Friday, March 29, 2013


Although I rarely watch them, I do love commercials.  It's fascinating to me to see the marketing strategies of various companies and organizations.  Usually, I'm just so anxious to see who was voted off the island, who used the fast pass and how America voted on American Idol, that I fast forward through the commercials, which is why I hadn't yet seen a super awesome commercial.

Family and friends began messaging, texting and emailing me about the latest Kindle commercial.  They said, they thought of me, figured I would be happy to see it and Skyler even said, "I just saw what is going to be your new favorite commercial."

I'm so proud.  Yes, I'm proud of Amazon, along with all of the other companies who promote equality.  I'm equally proud that when my family and friends see these companies promoting equality, they think of me.  What an awesome thing to be associated with.  Equality.  For All.  

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Week - Thankful for...

After posting this post, I decided I would make a point to document as often as possible all of the things I've GOTTEN to do.  All of the opportunities I've had and the things I'm so thankful for.  In short, focusing on the positive.

So here you have it.  This week:

1.  I learned that I am lucky enough to be welcoming a new nephew to this world sometime this summer.  I'm so in love with him already.

2.  I've slept really well.

3.  I heard birds chirping first thing in the morning.  Signs of SPRING!

4.  I was invited to be a travel companion/support person for a good friend's upcoming transfer.  *SuPeR eXcItEd!* Blog post to follow.

5.  I slipped on ice and fell flat on my arse in the Target parking lot. Once on the way into Target and once on the way out.  Awesome.  Thankful for the fact that I wasn't badly injured.  And also for the fact that I am able to laugh at myself (after dropping an F bomb or two.)

6.  Dyed/decorated 60 (yes, sixty) Easter eggs with my girls.

7.  Bought a new pair of running shoes that made ALL the difference in my workout.  So much of a difference that I managed a brief jog in my very next workout - only for one minute, and not at a very fast pace, but RUNNING!    Did you hear me?!?! Running!  Who woulda thunk I'd ever be able to say that?  Not me.

8.  Aaaannnndddd......drumroll of those movies I thought I'd never have time for? Watched it.  Les Mis - totally worth the wait.

Happy week everyone.  What are you grateful to have experienced this week?

Friday, March 22, 2013

2 years ago today...

...I lay nervously on an exam table hoping to become pregnant.  A few days later we learned that we were successful and our pregnancy journey began.  To celebrate our transfer-versary, I thought that today would be a good day to take a walk down memory lane.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

When Life Gives You Crazy, Change Your Perspective

I had a meltdown.
         Or maybe 2.

Fortunately there was only one witness to my weak moment.  Good ol' Mom. Thank you Mom for soaring with me when I'm on cloud nine and scraping my sorry butt off the ground when I'm not.

Things have been busy around here, and stressful.

So far this year, I have worked approximately 663 hours.  In 12 weeks.  You do the math.

Add in homework, Dr. and dentist appointments, dance class, school events, everyday chores and errands and - well - I was feeling a wee bit overwhelmed. I wanted and needed more time in the day.  I began feeling like there was never going to be enough time for everything I'd like to do.  For the last few weeks I've been feeling like there will never be time to read the book that sits on my nightstand begging me to read it.  The movies that I had hoped to see in the theater are nearing their release on DVD and yet I wonder if I'll have time to watch them even then.  Poor, poor Jeni...just too darn busy.

Then yesterday it hit me.  Yes, my life is busy.  And it's bound to stay that way for quite some time.  I have 2 very clear choices.  Focus on all that I haven't gotten to do, or focus on all that I HAVE gotten to do. Additionally, I tried adding some perspective to the things I have gotten to do.

For example:

Recently, I have been privileged enough to witness a pretty sweet game of Twister between my girls:

Several days later, I also witnessed one of the biggest fights they've ever had.

***Perspective - There are parents around the world who live DAILY with only the memory of their child - parents who would give absolutely ANYTHING to witness a game of Twister, or even the world's greatest argument.
I've recently started working out.  Something that I have never liked to do.  Something I've never really done.  Well I'm doing it.  And I'm loving it.  And some days I'm so sore that I can barely walk.

***Perspective - As I'm HATING lifting those weights, and as I'm DREADING that treadmill, there are human beings who are missing an arm, a leg, or the general health needed to be able to do this kind of work out.

And each night as I head to bed, exhausted and sometimes stressed, I keep this in mind:  There are many, many people who want a job, don't have a job, and haven't had a job in some time.  People who have already lost, or fear the loss of their home, their car, their belongings.  As I crawl into my nice warm bed (with the heated mattress pad) and turn on the TV for a bit before falling asleep, how could I POSSIBLY feel sorry for myself and the crazy life that I am so blessed to live?

I choose to be grateful for the basics:

I am healthy.
I have food, a warm home and a reliable car.
My children are healthy, caring, smart, beautiful young ladies.
I am able to pay my bills and have money left over for indulgences.
I am loved.

I choose to focus on the things that ARE my life:

Those 663 hours have helped to make the dream of becoming a surrogate a reality for about 60 women so far this year.  Those 60 women will go on to help create 60 families.  That my friends, is 663 hours of my life well spent.

And let's keep it real.  That book WILL get read in time.  I WILL see those movies that I've wanted to see.  Not today, and maybe not even this week or month.  But I'm living for today.  And today, I sure do have a lot to be thankful for - most of all this crazy life of mine. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Blarney McMuffin

Lovin' my Leprechaun name!

Blarney McMuffin

Share with me - What's your Leprechaun name?

P.S.  If you contact me today, I fully expect you to refer to me as Blarney...
or Ms. McMuffin.

You think I'm kidding.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013

Talking With Others About Surrogacy

I receive many emails asking for help with talking to others about surrogacy. Women seeking advice on how to talk about surrogacy with family, friends and their community. I recently ran across a poll/advice post on Facebook regarding surrogates who choose to talk with others about their surrogacy journey and was saddened to see that many, MANY women choose not to share information about their surrogacy because of the fear that others will not understand or be supportive.  

There are misconceptions about what surrogacy is all about.  Society is often misinformed and even more often uninformed.  We, as a surrogacy community are a tight group.  We're extremely supportive of one another simply because we understand.  We get it.  It is a personal goal of mine to do my part to help others "get it." Won't you join me?

Some people are always up for an argument.  They have strong beliefs and would like nothing more than for you to feel badly about the fact that you don't share their beliefs.  Other people (usually close friends and family) are truly concerned for your physical or mental well being.  I have composed a list of tips - things that I've found helpful when speaking with others about becoming a surrogate or about surrogacy in general.  

Enter the conversation with strength and pride
It's difficult for others to find fault or want to argue with you if they can see how passionate you are about surrogacy.

Reassure them
Some people will likely be concerned for you, both physically and emotionally. This is understandable and acceptable.  Share with them that you've considered and researched both the physical and emotional pieces and that you are confident in your decision.  Provide them with plenty of information so that you can reassure them of your physical and emotional health.

Be open and knowledgeable
Not many people know about or understand how surrogacy really works.  Share with them EVERYTHING you know.  Show them what a beautiful thing surrogacy is. Address ALL of their questions and concerns calmly.  They will likely have a lot of pre-conceived notions and assumptions.  Let them know that you'll answer all of their questions - whenever they have them.  If you don't know the answers to their questions, tell them you'll find out.  You can refer them to places online where they can learn more about surrogacy.  Show them what surrogacy truly looks like.

Never become defensive or engage in an argument
This may be the most important piece of all.  If you stay calm, the other person is more likely to be willing to hear you speak.  That being said, it's ok for you to leave the discussion if the other person remains unsupportive.  If you leave with your grace and dignity intact, trust me when I say that you have made a HUGE statement to that person.  Most importantly, leave the conversation with the same confidence as when you entered it.  At the very least, you've educated, and education is half the battle.  

In order to have an impact on the current misconceptions, assumptions and lack of knowledge, we must be willing to talk about what it is we do.  Talking is a hugely important piece of society.  It's how we communicate and express ourselves, and talking plays a crucial role in educating others.  Don't believe me?  Just ask these two:

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