Tuesday, August 24, 2010

30-Day Blog Challenge - Day Thirteen - A Fictional Book

Today's 30-Day Blog Challenge theme is "A Fictional Book".

There are literally hundreds - no thousands - of books in this category on which I could wax lyrical. Instead, though, I have to choose one. After much thought, I've decided to talk about one I know I've spoken of before.


The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is one of my favorite books. I read it in August 2007 (so long before it became a film) and I was gripped from the first few pages. The story, which begins in 1973, centers on 14-year-old Susie Salmon. As expected, the first few pages of the book talk about Susie's life and how excited she is just being a child. Then, however, the book takes a bit of a turn. One cold afternoon while walking home from school, Susie detours through a field and comes across her neighbor, Mr. Harvey. He has built an underground shelter and asks Susie if she would like to see it. Being the inquisitive child she is, and having that false sense of security that pervaded most people in the early '70's, Susie agrees. It is only minutes after entering the shelter, though, that Susie realises something isn't right. She tries to leave, but Mr. Harvey grabs her and that is the end of Susie's life on earth. She is raped and murdered by Mr. Harvey.

This would seem to be the end of the story, right? But, no. Sebold persists with Susie's story, or, more to the point, the story of her family. Susie narrates the tale from her own personal heaven. She follows her family, friends and her murderer for greater than a decade, following their progress from life. As much as she can, she influences their actions, helping them to come to terms with her death and move past it, while coming to terms with her death for herself as well. She also watches Mr. Harvey and hopes to prevent him from murdering anyone else.

So, if you're looking for a great book to read and you can read this kind of book, I highly recommend it! I was crying within the first 30 pages of the book, so I'd advise you to have tissue handy.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

30-Day Blog Challenge - Day Twelve - Something You Are OCD About

Today's 30-Day Blog Challenge theme is "Something You Are OCD About".

I am completely and totally obsessed with my hair. It is the one thing about myself I have always been enamored of (I know that sounds conceited, but it's true). I've never thought I was very pretty and I've always thought I was too big, but my hair has always been a sense of pride for me. I spend hours taking care of it. I wash it every day (sometimes twice a day, if I can get away with it). I condition it daily. I brush it constantly. I've had it cut short, I've had it long and I've had it somewhere in between. It is currently long because I'm growing it out for Locks of Love, but I'm thinking it may be long enough to donate now and I may cut it chin length sometime in the next few weeks. I know this post sounds insanely vain, and it probably is, but my hair is what I am totally OCD about.

The Long and Short of it:


My hair in it's very short incarnation - December 2007


Somewhere in the middle - March 2009


(With The Hubs) In all it's lengthy glory - May 2010


So, which is your favorite length for my hair?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

ICLW

I promise you, the months seem to just fly by! It's IComLeavWe time again. I look forward to this time of the month because it's nice to meet new people and see what other members of the community are up to.

So, I'll introduce myself to those of you who don't know me. I am Lynn, married for almost 8 years to The Hubs. We met online almost 10 years ago (in fact, August 30 will be our ten year anniversary of meeting one another), did the LDR thing for almost two years before I moved to England to live with him for 3 1/2 years. In January 2006, we returned to the States to my home state of Georgia and that's where we are currently.

No kiddos yet, almost 7 years of TTC, no pregnancies to date, one failed adoption. I have PCOS and endometrial issues (recently had a D&C for complex endometrial hyperplasia and am now on a 3 month break with new medication before heading back to determine if my endometrium automatically grows hyperplasic - fingers crossed that will be a negative because that will signal the end of TTC).

The Hubs and I have two fabulous furry dog-ters who live with us: Isabel (or Pog) who is our terrier, is a house-dog and immigrated with us from England; and Melanie (or Melly) who is an outside Beagle hound/Border Collie mix, born here a little over a year ago to our former dogs (one was hit by a car and killed, the other left to find another companion after suffering without her mate for a while). They aren't at all spoiled...not a bit....*cough*.

We also claim ownership to two other pups who live with my mom. Both chihuahuas, they are Sissy (16 years old and in her twilight years - my baby til I moved off to England and then continued to be spoiled by my parents) and Merlin (our current youngest, he's only about 5 months old and an enormous bundle of energy). They don't live with us because Isabel has a huge jealous streak and chases them when they come over.

The Hubs and I are your normal thirty-something, childless couple. We love movies and attend the cinema almost every week. We love to read, watch television and listen to music. The Hubs loves a good political debate, while I'd much rather be left with my scrapbooking, card-making, cross-stitch or crocheting. We lead a pretty simple life.

We both work in healthcare, although I'm currently in school working on my bachelor's degree to teach, while The Hubs is thinking of returning to school to gain his Masters and go into teaching. We're very similar, if you couldn't tell :D

We want desperately to be parents, but so far it hasn't been in the cards for us, so..... Anyway, we're hoping that my follow-up endometrial biopsy in October will reveal a normal endometrium and we can move forward with TTC. Btw, in case you're wondering, The Hubs has no problems in the TTC department. After getting the results of his SA (which it took me two months to get him to actually have done!), he came strutting - yes, literally strutting - out of the doctor's office. So, yeah, the trouble's all mine. You gotta love a life of knowing you're defective, right?

Happy ICLW!

Friday, August 20, 2010

30-Day Blog Challenge - Day Eleven - A Photo of You Recently

Sorry I missed yesterday's post....I had a very long day and when I got home, I just crashed. Anywho....

Today's 30-Day Blog Challenge theme is "A Photo of You Recently".

This is a really simple one. This photo is actually a couple of months old, but that's fairly recent, right?



Yes, I was holding the tripod over my head. I thought it would make a good shot.

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The Hubs and I are planning to go to a Beach Barbeque celebration thing tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it, but I've been sick the last couple of days (think I may be getting a UTI....thought earlier it may be my appendix, but now the pain is not so bad), so we'll see. I'll update you with our activities tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

30-Day Blog Challenge - Day Ten - A Photo Taken Over 10 Years Ago of You

Today's 30-Day Blog Challenge theme is "A Photo Taken Over 10 Years Ago of You".

Today's post is another from the early archives of "Rich and Lynn". It was taken in June 2000 as I was getting ready to go out for the evening (which, technically, was two months before I met The Hubs, but it was the first photo I sent him of me). I can't believe how young I look! I look like a little girl :D I was 21 years old.



Hope you enjoyed having a peek at a very young me!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

30-Day Blog Challenge - Day Nine - A Photo You Took

Today's 30-Day Blog Challenge theme is "A Photo You Took".

I couldn't decide on just one photo for this post, so you'll get two :D

First:



Our cat, Jewel. Taken a couple of years ago, the dogs (Dawg and Tallie - Parents of Melly) had been playfully chasing Jewel, but she had had just about enough. So she climbed the tree and planted herself there for the time-being. I tried to get her to come down, but after several attempts when she still wasn't budging, I decided to take a photo.

Secondly:



Taken at my sisters-in-law's wedding. This is their niece, Millie. Isn't she beautiful?! This was not a planned shot. I just happened to get a good shot and I snapped it. I was so pleased it turned out so well!

Hope you enjoyed those photos :D Sorry tonight's is a very short post, but I'm feeling ultra-tired and so I'm headed on to bed now. Good night folks!

Monday, August 16, 2010

30-Day Blog Challenge - Day Eight - A Photo That Makes You Angry/Sad

Today's 30-Day Blog Challenge theme is "A Photo That Makes You Angry/Sad".



June 22, 2001 - Following on from last night's theme of The Hubs' and my first meeting, I thought I would share the final moments of that first meeting with you. This is us waiting at the departure gate just about half an hour before he had to board. Neither of us wanted to say goodbye, but we had no choice. Looking back now with the clarity of time and knowing where we are now, I still feel the pain of goodbye. It would be six months later - at Christmas - before we would see one another again. Many things would happen in those six months. I didn't know that I would be met at security on my first flight to the UK by US Marines bearing M16 rifles, but I was. I didn't know I would be terrified that the gentleman on my flight wearing a turban was a terrorist, but I was (needless to say, he was not and I offer him my apologies for that undeemed fear). I didn't know I could grow to love The Hubs any more than I already did, but it happened. It's funny how six months can change your life.

One last photo before I go for the evening. Taken on the walk to the departure gate.....you could see how much we were hurting.

30-Day Blog Challenge - Day Seven - A Photo That Makes You Happy

Today's 30-Day Blog Challenge theme is "A Photo That Makes You Happy".



July 13, 2001 - I was 22 years old. My mom and I got up very early that day. It was a special day. I was meeting someone very important!

Mom and I got ready and left our house around 8am headed for Atlanta. It took 3 1/2 hours to drive all the way up and another half hour to maneuver the airport parking area. We were finally parked and headed into Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport at around noon.

Since we had about 3 hours before anything would be happening (what can I say? We wanted to be sure we weren't late and I was excited), we found ourself some food and ate, then we wandered around all the shops in the airport. I found and purchased a small stuffed lion and a balloon that said "Welcome to the United States". Then we waited.

Sometime around 2:30pm we made our way to the arrivals gate (remember, this was before the awful events of September 11, 2001, so we could go right into the arrivals area). We waited what felt like an eternity, but eventually, I saw him!

If you haven't guessed yet, this was the first time I met The Hubs in person. It was an awesome day and I was so incredibly happy. This is a photo of us still in the airport, walking towards baggage claim. We were both so excited! It still makes me feel warm and light inside when I look at this photo.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

30-Day Blog Challenge - Day Six - 20 of My Favorite Things

Today's 30-Day Blog Challenge theme is "20 of My Favorite Things".

Hmmm....let's see how many things I can come up with that are my favorite....


  1. The Color Purple - No, not the movie. Just the color. Purple is my favorite color! I've loved this color since I was a little girl. It just makes me feel happy.

  2. Cheese - This may seem weird, but I love cheese. All kinds. I love Cheddar, Colby, Gorgonzola, Stilton, Brie, Wensleydale, Gloucester, Double Gloucester, Parmasan, Mozzarella, Feta, Swiss, Gruyere......any kind of cheese. I have yet to find a cheese I didn't like.

  3. Yarn - I love all the different colors of yarn! One of my favorite activities is to walk down the yarn aisle at any craft store. It is so pretty and it makes me feel so inspired!

  4. Taking Photographs - I love to take photos. I don't think I'm a very good photographer, but I enjoy it. The problem for me is getting The Hubs to stand still long enough for me to get a photo of him, or one of the two of us together!

  5. Building Websites - This used to be one of my passions! I still enjoy it, but don't really have so much time these days. I used to love my personal website and had all the information about how The Hubs and I had met and some information about our immigration path (although I must admit I was a bit lax on this part of the site). I love my blog, but I'd really like to set my website up again. I do have my own domain name, but just really don't know what to put on the site. I thought we'd have a family by this point in time, but we don't yet, so it depresses me to think of other things to put on the site.

  6. Mediterranean Food - I adore Mediterranean food! I will eat most any kind of Italian or Greek food. I love all kinds of pasta and mousaaka is a real treat. My mouth just waters thinking about it!

  7. Babies of All Kinds - Be they human or animal, I love babies. I'm a sucker for puppies and kittens and, as any infertile worth her salt knows, human babies just make something twist in my stomach. I could just sit for hours and watch them. Which gets kinda creepy for their mothers sometimes, because they assume I'm thinking of kidnapping them, which just isn't the case. I just want a baby of my own.

  8. Musicals - I love musicals! My favorite is Chicago but Wicked and Cats run a close second and third. I can't wait until we get to New York sometime and actually get to see one on stage! It is part of our plan for a future trip.

  9. Cirque de Soleil - Several years ago, I worked with a lady whose twin brothers were the arial strap flyers in Cirque's production of Varekai (their names were Andrew and Kevin Atherton, in case you're interested). She lent me a DVD of the production and I fell in love! It was so beautiful and I swore one day I would see other productions (and in person!). So far I haven't managed that, but The Hubs and I are going to one day. Just add that to our list of things we'll get around to someday.

  10. Traveling - My heartbeat races whenever we're planning somewhere new to visit! I love to travel! I love flying and I like trains....I've never been on a boat, but that's another thing I plan to try sometime in the not-so-terribly-distant future. So far the places I have traveled to outside of Georgia and North Florida are several cities in England (surprise!) with London being my favorite, Washington D.C. and New York (okay, in fairness I saw little of New York and mainly Pennsylvania where my brother lives, but one day I'll get to see the Big Apple in all its glory and spend time there!). There are so many places I would like to visit that I won't even get started on that now.

  11. Cooking - I really like to cook! I actually went to school to be a catering specialist - and became certified - before deciding that I didn't really want to be on a time limit or under the extreme pressure that chefs are under. I just like creating new masterpieces for myself and The Hubs. I like experimenting with new tastes. I think The Hubs approves ;D

  12. Singing - For those of you who have followed my blog for a while, you might have noticed that I like to sing. Okay, you've even been subjected to hearing it :D But, it is a fact that I really enjoy singing and that, growing up, it was what I thought I would have a career in. Not just in the way that children often think they'll be a rock star or a movie star. I put a lot of work into it. I practiced singing several hours every day of my life from the age of 4 up until about age 18 when I realized it probably wasn't going to happen for me as a career. That was one of the most heartbreaking things in the world. At that point, I decided that I would rather give up the dream of having a singing career in order to be a wife and mother. Well, I got the wife part right, but the mother bit is proving a little challenging. It's one of the things I get bitter about on my low days.

  13. Books, Movies & Television programs - I'm lumping all these into one because we've already discussed them a bit. I'll simply state these important facts: The Hubs and I go to the movies every Friday night, I never miss an episode of Glee or Covert Affairs and I currently have 8 books checked out from the library. Need I really say more?

  14. Scrapbooking & Card-Making - Two of my all-time favorite things to do! I really enjoy scrapping. It makes me feel so happy to dress up the photos I've taken. Card-making is so enjoyable! I love to see people enjoy the cards I've made and (I'm ashamed to say, but...) I really love the praise I get for them. It's so nice to hear people tell you how beautiful something you've made is.

  15. Rain & Thunderstorms - I love, love, love the smell or rain, the sound of thunder and the flash of lightening! I know thunder and lightening aren't necessarily everone's cup of tea, but - as long as I'm not out in it - I love to watch it out the windows of our house. The Hubs and I sometimes just curl up on the couch to watch it storm. It's really so peaceful.

  16. Pina Coladas - I'm aware I'm beginning to sound like a song and a cliche', but I do love a nice pina colada. It is my one weakness for alcohol and really I'm not bothered if it even has rum in it....I'll drink virgin pina coladas! Having said all that, I wouldn't say no to a nice, cold glass of pinot grigio at the moment either.....

  17. Frogs, Dragonflies & Butterflies - I love cute frogs, dragonflies and butterflies (figurines, paper, graphics, etc. - not particularly the real things, lol). I love to see them in the cutesy design with lots of colors. I think I really just like the colors - I'm like a child, I need the stimulation bright colors bring. Seriously, though, I do really like frogs and dragonflies and butterflies. If we ever have a little girl, she'll either love them or hate them, because she'll be surrounded by them from a young age!

  18. Stationary - I love any kind of stationary! Pretty pens, paper, letter sets, journals, monogrammed notepads....I love it all! I have lots of paper journals. I haven't even written in most of them yet, but it makes me happy to look at them and, if I'm feeling bad, I can usually cheer myself up by buying a new journal or stationary set.

  19. My Dogs - Of course my dogs are my favorites! They are my babies! As I've mentioned before, we have two who live with us (Melly - born last year, a Beagle/Border Collie cross who lives outside - and Isabel (Pog) - Almost 9 years old, a rescued Terrier dog who immigrated with us from England and lives inside with us) and two who live with my mom (Sissy - almost 16 years old, a chihuahua who has little energy these days - and Merlin - only about 6 months old, a very energetic chihuahua who annoys most everyone but me). For the time being, these are my only "children" and I spoil them silly! What can I say? They make me happy!

  20. The Hubs - Do I really need to explain this one? I carried on a two year long-distance relationship with him and then moved 4000 miles for the man! I don't think anyone can doubt my love for him. We've been together almost 10 years now (we started dating on August 30, 2000. Any suggestions for something special to do to celebrate our decade together?) and married for 8 years in November. I could not imagine my life without him, nor would I want to. He is my heart, my love, my life and my light. He is what keeps me going when things get tough and what makes me want to carry on when I would otherwise give up. He is the best!

Okay, so you now know 20 of my favorite things. Think you know me better? Or do you still have questions? If so, ask away!

Friday, August 13, 2010

30-Day Blog Challenge - Day Five - Your Favorite Quote

Today's 30-Day Blog Challenge theme is "Your Favorite Quote".

Had this been yesterday or even anytime today prior to 5:00 pm, you probably would have received an answer along the lines of one of Mae West's famous quotes such as "When I'm good, I'm very, very good and when I'm bad, I'm better." However, that was before. Before what, you ask? Before The Hubs introduced me to this story:

Youtube Bed Intruder

My favorite quote now? Oh, you guessed it!

"Hide your kids, hide your wife (hide your kids, hide your wife) hide your kids, hide your wife and hide your husband cuz they rapin errbody out here."

Don't find it funny? Sorry! I'm sure my amusement will die down in a day or so, but for now I have a new favorite quote. Oh, yeah! And a new favorite song....



Antoine Dodson, you are my hero, dude! (Oh, and I really am truly glad your sister wasn't harmed!)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

30-Day Blog Challenge - Day Four - Your Favorite Book

Today's 30-Day Blog Challenge theme is "Your Favorite Book".

This is another difficult one for me. I love books, so there are tons that could take the top spot for me! Instead though, I'll name you four (three are series, but I'm only counting them as one) that I really like.


I love the Southern Vampire Mysteries. Sookie Stackhouse is a fantastic heroine and Charlaine Harris is a surprisingly gifted author.


What? You doubted my HP loyalty? The Hubs is English, for crying out loud! Of course I'm a Harry Potter fanatic. And I can't wait for the first installment of the Deathly Hallows movie in just a few short months! Eeek!


One word. Edward. *Sigh* I know, I know. I have officially made it into your loser geek file. But you know what? I'm okay with that. I'll admit to my addiction. Edward could bite me anytime. Just keep that Jacob kid away from me. He gives me the creeps!


Alice Sebold transcended something in me when she wrote this masterpiece. A murdered child who not only comes to terms with her own death, but helps her family past their loss as well, while getting even with her murderer. All from her own personal heaven. Can there be anything more touching or powerful?

So there you go. You now have a look into my book fetish cabinet. There are so many more I could name here, but, frankly, we don't have that much time. It's midnight here and I have to be up at 5:30 am for work, so I'm off to bed now, peeps! Have a great evening!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Tide of Emotions in the Face of a Friend's Pain

I'm feeling incredibly sad today. Someone I consider a good friend (although, this is more because I read her blog religiously and less because I chat with her frequently. In fact, the chatting is rare and she has her comments turned off, so I'm not even sure if she realizes I visit) is going through quite a rough time. It may be that this situation turns out wonderfully for my friend; then again, it could mean that she experiences a kind of pain that is akin to losing a part of yourself. A kind of pain I am intimately familiar with, having gone through it earlier this year.

The pain of a failed adoption is unlike any other. It's not even something that is easy to describe to someone unless they have experienced it themselves. It's not like losing a child you already have, because this child is not yet your's and therefore the people surrounding you who are removed from the situation (i.e. not the friends and family who are standing by you and feel the loss themselves) are unwilling to allow you time to grieve. They do not see it as your right. In fact, it is almost as if they are threatened that you dare feel loss over a child who was "never yours".

The pain is also unlike that of a miscarriage. Although mother's who have suffered a miscarriage also find themselves the target of such ignorant people as those indicated above who expect them not to grieve or find offense that they do, a failed adoptive mother often herself feels she has no right to grieve the loss of the child. In this situation, the fact that the child still lives, albeit with someone other than the adoptive parent - the birth parent or another adoptive parent - limits the adoptive parents own acceptance of the need to grieve. We still feel the hurt and pain, but we feel as though we should be happy! After all, the baby is thriving! It's healthy and is surrounded by people who love it! How could I be so selfish as to feel pity for myself for not being the one to parent this child?

We often don't give ourselves enough of a break to understand that we have suffered a loss. We are allowed to grieve that loss. We are allowed to feel bitter and resentful that all the hopes and dreams we put into that tiny life have been revoked due to the choice of another human. Although it may not seem fair to the birthmother, we are allowed to privately feel an ounce of anger. I'm not advocating that we say or do anything to the birth mother, but simply that we do not have to feel guilty for feeling the anger. It's natural. Over time, yes, it's possible to come to an acceptance that God had other plans, that the birthmother was entitled to enjoy her right to raise her own child. But remember that we are also humans, we mothers-who-almost-were, and that we are entitled to feel our own grief and to nurture our own hurts. We can't always be the strong one or the one others turn to when things need smoothing over or feelings need soothing. Sometimes we need to flash that bit of selfishness and tend to ourselves; just back away from life like a damaged kitten and lick our wounds. It is okay.

To wind up this post, please join me in saying a prayer for Her Womb, Our Hearts. Pray that the right decision for everyone involved will be made and that God's Will will be done. That's all J is asking for. She's such a better human than me. She's thinking more of the birthmother than herself. I was so caught up in my bitterness that I never had time for that. Please think of her during this tough, tough time.

Cross-posted with Excuse Me While I Cry and BlogHer

30-Day Blog Challenge - Day Three - Your Favorite Television Program

Today's 30-Day Blog Challenge theme is an easy one for me. It is "Your Favorite Television Program".


My current favorite television program, by far, is Glee. I just love the whole set-up! The music is great, the cast is fantastic and I loved show choir when I was in school, so this just brings back good memories for me. It really is fantastic and I am looking forward to next season (which starts in just over a month!!). I really hope Finn and Rachel stay together this time!

What's your favorite television program?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

30-Day Blog Challenge - Day 2 - Your Favorite Movie

Today's theme is "Your Favorite Movie". This one is really difficult for me. I've seen a lot of movies and I like lots of them. Top Gun, Gone With the Wind and Chicago are always good choices and I love the Harry Potter, Pirates of the Carribeans, and Lord of the Rings movies.

But I have to say my favorite movie would probably have to be Across the Universe.



It is such a beautiful film and I do love the music of The Beatles! This film just makes me happy.

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I'm home sick today. I have a migraine headache and have only just gotten to feeling well enough to do any blogging. I still feel quite sick and headachey, but I did want to check in. Toodles!

Monday, August 9, 2010

30-Day Blog Challenge - Day One - Your Favorite Song

So I was visiting some blogs today that I haven't been round to recently and I stumbled across the 30-Day Blog Challenge (listed on Krystal's blog, initially found on Sass's blog, but found by me on Jo's blog - complicated, I know, but credit given where credit due :D).

I think it's an awesome idea and it will keep me motivated to post everyday for a month. Maybe I'll even get into the habit and keep it up after the challenge is done :D

Today's theme is "Your Favorite Song".

I have lots of favorite songs. I love "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac, "LA Woman" by The Doors, "Baba O'Reilly" by The Who and "In My Life" by The Beatles. But if I had to choose a single song that is my favorite, I would probably have to go with "In My Arms" by Plumb. Heard it? If not, I'm posting a Youtube link so you can give it a listen.



I first heard this song a little over two years ago and it has played in my heart during that whole time. I know one day we'll be able to play this for our child and I know that our child will know exactly how special and important they are to us.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

What (the ALI) Community Means To Me


Happy 300th Post, Friday Blog Roundup!
(Picture not taken by me, but isn't it a beautiful cake?!)


Mel's Friday Blog Roundup has reached it's 300th edition! To help her celebrate, she's asked all her readers to write a post about what community - and in particular, the ALI community - means to them. This is my effort for that project.

I'll start with a little background (although most of you already know this).

The Hubs and I met online in August 2000 (the 30th of this month will be our 10 year anniversary!!) and began an online friendship that transpired over a nine month time period to being more than "just friends". In June 2001, The Hubs (who at that time was just "The Boyfriend") made the 9 hour flight to meet me for the first time. Neither of us knew what that meeting would signify for our relationship. We knew that the meeting was a precipice that would either catupult us forward into a future full of the promise of a life together, or it would close the chapter on what would have only been able to be defined as a naive experiment. I'm pleased to report that the former of these options was our outcome, in case you were in any doubt ;D.

But with that meeting and the promise of a loving future came some very harsh realities. We were still several thousand miles (okay, 4637 mile to be exact - what can I say? I'm an internet geek and there was a website I found way back then that would calculate the total miles from one address to another) away from one another on a regular basis. Anyone who has ever been in a long distance relationship knows that all the regular problems any relationship has are magnified when you add in the distance. This led to my first foray into the community of the internet. Heretofore, my only contact with anyone else online had been The Hubs (I met him my very first time on the internet. He is the only person I have ever "chatted" to without having known them in some previous sort of context such as a forum or a blog).

My first non-Hubs community was at Lovingyou.com. Way back in 2001 they had an awesome support group for online and long distance relationships. There I met a host of others who were currently involved with, or had previously been involved with, someone they had met online. And it was there that I met my long-time friends Mrs. B. Thrift at Hawthorn Hill and British American Mom (who, sadly, no longer seems to post to her blog, but whom I do keep up with on Facebook). I love these ladies! They are like family to me. I guess that's what happens when you're friends with someone for so long.

In late 2001/early 2002, the boards at Lovingyou.com subtlely began to change and another frequenter of the board began a Yahoo chat grop, The Online Wives Club. This opened up a whole new community and a whole new group of friends. It was there that I became good friends with Moonflower Child (the group's founder) and Ace's Wyf, again, ladies I am still very good friends with to this day.

Later that same year (after my move to England and my official engagement to The Hubs), several of us in the group discovered the medium of blogging and opened our own blogs. My very first blog, Ponderings From The Crazy American, was my own little corner of the net devoted to notating the changes in my life since moving to England, complaining about the things I didn't like, praising the things I did and providing my family with news of my comings and goings. It also opened a whole new world of community to me and allowed me to make new friends who, although they no longer have blogs, I still am in contact with via Facebook.

My second blog, Moonlight Ponderings, started in 2004 and continued on through our return back to the USA in 2006. After we'd been back for about 10 months or so, I stopped blogging. Nothing really seemed to be happening. We had started trying for a family on our first wedding anniversary, but we didn't share this with anyone. Neither of us wanted to admit to our families something we knew they would discourage and neither of us wanted to admit that, what we felt should be a simple thing to accomplish, wasn't happening. All the friends I had made in the communities I had been a part of were starting families of their own and I was being left behind. It felt more sensible to withdraw to myself for a while. There were sporadic moments of starting to blog again, but they were few and far between.

Then, in 2008, we decided to begin TTC in earnest. It wasn't until nearly a year later that I decided to begin blogging again full-time. At that point, I googled "TTC blogs" and stumbled across the former blog of K at QWaiting for Sunflower. I left her a comment and, within minutes, she had responded back and directed me towards the greatest gift I have found since that long ago day I stumbled onto Lovingyou.com. She sent me off to the headquarters of the IF world, Stirrup Queens. It was such a relief to find somewhere I finally belonged again. Somewhere I fit in. And not only did I fit in, but I no longer felt alone.

What does the ALI community mean to me? It means seeing my past, my present and my future all meeting at one place. It means being linked to where I've been, where I'm at and where I'm headed and being able to interact with others in those places. I can offer support to those who are where I've been. I can wait and analyze and sympathize with those who are where I am now. I can look forward and get a grasp of where I will be, what my options are and why what we choose will work for us, all from the view of those who have gone before me and who are there to offer their hand, their heart and their head in support of my choices.

The Past

A Mum @ Heart - A friend from years ago who also met her spouse online and a fellow PCOSer who just started this TTC game early this year.

The F-Bomb - Been trying for two years, but wanting to avoid medical treatments. Tired of hearing "Just relax and it will happen." My kind of girl!

Savor The Moment - Possible PCOS diagnosis, a year of TTC, still no baby. Desperately wanting to be parents.

Someday, maybe I can offer support or advice to these ladies or others like them.

The Present

Confessions of an (Infertile) Shopaholic - Another PCOSer. Married just one year less than me, trying just one year less than me. Still that BFP is elusive.

Only one for this category, but still, so close to my situation it's frightening.

The Future

No Lingerie Here - I love Kelly's blog! And it makes me so hopeful for what the future may bring.

Waiting for Sunflower - K is a fellow PCOSer who overcame the obstacles and is now parenting!

I Can Haz Bebe? - After much heartache (and a similar situation to one we had early this year), Bon is now parenting her little girl through international adoption!

Her Womb, Our Hearts - Mama J and Hubby have just been matched with a birthmother!! I'm so excited for them and am praying everything goes smoothly for them.

Hopes, Dreams and New Beginnings - Sweet Pea and her hubby made the tough decision to live child-free. I hope if we ever have to make this decision, she'll be there for me to talk to - and I know she will. She's that kind of lady.

This is a much larger category because I just don't know where we'll wind up. I don't know what our future holds. But I am very glad it holds this community that I can lean on and turn to for advice, that I can offer advice when needed and be the shoulder for someone else to cry on in their darkest moments. I love my community!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Library Adventure

Obviously since we aren't currently doing any treatment or, in fact, anything to move forward with our family building at this time and there really seems to be nothing much happening of interest in my life, I have to find other things to entertain you with. To that end, I will regale you with my finds this evening at the library. I'm diligently working towards my goal of 100 books this year for Kristin's book challenge. I must admit, I went a bit crazy. I have no school for one whole week (WOO HOO!) and our library allows a two week check out time, so I figure maybe I can get some reading done, since I'm so far behind my goal. Here are my finds:

  1. Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris - I really enjoyed the Sookie Stackhouse novels a lot, so I figured I'd give another of her series a try. So far this one is pretty interesting (it's the book I started with). Premise? Heroine can sense where the remains of missing people are; helps find murderer or person at fault. Sounds like a winner to me!
  2. Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin - I've been wanting to read her books Something Blue and Something Borrowed for a while and I now have them on hold at the library, but for the moment I'll give this one a look-see. Two moms with little in common come together one night after a tragic accident.
  3. Wives Behaving Badly by Elizabeth Buchan - Sequel to Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman (which I'll admit I didn't realise and haven't yet read, but will read this one anyway). Former mistress, now wife, finding marriage difficult, particularly when the former wife makes things less than easy.
  4. The Ex-Debutante by Linda Francis Lee - Former Southern Deb turned Boston divorce attorney has to return home to help her multi-divorced mother with her latest marriage debacle and make sure the current debutante ball goes off without a hitch.
  5. Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos - Self-styled devoted city dweller suddenly ups-sticks and heads for suburbia, meets her neighbor who endows all she feared from the 'burbs, then meets another neighbor who shares her passions in literature and movies and develops a lasting friendship.
  6. Prayers For Sale by Sandra Dallas - Two women who've led a life of hardship - one an older woman, one younger - come together and develop a strong bond of friendship that carries them through tough times.

So those are my selections for today. Also, in addition to the two Emily Giffin books, I've put the fourth novel in the Blue Bloods series, The Van Alen Legacy on hold. You've gotta love the library!

By the way, if anyone has read any of these books and has praise or criticism for them, please send it my way! If you're interested in knowing more about any of these novels when I've finished reading them, just ask and I'll tell! Tootles folks!