Sunday, October 14

there's no place like home*

the many faces of my gorgeous marmie, canon digital rebel xti
(click for larger view)

I just returned home from home. I can still smell the puppy scent of our new little sister, Callie Lu in my hair. I snuggled her good and hard while she sat on my lap during our trek back to the airport. Their dog Daisy that recently passed away will never be replaced but Callie Lu sure has stolen another part of my heart. One of my favorite moments was when she snuggled in between my sister Darlene and I for two hours in the early morning. She clumsily plopped her furry body on top of mine, nuzzling her nose into my neck and then taking turns to do the same with Darlene. She couldn't make up her mind which new sister she wanted to snuggle, so she laid down in the middle with paws touching us both. I think she was on LOVE overload all weekend. We all couldn't get enough of her. She's such a smart little one...already playing fetch, whining at the door when she needs to go potty and sitting for treats. She's just tender and perfect for my parents and has already been so healing for their broken hearts. I cradled her in my arms quite a bit and had to laugh at myself because I could feel that yearning to do the same with a baby, yet here I was starring in the eyes of a puppy.

Speaking of yearning. I only had one mini meltdown about my fertility journey while with my sisters and mother. I actually anticipated a few more because it was the first time in a long time since we've all been together. They've gone through most of this with me over the phone or via emails. It happened when we were driving up to the mountains on our way to antique stores. After cheerfully listening to a plethora of stories about my nieces and nephews when they were little, out of the blue I felt an anxiety attack come on. I was sitting in the back seat with my sister Darlene and while she was sharing a cute story about Marky and marbles, I felt warm tingles all over. My sister Pam and my mother were up front chatting away and their voices began to sound low and grumbled. My heart started racing, my palms sweating. I reached my hand over to Darlene's knee in tears and told her what was happening. Then my emotions all poured out. I heard my mother and Pam stop and listen. Pam turning and placing her hand on my leg, Darlene holding my hand. My mother was driving but I could still feel her touching me. I just remember saying that I never thought I'd be "this person" to have to go through this. I think I even called Nichole Ritchie a bad word for getting pregnant while anorexic (where did that come from?). Wow...it all came tumbling. They held me in their silence. I kept hearing their whispers..."I know, Denise...let it out." Even through the tears and messy thoughts and emotions, I felt centered. I remember saying..."I'm not a victim. I am grateful for this journey and all the blessings that have come into my life as a result but it doesn't take the pain away, the uncertainty, the fear when others share their stories and you wonder if a biological child is or is not in the cards for you. It's huge and every once in a while it feels overwhelming and shocking that this is me....but it is me and I am accepting this." This whole journey has been about accepting and embracing the joy and pain through all of this.

They didn't look at me with pity but rather with pride. I noticed that and appreciated it very much. They all seemed so sure about the goodness in my near future. They were the balance to my fearful thoughts creeping up.

The remainder of my time there I felt more quiet than usual. Sort of taking everything in and being gentle with myself. Messy moments like that drain me a bit because they don't happen very often but when they do, I let the floodgates flow. I need to. It felt so good and natural to do it with them. It still surprised me though because I was feeling so centered and then blah...it came crashing down. It's all part of the roller coaster. I promised myself I would never judge moments like these but hold myself more gently when they happen.

In fact, we all had our moments of sharing like this about our own journey's. It felt as though we all circled one another holding onto a healing safety net for when one of us stumbled. That's what family is for and I know we'll always continue to nurture that.

Below are a few photos I wanted to share. My brother in-law and darling nephews came over for a bit as well. Can't believe how grown up they all are. I remember them in diapers so clearly:

the newest fuzzy addition to our family...Callie Lu, canon digital rebel xti
(for those that have asked...she is a Golden Doodle)

the blonde beauties.. my big sis Darlene & lil sis Callie, canon digital rebel xti

my other stunning big sis Pamela, canon digital rebel xti

my handsome daddy looking oh so Sean Connery-ish.
(just ignore the blur from camera shake!)

pamela, darlene & me, taken by marmie with my camera,
right before heading to the mountains

the boyz: Ken (pam's husband), my nephews Casey, Mark & Sean and my daddy

Casey (pam's son)& Mark (darlene's son) playing with Callie, canon digital rebel xti

brothers being brothers: Casey & Sean (pam's son), canon digital rebel xti

cousins being cousins: Mark, Casey & Sean

Mark & Casey, canon digital rebel xti

never enough sister kisses

We missed you Angela & Kelly!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a beautiful and supportive family you have! i am so glad mark is doing so well; he looks so healthy in this pic...i remember all the prayers i sent up last christmas...glad they were answered.

October 14, 2007 at 11:18:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are one of the luckiest one to have such a gorgeous and happy families to have.

Plus that dog is so cute, what type of dog is he?

October 15, 2007 at 12:09:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Toni M Photography said...

oooh how cute is Callie.... :)

Sending you warm hugs and keep out for a little something in post and in your inbox,

Big hugs,
Love Toni

October 15, 2007 at 1:24:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

messy moments are so much more bearable when they happen with a clutch of sisters (of the variety we are born with or the ones we find).

i can't wait to meet you in just over four days - those shots of you with your sisters got me right in the mood for a girly sandwish

PS: seeing those photos of Mark looking so healthy and handsome and fabulous made me smile from ear to ear.

October 15, 2007 at 5:46:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, I LOVE the pictures of Callie. I SO want a doggie in my future and when I saw the pictures I wanted to jump through the screen and squish her with big hugs and kisses. I actually yearn for a puppy! As for your melt down. I'm just going to send you virtual hugs and smooches. I was going to say that I saw the picture that Schmoops posted on her site of you and you look beautiful! Almost mommy like :) I'm sending you positive vibes hun! Good things are going to come your way!

October 15, 2007 at 6:28:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your family is beautiful, in all ways...blessed woman you are.

October 15, 2007 at 7:29:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

When my longing for a baby reached that intense place, that place where I hated strange young women for having the nerve to look knocked up rather than purposefully pregnant; when I started to mentally justify why it makes sense for women to steal babies from "bad" mothers; when I thought my womb felt more like a tiny mausoleum than fertile ground; I just wanted to know.

Margaret Sanger said “When motherhood becomes the fruit of a deep yearning, not the result of ignorance or accident, its children will become the foundation of a new race.”

We are not the precise women Ms. Sanger had in mind, and yet, because we have longed for children, because our children will be anything but a result of ignorance or accident, they will indeed become the foundation of a new race of humanity.

My heart goes out to you.

October 15, 2007 at 8:44:00 AM PDT  
Blogger gkgirl said...

such a beautiful family you have,
the love is evident.

October 15, 2007 at 9:05:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have such a gorgeous family, beautiful on the inside and out. I know you will get on the other side of this, and it will be beautiful.

October 15, 2007 at 9:40:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Stacy said...

goodness, ya'll are just so purdy! all kinds of yumminess in these photos.

so happy you had some time to share with your family.

...and that callie lu? i just want to eat her, she's just so deliciously cute!

love you angel.xoxo

October 15, 2007 at 9:49:00 AM PDT  
Blogger AMANDA said...

Such a beautiful family.
I know someone else asked this, but what kind of dog is Callie?

October 15, 2007 at 10:55:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i like how you said,
"they looked at me with pride, not pity."

that is how we all look at you, deni...
i cherish your sweet, lovely heart.

and beautiful pictures!
i especially love the ones of your marmie!

love you
mccabe x

October 15, 2007 at 10:55:00 AM PDT  
Blogger sonia said...

I cracked up laughing when I got to the Nicole Ritchie part! Girl, it's ok to have a complete break down. How wonderful that you had your sister and mother with you to "listen" in this time of very healthy discharging!

Much love,

October 15, 2007 at 11:04:00 AM PDT  
Blogger kelly barton art + design said...

my goodness....could your family be any more beautiful! serious happy genes there! the puppy is adorable. i love golden doodles, we have a new one in town...buddy.
we researched them before we got delilahblue our airedale.

thanks for sharing all the images. i dig your photos!


October 15, 2007 at 11:22:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Darlene said...

missing you
while i still
have the imprint
of your body
held tightly
against mine

i heart my lil sis
xOx darlene

October 15, 2007 at 1:01:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Rebecca said...

such a gorgeous marmie you have!

October 15, 2007 at 1:27:00 PM PDT  
Blogger bee said...

hi, sweetie.

i just wanted to point out that maybe you had that meltdown because you were feeling so centered...not the same thing AT ALL, but when i was doing crisis support on a hotline, i often found that people resurface childhood memories in their 30's, once their body has healed and gained enough distance to think it's safe...maybe you needed to do the epic let-go when you felt so safe and loved, surrounded by your women...

i loved this post. full of pictures and love (mark!! i have to say!! he looks fabulous) and wise, wise words.

my heart is sending you a denise-sized hug.

and yay for sus being there!!!

October 15, 2007 at 6:46:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Amber Cargile said...

Beautiful essay and photos. The love of family is a blessed thing!

October 16, 2007 at 9:37:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful visit you had with your family...full of everything that it needed to be and then some. Gorgeous photos of you and your sisters...and your beautiful Mom and Dad. The love radiates from both your words and the photos.

love you.xoxo

October 16, 2007 at 10:04:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Michelle (a.k.a. la vie en rose) said...

fabulous photos of the fam deni girl!

ps--you are perfect in every way!

October 16, 2007 at 11:26:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Sarcomical said...

well, my dear, it goes without saying that your entire family is gorgeous. but your mother is so stunning and looks so vibrant and happy. you captured her, and everyone, so well. ;) as always.

p.s. the new little sister looks very squishable and sweet.

October 16, 2007 at 11:34:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

that's possibly the cutest puppy i have ever seen!

October 16, 2007 at 3:03:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Kathleen said...

your family is beautuful!

hugs to you, sister. i feel your words and strength.

you shine.

October 16, 2007 at 5:07:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good-ness you have a crazy beautiful family!!!!

October 16, 2007 at 5:43:00 PM PDT  
Blogger MeowGoddess said...

Dear Goddess Boho,

Thank you for sharing your heart and family.

Patience my sweet Goddess.

She's on her way. She is just letting you shed the last vestiges of who you are not.

There's a knowing in your heart - otherwise you wouldn't be on this path.

Keep on shining your light and creating the sacred space for gifts to pour in.

Wishing you,
Peace & Love, Just Because,
Goddess Diana

October 18, 2007 at 2:43:00 AM PDT  
Blogger kali said...

i'm jealous of your mama's hair.

October 18, 2007 at 1:47:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that you had the anxiety attack. Sometimes those attacks come right out of left field and smack us just when we're not expecting them, don't they? I'm glad that you were with women who love you and wish the world for you.

And your photographs are GORGEOUS!!! Wow! You are one talented photographer!

October 20, 2007 at 9:19:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Such great pics! I am glad that your nephew is doing well. Sounds like it was a really great and well needed visit. I started to get teary eyed when I read about your anxiety attack and yet I'd feel the most safe with exposing my emotions while with family. You have a great family and so I am glad you got a chance to simply feel however you feel and know that it's ok.

October 26, 2007 at 11:20:00 PM PDT  

Post a Comment

<< Home