You knock me out, I fall apart, and I thought I was so smart.

I was writing this sentence that I thought was going to end in an exclamation point, but it ended in a period. I write, but am I in charge of my story? There’s ice on the streets and sidewalks, there’s no leaves on the trees. Snow is my friend, ice not so much-because danger. I’m as much in charge of the seasons as I am of my story. I wake up and experience what this sentence, this chapter, this season is going to show me. This week it was a period.

I went to this thing, for women. There was food and wine so that’s how they got me to go, plus I got to sit by teenagers so that’s kind of my jam. I met all these chicks who are not the same as me. I’m going to tell you why that was cool in a minute, but first let’s talk about flowers. I came home to flowers on my porch and a post-it note saying “your heart is true” with a heart drawn. Guys a paper note, on my porch.(jaw hanging wide open)  I also got a paper note in the mail recently which said essentially “you and me, we are impatient. God is not”. Paper notes are the thing man, I’m like wicked encouraged by this stuff…and flowers in winter (deep breath in, long long sigh out) all the feels.

Okay so I’m a whiny little cry-baby-punk-sissy-wimp when it comes to christian women’s events. Why? Because!! Women complain about all the same things, and its so cliche and the conversation is so tired. Plus I’m like little miss vulnerable and I’m exhausted from being so heart-on-my-sleeve-ish. Like I said they promised wine and food and hanging out with guaranteed not moms at my particular table, so I said yes to the thing. I met people who I didn’t understand, who’s struggles were real and heavy and they were in it. Up to their elbows trying to get a grip on life and not fall on their faces, these girls were like me.

I listened in on some stories and I was humbled, just brought low. Some people are widows, some are fighting against self hate and depression, some have loved ones that are addicted to drugs and live on the street, some are told they are not allowed to dance, some try not to yell at their children all day. One lady lived through WWII in an underground bomb shelter her dad built, listening to explosions all day in the dark. One lady hangs out in dressing rooms at strip clubs in her hometown (Tampa, which btw has more strip clubs than Vegas) so she can be a friend and light to girls in the sex trade.  My ill behaving uterus seemed of little consequence when I heard these stories. Guess what though? These girls cried with me about my vacant womb, they hugged me and assured me that my struggle is real too.

I’m lighter tonight. I will still cry at the origami gum wrapper commercial (watch if you dare), and my favorite Hamilton song (listen here, you will not regret this), and when the brownies go so so well with the wine (paleo brownie recipe here). I’m still a mess, I’m still in pieces, I’m totally undone. I met a girl who tried to conceive for five years, and she asked me all the right questions and guessed all my insecurities, and loved me in this embarrassing mess where I am. So my things are in perspective now, I remember who God is and who I am. I remember the most important thing is that we are all in this together. Want to have coffee?20170204_221051

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When our children tell our story, they’ll tell the story of tonight

Does anyone else pronounce chicken pot pie “chicky pie-pie”? Just me?  Okay. Well…happy comfort food season. What’s my favorite comfort food?  Every Single one of the bananas. Who me?  As for me I’m not pregnant. (Yes I am watching SNL watch the clip here) Good news:I’m not a 3D printed woman, I’m a real woman.  As a real woman I’m going to a women’s march Saturday. Wait…what the what- this post just got political. If you call human rights political then…I guess so.

Whatever gender or race my baby is  I think I want to invite them to a world where they matter as much as anyone.  I don’t mean to protest anyone, mostly to stand up for those I think deserve justice. From the march’s website “We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.” That’s what Jesus did, that’s why I’m doing it. “We don’t stray away from good doctrine or truth by focusing on justice and compassion for those in the margins – rather, we find Jesus and truth in the margins.” My pastor Ken Wytsma said that in his book The Grand Paradox.

keep-on-speaking

Ever since I was a 2 year old this fine country of ours has celebrated the birthday of a one Martin Luther King Jr. He was an incredible leader in Civil Rights, the rights of all humans to receive equal treatment, and I’m inspired to follow his lead. He said “in the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Not this friend, I’m going to speak up. Happy Birthday Dr.King, I hope you like all the streets we named after you, I hope you see us from heaven as we march on some of them this weekend. Cheers to you. Raise a glass to freedom, something they can never take away.

While we are talking about taking stands, and believing in things I would like to say that I am a Work In Progress. Many of my opinions are still be formed, I’m still thinking through some of the facts that I have come across. Social Media forums prompt us to make a statement about what we think and feel, we end up sounding very absolute. What about properly executed discourse, words exchanged, non extremist “OH I’ve never thought about it like that before” kind of comments.  If we can’t talk about things without flames coming out our ears how will we ever repair anything? We need a rap battle I think; you know a little sass, a little grit, some rhyming to get the conversations flowing.

I finally started listening to the Hamilton Soundtrack  when my first intern came to visit in September and taught me how to use spotify (thank you Shlubz). I feel that I can not stop listening to it because it is the most patriotic music I’ve ever heard, and it reminds me of a time when this land was being built. We are still building it, I suspect we may never stop. Also reminds me that the founding fathers were humans, they were flawed. I grew up idolizing them, but they were people who cheated on their wives, and stole cannons, and owned slaves. Our country is still run by humans (not 3D printed guys who say”you are making a sunglasses guy like me laugh from my face”) sometimes we get it right, sometimes we do not. We should be talking to each other about these things. Sometimes, we should be marching together about them. See you Saturday?

 

 

 

gives us something to think about, something to drink about

We have this thing where we ALWAYS state why we are toasting when we raise our glasses, its in our vows. Today we said “here’s to whatever comes” (which is from fiddler on the roof) because we feel vulnerable and out of the control we often pretend we have. Were headed to a memorial service today for a young man and his wife who were killed tragically in a car accident. I feel a lot of things in response to this, I suspect I will feel different things in a couple hours after the service, but in this hour I feel vulnerable.

On the Facebook I keep seeing these posts like “enough already 2016” and how much 2016 took from us and how we all can’t wait for a new year to begin. Its a trick we are playing on ourselves that suffering knows the bounds of a year, that a the year itself is what is causing the pain. I don’t fault anyone for making these posts, we all do what we have to in order to get through hardship. For me being honest with myself is what I need. There will be tragedy and death in 2017, I can almost guarantee it. So what the cuss am I going to do?

Well for starters, I’m going to write.

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I’m gonna sit at the table with people.

For Christmas I received a gift from someone. She believes in my dreams so much that she gave me little leather baby shoes. Isn’t that so sweet!  I’m going to hope in the future, that those shoes will get put to use by my baby person. Hope is not a high-heels thing that makes you look like you have it all together. Hope is much more like bare feet braving rocky ground. Its a bit gritty, am I right? Its time to admit that we are afraid, that the darkness is blinding, that our inability to vault up sadness freaks us out. Then we follow that doubt up with hope, one foot in front of the other.

I’m going to show up in new ways this year, for people who need me to. I’m not totally sure what this means but I’m up for whatever comes. I’m going to be the opposite of silent, I’m going to stand up and speak out about stuff that deserves to be broadcast.  Lastly-I’m going to hold my hands open not clenched, because nothing is mine.  L’chaim

 

 

 

 

We’ve got a million miles ahead of us

You bet I’m listening to Justin Beiber <I used to believe we were burnin on the edge of somethin beautiful> I still believe that Justin! <Don’t fall asleep at the wheel, we’ve got a million miles ahead of us> Okay, I won’t! Also watching Tim Burton’s Alice In wonderland. The flowers are so mean to Alice, am I right?  “She’s not even wearing the right dress” they gossip about her as she passes by. Then Absolem says “You are not hardly Alice” everyone is against her! I have loved the story of Alice in Wonderland since I was a small girl, I think it’s all the other worldness. It’s certainly not the rabbit that makes me love the story, rabbits are all together  untrustworthy. At least the Hatter believes in her from the start; she has some friends, some help in her journey.

I have felt so incredibly loved by many of you kind humans. You have gingerly and tenderly asked if you can ask the state of things in my womb. Your nice, all of you so nice; not at all like the gossiping flowers. Yes you can ask, and I promise to tell everyone everywhere when we have succeeded in our dream to have a baby. In the meantime we are plugging along trying to stay paleo and stay active and healthy, taking our vitamins and such. I’m focusing on gratitude and staying positive.

This time last year we were preparing for 3 days in the hospital. I was making cookies for the nurses and visitors, and getting my Christmas all in order, and making plans to lay low and recover for 6 weeks (an eternity). I will spend next week baking and gathering with friends, working on choreography to teach in December, and going to yoga. I love to look at the passing of time, don’t you? We get further from the things that were painful, yet new potentially painful things are on the horizon. It gives hope though to look back and see how you have used time.

“Sometimes I have believed as many as 6 impossible things before breakfast” Alice says this to cheer herself into doing something impossible. Here’s why movies are so great, 90 minutes in she is much more muchier and she’s absolutely Alice. She isn’t confident that she knows who she is or what she was brought here to do, but she’s got a hunch and a few fans. We have some news that the odds for natural conception are stacked against us a little bit, but we aren’t giving up. Thank you all for cheering us on, and believing in our dreams with us. Seriously, when this kid gets here you are all invited to party like its 1999 with us. (I hear that party=naps to pregnant people so be ready for napping fun times) Till then, pop the champagne we have so much to be grateful for. Would you comment telling me why your grateful? (even if its your nice new baby, I promise to be grateful with you instead of being envious) I’m grateful that I’m not about to get operated on. Your turn.

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Such a lame excuse to say I’m tired, everyone is tired more or less

I make these little deals with myself, where accomplishing a strange task gives me some kind of bragging rights…with myself. Do you do that? I went to Costco for eggs and butter last week, I didn’t get a cart because if I can carry it all I won’t go over budget. So I’m in line with 4 dozen eggs, 2 lbs butter, 3 lbs of almonds, and a big jug of maple syrup. The fellow in line behind me offered me the extra space in his cart because I was balancing  all of this in my arms, I proudly declined stating that this was my workout. I walked out of there with my head held high, and my bicep quivering under the load.

I went to horse camp this weekend for a ladies retreat. I prepared myself to be out of my comfort zone since I’m not a “Horse Person” at all. The horse part was so wonderful, what fascinating creatures. My face hurt from all the smiling.  I went on a trail ride, and then had a lesson in the arena, and then another trail ride; I got to comb out the mane of a giant draft horse who I think really liked me.  I did not adequately prepare myself to interact with 50 or so women who are all moms. When I say moms I mean the majority of the women had 4-6 children and a few moms I met had 8 children and were pregnant. If you were not a mom at this retreat you were a teenager or you were me.

I came home with a very full heart. I felt both encouraged and discouraged. I felt that I had been given everything I needed, but also a very aware of the great big child shaped hole in my life. I lay awake in my bunk at night coiffing my inner monologue and speaking truth to myself. Its good for me to wrestle with these things, pressure makes diamonds right? Of course I want to be a sparkly diamond of a person, not a hard lump of coal. Truthfully I feel more aligned with the coal version of myself. I’m not proud of jealously and discontent in my heart, it doesn’t look good on anyone. However I’m going to be honest and acknowledge my less flattering thoughts because I want to heal them and change them. I don’t want to pretend I don’t feel sad.

I had a … procedure today. If you have had an HSG you can hug me next time you see me. If you haven’t I’ll spare you the details lets just say there’s a catheter and x-ray visible dye, as my friend Samantha would say “its not friendly”. It was my second time having the procedure so I was familiar with how it goes down, which did not make it more “friendly”. Anyways:Guts! The results were not what I would call super exciting, but the powers that be say its better than bad news.  My dear sweet groom was there for what should have been an hour, and turned into 3 hours. We were both late to work, and a little shaken up from the whole ordeal.

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Waiting room selfie

When I was waiting for it to be my turn to get married (which wasn’t till I was 32) I whined secretly to myself about all the good wedding ideas being used up. She walked down the aisle to my favorite song, those were totally my colors, I was going to wear basically the same dress, that venue was spot on with my Pinterest. Same sob story now with babies. As it turns out I got the best wedding I could have dreamed, best song-best dress-best colors-best venue-BEST GROOM. I wouldn’t change a thing, right down to the eleven week engagement. So why wouldn’t my baby story be just as deluxe?!?

I don’t promise to swear off fruitless acts of bravery and bragging rights to myself. I was once in the delivery room with a person who insisted on having a natural and silent birth. Why? There is no gold medal, no ten foot check, no news story to cover your amazing feat. You get a baby, same as anyone in the delivery room. I can’t decide if the unnecessary self sacrificing is worth anything, or if its just meaningless martyrdom. Maybe the small things we challenge ourselves to do (that go unnoticed) prepare us for the difficult things our story requires us to rise to. Maybe they wear us out so that we can’t elevate our actions to meet life’s asks of us. What do you think?

I do promise (not to you, but to myself) to be more aware of the nonsensical stories I pretend God is writing for me, and to call them out as such. I’ll re-read the incident log as having been written by someone who thinks I’m worthy. Shading the story I read (of my life) as a page turner with a victorious win at exactly the point it seems like defeat is lurking. I’ll try to say YES a little more, try not to isolate my experiences but share them with my community. Pay attention to the details that matter, will you join me?

If you listen to this…I’ll love you forever.

Stephen Kellogg: Lonely In Columbus (This Blog’s title at 1:18)

(side note, I could listen to this whole album on repeat for years on end)

 

Neverland I love you so, now you are my home sweet home

We are home together after a weekend of hosting. There is  a distinct and palpable emptiness in our home. This is the plight of hospitality. Preceded by thorough cleaning and culmination and filled with deep true community, closed with echo and loneliness of home. It is remarkably true that I have chosen a partner with whom I am more than content to call my home. We take pleasure in this ebb and flow of hosting. However, I feel the emptiness more than I think I should. Why is that? Maybe I’m finally pregnant, maybe my cycle is coming, who’s to say. Maybe I just feel too much.

Samantha was my first kid, I was her nanny when I was just 19. I helped her learn to walk, and talk, clap her hands. and I rocked her to sleep sometimes. She was in central Oregon this week on an outward bound rafting excursion for grieving teens. She is processing the loss of her big brother, we both will always be processing that loss.What a stupid word “processing”. It’s the truest word, but I hate it nonetheless.

She has a way of bringing you in. I was convicted right away of how judgmental I have become. We would see a person in a strange outfit, or a person making a weird face, or acting  more excited than seems okay, or a someone making a loud noise and she would look at them and look at me and say “same”; like she was siding with them in some way. I wish I was more like that. We didn’t talk any more about it, just that one word. She recognizes the awkwardness in them as being her own. Most teenagers I know do the opposite, right? Actually grown ups do too. Small word, but a life changing practice.

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My Little Samantha at Paulina Falls

We went to a dance party while she was here and she knew nobody so she danced like she meant it. There were sparklers and twinkling lights in the trees, and waffles with bacon, real good party. I introduced her to someone I knew, who asked her innocently and  politely do you have any siblings. I felt like I got punched in the gut, I wanted to put my wings around her and fly away. Sadly I have no wings, so I can’t fly. She said no I don’t. They said the worst thing next…”Oh how lucky, you don’t have to share your parents with anyone”.I think we changed the subject, and shortly  left the conversation for a waffle.

This is not the first or last time she has had to answer that question. She later told me she doesn’t know how to answer. If she says no its like he didn’t exist, if she says yes she has whole blob of questions coming at her next. I think she did the kindest thing she could for them, shielding them from her truth. Another way that she is such a better person than me. I lean more towards vomiting my truth on everyone, thinking that they can help me carry it or make sense of it. (as you well know, you read my uterus blog)

Having a wee guest room has made me a better person these last 3 years. Being a nanny these last 15 years has made me a better person too. When we take a chance on someone, invest a little time or vulnerability in them, we wind up with way more than we spent. I hope you will share your life with someone, even if it costs you some dollars or some hours or some sad empty houseness. What do you have that can make you a better person? How can you spend something on someone that will bring value and depth of connection? This got preachy didn’t it?  Its beginning to ring of “moral of the story” after school special.

Truth is: I wanted to tell you about her, about him, about the joy of loving people. Even if they have to leave your house, or the planet you live on. I regret zero of the minutes I spent loving these kids, even though they are not mine, and I can’t keep them. You know the “better to have loved and lost” saying? Its cliche much like the word processing is, and its true. I wish I could make a sentence that tells you how deeply I am moved by this young woman and her big brother, what a life changing gift they have been. I have written 755 words now trying to express it, and I feel that this post lacks the resonating gong vibration that its meant to exhibit.

Tuesday October 11th is my 3rd wedding anniversary. This year it falls on Yom Kippur the Jewish high holy day of the day of atonement. A tradition on Yom Kippur is to light a candle that burns for 24 hours in memory of the dead. These candles are 79 cents available at safeway or really any store, I got mine at City Thrift yesterday. If you want to do that with me next tuesday that would be cool. Lets remember, and lets eat with our tribe and make meaningful conversations and loud laughs. Lets love like we have an endless supply of love, lets live together in community and open ourselves to whatever expense that comes with.

Lost Boy

Thank God for red wine, & an antique kitchen light

These last 15 months I have tried to be transparent with my story to you all, it has not been my intention to expose anyone. This is my story, you will have your own. In the last five years I have been in the proximity of and witness to something like 7 divorces. I have things I want to say about this. If you are one of those people, I am not trying to out you, or express disappointment in you, or tell anyone that you are a failure.  (or any other crappy kind of thing) If you are reading this I love you. I love the cuss out of you. (yep, you)

Stop reading & Listen to this poem, post title is at 2:15

I want to solve it. I want to solve them all. Is that just human? I want to learn and be vigilant and fireproof. Sometimes it seems to be a communication problem: one hurts the other-the other doesn’t say anything-the first keeps on as per status quo-the other holds it against them for years and eventually gives up. Sometimes this is followed by another person entering the picture promising to fulfill those needs, they don’t. Everyone is flawed and eventually hurts you. Sometimes there’s addiction. That is hard. Sometimes they just don’t want to do the work, they’re just tired and want to give up. Sometimes it makes no sense at all, we just can’t put our finger on it.

All of the times its painful. For the couple, for the kids, for everyone who invested in their marriage. Its even painful for everyone who only kind of knew them.  It’s also very ‘expensive, I’m talking a lot of dollars. I have a friend who says “pay now, or pay later” when it comes to the expense of counseling. I’m the child of a divorced family so I could write and write about what it feels like to have split up parents, and I can tell you about lots of counseling. We learn and grow from these painful experiences, they don’t have to own us or define us. There is no escaping the shaping that divorce will do to a person.

I’m mad about divorce. Furious. It’s not like people walk down the aisle to say “love you till it’s too hard” we all promise ” I’ll love you no matter what”.  I cry when I learn that someone who’s marriage I’m part of is divorcing. Yeah I said that I was part of their marriage. You know why? That is the point of community. We are vulnerable and invest in one another and share the burden of our needs. Divorce is breaking community, and it feels a little like finding out someone you love has died.

I guess what I’m trying to say, dear reader, is that you are invited to be part of my marriage. I revoke my “right” to privacy. I think privacy is one of the things destroying our culture. Maybe if we could be vulnerable with each other we would be able to heal our hurts, and expose our shame for what it is: a feeling that paralyzes us from changing. BUT shame cannot survive empathy.  Let’s be compassionate, because we all fall short of the perfect marriage, the perfect kid, the perfect job, the perfect life.

I have just over 1000 days of marriage under my belt. I can not profess to know anything really. I don’t know why my friends marriages failed. I pick them apart in my spare time, and I can’t come up with the answers. I try to learn from others mistakes but it’s not always clear what the lesson is. If you have a lesson for me TEACH ME. I want to learn, and I want my marriage to survive. Am I on to something? I never know.

I started this post with a disclaimer about not wanting to expose anyone.So Here, I’ll expose myself just in case you are feeling raw and alone. We are still not pregnant (I know you wanted to ask but didn’t want to be nosy). When I hear of yet another person in my community conceiving a baby I go straight to self-pity, and I cry. Its awful, I ask myself “Who even are you? Be happy for them”. I don’t like going to baby showers, and I’m all ugly about cute maternity clothes, and I have darkness in my heart about my dreams taking their sweet time.

There. I’m broken and flawed and I’m working on it. See, we’re all in this together. I can’t do it without you. Lets get our hands dirty and try to sort through some things, life and marriage and family are grubby hands work.20160814_162946

These thoughts don’t seem as conclusive as I thought they were when I sat down to write. The point of writing is not always to solve, for me its to process. Here I am in process, it’s not tidy folks. You know what? I’m not going to apologize. We are all in process, we are all trying to figure it out. Join me will you, in lament of broken marriages everywhere, and in research of how to make love last through *literally* the best and worst of times. (If you didn’t listen to that poem at the beginning when I asked you to, just do it now)

A Blog about Guts & Uterine Management