Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015's Inaugural Elite Entry

Since there is not a Creme de la Creme this year, I want to recognize for myself what was my best blog entry for the year.  When deciding, I thought about something that really touched me deeply--not only while I was writing it, but that it also resonated with me after I wrote it.  There is something in the post that communicates something deep and significant while continuing to be appreciated after having reflected on that moment, idea or experience.  A lesson learned, something to remember carrying forward.

I hope to start this practice this year with the intention of doing it next year.  So, for this year, I have two posts to honor because they seem an appropriate pair.

2015's Elite Entry:

To Plan or Not To Plan

2015's Elite Entry Honorable Mention:

Healthy Hope and A Choice for a Childfull Life

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Music

Christmas music is one of my favorite parts of the holiday, along with several other things like twinkling lights, fresh trees, cookies, candy canes, Christmas Story, Elf, wrapped gifts, spending time with loved ones, midnight mass, the nativity and the story of Jesus's birth.  But, I feel Christmas music sets the tone in many of the places you spend time preparing and celebrating the holiday whether it is at home, shopping or at church.  My favorite Christmas songs are by Johnny Mathis.

However, it has been a long, long time since I have been able to find the joy in Christmas music.  Some things were ripped away when my life changed and I really felt the lonely darkness and cold of the winter season.  Music was painful.  It took a lot of time and healing to really embrace music more fully again, and it seems like Christmas music was the last to fall into place.  While I will wait to listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving Day, it was not something I was actively seeking out in my recent past.  But this year, I found myself tuning into the radio station quite regularly.  It was not until Christmas Eve that I came to realize I have been enjoying Christmas music more wholly again, and that made me smile.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Healthy Hope and A Choice for a Childfull Life

While scrolling through Facebook, I saw a piece that caught my eye from  It comes from the perspective of a life that once dreamed of having a child, but it did not come to be for the author.  She shares her insights and learning from a living a life without children.

My IVF Treatments Failed.  Here's What I Wish Others Struggling With Infertility Knew.   By Justine Brooks Froelker

I appreciate that she is another voice who shares the side of the story of when a person is not able to have a child of their own.  What happens?  How does the person move forward?

Some of what she says echoes what others have expressed.  Although, hearing those sentiments repeated is validating.  She talks about breaking the silence, being careful not to compare your journey to others, respecting our individual limits and being more than trying to have a baby.  These seem to be good things to keep in mind however your IF journey unfolds, baby or not.

Then the author takes it to the next step, the space where there is no baby.  Below are a few quotes I really liked.

"For us, healthy hope has meant redefining our dream of family, accepting that we will never have children, and yet doing the work to always have children in our lives."

"For us, this is in living a childfull life and finding ways to parent in honor of our babies who we don't get to hold."

"When we give ourselves permission to feel it all, at the same time, we can find our clarity again.  In the complicated gray of life, we can awaken to life in color again."

It takes time to figure out how to live without a child in your family in the way you had once hoped and imagined.  It takes time to sort through the feelings and knowing you will not ever be done feeling them all, but finding a way to dream new dreams and deciding how to fold children into your life, how to make room to experience motherhood or parenthood a bit differently.  And maybe for me it has been a bit awkward at times, but I'm trying to figure it out.  T~ and I are still near the beginning of our life as a couple.  While we are newlyweds, we have been together for three years and have had several conversations about children and family.  We still have hope, but we are realistic in knowing that time is limited.  This part of our story is still playing out.  But, it is up to us in how we decide to live while in this space of between.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

House Scouting

It may not be fair to say that T~ and I have started house hunting.  I prefer to call it house scouting.  We skimmed the realtor websites in the fall getting a feel for houses in our area.  Then we saw an older house with lots of charm where the priced dropped and thought it was worth a looky-loo.  That put us in contact with a realtor who sent us some links to some homes and showed us a few one Saturday afternoon.  While doing our research, we also noticed some new homes being built in the area for a similar price.  It has gotten us thinking and with the wedding and holidays behind us, I believe we are beginning to move from looky-loo to more serious hunting.  With all of this has come some important conversations.

We have been talking about what each of us finds important in a house and things that may be nice, but not completely necessary.  We have talked about in the city, country or suburbs.  Schools are important, whether or not we have children.  We have talked about size, layout and yard space.  The one tricky spot for us has been size.  We grew up in different homes, so definition of space and how it is used is different.  I grew up in a small ranch house and shared a bedroom with my sister.  T~ grew up in a two-story home where he and his brothers had their own bedrooms.  I had a living room and a semi-finished basement.  T~ had a living room, family room and a finished basement.  I grew up in a family where we shared more common space, where as T~'s family had room to spread out with opportunities to individualize space.  We have seen some very nice homes, but it seemed the reoccurring thread was the discussion of the amount of space.  While there have been homes within our budget that have additional space, I just felt like it was too much house for us.  It seems silly and almost wasteful to buy a home with several more rooms in it than what we need on a regular basis.  I'd also rather spend less on the size an upkeep on a house and use the money for travel, fun and life experiences.  However, T~ was concerned that we may get too small of a house and it would not fit our needs for when family comes to visit or that a smaller house may feel like more of an apartment than a house. 

Again, after our last look at houses, we returned to the conversation of house too big/ house too small.  T~ felt like there was something more in how I was feeling.  And there was.  It was the fear of future regret.  I told him I was afraid of getting a house too big for just two people.  While lots of two person families may have two-story homes with a family room, living room and formal dining room, I was concerned that if we lived in that kind of house and if we could not have a child that it may end up feeling like a reminder of what we could not have.  I did not want to be haunted by the empty rooms.  Another concern would be regret in if we spent more on our house and then maybe struggled with having the money available to adopt.  Fortunately, T~ was understanding.

It seems to us that we are trying to find a house that is not too big or not too small--a house that will give us opportunity to grow, but not trip all over ourselves--a house that will feel like home for both of us.  I think we are getting closer to that idea, and now we just have to find the house out there.  I think we will know it when we see it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Chinese Takeout

While doing some Christmas shopping and running some errands, I was drawn to the toy aisle in the drug store* (not just any drug store, but the end all be all of drug stores).

I don't know why, but this year I've been really excited about looking for toys.  Because of infertility, it has been a long time since I have enjoyed shopping for children's gifts.  Well, at least in terms of toys or clothes.  I've hidden behind the safety of books for many years, which my godchildren and little cousins have enjoyed.  I love books and I'm really good at picking them out.  And I'm told the kids look forward to it because they can't wait to see what I find for them.  It has become my niche and not everyone gives books, so it is kind of special.  And that was kind of my thing before the whole infertility cloud of darkness.  However, it has been a safe haven because I can either go to one store or go online to get all of my holiday shopping done.  Low risk for triggers.  Sadly, not exactly a place swarming with children.  We'll hope they are at the library picking out free books to borrow!

But this year was different.  Something shifted and I wanted to venture down the toy aisle.  Granted this was not the toy aisle of a big toy store, but it was toys.  I just let myself peruse and get lost in the fun of just looking.  I had no real goals.  Just looking.

Then, I was drawn to this toy.

At first glance, I laughed.  Play food has become so much fun, and it comes with a fortune cookie.  Then I had some sad feelings, the ones of longing.  But it was cute, and cooler than the cheeseburger.

I sent the picture to T~ on my phone followed by a texting conversation.

Me:  If I was a mom, would this be the kind of toy my child would have?

Me:  "Mommy is a terrible cook, so we got takeout!"  :O

T~:  We totally would have that!  "Mommy and Daddy expose me to all kinds of culturally diverse, delicious foods!"

Me: (Insert happy blow kiss face emoji.)

Maybe one day.

*Discount Drug Mart--The jingle sums it up nicely.  Discount Drug Mart saves you the run around.  You'll find everything you need!  I bet you can Google it or find it on YouTube.  Growing up in my hometown, this was (is) the go-to store to meet your errand needs.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Honeymoon in Hocking Hills

Since we both started new jobs, we did not have a lot of PTO saved up.  However, we went for a long weekend to Hocking Hills and stayed in a cabin.  We hope to plan a longer trip later this year or around our one year anniversary.  But, this weekend was perfect and so glad we took the time to get away as newlyweds!

The mild winter weather was surprisingly lovely.  When booking the cabin, I imagined snow.  But, the weather was perfect for snuggling and venturing outside for hiking.  It was a weekend for romance, good food, time at the spa, a couple of hikes and pursuing the craft stores and antique shops.  It was a quiet time for us away from the world.  It was absolutely cozy, relaxing and lovey!

Friday, December 4, 2015

The New Mr. & Mrs.

We're married!!!

More photos to come, as this was at the end of the night and the only picture that I took.  Oops!  It was beautiful and fun!

Carl Goes Up, Up Soundtrack

(I realize the song comes from a movie steeped in infertility, but it just felt right.  There is something very freeing and hopeful about the song.  It  marks the start of a new journey, even if it is not all how you imagined.  Plus, T~ enjoys Pixar films.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

It's Almost Here

While getting everything done before the wedding and in order can be stressful at times, I just stop and pause.  Then I think about walking down the aisle to meet my groom.  Sometimes just listening to the song calms me, and then excites me as I remember that I am marrying a wonderful man whom I love and loves me right back.

A Thousand Years by Christina Perry by The Piano Guys

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Bump Envy

It's Thanksgiving this week, my favorite holiday of the year.  For me it is good food and spending time with family.  It is a time to be reflective and acknowledge blessings.  The focus for me is on the positive without all of the fuss of presents and gifts that come with other holidays.  It is about being present with those that you love.

Thanksgiving time tends to raise my spirits, warm my soul and feel lighter, almost carefree but with a mindfulness of the good in my life.

Strangely and recently, a slew of ladies at work have shared that they are expecting a child.  There are baby bumps everywhere.  I don't think I have seen this many all at once since first dealing with infertility.  However, this time it is different.  It doesn't sting or hurt like it did.  Maybe it is because I'm getting married soon and I've got wedding on my brain.  Maybe it is because this is the closest I've been in a long time to be somewhat near a place in my life that I may entertain the idea of having a child.  Maybe it is because there is some sliver of hope that I may one day be a mom.

It has been a very long time since I have felt happy in a daydream of maybe one day being pregnant or having a child.  It has been about ten years since the last time I first seriously started thinking about building a family.  It has been a really long time.

I'm choosing to dance in the dream of motherhood, even if just for a spell.  Because isn't it wonderful to catch yourself in a dream once in awhile?  No strings attached or what if's.  Reason has no place.  It's just a dream and a song in your be free to feel...if just for that moment.

Monday, November 9, 2015

In the Details

Working on the last details of the wedding, and T~ and I are researching music.  We found the processional song to begin our ceremony as the bridesmaids walk down the aisle.  It tingles with anticipation and excitement.  Love the energy of this song!

We Baught A Zoo by Jonsi

Microblog Mondays

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Houses on My Mind Again

Every now and again, I get this incredible itch to look for a house.  This yearning will well up and I will scour the internet checking out realtor websites to research homes in different neighborhoods of where I live.  This is not the first time I have felt this overwhelming desire to find a home, dreaming of settling into a life where having a family seems more tangible...or maybe more bearable without a child because less of life will feel in limbo.

Last winter, a friend, who knows about my history with IF and was pregnant at the time, said with a smile that I'm nesting.  She is hopeful that one day I will be a mom.

It is difficult to have these feelings with nothing to nest.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Annulment Complete

Earlier this week, I finally received the letter in the mail from the Archdiocese of Orlando granting the annulment of my past marriage.  It took thirteen months to complete (and a hefty sum of money).  I felt a quiet relief when it finally came through.  One chapter of my life that has come to a close and I feel I can more wholly put it behind me.

It also helps that Pope Francis has spoken about Catholics and divorce.  Here and then here.  I appreciate his compassion for those abandoned in a divorce and possible future consideration that annulments may be fast tracked when an extramarital affair takes place.  Significantly lowering the cost and making it a 45 day process also seems helpful.  While it does not change things for me, I'm glad the Pope is suggesting these reforms.

The timing of the annulment is good because I really wanted the process complete before T~ and I get married in December.  While we are not getting married in the Catholic Church, it still would have bothered me greatly had the annulment not come through.  T~ has agreed with me to have our marriage validated in the Catholic Church once we are married.  It would be nice to have the ceremony in a church, but that would take another year.  It would not necessarily be an issue with securing a time and date with a church, but the time it takes for the marriage preparation classes.  The Church wants people to be engaged for at least a year before marriage and it likely would not recognize the time T~ and I have been together before the annulment.  Sometimes you can have a clergy person vouch for you.  However, we just moved and do not have an established relationship with a church yet.  Plus, the churches that tend to be more understanding seem to tend to be more liberal.  So, finding a new person to vouch for us may take time to seek out.  Maybe not ideal, but I have made peace with the validation option.

I hope God is understanding and compassionate of our choices.  We are older and time is not on our side for having children.  Adoption may give us a little more time, but it is not a guarantee.  However, please know we are not rushing into kids.  We want some time as a married couple, but we are also balancing the reality of our aging bodies.  Our hearts are in the right place, and I hope He sees that.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Not a Weirdo, Check

I'm glad I got a couple of comments on my last post because I was feeling a little vulnerable admitting my bristling about marriage and best friends.  I am not saying you can't marry your best friend.  It is just not the only option or that there is something lacking.

I am happy to say I am marrying my partner and lover and adventure mate.  There is mutual love and respect.  We both want this relationship as much as the other person.  There is balance.  I feel we are both in this together, and that seems like a great way to start!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

August Nightmares

August is the anniversary month of my previous marriage.  Had we stayed together, we would have been together for more years than apart this year.  Funny how the math goes that you can hover so long and so close before reaching that tipping point.  It is like one of those age problems from Alegebra I.  When we were happy, we used to marvel at how much of our life we spent together and acknowledged that we really grew up together having been college sweethearts.  We were young and so much happened during those years.

Then suddenly, he left.

August has been a tough month for me after that part of my life was cleaved away.  The first year was awful...raw.  I was thankful for a kind friend's phone call.  I tend to try not to dwell on specific dates, even if they are etched in your brain.  I am more aware of the general season of those memories as they run in the background of my mind, getting further in the distance.  It has gotten easier over time, especially with wanting to let sad as that is, but neccessary.  This year was the first that the day came and went and consciously it didn't seem to bother me.  The undercurrent of sadness and malaise seemed a scant phantom.

However, I had the most terrible nightmares for a better part of the month.  And he was in most of those dreams, leaving me feeling unrested, upset and feeling used.  In a few of the dreams, I missed him and felt sad.  It was hard to shake the feelings after waking up.  At the time, I didn't connect the dots because the day had passed and I thought I was fine.  But, somewhere deep I am still letting go.

All of the dreams kind of made me worry about my relationship with T~.  I think it is all of the wedding stuff and how people say you only get married once and the person you marry should be your best friend.  Somehow it hurts.  Somehow there is guilt.  I once married a person who I felt was my best friend and intended only to be with him.  (Cue Don't Speak by Gwen Stefani, No Doubt.)  

I feel badly that T~ cannot be my first and only spouse.  I recoil when people make references to us being best friends.  I cringe when he says it.  My visceral reaction sickens me and I feel awful.  I don't want to marry a "best friend," after the last one.  But, would a best friend ever treat you like garbage with so little regard?  Can true friendships implode, deteriorate or devolve in such ugly ways?  Maybe he wasn't a friend in the first place?  Betrayal is so insidious.  It is difficult to believe that someone you loved and whom you thought loved you could actively make such choices.  It wasn't an accident or unintentional.  It was selfish, grossly selfish.  That is the hard part, when trust and respect are broken so horribly.

I know T~ is his own person...a wonderfully loving, kind and intuitive person.  I'm just having difficulty separating the term "best friend" from my past experience.  He either was never really my friend or he was, but then stopped somewhere along the way.

So, I try to reframe it by thinking about children giving each other friendship necklaces, the ones usually divided up into halves.  Kids will often give these kinds of necklaces to more than one person.  It is kind of like you are only supposed to have one best friend, but the secret is that you can have lots of best friends.  It can be flexible due to context and purpose of that friendship.  I think the important part is to let go of "the one and only" part.  It somehow makes it feel like I didn't use up my only shot.  It makes room for more.  It makes room for T~.

Once I put it all together, the dreams stopped and I have been more at ease.  It may or may not look like progress, but to me it is.  I am glad that I am not actively dwelling on that past relationship.  As a friend once told me, the ending of a relationship is like a perspective painting where the road keeps getting smaller and smaller as it meets the horizon.  That road will always be on my map, but that part of my life is near that dot in the distance.  T~ and I are together in the foreground, in the present.  I'm ready and excited about our adventure!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Birthday Month

This year, my birthday was good.  And that made me feel great!  No feelings of doom or glum or anticipatory sadness.  It started as a pretty regular day.  Got to talk to my Mom and Dad on the phone.  Later, A~ was going to take me out to dinner or make me a fancy dinner, but my arm felt sore from a doctor's appointment and I wasn't really feeling it.  Instead, we went grocery shopping together and meandered through the aisles.  Picked out a fancy slice of cake from the bakery case and a bottle of wine.  He made me macaroni and cheese, and we curled up on the couch and watched an episode of Call the Midwife.  It was simple and lovely.

Microblog Mondays

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


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

Microblog Mondays

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Car Drama

So, much has been settled from my divorce.  The only legal thing that has tied us together has been my car.  Even though we agreed the car would be mine, it still had to remain in both of our names because there were still payments left on it.  Talk about a pain in the butt when I moved to Florida and had to get a new title and registration.  However, once the car was paid off, it would be transferred to solely me.

Car was paid off in May.  I started looking into the details of the new title ahead of time so I would be prepared.  I waited for the pay off letter to email my prior spouse so there was proof no money was owed on it.  The process should have been very simple because it was an electronic title.  But, no.  He had to go and complicate things and lie about it!

I made two trips to the DMV.  And there were additional costs because he had the title printed and mailed to him.  He was caught in his lie of saying he was looking into it when the DMV shared with me the date he requested the paper title to be printed.  Fortunately, I had options.  Since I had legal documentation that the car was mine and a power of attorney document for the car from my prior out of state registering process, they could wait 30 days and consider that the paper title was "lost."  Then, I could request a new one to be printed and get it all switched over to me.  Or he could sign and appropriately mark the box on the paper title and send it to me.  He lied again about putting it in the mail, which I called him out on it.  But, either way I was returning to the DMV and going to get my car.  Fortunately, it came in the mail the day before I went to the DMV.  So, while the electronic title would have been the cheapest and fastest route, it would have been most expensive to go the title "lost" route.

Why?!  Why complicate things when you were the one to so quickly want me out of your life?  I was proud of myself for keeping the email communications brief and to the point.  I initially believed him when he said he was still looking into the details.  My blood wanted to boil when the lady at the DMV told me he had already requested a paper title and that it had been mailed to him about three weeks ago.  Really?!  You are "looking into things?"  I was seriously concerned he was going to try to take my car.

Then once it was all signed and done, I felt a little sad and almost teared up.  I took a deep breath and put it behind me at the DMV.  The sadness surprised me.  I figured that would come with the annulment, not a car.  But maybe it was because he hasn't participated in the annulment process and has just ignored it (making  it even longer), and that the car was the last thing we had reason to communicate.  I thought I would have felt relief.

But I didn't, just sad.  Not a sad that I miss him.  Not a sad that this would be the last time to "speak" to each other (if you count email).  Not a sad that I wanted him back.

Maybe a sad for that distant loss.  Maybe sad for a good-bye that was never said.  Maybe a sad to honor what had once been cherished, loved and important.

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.

Microblog Mondays

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


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.

Microblog Mondays

Monday, April 20, 2015

NIAW--Quiet Observation

It is National Infertility Awareness week.  I am happy to see a few people have posted things on FB.  However, I am choosing to quietly sit on the sidelines.  Timing and privacy are important to me right now.  Maybe I'll post something another year.  But this week, my heart is thinking about all of those who have been touched by IF.  You are not alone.

Microblog Mondays

Friday, April 10, 2015

12 Angry Women (But Not Really)

While scrolling through my facebook feed a few weeks ago, I noticed a listicle, 12 Women With Perfect Responses For Why They Don't Have Kids, with quotes from famous women without children with their thoughts about not having children.  In some ways it was refreshing to see since facebook can be flooded with pictures, posts, blog highlights and advertisements of pregnancy, babies and motherhood.  When skimming the news websites, I will also notice articles about parenting, baby making and children.  This mini article seemed like a departure from so much of what feels like is being shoved into the forefront.  It is not very often that I will come across things about people living childless or childfree.  The women highlighted in the article came across to me as strong, confident and unapologetic of living a life without children of their own.  They did not respond in a way that was diminishing motherhood, but presenting living the alternative as good, fulfilling and happy.

The article was good timing because I was feeling determined not to let March get me down, as it has typically been a difficult month for me.  It was a bit of a pick me up as if to say that if I do not become a mother that I will be okay.  I want to be a mother, but I don't know if it will happen.

I had thought about sharing the article in my facebook wall, but then I hesitated.  I toggled back and forth if I should or not.  I found the article to be empowering and wanted to share it.  But then I did not want to come across as some kind of baby/motherhood/parenting hating brat.  I was not sure how it would be received.  On top of that, with T~ and I planning our wedding, I feel pretty confident that there are people wondering when we are going to start our there have already been comments and questions.  While I thought the article's title and content was to the point and honest,  I didn't know if it could read as harsh.  I was worried it could lead to further unwanted assumptions and inquiries.  So, I decided not to post it.  Torn between wanting to spread the conversation about living childless or childfree and wanting to protect my privacy.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


I haven't forgotten about you both.  The twins would have been six this year.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Shower Shopping

For the most part, I have made huge strides in buying baby shower gifts and what I like to call yay you were born gifts.  I will often buy a small gift for a family member or friend who has recently had a baby.  I try to give it to them in person when visiting with them and their newborn.  But with having family and friends all over the place, I will sometimes mail packages.

So, as I was going out to shop for a friend's baby shower, T~ asked to go with me since it is a mutual couple friend.  I thought that was very sweet.  He was kind of excited to go shopping and pick something out, especially since her husband was surprising her with doing the nursery.

The couple had done the registry and shopped for the crib together, but he did everything else in putting it all together.  And because they had a variety of things, her husband really could have gone in several directions.  I really liked the eclectic feel of the registry and that it wasn't just one solid theme.  It was a mix of monkeys, giraffes and sports with blues, greens and browns.  The nursery turned out super cute!  It felt like a little boy's room with room for him to grow into the person he will become.

But, I had that twinge of sadness while T~ and I were shopping.  Many times it is a brief, quickly passing sadness--felt and gone within a breath.  But on that day, I felt a bit more of the sting and I soon just wanted to get the shopping done.  When we printed out the registry, I saw the list included giraffe themed items.  I love giraffes.  I always hoped to sneak them in when I had hoped for a baby.  I felt sad because these were items that I would have loved picking out or buying for my baby.  Then, it was rare to see giraffe items, but now they are all over the place.

T~ was excited when he saw the giraffe baby things and said we should buy those since I like giraffes.  I believe his thinking was that there would be a connection and appreciation with the giraffe items coming from me.  I did not say anything, but I almost wanted to buy anything but the giraffe things.  So, I suggested browsing around at a bunch of things and see what we liked.  It turned out that the store happened not to be stocked with everything on the list so it made it difficult to buy several items from one of the several themes.  It was a bit of a relief, so we bought a variety of items.  One of them included giraffes, so that was more within my comfort zone and I could ease back into enjoying the shopping trip instead of feeling like it was another chore.  And I was even more pleased once I saw the nursery since it was a nice balance of everything.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Long and Short of It

Last week one of my favorite blogs (of the non-IF type), Wait But Why, posted an article on Facebook that highlighted them.  It was about how in a world heavy on brevity (i.e. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), there is still an appreciation and a place for longer format writing.  Depth does matter, and their is an audience for it.

Yes, it may be a bit ironic to be sharing this article on a Microblog Monday.  However, from time to time, I have read that some in the blogging community wonder if blogging may be fading off or becoming less relevant.  I think this article points to no, and it encourages people to keep writing, keep the depth, and keep telling your story or writing about what you are passionate.

On the flip side, I also love Microblog Mondays.  It can serve many purposes.  It can offer flexibility and give permission for the writer to mix it up or stretch the space.  It can foster the habit of writing.  It also reminds me of poetry.  Poetry seems so powerful to me.  Most often in a poem a person can express depth in a condensed way and each of the words seems so carefully chosen.  It is not that long essays do not involve the laborious, critical eye of carefully selected words.  They involve different skills and I find it more challenging to cut out words (as evidenced by this post).

Depth and power can be found in the long and short.  There is room for all kinds of writing.  

Microblog Mondays

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Organization Is My Middle Name

I've been very busy lately.  Planning our wedding has been at the top of my list.  A few people have asked if I've gotten a wedding planner.  No, I'm a teacher.  I've got this covered.  Some are surprised by how much we already have done, especially planning the wedding from Florida for it to be in Ohio.  More importantly is that I'm enjoying it.  T~ has been very supportive and helpful, too.

Things crossed off my list:
  • Venue of ceremony & reception
  • Officiant
  • Wedding party
  • Photographer
  • DJ
  • My dress
  • My shoes
Things nearly crossed off my list:
  • Save the dates (Thank you T~ for taking charge of this one!  He has nice printing, and it lets me focus on other things.)
  • Flowers
  • Hotel blocks
  • Dinner food selection
  • Cake
Current challenges:
  • Groom's tuxedo (Just starting to look.)
  • Bridesmaid dresses (Plans to shop in April.)
  • Wedding hair place or person (No idea!!!  Help if you can!)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Freedom and Happiness

After reading a post from another blogger, I had to borrow her quote and put it here so that I can remember it.

"Freedom is the room to move in the harness."--Fred Holden riffing on Robert Frost.

Part of my response:  I have experienced freedom in different ways at various times in my life.  It seems freedom is about perspective and achieving the balance of acceptance of the limits or boundaries and appreciating the life you make within them.  Somewhere in there lays the secrets of happiness.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Date Night

Sometimes a song takes you back to a moment.  I want remember this night with T~.  We went to go see Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish on Tuesday night.  It was part of his Christmas present and I'm happy I could make him happy and share in it with him.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Annulment Work

My blog has been quiet this month.  Or at least it feels that way for me because I usually have a running list of posts that I want to write and don't always make the time to write them.  I feel that I got caught up on most of them this past fall. The list is very short now and they are still incubating.  They will come in time.

In some ways I feel I am trying to refocus my thoughts away from baby related things, so there is less to write.  But, my life is more than hoping to be a mom.  Looking back on the history of my posts, some of it has been about rebuilding or recapturing my life and I have written about dating, career or moments of life.

This past month, I have been working on the annulment of my first marriage.  I started it in the fall and then had to wait for the paperwork to be mailed to begin the next steps.  It dredged up a lot of old, ugly feelings of loss, doubt and hurt.  Not fun.  I've worked very hard to make peace with the past and leave it in the past.  I've been told that the annulment process can be very healing.  That has not been my experience.  It just feels like it is opening old wounds and rubbing salt in them.  Maybe I waited too long to do it.  But, I've been told that the timeline is right and otherwise it would have been too soon, too raw.  I don't know.  It feels redundant and unnecessary.  Maybe that is because I invested the time early and during the fall out with having support from a counselor, my priest and a support group at church, in addition to wonderful friends and family.  I feel angry having to open it all up again.  It is my choice.  I want the annulment.  It just really sucks.  It sucks feeling stupid, feeling less than and unvalued.

Argh!  Just want to get it done!

Fortunately, I am not putting pressure on having to have it done before T~ and I get married.  It will get done when it gets done.  We can have our marriage recognized by the church after the fact.  I am not going to let the annulment take away from my present happiness in my relationship with T~.  We are excited about our plans for our wedding.  :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

So Many Variables

For much of January, I have been thinking and wondering and worrying...  Am I too old to have a baby of my own?  Are my eggs still good?  Is it selfish of me to want to have a biological child with T~?

And really what each of these questions should add is some form of "a healthy baby."  I am scared because the longer I wait, there is an increased chance there could be complications.  Usually, I am good about regular exercise and healthy eating.  However, my bigger concern is for the potential child.  I am nervous about possible health or developmental issues.  Sure lots of people have had healthy babies later in life.  Will that be me?  I would hope so.

But having been a teacher and now working in the medical field, I have seen more than my share of children with complicated medical or developmental needs.  It takes a lot of work.  And truth be told, I have had multiple parents who have expressed their guilt and confessed to me that they wondered if they had been selfish in having a child later in life.  They have wondered aloud if they brought on these troubles to their child...and stopping short of saying that maybe they should not have tried in the first place.  These are good people and I realize they are sharing these thoughts while under great distress.

Nevertheless, it gives me pause.  At what cost do you try?  Is the risk worth the benefit?  Who is the priority?  It is not all about you.  It is also about that future person you may bring into this world.  At what cost is it to them?  What are you maybe asking them to sacrifice?  Is it fair?

I know in some ways I am getting ahead of myself as T~ and I are still planning our wedding.  But, I can't help it.  I am feeling the pressure of time.  I want to make a responsible choice.  My thoughts waiver.  Should we try for a baby of our own?  Should we adopt?  Can I be happy without children and instead dedicate myself to my career by helping others?  Or should I focus my energies on the people in my extended family and friends?  Lots of questions and lots to think about.

When I start to feel overwhelmed by it, I focus on wedding planning and my life with T~.  It is much more fun.  :)