A Picture Is Worth…Very Few Words, These Days.

Today Nathan and I were released from the clutches of six tiny hands (and 8 pretty small paws). It had been some time. We were offered an opportunity. Four hours of freedom!

What would we do?

Well, we would suck, is what we would do.

Without fail. Every. Single. Time. We are given a break, a day, a night, an afternoon an anything. We fuck it up.

We had no plan before we left (never do) and it took us an extra hour to actually leave. So our four hours quickly became three.

Movie? No, the point is we need to hang, talk, catch up.

Dumbo, for art? Maybe, but where would we eat?

UWS for the park? Nah. Just too far.

Raw Bar? Yes! Exactly what we want.

But where?

One place was indoors (way too beautiful out to waste it being inside). Next place didn’t open till 4. Other place isn’t serving food till May 2 (because, of course it’s not.) Taking travel into the equation – once we would make it to half the places we’d have to turn right around.

Finally got a reco for a spot Downtown, on the Water. Perrrfect.

But. Nah. It wasn’t. Obviously.

Riddled with tourists. “Only table open” was next to the garbage.

We bailed. Called an audible and…wandered aimlessly, because – well, that’s just us. We now had 2 hours left. Of course we start getting pissy, blaming each other, feeling dumb for wasting the opportunity. Blech.

We called some places. Nothing was working. We were walking the wrong direction. Our day was shitty. Which was really just such a bummer.

Then (hallelujah!) Stone St.! Tables outdoors. Liquor flowing freely. This was where we needed to be.

The next hour and a half was actually pretty perfect. We got a table outside. Had some oysters (success!) the rest was fried (whatever). Then we went around the corner to the bar voted “best cocktail bar in the world”.

Dead Rabbit.

Head upstairs. They do NOT disappoint.

Before we left, we had to take a picture. Prior to babies we were great about capturing us. Then when one babe joined the party there were fewer pics, but we still had some family shots. I can probably count on four fingers how many pictures we’ve been in together these past 7 months.

So, we got our smiley happy lovey couple shot – and I was thrilled.

We had about 25 minutes left. Before our window shut on this episode of “what it feels like to just be a couple again,” I planned to post the picture.

And then it all went to shit.

We got in a massive fight over the stupid car and directions. I mean. So so dumb. We were so pissed we weren’t even talking to each other. We killed 20 minutes huffing around from street corner to street corner avoiding eye contact and knowing the other was definitely wrong – and obviously the other totally in the right. Pretty sure some F Bombs were throw.

This entire post simply came about because I wanted to post the cute picture of us. But when I got right down to it. Posting it would have been dishonest. We were smiling here. But we were very much not smiling seven minutes later. I had already edited it to make it (me) look better. I cropped out half my arm because I’ve just not come to terms with my post pregnancy body, still. So what you see isn’t the whole picture. Literally and figuratively.

Is it ever? Really?

Long story short, I’m calling bullshit on me.

And I’m calling it on you. Let’s try to be real out there. Oh yeah and next time you leave the house, make a god damn reservation.

Always The Third Wheel

It’s funny, I was laying in bed (really the couch) this morning (“this morning” defined by 2-5am when either someone woke up screaming, I had to pump, or some other fun activity) – feeling uninspired. I want to keep writing, but the mood really needs to move me in order to do so. I can’t just pick up a “pen” and start.

I thought about recent occurrences with one baby or another – none felt funny enough, or heart wrenching enough, that they’d be worthy of putting pen to paper.

I’d already touched on all things job/career/dream related. I’ve done the “amazing husband” post. I felt like I might just need to take a brief hiatus until inspiration struck.

And then it did.

I write a lot with humor, or babies, but if I get to the heart of it, I don’t really write about me. Sure, me as a mom, me as a wife who doesn’t clean enough. But not truly, deeply about me.

So this one, is, about me.

I’ve been lucky in life to meet incredible people. I have so many friends and acquaintances, that I lose track. Friends and family say I “collect people”. This is not intended to be a popularity contest. Quite the contrary in fact. The joys of having so many friends – is that you can always be in touch with someone about something.

But if I’m being really honest, it can be really lonely. It means, it’s hard to have the “best friend” people always talk about.

In my life I’ve been a part of many social circles, hell I’ve created most of them. And though, maybe I’m at the epicenter – it’s kind of like everything is floating around me.

I’m not blaming anyone really – I’m sure I’ve done it to myself. But throughout my life, I’ve constantly found myself in friendships with two other people, and am always the third wheel. We may all be close. But they are ALWAYS just a little closer. I inevitably find out after the fact, that plans were made, and I wasn’t included. Conversations were happening, and I wasn’t a part of them. And if really listening to myself, it makes my heart hurt. I’m a friendly person. I’m a social person. Believe I try to not let anyone feel left out. Go out of my way to include and connect people. If you’re reading this, you probably wouldn’t have imagined this about me. But I’m in a constant state of feeling left out.

I’m sure if I brought this up to friends they would offer up, oh we didn’t think you’d be free because…pregnant/102 babies/haven’t slept/assumed you couldn’t make it. But I wish people would let me make that decision. If that’s even the case. Maybe they simply don’t think (want?) to include me.

Or, and maybe I haven’t gotten to the heart of it – but maybe there’s something about me that isn’t best friend material.

I’m certain there are things I’ve done in life that have gotten me here. Instead of saying Yes to everything, I have been inclined to say No. I don’t always put myself out there, often times prefer the comfort of my own home to a party/bar/girl’s night out. So people around me get closer, and I, get sleep or TV (or at least used to, now I just get peed on – and not even in “that kind of way”).

And though all the above may be true, I also get sad when people choose everyone else (anyone else?) over me.

Granted I don’t want to be friends – or best friends with everyone – but those I’m close with, I wonder why they are closer with that one other person – and choose not to be, with me? The reality is, I might actually say no to the invite, but I’d like to be asked.

Maybe I don’t offer open conversation or invites to friends – though I think I do. At the end of the day, it just makes me think people like other people more than me. And that’s just a shitty feeling. I understand this is life – and of course this is going to happen. But it’s astounding how in my entire life I continue to find myself in this role as the odd (wo)man out.

I’m not unhappy. Hardly. I’m ecstatic about where I am in life. But this is a recurring theme that reared it’s head again this morning, and made me realize I’ve never fully processed it out loud. I’ve repressed it for sure. But ultimately – it returns.

So I guess this a post to just reinforce that everything you see isn’t the whole story. There is ALWAYS more. And just once in my life – outside of my marriage, of course – I wish someone (someone I would want too) would want me as their person, their second wheel, not an afterthought.

What Is It You Plan To Do With Your One Wild And Precious Life?

There has been precisely one decision I have made in my life that I did not second guess.

That was marrying Nathan.

Never had I been more certain about anything, ever. Before and after that – my entire life has/had been a series of questions. Did I order the wrong salad for lunch? Should I wear different socks? Is this the time to have a child? From the most insignificant to the most monumental – they’ve all been questioned; I even returned my first wedding dress.

I constantly wonder what it would be like to be 100% confident in something.

This past week I re-learned that feeling.

After my metamorphosis to motherhood everything simply changed, as life does. My passions and desires shifted; what was once of the utmost importance became less significant and what changed my identity became my number one priority.

Before Harper was born I built (what began as) an online community for new moms having babies around the same time, to connect with each other.

It can be lonely.

But what I learned – it absolutely doesn’t need to be.

This group of Winter Moms and Winter Babies became my world for the first six months of my child’s life (and far, far beyond). We bonded, had each other, our babies became friends – and we had a kick ass maternity leave filled with picnics on the lawn, mid day drinks at bars, and just someone else to talk to about all the stuff no one tells you about. Or simply a walk to Buy Buy Baby, because why not buy more unnecessary shit for our kids.

Some of these moms are my closest friends. And our kids will be friends “forever”.

It was a saving grace to so many, and so hugely meaningful on a deeper level, for me.

After seeing this new community thrive, and the positive impact it had – I realized the infertility journey, too, could be an isolating experience – and these strong, strong women needed their own support network.

I created a virtual group called Warriors (no, you can’t find it, it’s secret – but if you or someone you know could use this group, please connect.) Two+ years later, this, now, international group has become a safe space for so many women who are on a journey. Some of these women have become life long friends – others sit quietly behind the screen and learn from those who came before them. Some stay anonymous – some attend gatherings. But the incredibly kind words I’ve heard from these women show that the need for a female support system is something lacking in the every day.

I kept imagining where there were pockets that needed to be filled and tried to fill them. I created a twin group, a post fertility treatment group, then a new 2017 baby group. There were more, but that’s not the point. The point is – through my transformation I learned what makes me tick, what now inspires me – and what truly makes me happy, my inner most passion. And that’s helping women and their journey to motherhood.

Women who are on a path. Women who are looking for support. Women who need guidance or resources. A shoulder. An ear. A community. A drink. A night out. A friend.

All too often we compete with one another.

I’m looking at you.

And me.

But we just don’t need to. We need to lift each other up. Help each other. A fire has been ignited in this new empowered generation and I am proud to be a part of it.

So, tomorrow, will be my last day at my job. A place I’ve called home for 5 and a half years. A space that has seen me through so much. That helped me grow, flourish, and find myself.

I will take this hat off tomorrow afternoon, I will leave midtown, take a deep breath and know that beyond the shadow of a doubt – I made the absolute, unequivocal – right decision for me, at this time in my life.

This will be the second time in my life that I am 100% certain.

As of Monday I will put a new hat on. I likely won’t shower, and will be in comfy clothes – but a new hat nonetheless.

I won’t stress getting the kids to daycare at 7:30am, maybe I’ll even stay cuddled in bed with them a little while longer.

I then won’t have to rush and worry at 5:28pm about how the hell I’m going to get back downtown to all 3 kids and get them out of school by 6 on the dot to not incur the $1 a minute late fee. In fact, maybe I’ll pick them up early and take them to the playground, a music class, a bar – whatever!

These are unchartered waters and I could not be more excited to face them.

Who knows, maybe I’ll go…dare I say it…to a spin class after 3 years??? (Probably not, but definitely a Russian Bath trip or two).

And the icing on this beautiful carvel cake that’s covered in Cadbury Creme Eggs – my friend and I had a dream, a vision. We talked about it the last weekend in January. And then we went into hyper overdrive action my last month of maternity leave.

We want to create a community among moms in NYC. It’s a 360 degree offering to women who are on their journey to motherhood, through pregnancy, after pregnancy – with a new baby, a toddler. And beyond. All day, every day – in my free time – I meet total strangers on Facebook or in a coffee shop – who ask me advice on infertility, or how the hell to raise twins and a toddler – or other things that I’m highly unqualified to answer. But, I welcome the new friend with open arms. I listen. I share. We talk. And a new relationship is born.

Mostly people are looking for companionship and conversation.

Now I get to do that all day, every day.

And I cannot fucking wait.

This door is closing. But a beautiful set of floor to ceiling glass doors, overlooking the most gorgeous scenery, with the sound of crashing waves and light pouring through are opening in front of me and I could not be more ready to take that first step.

Goodbye for now.


No Longer a Catepillar

I just ended my longest relationship.

The courtship began while I was in my early 30s. I gave to it, all of me. She taught me about myself. Five and a half years later so much has changed and it was time for me to welcome that reality.

It was time for me to say goodbye.

She treated me well. Offered me a home, a place to grow. To learn. To make mistakes. To find my strengths and weaknesses. She taught me life lessons. I stumbled a few times. She picked me up. She ushered me into my next stage of life. She saw me through a new relationship. An engagement. A marriage. Infertility. In fact, she paid for the treatments. Both times. She provided me the means to create new lives. She was there for the birth. A metamorphosis.

My metamorphosis.

She gave me the time to find myself after the greatest shift my life had seen. Then through another pregnancy. This one was harder – but she supported me and gave me the space I needed to heal. And then through the birth of my last babies. She gave me a home and friends during all of these life milestones.

She taught me patience. And perspective.

And then I returned to her. Hat in hand. This time, though, something was different. My love, desire and passion for her evaded me. There had been a much deeper shift. She was the same.

I was not.

My time had come to walk away. To thank her for building me up. For nurturing me. For giving me friendships and teachings. For helping me mature. It was not easy. A break up never is. You question yourself. You question the reason. You look at the big picture. And at the moment. Ultimately you just must decide what’s best for you. I shared with her, the news yesterday. She wasn’t surprised. Hoped it wouldn’t be so soon. But understood. Things were different.

I was different.

You can’t hold on to a butterfly.