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27 August 2014

The last year.

I guess the title of this post has two meanings. The first: the last 365 days of my life. The second: the last 365 day of my life as I and everyone in it would know it.

I am gay.
I define myself as Queer.

Yes, my parents know. Yes, Shawn knows. Almost everyone I wanted to tell before I came out to the mass public has been told personally. If I didn't get the chance to call or tell you, I tried or wanted to. I just couldn't.

I'm ripping off the band-aid and putting it out there.
To answer some questions that have been posed to me and that you may find in your mind as you read this:

No, I "don't prefer dick anymore."
No, it is not hormones.
No, it's not because of anyone or anything that happened.
No, this is not a joke.
Yes, I am sure.
Yes, I have had experience to know I am sure. Even if I hadn't... how are you sure about your own sexual orientation? Yeah.

Yes, I know this hurts and changes my family forever.

But I cannot go on living as half of myself anymore. So many things make sense in hindsight and the relief of being honest outweighs the grief of the situation... most of the time. I am sorry for the pain this has caused those who love me and my family but I will never be sorry for who I am.

Shawn and I are separated and working toward a divorce, not that it's anyone's business. But I have nothing to hide, so there it is. We no longer have enough of what the other needs to keep our marriage going and I think it's responsible that we are honest about that with each other.
Our number one priority is our daughter and always will be.

The last 4 weeks have been the most vivid and difficult of my life. But I know one thing after living through a moon cycle of this new change:
I am fucking ALIVE.

In every sense of the word... I feel electric. I see signs everywhere from the universe that I have finally found the Path. My Path.

I take one day at a time now like I have always wanted to. I love myself in my entirety.
And someday it will all be okay.

I have never had to rely on others like I have before this last month or so, and I have found the true colors of the people I thought I knew. Some for the better, less for the worse. I know who loves me and how and how much. I have never felt so free in my life.

Any prayers and thoughts for my family and myself are appreciated.
Thank you for reading, if you did.


09 June 2014

Anniversary Funnel Cake 2014

‎We went to the Santa Lucia Festival again to celebrate our anniversary weekend with the annual eating of the funnel cake. Bernice was awake this year!

3 years, already! It's  going really fast...

02 June 2014

1 Year

It's been 1 year and then a few days, now.

My baby is still a baby, but now she does so many things.

I am back to weighing what I weighed before I got pregnant, but I don't wear the same size clothes.

I am still breastfeeding her often, but not often enough to keep my cycle away any longer.

She is still in cloth diapers, but we take a few days off every now and again.

Things are different, but I can't remember how anymore. Not exactly, anyway.

14 April 2014

Bernice's Gender Neutral Nursery

After all the prep and work that went into preparing for Bernice to be here last year at this time, it was amazing to have the nursery complete. I haven't shared pictures of it yet, so here they are. 
All photos by Shawn Finley

 Yarn Painting by Shawn's Mom
This was in his and his sister's rooms when they were babies, too.
 I made Bernice's orange curtains just for her.
The Grateful Dead poster I found in Chicago 2 years ago. 
When we bought it I had no idea where I would put it. :o)

 Dinosaur rocker from my parents matches perfectly!

That rug was the inspiration for the whole room!

 Shawn and I painted the chevrons by hand.

 This rocking chair in the corner was the one my mom would rock me in when I was a baby.

Special calendar from Bernice's Aunt to keep track of her busiest year. 
Vintage Kitten picture from a yard sale I found YEARS and YEARS ago.
 Glitter Owl from Shawn's parents topped with custom glitter letters from my parents. 
This is one loved little baby!

Of all the cool things about Bernice's room the best thing about it in my opinion is that I think she likes it, too.

08 April 2014

Makeup Free for 30 Days

I'm starting to learn a lot about myself, and one of the really apparent things I have discovered is that I am a cyclic animal. I have seasons and they help me to organize myself and my work.
I crochet in the Winter, draw in the Spring, plan trips + parties in the Summer, and sew in the Fall.

I also wear makeup cyclically but I don't think it follows a predictable and seasonal pattern. 30 days ago I started thinking about starting a makeup-free cycle so I just went with it after noticing it coincided with Lent. I didn't want to religiously observe Lent; I just wanted to stop wearing makeup and be accountable for my choice. I thought choosing to be without it entirely for over a month would help me accomplish my goal.
At day 12 I wanted to wear makeup so badly. I considered giving up on Lent like I had the last time I tried it when I was 9 years old. But I didn't. I just picked out a cute outfit; one I never would have spent the time choosing before. I was terrified, but when no one ran away from me screaming in public it got easier.
Around day 19 I noticed I started to take better care of myself. When I don't get enough sleep or water you can SEE it. When I don't pluck my eyebrows and witch hairs you can SEE them. When I try to pick a blackhead or something you can SEE it. So I am now gentle to myself and my face, and make sure to take care of myself so that I look better at the very least.
I spent a lot more time with my family and we did a lot more fun stuff. I slipped out of the house to get donuts as a surprise one morning before Shawn woke up! I didn't even THINK about putting on makeup. I just left.

It was liberating.
I had finally become comfortable in my bare face. Not just like "I don't give a shit" comfortable, but like "I look better without it anyway" comfortable. In the last week I caught 3 reflections of myself in my phone, the computer, a window and thought, "pretty."

Now when Shawn tells me I'm beautiful I get tingles through my whole body.

Will I never wear makeup again? No! I like makeup sometimes! But I think my everyday look, if I want, will just be well-groomed eyebrows and concealer on the outer corners of my eyes. For dates with Shawn I might wear more, but for everyday my regular face is just great.
Makeup can be lots of things for lots of different people but for me it was a crutch. A crutch to hide my laziness which can manifest as self-neglect. Taking the crutch away forced me to fix the problem, and now after 30 days it's a new habit. A lovely, healthy new habit.

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Love & Welcome All

Thank you for coming by to read my experiences as a wife and what came before it, as well. My husband Shawn and I were married June 10, 2011 in Omaha, NE! I enjoy sharing my stories and hearing other people's stories so please feel free to share any in the comments (especially dress stories!). I LOVE comments!

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