Ladies of the Round Table

November 25, 2014

Biological Privilege

Filed under: Uncategorized — J @ 3:51 pm

This SO helpful and true….

SJW - Stuck in the Middle

Biological privilege is something akin to white privilege, but people rarely think or talk about it.  I mean, why would anyone think about the comfort that you have in knowing where your DNA comes from?  Why would anyone think twice about things like the importance of mirroring or genetic ties or knowing that ovarian cancer runs in your family?  That’s biological privilege.

It’s something that adoptees do not have.  It doesn’t just end with adoptees.  There are plenty of kids who are being raised by a single parent who have a question mark in the place of the absentee parent.  However, even in those cases, there is stills something biological to anchor them.

Adoptees are often asked questions like “why do you want to search?”  or “why don’t  you want to search?”  Just the fact that there are people out there biologically related to us – whether we want to…

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August 3, 2008

Lessons in being a wife

Filed under: Uncategorized — Angelique @ 6:33 pm

So here’s my (Angelique’s) first post. I’m sorry that it’s on July’s topic but I haven’t been able to figure out how to post until now (thanks for the help, Jen!)

Last week, my husband and I celebrated the 5th anniversary of the day we professed to love one another as long as we both shall live. In light of our anniversary and this very appropriate topic, I’ve been jotting down some notes over the past few weeks as I’ve reflected on this important role that I took on five years ago.

 

I will start by saying that I did not learn how to be a good wife by example. For many years, I feared getting married because I was afraid I would become a wife and a mother modeled after my own mother. Don’t get me wrong, my mom does have many virtues, but sadly, growing up and even today, what I most recall about my mother is how difficult it was for my father and I to deal with her. Because of her own unstable and unloving past, my mother was very critical of my father. Nothing he did was ever good enough and she was always quick to belittle him without regard for his feelings (or for the presence of their children listening to this verbal abuse, for that matter.)  

 

When I met Richard and we fell in love and decided to marry, I entered this new phase of my life with a lot of trepidation. I had a lot of emotional baggage and desperately wanted for that not to get in the way of being a good wife. There were so many things I vowed to do – or not to do- that were different from what my mom did with my dad. I vowed never to push my husband away when he was trying to be affectionate, whether or not I truly felt like a hug at that moment or not. I vowed to never have so much pride in me so as to neglect to say I’m sorry. I vowed to tell my husband often that I love him and appreciate all that he does. I vowed to always put him, and not my children, first, as this is the best possible example we can give our children. No, these were not the vows I professed to Richard on our wedding day, but these are also the vows I have tried (and I think for the most part, succeeded) to uphold for the past five years.

 

You know that show, “What Not to Wear” that turns people’s lives around and gives them confidence by showing them how to dress and carry themselves? Well, when I really think about it, I’m actually kind of grateful to my Mom for what she taught me growing up as I learned to be a wife by learning “What Not to Do.” Sad, but true. For many years, I thought it may be inevitable that I would repeat the same mistakes as her since she did exactly what her mother did despite the fact that she didn’t like it either. I now realize that it’s not inevitable, it just takes a big effort to overcome what we have grown up seeing as potentially erroneous gender or spousal roles.

 

I learned something else recently about being a wife that didn’t come from my Mom, but it also has to do with the spousal roles that society seems to impose upon us. I can’t tell you how many greeting cards I’ve seen with messages like, “Today I marry my best friend” and sentiments of that nature. For years, I thought my husband had to be my best friend and so I often felt I needed to share every little detail of my life, including all my often neurotic and silly thoughts because, hey, that’s what best friends do, right? So I did this, for many years, through our struggles with infertility, through challenges with my family, through assimilating the shock of unexpected pregnancies, etc. And you know what I learned? That both of us would often end up frustrated when he couldn’t understand or empathize with my sentiments, not necessarily due to lack of effort on either of our parts but more because we process things differently and because, let’s face it, men and women are just different! Ironically, when I would talk to my best friend of 12 years about the very same situations (despite the fact that in situations like infertility, my husband and I were really the only 2 individuals going through it), I felt she had a better ability to comfort me and help me feel uplifted than my husband. Again, not because he didn’t try but because what we were each feeling and experiencing was very different, despite the fact that we were both dealing with the same situation.

 

I recently learned that this connection that women have with one another and how men and women deal with things differently is actually primal. When the men left to hunt and provide for their families, women stayed in the cave with other moms and mutually supported one another and raised the clan’s children together. I used to feel guilty when I wouldn’t share everything with my husband. Now I realize that he doesn’t have to be my greatest confidant. It’s not to say that I don’t talk to my husband about my thoughts and feelings and what’s going on in my life; to the contrary, we’re both making a bigger effort to share and communicate more effectively with one another. It’s just that my husband is not my best friend – a very close friend, yes, and one with whom I share intimate parts of me that no one else shares, but I no longer feel the stigma or obligation to call him my best friend nor to place unreasonable expectations on him because I have certain emotional needs that need to be filled. He doesn’t have to be the one to listen to me vent all the time. We are both there for one another and though he may not be my best friend, he is an amazing man, an incredible husband and my lifelong companion, and I vow to be the best wife I can be to him as long as we both shall live.

 

August 2, 2008

Just wait…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 5:45 pm

“Just wait until you have your own kids…  They’ll be just like you.”

If I had a nickle for every time my mother uttered this to me during my adolescence I’d be one heck of a rich woman.  And, if I had a nickle for every time I thought, “Ha!  You don’t know what you’re talking about!” in response I’d gladly donate all proceeds from the sale of our son’s referral pictures to charity.  In any case, I had always considered this maternal proverb to be a myth.  Just a way for Mom to let off some steam.

You see, I wasn’t the easiest kid in the world to raise.  Certainly I wasn’t the worst, but you get the idea, right?  I had my fair share of — let’s just call them — quirks; so many that I consider it miraculous that Mom maintains her sanity.  However, one quirk stands out in my memories.  One quirk really over-shadows all the others.

I was a screamer.  As in bloody-murder-top-of-my-lungs-call-911-I’m-on-fire screamer.  I have no idea how I didn’t destroy my vocal cords, I used to scream so loud and for so long!  Honest to goodness, we had to alert the neighbors so that they didn’t call the police; THAT was how loudly I would scream.  I guess it was my method of throwing a tantrum.  I mean, you couldn’t expect me to do things like everyone else did them…

Looking back, I cringe at my behavior.  I know I was just a little kid, but still!  Oh, and don’t think anyone who witnessed this audacious display of emotion has ever let me forget it!  The relatives still talk about it.  And when they find out about my son, they will most likely laugh themselves silly.

My son is a screamer.  He is only 13 months old but he has found his voice, and by golly, he sure knows how to use it.  (ha, did I just use ‘by golly’ in a sentence?)  Right now he screams out of sheer delight.  It is endearing — right now.  Soon he will be entering the Age of Tantrums and I fear he will begin using his powers for evil.   Just like I did.

Oh my.  He IS just like me…

July 30, 2008

Wife…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Carissa @ 11:48 pm

(Ok I have been editing this for what seems like weeks and no matter what I do it sounds like a sermon – Sorry!) I have been thinking about my role as wife for this whole adoption process, especially since I will be adding the new role of mother before I know it. The role of wife can be interpreted so many different ways, I personally have always seen my role as wife as part of a complete set that works well together and do not hinder each other. I also believe that no relationship shall come before that of mine and Aaron’s – not even that with our children because as Dr. Phil says a good relationship with your husband is the best gift you can give your children. Therefore I feel my role is very important to my marriage. Husbands and wives should be a great help to each other and not a hindrance. I hate to see marriages where the wife’s (or the husband’s) contribution, wisdom, insight and understanding have been underestimated or even ignored. In that case I am saddened to see that the wife who can and should add to the relationship is not “allowed” to do so nor is she trying to in most cases. The wife not only believes she has nothing to add she has no desire to speak up and add it when she has not been allowed to in the past. Aaron will tell you I will never be one of those women – I am way too outspoken! Good thing he likes that about me!

DISCLAIMER: Aaron will tell you that I have not perfected any of this but that I try daily to do these things and if I fail I will get up the next day and try again! So this is what I strive for and not where I am! There are many roles that a woman can play in marriage (more than I could write about here), I think that there are three important roles – companion, supporter and admirer and that a wife should communicate love, warmth, trust and loyalty.

I have noticed as I age that some – not all men (and therefore our husbands) can be very much alone in the world. Many men do not have friends with whom they have developed a deep relationship, someone who they can share with and confide in (and this makes the least amount of sense to me as a woman but I have seen it time and time again). Many husbands would love to have a companion at home (or so I have been told) – someone with whom they can find peace and solitude. I want to be for my husband someone with whom he can share, a confidante, someone he can be transparent with and share his struggles/his inner world and not be being criticized, judged and condemned but be understood. But this is VERY hard for me as Aaron is VERY quiet and says almost NOTHING. Over the years, I just continue to ask and not demand and looking back over the last five years I can see how far I have come in this area, and so has Aaron. I love that we talk about many things and he has become so much more confident sharing his inner thinking with me!

(Cover the kids eyes here – I am about to go somewhere they don’t need to go J ) One other important aspect of companionship, which only a wife is supposed to fulfill, is in the area of sexual intimacy. Be his lover, develop creativity, add an element of surprise for excitement, and learn to demonstrate tenderness by touching your husband in ways that pleases him. Make an effort to plan creative settings to enhance this part of your relationship. Ok so I am not suggesting that you go and try it in the movie theater here – but I know for me when I try a few of these things, well let’s just say I have a lot more fun! I will stop here – (Ok you can uncover the kids eyes it is safe now!)

Many young people today fear the loss of their freedom and control and therefore decide not to marry – I know as I was one of them as were many of my friends. I didn’t realize that in marriage, a couple works towards interdependence, not independence. Interdependence is when we are in the same boat heading towards the same direction versus independence where we are in the same boat but rowing towards different directions. When I saw marriages where interdependence (not codependence or independence) was practiced in the marriage, I reevaluated my view toward marriage. Interdependence is not easy and I have learned that it is a delicate balance or it can quickly change to codependence or independence. I am not suggesting that your role as wife is to always agree with your husband but more to work together to move in the same direction instead of going completely opposite directions because you want to be independent or even agreeing to go with him well just because he wants to do x – even though you want to do y. I have found that interdependence takes compromise and working together.

As a wife, I have the power to build up and support my husband. I also have the power to shame and belittle him. My support means much more to my husband than I sometimes realize. To me, a healthy relationship is when a wife gives her husband support, even if sometimes she is not 100% in agreement with what he is now doing (and that is where I am right now – I have to support Aaron even though I do not agree with his decision but I tried it the other way and it was not pretty NOT at all). This wife can bring out the best in her husband, she believes in him, she encourages him, and she is quick to praise him and give him the moral and emotional support he needs. Like I said earlier – this is one area I work on daily and some days I just have to go to bed get up and try again tomorrow – so not perfect in this area, not even close. Although men generally are more cognitive and deal more with facts and logic rather than emotions, it does not mean men are any less emotional or have no need for emotional support. In times of difficulty, when a wife reaches out to her husband, it can help the relationship. If a man can’t find emotional support from his wife, he may find it elsewhere. Trust me I have seen this more than I can count, not in my own marriage but in those I am walking through divorce. I have one man who is divorcing his wife of 38 years for this very reason – and he has moved on to someone who is supporting him emotionally.

A man wants and needs admiration too; not for his appearance or sex appeal, but for his performance or his success. Generally, people are attracted to those who advise them and are repelled by those who belittle them. Admiration is one of man’s deepest & most important needs. The view a man has of himself, his self-worth, is usually from 2 sources, his work and his woman.

Your husband is not just another person. He is the man you have chosen to commit in marriage for better or for worse. For a husband to feel successful as a man, his wife must respect him. He must be championed. Never correct him in public or in front of the children (and I also believe this should apply to husband’s about wives). Be sensitive and advise him privately. Respecting your husband involves understanding and appreciation. Understand and appreciate his responsibilities and pressures. Understand and appreciate his strength as well as his weakness. Understand and appreciate his difference as a man.

Finally, encouragement demonstrates respect that gives confidence to your husband. Encouragement means specific acts of building him up. Tell him he is wonderful, that will inspire him to achieve more. He sees himself as capable of handling new responsibilities and perfecting skills far above those of his present level.

(So after this I am wondering is I should not do a post titled “Fighting the good fight!”)

July 28, 2008

August Topic of the Month

Filed under: Uncategorized — craftymommy @ 10:20 pm

I know it’s not the very end of July, but I have been swamped getting ready to go to Arizona and I didn’t want to forget to post the topic for this month.  But first, a story:

I was having lunch with my coworkers last week.  We were sitting around having a nice lunch when all of a sudden a little boy (probably about 2 years old) ran through the front of the restaurant screaming at the top of his lungs.  I don’t know how many of you know, but I have a four-year-old daughter.  The coworker to my right has a three-year-old son.  The coworker that was sitting directly across from me has triplets that are seven months old.  When we heard and saw the little boy screaming across the restaurant, myself, and the coworker to my right chuckled a bit.  The coworker with the triplet seven month old babies eyes got very wide and he was shaking his head in disbelief.  I teased him a bit, “that’s going to be you soon.”  He said, “oh no – not my kids.  No.”  My other coworker and I busted out laughing.  I don’t blame him.  We’ve all been there.  Before my daughter could run and scream I would have said she would never behave that way either.  Before motherhood I always imagined that that was what the “bad kids” do.  I didn’t realize that it is just a part of childhood (*as is receiving the punishment after).  Now, just so you know, the mother of the little boy did catch up to him, took him out of the restaurant, and I assume punished him because she did not look happy.  I have SO been there.  I had to learn very quickly after my daughter learned to walk and scream and say no that a well-behaved child does not mean that they are well-behaved 100% of the time.  That is something that is learned. 

 

 

Now it’s your turn.  What are your

Motherhood Myths

*By the way, complete and total credit for this topic goes to Katie from Mixed Nuts.  Thanks so much Katie!

**Just a side note.  If you leave a comment and it needs to be moderated or email that needs to be answered I will be away from the computer and will tend to those when I get back from vacation, August 5.

July 14, 2008

Welcome, Welcome

Filed under: Uncategorized — craftymommy @ 4:24 pm

We have three new members (hopefully a fourth very very soon that we’re working on) that I want to welcome. 

Reen from Reen’s Place.

Kelli from Loving Mom seeks Vietnamese Prince.

and

Angelique from For this Child, We Prayed.

 

I look forward to reading your posts!

July 1, 2008

July Topic of the Month

Filed under: Uncategorized — craftymommy @ 4:44 am
Tags:

Ah, summertime. Summertime brings us gorgeous weather, or unbearably hot weather depending on where you live, beach days, an escape from school, and wedding after wedding after wedding.

Your topic to tackle this month:

Your role as wife.

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Some housekeeping. I’m sorry that Sarah will be leaving us as a contributor. I know we’ll see her around in the comments.

I’m going to be putting out an open call for women who want to join and contribute. Leave a comment here if you are interested, and if you know anyone who might be interested let her know she can comment here and I’ll set everything up.

June 13, 2008

BITCH – A Strong Woman Displaying Stereotypically Male Qualities, Like Leadership and a Voice

Filed under: Uncategorized — goodhappenings @ 5:13 am

I’m not quite sure how to approach this topic, so I started by thinking about all the images the word “bitch” conjures up in my head, the adjectives that usually accompany it, and the other nouns with which I associate it.  I also considered the words’ meanings and many uses.  According to Wikepedia:

Bitch is a term for the female of a canine species in general. It is also frequently used as an offensive term for a malicious, spiteful, domineering, intrusive, or unpleasant person, especially a woman. This second meaning has been in use since around 1400.[1] When used to describe a male, it may also confer the meaning of “subordinate”, especially to another male, as in prison.[citation needed] Generally, this term is used to indicate that the person is acting outside the confines of their gender roles, such as when women are assertive or aggressive, or when men are passive or servile.

The first site that comes up when you google “bitch” is a feminist media organization’s website.  In describing why they chose “the B word” as their title, they state:

The writer Rebecca West, back in the day, said, “People call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.” We’d argue that the word “bitch” is usually deployed for the same purpose. When it’s being used as an insult, “bitch” is an epithet hurled at women who speak their minds, who have opinions and don’t shy away from expressing them, and who don’t sit by and smile uncomfortably if they’re bothered or offended. If being an outspoken woman means being a bitch, we’ll take that as a compliment, thanks.

We know that not everyone’s down with the term. Believe us, we’ve heard all about it. But we stand firm in our belief that if we choose to take the word as a compliment, it loses its power to hurt us. And if we can get people thinking about what they’re saying and why when they use the word, that’s even better.

And last, but certainly not least, “bitch” describes all at once who we are when we speak up, what it is we’re too worked up over to be quiet about, and the act of making ourselves heard.

So, to break it down, the word “bitch” is used for women who are displaying qualities that are stereotypically male, or men who are acting like stereotypical women.  Just as the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) community has re-claimed the term “queer,” this new feminist movement seeks self-empowerment by embracing the term “bitch,” in attempt to take its power and spin it into a complimentary term indicating a “strong woman.”  Personally, I really like what this organization is trying to accomplish. 

There’s one woman who has worn the title of “Bitch,” which was slapped on her like a scarlet letter (ok, so her husband wore the “A”, but she wears the “B”) once she became more powerful than threatened men and women were comfortable with allowing.  Hillary Clinton comes to mind.  I don’t want to turn this into a political debate, just a discussion about gender inequality and the semantics of the B word.  But my point here is that I have heard so many people mindlessly say things like “I don’t know why I hate her.  It’s just visceral.  She’s just a BITCH.”  Totally uninformed, totally unsubstantiated, totally incapable of qualifying their reasons for their dislike.  It’s not that I think people should like her!  It’s that there are many people that cannot pinpoint WHY they don’t, except to reiterate that she is a “bitch,” and THAT is when people need to think about what they’re saying and why.  Is it because she’s strong, because subconciously that makes people uncomfortable, because she’s opinionated and vocal, because she’s insanely bright and doesn’t let anyone push her around, because she fights back and campaigns like a man, because she doesn’t bow down, or because her intellegence challenges people?  Because when men have those characteristics, it makes them leaders.

The “Beat the Bitch” campaign really infuriated me because regardless of your political views, I don’t think Hillary’s intelligence is debatable.  And that level of disrespect – reducing her to “the bitch” – is something we, as a society, could only get away with doing to a woman.  So yeah, I think if we could successfully turn the word “bitch” into something to be proud of, something synonymous with “strong woman,” we could agree that Hillary is one kick ass bitch.  But to thoughtlessly peg her as “just a bitch” discredits everything she has worked to become.  Regardless of whether or not you believe she is a good role model for females in today’s society, there is no disputing that this woman’s intellect is something to be respected.  Because if she had been born a man, no one would talk about what an “a$$hole” that domineering man is with all his brains, ambition, and initiatives.  Instead, he’d be revered as one hell of a leader.

Sorry, I just read this and realize how angry it is.  I suppose there’s some underlying anger in me when we discuss gender inequality.  And with the recent Hillary news, I just watched my shot at having health insurance walk out the door with her (yes, I’m ironically uninsured).  Not to turn this too political, but I’m proud that “the Bitch” made it as far as she did – she’d have been one hell of a president!  But hey, my new attitude is YES WE CAN!  How was that for a-political?  Best I could do guys, sorry;)

June 1, 2008

What if?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Stacy @ 3:32 am

First of all, everyone, let me please apologize for being so completely MIA in this group for a while.  I was so excited that Melinda allowed me to be added, to be a part of a group of bloggers who have so often taught, inspired, amused and supported me over the past couple of years.  I promise to be more present again going forward!

The topic of motherhood is so relevant to me these days.  My daughter Delaney turned four months old on Mother’s Day, so there has been a lot of reflection happening.  I’ve had about five different posts in my head to write this month – some I really would like to get done, but that I just haven’t been able to find the calm and composure to tackle.  I’ve had this post in one form or another written for a while – but then things would be going so smoothly and it seemed ridiculous to post.  Then things would become more challenging again (uh, tonight) and I’m almost too scared to admit it all “out loud.”  Since this topic seems to be foremost on my mind lately, and certainly relates to the monthly topic, this what you get.  I’m already thinking about the June topic though as I think that’s something I can sure speak to as well!

Jen’s post this month truly spoke to me.  I, too, somehow expected that I was going to have it all figured out from the start, I’d be supermom because I was just. that. awesome.  No stress or frustration for me.  Sleep deprivation?  No biggie – I worked overnights not long ago for a job and that had to be worse than mommy sleep deprivation (ha – wrong, so wrong).  Of course because I waited so long and worked so hard to finally become a mom, I would have this natural, inherent ability to handle whatever was thrown my way with grace and ease.

I know, you’re all laughing now.  Rolling out of your chairs, tears streaming down your face, pure laughter.  What can I say, I love to be able to amuse others.  It’s a bit of a gift.

I think in these past four months, Delaney has almost had two moms (well, I mean, she does, her birthmom and me, so I guess I should say three moms) – the good mom and the mean, irrational mom.  I will say, the mean, irrational mom almost exclusively shows her face only in times of great sleep issues with either baby or mama.  But I don’t like that mama and I would like her to take a hike.  She gets too easily frustrated when a baby wakes up extra early or fights going to bed for hours (yeah, tonight and last night, for example) – or refuses to take a decent nap for the whole day.  I’m not sure what good the mean mama thinks it will do to get frustrated or maybe yell once in a while, but that’s what she does.  When happy mom is back, she vows never to let herself get that frustrated again, ever (yep, go ahead and laugh, I’ll pause for a moment).

I know that we are making progress, big progress.  And I do love this baby with all of my heart, I truly do.  The way she smiles at me or does silly things to make me laugh bring tears to my eyes – the good kind of tears.  I can’t believe after waiting 39 years to finally become a mom that I am graced with this beautiful baby girl.  I do believe I am a good mom, am capable of being a good mom.  I just have some work to do.  I am making progress in that regard too – when I can take a step back to appreciate how lucky I really am, to keep perspective that overall things are going well, then I can handle it pretty well.  I just wish I could do it more consistently.

On the tough days, the fears take hold.  I have dreamed most of my life of becoming a mom – I really have truly believed it is what I am meant to do with my life.  The job I work now, the house I live in, many of the other choices I made were with becoming a mom in mind.  I knew that parenting would be hard, adoptive parenting would be challenging, being a single mom would be tough in ways I couldn’t imagine, and that becoming a trans-racial family would present many new experiences both good and bad.  But my biggest fear?  To become my mother.  Yep, that simple – I did not want to turn into my mother.  Now, to explain that in full would take a lot of room and was the post I meant to get done the first month of the site, but it wasn’t turning out the way I wanted and then the clock struck April and to a new topic.  I’m still hoping to tackle it.  But it boils down to that – I did not want to be the kind of mother my mom was.

At times though, lately, I realized there is a bigger fear I never imagined worrying about.  What if I wasn’t meant to be a mother at all?  What if I am so lousy at it that I’m even worse than everything I originally feared?  That keeps creeping into my head when mean mama rears her head – what if the one thing I spent years planning, working toward and dreaming of I was never meant to do?  I think I’ve mostly worked away from that fear as things have gotten a bit better with the sleep and mean mama, but then I worry – am I going to be a fair-weather mom?  Thrilled and good at being a mom when things are easy, and mean and bad when things are rough?  Or if I think this is hard, what happens when things really get hard (ah, the fears of raising a girl through teenhood in today’s society – something I already am terrified of and spend way too much time thinking about)?  Most of the time I think I’m doing pretty well but there have been moments, way more of them than I want to admit, where I am scared that I am not a good mom.  Not the mom this baby deserves, not the mom her birthmother dreamed of for her.

Those moments are becoming fewer and farther in-between, but they are definitely still there.  I am, like many of us, one of those people who expects a lot of themselves, often more than they can reasonably keep up with, so it is simply in my nature to expect a lot and be very hard on myself for falling short.  Like Jen, I see my baby thriving, excelling even, so I hope (I do believe, but sometimes just hang onto hope) that for the most part I am that mother I hoped and expected to be.  I think I just didn’t expect to have as much doubt in myself as I do. 

I think what I’ve come up with about being a mom is that when it’s good (which is most of the time) it’s way better than I ever dreamed.  But when it’s hard, it’s harder than I was at all prepared for – and it scares me a bit because I suspect it only gets harder from here…

May 31, 2008

June Topic of the Month

Filed under: Uncategorized — craftymommy @ 11:50 am
Tags:

The Topic of the Month for everyone who wants to write for June is:

Bitch

___________________________________________

A couple of announcements:

Gina from Five in the Hive is stepping back from LRT. I know, I was sad too. Gina, you’ll be missed here, but I know we’ll happily see you around blogland, and around here. 🙂

.

The two writers for the Free Topic this month are:

Sarah from On the Way to Baby Hay

Kelly from Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

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