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Friday Blog Roundup

Those who follow me on Twitter know that we’ve become smitten with a squirrel who lives in our front yard. And by “we” I mean everyone in this house who is not Josh. Josh may have a problem with the squirrel because we keep feeding him Josh’s almonds. But the thing is that Simon loves almonds and we love Simon and we just want the damn squirrel to be happy.

One person wanted to name the squirrel Beauty and another person wanted to name him Beatle (as in, The Beatles, except there is only one, so he is simply Beatle) and has been campaigning hard for a name change. But Simon Liverspot suits this squirrel perfectly. I left a camera by the window so I can snap a picture when he comes to eat so you can see how Simon can only possibly be named Simon. It’s as if he was simply born to fill this name. Simon Arthur Liverspot.

This is what happens when you don’t buy your wife a pet and she can’t procreate. She transfers all of her enormous love to a squirrel.


Last weekend was Rosh Hashanah. This weekend is Yom Kippur. Before the fast, Jen and I are roadtripping to West Virginia to see the smallest house in the world, the densest population of hackysack players in the world, and the birthplace of the greatest vegetarian egg rolls in the world. It’s all the same place; it’s just whichever lens you wish to view the random town that we’ve chosen for our roadtrip. It’s just two ladies, the open road, and a handful of Beatles CDs.

Last weekend, I held the ChickieNob through the service, almost clonking her on her head when I held her to my chest and bent down during the Aleinu. I know that at age five, she’s awfully big to be holding in my arms like that, but she wanted to be hugged and I wanted to hold her despite the fact that by the second hour, my arms were turning into jelly.

The reality is that one of my parenting fantasies was that I’d be in shul, holding my child and casually flicking through the prayer book at the same time. The key point is at the same time–having the whole picture–the child, the community. I felt so out of sorts for so many years, on the outskirts of community as my friends all had children. And it felt like this was the last year to grab at that fantasy. I can’t foresee myself holding a six-year-old next year. So it was bittersweet–stepping outside of myself and seeing her in my arms and the service going on and knowing it was probably the last time I’d get to have that.


The Weekly What If: What if you had to decide between a really good marriage/partnership or a really good circle of close friends? As in, you could either have your partner be your best friend and have no close friends outside that relationship OR you could have a cordial/functional partnership, but have a very close circle of friends who live nearby and remain with you throughout life. Sorry–you have to choose one or the other, but also tell us why (and feel free to go anonymous if you wish).


And now, the blogs…

This may be a first: I choose a post from a blog the same week they decide to close (this is in addition to another post by a different blogger which was deleted before I could put it in the Roundup. What is happening with the world?). And apparently, no amount of begging is going to change things. But I am keeping my pick because damn it, it’s my pick. Punch Drunk has a post about a friend who was her pregnancy pal. They went through their first pregnancies together and tried to repeat the experience with their seconds, though their life paths diverged. It is a bittersweet post about seeing that person on Facebook again and thinking about how life was supposed to go.

Bee in the Bonnet has a post about delays in a cycle. And while there are follow up posts that give more information about the cycle, I am still paused back in that moment, where the future is unknown and the only facts before you is that there is a pause, one more hurdle, a road bump. It is difficult to read a post about a cancellation or pause and not feel that aching that comes from the times you received that phone call yourself. And the post just got under my skin. I thought about it all week because she let us so deeply into the moment.

Circus Children has a post about her “what if not” list. She writes of her reason for not keeping lists: “As a matter of fact, lists scare me a little, because if I did do lists and I didn’t stick to them (which in my case is very likely) there would actually be proof of the things I didn’t do.” And yet, her husband asks her to create two lists–one for a future where IVF works and one for a future where it does not. It is both beautiful and heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time–and you send so many good thoughts by the end, that only the long list remains in her hand at the end of the day, showing her everything that she did do.

Lastly, IF You Only Knew has a gorgeous post about who she sees when she looks in the mirror. It begins with seeing herself in the mirror at a store and she writes: “It’s that all of the pain I feel on the inside gets amplified by the ugliness on the outside. The reason my body has changed is from the surgery. Infertility did this to me. I said in an earlier post that thinking you are infertile and knowing come with two different emotions.” And it takes a second look in the figurative mirror–once prompted by her husband–to still see the old Caitlin through the new changes. And that we are so much more than our bodies.

The roundup to the Roundup: I love Simon Liverspot. Floating in a sea of Jewish holidays. The Weekly What If. And lots of great posts to read. I was supposed to meet someone this weekend and it has been delayed and in case she’s reading this, I want her to know I made her cookies and am sending good thoughts for an easy move.


1 Kymberli { 09.25.09 at 6:09 am }

I already have the first option, and that is my preference: my husband is my best, closest friend and while I do have good relationships with friends, I don't really have friendships that are deep on that same level. I have two really close friends, but if I had to choose between them or a strong marriage, I'd choose the marriage.

2 Shelli { 09.25.09 at 6:17 am }

Hands down for me, my husband. We may argue and bicker from time to time, but he knows me sometimes better than I know myself… it's like having a built-in 2nd personality.

I have friends, but never reaching the same level as I have with him.

3 Circus Princess { 09.25.09 at 6:26 am }

I'm all teary eyed and moved that you read my post about the "what if list". Thank you for the warm recognition. And thank you for creating ICLW, it's been a crazy great week getting to know so many women (and men) through their wonderful stories.

I would choose my husband, in many ways I have already. The reason is that being so close to someone takes a lot of work and trust and I don't know if it would be possible to manage a similar intimacy with a circle of friends. And if,or when you move, you're more likely to move with your husband than your friends 🙂

4 Delenn { 09.25.09 at 6:31 am }

I don't have to answer the what if as a what if. It already is. My husband and I are each other's best and closest friends. While we have friends, none of them compare.

5 Vee { 09.25.09 at 6:43 am }

Oh I can't wait to see a pic of Simon Liverspot.

Definitely my husband, he is my best friend. He is great company, he makes me laugh and most of all he gets me.

6 FET Accompli { 09.25.09 at 7:08 am }

I have that same fantasy about going to synagogue with my kids – for the past few years I cry SOOO much in synagogue on the high holidays, for various reasons.

In terms of the What If: I'd choose my hubbie.

7 callmemama { 09.25.09 at 7:12 am }

The reality is that my husband is my closest friend. And I wouldn't have it any other way. We are each the other's perfect complement, and our future together with or without kids will be amazing.
A close circle of friends is nice, but my close friends have all abandoned me in the last year – a 3rd surgery and still IF is too much for them I guess.

8 Once A Mother { 09.25.09 at 7:35 am }

My husband hands down. He is my other half. Sharing my life with him completes me. I have many close friends, but none that could ever be closer to me than him. Our marriage is the best thing that ever happened to me.

9 areyoukiddingme { 09.25.09 at 8:13 am }

I have already chosen to have my husband be my best friend. I'm not a hugely social person, and I am impatient with the dynamics of competition and oneupmanship that frequently happen in relationships with other women, so I have only a few very good friends. When my husband and I decided that we were moving to our current area, I knew I'd be leaving my friends behind to be with him and it was a choice I made willingly.

My squirrel stories: Once upon a time, I lived in a little house with a giant maple tree in front of it. Squirrels nested in the tree, and would run onto our roof, tear off branches and throw them on the ground, and generally make a nuisance of themselves. So, one day, my dad got the ladder out, climbed up to where the squirrel's nest was, lit a gasoline-soaked-rag-on-a-stick, and burned that nest out. All the neighborhood kids were HORRIFIED. Let me be clear – he wasn't burning squirrels or squirrel babies, just the nest. But the squirrels went away for a while. Then they came back, and my mom installed a piece of sheet metal around the tree trunk. Let me tell you, there is nothing funnier than watching a squirrel try to climb sheet metal. My FIL, however, used to trap squirrels in his yard and then come over to our house when we were at work and release them in our yard. (It was OK, because they would run off to the woods and field behind our house) Do you get the impression that we side with Josh?

10 Jendeis { 09.25.09 at 8:59 am }

I live the second option, so I feel I need to represent it. I wish I had the first option, but I don't. Due to his Asperger's and other issues, my husband is not capable of being my closest friend and I cannot shrink my self down to what he is capable of to where he would be my only close friend.

I love my husband though and he loves me, so we choose to stay together. There are a lot of problems, but there are lots of good things too. For the most part, I'd say we're happy. We just don't have that extra je ne sais quoi, or maybe, we don't have the functioning je ne said quoi that other couples have, where you know they are meant to be together.

So, I try to create a fulfilling life for myself, accepting fun and closeness and friendship from others where I cannot receive it from my husband.

11 Lorza { 09.25.09 at 9:25 am }

I love your squirrel! In the house we just bought we have an albino squirrel in our backyard…he is nameless though. I need to work on that.

12 LJ { 09.25.09 at 9:38 am }

Not that I don't love you, Mel, but I'd have to choose Mr. Badger. I'd be truly lost without him…

You and Jen are gonna have a blast! Jealous!

13 Caitlin { 09.25.09 at 10:39 am }

I would have to choose my husband. Although I love my girls, I just don't know where I'd be without him and the closeness we share.

BTW thank you so much for including me in today's blog round up! I've been having a rough go of it lately, and needed a wake up call. Luckily, my hubby was able to give that to me (hence why I choose him in the weekly "what if"!). I just really appreciate that you took the time to read. Thanks!

14 Beautiful Mess { 09.25.09 at 10:52 am }

My husband all the way! He is my rock, my anchor, and my sanity keeper. He has helped me so much more then anyone else did when my mom passed away. I feel more attached to him now then I have ever in our 16 years together. He truly makes me want to be a better person and completes me.

15 sunflowerchilde { 09.25.09 at 11:29 am }

I would choose my husband, 100% for sure. He is my rock, my cheerleader, my support system. He believes in me and everything I do. He has amazing patience, and an unlimited amount of love for me.

I don't have a circle of close friends right now, and of course I would love one, but I would never give up what I have with my husband in order to get it.

16 loribeth { 09.25.09 at 12:55 pm }

I love my girlfriends, but we do seem to drift in & out of each others' lives (& back again) depending on what's going on. My dh is my very best friend, hands down.

17 HereWeGoAJen { 09.25.09 at 1:53 pm }

Have you seen those little table and chair things for squirrels? You stick an ear of corn on the table and the squirrel sits on the chair and eats it. My orthodontist had them. Simon needs one.

18 Sarah { 09.25.09 at 2:24 pm }

I pick the first option, mainly because I don't have any close friends any more. 😉

19 Lin { 09.25.09 at 3:16 pm }

My husband is my best friend. I love my "best girlfriend" dearly and she is my oldest friend. But, the relationship DH and I have is not like any of my other relationships, nor could it be.

We've learned so much through his depression and are so much closer because of it. I wouldn't wish it on my worse enemy, but I wouldn't take it away from us.

He is my rock, and no matter what happens, we are a team. I'm grateful now that the struggles with depression better prepared us for our TTC struggles. Funny how things make sense eventually…

20 TreasureHunter { 09.25.09 at 4:18 pm }

I already have the first option my husband. I would rather have him as my best friend. I don't make friends easily so this works out perfectly for me!

21 Sunny { 09.25.09 at 4:39 pm }

Plus one for the husband. I do love my friends, but they just add to my life. My husband IS my life — he is part of me.

22 Kate { 09.25.09 at 4:54 pm }

What an interesting question! I find it interesting because I don't really have any close friends in my city. I had one and she ditched me when IF came around. She is not married but has a huge large supportive "sex in the city" type of crew…. but I'd never trade places with her.

23 Mrs. Shoes { 09.25.09 at 5:52 pm }

You could call him SAL for short- the squirrel, that is.

24 Parenthood For Me { 09.25.09 at 6:53 pm }

I would choose my husband. I could not imagine being married to someone who was not my best friend and partner. what would be the point?

25 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 09.25.09 at 8:39 pm }

The near-perfect marriage and few friends (none nearby, only a couple close) is already my reality.

@areyoukiddingme: There is something funnier than watching a squirrel climb sheet metal: watching a squirrel try to eat a blow pop. Holding the stick is already amusing, but once he gets to the bubble gum…

26 Bluebird { 09.26.09 at 2:39 pm }

Another vote for the hubby.

I used to think I would have both- or almost both. But then I learned that the girls I thought were going to do it for me . . .well. . .didn't. Maybe it was the particular girls, I don't know, but I tend to think its more normal than not when people grow up, move away, get married, have children, etc. We still share a special bond, sure. But not like the one I share with the person I live with, spend every day with, and share every thing with.

27 Sarang { 09.27.09 at 1:36 am }

In this scenario of one versus the other, I would take my husband as my best and only friend. We've always been close, but IF has brought us even closer. If there is an "upside" to IF (and I think there can be…growing stronger as a person, becoming more compassionate to others pain), I think the deeper connection with my husband is the biggest "IF blessing".

Having said that, I don't know what I'd do without my IRL best girlfriend. For those times that my husband is what he is — a man and not a woman who can understand what it IS to be woman facing IF — only my best friend, who went through this herself in some way, will do.

28 Milla { 09.27.09 at 6:55 am }

My thoughts on the What If: I suspect IF has made my husband my closest friend, we have this struggle, we are changing so much of our lives to facilitate this. However, I don't think these 2 types of relationship/support work as well without each other. If either my friends or my husband absorbed all my anger and frustration and pain, as well as my joy and enthusiasm and curiosity, I don't think the relationships would be as functional.

I don't have a squirrel but I have my own robin who has taken to following me around and singing a song so quiet that only the robin and I can hear it. Currently it's nameless but I'm about to go out in the garden so I'll look at it's face and see what comes.

29 Mrs. Basement { 09.28.09 at 8:00 am }

what a great site. being new to the world of trying to conceive your round up is a great way to find the best writing. thanks!

30 Kate (Bee In The Bonnet) { 09.28.09 at 10:26 pm }

Wow. Yeah, it was really intense to live that moment. I am so glad that it stuck with you and that you honored that moment for me by sharing it with the community. I’m truly flattered. Thank you for that.

And as for the weekly what-if, I’ve kind of already made that decision by moving far away from my closest friends to follow my husband. I guess that means I’d rather have him than them. And the past year has really shown me that this was the right decision. I need him by my side, and seeing the way some of my former girlfriends have acted towards me after making the decision to move away from them just made me cherish my relationship with my husband that much more.

I miss having crazy-close girlfriends, but I still have plenty of very-close girlfriends, but my husband has by far surpassed all of them in terms of closeness. And I like that.

And welcome to the family, Simon.

31 LaShawn { 09.29.09 at 6:56 am }

I think that is an incredibly difficult decision. I’d choose my husband, hands down…but I know I would long for my close girlfriends. But if I chose close friends, I would long for the depth of friendship and intimacy I have with my husband. Either way, I’d feel like an important part of my life was missing.

32 melissah { 10.02.09 at 2:36 pm }

I have actually made t hat decision in real life. I chose my husband and I’m very happy. I can always fly home for vacation and see my friends. Besides now I have a close circle of new friends and I have the best of both worlds.

33 Rachel Lewis { 10.12.12 at 4:37 am }

I have to admit, I’m not quite sure where to post this, but I wanted to share with you my latest blog entry. We just miscarried baby#3, who was my second loss in 9 months. Here’s the link:


As for your question, I would choose my hubby, but that’s not because we’re currently there. Right now I have a great group of girlfriends… But I want my hubby to be my best friend again.

Thanks for posting the roundup… I enjoyed reading those blogs.

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