Monday, March 10, 2008

Seven (or so) Questions...Gab Gabs

Happy Birthday to the gabblog! I never thought I could have so much fun with my computer and I never knew there were so many cool people hiding inside. Thanks to Mom, Stie, Annajo, Min and Nim for inviting me to join your exclusive cyber-club. You were right...I love it!

I am happy to announce the winners of my give-away. The lucky lady in my "family blog circle" is my cute Aunt Jolyn, AKA Mama Jo. And Katie of Boyz n the Hood won my cyber-friend drawing! Congrats, ladies. Check your mailbox in the next few days...


I wanted to post something special today and thought I'd do a "gabtalk" interview in reverse.



What would someone who has never met ME want to know? What could possibly be interesting about a suburban housewife? And, would anyone else even care?



Celia graciously agreed to play the Barbara Walters part and came up with some great questions (I knew she would!) and I had fun posting my answers.


I look soooo much better in Sepia!






Here are my blogiversary thoughts...


1. You are an inspirational writer. How do you cope with the pressure to continue to write well? Do you ever post something and think, oh no, that was terrible and then people like it? Have you ever wanted to pursue writing as a career?
Who me? I have always loved to write--journals, letters, talks for church, research papers, funny poems--but never considered myself a writer at all. I am mostly a reader. Blogging has been a fun new creative outlet for me and the first time I've written for an audience. I love getting feedback and never feel pressure because I choose the subject, the deadline and the format. I just try to write something I'd enjoy reading myself.


A few years ago, when I was struggling terrifically with my life, I really wished for a "You've-Just-Had-Twins-And-Your-Oldest-Child-Is-Autistic-And-Your-Husband-Always-Travels-And-Your-Family-Is-A-Million-Miles-Away Handbook." Maybe that is the book I'll write someday! Think it'll sell?

2. What are you most proud of as a mother? What do you wish you did better?
I am just proud to be a mother. I was told at age 25 that I would never have children. Talk about a death sentence... I wanted to curl up and die. I had to climb out of that hole and build my family my own way. I fought and prayed and struggled for each of my children. I still do.


That said, there are SO many many ways I wish I were better. I lose patience too often. I worry that I spoil them. Or that I yell too much. I feel guilt whenever they eat Happy Meals or watch cartoons. I worry that I'm missing teaching moments, that I'm stressing too much about little details that don't matter, that I'm stifling their creativity. And don't even get me started on their dental health...

3. How do you think experiencing infertility makes you different as a mom? Do you keep in touch with the birth mothers of Emily and Jake? Is it weird? When you wanted more children after them, why didn't you adopt again? Do you believe that Emily and Jake, and also the twins, were sent to you specifically or did you just get lucky? What advice do you have for those who are struggling with infertility?

I think going through infertility helps you recognize each child is a gift, not a given. Also, I am not in such a rush to have my children grow up. Infertility gave me a long-term life perspective, which (sometimes) helps me be more patient. An added bonus-- most friends my age have kids that are older...so I learn from them and their experiences.

We do send yearly letters and photos to our birthmoms through the adoption agency and hear from them semi-regularly and it's not weird. I enjoy correspoding with these women. I met both of them at our adoption placements and can honestly say that I love them and pray for their happiness. They have given me the greatest of gifts and I hope to meet them again when my kids are grown. Hopefully, we'll be able to congratulate each other on a job well done!

We had great experience with our adoptions and had submitted paperwork for a third baby. However, we had been warned that once a couple has two children and are over 30, they are less likely to be selected. A good friend at my gym recommended her fertillity clinic and (although I swore I'd NEVER do it again) we decided to give IVF one last shot....pun intended.

We kept it a big secret--only told a very few people we were even trying. None of our family knew. When we got the positive result, we were blown away. And we had planned trips home, so we got to surprise our families in person! Then, a few weeks later we found saw TWO heartbeats! Complete shock. (Really, the subtitle of my blog should be "Be Careful What You Pray For"... because my life is all about miracles.)


The whole time I was pregnant I felt like a complete fraud. I had wanted for so long to be with child. I could not believe I had not just one, but TWO babies in there. The whole experience was surreal (unfortunately, the nausea and vomiting were not)!

I wondered if I would love biological children more than my adopted kids. But anyone who has experienced this will tell you there is no quantifying when it comes to motherlove. I do have a different love for Jake than I do for Emily and a unique love for Sam and still another tailor-made love just for Luke. Each of my children holds a different place in my heart. I suspect this is true for all moms, shared DNA or not.


My four little miracles



I have lots of advice for women struggling with infertility--don't blame yourself, take time to grieve, switch doctors if you don't like yours, stay connected with friends and family, look outside yourself for opportunities to serve and be with others, pray a lot. Mainly, listen to that inner voice...you will know if it is the right time to pursue aggressive treatment, to look into adoption or to just take a break. Hang in there. It will be ok.

4. What is it like to live far from your mom? Do you think you'll ever return to Utah? Do you have real live girlfriends, and are they LDS? Does it make a difference?

Precious time with my mom and sisters


When I moved away ten years ago, I thought we were just having a little adventure. I never expected that we would actually put down roots and settle on the East Coast. I love it here, but I do miss my family terribly. That is the whole reason I started blogging, to keep in touch and share day-to-day moments with loved ones far away. I don't know if we'll ever live out West again, but technology, thankfully, helps me feel closer to them.


I couldn't have survived without my real life friends--my church friends, gym buddies, moms with special needs kids, playgroup pals, bookclub members and sweet neighbors. They have become my family in a very real sense. They have shared recipes, baby clothes, furniture, babysitting, books, secrets, advice, hugs and tears. I wish that some of them would start blogging so we could post embarassing photos of one another, but alas...


Many of my friends are Mormon, since we spend a lot of time involved with our church activities and responsibilities. But a lot of my friends are not. I hope it doesn't make a big difference. My Jewish and Catholic friends probably think I am a little bit weird. But my LDS friends probably think I am a little bit weird. And my family definitely thinks I am a little bit weird.


The truth is, I am just a little bit weird. Thanks for liking me anyway!

31 comments:

gab said...

p.s. Brad--I know you have been DYING to comment on my blog. Now that I'm celebrating my one year mark, I think it would be the perfect time for you to make your voice heard.

Or I could just go myself a really big Blogiversary Surprise....

gab said...

I mean, Go BUY myself a really big Blogiversary Surprise...

Rochelleht said...

YEA!!!! That was super duper fun! Celia did a GREAT job. Just the questions I would have asked. I loved every bit of it. You rock, Gabi. So so glad I stumbled upon you some 10 months ago. I can't believe it has been that long. I'm coming up on my 1 year, too. Crazy!

You are just a joy in my little blogosphere. I look forward to your entries every day. Thanks for being such an inspiration. Love ya!

Lauren said...

Celia asked great questions and I loved reading your witty, thoughtful, introspective answers. You are a great writer!

I giggled at your, "pun intended" about giving it a shot remark. You are so clever!

calibosmom said...

This was fun to read-especially the crazy mom moments-losing it and feeling like you can do better-I feel that everyday! I am also an East Coast girl and my 7 bros and sista and parents are out West except 1 sister in FL. Its hard being away but this is my home and I love it! Happy Blogiversary!

TravelinOma said...

I am SO glad you blog! It makes me feel close to you. Actually, I think we write differently than we talk, so it doubles the fun. You are an awesome writer, and happily you have lots of blog material.

Happy Blogiversary!

Jenifer and Scott said...

So cute! Thanks for your daily inspiration.

Amanda said...

Congrats on the 1 year mark! You did a great job answering the questions. I feel like I know you better. And you are exactly right about loving adopted/biological children just the same. There is no difference in a mother's eyes.

Lindsey said...

Gab, you are a strong woman and an inspiration to us. That is why we read your blog. Thanks for sharing. Keep writing!

Jenibelle said...

Gabi, my husband hates this blogging phenom. He thinks it's too much personal stuff on the WWWeb. But although I am new to it, and truthfully, many times I feel incredibly inadequate as a Mom, wife and person when I read all these incredible posts by inspiring women, what a wonderful outlet for humor and wisdom and creativity. I am hooked. I limit myself to only 10-12 blogs to read, and I love yours. You inspire me. I have told you that I too have a significantly disabled daughter. I enjoy that someone else can laugh at the stuff that happens. Happy Bloggiversary, I am happy to have "met" you!!

Celia Fae said...

Gab! I was looking forward to reading this all day, and you did not disappoint. I knew you would answer some of those tough questions beautifully. I've always wondered about the mother love thing especially.

Now I have to go put your blogiversary into my blog so I can have a record of it. Really, it's been a celebration for me too. Thanks so much for letting me share it with you.

Celia Fae said...

p.s. I'm weird too. I like it like that.

cami said...

Gabi, you are THE BEST! I love the questions and all of your perfectly honest and beautiful answers. I'm especially lucky to have you in my family. It wouldn't be the same without you, for sure!

XOXO!

Annie said...

Happy blog birthday! So glad you're part of my internetwork & thanks for the extra glimpse inside the Gab mind.

You should definitely go buy yourself a blogiversary surprise.

Christie said...

Maybe Josh can teach Brad how to blogjack you and he can leave you a flowery, surprise post. I can TOTALLY see Brad doing that, ha ha. I say go for the BLogiversary gift. You know just what you've always wanted. Go get it.

I loved reading these answers. Some of these infertility issues have been hard ones for people like me to bring up, but it's stuff I've always wondered. I'm glad Celia was Bawbawa. She was excellent! You are a great girl and I'm so glad to call you sister and friend.

mama jo said...

what a surprise! i never win anything...so thanks alot! i loved all the questions and answers, you do a wonderful job blogging and i'm so glad you do...it's so much fun to get to know your family through all the adventures you have...it's the best way to stay in touch...thanks again..

B2rad1 said...

Hi Gab,
You know I look forward to reading your blog everyday...especially when I am traveling. I know it is even harder to write because you have to do everything yourself, but it really makes my day when I get to read a new post.
Simply put, You Are The Greatest!
I never thought you would get into the whole blog thing but you are awesome at it. I think one of my best presents for you has been the gabtop. I am glad you have it so you are not stuck in the office when your are being your creative, original, funny, loving self.

I also have to say Thank You to all your new cyber-friends. You are all going to have a great time at Blogapalooza!

I love you and will see you tomorrow!

PS: What do you mean by "big" Blogiversary Suprise??

lainakay said...

Happy Bloggy Birthday. Loved the interview! Love your blog! Thanks for all the great posts, looking forward to lots more!!

Denae said...

Gab this was so great. I loved learning a little more about especially the baby stuff. I am obsessed with hearing about people who have dealt with infertility, adoption and all of that. Thanks so much for sharing. You have a great blog and you are a great person! Happy blog-iversary!

marta said...

how cute! b-rad wrote you back. what a studmuffin.

gabi, you're the best and have accomplished a lot with your life with such grace and happiness. your bubbly personality shows through your blog. (aren't you glad you started one!?)

no matter what trial you've gone through, you are always thinking of others and serving them. no wonder there are so many blessings coming your way! you are such a good person. am happy to call you sis.

happy blogerversary.

katie said...

wow, yaaaaayy, winning stuff is cool. I loved reading all about you though, and will be continuing through every blogaverssary with you...

Bridget said...

What a great post! Yeah Celia for asking the perfect questions. I loved reading your answers. That was so fun to learn about the story of your IVF. That is amazing! I count you as a true internet friend Gabi. Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to meet you ....again.

Go buy something nice for yourself and post about it!

Mique (as in M-i-c-k-e-y) said...

Loved the interview. That pic of you when you were pregnant with the twins is awesome!
What a sweet comment from Brad. :)
SO glad that you have your blog. I don't care if you are weird.
AND I got the sweetest package and card in the mail- what a fantastic surprise. I LOVED it. Thanks for making my day. Thanks for always making my day! You are the best. Happy blogiversary.

martha corinna said...

That was fun. I love your blog and always tune in to learn more.
I value weird. I'm always looking for friends who are just a little bit weird, it means they think about stuff, and I like that.

andrea said...

hey, if you decide to write that book, i'd buy it. could you also throw in a chapter on "the days i never showered" and "embracing the disney channel"? then i could feel totally justified as a mother.

great getting to know you post.

Jessica said...

I don't how I missed this! I loved it so much. I'm having Celia interview me. It's so interesting when you think you know someone (because you are so open on your blog) and then there was a bunch of cool stuff I never even knew or thought of. The infertility stuff was especially good. Great idea, and so I'll probably steal it.

So happy we've met!

Holly said...

Congratulations on a wonderful bloggy year! I am very thankful to have *met* you. The questions and your answers were such a delight to read. A big bloggy bear hug for #3--such good thoughts and advice for others dealing with IF.

Here's to MANY more GabBlog years!!

crystal said...

Speaking as a 26-week pregnant woman...I loved that photo of you with the round tummy. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Hollyween said...

I've been looking for this post and somehow missed it. Weird!!

I loved reading all those great things about you. I'm coming up on my one year this year!! Blogging is so much fun. I can't wait to meet you at blogapalooza!

Ilene said...

Fun post!

My question:

What "pregnancy" is more of a pain in the butt? Getting fingerprinted, having a criminal background check, and answering numerous questionnaires OR vomiting, losing all bladder control, and excessive drooling on the pillow?

My sister-in-law who has adopted three and I (who have not adopted) like to play this game. We always conclude that either "pregnancy" is just plain stinky.

Em said...

Hey Gabi, I am a friend of Marta's and read your blog occasionally. I love it and really enjoy your honesty and humor. great post!

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