What do you think the sex(es) of the twins will be?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dan-niversary, Part II

Ten Things I Love About Dan(dle):

1. I love watching Dan skateboard. He does all these amazing tricks that look impossible and effortless at the same time.

2. He is so supportive of the things I care about: namely, writing. He reads articles about writing, lets me go away to colonies and conferences, tells me I'm amazing when I'm feeling less-than-so.

3. He's so easy going. I can be downright mean sometimes and he just brushes it off. He goes with the flow.

4. He doesn't need much. He's completely unattached to things (okay, maybe except for his skateboard and new launch ramp).

5. He's very quirky. 'Nough said.

6. He doesn't like chocolate much. I love this because it means more chocolate for me.

7. He does a lot of dishes. Even when I'm lazy and haven't done them in awhile.

8. He has an amazing family. I couldn't have handpicked a better one.

9. He loves Pumpkin. I always knew that I would need to find someone who loved my cat. Pet hair allergies were a deal breaker. He loves my cat.

10. He is a smarty pants. He makes me want to be smarter, want to be more curious about the world. He makes me think hard about hard things.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Sixth Dan-niversary

Tomorrow Dan and I will have been married for six years. They have been good years, not without heartbreak, but there has been much more heart than break.

I have been looking through our wedding photos today, and listening to Carla Morrison, and reading poems, and feeling a little nostalgic.

I just read this poem by Sharon Olds that reminded me of our rainy wedding day:

The Elopement

It was raining upwards, sideways, each
tree bursting with rain like brilliant
sweat. We stopped at a country store
to ask where we could get married. There were vats
of pickles, barrels of square yellow crackers,
the Prop. gave us the local J.P.'s
number. It was gently misting, in there,
brine and cracker-salt. The J.P. asked
if we'd get married in his church. While he called his minister
I wandered, in the dark, store
air, past the columns of vertebrate tin.
The shelves, and floor, and counters were old
wood, there must have been mice in the building,
rats, a cat, roaches, beetles,
and, in the barrel, whatever makes water
pickle, the mother of vinegar, it was
a spore of Eden, a bestiary,
the minister said Yes, come right on over,
but maybe we had been married, there,
by matter, by the pickles, by the crackers, by the balls
of guard-fur, the rats looking away
into the long reaches, like the cows
in the manger, by the creche, though there's always one
who widens her glowing eyes, and gazes--one
rat, transfixed by mortal coupling
grabbed the Dutch Girl cocoa tin in his
arms and spun her in a dervish mazurka,
then all the witnesses waltzed, the Campbell's-soup
twins, the Gerber baby, Aunt
Jemima, Betty Crocker, the Sun Maid
raisin girl, the oats Quaker,
the chef of Cream of Wheat, every
good, mild, family guest
danced at our marriage, cloudy ions in the
cucumber-barrel spiraled, our eggs and
sperm swam in tandem, in water-
ballet, the spores of the sky whirled and
kissed on our wedding day.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Decking the studio apartment with boughs of pine

Today I turned on Bing Crosby's "How Lovely is Christmas" (a Van Orman family tradition) and wrapped presents while singing along to, "An axe, an apple and a buckskin jacket - that's all I want for me! An axe, an apple and a buckskin jacket, under the Christmas tree!" Then I put up some lights Dan found on the side of the road and hung some snowflakes I made the other day. Instead of a tree, we have a homemade wreath I made with fresh pine boughs on Wednesday at our church's annual wreathmaking event. Things are starting to look Christmas-y around here except there's no snow.

But doing all this has left me feeling a little melancholy today. I love Christmas with Dan and friends in Massachusetts, but my heart always longs to be in Utah. Maybe Danta will let us go home next year if we're really good.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Things I like about today:

1. Being off work.
2. Our new doctor. She was nice, thorough, and talks just like Karen Brennan, one of my favorite teachers from graduate school. I like that she gave us a list of things we have going for us. There has been so little good news in the last few years. I like good news.
3. A Walk to Beautiful. I watched it on Netflix Watch Instantly, but you can also watch the entire film here.

4. Lindt Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What I've been thinking about lately.

I've been thinking lately about adoption. I went to the Resolve Infertility and Adoption Conference on Saturday. It was, for the most part, really good. The only session that was not good was one called "Wellness During Infertility." It was taught by a crazy woman who basically talked about "The Secret" the whole time. She said that if we're out driving in the rain and imagine ourselves finding a great parking spot, it will happen. I asked her if she thought it was more important to be optimistic than realistic. She did not answer my question. One of the worst things you can tell an infertile person is, "You just need to think more positively and it will happen!" No amount of positive thinking is going to bring my fallopian tubes back or get me a parking space. (As a side note: I consider myself a pretty optimistic person. But I also know that there is a time for being realistic - a time for looking at hard facts and making decisions accordingly.)

Okay, anyway, I mostly went to the seminars on adoption and they were very good. I also just finished reading a book called "Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other," by Scott Simon from NPR. He and his wife adopted two daughters from China. It was a sometimes funny, sometimes cloyingly sentimental read. I'm making Dan read it.

Here are some things I've been thinking about:

1) Adoption, although difficult, makes me feel hopeful. Infertility is such a hopeless process. One of the hardest parts about it is that it causes you to grieve over and over again for years. There are many losses and many reminders every day of what you lack. There is no end in sight. Adoption can be rocky, but there is a baby at the end of the road if you stick with it.

2) Infertility is expensive, but adoption is more expensive. If insurance will cover the costs to deliver a baby, why won't it pay for the costs of adopting a baby (or toddler, or child)? The current cost of adoption - domestic or international - is $20,000-$50,000.

3) I want to adopt from Africa: The Congo or Ethiopia or Burundi. All of these countries are currently open for adoption.

4) An adoptive dad said this at the conference: "It's about having a family - not how you put it together."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Not going to Australia...but maybe somewhere else?

If this title seems cryptic, see previous post here.

Yesterday we decided that if this IVF didn't work, we were going to plan the best adventure/vacation ever.

So, I've been consoling myself today by looking at airfares. And playing Wii with friends. And eating good food. And watching TLC's mini series Sister Wives and last night's episode of The Biggest Loser.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Going to Australia

Came across this story today and liked it. It was published in a letter to Dear Abby in 1995.

DEAR ABBY: Enclosed is an article my daughter, Diane Armitage, wrote. Her message is directed to childless couples who are considering adoption. (Diane is the mother of two adopted children.)

Perhaps you will consider it worth publishing.


DEAR KATHRYN: I'm delighted to share what your daughter wrote, and I'm sure many readers will appreciate its insight.

Different Trips to the Same Place

Deciding to have a baby is like planning a trip to Australia. You've heard it's a wonderful place, you've read many guidebooks and feel certain you're ready to go. Everyone you know has traveled there by plane. They say it can be a turbulent flight with occasional rough landings, but you can look forward to being pampered on the trip.

So you go to the airport and ask the ticket agent for a ticket to Australia. All around you, excited people are boarding planes for Australia. It seems there is no seat for you; you'll have to wait for the next flight. Impatient, but antici pating a wonderful trip, you wait -- and wait -- and wait.

Flights to Australia continue to come and go. People say silly things like, "Relax. You'll get on a flight soon." Other people actually get on a plane and then cancel their trip, to which you cry, "It's not fair!"

After a long time the ticket agent tells you, "I'm sorry, we're not going to be able to get you on a plane to Australia. Perhaps you should think about going by boat."

"By boat!" you say. "Going by boat will take a very long time and it costs a great deal of money. I really had my heart set on going by plane." So you go home and think about not going to Australia at all. You wonder if Australia will be as beautiful if you approach it by sea rather than air. But you have long dreamed of this wonderful place, and finally you decide to travel by boat.

It is a long trip, many months over many rough seas. No one pampers you. You wonder if you will ever see Australia. Meanwhile, your friends have flown to Australia two or three more times, marveling about each trip.

Then one glorious day, the boat docks in Australia. It is more exquisite than you ever imagined, and the beauty is magnified by your long days at sea. You have made many wonderful friends during your voyage, and you find yourself comparing stories with others who also traveled by sea rather than by air.

People continue to fly to Australia as often as they like, but you are able to travel only once, perhaps twice. Some say things like, "Oh, be glad you didn't fly. My flight was horrible; traveling by sea is so easy."

You will always wonder what it would have been like to fly to Australia. Still, you know God blessed you with a special appreciation of Australia, and the beauty of Australia is not in the way you get there, but in the place itself.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

pumpkin the perv

pumpkin has this annoying habit of walking across my computer. he often opens windows that i don't even know how to open. once, if you'll remember, he even typed a message in hebrew.

so just now, as i was watching project runway, pumpkin walked across my computer and in the process opened up a porn site.

but that's not all! somehow in his jaunt across my keyboard he also set said site as my homepage.

it's not you, it's me

in-vitro makes me sad, cranky, bloated and reclusive. fyi.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Millay Colony

I've been trying to post some pictures of the millay colony for a few days now, but for some reason, it's not working (probably because we just got a new camera and the file size is too big and I'm too lazy to re-size anything). So, I gave up and decided instead to just put some photos on flickr.

Nothing too terribly interesting - just pretty mountains and flowers and stuff.

My time here so far (a week and two days) has been amazing. The people are really great; there are two poets, three visual artists, one musician and one fiction writer (me). I've particularly enjoyed talking to the poets, Lila and Judith.

I go on a run through the beautiful countryside most mornings, eat breakfast and then head to my studio to work. At night we all meet together for a delicious dinner, prepared for us by Donna, our chef. We mostly talk about art, but Judith and I also talk a lot about our cats (her cat really CAN eat a whole watermelon). Tonight we talked about murder and death and the smell of bodies decomposing. You know, light dinner conversation.

Monday, April 26, 2010

so proud

today i sent dan off to his first day of work. i wish i had taken a picture. maybe i'll take one when he gets home and has that wizened, working-man look.

i must say, he looked very snazzy in his borrowed suit and cuff links. we'll have to get him one of his own sometime soon.

i'm so happy he found a job that is a fifteen minute walk from our apartment. it's weird to have both of us earning money now instead of borrowing it. it feels good.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

i'm loving this show

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.

You can watch it online (I finally took our TV out to the curb last weekend). I have been a long time fan of Jamie Oliver - ever since his Naked Chef days. But I really started to believe in what he was doing - not only as a great chef but as someone who cares about changing the way people eat and, therefore, live - when he revamped England's school lunch program.

It's a movement I whole-heartedly believe in. Obesity is taking over America. This generation is going to have a shorter life span than their parents if we don't change things soon. So, I recommend this show to everyone - especially those who have kids (I read a blog where a parent got his kids out of bed at night to watch the show with him because he thought it was so important for them to see it).

Friday, March 5, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

the difference a few letters can make

so when i went in for my surgery, they had accidentally ordered a laparoscopy and a hysterectomy instead of a laparoscopy and a hysteroscopy.

that's a pretty big difference. the complete opposite of what i wanted, actually. glad they caught it.

surgery was hard. i'm not gonna lie. yesterday i ended up in the emergency room (doctor's orders because i had a high white blood cell count), but all is well. the pain (and vomiting) was horrible the first couple of days. today is much better. it was so nice to have my parents and dandle to take care of me.

my doctor said i had the worst adhesions he has ever seen. the surgery took almost 3 hrs. instead of 1 hr. as they had expected. he also said i had one of the biggest, most bloated fallopian tubes he has ever seen. he said it was the size of a sausage. usually they are as big around as a piece of spaghetti. they took it out. i'm glad it's gone.

today i got an email from this journal, saying that they're going to publish a story i submitted months and months ago about fallopian tubes. oddly, in the story i compared fallopian tubes to a couple of sausages. little did i know...

anyway, thanks for all those who are bringing us dinners and for all your well-wishes. i ate my first real meal in three days last night and it was delicious.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

one of my favorite writers of all time died last week. it makes me sad. franny & zooey, catcher in the rye, nine stories, raise high the roof beam? i love them.

he hasn't published anything in decades and has been living a pretty secluded life during those same decades. i have a secret wish that they will find that he has been producing all these brilliant things during that time and that they will be discovered and that i will get to read them.

farewell, mr. salinger.

in other news, i found out yesterday that i was accepted to the millay colony. i'll spend the whole month of june on edna st. vincent millay's property in austerlitz, new york writing, eating wild blueberries and having my meals cooked for me by a local organic chef. i'm pretty excited.

news about my mormon women writers literary tour in march forthcoming...

Monday, February 1, 2010

my doppelganger

i have now been told several times, by several different people that i look like amy poehler. i think it's just because of the blond hair and blue eyes.

what do you think?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

little galaxies

i'm really falling for these earrings, made from recycled materials in my beloved asheville. dan, maybe for my birthday?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

the skipper

dan has gone through many, many nicknames since we've been together. here are just a few:

danma (because sometimes when his hair grows out, the back of his hair looks like a grandma's)
the finisher (because if you have some food you just can't finish, he'll take care of it!)
danelskiver (given to him this summer when we ate abelskiver in solvang), eventually shortened to just "skiver"

and now, i introduce to you the skipper!

we went for a walk on the beach in south boston yesterday (pleasure bay!). turns out my little danelskiver is very good at skipping stones.

(this action shot almost earned him a new nickname)

trust me: in person it was very graceful and adorable.

Friday, January 1, 2010

the cake that amelia made

was delicious.

one resolution

after hearing last night how many books my friends are reading (along with seeing my writing friend's facebook status say that he had read three *real* chapter books yesterday!), i felt lame. and, therefore, i have set a goal of reading 100 books in 2010 (a very modest goal compared to some).

i'm starting here.