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The Art of Having Fun

Shades of Gray: Our Journey

Hi Everyone,

Today I am filled with joy to share that my husband and I are expecting twins this Christmas. However, I want to take you back to the beginning so you can understand how this journey began.

The day I met Jeff was April 17th, 2006. It was during the Boston Marathon and I was cheering on the runners with some friends along Commonwealth Avenue. Jeff was a recent graduate from Boston University and I was a sophomore at Emerson College. My parents had recently given me an iPod (yes, iPod – iPhones did not exist yet) and some portable speakers that ran on batteries so my friends and I were jamming out to some tunes. From a distance Jeff overheard a familiar song playing on my playlist and made his way over, eventually introducing himself to me. A few hours later we found ourselves looking for something to eat and I asked him if he would like to go to P. F. Changs by my dorm (back in college P.F. Changs a real delicacy). Over dinner we talked and talked while enjoying our lettuce wraps, general tao chicken and bottle of Chateau St. Michelle sauvignon blanc. Somewhere over dessert I asked him if he ever saw kids in his future and without hesitation he said he couldn’t imagine a future without them.

Four years later I proposed to him on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia (there is a pretty cute video you can see here) and two years after that we got married legally in Massachusetts followed by a larger wedding on the shores of Lake Michigan near my family’s vacation home.

Instead of settling down and starting a family after our wedding, life started to take a different, faster direction.  I suddenly found my career exploding with success and became overwhelmed with the pressure and responsibility of a blossoming company. Jeff championed me on and held my hand as my wildest dreams began to unfold in-front of my eyes. As I approached my thirtieth birthday I told Jeff the greatest gift I could imagine was a two-week vacation with my family, returning to South Africa where we had spent our honeymoon years before.

On March 5th, 2016, the day of my 30th birthday, Jeff gave me a hand bound leather journal. On the first page, he wrote ‘Gray’s Book of Possibilities’ – which was an ode to one of my favorite movies, Last Holiday with Queen Latifah (I love her). Each page had a different memory of something I had once thought was not possible but had in-fact come true throughout my life thus far. On the last page, he wrote the date and time of an appointment that was scheduled for a few weeks after our trip. I looked up at him and he told me it was an appointment with a fertility doctor who had come highly recommended– tears came streaming down my face without control.

Today, two and a half years since that evening, I hope you can understand how unbelievably exciting it is to share the news that we are having twins. I know everyone’s journey is different but from the day I met Jeff twelve years ago to now, this is something we have dreamed of and I truly cannot believe we will soon have a baby boy and baby girl in our lives!

For those of you who follow my career, thank you from the bottom of my heart. It means more than you know, especially as someone who really never knew a career in fine-art could be possible.  You may have noticed that I have been very busy this year. Well, knowing that these wonderful babies were on the way, I decided to work harder than ever so I could enjoy some time off when they are due this Christmas and into the new year.

Also, for those who aren’t sure how the process works, I will give you a brief description. If you want to get pregnant and cannot biologically do so (such as two men) you must first find an egg donor. This is a lengthy process. Hopefully the donor will produce many healthy eggs to be fertilized with your specimen. Once the eggs are fertilized, they are graded from healthiest to unhealthiest and the best ones are frozen. For us, this process alone took one year. After the embryos are frozen you typically have a lawyer and use an agency to match you with a surrogate. This also takes time; with a little patience and a lot of trust, there are many wonderful surrogates out there. We were incredibly lucky to find ours only a few hours away from our home in Los Angeles. In-fact, we were in the room the day they implanted the two embryos and it just happened to be the same day we met, April 17th – but 12 years later.

Our surrogate is now 24 weeks and we have been visiting her during her ultrasounds each month. She also has a youngster of her own who lovingly nicknamed the twins “peanut butter” and “jelly”. Watching the development of them at each ultrasound is absolutely mesmerizing and hearing their heartbeats makes me quiver with a feeling I cannot describe. We don’t have names picked out yet but for now, peanut butter is the boy and jelly is the girl.

I used to joke with Jeff that the best Christmas gift he could ever give me was a puppy that pops out of a present with a big bow around his neck. Well, the puppy has quickly been forgotten as all I can dream about now is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

With love and joy,

Gray

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