Friday, October 28, 2011

Talk it out

I did something good for myself yesterday. Almost 4 months to the day after finding out about the major cause of our infertility, I went and talked to a counselor. The last four months have been up and down. The initial news was really hard, and the first couple weeks were very painful. Now, like with any other grief, the pain is beginning to subside and the sharp pains come with longer and longer intervals in between, and we're sorting out what we're going to do. There have been even more developments that I'm going to keep private, but I can tell you that they make our chances even more slim.

And so, considering the fact that we are truly grieving a loss, I decided to talk to someone. I found a great counselor and sat down with her yesterday and blabbed on and on about our fears, my confessions, the stumbling blocks, the day-to-day stuff and how our lives are affected by infertility. I cried my eyes out, I laughed, I listened. I learned that it's okay to feel how I feel, because there is no wrong way to feel. The counselor was amazing. She's dealt with other couples struggling with IF, so she's familiar with the things we go through. She listened sympathetically as I got angry about people expressing to me frequently how I just need to do this or try that. She complimented me on how I care for my husband, shielding him and emphasizing how we are a unit in this. It felt really good to have someone sense the strength of our relationship through just an hour of conversation.

I'm glad I did something good for myself. It's not easy to say, "I may not be able to deal with this alone." I often have thoughts that things aren't that bad, relatively speaking, and I have nothing to be upset about compared to ladies who've been through 5 rounds of IVF and still don't have a baby. It was good to hear that I don't have to suffer a certain amount to be worthy of that care. It's also not easy to have to tell a stranger - though a very kind and comforting one - very intimate details in order to convey the gravity of our situation. But I feel so much better having gotten it off my chest and starting the process of working through the losses we've experienced and those we'll continue to endure as we figure out which way is up.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Catching Up

I've been gone. Not even anywhere incredibly interesting. It's just been super busy. Last I posted, I was getting ready to head to Tucson for my friend Rachel's wedding. This is the story of what's happened in our life since. Get some coffee, it might be long. And grab me a cookie, please and thank you.

Our anniversary weekend was really fun. It started off with a pizza party for all the out-of-towners to meet. I quickly figured out where Rachel gets her "must take a picture of everything" obsession from. I kid you not, somewhere, there's a picture of me and my plate of pizza and salad. I'm posing awkwardly in it because I'm totally caught off guard by the fact that someone wants a picture of me with my dinner. The groom's family is from Spain, but now lives all over the world, and it was really fun to meet them. The super-cute flower girls (the groom's nieces) live in Miami and were super excited to meet Rachel's friends, including me, La Amiga Mas Importante (Spanish for "maid of honor").

On Thursday, I got to spend the day with Rachel - dropping some stuff off at the reception venue, having lunch, getting nails done, talking about friends we were both excited to see. Perfectly relaxing day. We went to the rehearsal (which was interesting and long, so very long) and then just Rachel and I and the bridesmaids went to a gourmet burger restaurant for dinner. Absolutely delicious. If you live in Arizona, you need at least one Zin Burger experience in your lifetime.

The wedding was gorgeous. I teared up about a thousand times during the day - my best friend was beautiful, she was marrying a great guy. It was all very emotional. Side note: I was never a very emotional person. Ever. I'm not sentimental, I don't find myself to be very compassionate. And then, I got engaged. Since I got engaged, I turned into what Dan calls a "mush pot." In fact, he calls me Henry the Mush Pot. Long story.

Anyway, wedding: gorgeous. It was so much fun dancing all night, seeing old friends. I was super nervous about having to give a speech, and I can't even begin to tell you how funny that turned out to be. I'll try though. So I'd had a couple drinks by the time I had to give it, but I'd also had a lot of water. Don't worry, I don't pee on myself. I'm just trying to emphasize that I was balancing out the wine with water. So I was at a fun point where I giggle at everything but I'm no where near sloppy or anything. So, the best man - the groom's brother - was up first. And he went on and on and on. For a while. And then said "and that's point one." And then he had two other points. And then, finally, he said "and lastly, on my wedding day, our uncle (insert uncle's name) sang to me and my wife, and so now I present to you, (insert uncle's name)." Um, yeah, the groom's brother is an opera singer and proceeded to belt out this beautiful song. I was listening, of course, but I was mostly also looking around at my parents and friends with wide eyes and giggling (quietly), thinking, "how the eff do I follow this?!" So the singer/uncle finished, the crowd went wild, and I got up to take the mic, and people start chanting, "Encore! Encore!" Say what?! So the mic is ripped from my hand and the guy sings again. At this point, I'm just dumbfounded, I lost my train of thought, had no idea where to even start. I have little recollection of what I said, aside from a very hilarious, "well, that's what you get when you have 10 years to plan a speech" (because the bride and groom were engaged for 10 years - helpful info) and I talked about how they take thousands of pictures of food (no joke). So yeah, that was my encore matron-of-honoring experience in a nutshell. I'm retiring from bridesmaiding and refuse to make any single friends.

After all that, I had to get up early on Saturday and drive back home to get ready for the BBQ I planned to celebrate Dan's birthday. We had a really fun night with friends, eating, drinking, playing Guitar Hero, and watching our friends' two-year-old trying to play Bocce ("dees baws weawy hebby"). On Sunday, we had to celebrate our friends' son's birthday at Peter Piper (really not fun hungover, BTW) and then I took Dan shopping for shoes and did some other window shopping. We had our anniversary/Dan's birthday dinner at our new favorite sushi place. All in all, a fabulous weekend of celebrating.

Since then, life has been more mellow, but still busy. We had a friend and her two kids over for dinner one night, I met up with Temerity Jane and Brie for dinner, and we had a garage sale this past weekend. Side note: garage sales are interesting, by the way. First, I'm amazed that people would want to buy my junk that I don't want. And secondly, at some point, it gets hot and the crowds die down and you're just sitting on your driveway with all your junk. Anyway, with our garage sale earnings and our cut from the sale of a golf cart on my mom's behalf, we installed a new security door and got our turtles a new tank... and the dogs got costumes. Money very well spent.

Up on deck the next few days: we need to prep our wall to be cut for the RV gate we're installing, our friend is moving in for a while, and we're going trick-or-treating with our friends' kids, which I'm super excited about.

Also, I just have to brag a minute, because this is adorable and funny. I'm a prize. Yes, that's right. Mrs. ESPN's daughter, Chatty, was in a soccer tourney this past weekend and came in 2nd place. Since she had to play against girls who are older than her, she decided she was entitled to a prize. And that prize is me. And Dan. See, we're watching Mrs. ESPN's younger daughter, Bia, the weekend before Thanksgiving, and Chatty decided that wasn't fair and decided that to make things even, she needed a babysitting sesh with the Awesome Kingstons, too. So we are apparently her reward for a game well-played. I feel so honored :)

Alright, that's enough for now!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Second Year

It’s going to be a very busy few days, so I decided to write this now before I leave for Tucson for Rachel’s wedding, which will be followed by Dan’s birthday BBQ and then our friend’s son’s birthday party. Like I said – busy weekend.

It’s been almost two years since we said our vows and became husband and wife. It’s hard to believe another year has gone by. It’s been so full in so many ways, and so empty in others. I always remember hearing that the first year is the hardest. I guess people assumed that maybe for couples who didn’t live together before marriage, all the adjustments all at once would make for a difficult time, and I could see how that would be. Our first year, though, was a thing of beauty. It was a fantastic year, full of happiness and fun.

In many ways, today is very much like this day a year ago, with much to be thankful for. We still love each other deeply, and we have had many blessings. We’re healthy (mostly), happy, and are now homeowners. We have amazing family and friends surrounding us. Our dogs are awesome. We each have new opportunities on the horizon to keep us looking forward. In the last year, we saw both our siblings get married, spent time with old friends and made new ones, celebrated my 30th birthday, bought a house and did some major over-hauls, and I baked a lot. It's been great year in many ways.

Yet, there’s something missing. Back at this time last year, I think we both thought there would be a new member of our family in our lives. Instead, the last 6 months have been marked by diagnoses, infertility, and uncertainty about our future as parents. This second year, which should have been a walk in the park compared to that “hardest” first year, has been one of trial and heartache at times.

Still, it’s nearly our second anniversary, and I wouldn’t want to have spent the last two years with anyone else. Memories of our wedding are still among my fondest, and our love continues to grow. I still can’t believe I am the lucky girl that got to marry Dan.

Happy Anniversary, Buddy. I love you!

Oh, and happy birthday, too :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Is there rehab for this?

Pinterest struck again, people. I didn't take pictures of the whole project, but it was super easy. I had found a cute photo similar to this a couple weeks ago:

So I headed to Joann armed with a 20% your entire purchase (including sale items!) coupon. I picked up an 18" cone and a 12" cone from the floral department. You know, where they keep the foam wreaths and stuff. Then I went to the yarn section and picked up thick bulky yarn in orange, white, and yellow. I also got a glue gun (for $2.50!) and glue, since I didn't have one.

Before I started, I marked off my color-change points, splitting the cone up into approximate thirds (or so I thought - turns out the white was a little more than a third, but I was consistent with both cones). I started at the top with the white, and glued the whole first wrap-around with it. I wound it consistently around the cone, gluing about 1/2" every couple of rows to keep things anchored. I made sure to switch to orange along the seam in the back so that I would have an obvious front and back. When I switched, I made sure to glue the whole first row of the new color. I also glued the whole last row of yellow at the bottom, and had to overlap a little, since I hadn't wound perfectly straight all the way down. For the top, I made a small coil the size of the top and then hot-glued it right on. Super easy! The yarn in the inspiration photo was apllied a little more haphazardly, with strands overlapping and more like a ball of yarn would look. I prefered a cleaner look, so I wrapped my yarn neatly with one row right under the other.

I think they came out really cute, and put them on the mantle with some pumpkins for a festive touch.

BTW, all the Fall and Halloween decorations are 60% off at Joann right now, and with the 20% off coupon, I saved far more than I spent on some cute decorations for the house.