Underneath it all, we’re more the same than different.

Losing my babies taught me to be honest. Going online and connecting with the hearts of other women in grief allowed me to see that underneath all the snap judgement and self-inflicted comparisonitis- so many of us are so much more the same than we are different.

People may fill their fb streams with beautiful pictures, inspiring quotes, and perfect looking realities, (I too am guilty- after all, i don’t post my non-muchnessmoments on fb,-and there are many) but life is far from picture perfect. And I know this.

Yet I still fall into that trap. I still forget that what I really want is to be real.

Last week I posted in a private women’s business fb group that I am contemplating taking a J.O.B because this online money making muchness gig, while I ❤❤❤ it, doesn’t exactly bring in the bacon. Gefilte Fish. This admission makes me feel like a failure because I believe this is my intended purpose and i have such a passion to help women find their way out of darkness. But I can’t seem to connect with that when I’m stressed about being able to pay my bills. That depletes me and steals my
Muchness so I have none to share. Here or in real life.

So many women in that business group are successful. So many intimidate the crap out of me from a business perspective. They just appear to have their shit all together, following their passion, living their dream…..And then they started replying to my post. And they started sending me private messages. And they were getting real. Yes, they may look like all that and a shiny bag of chips, but they are struggling. They are putting it all in the line. They are working their tails off and not making ends meet, putting all their faith in a dream, and scared shitless that it’s not gonna work.
And I realized I’d forgotten one of the most important lessons of what my daughters lives and deaths taught me. We’re all human. We all struggle. We all compare our insides to other people’s outsides.

Listen, we all have dreams. Whether those dreams are to be on the Ellen Show (my dream) or to be able to afford new shoes for our kids when they start the new school year, (my other dream) you are not alone. You aren’t the only one that is always comparing yourself and coming up short. The people you’re comparing yourself to are likely doing that same thing.

Lets take this week and make an effort not to compare. Not to assume. But simply to accept our own beautiful lives with gratitude and reality. We are here. We are taking in air. We are possible.

In the spirit of that, I’d like to share a picture of the filthy car where I sat and wrote this post, because when I go back to my home office I seem to easily lose focus because I’ve been feeling overwhelmed.

When people see my car and the mess inside, I feel shameful. Releasing that feeling here is scary, and I’m ready to feel vulnerable again. That place of vulnerability is the only place where growth happens….

What have you been hiding/feeling shameful or inflicting negative judgement on yourself about?
Share it here. Let others know they too are not alone.

Heartbreak in Boston

When the Newtown shooting happened, I didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t say much. But I felt it deeply and ached for those people. And now Boston. The terrifying heartbreak that continues to unfold leaves me at a loss for words. Hearing about children that have lost their lives or are injured takes on a new level of sadness when you have experienced any kind of loss of a child. At least for me. Just makes you feel it deeper and makes your heart break just a little bit more.

After loss there’s a tendency to fear the worst catastrophes are lurking around every corner. When catastrophe strikes it just exacerbates those feelings. Yesterday Elie flew overseas to be with family for a celebratory event. All day I had irrational fears. Was so grateful to hear his voice on my phone leaving me a message that he’d landed safely.

I hope everyone who reads this is safe and sound with their families this weekend.

Sending love and light to the people in Boston. And in Texas.


What can potty training teach you about your Muchness?

When’s the last time you intentionally did something you are scared of? There was a long time in my life where I couldn’t answer that question. I really couldn’t remember.
I may have found myself in circumstances that frightened me, but intentionally stepping into them? No Thank You. Life has enough stressors and surprises.

Recently I’ve been potty training my 2.5 year old. She took to it really easily- told me when she had to pee and even sometimes went herself.

But, like many kids, when it comes time for, ya know, #2, she freaks the eff out. Tells me she needs a pull-up, cries and screams of sheer terror that I can truly see in her face.

For a little while I indulged her, put her in the pull-up so she could go to her spot and do her business and then come to me for changing but after a week or so I decided enough was enough.

I made her go on the toilet. She was terrified. I soothed her. I held her hands. I told her she was strong and awesome and a big girl. I told her I’d be proud. I sang her a song. I read her a book. I tried to calm her nerves and the whole time I was thinking to myself “Dude- I didn’t know pooping on the potty could be so scary! How many times is she gonna have to do this before she loses the fear? …and how can I write about this aha moment on my blog without my kid hating me forever?”

And then, this weekend, I spoke live, in front of an audience , and I was – no pun intended – shitting bricks. I knew I wanted to do it, I’d been envisioning it for months- I wanted to face the fear, but every molecule of tension was bubbling up inside me. I tried some half-assed meditation looking thing I read about online, I ate an assortment of nuts and cravings before to keep my blood sugar balanced so I didn’t end up in “psycho-tova-needs-to-take-a-breath-and-oh-yeah-your-hands-are-super-shaky” mode, and I tried to focus on how proud of myself I’d be when I finished.

And then, I spoke. And, for the most part, it came easy. I was more nervous before and after the speech than I was in the middle of it -even when I lost my train of thought and decided to say “OMG- I just forgot what I was gonna say” to buy me some time to remember.

And I was proud of myself. I wanted to go around and give everyone hi-fives afterwards and say “I did it! I gave my speech!” like Liat does when she so proudly tells her dad that she has pooped on the potty (only different.)

Ultimately, it’s a lot easier to ask for a pull-up and go hide in a corner than face your fears. But in doing that you also miss out on the rewards (with potty training, there are many, for everyone involved.) Eventually, Liat will become accustomed to doing her business by herself. And eventually, I will become accustomed to getting up on stage and speaking. Because in the end, it’s what I want to do, and facing the fear just makes it that much more rewarding.

In what area of your life have you been allowing yourself to slip into a pull-up and hide in the corner even though you know you are capable of “being a big girl” and pushing yourself to accomplish more? Eventually those things that bring terror today can just be one of those things you do without giving it much thought at all. (Except in public restrooms. I give that a lot of thought. We all have our boundaries.)

Relaxing after my speech. So proud of my myself…


Wanna see my speech? I opened the day, speaking to a room full of brides about maintaining their Muchness during stress of the wedding planning process.

note: The beginning was cut off. I thanked them for coming to my special day, 😉 and then told them where the term Muchness originated from…

[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=By_72vXLwXE” ratio=”4:3″]

What pisses you off most in the world?

I wrote this post 6 months ago. I postdated it for today, Molly’s Birthday, and the date the twins were conceived.

And then, I promptly forgot about it. Because, although I meant every word of it, I couldn’t see HOW I could truly help.

And I’d see this post in my “pending” box on my blog, and think- “well, that’s not going to happen, that post’s not going to go live.”  But life has a funny way of making things happen.

I was recently asked this question.

“What Pisses you off the most in this world.”

It was suggested that the answer to this question is the also the answer to “Where does your passion live?” “What is your life’s purpose?” “How can you make a change in this world?”

Hmmmm… Got me thinking.

For a bit.

And then I forgot about it.

But then, I got pissed off. And I remembered.

So, what pissed me off so passionately that it made me think of this connection?

A little while back I went to dinner with two very dear friends. They are both women I’ve met online. Both women that have lost one of their twin babies to TTTS. Both women that have impacted my life in tremendous ways. Because they have helped me through my pain and grief, and they have allowed me to help them through theirs. And both sides of that coin is a tremendous gift.

At dinner, we were having a blast. We were drinking a bit, sharing our lives and our appetizers with one another as though we were sisters… which in a way, with everything we’ve shared, we are.

A friend of a friend of one of theirs was in the restaurant and decided to join us for a drink. We were chatting with him about The Muchness, talking about how I have a site online where I encourage women to wear sparkly things and be happy. I kept it pretty lighthearted, as I didn’t think throwing in the whole history of the site was necessary. But then, he asked us each how many kids we have. Now, as any baby loss mom can tell you, in a moment that becomes the most loaded  question a stranger can ask you. Not mentioning your loss can feel like a betrayal, but mentioning it, well, it’s kinda a lot to randomly drop into a conversation. We each come to terms with the answer that feels right for us, for now. For me, the answer is “I have two little girls at home.” It’s the “at home” that honors my two girls that aren’t at home, but doesn’t create an awkward moment of, um, “oh, sorry.”

So that is what I answered.

But my friends were not having it. Oh no. With friends like that, you mention ALL your kids or they will do it for you, and that is just what they did. They told this dude about Sunshine and Daisy and also about their angels. And then, this young man said something that pissed me off.

He said “My cousin lost twin girls almost three years ago. She’s never met anyone else who lost twins. She basically locked herself in her room hasn’t left her house since.” 

It pissed me off because it broke my heart. It pissed me off because this woman feels so alone and isolated. It pissed me off because there is so much love in the heart of a babyloss mother- wild, fierce and passionate love that has no earthbound recipient to accept it. That love, flying freely in the world, I believe it can move mountains. But, those powerful emotions, unmanaged, turned inward, they can break you down. It pisses me off that there are women out there feeling like that, living like that, buried under the grief. It pisses me off that there is no-one to help them understand that they have the power to take that love and use it, build on it, allow it to blossom into beautiful things that they can create in this world.

I want to do that. 

I want to reach out to every baby loss mom that is feeling buried beneath her grief and show her that their is beauty in her sadness, there is strength in her tears, and there is life in her baby’s memory. And it is all through her.

In the last 2 weeks, I’ve found the clarity. I’ve found the answers. And, though it may be the biggest undertaking of this Muchness Journey thus far, I am going to do it anyway. Because that’s what this journey is about. Being afraid and doing it anyway.

I believe this is why I’m here…. why my daughters are here.

I’m ready to help.


DIY- Memorial candle for my grandfather + a story

Tonight is the 6th anniversary of my grandfathers passing. When I was pregnant with the twins, I would often think of my grandfather, who was a well known and very well respected Hassidic Rabbi, and I would think about his ancestors, which included some of the most famous rabbis in the last few hundred years of Jewish History, and I thought “No way my babies are going to die. He won’t let them.”

Well, I guess he had only so much say in the matter.

He died a year before Molly was born. He’d met Elie once. Actually, twice, but he could only communicate the first time. Elie and I had been dating for 5 months when he came with my family to Florida to celebrate passover. My grandfather called Elie to his house and told him to propose to me. Like, that day. Elie, who’d not yet even met my dad yet, assured him it was going to happen, but not that day.

The truth is, in some way, my grandfather was maybe responsible for me meeting Elie. I’d been dating a guy for almost 5 years and inside I knew it was a dead end but couldn’t admit it to myself just yet. My grandfather took it upon himself to call my boyfriend and tell him, basically, shit or get off the pot. It was that action that basically let me know, internally, I didn’t care if he shat or got off the pot. I wasn’t supposed to be there. So I left.

Two weeks later I met Elie.

11 months later, we were married. My grandfather, too sick to travel, listened to the ceremony via cell phone. He passed away 5 months later.

Anyway, I guess I just feel like he’s still looking out for me. Tonight my mother texted me that it is the anniversary of his passing – his yartzeit, in yiddish, and we should light a candle if we have one.

They make special memorial candles, but most of them are effing ugly. And I don’t have one anyway. So I decided to make one myself. I remembered my mom made one herself for my stepdad when I was a teenager. She used a really pretty cut crystal goblet and it reflected beautiful dancing shapes of light on a white tablecloth. But I also remember when the candle got down to the bottom of the glass, it got too hot and the goblet shattered into a million glass shards, and that was really kinda sad, on many levels. So I added a votive holder at the bottom. and used something less delicate.

Here’s what I did:

What I Used: Pretty durable Glass + 6 White unscented (shabbat) candles + Microwave safe dish + Glass Votive holder. Not Shown: Wooden shish kabob skewers


I microwaved 5 of the candles for about 5 minutes. Then I fished out the wicks with the skewer.

***edited to add: The candle didn’t burn well. It was very dense and kept going out. I made another one and mixed about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the melted wax. That made it the perfect texture an it burned beautifully.


While it melted I prepared the center candle.


Then I poured.


I should have then put it in the freezer but I didn’t. I put it in the fridge.


Then I ran into some trouble.



Then, I ultimately did put it n the freezer.

***edited to add: on the second version I just melted the wick to the skewer at the outset by dripping a candle onto the wick before I poured the hot wax.

After it was solid, I took it out and lit it. BEHOLD:


I decided to light Sunshine and Daisy’s candles too. It just seemed like the thing to do.

It was really so simple and quick and I LOVE the idea of making custom memorial candles in meaningful glasses or cups that are etched or even just painted with names and dates…

As an aside, I need to share that while writing this blog post I heard Elie sneeze downstairs so I grabbed my phone to text him a “bless you” (yes, you read that correctly) and while checking an email that arrived just then from Still Standing Magazine, this popped up on my phone.


I really can’t begin to get into the meaning of this… I’m really just sharing it for my cousin L’via, and because I feel like I’m just supposed to be sharing it.

The tears have found me

They finally came. I didn’t know I was hiding them, but ooh, was I ever. Weeks of feeling stressed, tense, overworked, unfocussed and insecure… all of that wearing a cloak of… god, something else… I don’t know what.

And then they’ve found me. tonight. In the shower. I’d mentioned on my last Still Standing Post that I was feeling regretful about telling Molly about her sisters. Regretful because she’s been acting out, acting tense, and completely beyond rational behavior. We thought it was because I told her about the twins. So we brought her to a therapist. In the first visit, just Elie and I sat with her (the therapist) to explain the situation. She suggested that perhaps Molly felt unable to talk to us about the twins and her feelings. I denied that, saying I always told her she could talk to me, but I also know that she has intentionally hidden her feelings.


Tonight, hubs asked me if Molly thought of the twins as her sisters. I couldn’t believe he asked such a question. uh, yeah. Because they’re her sisters. “But they were unborn” (yes- that is the word he used- lord knows where he picked that up. Oh wait- I know- he picked it up from a mindset we carried 4 years ago before we understood what it meant to lose a baby.)

And then, that’s when the tears found me. When I found myself, in the shower, trying to explain to  him, our parents, siblings and anyone else who needs to be reminded (None of these people were actually in the shower with me… I feel the need to clarify that point) that just because OUR daughters didn’t live DOES NOT MEAN they didn’t exist! And just because their bodies couldn’t work does not mean their spirits don’t. And just because they find the idea of dead babies so macabre that I was convinced I needed to have a D&E which (unbeknownst to me at the time)  mutilated their perfect little bodies does not mean that their sister has to be afraid to mention them, to love them and celebrate them the way that I want to, need to, and feel is HEALTHY.

“Just because you miss them doesn’t mean she has to. This is your tragedy, not hers.” …that’s what I was told. Well, actually, fuck that idea. This is actually a family tragedy and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna pussyfoot around my daughter so as not to make her upset. Clearly, that’s not working, and clearly, it’s not what I believe in, so why the hell am I allowing everyone else’s well-intentioned opinions guide my parenting… in an area I’ve gotten pretty damn well-versed in over the last few years.

Sometimes I really struggle with this blog. I started it to share my feelings and then, at a certain point, my feelings stopped being so “interesting” so I blogged about other stuff… Every internet book on the planet says “position yourself as an expert” but ya know what, I’m no expert. I’m just here, struggling to find light every day, push myself outside my comfort zone, take risks- even if they feel like baby steps, that sometimes move me backwards, because I believe my purpose is to just fully be me, and in the boldest, most sincere way possible. That’s what finding your Muchness is about, right? That’s why my twins were sent to me. To remind me that. It’s why they were sent to our family. I will not shelter my living daughters from the beauty that is their sisters. 


Sunshine & Daisy. Always in our hearts, in our minds, and without shame, with their names on the tips of our tongue.

What’s “Not you” has nothing, really to do with YOU.

“I love it, but it’s not me.”

How many women have said this to me in the past few years? I can’t even tell you. “I love sequins, I could never wear them.” or “I love bright colors, but only wear black.”

Hearing women say this upsets me… probably disproportionately so.

I really, truly, don’t understand. If you love it, why is it “not you?” If it makes you happy, who says you “can’t” wear it?
And back to that first one, if you love something, if it lights you up and makes you squeal with delight, isn’t it then the very DEFINITION of you?

Aren’t the things that we love, the things we are drawn to are, in essence, a very clear reflection of what’s in our heart and souls?

Now, I get that there are certain times in life when you want to be perceived to be a certain way, where certain wardrobe choices are more ‘logical’ than others. Fine. Don’t wear sequins on a job interview.

But the idea that one would entirely dismiss something they claim they love on the presumption that it’s “Not them”… it’s just completely illogical! Honestly, it hurts my heart. I know I sound dramatic, but it’s true. I am dramatic. So sue me. And also, I mean it. It hurts my heart.

In the bigger picture, how can someone possibly be honoring themselves, their identity, their passions, their inner voice and strengths, when they aren’t even honoring their desire to paint their toenails purple? When they are purposely (though perhaps subconciously) selecting clothing that basically blends them in with the furniture? (Or selecting furniture that blends in with the walls….) How can they allow themselves to be seen or heard when they don’t even respond to their own voice about what they love?

They say color and sparkle is “not them”. Here’s a new perspective: Maybe, what’s “not them” is the toned down, subdued, beige and neutral version of themselves that they are making the choice to present to the world. Maybe, by consistently selecting “appropriate” choices instead of “enjoyable” choices, they are just squashing their own unique voices even more.

Maybe, what I’m talking about is more than just sequined, sparkly clothing and colorful shoes. Maybe the point is that as women, we are constantly defining ourselves not by our own bold-faced passions but through a filter of everyone else’s judgemental eyes. We make decisions as personal as what we wear, what music we listen to, what we cook, what we read and what TV show marathons we watch not based on what we love, enjoy or are drawn to, but rather, based on the box we stick ourselves into so we match another person’s ability to understand at a moments glance “who we are.”

Or, worse, maybe it’s to help us understand who we are.

That is a recipe for complete and utter loss of Muchness.

I want you to go out -or go in- in your heart, in your mind, in your local mall, I don’t care- and look around … pay attention to what YOU love, what stirs your insides, lights YOU up and don’t shy away from it. Don’t deny it or categorize it or judge it. Just embrace, accept and be proud that in this moment, nothing on earth would make you happier than a pair of Star Trek Footsie Pajamas.


The secret to staying inspired

Last week I had lunch with a new friend, a woman who mostly knows me through my online persona. She sees my happy, colorful Facebook posts, my colorful shoes, and how I appear all bright eyed and bushy tailed in the blue tutu dress on the pages of this website and my newsletters.

She looked at me at the opening of our conversation and said:

“I really want to know, how do you stay inspired?”

and I stared at her like a deer in headlights. I had no idea how to answer that question. We sat in that sushi restaurant for two+ hours talking about all types of things in our lives, in our journeys to find ourselves, our purpose, our joys and challenges.

As soon as we parted ways I started thinking about that questions “How do I stay inspired?” and I knew the answer immediately.

I don’t.


I don’t stay inspired. What I do, (or try to do) is keep creating reasons to be inspired. It’s sort of a habit, at this point, that started with my 30 Day Muchness Challenge 2 years ago. However, like any habit that is technically good for us but hard to maintain, it comes and goes in stages, just like eating healthy, working out or, um, religiously flossing on a regular basis (TMI?)

I’ve blogged before when I have been through stages where I felt completely uninspired, where I feel like a Muchness fraud, where I am not proactively walking my walk. It usually goes hand in hand with a lack of blog posts because when I am not walking my walk I have a hard time talking my talk.

What I realized, – the “secret” and what I want you to know is that “staying inspired”, or connected, or mindful, or happy is that it’s not about an aha moment and suddenly stepping onto a new, solid foundation of inspiration, mindfulness, connectedness or happiness. It is about recognizing those tiny moments in your day that support those feelings, and then stringing them together + creating more of them to fill the gaps. It’s a choice, in every moment, to turn that moment into a Muchness Moment, and you have the power to make it.

That’s really the thought process that went into the creation of the 30 Day Deck. By providing a prompt to a feeling you want to capture, it helps you recognise those fleeting moments and  string them together to create a platform upon which to stay inspired. (or mindful, or connected or happy.) And by choosing to do it EVERY DAY for for 30 days in a row, you’ll create forward momentum that’ll keep you going well beyond the day that last card gets filled out and put into the jar.

Screen Shot 2013-03-03 at 8.06.10 PM

The whole Muchness story…

A few months back I came across Alana Sheeren. A baby loss mom who found her strength in her loss, she shares the message that grief can be transformational. She’s even given a TED talk. “I believe there are gifts in the darkest moments and that we are all deserving of joy. I believe in accepting our ugly bits, our angry parts and our own lack of grace. I believe in the beauty of the human spirit. I believe that as each of us steps more fully into our own power, and lives in greater alignment with our deepest desires, we open the door to the empowerment of others.”

Then she went and turned the tables, asking me to be a subject of her weekly interview series “Transformation Talk”

Today our conversation was posted on her site.

Alana had a way of drawing out my story in ways and detail I’ve never shared before. I talked about how I started losing my Muchness in the first place, and what the work I do really means to me. I also shared two unusual facts about me that really define who I believe I am in this world and why I do what I do. I know so many of you will be able to relate…

It’s our unedited conversation – 32 minutes, so put it on in the background while you work…

[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFSW0PDzvPw&feature=player_embedded”]