Versatile Blogger!

I won an award, I won an award!  Or more accurately, I was nominated an award by a sister blogger, which is still super exciting to me!  I have not been blogging very long, so please excuse my lack of composure and coolness!  :-)

Thank you to "A Shadow of My Former Self" over at Singular Desire for nominating me, you made my week!

These are the rules:

1.  Winners grab the image above and put it in your blog.
2.  Link back to the person who gave you it.
3.  Tell 10 things about yourself
4.  Award 15 recently discovered bloggers.
5.  Contact the bloggers you have awarded to let them know they have won.

Ten things about me:
  1. I love fiery Cheetos but try not to indulge too often.
  2. My sense of smell is extremely sharp and I can’t get enough of sweet smelling flowers.
  3. My first “real” kiss was so awful I went inside and cried into my pillow (he never got any better but I later learned it wasn’t always like that)
  4. I enjoy watching quirky dramatic cable shows like ‘Big Love,’ ‘Bored to Death,’ and ‘United States of Tara.'
  5. I got a tabby cat named Moxie my senior year of college who lived until she was 17; we were like an old married couple.
  6. When Moxie died, I decided I was not going to get another cat because I wanted to focus all my energy on bringing a child into my life and home.  (plus I wanted a break from all the cat litter)
  7. I have an adorable 3-year-old niece and one-year-old nephew who I love and every time I visit them, my heart breaks when I leave.

  8. I did gymnastics for four and a half years until I was 15-years-old, which I believe delayed my period until that time.
  9. I love craft projects and making cards but can only seem to motivate to do them for holidays or special occasions/gifts.
  10. My birth Mom died when I was four, and my Dad remarried the following year - this makes my younger sister and brother technically "half" siblings, but when people say that I want to punch them.

My nominees are: (sorry I could only come up with 10 right now)

Skating on the Edge


Endings and Beginnings

Sorry for the long absence, time flies!  I went up to Oregon for my Grandma's memorial on Sunday, heading up there Thursday evening and driving back Monday.  The memorial was small, just 15 or so people, and we went out afterwards (some more family members met us then) at McMen.amin's Restaurant.

A little about the service:  My cousin made a lovely photo collage of my Grandma over the years and with various people and that, along with the flowers was placed in front of her crypt (right word?) at the front of our gathering.  I was taken off guard by the song they chose to start the service.  It was moving and had both me and my Grandpa crying.  Since I had not cried since she passed away, it felt like a positive release.  After my Uncle talked about her life, I and others shared some memories and feelings.  I took part of my blog entry pretty much verbatim, so you heard what I said before anyone else!

Strangely, weddings and funerals seem to bring people together in a way nothing else does.  Because this was my birth mom's mother, I was closer and spent more time with her family than my brother or sister.  But they both came to the memorial to support me.

I was especially surprised that my sister came.  She had not seen or talked to them in a long time, and she and I have not had a particularly close relationship as adults - though that has been changing ever so slowly, in part I think because I love her kids so much.

Anyway, it felt heartwarming that they both decided to come and also to see my sister's husband and kids and my brother and his new wife sitting at a table with my Grandpa, Aunt and Uncle, and cousin's and kids.  It felt like the coming together of two of my worlds. . . unexpectedly satisfying.

So you might be wondering where or if R fits into the trip up North. . . Initially I had planned to drive up to Seattle Monday, instead of back home, to visit R and go on a couple of interviews.  Unfortunately, after having a couple of fun and connected Sk.ype conversations, we bumped off the track again.  And after sporadic to no phone calls for a few days, I told him I was "throwing the white flag" and ending our romantic connection.  I said I would still like to see him and talk to him while I was up there, but he never called back.

In the end, I wanted a different level of intimacy and consciousness in the relationship than he was currently comfortable with and our lifestyles around alcohol/partying are just too disparate.  Or at least that's my summary, and I'm sticking to it!  I have felt sad but also clear, like it was the right decision.

I have to admit that there is still a part of me that holds out a hope that he might make some different choices that would bring us back together.  It's so hard to relinquish the highly unique (in my experience) passion/chemistry aspect, but I have to trust the path is leading where I am meant to go.  Whatever happens, I am still so grateful overall that he came back into my life to bring healing/closure on the past. . . and to motivate me to get in shape!  lol

The last thing I wanted to share involves an interview I had today with Arth.ur Murr.ay Dance.  Please send me good thoughts!  If I make it through the next interview and then through a several-day dance audition, I will be accepted into their instructor training program.  This is sort of "out of the blue," but I feel excited about the possibility, so I'm going with it!


What else can I do?

I promised to check in about the ttc/child topic a couple posts back and realized I haven't done that yet. . .

From talking to R, I think this topic was a prominent fear in his mind heading into our recent time together.  For some reason, I was able to put the topic on the back burner after our initial conversation, in which we both came to a point of agreement around possible adoption.  I wasn't ready to give up on the biological choice yet, but was willing to let it go for now so that we could focus on getting to know one another again and whether we had long-term potential.  I guess for him, it continued to percolate and cause him concern.

Sometimes my idealism even drives myself crazy!  It's always been this way with me:  I have this unshakable belief that if two people really love one another that all the other pieces will fall into place and work themselves out.  Logically, I know life just isn't that simple and some issues will never be resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.  My optimism just won't be tamed though.

Anyway, at the end of my time up there, we touched on this topic and then again on the phone after I returned.  It seems we are still at odds.  Understandably, he feels a lot of responsibility for me if I chose to move up there to be with him, and then it didn't work out between us.

And interestingly, when it looked like R and I might stop seeing each other, I spent some time reflecting and asking for guidance in my life.  Guess what popped up right away?  Yep, refocusing on ttc and having a child!

I even got back on the co-parenting website and talked with a guy up in Alaska (Hi SIF!) who is separated, already has three kids but really wants more.  He is actually in politics, as well as the military, and seemed like a very solid guy (unlike many of the guys on there).

But because he is not divorced yet and things still sound rocky with his ex, and because R and I started talking and I wanted to give our relationship a chance, I put the co-parenting possibility back on the shelf for now.

I know I want a family.  I guess I'm emotionally open to different ways of working towards that goal right now, but it's definitely my highest priority.

If R and I did end up together (which is very much up in the air), he would be my family to start with, and I would gain his family members who live close by, including his 15-year-old.  And if he didn't open his mind/heart to trying for a biological child - and getting that reverse vasectomy yikes! - then we would have time to work toward adoption.

The strange thing is, when I try to imagine he and I in a household raising a child together, I just cannot do it at this point.  Is that a bad sign?  I'm thinking it is just the uncertainty about where our relationship is heading at this point and the newness of our interaction.  When I think of being around him, I think of playing and activities and to be honest, sexy times.  So it's not really a "child oriented" vision of us at this point.

All that to say, I guess I'm still in limboland around ttc, but family is always forefront on my mind.  And a big part of my decision-making process as I keep moving forward.

The hard fact continues to be that I just plain do not have a lot of control right now.  I can't dictate when someone chooses to hire me, I can't choose whether R and I work out, I can't actively ttc on my own right now due to financial limitations and lack of fertility coverage.

I am trying to do what I can to influence these factors, while at the same time not freaking out over aspects beyond my control.  What else can I do?


Eventful Week

It has been an eventful week.  On the employment front, I started a part-time dog-walking job for a nice lady in my neighborhood who has limited mobility.  It's not a lot, but it's nice to have a little extra income.  I have continued to apply for positions, as I find them. . . haven't heard back from the interview I had a couple weeks ago.

In sadder news, my beloved Grandma passed away last Tuesday.  I mentioned her in a previous post, and how R and I (and my grandpa) visited her in the nursing facility before leaving Eugene.  We held hands the entire visit, and she was relatively coherent, even making a joke and laughing a few times.  I am so grateful for that last time together.

One funny aspect of the visit: she kept asking where we were going to live after we were married!  It was cute.  I don't mind that she thought we were getting married, as she always wanted that for me and it might have made her happy.

I knew her time was limited and it had been a year or two since she had really been herself, able to carry on the level of connected conversation we had always shared.  In a way, I did lose her gradually, but it still never prepares you for someone actually passing away.

I was always her "favorite" and she was always my "special person," who knew, loved, and accepted me unconditionally.  We shared so many special times together, from crafts and cookies, to Christmas trees and caroling.  She had unending patience for playing dolls and games with me, and later we shared innumerable deep conversations about life and love and family.

After losing my mother at age four, my grandmother really was the only mother-type figure in my life, and no one can ever take her place.  She will always be in my heart and will live on in me and who I am and will become.  The day she passed away, a "paradise" finch with a beautiful red head and throat visited me twice: once in the morning and again in the afternoon.  I had never seen this bird in our yard before, and it may sound crazy, but I believe my grandmother was with me at these times.

Regarding R, after a few days of talking very little, we have had several good conversations.  We agreed that I would be more sensitive or flexible about bringing up and talking about issues between us, and he would be more forthcoming with his big picture thoughts before making decisions.

We experienced "Sky.pe" together, which was a lot of fun (very different level of connection).

I have had periods of doubt and anxiety, wondering whether our differences are surmountable, and whether he is willing or able to build/maintain the level of emotional intimacy that I desire.  And whether he values self examination and growth, maybe not to the same degree, but at least to some extent.  The way he withdrew after our conflict in Washington is definitely of concern to me, though he later said that was extreme and not typical behavior.

Time will tell, I guess.  I love him.  He loves me.  But we know that is not necessarily enough.

I am glad I don't have plans tomorrow.  I want to spend some time reflecting and reading.  Then dancing on Sunday.  My running discipline has continued on Monday, Wednesday, Fridays, so I feel positive about that.  Hope you all have a good weekend.