Last year, I told you about a brain tumor I have, that the doctors found after trying to determine the cause of my Bells Palsy. The tumor and the Bells Palsy were completely unrelated; I do feel grateful that I even got Bells Palsy to begin with – otherwise, I would have had no idea about the tumor. I have to have a yearly MRI for a while to make sure that the tumor isn’t growing. I had my appointment with the neurologist yesterday, who gave me great news: the tumor has NOT grown and it is NOT pressing on my optical nerves. I feel so happy. And relieved. Obviously. Hooray!

There is nothing like having a brain tumor to put things into perspective.


I got injured again during a practice at the beginning of June, to my other knee. The trauma to the knee caused my bursa sac to rupture and blood poured in, then clotted. It’s still swollen a bit, and still very sore. It’s slowly getting better. Emphasis on the slow. (I can’t WAIT to get back on skates and start  hitting the ladies again. It is so theraputic.) To combat my time off of skates, I’ve been attacking the pile of books that I’ve been wanting to read. Anyone have any recommendations?


We have busy weekends ahead of us. I wish our summers weren’t crammed into such a short period of time. This weekend, my friend from high school is getting married, so we’re headed back to Jersey for that. I love gettin’ fancy every now and then. We’re also trying to plan a weekend trip to Mehoopany for sometime in August or September.  And another camping trip. And another trip to the beach would be awesome. And a weekend at home with not much to do would also be wonderful. Ahh, the possibilities.

Back in March, B asked me what I wanted to do for my upcoming 30th birthday. We talked through some options, and when she offered to rent a house at the beach where I could invite some friends, it was pretty much a no-brainer. I found an awesome house for rent in Chincoteague, VA (hello, wild ponies anyone?) and friends were selected and rent was paid and all that was left to do was wait.

A little over two weeks ago, we set out on our first full week’s vacation away in almost two years. The house was beautiful, large, and right on the bay (with our own dock and hammock). It was the perfect setting for an actual relaxing vacation The day after we arrived was my birthday, and it was a simple and perfect day. B made my requested breakfast of french toast and bacon (don’t judge, it was my birthday!), and off we went to explore the island with my friend L. We picked up some bunker (crab bait) on the way home before having some sandwiches for lunch, then headed out to the dock to set up the crab traps. I taught L how to crab, as she never had before, complete with cutting and tying the dead bunker. B spent most of her time in the house reading while the two of us were crabbing, alternating laying in the hammock, drinking beer and chatting. It was perfection. Around dinnertime we cleaned up and headed in with our day’s catch. We caught 78 crabs (SERIOUSLY) and 10 of them were keepers. My other friend, LH, arrived, and we all got showers and headed out for a seafood dinner to round out the day. It was spent exactly how I had hoped, without any big party or flashiness, but with so much that I loved.

The whole week was my favorite, really. Every day I had wine or cocktails or beer, even if it was 11 in the morning. I read books. I went to the beach. I saw a lot of nature – wild ponies, all kinds of birds, dolphins, and even a bald eagle. We rented scooters for a day and went mini-golfing one night. We went out for ice cream 5 nights of our trip. I spent an hour in the little local bookstore, leaving with many new finds. I saw the sun set almost every night on the bay. I walked the beach in the black of night, lit only by the moon. I spent quality time with a few good friends, and of course, my girl. I slept in. I recharged. It was all so needed. It was my first time ever visiting Chincoteague, and I fell in love with the island. It was so very laid back and chill – not a lot of hustle and bustle – but still, everything I loved about a beach town.

This vacation re-solidified my need for being (and eventually, living) at the edge of the land, where I can smell the bay breezes and hear the seagulls call out. It’s in my blood. And makes me very happy, as you know.

Life continues to keep me equally busy and entertained. Complaining about anything would be whiney and ungrateful of me, and fluffing things up under a veil of semi-perfection would be oversimplifying and not quite true. For the most part, things are good. I have an itch to write, yet time is hard to come by. (As evidenced by the fact that it’s already the second week of July!)

I was very adamant that I didn’t want a relationship; I was too broken, too hurt, too devastated. I was more worried about getting through each day successfully without breaking down – I certainly did not want the burden or responsibility of another soul when I couldn’t even take care of my own. I would take sex, though, and so that was what we agreed upon, was how we began our journey.

Three years later, here we are.

Big step after big step after big step has brought us to this very day. The amount of trust and growth and love and understanding we’ve needed to get here has been tremendous. I could not have imagined this, could not have dreamt this up, sitting across from you in that restaurant, barely touching my food.

There are so many things that I love about you. The way you come up behind me when I least expect it and put your arms around me, nuzzling your face in my neck. The way your brow creases when you worry. The sound of your laughter. The way you wake me up on the weekends. Your dreams. The sound of your boots on the hardwood when you come in through the back door. Your patience with roller derby. Your heart. Your love of gardening. When you tell me stories about your past and your childhood. Your thoughtfulness. When you let me see you cry. The way you hold my hand when we’re out. Your intimacy with me. So much. There is so much more.

I look forward to many more years. This is grown into something so blissfully unexpected; I. Am. Grateful.

Love always,

Blondie xoxo

Ha! xoxo

3 years ago today, I opened up this space so I could share my grief, my heartbreak, my sorrow, and my unbelieveably shattered self with anyone out there who would possibly listen. It was cathartic, and still is, when I’m able to find the time to write.

I have a hard time believing where I sat 3 years ago, and where I’m sitting at now. Why does nothing ever turn out as planned? It is never what we imagined or dreamed, and yet, we are incredibly resilient and flexible as change rears it’s head – day in and day out. I am trying to be kinder to myself in all things, and I try hard to remember that I’ve basically kicked ass during these last 3 years, and I did that (mostly) on my own. No matter what is still difficult right now, I’ve seen – and gone through – worse. And if I had to, I could do it again.

So, thank you all, so very much, for all of your constant and unwavering support. Strangers through the interwebs, and now some of you are my real life friends. I am blessed to have you in my life.


I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve started another blog so that I can share my pictures and stories with a lot of real-life family and friends that I’m not comfortable sharing here. It’s not going to be as sexy as this blog, but at least it’s got pictures : ) I’ve only got a few posts up, but I’m working on it. Check it out, will ya?


My knee is feeling so much better. I’ve been skating and practicing, complete with full contact, for the last couple of weeks. I’ve missed it so much. My body missed it. I’m working my ass off to make it on the roster for May’s bout. It’s an away bout in Delaware, which is about an hour or less from Philly / Jersey, so I think a lot of my friends and family will be able to come watch me, for the first time. I’m super psyched. I like having concrete goals and working towards them. And hopefully, achieving them. Do any of you guys live near Delaware? If so, you should come out. Hello road trip!


I leave you with this:

“Someone was hurt before you, wronged before you, hungry before you, frightened before you, beaten before you, humiliated before you, raped before you… yet, someone survived… You can do anything you choose to do.” –Maya Angelou

There has been a shift in our home over the last few weeks, a small but strong current that is changing the way we move forward, and this has mostly everything to do with B’s new job and the schedule that it brings. We’ve had to learn how to conduct our relationship differently, communicate differently, schedule time together differently. It’s one of those things that you think about before it happens – you know its coming – yet you just can’t fully understand what it will be like until you’re living it.

I’m actually grateful of her schedule, especially since she’s a new driver. She drives regionally which means she’s gone one to two nights at a time, then back home. This is actually better for us than a daily shift, where her days would be extremely long and we wouldn’t see each other anyway and she wouldn’t get paid as much because her mileage is shorter. It’s also better than over-the-road driving, which would put her gone for a week or more at a time. With this schedule we still don’t see each other much during the week, even though she’s slept in our bed twice since Monday. For example: she was gone early Monday and didn’t get home until 10:30pm on Tuesday. I was at practice and didn’t get home until 11:45pm and she was already sleeping. I left before her on Wednesday morning and she had about a 10 hour total drive on Wednesday, so she didn’t get home until 12:10 am on Thursday morning / Wednesday night. I left for work Thursday morning while she was still sleeping, and then she’ll leave for an overnight trip and get home around 10pm on Friday. So I try to be grateful that I even get to feel her body at all. Trying to maintain this positive frame of mind whenever I’m feeling sad or overwhelmed really curbs any negativity that starts to creep in.

Overall, I’m surprised at the amount of work that has to be done around the house that really falls to me during the week. It just didn’t seem that much when there was two of us, but now I’m super aware of all of the tasks I complete in a day’s time.

There’s the daily chores: Oh, dinner has to be cooked. And before that the dishes from last night have to be put away. And I’m left with the cleanup of the dinner dishes, even though I’m the one that cooked. And the cats have to be fed and the litter box cleaned, both twice a day. The floor needs to be vacuumed. Sort through the mail and shred or put aside for later or pay a bill. Pack lunch for the next day.

Then there’s the every-so-often chores or things that need to be done: Take the trash out. Take the recyclables out. Bring trash and recyclable cans back in. Pick xyz up from the store. Clean up the cat’s hairballs. Wash clothes. Return this to the store. Get gas. Fix this. Take the air conditioners out of the windows. Take the air conditioners to the attic. Wash the bed sheets. Decorate. Call the repair guy. Go to derby practice. Start searching for and purchase the chest for B’s clothes so that she can finally have her shit in the master bedroom. Clean the bathroom. Put plastic over the windows for the looming, freezing winter season. Wash the sheets. Buy birthday card. Make birthday present. After you mess it up, make it again. File your paperwork. Put away things that have been lying around. Check your email. Wash your stinky derby pads. Purchase the rugs for the hallway that you’ve been putting off for the last year. Dust the ceiling fans. For God’s sake, dust the ceiling fans!

And this is just scratching the surface. It doesn’t even include the other things of the day that take up time (getting a shower, getting dressed, commuting to work, working, commuting home from work, and eating). All of these things take up too much time!!!!! I’m grateful that there are no kids in the house yet, as it’s hard enough trying to just get shit done on my own.

It’s an interesting adventure, this new phase of life. I’m trying to maintain a positive, grateful attitude about everything concerning it, even though I can see how it can get tiring real fast : ) It’s awesome that B has a job, and a good one at that! She loves the company she works for; they really seem to treat their employees right. I get to have a good amount of “me” time, which usually consists of derby, working on my photography, reading, or watching a show I DVR’d, almost all of which B has no desire in watching, so that works out nicely. And being a part also makes us appreciate the time we do have together. So really, it could be worse. It’s all about perspective.

I’m proud of her


Rocky Gap State Park, Maryland


Fall is my favorite time of year, without a doubt. It is filled with things I love: crisp weather, pumpkin-flavored anything, warm drinks, sweatshirts, knitted hats, fires, corn mazes, pick-your-own apples and pumpkins, brilliant colors against vibrant blue skies, and those last ditch efforts of outside activity to enjoy the last bits of nice weather. 

B, her sister, and her nephews at a pumpkin patch / corn maze extravaganza

October is also a bit sad for me, as I torture myself with the remembrance of Gracie’s death, and try so very hard instead to remember her life. I wrote as much as I could in the past about Gracie’s death, but I could only bring myself to read this one right now. Gracie’s ashes, collar, and one of my favorite pictures of her sits in china cabinet in my dining room. This cabinet, and the buffet that goes along with it that is also in my dining room, belongs to my great-great grandmom, so it was built in the late 1800’s. This may seem far off but her daughter, my great-grandmom, is still alive, so I feel very close to these wooden pieces of furniture. I can picture the life that lived around them, and I spent many hours in the home that they lived in. I like having Gracie’s ashes there. They are not in my face daily, but I know they are there. It just all feels so very right.   

My nephew SG (my best friend's son) at the pumpkin patch

B graduated school around the middle of August, then applied for a job at her top choice company a week later, and then a few days later began the interview process, which was long. She was hired (hooray!) and by the 12th of September she started her training – which (un)fortunately for her, was mostly trips to D.C. and Baltimore – hellish for a truck driver, obviously, but great training nonetheless. Practicing in places like that means she should be able to handle almost anything. The most negative part of her training is that because there are only male trainers, she wasn’t allowed to do any overnight trips (company policy), and her job will be mostly all overnight trips. So, she wasn’t happy about that, but there’s not much she could do. Last week they released her from training with confidence, and she went on her first overnight trip AND her first run by herself to INDIANA. Which really seems so far away. The country pretty much falls off the map for me after Ohio, and starts back up again around Utah, so I had to get online to see where Indiana sits in relation to Maryland. What? I’m not embarrassed to admit it! We all know the east coast is the best coast so that’s all I try to worry my head with : ) Anyway, it was a straightforward run and she did great and all is well. She has more runs out that way this week. I’m excited for her and proud of her. She’s awesome.

I could never drive one of these things, but I sure do look cute in 'em!

Roller derby has been occupying most of my free time. It’s been quite a labor of love. It is some of the hardest exercise and skill building I’ve ever had to do. Learning how to do things on skates that I haven’t even done off-skates has been quite challenging. But I show up, every practice, and work. It’s been three months and me and another fresh meat skater are scheduled to take our minimum skills test on Thursday the 27th. I am so nervous about it that I feel nauseous, DAILY. No kidding. I know I’ll be fine… really, I will. They wouldn’t have scheduled us to take it if they weren’t confident in us, and I know that. Still, it doesn’t make it any less nerve-wracking. I’ve also settled on a derby name, which is quite a big deal, especially considering there’s a roster of over 10,000 names and you can’t take another skaters name or have a similar name. I won’t announce my name until things are official (I pass my test and get it registered with no problems) :)

Some of my teammates and I at an all-girl's after school program <3 Here I'm demonstrating single knee falls

So, have you noticed the “Gracie Mac Photography” watermarks on the pics? I changed my photography website from Studio 24 Photography to Gracie Mac Photography. I wanted a change, and as you know, Gracie Mac is a more personal name for me. You can check out the new look on my website,

On a wagon ride. Somebody's tired.

So on Friday, I may or may not have come home with another kitten…….


Ok, I totally did! My friend’s sister found him under her car and I couldn’t resist. Even B, who does not want another pet, loves him.




Isn’t he just the CUTEST? He is SO TINY.




We’ve been throwing around all kinds of names for him. He came with the name Neville, which we love, but aren’t sure it’s the right fit.




We both like the name Remy, so we think that might be it. I suggested the middle name Roller. Remy Roller. :)




And things with his brother seem to be going well. Ollie plays with him sometimes, but mostly stares at him with puzzlement.

He’s the cuddliest thing, and so very tiny and cute. Who couldn’t love that face, huh? You tell me!

About a year and a half ago I saw the movie Whip It, and immediately knew that was something I wanted to do. At that point in my life, though, it just wasn’t possible. So I filed it in the back of my memory banks.

About four months after we moved here, B met a friend who was in a roller derby league about an hour away, so I began doing my research. Surprisingly, I discovered a league in my own town! After much procrastination, excuses, and fear, I decided to just show up to a practice at the beginning of July. A week later I went to my first practice with skates on, and I’ve fallen deeply in love since.

I cannot possibly begin to explain to you the athleticism, endurance, strength, and skill involved in such a sport. Most of the muscles that began to ache after the second practice hadn’t been exercised in years; nothing I was doing at the gym even compared to this kind of activity. And never mind that I don’t know how to skate. That the last time I was on quad skates was when I was about 10, and even then, I never knew how to crossover or stop, let alone skate backwards or jump over something. I knew nothing. And I still don’t, not really, but when I really sit back and think to my first few practices, there is obvious improvement. Right now, that’s where I’m at: trying to improve my skating skills every week.

The commitment to join this adventure is hefty; there are at least three practices a week, and that doesn’t include any extra derby stuff like bouts, fundraisers, after-parties, socializing, or other random events.  It has been interesting balancing this new derby life and my life with B, as well as life with non-derby friends. It has not always been easy. I’ve been trying to be conscious of making time for my lover, and showing her how important she is to me without compromising what I want to do and what makes me happy. Especially during this beginning stage of me trying to learn and soak up every available opportunity to skate and be mentored. It’s incredibly time-consuming, but so rewarding!

Only recently have I begun doing some very light hitting drills – my general skating skills are really not in the right place for me to be doing that quite yet, but I’m getting exposure, and it IS SO MUCH FUN. The satisfaction of landing a solid hit on another woman who is happy to receive it, a move that is completely legal, is exhilarating. I know I have such a long way to go, but even the promise of possibly getting to a point in my derby career where I would actually be able to bout and do this is so exciting.

Until then, I’ll keep perfecting my falls and trying to graduate from my baby crossovers. Everybody’s gotta start somewhere, right?


Sweet, sweet day, today is. I cannot believe I’m 29. Really? 29!!! I was dreading this a few months ago. I mean, really, I was. Maybe even a few weeks ago. But not today. I took some pills of “Get an attitude adjustment, real quick” which has helped me realize what a high point in my life I’m at. What an amazing 28th year this has been! I applied to grad school last year and got in, then got an incredible job offer and moved to a new state, started a new job, moved in with my girlfriend for the first time, got a kitten, made new friends, and lived all of those not-so-big-moments in between. That makes for a good transition into my 29th birthday. The older I get, the more I easily settle into myself. Life feels like it’s supposed to, more and more as I stay flexible with the shifting of it all. Life is good, and it’s only been getting better. I’m happy to be alive and celebrating the BEST DAY OF THE YEAR.

As I begin the final year of my 20’s, I love looking back at the awesomeness that has been my journey so far (even the hard parts), but I’ll mostly just try to be present. I want to love every minute of this wonderful time in my life and be grateful for all that I have.



I found out yesterday that I got accepted into grad school!!!!!! (Again, ha!) This time I’m going for a MS, as the only way I can receive tuition reimbursement from my employer is for the education to be job related. I’m pretty blown away… I didn’t think I was going to get in. It’s a great school and an amazing program. It’s going to be difficult and challenging (especially because my bachelors degree has nothing to do with this one, so I really don’t have the background and foundation) but I’m going to throw myself into it. It’s an amazing opportunity. Eeek! I’m kind of proud of myself. The next step is make sure that my job is going to OK the program. Once that happens, I can give my commitment to the university.

So if all goes right, I’ll be a school girl again on August 8th. Incredible!!!

Creative, Talented Friends = Awesome Headers

My header is brought to you by my dear and talented artist-friend, Shane Rocket. You can check out her blog at or check out her art and buy something at her etsy shop,

Search this blog by category

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 120 other followers


"I love butch girls. Girls with slick, shiny, barbershop haircuts, trimmed so short your fingertips can barely grip it. Girls with shirts that button the other way. Girls that swagger... Girls who get stared at in the ladies' room, girls who shop in the boys department, girls who live every moment looking like they weren't supposed to. Girls with hands that touch me like they have been exploring my body their entire lives... It is the girls that get called sir every day who make me catch my breath, the girls with strong jaws who buckle my knees, the girls who are a different gender who make me want to lay down for them." - Tristan Taormino

Top Rated


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 120 other followers