What it's all about...

I'm a 39 year old wife, mom, daughter, sister, aunt & friend. That should tell you who I'll be writing about most of the time.

Friday, August 29, 2008

In Honor of Del Martin

Lesbian activist Del Martin died on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008, in San Francisco; she was 87. She is survived by her partner of 55 years, Phyllis Lyon; her daughter and two grandchildren. A public memorial will be held in the future, but details have not yet been set.
One of Martin's last political acts was to marry Lyon at 5:07 p.m. on June 16, just minutes after same-sex marriage became legal in the state of California. Martin and Lyon were part of a dozen plaintiffs who brought the case to the California Supreme Court after 2004's same-sex marriages in San Francisco were nullified.
Without a doubt, AfterEllen.com could not have existed without the hard work that Martin and her wife, Lyon, did for over half a century in advocating for our rights as lesbians.

Martin (left) and Lyon on June 16, 2008

Martin was born in San Francisco on May 5, 1921, and studied journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and San Francisco State College. She married James Martin at age 19 and gave birth to their daughter, Kendra, two years later; the couple later divorced.
In 1950, she met and fell in love with Phyllis Lyon in Seattle, where they were both working as journalists. On Valentine's Day in 1953, they moved into an apartment together in San Francisco's Castro district. Their partnership in life and activism was a founding cornerstone of the 20th-century LGBT rights movement.
In 1955, Martin, Lyon and six other lesbians founded the Daughters of Bilitis, an organization named after a 19th-century collection of lesbian love poems, Songs of Bilitis, by Pierre Louys. The DOB became the nation's first public lesbian rights organization, and Martin served as its first president.

The DOB soon launched a monthly newsletter, The Ladder, which went on to become the first national monthly lesbian magazine. Martin edited the magazine from 1960–62. In 1972, she and Lyon published the groundbreaking book Lesbian/Woman, which demystified lesbians for a mainstream audience and gave a positive, self-confident voice to many lesbians of the time.
Martin's accomplishments as a feminist and activist were incredibly significant. She was the first out lesbian on the board of directors of the National Organization of Women. She and Lyon co-founded the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, the first gay political club in the United States. She co-founded several activist organizations to combat violence against women. In 1979, the Lyon-Martin Health Services clinic was founded in San Francisco to provide lesbians access to quality healthcare.
Martin (left) and Lyon in 1972

In 1995, Martin and Lyon were delegates to the White House Council on Aging. In 2004, they became the first same-sex couple to marry in San Francisco after Mayor Gavin Newsom's directive to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, of San Francisco, said: "We would not have marriage equality in California if it weren't for Del and Phyllis. They fought and triumphed in many battles. Through it all, their love and commitment to each other was an inspiration to all who knew them."

The couple's wedding cake on June 16

Lyon, 83, said in a statement: "Ever since I met Del 55 years ago, I could never imagine a day would come when she wouldn't be by my side. I am so lucky to have known her, loved her and been her partner in all things. I also never imagined there would be a day that we would actually be able to get married. I am devastated, but I take some solace in knowing we were able to enjoy the ultimate rite of love and commitment before she passed."
Martin's passing shall be deeply mourned by all of us who have been touched by her work for our community. Her energy, spirit and courage ring out in the words that she wrote in the first issue of The Ladder: "Nothing was ever accomplished by hiding in a dark corner. Why not discard the hermitage for the heritage that awaits any red-blooded American woman who dares to claim it?"
May we all remember Del Martin, who has become an unforgettable part of our heritage.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A post with pictures

It's been awhile since I put pictures up, I know. I really want to post the ones from the first day of school but my lack of computer-savvy forced me to pass the project to my friend. Once he has a chance to edit them for me, I will post them here. In the meantime here are some pictures from the concert we went to on Saturday. The band is called 1964:The Tribute and they are really great. My dad was pretty surprised that my boy knew so many songs. I think he probably knew 2/3 of the ones played. There was even an older lady who came over and told me she had noticed that he was singing to so many of the songs, word for word. It was a really fun time. We didn't get there as early as we had hoped, so our seats weren't great. We were over halfway back from the stage. But my boy sang and cheered and yelled and when they announced that they'd be back next year, his face lit up and he asked if he could go again next year. My dad, me and my boy at a Beatles tribute concert at Red Rocks Ampitheater... a memory for us all:

My dad, me and my boy Me and my Beatles lovin' boy Dad caught us singing

Sunday was a good day. Shell & I watched couple of movies, The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio and Next. We thought they were both pretty good. Then we went to Target to spend the gift cards the kids got for their birthday and to pick up stuff for dinner. We even sprung for Starbucks! It was fun- we're dorks like that. Dinner was in the oven (lasagne-so yummy) when Shell went out front to smoke and called to the kids to come out. There was a basset hound and a cocker spaniel that had been wandering the neighborhood earlier in the day and now they were in our front yard. The neighbors had been unsuccessful in getting close enough to read their tags, but my kids worked their magic and soon had the dogs lying down next to them for petting. We called the number on the tag, but only got a voicemail so I left a message. The dogs looked well taken care of, so we hoped that we would get a call back soon. We hooked leashes on them and put them in the backyard with a bowl of water which they lapped up pretty quick. After about an hour with no response, we gave them some dog food and started to get concerned. I didn't really want to leave them outside all night, but it was getting dark quickly and I really didn't want to bring them in the house. I called the number back and thankfully got an answer. The woman sounded very upset that they got out and promptly took down our address. She didn't live far, but those dogs had to cross a major street to get to our neighborhood. They were lucky to make it across unharmed. Their owners showed up soon after and the lady was very emotional and said she appreciated our help. She put money in my hand which I tried to give back to her saying that we would just hope that if our dogs ever got out someone would do the same. She said that she would if it were her, but that she really wanted to give us something for our kindness. I took it because if I were in the same situation, I would want to give something as well. After they drove off, I looked and realized that she gave me $40. Shell & I decided to give $20 to each of the kids to show them that although we do nice things for others because it's the right thing to do and usually feeling good about ourselves is reward enough, sometimes it also pays. They were a little confused about why she gave us money, because they were really just happy that the dogs were home where they belonged. It had a good ending with a lesson learned.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Free Obama/Biden sticker

Want a free Obama/Biden sticker? MoveOn's giving them away totally free--even the shipping's free. I just got mine, and wanted to share the opportunity with you.
Click this link to get a free Obama/Biden sticker:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Homophobia, Author Unknown

This moved me beyond words.


I am the girl kicked out of her home because I confided in my mother that I am a lesbian.

I am the prostitute working the streets because nobody will hire a transsexual woman.

I am the sister who holds her gay brother tight through the painful, tear-filled nights.

We are the parents who buried our daughter long before her time.

I am the man who died alone in the hospital because they would not let my partner of twenty-seven years into the room.

I am the foster child who wakes up with nightmares of being taken away from the two fathers who are the only loving family I have ever had.I wish they could adopt me.

I am one of the lucky ones, I guess.I survived the attack that left me in a coma for three weeks, and in another yearI will probably be able to walk again.

I am not one of the lucky ones.I killed myself just weeks before graduating high school.It was simply too much to bear.

We are the couple who had the realtor hang up on us when she found out we wanted to rent a one-bedroom for two men.

I am the person who never knows which bathroom I should use if I want to avoid getting the management called on me.

I am the mother who is not allowed to even visit the children I bore, nursed, and raised.The court says I am an unfit mother because I now live with another woman.

I am the domestic-violence survivor who found the support system grow suddenly cold and distant when they found out my abusive partner is also a woman.

I am the domestic-violence survivor who has no support system to turn to because I am male.

I am the father who has never hugged his son because I grew up afraid to show affection to other men.

I am the home-economics teacher who always wanted to teach gym until someone told me that only lesbians do that.

I am the man who died when the paramedics stopped treating me as soon as they realized I was transsexual.

I am the person who feels guilty because I think I could be a much better person if I didn’t have to always deal with society hating me.

I am the man who stopped attending church, not because I don’t believe,but because they closed their doors to my kind.

I am the person who has to hide what this world needs most, love.

Homophobia is wrong.

Author Unknown

Summer's Over Already?

The kids went back to school on Tuesday. They are fifth graders. I can't believe it. So far, they like their teachers just fine and the homework they've had has been very easy for them. It's been a good transition from summer to schooltime. However, my girl is very much looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. She understands the value of this, my boy does not. He is an early riser, always has been. And he is ready to start his day the SECOND his eyes open. No lazy, sleepy starts for him. Shell says she can't wait until he is a teenager and inevitably wants to sleep his weekends away so she can wake him up at 7am...just for fun.
I always take pictures of them on the first day of school, and this year was no exception. I had every intention of posting them here, but then realized that my daughter is wearing her school ID and it has her name and the name of her school very clearly revealed. I have no idea how to blur it out or blacken it, but when I do I'll put it up.

My nieces went home to CA on Tuesday too. I miss having them around, but it was time. CANiece2 was very homesick and CANiece1 was anxious to get to the business of starting high school which she'll be doing next month. It's bad enough that she's turning 14 next week, but to be starting high school is just unthinkable. Remind me why they have to grow up?

My boy and I are going with my dad to a Beatles tribute band concert tomorrow night at Red Rocks Ampitheater. I'm really looking forward to it and my son is over the moon excited. He LOVES the Beatles, so it's going to be a lot of fun. He has Karate all day from 10am to around 4ish, but luckily it's at a close-by location so we won't have far to drive once it's over. The concert starts at 8pm, but it's general admission so we want to get there early and get good seats. Shell is going to the Rockies game with her friend, and the girl is going to hang out at with my mom. A busy Saturday as usual. I would love to have a Sunday with nothing going on, but it never works out that way.

Next weekend is Labor Day. I LOVE three-day weekends!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008


Yay for Friday! I'm definitely ready for this weekend to start, although I know it'll be over way too soon. This morning it is raining and gray and very overcast- I love it! I love this fall/spring-like weather, even when I know it will end soon and be back to the summer heat. It's very welcome in August. And the rain is going to help the grass so much. I have an almost dead patch of grass in my side yard that I've been trying to convince to hang on, and I'm really hoping this rain and cooler weather will help.

I've been reading a lot of different blogs lately and I have to say that I am so in awe of these women. My blog reading started when I heard about a couple of women pregnant with sextuplets, who were writing about their very high order pregnancies. I truly never had any desire for blog reading before that, but the opportunity to sneak a peek into their pregnancies was too strong a pull for me to resist. So I started there and found myself searching for other high order pregnancy blogs, which naturally resulted in multiple baby blogs. During one of my searches, I found a website that listed all kinds of pregnancy and parenting blogs and had a section just for LGBT bloggers. And a light went on and I knew that I'd never go back. I lurked around blogs for quite some time, but never commented. I still don't really comment on the majority because I feel weird making a comment about someone's life who has no idea who I am. But I'm trying, really I am. The blogs that I read regularly I have saved in my favorites list and I have read their entire archives from the beginning all the way through. There are (wait let me count them)...85--oh my god! Over 60% of them are written by lesbians who are now moms, moms-to-be, or wanting to be moms. I feel very attached to their stories, that's why I read them. The majority of the remaining are written by moms of multiples; mostly triplets, quads & quints, and a few twins. Last but not least, I read 3 blogs written by women who do not fall under the previously mentioned categories. One of them is someone I went to school with, one is a fun blog about life on a cattle ranch, and the other I stumbled upon after seeing her comment on many of the lesbian blogs I read. The first comment I ever wrote was in response to one of her blog posts, and she was the first person who ever commented here. I kinda love her for that, thanks Denise! Anyway, these women that write about their lives are really quite inspiring and although I don't see myself on quite the same level as them, I am proud to be in their ranks as a 1) lesbian 2) mom 3) of twins. That's really what I wanted to say. Geez it took a long time to get to that!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Follow Up

We saw Idina Menzel last night and as expected were blown away. She is an amazing vocalist and I am so glad we spent the money to see her. She performed at a small concert hall on the DU campus and we had great seats. Some of her family live in Boulder and were there, including her parents, sister and nephews. It was her sister's birthday, so she brought her onstage and sang Happy Birthday to her. She told stories of growing up and lots of anecdotes about her life. She sang a lot of songs from her newest album, one song from Rent, sang "For Good" from Wicked ~ a cappella!!!, and also "Defying Gravity" as her closing number. What an amazing show. Not to mention she is hot!
I've kind of been avoiding this follow up post from last weeks, because I'm just not sure what to say. Do I really want those people who know me in real life that *might* read this to know these things? Because on the outside, I think that I appear very "together" most of the time. I seem kind of unflappable, very go-with-the-flow. And most of the time I am. I don't let a lot of things get to me. I subscribe to a very low-key way of life, and really prefer it. Sure I get riled up plenty when I hear about LGBT issues or crimes against children and the such, but I really don't let it affect how I deal with my day-to-day-life. So when I feel very flustered like I have lately, it's difficult for me to deal with. And nearly impossible for me to let others know what's going on. Apparently this applies to virtual strangers who stumble upon my blog as well. Is this weird?
There are so many things contributing to my sense of floundering right now that I think to try to list them would overwhelm me. But one thing that was really weighing on me and affecting my relationship was a lack of intimacy. Largely affecting this (as it has since the kids were born) is Shell's work schedule. She works the night shift which is 9:30pm-6:00am. She leaves for work around 8:45 and gets home just before 7. So 5 nights a week, she leaves before the kids go to bed and gets home just before I have to leave for work. She has Saturday and Sunday nights off. Those end up being the nights we have sex. Which is and always has been a way for us to reconnect. After many years of stubbornly refusing to accept that sex is a major player in our relationship, I have learned that it is necessary for us. It's not the only thing or the most important, but it is very crucial to us as a couple. The most challenging times in our relationship have coincided with spans of time of little to no sex. It's not good for us. So as I was saying.... For about a month now, our weekend rendezvous's have been seriously lacking. Shell was sick with an upper respiratory infection for one of them, I very foolishly wound up with a bad sunburn that rendered me useless for another. We had the amazing morning sex that I wrote about, but that just doesn't fulfill the intimacy need. So we went into this past weekend with high hopes because Shell was taking Monday & Tuesday off for the concert. So that's four possible nights - shouldn't be a problem right?. Saturday morning she got home hoping that there'd be some time before the boy had to go to Karate. Unfortunately they changed the location and we had to leave earlier than planned. We were gone from 8am-5pm. Saturday night was a preplanned slumber party at our house since we were babysitting for our friends. We had their 6 and 2 year olds, my nieces and our kids. It was after 11 when they finally laid down to go to sleep. We were just too tired at that point. Saturday night=Strike 1. Sunday started out fine, but by the afternoon it was going downhill fast. We were bickering and generally pushing each others buttons (and not the fun ones). It had just been too long and we were feeling it big time. By the time we went to bed, neither of us was in the mood. Sunday night=Strike 2. Monday started off bad, but by the time I got home from work it was better. CANiece2 was spending the night along with my girl's best friend, so we had giggly girls in the house. Not a recipe for romance. Plus I think that we both were feeling a bit wounded from the night before, so we just cuddled while watching the Olympics and then fell asleep. Monday night=Strike 3. Last night was the concert and then we didn't get home until after midnight. She was tired, but I thought I'd try my luck anyway. It didn't start out well, we just couldn't seem to find our rhythm. It was obvious something was missing. We talked for a couple of minutes, and then started again. It was a success. Thank god! I think we are still feeling the repercussions from a long dry spell, but I am hopeful that at least this problem might be turning around for the better. This weekend will be busy since it's the last weekend before my nieces go home and before the kids start school, but we've just GOT to make time for us.
Here's to hoping that this is just the start of being able to cross many items off the list...

Friday, August 8, 2008

As the Walrus Says...

I've been thinking of writing a new post all week, but everytime I saw the post about the kids' birthday, I couldn't. I didn't want to move that from the top. I've reread it a number of times, and it makes me smile. What an amazing day it was and what an amazing ten years it has been. However, as the walrus said... The time has come...to talk of many things. So here we go.

My boy is fully entrenched in Prep Cycle and is enjoying it for the most part. I am very thankful that between one of the parents and a fellow classmate, he has had a ride to all Prep Cycel classes so far. Tomorrow I will be taking him since it is at his current school location. It's allowed me to be home a little more with Shell and my girl in the evenings. Last week, my girl spent a lot of time at my mom's house with my nieces. She has really enjoyed the time away from her brother, but we missed her a lot. For part of her birthday present, she went to see Martina McBride in concert with Shell last Saturday. They had 4th row seats and said the show was great. My girl said she is glad that Shell got earplugs for her, because it was too loud without them. But they had a great time.

We got the kids checked in for school. Their first day is Aug. 19. The boy has a male teacher this year, which will be a first for us. Not sure if it will make any difference, but I'm interested to see if it will. There will be an Open House the Friday before school starts when we can bring their supplies in and meet their teachers. I really like having this opportunity, as it gives us a chance to introduce ourselves and show their teachers what our family is made of. I know that our kids are fully capable of educating others about our family because they did it last year when the Open House was cancelled. And we are very proud of them for how they do it. But I prefer to take the pressure off of them whenever possible, and having the opportunity to meet with their teachers before school even starts is very valuable.

We are all very excited that we are going to see Idina Menzel on Tuesday night. For those who don't know, she originated the parts of Maureen in the stage production of Rent AND the part of Elphaba in the stage production of Wicked as well as playing Maureen in the film version of Rent. She has a couple of non-cast recording albums and we all really love her music. This will be our first concert/show as a whole family, which is very exciting for us. Can't wait!

Now that that's all out of the way... The last few weeks have been very rough for me emotionally. The best way to describe it is to say that I feel like I'm just barely keeping my head above water. I've felt overwhelmed by my life for months now, and it doesn't seem to be lessening. I haven't really written about it because taken separately it just feels like I'm complaining about normal everyday things. And maybe I am. But inside my head and my heart it is hard to reconcile my feelings as such. Everyday I wake up telling myself that today is going to be different. And every night I go to bed feeling like I failed yet again. I feel like I fail at being a worthwhile wife and mom and since I can't figure out who I am outside of that, I guess I've failed at being a worthwhile person too. I am just going through the motions every day and doing the very minimum to get through. I feel like I don't make a difference in the life of my family, and that's taking a big toll on me. But I don't know what to do. No that's not true. I think I do know what to do, I just can't seem to make myself do what I should. And what if that doesn't help? What do I do then? Is it useless to even try?