The Daily News

LFCA Latest Issue: Friday, September 25, 2009.

Latest Post on BlogHer: Parenting after Infertility.

My Status: Fed Josh's almonds to the squirrels. They needed them very badly.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Blog Roundup

For several years, I haven't cared what my hair looks like. I usually wear it twisted back so people don't realize that it actually goes all the way down my back, almost to my waist. And it's just sort of...there. And I didn't care about it until a few weeks ago when suddenly, I CARED. I cared very much and I wanted it cut and styled NOW. I wanted to have cute pigtails again and wear it down without looking like I am carting around a nest for crickets. As you read this, Nasali is chopping off my ponytail (I hopefully have ten inches for Locks of Love) and I will reveal this weekend my cute new hairstyle.

For 2 1/2 years, I didn't really care what my blog looked like. It's sort of like our house. I like it neat and clean, but I don't need it decorated. Our furniture doesn't exactly match. And by "exactly" I mean not at all. The best we have going is an overall theme of the same fake wood colour from Ikea (it's birch! Except it's not!). But suddenly, driving back from Shenandoah, I CARED. I cared so much that I wanted to tear down the whole blog until I could figure out how to make a header and clean everything up. Luckily, I didn't because I seem to be frightfully bad with understanding how to make a header.

We're still working on the header and when it is finished, it will have a row of quick links running across it. Calliope made it for me, allowing me to be the biggest pain in the ass in the world and write back 3000 times, "but can we change this?" I love what she made. But the part I love the most is the picture on the left-hand side of the header. It comes from Vee.

Now I'm going to get all weepy.

That picture is how I imagine the Land of If--the world of infertility. There is a quiet honesty that comes out at night. It is a time when people are still and reflective. When people pause from movement to listen. I love the thin houses, the mountains in the background. Doesn't the space look insurmountable, but cozy? A space unto itself, but part of something larger? I have loved that picture for so long and I was so grateful when she told me I could use it. over here: the sidebars are pretty much the same. The header and template is obviously different and I'll soon have the quick links under the header so you can quickly access...stuff. But I had already moved around stuff recently on the sidebar, bringing the search engine and blogroll up to the top right side, so I don't think I'll fool with that stuff too much more.

The bigger changes are happening over at Lost and Found. The Face-to-Face post information moved to the left sidebar. The front page now only shows the daily post. And that sidebar blogroll...gone (gasp!). The blogroll post is now updated daily and is the only way to access the blogroll. The problem was that the blogroll program was sometimes down and the blog loads left to right. Therefore, if the left sidebar wasn't loading, nothing could load. So I had to take it down. I'm really sorry that I had to get rid of that. I also couldn't get the search engine to load onto that blogroll post so the only way to access that now is through the top right hand side of Stirrup Queens.

It feels so good to clean up things. And I hope you like the new colours and header and personality of the space. Oh, and I do plan on designing a header for Lost and Found too. Just give me time to recover from all of these changes.

Um, some pretty freakin' amazing things happening with U.T.E.R.U.S. When we last left off, we had $837.12 in hand. And then an anonymous donor issued a challenge. She will match bloggers dollar for dollar over any amount made through the eBay auction, the etsy site, or direct donations. In other words, if you donate some pottery to the etsy store and it sells for $40, it actually sold for $80 because this person is matching you dollar for dollar.


You really need to read this new again.

Whatever you donate--either itemwise or as a direct donation--will be matched dollar for dollar. If you give $5, it's really like giving $10. Why is she doing this? Because she wants to kick you into action. She wants you to remember a time someone did something for you and she wants you to pay it forward.

So what can you do to get into the giving spirit? There are numerous ways to get involved in this--one does not even require you to give anything at all beyond your time...
  • Donate directly via the paypal link on the right sidebar (it's midway down the sidebar with the U.T.E.R.U.S. updates).
  • Donate an item to our eBay auctions or bid on an item yourself.
  • Donate an item to our etsy store or buy one yourself.
  • Sell ad space on your blog and donate the ad revenue to U.T.E.R.U.S.
  • Donate a skill--web design, etc--or run a garage sale at home (and then donate the money)
  • Do this really cool thing that Lori found and donate the money you make from it. Remember--$10 is really $20 in donation form.
  • Tell people about U.T.E.R.U.S. and ask them to get involved too.
So that is what is happening with U.T.E.R.U.S. It would be rockin' if we could get Vee, Max, and Mary squared away quite soon and move on to the next person in need. You know, continuously spread the love. I know it's a terrible economy. I know because we are on one salary with no retirement fund or college money saved. But still...we all can donate something that is of no use to us and plenty of use to someone else. Remember: this is stone soup donating. Everyone gives a single vegetable they won't miss and it turns into a delicious soup that nourishes an entire town.

Kumbaya anyone?

And now the blogs...

Life from Here had a post about going pumpkin picking and how an activity that was normally fun or neutral suddenly shifted. She knew there would be children at the patch, but what she didn't expect was her reaction: "At times like this, it’s really hard to imagine that we will ever have a child. One moment I think, of course we will, some day. It could be a year or more, and that thought is really hard. But then I realize it could be longer. It could be never. There is no guarantee we will ever get 'picked.' We might not. We could end up like one of those bruised or misshapen pumpkins that no one chooses, the ones that get plowed under at the end of the season. There is just no way to know." You must read the post in full in order to get the full impact of those words.

My Journey Towards My Little Miracle had a post last week (sue me, it was Thursday, but I didn't read it until Friday, so I'm counting it with this week's roundup) about repeated tracks. She told the new word that replaced her old repeated track--the mantra of her unfulfilled due date--and said, "I am just going through the motions until that word becomes the soundtrack of our lives instead of the repeated track." Wasn't that gorgeous? Click over though to learn the word and tell her your own.

Coming2Terms wrote about an a-ha moment where what she wanted to create and what happened were two very different things. In a tale about a Home Ec project gone to flood-length proportions, she wrote, "I slowly came to see that I had to let go of the carefully constructed plans I once laid for a part of my life that wasn't meant to be. Instead I have to wear what does fit." A gorgeous post.

Miss E's Musings had a post about the end of her pregnancy and the fogginess of time. She wrote: "Throughout this pregnancy, I've sometimes felt as though there is another dimension, another Ellen, one whose IVF cycle didn't result in a pregnancy. I could always imagine what we would be doing if IVF hadn't worked. But now that parallel vision is growing a little foggy as my due date draws near." What I loved in this post beyond the honesty was that little window into the future--about what type of person and parent she will be.

Lastly, though not an IF blogger, I was deeply moved by Chirky's pregnancy loss post this week. She learned the pregnancy was not viable on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. She wrote: "Nothing can still your heart when a sweet two-year old and her very pregnant mom sit down across from you at the doctor’s office, and you realize that child you’ll never have. Maybe another one, maybe somewhere down the road – but not this one that you cherish already." I wanted to send that along to anyone who gave comfort by saying "you can always try again." It's not the trying or whatever other child the future might bring. It is the loss of this child, right here, right now. And I am just so sorry that they're going through this.

The roundup to the Roundup: lots of layout changes at Stirrup Queens and the LFCA (with a hearty thank you to Calliope and Vee); please jump into the U.T.E.R.U.S. project where our mystery benefactor will match you dollar for dollar; excellent blog posts to read; and at this very moment, I may be sitting in a salon, my hair ten inches shorter. Stay tuned for pictures at Show and Tell...


Antigone said...

Your site looks FABULOUS.

And so does your hair! I've always wanted more curl. *sigh*

Lori Lavender Luz said...

I get so excited now when I click over and see that gorgeous header!

I bet your head looks cute, too!

Maureen Reynolds said...

Thanks for speaking at blogher DC and for some insights into the IF world that is so unknown to me. btw, there is a pic of you up on my flickr site.

AND to add some more coverage for your amazing blogroll, you are tagged for 6 Things.

Delenn said...

Like your new looks. I could donate some items to the E-Bay auction, but I have no idea how. Could you email me instructions or who I contact?

Delenn said...

Um..nevermind...I found the form on your site. :-)

Samantha said...

I love the new look of your blog - looking forward to the picture of your new hair cut!

Kristin said...

Can't wait to see the new hairdo pics.

MsPrufrock said...

That Cali gives good head-er. HA! Oh, how I make myself laugh. It all looks lovely.

I need to get moving on the u.t.e.r.u.s front, because hell, that matching donation thing has made me cry. What a fantastic person Anonymous is.

Anonymous said...

Love the new header :)

Tash said...

EXTREMELY sweet lookin' site. I wrote Cali about updating mine, but I don't even know what direction to point her in. Any thoughts?

(Also? Took me 3.5 minutes with a wireless connection and a brand new battery to load the front page. And for some reason I can no longer read L&F in my reader? Huh? So: Beautiful. Truly. But long to load.)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your kind (and wise) words. I appreciate you, Mel.

Pamela T. said...

I was admiring your site yesterday from downtown San Francisco -- where I was in town for a business conference. Made me remember fondly the opportunity to actually meet you in person and marvel at the difference in conference content!

Thanks for including me in the Friday roundup. Your continued nurturing of us all may lead you to Catholic sainthood ;-)

Tina / Anxious Changer said...

The new blog looks FABULOUS!! I am jealous, as I am still waiting for my new blog template. :(

luna said...

thanks of rounding up that post -- I needed to get that one out -- always honored and humbled to be included here.

and once again I love the new header, even more now that you explained what you so love about the painting. it's perfect!

Tara said...

Yes, I LOVE the new look!

LJ said...


The site looks AMAZING! I'm so excited for you!

Anonymous said...

Love the new look of the site, and look forward to seeing your "new look" too.

Great work with the U.T.E.R.U.S fundraising!

I'm looking around for more ebay stuff....

Anonymous said...

please email me... i have a bookmark to be donated (maybe to the etsy store since it is hand-embroidered???)

i am headed out of the house today or i would search for your email...


HereWeGoAJen said...

Nah, I had to be more annoying to Cali when she did my header. Did I mention she made me a beautiful one and I was like "great, but I had this dream last night, so can we start over?"

I love the new header! It looks gorgeous!

Betty M said...

Really liking the new look - lovely and restful.

Kristen said...

I love the new header! I was so excited when I opened up your page and that was the first thing I saw. I may have actually squealed :)

loribeth said...

Mel -- love the new look for the blog! Can't wait to see the new haircut. And I love all the blog picks this week too. : )

Serenity said...

LOVE the new look. It's awesome. :)

Sunny said...

I love the new look. You are so fancy!

Thanks for sharing my post. I am behind in the blogworld. Kind of hiding out. That post was written at work surrounded by children. I can't get it out of my head.