Our miracle RAINBOW BABY BOY arrived 8/2018

1st IVF = BFN
2nd IVF = Baby A, born May 2015
3rd IVF = Miscarriage at 14 weeks
4th IVF = BFN
After we paid for 5th IVF, positive pregnancy without IVF!

Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Well of Being: An Extraordinary Children’s Book for Grownups about the Art of Living with Openhearted Immediacy

I love reading. But you would never know that about me, because until recently, I rarely did it. I can count on two hands the number of times that I've been engrossed in a good book that I didn't want to put down, or couldn't wait to get pick up. Although I've loved that feeling, life can sure get in the way. I've been saying I would have more time to read after _____________ (Fill in the blank). But then, something else gets added to my plate. 

I've read to A every night since she was just a few months old. But I don't have time to read books I like because...pick any number of reasons. Well, I can't because I started a side-business. I don't have time to read because I have two kids; need a lot of sleep; need to run/walk/go to the gym; because I like watching TV with my hubby after the kids are asleep. Did I mention that I have two kids? I can't because....I blog; need to edit photos; need to clean the house, etc. I could go on and on. When are any of those things going to be gone? Not any time soon! Because I also just applied for an on-line doctoral program.

When it comes down to it, all the reasons that I have for not reading are really just excuses. Valid and true though they may be, they're still excuses. We have to make time for what is important to us, plain and simple. So instead of setting unrealistic goals like I'm going to read every day without fail, I'm slowly chipping away at it. Ann Rule's book on Ted Bundy goes with me everywhere. Usually, it remains unopened but I did manage to squeeze in 10 minutes at the dentist's office last week. I've finished two books in the last month on my work commute, even though I only listen to them when the kids aren't in the car. It adds up more than I thought I would! I have a different book on my bedside table that I pick up a few nights a week, and a deluge of books from my Amazon wish list that my Dad gave me for my birthday, each one hoping to be next.

And then I'm always adding books, like the one below, that I come across and catch my eye. The queue may take longer to get through than I would like, but at least this one has pictures...

The Well of Being: An Extraordinary Children’s Book for Grownups about the Art of Living with Openhearted Immediacy

A lyrical invitation to awaken from the trance of the limiting stories we tell ourselves and just live.

“This is the greatest damn thing about the universe,” Henry Miller wrote in his magnificent meditation on the meaning of existence“that we can know so much, recognize so much, dissect, do everything, and we can’t grasp it.” Paradoxically enough, the fragment of the universe we seem least equipped to grasp is the truth of who we ourselves are. Who are we, really, when we silence the ego’s shrill commands about who we should be, and simply listen to the song of life as it sings itself through us?
That’s what French-born, Baltimore-based artist Jean-Pierre Weill explores in The Well of Being (public library) — an extraordinary “children’s book for adults,” three years in the making, that peers into the depths of the human experience and the meaning of our existence, tracing how the stories we tell ourselves to construct our personae obscure the truth of our personhood, and how we can untell them in order to just be.
Succumbing neither to religiosity nor to scientism, neither to myth nor to materialism, Weill dances across the Big Bang, the teachings of the 18th-century Italian philosopher and mystic Ramchal, evolution, 9/11, and life’s most poetic and philosophical dimensions. He tells the lyrical story of a man — an androgynous being who “represents Everyman and also Everywoman,” as Weill explains in the endnotes — moving from the origin of the universe to the perplexities of growing up to the mystery of being alive. At the center of it is the unity of life and the connectedness of the universe, “our encounter with One, well-being.”
What emerges from Weill’s ethereal watercolors and enchanting words is a secular scripture, at once grounding and elevating — a gentle prod to awaken from the trance of our daily circumstances and live with openhearted immediacy, a message partway between Seneca’s exhortation to stop living in expectancy and Mary Oliver’s invitation to begin belonging to this world.
I see that you’re reading.
As the train is late let me take you on an excursion to the place we long for.
I ask of you one thing: bring attention to your thoughts, those that take you from this book, quiet them… and value this listening as if it were a mysterious gift yours for the taking.
Let us string a bead of thought, an article of faith.
Our existence is not an accident but a mystery… We can entrust ourselves to this mystery, for we are part of it. Indeed we are it.
I don’t say there isn’t much work to do, for there is.
And some tracks lead to excruciating darkness, where a person can tumble from the sky on a clear September morning.
Yet is the world not whole? Is it not beautiful?
For now, let’s consider well-being a choice, something you can try on and wear. When we put on the hat and coat of well-being we incline towards joy without special occasion.
At the heart of the lyrical story is the somewhat discomfiting yet necessary reminder that although our self-delusions are an adaptive crutch and the masks we wear are a protective survival mechanism, unless we learn to revise our inner storytelling and let ourselves be seen, we will continue to keep ourselves small with the stories we tell ourselves.
Weill writes:
We organize our circumstances into stories, stories we pick up along the way and carry with us.
Stories that declare, I’m lacking.
Why me? stories.
I’m alone, stories.
What will I amount to? stories.
Stories about who we should be.
Or think we are.
They are interior maps whose familiar roads we travel. Over and over. Yet when we apprehend these maps, these stories, these patterns … we awaken and rise, as it were, to a new perspective, to new possibilities.
Complement the immeasurably wonderful The Well of Being with Seth Godin’s very different and yet similar-in-spirit “children’s book for grownups” about creative courage and living with vulnerability, then revisit Dostoyevsky’s existential epiphany and drink from Anne Lamott’s well of being with her soul-stretching inquiry into how we find meaning in a crazy world.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


I love this time of year! With the cooler temperature comes the anticipation of all of the holidays stretched out before us. I loved all the lead-up to the holidays before I was a Mom, but with children it is a thousand times more magical. We have so many fun activities planned between now and New Year's and so much to look forward to.
Image result for hello autumn
The transition from being home for over a year to going back to work with two different drop-offs went much better than anticipated! I go to bed early and get up even earlier, about 5:15 a.m.

Little A is loving school and "really blossoming" according to her teacher. There has not been one day when she hasn't wanted to go, although she does usually want more snuggle time with me in the mornings. In one month, she has gone from only being able to write the first letter of her name, to being able to write her whole name, without tracing or copying!

This month was filled with walking to our neighborhood friend's houses, our annual trip to the pumpkin patch, birthday parties and lots of time spent loving on our pets. We added a bird to our brood unexpectedly, when A and I were hiking on the trails behind our house and noticed a parakeet that was clearly out of place. It's wings weren't clipped and birds that can fly are not easy to catch! Knowing that it wouldn't live very long if left there, I kept trying and trying. I spent close to 30 minutes with no luck. I would get really close to capturing her, and then she would fly off about 10-15 feet away, sometimes higher than I could reach. So I would get a stick and poke at the branches she was resting on and she would flutter down. A woman on a mountain bike stopped and tried to help. "You need a towel or something to throw over her" she said. Searching the bottom of the stroller didn't yield anything except an empty water bottle. My shirt was the only option I had, and it would work since I had on a sports bra. She helped me try for a good while and understandably gave up, wishing me luck. By this time, I think the little bird was tired, and with a few more tries, I finally got it over the top of her!

I knew A was already attached to the bird because I was attached to her and already pictured her as a part of our clan. But she bravely feigned understanding when I told her that we would have to post about her in case her owners were missing her, and give her back if someone claimed her. Instead of owners, we found a free cage and she now happily resides in A's room. The cats were quite interested at first, but now generally leave her alone.

Our big man is walking everywhere, but only while holding on to something such as the cupboards, walls, coffee table or walker. He can stand independently, but has yet to take those first steps. He loves trying to turn on the stove, and has been successful a few times. In the mornings, he loves going back and forth between his room and sissy's room while he munches on a waffle or tater-tots between sips of his bottle. He loves playing with her pretend kitchen and also taking all the clothes out of any drawer he can open. He loves climbing over things and if you lay down on the ground, he's sure to come over and bounce on your tummy.