Monday, August 26, 2013

So much to tell you!

First, I apologize for once again disappearing for a few days!  Things have been busy and keeping up with 3 kids is a lot of work. 

So, first things first - I had that audition for a Broadway show a couple weeks ago - still no word, so I've decided no news is good news.  I have another big audition tonight, so crossing all the important parts that it goes well.

We are in our third TTC cycle.  Hopefully by the end of the week we'll be moving into stage 2.  Then it's the dreaded wait for 2 weeks. 

Still working on house plans.  Seriously folks -this part is making me anxious.  Everytime I think I find a floorplan I like, I find something about it I hate.  I'm looking for the least amount of changes possible to control costs and it's like finding a needle in a haystack.  I've resorted to trying to draw my own floorplan. 

I am a designer, not an architect.  This math stuff is hard!

Almost as hard as sticking to my new eating plan - in theory, I'll only be eating things that grow naturally or come from an animal directly.  No processed stuff unless I make it from scratch myself.

As I sit here next to my leftovers from Cheesecake Factory (Monte Cristo sandwich from the Sunday Brunch - no ham - YUM!) and think on the cupcakes MH bought me, now languishing in the fridge, I have to tell you that I don't think things are going according to plan at all.  It's all delicious, but not the plan.  Why can't the stuff I'm supposed to be eating taste like this?!!

Lastly, we're looking at dogs to adopt.  One is currently healing from a minor surgery, but we're hoping she becomes available soon.  We want her!

Other than that, it's just another day in the rat race.  Happy cheese hunting!

PS:  I almost forgot!  I've officially lost my mind.  I signed up for the 5k Zombie Run in October because - hey, it's zombies in the woods and that sounds like fun.  (My idea of fun and yours may differ.)  But then I signed up for a 5k triathalong in September because I've apparently gone crazy.  What on EARTH am I thinking??  I'll let you know how it goes.

Unless of course that much exercise does me in...

Monday, August 19, 2013

In memory of my father

August 9th marked the 5th anniversay of my father's death.  To say I took losing him unexpectedly at 55 hard is an understatement.  Today I found myself going through some old emails from that year and finding some from him that brought tears, laughter, and finally inner reflection.

I am sharing with you a message he sent in early 2008 as he left one department for another within his agency.  He was moving to Alabama with my mother at the end of August, the movers had been unknowingly scheduled to pack him up a week after the day he died strangely enough.  For my parents it was a point of transition and in that vein, my father was given to wax a bit poetic at times.

Here is his letter:

Life can be characterized as a unique experience (or journey)
that is both simple and complex.  However, the outcome of our experience
depends as much on our past as it does our present, and paves the way
for the future.  We learn from our past experiences,  take notes in the
present, to support our transition into the future.  But the future
never comes because it will always be either the past or the present.

        To embrace our life experiences successfully, requires us to
accept change as we proceed along life's journey.  Acceptance of change
will enhance the transition process of our future life experiences, and
as a result we will always be in a constant state of change.  Change can
be good depending on our acceptance and attitude toward change.  The
challenges we face as a result of change, may very well highlight our
acceptance or attitude toward that change.  As a result, I have become
accustomed to accepting change and, recognize that my departure is a
result of change.

        My tenure in this position was one of life's experiences as a result of
change, and the process was both complex and rewarding.  I've met
several wonderful people along the way who helped make this transition
(or experience) very smooth.  You have contributed greatly to my life
experience for which I will always be grateful.  The bible states that
we "reap what we sow."

Therefore, I hope and pray that I've sown good seeds into your lives
during my tenure here, as much as the good seeds you've sown into my

        It has been noted for quite some time that 2008 promised many
changes, and my transition to my new position will accommodate one of the promised
changes; as well as add to my life experience.  Likewise, I pray that
your 2008 life experience will be bountiful, accommodating and rewarding; all
of which may be both complex and simple.  My hat goes out to everyone
and their life experiences.  May your change transition be very smooth
and may you reap the rewards of the seeds you've sown.


Ulysses (aka Moon)

Reading back on this letter, I realize it could have been written to all of those he left behind in August 2008.  Five years later... and my Dad can still speak to me.

I will love and miss him always - and appreciate his wisdom more every year. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

TTC: Epiphany

Let me say this journey has once again gone negative.  So we have to regroup and prepare to "try again"... which of course leads me down a road of obsessive "What could I have done to make it work?" thinking.  Which I did a lot of yesterday while shutting out my husband.  Sometimes, I am pretty silly unintentionally.  Getting out of my own head can be hard.

Today - I had a lightbulb moment that almost knocked me over.  I have been making this even harder than it has to be.

You see, I was - and have been for a few months - obsessing about the weight I've gained in the past couple years.  Between that and the inability to conceive, I've (in the back of my mind) been constantly berating and negating myself.  MH keeps asking me if I 'know I'm beautiful'.  I tell him thank you and that I'm glad he feels that way - but the truth is - No, I don't know that.  He's not the first person to say that to me, but I have never believed that.

For a performer, that's kind of ridiculous, right?  Maybe that's why I can be such a great character actor but anything approaching who I really am causes me to freeze up.  The psych major in me is slapping her forehead and saying, "Really?  Classic."  But sometimes, it's the obvious issues that are the biggest stumbling blocks, right?  The funny thing is, when it comes to my FT job (Graphic Design) I have none of these hangups - total confidence - because my talent has never been in question.  Just the vessel that carries it...

When you're TTC, self-esteem doesn't seem that important - after all, it's all about the new life and your family, right?  It's much easier to focus on everyone else.  But the more you try and fail, it gets harder and harder to pull yourself up and be hopeful.  Why?  Because, for right now, it really is all about you.  It's about the body and all its parts that will carry a life.  From the emotional and mental to the physical, all those little things you've pushed aside so you can move forward are suddenly sitting on the end of the bed staring at you. 

This doesn't mean you can't get pregnant and have a child - people do it all the time.   Healthy emotional and mental states aren't required for procreation normally, just look around and that's self-evident.  But the physical is often tied to our emotional state and when you're struggling that connection is even more prevalent. 

So today I realized, I need to stop being my own worst enemy.  All the negative inner thoughts, which I honestly hadn't realized I was doing, must cease.   I am capable of being a mother in every sense and eventually the timing will be right, the physical will be right and it will happen.

Now I need to make sure I have the rest of me ready for that. 

Will I still obssess over weight?  Yes, I'm female.  But I'm going to stop beating myself up and go back to making better choices based on what my body needs vice what my brain and emotions tell me I want.  What happens will happen.  I'm just going to make myself happy for once.

Will I still worry about being able to conceive?  Yes.  But I have the body I have and didn't give myself PCOS and anemia, it's a fact of life.  So the best I can do is manage it, look at the positives, and continue doing the best I can with what I have.  Complaining, blaming, or wallowing never improved anything.

Is it going to be easy?  Hahahahha.  No, but then most things in life worth having never are - and peace, joy and freedom from personal baggage are definitely worth having.

Maybe my kid will end up with a less neurotic parent after all...

...Or we'll just be be like everyone else.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Stepmother Blues: Walking the fine line

If I haven't mentioned it, I'm the stepmother to 3 kids now.  One, the 14 year old, lives with us and the other two live with their mother. 

Being a stepmom is harder than you'd think.  You fall in love with the kids pretty quick (there is a reason God made them adorable and funny in their youth - so they live long enough to become adults!) but you have such little influence on the discipline and general principles they follow.  They look to their parents for those and if you disagree - what can you really do?

So it's tough, you get all the burdens of a parent: worry, care and feeding, and general guidance but it's so hard to get any of the respect. 

Not that I don't get it at my house... I'm not afraid to make it clear that in my house, my rules exist.  It's just tough when things are so different elsewhere and they have to adjust to our household.  I feel like the constant villain.

Maybe that will be my new icon.  (My favorite stepmother, the evil queen from Snow White in Once Upon a Time - Regina!)

From the Ground Up: Floorplans everywhere

Maryland has a number of nodular home builders with floorplans.  I believe I have looked at them all. 


Sadly, about half of them use the same floorplans over and over again.   Boring and lacking any form of unique identity.  I wonder how those builders, in this economy, think they are going to stand out from the competition if they don't have anything special to offer?  It's a basic marketing tenet - have something to sell that the other guy doesn't or have a way of providing a service that's unique.  No one wants "just another chocolate chip cookie", right?

Thankfully, I've discovered some gems in the midst of the rubble and have saved many floorplans to review and decision making.


So many that when I try to go through them with my loving husband, he inevitably gets bored and wanders away either physically or mentally (TV syndrome)... which drives me nuts, but I understand it.  I can visualize each floorplan.

I see the rooms decorated and imagine the flow of traffic.  I can see people over for holidays and parties.  I hear the kids romping up and down the stairs.  I visualize myself cooking in the kitchen.  When I see the measurements, I'm already figuring out where existing furniture would go and what pieces would be gone forever. 

My hubby, on the other hand, sees the basic concept of what's drawn on the paper and not much else.  Which is normal for an analytical mind, after all - I'm the artist, right?  Because of that, each floorplan is not a new adventure into "oooh, what could this place look like" for him - they all start to look the same.  Kitchen?  Check.  Master bedroom with sitting area? Check.  Enough bedrooms for kids?  Check.  Decent porch for grilling?  Check.  2 car garage with workshop or 3 car garage?  Check.  Aaaaand... he's done.

The lesson I'm learning is that I 'm going to need to get the number of choices down to a solid 10.  From roughly 200 to 10. 

I better go - I have work to do!

TTC: Big day

Tomorrow we have the test done to find out if the IUI was successful.  I greatly fear the results.  It's very hard to remain hopeful sometimes.  I wish I could just "know" inside and not worry about it - but since my body is determined to betray me at every turn... I am working on regaining my faith.

Lots of prayers and well-wishes would be welcome!

If you're wondering, "What will you do next?"  The answer is, I have no idea.  If this didn't work, MH and I need to discuss how much more money, time and tears we want to put into this phase of things?  Can we afford more intensive help? 

For me personally, I have to decide if this aching desire of my heart is something I'm capable of giving up...

If tomorrow is positive, I also don't know what I will do... I haven't allowed myself to think that way.

This TTC thing is draining!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pursuit of dreams

You're never too old to pursue your dreams.  I watched American Ninja Warrior competitions with my stepson yesterday and saw people in their late 40's doing things I am not sure I can do now!  I saw people who changed their lives sitting behind a computer into a physical momument to determination in fit physiques and perserverance.  Even when they didn't win (and many didn't make it) they left with positive attitudes and the assurance that they would return.

In my 20s I used to think there were time limits on achieving goals.  You have to be married by a certain time, making a certain dollar amount before you hit 30, done all your traveling and crazy attempts at stardom before you're 35...

Well - I married at 37.  I haven't hit the 6 figure salary and I'm 38.  I started traveling on my own at 31 and continue that with my husband today.  And Saturday... I auditioned for a Broadway show.

Now let's be clear, I know there is a needle in haystack chance of my getting a role but it was a good audition - possibly the best musical audition I've ever had - and now my face is officially in someone's casting folder. 

My husband encouraged me to the nth degree to make the attempt, despite our young marriage and current attempts at TTC.  Likewise, I encourage his entry into the Savage Race, Tough Mudder - or anything else he wants to try.

The calendar may say we're too old, or perhaps our preconceived life expectations are saying that, but we're determined that so long as we draw breath - the pursuit of dreams does not have to end.

So for all of you ready to take the leap, as they say in my world "Break legs!"

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Quick update

Yes, I am still alive.

I have tons to share but things are a little crazy plus there is a big opportunity coming my way that until I see how it pans out, I'm going to keep a little private.

However there are lots of other things for us to discuss!

Look for:

1.  Another Marriage Files
2.  From the Ground up - part 4..5...25
3.  TTC journey update
4.  The power of positivity

Hope you're having a great week!  Welcome to August...