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160th Friday Blog Roundup

I went this morning to renew my passport.  It expired back in 2004 and the reason I didn’t renew it immediately is that I wanted to do it in person because I had changed my last name with marriage…well…the whole story is a balagan-of-a-reason and the punchline is that when I got to the office this morning, I didn’t need my marriage certificate at all.  There had been absolutely no reason to let it go on as long as I did.

Which brings us to two thoughts: I have not been out of the country in five years, with the exception of Canada (the last time I went, you could still go over the border without your passport).  I used to travel overseas at least once a year, sometimes multiple times a year.  We even put travel as a condition in our tenaim.  It’s just strange to think that if I live to be 100, I spent 5% of my life not fulfilling something I love to do.  And I’m not sure I’ll be traveling much past 70, so there’s another 30% of my life.  And I didn’t travel a lot as a child.  So what I’m saying is that I’m in prime travel years and I’m not traveling.

The other thing is how naked I feel without my passport.  This morning, I opened it to show the twins and went through some of the stamps.  I know I still have the photographs and the journals here, but that particular book contained a lot of memories and I loved standing in line at the airport, looking at my stamps and remember where I’ve been.

My first trip with Josh, when he asked me in a cafe if I thought I wanted to marry him one day.  Our spontaneous trip to Paris that we planned and executed in under 5 days.  A trip to Ireland where I came in from the rain and ate Linda McCartney vegetarian sausages and milky tea on the floor by the heater.  A month in Italy where we had a shower with a window in it.  Trying to learn Catalan in Spain.  A week in London where I convinced Josh to ask a shopkeeper on Portobello Road if he sold any bedknobs.  Running away to Israel to avoid an ex-boyfriend.  A trip to Canada after my first Follistim injection in a hotel in Buffalo, NY.  Taking pictures in a graveyard at midnight in Oslo.

When I get my new book, it will be blank.  The first clerk won’t know when he stamps it that I’ve been to a bunch of places.  Isn’t that a strange idea?  That you can become a clean slate in regards to travel every ten years.


Weekly What If: What if in replacing your passport, they also wiped clean all of your travel memories?  What place would you love to see with new eyes (as in erase bad memories from a past trip or get to experience something all over again for the first time)?  Which trip would you be saddest to lose from your memory?


Last night, we got into the house a few minutes past seven.  The twins washed up and I set up a candle on the counter.  They helped me light it and we went upstairs.


We kept losing power yesterday, including a few minutes after we lit the candle so it seemed extra fitting to have that established light.  An hour or so after the twins were in bed, I heard a strange popping noise in the kitchen.  It sounded like something plastic had fallen off the counter and onto the floor.

At first I couldn’t locate the source of the sound, but then I saw this:


The heat from the candle had blown out part of the glass.  I had used these candle holders numerous times in the past, so I’m not sure why this happened last night.  Perhaps it was a sign.


In happier news, I got two surprises in the mail last week.  The first came from Jen who has started her own etsy.  She made the Wolvog and ChickieNob t-shirts with their favourite things–iPods and ballet.  Jen also sends the twins her old blackberries and cell phones therefore they already loved her hardcore.  The shirts were just the icing on the cake:


I’m hiring her to make a special onesie for me through the etsy.  Seriously high quality work–it’s gorgeous.

The other thing that came was from Nancy (who I owe a nice comment on this post and still have it saved in my Reader, not because I can’t think of something nice to say, but because I want to make it special).  She sent me my own pair of roller derby socks!


I am pairing them with a little black jumper and black platform heels.  I will take a picture once I’ve actually gotten myself dressed.  Which is a fancy way of saying, “showered.”


Newsy News:

A bunch of things came in quick succession so I thought it was worth repeating.

  1. The Blogger Bingo list closes over the weekend.  The first clue will be up in that first section of the right sidebar on Monday.  This is your last chance to sign up.
  2. The IComLeavWe list for October closes mid-week next week and commenting starts on Wednesday.  Heads up if you wanted to sign up.
  3. Next book for book club is the Phantom Tollbooth.  We wanted to keep it easy with all the holiday craziness coming up.  Sign up if you want to participate.
  4. I’m going to be doing a bunch of Q&A’s at Fertility Authority next week.
  5. If you live in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, Southern New Jersey…er…that whole area, I’m going to be reading at the Borders in Marlton, NJ on October 23rd (next Friday).  I’d love to meet you if you live nearby!


I also got to meet Christy last weekend:


If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I bet Christy rocks,” you would be correct.  She is funny and sassy and has an incredibly delicious son.  I was so excited when I learned that she was going to be coming into town.


And now, the blogs…

An Unwanted Path has a post about the word ineffectual.  Fertility treatments aren’t working for her and she writes: “I hate wasting all that time, all that money, all that emotional energy, on something that just isn’t working- and yet we keep doing it. It makes me feel like I’m delusional at times, and I ask myself why I bother.”  It’s a wistful post and I closed it, still thinking about the words for days after.

Still Passing Open Windows has a post about the economics of infertility.  When she inquires about the price of a camera, she can’t help but put it in terms of a cycle cost, medication bills, donor gamete prices.  And the post drives home the fact that when you buy something at the store, you pay for the product and when you spend your money on treatments, you pay for the chance.

A Real Life has a post about a setback in terms of her job and what she learned from the experience.  She writes: “To put it mildly, my response was not appropriate for the situation I was facing.”  I think what is most touching about this post is not just the honesty, but the enormous intelligence she brings to looking at her life.

Lastly, You Call Me a Bitch Like It’s a Bad Thing has a post about how she should have been 12 weeks pregnant.  It is a simple, sad post about waiting rather than being in action.  I just thought it was well-written and moving.

The roundup to the Roundup: Bye-bye old passport.  Answer the Weekly What If.  Cool things came in the mail and in person.  Lots of projects coming to a close or starting up–depending on how you look at it.  And great blogs to read.


1 deathstar { 10.16.09 at 12:42 pm }

I had a trip to Jamaica years ago with a girl I used to work with. It didn’t really add much to my life, so I would wipe that from my memory and try it all over again. I couldn’t bear to lose the memory of my first and 2nd trip to Bali – frankly, it gives me something to hang on to until I get there again. I fell in love again with my boyfriend the 1st time there, we got married there the 2nd time and I hoped I would bring our child there the 3rd time.

2 tash { 10.16.09 at 12:57 pm }

Need. time. to. do. anagrams. Ugh.

1) Passport: I had my old, old one from when I was six, and the picture was awesome as were the stamps and they let me keep it when I got my new one in ’87. In fact, they let me keep my ’87 one when I got my new one in ’99. So anyway, brand new passport, on which I went to: Mexico, Germany, Italy, Curaco (Dutch), and England. NO STAMPS. Not a single country on that list (Germany and Italy the week after 9/11 incidentally) stamped my passport. I think they swipe it through now and don’t bother. It looks as if I’ve been nowhere.

2) We lit a candle last night at 7 p.m. during bathtime, and kept it on through reading for bed time. I was in Bella’s closet helping get something for her and she asked if she could blow it out and I said sure and I heard this tiny voice behind me say, “I miss you Maddalena” before I heard a small puff of air. It was just the sweetest thing.

3 HereWeGoAJen { 10.16.09 at 1:15 pm }

I’d like to do all my European traveling again. I was in elementary school when we lived there and it all kind of blurs together…

I used to live in Voorhees, NJ and work in Cherry Hill. Sigh. Six years too late, Mel!

4 Shelli { 10.16.09 at 1:26 pm }

Can’t wait to see you next week!

Passport- I was very fortunate to travel to Europe twice (for an extended period) at the ages of 16 and 18. Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and Germany. I’ve not been back since, and I would love to have the opportunity to see it again as an adult. I just didn’t know how lucky I was at the time.

5 S { 10.16.09 at 1:30 pm }

Like you, I love to travel and don’t do nearly enough of it, at least internationally.

I would hate to lose any of my travel memories, but I think the one that would bother me the most would be our family trip to Cork, Ireland (my father’s hometown) in 2002. We spent a lot of time with my father’s two siblings and their families and visiting all his old familiar haunts; Dad hadn’t been back to Ireland in over 30 years.

Though there were bad parts of that trip that I’d rather forget–family interpersonal conflicts and the like–I know I will never again visit Ireland, my father’s homeland, with him along. For that reason alone, the memories of that trip are priceless to me, and I would be very sad to lose them.

Hey, maybe I could just replace the bad parts of that trip and keep the good? 😉

I have truly never had a trip so bad that I’d wish to wipe the memory of it completely from my mind and have a “do over.” The experience of exploring someplace new would be something I’d always want to preserve, even if parts of the trip didn’t go perfectly.

6 Jessica { 10.16.09 at 1:30 pm }

Really? You didn’t need your marriage license? Because I’ve been putting off getting mine updated and now renewed for years for the same reason…

7 Blanche { 10.16.09 at 1:57 pm }

The last time I renewed mine (after I had already had the name changed on it – not a big deal, it came back in a much shorter time than I had expected) they sent back the old one with a hole punched in the cover. So you may not loose those stamps after all.

8 Blanche { 10.16.09 at 1:58 pm }

LOSE, not LOOSE. Gah. Committed one of my very own pet peeves.

9 Kristin { 10.16.09 at 2:24 pm }

When I was about 5 1/2, my dad was stationed in Germany. That summer, we took a camping trip across Europe. I would love to experience that trip again since I was young enough to not remember a lot.

10 Minta { 10.16.09 at 2:26 pm }

Both the trip I would miss the most the trip I’d like to re-do are from the same vacation! We went to the Bahamas and the Caymans during our honeymoon. I’d love to re-do the Caymans. We fought, and the water on seven mile beach was so choppy we couldn’t enjoy it. Just an overall suck for three days. It’s supposed to be such a beautiful place, and it has a negative taint to me now. On the other hand… my memories from our time on Paradise island in the Bahamas are some of of most precious. I’d hate to lose those four days. Of course, at the time one didn’t need a passport to get back into the US, or to travel to those countries, so I don’t even have a passport with fun stamps 🙁

We lit a candle for each baby last night (so six). Big C was staying with us and he asked why we were lighting them. He know about Blueberry Bean, and he knows that we’ve lost other babies the same way, but he didn’t know anything about them, so I told him how old each one would be and what I call them. He was very shocked that one would have been older than him. He was downright scandalized at the thought of the possibility that he shouldn’t have been his Nana’s oldest grandbaby! He did give them each a kiss, though, which was sweet.

11 a { 10.16.09 at 2:26 pm }

I would hate to lose my travel memories. I have been avoiding getting a new passport for 6 years, thinking it would be a hassle with the name change. I only have a couple stamps, and my memories are in my journals. I, too, love to travel and don’t do enough of it. I’m hoping for a fabulous trip next summer – don’t know where yet, but it will definitely be out of the country!

12 Guera! { 10.16.09 at 2:29 pm }

I visited Seattle for the first time with a horrible travel companion. I would like to redo that whole trip over with my husband.
The ones that would be the hardest for me to lose would be the ones since taken with my husband.
P.S I always pretend I have lost my old passport so I can keep it as a keepsake with all the stamps. I remember crossing over into France and with the EU there was no official looking secure border crossing but there was a hut with a border agent. I insisted we stop so I could get my passport stamped. We had to knock on the door and literally wake the guy up from a nap. I explained I wanted a stamp in my passport and to humor me he made a big deal of “checking my documents” and then stamping them. I will always be grateful to him.

13 Jendeis { 10.16.09 at 2:35 pm }

I think I’d redo my honeymoon in Venice and not be seasick this time. Oh, and we’d go see more of the sights. And I would physically prevent JD from taking me on a f-ing 3-hour boat tour to an uninhabited island with no food for absolutely no reason so that I almost killed him when we got back because none of the restaurants were serving food beacause it was between lunch and dinner and apparently all restaurants close at that time and I was very hungry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m hungry…

14 Hevel { 10.16.09 at 3:44 pm }

Funny thing. I only ever use my Israeli passport to enter and leave Israel. Any other travel is done on my Hungarian passport. Very rarely I use my Irish one (when Hungary still needed a visa for the US it came handy). My Hungarian passport is expiring in 6 months. It has ZERO stamps in it. I got it not long after Hungary joined the EU, and well, even before Schengen took effect–and even in non-Schengen countries–I never received a stamp in it.

If I could, I’d love to experience Utah again and forget all about the trauma of Brigham Young University. I’d love to see Salt Lake City through the eye of the tourist!

The one memory I’d hate to lose would be my trip to Israel when I was 13, with my first time at the Kotel. It was my first time reconnecting with my roots after 10 years.

15 Half of a Duo, Raising a Duo { 10.16.09 at 3:45 pm }

Well… I travel relatively frequently overseas as does the DH. They swipe the passport now and barely stamp it. It depends on the country.

There is no journey that I would like to look at through new eyes and go back other than one.

My surrogacy journey.

I would never regret the boys in a million years.

I DO regret, deeply, the fact that our surrogate got sucked into an anti-traditional surrogate’s grasp and group, and treated the journey as her own and didn’t share. She was disrespectful and rude to me and the DH. It was “her body, her baby”. I didn’t post that on my blog. Instead, when she began this nonsense, I suspended my blog.

I deprived myself of writing of moments I was thinking and feeling that were joyful. Because of her behavior, not mine. And not knowing what was going on with her… I had to try and rise above and take the high road.

If I could re-journey anywhere, it would be, a new journey with the same boys, and a surrogate (the same) who did not connect with crazy people that heavily influenced her in a most negative way. To this day, to the point where, we have had to sever ties with her, because of the disrespect and marginalization….

16 Rae { 10.16.09 at 5:27 pm }

Two trips I would hate to have erased from my passport memory would be the 2 months I spent in Russia living with a Russian family as a foreign exchange student. That trip really made me thankful for what we have here in the US. I would also hate to erase my trip to St. Lucia this past June because I eloped there with my husband and we had a wonderful weddingmoon.

One trip I wouldn’t mind erasing would be my trip to Hawaii. I married really young and my ex-husband and I went there on our honeymoon. I would love to have new memories of Hawaii.

17 Lavender Luz { 10.16.09 at 7:29 pm }

I truly mourned when I had to turn in my old passport, the one we had to get extra pages for at an embassy in Vienna. I felt like I got sent back to Go without anyone knowing I’d lived on Baltic Avenue, Marvin Gardens, Boardwalk, and other colorful places.

18 Jill { 10.16.09 at 7:35 pm }

Nothing important – just wanted to say that your candle holder probably broke due to your candle burning too hot. It usually happens because the candlemakers used inexpensive wax. Better wax will burn cooler and longer so maybe you used different candles this time?

19 Battynurse { 10.16.09 at 11:06 pm }

I don’t actually even have a passport. I’ve only been to Canada once or twice and other than that have never been out of the US. Kind of sad to say that. Part of me would really love to travel to various places but part of me is absolutely appalled at the idea of 20 some hour plane rides with an ass the size of mine. 3 hour plane rides make me sore. Someday. Maybe.

20 Another Dreamer { 10.16.09 at 11:25 pm }

Oh my… it’s so weird about your candle holder, the glass on mine broke too! It was like 15 minutes after I lit it, and I heard a popping noise, looked up, and it had cracked and broke around it’s entire circumference.

I realize mine probably broke because the glass was cold, and the wick was too close to it, but it still made me wonder.

21 Erica { 10.17.09 at 9:06 am }

I am so with you on the travel thing. I studied abroad in both Spain and Italy. I want to continue to see many more countries. I have been to Morocco, the Greek Isles. I was very sad that I had to renew my passport and lose all my stamps! I am trying to go to Ireland next year. I would never want to forget the semester I lived in Siena. That was the most wonderful exerience of my young life. I came back a different person.

22 Jamie { 10.17.09 at 11:34 am }

That is the very reason I haven’t renewed my passport. For our honeymoon, we took my dream vacation to Italy and it breaks my heart to think about giving up those stamps.

Funny to think, the thing I love so much it a major barrier in keeping me from going again.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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