Monday, February 27, 2012
- Last week, we were informed that we get to go to Morristown for work. For a day. Yep, the VP, in his infinite wisdom wants us to make the trek to New Jersey for a one-day meeting. The good thing is, my boss doesn't seem to be seeing the sense in this, and it sounds like I may be going earlier and working from there for a day. Maybe. Hurray for not rapidly flying across country and back, but boo for being away from home longer, which is bound to make me cranky.
- Speaking of cranky, I have a cold. I spent yesterday on the couch for the most part while Dan finished painting the first color of the guest room. I did a fair amount of whining, and when laying on the couch had tired me out enough, I went back to bed. I hate that I'm at work sick today (because if it was someone else, I'd be bitching about them exposing me to their plague), but it's month-end close. My plan today is to get as much done as I can and go back home. I'm already starting to feel hazy.
- I spent part of Saturday with Temerity Jane sans Penny, who had some crankiness of her own going on. We met up, headed to Old Navy for flip flops, then went for pedicures. After that, we went out for lunch at the only place we ever seem to go (The Yardhouse is yummy, though). It's always nice to have girl time, and TJ and I see eye-to-eye on quite a few things, so that was fun. Then I shadowed a very successful lia sophia advisor and spent Saturday night with the pups, take-out, and movies while Dan went dirt-bike riding with the boys.
- While we were getting our pedicures, the nail lady asked if we were married and then if we had kids. We both said we were married, TJ mentioned Penny, and I said I had no children. The nail lady said, "yet..." And I said, "no, none for us." As much as I am passionate about raising IF awareness, the nail lady I'll never see again doesn't need to know, and I'm not going to explain it in public. Apparently, my answer wasn't good enough and she ended up saying something along the lines of (in her Asian accent) "your husband okay you no want his kids?" Umm, say what? Love how that became my fault. That's the shiit I deal with. She's lucky I've been in a good place lately and didn't accidentally on purpose kick her. She should thank my therapist.
Alright, now onto the next installment of mind-freeing questions:
16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy? This really isn't a mind-boggling question, if you ask me. We all value different things and have different interests. We’re all unique and different things make us tick. You may love stamp-collecting, while I'd rather make headbands or wreaths or something. There's no right or wrong when it comes to what fulfills you.
17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back? I really want to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert. I guess what’s holding me back is making the effort to buy tickets and go. It always strikes me as a pricey show, and though I know I'd love it, I can't seem to justify it. One day, though.
18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of? Who isn’t? I think we all have something that we know we need to let go, and we play it off like it's not a big deal, but it IS a big deal and we're not ready yet.
19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why? I love the Northwest and would love to live in Seattle near my sister.
20. Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster? No! I don’t mess with elevators at all. If you push stuff, it might stop, and then I’ll be trapped. Elevators are terrifying, and you never touch them more than necessary. Ever.
Happy Monday Musings Free Your Mind, friends :)
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Sparrow tattoos have a long history in tattoos and have many meanings depending on depiction, placement and angle. For us, though, the sparrows represent me and Dan. They mate for life and travel great distances, always to return home, and that's a profoundly strong symbol for us - we're in this together, no matter what. They're also a symbol of hope and renewal, and they stand for our hope for a fulfilling and happy life. The ribbon held by the birds is an infertility awareness ribbon in the colors pink and blue (it also symbolizes miscarriage and baby loss, which you would find more predominantly in a google search). We carry it together symbolically and literally.
This piece is different than most of my others in style. It's darker, and there's more chaos. One girl who saw it said she could see the pain. Many times, sparrows are depicted in a traditional American stylized fashion. Mine are more realistic (in style, not necessarily color), and I like that they demonstrate the reality of our situation - all too often, people dealing with infertility are told to relax, stop thinking about it, go on vacation, get drunk and "do it." In doing so, it often makes us feel as though our struggle is minimized, our concern falsified. Dan and I are real people with real diagnoses and had to make real (tough) decisions.
My Our sparrows depict that.
Thanks for your love and support, friends <3
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
We spent part of our weekend at the body art expo. Dan's leg piece took 3rd place! We were so excited for our artist, because it really is a fantastically clean piece of art. Body art expos are some amazing people watching. I get wanting to show off your ink, but some people were literally walking around in loin cloths and lingerie to show their skin. Craziness. And suspension artists - ick, gross. I'd seen it on TV, but it's much worse in person.
I also had 3 lia sophia shows in 4 days - one at my house hosted by my mother-in-law, and two others for friends. I did pretty well, and so did my hostesses. At the meeting last night, I took #10 in the division's top sellers for January, and it was just for a starter show, which I didn't even actually present at. Based on my sales so far in February, I stand to close out somewhere in the #4-6 range. Booyah!
Speaking of lia sophia, Amanda's show closes tomorrow, so get those orders in!
Alright, onto my next set of mind-freeing questions:
11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do? Having recently been the subject of unjustified shit-talking, I can answer this with confidence. And not only because of that, but the experience solidified what I knew was the right answer. At the very least, I’d tell them that they don’t know the whole story and while I respect them as my friends, I think they’ve got it wrong and they should get the whole story (or gasp, TALK to the subject,, even) before talking about her behind her back. And then I'd remove myself. It's hurtful having people talk about you.
12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be? Live to have no regrets. It sounds hefty and dull, but I think it's all-encompassing in life. Do what makes you happy, own it, learn from mistakes you make, and don't ever feel like you have to justify your life choices to anyone else. When you go to sleep at night, be happy with that you did that day. Live life so that when you're on your death bed, there is no thinking, "I wish I had...."
13. Would you break the law to save a loved one? Yes. I mean, it would suck to go to jail, but what would suck more is living the rest of my life knowing I could have saved someone else.
14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity? All true creativity is the result of some radical, “insane” idea.
15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people? I think compared to a lot of people I know, I’m not much of a risk taker. I value mental and physical comfort as well as certainty.
There we have it. I can feel my mind shaking free already.
Friday, February 17, 2012
- I just can't get into a sympathetic frame of mind over Whitney Houston's death. I respect that she's a person who died and that's sad for her family and loved ones, but in my humble opinion, she was a crackhead with a once great voice and her death was not surprising due to her lifestyle. I say "once great" because her continued drug use damaged it. She was a troubled soul, and I'm glad that she no longer suffers, but I always find it interesting when celebrities with troubled pasts pass away and we seem to forget the troubled part. Either way, rest in peace, Whitney.
- I had my second lia sophia show last night, hosted by my mother-in-law at my house. It was small and fun, but I was hoping for bigger sales for her. I'm kicking tail on my start-up sales goals, which is great, and I've gotten bookings out of both shows, so I'm thankful for a successful start. I have two more shows this weekend, and I'm just hoping they go really well for my hostesses, because I am so thankful they agreed to help me get started.
- Dan and I bought the paint for the craft room on Sunday, and I'm hoping we can get started with the makeover this weekend.
- Speaking of this weekend, we're going to the body art expo. I've never been to one and I'm really excited. I really have no idea what to expect. Our tattoo artist is entering one of Dan's pieces in a contest and I'm super excited for both of them.
- Confession: I got a tattoo symbolizing our infertility and - aside from posting it on Facebook with a vague explanation of its meaning - haven't really shown it to anyone. My confession is that I worry that people would think that since we didn't try treatment, getting a permanent mark of our experience would be making a mountain out of a molehill. I struggle a lot with feeling like we haven't "suffered" enough, and I need to come to terms with that.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Don't forget to go see the other link-ups at Shana's site. Oh, and! Amanda's lia sophia virtual jewelry extravaganza ends Wednesday and a I threw in a special deal for orders submitted this weekend, so go visit her, too.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
So, Friday I got done with work and headed across the street to the airport to pick up Elise. We had fun chatting in the car as we headed toward TJ's house. When we got in touch with TJ outside the base to arrange the base access stuff, she asked if we could turn around and go grab a few girls at a nearby outdoor mall, because she could only sign on so many cars and blah blah blah so we needed to carpool. So Elise and I picked up Stephanie, Megan (who doesn't blog but does Tweet), and Laura and headed back.
The rest of the evening was spent meeting and greeting as more people arrived. The bloggers attending aren't in my usual blog social circle, but I'd checked them out to know who they all were. Even so, I quickly realized I hadn't read enough. That or I am even worse with remembering names and details than I usually am. Anyway, I met Linnea, Noemi, Diane, Lara, Jess, Jessica, Kammah, Erin, and two of TJ's aunts. TJ put out a sandwich spread and enough soda for a small army, along with a WALL of CANDY. Organized candy. Seriously, brilliant. She used a show organizer on her laundry room door and stuffed it with goodies. Dan can never find out about it because he'll want one. We chatted and played with babies (TJ's Penny, Erin's Lorelai, Jessica's Callum) and hung out before heading home (or to hotels) for the night.
I got up bright and early Saturday (because I have dogs who don't sleep for shit because OMG, they might miss a meal) and picked up a few girls and headed back to TJ's for breakfast. Ladies trickled in all morning, including a new arrival, Andrea and her daughter, Alli. The babies played on the floor while we chatted. After a while, a few of us headed off to Target for general awesomeness shopping and to buy pajamas for the PJ party that evening. I had to leave to go shadow a lia sophia show (although I got hopelessly lost, burst into tears, and ended up giving up and going home for a nap) and a few girls went to get pedicures while TJ turned the house into a true pajama party.
I have to say this about TJ real quick. She really is awesome. I enjoy her company very much and am glad we've become friends. She's funny in a sarcastic way I can appreciate, wicked clever in both her writing and her conversation, and incredibly kind. She truly just wanted everyone to have a good time. She took a lot of effort in planning to get the most out of our very minimal registration "fee" (for lack of a better word, because I think we all would have coughed up more for the experience). She kept us in good snacks, great company, and gracious hospitality all weekend.
So, with all that in mind, she also had a vision for this party. She and I met up after she came home from the Blathering, and as she was hatching her idea for her own gathering, she truly wanted a middle school-esque girlfest PJ party. Like old school, from back when we'd stay up late with girlfriends eating popcorn and candy until we got sick, whispering about boys and watching movies. She had a VISION. And that vision included a BED. At a pajama party. It's so obvious, yet so brilliant that she actually hauled out a bed while most of the girls were gone (I came back to help turn the house from "hang out all day" space to "this is where the party's happening space), set it up in the living room, made it up with blankets and pillows, and set the scene. She had hot pink and black streamers and party decor. Everyone (including Kara, who hadn't been able to make it to the Friday night meet-and-greet) descended on Kelly's house in their cute pajamas and warm fuzzy socks. We had pizza, "Big" and "Dirty Dancing" going in the background, root beer floats, and a lot of great conversation. We piled on the bed or sat on couches or the floor, played with little ones, and just talked all night.
I'll be honest, being with that many people at once for a whole day is breeding grounds for sensory overload for me. But it was precisely what I didn't even know I needed. It really was great and very memorable. There were ladies from so many different places and backgrounds to meet and get to know and share with. I spend just about every evening hanging out with at least one guy (Dan, obvs, and possibly the roommate or one of Dan's coworkers), so having girl time was a breath of fresh air. And it didn't matter that I didn't relate to all of their experiences because we were all there for one reason - to just have fun and enjoy something totally new. As tired as I was on Sunday from all the fun, it was a happy and satisfied tired.
So, in summation, I'd definitely recommend attending a blog gathering should you ever have the opportunity. And it doesn't matter that it's not a gathering of your "usual" bloggers, because they can become part of your blog circle. It's an experience you won't regret - I can assure you that the 15 ladies who spent Saturday night in PJs with me would agree with you :)
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Today is the kick-off of a very special little partnership between me and Amanda at It's Blogworthy. Amanda is hosting the first ever virtual lia sophia jewelry party, and the info is on her site. It's part of the 1st birthday celebration for her awesome Friday feature, Celebrity Roundup, for which I was the first ever guest poster back when Charlie Sheen went cuckoo for cocoa puffs. We're quite excited about this little endeavor, and I'm thrilled to have her as a hostess. So hop on over to her site to check it out and treat yourself to whatever you didn't get for Valentine's Day.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Last week, I started my Free Your Mind Monday, inspired by Shana. Today brings you the second installment of my 50 Questions to Free Your Mind:
6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich? Baking and crafting – anything to be creative and gift people with things I put heart into. I'm most happy when I'm doing something that fulfills my urge to bring ideas to fruition with something tangible and hopefully fun.
7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing? I think I’m doing what I believe in. Part of my growth in the last 5 years has been to do what makes me (and Dan) happy and make no apologies. You're never going to please everyone, but what's most important is that I go to bed at night knowing I'm happy and have nothing to regret.
8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently? I’d spend more time on vacation, enjoying silence. I’d read more, laugh more, and cuddle more.
9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken? A lot I think. I’ve made some tough decisions over the last ten years, and gotten myself out of some rough spots. There's a certain amount of life that one can't control, and I've tried to make the best possible decisions for the situation I was in. I haven't always done things the way I would now looking back with hindsight, but I own it and try to learn from it.
10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things? Both. I don’t think anyone wants to do things wrong. However, I’m not willing to compromise my integrity just to get an answer “right.” Doing the right thing would win out over doing things right. I’m the only one who has to live with my actions.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
1. How long have you and your significant other been together? We don't know the exact date of our first date, but it was late May, 2008. We started "goin' steady" at the end of July. It feels like much longer... in a good way. He looked so young!
2. How did you meet? We went to the baby shower of a mutual friend. I know... a guy at a baby shower? Yeah, well, Mom-to-be was clingy and would never let Dad-to-be off his leash, so she made him invite his friends and bribed them into coming with beer. I wooed Dan with my knowledge of celebrity babies, but just as he got the (liquid) courage to come say hi, I left for dinner plans. He asked our mutual friend for my info, we linked up on myspace and went on our first date a couple weeks later.
3. If married, how long have you been married? We got married (that's a lot of "married") on October, 16, 2009 (his 25th birthday), so we've been married 2 years, 3 months, 23 days and roughly 40 minutes. But who's counting?
4. If you are married.. okay, we've established I'm married... where did you get married? Big or small wedding? Our wedding and reception were at a Sheraton Hotel in Phoenix, near what is affectionately known as the Ghettro Center Mall. After the reception, we continued the party at Dave and Buster's. I believe our final guest count that day was 67, so it was small... and perfect.
5. Do you have any nicknames that you call each other? We both call each other "Buddy." He sometimes calls me "Lil Bud"
6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey. He's my rock, he's the most kind and sweet and generous man I know, and he's funny as hell.
7. Tell us how he proposed? In the living room in our pajamas after making dinner together on a Sunday evening. It was absolutely perfect.
8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for V-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals? Neither. Our brand of romance isn't for everyone. Dan shows his love by washing my car and bathing the dogs. He does things to make my life easier. When he surprises me with gifts, it's with something I wouldn't buy myself or something I've been talking about, like with hiding my Kindle in his lunch box or surprising me with a new wallet. Plus, we don't give gifts on Valentine's Day. So the aforementioned sweetness is just his normal, everyday awesomeness.
9. Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch? The fact that anyone is asking this is ridiculous. I'm a homebody, all the way. See, I like lounging even when I'm outside...
10. Tell us one thing you'd like to do with your significant other one day, if you could do anything? Go anywhere? There are many places I'd love to go with him - Ireland, Italy, France. And places in the US, too, like Seattle, Chicago, New York City. We haven't gotten to travel much in our time together, and I hope that we'll get to do that someday soon. As far as something I'd like to do... I guess it's hard to narrow it down. I think it would be awesome to own a business together. We love doing projects in our home. I'd love to take him skydiving and skiing and wine tasting.
11. Tell us what you plan on doing this Valentine's Day. Nothing, really. I'll work, come home, make dinner. We'll eat it, presumably. I'll kiss him goodnight and tell him I love him, like I do every day.
12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine's Day? Nope.
13. Give us one piece of advice to keep a relationship strong and full of love? You have to communicate and be on the same page, and put your marriage first. The last six months could have had a very different outcome had we not made such great efforts to take time to talk, listen, understand, and care. I wake up every morning thankful for him and his love, and I don't take what we have for granted. A relationship shouldn't be work, but you do have to make the effort to keep it healthy and prioritize it.
14. Show us a picture that means "love" to you. I love this one. It's one of my favorites from my wedding day and was taken by my mom. I think it has "Brooke and Dan" written all over it. He's got a huge smile, I'm smiling, we're just perfectly happy. This is how we strive to be, and it's how I feel about him inside, even if I don't look it.
Oh, and this one. I love how much he loves me.
Monday, February 6, 2012
So, here we go. Opening myself up and freeing my mind, installment numero uno:
1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? Probably 25 or so. Sometimes I still feel like I’m so young and still figuring things out. Other days, I feel like I've been aged so much by the last six months or so. There are days when I'm shocked that I own a house and am married and work at an adult job and all those other things. I think it all averages out to about 25.
2. Which is worse, failing or never trying? It depends. I think there are some things you don’t have to do and fail at to know it’s not worthwhile to try. I don't believe every battle has to be fought and sometimes self preservation is valued more than experience. I think our infertility is one of those things. I'm conscious of the fact that we chose not to try, but for us, the costs and risks outweighed trying. If we weren't so risk averse, it might have been a different decision, but as long as we're okay with the choice to not try, it doesn't hurt anyone else. With other things, you have to learn from failing to succeed next time, or to learn a lesson. I think part of really maturing is figuring out which is which.
3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do? I have no idea. Because we feel we have to? Because we know they make other people happy? I’m trying harder to focus my time on the things that I love and eliminate the things that don’t make me happy. At the same time, there are people I really value in my life and they like things I don't. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made for the greater good, on both sides.
4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done? Probably. Unfortunately, one thing I’m learning about myself when I’m truly honest is that I talk the talk and don’t always walk the walk. It’s a constant self-improvement action item for me. I'm trying to equal out the talk:walk ratio
5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world? It may be because of where I am now, but it’s important to me to raise awareness about infertility. It shouldn’t be shameful, and people should know that it can happen to anyone, it’s sensitive to the people going through it, and there are just some things you don’t say out of common decency. I think traditional sexual health education has done a disservice to young women, and it's important to me to find a way to improve it for the next generation of women.
There, that wasn't so hard. See you next Monday for round two :)
Also, Amanda at It's Blogworthy is kicking off her Celebrity Weekly Round-up's birthday party with some truly awesome stuff and posts and treats by incredible ladies, including probably the first ever lia sophia virtual jewelry party. Pretty awesome. Check out her site all week to join in the fun.
Friday, February 3, 2012
- This whole Susan G. Komen vs. Planned Parenthood thing is interesting. While it's a disappointing choice from the women's health perspective, I also believe that organizations have a right to choose who and what to support. Just the same as you or I have a right to support one organization and not another. However, I think they lack integrity in their reason. If they're not going to fund PP because of "investigations," why are they giving $7.5M to Penn State, who also is? There's been no talk of pulling that grant. I'm fine with Komen instating a rule, but they need to be consistent. I'm not going to get all political about it because that's not my style, but it's hypocritical and I see right through you, Susan G. Komen.
- This past weekend, we went to Tucson for my dad's birthday. On Saturday night, we went to the casino and then came home and made s'mores. Sometime Sunday morning, 2 of the chocolate bars on the counter went missing and Clover was a likely culprit. We googled all sorts of stuff, and even though the maximum amount she could have eaten wasn't likely to be lethal for her body weight, we decided to induce vomitting with hydrogen peroxide to be on the safe side. Clo had enough to make a 100 pound dog puke and barely slowed down. She did finally get sick (in the car of course), but there was no evidence of chocolate. We don't know for sure that she actually got any, but I do know that my girl has an iron-clad stomach, unlike her sister.
- Last night, Dan wasn't feeling well and I wasn't very hungry. I had been hungry when I was driving home and had cheese and crackers for a snack, but when dinner rolled around, I was over it and content to have fruit or what little leftovers we had. Dan asked repeatedly what I wanted (steak was on the meal plan, but it was windy out - not good for grilling), so I said I was fine with just Wheat Thins or whatever, but we were actually out. Since I didn't come up with anything else, he decided Wheat Thins it was. After googling for a minute (during which time I assumed he was looking up some sort of Wheat Thin casserole), he went to the store and came home with this:
Size boxes of Wheat Thins, in every flavor. He was mighty proud and lined them up on the refrigerator, going through them saying, "Yummy, good, yummy, probably good, good, yummy." Lesson learned: ask and you shall receive
- My first lia sophia show is a week from yesterday and I'm getting so excited! I have a lot to do - in my mind at least - to get ready. I need to figure out some presentation stuff, figure out a cute display for earrings, and get a bigger table cloth for my display table. It doesn't seem like much, but this coming week is incredibly busy, and every free second is going to count. I can't wait to get through my first couple shows and find my groove.
- And speaking of next week, PJs at TJ's, a blog gathering hosted by Temerity Jane, begins a week from today! I'm really excited. There are a lot of really fun bloggers coming, and TJ herself - along with her daughter, Penny - is totally awesome. I have no idea what to expect, except for a good time and meeting some cool new people.
Alrighty, people. Enjoy your Friday and your weekend! Have fun watching the Super Bowl commercials, since no one anywhere seems very interested in seeing the game itself :)