Wednesday, December 15, 2010


This beautiful Husky came to our front gate two weeks ago and stuck his nose through the fence to say hello to our other Husky, "Wiley", who also appeared on our front door (two years ago), who we kept and who appears throughout this blog.

Here's the strange thing about this story, besides the fact that we have random, homeless, collarless, starving, Huskies come to us in the night, each time a Husky has appeared we have been close to either having a child or adopting a child. Our eldest Husky, Newman, died a year and a half ago, he was 15 and I really believed and so did all my friends, that when he passed we would immediately get pregnant. Well, that didn't happen, but Wiley appeared on our front door and now this guy. We've named him "Blizzard" and he's turned out to be a majestic and magical salve to a failed adoption and another holiday without kids in our home. He's hilarious and loves Wiley and we want to keep him so badly but we can't. I really believe our heart is open and so is our home for this child, which is why all these other "babies" are showing up.

My plan is to drive him eight hours in a car tomorrow to my friend, Cal's house. She's planning on adopting him and making him her own. She lives in the country and has a 1/2 acre fenced yard. I will miss him, but am thrilled that he will live in her love.

I don't have a reasonable or logical explanation for what this phenomenon is....why these dogs appear when they do and why they happen to be Huskies, but I do know that it feels like magic, it feels like hope, it feels like love.

Note to Self: Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cost Benefit Analysis = nada!

When was the last time you went on a roller coaster ride? I've always loved them. The scarier the better. When I was a kid and would ride the Shock Wave at six flags in Texas I would hold my hands in the air as the cars did loopty loops and sent me screaming upside down being held in the seat by the cyntrifical force.

Most recently, Jason and I went on our own adoption roller coaster ride and we held our hands in the air, asking the Universe to give us a child. We were in line to adopt a baby boy whose birth name is Nicholas. It happened so fast. On Tuesday we got the call, we wrote a letter to the birth mom, We saw his picture, we fell in love with him, we worked through all our fears and doubts about "one day not having a diaper in the house to the next day having a baby in our arms." We came up with some great names for a boy, we fantasized about having a baby here for Christmas, which would be so awesome, and we got ready. We spent six days working through it all, Spiritually and emotionally. And we had our army of friends who are mothers on call to bring over everything we would need if we got to bring home a baby. Diapers, formula, blankets, car seat and a bassonett, apparently you don't need much at first. Loving arms, food and diapers, which if anyone really figured that out, baby showers would become obsolete.

The birth mother, is a single mom, and got pregnant with an egg donor and sperm donor. She gave birth to fraternal twins and is unable to keep them both so she is giving up the boy. Her big thing was to make sure the kids have a relationship down the line when and if they are ready to know their sibling. We agreed. We made a photo book of our lives together (working at an African orphanage, swimming with dolphins, kayaking skiing, abundance of friends and beautiful families, jason's MBA graduation, my book party, and pictures with us and all the children in our lives) brought her flowers, and showed up with open arms and an open heart.

Turns out, she is about as different from Jason and me as apples are to oranges. She is an auditor and said the words, "I did a cost benefit analysis" to determine whether or not to give up the boy for adoption and needed to go home and do a spread sheet to determine who the parents would be. Our lives seem "too fast" for her so she went with the person she could recognize...the CPA who is a stay at home mom. We travel, and have very full lives with friends and families. Why anyone would see that as "too fast" is beyond me, but all of this is. It's out in the yonder, where miracles happen, and children are born and the right families are chosen to be parents to the children they are meant to raise. I will always have a picture of Nicholas in my mind, and wonder years from now, how he is doing. My hope and wish for him is that he gets to see the world and by doing so, he learns that we are all different for sure, but we are certainly all one. I send a prayer up to him and to the birth mom, and hope that the transition is a beautiful and peaceful one.

This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the love and support of our friends and family and for getting closer to having a baby than ever before. It's real. It's happening. Just not on our timetable. STILL. And I'm grateful for the roller coaster ride and that Jason is willing to hold up his hands with me even when it is really really scary!

Note to Self: Love is not a spread sheet. Love is God.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Peepers

The day after I turned in my book, Jason and I went on a cleanse, called the Master Cleanse. God help me. Both of us went ten days without food, not a morsel of food. Only maple syrup lemon water and herbal tea. It was by far the hardest thing I've ever done. Going through ten days of not eating in spite of what's going on in my life was challenging, impossible, but it happened. And I truly feel like I could do anything after finishing it. Three days after that huge accomplishment, we boarded a plane for NYC to meet my folks, Buck and Sue 80 and 83 years old and my sister, Allyson and her husband, Bob to show them Manhattan and then on to Vermont where we hooked up with my in-laws, Beverly and Neal. I will never look at Maple Syrup again after ten days of drinking tablespoons of the sweet dark liquid. Vermont is amazing and the colors of the trees have been nothing short of stupendous. I have more family stories to share, but that will have to wait either for my memoir or if I'm so compelled this blog. They are doozies.
Fall is spectacular. I h0pe you get to see it. If you do you too can call yourself a Peeper.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm back.

Sorry I've been out of it lately, but thinking about you just the same. I am at the very tail end of finishing the book. The title is : "Live and Let Love" and it's 28 women on the layers, the laughter and the litter of love. While all the heavy lifting is over, I still have some loose ends that need to be tied up. I plan to tie them over the weekend. Hopefully into beautiful satin purple bows. I'm very excited about this new collection. The women are brave, hilarious and inspirational. There are New York Times best selling authors, screenwriters, activists and actresses and music teachers. Can't wait for you to read it.

I don't know what to make of it. This feeling of finishing. It's a mixture of elation and sadness. This process has been so fun at times and I'm not gonna lie, pure hell at others. No different than my first book. It's just like birth. From what I hear you forget how horrible it is and keep doing it. Only I'm birthing books, not babies. Not yet at least.

Speaking of projects that mean something, Jason and I are still moving our two balls down the court. Egg donor and Adoption. I have so much to tell you on the subject of both. I've learned so much about what's out there and how to go about this. And still there are people all around me who are getting pregnant. From my youngest nephew's wife to a friend of mine who tried for her second child for some time, to just about everyone, it seems, but me. It's hard not to cry and be depressed. Very hard. But I try to find joy in the smallest of things. Growing my own tomatoes, Running with my Dogs. Hugging my husband. And going to the movies without paying for a babysitter. And publishing a book which doesn't fall under the list of small things, by any stretch, but certainly an accomplishment. One day we will be parents and that day couldn't come soon enough.

I'm glad to be back.

Note to self: Laugh when you cry. It makes a really funny noise.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Small steps in a slippery world.

Hi. Lots has been going on over here since I last wrote. I hope you (those who happen to read this) are all well and know that I think about you often.

I am certain everyone of us is watching the news. The oily sick birds, those weird bright orange floatie things in the ocean that are supposed to stop the oil assault given to us courtesy of BP, the High Def oil flow picture that is spilling gazillions of gallons into the water a day. I for one, a self admitted news junkie, can barely watch the news anymore. I have to admit, my focus has been on what's happening to the ocean, the livelihoods of those who live in the gulf, the animals who are either suffocating or burning from the inside from the oil that's coating them on the outside....but today I got the wake up call. Eleven men died. I knew that, I've thought about them, I watched 60 minutes. But, today the father of one of the men who appeared on the news crying for the loss of his son brought it home for me like no other. They were sons, brothers, fathers and friends
The world seems upside down, inside out, and everyone who is supposed to make us feel better all seem slippery. Where do we go from here?

I cry. For lots of reasons. Today I cry for those lost men.
I am so sorry for the families' loss and I hope they find peace. I hope they know this country grieves with them and that they are in our thoughts and prayers.

Just a little step: This coming Sunday the Social Services person with the Adoption agency we are working with comes to our home for our final House visit before they give us the go ahead that we will be put on a list for a adopt. Small steps are happening and we are getting closer.

Note to Self: Very small steps sometimes feel really good!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Uncle Kenneth Lively 1925-2009

My Dear Uncle Ken passed away a few months ago. He was a faithful husband, a father, a loving brother to my wonderful mother, a grandfather, a friend to many, hilarious beyond words and one of the smartest people I've ever known. He was also a World War II gunner...his memory was a steel trap and his life as a journalist was his tool to eloquently recall every detail of his life in Europe sixty years ago.

His wife, Jan and daughter, Phyllis organized a tree planting ceremony in his honor last month on a bright, chilly spring day in Austin. As we listened to the young man in charge of such things on the campus, talk about the Live Oak that was about to be put into the ground, my father stood up to tell the crowd of about fifty people, a story. As life and luck would have it, the hill where the tree was planted was the exact hill that my Dad used to play as a kid. His grandfather's house was on this grand hill under the shadow of Memorial Stadium, home of the Texas Longhorns, and where the LBJ library now stands. It was a big beautiful colonial with bluebonnets in the front yard. The hill where my Uncle's ashes now rest, and a new tree was planted to join its hundred year old ancestors, was the same hill my father ran on, rolled down and loved as a young boy. Sometimes life is just too much! My friends and I call moments like these Quarks. Those moments when coincidence isn't an explanation, and luck isn't an answer and life just happens in a beautiful series of moments that make you gasp.

I regret that I didn't spend more time with my Uncle. That I didn't know him better. But, I am grateful that in the last few years of his life we found a common bond. He was a great writer, and I learned a lot from him, even if he didn't know it. He supported me in huge ways. He came to my book party in Dallas last March when he didn't feel well, when the brain tumor that would ultimately take his life was growing silently. He walked to the Barnes and Noble near his home to buy copies of my book the day it came out. He would say to me, "kid, so many people want to be published, and you did it. You got published."

We bonded over Obama, chocolate cake and God.

He was a treasure. He will be very missed.

Note to Self: Don't let a lifetime go by before you realize the hidden treasures of family.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cory Booker is Awesome!

I am in Newark, New Jersey....working on a Mayor Booker commercial. He's the real deal. Nothing about him is false. He helps the people in ways we only dream of...he shovels snow for people stuck in their driveways. He helps guys coming out of prison get jobs. He keeps his streets safe. He is a true inspiration. If you don't know about him...please check out his website. We captured real Newarkers talking about why they believe in Newark. I got a sunburn in NEW JERSEY and one of my best friends, Leelee Groome, her brother Harry and his best friend Walter kicked some butt. I believe in people who want to help other people grow and be better.
I believe in Newark because I believe In Cory Booker.

Note to Self: Believe in something...your spirit will soar!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Out of Office reply: maternity leave

I spent most of my day emailing folks, reaching out to people, gathering names and writing to do lists regarding my book. I sent emails to four people who I have been in a business relationship with over the course of the last year. All three came back with an out of the office reply: I'm on maternity leave email. This pretty much stopped me dead in my tracks. No wonder I haven't been getting any speaking gigs. My speaking agent is out on maternity leave. No wonder I haven't heard from that editor at that magazine, she's out on maternity leave. NO WONDER the person who I spoke to three months ago and who is interested in submitting a story for my book hasn't called me back SHE'S having a baby. I am happy for all you fertile people out there, but sometimes the absurdity of it all is almost too much to take. It seems like everyone is able to pro-create but me, and never is that more obvious than when so many women get to take time off to go have a baby. I want to have a baby and have some time off. I want to be pregnant. I want complete strangers to smile at me when I'm walking through the Gap shopping for that shirt that I can wear in my 8th month. I want for men to hold the doors open for me, and give up their seats for me. I want to take a nap in the middle of the afternoon and know that I am doing it for the baby and feel absolutely NO GUILT about it. I want an out of office reply I'm leaving to give birth of my own. I want to be pregnant!!!!!God, are you out there?? Can you hear me?? I want to be pregnant.

If you had asked me six months ago whether or not I would try IVF again with an egg donor, I would have said emphatically, NO. And six months later, well what do you know, I've changed my mind. We are going for the egg donor. And adoption at the same time. But I really want to be pregnant. In case you didn't hear me the first three thousand times.

Note to Self: Never say never.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Writing a second book

Hi lovely people!
It's official. I am writing my second book. I want and need your input.
The working title is Note to Self: Love. If you feel so moved, please can send me stories about your dating life, married life, divorced life and everything in between. You can email me at
I want to include you in this process since so many folks have asked me how I was able to write a book in the first place.
I plan to blog about this journey along with continuing to keep you up to date as best I can about
fertility and when we are going to have a baby.
We are thinking about egg donors now. (more on that later) Shit. It's all so weird.
Also still working towards adoption.

Also, I have an article in Women's Health --- March. ON stands now. It's about not being afraid to Ask and getting the things you want in life.
I hope you are all doing great. I wish we were all in my living room watching the Olympics.
Okay gotta go, the ladies figure skaters are coming on to skate for the Gold.

Friday, February 5, 2010

I am pro-choice!

I hope that doesn't offend anyone in this community and if you need not follow me anymore because of it, that's cool. I figure I best come clean here and now. I made a movie in 2004 called "A Voice for Choice" that chronicled the march on Washington and talked about Reproductive Rights in this country. It was an amazing film to be a part of and activated a side of me politically that I didn't know existed. I have spent the last few years very politically active and definitely lean to the left on most issues.

I was asked to write a piece on Tim Tebow Super Bowl commercial that is going to air on CBS for Vanity Fair. As a person who has read pretty much every Vanity Fair that's ever been published, getting asked by their editor to do an Op-Ed for their website was a joyous if not triumphant moment for me.

Here's the link to the piece. I am sharing with you, my blogging community, mostly because you all know my own journey to become a mother and how I don't take pregnancy, motherhood and the choice to have children lightly at all. We Are all miracles!! in the eyes of God (whatever your God may be) I do believe, however, that when a major network brings the VERY controversial abortion debate into national television on Sports biggest viewing audience day, and then they don't show the other side, it's irresponsible. I am not happy about it as is evidenced in the article I wrote, and I also stand by what I wrote.

Many of the comments from readers about the article have talked about me lumping Christians in with the murderer of Dr. Tiller. My words do not suggest that. I have nothing against Christians. I love Christians. I also love Jews, Buddhists, Atheists, Muslims, Pagans and people who worship turnips. I don't think Christians get to own any side of this debate. We are people first. Christians (or whatever religion) second.

If a major Anti-Choice group is going to suggest to women in an ad, "don't have an abortion, you just might end up with Tim Tebow as your kid", it sends a dangerous if not crude message to the thousands of women who are facing that decision in their life right now. I send a prayer out to the universe for all of us. That one day we will come together on this issue, and that it won't cause such vitriolic hatred from either side. I respect women and men on this issue and any feelings they have whether they be for choice or not. Of course, in the end, it's a woman's choice, not a man's, not God's and certainly not CBS'


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mother Mary are you there?

The doorbell rang at 10:00 a.m. I was on the phone speaking to the fertility doctors' office to make a follow up appointment. I said hello to Adrianna and Ana as I asked them to wait one moment while I finished my call. They are two women who come into our home once every two weeks and clean it like nobody's business. They weren't coming to clean today, however, they were coming over to take me to see their "friend" who does Mayan/Mexican massage to help women get pregnant.

I drove them about 30 miles East of los angeles to a very poor part of El Monte, to meet Maria, the mexican massage doctor. We made awkward conversation at first. All the while I had Haiti on my mind. Wanting nothing more than to fly there and help those kids. Adopt those babies. Help those people. But in my desire to have a child I have decided to try anything and flying to Haiti apparently is not on the list today. So I am driving through hellish traffic, with my housekeepers to try the witch doctor approach. Which, by the way, I'm in full support of.

I walked into Maria's apartment with Adrianna (who speaks no English) and Ana who is 19 and is Adrianna's niece and is sweet enough to come along and translate the whole experience. We were greeted by Maria her bright green eyes, hunched back, arthritic leg and sparkly smile was a welcome relief from the congested freeways of Los Angeles. Walking through her very small apartment (probably government housing) with the gigantic flat screen TV blaring Mexican soap operas, two small children crusty, dirty, beautiful and running around with a chihuahua and her daughter cooking pork on the stove, I made my way into a dingy bedroom with two full beds.

As I lay down on the bed, I'm not going to lie, I was freaked out by the dirt on the bedspread. I hesitated but didn't want to be rude, so I put my Gap scarf on the bedspread, took my jeans off, left my shirt on and underwear. Maria massaged my belly. Deep into my belly. Her crowned front teeth glimmered off the dusty sunshine through the dirty drapes. I looked up at the Mother Mary statue hanging on the wall, garfield stuffed animals (30 plus) arranged neatly on the bed. She rubbed arnica on my belly, thighs and told me my feet were too cold to get pregnant. I need to wear socks. She slapped my bum, rubbed my Uterus (apparently it's crooked) and said go home and have sex with your husband. You will get pregnant tonight. Okay. Easy enough. Problem is he's not home tonight. He's flying home from San Francisco. Drats.

I have decided that Ana and Adrianna are the sweetest women I know. They want so badly for me to get pregnant. They put socks on my feet. Told me twenty times if they told me once to take it easy tonight. I was told to drink two cups of Arnica tea and stay warm. Maria, the green eyed witch doctor has said she is going to put a candle at the feet of the Mother Mary which is large and decorated just to the left of her front door. She is going to pray to Mary for me. In my sheepish appreciation I asked that she also pray for the people of Haiti. For it is times like these that our own wants and desires become glaringly small in comparison.

I believe in all forms of healing, medicine, and absolutely believe in prayer. In front of a statue deep in El Monte tonight is a candle lit by Maria to help the children of Haiti and to assist me, this privileged American, who wants nothing more than to be a mother. I would absolutely without a doubt, be the mother to any baby who needs it tonight from that hellish nightmare in Port Au Prince. Wish I could figure that one out.

Note to self: Angels are everywhere, hidden, hovering, helping where they can.

Happy 20zen!!!!

Before I go into this I'm watching CNN.....I want to send prayers to the people of Haiti, their family and friends. My heart goes out to them and I will give whatever I'm able to the Red Cross to assist in the recovery. Earthquakes Suck!

Hi. Happy New Year! Happy 20ZEN. Get it? instead of 2010...It's 20ZEN. The year of letting go. But not taking your eye off the ball. No Fear. All Love. Fierce Love.

I have been in slow motion since the holidays ended. That weird malaise that happens when the family leaves, the excuse to eat sugar cookies are over and spending hours in the kitchen (happily) cooking for twenty are no longer, has happened to me. I would like to say my holidays were restful, but that would be a lie. They were happily full and I loved every minute of it. We threw two Christmas parties, made cookies for our police officers, made cookies for Santa to give to all the kids in the neighborhood, had a book club gathering, sang carols, and then my family came in from Texas with their three dogs, and my in laws. It was chaotic and amazing. I love making meals, pouring drinks and wrapping gifts, but when it's done, I crash. And so crash I have. Don't get me wrong, I've been calling people, emailing folks, started a writing group, am working out again, but my brain has been in data collection mode rather than output mode. AND drum roll, please We FINISHED THE ADOPTION PAPERS.

And the Crowd roars.

Just came back from an evening with Marianne Williamson. She is speaking in Los Angeles every Tuesday in 2010. She is a masterful inspiration. I am eager to get this year going but refuse to do it with my eyes closed.

Note to Self: May we all keep our eyes open, but not be paralyzed by what we see.