We don’t love like the humans do….

This experience is leveling me to the ground. And whilst I am laying here I can see perfectly clearly using my lenses of hindsight.

I never noticed what a true miracle the three kids I have already created are. They are miracles. They made it through pregnancy, through my immature phases, through so many changes. They love hard still. They are wide open and warm. And I have hardly had the vision to notice this. I think if I had I would have spent day and night afraid I would lose them also.

My children have had to wait for me to come back to life from traumas so severe my only choice was to become numb and survive. The mechanics that make you that way do not lend to calm and gentle seeing presence.

“You cannot be everything you want to be before your time.” I have always wanted to be everything for them.

I love them more than I am able to convey in ways that feel like presence to them. Some people I’m guessing are able to choose to abandon any other thing to choose one. Their kids are their entire meaning. My kids are also, but if I didn’t make my own growth and healing a priority I would have only ever been able to love them at 50 percent capacity of my being.

They would have seen pain behind my eyes. You cannot hide things from children. You can lie to yourself that they don’t see, but children see the world much more clearly than us jaded adults do. They are much more capable of magical thinking and beliefs and therefore likely to be able to be happy, creative, and kind.

I know no matter how I look back I will always see the things I missed, some of them quite profound. I was there, but I wasn’t. If I couldn’t be fully present with myself, if I abandoned her too because that’s what I knew, of course I would be too afraid to accept their love and endless faith in me.

I am often envious of the partners I have given my children too out of desperation. Financial desperation, anxiety desperation, fear of myself as a mother desperation. It has often felt like I would be swallowed by my feelings. So I saw these happy people who were functioning and I wanted them to always have that. I could be more of what I was around. I was just trying to choose the right thing to model myself after.

So many times what looked warm and safe turned out to be much different underneath. An in tact family is not the only criteria for a good situation. It took me years to learn that. To see through the very alluring most attractive parts to me.

When you have subsisted on crumbs for so long, half a moldy cookie on a table looks like a Thanksgiving feast. And this is an expression of my path and pain. No person I have ever shared my heart with was a moldy cookie. The health of the relationship for various reasons (many due to my attachment fractured beginning), was the rotten part.

Some family of any kind is better than none right ?! So why wouldn’t I have stayed? Stayed for the kids, stayed for me. Perhaps many of the kinks would have worked themselves out over time, or perhaps I knew beyond my consciousness in some way what was best for us. This thinking seems correct based on where we are now.

But what have I caused up til this point?

And you see there it is. Taking responsibility for everyone and everything.

This is a product of trauma. The person is forced to become self-sufficient to a level beyond them, and this is a side effect. And later in life they suffer immensely trying to be an island, needing to be one, but also wanting to belong and connect. The obfuscation is immense. The dark wood feels seemingly endless.

Until that one person, or many along the way, see something in them they can’t yet. Hence the reason I am a counselor, it wasn’t a choice, it was written in the muddled beginning.

I needed people to see the good in me. I needed it so much that was the only factor it took for acceptance into the fold of our family. It fed me to be seen. I have been accused of feeding off of others to meet my needs. And I accepted that fate again as the bad guy, but finally I am able to see there is so much more to that story.

We watched Cheaper by The Dozen last night. A comfort. It was making me think of all the movies that have resonated with me over the years, made me get goosebumps, and how I would watch them over and over, and listen to songs over and over. People would tease me about my love for sappy movies or my behavior of repeatedly watching them. But these were me comforting my heart and shaping my dreams. Watching stories of people’s lives drafted in artist interpretation. Trying to find something to model after.

It would take me a long time to differentiate the romantic portrayal of movies and the grit it actually takes in real life to create a healthy and thriving family.

I wanted my story to be something more than it felt the first half of my life. I’ve fought tirelessly for that. And the fight has left me so exhausted in my soul, that often times regularly expected trials and tribulations of life now feel too much to bear. And it doesn’t take much invalidation, even and especially accidental, to wound me. Just think positive, well yes but that takes for granted every way that has wired me as far as my experiences. “You’re too introspective, you’re exhibiting frightening mental states like your mother.”

For me I just need to vent my feelings. To know they are there. To pinch myself to make sure I’m still capable of feeling. To lay my hand across my chest to make sure it still rises and falls.

The love of my life understands this about me. This line brought more tears to my eyes. There have been many the past two days.

I’m trying to accuse myself of wanting more than I already have right now. Worst case scenario-ing my character at every turn. It’s what I am best at. My very own valid feelings end up becoming some fatal flaw. And this is what I am working on in myself right now.

I have to make sure this life I have often rushed to create now takes into account the feelings of all participants and not just mine, I wasn’t so good at that in the past.

But I see I didn’t just force this onto my family, this is all of our dream now. We have always wanted another child to share our love with. I have known that from the time one of my best friends rented our downstairs and gave birth to her son in this home. As I often kidnapped him for snuggles and a bottle.

I have accused myself of wanting children for selfish reasons, and not because I have all that is required inside of me to properly nurture them. I will always be hyper vigilant that I may not. If you saw what I came from you would understand.

I have long wished I could just play some scenes from my childhood back on a tape so that the people knowing me could know. I’m torn between not wanting them to feel sorry for me, see me differently, and between desperately seeking understanding for the differences in me that feel like the separate me from the humans.

Thankfully I am loved by someone now who can see it without having me show them, and they love me harder for it. And that extra love that was missing has filled in all the gaping holes.

I am healing. I am still healing.

It’s no co-dependence, it’s not taking advantage, it’s not pathology, it’s not selfishness. It is healing. It’s taken this much. I could have turned out so many ways. But what I need for those I love to know the most is I’ve worked so hard on myself so I can belong with them. So I can feel my heartbeat near theirs, and not shrivel away for fear of damaging them with my damage.

We want to bring a child into the world to share all of what we have learned in our new story together. The kids want this baby too, and the transition from “babies” to baby is utterly painful right now. Seeing my wife’s pajama bottoms with the blood soaked through on the floor still because we were too exhausted yesterday to do anything about it is devastating. Not knowing whether the rest of the pregnancy will make it through this turbulence or not is gut wrenching. And that’s all ok. I still love my first kids that much too.

I still know it was early and blah blah. I feel things this much. So fucking what! This is who I am. It’s how I’ve been made, and I can’t help a thing about it. Except to do this (write) to cope, and to allow my story to be shared, whether or not anyone reads it.

So here I am wide awake with all my feelings always at the crack of dawn. In my morning watery womb of my own creation RE-birthing myself daily into the person I know I can be.

Here I am wondering with faith in one hand and science in the other, and what the universe has in store for our family.

Tea cups….

I should never be trusted with soft and luxurious white hooded sweatshirts! They never stay without stains.

We lost a twin today. How does one even feel about that? I’m supposed to be happy we see one heartbeat right ? This has been such a roller coaster I’m just swirling around in a tea cup ride of emotions. The whole rest of the world is a blur. If the other one makes it to term will it feel like something is missing it’s whole life? I’m quite sure I’ll be told to think positively etc, but are real human feelings actually negative or are they just feelings? These are mine either way.

I am waiting to decide how to feel.

And we are also waiting to see if the rest of the pregnancy is ok. We did see a tiny heartbeat today. A glimmer. My intelligent mind fears the fact that if the genes are identical and one didn’t make it, that logically the pregnancy is in trouble.

And my heart hopes.

But what this blog post is really about is the first thought that plagues me as we haven’t been able to get pregnant for so long and now this.

This is unnatural, it’s a sin, and we are being punished. It’s against God. We are two women we shouldn’t be having a baby.

I know I don’t hold these beliefs and if there is a God, ours loves us too. I know that, but I have to fight so hard to feel that way.

I’ve forced myself to treat myself as normal as anyone else. To bravely announce proudly everywhere I go I have a wife. One day I just got tired enough of feeling like a bad person in so many ways for being gay. For breaking up a family, for hurting my kids, and their dad and his family.

Eventually all that responsibility just got too heavy for one person to hold.

I cracked open into fearless courage. It became necessary. It was a natural evolution to how deeply I harmed myself with negative thoughts about myself for so long. I tried to beat the gay out of myself. I would have done anything. I tried everything.

I think I’ve been in denial. I’ve built such a strong outward presentation for myself, that I’ve ignored the sting of my minority status.

I don’t speak to my mother. Guilt. I’ve been divorced twice. Guilt. I’ve put my feelings and needs before my children’s at times. Guilt. I can make deep connections but almost all of my early ones are severed. Guilt. I’m fucking gay. Guilt. I have a million thoughts. Guilt. I talk a lot. I am big and enthusiastic and open.

More Guilt.

I am guilty of being in denial.

I am denying the fact that if just in one aspect life could feel any easier for me for one second. If my family could walk down the street and have people look at us like a thing of stability and beauty, like the majority of families are already guaranteed. Instead of wondering who will whisper or become nervous around us.

I forced myself long ago to be so out and so proud, that I’ve been hiding in my comfortable life not advocating for those who aren’t as lucky yet.

I shouldn’t have to work at feeling normal should I?

So because we are gluttons for punishment we ate food we didn’t taste, shed tears we didn’t feel, and went and saw Boy Erased. It was intensely emotional.

After the movie I wonder why I don’t specialize in LGBT clients. I mean I never wanted to be pigeon holed to one population, but now I’m wondering if I would have just felt like a fraud. How can I help someone with something I still haven’t figured out.

Why is my first thought of us not being able to get pregnant and the potential of losing this one that it’s not the way things are supposed to be.

Why am I stuck with a belief in my head that’s not my own?

He’s the Boy Erased, and I’m the Girl in your Face…..

and the tea cup spins.

These Dreams Go on When I Close my Eyes….

So this morning I am scheming and dreaming. I’m at the vision board and I’m designing.

The goal: my wife and I want as much time together as humanly possible. We found each other late in life. I understand with extreme clarity the fragility of our time together, and I don’t want to spend it in an ordinary way. What I mean by this is toiling and only having a free few moments together. I don’t want to be rich in money, I want to be rich in time. And it would seem though that money can buy time, and as long as you don’t spend ahead of the making, and get above your means, I think this can be achieved.

This is what I’m thinking about most of the time lately. Originally I had hoped to do this by writing a book. However as I learn myself more and more, I realize that to sit quietly I need time, and to get quiet time I need money. And with twins on the way I’ll never have that hehe 😉 but I still think I can do it. I always think I can do it. It is this naïve enthusiasm that has powered me this far.

Couldn’t we all have more naïve enthusiasm?

The problem: My wife is a 911 dispatcher and 7 years invested in a pension. And she holds our amazing health benefits that keep my Crohn’s securely cared for and has funded our IVF. Her schedule is terrible. She works 7-3 one week then 2 days off and then 3-11 the next week and 3 off after. We can never get into a schedule and I cannot imagine how she will do this with twin babies. Her commute is an hour plus filled with traffic. And her job is a lot of sitting to which her body feels as if it’s falling apart. It has gotten us this far, but we have added so many other elements to the story we are going to need a change.

Needs: good benefits for us 4, the big kids have Tricare insurance through their father. A flexible schedule to be able to take care of the kids. Less commute, more time together. Yes these are needs, not wants. So this is a tall order right ?! But how can you say it doesn’t exist if we don’t look? At this point we could have a reality tv show 😉

So we need to find her ideally a part time job with good benefits that she can enjoy, but have most of her time at home crafting and being a mom like she wants and loves. Something she can be active and engaged doing what brings joy to her.

So if you want something different you have to lay blueprints to those dreams. Then you have to ask, look, research, and not stop until you’ve found a solution. There are always many solutions it just never feels like it because our minds are wired to see potential danger. We don’t see possibility nearly as often as we see the potential for a harmful outcome. Fear rules the roost.

Our dreams: time together raising our family, having the means for a vacation together and to see Hamilton as a family, having a family cottage we can create memories in and mom can write a book, our little identical twins make it safely into the world, Tyler gets into the college he wants and transitions as smoothly as possible, our family will love and accept us and want to be engaged in our lives, writing and sharing our story, and there are many more! Oh and paying off student loans and financial freedom to buy time together.

To enjoy life. To really taste food. To get goosebumps more often. To art. To cry regularly. To love gently. To encourage and nurture humanity in humans. To be kind. To learn new things.

In other news I have been enjoying talking to people, walking in neighborhoods, fresh air and perspectives. I am enjoying the newness of it all. I’ve also begun to feel the heat a beat of less relaxation and more my mind spinning towards one task or another. And scheduling has been hell! Trying to fit dr appointments, knocking time, trainings, meetings, baby appointments, kid appointments, client appointments, and the list goes on.

I have long known that this level of chaos feels at home for me, but also parts of me have changed in that regard without really knowing. When I am busy and engaged I am happy. It’s no longer trying to outrun something, but more an energy fueled be enthusiasm. Yes that’s it! I’m not running away, I am running toward. And I feel good about myself in the world.

If you would have seen me 5 years ago, my struggles, my behaviors, my outlook…. you wouldn’t even recognize me. Life is all a matter of perspective, self-acceptance versus critical abuse, and finding connections that energize your soul.

I had to pick this post up later, and I’ve been very scattered. I would guess it reads that way. Life is a jumble when you’re in the midst of change, and it’s difficult for most to tolerate that feeling. I’ve lived on a healthy dose of it my whole life, and have found the payoff to be quite grand.

Write a new blueprint anytime you want to make a chance, you are after all the lead architect of your life, and you don’t want fear getting a heavy hand in your project.

Big Dreams growing even Bigger

*I was pleasantly surprised to find this morning that even though I’ve prioritized some different matters lately, I am still a writer. This is an actual text I wrote to my wife this morning. “Babe I’m not out here separate on my own creating dreams and you asleep in bed. I’m out here trying to reach dreams because of how tenderly you wrap me in every fold of your heart. No one has ever loved me like you do. Not even a parent ever. Don’t you know what that means.”

I love a good blogging on a Sunday.

I was thinking this morning how amazing a thing it is in humanity that we can try on new ways of being in each new day. I think sometimes we forget we can give ourselves this special permission. It’s so exciting to try something you haven’t done before. Upset about your sex life? Do something about it! Go buy an outfit or read a book by someone blessed with the ability to have found openness in that department. Ps they never look how you think do they? We picture kinky sex goddesses and then see the author and surprise it’s just a normal person of average height and size.

Funny before I wrote this sex wasn’t close to my mind, ha. It’s odd how life and the mind work, and these days I am loving not having it figured out. But seriously take anything you’ve wanted to try or be more of. Want to be more adventurous, plan an adventure. Don’t think about it just pack enough stuff in a bag for the night drive away and stay somewhere. Stay in an air bnb, meet new people, eat at a new place. Actually taste your food, rather than eating on the go.

Have kids and think adventures like that are no longer yours? Make whatever you’re doing an adventure. A trip to the grocery store can be an adventure. Try a new sample, pay a person a compliment, drive a different route there and take a walk.

Anything can be an adventure!

A dose of mindfulness can bring magic to the mundane. Anytime, anywhere, anyhow. It’s all in your mind and your story.

Want to try a different kind of job? Do it! Where there is a will there is a way and if we plant an intention and water it with curiosity and exploration, anything can happen.

Many of my important a ha moments and inspiration for dreams have been brought about by movies. Which is really watching someone’s creative endeavor about a story right? So in my quest for love there have been some key movies. Julie and Julia helped me know how I wanted to treat and be treated in relationship. Watching Stanley Tucci and Meryl Streep delight in one another. That movie was more me than I was at that time, and it gave me a road map to my dreams.

A roadmap to my dreams was carefully wrapped in a 90 minute film that many might consider corny or not worth their time, but for me it resonated. A roadmap to our dreams can be anywhere. It can be hidden in the most obvious place. All you have to do is look with the magical gaze of childlike enthusiasm. Somehow I never lost mine. I thought I had, but when I met the love of my life it opened like a dam.

I’ve been blooming with creativity ever since and the courage to accept my dreams that have been laid here before me all along.

Another one of these movies was Cheaper by the Dozen. My favorite line was Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt looking over their high school yearbook and that one of them wrote to the other, “I finally found someone whose dreams are as big as mine.” I think of that line all the time in my current love. And of course my mind that was afraid to accept my own greatness thought well that’s just a movie, and of course in the movies people always have enough money etc. and that was just another way I told myself I wasn’t worth my big dreams. And I held myself back.

So not too long back I wrote about a dream about a cottage on a nudist colony in Woodstock Connecticut. One where I can write naked a jay bird and in my most authentic. A place that is free from all varieties of shame. My shangrila if you will.

But how would I do that? I was behind as usual, which is why my constant inner fairy godmother led me to solar, and here I am. I refuse to give up. So now I am banking the funds for my cottage in the woods. I mean look at this place?!!

Cottage is a bit of an understatement eh?!

Anyway so let’s do a dream checklist? Though I’m thinking of an art project that involves a dream map, and all the places the my roads diverged, and then when I have arrived so far….

Feeling like I belong: check

A healthy, respect filled, glowing love: check

Financial stability: while I often still have fears around this: check

Kids healthy, safe, and know they are loved: check

Education on a career that I adore and am passionate about: check

Writing: check

Self-love: so so much further towards this check than I ever was… in progress as always

Life still being filled with adventure: check

Big family: double check. Double being the operative word here.

Anyone see what’s going on in here ?! It’s very early to be completely sure, and can we ever be completely sure of anything ? But it looks like we are going to be having identical twins. We know they are identical because we only transferred one embryo from our IVF cycle.

So please sign us up for family of 7 reservation to our colony cottage. Mini-van and sanity checks necessary. 😉

Now just to wait and see if they are boys or girls….

And a fond shout out to the one who makes all these dreams possible my lovely wife. My wife who has endured hormones, injections, and poking and prodding over the last year that I’m quite sure she never anticipated in her life. An egg retrieval procedure, and then an embryo transfer. My wife who is battling through fatigue, 3 x daily progesterone insertions, nervous anticipation, nausea, new aversions and smells, bloating, and all the while enduring a horrific commute and protecting our streets by day and night.

My wife and my kids are my heroes and my biggest inspiration! They are holding down the fort and cooking meals, while I am knocking doors day and night to fuel our many giant dreams.

I am blessed beyond explanation, but par for the course, that doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying.

A Very Thankful Thanksgiving….

As all these big feelings wash over me (they used to crash, now they cascade), I can tell it’s time to bring my heart to the blog and weave.

I am bursting at the seams with gratitude this Thanksgiving. Holidays as a rule are difficult for me, and that’s an understatement. I am always a guest in someone else’s Family Stone Family, the one whispered about when I leave the room. Thankfully nothing like Sara Jessica Parker in the actual movie. I was the Claire Danes, but still….

I was always liked that was never the problem. The problem was I chose my partner for the kids and for safety and love. I was at such a deficit. And don’t get me wrong all the people I’ve shared my time with are special and I learned so much from them. I really have no horror stories in my love life. Sometimes however I fear I became theirs. A taste of love and belonging and then yanked away. I experienced those losses too though, whether they were my decision or not. Another family, another warm heart beat pulled away, excruciating.

They weren’t a fit because their hearts were as unsure as mine if we could pull the whole thing off. I wonder at times if I had more faith in life and myself if it would have been different. But then how could it be when I am this happy now, and they are in their journeys towards happiness as well.

I figure those who take the actual time to read through this whole thing deserve to know our IVF has worked. We are 5 weeks today I believe. And once we hit 2000 HCG (we are at 1100), blood level then we will begin ultrasounds. We won’t make any official announcements until it progresses a bit further, but that whole thing is so superstitious and sort of the opposite of faith. I hate the whole privacy idea in a way. Sure it might be exhausting to share bad news with your loved ones, but you will need them right ?!

We need each other, all of us beautiful fragile human beings. Why isn’t that allowed.

We are so fucking careful and so private. I’ve never liked that, but since my life isn’t just me anymore I have to walk that line a bit more carefully. I do not want to live scared of anything ever again. I’ve spent most of my life anxious. Anxious I won’t be loved or even liked for that matter, and often I wasn’t. Anxious I wasn’t enough. Anxious I wasn’t smart like other people. Anxious about my health. Anxious about how everyone around me feels, if I have somehow hurt or bothered them. Anxious about money. Anxious at any minute something terrible could happen. And it always could.

On fucking eggshells most of my life. Profound exhaustion. And now I’m stepping out into the light and loving myself enough to stop stressing my body and my heart with these anxieties. I am practicing enough self love that when someone else doesn’t see me how I’d like to be seen I can weather that storm.

Rian just popped in the bathroom and said, “you should watch Courtney butter this turkey, it’s making me uncomfortable” bwhahahahhaah! I told her to butter that bird up with love and she’s doing just that. There is actually a video, but I’m not allowed to post it 😉 sorry guys!!

My latest self-inflicted therapy is of the exposure variety. I am going to get over my profound nervousness of if people like me or not, by exposing myself to the highest possible annoyance. Arriving on their doorstep to tell them about how solar can save them money and the environment.

Last night a lady told her adorable children who came to the door to tell me to get away. The house was so cool too and I was warm and friendly. Scolded like a bad dog, and instead of reacting I simply smiled and thought of a time I would have done the same because I was overwhelmed, and thought I needed to protect myself from someone trying to take advantage of me. So I get it lady. You keep paying your giant electric bill and teaching your kids to be rude. Ok so I’m as enlightened as I can be, but still human 😉

But these interactions don’t up end my world anymore, reaffirming a long held belief that I’m bad, wrong, and unworthy. I’m learning to let them roll off my back, that they have nothing to do with me.

And sure enough I landed a nice couple with a giant electric bill, amazing sun on their roof, and it warmed me right up. They also had a 6 month old baby who adored me and laughed the cutest and it made me so excited to be a mom again soon enough !!

“There will always be light and dark in life, and often we never know which we will find behind the door we knock. We must knock anyway, even if it’s mostly dark, because eventually you’ll land the right door, and things can change in an instant.”

The dark is always more seductive, it gives us permission to blame and to throw our hands in the air. We had a deep rejection this holiday, and I’m surprised to find myself watching this one from the outside. It’s been so long since it felt like my sexuality was a shameful thing. I should say since someone else shared they thought our sexuality was a shameful thing. It cuts like a knife to the heart, we will feel the sting and the loss today.

But it will never be as bad as the pain of living a life inauthentic. I always know that truth. Sad, scared, and unhappy people will always spread those feelings, the best we can do is to love them anyway. From a distance. I’m proud we won’t let this be a dark cloud on our happy time. It hurts, but it won’t block out our sun. See what I did there 😉

I’ve created my own solar panels for how I receive energy in my life, and it’s clean energy. I’ve chosen the kind of want to focus on and absorb and learning to protect myself from pollution.

This Thanksgiving is the first one where I feel like I belong. I am about to be 38 years old. It seems like that story would be a sad one, but I assure you it is anything but.

I belong here and am not a guest. I am grateful beyond measure for my kids who believe in a mother who has made herself from scratch. I am grateful they let me make mistakes and love me anyway. I am grateful for my beautiful wife who is the glue of this whole operation. I always thought I had to be the glue and fell into resentment at times, but it turns out she is. She is the constant warmth that keeps me glowing. She made this house a home in so many ways.

I am in radical gratitude this year!!!

My life gets better and better with time. Thank you to all who follow my journey. You are definitely a dedicated reader, and you are part of me being able to believe I am not too much.

A toast to family, red wine, and turkey basters to all of you 😉

It’s the day before another beginning… IVF moments

Some of the beginning of us…..

Anytime my thoughts are all tangled up in my brain, like many a brightly rainbow ball of yarn, my blog is the place I come for comfort.

Time has been standing still again.

We are in another freeze. We are 10 days post fresh embryo transfer. We have done everything right. We are quite literally on the edge of our seats. Tomorrow morning we go at 7 am to get the blood test that will show if her progesterone has spiked tremendously (mustn’t it considering the three times daily suppository), that basically says we are pregnant ish, or a stranger will tell us your result is negative, please stop taking all meds, and you will get your period in one to two days.

My emotions have always been intense and of the roller coaster variety. This however is like a ride you can’t even fathom in your imagination. It’s like being on the worlds scariest, tallest, most dangerous one with a faulty seat locking mechanism. If you can picture this whole thing it might look something like me upside down dangling out into the air with only my strength to hold me in the seat until it returns to a right side up position. Each time my palms more sweaty than the first and feeling like for sure I’ll just slip out and be on a free fall that ends with a plummet into the cement. The end.

Is it the end or another new beginning? And either way it will be the beginning. We will either begin to grieve and make decisions about taking a break, a vacation, though those funds become used in IVF, or whether we can dare to get excited. Even more nerve wracking is that we are hosting thanksgiving. So we are either going to be happily chirping about dreaming of our little speck happily bouncy in it’s turkey and cranberry sauce induced euphoria, or have to find a way to manage cooking through heart ache. And to smile back the tears.

If this is the case I feel like a dark cloud will always threaten our Thanksgivings. They don’t have a great track record so far, and already this year there are some disappointments before we ever don an apron.

The truth is I’m scared, and I’m also not scared. Because the world won’t come crashing down this time. I have finally gotten out of that purgatory, and it’s taken me almost a lifetime to do so.

This love strengthens me, and the love I am talking about is for myself. I often praise my wife (and she does the same for me), but the most profound thing here is that I am not nearly as unkind, if at all, to myself anymore. I will allow my feelings and honor them, and create room for my loved one’s as well. I’m not worried about falling into a destructive tailspin or checking out, or behaving impulsively to cope, thereby sucking out all the energy in a space.

I have learned that I can love myself more when I am stable and able to weather emotional ups and downs in such a way that I don’t do “must be nice”, to all the happy new parents right now. It’s still a bitter sting, but has nothing to do with something they have I don’t. Because I am learning to trust my journey and have faith.

After faith betrayed me so hard in the beginning (never faith itself, more the institutions that professed to sell it), I never would have imagined I would find my way back.

The truth is though to have faith in a higher power, but none in yourself would be a grave situation indeed. I am learning not to be bathed in such self-doubt, and so many painful pages replaying of my story. Each day is a new adventure and even the hard ones, especially the hard ones are more opportunity for growth.

Now if you ask me to sound this calm and grounded if we hear that negative result for the 4th time, I won’t be able to find it for a bit. But I will be able to rest in the arms of my loved one, and hold my children in mine (ours), and we will learn to be more loving and grateful for every small thing through this process.

This process makes me take my children for granted less. This baby is not the only thing that matters while they dust in a corner. This whole process has brought me to my knees in some kind of sacred prayer that I have these three. And I would say if you can find that during the teenage years, even for a moment you’re doing something right.

This whole thing is just another piece of my thawing. And if for some crazy reason we are not meant to have a baby together I have to try and believe that was so we could love each other, and the kids we have now even more. I have to choose to have this be my process before I encounter the actual emotion, or I run the risk of being sucked under.

Finally making this blog post feels like I’ve just been administered CPR and taken my first gasp of air. I have so many loves in my life. So much love inside and outside of me.

I almost can’t even paint anymore that something won’t be ok. Of course my brain already is harping away that that is when life gets you, and it will. To be human is to suffer. It will reach you. If you were lucky enough to avoid too much in the beginning as you age and watch people lose loved ones, and have profound disappointments, and watch the news and see the violence and shambles our nation is in right now.

I’m always my most afraid because with a very difficult beginning your only hope becomes some relief. So then when you go into the years that naturally hold more disappointments, when you are no longer naive to the pain of the world, you feel like none of your layers of skin are there to protect you.

I thought I was fragile by now. Since my long ago forged armor has fallen away. And I’ve transformed my disconnect from me emotions into my own connection system. And I’ve fashioned the self I want to be from scratch. I’ve put in all that effort, so if the story turned to tragedy after all that, it used to feel like the world would end.

But now I am much wiser than I once was and much kinder, and since I can trust and love that self I know that I can be graceful in my disappointments and teach my family from that composure. Most days anyway 😉 I’m still as human as ever. Actually much more human than I was ever allowed to be.

I cry when I need to cry, I rest when I need to rest (or I try anyway ha), I ask to be touched when I need to reconnect to a safe space versus fear, I give myself what I need when I need it. It feels calm.

So right now I feel calm and scared. Before I would have felt panicked and scared. My wife is the one who has undergone all the procedures, her poor body, all the hormones, and who has bravely jumped right into the middle of a harrowing adventure book. She jumped with her whole heart. She knew I never needed someone to only stick a toe in the water again. And that has given me all the strength and courage I ever needed to become who I always was.

Here we are….thank you for loving us and being on our journey.

Trying to bring a new member to share all our love with….

Ivf: a love story

Every time I have fallen in love I’ve always thought my heart could not possibly get any more full or it would burst. Then every time I do, I realize it’s stretching capacity. It’s like a pair of jeans that never get too small, every person’s dream right 😉

What I am in the midst of learning blows away every variety of rigid thinking, supposed to or should be. Never underestimate your adaptability folks. Your brain is wired for it. It can be a little hard to wrap your mind around that, because it’s always wired to complete tasks quicker by the railways of habit. So when you make it think a different way and go off the tracks it’s first reaction is to balk.

But if you keep going through that resistance that’s where the payoff lives.

Lately I am completely wordless with presence. I’m living less in my head and more in the storybook creation of my life. I like the layout, the language, and I can’t put the book down right now.

Yesterday was embryo transfer day, and I am just here basking in the glow of so many emotions I didn’t even know were there. Sometimes you can’t know how you will feel until you’re feeling it. Sometimes you’re just called by an unnameable gale force wind and you have to follow that absurdly until the next great realization.

I’m in love with my life lately, and that’s more than I ever imagined. It’s like being on ecstasy 24/7. Disclaimer I’ve never actually done that truthfully, drugs freak me out I’m too much of a hypochondriac. Life already burns bright for me. I feel gratitude for every tiny thing.

Anyway yesterday we experienced being able to see our new baby be transferred inside my wife. It was unreal. Admittedly there is a lot to sort through emotionally using the sciency approach and fighting feeling it’s somehow still less natural. It’s always a challenge in some way not to feel less than, and that challenge is increased when you’re a woman, a minority in any capacity, etc.

But it’s the challenge that makes you even more fiercely grateful, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

We are lucky and blessed to have our family and friends cheering us on at this time. I’m still my whirling dervish self and constantly need to be learning and challenging myself to new growth levels. And I’m enjoying being a parent, a partner, a warm guide, and a friend.

Baby’s first photo. This is a fully formed highest quality level blastocyst (baby dust) hatching from its protective layer. Hopefully right now the little one is firmly embedding itself into the uterine lining and will develop from the size of a microscopic speck (anyone else thinking of Horton Hears a Who), into our much anticipated bundle of joy. And sleepless nights.

Yesterday was a gorgeous New England fall day (in November).

My wife’s twin was able to come, and the reaction of all the fertility doctors and nurses was hysterical, many double takes. They made the hole thing really fun and many hugged us and wished us well. Snow patrol chasing cars came on and of course tears were shed. The embryo traveling in looked like a quick shooting star, and there it is: we must wait and see if that spark becomes a glow, and that glow becomes our beacon. And if for some reason this one isn’t the one for us, we must have the courage to begin again, but we aren’t at that part of the story yet. And for once in my life I refuse to skip ahead. I want to taste every delicious word as it unfolds.

We celebrated our victory by getting tacos and an authentic churro to share, at the food trucks on Long Wharf. The water sparkled under the sun’s golden fingertips like a bed of diamonds. The air was crisp and cool, and not a single fearful emotion could touch my mind, not a single one.

This is what living is really all about. Daring to reach for what you really want in life, sometimes not even knowing what exactly it is until you have created it!

Ivf Retrieval Day

It’s retrieval day!!!!

It has been feeling like the (an) end to this journey, but it’s actually just the beginning.

It’s the end of hormone injections and the related symptoms, and the end of a great many questions and nervousness. The end of three failed iui treatments and all the associated emotions. And yet it’s the beginning of an even more intense period of waiting for phone calls from the lab on the development of our little one (ones).

It’s beginning again down a road into a dark forest and not knowing what’s on the other side.

Will we get lost in there? Another gigantic disappointment, another cycle to wait and more hormones before a frozen transfer if this one doesn’t stay? How much of this roller coaster can we take? It’s been such a wild ride. But for the first time in my life even amidst sometimes crushing disappointment nothing feels like life or death.

I never even pictured having another baby, ever.

I spent most of my life worrying I didn’t deserve, nor was I up to the task of the first three. So to find myself standing here, calmly walking toward my next dream with confidence and joy. It is a dream like no other. I’ve already won the lottery, and written the best seller, and recognized my singing voice on stage in a moment of sheer shock and gratitude. Finding my love already feels like all those things mixed.

It has changed me so profoundly I am becoming rewired.

So many of my anxieties are calmed. And this isn’t a momentary high from idealizing something that turns out much differently. This is the real deal. Steady on my feet and walking headfirst toward another amazing dream, one I never saw.

It’s not very often life surprises me.

This is because whenever it did when I was young, and that was often, those were not good surprises. I became hyper vigilant and carefully in control of each happening to avoid further pain. But that has its side effects. And finding this love has surrendered me back into a childlike dreamer I was always meant to be.

I’ve turned my Stephen King movie into a John Hughes one. Sorry Stephen I love your work, I just wouldn’t want to be in one…. again.

And I used to be too fragile to be in the creation of a dream. Any setback would crumble and tumble me, and lead me down a path of dark thinking and misery.

Now I am finding faith and a well balanced way to view reality.

So it’s neither fantastic or terrible, but a mixture of both of those moments on a steadfast bridge of love.

I have a family of best friends on there with me, and I’m finally adjusting to life in partnership and belonging that I couldn’t feel I deserved before. Now I am accepting this as my life, and everything that comes with it.

So here we are…. I’m about to be a “nearing 40” new mother. Here I am, the happiest I’ve ever been.

At another new beginning….with knowing there will still be so many more.

Letter to a friend, profound gratitude at 4 am

My dearest Katelyn,

It’s 4 am. The bulldog had an itchy fit. That creature is an abomination sometimes, often, lol. Anyway I got so cranky he wouldn’t let up I’m now wide awake. I’m struggling to breathe, damnit I’m so allergic to cats. We will have to take my car on our next adventure, and before you feel bad don’t, I had the best day.

So here I am in the bath contemplating my existence and what came is how grateful I am for you. Both you and Courtney seem to see me through a lens of generosity I can hardly even comprehend.

In some ways you’re like Teflon it seems, like nothing can touch you and so brave and outgoing, and yet inside you’re so incredibly sensitive and care so much for others, it’s actually humbling. In both these ways you’re almost like a mirror for me. A twin flame of sorts. And I can’t imagine what I’ve done for you, other than make your best friend happy. 

Kate I am becoming emotional now because you cannot imagine the world I crawled out of. Most of the people I grew up with are either recovering or not recovering in NA and AA. My grandparents who sort of raised me are dead and gone, nothing left, and my only memories are of me torturing them as a teen, I never got to see the other side of adult relationship where I cherished them. My father will be dead two years this December and his parting words to me were concern about my emotional stability, cold steel blade to my throat. 

After one last time of thinking I could weather a relationship with my mother for her benefit I cut the cord and let myself loose again, floating out into the unknown that had to be better. 

As far as biological family I am alone in the world, and not only alone, but ever aware of the wreckage I arose from.

I know a flare for the dramatic in writing. But how can you know what even a single kindness means if you do not know these things.

And I’ve grown wise enough to know that people can still have their family close and be just as hurt by their intended care. I am not as naive anymore, I do not assume I have it worse. I used to feel sorry for myself in this way. Not productive.

Your line about the difference between people who don’t make it at Vivint resonates strongly with me. “They are the weak”. And we are most certainly not.

I love what working for Vivint represents to you and how much you have grown as a result of rising to that challenge. If I understood it correctly you were coming off a partnership that challenged your worth as an earner and as having passion. And it appears there were so many other benefits as well. The people you’re connecting with, your self-concept, and financial security and confidence to name a few.

It’s actually your strength and energy that makes me think I can do this at all. The fact you believe in me, and even said I could be “better than you”, not that this is relevant, but I can’t tell you how much your investment and faith means in me.

You, Courtney, and every person who so easily sees me potential, worth, inner nature, you are the parents I never had. And it heals me constantly.

This is what I feel energized by. You’re like a lighthouse. And I’m so hopeful that I can turn this opportunity into something that can help me enjoy the confidence of freeing myself from feeling a financial burden. I’ve been behind since before I began.

Making continuous poor decisions financially with no parachute, because I never had one. I’ve been free falling, grabbing onto a cliff here and there, bloody knuckles and hands and clinging for brief rest, and letting go again.

And now I have gear, goggles, helmet, glider, chute, all the protection of friendship and a found family, and from all that security I am able to have fought hard enough to be able to enjoy bringing a life into the world with a true love, one that is the kind I am wired for. To feel I deserve that second chance and this much love and support, is a daily task. My beginning experiences tell me otherwise all the time. This is a battle I have made companions with, its familiar, but it may never fully be over. 

And here you are another beautiful gift from the Universe helping me with an opportunity that can alleviate the stress of my student loans and not being able to provide enough for the children I in many ways grew up with. I want to give them the world for having faith in me, when it’s been so hard to find it in myself.

Even buying those Hamilton tickets would have been unthinkable a couple of years ago. And it would be hard to do much of my dreams or fun things, if I can’t make sure the responsibilities I already created are not set up. My life force begs me to do both/ all. But my thawed out heart forces me to have enough empathy to consider the feelings of those that my choices impact.

So if I can make my days feel a little less life or death all the time by being able to pay off my student loans and help the kids more and support Courtney and our baby… then sign me up. I am so hopeful I am up to the task and that I can weather fears of making others uncomfortable and rejection that has been the hallmark of my life, that I’m so nervous about that trigger. Except I think that this task is before me, to realize the enemy isn’t that big anymore.

This is yet another opportunity to learn how to love myself better by rising to a task and learning from the whole process.

So all of these words, these intense, dark, deep, grateful words are to say thank you for believing and investing in me.

Thank you…


Sent from my iPhone

Time. A most valuable asset.

Time in reflection is so necessary for gratitude.

There was a time that I ordered one meal at a restaurant and split it three ways for my kids. A time we all rented a small room upstairs in the home of a generous woman as I labored through school. A time when we finally got our first real home approx 7 years ago. Nicer and larger than any space we had occupied as a family. There was a time when in this home a relationship didn’t work out, and I didn’t know how I would pay the mortgage. This is when friends who became family moved in and we made it work.

There was a year I was so lost and lonely. Alone on Christmas Eve, I watched The Holiday and cried, and cried the whole day because I wanted that forever family with a person who saw me, didn’t resent me, and is a woman 😉 I never thought I would find that with how full our lives already are. I had been told and shown that a lot of people prefer to create their own from scratch, not learn how to mesh in an already made world. It’s not shame or in need of pity it’s just true.

I’m a lot. I think a lot. Strive a lot. Dream a lot. And before I was loved as I am now I panicked a lot! I wasn’t always kind when I was scared. I own those truths, and I need to live with them, and continue to try and be a better version of myself…

And now this a time where I get a constant infusion of unwavering enthusiastic love streaming through my veins. A partnership where we truly are best friends and want the same things. My wife teaches us the art of small ego each day. She doesn’t take things overly literally or get bent out of shape easily. She is genuine and loving. And we can be lighter, and more genuine and loving as we learn from her.

This is a time where being kind is more important than being right. A time when it’s ok to slow down and feel feelings and moments without rushing. Without rushing. Unimaginable for me. If you only knew.

This is a time where I have money in my bank account and have paid down debts, and can love myself more for those efforts. A time I am learning to put off instant gratification just a little bit more to create a safety net for my family.

This is a time I can play and enjoy life a little bit, there was a time that I thought I would never have time like this.

All the time I have left in this world is yours….