Friday, April 3, 2020

Couch Potato Sessions: The Invitation - Netflix

There isn’t much that I love more than throwing a party. My dinner parties have improved over the years in both menu options and bougieness - Pinterest is my downfall. The prep and planning can be so overwhelming and stressful, especially because I like to kill myself by cooking everything from scratch, but the results are always so rewarding! The house smells amazing, the food is delicious and my favorite people are with me enjoying the fruits of my labor.

One of my favorite authors, Bianca Sloane, recommended the movie, The Invitation, so Edward and I checked it out a few weeks ago. We didn’t know what to expect since the description is short and the trailer didn’t reveal much which was great for us. The more suspenseful the better. Although I loved the ambiance of this dinner party and I loved the house where the party was hosted, this is one dinner party I wouldn’t mind losing the invitation to. It was strange, uncomfortable and disturbing at times – BUT if Logan Marshal Green will be there, I would consider making an exception. 😉

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Couch Potato Sessions: Friends from College - Netflix

My friendships have always been extremely important to me. I cherish and value them deeply and the friendships that value and cherish me deeply have lasted decades. As we get older and life takes over, you tend to connect less often. Some friendships are strong enough to survive life’s evolutions and some aren’t. Although I still have very good friendships, the crowd I used to run with has dwindled dramatically. Life is a bit lonelier because of the decline, but my life has become so precious to me that I only have room for those who can roll with me as I am. I’m going through a lot of hard things and I need friends who can free me from myself with laughter, love and a little bit of wine never hurts.

On a day when I really needed a friend I went looking for some on Netflix and I found Friends from College. The comical yet dysfunctional dynamic they have with each other elevates their bond beyond friendship and makes them family. I related so much to different characters at various phases of their lives. I especially related to Episode 4 of Season 1 - it was like watching my life (verbatim) on screen. I 
love that they shot in New York. It made my friendship with these folks believable as they frequented streets, restaurants and clinics I’m very familiar with. I promise I really do have real life friends.

There are only two seasons of Friends from College, and although it doesn’t seem like they will, I really hope they shoot more seasons. I thought the series was awesome and amazing! (And I miss my friends.)

Monday, March 23, 2020

Couch Potato Sessions: Better Call Saul - AMC

Have you ever had someone ask you a question that was phrased as a polite inquiry, but was really asked with all intentions of getting all up in your business? Or have you ever been involved in a casual conversation that you later realized was a trap set by the other party who was just waiting for the right moment to walk you into a premeditated argument? I’ve had some interesting individuals in my life…

I’m never prepared for these situations and (after the fact) I ALWAYS think of the perfect comeback for how I should have responded. Some people are blessed with the amazing gift of answer evasion, or the ability to talk themselves out of an ambush. I am not one of those people.

One of the many reasons I love Better Call Saul is because I’m so impressed by this slick-talking, sleazy, slimy lawyer. Saul Goodman can talk himself out of any impossible, sticky situation; there are a few times in my life when I could have used a lawyer like him.

Better Call Saul is a (prequel) spin-off to Breaking Bad, but you don’t need to watch one to see the other. The final season of Better Call Saul airs on Monday nights on AMC, but you can binge watch the previous four seasons on Netflix.

Side note - The phone number on the business card is actually real.#itsallgoodman

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Couch Potato Sessions: The Outsider - HBO

My husband and I watch A LOT of television together. Our shared interest in movies and television shows isn’t healthy for the amount of time we spend on the couch. This ‘Self Isolation’, ‘Social Distancing’ situation certainly won’t help; Edward and I will surely be bingeing!

When Game of Thrones ended there wasn’t much that we bonded over watching on Sunday nights and I had to hear a lot of noise and grumbling about my trashy reality show addiction. Then came The Outsider! It’s dark, suspenseful, psychologically thrilling with a dash of supernatural. The season is over, but if you have HBO, catch up on demand!

Monday, July 1, 2019

All Things Work Together for Good

The fifth anniversary for the due date of my angel baby took place a few weeks ago. Although my intense feelings towards my loss have eased, I know I’ll never completely get over it. My due date is branded within me so an internal ‘ping’ goes off whenever that time of year rolls around. I can’t help but often wonder about that pregnancy loss and what my life would have been like had I not suffered a miscarriage. Instead of celebrating my child’s 5th birthday, I was gearing up for my 4th uterine surgery in hopes of rectifying the roadblocks that are preventing my multiple IVF cycles from ending with success.

As I walked towards the operating room, I felt scared. It took some effort to blink away my emotional heaviness and not embarrass myself by bursting into tears as the resident nurse made small talk with me about the weather.

I feel tired and beat up and honestly, I don’t want to do this anymore. I’ve been asking myself if a baby is really worth all of this trouble. Is it worth all of the synthetic hormones coursing through my body? Is it worth the mental and emotional disarray that hits me unexpectedly at times making me feel as if I’m losing a grip on my sanity? When I visualized my future, having a baby took place in a moment of passion, not with doctors, needles, surgeries and maddeningly insensitive commentary from those who just can’t understand.

I’m so exhausted and it’s a huge struggle to keep the faith when everything in front of me seems so impossible. On the other hand, my entire life has consisted of impossibilities miraculously coming to fruition - so I hold on to my history in an effort to motivate me through each step of this journey.

Although the miscarriage I suffered was one of my most awful experiences to date, my loss sparked a chain of wonderful events that led me to where I am today. And while these days I have quite a few tough moments, in the midst of it all I am quite happy!

I’ve accepted that “These are the days that must happen to me.” (I saw that quote at an antique shop I visited last summer in Asbury Park and brought it home with me). I sincerely believe that everything that happens in life, both good and bad is supposed to happen. There is a plan in place for my life, this is my path and all events are working together for a purpose.

Romans 8:28 - ... all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Forty and Forever a Work in Progress

I celebrated my 40th birthday two weeks ago and it was ah-maze-ing!! I danced so much that I’m just regaining the feeling in one of my big toes. Although there were threats of a winter storm, most of the people I love were able to make it. It was just the most fantastic time and I’m still on a high from all of the music, laughter and love. It might be the best party I’ve had, with the exception of my wedding, of course! (I lost the feeling in both of my big toes for that event).

I cannot believe I’m forty! Not because I’m depressed about it at all. I’m thrilled to be here! I’m in a better place in my life than I was when I was thirty and I’m also happier than I was when I was thirty. Also, I believe my anti-aging creams have been doing a good job so I think I’ve maintained pretty well – Ha! I can’t believe I’m forty because the time in between thirty and forty happened so quickly.

Although it feels like the years went by so swiftly, I feel like I’ve lived a few lives in the past decade. So many wonderful, terrible, scary yet awesome things have taken place during those ten years. And although so many things in my life have changed, at my core I’m still the same. When I was a teenager, I always searched beneath the surface of life to find meaning and direction in the words and the people that crossed my path. I thought that by now I would have everything figured out. I don’t and I’ve come to realize and accept that I never will, and that’s ok.

I’m Still a Mental Case

My mind is like a web of constant thoughts and words all intersecting and colliding with each other, so it’s never quiet up there. I’m a thinker, an analyzer and I process and dissect every-damn-thing! I used to think that something was wrong with me for being this way, but after meeting a host of people who see beyond what’s in front of them, I realize that it’s ok to have some depth. I’ve finally accepted that I will always be this way; always looking to the Bible, books, people and psychology and taking the things from those resources that educate, uplift and help me to evolve into a better person.

Nothing Really Matters

I don’t know how many times I’ve been in a hot flash of panic about something at work, something that has gone wrong in an IVF cycle, the list can go on... The anxiety, the tears, the palpitations, the mental torment are all so unhealthy and so unnecessary. In the moment it feels like my world is ending, but when I look back on those panicked moments a week, a month or a year later it all comes down to nothing.

I’m working on keeping calm – it will be a lengthy process.

Standing Up for Me

I’m not always good at it, but I’m learning to stand up for myself. It’s amazing how far people will try to push you if you allow them. I haven’t always been good at teaching people how to treat me, but I’ve gotten a lot better at it. Knowing your worth is beneficial in all relationships and can save you a great deal of head and heartache in the end.

If I can give respect to those around me, I deserve to receive that same respect in return. It sounds simple enough, but anyone who has been involved with people knows that it doesn’t always work that way.

I’m working on demanding the respect I deserve. Even if my heart shakes and I burst into tears while I’m demanding it.

Trusting my Gut

I’ve made so many excuses and allowances for questionable behavior and walked myself into many situations that I should have steered clear of. My naivety and ‘benefit of the doubt’ mentality have gotten me into more issues than I care to admit. When something, isn’t right you have an inkling in your gut that you can’t shake.

I haven’t always followed those inklings, but I now act faster when I pick up on those red flags. I’m getting better at trusting myself.

God’s Timing is Divine

Turning forty and not being a mother is heart wrenching for me. Although I have been through a lot, God has always been faithful to me. When I look at how far I have come in the past decade, there are so many impossible situations that I have overcome. I’m not the best Christian, but God’s grace has always covered me. God has always made a way out of no way. The answers to my prayers haven’t always come when I’ve wanted them to, but the timing has always been on point.

Life’s hurdles are unpleasant, but they are also character building. My life is pretty boring so these peaks and valleys add a touch of flair and pizzazz. At least that's how I choose to look at it.

It’s Never Too Late

I’m in a constant battle with myself not to give up on my creativity. I don’t have as much time and energy as I used to and I’ve allowed life to get in the way of a lot of the projects that I want to see through. Although it has become difficult to live a balanced life and keep my creativity alive, I won’t give up and I won’t give in no matter how long it takes me to complete the projects swimming around in my head. My determination always forces me to finish what I start, it just might take me a bit longer than it used to.

I’m going to write more blogs, I’m going to finish all of my knitting projects, I’m going to finish writing that book even if it takes me a few years and I’m going to dance because it fills me with life.

My mother-in-law who is in her seventies dances and performs (#goals) and if she’s shown me anything, it’s not to limit myself because of time, age or for any other reason that my self doubt is giving me. 


Even though I don’t have it all together at forty, I’m settled where it counts. I’m imperfect, but I’m honest, transparent, and a decent human being and for that I’m very proud of the woman I’ve become.

Life is about learning, reflecting and evolving. I’ve learned a lot about myself in the past decade and I’m excited to see where the next decade is going to take me.

Friday, December 29, 2017

IVF - The Journey

From the beginning of my IVF journey I’ve had a huge amount of support. I have friends who have gone through the process, friends who are going through the process and friends who don’t completely understand IVF, but are there for me nonetheless. I am also blessed to have a husband who is an awesome cheerleader and who is capable of handling all of the unstable emotions that have possessed me during this journey. I’ve never truly been alone, but it’s been a lonely journey at times especially when I allow my thoughts to run rampant for an extended period of time. 

Although my good friend had given me the full IVF run-down, I still wasn’t prepared for how taxing it would be. 

I’m on a break at the moment, but I've practically lived at the fertility clinic for the majority of the year. My life has become twice-daily booty injections, pills, blood work and unstable emotions. Thank God that I’m great with needles because there is a lot of sticking and poking involved. The injections are a team effort. I prepare the injections and Edward is in charge of administering. 

Preparation for the egg retrieval was physically and mentally exhausting. One morning, my co-worker/friend swung by my desk to say hello and I felt myself beginning to crack. I was already in a troubled state before she stopped by and that ‘Hello’ set me off. Because I was at work, I blinked back my meltdown and after being woo-wooed by my friend, I quickly got myself under control. 

I tried to be strong. I tried to convince myself that it was only appointments. I can do appointments. They tell you what time to be there, you wake up and you go. But it's so much more than 'only appointments' and there is only so much psyching up of myself I could do before the situation leveled me. 

My egg retrieval was extremely comfortable and the outcome was positive. I had healthy eggs that developed into healthy fertilized embryos. We lost a few of the eggs, which is normal, but we still have a good number of embryos of which I hope 1 (or 2) will develop into a baby so that I don’t have to go through the egg retrieval process again; but if I have to do it again - I will. 

Now that we had our good, healthy embryos we began the preparing for the embryo transfer. Preparing for the embryo transfer was less intense than preparing for the egg retrieval, but still extremely exhausting. My first embryo transfer was canceled because my uterine lining was a bit thin. I really appreciate that they didn't want to waste my embryo on a ‘chance’, especially since we went through so much to get them. Still, I was really disappointed. I was aware that I should be flexible because things can change from one day to the next or be canceled at the drop of a hat, but I’m not a flexible person. This experience is forcing me into flexibility whether I like it or not.

About a week after my canceled embryo transfer, we began preparing for the transfer again. This time I’d searched Google inside-out and upside-down for methods of increasing the thickness of my uterine lining. I drank pomegranate juice, red raspberry leaf tea and a good friend recommended acai extract supplements. My doc also prescribed additional medication so that instead of receiving one nightly booty injection Edward had the pleasure of administering two. Something worked because my uterine lining thickened beautifully and we were given a date for our embryo transfer.

The transfer was easy, but the doctor who performed the transfer asked if I’d ever had surgery on my uterus. I figured he asked me that question because he’d had a hard time inserting the catheter, possibly due to scar tissue that developed from my previous surgeries.

My embryo transfer failed and I went dark for a few weeks. I knew that there was a huge chance that the transfer would fail, but I was hopeful going into it for the first time. I was a bit hard on myself for believing that the first try would be successful and I had to fight to accept that the hope I felt was natural. 

I tried to talk myself out of the darkness, but it became hard to get up in the morning. The act of removing my feet from the bed and getting them to touch the floor was difficult. Getting out of bed meant that I had to go out, smile and pretend that I was ok. I was already exhausted and pretending took a lot of energy. I just wanted to lie down. I had such a bad breakdown at work one day that I thought I was going to have to go home. I couldn’t be on the street or on the train in the condition I was in so I just hid in the bathroom and called my dad-friend who has always been great at calming me down. I really felt like I was going crazy.

I’m blessed to have a two surrogate mom-friends and one surrogate dad-friend who continuously look after me in situations like these and who have saved me millions of dollars in therapy. One of my Christian surrogate mom-friends was able to talk me off the ledge. I’d completely shut down, but I knew that I needed to talk to someone and so I reached out to this particular mom-friend. She actually didn’t say much, but she said everything exactly right as if she had a message to deliver specifically to me. It sounds insane, but I felt the darkness lift as my friend was speaking and at the end of our conversation I felt complete peace. That conversation broke me out of my depression and a peace that passes all understanding has been with me ever since.

I had another painful test on my uterus to determine the condition of the cavity before having another embryo transferred. I was right about the scar tissue. Thankfully, by the time I received the call confirming that I would need a third surgery to remove scar tissue in my uterus, I was in a much better mental space. I am actually really looking forward to the surgery because it will give me a chance to relax for an entire week.

My surgery was supposed to take place this month, but everything is out of whack due to the medication my body has endured, so the surgery has been postponed until January. In the beginning, I had an expectation of immediacy and with IVF, that’s not at all realistic. I’ve come to accept that a change in a day, a month or a couple of months doesn’t really make much of a difference. Things are going to happen when they are going to happen and there isn't a thing I can do about it. 

At the end of every year I visualize where (God willing) I hope to be by the end of the following year. I’m working on adjusting my expectations. I’m working on letting go of the things that I can’t control and making the most of the things I can control. I’m grateful to be in a better place mentally and I’m grateful to have people in my life to steer me back on the right path whenever I veer into darkness.