Tuesday, September 13, 2011

WOW...it's been a VERY long time since I've posted on my blog. Today is a new day. Lots has happened & rather than drudge up the past, I'm just going to stay focused on the present and the future. The kids are 5 and they started Kindergarten. They love it. They are SO big now. I'm so proud of them. They are both doing SO well. I'm in the process of rebuilding...from the ruins...and I am starting with very foundational matters. It's difficult...to rebuild after loss, damage and destruction...but not impossible. With God's help, my life will become all that it is meant to become and it will be better than I could ever imagine. I am learning a lot...about myself, my past behaviors, my patterns and the kind of person I want to be. Change is in order as things did NOT work previously. I am finally realizing the illness is within my mind, so it's time to change my thinking. I am building new support systems and I'm very grateful for my family; both chosen and blood related. My close friends who I can be totally honest and real with...well, they mean more to me than they could ever know. And then there's my amazing fiance Missy. She is the most non judgmental, patient, kind, understanding person I've ever met. Most times I feel unworthy of her love and devotion...but that's about me and my perceptions and I need to stop beating myself up. I've spent way too long trying to prove I'm important...trying to gain acceptance...trying to please others....so that maybe then, just maybe...I'll be good enough. Well, no more of that...it doesn't work. I need to find the place inside that believes I am good enough and that I don't have to prove it to anyone. I'm walking that journey now.
I'm so grateful and I hope I remember each day all the many blessings in my life. What are you grateful for?

Friday, April 22, 2011

New Life
This is a day we celebrate...in my family, within my faith, and always with my children. We've built certain traditions. We make Easter Baskets and give them to them Easter morning, we hide eggs and they love to "hunt" for them around the house, and we talk about how Jesus is ALIVE and what that means to us. It's a very big day - second to Christmas for us.
But this year, I won't see my kids on Easter.
Since we're still in the "thick" of it all, and we don't YET have anything stipulated from the judge on how we'll handle holidays - since it's her custodial weekend, she has said NO! - All of my requests - whatever time of day, trying to work out any arrangement that would work for her, etc....NO! if she has the opportunity to exercise some form of control over me; she WILL use it.
It's sad.
Little T and I always went shopping together to pick out her new dress....they look forward to the traditions - many that involved me or were initiated by me.
But this year, there will be silence where there should be laughter.
Absence rather than togetherness.
On the day we celebrate the Resurrection Life - I pray that it somehow spills over to my children.
Lord, keep your hand firmly, gently - but always upon them!
And God...I need some help....I am feeling discouraged....I will pray...but please, help me....help them., my little ones who deserve so much more.....and please if possible Help HER to see the error in her ways and to want to do what's best for the children. ~ Amen

Friday, April 1, 2011

People Disappoint Us...

Sometimes people disappoint us. They turn out to respond in ways we don't expect; especially in times of great need or illness. Recently I've heard from my sister in law (to be) about certain friends that just haven't come around...during a time when she's been dealing with some major health concerns that have yet to be fully diagnosed. Over the last 10 months, I've lost a ton of people who I thought were close friends, because they didn't agree with some of the choices I made in my life. Now, Missy is losing one of her closest friends - in one of her greatest times of need and yet also in a time when she is actually doing better than she's been doing in a really long time. You know, I think this friend was used to the previous dynamic - it was familiar & comfortable. Previous dynamic: Missy was not healthy, struggling with lots of issues and abusive relationships, etc.. and really needed her. Current situation: Missy is really healthy, doing really well (the best she's been ever - according to her family, doctors, friends, etc...) and yet her closest friend - who was the one constantly giving her advice on how to "become" this person that she is actually now becoming - within her own perception and through her own filter, has basically ended the friendship with Missy because she feels Missy is not, and has not, been the kind of friend she thinks she should be to her. All of this mind you, within a time when Missy was taking care of her sister, her family members, then me, our kids, etc....all in a time when you expect your closest friends to "rally" around you and hold you up and offer support, no matter what - when you expect the grace to be present when there aren't phone calls, or when any and all free time found is spent sleeping or trying to connect with your partner, or taking care of your kids and being present to them.....all of these things.....this friend totally understands and has gone through herself actually.....almost a year ago - she and her partner isolated big time from people and yet, people kept reaching out and they just "didn't have it" - and even during that time, Missy kept reaching out just saying "I'm here for you. I love you. I miss you".....but I guess I am really disappointed because I expect (as is the case with ALL of our other close friends) that when you are close friends/like family - you understand these times and you have grace and you embrace one another when the time comes and you move forward. Unfortunately, this friend projected all of her dissatisfaction with Missy, the lack of friend she has been (according to her) projected a lot of her own stuff, and also then said she was concerned about me and began saying very hurtful things about Missy and I and our relationship and dynamic (all which were not true and her own reality)....and then, ended the friendship! Sometimes people disappoint us. But it still hurts....and I expected more. This person is a therapist for goodness sakes. I am working on my expectations of people....but in this case, I don't think they were unrealistic. I think that if something happened to Missy tomorrow (God Forbid) I wonder if this friend would think "was it all worth it?" "did those things really matter" "was I really there for her" or possibly she might think, "why did I make it all about myself?" These moments make you realize what really matters.......it brings you back to the perspective and position that is so very important in life; living a life of gratitude and grace.....and we'll continue living in it....we'll grieve...we'll feel the sadness (especially Missy)...and we'll hope that repair and recovery can happen one day; when the time is right. For now - the way it came about was not ideal, but Missy was feeling a break was needed. So, Break: We will embrace you. Please be gentle.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Evolution / Transformation / A desire for change (Oh and it's all about Missy, not me, LOL)

This is my love: Missy. She has naturally curly hair - very thick and very curly. She has been wearing it short and also regularly uses a straightening iron. Yesterday, she did her hair all shaggy and curly and talked to me about this desire that has come up within her: to grow out her hair. (OMG, I'm screaming on the inside..wait, sorry, this is NOT about me) So, she says...I was looking at some pictures the other day of when I had long hair (mind you, I've seen some of these pics on her FB from way back when and thought, oh wow...I LOVE her longer, curly hair..........hehehe) anyhow, I digress......so, she said "I was looking at this picture and I said I think I want to grow out my hair again." and she asked me - what do you think babe? I said what I would normally say as a very supportive and accepting person "Babe, I think you should do whatever you desire to do....hair for me is an expression...it's an art, really, (I love hair) and there are times when I feel the desire to have long hair and times when I want it really, really short....you are going through a journey of integration (as we call it) so, bottom line: I think if you want to grow it out - grow it out. Then after she takes all that in and says: But would you like it.....I said "UM....BABE, I've never told you that I've seen those other pics of you with long hair and had moments where my breath was taken away...so let's just say that's a YES! A BIG YES!" LOL..... So as she grows it out, it will become more and more curly - shaggy - etc.....and it is beautiful. The picture above was her - yesterday.....doing her hair naturally - all the curls, just letting them be......no straightening iron, no manipulation - just beautiful, free curls. BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! Below is also a fav. pic of mine....and will show you how she's been wearing it......which is also very cute! But I think as we evolve as people, things about the ways we express ourselves outwardly also evolve and change. So, I'm excited to see the transformation of my beautiful woman as her dark luxurious curls begin to grow out. ;-) Will keep you all posted and chronicle the journey - because I know you are completely and totally on the edge of your seats about this issue...I know, I know....it's ok....I'll keep you informed. lol


Lots of pondering happening today. It is quiet, which finally provides the space wherein I will allow myself to go internal, feel, think & reflect. My love is on a peaceful sabbatical for a few days and it is NOT our weekend with the kiddos. We are both "filling our tanks" in ways that we need - which is to spend a little time alone, time with God, time with our inner selves, time to write, create, sleep, etc...whatever it is that we have need of this day - in each moment, we have the freedom to JUST......and to ONLY.....take care of our own needs. Many couples do not do this for themselves, or for one another....this is our first time and I think something that we've both realized is good for us both and we need to be intentional about building it in as needed. The last few weeks have been HELL to say the least and my love has been carrying about 99.9% of the load. Not only was she dealing with issues within her own family (her sister and some health issues/scares) but then I had an outpatient surgery that was supposed to be 10 minutes, easy-peasy, home and back to work the next day - and then as soon as I got home began having major complications - ended up back at the ER, admitted, had to have another more serious surgery to deal with the complications and was in the hospital for 4 days....then home to recover - AND it's our 5 custodial days with our twin kiddos. Ok - need I say more. She has been taking care of me, of them, of our family and our home, or her family, her sister, ......and the list goes on......and so now, this weekend - her only task is to TAKE CARE OF HER - in whatever way that manifests itself.....she has promised to take care of herself. So, in my time alone (which btw, just started at 8:00pm last night) I have had some very amazing interactions with some people I didn't expect where I believe they were absolutely meant to happen. I'm not ready to blog about it all yet....but I still am SOOOOOO amazed at times that when we feel a desire to "take a walk" and then on that walk we run into someone, strike up a conversation and that conversation turns into a life changing moment for that person.........those types of moments......I had a few of them last night.............and I'm still amazed! So, there's lots of pondering going on for me today. I am going to catch up on my blogs (gosh I miss all of you...and what the heck is going on over there with KJ and the kids, I don't even KNOW what child has wrecked what kind of havoc within what part of the house for gosh sakes!! and that is JUST WRONG) I am going to do some writing. I am going to do some reading. I would bet you I'll do some napping....during the 2 listed above, and prob. not intentional. lol I am going to watch some tv and veggg out. I am going to "Just Be" - and enjoy the silence, knowing my family is all taken care of.....and maybe if I feel up to it, call my dad and ask him out on a date later tonight. ;-) Hey, there's a $3.00 movie theatre up the street...so watch out!! So - back to ponder away - just wanted to "touch base" with all of you in some way. May you all have a great day and may you find space to just be today. (breathe in....and now out....aaawwwwww)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

REAL LOVE - What? What is that? It sounds vaguely familiar...hmmmm

It's amazing to truly know what REAL LOVE is like....to experience it in your day to day life.
Real love brings along with it ALL these OTHER things you didn't necessarily plan for, or sign up for, well honestly...that's cuz you didn't know how badly you needed them. Here are just a few examples: (Don't worry, I'll ease you in slowly)

* Unconditional Love
I mean, who knew that you could actually be loved without expectations on the other side in order to somehow "earn" said love, or to prove that you are somehow "worthy" of said love, right? Who knew? And that it could truly be freely given; without internal resentment harbouring ...just waiting for the right moment to let out all the "conditions" that truly were present when the "presentation" was that it was unconditional...crazy, right?

*Loving Kindness
I mean again...who knew you didn't have to play the "bartering" game and create some sort of deal system in order to receive some sort of love or kindness in a real time of need - You know the kind....you take care of the kids while I'm throwing up every 30 minutes for 12 hours straight and then of course once I'm better, you can have a weekend away. I mean didn't you always have to make some sort of trade that really benefited the other person in order to receive any kind of love or kindness... c'mon,.....it's not just me here....right?

*Truly wanting the other's best interest - I mean truly, like over your own.

WOW! Really? Who knew this was even a remote possibility within a relationship - I mean really??? Where have I been...doesn't everyone put their own needs above everyone else's; especially those they are in a relationship with, even to the emotional detriment of the other? I mean how does this foreign concept even work? I think I need some continued major demonstration on this one...for real!

Ok...so those are just a few...I didn't want to bombard you with all this new conceptual thinking about REAL LOVE and how that manifests itself...it's a huge deal dude, and I think I am really trying to take it all in.

To Be Continued........

Enough is Enough - I AM DONE.

The tale you tell, so confidently and just You tell this story as if you even know us You haven't had a conversation with me in almost a year And yet you have all these rules you feel I should adhere to IF I were pure in my motives IF I were repentant in my heart IF I desired to "make things right" and yet your spirit just seems to have this desire to fight. Nothing you say comes from a spirit of reconciliation but actually coated in division and a desire for humiliation Your motives are in question, by way more than just me I pray you put your own agenda aside, for the sake of the ministry.

Monday, March 14, 2011

March 15th - A New Day

so long ago
there was such damage done
the destruction leftover causes such discomfort
it left me wounded
beyond recognizable
and the daily reminders are too much these days
so tomorrow will come
and I'll enter that hospital and allow the wounds to be bound
and I'll forever be different, forever be changed
but the question is, can I leave the damage and destruction there...
on that table...
as I allow them to cut me and slice me...
can I imagine they are cutting the pain right out of my core?
can I leave it there?
I want to...
But I'm not sure that's enough.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Journey - discovering the new me, the real me...that was buried deep inside

Me - January 31st

Me...now - 138 pound down!!

Me before...I'm the one in the middle, pretty close to my heaviest = 323 pounds.

The Journey - it's never ending and we're always in the process of "becoming." Some people opt out of this journey...they are completely content in just staying who they are...forever. I don't get that, because it's so foreign to me. I love to read, grow, gain a new perspective, be stretched, challenged, gather more information and as a result = BECOME..become a better human, a better person, a better partner, parent, friend, sister, lover, etc...

I don't know how to live any other way. I think it began in my early teens - but it was a way of survival. I have a huge tattoo across my back that says SURVIVOR. I got this tattoo when I was the victim of a violent hate crime in the year 2000. What I've realized over the last year is that surviving really, is "just getting by." That is NOT who I am anymore.....I THRIVE now....and I am so grateful for the journey that has brought me thus far.

As many of you know, I've been on a journey since August 2009 to find balance and moderation in ALL areas of my life. The biggest one at the time was my health and weight. At that time, I weighed 323 pounds. Yes, I know...shocking to some...people really don't believe I weighed that much, but I am 5'9" and I carried it well. (See before pictures above)

So, today, a year and a half later, I weigh 185. AMAZING TO ME! That is an entire person that I have lost (138 pounds)....Missy weighs less than that!! LOL (she is only 5'3" remember)

So, as I reflected today I realized that I have actually crossed over...I have found the balance and the moderation I was seeking with regard to my health and my eating. I am very grateful.

This journey has been hard, challenging, stretching but ultimately...AMAZING! I am still in awe of the weight lost and sometimes, deep inside, I still feel like that 323 pound gal....but I'm working on that too....all part of the journey!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bartimaeus - A Great Example

Tonight I was reading about Bartimaeus, in the bible. We meet him as a blind man sitting on the side of the road begging in Jericho. He was desperate. Not only was he desperate but he had gathered enough information and heard enough about the true identity of Jesus that when Jesus walked by - unashamed Bartimaeus shouted out to Him when the opportunity arose, addressing Him as Son of David. In that day this was a clear confession that Jesus was the promised Messiah.

Many in the crowd tried to shush Bartimaeus. But instead the suffering man, no doubt swallowing his own pride, shouted all the more. Jesus stopped in His tracks and instructed the crowd to bring the blind man to Him. Jesus granted Bartimaeus healing in response to his faith.

Sadly, the crowd lacked Jesus' compassion. I think of all the "crowds" we encounter that lack the compassion of Jesus...especially those "crowds" that are doing things and proclaiming they are doing them in the name of Jesus.

I think about our "old" crowds - for some of us that have come along way on our journey...

I think about the "crowd" of old church groups that were (and still are) uncomfortable with honest, desperate people who cry out for help...like Bartimaeus did.

What I love about Bartimaeus is that he IGNORED THE CROWD, AND SOUGHT OUT THE CHRIST!

Hmmmm....what an example....sometimes I get pulled into what the "crowd" thinks...how they might respond, what they would think if they only knew xyz...but you know, the more the crowd tried to hush Bartimaeus, the louder his cries became.

I want to cry out - unashamed, without abandon....and I want to ignore the crowd, even when I make "them" uncomfortable. I want to be like Bartimaeus.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Loss - it's a very difficult part of life, but a part of the journey that always seems to deepen our character, if we allow it to.

We will all face it in some way. Some of us have faced A LOT of it...some of us not as much. But I believe that grieving and walking through loss is essential to healing.

Today, I attended a funeral for a man that touched many, many lives. I did not know him, but through Missy and her family, I knew of his fun loving, dedicated heart; towards God, his family, sports and cars. Today, as we attended this funeral, many feelings came up - for both Missy and me. When you're gay, most often there is a lot of loss that occurs - whether it's friends who don't accept you, family members who reject you, churches who say God doesn't love you, mentors who no longer invest in you, pastors who try and "fix" you, ministries that try and "heal" you - and Missy and I both experienced all of the above in some form or fashion within the last decade as we sought out God's heart about our true selves and what HIS opinion was on the matter.

I am grateful to be on the other side. To be in a place where I have reconciled all issues related to my faith and being gay. I know many who have chosen one or the other...and don't believe they can be their true, authentic selves.

I don't debate theology with people - I simply live my life through the grace and goodness that God gives me each day. I believe and KNOW that He loves me, and that settles the issue for me. I've read all the scriptures, I've done all the research, I've read all the books and the different positions on the issue - from a fundamental Christian perspective. But then.....I went to God - directly. I availed myself to HIM - completely and fully and asked Him that IF it be HIS will to change me, heal me, deliver me, etc....than please, may HIS will be done in my life. He did not choose to do any of the above...and believe me, I spent many years asking Him to....instead, He encouraged me to seek out His character...to stop focusing on WHO I am loving....and to focus instead on HOW I am loving...others, my neighbor, my enemies, my partner, my friends, my family, the unlovable. As I began to seek out God - as a gay person, HE SHOWED UP BIG TIME in my life. That again, settled the issue for me.

Gay people at times find out that I am a Christian and think "eeewww, I don't want any part of that" and I don't blame them. In the name of my Jesus - hatred has been spewed in their faces.

Christians find out that I'm gay and they think "she can't really be a Christian and really be walking with God and have a personal relationship with Jesus - not living in that sin, in that lifestyle; being gay."

What I know to be true is this: I am a Christian. I love God with all that I am. I am gay. I love Missy with my whole being. God is the center of our relationship and it's evident to all who get to know us and actually "enter in" to our community. Our children love God and they know that we love God and that it's important that we love others - all people.

Someone at the funeral today said: GOD IS.....in the midst of whatever you're going through, whatever you're facing, etc....GOD IS!!!

Even with this whole gay/God issue - that brings so much heartache to some and loss that is so hard to greive...GOD IS....

And you know....I think that's enough!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Are YOU the one? Are YOU? Are YOU?

Tonight as Missy and I were talking about past relationships, we discussed those coming out relationships - when you're first realizing you're gay, then the next ones and the ones where you swear within the first 10 minutes that you'll be together forever and have x many babies...you know, typical lesbian style...and as we're talking and she's telling me of these different women that were interested in her, and how scared she was and so forth, so she didn't respond to their pursuits, I asked her if she had regrets? Does she wish she had more experience...was out there living it up, etc...and she said "Babe, all I've ever wanted was a quiet little life with a wife and a family. I didn't even want to go to the bars, but I thought I had to...I thought it was the only place you could meet women. I didn't know...all my friends were coupled and I tried at church and they were all coupled too, or they were "that kind of lesbian" (sorry no offense intended)...but the more older lesbian who would have loved to have a 20 something new seeker to "tend to." And then she told me of this one girl she dated who when they broke up said "we weren't really dating anyway" (she thinks that is because they didn't have sex) but at the same time this girl is telling her "I'm gonna clean up my life for you, I'm gonna cut back on drinking and smoking and partying and you're the one...etc..." oh, but they weren't really dating. Anyhow, so she tells me about this other women who also said things like "You're the one, we're gonna be together and have babies, etc..." and she said to me "Why did all these women tell me that I was the one and they were gonna change their lives and I was all that they ever wanted?" MY reply: "Because YOU ARE....and those women most likely meant it and felt that you were what they really wanted deep inside, the problem was THEY couldn't get THEMSELVES to where THEY needed to be to actually have you!!!!!!!!!! And thank God, cuz I am reaping ALL of the benefits of that one!! ;-)
Anyhow, many of us as gay people, trying to find ourselves do tell each girlfriend we have "Oh, you are the one, it'll be me and you forever" and the reality is that until we're old enough to know what it really takes to "BE" The One for someone else - and what that really means, how the hell can we claim and expect someone else to "BE" The One for us!
Recently, obviously as many of you know, I've been going through a horrible divorce. I really, truly, with all of my fiber and being thought my ex was "the one." She was the closest out of the other women I had dated to "being" the one (or so I thought). I am not going to slander her because she is the mother of my children, but I was lied to, betrayed....from the beginning really, with who she presented herself to be. I was also lied to and betrayed by her in the relationship. I think as gay people, we have enough heart ache and pain to deal with = wouldn't it be nice if we could all present our true selves to one another so that we could actually finally, truly find "the one" - if that is what you are seeking for your life?
I'm glad God actually brought her to me as a gift - I know beyond a shadow of any doubt, that Missy is "my lobster" - looking back, and with everything I've gone through, I could never say that about any of my ex girlfriends with certainty....did I say it....of course I did...and I believed it - at the time...but boy maturity, growth, realizing who YOU really are and what matters to YOU - what you can compromise on and what you can't, realizing that you can be picky and selective in the gay dating world....for so many of us back in the day we dated someone because they liked us.....I've asked so many friends "So why did you start dating her in the first place" and the answer was she liked me, asked me out.....I always respond with "Well, what about her interested you, why did you want to date her" - many times the response is "Oh, I didn't think about that...." and obviously after going out a few times they realized they had nothing in common and weren't even attracted to one another in the first place.
This leads me to think that if it were acceptable, socially for gay kids/teens/etc...to go through ALL of the natural things during puberty and during those years when you're bringing boys home, etc...going to prom, going to the movies, bringing someone home to meet the parents, etc...the stuff our straight siblings did during those years....we would have been able to go through all of that at the appropriate developmental stage in our lives.....vs being in our 20s, finally realizing we're gay, going out with people we don't even find attractive just because they like us, etc...I mean it just sounds junior high....and that's the point: we should have been able to do ALL of that while IN junior high....but for many of us we couldn't, or we hid it, or we felt it was dirty or shameful or wrong, or we led two lives, etc...or we just didn't know what was different about us and we dated boys and had really good "buddies" (as Missy and I fondly call the guys she dated during her high school and college years). It's interesting to think of what the world would be like if being gay was just like having different color hair - to everyone...in the entire world....how we would have been able to go through the stages of life when they were actually intended to happen. Interesting thought, huh.....
I'm just grateful that God intervened for Missy and I both - and brought us both back together. I am beyond blessed and my heart is forever hers! FOR SURE! No, really....honestly, I KNOW IT! LOL ;-)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Interruptions = Actual Invitations & Forgiveness - one of the hardest things to "step into"

I love to read. I am a constant student. I love to learn and grow and be challenged, and I especially love to read about other people's stories. So, it's quite typical that I have 4-5 books on my nightstand and I am constantly reading in each one, depending on my mood.

Part One:

Tonight, I picked up "Reaching Out" - The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life - by one of my favorite authors, Henry J.M. Nouwen. He breaks it down to these 3 movements:

1) Reaching out to our innermost self
2) Reaching out to our fellow human
3) Reaching our to our God

There was a part of the book under "Molding Interruptions" that really resonated with me tonight. He said " Don't we look at many events of our lives as big or small interruptions, interrupting many of plans, projects and life's schemes? Don't we feel an inner protest when a student interrupts our reading, bad weather our summer, illness our well-scheduled plans, the death of a dear friend our peaceful state of mind, a cruel war our ideas about goodness of man, and the many harsh realities of life our good dreams about it? And doesn't this unending row of interruptions build in our hearts feelings of anger, frustration and even revenge, so much so that at times we see the real possibility that growing old can become synonymous with growing bitter.

BUT, what if our interruptions are in fact our opportunities, if they are challenges to an inner response by which growth takes place and through which we come to the FULLNESS OF BEING? ...What if all the unexpected interruptions are in fact the invitations to give up old-fashioned and out-moded styles of living and are opening up new unexplored areas of experience?"

Interesting huh....a different perspective....I really like how Henry sees all the opportunities to better one self and within his books challenges us all to do the same!!

Part Two:

I also read through recovery type books quite often to remind me of the position I need to maintain in life. For me that is one of surrender, gratitude, letting go, taking it one day at a time, taking internal inventory to own what is mine and trying to keep my side of the street clean!

So I happen to turn to a certain page tonight that was speaking about forgiveness. It talked about how people can become addicted to their bitterness. Boy do I know some people like that...it's so familiar and it's all they know and so they choose, time and time again - to become and remain bitter.

The book says "A life characterized by bitterness, resentment, and anger will kill us emotionally and shrivel our souls. Such a life will most likely produce depression, despair and discouragement. An unforgiving heart will cause us more pain and destruction than it will EVER cause the person who has hurt us! Forgiveness BREAKS the negative cycle. It doesn't settle all the questions of blame, justice, or fairness, but it does allow relationships to heal."

  • Interruptions might just be an opportunity to experience something, and I want to become aware of this...and accept these invitations.
  • I certainly have a lot to work on with regard to forgiving my ex. It's a journey....one day at a time. I love how in the book it says..."it doesn't settle all the questions of blame, justice or fairness..." because I think that's where a lot of us get caught - we were wronged and we want justice...I know that's where I get stuck.
Anything resonate for you?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Transition Time - Reminding my body (& heart) that it's ok to rest. NOW is the time to recharge.

My body, it's still trying to work it all out...the months leading up to the hearing were full of anxiety, worry, fear of the unknown...the fact that there was even a remote possibility that my children could be taken right from my arms...it was the most unsettled I've felt in a very long time. Sleep was inconsistent & cherished when it was hours without interruption, stress was a constant companion as the truth was constantly being distorted time after time, from the other side. And my body...I've been on this journey of health now for over a year but my poor body has been trying to work all of this out and it's not really sure how to transition...

So here I am, post hearing...awake and it's 2:30am.....I slept earlier when I finally sat down after the kids went to bed...couldn't keep my eyes open actually and fell asleep while watching a movie for an hour or so. There is something quiet and still about the middle of the night - when most of the people around us have all stopped to rest and replenish themselves.

I don't sit and ponder all the what if's that used to captivate me in my head. I do have great peace and comfort knowing that God is in control, always has been, and still is...He showed me that BIG TIME this past Monday. I know the truth and I will continue to stand firmly within it, knowing that in always making the choice to honor the lessons and the journey, I will come through this a better person than before I began.

However, my body....my little body....is still trying to work things out...so I leave the following message for you Body....take this in, and receive.

Body: It's ok to rest now....it's ok to let go....you are safe....and your beautiful children are sleeping just beyond the other side of the wall. It's ok to recover...it's ok to repair...it's time to allow yourself (dear body) the opportunity...or rather, give yourself permission to not stand guard over this threat you felt so deeply coming against you and your family...you can stand down now. It's ok to let it all out...it's ok to feel it all. It's ok to NOT be ok. So go....rest.....allow yourself to be wrapped up in all the love and support that so many people are surrounding you with each and every day. You are safe. You are loved and you are protected.

This has been one of the hardest journeys of my life...yet I am present. I will continue to take it one moment at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time...and receive that which God has for me and also learn and grow as I face each new challenge.

Body: You can lie down now and be renewed.

Now is the time.

It is ok.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The First Thursday & our cultural celebration of the Chinese New Year to include home made masks

Tonight as Missy and I were talking, we realized......this is the FIRST Thursday in almost a year that I've been with my children. When our initial custody arrangement was made, my ex and I did not know what we were doing....but we fumbled through. I had a commitment on Thursday nights and so we agreed that until that changed, she would have Thursdays. In June 2010, my commitment ended on Thursday evenings. I requested that my ex keep to her word and return Thursdays to me. She refused. Of course she states we made no such agreement in the first place....yada, yada, yada.

Anyhow, with our new custody arrangement, as of this past Monday - ordered by the judge, I will always have the kids on Weds and Thurs, EVERY WEEK....so tonight after I had snuggled with Little T and the kids were sound asleep and Missy and I began to process things....all of a sudden we realized, it's Thursday! This is the 1st Thursday they've been here....EVER! Since the separation...and we both began to cry.

It might not mean a whole lot....but these Thursdays were always meant to be shared with me - and my ex - and she refused and withheld, and now I will ALWAYS have them on Thursdays. It's interesting how things turn out sometimes, isn't it?

So, tonight, on this 1st Thursday....they had a fantastic day with Missy after school and when I got home we hugged and loved on each other, and then C told us we needed to have a party and we must wear masks. We finally realized that he had learned about it being the Chinese New Year at school, so the kids proceeded to make us all masks that we had to wear for our "party." (Pictures proudly displayed above) So then we watched some of our favorite songs from the special features of The Sound Of Music - and everyone got their turn to pick a song (C:My favorite things, Little T:So Long Farewell, Missy: I am 16 going on 17 and Mommy picked Adlevice(totally not spelled correctly, I know)....then we read some Todd Parr stories (he's an awesome author of children's books) and we snuggled. It was time for bed and C was asleep about 2 minutes after his head hit the pillow....but Little T was having a harder time....so we asked her if she wanted to come in and join "us girls" in the big bed; to which she lovingly nodded yes.
As I cleaned out some stuff in my closet, Little T and Missy snuggled in the bed and began playing the game "I love you more than _____" I heard wonderful whispers like "I love you more than cupcakes!" "I love you more than pink" "I love you more than Popsicles" and so forth....and my heart was so full...truly my cup at that moment runneth over!
A few minutes later I told Little T it was time to climb back into her bed and she asked if I'd snuggle with her. Of course I did..climbing up onto the top bunk and settling in next to her...oh how I could have slept there ALL night. She wraps her arms around me tight, turns towards me, drenches me with 100's of kisses and tells me of all the love she has inside her heart just for me! And then of course, we both drift off to sleep - completely wrapped up and enveloped in one another; as close as two people can possibly be. I woke up a few minutes later and climbed down....but boy, I just have to say "Thursdays, it is SO DARN GOOD to have you back where you belong!!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I never realized how life changing TRUE LOVE could really be (and is) and how it can bring restoration, healing, release, freedom, joy and such amazing encouragement and empowerment to the deepest parts of your soul. When I feel loved by Missy fully, and my tank is full - I feel like I can conquer the world. She is the most amazing and beautiful gift and I will spend the rest of my life showing her how very much I love and appreciate her beautiful, compassionate, giving, unconditional, loving heart.
We both say that we weren't good "pickers" on our own with regard to selecting people to date, so God intervened ON OUR BEHALF and picked for us and brought us back together - (most of you know, Missy and I go back 3 generations....our grandmas worked together, our parents hung out when we were young, Missy and I knew each other when we were young (lost touch about 17 years ago) and right in the perfect timing God knew we needed one another and it was time to begin the rest of our lives. We both had no idea what "GOOD" was really all about in an intimate, love relationship....and boy, LOVE can truly conquer all!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Requested Update - Re: Kids & Custody

Hello all my friends and family who have been praying for us and sending good thoughts our way....and all of my blogger friends as well. I am sorry I have not updated you all, but I have been completely DRAINED and DEPLETED. As most of you know, leading up to this court hearing (scheduled for Monday, Jan. 31st), I was having a hard time sleeping, was struggling with constant worries and thoughts of possibly losing my kids, was dealing with anxiety and the stress was at times a bit more than I thought I could handle. SO, needless to say now....I AM SO TIRED I feel like I could sleep for days...but I can't. But a HUGE burden has been lifted, and my body, mind, soul and spirit not only have peace, but are settled and at rest. So, to provide a long awaited update on how the court proceedings went:

1) They went WAY LONGER than expected

2) I believe my attorney represented me very well (as I knew that she would) and I believe she is worth every penny I pay her (and it's A LOT of pennies!!)

3) I had many family members and friends present to support me and that meant the world to me.

4) The judge was fair and I believe, very direct and honest about what she felt was in the best interest of the children.

5) It was one of the hardest things I've had to participate in - thus far.

6) We are not done, but I am happy with the outcome of this first phase.

Final Result:

1) We have been ordered to partake in a 730 evaluation. This is a psychological evaluation that is completed by a court appointed Psychologist who will evaluate me individually, Tracy individually and then will evaluate me as I interact with the kids, and then also evaluate Tracy as she interacts with the kids. Due to the age of the kids, most likely he will not speak directly to the children. This type of evaluation is typical - especially in a "move away" case which is what our case has become since Tracy submitted her desire for full custody and to move the children to Minnesota.

2) The 730 eval will take approx. 3 months for the Doctor to complete. Once it has been completed, we will return to court for a full trial.

3) During this temporary period while the 730 evaluation is being conducted, I have been ordered to pay child support. During this temporary time they do not impute income to those who have none (as in Tracy's case) even if the person is capable of working, the judge does not impute income or look at that until trial - during this temporary period she only looks at what the current situation is right now and then orders support. SO, this is ONLY temporary until we return to trial after the 730 eval has been completed. (so approx 3 months). When we return to trial, typically the judge WILL THEN impute income to those who are not working, but who are eligible to work and the numbers (regarding the amount of money I will pay for child support going forward) will drastically decrease. So for now, for the next 3 months, I will be paying A WHOLE LOTTA MONEY! BUT, it could be worse. Believe it or not, she was asking for alimony to be paid on top of child support during this temporary period and at the end of the day, (Thank you God) we walked away without having to pay alimony during this time. When we return to trial, if that issue is revisited, of course each party will take their position on the issue.

4) The new court mandated 50/50 custody and the schedule of days are as follows:

  • Every Monday & Tuesday - Every week - kids are with my ex Tracy
  • Every Wednesday & Thursday - Every week - kids are with me & Missy
  • We alternate weekends

So, for example, it's my weekend this upcoming weekend which means that we will have the kids from Wed. - Monday morning (Little T does not have school Wednesday and C gets out 1/2 day) so then our Wed/Thurs will take place (like every week) and because it's my weekend, we will continue to have them through the weekend and return them as we drop them at school Monday morning.
The same goes for Tracy when it's her weekend, she'll have them Friday after school - complete her weekend and then also continue with her Monday/Tuesday. This is called a 2-2-5-5 schedule and is common and considered very consistent and stable for children, especially for a child who has autism. As the judge said "If you asked Caleb where he was going to be tomorrow, could he tell you?" With the old arrangement....I believe that he could not....geez, as most of know it was hard for us adults to keep track of who had them when. Now, he'll know that every single Monday and Tuesday he is with Mama & every single Wed and Thurs he is with Mommy, etc...

I believe this new schedule will be a good change and I am hopeful that the kids will adjust easily, and I believe they will.
Now, because there is a 5 day period where one parent will not see the children and Tracy and I both agreed that was a long time, the court appointed the idea of a dinner visit 1/2 way through the 5 day period....so the following was agreed upon. When I have them on my 5 days (Wed-Mon morning) Tracy will come over on Friday for a dinner visit from 5-7 pm. When Tracy has the kids for her 5 days, I will go for a dinner visit on Monday from 5-7 pm. This allows the kids and the other parent to have a little time during the 5 days apart from one another.
SO..........That is our current status. Again, we have the psych eval now to participate in......and of course there is a huge cost for these types of evals; which are split between both parties. Then once the psych eval is complete, we'll revisit everything when we return to trial in late May/early June.

Thank you ALL for your prayers and good thoughts. I am SO grateful for each and every one of you. Much Love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ally & Missy, C & Little T

Monday, January 24, 2011

Me and Little T - at the Nutcracker this past December 2010.

(My sister in the blue shirt - me in the brown, holding my oldest nephew - this was April 2009)

For any of you who have ever attended any sort of 12-step recovery type of class, meeting, workshop, seminar or has lived with someone who has, you may have heard some of the following statements:
  • Easy Does it
  • Live Life on LIFE'S terms
  • One day at a time, sometimes one hour, sometimes one minute
  • If you're in a funk - go be of service to someone else
  • We will make it through this day
  • etc...

Well, there is a philosphy within a 12 step process (step 4) which involves "admitting" our faults to another person. It's this process of "coming clean." There are three great benefits to admiting our faults to another -

1.) Our secrets have kepts us in chains - bound, frozen, unable to move forward in any of our relationships - be it with our higher power or with others. Admitting our faults SNAPS those chains and in doing so, healing power begins to be released.

2.) When we keep silent about these "faults" - whether you call them sins, unconfessed issues of our past, demons that we fight, old ways we used to be, character defects, imperfections, etc....when we keep them silent, and hide them deep inside - we continue to give them power. In addition, the constant energy and "duty" of keeping them silent or secret has a great affect; a spiritual, mental and physical affect. I believe this to be true. Resentment, unforgiveness, bittnerness...all of these things cooped up deep inside our core being and left unresolved will eventually permeate through us and I believe they begin to seep out somehow...whether in our interactions with others that are negative as we project onto them all the "crap" that resides within us, whether we panic, whether we puke, whether we eat and keep stuffing it all down, whether we live in complete denial, or whether we become physically ill with chronic disease...our soul's inner cry is to release all of this "stuff" and if we don't - well, it can eventually eat us up - from the inside out.

3.) The third benefit is to be truly "known" and to receive support. I believe that deep within all of us is the innate desire to be truly known by another...to be validated for who we are, what we've experienced and what we have to contribute to our world. I also love this comment: "Openness is to wholeness, as secrets are to sickness" I strongly belive in being transparent, real, genuine and in the power of sharing our stories with others.

Although you (my cyber space friend) are not a real, face to face person - I am going to practice principle 4 and admit to you a character defect of mine that I am currently working on as I want to BREAK the chains that seem to still bind me up at times. So, I appreciate all of your support, grace and compassion.

Most all of you know that I have lost about 130 pounds...yet, I find that when I am sad, angry or stressed, I want to eat. Food for so long has been the one comforter I could always count on...the one friend that was always there and we had a secret love affair. Many did not know that I would hide food and eat alone, binge, etc...and then carry the shame that crept in causing me to hide all of the evidence that anything took place at all....and sometimes I think I really believed my own reality. I didn't actually just eat that...it didn't happen at all. You can't prove it.

So, when I began this journey of losing weight in August 2009, I weighed 323 pounds and was a 26/28 in women's and a 46/48 in mens. Now, because I am 5'9" I could carry it better than most so many people had no idea I actually weighed that much. But when I began the journey "to health" it was also a decision to leave behind my best friend - or more so to abandon her for a while and then when ready, redefine the dynamic between us so that we could find a mutually beneficial exchange; fuel, balance, moderation, but still enjoy pleasure, etc...During the beginning of my journey I "white knuckled" it and I had this mantra: "This is my spiritual act of worship." And whenever I really wanted to eat, or just pig out on something, or eat a food my body was no longer willing to tolerate...I would say "this is my spiritual act of worship" AND IT WAS....I wanted to be healthy, to have energy, to give my body back to God and to reclaim the health, balance and moderation that I knew my body needed. I knew it was going to take some just flat out refusal and some hard re-training at times, and believe me those days came.

So, I had to lose 10% of my body weight before surgery; which was 33 pounds. I was able to lose that by February 2010 and then because of surgeon's being booked so far in advance, my surgery was scheduledfor June 9th. And now, almost 7 months out - I can actually say that I am FREE from the bondage that once ruled my life - my love affair with food that was killing me. I ate to stuff the pain, so now I have to feel the pain. I ate in times of stress, so now I have to find other ways of managing my stress (still working on this one), I ate to fill the void...to try and take away the empty, lonely feelings....and even though there was something temporary that I did feel for eating for those reasons, it was like I had band aids all over my entire body when what I really needed to do was to stop covering up the boo-boos and learn to do true wound care so healing could happen and repair could begin.

So, I ADMIT that I used to use and abuse food and use and abuse my body - to numb the feelings that were so painful to feel.....and now I ADMIT that I feel all of those feelings....and sometimes it is so overwhelming, that I don't think I'll make it....but then I remember one of those awesome quotes as mentioned above....one day at a time, we will make it through this day!

Today, I weigh 191 and I am a size 12/14 in womens, 36 in mens - and even though I am just beginning to work on the toning and exersice side of the house....I have energy, I am a new person and I am healing every day. IT IS NOT EASY, but whoever said it would be anyhow?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

That darn straw...

Last night, while driving on the 91 freeway, in rush hour traffic, all of a sudden the car breaks down. The temperature gage has quickly moved itself all the way over to the red zone and smoke is coming from under the hood. Right there, in the middle of rush hour traffic, on the 91 freeway. in the fast lane. So I put on my emergency hazards, and try to start the car again to find some little but of umph to just let me get over to the side shoulder and as it starts and stops, and I have my blinker on...no one will let me over. Everyone is angry and going around me and I have so inconvenienced them that NO ONE is willing to stop for a moment to let me get the car over to the shoulder. And then... that was it. The straw...you know the one that finally breaks the camel's back.
Mediation was this week - which did not go well, but yet went as expected. Nothing has changed and everything will be decided by a judge in court on 1/31. I guess there is some tiny bit of comfort in the fact that I can predict that she will continue to lie, deceive and present her own version of reality; which couldn't be further from the truth. I can expect this. I can know that this will not change...I feel like that should give me some ounce of feeling settled knowing what I can expect from her.
But it does not.
Every time I feel betrayed. Again.
Every time I feel deceived. Again.
Every time I feel shocked that she is doing all of the things that she is doing....Again.
As I left the court house this past week I was reminded of the last time we were in court. It was the day I was adopting the twins. February 10, 2007. I remember the judge asking her questions such as you agree that this person is to FOREVER be their parent and you understand that no matter what happens with regard to the relationship between the two of you - you will both forever be their parents. I remember him asking me, you understand you are taking responsibility for these children's lives, no matter what and you will always be there and support them, etc... I took this very seriously. I take being a parent very seriously. I take my role in their life, under God, as the most important "position" in my life.
So, that straw - that finally broke the camel's back....here I lie, crying, weeping, writing, being around friends that love me, being with my love (Missy) and being with my little angel face and my bubby boy - and in my "falling apart" I find my true strength in their free, unconditional love and support. And that....that is all that really matters!!!! PERIOD!

So yes, straw .......camel's broke back...........but we'll just get up again and keep on standing in the truth and filled with the love and comfort that our community provides to us. The fight will go on....just some days are battle days, and others are recovery days. Today is a day of recovery - lots of wounds, lots of scars...but I will rise again, out of the ashes, I will rise again.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Tree - Me, I am the Tree

I wrote this poem in January 2010. I had NO idea what was coming - with regards to the fact that in a little over a month I would learn that my spouse at the time was cheating on me with a family friend, that it hadn't been the first time, that she was getting her needs met elsewhere (be them emotional or physical), that I was going to go through a horrific divorce and that my family was going to be dismantled, I would lose over 90% of my friends and basically all that I knew or thought to be true, was not - and that my foundation was very soon going to be completely uprooted. I had no idea of the betrayal and deceit and pain that I was going to experience...but I sat down to write one night, and this is what came out.

This was ONE YEAR AGO exactly.

"The Tree"

The Tree Stood
Strong and Firm
Rooted in Life's lessons and provisions

The Seasons changed
The Storms blew through
but the Tree did not waver

As the leaves fell
the Tree appeared barren and empty
as all outer signs of beauty faded away
But Inside
Rooted deeply, Her strength held firm
Her faith, solid
For as the Tree shed her outer garments
She knew that the cleansing, healing process of transformation
would once again produce the most beautiful fruit
Fruit to be taken and shared, to feed others and to bring strength & provision to them
And so She stood
In perfect peace
Allowing the cycle to strip her of all that was not producing life
Knowing that as She let it all go- the true beauty of all of life's wonder was waiting
to once again revel itself.

Monday, January 17, 2011

God, grant me the serenity, to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. - Amen.

(This is the full, entire serenity prayer - most have only heard the first few lines. I surrender to you Jesus and ask for your arms of grace to hold my children close and for you to continue to give me wisdom in all that lies ahead over the next few weeks.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

my arms
Reaching, Longing, Waiting
You're gone
Available, Encouraged, Baiting
my heart
for how this country is falling apart
The vengeance and justice
People seeking it, oh the lust is
this masked stranger we've invited into our bed
Seducing us, and with each stroke of violence, we're becoming the undead
"she" said re-lock - reload
and now body bags fill the road
How will we find an end to this backwards mentality
That if you don't think like me, you are my enemy

Monday, January 10, 2011


Many of my friends have been asking "where do you get the money to see these different theatre events, etc?" My response is GOLDSTAR BABY...cheap tickets, 1/2 price @ Goldstar, and no one lately has even heard of Goldstar. So...here you go. Check out their site. They have half-price tickets and member reviews of concerts, sporting events, theater productions, comedy shows and more. It's TOTALLY worth it.
I'm already a member! https://www.goldstar.com/join?p=F115393RB"

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Friends & Family - Chosen Community

We believe in community - the intentional practice of it. Someone asked me recently "what does that mean?"

Are you talking like living "commune style" and although there are many things about the old fashioned version of commune style living that I think Missy and I would both totally dig....for us, living in community means intentionally building & maintaining relationships and openly sharing your lives with others around you - in your "chosen" community. This could include family members and/or close friends. It means being real - just being - and being together with others to connect, engage, be present, laugh, love, give and receive. It means being with one another & dealing with real life stuff, as it comes up - supporting each other, showing love and kindness to one another, contributing and bringing whatever gifts/talents each has to bless the others.

We know people that truly live in community - aka Gaga's commune (my mom's house - another story for another post) we also have our friends in Iowa from "the blue house."

Living in community is very much to me like the new testament church from the bible. They got together, broke bread, shared stories, blessed one another, they all had a part - contributed, they grew, encouraged each other in their faith, etc.

What Missy and I have realized is that when we leave times of "being in community" with others - we usually feel any or all of the following: inspired, blessed, hopeful, encouraged, full and at peace.

Thank you to all of you (You know who you are) who are part of our intentional community. We love you.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Step by Step - each day brings something new

So today I find out that my ex has gone behind my back and tried to make changes to my daughter's education. As of now, until our court date later this month, we have 50/50 custody and that also applies to educational rights which means that we need to both agree on decisions with regard to our children's education. And let me add the the proposed changes she wanted to make are completely in HER best interest to help accommodate her school schedule. They are NOT what is in the best interest of our daughter.

When will the deceit end? When will the manipulation stop? When will she begin to do what's best for the children? When will justice prevail? When will the righteous be rewarded? When will truth be revealed?


I am trusting in you. There is a lesson here for me - a stretching of my faith...but I really need you to show up and show off on my behalf later this month when we go to court. Please...isn't it time? Please...I don't know how much more I can take...

So....again, I reach the end of myself....and again, I am on my knees. I know this is the plan...if things weren't hard, I wouldn't need you...but please God....I am ready for a little break here....a sabbatical....just a little time to breathe....new mercies every morning - may I ask for double tomorrow?

Oh and God, can you please heal my little children who came back from MN with bronchitis and who said and I quote "I missed you mommy and I'm so glad to be HOME" (little T) and C said "Missy, I cried for you. I missed you."

They know we are their family....they know this is their home. They also have mama's house - a very different experience for them though...and they know and feel it. They need a healing touch from you God - please bring them peace and let them rest all through the night.

Thank you for Missy who cares so sweetly for them and for GaGa who pours the love out freely. I am grateful and no matter what, I will maintain my peace...I will NOT let her take that away from me anymore. I will remain - present and feeling this, even though painful...I will not let her deplete my spirit. I will rise up in the strength of all the love that surrounds us - Missy, my children, our families, our friends, our fellow warriors along this journey - I will rise up and allow them all to help carry me.

We will make it through this day. One day at a time...one hour at a time...one minute at a time....but we WILL make it through!