family

MAKING BABIES FOR SOMEONE ELSE

In 2015,  I experienced infidelity, pregnancy loss, a new job, single motherhood, the financial stress of separation and divorce, and my son reacting to all this upheaval, along with the series of firsts as a single mom: first new apartment, first solo day of school, first solo Halloween, first year of solo Christmas planning, etc . It was, to say the least, a very stressful time.  I had always wanted more children but made a personal decision after my marriage failed this that my son and I along with our new puppy were perfect as a trio.  No missing pieces, but a real family – full stop. That being said, I had a fairly easy pregnancy with him and frankly, loved the sidecar of pregnant life: gender reveals, ultrasounds, bump clothing and the way my body looked, etc. While no one wake...

MOTHERHOOD (AND PRETENDING IT WAS EASY)

It isn’t easy. Sometimes you might not even feel okay. Sometimes the distance to the coffee machine in the morning can seem overwhelming. Not to mention the distance to bedtime. And sometimes it gets lonely, and it isn’t even about adult interaction. It’s that special adult, your rock, whether that’s your partner, best friend or family. And you try to explain this occasionally, tears and exhaustion stinging, but the only ones who (I’ve found) truly understand have been there themselves. The mom tribe. Because even though all the above might be true, so is this. You’re in love, madly and completely, with this tiny human. You cherish every second spent together, even while balancing the wish for a few more hours of snoozing next to each other. Every laugh, every reaction, every time your hug...

FIGURING IT OUT

I know I’m good at what I do. I see women in NYC (where I started my career) and all over the web achieving so much success, and I think, ‘When am I going to get to that point?’ I moved back to my hometown six years ago, and I’ve been working hard to relaunch my business, and after being a small fish in a huge pond, is it crazy to think that the reverse situation will lead to greatness? I’ve been an event planner for over 15 years, and I’ve honed this skill to the nth degree. I can manage dealing with crazy deadlines/stress, Broadway stars and raising millions of dollars, and at this point in my career I feel like I’m ready to be considered the guru for event planning in my hometown. It doesn’t come that easy though, you know? When you have a family, you have responsibilities. ...

TINOLA

Ingredients: 1 chayote 1 lb. of sliced/cubed boneless chicken tenders 1 small onion 1 head of organic garlic vegetable oil 1 cup of water   Directions: Cut the ends of the chayote with a knife. Peel the skin off the chayote with a peeler. Cut the chayote in halves. Scoop out the pit seeds with a spoon. Cut the chayote into third sized cubes. Set aside in a bowl. Cut the ends of the onion with a knife. Cut the onion in halves. Peel the sheath off the onion. Lay one of the halves with the round side up. Dice the onion half into smaller pieces and put into a bowl. Unpackage the garlic head pieces and set on the cutting board. Take a knife and mince the garlic head into small fine pieces. Use all of it. Put into the bowl with the onion. Take a small sauce pot and fill it half way with wat...

THE OLIVE TREE WITHIN

With 12 weeks of vacation time to use and a bargain rental on a Spanish villa, I dug out my passport from my catch-all drawer filled with safety pins, pens and old makeup, and I dusted off the Nars Perfect Peach blush. Both of my parents had died when I was very young. My grandmother raised me, and she passed away a year ago, which left me feeling homeless.  I was an adult now at the ripe age of 32. I had a nice apartment in Tampa, Florida and a good paying job. I didn’t have a spouse or family of my own, so holidays felt particularly lonely as my family consisted of a black mini schnauzer and the occasional stray cat that I took in because we seemed to be kindred spirits. I had the vacation time saved up and it seemed to be a great time to take that European vacation that I had always dre...

DEAR DUCHESS: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE

Dear Duchess, Like most of the world, I saw you standing in front of the hospital cradling your precious newborn son, looking ravishing in your tailor-made red dress, showing just the hint of a postpartum tummy hours after giving birth. As the mother of a newborn myself, I was amazed. Where were you hiding those enormous pads and mesh panties we all exit the hospital wearing after giving birth? I marveled at your seven hour postpartum super-humanness, not a hair out of place and stilettos to boot! I can’t pretend to know your secrets, but I would suppose your exercise regimen, hair stylist and the team of midwives working toward best outcomes of a natural birth had a lot to do with it. I cannot imagine the pressure you felt as you stepped out of that hospital into a sea of flashing paparaz...

PENT-UP CREATIVITY

My fingers glide across the keyboard making a slight melody of words. This is the only music that I ever learned how to make. The strumming of letters and the painting of words dance around me, like they just escaped. The freedom, the airy flowing freedom makes them so much lighter that they can float and fly and I feel completely ashamed as the monster that managed their captivity. Knowing they are locked up, I just kept saying I would get to them tomorrow; or the next day or the next month. Time has always been our enemy. I spent my morning balancing a spreadsheet, then made lunch for my kids, cleaned the kitchen, attempted laundry, picked up another kid from school then started dinner. My creativity would get buried inside the mundane, everyday life tasks. It is the list of things I hav...

WHEN MY LIFE CHANGED

It was a typical evening, so typical that I don’t even remember the day of the week. I was watching a documentary on the History channel with my parents in my mom’s office/family T.V. room. I remember the landline rang and my mom let the answering machine pick-up. His voice was familiar. He had been my mom’s doctor since her twenties. He said the result of her test came back, to please come into the office to discuss. He also asked for my dad to come with her. It seemed like an odd request, since my parents rarely attended doctor’s appointments without the other. When he hung-up, an odd and anxious silence fell over the room. We sat for a while, not listening to the TV, not talking, just thinking. I remember one line from the documentary that played shortly after the doctor’s message. “It ...

TWO PERCENT

My mother had turned it into a game. And it was simple. Whoever found the most change in the house won. That was it. Our one story suburban home was free range. Everything counted. You only had to make sure that you turned every single silver cent in. Pennies allowed, of course, but frowned upon. It didn’t really matter, though. Only that our wooden, chipped coffee table was covered in coins. My mother and I didn’t start playing this game until I was 10 years old, right after my dad left. My older brother, Nicholas, wasn’t around much. Just as absent as our father. Spending most of his time at his friend’s house, unable to deal with our sadness, I think. I didn’t notice it back then. Especially when my mother would move the stacks of unpaid bills off the coffee table and we’d stand on eith...

‘A’ CUP RUN

The same week that I was inducted onto the itty-bitty titty committee, I somehow found myself on the road with my dad to procure my first bra. Most of the girls in my 6th grade class had started to bloom and blossom. I was at the smaller end of the spectrum and had no clue that braless life would end so abruptly. After days of my dad threatening to buy me a “brassiere” the morning had come to make the purchase. My dad, Herbert, was born in a rural community in Kentucky in 1935. A part of the “Silent Generation” he has always been predictably conservative, firm and traditional in terms of his family values. My mom, Gwen, born 17 years later, a “Baby Boomer”, has always been more relaxed when it comes to issues regarding my fashion choices. She wanted no parts in this conspiracy and thought ...

DREAM FOREST

In the middle of winter, if you try to reserve a camping site at Cape Henlopen State Park, you may find that already there is limited availability for the upcoming summer months. It’s because it’s a dream forest. Or you might even call it a little bit of heaven on Earth. The first time we entered Cape Henlopen, my husband and I brought our two small children to visit my brother, sister-in-law and their two boys at their campsite. The minute we turned off the busy boulevard leading to the popular beach towns and onto a winding country road, I felt a kind of calm and rustic tenor that couldn’t be compared with any of my earlier camping experiences. Although we lined up at the gate with other cars and vans waiting to pick up their reserved site tags and maps, a quiet world of scrubby pines an...

THE BRIDE

The Bride.   The spinning wheel came to a halt The world around her paused The moment seemed to have frozen in time And the vows were called.   The innumerable thoughts that kept her Anxious and fidgetty The unexplainable questions causing the stir The cliched butterflies And the atypical fervour Brought about their might.   Its absolutely normal, don’t fret The world advised She wasn’t afraid, she is not a novice to change It was a huge step that she was waiting to tread Yet it felt wonderfully unfamiliar To be the one, for her own one   Amidst the chaos of the wedding rituals She found the unflustered belonging Which now had to be shared Between her own kinsfolk and his   A sudden gush of longing to hug her mom To be her father’s little girl To gossip away with h...

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