Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 In Review

1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
Quite a few things - I got a new position within my company, designed and created a craft room. I did my best to let go of a really rough year.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't think I really made resolutions for 2012, because it's not really my style. My guess would be that if I did have any, I achieved about half.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

2012 was a big year for babies, particularly October. They were everywhere, and I don't want to list them because I might forget one and hurt feelings.
4. Did anyone close to you die?


5. What countries did you visit?


6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you didn’t have in 2012?

Better financial, physical and organizational health. A chance at a real career that I love.

7. What dates from 2012 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
July 9th - I started my new position.

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?

Getting that new position. I was in a place where I didn't know what I wanted to do and if I even wanted to stay with my company, and that job saved me. Also, graduating from therapy.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not getting a better handle on my physical health. I found Zumba, which I love, but didn't really focus on using it as a tool to DO something.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?


11. What was the best thing you bought?

Hmmm. Probably the money we put into the craft room was the best money spent.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Dan's, always. I'm always thankful for his understanding and support.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

We had a lot of friend drama, especially early in the year. It upset us both very much

14. Where did most of your money go?

Bills, as always.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Going to see my friend in Illinois, and booking flights to visit my sister in Washington. Also, we recently took a big step toward financial freedom from debt and I'm really stoked about that.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

Red Line Chemistry's Unspoken. The lyric "how do you sleep at night?" makes me think of our friend drama

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

Happier, about the same (maybe a tad heavier, shit), richers

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Spending time with friends, laughing.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Keeping to myself.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

My parents flew to Washington to be with my sister, but came home Christmas night. We had dinner with them and Dan's parents. We spent Christmas day being lazy and enjoying each other's company. I think it was perfect.

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?

Over and over again :)

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Pretty much anything reality related - Breaking Amish, Amish Mafia, Sister Wives, etc.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

As much as I hate the word 'hate'... kind of. We were pretty badly hurt by people we genuinely cared for. I don't hate them - I more feel sad that they apparently thought so poorly of us and went about things in such a pathetic manner.

24. What was the best book you read?

I read "Becoming Sister Wives" by the sister wives (duh), and found it fascinating. I really enjoyed it.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

None really, I mostly stuck to my favorites.

26. What did you want and get?

My craft room, mostly.

27. What did you want and not get?

A new fireplace

28. What was your favorite film of 2012?

Hunger Games.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 31. We went out for dinner. My parents also helped paint the living room.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

More time away with Dan

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2012?

Whatever's comfy. I dont' have much fashion sense.

32. What kept you sane?

My husband

33. What political issue stirred you the most?
I don't really do politics. I know what I like and what I don't. I guess gun control is probably the only thing I really talked about much, and even that wasn't much.

34. Who did you miss?

My sister.

35. Who was the best new person you met?

I met a lot of great ladies at PJs at TJ's that I can't wait to see again in February.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

Even the people who seem to be the best of friends can hurt you. Deep, I know.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I don't know. This question is ridiculous.

Erin and Laura both chose a word for their focus in 2012 and I like that idea. Mine is going to be Better. I want to end 2013 better than I started - in terms of health, finances, emotionally, and in my organization.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Today is Dan's 28th birthday and our 3rd anniversary. I can't believe it's been three years since we said our "I do's" and became husband and wife. It feels like yesterday, and sometimes it feels like 100 years ago, as though I've never been without him. The last three years have been very different than we expected when we stood facing each other that day. Life threw us curveballs, plans were changed. But the one thing that hasn't changed is our care for each other, our commitment to doing what is best for each other and our marriage. I know without a doubt today and every day that I married the absolute best man for me. There's no one else I can imagine spending this lifetime with. Here's to many, many more, Buddy! I love you.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Love Letters

When my husband I got married, part of our ceremony was a twist on the candle lighting or sand combining rituals that are common in weddings. We wrote each other love letters and put them in a box that was prepared by my grandmother, along with a bottle of wine. The idea was that if we were ever in a rough patch in our marriage, we would open the box, read the letters to remember why we wanted to join our lives, and drink the wine. The hope, of course, was that we would not have rough times and we would open the box, read the letters, and enjoy the wine in celebration on our 10th anniversary.

Now and again since our troubles having children - and then deciding to walk away from trying for parenthood - the words I remember writing me have haunted me with tiny snippets of memory. My mind thinks of these things I wrote to my husband almost as though I jinxed myself. My letter to Dan was - in part - about how excited I was to have a family with him and how lucky I felt to have met such a perfect man to be the father of my children. It contains thoughts of our naive dreams. And lately, it's bothered me more and more. In theory, we would be opening that box 7 years and 4 days from now, and it should be in celebration of 10 years well lived and well loved. But knowing that reading the letters will be very bittersweet puts a damper on that vision for both of us.

And so, we've come up with a new plan, just like most everything else over the last year. On our third anniversary, we're opening the box. We're drinking our wine and replacing it with a new bottle. We're writing new letters. I don't know what we'll do with the old ones. I kind of want to read mine, just to remember what I wrote, but I don't know if that's out of lovingly wanting to remember that fresh about-to-be-married excitement or I'm a glutton for punishment. Dan said I can read his, but doesn't seem to want to read mine, knowing what's in it (I brought this all up a couple of months ago after having it on my mind here and there for a little while). I guess we'll know what feels right when the time comes.

Like most everything else since Infertility entered our lives, plans are changing. I'm just glad that we came up with this new plan together, and - if I'm completely honest - it's mostly Dan's idea. I love that he recognizes that the box and its current contents needs to go, but also that this is something that is important for me to not let go of entirely. He could easily just say "chuck it all in the trash." But he wants to start over, with new words of love, a new bottle of wine - which will still be enjoyed on our 10th anniversary - and new wishes for the course of our life and marriage. Once again, I'm blown away by his thoughtfulness and understanding of what I need, and it always makes me go a big gooey one when he shows that he needs something emotionally from me, too. I have a feeling these new letters are going to be full of love and adoration for each other. I'm happy to be sincerely looking forward to our 10th (and our 3rd, of course) anniversary once again.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I'm alive!

Barely, though. Just barely. Oy, what has happened in the last almost-month?

- I found my tiny monkey when I moved my desk. My blaming someone else for stealing my misplaced stuff should not surprise you.

- Our AC died Saturday and we're staying with my in-laws for probably two weeks until we get the part to replace it. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for a dog-friendly air-conditioned place for us to go, but I miss my house.

- Dan got the girls super cute new collars. He picked out one for each to suit their personalities. He's awesome.

- ::checks Facebook for anything notable::

- Speaking of checks, I ordered checks...

- Alright, Facebook thoughts:

      - Whenever I hear "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye (what an ugly mofo that guy is, BTW), I want to beat the tar out of xylophone. Yet I can't stop listening to that damn song.

      - I babysat Mrs. ESPN's girls the other night. I read "A Snow Day for Jingle" to Bia. I'd like to know who the hell takes a kitten sledding. And I also want to know how the dog works, but then again I don't because it might be like seeing the man behind the curtain.

OH MY GOD! How could I forget? My coworker told me that I look like SNOW WHITE and totally made my day, and my week.

I don't think anything else could top that, and the whole point of this post was to let my mom know I'm alive. So, mission accomplished.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Random Friday Musings

Happy Friday! Yesterday, as you may know, was my 31st birthday. It was a pretty awesome day - I had a surprise waiting at my desk from a friend here at work. She gave me a cute travel mug with "I chose the road less traveled. Now where the heck am I?" She's a fellow IFer, though she now has two sons, and so it means a lot to have her support as both a colleague and a fellow card carrying member of the IF Club. Last night, Dan and I went to dinner at a restaurant I've fallen hard for, then came home and hung out and tried to stay cool. Stupid me, I promised the dogs (yes, you read that correctly) that they could sleep in the big bed (read: mine, and not the crate) for my birthday. Of course, I remembered around 4 this morning WHY they sleep in the crate, because they were up and roaming around. So I am exhausted. But Mrs. ESPN and another coworker and I are going to lunch today, so I'm excited. This weekend, I believe my parents are coming up - Dan wants a "painting party" to paint the living room, so we're taking advantage of the cheap free labor.

Alrighty, here are my musings:

- Speaking of painting, DAN FINISHED THE BEDROOM WALL while I was in Illinois last weekend. Hallelujah! Funny, I didn't even notice the first night. I walked right by the paint can in the garage, and then went back and picked it up and thought, "crap, we don't have enough to finish. That wall will never get done." Little did I know.

- Also when I was in Illinois, this arrived:

Awesome. Dan now refers to the car itself as the "PuggleMom," as in "are we taking my truck or PuggleMom?" I Love him. Capital L.

- For my last "while I was in Illinois," someone was apparently working in my cubicle and left wires laying on my desk. And also apparently stole one of my three tiny monkeys. Dan had bought them for me from a grocery store trinket machine not long after we started dating, and they live on my monitor at the office. Whoever helped themselves to my tiny monkey took the coolest one (he was doing a hand stand). I'm so mad.

- If you're going to call someone your arch nemesis, you'd better be a super hero. Otherwise, just stop it.

- In an odd twist of events, I might be taking over my Resolve support group. Yeah, I've only been twice, but the leader is moving to CO, and I might be the only one interested. She also seems to have a lot of faith in me since I have (and this is not bragging) quite a bit of knowledge in comparison to other members of the group. So I may have found my volunteer opportunity for my 101 in 1001. I'm actually really excited about it.

- I have a pet peeve. And I swear this isn't bitterness talking. But here it is. It drives me nuts when pregnant women put their hand on their upper crotch area in every.single.picture. I get it if they're taking a photo to document the size of their growing bump, but I recently saw an album where a woman literally emphasized her bump in every photo. Like, she had to have gone out of her way to consciously think to do so every time a camera made an appearance in her life. That has to be exhausting. And it's AWish, which for those of you not in the know, AW stands for "attention hoar" (but with 'hoar' spelled properly).

- I had lunch with some coworkers earlier this week, and one guy was talking about how his wife - a teacher - was getting bored already and had been doing cleaning "projects." Never in my life would this happen in my house. Period.

Lastly, some shout-outs. Ally's baby shower is this weekend - I'm so excited for you, doll! I hope you have an amazing time. And Shana, I'm jealous that you'll get to be there, and I hope you have a safe trup and get your fill of peaches.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

24 years later...

This weekend, I went to visit my friend Kari. Well, it was more than a weekend, but you know. Anyway, if you don't know mine and Kari's story. We began as pen pals when we were about 7 years old. We both read a series of books about pen pals, and in the back, there was a page you could tear out, complete with your info, and be matched with someone to be pen pals with. We wrote to each other consistently for years and, as little girls, made a promise to each other to be bridesmaids in each other's weddings. In 2006, I kept my promise and was in her wedding. In 2009, she returned the favor. In September last year, she gave birth to her first baby. And so, I went to visit her and meet little miss Brynn.
I talked about needing a break very badly, and I certainly got it. And it was everything I could have hoped for. I flew out Wednesday morning and landed in Chicago at around 1pm. After finding me at the airport, we drove to her town about an hour away, stopping for lunch at Panera (I love you, Panera). We chatted and got acquainted again - we Facebook and email and text, but it's very different when you're face-to-face. We eventually got to her house and hung out a bit with her husband. I was amazed at how tired I was, and ended up going to bed at about 7pm Arizona time. Very anti-climactic.

The next day, we had a late start and after lunch at a Chicagoland tradition, Portillo's, (Yum, people - Capital Y) headed to the Geneva Swedish Festival. It was in a really cool little town with an adorable downtown area. There were tents and booths of crafts and all the shops were open. There was one store, The Little Traveler that sold EVERYTHING. I posted on FB that it was like someone decided to open a store, but couldn't decide what to sell, and thus decided to sell anything they could think of. Seriously, they had little rooms each featuring kitchen stuff, home decor, Vera Bradley, jewelry, teas, chocolates, and art. It even has a cafe in the courtyard. Unfortunately, with Brynn in the stroller, it was hard to get around, which was pretty much the same for most of the stores, since they're in old houses. Very cool though. When we left, it was sort of an awkward time in between Brynn's meals, so rather than heading to the splash pad like we had planned, we headed home and hung out the rest of the evening. Kari's husband loves to cook, so he made us some really yummy meals.

Friday was Chicago day. The plan: get up early and leave by 10am to drive to the city and go to Buckingham Fountain, Millenium Park, and the Lincoln Park Zoo. The reality: Brynn took a two hour nap (she usually only sleeps 30 minutes) and we didn't leave until noon. We went to the fountain and to the park, but it was so late by the time we were done, that we were pushing the babe's limits and were worried about traffic, so we skipped the zoo. We got lost getting back to the garage and were thankful to just be in the car. We were right to leave, since I ended up needing to sneak into the back seat of the car to feed Brynn and keep her calm only about 15 miles out of the city. We arrived frazzled and hungry about an hour after we'd hoped to be home. Again, we were boringasauruses and hung out before heading to bed pretty early.

Saturday (yesterday - that was yesterday? Holy crap) was probably my favorite day. We met up with another of Kari's bridesmaids for lunch and outlet shopping. I bought myself a nice little birthday present (Coach purse) and it was great to hang out with the girls. After the outlet mall, we went back to Kari's and changed for Brynn's first ever trip to the splash pad. First, if you haven't seen a baby butt in a swim suit lately, it is cuuuuuute. Seriously. Anyway, once Brynn got warmed up with a tiny little fountain-ish thing we found for her, she LOVED it. She tried to grab the water and was even trying to lick it. We started out standing her up next to it, and then eventually sat her down. She had.a.blast! She had no fear, except maybe for when a kid kicked water at her (parents - watch your kid at splash pads, seriously). She cried when we left, even though she was cold and wet. We got a ton of pics...

Side note: I'm AWFUL at taking pictures. However, as Ally said, it's also a sign that we were having too much fun and didn't have time for photos. That's true, too - there were so many amazing moments this week. Brynn crawled for the first time, for example. I didn't witness this week through my (phone) camera lens. I saw it firsthand. Also, we were lost or driving a lot. Or Brynn was eating. Or in my arms. And that means I didn't take pics. Kari and I both got a lot of pics at the splash pad. BUT, since she's not my kid, I'm not sure how much I want to post photos on the internet. We did get pics of us before I left this morning, so I'll post that when I get them, but I think I'll selfishly keep the rest to myself.

End side note.

Saturday, continued. After the splash pad, I took my incredibly gracious hosts out for dinner. We went to a sushi/Japanese restaurant in their college town that was delicious. It was nice to all go out, and enjoy a great meal and hear about their memories in the town. After chatting and reminiscing about the past few days, like an old lady, I went to bed at 9:30. For those of you playing the home game, that's 7:30 Arizona time. I rule. And I slept almost 12 hours. So there's that. I possibly sleep more than a 9-month-old.

This morning, we woke up and went to breakfast. The pride parade was going on in Chicago, and we were afraid of traffic so we wanted to make sure to leave early. I ended up having time to kill... blah, blah, blah. I flew home. But not without a lump in my throat as I said good-bye. I am gonna miss that sweet little face, as well as my friend and her husband. They were such wonderful hosts, and I'm so thankful for such a long-standing and loving friendship. It was a great time. I hope it's not a whole 6 years before I get back there again. I was greeted by my handsome hubby who surprised me with an early birthday gift - new shoes!

And now, some things I learned:

- Checking bags at the gate is awesome. If you can back your bag as a carry-on, but don't mind checking it, US Airways let me check for free instead of paying the $25/bag fee. Not to mention, on my way home, I was bumped to a higher boarding zone and got to board sooner for my "sacrifice."

- When you have a baby, you don't get to eat hot meals. Like, ever.

- Babies are seriously time consuming. I had a blast and would never change a thing, but I felt very aware that our plans were dictated by Brynn's schedules.

- Babies are also awesome. I love that little girl and her hugs, shrieks, expressions, and everything else. I hope to be a very special person in her life, always.

- To a Chicago cab driver, it's better to run over pedestrians than it is to miss a light. I kid you not, we were honked at for not running a light. Then we were honked at for going through the light but blocking a lane. It's so lose-lose. I liked Chicago, but 1. I would NEVER be in a taxi there and 2. I'm not sure I'd be drawn to going back to the city itself. It's loud and stressful. I liked the Chicagoland suburbs much more.

- My hair HATES humidity. I knew that. Now I KNOW that, as even my pricey products couldn't save me from the curls and frizz.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I'm back to the grind tomorrow - only two more weeks in my current role! And only 4 days until my Birthday!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hey, June, don't let me down

Seriously, how is it mid-June already? It's insane how quickly this year is flying by. I love June, though. It's my birthday month, which is rad, but this year there are some extra awesome things about it. I'm not doing resolutions like I did in May, but there are some exciting things I wanted to put out there, and there are some things I'm remembering from last year as this month passes that I've got on my shoulders, too.

We'll get the junky stuff out of the way first. June is a rough month for me mentally thanks to infertility. Just like Mother's Day, Father's Day is a day that reminds me that there's something missing. I so often think to myself what an amazing dad Dan would be - it's not a longing to change our path, just an acknowledgement of what an incredible man he is. It's not as much of a personal sting as Mother's Day was (I still humbly think I deserve a medal for leaving the house that day), but there is a looming feel to it. I love my dad so much and want him to have a wonderful day, but I'd be straight-up lying if I said I wasn't sad we're not celebrating Dan being the father of human babies, too.

June last year also marked the results of our testing - I found out about my hormone deficiency early in the month, and that was rough, but it was just getting started. Later in June, the day after my 30th birthday, we got the crushing blow about Dan's IF. It was awful, and I honestly don't know how long it will take before I don't associate the two. I hope not forever, but I really have no idea. For me, my 30th birthday feels like the last day of our carefree, hopeful time of trying to have a family. Don't get me wrong - I'll be forever grateful I didn't get that call on my birthday, but they're still tied in my mind. I can't and won't ignore how much the memory of that day still impacts me (and us).

Thankfully, I know that at least those days won't happen again this year. I only have to deal with the memory, and I know from this past year that time does heal, and June 29th won't be as sucky.

Okay, now to the good stuff. Obviously, my birthday! I LOVE birthdays, particularly mine. I think it's amazing that everyone gets a special day to be remembered and celebrated. I'm always excited when June rolls around and I can start looking forward to a little (or big) celebration. It'll be low-key this year, but I'm looking forward to time with family and friends and the fun I have looking forward to another year.

I also get to go to Chicagoland to see my dear friend, Kari, and meet her baby a week from today! I am so incredibly excited! We don't have a ton of plans for my visit, but there will be some Chicago-exploring and some shopping. The weather looks like it's going to be beautiful, which is just awesome, as it's been well over 100 here every day for a little while now.

AND! I have some wonderful news! I've accepted a new position with my company and will be starting that soon! I've done tax stuff since I graduated from college, and it's been wearing on me for a while. My department is small, my duties haven't grown, and I've been restless. Finally, I'm branching out and taking a role where I'll get to learn more about the bottom line here, and it'll be great exposure and experience for me to figure out what I want to do in the long-term. It doesn't hurt that the team I'm joining is just awesome, and I really like my new manager - they even had a lunch out yesterday to welcome me :)

So really, my birthday month is set to be pretty great - some fabulous things are happening, and some bad memories will soon have a year behind them. I've got high hopes. Hey, June, don't let me down.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Random Friday Musings

It's Friday! This week has been really slow. The days have crawled, and I kept thinking it should be at least Saturday by now. So, here's what's been up.

- Our friend drama blew up even more. It's hurtful and it sucks, but we're learning who our true friends are. And the protective side of Dan has really come out. Warning to all, don't mess with that guy's wife :)

- As awesome as Dan is, he has a habit that drives me insane. He tends to be really careless about time. We were getting ready to go somewhere the other day - it wasn't an appointment or anything. He just told his friends we'd be there at 6. So at 5:15 when I got home, he told me we had to leave in 30 minutes. Fine. At 5:35 (10 minutes before leave-time) he asks if I'm going to get ready. At 5:43... he gets in the shower. Um, what?! We're supposed to leave in two minutes! All of a sudden, being there at 6 apparently doesn't matter. It just drives me - being a rules-follower - a little batty.

- People say really awful things to infertile people. I try to chill because I know not everyone knows about us, but as a note to all of you out there, "but don't you want a family with your husband?" is not a polite question, and it makes you look like an ass-face in front of all your coworkers. Or a douche canoe. Take your pick. And this isn't the first time I've heard such BS. TJ was with me when a pedicurist said (in her Asian accent, so I'm saying it as she did) "your husband okay you no want his kids?" She's lucky I didn't kick her.

- Did anyone watch the Diamond Jubilee this past weekend? It was so incredible. I just love the royal family and find the whole idea of a monarchy fascinating. I want a Diamond Jubilee of my own one day, and I invite you all to mark your calendars to celebrate with me on June 28, 2041. Please bring a dish to share. Anyway, my mom was watching it, too and we were texting a little back and forth. To show you the kind of random crap I know, she asked me what the royal family's surname is. And I knew, without the help of Wikipedia, that in general, they use Windsor, as they're from the House of Windsor. In general, though, they aren't given a surname and for the most part, they don't need one. People just kind of tend to know who they are. For military purposes, the princes use their father's territorial designation as a surname, so Prince William uses Wales. I don't know how that changes as he's now the Duke of Cambridge, but I imagine he kept Wales for simplicity's sake. The more you know.

- Speaking of June 28th, my birthday's coming up! Dan asked me the other day what I want, and I honestly have NO idea. I always like to shop, so gift cards are awesome, but I know people like to give things. I just can't think of a thing. Help me think of things.

- You know how there are foods that you love, but you only really remember how much you love them when you have one again after a while? Yeah, one of mine is Saltines. And Dan bought a box the other day.

- Every once in a while, Dan takes over my Kindle and plays Draw Something on my behalf (sorry to any of you who've gotten any of his wacky drawings). I find it totally hilarious to watch because he'll sometimes draw a bunch of random stuff and then whatever the thing he's supposed to draw very last. Anyway, he was playing with a friend of mine who was having a rough time conceptualizing what she was supposed to draw because she started over a few times. When it was Dan's turn, he drew absolutely random crap for 5 minutes (the game timed him out, folks) and the following conversation occurred:

            Me: Poor Kel. What's the word you're drawing?
            Dan: Leopard
            Me: Are you going to draw one?
            Dan: Nope.

He then asked me over the next couple of hours if Kel was able to guess the word. Um... of course she did, because I texted her and told her what it was. We were at 98 correct guesses in a row, I wasn't about to give that up :)

12 days to my Chicago vacation. I think I can make it...

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My new favorite place

It's been about 6 months in the making, but my craft room is finally (pretty much) done! So, I'll start from the beginning. I unfortunately didn't take any before photos, but I'll paint you a picture of the guest room: white walls, ugly black dresser, futon, small bookshelf in one corner, ugly closet doors. Slowly but surely, we've made progress. We took the closet doors off when our ex-roommate moved into our other guest bedroom in October. We needed to be able to put some pretty big things in the now-craft room closet, and it just wouldn't work with doors. So, away they went. Then, on New Year's Day, I painted the ugly black dresser purple. Then I painted the walls. And this past 8 days has been dedicated to building the desk.

Ah, my desk. I love it so much. I had found this tutorial and showed it to Dan. So we decided to figure out how to make it work for us. The cubicles the tutorial used were too big, so rather than using 2 9-cube units and 1 6-cube unit, we used 3 6-cube units to make it narrower. Last weekend, Dan used the same basic set up to bolt them together, and they sat that way for this past week. Yesterday, we went back to Lowe's and had them cut large sheets of MDF to make the desktop surface. Then Dan sanded and I primed and painted the desk and voila! Craft/work desk.

So without further ado, here is my craft room as it is today.

This will be the "work" side of the desk. I will hopefully have an opportunity to work partially from home soon, and it will also be nice to have a place to do stuff for lia sophia, to search for projects or play around on Pinterest. Right over my workspace is the print a wonderful fellow-IF friend sent me. It says "In the midst of winter, I found within me an invincible summer," and I love it. I have plans in the works for some more art to go alongside that print somehow - something that will be a nod to the original, pre-infertility plans for this room.

This is the "craft" side, I suppose. I mean, the whole thing can be used for either, but when I think in terms of where I'm going to organize things in the cubes, my mind puts the work stuff on the left, and the craft stuff on the right. I also have this idea for ribbon organizing that Dan is going to help me with soon, and they'll go to the right of the bulletin board (which I intend will hold project ideas and not just wedding photos).

Here's the entire space. Pretty sweet, huh? I've got plenty of room on either side, and I can still add units underneath - I want to add a file cabinet or something with a door somewhere at some point.

One thing that didn't change is the futon. That's not going anywhere, since it gives space for other guests in case we ever have more than just one room filled, like we did when both my parents and my sister and brother-in-law visited. I used to have an Ikea print over it, but I decided to switch things up. I'd put the photography monogram together quite a while ago for the master bathroom. Though it doesn't look like it from this picture, the mats are dark purple so I figured they'd make a perfect statement in the craft room. Don't worry - that D is a little skewed in this photo, but I fixed it. They also don't all look as dinky in person. Oh, and Paisley loves that I have a spot for her and Clo to nap while I work :)

Swoon, my purple dresser! It's a thing of beauty :) The whole room color scheme is purple and green. I used it for our wedding and have loved it ever since. I actually had curtains in that same color in the apartment - I had two sets. Stupid me, when we had a yard sale, I sold a set since this room only has the one window. So then I had to go shopping for curtains that would work in this room, and lo and behold, these panels - which I got at Ross - are the exact same color and fabric. These are just a bit more contemporary with the grommet rather than a more traditional hanging system. And I've got my easel set up - I hope it will inspire me to paint.

So, there it is. My beautiful new room. It's very nice to just sit in there and relax, but I hope to be whipping up Pinterest projects in no time. Projects still pending are ribbon organization, general supply organization, shelves, more decorating, and making some fun pillows from the seemingly dozens of pins on my DIY board. For now, though, I'm calling this baby DONE and crossing it off my 101 in 1001.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Friday! Random Musings

This day deserves a 'Happy Friday!' answered by a 'hallelujah!' don't you think? What a long week. I am so excited for a 3 day weekend. We're going to Dan's aunt's house for a BBQ tomorrow and other than that, we don't have plans, which is kind of nice. Oh, wait, we do have plans to have dinner with Temerity Jane, her husband, and their baby. I've only got 6 days left in May for my resolutions, so some organization needs to happen. Anyway, here are my random musings from the past little while. You've probably seen some of this on Facebook, but you get to see it again. All in one place. You're welcome.

- I was crazy busy with lia sophia last week. I had shows Monday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Oh, and our monthly meeting on Monday. Five events in a week. I was kind of lia sophia'd out. And then I went to our meeting and some ladies brought up some really fun ideas, and now I'm chomping at the bit for a show. I'm super excited to try some new things. So if any of you out there are interested (even in a catalog show), I'm offering an extra $50 in FREE jewelry to anyone who books in June. Keep in mind I have vacation June 20-24th, and there's Father's Day in there, but I'm available pretty much any other day. Just throwing it out there :)

- Oh, also, I ordered my first real custom jewelry case. The husband of one of the sellers is a wood worker and has perfected the art of creating cases for us. I worked with him to design the perfect case for my collection (as of now, I'll have to up-size later). It should be done any day, and I'm beyond excited. No more splaying my necklaces haphazardly all over a table.

- My flowers that I planted are finally starting to bloom! And, I grew a caterpillar. Okay, I didn't grow him, but I have a caterpillar. He's cute. I named him Vern. Unfortunately, Vern's a bit of an a-hole and bit holes in the leaves, but I guess that's par for the course with a caterpillar. Here's Vern... chillin' like a villain.

And here's one of my flowers. It's kind of ugly. It has a face only a mother could love.

- The other morning, I was having another one of my "I hate all of it" days in terms of my wardrobe. I told Dan I wanted a stylist. He said I have Clover - I sometimes joke that the dogs should pick my outfits when I'm frustrated. Um, Clover would dress me like a gypsy. I'd be draped in sparkles and wrapped in gauze. Clover may be a great dog, but a stylist she is not.

- The other day at lunch, a coworker and I came upon a young bird who'd tried - and failed - to fly. He'd clearly hurt himself and was struggling around on the sidewalk. After we ate lunch, I used our empty plates to move him out of the way so he wouldn't get stepped on our otherwise harmed. Later, one of the facilities guys came to my desk and asked me what the hell we'd been doing. I said we were just trying to make him comfortable. And he told me that I was working against him - they've been trying to get rid of the birds in our courtyard. Get this - they even installed a sound machine in the tree that makes owl and monkey noises to scare them. He must have thought I was nuts because I burst out laughing - we've been trying to figure out where the damn bird-that-sounds-like-a-monkey came from for a while now. Also, the sound machine has a high pitched tone that apparently scrambles the birds' noggins and kills them. Not very nice, but slightly amusing when you think about it. So, (this is for Mrs. ESPN) not only so we make sh!t fly, we kill birds. Awesome. Oh, and the bird was named Fluffy. RIP, Fluffy.

- Dan wanted to prank me. He saw an episode of Punk'd where someone put a fake snake in a toilet for their friend to scare them. This is literally my worst nightmare. I have irrational, irrational fears about snakes and things they're capable of. Thankfully, Dan recognized that this was NOT a good idea and decided not to go through with it. I probably would have died.

- Speaking of Dan "pranks," we recently went to Lowe's and he pulled a funny. Now, when I park at parking lots, I don't necessarily feel the need to park super close to the door. What I find more important is being close to a cart-return for when I'm done shopping. I'm all about convenience. Dan, for some reason does that weird guy thing where they park their precious baby far away so no one dings it. I don't like dings either, but life happens. It's not something I live in fear of. Anyway, we were pulling into Lowe's and he started to park just too far away, for no real reason. We were in my car, he wasn't parking near a cart-return, there was no reason to be randomly in the parking lot where he was. So I jokingly said "could you park any farther away?" And so he did this.

That's my silver Murano, sitting in the nether regions of the Lowe's parking lot. I'm standing at the door exiting the store - the entrance door was actually farther away, but there were people around and I felt like a goon taking a picture of my car while also laughing like an idiot because it really was very funny.

- The day before Mother's Day, I went antique shopping with a friend of mine. It was kind of a distract-ourselves-from-Mother's-Day trip. She lost her mom last year, and well, I wasn't exactly psyched about a day that serves as a reminder of my empty ute. Anyway, we went antiquing and it was so much fun. I found some cool decorations for my craft room. We went to this huge antique mall and in a teeny little space in a corner, I found one of the most amusing things I've ever seen. This woman was selling little dolls that she made from an upside-down terra cotta pot, a wooden ball, and various doll hair and facial features. Then she covered them in flowers or whatever. Anyway, this was my favorite:

Eeek! And guess how much she wanted for this puppy? THIRTY DOLLARS! Insane. Those craft pom balls must have gone up dramatically in price since I last glued them to something in kindergarten. Some a-hole probably humored her or told her she should sell them as a joke.

So there's all the good, bad, and amusing stuff that's happened to me. I get to go to emissions for my car today, which, woooot! Fun times. BUT I just discovered that the personalized plate I want is available, so yay for motivation to get my car registered so I can get that, too. I'm considering it a birthday present to myself. June is "justify all splurge purchases as a birthday present to myself" month, and I'm starting a tad bit early.

Hope you all have a LOVELY Memorial Day weekend!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A funny thing happened when I wasn't wearing a bra

Monday this past week was kind of an odd day. Nothing incredibly BAD happened, just a series of annoying things. The strap on my laptop bag broke, I left my wallet at work, the servers crashed 5 minutes before submitting my monthly reporting (at 5:00pm). It was just a long, weird day. And then, when I got home, after I'd finally changed out of my work clothes and got settled in, a somewhat funny thing happened.

Clover and Paisley were barking ferociously on the south side of the yard, indicating that they were probably barking at the neighbors cat. Now, when I said I'd changed out of work clothes, I primarily mean I'd finally gotten to take off my bra and put on pajamas. So I go outside to yell at the girls and tell them to come inside and leave the cat alone. And to my surprise, the neighbor - whom I've never met - popped her head over the wall - as in, she was standing on something on her side - and was like "you guys are barkers! What are their names?" Um, I don't like to meet and/or talk to people when the only thing between them and my tatas is an Old Navy tank top, so it was very awkward. I picked up Paisley to shield my shield my chest and yelled at Clo to come inside. I answered her question about the dogs names, but didn't introduce myself to the neighbor, so she probably thinks I'm rude, but that was not the time. I had to get my puppies - of both the dog and boob variety - back inside.

And that was the funny thing that happened when I wasn't wearing a bra.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Random Musings Friday

Happy Friday! I am incredibly excited that it's Friday for a number of reasons. First, today is the deadline for that big project at work. The end is in sight! Second, I'm going to happy hour with Mrs. ESPN and another of our friends today, and I'm looking forward to girl time. Actually, I got a lot of girl time this week between dinner and pedis with Temerity Jane and her mom Wednesday and my hair cut last night (my hair stylist is a friend). And I get girl time tomorrow with another friend. Dan has to go to a trade show in San Diego, so it'll be just me and the girls (and my parents on Sunday). So, a lot of girl time, which is great. Anyway, random musings...

- Have you all seen the cover of Time Magazine, with the breast-feeding (BFing) child who's old enough to stand on a chair and way over old enough to ask for it? I'm not going to get into a BFing debate on whether you should or shouldn't and what age to stop. I believe BFing is a good thing, but I also believe that mothers should do what's best for them and their baby and sometimes BFing isn't it, and that's okay. But I do admit I personally feel uncomfortable with extended BFing and attachment parenting (which the article is mainly about) is very much not my style. I think the cover is a bit much in terms of shock value, but this is also coming from someone who isn't comfortable watching/seeing an infant BF, either. I also have issue with the cover line, "Are you Mom enough?" FFS, really, Time Magazine? You're going to say that anyone who doesn't BF their kindergartner or co-sleeps isn't "Mom" enough? That's just what the Mommy Wars need - one more outlet telling them they're not good enough for whatever reason. I swear, there are times I feel like biology helped me dodge a bullet. I doubt I'll read the article, but I find the whole thing beyond ridiculous.

- I bought my tickets to Chicago to see my friend Kari, her husband, and their baby! I'm very excited, and I'm looking forward to a much-needed break. I haven't taken any vacation yet this year, and this will be a fabulous little getaway. And bonus, I saved a bunch of money on my ticket. I noticed the other morning that one flight's fare had dropped $55 (!) from the last time I checked. It wasn't the flight I had in mind, but it was only an hour earlier, so I jumped on it. Then, US Airways offered me a $50 credit if I applied for and used their credit card, and I figured "what the heck?" So I saved $105 on my fare. Awesome!

- We're still fighting hives with Paisley. She's most free of them, but she's been breaking out here and there. The hilarious thing is that when she had them for 4 days straight, I was administering Benadryl and prednisone in rolled up turkey meat. So the other morning, she sat next to the refrigerator for about 20 minutes waiting for her treat. Unfortunately, she didn't have hives, so she didn't need anything, but it was pretty funny that she liked the new routine so much.

- My husband is a little entrepreneur. I bought a lawn mower a long time ago, but it was electric, and Dan didn't like it much. Oh, side note/funny story in terms of electric yard equipment. We also have an electric blower, and in one of my dumber moments, I asked what good it does when you can only stand a (2-foot long) cord's length away from the wall to blow stuff. Duh, Brooke, extension cords. My in-laws still make fun of me for that one. Anyway, his dad recently bought us a brand new mower, so we no longer needed the crappy one. I bought the electric one at a yard sale for $15. Dan sold it for $80. Dan wins.

- It's no secret that I love Toddlers and Tiaras. Love it. Anyway, the most recent episode was the "Me and My Pet" pageant. There were twin girls - one did a routine with a lamb that wouldn't shut up, and the other got stuck with a turkey, poor thing. And then there was a girl who had a snake. Ick. I HATE snakes, and this was some kind of baby python or boa or something. I admire that she loved this thing and let it hang out around her neck and stuff, but I watched the whole intro - during which she let "Slither" do his thing all around her room and her toys - with my body pressed as far back into the couch as possible. At one point, the following conversation happened:

Me: "Oh My GOD! That is... ew! That is my NIGHT MARE!"
Dan's coworker: "A snake in a doll house? THAT's your night mare?"
Me: "Yes! Ugh, oh God this is awful!"

Notice Dan's coworker was watching T&T with me. Awesome.

Alright, I don't really have anything else. Hope y'all have a great weekend! Go visit Shana for everyone else's random musings.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Random Musings Friday

Happy Friday! It's been a busy week, but I didn't write much of anything down for today. I feel ill-prepared. Oh well.

- Remember how I grew some flowers? Well, they've been growing like crazy, but no blooms yet. Still, I'm pretty proud of my ability to grow anything from seeds. And then Clover had to ruin some of that for me when she dug a giant hole in one of my planters. Clover is an asshole.

- I don't understand adults who cut in line (and Shana has a blurb about this too). I was at Food Truck Friday last week waiting in line to order a delicious carne asada fry bread. All of a sudden, two women came up and started talking to the woman in front of me, and the next thing I know, they'd decided to jump in line in front of me. Now, I know that there can be an awkward moment where a friend is somewhere in the middle of a line and you want to talk and be with them and stuff. I get that. If these women had asked, I would have been fine with letting them cut. Instead, all three grown women acted completely oblivious to the fact that they'd just jumped in line in front of me. But the universe and karma act in mysterious ways and one of the women who cut in front of me had their lunch stolen by some person who was either just as rude or wasn't paying attention to the numbers being called. And that stolen lunch could have been mine (although I stayed close while I waited, while these women wandered off to a table far far away).

- Dan was able to join me for therapy last night. It was a little odd because the counselor was running about 20 minutes late, so we weren't sure how long to wait. My appointment had been confirmed by her receptionist, so I knew I HAD an appointment, but I wasn't sure how long I was supposed to wait outside before giving up in the appointment. We decided we'd wait about five more minutes and she opened the door about 2 minutes later and said she'd gotten off track earlier in the day, and just couldn't catch up. No biggie. Anyway, it was interesting to be there with Dan. I learned some interesting things - like he does tell people who ask him that we can't have kids, and that he sometimes doesn't share his thoughts because it triggers me. I'd had a hard time wrapping my head around how this loss could be nothing more than "it is what it is" for him, and in some ways it is just that, and in other ways, he's been protecting me in the same way I protect him.

Anyway, the exciting news is that I graduated from therapy last night (after completing just about 6 more months, so I can cross that off my 101 in 1001)! The last couple sessions have not been as emotional, and I don't feel like I have as much "stuff" to work out. I still have bad days at times, but I can have my little cry or get angry and be over it. I carry guilt for some things, but I've talked about them and can be open about them and I don't feel the NEED for therapy as much I did back in November. And so, we decided that I'd fly off on my own and see how it goes. My therapist has been amazing - I don't know where I'd be in this process without her - and the only tears of the day were thanking her for her help and saying "good bye" for now. I know I can contact her at any time about little stumbling blocks for guidance, but I don't foresee scheduling a session any time soon. Therapy was truly the best gift I could have ever given myself.

Go check out the link up with Shana, and have a great weekend!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

May Resolutions

I've been thinking lately that I want to do some things in my life better, make some resolutions. I didn't make resolutions in December for the New Year because quite frankly, I was still trying to survive emotionally. I'm in a better place now, where I feel I'm coming out of a sort of haze and I can start focusing on things that make me happier and feel more well-rounded. I've been doing little things to be happier, but they were more like busy work, distractions. What I want now is things to focus on, and not just do blindly because they keep me from feeling bored or sad.

So here are my May Resolutions:
  • Be a better friend. I'm pretty darn lucky in the friend department. I have friends all over the place - real-life friends, blog buddies, girls from my message boards. I appreciate them all. What I don't feel I do enough of is reaching out to them. I've never been great at initiating conversations or keeping up with correspondence. But in the last eight months, when life has just feel so HARD sometimes, there have been ladies who really went above and beyond to let me know they were there. And I need to do that more, because it meant so much to me. I'm not the only one with problems, the only one who needs an e-hug. Everyone needs them, in good times and in bad. I'm going to focus on being that person for more people more often.
  • Work on my advisor skills. I have six lia sophia shows scheduled in May (and actually already have 2 done) and this month has the potential to really set the tone of my business for the next several months. I want to work harder at being a great advisor for my hostesses and making sure they get all the best benefits through better communication with their guests. I had two shows this weekend and didn't feel as prepared as I should have for Saturday, so I'm going to focus on giving myself more preparation time and not getting my shit together on the fly.
  • Get organized. Dan and I have talked about rearranging the kitchen and making more space in the cabinets for my baking stuff. We used to have a dresser in the dining room with my pans and everything in it, but we got rid of it, and now we need to make better space. Also, we still haven't started on building my craft room work space, and that would really help with organizing a lot of the stuff I have scattered about the house. I just feel that, in general, I need to have a better sense of everything having its place.
  • Be healthier. I have a few health-related items on my 101 in 1001, and I want to focus on being serious about those. More water, more moving, better food choices on the weekends. We tend to do really well during the week with our protein-and-a-veggie meals, and then the weekend comes and we're busy and I'm tried of cooking. I need to focus on having more leftovers at the end of the week and - you know - actually eating them.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Random Friday Musings

Happy Friday, all! It's felt like a heck of a long week, but it's been a great one. Our coming "out" during National Infertility Awareness Week has been an incredible success - everyone has bee so supportive. Even better, there are ladies who weren't planning to come out, but did when they heard how great the experience was for many of us. I also "celebrated" NIAW by attending my first Resolve group meeting. It was great - it's so nice to meet other women who understand and be able to talk face-to-face.

Alright, on to my musings.

  • I was driving home from a lia sophia party Wednesday night and saw this guy come up weaving between a few other cars and generally going pretty fast behind me at a light. I'm kind of surprised he didn't run it when it turned red. Anyway, he sat there drumming his fingers like he was all impatient at the light and when it turned green, I kind of watched in amazed horror as he (I presume) accidentally put his car into reverse (why was it in park at a light anyway?) and FLOORED it into the car behind him. Maybe slow down a little and have some more patience, eh bud? The time lost sitting at that light was nothing compared to having to pull over and exchange insurance, now was it?
  • Have you all seen the new Kony2012 posters? With the donkey and elephant's heads merged and the line "something we can all agree about?" I can't help but think we're all supposed to elect him President now. I'm willing to bet some idiot will write in his name on a ballot somewhere.
  • I downloaded an app to make notes of random musings, and the only thing in it this week is "mush pot." I know what "mush pot" refers to, but I have no idea why it's in there.
  • Oh wait, yes I do. So, I've never been a very emotional person. I don't cry at movies and stuff. And then I got engaged. Ever since then, it's like the mush pot (the term Dan uses for me when I'm emotional) inside me has been awakened and I cry at everything. Like the cheeseball movie Armageddon. And certain commercials. I don't like Mush Pot me.
  • I got the best compliment yesterday from a friend who's a bit of a blunt little hard-ass. She told me she would eat food I brought to a pot luck. You have NO idea how much that means to me.
  • Lastly, how the fluck is Jessica Simpson STILL pregnant? I'm convinced she's gestating a horse. What baby wouldn't want to stay in there when it gets fed Pop Tarts?
Alright, I'm out. Enjoy your Friday, and have a fun weekend. I'm crazy jealous that Shana is with Allyson this weekend, so I don't think there's a link-up. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekend Ins and Outs

Blech .Monday. As much as I love Friday, Monday is full of suckage. And this Monday started off rough. Paisley has had hives all weekend and when her Benadryl wears off, she gets itchy, which never happens. So I had Paisley scratching and crazy and generally restless next to me in bed at 2:00 this morning. We went to the vet and got some medicine, so hopefully it'll take care of it. Anyway, you can imagine I'm more tired on a Monday than I usually am.

We got a lot done this weekend. Dan did a side job for his parents' neighbor all weekend, and I went to Joann Fabrics because they were having an awesome sale. They had a deal where if you spend $50, you'd get a 30% coupon - for regular AND sale price items - to use the next week. So I thought of everything I needed from there and headed off with my list. OF COURSE everything was already on sale, so I couldn't even get to freaking $50 with my fairly-large list, which is awesome, but I still wanted that 30% off. Oh well. Anyway, here's what I did with it.

I'm not really sure who this wreath-loving person I've become is, but I found a super cute summery wreath on Pinterest and followed the links through to find the tutorial. I used yellow yarn to wrap the wreath and felt for the flowers, and finished it with a wooden monogram to make this for the front door:

 The flowers were actually super easy to make, thanks to the tutorial I found on Craft Snob

Next up, I also purchased some spray paint. Spray paint, FYI, might by my new glue gun in terms of most appreciated tool for "crafting." I had seen these really cute lamps at Target and thought they would be really fun in the bedroom to go with the blue/green color scheme we have going on. Unfortunately, I'm a cheap-ass when it comes to things that are not something you use (meaning DO something with, like lamps) so I wasn't keen on the $40 it would cost to purchase them, especially considering we had lamps that work. But what I could justify was a can of spray paint (at 50% off no less, as I had a coupon for Joann, and it was the most expensive thing at regular price, so said 50% off coupon went toward it). So Dan helped me turn my boring black metal lamps into these fun blue versions of themselves:

I'm not crazy about the shade, but with all the money I saved on the lamps themselves, I could replace them for the right price. And here's Paisley chilling with the new addition - you can kind of get a feel for the colors in the room and how the blue ties in.

She digs it. I dig it, too.

(FYI, with this new blogger layout, I can't tell which pics are showing and which aren't, even though the HTML looks right. Considering there's also a firewall to contend with, I'm not sure what you can and can't see. So, sorry if they're not showing up. The wreath is on my FB, and I'll post pics of the lamps, too).

I also got a frame and mat for the awesome print my friend Kathy gave me. I didn't take a picture, but it looks beautiful, and I'll be sure to include a photo of it as I get more of the craft room decorating done.

So that's kind of it for the crafting and my Joann spending. It doesn't seem like much, but I saved over $30 and only spent $40 with everything being on sale and got three things done. Not bad.

I also came "out" about our infertility on Facebook. I was pretty nervous, but I got absolutely nothing but positive feedback and an out-pouring of love from everyone. The jewelry that Allyson created for National Infertility Awareness Week (link in this post) sold very well and I was so happy her project was successful. I'm glad to finally be out and making the conversation about the struggles of infertility one that we should not be ashamed to have.

Oh, and a funny conversation between me and Dan. He did a side job for a neighbor which included spreading some 28 tons of rock, and in the process, he had to remove her mailbox. So yesterday, he went to go put it back in. When we got in the car for him to take me to dinner, there was a pipe laying on the seat.

Me: What's that?
Dan: Conduit. It's for running electrical wires. I used it to reinforce [neighbor's] mailbox
Me: She has an electric mail box?

Yeah. Brains. I got 'em.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Random Musings Friday

Happy Friday, everyone! Hang on to your butts - I'm about to make up for last week.

- I went to the restroom in the office yesterday, and as I was washing my hands, a woman came in with an apple and set it on the counter before picking a stall. Really? You bring FOOD into a public bathroom? That grossed me out beyond measure. Maybe.... MAYBE I could see it if it was something like an orange or a banana where you peel the skin off and the fruit underneath hasn't been exposed to bathroom air. But an APPLE? You eat the skin! Ugh, gross.

- Also related to food, a group in the building had a potluck the other day. You know that Chex Puppy Chow mix? That's so delicious? Well, one girl brought it in and served it in a dog food bowl. Literally, a DOG food bowl. I can't decide if I find that to be genius or disturbing.

- Apparently, I have food on my mind. Every day as I drive to work, I pass by a lot of sign spinners. And I drive to work fairly early, so it always kind of surprises me that they're out already. I hate sign spinners. They annoy me. If I see one, I make a mental note to avoid the establishment they're advertising for. Here's where this ties in to food. One of the places along my commute that has a spinner is a burrito shack. Their pictures look delicious. I enjoy breakfast burritos. But I can never go there, because every morning, there's a jackass in a chili pepper costume spinning a sign for them. First world problems.

- Non-food related: also on my route to work but closer to our neighborhood, there's this big sign that has a lot written on it, but the first part is "my dog was stolen." That sucks, I feel for you. But here's the thing about this sign. It's VERY elaborately painted. As in, the outlines of the letters are all in white, and the inner colors of each word rotate between 4 or 5 colors. It's busy as hell to look at. Also, the sign is tacked to a street sign on a corner that is nowhere near a stop light. Thus, I'm traveling at about 40mph when I drive by it, so not only can I not take a picture to show you, I can't READ it. Between the busy colorful lettering and its placement, all I know is that some guy with a lot of time on his hands had his dog stolen. Here's a thought, dude. In the time it took you to make that sign, you could have been looking for your dog.

- I may have mentioned something about this before, but some friends of ours went through some unfortunate junk in January, and it's still going on. I'm not going to get all into it, because it doesn't all matter, but let's just say there are "sides." Dan and I are apparently on side A, and pretty much the entire rest of our group of "friends" is on side B. More accurately, we're on side The Kids (yes, there are kids involved in all this) and side B shut us out, essentially choosing side A for us. Anyway, this is how dumb this all is. And keep in mind that the youngest person involved in all this (besides The Kids) (and also, I use "involved" loosely, because if I really told you the whole thing, I think you'd agree that we're not involved at all) is Dan at age TWENTY-SEVEN. So, we're over on side A, right? Our tattoo artist and our hairstylist are on side B (though, really, it's their significant others who are on side B, and they're both more like Sweden. Or Switzerland. Whichever one doesn't get involved). Anyway, this big thing I've been leading up to is this: we no longer get reminder calls from our hairstylist's salon because the guy who makes said reminder calls is on side B. That's right. Someone whose job it is to make reminder calls for an appointment so we can come in and GIVE THEM OUR MONEY refuses to call us because we're on the wrong side of a situation that we're not even in. We need new friends. Now accepting applications. And they might have found this somehow, and that's fine. Hopefully in reading this, y'all realize how ridiculous this all is. This is the most I've ever put out on the webs about this situation, and that's a big difference from all the crap that's been said about me.

- Speaking of stupid fighting, I had a dream last night where I argued with Dan. It wasn't even something we would ever fight over in real life, and it was so stupid, but I was mean. Do you ever do that? So I woke up feeling bad that I'd been so awful and apologized to him. Is that normal? I apologized for something I didn't even actually say, just because I thought of it in a dream.

- Okay, let's end on a happy note. I am so honored to be a part of this. Allyson of Magnolias & Mimosas and Daisy and Elm Jewelry and Rosaries designed a line of jewelry for National Infertility Awareness Week, and it is fabulous! She took ideas from me (and some fellow IFers) for words and phrases that are meaningful to us and made some truly fabulous pieces. It goes on sale on Sunday at 1pm EDT, but you can preview it on her Facebook page here in the "Perennials" album. Ally, I am truly grateful for the thoughtfulness of your work, and I'm thankful for your friendship <3

I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday and a fabulous weekend!

Also, I am a chickenshit, so that part about our friend situation might come down later. But feel free to comment on it for now.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What is "a lot?"

I was cruising my Facebook newsfeed when I saw an interesting status post - "I just laugh when people think they've been through a lot." It struck me as odd. The girl who posted it is dealing with both health issues and infertility. She's had numerous surgeries and is a very brave and lucky lady. To me, I'd agree she's been through "a lot" and I genuinely admire her. At the same time, I wondered (and asked), "who gets to decide what 'a lot' is?" Is there some arbitrary amount of physical or emotional distress one must go through to earn compassion and sympathy?

I feel like I see this in the IF community sometimes. As understanding, supportive, and empathetic as we are to each other, there is sometimes a sense of "I've been through more than you. You don't understand my battle." There can be a bit of an underlying hierarchy. And it is true - I haven't been through treatment. I've never had surgery. I've never shot myself in the butt with needles trying to grow multiple eggs. I've never been through egg retreival or transfer. I've never suffered a loss, as many, many ladies have. I've been very fortunate in my non-IF health, too, and in my family. My happily married parents and beautiful sister are alive. I have a home, a car, a job, two healthy pups, and a loving husband. It's true that I don't understand a lot about what some others go through.

However, where does lack of understanding and shared experience turn into absence of compassion? I know we all have moods and bad days when we think "I'm dealing with this mountain, and you're being a sissy la la over a mole hill." But maybe that mole hill IS a mountain to them. Unfortunately, life experience sometimes makes us jaded to the struggles of others. While it can serve to give us compassion and an ability to comfort someone who's trying to tame their mountain, sometimes all we can think about how much bigger and more daunting our own is.

I'm not saying I'm not guilty of it. I have my days for sure when the struggles of others seem trivial. But I'm working to remember that I don't know what else that person has dealt with. I don't know that they didn't suffer a loss or that their family life or marriage is struggling or they have an illness that is striking fear into them. I don't know if they're drowning in debt or worried about how they'll put food on the table. People don't always share all their struggles, and sometimes that last little "mole hill" is just the tip of their mountain, the last straw that makes them crack and pushes them to no longer keep it to themselves, but to hint that they need some love.

Moral of the story (I suppose): be kind to everyone, for we're all fighting a battle.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Random Musings Friday

Hurray for Friday! This is an exciting one. My parents and sister and brother-in-law are coming tonight and we're spending the day together tomorrow. I also am going to Food Truck Friday today, and I am making cupcakes later for my friend's daughter's birthday party. Fun stuff.

- The stupidity of people never ceases to amaze me. My route to work takes me through the industrial part of town - the road I take is along the train tracks, so there are factories, scrap yards, and other such establishments. All the scrap yards have signs advertising the price they'll pay for a pound of this or a ton of that. One of them had a sign with ".75 [cent sign] per pound for cans" (keyboards don't have cent signs anymore? Did they ever?). Um, do they not realize they're saying that they'll pay a fraction of a penny for a pound rather than seventy-five cents? Dumb.

- Infertility Awareness Week is coming up, and Dan and I finally had a good talk about what I want to do about it. He's private, and doesn't see the need to talk about all this in a public forum. For me, it's therapeutic and also makes me feel as though I'm reaching out to other women to let them know they're not alone. We've finally come to an agreement about me posting some facts and such on FB during IFAW, and I'm excited. I've been keeping a list of facts on my phone as I think of them, and I hope to make it meaningful and educational. This will also be the official public coming out for us, and I'm anxious to see how it goes, but I'm tried of feeling like I'm hiding.

- Social media is a powerful thing. I admit, I use my Twitter account to rant about companies sometimes. But, it works. Dan and I are having banking issues - sometimes having separate checking accounts causes problems, and our bank recently overhauled their transfer system to allow easier transfers of funds to customers at other banks. Ironically, it made intra-bank transfers screwy. Figuring out the problem has resulted in four different answers from four different customer service reps, none of whom actually provided a solution. So I ranted about it on Twitter and guess what? Five minutes later, I had the number to the executive customer service office and a referral to speak to an online banking pro. That's probably not a huge deal, but calling customer service 4 times didn't work. One Tweet did.

Alright, I think I'm out of stuff. I wasn't very good at making a list this week. Go visit Shana for the link-up and see what everyone else is thinking about this Friday. Happy Weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Two years

Today marks two years since we started trying for a family. It also marks a year since infertility has officially been a part of our lives. A lot has changed since two years ago. I remember how excited I was, assuming we’d be expecting in no time. We talked about names and I thought about how we would announce to our families. We thought about how we would decorate and I had a mental list of baby gear I liked. Things are very different now. The room that I once walked by thinking, “that’ll be our nursery” is now part-way through its craft room transformation. I’m working daily at dealing with the loss (even just infertility itself is a big life-changer for couples, much less deciding to walk away from trying anymore) and taking care of myself and my husband emotionally. Still, it’s a sad day for us. I miss this day two years ago when we were hopeful and optimistic for a family. I’m hopeful and optimistic for new things now, but there’s an empty space where a dream once was.

I am thankful that the most important thing - my wonderful husband - hasn't changed. He continues to be my rock, and we continue to be strong and loving. The last year especially has had big challenges and disappointments for us, but if we can get through this, I know we can get through anything life throws our way.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Drawestin: Things Storks Bring

DRAWSTIN a Draw Something Linkup with @AmandaAustin and @AwesomeHutch

I was playing Draw Something with a friend the other night, and she got the word "stork." So she drew me a cute little grey-ish stork with an orange beak and feet. Very cute. And the stork, of course, was holding a bundle with a baby inside. I texted her (kind of) jokingly that not all storks bring babies (I've semi told her about our trouble, but not sure if she realized I was serious or not). So anyway, I told her I want the kind of stork that brings a baby elephant and plays a harmonica, like in "Dumbo" (one of the best movies ever, if y'all didn't know). We decided it would be pretty awesome to have a baby elephant deposited in the backyard, and that Clover could be it's mom (which would be HI-larious).

Well, in pure serendipity, for her next turn, she actually go "Dumbo" as a choice, and she drew me this:

Obviously, since she'd just drawn me a stork with a baby I was super confused and started looking for the letters to spell stork. Then I thought maybe the game was broken and was showing me an old drawing but the letters for a new word. And then she started drawing Dumbo, and I just started laughing. Dan thought I was nuts. I love the confused look on Clover's new baby's face.

Well played, Draw Something. Well played.

Share your awesome Draw Something screen shots on It's Blogworthy's #Drawestin Link-up

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Free Your Mind Monday... the finale

Yeah, I know, it's Tuesday.

I've reached the end of the list of questions. I'm not sure my mind really feels freed by this exercise, honestly. I didn't feel particularly torn by any of them, and none of them really required any deep thought. But oh, well. Maybe my expectations were too high.

46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? Not much, honestly. I'm thankful to have reached some arbitrary age in life where people's opinions hopefully don't matter as much, and if they do, I remember that their life isn't affected by what I do. So I don't think I'd change much about what I do, say, or am just based on the notion of being free from criticism.

47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing? Just now. (see, deep questions)

48. What do you love? Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love? Always first and foremost, I love my husband. I wouldn't be the relatively sane person I am without him. I love my family and my friends, my dogs (babies!!), and my home. I try to show them all love every day.

49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that? Probably not, since it’s a fairly arbitrary day. I think it’s fine to not remember every day in detail if there’s nothing monumental about it. I’d rather save my memory for the important stuff.

50. Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you? At this stage of my life, my decisions directly affect only me and my husband. Therefore, we make them together. I don’t believe he makes decisions for me, or vice versa. We make decisions for us. There may be compromise at times, but I'm thankful that I met a partner in life who sees eye to eye with me, and thus far, I've never had to "sign off" on a decision that I couldn't be happy with.

And done.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Check, check, check!

Holy moly, what a productive weekend we had. My unexpected Friday off was spent playing Draw Something in the morning, then having lunch with TJ and Penny (who pinches now, people. PINches.), then helping our roommate get his stuff out and reclaiming this:

Our spare bedroom! This was prior to vacuuming, so sorry for the mess. After I took this and sent it to Dan with a message that read, "it's just you and me again, Buddy!" I got to work cleaning. We were waiting on the move-out to clean our carpets again, so first I had to vacuum the whole house. Dan shampooed the carpets when he got home, and then we set up our old bed in the new guest room - we have an actual GUEST room, OMG.

Then, on Saturday, I went yard sale-ing. We have an extra TV that Dan thought would be nice for our guests in our guest room, but we needed something to put it on. So I was in search of a small dresser that we could also use for storage. And on the last street I hit before giving up and going home, I found something! And it was only $15. But it was ugly. Not a problem for me, though. I know how to solve ugly dresser problems. And so I present to you, the little brother of the Most Awesome Dresser in the Universe, Fabulous Little Blue Dresser:

Gorgeous, huh? I primed and spray painted it with Valspar Indigo Cloth, and I love it. It's still sitting there curing in the sun, but it came with nice gold and cream hardware that is literally going to POP against that blue. I can't wait to put it in the room. I might have a dresser painting problem. I hope I don't end up on Intervention with a room full of people who love me like crazy and want me back.

Aaaaanyway, I also grew stuff. See?

Dan says it could be a weed or something left over from the reused soil (he got it from his parents' yard), but I don't care. I put seeds all over that planter and I watered it, and there was nothing there before and there is now, so I grew it. I win at growing things.

And finally, the biggest most exciting thing of my weekend, my stripes are DONE!! That's right, I finally finished pretty much the biggest project I've ever done. It was exhausting and my body hurts from crouching and reaching and rolling and brushing, but it's done and so very worth it.

So, start to finish. First, we painted all four walls Valspar Frosted Lilac (4 weeks ago, but whatever). Then, Dan used a level to pencil on lines for me to follow with tape all around the room. To make it so we wouldn't have to go near the pesky baseboards again with a second color and risk drippage, the bottom and top 4" of the wall stayed Frosted Lilac, and we divided up the rest of the wall into roughly 12" stripes. It took me a good 2 hours to lay the tape down.

Then, you have to seal that tape with paint, so I had to use the Frosted Lilac again and paint onto the tape from the wall to make sure I'd have sharp lines and no seepage from the darker paint when I went over it. This is the part that had me questioning my sanity for wanting striped walls. It was meticulous and not in a fun way at all. Not to mention, it was my first time being on the ladder (Dan did the Frosted Lilac weeks ago, including the cutting in near the ceiling), and that just makes me about 6 kinds of anxious (hello, I'm Brooke, and I'm a wuss).

Finally, that was done and I could paint on the Valspar Silverberry on every other stripe. I was so incredibly paranoid about painting the wrong stripe, I wrote "D" for dark at every corner to make sure I didn't screw it up. But it looked really cool when it was done, even with the tape still down.

At this point, it was like 8:30 Saturday night and I'd been couped up in the room for what felt like days and wanted to be done, but you have to pull the tape off while the paint is still wet, so I grabbed a glass of wine, took a deep breath and started pulling. And I discovered that I'd done a really decent job taping and sealing and it had actually worked!

It looked awesome, aside from one little issue. When Dan penciled on my lines and I went over them with tape, I wasn't very smart or thoughtful about the fact that if I covered the pencil, it wouldn't get painted. So I had very minimal seepage under the tape, but I had a lot of pencil line left exposed. Kind of a bummer, but yesterday morning while Dan went dirtbike riding, I whipped out a small brush, put on some tunes and slowly worked my way around the room painting over the pencil and evening out the lines by also covering seepage and hitting the areas that needed to be otherwise touched up.

I love love love how it came out. I love how bold and fun it looks. I love how the colors change with the light - sometimes it looks very obviously purple, and in other light it looks very grey. I couldn't be happier with it.

We spent the rest of the day yesterday having lunch, hanging out with my in-law's dog (they're out of town), and doing some more cleaning and reorganizing. It was a perfectly productive weekend, and I feel like I got so much accomplished. This weekend, my parents and sister and brother-in-law are coming to visit and I'm very excited! I can't wait to see them all and show them our projects :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Random Friday Musings

Happy Friday! Hurray for a surprise day off - I thought I had to work, but thanks to Mrs. ESPN, I asked my boss and he told me we were off. So, yay! I've got some errands to run, and then I'm having lunch with Temerity Jane & Penny, and I might treat myself to a pedicure. Not to mention, I have about 20 games of Draw Something to keep up with.

- Today is roomie move-out day! And I feel a little bad putting the exclamation point in, but I'm ready to have our house back to ourselves. By the end of this weekend, we'll hopefully get quite a few things scratched off the list - we'll have an actual guest bedroom in the 3rd room, Dan has "paint stripes on craft room walls" as mission #1 on his to-do list, and we'll take care of some of storage issues since Dan can move some of his stuff back into bedroom #3.

- On the way to work the other day, I saw just a random beat-up Camry with a crooked sign that read "Hurry Transportation" on it. No phone number or anything, but it struck me that it was some kind of self-employed taxi service. And I admit, I judge books by covers sometimes. The guy driving was not someone I'd want to be trapped in the back seat with. Not to mention, he had no sense of urgency. I'm not sure "Hurry" anything was appropriate for this guy's business. It just all struck me as odd.

- Not long ago, my coworker C told the nail-clipping co-irker to stop trimming his nails in his cubicle. He called it "disturbing" and something that should be done at home. Well, C was out yesterday, so Clipper figured it would be okay. Not so much, because I just happened to grow a pair yesterday and sent Clipper an IM asking him to save the nail clipping for home and that it's really not appropriate to do in an office. He shot back, "I thought I was safe with C out of the office." I responded, "no, C being gone doesn't make it okay." So he told me he'd be more "careful." Careful? WTF? No. I... er, WE, actually... are trying to politely tell this disheveled doofus loser that what he's doing at work is inappropriate for the setting and he's clearly not getting it. And because he talks to his wife (who I hear looks like Tammy Faye Baker) 70 times a day, I'm sure this would have come up. If my husband told me he'd been called out by multiple people for doing that at work, I'd be mortified. But I guess performing acts of grooming and hygiene in close public spaces is the kind of ship they're running. Freaking weirdos.

- Today is a local radio station's Big Red Easter Keg Hunt. They hide 98 kegs around the city and one is worth $5,000. Usually, there's a concert the night of, and anyone who finds a keg brings theirs to find out if they're a winner, but this year, it's just some thing at an arcade. Anyway, every year I get all hyped up thinking I'm going to go find a keg. And then I get lazy. There are clues, but I figure by the time I get there, it'll be gone. Two years ago I did go out and drive around in my pajamas for about 12 minutes, but I got over it pretty quickly. I wish someone would just hide a keg in my yard and call it a day.

- My in-laws flew to MD to see my brother- and sister-in-law yesterday. Dan slept through his alarm and was about 45 minutes late picking them up to get them to the airport. Still, they made their flight... barely. That's good, because I know Dan would have felt awful. I would, however, like to apologize to any passengers who had to listen to my father-in-law complain and stuff for five hours.

- Happy Birthday to my sweet friend, Kathy! She's the one who sent me the beautiful print a little while ago. I hope you have a fabulous time in Boston!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! We're not really Easter celebraters (aside from indulging in Cadbury Mini Eggs), but I know many of you are, so I hope it's special for you and your families :)