Monday, April 28, 2008

Thanks Babe

It's not easy to be married to me. Not even on a good day. I can be impulsive. And grumpy. And demanding. And picky. I can be a blanket hog. And I'm not the world's best housekeeper.

I am all of these things times ten when I'm taking fertility drugs. Except the blanket hog part, since the drugs give me hot flashes akin to menopause. There are days where words fly out of my mouth and I immediately wish I could take them back. There are days when the littlest error on his part (what do you MEAN you forgot to let the dog outside before coming to bed?) is cause for me to be pissy for hours.

My husband is a trooper. He lives with me, and loves me anyway. He doesn't respond to my harsh words. He indulges my whims. And he lets me cry. A lot. He may not be hopped up on hormones, but I'd venture to say those drugs do just as much to his psyche as they do to mine.

It's easy for me to feel alone in all of this. Especially when I'm sitting in a waiting room full of pregnant women. Or when I'm laying awake at 3am with hormone induced insomnia, wondering if sticking my head in the freezer would help cool me off. Trust me, I've got the the middle of the night pity party down.

But when it comes down to it, I have an amazing man by my side. The man who accompanied me through a day of doctors appointments. The man who held my hand while I was poked and prodded. The man who sat with me in the waiting room full of pregnant women and reminded me that someday that will be me.

I could not have asked for a better husband. He's my perfect match.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I Know Buddy,...I Feel the Same Way

This is the face of a dog who wants to sleep for days. I know exactly how he feels.

It's been a roller coaster week around these parts. It started Saturday with Walker's cupcake theft. Who knew one little sillicone wrapper could cause so much drama? Karl and I have shared the glamorous job of poop inspecting in the hopes that we could avoid a trip to the doggie emergency room. Thankfully nature took its course on Thursday and Walker no longer has an implant. To be honest, I'm not sure any of my sillicone cups will get used again....

Then on Wednesday I took a call from the salon where I get my hair cut. The receptionist said the words you never want to hear, "Your stylist is no longer with us." When you have thick hair like mine, finding someone who doesn't turn your head into a mushroom is no easy task. Thankfully that little drama resolved this morning when said stylist himself called me. He hasn't left the area, just the salon. We have been reunited.

All is also well with my dad. Surgery yesterday went well. The doctors are confident they fixed things, but won't know for sure for a couple of weeks. For Dad's part he says it wasn't as painful the second time around. For that I am thankful. I just hope this is the last time he has to go through this.

And in other medical news, Karl and I are unfortunately preparing to go through another cycle of trying to conceive. This time around will involve some more invasive measures. Right now I'm too busy dealing with the emotions of this failed cycle to be hopeful about the next.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thinking About Dad

This is one of my favorite pictures of my father ever. It's hard to believe it was taken nearly four years ago. I don't remember this moment. I don't remember the cigars. I just think he looks so happy in this picture, and he's not crying...which was a rarity on my wedding day.

Dad is on my heart tonight, as he prepares to go in for another heart surgery tomorrow. He had his first operation in December, in an attempt to correct an electrical problem that's making his heart fire wrong. For the past several months he's been dealing with his heart beating 300 beats a minute at unexpected times. To say he was feeling miserable was an understatement.

So his dr. suggested surgery last December, where they would go in and burn away some scar tissue inside his heart to fix the problem. It works the first time for 90% of patients. But my dad likes to be different, so it didn't work for him. He had a couple of weeks without symptoms, but then the pain and the heart racing came back, worse than before.

Because of the way the surgery is performed, they had to wait three months between procedures before his body would be ready again. Well the time has come and tomorrow morning he'll head to the hospital again. The doctor seems confident that they can take care of it this time.

It's days like this I hate being so far from my family. Colorado seems like the other side of the world right now.

Prayers and positive thoughts for Dad would be really appreciated! I want him to get back to feeling healthy again!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Scrapbooking Fun

I had the chance this weekend to hang out with my very favorite scrapping and snarking partner, Barb. While I don't seem to get very much done during our scrappy time, it's great to have company and a creative eye who's willing to tell me when a layout "needs more orange." In honor of our fun on Sunday night, I decided to post some of the layouts I've been working on recently. Two of these came out of Sunday night, the rest are from my Florida vacation!

This is the layout that needed more orange. A few rhinestones from Kaisercraft accomplished that mission. This picture is probably one of the least flattering of me that I've ever scrapped, but it makes me laugh like none other.

How cute is that face?? This is my favorite image from a shoot we did in February. Who knew 5 day old babies could be so expressive? Also, love these Making Memories papers. I'm a little addicted :)

Oh, Walker. I did this layout while in Florida on the fact that we finally resorted to hiring a trainer to break our sweet little puppy of some of his unsavory habits. Clearly, we still need to work on counter surfing. He's feeling fine, by the way. Eating, drinking, and doing everything else quite normally. But alas, still no sign of the sillicone.

There's that Making Memories paper again. I love this picture because it reminds me of summer, and an impromptu trip I was able to take to visit my cousin and her kids. It was my first time visiting with Jack since his autism diagnosis and I was so proud to see all the progress he's making. His two little brothers are pretty adorable too :)

And with that, I'm off to watch the Biggest Loser and head to bed early!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Dog Wants Implants

So here's the truth about Walker. When we first got him, Karl and I had no idea you weren't supposed to just leave a full bowl of dog food out all day and refill it when it was empty. As a result, Walker grazed through his puppy hood. We marveled at how he didn't seem the least bit interested in our people food. Such good manners.

And then we moved to WI and took him to the vet for his shots. At which time we were scolded for having an overweight dog. In fact I believe the vet tech said Walker's midsection looked like a tater tot. I bit my tongue to keep from saying something mean like, "Well it takes one to know one." So of course, they asked us about his eating habits and explained that he should be getting measured portions at set times of day.

Right. See this is why it's a good idea to have dogs before kids. It's a learning experience.

So we left the vet and set out to buy Walker weight control food, and a dog scoop measuring cup. And after a few months of proper diet and a set feeding schedule, Walker slimmed down. (If only it were that easy for people to lose weight!) Except he developed this nasty habit as a result of his new diet.

Counter Surfing.

Seemingly overnight, Walker went from a grazer, to a food hound. Nothing is safe. He is a canine garbage disposal. And he doesn't seem to get that some things are just not meant for dog consumption.

We've had plenty of mishaps over the years. Last December he ate 3/4 of a big bag of semisweet chocolate chips. I think I took that one harder than he did. The emergency vet didn't think the dose was toxic, so we had to watch him for a few days. His tummy definitely wasn't happy.

All of this leads me to last night's tale....

I baked black bottom cupcakes for last night's dinner party. Apparently Walker decided that a chocolate cupcake with cheesecake filling sounded like a great idea for a mid afternoon snack. Silly me for not putting them on top of the fridge (the only place that is truly safe from the counter surfing). So I hear him up there and I run into the kitchen, which of course means Walker is going to run OUT of the kitchen. He knows the drill.

He also knows he needs to act fast because I'm quite accustomed to sticking my hand in his mouth to grab whatever thing he might be attempting to consume. In fact, I'm quite certain he doesn't enjoy these treats because he doesn't even have time to chew them. In yesterday's case, he was too fast for me. By the time I caught up to him, the cupcake was gone.

And because Walker likes to do things to torment me, he decided not to eat one of the cupcakes with the pretty pink paper liner. Oh no. He ate one of the ones I baked in one of those reusable sillicone baking cups.

My dog swallowed an entire sillicone baking cup whole.

So once again, I will spend my weekend watching him closely to make sure he's still eating and drinking. And following him outside to make sure the baking cup makes its way out the other end.

For now though, my dog might be the only canine on earth that has a sillicone implant.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday Flashback

Found this picture while looking for something else this morning.

January 2004, visting Houghton for the first time.

Sigh. I miss my long hair.

And those jeans.

I'm sitting in that same chair right now.

Let's just say there's not as much extra room.

Getting older, and wider stinks.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Where's my time machine?

9 days ago. Me on the beach. Karl says I look like a Muppet because the wind was ridiculous and my hair was out of control.

I came back from my trip refreshed and ready to tackle all the things associated with our busy spring. All of that changed when it SNOWED last night. Now I just want to go back to Florida. And I need to act quickly because the weather guys say more snow on Friday.

Anyone want to come with me?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Ten on Tuesday

1. This is my latest favorite Walker picture, taken the night we got home from vacation. I can just hear him saying, "Seriously, you let me stay at that scary place for 10 days?? Do you know they make me sleep on the floor there? ON THE FLOOR!!! I hope you know I'm only posing for this picture in the hopes that it will guilt you into never making me go to that place again."

2. After two lovely spring days this weekend, they're using the S word in the forecast. I am in denial. It is April, people. April. No snow!

3. Speaking of snow and being in denial and such, I have good reason to be thinking warm thoughts. We have six engagement sessions scheduled between now and the end of the month. Our weekends are booked. And the first weekend in May starts wedding season. A snowed out day is just not in my schedule thankyouverymuch.

4. I did an entire week's grocery shopping last week for 37 dollars. And I feel like I should tell everyone. Because I was so proud of myself.

5. And then I realized Walker needed food. A trip to Pet Supplies Plus cost my 55 dollars. Clearly my dog eats better than his people. But he's cute, so he's worth it.

6. Do you know how many baby related shows are on t.v. during the day? A Baby Story. Bringing Home Baby. Special Delivery. House of Babies. And those are just the ones with names I remember! If nothing else, Walker will be used to the sound of crying babies if we ever have one of our own.

7. Karl and I are breaking our pop habit. It is kind of killing me. I can't believe how addicted I am to carbonated beverages. I also can't believe how much money we're saving by not drinking it.

8. I'm currently researching dessert recipes, in preparation for our dinner party this weekend. Something spring. Maybe strawberry?

9. I have big plans to scrapbook tonight. But alas, I have had big plans to scrapbook for the past three nights and it hasn't happened. I'm not getting my hopes up about tonight. I'm already kind of tired.

10. My garbage disposal is broken. I have an irrational fear of the garbage disposal; therefore, it will stay broken until Karl comes home to fix it.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

My Favorite

Just a warning: there will be many vacation pictures popping up around here over the next few days. Why put them in one post when I can stretch them out a bit, right?

I love this picture. Not because it is technically superior, not because of how I look (could my eyes be any more squinty??), but because pictures with my stepdad are few and far between. He's not one for being in photos, he'd rather take them. Hey-- that sounds familiar. But as I'm getting older, and now that I live so far away, I don't take no for an answer. We *will* take a picture when we're together.

I feel like I could write forever about why I love him. You know how they say girls tend to marry a guy just like their dad? I wasn't sure I believed that. Not to mention, I have two was I going to have two husbands? Um, no. But the longer I am married to Karl, the more I see bits of my dad in him. The snarky sense of humor. The twinkle in his eye that he gets when something has made him laugh. The way he's quiet with strangers, but can read people really really well.

I'm sorry to say that I didn't learn to truly appreciate my dad until I no longer lived under his roof. It took me going away to college for our relationship to grow. During the time I was living in Gainesville, Dad had several projects in Orlando and Jacksonville, both cities a couple of hours away. Each time he made a trip to check on a job site, he'd find a way to make the trip a little longer, so we could go out to lunch. We'd always eat at Raffertys and then he'd take me to Publix for a grocery shopping trip. As a poor college student, those grocery trips were a chance for me to supplement my ramen noodle diet with things like Progresso Soup and name brand Mac and Cheese. Most of all, I appreciated the conversation during these visits. It was the perfect mix of being treated like an adult, but also be assured that I still had my dad to lean on when I felt like a confused kid.

(I'm totally tearing up as I write this. I blame hormones. My body is full of them these days)

When I finished up in Gainesville, my dad gave me the gift of his time. He promised no matter where I got my next t.v. job, he would get me packed, moved, and settled into a new place. Ha! He had no idea what he was in for. In the first two weeks of May I finished my classes, flew to TN for an interview, graduated, and was offered a job in Knoxville that started 10 days later!

Looking back on that time, I should have been scared out of my mind. Just about everything in my life was changing. Dad and I loaded up a uhaul with my stuff and my dog and drove to Knoxville with nowhere to go. My interview trip didn't allow for apartment hunting, and back then every apartment complex didn't have a website. So we were traveling blind. I had so many things to worry about, but I really had no worries. I loved that two day Uhaul ride. I laughed as we drove that big truck around town trying to squeeze into little parking lots, looking at apartments that didn't work for one reason or another. We finally found a place and just as promised Dad got me settled before my first day of work.

Our relationship continues to grow and change. Life has thrown us some curve balls in the past few years, but I've never doubted his love for me. I am so lucky to have such an amazing person in my life. There are many things about being a product of divorce that I hate, but I will always be thankful for the circumstances that brought my stepdad into my life.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Vacation, all I ever wanted

Karl and I have pretty much perfected the taken at arms length portrait we fondly refer to as the "cheese shot." However, in this case we had a few things working against us: a super heavy wide angle lens/ camera body combination and a ridiculous amount of wind that kept changing direction. But Karl has only been to the beach a handful of times in his life, so we needed to document.

That shot was taken on what was supposed to be the last day of our vacation. We packed up Tuesday morning first thing and headed to the airport. As I was checking in, the little kiosk alerted us the flight was oversold and they'd be looking for volunteers to rebook. We have volunteered for this in the past, but never wound up being selected to be bumped.

This time we got lucky! There had been a mechanical problem that grounded a whole fleet of aircraft and forced fully blooked flights onto smaller planes, so they actually needed 13 volunteers! And since we were there early, and flexible with our schedule, we were given 2 400 dollar ticket credits, a days worth of food vouchers and an extra night in Florida at a nearby hotel. It was like God decided we needed an extra day to ease back into real life. And the promise of another vacation in the next year, thanks to those free tickets.

So we're back. And Walker is sprawled out on the bed enjoying some time with his people. I think the sign of a good vacation is when you find yourself just a little bit excited to get back to real life.

Lots of things on my to do list, but for the first time in a while I feel like I have the energy to tackle it all.