Summer has come and gone.

photo 2 (1)For most of you, summer is still in full effect, but for those of us that work in education, this season seems by far the shortest of the four.

Life and work in education is so very cyclical. Good and bad. For the most part, everything happens and functions on the same calendar from year to year. The good part is that you can be somewhat prepared and on top of things. The bad is that the mundanity of it all can and will, at times, wear down on your joy, on your motivation and on your heart. Surely this concept could be applied to any area of life and type of work.

I guess that’s why life happens in seasons. Fall. Winter. Spring. Summer. Seasons of growth, of life, of sadness, of waiting, of death, of disappointment, of hope and of joy. We are not guaranteed only the good ones. In fact, by the nature of this world we live in, seasons of death and life, good and bad, happy and sad are all inevitable. Seasons begin and end.

photo 1Jay and I are in a season of transition. A season of waiting, hoping, expecting and the seemingly inescapable feelings of sadness and disappointment. With all of that and no definitive answers or solutions for anything, I find myself looking back on the last year of our lives with a smile. Sure, we haven’t been blessed with pregnancy or a successful adoption yet; BUT we chose to LIVE and be present. Instead of obsessing over what we don’t have, we’ve celebrated the things we do. We’ve lived my 30th and Jay’s 35th year the best way we know how.

To mark the end of our summer season, Jay and I traveled to our favorite place, New York City, for 10 days. Beautiful weather, amazing food, great company. We witnessed the sweetest wedding of some of our favorite friends, enjoyed cocktails on rooftops, picnicked in the park, filmed a Travel Channel show (more on that later!), reunited with our soul sisters & brothers, made new friends and explored the city hand-in-hand. It was the BEST ending to this season.

photo 3 (2)So here’s my little confession and long-winded way to say I’m also entering a new season in life and on this blog. This place has been so therapeutic for me as we’ve dealt with infertility. Don’t get me wrong, we are still dealing with it and may be forever, but I want to write about more than that. This will officially be my transition to writing more about the things that bring joy and happiness, the things that make me smile…like dinner parties, cooking fun crazy recipes, beautiful adventures, community and our lives that go on…despite the sadness, despite the infertile elephant in the room (haha). I hope you don’t mind and I hope you don’t stop reading.

Still Here.

I’ve struggled with what to write since I returned off my Lenten fast of Social Media. It was AMAZING, by the way, and I still wrestle with whether I want to fully engage again or start retreating away from it all.

So many times I wanted to write about where we are in this infertility journey, but found myself at a loss or just staring for hours at one lonely sentence.

“We are still here and still in it.”

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I wanted so badly to be able to log-on and type those exciting words that I typed last October only then to have to erase them in my heart.

We’ve been waiting, still, and the choice we made – I made – he made – was to try to live joyfully. Not to shy away in a reclusive state, but to find ways to move forward, to find reasons to smile and laugh, and to figure out how to live hopefully in this seemingly never-ending situation.

This is where blogging and life, in general, can get pretty weird. I started writing about infertility awhile ago, but even before that…years before that, I was talking about it with the people in our life. It’s not just been part of our journey…it IS our story and has been for the last 6-7 years. There’s no nice, neat red bow to tie on it…it’s not finished yet.

We press on, walking together Jay & I, and we try to figure out how to do more than just exist…we try to figure out ways to live life abundantly and with a strange joy in the unfinished…in this middle-earth sort of place.

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I have NO idea when or IF there will be some resolution to our story, if that red bow will ever be tied on. Our life’s story remains in this dichotomy of hopefulness in the hopeless. We fight to hope for the family we both believe we will have one day and yet, we try to not become fixated on the things we cannot see or make happen.

This weekend/holiday has been a hard one to wince through for the past few years, but this year, for some reason, all I want to do and feel is celebration.

To celebrate my mother & my grandmothers. To celebrate the many, many mother-friends in my circles. To celebrate the mothers I encounter on a daily basis who trust us to teach their children how to be better, educated, loving human beings at our school. To celebrate the mothers who are about to be – waiting and holding their breath while their bellies grow. To celebrate the mothers who are “mother and father” as they raise their children alone. To celebrate the mothers who are so, so strong as they battle disease, heartache and loss. To celebrate the mothers who FIGHT for the return of their daughters, ripped from their lives.

To celebrate with the mothers whose children may never become a reality. You, mother, I stand with in solidarity today and for you, mother, I will weep until our stories make sense. For you, mother, I will try to smile and I will try to look for the joy in this waiting place.

“We are still here and still in it…together.”



Reluctant Hope

I’m not sure if that even makes sense but that’s the state I’ve been living in for the last few months. In my head. In my heart…tucked away deep inside while displaying an “everything is okay” smile on my face.

I haven’t written in a long time and part of that is because I’ve not been able to put words to what I’ve been feeling. It’s this weird sense of stagnation…of transition. Jay & I have been in this transition period where there’s no definitive end on the table. I guess there’s never really an “end” for these things. Aren’t we all longing or hoping for something to change in our lives?

After we achieve one goal, there’s always something else right behind it. March…April…May…they all seem to be a blur. Sure, I did things, I saw people, I laughed, I cried, I lived. Life doesn’t wait for us, it goes on all around us.

We’ve worked so hard to finish our adoption home study. We completed the mountain of paperwork; we compiled pictures of our life, family and friends; and we had our home visit with our social worker. It’s all worked out beautifully and painless, really.

Now. We wait.

Wait for our home study to be approved. Wait for a birthmother to somehow CHOOSE us from a stack of couples, each longing for children of their own. Wait the months it takes for the baby to makes his/her entrance into this world. Wait for the birthmother to choose and make the most selfLESS decision for her baby, placing him/her with us. Wait for the moment we get a phone call that our little one is here. Wait the seven days for the baby to officially become Baby Masanotti. Wait for that little baby to be ours. Wait for the day our family of 2 becomes 3  (or 4…5…).

I wait with this reluctant hopefulness. When you’ve longed for something and hoped for something to happen for years and years, it’s hard to be in this place of waiting again. Waiting for something COMPLETELY out of our control. One thing that has remained during the last few months…peace. Peace that God is totally in control and he’s “got this”. No reason for me to worry with the “what if’s” or the details of it all. I am at peace. No really, I am. This reluctant hope comes from a place of wanting to be hopeful, positive and excited for this adoption process to be smooth sailing – for a short “wait time”, a pain-free exchange and interaction with the birthmother and for the thousands of dollars needed to somehow magically appear.

BUT (there’s always a but, right?!), I’m reluctant to fully allow my heart to sink into this hope because of the hurt, disappointment, and number of times the answer has been a resounding “no” for us.

I’m trying y’all. For my “cup-half-overflowing” self, I’m trying to maintain hope and find ways to talk myself into letting go of that reluctance and fully immersing myself in the hope that our family WILL grow this year.

In addition to the adoption process, there’s this: hope for a “yes” one day. Our “yes”. I’ve heard all the stories of a friend of a friend of a friend who was going through the process and then got pregnant?! “Aaaamazzzing,” said in my most sarcastic tone possible. I feel foolish to even begin to believe these stories or even allow myself to engage in that thinking. BUT (there it is again)!

BUT. We still hope & wait every month for that miracle of a “yes”. Every month to see if, just what if, we actually COULD become pregnant on our own. Even despite our excitement, commitment and wonderful anticipation for this adoption to work out, we still hope for that miracle for our family. We long for that day that we too can call our friends and family, SCREAMING from the top of our lungs to the mountain tops, that we are FINALLY and MIRACULOUSLY pregnant.

I’m not sure if that feeling, that longing will ever go away…even if the answer is “no” for that way…for the rest of our lives.

So right now we wait and try to find a way to lean into the discomfort of this transition period. Lean into it and somehow find the beauty in it all. Giving thanks for the way that life (does indeed) go on around us.