Saturday, December 29, 2012

Upcoming Posts

I'm pretty sure you all are very aware that I pride myself on being open and honest.  I love the fact that this openness and honesty allows others to feel comfortable approaching me with questions - questions that might seem too forward or too personal for some.  Not for me.  I'm happy to share!  I'm glad you ask.  It tells me you care, you're curious, or you're hoping to gain more information.  Here are some of the questions you've asked that I am looking forward to answering:

What exactly is it that I do for Circle Surrogacy?

Was my surrogacy journey the cause of my divorce?

What was it truly like to "give up" the babies?

Is there another surrogacy journey in my future?

As we approach 2013, I feel excited and hopeful for what the new year will bring.  Something tells me 2013 is going to be another FANTASTIC year, filled with a great deal of opportunity.  One of those opportunities will be to share blog posts with all of you, answering some of the questions that I'm so grateful you have reached out and asked.  It remains to be seen what kinds of additional opportunities will arise but one thing is for certain...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday Blog!

Two years ago today this blog was born.
Seems like yesterday and forever ago at the same time.

Also seems like a great reason to eat cake.

Share a slice with me?

As always, thank you SO much for reading, sharing, and supporting our blog.  I'm so grateful for all of you and the lovely family we've created here in Blog Land.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Life Is Precious

I lived through Columbine.  A horrific experience that occurred just 10 miles from my home.

I lived through the Aurora movie theater shooting just this last summer.  Also, a mere 10 or 15 miles from my home.

For some reason, neither of these tragedies shook me quite like Sandy Hook did on Friday.  I've asked myself what the difference was.  Could it be that it was the age of the children?  It's possible.  I'll admit, as I saw pictures of students, the terrified and sad expressions on their faces, I could easily imagine that those faces were Skyler's or Savannah's.  As I saw parents, frantically trying to locate their children, I couldn't even fathom what that would be like, but I could imagine it enough that it scared me.  As a former teacher, I empathized with the men and women in that building who no doubt feared for their own lives, and perhaps even more so, the lives of the children they are committed to protecting.

Obviously, there's been so much press, so much exposure on TV, radio and Facebook.  It's tough to take.  I read about how sad, angry and scared people are, how some feel laws need to change, policy needs to change, etc., etc.,  I have my own views about things like gun control, mental health support and policies and practices, however, I won't be sharing those views here on this least not today.  Something has struck me so much more than any law or policy you could put into place.

Life is precious.

I'd be willing to bet that if you asked the families of the children and adults who died in that school on Friday, they would give absolutely anything to be able to hug and hold tight the person that they lost.  They would tell them how much they loved them.  Over and over and over.

It is important to grieve.  Each person grieves in their own way.  I choose to learn from tragedy.  To gain perspective and be reminded of what truly matters.

Don't waste a single moment.  Hold your loved ones tight.  Tell them you love them...over and over and over.  No law, policy or practice will be able to guarantee any individual's time here on Earth.  Life is short.  Life is precious. Live. Every. Moment.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Hold on to your hearts folks, because these kids are out to steal them!

Every picture I see either makes me melt, laugh, tear up or smile.

Just take a look at these faces!  

13 months of absolute adorable-ness.  (It's a word - I promise.)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Nana's Plugged In To Surrogacy News

My Nana, my ninety year old Nana recently sent me an article from a magazine she was reading - Ladies Home Journal.  The article was about surrogacy.  Now we all know how much I enjoy seeing surrogacy in the news, so I was thrilled to see the article, however, what struck me more than that was the fact that Nana read the article, thought of me, and sent me the article along with this lovely note.

Jeni - Didn't know if you got Ladies Home Journal - thought you'd enjoy this article.
This lady is older than you but she's giving of herself just like you--
Love you - Nana
Hugs & Kisses to the girls!

The article was about this beautiful family.
"Bringing In Finn"

God bless my Nana.  The 90 year old woman who had no issues whatsoever when it came to me becoming a surrogate.  The woman who completely embraced the fact that I was carrying for 2 men and lovingly referred to them as "The Boys."  The Nana who was thrilled to crochet baby blankets for Gustavo and Milena that I could give to them at their birth.  And when she heard how much Farid and George liked the blankets and wanted one "their size", she gladly (and proudly) crocheted an adult size Nana blanket for them.  Nana blankets are a real specialty in our family.  We all have and treasure them and it makes me very happy to know that the guys and the babies also have a Nana blanket.

Pretty impressive that a ninety year old woman is such a cool chick, wouldn't you say?  Apparently it's in the genes.  :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The First Thanksgiving

No, not the VERY first...

but MY very first Thanksgiving - just the girls and I.

Skyler, Savannah and I celebrated our Thanksgiving on Wednesday night.  Rick and I agree that as far as holidays are concerned, the best thing for the girls will be consistency...what they already know.  Thanksgiving night has always been spent at Rick's parent's house and this year would be no different.  The only difference is that the night before would be their Thanksgiving with me.  At first I wasn't sold on this arrangement, but it didn't take long before I recognized that the "holiday" isn't necessarily about THAT particular day, it's about the celebration.  It really doesn't matter (to me) what day the celebratin' takes place.  

The girls and I created a menu complete with all of our favorites including (a very small) turkey and all the trimmings.  We had a nice, casual dinner together filled with conversation and laughter.  We, of course, took some time to reflect on all we had to be thankful for.  We all agreed on the usuals - thankful for family, friends and health, food, a nice home and love.  Savannah also read a paragraph she had written at school which stated one of the things she was most thankful for was recess (because it gives us a "brain break".)  Although Skyler and I snickered a bit when she read that, I thought about it later and decided she's absolutely right!  With how much I've been working lately, Thanksgiving Day was a day of NO work for me.  My recess, if you will.  And the brain break was 100% needed and appreciated.  Skyler shared the things she was thankful for, one of which really hit home.  Skyler was thankful for change - because it gives us the opportunity to become stronger.  What a wise and insightful thought, especially from an 11 year old.  I am ABSOLUTELY thankful for change. And strength. And independence. And courage.  

Our Thanksgiving would not have been complete 
without quite possibly the best part of Thanksgiving. 


When you live in a house full of girls, dessert time looks a little different.  Like, no need to cut and serve the pumpkin pie different.  3 forks.  That's all that's needed.  

Can you tell we're not crust fans?

Thursday morning was spent lounging around in our PJ's watching movies and the parade.  Rick picked up the girls in the afternoon and they headed off for another delicious Thanksgiving dinner at Rick's parent's house.  Me, I stayed home.  Alone.  

Now before you go and feel sad for me, please know that I was invited to 4 Thanksgivings.  And while I very much appreciated the thoughtfulness of others and their willingness to include me, I assured everyone that I was actually quite looking forward to a nice quiet evening to myself, in my new house, which I love by the way.  After all, I had already had my Thanksgiving evening.  Now it was time for some quiet "me" time.  I thoroughly enjoy "me" time.  

One girl + one chick flick + appetizers = A VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

So there you have it, my very first Thanksgiving.  Quite a success I'd say during this time of change.  I trust that all of you spent your Thanksgiving in exactly the way you wanted to, with those you love the very most.

Friday, November 16, 2012

I Miss You!

Life has been busy.
                   Crazy busy.
                                   INSANELY busy!

And yet, life continues to be very good.  Great, in fact.

What's been filling my time?  Well, 2 things in particular seem to be taking up every spare moment I have these days.

1) A major increase in my responsibilities at work.  Yay!  More work!  I'm very excited about this.

2) I've moved.  Hopefully for the last time ever.  Moving is a really job. Yeah, not a fan.

I begin my day VERY early and I end my day in the wee hours of the morning. It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks.  Things are finally beginning to settle down a bit, and for that, I am grateful.

Because I miss writing blog posts.  I miss reading my fellow bloggers blog posts. I miss YOU.

I'll catch up soon, my friends!  Until then, what I'd really love to know is:

HOW ARE ALL OF YOU DOING?  Truly.  Will you tell me in a comment so I can feel connected again?  Please and thank you.  XO

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Happy Birthday Milena and Gustavo!

The world has become a better place since the two of you entered it 
just one year ago.

The year in pictures:

2 days old

1 month 

2 months

3 months

4 months

5 months

6 months

7 months

8 months

9 months

10 months

11 months


Happy Birthday Kiddos.  I love you so, so much!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


When I first saw this video, the thing that struck me was the normalcy of it.  Here you've got 2 dads with 2 life.  Just like any family you may see out there.  Making breakfast, getting the kids ready for school, going to work, tucking into bed.  It's just day to day tasks and events in this wonderful thing we call life.  We are ALL living this life.  In some households it's a mom and a dad taking care of these tasks and events.  In others it may be a mom or a dad who solely take care of things.  And in some cases, yes, you'll find 2 moms or 2 dads who are managing their family.  

Managing the family.  It's what we're all doing on a daily basis.  At the end of the day, as we climb into bed, we hope that it was a great day.  We like it when things get done and everyone is happy and healthy.  We look forward to the next day when we'll do it all again.

Does it really matter, 
as you turn out the lights, 
whether you roll over to give a kiss goodnight 
to your husband, your wife, your partner, or no one at all? 

It does not. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Miss Independent

Dear Friends,

I know it might seem strange to some but I feel very connected with all of you, my lovely blog friends. If you think about it, it makes sense.  I've shared holidays, birthdays and anniversaries with you. I've experienced a pregnancy and child birth with you.  You supported me after the birth of Milena and Gustavo  and you transitioned with me as I became a working mom.  You've been "with" me through quite a few big moments in my life. Today, I hope that your support will once again be there as I share with you another transition in my life.

Rick and I have decided that at this point in our lives, we will be stronger and happier apart than we are together.  There is no anger. No resentment.  Neither one of us has wronged the other.  This is simply a case of 2 people who over the years have grown apart. Since this decision was made, Rick and I have had many conversations about how things will look in our new lives.  We have agreed on just about everything, most importantly that this be the smoothest transition possible for Skyler and Savannah.  We both feel a great deal of sadness knowing that this decision is by far hardest for the girls.  I am so very proud of how the girls have handled things thus far and I feel extremely confident that they will soon learn that life is still very good...and very happy.  My hope is that they will see that 2 happy parents in different homes creates a better life than 2 unhappy parents in the same home.  

How am I feeling?  I feel excited, anxious, scared and hopeful.  I am ready for the next steps and I look forward to creating the absolute happiest life possible for my family and myself.  It's new territory for all of us and that always produces some anxiety but I am 100% certain that we will ALL come out on the other side stronger, wiser, healthier and happier.

We would certainly appreciate all of the positive energy you can send our way.  I can't thank you enough for always being there for us.  

Much love,


Saturday, October 13, 2012


I truly enjoy reading all of the blogs I follow.  It's one of the highlights of my day. It's very cool for me to be able to read about a surrogacy journey from the perspective of other surrogates.  It also intrigues me to read about the journey through the eyes of the Intended Parent.  This post was a neat one to read as the Intended Mother (Now Mom) has posted about her birth story, her relationship with her surrogate during their journey and what she anticipates the relationship will be now that a beautiful baby girl has been born.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

In The News...

I don't usually have the TV on in the morning, but recently I happened to tune in to the Today Show.  What a lovely day for them to have a story on surrogacy. Check it out!

I also really enjoyed this story about a pretty incredible woman from Bogota, Columbia who is also making a big difference in the lives of babies and families.

Completely unrelated: I spent a couple days in the mountains last week and one early morning on my way back to the hotel, I was forced to pull over.  For these guys...

Yes, elk understand English.  I think.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

11 Months Old!




And just like the hokey pokey, "That's what it's all about."

Happy 11 months Gustavo and Milena!  Hugs and Kisses!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

J & J

This last weekend was one of the greatest weekends ever.  Simply because I got to spend it with Jesse.  I'm pretty sure she and I could have fun no matter WHAT we were doing.  We had a fantastic weekend and Jesse has posted about it.  Check it out.  (Especially if you're a Dog the Bounty Hunter fan.)  :-)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I'm Not A Flipping Robot!

Just let me post my comment for once, will ya?

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that it's become even harder to prove you're not a robot?  It's true that it's recently been determined that I need glasses while working at the computer, but my gosh, I squint to try to get the letters just right and half the time the numbers aren't readable AT ALL!

I take my time, fix the letter that I think may be an "a", no...a "ci", no...definitely an "a".  (see above) Good grief!  It produces a little anxiety. I slowly enter each character one by one.  I double and triple check my work and carefully press the PUBLISH button while crossing all crossables.

The characters you've entered didn't match the word verification.  
Please try again.  

I can just hear her smug, calm voice as she gives me the news that I've failed yet again.  And I just KNOW she turns her head to the side and snickers at me a little bit.  

I want the power back!  I'm TAKING the power back!

In an effort to smack that smug, calm voice right in the mouth, I am REMOVING the Prove You're Not A Robot feature from this blog.  From now on, I will approve each comment before it's posted and I will determine whether you're a robot or not, and I will have the power and I will be very happy.

Now isn't that more cheerful?  So every time you comment and hit that publish button, please know that I send you lots of happy, carefree energy full of rainbows and unicorns.

And donuts.  

Because they're yummy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


You all remember the The Tale of 3 Fishies don't ya?  
If not, you may wish to refresh your memories.

Who knew beta fish lived so darn long!  These 3 girls are now the only pets in our household.  We have a "sick of 'em, but can't bear to flush 'em" relationship. You know, they're not necessarily a pain to take care of, but they really don't bring anything to the relationship if you know what I mean.

So just now, I walked downstairs for a lunch break.  Stopped dead in my tracks when I see poor Phoebe, lifeless on the floor in the middle of the kitchen.  The MIDDLE of the kitchen! It's common knowledge that Betas can jump...but usually only an inch or so which is about how low I keep the water from the top. Poor sweet Phoebe must have jumped from the bowl and flopped her way around until she fell all the way to the floor.  I grabbed a paper towel so that I could throw her out, er...I mean have a beautiful ceremony for her.  As the paper towel touched her there was slight movement.  I immediately go into action.  

We have MOVEMENT people!  

Quick! Let's get this chick back into the water!  She's drowning in all this AIR! (very strange thought)

I briskly grabbed Ms. Phoebe by the tail fin and threw her back into the bowl.

Immediate sink.

And stillness.


I lean in and look very closely at the side of the tank where Phoebe's body is still and kinda lopsided.  Could I see any signs of breathing?  


Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  


BAM!  Phoebe starts to move.  And suddenly she bolts up to the top of the tank, grabs a gulp of air (Huh?  Why air?  Weird...) and begins swimming about as if nothing had ever happened.  

*Be HEALED my child!*  

That's right folks.  The super-powers are never ending.  I have now brought someone(thing) back from the dead.  I'm designing my cape as we speak and Marvel has already contacted me for a movie deal.  

All is well.

Reunited and it feels so good!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The New TV Family

The New Normal.
Modern Family.
Guys With Kids.

Just a sampling of some of the television shows you can tune into this season.  The shows will make you laugh and they'll make you cry but most importantly, they will help to  change the way our society views family.

Obviously, The New Normal is a show that many surrogates and intended parents were excited about watching.  The feedback on the show is mixed.  Some love it and some hate it.  Some feel it "represents" and others argue that it's not realistic. Personally, I'm enjoying the show.  Sure, there are plenty of things that aren't an accurate representation, but in my mind there is a more important shift taking place.

Shows like these are creating characters that we fall in love with as viewers.  Character development is crucial for any TV show that's going to experience success on prime time.  Not only are the characters in these shows well developed, these shows are portraying a non-traditional family.  We have a single mom and surrogate mother.  We've got stay-at-home dads.  We've got gay couples who are creating families via adoption and surrogacy.
The more our society sees a variety of families, the more likely it is that it becomes accepted as the norm, and if we could just be honest with ourselves, the non-traditional family IS the norm!  It's our reality and we should embrace that.  These shows are helping to reinforce the fact that although families may LOOK different, if you peel away what the family "looks" like, you're simply left with....a family.  Not a gay family.  Not a divorced family.  Not a "non-traditional" family.  Just a family.

And as an incredibly lovable surrogate once said:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Day In The Life

~How I Am Adjusting to Life as a Working Mom ~

I wake between 6:45 and 7:15 every day.  Most days, no alarm is necessary. The first order of business is to check my phone for any work that needs my immediate attention.  You see, although it's still early here in Denver, the work day has already begun and is in full swing in Boston.  Boston.  Where you will find most of my co-workers working in the office.  

I get myself ready for the day while responding to emails here and there, and making sure Skyler and Savannah are all set and ready for their school day. Once they are school bound, I plop down at my desk and I get busy.  For the next 6-7 hours you'll find me:

Answering phone calls
Screening applicants
Chatting with potential surrogates about the journey and how rewarding it is
Realizing I haven't blogged in nearly a week
Gathering medical records
Sending welcome emails
Contacting former carriers
Making welcome calls
Realizing I MUST make the time to blog...I have readers for goodness sake
Attending meetings via phone
Making to-do lists
Following up with Physicians and Hospitals regarding medical records
Sending and responding to emails 
Forwarding paperwork to the office
Realizing I only have 10 minutes until I need to pick up the girls from school and I still haven't composed a new blog post.

On the way to pick up the girls from school, I'm making a mental list of all the things I didn't get a chance to do during the day.

Pick up my happy girls from school who always greet me with a smile. Love.

We tackle homework and get snacks, water bottles and lunches ready for the next day.  We attend our after school activities like dance, drama and tutoring for the elementary school's homework club.  Once we're home for the evening, we have some dinner and I spend a little more time working on the things I didn't get done during the day.  We usually try to catch up on some of our TV shows together.  

Around 10 PM, the house is relatively quiet and at least one of the kids is in bed. Skyler's a night owl, just like her mama, so sometimes she keeps me company. Late night is a good time for me to finish up work for the day.  Usually by 1 AM, the eyelids are getting pretty droopy and sleep is beckoning.  As I lay down and attempt to relax my mind, the thoughts that are swirling around in my head are:

I love my job.
I love that I get to work in this field.
I love that I communicate with surrogates every day of the week.
I love that I'm busy.
I love that I'm successful.
I love being a working mom.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fun Factoids

I recently received one of those emails that I believe I was supposed to forward within the next 6.3 minutes or I would be struck down.  Usually, I delete that type of email before opening, but this particular email was carefully disguised.  I opened it. I did not forward it.  I lived to tell the story...and share it's contents with all of you.  I've added my two cents to each of the facts because...well, because I can. 


1)  If you are right handed, you will tend to chew your food on the right side of your mouth.
This is absolutely, 100% NOT true for me.

2) To make half a kilo of honey, bees must collect nectar from over 2 million individual flowers.
This particular factoid was educational x 2 for me because I had to google how much a kilo was.   1 kilo = 2.2 pounds.  You knew that?  Oh...ok.  That means this fact was only educational x 1 for you then.  See!  I don't COMPLETELY suck at math.  

3) Tourists visiting Iceland should know that tipping at a restaurant is considered an insult.  
Fascinating! Not to mention cost effective.

4) People in nudist colonies play volleyball more than any other sport.
Volleyball.  Whole lotta jumping.  Eww.

5) Astronauts can't belch - there is no gravity to separate the liquid from the gas in their stomachs.
What a shame.  Hours of entertainment lost while in space.

6) The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows.  In the Renaissance era, it was fashion to shave them off.
Let's bring back the trend!  Who's with me?

7) Google is actually the common name for a number with a million zeros.  
I knew this.  Learned it from a wicked smart 2nd grader I taught back in 2001. No kidding.

8) Kites were used in the American Civil War to deliver letters and newspapers.
I'm not buying it.  Imagine the kite flying skills required for this task.  Not to mention the length of string that would require.  And don't even get me started on wind direction.

9) The roar that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear.
WHAT?!?!  Childhood.  Memory.  Shattered.

10) Nine out of every 10 living things live in the ocean.
How can we even be sure there IS an ocean if we can't hear it in a seashell?

11) In ancient Greece, tossing an apple to a girl was a traditional proposal of marriage.  Catching it meant she accepted.
And the uncoordinated women adopt cats.

12) Earth gets 100 tons heavier every day due to falling space dust.
Due to a strange gravitational pull, the Denhof house appears to collect more of this space dust than other homes.  

13) Everything weighs one percent less at the equator.
That settles it.  I'm moving.
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