Pride Month

It’s weird, but I really do forget how recently I actually came out. This is only my second June to be completely out there living a super gay life. In 2015 I was separated from my ex-husband, and knew which direction I was headed, but most the world did not. Last year Terra and I did go on the Lake Coeur d’Alene Pride Cruise, went to Spokane Pride with my littles, and then went to Seattle Pride. We had only been together three months, but she asked me to go to Seattle Pride with her within our first couple of days talking to each other. I also moved in with her last June.

Last Pride Month (also referred to as “June” by straight people) I was still getting my bearings. I was adjusting to being so out. I was learning about Pride. I was mourning and yet anxious over Pulse. Hell, I was still getting to know Terra, figuring her out and deciphering her Pride style. At the events we attended, we were also watching out for ex gfs, balancing friends, meeting people, and otherwise just not fully engaged on ourselves.

This year is so different. We both know what we want and verbalize that to each other. We typically agree, but have no problems checking out whatever the other is interested in. if she wants to go to the Seattle Pride White Party and I want to raise a sign at the Dyke March, we’ll do both. And enjoy both. We had a blast at this year’s Pride Cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene. It didn’t seem as packed at last year but I just really enjoy that event. We had glorious weather and it’s a fantastic kick-off to summer and Pride. Rainbows and sunshine and beer and friends out on the Lake, what could be better?!

My friend (and maid of honor!) Holly came up and joined us. She is the BEST at making sure to take lots and lots of pictures. I should be way better at it, but at least I have her. And she always ends up getting some good ones of Terra and me. They aren’t always posed, but she even buzzed on cheap beer and armed with just her phone, she captures the joy and love between us. Proof:pride cruise kisspride cruise laure and terrapride cruise 2017 2

Maybe this last one seems like an odd pick. We don’t even know we are being photographed, but that’s just it. We are just so into each other we aren’t even aware of Holl’s shenanigans. You can’t fully see our faces, but you can tell exactly how we are looking at each other. The way Terra has her hand on me just makes me swoon.

This last week it was Spokane Pride. You guys, we were supposed to march at the very front. I ruined that by losing my things and thus causing us to be completely late, but that’s my life. :/ We still made it to wander around and gay it up in not only Terra’s rainbow hair, but also my own. spokane pride

I’ll update you all as more Pride things come along, but just know this year, we are doing Pride exactly right and LOVING it. Happy Pride month. signoff

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Engayged AF (With Pictures to Prove It)

You guys. I am getting married in just over 5 weeks. (!!!) We have a place and people and plans. It’s goin’ down fur real.

And we even did engagement photos. In all honesty we did them awhile ago, but I was on my adjusting-to-new-job-and-new-schedule hiatus and I didn’t share. Guess it’s time to hurry up and get them posted since it’ll be time to share the wedding photos soon enough.

Terra’s maid of honor and friend of years graciously followed us around and took these. We didn’t do tons, but how many do we really need? 🙂 As much as I love her bike and think it’s super beautiful, the first one with the smiles and coffee is my favorite. I am in love with how we look at each other.

If you wanna see our full wedding website, check it here.

lesbian photo shoot: tinder couple with coffee

lesbian engagement shoot: Coffee mugs and rings

Lesbian Engagement Shoot: Coffee Mugs

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Lesbian Engagement Shoot Urban with a Harley

Motorcycle Lesbian Engagement  Photos | The Elle Word Blog

Motorcycle Lesbian Engagement Photos

Motorcycle Lesbian Engagement Photos | The Elle Word Blog

Motorcycle Lesbian Engagement Photo Session | Harley Davidson | The Elle Word BLog

Lesbian Family Photos: Coming Soon

All in all, I’ve been blogging (even if somewhat irregularly) since 2010 after I had S. I know this because it was all about me living the new mom life and trying to lose weight at the same time. For what it’s worth, that did prove to be a pretty effective way to focus on my goals and shed some weight. It was also where I announced my pregnancy with baby G and that was pretty much the end of that.You can check it out here. When I re-hit the scene as Mrs. Mama Elle later rebranded as Life Styled by Elle it was a lot of the usual lifestyle/mom blog, except I knew a little bit better what I was doing. My graphic design skills weren’t total shit and my writing was pretty good. At quite a few points I kept things quite regular and I must say some of the posts and topics were pretty good. My collaboration with Ruthie from fairywingsanddinosaurs.com was something of which I was particularly proud. In fact, with my impending family photo shoot, I was thinking of republishing it here.

Except now I can’t. It’s pretty heteronormative and even more than that, which of the outfits in the “big girls” edition could I even bribe our girls (almost 7 and almost 13) into wearing? I won’t lie, they are super adorable. But every single option includes pink or lace or a skirt or something and there is just no way. And frankly, if I’m being picky, the family pics I used as examples aren’t that great and every single one is just a little family of four. All a mom, a dad, and little kids that parent dress. That’s easy. Sounds like a revamp is in order. Only this time I’m tackling a lesbian couple with four strong-willed kids. And to be frank, I’m pretty sure 4 outta 5 school days a week, the 5 year old dude has the best style. The grand finale will be our family pics. The proof is in the pudding and you can judge whether or not I’m able to pull it off. And fair warning, if they turn out even semi-cute, I will pin the shit outta every single one on Pinterest. I have yet to be able to find much under “lesbian family photos” that isn’t two cute young mama’s with a single little toddler/baby or even just a bump.

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Basically the only big, lesbian family photo on the whole internet. Great show, BTW.

Our family photos are scheduled for Thursday, February 9th. I’m not yet prepared at all, but I am SO excited. I’m silly about stuff like this. I get that it’s not actually important to my relationship or family well being, but to me, it feels like it is. It’s symbolic. It’s all of us together. Blended, sort of matching, sort of crazy, smiling. It’s Terra and I engaged and promised and together. Basically, it’s everything I want most in life captured to treasure forever. Plus, hey, I’m a multi-tasker and it’s new family photos, pictures of just the sibling pairs for the dad’s Father’s Day gifts, and engagement pics all in one swoop. Hell, I’ll probably get a blog head shot and Christmas card 2017 out of it while I’m at it because I’m just that kind of girl. Wish me luck!

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Siblings Reunited

I grew up in a very strongly conservative family –  Southern, republican, god-fearin’, church-attending, small town folks. I could go on all day telling you the details of exactly how conservative I mean, but I think you get the idea. My coming out wasn’t exactly warmly received. Or at least I thought it wasn’t at first. Don’t get me wrong, my parents are highly displeased and I don’t see them recanting those stances anytime soon.

As the oldest of nine kids (yeah…), most of my siblings belong to a younger generation. A generation with plenty of problems of their own, but a more open and accepting generation. Each of my 5 sisters checked on me regularly reminding me they loved me and wanted me to find my happiness. One sister I never had much of a good relationship with at all,  suddenly was texting me wishing we could be closer and we together we rebuilt (or built, rather) a good relationship.

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My siblings and I at Dillon’s wedding, 2012

But then there are the brothers. Of all 8 siblings, it’s only my two oldest brothers who don’t live in Texas. One lives in Virginia. And one, Dillon, the one I was always closest to growing up, lives just 15 or 20 miles from Terra and me. This is the brother I grew up singing with, covering for, and venting to. Often we were jointly punished for having a “sibling clique.” Later we went to college together, scheduled classes together, and his closest friends became like extra little brothers. He’s fun and hilarious and bold. He’s also highly opinionated and always had a streak of homophobia. . After he moved away to follow his wife to grad school, we saw each other less frequently and didn’t communicate a lot beyond that. After she finished grad school they moved to Coeur d’Alene and I didn’t make the trek up often. Now that I have moved up here as well, I have been both excited and dreading meeting up with them.We grabbed lunch once and it seemed strained. Since I fully settled in up here, I have tried most weekends to catch them. And by try, i mean texted and rarely followed up beyond the first couple of texts. Until last weekend. Terra and I had no real plans, but there was karaoke just a bit down the road from my little bro’s place, so sent him a quick invite.

When Terra and I arrived at the bar with our friend Joanne, I swear to god I (we) collected more blatant stares than I have in my short little out life. I felt a bit like perhaps we had gotten a touch to close to Aryan Nations grounds than was good for us. Gradually what started as staring turned into fascination and we quickly became the “cool table.” Strangers were coming up begging me to sing with them, girls were flirting with Joanne, and some nice fella gave Terra the hat right off his head.

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Joanne, Terra & Me this summer

True to form Dillon was roughly an hour later than he said he’d be, but he made it. We laughed, we gossiped, talked of the family and old friends, sang a song or two, and even joked about these North Idaho people not knowing what to say to the gay girls. Most importantly he was kind to Terra and Joanne and made sure to hug them good bye. We made drunk plans to revisit the dive bar monthly and I hope we really do. It feels pretty glorious to have my brother back.

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Blended, Lesbian Family

When I knew I was separating for my ex-husband, there were a lot of unknowns. All kinds. Was I really THAT gay? How would I meet women? How would my ex-husband and I schedule and share the kids? How would they do? Where would I live? The list went on and on. I even asked myself how I would feel when baby daddy moved on and added to his clan and gave my kids step or half siblings. I assumed he’d eventually have more kids or get with a girl who had her own. One thing I absolutely never considered was me settling down with some cute single mom.

At the time I was certain I was in the severe minority of lesbians. I mean, I married a dude and had babies with him. Kinda silly to worry about, but that’s where I was. Now, I’d say I know more lesbians that have dated, married and/or even bred with fellas, so yeah, lesbian single moms of all sorts of backgrounds are a thing. Duh. I’m one. My gf is one.

With that in mind, together we are tackling the thing that many fear, and neither of us planned for or expected at all – parenting together all blended family style.

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The idea of it is positively daunting. Terra’s oldest is in Jr. High. Once she hits High School, we will consistently have a kind in high school for the next 12 years consecutively. My youngest is in Pre-K now. That means 13 more years of packing lunches, homework, field trips, fundraising, and PTA. We just finished football season for one, but now he’s started chorus, and another is about to begin basketball. Spring will bring soccer and baseball and lord knows what else. We literally have decades of little league and recitals ahead of us. Plus they are all feral and can NEVER all be satisfied with the same meal, on the same day.

To re-cap, two sane-presenting, lesbian mothers decided to shack up after only months of even knowing each other to accomplish shit that is already a struggle with four of the strangest, sassiest little darlings on the planet. Go us, amirite?

The reality is it’s really fucking amazing. I mean it. Sure two days ago I had to put the kibosh on some outdoor activities because one threw a baseball at another (unprepared) one, and kid b strongly considered choking out kid a…. Well, until queen of the children decided this was not acceptable and with the help of her loyal maiden shut it all down. But then yesterday one of the troublesome brothers insisted on helping his “little sister” with all of her homework. I walked in to see this. My heart melted and I once again knew we were all in exactly the right place.

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Happy Coming Out Day

happy-1It’s Coming Out Day! I’ve officially been out for over a year and some months now and I genuinely couldn’t be happier. I’m not saying it’s all sunshine and roses all day, errday, but I’ll never regret living my authentic life. It’s definitely been worth dealing with the shitty things that have been said or done to me. In honor of today, I give you my list of the best things to happen since I came out.

  1. I live an authentic life.
  2. I routinely get to serve as “safe place” for others who want to come out or just ask questions without judgement. (Seriously. People message, text, and email me often. If you need an ear to listen, PLEASE feel free.
  3. My entire life makes more sense. Including my childhood and teenage years…
  4. In my own small way, I am helping to normalize the LGBTQ+ community
  5. Pride. It’s fun. I get to go and live freely. In the last calendar year alone, I attended three pride festivals, two pride cruises, and one pride parade.prideseattle-pride
  6. Maybe just a few people on this silly planet are learning a bit about love and tolerance.
  7. My friendships got realer. I may have lost a few, but I also gained plenty. The ones that stuck it out are the real deal.7-my-friendships-got-realer
  8. My kids know love is love is love. And they live and see that every day.8-my-kids-know-love-is-love-is-love
  9. I have the most honest and respectful relationship with my ex-husband that I’ve ever had.
  10. I met the love of my life.10-i-met-the-of-my-life

What’s your experience been? Feel free to share your story!

‘Member Me?

If you have followed me and or my blogging at all, you know this one thing neva-eva changes: Sometimes I have a lot of shit going on and don’t write.

I told you I won Tinder, so as a lesbian, naturally that means I needed to move in with her as soon as possible. Nope. Not kidding.u-haul

So as you can imagine, planning, packing, moving, job hunting, interviewing, daycare searching and touring, school registering and touring, etc. and so on take up a considerable about of time. During this time, nothing in the world has been more important than just being and allowing all of us to adjust and assimilate and enjoy our new life rolling 6 deep.

All four kids are strong. All four are crazy. All four are stubborn and silly and vain and sometimes selfish. They are also fun and sweet and kind and loving. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing how much they take care of each other and just genuinely adore each other. I’m not saying that none of them every throw a punch or yell or send their mothers rushing toward the wine rack at exactly 8:10. I’m just saying they love and we are building a really beautiful life. I may not have written damn near anything all summer, but I had the most amazing summer.