Right now. Are you where you are?

I’m not exactly sure what or how it happened but sometime in the last week I went from living in fear- living in mental noise and chaos- living in the future and in the past- to living now.
Suddenly my mind has quieted down. My creativity has piqued, and I’m feeling more focused.
Maybe it is the job. Maybe having the security of income is helping my fears subside. Maybe being in a space where I am the most colorful thing outside of a Pantone Swatch Book is reminding me of the importance of my mission.
Or maybe it was the trip to the cemetery. Something about going there feels like it set me free. Suddenly I feel free to accept what comes my way, confident that it is all part of a master plan. It created a shift in perspective for me that is making it easier to go through the day with grace and confidence.
It has also made me realize I need to step away from the computer. If I accept this job I will be glued to a screen all day. That means for me to find my muchness out of a job I need to create a tactile experience for myself. A craft, a human connection.
On the drive home from the cemetery inspiration struck. I initially dismissed the idea but I the more I think about it the more connected to it I feel. And the more excited.
I’ve decided to keep it a secret until it is underway. I know. So selfish.
I will refer to it as Operation:Glitter.
Stay tuned for more info…
As we drive down the highway I found myself (in a very non-tova way) noticing the foliage.
I said to My hubby “hmmmm… Pretty trees.”

Is that some variation on stopping to smell the roses?
Welcome to my change in perspective.
Hoping to hold on to this one….

Stop being afraid… Then, do a happy dance.

SO Excited!!!
I am now officially a regular contributor to Still Standing Magazine!
Today my first post went live and I am so proud to be in the company of the amazing women (and one dude) that get to write for them on a regular basis!
My friend Beryl from The Muchness Meets Photography Challenge is a contributor there and it was really she (though she doesn’t know it) that gave me the confidence to approach them about writing. Ya know, for a year I’d thought about asking for the opportunity, but didn’t have the guts to just do it.
So, ya know what I have to say (to you AND to me???)
Stop being afraid to ask for what you want!! I woke up the morning after I quit my job with a fresh outlook and the first thing I did was write them an email asking if I could be a contributor.
They said no.
But they did offer me to write a guest post, which I did that same day.
And then, about a week later, they asked me to be a contributor.
And I totally happy danced around the living room like a dork. My goal for 2013? Plant more scary seeds which give me more reasons to potentially dance around the living room like a dork.
…after all, my living room is MADE for dancing.

#MuchnessMoment – Feeding my spirit

It’s been about 5 weeks since I started working from home. (2 weeks displaced by Sandy) I needed a change of scenery and perspective. Starting to feel like a hamster in a cage. So today I’m treating myself at a local cafe.

I feel like such a clichè posting a picture of my breakfast but screw that! The muffin is friggin warm!!!
Mmmnmm… Civilization feels nice. 🙂
PS – look at this Muchness in the display case. My theory is if I photograph it Maybe I’ll avoid buying it…


Summer Muchness- The unexpected side effects.

I feel like I haven’t posted here in so long. Whenever I go for a streak without posting I get all up in my head, wondering if it’s cuz I’m losing touch with The Muchness, but in reality, I’ve just been so busy! I have been meaning to share so many Muchness Moments that happened this summer but I can’t seem to find the time, between, ya know, MAKING Muchness Moments and um, sleeping. and also, my computer died. That was a drama. Now, it’s mostly all fixed. Mostly.

But anyway, I wanted to share with you two things that I did this summer in the name of Muchness. Things I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to do. Things I would NOT have done in years past. Behold- Two Muchness Highlights of my summer:

Me, jumping as high as I can at a trampoline Center.

What to me, is most compelling about this picture is what is NOT in the picture. That would be all the other moms, sitting on the benches with their shoes on checking their phones. Pre-muchness, ya know who would have been on the bench next to them? Yes! That’s right! Yours truly!

This next one is even better, because this is something I haven’t done since, um, Maybe sometime in the 1980’s. No Kidding.

Yes- That is a diving board, and yes, that is me jumping off of it.

Why am I showing you this stuff? Because pre-muchness, there was no muchy little elf sitting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear “Go on, do it! Who cares what those other people think? Who cares that only teenage boys are jumping off the diving board? Who cares that all the other moms are sitting around the edge hanging their feet in the pool? Who cares if water shoots up your nose and the water is cold and you flop on your ass? Go for it! I dare you! Be Muchtastic!”…. but that is what The Muchness has brought to my life. I’ve spent the summer pushing myself to enjoy the days. I’ll admit there were some that overwhelmed me, and I even spent a bit of this summer wearing unmuchy flats… But overall, the side effects of The Muchness were really visible in my days. As we head into the Muchness meets photography Challenge I am excited not only to share it wuth others but also to participate myself. I want to get back to blogging my Muchness Moments, Daily. Because when I look, I see them, and when I see them, they multiply… I’m thinking next year? Parasailing. Ha!


Visualizing what u want

The weather has been super hot the last few days and the house is starting to smell like summer. Last summer I remember writing that it was strange and sad and exciting that it was the first summer in three years that I wasn’t post partum or pregnant. Those long, hot days of having a baby (or two) connected to me, (either inside or outside my body) were a thing of the past.
These smells of summer that have been wafting through the house have me feeling like I don’t know if I am ready for another summer just yet. It’s going too quick. One season after another, year after year.
I know these thoughts are not revolutionary. Others have thought them before me… Obviously.
Before time gets away from me… I need to start actively visualizing the exciting possibilities that I can create that can allow me to live the life I want.

Heres a story: I knew Elie was “the one” because before I met him, I’d visualized him. Sounds hoakie but its 1000% true. One night in my late 20s I lay in my bed at moms house where I was living because I was single, broke and jobless (and I had braces on my teeth. Imagine) It was a month before my 29th birthday and it occurred to me I did not want to be in the same position when I turned 30. I took a moment to imagine where I did want to be. I was in a nicer room, a master bedroom, and my husband was sitting on the corner of the bed taking off his socks and he said something silly/funny and I felt happy and content and giddy anticipating him coming to bed. It wasn’t in a sexual way- it was in a confident-that-this-is-where-I’m-meant-to-be-and-who-I’m-meant-to-be-with-and-I’m-happy way.
On my 29th birthday I woke up, showed up at my orthodontists office and demanded my braces come off that day. Two days later, I met Elie.
Within days I knew it was him. And within three months I’d sent him a picture of the ring I wanted. By my 30th birthday we were married. And i swear, that confident-that-this-is-where-I’m-meant-to-be-and-who-I’m-meant-to-be-with-and-I’m-happy feeling is the exact way I feel when I climb into bed next to him at night. (I’m a night owl- hes usually fast asleep by the time I crawl into bed- so i didnt get it 100%… So sue me.)
The smell of summer in my house has made me wanna spread my wings of possibility because if I understand what I want, it is well within my grasp.

Here’s another example. I always envisioned myself a strong, sexy mom.
But I spent too long being less than muchtastic. Yesterday I took the girls for pizza. I was coming straight from work.

In the pizza shop I found myself holding Liat with one hand, this high chair in the other, carrying them both gracefully through the crowded restaurant, single handedly lifting the high chair OVER another chair and putting it in place at our table, while wearing these shoes. I felt entirely bad-ass. 🙂
The power of visualization. It can take you great places.

Weekend Muchy Makeover!!

I think every NJ home needs a bit of Boca.

These were $2.50 each at Target. But the Muchness they add to our garden is priceless!!

Front Yard Before:


Front Yard After:

Back “yard” Before:

Back “yard” after:

I told landscaper that I could / would not ‘garden’ and he should just leave that area around the AC unit bare for me to fill with random colorful things. He didn’t believe me and now, every season I just yank out the stuff that grows from the roots. I really wanna fill that whole area with a mish-mash of random tacky crap. That would make me happy. (Except my twins rock. That’s not random tacky crap. That’s my heart.)

Fortunate Fortune Writer

I think this fortune is the Opposite of the Muchness Challenge.
Who needs to be compelled to do something you don’t want to do??? Every day we all do a ton of things we don’t want to do! In fact, I came across this fortune while cleaning the kitchen. Coincidence? I think not.

That fortune must have been written by a very Rich man. Just Sayin’.

Here’s a tip.

Each day, compel yourself to do something you want to do but don’t think you can.
Like…. Wear pigtails. Paint your nails with glitter. Sit around and “waste” 2 hours reading a book. Stand up for yourself. Plan a vacation. Go rock climbing. Train for a marathon.
How much Muchier is That fortune??!

Muchness Chat

Tonight Elie and I went out with my cousin to a local bar where they had live music. I have lived in this town for years and though I knew this place existed, I’d ever been there. It was  the kind of place where locals hang out in their jeans. People danced to the live music and drank their beers and chatted with friends. I wore a pretty typical outfit, for me.

Those are my sequined pants and my turquoise boots with the sparkly purple laces. Some people looked at me funny… maybe it was the red leather jacket or rainbow scarf…. I don’t know… I wonder if I’m getting more outrageous with my clothes without even realizing it. I certainly was not invisible.

I was talking to my cousin about a lot of stuff- stuff I feel passionate about, stuff that I’ve learned since my loss, areas where I’ve grown… And as I heard myself talking, I interjected myself and said ” I should really blog about these things.”

Every morning, I go to work. I take a bus from NJ to Manhattans Port Authority and then I walk about 6 blocks to my office. Those 6 blocks are like ‘brain time’. It’s the moments where I often find myself thinking about where I am in my life and how I feel about it. It’s ironic because when I was in FIT I did the same walk and I remember thinking as I walked how cool and confident I felt with funky clothes and rainbow hair, and how I just loved when people looked at me and I naturally assumed they thought I was awesome.

I remember when I was dating Elie and doing that walk. I remember feeling a peace and calm. I work in the fashion district and often found myself comparing my appearance to those I passed on the street. I still sometimes pushed myself to wear more eye catching clothes, but it didn’t feel important. I was madly in love. I felt beautiful. I felt like dressing up for others was a waste of my time and energy and money. Elie couldnt care less about that stuff. It obviously occurred to me that I might WANT to think about taking it up a notch, but it was far from a priority.

I remember walking that walk while pregnant with Molly. I really dressed bad. I bought a couple of pairs of maternity jeans that were too long and a bunch of really shapeless tops. I wore sneakers every day. And a ponytail. I really was SO over the moon in love with the idea of this baby’s arrival, I didn’t care. I looked at myself in the mirror and thought I looked glowing and beautiful. And fat. I was piling on the pounds. When Molly was born at 36.5 weeks weighing 5lb 11oz, I was 55 pounds heavier than I had been. I’m barely 5’2. 55 lbs is like, almost half my normal body weight.  But I didn’t care. I had my baby and she was so stinkin’ cute.

And then I went back to work three months later. And I was still fat. Maybe not obese, but fat enough that my pre-pregnancy clothes no longer fit. So I was wearing my smaller maternity clothes. Which were still hanging on me. Shapeless. With sneakers. And a ponytail. By now, I felt worn. I still was waking yo with her in the middle of the night. I was tired in the mornings and hauling my tush out of bed, barely glancing at myself in the mirror and heading out the door. And I felt invisible. I’d walk that walk and think, ‘ya know, tova, you look like crap… why is it so hard for you to think about dressing up? or at least wearing decent shoes?” I was embarrased by myself and my appearance, but I didn’t want to spend money on clothes at that size, and I knew I really wanted to have another baby. Why put all the effort into getting back in shape just to get pregnant again?

When Molly was about 6 months I went shopping at target and nothing fit. The things that did fit just looked so unflattering. I returned to my mother in law to pick up Molly. I remember she asked “Did you get anything?” and I replied “yeah, depressed.” And so, for that entire year, I stayed ‘invisible’- dressing myself in poorly fitting bland clothing that, on the walk to work had me feeling completely muchless.

Then, after a year, I was pregnant again. It was summer. Then, we learned it was twins. Great. Stuck in the blistering sun with a huge tummy…. I mean, what on earth was I going to wear through this pregnancy?? I went to Target and they had these jersey Maxi dresses in a host of colors. They were like sacks that fell from shoulder to floor and hung there from two little strings. ‘Perfect!’ I thought. easy to wear, will grow with my tummy! They were completely shapeless and dumpy. I bout 8 of them. My summer wardrobe. Week 13- Behold:

It just went down and down past my ankles and swept the floor. Wearing them made me feel even heavier than I was. The walk to work was torture. I didn’t feel vibrant and pretty and pregnant- I felt drained and ugly and insecure.

And then I lost the babies.

And that’s when my walk to work became something else. That’s when it because about how I felt about the world. Myself. That walk became my reality check.

I would leave the house in the morning OK. I would get in the bus and for about half the ride I was OK. Then the tears would start to come. Sometime I was able to hold them back until I was off the bus but somedays, I simply couldn’t . I wore sunglasses daily. I walked through those streets and cried. Sometimes, a small weep. Other times, just full blown tear fest. And I didn’t care how it looked to other people. I just cried. then I got to work, pulled myself together, and tried to make it though the day. Then I’d leave work at the end of the day, head back to to the bus and cry the whole way there. I honestly don’t remember what I wore those days. All I owned were maternity clothes, but I lost the twin weight very quickly. I suppose that’s because my diet had become fruity pebbles, macaroni and cheese and wine. Classy. But I think more to the point, It didn’t matter what I was wearing. it didn’t matter that I was invisible or insecure or whatever… because I was just drowning in grief. Everywhere I looked. Everything I saw. Every noise I heard…. all of it was clouded by the fog and haze and brain numbing sound inside my head; “You are a mother of two dead babies. You are a mother of two dead babies. You were pregnant. Now you are not pregnant. Your babies are dead. They’re dead. Dead babies. That looked identical. Two of them. Two babies. They’re dead.”

And then I was pregnant again.

****It’s 2am. I’m tired. I’m going to post this now and continue when I can….***