Monday, May 18, 2009

POZ Magazine

POZ Magazine's 15th Anniversary issue is out. You can read it online here! I love this magazine and its staff. They work diligently to put out a stellar magazine every single month. POZ's Editor-and-Chief is Regan Hoffman, her story of disclosure a couple years back is hugely inspiring.  In this very special May issue of POZ a number of past contributors were asked how their lives had changed after their stories appeared in the magazine. I was honored to be one of those people. 
My family tells me that sharing our story in POZ Magazine was like having a tremendous weight lifted off. For me, it was more like jumping out of an airplane at twenty-five thousand feet hoping that when I tugged the rip cord the parachute would open. It was a difficult choice–a choice that was fueled by my teenage daughter's desire to speak openly about our disease.  The support that we received from my children's schools and our community was a welcomed relief. Their schools were diligent in their efforts to educate and dispel fears, and because of this my children's experience was a good one. Everyone's circumstance is unique–for us, coming out was the best decision and I've never regretted making that choice. My daughter, Alee has become a huge advocate, and today, I think all my children walk with their heads held just a little bit higher. It's the best gift a mom could have.   Read our story here.  

Sunday, May 10, 2009


My family always makes me feel special, but on Mother's Day they are especially attentive and I have to admit that I loved every minute of it. This morning I was greeted with big hugs and a bag filled with some really good smelling lotions and such from Bath and Body Works. I love this stuff, but am too cheap to buy it for myself. The Jasmine Vanilla is my favorite. I smell heavenly! 
But it doesn't end there! After breakfast, the boys got busy! Clay planted me a rose garden. They are without a doubt the prettiest roses I've ever seen. 

He also planted tomatoes, blueberries and a strawberry patch. 
 While Clay was digging in the dirt, my boys grabbed their tools and fixed my broken fence. Afterwards, we went to visit my mom, who is almost eighty, to wish her a Happy Mother's Day. Although the sacrifices a mother makes are many, if you're a mom, you already know that there is no greater reward in this life. Being my children's mom is the most important thing I'll ever do.    

As this day winds down, I find myself hanging on–not wanting it to end. The kids and Clay put a lot of thought into Mother's Day, and the gifts that they gave me, but the truth is– I already have the greatest gift a mom could have... It's them. 
A Mother's Love
"Your arms were always open when I needed a hug. Your heart understood when I needed a friend. Your gentle eyes were stern when I needed a lesson. Your strength and love has guided me and gave me wings to fly." 
Sarah Malin 

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Go Baby... Go!

                            AND THEY'RE OFF!

The Kentucky Derby is a rocking event out here. The festivities go on for weeks leading up to the actual event! Clay and I have always wanted to go and we finally got our chance this weekend. Fourteen years we've lived in Kentucky and never gotten to go! It was worth the wait. I really got caught up in the whole "Derby" thing...bought a huge cornflower blue hat and everything. Clay laughed when he saw it and said it was a little "gawdy" which I took as a huge compliment (He knows I love gawdy : ). What a great day. We were within mud-slinging distance of the track and when the horses shot past us at thundering speed, their necks straining forward and muscles writhing, I was completely hooked. Not so much on the betting part–my total winnings for the day were a whopping $6.88–but what hooked me were the horses, and the heart they put into becoming a winner. I was struck by their unbridled passion; it is contagious. Bottom line, these babies love to run! And they give it everything they've got. You can see it in their eyes, the excited way their bodies prance right before the race. They know it's the moment they've been working so hard for.  Although I didn't win big at the races, I took something home from the track more valuable than a buck. We should all strive to have the heart and runaway spirit of a race horse. We should never be afraid to seek out a purpose and to dream.   Do you ever wonder where our passions and dreams come from? Are they little seeds planted by God that we are supposed to grow? What I do know is that life without a dream, or something to strive for is pretty blah. I know because I never had a purpose until I reached thirty...twenty-nine and a half to be exact. Finding out that my children and I had HIV flooded me with purpose, and a huge desire to make a difference. I also love to write. I've been passionate about books and writing for as long as I can remember.  A couple of years ago, I got serious about writing a fictional novel about a young woman with AIDS who risks everything to save her unborn child.  At the time, writing an entire novel seemed an impossible task, but it's surprising how fast a few pages a day adds up. I'm getting ready to cross that finish line, and throw the word "impossible" out of my vocabulary. Go Baby--Go! It's not just for horses. It's a good mantra for racing toward your dreams, also. Speaking of racing, there's one last thing you should know about the Kentucky Derby. Yes, the horses are beautiful and the race nothing short of spectacular, but truth be told, what Derby Day is really about are–you guessed it–THE HATS. Here's mine, along with a few other favorites that Clay and I ran across. I hope they give you a good laugh and make you want to come see the Derby for yourself! The "Infield Cowboy" is my personal favorite. I'd love to know who yours is, so feel free to post, and  don't forget to keep your eye on that finish line no matter how big or impossible your dreams may seem. 

Roses Are Red

Fruit Anyone?
Infield Cowboy
Mae West Has Nothing On me!