home samples of cake and filling to try different combinations.  I got to savor sampling wedding cake all weekend long.  Cake!!  Favorite part of my weekend.



I  may ask my DJ to play this song at my wedding.  :)  It makes me want to dance whenever I hear it.

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