Answering Family Questions!

So Hamlet from New World Notes gave me some questions to answer about being in a Second Life family! I definitely don’t mind answering things when asked, especially about family life in SL, just because I feel like it’s one of the more misunderstood sections of SL. People seem to just get it when someone wants to be naked all the time, or wear a collar, or sing for money, or design a dress, or be a cat or a vampire or a jerk. But for some reason, family life is unacceptable to some people. And I know what that’s like, I do. I didn’t quite understand it myself until I got into it. But just as a disclaimer, this is how family life in SL is for me personally. If you’re in a family or have been in one before, your experience is probably a bit different.

Let’s get on to the questions!

What inspired you to have a virtual family as opposed to just a virtual boyfriend?

When Aldywn and I partnered [married] in SL, the first question people asked was, “Are you going to have kids?” I think some people said it as a joke, but it was something that was always kind of in the back of my mind. In my real life, I can’t have children and I’ve always wanted them. In SL, we can do and be almost anything we want that we can’t do in our offline lives. If someone who doesn’t have the use of their legs in RL can come to SL and dance, why can’t someone with fertility problems come into SL and have a kid? My friend Renee [who passed away in 2012] had congenital muscular dystrophy and was in a wheelchair and had a breathing tube. But in SL, she had a wedding, she danced, and she got to experience motherhood. To me, this is one of the better uses for Second Life – to do the wonderful things that your real life might not let you do.

What does your RL family think about it?

As far as RL family goes, I only have my parents, and they don’t understand anything internet related! No, really. My parents are in their 70s and one time my mom asked if I had a “Twitter machine” because she didn’t get that Twitter was something on the computer. But they know I have had online friends since 1998, so to them, this is no different. My RL boyfriend absolutely knows about my online family. It would be hard to hide it when he hears me talking on Skype to Aldwyn or the whole family, and sees me holding the girls! He doesn’t really fully understand it, because our not having kids doesn’t affect him like it does me, but he knows it makes me happy, and that seems to be good enough for him. He’s quite supportive of my online life because it makes me happy and because I never let it interfere with anything we want to do together in RL. Balance is important!

Do you know your SL family in real life?

How do I answer this one? No, I have never met any of my family in real life. None of us have ever been face to face. But I feel like I know them because we share so much of our real lives with each other. I know schedules and phone numbers and workplaces. I’ve seen pictures and videos. I know about their RL families. Abby and I have each other on our RL Facebooks. Birdy has let me send her a gift to her house. Maybe some people would think because we’ve never been in the same room, we don’t know each other, but I feel like we do.

And if so, tell me a bit about who they are in real life.

I don’t really want to spill their secrets. ๐Ÿ™‚ So I’ll just be general about it. In my entire SL family we have parents, grandparents, teachers, nurses, gamers, musicians, and more. Everyone has a great life story, and we love to share with each other. This also means that we don’t all have a lot of time to be in SL together, so we take our moments where we can.

Finally, what RL need or desire does having an SL family satisfy in you?

Well, as I said before, I finally get to be a mom. It has always been a big deal to me that I haven’t been able to have children. In fact, it sent me into a depression for a long time after I found out that it just wasn’t going to happen for me. And adoption, unfortunately, is not in the cards for me in RL for various reasons. Also, my immediate family is very small. I have never had a sibling close to my age because my sisters were quite a bit older than me when I was born, so I was basically raised as an only child. It’s just my parents and me now, and the rest of our extended family all live very far away. So having my SL family helps me so much to feel connected to something. The fact that we live in the same place in Second Life is even better!

And I think that’s what it comes down to. I feel connected. I feel like I belong to something that is beautiful. I feel happy and loved when I get to be with them. They support and encourage me when I try something new. They let me know if they think something might not be a good idea. I don’t feel like I always have to be entertaining or like I have to be giving constantly to be liked. They let me just be myself, which makes me want to give them everything. I’m not saying it’s all rainbows and unicorns all the time. We have had our problems here and there. But it’s usually short lived and we are better afterwards. After many years in Second Life, and doing many different things that didn’t always make me feel happy, I know that this is exactly where I belong. โ™ฅ

And now some photos, and a little video I made earlier this month talking about family stuff.

Zanzibar Family Fall Picture 2015

Style - The Reason Why...

Lolita and me, vacation formal

To The Moon and Back

Taco Tuesday with the family!

The Family OZ - Easter 2015

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And I Hold My Favorite Thing

Goodness, it feels like May has been going on forever, and it’s not even mid-month yet! *laughs* May is a SUPER busy month for the OZ family. We’ve had FOUR parties so far, and we have another one tonight! And one on Friday! We are some party people! But they are all good things that we are celebrating, birthdays and adoptaversaries and other things.

Birdy’s adoptaversary party kicked off our month of parties on the 1st. She has been with us for two years! Can you believe it? We had a “Survivor” party for her. Lolita put together an absolutely amazing place for us. I never could have done it! We had to cross planks, search for words, brave a raging river, jump across a tiger pit, climb several flights of stairs to a zip line, and then make it all the way back down to the start. It was SO fun! And I don’t want to say who won, but… well, it was me. I totally won. ๐Ÿ™‚

Last night, the kids did a Mother’s Day dance and had dinner for us. It was so sweet. There were many gifts and everything, too. All of the kids in our family are so good to us. โค

But of course, the best part of my evenings are usually the few minutes I get alone with Aldwyn.

And I Hold My Favorite Thing

He always listens to me rant on about just the most ridiculous stuff! Well, some of it is ridiculous. Some of it are things I’m legit struggling with and I’m not sure how to make better. But he always listens, and he tries to make it better for me in some way, which I appreciate. Next month makes 6 years that we’ve been together. Isn’t that crazy? And I knew him about a year before that. Like I told him last night, “I’ve known you way too long. How am I not sick of you yet?” *laughs*

But seriously. How is HE not sick of ME? Guess I’m lucky that I’m cute!

[Btw, if you want to buy the pose I used for this picture of us, I put it up on Marketplace.]

Going Out Fancy Style

And then vacation was over.

We did up our last night in style, as usual, with a family formal dance! I DJed it, so the night was filled with some of our faves and a whole lot of mashups, since that’s what we like. Everyone looked wonderful and it was just a super fun night.

My sister and me.

Lolita and me, vacation formal

And Aldwyn and me.

Going Out Fancy Style

[I’ll actually have this pose up on marketplace at some point. I meant to do it back in February because this was a pose I made for our Valentine party, but I got lazy.]

The past two weeks really have been just wonderful. We have enjoyed ourselves immensely!! There were so many beautiful photos and so much fun. I’m going to miss it!

But after we got home tonight, Birdy said that as much as she loved going on vacation, it was really nice to see home again. She was totally right. ๐Ÿ™‚

Huuuuuge thanks to my sister, Lolita, for putting all of this together for us!! You will get your chance to go on your own Greek island vacation soon. She will have all the information for renting in the coming days and I’ll post it when she does.

Now to sleep in my own bed!

Diving In!

Last night we had a great time diving under the sea!

Diving In!

Pretty much everyone had snorkels and flippers, but I’m part mermaid, so I YOLOed it and just jumped in! The game for the evening was that we had to look for certain little sea creatures that were hidden in the ocean. I played one round, but then hopped back up on the dock to just take pictures of the kids. If you have me on plurk, I showed a bunch last night. I will upload them to Flickr eventually, I’m sure.

But, I did manage to get one of all of my kids! It’s hard to get them all in the same place at the same time!

My Little Divers

Tonight is a free night, nothing is planned. So everyone will have a chance to just explore and hang out and take pics. Oh! Speaking of pics, in my blog post yesterday, I had a picture of Aldwyn and me. If you want the pose we used, I have it up for sale on the marketplace now. People have actually been buying my poses, which is so weird! But also pretty cool when I log in and I have a few extra dollars. I know there are a lot of “tall guy, short girl” couples out there, though, so that’s probably why they’ve been selling. Of course, I think some of them could be used for parent/child pictures, too! *laughs*

Back to vacation!

Doing That Tourist Thing

Hello everyone! We are having such a great time on vacation and we’ve only been here one full day!

Tonight we had our traditional photo scavenger hunt. We usually do this when we are in a new place so that everyone gets more comfortable with our vacation home. It’s very easy to get lost in a big place! So we got to run all over looking for things and exploring. It really gives us a chance to be tourists!

Doing That Tourist Thing

Now, I’m not gonna say that the hunt was a contest… but I will say I finished FIRST! ๐Ÿ™‚ But the pictures the kids took were certainly a lot cuter than mine.

Speaking of pictures, if you are interested in looking at some of our vacation photos, you can check out our Greece vacation Flickr group! We’re updating it all the time with pics, so there is always something to see.

Tomorrow night… scuba diving!!

We Made It!!

Oh gosh, you guys. I am so tired. But we did it! We made it to beautiful Greece!

The trip there was uneventful. Wellll… we did almost lose kids in the revolving door of the airport. And the elevator almost killed some people. And Heath might have maybe wandered into the air control tower. And Payton maybe went running across the runways. And we might have had to chase her telling her she wasn’t allowed to do that. And an old man in a raincoat might have possibly almost taken Riley away. [But he ran quickly once he listened to our family for a couple of minutes.] But despite all that, it was an easy trip!

Heading To Greece

After a 12 hour flight where we got to watch an in-flight video [I’ll link it at the bottom], we finally made it!!

It is beautiful here! It is the perfect mix of the old world, a country village, and a few present day conveniences. There are goats and sheep and chickens, too! We are staying in a charming little hotel up the hill from a small farm. The kids already have instructions to check the hens periodically for eggs because we will be spending Easter here, and we will need to have lots of eggs to dye for the bunny to hide for us! Our itinerary is pretty full for the two weeks we are vacationing, with things planned for the family almost nightly. I cannot wait to show you all lots of pictures of all the things we do and discover! Of course, if you follow any of us on plurk, you will get to see a lot of our little adventures.

But until later, here is a photo I took when we arrived. And now I’m going to sleep!

We Made It!!

[Our in-flight video, and the song for our trip!]

Greece Is The Word!

The family OZ is headed to Greece!! Tonight we loaded up the car. I don’t know why Aldwyn looks surprised. Maybe he’s surprised because we didn’t pack as much as usual?

Greece Is The Word!

We are headed to sunny Greece for a 2 week vacation and I couldn’t be happier! We just love our family vacations, and this time we have 3 new kids coming with us! It’s always a great bonding experience for all of us, and also very relaxing and we love it!

Until next time… in Greece!!