Happy New Year…

So I am firm believer that the new year doesn’t start until I go back to work after the holiday. That means 2016 really didn’t start until today. So Happy New Year! The last three days were just freebies…which is good because one of us was down for the count…so we spent our time at home…putting away Christmas, cleaning up for the new year and sleeping in. So naturally I am exhausted today! I finally had my glass of champagne celebrating the new year yesterday. I even found 5 minutes to color in my adult coloring book that has been taunting me for a month. I colored in some green…I look forward to at least one new color in the new year!

I like the idea of a new year, a clean slate, unwritten stories…I want to keep that vibe alive the whole year. The last 10 months with #LADC have flown by…our newborn is suddenly an independent toddler. I do not wish for time to stand still…That would be selfish and I would miss so many moments. I just wish for myself to slow down, take it all in and be present for each moment. Whether that means putting down my phone, my computer, turning off the TV or even putting down the camera. Maybe slowing down means extra tickles, running down the hall, more dance parties…but it definitely probably most likely means more love.

I do not make resolutions. I am horrible at them. But I would like to …

  • Recommit myself to not only blogging/writing more but to creating. Making sure I wake up those corners of my mind that sometimes fall asleep during the day while sitting in front of a computer.
  • Writing more about being vegan and the vegan lifestyle.
  • Getting even more active outdoors when it warms up again.
  • Be crafty with the little one!
  • Work on my photography skills again. It’s something I enjoy doing a lot!
  • Go on little adventures with my family!
  • Have more date nights with my wife!
  • Listen to more music. All of the music!
  • Be weirder. You know, in a good way.
  • Be kinder.
  • Be the mom/person my daughter thinks I am already.

Like Oprah said on that new WW commercial…If not now, when? And we all know Oprah is always right. So Happy New Year!

Please feel free to share your goals, hopes, desires…and even resolutions in the comments below!

 

Our Home One Year Later

ISh3ewal3g4vsh1000000000Last year at this time we were moving in to what we affectionately refer to as the “home that we own”. Owning a home is an adventure and learning experience all rolled in to one. What a wonderfully stressful experience it is to own property, am I right? Always something to do, to fix, to update…

But when I walk through those doors in the evening the warmth and love it holds creates a force field that blocks out noise from the world outside. In just one year we’ve stuffed our home with laughter, tiny footsteps, love and countless memories.

Our little home will always be the place…

We brought our daughter home to on a snowy March day…

Where she learned to crawl, scoot and then walk on her own…

Where she said mama for the first time…

And where I rocked her to sleep so many nights…

Not that we’re moving any time soon but this house will always be our first home.

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Ten Years Ago…And Scott Weiland

I love this time of year. I love the twinkling lights and wonder why we can’t have them all year…The ribbons, the bows, the music, the shopping, the hot cocoa, the family get togethers…it all makes me giddy. I feel the joy…I feel Christmas…I feel all of the warmth and love. But December remembers…Ten years have passed since that December day when I received the call that would forever make December have a very Charles Dickens feel…the best of times and the worst of times.

If I had to try to explain the feeling, December by Sara Bareilles actually describes the way it feels best…It’s not really the lyrics so much as the tone of the song that really pins it down.

The afternoon has settled long and heavy on my shoulders
The winter’s light feels different on my skin
It doesn’t seem to strike as far below the surface so
I have to conclude that shadow won’t let it in
That shadow won’t let it in, shadow won’t let it in

December…
You’ve always been a problem child
December…
You run me down right restless and wild
And I remember when you used to be mine

I know I am not the only one who spent a Christmas mindlessly unwrapping presents…trying to be normal when life is anything but normal. Everyone going through the motions so you don’t just stop and cease to exist. You have to appear human because the other side is out there…you just have to get there…even if it begins with faking it.

The sadness wanes…It’s just that you can never recover fully from certain losses. I know I’ve said that before but it’s a weird place to be in sometimes. It doesn’t heal like a scratch that doesn’t even leave a scar…Your mind can’t neutralize a loss like your immune system can a cold. It is not something that can ever be over…it is just a permanent hole in your world. It is an internal scar that if on the outside would probably make people stare. It’s the phantom limb that only you can feel but have to remind yourself is no longer there.

You stop mourning in the traditional sense but there will always be reminders, anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, what if, and should be. They dart around your mind at unexpected times. But most thoughts and memories are happy now…because the good stays and the pain fades.

There are Scott Weilands…people you hope can make one day at a time last a lifetime…but they can’t/don’t. Then their body just says, I can take no more. I feel empathy for his family because I can…it’s not fake or manufactured…it’s because I know. Loss caused me to have a keener understanding of empathy and I kind of have low tolerance for over empathizers now. But I know what it is like to lose someone over and over again  until they really are gone.

On this tenth year, I can laugh at our childhood memories, talk about our traditions…and laugh about how you sang Almost Paradise (the love theme from Footloose) in your carseat as you tried to do sit ups.

We’re all OK now.

And there is much to celebrate…Today, sometime this morning…two little souls came into the world. My beautiful lovely friends now have twin boys! They are so beautiful and already have an army at the ready to guide them through this world! Welcome boys! Can’t wait to meet you!

And the Winner Is!!!

The winner of the 16×20 Personalized Canvas from Fabness.com is Julie R.!


Thank you so much to all who entered!

Don’t worry if you didn’t win! You can still get an amazing personalized canvas from Fabness.com at a great price!

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Use the code SNGS-AFM-70WS at checkout and receive 70% off these sizes: 12×18, 16×24, 20×30 plus free ground shipping.

For a first giveaway, I don’t think it went too shabby.  Hopefully, I can host another soon!

Thankful – Giveaway!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. As I sit here watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (which made me tear up as soon as it came on TV), I’m thinking about how thankful I am. I have a beautiful wife and child snoozing away and a warm home with big furry cozy sleeping dogs. In the quiet I am taking this moment to check in with the internets. The stars all aligned last night and I was able to prep all of my Thanksgiving dishes. I only need to pop them in the oven later!

Since starting this blog, I have made so many far away friends and been given so much support from the blogging community. So when my friends over at Fabness.com reached out about doing a giveaway, I thought this was the perfect way to say, Thank you! So Fabness.com is helping me give away a 16×20 Personalized Canvas to one of my followers! I know you are all shutterbugs because I see so many cute pictures of your little ones so I thought this was perfect!

I first heard about Fabness.com last year when I was looking for an inexpensive way to put one of our wedding photos on canvas. This is now one my favorite pieces we have hanging in our home.

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All you have to do is enter and you might win! I am delving into something new and trying a giveaway/sweepstakes (legalese and all that jazz). I’ve set this up with Rafflecopter so I fee like it’s pretty legit.

But don’t worry if you don’t win…You can still get some great deals with Fabness.com – You can receive 70% off of All Canvas and Free Economy Shipping with the code Black Friday!! Just click here!

Here is the Rafflecopter link to enter since it won’t embed!  Enter away folks!

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You can also go to our Facebook Page where there is a Giveaway tab!

I also would like to add that I am an affiliate for Fabness.com and Dinkledoo so when you click on my links and purchase something, I get a little something too. If you would like to become an affiliate, you can as well. Just click here for details.

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

…Then may we speak with Mr. Insert Real Last Name…

Well, he’s my dad and doesn’t live here but you can speak with my wife. (Although, my guess is since she didn’t call you but I did, she doesn’t want to talk to you.)

Wait, there was a time when a whole family used one phone wasn’t there? Mind Blown!

We have a small chuckle once in a while when some unsuspecting person puts together that we’re married. It’s cute. It’s funny. It’s a changing, evolving world we live in and not everyone has fabulous married lesbian friends like us. Most people are super professional – you see the recognition on their face and then they quickly get back on track. Some people even get really excited which is extremely cute and gives everyone the giggles. I can’t even think of one negative reaction or I’d have written about it.

So this week I’ve been making calls to handle a little house maintenance issue. All three vendors I spoke to this week assumed I had a husband. Now I’m not saying they should assume I’m straight or gay…it’s a phone call. It wasn’t that they were just trying to get a sense of the homeowners though. Two of them actually wanted to speak with my husband. Their assumption that someone other than myself was more capable of making the decisions was off-putting. Off-putting enough that I barely enjoyed their blushed tones when I said I had a wife instead and then the inevitable fumbling over spelling her last name which is only four five letters. It’s probably hard to think when you’ve just realized you were being sexist and made a huge assumption about someone.

While I am certainly not mad or offended about the assumption that I have a husband, it was a realization that some things haven’t changed. Some people still think men are the decision makers when it comes to home repair or in a relationship in general…Which means some people think there aren’t single women owning homes and kicking ass at it but there are (I even know some!). It means that some people don’t think about the wider definition of the word family. It means businesses aren’t having conversations about how to phrase things to be less patriarchal.

In some instances it may be necessary to know if more than one person owns a home or lives in a home so just tweaking the questions a bit would go a long way…

Will you be the only contact for this project?

Would you like to add another contact for this project?

Is there a spouse or partner I could list?

It’s really not that hard to keep your foot out of your mouth if you try just a little bit.

 Anyone else out there experience this kind of thing? Tell me about it.

The Versatile Blogger Award

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This award was given to me at exactly the right time by Bumbi’s Mom. I had been telling myself that November would be different. I would post more in November because things were slowing down, plans were being made and life was becoming more focused. However, nine days in to the month and I still had not posted a thing. Then last night I get a lovely tweet from her with this blogger award. So thank you Bumbi’s Mom for getting me out of my slump and making me write the things that I need to write.  Please visit Bumbi’s Mom’s blog where you can read about her life with her partner raising their daughter. She is such a huge supporter of all of us bloggers, super nice and a very talented writer!

The award – Write 7 facts about yourself, and nominate 15 pope who you think deserve this award. Plus you plug that little icon in to your post. It’s like a Girl Scout badge…Post it with honor! (I wasn’t a Girl Scout but I know there are patches involved).

  • I really like the Facts of Life. You’d think Jo would be my favorite but it was Natalie. Also, Tootie is a funny name. As I kid I thought tootie was what you called a vagina…so her name was vagina in my mind.
  • I always wanted my parents to send me to boarding school probably because of the Facts of Life but they wouldn’t. Ugh. Now that I have a daughter, I know why.
  • My two year wedding anniversary was last week. I wanted to write a post about it but I didn’t. I am so slack.
  • Dry erase markers make me happy. I update the dry erase board at my desk every day.
  • I was a US Senate page and US House intern. One was a magical time, the other was a horrible summer job.
  • I still get nervous when I think about the first date I went on with my wife. Even though we had met and I had internet stalked her for like two months, it still gave me intense butterflies.
  • I like cereal a lot. I could eat it at every meal. Gripping revelation, I know!

And here are the nominations – In no particular order…A mix of new and old favorites…I’ve followed along as most of these strong women through loss and into motherhood. They have been so honest and open. Keep blogging because your words matter! For you new gals, I’m excited to follow your adventures!

  1. My Perfect Breakdown 
  2. Speck of Awesome
  3. Jessa Dreamer
  4. Baby Making Adventures
  5. Project Tiny Human 
  6. Awaiting Autumn
  7. FoxHillHouse
  8. A Day in the Life
  9. Me and My Crazy Womb
  10. Chicks Hatching
  11. The Chronicles of a Non Belly Mama
  12. Baby Bailey Mama Drama
  13. The Other Mom of Four
  14. The Gayby Project: Making the Next Generation of Fabulous
  15. Reciprocal Love

For you nominated folk, don’t feel obligated to post. I just wanted to make sure you know I am reading along and cheering for you all.

Month 8 – She has Teeth

I skipped over month 7 because October was completely crazy…

Our photo shoot went a little like this…

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The Number 7 tastes amazing!

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7 Months was delicious….

So here we are 8 months in to this amazing journey as moms. Our little girl is growing and changing so much. She can stand on her own…DSC_0022

She has not taken her first steps on her own but she is so close. She loves using her VTech Sit-to-Stand Walker to cruise up and down the hallway. She stands up over and over again. It’s a good thing baby butts have so much cushioning!

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She can throw a ball and other objects. And she laughs just to laugh. I like to think it is because she hears laughter so often. She even has a fake laugh. It’s so funny that it usually ends in actual laughter.

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We are so in love with this child. Even though you hear it time after time, it’s amazing how one little person can come in to your world and fit so perfectly. The love just grows and grows. It is an easy, all consuming love.

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Of course, we have tantrums and sleepless nights but who cares. The memory of those moments slips away easily. The only evidence is the bags under our eyes and the frequent trips to Starbucks (and I’m not complaining about that!). To us, she’s just perfect. Most tear filled nights these days are because of those little teeth poking through. She has two now!

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She can play by herself but hates when mommies and grammy leave the room sometimes.

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She gives the best baby kisses of all time…all open mouthed and drool. The other night even with a sore mouth and a melt down happening, she looked up and then gave me a kiss.

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She may appear to be bald in some photos but she has quite the head of blond hair growing in. Little tufts of hair stick over her ears which remind me of little old men. It’s adorable.

Also, because I skipped a Halloween post, here is a little photo shoot we did in her giraffe costume.

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October – The Months Month

Is it just me or is October flying by?!? It’s like one big pumpkin flavored blur. October is my favorite month by far of all the months. It’s the perfect month. Perfect weather (except that flood situation in South Carolina this month was pretty horrid). Plaid. Hot lattes pumpkin or not. Halloween. Long sleeves. Changing leaves. Apple cider. Falling acorns (Ouch!). Pumpkins. So many things to love. October feels like love so maybe that is why October was designated to bring awareness and advocacy to so many important and close to my heart issues.

Did you know this month was….

Breast Cancer Awareness Month – I don’t think there is one of us out here in the world who has not been touched by breast cancer or some other form of cancer. Because it’s not about how much pink we can wear.

Down Syndrome Awareness Month – Check out Down With Jax and also check out Peachy’s Posse a page for a family I know who runs in honor of their son every year with their posse!

LGBT History Month – There is much on this topic so how about I celebrate my favorite LGBT icon, Edie Windsor! Who is your favorite LGBT icon?

National Bullying Prevention Month – Check out It Gets Better Project and information on Glaad’s Spirit Day. The amount of bullying resources and stories is immeasurable!

I also wrote a blog about bullying on #SpiritDay

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Check out the Domestic Violence Awareness Project

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month – Check out Wave of Light by My Perfect Breakdown

National Sensory Processing Disorder Awareness Month – Celebrating Sensory Awareness Month by Bumbi’s Mom

National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month – Check out Remembering the Brightest Star in the Sky – Matilda Mae by MummaScribbles

Please take a minute to visit a link to learn a little about each of these topics through blog pieces and websites. This just a small slice of causes that call October their own! Please feel free to share any blog posts on these topics!

A big thank you to Bumbi’s Mom for helping me out with this one!

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

Bullying and Me – #SpiritDay

Most of us have been the victim of a bully and if we’re honest we’ve been the bully too. As a woman, a lesbian and a mom bullying is something I think about more now than I ever did as kid. I think about the times could have and should have taken a stand but did not.

I remember the kids who were bullied…daily…

For their hair…weight…height…glasses…clothes.

Who were called gay like it was a bad thing.

Those kids were my friends in early elementary school before we moved to the 4th grade playground.

Before cliques and social status became our overlords.

They were my friends before we all knew who had and who had not.

They were my friends before we knew who was hot and who was not.

I remember the kid who made fun of my weight even though I wasn’t fat.

I remember the kid who threw paper at me during lunch for no reason. He was just a jerk.

I remember that same kid called me pig and made piggy noises at me. Such an ass.

I realize that the little girl who was made fun of for her old lady clothes actually wore homemade clothes. She would be so in right now.

I realize the little boy who looked like he had leprosy actually had cigarette burns on his arms.

I realize I was lucky.

Bullying in all of its forms is harmful and dangerous. There are now even more ways to bully a person than there were just a few short years ago. As parents we have the responsibility to teach our kids that different isn’t bad or wrong. People and friends come in all sorts of packages.

All beautiful.

All worthy.

All with something to offer.