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.