Monday, October 5, 2015

#MicroblogMondays - Powder keg

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

Friday morning, my dad's youngest brother bombarded my phone with urgent texts. Each one was urgent and wanting to know when I was going to contact my parents to deliver the news. Being a pleaser, I found myself fighting the gut reaction to immediately address his urgency with a matter that only peripherally affected him. Still, I knew the time had come to rip off the band-aid and tell my parents. So plans were made to contact them Friday night.

For the past 2 years, I've played this phone call out in my head. Every scenario ending bitterly, with me justifying too much and attempting to get them to understand my side. For the actual call, Grey sat beside me. Reminding me that I should keep things to the facts and to keep it short.

The reaction was very different from my parents upon learning about the Beats. It was easily apparent that my dad wanted to meet these two, being willing to work on healing and moving forward in order to have a relationship. My mom was a different story. It took less than 5 minutes for her to throw poison on the conversation, announcing that she didn't mention me at all to anyone anymore. The veil of indifference an effort to both hurt me and mask her own anger and pain about the situation. 

Though the conversation was short, the news light the fuse to the powder keg. I knew the drama was coming, as any tsunami comes following an earthquake. Sunday night it began to manifest with a text from my uncle in Seattle about a message from my mom. A phone call to my mom's youngest brother confirmed my fear that she's planning to lash out at him over keeping the news of the Beats from her. I spent the better part of the evening beat on this uncle about the fact that my Seattle uncle was blameless in this situation and convinced him to contact my mom to get this message across. This was followed up with speaking to my Seattle uncle and aunt to give them a heads up of what was potentially coming, allowing them time to prepare. On top of this, I received a LONG email from my sister Marie this morning. One that I need to pick apart and process, as it's filled with things that leave one simply shaking their head.

All of this makes me want to drink; to numb my mind with a little bit of Scotch. And for anyone who knows me, this is a rarity as I'm quite the light-weight. Still, I'm working on moving forward. The tsunami is due to hit today, with many aftershock waves to come. Hopefully Grey and I have got to higher ground. 

Friday, October 2, 2015


After 3 weeks of being here, there's still much to do. Slowly boxes are being unpacked and items put away. Repairs and logistics are being worked out. And we're settling into a routine.

Still, there are moments where I find myself in disbelief. Things that others take for granted around me leave me in awe. Such as looking for a book I've been meaning to read for many years in a library dedicated to the author. Or seeing this museum display and learning it's mere footsteps away.

I'm struggling with both feeling displaced and not. Part of me is freaking out because I'm not freaking out enough regarding my new environment and those surrounding me. I know the path that brought me here is drastically different from many around me and yet I'm finding I'm also unapologetic for the difference.

A lesson learned from infertility. Of all the struggles from the last few years. Maybe even acceptable of those from a lifetime.

Slowly, I'm settling. Even during the moments it feels unreal.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Processing it all

The last few days have been a jumble. Between the rush of beginning family reconnection, being in the second week of a new position (still so surreal) and still struggling to settle, my brain has been foggy.

Sometimes music is the only thing that helps with sorting it all out....

Monday, September 28, 2015

#MicroblogMondays - Healing rifts

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

For the past 4 years, I've had zero contact with my family. This decision was a guilt filled one. After all, those who cut-off contact with their families are suppose to be mentally defective and emotionally impotent. Yet I knew at the time that I needed this space in order to address what lay ahead. That juggling navigating an infertility diagnosis and fertility treatments would be emotionally impossible if I was also managing the expectations of my mother. 

The idea of reconnection surfaced about a week after the Beats were born. Sitting in NICU, I received a text from my brother letting me know that my parents were on the west coast and wanted to see me. In that instant, I wanted so desperately to share my babies with them. But I was also scared shitless at the idea of them finding out about these two fragile beings, harming them indirectly in order to get punish me. Collapsing in the parking lot later with Grey (somehow I managed to hold it together while in the Vault), I confessed my fears and conflicting desires. A decision was made at that point to continue with radio silence, but to revisit reconnection as the Beats grew and became stronger. As our family grew stronger. 

And as time went on, I thought more about this. Torn between taking this step while also wanting to protect my family.

Over the weekend, it became apparent it was time. With the move in completion and the reality that we need to make some changes to an old agreement, I made two phone calls: one to each parent's younger brother, who are trusted uncles. Both responded quickly and we utterly elated and exacerbated. And the news of the Beats floored both of them.

So, the ball is rolling for this final chapter. The plan is to reach out to my parents this coming Saturday. All of it seems surreal and terrifying. None of it has gone the way I imaged it would. All of it still has the potential to explode (especially as the news of the Beats will likely shock them all). But I'm progressing forward. Especially boundaries while trying to heal rifts.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Ode to the Emerald City

Fourteen years ago, a young woman in her early 20s packed a moving truck and moved to Seattle. She had no job lined-up on the other end, a minimal cash cushion and zero experience with the area. But she had an aching desire to follow her dreams and to answer the call for adventure. To take a chance only a few she knew had taken of leaving home and going into the unknown. 

Choosing Seattle wasn't by accident. A couple of years before she spent winter break traveling to California with college friends for the Rose bowl and immediately became hooked by the beauty of the west coast. It was the following year, though, when she went to visit friends in Seattle that she knew she had found her new home. A land where sea and mountains met, filled with endless possibilities for adventure. 

And so she traveled from the home she had known for 22 years, leaving behind family and the safety net to start a new life. Many thought she would fail, returning home within a couple of years in order to start a life. Others chastised her for pursuing what seemed both impossible and frivolous. Still she pressed forward and embraced her new life in the Emerald City.

Seattle gets it's nickname of the Emerald City for two reasons. The first being that it is surrounded and filled with greenery. The second being due to the fact that the city stays green throughout winter months, due to the endemic plant life. The beauty is this area is truly unmatched anywhere else in the world and with easy access to both the mountains and the sea, it's an outdoors-minded individuals dream. That first winter in Seattle, I spent more time exploring the local ski areas and hiking trails than I ever had in the midwest and rock-climbing became a regular activity with friends. Like Dorothy, I found myself mystified by this new land. I swore I would never leave

Two-and-a-half weeks ago, Grey and I packed our family into two vehicles and traveled to the airport. Loaded with 2 cats, 2 kids and some carry-on luggage, we boarded a plane to leave this magical place we had called home. As the plane climbed above the city and rounded Mt. Rainer, reflected back on the past 14 years. All the good and the bad that came from this place.

In a weird way, both Grey and I feel like we broke up with Seattle. Both of us came to this place seeking a change and adventure. In fact, we literally arrived a day apart from one another and lived only a couple of miles away from one another before we met. While dating and during the early years of our marriage, we spent a lot of time exploring the outdoors and the city together. It wasn't long before we were claimed by natives as being natives. Seattle was a part of us.

And then things changed. As infertility hit, so did the economic crash. The condo we purchased was in the heart of a region that was seeing a socioeconomic war, which only worsen as tech came into the area. Suddenly, our Emerald City wasn't as green as it once was. The laid-back nature began to disappear and the culture rapidly shifted. Inside of Emerald, people started referring to it as the Crystal City, with glitz and luxury pushing from those immigrating in pushing out the natives. Dear friends left, seeking new homes. And we felt left behind.

There's been a lot of good things that have come from this move. Two weeks ago Grey started his new position, which he is greatly enjoying. Our new apartment is lovely, with a garden on the property that the Beats readily explore and easy access to parks. And I started the dream postdoc that I had all but given up on this week. The spirit of hope and adventure is definitely alive in our house. 

But we're mourning what we left. Because a part of us will always belong to Seattle. The Emerald City is where so much changed. Where, even though we faced the trauma of infertility, Grey and I also forged a relationship that is stronger than ever. Where we learned hard lessons that have taught us who we truly are and that we are stronger than we ever knew. The place where the Beats were born and we closed a chapter in our lives. That despite the bad, the good that is inherent to this place. The beautiful memories we will always have of our time there. 

The rain will forever flow through our veins. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

#MicroblogMondays - Landed

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

I don't know even where to begin. There are stories of packing, stories about final days. Stories about living with relatives (which went surprisingly well and we are so grateful for). 

There's also stories that induced so many tears and lots of anxiety on my end. Incidents with neighbors. Jaxson being rejected from boarding and fears he won't make the flight (he did, though TSA was VERY scared when they saw the cone around his neck). Then the day we thought Jaxson got out.

And then there's the story about the whole family flying from one coast to the other. Surviving a 3 hr wait for a rental car. And our first few nights here.

So many posts could be written from the last 3 weeks.

Instead, I'll leave you with a two word summary: we've landed. We're here. And all of us, including Jaxson and Daisy, are feeling the energy from this change. The anticipation of what is to come and the hope for the future. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

#MicroblogMondays: back alleys

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

There's a stigma about alleys; those back roads hidden from plain view. Often bumpy, resulting in less traffic, they are viewed as dangerous places. As havens from the undesirable and those with ill intentions. Yet these overlooked spaces have their own beauty and stories. Access to a more vulnerable side of people's lives. 

This past summer, the Beats and I have been exploring some of these alleys. Walking along the dirt roads and catching intimate glimpses into the lives of our neighbors. It's telling to see how our neighbors maintain their back spaces. Some actively hide these spaces, enclosing them so one can't see. But others reveal a side of themselves that are so beautiful: large gardens, areas for pets and even simple spaces that are reserved as a refugee. 

As we've walked these alleys, exploring this world, drawing the parallels between these journeys and my own through infertility have come easily. How undesired these paths are. And yet the unseen benefits from both journeys. 
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