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.