Vows.

I’ve been thinking about marriage a lot lately. Maybe because Moni and I just celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary. Maybe because I’ve read 3948958493 elephant journal articles about marriage. I don’t know. What I do know is that marriage is hard. Well, my marriage has been hard. I know I know…who fucking says that about their own marriage?! I’m saying it. I should say right now that just because it’s been hard doesn’t mean I would do anything any different. One thing has remained 100% constant since I’ve known Moni (and that’s been for about 17 years). And that is that I genuinely like her. I believe that she is good. Beyond good. She is a remarkable human being. Truly. Our marriage hasn’t been hard because of lack of love. Or lack of like. Our marriage has been hard because there have been a lot of really fucking big ups and downs. It’s been from one extreme to the other. Even in a perfect marriage…storms like that are hard to sail. For those of you that are judging me right now you can go sit on a stick. Everyone thinks their marriage is perfect until it isn’t. Everyone thinks they found their “soulmate” until that soul mate finds another soul mate and is all like “it’s not you, it’s me”. I’ll tell you this…I don’t believe in soul mates. GASP!!!! I’m sorry. I just don’t buy into “The ONE”. And thank goddess I don’t. Know why? Because if I did, a couple of years ago when Moni and I were grasping at straws to try to save our marriage I would have been asking myself “Well, maybe she isn’t my soul mate”. I’ve had a lot of soul mates. I’ve been with people who have left lasting marks on my life. People that I still love very deeply. But I made vows to Monica. I was thinking about those vows today because I was wondering if I was sticking to them. Some of them I wrote myself. Some of them I think I took from various wedding blogs, forums, etc. I wrote my vows in advance. I made multiple copies. Obviously. I wasn’t stressing AT ALL the night before our wedding. Moni waited till the last possible minute to write hers. In fact there is a picture of her kinda freaking out about it. Some women might take that personally. I didn’t. I thought I’d share them here.

My vows to Moni…..

I love you. And when I tell you I love you, this is what I mean:

  • You are whom I’ve been waiting for. You have brought me more peace and steadiness than I have ever known.
  • I offer you my history, with it’s pride and regret;
  • My future, walking with you wherever we go;
  • This present moment, which explodes with more joy than a moment should be able to hold.
  • Everything within me, from the most analytical thoughts (you know I love a good pro/con list), to the Goosebumps and butterflies, tells me that it is right to commit my life to building a life with you.
  • I promise to ride on the back of your harley even after I get my own, because I know you like having me back there.
  • I promise to love who you are rather than who I imagine you to be, and I promise to present myself honestly and openly to you.
  • I promise to support you when your strength is challenged and to ask for your help in my weakness.
  • I promise to leave notes in your lunchbox, even when we’re as old as our parents.
  • I promise to hold you while you cry, and to cry while you hold me.
  • I promise to laugh with you so hard that our bellies hurt
  • I promise to take you seriously when seriousness is called for.
  • I promise to rap old skool salt & peppa songs and the occasional Mary J. Blige song.
  • I promise to rest with you, and to seek balance between work and play.
  • I promise to care for you as best I can, and to encourage you to stretch and grow and care for yourself.
  • I promise to go to sushi restaurants with you, even if the only thing I like on the menu is rice.
  • I promise to listen to you, and to respect and consider your thoughts and beliefs.
  • I promise you nothing less than the rest of my life. You make my joys greater and my sorrows more bearable, and you make my spirit feel known.
  • I promise to buy you flannel shirts even if when they go back out of style, because I know how you love a good flannel.  
  • You are the best friend I’ve ever had. And the love I feel for you isn’t even measurable.
  • So today in front of our family and friends I take you as my wife. And I will continue to make promises to you while wrinkles form on our faces and all the strands of our hair turn white.  

And Monis vows to me…

Carrie….I stand before you with some short and sweet (like me) words to express my love and commitment to you in the presence of our family and friends.

I like you. I like you because you are a good person to like.

I like-I love your spirit, your contagious laugh and the way you make me feel. I don’t always say the perfect things sometimes, but still you see beyond the silliness and the goofus from the roofus. You make my cup and my heart runneth over.

I give you the best of myself and ask of you no more than you can give to me. I respect you as your own person and realize that your interests, desires and needs are no less important than my own. I promise to have enough room in our closet for ALL of your shoes! I will continue to keep myself open to you to let you see through the window of my world, into my innermost fears and feelings, secrets and dreams. I’m so excited to grow with you, to be willing to face changes in order to keep our relationship alive and spicy! Loki and I will strive to make room for you in OUR bed.

 What I’m giving you today is timeless. It has no past, present or future, but is and will always be just now and forever. Life is meant to be an ever-evolving moment in time and I intend to spend that moment eternally with you. This is not to say I’ll always be on time but you know what I mean.

Baby, I love you in good times and bad, with all I have to give and all I feel inside in the only way I know how…simply, completely and forever!!!

I wish I would have went back to read those vows when things were really hard. It’s difficult to remember why you picked someone when the shit is hitting the fan. What’s interesting about my relationship with Monica, is that when it was a mother f’n nightmare, I still wanted to be around her. It’s so cheesy, but to steal from greys anatomy….she is my person. I remember being sick years ago. And by years ago, I mean 13 or so years ago. I had just had surgery (I don’t even remember what surgery it was.), and I got ridiculously sick days after. My mom rushed me to the ER and it was just a hot mess. Some of my friends ended up coming to the ER to see me but of course they wouldn’t let them all back. So my mom was back in the room with me and they were about to put an IV in and the nurse said a couple of my friends could come back. This would be a good time to say that I was vomiting and shitting all over the place. It was not cute. I told my mom to get Monica. She’s always been a comfortable place for me. And yes, there is more to marriage then it being a comfortable place. But let me tell you…when every part of your life is flying in the air…you’ll want a soft place to land. Don’t look for a soul mate. Look for someone who can rub your back when you’re nauseated without you feeling like you wanna throat punch them. Look for someone who makes you feel safe when there’s a hurricane coming. Be with someone who believes in soul mates but doesn’t give a rats ass if you do. Marry someone like Monica.

-C

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Welcome to high school!

So I was thinking that a lot of people that read this blog might not know me very well (or at all!) in real life. There is more to me than being infertile you know?!?!!! Some of you just know me through my wife. Which means you probably think she’s the really cool one, and I’m the bitchy one. Don’t even pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about. Every relationship is made up of the nice one and the not nice one. You totally know which one you are. 😉 Anyway. So I thought I’d do something high schoolish. Or something you would have done on MySpace. Or on Facebook in..I don’t know…2008? I’m just gonna list some random things about me so you can get to know me a little bit better. For some of you this might make you like me more (if that’s even possible!). Or you might like me less. Whatever.

1. I’m an only child. And I mother f’n loved being an only child growing up. LOVED it. I wish I had a sibling now though.

2. My first concert was Michael Jackson. I was 9. I know, I know…my mom was the coolest.

3. Monica and I met in class at PSU back in 1997. I thought she was the cutest thing ever. But man, she was so cheesy.

4. I can list the 23 helping verbs in about 5 seconds.

5. I was a dancer from the time I was 3 until I was about 16.

6. I played the saxaphone and the cello.

7. I got pregnant with Finn the first month we tried. WHAT?!?!!

8. I only took the SAT’s once and I did NOT that the pre SAT’s and I did a great freakin’ job.

9. I have a bachelors degree in Art.

10. I should be fluent in spanish because I took up to spanish 3 at a college level. But hola is about all I got.

11. I’m hands down the best at organizing. Anything and everything.

12. I can DIY with the best of em.

13. My moms wife adopted me when I was 31 years old.

14. I’m related to President Lincoln, and President Adams. And yes, I have all the documentation to prove it.

15. I won $250 in a black bra contest in Provincetown. It was a blessing because I had no money for gas to get back to PA.

16. I’m pretty convinced that I’m going to win the lottery someday. Even though I never really play.

17. I’ve had a thing for really nice bedding since I was 14.

19. I’ve had melamona twice and I will forever try to educate people on sun safety.

20. I have my motorcycle license.

21. I’m totally a tree hugger…with really expensive taste. I’ll make my own laundry detergent but I’d get fake eyelashes applied every 3 weeks if I could afford it.

22. I wore Michael by Michael Kors for years. But it smells like ass on me since I had a baby.

23. I would be covered in tattoos if I wasn’t terrified of melanoma. Buuuuuuuuttttt…I still might get one more.

24. I constantly have anxiety about money.

25. I saw Prince on Valentines Day in San Francisco. He played for a reallllllly long time. Like almost 6 hours. It was one of the best nights of my life. No kidding…right behind Finns day of birth, and my wedding.

There ya have it. 25 random things about me that you might not know. Well, now you do.

-C

NOT in the 10%.

Not pregnant. So that 10% chance that they gave me did not work in our favor. I fell into the 90%. Of course. I would guess that you all know that by now. But this is me telling the “world”. I’m sad. Really sad. I feel like I let my family down. It feels like I failed. I know it won’t always feel that way. And believe me…I’m hoping that day comes sooner rather than later. Monica and I still haven’t talked about it too much. We found out while she was in NYC for the PSU bowl game. I met her the following day. But she was busy with work. Lots going on. Not a whole lot of time to process it together. It’s really hard to wrap my head around the fact that our trying to conceive journey is over. Yes, I know it doesn’t HAVE to be. But we are making that choice. For a whole lot of reasons. It makes me cry when I think about it being over. But trust and believe I’d be crying if we kept going too. One of the hardest things is how Finn reacted to the news. We’ve never sugar-coated hard things for her. She’s 4…doesn’t mean she’s dumb. When her GG died, we told her. When we had to put Loki to sleep, we told her. When she had to have surgery and it was going to suck ass, we told her. She knew we were trying to make her a brother or a sister. Finn is obsessed with babies. She talked about having a brother or sister almost every single mother f’n day since she could talk. So, we told her that mommy wasn’t going to have a baby in her belly. That she was NOT going to be a big sister. She broke down like I’ve never seen her break down before. Lots of “why not?”. Lots of “please mommy”. Lots of “can’t you ask Baka to help”. That didn’t just happen one time. It’s happened about 4 or 5 times. And it made me wanna puke each time I couldn’t tell her that I would try to fix it. I honestly don’t know what else to say about any of it. We aren’t going to have another baby. That’s it.

The silver lining (that has always been there) is that Finn has donor siblings. It’s not even close to the same thing as me actually pushing out a baby, or us adopting a baby…but it is something. Some people have issues with us calling them her donor siblings. But, that’s what they are. She has met one of them (there are 6 of them) and it was a phenomenal experience. Genetics are a funny thing. They have the same feet. And they play with their ears. They have very similar voices and cries. They make some of the same faces. So while Finn won’t have a brother or a sister that she grows up with under the same roof…she does have 6 other little humans that she shares a really remarkable connection with. I feel so blessed to be able to offer that to her. A lot of times people ask us what we will tell her when she gets older? Ummmm…we’ll tell her what we tell her right now. That she has 2 mommies,1 donor, and 6 donor siblings. She will usually say “what’s a donor sibling?” And we remind her that they all share the same donor. It’s really not a big deal. She might never meet some of them. Some of them might not want to be connected once they get older. All of that is fine. But for now, she has them. We have them.

So this blog will obviously take a different turn at this point (like I have a MILLION entries or something!). 😉 I won’t be posting about trying to get pregnant. I am going to continue to blog though. In fact, I hope that I can do it more now that I’m out of the fog on infertility. Some of you will hate the shit that I blog about. And I’ll be honest with you right now…it’s probably going to have a lot to do with health/wellness/working out/etc. Know why? Cause I gotta get my ass in gear. I posted a little bit about this in my first blog. But then we started trying to get pregnant again so I got side tracked. But, I want to get healthy. I NEED to get healthy for Finn. I’ve always had a somewhat irrational fear of her having to grow up without me (most of that is probably because I had an irrational fear of dying during childbirth). I just want to be as healthy as possible. So I can take care of her. So I can play with her for hours. So I can be a good example. The list of reasons why is actually pretty endless. I feel like this is where I have to put in a disclaimer of sorts. This isn’t about size for me. It’s not about weight loss from a vanity standpoint. Do I believe that people can be overweight and healthy? Sure. Just like skinny people can be terribly out of shape! But I am not healthy at this point (and for the record, I’m actually not THAT overweight). I’m not just saying that based on how I feel. I had blood work today that tells me that over the last 3 years things have gone downhill. I can tell you that going through fertility treatments is largely to blame for any weight gain I’ve had. I’m sure going through all that is also to blame for some of the numbers I received today for various tests. Stress is a mother fucker. Add in hormones, feeling like crap, a little depression, a dash of anxiety…and you got yourself a big ole pile of shit.

I might post updates. I might post workouts. I might post about meal prep. I have hired a nutritionist/coach/trainer for 6 months…I ain’t playin’ around. I am so serious about getting myself healthy. I know people get annoyed when people post about this shit. But here’s the thing…I kinda HAVE to post about it. I have to make this my life. Not my whole life. But a big part of it. Because I want to succeed. This is important to me. YOU don’t have to be on board. YOU don’t even have to like it. It is what it is (GOSH, I hate when people say that). But just so you know I might post funny stuff about Monica so I wouldn’t block my ass entirely. Oh, and don’t forget about all the hippie dippie stuff I might post. I know you’re DYING to know how to make all natural toilet bowl cleaner! 😉

-C

Almost a new year…

Well. As many of you already know…I am NOT pregnant. As usual. We had to take the month of November off because our daughter had to have surgery, and it was just too much to handle. I am now on cycle day 3 (for those of you have no idea what that means…it doesn’t really matter), and I’ll start taking femara tonight. Femara (letrozole) is used to treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women. It lowers estrogen levels, which may slow the growth of certain types of breast tumors that need estrogen to grow in the body. Femara is often used as a fertility drug because it decreases estrogen, which results in an increase in FSH. An increase in FSH stimulates follicles to grow. Surprisingly I respond very well to femara. So well in fact that my doctors are left scratching their heads. I’ve gone through 2 cycles of IVF, which means I’ve been on very high doses of injectible medication. I didn’t respond well during either cycle. Before that I used a different injectible medication for IUI cycles. I didn’t respond well for those either. Unfortunately we know that my eggs are crap. We know that because I have done IVF twice (different protocols each time) with roughly the same the response. So while the femara is giving me 4-5 good sized follicles…most, if not all of those are probably not good quality. I’m not writing all that to be a debbie downer. I’m simply stating facts. I have a 10% chance of conceiving even WITH IVF. My chances are even lower with IUI (which is what we doing this last and final cycle). Despite those grim statistics, we are trying to stay as positive as possible. The truth is that it only takes 1. And someone has to be in that 10%. It sure as hell could be me!

When we started back up with fertility treatments in October our plan was to use 1 vial (we had 3 vials left of Finns donor at the time) each cycle for October, November, and December. That meant that by the new year we would be pregnant or not. We had to take November off. So that leaves us with 2 vials right now. We could do 2 more cycles. However, we’ve decided not to. When January rolls around we will have been trying to get pregnant again for 3 years and 3 months. That’s a long ass time. There has to be an end. We had planned for that end to be the end of the year. Part of me was devastated when we made the choice to be done when we ran out of vials. Part of me was relieved that this shit show is coming to an end. I had really come to terms with December being our last try. And January being a new year, fresh start…pregnant or not. So we are using our last 2 vials. But we are using both of them this cycle. I can’t NOT use the vials. But I honestly just need this to be over. I hope it ends with me being pregnant. I realize that what I’ve written so far might lead you to believe that I’ll be fine if I don’t get pregnant. I mean, I WILL be fine. But I will be completely devastated. If this cycle goes like my last cycle, our iui’s will be on Dec. 9th and 10th. Which means I will be taking a pregnancy test on Christmas Eve. If it’s positive can you say BEST mother f’n Christmas EVER!! If it’s negative…well, I just have to get through it. My wife will be gone over the holidays so we’ll both be crying alone.

A lot of people will say things like “at least you have Finn, you’re so blessed”, or “it could be worse”, or “if it’s meant to be, it will be”. I get that most people say those things and mean well. And I am blessed. 100%. I do have Finn. And she is spectacular. Her existence is so appreciated…I feel lucky to be her mom. Yep, it could be worse. It could always be worse, right? But I’m allowed to feel sad. I’m allowed to fall apart. I’m allowed to be pissed. And telling me it’s not happening because it’s just not meant to be is a pretty shitty thing to say actually. It has nothing to do with fate, or destiny. It has everything to do with the fact that some women are just infertile and my wife (as butch as she is) just doesn’t have sperm. We’ve spent over 3 years and $30,000 to try to make this happen. I’ve gone through painful tests. I’ve injected drugs into my body that make me feel ill and crazy. Our marriage almost didn’t survive this…THAT Is how hard all of this is. And before anyone says “well, you’re lucky that you could even DO IVF, most people can’t afford it”…I know there are plenty of people that can’t do IVF for various reasons. Money is usually a big one. Some people are lucky and have IVF coverage through their insurance. We do not. NOTHING in regards to IVF was covered by our insurance. We basically had to beg, borrow, and steal (ok, we didn’t really steal) to make it happen for us. And we couldn’t have done it if my parents weren’t generous enough to help us out with the money that we just couldn’t come up with. So don’t call us lucky. Making IVF happen had NOTHING to do with luck. We made it happen. We sacrificed. My wife worked constantly. We sold our motorcycle, our motorcycle trailer, my wifes truck, our mother f’n house. Lucky? Um, no.

So, here we are. ONE MORE CHANCE. It’s sad and scary to write that. Sad because it just might not happen for us. Scary because I wonder if my wife will resent me. She would have like 10 kids if it were up to her. Our life will change pretty drastically regardless of the outcome. If I’m pregnant…I’m pregnant. That’s a big change. A very welcomed one…but still an adjustment. If I’m not pregnant…that’s it. Our life will go back to “normal”. No more blood tests. No more fertility meds. No more tracking my cycles. No more living in 2 week intervals. We will be a family of 3. And that is perfect and heartbreaking all at the same time.

-C

I’m obviously a really great blogger.

Hahahahahaha. I started my blog in March. I wrote my first blog entry, then my second one….annnnnnd that’s it. God dammit! Life just gets in the way I guess. And I think I was all like “people don’t really wanna read this crap”. And we bought a house. And we went on vacation. And my grandma died. Ya know, life happened in extremes.

It felt like things were starting to settle. But then last month we decided to start the trying to conceive process. Again. For what feels like the 23948 time. For those of you that have read my previous stuff you know that trying to get pregnant with baby #2 has been a complete shit show. We had our second failed IVF last February and have been taking a break since then. We didn’t even talk about it over the summer because we wanted to enjoy our life with Finn. I thought about it almost everyday (and I’m sure Moni did too) but we didn’t dare bring it up to each other.  I should probably tell you that my RE in Hershey basically told me that I was NOT a candidate for IVF anymore because I just wasn’t responding well. We had our failed IVF consult in March or April (I honestly can’t remember). At that time we were weighing all of our options. I started IVF because I had a test (HSG test) done locally in Oct. of 2012 to check to see if my tubes were blocked. That procedure was a mother f’n nightmare! I ended up in the hospital after the procedure because I could not stop bleeding and they were throwing around words like “hysterectomy”…ummmm, what?! As if all that wasn’t bad enough, they told me that both of my tubes were 100% blocked. So we switched doctors and moved onto IVF because we thought it made more sense financially and otherwise. But ya know 30 some thousand dollars and almost 3 years later…I’m not so sure if we can even pretend that any of this has worked out in our favor financially. So anyway…back to weighing our options. We had Moni tested. And by tested I mean they did some basic fertility blood work on her. We wanted to see if using Monis uterus and/or eggs was even an option. I’ll have you know that my butch wife had a ridiculously high ovarian reserve. Of COURSE she did! We also had me do the HSG test again. My RE was concerned that my results were not even close to accurate. Because I had such trauma she thought that maybe my tubes had just started to spasm and weren’t actually blocked. She was right. I had the repeat HSG and my tubes were 100% open. So we had that information and just decided to sit on all that for a bit. We knew that we couldn’t afford to do IVF again. We just had to think about how we wanted to proceed. Well then September rolled around and we were all like “maybe we should try IVF again”. That was mostly brought on because we found a clinic in NY that was MUCH cheaper. Although it would still have been like $10,000 when it was all said and done so I’m not sure if I’d put that in the cheap category. We did schedule a consult with them and cancelled at the last-minute. Ultimately we decided to use our remaining vials of Finns donor (we have 3) and hope for the best. Our insurance covers IUI’s. Financially, IUI’s seem like the most responsible way to go. I’m taking oral medication to increase my chances a little bit. We did talk extensively about Moni carrying. She was open to it. A part of her even really wanted to do it. BUT, with her job…it’s just too much of a risk. In all ways. Since we are a one income family we have to be smart about all this. There’s no point in sugar-coating it…my chances of success are probably pretty low. But I chose to not think about that. I’m going to acupuncture. I’m dreaming about our babies that haven’t even been conceived yet. We have 3 vials. 3 chances. That is bittersweet. It has been such a long road. We’ve been at this for 3 years. I want to get pregnant more than anything. Trust and believe I will be heartbroken if I go through these 3 cycles and fail each time. But there is a part of me that knows that come January…this will all be over. I’ll either be pregnant or I won’t. January will be the end of my infertility journey.

So cross your fingers for us. I went for an ultrasound today and the medication did work. We will go for our IUI on Friday morning. We had planned to not tell anyone (or at least not more than a few people). But I just want to put good energy out there. I want people to root for us.

The History of Love.

Well look what we have here.  My 2nd blog post.  And less than 24 hours after my 1st blog post.  My daughter is watching The Little Mermaid with Mama.  Which means that I have some time to sit in peace.

This morning I was reading about some of the super fun things you experience after the delivery of your baby.  And then I started thinking about what I wrote last night.  About how infertility can really put your marriage through the ringer. But there are a SHIT TON of things that puts your marriage through the ringer.  I hated being pregnant.  IMG_4009But I was still in awe of the fact that I was making a human.  I couldn’t even come close to dealing with how much the smell of Monica made me gag.  Like, literally gag.  But yet I was more in love with her than ever.  Hormones are no joke.  So pregnancy can put strain on a marriage.  Then you have the baby and you’re all like “OMG, I just had a fucking baby!”. IMG_4124 I was high on life the first 5 to 6 day after I had Finn.  Ok, I was actually high on pain medication too.  And the hormones make you so in love.  WITH EVERYTHING!  And then that makes you cry like a little bitch every 5 seconds.  It is just so beyond overwhelming.  THEN you get the hormone crash (as if they weren’t crashing before)….THAT makes you cry every 3 seconds.  So basically you have this new little person that you have to feed, change, keep alive….while you’re sobbing almost 24/7.  Neat.  If you think I’m being dramatic you can look up the statistics.  The “baby blues” are real, folks.  And a ridiculous percentage of women suffer from them.  But they go away (well, mostly).  Around 2 weeks postpartum you get a grip on your life (kinda).  You venture out of the house.  You take your new baby for a walk outside.  P1010315Maybe you go out to eat.  You think to yourself “I got this shit”.  You don’t.  I’m sorry…but you don’t.  I’m sure there are a very few people who just fall into a natural parenting rhythm.  But if you ask someone how the 1st 3 months of parenting went and they say something along the lines of “It’s so awesome”….they are most likely lying to your face.  Honestly, the first 6 or so month of our daughters life is pretty much a blur.  The exhaustion is something you can’t prepare for.  P1000095You’ll look back on your college years and think you’re ready for an alllllll nighter of parenting because you pulled all nighters multiple times a week when you were 21.  Um, no.  I’m just warning you.  The first 6 months to a year of being a parent will test your marriage in ways you can’t even prepare for.  No one really talks much about that.  Maybe it’s because they don’t want to scare you.  Or maybe they just don’t want you to think their marriage isn’t perfect.  Even if you DO have a perfect marriage…everything about your marriage/relationship will change.  It just will.  It’s not a bad thing.

Monica and I have realized that we are almost completely opposite…in every way.  And ya know what…we are fine with that.  We are still best friends.  We’ve been best friends for a really long time.  We were best friends even when we were separated.  I’m reading The History of Love.  I read this last night…

“When I’d come in, she’d call me into her bedroom, take me in her arms, and cover me with kisses.  She’d stroke my hair and say, “I love you so much,” and when I sneezed she’d say, “Bless you, you know how much I love you, don’t you?” and when I got up for a tissue she’d say, “Let me get it for you I love you so much,” and when I looked for a pen to do my homework she’d say, “Use mine, anything for you,” and when I had an itch on my leg she’d say, “Is this the spot, let me hug you,” and when I said I was going up to my room she’d call after me, “What can I do for you I love you so much,” and I always wanted to say, but never said; Love me less.”

That is me and Monica in a nutshell.  I know, I know…I’m a heartless bitch.  Whatever.  I’m not.  I don’t actually want her to love me less.  It’s just that if it were up to Monica she would tell me all the time about how much her love for me exists.  I’m the opposite.  I’m all like…I totally love you but I told you that awhile ago…I’ll let you know if that changes.  I just show my love in other ways.  I show her by cooking food that she likes.  And by snuggling with her on the couch even though I REALLY like my couch space.  And sometimes…SOMETIMES…I get all lovey dovey and tell her sweet things because I know she needs to hear it.  And sometimes…SOMETIMES…she refrains from telling me how overwhelmed with love she is for me because she knows I need the silence.

Marriage isn’t all about love.  I’ve been lucky…I’ve had a lot of love in my life.  It doesn’t mean that I would have married all of the people I loved.  For me, marriage is about all the other stuff.  It’s about all of the stuff that goes into building a life with someone.  Monica and I made the choice to build a life together.  So even when we aren’t feeling the love…the life that we built when that love was at an all time high…is enough to get us through.

So basically what I’m saying is that marriage can be a bitch.  There are days, weeks, months…even years that can go by and you wonder how on earth you’ll ever stay married.  Sometimes you just have to make a choice.  You have to say to yourself “today is NOT the day that I’m giving up on my marriage”.  And you must have faith that the person you picked to build a life will say that to themselves too.jguguj-3

Ohhhh….ya know…

Well, this is me starting a blog.  I know, I know…I’m like 7 years late to the blog party.  My wife has been telling me to start a blog for years.  But I pretty much never listen to her.  I have to apologize in advance for how long and annoying this first post is going to be.  I know it will be all over the place.  It will totally make me seem like I don’t have my shit together.  But, if you know me in real life you know that I most DEF have my shit together.  I pretty much dance on that very fine line that separates “normal” people from “ocd” people.  They won’t all be like this.  But I feel like I have to explain why I’m doing this.  And I definitely need to talk about all the reasons why I didn’t want to.  Shit could get deep.  And personal.  I might even talk about YOU.  So if you don’t want to know shit about my life…or if you are gonna be a judgey judgerson (YOU know who YOU are)…move along.  Or don’t.

THIS started out as a way for me to hold myself accountable in regards to fitness/diet/etc.  I’m starting a journey (hahaha..that DOES sound as cheesy as it did in my head).  But for real though…I AM starting a journey.  I have goals in mind but I don’t think I’m ready to share those yet.  My original plan was to check in daily for the entire month of April.  Ya know, talk about my workouts, meal prep, etc.  And I might do that.  But I also might write about being a stay at home mom/wife.  I might talk about how I make my own cleaning products.  I might talk about DIY shit.  The world is my mother f’n oyster.

I stalk #fitmoms on instagram.  It’s totally motivational for me.  But it is also what had me NOT wanting to write a blog about all this.  A lot of the moms will post transformation pics.  And a lot of them were being accused of fat shaming.  Um, what?  I don’t like any kind of shaming.  Slut shaming, fat shaming, woman shaming….its all gross.  I would never want people to think that I was fat shaming.  Here’s the deal…do I think a person can be healthy at any size?  Sure.  Do I think people can be beautiful at any size?  You bet!  But I know from experience that I personally feel better when I’m eating well, and busting ass at the gym.   And for me eating well and busting my ass at the gym means I become a smaller person.   It’s just the way it is.  I want to be fit.  I want to be fit because I feel better when I’m fit.  I lift weights because it makes me feel strong as hell.  I want to feel strong as hell so I can keep up with my 3 year old at the playground.  There are a lot of things I love about myself…things that I’m good at…good qualities…regardless of my size.  I like the color of my eyes.  I rarely have bad hair days (don’t hate).  I love knowing that I carried my daughter INSIDE of my body.  I have pretty good eyebrows despite an unfortunate waxing experience in San Francisco.  I am kind.  I’m a good friend.  I hear my daughter say “I love you so much, mommy” multiple times a day.  I respect my mom (both of my moms).  My wife thinks I’m the sexiest person on the planet (and she has thought that since the day she met me).  I make good coffee.  I’m super organized.  I mean…the list is endless.  Obviously.  😉

This really isn’t about weight loss for me.  In fact, I will never post my weight here.  I don’t care about the number on the scale.  And if I don’t care about it, then you definitely shouldn’t care about it.  I will say that in terms of weight I guess I’ve always been in the “average” category.  I was super active as a kid and teenager.  My mom had me in all kinds of activities.  I was a dancer from the age of 3 to 16.  Although I didn’t have a ballerina type body.  I’ve always had more of a “fly girl” body.  For those of you that don’t get the “fly girl” reference (hello!? J-Lo!)…basically it means that my booty be bangin’.  I know some people like to compare themselves to others.  I do it too.  I see a woman on instagram, or pinterest and I’m all like….wonder how tall she is?  Is she big boned or petite like me?  So before people ask…I am 5’4″ (at least I am on my Drivers License), and at the moment I wear a size 10 jeans (sometimes a 12 if it’s a brand that thinks women should have like no ass!), and I usually wear a medium top.  Although shirts drive me bat shit because what I lack in shoulders I make up for in boobs.

Speaking of boobs.  I used to be really confident with my body.  Years ago when I went to visit friends in Ptown I ran out of money before my vacation was over.   I wasn’t sure how I was going to get back to PA actually.  Gas ain’t free.  They were having a black bra contest at the pied.  I told everyone not to worry.  That I was going to enter the contest and I would win and it would be fine.  I did win.  Suzanne Westenhoffer was the judge.  I think I won like $200 bucks.  What’s interesting about that is that I didn’t have what I would consider my ideal body.  But damn was I confident.  Somewhere along the way I lost that confidence.  Pregnancy was really difficult for me so I would guess that was the start of it.  I only gained 27lbs during pregnancy.  But the changes in my body were extremely difficult for me to handle.  I want to feel confident with my body again.  Not so that I can win another black bra contest (I’m totally too old for that shit)…but so that I can feel and be strong.  But I DO want to look good.  And sometimes I don’t want to say that because I know some people think that sounds so unfeminist or whatever.  I’m not saying that thin is in.  Or that EVERYONE thinks that a perfect body is a fit body.  This is totally personal.  Some people think they look best when they have pink hair.  Some people prefer to be tan year round.   Some people only wear black.  I want to be fit.  I want to look fit.

The past two years have been really difficult.  For me.  For my marriage.  Just freakin’ difficult in every way possible.  We’ve spent over $30, ooo to try to have another baby (we started trying when Finn was 1 and she just turned 3 in November).  We’ve gone though countless IUI cycles and two failed IVF cycles.  You can google those abbreviations if you have to…this isn’t THAT kinda blog.  Infertility does a number on a marriage.  It almost destroyed our marriage to tell you the truth.  We had a brief separation. Some of you probably didn’t know that.  It wasn’t your business then and it isn’t your business now.  But it is worth mentioning because it’s the truth and it is reality.  The want/need to have children is so intense.  And when it doesn’t or can’t happen easily and/or naturally…you will give up every part of yourself to try to make it happen.  It got to the point where Monica and I were just existing under the same roof.  I felt like a failure (I still do…I’m working on it!).  Monica didn’t know what to say so she just didn’t say anything.  DAYS would go by and I would barely hear her voice because that’s how little she spoke to me.  We weren’t taking care of ourselves OR each other.  I bring all this up because I don’t ever want us to get to that point again.  I have to make taking care of myself a priority.  Because I can’t be a kick ass wife and mommy if I’m just existing.  And taking care of myself goes way beyond just getting fit.  It means going to the chiropractor more than once a year.  It means going to a coffee shop by myself and reading a book.  It means taking my daughter to sweet frog for a mommy and me date.  It means asking my wife for help with making the bed even though she doesn’t do it right.  It means going to lunch with my mom.  It means working on the friendships that are worth it.  Self care IS pretty simple when you keep up with it.

Whew, I’m exhausted.  How bout you?  Listen, most of you will probably find the shit I write about pretty boring.  Even though I think it’s pretty clear that I am HILARIOUS!  And I think we all know that you are DYING to know more about my life.  I did mention that I might post about homemade cleaners and stuff.  So I mean…it could get craaaaaaazy up in this bitch!  Stay tuned!

– C