It seems I've rested myself a cold...
While I sit in here and catch up on email, Cristy and her family are creating 6 masterpieces for dinner - anywhere from lobster, artichokes, crab legs, shrimp, cheeses upon cheeses, goat something and more cheese. I can sort of smell it at this point but I'm certain in just moments, I'll taste it. Spoiled am I.
We're counting down the hours to cheers to a new year. B posted this fab idea of toasting champagne then breaking your glass. I love it and may have to copy it and start a new family tradition. Supposedly it breaks through the pangs of last year and you begin anew. Isn't that what it's all about?
This year has been trying, no doubt. - full of pain and full of blessings. I suppose that's what life is all about. But as we count the goodness found from this year, I will count finding this safe place and finding all of you.
Happy New Year to you all. May all your dreams come true - God bless.
Monday, December 31, 2007
It seems I've rested myself a cold...
Sunday, December 30, 2007
I love vacations. I love being here and not worrying about a single thing - except my sick dog. She ruins any kind of complete peace but other than her, perfection. I hear it's snowing like crazy at our house. Right now, Molly & her boyfriend are tearing it up in our yard - or better yet, tearing UP our yard. I miss her - them. But I know she's been very taken care of while we've been here and I am forever grateful for our house sitters.
Last night we drove up to the observatory to look at Mars. It's not something I would typically think of doing but it was beautiful. I love LA. & have I mentioned what great food they have here? I know it sounds cliche' but I have loved every restaurant, every coffee bar, every last morsel of apple tart. We've had pasta's, mushroom puree soup, sushi, beet & arugula with parmesean cheese - oh god, I could go on and on. Cristy's brother-in-law likes eating as much as she does. Or maybe I should say they appreciate it. :) They've done a great job at picking places the last couple of nights. But because they are so good at "picking", I need to binge and purge for weeks once we get home. :)
Us after a few drinks
Us with Uncle Steve
Cristy and her favorite oldest sister
I think I fell in love this morning. Again. Cristy looks prettier when she's in California. It's her real home. Watching her walk through 'Val Surf is like watching a child in a candy store. I looked at her at one point and thought, "that's what she looked like when she was 13". I can So see her bothering the neighbors with the sound of her skateboard wheels. She is...beautiful.
You might not see it here but she's really a catch!
Enough of that. I'm obviously on vacation and away from bill paying and house cleaning. But I thought I'd better document my adoration for her so when I look back during times of begging her to do some yard work or dusting, I remember how great she is.
Hope you're all well.
Friday, December 28, 2007
It's our 2nd day here and I'm still in "rest mode". Loving every single minute.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
My girl and her boy
Such a sweet smile
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
It's early in the morning and I thought I'd better start this post now or it won't happen.
This time of year brings such joy for me. As a Christian I feel extra emotional, knowing that this is when we celebrate the birth of Christ. As a daughter and sister and Auntie, I feel grateful because I seem to see my family about every other day or so through the month of December. As a partner, I count the Christmas' we've spent together as milestones and I feel lucky for each year that she's chosen to spend with me.
Last year, I spent this entire day with my daughter. I've relived the day a million times so I can seriously document every thing we did from morning 'til night. We laughed and sang. We cuddled and "watched a show". I held her in my arms after we spent a rainy day at Sea World. She fell asleep on my left side with my arm wrapped around her. I played with her during her bath and then brushed her hair. I helped her put on the new Christmas dress I brought her and got her ready for church. I kissed her. I hugged her - probably twenty times. Before she and her other mother dropped me off and drove away I asked her, like always, "how much do i love you?" and she said, "forever." It would be the last time I saw her.
I think about her today and there's probably a similar ritual happening. I miss her with every breath but I also count her as my greatest blessing. Pain/Beauty. The fact that I spent over five years with this fantastic, brilliant, funny, bull headed little miracle is something I'll always hold so tightly. And today, every year for the next many, I'll think about the perfect day that was one whole year ago and wish - every wish I can hold - for her to be happy and healthy and surrounded by goodness.
I love you Gracie girl - my whole life.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Today, this day, is Christmas Adam. It's the first day of "Christmas" in my family. Tomorrow will be Christmas Eve - and then, of course, Christmas Day will follow. This is not because I'm a big believer in Genesis - it's just a nice reminder that there's a lot that came before us.
I thought I'd post a sweet story with you about giving and sharing because that's most of what we do here, right?
A holy man was having a conversation with God one day and said."God, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like." God led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water.
The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms. Each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful. But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. God said, "You have seen Hell."
They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The holy man said, "I don't understand." "It is simple," said God. "It requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves and starve."
I've always loved this story and even though I don't believe in the traditional idea of "hell", I do know that sometimes we feel like we're stuck in our version - situational or emotional. But I think, no matter how you celebrate this time of year, this story is a lesson in taking care of each other and nurturing each other...exactly what we do through our blogs.
So, the moral of this story? I will always share my spoon with you.
Happy Christmas Adam.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Someone sent me an email the other day to let me know it was my 1 year blog anniversary. Wow. 1 year in this very place. I started looking back...
Before I started this blog I had another one. But I never shared it with a single soul - even still. I kept track of things there - mostly feelings. The thought of someone seeing it scared me to death. I imagined showing up in court and having every word up on the big screen. I think starting this blog was me creeping out of the "custody battle closet" a bit. I think I started feeling safe - knowing that court couldn't really hurt me like it could before. After all, at that point the mother of her was held in contempt, I had a very routine visitation schedule and I had an amazing child custody evaluation on the side of me & my daughter. I was in the clear. ...Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda. Damn.
I remember the morning that I decided to show Cristy my blog. I had been writing for a while but just felt so vulnerable & never dared to tell her about it. I left it up on the computer and let her find it. She cried. Sobbed. Some of my words she had never heard before. Because isn't is so easy to write your feelings instead of say them out loud sometimes?
At that time I was only reading two other blogs and I would never comment because that would mean someone might find me. Now I absolutely love having you all here and I love keeping up with you too. I am happy - big happy tears happy - that I found this place.
One year ago today, I wrote this. I think I loved her. I love her still. I'm still this bad when she leaves. I hope to look back 10 years from now and feel the same way.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Reading the last while, you would think I don't have any. I can't bare the thought of giving that video as much energy as I have. Let's be done today. Yuck.
Instead, let's talk about sex. Well maybe not. I don't think it bodes well for my G rated blog. Although, I think I may have lost my G rating once kj started commenting. :) And speaking of comments, thank you all for the comfort and validation. I always know where to go when I need people to nod in agreement.
But back to sex. I decided the other night that maybe it's good that I'm an infertile lesbian. Maybe the fact that sex doesn't have to be so clinical for me is a blessing. I mean, imagine having to time and temp at every saucy moment? And then realizing not enough time had gone by or that you're not "hot" enough. (I just giggled.) I'm obviously still very jealous about the "roll over and get me pregnant" thing that hetero's are blessed with. But then if you're hetero and infertile...hmmm. Maybe I'm speaking too soon. Anyway, those of you who can't just roll understand my point.
I had these thoughts because no matter how we make babies, there's never really romance involved. I was reading Chicory the other day and the entire scenario just proved this point...and made me pee my pants a little. The "baby making" part is simply so technical and organized (expect for the example I just gave - see above link) that there's not room for romance. I mean, you're naked, the lights might be dimmed but there's most likely not wine and because the end goal is just baby and not...well, you know - it's just not the same. I'd like to say I'll boycott but we all know we can have both. Or try for both. And hopefully get both but at least get one. Right? Oh God, I think I'm seeing stars. And I do know that it helps to ... (blushing) unless you're doing IVF. Then that's bad. Ugh. Enough.
You get it.
So here's wishing that we all have babies. And sex. And even if sex doesn't create babies, maybe pretending it did will lead to more trying.
Why am I talking about this again?
Monday, December 17, 2007
I have gone back and forth around leaving up the video of the mother of her and her awful attorney. I considered deleting the word "awful" because I thought for a minute that I shouldn't say something too personal about him on a place that's so public. But then I remembered all the stuff he said about me on the video. All the things they both said. And I feel like I could add a few more descriptive words and I'd still be way ahead of the karma game.
I wondered if posting the video would hurt your feelings. I mean, it's obviously personal for me but these might be words you've never heard about your families. Maybe you've never been called a "legal stranger" or "nothing more than a babysitter". I hope so. But I wanted you to see what they say about you - how much less they think of your family and mine. And I suppose I wanted you to grieve with me and be sick at the thought of people thinking of them as champions.
I think about what she said - that I always resented Gracie... Like I all of a sudden jumped out of the bushes to fight to keep a child that I never even wanted. Now I know what she'll tell her as she grows. But I don't worry about that. She knows I love her. I never saw her without telling her I'd do anything in the world for her. As they pass this video from church to church to raise money to fight cases like mine, I wonder if any of those church goers think it's odd that I would take such steps for a child I never wanted. I like to think people can see through that thick black eyeliner. I like to think they can tell she's an actress and that she's spent her life changing skin for those she'd like to impress upon.
There will always be a few that think of her as a miracle. She lived in sin for so many years - poor child. She never had a father - that must be what happened. I bet her adoptive dad would love to hear that. She never felt pretty so, of course, she "became" a lesbian. It's the most absurd thing I've ever seen. I watched her cry and thought, "she doesn't cry like that" - but what do I know about her? How do I know how she really cries?
And when she talks about y(our) children having mother after mother after mother - she's really talking about her own history of a million failed relationships. Three marriages - two before mine that she somehow failed to mention. Don't let her make you feel like you aren't whole and genuine. Shine that mirror back at her - at all of them.
This video answered every question I ever had about what went wrong with us. Every question she couldn't answer or that I didn't dare to ask was revealed there and, in some ways, I'm relieved. I'm relieved to know that whatever change happened in her, happened ("before") when I started asking. Selfishly, it feels good to know the timeline instead of feeling like I had been crazy all that time.
But none of this leaves me peace around Gracie. It just pummels me until I ache - knowing the eyes Gracie looks into are just ... vacant - a shell of the woman she once was. I'm worried that she'll hear words like she was "created out of sin" and not love. I fear that she'll spend the next ten years being raised by robots - people who preach hate and intolerance. And I'll spend the rest of her life showing her what it really means to love all God's children.
Do I sound intolerant? If I do, I think I have enough good karma to work with for a while.
Friday, December 14, 2007
This article was published today and I thought I'd post it here - knowing there are locals who read here that need to know ... more.
Gina is part of our non-bio support group and she is one of the bravest girls I know. If you know someone who threatens their partner by using my case or has hurt their child by doing what Gina's ex is doing to their daughter, please say something. Not here. But say something! The pressure should not be about Gina setting a bad precedent. It should be on her ex for creating this case in the first place.
We must support each other. If you're interested in helping out locally, send me an email and I'll get you started.
Love you, G.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
If you've read here for a while, you know this word has been a common thorn for me. I pretend to let things go and try to move forward but then I hear myself say things like, "except for them" and "I guess I deserve that". I remind myself daily that I can feel whatever I feel but that holding on to what ails me, dampens my spirit and keeps me from feeling whole. But then I give myself permission to keep holding on to it. It's a vicious cycle.
I've thought a lot lately about things I count as "unforgivable". - certain people who made it their priority to separate me from my daughter, certain people who will punish me until the end of time for something I can no longer say I'm sorry for, myself for a million little things that weigh so heavy in my heart. 'Tis the season for forgiveness and I still can't grasp what I wish for most - to begin again without holding or placing blame.
Like a twelve year old, I look at myself in the mirror some days and see an internal tantrum. I'm still mad. I still have thoughts that cling to my shoulder muscles and wake me from my sleep. I'll hear someones name and I'm angry in an instant as though I'm back in the courtroom, listening to hateful words and lies - even people I've already "forgiven" can bring me right back there.
I'm reminded every time I turn on the radio that what we wish for will be granted by simply saying it out loud. Not in a "click your heels" sort of way but by prayer. Whomever you pray to or wish to, if you do and once you do, you're forgiven. If I made a mistake and I'm sorry, I say I'm sorry. I let it go and "it's as far as the East is from the West". & if I don't, the bible says I'm insulting God by asking for forgiveness twice. - that I'm not trusting in Him to forgive me the first time I asked. In God's eyes, I am perfect. He would know, right? :) My mistakes are part of my free agency. He asks that I do my best and be my best. I try to keep a positive spirit - live my life in a way that makes me proud to repeat it.
So why can't I do this? What are they rules around how long it takes? Because I actually feel pretty good until I realize that the result after my "ask" still leaves me without her. & then I go back to punishing myself & grabbing back all the "forgiveness" I've doled out - because it starts over and it's a vicious, endless cycle. And maybe it doesn't start all the way over but you get it.
It's almost been a year. And a year ago I thought this day would never be. I thought I'd see her every Christmas, every New Years, every "all the time" - forever. & I get stuck with knowing where to start living differently. Or maybe I've already begun but I don't like it. Maybe that's why I can't let the bad stuff go - because at least it's part of her. It's just big and I'd like to give it all away. Maybe I'll send it to one of those people I haven't forgiven - for Christmas. :) See, I can still be funny.
But this I know:
"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and then discover the prisoner was you."
I'll still work on it.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Not today. And not for a couple of weeks but I'm so excited because we bought tickets to go to CA for the week after Christmas! Wha-hoo! It's been far too long since we've done our typical trip and if we could skip every day between now and then, I would take her hand and lead her there this very minute!
My (our) plans are very simple. I want to fly into long beach, drive to the coast and have breakfast, head to Irvine to visit some friends, get lost in the strawberry fields then somehow end up in LA until New Years Day! I promise to get dressed a few times but my first choice will be to remain in my pj's for as many hours as possible. I want to watch movies and eat in. I want to talk until 2am and walk until we're lost. I want to open the coffee shop then mozy around Whole Fo*ds until noon. Every - single - day. Life is always easy in LA.
This was Cristy on a trip just like the one we'll take. Except this is San Diego. Near Humphrey's and near Amy Ray. jbeeky knows this view well. Well, not the view of Cristy's "butt" well but you get what I'm saying.
Taking this trip is keeping me sane at the moment.
I better go. I need to start packing...
Sunday, December 9, 2007
I think I may have had my best weekend ever. Or maybe not Ever but in a very long time.
I know you can't really tell, but it's very big. 4'X4'. But the wall is huge so I really think it's perfect. We hung it last night and we keep walking past it saying, "beautiful!" I think we're both pretty happy with it. The end of a long hunting trip.
Other parts of our weekend were full of me ordering a beer and really liking it, being in pj's by 6pm yesterday and today, renting a movie last night and seeing Gold*n Comp*ss today. (interesting) Seriously, if I would wrapped some presents I might've added "productive" to my title.
But wait, I got a painting. That. Is. Productive.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Here's what we woke up to this morning!
Believe it or not, all the snow I bragged about the other day was gone in days...this time it should last a while.
Thanks again for the all the comments and emails regarding our family baggage. I deleted the post after a day because I thought having Y's dirty laundry out there wasn't really fair. But we're happy we posted because your thoughts brought a lot of clarity to the subject and we're stronger for it by far. Big love to each of you.
Today is cd1. We're back on track but not sure for what. IVF? Fresh insems? It's all up in the air but at least today is the beginning of something and, while out and about today, we looked at little boy clothes and little girl furniture just for fun. It feels good to be back in the game.
Have a great rest of your weekend. Drive safely if your outside looks anything like mine.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Man. Long day. It's only Monday, right? I wonder if this is telling of the week I'll have.
Life is busy. There is much to do. All. The. Time. Right now I'm dreaming of steeping some tea and bathing with lavender salts frothing around me. Instead I'll take Cristy who just walked in with chocolate covered strawberries and cinnamon almonds.
Cristy has "business stuff" tonight and tomorrow night. That leaves me with time to fill up. I'm embarrassed to say that anything more than a couple of hours doesn't bid me well. In fact, she actually makes me fill the time so I don't leave myself room to get into a funk.
So tonight I decided to use it to visit my mom - the greatest woman on earth. We sat. We talked. We had dinner. She is everything wonderful you would find in a mom. Sometimes I look at her and I feel a little anxiety - knowing I might not be that great. You know? She's had a lot of living. She had three kids under the age of 3 by the time she was 22. She married terribly young and spent the next twenty years fighting to keep it. I wonder how she and my dad ever made it 37 years. But then I remember, it was all her. She has held us all through so much. She lives and breathes every day with the loss of a son and a grandaughter but she only talks of both of them with smiles and as blessings - she's never a victim. She's amazing.
My drive home was full of tears with a familiar song from last Christmas. I knew I'd have more time alone when I got here and I was anxious thinking about it. But as I walked through the back door, sweet Tori was at my front door. A bit of an angel? Yes. She just might be my longest "friend" and when I get to talk to her, I enjoy every minute of it. She stayed until just minutes before Cristy walked in.
Isn't it funny how things just work out? Like getting to eat stawberry's in bed near a lavender candle maybe?
I'm on it.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Outside our back kitchen window
And the front view
It was so beautiful. I think we got at least six inches of snow this morning! I'm not sure how many times Cristy's shoveled but there is still more snow out there. Time for the blower, for sure! We actually made people come over during this snow storm so if any of you read this, know that we appreciate your bravery and collaboration and thank you very kindly for the doughnuts.
I had work related plans to attend a church service this afternoon and I definitely owe Cristy BIG for going with me. I was supposed to be speaking about the gays vs the evangelicals but it was so NOT that. Instead I spoke to a group that included a spritiual healer, a sex addict and a non-gay living gay man. We watched the movie I told you about and then searched "inside ourselves" for the answers it gave us. There were many moments of, "now close your eyes and listen to what your insides are telling you...listen...listen..." I sat there (eyes peeked open) and prayed that Cristy wouldn't laugh out loud. She didn't.
Tonight we went to Fr*sco's. If you live where I live and you haven't been there, do. It's a lovely little Italian pocket and the food was delicious. We celebrated our birthdays and they decorated our dessert plates with Happy Birthday chocolate sauce. I was wishing I would've had a camera so I could post a picture here. See how much I love you all? I even think of you while dining. Anyway, it was wonderful and, again, I am blessed to have those girls surround me. All three of them.
So I'll leave you to remember World AIDS Day today, December 1st. I'm not too late yet. And it's never really too late to remember.
"If we are to stop the AIDS epidemic from expanding, we have to break the cycle of new HIV infections. All of us working together -- government, communities and civil society -- can make the difference." Former South African President Nelson Mandela.
Friday, November 30, 2007
So my actual birthday came and went but I’ve been assured “birthday treatment” through the weekend. I’m a very lucky girl. Thanks for the many birthday wishes. I was still reading them this morning and feeling so grateful to know you all.
I worked yesterday but Cristy came and took me to lunch. I was kind of bummed out – just missing Gracie and wishing I could share my day with her. I tried to hold it in but ended up burying myself in it for a while. When I got home last night, Cristy had made a beautiful dinner and I was able to just enjoy the end of my day. Crab, squash and sparkling wine – delish! Isn’t it pretty?
Later today I will attend the funeral of my old Senator when we lived where we lived before now. He was a wonderful man and I'm certain there will be tears. I didn't know him personally but he always had time for me when I was fighting Gracie's bill in the 2006 session. The first time I met him, he hugged me goodbye and I had this moment of "he's kind of like Charles Ingalls" - whom I loved dearly. Anyway, God bless Sen Mayne.
Luckily, I have some birthday money to spend so hopefully that will be part of our Saturday. That night we’re celebrating with our best girls (mine & E's birthdays) and I’m SO looking forward to that. Cristy and J get Vegas for their birthdays so we’ll see what they come up with for us. No pressure, girls.
Tomorrow I’ll be participating in a panel about the divide between Gays and Evangelical Christians after we all watch For the B*ble Tells Me So - again. I do love this movie but I think I've seen it three times this year... I’m a little torn about the discussion. I suppose most people there will have a negative feeling toward religion and Christianity and that always makes me a bit uncomfortable. I am no fan of religion but I can also see a clear separation between the two and, where I live, they just combine them and call it a day. I see it all the time. I think many of us feel like there isn’t a place for us in a church, especially if you’re looking for a bible based church. But maybe I’ll be a good voice for the ½ and ½. I think they're expecting me to be on the side of the “gay divide". But I took years of debate. I can argue both.
Anyway, I hope you all have some fun holiday plans this weekend. Shopping, decorating, treat making, card mailing…wow, I have a lot to do.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
It's mine this time! Tomorrow morning, I will be thirty-seven years old! God all mighty - hold back the tears! Well, that's a bit dramatic but it does seem strange to be heading to forty.
Remember the day when you had your whole life planned? I was sure to be married at 23 and have three kids by the time I was finished being 26. Two girls and a boy. I think their names were something like "Chanda, Patricia & Christopher". Not pretty. I think they even had nicknames. Odd. They would be perfectly dressed at all times in their pinks and blues. I would have a house and a husband. (insert cough) I would be some kind of part-time movie star or talk show host - married to some kind of rock star. It was lovely. But all of the sudden I was finished being 26, realizing my life was kicking along and looking nowhere near what I thought it would be - in a good way.
That year I had been with my first girlfriend for about four years. We had started talking about having kids but (thank God) didn't do much more than talk about it. We had a house and a couple of dogs but it was one of those relationships where we were simply the only lesbians we knew so of course we should be a couple, right? Wrong. At 26, I knew I was on the wrong track.
A few years later, back on the track of beginning my life...I fell in love with the first rock star I found, got married, had a baby and thought I was living the dream. Wrong. Turns out, after watching a recent commercial she did, she knew she wasn't gay as soon as "God allowed her to be pregnant". A train wreck of mistakes and what ifs and life fell apart right before my eyes. You all know how that turned out.
Fast forward to now. This is my last day being 36. Ten years ago I was supposed to have everything I wanted but now, finally, I feel like I'm in my groove. I am exactly who I'd like to be and exactly where I fit and grow and heal and dream. I am loved wholly by the most wonderful person I've ever known and feel lucky every day for it. I have friends and family who I trust will always hold my heart and I plan and dream in a way I've never dared.
Here's to the rest of my life! Cheers!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
So...to try another round of IVF, we would 1/2 the meds. That's the (so far) advice of our specialist. By doing so, we run the chance of less eggs/no eggs. We only got 13 the first time with just 4 fertilizing so it makes me worry. Plus, let's be real - it's damn expensive! I almost hate to try again until we have more information. I know there aren't any guarantee's and I'm not looking for that kind of guarantee but I'd like to know whether or not I'll get sick again. If so, we'll have to do another FET and our chances go way down again. Y.U.C.K.
We'll keep talking about it. We'll also keep talking about all the other options. I so appreciate all the advice I get here, believe me. If it weren't for so many of you, Kerry in particular, I wouldn't even consider IVF again. We're kicking around a million ideas but they all include a baby in the house. No matter how - and don't worry, I won't do anything illegal...we will have a solution. I'm certain of it. And I'm going to do as Nerdgirl said and start making some demands of Santa. I hadn't thought of that. :)
Onto happier times...tomorrow is a good day! It's the day that my very dear friend was BORN and can I just tell you how happy it makes me? She is intelligent and funny. She's beautiful and compassionate. She has raised incredible daughters and married an equally wonderful woman this very year. This year, I believe, is her best Ever and even though she wishes her birthday didn't exist, it exists to us and there is more light in our world with every birthday she has.
So...a day early, as not to make a fuss ON her birthday - I wanted to wish E the best day ever! I love you dearly and can't wait to celebrate you this weekend!
Monday, November 26, 2007
back to work.
I loved having so much time off and so much time at home. The house is clean, the laundry is done and I even got to watch a couple of movies. We had a ton of time with family and friends and now I just want it right back. I can never get enough.
Some of our friends were in town for Thanksgiving so we had them over Saturday night. I haven’t seen them in a while. The last time they were here, I was with Gracie in Texas. I haven’t seen them since the ruling and their first questions was whether or not it was okay to talk about. Yuck. I tried to keep it quiet and Cristy was so great about moving the conversation in another direction.
They have a 5 year old little girl that was so fun! She went up to the nursery/spare bedroom/Gray’s room and started playing with her things. I was nervous at first. I hold that room as hallowed ground sometimes. But I loved having little girl energy in there and in the house! She and Yegs played so well together - until they crashed. He SO needs a sister or brother!
And I can hardly think of anything else. I sat at the computer for way too long over the weekend - searching sites, researching possibilities. Sometimes I wonder if it's really going to happen. We're nearing the first steps of trying again and part of me cringes at the emotions it brings. But aren't I living with them anyway? I mean, I sit here consumed at the thought of getting pregnant/getting a baby. What am I waiting for? I say my body needs more time to heal but aren't I just going to get sick again anyway? What are the chances of OHSS not happening the 2nd time? Kerry? Anyone? Part of me thinks something was wrong and they wouldn't do it like that again. My estrogen level was over 8000. Surely, something "wrong" triggered that.
& there are other options. We can lie through our teeth and adopt. It's illegal to adopt in my state if you aren't married...but living with someone & having sex. I know, odd. But that was their way of excluding the gays without actually saying it. It's a Morm*n thing. That's how they communicate. Ask Cristy's family. So we could lie and say we're not a couple. Or we could use an agency out of State and hope nobody thinks twice about where we "found" our child. It's all just frustrating and I don't know where to begin.
For now, I'll keep thinking and dreaming and wishing for a possible solution.
Friday, November 23, 2007
I hope everyone enjoyed their "yesterday". Thanksgiving is always one of our favorites and this year was so exception. The whole family crammed into one room - I love it every single time.
We were in charge of rolls and yams. We let the rolls rise for 5 hours, baked 'em 17 minutes. We opened a can of yams, baked 'em 30 minutes. (the yams are not a typical dish but my favorite oldest nephew had requested them as Thanksgiving was also his twelfth birthday.) Either way, I think our food assignments show that we clearly haven't entered the realm of "grown up" yet. My grandmother and mother are still here (thank God) so everyone else just kind of follows along. I'm afraid, by the time I have to cook my own turkey, I'll be too old to figure it out.
Moving on to Black Friday...
We left Yegs at grandma's last night. He would've killed us had we made him wake at 4am to go shopping. Plus, it's getting harder to hide things now that he's eight. But it was only a plan to go at 4am...MY plan. As usual, Cristy put on a pouty face and we ended up not leaving the house until after 7am. (just kidding, baby!) We got a coffee, got breakfast and it was all over by 11:30. Fa-abulous! Of course we spent every last dollar until payday but I feel good knowing that we're almost finished. And as I sit here, I can look over and see all the wrapped presents under the tree. Peace at last.
I hope you're all enjoying your long weekend. I hope it's filled with family and friends just like ours is.
I wanted to quickly post a request for prayers and love for Mommies in the Making as they journey through such a painful experience. Bless'ed be. You are surrounded.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
How many of you have started Christmas shopping already? Because I’m feeling behind and it hasn’t even begun. I need to get Gracie’s package ready and that always takes a lot of thought. What does she like? What size does she wear? Does she already have that movie? Is her hair long enough for clips? Does she need some fun blue extensions? Sheesh! So many things. And who knows what we’ll get Yegs. I feel like we buy him the same things over and over and just sneak a few pieces of clothing in now & then so he doesn’t notice. So far, so good. But what next? I guess I need to start thumbing through some catalogs…
So who really goes shopping at 4am? I know there must be at least one of you! The past couple of days have been full of commercials about stores opening at 4am on black Friday and I wonder who really does that? Plus, I’m embarrassed to say that I always thought black Friday meant that it was depressing or something. Cristy just informed me that it actually means a positive money day. Whatever. I'm not earning money that day so it’s still depressing, right?
I’ll be lucky to get Cristy out the door by 7am and that’s only if I have a clear plan of where we’re going and what we’re buying. I will also need a nice iced espresso mocha in her right hand and allow her to wear a hat. And even then it's questionable. But I could lie. She’d never know I didn't have a clear plan. Because isn’t it really about the rush of it all? - getting there and watching people go crazy over a towel that will just get gross after three washings? I mean, I buy things, I do. But I don’t really know what they are until I get there. Because you can see this wonderful item in a catalog but then you get there and it’s made of plastic or it’s scratchy or too dark. I like to look around – hold things. I like to know what people are buying – what’s neat! I am a voyeur, a follower. I like to see people get excited. I like to see moms with their daughters and granddaughters – when you know it’s something they’ve done together for years and years. I can hardly wait.
I wanted to pass on this new cartoon character I was sent today. I think it looks really cute and might be of use to many of you. If nothing else, the color pages are cute. It looks like a mimic of Dora but with two moms. It's full of lessons, which I like very much.
I also wanted to be sure everyone knew that HRC’s 2008 Buying Guide was released and it’s always a good reference when you’re doling out your pennies.
And if you’re interested in advertising equality in my particular state, you can also shop here on black Friday or any Friday or really any old day you want!
So there’s my push for community love! If you could give me back some good shopping ideas, I'd appreciate it.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Friday night? Not so nice. Poor Yegs. The plan was to pick him up, pick up his friend and host a sleep over. Cristy picked him up from his moms and before they left the house, he puked. Big. Again in the car on the way home and another two or three times until he finally fell asleep. The problem? It's on your "every corner" menu! He ate a double cheeseburger, fish fillet sandwich, large fry and THIRTY-TWO ounce soda after school! Y.U.C.K. So, lucky for us - (the parents that never fill his fist sized stomach with that kind of garbage, let alone that MUCH garbage) we got to clean it all up! Not pretty. This was more food than a very large man would have for lunch. And the answer? "He ordered it." Nice.
Saturday I had early plans to help a friend pick out new colors for her new bachelorette pad. Sort of. Anyway, she's newly single and moving forward! You know those days...when you want to change every little thing that ever proved that someone else lived with you? Due to my later plans cancelling, I ended up staying until about 9pm. But it's lovely. I went back again today to finish up and start on the next room. I must admit that I love people who have white walls. - but let me change them. It made such a difference in her home and I'm just praying that she still loves it tomorrow. Caramel. Yum. If I could have a dream job it would be to spend other people's money - decorating their houses when they're not home. I realize there are already people who have this job but I don't see why it can't be me. It was so fun! & tiring! But I smiled a lot and worked the muscles in my right hand so all is well.
Our weekend is wrapping up nicely this evening. Our best girls just left and we are now refueled for the upcoming week. God bless J & E. I was able to sit for a couple of hours - eating, talking and running my fingers through Cristy's hair. Perrrfect.
And just to remind you all, Thanksgiving is this Thursday! I think I just realized this! Where is November going? So gather all your thoughts and find something to be grateful for - you have just a few days to be nice to whomever sits next to you...hoping they say your name when it's their turn to talk.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tonight I spoke to an American Government class at a local college. I do this kind of thing as often as I can but tonight was exhilarating! Nineteen kids, probably all under twenty, proved to me that they're about to change the world.
My goal was to teach them how to be involved in the political process. I told them how easy it is to lobby. Write an email, make a phone call, travel up to the Capitol and make your wish! I spoke for about a 1/2 hour before I decided to stop and ask some questions. I'm not sure why, but after reading them for a bit, I realized they were way above the kind of "easy" I was talking about. Before I knew it, we were talking about how to run for office, how to write legislation and how get it passed. Amazing.
They told ME how asking for basic rights is not asking for special rights. They told me that everyone deserves equality - that our families should recognize it, our employers should recognize it and our government should recognize it. I shared a little of my personal story about my battle around Gracie and I could see the question in their eyes. "What? How is that possible? And they tried to legislate your family?" They got it.
I like to think I was a pretty smart kid. I have always been curious about the politics in this country and I have even been known to be quite a patriot in some hoods. I voted for Reagan in a mock election in 4th grade and I couldn't wait to cast my first real vote in 1989. (I had changed parties by then) I take it seriously. I participate when asked. But these kids are for real! They are ready to go. Forget learning how to introduce yourself - jump in & change it up! It was wonderful.
I was reading one of my favorite blogs today and she talked about turning a corner into the "back in My day..." category. While I was reading it I thought, "oh, poor jbeeky, she must be Sooo old..." - not really. I mean, she is Not old. & I totally wouldn't think that about such a fantastic, amazing, young mother of two! :) What I really thought was, "I'm about to be heading to Forty". Some would say that's old. & sometimes I feel old. But tonight... tonight I felt like these kids have learned what they know from old people like me. (And jbeeky) Just like I have stood on the strong shoulders of those before me, they will now stand on mine and yours. And it felt good. I ended by telling them that because they have the "ability" to act, now they have the respons"ability" and I expect to see them put it to use.
They have my vote.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
So I haven’t been sleeping well. I think I’ve been too cold to sleep. And when I lay there awake, my head is full of a million things. I worry about situations that require deep thought. And then I try to find a solution with my eyes closed. This week I’ve pondered ways to heal a broken heart and heal a tired head. I’ve worried about my walk (& many of yours) through the upcoming holidays and what we’ll all look like when it’s over.
We had another non-bio support group last night. One of the women sat with us through her daughter’s fourth birthday. It’s the first birthday where they haven’t been together. I wondered how she did it. I watched her and waited for some kind of implosion. Heartbreaking.
I thought about how I felt missing Gracie’s 3rd birthday and remembered how painful it was. The only thing that kept me above water was my pending court case and luckily, it was almost over by then and I saw her just two months later. But this girl won’t see her daughter. And her daughter won’t see her mother. Not in two months, not in two years. She has moved to 'somewhere Carolina' and is now being raised by her other’s mother’s new husband. And I don’t know if that’s any more difficult that your child being raised by another mom - another anyone. It doesn't matter. The point is that someone else has stepped into her shoes and is taking her to school, feeding her dinner and brushing her hair. Again, my thoughts went back to Gracie.
Is there someone else caring for her in my place? I like to think it's impossible to replace the kind of love I have for her. And is it selfish that the very thought of it makes me sick to my core? I’m sitting here begging for any little part in parenting this child - a human I love most in the world and someone else can walk in, develop a relationship with her mom and take my place – just like that. And of course I want her to be loved. Absolutely, I encourage you all to love her! But when I think about it, it still hurts. That someone else could be wearing my shoes and holding my brush and baking my cake and telling my stories and dressing my barbies and wiping my tears...
And I know, some “anonymous” person will chime in and tell me that I should only wish for her happiness and that if the mother of her is happy then Gracie will benefit 10 fold. I get it. Please don’t say it. & don’t think I don’t wish/pray for their happiness and health in every prayer and every fountain. Every day and every night. I do. But you get it, right? Straight/Gay/Whatever. It’s someone else, right? Isn't there a country song that says something like, "there's some guy driving MY truck that's parked in My front yard and he's playing with MY dog"... or something? I swear it's a song. And you know who would know? The mother of her! That's who would know that song and she'll read this and think, "well, you should've done this or you shouldn't have done that..." But she hears me. As you read this, she's reading it too. And I don't want my truck back or my yard back. I want my daughter back. & if you're allowing someone else to love her 1/2 as much as I do, I simply beg you not to replace me.
I said "ever" and I meant it.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
How nice it is to be home for hours and hours and leave only for terribly important things like a lovely high school play, dinner with new friends and lots of hot coffee!
Today was dedicated to Christmas!! & decorations! I can never have too many. So now you're saying to yourself, "there's no way she actually put up decorations..." Well friends, I didn't just do that - I put up my TREE! I think I had a tree up last year on November 1st. I waited 10 days later this year so if you're wanting to tease me, keep that in mind.
I know, I know. Everyone is bothered because Christmas comes "earlier and earlier" every year. But it couldn't come early enough for me. I love every minute of it. I don't care if I hear Jingle Bells in October. Sometimes I turn it on in August.
In fact, I sang carols as I decorated today. I tried to put on a fancy show for Cristy (leg kicks, jazz hands, etc.) during one of my favorites but then I remembered doing the same thing last year with Gracie and my smile turned to tears in an instant. It's funny how it's always right at the back of my throat. One wrong turn and it's hours to recovery. But I managed. It passed and I hung her stocking where it will hang ever year from now on. It's perfect.
So here's a picture of our masterpiece. Our first tree in our new house. It's beautiful!
And very soon, I'll blog about something like this:
"Twas six weeks before Christmas and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring EXCEPT for a MOUSE!"
Friday, November 9, 2007
My sweet friend Jackie is leaving on a jet plane. Well, not really. She's leaving in her car to live a million miles away from here. Well, not really. She'll live many, many miles away and won't be back for five months. She's a military girl but don't "tell" ... get it? :)
We've been friends for 10 years and she's one of the funniest people I've ever known. She's funny in the "blond" way of funny. Now, if you're blond, don't be mad at me. Those jokes were made because of her. This is a girl who wished on a shooting star one night (eyes closed, very dramatic) and it turned out to be sparks from a chimney. This is a girl who (in trying to be very cool at one of our first "bar nights") ordered a glass of milk because she had snuck in a Reeses Cup. And when she met a lipstick girl and wanted to impress her, she went out and bought jogging suits to make her look "butch". Not a chance, Jack. I could go on and on and I'm pretty sure I even listed a bunch of Jackieisms in a book to her once...
So, she definitely entertains me but she also keeps me grounded. She reminds me where I've been and what my insides look like. She holds me to truth that sometimes I wish I could forget and she's the only person in the world that can tell me my history if I ever lose my mind. Plus, hearing Gracie say "Aunt Jackie" is one of my favorite sounds ever.
She'll no longer be across the valley but instead, over the mountains and into the flatlands of Texas. Too far for lunch but not too far for late night phone calls. So, I'll give you your song back until you come home...
From Sarah Bett*ns, From me, to You.
It's been wonderful and crazy knowing you.
And I hope that I can always see the teenage girl in you.
And I know that you'll be fine.
But I'll be there everytime
You need someone to say hi to late at night.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Thanks for the comments on my last post. Seriously, if I met someone who was in need of friends, I'd tell them to start a blog. :)
As I have slowly inhaled my way through the last year, many things have brought me peace. I am truly blessed with a loving family & home, supportive friends (here & in the tangible world), music & lyrics and also a very strong faith in God. Not often do I share this here but the last few days have brought music to my head that I'd like to share with you.
Do any of you ever turn on your radio and hear a song that fits perfectly in the moment? Or better, do you ask for it and happen to get exactly what you need from two or three lines of a song? It's ministry in music and I've come to depend on it a bit.
Lately, I've heard the following song often and maybe that's because it's so beautiful and everyone else wants to hear it too but I also think I hear it to remind me that I'm okay. We're all okay. And we're better off because we're here together, sharing what's right and what's wrong. It has always reminded me of Jesus - and most songs do. But today when I heard it, it reminded me of you.
We all go through so many trials with bumps and bruises that might not ever really heal. And whether we're trying to conceive and it's just one big losing battle, or we're waiting for babies coming from across the ocean, or we've lost pregnancies/babies/children while we're waiting for all of the above, or we're dealing with health problems of someone we love more than all the world...we are held so tightly among each other and stronger for it. So whether you give the credit to Jesus, your lucky star, Buddha or your best girl - it's about being held and being safe and I feel blessed so, thank you.
Here are the lyrics. If you want, listen & read as you listen. It's worth it, I promise.
It's hard to stand on shifting sand.
It's hard to shine in the shadows of the night.
You can't be free, if you don't reach for help.
And you can't love, if you don't love yourself.
But there is hope when my faith runs out.
Cause I'm in better hands now.
It's like the sun is shining when the rain is pouring down.
It's like my soul is flying though my feet are on the ground.
So take this heart of mine, there's no doubt,
I'm in better hands now.
I am strong, all because of you.
I stand in awe of every mountain that you move.
I am changed, yesterday is gone.
I am safe from this moment on.
There's no fear when the night comes round.
I'm in better hands now.
It's like the sun is shining when the rain is pouring down.
It's like my soul is flying though my feet are on the ground.
So take this heart of mine, there's no doubt,
I'm in better hands now.
It's like the sun is shining when the rain is pouring down.
It's like my soul is flying though my feet are on the ground.
It's like the world is silent even though I know it isn't true.
It's like the breath of Jesus that's right here in this room.
So take this heart of mine, there's no doubt,
I'm in better hands now. I'm in better hands now.
Before I made you in your mother's womb, I chose you.
With God in your world, you aren't an accident or an incident; you are a gift to the world, a divine work of art.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
It's Wednesday night and I'm about ready for bed. This blog has been terribly boring of late because I have simply been consumed with elections. Well, it's over. I'm happy to say that we came out very well. We have an amazing new Mayor and two amazing new councilmen. And almost as big as that, school vouchers Failed! :) Yesterday was a good day. Mostly.
Yesterday there was an op-ed written to my city's newspaper. It was written by a man from Arizona whom I've never heard of. He's aligned with the organization that represented the mother of her so you can guess that he didn't speak very highly of me. He, of course, said that it's not possible for me to be a parent to Gracie - we're not "related". And that if anyone thought I was, they must also think that it's fine if a "live-in boyfriend of seven months or so" claims right to someone else's child. I could go on and on about why this is so absurd. I could scream the facts at him. I could tell him that I picked our donor to fit MY characteristics. I could tell him that I went to every prenatal visit. I never missed a single doctors appointment. I sang to her, bathed her, fed her and rocked her and now she's not seven months old - she's SIX. Six. But I don't need to tell him any of this. It won't make a difference. He doesn't see me. I have hate inside me for this man that I pray will go away. But still, nothing hurts me more than this part:
"The issue was not denial of visitation to an 'aggrieved parent,' but instead was sleight of hand to advance an agenda that seeks to redefine the family until it has been reduced to meaninglessness. "
I am sick and tired of bad people saying this is all just part of a grand agenda. I'm sick of them acting like my entire goal was just to dissolve the "natural family" or ruin marriages for all my hetero friends. I'm sick of it because it distracts from what this did to my daughter. It leaves her name/her person out of it and that's when I can't just sit by and listen. Instead, I'll respond. I'll call him a liar (without using those words) and I'll tell you here that we need to stand up and say they're wrong. We need to let them know that we fight for our babies because we love them and we're obligated to do so because we made promises before they were born.
There were over fifty comments after what he said. Most of them were people who thought just like him. Most of them could not understand why I would try so hard to take a baby "away from her mother". But I never did that. I would never do that to my daughter or anyone else's daughter.
That's what THEY did. They took my daughter's mother away.
Don't pretend to know me and my agenda. She has always been the only reason. Always.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
The weekend is winding down and, partly due to the time change, I was ready for bed about 3 hours ago. Seriously, I have the hardest time with "Fall Back". Great that we get an extra hour but does it make everyone else get into their pajamas at 5:45pm? Dark translates to "bedtime". And it will be my bedtime just minutes from now.
Same amazing nephew with his best grandma & My favorite 4-wheeler
Who could shoot this sweet mama?
I'm learning the "deer whisperer" moves of my dad
This dad was brave enough to come up but had his little guy wait behind. See him peeking?
Cristy and my mom, lounging in the sunshine
And this was all that Yegs had left on the way home
We came home Saturday in time to meet some other blog families at a local bounce house. The kids seemed to be having a great time and we had fun meeting people and talking to those of you we've loved getting to know better. I forgot my camera or I'd totally be exploiting all of you. My guess is that someone else took pics so you'll see the action elsewhere.
And finally, later that night, after Yegs went to his grandma's to eat too much junk food and watch grandma approved movies, We Went Out! We went to a trashy bar and watched the amazing Hells Belles. They're an AC/DC all female cover band and even though I'm not a big hard rock fan, they are incredible to watch. And did I mention there was a girl with a guitar? In dreadlocks? & a black bra? Have I told you lately just what that means to me? She was ... well I just can't even explain it. If they come near you, see them. You won't regret it. (& incase you're questioning my hard rock integrity, I only wore my ear plugs for about 3 minutes) Someone vouch for me. My guess is that most of you won't believe me...
Today has been nothing but undoing Halloween, resting and drinking too much coffee. I think I might have a "too much smoke at the bar" hangover. Or maybe it was my pre-bar Brigham Ade, my beer at the bar or my "cheers" with E over a kamakazi. Three drinks and I'm out. And that was over 3 hours. Cheap date? Yes.
Happy Monday ladies. (& gentleman)