love never fails.

stolen from my very own facebook, here is my october 11 message to all of you out there, known and unknown:

happy national coming out day, friends! how grateful i am that the truth set me free, how it saved my life. and what a blessed life i get to live! love prevails. it always prevails.

to all the dear ones afraid to tell your stories: peace to you in the journey. be brave. you are loved. you are already whole. anyone who tells you otherwise is afraid of the prospects of unconditional love and unconventional wholeness. their judgment has everything to do with their own struggle, and nothing to do with who you are. so shake off those shackles. they do not have to be your burden. x

well hello.  so yesterday,  i began to password-protect some of my old posts.  apparently, some of you received new post notifications when i made my edits.  sorry to disappoint you! but it warms my heart to no end to know that you’re still interested in this dusty old blog.

it’s been a good and necessary thing to take a break from telling a public story this year.  i’ve spent this time learning how to journal again.  (it had been years since i’d written anything without a public filter.) 

this silent year has been one of journeying back into the center of all the things that matter, and the work is intimate and delicate. it’s not the stuff of present tense blogging.  

but there is still much to say.  and i feel as though i may dust off this blog soon.  i can’t not chronicle the new, kindergarten chapter of the fambly now, can i?

more to come.



a small amen.

last january, i wrote this, and set out on a journey toward a deeper wholeness. a year later? i am (slowly, slowly) learning to think new fundamental thoughts about all things holy and true.

the following is a journal entry i wrote today. i hope you enjoy the snapshot of utter joy.

It is a cold, grey, rainy Friday afternoon. I took the day off in anticipation of our upcoming road trip, but mostly with a come-what-may spirit toward something—anything—creative that a day off would bring. And such a day began with a proper lie-in till 8:30, and then another half hour of snuggling with Jude in bed, squinting our eyes to see the odd snowflake amidst the drizzle. I won’t say I did not see one.

Jude and I reminisced under warm blankets about the last time it snowed, two years ago. We watched a video of baby Ziggy from that day, red-cheeked and cooing about the weather with his raspy voice. She giggled and giggled, my girl. When she realized that both of us were wearing warm winter nightshirts with no pants, she declared us the pantless twins. And then we looked through photos of our family on my phone, until we surfaced for breakfast. We got dressed together; she refused to go downstairs without me. “I want to be where you are,” she always says these days, and then she asks me to hold her hand as we walk downstairs together.

After breakfast, we the fambly bundled up in warmest coats, and headed into town for Haircut Day. Zig was successfully bribed into sitting still with the promise of a big candy cane, and was a champ, despite the awful, impatient woman who cut his hair without a word. I gave up instructing her on what I wanted; she simply cut his hair the way she wanted to. I held my hand over his eyes to keep the hair out. He is stunningly gorgeous.

Jude, of course, chatted up her hair stylist the whole time, and was a pro. And H? She had awful stylist woman too, and came out looking just like Judi Dench, which is all she ever wanted anyway. She looks smokin’ hot.

Of course, my boy fell asleep on the way home, nub of candy cane still in hand, and pink stickiness all over every bit of exposed skin. I laid him on his bed, rolled him out of his sticky coat, and wiped his face, his hands; he was limp the whole time. And then I tucked him in, with two trucks beside him, and for all I know, he is still sleeping, nearly three hours later.

After a leisurely lunch with my ladies, I left the nest, driving to the only place where I know I can write: my favorite coffee shop. Obviously, the energy of this place is substantially different in the afternoon than the quiet womb of caffeine I’m used to at 7am. But I’m sat just to the left of my spot, and these words are coming. I feel calm, and something like centered.

And. I think I am remembering (discovering?) that every moment of my life—as it is, without even the slightest shift toward change—is perfect. Now. I can chronicle this quotidian day off business because, glory be, I don’t need anything more than a morning with my family to feel whole.

I talked to Marlei on New Years Day. She went out of her way to praise me for the creativity I put forth on Facebook, and while my first instinct was to argue that it isn’t enough—I should be doing more, writing more, making more time, etc—instead, I listened to what she was saying: I am still making creative contributions, and the scope has little bearing on the intention and impact. Thirty seconds of intentional mindfulness has great meaning. It is enough. It is enough.

I am brought back to Anne Lamott’s Help, Thanks, Wow meditation. At the very end of the book, at amen, she quotes Matisse: “I don’t know whether I believe in God or not. I think, really, I’m some sort of Buddhist. But the essential thing is to put oneself in a frame of mind which is close to that of prayer.”

If I have one New Year’s resolution, it would be just that: without the pressure and baggage of Our Father…in Jesus’ name, I will open myself up to that prayer-like frame of mind. For I have fully felt what it is like to allow my soul to expand in a holy moment. And here are all these holy moments right in front of me, one after the next after the next. What a shame to miss even one of them. Amen.


dear isaac,

at two years old, you are more ziggy than ever. or, as your sister loves to call you: zigster. i still wonder if, when you are a grown man, we’ll fondly remember calling you ziggy as a phase, but i mostly think you will be ziggy forever.

you turned two about three weeks ago, and a note to you has been banging around in my head ever since, not quite taking form until (hopefully) now. i confess that is difficult to write about you. you are so very yourself, just as you’ve been since the beginning–since i knew you were you in my belly–and descriptions are elusive. you are ziggy; you are isaac. you were very aptly named.

your world revolves around mama, coyote and roadrunner, and jude. now that you are done teething, you like me ok as well. (when you are in pain, you tend to take it out on me. i guess you blame your tortured existence on me.) you and your mama are two virgo peas in a pod. you both love your beans and rice and spicy foods. you dislike meat and reese’s cups. you both love order and routine, and express great displeasure with unexpected change.

oh, and coyote and roadrunner? you are ob-sessed. you call them deet deet and raaaaah. you would watch those cartoons all day every day if we’d let you. we don’t let you. cue great displeasure.

your vocabulary is equal parts words and sound effects these days, and when you’re using actual words, they mostly begin with N or D. (NEIN! you yell like an adorable, angry little german, when you assert possession of something.) you call sweet treats “deet deets”. sometimes i ask you to say “road runner sweet treat”. you oblige: deet deet deet deet. it slays me, every time.

you are the most mature two year old i’ve ever met. you quickly deescalate yourself from tantrums by calming down on the couch, for instance. also, you are about 97% potty trained, and if i’d let you handle the toothpaste by yourself, you could totally own your oral hygiene routine.

every time i mention this bit about you, my chest tightens in fear that i’m about to jinx it: you still love to sleep. our bedtime ritual has remained a constant as you’ve grown, in that it always ends with me cradling you and sniffing your honey-head before plopping you down into your crib. you still kiss my hand as i sign “i love you”; a gesture, you may remember, that stems from the days when you bit me all the time. and then you roll over and go right to sleep, every night. some nights, i am brazen in my confidence about your overwhelming desire to sleep, and i stand sentinel by your bedside, watching your eyelashes flutter and your breathing grow slower and deeper. other nights, i continue to sway you in my arms until you go limp.

you fall asleep right there in front of me, and it is a holy moment.

last night [ahem, october 10], mama put together your big boy bed, and set it up in jude’s room–which is now, officially, jude and ziggy’s room. you hopped right in, covered yourself up, tucked a stuffed animal under each arm, and said “night night” to me. i kissed you and turned out the light. no more cradling: you were a kid in a bed who was ready to sleep. i left the room before you kicked me out.

you woke up at 5am, wanting your crib, and so mama obliged. jude woke up too, and was gutted that she would have to spend the rest of the night alone in the room. (despite the fact that she’s been alone in there since she was about 6 months old.) already, she has made the leap that you two are in this together, and she is fiercely devoted to you. she wholly expects you back tonight.

…and now it is three weeks later. grandma came to visit, and the days got away from me.

your crib is gone now, dismantled and given to a baby not yet born. this big boy thing you’re doing, zig? it’s on. it’s real. it’s not going away. you and jude continue to share your room, with a mixed overnight-sleeping success rate. you love to torture her in the middle of the night, and you love to turn on the clock radio. and so, most nights, there is some screaming and being re-deposited into your bed by one of your weary mothers. despite such setbacks, you’re making great progress, and you still love to go to bed. there is no more swaying you to sleep, however. after two stories (currently olivia and annie bananie), you climb into bed and allow me to kiss you and tousle your hair.

you still kiss my hand when i sign “i love you”.

oh my boy, you are a delight, and i adore your two-year-old self. i love your devotion to swinging, and you save your biggest smile in the world for that act. i love that you find it funny to talk in silly voices. i love your independence. i love that you still do not call me mommy, and instead opt for “nanny” (bananie).

i love you i love you i love you. and i am so excited to know you more this year.





just. give.

i interrupt the unintended blog silence with a plea for help, and money if you gots it.

the reproducing genius family needs our help. their beautiful, perfect son has been diagnosed with a one-in-a-million kind of leukemia. he will turn 3 next week.

already, he is undergoing chemo, not even a week after diagnosis. he needs a bone marrow transplant, and the search for a donor match is on.

here is where the help pleas begin:

1. register to be a bone marrow donor. it’s free, and you can do everything from your own couch. simply visit be the match today.

2. donate directly to the genius family via paypal. there is a button on their blog.

3. the most excellent t-shirt-making duo at chronicles of conception have created an awesome t-shirt. check it out:

here are the deets to order:
Alright folks, t-shirt orders are a GO as of RIGHT NOW. $20 each including shipping to you. PLEASE tell ALL your friends and family. We have until NEXT FRIDAY (8/31) to get as many orders as possible. 100% of the profits go to helping BG. I want us to be able to sell a TON of these. Please post on your blog, email your friends, share with your family and coworkers, post on your wall….etc. You can order YOUTH XS (2-4), S (6-8), M (10-12), L (14-16), XL (18-20) or ADULT (S, M, L, XL, 2X, 3X) t-shirts. Accepting orders NOW through next Friday August 31st. Please email me at tiffreynolds@hotmail.com with your order (size, quantity & mailing address) and I will email you back with the paypal address to send payment to. Let’s support BG!

4. harness the power of social media for good. do what i am doing. prove that twitter and facebook are more than just places to post inane, poorly spelled commentary about the election.

5. send all your love, prayers, and hope to bg.

a year ago today, i married the love of my life. on this anniversary–our first year of marriage and ninth year as a couple–i thought i’d share some of my favorite pictures from our wedding and reception. all were taken by our beloved friend, c.

i hope you enjoy!

boston city clerk, rosaria salerno, signs our marriage license:

rosaria salerno, h, me, and our respective weird sunburns: just married:

with michael and christine moers, our witnesses:

waiting for our train back to n&c’s house, with first marital coffee:

holy shit! so many delectable wedding cakes!

holding court and children:

cake cutting:



i’m totally mysterious, i know. i just added a password-protected post. it’s the same password i’ve used for the past year. if you need it, just comment or email.


Protected: daddy.

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:


dearest jude,

you turned four over two weeks ago. since then (and before, actually), i’ve been attempting to compose a letter to you in my head, and while there are plenty of busy reasons to explain the lack of letter till now, the biggest, truest reason is this: the longer you are on the planet, the less i am able to use my little bucket of words to describe you. your soul is bigger and purer than your dear old mom could plunk out in letter form. it is a daunting task to try.


i will try to capture a snapshot of you, with that disclaimer out of the way, because you are so very much yourself at four, and i want you to always know the you you’re becoming: you’ve wholly shed your baby skin now, and have emerged a lithe, leggy girl–taller than all the other girls–with immense self-love, and nothing but delight at the world around you. you see the world through the hazy golden glow of a girl born in june, and spend your days exploring it. from your seat in the back of the van, you call out with a squeal the things that bring you joy: a bike attached to a car! bales and bales and bales of hay! (mama and i point and yell, “hay! jude!” and you laugh at the wordplay.) goats! a flyover! a cloud that looks like a rabbit! do you see it do you see it?

and then, the hallmark four-ness kicks in: did you see it, mommy? well, i saw it first.

you are, officially, in competition with everyone, to be first and/or best. and when you are clearly not the winner/best, you tell the rest of us, “remember, it’s not a competition”. or, if you’re tired, you weep in frustration, because it’s absurd to you that you could be anything but the winner of your world. i expect that as you get older, this tendency will grow into perfectionism, and girl, you and i will surely spend a lot of time talking about how to temper it. [because i am the BEST at tempering perfectionism. no one is better than me.] despite your fierce competitiveness, diplomacy often wins the day, as you are sometimes gracious enough to call a tie, especially when it comes to running races with your diaper-disadvantaged brother.

you continue to be obsessed with death, and your grasp of what death is both deepens and broadens every day. you now have a cursory understanding of the fact that you eat meat, which used to be a living animal, but you still wonder whether your goldfish crackers or clem’s dog bones used to be alive. you know that mama does not eat meat and that mommy does. you are, thus far, unfazed by the idea of eating a former chicken or turkey or cow.

most of your death obsession is focused on the death of your family. this focus is more acute because there has been actual death in the family recently. you do not know exactly what is going on, and you were not especially close to the people who died, but you are close to those who are in deepest mourning, and i know you are absorbing the grief. it manifests in the need for extra cuddles, and with a slew of questions about death. at bedtime recently, you smoothed my hair, and said, “mommy, i will love you forever, even after you are dead. i will love you even then. when you die, mommy, will you get a new body and come back to me? will you, mommy? will you? will you?” i hope so, i said, but i don’t know. “well, i think you will,” you replied, and the matter was temporarily settled for you.

i think that you will remember your 4th birthday. it was a halcyon day. you and me and mama and ziggy picnicked at the beach–mudd cove at pace bend park to be exact. you shed much of your water-shyness that day, and walked hand in hand with me into the tiny waves made by jet ski wakes, until you were waist deep, then chest deep. you didn’t cry when you slipped and found your whole self under water for a brief second. instead, you declared that you’d held your breath and you’d gone underwater on purpose! you squinted up at me and giggled as minnows nibbled your knees. as a family, we four stood stood stock still in the lake for awhile, holding goldfish crackers in our fingers as bait at the water’s surface, and watched as the minnows enjoyed a faux-cannibalistic lunch. we called “all done” when ziggy began eating the bloated, wet cracker remnants. later that night, uncle g, gabby and pop pop all descended upon our home with presents and laughter, and you helped mama make birthday cupcakes, of which you ate three.

at one point that day, you asked me, “why are there no kids coming over to celebrate my birthday?”

[ahem: let it be known for posterity’s sake that you did have a kid-full party the following weekend at your favorite splash pad, and you were very much celebrated.]

…that question really sums up who you are, socially. you have a tight little circle of friends, and you are in love with them all. you assimilate their mannerisms until they become a genuine part of who you are, and you pine for them when you are separated. just the other day, i heard you mutter to yourself, after something or other amused you, “i can’t wait to tell poppy about this”. and i’m sure that, when you saw her this morning, you remembered to tell her the story.

this letter is fast becoming a tome, and i kind of don’t want to stop. for there is so much to you, my jude, and i’m merely closing my eyes and pointing at moments. i could tell stories about your love of bugs, of books, of my little ponies; your fascination with rhyme; your inability to keep from sashaying your hips when you hear a good song; your immensely popular quotes of the day. yeah, let’s do that. here you are, in your own superbly quotable words:

you: what’s that guy’s name?
mama: Popeye
you: Oh, I thought that was his middle name.

[exasperated] “Elmo’s World” is ALWAYS stuck in my head.

me: Jude, I didn’t realize you were such a great painter!
you: Why? Did you thought I was not?

Cinderella dressed in yella made a mistake and kissed a fella.

and finally…

I can do so many tricks when i am four years old.

yes, yes you can, my love. i can’t wait to see them all.

i love you.

pee ess: my, how you’ve grown.





and four faces of four.

[you can read past entries here, here, here, and here.]

wow. this is my fifth pebble in the proverbial pond of blogging for lgbt families. and, boy am i ever grateful to do it–even if i am a day late, and full of scattered thoughts of themes.

my wife is away at a weekend retreat, cultivating a sense of herself as an individual human being. my minutes-away-from-four-year-old daughter and twenty-month old son are quiet in their rooms. maybe they are even asleep. (oh, simple hopes.) and so here i sit, cozy on the couch, dozing dog at my side, and i have just reread my previous posts.

i close my eyes and remember myself five years ago: four months away from my first pregnancy, hyper vigilant about all things ttc. my world was nothing but charts and basal thermometers; ovulation test sticks and pregnancy test sticks; peeing on said test sticks; awkward conversations about sperm and cervical mucus with everyone in my life; syringes with catheters. while we would never admit it then, the truth is that h and i never consumed such a ridiculous amount of cheap wine than when we were in the thick of all that baby insanity. and yet, somehow, a human was created: order out of chaos.

i distinctly remember the blanket of fear covering me then. on top of the universal fear one experiences when approaching the threshold of parenthood, sat a darker, heavier dread. i dreaded the unknowable risks of being other, of introducing a brand new person into the world with an invisible bullseye, while my country and state were in the midst of such an abhorrent, politically-manufactured “culture war”.

my hackles were raised already. no evil bastards were going to touch my innocent hypothetical child. i was prepared to fortify the walls of my home. but hell if i knew what that meant, really, or how to do it.

five years and two children later, the dread has diminished a bit, despite gay rights being resurrected as the polarizing issue this election cycle. because, hey! look how far we have come in such a short span of time: i’m legally married in a growing number of states! we have a president who publicly supports same sex marriage, and protection for families like mine! dadt is dead! even some republicans are finally shifting their political stance towards support of same sex marriage. this is the stuff my kids will learn in school.

more than the leaps forward in the realm of civil rights, however, my dread is diminished by the friends and family coming out of the woodwork to celebrate my fambly. through the miracle of facebook, people i’ve been connected to by the thinnest of threads have written words of love, support, encouragement, hope, and even awe of us. and every time, it has been unsolicited. when north carolina banned gay marriage, i received several emails to the effect of “this issue is personal now, because it is about you, and your family’s rights are important to me.” five years ago, i would have been afraid that these same people would judge my decision to have a family at all. now? they are the fortification protecting my home. and i am ever grateful.

…the boy is awake now, screaming to be removed from his crib. and so, i end this post without resolution, which feels appropriate.